Underneath It All

It was perfect, absolutely perfect. Castles had always loomed high in her mind, probably since the first time that she saw Cinderella. Other girls saw the princesses in the Disney movies and thought “I’m gonna marry a prince someday.” She’d seen the tall white spires of the castle in the opening scenes of the movie and thought “I’m gonna build a castle someday.”

Then sometime around Junior high she realized that there weren’t a lot of homeless royalty out there commissioning castles, so she’d put the dream aside, but it had never really died. Okay so she wasn’t really going to be building it. And it wasn’t exactly Cinderella’s with all the spires and happy Neuschwanstein nonsense, ala Disney, but in some ways this was better. This was a real castle.

Something had been built to be functional, not just pretty.

And being not much more of a hike from the barn than the king’s cottage, it would be a perfect new locale for their illustrious leader. Now Tiffany just needed someone to tell about it. She checked her shoes and hem for dust and dirt and found that other than a bit of cobweb from exploring the dusty halls, she was fine.

The barn was curiously quiet. She’d probably missed lunch–wouldn’t be the first time–but she’d ate a big breakfast and she was never adverse to a big dinner, which would more than make up for the lack of noon meal.

“Hey, Heidi, where is everybody?” Tiffany asked, spotting the barn’s one occupant, Heidi who was scrubbing down one of the counters.

“Oh, Peyton’s out in the shed. Jolene went to go talk to Master Fox, and I believe Kennedy’s out talking to the scarecrow.”

“Again?” Tiffany sighed.

“Well, she came back from Raquel and Blake’s grumbling about something, then went and weeded the garden like she was ripping choicer bits off something. She’d probably have talked to you, but you disappeared.” The redhead was too polite to add “Again”, though it hung very clearly in the air after the statement.

Tiffany shifted from one foot to the other, trying not to scuff her shoe like a schoolboy being scolded. Heidi could do disappointed like her Grandma Lacatelli and Tiffany never knew whether it was on purpose or not.

“Well, okay, so technically I disappeared again, but it was totally worth it!” Tiffany said. “I found a castle, well, sort of, it was once a castle–kinda in disrepair, not quite ruins. But I think it’s still structurally sound and…” She trailed off, noticing the look on Heidi’s face, that polite, I’m zoning out now while you ramble on about the baroque period and flying buttresses again look. “Meh, I’ll go find Kennedy. If she’s cussing out the scarecrow again, she probably needs to talk more than I do.”

I didn’t think I was that boring. Tiffany tried to avoid her shoulders slumping as a small sigh, relief–or something close enough to be kissing cousins, that came from behind her.

Yes, indeed, Kennedy was talking to the scarecrow–and it was worse than usual. She could hear her from here, but the real telling point was that Kennedy’s hair was down. She almost never had her hair down, not in a figurative sense, just a literal one. Even for stuff like bed, Kennedy did something with it was only when she was extremely annoyed that she’d take it down and never remember to put it back up.

“I’d like to see his medical license.” The doctor snarled at the vapidly grinning pumpkin in front of her. “I’m not doing all of this for my health, you know. I have lots of things I would rather be doing than bothering Master Carpenter’s beloved wife. She’s pregnant. I’m monitoring. Hovering? I’ll hover his fucking ass straight into next Tuesday. ‘Oh, but lady Kennedy’… grrr.”

Tiffany started up the path toward the small kitchen garden. Hopefully she could be better to listen than the scarecrow, but a glint of red caught her before she could interrupt the still ranting doctor. Emanuel.

“Emanuel, what finds you in the neighborhood?” Tiffany asked, intercepting the apothecary before he could interrupt Kennedy. Given the way those two got along, it would either be massively helpful–or explode like something out of a bad action flick.

“Um,” his blue eyes flicked past Tiffany to Kennedy. “Is there cobweb in your hair?”

“Huh?” she smoothed at the black strands. “Uh, maybe. I was out today and I found this castle not far from…” She trailed off noticing Emanuel’s eyes were back on Kennedy’s back. “I’d walk carefully around her. Heidi said she’d been out here for a while.” Tiffany said stepping back to ostensibly pick up a loose stick that had fallen to the ground. Emanuel’s eyes barely flashed to see that she wasn’t there anymore before he turned toward Kennedy who had apparently stopped ranting at the scarecrow.

