On a Short Leash

Dilemma Twenty-Eight

Got stress?


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TITLE: Got stress?

AUTHOR: StarvingLunatic

DISCLAIMER: I don’t own these characters and I don’t own this premise.

SUMMARY: AU. This is the sequel to Walking the Line. Kim and Shego look to renew their unorthodox relationship.

TYPE: Kim/Shego, Kim, Ron, Shego/Drakken, Other, Friendship, Romance, Slash

RATING: US: R / DE: 16

Warning: three chapters to go. And here you all go. Thanks for all of the reviews too. You must have wanted this one.

Words: 5304

Shego caressing her pet.

Shit! Why in the hell would he say something that fucking stupid? Damn it, damn it, damn it!

“Izzie,” Jason said in the calmest voice that he could manage.

“Yes, dearest?” Isabel replied, also trying her best to sound as composed as possible.

“I’ll take that drink now,” Jason informed her.

“I thought that you might.”

Isabel kept her composure and got up from the table to fix her husband and herself a drink each. Why did they feel that they needed the alcohol? They just found out that their daughter was engaged. Not just engaged, but engaged to an overly annoying scientist who probably did nothing for their daughter at all. They doubted that anything could give them a worse shock to their systems simultaneously.

“Did he say he’s getting married to our sister?” Mego asked the Wegos because he was almost certain that he had heard wrong. Why would anybody in their right mind want to marry Shego? Hell, why would someone out of their mind want to marry Shego?

“He did,” the twins confirmed.

“Our sister, as in Shego?” Mego asked to be sure and the duo could only nod. Their sister was going to marry a weed? It did not seem quite right. In fact, it was plain sick and wrong on so many levels.

“Shego, why didn’t you tell us you were getting married?” Jason asked, trying his best to be calm about things. Okay, his daughter was with a man, so she was not a lesbian, but marriage to the guy that she had brought to the house with her was a little too much. His daughter deserved a man that was way better than that pompous blowhard. She deserved a man that she could not undoubtedly reduce to tears without trying. She deserved a man that would not cry if she even decided to hit him; if she had not hit him before.

Shego did not answer her father’s question. She was saved from responding as her mother returned with two drinks in her hands. She went to her husband and handed him one drink. He gulped it down and Isabel did not even have to look at him to know that he needed another. She handed him her drink, which he gulped too. Isabel left the room to fix herself another drink. Once she returned, she sat down to eat. She glanced at Jason, who stared intensely at Shego. The green-skinned woman merely ignored the glares and ate her food.

The family did not say anything, which Drakken thought was very peculiar. He figured that they would be congratulating him and Shego; after all, they were getting married. An engagement was supposed to be a cause for a celebration, he thought.

The doctor turned his attention to the food that was before him and started to play with his meal, as he typically did when Shego made a meal. Isabel almost immediately noticed his actions and eyed the man with a scowl deep in her face as he pushed the food around his plate with his fork; the twins saw the look in their mother’s eye and they would not be surprised if she stabbed him in the hand with a butter knife. She leaned forward as if she was about to say something or do something, but restrained herself from hurting the blue male’s feelings or worse, hurting his body.

Obviously, something needed to be done before one of the family members snapped on the doctor. It did not seem like anyone was looking to intervene and was just waiting for one person to start up, so the rest of them could jump in. The father decided to try to ease things away by starting a discussion.

“So, have you set a date?” Jason asked, even though no one wanted to know. He was not sure how he kept his voice from trembling out of fear of the answer. He just knew that he had to make conversation before his wife did something drastic to the sky-colored moron playing with the meal that she prepared. If she started, there would be no stopping the twins from joining in.

“Unfortunately, we haven’t done that yet. Perhaps you two can suggest an ideal time to get married,” Drakken replied. Isabel rolled her emerald eyes; it was obvious that he was attempting to butter them up.

“Their perfect time was never,” Walter remarked.

“It might’ve actually worked well for them,” Wallace commented.

