I don’t even know what to think about this one. I mean, a kid follows my brat home and then sleeps in the bed with us because he’s scared of the boogeyman or whatever. I mean, that’s weird enough. I’ve learned not to wonder how the hell things can get worse, but I wonder if this can get weirder. And if it can, how could that happen?
Shego bit her lip in her half-asleep, half-awake haze. For a moment, she rolled her hips into the pleasant feeling that had taken her from her sleep. She enjoyed such a wake up call. And then she recalled something. Something that she figured was pretty important too.
“Pumpkin,” the pale woman said in a low voice.
“Hmm?” Kim replied.
“Stop. Smiley’s in the bed too,” Shego reminded her pet.
“Oh, yeah. Damn it,” the redheaded hero replied as she removed her hand from her master’s person. She had clearly forgotten all about the kid, even though she had been the one that let him in the bed.
Shego whimpered a bit as the fingers left her, but it was for the best. They turned to look at Todd, who was still soundly sleeping. They sighed in relief; they hated to think of what questions might have come up had he been awake and noticed that they were doing something. Shego eased out of bed and went to make breakfast.
Kim went to the bathroom to brush her teeth. She also grabbed a new toothbrush and opened it for Todd when he woke up. He would need to brush his teeth too, of course. She was willing to bet that his teeth needed it.
“Breakfast,” the moss-hued woman called to the pair of redheads.
Kim trotted out with Todd hitching a ride on her back. She placed him down in a chair and then sat down herself. Shego put down a plate with a couple of thick slices of French toast in front of Kim and a slice in front of Todd with scrambled eggs on the side. She then put two glasses of orange juice in front of them before sitting down to have her own breakfast, a hot, buttered bagel. She began reading her newspaper while Todd started smiling out of the blue it seemed.
“It’s good, isn’t it?” Kim asked the boy, who was starting to make his nickname seem less ironic. She was referring to the food.
“Uh-huh,” he replied with a nod. He had never tasted something so delicious. He was so glad that he was staying with them now just because of the food.
“She’s the best cook,” Kim informed Todd while nodding toward Shego. He nodded in complete and total agreement. He would go so far to say that Shego was the best cook in the whole world.
“You two just make sure you eat all of that,” Shego ordered.
“Yes, ma’am,” Kim replied and she saluted her master. She took Todd’s hand and jokingly made him salute too. He did not seem to mind because it did not interfere with him eating his breakfast.
“Stop goofing around. I do have to trust you here with him all day alone, after all,” the green-skinned woman reminded her pet. She would feel better about them being alone if her pet was not, well, so nonchalant and chipper about everything. It just seemed rather immature and usually that would be what she expected from her little monster, but right now, she needed to be able to believe that they would be all right on their own.
“We’ll be fine,” the hero tried to assure her mistress.
Shego doubted the statement, a lot. It did not help matters that Kim was smiling broadly as she said those words. The older woman shook her head and sighed; she had no choice but to trust that they would be fine on their own. She finished her breakfast and went to get dressed for work.
Once Shego was prepared for work, Kim walked her to the door like always. Todd watched them from the living room entrance. He was curious about his hosts and what they might be doing. He did want to know more about them because at least one of them seemed very nice and the nice one put a lot of faith in the other one, so she could not be as bad as she seemed. Maybe they were both extremely nice, he considered.
“Try not to blow up the apartment,” Shego begged her elfish monster.
“It’s all right. I’m going to just put up some Christmas decorations and maybe go out with my friends for some frantic shopping,” Kim replied.
“Be careful with the kid. We do need to get him back with two arms, two legs, ten fingers, ten toes, and preferably both eyes to someone,” the raven-haired woman commented.
“We’ll be fine,” Kim repeated.
Shego sighed, but she had to take her pet’s word on it. Kim gave her master the usual farewell kiss. The pale woman exited the apartment while Kim turned around noticed Todd. She hoped that he was not going to ask about her kissing Shego. It was not a conversation that she was looking to have with a five-year-old, especially one that was not related to her.
