“It’s either leave her or leave the team.”
Hego thought that he had her with his demand and Shego knew that. He had called an “emergency team meeting,” making sure that they were all present, accounted for, and comfortable before going in the reasons for the meeting and hitting her with the ultimatum; by the time he got to his last sentence, she was on her feet from outrage. The eldest thought that he had shamed her, Shego bet. He believed that he had embarrassed her in front of their younger brothers and she would have to do what he wanted to save what little respect that they had left her for, although they would never look at her the same again. Yeah, he thought he had her.
There was no way that Shego could walk out on them, Hego thought, especially not for the wrong thing. They were family, the only family that they had left, so he was so certain that she would remain with them. She would never leave them, he convinced himself because they were all they had. It would let their younger brothers down if she left and she did try to do right by them, even if she did yell at them often. Plus, they were superheroes and superheroes always did the right thing. So, Hego was certain that she was going to do the right thing and stay with them.
Shego did not say anything; she just stood there for a few tense moments, not even looking at her younger brothers, who were all sporting shocked faces of their own. She eyed her older brother, the man of their so-called family since he was the oldest at twenty-two years old and the legal guardian of their brothers, with deep contempt in her emerald eyes. She then walked past him, making sure not to touch him on the way by. The brothers all gasped in utter surprise as they watched her leave with that proud step that she always carried herself with. The younger brothers could not even speak because of how stunned they were, but their hearts did clench in their chests as they realized that their sister was leaving.
“If you walk out that door, you can’t come back!” Hego called to her in anger, upset that she had the nerve to choose to leave. He had one hand raised in the air along with his index finger, as if the gesture would force their sister to turn around and remain with them.
“I don’t plan on it,” Shego replied coolly without turning around and walking out of the room, the sliding door shutting behind her and her old life.
“I’m serious!” the eldest hollered with authority while turning around to see that she was already gone. She could hear his big mouth, but she did not respond to it.
Once she was out of her brothers’ view, the green-skinned teenager growled in anger and punched the closest thing to her, which happened to be the wall. She left a perfect imprint of her right fist in the steel that Go Tower was coated in while forcing herself not to cry over what just happened. She would never cry over something like that, something that was not her fault. It was all Hego’s fault, just like always.
He did not have any right to do any of the things that he had done lately, like open her mail; yes, he had been opening her mail lately. He did not have any right to go through her things in her room, which he had taken to doing, searching for evident about her private life. He did not have any right to tell their little brothers her business like he had either, calling it emergency team business and then using it as an excuse to call a team meeting. Stupid team. Stupid older brother thinking that he was her father and trying to tell her what to do.
God, she did not want her little brothers to find out about things that way; she was not even sure if she wanted them to find out at all. Hego did not have any right to do that to her. What kind of big brother just outted his younger sister in front of their little brothers without any kind of remorse and making sure to sound as against it as possible?
The pompous buffoon had just called a meeting for Team Go and merely announced to their little brothers that Shego was gay and that he had proof. He had the nerve to pass around love letters from her girlfriend that he had taken from her room. The younger brothers had appeared totally flabbergasted by the news and looked at Shego as if she was a thing, like she was not even human or their sister, but like she was an object, a disgusting object at that. She supposed that Hego’s tone influenced their reactions, but she could not even defend herself because of the shock; she seriously could not believe what was happening as it unfolded. Hego continued on, having their little brothers’ attention and backing for the moment. Shego knew that she could not compete with Hego for their brothers’ support at all. It was hard for a big sister to get guys against the older brother, after all.
The twins, being eleven, idolized Hego while looking at Shego as a form of entertainment more often than not. She was someone that they could bug while Hego was someone that they looked up to. They had to side with him, which they had, agreeing that Shego was doing something immoral and it was bad for the team. They agreed that she needed to think about the team and do what was right for them, practically parroting Hego word for word. It was their words that had caused her to hop out of her seat in anger at the time. What the hell did eleven-year-olds know about anything anyway?
Mego was in a similar position, even though he was fifteen. He had that teenage desire to fit in and his brothers already decided that Shego was doing something wrong. He did not want to go against the group, even though secretly, he could care less than nothing about what Shego did with her personal life. He supposed that it would be bad for the team’s image, which helped him feel better about agreeing with Hego. After all, how would it look if one of the members of Team Go, the great saviors of the city, was a homosexual? That was not cool as far as he knew.
