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The KIbo Family Legacy Updated March 30, 2018

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Background and Prologue:
It began with Akira Kibo. He was a musician living in San Myshuno with friends, dating anyone who would put up with his jealousy, when he met Penny Pizzazz. The two of them hit it off from the beginning, to the point that one of Akira's friends grew frustrated and stalked off, taking a dislike to Penny. At first he hung out at her apartment every chance he got, eating fruitcake, playing video games or just chatting. Before long, they were spending time together around the city, and began to date officially.
Penny proved willing to put up with his jealous streak, made easier because she preferred to work from home and often did once they married. Especially after the children came along.

Harry Kibo was their first born son and oldest of a pair of twins. He showed an early interest and aptitude for music and by the time he was a teen, he knew he wanted to be a musician. Not long after that realization, his parents learned they were expecting their fifth child after two sets of twins. Their apartment was getting a bit small and they couldn't afford anything larger, so Akira and Penny moved the family out of the city into a house in Newcrest. Harry wasn't so sure he liked the idea of leaving his school and his friends.

Brianne Cook was the youngest of 6 girls, including triplets. Like Harry, she knew early what she wanted to be when she grew up, and spent a lot of time playing with her doctor playset as a child. Her parents died when she was a child, leaving her in the care of the teenage triplets. She helped her sister Lynda and her husband raise their daughter while in high school, gaining some experience with parenting. When Brianne became a young adult, she and Lynda, the last two Cooks in the big house, decided to sell it and go their separate ways. Lynda and her new family would buy a smaller house together, while Brianne went to live with her elderly Aunt Jessica, who could use some help around the house.

Harry met Brianne one day, and though they were both initially shy, they found a lot to talk about once they figured out that Harry's parents had bought Brianne's old house. Harry didn't even mind that Brianne was slightly older than him. They became good enough friends to share a midnight swim, where the first attempts at flirting occurred. Over time, their relationship grew, each becoming more confident. Harry finally made a move while Jessica was away, and the couple were soon married and living together in the little house. When their daughter Viviana came along, they added on a room for her. With busy careers, they were grateful for Jessica's help in the evenings. Between the three of them, they eventually had enough money to move to a larger place in time for baby Taro's birth.
Within a week of the move, a dog they named Selma was added to the family.
With Jessica's death, child and pet care became more complicated, but Harry is still considering adding a third child to their family. He'll have to convince Brianne first, if their busy schedules ever allow them the time.
Post edited by TresaofPern on
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  • TresaofPernTresaofPern Posts: 676 Member
    edited December 2017
    Chapter One: Damage Control

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    Realizing she hadn't seen her young son and he was being way too quiet, Brianne charged upstairs to the loft. "Taro! Stop that, please. How did you get into my paints?" she asked, surveying the mess with dismay.
    Taro stared up at her, lower lip trembling.

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    Deciding to deal with the mess later, Brianne knelt at his level, deciding to teach him to talk. It would be nice to be able to have a real conversation with him.
    Taro was getting tired though, and the lesson didn't last long.


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    Downstairs, Viviana settled at the kitchen table with her homework though she would much rather have been reading a book. Still, there was always Sunday, if she just got this homework out of the way.

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    Harry returned home from work to find that stray dogs had managed to get inside through the door someone had left unlocked, and from the sound of it, the toilet was broken. "First things first," he said to himself, shooing away the dogs as he passed. He didn't take the time to change out of his uniform, but just got right to work ont he repair.

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    Leaving Taro to his own devices for a few minutes, Brianne started the dishwasher. She saw Viviana at the sink washing dishes. "Good job. Thanks for washing those for me," she said, smiling.
    Viviana beamed at the phrase. "I like helping you, Mommy."
    Brianne hoped that would never change, though she supposed that was too much to ask for. "Good. Daddy and I are counting on you to help out around here." k

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    Brianne went outside to refill the bowls they kept for the local strays, then went back inside, yawning. She had to be up early in the morning for her shift as an assistant nurse and just wanted to get to bed. First she stepped into the downstairs bathroom, then peeked in on Viviana to make sure she was sleeping soundly.


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    Taro woke with a nightmare while Brianne was still downstairs and hurried to wake up Harry.
    Harry comforted him with a loving hug and soothing words. Then he carried Taro back to his own bed for a bedtime story.
    Passing the bathroom between the two rooms, he heard a distinctive sound and groaned. Something else broken.
    He passed Brianne in the hallway. "I'll just call the repair service. You get Taro settled."
    "Great idea," he agreed.

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    After finishing the story, Harry tucked Taro in, then went downstairs to do the same for Viviana. "Sleep tight, don't let the monsters in," he whispered to them. He thought he heard Viviana giggle in her sleep. Then again, it might have been a reaction to whatever she was dreaming about.

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    Brianne was awake again before five, with only an hour to have breakfast before she had to rush out the door . She found something halfway decent on the TV while she ate, sitting on the portion of the couch not occupied by a sleeping German Shepherd.

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    When Selma woke, Brianne spent a few minutes reminding her to the stay out of trouble - which meant no jumping on counters or drinking form the toilet

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    Time to go! Brianne changed in record time, thinking she would never get used to leaving while it was still dark out. She cherished those evenings she got to spend a little time with her family, because she always missed mornings on workdays. Even when he was off, she sometimes slept in too late to see much of Viviana before school.
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  • TresaofPernTresaofPern Posts: 676 Member
    Chapter Two: What's that Smell?

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    Viviana was a responsible and independent child, so she helped herself to a bowl of clam chowder when she woke. She cleaned up after herself though no adults were around to prompt her.

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    Spotting Selma at the front door, Viviana took it upon herself to lecture the dog about her behavior, doing her best to mimic her mother's voice.
    Selma gave her an innocent look, as if to say, "Who, me? I would never do that!"
    "Silly dog,' Viviana said, laughing.

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    She decided to sit down and do some extra credit work, wanting to impress her teachers.

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    Taro woke hungry, and went to his parents' room to demand food, waking up Harry for the second time in less than twelve hours.
    "All right, buddy, let's get you fed," Harry said, rolling out of bed and scooping the toddler up. "How about peanut butter and jelly for you and pancakes for me?" He did not want to spend time cleaning up the mess that would result from giving Taro pancakes. Fortunately, his son was agreeable.
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    Once Taro was settled in his chair with his breakfast, Harry began cooking his pancakes, making enough for the whole family.

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    Harry had no sooner sat down and began to eat when Taro decided he'd had enough and would rather play with his food than eat it.
    Harry sighed. "Very nice. Now you can sit there and wait until I'm done.

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    Viviana, mindful of her mother's words of the night before, decided one wat she could be helpful was by brushing Selma. She laughingly tried to avoid the dog's loving kisses.
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    Her next chore was taking out the trash, though the garbage bag was half her size. Noticing the stray dogs hanging around, she tried befriending one of them. She thought Selma should have a friend so she wouldn't be lonely when everyone was gone.



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    Needing to the bathroom, Harry released Taro first and let him go into the living room with a plate of pancakes since the toddler was still hungry. He had already made a mess and judging by the smell emanating from his neither regions, Taro was going to need a bath anyway, so he might as well have pancakes.

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    Having done all she could to be helpful for the moment, Viviana relaxed in her room with a book She began to analyze it as she had learned form her Great-Aunt Jessica.


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    Harry emerged from the bathroom to finish his breakfast, joining Taro in the living room to keep an eye on him while he played with his blocks. They had a nice chat, and Harry was pleased to discover that Taro's communication skill was improving.

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    Harry left Taro in the living room to play for a few minutes while he cleaned up the highchair He was glad to see that Viviana had picked up the mess on the floor.

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    "All right, Taro, it's time for your bath," Harry said, swinging the boy up into his arms.
    Taro was too busy giggling to object. Once he was in the bath, he splashed vigorously.

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    "Now let's try to use the potty again," Harry said once the bath was over and Taro was dried and dressed.
    "Potty, potty, potty!" Taro mimicked, eyes bright with mischief.
    Harry laughed. "That's right. You want to use the potty like a big boy, don't you?"
    Taro nodded. "I big boy!"
    During the potty training, Brianne returned from her shift exhausted and went right to bed, or she would have been right therd with Harry cheering Taro on.

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    Brianne made herself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch, used to being on her own. She cleaned up after herself, not wanting to leave a mess laying around.
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    After lunch, she spent some time on the phone with her best friend Ruby Sasaki-Stone and her cousin Takashi Yomin-Kibo, telling them about a new game she had played.

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    Taro had missed his nap, so Harry put him to bed even though it wasn't yet 7pm. Then he spent a few hours jamming and writing a couple of knew jingles in the hope that at least one of them would sell. He rotated from guitar to keyboard to violin, improving all of his skills.

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    Viviana found another book to read, and took it into Taro's room to read, wanting to be near her little brother. Besides, with Harry playing music, he might not hear if Taro woke up.
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    Finished with the book, Viviana brought out her little blue bear and played until bedtime, sending the toy on a tour through the solar system.

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    Downstairs, Harry watched TV until he was ready for bed, checking to make sure Viviana was asleep before he went up to his own bed.
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  • TresaofPernTresaofPern Posts: 676 Member
    edited December 2017
    Chapter Three; Ghostly Awakenings


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    Brianne woke around midnight, and noticed almost at once that Selma was dirty. She coaxed the dog upstairs and into the bath, which actually went pretty well. She remembered to relock the door afterward, wanting to keep Selma out of the toilet.


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    Brianne was on her way downstairs when she saw something that startled her. Her Aunt Jessica's ghost had appeared, right about where she had died. Much as Brianne loved and missed her aunt, and her help in balancing family and work needs, she was not prepared for the sight of a ghost.
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    Tense, Brianne retreated into the kitchen and brought out her journal, oblivious to the ghost who had followed her in and gone right to the sink as if she still lived in the house.
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    Selma did not like having the ghost around at all, and the dog's incessant barking woke Viviana. The girl realized she was too hungry to sleep, and went into the kitchen for a very early breakfast, which she chose to eat in the living room.
    She was so busy eating that she didn't immediately notice the ghost sitting beside her. Looking up from her plate, she gasped, "Aunt Jessica!"
    Trying to be brave, Viviana gulped and finished her breakfast, relieved when the ghost moved away.
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    In no hurry to go back into the living rom, Brianne went upstairs to check on Taro and tuck him in. She was relieved the toddler hadn't been woken up and frightened. Hopefully there would be no nightmares tonight - or this morning, rather.

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    Venturing back downstairs, Brianne realized Viviana was awake and decided to keep her company, distracting both of them with conversation. She was facing Selma, and noticed that the dog was sitting on Jessica's ghost, as if to protect her family from the apparition.
    "Look at Selma, the silly dog," she said, cracking a smile.
    Viviana glanced over and gave a tiny laugh. "Good girl, Selma. Don't let that ghost scare you!"

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    With Jessica's ghost gone and Viviana in her room, Brianne went up to her own room to nap until Taro woke, knowing she'd need the extra rest to keep up with him.

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    When Taro woke, Brianne decided to go over some flashcards with him, teaching him basic needs.
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    Unaware of the ghostly visitation, Harry decided to greet the morning with music, taking up his guitar before breakfast.
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    Calmer after listening to music, hugging her giant stuffed cat, Hobbes, and having a good cry, Viviana headed off for school, eager to tell her friends about the incident. Of course she wouldn't admit how scared she was, or that she'd cried like a baby afterward.

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    Taking a break from his guitar playing, Harry obeyed his stomach's demands for food and went down to heat up a plate of pancakes. He fed Selma too while he planned how he would spend the five or so hours until he had to go to work. A jog sounded like a good idea.
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    Judging by her reaction, Selma agreed with him, loping happily along behind him. Maybe after he'd run off some of her energy, he could finish Selma's sit training.

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    By the time they returned, a little over an hour later, Brianne and Taro were downstairs, with Brianne attempting to teach Taro to dance.
    Wanting to be near his family, Harry found a clear space behind them to put Selma through her paces. To his delight, the dog caught on and sat on command.

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    With that done, Harry turned his attention to repairing the downstairs shower so he could shower before work. He was disappointed that he hadn't had the chance to broach the subject of having another baby with Brianne. Now he would have to wait a couple of days, because she would likely be in bed by the time he got home, preparing for her next shift at the hospital.

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    Viviana returned home to find her cousin Fatima Siddig was visiting. Forgetting about homework or a snack, she joined her older cousin by the pool to chat.
    "Don't splash me! That's cold!" she yelled in protest, startled.
    "Sorry. So let's catch up. What have you been up to?" The young adult asked.
    Mollified and thrilled by her cousin's interest, Viviana was soon chattering away.
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    Finally noticing how hungry she was, Viviana went inside and made herself a ham and cheese sandwich, yawning sleepily while she ate. Fatima stayed outside, greeting Selma and a stray who had wandered into the backyard.

