Jean Possible knocked on Joss's door. “You getting ready for school?” When she received no answer she opened the door and peered in, the room was empty.
Bego's metal body was stretched out on the floor of the living room as she stared out the window. Joss was seated cross-legged beside her, her leg touching one of Bego's outstretched arms. Joss was holding one of Jim or Tim's old sneakers up to her nose, taking in the foul aroma.
“Joss, time for breakfast.”
“Be.right.in, Aunt.Jean,” the robot body responded.
“Will you two give each other your bodies back! I swear, if you keep doing that you're going to get stuck some day.”
“I do not believe that is likely.” Joss responded. “And Wade said if we do not share brains periodically we will lose the ability to do so.”
“It's.sorta.like.how. Mom.always.said.if.I.kept.making.faces.one.day.one.of.them.would.stick,” the robot added.
“Please, Joss, may I keep your body through breakfast?”
“Why can I not have the body?”
“But I like to experience the taste.”
“And.you've.got.no.taste.in.what.you.eat. Last.time.I.let.you.eat.breakfast. you.ate.three.cloves.of.garlic! My.breath.was.stinking. for.the.rest.of.the.day. It's.as.bad.as.that.shoe. you're.sniffin’.now. You'd.better.not.make. me.sick.with.it.”
“Did I tell you that I was out to see Dr. Porter yesterday? She wishes to try and give me smell.”
Bego hesitated, “I do not understand.”
“It.was.a.joke,” Joss sighed, “maybe.you. could.ask. her.about. getting.a. sense.of.humor.”
“If I may judge from you I would rather have the sense of smell.”
They switched minds back and Joss gave Bego a hand to help her up from the floor. She wasn't sure if Bego was developing a sense of humor on her own or not.
Jean drove the four to school before heading to the hospital. Four teenagers in the house made brain surgery a welcome break from home. James would pick them up after school.
“Why is it that Kim usually walked to school and you four are always begging for rides? Three of you need the exercise.”
“Maybe we're not as responsible as Kim,” Joss suggested.
“Nah, it wasn't as far a walk when Kim started high school,” Jim said.
“Say what?” Jean asked.
“Physics, Mom,” Tim explained. “The universe is expanding. And since the universe is expanding, and we're part of the universe, the distance to school must be getting greater.”
She laughed, “The saying is that the world is getting smaller, I should pull over now and let you walk the rest of the way.”
“If we had our own car you wouldn't have to drive us to school,” Jim pointed out for the eighty-third time as the twins began their usual double-teaming.
“What part of the court order do you not understand? After what you did with the old Sloth you aren't allowed to work on a car until you're eighteen. “
“We won't touch the engine! Shego is a good mechanic. Joss too, they can get the engine--”
“Why.would.they.do.that.for.you?” Bego wanted to know.
“Doh, we'll give you rides if we have a car. We just want to spare Mom all the driving.”
“That's very noble of you boys,” Jean smiled, wondering if Jim really expected her to believe that. “Of course, in addition to the court order you'll be lucky if your Dad and Kim ever forgive you on that one. Besides, why do you need a car if you'll be starting your Bachelor's work at Middleton this fall?”
“Oh, yeah, like you gave us a choice on that,” Tim replied, taking up his theme. “You almost threw Kim out of the house when she started college, but you want to keep us under the microscope.”
“You know the reasons,” Jean answered without taking her eyes from the road. “Kim was older, more responsible, and never put rocket fuel in a lawn mower.”
“But, Mom, we don't want to live at home. Can we at least stay in the dorm?”
“With all the older students and no supervision? Actually, your dad and I are talking with someone about fixing up an apartment for the two of you close to campus. You could have some independence and we'd have a landlord who could watch you.”
“Wait, this apartment wouldn't be in Kim's house, would it.”
“Well, we're still in the negotiating stage on this, but I can tell you that it isn't in Kim's house,” Jean assured him. “The garage apartment at Kim's is not inside the house.”
“Yeah!” “Excellent!” the twins exclaimed, giving each other high fives.
Once in school the twins went one way and Joss and Bego went another.
Bego leaned back against the lockers and scanned the hallway as Joss and Erin got organized. She had been assigned a locker on another floor, but since she required no coat or jacket, and used Joss's textbooks, she simply carried a small folder with her assignments. On the other hand, she performed an important function as the other two worked in their lockers.
Erin and Joss ‘casually’ looked up from their lockers.
“Stop doing that,” Erin hissed. “He's my brother. He doesn't count.”
“Come on, Erin. Bego and I think he's cute.”
“Yeah, you two and all the other girls in school. You know you don't stand a chance, don't you?”
“I'm not fixin’ to date him. But there's no harm in lookin’, is there?”
“I guess not--”
Erin giggled loudly enough that Brendan had to pretend he didn't hear her. “I don't even want to think about that.” She turned to Joss, “You and Wade doing anything fun this weekend?”
“I don't know. He's been out on the East Coast for a week -- at a place called Innsmouth. Doc Drakken thinks there's something weird going on. And Bego and me are goin’ out tonight with the Doc and Jim and Tim.”
“Have you thought more about what I said? I think the three of us should try out for cheerleading this fall.”
“We need you,” Erin pleaded. “You're so strong you can support three people. Our squad would be able to do things no other cheerleaders in the conference can do.”
“Brendan is trying out for quarterback. Brendan in tight pants… Cheerleaders are down on the field by the team.”
Bego closed her eyes, imagining the sight.
“Stop puttin’ those images in her head,” Joss snapped. “She'll blow a circuit or something.”
“Maybe. No promises ‘till we see what Mom and Dad have to say about it,” Joss told Bego. “We'll be out in Montana for a good chunk of the summer,” she explained to Erin.
Joss sighed. She had written her parents to say she had added a sister to the family while she was in Middleton. She wasn't sure any warning was really going to prepare them for their new daughter. Still a man with a robot horse was in a better position to accept an electric daughter than most people.
“Come on, Sis,” Joss said, patting the robot on the arm, “Home Ec. Let's show ‘em what Ron taught us yesterday. But remember, when the recipe calls for oil it means vegetable oil.” She waved to the blonde as they left for room 313, “See ya at lunch.”