A pet’s role in life, bringing comfort and support to its master when beaconed. What happens when the pet fails to do that? Is it really a pet’s responsibility to save her master from herself?
Kim sat up in her loft space with her back against the wall; she had a great night, followed by a pleasant sleep with wonderful dreams, but then she woke up into reality. She sighed as she stared at her Kimmunicator’s black screen. She had to do it, she told herself. It just would not be right if she did not, so she did it; she called home.
“Kimmie,” her mother’s voice came through to Kimmunicator.
“Hey, Mom. Merry Christmas,” Kim said.
“Merry Christmas to you too. It’s been so long. How are you doing?” her mother inquired with motherly concern that Kim had not known until that moment that she missed very much.
“I’m doing good. How’s everybody?”
“Well, everyone opened their gifts already, so your father and the boys are now messing around with a chemistry set that he bought them. If they start another fire or cause another explosion, they’re going to have to take it outside,” her mother replied in a serious tone.
“Well, I hope they’ve got their coats on,” Kim remarked.
“We bought you things too, hoping that you’d at least come home for Christmas.”
“Sorry about that, Mom.”
“It’s all right. So, Kimmie, how have you been? Everything all right?”
“Everything is totally fine,” Kim tried to assure her mother. She knew that it was really the only answer she could ever give, even if it was not the truth. If she told her mother anything else, the woman would worry herself sick or even come looking for Kim. At least she was telling the truth; she felt that everything was completely, totally, and utterly fine for once.
“What have you been up to?”
“Same old things, you know. Rescue people here, stop a megalomaniac there,” the teen answered in a trivial voice.
“Any chance of you coming home soon?” her mother asked in a hopeful tone.
“I’m still trying to straighten out my head, Mom. It’s nothing against you or Dad.”
“I didn’t say it was.”
“And I don’t want you to think it is,” the daughter stated. “It’s completely on me and I haven’t figured it out yet.”
“Do you want to talk about it?”
“Oh…okay,” her mother muttered and there was a moment of silence. “Do you want to talk about anything?” she asked.
“I just want to talk to you. It doesn’t have to be about something. I just want to talk for a little while, okay?” the hero said. It had been so long since she spoke with her family and she did not want it to be turned into something irksome by talking about something that she just did not desire to discuss.
“Okay,” her mother concurred.
Kim spoke with her mother for a while before her father got on the line. Her brothers yelled something that sounded like “Merry Christmas” while she was on the phone with her father. She laughed; yeah, it was a merry Christmas.
Kim was with her friends sitting at Bueno Nacho. They were supposed to be bouncing ideas off of each other as to what they were going to do for New Years Eve. Ron was too busy seeing how many nachos he could find in mouth to be a factor for the moment.
“All right, guys, I suggest we go out and get drunk. And I don’t mean our usual a little tipsy drunk. I mean drunk,” Monique suggested. Kim and Yori appeared rather skeptical to the scheme.
“It’s weird for you to even think of that, Monique. Out of all of us, you hold your liquor the best. We’d even trust you to drive after a party if we weren’t so sure that your driving drunk would be an improvement,” Kim remarked.
“Hey, I can drive,” Monique argued.
“No, you have a license that makes it legal to call what you do behind a wheel driving,” the redhead commented.
“It’s driving,” Monique insisted.
“Is it also driving when we’re in bumper cars?” Yori pointed out.
“Thank you for the backup,” Kim said to the ninja.
Yori only smiled. She was not usually one for teasing, but sometimes she was dragged into the fun because it was, well, fun. She was comfortable enough with the other two girls to taunt them if given the chance and they took it for just what it was, some friendly mocking, which just made her more comfortable around them.
“Question, when you say drunk, do you mean ‘throw-up’ drunk or ‘pass out’ drunk?” Ron inquired.
“Why are we even having this discussion now that I think about it? What’s to discuss? This is what’s going to happen, we’re going to go to this party, but by the time the ball drops, none of us will even care,” Kim commented.
“I’m not following you, K.P,” Ron said.
“Yeah, you lost me too, girl,” Monique concurred.
“I feared that it was only I who was lost,” Yori added.
“It’s simple when you think about our modus operandi,” the hero said.
“Our what now?” the blonde boy asked.
