By late spring some semblance of routine came to Possible Manor. Kim swore she would try and be less jealous and controlling, Shego promised to try and be more open with her feelings. Neither really believed the other, but each was determined to try and keep her own promise.
Sheki and Kasy were sleeping for longer stretches of the night. Shego, Bonnie, and Kim rotated the late night feedings and everyone had caught up on sleep. Adequate sleep and the end of Shego's headaches meant that she and Kim were arguing less, which improved everyone's mood.
Shego had the contractors put a new floor down on the front porch, and had a handicapped ramp installed while they did the work. She and Ron had nailed together a couple Adirondack chairs and a loveseat for the front porch, which transformed the porch into a wonderful place to watch rainy spring days if you didn't have too much homework. Bonnie suggested a porch swing, and it went on the list of things to do someday.
Having regained at least some of her old repertoire Shego felt less self-conscious and sometimes sat out on the porch to practice the flute. She was not yet up to her father's standards, but the haunting Gaelic melodies charmed pedestrians walking through the neighborhood.
On warm spring days Kim and Shego delighted in loading the twins into a double stroller and walking them through the neighborhood or around the campus in the evenings. The delight came in seeing neighbors or other students try to figure out what was happening. The twin's fair skin, with just the smallest hint of green to it, made strangers identify Shego as the mother. Students on campus had seen Kim as she carried the babies, yet they also noticed the resemblance to Shego. The twins bore no resemblance to Ron, who everyone assumed was the father. Had Kim been a surrogate mother: carrying the babies for the other woman? Was the Lit. major related to the unknown father? And if she was, where and who was he? And the two women seemed terribly affectionate. Kim and Shego usually had a story to tell Monique or Ron when they got back from a stroll. Even Bonnie could enjoy the tales of bewilderment.
Kim's vigil on the front porch was rewarded when she caught Monique coming back from class.
“Sit down, GF. You've been avoiding being alone with me for days now. It means we need to talk.”
Monique took the other Adirondack chair, “Is it that obvious?”
“Sure is. Why hasn't Will been around for the last couple weeks? If he was on a mission he'd call and you'd be okay. You've been in a worse mood than Bonnie, and that's saying something. I thought you survived meeting his parents.”
“Yeah, I can take that kind of old school, East Coast, old blood racism. They tried to be all liberal and open, but you could tell they didn't like me. I thought of going ghetto sister dialect on them, but I kept my cool. I love Will… I thought I loved Will… “
Kim waited a minute, “So, what happened. Did his mom and dad get to him with their arguments?”
“I don't think so. While we were flying back he told me how proud he was of me and how I handled myself. Then we started talking about the future. It's hard to give up all your old blood prejudices when you've been taking them in since your mother's milk.”
“The race thing doesn't seem to bother him.”
“The 'race thing' as you call it isn't what this is about. Oh, maybe it is a little. I don't see how we can forget it completely. The Du women have never done any work except volunteer to pour tea at DAR events. I don't know if you know this, but his family has money. He doesn't need to work for Global Justice; he wants to help people. He expects his wife to stay at home and sit on the boards of charities. He made it clear he would not want me to work.”
“And you want to work?”
“Damn straight. I don't know if my Mom wanted to go to work, but she had to. And she gave me a model of a woman who can take care of herself and didn't take lip from anybody. I watched those Du women and how they listened to their men. If that's his model for married life I want no part of it. I'm getting a business degree. I'm good, and I enjoy my work. I'm not giving up what I want to be treated like a lap dog. I'm a realist. There are a lot of pressures in a mixed marriage, what if it doesn't work out? I want to be able to take care of myself. And I told him flat out I would not be a Du woman.”
“You're that committed to keeping your own name? I thought you were pretty traditional too.”
“I am pretty traditional, but a Du woman, think about it Kim.”
“I don't get it.”
“You didn't pay attention during Black History month in high school, did you? A do-rag was a way slave women and domestic servants put their hair up.”
“Not your fault. White people just don't get it. I'm not exactly the same as you, just with darker skin. All of us are the product of our histories. We can't escape it…”
“I meant I was sorry about you and Will.”
