We all stand strong in the face of stress. It’s just what we do, although sometimes it nearly gets to us.
Betty and Shego were in her office. They were going over an incident that Shego had been involved in a few days that ended with the bad guys being captured, but a section of a local mall being ruined. Shego, of course, did not see the problem and Betty would have been right with her if only it was not her responsibility to handle the mess that Shego created. So, mostly the meeting was about scolding the officer for her “careless” actions. And then suddenly, Betty gasped and stopped talking.
“Shit…” Betty muttered. “Shego, call Dahntay for me,” the one-eyed woman requested as she started reaching for her phone.
“Why?” Shego asked curiously, especially since it seemed like the boss lady was about to call him herself.
“I think I just went into labor,” the chief reported in tone that showed she was trying her very best to keep her usual composed demeanor, but it was a bit hard to do so.
“What the fuck!” Shego accidentally shouted. “You’re not due for two more months!” she pointed out.
“No shit,” Betty replied in a slightly angry voice because her friend was pointing out the obvious.
Shego quickly got on her phone to call Dahntay while Betty called her doctor. The two women did not stop when the phone calls were done. Shego drove her friend to the hospital and then was ordered to go back to work by her so-called friend. It would seem that Betty wanted her to go be interim chief ahead of schedule. Damn it, Shego mentally cursed. To further ruin her mood, she found out that Betty really was in labor. Apparently, her second child decided to show up on the scene two months ahead of schedule.
“Damn it,” Shego huffed because of the suddenness of the situation. She did not know what she should be doing either. Should she go back to work like Betty ordered or should she stick around to make sure everything was all right?
Shego decided to go back to work, knowing that Betty would not want her pet-project in the hands of an incompetent bureaucrat for any amount of time. She did wait for Dahntay to show up, though. She would not have to worry too much about Betty as long as her husband was around.
“Where’s Mayah?” Shego asked curiously when she noticed that he was at the hospital empty-handed.
“I dropped her off at your house if that’s all right with you. Kim was there,” he answered.
“That’s cool. Take care of her while I go take care of her job,” Shego commented and then she left the hospital.
The raven-haired woman rushed back to work and had to call an emergency meeting of the whole department. It was no easy task because her coworkers had a problem with listening to someone who was not Doctor Director, even if it was Shego. In the end, she won out through just the sheer force of her personality and they all filed into a conference room.
“Look, everybody, our fearless leader is having a pretty shitty day at the moment and had to go to the hospital for reasons that are none of your goddamn business, so don’t ask. Just know that while she’s gone, we’re going to carry on to the best of our ability and not embarrass her. Now, everybody here knows that I’m in charge while she’s gone, let’s not make my day hell and I won’t make your lives miserable. Now carry the fuck on,” Shego announced in a slightly harsh tone. It was obvious that the day was already getting to her.
The other officers knew better than to argue considering Shego’s tone. As soon as they were all gone, Shego sighed again and nervously rubbed her face with her hands. She hoped that everything was all right with Betty. She knew that the baby showing up ahead of schedule and so suddenly could not be a good thing.
“Hey, sweetheart, how was work?” Kim asked as Shego entered the house. She walked out of the living room to give up her usual tackling hug. She did not hit her green-skinned mate as hard as she typically would because it was clear from Shego’s expression alone that something heavy was on her mind.
“It’s fucking crazy. Betty suddenly went into labor this afternoon, but I’m guessing you know that since Dahntay stopped by to drop off Mayah. How’s she behaving?” Shego countered while returning the embrace for a moment and then trying to take off her shoes while her spouse remained hanging on her.
“She’s fine. She’s in the living room with Jade. They’re playing with the building blocks,” Kim answered.
“That’s good. Good thing you were home. What are you doing home, though?” the pale woman inquired curiously.
“I left work early because I told Yori I’d pick up Jade early because she had errands to run and no one wants to run errands while watching more than one of these little whirlwinds,” the redhead answered.
Shego nodded because that answer was acceptable. Kim let her out of the crushing embrace and the super-powered woman went to take a nice, hot, long shower after going to greet her daughter and their little guest. She figured that the shower might help relax her. Once she was done with that, she figured that she was either going to call Dahntay to find out how things were with Betty or she was going to go up to the hospital personally depending on how Kim was handling the babies on her own.