The team image, Shego mentally scoffed. It was all about Hego’s image in her opinion and her little brothers were too stupid to differentiate between the two. He missed the main point when it all started anyway and she guessed that was why the big idiot was surprised that she had walked out. She was in love with her girlfriend and that was more important than playing superhero to a city full of people that she never met, did not want to meet, and would judge her just for who she was attracted to. Her beloved was more important to her than being a superhero, way more.
Her girl, her beautiful little angel, made her feel things that being a superhero could not touch. She felt like she mattered to someone beyond just saving the day, but just by being there. She made someone smile at her for no other reason than the fact that she was there. It was not about needing something from her all the time, but just needing her, enjoying her presence. She was not going to let that go for a bunch of stupid people that did not care about what happened to her after the bad guy was stopped. She definitely would not let it go for people would have the nerve to condemn her for having someone in her personal life that cared about her.
None of the people that she saved with her brothers cared about her specifically like her girl did. They never thought about her when she was out of sight or missed her when they were apart. They never wanted to sincerely know how her day was and try to make her feel better if the day was crap. They never kissed her with soft lips and whispered “I love you” in such a earnest little voice that made her heart race each and every time she heard it. If she died tomorrow, those people would forget her quickly, but she knew that her girl would never forget her.
Shego stepped into the dark dorm room through the window. She had entered that way a few times, so it was not so difficult and she made sure to do it as quietly as possible. She went to the right side of the small room and shook the sleeping body in the bed awake.
“Hey, Kyoko,” Shego whispered to her half-asleep girlfriend.
“Shego-chan?” Kyoko muttered with a yawn. Her Japanese upbringing coming out full force with the honorific added to Shego’s name due to being awakened suddenly.
“Yeah,” the green-skinned female answered. As if someone else would be visiting Kyoko in the middle of the night.
“What are you doing here so late?” the eighteen-year-old Japanese student inquired.
“Well, that’s a long story,” Shego remarked with a half smirk, trying to make light of her situation, not just for her girl, but for herself. She did not want or need the gravity of her circumstances to hit her just yet because she could not afford to buckle under the pressure.
“Tell me in the morning. We should not disrespect my roommate by talking while she’s asleep, after all.”
“Well, do you mind letting me sleep in the bed with you?” the super-powered teen requested.
“It’s all part of the long story.”
“Perhaps you should tell me now if it is very important,” Kyoko replied.
“I’ll do it in the morning. I don’t want to keep you up,” Shego said. After all, her girl had class tomorrow and needed her rest.
Kyoko smiled a bit because of Shego’s thoughtfulness, which she was quite aware only existed for her. She held her cover up as a signal that Shego could join her in the bed. The green-skinned female smiled and stripped off the clothing that she had been outside in. She then crawled into the narrow bed next to Kyoko, who immediately snuggled up close to Shego. The emerald-eyed female grabbed her in a familiar embrace; the comforting hold that assured Kyoko that Shego would never allow anything in the world to harm her.
Kyoko Yoshiko was a Japanese student attending Go University on scholarship. She spoke great English and adapted well to the United States, yet still had the funny quirk of introducing herself as Yoshiko Kyoko, which she had done when she first met Shego. Kyoko had been lost on campus while Shego was just there, realizing what would never be, which was that she would never attend the famous school. She had been accepted when she applied, but she could not afford it and she did not have time for classes anyway because of Team Go, both things she blamed on Hego since he had squandered their parents life insurance money on the Go Tower and it was his stupid idea to use their powers to be superheroes in the first place. She had protested that idea, but she had been out-voted and she had decided to stick things out with her brothers since they were all she had left.
Shego had helped Kyoko find her way around Go University those first few days. It had amazed Kyoko when she found out that Shego was not a student at the school, but she was grateful for the help nonetheless. They got to know each other those first few days and found that they liked being around each other. Kyoko liked knowing someone in her new city so soon and Shego was just glad for company that was not her brothers, as that had not occurred since she graduated high school. But, they grew to like each other beyond that and ended up dating rather quickly; Shego mostly paid for things through an allowance that Hego gave her and their brothers because Kyoko did not have much money to waste.
