How is it that I get out of one mess with that little monster of mine only to get into something else equally or even more annoying than the last mess? I’m starting to think that the little pest is bad luck. Oh, who am I kidding? I know the truth.
Shego was minding her own business, watching a movie that she really liked. Her pet was in the loft doing who-knew-what and she really did not care as long as fire and loud noises were not involved. She just wanted to see the end of the film and then Satan decided to take an interest in her life. Hell must be quite tedious all of a sudden, she thought.
The phone rang Shego reached over to answer it, even though she knew that if her house phone was ringing then she really did not wish to speak with the person. Anybody worth her time knew to call her cell. She checked the caller ID to make sure that it was not Drakken because if it was him, then she certainly was not going to answer; she was not up to dealing with his level of lunacy at the moment. The caller ID read “private caller,” an ominous sign indeed. She tempted fate and answered anyway.
“Yo,” Shego answered the call.
“Such a rude way to answer the phone,” the voice of the devil said. Well, it was what Shego imagined the devil would sound like.
“Mommy?” Shego asked. Damn it, the phone was not her friend and if it had not cost a nice amount of money, she would have melted it right in her hand.
“Yes,” the voice confirmed.
“How’d you get my home number?” Shego inquired. She prided herself on the fact that her family did not know anything about her, except for the fact that she still lived in Go City. Her mother was the one problem with that fact.
“Come now, dearest, you have to give your mother some credit.”
Shego figured she should have known better; after all, it was her mother who had found her apartment and then had the nerve to visit. “I’ll give you something all right,” she muttered away from the phone.
“What was that, dearest?”
“Nothing. What can I do for you, Mommy?”
“You can pack your things and come to the villa for the weekend,” her mother answered.
“We’re not getting together this weekend,” the green-skinned woman protested. There was no way in hell that she was leaving her comfortable home to be tormented in the middle of nowhere when she could be tormented by her little pest instead.
“Yes, we are. So pack your things and bring your ass. Bring your pet too,” her mother commanded.
“Mommy, you can’t just spring this on me. I’ve got work—” Shego tried to weasel out of it, but her mother cut her off.
“You’re also got vacation days. Besides, I’m sure Betty will understand.”
The super-powered woman frowned; she could practically feel her mother smiling in triumph through the phone. Apparently, she was going to have to learn to stop answering the phone and more than likely change her number again.
“Are you still there?” her mother asked.
“Yeah, I’m still here,” she answered in a sour tone.
“So, are you packing?”
“Why does it have to be this weekend?” Shego actually whined. She could not think of anything else to do in her current mess.
“Because I miss my family.”
“Well, I don’t.”
“You do now. We’re meeting up on neutral ground,” her mother declared.
“Mommy, the villa is not anywhere near neutral ground. It’s no man’s land. There’s a key difference,” Shego pointed out.
“I suppose. But, at least it’s some place where no one will hear all of the screaming,” her mother remarked.
“Or properly treat third degree burns,” Shego murmured. They would be in the middle of nowhere, no help for any of them, which was what made it no man’s land more than neutral ground. Besides, neutral ground implied peaceful area, but if their family was there, there certainly would not be any kind of peace.
“What was that?”
“Nothing. I’m going to go pack,” the younger woman sighed.
“Good. Don’t forget to bring your pet.”
Shego only hung up the phone; she detested when her mother started getting all sentimental. Every so often her mother got the urge to be, well, motherly. It was always an abrupt and disturbing change from her norm of independent, warrior woman, who occasionally seemed to forget that she even had offspring. Usually, her mother would blend the motherly bit into the warrior woman, which was alarming and unsettling enough; Shego did not need the woman going into total, complete “mom” mode ever. The good thing was that “mom” mode never lasted long.
“Princess,” Shego called.
“Huh?” Kim asked while poking her head out of the loft space.
“Do you have a good pair of boots?”
“Yeah, I’ve got a slamming pair of boots,” Kim answered. She needed boots thanks to the hobbies that she had.
“Do you like the woods?”
“Well, then, pack your boots and great ready for a nature hike,” Shego commented with a sigh.
Kim was sitting on Shego’s bed with her legs folded underneath her. She was watching Shego pack for the mysterious trip that they were about to go on. The younger woman had already thrown her clothes and essentials into a backpack; well, her mistress had done that for her actually after Shego saw the way the girl had her bag crammed full of stuff.
The redhead noted that her master was not fretting about what to wear, except for if it was old enough to ruin. Shego refused to take anything that she liked on a trip that involved her family, even as grown men, her brothers had a bad habit of ruining things, especially her things. They also were not below playing the mud and trying to get her to go along with such lowbrow behavior.