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    Brianne put Taro to bed, thinking longingly of her own bed. Maybe she could ask Fatima to stay for a few hours while she went to bed. It would give Fatima a chance to gain some experience, just as helping raise her niece had given Brianne some idea wht to expect when raising children.
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    Post edited by TresaofPern on
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  • TresaofPernTresaofPern Posts: 676 Member
    edited December 2017
    Chapter 4: Growth

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    Harry came home with a craving for Italian meatballs, and made enough for leftovers the next couple of days.
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    Selma had started barking when she heard Harry return, and managed to wake Viviana up. She decided since she was awake she'd go to the bathroom. "Hi, Dad!" she called, spotting him. "Goodnight."
    Harry smiled at her. "Goodnight, Vivi."
    Spotting Selma on her way back to bed, Viviana scolded the dog for waking her up, which didn't seem to make much of an impression.

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    Harry took his meal into the living room to eat and listen to the stereo, appreciating the music of others for a change.
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    Afterward, he went outside and spent a few hours trying to repair his old headphones before declaring them a lost cause and deciding to replace them.
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    Harry came into the house to find Selma drinking form the puddle of water that had formed near the broken dishwasher. "Selma! How many times do we have to tell you not to do that? Bad girl! Get out of there," he said, exasperated, shooing the big dog away from the water.
    Satisfied that Selma would obey - for now - Harry called the repairman, in no mood to deal with another electrical repair.
    with that taken care of, he went up to bed, gratefully climbing into bed next to Brianne and cuddling with his wife.

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    Brianne overslept and had to scramble to finish breakfast before work. She noticed the date on the calendar and reminded herself to make a cake for Harry's birthday after work. At least she had all the ingredients.
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    Viviana woke early enough that the two of them had time for a brief mother-daughter chat while Brianne mopped up the puddle form the dishwasher and Viviana helped herself to a serving of eggs and toast.
    Then Brianne really did have to run, not wanting to be late. She called a goodbye over her shoulder.
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    Alone In the kitchen, Viviana started the homework she had been too tired to tackle the night before, mumbling to herself as she read over the material.
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    When Taro came downstairs by himself looking for attention, Viviana got distracted and nearly forgot to finish her work, she was so busy entertaining her little brother with a funny story, which she made up on the spot. It started out with crayons and baby dinosaurs, but Taro kept insisting she add butterflies, so she found a silly way to fit them in and had the baby dinosaurs fall over while trying to catch them.
    It wasn't until Taro decided to go back upstairs and wake their father that Viviana returned her full attention to her homework, rushing through it then dashing out the door.
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    "Daddy! UP! I hungry!" Taro announced as he charged through the doorway, heading for Harry's side of the bed.
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    Ignoring his own discomfort, Harry got out of bed and picked Taro up. "Then we'd better do something about that. Let's go see what we can find for you to eat," he said, carrying his son downstairs to his highchair.
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    "What is that smell?" Turning his head, Harry saw Selma nearby. "Selma? Don't tell me you rolled in that puddle. I might have known. You're getting a bath just as soon as I have a chance."
    Selma slunk off in search of her ball, no doubt hoping Harry would forget his promise. No way that was happening.
    While Taro was busy eating, Harry dashed into the bathroom, then began cooking his own breakfast. He had to leave the pan on the stove to free Taro from his highchair, then left his plate cooling on the table to help Taro on the potty. It was relief that he finally sat down to eat.
    In between, Taro had great fun petting Selma.
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    Left alone upstairs, Taro enjoyed himself playing in his room. He began with his giant stuffed dog, stretching his arms as high as he could over his head and pretending he was as big as the toy.

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    Having finally eaten his breakfast and cleaned up, Harry made good on his intention to bathe Selma. "I swear, you get into these messes just so someone will have to bathe you every day, don't you?" he teased the dog, petting her

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    With little time to spare, Harry decided to try to see if he could finish a jingle before he had to head in to work. He ran nearly an hour over, getting caught up in his music and losing track of time. He dashed out the door and down the walk to the street juas as Brianne arrived home.
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    Brianne watched him go, then went inside, needing to shower and eat, not necessarily in that order.[img][/img]IIiFPFO.png?1
    Unnoticed, Taro had come downstairs on his own to dance as best he could, enjoying himself.
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    Exhausted from a day of playing and climbing up and down the stairs, Taro went to bed early.

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    Viviana helped herself to some Italian meatballs before doing her homework, having come home hungry. Lunch seemed like such a long time ago, even though it had only been a few hours.
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    Brianne joined her a few minutes later with a plate of her own.
    "Are we having a party for Daddy?" Viviana asked hopefully. "
    Brianne nodded. "Yes, when he gets home from work. It'll just be us four since it'll be so late."
    "I'm going to try to stay up," Viviana said with determination.
    "If you can't, I'll wake you up," Branne promised.
    Viviana beamed. "Okay. Will you help me build my castle?"
    "I will. That sounds like a lot more fun than the bridge I had to build for school," Brianne said, reminiscing. At least the work had gone quickly, wither three sisters to help.

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    After dinner, the pair went outside to start working on Viviana's projects.
    "First, let's make sure we have everything. Keep it organized," Brianne said, taking out the list of parts and the instructions. "Paint, ruler, glue..."
    "I'll do the measuring," Viviana said, taking charge of the ruler. She wanted everything to be just right.
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    They were still working diligently when Harry returned home, tired but happy. It was his birthday, and he had earned a promotion to professional pianist. He couldn't see how the day could possibly have gone better. Well, except if that jerk at the piano bar hadn't taken both his bench and the earnings he had made to that point.
    He greeted his family briefly on the way inside to shower.
    Brianne stood and stretched. "Looks like we're almost done here. Can you finish up on your own? I need to go finish the cake and put the candles on," she said.
    Viviana nodded enthusiastically, reaching for the last of the paint.

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    Taro woke from his nap feeling uncomfortable, and decided since no one was around he could use the potty all by himself. Pleased with his success, he ventured downstairs, wondering where everyone was.
    He saw his blocks where he had left them in the living room, and distracted, sat down to play.

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    Viviana finished her medieval castle diorama and spent a few minutes admiring it before going inside.
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    Spotting Taro with his blocks, she stopped to help him with his shapes. "That's a square, and that one's a triangle. If you put it on top of the square, they look like a house," she told him.
    Yawning, she went to change into her pajamas, hoping the party would be soon.

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    "Hamburger cake! My favorite!" Harry exclaimed when he saw the cake He took his time blowing up the candles, building up the anticipation.
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    "Happy Birthday, Daddy!" Vivana said, hugging him tightly while Brianne put Taro back to bed.

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    A few minutes later, the two adults were alone together.
    "Think we should have our own private celebration?" Harry suggested, winking.
    Brianne gave him a flirtatious smile, unable to remember when they'd last had any time alone together. "Sounds good to me," she agreed, leading the way to their bedroom.

    Time passes...
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    "Harry? Harry, wake up. Guess what?" Brianne said when Harry finally sat up in bed.
    "What?" Harry repeated obligingly, his sleepy brain clearing as he got a very good idea what his wife was about to tell him.
    Brianne's beaming smile gave her away. "I'm pregnant!"
    "That's great!" he exclaimed, rising to embrace her. "I wonder if you'll have multiples."
    "Don't even joke about that," Brianne interrupted.
    Harry grinned teasingly at her. "Why not? It could happen, with twins running on my side of the family and triplets on yours."
    Brianne shook her head. "No. Just, no. How would we even manage to juggle two or three babies with our schedules? We'd need a full-time nanny."
    "But..."
    Shaking her head, Brianne pointed a finger at him. "Not another word, or you'll be sleeping alone until the baby's born."
    "Yes, dear, I promise, not another word," Harry said, backing down quickly in the face of that dire threat.
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  • TresaofPernTresaofPern Posts: 676 Member
    Chapter 5: A Day in the LIfe of an Assistant Nurse

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    Brianne was awake way too early, even for her, which she blamed on a combination of the restless baby in her womb and her empty stomach. She felt huge and unwieldy already. She was sure she hadn't been this large so soon with Viviane and Taro. Was it possible Harry's suggestion of multiples was correct? No, she wouldn't think that way, grumbling at Harry for putting the idea in her head.
    Yawning, Brianne went into the living room and collapsed on the nearest couch, hoping she could get in at least another hour of sleep before she had to get up and go to work. She needed all the rest she could get if she planned to stay late and get in as much work as she could before she took family leave.
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    Harry was also up early, though not quite as early as Brianne. He had gone to bed too exhausted to eat the night before, and got so hungry he was unable to sleep until his usual time. '

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    Brianne woke with a few minutes to spare before she had to change into scrubs and head to the hospital for her next shift as an assistant nurse. She used that time to play a quick game of chess to help wake her up and focus her mind.
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    She had barely arrived at the hospital when the baby (She would NOT think babies) kicked, causing her to wince and press a hand to the spot. She briefly reconsidered her plan to stay late, then steeled her resolve. She could handle this.
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    Billie Jung was her first patient of the day, and Brianne gave her a friendly greeting, wanting to put her at ease during the exam. She had a suspicion she knew what ailed Billie, but she wanted to he thorough and sure. She still remembered the sting of a negative evaluation when she had jumped to a conclusion.
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    "I'm just going to take this sample to the lab for analysis. I'll be back as soon as I can to let you know what's wrong," Brianne promised. "Wait here, someone will bring you a meal."
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    Brianne made quick work of the analysis, which definitely narrowed the possibilities, if it didn't confirm her suspicion. She was glad she wasn't yet too big to manage the machine comfortably.
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    "Just one last scan, Billie. Thank you for being so patient," Brianne said, running a full body scan. And...yes, there was the sign she had been looking for. "You have starry eyes. Take this medicine and you'll be just fine," she said, giving Billie the treatment.
    Taking advantage of a lull in urgent demands on her time, Brianne headed to the cafeteria for a quick snack. She nearly inhaled the sandwich before grabbing the next patient's chart.

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    Brianne's second patient of the day was Austen Wood. It was only when she saw him that she realized he was in fact her cousin Jeremy's son. Yes, that meant he was a relative, no, she probably shouldn't treat him. But the hospital was small and she barely knew Austen, so she figured it couldn't hurt. Maybe she'd better be extra cautious just in case though. His symptoms could be tricky.
    "Let's start with a treadmill test. Just step right up," she said, moving to the computer hooked to one of the treadmills.
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    Austen complied with a bit more enthusiasm and vigor than she expected. When he managed to fall off and tilt the machine, she called a halt to the test, which he passed.
    "Time for a full exam," she decided, ticking off an ailment or two on her mental list of possibilities.
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    The exam proved informative, and not only because Brianne took a few minutes to get to know her cousin a bit more.
    "I'm just going to take this sample to the lab. I'll be back soon," Brianne said as she left him in the exam room.
    In the lab, Brianne found yet another relative as she was finishing up. Her brother-in-law, Jack Kibo, was only an orderly, so their paths rarely crossed. Brianne spent a few minutes catching up with him and one of the doctors, rushing back to her patient afterward. It was only as she entered the room that she realized she had missed an opportunity to ask about her pregnancy. Next time she had a chance, she promised herself. She wanted the question settled once and for all.
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    "I've got an idea what may be wrong, but I want to x-ray you to be sure," Brianne said.
    Austen cracked a small smile. "I'm beginning to think you're enjoying poking and prodding me."
    "Haha," Brianne snorted.
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    "You've got gas and giggles. Here's your medicine. That'll calm you and get rid of the gas," Brianne announced
    Austen gulped down the medication and got up from the exam table. "Thanks, Brianne," he said.
    "That's Nurse Kibo to you," she corrected lightly. "Tell your family hello for me."
    "Will do," Austen promised on his way out."
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    Brianne took another break after Austen left, taking her time with her soda before dealing with her third patient of the day, Antonio Da Vinci. His case was bit more complicated, and Brianne wasn't sure if she was relieved or disappointed that her extended shift ended before she could make a final diagnosis. She resolved to check in with the doctor who took over the case.
    One thing she was happy about: She came home a full nurse. The hours would still be long, but at least she would start an hour later, giving her a chance to share breakfast with her daughter.
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    As Brianne entered the house, the lively strains of a piano concerto reached her ears from the loft, and she smiled, enjoying the music, courtesy of Harry's growing talent. She decided to take it as both a welcome home and a congratulations on her promotion, though she knew Harry hadn't heard her come in.

