1.12. Long Shadows
Luna and Quentin cast long shadows as they stand on the beach.
They decided to get married barefoot, next to the sea. It might not have been the most pragmatic choice--even though it is summer, the breeze blowing off the water is chilly and bitter--but it certainly looks romantic.
The vows are simple: “I take you to be my partner, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.” They are vows that thousands of couples have made. Not everyone means it, though. For some people, the concept of “until death do us part” is too far away to understand. Perhaps it’s the fact that she has seen death before, but Luna means it with every fiber of her being.
Luna can’t stop smiling as Quentin slides the wedding ring on her finger. He stumbles a little over the vows, obviously nervous even though there’s no one there to witness them. She’s nervous, too. It feels like a big step, even though functionally they have been living as man and wife for quite some time. The only thing that changes is the way they file taxes. Even their names aren’t changing—Quentin Parker is known in town as a musician, and Luna Bee is a world renowned author. Quentin Bee and Luna Parker sound like strangers. So, they keep their names.
The couple kisses, sealing their vows appropriately. The sea glows in the early morning light, birds sing, the wind blows gently, and water laps at the beach.
It’s just enough to make you wanna puke.
Across town, Crimson is finally being released from the hospital, and Elysia has offered to take him home and get him settled in. She has visited him in the hospital every day, helping keep his mind off of Clover’s death by bringing him books from the library and watching horrifying daytime TV with him. “You are NOT the father!” is a phrase she could go without hearing ever again.
“I don’t know why I have to be in a wheelchair. I can walk,” Crimson grumbles as she pushes him down the hall towards the elevators.
“Yeah, but the hospital is liable if you fall and break your neck. Besides, just because you can walk doesn’t mean you should. The doctor says you need to stay off your feet for a few more days until the sutures are ready to be removed.”
“If I’m supposed to stay off my feet, why are they releasing me?” Even the hospital is more alluring than the thought of going home to an empty house, full of furniture Clover picked out, clothes and makeup Clover wore, instruments Clover played.
“If you want, I can come by a couple of times a day and help you out around the house. It’s,” Elysia has a hard time saying the next part. She’s not good at being grateful, “it’s the least I can do.”
“Oh--I couldn’t ask you to do that.”
“It wouldn’t be a problem at all. I only work part time so I could come by before and after work,” Elysia is almost hoping he’ll say no, so she doesn’t have to keep trying to ingratiate herself with him. If she didn’t see him anymore, maybe she would stop feeling like this.
“Well, if you insist…”
“I’m not insisting so much as I’m offering.”
“I would appreciate the company,” Crimson pauses then smirks over his shoulder, “so is this the part where you nurse me back to health?”
“And you’ll gently tend my wounds and from there, our relationship will bud from a hesitant but pure and innocent kiss?”
“Stop,” Elysia warns. He’s absolutely atrocious at flirting. It’s almost embarrassing.
“And then we fall deeply in love,” Crimson would never admit it, but he’s read his fair share of romance novels.
“I will dump you down the stairs if you don’t stop.”
“Sounds like a plan. Then I can sue the hospital.”
She stops the wheelchair at the elevator and presses the down button. An awkward silence ensues, prompting Crimson’s mind to wander. It’s something Elysia has gotten used to. His mind is a mess, with a million trains of thought departing at once. It’s difficult to read, but she occasionally catches a snippet of a thought, from the mundane to the existential. Right now, he’s excited about the prospect of spending time with her.
It’s amazing how things can change so quickly. Elysia smiles at the thought, then leans down next to him and gently kisses him on the cheek, the bruise on her lip smarting a little at the contact. It’s an action she hardly considers before doing.
“What the hell was that about?”
“Nothing, I just--”
“You’re basically acting as my caretaker at this point. I’m pretty sure you shouldn’t take advantage of patients like this,” he teases her.
“Dude, don’t make this weird,”
“I’m not the one making this weird.”
