Chapter 13: Lani

I had to go to school, whether I was Finn and Benny’s real daughter or not. But the thought of going to a new place alone, full of people I didn’t know, made it hard to breathe.

I clutched a pillow to my chest, since my bear was all the way up in my room.

“Ah, to be that age again,” Benny said. He didn’t notice how upset I was.

“What’s wrong, Lani?” Finn asked. “Aren’t you excited to make new friends, learn new things?”

I didn’t need any new friends. I had Ellie. And maybe…maybe she could help me pretend. “I’m worried about Ellie,” I said sadly. “I don’t think she has many friends. I wonder if she’d like it if I went to her school…”

“That’s very sweet of you to worry about her,” Finn said, “but I don’t think you have to–”

I slid off the sofa and leaned against it, looking up at Finn. “It’s not easy for her to make new friends,” I insisted. “Because she’s different.” I didn’t have to pretend very hard to make tears fill my eyes. “And the other kids might be mean to her, but maybe they wouldn’t if she had a friend…”

“Lani…” Benny surprised me by following me off the couch, kneeling on the floor in front of me.

“Did I do something wrong?” Could he tell I was pretending? I thought Finn was better at that, not Benny. I was going to cry. I didn’t want to cry in front of Finn and Benny.

Benny shook his head. “Absolutely not,” he said. “You should be commended for putting your friend’s feelings first–you have the spirit of a Lyons butler. We’d be happy to send you to whatever overpriced private school old Hamlet Richardson thinks is good enough for his little girl, because she’s lucky to have a friend like you–and we’re lucky to have you for a daughter.”

A daughter. They kept using that word, like they meant it. “Thank you, Ben…Father.”

He stared at me–and then pulled me into a hug.

“No more mentioning money in front of our daughter, Benny. We’ve got plenty of it. And it’s not something you ever need to worry about–understand, Lani?”

“Yes, Dad…”

Even if I’d pretended just so I could go to school with Ellie, it was the right choice, in the end. I couldn’t imagine making it through school without her, either then or now.

I knew it was a bad thought, one unsuitable for both a friend and a Lyons butler, but I never had to worry about anyone staring at me when I was with her. Their eyes always went to Ellie first, or her chair, or sometimes her curly red hair–if they didn’t look away and pretend she didn’t exist.

But how could they pretend she wasn’t there? Ellie commanded every room she was in–or the entire world, if she wasn’t in a room at all. The only times she was quiet was when she needed my help…

I learned to anticipate when she needed help without her ever having to ask. She had Good Days, when her legs were strong enough to hold her weight, and Bad Days, when they wobbled alarmingly. Days tended to be worst in the summer, when temperatures rose to scorching levels and she wilted under the sun’s rays.

But today was mild, for Starlight Shores.

“You totes can go skating with everybody else,” Ellie said. “No skin off my gapped teeth, swear to Nimbus.”

We were on a field trip for our science class, something to teach us about velocity and momentum, but Ellie swore it was just because the teacher was tired of being stuck inside during nice Starlight Shores weather.

“I don’t want to,” I said, pushing her again. I didn’t have to pretend–I’d rather stay close to Ellie than be around so many classmates I’d never even talked to before. “I always have fun with you, Ellie.”

“At least plant your pancake-y bum on the other swing and swing with me, Lala,” she said.

And so we learned about velocity and momentum together…

We were in a world of our own. The only world I wanted to live in.

Afterwards, we met at the Smiling Daisy Cafe, like we often did after school. It was wheelchair accessible–and run by my aunt and uncle, so my cousins Anders and Caspian were almost always with us.

Anders was a straight-A student, so I couldn’t understand why Ellie didn’t like it when he helped her with her homework…

“If you could just hurry it up, that’d be great, tyvm,” Ellie said. “Places to be and all, you know how it is.”

“I could escort you to these places, if you like,” Anders said.

“Nooo, we would def not like, would we, Lala?”

Anders was my cousin, so I couldn’t be too rude to him. “We have a lot of…girl things to talk about? Privately?”

“Damn skippy we do,” Ellie said. “Not like I wear out my shoes or nothin’–all the more reason to talk about ‘em, since they last forever like Mytheme farts.” (Ellie liked to make up Voidcritter lore and got into a lot of edit battles on their wikis…)

Ellie didn’t particularly care about shoes, not unless they were limited edition Voidcritter sneakers, but Anders didn’t seem to know that, even though he should’ve.

Or maybe he was like me, and pretended when he had to. He was always very polite. “Very well, Ellie. I’ll be certain to have your assignment finished before you leave.” He was disappointed, though–I could tell that much.

I knew he liked Ellie. Ellie knew he liked her too, so why was she so flippant around him? I was too afraid to ask her, in case it made her think less of me.

