Chapter 40, Part 2: The Best Laid Plans

Selvadorada, The Library of Magic

William

There was no sunrise in the Library of Magic, only lights that powered on when you instructed them. William tried to hop out of bed and get dressed without any fanfare. Learn to play dead, his mother told him. He had learned the lesson well. Too well. He didn’t regret lying with Morgyn, he regretted doing it to quiet the worries swirling around in his head.

But now, those worries were back and no amount of staring at the ceiling would quiet them.

You were always in danger.

Slipping quietly into the bathroom, William planned to keep the conversation to a minimum. Did Alice and Vlad even know they were baking alongside gods? What if—?

No.

William focused on shaving. This was just like any other day. Everything was fine.

Morgyn stepped into the bathroom and made a horrified sound. “What are you doing?”

“A lack of reflection is something you get used to after a few centuries,” William said, already trying to move away.

“Yes, but shaving without a reflection is a recipe for disaster. Let me,” they purred, leaning in close, “And then perhaps a shower? Or maybe a bath…I would not be opposed to round six.”

“Are you mad?” William snapped, pulling away. You were always in danger! his mind screamed. “This is not a vacation! I can’t spend all my time rolling around in the bed with you.”

He regretted the words as soon as they were out of his mouth, but Morgyn pulled away and slammed the door behind them before he could apologize.

You were always in danger, his mind whispered, even before you knew what the danger was.


They walked the long winding hallways to the Rare Books room. Morgyn barely looked at him, and William found he could not stand the tension. “I was wrong earlier, I did not mean to be so harsh,” he explained. “Everyone else is doing their part to secure The Owl and deal with our immediate threats. Finding this book, learning about the war, that’s my part, and I mean to deliver.”

“Is that what you rush for?” Morgyn glowered, “Caleb, Alice, your precious Vladislaus. These creatures?”

William drew back. “Of course, these creatures! These creatures I would do anything for. They may be nothing to you, Sage, but they are my family. The only one I’ve got and I mean to protect them.”

“You?” Morgyn sneered, “A singular creature, a vampire whose life and power is but a drop in the bucket compared to the gods? Clearly, you weren’t listening to me last night.”

William tried to let the insult slide off of him. Learn to play dead. “Of course, I was listening!” he snapped, “Why do you think I’m so eager to return?”

Morgyn gave them a pained look. “You are always like this. Every time a puzzle.”

William furrowed his brow in confusion, but the Sage did not elaborate. Instead, they turned to open the door.

Windenburg Woods, Dryad Territory

Vlad

“Where are we going?” Gwendolyn complained, “It doesn’t make any sense.”

Vlad sighed. It was understandable that she was wary of changing locations again, but if he had to explain this one more time, so help him—

“Why are we leaving? All my toys are here. We’re not going to take my toys?”

“We are leaving because—”

“I want another dessert,” she growled, “I’m starving, and I’m not supposed to be awake now. Does this mean I don’t need to sleep? Is bedtime over?”

“Of course you need to sleep, hellion. And we will—”

“Where is Alice?” she demanded, “She’s my first favorite!”

First favorite? When did that even happen? “And what am I?” Vlad cried.

Gwendolyn crossed her arms and stared him down, “Not first.”

His eye twitched. “Regardless of my ranking, you need to—”

“I don’t want to do this!” she shouted, “I want to go with Alice!”

“Well, going with Alice is not one of your options!” Vlad shouted back.

He took a steadying breath, trying to summon his patience. “Alice is traveling by portal with Grim. Remember when we talked about the plan?”

Gwendolyn was silent for a moment, but Vlad knew it wouldn’t last.

“You said I was safe.”

“You are safe.”

“Then why do I have to learn this?” 

“Because,” he replied tightly, “You must be able to extract yourself from a situation in case things go poorly.”

“But I don’t want things to go poorly!”