Kim went back to the living room where Mayah and Jayden were still playing with the blocks, which was a random gift sent to Jayden by Ann. The two little girls seemed to like them enough; they had been playing with them for a couple of hours now. Playing with Jayden and Mayah consisted of the pair each building things, either separately or together, and then one of them knocking the creations down partway through construction. They would get into an “argument” with no words, but some pushing on Mayah’s end and a head-butt on Jayden’s end. Once they were done with the disagreement, which was generally when Kim stepped in, they went back to building things.
Kim curled up on the sofa while keeping an eye on the girls; they were sitting on the floor with the dozens of blocks. Shego joined them in the living room about a half-hour later. She was dressed in clothing that she would not be embarrassed to go outside in, just in case she had to go back out. She sat down next to Kim, who leaned against her as soon as she was down. She did not seem to be paying the petite hero any mind, though. She was using her cell phone, after all.
“Damn,” Shego grumbled.
“What’s wrong?” Kim asked curiously.
“He’s not answering his phone,” the pale woman answered as if she was angry about it, which she was. She just did not mean to let the emotion slip into her voice.
“Calm down. It might not be anything at all. I mean, you’re not really supposed to use a cell phone in a hospital anyway. So, that might be it,” the redhead pointed out to hopefully ease her wife’s nerves. She knew that Shego was worried; Betty was her best friend, after all.
“Yeah, maybe. Look, are you good to handle them for a little while on your own?” Shego inquired.
“I guess,” Kim answered.
“Okay, I’ll be back,” Shego said and she ripped herself away from the sofa kind of suddenly, which caused Kim to fall over. The green-skinned woman rushed out of the house.
“Mommy,” Jayden called to Shego’s retreating form, but the emerald-eyed female did not turn around. “Mommy?” Jayden said again, but looking at Kim for an explanation as to what just happened, it seemed.
“Don’t worry, sweetie. Mommy just had to go see something. She’ll be back soon,” Kim assured the one-year-old with bright smile.
The smile seemed to be all Jayden needed. She turned her attention back to her blocks and what Mayah was doing. She got the urge to knock over whatever Mayah was building and she ran with that urge. Mayah took exception to her building being destroyed and she hit Jayden over it. Jayden was not looking to take that and so Kim had to step in and break up yet another fight. Part of the redhead wondered if Mayah and Jayden got along the way that Betty and Shego did early on in their lives. She was willing to bet that it was close enough.
Shego watched Betty from the doorway of her hospital bed. She had stayed there until she had been told that Betty had had the baby, a baby boy. She went to the room, but she could not bring herself to enter just yet. It was mostly due to the way her friend looked, as if the world had collapsed in on itself and she was the cause. Shego wondered if Betty thought that she lost the baby or something.
The green-skinned woman was trying to think of what she should say to Betty. Nothing was coming to mind. Part of her was telling her that she needed to just leave for the simple fact that she had never seen the one-eyed woman look as she did and it was probably something that Betty would prefer no one saw. Most of her was telling her that she needed to get her ass in there in case Betty really needed her. She listened to most of her, just in case.
“Hey there, road warrior,” Shego remarked as she finally entered the room and made her presence known.
The older woman slowly, almost methodically turned her head toward Shego; it was rather creepy. Shego had to force herself not to cringe. When Betty saw who was there, she sighed and leaned her head back against her pillow. She stared at the ceiling with deep sorrow in her eye.
“Where’s Dahntay?” Betty inquired, trying her best to sound normal, but failing miserably. She sounded like she did not want her friend around. She did not want Shego to see her in such a state, but she would rather Shego to anyone else. She really just wanted her husband around to comfort her and make her feel better. She was aware that it was not likely for Shego to make her feel better.
“Talking with some doctors,” Shego answered.
“About the baby?” she asked anxiously.
“Yes, about the baby.”
Betty nodded and Shego noticed that her friend’s bottom lip was trembling. She knew that Betty was thinking the worst about things. After all, she had just given birth to her baby thirty-one weeks into her condition. That could not be a good feeling; it was terrifying, sickening feeling.
