The night was quiet and still as a silent figure approached the venerable Middleton Mansion. Kim paused briefly and smiled, thinking of how her life had changed since the first time she had been summoned here. She withdrew the keys to the place from her pocket and opened the front door. She flipped on the lights downstairs, revealing the museum that this level had been turned into and she allowed herself to be distracted from her errand long enough to take a quick look around. She could appreciate the history of the place now that she knew some of its back story and she stood there for a few moments simply absorbing the ambience.
After those moments had passed, she decided to get back on track by switching the lights off downstairs and making her way upstairs. She paused at the parlor, looking carefully around for any indication of the ladies she was looking for. She did not find them, but she did find pictures of them, most of them taken when they were on one of their many adventures. A few of them, though, had been taken in Middleton and the Mansion itself. Those, Kim quickly decided, were her favorites, especially the one that showed a smiling Mim and Sheila clowning for the camera with their arms wrapped around one another. Kim frowned, thinking, and then with a mischievous look in her eye, plucked the picture frame off the mantel. Hey, it was half her house and this picture, she decided, was part of her half.
She left the parlor then and made her way toward the bathroom. She entered, flipped on the lights and stood there, not knowing for sure if this was going to do anything to make Mim and Sheila appear, but not really having any other ideas. The convergence of being in a bathroom and trying to call out a spirit made Kim think of the whole “Bloody Mary” thing that had been all the rage when she was thirteen, but unlike the ancient urban legend, Kim sincerely doubted chanting their names thirteen times would make Mim and Sheila appear. So, she stood there quietly for about five minutes before she started fidgeting because she felt silly staring at her reflection in the mirror. Feeling even sillier, she knocked on the mirror seeing if that would get any response. It didn’t, so Kim tried flicking the lights on and off because it seemed like a ghostly thing to do. It still didn’t help, so she shrugged and tried calling them by name. Thirteen chants came and went and still they were nowhere to be seen. Giving up on that, Kim waited for another hour, but there was still no word, so, disappointed but not really shocked, Kim gave up for the night, taping a piece of paper to the mirror before she trotted back downstairs and made her way towards home, her purloined picture in hand.
What she failed to notice as she closed and locked the front door, however, were the two white forms that had materialized in the front room. They noticed her, though, and glided to the front room window to watch her departure. They watched her quietly until she was gone, and when she was out of sight, Sheila spoke.
“So, why do you think that Mim-jay graced us with her presence?” she asked Mim.
“If I had to make a supposition, I should think that it has something to do with Junior,” Mim decided.
“Why? Couldn’t she just be calling on us to inquire as to our health?” Sheila asked facetiously.
Mim rolled her eyes at the bad pun but otherwise ignored it. “It wasn’t a social call,” she replied confidently. “Kimmie-Ann was here for a purpose. She had that look about her.” Sheila wanted to disagree to be difficult but could not because she knew Mim was right. Kim did “have that look about her” and, apparently it was genetic, because it was akin to one that Mim herself had when she was determined to see something through. It made it easy to recognize.
“What about Junior was she here for then?” Sheila asked.
“I haven’t a clue. But we should take a look around,” Mim suggested. Sheila nodded and away they went, taking practically the same route that Kim had. When they got to the parlor, Sheila noticed the mantle and broke out into a wide smile. “What?” Mim inquired.
“I do believe Junior has been a bad influence. The little scamp thieved one of the pictures that was sitting here,” she chuckled, pointing out the spot where the picture frame had formally been.
“Well, this all belongs to her too,” Mim replied, using the same justification that Kim had. Sheila grinned but said nothing.
They continued in their rounds, and eventually made their way to the bathroom, spying the message Kim had left in it immediately. They plucked it off the mirror and read it interestedly. It was a typed sheet and appeared to be a printed copy of that newfangled e-mail thing that they had played around with to get Kim to the Mansion in the first place. The lower half was what had been Kim’s letter to Shego in which she had asked her to become part of Team Possible. The top half was much more interesting, though, for this is what it read:
“Princess,” it said. “I must be out of my fucking mind, but yeah, all right. I’ll be back in Middleton in a few days and we can talk about it then.”
Mim grinned. “I told you that Possibles can make Goshens be still and behave,” she crowed.
“Only because you redheaded minxes manage to befuddle our higher reasoning skills,” Sheila countered good-naturedly. “Speaking of which, am I allowed to meddle now?”
“No,” Mim stated flatly.
“The world has been saved, Mim, and we no longer are under a time constraint,” Sheila argued. “And it is obvious that they care for one another. For heaven’s sake, why not?”
“We know that Junior cares for Kimmie-Ann; we have no idea if she feels the same and the obvious answer is that she does not because she already has a beau,” Mim replied in exasperation.
“You had a beau and you still cared for me,” Sheila pointed out.
“I know I did, but that is part of the problem,” Mim admitted. “We have already influenced them a great deal, Sheila, and if we meddle too much, it no longer becomes their decision. It will become a family obligation.”
Sheila could see the impetus for the hesitation and she completely understood it, but she felt she had to make one last point. “Whether she would admit it or not, Junior cared for Mim-jay long before we came into the picture,” she said and Mim had to admit she was right. “And as far as Mim-jay, true, unlike Junior, she has been less obvious about her affections, but I must point out that she was wearing Junior’s amulet and the picture she took was one of the few in which it was obvious we were a couple.”
“That is circumstantial at best, Sheila,” Mim objected.
“True,” Sheila admitted and paused for a moment in thought. “Since it seems we are at an impasse, how about I offer a compromise?” she asked. “I promise not to meddle until we know for sure how Mim-jay feels. If, when the time comes, we discover that her romantic inclinations toward Ronald are legitimate, then the matter is dropped and Junior is on her own. However, if we should discover that Mim-jay harbors some heretofore unrevealed romantic inclinations toward Junior, then I am free to meddle as I please.”
Mim looked at her speculatively “You always did drive a hard bargain,” she said wryly. “But I will accept, on the condition that we keep our appearances to a minimum unless one of our girls specifically requests it. It will give us less chance to unintentionally meddle.”
“I will agree to those terms,” Sheila said, a sly smile on her lips as she thought of the first time she had said those words to Mim.
“And why do I suddenly get the sneaking suspicion that history is threatening to repeat itself with a little help from a person who is not supposed to be helping?” Mim asked, raising an eyebrow. Sheila shrugged innocently. Mim shot her a warning smile and held out her hand. Sheila grinned cheekily in response and took it as they slowly faded out from view.