*WARNING: This blog is intended for a mature audience. Its contents may include adult situations, violence and sensitive issues that some people might find disturbing. Please read at your own discretion.

11 August 2013

A Pair of Brown Eyes: Chapter 08


"Uncle Andrew!" The door to the clinic creaked open and a happy-looking Caroline came in running towards Andrew.

"Hey, look who's here!" He said smiling, as he knelt to meet his niece, and took her in his arms. Behind her, Ethel appeared, holding a not-so-happy Becky and trying to soothe her.


"Is something the matter?" Andrew asked his sister, and his smile turned into an expression of mild concern at Becky's sobbings.

"Becky wasn't supposed to be climbing there, but she followed me. It wasn't my fault she fell." That was Caroline's voice again, but her cheerfulness of before had disappeared and her cheeks had turned red. Andrew inwardly laughed, imagining there was some mischievous behaviour involved.


Her mother eyed her rather suspiciously, a small smirk forming on her lips. "But you, Miss Roberts, were supposed to be looking after her. You're the eldest, and should set an example to your sister." Ethel then left Becky on the floor and turned to Andrew. "I told Jack they were still too young for a tree house, but you know him, he was even more excited than the girls, and helped them build one." She rolled her eyes, her usual gesture to fake annoyance, as Andrew knew. "One of the steps gave way and Becky slipped. I'm sure it's nothing, but..."


Andrew approached his youngest niece and gently took her hurt leg in his hand to take a look at it. "Let's see what we have here. Does it hurt much, sweetie?" The little girl hiccuped and shrugged her shoulders. "Will you let uncle cure you?" Her crying subsided a little as she nodded her head.


Becky kept watching his every movement as he treated her, and Andrew could feel how her initial apprehension gradually became pure curiosity. Her body relaxed as well. Nearly all children reacted the same way, and it never failed to make him smile. "Done! You've been very brave."

Seemingly, Caroline too wanted some attention. "Uncle..., is not aunt Claire in?" She sounded disappointed.


"Why that face? Are you no longer happy to see me? Just your new "aunt?" Andrew always enjoyed teasing her.

She quickly covered her mouth in her hands, trying to suppress a timid giggle. "I wanted to see you too, uncle."

Ethel joined their conversation, slightly frowning. "But Caroline is right. Where's Claire, Andrew? I thought she would be here."

He picked Becky from the floor as he got up, and gave his sister a serious look before answering her question. "I let her leave earlier today, she wasn't feeling very well. I offered to examine her, but she wouldn't allow me, I don't know why. Has she always been that shy?"

"Shy? I wouldn't call her shy; in fact, she was quite popular at school. But now that you mention it, she is so much changed, she is but a shadow of what she used to be. Losing her husband must have been very hard for her, I suppose. Perhaps her reserve is just her way of coping with her mourning."

"Her husband must have been very lucky, then, to have someone like her love him that much..." He hadn't intended to say that out loud, but the look Ethel shot him told him it was already too late.


"Why, Dr. Stuart!" She was beaming. "You are surely speaking as a jealous man! Am I to interpret you have found a soft spot for Claire in your old bachelor's heart?"


"Yes, I know, I know, I have to mind my own business." Both siblings shared a knowing glance and grinned.


Andrew offered a seat to Ethel so they could continue their conversation more comfortably. He watched his sister as she examined closely her surroundings, apparently lost in thought. "Even after all these years," she finally spoke, "...it still feels strange to see this room devoid of my old wallpaper, and all my things. This place brings back so many memories, most of them good." She sighed. "Then again, I was also here the evening father..."



Andrew dreaded what he was about to do. He didn't want to be the one to spread the news to his unsuspecting sister. He could barely hold himself together, let alone speak about what he had just witnessed. He knew he had to get accostumed to those things if he was to become a doctor, but watching his father die was not what he had envisioned as a first lesson.


He took a deep breath, opened the door that led to her room and stood there for a moment, not knowing how to approach the subject. "Ethel?"


At the sound of his voice, she stopped what she was doing at her desk and stood up. "Yes? What is it, Andrew?" Their eyes met, and the smile that had been on her face a moment before suddenly froze. "It's about father, isnt' it? Is he...? Is he...?"

