Shego rubs her eyes as she thuds down the stairs into the kitchen. She glances at the digital clock on the coffee maker; it's about six o'clock in the morning. She yawns, wondering idly why the world insists on getting up at such a godawful hour.
Not that it would matter to her if it didn't; she's always been a light sleeper and an early riser, even before the powers and the villainy. Not that those had helped; super-hearing had seemed a lot cooler when she hadn't been able to hear every excruciating detail of her parents' frenzied rutting after an argument, and a long career in professional skullduggery and mayhem had a way of making you a little paranoid anyway.
“Thank God I got out of that racket,” she mutters, then smiles softly and glances at the stairs, thinking about how God had nothing to do with it. She snorts, thinking, Sorry, Officer, the cute redhead made me do it.
Said redhead is still sleeping the day away; in stark contrast to Shego, she's a deep sleeper who hasn't purposefully gotten up before twelve since high school. Shego's vaguely annoyed by this, but she also doesn't really mind – she gets some quiet time and a chance to plan her day, and Kim gets a chance to sleep off the inevitable disaster she has – equally inevitably – averted the day before. Shego feels it's only fair to let the altruistic little nutjob sleep in until at least eight; if that means she has to play the Substitute Mommy role in the relationship sometimes, well, it's not like she doesn't have experience–
Shego nearly jumps out of her skin when the coffee maker abruptly emits the grinding screech that tells her the coffee's ready, which she's pretty sure is the worst noise in the world. She's never quite gotten used to the noise, and she's taken to wearing the special earplugs Wade devised for her to bed just to avoid having to super-hear the awful noise again; the one time she heard it without the earplugs on, she stumbled around holding her head in her hands like Superman wearing a Kryptonite necklace. The screech goes on for what seems a solid minute, then winds down to a pleasant little burble.
Shego takes the coffee pot out , pours some of the black brew into a Kermit the Frog mug Ron got her as a joke (not that she found it very funny), and takes a sip. The bitter taste of black coffee isn't for everyone, but she loves it. She finds it bracing. This isn't the best she's had, but it'll do for the moment. She sets the coffee pot down on the counter, and walks over to the table where her clamshelled black MacBook lives. She pops the laptop open and places the mug nearby.
The drive speeds up, and a split-second later, that picture of her Kimmie halfway between staring helplessly at the camera and giving it the full-on Possible death-glare – while she's standing in the middle of what appears to be a recently firebombed household with soot all over her face, her ashy hair an assortment of right angles – fills the screen . That in itself wouldn't be funny, but Shego knows the frazzled redhead in the picture is standing in the middle of their kitchen after four hours of Shego's futile “cooking lessons.”
Shego chuckles at the memory. The ex-thief was and is an experienced prankster, particularly where her wife is concerned, and she knew even then that taking a picture for posterity was on the cruel side of funny. After patiently enduring four fruitless hours of cooking mishaps that defied both logic and physics, though, treating herself to a naughty little reward for her efforts was worth sleeping on the couch for a couple of weeks. She had briefly considered cracking a joke about selling the picture to Perez Hilton or an equivalent, but decided against it. Kim has always been understandably sensitive about her deficient cooking skills, so threatening to expose them to the public right after the smaller betrayal of taking the picture would have gone straight past funny-cruel and into purely hurtful territory.
Taking the picture, though – that was an urge she couldn't have resisted if she tried.
The only reason she even has the photo open is because their tenth anniversary is coming up, and she wants to get it framed. She can't very well take that photo to the framing shop – it would be on the internet in ten minutes if she did that. So she's decided to measure the dimensions of the picture and get them to build the frame around that, then insert the picture herself. She's got a few other gifts in the works, including one of those computerized slideshow frames with their whole photo album scanned in, but this one holds a special place in her heart.
