It’s these guys again! Everyone try not to freak out!

We last left the Jeong-Espinosa household, where Claudia prepared an early wedding gift worth… THIRTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS. HOLY SMOKES.

Claudia (upper right): hmmkggrfffhhg oh hi guys, ambrosia’s on the table, bye

Ambrosia is a dish best served with your lover. Bernard receives some sandwich-based emotional support as he prepares to take the first bite of the heavenly dish,

Claudia: hmmmbllfbmm another drink


He’s alive! He’s really alive!

Thanks to Claudia and her magic cooking hands, or Charlie and his normal fishing hands, Xiyuan and Bernard can be a somewhat outwardly normal-looking couple.

Claudia: hmmmmlfrgrbl don’t put anything in the dishwasher, it’s running

The first thing Bernard wants to do is test-drive his new corporeal body. They’re also going to test-drive a spaceship, because neither of these men have actually driven a spaceship before.

Does one drive a spaceship?

It takes a lot to shake Sims in San Myshuno (they have homeless people! And BOHEMIANS. And oh. My! So! Much! Cultural! Diversity!), but being a floating green ghost occasionally does it. Now these two could sit at the bar and have a completely routine flirty couple conversation and no one would bat an eye.

“It was more fun when you were dead.”

Being rematerialized is only novel for so long, and when your choices are playing out a 10th grade essay about why immortality is bad or avoiding the finality of death by doing the aforementioned while monochromatic and transparent, one has to focus on the here and now. Treasure the moments where you can have a normal conversation with your partner about housework and—hold on. How is the yellow star one staying in his hand? Did they glue these cards together? What game is this?

The adoring look in Xiyuan’s eye is just his inability to poker face. Bernard, on the other hand, is lucky in love, unlucky in cards.

Hence it is with few regrets that Xiyuan and Bernard return to the same thing they do every day: try to take over the art world.

Their relationship is the real work of art—they’ve shown the rare ability to inspire others to be creative inside and outside their universe. Victor Feng, for example, has yet to pay his respects to the happy couple, and commemorates the occasion with a little ditty he wrote for them.

Said ditty may or may not be an 11-hour improvised a cappella rock opera.

He left at 10 AM. The only thing that could have made this better would be if Lily came banging down the door to get him to stop singing.

Shu is still visiting his father for weekends (which places him fifth for amount of time spent in this apartment). Thankfully, Bernard forgot about the bathroom incident and is now able to have a relationship with a taller, friskier Shu.

Shown: a thousand-word treatise on why Sims should not be allowed to dress themselves.

Right now, they’re just exchanging pleasantries, but will hopefully soon have someone to vent to about how Xiyuan refuses to drink tea if it was picked more than 2 months ago, etc., etc. Well, the joke’s on Shu—he did pick up some habits from his dad. Hello, plants!

Fascinating! Is there a genetic component to Sim idiosyncrasies?

All of this only distracts from the main event: wedding planning. With two swanky grooms and a love story of this volume, the pressure Xiyuan and Bernard are under to plan the perfect wedding is far from ideal. It’s enough to induce a sympathetic reflex with their actual wedding planner.

He knows whatever I’m planning isn’t good enough.

This is the third Sim out of three total marriages I’ve seen catch a cold right before his wedding. He somehow also passed the cold to the entire wedding party, pushing the date back an entire day. This isn’t going to be easy, is it?

The sun rises on the betrotheds for the final time. Both grooms use the morning to steady their nerves in the studio; either the wedding has to start after 6 PM so Claudia can attend (she who saves the day has the final say), or has to be pushed back to Saturday. These two are getting antsy—they’d get married in front of the elevator if they could—so 6 PM it is.

Bernard is hardly the same person who inadvertently BBQ-ed himself and his wife. Decades of practice have honed his technical ability beyond that of any other living artist, and Xiyuan’s continual presence has had a calming effect. Yes—the long sleepless nights spent talking about failure, the tireless efforts to shield Bernard from open flame, the removal from the incendiary estate that so haunted his memories—all of it had paid off, and he was finally in a position to realize his dreams.

So it would be unsurprising if his final masterpiece, completing the aspiration he died trying to achieve, were of his partner.

And with an hour until the wedding!

So sweet.

This is how the wedding begins: by finishing the business of a restless spirit. Bernard scrubs the paint off his hands and yells upstairs to ask Xiyuan where he left the garment bag with his tux. It’s on the dresser, Xiyuan replies, choosing a white tailcoat from his tailcoat closet and removing his white gloves from their case. Everyone in the bridal party who didn’t de-ghost a groom changes into their matching pink-and-white outfits. Kendra, (yes, you, Kendra), also has to change into a matching pink-and-white outfit. Claudia stares into her closet for 15 minutes contemplating whether she should wear the dress from her quinceañera or just throw on some leggings and use a brooch to fashion a cape out of leftover curtain chiffon; no one would dare criticize her. Victor and Lily watch the limo leave from their east window, cursing the 8-guest limit. Aileen weaves in her extensions and pops a Xanax.

