The safety of an embrace can be a scary thing. Feeling loved can be frightening, especially since it feels so good, so right. It doesn’t make sense sometimes.
“Smiley, get your little ass back here!” Shego hollered as the now mischievous six-year-old ran off into the grand hotel that they were going to be staying at. He was such a gremlin, she thought.
“I’ll get him,” Kim replied and she dashed off after the hyper child.
Shego sighed and shook her head. She supposed that while Kim took care of their rambunctious son, she could go take care of checking in. She knew that Todd acted so wild with them because his biological parents did not allow him to do anything, be it off the wall or just something simple and mundane that he wanted to do. He was all too aware that once he got around her and Kim, he could cut loose and do almost anything that he wanted, as long as it was nothing too bad. Sometimes, he did not know what “too bad” was until one of them said something, though.
“Wow,” Todd muttered as he entered the hotel. The place was huge and extremely fancy looking. He was actually used to such things when his biological parents took him some place, which was extremely rare, but he had seen great hotels before. He had never been able to really look around and explore like he was planning to do right now, though.
“Smiley, get back here!” Kim called.
Todd turned to see his Kimmie coming toward him and he thought it would nice to have some fun with her, especially since she was least likely to yell at him if it was a bad thing to do. He grinned and ran off, hoping to escape her, at least for a little while. He only had the weekend to play with them, after all. He wanted to live it up.
The little redheaded boy enjoyed his visits with Kim and Shego and he was very happy when they had come to pick him up last night. They had to argue with his birth parents, as was the habit that they had all worked themselves into. He hated hearing them argue, but he always knew that when it ended, he would be leaving with his loving parents, Kim and Shego. That had been the case last night too.
Every time that Shego and Kim went to pick up Todd, they got into an argument with his parents because his parents did not want him hanging around them. Shego always pointed out that if the asshole Grumblings, Todd’s birth parents, did not allow him to leave with them then they always ran the risk of “the incident” occurring again. The incident referred to the first time Todd came back to Kim and Shego and the little lunatic had actually hitched a ride to Go City. A truck driver had given the child a ride into the city and then luckily had left him close enough to where he wanted to go that he was able to find his way. Making matters worse, they had moved when he did that stunt, so he had gone to the condo and the only reason he made it to Kim and Shego at all was because the landlady of their old apartment helped him find them. They were now always trying to avoid something like that happening again, but his biological parents always wanted to make things a struggle. They were such dicks, Shego always thought.
“Smiley, no! Get down from there!” Kim ordered in only a semi-forceful tone as she watched Todd climbing on top of a model in the hotel that was set up in the lobby of the place.
“Not even married yet, but they both already got the whole bad parents things already,” Monique remarked as she and Felix entered the hotel to see Kim having a hard time with Todd, which they were used to. Whenever Todd was staying with them, Kim took him to hang out with her while Shego was at work and her friends were accustomed to him being around, acting up.
“Smiley, get down before you fall!” Kim called as he just climbed higher. He was already almost twenty feet off the ground.
“I can go higher, though!” the light green-eyed child called down to his Kimmie. Yes, Kimmie was his as far as he was concerned, but then again, Shego was his too. He would not trade them in for all the world, sun, moon, stars, and whatever else someone tried to offer him.
“You might fall!” Kim pointed out.
As soon as those words left her mouth, Todd grabbed a part of the model that broke off. He slipped and fell. Kim gasped as he plummeted and she dived to catch the boy. She made a good save, although she hurt her right side when she landed on it. Todd grinned sheepishly, more embarrassed at having fallen than anything else.
“Nice catch,” a familiar voice said that caused Kim to look up.
“Uh, hi, Isabel,” Kim said, now feeling rather sheepish herself. It would seem that her future mother-in-law had just witnessed the fact that she was not always the best parent when it came to Todd.
“Is this who I think it is?” Isabel inquired, looking at Todd. She had heard some things about Kim and Shego taking care of a little boy every so often and she guessed that she was looking at him.