“Um…Miss…” Todd started in a shy voice.
“Smiley, it’s Kim,” she corrected him.
“Okay…so, can we still eat?” he asked curiously. He had left food at the table to go see what Kim and Shego were up to when they went to the door and he hoped that he was going to get to finish it. It had been his experience that once the adults stood up from the table, the meal was over whether he had finished or not.
“Yeah, I just wanted to see Shego off and give her a proper farewell. Come on, let’s go finish breakfast and then you can help me put up the Christmas tree,” the olive-eyed female suggested with a friendly smile.
“Christmas?” he echoed as if he had never heard the holiday.
“Yeah, and then maybe you can help me pick out a gift for Shego because I am coming up empty on that one,” she replied.
“Gift?” Once again he sounded as if it something that he had never heard of. It was like she was speaking a foreign language to him.
“Yeah, and maybe we can find something that you like too,” she added and now the boy seemed to be in complete and utter shock.
Something that he liked, he repeated in his mind. Since when did it matter if he liked something or not? Since when did people imply they were going to buy him a gift? They were very strange women, he considered, with the way they were handling him and everything. But, they were strange in a good way, especially Kim.
Shego was at work on her computer. She was looking through the missing children’s files, hoping to spot Todd. It would have been so much easier if she had his last name, she thought. Or if she had had a camera and she had taken his picture and she could have fed that into the database to narrow the search. Dammit, why did she have to be the only person on the fucking planet without a camera at hand?
“What are you doing?” Betty inquired as she walked over. She was curious about what her friend was doing because Shego usually only used her computer to do reports and it was clear that she was not doing a report.
“Princess brought a brat home and I’m looking for who he might be,” Shego explained.
“She brought a brat home?” the boss echoed. It seemed that it was never a dull moment with that kid around.
Betty was not sure if she wanted to know the whole story. After all, the last time that she got a story from Shego about her pet, it involved the pale woman admitting to be having “outrageous and delicious sex” with Kim and those had been her exact words, much to Betty’s dismay. The one-eyed woman had been happy that they were talking over the phone and that she had not been drinking anything because she would have spit the drink out all over her living room floor. She had also made some rather offensive faces throughout the conversation and shouted some things that made Dahntay think something was wrong; he had been in the house at the time of the call.
Well, how was she supposed to react to that news? They had long ago established that the brat was just a brat and that Shego was not a lesbian and then she was getting news that Shego was sleeping with the useless twerp. It had hurt her head to say the least for a couple of days. So, she asked herself again, did she really want to know about something that involved that brat?
“Okay, I’m giving in. I just have to know. Explain this one to me,” Betty requested. She wanted to know how the hell the brat had the nerve to bring home another brat. The kid was just too much.
“I don’t really think I can. You know how Pumpkin does. She just shows up with stuff,” Shego sighed.
“This is true, but she just showed up with another brat?”
“That she did.”
“A real brat or a brat her age?” Betty inquired. She doubted that Kim would think to bring a brat her age into Shego’s apartment and she doubted that Shego would be so calm about it, but she had to be sure.
“A real brat and that’s why I’m looking for who he might belong to,” the green-skinned officer answered.
“So, what’re you going to do? Just sit here and go through all of the missing kid’s files?” the chief inquired.
“Well, I’ve got it narrowed down to his first name being Todd, his hair being red, and his eyes are green. I think he’s telling the truth about being five because he couldn’t think of a lie fast enough, but I don’t know that for sure,” the raven-haired woman answered.
“He didn’t know his last name?” Betty asked curiously.
“He refused to tell me.”
“Why?” the boss inquired. That seemed like rather strange behavior for a child.
Shego shrugged. “Hell if I know.”
“So, what’re you going to do?”
“Hell if I know.”
“Why the hell do you never know anything?”
“Hell if I know.”
Betty sighed and shook her head. She should have seen that one coming. She figured that she would leave Shego to do some actual work for once. Finding a missing kid’s parents was probably the most important thing that the pale woman might ever do in her life. She hoped that it did not take as long as she assumed it would since Shego was actually searching through every kid the computer came up with red hair and green eyes. She would have included the age, but she thought that he might be lying. Hell, he might be lying about his name being Todd.