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    Taro woke form a long nap and went potty for the time without any help. He was so proud of himself, he couldn't wait to tell his parents.
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    Viviana too was having a good day of firsts, bringing home more As and the news that she was at the top of her class. She sat right down to work on her homework, even if it was getting easy and boring lately.
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    Brianne was so hungry, she didn't even bother to change out of her scrubs before going into the kitchen in search of something to eat. She grabbed a plate of Italian meatballs and joined Viviana at the table.
    Harry came down not long after, also hungry, one of the few times all three of them managed to be int he kitchen at the same time.

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    Taro came down by himself a few minutes later and ate in his favorite spot in the living room.
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    Brianne came in a few minutes later to find Taro playing with his blocks. "Taro, I saw you take your plate into the kitchen. Thank you, you're getting to be such a big boy," she said, smiling, settling onto the couch to watch him play.
    Taro beamed at the praise, chattering about anything and everything. Briannae caught something about llamas in the narrative, and listened attentively, encouraging him to keep talking.
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    When Taro finally wound down a little later, Brianne got up to stretch. She checked on Viviana, finding her asleep and dreaming peacefully.
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    Discovering that Taro had followed her, Brianne decided now was the perfect time to bring out the flashcards and sat down with him outside Viviana's room to go over basic needs.
    "Potty!" Taro shouted gleefully, recognizing the first card.
    "That's right. But not so loud, okay? You don't want to wake Viviana up."
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    Noticing that Taro was getting tired and distracted, Brianne called a halt to the lesson. "Time for someone to go to bed, I think," she said, levering herself up off the floor and lifting the toddler into her arms. He was getting so heavy! But she intended to cherish this time, when Taro would willingly let himself be carried, for as long as she could. With his birthday coming up around the time the baby was due, she probably wouldn't have too many more chances.
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    In his room, Taro cooperated with being changed into his pajamas and climbed into bed. "Story, Mama?" he asked hopefully.
    "Of course. How about this one?" Brianne asked, showing him a book.
    Taro clapped happily and nestled under the covers to listen. He was asleep after only a few pages, so Brianne tucked him in and went to bed herself.





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  • CathyTeaCathyTea Posts: 21,512 Member
    @TresaofPern I'm really enjoying this! What a great family! :)
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    Sierra and the S-Boys


    Dragon Name: Hywicoes | House: Ravenclaw | Wand: Dogwood, Unicorn hair 11 ¼" , Suprisingly Swishy
  • jeromesimsworldjeromesimsworld Posts: 78 Member
    This is so cute!
    ORIGIN ID: JeromeJoynes

    jeromesimsworld.wordpress.com

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  • TresaofPernTresaofPern Posts: 676 Member
    edited December 2017
    Chapter 6: Possibilities

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    Sometime after midnight, Harry heard Selma whining outside the bedroom door, and woke quickly in response, not wanting her to wake Brianne. He found Selma looking very sad, and suddenly realized he hadn't spent much time with her lately.
    "Come on, girl, let's go downstairs," he whispered, leading her back to the living room. He sat on the couch, Selma jumping up beside him, and lavished attention on the dog, giving her pets and belly rubs while talking to her.
    Harry felt guilty that family hadn't spent as much time with Selma as they probably should. Maybe they should consider getting another dog to keep her company while the humans were busy. Though, was that really a good idea, with a new baby (or two, or three) on the way? Might be better to wait until Viviana was a teen and could help more, Which would be a few years yet, since Viviana was only 10.
    Either way, it was something Harry would have to talk over with Brianne first. There were choices to be made, such as could their budget handle another dog? Would one get along with Selma? Did they have time to train a puppy not to destroy the house when they were gone? Would another adult be better?
    Trying to shut down his thoughts, Harry yawned his way back to bed.

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    Brianne appreciated the extra hour of sleep she had before waking to get ready for work, with the later start time. Still, between her pregnancy and habit, she woke before five as usual. She enjoyed a leisurely breakfast, but found she couldn't bear to sit so long.
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    Standing to finish the last of her toast, Brianne noticed Selma standing behind her, and talked to the dog. Oh yes, she had noticed Harry leaving the bed and heard the faint click of claws on the floor outside the master bedroom. She appreciated Harry's effort to let her sleep, and had rewarded him with a cuddle when he came back to bed, despite his cold feet.
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    Viviana woke and seemed pleasantly surprised to find Brianne still there, so she sat again to keep Viviana company over breakfast and chat with her. She rose and dressed while Viviana washed up.
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    Grabbing Selma's leash, Brianne took the dog on a walk around and near their property, waiting patiently while Selma did her business.
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    When that was done, Brianne realized it was almost time for her to leave for work. She set Selma loose and quickly changed into her scrubs before going in to the hospital for her first shift as a full nurse.

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    Taro settled down to play Simshape, content to entertain himself for a while.
    He was growing bored with the game when Harry came in and decided it was time Taro learned some manners.
    When Taro proved resistant to that idea, still feeling sad over his potty accident, Harry switched to teaching him to say sorry, which met with slightly more success. Harry decided to pick his battles and accept what he could get. There would be other opportunities after all.
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    Lessons finished, Harry stepped out into the hall, intending to get in some piano practice before work, when he nearly tripped over a tiny box in the hallway. "What's this?" he wondered aloud, picking up the small package, wrapped in purple paper and tied with a bow. Curiously, it had dog fur on it.
    Opening the box, he found a painting of a bird. It was nice enough, but before he could decide what to do with it, Harry had to dash out the door to work, dropping Taro at daycare on his way.

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    When Viviana got home from school on Thursday, she found herself alone longer than she was used to. After hanging around outside for a while, then went inside, wanting a snack. She got comfortable in front of the TV with a slice of chocolate cake.
    Brianne brought Taro home with her ,and spotting the cake Viviana had left out, realized she was hungry and got a slice for herself, joining Viviana on the couch.
    Not to be left out, Taro got his own little slice and climbed up beside his big sister. He watched the show too, though much of it was beyond him.

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    Finished with her snack, Viviana decided to get her chores done. She took out the trash first, then filled Selma's bowl when she noticed it was empty. Next was washing the dishes, and she even remembered to check upstairs for any stray plates.

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    Brianne entertained Taro with a funny story, which seemed to fall flat, to her disappointment. Sending him off to potty, she went to make a ham and cheese sandwich for herself, still feeling hungry.

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    Chores done, Viviana decided to play chess, finding the game far more fun than she had originally thought it would be.
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    When she tired of the game, she decided to talk to Brianne for a while, putting off sleep just a little bit longer.
    Brianne tried again to tell her funny story, embellishing it a bit more, and found Viviana to be a much more receptive audience, to her delight.
    "That's not funny," Viviana protested, despite the laugh that escaped
    "Yes it is," Brianne insisted playfully, smiling.
    Huffing, Viviana went to the bathroom.
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    Once she was gone, Brianne noticed Selma about to go up the stairs, and wrinkled her nose at the smell coming off the dog. "What did you roll in this time? No, I'd rather not know. I'm just glad I haven't changed out of my scrubs yet," Brianne said, following Selma upstairs. "Bath, now, girl." She wasn't sure the stink would ever come out of her scrubs, so they would have to be dumped afterward.

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    Harry arrived home tense and stressed from work, knowing he was going to take the next day off even fi the baby didn't come. He needed a break, badly. He brought out the journal he hadn't used since he was a teen and wrote out his thoughts and feelings, which helped.
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    Music therapy! There was nothing quite like a few hours on any instrument to improve Harry's mood. He tried out a new song on the piano and kept playing long after his family was asleep. Harry might have continued uninterrupted for hours if he hadn't heard Selma start barking downstairs. He hurried down, hoping to stop her before she woke the household.
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    Too late. Harry entered the kitchen to find Viviana already awake and having another slice of cake. He decided to let that go, instead praising her for her earlier efforts to wash the dishes.
    Then he gave Selma another lecture about jumping on the counters and waking everyone with her barking, and headed back upstairs to play a little longer.
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    Post edited by TresaofPern on
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  • TresaofPernTresaofPern Posts: 676 Member
    @CathyTea and @jeromesimsworld, thanks! I'm glad you like it. Got a few more chapters coming tomorrow hopefully, then I'll be gone for most of next week and not able to post.
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  • TresaofPernTresaofPern Posts: 676 Member
    Chapter 7: Anticipation

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    Taro woke very early Friday morning. Hungry, he decided he was a big boy and could get his own food. He tried not to be scared as he made his way down to the kitchen for some food all by himself. He brought the plate back up to the bright, familiar safety of his room and sat on his bed to eat.


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    Not even 5;30, and Brianne was already awake. She wasn't sure how much of that to blame on her pregnancy, and how much on habit. She had actually forgotten that she was taking family leave today. What to do with that extra time? She didn't think she could sleep in, being too used to waking up early and needing to be doing something other than laying around.
    Noticing the puddle on the floor and the sleeping dog nearby, she made a face. "Lucky for you you're asleep, Selma, or you'd be getting yet another lecture on driking from the toilet. You know how you love those," she told the dog, sighing.
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    BreGHXQU0.png?1eakfast was the first order of business, naturally, and she took her time about it, managing to time things she finished after Viviana woke and joined her with her own breakfast.
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    Full of eggs and toast, Viviana cleaned up a mess Selma had left behind then went to get ready for school.
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    Brianne went into the living room to catch up on a show she enjoyed watching when she could, until she heard Harry coming down for breakfast.
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    Brianne and Harry had a lively conversation in the kitchen while he ate, during which Harry brought up the subject of a possible second dog while pretending not to notice Selma begging for some of his food.
    They both agreed that now was not the time, and they didn't have the time or energy to devote to training a second dog, especially with Selma being so stubborn.
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    Harry lavished attention on Selma to make up for scolding her again about jumping on the counters, and the puddle-drinking Brianne suspected had taken place earlier. He tossed in a reminder not to play in puddles for good measure.
    "Now that that's out of the way, how about something fun? You did so well learning to sit, let's try rolling over on command, since you enjoy rolling in puddles so much," he said, standing.
    Selma gave him a dubious look, and it took a while before she seemed to catch on.
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    While Harry was busy with Selma, Taro came downstairs and went straight for the stereo someone had left running, wanting to listen to music. He enjoyed it so much he began to dance, his efforts being better than his last attempt.
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    Brianne decided to paint while she had the chance, as uncomfortable as she was. She didn't think she'd be able to for a while once the baby was born, and Harry was there if Taro needed him. She brushed the cobwebs off the easel, dusted off her brushes and paints, and set to work on a large canvas, painting fanciful pets.
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    Tired of dancing, Taro wandered over as the training session was winding up, and began imitating Selma, much to Harry's amusement. He watched while Taro petted Selma, making sure he didn't pull her fur or anything. Though, Selma was very tolerant, being well used to children.