Todd, still rather shy around new people, yelped because he was being stared at. He worked his way out of Kim’s hold and then pulled her to stand up. Once she was standing firmly on her feet, he hid behind her. Isabel thought that was just too darling.
“What the hell are you three doing?” Shego asked as she stepped over to her fiancée, mother, and “son.”
“I was just about to introduce Todd to Isabel,” Kim answered.
“Fine, Mommy, meet Smiley. Smiley meet my mother. Now, can we all get out of the lobby?” Shego huffed.
“Mommy?” Todd echoed. He tugged on Kim’s shirt to get her attention, which worked. “That’s She-she’s mommy?” he asked curiously while pointing to Isabel.
“Yeah, that’s She-she’s mommy,” Kim confirmed.
It was Isabel’s turn to mimic a parrot. “She-she?” she muttered in a bemused tone.
“That’s what he calls Shego,” Kim explained.
“So, are the rumors true?” Isabel asked rather curiously.
“Rumors?” Kim repeated. It seemed like everyone was having their “echo moments.” She was wondering what rumors could possibly be going around about her, Shego, and Todd.
“That you two had a little boy,” Isabel answered with an amused smile.
“Mommy, don’t even get started. Let’s all just go check in,” Shego insisted. She did not want things to get annoying when she was already on edge. The idea of getting married in the morning had every nerve in her body twitching. It was not that she did not want to do it, but that it just seemed like such a big deal. It did not help matters that she knew that her mother was going to make it seem like an even bigger deal.
“She’s already in a mood,” the middle-aged martial artist said to Kim, teasing Shego.
“She’s been in a mood all week,” Kim replied with a bit of a shrug to show that she was used to it already.
“I am standing right here,” the green-skinned female pointed out in a huff.
Shego had been in a mood all week. There was so much crap to deal with for everything and it was culminated when she had to deal with Todd’s stupid parents yesterday. His biological parents always acted like they were going to take the kid and never come back. Sure, it was tempting, but if they had not done it before, they certainly were not going to start now. They just wanted their “son” present for their wedding and his parents wanted to be morons about it.
Her mood had not been improved on the ride to the hotel. Todd had been hyper on the plane, which she blamed on Kim for giving him a bunch of candy early in the morning; their flight had been early. Kim claimed that she had not given the child anything. It was a good thing that they had packed everything that the kid would need before having picked him up or Shego would have just been irked about that too and they might have missed their flight, which would have caused the super-powered woman to have a nuclear meltdown…before causing one herself.
“Shego, you can go check us in and I’ll keep an eye on Smiles,” Kim offered, hoping that it would ease just some of the tension that her lover was feeling.
“Smiley, you better be good or you’re spending the weekend locked in the room,” Shego informed the boy.
“I’ll be good,” Todd promised with a grin, knowing that was an empty threat at best coming from his She-she.
“This is definitely your son,” Shego said to Kim, who only grinned proudly. The green-skinned woman shook her head and strolled off to check them in.
“Son, huh? Then I guess that makes me a grandma,” Isabel commented with a smile. She thought it was cute that Kim and Todd actually looked alike when they grinned.
“Sort of,” Kim agreed. It seemed logical for Isabel to consider herself Todd’s grandmother since she and Shego really considered the boy to be their son.
“Grandma?” Todd muttered to himself. He already had a pair of grandmothers and he did not like either of them very much. One did not know who he was most of the time and the other did not care about him. Both of those grandmothers were very mean to him when they did pay attention to him. But, he figured that he might be able to give his She-she’s mother a go at being his grandmother if she wanted that. After all, She-she and Kimmie were doing a great job at being parents as far as he was concerned, so maybe their parents would do the same as grandparents.
Before Isabel could make herself familiar with the little boy, they were turned around by a scream. It sounded like someone had just run into a celebrity; they made that guess because of the swank hotel that they were in. And then Yori ran over. Kim decided that their guess was right on; Yori had definitely run into a celebrity.