“He'll come back if he loves me. I know it. If he doesn't… I'm better off knowing that now.”
“If he comes back? Did he walk out or did you walk out? You're both proud. If he's waiting for you to call and you're waiting for him to call you're both going to be waiting for a long time. You want to hear about the two months I wasn't speaking to Shego?”
“I really want you to quit the Villain's Guild,” Kim demanded.
“And how many times do I have to tell you, the answer is no. The banquet is a chance to catch up with people I haven't seen in years.”
“The court won't like it.”
“Then I suggest you don't tell them.”
“You're going to get a real job.”
“Look, I've already told you. Lawyers are one of those jobs like lobbyist or used car salesman where you are welcome to join. I even checked this week, membership dues are a tax write-off.”
“Yeah, the IRS recognizes lawyers could be meeting prospective clients. It's a business expense.”
“That’s… that's…""Don't blow a gasket, Princess. Here's my best offer. You can come to the dinner next year as my bodyguard.
“That's your best offer?”
“Yeah, take it or leave it. Oh, and you have to promise not to throw the first punch. I don't want you to embarrass me in public.”
Besides the conversation with Kim after the Villain of the Year Awards on the subject of trust, Shego also wanted to talk with Wade -- who, she had decided, she probably didn't. She had a theory about the third Shego at the Villain of the Year Award. Her suspicions were not confirmed directly by Wade, since he was not taking her calls or responding to emails, but were confirmed indirectly when she went to the Lair and found the lock changed on the side door she used.
The lock impressed her, for a beginner it showed real potential. Pickman, her old teacher, would have seen it as a noble first effort. It took Shego about four minutes to open the door. Having opened the door, however, Shego hesitated. She owed Wade for helping her when she wanted to find Drakken and other favors. And while the retainer she currently received wasn't large it was still a breach of trust to break in. She almost convinced herself she was doing if for his own good, then closed and relocked the door. She left a note on the main door for the young genius:
We need to talk.
Shego didn't expect a quick response, and she wasn't disappointed. Almost two weeks after she left the message, however, her phone vibrated while she was in the library stacks. “Hello,” she whispered.
Fortunately Possible Manor was close to the U, within minutes Shego had the old Bug on the road for the Lair for her second fastest trip there. She didn't even bother picking the lock, her plasma blast turned a section of the doorframe into molten slag and fried half the alarm circuits -- although an alarm was still going off as she ran through the Lair looking for Wade.
His coughing drew her to the main lab. Wade was sitting on the floor, leaning up against the wall, looking badly roughed up and gingerly holding his left arm. Shego didn't like the angle of his arm; it was dislocated or broken. She grabbed a fire extinguisher and put out a couple small fires before going over to him. It looked like a couple other fires had burned themselves out before she got there. She filled in some details of her own theory as she worked.
Wade tried hard, and very unsuccessfully, to treat it lightly, “No big, just a little experiment that got out of hand.”
“Yeah, sure. And you always work around the lab with no pants on?”
Realizing Shego would not accept a lie he asked, “What are you going to tell Kim?”
“I'm going to tell her there was an accident in the lab and you called me. As far as I'm concerned that's all there is for me to say. If she wants to ask what the accident was, or why you called me, I'll tell her to ask you. You tell her any story you want. I keep my lies simple, it's easier that way. Now, do you want me to try and take you to the hospital or call and ambulance and let them see all this?”
“I'd like you to take me to the hospital.”
“You got a change of clothing around here?”
“Well, I'll check Doc's quarters for a pair of pants. Let's not raise too many questions when I bring you in.”
Before they got into the car Shego welded the side door shut. “You'll need to replace that. And if you're going to call me for help you have to give me a real key.”
“You're really not going to tell Kim anything?”
“Just what I told you. You called me. I took you to the hospital. I won't rat you out to your mother either.”
As they rode in Shego asked, “You want to talk about it, knowing its not going any further than this car?”
“I thought I had enough safeguards on the thing. Drakken gave me the plans months ago and I've been trying to work on a model that would be obedient without being mindless… Haven't had much luck at that. At least I took out the super speed and put in a couple safeguards that worked or I'd probably be dead now.”
