The ride from the airport was a good example of why it was a brilliant idea and wise choice to take a plane to Montana. Kim was ready to throttle her brothers; Shego was trying to goad Trin into an all-out war by bringing up her acrophobia, which the blonde continued to insist she did not have. Tatsu would have been sleeping if not for the fact that as soon as she got into the car, a car behind them had almost rear-ended them; so, now she was backseat driving to the extreme and road-raging for Mister Possible. The doctors could hardly believe any of it, especially Tatsu’s behavior since she was the quiet one. They were all quite thankful when they arrived at the Lazy C Ranch.
“This place looks familiar,” Shego commented as they exited the minivan.
“It should. You caused some trouble around here like two years ago,” Kim pointed out.
“You can’t expect me to remember every little place we tumbled, Kimmie,” the raven-haired woman remarked with a suggestive smirk on her face.
“Oh, and here it is, I thought I was special,” the trim hero replied sarcastically.
“Hey, Squirt, took y’all long enough to get here,” Slim called to the group as he exited the house with his wife, daughter, and nephew.
The arriving group turned their attention to the party that had just exited the house. Smiles went up on the majority of people, but a select few refused to smile. Trin remained neutral, as did Tatsu since she did not know anyone, while Shego looked annoyed and then there was Slim’s wife; she did not look too pleased with anything.
“If it ain’t my favorite sister-in-law, looking as sharp as ever,” Slim declared while going over to give Anne a proper hug as a greeting, which she accepted.
“You flatter,” Anne said with a small laugh while her brother-in-law took a moment to just look at her once the hug was done. She ignored the fact that his wife frowned deeply at the sight of them embracing.
“And my favorite blonde niece,” Slim said as he turned his attention to Trin. He knew how she felt about touching and hugging, and even though he respected her, he still liked to get on her nerves a bit. He swept her up into a tight hug that made her groan.
“I’m your only blonde niece, Uncle Slim,” Trin pointed out as he put her down.
Despite the fact that Slim enjoyed getting on her nerves, Trin liked her uncle. She liked him because he liked her and she knew that he respected her. He accepted her, which was why they could get along. In fact, if he was the only one that lived at the ranch, she would come out as often as possible to see him. But, he was not the only there and she would rather avoid most other members of their family.
“Shorty, you know, I was reading this article that you wrote,” Slim said to Trin.
“No, you weren’t,” she argued. She had only just recently gotten into writing articles; her mother had pushed her into it. So, she doubted that he had read anything by her already. She was not established enough for someone like him to bother with her work.
“Nah, you know I did. You’re putting that mischievous little brain of yours to good use. Good work, Shorty,” he commented with a proud smile.
“Sounds like the guy knows you well,” Shego commented, speaking to Trin. She would have gone more into teasing the farsighted female, but something commanded their attention for the moment.
“Kim, where’s Ron?” Joss practically demanded to know as she ran up to Kim. She was starting to show signs of growing into a woman since she was officially a teenager now. She was dressed something similar to Kim; obviously, she was still a bit influenced by her cousin.
“Why is she asking about the buffoon?” Shego inquired, speaking to Trin.
“I try my best not to know when it comes to Joss,” Trin replied. She did recall vaguely when Kim told her about the time when Ron came out to the Lazy C Ranch and apparently left an impression on Joss. Trin had only remarked that she hoped it was not inappropriate.
“Ron didn’t come this time, Joss,” Kim informed her little cousin.
“Aw, man,” Joss pouted something fierce. She obviously really wanted to see the blonde sidekick.
No one remarked on Joss’ disappointment, even though they were already considering that it seemed like Joss had a crush on Ron, especially from how excited she seemed about the fact that he might be there. None of them wanted to think too much on it, but of course they were. After all, Joss seemed to be crushing on Ron of all people. Trin could not help wondering how that little loser kept picking up chicks; Ron was far from an attractive specimen of the male species. But then again, Trin considered that she might not be the best judge of a dateable male.
