“It's the birthplace of modern coffee, so have some,” Shego said with a grin, nudging Yori towards the small café. The two of them were out and about while their “lair” was undergoing construction, Ron and Kim having stayed behind to watch over the workmen.
Yori glanced at her friend, then up at the long menu above the counter as they walked inside. Americans seemed to approach strange combinations and wide variety of flavors in their hot coffee that the Japanese tended to reserve for soda or candy. “I… am not sure where to begin?” she hedged.
“Try the white chocolate mocha. And don't make faces, I can tell.”
The two women settled in on a not-too-gross park bench, Shego taking a long drink of her coffee while Yori tentatively sipped hers.
“Bleh. Horrible,” Shego grumbled, making a face.
“Then why do you drink it?” Yori asked, glancing aside at her friend.
“Habit. Tasted different before the change. My habits still insist the stuff will taste good.” Sighing, Shego rested the cup atop her leg. “Oh well. Not the first time I've made myself miserable convincing myself I was doing something I enjoyed.”
“…” Yori ducked her head a little. “Shego, I sometimes do not know what to say to such things.”
“Um, it's okay. Sorry.” Shego raised a hand, making a ‘back up’ gesture to Yori. “You don't have to say anything. I didn't mean to dump on you.”
Yori shook her head. “No. I like that you speak to me so freely. I just…” She sighed, shaking her head.
Shego leaned back and looked up at the sky. It was grey and overcast, of course, a damp feeling in the air promising rain to even those without enhanced senses. But Shego couldn't just feel the dampness in the air, couldn't just smell the rain. She could smell how much it would rain… not a lot, the smell wasn't intense enough. And she could feel the pressure gradually changing as if something were pressing on the back part of her brain. The first time a really bad thunderstorm had come up after the change she'd almost panicked over the flood of information telling her ‘Bad stuff! BAD STUFF!’
“I am not sure how to be a… ‘girlfriend’,” Yori ventured after a few minutes. “Perhaps in any sense of the word.”
“Hm?” Shego blinked a few times, looking at Yori from behind her sunglasses.
“Ron and I never… we were never a couple the way ‘normal’ people are. I have only the vaguest sense of what is expected of me as a proper Japanese girlfriend, and none at all of an American one.”
“And he doesn't care one bit,” Shego replied simply. “He loves you, and for him you loving him is all you need to do.”
“Your simplicity of view is sometimes comforting,” Yori said, smiling a little.
“So what's up really?”
“It is more that… I am unsure of how to be a…” She pondered for a moment, then thrust her hand out in front of her, almost shouting, “GirlFRAY-end!”
Shego stared. And stared. Then flung her coffee away before she spilled it on herself as she bent almost double with laughter, hands pressing in hard against her sides.
Yori blushed as Shego vented her mirth, the disguised woman eventually slamming her fist against the bench itself a few times to try and help herself get the sheer overabundance of reaction out. The metal rang loudly, stopping just short of visibly denting, before Shego slumped back, tears sliding down her cheeks and across the (thankfully waterproof) body paint.
“Oh god… oh god… don't do that to me,” she gasped, shaking her head.
“It is your honor to laugh at my expense,” Yori said dryly.
“I refuse to be blamed for that one. Good lord, girl!” Shego giggled, carefully wiping her cheeks with her hand. “But that's what you're worried about?”
“… Yes.” Yori nodded once. “I am not sure what is the… right… way to try and help you. I know how to help you feel needed, how to make you feel… strong, I suppose. I am unsure how best to make you feel better when you seem to need it.”
“Need it?” Shego tilted her head.
“Sometimes, when you say things such as you did, I think…” Yori frowned, her brow creasing a little. “I think you want to talk about something. For some reason you cannot with Kim or Ron, and you want to with me.”
“… I want to tell you that is okay. That I do want to hear, and help. But I do not know how.”
Shego regarded Yori for long moments, then leaned forward. “Hug addict time.”
“If you insist.” Yori smiled softly, wrapping her arms around Shego and receiving a squeeze around her middle in return.
“Yori, listen.” Shego drew back a little, reaching up to take off the sunglasses and set them aside, looking into the other girl's eyes. She raised a hand to touch Yori's cheek. “Maybe I didn't choose to make you Pack. Maybe your kindness just imprinted you on me when I was hurting and down. You will always be Pack, whether I choose it or not.” Shego leaned forward a bit, almost forehead-to-forehead. “But I choose to make you my friend. I choose to make you family.”
Yori took a deep breath, closing her eyes. “What is family?”
“Family is what you make of it. Maybe that's the lesson I had to learn from the problems I had with my own. My brothers are my brothers because they're my blood.” Shego closed her own eyes and rested her forehead against Yori's. “You are my little sister because you make my days brighter and better.”
“…” Yori swallowed hard, two tears slipping down her cheeks. “Arigato… oneesan.”
“From now on, don't worry about being any kind of girlfriend.” Shego raised her hand to rest it atop Yori's head. “Just be ‘imouto’. And you know how to be one of those. You've been one for awhile now.”
