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Fortune & Romance - Chapter 2: Boys

Warnings: Teen/Young Adult kissing (by which I mean an 18-year-old and early 20-something getting only to first base, so nothing that would be considered illegal in most of the world), mild profanity and innuendo, bubble blowing





It was amazing how much friendlier boys were when they weren’t afraid you were going to impregnate them.

rapping

Not that Dina could do that if she wanted to (At least, not without sufficiently advanced technology). She wasn’t even in contact with anyone who could. But there were some things you just couldn’t live down, and her “family history” was one of them.

To put it bluntly, Dina and her sister were ¼ alien. Her father was the result of the abduction of her grandfather, Nestor Caliente. It wasn’t something you could tell just by looking at her—unless you knew what to look for—but she’d grown up in a place where strangeness was nothing to hide. So, for the first fourteen years of her life she’d never thought of hiding it.

jenny

tuck in

funeral

Two years after her mother’s death, the family had left the desert in search of better jobs and better schools in the humid suburbs of SimCity. This was the year Dina had finally started high school, a year behind her sister due to chronic laziness, lack of interest, and an inability to shut up.

In her freshmen English class, for once Dina had done her homework and written a paper on her paternal grandfather (the hook of the paper was that she technically had two paternal grandfathers.) She’d even volunteered to read it out loud to the class, figuring it would impress her new classmates the way it had the old ones in Strangetown.

It certainly had made an impression. By the lunch hour of that same day the entire school had heard about the Calientes’ heritage, though the rumors going around were more “loosely based on a true story” than anything else. The most anyone in town knew about alien abductions was what they’d heard on SBN news, bastion of panic and moral outrage.

hallway

As it turned out, being descended from a species most famous for impregnating men was not a turn-on for most teenage boys. Or at least not a turn-on they could openly admit to having. Not that there weren’t some desperate ones willing to overlook anything for a little action. For example, Nina’s ex-boyfriend:

Donald

Donald.

car makeout

Dina had chosen to live the single life rather than lower her standards. Unlike her sister, she could (and did) live without snogging. She was more affected by the things people said behind her back (and to her face) and the difficulty of finding friends that she hadn’t shared a womb with.

Things could have been worse. Being skinny and blonde and fairly normal-looking still came with its privileges, but in the context of her own life… things could have been better.

cry

hug

ass

And then she’d accidentally broken her sister’s brain.

crazy

Now, in the shadow of the Sims State tower, was the chance for atonement, and Dina knew all too well what her sister needed to recover from her breakdown.

party

An outlet.

outlet

“Lookin’ good, ladies. Green has always been my favorite color!”

Dina wasn’t going anywhere near Parker Langerak, no matter how much was in his wallet. Sure, a part of her couldn’t help but wonder if he was related to Illiana Langerak of the Langerak Dynasty, whom she often read about in Rat Race magazine— but no, she wasn’t even going to look at him.

Anyways, a slacker with mommy’s money wasn’t really her type of millionaire. She was looking for a socially awkward genius who had the potential to become the richest man in the world (or at least SimNation.)

morty

“Who’s that?”

“The dean’s nerdy son. He’s got his own little batcave up there.”



It felt like a four hour climb to the top floor. The “nerd” turned out to be a lot better looking than she’d expected, satisfying her turn-on for black hair. He was too engrossed in some computer work to notice her come in, so she tried to break the ice with a witty and somewhat suggestive observation.

“Wow, you have a really big telescope!”

telescope

“Indeed,” he said, not looking away from his computer screen.

“I haven’t seen one of these in a while. Seems like everyone got rid of them after what happened to that guy in Riverview.”

He still didn’t look at her. “That story has been completely misconstrued by the media. I assure you, the scientist in Riverview has never been happier in his life. It’s not a cause for panic; it’s a triumph of science.”

It took her a moment to absorb this. Though it was nice to hear, she wasn’t sure if she actually agreed. She lost her thoughts when she noticed what was hanging over the boy’s desk.

shocked

It was a child’s painting, which gave her the chills before she even realized why. Maybe it was just a coincidence that the artist had decided to draw a girl with ketchup-red hair punching a man with a top-hat, mustache, and monocle while a yellow-haired girl look on smugly, but it was still an eerie coincidence. There were green-eyed, yellow-haired, alien-headed girls staring down at her from around the room, but their situations didn’t look so familiar.