It's a funny picture, sure, but it's also a beautifully human moment, a photographic reminder that she's the one person in all the world who's allowed to see world-saver and adventurer extraordinaire Kim Possible for the basic average girl she is. That's Kim Possible's greatest secret, and the one that used to burn Shego up in what she now refers to as the “Tom and Jerry” days. Back then, the kid was always saying “No big” and “So not the drama” and all those other little idiosyncratic catchphrases people put on bootleg t-shirts, and it pissed Shego off, because there was just no way anyone could actually be so... well, so heroic . So plucky . So damned modest about every little thing. Oh, it used to drive her nuts!
Shego chuckles again. She was so dumb back then.
Kim, she knows now, has always been that way. It's not a stance or a front, it's who she is . Shego had simply been too naïve and angry at the time to realize it. Her anger at her “heroic” brothers had festered for years until it found an acceptable outlet in Kim, who acted just enough like Hego to really yank her chain. Unlike Hego, though, Kim actually deserved – and still does deserve – the title “hero,” because she's always been completely sincere in her desire to help people.
Shego blinks, then looks at the clock in the top-right corner of the screen, then blinks again. Apparently, she's been staring at the photo and reminiscing for a good fifteen minutes. Great, I'm turning into my mother. She closes the window with the photo in it and opens Word, from which she opens what she's lately referred to as the Goddamn Book. The title page she's come to despise stares up at her; in the middle of a forbidding field of white, it says :
Being Green: My Story Of Crime, Combat, And Commitment (And How The Hero Got The Girl)
Kaitlyn Jordan, aka “Shego”
She frowns. It's her fourth revision of the title, and the longest by far. Saul over at HarperCollins swears it'll sell like gangbusters no matter the title, but she's convinced anyone who grabs the book will be looking for some reference to what Saul calls “the gay thing” on the cover. As an avid consumer of celebrity tell-all books herself, she knows that's what she'd be looking for. It just doesn't look right yet, though. She rubs her cheek absently. Maybe she'll revise it again.
She scrolls through the lengthy document, imagining Saul's protracted groan at the thought of yet another revision – particularly of something as minor as the title. The book's late as it is. Maybe the ghostwriter isn't such a bad idea... She banishes that thought as soon as it comes to her; she's Shego , dammit! Her public image is hers to screw up! If the book is crap, it's her crap, not some massaged PR-friendly fairy tale! Besides, if the book was ghostwritten, the Team Go chapters – and their attendant anti-PR screeds – would seem suspect even if they were brutally honest and beautifully written. Shego's read enough celebrity memoirs in her time to know that.
She gets to the end of the document – or rather, the part where she left off last time – and smiles. She's entirely past the Team Go chapters now, and even mostly through with the Drakken stuff, apart from some patches that are still in outline form and a few partially written chunks she's had to leave unfinished so as not to get bogged down. She's not going to enjoy untying those knots on her second pass, but that doesn't matter, because the part she's on now is the one she signed up to write. It's why she's lately been thrilled to get up every day and work on the book. The first two sections are there to provide context for the third, but the third section is the reason she wrote the book in the first place.
It's called “Kimmie.”
Kim's been a recurring presence in the book up to this point, but here she takes center stage. Well, she actually nearly steals the spotlight at the end of the second part, because that's where Shego discusses her experience of the first Lorwardian invasion, but the third part is the love story. She loves writing it, not just because she gets to tell everyone how amazing her girl is, but because she finally has a forum to adequately convey the true depth of her affection for her wife to her wife.
Shego's never been a romantic, and sincere oaths of endearment tend to stick in her throat when she tries to vocalize them. She can flirt, she can flatter, and she can make backhanded compliments, but when it comes to expressing her affection in unambiguous language, she's utterly lost. She's tried her hardest to fight through it, God knows, and she's succeeded occasionally at choking out some paltry Hallmark-worthy sentiments (her toast at their wedding being the closest she's come to the language she considers worthy of her sweetheart), but she's never been able to do it right – not in her opinion, anyway. Kim has told Shego many times that her declarations of love are more than satisfactory, and Shego believes her wife is telling the truth. That doesn't matter to Shego, though – what matters is that she herself has never been satisfied with her words.