“So…how come I get to go on this trip and not your big, blue, cuddly—” Kim was going to keep going, but her owner stopped her.
“Keep it up and the only place you’ll be going is to the hospital. Well, maybe not even there, depending on if I want you to live or not,” Shego stated.
“You’d be so sad without me,” the redhead teased.
“Want me to prove you wrong?” the pale woman inquired while holding up a glowing fist.
The redhead decided against pushing her luck. “No. But, why are you taking me instead of Drakken? You took him last time,” the girl pointed out.
“And I’m taking you this time. What’s with you and all of the fucking questions? Last time you bugged the hell out of me to take you and now you’re acting like you don’t want to go. If you don’t want to go, just say so.”
“But, I do want to go,” Kim said. Why would she not want to go on a getaway with her mistress? There was not a reason that she could think of.
“Then shut up and be thankful that you’re going,” Shego barked.
“You’re being mean!” the redhead whined.
Shego sighed; she was not giving her pet her usual bitchiness. She was at a new level at the moment, knowing that the family reunion was going to a disaster, as they always were. There was something about their family that just did not connect and yet, they got together to torture each other anyway. It was a macabre fact in her opinion and spoke volumes on how they were all sadomasochists to a certain degree.
“So, why aren’t you taking Drakken?” Kim asked again because she was very curious as to why she was being honored with a trip.
“Come on, me, him, in the woods. It’s too tempting,” Shego replied and her pet knew just what she was implying.
“Well, after you bury his charred body, it’ll just be you and me,” the girl smiled.
“I’d rather not kill him.”
“So, you’ll kill me instead?” Kim joked.
Shego only rolled her eyes. She was pleased that her mother did not know about Drakken or she would have had to bring him along too more than likely. Well, there always was the probability that her mother did know about the sapphire-colored scientist, but did not find him fascinating enough to bother with. Whatever the reason, Shego was glad that she did not have to bring him. She did wonder how her pet was going to behave on the getaway, though. She did not need her girl being a brat when the trip was going to horrible enough.
“Pumpkin,” the pale woman said.
“Yeah?” the redhead replied.
“You’d better be on your best behavior for this trip or I’ll never take you anywhere ever again.”
“Because I said so,” Shego replied. She had not and was not planning on telling her little monster that they were going on a family retreat. She did not even want to picture how enthusiastic and hyped Kim would be once she knew what was going on. She had no desire to deal with an overly happy pet while she was going to be miserable.
Shego decided that she could learn to truly hate her pet. Why? Because the little pest had a brain on the outside world and it seemed to turn on all the way when they got into the woods. They had to hike for about a mile to get to where they needed to be; Shego loathed that she had to leave her new car parked in an open lot for a park that was nearby because there was no way drive it to the villa. Kim made the hike way too long by diving after every fleeing critter in her path; the pale woman could see why her girl decided to be a biologist.
“Are you always like this?” Shego inquired while watching the redhead carelessly stick her hand into the burrow of an animal that they had only heard and not seen. For all Kim knew, she could be grabbing for a very angry badger or worse yet, an irate skunk. Shego could only hope that the girl did not lose any fingers to the creature that was down the hole.
“Like what?” Kim countered while reaching into the unknown well past her elbow.
“Into nature and shit,” Shego elaborated.
The younger female thought about the question for a moment and laughed a bit when she realized what she was doing and what she had been doing since they had gotten out of the car. “You know, on missions and things, I never really think about the environment that I’m in. I usually have to focus on stopping madmen or rescuing someone. But, sometimes, I do get called in to wrangle animals and I get to see how I’m a bit more than I give myself credit for when it comes to nature. I know how to handle wild animals. Right now, with no mission or anything, just time to observe, I’ve realized that not only do I know something about almost everything here, but I want to touch everything, I want study everything.”
“That’s nice and all, but if you keep this up, we’ll be here forever. So, can we get to the villa sometime this year?” the older woman inquired.
“Sorry,” the redhead apologized sheepishly as she retracted her limb from the void that it was in.
The duo continued up the trial and Kim thought about her behavior so far. She had never really thought about how much she picked up about different environments and animals while she was on missions. Now, she could understand why she was into biology, though; it was a part of her every day life almost in different way than it was for most other people.
Kim considered that she might become an ecologist from the bit of information that had just entered her mind. She supposed that there were would be plenty of time to think about that one. There was so much to do in the world; there had to be a way for her to keep doing plenty while doing one thing.