“My daughter drew that. I’m not sure what it’s supposed to be, but it’s pretty good for a four-year-old, wouldn’t you say?”

“You have a daughter?!”

They were interrupted by some jockish looking guy coming up the stairs, not that there was anything interruptible going on.

“Hey, Morty, Bella just called—” His voice dropped out as soon as he saw her.

seduce

“—who’s this?” He said it with such an accusatory tone that Dina had to assume she was trying to seduce his boyfriend.

“I have no idea,” Morty replied, but didn’t seem too concerned about it. “What did Bella want?”

“She wants you to pick up a 24 pack of crayons for Cassie on your way home, and it sounds like she expects that to happen soon.” He turned his attention to Dina, looking her over with a curious smile before actually speaking. “You must be lost. The party is downstairs, not on my brother-in-law’s desk.”

Dina blushed. “Thank goodness. Six stories and only one exit? If there was a fire this place would be a deathtrap!”

stairs

“I’m not a home wrecker,” she said, as they started down one of many staircases. “I just didn’t think to look for a wedding ring. He looked too young.”

“He is too young.” He seemed to believe her, as he didn’t press the matter. “I’m Mike, by the way. Michael Bachelor, which —unlike some people in this building— also describes my status.”

She wasn’t sure what to think of this guy. He wasn’t giving off bad vibes, but she was conditioned to recoil from anything in a letterman’s jacket. “I’m Dina Caliente. My name describes me too.”

He grinned. “I think I met your sister a little while ago. She was kicking the ass of the evil cow mascot.”

“Sounds like her. She probably thought it was a stress-induced hallucination.”

picture

They passed some more paintings on the next floor. “Hey, this picture kinda—”

“No, it doesn’t.”

Her tone of voice must have scared him because he quickly changed topics. “I’m a senior. What year are you?”

Dina hesitated, not sure of the wisest way to answer that question. She could guess why he was asking it. “Junior.”

“And where are you from?”

“Hell.”

“Really? You know, I would have guessed the opposite.”

chess

“Wow. Don’t be too smooooth on these steps now, you might slip and break your neck.”

“Sorry, it’s a hard habit to break,” he said with a laugh. “So what are you into?”

"If we’re talking hobbies: music, film & lit. But if we’re talking school, the only class I stay awake for is econ, though I’m okay at math as long as there’s simoleon signs involved.”

“Wow, I’m guessing you’re planning on making it big one day?”

“No.” She spun around to face him. “I’m planning to marry someone who did.”

That wiped the smirk off his face. "You mean, like a gold-digger?"

"No…like Cinderella,” she said, as she swiveled back around and kept walking. “Or the heroine in an old screwball comedy."

“Hmmm, you know, I’ve seen a lot of those kinda movies—I mean, of course, that my little sister forced me to watch them at gunpoint.” They reached the bottom floor; he got to the door first and it held it open for her. “Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn't the gold-digging screwball heroine usually choose love over money in the end?"

"Always,” Dina said, her voice husky, “and then the guy turns out to be secretly rich."

flirt

“Well….” It took him a few seconds to figure out what else to say. “Congrats on having your life figured out— I don’t. That’s why I’m a philosophy major.”

“Seriously?” She almost snorted, more from surprise than derision.

"It’s what they stick you with when you can’t decide. The career advisors here weren’t much help; they told me the best track to an athletic career was a degree in Show Business.”

Dina tried not to cringe. “So you are a jock.”

“Honestly, I don’t know what I am anymore.”

She raised her eyebrows. “What the hell are you gonna do with a Philosophy degree?”

“I don’t know.”

“You don’t know and you’re graduating in June?”

“May, actually.” He shrugged. “Would you like to dance?” There was music in the air, but it was strangely off-key.