Somehow, though, the concept of putting her feelings on paper escaped her until about a year ago, when Saul approached her about doing a book. It helped that they were already acquainted; he'd actually henched under her a few times, and he'd been too polished and polite for the work even then. His life had been pretty fascinating: grew up a mild-mannered Crown Heights Jewish boy, knew he was gay at ten, came out to his Hasidic parents at eighteen, kicked out on his ass because of it, needed a job to pay his way to an English degree, went with HenchCo as a screw-you to his father. He worked as a HenchCo temp for only two years – a sympathetic aunt in Boston paid the rest of the way for him . Somehow, though, he managed to work for most of the major supervillains in those two years, and his life partner Bob, who had been a fellow henchman when they'd met, had worked for almost every other villain.
When his aunt died in a car crash two years into his doctorate in English, and the donations dried up as a consequence (she'd never written a will), Saul had needed some quick cash to keep things rolling. It was Bob who suggested he write a memoir about his days at HenchCo. He pitched and sold the book to Bantam in the same meeting; apparently, there were absolutely no books about the world of supervillainy written by insiders, and the love story between Saul and Bob made Saul a protagonist the public – “The sensible public, anyway,” as Saul always said when telling this story – could root for.
He wrote the book in a month of feverish composition, fearing the advance money would dry up sooner than later. The Bantam people loved it, and they gave him twice the money they'd promised him in the initial meeting. The sum was enough to carry him to graduation day and then some, and by the time he did graduate, he was a bestselling author. Every single supervillain he'd worked for in the past – reformed and otherwise – got in touch with him somehow, and even Shego had dropped him a line saying how much she'd appreciated his kind portrayal of her.
An explosion of copycat books from rival publishers flooded the bookstores, and a very smart person at HarperCollins realized they could capitalize on the trend by hiring the guy who started it as their liaison to the world of villainy. Saul eagerly accepted, because he had always wanted to work on the publishing end of things anyway. Also, he loved editing, and that was also part of the job; after they sent one of their best reps to a disastrous meeting with the supposed ex-villain Bruno Flambé and the rep returned with second-degree burns all over his body, the higher-ups at HarperCollins had realized that most “reformed” supervillains weren't exactly stable, and that one person handling everything on their behalf would significantly reduce their potential liability, particularly someone who already spoke the lingo. So Saul took the job, and the first thing he did in his new position was approach Shego about the book.
All of which means exactly jack to me right now , thinks Shego, staring at the blinking cursor of the word processor and waiting for the words to come. Writing, she's discovered, is a supremely odd activity – writing about oneself, doubly so. She'll wake up in the morning with the next paragraph fully formed in her head, right down to the punctuation, and that clear image of what comes next will stick with her right up until she actually sits down to write, at which point it vanishes from her head in a stifling puff of smoke, and she finds herself struggling to write anything more compelling than a shopping list.
“The,” she writes, and recoils. How dare she, comes a whisper from within, followed closely by, The? Why even start the sentence if you're just going to screw it up with a common word like that? And then a whole devilish chorus of nitpicky whispers flit through her mind, like a flock of birds all dropping their crap on the same head, one after the other. This phenomenon is another odd thing about writing; when it's just you and the page, you invent a whole host of gods and devils to praise or bury your slightest action, and you have to tell all of them to buzz off, because you'll never get any work done if you pay attention to them.
Luckily, threatening to burn each and every one of their craven little faces off with a demonic smile on your face is a threat that works. When you face antimatter emperors and Lovecraftian horrors from beyond the veil of sanity every other week, and without breaking a sweat; when death rays and mind control chips constitute the least of your worries; when a new and frightening creature or concept that beggars description is the kind of thing you deal with on a lazy Sunday; in short, when you seem to be nothing less than an intergalactic and interdimensional crap-magnet, and that doesn't really bother you ? Well, the terrors within your own mind seem paltry by comparison, like eight-year-olds in Halloween costumes going “Booga-booga-booga!”
Now that the cretinous whispers have been silenced, it's time to go to work properly. But where to start?