Yori was so excited that she was yelling in Japanese as she stood before Isabel. Kim laughed a bit while Isabel looked absolutely puzzled. She ran into people that were fans of hers every now and then, but not often. The ones that she ran into did get rather excited, though. She just smiled while Yori continued bugging out in Japanese. It did not help matters that Yori was speaking to fast for anyone to understand her in any language.
“I’m pretty sure when she’s done squealing like a drooling fan-girl, she’s going to want your autograph,” Kim informed Isabel.
“Do you know her?” Isabel asked curiously.
“Good friend of mine. Trained as a ninja,” Kim answered.
“Oh, is she from the Yamanuchi school?” the middle-aged female asked. If that was the case, it would explain some of Yori’s behavior to her. She occasionally went to that school and took on their students to remain in top form.
“Yes, I am!” Yori finally remembered that she could speak English and go at a speed where enough for the rest of the world could get what she was saying. But, after that one answer, she could not remember enough English to continue on because she was so overwhelmed. She could not believe that she was meeting someone who was a legend at her school.
“Yori, calm down,” Kim said. “Take a deep breath,” the redhead instructed her friend. Yori did as she was told. “Okay, good,” Kim said. “Now, release it slowly,” she told the ninja and Yori again did as she was told.
“Okay, I’m better now,” the ebony-haired ninja said with a sigh. “Um…Gooding-sama….would you please…um…” she could not even stammer through her request.
“Autograph?” Isabel guessed and Yori nodded vigorously.
Kim had a pen and paper already prepared because she knew how Yori was going to react when she first met Isabel. Yori had warned her, after all. The hero handed over the pen and paper and Isabel dished out her autograph with no problem. She added a little something extra to the page.
“Since you’re a good friend of Kimmie’s, feel free to call me anytime you like,” Isabel told Yori and pointed to her number at the bottom of the paper.
“Call you?” Yori squeaked and then she actually fainted.
“Babe!” Ron shouted when he saw his wife laid out on the floor. Kim picked Yori up while Ron dashed over. “What happened?” the blonde asked.
“Well, let’s just say, what would happen if you met the guy that started Bueno Nacho and he gave you his personal number to call him whenever you wanted?” Kim answered.
“Did she meet him? Aw, man! I miss out on everything!” Ron griped.
“No, she didn’t meet him. But, you know how you would feel if you met him. Well, she just met the person equal to him in her world,” Kim explained.
“K.P, there is no one equal to the holiest of holies, the inventor of Bueno Nacho,” the blonde chastised his best friend for even thinking such a thing that someone could compare to the man that made the greatest food on the planet.
Kim decided not to even bother with that one. Yori regained consciousness after a minute or so of being knocked out. She immediately checked her hand to make sure that she still had her autograph before anything else and she was still clutching the paper as if it was the cure for cancer. And then she noticed that her husband was holding her.
“Ron-kun, look!” Yori said, losing her usual cool. She showed him her autograph, but he failed to see the big deal.
“Um…that’s nice,” he said for lack of a better thing.
Todd watched the whole thing unfold quietly with a dumbfounded look ok his face. He did not know what just happened. Was his She-she’s mommy someone famous? He would guess so from the way that Miss Yori acted; yeah, he called Yori “miss” most of the time and everyone thought it was so adorable. He was not at all accustomed to seeing Yori act the way she did; he was more used to Ron being all wild and loud.
Todd had hung out with Kim and her friends on a few occasions, so he knew them all rather well. He was comfortable with them to the point where Kim or Shego could leave him with them for a little while and he would not freak out. After a few hours though, he would start asking questions like “when’s She-she coming to get me?” or “when’s my Kimmie coming back?” or he would request that they call one of them every couple of minutes until one of them came to pick him up.
“So, Kimmie, has your family arrived yet?” Isabel asked.
“No, I think the flight from Middleton left later than the one from Go City. Where’s the rest of your family?” Kim inquired curiously.