“I don’t dance,” she said, pausing a moment to see if he would try and coerce her. “I sing, though.”

karaoke 1

She didn’t try and make him do a showtune, figuring that would be pressing her luck. (Though, maybe at this school it would make sense for showtunes to be a jock thing.)

karaoke 2

Asked a girl what she wanted to be
She said baby, can't you see
I wanna be famous, a star on the screen
But you can do something in between


karoake 3

Baby you can drive my car
Yes I'm gonna be a star
Baby you can drive my car
And maybe I'll love you


closeup

Beep beep'm beep beep yeah

wideshot

He was a schmoozer, but so was Dina, and it soon became clear he was friendly to everyone, not just the people he wanted to woohoo. Really, if he had any sort of career aspirations at all he could have made good use of his many, many connections. Most importantly, he had good hygiene, which was a vast improvement over the last few guys who’d tried to hit on her.

fire

By midnight, Parker was passed out from an overdose of Nina Caliente, the most intoxicating substance to be found at this event.

romantic

“Wow. I haven’t seen a party this wild since my 8th grade promotion dance.”

“Wait ‘til they break out the Myshuno game.”

Nina smirk

“I could go for a little Myshuno, right now, actually,” Nina said, elbowing her pillow in the ribs. “Parker?”

The word “Myshuno” brought him back to life.

threat

“Would you like to join them?” Mike asked.

"Nah. I saw an SBN expose on how Myshuno’s corrupting the youth of SimNation and leading kids to the occult."

He chuckled and leaned back. “Well if you have a problem with that, I should warn you that I’m descended from a long line of occultists, mystics, and decadents.”

That would explain a lot. “Mystics, huh? Does that mean you —or your immediate family— can maybe, see the future?”

He shrugged. “I don’t know. Not me." He coughed and looked away. "My sister's the eccentric one...or at least, she tries to be.”

“Too bad you didn’t get any of the decadent genes. I really like decadence.”

drawings

After a brief silence, he asked, “So what are you doing for Spring Break?”

“Why do you want to know?”

“Parker’s mom’s got this huge vacation house on the beach and we’re all going down there. You know, Chris, Melissa, Bubbles, Llama-boy. I was wondering if you’d like to come with us? And Nina, too, of course.”

“I can’t,” she said, trying not to look at him, “but I wish I could, more than anything.”

“Okay, then.” He sat up and scooted over next to her. “Why are you upset, baby? Was it something I said?”

She shook her head and smiled sadly.

“Anything I can do?” His fingers grazed the back of her hair and settled on her shoulder. Without his jacket, it was his skin against hers.

leaning

“Kiss me.”

“You sure about that? I’m not secretly rich, you know.”

“Kiss me anyway.”

kiss 1

kiss 2

She wondered if he could tell she had no idea what she was doing, or if that was even a potential issue.

kiss 3

Somehow he was able to tell when her mind started wandering; maybe it was his occultic DNA. “What’s wrong?”

on top

“Nothing. Nothing you’ve done,” she whispered. “There’s just something that I need to confess.”

“Okay. What’s that, baby?” He pulled away from her, looking a little apprehensive.

Dina took a deep breath and closed her eyes. “I don’t go to Sims State. I can’t go with you for Spring Break because I’m actually on Spring Break right now, visiting my grandmother. She’s a cafeteria lady here.”

“Dulcinea?”

She opened her eyes to see his puzzled squint. “You know her?”

“I know everyone. I talk to Dulcinea every day at breakfast; she actually mentioned her—” Something crossed his mind that made him jump to his feet and back away from her. “Oh my god!”

Dina’s blood went so cold her teeth started chattering. “What? What did she tell you?”

“She told me her granddaughters were in high school. How old are you?”

“Oh,” she said, with a sigh of relief. “Don’t worry, I’m eighteen. I wouldn’t lie about that.”

back away

“You told me you were a junior.”

“I am…just not in college.”

He searched for words. “That’s kind of an important distinction!”

“I should actually be starting college in Fall, but I’m a year behind. It’s really not that much of a difference.”

"Yes, it is. You're still in high school! And I’m gonna be out in the real world in a few months!”

Dina got to her feet and followed him as he walked away from the fire. “And I’ll be out of your life in a week, so don’t’ worry about it. I wasn’t expecting a long-term commitment. Were you?”

