Last time, the house upgraded from “practically a shack” to “properly inhabitable,” and Brienne had another daughter. This time, birthday x2.
El: Congrats on being an old fart, mom!
Yup, it’s time for Brienne to get some dignified wrinkles. She’s the type to face the inevitability of aging with nothing but grace and decorum, so she throws a black-tie birthday party. Everyone must show up in formalwear, even a reluctant Eleanor.
And even people who weren’t invited, it seems. Neither Morgana Wolff here, nor Tori Kimura in the background, was invited. No one in the house even knows who they are.
Blair: Sorry about them, Officer Gallant, they’re with me.
(Technically it’s Special Agent Gallant these days, but that’s one of those things you’re not supposed to say around civilians.)
Tori: We heard there was going to be a totally crazy party up here and figured, hey, this’ll be a great chance to scope out the new money in town. Plus we wanted in on your flatscreen action. And then Blair was going, so we thought, why not make it a girls’s night out! And here we are!
Brienne: …I see.
Brienne: Well, the more the merrier I suppose!
The new formal dining room gets its first use welcoming Brienne to her new middle-aged status.
Aaaaand she’s having a midlife crisis. *headdesk*
It figures that the angry lunatic in the family gets off scot-free but the stable one has to deal with a bout of the ol’ reckless urges.
You might have noticed that Hank was conspicuously absent during the party; he was there, he just spent the whole time upstairs with Catherine.
And then migrated to the front lawn to play some tunes.
Brienne: Your music is most moving, my friend, but perhaps we should decamp indoors where there is far less risk of frostbite.
The party ends early when Brienne gets called into work to go undercover at a political convention.
El begins a portrait of Jared. It seems… somewhat less than exact.
It looks much the same when she finishes, too.
El: If pops wants a better portrait, maybe he should actually be home now and then.
Ever since he bought the diner, Jared has been working around the clock to get his work performance up to level 10. He wakes up, eats breakfast, and drives to the library to study recipes; he really doesn’t have time for poor Eleanor. Oh well, still a point!
Spring arrives, and with it Eleanor’s first day of school.
El: FINALLY! If I was stuck listening to one of mom’s ‘responsibility’ lectures one more time I was gonna mc-freakin’ lose it.
A girl named Cheri Crumplebottom comes home with her after school. And then insists on doing her homework across the room so El can’t ‘copy off of her.’
Cheri is a bit of an odd duck, but then she did grow up in a house with a restless ghost wandering around. El decides that she’s kinda weird, even by El’s standards, but at least she’s okay with El’s own brand of kookiness.
Well, Frenchfry is here, and you know what that means.
Brienne and Hank have a bro-dance. I’m not gonna ask how Brienne is dipping a guy twice her size(she has Ways).
Jared gets the wrong idea.
Jared: I’ve heard about you, Goddard. Charismatic, but totally unwilling to stay committed to a relationship. I should’ve known that being engaged wouldn’t have made you keep your grubby hands to yourself.
Hank: Watch it Gallant. Brienne and I are friends, that’s all. Hell, I don’t know if you remember, but I was the one who played wingman for her in the first place! If you really think she’d step out on you, with anyone, that’s something to bring up with her. Oh, and Jared? Pauline and I aren’t married yet because both of us are more comfortable that way, not because our relationship is in any way unloving. Imply that I’d cheat on her ever again and we’re going to have a problem.
Jared is shocked by this new information and also alarmed when he realizes the size of the arms of the guy he was about to deck.
That teenager looking on apathetically in the background is a newly aged up Connie. She wandered into the party, stood around doing nothing, and left without talking to anyone. Typical teenager.
Another face clone! And this one has Brienne’s eyes too. I’m gonna have to compare all of their faces once they’re young adults, this is unreal.
Brienne’s moods are a bit unstable at the moment, but at least I get plenty of high-value wishes that are easy enough to cash in.
Brienne rolls a Midlife Crisis wish for an expensive car, so she blows what’s left of the tiberium windfall on a sleek black Yomoshoto Invasion. It’s parked out in the open so passers-by can admire it, but next to the patrol car so no one gets any ideas.
Still as in love as ever.
Brienne gets the sudden urge for a tattoo, so she heads down to the salon on her day off. Artie Page here doesn’t look like much, but he’s been the town tattoo artist since Brienne first arrived in Sunset Valley so long ago.
But before she can even get in his chair, Brienne gets called in to work again. Artie doesn’t even blink at the outfit she changes into – over half of his customers these days are SV residents having midlife crises, so he’s seen far worse than a fifty-year-old woman in leather pants.
Before I go, one last odd story to share. Jared needed to get his relationship with Emma Hatch up for work, so he invited her over to the house.
He certainly didn’t expect her to show up with a new illegitimate child in tow.
Emma: His name’s Dwayne. Sorry for carting him over here, it’s just…the situation with his dad isn’t stellar right now.
Emma: Hwup! Hey there darlin’.
Catherine: W’o you.
Jared: Emma what the hell are you doing.
Emma: Much better.
Jared: Emma you’re not leaving your kid at my house.
Emma: Oh, fine.
And then she broke the computer.
It’s a little spooky just how much Eleanor and Catherine take after Brienne. I’m not complaining, she’s a good looking woman, but I like some genetic diversity in my families, you know?
Thanks for reading