“Smiley, what do you think of jewelry?” Kim asked as she dragged the boy through the mall. Well, it was sort of dragging because he did not seem to want to be there, but he had to be with her and he seemed to accept that. It was not like she could leave him alone in the apartment.
He shrugged, like he did every time that she suggested a gift for her mistress. Most of the things that she suggested, she could not afford at the moment anyway, so she supposed that it was all right that he was not giving up an opinion. She had to dip into her savings for money to get a decent present, but she still did not know what she should get. She looked around and then she looked down at her ward. She noticed Todd’s expression; it was one of dull agony.
“You okay, Smiley?” she asked.
The boy nodded, but it was clear that he was lying. He seemed bored with their shopping trip so far. Kim thought that she should try to lift his spirits and so, she took him to a toy store. She looked into her wallet and smiled a bit. She could spare a few dollars.
“Okay, Smiley, pick out a toy,” Kim suggested.
“Huh?” Apparently, he was caught by surprise on that.
“You can pick out a toy. Well, as long as it costs less than twenty dollars,” she explained. She was not going to be able to buy Shego anything at the rate that she was going. At least she had gotten everyone else in her life some gifts. But, Shego was very important to her and she really wanted to get her mistress a spectacular gift.
Todd smiled, the second time that day. He walked off calmly and methodically searched for a toy. He was a slightly creepy kid, Kim silently noted because of his approach to finding a toy. He was so under control, like a robot almost. She knew that most children would be running through the store, but it did not even seem to cross his mind. Todd knew better than to rip and run through any place.
She watched him scan for a toy while she pondered what to get her master for Christmas. Shego had already told her not to get her anything because she did not celebrate Christmas. Kim was not hearing any of that because she did celebrate Christmas and as far as she was concerned that was what mattered. She needed to think of something to get the point across that her owner was very dear to her.
“Kim, I want this,” Todd informed her while running back with a toy saber-tooth cat. He finally seemed like a regular kid for once.
“Smilodon. I should’ve known. Sure, let’s go pay for that and then you’ll help me find a gift for Shego, right?” she asked and he nodded vigorously.
Kim smiled a bit and she purchased the toy for Todd. They went back to searching for a gift for Shego, even though Kim now could not afford anything that might be classified as “nice.” In the end, all they had to show for their troubles were pizza stains on Todd’s coat from lunch and his slightly happier demeanor because of the toy that she had bought him. They eventually returned home and Kim decided to decorate her usual little Christmas tree for the apartment.
“Here, Smiley, want a candy cane?” Kim offered as she pulled out the decorations from the closet.
“Thank you,” he muttered as he took the candy from her.
“I bet you can’t wait for Christmas. Santa probably always brings you tons of stuff, huh?” Kim asked to make conversation.
“No,” he answered plainly while struggling to free his candy from its wrapper prison.
“No? But, you seem like a very good little boy,” she commented as she plucked the candy from him and opened it for him.
“Thanks,” he said as he put the candy cane in his mouth. “Santa doesn’t like me,” he told her in a low voice.
“What? But, Santa likes all good little boys and girls,” Kim pointed out.
“Not me,” he said. “I’m not good.”
“Sure he likes you and sure you are. I’ll bet he brings you lots of things this year,” she said.
“He never does,” Todd informed her in a mumble. He decided that he did not care that Santa did not like him and never got him anything for the stupid holiday. He did not like Santa either, so they were even. The whole holiday season was stupid in his opinion.
Kim was stunned to hear such a thing. “You don’t get gifts on Christmas?” she asked and he shook his head. “Do you celebrate Christmas?” she inquired just to be sure if she should be shocked or not. He nodded.
The olive-eyed hero was astonished; a boy that never got Christmas gifts when he did celebrate the holiday was almost beyond her comprehension. She wondered why he did not get any gifts. She considered that he might be an orphan, but he never said that his parents were dead. He had merely refused to share their names. But, maybe he was an orphan. She was not sure now.