Shego takes a deep breath, closes her eyes, and shuffles her memories into some semblance of order. Keeping her eyes closed, she exhales, then inhales, then exhales, then inhales, then exhales... And, lured out of its hiding place by the meditative seesawing breaths, there sits the memory with which to begin. She grabs the thing by the scruff of its neck and examines it from all sides. She smiles, and opens her eyes. The words start flowing, and she takes another sip of her coffee before transcribing them. She writes:
After the invasion, it felt as though the floodgates had been opened. Though our world had always been strange, that first moment of aggressive contact with the Lorwardians seemed–
No , she thinks, sounds too formal and preachy. First line's okay, I guess. If a little clichéd. After a moment's thought, she deletes the second sentence, then replaces it with:
Life's never been normal for me, but it was after the invasion that things got really weird. It was as though the pair–
She deletes the first sentence entirely, realizing the second covers it, and continues:
–as though the pair of...
“Pair of what?” she mutters, adding, “Lorwardians? Aliens? What?” She growls lowly, erasing the now-second sentence, and continues:
“No,” she hisses, and erases it, and keeps going:
It was like the aliens had planted a gigantic flag in our soil that everyone in the universe – and even outside of it – could see clearly.
She nods slightly; it's a fair second sentence, and it's in her voice. An image occurs to her, and she continues, smirking:
And that flag said, in big neon capital letters, “PLEASE INVADE US!”
Looking at it on the page, she sighs. Maybe that's too much. But I like the image... “Enh, I'll come back to it later,” she mutters, and highlights it in light grey. She's about to continue when she hears a knock on the door. She growls – of course life would send some ridiculous distraction to tarry her just when she was getting the ball rolling. She looks at the clock in the top-right corner of the screen, sure that she lost track of time in her little reverie and it's probably eight o'clock or something ridiculous.
The clock says it's 6:45 AM.
“Who the hell...?” she mutters, standing up. She grabs her coffee mug, pads over to the entrance hall, and opens the door.
Her eyes widen. After a moment, she blinks.
“What? Ain't anybody ever tell ya it ain't polite ta stare?” says the cigar-chomping cartoon stork with the creepy five o'clock shadow on its lower beak.
“Buh,” says Shego.
“Lemme guess,” replies the stork, barking out a gravelly chuckle, “yer the chatty one inna relationship?”
Shego just nods absently, because this may actually be the weirdest thing she's ever seen.
The stork uses one of its wing... hand... things to grab the cigar from its beak, and a chunk of eerily cartoonish ash falls from the cigar and lands, noiselessly, on the otherwise pristine front stoop. “I'm lookin' fer Kim Possible. You that broad what she, uh, shacks up wit'?”
That knocks Shego out of her stupor. “Listen and listen good, bird: my name is Shego, and I am not a 'broad.'”
The stork chuckles again. “Yeah, yeah, always the same wit' you dames.”
Shego smiles humorlessly and ignites the hand without the coffee cup in it. She holds it up next to her head, letting him get a good look. “Is there a point to this, or are Kimmie and I gonna have roast stork for dinner?”
The stork chuckles nervously. He reaches into his mailbag and pulls out a clipboard. “Uh, heh, I need Kim Possible to sign for this,” he says, throwing his thumb – it looks sort of like a thumb, anyway – over his shoulder.
Shego takes the clipboard and looks at it. It's a fairly standard shipping form, except that next to the order number, she sees the words “One (1) Human Baby.” Next to the word “Gift?” the “Yes” box is checked. She notices for the first time the straps leading to the little bundle the stork is carrying on its back, and it seems to be... squirming and giggling...
Oh , she thinks. Oh jeez.
Her eyes alight on the sender's address, and she gives a slight nod, thinking, Of course . She hands the clipboard back to the stork. “I'll go get her,” she mumbles, trying to ignore the twisting feeling in her gut.