Nothing like feeling superfluous. Tiffany thought as Kennedy stepped into the chunk of ground Tiffany had been occupying only a few moments before. And when she started talking, his attention was hanging on every word. She tried not to sigh as she watched her best friend and the apothecary. Something familiar, the bitter, strong knife of jealousy flashed across her stomach.

Check another person off the list of people who’ll wanna hear about the castle. She thought. But why should I mope? Tiffany pulled her chin up trying not to feel like the little kid who had just gotten chosen last at tag–even though she had been that kid for so long. Still, the sun was shining, she didn’t have anything to do with her afternoon, she could just sit and enjoy the spring day and think about the castle.

Hopefully it wasn’t one of those abandoned cause of the evil spirits places–it had stood empty for too long to be the plague, even the earliest plague victims–she could work around most of the other possible reasons the Shadowcrestians had abandoned it. But it wouldn’t work too well to have Sir Wesley making signs to ward off evil every step he took in the castle.

And there was some very interesting… Tiffany sighed as she noticed Ren walking up the slope toward the shed where Peyton undoubtedly was, even she couldn’t pretend to be really interested in what she had to say about the castle, not when everwhere she rested her eyes there was…

…someone else. Oh, the hell of being single in a house full of couples. And how fucking well she knew it. The guys in Shadowcrest at least had hope, they could imagine that there would be some girl who would come along…

… but she’d met all the guys in Shadowcrest and there wasn’t a one that set her heart a pittering. There were ones she liked. Ones who were interesting to have conversations with, and all of them were gorgeous, was Shadowcrest just a genetically freaky place prone to very good looking people or had the plague just skipped all the freakisly good looking ones?

But there wasn’t anyone who just made her lose it by walking into the room.

“Is something the matter, Lady Tiffany? You’re looking forlorn.” Tiffany tried not to jump as the King startled the hell out of her.

“Oh, just thinking.”


“Lord Tennyson.” Tiffany said. No need to admit to Lock that she was moping–after all she had a castle now…

… Or at least she could keep telling herself that.

“Pardon?” Lock’s deep kingly voice was confused and she looked up for a moment into his very blue eyes.

“Alfred, Lord Tennyson, he was a poet. In his poem Locksley Hall he said ‘In the Spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.’ Just noticing all of the–fancies.” She gestured around the yard where it seemed as if something had become bound and determined to kick her while she was down. Maybe she could just start talking about her castle, that’d bore everyone back to their chores, wouldn’t it?

“Ah, aye. I understand.” She noticed a blush starting across his cheeks and she turned to follow his gaze. If Ren and Peyton hadn’t just stopped kissing, they were surely about to start, or maybe were just taking a break from it.

Something familiar crossed Lock’s face, a mixture of wistful longing and sadness, with just a dash of hopelessness. When she turned back to him, he’d laced his long fingers together, clasping his hands to his chest and giving the most ridiculous grin like ever. He was such a dork. Just like a little brother, not that she had a little brother, but other people had cute little dorky adorable brothers. Not that anyone she’d known had one quite that… her thoughts trailed off as the king turned those so-very-blue eyes on her again.

“Is there cobweb on your sleeve?” He asked after a moment.

“Damn it!” She brushed furiously at one sleeve. Lock leaned toward her and elegantly lifted a bit off–the other sleeve of course. “Yeah. I-I was exploring a castle.” Tiffany paused.

“A castle?” Rather than sounding dull and uninterested, his eyes glazing over in another “Tiffany’s off about whatever-it-is-this-time”, Lock’s eyes looked intent–and interested? He leaned forward a little.

“Yeah, I’m not sure whose it was or whatever–it looks like it’s been empty for a long while, the stables are almost completely collapsed and there’s a hole in one wall, but it’s only an hours brisk walk that way.” She pointed.

“Oh, that would probably be the old Cooksley keep.” He said.

“So, was it abandoned because of spirits or goblins or rogue ninjas or what?” Tiffany asked, waiting for the other shoe to drop, because it inevitably would. Nothing like a lovely spring day to kill a buzz.

“No, I believe the family just died out and it was an old keep, no one in the cadet branch wanted to fix it up.” Lock said after a moment’s thought.