“Kids today,” Shego muttered. “Back in my day all we needed was our own hand to provide ourselves with entertainment. But you've got to have your electronic gizmos. So, tell me Wade, how many batteries did she take?”
“Not funny, Shego.”
“I think it's hilarious. But you're the only one who'll hear it.”
Shego left the car at the emergency entrance and went in with Wade. After he was admitted she moved the car and came back to wait for news. While she waited she called Kim to say she would be late.
“Should Ron and I come down to see him?”
“No, I think boy genius is embarrassed that he could have an experiment go wrong. Wait a day or two and don't give him a hard time when you see him.”
Mrs. Load wondered why her son had called Shego, and why the pale woman had requested she bring a pair of pants over to the hospital.
“I think he called me because I know the Lair well and can get in. I'm not really sure about the pants -- maybe his got burned or had some chemicals on them. You'll have to ask him yourself, I'm just the driver.”
“Bless you, Shego.”
A large figure between Shego and the light cast a shadow on her as she finished the call to Mrs. Load.
“Officer Hobble, to what do I owe the honor?”
“Hospital gave me a call. This is the second time in a couple months you've brought in an injured man. I just want to ask a couple questions.”
“You think I hurt them?” Shego laughed. “Go in and talk with Wade. He'll tell you I'm nothing but a good Samaritan.”
While Officer Hobble questioned Wade his mother arrived with a small bag of clothes and waited with Shego. Hobble confirmed Shego's prediction, “He says you're the best friend he has. I'm just doing my job -- I had to ask.”
When Wade came out, his left arm in a sling, Shego told him the gist of her conversation with his mother, “She wanted you to give up the Lair. I pointed out you've had years without an accident and she agreed to let you continue to use it -- if you promise to stop whatever experiment you were working on.”
“I can agree to that,” Wade assured his mom. “And, Shego, when I get the side door repaired you'll get a key.”
“Shego, our moms called. They want to know when the baptism will be. Your Mom promises to have your whole family down for it… Well, she's not sure about your grandma.”
“What baptism? I'm Jewish, remember?”
“I'm not, remember?”
“You really think it means anything to put a little bit of water on their heads and shout Hallelujah?”
“You don't think it means anything?”
“Then what's your objection? If it's meaningless it isn't going to effect them?”
Shego opened her mouth to say Kim was twisting her words, then saw Kim grinning at her. “You're good.”
“Thanks. I'm living with a woman who plans to be a lawyer. I think she's going to make a damn fine one.”
“I'm sure she appreciates your confidence in her. But I happen to know she isn’t happy about the idea of baptizing her daughters.”
“I think she has to accept the fact she's outvoted. And if she thinks baptism doesn't matter, she should keep a low profile instead of raising a stink.”
“Rabbi, I need to talk with you about our daughters.”
“What is the problem?”
“Well, according to Halakah the children of a Jewish mother are Jewish, right?”
“Nothing much, what's nu with you? … I'm sorry Sharon. Nu is a Jewish word with no exact equivalent in English. In that sentence 'well?' or 'so what's your point?' might be a good paraphrase. You know mothers transmit Jewish identity -- so why are you asking?”
“So, my daughters with Kim--”
“Sharon. I know you're Kim's partner. But she's the mother, the girls will have her identity.”
“Let me tell you a story…”
At the end of the story the rabbi apologized for not having an answer to Shego's question. “The sages of the Talmud never discussed this problem. I'll check out the modern responsa and get back with you.
“But I do have one thing for you to remember. You were baptized as a child, correct?”
“Yes, in the Catholic Church. Confirmed in the Episcopal church.”
“And look how well you turned out.” Shego realized the rabbi wasn't being facetious; she didn't know Shego's past and was reminding her that the choices we make for ourselves are ultimately more important than those which are made for us.
“Thank you, Ruth. Oh, one quick question, what it the Hebrew word for mom?”
“It's eemah, why?”
“Well, as the girls get older if we both go by Mommy it might be a little confusing for us to tell which Mom a girl is trying to call.”