“You two,” their mother barked at the twins; it was clear to see where Shego got the tone from. The duo decided to be quiet; their mother was apparently was out of patience and it just was not wise to test her when she was that way.

“So, you haven’t picked a date yet? What about a location?” Jason inquired. He was trying to get an idea of how serious Shego was about marrying the mouse of an inventor. There were billions of men out there and his daughter had to go find the one rodent in men’s clothing. He could not believe it.

“We didn’t think about that,” Drakken replied.

“Well, what about supporting Shego? You can do that?” her father asked since they did not have anything else worked out. He wondered what even made the scientist propose if he did not have so many details worked out.

“Yes, I’m a brilliant inventor that’s worked on several military projects—”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” Jason cut the doctor off because he really could not take another one of the man’s rants. In fact, he was certain that if the doctor went into anymore rambling, he would be the one to hit the man before his sons jumped in. And he was the patient one in the family most of the time; yes, that said a lot about the Gooding family when he was considered the patient one. “You know, there’s more to supporting a woman like Shego than in regards to money,” her father commented.

Shego was stunned by her father’s words. She had never heard him sound so profound on his own; not to mention, she had never heard him sound so concerned for her either. She was perplexed as to why he would say such a thing, like he knew something about her. Drakken seemed just as bemused as his girlfriend was by the words.

“Okay, okay, okay. Just no,” Jason said as he paced the bedroom. He was in pajama pants, but no shirt; he was exceptionally well built, especially for a man his age. Isabel was lying on their large bed. She watched him with an amused look on her face; he might be the patient on in the house, but he panicked easily once his patience was up.

“Dearest, that wasn’t even a sentence,” she pointed out for her alarmed husband.

“You talk to that girl. You talk to her and you tell her no way,” he practically ordered his wife while pointing at the door for no reason at all.

“Sweetheart, you have to be more specific,” she said, teasing him slightly. He was a little drunk after having quite a few drinks through out the meal and dessert. If he was not such a big fellow, he probably would have passed out by now.

“She’s not marrying that…that… I don’t even know what that is. What is he? What kind of guy is that?” he inquired, shouting slightly. He was very worked up by the sheer audacity of that man.

Jason was insulted by the fact that Drakken acted as though he knew everything when it was clear that he knew very little on most things outside of his areas of expertise. The scientist was so self-important. To Jason, that man obviously did not know and probably could not begin to fathom what it would mean to be married to Shego. He did not even understand why his daughter would humor such a thought. Was she out of her ever-loving mind?

“Dearest, if I knew what kind of man he was, I would tell you,” Isabel replied. The only thing keeping her from going and actually slapping her daughter to knock some sense into her was the fact that she knew assaulting Shego would only egg her own. She was looking to be upsetting and it was working very well, Isabel thought.

“What is she doing? What is this? Just what is this?” Jason demanded to know. Yeah, if Shego was looking to be upsetting, it was seriously working.

“Jason, just come to bed. You’re all over the map now. You’re just way too worked up,” Isabel stated.

“Of course I’m worked up! Our daughter is looking to marry a…a…” He could not even think of a word to sum up the anger that he felt toward the man.

“Asshole,” Isabel offered to fill in her husband’s insult. She knew that he was searching for some large word that most people probably did not even know the meaning of, but she felt that cuss words always worked best when looking to insult someone. He thought otherwise, but she could care less.

“Thank you,” he said, showing that he would take the profane word and call the man what he was. “Why is she marrying him? What can he do for her?” he inquired.

“Jason, if only you were this interested in her life ten years ago,” Isabel muttered. Twenty years ago, his interest would have been even more appreciated, her mind added.

Isabel did ponder what was motivating their daughter to even consider marrying Drakken. She noticed from the brief time that they were together that the onyx-eyed doctor only seemed to get on Shego’s always raw nerves, as he should since he was such an irksome individual. He was haughty over nothing as far as the family could tell. Okay, he was a scientist, but big freaking deal. There were thousands of scientists, maybe millions, in the world. Hey, they knew a girl that was a scientist and she was a pet; it seemed like they would let any whacko into the scientific community, not that Isabel said anything like that, even though she really wanted to just to shut him up and shut him down completely.