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    Later that afternoon, Harry's younger twin brother Hikaru came to visit, and Brianne invited him to sit and chat over bowls of chili. Viviana came home from school not long after and joined in, eager to get to know her uncle better.
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    To his regret, Harry missed out on the visit because he was busy with chores, first repairing the downstairs toilet then tackling the dirty upstairs bathroom so Brianne wouldn't have to. This also had the added benefit of letting him keep an eye on Taro while he used the potty but letting the toddler think he was doing it independently.
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    Viviana got a late start on her homework, having spent so much time chatting with her Uncle Hikaru, but she knew it would be easy so she wasn't really worried about not being able to finish before bedtime.
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    Harry carted Taro off for a bath in the newly cleaned bathroom, once Brianne finished hoer own relaxing bubblebath.
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    After his bath, Brianne decided to work with Taro on his manners again. Noticing he was getting tired, she watched while he climbed the stairs, then came up to tuck him in.
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    Once again, Harry found himself kneeling beside the upstairs bath/shower. This time, he was bathing a very smelly Selma, who seemed to be enjoying it. Brianne had begged off with her due date so close, claiming she needed to get out of the house. "The things I do for love," Harry mumbled to himself, not really minding. He did grab a towel to dry Selma before he could be subjected to his second soaking of the day, however.
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    Brianne enjoyed her midnight swim, spending some time simply floating before she headed back inside without bothering to change out of her suit. She knew just how she would thank Harry for his patience and willingness to take on extra chores so she didn't have to do them.
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    Harry would much rather have stayed in bed cuddling with his sleepy wife, in fact he was sure that's just what he should have been doing. But he had only satisfied one of his appetites, and knew he would never be able to sleep comfortably if he didn't fill his stomach as well. He needed all the rest and fuel he could get with a new baby coming. So he was downstairs alone at nearly midnight bolting a bowl of chili so he could get back upstairs to his nice warm bed and Brianne.
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    Even with his meal finished and cleared away, Harry wasn't immediately able to go back to bed, some premonition telling him he would be needed. That was how he was on hand to spray the monsters under Viviana's bed almost as soon as she woke up screaming.
    He must have done a particularly good job of it, because it wasn't long before the monsters were banished and daughter and father were both finally able to go to bed.
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  • TresaofPernTresaofPern Posts: 676 Member
    Chapter 8: Welcoming Baby

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    The baby didn't let Brianne do much cuddling, or sleeping for that matter. She was awake barely past three and headed straight for the bathroom. This time, there was no stinky dog sleeping in a puddle near the toilet, to her relief.
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    She indulged her sweet tooth and had a slice of hamburger cake for breakfast, though she knew it wasn't healthy. She was pregnant, and she was allowed, after all. She promised herself she'd go back to healthier habits afterward, wanting to set a good example as a nurse and as a mother.
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    The birth was mercifully quick, and soon Brianne was able to hold her baby in her arms. A daughter she and Harry named Mai. She was beautiful and perfect in her mother's eyes. Brianne was very relieved to have had only one baby.
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    Taro came downstairs looking for attention, and found Brianne in the unfinished nursery, which had been Jessica's room. They had wanted to wait and find out what they were having before doing any decorating.
    Brianne stood back and watched, relieved that Taro seemed happy and excited about having a baby sister rather than sad.
    He chattered away, waving his arms around as he told his new sister some story.
    Being full and exhausted, Mai slept through the entire introduction, much to Brianne's amusement. She stifled her laughter behind her hand, smiling.
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    Dressed, Taro settled down near the bassinet with his tablet and played quietly, keeping Mai company.
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    He was still there an hour later when Viviana came down to meet Mai too. Her reaction was also enthusiastic, and she couldn't wait for Mai to wake up so she would be allowed to hold her baby sister. She looked just like a little doll, and Viviana wanted to try her doll clothes on the baby. Not that she would likely be allowed to for some months yet.

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    Hungry again, Brianne decided to trust her older children alone around the baby and went into the kitchen to cook breakfast. She would be able to hear if anything happened anyway, she assured herself.
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    Finding that sleeping babies weren't that interesting, Viviana came out of the nursery in search of breakfast and joined Brianne at the kitchen table.
    "What's Taro up to?" Brianne asked, looking toward the living room as if expecting him to come toddling along too.
    "He was still playing on his tablet. I told him not to wake Mai up," Viviana answered.
    Brianne bit back a smile. "Thank you, Vivi, that was thoughtful of you."

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    Harry woke and had just reached the bottom of the steps when he heard Mai crying for attention. He got the dubious honor of dealing with her first messy diaper, arriving just ahead of Brianne, who had still been in the kitchen.
    Taro continued to play happily, apparently oblivious to the stink or the smell in the small room, which was suddenly crowded with four people and a bassinet.
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    Viviana trailed after everyone else and went to the computer still set up in the corner of the room for lack of anywhere else to put it. She didn't really mind, as long as it meant she got to be near the baby. She started playing arithmetic attack, getting absorbed in the game.

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    Taro finally put his tablet away, wanting his mother's attention and a story. Brianne was only too happy to oblige, taking him into her room to sit and read.

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    Viviana eventually tired of her game, having had enough of numbers. She decided to play with her doctor playset, reenacting something her mother had told her about. "Now you have to take all your yucky medicine so you'll feel all better," she informed her stuffed bear in serious tones.

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    Brianne caught Selma before she could find some more trouble to get into and lectured her again about acceptable behavior.
    "Now if you can just behave yourself until I get back from the bathroom, we'll play fetch," she promised, patting the dog's head.
    Selma responded with a hopeful "Woof?" as if she understood.

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    Meanwhile, a very sleepy and cranky Taro took himself off to bed for a nap without any prompting or arguing, much to the surprise and relief of his parents.
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    Viviana went from playing doctor to playing chess, deciding she'd read a book next. She wanted to see how many different things she could fit into one Saturday.

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    Brianne caught a whiff of Selma and decided there was no way she was playing fetch with a smelly dog. Selma needed a bath first.
    "I'm not going to hold it against you. Maybe a nice long game of fetch will tire you out and you'll actually stay clean for more than a day," she told the dog.
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    Harry stopped in to check on Mai, not having heard a peep from her in a while. The baby definitely appreciated having a dry bottom.
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    Brianne actually got the ball out and managed to get in a few throws before Mai cried for attention. Brianne dropped the ball and ran to take care of her.

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  • TresaofPernTresaofPern Posts: 676 Member
    edited January 24
    Chapter 9: Happy Birthday!

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    Not feeling very tired, Viviana stayed up late and was awake early Sunday, spending some time reading on the couch. She didn't find the silence spooky at all, absorbed as she was in her book..
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    Hours later, Viviana was still awake, having breakfast in the kitchen, when Taro woke and came downstairs looking for his own breakfast. He had gone to bed that night without taking a bath and was one stinky little boy, so Viviana was very glad he went to his favorite spot in the living room to eat. Though she could still smell him and vowed to stay far away until their parents got up.
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    Harry was the first of the adults to wake, so the unpleasant task of bathing Taro fell to him, and Harry willingly ignored his own needs to see to his small son's comfort. With that done, he sent Taro off to play while Harry himself used the toilet then went down in search of something to eat.
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    Like Harry, Brianne put her child's needs ahead of her own, going first to feed and entertain Mai for a while before finding her own breakfast. She crooned a lullaby as she did, smiling at the tiny baby in her arms.

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    After breakfast, Harry wand Brianne cooperated to set the upstairs bathroom back to rights. "I'll fix the sink if you don't mind cleaning up, Brianne offered.
    "Fine with me," Harry agreed, not caring either way.
    Spotting Selma, he said, "Come on, Selma, get away from there. You are not drinking any spilled water today. Shoo." He waited until the big German Shepherd left, then closed the door firmly behind her before getting to work.
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    Finished in the bathroom, Harry went into the kitchen looking for lunch. He suddenly realized he hadn't seen Viviana in a bit and frowned, wondering where she could be. The sound of the shower running in the downstairs bathroom provided an answer, and he relaxed.


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    With lunch over, Harry went right for his guitar, wanting to play a bit. Beyond him, Brianne had finished the sink repair and was moping the floor. She heard the strains of the guitar, and smiled, thinking how far Harry had come with his skill since they first met. Now it was a pleasure to listen to him instead of torture.
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    Exiting the bathroom, Brianne stopped to admire her handiwork while she considered where to put her painting. Right by the bathroom door sounded good. She could look up the stairway from the main level and see it hanging there in the loft.

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    Harry and Brianne traded off baby care duties throughout the day as they went about their activities. At one point they both happened to be in the living room at the same time, and stole a moment to kiss, embrace and just bask in each other's presence, swaying gently to an internal tune all their own.
    "I love you," they whispered together.

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    Brianne decided she needed some fresh air once she and Harry were finally able to pull away from each other, and took Selma with her. Harry didn't mind being left in charge of three children on his own, figuring he'd better get used to it.

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    Later that evening, Harry and Brianne danced together while their two oldest watched from the couch, chatting together.
    Viviana was getting tired and preferred to tease her parents rather than joining them, and Taro was just up from his nap and wasn't awake enough to dance.
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    The impromptu dance over, it was time for Taro's birthday, after he used the potty for the last time.
    Harry picked him up and carried him over to the cake that had been prepared earlier.
    Brianne started to follow, but a knock on the door diverted her.
    Viviana tried, she really did, but she barely managed to blow a party favor before dragging herself off to bed.
    Taro figured out he was the center of attention and giggled and clapped at the sight of the cake before obligingly blowing out the candles at his father's urging.

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    Harry's youngest brother had arrived just in time to join the party and grab a slice of cake. Brianne made sure Taro got the largest slice, which was as big as his smile, and helped herself to a smaller piece though she wasn't very hungry. No way she was missing out on this cake.
    Harry got himself a piece as well and put away the leftover cake., assuring Taro that he did not need and was not getting a second slice tonight, birthday boy or no.
    Post edited by TresaofPern on
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  • TresaofPernTresaofPern Posts: 676 Member
    edited January 24
    Chapter 10: A Dog's Life

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    The entire family was up especially early that morning, with a very unhappy dog waking them up. Brianne decided just this once it would be all right if everyone had leftover cake for breakfast. Someone had forgotten to put it away after Viviana's birthday, and she dind't want it to go bad.
    Brianne chatted with Taro while she ate, thinking this was too early to be up even for her. She would try to get some extra sleep rather than risk falling asleep at work just as soon as she satisfied her hunger pangs.
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    With Selma so sick she had turned blue, Harry got her to the vet's as soon as he could, glad they were open so early. He barely took the time to eat and use the bathroom first, almost forgetting to get dressed. Once he signed in, he settled in to wait, taking a look around the newly renovated and enlarged space. He saw a sign advertising the new surgery unit, and thought it might be a good idea to get Selma spayed while he was there.
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    It wasn't long before they were called back into an exam room. Harry stayed out of the way, watching as Navya Chandran performed an examination. He chose the more expensive treatment, glad he and Brianne could affored the expense.
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    Afterward, Harry praised Selma. "Good girl. And you're getting a bath just as soon as we get home," he told her, catching a whiff of her smell.
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    Harry signed back in to have Selma spayed. The wait was longer this time, so he passed the time chatting iwth other pet owners, including Bianca Yomin, who was there with her dog, Akhenaten. The wait drew out so long that Harry just cancelled the appointment, needing to get ready for work though he was now dead tired. He rushed home to change and drop Selma off, regretting he didn't have time to bathe her. "Sorry, girl. You'll have to wait til either Viviana or Brianne get home," he told her.

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    Later that afternoon, Viviana and Taro returned from school hungry and tired. They made sandwiches for themselves, ham and cheese for Viviana, peanut butter and jelly for Taro. Armed with food, they sat in front of the TV to eat, chatting about their school projects. Viviana eventually grew bored with the TV show and turned on the stereo to listen to music.
    "Mrs. T said she remembered you from when you were in her class," Taro said, naming thier music teacher.
    "Oh, she's still teaching? What did she say about me?" Viviana asked, curious.
    Taro shrugged. "Just that you were a good student -but only when you liked the music being played."
    "Ugh, I hoped she'd forgret about that," VIviana winced.
    Taro laughed at her, knowing he now had somehting new to tease her about.
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    Mai had napped at daycare and was well rested as well as fed. She sat on the floor near her siblings and played Draw With Llama on her tablet. She didn't seem to notice the large, smelly dog sleeping behind her.
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    As if she had some sort of sixth sense, Selma woke and dashed out the door to greet Brianne the instant she came home.
    "Hi, girl. At least you look normal again, just dirty and smelly!" Brianne exclaimed, kneeling to pet the dog anyway. "Come on, let's get you in the bath."
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    On the way across the living room to the stairs, Brianne greeted hee children.
    "Hi, Mom. We're going to bed. We'll do our homework later," Viviana answered while Taro just yawned.
    "All right. Goodnight."
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    Bath time over, Brianne went back downstairs to spend some time with Mai. She smiled at the toddler's happy babble while considering what to make for that night's dinner.
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    Feeling rested, Viviana came out of her room to read for a while before dinner, still in no mood to tackle her homework.
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    Brianne decided to try out a new recipe for garlic noodles a friend at the hospital had given her. She hoped they came out just right.
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    Selma heard Harry come home and raced out to greet him, barking. She had clearly forgiven him for makng her go to the vet's. Despite the fact that he was so tired he was about to drop, Harry lavished her with a attention, spending a few minutes playing with the big dog before he went up to bed. He didn't even play a little music first the way he usually did.
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    With two members of the family in bed, only three gathered around the dining room table for dinner, talking about thier day and trading jokes.
    Once they'd finsihed eating, Viviana and Taro went back to bed.
    Brianne didn't fell tired yet despite the late hour and there was no need for her to hurry to bed since she was off the next day. Thus she was awake and ready when Mai woke crying from a nightmare.
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    Brianne met Mai in the living room, kneeling to hug her close. "Shhh, you're all right, I'm here now. Nothing's going to hurt you," she soothed.
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    Once Mai had calmed down, Brianne put her in her high chair and fed her a sandwich.
    Mai babbled nonsense, the only real word Brianne could pick out being "Mama."
    Post edited by TresaofPern on
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  • TresaofPernTresaofPern Posts: 676 Member
    edited January 24
    Chapter Eleven: Gremlins