After Shego left Rabbi Horowitz put in a call to Beth Zion. “Avram? This is Ruth. I've got a question that is going to cross your eyes.” She retold the story, leaving out the names, but Rabbi Katz guessed who she was talking about.
“This is about Kim and that Shego woman?”
“Shego? Her name is Sharon. Anyway, over here we try to encourage a broad understanding of Jewish identity. I know there is a lot of debate going on in other movements because of all that's happening with infertility treatments. Is there a Conservative responsa on this yet?”
“Not a final call. The preliminary debate talked about genetic mothers -- which would be really complicated in this case if the story is true, the birth or gestational mother, and the social mother -- who raises the child, and is complicated again in this one. The preliminary responsa was that birth mother determines the child's identity. But I don't think the debate is over.”
“Okay, that wasn't the answer I wanted, but I'll pass it on and give you the credit for being the source. Oh, can you call the men in black for me and see if they have an answer?”
“I'd rather not, it is too much of an ego trip for them if a rabbi from another movement asks for their opinion.”
“Well they won't even talk to me because I'm a woman. Tell them you don't care squat for their opinion, but the Reconstructionist rabbi wanted to know -- that ought to be seven kinds of ego trip for them.”
“I'll make the call for you, Ruth, but remember; if you make the definition of Jew too broad it becomes meaningless.”
“I appreciate the call, but remember this, Avram, if you make the definition of Jew too narrow there won't be anybody left.”
Shego and Kim had very different perspectives on the redhead's efforts to get back in shape after the babies. Kim felt like things were moving very slowly and despaired of ever being back to where she had been. Shego felt Kim was making amazing progress and would fully recover her fighting skills by the end of the summer.
Shego sorted through the mail on the table in the entryway. She found a letter for her with the return address for the Federation of Jewish Child Survivors of the Holocaust? when she got home from Elizabethan Drama. She had to read it three times before she believed it, then let out a screech of joy. “KIM! BONNIE! RON! MONIQUE! WHO IS HOME?”
“Quiet, girl, you're going to wake the babies,” Monique scolded her from the top of the stairs.
Shego bounded up the steps three at a time, grabbed Monique and gave her a kiss. “I've got a great uncle I never knew I had!”
“What's that,” Ron asked as he emerged from the nursery. Apparently they had been watching Kasy and Sheki sleep - which was always more fascinating than anything you could find on cable television.
Shego gave Ron an enthusiastic hug and kiss also. “My grandma has an older brother. He was just a few years old when her parents sent him away before the war started. He never even knew he had a sister. He's still alive! He lives in Toronto.”
Bonnie came out to see what the noise was all about, Shego spared her the kiss but grabbed her for an impromptu fox trot -- that ended with them both falling on the floor laughing.
Shego didn't know how to call first, Grandma Gill or the home of the granduncle she had never met. She attempted the number for the uncle and found herself talking to his daughter -- no, her own first cousin once removed -- who initially could not believe the story she was told. Grandma Gill also took some convincing, Shego worried she might die of excitement when her grandmother finally believed the story.
“You'll come with me to meet him and your cousins, won't you?”
“Of course I will, grandma. Let me see what I can do about airline tickets.”
Shego regretted her promise as soon as she hung up. “I'm in trouble,” she told Kim, who had been in the room as she made the calls.
“I'm not sure if I'm allowed into Canada. I think when they let me go it was with the understanding I wouldn't be back.”
“Let me see if I can call in a favor,” Kim assured her.
Kim finally had to contact Wade for the phone number of Canada's secret service. Why did a secret service need an unlisted number? And the first call did not go well. “No, I don't know his real name, but he called himself Joe when he was working as a janitor in Middleton… No, it's in the United States … No, I didn't have a last name for him, and I'm not even sure if Joe was his real name. … Is there anyone there who could look through the files and find his name for me?”
Kim gave up. “Try again,” Shego said. “This time ask for Thomas J. MacKenzie.”
Kim hit redial. “Hello, I'd like to speak with Thomas MacKenzie. … Yes, I'll hold while you transfer me. … Hello, my name is Kim Possible and I'd-- … Joe? I'm so glad I was able to find you.” She glanced over at Shego, how had she known that?