She also did not mean any disrespect toward Kim for comparing her to Drakken. She liked Kim very much and as far as she was concerned, Drakken could not equal the girl on his best day or on her worst. Kim was a shining light in Shego’s dim world and Isabel hoped that her daughter acknowledged that sometime soon before making a foolish mistake.

“Dearest, please, come to bed,” Isabel implored Jason. She would not be able to sleep if he kept walking the room and she would then continue to think about the moronic move their daughter was about to make.

“You’ll talk to her?” Jason asked.

“I will talk to her,” she promised.

Jason sighed. He stopped pacing and crawled into bed. He cuddled up next to his wife; it was something that they had not done in months, but no one would know that if they saw the couple now. He rested his head on her breasts and she caressed the side of his head to help calm him down.

“Doesn’t she know that he isn’t right for her?” Jason inquired.

“I don’t know. Maybe it’s just that we haven’t set the best example,” she commented.

“What do you mean? I’m perfect for you.”

Isabel smiled a bit and kissed the side of his head. “Yes, you are. We just haven’t always shown that. They always see us at our wits end.”

“Do you think that’s why she’s doing this?” he asked curiously.

“I don’t really know, but I’ll talk to her and find out,” she replied. She really did want to know what was going through their daughter’s head to want to spend the rest of her life with a man that she noticeably could not stand. She did not even like talking about him. Really, what in the hell made her think that she could be married to Drakken?

“If they remain engaged and actually pick a date and a location and set everything up, do I have to attend?” he wondered out loud and she laughed.

“Yes, you have to attend. Imagine what the reporters would say if they found out you didn’t go to your only daughter’s wedding,” she replied, making sure to put it in terms that would matter the most to him. She knew that it was unfortunate that his image meant more to him than the fact that their daughter would be getting married.

He groaned. “Say it for me,” he requested.

Isabel smiled; she enjoyed life when they got along. Too bad they did not get along often. “Damn politics,” she cursed his profession for him.

“Thank you.”

She chuckled a bit more; he was so amusing without meaning to be. If only they could always be as they were, they both thought. They were so perfect for each other, but they were also the worst for each other. They both tended to know what the other needed and wanted; regrettably, they did not always need the same things and at the same times and conflicts arose. They were both too strong-willed for each other, too stubborn, too selfish to remain happy together for long.

(New day)

Isabel woke up early the next morning and sought out her daughter. She firstly came across the twins, who were playing video games on the big, flat screen television in the living room. She would have left them alone if she was not so sure that they had not gone to bed yet.

“Wally, sleep,” Isabel ordered from the living room entrance.

“We just woke up,” they lied simultaneously.

“Twenty-five hours ago, right?” she guessed.

“That’s like just waking up,” Walter argued.

“Exactly like it,” Wallace concurred.

“So much like it that you’re going to bed now,” Isabel commanded.

The twins groaned and turned off the game. Why was it they had come home again, they wondered. Oh, right, they had been under the impression that there would be a sexy redhead in a collar. What a gyp! They went off to their room after informing their mother that their loser sister was outside if she was looking for Shego.

“Don’t call your sister a loser,” Isabel ordered the retreating pair.

“Why not? It’s what she is,” Walter replied.

“Yeah, look at the doofus she’s dating,” Wallace commented. They had lost all respect for their sister overnight; it was a record. It had taken almost a decade for them to lose all respect for Hego. They never had much respect for Mego, but then again they never really paid him much mind; still, it had taken them a long while to lose the little respect that they had for the guy.

Isabel actually did not argue or correct her youngest sons. She just pointed up the stairs, silently ordering them to bed. They went to their room and she went outside. She found Shego sitting on the veranda, smoking a cigarette. Isabel sat down next to her daughter.

“Got an extra?” Isabel requested. From last night’s surprise, she thought a cigarette just might help in some way.