Shego liked that Kyoko had an elegance about her, even though she admittedly grew up kind of poor in a rural area of Japan. She seemed like the opposite of everything that Shego was. She was soft spoken and polite while Shego was typically loud and blunt. Kyoko liked the pride that Shego always carried with her, the ultimate confidence that radiated off of the green-skinned teenager in powerful waves. Shego often said that Kyoko had the same thing about her, but they just exhibited the trait differently.
They had similar interests, which only grew as they spent more time together. They tended to like the same books, mostly classical pieces and just about anything written by Shakespeare. They also liked the same movies for the most part, usually in-depth dramas. Kyoko was not as into sports as Shego was, but she was open-minded and watched them with Shego to learn about them. Kyoko got Shego into anime, which they were both now very big on. They could talk to each other about anything it seemed and they often tried to. They did not mind opening up to each other because they both tried to be understanding when it came to each other, which was why they had fallen for each other.
They also sort of understood each other in a different way that other people could not relate to. They had both lost their parents. Kyoko had lost her parents at a younger age than Shego, but they still understood each other. Kyoko had lived with her grandparents after she lost her parents while Shego had been under the care of her big brother since he had legally been an adult when their parents died. It had not been much fun for either of them, but now they had each other and they felt like things were going to get better.
Kyoko also did not get awe-struck by Shego like other people around Go City, which made her comfortable around the Japanese girl. Kyoko had not known that she was a hero when they met, so she did not have a reason to get awe-struck. She had been curious about Shego’s skin tone, but thought that it would be rude to bring up. As they got closer, Shego had explained what happened with her skin, which Kyoko countered by explaining what happened with her parents. It was like they had exchanged their deepest secrets.
They also expressed condolences toward each other when they finished their stories. Kyoko had done so because she could tell that her girl was touchy about her skin color. Shego had adjusted to being green, but she had hated it thoroughly for a while. She really did not mind it since Kyoko accepted it.
Shego, of course, offered up all sorts of emotional support when Kyoko talked about how she lost her parents, which was through murder of all things. Kyoko had expressed a lot of pride in Shego for being a hero since she had lost her parents to homicide, wishing that there was a hero around to save them at the time. Things like that had made Shego all right with being a hero and now she hoped that since she had quit the team, it did not mean that Kyoko would look at her differently.
“…So, that’s what happened,” Shego finished explaining to Kyoko that she had left Team Go and why she had done so. Kyoko’s roommate had left for her morning class, so they were alone in the room. They were sitting on Kyoko’s bed.
“You left your brothers for me?” Kyoko asked. She was flattered by that, of course, but she thought that Shego was lucky to have brothers and she did not want to cause a rift between the siblings.
“I don’t want to be with them if they can’t accept that I’m with you. I can’t just be who they want me to be for the sake of keeping us altogether. That’s not fair to me,” Shego argued.
“But…they are your brothers,” Kyoko pointed out.
“Then they should accept who I love rather than make it an issue and try to force me to choose. I’m not leaving you,” Shego said soundly while reaching over to caress her girlfriend’s smooth cheek, which caused Kyoko to smile.
The Japanese girl was very happy to know that Shego was not going to leave her. She did wish that she had not disrupted Shego’s family as she had, but she knew that arguing with the pale teen would not get her anywhere. Shego had made up her mind.
“It doesn’t matter to you that I might not be a hero anymore, does it?” the emerald-eyed female inquired.
“Of course not. I don’t like you because you’re a hero. I like you because you’re you. So, what are you going to do?” Kyoko asked curiously.
“I don’t know,” Shego admitted. She had walked out on more than her brothers and being a superhero. She had walked out of her home. They lived in Go Tower. She did not have anywhere to go and she knew that she would not stay in Kyoko’s dorm room. She did not have any money to her name since she knew that Hego was not going to keep giving her an allowance now that she walked out on them.
“You do need to figure that much out,” the college student pointed out.
“I know. Hey, if I find an apartment, how about you move in with me?” Shego suggested. She would love nothing more than to be able to live with her girl, see her every day, and hold her every night. It would be a dream come true for her, getting to live with someone that she could get along with. She was looking forward to such a thing now that she thought about it. She was willing to bet that it would be great to live without her brothers since she could not stand being around them anyway.
