Kim and Shego stood still for a few moments, carefully re-reading the mirror to make sure that they had read it correctly. Much to Kim’s excitement and Shego’s dismay, they had. Shego’s face instinctively drew up into a pissed-off grimace and she opened her mouth to voice her displeasure. She was cut off when Kim piped in from beside her. “What’s the sitch?” she asked, always eager to help, even if she was helping someone who looked eerily like one of the few people in the world she truly disliked.
The Edwardian redhead looked at her fondly and Sheila, as Shego had called her, rolled her eyes. She was ignored, and the mirror was wiped clean. The red wax pencil came back out and a new message was written. “To properly answer your question would take more pencil than I have,” it stated. “But, to put it somewhat concisely, in one of our earlier adventures, we inadvertently angered some ancient deities by removing something from their temple that was very precious to them. The both of you, as our relatives, must return it or they will retaliate by destroying the entire world.”
“I’m here because were related. Seems reasonable,” Kim mused, noting, that with her looks, the writer did pretty much have to be a relative of some sort. “Where do we start?”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” Shego said, cutting her off. “I am not in the hero business anymore, Nana Sheila,” she protested. “If the world needs saving, go talk to Hego.”
Sheila quirked an eyebrow and took the pencil away from the mirror’s other occupant. She paused briefly, obviously thinking of what to write. She nodded and Kim could not help but notice that her mirror twin was darned amused by the whole situation, looking as though she knew exactly what was coming. Within seconds, a note appeared on the mirror. “I am afraid that I do not know the exact parlance of today’s youth, and I apologize sincerely if I am speaking incorrectly,” Sheila had written, “but I believe the phrase I am looking for is ‘Tough shit’, Junior. You are going to help us regardless of how you view your cantankerous self.”
The stunned look on Shego’s face was priceless and it was all Kim could do not to start giggling uncontrollably. She settled for a highly amused smirk. Shego noticed and scowled at her. “You are not helping, Princess,” she muttered. She glared at the mirror for another few seconds, but in spite of herself, a begrudging grin spread across her face. “Damn, I’ve missed you and your attitude, Nana Sheila,” she said admiringly. Then she sighed. “If I don’t help, you both are going to haunt me forever, aren’t you?” she challenged. The ghosts in the mirror nodded in amicable agreement. “Fine,” she said flatly. “Count me in. What do we have to do?”
“The first thing you must do is retrieve our journals,” came the written reply. “They will give you all the information that you will need to retrace our steps. Perhaps more importantly, they will allow us to materialize and speak with you two directly so that we can bypass the discourse via the mirror route.” Anticipating Kim’s next question, the message continued. “Those journals are not only accounts of our lives, but they contain the essence of our lives as well. Having them here will allow us to regain some of that essence.”
“I call bullshit on that one,” Shego put in. “Your journals are in this house, Nana Sheila; I’ve seen them,” she pointed out. “Nana Mim’s should be here too. If you need those to talk to us, you should be able to.”
“You would tend to think that mine are here, seeing as this was my house for many years, but they are not,” was the answer. “Kimmie-Ann’s family has them.”
“Possible has them? Why in the world does Possible have them? Unless… Oh hell no, Nana Mim,” Shego protested, horrified.
Kim answered excitedly for her, happy now because all the puzzle pieces had clicked together when Shego addressed the redhead as “Mim.” “Because she is Mim Possible, world famous muckraking reporter for The Middleton Gazette.” Mim smiled and shot Sheila “I told you she would figure it out” look. Sheila rolled her eyes, unimpressed. “You actually existed?” Kim asked in puzzled wonder. Mim smiled and nodded. “But I thought that was all just a really weird dream. But it wasn’t, was it?” Kim realized. Mim smiled somewhat sheepishly, shook her head and blushed.
Shego snorted. “Well, I can kiss whatever doubts I had goodbye,” she quipped. “That is a Possible blush if ever I’ve seen one.” That got a silent chuckle out of Sheila and earned them both a glare from their respective redheads. Mim shook her head at Sheila and then turned her gaze to the women in the bathroom.
“We have to retire for the evening, my dears,” she wrote. “We will be waiting for you when you return. Also please remember to make haste, for we have a limited time to rectify this situation before it will be devastating for all.” And with that, both she and Sheila faded from view, their images slowly replaced with Kim and Shego’s actual reflections.
“Well, that was the weirdest thing that has happened to me in a while,” Kim stated to no one in particular. “So, ‘Junior,’ “ she said, turning to Shego, “Mind filling me on a few details?”
Shego glowered at her. “First things first, Pumpkin. Only my Nanas call me ‘Junior.’ No one else has ever called me ‘Junior,’ and no one ever will. So, even though I have been blackmailed into working with you, I will not hesitate to kick your ass if you ever call me Junior again,” she growled.
