I don’t know why I always give in and tutor Josh when I know that more than half of the time he’s just going to goof off. I have no problem with helping him, even if he doesn’t need help as much as he would like me to believe, but I wish that he could pretend to take it seriously. I mean, this is my time. I could be using my time for something else, like lying in Shego’s lap.
Shego was a little nervous and maybe even a bit frightened. It took a lot to make her feel apprehensive; it usually took her mother lurking about to make her feel that way. Well, why was she feeling that way without her mother even being in the same state as she was? Betty was smiling, really smiling. Shego would have been less shocked to see a unicorn playing tennis than the sight that she was witnessing now.
“Look, if you want me to be able to eat, you’re going to have to stop creeping me out. So, stop smiling,” Shego ordered her friend. They were supposed to be eating lunch, but Betty was showing signs of happiness and the pale woman thought that she might violently retch if she even touched her food.
“Am I smiling?” the one-eyed woman asked in a surprised tone. She had no idea about the pleasant expression on her face or the joyful look in her onyx eye.
“Yeah, so cut it out or I’m calling the main office to get you tested for drugs,” the green-skinned female declared and she was serious. Her friend was not one to show that she was gleeful, so something was up for her to be sitting there and smiling up a storm.
“I’m not on drugs,” Doctor Director argued in a slightly offended tone. Her on drugs? The very idea was an affront to her and if her employee continued to state such things, they were going to have to fight right there in the street.
“Then what the hell are you smiling about?” the pale woman inquired. She really could not think of anything aside from drugs that might make her friend look so jovial for the moment.
“Oh…um…well…” Betty fumbled nervously for words and Shego knew that behavior, even though she had not seen it in years.
“You bitch, you met a guy, didn’t you?” the emerald-eyed female asked with a bit of a teasing smirk on her face.
“Yes,” Betty sighed. She gave herself away so easily when it came to Shego, but at least the same thing was true of her young friend.
“All right, all right, out with it. What’s his name, rank, and serial number?” the moss-hued officer remarked. It was a bit of an inside joke because Betty had a weakness, as far as her good buddy was concerned, for service men. Even in high school, she always fell for guys in the junior ROTC program; Shego failed to see the attraction.
“His name is Dahntay Jones,” the brunette female answered.
“Dahntay Jones?” Shego echoed in a puzzled voice. She was silent for a moment, trying to remember where she had heard that name before. “Wait, does he usually go by the name Falsetto Jones?” she inquired.
“Yeah, why? Do you know him?” the older woman asked.
Shego only looked at her friend with a perplexed expression on her face. It appeared that she was contemplating on telling her boss just what she knew and she was doing just that. Betty did not give her much time to consider things.
“Spill,” the chief ordered.
“He’s a thief,” Shego answered with a shrug.
“What? He told me he ran a dog show,” the one-eyed female said. Great, just when she met a man that was not in the military and could make her smile, even when he was not around, he had to turn out to be a criminal. Of course, she sighed to herself. Damn it.
“Well, maybe he does. I guess I shouldn’t say he is a thief. It could be like saying I’m a thief. Back when I was a thief, he was one too,” the green-skinned officer corrected herself.
“Well, that was like ten years ago,” the one-eyed woman argued. She hoped that he was no longer a thief. If Shego could reform then anyone could reform, right? She hoped that was the case.
“Yeah, I know, which is why I corrected myself,” the younger woman pointed out. It was part of why she corrected herself anyway. She did that because she really did not want to discourage her comrade if the man made Betty as happy as she appeared. The older woman deserved some happiness in life and if he provided that, Shego was not going to try to steal it from her friend until the man proved to be wrong for Betty.
“So, that’s the only way that you know him?” the boss inquired.
“Well, yes and no. He is the one that made me reconsider my chosen career,” Shego commented.
“Really?” Betty had to hear that story. After all, Isabel threatening Shego was not enough to make the moss-hued female rethink the vocation that she entered, namely that of cat-burglar. Shego had made her decision and it seemed like nothing would change that. And then, one day, she returned to Go City a somewhat changed woman, ready to work on the right side of the law. No one could figure out why.
