20. Puzzling Dylan…

Ethan quietly tiptoed out of Dylan’s bedroom and headed downstairs to the back garden where Ivy was already relaxing in the hot tub. ‘Hey sweetie! You were right, this tub is excellent. I’ll never buy another house without one!’

Laughing, Ethan quickly changed into his trunks and slipped into the hot tub next to his wife.

‘Did Dylan get off okay?’

‘Yeah, out like a light after his story, bless him. Robbie?’

‘Same! We’ve got two good kids there, Ethan.’

‘I’d prefer it if one of them would stop tampering with the plumbing!’ Ethan laughed in spite of his annoyance, splashing a few bubbles away from him. ‘I don’t know what we’re going to do with that one!’

Ivy grinned. ‘I just wish he’d own up to it. We need to get him to admit responsibility.’

‘It’s strange though, he always seems genuinely shocked when we confront him about it…’

‘I know. Perhaps he’s going to be a world class actor when he grows up.’ Ivy giggled, nudging Ethan. ‘I can just picture your face when that jet of water hit you! Hilarious!’

‘Oh, be quiet! Just because the worst that’s happened to you is a couple of whoopee cushions!’ Ethan groaned. ‘Besides, it only got me because you were taking your time in the bathroom!’

*       *       *

‘Wow Mr. Blaine, it’s a good job you came to see me today! Someone’s been stuck in a fashion timewarp, haven’t they?’

Sugar Bijou, stylist to the stars, appraised Ethan’s attire scathingly, snapping her chewing gum and adjusting her sunglasses. Ethan could feel himself blushing. He knew that he should have come here sooner! He was so behind the times, practically left on the rubbish heap…

‘Right, so let’s take a look here. You’ve got quite a good complexion for your age, should compliment most colours… We’ll have to disguise that gut you’re getting! Let’s see, we’ll need something casual, but with a bit of structure to give you some support around your middle.’

Ethan clutched his stomach self-consciously. I’ll have to up my sessions on the treadmill to forty five minutes he thought miserably.

Over the next hour Ethan tried on countless items of clothing in all manner of combinations, with Sugar barking orders and roughly adjusting jackets and trousers, pulling Ethan in every direction as she made sure everything laid perfectly on him. Finally, the stylist and the client settled on a simple pair of black jeans, coupled with a red t-shirt layered with a grey hoody and a black blazer.

‘Wow! I look so much better now! This style overhaul was definitely way overdue. Thank you so much!’ Ethan could hardly take his eyes off his reflection. Sugar nodded approvingly.

‘That’s quite all right, Mr. Blaine. Now if you’ll just sign here for the payment…’

Ethan quickly scrawled his signature, trying not to look at the price of his consultation. Still, it was worth it! ‘Thanks, Ms. Bijou! I’ll recommend you to my bandmates!’

*

Back at home Ethan basked in Ivy’s compliments over his new look. He decided that the rest of the band really did need to hear about the stylist, thinking that they could perhaps hire her for their next tour. Opening the laptop so that he could email Andy and Leon about Sugar Bijou’s genius, Ethan nearly had a heart attack as a neanderthal seemed to burst out of the screen!

‘Oh, flapping-flamingo-gnoming-llamas! DYLAN!’ Ethan willed his heartbeat to return to a normal rate as Dylan came slowly up the stairs.

‘What is it, Dad?’

Ethan pointed sternly at the laptop. ‘Well?’

‘What?’

‘Dylan, please! You’ve got to stop doing this! The occasional prank might be funny, but this is non-stop!’

‘But it wasn’t me, Dad!’

Ethan sighed, rubbing his temples and trying to remain calm. ‘Well then. Who was it, Dylan?’

‘It was Puzzle!’

‘Puzzle?! Oh, come on Dylan! I know you’ve got a vivid imagination where Puzzle’s concerned, but you are insulting my intelligence if you expect me to believe that! Now, I want you to go to your room for the rest of the day, and you’re grounded for a week.’

‘But Dad, I’ll miss scouts!’

‘Well then maybe you’ll think before setting up a prank next time!’ Ethan walked off to his own bedroom to use the laptop there, knowing it would be safe to use. As his door shut, Dylan felt a tapping on his shoulder. He knew who it would be.

‘Puzzle! You promised!’

‘I asked you not to do any more pranks! You’re getting me into trouble!’

‘Puzzle sorry.’

‘Please, Puzzle! I’m missing scouts all this week because of you!’

‘Puzzle sorry. Puzzle play with Dylan?’

Dylan sighed. ‘Looks like I haven’t got much choice, have I?’

*

‘Dada! New clothes!’ Robyn carefully slid down off the beanbag chair she’d been perched on and tottered over to her Dad’s outstretched arms, beaming her face off.

‘Thanks for noticing, Robyn! Hey, your walking is getting better every day, isn’t it!’

Robyn nodded solemnly. ‘I practise lots.’

Ethan laughed. ‘Well, maybe you’ll grow up to be a runner!’