“Like you could,” Kim sniffed and Shego raised her hands.
“Is that a challenge, Princess?” she purred, lighting her plasma.
Kim raised her own fists, but then lowered them, sighing. “No,” she said, “it is not a challenge. We have work to do, Shego, and since you actually knew them, I would like to know what you do know about them. Can we call a truce just this once?”
Shego lowered her hands, her mind unwillingly agreeing with Kim that fighting would be counterproductive. Not only would it add on to the time she would have to spend with the teenaged annoyance, if they did too much of it, the world could end, and she would never hear the end of it from Nana Sheila if that happened. “All right, Princess, a truce it is. But only until we clean up this mess,” she answered.
“Deal,” Kim replied instantly, and they gingerly shook hands on it, all the while eyeing each other suspiciously.
Shego glanced around the bathroom. “Well, you won’t learn jack about them up here,” she said. “Let’s go downstairs.” She stopped briefly and smirked, looking at Kim. “Wait a minute. You grew up in Middleton. You should have been to this place at least a few dozen times and they always tell the story on the tour. Not paying very good attention, now were we, Kimmie?”
“It was a long time ago, Shego, and it was only a few times, not a few dozen,” Kim huffed.
“Tsk. Would have expected more out of the daughter of a brain surgeon and rocket scientist,” Shego taunted. Kim did not reply, but marched determinedly toward the stairs. Shego chuckled and followed after her, almost running into her when Kim stopped abruptly. She followed Kim’s gaze into what was the office, and discovered that it was the computer she was looking at, a computer that upon closer inspection was logged onto the Team Possible website. Not only that, the screen was thanking them for using the site and promised that someone would deal with their problem shortly. “Son of a bitch,” Shego said.
“Still claim you did not call me?” Kim asked.
“Why would I want to bring the torment of you on my head?” Shego asked acidly.
“Good point,” Kim conceded. She shrugged. “Well, they did say they had to talk to the both of us, and it is the quickest way to get me.”
Shego looked at her. “You are not actually suggesting that the ghosts of my dead Nanas sent you an e-mail, are you?” she asked incredulously.
“Got a better idea?” Kim shot back.
“No,” Shego said sulkily.
“Well then,” Kim said, winning the latest verbal battle. “May I please have my promised tour?”
“Nana Sheila, Nana Mim, you are so going to owe me after this,” Shego grumbled as she led the way down the stairs. Shego flicked on the lights as they entered the downstairs and led Kim to a large portrait over the fireplace. “Well, Pumpkin, meet Sheila Goshen, my great-grandfather’s sister,” she said pointing at the portrait.
“She looks just like you,” Kim commented. “Well, at least except for the pink skin.”
“Yeah, well, no comets in the tree house for her. Anyway, let’s see if I have heard the effing tour enough to actually bore you with something.” Shego replied. “Let’s see; she was born in 1882 to Archibald Goshen and his wife Lillian. She was their second child out of five and she was the only girl. The Goshens were and still are incredibly wealthy due to the fortune that Archibald made by inventing some thing-a-ma-bob that revolutionized the manufacturing industry. Sheila grew up filthy rich, mingled only in the finest circles of Chicago society, and got engaged to some wealthy idiot when she was 19. She decided to strike out on her own for a while and with her parents blessing toured the country before her wedding. Her travels took her to the World Expo, which of course was held in Middleton, and that’s where she met Mim. During the Expo, some new invention thingy was stolen and she and Mim worked together to get it back.”
Kim interrupted her. “Was the invention thingy the Electrostatic Illuminator?” she asked.
Surprised, Shego paused in her recitation. “Yeah, it was. How in the hell did you know that?” she asked
“Long story. Please continue,” Kim demurred.
“So anyway, they track down the thief, discover they like working together and decide to go into business together. Nana Sheila ditches her wealthy idiot, builds this house in Middleton so she and Mim can have a headquarters, and for the next 40 years or so, they gallivant all over the world solving mysteries and having adventures that Mim writes about for the paper. By the time I come along, they have retired and I pretty much just know them as Nana Sheila and Nana Mim, little kid spoilers extraordinaire.”
“This house was a headquarters?” Kim asked, puzzled. “I thought it was supposed to be a love nest that some love-struck wealthy eccentric built for the person they were crushing on.” Shego shook her head. “Just an urban legend, Kimmie. I guess the tourist board wanted to make the place more spooky like the one that crazy lady built in California.” She was about to say more but was prevented when the house made an ungodly noise that caused them both to jump.