This guy can stay. They paid this guy 5 simoleons to play “Somewhere Only We Know” as they walk down the aisle.

The guests arrive at a crystal tower specifically designed for this wedding. The setting sun is reflected by the six congruent facets of a crystal spire, which umbrellas out into a waterfall of glass encasing a pristine white ceremony space. White rose petals have been carefully moved from their natural disorder into a boundary with only right angles, possibly by Xiyuan himself. Floor-to-ceiling infinity mirrors stand proud as a symbol for the eternality of the concept of love. Dolly restarts the wedding 3 or 4 times to make sure everything is perfect.

The chessboard makes it a park

Xiyuan’s eye twitches as a curious Max casually strolls down the aisle during their impeccably drafted, written, edited, re-drafted, and re-written vows. Shu gives him a jovial little wave.

(Don’t be silly, guys. Max doesn’t ruin your wedding by doing something unplanned—I ruin your wedding by doing something planned. People familiar with the game mechanics have already spotted what.)

At long last, meet Xiyuan and Bernard Shallot-Liu!

They’re too dignified to smash cake on each other’s faces.

Two of our patriarchs kick off the reception with some appropriate familial bonding, symmetrically hugging their respective sons.

As if the vows weren’t saccharine enough, Xiyuan debuted a song he wrote for Bernard.

Now everyone is allowed to eat cak—wait, no, Bernard is performing a song he wrote for Xiyuan.

This is what I had in mind for over-the-top!

Alright, now everyone can have some cake.

Just as time almost prevented this relationship, time would be the undoing of their wedding. Let’s review some important figures. The wedding had to be started after 6 PM for Claudia to be able to attend. Sim weddings last 8 hours. If you’re better at arithmetic than I am, apparently, you would have been able to see this coming.

No one can shame you for power napping if no one else is awake. Well, there’s Mike, but he rarely notices anyone other than himself.

Look at the above picture again. Can you tell who’s missing?

It was Shu!

Shu chose to sleep in his own bed, then changed into his hoodie and came back to play the violin. Charlie and Kendra, excited that the reception was 80% napping and they didn’t have to entertain their parents’ friends, kept the party going well after 4 AM.

This is where the wedding ends: sleeping in the sky, in tails.

Luckily, the grooms would have a honeymoon to look forward to when they woke up. Kidding! They both had work, so Xiyuan’s friends came over and trashed the everloving heck out of the place.

Counting seems to be a hidden theme for this chapter. Here, you can count the glasses for a unique educational experience. Ah! Ah! Ah!

Oh, hey. Lily was also there the entire time.
Thirteen glasses and a broken stereo! Ah! Ah! Ah!

Xiyuan and Bernard have a maid. She comes every day. Unfortunately for Xiyuan, he’s the type to think “I have to clean my house before the person I paid to clean my house gets here, so they don’t get mad at me.” He may also be the victim of a benevolent, but imperfect, creator, who may or may not have been laughing hysterically as he picked up each individual glass, making the stack higher and higher.

What are a few extra dishes when the Romance Festival is tonight, anyway?

Recall Xiyuan’s last two Romance Festivals. Festival one, he sat at a table alone and stared at people. Festival two, he gave painting lessons to his son while his ex-wife stood directly in front of him to make out with her new boyfriend look at how happy she is now, no thanks to you.

Festival three, he’s with the love of his life and everyone’s wearing his favorite colors. Everything’s good.

I think the man in the background speaks for everyone.

The next time we see these guys, they’ll probably doing something else that mocks the concept of probability itself. Or painting.

The Shallot-Liu Family: It Exists Now!
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12 thoughts on “The Shallot-Liu Family: It Exists Now!

  • October 26, 2019 at 6:50 pm

    Keane, every goddang time. Okay. No more comments until I get further along, I promise, but I was so here for this resurrection and wedding: yaaaassssss.