“She means the way we work,” Monique clarified for the ever-lost Stoppable.
“By midnight, Yori and Ron will be gone. They’ll hyped up on the New Years spirit and the trace amounts of alcohol that will be flowing through their systems, which will lead them to exactly where they want to be. Monique, you will have found a guy that is tall, hairless, and has a tongue stud. I’ll have gone home by then because the alcohol will have messed with my mind enough for me to believe that I might actually get some cuddle time,” Kim explained.
“She’s doing that ‘a’ to ‘b’ thing again,” Ron complained.
“I’m just going with what I’ve learned,” the redhead pointed out.
“You’re just acting like a Possible by using science while we’re trying to plan some fun,” Monique argued and Kim made a face at her, obviously a tad offended by her friend’s words. The fashion queen waved Kim off to dismiss the insulted girl.
“Wait, didn’t you find a guy last time we partied on New Years?” Ron asked his oldest friend.
“She did. Tall, hairless, and he had a tongue stud if I recall,” the African-American girl commented with a slight smirk.
“It was just because your guy had a friend,” Kim argued.
“Doesn’t excuse the fact that you left with him,” the hazel-eyed female pointed out.
“You know, now that I think about it, Monique, you and Kim have the same tastes. Maybe you really should go find a girl,” Ron suggested.
“I can see why this ‘a’ to ‘b’ thing bothers the boy, he doesn’t do it well,” Monique quipped.
“Math never was his best subject,” Kim added.
“Kim and I only have the same taste when it comes to men. Kim is on her own when venturing to the same gender. Quite frankly, I want to be the center of attention in the relationship. Two girls is one too many divas,” Monique remarked.
“I do not understand the appeal,” Yori said.
“Well, to even the score, we don’t really understand why you date that,” Monique teased while pointing to Ron, who was back to stuffing his face full of nachos.
“I hope you never do,” the ninja replied with secretive smile.
“Mo, you so don’t want to walk that path with Yori,” Kim informed her friend. Monique knew a little something about how Ron and Yori were, but she did not have the memories, which Kim really wished she could repress, about the couple when they were at home.
“Well, look, Kim, if three-fourths of your prediction comes true, that’s all well and good. It still makes for a happy New Year. But, you’re not going home to a probable snuggle. You will find a tall, relatively hairless guy that is pierced somewhere, preferably his tongue,” Monique playfully commanded.
“When are you going to get over the piercing thing?” Ron asked.
“When—” Monique started to answer the question, but Kim cut in.
“Trust me, Ron, you so don’t want to go there, especially while you’re eating,” the redhead assured the boy.
“So, are we still unclear as to what we are doing for New Years?” Yori asked just to be sure.
“No clue,” the others answered.
“So, do you have plans for New Years?” Betty asked Shego. They were sitting in her office going over an assignment that Shego had just gone on.
If Shego hated one thing about the holidays, it was that every lunatic that had been dormant the whole year decided to wake to share with the rest of the world the insanity lurking in the vacant lots that they called brains. She did not understand why that was, but she usually blamed too much eggnog; she was fairly certain that anything that was sold only at a certain time of year was probably poisonous. So, her theory went that eggnog turned probable maniacs into actual, yet fairly incompetent, maniacs.
In the past couple of days, the pale woman had personally ruined half a dozen plots to bring the city to its knees for whatever reasons and over a dozen plots that seemed to just be stupid as far as she could tell. Hey, when a person built a device to cover the city in vanilla pudding that was just stupid, plain and simple. Plain, simple, not to mention extremely annoying.
“Not what you’re thinking,” Shego replied to her friend’s question about her plans for bringing in the New Year.
“No? No attempt to jump in the sack with Drakken?” Betty inquired as if she was shocked.
“None whatsoever,” Shego answered truthfully.
“Then what do you plan on doing?”
“Nothing special. Clean up around the house or something. Watch some TV and maybe watch Princess do a puzzle.”
“Watch her do a puzzle?” the one-eyed woman echoed in a bemused tone.
“Yeah, I just found out that she likes doing puzzles, ones with really little pieces,” the green-skinned female replied. She had treated her little monster to a couple of gifts for no reason, she insisted because she refused to say that they were Christmas gifts, and Kim requested puzzles.