“Yes!” Shego cheered loudly and then she recalled where she was. She calmed herself down and just banged her desk lightly with her hand to celebrate.
“You’re scaring your coworkers,” Betty remarked as she approached Shego’s desk to find out what the odd behavior was all about. She was only joking, but she was certain that a few people around the place were a little frightened with the pale woman acting so strangely. They probably figured that she had finally decided on whom it was that she was going to kill first.
“I found the kid. This is him,” Shego said as she turned her computer monitor toward the boss for her to see.
“Yeah, he’s a happy looking kid,” the one-eyed woman commented sarcastically.
Todd’s picture was up and it revealed that he had been missing for all of two days, but that was a lot for a five-year-old. His parents were probably going out of their minds, both women thought. In his photo, it looked like he might have been kidnapped to take the picture. He was wearing a little suit, complete with an adorable tie and everything, and it might have been cute if he was smiling or at least did not look like there was a knife being pressed into his back. He looked upset with his little crimson eyebrows furrowed together like an adult and his eyes narrowed as if he was going to punch the camera. Hell, from the look on his face, Betty considered that he might have punched the camera or the person with it after the picture was done.
“Believe me, this picture is accurate with the way he is. Let me give these folks a call and they can pick up their psychotic son,” Shego said.
“Don’t call him psychotic. He’s only five,” the boss defended the kid. He was just a kid.
Shego did not respond; she bet that if Betty spent the afternoon with the boy, she would understand that he was more than likely psychotic. She grabbed her work phone and dialed the number left for anyone that might have seen Todd. After a couple of rings, a female picked up the phone. The moss-hued officer asked if she could speak with a Missus Grumbling and the woman confirmed that was who she was.
“Okay, hello, Missus Grumbling. I’m calling about Todd,” Shego reported.
“Was he found?” the woman inquired in an odd tone.
Shego could not put her finger on it, but something about the woman’s tone bothered her. It sounded concerned, but not concerned enough. She dismissed that as just her suspicious nature because, really, who was she to judge a mother’s concern? Besides, people reacted differently to every situation, so just because the woman was not asking a billion questions and not letting Shego get a word in edgewise like Shego thought should be happening did not mean anything, the officer told herself.
“Yeah, he was found. He’s alive and well,” Shego informed the woman right off the bat because she was pretty sure that any mother whose child was missing and the mother was getting a call that he was found would want to know his living status before anything else. “So, I’m Officer Shego of the Go City police and I have your son,” she continued on.
“You have Todd?” the woman inquired.
“Yeah, he’s staying at my house, eating my food, watching my TV, things like that. You know how kids are. So, he’s there and you can come pick him up anytime now,” the pale female commented. She hoped that they came by the time that she went home because she was not looking forward to spending more time with the creepy boy.
“You’re a police officer you say?” Missus Grumbling asked.
“That I am.”
“Can I get your badge number?”
Shego sighed and looked for her badge because she did not know the numbers off the top of her head. Her badge was sitting in her desk, so she retrieved it to give the woman the information that she requested. She read the numbers off to the woman and then tossed the badge back into her desk drawer. She wondered what the woman was getting at to where she wanted her badge number, but she was not about to find out it seemed.
“All right, then you can hold on to him until the weekend. It would take too long and be too troublesome to come get him now since we’re on vacation and out of the country,” the woman informed Shego.
“Whoa, what?” the pale officer inquired because she was almost certain that she had misheard what the boy’s mother had just said. No mother would actually say what that woman just said, in her opinion anyway.
“See, he was supposed to be staying with his grandmother this week and last, but the poor dear is a little senile and she let him get away from her a couple of days ago. So, you can hold onto him until the weekend,” the woman had the nerve to repeat it. Not only that, she had the nerve to sound serious about it. Nonchalant almost.
“Wait, the fuck are you going on about? Christmas is a few days away, don’t you want your kid back before then?” Shego asked.
“We’ll come get him over the weekend when we get back. Thank you for finding him and holding him.” The woman then hung up the phone.