Shuffling numbly away from the still-open door, Shego feels slightly detached from her body, as if the floating phantom of her consciousness is hovering slightly behind and above her physical form. She trudges up the stairs and peeks into the bedroom she shares with her wife. As expected, Kim is snoring quite loudly and all but drooling onto the pillow. It's cute as hell, and Shego smiles despite herself. She decides it's better to sort out her own jumbled thoughts before burdening Kim with them. Gently pulling their door to, she walks into the guest bedroom across the hall and sits on the edge of the bed within. After a moment, she realizes she's still holding the coffee. She sets it down on the carpeted floor and puts it out of her mind.
Staring at the still-unpainted wall, she closes her eyes, attempting to sort her thoughts into some semblance of order.
So I'm...I'm a mother now...
Simply applying the label “mother” to herself engenders an odd sensation of euphoric nausea within her. It's not that she's never wanted a child – just the opposite, in fact. She and Kim have investigated the possibility several times over the past few years, but they've always decided against it in the end. It's not just the commitment they're worried about; between them, they've got a lot of enemies, and any child of theirs would inherit those enemies.
But, if Shego is honest with herself, it is the commitment with which she, at least, is principally concerned. She and Kim as a unit are tougher by far than pretty much any conceivable threat, and their child would undoubtedly inherit, through nature or nurture, the best qualities of both women. With a properly trained kid lending a hand, she's sure Team Possible would be unbeatable. Furthermore, Shego knows from her own days as a villain that very few people in that line of work actually want to kill anyone , and that children in particular are considered off-limits.
The issue is not that villains feel any strong moral objection to murder; it's that heroes – and their many friends – do . Once a villain kills, he'll be hunted relentlessly, and very likely be killed by one hunter or another. And that's what happens if some random adult with whom a hero is acquainted is murdered; kill a hero's child , and you might as well have pissed off God, because that hero will find you and almost certainly end you. It's only the complete lunatics who want that kind of attention, and they can never manage to keep their crazy in check long enough to accumulate the money and prestige needed to do any real damage.
So no, Shego's not too concerned that she'll lose the kid to a supervillain, or an evil man, or even one of those nameless eldritch horrors that occasionally slithers its way out of some unpronounceable hell-dimension to bedevil her planet. All of those things are threats, no doubt, but nowhere on Earth will a child be safer from them than within the loving embrace of Earth's greatest protectors.
Shego's worried about something much simpler: she's worried that she'll be a bad parent. She knows her Kimmie will be a perfect mother, but that's a given. But Shego is – to herself, if no one else – still the seventeen-year-old social outcast who ran away from everything she'd ever known when things got tough. Everyone who asks why she left Team Go assumes she must have had some big confrontation with Hego, or that some traumatic event scarred her so badly that she had to leave, or that she accidentally killed some villain and got unjustly blamed for it.
She used to lie about it and tell them what they wanted to hear, until Kim asked her not to. Now, she never tells them anything, because the reality of it is so very small and stupid and petty, and they'll be almost as disappointed as she is by it. Because there was no grand melodramatic exit: being on the team started to get on her nerves, the tension built, she finally just up and left one night, and she was too stubborn and angry to come back. After that, she just kind of fell into crime, because it was easy for her, it paid well, and she knew it'd piss Hego off. And that was that. Instead of trying to fix things, she acted like a cowardly asshole, then found a way to get paid for acting like a cowardly asshole. What a role model , she thinks, scoffing.
But you're not that person anymore, Sheeg , says that annoying voice in the back of her head that's always right and usually sounds kind of like Kim.
How do you know? Shego replies, indignant. What if I run out on Kim and the kid the way I did my brothers? What if I get scared and blow everything again?
The point of making mistakes is to learn from them, Shego , says the voice.
That's a quote from something, right? asks Shego. I remember that being a quote from something .
It's from your book, dumbass , the voice replies, now sounding more like Shego. Now take your own advice and get off your ass. This mopey crap you're pulling is embarrassing the both of us.
Shego opens her eyes, and her lip curls into a smirk. “Okay,” she says to herself, the matter settled.
She pushes herself off of the mattress, going smoothly from sitting to walking. Narrowly avoiding the forgotten coffee cup, she confidently strides back into the marital bedroom, ready to awaken Kimmie and send her on her own little vision quest.