“And you watch her do puzzles?” Betty asked incredulously.
“Nothing better to do,” Shego answered with a shrug. She had only watched once, but she would not mind doing it again.
“You could at least go out. It might help you feel better.”
“I’m all right. I don’t feel like going out. I just want to stay in with my pet and relax a bit,” the younger woman stated.
“You do realize that something’s wrong with you, right?”
“Of course,” Shego agreed like it was nothing.
Betty wanted to point out that her friend was acting very bizarre, but she decided against it. Shego usually went out club-hopping on New Years Eve; she would get drunk and wake up next to some strange man that she would never meet again barring any cosmic jokes. The one-eyed woman could see where Shego might want to avoid that last part, but that did not explain all of her plan.
“Are you at least going to invite Drakken over?” Betty asked.
“Might as well. That’s what a good girlfriend would do, right?” Shego countered in an indifferent tone.
“I’m guessing,” Doctor Director replied sarcastically.
“Yeah, the brat didn’t seem too offend by his obnoxious behavior. I guess he could come over.”
“What you see in such pathetic creatures, I’ll never know.”
“Lucky you,” Shego remarked dryly.
Shego went home and discovered Kim laid out on the sofa like a corpse. She was glad the teen was sleeping so hard and that way, she did not have to get mugged, also known as hugged. Shego decided to mess with the girl just a little bit and tickled her cheek with her red hair. Kim muttered and swatted at her mistress without waking up. After doing the same thing a few more times, the novelty wore off and Shego was no longer amused with taunting the sleeping girl.
The raven-haired woman went about her business of getting comfortable. The fact that ninety-nine percent of the time when Shego came in Kim was home, either hugging her or sleeping on the sofa, was why Shego assumed that Kim would be home on New Years Eve. Shego forgot that she was never supposed to assume anything, but Kim reminded her.
“What kind of pet is she? She’s supposed to be home, so I can rub her head and listen to her purr in her sleep! How in the hell am I supposed to relax now?” Shego huffed as she entered the apartment after another long day of work to discover that the place was empty.
Kim had gone to Ron and Yori’s place. The friends agreed that they were just going to spend New Year together, at least for the first few minutes and then it was every man for himself, so to speak. The plan was to spend at least five minutes of the new year together before Ron and Yori had to kick Kim and Monique out, not that they were going to need any coaxing in leaving.
They were going to invite a couple of other friends over, but they had plans already. So, it was the four of them, plus Rufus. They bought some liquor, even though none of them were really drinkers, except for when they were at parties. They did not consider their get together a real party. They ordered a couple of pizzas, even though Ron begged for Bueno Nacho. They played cards and charades for the whole night.
Shego called Drakken and invited him over because she really did not have anything better to do; besides, it was decidedly what a good girlfriend would do. She cooked for lack of a better thing to do also and even went out to purchase some champagne; she bought a lot of champagne just in case he wanted to rant and she would be able to stomach him while he went on about whatever was on his mind. By the time the cerulean-skinned scientist arrived, dinner was ready.
“Did your cousin go home?” Drakken asked curiously as he looked around the apartment and noticed that they were alone for once.
“I’m not sure my cousin has a home,” Shego remarked.
“No? You know, I meant to ask you about something. When I came back here and was at the station, DNAmy was telling me that you have a cat, yet I haven’t seen it,” he pointed out.
Well, that explained what he was always searching for when he came over, Shego commented to herself. She thought that he had been scanning to see if they were alone or not whenever he came over and started looking around. She wondered who else DNAmy blabbed to that she kept a cat. At least it was an easy lie to get out of.
“I did have one, but my moron cousin left the door open one day and the damn cat ran away,” Shego informed him.
“Yeah, that cousin of yours doesn’t seem too bright…” he muttered. “You know, I never knew you liked cats,” he commented.
“I tried, but it didn’t work out.”
“Oh, so you didn’t like the cat?”
“No, I didn’t.”
“Then why’d you have it?”
Again with that inquiry, she silently huffed; she was sick of hearing questions as to why she had a pet. What was with Drakken and the questions all of a sudden anyway? Why couldn’t he just accept that she had a cat that she did not like and it ran away one day? It was a logical enough lie, extremely plausible since cats ran away every day, and it was really simple. Why was he trying to complicate the matter with details? Then she recalled who the man was; he loved the complex. It was like he could not grasp a concept unless it had about a million details to it.