"I'm sorry, sis. You knew all along that this would happen... eventually."

"But, couldn't you cure him? Aren't you a doctor?" Andrew could see Ethel's eyes watering.

"Ethel, you're now old enough to know doctors can't treat every illness. Besides, I'm not a doctor yet, I'm just beginning my studies..."


She was still holding back her tears when she collapsed to the floor, an expression of agony written all over her face. It was obvious she was trying to put up a brave front, but she couldn't fool Andrew. "Does that mean we won't be seeing him any more?"

There was little he could do except bringing her to his chest and holding her tightly; his own eyes weren't particularly dry either.. "No, honey, we won't. But he will be with us forever, if you don't ever forget how much he loved us."

Ethel faintly nodded. "And what is to become of me now? Will I go to an orphanage?"

"What are you saying, silly? You're not going anywhere. You'll stay here, as always, and I'll take care of you."


Their father's death had coincided with the fist snow of the season. The following day, however, when his funeral was to be held, a timid sun appeared on the horizon, giving the mourners a respite. Andrew was doing his best to bring some comfort to his grieving sister, but was having a hard time reassuring himself; he was very thankful he had Olivia by his side, her sparkling red hair and lovely face made him forget his loss, even momentarily.


Once the funeral was over, all that Andrew wanted was to be left alone, and think..; think about all the responsibilities that would fall on him from then on, about all the choices he would be expected to make as head of his household. And there was Ethel... He had just turned nineteen, and now he was to become the father of his ten-year-old sister.



"I was lucky to have you. You were my hero, you know?" Ethel was smiling warmly at him.


"Was I?" Andrew felt flattered by her words, but wasn't so sure of it himself. "Well, I have the feeling I wasn't always..."

"Oh, yes, you mean when you sent me abroad..."



"Ethel, may I talk to you for a moment?"


Ethel closed the book she had been reading, and watched Andrew closely as he sat beside her on the bed "You know how father always wanted for you to have the best possible education. So..., well..., I've decided to send you one year to a boarding school in England."


"What? Am I to go so far away? I don't want to, I don't! I know why you're doing this! You want to get rid of me so you can marry Miss Norton! And then you'll have children of your own and forget all about me!"

Andrew had been expecting her outburst, so he was unnerved by it. "You're talking nonsense! This has nothing to do with Olivia. When father died he made me promise I'd take care of you as he would have done, and I know he had been entertaining the thought of sending you abroad when you were old enough."


Ethel abruptly jumped from bed, her hands clenched in a fist. "But you're not father, so you can't make me! I won't go anywhere!"

Now he was losing his patience. As if he had asked to become a father figure to her. "I know I an not. But unfortunately there's nothing we can do about it. I'm your tutor until you come of age, and you will do as I tell you!"


 "I hate you! I hate you!" With that, Ethel stormed out of the room, not giving Andrew a chance to finish the conversation.



"My, you were so mad at me..." Andrew grimaced at the recollection.

"Well, I admit I might have been a little too opinionated, but I thought you were trying to get rid of me, and that hurt."

"I kept asking myself the same for several months after you were first gone. I honestly believed it was the best for you, but..."


"Stop that. You made the right decision, it was a great experience for me. And who knows?, some good may come out of it for you as well..." She winked at Andrew. "How would you have met Claire otherwise?"


"Ethel! Again?"



"Andrew, Andrew!"

"Oh, my, but who are you, lovely lady, and what have you done with my baby sister?" Indeed, she was growing up very rapidly, as it was made even clearer when he lifted her up in his arms. "Are you so happy because you were missing me, or is it just that you're glad you're out of such a horrid place as I sent you to?", he mockingly asked her.


"Horrid place? Why would I think it was horrid? I've had such a great time, and I've learnt how to sew, and to play the piano... Well, I'm not as good as Claire, of course. Oh, but you don't know who Claire is, how silly of me, only I think I mentioned her in my letters. Anyway, she is a girl I met on my first day there, we were on a picnic and we promised we would be best friends forever, and she is so nice and so fun to be with. " She might have looked older and wiser, but her incessant chatter was the same as ever, and Andrew found that trait endearing; he couldn't believe how much he had missed her voice all those months.


