He waits at the front door anxiously. It’s been awhile since he had seen the triplets. Worries of being a bad father plague him—he didn’t want to be like his father. When he sees them walking up the pier towards his house, he rushes out the front door.
“Ahoy!” He yells. It sounded less dorky in his head. Elysia and Solaris continue to walk at a snail’s pace, but Luna takes off running towards him.
“Daddy!” She yelled.
He smiles as he kneels down, arms outstretched. He hadn’t realized how much she had grown. He wraps his arms around her and picked her up. “I missed you,” she says through a wide grin.
Elysia and Solaris looked less than excited to see him. Solaris was doubtful of any sort of change: he predicts that his father will spend this weekend with them, and then promptly forget about any sort of parental responsibility. Elysia, on the other hand, is annoyed because anytime she peers into her sister’s head, all she can ‘hear’ is an ongoing performance of “99 Bottles of Nectar on the Wall.” She has the suspicion that Luna was trying to keep something from her, and she is frustrated that it’s actually working.
“It’s raining,” he says.
“Well…let’s go inside, kiddos,” Luke says cheerily, “I’ve ordered pizza and it should get here soon.”
Pizza was Luke’s favorite food when he was a kid. His mom would order it when she was too tired to cook, which was quite often. The triplets are hesitant, though.
“Mom always makes sushi,” Solaris says. He likes routines, and sushi is routine in the Bee household. Polly even sends them to school with sushi lunches.
“Well, this is better than sushi,” Luke replies, “for one, it doesn’t include any raw fish.” The triplets look dubious. Luke sighs. When he asked Polly to bring the kids over, he was expecting it to go better.
“School’s fine,” Elysia interrupts him.
“And your mo—“
“Mom’s fine, too.” Small talk is too predictable for Elysia. Luke is quiet for a moment, internally debating his next move. He was counting on being the fun, hip parent. Silence quickly overtakes them.
“So…I have video games,” Luke finally says, “and two arcade machines.” This was his second-to-last resort, next to simply bribing them to like him. The girls perk up. They don’t have a game system, though many of their friends at school brag about the various gaming feats they’ve accomplished.
“I have homework,” Solaris says, “and I don’t want to put it off all weekend.” Luke raises his eyebrow—this can’t be his son.
“Well, come join us when you finish.”
Luna opts to play a fighting game with her father: Bloodinator 9000. The game quickly turns to playful trash-talking.
“You can’t whoop what you can’t catch, dingleberry,” Luna retorts. Her character swiftly jumps around the screen, avoiding Luke’s attacks.
“Dingleberry?! You’ll pay for that,” Luke vows while laughing.
Elysia soon grows bored of the arcade game. She sits on the couch and watches the bloodshed. Luna is handily beating Luke
She decides to listen to her father. He was easier to read, like an open book. Maybe more like a picture book, actually: his mind was a mess of images and emotions. Worry, regret, a small bit of hope. Risqué memories of her mom, a snarled tangle of red and an image of punching someone. Boring adult stuff, really. She turns her attention back to her sister.
“He’s letting you win,” Elysia sneers, “’cause he feels bad for you.”
“No, I’m not,” Luke frowns, “Lulu is kicking ass and taking names, and then kicking those names in the ass.” He was a bit embarrassed that he was losing to his daughter.
“Yeah, I kick ass!” Luna cheers. Luke wonders for a moment if he should hold back on the foul language, until he remembers Polly’s sailor-esque vocabulary.
Solaris wished they would be quieter. The periodic table wasn’t going to memorize itself.
“I bet I can beat Lulu,” Elysia declares. She grabs a controller and selects a character, a particularly breasty woman. The game counts down to the beginning of the match: 3…2…1…
“It’s called skillz, sister—and I got them,” Luna brags.
“Not fair,” Elysia protested, “I don’t know the rules! Play me again.” She is determined to win…
…Except she totally doesn’t. This time, Luna only took two seconds to kill her.