“Okay, do you know why his voice is like that?” the emerald-eyed female asked.
“No, what happened?” Doctor Director inquired.
“There was a freak helium accident,” Shego informed her friend.
“And what does that have to do with you?” Betty asked curiously.
“Helium, under the right conditions, goes like fucking nuclear or something. I didn’t know there was so much gas in the damn room when I went in and then I lit up my hands because I thought I heard a noise. Turns out, I was hearing his problems in one room and causing my own in that one. So, while he was in one room losing his Barry White voice as a trade in for the Mickey Mouse one he’s working with now, I was being blown through about eight ceilings and one thick ass roof. I landed in a tree like fifty yards away from this very sweet target,” Shego explained.
Shego had actually been apprehensive about igniting her hands for almost half-a-year after that incident, but there was no way that she was sharing that information. It was just that whenever she was about to use her powers, she remembered being blown up and how horrible the experience was. She had been so lucky to make it out of that blast alive and then she had been lucky to limp her injure behind to the nearest doctor, who was luckily competent. She wished that she could forget that the thing ever happened.
“Bad night had by all, huh?” Betty quipped.
“I’ve always stood by the fact that it could have been worse. I could’ve landed on a rock or a fence. I mean, imagine giving my eulogy after I was killed by helium,” the green-skinned female remarked.
“I’d leave it to the twins if that was the case. No, wait, you would’ve been killed by helium. I would’ve jumped on that one,” the brunette female replied with a bit of a chuckle. The idea was tickling, even if it did involve her dearest friend dying in a freak accident.
“I know you would’ve. I had nearly been killed by helium. Freaky shit like that had to be a sign, I thought, so I figured that it was about time for me to take you up on your shitty offer,” the emerald-eyed officer stated.
“My offer was better than being blown up by helium,” Betty agreed. It was sad that her proposal had to be compared to a bizarre accident, though.
“Yeah, so if that thing changed my life, maybe it changed his too,” Shego reasoned.
The chief nodded. “I hope so. I mean, he was good company,” she admitted.
“Good to know and now that you’re not smiling anymore, I’m going to eat,” the younger woman announced as she bit into her sandwich.
“You’re a whore,” Betty commented. She should have known that Shego was just being a pest and looking to ruin her mood.
“I try my best,” Shego replied with a cruel smirk.
The brunette boss smirked in return; she figured that she would show her friend the same courtesy. “You know, when I was meeting Dahntay in the park and I was walking around with him, I saw Princess. The little brat was with her artist buddy that you love so much,” the one-eyed woman informed her friend and there went Shego’s expression; her look dropped like the temperature in the desert at night. The super-powered woman scowled.
“The fuck was she doing with him?” the moss-hued woman demanded to know. She almost spit her sandwich out to hear that news.
“I don’t know. I didn’t stop to ask, but they looked mighty cozy sitting on a park bench together,” Doctor Director replied.
“Son of a bastard.”
Well, Betty knew that Shego was going to be busy thinking about her pet now, so the raven-haired pest would not have time to bother her about Falsetto. She was going to find out if he was still a thief because she did not want to get in too deep if he was. She genuinely liked him. He was intelligent, thoughtful, and he knew a lot about dogs. He was cultured and a gentleman through and through. She wanted to get to know him better, if he was not a criminal anyway. Well, it was time to put her abilities to work while Shego was occupied with worrying about her brat.
Shego was going to punch something; either her pet or that annoying artist kid. It was probably going to have to be her pet because she was likely to see her monster long before she saw that art bum again. But, she was actually angrier with that artist than with her pet, so really it would not be fair to slug her munchkin, right? Well, she did not really deal in fairness. That settled it; her little monster was going down. Yet, when she came into the apartment and was greeted with her usual hug, she could not bring herself to sock the kid in her big apple head.
“Welcome home!” Kim grinned.
