Steve Barkin watched as Kim erased the board, his anger still boiling inside him. She had violated his space and he hated it. The fact she had been there with Shego only compounded the insult. While the situation had allowed him to solve a minor problem he felt like he had been extremely generous in not calling the police. He wanted to be sure there would never be a repetition of the ‘incident’.
Shego felt equally upset, although for different reasons.
Kim felt a combination of guilt and fear. Part of her wanted to blame Barkin for coming to school in the middle of the night, but she knew her own choices had led to the problem.
As Kim finished erasing the board Shego addressed Mr. Barkin, “I will be here tomorrow at four for orientation.”
“Bring proof of citizenship,” Barkin growled. “Real evidence this time. Payroll needs to see it for tax records. Your first class is day after tomorrow.”
Shego gave a slight nod of her head, turned on her heel, and went out the door. “Leave by the front door,” Barkin bellowed after her. “I turned off the alarm when I came in.” He turned back and saw Kim standing there, looking uncertain about what to do. “Get out,” he barked, and she took off running after Shego.
“So, that wasn't so bad, was it?” Kim asked as she caught up with Shego. The older woman said nothing and kept walking.
Kim tried again, “Maybe Joss or Bego will be in the class. You've said you'd like to spend some time working with them.” Shego said nothing as she pushed out of the doors into the night.
“We should check with the court, maybe your teaching time can count towards your community service,” the redhead suggested.
“Shut up, Kim. Just shut up.”
In silence they got into the car and Kim started to drive home.
Kim could not bear the silence, “Please talk to me, Shego. It scares me when you won't talk.”
“What are you talking about?”
“You're independent. You were on your own for years. When you get angry I'm afraid I've screwed up so bad that you're going to leave me.”
Shego remained silent.
“Please say something,” Kim begged. “I told you it scares me when you won't.”
“Stop the car. Turn off the engine.”
“Just pull over, first place you can.”
“You're not going to get out, are you?”
“No, just pull over.”
Frightened and uncertain what was happening Kim did as she was directed. Afraid that, despite her words, Shego would leave the car, Kim didn't know what to expect as she switched off the key to stop the engine.
Shego closed her eyes and leaned back against the car seat, “I'm as angry with me as I am with you. Make that more angry with me.”
“Angry with yourself?”
“That I don't have the backbone to stand up to you.”
“You're scaring and confusing me,” Kim said. “You're one of the bravest people I know.”
“No, I'm not. I live in constant fear. Do you have any idea what my worst nightmare is?”
“My getting killed on a mission and leaving you alone with the girls?”
“Okay do you know what my second to the worst nightmare is? And I'm serious, Kim, so help me. If you say missing a sale at Club Banana you're sleeping on the couch.”
“I don't know; what is it?”
“You tossing me out because I've grown dull and you've lost interest.”
Kim stared at Shego, unable to understand her words, “You're kidding.”
“Why would I do that? I told you, I'm serious.”
“You think I'd throw you out?”
“You love excitement. I'm not exciting anymore and it will just get worse. I'll wear a suit to work in an office. I already chauffer the kids around. I take your dress in to the dry cleaner. Last week at the grocery store I bought an extra jar of peanut butter because it was on sale. God, I got home and put the groceries away and started crying when I saw what I'd done.”
Kim grabbed Shego and began her own crying, “Oh, God. I'm sorry. I'm sorry.”
“I'm killing you,” Kim sobbed. “I've put you in prison. I'm sorry for the dry cleaning. You had your independence and I'm holding you back. You… We can't run off and do the things we want because I had the kids--”
“Don't you ever apologize for the twins,” Shego warned her sharply.
“I'm sorry. It's just that you had a life and I've taken it from you. There are so many days I feel like I'm holding you back.”
Shego drew Kim tighter in her embrace. “Don't ever believe that. My life didn't start until I met you. That's why I'm so afraid of losing you. How can I keep you interested? I'm getting dull. That's why I'm afraid to say ‘no’ to stupid ideas like, ‘Let's have sex in my old homeroom’. I'm afraid if I say no you'll find someone else who'll do your fantasies with you.”
Kim put her hands on Shego's shoulders and pushed herself away, staring deeply into the older woman's eyes. “What did you just say?”
“That I agree to things I think are wrong to keep you happy.”
“You really can say no. I don't have to get my way all the time.”
“I'm afraid to stand up to you, afraid that if I say no you'll think I'm too dull for you.”
“I thought you liked a little spontaneity… You didn't like our session on the Eiffel Tower?”
“That's different. The French expect that kind of behavior. They'd have probably given us the Legion of Honor or something if they caught us. But, swear to God Kim, I can see us taking the girls to visit Rome some day and you pull me aside from the tour group for Vatican sex.”
“Sounds like fun.”
“The Swiss guards would not be amused.”
“C'mon, Shego. I'm Methodist, you're Jewish. What can the Pope do to us? An extra hundred years in purgatory? Two hundred and fifty Hail Marys?”
“You sound like you'd really think about it!”