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    Deciding she didn't have much chance of getting Mai back to bed any time soon, Brianne let her stay up for a little while. She told her a story, then knelt to teach the toddler to talk, knowing communication was important. She wanted to be sure she knew and understood her daughter's needs and troubles.
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    When Mai grew tired of words, Brianne helped her on the potty then put her back to bed, hoping she would sleep through the rest of the night. "Good night, baby girl," she whispered, tucking her in.
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    Stepping from the hallway into the living room, Brianne noticed that the stereo was broken and stopped to fix it, still not particularly tired.
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    Repairs completed, Brianne decided to cook breakfast for her husband and older children, who would be awake soon. She hadn't gotten very far when she heard Mai calling out for her.
    "Mama! Scawed!"
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    Brianne rushed to comfort the crying, frightened toddler. "Another nightmare already? Poor baby," she said, hugging her.
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    Bringing Mai back into the kitchen with her, Brianne's nose wrinkled when she noticed something leaking out under the fridge.
    And then the stove died, explaining why it hadn't caught fire with a full skillet still sitting on it.
    "Must be gremlins," she said in disbelief. She set to work repairing both appliances, not wanting to wait for a repairman when she could as easily handle the problems herself.
    She was aware of Mai helping herself to a snack on the floor near her highchair, and decided she would be fine on her own for the moment. Especially with Viviana awake and doing her homework at the table.
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    While Brianne was busy, Mai finished her snack and wandered off. Spotting her father, she toddled over to him, babbling, wanting his attention.
    Harry split his attention between his bowl of chili and his youngest child, welcoming her company.
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    The stove once again in working order, Brianne resumed cooking, though by that point everyone had had something else to eat for breakfast. They could always eat it the next day, or the day after, when both she and Harry had to work and might be unable to cook.
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    Around noon, Harry headed outside with his guitar to play a while and enjoy the lovely weather before work.
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    Awake again and dressed, Mai wandered outside after Selma. "Doggy!" she said, giggling, imitating the dog.
    Selma didn't mind the attention, seeming to know instinctively that she had to be gentle with the little girl, who wasn't any taller than the dog.
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    Brianne had come out to see where Mai had gotten off to. Together, they walked around the side of the house to listen to Harry as he switched from one song to another.
    "That was great!" Brianne prraised. "Though you'd better get going if oyu don't want to be late."
    "Thanks, love," Harry answered. He stowed his guitar and kissed her cheek before leaving.
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    Brianne picked Mai up, smiling at her. "How about a bubble bath? Doesn't that sound like fun?" she asked her.
    "Bubbles!" Mai repeated, bouncing excitedly in her arms.
    Brianne didn't even mind getting splashed, just so long as Mai was happy, the night's terrors seemingly forgotten and in the past. Maybe they would stay gone tonight... she could only hope.
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    Wanting to get Mai back on a normal schedule, thinking the routine could only help, Brianne read her a bedtime story and got her to go to sleep as close to her usual naptime as possible.

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    Later that evening, Harry returned home to a quiet house. He greeted Selma, though the dog was sleepy, then checked on his children. Assured all was well, he sat down at his keyboard and began working on a new composition, wanting to get the music down before he forgot it.
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  • TresaofPernTresaofPern Posts: 676 Member
    Chapter Twelve: Daddy's Day

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    With Mai sleeping through the night, Brianne was able to get some rest herself. She woke at her usual time and had a good breakfast in preparation for another long shift at the hospital, eating while criticizing a rerun of some old medical drama. She hoped she would earn another promotion soon, wanting to reach the top of her career.
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    By the itme Viviana and Taro emerged fromt heir rooms and plopped down with their own breakfasts to enjoy early morning cartoons before school, Brianne had finished her meal and went into the bathroom after a brief conversation.
    Emerging, Brianne discovered she had just enough time for a quick game of chess before she left.
    "Don't forget to do your homework today, Vivi," she called across the room.
    "I know, Mom. I won't," Viviana assured her with a put-upon sigh.
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    Taro finished eating first and went into Mai's room to do his homework, wanting to be near his little sister. At least she wasn't bossy, unlike Viviana. Not yet anyway. He also felt closer to his Great-Aunt Jessica in this room and a little envious that he hadn't seen her ghost. Then again, that sounded scary when Viviana told him about her experience.
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    Finshed with her breakfast and the cartoons, Viviana moved to the kitchen table to do her homework, bending over the text with an intent frown.
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    Harry prepared a plate of eggs and toast for Mai and brought it to her in her room before he got his own breakfast.
    Finiding Viviana still there finishing his homework, he greeted her with a joke.
    "That's so lame," Viviana objected, trying to hide a smile.
    "Sorry, give your old man a chance," he replied.
    Viviana snorted. "You're not that old. Anyway, can you help me with this?"
    "Sure, what's the problem?" Harry got up and moved around to her otherside so he could get a better look.
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    While Harry cleaned up after breakfast, Mai emerged from her room and toddled over to the stereo, which had been left on earlier. She bobbed to the music, though she couldn't have understood the lyrics to the tween pop song.
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    Growing tired of dancing, Mai noticed Selma's presence and turned her attention to the dog, patting her snout. "Love 'elma. Kissy," she babbled happily. Selma obliged by kissing her hand and cheek, causing Mai to giggle in response.
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    When Selma left her alone to go in search of her favorite chew toy, Mai wandered into Viviana's room. Discovering her older sister's mirror, she babbled at it, staring at her own reflection.
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    Harry found Mai just in time to get her on the potty before she could use her diaper.
    Unfortunately, the session didn't go well, leaving a mess behind.
    "Oops. Accidents happen, you'll be okay," Harry said, reaching for Mai.
    "Hug. Me sad," Mai informed him, clinging to him.
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    Deciding both of them needed some cheering up and time outside, Harry suggested, "Let's go play outside."
    After some initial resistance, Mai went with him and was soon laughing and enjoyin herself. "Wheee! Fun! Do 'gain!"
    She shouted.
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    Eventually Harry put a stop to their play. "Daddy needs a break, sweetie. We'll do that again another time," he promised, leading Mai back inside.
    He started working wiht her on her manners, and was still at it when Viviana returned.
    "Vivi, it's your turn to give Selma her bath," he reminded gently.
    "I'll do that now," Viviana promised, smelling the dog. "Come on, girl, it's time for your bath," she called to the dog.
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    When Brianne returned not long after, she went straight for the kitchen in search of dinner not having had time to take a lunch break at work.
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    Vivaina finished bathing Selma and came back downstairs. She grabbed the last bowl of chili and brought it into the living room to watch tv whie she ate, not about to start her homework with an empty stomach.
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    The day's lesson in manners and saying sorry over, Mai sat down with a book and pretended to read it to herself, fascinated by the pictures.
    Harry watched for a few minutes, smiling. he wondered if she'd be a big reader like Viviana. "Time for bed, Mai," he said, noticing the toddler could barely keep her eyes open.
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    After putting Mai to sleep, Harry continued Selma's fetch training. At the end of their session, he praised her and gave her a treat. "Good job, girl. I knew you'd catch on eventually," he said, smiling, petting her.
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    Taro meant to get an early start on his Medieval Castel Diorama, but he quickly grew too hungry and tired to concentrate, so he decided to stop working for the night. He could always finish it later, maybe on the weekend.
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    Inside, Taro chatted with Harry as he ate, glad to have his father's attention. He hadn't' had much time with him lately, given Harry's hours, for one thing.
    "Want to hear a joke?"
    "What is it? Viviana doesn't think I know any good jokes, maybe you can help me," Harry said lightly.
    Taro grinned, launching into his joke. "VIviana doens't know that one either," he added.
    "Oh, I'm glad you told me first then." Harry chuckled.
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    Brianne laughed at the joke on her way past to check on Mai, who had woken up from yet another nightmare. "How about a story before you go back to sleep?" Brianne suggested, wincing as a tiny hand tangled itself in her short ponytail.
    "Story," Mai agreed sleepily, though she didn't let her mother go.
    Not minding, Brianne lifted her up, thinking she really needed to get back into shape. Maybe she should spend her next day off at the gym instead of at home...it was something to think about anyway. Later.
    First, she had to get Mai calmed down and tucked back in.
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    All three children asleep, the two adults snuck out to the hot tub in the backyard, which they rarely got to use. It was the perfect end to the day, and just what the doctor orderd.
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  • TresaofPernTresaofPern Posts: 676 Member
    Chapter Thirteen: Ups and Downs

    Viviana woke to a small hand patting her shoulder and a little voice calling her name. "Bibibibi....Up!"
    Yawning, the teen stretched and sat up, reaching for her little sister even before she was fully awake. "What's up, squirt?"
    "Scawed," Mai sniffled.
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    "Don't worry, I'm here. There's nothing to be scared of," Viviana assured her, lifting her up for a snuggle.
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    "See? Nothing to worry about in here," Viviana said, pretending to look for monsters. "I have an idea. I'll read you a story and stay til you go back to sleep."
    "Pwomise?" Mai looked at her big sister with complete trust.
    "I promise," Viviana assured her. She helped Mai get under the covers and sat on her bed with a book.
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    Mai fell asleep quickly, and Viviana tucked her in, kissing her cheek. Yawning, she went back to her own bed, glad the weekend was near. She needed a break from school, and time to work on her project.

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    Several hours later, Brianne overslept, though she couldn't say she wasn't happy about not being woken by Mai's frightened cries. She decided she just had time for a bowl of cereal before dashing off to work. As it happened, she barely made it to the hospital in time, dashing through the doors only two minutes late. She hoped that late start didn't set the tone for the rest of the day.
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    Viviana and Taro made it into the kitchen at about the same time. Seeing that Taro had reached the fridge first, Viviana decided to let him get his food while she filled Selma's bowl.
    "Morning, Taro. Are you ready for your field trip?"
    "Yep! I wonder if we'll see aliens today."
    "I didn't on my trip to the science lab. But then they'd probably disguiese themselves anyway."
    Taro sighed, disappointed. "True."
    Viviana gave him a msichevious grin. "If you want to see aliens, you could always visit our Yomin cousins. Or Uncle Hikaru and Uncle Tim."
    Snorting, Taro answered, "They don't count. I know them."
    "True..."
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    Viviana brought her breakfast into the living room to join Taro so they wouldn't have to call acrss two rooms to each other. The conversational topic shifted away from field trips and aliens, with Taro wanting to know all Vivana knew about Oasis Springs. He hadn't been there before after all.

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    Brianne arrived home later that evening after picking up Mai from daycare. She was still musing over her day, a bit embarrassed that her inability to read an x-ray had delayed her treatment of a patient until she could get a new set of scans. Fortunately, that case had ended well for the patient. Then with the very next patient, she had trouble with the analyzer. She was very glad her third patient of the day had been easy, an obvious case of gas and giggles.
    A friend had invited her out, so Brianne just barely had time to go to the bathroom and change out of her scrubs before she had to leave.
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    Later that evening, Viviana took the initiative and gathered her clothes to wash them. She didn't usually do it without prompting, but her hamper was full and she wanted to wear a new outfit she had just bought that day, so it needed to be washed first. It made sense to just go ahead and wash it all at one time.
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    Still excited from his field trip - which was disappointingly alien-free - Taro stayed up far too late chatting about his day. He had a snack before finally heading to bed a full hour later than usual. He would likely have a hard time getting up in the morning, but he didn't care.
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    Brianne returned home to find Harry outside the house playing his guitar. "That sounds great, Harry! A new song?" she asked when he paused.
    Harry shook his head. "No, new variation on an old one. But I'm glad you like it."
    "Well, you are pretty talented," She said, leaning in to kiss him.
    Harry set the guitar aside to return the kiss enthusiastically. "I'll have to do this more often if it earns me a kiss," he teased.
    "Seriously, how was your party?"
    "It was good. Don't let me interrupt too long, I know how you are when you have an idea in your head. I'm going to go check on the kids."
    "All right. ANd I do want to hear all about it later."
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    After checking on Mai, who was on the potty, and a soundly sleeping Taro, Brianne tracked Viviana down outside, bent over the washtub.
    "Oh, thanks for starting the wash, Vivi. I was going to do that tomorrow," she said, pleasantly surprised.
    Standing to give her aching arms a break, Viviana shrugged. "I just bought some clothes today when I went to the mall after school,, and I wanted to wear them tomorrow."
    "Oh? I look forward to seeing them," Brianne said, trusting her daughter's taste in clothes. "You go on to bed, I'll take over here."
    "Okay. Thanks, Mom.. Goodnight."
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    Judging that the clothes were clean, Brianne unloaded the washtub and hung the clothes on the line. With their growing family, it might be time to invest in a more modern washer and dryer. For now, doing things this way saved on the plumbing bill.
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    "MAMA!"
    At the unhappy yell just as she finished hanging the last item, Brianne forgot her musing and came running to find out what had upset her youngest. At least she didn't sound scared, so it wasn't a nightmare.
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  • TresaofPernTresaofPern Posts: 676 Member
    edited January 30
    Chapter Fourteen: Wash Day