"Will I be back to school for next term, Andrew? Just say I can, please. Please?"


What? Had she not only agreed to go on the promise that it would be for one single year? And now she was actually asking him to go there again! This child! Andrew just shook his head in disbelief.

Chapter 09Chapter 07


Author's note: I thought I'd never get to finish this chapter. A number of things went wrong when putting this together (surprisingly none of those involved my game freezing or glitching, LOL), including some car mechanics that completely ruined my mood >:-(. But I won't bore you with my rants.

Anyway, I wanted to thank you all for giving this story a chance and for taking the time to comment on it. Your continuous feedback and support has meant very, very much for me -I never expected it, and I'm a little overwhelmed-, and  you all have been very nice to me not to point out every single mistake I make ;-).

I'm so deeply moved I don' know what else to say, actually. So, again, thank you all! :-)


  1. aww this was a sweet chapter to give a little more background on the siblings.

    Ethel was a cute little girl and Andrew did a great job 'raising' her. It was a lot of responsibility for a young man but he handled it well becoming her guardian.

    They have a very close relationship I can tell.

    1. Aww, thanks. I wanted this chapter to be a sweet relief of sorts.

      Ethel was cute, and poor Andrew was sooooo frightened by his responsabilities. He did a better job than he thinks he did, though.

      They only had each other to count on when they were younger, and that brought them closer together, you're perfectly right.

      Thank you so much for reading :-)!

  2. Oh I love the bouncing back and forth between flashbacks and the present day that you did in this chapter. Andrew did wonderful having to step in with fatherly responsibilities for Ethel, and I'm glad they have a good relationship. =)

    1. Do you? Thank you so much for that, I feel relieved, actually :-D; I'm developing quite a liking for those backs and forths between past and present, but I'm not always entirely sure I manage to get my point across through them, so I'm glad you loved it.

      Yes, Andrew was wonderful with Ethel, she was lucky to have him as she grew up.

      Thanks for reading!

  3. Ethel looks positively stunning in this chapter :)
    I wonder if Claire will have to let him examine her at some point, though, and what he, we, will find out about her past with that...

    1. Aww, thanks, I think she's lovely :-), then again, what can I say? I made her LOL.

      Interesting... What will Andrew (and you all) discover when/if he ever examines her? I'm not saying anything, sorry, but you do understand that, don't you? ;-)

      Thank you so much for your comment!

  4. It's nice to see the comparison in the relationship between Ethel and Andrew when they were younger, and what it's like now. Now that Ethel is grown up and matured, she has a better understanding of why Andrew made certain choices when she was little. It must have been hard on Andrew to raise her, especially when she doesn't listen to him because he's not her father. I think the experience, though, has made Andrew wiser and more mature himself. :)

    1. Thanks, their past experiences have made them what they are now, so comparing the past and present of their relationship was the whole point of the chapter :-). It was very hard for Andrew to take care of Ethel, as he was very young and she a little too exuberant and stubborn. But you're right, their whole ordeal made Andrew wiser, and now that Ethel has children of her own, she can understand his efforts better :-).

      Thank you for reading and commenting!

  5. This was a sweet chapter. It's sad that Andrew and Ethel had to lose their father at such a young age and he was forced to assume the role of a parent.

    But I can tell that this brought them closer, and they have a healthy relationship. I think it's also shows that Andrew has the patience to deal with a child, and this will benefit him when he has his own children.

    I also thought it was adorable that Caroline was looking for Claire. The kids are getting attached to her :)

    1. Awww, thanks, I wanted this chapter to be extra-sweet because... well, you'll see why in the next update. It's very sad they were left parentless so young. Fortunately for them, Andrew was of age so he could take care of his sister, and their father had saved enough money to leave his children economically well provided for; otherwise, things might have turned out rather differently for them.

      They certainly have a very healthy relationship. Andrew has learnt to be very patient -which has proved to be very useful in his job, as well- and believe me, he's going to need lots of pacience...

      Oh, Caroline, she's such a dear. Aren't children amazing when they take that instant liking to someone? It's like they have this awesome heightened perception to know when someone is to be trusted :-).

