Kim and Shego made it back from their trip to Mexico shortly after Christmas. They stopped first at the home of the Drs. Possible to pick up the girls.
“How were they, mom?”
“They were mostly angels. How was the trip?”
“Awful,” Shego reported. “Days of nothing but lying out in the warm sun on a beautiful beach, eating strawberries. And we had to put up with each other in the privacy of no kids and no house full of friends. I'm sure we couldn't have stood it for another day without going completely mad.” Kasy came running into the room and Shego caught her up in her arms and began kissing her as the little girl giggled and laughed.
“Well, it's obvious you didn't miss the twins,” Jean said, smiling.
“Not a bit. Where's Sheki?” Kim asked
“My guess is that your father is reading to her.”
“Okay, I don't want to disturb them. Shego, hand her over, my turn.”
“Patience, Princess, I'm not done yet,” and Shego quickly gave the little redhead a dozen more kisses before passing her to Kim. “Okay, here she is, but I'm going to go listen while Grandpa reads to Sheki.”
“Don't disturb them,” Kim warned as Shego went to look for the other daughter. When Shego was out of earshot, and between kisses to her daughter, Kim spoke to her mother. “I need help with a processional.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean the rabbi won't let us use the Wedding March or Here Comes the Bride music that everyone else uses. Shego says she has something in mind for the recessional. And while we were in Mexico she said she knew what my processional has to be. I said I'd come up with a processional for her, but I haven't got any ideas.”
“I don't know about ideas off the top of my head. Why can't you use the traditional ones?”
“The rabbi says its some kind of Jewish thing.”
“What other kind of limits are there?”
“She said there weren't any, except I can't use anything by the two guys who wrote those.”
“So you can have more contemporary music?”
“I don't suppose you'd consider a song by Billy Joel, 'You may be right, I may be crazy'?”
Jean Possible thought for a minute. “Come down to the basement. I don't know if you're interested, there's a song you might like by the Eagles.”
Fifteen minutes later, Kim laughed as she listened to the music, “That's it! Thanks mom.”
“You're welcome. Anything else you need help with?”
“Well…” Kim hesitated. “I think Shego would like to follow a tradition where we don't see each other for a week before the wedding. I was sort of wondering if she could stay here that week before?”
“I suppose. I'll ask your father. Why her? Couldn't you move in for the week?”
“I could. But she's afraid of starting law school too far behind everyone who started in the fall and thinks she'd get more studying done here.”
While they were talking Jean got out another album, “Are you sure you don't want to consider this?”
The voice of Billy Joel began, “Friday night I crashed your party
Saturday I said I'm sorry…”
“Where are you, Pumpkin?” Shego called from the head of the stairs.
“Down here,” Jean called. “Listening to music for the wedding.”
“MOM!” Kim hissed.
Shego made it to the stereo in time to go down on one knee in front of Kim and join in the song,
Now think of all the years you tried to
Find someone to satisfy you
I might be as crazy as you say
If I'm crazy then it's true
That it's all because of you
And you wouldn't want me any other way
You may be right
I may be crazy
But it just may be a lunatic you're looking for
It's too late to fight
It's too late to change me
You may be wrong for all I know
But you may be right
“Is that going to be my processional music?”
“I'm starting to think it should be. But I have something even better in mind.”
Apparently little had changed back at the house while they were gone. Bonnie didn't speak to Zita, but since she never had in high school neither one could say things were different. Bonnie and Ron were talking again, although the conversation was generally limited to phrases such as “Please pass the salt.” Justine appeared frustrated by some difficulty at work. For a woman who could usually solve problems with ease any failure struck especially hard. Fortunately Felix was giving her lots of support, both moral and otherwise, in her hour of need. And Monique, who had put in many extra hours at Club Banana in the run up to Christmas was trying hard to catch up on Z's before the New Year.
There was something of a surprise on January thirtieth, when the UPS truck stopped at the house with a package for Ron. He checked the return address label and went looking for Shego, finding her in the kitchen looking for a diet soda in the 'fridge.
“What'cha got Stoppable, anything for me?”
“I was kidding.”
“I'm not. You're having me as best man. I wanted to do something for you.”
“I'm counting the reception as one hell of a wedding gift for both of us. You didn't need to do anything else.”
