“Beep, Beep, Be-Beep!”
The four-tone chime rang merrily throughout the bedroom. A pair of green eyes fluttered briefly, but then settled back down into sleep. “Beep, Beep, Be-Beep!” the chime insisted. Finally, one green eye slid open and peered at the device raising all of the ruckus. It usually disguised itself as a mild-mannered wristwatch, but at certain times, like now for instance, it changed into its secret identity as the Mother of All Annoyances. Shego took a deep breath and sighed it back out. She thought momentarily about destroying the damn thing, but, thanks to the team’s resident nerd, Kim’s amulet and a handy mass spectrometer, it was indestructible. So, she answered it, knowing exactly who it had to be at this time of day. “Morning, Princess,” she mumbled
“Morning, Shego!” Kim chirped. “Are you ready to go?”
“Are you nuts?” Shego retorted sleepily. “Do you have any idea of what time it is?”
“Sure I do,” Kim replied cheerfully, not the least bit fazed by the grumpy coming from Shego’s end. “It is 7AM, which is a perfectly reasonable time for normal, no-longer-criminal people to be up. So what’s the complaint?”
“Well, since you brought it up, to start, I am not normal,” Shego rejoined. “And second, it is a Saturday. Even ‘normal’ people don’t get up at 7AM on a Saturday. And third, my no-longer-criminal self went to bed at 3AM because it is not yet aware that it is no longer criminal.”
“Fine. I can wait a little longer,” Kim pouted.
“Well, what if I no longer feel up to it?” Shego countered.
“You promised today, Shego, and we are gonna go today,” Kim stated. “And I will come over there and drag you out of bed if I have to.”
“You wouldn’t dare,” Shego scoffed.
“Oh yes, I would,” Kim replied.
“I sleep in the nude,” Shego offered untruthfully, just to throw Kim off her game.
Kim's face on the viewscreen colored slightly, but she was otherwise unflustered. “Then I would have easily accessible handles, now wouldn’t I?” she queried.
Shego snickered, pleased at how much she had corrupted Kim in the short time they had been friends. “All right, Pumpkin, you win. We’ll meet on the tarmac at noon, okay?”
“Spanking! See you then, Shego,” Kim answered.
“Bye, Princess,” Shego replied ruefully and cut off the connection. She settled back down and tried to go back to sleep, but it just wasn’t happening. She sighed again and flipped over, settling herself more comfortably on the pillows.
Her mind flitted over a million different things: where she was, what the hell she was doing there and how the hell she got there were tops on the list. It had been an interesting journey; that was for damn sure. It had been a little over a month since she had joined up with Team Possible and she had gone from being a somewhat lazy, under-motivated villainess working for a lunatic to a somewhat lazy, under-motivated “hero” working for an upstanding member of the community. She was taking a few courses here and there at the local community college, the Princess (and her parents) having pitched a fit at both her lack of any collegial education and unused free time. She smiled as she thought of Kim’s parents. Though she would never admit it, she was actually begrudgingly fond of the Drs. Possible and the way they had made her a de facto part of the family just because she was now a friend of Kim’s. Well, not just because of that. It hadn’t exactly hurt her case when Ron had told them how she had saved Kim’s life.
Besides school, she had a few other activities, one of which was teaching Kimmie how to fly their newly acquired jet. Shego had flatly refused to be dependent on other people for rides to their missions and one of her first acts as a member of the team arranging for their own transportation. It took some doing to convince Kimmie that they could afford it though. Shego always smirked when she thought of that conversation.
“We can’t afford a jet, Shego,” Kim had protested. “We don’t charge anything for our services and we would have no money for upkeep.”
Shego had looked at her, a quizzical smirk on her face. “You have no idea how much money Nana Sheila and Nana Mim left us, do you?” she asked.
“Not really, no,” Kim admitted. “Why? How much did they?”
“Individual inheritance or combined resources?” Shego clarified.
