Okay, a couple of things before you start reading; well, maybe more than a couple. First thing, the rating is for the language mostly. Second thing, this is an AU. Third thing, this is based on the super fantastic manga Tramps like Us. Okay, that's a lot of things, but you can go on and read now.
Oh, wait, I so don't own any of these characters. Trust me, the show wouldn't be as good as it is if I did.
Walking the Line
Problem One: The day from Hell
Tempting Fate is rarely a good idea. Fate likes to bite you in the ass, after all, and turn your world upside down.
To call today the day from Hell would have been being kind about things as far as Shego was concerned. In fact, calling it Hell itself would not have been doing it justice as far as she was concerned. Calling it the seventh ring of Hell would not have even been enough. In fact, she would have taken it as being mocked if someone dared say such a thing.
Shego should have known that it was not going to be a good day the moment that she woke up. First of all, she had literally fallen out of bed because of the damned alarm clock blaring, as it somehow had been turned up to full volume. It sounded worse than someone washing a cat against a brick wall. She guessed that it happened when she accidentally knocked the damn thing over the night before. She then proceeded to stub her toe on each foot before she even made it to the bathroom to wash her face. She should have taken the hint that the cosmos was obviously sending her and just had gone back to bed right then and there, but no, she had to continue on to tempt Fate. She actually went out into the world. Stupid move.
The raven-haired woman threw on her usual clothing of black and green color and then she left her condo. She barely made it two inches onto the street before a car sped by and splashed her from a puddle thanks to a heavy rain storm from a couple of days ago. She yelled some things that would have made a soldier blush before stomping back into her home to change her clothes. She made sure to remember the license plate number of the bastard that splashed her because, boy, she was going to get that asshole back personally when she had a free moment.
She managed to make it to her car without any more mishaps, but once she got in the car that was another matter all together. She discovered that her music was gone first. Her car had been broken into, dammit! Now, what kind of bullshit was it when she, a law enforcement agent, was fucking robbed? At least her CDs were the only thing in the car of value aside from the car itself.
Shego drove a rather expensive two-seat green sports car; well, she used to drive it anyway. As luck would have it, the gods were not done fucking with her just yet. Her car would not start and just about every light on the dashboard came on when she turned the key to start the blasted thing. Well, at least now she could see why whoever broke into her car did not steal it; the person could not steal it.
"What a comforting thought," Shego muttered sarcastically to herself.
That was great, just great because now she had to take the damn train to work. She hated the train with a passion. If she could blow the train up, she would, but she needed it for the moment. Her mind told her that she should have just stayed in bed already, but she was outside already, so she continued on instead of doing the similar thing – going back into her home.
She, of course, missed the first train by mere seconds and was therefore late to work, but she had expected that. She knew she would be late the moment that she found out her car was not working. The thing was that had she caught the first train, she would not have been over an hour late for work. It did not get any better when she got to work.
Being an hour late for work made it mandatory for her boss to crawl up her ass for ten minutes. It had to be rather crowded up there considering how pissed she was already. She supposed the funny thing was that she had hit her tolerance level for the day and it had only been nine in the morning. The considerate thing to do would have been to warn her co-workers about her mood, especially since she could set her hands on fire and she was a master of countless styles of self-defense. But, since her patience was already gone, she had not been really very considerate.
Most of the people that worked with Shego were used to her being in a horrible mood. They usually stayed away from her anyway. She was cranky on her best day and borderline homicidal on her worst.
After being thoroughly reprimanded for being late, which Shego insisted was not her fucking fault to begin with and that was the edited version of her words, she went to change into her work clothes. The locker room was empty; apparently, she had been the only person late that day. She wondered where everyone was and then she recalled that they were supposed to meet up for the monthly status report. Well, dammit, now she had to get chewed out again by her boss for being late to that very important meeting.
"Ah, Shego, you decided to join us," Doctor Director commented when Shego stepped through the door and entered the conference room.
"Don't start," Shego barked as she leaned against the back wall with her arms folded across her chest and a scowl warning away every person within a mile radius.
"That's a horrible tone to take with your superior, not to mention the person that got you this job," Doctor Director said smugly.
"So, what do you want, a fucking cookie?" Shego retorted.
"Some respect would be a good start. You need to be here on time. I don't care what the excuse."
"It was my first time being late," Shego argued through gritted teeth, glaring at her one-eyed boss.
"Make it the last time too."
The pale woman only rolled her emerald green eyes. She really did not want to hear it, whether it was from her boss or not. She was in a mood that did not put her boss above an ass whipping at the moment. It was not like she cared so much about the stupid job that she would not hit her boss, especially since she knew that it would take a lot for Doctor Director to fire her. An ass whipping would probably get her suspended, especially if she won. So, she held off on slapping Doctor Director while they were on the clock.