      Thank you for reading!

  6. By the way, no one is going to ask me who Olivia is? ;-)

  7. Aunt Claire?! Andrew does have a thing for her, at least it seems obvious to me. I think I've said it before but your writing flows so well!

    Also it was nice how you did the flashbacks, I usually loathe doing flashbacks in sims stories for various reasons. I guess I'm just...ugh...

    Any ways since you wanted someone to ask I'll ask! Whose Olivia?!?!

    1. Yes, I think Andrew doesn't object too much to Caroline's calling Claire "aunt", does he? ;-) You're too nice to me, thank you so much for your compliment, but... :-D

      I know what you mean when you say you hate doing flashbacks, they give me quite a few headaches (you should see how many different saves I have in my game); anyway, that's how I wanted my story to be told, so it serves me right! LOL

      Well, I was just kidding, actually, but since you ask... Olivia does seem like an old flame of Andrew's..., a fiancée, perhaps? ;-) Anyway, I think I'll just let her introduce herself in a few chapters.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  8. I loved the camaraderie between these two, especially the way she kept bringing up his attraction to Claire.
    After reading the comments, now I'm wanting to know more about Claire. Before, I was just like 'eh, some old girlfriend it looks like'. hehe, now I want to know more. :)

    1. Well, Ethel is quite the matchmaker, it seems ;-). I think it was you who didn't completely trust Ethel's motives at the beginning, and you were right, in a way (perhaps it wasn't you, but anyway...). She did have some ulterior motive in wanting Claire to work for Andrew, if you get what I mean ;-).

      And let's say that Olivia is the reason why Andrew has not that good an opinion of women at large (or HAD until he met Claire, that is). Only now, I hope I won't disappoint your expectations on her now that I've raised them *blush*.

      Thanks so much for reading.

  9. I loved the flashbacks and seeing more about Ethel and Andrew's past.

    1. Oops, I'd missed this comment, Blogger's been playing tricks on me these days, sorry about that :-(.

      Glad you liked the flashbacks, thank you so much for reading :-).

  10. And there are no mistakes when it comes to our stories. Ever. You've made not a single one.

    I loved the sibling time. It was a wonderful illustration of how they view each other and why. It was also nice to see their perspective on loss and how they managed to cope in contrast with Claire.

    And Claire is ill and refused to be treated by the handsome doctor? Hopefully it's nothing too bad and she'll bounce back soon.

    1. Aww, you're too sweet, you just made my day :-D! But I know I make lots of them, and of many different types, but I always try to do my best.

      Yes, surely the Stuart siblings also have had their share of sadness and loss, but they at least could count on each other, quite the opposite from what Claire experienced, poor thing :-(.

      No, it's nothing too bad... physically! Just that she usually feels a little under the weather when it rains, as we've already seen. But she WON'T let Andrew treat her, that's for sure.

      Thanks for reading.

  11. I didn't realise Andrew was so much older than Ethel. Maybe I am reading too fast :)

    1. Well, you surely are reading fast! Not sure, though, if that is TOO fast :-). Anyway, yes, Andrew is 9 years Ethel's senior.

      Thank you for reading.

  12. I love these flashbacks you do, they give us a lot of insight into the pasts and their experiences and show why all the characters turned out the way they. It couldn't have been easy for Andrew, loosing their father and then assuming the role of both parents to Ethel. But he did a great job and they seem very close. I'm with Ethel, I think the good doctor has found a soft spot for our Claire.

    1. Awww, thanks. It wasnt easy for Andrew, he was still very young. Yes, both siblings have a great relationship. And the good doctor is rather smitten, isn't he <3? ;-)

      Thanks for reading :-).

  13. Haha I saw your little comment about Olivia and that happens to be my one and only question!! I said out loud when you first mentioned her,"who is this chick?"
    Anyway, very sweet chapter.

    1. Hehe, so I had YOU wondering about her. I think you'll learn more about her soon enough... In a couple of chapters, actually ;-)

      Aww, thank you <3.