“Since when do you smoke? You used to bitch at me about it,” Shego replied.

“Dearest, you flicked a lit one at me,” Isabel pointed out.

“Mommy, you crushed a pack of them in my hand,” the younger woman commented while handing her mother a cigarette. She made a small flame with her index finger and lit the cigarette for her mother.

“So…” Isabel took a long drag from her cigarette; she obviously knew how to smoke. Shego hated that there was still new things to learn about her mother. Isabel knew that, but she hated that there were still new things to learn about her daughter, so they were even. “Marriage?” the older woman simply inquired.

“Don’t do this,” Shego ordered. She knew a lecture coming when she heard one and she really did not feel like sitting through a talking as if she was ten-years-old.

“It’s a big step.”

“Yeah, so what?”

“A very big step,” Isabel emphasized. She doubted that she could ever make her daughter understand what it meant to be in a marriage. She had trouble coming to terms with it even now.

“So what?” Shego asked again. She knew what she was doing…right? Yeah, of course she knew what she was doing, she convinced herself.

“Shego, you shouldn’t do this to prove that you can tolerate an asshole.”

“Isn’t that why you married Dad?” Shego retorted. Her mother had no right to talk to her about being with assholes as far as she was concerned.

Isabel laughed out loud. She played with her cigarette for a second, rolling it between her thumb and forefinger. She looked rather amused by the question, her daughter noted. Shego thought that her mother was bluffing, though.

“You want to be like me, firefly? Is that it?” Isabel inquired. It was flattering, it was even what she wanted, but she knew deep down that her daughter should not be like she was. Her child needed to be better than she was in so many ways.

“Hell, no,” Shego replied vehemently. Why would she want to be like an infuriating, psychotic bitch, her mind demanded to know.

“I figured as much. You shouldn’t be with a man you can’t stand,” Isabel commented, even though she knew her daughter would believe that she was hypocritical.

“Mommy, what the fuck are you even talking about? You can’t stand Dad for eleven and a half out of twelve months.”

“Sweetie, I know how things might look with me and your father, but it’s really not as horrible as it looks. Actually, that shit is nowhere near as horrible as it looks,” the older female commented. She doubted anything could be as bad as how her marriage had to look. “I know that we fight all of the time, but…your father and I love each other.”

Shego scoffed; she could not believe that her mother would stand there and tell that lie like that with a straight face. “Yeah, right. No wonder I don’t believe in love,” the green-hued woman remarked.

“I didn’t believe much in it either, but I love that guy and he loves me. We’re just too different for our love to overcome everything like in fairy tales. We’re too similar to get along for a decent amount of time. But, if you stop and think about, we’ve got to love each other just a bit. I mean, we’ve been married for thirty years. I’ve been with the man since I was seventeen and the worst part of it is I’ve been the one always trying to push him away, especially when we were younger. When he played football, I always would tell him to get the hell away from me, to go hang out with his friends, his fans, or his teammates, just somebody that wasn’t me. Hell, a few times, I’d even tell him to go hang out with some cheerleaders. He liked being with me, though. I never understood why,” Isabel commented with a light laugh.

“He’s obviously a crazy masochist.”

“That he may just be. But, remember how last night, he said to Drakken that there’s more to supporting you than money?”

“Yeah, so?” Shego asked, not seeing where her mother was going with any of her words. She did not care to hear anything about her parents’ past or anything like that. She wished that her mother would just leave her alone.

“He thinks you’re a lot like me. You’re very independent and just a bit crazy,” the mother stated.

“Mommy, he doesn’t support you. He drives you fucking nuts and then he drives you away,” the younger woman pointed out.

“He gives me my space. Jason is probably the only man on the damn planet that could deal with me for all of this time. After all, for the first few years of our marriage, he was pretty much Mr. Isabel Gooding, despite the fact that I took his damn last name. He messed up his knee and he didn’t have anything to fall back on for a long while. He lived in my shadow for so long, but he never resented me for my success. It’s a hard thing for a man, especially one like him to do that. He never told me to stop doing what I was doing. Sure, after a while, he would yell that I needed to be home more often and he was right about that, but he never asked me to seriously change. In all of our years together, we never mentioned divorce. Sure, we’ve hollered more than our fair share of ‘get the hell out’ and a lot of other insults, but never thought about divorce. We’ve also never hit each other.”