They turned their attention to the silent cousin, Larry. He looked as nerdy as ever; Trin always expected him to have tape around his glasses just from the image that he seemed to be stuck on presenting to the rest of the world. He had a pocket protector set and his pants hiked up just enough for it to look ridiculous. It was hard to believe that he looked like that on purpose. Well, at least he was not talking, Trin and Kim were both thankful for that; they did not feel like hearing anything out of his mouth and should he decide to start up, Trin would let him know they did not care about what he had to say.
“Anne, it is good to see that you finally made it out here,” Slim’s wife said with an almost clearly false smile plastered on her face.
Anne only smiled back, just as false as the other woman. They then embraced each other like the other had the Plague, which Shego noticed. It seemed that everything was not as wholesome, kid-friendly, and sickeningly sweet in the Possible family like she thought it would be. She figured that she would get lowdown from Trin because she knew that the blonde would spill easily while Kim would try to pretend that everything was all right.
“Who are these gals with y’all?” Slim asked curiously as he took a look at Shego and Tatsu.
“Tatsu,” Trin introduced her love. Tatsu let loose a weak wave in the direction of her girlfriend’s family, even thought it appeared that Slim was going to reach to shake her hand. The ranch owner pulled his hand back when Tatsu let her hand fall back to her side. He thought that perhaps there was someone else sensitive about touching in their company.
“Shego,” the former thief introduced herself.
“Nice to meet, y’all. I’m Slim. That’s my wife Jen, our daughter Joss, and my nephew Larry,” Slim informed the two newbies.
“Larry, where’s your mom and dad?” Kim asked while looking around for the rest of the family.
“They went with Nana to pick up some things,” Larry answered in his dull, flat, slightly nasal voice.
“Your nana is going to be here too?” Shego asked the redheaded hero.
“Yup, I don’t know if she remembers you, though,” Kim replied in a low voice.
Before anybody could get into any further discussions, Jim and Tim grabbed Tatsu. The twins began pulling her away while informing her that she needed to see Old Tornado; whoever that was, she commented in her head. Tatsu looked back at her lover, hoping for some form of intervention. It was not that she disliked hanging around the twins, but she would rather stay with Trin while she was in a strange place. But, Trin did not stop them; she let them go, believing that her baby might enjoy seeing the cybernetic horses.
“Kim, come on. I want to show you something,” Joss said while pulling her redheaded cousin away from everyone else. Shego was now left with Trin; oh joy, they both thought sarcastically.
Well, the green-skinned female could have followed her girlfriend, but she did not feel like it. She did not want to hang around a teenager that wanted Ron of all people. She would let Kim bear that torment on her own.
Shego was about to say something to the blonde, if only to keep herself entertained, but the blonde was not paying much attention to her. Trin watched her uncle pull her father away, which was expected; Slim always had something that he wanted to show his little brother when they showed up. So, Trin and Shego were left with Anne and Jen. Shego noticed the tension hanging in the air between everyone; the air was stiff and heavy suddenly and she doubted that a chainsaw could cut through it. The former villainess was very curious as to what was going on.
Trin was just waiting for the moment that she knew was going to come from Jen. Her aunt Jen was an auburn-haired woman with a pair of plain blue eyes. She was not a particularly tall woman, but nor was she short. She was average through and through; she was forgettable in that sense as far as the blonde was concerned. Even her hairdo, which was just a ponytail, was dull and plain. Her figure was average and her clothes were dreary. It was as if the woman had never had a creative or colorful thought in her all of her days, Trin believed.
The blonde often wondered what her uncle saw in Jen, there was nothing outstanding about the woman that should attract a mate in her opinion. She did not even think that Jen was that intelligent, so she refused to believe that uncle was attracted to the woman’s mind; even though Jen was an astronomer, Trin did not think to be in that profession one had to be vastly intelligent. She wondered if it was possible that her uncle had gotten married to Jen on a bet or something because that would explain the arrangement better than anything else as far as she was concerned.