She started to scream. Vlad grabbed her and pulled her into a hug to muffle the sound. He was soft-hearted as Kaylynn said, but Gwendolyn had to learn control. “None of us do, but we do not scream about it,” he said firmly.

He waited until she calmed down before releasing her. The sun was sinking lower in the sky, it was long past time to leave. “Hellion, look at me,” he commanded tiredly. 

Gwendolyn frowned, her expression petulant. “Did you change your mind? We’re staying?”

“No. The faster you learn, the faster this can be over. Now, this yard, this space, it cannot hold you. You are a vampire, but you are something else too. Do you feel it?”

Slowly, she nodded, her eyes fixed on a spot behind him.

“Good, let yourself feel lighter until this form slips away…”

She screwed her eyes shut, clearly concentrating. It took a vampire centuries to learn to mist, and even then, most never achieved it. But Vlad was hoping that, like him, Gwendolyn’s additional power would help her bypass all the required time and training.  

She began to transform.

“Good,” Vlad encouraged, keeping his voice soothing, “Keep going, hellion. You are going to become mist, and I am going to follow.”

She hesitated, her transition halting, “It feels funny, I don’t feel like mist, I feel like…like…light.”

Vlad didn’t know what to make of that, but there would be time to explore why later. “Follow the feeling of becoming light, then. And take my hand.”



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    10 comments
  • Dolly Llama
    March 1, 2021

    Do the Fates… do they know more about the contents of Alice’s uterus than she does? That is some creepy-ass Santa shit. Follow-up question: what did they expect Summer to do about this?!

    Initially I thought the spiral staircases joke was because Titania didn’t want Oberon to have elevators available when she ordered him to carry her stuff, and instead wanted him to have to struggle through the most inconvenient setup possible, but now I’m guessing it also references the builders who beg for spiral staircases at every turn—either way, brava.

    So it comes down to the Fae versus the Fates! Aside from the drinking, I’m with Akira: Mikira’s not a great relationship given all the games they’re playing with each other. I’ll silently nod in agreement if the story ends with them deciding to take a break because neither of them is mature enough for marriage right now.

    I have to admit, if the hideous mustache is supposed to divert attention from the scar, it’s working. Personally, I didn’t even notice the scar. Also says a lot that the mustache doesn’t stand out in his original character design. And is—he wearing pants with one white leg and one two-toned pant leg? (I guess I’m on about people’s socks today rather than the shoes: good use of punk-rockious tights on L, and it’s really too bad about Disco Stu—I mean Baako Jang—because he is one of my favorite townies, what with the orange socks and all. More of Grim’s shoes, though! This observation is hella late, also, but Vlad has another thing coming if he thinks the Shallot-Lius are letting anyone wear shoes in their apartment, Docs or not.)

    **Scene in Von Haunt estate**
    **Dolly intensifies**
    **Alice sneaks into a back room in the Von Haunt Estate**
    **DOLLY INTENSIFIES**
    **scene switches before Mr. No Hot Chip & Lie rolls in**
    **NOOOOO**

    On a more serious note, I’m not believing Marjorie Barr is dead until I see it for myself. That has to have been planted.

    Right in the nick of time! Damn! Guess it makes sense that Gwendolyn’s background would give her unusual powers along with the heterochromia. Mr. Alice Martin’s character development is also showing here, given that he’s not only fleeing instead of fighting, he knows exactly which past trauma to point to when justifying that decision.

    Lastly, there is a keyword that indicates it is time for RABBIT FACTS. Rabbits hate the vacuum but they like being directly in the path of the broom! This is pretty relevant because they leave hay and poop everywhere and you have to be sweeping or vacuuming pretty much continuously! Rabbit people don’t show up often in mass media, but at least we have Ego Nwodim (at least in this sketch where she is CORRECT) and Amy Sedaris! Rabbit shows are a hootenanny of body shaming and no host ever yells “every bunny is the winner because they are all sooooo cuuute” and runs off crying! Or, maybe that happened once but they never invited me back! Rabbit show jumping competitions are a little better! Some rabbits want treats, some rabbits want you to offer them the treat so they can turn it down! Sometimes the diva princess who turned down the treat you offered will turn right around and try to steal that same treat from the other bunny! Rabbits can throw you a look that says “Really?!” as young as 6 weeks old! If you image search for “Easter bunny,” every single one of the rabbits in those photos is throwing all the shade in the world!

