Tag Archive | fabian

3.27 For Real

Fabian woke up in the morning, and Zahra wasn’t there. Trembling with panic, he dashed down the stairs to find Ada. His daughter was sleeping in her crib. Zahra was sleeping beside Adjo in Shanni’s old teenager bed. He let out a sigh of relief.

Zahra’s eyes snapped open. “You,” she said.

“I was afraid you’d…” Fabian began breathlessly. “I want you to know how sorry I am.”

She got up and made the bed, refusing to look at him. “You said that last night.” Then she headed to the shower.

“But if you would just calm down and –“

“LEAVE ME ALONE!” Zahra shouted.

Fabian left her alone.

(Note: Do not EVER tell a betrayed Sim to calm down.)

He stumbled into the kitchen. His wife was ready to kill him, and now he had to go to work and pretend everything was all right on about three hours of sleep. (For real. That fight lasted almost all night, and his energy bar is still orange. I thought maybe espresso would help, but the poor guy hit the crashing moodlet before the work day was over.)

The rest of the family drifted in for breakfast while he was drinking his chemical courage. He didn’t want to see any of them.

“Hi,” Shanni said softly as she sat down.

“Do you know what happened last night?” Fabian asked.

“Most of the neighborhood knows what happened last night.”

“Wonderful. Hey, Charles.”

“I don’t think I’m supposed to be talking to you,” Charles said and suddenly became absorbed in his homework. Fabian winced.

“Zahra’s the most important thing that has ever happened to me,” Fabian said. “I have to find a way to win her trust back. You’re her sister, Shanni. How do I convince her I’m for real?”

Shanni sighed. “I don’t really know what’s going on, and maybe it’s better if I don’t know for now. The rumors about you and Agnes have hit the salon, and they’re pretty bad. I won’t lie to you. Zahra’s not all that quick to forgive. Do what you can to make it right and show her that it won’t happen again. Give her some space, but not too much.”

“No problem,” Fabian said bitterly.

The drive to work was quiet and awkward.

“Heard you cheated on your wife,” his boss remarked. “Make sure you keep that kind of stuff out of your job.”

You’ve got to be kidding me.

When Fabian got home from work, Zahra was sitting on the back porch with Ada.

“I’m sowwwy,” Ada whimpered.

“Sorry!” Zahra said. “Sorry for what!”

“You and Daddy are mad!”

Zahra swept Ada into her arms. “We’re not mad at you,” she said fiercely. “Never at you.”

“She’s not a threat to you,” Fabian said softly. “She never was.”

Zahra cuddled Ada. “Why don’t you play in your room for a while. I’ll talk to Daddy out here.” When she’d closed the door to the children’s room behind her, she looked Fabian in the eyes. “OK, talk.”

“We’ve been seeing each other for years. It was a no-strings-attached thing. We knew we weren’t right for each other. I guess after you and I got together, we didn’t really stop to think that things needed to change. But once you were in the picture, we never… you know….”

“I don’t think I know anything,” Zahra said.

“We never had sex,” Fabian spit out. “We just talked.”

“I see.”

“Look, you can have the bed tonight. I’ll sleep on the sofa. I can give you all the space you need. But please don’t throw our marriage away. I’ll do anything I can to make this right.”

Zahra thought for a minute. “Thanks for the bed,” she said. “Ada needs to be fed and get ready to sleep. I’ll see you in the morning.”

Fabian watched her walk up the stairs, then put on a smile and turned into Ada’s room.

They had a beautiful daughter together. If there was nothing else, that had to be the tie that binds.

Zahra lay awake for a long time, wondering when it would be clear to her what to do.

(Seriously, according to the reputation page, Fabian and Agnes were a thing for *14 days*, but never got above romantic interest, so I didn’t know about it. As of this writing, more than a Sim-week in the future, she’s still listed as his longest relationship. I didn’t want to wrap this up in an, “It’s all a misunderstanding” storyline. Those get old. So, since the game thinks Fabian and Agnes were a thing, I’m saying they really were. But I figure that since he’d neither talked to nor seen Agnes since he came under my control, I decided it was safe to say he hadn’t actually committed infidelity. Though, it’s kind of amusing that the game has given him the cheater reputation for cheating on Agnes with Zahra, since Agnes came first, and he HAS obviously been fooling around with Zahra.)

BTW: I’m knocking out a few posts now because I’m going be gone for four days to a wedding. First air travel with the baby. Wish me luck!)

3.26 Trust

Fabian couldn’t be more delighted about Ada.

And Zahra couldn’t walk near him without getting a dose of what he thought of her.

He told everyone who would listen, over and over again, that he’d never been happier in his life.

