Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Dusty Plains: A Crossover Rainbowcy

Generation 3, Chapter 6 

It took nearly two months of shadow flights to rack of the necessary hours to be a fully certified flight attendant with SimAm Airlines. Not that I got an actual certificate or anything, just a permanent crew assignment.

In these two months, it became apparent that while I loved my job and traveling, my job did not fit will in the Dust household anymore. Sapphy grew more despondent with each trip and refused to go to school when I returned to "make up for lost time." Meanwhile, the twins, who were young and unaware of the concept of jet-lag, were loud and made daytime sleep impossible. 

So, after a lot of debate and talking it over with Cobalt and Lotus - I moved out into my own place.

Sapphy was none to pleased with this development and regressed further - at least that's what the grief counselor we took her to said was happening. Even the grief counselor had agreed that my moving out was for the best in the long run as it would offer Sapphy a chance to gain back some stability.

I hope he's right. 

In the mean time, I made sure there's a room for Sapphy and the twins to visit any time they want. And an ice cream maker - because ice cream makes everything better. 


All the nerves of my first flight returned for my first day assigned to my new crew. The last thing I wanted was to be trapped thirty thousand feet in the air with people I couldn't get along with!

As soon as I met Claret, however, I knew my fears would not be realized. She was charming and had a wicked sense of humor that I knew would make the longer flights more bearable. We were in the middle of a laugh, prepping for a flight to France, when a gentleman pushed beyond the curtain. As we hadn't loaded passengers yet, I could only assume it was one of the pilots.

"Ladies," he said, pleasantly enough. He caught my eye and then quirked his head. "I don't believe we've met."

"Captain Killarney, this is our new attendant, Lazuli Dust," Claret said, still smiling. "Zuli, this is our pilot and captain, Felix Killarney."

"Dust...that sounds familiar...." As he paused to think of every Dust he may have ever known, I tried to calm the new surge of butterflies. "Any relation to the actress?" He asked, almost jokingly, as he began to prepare  himself a cup of coffee.

"Yes, actually," I said, hiding a small smile as his eyes grew wide. "She was my mother."

The captain put down his mug and turned back, surveying me once more. "Yes, I think I see the resemblance..."

"Unlikely, skin tone aside - I find I look more like my father," I smiled and quickly pulled out a stack of blankets before he could respond. As the identity of our biological father was a closely guarded secret, even now, I knew he'd be struggling to figure it out for most of the flight. 

Or at least I hoped he would.

He passed me on his way to the cockpit, but said nothing else. Claret waited until the door clicked behind him before running up to me grinning. "You have all confused," she said giddily.

"Perhaps not the best state for the pilot," I said as I tossed the last blanket into the last seat.

"Never you mind that, it's rather amusing to see him unsure of someone. But come on, passengers will be," she said, as the first passengers crossed through the door, expecting our cheery greeting.

"Welcome aboard!" I said, with a large smile. "May I show you to your seats?" I checked both their boarding passes quickly. "Mr and Mrs. Chiffon?"

"Oh we're siblings!" The young man said quickly, his face flushing a bit at the mistake.

"Of course, my apologies...are you alright?" The young lady looked particularly pale. She covered her mouth and made no attempt to respond. Oh goodness, she was one of those.

It wasn't uncommon to have an upset tummy or two on a flight - there's a reason we have a large supply of airsick bags stocked on every flight. I made sure to grab a couple extras to tuck into their seats, just in case.

At some point during the flight, the queasy, pink Chiffon had locked herself away in the lavatory. At first, I thought nothing of it but as the minutes ticked by and more and more passengers were being redirected to the bathrooms further away, I knew I had to step in. 

The first knock was met by an unpleasant groan. The second attempt was met with the all too familiar sound of throwing up. On the third attempt, she cracked the door for a moment - and then slammed it shut once more.

"Ms. there something I can help you with?" I called through the door. 

No response.

"We have some ginger ale - I've found it helps..."

Still nothing.

I looked toward Claret hoping for help but she was busy serving the first class passengers a light snack. It was going to be a very long flight if we couldn't get the woman out of the bathroom.

As I was having no luck coaxing the poor woman out myself and my relief was no where to be found, I headed back up the aisle in search of her brother. Perhaps he could convince her the flight would be more comfortable in her seat. "Excuse me," I said, lightly shaking the young man from his slumber.