“I can't promise anything,” Joe told Shego over the phone. “But it sounds like you have a legitimate reason for visiting Canada. This isn't some sort of stunt for yourself is it?”
“Hey, I plan to keep a low profile. The American network called PBS and the group Survivor's of the Shoah are both interesting in taping this. But I'm going to try and stay off camera at all times. There's a rumor I might have some enemies --”
“Funny how those rumors get started.”
“Hilarious. Anyway, I wouldn't want anyone being able to target my family.”
“I'll recommend you be allowed in for twenty-four hours and have someone watch you while you're here. Will that be enough?”
“I'd like forty-eight hours, if possible. These are relatives I've never met. Hey, any chance I can have you assigned to watch me?”
“I'll see what I can do.”
Shego seemed unusually quiet when she got back from Canada. She and Kim went out onto the porch after supper and sat on the new swing.
“Bonnie really bought this for the house?”
“Or for herself, yeah. She used some of the money she got from Jack Hench. She would like to sit out her with someone special and watch fireflies and snog.”
“Where did you learn snog?”
“The Harry Potter books, have you read them?”
“Did she put it up by herself?”
“No, Ron helped her. What's going on with you? You were so happy when you went off to Canada I was expecting gymnastics when you came home. You seem awfully quiet. Was anything wrong?”
Shego stared off across the lawn for a few minutes before answering. “I think everything was fine. It was just weird. I heard my grandmother speak Hungarian to someone. I mean, I've heard her use a few words when we'd ask her to say something -- but I've never heard her talk to someone who understood. I don't think she had used it in fifty years. I don't think he had either. Here were these two old people, never met in their lives, and they're talking to each other in a language neither one of them remembers. But they're brother and sister… It got me thinking about my great-grandparents. What it must it have been like for them -- sending a little boy away in hopes he would survive the war. Giving their newborn daughter away so her identity could be hidden. Dying for the sin of being Jewish… He had a picture of his parents. Grandma Gill couldn't even remember them, it was the first time she'd ever seen the face of her mother and father… “
Shego started crying, and Kim pulled her close, letting her weep on her shoulder. “Damn it, I'm happy! Why am I crying like this?”
Kim soothed her, “There are happy tears too. And sometimes we can be happy and sad at the same time…”
Kim tried to sound comfortable as she talked with Will. It didn't appear that Will and Monique were talking with each other yet, but at least she had them both at the same dinner table and hopefully they'd be sitting together like they always did for poker night. “We've really missed you. Shego does so well that she's getting an oversized ego.”
“That's not true,” Shego interrupted. “It's just a realistic assessment of how good I am.”
“Hot stuff, coming through,” Ron called as he brought the salmon filets and a platter of asparagus to the table. He returned to the table with a casserole dish filled with scalloped potatoes. “These are right out of the oven and too hot to pass. Give me your plates and I'll serve you.”
The fish and vegetables went around the table as Ron served potatoes. “The potatoes taste a little different tonight,” Bonnie commented.
“Well, I ran out of milk so I used a couple of those little bottles of formula Kim has mixed up in the fridge.”
Bonnie looked a little green. Her fears were confirmed by Kim, “Oh, God. Those aren't bottles of formula -- they're breast milk.”
Bonnie put a hand over her mouth, and ran for the bathroom. Ron lay the spoon down in the potatoes -- no one would be asking for more. Will lowered his fork and pushed his plate away. Monique pushed hers away also. “Can I take you out for dinner?” he asked. “We need to talk.”
Everyone looked over at Shego, who had continued eating. “What's wrong?” she demanded. “It's kosher or you couldn't feed it to babies.”
With the departure of Will and Monique there seemed little point in trying to play poker. Bonnie started on homework and Shego went upstairs to play with the babies. Ron helped Kim clean up in the kitchen -- 'Hey, I do the cooking, someone else does the cleaning' was his motto. The two moved out to the front porch, sat on the love seat and looked at the few stars that could be seen over the night sky of Middleton.