Soon, it was Ada’s birthday

She grew into a vivacious little toddler with wisps of her father’s jet-black hair and the light green eyes — Susie’s light green eyes — that both parents shared.

Her first word was “play.”

But she meant something different than her parents assumed.

Fabian was working long hours as a beat cop, and even when he wasn’t working he was pulled off to work-related events like hangout time with Hank Goddard and the others at the diner. He spent a lot of time with his family, but as the long days of maternity leave crept on, Zahra began to feel his absence. When she wasn’t watching Ada, she was in the garden. Every day, she brought armloads of produce into town to sell to the farmer’s market.

It was there that she saw two people whispering to each other and casting her strange looks.

“What?” she demanded. “You’ve never seen fresh flame fruit before?”

“You’re Fabian Branch’s wife, aren’t you?” one of the asked.

“Sample,” she said, looking down her high-bridged Egyptian nose at them. “He took my name.”

“And I assume you’re all right with his… extracurricular activities?”

Zahra’s eye’s widened. “His what?”

She was waiting for Fabian when he came home from work.

“Agnes Crumplebottom! You’ve been seen with THE Agnes Crumplebottom? Behind my back!”

Fabian was dumbfounded. “Wha… huh? I what?”

“Don’t play stupid with me! You haven’t even been trying to hide it. People talk.”

Then it seemed to sink in.

“Oh my God, Zahra. I’m so sorry. It’s not how you think!”

“All right, then, how do I think, and how is it different?”

Fabian was silent.

Zahra’s throat caught. “Are you seeing her?”

“I’m so sorry,” he whispered. “I love you. I love Ada. I never meant to do anything to hurt you.”

Zahra couldn’t even cry. Her voice was flat when she answered. “And it never occurred to you that cheating on your wife would hurt your family.”

“I….” He just stopped, shaking his head. “I’m sorry.”

Fabian was exhausted from a hard day of work followed by a harder evening, and he fell asleep immediately. Zahra just stood there staring at him, unable to face being so physically close to the man she had trusted absolutely.

She went downstairs to find Ada.

What would become of them now? What kind of future could she possibly have with her beloved daughter’s father?

After a while, she couldn’t think anymore.

The big decisions would have to wait until tomorrow.

(Oooookay. So the way this runs out on the other side of the computer screen is like this:

Aww. Fabian and Zahra are so cute together. And it’s sweet that he’s been waiting for her all this time! Let’s look in his relationship bar. Oh, I guess he wasn’t just pining away. There’s a heart under Agnes Crumplebottom. Sly dog. I guess they had a thing before he got hitched.

Hmmm. Didn’t I read something about the Generations patch doing something with romantic reputation? Those leftover romantic interests can really screw up your PC characters’ marriage. I’m supposed to do something about it then. How do you get rid of a romantic interest? Things seem to be going fine, so I’ll just have him call her up one day and…


3.25 Welcome Ada

Quick aside.

Ever wonder what happened to Lancelot’s ex-girlfriend Malika Williams? Well, let’s see. She married Gordon Lacy and had two daughters, Lisette and Beatriz, who I can’t tell apart. She reached a fairly high rank in the criminal career (yeah, criminal), then retired when her beloved husband died. These days, she’s keeping herself fit by taking long jogs in the park and trying to nudge her daughters out of the house.

She did just fine without Lance. But that doesn’t mean she ever quite forgave him.

Back to the Samples, Zahra spent most of her maternity leave in the garden.

The science center prized people who would make anything grow. And besides, plants were easier to understand than people most of the time.

As evening fell, she felt an all-too-familiar pain in her abdomen.

Meanwhile, Fabian was out at the diner, hanging out with his partner Hank Goddard and half the rest of the police force.

Zahra didn’t complain. The garden in the evening was peaceful, and it seemed like as good a place as any to labor. So she stayed out amongst the trees and growing things and tried to breathe into her contractions. After the unpleasantness of pregnancy, the pains of childbirth were almost a relief.

Then Fabian got home, and all hell broke loose.

“You’re having a baby in the garden! With the plants!”

“Yes… ooof…. that’s the idea.”

“Shouldn’t I take you to the hospital or something?”

“No, I think I’m fine here.”

“Is there ANYTHING I can do?”

“Just don’t…. oooof…. get in my way.”

Then his freaking out alerted the whole household, and Mom and Dad came out to worry about her too.


Meanwhile, inside, Charles was confused.

“Hey, Uncle Adjo, is Mom ok? She sounds like she’s in pain!”

“Ummm… She’s going to be fine. Really. Why, um, don’t we go play until your brother or sister is born?”

So Adjo distracted his nephew.