“Get off of me!” Shego barked while trying to pry her clingy elf off of her. Sure, she liked the hugs, but they were still annoying.
“Only if you make spaghetti for dinner,” the redhead bargained. They had not had pasta for so long and she was craving it so much that she could taste it.
“Don’t make me kill you!” Shego hollered at her annoyance of a pet. She was not going to bargain with a creature that she owned.
Kim continued to cling to her mistress, even though death threats continued to be dished out. Shego forgot that she was even upset with the little pest over the artist bum because of all of the playing around. They had a normal evening for them until the Kimmunicator began beeping. Shego did not care at first, thinking that it was one of Kim’s goofy friends.
“Kimbo,” Josh greeted the redheaded hero.
“Josh, if you keep watching Akira Kurosawa movies, I’m going to be forced to stop talking to you,” Kim joked.
“I just like saying that actually. It’s a good nickname,” he reported with a laugh.
“Not really. Okay, so what’s the sitch?” she inquired.
“Let’s move tomorrow’s session to an hour later, okay?” he requested.
“Sounds good. Care to share why?” she asked.
“I just ran out of indigo paint, so I’m going to need to go buy some art supplies first. With the way public transportation works in this city, I’m just making sure I don’t have you on a park bench all by your lonesome for a long time,” he explained.
“How sweet,” she commented and that earned her a glare that she missed from her mistress.
“Yeah, so an hour later. Cool?”
“Totally. Catch you later then.”
“Bye,” he said and they disconnected the call.
“Hanging out with art boy again?” Shego inquired, trying her best not to sound upset by that fact; she was somewhat succeeding. She was sitting on the sofa and Kim was on the floor with a puzzle. She figured that she was going to have to go out and find something more challenging than puzzles because her mini-monster could easily bust down a regular puzzle.
“Tutoring him,” Kim answered.
“Is he really this fucking stupid?” the pale woman asked in disbelief. She did not think that a college student should need tutoring. She really just wished that her munchkin did not hang around a boy that was only looking to having the girl eating a pillow.
“He likes to pretend that he is,” the redhead replied.
“And you just put up with that?” the green-skinned woman asked. She did not see why her girl put up with a front when she knew it was a front and she knew what the penniless traitor wanted from her.
“In case he’s not pretending,” Kim replied. There was a chance that now, or just one day, Josh really would need tutoring in something or he just might really require her assistance. Maybe he was not acting, so she took the chance and tutored him whenever he asked.
“I don’t get why you even give a damn about the kid. Leave him to be a fucking piss-ant,” Shego commented. She knew that she would feel a lot better if her pet would stop hanging around the boy. She was not so nervous that her pet might do something with the bum, but that the bum might try to something to her pet.
Kim shrugged. “He’s my friend,” was her simple response.
“That screwed you over,” the pale woman pointed out.
“I know. Some things I can’t even explain. He asks for my help and I give it because there used to be times when I needed his help. That’s how I get along in life, a favor for a favor,” the slim scientist replied. She helped Josh because there used to be times when she needed a place to bed down for the night and he would always open his door; sure, he would try to sleep with her too, but he could have turned her away once he was denied and he never did.
“You do know that you’re pretty much the essence of annoying, right?” Shego asked because her pet had answer for everything.
Kim turned around and brightly grinned at her mistress. “I try my best,” she replied.
“So, you do this kid a favor and what can he do for you?” the elder female inquired. She did not see what Josh had that Kim might want. Well, a bad idea came to mind, but she ignored that as sheer paranoia considering the fact that Kim had already stated that she was never going to give Josh what she was thinking about.
“I know what he wishes he could do,” the impish hero remarked. “The whole thing is I do this and I don’t know what I might need from him later on,” she answered.
“And what if he doesn’t come through?” Shego pointed out. She wanted to point out that she could give Kim whatever she wanted or needed, so she did not have to do anything for Josh anymore, but she doubted that would fly since he was the kid’s friend and all. Her girl was too kind and good-natured.