    • feroshgirl
      March 1, 2021

      BUT THERE IS A BUNNY ON MONEY HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I have died and ascended. Welp, I guess now that we have “kits” coming to Sims 4 including vacuum cleaners, you can reenact this in-game. If only My First Pet Stuff game with actual pets.

      I kid. I’m going to complain and then buy it because vacuums figure heavily into my plans for Bonehilda in the Underworld.

      Fun fact: at 6 weeks old Gwendolyn could also through you a look that says “really?!”

      Vlad is learning! And growing! Do you know what’s wild? The version of this scene I wrote months ago had Vlad doing exactly that — fighting and murdering everyone and they all barely make it out alive. But by the time I got up to this chapter, that scene didn’t feel real anymore. I was like: no, I think the new Mr. Alice Martin would just leave because the violence would be about his ego, whereas doing the safest thing for his family involves peacing out. ::whistles, continues writing male love interests who eschew toxic masculinity::

      Marjorie Barr: HAHAHAHAHAHA I have trained you not to trust me.

      I’m so glad I finally got to use King of Disco himself, Baako Jang. Like, he is just on the list of insane NPCs to me. Speaking of insane NPCs, Diego Lobo will not give up that mustache, or those two-toned pants. He is a god, you hear? A GOD. lololololol

      Yeah, I mean Akira has some things to work on but he and Miko are definitely not good for each other right now. He’s basically made his entire life about trying to win her back and he needs to be his own person for a while. I wanted to write someone walking away from a toxic situation because sometimes, that’s just healthier. Plus, I really wanted some “love” relationships that weren’t just romantic and Titania and Akira as siblings on an adventure to do slaughters and reclaim their godhood is just chef’s kiss.

      And Miko, well, I got plans for her…

      In RE the Shallot-Lie shoe policy: I want to be clear, Vlad would be fit to be tied about not wearing shoes inside. There would be an entire scene of Alice talking to him before they leave like:

      Alice: Don’t.
      Vlad: Don’t what? Take off my shoes and stroll around like some sort of heathen?
      Alice: You are being insane. People don’t like when you wear shoes inside their house. You’re tracking gods knows what in there—
      Vlad: But you do.
      Alice: I do what?
      Vlad: Know what. I went hunting and—
      Alice: [sighs deeply] That is the point. You want to tear the mailman limb from limb for your dinner, fine. But when we go there for dinner, you take off your fucking shoes so you don’t track it into the house.
      Vlad: [glares]
      Alice: [glares]
      Vlad: What kind of floors do they have?
      Alice: [groans]

      • Dolly Llama
        March 2, 2021

        Rugs, Mr. A. Martin! Light-colored ones!

        (also, be prepared to determine whether Vlad has a favorite pop diva despite emphatically denying interest in such things, since Bernard will use any and all openings to steer the conversation toward Yuan secretly being a fan of Ava Max)

        (oh my god is it Avril Lavigne)

        Bahaha, doesn’t surprise me that Gwendolyn is precocious in that area. She can be an honorary rabbit and have her buns styled into little ears. Rabbits! The machines that convert hay into crushing disdain for everything and everyone in existence! I tried hay once and it didn’t taste very good.

        Ah, cool to know you changed it. That’s some slick storytelling. Maybe I don’t appreciate it enough, but there have been many times in BBD where I thought to myself, “man, it would be awesome if x happened” and then it happens! From the child theft to the bonding to the heist to the haircut to the breakup to the window to the wall. Even offscreen one-offs like Gwendolyn getting to eat her abusive adoptive father.