‘But, but…’ Robyn’s face creased up with sadness. ‘I wanna be a fairy…’

‘You can be whatever you want to be, my darling!’ Ethan cuddled his daughter close as her face brightened up. ‘Just as long as you’re happy. And I’d prefer it if you wouldn’t copy your brother’s pranks…’

‘Whatsa prank, Dada?’ Ethan groaned!

*       *       *

As Ivy rubbed her shampoo into her long hair, her eyes tightly closed, she was confused. Usually the air filled with the sweet scent of jasmin and honeysuckle, but… That was odd. It smelled different… Kind of bitter, a bit like ammonia… Squinting, she looked down at her fingers. They were covered in suds… Bright blue suds!

Crying out, she jumped out of the shower and wiped the water from her eyes, staring at her reflection. Her hair was blue! Bright blue!

‘What on earth?! How the heck!?’

Screaming, she leapt back into the tub and picked up a different bottle of shampoo, smelling it first to make sure that it wasn’t tainted too! Frantically scrubbing at her head, she breathed a sigh of relief as the temporary colour slipped from her hair and down the plug hole.

After drying and dressing, she headed downstairs where Dylan was sat engrossed in the television. Picking up the remote, she switched the television off.

‘Mum! I was watching that!’

‘I know you were, but we need to have a little chat. Mummy was just having a shower. Can you guess what happened to Mummy?’

Dylan shook his head, but visibly slumped. Ivy took it as a sign of guilt. ‘Now, I don’t know exactly how you managed to dye my hair bright blue -‘

‘Your hair went blue?!’ Dylan’s face filled with wonder, as Ivy’s grew stern.

‘You know full well it did. Dylan, you have got to stop pulling these pranks! Both me and your father have had it up to here! Go to your room.’

‘Oh, but Mum!’

‘No buts! Room! Now! And no TV or computer for a week!’

‘What! But what am I going to do for the whole week, if I can’t go out or -‘

‘You’ll find something! Play with Puzzle, it’s what you do most of the time anyway!’

‘Only because I’m sent to my room every single day,’ Dylan muttered as he stomped out of the living room. Ivy sighed as she watched him go.

*

‘What on earth are we going to do with him, Ethan?’ Ivy hugged a pillow tight to her chest, thinking about Dylan. ‘He’s just so out of control…’

‘I can’t understand it. I rang the school today to speak to his teachers, find out how he behaves there. They said he’s a great kid, always gets on with his work, is friendly with the other kids in his class, and definitely no pranks there. So why at home!?’

‘Maybe we’re just bad at controlling him,’ wailed Ivy, plumping up the pillow and putting it behind her head so that she could comfortably slam it against the headboard in frustration. ‘It’s the only explanation!’

‘I just don’t understand why he keeps on trying to blame that bloody doll of his,’ said Ethan, mostly to himself. ‘He’s far too attached to that thing.’

‘You’re right. Maybe we should throw it away?’ Ivy said hopefully. Oh, how she wanted to be rid of that thing! Ethan shook his head, thinking.

‘No, no. That wouldn’t be the right thing to do. He just needs to get a sense of responsibility, that only he is responsible for his actions and their consequences. When Robyn grows up he’ll start blaming her.’

‘But what can we do?’

Ethan took a deep breath. ‘I was emailing Andy earlier. Did you… Did you know that he used to go to a boarding school?’ He felt Ivy stiffen beside him.

‘What?’

Ethan pretended that she was asking about Andy. ‘Yeah, when he was really young, before I met him at high school. His parents moved about a lot, but rather than disrupt his schooling they enrolled him in a boarding school. Fort Starch?’

‘The military school?!’ Ivy sat up. ‘You have got to be kidding!’

‘Just hear me out, Ivy. Andy’s spoken very highly of his time there. It’s not some draconian institution, with drills at dawn and warfare. They focus more on discipline, about consquences to actions, on responsibility… Sound familiar? Plus their results in terms of grades are second to none.’

‘But he’s my baby! I can’t just send him away!’ Ethan slipped an arm around Ivy and hugged her tight.

‘I’m not saying this is what we’re definitely going to do, Ivy. We need to talk about it first. But we need to do what’s best for Dylan, what’s going to give him the best head start in life. Plus, I think it would do him good to get away from that doll of his…’

Ivy nodded sadly. ‘We’ll talk about it. Oh gnomes, Ethan, I feel like such a failure…’

‘You’re not a failure, Ivy! You’re a brilliant mother! He’s just a little free-spirited, that’s all. We just have to help him shape himself a little. We’ll do what’s best for Dylan. That’s the important thing.’

35 thoughts on “20. Puzzling Dylan…

  1. Puzzle’s really not a very good imaginary friend, is he now? I guess he just wants Dylan all to himself. Me, personally, I want the whole family. Robyn is too cute and Ethan freaking out over gray hairs? I could die!

    Fabulous chapter, as usual.
    Happy weekend!

      • I just got lucky and she posted right as I got home from work, first thing I do is check my stories 😀 Next time I’ll hold off for an hour or so for ya.

    • Robyn is adorable, although I’ve got a feeling she’s going to be a bit of a Cassie/Ivy lookalike when she grows up. Ivy looked a lot like her as a toddler!