“Ron, what do you want to do with life? Global Justice is asking if you are ever going to take one of the internships they offer.”
“I don't know Kim. I'm not sure world saving is what I want to do. The whole hero bit is your thing. I'm your friend, so I went along with you to watch your back. But that doesn't mean I want it as my life's work. Besides, you have Shego to watch your back now.”
“Well, given the fact that Shego has no interest in working for Global Justice, and Dr. Director says Shego will never be hired by Global Justice I could still use someone to watch my back. Or are you going to be in Japan again this summer?”
“Doesn't look like I'm going to Japan.”
“You want to talk about that?”
“Not really… I mean, I do want to talk about it, but not really with you. I want to know what's happening. I got a letter from Yori… A letter! Not even a phone call! And she said I wouldn't be able to come to the Yamanouchi school this summer. She didn't tell me why. It's driving me crazy. I've only had a couple letters since then. They don't say anything! I'm wondering if I should just try and go over and find her.”
“I can't tell you what you should do. But if you don't go to Japan, Global Justice would love to have you… I'd love to have you. We always had fun.”
“Now, looking ahead to the future. I'm going with a program in law enforcement that Global Justice likes. Have you declared a major yet?”
“Oh, man, you're just as bad as my advisor.”
“I hate to sound like Bonnie, but it's time.”
“Hey, you only need a major if you plan to graduate.”
“You're going to drop out?”
“Who said anything about dropping out? I like college. I pick my classes so I can sleep late in the morning. They're lots of pretty girls to look at. Mom and dad are paying for my tuition and are happy as long as I bring back decent grades. I've got them trained to not have high expectations for my report cards. The way I see it, I can stretch four years of college out into six or seven if I play my cards right. Once you get a degree they expect you to work.”
“You are so the sloth.”
“And proud of it. Is saving the world really what you want to do with your life? It's dangerous out there, Kim; you know that. One day you're battling a crazy maniac bent on world conquest and the next you're sleeping with her and carrying her babies.”
“It's what I want to do now. Maybe I'm like Shego. I'll want to raise hell for a few years and then I'll want to settle down to peace and quiet. “
“Oh yeah, living with her is a sure ticket to domestic tranquility.”
“Better than a girl friend on the other side of the world. And at least I'm raising hell on the right side of the law.” She threw her arms around Ron and gave him a hug, “I'm sorry you don't know what's going on with Yori. I really love you and the way you've been here for me. If I can help you in any way, just ask. I hope you can be as happy as Shego and I are.”
Shego let the two embrace before she cleared her throat, “My fiancé, her best friend, and my Adirondack chair. Do you want to drink one of my beers, Stoppable, and make my humiliation complete?” Ron started to get up, but Shego just laughed. “You can keep the loveseat. I'm not jealous,” and she sat on the floor and leaned back against Kim's legs.
“How long were you listening?”
“I think Ron was saying something about six or seven years in school when I came out. You thinking about grad school, Stoppable?”
The three sat out on the porch, talking quietly. “A perfect spring night, the babies asleep, leaning back against Kim as she strokes my hair… Life doesn't get any better than this,” Shego told herself.
“Shego, it will be your choice whether you want to go with us or not for the baptism. The roof won't fall in if you go into a church today. All of my family is going to be there. My Nana is up from Florida. Even Matt and Ilene flew down this morning with the rest of your family. They would like you to be there. But you can stay here and eat bagels with Ron and read the New York Times if you want and then join us for lunch.”
“You say you'll walk up front with the girls -- would you expect me to carry one?”
“No, my mom will go up with me. Dr. Delahooke will baptize them and a couple other babies. It's really pretty simple.”
The Possible and O'Ceallaigh families, along with Bonnie and Monique filled two long pews at the church. Kim and her Mom took the girls down to the front of the sanctuary at the point where the bulletin read, “Service of Baptism.”
Shego grinned cheerfully at Kim during the ceremony. “Kim has no reason to complain, I'm here, aren't I?”
Kim glared at Shego. “How could she dress in mourning for a baptism?”