“Combined, I guess, since we are both a part of the team,” Kim answered.
Shego thought about it. “A little more than God, but not quite as much as Oprah,” she replied with a smirk.
Kim rolled her eyes. “What does that mean in terms of dollars?” she asked.
Shego thought some more. “Well, if Nana Mim left you approximately what Nana Sheila left me, I would say close to, or something like, eight hundred and seventy millions dollars. Since you haven’t actually seen any of yours, I suppose it could be closer to a billion by now though,” she mused.
“You’re joking,” Kim said flatly.
“Nope,” Shego said. “Remember that building in Chicago where Bob was?” Kim nodded. “”We own that,” Shego told her.
“We own an entire office building?” Kim asked, shocked.
“And much more, Princess,” Shego answered, still smirking. “We can afford a damn plane.”
“Yeah, it looks like we can,” Kim mused. “Can we get it green and yellow?” she asked jokingly. Then her eyes grew bright. “Will you teach me to fly it?” she asked excitedly.
“Damn straight you are learning how to fly it. I am not going to be the only pilot on this team like I was for Team Go,” Shego stated gruffly, using her irritation with her brothers to hide how utterly adorable she thought Kim was and how much Kim’s enthusiasm was charming her.
“Awesome! When can we start?” Kim asked, her body fairly vibrating with anticipation.
“We need to get the plane first,” Shego said wryly. Within a few weeks they had gotten their plane, and Kim had been bugging Shego incessantly about lessons ever since. They had agreed on Saturday, but they apparently had forgotten to mention a time, resulting in the crack-of-dawn phone call that had disrupted Shego’s sleep.
Shego sighed yet again and rolled over on her side, staring at the opposite wall grumpily. She wasn’t pissed at Kim for calling; she was pissed at herself for being so damn happy that Kim had called. She knew this was going to happen; hell, she had told Nana Mim that it was going to happen if she and Kim became friends. But she didn’t want it to happen for so many reasons that she was still pissed at herself that it had.
She glanced at the clock, mumbling to herself when it proudly proclaimed “7:15 AM.” She peeled back the covers to make her feet hit the floor, but quickly replaced them when a bone-chilling cold invaded the bedroom. She thought briefly about making a mad dash to the thermostat, but that was abandoned when she felt a slight energy shift reverberate around her. Putting two and two together, she relaxed and then smirked. “You can show yourselves, guys,” she said to the empty air. “I know that you are in here.”
“You would have a marvelous career as a medium with that talent,” a familiar voice informed her. “You should really capitalize on it.”
“Yeah, I’ll think about it, Nana Sheila,” Shego answered as her great-great aunt materialized in front of her. “Where’s Nana Mim?” she asked when after a few more moments no other ghost was forthcoming.
“She decided to remain behind,” Sheila answered. “We are not supposed to be passing back and forth between the planes like we are, and since we are rarely apart, we thought it might fool the powers that be if she was easily visible at all times.”
“Why do they care if you leave? It is not like you are scaring anybody,” Shego asked.
Sheila shrugged. “I really do not know. I guess it just isn’t done.” Shego snorted at the stupidity. Sheila smiled at her response and turned her focus to why she came, which was, of course, to meddle. “So, my dearest Junior, why are we up at this hour and mumbling to ourselves?”
“I got woken up by a phone call from an obnoxious annoyance that keeps bugging me for flight lessons,” Shego responded, her voice irritated.
Sheila laughed heartily. “Completely fallen for her already, haven’t you?” she asked with a knowing smirk. Shego was completely nonplussed and her eyebrows rose comically as her mouth dropped open. The sight of her usually dour great-grand niece so unnerved made Sheila laugh all the harder.
“But… how… why; where in the world did you come up with that!?” Shego sputtered a few moments later when she was able to think clearly and make her mouth actually speak.
