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.
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,
and KAPLOOIE ZOW FLOATIES
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.
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.
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.
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?
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 have 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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Look at the above picture again. Can you tell who’s missing?
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!
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 is wearing his favorite colors. Everything’s good.
The next time we see these guys, they’ll probably doing something else that mocks the very concept of probability itself. Or painting.