Bonnie got permission from the other residents of Possible Manor to hold the cast party for the final production of the school year there. Kim and Shego took the twins and spent the night with the Drs. Possible. James got in fewer games of bridge than he had planned, but managed to spend quality time playing with his grandkids.
Bonnie was not quite the center of attention at the party; the house managed that. But as the resident of the house, who invited the rest of the Theater Department for the party, Bonnie was the human center of attention -- which even made up for the fact the female lead in the play had gone to a senior. Monique and Ron had generously offered to help, but spent most of their time in the kitchen.
“I don't think we're that stuck on ourselves when the Business Department has a party.”
“Maybe not, but I'll bet you don't have as many good looking people in your department. I figure you have to be pretty full of yourself to go into theater.”
“Don't sell us short in business. We've got plenty of people stuck on themselves in my department too. When are you going to declare a major, Ron? It's about time.”
“I'm going to go with culinary arts.”
“Is that out of conviction or are you still looking for the easiest path for yourself?”
“You and Kim sound a lot alike when you grill me. Oh, hey, I'm thinking of a double major with business. That ought to let Mom and Dad keep me in school for a couple extra years.”
When the last of the set designers and lighting crew left the three did a fast pick up and Monique headed for bed. Bonnie had seemed oddly quiet given the extent of her triumph and went out to sit on the porch swing after they finished. After depositing the last bag of trash by the back door in the kitchen Ron joined her. She leaned over and gave him a fast peck on the cheek, “Thanks for putting up the swing and helping with the party.”
“Does Monique get one too?”
“I'll give you another one, you can pass it on for me.”
“You're still a 'phob, you know that?”
“I'm getting better. I think Kim and Shego tease me on purpose.”
“Only 'cause you're so easy.”
“Whoa, sorry girl.”
“No, I'm sorry. Flashback to spring break. I saw Brick. He thinks because we had sex in high school he's entitled…”
“I really am sorry. I just meant they think it's fun to tease you.”
“I know. Ron, you don't think they really play strip cribbage, do you?”
“They told you that?”
“Now there's an image that's going to stick in my brain… You seem a little down tonight. Sad that Ed didn't stay? Post Party-um depression?”
“No, Ed just came down to see the play one night because I was in it.”
“That was nice, you weren't even the main character.”
“Ed is a nice guy. I know a couple nice guys. I wish one of them would really ask me out.”
“He's out there somewhere for you, Bonnie. Is that why you're down?”
She smiled. “No. I'm just not sure what is going to happen to me next year.”
“What do you mean?”
“You know the Possibles are paying me to help Kim as sort of a, quote nanny, unquote. They asked me when Shego was in prison in Canada. With Shego out of jail they've got to know I'm not really doing much around here. Kim and Shego can get a regular babysitter when they need one for less than I'm getting paid. And I'm not going to get a housing stipend back next year either. I'm worried I might have to move back home. I know I'm not the most popular person in this house. Maybe if I have another good summer working at Club Banana I can save enough to pay for the dorm. I'll probably have to move home for the summer, I can't stay here if I'm not working for the Possibles.”
“You should consider trying to renegotiate before you give up.”
“Yeah. Kim and Shego could really use a lot of help this summer. Kim and I will be working for Global Justice -- and sometimes we might be gone for days at a time. Shego hopes to get over to Europe and take care of some of her legal problems there. You might make more if you worked at Club Banana over the summer -- but tell Kim and Shego you want to stay on next school year -- you'll keep your same salary for the summer, then stay on in the fall for room and board. If they agree you have almost no living expenses and another year at Possible Manor.”
“Do you want me here, Ron?”
“Yeah, under the rough edges you're really kind of sweet.”
She patted his hand, then left her hand on top of his, “Thanks. I think you're sweet too.” They sat on the porch swing, talking about the coming school year, until early in the morning. Bonnie wanted a goodnight kiss before going back to her room, but wouldn't make the move herself, Ron feared she might -- and didn't know how he would have responded. It was sometimes hard to stay madly in love with a girl on the other side of the world, especially on a warm spring night while rocking on a porch swing.
Translation: Cogito ergo doleo - I think, therefore I am depressed