Rémy had anticipated this day for a very long time. Finally all the children were old enough to justify taking them along on a scuba diving trip.
It almost felt like their first vacation to Isla Paradiso, Evelyn mused as she was preparing breakfast.
Except that now, in addition to Rémy, there were five wonderful children to enjoy her cooking!
For the first few days, Rémy steered the houseboat they had rented towards a new harbor every morning. He had missed his life of discovery and adventure and was trying to make up for lost time.
Out of all the children, Francis had been looking forward to this trip the most. His sea exploration themed bedroom, along with his love for adventure novels and his father's exciting tales had stirred his imagination. However, he soon found out that real boats weren't nearly as much fun as his bed back home...
For Francis' sake, they decided it would be best to keep the houseboat docked from now on.
So while Rémy explored the depths of the ocean...
Evelyn took the children to the beach.
Building sand castles was more Francis' speed. When Félix built one as well, much larger than his own and using sticks to strategically fortify the walls, it didn't take long until their two sand kingdoms declared an all-out war.
Seeing his brothers using little shells and rocks to form impressive armies, Freddie begged to join their game. However, their seemingly arbitrary rules for what was and what was not allowed were soon too much for him. Who ever said that his starfish spaceship could not flatten their castles with its laser beams?!
He then tried sunbathing like his sisters, but that got boring even more quickly!
Fred decided that their daddy was probably having the most fun right now and spent the rest of the day snorkeling in the shallow water.
Days of digging in the sand and splashing in the ocean flew by. Rémy even discovered a few uncharted islands and proudly showed the off to his family.
But all too soon for him, it was time to return to Starlight Shores. The children had to go back to school, and Evelyn had her gigs and social obligations. When she wasn't throwing parties, she visited the extended family to catch up.
As much as his daughter's unplanned pregnancy had worried him at first, Esteban now chatted excitedly about his delightful granddaughter Cora. His recent campaign had been successful and he was now the Vice President of Sim Nation! Yet, he remained living in his small bungalow in the suburbs with his wife, their daughter Rosalind and little Cora.
Evelyn, in turn, told her brother about what his nieces and nephews were up to. "Well, of course you know the girls are doing great - you probably see the huge billboard for their new movie right outside city hall every day. Twins Through Time? I'm sure you've heard of it," she bragged. "Francis joined the school newspaper as soon as he was old enough. I think they'll make him editor in chief when the current one graduates! And Félix... his teachers say he's a genius!" She paused for emphasis. "He loves science and is always conducting these little experiments. I don't know where he gets it from, but we're so very proud of him!"
There was considerably less to tell about the youngest of the bunch. All of his older siblings were so enthusiastic and serious about their particular passions, yet Freddie couldn't seem to keep his attention on anything for too long. For a day or two at a time he would be completely engrossed in something - he even tried snorkeling once more at home after the vacation - but he always lost his interest again as quickly as it had come.
Ah well, he is the youngest after all, Evelyn thought. Still almost a baby, really. There was plenty of time for him to decide what he wanted to do with his life.
Rémy had promised to take the kids to the new arcade if they finished their homework for the weekend immediately, so they all sat at the dining table together one Saturday morning.
"I don't even know if I want to go to the arcade," Fleur mumbled, scratching her head. "Faye and I have so little free time as it is... we really need to go shopping and -- didn't you want to work on your dorky new book, Frankie?"
"Stop calling me that, Fleur," Francis replied stony-faced. "I take the time to pronounce your name correctly, so please do me the same courtesy. Besides, it's the same amount of syllables anyway, so I don't know why you insist on--"
"Okay, dork," Fleur interrupted. "I'm just trying to help you out here, you know? Frank sounds so much..."
"... manlier than Francis," Faye finished her sister's thought.
"Will you guys stop it with that creepy twins-finishing-each-other's-sentence thing?" Francis' voice was raised to an agitated tone now. "It might be cute in your dumb chick flicks but--"
"Yay, the arcade!" Freddie piped up, effectively silencing his bickering siblings. He was a little slow on the uptake sometimes.
It did serve to calm the teenagers' raging tempers, however, and they resolved to finish their homework quickly.
A very business-savvy sim had bought up the resort right next to the Gooder Public School and built an arcade in its place. The construction site in the historic town center had been an eyesore for a while, but now that it was finished, people flocked there to check it out.
The place was HUGE and had everything the boys could have asked for! Félix tried his luck at the claw machine, while Francis worked out some frustrations with the Whack-A-Gnome.
Rémy and Freddie had a shoot-out at the arcade hoops. Seeing his son's focused expression, Rémy's heart gave a small leap. Maybe he had finally discovered something that little Freddie could excel at! Evelyn would be delighted!