“No, what I'm thinking about is trying to decide which of the two of us is the greatest idiot in Middleton.”
Shego looked puzzled.
“I mean,” Kim tried to explain, “I like some of theal fresco stuff and everything. But sometimes I'm just feeling so guilty over what I've done to you I think sex is the only thing I can offer you to keep you interested in me.”
Shego just stared and Kim continued. “I always admire your independence, You'll tell off anyone. I don't have your courage and I feel timid around you. I feel like if you wanted to take off tomorrow you'd be gone. God, Shego, I'm as scared of losing you as you say you are of losing me. I feel like sex is the best incentive I can offer you to stay.”
They stared at each other silently for a few seconds. Shego started laughing, and Kim joined her, putting her arms back around Shego and holding her tightly.
“We are definitely the two biggest idiots in Middleton,” Shego laughed.
“Should we ask Ron to decide which of us is worse?”
“I don't care, I just want you to kiss me and tell me that you love me.”
“Your wish is not only my command, it is my distinct --”
“Kim, you talk too much.”
They both stopped talking. And the windows of the car gradually began to steam up.
The flashlight shining in through the driver's side window broke them apart.
“You two?” the officer growled at them. “I was expecting a pair of high school kids in the back seat. You got a home, and you ain't cheating on nobody. Take it there.”
“That you, Hobble?” Shego complained, trying to squint past the glare of the flashlight. “Other cops are out chasing crooks. Did you get stuck with harassing honest, tax-paying citizen duty or did you volunteer for the job?”
“You, honest?” he snorted. “It's an odd numbered day. You're parked on the wrong side of the street. I could ticket you.”
“But there's a crueller calling your name at Dunkin’ Donuts and you're going to let us off with a warning and go arrest a honey glazed.”
“Swear to God, Shego, you're going to push me too far one day.”
“And one day you'll fill an inside straight when we're playing poker. And one day hell is going to freeze over. But I think--”
Kim turned the key in the ignition and hit the accelerator. “Honestly,” she complained, “you and Hobble are worse than the twins. And at least they have the excuse of being three.”
Shego laughed, “Cut us some slack, Princess. We're just having fun. But he's right. We need to head home. I'm tired and have a headache. I need to go to bed.”
“Bed sounds great,” Kim giggled.
Shego sighed. “I'm talking about sleep.”
The light was on in the living room as they unlocked the door. Bego sat in the living room, plugged into the outlet, a chess set in mid-game sat on the coffee table in front of her. “How were the girls?” Kim asked.
“You. really. wanted. children?” the robot asked.
“Kasy. attempted. to. toast. her. ice. cream. You will. probably. need. to. buy. a new. toaster.”
Kim sighed. Shego had stopped to lock the front door, she peered into the living room over Kim's shoulder in time to hear the fate of the toaster. She looked at the chessboard for a minute. “Are you playing any better?”
“Helen. still. beats. me, but. I. believe. I. make. her. work. a. little. harder. for. the. win.”
“How's Joss?” Kim wanted to know.
“She. went. to. sleep. early. in. your. guest. room. She. is. so. exhausted. that. I. believe. she. will. sleep. well. tonight.”
Shego yawned, “We'll see you in the morning.”
“Kim. before. you. go. why. are. you. dressed. like. a. cheerleader?”
“Don't ask,” Kim instructed her. “Sometimes we have ideas that just don't work out.
Kim and Shego were halfway up the stairs when Kim stopped so suddenly Shego nearly bumped into her. “We have a ghost playing chess with my robot cousin in our living room.”
“Yeah, what about it?”
“We accept that as normal.”
“Kim, it's late. I have a headache. What is your point?”
“We've got two daughters, even though we're both women. And you're green.”
“Doh! Really. Next you're going to tell me that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.”
“Last week I arrested a brain floating in a bowl of fluid on top of what looked like a garbage can on wheels.”
“Kim, I'm starting to get pissed off again. What is your point?”
“I'm not sure. Maybe it shows that I need someone in my life who is normal and dependable; who wears a suit to the office and worries about the price of peanut butter. Or maybe, if my normal life is really weird, that means you are unusual and exotic because you're not. Does any of that make sense?”
“Kim, it's late, I'm royally stressed, and I've got a headache on top of that. I'm not sure if either of the options you just said makes sense.”
Kim stepped down to the stair Shego stood on, “Well they both mean the same thing. Whatever is happening with me, I need and want you.” She put her arms around the pale woman and held her tight. “I love you. Happy anniversary, Shego.”
Shego returned the embrace. “Happy anniversary, Kim. I love you too.”
“Let's go to bed now,” Kim whispered in her ear. “I'm going to make you scream my name loud enough to wake up the kids.”
“It's okay, Kim. You don't need sex to keep me.”
Kim pulled Shego close and gave her a long kiss, “How about if I'm doing it because I love you and want to show you how much I love you?”
Shego made a dangerous move for a stairway. She grabbed Kim and picked her up. Kim didn't resist. To do so might have sent them both falling down the steps. And she felt no need to resist being carried to bed in the arms of her lover.
--- The End ---