Prologue - December 25-27
Kim and Shego never left Kim's house on Christmas. Ron and Bonnie both stopped by at different times to check on how Kim was doing, and in Bonnie's case to get away from her own family. Both were happy for Kim, although Bonnie worried it would disturb the arrangement to get her away from home. Shego could not believe how much Tim and Jim had grown since she last saw them. She had almost learned to tell them apart, and now had to start over.
On December 26th, Boxing Day, the two surprised Monique when they went into Club Banana arm-in-arm. At this point Kim didn't care what the gossips said about any reputation she had left, she was just glad to have Shego back. In the evening they indulged James Possible's passion for bridge. After cards the pair hit the coffee shop, Most of the Legals were home for the holidays, but the two really wanted nothing more than to stare into each other's eyes across the table and talk.
By December 27th the two were able to bear a few hours separation as they prepared for the trip to see Shego's parents. Kim had a routine visit to her obgyn, Dr. Schultz, and a couple other errands. Shego called Wade, who was delighted she was back -- but seemed reluctant to let her into the Lair as quickly as she wanted “Give me an hour, I need to get some stuff put away.” Shego couldn't figure out why he needed to put his scientific work out of sight -- she knew he wouldn't accuse her of stealing ideas. She finally decided he must have started a porn collection now that he had his own lab away from home. He also claimed to have no spare keys around -- saying they weren't needed since he had voice recognition and a retinal scanner on the front door. She wasn't sure if she was on the DTP Lipsky payroll or not, but if not she certainly wanted reimbursed for the months she had paid rent and a set of keys to get to her belongings. Shego picked up a selection of CDs in her quarters and a few changes of clothing. She was too busy to investigate, but wondered what was going on in the old lab. Then she had an appointment with Alice Armstrong, the judge who had allowed her to post bail. She had an idea and questions that needed answers. By the time Shego was done at Judge Armstrong's home there was no time to ask further questions at the Middleton U. Registrar's Office. In the evening Kim and Shego packed their bags for the trip.
Chapter 1 - December 28
It would be a long drive to the home of Shego's parents. And since Kim's VW Bug didn't have air bags Jean loaned her car to the pair for their trip. Her car also had the advantage of a CD player which the old Bug lacked.
Kim planned an early morning start, but Shego proved difficult to motivate now that the day had arrived. Kim had needed to threaten Shego again with going by herself before the older woman could be persuaded to leave.
Kim had a little trouble fitting herself and the twins behind the steering wheel, but insisted on doing her share of the driving.
“Do you remember Felix and Justine?” Kim asked.
“I remember Felix. I'm not sure about Justine -- was she the flat and prim you were hoping would hook up with him?”
“Yeah. Well, I saw Felix yesterday while I was running errands and I'm still hopeful. He says she wants to get a job in Middleton Research next year after she finishes her Ph.D. at Berkeley and he is thinking about transferring here to finish his Bachelor's”
“You make it sound like they've set the wedding date. Come on, Kim. Felix is a nice guy and Justine is sort of a distorted mirror image Wade. What do the skinny genius and Felix have in common?”
“Well, she needs someone to make her human --”
“Gee, that rules out most of the people on earth. What about him? What does he get out of a relationship?”
“Okay, I'm still working on that. I'm hoping it's more than a wife with a big pay check.”
“Hey, it's as easy to fall in love with a rich woman as a poor one.”
“I think he appreciates and isn't threatened by a smart woman.”
Kim needed to stop at every Rest Area along the route. And with lunch and dinner on the road their ETA kept getting pushed further and further back.
When Shego was riding as a passenger, and part of the time while she was driving, Kim insisted she keep a hand on Kim's stomach so she could feel any kicks.
“Oh, did you feel that one?” Kim looked over and Shego's eyes had opened wide, “I guess you did. Weird, huh?”
“Even weirder for you, I imagine.”
“Don't say anything about the movie Alien or you get left by the side of the road.”
“It feels like they are already practicing their martial arts.”
“Little Jacob and Esau do that a lot.”
“Jacob and Esau?”
“Their working titles, it's from Genesis. Isn't that in your Torah?”
“I'm still new to this Jewish stuff.”