“Well, first you have to find a job and then an apartment, but I would love to,” Kyoko answered because she would and she knew that would fire Shego up, which it did.
Shego went out to find a job with vigor, half because she wanted Kyoko to live with her and half to prove that she could make it without her stupid brothers, but it was a bit hard for her to gain employment. Unlike Hego, who could hide his identity, Shego could not do it too well. Her green-skinned was a dead giveaway as to who she was. She tried to cover that up with makeup, which worked well enough, although it was easy to see that she was wearing a ton of makeup. But, she hit another problem after solving that one, which was that she had no work experience. Even after having Kyoko work up a résumé for her, she could not find employment beyond something that would get her minimum wage, which she took.
Kyoko encouraged Shego to take whatever job she could get, just so Shego could find and afford a place to live. Before she got a job, she sneaked into Kyoko’s dorm every couple of nights for a few hours of rest before going out to pound the pavement again, searching for employment. Once she got a job, Shego did find a place to live, but it was a horrible slum of an apartment.
True to her word, Kyoko moved in with Shego once the school semester was over for the summer. Shego was ashamed to bring Kyoko into the little studio apartment that happened to also be infested with vermin. It was no place to live and Kyoko sort of agreed. She did not want Shego to be staying some place that was contaminated with rodents, but it was all Shego could afford in Go City. At the end of summer vacation, Shego sent Kyoko back to the Go University dorms, even though the student protested to the bitter end, not wanting to leave her beloved girlfriend in such a place alone.
Being alone in the apartment made Shego despair about not having some place worthy enough to have her girl live in and she was lonely there since she had never been by herself before. To make matters worse since school started, she knew that her one year anniversary was coming up. She could not afford to buy Kyoko anything worthwhile. That would not do, she mentally scolded herself. Her beloved, who had stuck it out with her in an apartment swarming with mice, roaches, and who-knew-what-else and only left because she forced her to, deserved the best. But, what in the hell was the best and how would she get it? There was no way in Hell that she would go ask Hego for money.
The answer to the first part Shego’s question came in the form of a pair of earrings that she happened to glance at on the way to work. They were simple gold earrings in the shape of little triangles, but they seemed to scream her beloved’s name. She later brought Kyoko by the store and the Japanese girl did flip over those earrings. Shego thought that was great until she saw the price. They were not even really expensive as far as jewelry went; they were just out of her price range, like everything else in the city. Kyoko knew that and tried to downplay how much she liked the earrings once they learned how much they cost. Shego did not buy it, though. She needed to find a way to get those earrings, Shego told herself.
She was going to get Kyoko what she wanted because if she did not, then she was not a very good girlfriend in her opinion. She would have failed the person that actually stood by her and tried to stay with her in a mouse-infested, roach-infested apartment. There was no way in hell that she was going to let a girl like that down! She was going to get those earrings by any means necessary…short of asking her brothers for help.
Kyoko was surprised and it showed on her face. She could not believe where she was being led to. It was an obviously expensive restaurant and Shego was going in there, like it was nothing. Kyoko stopped her by tugging on her hand.
“What’s up?” Shego asked. She was wearing a little black dress that had caught her girlfriend’s eye the moment that she saw it, which made Shego smirk. She was glad for such a positive reaction from the Japanese girl.
“We don’t need to go there,” Kyoko replied because she doubted that Shego could afford such a place.
“Sure we do. It’s our anniversary and I want to show you a good time. So, just relax and let me show you a good time,” the pale teen replied.
“I don’t need all of this,” Kyoko said. She was used to simple things; she had grown up rather poor with her grandparents. She had been lucky to get her scholarship to Go University because without it, she would not have been able to go to college at all. So, she definitely did not need a meal at a fancy restaurant, especially since she knew that her lover could not afford it.
“You deserve all this. Let me just pamper you for one night, our anniversary, okay?” Shego insisted. Although, she was making plans for the pampering to extend well beyond the anniversary now that she had gotten her hands on some money.
Kyoko wanted to argue, but Shego was not listening and the college student knew that; Shego was stubborn after all. They went into the restaurant and Kyoko did feel a bit out of place; she was not dressed for such a fancy restaurant. She was in a simple button-down magenta shirt and black skirt, but the uneasy feeling went right out of mind after Shego whispered to her that she was beautiful. Kyoko blushed at the compliment and was very glad that Shego had not said that any louder than that whisper.