“This probably happened because I waited so long to have kids,” Betty commented in a low voice. It seemed more like she was speaking to herself than anything else.
“Did your doctor say that?” Shego inquired, even though she knew the answer to that one.
“Then shut the fuck up about your age. You’re not old. Older women have had babies go all the way to term. They said stuff like this happens sometimes. It’s not your fault the baby came early, so shut the fuck up about this ‘too old’ bullshit. You act like you’re fucking sixty or something when your ass just barely turned thirty-five,” Shego huffed.
She blamed Betty’s mother for all the bullshit that they went through about Betty’s age. The woman swore that Betty was always doing something too late or she was too old for something and Betty knew it was nonsense, but still, some small part of her believed the garbage that her mother spoon-fed her. Betty was far from too old to be having kids, especially if she was very much still biologically capable of doing so.
“If it’s not my age, then why did this happen?” the one-eyed woman begged to know. Why she had she had her baby so soon? Why?
“Hell if I know. Sometimes, shit happens. You know that better than anybody. You don’t need to worry, though. You know the kid’s okay, right?” Shego commented. Well, the kid was as okay as someone in his position could be. Still, that was better than the alternative.
“Yeah…” Betty answered in an unsure tone. She had been told that her son was fine. Yes, she had a little baby boy. And, boy, he was little.
“Then stop acting like this. He’s going to be totally fine and everything’s going to work out,” Shego declared in a rather dispassionate tone, like it was no big deal.
“Where’s Mayah?” the one-eyed woman asked curiously.
“She’s at my house, fighting with Jade as usual. Pumpkin is keeping a good eye on them, so you don’t have to worry about her. We’ll keep her for as long as you need us to,” the pale woman answered.
“Thanks,” Betty whispered.
Shego nodded, not sure what else to say. She eased out of the room as Dahntay showed up and went right to Betty. The usually strong woman responded to him by wrapping her arms around him and weeping into his chest. She was so sure that it was somehow her fault that the baby came early. Added to that was the anxiety that their baby was not going to make it since he did come so early and so, Betty broke down.
Kim fed Mayah and Jayden some dinner, which was not too difficult. Mayah liked to feed herself and Jayden liked to try to feed herself. They were having spaghetti; Kim had cooked. So, there was a big mess on the table when the girls were done, but they had gotten their fill.
After dinner, she bathed both girls, which did not seem to bother them. They splashed around in the five inches of water that Kim put in the tub; she did not take any chances by going over five inches. She cleaned them both up and dressed them in pajamas; Dahntay had the presence of mind to bring a bag over for his daughter. It was then that Mayah seemed to understand that she was staying the night and her parents were gone.
“Where Mommy?” Mayah asked Kim.
“Your Mommy is at the hospital. She’s having your little brother or sister,” Kim answered.
Mayah nodded to that one, seeming to understand. She remembered her parents telling her that her mother was carrying around a brother in her tummy. But, she still had another question.
“Where Daddy?” the two-year-old inquired.
“He’s with your Mommy,” Kim replied.
“When back?” the toddler asked.
“I don’t know the answer to that one, Mayah. Give them a couple of days and I’m sure they’ll be back and you’ll be going home with your new brother or sister,” the hero replied with a smile.
Mayah nodded, not that she understood all of that. She just got the part that her parents would be back, which was enough for her. She had never spent the night away from her parents, but she was willing to give it a try since they were going to be back and she liked being at the Possible-Gooding house for the most part.
“Now, what do you two say we watch a movie?” Kim suggested. There were certain movies that they had that always put Jayden and Mayah to sleep, no matter when they watched it.
The girls cheered and they all went into the living room. Kim laid down a blanket on the floor, knowing that they were not going to make it through thirty minutes of the show. The girls sat down on the blanket and Kim put the movie on. Twenty minutes later, they were totally knocked out.
Kim took the time to take a shower of her own and get into her own pajamas. She wondered where her spouse was by that time too, but by the time she went back downstairs, she had the answer to that question. Shego was in the living room, turning the movie and television off.
“Hey you,” Kim said as a greeting, which caused Shego to turn around.
“Hey yourself,” the pale woman replied, lacking anything better to say.
