Shego arrived at the Lair in a foul mood. The fact she played by Wade's rules and had to call to set up an appointment to what she still viewed as her own place added to her frustration. The garage / hanger had been her domain when Drakken was in charge, and she had purchased tools as she saw fit and done what she damn well pleased. Now Wade had her filling out purchase orders. Purchase orders! What was next? Would he make her clock in and out and charge her for time spent on her private projects?
A little of the frustration disappeared as she pulled the engine block. The headaches disappeared when she was working with her hands. She could have taken the engine apart, worked on it, and reassembled it with her eyes closed. It gave her a sense of accomplishment; it told her she was competent. She felt nervous every time she handed in a paper -- would the professor think she'd done a good job or see she'd missed what was important? Could she really do well on the LSAT or was she only fooling herself. Even if she did well on the LSAT there was no guarantee Middleton Law would accept her -- it was a good program and lots of applicants were turned down. What would happen when she went to trial? Too much of her life seemed beyond her control. But when she worked with her hands she knew what she could do, and the inert pile of steel she had paid to have towed into the garage would purr when she drove it out.
Yesterday's fight with Kim had not helped. Shego wondered how she could have fallen in love with someone so naive. Sometimes Shego felt like Kim needed to grow up. Did she want Shego to go to prison? Thinking about how unreasonable Kim could be brought her back to the earlier fight over taxes. It was your sacred duty as an American citizen to avoid paying as much tax as possible. What in the hell other reason was there for people to vote for Republican candidates? They had no domestic, social, or foreign policy and were still able to fool some of the people all of the time. She doubted that Kim had ever held a meaningful job in her life. Oh, Kim's work was important -- but she did it as a hobby, because she enjoyed it. Her Mom and Dad were always there to buy her what she needed. Even that Global Justice internship was a game for Kim, she didn't know how to live on money she earned for herself.
Kim arrived back from class in a foul mood. She needed a way to work out her frustration, but with the due date a week away Dr. Shultz advised her to take it easy. She wanted to go into the gym and beat on a heavy bag until she collapsed from exhaustion. She wanted to spar; she felt the need to knock someone down. Shego was the person she wanted to knock over -- smug, grinning Shego. Yes, Shego was a little older and had more life experiences. But that didn't mean she had all the answers and could treat Kim in a patronizing manner. Shego's life choices were proof she didn't have all the answers. Here she was, saying she wanted to change her life around and still skirting the law. She had obviously lived at the edge of society for too long and needed to readjust to living with other people.
Shego glanced over at the clock, “God almighty! Where had the time gone?” Wade must have left for home hours ago -- probably assuming she was gone also. The rings, seals, and gaskets had all been replaced and she had started to reassemble the engine. There was no way she could get the job done tonight, and she hadn't meant to work this long. There was homework she should have done this evening, even though it would have left her head hurting. She considered calling Kim to apologize for being late, and then wondered why Kim hadn't called her to ask where she was. If Kim didn't care she wouldn’t give her the satisfaction of a call.
Kim glanced over at the clock, “Damn it, where had Shego gone?” She should have been home hours ago. And it wasn't the first time she had pulled this stunt either. This was the third time in the last two weeks when she didn't call, didn't explain where she was -- just showed up late and rummaged around in the refrigerator for something to eat when she got home. It was bad enough that poor Ron had the extra work of special meals for her, the least she could do is call him if she was going to be late. And what if Kim had gone into labor? Shego shouldn't let herself get out of touch like that. Kim considered calling Shego to make sure she was okay, and then decided it had been Shego's responsibility to call her. If Shego didn't care enough to let her know what was happening, she wouldn't give Shego the satisfaction of a call.
Finally, Kim gave up on Shego and went to bed. They had only been together for a month and a half, but Kim already missed not having Shego there. She took Pandaroo off the rocking chair and hugged the Cuddle Buddy™ who had been with her so many years as she tried to go to sleep. She wondered if she should try Drakken's sleep inducer, but shared some of Shego's concerns over the device.
Finally, Shego arrived back at the dark house. She opened the front door quietly -- the back door made more noise and was more likely to wake up Ron. Her stomach growled and she thought of trying to find something to eat, but decided her need for sleep was greater. She'd have a big breakfast tomorrow. She looked in at the living room couch, wondering if she should sleep downstairs again. She put off a decision until after she brushed her teeth and got into her pajamas.
Kim had left the light on Shego's nightstand turned on so the pale woman wouldn't trip over anything. Clearly Kim had expected her.
Shego slipped into bed quietly enough to not disturb Kim, but without even waking up Kim exchanged Pandaroo for her new cuddle buddy. They had only been together for a month and a half, but already Shego was losing the habit of sleeping alone engrained in her by so many years of practice. She smiled to herself as she repeated her new mantra until she fell asleep, “There's no place like home… There's no place like home… There's no place… “
Shego limited herself to two hours a day at the Lair, working on her project during the day whenever possible to avoid more late nights. Wade even offered to help. She wasn't sure if he was watching her or trying to get her finished and out of the Lair faster, but she was too grateful for real help to complain.
“Do you remember what we were doing a year ago? Hard to believe so much has happened in a year, isn't it.”
Shego smiled. “I'm thinking about a year from today. That will be pretty hard to believe too.”
“All those years fighting you, and I never knew you were such a romantic. Married on Valentine's Day… Wait a minute; are you romantic or cheap? Do you just want them together so one gift will cover Valentine's Day and our anniversary?”
“I'm romantic, cheap, and practical. It will be real hard to forget our anniversary. And remember -- you'll need to get something for your wife too.”
“Weren't we going to alternate Valentine's Day duties? I made reservations for the Astor tonight -- I had to call in some favors to get one this late. You'd better not be late again tonight… Where were you?”
“That's a surprise -- you'll have to wait. I'm sorry I was late, but Wade and I worked later than we planned to get it finished.”
“The surprise will be for me?”
“I'm sorry I got so upset with you. And I'm sorry about the other night. We still don't communicate very well. I need to try and see things from your point of view.” Kim kissed her partner, “I really do love you.”
Neither felt any desire to move from the warm bed and each other. “Oh, thinking about the wedding reminds me, Ruth asked if the chavurah could meet at our house sometime. I told her yes.”
“I wish you wouldn't remember other women when I kiss you. What's a chavurah?”
“As near as I can tell from her description its kind of a Bible study group for Jews.”
“That's fine, dear. I'm loving and supportive. Remember?"'
They spent more time under the blankets, until Shego noticed the time. “I've got to get moving. I have a class at ten and I didn't do enough preparation yesterday. I have to do some reading. But I'd much rather be a sloth and stay here with your arms around me.”
“What's so funny?”
“You said sloth.”
“I know I said it. I don't think the line was all that funny. Is it my delivery?”
“Do you remember the animology fad a couple years ago?”
“Guess who was a pink sloth?”
“I've got no idea, Kim. But I'm sure it wasn't you.”
“Really… Yeah, as I remember him back then, he probably was. I wonder if you would be different animals if you took the test at different times in your life? I think Ron is too assertive now to still be a pink sloth. I hope a person can change. I took the personality test and it said I lacked ambition and was terribly self-centered -- focused on no one but myself.”
“Oh, that was you a few years ago. You took the test? Do you remember what animal you were?”
“I do. When I took it then it said I was a yellow trout. But I'd like to take the personality test again and see what it would say about me now.”
“Don't you dare take it again!”
“Because I was a blue fox.”
They stared into each other's eyes, then together they whispered, “Soul-mates.” By the time they got out of bed to dress for school Shego had to abandon all plans to get any reading done before class.
Translation: Amantes sunt amentes - Lovers are lunatics