Then, at 11:15 PM, Ada Lovelace Sample came into the world.

Mom and baby are doing fine.

Dad is still recovering.

(Finally this kid is born! So much is going on simultaneously. I need a smaller household. Whew. Also, sorry for all the super-dark pictures. I’ve never come up with a way to light the back yard that I like.

Also, seeing as I went through childbirth in the last year, I can only wish it were as easy and straightforward in real life.)

3.21 While We’re Doing Introductions

I don’t think Zahra was ever introduced properly, and she’s the heiress. Smack me with a wet noodle. So, without further ado:

Zahra Sample
Traits: Brave, Can’t Stand Art, Genius, Good, No Sense of Humor
Likes: Chinese Music, Fish and Chips, Turquoise
Lifetime Wish: Become a Creature-Robot Crossbreeder

I wasn’t exaggerating when I described her as a geek with no social skills. Though I’m a bit grumpy about the Genius trait. I pushed her toward mad science because I thought Logic would be used there, but apparently it’s Fishing, Gardening, and Handiness. So I suppose if I used Midlife Crisis to tinker with her traits, I’d be breaking the rules of the legacy more than I am now.

And her husbands:

Cycl0n3 Sw0rd Sample
Traits: Absent Minded, Computer Whiz, Couch Potato, Inappropriate, Genius
Likes: Electronica Music, Mac ‘n’ Cheese, Black
Lifetime Wish: Chess Legend

Fabian Branch Sample
Traits: Computer Whiz, Excitable, Friendly, Genius, Hates the Outdoors
Likes: Latin Music, Autumn Salad, Pink
Lifetime Wish: Forensic Specialist: Dynamic DNA Profiler

See what I mean about Cycl0n3 and Fabian? Zahra’s taste in men is pretty clear. Fabian appears here in an outfit I didn’t keep very long. I think he’s adorable in his police uniform, but he’s a really difficult Sim to find any other flattering attire for.

And that pretty much covers Generation 3.

3.17 Trials and Tribulations

When she’d been carrying Charles, Zahra wouldn’t have known she was pregnant if she hadn’t been as big as a whale. Cycl0n3 had made himself far sicker in anticipation than she’d felt herself.

That made this pregnancy a big, unpleasant surprise.

Over and over, she found herself running to the bathroom. She was sick constantly.

And that wasn’t the worst of it.

“Two weeks? I can’t go back to work for two weeks? You have GOT to be kidding! Can’t I just show up? Even if you don’t pay me?”

It was so beyond unfair. Between her unasked-for two days of honeymoon leave and her unasked-for maternity leave, which stacked on top, this child was going to be, well, a child before Zahra was allowed back to work. Zahra was crushed and frustrated. If she wanted to reach her lifetime ambition and reach the top of her career track, she should stop having babies.

(There’s some real-life feminist commentary in here about career and family balance. And, seriously, WTF? Why won’t the game let a character on maternity leave go back to work voluntarily? If you’re very far up on the promotion ladder, four paid working days off translates to a LOT of Sim-calendar time. This is a serious women-only career hit.)

Fabian was overwhelmed and delighted at the prospect of being a father so soon.

And he did the best he could to make it easier on Zahra.

But she felt like crap, and most of the time she couldn’t even handle being touched. Their sex life was a memory.

At least she could take her frustration out on the house and build a few skills that would help her when she finally got back to work.

Fabian, meanwhile, stayed out of Zahra’s way. And he started really paying a lot of attention to the maid, Kate Pistachio. After a couple of days of watching her as she moved around, cleaning their house, he approached her and asked her to meet him downtown.

Um, Fabian, does your WIFE know you’re doing this? The one who’s pregnant with your child?

They talked long into the evening. Fabian really turned up the charm, and soon Kate was telling him her life story.

Which he wrote down for his police report. Turned out their house was being cleaned by a Kleptomaniac with a list of customer complaints as long as your arm. He let her know he’d be watching her. In the nicest way possible.


3.16 Meet the Family

Fabian Branch Sample began his first day of married life by making breakfast.

Mac ‘n’ cheese. Well, it was a great breakfast when he was a bachelor.

Zahra, not the most inspired of communicators, pretty much broke the news to her family by letting them watch the new state of affairs. They were surprised but supportive.

“So, dear, it looks like you got married last night.”

“Yeah. It seemed like the thing to do.”

“He seems like a nice man, dear, but he doesn’t bring in much of a salary. Do you think we can afford it?”


(Fabian did bring in about 1100 simonleons, which I think is the lowest amount any spouse has brought into the family so far. Law enforcement clearly does not pay.)

The men were even lower key.

“You gonna make my daughter happy?”


“Thought so.”