“How are you so good at this, Lulu?” Luke is incredulous
“Oh, father. There is a lot you don’t know about me,” Luna giggles. She means it as a joke, but it’s true. Elysia can feel the shift in emotions.
“Hey, let’s play again,” Elysia suggests, “this lady sucks. I wanna play someone else. Let me play your guy, Lulu.”
“No! We’re partners—he doesn’t want to play with you.”
“He’s a fictional character, Lulu,” Elysia rolls her eyes, “he doesn’t have feelings.”
“Says you,” Luna mutters.
Solaris, having given up on his homework, wanders into the living room and stares at the TV. He watches Luna’s character rip the spine out of Elysia’s character.
“I’m not quite sure mom would approve of this,” he says doubtfully.
“It’s just a game,” Luke shrugs, “I don’t think your mom would mind.”
Solaris picks up a controller and selects a character—a buff man in a zoot suit—and the group plays a free for all.
After the triplets go to bed, Luke settles in to watch some television. He’s had difficulty sleeping recently—at times, he’s unable to even close his eyes. His mind wanders, and he jumps a little when he notices Luna standing in the doorway.
“I can’t sleep. Can I watch TV with you?” Her voice is almost inaudible.
“Can I ask you something?”
“Why don’t you and mom get along?” she asks directly.
“Well...it’s complicated,” he stumbles. He could be honest: I knocked up your mom without ever knowing her. We didn’t know we were incompatible; we were just horny. I was jealous, and she always seemed like she was hiding something.
“Are you and mom ever going to get married?” Her voice sounded pleading.
“No,” he says quickly, “I’m sorry,” he adds, seeing her anguish.
She wraps her arms around him and begins crying.
“That’s not it,” she cries.
“I saw mom with another guy,” she sobs, “the other night. I woke up when I heard a bump and I went to find mom, but she wasn’t in her room so I went to living room and I saw her walking him to the door and I don’t know who he was but she was being much nicer to him than to you.” She hiccups pitifully, “he looks weird. I don’t like him.”
“Yeah, I think I know who you’re talking about….” Luke trails off. At the time, it’d felt awfully good to punch that guy in the face, but he’s embarrassed about his reaction now.
“Who is he?” Luna sniffles.
“I don’t think that’s important.” It’s a realization for him, not a reassurance for her.
“I could poison him” Luna mutters, “and then you and mom could get back together.” Luke laughs.
“That guy isn’t why we’re not together. Like I said, it’s complicated,” he replies.
“I could dump his body in the lake. Then the fish would eat it and destroy the evidence,” she turns her head away, hiding a grin.
“I don’t think I should be condoning this behavior,” he says, “And I don’t think the fish would eat his skeleton. Besides, I don’t want to have to visit you in jail. ”
“I would get away with it. No one would suspect a little girl…”
“I think it’s time for you to go to bed, you little psychopath.”
“If I’m a psychopath, should you be bossing me around?” she raises an eyebrow, trying to hold in a laugh. That’s like something Polly would say, he thinks. Her weird sense of humor was what first attracted him to her—that, and her odd, striking appearance. Almost inhuman… Luna is practically a clone of her mother.
“I have a big day planned tomorrow, so you need to get some sleep."
"Just let me watch TV with you for a little bit? Please?”
Luke sighs dramatically, “fiiiiiiine.”
Luna falls asleep five minutes later. Luke scoops her into his arms. She stirs a little as he carries her to the bedroom.
“I’ll talk to your mom,” Luke promises, “but I’d like to.”
Author’s Note: Ugh, there are so many mistakes in the backgrounds of the pictures. I hope you didn’t notice my shame, dear readers.
This chapter was really, ridiculously difficult for me to write for some reason and at some point I just gave up. THERE. IT’S DONE. WHATEVER.
I already have the screenshots for another forum post and another chapter, and I think those will be much easier for me to write.