“How’d everything go?”
Shego made a meaningless hand gesture, which showed that she did not want to talk about it. “We’re going to have Mayah until Bets gets out of the hospital and you know the bullshit that comes with me being in charge for the moment. I might get home later than usual and shit like that,” she muttered.
“Okay,” Kim agreed. “How about you go get out of those clothes while I put them in the bed and then when I’m done, I’ll give you a massage,” she offered since her wife seemed really rundown.
Shego nodded because that did sound like a mighty fine idea. She went upstairs while Kim lifted Jayden and then Mayah in her arms. She was back in shape, so it was not difficult for her to carry the kids up to Jayden’s room. She put them both down in Jayden’s bed, which was large enough for the two of them and had some room to spare. She just hoped that they did not wake up in the middle of the night and start fighting with each other.
She gave them each a different blanket, in case they moved around a lot in their sleep; Jayden typically was stationary for the night once she picked a spot, but she was not sure if Mayah was the same. Once they were secure, she exited the room, making sure to leave the door slightly ajar in case Jayden woke up and decided that she wanted to sleep with her parents. She then made her way to Shego.
She knew from the past that Shego was going to be tense until Betty came back to work. She hoped that Betty recovered from childbirth quickly and took her job from Shego before the pale woman ended up going out of her mind from being in charge. But, there seemed to be more to Shego’s mood and Kim knew that it had to do with Betty’s sudden labor. She hoped that everything was all right with the one-eyed woman.
Kim did not ask about Betty, though. She figured that her spouse would talk about things when she was ready. So, all she did was take care of tension in Shego’s body at the moment, giving her a deep, lengthy massage. Of course, the massage did not remain legitimate as it proceeded on. Kim just could not give a totally legitimate massage when it came to her wife.
Betty was released from the hospital a couple of days after giving birth, but the baby was not. Dahntay came to pick up Mayah from Kim and Shego’s house before going to retrieve Betty from the hospital. He thought that seeing Mayah as soon as possible would help Betty, who was overwrought over what was happening with their son.
“Mommy!” Mayah cheered as she caught sight of her mother in the hospital room.
“Oh, hey, Mee-mee,” Betty greeted her daughter. “Mee-mee” was her nickname for the little girl.
Mayah charged over to her mother, happy to see her again. She leaped into Betty’s arms and gave her mother big hug. The embrace made Betty smile; she was feeling better than she had in two days thanks to that hug. She sighed a bit, as if she had been relieved of some great pain.
“Mommy, where bruddah?” Mayah asked curiously. She had been told that her mother had brought her brother into the world, so where was he? She wanted to meet the guy and see what he was all about.
“He’ll be coming home later,” Betty answered in a low voice.
“Well…your brother’s a little sick right now and the doctors need to look after him,” the one-eyed woman explained. She hoped that Mayah just let the subject drop, but the two-year-old seemed to be on a topic that concerned her deeply.
“Sick? We stay,” Mayah volunteered. She was saying that they should stay at the hospital. After all, she knew that she would not want to be left sick in the hospital, so she doubted that her brother would like that either.
“Mee-mee, we can’t stay,” Betty replied.
“Why?” Mayah was confused and it showed on her face. Her eyebrows were all close together and her mismatched eyes stared intensely at her mother.
Dahntay decided to step in and he took Mayah from Betty before the child really annoyed the one-eyed woman. He collected Betty’s bag for her and ushered her out of the room. Mayah continued going on about how they could not leave her brother. She was very insistent about it and they did not even make it out of the hospital before Betty started crying.
Betty did control herself and managed to not outright sob, but she did have to cover her face with her hand. Dahntay could tell she was weeping while Mayah was oblivious to her mother’s plight. Dahntay tried to get the toddler to be quiet about her brother, but she was not taking the hint. He tried to calm Betty down because the more Mayah went on, the more she cried. Nothing was working for him.
Shego growled in fury as she went through all of the paperwork on her desk. Betty’s job seemed like endless paperwork. How the fuck could the people she work with be so fucking stupid as to rack up all of the complaints that they did? Actually, the state of most of their reports answered that question. She was pretty sure that most of the people in the department were preschool dropouts. Anyone that misspelled “and” more than once in a report could not have gone to kindergarten in her opinion.