The couple had a delightful dinner, even though Kyoko really wanted to say something about the prices of everything. Shego did not seem worried about it and that put Kyoko at ease. By the end of everything, Kyoko wondered if they should exchange gifts.
“Do you want your gift now?” Kyoko asked her date.
“Actually, I was hoping that you’d come with me to a hotel,” Shego answered as if it was nothing; she even smiled as she spoke. Usually, she knew that her bluntness got to the very reserved Kyoko, but she also knew that she could imply what she was doing without embarrassing the college student because Kyoko was far from a prude.
“A hotel?” Kyoko echoed, as if she did not understand. She could not believe that Shego was now suggesting that they go to a hotel on her budget. They were both stretched financially and yet Shego wanted to go a hotel? It was near madness.
“Yes. I’ve already got the room,” the super-powered teen said.
“Already?” Kyoko parroted her girlfriend once again. Her pale love seemed to becoming a spendthrift rather suddenly in her opinion.
“Yes.” Shego smiled a bit. “Am I being too fast?” she asked, even though they had made love before. It just was not a common occurrence with them. It was not like she could bring Kyoko to her room in Go Tower and they could go at it. They could not do much in Kyoko’s dorm room because her roommate was often around.
“No,” Kyoko answered. She would love to go to the hotel if it was already paid for. She liked physical intimacy as much as the next person, after all. She was just surprised at the money that was being dished out by her girlfriend, who worked a minimum wage job.
“So, we’ll exchange gifts in the morning then,” Shego suggested.
Kyoko agreed with that. They finished with dinner and Shego paid for everything, not even giving Kyoko a chance to see the bill because she noticed that her girlfriend was very worried about her funds. She also made it a point to hide how much money she was currently carrying as she pulled out bills to pay the check. And then, they were off to the hotel, which was just as ritzy as the restaurant. Kyoko decided against saying anything about it, noting that she had not gotten any real answers about money that night anyway.
The room was an average-sized space, but it was still in a pricey hotel. It had a single bed, which was made as expected. The bed was a queen-sized bed, though. There was a balcony in the room that Shego really had no plans in using and would rather keep Kyoko from using in favor of other activities, but she supposed that it might be nice to go out there and check out the view before they left. There was also a television sitting opposite the bed on a dresser, but Shego was determined that Kyoko would not even think to turn on the television that night. There was also a nightstand by the bed with a lamp on it that would not be used that night either.
The Japanese teen did not have long to think about the room because soon Shego was kissing her. Kyoko responded to the affection almost immediately and returned it. They were about to rush through everything because that was their habit, but they remembered that they were alone and would be all night. They did not have to worry about when Kyoko’s roommate might return; they could take their time and thoroughly enjoy every second of it. And so, they did.
Shego was lying in bed with Kyoko hugged up close to her, which was typical when they slept in the same bed. She knew that it stemmed from Kyoko feeling safe with her and enjoying that feeling of security. Shego did not mind; she liked that Kyoko trusted her and believed in her to keep her from harm. She would do her best to make sure that nothing happened to Kyoko anyway.
The green-skinned teen was staring at her gift to Kyoko while the sunlight began gracing the room with its warm presence. She could not wait for Kyoko to awake up, although she was not sure how the Japanese girl was going to react to the gift that she had gotten her. Kyoko had been so worried about her money last night that she might get suspicious about how she got the present. She knew that she would never be able to tell Kyoko just what she had done to get the gift, but she hoped to whatever divine being there was that Kyoko’s face just lit up when she saw the present.
She did note that she had enjoyed getting Kyoko the gift. She had assumed that she would feel guilty or something when she had been doing it, but she did not. All she felt was pleased that she had been able to pull off such a job and in a delicate manner. She was also able to provide something wonderful for the girl that she loved, not just the gift, but the whole night in general. Oh, she was pleased with the job that she had done and that she had gotten her hands on some money in a fairly easily and enjoyable manner.