  • December 17, 2019 at 8:39 am

    “I have to clean my house before the person I paid to clean my house gets here, so they don’t get mad at me.” me (if I were to ever get a cleaner, or have someone clean my car) >>

  • January 19, 2020 at 9:50 am

    Wow! I wasn’t expecting the whole Bernard-now-alive thing to happen that soon… but I’m not complaining. I’m ready for human!Bernard to… do whatever it is that human Bernard does. I’m not sure what that’d constitute yet.
    The fact that they immediately go and consummate their love in a spaceship is interesting. So I guess that’s the kind of stuff human Bernard does. Huh. Also love the fact that they have a functioning spaceship just lying around. You know, as one does.
    I’m real happy for them, though. Look at them, sitting at the bar together all normal and… yeah, what do they do now? At least when Bernard was dead they had, like, an agenda to fulfill here.
    Victor Feng’s 11 hour a cappella would have been me had I had the luck of existing in this beautiful simuverse. Major kudos to Victor for going there in my stead. I appreciate it.
    The wedding! Already! I’m pleasantly surprised. Sometimes it takes a while for me to get used to the fact that not everyone is as impossibly slow at gameplay as I am.
    “ Dolly restarts the wedding 3 or 4 times to make sure everything is perfect.” Yeah, that’s me as well. That’s the reason why my Sims either don’t get married at all, or they’ll be engaged for 8 years before ever getting married, or, at the other extreme, they’ll get married on the same day they got engaged just so I can, like, have it over with and not have to plan a stupid party for the game to ruin because my expectations of ‘the perfect wedding’ will inevitably be impossible to actually play out in-game.
    Man, I’m happy for these guys, though.
    And that wedding ended as beautifully messy as I totally imagine any Sim wedding will be. Beautiful.
    The Romance Festival… oh, man. You ask the Romance guru about their destiny? I’ve done that many a times by now, and only once (!!) got a positive response. Apparently, my Guru’s most favored response is the: “Your romantic destiny is bleak” one. That’s OK.

    • January 20, 2020 at 2:19 am

      January 19, 2020 marks the first day anyone has expressed a desire to actually live in this universe. Wouldn’t you rather live in one of the Kpop custom content universes or one with mermaid fairies? All this one brings to the table is existential dread and math.

      The speed of this whole plotline *is* something I regret. You can probably tell, but if nonfiction is the right arm and fiction is the left, I’m like that hyperdextrous guy in Lady in the Water, the one who only works out his right arm. Pacing develops much, much later, and I’m sure there’s 500 other fiction-related concepts I’m not even aware of that would drive a formally trained author nuts. Their whole romance deserves a do-over.

      Has any sim wedding ever run smoothly? The Romance Guru seemed optimistic the one time I remembered to speak to her. And lastly, the Shallot-Lius still have strong personalities and can clash with any of the other dozen main characters. Spoiler for Part III: that’s when the sims start getting a share of the snark, and it’s really only one sim in particular, and it’s Bernard.

      • January 20, 2020 at 1:00 pm

        You may regret the speed, but at least you got it done! I move at such an impossibly slow speed that it takes like 3 real life years to get anything decently big done in any game or any story, really. I started working on my first fiction story in 2015 and now, in 2020, I’m still no further than one character in terms of development. Not even sure on the universe, let alone the setting and plot.

        I can’t wait for the snark… I’m ready.

  • July 8, 2020 at 1:39 am

    Yay! This chapter made me happy! How exciting that Bernard is now alive again. They seem to be adjusting to the change well, haha!

  • July 25, 2020 at 1:29 pm

    Shown: a thousand-word treatise on why Sims should not be allowed to dress themselves.

    Have I told you how much I love your screenshot captions yet? Because they are a goddamn goldmine.

    Speaking of clothes, however, I forgot Xiyuan has a tailcoat closet omg. That’s just too in-character.

    • July 26, 2020 at 1:51 am

      Xiyuan’s tailcoat closet is my favorite running joke. I don’t know if anyone else has commented on how anal someone would have to be to have an entire closet set aside for only tailcoats, but it’s the thing I love most about him.

      Am I allowed to call him anal? Is that PC? I don’t think it is anymore.

  • July 31, 2020 at 9:04 pm

    I totally wasn’t expecting Bernard to become human so quickly. I guess that ambrosia goes bad fast. But this was great, and I loved their wedding. I have done that in my own game, restart the wedding to make sure it’s perfect, which never happens, lol. Probably why I don’t do weddings in my game anymore and everyone just elopes or never gets married.

    I loved how they woohooed in the spaceship, then afterward, casually discussed death over drinks, lol. These two are great. 🙂

    • August 1, 2020 at 1:13 am

      Yeah… this was before I learned about basic stuff like pacing, so the first few chapters move too quickly.

      Those Sim weddings.

      They give me nightmares.

  • August 23, 2022 at 3:14 pm

    So weird. I thought I had commented this story but I don’t SEE my comment?
    I’m going to blame WP
    That cowboy cosplay is yikes.
    Claudia is so cute in a tank, panties, drinking her juice and giving no fucks who sees her in that state of dress. Go off, boo!


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