“So, Anne, it seems you’ve finally crawled out of the hospital and come back to the ranch. Got tired of having to call so many people?” Jen remarked. Anne decided to be the bigger woman and not respond to that; besides, she had a razor-tongued daughter to do that for her.
“We came here with the hope of having to call you,” Trin countered. Shego picked up on the fact that by “call” they meant announce a time of death; she even thought that hospital humor was a bit sick, but it seemed that the Possible ladies did not agree. The blonde earned a frown from her aunt, but she was not done yet.
“Trin, you are aware that we were all hoping that you wouldn’t come back,” Jen snapped.
“And we are all of a like mind for once. I’ve got better things to do with my time than watch the dirt grow on the ranch,” Trin riposted.
“Then why don’t you leave?” the auburn-haired woman growled. She was upset because she could not get to Trin; Shego thought that the blonde worked nerves very easily because she always had a comeback for a line and she never changed her tone, so it seemed like nothing could get to her. Well, Shin and Shego typically changed that, but most other people could not get to Trin.
“I would, but it would make you happy and we all know I’m not in the business of making you happy,” the college student stated in a flippant tone.
Her aunt practically snarled and was silent for a long while. It seemed that she would need a moment or two before she could engage the blonde again. It was hardly a challenge for her to get to Jen, Trin commented to herself; she could see why her mother did not even bother with it.
Anne did not bother with Jen because she failed to see the point in it. She already knew that the woman did not like her and she felt the same about Jen, so things should be left at that. She was not the type of person to snap at people just because they were looking to belittle her. It was not like it would do her any good to trade insults with her sister-in-law.
“Kim, why is your arch-foe hanging out with you?” Joss asked curiously as she led her cousin to her bedroom.
“She’s a good guy now,” Kim answered because it was the best that she could do without making things complicated.
Shego was not a “good guy” in any real sense of the term, but she was not a villain anymore either. Shego just counted herself as semi-retired for the moment and lucky to have made it away from last employer intact, physically and mentally. She was not too sure what she was going to do with her life now, but for the time being, she was all right with doing nothing and being with Kim.
“How’d she become a good guy?” Joss inquired in a curious tone. She thought that a gal like Shego would always be evil, but then again, she did not know about the former thief’s past or anything. She also did not know that Shego was fickle when it came to jobs it seemed.
“It’s a long story and I don’t even know the whole thing. You’d probably have to ask Trin for the whole story,” Kim reported. She doubted that her sister or her girlfriend would ever let her in on what exactly happened a few months ago that led up to Shego being free to openly roam the planet without a cop so much as looking at her.
Joss did not respond; they both knew that she would not ask Trin anything. She was apprehensive about being Trin, not because the blonde was mean to her or anything like that. She just did not know the farsighted woman well because Trin did not come around the ranch very often; Trin had a deal set in place where if Anne did not go to the ranch, then she did not have to go. Anne tried to avoid the ranch if she could, so Trin did not get out there much and the only things that Joss really knew about the blonde were through hearsay and stories from her family. She got a good balance of both good and bad stories; the bad outweighed the good by only a little bit, but it was enough to make her shy around her adopted cousin.
The cousins entered Joss’ room and Joss went to her computer. At first, Kim was worried that her little cousin might have started a website similar to hers, as an attempt to be a hero, but when the page came up, she saw that was not the case. She breathed a sigh of relief until she took a good look at the site. Okay, she might have to get her cousin some psychological help. Joss had just brought up a shrine to Ron Stoppable. Oh, boy.
“Look at this. I’ve got everything a gal would want to know about Ron. I’ve got plenty of cute pictures of him too,” Joss reported as she navigated the site to show it off to her cousin, who was not having a heart attack through sheer willpower. Joss was seriously crushing on Ron.
“Yeah, because we all need to know more about Ron,” Kim muttered sarcastically.
“Look at this one. Isn’t he cute?” Joss asked as she clicked on one of the images of Ron and it looked like it was after a mission. He was dressed in mission clothes, looking like he was on top of the world; so, it was probably a mission where he actually did something right. Or he could have just been happy that he did not lose his pants that day.