“I don’t know.”

“You say that a lot.”

say that alot

His voice got softer. “Why did you lie to me?”

“I didn’t technically lie; I just refrained from correcting the misconceptions that I deliberately caused.” He gave her a look that made it clear that was a moot point, so she continued, “I guess I just didn’t want to be seen as some barely legal kid who could be taken advantage of.”

“Yeah, I would have left you alone for that reason. I’m not some creep who goes around hitting on freshmen girls or…” He made a face. “…high school girls.”

“Well, I’m glad you made an exception for me, however unintentionally.” He let her get close enough to touch him. “And I don’t think you’ve corrupted me or anything, if that’s what you’re worried about.”

touch face

“Anything else I should know?” he sighed.

There was one thing she could think of but it was not exactly vital information. She decided if the subject came up she would tell the truth, but only if it happened to come up.

sorry

“I’m sorry.”

embrace



Credits, Et Cetera :

My author’s notes for this chapter are so ridiculously long I’m going to put them in another entry. Click here for a discussion of Michael Bachelor and premade continuity. Please comment there if you have any questions or concerns about the timeline!

“Baby You Can Drive My Car” is a Beatles song, of course.

My version of Michael is available here.

I’d like to call attention to Michael’s separated, untuckable Letterman’s jacket, made by Jaccirocker a.k.a. pkheartznroses. She went above and beyond and learned a whole new skill to make it so that it can be worn with any bottoms. Grab it over at her dreamwidth!

Also, thanks to trappingit for converting Dina’s top!

Comments

( 86 comments — Leave a comment )
Page 1 of 4
<<[1] [2] [3] [4] >>
orikes13
Feb. 5th, 2011 09:11 am (UTC)
I was REALLY glad to see this show up in my flist. I was really impressed with the first part and eager to see what you did with the next part. I can definitely say I am impressed and looking forward to the rest of the story.

What I really love is how you've taken the seed that Maxis gives with the pre-made set up and tweaked it enough and then spun it back on its ear to see how our heroines get to where they're at.

The little details are made completely of love. Little Jenny Curious (Future Smith) playing with the Caliente girls was the first bit to make me smile. Then you brought out DONALD Lothario with zits and I about spit my water all over my monitor. I didn't think it could get better than that, but then you threw in a married-to-young Mortimer with his daughter's psychic drawings on the wall. Wow, that was a nice touch.

On top of a great story, though, is what made me take a look in the first place. Your pictures are fantastic. I'm completely in love with the look of this story and the look of your characters.

Please keep going. :)
skellington7d
Feb. 5th, 2011 09:32 am (UTC)
Thank you! I was hoping "Donald" would have that effect on people. I figured the Goths must have had some sort of shotgun wedding situation going on to be married with a five-year-old by the time Bella's older brother got out of college.
(no subject) - linear_flower - Feb. 5th, 2011 09:49 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - skellington7d - Feb. 5th, 2011 10:04 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - linear_flower - Feb. 5th, 2011 10:07 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - skellington7d - Feb. 5th, 2011 10:12 am (UTC) - Expand
illustratedd
Feb. 5th, 2011 09:18 am (UTC)
I love, love, LOVE everything about this and it's only the second chapter! That means I can't wait for the rest ;) There's only one thing wrong with this update and it's the link to your version of Michael. It doesn't work :(
skellington7d
Feb. 5th, 2011 09:24 am (UTC)
Oh no, thanks for telling me! It should be fixed now. And thanks for you nice comment!

Edited at 2011-02-05 09:24 am (UTC)
engram_au
Feb. 5th, 2011 10:33 am (UTC)
Poor Pascal, sleeping under the bed while the girls play.

The introduction of Donald and his zits made me snort a drink up my nose.

