Zahra didn’t give up inventing when she went back to work, though it did have to be put on the backburner. One weekend, she found herself out of scrap and headed to the junkyard to scavenge.
While she was working in a corner, she heard voices in the office.
“Hey, hon. We were looking for some privacy. I was hoping you’d remember who helped you buy that new car.”
It was Toya’s voice.
Then Harvey. “So the mayor appreciated our donation to her campaign…”
Zahra slipped out the back. This was definitely not her fight.
(I TOTALLY DID NOT STAGE THAT. While Zahra was at the junk yard, the Ursines walked in to the office. Toya talked to the only other person in the room, and she left. Then Harvey sat down at the desk, and they started talking. Awesome. Jess isn’t even Harvey’s kid, and I figured he was clean. Heh.)
She returned later that evening to find that Fabian had invited Hank over.
“He’s totally not over that thing with Pauline cheating on him,” Fabian whispered behind his hand. “I figured this would cheer him up.”
Shanni came home from work, and they played a game on the lawn.
During which time, Shanni and Hank got to talking.
Fabian couldn’t believe it. Shanni and Hank? Seriously?
He tried to head things off at the pass, but Hank didn’t appreciate his concern.
“I know it hurts that Pauline cheated on you–” Fabian began in his best sympathetic voice.
“Sort of like Zahra felt when you cheated on her?” Hank demanded. Fabian had to let it go.
Meanwhile, Charles pulled Zahra aside.
“I’m old enough to learn herbology,” he said. “I want to learn all you can teach me.”
Zahra started him off on helping with the harvest.
(I thought that Charles harvesting the huge garden would teach him a gardening skill, but no. I had to send him to a class after school later. Bah.)
Things got late, and Fabian and Zahra headed off to bed. They had to be up early to work the next day. But Hank lingered.
Shanni didn’t mind listening to him rant about Pauline. She really seemed to appreciate what he was saying.
And things went to the logical conclusion.
Hank lay beside Shanni and dreamed of Pauline.
In the morning, he felt terribly guilty.
“About last night –” he began awkwardly.
Shanni laughed. “You can tell her you got back at her,” she said. “I knew this was a fling thing. You never lied to me about how you felt about her.”
“Wow,” Hank said. “I didn’t expect you to be so understanding.”
She gave him a hug and felt good. It was the first time she’d ever been friends with an ex.
Later, Fabian ran into Pauline while on plain clothes patrol outside the theater.
They were old friends, and they got to talking.
“Hank and I broke up,” Pauline told him.
“I know,” Fabian said. “I think you should know that he and Shanni–“
“Oh, I know all about that,” Pauline said. “We got back together after that. Then we broke up again.”
(Hank and Pauline are SO VOLATILE in my game. As of this writing, they’ve given up on each other and are dating other people. I’m considering pollinating Pauline with Twallan’s mod because I don’t think either of them are going to manage to reproduce, and I’d like to have their genes around. It’s not at all unbelievable that they’d produce an illegitimate child, since they’ve gotten together and broken up at least a half-dozen times so far.)