      Really pleased you enjoyed the chapter, thanks for reading! Happy weekend to you too! 🙂

  2. Aww Man! Puzzle is making me mad, and I feel really bad for Dylan. He doesn’t need to go to boarding school. I hope everything gets worked out (except for the fact that no one, except for Dylan, can see puzzle “move”). I started chuckling when I saw Sugar Bijou giving Ethan a makeover (for obvious reasons). I like the chapter, and I am also looking forward to getting to know Robyn more.

    • Yeah, the problem obviously is that only Dylan can see Puzzle as a ‘person’. He’s telling the truth, but they can’t believe him, which is unfortunate but understandable! You’ll have to wait and see what happens :p

      Thanks for reading! My name is pronounced ‘Sharn’, rhymes with barn and darn and yarn 🙂 What were the pronounciations you found?

      • The three different ones were Shahn, She-Ahn, and Sy-Uhn (like sigh-un). Now I know what to call you when I’m telling my brother about your legacy.

        P.S. I’m going to try to get another chapter done this weekend.
        P.P.S. 2 weeks without Rivers? How will we all survive? Hehe, but I understand the need for breaks. So I am excited for Oct 14th (wow, I sound obsessed).

  3. My heart breaks for Dylan. It’s not his fault Puzzle can’t keep his pranks to himself — and now he might be shipped off to military school! Poor thing.

    It was really funny seeing Ethan’s face when he found the gray hairs. Haha. You take some of the best screenshots of your sims’ faces.

    BTW, Chapter 2 of Fade is up. I’m hoping to have Chapter 3 up Monday. Happy Simming!

    • Haha, the chapter’s very focused on Ethan because I had to make him do loads of stuff – with his (obvious) Mid Life Crisis all he does is go from mirror to mirror moaning about his wrinkles! Glad you like the pictures 🙂

  4. Is Puzzle male or female? Just out of curiosity to see if we’ll have a possible IF legacy at hand. (My instinct is saying no!) Puzzle really creeps me out, but I kind of want to see Puzzle turned real. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.

  5. Aaaaargh! Puzzle’s annoying! Poor Dylan getting into trouble all the time because of him! I hope they don’t send him off to Military school.
    Robyn is so sweet, looking forward to seeing more of her.
    Great chapter 🙂

  6. Awwww, so cute! I loved the kids POVs. Naughty IFs . . . lol. And I seriously LOL’d at poor Dylan and his mini mid-life crisis. Poor guy.

    • Hahaha yeah, like son like father – Ethan stressing over the aging process, Dylan over his IF’s antics!
      Thanks for reading 🙂

  7. Aw man! I knew Puzzle was bad from the get-go! It seems he’s doing all this so that Dylan spends all his free time with him… grrr 😡
    And now poor Dylan might go to military camp!! NOOOOO! DONT LET HIM!!!!

    Oh, and Robyn in gorgeous…. your female sims look like one another 😉
    I can see why it could get a bit aggravating, but Cassie and Ivy are just so beautiful. I bet Robyn will be stunning as well!

    Lovely, as always… do i even need to keep on repeating that? 🙂

    • I know, I can’t understand why all the girls are looking so much like their mothers! Fortunately Dylan’s (potential) female offspring *should* look different, as I think he’s going to look a bit like Ethan and obviously his partner won’t look anything like Ivy and Cassie! Robyn will have to be the one to keep those genes going, it seems 🙂
      Thanks for reading! And I don’t mind the lovely repetition 😉 Thanks for your comment, too!

      • Oh yes, I remembered you made the heir(ess) the first-born. 😛
        I hope Robyn *does* keep the genes running, though i think she’s going to be the cutest out of them 😉

  8. You know that thing I said last chapter, about Puzzle being cute? Well, I take it back! He is the worst imaginary friend ever! Ugh. But Robyn is soooo cute! I love her doll infatuation. I can already tell, it’s going to be a hard heir vote. Oh my goodness, I loved the picture of Ivy with blue hair, and Ethan’s new look! Poor Dylan, being shipped off to military school?! I hope they decide against it. I love him! 😀 Great chapter, I really found myself getting sucked in, even more than usual! ❤

  9. I’ve spent hours just reading up on this story, after spotting your signature on thesims3 site. You are a very talented writer and storyteller. I’ve been truly engrossed, and can’t wait to see what happens next!

    • Wow, thank you so much for taking the time to read my legacy! 🙂 Seriously appreciate it. I’m so pleased you enjoyed it, and I hope you continue to do so!

  10. I never really liked the aspect of imaginary friends in the sims, and now I think it’s growing on me. Even though Puzzles is a sneaky and crafty little fellow, he’s starting to grow on me. I just wish he wouldn’t get Dylan in trouble all the time! It’s nice to see than Ethan is stepping up to the plate when it comes to being a father to his son. Great chapter!

    The last chapter of the Halliwell Legacy has been posted. Please check it out! 😀

  11. Oooh boarding school! Greatest Sims invention ever (besides horses, heh heh). I actually hate having to look after kids in my game, so boarding school is awesome for me.

    Poor Dylan, though. He’s getting sent to military school for no reason. At least Wade in my legacy got sent to military school because he was actually guilty of all those pranks.

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