“You were not exactly covert with your feelings toward Mim-jay on our last adventure, Junior,” Sheila reminded her. “Besides that, I have not only known you from birth, but you and I are alike enough that I can tell when you are not being completely honest. That being said, it was obvious to me that your last statement was a cover-up for your true delight in giving Mim-jay lessons and I surmised the cause of this delight. It wasn’t that large of a leap, especially since I have been in your place before.”
Shego glowered, but she could not deny it and she could not lie to her Nana. “All right fine,” she spat. “So what?” Sheila chuckled. Shego sulked for a few moments more, then glanced up. “So, just out of curiosity, how did you make Mim fall for you?”
Sheila’s smirk grew into a full smile at the question; she had been anticipating it for quite some time. “Well, you see, Junior, that was the problem. I couldn’t make Mim do a damn thing. Being who I was, I was very accustomed to getting what I wanted, either by buying it or stealing it. Mim could not be bought or stolen and that made her unbelievably alluring.”
“And you had to rise to the challenge, right? You had to get what you couldn’t,” Shego guessed, knowing that would be her way of going about things.
“Actually, no, I didn’t,” Sheila admitted with an ironic smile. “I almost let Mim slip away because I for once in my life I wanted to do something the proper way. It took her getting engaged for me realize what a fool I was being.”
“Whoa. Wait a second. Nana Mim was engaged?” Shego said skeptically. “I knew you were engaged and you broke it off, but Nana Mim was engaged too?” Sheila nodded. “Wow. I had no idea you two had left such a trail of broken hearts in your wake.” Shego looked thoughtful for a few moments, then smirked. “You were too chicken to tell her until she got engaged?” she teased.
“Says the woman who has not only remained silent to her paramour but barely refuses to admit her feelings,” Sheila countered.
“Yeah, but I have only been friends with Kimmie like a month and Stoppable is only her boyfriend. You knew Nana Mim for what, like over a year, and you let her Stoppable propose,” Shego pointed out, still smirking.
Sheila sighed. “Very well; point conceded, Junior,” she allowed.
“Why did her engagement finally get you?” Shego asked, curious.
“She would be torn away from me forever and I was devastated, physically and mentally,” Sheila answered bluntly. “I more than once contemplated suicide. But, it was for only about a week that I really and truly believed that she was going to marry him. Then we nearly ravished one another in my parents’ parlor and I knew that I could win her if only I would pursue her.”
“Well, at least you didn’t suffer long,” Shego answered, before the antiquated language filtered through and she realized what Sheila truly meant. Her brows knitted and her eyebrow quirked. “Please tell me that you didn’t just say what I think you said,” she implored plaintively.
“Why? Did you think Mim and I were celibate all those years?” Sheila asked facetiously.
“No, doy,” Shego replied, completely embarrassed by the topic of conversation. “But I don’t need to hear about specifics, thanks.”
“I was nowhere near specific,” Sheila stated. “If you require specifics, I would look in Mim’s journal.”
Shego chuckled. “Yeah, no thanks. Kimmie did and it sounded like it nearly blew the top of her head off.” She looked thoughtfully at Sheila, then back down at the sheets.
“Spit it out, Junior,” Sheila ordered.
“Well, okay, so I get that you couldn’t make Nana Mim love you,” Shego reiterated. “But how did you did you know she loved you? How did you tell her that you loved her?” Sheila quirked an eyebrow. “Without going into specifics,” Shego added hastily.
“I guess I should start from roughly the beginning,” Sheila answered. “It will mean a lot less backtracking. You, of course, know how we met and how Mim forced me into tracking down Lipsky?” Shego nodded. “Well, soon after we parted ways that fall, we realized we liked working together. We met in January of ’02 to discuss a partnership and as soon as it was confirmed that I should be the photographer, I went out and bought the Middleton Gazette.”
“You bought an entire newspaper because you became a photographer for one of its reporters?” Shego asked incredulously.
