Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Ch. 1.11: Try a Little Tenderness

While the triplets were staying at Luke’s loft, Crux invites Polaris to have dinner with him at his home. It’s a cool night, and clouds cast a hazy shadow over the desert. Crux’s house is two-stories and contemporary; Polaris is suitably impressed. The interior is largely monochromatic, with the occasional hint of color. Unseasonable rain drums against the many windows, producing an uneven tempo that echoes through the cavernous house.

“I didn’t know you knew how to cook,” Polaris is watching Crux carefully. He’s making a simple dish—autumn salad—but she’s had enough kitchen mishaps to make her cautious. Like her, he’s used to food replicators, not chopping boards and knives.

“I am learning. There is a wealth of information about food preparation at the library,” his reply is slow. He cuts deliberately, concentrating on the lettuce in front of him. “Why are you hovering behind me, Polaris? It is very distracting.”

“You’re using a sharp knife, so I’m supervising. You know, you should ask an adult for permission before you handle sharp objects.”

Crux ignores her comment. “I enjoy cutting vegetables. It is relaxing.” The knife makes hollow knocking noises as it hits the cutting board. Combined with the drumming of the rain, it creates an odd melody.

“Thanks for inviting me over and making dinner. You don’t have to do this—I could have made sushi for you. It’s something of a specialty of mine.” Crux doesn’t answer—he’s still slowly chopping vegetables. The silence makes Polaris anxious. Finally, Crux scoops the veggies into a bowl and mixes in the dressing.

“Finished,” he says with a smile, obviously proud of himself. He sets two plates on the table and gestures for Polaris to sit.

“Is it good?” he asks before taking a bite himself.

“Yes, it’s good, Crux,” she replies, “though I would like some salad with my vinaigrette.” Crux takes a bite and begins coughing—it’s too bitter. He had used too much dressing.

“The book made it seem quite easy,” he says, “but I suppose I underestimated the recipe.”

“It’s salad, Crux. It’s not rocket science. You chop up veggies, put ‘em in a bowl, and add a splash of vinaigrette.”

“Rocket science is easier than cooking for me, it seems. Also, how much is a ‘splash’? Can you quantify that?”

“It’s the liquid equivalent of a dash.”

“This is hopeless,” Crux sighs. 

Polaris laughs,“Like I said, it’s just a salad; it’s no huge deal.”

They finish eating, both of them cleaning their plates despite they overly-bitter salad. Crux collects the plates and quickly washes them while Polaris makes idle chit-chat. Mostly, she complains about the weather. Crux only seems to half-listen, though, much to Polaris’s annoyance.

“So you don’t seem very interested in my company—why did you invite me over?” Polaris asks pointedly as Crux sits back down at the table.

“Apologies—I know I have not been attentive. I invited you over because I would like to speak to you about something. It is something I have been thinking about a lot,” he admits, “perhaps that is why I have seemed so distant.”

“…am I in trouble? I always feel like I’m in trouble when someone says they want to talk.”

“Possibly because you are often in trouble. However, you are not in trouble this time.”

“Well then?”

“I wish to put the past behind us,” he says bluntly, “and I would like to court you.”

“You’re being awfully direct.”

“I feel I need to be direct. Indirectness has caused many problems. If I had been direct about my intentions, you never would have given a second look to that human with the stupid hair and the intelligence of an Australopithecus.”

“There’s no need to be nasty, Crux,” Polaris laughs.

“I am not being nasty. His hair is objectively ridiculous, and his intelligence is objectively low.”

“And how does one objectively measure those things?”

“I have based those conclusion on careful scientific observation and analysis,” Crux explains, “and you have evaded my proposal.”

Polaris smiles and pushes a stray piece of hair behind her ear. “Well…I could be convinced to let you ‘court’ me. Though I don’t understand why you would want to after I—“

“—no talk of the past, Polaris. That is one of the terms of this agreement,” Crux reminds her.

“Fine,” she sighs, “I agree to your very unromantic way of asking to date--I mean, court--me.”

“Excellent!” Crux places his hand on Polaris’. She feels lightening at his touch. “Perhaps you would like to watch television with me, then?”

“TV is your idea of courting?”

“You like television,” Crux points out, “besides, I thought you might like a private evening as opposed to going somewhere busy. I know your children often tire you out, and I would like to spend time with you alone.”

“TV it is then.”

Polaris quickly finds a cheesy horror movie on the TV. It takes place in a small, isolated cabin. The sexy, adolescent residents are tortured and murdered one by one, though the network censors all of the particularly gory parts.