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    Brianne quickly realized the problem: another potty accident. She knelt to hug Mai close, comforting and calming her with soft words.
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    "I know just what you need. A bubble bath. You'll feel better once you're warm and dry, in clean clothes," Brianne said, standing and lifting Mai into her arms.
    "Bubbles, bubbles, bubbles," Mai sang, splashing the water and giggling.
    Brianne laughted with her, not minding the resultant soaking too much. Antthing to see her little girl happy.
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    With Mai dry, dressed and in much higher spirits, Brianne fed her a midnight snack of applesauce. Selma looked on, probably hoping the bowl's contents would end up on the floor and thus within her reach.
    "Sorry, girl, this isn't for you," Brianne told the dog.
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    Harry had slept late the day before, so he wasn't yet tired though it was well past midnight. He finished his jam session and decided to bring a snack outside to eat. Seeing that Brianne hadn't yet put away the applesauce, he fixed a bowl for himself, deciding it was just what he needed. After he ate his snack, he decided to get a few hours of sleep, knowing he had to go to work lThPqyMJ.png?2ater that day.
    Realizing Mai was too wide awake to go back to sleep anytime soon,, Brianne decided to sit up with her and chat for a while. She told her a funny story and laughed at the faces Mai made.
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    "Pway bwocks," Mai announced after a few minutes, wandering off. She located her blocks and sat on the floor beside them, picking up each one and inspecting it, babbling to herself. Her babble was becoming much more understandable.
    Watching, Brianne thought she was ready to learn her shapes and colors.
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    Satisfied that Mai was absorbed in her blocks and staying out of trouble, Brianne poured herself a bowl of cereal and took it outside to enjoy, using the opportunity to check on last night's washing. So early in the morning, the air was still a litlte chilly, but she didn't mind too much. At least they weren't right on the ocean, which would be even colder.
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    Taro woke much earlier than usual and very hungry. He hurried downstairs in search of breakfast, not caring what it was as long as it was good.
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    Taro joined his sister and mother in the living room, wanting company though he was too hungry to take a breath to talk. He didn't pay much attention to their conversation.
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    Hearing Viviana wake and begin preparing for the day, Brianne decided now was the perfect time to take Selma out for a jog, knowing the dog needed to get out. She trusted Viviana and Taro to keep an eye on Mai, and Harry was just upstairs if they needed him. Brianne knew Selma needed a bath, but she also knew the dog would only get dirty again on their jog, especially if she found another skunk. She would take care of the bath when they returned.
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    Viviana joined Taro in the living room as was their habit. "I heard Mai in her room. Where's Mom and Selma?" she asked, looking around.
    "Mom took Selma for a jog," Taro told her.
    "Guess th tmeans I can boss you around, if I'm in charge," Viviana teased.
    "You can boss Mai around. Not me!" Taro said firmly.
    Viviana laughed at him. "That's what you think!"
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    Deciding he preferred his younger sister's company at the moment, Taro took his homework into Mai's room once he'd put his empty bowl int he sink. He greeted the toddler with a hug.
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    Taro sat on Mai's bed to do his homework.
    Mai climbed up beside him and sat facing him, curious. "What that?"
    "It's homework," Taro told her patiently.
    "What homework?"
    "It's um, like school, only I do at home."
    "Why?"
    Taro floundered, searching for an answer. "Well, because I didn't finish it at school. I din't have time to," he said simply.
    Fortunately for him, Mai seemed to accept that answer, or perhaps she was thinking very hard about it, because she didn't ask anymore questions.
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    Viviana spread her homework out on the kitchen table, thinking if she hurried she just might finish before she had to leave for school. She wore her new outfit, though it was barely dry, eager to show it off at school.
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    By the time Harry woke and went down to check on Mai, she had gone to sleep.
    Taro glanced up from his work. "Morning Dad. Hey, can you help me with this?" he asked, showing Harry his work.
    HIs father looked it over. "Check your decimal places," he suggested.
    "Oh! I see what happened. Thanks, Dad."
    "You're welcome. Do you need any more help?"
    "No, I've got it now."
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    Brianne returned form her jog after about two hours, sweaty and smelly herself. "You're getting your bath first, Selma, because I don't want you tracking dirt everywhere," she told the dog. "Then it's my turn."
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    While Brianne was cleaning herself and Selma up, Harry saw their two oldest off to school and made a breakfast of scrambled eggs and bacon.
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    Harry took his breakfast outside, thinking the outdoor table might just be his new favorite spot. He had just dug into his meal when Brianne came out with the first of three loads of laundry that still needed to be washed.
    "This is delicious. I made a plate for you," Harry called over to her.
    "Thanks. I'll eat as soon as I get these on the line," Brianne answered. Conversation lapsed as she concentrated on the task at hand.
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    Some time later, Selma came out to investigate, and discovered the puddle of water on the floor near the washtub. She managed to roll in it before Brianne could grab her. "Bad dog! Don't roll in puddles," Brianne said sternly. "And don't even think about drinking this dirty water."
    Harry was outside stringing up another clothesline and heard Brianne scold the dog. "Selma! Come here girl," he called to the dog.
    "Thanks. Can you keep her busy while i clean this up?" Brianne asked.
    "I've got her, don't worry."
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    Needing a break and feeling hungry for lunch, Brianne went into the kitchen and stood staring into the fridge while she made up her mind what she felt like eating. She wanted lunch, not breakfast, and ended up eating garlic noodles.
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    Wanting to give Brianne a hand, Harry took his turn with the washtub and another load of dirty clothes, though he would have to get ready for work in less than huor.

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    Viviana brought her friend and cousin Kailani home from school with her. The two teens chatted in one corner of the living room whie ostensibly going over their homework. The topic inevitably drifted from that day's assigned homework to their crushes and who was dating who.
    Beyond them, Brianne and Taro sat on the couch watching TV.
    "Mom, are girls always so boring?" Taro asked between bites of garlic noodles.
    Brianne laughed. "You won't find them boring when you're older, I promise."
    "How do you know?" Taro asked skeptically.
    "Talk to your father about that. I guarantee you he felt the same way you do when he was your age."
    Taro fell silent ,thinking about her words.
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    Mai woke up from her nap hungry, so Brianne fixed her a plate of food.
    "You sit right here and eat this. I'm going to be outside helping Taro with his project if you need me, okay?"
    "Okay, Mama," Mai answered, getitng comfortable on the couch.
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    Taro got started on his Medieval Castle Diorama, wanting to make it look just as nice as Viviana's project but decorated differently. He was disappointed that she had gone to bed before he could ask her to help, but at least Brianne was able to pitch in.
    Spotting Kailani on her way out, he called to her, "Kailani, will you please stay and help me with this?"
    "Sure! That looks like fun," Kailani replied, surprised and flattered to be asked.
    With three of them working, they were done in no time at all.
    Taro stood to admire their handiwork, smiling.
    "That looks great. Good job, both of you," Brianne said. "Taro, don't forget to put it away."
    "I'll do it now," Taro answered, picking it up.
    As promised, he took it straight to his room and put it away, then climbed into bed.
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    Mai carried one of her books over to Brianne, holding it up. "Mama, read story please?" she asked, looking hopefully up at her mother.
    "Yes, I will, and good for you remembering to say please," Brianne praised. She sat on the couch, waiting for Mai to climb up beside her before opening the picture book just as if she hadn't read it a hundred times before. To see if Mai was paying attention she 'accidentally' skipped pages.
    Each time, Mai sat up and flipped back to right page, not noticing Brianne's proud smile.
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    Harry came home so hungry he barely acknowledged his wife and daughter, going right to the fridge for something to eat. He wolfed the food down so fast he didn't taste it and afterword couldn't have said what it was he ate, except that it was good.
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    Done with her story, Mai toddled into her room to talk to her big stuffed cat. Viviana had named it Hobbes, and both Taro and Mai simply used to the same name. "Hobbes, good kitty. Not go take food. That bad," she told the big toy sternly, thinking about the character in her story, though that was a bear.
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    Full and changed out of his suit in favor of his usual everyday outfit, Harry followed the sound of Mai's cheerful chatter to her bedroom.
    "How about a bath before bed?" he suggested, smiling, picking her up.
    "Play in bath?" Mai asked, giving him her best smile.
    Harry was tired, but there was no way he could resist his daughter. She knew full well she had her parents wrapped oround her little finger. "All right, you can play for a little while,' he agreed.
    He didn't notice Selma following after them upstairs and into the bathroom. Fortunately, there wasn't any mischeif for the dog to get into, and she had learned her lesson about playing in puddles.
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    Bath over, Mai was still wide awake. She got downstairs all by herself and found her tablet, playing games until she was ready to go back to bed.
    Post edited by TresaofPern on
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  • TresaofPernTresaofPern Posts: 676 Member
    edited January 30
    Chapter Fifteen: Lazy Saturday


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    Though Brianne had made an early start to her morning, rising early enough to squeeze in a morning jog before work, the rest of the family was lagging far behind.
    For instance, Harry overslept and felt like he spent the rest of the morning scrambling to keep up while juggling the needs and demands of his children, particularly little Mai. Before he knew it he had to get ready to leave for work, despite being tired. Seeing that he was going to be late even if he left on the spot, Harry decided he might as well take the time to eat and run to the bathroom.
    "Selma, don't beg. You have your own food, you don't need mine," he scolded the dog, frowning down at her, hand on his hip.
    Finishing the last bite of food he called, "I'm leaving! Viv, you're in charge! Mai, Taro, mind your sister!"
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    Deciding to trust Mai to entertain herself and stay out of trouble, Viviana finally got her construct-a-bridge project started.
    Seeing what she was doing and fascinated by the moving parts, Taro joined her. "Can I try my cars out on it?" he asked.
    "Maybe after I show my teacher," Viviana answered.
    Spotting Selma nearby she looked at the dog, who obviously wanted attention. "If you stay out of the way, I'll try to play fetch with you later," she told her.
    As if she understood, Selma woofed but didn't come any closer.
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    True to Viviana's prediction, Mai was too busy stacking her blocks to think about getting into any trouble. She made up a little song about blocks while she played, content for the moment
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    When Brianne returned home, Selma followed her into the kitchen, probably hoping for some scraps or a treat.
    After several minutes of thought, Brianne, settled on butternut gnocchi for dinner. "At least the kids aren't shy about trying new things," she mused.
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    Taro looked down at the bridge thoughtfully. "I think we did it too fast. Something could be wrong" he said.
    "Don't worry about it. We used all the parts and it works. It'll be fine," Viviana assured him, not about to take it apart and start over.
    "If you say so..." Taro was still doubtful, but decided not to argue about it, instead going off to wash his clothes. He wanted to hdie in his room for a while after that.
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    Thinkiing she had successfully kept her own worries to herself once Taro brought up the possibility that their work had been a little rushed, Viviana went for a jog to clear her mind. She needed to get out of the house and think, assuring herself that the bridge was just fine and if they'd finished quickly it was only because this wasn't their first and they had more experience.
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    Back at home, Mai grew bored with her blocks and moved on to playing a game on her tablet, under Brianne's watchful eye. The butternut gnocchi had turned out excellent, if she did say so herself.
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    Viviana and Taro had their dinner togather at the table.
    "Are you still worried about the bridge?" Viviana asked.
    Taro shook his head. "I decided maybe you're right. I couldn't think of how we could have done it differently anyway.
    Viviana smiled. "How about if I tell you what my teacher says after school tomorrow?"
    "Okay. Don't forget. And I'll tell you about my castle. I painted it different colors form yours."
    "I saw it. It looks very nice."
    "Thanks." Taro beamed.
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    Brianne glanced into Mai's room as she passed to check on her, and ofund her struggling a little on the potty. "Need a little help?" she asked, stepping inside.
    With Brianne's patient guidance, Mai quickly finished her business.
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    Brianne had intended to read Mai a story, hoping that would prevent any nightmares, but Mai was too sleepy. She climbe dinto bed and was asleep almost instantly, so Brianne settled for tucking her in. She would just have to hope for the best.
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    Harry returned home and immediately checked on their new washer and dryer, moving wet clothes from washer to dryer.
    Brianne came out just as he was cleaning the lint filter and checked the clothesline, finding that all the clothes were now dry.
    Laundry taken care of, the pair lingered outside for a few minutes, flirting and chatting.
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    When Brianne went back inside to get in a quick workout before bed, she moved the coffee table and TV so she would have room to dance along with a dance video.
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    Harry remained outside to practice his guitar, not wanting to wake the family. Besides, it was such a beautiful night, he was in no hurry to go inside.