But, Shego told herself that she would never do such a thing again. She was not going to break the law anymore. After all, her girl would undoubtedly be ashamed of her if she knew. Besides, Shego was many things, but she was not a criminal. Sure, she was ill-tempered, mostly when it came to people she perceived as stupid, and she was anti-social to a degree, but she was not a criminal. So, she was not going to do it again, even though it was fun and she did need the money that it brought in. Okay, maybe she would not do it unless she really, really needed to, but only when it was her last option; not counting asking her brothers for help, of course. So, it was settled, she was never going to do that again, unless it was the only option that she had left.
Shego’s attention was taken from her prize to her love as Kyoko started moving against her, indicating that she was waking up. Kyoko’s eyes fluttered open and she smiled at the sight that she awoke to, namely Shego’s smiling face. The super-powered teen then leaned down and greeted her girl with a tender kiss.
“Happy anniversary,” Shego said as she pulled away from the embrace.
“That was yesterday,” Kyoko pointed out in a warm, slightly sleepy voice.
“To me, it’s every day,” the green-skinned female remarked.
“Charmer,” Kyoko said with a smile and she leaned in for another kiss, which lasted almost a minute.
“I do try. Here, this is your gift,” Shego said while handing Kyoko the small box that she was holding.
Kyoko turned her attention to the small box and gently took it from Shego’s grip. She looked at Shego curiously as she began taking the wrapping paper off it. She could tell that Shego was eager for her to get it open because of the attention that the pale teen was giving the present. When she finally did, she gasped in surprise. It was the golden triangle earrings.
“How did you…?” Kyoko asked in a low tone. How in the hell could her financially strapped girlfriend brought her those lovely earrings?
“Nothing’s too good for my girl,” Shego remarked. “Do you like them?”
“You know I do,” the college student answered in an awed tone. She removed the jewelry from the box and tried putting them on, but her hands were shaking from joy. She was so overwhelmed that her beloved would do such a thing, buying her something that was well out of her budget.
“Here, let me,” Shego offered and she put the earrings in Kyoko’s ears.
“Thank you.” Kyoko gave her girlfriend a kiss. “I love you.”
“I love you too,” Shego answered with a small smile. She also loved that she was not asked about how she had gotten those earrings because she knew that Kyoko would not approve. It had been quite the adventure, though. She had not been sure if she would be able to pull it off, but she had been able to easily cut the alarm to the jewelry store and go in when it was closed to swipe the earrings as long with a few other items that she had been able to sell on the street; she guessed that it paid to know her city well like she did because she knew right where to go to get rid of the stolen goods really quick.
It was great to have money, Shego noted. She had been able to treat Kyoko to things that she felt her girl deserved and she wanted to do it more often, which would require more money. If the jewelry store heist had proven anything, getting more money would not be a problem, but she told herself already that she was not going to do it anymore. She had to stick to that. She was not a thief, not a criminal. It was just that one time to make sure that her girlfriend had a good anniversary. That was all it was, she told herself.
Kyoko did not want to think about how Shego had gotten money for the earrings or the hotel room or to pay for their dinner; she really just wanted to focus on how great their anniversary had been. She just figured that her lover had been saving money for just such an occasion. That was great and that was what mattered at the moment.
But, Kyoko started getting a bit more suspicious as time went by and Shego started bringing her more gifts. She could not figure out where Shego was getting the money for things because as far as she knew her girlfriend was still working a low paying job and should not have money to waste as she seemed to be doing. She did not want to think too much about it because she thought that she would worry herself. She also did not want to ask Shego about it because she did not want it to seem like she thought Shego was incompetent when it came to handling money.
Shego ended up giving Kyoko gifts because she always had money left over after doing “jobs” due to “emergencies.” Her definition of an emergency was expanding rapidly. It started out with her not being able to make her rent on time and then her needing money for food. Now, it was getting to the point where she was breaking into places because she felt like she “needed” shoes. Well, she could not very well continue going around in the shoes that she had once she nearly worn a hole in them, but it had not even occurred to her to save her up paycheck for new shoes.
After doing “jobs,” she typically had money to waste and she liked wasting it on Kyoko. It made her feel good to see her girl smile at her. It made her feel outstanding knowing that she could offer Kyoko things like a responsible adult could. It made her feel fantastic being able to stand on her own and not need her brothers’ help in any way, shape, or form. It helped that she got an adrenaline rush when she did jobs.
Next time: the positives and negatives of Shego’s new job.