“Is this the sort of movie you enjoy?” Crux seems dubious.

“Occasionally,” Polaris shrugs. Suddenly, the movie’s antagonist breaks down the cabin door with a hatchet. Crux jumps. “Mostly, I enjoy your reactions.”

Soon the movie ends, and an old sci-fi movie about an alien invasion begins. Polaris rests her head on Crux’s shoulder, cuddling up against him.

“Are you tired, Polaris?” His heart beats a little quicker.

“A little,” she says dreamily, “but I don’t want to go.” She nuzzles his shoulder. He wraps his arm around her. He feels like his heart might very well beat out of his chest.

The sci-fi movie proves to be quite boring as well as factually inaccurate and predictable. Soon, both Polaris and Crux are asleep, her head resting in his lap and his arm draped over her. The movie ends with a blare of patriotic trumpet music, indicating that the all-Simnation-heroes successfully thwarted the evil, foreign aliens. The sudden change in volume startles Crux.

“Wake up, Polaris,” Crux nudges her. She snaps up.

“Guess we fell asleep,” she yawns, “Ugh, it’s a long drive back to my house.”

“You could sleep here tonight,” Crux suggests, “I mean…I am not suggesting anything improper. You could spend the night since your children are at the…their father’s house. That way you do not need to be alone.” He’s worried about her being alone. There’s safety in numbers.

 “Yeah, that sounds good. Just don’t try anything funny,” she laughs nervously. It’s more a warning for herself than for him.

“Why would I attempt comedy?”

“Never mind.”


Polaris steps out of the bathroom. Crux had given her a clean shirt to wear, and it felt too small.“Thanks for the shirt,” she says, conscious of her bare legs. Suddenly she feels shy, like the whole world is watching her. She tugs at the hemline, pulling the shirt down a little.

“Oh, you are quite welcome,” Crux looks at her timidly, “I can sleep on the sofa if you would like. Or you could take Lily’s room. I am sure she would not mind; she said she would be out with Lyra all night.”

“Why are you blushing, Crux?” What a stupid question—as if she didn’t know the answer.

“Erm…I find you…charming. Quite charming, in fact.”

“Charming? What’s charming about me?” Polaris is beginning to feel confident again, confident enough to fish for compliments. He steps forward and gently grabs her hands, intertwining his fingers and hers.

“Many of your characteristics are charming,” he says softly, staring into her eyes, “your passion, for one. And your sense of humor, although it is quite inappropriate at times. You are adventurous and capricious. You can be tender one moment, and fiery another. It is an admirable quality.”

“Oh, Crux,” she expected a generic compliment, a platitude. She feels a wave of happiness, and then a crash of guilt, “You’re too good.”

“Is there such as thing?”

“You know what I mean. You don’t have to put up with me. You’ve put yourself in danger for me, all while I was knocking boots with another man. And every day I think the Commander will find me, and you, and the kids…”

“’Knocking boots?’” he cuts her off, “I have not heard that one before.”

“Copulating. Crux, about ninety percent of Simlish phrases are about sex. Also, I was talking, you jerk.”

“We have agreed not to discuss the past, Polaris. That is all behind us. Keep your back to the past, and your eyes on the future.” He leans forward and kisses her forehead.

She looks up at him: her future is standing right in front of her. She stands on her tiptoes and kisses him, gently at first but then hastily, clumsily. She is met with inexperience mixed with passion. His hands run down her shoulders to her waist, where they rest. Finally, he pulls away.

“I’m sorry,” she says quickly, “I don’t want to rush our…courting. Relationship. Whatever.”

“Do not apologize,” he says, “I will sleep on the sofa. You may take my bed”

“No,” she says quickly, “please, stay with me.” She pulls him to the bed.

Polaris curls up against him and in moments she is asleep. Crux, on the other hand, lies awake, eyes wide open. He has had trouble sleeping since he’s arrived in Lucky Palms; he has the same anxieties as Polaris—when will they encounter Eridanus again? Each night, he runs through different scenarios, figuring out how he’ll deal with every possible situation, computing dangers and causalities. The outlook is grim.

It proves to be tiring work, and he finally falls asleep. He dreams of Polaris.

Polaris awakens to the sounds of rain softly tapping against the window. Crux’s hand is on her waist, and he’s gazing at her.

“What are you doing, you creep?”

“Admiring you,” he replies, “You really are quite beautiful when you are not conscious.”

She flips over on to her side and glares at him. “Really, Crux?”

“Of course, you are even more stunning when you are conscious,” he smiles. His eyes unconsciously wander down her body.