        What would they even have to accomplish by getting Alice to think Marjorie was dead? Gonna ruminate on that one.

      • feroshgirl
        March 5, 2021

        Oh my gosh, I was gonna say Taylor Swift (I just feel like those are Vlad’s vibes. And he would be particularly fond of Bad Blood, which Alice would have repeatedly explained to him was not based on the violent showdown between two warring nations but in fact, a series of passive aggressive instagram posts between two pop stars).

  • ThePlumbob
    March 5, 2021

    Interesting, William and Morgyn are getting way more on camera sexy time than Alice and Vlad ever did. Either this is because you really favour them that much… or that they won’t be any other opportunities for this particular coupling, because doom. *gulp*

    Lol I like that with all the insanity we’ve witnessed throughout the three seasons, the peak of sociopathic behaviour is apparently installing spiral staircases, LMAO!

    Oh god, Akira and Titania. She is a very good sister. Aand we’re going to war. There goes the prophecy. And it all jsut started over little personal things. Oh man. I hope Miko is happy with herself because she pretty much caused this whole thing while spamming timelines in efforts to avoid it. *facepalm* Couldn’t she just… have forgiven him in one of the damn timelines? Sigh. Allowed him to love her without interference in those timelines? Umm, yeah, I think not. How deluded is she. Oh, and now she’s counting on him to save her? Urgh. Sorry, I wish my comment was more eloquent but I’m so frustrated with her, still oblivious to the mess she caused and she somehow thinks she’s the one in the right, demanding that Akira learns a lesson from alternate timelines that he does not remember. Blargh.

    Oh fudge, I forgot about L Faba. Oh balls. Oh and Vlad is nw going on about how untrostworthy Penny is, great. Yep guys, do keep destroy all the alliances you have, fabulous idea. Just finish this self0fulfilling prophecy already. Sigh. Side note, catching that glimpse of Dylan is so different now, eek.

    That moment with Morgyn helping William shave was touching. And ah, I see Akira and his bow and arrow have seen the librarian dude.

    Holy shit! Gwen’s transition at the end there. And ermahgerd who is that looking for them, yikes!

    Sorry my comment isn’t more coherent or meaningful 😅 I am just so frustrated with everyone, but that is a credit to you 😀 Definitely feels like we’re coming towards the season finale and oh gods I’m terrified *nervous laughter*

    • feroshgirl
      March 6, 2021

      I WAS RESTRAINING MYSELF SO MUCH WITH WILLIAM AND MORGYN. Haha. I mean I love them so much and could not wait for this ship to launch. Also, I’m just way less stressed about sexy time shots or scenes than when I first started writing this.

      But Plumbob, we’re talking spiral staircases EVERYWHERE. Can you imagine? lololololol

      Okay, I am having so much fun with the Titania/Akira/Miko arc right now, it’s crazy. Even though, I guess, it’s not very fun for them because I am putting them through the ringer. Miko is so deluded. It’s funny, I started out with this idea of her and Akira having an epic love story and I’m not saying its impossible. But the more I wrote, the more I realized how toxic their arrangement is right now. So I think its best if they umm doing a little growing without each other. Miko def needs to get a grip.

      Oh the tension of her waiting for him to come save her like always…. ::laughs evilly::

      Ah yes, L. Faba, she did fade to the background for a bit. I’m sure its not because she was busy doing a bunch of nefarious stuff offscreen…

      I’m so delighted by the fact that you’ve got nervous laughter! We are coasting towards the finale! Gotta set up all sorts of terrifying things for book two 🙂

      • ThePlumbob
        March 7, 2021

        Haha, so restrained 😆 It was all very tasteful, in fairness 😊

        Ah yeah, there’s a fine line between what’s deemed traditionally romantic and toxic. Haha yes, I agree, some time apart is needed 😅

        I we may have different definitions of coasting 🤣 Because when I look down from the ship, the water below is far more volatile than I realised, there’s a storm coming, I’m pretty sure the ship is leaking, the people that were in charge of the lifeboat decided to smash the lifeboat to bits while bickering profusely and here I am clinging on for dear life as I realise I forgot to bring any kind of floatation equipment when I boarded this thing 😆 But I realise this is somewhat hypocritical of me to say, lol. I do love a bit of wreckage, haha.

