It takes Ximena less then a day to realize just how brilliant Nero’s idea really was. She didn’t even realize they had a video game! ITS AWESOME.
River Wren is thrilled to have a cake for her birthday. Joven never got a cake!
It might just be in her head, but the sparkles seem all the more fabulous when they’re from blowing out the candles of a cake.
She really is quite lovely.
Smurfette cosplay version:
Unfortunately, Ximena misses her daughter’s birthday as she’s in the next room on the phone. When she returns she pretends nothing is wrong, but the second she’s turned around Nero spots her grief stricken face.
She doesn’t even try to be strong when Nero pulls her in for a hug, asking her whats wrong.
“He’s dead.” She manages in between sobs. “Ritchie just called... he found dad’s grave in his bedroom just now. He... he wants me to go say my goodbyes when I can. Nero I can’t believe it. I just talked to him the other day! He seemed so strong!”
“He’s your dad, Mena. He always looked strong to you. He had to protect you.”
Faith and Chale are buried next to each other in a corner of the family yard. His mother and father are buried a short hop away.
The next day is Saturday, and for once both kids have time to themselves. River plans on spending today learning to drive with Ximena while Joven is taking Joy out on the town.
(Alt dialouge: “Mommy and daddy love me more. I got cake!”)
Ximena very quickly realizes driving lessons are a horrible experience. Nero gave Joven his lessons. There’s no way they were this stressful.
“RIVER LOOK OUT FOR THAT TRUCK!”
“... Mom its a mile away. And we haven’t even left the driveway yet.”
“Oh... okay... I knew that.”
When Joy meets Joven at the theatre for their date, she seems a bit out of it. He’s not one to judge though and just ignores her ramblings about a movie (or maybe it was a book) she saw/read on killer vampires using their mind control on unsuspecting victims.
He doesn’t think she’s insane, but there is a possibility he supposes.
Nero finally finishes his art job and the family bank triples with the new load.
He gets back out just in time to see his favourite girls arriving for Ximena’s big celebration to be given the key to the city.
Her sister’s family is here as well. She’s sure the fact that her cases have arrested half the baddies in the city, thus making it easier for David to assume the top of his career path has nothing to do with their support.
The celebration is lovely. With Sunset Valley’s very own mayor in attendance.
“Thank you for your contribution to making Sunset Valley a safer place to live, Mrs. Starr.”
“It was a privlege, your honour.”
The key to the city was a great gift. But Nero’s gift has a lot more love behind it.
Its getting late by the time Joven and Joy wrap up their date.
He tries to go in for a kiss goodnight but instantly Joy moves away from him as if burned. “No! Please don’t touch me!”
“... Joy? Whats wrong?”
“I-I don’t know.” She lies. “But I think I should go. I’ll uh call you tomorrow, okay?”
Joven is left on his own, wondering what he did wrong. It wasn’t what he did, of course. Its what someone else did. Particularly: Joy’s older sister’s vampiric boyfriend.
Turns out Joy’s stories of vampire mind control isn’t a random rambling. Its just her subconscious trying to remember what Franco won’t let her.
She can only hope Joven will forgive her when the shit hits the fan and she’s forced to make up answers for the questions she herself asks.
I really wish I'd been able to characterize Joy more before this point, but things came up, and I didn't want to go too far in the alt family just incase I screwed something up in the same file (Like I'd clicked save instead of save as the first time. I didn't. But I was scared of it. And yes. I'm paranoid.).
Anyway, her traits crack me up. She's lucky, friendly, absent minded but also a genius. Her YA trait will hopefully be natural cook if I play my cards right.