“What’s your fucking point, Mommy?” Shego asked. It was too early in the morning for her mother to be beating around the bush. She had too much on her mind too for her mother to be trying to confuse the crap out of her.

“My fucking point is this, you shouldn’t marry a man that doesn’t understand you and doesn’t know what the hell he’s getting into. With me, Jason knew how the hell I was, so he understood and he understands that he needs to back the fuck off sometimes.”

“Mommy, you can’t possibly be sitting here and making it seem like you and Dad have a happy marriage. That’s complete and utter bullshit,” the daughter commented.

“It’s happy for spans of time. It’s working is my point. We’re still together despite of all the bullshit. Why is that? Because we handle each other’s bullshit a little better than we handle others and probably a hell of a lot better than others would handle ours. Could you handle Drakken’s bullshit for thirty years? Could he handle it if you had to leave for three months to avoid ripping his intestines out? Hell, would you even hesitate after a while in ripping his intestines out?” Isabel inquired.

There were times when Isabel wanted to just pulverize Jason until he was unrecognizable and she knew that there were times when he just wanted to do the same, but they never acted on those feelings. She typically left the house when those feelings overcame her. He usually drank when those ideas were eating at him.

Shego thought about things for a moment. She had to admit that even though her parents seemed to hate each other’s guts and they screamed at each other all of the time, she had never seen either of them try to hit each other. Her mother could probably hurt her father if she did hit him and he could probably hurt her if he could lay a hand on her. No matter how angry they got, though they might flex their hands, but they never touched each other in a harmful manner.

Shego, however, had hit Drakken quite a few times already. It was not even an almost fair fight like it would be if her parents ever got the idea to hit each other. She could take the cerulean doctor down with no problem. If her parents had ever had a serious fight, it probably would have been a clash-of-the-titans type of rumble.

Now, her parents were nuts; they were seriously, full flung, due-for-the-funny-farm bonkers, out-of-their-freaking-already-maniacal-minds, but they were still together. She sometimes assumed that they stayed together because they had five kids, but offspring hardly ever seemed to blip on their radar screens a good deal of the time. Other times, she thought that they just stayed together to annoy each other, but that seemed just ignorant and no matter how nuts they were, they were not ignorant.

“Do you think Drakken could stand being married to you after a while?” Isabel asked when her daughter did not respond to the other questions.

“This is his idea,” Shego replied.

Isabel could not help thinking what the hell kind of answer was that? Did her child suffer some recent brain damage? Since when was her daughter a follower? She recalled back when Shego was younger and hanging out with Betty, Betty used to have to hit the younger female over the head with a bat practically to get her to do something, even if she thought that it was a good idea. What happened to the stubborn as a deaf mule daughter she raised?

“Well, think about that man’s ego and then think about when you enter a room,” her mother suggested just for her to get an idea if that teal maniac could handle being married to her.

The younger woman thought about it; she was something like her mother when she stepped into a room. They commanded attention just by arriving and people noticed them immediately. Shego had been to a gathering once with her parents and noticed how people barely registered that her father was even there; that was one of her father’s problems. He was married to a woman that hollered “I’m important, you want to talk to me” without saying a word. It had to crush him on the inside, but he took it. Drakken probably would not take it at all; he would get all huffy about everything. He would get on her nerves about things; he had already did get on her nerves.

“Shego, your father and I aren’t perfect and you know this shit better than anybody, but we wanted to be with each other and only each other. Maybe we bugged out and thought differently at times, but we always come crawling back to each other before he does something stupid as hell or I just fucking snap. We make each other so miserable because we have the potential to make each other so happy, which we do every so often. You should learn from our incredibly fucked up relationship and try harder than we have. I mean, obviously we could’ve done better. You should be with someone that has the potential to make you happy and fulfills that potential more often than not. You should be with someone who you want to come home to at the end of the day every day. Someone that insists that you be glad they’re there because they’re glad you’re there—”

“I know what you’re trying to say,” Shego grumbled.