Anders often came over to Ellie’s house–hers was the only house with both a ramp and an elevator, so we almost never went to mine–and Caspian came too, when he wasn’t busy with butler training.

He was younger than Anders and had more to learn–and everyone agreed that Anders was brilliant and naturally talented, even Ellie.

I wished Caspian didn’t come over to my house so much, though… He especially liked claiming Father’s time and attention, probably because of the butler connection.

Father always looked delighted to see him…and Caspian too, even though he had a butler father of his own.

I knew Father had always wanted a son, even if he tried to hide it…

I’d learned in Biology that Caspian was genetically Father’s child too, since he and Uncle Leopold were identical twins.

Why did Caspian have to come over so much? And why did he and Father always disappear into rooms alone and shut the door behind them?

I asked Dad once, and only once. I knew I didn’t have a right to, but I couldn’t help myself.

He hesitated before answering, which made my heart hurt. “Caspian has a lot of questions that Benny is uniquely qualified to answer,” he said at last. “I can’t say any more than that, Lani. I’m sorry.”

“I understand,” I lied, because I knew that’s what Dad would want to hear. But couldn’t Caspian save his butler questions for Uncle Leopold instead?

At least Caspian and I were almost even, because I knew Aunt Daisy had always wanted a daughter.

“Oooh, are those boys giving you enough to eat?” Aunt Daisy asked. “Ohmigosh, you’re all skin and bones.” She was convinced I’d never gotten enough to eat at the orphanage, even though it was years ago now, and had tried to make it up to me ever since. She was also terrified I’d starve to death in my vampire fathers’ care.

“I’m naturally skinny, Aunt Daisy,” I reminded her.

“I don’t believe in naturally skinny, sweetie,” Aunt Daisy said. “We’ll put some meat on those bones, one of these days. Eat up, and I’ll bring you dessert in a bit.”

Only Aunt Daisy believed that dessert naturally came after a snack…

“Can you be a pal and finish before I chug my root beer float?” Ellie asked Anders.

I did my best to keep the peace between my best friend and my cousin…

And then it was just Ellie and me, alone in her room.

“Wouldn’t it be just the greatest if we were in lesbians with each other?” Ellie asked suddenly.

I couldn’t really imagine it, but if it would make Ellie happy… “It would be,” I agreed.

“Seriously, it would be so rad if I could be like, sorry duder, not interested, I am the lezziest of beans along with my gf Lala, look elsewhere, tyvm.”

“…Do you like girls?” I asked. It wasn’t a sensitive subject, not with our fathers being who they were, but I felt like I should’ve known already if she did.

“I mean, kind of? Like, I’m way more comfortable around girls–or you, anyway–but I mean, looking at hot chicks is kind of like seeing the desserts your Auntie Dazzles makes, like dang those look gooood and hey maybe I’ll try a little nibble but I don’t want to rub them all over my body?” She was obviously thinking about it. “And then with some duders I’m like, hey, I’d let him squeeze my Bubalus and make bacon outta my Suintor, if you know what I mean?”

…I didn’t know. “I think so…?”

“I’d totes make out with you if you wanted though, wink wink, suggestive finger guns.”

“R-right now?” I stammered. “Is that what you want? Because I don’t mind…”

She laughed. “Your face says otherwise, Lala. Seriously, I love you to bits–but I wish you didn’t feel like you had to go along with whatever I wanna do, you know? You’re my bestie. No matter what. I’m not gonna ship you back to the orphanage if you piss me off, I swear.”

“I’m sorry…”

“Hey, bad joke, bad joke. Let’s talk about how much Anders sucks. Or whoever you think sucks. Sometimes everybody sucks, am I right?”

“I’m glad it’s just us,” I admitted. “It feels like Anders and Caspian are always with us now.” I hesitated. “Do you think Caspian likes you too…? He’s over at your house even more than mine.” I couldn’t imagine having brothers compete over me, but Ellie would probably find it amusing.

She started laughing–and then stopped when I didn’t join in. “…Seriously, Lala? You’re not messing with me right now?”

“Why would I be?”

She snorted. “Aw man, you better keep sticking with me, kid. Sometimes I dunno what you’d do without me.”

She wouldn’t explain why she thought my question was so funny, but I didn’t mind. Did Caspian have a crush on me? Was that what he talked to Father about? It was too strange to think about, since I considered him my cousin.

And like Ellie, I didn’t know what I’d do without her either.

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22 thoughts on “Chapter 13: Lani

  1. Omgggg! Lani is the CUTEST bean of all the beans ever! 😱
    Lookit her pigtails! Ahh, I love how they turned out, like preteens, or young teens!
    EXCELLENT JOB MY FRIEND 👏

    I’m glad Lani was able to manipulate a way to go to school with Ellie, it’s obvious that Lani needs Ellie, of course, but also there’s hints that Ellie needs Lani a bit too… I’m really glad they have each other, and I’m super excited about their friendship, and I love that Ellie is all “you don’t have to yes ma’am me boo” ❤️

    And these boys and their shenanigans! Anders, hurm, so patient and letting himself be a little abused… what’s up with THAT, boy?