“It actually hasn’t come up yet. Josh is pretty good with favors,” the redhead replied. She suspected that Josh lived his life by a sort of bartering system too since he was often broke. He knew the value of a good favor more than likely.
“Well, what if he doesn’t?” Shego pressed. “Or what if you don’t need a favor from him at all?” she added. Her pet should not need anything from Josh because she was around. She could and did provide for the little mutant. Did Kim not get that?
“And what if I do?” Kim countered. One day, she might need something from him and it was better to be prepared for that than to just assume that she was never going to need anything from him because she did not need anything right now.
“You’re just looking to get on my nerves now, aren’t you?” the raven-haired owner inquired in a deadpan tone. She really did not like that her pet had a decent response for everything that she said.
“I’m always looking to get on your nerves,” the younger woman answered with a broad grin.
Shego shook her head. She decided to stop arguing with her munchkin. She guessed that she should not worry about anything. Kim knew how to deal with Josh and she was not about to do anything with the artist, so Shego figured that there was nothing to get bent out of shape about. It was just some tutoring and her imp would just do tutoring, right? Right…okay, well, she hoped that her pet would just do the tutoring.
“So, whatever happened with you and Falsetto?” Shego asked Betty curiously. She hated thinking back to the last time that Betty had a man in her life that Shego knew about, but she did think that her old friend needed more than just a dog in her life. They were back to having lunch at the little café.
“Well, from what I can tell, he’s not a thief anymore,” the one-eyed woman replied. She had done a thorough background check on him and he seemed to be clean for just as many years as her daring, cranky friend. He probably got the same sobering effect from that helium as her friend did.
“So, you’re dating him, aren’t you?” the moss-hued officer asked with a teasing smirk. It was like she was eight years old and taunting her friend for liking a cootie-infested boy.
“Not exactly,” Betty answered.
Shego nodded, even though she did not accept that response. “How many times have you been out with him since you’ve met?” she inquired.
“A few times,” was the vague response.
“Give me a number,” the emerald-eyed officer ordered.
“I don’t keep track like that,” the older female argued.
“Whatever. You can go ahead and act like you’re not dating him. He really doesn’t seem like the kind of guy that you go for,” Shego commented.
“Isn’t that a good thing?”
“Hell yes,” the pale woman answered.
Betty only made a face that said she concurred. They both did not have the best track record when it came to choosing males. Any time that they did something different from what they usually did, they perceived that as a good thing and probably a step in the right direction. It was not a bad way to think considering their histories and “relationships.”
“Try to get a screw out of him before you dump him,” Shego remarked with a playful smile to tease her friend even more.
“Just shut up,” Betty stated.
“Well, who was president the last time you got any?” the emerald-eyed woman inquired and she was being quite serious now.
“Shut up,” Doctor Director huffed. Life was not about a lay, after all.
“Yeah, so just make sure you get a good ride out of him. Break him in half,” Shego laughed.
“So vulgar,” the chief commented.
“Hey, you know how my mind works.”
“Unfortunately. Did you ride Drakken until you broke him?” the one-eyed boss countered, hoping to just shut her friend up.
“Do you really want to get into that mess because I will sit here and tell you every vomit-inducing, gut-wrenching, skin-crawling moment of every time that I was with him,” the pale woman stated.
Betty decided against calling Shego’s bluff. She knew that her younger friend had no problem with going into her sex life, especially since the man was out of her life now. The raven-haired woman did not care how bad the intercourse was, if she could use it to disgust her good friend, she would. Betty did not want any part of that, especially since she was eating.
“Can you just let me have this moment?” the chocolate-haired woman requested.
“You like Falsetto that much?” Shego asked in disbelief. She had never seen Betty want her to stop bothering her over a man. The one-eyed woman usually did not care about the taunts.
“I think so. I mean, so far,” the boss admitted.
Shego sighed. “Just do me the favor and don’t fall in love with the guy,” the pale woman pled.
“Definitely not,” Betty agreed.