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    Brianne had intended to shower and head to bed after her workout, but before she could, Mai woke and found her. "I hungry, Mama," she announced, rubbing her eyes.
    "What would you like to eat?" Brianne asked, carrying her to her high chair.
    "Peas?" Mai asked.
    Brianne smled and nodded. "Coming right up." She sat Mai down and quickly prepared the peas, setitng the bowl ont he tray.
    While Mai dug in, Brianne stayed nearby waiting for her, brushing Selma while she waited. This had the added benefit of keeping the dog from swiping any dropped peas.
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    Mai finished her nsack and having been let out of her high chair when Harry came in, she headed off to bed on her own, not having been asleep very long.
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    Harry had his own dinner alone, having finished his guitar practice for the night.
    Post edited by TresaofPern on
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  • TresaofPernTresaofPern Posts: 676 Member
    edited January 31
    Chapter Sixteen: Sharing is Caring

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    Taro rarely got to join his mother for breakfast, so he was always excited when it happened. This morning was no exception, and he chattered nonstop, enjoying her company. "When do we get to go to the nursing home?" he asked, looking forward to the family's planned volunteering trip.
    "This afternoon," Brianne reminded him patiently.
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    Viviana came down soon after and fixed herself a plate of eggs and bacon. Hearing the TV running in the living room, she carried her plate over to see what was on, sitting beside Taro.
    "What'd I miss?"
    "It just started, so not much."
    "Oh, good."
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    In a good mood, Brianne turned the stereo on and started dancing to pass the time.
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    A little while later, she called Taro over. "I want to make sure you're on your best behavior today, so let's go over your manners," she said.
    "But I know how to be polite and say sorry," Taro protested.
    "You don't always do it, so a refresher won't hurt," Brianne said firmly.
    Sighing, Taro gave in, listening to what she had to say.
    Nearby, Viviana picked up Selma's ball. "Sorry we never got to play fetch yesterday, girl. I'll make it up to you today," she told the big dog, tossing the ball into the kitchen.
    Selma raced after it, bringing it back for more.
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    Once both teen and dog had enough of playing fetch, Selma sought out Harry's company for some petting, which he was only too willing to give. "Suppose if we give you enough attention this morning you'll behave this afternoon while we're gone," Harry told her, smiling.
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    Viviana moved to the chessboard and contemplated the pieces, lifting one, considering moves. She hadn't played a game in a while, but today she just felt like picking it up again. She felt sad that she'd never have that rematch with her Great-Aunt Jessica that she'd always wanted. Glancing over at Brianne, she saw her mother was still busy with Taro, and decided to wait until she finished before asking her to join the game.
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    Guessing that Mai would be up any time now and wanting lunch, Harry made a peanut butter and jelly sandwhich for her. He went to check on her just as the toddler woke, and brought her back into the kitchen so she could eat before getting dressed.
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    Escaping form his refresher course in manners, Taro lavished Selma with attention, playing with her and offering her a treat. He thought it was funny that the dog had been part of the household almost since he was born, and knew he would miss her when she died. Hopefully that wouldn't be for a very long time yet.
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    While the rest of the family grabbed last minute snacks or made runs to the bathroom, Harry took a few minutes to entertain Mai with flash cards. "A new babysitter is coming to stay with you today while we're gone," He told her. "Her name is Navya. Can you say Navya?"
    "Navya," Mai repeated, an adorable expresison of concentration on her face.
    "That's right," Harry praised, smiling. "I think you'll like her. You be good for her, all right?"
    "I be good," Mai promised.
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    Mai took to Navya quickly, greeting her with a hug.
    "Bath now, please?" she asked.
    "Oh, is it bath time? Well, maybe you can show me where the bathroom is, and all your toys," Navya answered, settling Mai on her hip.
    "Up there," Mai told her, pointing to the stairs.
    After the bath, during which Navya took a splashing with good humor, Mai asked her for help with her flashcards. They were still going through them when the family returned.
    "Thanks, Navya. I hope Mai was good for you," Harry said, paying her.
    "She was. A sweet little charmer," Navya answered, smiling. "I guess my work here is done then. I hope to see you again soon."
    "We'll let you know," Brianne promised.
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    Viviana had enjoyed helping out in the nursing home, and felt good about playing cards with one of the old women, but it had been boring. She went looking for a book to relieve her boredom, finding it in Taro's room. She chose to sit on his bed and read it there rather than take it back downstairs. His bed was just as comfortable as hers, anyway.
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    Taro didn't mind Viviana's invasion of his room, or the fact that the doctor playset was slightly worn and pink. It was still fun to play with, and he was careful not to break or lose anything so Mai could have it when she was old enough.
    "If you take all your medicine, you'll feel much better," he told his toy, unconsciously adopting his mother's exact tone of voice.
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    Harry finally had a chance to grab his guitar and jam for a bit, watching the sunset. He felt inspired to write a song of his own mentally composing it as he played.
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    VIviana put her book aside when she realized she was hungry. But before she could grab something form the fridge, she noticed the dishwasher was broken. Taking the initiative, she decided to try her hand at fixing it before calling her parents to take over or a repairman.
    Meanwhile, Taro had to wash his dishes at the sink. "Can you show me how to do that?" he asked, wtching her.
    "When you're older. This is hard work, and you might get electrocuted," Viviana told him.
    "Oh! LIke Aunt Natalie?"
    "Just like that." Viviana shivered, remembering the story about her mother's sister, who had died from an electric shock when she was a teeanger - just Viviana's age.
    "Maybe you shouldn't do that then," Taro said worriedly.
    "I'll be okay. I'm almost done. See?" Viviana finished her task, proud of herself. She knew she'd been lucky not to hurt herself.
    Taro relaxed, smiling. "Good.. I love you even if you are annoying."
    "Tha - hey!" Viviana objected.
    But Taro was already racing out of the kitchen, laughing.
    Grumbling about annnoying little brothers, Viviana cleaned up and put away the tools.

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  • TresaofPernTresaofPern Posts: 676 Member
    Chapter Seventeen: Is there a Doctor In the House?

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    In a rare turn of events, given his long hours and penchant for playing music late into the night, Harry was actually awake early enough to join his two oldest children for breakfast and cartoons. He was about to ask where Brianne was, knowing she couldn't have left yet, when he heard the shower in the downstairs bathroom turn on.
    The three of them ate and chatted until it was time for the kids to go off to school, and Harry spent the rest of the morning with Mai until he had to leave for work.

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    Brianne came home still a little angry that no one had thought to tell her ahead of time that her second patient of the day was an alien. She had no problem with them at all and had actually liked meeting the child, Renee Hutton. Still, she thought being prepared would have made her diagnosis quicker and easier, not that there was much chance she would mistake gas and giggles for anything else given her experience. At the same time, she was thrilled to have met another alien.
    The highlight of her day was that she had finally become a general practitioner, despite that morning's clumsy beginning and her confusion on during her previous shift.
    Viviana's voice penetrated her thoughts, bringing her back to the present. "Mom? I don't think anyone likes me," she said sadly.
    "Oh, Vivi, of course people like you. Look around. You have friends and family everywhere, don't worry," Brianne assured her.
    "Thanks, Mom." Viviana smiled and went inside.
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    Inside, Viviana sat down at the chessboard to play a quick game, needing to calm down and relax before she tackled her homework. She really hoped Brianne was right and not just trying to make her feel better, though her words had helped.
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    Taro got comfortable on the couch with his homework, wanting to get it finished quickly so he could play.
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    Mai greeted Selma with a pat on the nose. "Hi, Selma! Missed you," she told her, contiuning to pet her.
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    Brianne brought her dinner into the living room and joined Taro and Viviana, who had finished her chess game and agreed to watch a movie with Taro while doing her homework.
    She carried on conversatiosn with all three of her children, somehow managing to keep track of everything and find time to tell Mai a story.
    Distracted from her blocks, Mai joined her family's conversation, occasionally picking up her blocks and turning them in her hand or stacking them as high as she could only to knock them down again.
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    "This movie is boring," Taro announced, finishing his homework first. "I'm gonna go play." He jumped off the couch and thumped up the stairs to his room.
    Viviana agreed, and had actually been ignoring the move for a while. "Mom, can you help me finish this, please?"
    "What are you stuck on?" Brianne asked, standing with her back to the now silent TV.
    "Here," Viviana showed her, and the two bent over her homework, figuring it out together.
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    Tired of blocks, Mai went into her room to find something else to do. She sat down with one of her books and entertained herself pretending to read, enjoying looking at the pictures.
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    Though it was getting late, Viviana decided to take Selma for a walk, noticing the dog was getting restless. She would keep it short, not wanting to be late for curfew. "Come on, Selma, let's go this way," she said, choosing a direction. Purposely away from the family of skunks known to live on the slope between their house and the Yomins'. No way did she want to disturb them in the dark.
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    Brianne went upstairs to check on Taro, wanting to make sure he went to bed on time. She stopped just inside the doorway, watching him play for a few minutes. "All right, Taro, it's bedtime. Put your monster away and get your jammies on," she said firmly.
    "Aw, Mom! Just ten more minutes?" Taro argued.
    "Nope, it's already past your bedtime. You can finish your game another time," Brianne told him, unmoved by his plea or pout.
    Defeated, Taro obeyed- as slowly as possible.
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    Harry returned in a good mood thanks to his recent promotion, one he felt like he had been working toward for a long time. It came with a new title and was a sure sign that his career was very successful because people still liked his music. The hike in salary hadn't hurt, nearly closing the gap between him and Brianna. That was also nice, though he had long ago stopped being bothered that she made more than him. He was proud of his wife's success after all, and knew the feeling was mutual.
    He had a taste for eggs and bacon and ate a plateful on the couch, watching TV.
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    Brianne spent a few minutes reinforcing Mai's manners and reminding her to say sorry, having heard about an incident that day at daycare. When she was satisfied Mai knew how and when to apologize, Brianne read her to sleep and tucked her in.
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  • TresaofPernTresaofPern Posts: 676 Member
    Chapter Eighteen: For the Dog