After explaining the situation, I watched as he went back to extract his sister - and the resulting disaster after she lost what little remained in her stomach all over his shirt. As he attempted to clean up the mess on his clothes, I helped Tilly Chiffon back to her seat and offered her a blanket and a bit of ginger ale. She took the first willingly and the second somewhat reluctantly. She then slept through much of the rest of the flight to France.


Claret and I mustered up our best waves as the passengers began to leave the plane. International flights were always particularly long and exhausting - or that's what I'd been told. This was only my second one and the first had been relatively painless as it merely crossed a landed border instead of an ocean.

On the up side, due to regulations, international flights also equated to longer layovers for the flight crew to get some rest. We had three full days in France before our return trip and I hoped to make the most of it.

"So, what are your plans?" Claret asked, linking her arm in mine as we waved to the last of the passengers. "Sight seeing I assume?"

"Actually, I want to look up a...a friend," I said, my mind wandering to Monte. "His family owns a cafe, I thought I'd go there..."

"Well, as your friend, might I suggest you freshen up and change at the hotel first?" She said with a wink, clearly reading more meaning in my words than I'd intended to convey. Completely at ease and seemingly familiar with the area, Claret served as my guide to the hotel where 'they always put us up'. Our shared room was nice enough - as hotel rooms go. The beds looked a little uncomfortable but I'd grown accustom to that part of the job anyway.

"If you need me, I'm going to do a little shopping in the market," Claret said. Though the offer was light, like if I needed her help finding my way to the hotel or with some translation, I was sure she was offering more than that. I hadn't explained my past to her at all but she seemed to be intuitive.

"Right, thanks..." I said, trying to ignore the feeling of dread in my stomach. What if her intuition that I'd need her was right? It had been over nine months since I'd seen Monte and our communication had dwindled to almost nothing in that time. It became clear almost from the start that his trip to France was permanent so I'd seen no real need to continue our farce of a relationship and simply stopped emailing, though I responded if he reached out first.

I stood just inside the door of the cafe and surveyed the space silently. A young woman, probably about my age, was scrubbing the counter - though it looked spotless already. As there were no customers, I imagine she did it out of boredom.

I started to turn away, thinking this must be the wrong cafe, or maybe just trying to avoid a really bad idea, when I heard a baby's cry coming from a room upstairs. "Oh!" The girl had looked up toward the stairs and seen me. "Bonjour!"

"Bonjour," I said awkwardly. "Um...if you need to...." I pointed up the stairs, toward the cry.

"No, no," she insisted, tossing the sponge into some hidden compartment behind the counter. "Amour, le bébé!" she called into the kitchen behind her. Though no one emerged from the kitchen, she returned her attention to me, "do you need something?" Her French accent was thick but her English was perfect.

"Actually, I think I have the wrong place..." I said. "I'm looking for a friend who works at a cafe just like this...I thought it was this one but I think..." I glanced around helplessly looking for the words.

"Ah! We will ask mi amour, my husband! His family has owned dis cafe for many many years - he will know your friend I think," she was already poking her head around the curtain when I started to protest. Surely her husband couldn't know every cafe employee in the entire countryside! "Oh come now silly!" she said to someone, a light giggle in her voice.

Before I could stop it from happening - even if I'd known it was about to - he stepped out from the kitchen. His eyes were down, as he wiped his hands on his apron but I knew. This was not the wrong cafe at all.

"Zuli!" Monte looked nervous, excited and horrify all at once.

"Oh bravo! See! Mi amour provides the answer after all!" The girl was oblivious to her husband's discomfort and seemed only excited to have found my missing "friend" so easily. "Come, come - you must sit and talk!" she grabbed Monte's arm and dragged him around the counter, plopping him in a seat. She was not so forceful with me, thankfully, but it was obvious I wasn't going to be able to leave right now without causing a scene.

"Ami - le bébé," Monte said, getting up as the baby let out another cry from upstairs.

"I vill get him, you sit!" she pushed him back into the chair and disappeared up the stairs.

"'re married now...." I said. "That is new right? I mean, you weren't married the whole time or anything right?"

"Of course it is new Zuzu..."

"No! No no no...there will be no Zuzu-ing me." I said quickly. I was feeling hurt and angry - which may not be completely fair seeing as I'd given him up for lost but it had only been nine months! "Congratulations," I mumbled under my breath.

"Zuli - it's...not...I's complicated...please don't be angry."

"Well that made exactly no sense," I muttered. "Look, I...I just wanted to stop in since I was in the area..."

"You were just in France?" Monte asked incredulously. 