Shego puts her hand on Kim's shoulder and lightly shakes her. “Kimmie. Hey, Kimmie. C'mon, Cupcake.” Kim furrows her brow, mumbles “Jus' minute,” and rolls over and away from Shego's hand. Shego growls impatiently and stalks into the bathroom. Kim's facing it, so she turns the light on. She grabs one of the paper cups they have for this express purpose, sits it directly below the faucet, and turns the water on. She walks back to the doorway and stands there, waiting.
Upon hearing the sound of running water filling a cup, Kim's eyes open wide, and she sits straight up in bed on instinct. “Ah! What! Izzit fire! Cupcakes!” she shouts.
Shego steps over to the faucet, turns it off, tosses the accumulated water in the sink, and takes another step back into the doorway. She folds her arms over her chest and smirks. “Knew that'd getcha.”
Kim glances at the clock, then grabs it and pulls it toward her to make sure she's reading it right. “Says it's 6:47, Sheeg. AM. Why'm I up now, exactly?” she asks, absently smoothing her hair and licking her lips.
Shego starts, then remembers that what she has to tell her wife is absolutely bonkers. “Um, this is gonna sound completely insane, but–”
Kim rubs the crud out of her eyes. “More insane than a comet hitting a treehouse and giving a family superpowers? Or–” Her mouth turns cavernous as a yawn abruptly splits her face, and she holds up her index finger to let Shego know she's not done talking. After a moment, the yawn subsides, and she lazily smacks her lips a couple of times before continuing. “Or a teenage cheerleader setting up a website for babysitting jobs and being accidentally called upon to rescue a rich doll collector from his own security system?”
Her wife has asked variations on this question before, and Shego's usual answer is a quick “I guess not.” This time, however, Shego has to stop and think about it. “Um, substantially more insane, actually. Than both. Combined.”
“Hoo-boy,” says Kim, rolling her eyes. She pinches the bridge of her nose for a moment, then smooths her hair a second time, then squeezes her eyes shut in a hard blink. Opening them, she says, “Okay, lay it on me.”
Shego takes a deep breath and begins. “You remember that thing the other week when the Idea Men of the Metaphor Dimension and the Fertility Gods of Sidewise had that war?”
“Yeah,” says Kim, adding in a mutter, “Oh, jeez. No wonder it's nuts.”
Shego snorts. “Yeah, and you remember how, when we got the leaders to sign a truce, they said they'd give us a gift, and we were all, 'Uh, fair enough?'”
Kim nods slowly, putting two and two together. “So... the gift is here?”
“Um, yeah,” said Shego. “And it looks like they, um, both chipped in.” She winces as she drops the other shoe. “There's, er, kind of a cartoon stork – and I mean he is literally a stork out of a cartoon, and it is very freaky-looking, yes – but yeah, he's out there, and he needs you to sign for, um, our baby?”
Kim blinks. Then blinks again. “Buh?”
Shego smirks. “Heh. That was what I said.”
Kim, wide-eyed, scratches the back of her head, then runs the scratching hand through her hair yet again. “I don't – there's a baby? Like, in a box?”
“Nah, the stork's just carrying it.”
After a full minute of staring off into space, Kim frowns. She turns her head to meet Shego's eyes. “...Honey, is this some kind of prank?” she asks. “Because it's really, really, really going to annoy me if it is.”
“Hey, youse broads done commit-skeratin' yet?” yells the stork, causing Kim to jump a little. “I gotta lotta orders!”
Shego chuckles again and gestures to the open bedroom door. “Oh, and the stork talks. That was him.”
After a couple more long blinks, Kim shrugs in an I-give-up way. “Oh. 'Kay.” She gets out of bed, shuffles to the bathroom, and puts on her pink bathrobe with the “K” embroidered on it. Shoving her feet into the fuzzy bunny slippers she left near the scale last night, Kim snickers. “Our life is so weird.”