“Sweet! So there’s no reason I couldn’t fix it up if I wanted?” Tiffany asked, the king blinked very long eyelashes at her for a moment, his head cocking to one side.

“I… suppose not.” Lock said.”Why?”

“Well, everyone keeps commenting that your house just isn’t big enough. It was probably cool and great when you were just Lock the wizard of whatever, but you’re the king now. You need someplace to put people. We’re gonna have to start sitting out on your lawn to have meetings.” Tiffany bit her lip. “And–it’s a castle.” She admitted toward another bit of cobweb on her sleeve. What did she pick up a spider who was fucking with her somewhere?

“Ah! Well, I had thought that I would just–” he trailed off for a moment and Tiffany could feel the hope dying in her eyes. “I guess I don’t understand the importance of a castle.”

“I’ve always wanted to build one, lacking the man power to do that…” She stubbed a toe at the ground.

“Oh! Well, it certainly would have room. Perhaps the next time I can pull myself away from my–my nanny goats–we could go look at the keep.” Lock suggested. Tiffany’s eyes came up fast and then shifted toward where the couples around her stood lost in each others eyes.

“Well, your nanny goats don’t have you locked down now, why not now?” She hoped that he wouldn’t hear the desperation in her voice.

But if he did, he was more than enough a gentleman not to say it. He made an after you gesture and Tiffany hurried off toward the castle. Maybe I don’t have a Prince Charming, but at least I still have my castle. And maybe if she kept telling herself that–it’d be enough.

This entry was posted in Dolph, Emanuel, Heidi, Jolene, Kennedy, Lock, Peyton, Ren, Sawyer, Tiffany and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Underneath It All

  1. Morgaine2005 says:

    Aww, Tiffany is so cute. And so excited about her castle! I love how when most girls want to marry Prince Charming and live in a castle, Tiffany just wants to build one. I wonder how most of the Crestian guys will react to that?

    So it looks like everybody is coupled off — at least, except for Nessa and Tiffany. But Nessa doesn’t seem ready to be in any kind of relationship, and Tiffany … well, we shall see, won’t we?

    Did Blake actually imply that Kennedy was hovering? ‘Cause if so, oy. I’m surprised that the whole “repopulating Shadowcrest” thing didn’t get a whole lot harder on Blake’s end. Or was that somebody incredibly stupid, like Alistair, who implied that Kennedy was hovering?

    • Andavri says:

      Most of the Crestian guys are already a little *scratches head* about Tiffany. They’re not sure they understand why anyone, especially a girl would be so excited about something like walls and how tall they are, and how they stand and what you put on them and the placement of windows in them, etc. Not even in a sexist way like girls should be interested in babies, but in a “as long as the roof isn’t leaking and the walls are keeping out most of the drafts, why does anyone care about the house?” sort of way.

      No, Nessa’s not paired off with anyone, but we will see a lot of her next week when Jarrett’s finally released from bedrest. (And see what I’ve done to the beautiful house that you built for Jarrett, Morgaine.) As for Tiffany, we will see. Although it won’t be until some time next Season…

      And yes, Blake did actually imply that Kennedy was hovering. The midwife usually popped in to confirm someone was carrying and how far along they were then didn’t show up again unless she was sent for or when the baby was on it’s way. Kennedy’s watching Raquel’s pregnancy more like a modern doctor would with a moderate to high risk pregnancy.

      She hasn’t ripped off Blake’s ability to repopulate Shadowcrest, yet, but as you can see he’s really gotten on her nerves. Someone should probably take him aside and explain that if he doesn’t want this baby to be an only child, he should stop antagonizing the doctor.

      Thanks, Morgaine!

  2. jm.chandler says:

    Oh poor Tiffany… I feel for her. Nothing like a bunch of lovey dove-y couples to make you go bleck! and maybe just a smidgen wishful. I laughed at that shot with Lock acting like a dork. It’s nice to see his playful side since a lot of his scene bits tend to be serious, having to you know rebuild the kingdom and mediate any other issues. Also, the character make overs look great and I do hope that Tiffany finds her match, even if for now, she is content with building her castle. :)

    • Andavri says:

      Yeah. I don’t think it usually gets Tiffany down this much, being single, even surrounded by all the couples. But she’s also battling the double disappoint of finding “the coolest thing EVER!” and nobody really want to share her enthusiasm for it.