“Did you just check me out?”

“What is ‘checking out’?”

“I mean, are you staring at me with sexual intent,” she rolls her eyes. Crux is silent for a moment.

“Yes,” he says softly.

“What?” Polaris is dumb-founded, “Crux, I was just jok—“

Crux grabs her by the waist and pulls her to him, sliding her beneath him. He leans over her and kisses her deeply, fervently. This time there’s only a hint of inexperience. She allows herself to get lost in the moment and returns his kisses until he suddenly halts.

“What is it?”

“I…well…I would like my shirt back,” he smiles. She sits up and he begins to unbutton it.

“We don’t have to do this. I don’t want to pressure you,” she says. It’s a half-lie: she doesn’t want to pressure him, but she’s perfectly happy with the direction they’re headed.

“While you are indeed a bad influence, you are not pressuring me.”

He slides her shirt off and begins kissing her again.  Polaris instinctively digs her claws into his back, but he doesn’t seem to notice or care. The couple doesn’t hear the front door slam, or the heavy footsteps approaching.

“I adore you, Polaris,” Crux says between quick kisses. Polaris hardly acknowledges the comment; she’s struggling to unfasten his pants.

“Crux, open the goddamn door!” Lyra slams her fist on the bedroom door, “We have a big fucking problem!”

Otis Redding--"Try a Little Tenderness"

Author’s Note: Characterization is really, really hard. It’s been hard getting back into the groove of things, but I finally feel like I’m getting back on track with the story. I re-read my last two chapters and cringed, so I hope I’m improving.

As always, thanks for reading.


  1. Oh! I am so glad of this update! I've missed Poly while you & she were on hiatus. And she truly is excellently sweet in Crux's shirt.

    1. Thank you so much! I appreciate your kind comment. <3 She really does look sweet in that shirt, though the clipping drives me nuts.

  2. Crux is a real smooth one when he wants to. Even when he complains about Lukes intelligence, when he himself can't even make a proper salad :)
    To bad the other two came interrupting them. That better be one big problem.

    1. Awwww, he can't make a salad but he's good at other things, I swear! Such as seducing Polaris!

      It better be a big problem indeed...

  3. I found it sweet how he tried to make salad for her. Crux shouldn't try cooking, its not his strong suit. Maybe he could study it more at the library.
    I think he's jealous of Luke... I don't know why though, at least he and Polly are the same species, unlike her and Luke. Sure, Luke and Polly have kids together, but that can easily be fixed ;)

    It better be a 'big f*cking problem' then! Way to ruin the mood Lyra and Lilly

    1. Yes, he is defintiely better suited for the library. And he is very jealous, though he hides it behind snarky remarks. I don't blame him for being jealous, even though logically he shouldn't be.

      Lyra and Lily are total cockblockers.

  4. Crux and Polly are very sweet together :) Just a shame their night/morning had to be spoiled at the end there...

    1. It truly is a shame--I've wanted so long for them to end up with each other!

      Thank you for reading! :D

  5. Jesus! Talk about coitus interruptus!

    1. Definitely! At least we know Polly won't get knocked up from this encounter.

      I was even going to use an interrupting pose, just to drive the point home, but it made me blush. ^^;;

    2. But, but...more babies! Crux and Polly babies. Yes please. :D

    3. Fiiiiiiiine. I'll see what I can do. ;)

  6. “Yeah, that sounds good. Just don’t try anything funny,”
    “Why would I attempt comedy?”
    “Never mind.” --- Best bit. I nearly died laughing at most of how Crux was phrasing things, but lololol that was the best :P

    Oh, they're so cute together! And Crux is so inexperianced and is so new to 'courting' and just aaaawwwww!!!

    But that ending has shocked me, and I forgot what else I wanted to say. *gulp* I think we know what the big fucking problem is. and I hope they can get through it!

    1. Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed that. I had more jokes like that, but I cut them (ex: "Fine, I'll accept your very unromantic proposal to date me." "Date you? But I already know your age," etc.).

      Mwahaha, my ending had the intended effect! The big fucking problem does seem obvious...

  7. Oh my damn. Pollux were so close...sooooo close.

    See there is "we have a problem" which doesn't soon too alarming, like something could be fixed in a jiffy; then there's "we have a big problem" which could take a while to fix...but when you throw in *fucking* it just got real!

    Sigh...I knew this chapter was just too good to be true to end peacefully lol :P

    I have a question...what does it mean when Lily covers her ears like that? Has that been explained before and I missed it? I'm really intrigued with that. Is it only when trouble is coming? Or am I over analyzing that and she's just covering her ears because Lyra was being loud?