It did not take the pair long to get to the villa once Kim calmed down. It stood out in the woods being a villa and all. It was constructed by a lake, so it did not look incredibly out of place, but still, it was much more elegant than what most people would expect to come across in the woods.
“Is it going to be just us there?” Kim asked curiously. She noted on the ride out there not too many details were being disclosed to her.
“You’d like that, wouldn’t you?” Shego replied.
“Yeah, we could cuddle by a fire and—”
“I’m going to stop your little fantasy right there before it gets x-rated.”
“Why? There aren’t any children around and it’s a really good one.”
“I still don’t want to hear it,” the pale woman stated.
Kim playfully pouted, as if not being able to share her fantasy hurt her feelings. They came to the door of the villa and discovered that it was open, which meant that they were not the first ones to arrive. Shego wondered who beat them to the house.
“Yo,” Shego called as she and her pet stepped inside.
“Prompt as always,” Shego heard her mother comment.
“You’re downstairs?” the law enforcer called, even though she could tell that was exactly where her mother was.
“Yes. Did you bring Kim?”
“Her name is Pumpkin or Princess,” the green-skinned female stated.
“Apparently, you’re huffy already.”
“Hi, Mrs. Gooding,” Kim called.
“Hello, Kim dear. And call me Isabel.”
“Mommy!” Shego huffed. “What did I just say?” she asked. She wondered how many times she had to tell that woman the same thing before it finally sunk in.
Kim walked over to the stairs; there were two sets of steps positioned by the wall. One set of stairs led down to a lower floor, which gave her a view of where her owner’s mother was located. The woman was marching up the stairs to greet the two in person, so Kim moved out of her way. Shego’s mother, Isabel Gooding, resembled her daughter quite a bit. They had the same features, almost as if Shego were a clone of the woman, except for two things and one was that Shego had a sea-green complexion. Shego noted the second thing that was different on her mother and it was something new about her mother’s flowing ebony mane.
“Mommy, you’re going gray on the side,” Shego pointed out. The last time that she saw her mother, their hair was identical, like flowing rivers of ink. Her mother now had some white working its way around her crown of black hair.
“Yes, I know. The problem is getting old, I suppose,” Isabel sighed. She was dressed in business casual clothing, dressed down just a bit compared to the first time that Kim met the woman. Shego guessed that her mother wanted Kim around to get some dirt on her from her very bribable pet; she could understand why a lot of people just got fish now.
“You’re the only one here?” Shego asked, although she knew that answer to that since she did not hear any arguing.
“Yes, I’m trying to get your brothers’ rooms together,” her mother replied.
“Brothers?” Kim echoed. Her master had let her know that she had an older brother, but she never said anything about having more than one.
“Don’t even start with the questions,” Shego ordered the redhead.
“Why don’t you take Kim—” Isabel was about to make a suggestion, but her daughter cut her off.
“Princess,” Shego interjected.
“Fine, why don’t you take Princess up to your room and let her get settled in. Then you can give her a tour,” Isabel finished.
“Or I could throw her in the lake and call it a fucking day,” Shego muttered.
“What was that?”
“Nothing for you to worry about. Come on, Pumpkin,” the master commanded.
Kim followed Shego to the second set of stairs, which led upward. There was no true upstairs in the villa. It was more of a loft area, which was something that Kim could appreciate of course. A sort of bridge led from the stairs, covering the lobby on the ground floor, to a single room with walls that were only three and a half feet tall on two sides; it was built in the corner, so it had two true walls. Kim trotted to the short wall and looked out into the rest of the house. The view revealed how large the place actually was.
“This is nice,” Kim commented.
“Yeah, whatever,” Shego replied, dumping her bags in the corner of the room. There was nothing there that said the room was hers; she knew better than to leave anything in a house that she visited maybe once every three years.
“So, it’s your mother and just us?” the redhead asked.
“What did I just say about the questions?”
“If you don’t answer, I’ll go ask your mother. She seems to like me well enough.” Kim smiled like an imp, an incredibly evil imp.
Damn it to hell and back, Shego thought with an angry glint in her jade eyes. She was not about outplayed by her own pet. Shego was the one in charge after all; it said so right on the collar around Kim’s neck. She scowled at her little monster.
“My mother may like you, but you don’t live in her house and if you keep bothering me, you might not live in mine either,” the emerald-eyed woman retorted.
Kim pouted; she noted that her mistress was growing very hostile. A good pet would try to bring some comfort to her owner, Kim’s brain pointed out. But, a wicked little voice in the back of her mind interrupted and pointed out that there was so much to see around the house and Shego was always so very grumpy; there was no reason to waste time on the green-skinned officer when she could be exploring the house, or better still, the woods. Kim really would like to take a stroll through the woods and test her knowledge on the wilderness. She then glanced at her keeper.