Sheila shrugged. “Mother and Father were pleased that I was finally doing something with my life and happily gave me the money. And I bought it because I was damned that anyone should be my boss. I had never had a boss and I was not about to start. And truthfully, I also bought it so Mim could have the freedom to pursue what she wanted to do, not what some editor told her to. She was an incredible reporter and I thought she deserved that much”
“So what did Nana Mim want to do?” Shego asked.
“She wanted to go to Africa,” Sheila replied. “Things were not as they were now and it took the better part of a year to get there, do what Mim wanted to do and then make it back to the United States. And, it was in that year that what I felt for Mim moved beyond infatuation and attraction into utter love and devotion,” she admitted, a small, self-effacing smile on her face. “You were too young to properly know either of us, Junior, but I wish you could have seen the side of Mim that was present on that trip,” Sheila said wistfully. “Mim loathed oppression and what she saw in Africa made her blood boil. She was outraged by the effects that colonialism was having on the continent and ever the crusader, she dragged us in to more conflicts than I can even recall. She wrote about it all and I photographed it all, and when the time came for us to return, Mim had enough information to shame the grandest of nations. She did, too, after she published her series of articles in the Gazette.”
Shego shook her head. “Wow, yeah, a heroic Possible. Never could have seen thatone coming,” she said sarcastically.
“Yes, well anyway, when we were on our way back to the States, the decree was handed down from our respective sets of parents that our holidays had been planned for us,” Sheila continued. “They had apparently been in close contact for most of our absence and both sets were dying to see the both of us. So, it had been decided that when we disembarked in New York in middle December, we were to proceed directly to Middleton. Mim’s parents were hosting a Christmas fete on the 20th, after which I was to come home to Chicago to spend the holiday with my family. The day after Christmas, Mim was to get on a train to Chicago in order to make it in time for the annual Goshen New Year’s Eve costume extravaganza, where, of course, she would be able to spend time with my family as I had done with hers. The plan went very smoothly until Jonathan decided to propose at the Possibles’ party. That, I must confess, completely soured my Christmas mood,” Sheila related, her disgust with the event still evident in her tone and manner.
“Um, yeah, I can imagine. What the hell happened?” Shego prompted.
“It would not have been so bad if I had not been in the middle of confessing my own feelings,” Sheila explained. “I had grown weary of the festivities and had gone to be by myself. Mim looked beautiful that night, and I was off brooding to myself about my sad existence in which she was only a friend. She came to find me, and inexplicably, I found myself confessing that I was going to break off my engagement when I returned to Chicago. She asked me why and I answered truthfully that I had fallen in love with someone else. Before I could reveal her identity, though, Jon called from the front room and within seconds, or so it seemed, they were engaged. My heart was unceremoniously ripped from my chest as I smiled and congratulated them, and the next morning I left without saying goodbye. I probably would not have spoken to Mim ever again, but the plan was in place and, thinking I had just neglected to say goodbye due to haste, she came to Chicago. My mother, who had long ago surmised my feelings for Mim and knew something had gone wrong, refused to let me isolate myself and forced me to interact with her because, and I quote, ‘that young lady is the best thing that ever happened to you and if you do not use that stubborn will of yours to fight for her, you are hereby disinherited.’ The night of the costume ball came, Mim looked gorgeous and I grew more and more depressed. I drank too much and danced with far too many fellows to distract myself. But as I was dancing with the fiancé I had jilted less than two days before, I realized that Mim had left the room.”
“Wait. Your ex-fiancé came to the party? After you broke up with him?” Shego said skeptically.
“Of course,” Sheila pshawed. “The Goshen costume ball was the highlight of the winter societal season. No one of distinction would miss it. Besides,” she continued with a smirk, “We had been best friends for practically our whole lives, and I didn’t exactly break his heart. He had as much interest in women as I had in men and the marriage was a good cover for the both of us. He understood why I could not go through with the charade and even congratulated me on my choice as we were dancing. That, of course, made me look for Mim, but she had disappeared.”