Rémy immediately took his son to the real basketball court out back.
However, basketball turned out to be a lot less exciting for Freddie without the blinking lights and beeping scoreboard.
Sighing in disappointment, Rémy agreed go back inside and play skee ball instead.
The twins were considerably less impressed with the arcade and grabbed some low-fat Quadruple Choco Whippacchinos at the adjoining coffee shop. There weren't any cute boys here at all!
"Only geezers and geeks," Fleur complained, including their father and brothers in that statement.
As had become family tradition, Félix had been allowed to redecorate a room for himself when he became a child. His chosen theme was 'dinosaur jungle'.
When Freddie had grown too old to sleep in the nursery, he had insisted that he wanted to share a room with one of his brothers, just like his sisters shared their own room. Félix had been the one to give in and happily let his younger brother join his jungle exploration games.
However, when Freddie saw a car shaped bed on TV one day and declared it "AWESOME!", the little bamboo bunk beds had lost their appeal.
At his insistence, the new theme for the room soon became "race through the jungle, escaping the dinosaurs". Félix quietly capitulated. At least he had been allowed to choose a color for his new car shaped bed.
Félix was an agreeable little boy, overall.
Predictably, Freddie didn't do particularly well in any school subjects. One thing he was good at though was making friends! On his first day of school he met Todd Moltisanti, who had recently moved to Starlight Shores.
They bonded over a shared appreciation for beanie hats and were inseparable from there on.
Larissa Lack, a bold and spirited little girl, followed Fred home from school one day and they too became fast friends.
Both of Freddie's new companions were soon permanent fixtures around the Dutiel household.
They often stuck around overnight, usually uninvited. Todd took a particular interest in playing in the twins' room while they were out or sleeping...
Luckily for him, the twins were generally too preoccupied with other things to notice.
It turned out that school was a far better place to meet boys than the arcade. Shelton came home with Fleur one day, under the pretext of helping with her homework. The trampoline was so much more fun though!
Francis hadn't bothered to redecorate his room when reaching his teen years, even though his parents had offered it. He really didn't care too much about what his room looked like, as long as he had plenty of space to store his books. Besides, his Simlish teacher had said that keeping in touch with one's inner child helped make one's writing more personal and imaginative...
These days, he could spend hours on end holed up in his room, reading books cover to cover. It felt like only yesterday when his sisters would barge into his room every five minutes, demanding he play with them.
Francis wondered what they were up to right now...
Shutting his book, he decided to go and check.
When he found Fleur on the trampoline, giggling with one of those dumb jocks from school, Francis let his pent up teenage hormones get the better of him.
"What do you think you're doing groping my sister, you scumbag!" He accused.
"Dude, what the heck?!" Stepping off the trampoline, Fleur let out a breath that was still half a laugh. But when she saw her brother's indignant face, her giddiness subsided.
Instantly, Faye was by Fleur's side. The two of them were never far apart.
"Does Mom know you're messing around with this douche up here?" Francis taunted. "Maybe someone should go and tell her!"
"Francis," Faye hissed, stepping in to defend her sister. "What the hell is wrong with you?! You're acting like a moron!" She glanced at Fleur, who was busy smoothing things over with Shelton. "Just leave us alone, okay?"
"What are you going to do?! Share the doofus?"
"Ew! No!" Faye crinkled her nose in disgust. "And that's none of your business anyway! So shove off and get a book or whatever. Or better yet, get a girlfriend. Maybe that's why you're being such a jerk lately!"
Rémy and Evelyn were blissfully oblivious to the teenagers' squabbling. They had picked a particularly romantic ballad on the karaoke machine and were singing their hearts out, gazing deeply into each other's eyes.
Larissa, ever a silent red shadow around the house, stood watching them, unnoticed.
They really got into it!
Larissa thought they sucked.
Todd Moltisanti is a paper boy I saved from a life of servitude. I saw his little beanie and had to make him Fred's BFF! I had renamed him though. His face sort of reminded me of the character Christopher Moltisanti (played by Michael Imperioli) in The Sopranos. The first name Todd is in honor of Todd Chavez from Bojack Horseman, who also loves beanies. :)
Larissa Lack is Becky Lack's daughter. I did not put her in that outfit. Head to (almost) toe in eye killing red, she came home from school with Freddie one day. I knew I liked her right away.
I hope it's still not too obvious who the heir is. I do want to give all the kids some attention.
Do not play on a houseboat with celebrities, btw. For the entire vacation there were two paparazzi camping out on the already cramped thing. I reset them but they kept coming back. Ugh.