“They’ll be here,” Isabel simply replied.
The Gooding clan was all over the country, so they all had to fly out from somewhere else. The twins were supposed to fly out from Go City, but they ended going to California at the last minute, so now they were flying out from there. Jason had been in Washington, so he had caught a flight out of Maryland. Mego was flying out of New York and Hego was from Go City, but he had caught a different flight on another airline from his sister and her fiancée. They all knew that they had better show up too because when Isabel used the words “or else I will make your life a living Hell for all eternity,” she tended to mean them.
“So, I guess we can all get together for dinner before the big day tomorrow,” Isabel commented.
“Try telling Shego that and I’m sure she’ll run, screaming into the night,” Kim remarked with a laugh.
“Funny that she would be the nervous one. You’re totally calm about this whole thing,” the middle-aged martial artist noted.
“Why shouldn’t I be? I like stepping into the unknown, especially if freefalling has something to do with it,” Kim said with a big grin.
Isabel shook her head and laughed a bit herself. She decided to go check in with the rest of the few guests that had arrived, which were mostly Kim’s friends and they had arrived because they were all on the same flight. Betty and Dahntay were also there because they had come on the same flight.
“Betty,” Isabel said with a fond smile when she saw the one-eyed female.
“Hey, Isabel,” Betty replied and she went give the older woman a hug.
“I’m going to chalk this whole thing up to the great example that you’ve been setting for my little firefly,” Isabel remarked as they released each other.
“No, don’t try to give me credit for her marrying a little brat,” Betty riposted.
Isabel smiled a bit. “Aw, but she’s such a sweet brat. I’m going to guess that you’ve met their little son.”
“I have. He’s a creepy kid too. Worked his way into the right family,” Betty commented with a teasing half-smile.
Isabel could not help laughing a little. She then turned her attention to Dahntay. She had met him before, at Betty’s wedding a few months back. She thought he was a good guy. Sometimes, he poured on the charm a little too much, but other than that, he was very nice man.
“Good to see you again, Dahntay,” Isabel said and they shook hands.
“It’s a pleasure to see you again,” he commented and leaned down to kiss her hand. See, he poured on the charm just a little too much sometimes. “Hopefully, this wedding won’t be as eventful as the last I saw you at.”
Isabel only smiled; it was an amused expression. The last wedding he had seen her at would have been his own. That had been a great adventure, but rather inappropriate for a wedding. Betty had been kind enough to invite her mother to the wedding; hey, the woman might have been quite the bitch, but she was still her mother. So, Eleanor had shown up and made Betty’s life hell as usual. Isabel and Shego had decided to team up for once and do some good for Betty on what was supposed to be the happiest day of her life. Eleanor had not known what hit her, literally.
Yes, Shego and Isabel double-teamed Eleanor on her daughter’s wedding day. It started out as a little verbal match, but then Eleanor had to keep going and it turned into a serious fight. After all of that, the only way to keep Eleanor under control during the rest of the wedding was to make sure that Isabel and Shego were around. They went so far as to sandwich her when the ceremony was going on. They even had given her a threatening look, as if daring her to start something while she was in the middle of them. She had wisely sat quietly through the ceremony.
Dahntay had been rather understanding of Eleanor’s behavior at his wedding, mostly because he could already tell that Betty was thoroughly embarrassed and completely mortified by her mother. He had no desire to add to the stress she was already going through. He did hope that he did not have to see her mother again anytime soon, though.
“So, how do you think this ceremony is going to go?” Dahntay asked Isabel.
“I’m sure it’ll be something to remember,” Isabel remarked.
“Smiley, don’t just on the bed with your shoes on,” Shego sighed. What were they going to do with him, really?
The redheaded boy did as he usually did when admonished by his “She-she,” he smiled sheepishly and stopped doing what he was doing, namely jumping on the bed with his shoes on. The second that they stepped into the room, he saw the bed first and made a beeline right for it because it looked bouncy. He needed to find out for himself and so, he had leaped onto the bed and got in a few good jumps before Shego noticed.