“I felt sorry for the thing,” Shego replied as to why she had a pet that she did not like.
“Why?” Drakken inquired.
“Because I found it outside my house, injured and alone. Okay?” she practically barked in frustrated tone that he was all too familiar with.
“All right, Shego, all right,” he concurred to appease her.
The couple sat down and ate a civil dinner, which surprised the both of them. He did not get on her nerves by rambling about some ray gun that she did not care about, which meant that he did not have to put up with her snapping wit. It worked out for both of them.
They had a few glasses of champagne before it was clear that Drakken could not handle it; big surprise there, Shego thought sarcastically. She did not think that it was humanly possible to get tipsy from two glasses, but he had to go and prove her wrong. At first, Drakken was not a happy drunk. He went through just about every emotion but happiness in under a minute as he continued drinking. It eventually got on Shego’s nerves, so she started handing him even more drinks with the hope that he would just pass out sooner or later.
After a while, Drakken’s disposition did get more cheery as the drinks kept coming. But, by that time, Shego was a bit smashed herself, having downed one bottle of champagne on her own. He had two bottles before a smile appeared on his face, even thought it was a lopsided smile, but it was a smile nonetheless.
“You know, Shego…You know what…You know what…” Drakken said.
“If you’d tell me, I would,” she replied.
“Right. You know…You know…I like you.”
“No, really?” she asked and being a bit off of her usual game, it did not come out the least bit sarcastic.
“I do. I really do. I mean, you’re snippy most of the time and mean-spirited, but you’re good company and I know you care. You go places with me when no one else does and half the time you actually listen to what comes out of my mouth. I…I appreciate it…I really do,” he informed her while trying his best to grip his glass and finish off the drink inside of it.
“Then why won’t you do me?” she asked. She tried to stop the question, but it would seem that her brain was just a bit a slower than her mouth.
“Do you?” he echoed with a goofy bewildered expression on his face.
“Screw me,” she clarified; she figured that she might as well get a reason while she had an excuse to do so and he was running his mouth about something else other than one of his inventions.
Shego sighed; he was killing her buzz by not being as up on street vernacular as he pretended. She decided to just try to murder the evening before he got any more annoying. She leaned into Drakken, usually he went rigid from contact in general, but he did not that time. She thought was a good sign. She began to plant soft, small, wet kisses along his jaw and he did not pull away; that had to be a very good sign, she decided.
“Shego, what are you—” Drakken’s question was cut off because she claimed his mouth with her own. She kissed him long and deep.
“If you’re going to run, now’s the time,” she informed him once she pulled away from the heated embrace.
Drakken seemed to consider his options and then remained firmly planted in his seat. Shego smirked and began tearing at his clothes along with hers while kissing him again. She could not get them undressed fast enough in her opinion.
Kim came into the apartment, figuring that she would have the place to herself because Shego seemed like the type that would party long and hard on New Years Eve. She shut the door and noticed two things; there was a trail of clothes going from the living room to her mistress’ bedroom and she smelled cigarette smoke in the air.
“So, that’s what the cigarettes are for,” Kim muttered as she climbed to her loft space. She stared at the ceiling for a moment. “Guess I’ll be sleeping alone tonight. Maybe I should’ve gone out with Mo and partied.”
Kim changed into some pajamas and flopped down into her bed. She rolled over onto her stomach and then back onto her back. She continued to eye the ceiling as if it would give her answers to questions that she did not even want to ask. She sighed; her mistress was probably incredibly happy now.
Shego was sitting up in her bed, smoking her third cigarette of the night. She heard her pet come in, but she did not think anything of it. She glanced to her side where Drakken was sleeping; he was on her side of the bed. He had the cover bunched together like it was a stuffed animal, his thumb was in his mouth, and he was snoring. She frowned while thinking about how she should have just spent New Years Eve alone.
Next time: Shego has slept with Drakken and Kim knows that, so what now? Kim thinks her mistress is very happy now, does that mean she’s no longer needed? And Shego just got exactly what she wanted, what’s she frowning about? And just what in the hell isDoctor Director doing challenging Shego to a fight!