"Actually yes!" I said defensively. As if I'd come crawling around the world to find him! "For work - I'm a flight attendant."

The bubbly wife returned then, a small child tucked into her arm. Though he had the pinkish hue of the woman, his hair was disturbingly familiar.

"Oh..." I looked from the baby - more like a toddler - to Monte and back again. The similarities didn't end with the hair color. Recovering myself, I plastered a fake smile on my face and looked up and Ami, "how old is he?"

"One year next week!" she responded with the large smile of a proud parent. "Seems I just had him yesterday though! They grow so fast..."

"A year..." I looked toward Monte again and found him hiding his face in his hands. The math ran through my head quickly...she'd had the child about three months before Monte left.

Right around the time he told me he had to return to France after graduation. And nine months before that...he'd have been in France.

By the time all this had processed, Ami and the child had left, though I could hear them in the other room. "Zuli please...." Monte said as I stood to leave.

I turned back around and faced him, "I don't suppose you can tell me the baby is your nephew or cousin can you?" He didn't have to respond, his face told me everything.

"Zuli I didn't know she was pregnant until I got that letter...I had no idea or I wouldn't have..." Monte was trying to stop me from leaving, reaching out for my arm but I yanked it away.

"But you knew at Prom. You knew at the airport. You knew every time we talked on the phone or emailed. You knew all those times you'd fathered a son and didn't think I should know..."

He hung his head and shrugged, somewhat pathetically. 

"Right. Goodbye Monte."


I tracked Claret down in the book shop across the square from the cafe. She was flipping through a large, old tome of some sort when the little bell above the door announced my presence. Without a word, she read my face and dropped the book on the table then enveloped me in a tight hug. 

"Thanks," I said quietly. " I just...I mean..." I laughed at my inability to find words and shook my head. "I need to go to the bathroom," I said finally. "Excuse me..." I motioned to the store clerk. "Donde esta el bano?" Beside me Claret began snickering and the clerk looked horrified.

"That's Spanish...bad Spanish..." Claret explained between laughing fits. Then she turned to the clerk and asked, in perfect French, where to find a bathroom. "Upstairs, turn left, first door to the right," she said pointing toward the stairs.

"Grazie," I muttered, stomping up the stairs in annoyance, mostly at myself. And Monte.

"Italian!" Claret called after me. 

By the time I returned, she had settled into a chair and retrieved the book she'd been looking through when I first came in. Next to her was a small bag, which she held out to me. "I have had the most perfect idea!"

I pulled out a French phrase book and raised an eyebrow, "teaching me French?"

"Hardly! Though that would not hurt. Come! You must meet Gustav!" Claret shoved the book back into the bag and hooked her arm with mine, practically dragging me from the shop.

"Claret! I don't think meeting a guy...particularly a French going to help right now!"

"Gustav is not just a guy!" she said the word with disgust. "Come come, you will like this I think!"


Gustav, whoever he was, appeared to be located in yet another building in the main market place near our hotel. Though we had to cross behind some of the more central buildings to reach his establishment.

From the front office, I could not actually decipher what sort of business this Gustav operated. A surly young secretary sat behind the desk and had been appalled when we'd arrived without an appointment. But, at Claret's insistence, she'd put a quick call back to Gustav. Apparently Gustav simply adored my new friend Claret and the secretary was forced to let us occupy the same space as her awhile longer. At least until she popped up and disappeared. "What, exactly, are we doing here Claret?"

Claret simply grinned, reminding me very much of the mischievous Cheshire cat from Apple in Wonderland. A few minutes later, the secretary returned and beckoned us back beyond the office.

Claret shooed the girl away and then settled into one of the two chairs. She motioned me toward the other and then picked through a basket of nail polish between the chairs. "I think this one would like magnifique on you." She held one of the bottles out to me.

"This is one of those girly things isn't it? So what? Gustav is going to paint my toes?" I asked, looking around for the mysterious Gustav. Claret ignored me and continued to look through the polish. Finally she leaned back and pressed a few buttons on the armrest keypad. As much as I wanted answers, I felt like a fool just sitting there so I followed her lead. 

To my surprise, the chair began to vibrate gently - which was far more soothing than I would have expected. A moment later, two women wearing smocks, entered and took up positions at our feet. Claret held out the polish bottles without opening her eyes. Then my feet were being touched in ways that usually made me squirm. Today I didn't even flinch.

"Not that I am complaining or anything but...ooh," I shuddered pleasantly as the massaging chair seemed to hit a tight spot. "Um, who is this Gustav of yours?"