      • feroshgirl
        March 7, 2021

        Coming from you this is high praise! Cut to me clinging to your boat with my torn Morgyn Fan Club T-shirt 😂😂😂👏👏

  • Yimiki
    March 30, 2021

    Hoo boy. None of what the Fates predicted is actually coming true. Woops. Looks like they dropped the ball somewhere- wait, Titans?! O.O

    “How am I punishing myself? I got divorced. Isn’t that what you wanted?”
    Oh, Akira. Everything about that line is wrong. You should have gotten divorced for yourself, not as a knee-jerk reaction to Miko to get a reaction or because Titania wants you to. Poor guy. And she doesn’t seem any happier with Oberon than Akira is with Miko. At least they have each other – even if they can’t see the fault in their own relationship, maybe they can point out the flaws in the other person’s love life until they both open their eyes. It worked that way for me and my dad back in the day.

    Oh gods, they used to be titans? So that’s what the Fates were panicking about. That can’t be good – if they go to war against the gods, that will include Alice. Oh dear. Oh no.

    Man, with every chapter that features these two I like Akira and Titania more and get angrier and angrier with Miko. It’s the fact that she was so sweet and innocent and pink and soft to everyone, playing the victim, all the while she was meddling with people to the point of destroying Akira and pushing Penny towards despair. On purpose. And she still doesn’t realize what she has done and how bad it has gotten. Or she doesn’t want to admit it and blame herself. Gah.

    “Millenia upon millennia of service and this was how the Fates repaid them?”
    You, Miko. You very specifically, for getting everyone into this mess in the first place. Because I do not believe for a second that her meddling is not the prime reason for this whole God War to be happening in the first place. 😂 Gaaaaaah even her thinking about Akira coming to save her and accepting her isn’t because she “forgives” him or wants to be with him again, but because he is a means to an end. I want to shake her so bad, but that probably won’t do anything 😫

    Oh geez the more we learn about witches, the crueler they seem. Why would anyone treat their children like that? Indoctrination I understand but my gods, shoving a child into a basement for days because they asked questions? That is just horrible. Ooooh and L Faba survived! Oh no. I hope Penny makes it out of that duel alive…

    So Valeria and Vlad both realized before Alice did, huh 😂 man, Alice is so bad at keeping track of herself.

    Oh gods, that’s Oberon, isn’t it? Looks like Titania and Akira wasted no time in getting rid of him and taking the book for themselves 😶

    Dear lord they got out of there just in time indeed. Those last few pictures are haunting! I wonder why Gwendolyn is turning to light instead of mist…

    • feroshgirl
      March 31, 2021

      Oh, did I forget to mention that Titania comes from the Titans who maybe sorta used to be gods and now they have the Book of Longings and they are ready to go to war?

      Oh jeez, slipped my mind. I mean, Liberty did say war was inevitable. I’m sure it’s gonna be totes chill…

      Uh yeah, you are honing in some key Akira/Titania dynamics! I really wanted a love story that wasn’t romantic love. The story of you and your dad is giving me warm and fuzzies! I hope you guys are happier now. Hopefully, Akira and Titania will follow suit.

      Oh it’s fun to watch the Miko transition happen. It’s all about perspectives right? She is so far wholly unable to grapple with her role in this. She loves being the victim. And I’m sorry to say, we haven’t even scratched the surface with her.

      Buckle up.

      The witches are definitely not nice in my universe. They have become awful and corrupted, though it didn’t happen without help. Speaking of which, L Faba is the living incarnation of mischief Magic. I’m sure Penny will have no problem winning.

      Oh, Gwendolyn turning into light. You caught that huh? ::nervous laughter::

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