“Mom told me the story. They were twins, and the story says they struggled in their mother's womb. Mom says that Tim and Jim almost ended up as Jacob and Esau -- and I think our girls may deserve the name.
“We really have to start thinking seriously about names. Dr. Schultz said that they might be viable now if I have premature labor.”
“Let's save the fight over names for the trip back. I take my dreads one at a time and right now seeing my family again after all these years is the one on my mind.
“And I don't know about telling them about the Jewish stuff”
“Just going home after all this time is hard -- over the years it just got easier to stay away. And I love you, but I'm not sure how they're going to take my sleeping with a woman … I don't think they'll be as cool about it as your folks--”
“And you know my folks aren't as good about it as you think.”
“So you tell me. I hope my folks can hide it as well -- or we may be staying in a motel tonight and heading back to Middleton tomorrow. And I don't know what they're going to say about the twins. That's a lot to dump on someone even without the Jewish part.”
“You'll never get a better chance -- after you tell them about us and the babies the return to Judaism will seem like normal behavior.”
“You know, for the longest time I thought Go was your last name.”
“You're kidding, right? What, did you think She was my first name? That would have made it real hard to hide the secret identity when I was young.”
“Okay, well, remember, it was a while before I knew you had family and had been a hero. All I knew was that everyone called you Shego. I've met your brothers as heroes, can you run everyone's real names past me again?”
“Well, my dad is George O'Ceallaigh, G.O. the original Go in the family. Mom's birth name was Mary Susan Gilliford. Grandma called her Mary Sue, but she preferred Susan.
“Oh, while we're in town I hope to see grandma too -- if she's still alive.
“Henry Gregory, Hego, is the oldest of us kids. He was mostly Henry, and sometimes Hank. Matthew Gilliford, Mego, was next in line. He never told kids at school his middle name, he was always Matt. I was the middle kid, although it was several years before we knew that, I had about six years as the baby of the family.”
“Sharon Georgiana O'Ceallaigh, it has a nice sound. Was there ever room for your name on standardized test forms?”
“I think your branch on the family should have gone to the O'K-E-L-L-Y spelling. Can I still call you Shego?”
“I told you, Henry hung that on me when I was three. I've used it as long as I can remember. If I go back to college and find a job I'll be Sharon… But in the bedroom I'll answer to anything you want to call me.”
Kim smiled, “There's a pleasant thought.”
“Anyway, I was six when the twins were born, William Grant and Edward Geoffrey. It's been so long I don't know if they are still Billy and Eddie or not.”
“I'm looking forward to really meeting everyone.”
After a long pause Shego continued. “Ah, my family never had much money. I don't think that will have changed. The house won't look as nice as your home.”
“That doesn't matter.”
“I just wanted to warn you. We're like the family in HMS Pinafore; we occupy a station in the lower middle class. Dad doesn't make much teaching music in the public schools. There were always too many kids for mom to get a job outside the house, childcare would have taken more money than she could have earned.”
“But the GO Tower?”
“The city paid for that. We did a lot for the city, cleared out the big name criminals. And GO Tower was a tourist stop -- take the out-of-towners over and maybe they can see Team GO in action. But there was no salary in being a hero. That was another reason I quit. We were risking our lives for the city and didn't get a cent. Hego could have gone to the City Council and asked for a salary -- found out if the city was really serious about having us fight crime or not. But he was too noble, said a hero shouldn't take money for helping others. Big jerk.”
Kim glared at her, “Didn't we have that fight already?”
“Sorry. Maybe you and Hego should have been an item.”
“Anything else you think I need to know?”
“I don't know. You know everyone is mental in some way. Take obsessive-compulsive behavior. Some people, you can't even tell they have it. Some people, like Bonnie, can use it to help them organize. And some people end up in an institution because they spend sixteen hours a day washing their hands. Mom was a little what they now call bi-polar, for whatever that tells you. It used to be manic-depressive which says more -- except that some people think manic means maniac, crazy. Manic just means happy. Her highs were a little too high; her lows were a little too low. The medications she tried left her in worse shape than not taking them, so she did without. God, it used to be a lot of fun when she was happy.”
“Sounds like you inherited it.”
“I may have. Not as strong as Mom's though. We should take you in for analysis some time. Find out where you're crazy.”