“Lemme guess. She had gone into the parlor,” Shego interjected.
“She had,” Sheila confirmed. “Do you wish me to continue?”
Curiosity warred with embarrassment, but curiosity won out. “Okay, but no specifics,” Shego conceded.
“No specifics,” Sheila agreed. “Anyway, I followed her into the parlor, and it was plain to see that she was upset. I inquired as to why and she demurred. I pressed the issue and she finally admitted that she had seen far too little of me that night and that she was jealous of my dance partners. Knowing an opportunity when one hit me in the face, I asked her to dance. She agreed and together we waltzed to the refrain we could just barely hear from the ballroom. I have never been so simultaneously blissful and utterly depressed in all my life. The music ended and, with her arms still around me, she asked me why I was upset. I prevaricated and told her that it saddened me that our partnership was coming to an end. We went back and forth about how her engagement did not have to mean the end, and ultimately she brought up my confession to her at her parents’ party. ‘But you said that you were in love,’ she said. “Surely that will substitute for our adventures.’ I started to chuckle, the irony and the alcohol working against my better judgment, and that seemed to anger her. ‘What is so humorous?’ she asked. I looked at her, and unable to stop myself, answered her. ‘I am in love with you, you oblivious little fool.’”
“Wow, I am sure that went over in a big way,” Shego commented. “You drop the L-bomb right on top of her head and call her stupid all in one sentence. Quite the way you have with the ladies, Nana Sheila. I don’t see how she could have resisted you.”
“I am not telling this story so you can sass me, Junior,” Sheila retorted snippily and then she sighed. “But you are absolutely correct. It was probably the worst possible combination of things to say. Luckily for me, though, Mim was so stunned by my first admission that she did not notice, at least at that time, my egregious lack of manners. Instead she just looked at me, completely flummoxed. Her brow wrinkled, she stared at me for a while longer, and then, just as I was about to turn and leave, comprehension dawned. She looked incredibly sad and I knew that I had no chance with her. So, I gently touched her cheek, apologized and figuring I had completely ruined the relationship and therefore had nothing to lose, I kissed her.”
“What the hell did she do?” Shego asked, getting into the story in spite of herself.
“I figured she would belt me,” Sheila admitted, “but instead she kissed me back. Things escalated exceedingly quickly, and before either of us realized it, things had almost gone too far.” Shego looked pained and quickly covered her ears. “That was not specific, Junior, and the word of importance in that sentence was ‘almost,’” Sheila said, exasperated. “Regardless, we both came to our senses at about the same time. I asked Mim straight out how she felt about me and she could not answer. I asked her how she felt about Jon and she could not answer that question either. I knew then that I did have a chance, and so when spring came, I moved to Middleton, started building the Mansion and exploited my chance.”
“And you won the girl,” Shego finished.
“Yes, but it did take me almost another year,” Sheila replied with a smirk. “Mim was exceptionally hard to woo.”
“Fabulous,” Shego muttered.
“Mim-jay might be vastly different,” Sheila pointed out. Shego glared at her. “If, of course, you intend to woo her, which, as recalcitrant as you are to showing emotion, I would put the chances of at ‘not very likely’,” Sheila amended. Shego snorted in irritation. “Speaking of Mim-jay, when you two supposed to meet?” Sheila asked slyly.
Shego glanced at the clock and cursed. “Shit! We are supposed to meet in like 10 minutes.”
“Then I would suggest you hurry, dear,” Sheila advised smugly.
Shego glared at her. “Let Nana Mim come next time,” she grumbled.
Sheila chuckled. “Have fun, dear, and tell Mim-jay I say ‘hi’,” she said pleasantly. She slowly faded from view, all the while amusedly watching Shego scramble for her clothes, glare at her once more and then take off at a dead run down the stairs. Oh, but she would have so much to tell Mim when she got back.