Last time, Brienne got wrinkles and Catherine became mobile. This time, a Gallant family gathering isn’t complete without drama.
Brienne: Repeat, darling; ‘the family estate.’
Brienne: No, not ‘steak’ – ‘estate.’ Try again.
Brienne: I don’t know why I bother.
Seeing his ugly-ass demon portrait made Jared realize just how little time he was spending with El. In apology, he takes to helping her with homework and cooking her favorite meal.
Goopy carbonara is one of the less complicated dishes in his repertoire, but it’s still better than the accursed salad.
El: Mm, pasta.
Before anyone even knows it, it’s time for El’s birthday. Every single teen and child she knows is invited over for the party.
Jared: Is that a teenage boy.
El: Relax, dad, that’s just Leo from school.
Jared: ‘Just’ my round rosy ass. I know what teenagers get up to these days!
‘Leo’ is Leopoldo Kimura, son of one of the party crashers from the last chapter. He’s a pretty nice nerdy guy, but he’s been a bit withdrawn since his dad Iqbal passed away.
Here he’s seen dancing with a teenaged fashion-deficient Cheri.
El greets Lucia Hart and Augustine Langerak-Hart as they walk in; through some intricacies of timing and family trees, Lucia is actually Augustine’s aunt. Best not think about it.
Speaking of f***-ed up family dynamics, it seems someone finally told Connie about her missing parent.
Connie: I’ve been coming to your goddamn house since I was a kid! Why the hell would you not mention, “Oh hey, Connie, by the way, I’m your dad!”
Jared: Would it honestly have made a difference? Claire and I were a shitty couple, trust me. We were never going to work out together.
Connie: But you could’ve still been around for me. I wouldn’t’ve had to be “Claire the Bear’s” bastard.
Jared: Is that what this is about? Look, Connie, that would all still be the same. People would still talk about you behind your back because we were never married, and people are fucking assholes about that kind of thing. Why do you think so many people around here get married right before they have a kid, huh?
Connie:…I just…I just wish things had been different.
Well this is sad.
Connie: I’m too depressed to celebrate.
El: And I’m too shell-shocked about you being my sister to blow out candles, apparently.
Brienne: I must ask that you remain calm; the flames shall be extinguished shortly, have no fear.
Everyone: *has a lot of fear*
Augustine: Ugh it smells like burning in here.
Augustine: This is so gross El. Now you’re gonna have to clean up that cake, cause I am not staying in the same room as that hot mess.
El: Ooohhhh myyy goodddddd.
Augustine: It’s unsanitary!
Daron: Dude, just stop.
Behold teenage Eleanor! She rolled the light sleeper trait and developed the personal style of a sorority girl in Portland.
Aww yeah half-sister bonding.
El and Daron: Oh no they’re hot
El: I’m just gonna sit here in the corner until I stop having inappropriate thoughts about my sister’s boyfriend.
Hang on, I thought being wild and uninhibited is your thing?
El: Sure, but I still have standards.
Brienne: Oh gods above, what is my child wearing? What mistakes have I made to lead her so far astray?
El: Haters gonna hate.
What are you snickering about missy?
El: Wait for it.
While at school, El gets an opportunity to raise her writing skill for the school writing club, so she plants herself at her mom’s computer over the weekend to write a novel.
Jared: You know we got you that easel for a reason, right? Go shoot it up with some paintballs or whatever it is you do. It’s really creepy when you cackle to yourself over the keyboard.
El: You know I love that easel, but trust me dad, this book is gonna be some next level shit. Like, my Mona Lisa or something. I gotta share my vision with the people.
Jared: What is this thing even about?
El tells him.
Jared: …Ah. Hm. Don’t let your mother find out about it.
Brienne, across the house: *rolls wish to fight Jared*
El: Alright kid, here’s the deal.
El: If I had to be traumatized by dad’s weird glop shit…
El:…then so do you. Bon appetit!
El: Oh god I can’t watch.
A gift from Daron. It couldn’t possibly mean anything, right?
A chapter later, Brienne finally gets her tattoo, a red dragon emblazoned over her chest. It won’t be visible under most of her outfits, but she knows it’s there.
And now we know her abs are there. Dayum.
She expresses her gratitude to Mr. Page for his excellent work.
El: Mom, you know that muffin’s been in the fridge since before Catherine was born, right?
Brienne: Mm, has it? It is still quite delicious.
El: Whatever, just don’t let dad catch you eating that stale-ass crap.
El: Who’s a good puppy! Who’s a good girl!
Faithful: I beg of you human, release me from my servitude.
I realized after I’d finished this one that it basically ended up being entirely Eleanor. 0_0 Whoops! Next time I’ll try to include the rest of the family.
Leo isn’t the only option for El’s spouse, but he turned out cute enough despite Iqbal Alvi’s genetics that I’m definitely leaning in his direction. There are a few other single guys floating around town, although I doubt I’ll be able to show them before prom.
Thanks for reading guys! ❤