She sighed. A fresh breeze that carried the ocean's scent gently ruffled her curls. Fred couldn't keep his eyes off of her as she gazed into the distance.
"Do you ever wish you could be somewhere else, Freddie?"
"I like it right here," he said, boldly taking her hand.
Her lips tasted faintly of strawberries.
When he arrived, she was already there, waiting for him.
He stopped in his stride for a moment, taking in this sight. She looked so beautiful - just like a princess from a fairy tale...
When she noticed Freddie watching her, she smiled.
"Hi," she said.
"I- I got you this," he stammered, clumsily reaching for her hand.
When he had finally managed to affix the corsage to her slender wrist, Fred stood still and kept hold of her for a moment.
"Should we go in?" she finally asked with a giggle.
And so they did.
"Shouldn't I take you home? Or I can call you a cab, if you like... I know your aunt is going to be mad if--"
"Please, not yet," She cut him off. "This evening has been so wonderful, Freddie. I don't want it to end yet."
"This room... It's so much like you." She looked around, smiling, until her eyes finally rested on Fred. "Let's stay together a little while longer," she whispered.
Her hair smells like cupcakes, Freddie thought as he watched her expression relax into one of contentment. And her skin is really soft.
And one thing led to another...
Freddie awoke with a start. Whoa, what a weird dream that had been! No, he was never going to mix bumbleleaf and buzzberry again... It had been a dream, right? He rubbed his aching head, trying to recall the details, when -- dammit! He was late!
He stumbled out of bed and toward the bathroom to get ready.
Work was pretty uneventful that day. A steady stream of commands kept Fred busy. It was all Go get me my coffee! and Stand over there! and For the love of Plumbob, don't push that button!! - just the usual stuff, really.
After the set was finally cleaned up, Fred hurried to get home.
His parents would be waiting for him already.
Over time, they had managed to settle into a pretty comfortable routine. Rémy and Evelyn watched the girls while Freddie was at work, and when he came back, they would start getting ready to go out.
"Do I look alright?" Evelyn asked for the umpteenth time, twisting and turning in front of the mirror to be able to scrutinize herself from every angle. As her hair grew steadily grayer, she had been getting more conscious about her appearance.
"You look beautiful, ma chère."
"You're not even looking up from your book!"
"Chérie," he smiled. Getting up from his chair had become increasingly difficult for Rémy, but at this moment he did it with vigor so he could pull his wife into his arms. "I don't need to see you to know that you are beautiful."
And so they went to make their usual rounds. Ronald and Kami had already grown into children, but now Fleur's newborn son Nelson was around to be cuddled by his grandmother. And of course, Faye was also pregnant again and due any day.
Next up were Félix and Zebulon. They were both moving up in their respective careers and there were even more good news to share!
The pair had recently gotten married and adopted an adorable little daughter, Thelma.
Things were running pretty smoothly for the Dutiel family.
Soon the twins would be old enough to start school, so daddy and granddaddy made the best of the time they had left to play with the two adorable toddlers.
"I had the strangest dream the other day," Freddie began, out of the blue. "I dreamt that Charity was back, kind of, but not really... it was so weird. And it made me think about how Grace and Gloria are growing up so quickly... it's been such a long time." He'd been tickling Grace while talking, but now he stopped to look at his father. "Do you think she'll ever come back?"
It was a rare occurrence for Freddie speak about something this serious, so Rémy immediately noted the gravity of the situation. As carefree as his youngest son seemed most of the time, he was still a kind-hearted sim going through a tough time.
Rémy took a deep breath.
"Fréderic, my son," he began, "life has not been fair to you or these girls. You have been saddled with a great responsibility at such a young age. The girls deserve to have a mother, and you deserve to have someone to share the joys of parenting with. We have tried and tried to locate the twins' mother, but as you know, we have been without success." He sighed.
"Maybe one day she will come back, and maybe she won't," Rémy continued. "What is important is that you focus on the things you do have in your life - not on the ones you cannot attain... That is not to say that you shouldn't pursue your dreams, because working hard to..." Rémy paused for a moment to clear his throat. He was beginning to stumble a bit over his own logic right here, and frantically tried to think of a good conclusion for his advice. It didn't matter. He'd lost Fred at 'responsibility'.
Rémy's next attempt at clearing his throat turned into a stifled cough. "Oh, I'm sorry." His words were punctuated by another cough, this time more violent. "I... I don't seem to be... feeling so well..."
Holding in further coughs with much effort, he gently placed Gloria on the floor. Freddie asked the question that the toddler seemed to pose with her big brown eyes, "Are you okay?"
"I... yes, I think so..." Another cough gave the lie to Rémy's words.
"Wait, let me help," Freddie started, but it was too late.
Evelyn arrived just in time to see her true love leave this world.
Mother and son both grieved heavily over this loss.
Evelyn could not bear to be far from Rémy, so his urn found its place in their formerly shared bedroom. A few of the countless treasures he had uncovered during his deep sea diving adventures adorned walls and shelves.
Even though the whole family dearly missed Rémy, life had to go on. The twins' birthday party had been planned for a long time, and Evelyn refused to cancel it, despite the somewhat somber mood.
She took comfort in the companionship of her children, and the promise of even more new grandchildren to come.
Freddie wondered what his young daughters might be wishing for as they blew out the candles with their grandmother's help. The loss of Fred's father had cut him deeply, but at least his mother was still around to keep things together.
Maybe they wished to have an awesome mom around like I do, he thought as he watched his daughters sit down with their big slices of cake.
But still, Charity was nowhere to be seen...
Wait, was that the doorbell?
"You!" Freddie couldn't believe it! His dream had been real! There she was, holding...
... a baby?!
A blue baby!
"Freddie..." she smiled wanly when she noticed him.
"You need to take him." Her eyes were full of despair when she looked back up at him. "Please!"
Fred could only gape at her.
"I'm sorry," she finally managed as she shoved the baby she was holding into his arms. "I'm so sorry."
She took off, magically floating towards a taxi that had been parked a little farther down the road.
Freddie, still in shock, was left to stare after her.
He had no idea how long he stood there.
"Sweetie, the girls are asking for you," Evelyn called as she came down the steps. "What are you doing out here? It's your daughters' party..."