    Crux tickles me with his words. He is as serious as a heart attack and that's what makes it more hilarious. If he had on suspenders and he pushed up bi-focal glasses on his face (that were so thick he could see people's thoughts) with his index finger as he talked, my heart would melt seriously. :P

    The way you write, makes it seem you have no trouble at all with characterization. In fact you make it look so easy and I know it is the total opposite.

    1. Yes, Pollux was incredibly close! I felt like such a tease while writing this. I cockblocked my sims.

      That's a good question--Lily is prone to becoming overwhelmed. We haven't seen much of her character, but she gets sensory overload sometimes, hence the covering her ears (I believe she was even posed like that a couple of times we saw her last). It doesn't help that Lyra is being loud. I imagine Lyra as always being at a 10, volume-wise.

      Crux is so much fun to write. I love thinking of the dorkiest ways to say things. I sometimes come up with one-liners before I even shoot chapters, and I have a few great Cruxian one-liners in store!

      Thank you so much! That's a really sweet compliment. It is very difficult for me and I get frustrated sometimes, but it's good to hear that it looks easy. :) <3 Thank you for reading!

  8. *sigh! That was just wonderful. Sweet and stiff, awkward and tender and endearing and then it melted into the most ooey gooey softness only to end with one heck of a cock block. And how appropriate were Lyra's choice of words with that too? ha! Awesome!

    1. Thank you! I felt like a real tease writing this. I also didn't realize the appropriateness of Lyra's words until I proofread this chapter--I was like, "oh, they have a big fucking *problem* AND a big *fucking* problem! :D" I'm clever/crass without even realizing it. ;)

      Thank you for reading! :D

  9. Awww, Polly and Crux are so adorably awkward together, lol They make a very sweet couple, and I am so happy that they are FINALLY together! It's a pity that they got interrupted, but that seems to be life. Just when things seem to be swinging your way, boom! Chaos happens, lol At least they still had their clothes on, no doing the mad scramble for clothes, haha

    I wonder what the big *problem* is? It could be anything really, even something human and benign that Lyra thinks is trouble, but turns out not to be. That would be funny, to be interrupted for a problem that wasn't really a problem, lol Or---the Commander (that is what he was called wasn't it? Curse my awful memory!) could have found them, or be really close. Either way, I can't wait to read what happens next! =)

    1. It has taken forever for them to get together! They've been meant for each other since the inception of the legacy, but I didn't realize it would take 11 chapters for them to hook up. They were

      Yes, he's the Commander, though Crux often calls him Eridanus. I'm thinking of making a cast of characters page for people like you and me who forget names (I am so bad about forgetting the names of secondary and tertiary characters ^^;;). And you make an excellent point--Lyra could be exaggerating about it being a big problem! The next chapter should be coming soon, so the mysterious problem will be revealed

      BTW, I'm currently catching up on your legacy--sorry I'm taking so long! I also keep trying to follow your blog and it won't let me.

  10. Awww, they were so close and then BAM! Interruption. Although I am very curious to find out what the interruption is. I love the consistent story-telling and constantly having something happen that you manage with your legacy. I struggle with that and feel bad when I have chapters where nothing really plot-important happens. ><;

    Your legacy is very inspiring and I'm happy I caught up with it! I'm looking forward to more ^^

    1. Wow, inspiring? :D Thank you! <3 More should be coming soon. I'm just having trouble editing the most recent chapter. The cause of the interruption will be explain soon.

      There's nothing wrong with chapters with no super-important plot-points. I might do more of those soon, because they provide a nice break. :D

  11. Aw, Polly looks so pretty, dressed up for Crux.

    huh. Cutting vegetables is relaxing? Who knew. And he wishes to court her, heehee. Gosh he's cute.

    Oh shit. I was totally caught up in their moment. He wants his shirt back, lol. Crux is learning. Now what's this big problem!? D:

    1. I actually find cutting veggies very relaxing! Maybe I'm taking out my frustrations on them.

      He really is learning. You already know what the big problem; it was really blown out of proportion.

  12. Crux really isn't the most spontaneous guy on the block, is he? He's quite dashing though. I just hope he won't be too boring for Polaris in the long run.

    No alien sex??

    1. No, he isn't spontaneous, but I think that may be good for Polly. Luke is spontaneous, and it didn't work out with them in the end.

      No alien sex! Not yet. I imagine it'd be freaky, though. ;)

  13. NNOOooo!! They must have babies! It better be a HUGE problem! ;P