“Oh, ask Monique about that. After Psychology 101 last spring she has a lot of theories about me. Wouldn't our relationship probably have gotten us labeled crazy at some time?”
“Still does by some people. And Dad is a guy; he always had trouble communicating. He could never rejoice enough with her, or sympathize enough when she was down. That led to fights between them. I can remember four separations; Henry said he could remember five. Dad would move out, but couldn't file for divorce -- he loved mom too much. He'd be back a few weeks or a couple months later begging her to take him back. It was hard on us kids.”
“Probably even harder on them.”
“You have to have the most eclectic taste in music of anyone I've ever met,” Kim told Shego as the older woman put away a rap CD by MC Honey and slid in the second CD of a two CD set for Mozart's Magic Flute.
“Blame it on dad. We always had everything around the house. Hold on, I want to skip to the track with the Queen of the Night aria, it's got to be the most incredible thing ever written for a soprano.”
Kim liked the Joan Jett and Indigo Girls, but Gilbert and Sullivan's Iolanthe left her cold.
Shego was taking a turn behind the wheel and asked Kim to take out the Lunachicks CD when it ended.
“What are you going to have me put in next, Gregorian chants.”
“No, I left those back at the Lair.” Kim wasn't sure if Shego was kidding or not. “Put in the Bowling for Soup, they have two songs that always make me think of my mother.
“Okay, for my mom it should probably be Nineteen Seventy-five instead of Nineteen Eighty-five, but it still works.”
Where’s the mini-skirt made of snake skin
and who’s the other guy that's singing in Van Halen
when did reality become T.V.
what ever happen to sitcoms, game shows
(on the radio was)
Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, way before Nirvana
there was U2 and Blondie and music still on MTV
her two kids in high school
they tell her that she’s uncool
cuz she's still preoccupied with
19, 19, 1985
“And there is really nothing of mom in this next one, Bi-polar, except the title. But I still think you'll get a kick out of it. Oh, let's leave the Vivaldi and Spike Jones for the trip home.”
Kim left navigation in a strange city to Shego. Even though it had been years the streets seemed eerily familiar to the pale green woman as they got closer to her old neighborhood.
Shego parked the car in front of a small frame house and Kim quickly reached over, took the keys from the ignition, and pocketed them. “I could hot wire the car,” Shego told her.
“You wouldn't do that to my Mom.”
Shego stared at the house. “It's smaller than I remember.”
“You were smaller then.”
“I wonder if the back yard is smaller too. God, it was huge when I was growing up. I doubt if the tree house is still there. Dad was so proud of that -- Mom was worried one of us would fall and break a neck.”
“We need to go in.”
“Can we wait a few more minutes? Just a little time alone with the two of us?”
“We've just had eight or nine hours alone. It's freezing outside and the car will start getting cold in about one minute. And I have two babies sitting on my bladder -- I need to pee. I can't believe you are such a coward. Look, you can see someone staring out at the car. I'm going in and using the bathroom. You can sit here as long as you want. Pop the trunk so I can get my bag.”
“You're not going to carry that bag.”
“Well, it's not going to get in the house by itself.”
“Fine, we'll go in together. Let me get the bags.”
The door opened as they climbed the steps onto the front porch and they walked in. As soon as Shego went in the door a woman with silver streaks in her own long, black hair grabbed her, and held on like she never planned to let go. “Sharon,” she sobbed, “Sharon… It is so good to have you home.”
Kim knew that coming to see Shego's parents was the right thing, although Shego still hadn't made up her mind. At the moment her mind was on the irony of suffocating as someone who loved you dearly hugged you to death.
Kim glanced around the crowded front hallway. They didn't need their costumes for Kim to sort out Shego's brothers. The man with the green sweater and cup of coffee, who looked like an older version of Hego and the twins, must be Shego's father.
He stuck out a hand, “George O'Ceallaigh, thanks for bringing Georgie home.” Then turning to his wife he said, “Come on, Susan, turn her loose and give someone else a turn.”
Shego's mom refused to let her daughter go, so the best he could do was share a joint hug. That didn't make it easier for Shego to breathe -- she hoped when she passed out she would be able to collapse on the floor so they would notice something was wrong.
“Hey, Kim, how was the trip?” one of the Wegos asked.