Ron grinned. “I'm hoping you're really going to like this.”
“Okay, let me see it.”
Ron handed her a box and she tore into it, then stared at the large square of black and green linen with fringes at the corners. “It's, ah, very pretty. What in the hell is it?”
Ron shook his head, “You don't recognize a tallis, a prayer shawl?”
“The rabbi asked if you wanted a chuppah, a wedding canopy. You remember that, right?”
“Well, traditionally the chuppah was the groom's tallis. You would have four friends holding up the four corners on poles during the ceremony. It used to be that the Ashkenaz didn't give a guy a tallis until he got married, so whenever he wore it to services he could remember his wife. It also let the mothers with daughters know who was an eligible bachelor -- they didn't wear one.”
“Do the green and black mean anything?”
“No, usually a tallis is white and blue. The colors don't matter. Really, most of the thing doesn't matter as long as it has four corners. What's important are the fringes at the corners. There are six hundred and thirteen knots tied into the fringe. It symbolizes the traditional number of mitzvoth - commandments - in the Torah. The tallis can pretty much be any size, but some people call the tallit gadol, a big one like this, a tallis; and a little one, the tallit katan, a tallit. I figure if you're going to get married under it you need a big one.”
“What's this thing on the edge?”
“Well, since the thing is square you need a little 'this end up' sign. That's where your neck will be when you wear it. It's called an atarah. Do you want to know what that means?”
“No. But it looks like there is some kind of writing on it. What does that say?”
“You don't need words on the atarah, but a lot of people have the blessing you recite when you put it on. You can put on anything. For you, Miss Lawyer-to-be, I had them embroider something from the Pirkei Avot, the Sayings of the Fathers. It says 'Examine the witnesses diligently.' Want me to show you how to wear it?”
“If you would, please.”
Shego stood very still as Ron draped and folded the garment on her. “There, like that,” he told her. “Some people buy tallis clips to hold it in place… Are you okay? It looks like you're crying.”
“I am crying, damn it,” Shego said, throwing her arms around Ron and holding him tight. “God, I think this is the nicest present I've ever received.”
This was the moment when Monique walked into the kitchen, said 'Oops, ' and tried to leave. Shego called for her to stop, “Monique, go ask Kim to come in here.”
The black woman went to find Kim, expecting that Shego simply wanted her to see the black and green garment she was draped in.
Shego did not let go of Ron. He was a little curious about what was happening, but there are worse ways of spending time than in the arms of a beautiful woman. That was the scene Kim saw when she got into the room.
“Care to explain this picture? My fiancé in the arms of my best friend. Aren't I supposed to get a gun and shoot one of you?”
“I can't marry you, Princess.”
“I'm going to marry Ron.”
“What?” Ron asked in a startled voice.
“Yeah, what he said,” Kim said.
“He's the closest thing there is a perfect man. He cooks, he cleans if you threaten him a little, he's amazingly thoughtful and he's Jewish.”
“What about me?” Kim demanded.
“You don't do any of those. Besides, he seems pretty open-minded. He'll probably let me keep you as a mistress.”
“Mistress rather than wife? I won't stand for that kind of demotion. If anyone is going to marry Ron it's going to be me. “
“He's not perfect for you. He's Jewish.”
“Hey, you're Jewish too. If I'm willing to marry you I should be willing to marry Ron. Besides, I saw him first.”
“Yeah, but you dumped him.”
“I didn't dump him--”
“She didn't dump me,” Ron interrupted.
“It just didn't work out,” Kim finished
“Whatever. I say it’s the same thing and I want to pick up his option.”
Ron was still standing there in Shego's arms, wondering what in the world was happening and thinking it couldn't get any weirder. “Do I get any say in this?” he asked.
“No!” they said together.
“We're grown women,” Kim said. “We should be able to find a way to resolve this.”
“Uh, as long as neither of you go King Solomon on me and suggest cutting me in two,” Ron protested.
“There must be some way of settling this like civilized women,” Shego remarked.
“You know, it would be much easier to carry on a conversation if you would let go of Ron.”
“Oh, but he's very huggable. Much better than your Pandaroo. You don't mind my hugging you, do you Ron?”