  14. Really loved this! The part with the kids was adorable. You take wonderful photos. I especially love the lighthouse shot -- it really showed how isolated Andrew must've felt after losing his father. Speaking of Andrew, thank you for all the lovely closeups of that handsome man! I love how Ethel teases Andrew about Claire, such a sibling thing to do. :D

    1. Hehe, I always have a great time playing with children in Sims 3, they're just too cute <3.

      Aww, thank you! I'm glad you liked it, it took me a lot of trial and error to actually figure out how to make it.

      Hehe, you're welcome! Anyway, closeups are very important in this story, because there's a lot of looking and staring going on ;-) and I have to show it somehow.

      Yes, siblings are always teasing one another. I know my brother did it to me all the time when I was a child! *rolls eyes* LOL

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  15. Wow Ethel is gorgeous. All your sims are gorgeous. I don't know how you get all those shots like the one by the graveside etc. Makes me wish I had your photography talent.

    1. Wow, thanks so much for your words, I really don't know what to say... :-D

  16. Awww this was a nice chapter. A look into the siblings past and Andrew is more and more appealing. No wonder he is so sweet to Claire, he is a very caring person. I suspect Claire didn't have a good marriage, I don't know if her ex-husband is dead or not, but I don't think he was a good man. Looking forward to her much deserved relationship with Andrew.

    1. Hehe, yes it was. Andrew is a very caring man, just what Claire mostly needs ;-). As for her husband, or ex-husband. or whatever... we'll come to that... at some point! ;-P

      Thanks for reading.

  17. I love that Ethyl caught on to her brother's fascination with Claire so quickly. Of course, having refreshed myself on the prologue, it doesn't seem it will be an easy story of happy-ever-after. Andrew may have to fight for it, if he can figure out how.

    1. Hehe, yes. Anything even remotely romantic interests Ethel, especially if it concerns her brother and her friend. She's a matchmaker at heart ;-).

      Thank you for reading :-).

  18. So nice to learn about some of Ethel and Andrew's past, and that they care about each other. She's a little mischievous with her attempts at matchmaking and giving Andrew a hard time. I liked how you linked back to previous chapters to help us refresh our memories about where instances were previously mentioned! Fabulous idea!

    1. Hehe, Ethel must have been quite a handful as a child! I'm glad you like the idea of my linking back to previous chapters, I do that from time to time :-).

      Thanks for your comment.

  19. It is the first time I realize there is a somewhat significant age gap between Andrew and Claire -- of course, since she was contemporary to Ethel in school! But I hand't paid attention to that detail yet, and this chapter helped me to. This age difference gives me hope that Andrew might be a bit more skillful and prepared to handle Claire's suffering.I don't know why I am thinking this, but I do hope his experiences in life will help him heal her.

    And now we learn about Olivia, Miss Norton, "with her sparkling red hair". What has happened to her and Andrew and their relationship? Might she be the reason for Dr. Stuart's persistent bachelorhood? Though I am guessing he is now somewhat inclined and willing to finally end that period of his life -- and Ethel is with me in this, now that she has realized her brother has fallen for Claire. Andrew might deny it as much as he wants, even to himself, but I think Ethel will make a good cupid. And I sense she will hold an important part in helping Claire overcome her permanent grieving and traumas from the past, and smoothing Andrew's path into Claire's heart, and Claire's path into Andrew's arms.

    Thank you for writing and sharing your story with us!

    1. There's a nine-year age difference between them. I'm glad you picked up on that, because it was very intentional. I "needed" Andrew to have that overprotective trait that usually comes with people who has had to grow up too soon (to take care of his sister, in this case).

      Olivia has everything to do with Andrew's bachelorhood, since she left him with a certain... distrust of women. But if he's now ready to move on, he's lucky to have a somehow meedlesome sister, right? ;-)

      Thanks to YOU for reading and leaving these thoughtful comments :-).

  20. So, if he and Claire don't work out...can I marry him?! And who the plum is Olivia? I don't like her lol

    Andrew will make/is a wonderful father and although I think that might be a little difficult for him in the future, I hope it's something he gets to experience again...with Claire of course!

    1. LOL. You'll have to wait for your turn, I'm afraid; Andrew has lots of... fans! around here, LOL ;-)

      He is a wonderful father figure, no doubt about it. But having his own children with Claire might prove difficult... ;-)

      Thanks for reading.