"Just wait mon ami, just wait," Claret said, her eyes still closed.

The two ladies painting our toes were chittering in rabid French - which I was sure Claret could understand perfectly. I made a resolve to begin learning basic phrases BEFORE going to foreign countries. At the very least I should be able to find a bathroom wherever I went after all. 

"Amour, mon cher," I opened my eyes to find a man standing in the archway. He leaned casually against the woodwork as if he owned the place. And he probably did, he must be Gustav! Claret's face lit up at his voice, I knew enough French to know that "amour" was equivalent to "love." Were they a couple? Or had they been once? 

"Lazuli, THIS is Gustav..." she smiled suggestively.

"You ladies want massage oui? Not one from those chairs..." he added with a hint of disgust toward the chairs.

"Oui," Claret said. "But Zuli can go first. I, for one, quite like your new chairs Gustav."


After the massages, from a very talented Gustav, Claret insisted on being my tour guide for the rest of our stay. I felt bad for taking her away from whatever plans she may have had before but was thankful for the company. I told her as much and she laughed. "Honestly, I am afraid you'll be lost in the woods with no way to ask for a bathroom," she teased.

As we crested the hill, the full glory of the Eiffel Tower came into view and I stopped Claret in her tracks. "Wow."

"C'est magnifique, oui?" Claret said with a dreamy smile.

"Oui," I said, somewhat awkwardly. I pulled out my camera to take a dozen or more pictures of it and a few of Claret before allowing her to continue on her path toward the nectary. "That...that is why I became a flight attendant," I mused aloud.

"The Eiffel Tower?" she asked in surprise. "Surely a vacation would have sufficed."

"Not the Eiffel Tower specifically - but to see things, to do things. To have adventures," I explained. 

Claret nodded but didn't comment further. "Now we shall experience French nectar, and perhaps French men..." she grimaced when she saw my frown and hurried to apologize but I waved it off and put a nectar rack between us so she wouldn't see me fighting back emotions.

"McWine...why does that sound familiar?" I asked, to no one in particular. The man behind the counter may have heard me because he seemed disgusted by my lack of couture...or something.

Trying to ignore his snooty glare, I picked up the bottle and read over the label again, "Made in Nectar Hills..." I flipped it over and saw an old black and white picture of a very dark skinned man that could have been my Grandpa...except it wasn't him. "Oooh!"

"What?" Claret said from the other side. "Hey this one says Dust on it...well McWine-Dust...any relation there?"

 With my own bottle in hand, I walked around to her side and looked at the bottle. "Hey, these are my grandparents!" I explained, looking at the black and white photo of Grandma and Grandpa smiling back at me. I remembered seeing these bottles in the cellar when I was a child.

"Wow, so you're the daughter of a famous actress and the granddaughter of famous nectar makers...anything else I should know?" she said teasingly.

I thought about Mirage briefly and shook my head quickly, "that's about it." I took the bottle from her and added it to my own find. "Do you have any more McWine labels?" I asked the snooty clerk.

"Not for sale, but there are a couple in the tasting room," he said, pointing through the arch where a handful of people were sipping on nectar.

It proved difficult to find a seat among these avid drinkers so Claret and I took our samples back to the back of the nectary to try the family labels. I had couldn't deny they were good - perhaps we still had some bottles back home. 

After drinking a little too much, Claret was able to convince me I should put my good "nectar making genes" to the test. Which, as it turns out, is not a genetic thing.


I felt buzzed when we returned to the hotel so I was surprised to find myself falling dead asleep by eight in the evening. Still, jet lag, emotional turmoil and alcohol will probably do that you so I gave in. Claret was in the same state thankfully, so I didn't feel like a loser to be crashing so early on my first night in France.

When I opened my eyes next, I was surprised to find that I had not only NOT slept through the night but that now, at one in the morning, I could not seem to fall back asleep. Claret was having no such problem so I couldn't turn to her for company and I couldn't, in good conscious, turn on the television. I changed in the dark and crept out of the room, being sure to grab my key.

He was the only one in the hotel bar, save the bartender. The good Captain Felix.

I smiled and walked up behind him, listening as he told the bored bartender all about being a pilot. I could tell he was used to these stories amusing and entertaining the fairer sex but he was striking out with this particular one.

"Evening Captain," I said, sliding into the barstool beside him. The bartender looked at me with relief and took the opportunity to slide away and work on cleaning a clean glass.