“Hey, Shego, how about we go for a walk?” Kim suggested. “I packed my leash,” she added.
“Really?” Shego asked. She would have thought that Kim would have hidden that leash by now.
“Yeah, I noticed how you weren’t thinking about it, so I packed it. How about that walk then?” the redhead replied with a smile.
“Get the leash,” Shego sighed.
Kim nodded and went into her bag to retrieve her leash. She pulled out the grass green line, which her mistress connected to her collar. They descended the stairs, but before they could exit the house, Isabel caught sight of them.
“Where are you two going?” the elder woman inquired with an arched raven eyebrow. She had been trying her best to not address the issue of the collar that she saw Kim was wearing and now she was expected to ignore that the girl was chained. She guessed that there was nothing wrong with it since Kim seemed all right with it.
“I’m taking Princess for a walk,” Shego informed her mother.
“You’ve got her tethered and collared now?” Isabel asked. Look, she was only human for crying out loud and even though she had no problem with what they were doing since they were adults, she just had to tackle the subject. She would like to know the reasoning behind Kim being shackled.
“She needs to understand that she’s just a pet,” the daughter answered.
“I’m sure she and the rest of the world will get the message then. Don’t be too long. It’ll be dark soon and I’m about to start dinner.”
“We won’t miss dinner,” Shego assured her mother while choosing to ignore the offending implied message in the front part of her statement about it getting dark soon. If something did manage to harm her or her pet, she believed that they deserved it because they were obviously perpetrating a fraud by acting extremely hardcore and then not being able to back up that façade.
“What are we having for dinner?” Kim asked.
“You won’t have anything if you keep asking all these questions,” Shego informed her pet.
“But, I was asking your mother,” the redhead pointed out. She did not see why her mistress should be irked if she was asking someone else questions.
“You’re not allowed to ask anyone questions.”
“Why?” Kim whined.
Shego frowned and tugged at Kim’s leash a bit. The girl yelped and lurched forward thanks to her owner pulling on the strap. Shego smirked, appearing amused for the first time since they left the apartment. They were about to leave the house when the front door opened and five men entered the house, one of them complaining that he should be let through first.
“Oh, great. The goon squad is here,” Shego remarked.
“It’s Team Go and you know that,” her big brother said.
Before Shego could say something to thoroughly tear her big brother soul and spirit asunder, their mother literally stepped in. Isabel smiled as she came over and embraced each one of her sons. The last man, seeming to be hiding in the back, was the siblings’ father, Isabel’s husband. He and Isabel did not even touch each other, which Kim noted.
“Let me introduce you to everyone,” Isabel said to Kim because she knew that Shego planned to ignore them all and continue on her way outside for her walk with her pet.
“Okay,” the eccentric hero agreed.
“This is Hector, my oldest,” Isabel said while wrapping her arm around the tallest of the men.
“Mom, it’s Hego,” he corrected her as if he was offended that she would call him by his real name.
“It doesn’t say that on your birth certificate,” Isabel smoothly replied and then moved on to the next one. He had lilac colored skin along with magenta hair. “This is Michael. Sometimes they call him Mego,” she said and then she moved onto the twins. “Walter and Wallace.”
“Wally if you want the both of us,” the twins explained and they seemed rather proud of that fact.
“Wally?” Kim echoed.
“It’s easier to have one word that summons the both of them. You usually want both of them, especially when something’s broken,” Shego explained why the twins shared a nickname.
“And who…” Walter started.
“Are you?” Wallace finished. They were speaking to Kim and the pair had a hint of desire lining their ruby colored eyes.
Shego noticed the spark of lust that ignited in her youngest brothers. They were about her pet’s age too, so she knew just what was going through their hormonally charged minds. She figured that she had better throw some water right on their fire before it built up.
“This is my pet. You call her Princess or Pumpkin,” Shego informed the pair of match-heads for them to get the idea that Kim was off-limits. She did sound rather possessive while declaring that Kim was her pet and she made sure that everyone saw the leash in her hand that led right to Kim’s collar.
The males all stared at the line that was in Shego’s hand. Kim wondered if the guys would be as calm about her being a pet as the females of the family were. She figured that she would find out in a moment.
Next time: The guys’ reaction to the information that they have just learned and a good, old fashion dysfunctional family reunion. These folks don’t pull any punches…or kicks in Shego’s case.