“What the fuck?” Shego said as she stared at the phone in sheer disbelief. What the fuck just happened? It could not have been what it seemed like because that was just impossible, she thought.
“What?” Betty inquired because of the side of the conversation that she heard and the way that her friend was staring at the phone like she wished she could jump through the line and travel to other side to kill the person she had just been speaking with.
“The kid’s mother just gave me the brat for the week,” the emerald-eyed officer reported in a confused tone. She was incredulous as to what just happened and was having a hard time wrapping her mind around it.
“A stranger gave you, a woman she’s never met and doesn’t know from Adam, her son for until the weekend?” Betty inquired in sheer disbelief herself. She had never heard of anything like that.
“What the fuck?” was just about all Shego could say because seriously, what the fuck?
“Are you sure she said that?” the brunette chief inquired because she thought that there was a chance that Shego somehow misunderstood the woman.
“She said it would take too long to come and get him and that he was supposed to spend the week here with his grandmother anyway and they’re on vacation right now, so they’ll come for him on the weekend. Since when do people do that?” Shego inquired.
“I didn’t know they did that all. It sounds a bit irresponsible, even if they are on vacation. They don’t know you. You could be…well, you,” Betty replied. She sure as hell would not leave Shego with a kid for a week. It made her nervous to leave Shego on her own for a week.
“You’re going to call child services on them, aren’t you?” the raven-haired female inquired because she could just see it in her friend’s face.
“Figured as much. Well, at least I’m starting to see why Smiley’s so creepy. He’s got shitty parents. Bets, what the hell am I supposed to do with another brat?” the younger woman inquired in a bit of a baffled tone.
“Mostly what you do with your other brat, but—” the boss was cut off.
“Don’t even say that,” Shego ordered because she could already hear the disgusting joke coming and it was not a good one.
Betty shrugged and conceded. She wondered what her friend was going to do with a five-year-old until the weekend. It was a rather scary thought and she decided to not even think about it.
“Welcome home!” Kim greeted Shego with a hug as soon as she stepped through the door.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah. I need to talk to you,” Shego informed her pet.
“Okay, but come look at what Smiley helped me do. Look at all of the decorations,” Kim urged her mistress as she pulled the older woman into the apartment and Shego was greeted a second time, by Christmas decorations. It seemed like as long as she had a pet, she was going to be celebrating Christmas, whether she liked it or not.
“So, Smiley, you helped with this?” Shego asked the boy, who was sitting peacefully on the sofa. He nodded to confirm that he had assisted in everything.
“Hey, Smiley, show her your saber-tooth,” Kim told the child and he did so. He seemed rather proud to display his toy.
“Where’d you get that, kid?” the pale woman inquired.
“Kim brought it for me,” he answered while pointing to other redhead to avoid any and all confusion as to who it was that was so nice to him.
“Isn’t that nice of little Kimmie? Speaking of Kimmie, come with me, Pumpkin,” Shego said and she pulled her pet away to the dining room to speak in private.
“What’s up?” Kim asked.
“I called Smiley’s parents and they’re not coming for him until the weekend, so he’s our till then,” the super-powered officer informed her munchkin.
“Spanking. He can celebrate Christmas with us.”
“And what’s so great about that?” Shego asked curiously.
“Because he said he never gets Christmas gifts. He’s never gotten any Christmas gifts before.”
“Why am I not surprised?” Shego sighed. His parents were on vacation out of the country during the holiday season and they had left Todd with a senile old woman, who lost him for two days. Christmas gifts were the least of his worries in her opinion. He was lucky to still be alive with what he was working with.
“So, we can give him a great Christmas, right?” Kim asked in a hopeful tone.
“Sure,” Shego easily yielded to that one. He was a creepy kid, yes, but it was not his fault it would seem. He obviously got screwed over big time in the parental department. It would not kill her to make his Christmas a good one, even if he was not her kid, she did not like Christmas, and she really did not feel like doing it. It would make her pet happy at least.
Next time: taking care of Smiley. Can they handle it?