I like how you're setting this up to lead into the situation we find in the beginning of TS2.
skellington7d
Feb. 5th, 2011 05:55 pm (UTC)
Heh, my entire reasoning for him there was "Hmmm, the space under the bed looks too empty. What can I throw under there? Hey, I know--one of Jenny's brothers!"
allisas
Feb. 5th, 2011 10:51 am (UTC)
wow, such an amazing story and you've really been digging deep into the background stories. It's all so very well thought out and the pictures are the best I've seen ever! I'm definitely looking forward to the next chapter. <3
jensmustles
Feb. 5th, 2011 02:44 pm (UTC)
I tend to not be into sim stories like this, just because it always seems a bit to fantastical... but you've done an amazing Job and I can't wait to read more.

And now I need to go read up on Nina and Dina because I have never thought of looking into the memories of the premade sims O.o
skellington7d
Feb. 5th, 2011 05:52 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I know people have tried to deal with the premades more realistically but I've been having fun working with the fantastical/cartoony elements (hence the alcohol-free college party).

This whole story was pretty much inspired by premade memories, so I'd have to recommend taking a look!
laridian
Feb. 5th, 2011 02:57 pm (UTC)
This is really beautifully set up. I wish I could do the posing and facial expressions as well as you have them!
ikichi
Feb. 5th, 2011 03:11 pm (UTC)
EXCELLENT. Brava!
connor95
Feb. 5th, 2011 03:30 pm (UTC)
Interesting backstory. I wouldn't have thought they would've moved to Pleasantview from Strangetown, but it makes sense.
I see in the background of one of the scenes a drawing of Morty and Dina getting married... Cassie's psychic visions?
I do like your explanation of how Dina and Michael met. And nerdy Don is funny too :P
skellington7d
Feb. 5th, 2011 06:05 pm (UTC)
Well her name is Cassandra ^_~ I figured it would fit with her biography: "Cassandra is the quiet, mysterious type. Nobody ever knows quite what she's thinking".

The "occultists, mystics, and decadents" thing is from Bella's biography in the Sims Bustin' out for PSP, so it's not exactly canon, but it was such an awesome description I had to use it.
(no subject) - connor95 - Feb. 5th, 2011 07:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
doda_lani
Feb. 5th, 2011 03:44 pm (UTC)
Awesome story. Really awesome one.

Well written and pics are awesome.

I can't wait for the next chapter.

PS:WCIF Michel jeans and singlet?
skellington7d
Feb. 5th, 2011 05:37 pm (UTC)
The jeans are by Amaryll here and the singlet is an untuckable version of the basegame top by CatofEvilGenius.

Thanks for your comment!
pnkpnthr334
Feb. 5th, 2011 04:37 pm (UTC)
Another amazing chapter! I love all of the little details, like Cassie's drawings in the background, and DONALD! :D
morgaine2005.wordpress.com
Feb. 5th, 2011 04:51 pm (UTC)
That be-pimpled pervert is DON LOTHARIO?!? Good lord. I need to practice my close-reading skills. I missed Jenny and Pascal Curious too.

But in other news, this is a fantastic chapter and a great story! I've been waiting for the updates for ages. Woot!
skellington7d
Feb. 5th, 2011 05:43 pm (UTC)
I tried not to make it too obvious, but yes their memories show he had something going on with Nina back in the day.

Thank you!
(no subject) - midare_shinami - Feb. 6th, 2011 08:50 am (UTC) - Expand
rhiannon_alexis
Feb. 5th, 2011 05:59 pm (UTC)
I loved it all! Seeing Don Lothario as a pimple faced teen just made my day! I can't wait for the next update.
shebsimmin
Feb. 5th, 2011 06:15 pm (UTC)
Wow I totally missed Don and the curious's, but that' just because the story was so good I overlooked the obvious! Great job I love how you've handled the timeline!!!
peasant007
Feb. 5th, 2011 06:32 pm (UTC)
So much love for this story. I've been looking forward to this since your last chapter :) I love your staging, your lighting, and the little details. Man, I could go on and on about what I love about this.

In other words, *applauds* I can't wait for more :)
kizzy_sims
Feb. 5th, 2011 08:01 pm (UTC)
WOW!!! I loved it xD

Never guessed that it was Don Lothario until I read the comments, but it totally makes sense now! XD I ADORE what you've done with all the characters, you've just made them come alive :) Really great, again!! Thank you so much for writing this xD
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