(The men spontaneously bonding in their underwear was pretty awesome.)

Fabian and Adjo were already pals for reasons only the Sims game was tracking. I have to guess it’s mostly because they’re both people people, so they could hardly bump into each other in any context without becoming friends. Shanni didn’t have a lot of use for men that she wasn’t staking a claim on, and Fabian really wasn’t her type anyway, but they coexisted all right.

He pledged to help with Charles, but mostly what he did was take over other household responsibilities so that Zahra could spend more time with him.

He also convinced her that subtle pink accents in their bedroom was not only manly, but tasteful. Zahra, who didn’t pay much attention to aesthetics anyway, let him have his way.

(Yes, his favorite color is pink. I notice you can see him telling her this on their park date when they were teens. Fabian is such a Sensitive New Age Guy. I have vivid memories of adding pink accents to their bedroom and even photographing it, and I can neither find the photographs nor evidence of the pink in later photos. Did I do this on a version of the game that crashed on me? The world may never know. I’m at least two weeks beyond this, Sim-time, and I’ll have re-redecorate their bedroom.)

Things got back to routine in the Sample household, and in due course, Zahra and Fabian had happy news to report.

3.15 Loving Life

Fabian worked long hours, but he spent as much time as he could at the Sample house, talking to Zahra. They filled the air with talk about computers, new discoveries at the science institute, and stars a million light years away. He was a beat cop now, but his dream was to get back behind a computer keyboard and become a forensics expert. Zahra should have realized that he’d never have moved this far away from science without a plan.

But it didn’t take a rocket scientist, or more effectively, a social engineer to figure out what he wanted.

Fabian had a gift for gab. He knew just what to say and how to say it, and he was even better at NOT saying things in a way that made them perfectly understood. Zahra’s husband was not just dead. He was dead twice over. She could let her life end here too, or she could start building something new. He’d rather if she was going to start something new, she did it with him.

But did she want something new with anyone? Zahra had spent her whole life loving Cycl0n3. She’d never expected to find herself single.

Things started to get out of hand.

Then they got really out of hand.

Was this what she really wanted? It certainly felt good.

Zahra spent a lot of time alone, thinking about what she wanted her life to be, and eventually things fell into place. It really was about choosing life over death. She wanted to love life again. And Fabian’s devotion had always been unwavering. If there was anyone in her life she could trust, it was him.

Zahra hated parties and crowds, fancy dresses and pretty jewelry. When she knew what she wanted, she invited Fabian to meet her alone at the beach at dusk.

There, she asked him to start a new life with her.

“I thought you’d never ask,” he said with a twinkle in his eyes.

And so, still frightened, Zahra stepped into the unknown.

(Woo. I’d always thought that Fabian would make a good alternate mate for Zahra, but when I got a look at his traits, he’s like her perfect man. He’s just like Cycl0n3, except with Charisma and social skills.)

3.12 True Friends

One evening, as Zahra was weeding the garden, her cell phone rang. It was Fabian Branch.

“I know this sounds dorky,” he said, “but I’ve been really getting into cooking. I know your mom used to grow this amazing stuff in your back yard. Would you be willing to let me have some of the harvest? I can make it worth your while. Wait, I didn’t mean that how it sounded.”

Zahra hung up and smiled. It was a ploy, of course, to get her mind off things. But it was a kind ploy.

After work the next day, she dropped by Fabian’s house. He’d moved out from the huge den of the Branch clan and was living with a couple of roommates. A policeman’s salary barely made ends meet.

Fabian was delighted to see her and asked all sorts of questions about work. They had more to talk about than Zahra had realized. Fabian was a beat cop now, but he was studying to be a Forensic Analyst. He was up-to-date on all the scientific and computational advances. Zahra should have realized he wouldn’t be able to stay away from science; they’d grown up looking at the stars and speculating about what might live among them.

Eventually, Fabian admitted his real purpose.

“I was worried about you,” he said, scuffing his foot in the grass. “I know you have a big family and lots of support, but I didn’t want you to feel alone.”

Zahra was touched. Sometimes you could be alone in a crowd, and sometimes it could be hardest to talk to people you saw every day. And Zahra had never beaten around the bush about her and Cylc0n3, weird as the relationship might have seemed. Fabian was one guy who would never be phased by the world of the weird.

“Maybe we should hang out more in person,” she suggested. “Would you like to come by my house this week?”

Fabian’s eyes lit up. Zahra hoped he realized she meant to stay friends.

(Heh. I’ve never pushed these two together. In fact, they’re still friends because Fabian calls her autonomously. Right after Cycl0n3 “died,” Zahra got a bona-fide gardener’s opportunity to bring him some produce to cook with.)