“Princess, did you give the gremlin sugar while I wasn’t looking?” Shego inquired because she wanted to know what his deal was. He was way more hyper than usual and that was saying something for their little boy.
“No, I didn’t give him anything. I think he’s just excited to be here,” Kim answered as she shut the door since she was the last one in the room.
“Look, a terrace! Can I open the door?” Todd asked as he rushed to the glass doors at the back of the room. He pressed his face into the glass for no real reason other than he was young and overexcited.
“Wait for one of us,” Shego said. The last thing they needed was for him to be way too excited and just leap off the balcony.
Todd did as he was ordered and waited for them. Kim picked him up while Shego opened the door. They all went out on the balcony and looked out at the view. Their room looked right out onto the beach and they were high up enough to see a great deal of the sapphire blue water, the waves gently caressing the sparkling sand.
“Kimmie, is that where you and She-she are going to get married?” Todd asked while pointing down to the beach.
“It’s close enough,” Kim answered.
They were not getting married on a section of beach where a bunch of people were going to be like the view they were looking at. It was a closed off part of the beach that the hotel had just to for such occasions. Kim had to give it to Shego to have found such a place, even though the pale woman had not done it on her own. Shego had gotten a little help from her mother in find a location because Isabel was so well-traveled, but the green-skinned woman had made sure to make it clear that looking for a location was not an invitation for the older woman to start acting like she was running things. Isabel had surprisingly only offered up the assistance that was requested of her and left the rest to her daughter. She had faith that Shego would do something breathtaking for Kim.
“Do I getta do something at the wedding?” Todd asked curiously, looking back and forth between his two guardians.
“Aside for be a gremlin? What do you want to, Smiley?” Shego inquired.
“I dunno. I jus’ wanna help,” he explained.
“You’ll help a lot if you’re on your best behavior tomorrow, okay?” Kim informed him.
“Okay, I’ll be extra good,” he promised with that grin that Shego believed spelled doom. And it was her luck that she had two people in her life that gave her that same silly expression.
“Oh, Shego, your mother suggested we all get together and have a big dinner before the wedding tomorrow, are you okay with that?” Kim asked.
Shego frowned. Of course that woman would suggest such a thing. It would seem that she did not appear stressed enough, now her mother wanted her to sit through dinner with their family and Kim’s family. Well, it was not like she could decline. Her mother would then be in her face and it would not look good to Kim’s parents, who already did not like her very much. Besides, someone was going to have to watch what Kim and Todd ate for dinner, although she was pretty sure that Kim was just going to have pasta until her stomach exploded.
“I guess I’m okay with it,” Shego muttered.
“It’ll be fine. Relax,” Kim said with a soft smile. She would have given Shego a reassuring embrace, but she was holding their son.
“I will…later,” the emerald-eyed female replied.
Kim was about to say something, but Todd started leaning forward, which got her full attention since he was in her arms. He grabbed the guardrail, which worried her and she pulled him back. He pouted.
“I wanted to see how far down it is,” the little boy explained his movements.
“Yeah, when you’re big enough to see over the guardrail on your own, you can see how far it is,” Kim informed him.
“Let’s go back inside,” Shego suggested.
Kim nodded and they walked back into the room. She put Todd down and let him walk around the rather large hotel room. He went through all of the drawers in the dressers and whatever else he could get his hands on, which did not bother his guardians.
Kim and Shego went to hang up some things in the closet. Todd ran into the closet while they were hanging things up. It was a walk-in closet.
“Wow, it’s like ‘nother room in here!” he declared.
“Are you sure you didn’t give him anything? Any sugar at all?” Shego asked Kim.
“I’m sure. I told you, he’s just excited,” Kim replied and then she bent down to talk to Todd face to face. “Look, Smiles, you have to tone it down just a bit. Your She-she is very stressed right now, okay?” she explained.