The women smiled as he panicked. You can't tell a woman with plasma powers you don't like her holding you -- and you can't say you like her embrace in front of your best friend. “Can I pass on that?”
“Should we flip a coin for him, Princess, or cut cards?”
“Actually, I'm starting to think we may not be able to resolve this peacefully. We may need to fight a duel.”
“To the death?”
Kim grinned, “Well, sort of, I was thinking of la petite mort.”
“How does that work?”
“First one to die loses.”
“That's no fair. Ron has me so turned on you'll win right away.”
“Really?” Kim asked.
“No, I'm just suggesting, in my far too subtle way, that we should make it best three out of five.”
“Oh, I like that even better.”
Shego handed the tallis to Ron. “Could you fold that up right for me? I wouldn't want it to get damaged in the… uh, fight.”
“Your wish is my command, oh Miss Less-than-subtle,” Ron complained. “Since you two are fighting over me I don't suppose you'd let me watch.”
“No!” they said together.
“Jinx, you owe me a soda,” Kim giggled.
“You're not getting a soda, you're getting a tongue lashing young lady.”
“Promises, promises, let's see some action!” and the two left the kitchen for the privacy of their bedroom.
Ron was folding up the tallis when Monique returned to the kitchen. “What's going on with the young lovers? When I came downstairs they had their hands all over each other while they were going up. I think I heard Kim ask something like, 'best seven out of thirteen?' Do you have any idea what that was all about?”
“I do, 'Nique,” Ron sighed wistfully. “I always imagined that having two women fighting over me would be more fun… You know they don't even have a decent-sized key hole on their door to look through”
“Ron, I don't want to know why you know that.”
Kim and Shego had nothing in particular planned for New Year's Eve. Bonnie had invited most of the theater department to the house for a party. Monique was out with Will, and Justine had been invited to the party Kim's dad threw for co-workers at the research center. Felix had gone with Justine and was being introduced to co-workers as her boyfriend.
Kim and Shego considered going to the Possible's party, or going out by themselves. Having just had their 'honeymoon' in Mexico, however, they decided to stay home with the girls. Since the theater majors had taken over the rest of the house they barricaded themselves in the bedroom and nursery with an older television, a VCR, and a stack of mostly action/adventure movies. Zita, having no place to go, put on a pair of pajamas and joined them, and Ron also sought refuge with them against the ravaging hordes of theater folk.
“God, I love Jackie Chan,” Shego sighed as Kim took The Tuxedo out of the VCR. He knows his stuff and does comedy a well as he does the action sequences. Have we got any more of his?”
“Sorry, Dear, that's the end of Jackie Chan. I hope you like this next one, it's to remind us that we really have wonderful parents.” Kim popped in a new tape.
“What's it called?” Shego asked.
“But I'm a Cheerleader.“
“I don't think I ever heard of it.”
“Oh, I think you'll like it.”
Ron had made a foray down to the kitchen and popped up a couple bowls of popcorn in coconut oil for the wonderful artery-blocking-chockfull-of-cholesterol taste of movie popcorn. Kim and Shego were seated on the floor at the foot of the bed, using the bed as a backrest. Each had a girl on her lap and there was a bowl of popcorn between them. Ron and Zita were on top of the bed, sharing the second bowl.
“Damn, we're becoming an old married couple and we aren't even married yet,” Shego complained.
“What do you mean?”
“New Year's eve, Princess. Do you remember how this whole thing started?”
“I don't count New Year's eve as our anniversary.”
“Well you should. Anyway, here we are watching movies at home with the children, in a house with a mortgage--”
“No there isn't.”
“It's a metaphorical mortgage! Anyway, I'm just saying we're here with friends and kids instead of out painting the town red. We're dull, dull, DULL!”
Ron turned to Zita, “I'm not sure, but I think we should feel insulted.”
“So tell me, oh Great Whining One,” Kim demanded. “Were you happier without me back in the days of your irresponsible freedom?”
Shego looked down at Sheki, asleep on her lap. “No, I'll admit I'm happier now. Of course, if you remember, you said I had unusually low expectations. That's probably why I settled for you.”
“Are you going to take that, Kim?” Zita asked.
“I'll punish her after you go to bed.” Kim promised. “I'll have her begging for mercy… Or begging for more, maybe both.”