“I’m sure you do,” Isabel said since her daughter was far from dim-witted. She did not see why her daughter was putting herself through so much trouble. Was it so important to her to be straight? Or was it that she saw it as such a bad thing to simply need to be with Kim? Or was it that she was truly trying to be the way that she perceived her parents’ relationship? None of it made any sense to her mother.

“What you’re hinting at isn’t going to happen,” the younger woman stated soundly.

“Why the hell not? You’re willing to give her up to marry this Drakken bastard? And you know I mean that in the nicest way possible. If you’re willing to do that, then he must be very special to you. If he is so special to you, so dear to you, I’ll leave you alone. I’ll convince your father that this is what you want, we’ll come to the wedding and possibly behave, but probably not, and then I’ll sit around and wait for grandchildren to screw up,” Isabel remarked.

“Grandchildren?” Shego echoed. Oh, hell, no! She was not having any children, especially not by Drakken.

“Well, what else do you get married for? You want to have innocent little minds that you can alter to your own beliefs,” the older woman quipped.

“Mommy, don’t even say that because with the job you and Dad did makes it seem true.”

“You five aren’t that bad. You’re all still alive, despite being insane. You’re all living on your own with halfway decent jobs. And you’re all fairly happy, except for when we all get together. The best part of it, no one has any serious criminal records. I’ve seen worse parenting jobs,” Isabel commented.

“Yeah, well, I’ve seen better.”

“Where, at Betty’s house?” Isabel scoffed. She was not knocking Betty’s family, but she would never admit that that madhouse was better than their madhouse.

“Fine, whatever,” Shego yielded right then and there.

Her mother had a point, as much as she hated to admit it. She and her idiotic brothers could have been worse off than they were. Sure, they hated each other pretty intensely, but that was not really their mother’s fault. Besides, their lives could have been much worse. They always had good food, nice clothes, and almost anything else that a child growing up could need and want, except for a mother that was there twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week and an open-minded, supportive father. But, those were two different problems.

“Just think about everything I’ve said. Think about your future. Think about the other people involved before you act. Now, I’m going to make breakfast,” Isabel said as she finished off her cigarette. Then she had a thought. “If he plays with my food this morning, I’m going to dislocate his shoulder,” she warned her daughter.

“He’s a guest,” Shego said halfheartedly.

“He’s a pest,” she corrected her daughter. She really could care less if the man was a damn king; no one made her cooking seem offensive.

Shego did not argue; she did not say anything, even though she did not doubt her mother’s word. If Drakken did play with his food again, she was certain that her mother would make good on her threat and dislocate his shoulder. And if she did, Shego decided already that she did not care. The food was good, so she did not know what his problem was.

After breakfast, everyone started to get ready to return to their homes. Drakken had narrowly escaped the meal without injury because once he noticed Isabel glaring at him, he began quietly eating. Shego and Drakken were the first to leave the house.

The green-skinned female noticed that her mother had made no motions to get her things together, so she guessed that her parents were together for the moment. She was willing to bet that by summertime, they would be separated again. The twins were of a like mind on that matter, which was why they refused to bet her on the issue.

Shego could not believe her mother of all people was trying to give her relationship advice. Her parents could barely stay together for a whole year; in fact, their record was probably just a year. She did silently admit that her parents never muttered the word divorce, even though they seemed to get extremely sick of each other. It was a strange relationship, but she would never want something like that. She would not want to be like her parents.

“Your family seemed…nice,” Drakken commented and Shego glanced at him. She knew that he would rather say something else and she would have respected his honesty than his trying to get on her good side. After all, she hated that maniacal bunch and she made that clear by never wanting to talk about them, but he seemed to miss that fact.

Next time: it’s the end of the world as we know it.

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