“Well fine then. It’ll never happen again,” Elysia rolls her eyes. Crimson blushes as he looks down at his hands.
It will definitely happen again.
She has made the mercenary decision to write a fantasy novel, since they typically sell better than sci-fi novels. It would especially be a goldmine if it’s adapted into an HBO series, but she tries not to get her hopes up about that.
Pregnancy is hard, much harder than Luna expected. She has constant morning sickness, pooping is like one of Hercules’ trials, her breasts constantly feel like someone tit-punched her, and she has worse back acne than when she was a teenager. The one blessing is that she is sleeping better than she ever thought possible.
Before she had left the hospital, Dr. Jonsdottir discussed some natural ways to aid with Luna’s sleep, since she had been through such a traumatic event. It was unnecessary, though--she sleeps like a baby.
That is, until she starts to feel the baby kicking. At first she thought it was gas, but the little popcorn flutters in her abdomen become so constant she knows it’s her child.
She rubs her stomach and smiles. Pregnancy is beautiful.
That is, until she has to barf again.
By the time she reaches the end of the final trimester, Luna is at the end of her rope. She can’t sleep at all any more, any time the fetus moves it feels like it’s punching her, she pees a little when she sneezes, and she’s always hungry but everything gives her heartburn. Worst of all, the middle of her back always feels like it has to pop. It's a unique kind of discomfort. Quentin tries to help by giving her massages on demand.
“Is that better,” he asks as he looks at his wife with adoring--if not slightly apologetic--eyes.
“Yes,” she says as he works out a particularly sore knot, “much better. I can’t wait until this thing,” she gestures angrily to her abdomen, “is out of me.”
Quentin pulls her in for a reassuring hug. “You’ll be parasite-free soon, I promise. And, remember that if you get desperate, the midwife said sex could help induce labor.” Quentin looks just a little too eager to remind her of that.
“Eww, no,” Luna grimaces. She feels like an asexual beached whale at the moment.
“Just offering,” Quentin shrugs, trying too hard to act like he isn’t disappointed.
“I actually have something I want to talk to you about. Something we should probably plan for. I, uh, I finally decided to get an ultrasound and I think we’re going to need a little bit more room for the nursery than we initially expected…”
His heart sinks and soars at the same time.
Luna is on the front porch when her water breaks It’s a little earlier than expected, but that’s typical for twins. Quentin is inside, strumming at his guitar, deaf to Luna’s cries. That’s also typical.
A raccoon watches the scene unfold with equal parts confusion and interest. It’s never seen a human give birth in the wild.What a wonder!
“Quentin!” Luna calls from the porch, “Quentin, grab the hospital bag! I’m in labor!”
“I’m. In. Labor!”
Tired of waiting on her husband, Luna decides to drive herself to the hospital. “Wait.” she hears Quentin yell after her just as she’s about to drive away, “wait, I’m ready!”
They arrive at the hospital just in time. And fortunately, Quentin is there to witness his wife in the most disgusting moment of her life.
Another couple rushes into the hospital just and Luna and Quentin are leaving.
“Maternity ward is on the second floor,” Luna says in a daze. She holds in her arms her firstborn son: Luke Bee. Quentin follows with Luke’s twin sister, Lydia Bee.
It’s a surreal moment--their lives are forever changed, and it will take awhile for that to sink in.
***Author’s notes: I don’t know why I find it so funny when sims barf, but I do. I have probably two dozen pictures of Luna vomiting. Some of them are quite beautiful, I swear.
I did not know Luna was going to have twins before she did, so I had a crib in her office and I moved her easel on the front porch. I was so pissed when I had to add on another room for their dumb (adorable) babies.
I figured Luna would be the kind of woman to name her son after her father, and Luke was the first born. I had a moment when the second naming window popped up where I was like “I could totally name the girl Leia--I could do it. Just do it, Owly. Name her Leia.” But I didn’t. :c
PS I added a family tree to the blog.