“Mostly cold. Sorry we couldn't give you a firm arrival time -- I had to make a lot of stops.”
She noticed Henry was simply staring at her stomach, “What happened to you?”
Matt gave him an elbow to the ribs, “That ought to be pretty obvious.” He turned to Kim; “I have to leave in a couple minutes, got to get a late supper ready for my wife when she gets off work. I'll try to bring her by tomorrow to meet Sis and hear your story.”
Shego, ever resourceful in arranging escapes, got enough air in her lungs to make a request, “Where can I put the bags?”
“Oh dear, I'm not sure what we're going to do about sleeping arrangements,” her mom said. “I was so excited about you coming home it didn't register that Kim was coming with you. Your old room is the home office now. Will and Ed each have a bedroom. I was going to put them in together and give you a room… But with Kim here, and expecting… Well, I can't put her on the couch can I?”
“Uh, Mrs. O'Ceallaigh --”
“Please, call me Susan.”
“Shego and I have been sleeping together. You're going to be a grandmother.”
A deafening silence filled the front hall of the O'Ceallaigh house. “Uh, I really need to use the bathroom. Maybe Sharon can explain things while I'm there.”
Shego glared at Kim, “Thanks for the moral support, partner.”
One of the twins, she couldn't tell William from Edward, showed her to a half bathroom. Kim took her time. She planned on staying until the volume died down and was willing to spend the night in the bathroom if necessary. Since she was often getting up every two hours to use the bathroom anyway it made sense.
Kim called Middleton to assure her parents they had arrived safely.
Fortunately someone had left a Chicago Tribune in the room, because the level of the voices outside gave no indication that the controversy would be ending any time soon.
BAM! BAM! BAM!
“All right, Kim. We know you're in there. Come out with your hands up and no one gets hurt.”
Shego's mom gave Kim a timid hug when she emerged from the bathroom. Her dad offered his hand again. “Uh, welcome to the family.”
“Matt went home while you were hiding,” Shego told Kim.
“And I need to go back to my apartment,” Hego announced. He looked distinctly uncomfortable as he shook hands with Kim before leaving.
When Henry left the rest of them moved to the living room. Susan managed to seat herself between Kim and Shego on the couch and held hands with each of them. Kim assumed it was to keep a hold on Shego and to welcome the woman carrying her grandchildren into the family rather than to keep the two of them from doing wild lesbian things in front of her sons.
“Can I make either of you a cup of coffee,” George asked.
“I'd love one, Dad.”
“Thank you, Mr. O'Ceallaigh, I'll have one too.”
One of the twins requested a cup also.
“How do I tell the two of you apart?” Kim asked the twins, “And what do I call you? Shego called you Billy and Eddie.”
“On the second part, Sis has been gone for a long time. We've been Will and Ed for years now,” one told her.
“And as for the first question, didn't you tell us you had twin brothers? How do you tell them apart?”
“I just know, at least when we're together. I can still confuse them at a distance, but up close I learned how to tell them apart.”
“If we see enough of you, you can learn too. I don't think Shego can tell us apart anymore. She says you're going to have twins. Any idea if they'll be identical?”
“No idea, we only did genetic testing to make sure they were human,” Kim wondered if that sounded as crazy to them as it did to her. “It's a fifty-fifty chance either way on being identical.”
Shego's dad returned soon with steaming mugs of coffee and a plate of cookies.
“Oh, George, where are your manners?” Susan asked and got up to find napkins and saucers.
The next couple hours were mostly spent on catching up with family news. It didn't mean much to Kim, but she kept watching Shego and the pale woman didn't appear to be angry or impatient. Since Kim knew Shego had trouble hiding feelings of irritation she took it as a good sign.
The conversation showed no sign of lagging when Shego announced, “I want to make sure Kim gets enough sleep. Let's leave some things to talk about later.”
“It is cold in here. I'm glad you told me to pack a flannel night gown.”
“I couldn't imagine that had changed. Do you want me to warm the room a little with plasma heat?”
“No! After Tibet that just worries me.”
“Well, speaking of Tibet, how about we snuggle real close and share body heat?”
“Will that be any fun without Ron here to complain?”
“Trust me, Princess, it will be ever so much more fun without Ron here to complain.”