Shego smiled, opening her eyes to peek at Yori, the Japanese girl having been doing the same. Both giggled at being “caught”, before Shego sat up and slid her sunglasses back on, glancing aside. “Crap. Spilled my coffee.”
“You hated it anyway,” Yori said simply, taking a longer drink from her own cup.
“Two minutes as a big sister, and now the abuse starts. I see, that's how it goes, huh?” Shego smirked and poked Yori in the side, getting another giggle in reply.
“But yeah, I never really enjoyed a tropical vacation until that one with you guys,” Shego said as the two of them walked through a mall, the rain pattering against the skylights. Yori's hand was clasped in hers, the two of them swinging their joined arms lightly, almost like schoolchildren without a thought in the world other than wanting some contact with a friend. “Looking back, I think they really made me feel worse, because I wasn't enjoying them like I thought I should.”
“Not even when you were small?” Yori queried. “You must have taken such vacations then, with your family.”
“Even when you're loaded, traveling with four brothers, your parents, and probably a couple of other relatives tagging along doesn't make for that enjoyable of an experience,” Shego explained dryly. “At least, not for me.”
“Such relatives as…?”
“My grandma, every so often. Snooty old bat, looked at me like I was green even before I was.” Shego shrugged a little. “I mean, I think she liked me well enough, probably even loved me, but even a six-year-old could pick up that she wasn't fond of my mom.”
“As I understand it, such is often the case with mothers on both sides.”
“Never met my grandparents on my mom's side. I think they died before she had kids.” Shego frowned a little, trying to pin down any particular thing she'd ever heard that had given her that impression. Maybe she'd break down and get in touch with Hego, ask if he remembered that side of their family at all.
The two of them stopped beside a railing, Shego leaning forward and folding her forearms on it, Yori resting her hands lightly, both of them watching people mill about on the lower level.
“So no good times with your family at all?”
“Probably more than I usually admit,” Shego allowed, words slow. “Really, if I'm honest, there's not a single member of my family I don't have at least a few happy memories of.”
“Would you tell me one about your grandmother?” Yori asked. When Shego looked at her curiously, she blushed a little and shrugged. “I am curious.”
“Well. Let's see.” Shego worked her jaw a little, sorting through memories she'd let get “rusty”. As she ruminated on the subject, she realized that maybe she had more of them than she'd thought. And one suddenly stuck out, made her smile. “There was this dinner party…”
“Yes? Go on.”
Shego grinned ruefully, putting a hand to her forehead. ‘Damn. How did I let myself forget that? Maybe I'm the one with a stick up my ass.’ “It was this dinner party. Some city event. You know, dress in expensive clothes you don't really like that much, talk to expensive people you like even less. Worse for me because I'd get these horrified or disgusted or pitying looks from people all night because of how I looked. And this feeling hanging over my head of ‘You're representing the family, don't embarrass us’.”
She turned around and leaned back against the railing, resting her elbows on it. “So this guy my own age… I guess I was about thirteen… some senator's son. He starts making as if he's just talking with me, but sliding color jokes in wherever he can. ‘Personally I think the team's a bit green this year’, ‘looked like a squashed frog, you know’, ‘tasted like an unripe apple’, ‘like comparing diamonds to emeralds’. Would have been almost clever if he weren't being such a dick.
“Anyway, my grandma wasn't too far away, and I guess she caught on to what he was saying. I was just standing there staring at him, almost in tears because everything in me just wanted to tear into him, rip him up and down, beat his brains in, but I didn't want to embarrass my team or my family. And here she comes, walks up to this politician's kid, and slaps the -shit- out of him.”
Yori gave a small squawk that sounded like a mixture of surprise and laughter.
“He's standing there, starting to blubber and bluster, but she just looks at him and says ‘Shut up and stand there.’ Then she looks at me and says ‘Green or not, you're still a Go. And Go women don't let ourselves be treated like that. Slap him.'” Shego grinned in bemusement, rubbing the back of her neck. “Maybe I shouldn't have floored ‘im, but I was pretty thrilled.”
“She… sounds like an extraordinary woman,” Yori murmured, voice shaking as she tried not to burst out laughing.
“Yeah. Maybe so.” Shego shook her head. “I was feeling really low through a lot of that, maybe I put things in the wrong light. Maybe now that I'm in a better place…”
Yori settled down, smiling at Shego. “You can see what your family is?”
“… Yeah.” Shego glanced off to the side, her voice quiet, face thoughtful. “Maybe so.”
Shego walked into the computer area, the jaguar prowling after her, the big cat raising its head to yawn widely, tongue curling. Shego gave it a few pats on the neck before settling down in front of Yori's workstation and signing in under her own account.
True, she was no Wade-class hacker, but she knew enough, especially when the computer already had some of the programs she needed. She set up the rerouting program, then settled the headset into place over her ears. The jaguar flopped beside her chair, and as Shego listened to the phone ring, she stroked a hand along the feline's back.
“Hello?” a cheerful voice she hadn't been expecting said.