“Well…he sure is something,” the redhead commented.
Joss turned to look at the older teen. “Kim…um…are you…and Ron…are you…?” Joss tried to ask. She was now blushing because of the question that she wanted to ask.
“Friends, that’s about it,” Kim answered quickly.
Friends was even stretching it now from the detestable way that Ron had reacted to when she told him about her relationship with Shego. He had acted like she betrayed him and then he said some rather profane things about her sister. He had eventually apologized to save what remained of their friendship, but it was pretty obvious that he was not happy with the way that things were going. He was not talking to her anymore as far as she could tell and she was getting closer and closer to not caring. She would welcome him back in her life if only he would stop acting like a child. But, if he wanted to keep acting like a major jerk, then she would just move on with her life.
Shego was still stuck with Trin; they both were not very pleased with that, but it beat several other alternatives. Shego could see why Trin had packed so much junk of hers to keep her occupied because as far as she could tell there really was nothing to do on the ranch. Trin decided to show Shego where she more than likely would be staying since they usually always got the same rooms when they stayed at the ranch. It was about the only thing that they had to do, unless Trin wanted to continue to trade barbs with her aunt and that was not very fun in her opinion. It was not fun to watch either in Shego’s opinion.
Once Joss returned to the main part of the house with Kim, who was thankful to not have to be subjected to all that was Ron, Slim informed the Possible sisters that they would get the same rooms as always. He did tell them that they would have to share with their guests because there was not enough room for everyone to have their own individual rooms. The ladies did not object because they did not mind, of course.
Kim and Shego went to put their luggage away in their room. Trin and Tatsu were located in a room just a little further down the hall. Tatsu was not around to know what room they would be in, but Trin did put her girl’s things away in the room for her. The mechanic was actually enjoying seeing the horses that the twins were getting a kick out of showing her.
“So, what is the deal between your mom and your aunt?” Shego asked Kim while they lounged around their guestroom.
“The deal?” the redhead echoed in a very puzzled tone. There was a deal between her mother and aunt?
“Oh, don’t play like you don’t know what I’m talking about. I can tell your mom and your aunt have some kind of problem with each other. So, don’t act like your family’s perfect or anything. Let me in on the secret,” the green-skinned woman replied.
“I really don’t know what the deal is,” Kim admitted now that she knew what her girlfriend meant. As far as she knew, her mother and her aunt just did not get along. She was not sure why and it never occurred to her to ask anyone because she did not think that it was her business.
“You’re going to tell me that you don’t see the animosity there? You’ve only know them both for your whole life,” the pale female pointed out.
“I’ve noticed it, but I think their problems go way back. Trin once said that ‘they’ were jealous of Mom or something. She tried to explain it to me, but I was really little at the time and wasn’t listening. I just wanted to play, so she was talking and I was pulling her toward a tire swing in the back,” the slender hero explained with a small laugh.
“You never know any dirt,” Shego remarked with a sigh.
Kim only smiled innocently because she had no desire to gossip, especially about her mother. She had never gotten the chance to try to comprehend what was the problem between her mother and her aunt because her mother did not come out to the ranch often, so she did not interact with Jen much. Kim usually forgot about the underlying hostilities until it was brought about again by her mother and her aunt being around each other. The adventurer never did get what the problem was; or the problems, in the case that it might be more than one thing.
Shego was curious about what was going on between Anne and Jen. It seemed like something that would keep her occupied; she may or may not have focused on it if she had something better to do with her time. She supposed that later on she would just have to bug Trin about it.
Yeah, she and Trin did not get along so well, but it was actually the way that they did get along. Neither of them were inclined to like someone without a good reason; apparently, the facts that Shego was Kim’s girlfriend and Trin was Kim’s sister were not good reasons as far as they were concerned. They were just at odds with each other and they liked it that way; not that they would admit to something like that. Yeah, so, Shego would get the information from Trin later on.
Next time: the rest of the Possible clan shows up and more hostility follows.