    I have to wonder if Lani’s jealousy over Benny taking time to be there for Caspian is what’s making her think he always wanted a son, though; poor girl, she’ll figure it out in time ❤️

    Man I’m so here for this Lani / Ellie duo, I hope she gets to do all the experimenting, and I’m so happy for her that she (presumably) has an open minded (though overprotective) parent 😁

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ❤ ❤ I'm so happy you think Lani is one cute bean, I awww'd over child and teen her a lot. It's hard work to make Sims 4 teens actually look like younger teens and not YAs with no chins. *forever mad*

      That's a really good point about Ellie needing Lani btw–and you'll find out more from her PoV on Wednesday! Ellie and Lani are definitely one of my favorite relationships to write.

      LOL, Anders must be a masochist.

      Lani's jealousy is absolutely influencing her thoughts on Benny, maybe he wanted a son once but he loves having a daughter. And yes, she'll figure it out.

      ❤ ❤ ❤ Lots more Ellie and Lani to come! I love them aaaa.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Lani and Ellie are the best BFFAEs ❤️❤️❤️

    I liked seeing that little peek of manipulative Lani… not that she had any malicious intent, but I liked seeing her using her “pretending” for some selfish reasons 😈 And it paid off because she got even more time with her bestie ❤️

    I have a hunch about those meetings between Caspian and Benny and 😭❤️ Benny is a very loving and compassionate uncle ❤️❤️❤️ Hopefully Lani will figure out what’s going on soon.

    Poor lovesick Anders putting up with Ellie being so dismissive! Haha I wonder what she really thinks of him 🤔 Sounds like Ellie’s a little bi-curious, but definitely seems to be more into dudes. But is Anders one she’d rub all over her body and let squeeze her Bubalus? 🤔 I’m sure he hopes so 😂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree, Lani and Ellie are the best BFFAEs. 😉

      And sometimes we all use “pretending” for selfish reasons, right? And it did work out for both her and Ellie in the end, even if it might’ve prevented her from learning how to do things on her own.

      Probably a good hunch about those meetings. 😉 Maybe Lani would be more perceptive and understanding if she weren’t feeling threatened.

      Ellie seems to have zero patience for Anders. 😬 As for what she really thinks of him, guess you’ll have to wait until Wednesday…!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I love their friend dynamic! Ah, glad she adjusted to living with her parent. 🙂 (Have you noticed how my favourite ship and one of my other favourites are the parents of my current favourites? I noticed that a while ago..) Glad Binny were able to keep the friends together!

    How old are Ellie and Lani? I’m going to guess at about 13. They don’t look too old.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Aww, I love their friend dynamic too! ❤ I regretted not being able to show deeper female friendships in past gens–Gal and Daisy deserved more time together. That's funny last gens' favorites had your favorite kids!

      Ellie and Lani are *mrphaghelar* years old. (I try to avoid specifying ages, like with Sly, because of my funky timelines and character PoVs that aren't necessarily concurrent, LOL.) The height slider made them look much younger than the average teen though! Unfortunately, it also caused a ton of clipping issues and they sink into all the furniture. I wish height sliders were an in-game option, or that we at least had an option for short vs. tall teens. 😦

      Liked by 2 people

  4. And they’re all grown up! ❤ ❤ ❤

    Lani looks like an awkward teen but I have a hunch that she's gonna be a gorgeous YA!

    Ellie stole the show, yet again. She aged up well and it's good to see that her snark survived throughout the years!

    Daaamn, Daisy still lookin' good!

    And yeah, I think I have the same hunch about Caspian as Citizen does! 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lani looks really young as a teen, between the hair and the chubby cheeks!!

      For teen Ellie, I fell in love with those crazy Seasons sunglasses and converted the lenses to regular glasses instead. She had to have them, LOL. Ellie will undoubtedly be a snarky old lady too. 😉

      Leo would agree with you about Daisy, of course~

      Liked by 2 people

  5. OMG…all growed up Ellie is TOTES like her mama… 😉 LOVE!

    Lani…aww…poor baby always tries to be perfect. Even Ellie wants her to be herself and do what she wants. I wonder when she’ll break out of her shell. It’d be awesome if she had a bully who she allowed to bully her and then one day–BAM! She grows that backbone.

    Caspian…I wonder what Uncle Benny’s expertise is that only he can help with? Butler Quest? 😀

    And Ellie doesn’t like Anders. He’s SO CUTE! What a beautiful boy. But maybe too much like his father so that might irritate Ells. I adore him already.