“They should see it now,” Kim joked, trying to regain her composure. “At this rate, they wouldn’t need the story to bring the spooky.” She paused, waiting for any more house-based outbursts. When none came, she turned to Shego. “I am going to leave now,” she said loudly, again waiting for any disapproval from beyond. When none came, she made her way to the door. “I will track down those journals and meet you back here as soon as I can, Shego,” she said, gingerly turning the knob and opening the door.
“I’ll be waiting with bated breath, Princess,” Shego replied, a sickly sweet smile on her face as she abruptly closed the door.
“Oh, I am sure you will be,” Kim muttered. She turned to leave, only to run smack into Ron. “Ron! Where have you been?” she demanded.
“I been trying to get in, KP, I swear!” Ron protested. “The house wouldn’t let me. I tried windows and doors, air vents, chimneys, any kind of opening, but nothing worked. Even Rufus couldn’t find a way in.”
“Nu-uh. No door,” Rufus agreed from Ron’s pocket.
“So what is up, KP?” Ron asked, curious. “Did I see Shego at the door?”
“Yes, you did. And Ron, it is so the drama,” Kim replied tiredly.
“Wanna fill me in on the way home?” Ron queried, sensing that Kim wanted to talk.
“Sure,” Kim sighed. “But you are never going to believe it. So it all starts with a call from Wade, right? …” Watching from her window, Shego shook her head as Kim’s voice faded from outside. Finally, she had some peace and quiet.
She made her way back upstairs to the parlor, collapsing tiredly on the couch and pulling a blanket around her. Millions of things were chasing around her head: seeing Nana Sheila and Mim again, the annoying job of saving the world they had given them, and of course the shocking revelation of the evening. She was ashamed of herself; she should have seen coming from a mile away and she hadn’t, making it much more of a shock to the system than it really should have been. “Damn it all to hell, Nana Mim,” she cursed. “Why in the hell did you have to be a Possible?” A ghostly, yet oddly hearty chuckle was the only response. “See, I knew that ‘we need the journals to communicate’ thing was bullshit,” she muttered as she slowly drifted off to sleep.
Two ghostly white forms gazed fondly at her from the door. “She will never forgive us for this, Mim,” Sheila commented.
“Oh, but she will, Sheila,” Mim replied good-naturedly. “She blusters about now, but Goshen women always rant, rave and carry on until a Possible comes along to make them be still and behave.”
Sheila quirked an eyebrow. “And when precisely did you commence to making me be still and behave?” she challenged amicably.
“When I lured you into the domestic life here in Middleton,” Mim answered affectionately. She then quirked an eyebrow of her own. “But alas, the domestication was not perfect, for apparently, you do still act out on occasion. What was that fit of pique about earlier? Kimmie-Ann merely mentioned the legend surrounding this place.”
“You know how badly I loathe that myth, Mim,” Sheila retorted. “I just wanted our young ladies to know it.”
“But what is so odious about it? It is essentially true,” Mim pointed out.
“I hate it primarily because it denigrates you to being the assistant that I spent the remainder of my spinster life with,” Sheila replied sourly. “Even the public record would attest to the fact that we were business partners.” Mim looked at her in gentle admonishment. “And,” Sheila continued, having no choice but to be truthful in that gentle regard, “it irks me to no end that my life with you is seen as the shattering of all my dreams of love and happiness. You were the dream I never hoped to achieve. I loved you, I courted you and through some miracle of the fates, you chose me and I won you. And yet, that loathsome legend wishes to take that all away and make our companionship nothing but a desperate bid on our parts to stave off loneliness.” She snorted in derision, her mood improving now that the tirade was done. “None of the details of that stupid story are right,” she sniffed. “We did not have a house cat; we had a clouded leopard for heaven’s sake.”
“All right. I will concede the myth needs some work, and you were right to voice your displeasure,” Mim conceded. “But did you have to leave Ronald out in the cold?” she asked.
“He looks far too much like Jonathan for me to be completely comfortable in his presence,” Sheila stated firmly.
“But as you spent the last few moments explaining, you won and I chose you over him. And it happened nearly a century ago. Are you not able to let it go?” Mim teased.
“No,” Sheila answered tersely, “and besides, I was looking out more for Junior’s interests than my own.”
Mim sighed. “We promised each other we would not meddle in their affairs,” she reminded her.
“I was not meddling in their affairs,” Sheila replied calmly. “I was meddling in Ronald’s.” Seeing the look on Mim’s face, she laughed evilly. “Still think you domesticated me?” she goaded.
“Sometimes I do wonder,” Mim retorted and Sheila smiled. “We have to go now, my love,” Mim said. “We have been here too long and we need to get back to our own world until Kimmie-Ann returns.”
“I know,” Sheila replied. “I just miss her,” she said, glancing over at the sleeping Shego.
“We will return soon,” Mim promised and held out her hand. Sheila took it and they left the mansion to return to where they rightfully belonged.