“Good to know.” Falling in love was a horrible thing; they had decided that a very long time ago. They would never fall in love because it made reasonable people do ridiculous things. They would never fall prey to such a preposterous emotion.
Shego was working on dinner when she heard the door open. She heard Kim call out for her, so she informed her monster that she was in the kitchen. She braced herself for the charging hug that she knew was on the way. Kim did dash into the kitchen and latched herself onto her mistress in a loving embrace. The pale woman was going to return the hug when she noticed something about her pet; the nutty kid was wearing face paint.
Shego took a step back and saw that her girl’s face was painted to where she looked like a calico cat; it suited her for some reason, probably because of her hair color. Kim was wearing her ears and her “Kimmie” collar. She looked like something out of an anime; all she required was a tail to look like an all-out cat girl.
“The train ride back here must have been interesting,” the officer commented.
“People were staring at me,” Kim admitted.
“Could it be because you look like an escapee from the play Cats?” Shego remarked, even though she was not very amused. She could not figure out why her pet would allow her face to be done like that, well aside from the fact that her monster was pretty much out of her mind.
“You think so?” the redhead asked as if she did not even consider that as a possibility.
“Yeah, that might have had something to do with it. What happened, a color-by-numbers set spit in your face?” the mistress joked.
“Josh painted my face for me because I came in with the cat ears on. He thought that it would be cute to paint my face,” Kim explained.
Shego frowned at the very mention that name. She hated that kid more than she should, she was very aware of that. There was something about him that just rubbed her the wrong way; probably the fact that he seemed to think that he was the greatest thing under the sun and the fact that he had hurt her pet, yet somehow managed to worm his way into being friends with her. She just did not trust that crooked artist boy. And then she realized her pet’s exact words.
“When you came in? You went to his place to tutor him?” the green-skinned female asked in a controlled tone. She actually wanted to scream at her idiot pet and tell her to stay away from his house.
“Yeah. We almost didn’t get to it because he started doing my face and he’s such a perfectionist,” the slim scholar replied as if the matter was trivial.
Shego did not like to hear those words anymore than she liked the last set of words. Her petite elf had been in that boy’s home, probably alone with him. What if that happened again? She was certain that the artist kid would try something. What if her pet fell for it? After all, when was the last time her girl had had someone pay her body proper attention? Damn it, Shego silently huffed.
“Well, I hope he took a picture because you’re going to have to wash your face,” the elder female pointed out. The face paint was coming off, even if she had to throw her imp into the tub herself.
Kim frowned a bit; she would have to wash her face sooner or later. “Can’t I keep it on for just a little while longer?” she requested with a cute little pout, thinking that her mistress was ordering her to wash her face now. Her little kitty face was making the pout that much worse for her owner.
The older woman sighed. “Fine, but you have to wash your face sometime tonight. I don’t want you to break out or something,” she conceded.
The slender hero nodded. She did know that she was going to have to wash her face eventually. She had actually already taken pictures because Josh did consider the face painting a work to be proud of. He had gone into detail with it and had used pictures of calico cats to get the patterns accurate. He declared her to be an adorable kitten and remarked that he would be her ball of yawn when he had finished. She had not laughed and merely stated that he was welcome to that once she got a set of claws.
The master and pet had dinner with the face paint haunting Shego. It bothered her that Kim was enjoying having her face done up by Josh, even though it seemed like something that Kim would love. It bothered her that her munchkin had allowed that irksome boy to touch her in order to paint her face. It really just bothered her that Kim was with Josh point blank.
The pale woman continued to think about her pet with Josh even when they were going to bed and the face paint was long gone. Kim’s face was completely clear and she was curled up next to her owner, sleeping peacefully. The mistress was still awake and she was absently caressing the redhead’s arm while thinking on how much the idea of Josh bugged her.
“He can’t have you, Pumpkin. You’re mine,” Shego whispered and she leaned down to kiss her imp’s cheek. “Just wait for me a little longer,” the emerald-eyed officer pled. She was certain that she would be able to give Kim proper attention soon.
Next time: bad things happen, Kim and Josh share a moment.