    Lani is SO PRETTY! I’m shocked all the boys aren’t buzzing. But I guess in high school they’re too afraid to approach her. Boys don’t like to get rejected and Lani keeps to herself along with Ellie.

    Loved seeing BINNY! And both being such great dads! ❤

    Daisy…lol…gotta fatten everyone up! No skinny folks on her watch. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. LOL, who do you think Ellie’s mom is? I promise she’s just the spiritual daughter/sister of Wagonfruit’s sims!

      And Lani really does put a lot of pressure on herself to please everyone. How long can she keep it up? And if Lani ever had a bully, Ellie would mow them down with her wheelchair.

      Alas, ButlerQuest shut down between the time Benny played it and now, but maybe there’s a butler-themed spiritual successor.

      Anders looks a lot like Daisy/Saul with a vampire skin tone, so I love how he looks, LOL. He even has Grandpa Saul’s bump in his nose! But there’s a lot about him that seems to irritate Ellie…

      Lani does keep to herself and her BFFAE/Ellie is probably good at scaring boys away to protect Lani.

      And I love showing Binny as dads. ❤ They're feeding Lani plenty though, Daisy has no reason to worry just because they're both vampires.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Lover WitcHazard: Oh sweet sweet Lani there’s onoy two things Caspian and Benny can talk about one is their inferiority complex with their older perfect brothers and the other is Caspian is learning how to walk the path of the cinnamon roll!

    Dark WitcHazard: Ellie love this chick it’s obvious she knows Anders has a crush on her and she’s totally manipulating him I love it! Really Lani I love how she somehow makes everything about her it’s so adorable!

    Shipper WitcHazard: So long to Caspian’s hair but his new hair is just as cute! Love me some Daisy cameo Ofcourse she’s be a great auntie why wouldn’t she be! And for Anders and Ellie we’ll he is immortal so I guess he can be in it for the long haul! I totally Ship Ellie and Lani’s Friends for life Ship! Hehe Hope Lani doesn’t make things weird with Caspian other wise how will I see my potential new cinnamon roll!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. LOL, both Caspian and Benny do have “perfect” older brothers! You’ll find out more about Caspian’s relationship with Anders later

      Ellie absolutely is shamelessly taking advantage of Anders’ feelings for her. And Lani’s a bit stuck in her own head, whoops.

      BFFAEs Ellie x Lani is the real best ship, I agree. 😉 As for Caspian’s hair, it might grow later on…! I have so many long-haired dudes this gen, whoops.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Lani is sooo cute! She’s already manipulating to get her way! That’s a good skill to have! I adore her relationship with Ellie. I fear they are both using each other without realizing it. Not diminishing their friendship, it’s real, but Lani hides behind Ellie’s over the top behavior and Ellie needs her as a friend to feel normal because she doesn’t judge her. I love their dynamic.

    Anders and Caspian, so cute….wonder if Anders will eventually figure out how to gain Ellie’s affection. It’s so much like Leo and Daisy…

    I do wish Lani would start to feel more secure in her realtionships so she wouldn’t feel the need to,pretend to please. Hopefully Ellie will help her get over her fears..

    Ellie and Lani. BFFEAE! ❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ❤ ❤ We all employ a little manipulation from time to time, right? Especially when we're kids, LOL.

      And Ellie's chapter (on Wednesday!) will delve more into their dynamic. Lani may think she's the only one relying on someone in this relationship, but that may not be the case…

      LOL, Daisy was never as outright hostile as Ellie is to poor Anders. Good luck with that, buddy.

      And pretending just to please tends to have a habit of getting you in trouble in the end, so hopefully it's a habit Lani can kick…

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry!!

      As for the shoes, Ellie would actually need sturdy/comfortable shoes even more for balance reasons, like when she’s transferring in and out of her chair. Fancy, pretty shoes was actually one of the things my mom missed, but they just weren’t practical outside of special occasions. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Ahhhhhhhh, she finally started calling them Dads!! I’ve been waiting for that, it makes me so happy! They call her their daughter, I was wondering when she would finally feel comfortable enough. Huge step for our girl!

    Ellie Ellie Jelly Belly! I love her! I think she’s really good for Lani, and maybe they can come to terms with their paranormal existences together? Assuming my theories are correct, but again, I’m keeping those to myself for the minute. 😉

    One thing I love about Ellie is her unshakable confidence. It makes me happy to see that she doesn’t give any fucks about what anyone thinks about her and her “throne;” she owns whatever life throws at her, and uses a Voidcritter metaphor to help explain. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It took Lani a little while…but maybe, finally she’ll understand that they’re absolutely her parents no matter what.

      I love Ellie too. ❤ ❤ And your theories are probablyyy correct. 😉 You might get more hints in Ellie's chapter!

      Ellie and her Voidcritters, omg. (Also more of those next chapter, you'll understand when you get to them~)

      Liked by 1 person

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