      Lock does have a good sense of humor and I like being able to show that he’s capable of levity, because you’re right, usually we see Lock when it’s the important stuff and not when he’s goofing off. Plus, in this particular case, he was kind of trying to cheer Tiffany up, because he could tell that she’s upset about something.

      Oh, eventually everyone gets married, even Jarrett, even Alistair. That’s kinda how this is going to work, so Tiffany will find someone. Will it be love everlasting or will it be the two cheeses standing alone is the question.

      Thanks, Miss Lili!

  3. Van says:

    Even Sawyer’s making progress? Pretty impressive, cast of Shadowcrest :)

    Good to see that at least Lock is interested in Tiffany’s ambitions. For all everyone else seemed to smile and nod about it, fixing up an old castle doesn’t sound boring at all.

    As for her not being coupled up… eh, she’ll find someone. And in spite of everything going on around her, I’m sure she’ll be able to keep a cool head until Mr. Right reveals himself.

    • Andavri says:

      Well, Sawyer’s making progress for now. Jolene’s still not sure and still fully intends to sacrifice herself noble when another pretty face comes along and Sawyer drops her like a yesterday’s garbage, which she’s sure will happen. But she made the mistake of admitting to herself that she cares for him, and that’s given him a little leeway. Also, she’s been trying to keep Sawyer from blaming himself about Jarrett (which he’s, yes, still doing. I never seem to have enough time in these episodes to show everything. >_<‘) and when he’s with her that’s the closest he is to back to normal.

      It’s not so much that everyone’s going to blow off the castle, because hey, I think castles are rather cool too, it’s more Tiffany can ramble on and on and on about the minute little details of a piece of architecture with the passion of someone who loves that sort of thing. (The reason she’s covered in so much cobweb is cause she was blithely walking through cobwebs while wandering the castle halls because she was busy looking at the carvings on the walls and the windows here and this that and the other.) Unfortunately that kind of passion can be confusing to the rest of them and Tiffany’s a little sensitive about it. But Lock’s willing to listen because he does the same thing about magic and his studies, and he’s used to the same sorts of expressions on his friends’ faces. (Well more confusion on Wesley’s, but same park at least.)

      It may suck for Tiffany to be single, but she’s not so desperate for romance that she’s going to go start a romance with Alistair or anything. She does have a good head on her shoulders.

      Thanks Van!

  4. Eva says:

    I’d say Lock would make a perfectly good prince charming …

    • Andavri says:

      Well, we have a vote for Lock, I see! He will make a perfectly good prince charming for someone, but who knows if it’ll be Tiffany. Well, okay, I know, but other than me. *smirks*

      Thanks Eva!

  5. Dominiquex says:

    You know, I wasn’t really sure about Lock’s undertones there… he almost seemed to be a bit smitten. Oh but do I know the glazed-over look! Happens all the time in my world – physiology, medical details, obscure evolutionary relationships, science fiction/fantasy/folklore, or Sims, take your pick! ;) But then I’d probably be interested in Tiffany’s architectural ramblings as well – I’m difficult to bore.

    So glad to see the chapter up, though. :) By the way, I had already seen and downloaded it at PBK, but I wanted to compliment you on how gorgeous your clothing is in-game here!

    • Andavri says:

      I know the glazed over looks too, I see them all the time when I try and talk about writing (and art, depending on the person I’m talking to.). As far as Lock being smitten, well, I’d say “Me to know, you to find out again” then you’d probably go “ah-ha!” like you knew.

      But I will say that at this time Lock is not actively pursuing a relationship with anyone. He’s got too much else on his mind.

      Thanks on the clothes. I worry. It’s just how I am, so I’m glad that nobody’s gone, hey! What did you do to your sims?!?

      Thanks, Dom!

  6. BonnieLaurel says:

    Just caught up on your blog – and I really like it! It’s a great concept and really fits in with the sims. I look forward to seeing this castle!

    • Andavri says:

      Thanks, BonnieLaurel!

      Technically, as I know you’ve seen the lookbook thread cause you commented on it, you’ve already sort of seen the castle. (It was originally built for shooting the lookbook and I decided to move it to my actual neighborhood cause I liked it. But you’ve only seen the inside walls of some of the rooms and those may change, so…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>