“… Hey, Mom,” Shego replied softly.
“Oh.” The shock was apparent. “Shego, I… hello.”
“Yes, um… how are you?”
“I'm… I'm alright. Listen, is dad there?”
“Yes, just a second. Elliot! Pick up a phone?”
“…” Shego shifted in her chair nervously, worrying her lower lip with a fang until she was afraid she'd puncture herself.
Without thinking about it or really wanting to, Shego felt her spine straighten. “Father.”
“Sheila? Hello. Is everything alright?”
“Yeah. It's…” Shego shook her head. “Listen, I can't stay on the line for that long. Fath-…” She cut herself off, then said, a bit more gently, “Dad. Can you do legal documents over the phone?”
“It's possible. Why?”
“I need to… I mean, I'm not in any danger right now or anything. Not immediately. Just in case, I… I wanna do my will.”
“I can have our lawyer and a witness on the line in five minutes. Can you wait that long?”
Shego glanced at the program window. “I can call back.”
“Alright. Five minutes, then.”
“Shego?” Her mother's voice again. “I love you.”
“… Love you too, Mom. I wanna talk. Just can't much now.” With that, Shego cut the line, then pressed her palms tightly against her eyes, taking deep breaths.
It took much of the five minutes to adequately compose herself. Setting up a new series of redirects for the phone call took much less time.
“Sheila?” her father answered.
“Yeah, I'm here.”
“Alright. I, your mother, the family lawyer, and his assistant are here on the line, and the call's being recorded. State your full name, and what you'd like to do.”
“Okay.” Shego took a deep breath. “This is Sheila Rhettie Go, and I want to lay out what should happen to my assets in the event of my death.”
“Understood. Please go ahead,” a male voice prompted.
“First of all, I… I want to put Kimberly Anne Possible down as… like, my life companion, or… something like that. Can I do that?”
“Yes.” It was her father who answered that one. “If you want to, we'll fill in the legal terminology.”
“… Thank you,” Shego said softly. It was thanks for confirming more than just the legal status. “I'd like Kim to get my trust fund, and… um… do I still…?”
“Yes, nothing you were slated to inherit has been changed.”
“She wouldn't dare,” Shego heard her mother mutter.
“What? I didn't say anything, line interference.”
“Heh. Okay. Um, I want Kim to inherit my trust fund, and I guess all of my personal possessions that I still have there… oh, and that library that I'm supposed to inherit, I guess. I want that to go to her name.”
“Alright. Everything to Miss Possible, then?”
“… No. From my trust fund, one million a year to Yori Kokuei, and one million a year to Ron Stoppable. I want Ron to have that classic car that was being restored for me before I left, if it's still around. Yori should have that display of ancient Asian weaponry at the museum changed to her name instead of mine. And…”
“Yes, dear?” her father prompted after a moment.
Shego smiled a little. It was the first time she could remember her father calling her something besides “Sheila”. Though she wondered if she wasn't just remembering what she wanted to.
“All the titles. The house, the land, the buildings. And my seat on the Go Family Council. I want those to go to Yori.”
“Shego?” her mother sounded surprised.
“Young lady, that-” the lawyer started to say.
“Shego.” That surprised her more than the ‘dear’. It was definitely the first time her father had called her by her Honor Name. “We'll make sure that happens, if that's what you want. But who is this woman? And why do you want her to take a place that's reserved for a Go?”
“… Because she's my sister,” Shego said softly.
“Huh? Whoa, mom, no!” Shego laughed nervously. “I mean… in my heart. She's my sister because I want her to be.”
“Alright,” her father answered slowly.
“As to why…” Shego smiled lopsidedly. “I think grandma would like her.”
“That'd be a first.”
“What, I said -nothing-, god this line's noisy, Shego, I love you, please let's talk again soon.” *klik*
“Is that all?”
“Mr. How, that will be all.”
“Yes, sir.” *klik* *klik*
“Dad, I… thank you.”
“All you ever had to do was ask.” There was something softer, a little sadder in his voice as he answered.
“… I can't be sure if that's true.”
“Perhaps you're right. But I want you to know I love you very much, Sheila. I see now I made mistakes, but if it seemed I never hesitated on deciding something for you, it's because I would never hesitate if what I thought I was doing was what you needed.”
“… I know, dad. At least, I think I'm starting to. I love you too.”
“Please call again if you can. There's much you, your mother, and I have to talk about.”
“I'll see what I can do. Bye, Dad.”
“Sweet dreams, Sheila.”
The line closed from the other end, and Sheila leaned back in her chair, closing her eyes. All at once she was further away from her parents than ever, and closer than ever to them as well.
How life had changed because of one little shot to the arm, and because Kim Possible listened to her heart and not her head.
‘I used to think it was just my life she'd made better while turning it upside-down,’ Shego thought as she headed back down the stairs, the jaguar padding sleepily after. She stopped as she emerged into the sleeping area, Ron, Yori, and Kim already snuggled up contentedly and asleep. ‘But I guess it was my entire family, too.’