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    Brianne spent the beginning of her day off at the vet clinic with Selma. She was concerned for the elderly dog, who seemed to be gietting sick more often, and hoped it wasn't anything too serious. She wasn't ready to lose Selma, and didn't think she ever would be. But she knew the time would come, because Selma had been an adult when she was adopted, back when Taro was a baby. Selma's loss would devastate everoyne in the famly. It was too bad she'd never had puppies would might have helped.
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    There was no need to worry this day, as the vet quickly diagnosed and treated a case of sizzlepaws and Selma was soon back to her old self.
    "Good girl," Brianne praised after thanking the vet, crouching to hug the dog. The price was steep but they could afford it, for which she was grateful. She and Harry would do whatever it took to keep Selma healthy as long as possible.
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    Back home, Brianne took Selma for a jog, knowing both of them could use the exercise.
    Selma voiced her approval of the plan with loud barking and jumping around in excitement.
    Brianne laughed. "Glad to see you're so energetic," she told Selma, smiling. She doubted there would be too many more days like this, when Selma was so alert and active, so she intended to enjoy every moment.
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    Harry woke with a song in his head and didn't even bother to get dressed before sitting down at his keyboard to play. He really wanted a full size piano for this one, but he supposed the keyboard would have to do. He already knew this one would be dedicated to Selma as a celebration of the dog's life from the day she had come to live with them. Trouble she might be, and difficult to train, but he loved her just the same.
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    Brianne returned form her jog feeling good about herself as well as hungry. She quickly showered, then showed off her culinary skills while making clam chowder even though there was no one around to see. She could hear Harry playing his keyboard upstairs, and smiled, appreciating how much his talent had improved. It wouldn't be long before he was a well known and respected musician at the top of his career, she was sure.
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    Harry finished his song with Selma watching but thankfully not howling along - quite possibly because that would have required her to put her ball down, he thought with some humor.
    "Thanks for being so patient, Selma," he said, taking the ball. "You know that song was about you, don't you?"
    "Bark!" Selma answered, watching him expectantly.
    Harry laughed. "What's that, it's time for a game of fetch? All right, go get it." he said, tossing the ball down the length of the loft, careful not to hit his guitar and violin.
    Selma raced after it and brought it back, tail wagging happily.
    Harry threw the ball again, willing to continue as long as the game kept Selma out of Brianne's way while she cooked. They did not need a repeat of the time she had tripped over the silently watching dog and hit her head on the dishwasher. Fortunately, nothing was broken, though she did have a headache for hours.
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    "Hi, Mom. That smells good," Viviana said as she entered, zeroing in on the clam chowder. She scooped up a bowl and took into the living room to eat, needing to unwind after a long day at school.
    "Hi, Vivi. How was school?" Brianne asked.
    "Good." Viviana called over her shoulder.
    Mai trudged in behind her sister and wordlessly headed for bed.
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    Having fed her human family members, Brianne decided Selma could use a little extra pampering and prepared gourmet pet food for the dog.
    Selma watched, knowing she was about to get a treat.
    She seemed to be keeping far enough back to avoid tripping Brianne, but just the same, Brianne kept a careful eye on her.
    Once the marinated sausage link chorizo was ready, Brianne transferred it to a plate and put it down for her beloved pet, who lapped it right up happily. Brianne smiled, watching her.
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    Mai woke wanting her dinner, and Brianne joined her, hungry herself. She had somehow managed to forget to have lunch, busy with Selma as she was.
    "We learned about clams in science the other day," Mai announced, looking at her bowl of chowder.
    "What did you learn?" Brianne asked, enjoying the conversation, especially Mai's take on all she had learned.
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    Mai worked on her homework after dinner, joined by Taro with his dinner. The teen had the day off from school and hand spent most of it in bed, having been awake much too early after a late night.
    "Will I get to skip school on my thirteenth birthday?" Mai asked her big brother impishly.
    "Depends what day it falls on, I think. Viviana didn't," Taro answered.
    "Oh. What about Mom and Dad?"
    Taro shrugged. "I don't know. Ask them."
    "Okay, I will."
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    Selma followed Brianne into the upstairs bathroom and kept looking back and forth between her and the bath expectantly.
    Brianne got a whiff of her and noticed her fur was smudged with dirt. At least she hoped it was only dirt. "I can tell how badly you need a bath if you're actually asking for one," Brianne said. "In you go." she moved the curtain aside and waited, glad Selma was still able to jump in on her own. She was't entirely sure she could lift the dog in if she had to.
    Selma stepped into the bath and waited patiently, not trying to get away or splash very much.
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    Once Selma had been dried off and released to find her favorite toy, Brianne checked on her children, finding Taro working on his homeowrk alone at the table. "Taro, do you need some help?"
    "Yes, please, Mom, thanks. I feel stupid."
    "You're not stupid, this is just new to you. Don't worry, it'll get easier," Brianne said. "Now what are you working on?"
    Taro told her, and she listened closely, giving him directions but careful not to do the work for him.
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    Feeling more confident after succefully copleting his homework and having a good talk with Brianne, Taro decided to try a power sculpting workout. He wasn't ready for bed, having slept so late, and this was a perfect, productive way to pass the time.
    Because there was only room for one of them to exercise at a time, Brianne listened to the stereo instead, occasionally calling advice to Taro, which he appreciated and listened to.
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  • TresaofPernTresaofPern Posts: 676 Member
    Chapter Nineteen: House Calls


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    Brianne began her day with a pediatrics round, noticing that there were quite a few children in today. probably due to a recent llama flu epidemic. She had a feeling her first case would prove to be suffering from that particular ailment, though she still intended to run tests to be sure.
    "Good morning, Angela," she greeted the child, introducing herself.
    "It's Angela Maria. I always use both names, like my mom," the girl insisted.
    "All right, Angela Maria it is," Brianne agreed easily. "How are you feeling?"
    "Not so good. My head hurts," Angela Maria answered, coughing.
    Brianne nodded, listening. "Let's see what's going on with you then." She told her exactly what she was doing at each step, brom taking a sample to checking her eyes and ears.
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    As Brianne had expected, the sample analysis confirmed that Angela Maria Cortes had llama flu.
    "I'm going to give you a shot, and you'll feel much better," she told the child.
    Angela Maria nodded, looking away while the shot was administered.
    It was at that moment an orderly relayed a message that Brianne was needed to make a house call.
    "I'll go just as soon as I finish up here," she answered, turning her attention back to her patient.
    She smiled at Angela Maria. "You're all done. Hope I don't see you in here again for a while."
    "Thank you, Doctor Kiboo," she answered, hopping off the bed, smiling now that her exam and treatment were over.
    "You're welcome."
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    Arriving at the apartment in San Myshuno, Brianne was surprised to find her neice Teresa Cook-Salas there waiting, and greeted her with a hug. "What are you doing here? I thought you still lived in Newcrest."
    "I do. Some friends and I were visiting, and started feeling sick," Teresa explained briefly.
    "Well, good thing someone thought to call me then," Brianne answered.
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    She conducted a swift but thorough exam, including taking Teresa's temperature, before giving her some medication. "Food poisoning," she pronounced. "You'll be fine."
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    She had to track down Austen Wood, who preferred to wander around browsing books rather than sit and wait for treatment. "I'll make this quick, then you can go back to your book," she promised, amused.
    Austen fidgeted throughout the exam. "I don't have time for this, I need to get back to my family..."
    "You're not doing them any good if you don't take care of yourself. Here, take these pills," Brianne said firmly.
    Grudgingly, Austen did so, muttering a thanks.
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    "Who's next?" Brianne asked, looking around the apartment. "Mr. Ishikawa?"
    "It's nothing, really, it'll pass," Shingo answered, backing away and trying to step around her.
    Brianne got in his path. "You'll let me examine you here or you'll come to the hospital with me, your choice. EIther way, you're getting examined beacuse you look sick," she said firmly.
    Defeated, Shingo said, "Can't we at least do it somewhere more private?"
    "In the kitchen," Brianne suggested.
    "Fine."
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    Brianne quickly diagnosed and treated him as well before taking her leave, satisfied with her morning's work.
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    Back at the hospital, Brianne spent some time updating medical records before taking her next patient. She wondered if she would have a surgical case soon, not having had much opportunity to practice those skills. Though of course she didn't want her patients to be so ill that surgery was the only option.
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  • TresaofPernTresaofPern Posts: 676 Member
    Chapter Twenty: Early Rising

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    Feeling wide awake despite the late hour, Brianne entertained herself by dancing rather than joining her husband in bed. She could always take a nap later. She supposed she could pass the time by improving the plumbing, but she didn't feel like it. Nor did she want to read or exercise or watch TV, which left dancing. She supposed she could sing, but she had done plenty of that the previous day too.
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    Woken by a monster under her bed, Mai decided to get as far away as possible from it for a while, somehow finding the darkness outside less frightening. Besides, the candles on the table were so warm and inviting. She brought a plate of black and white cookies with her, needing a snack. By the time she finished, she felt much better and calmer, though she didn't want to go back to bed. She decided to just stay up for a while.
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    Deciding a good book would help her stay awake, Mai found one that had been left out on the coffee table and carried it back to her room to read. She hoped the monster was gone, because she was not making friends with it, no matter what her classmate Amanda Yomin said. She even claimed she played with it. "She made that up," Mai mumbled, flopping onto her now monster-free bed and opening her book.
    She heard the strains of her father's violin from upstairs, and found the music comfortingly familiar.
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    Harry eventually took a break, giving his hands a rest while he watched TV.
    "What are youwatching, Daddy?" Mai asked, coming back in from taking out the garbage, which was her chore today.
    "The Simlympics," Harry answered, looking over at her. "Do you want to join me?"
    "Okay." Mai sat with him, curious and wanting his company.
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    Taro was the last to come down for breakfast, eating his omelet in silence while he decided what he wanted to do that day. He knew he would exercise, but should he do it before or after his homework? He was so absorbed in his thoughts that he didn't notice when Viviana turned up the stereo as loud as it could go.
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    Mai sat watching TV alone when Harry went into the kitchen to speak with Brianne and Viviana, so she did notice when the volume increased.
    "Viviana! Turn it down!" she yelled angrily.
    "No!" Viviana yelled right back.
    "Give me the remote," Harry said sharply, his own anger at the noise evident. He took the remote off his oldest and turned the volume down himself. "There. Now leave the stereo alone, please."
    "Yes, Dad," Mai heard Viviana say in a quiet voice.
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    "I'm going outside if anyone needs me," Harry announced, still angry.
    Seeing that he was carrying his journal, Mai jumped off the couch. "Me too!" She dashed into her room for her journal then followed Harry outside, sitting beside him.
    Brianne joined them. "Guess what our oldest daughter is doing?" she asked Harry.
    "What?"
    "Practicing the violin. Thankfully it's not as loud as the stereo, but she's just as bad as you were when you started the guitar."
    "She is?" Harry was surprised and pleased. "Well at least that's a productive use of her need to be loud, which I hope passes.
    "Oh yes, which is why I came out here. You should go listen though."
    "I will, just as soon as I'm done."
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    "Does Dad know you're breaking his violin?" Taro asked as he walked past Viviana into the bathroom with Selma in tow.
    "Shut up or I'll break you," Viviana retorted, fretting that Taro might be right and she woud break something.
    Taro just laughed, letting the door swing shut.
    Faintly, Viviana heard him tell Selma to get in the tub, and kep tplaying over the sound of running water, determined not to let on that his words had bothered her.
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    Harry came up a short time later to find Viviana still determinedly playing the violin. "You're doing good, Vivi," he said, and began instructing her, amazed that she had picked up so much just from watching him play.
    With Harry's encouragement, Viviana began to feel more confident and her playing showed marked improvement by the end of the lesson.
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    When they finally took a break, Harry made himself a sandwhich and sat alone, lost in thought. He imagined Viviana following in his footsteps as an entertainer, liking the idea. Though he would be happy no matter what she chose, just so long as she was happy. Well, unless she became a criminal, in which case he would be very disappointed, but he didn''t think that was likely
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    Getting an idea, Harry took his plate with him and went in search of Brianne. "Bree, I just had a thought. We could try for one more baby,. It's been a while since we had a little one around."
    "Now? We could both be retiring in the next few years," Brianne said, not sold on the idea.
    "That would give us more time to spend with a child. Come on you can't tell me you don't miss having a baby around.
    "Doens't mean I want to have another. Viviana's almost grown, we should be thinking out being grandparents someday."
    "That mean no?" Harry asked, giving her his most persuasive look.
    Brianne laughed. "Tell you what, if you still want to after work, we'll talk about it again." WIth that, she walked away, subtly swaying her hips.
    Harry watched her go, having to admit she had good points. And he slowly began to realize that he didn't want to miss seeing a child grow up. He didn't want a child of theirs to think they were too old and out of touched to understand him or her. Viviana and Taro already thought that way, mostly because they were teens.
    Letting go of the idea, Harry turned his attention to working on a new song on the keyboard.
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    Having bathed Selma, Taro decided to take her with him on his morning jog. He just hoped they didn't run into any skunks or tempting puddles, though the elderly dog was getting better at behaving herself around those as long as someone was with her.
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    Taro returned from his jog, changed back into his pajamas and sat down to do his homework, wanting to get it out of the way.
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    He hadn't been at it long when Brianne appeared to help him. "I told you it would get easier, you're already catching on fast," she praised. "You won't need my help anymore soon enough."
    "I'll always need your help, Mom," he said, wanting to make her feel better.
    "Thanks for saying so." Brianne smiled at his compliment.
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    Viviana discovered that while it might be fun to have cake for breakfast, it wans't really very fillng and she was hungry again. "Can't believe there's nothing else to eat in the fridge," she complained. "Guess I'll just make myself something then." She decided she had a taste for bacon and eggs and got to work, glad she could follow a simple recipe. The meal might be simple and quick, but it was filling, though not nearly as good as her parents could make.
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    "Come on, Selma, let's play!" Mai called to the dog, tracking her down in the kitchen. Selma wasn't as much fun now that she was older and mostly wanted to sleep, but Mai still had fun with her. She wondered if Selma would still be around when Mai was considered old enough to walk her. Maybe she could talk someone into letting her do it sooner, as long as an adult was around...
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    Taro turned on a dance video, hoping he didn't look silly as he tried to copy the moves. He felt a bit clumsy and was pretty sure he was getting the steps all wrong, but at least he had fun. He supposed he would get better with practice. This was his first attempt, after all.
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    Calmer and replete, Viviana sat down to do her homework, wisely leaving the stereo off. She didn't feel the need to blast music as loudly as possible anymore, but she wasn't sure she could resist the temptation to annoy her siblings by doing it anyway. Since she also didn't want to get in trouble, she decided to just not bother with any music at all.
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  • TresaofPernTresaofPern Posts: 676 Member

    This story has been moved ot my blog, where it will continue. It and my other stories can be found here;
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  • TresaofPernTresaofPern Posts: 676 Member
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