“Why?” Todd asked with a perplexed expression, turning his attention to the pale woman.
“I don’t know. I just am,” Shego replied in a bit of a huffy tone. She felt like she should be feeling better now that everything was set up and all she had to do was show up tomorrow, but she was not feeling any less tense about everything.
Todd was a bit taken back by her tone with him. He whimpered, thinking that she was upset with him. He hid behind Kim, planning to stay there until the heat was off. Shego recognized the tactic and sighed. She bent down to the boy.
“Smiles, it’s okay. I didn’t mean to sound mad at you,” Shego said in a surprisingly gentle voice.
“Sorry I make you stressed,” he muttered, eyeing the floor with shame and sorrow in his jade-colored eyes.
“It’s not you, Smiley. It’s just…” Shego glanced at Kim, who looked away. Shego inched over to the boy and whispered to him. “It’s scary getting married,” she informed him. She had not wanted to admit that out loud, but she could not let Todd think that her mood was because of him.
Todd looked shocked. His She-she was scared? He did not think that it was possible because his She-she was so tough and super-strong. Nothing was supposed to scare his She-she, not even the boogeyman. Besides, he thought that getting married was supposed to be a happy time. His Kimmie certainly seemed happy enough. Why would She-she do something that she was scared of?
“She-she,” Todd said.
“I think I’ll go get some soda,” Kim announced out of the blue and she stood up to leave.
The hero knew that she was doing the right thing because Shego did not stop her. She exited the closet and left the room. Shego and Todd left the closet too and went to sit on a bed. She had to help him up a bit.
“She-she, how come you’re scared to marry Kimmie? Why do something that you’re scared of?” Todd asked curiously.
“You know, booger, sometimes you’re just scared of stuff that you really want. You want it so badly that it kind of worries you,” Shego answered.
“I don’t get it. How can you want something scary?” he inquired.
“Okay, remember when you first met Kimmie and you followed her home?” she asked and he nodded. “You were scared, weren’t you?” she continued and he nodded again to confirm that. “But, you wanted to go with Kimmie, right?” she pointed out and he nodded.
“That was scary, but it worked good, so you shouldn’t be scared, She-she. Kimmie likes you a lot. She’s not gonna do nothing to you,” he seemed to promise.
Shego smiled. “I know she’s not. I’m just really nervous about it, like you were when you followed her home. I think that once I get passed the moment it happens, I should be all right.”
“Okay. Hey, She-she, can I ask one more question?”
“Is your mommy my grandma?” he asked curiously. He really did consider himself Kim and Shego’s son and he knew that they thought of him as the same, so he wondered if that made their parents his grandparents.
“If you want her to be, she’ll be more than happy. She always wanted grandkids.”
“Is she nice like you?” he inquired.
“Nice like me?” Shego echoed as if she did not understand the question and then she laughed. “Yeah, she’s nice just like me.”
“So, should I call her ‘grandma’?”
“I’m sure she’s get a kick out of it. You can do it at dinner tonight,” the pale woman told him.
Shego rubbed the top of Todd’s head, noting that his hair was getting longer than he liked it. She made a mental note to take him for a haircut tomorrow, either before or after the ceremony. And then Kim came back in; she had sodas.
The redhead looked at Shego to make sure it was all right for her to come back into the room. Shego nodded, so Kim walked further into the room and she put the sodas down on the nightstand. Todd quickly grabbed one and cracked it before someone told him that he could not have any soda.
“You okay?” Kim asked Shego, who nodded.
Shego was all right, even though she was scared too. She wanted to marry Kim and she knew that. She was just anxious because of the gravity of the situation. To prove that she was all right, she walked over to Kim and placed a tender kiss on her lips. They embraced until Todd started coughing, trying gulp down the can of soda too fast.
“Smiles, you okay?” they asked simultaneously while falling to his side and helping him out. He nodded and smiled sheepishly; he had not meant to break up their moment.
Next time: definitely dinner and a show.