"Well well, if it isn't my newest flight attendant," he said, smiling. "Trouble sleeping?"

"You could say that," I said, motioning to the bartender for a drink.

"I'm not surprised," he said with a grin. "Claret snores."

"And you'd know this how?" I asked, chuckling.

"Not how you're thinking I assure you. Claret has made it quite clear I'm not her type," he said as the bartender placed my drink on the bar in front of me. 

I sipped it quietly, considering his words for a moment and leaving the silence for him to fill, something that seemed to be irritating him somewhat.

"So, Lazuli Dust..."

"Yes Captain?" I asked, looking at him over the edge of my glass. I was thankful it was there to hide my bemused smile. 

"Call me Felix, if you like," he said, grasping the tiny opening for conversation.

"Oh I like Captain many possibilities that way," I teased. "Oh Captain, my Captain!" I quoted. This caused him to choke on his own drink a bit, making me laugh. "See, more fun."

"I can think of other fun things..."

"I'm certain you can," I said, smiling. "I'm not sure I'm quite drunk enough for that yet though." I took another long drink from my glass to calm a few flutters of nerves and stall.

"That can be fixed," Felix said motioning for the bartender, "bring us everything you have!" he joked. 

This time it was my turned to choke on my drink and laugh. "No please!" I waved the confused bartender away. I think she might actually start bringing over every bottle in the place. "Why don't we just go over there and talk huh?"

He seemed disappointed until I put my hand on his arm and led him away from the bar.

"Talk huh?" he said, glancing down at my hand, which still rest on his arm.

"Hmm? Oh, yes...talking..." I grinned. "To start." Before he could stop me, I turned back to the bar and collected a bottle of some sort of alcohol. "Do I pay here or do you bill the room?" After I sorted out the payment, to make sure Claret didn't end up with some outrageous bar charge, I turned back to the captain.

Felix was wearing a curious expression on his face, as if he was puzzling over my bizarre behavior or personality. "I thought we were going to talk," he said, pointing to the bottle in my hand.

"We are. In your don't have a roommate do you? I mean, you're the captain and all, you should have your own room." 

"I do have my own room...." he said slowly.

"Perfecto," I said, grinning.

We made it to the hallway before I stopped him to lean against the wall a moment. The nectar from earlier with the liquor from the bar was starting to make the tips of my fingers feel sort of tingly and my head felt light. "You alright?" he asked, lending me his arm for support.

"Mmhmm," I murmured, taking in his smell as he leaned a little closer to me. "Oh Captain my Captain," I whispered, he shuddered, "would it be totally inappropriate to kiss you right now?"

"How about I kiss you?" My arm dropped, the bottle clunking lightly against the door we were beside.

He started soft, delicately pressing his lips to mine. 

Tracing my lips with his tongue.

I grabbed his shirt with my free hand and pulled him closer, so it wasn't just his lips pressing me to the wall. "I sincerely hope this is your room," I whispered against his lips.

"Me too," he said with a laugh, the small puffs of air tickled my lips making me giggle. He pulled out his room key and, mercifully, the door relented and swung open.

"Wow," I said breathlessly. I could see the Tower, lit up and shining in the dark night, right from his window. "If this is a perk, I wanna be a Captain when I grow up," I said with another slightly intoxicated giggle.

"One of many I'd be happy to share with you..." he said, tugging the bottle from my hand and placing it on the dresser.


End Chapter



  1. Wow! Just wow! Monte...Felix...all tied together with a pretty little green and purple bow!
    I miss Monte! Always wondered what became of I know! Not much better than her father, huh?
    Zuli's gonna do alright for herself!
    Nice touch with the McWine-Dust nectar at the Nectary! ;)

  2. Oh Captain, my captainnnn *swoons*
    And Gustav, oh my! Très sexy!

  3. Wow what a great great post - I just love your different coloured Sims - Very Nice :)

  4. Well, at least we know why Monte disappeared. He had a bebe to help raise.

    Love the tie in to Splash - Chiffons and her air sickness.

    Should have know this Dust would need her own place. She had a lot more siblings than was originally intended.

    First flight international? Hmmm, slightly unrealistic ... but fun for Zuli

    All up, lovely post.

    1. Well it wasn't her first flight ever, just her first flight with her new crew :) lol

  5. Yay, for Zuli! Good to see that she is making it on her own. :)

    Love the captain, he is kinda sexy.

    Sorry, that things with Monte didn't work out, he should have been honest with her though.

    I loved how you brought The Chiffons into the story, fun little addition. :)