And then there were the phone calls. She hated every single person that called her. From the mayor of Go City on down to the average person in the streets, she hated them all! Everyone called with stupid problems in her opinion. People wanting to know what she planned to do because one of the officers had wrecked something or another, yet they always managed to leave out that the officer had saved their lives or several other people’s lives.
So, she was pretty much buried in paper, phone calls, and the occasional email. Then there were the daily outbursts from the assholes doing the job. Usually, as an officer, she would not have to deal with their bullshit unless the boss forced her to, but as the boss, she was forced to have to deal with their idiocy and she was surrounded by dozens of idiots. She was ready to just claw her own eyes out, but it would be hard to do since she still clipped her nails for the most part because of Jayden. Still, she was prepared to try…when she got a spare moment, which was never with her current job.
“Fuck, where’s a pen?” Shego muttered as she started searching the desk for the aforementioned item. Not spotting one within the first five seconds of her search, she snapped. “Goddamn it, why’s there never a fucking pen around here!” she screamed as she kicked the desk away.
From the stress level, it might have been assumed that Shego had been doing the job for years rather than the couple of weeks that she had. They were just really hard weeks. Betty’s son was still in the hospital and Betty was pretty much the very definition of depressed, refusing to leave her bedroom for anything. It was a good thing there was bathroom in the bedroom or things might have gotten complicated for her.
It would not have been so bad, if only the people at the department were not so completely brain-dead (in Shego’s opinion) and the politicos of the city were not always breathing down her neck. And now, she could not find a pen when she needed one! Ah, she hated everything!
A few people that were outside of her temporary office that had been thinking about going in reconsidered their plans as they watched Shego wail on the desk through a window. Yeah, they decided that things could wait until she was a little less angry. She only took her wrath out on the desk for a minute before she realized what she was doing, namely killing Betty’s desk, and she halted her actions. As soon as she stopped, a pen rolled out from underneath a stack of papers.
“Son of a bitch,” Shego huffed.
Kim was sitting up with Jayden. They were on the sofa in the living room, waiting for Shego to come in from work. They were not fans of Shego being interim chief any more than the pale woman herself. She got home so late some nights because of rush work having to be put in or surprise calls from some political figure. Kim did not know how Dahntay could put up with it in regards to Betty, although she did consider that Betty might be a bit more proficient at the job since she had been doing it so much longer than Shego and it was her creation.
Jayden was trying her best to remain awake. She just wanted to see her Mommy for a little while before calling it a night. Besides, her Mom was still awake and that was reason enough to remain awake. She unfortunately did not make it; Shego came in close to ten that night. Kim put the baby to bed when Shego finally came in.
“Hey you,” Kim called to Shego from the stairs as the green-skinned woman entered the house.
“Hey yourself,” Shego replied with a bit of a laugh. They seemed to using those lines a lot lately and it sort of amused her for a reason that was beyond her. “Why aren’t you in bed, yet?” she inquired while taking her shoes off.
“Waiting for you, of course. Jade tried to keep me company, but she didn’t make it,” the redhead replied as she went downstairs and greeted Shego with a proper embrace, which caused Shego to sigh. It was a content sound.
“Damn, it feels good to be home,” the older woman said and she returned the hug.
“I’ll bet it does. I’m glad you’re here. How long do you think you’ll be doing this?”
“I don’t know yet. Bets is still having her problems. I’ll try to get in earlier tomorrow. I would’ve gotten in sooner, but just as I was leaving like a million people decided to call and prove to be assholes,” Shego explained. It really did feel like the phone never stopped ringing in the chief’s office. She was ready to just melt the stupid device.
“It’s okay. I made dinner. You want some?”
“What kind of pasta is it?” Shego asked with a sigh. She knew that it had to be pasta because Kim only needed an excuse to make pasta after all and she could feed it to Jayden, so it all worked out for her.
“Again?” Shego inquired in disbelief. “You better stop feeding our baby spaghetti when I’m not around.”
Kim just grinned shamelessly. Shego smiled a bit herself and caressed the top of Kim’s head just because she was happy to be back home. She even went and had some spaghetti; Kim stuck around to keep her company. When she was done, she went and took a shower. She then went to go see Jayden.