“Tell me about it,” Shego deadpans.
“Alright, let's, um, get the... our kid, or whatever,” says Kim, who takes the lead as they march down the stairs. She remains skeptical until she catches a glimpse of the stork, at which point she stops and glances back at Shego with a look of vague disgust. Shego mouths “I know, right?” and they resume their descent.
When they get to the doorway, there's an awkward moment of silence. Kim glances at the stork, who glances at her, and then they both look at Shego, who turns to Kim, tossing her head toward the stork. Kim shrugs, and she steps slightly past Shego, who turns to the stork and nods toward Kim, saying, “Kim Possible.”
“I got eyes , lady,” grumbles the stork, who then turns to Kim. Taking a puff from his cigar, he asks, “You'll accept the package, 'zat right?”
Wincing a little at the vaguely nauseating sight of cigar smoke spouting straight up out of the stork's nares like steam out of a train engine, Kim says, “I'm down here, aren't I?”
“Awright, Miss Possible, just sign this form here.” He hands Kim the clipboard, pointing with his index digit to the large box at the bottom of the page labeled “Signature.”
Kim takes the clipboard, glances over it a couple of times, and looks back up at the stork. “Um, I sorta need, y'know, a pen to sign this...”
“Oh! Uh, yeah, lemme grab one for ya,” says the stork. He proceeds to rifle through the leather mailbag strapped to his shoulder, all the while mumbling variations on the phrase “It's in here somewhere.” After a full minute of watching the stork open and close the various pouches of the bag, reach in, and find nothing, Shego rolls her eyes and goes to get a pen.
After a few more seconds, the stork produces his pen. “Ah- ha ! Found the little bastard!” he says, then frowns when he sees that Kim has already signed the form with Shego's pen. Grousing to himself, he shoves the pen back into the bag and snatches the clipboard out of her hands. He unstraps the pack with the baby in it from his back, and hands Kim's child over to her.
Shego watches her wife's reaction with intense interest and not a little concern. Upon getting a good look at the child, Kim gasps and tenses up for a moment, and then her lower lip quivers, and then her whole body, and then rivers of tears pour out of her eyes. She looks over at Shego, who's terrified that something's gone wrong, that the baby isn't a baby or it's deformed or–
“Oh,” Kim whispers, as though the baby might be harmed if she says it any louder.
Shego puts her hand on her wife's shoulder. “Hey, what is it? Is everything–”
And then Shego locks eyes with her daughter for the very first time, and everything else goes away.
The girl – and she knows it's a girl, somehow – is beautiful.
She has her mother's red hair, and her other mother's pale skin, and green eyes, and she's... She beggars description. And she's theirs . She came from them . She's somehow of them, in a way nothing else in this world – or any world – could ever be. She's the best of both of them. She–
And then Shego can take no longer, and she looks back up at Kim, and Kim looks at her, and an understanding deeper than any words passes between them.
“Oh,” whispers Shego, as if in answer to Kim's identical utterance. They are content. Utterly and completely content.
“Not ta innerupt this bee-yoo-tee-ful moment, but howzabout a tip, hanh?” says the stork.
Both women's heads slowly swivel towards the interloper callously begging for a handout, their faces wearing identical glares of pure contempt.
“What? I need bread,” says the stork.
Shego walks to the kitchen, grabs some quarters from her wallet, walks back to the doorway, and throws all of them at the stupid bird. “There. Pick it up, asshole,” she hisses, and shuts the door.
Now safely ensconced within their home, the two women walk back to the kitchen, each smiling beatifically at the other. They kiss, and Shego embraces her wife and child. She takes a step back after the hug, and asks if she can hold the baby now. Kim happily obliges, and Shego takes the girl from her. The child giggles as she's passed to Shego, and Shego chuckles warmly in response. Standing there, holding her child the way she would have once held a priceless Egyptian artifact, she feels nothing but love. “You're perfect, you're so perfect,” she whispers, grinning.
And then the girl fills her diaper and starts crying.
Well, almost perfect , she thinks, grinning just as widely.