Shego did not wake the baby up. She just wanted to see the girl. She fixed the Care Bear blanket that Jayden was halfway covered in. She missed the baby, she commented mentally. Ever since she took over Betty’s job, she mostly just saw Jayden in the morning when they were all hustling to get out of the house on time. She used to be able to hang out with their crazy kid and her nutty spouse in the evening, but that had been unlikely for the past two weeks and she could only guess that it was going to continue on.
She also had to worry about the upcoming holiday of Thanksgiving. She wanted to have it at the house again because she knew that Kim had enjoyed it last year. She was not sure if she was going to be able to do it again now that she had to worry about being the chief. She did not like that because she was sure that her family, namely Kim, Todd, and Jayden would love for the Gooding and Possible family to get together again under their roof. She had to think of something and she had to hope that everything went all right with Betty.
Shego was lying in the bed as if she had fallen out of the sky and landed there. She was sleeping and she really wished that she could do it the whole day, but it was Thanksgiving. She still had plenty of cooking to do. All she had managed to do last night was the turkey and then they had to run out to get Todd. When she had hit the bed last night, she had fallen asleep instantly; Betty’s job was kicking her ass it would seem.
Shego was taken from her sleep by a curious sound, people. She could hear people downstairs. She shot up and looked at the clock to find that it was already the afternoon. For some reason, the alarm had not gone off on the clock to wake her up that morning to give her the chance to finish cooking. Oh no, then they had company for Thanksgiving and no food, she realized. It was about to be the worst Thanksgiving ever.
She threw on some casual clothing and decided to go downstairs. It did not sound like the worst Thanksgiving ever and it did not smell like it either. There was the scent of food hanging heavily in the air. She wondered what was going on, so she went to the living room and saw that all the same guests from last year were there along with one new edition.
“He is a tiny little thing,” Isabel commented. She was holding Betty’s son, who had been recently discharged from the hospital with a clean bill of health. He was adorable according to everyone around and he looked just like his father, except with onyx eyes like his mother.
“Yeah, that’s what he gets for showing up so early,” Dahntay remarked.
Betty laughed a bit, even though she did not think that his birth was a laughing matter in the slightest. She decided that she was not going to have any more children after her son. She planned to start taking birth control pills to avoid getting pregnant again. She really disliked her son being born prematurely and she did feel that it was somehow her fault. She did not want to chance something worse happening to another child. What if she miscarried or something on the next pregnancy? She did not want to chance that. She had even considered getting her tubes tied, but Dahntay talked her out of that.
“Hey, Aztek’s a little warrior, aren’t you?” Isabel asked the baby.
Aztek was the name of Betty and Dahntay’s son. Shego had confessed a while ago that she was curious as to why the couple named their children after Mesoamerican empires. Once it was explained to her that they wanted to name their children after great empires that changed the world in someway, Shego had another question. She wanted to know “why the fuck do you keep spelling their names wrong?” Betty admitted that was a valid question and just said that she wanted the kids to be unique too.
Shego looked around in the living room and did not see Kim, so she did not bother to stick around. She went to the kitchen, which was where she found her little wife and noticed that there was plenty of food to go around. Her jaw practically hit the floor.
“Pumpkin, did you do all of this?” Shego asked in an amazed tone.
Kim smiled. “Hey, you should know that I can do anything by now,” she remarked as she went over to Shego and hugged her.
“You are amazing…” Shego whispered.
“I have to be to keep up with you,” Kim joked with a smile.
Shego chuckled a bit and just held Kim to her. They exchanged a loving kiss and then they both went back to the living room together. Jayden cheered when her mothers entered the room and she ran to Shego as best she could. She put her hands out for her Mommy to pick her up, which Shego complied with quickly. She held Jayden to her and was just happy to see the baby. Topping the day was the news that Betty would be back to work on Monday now that she was assured that Aztek was healthy and Shego was definitely going to be promoted considering all of the work that she put in as interim chief. There was a lot to be thankful for that day all around.
Next time: skip a couple of years and the kids go trick-or-treating and Easter egg-hunting.