The meeting ran like one long reprimand in Shego's direction, which they usually did. There were talks of excessive force; Shego figured that if criminals did not desire to be hit with plasma blasts then the wise thing would be to find new careers or at the very least surrender when she told them to. She was not there to hold their hands while they robbed places blind.
Up next was the speech about property damage, which was one of the few things that Shego tried not to do, even though she had a reason for it if it came up. Her blasts could do damage, but since she did not throw them too often, only used them to make her hands more dangerous, it was rare that she hit anything that was not breathing. If she did hit something of value, she shrugged and moved on. She always asked would the people feel better if she just let the often-deadly criminals go to save a few cars. Of course, that usually got her glared at by a lot of people.
The last item on the menu was the budget and public relations. The budget and public relations went hand in hand like a couple that hated each other. Their department funding counted on how much the public liked them and the majority of them were not people friendly.
Their department was a special brand of law enforcers and they did not see why they had to please the masses. After all, they were not politicians. Their popularity typically steadily declined until they did something really big, like catch someone bent on blowing up the city or something like that. Their department usually went after super-powered criminals or just advanced criminals that were too much for the regular police.
The city was actually crawling with all kinds of murderous lunatics with all different types of agendas armed with super powers, super science, or any combination of other things. Sometimes they took hostages and made demands, or destroyed buildings, or like that damned day, released a giant blob monster into the streets that just wanted to eat everything. Hands down, bio-eco criminals pissed Shego off the most because they did the strangest things for the weirdest reasons. Seriously, what the hell was a hungry blob supposed to accomplish?
Shego still did not have an idea as to who released the blob monster and, quite frankly, she did not give a damn. The person was on her long "ass-kicking" list just because she had to fight the damn monster. She was willing to bet that she had been given the disgusting assignment for mouthing off to the big boss that morning. But, whatever the reason, it was up to her to stop the mutant slime-ball.
It had not been too difficult to the stop the stupid monster, but it slimed her. She had sky blue glop in her long, ebony hair and it drenched her cat suit uniform. She also had to subdue the thing without killing it, so their lab of super-nerds could figure out what it was and, hopefully, where it came from. She did not give a damn about that either.
Doctor Director had the nerve to point out that Shego should care just a bit about the creature, considering the fact that she was covered in it. The raven-haired female hated to admit that her chief had a point. The fact that the slime smelled extremely putrid made her care just a little.
The best news of the day was that the slime thing was relatively harmless, only very hungry. If the thing was relatively harmless then what was the point in releasing it into the city? Probably just some scientist with a sick sense of humor let the thing go for a laugh. It happened more often than people knew. It happened much too often for her taste; once was too often as far as much her department was concerned. They were serious protectors of the city (most of them anyway) and they did not have time to go chasing gags let loose by one of the city's many scientists.
Shego decided to cut out from work the moment that her shift was over because she was not going to press her luck with the way things were going and with the way that she had angered her boss. She knew that if Doctor Director caught sight of her, she would get stuck with doing overtime somehow, either getting put on a stakeout, or helping some moron with a report, or some other mundane, meaningless task to teach her to shut her mouth sometimes. She did not have the patience to do anything like that and would probably just get herself into more trouble. She just wanted to get home, go to bed, and end the day.
Shego trudged down the street to her condo. She was happy to be home; the train took so damn long. It did not matter, though. She was home and she could just put the day behind her. She came to the front gates of her complex and noticed that there was a big cardboard box off to the side.
"What the hell? How dare somebody just dump their crap here," Shego grumbled with a hard frown and she went to kick the box just because it seemed like a great way to vent her frustration.
The emerald-eyed female gave the box a good, swift kick and was going to do it again, but the box made a noise. She craned an onyx eyebrow because, as far as she knew, boxes were not supposed to yelp. She thought someone might have abandoned a dog or cat in the box, so she opened it to inspect what was going on. The contents caused her to leap back in pure shock, which was amazing because she felt like she had seen it all and it was hard to surprise her. There was a dead body in the box.
"Who the hell leaves a dead body in a box on the side of the street?"
Okay, it turned out that Shego had jumped to the wrong conclusion; the body in the box was far from dead. The redhead was eating way too much to be dead. Shego only stared at the girl as she gobbled everything on her plate.
"May I have some more, please?" the redhead requested with a strangely angelic smile.
"Yeah, sure, whatever," Shego grumbled.
The raven-haired woman sighed and went to fix the girl another plate of cutlets, rice, black beans, and cabbage. She then proceeded to stare again as the redhead began wolfing down her second helping. Shego studied the girl, who she bet could not be anymore than eighteen years old and she thought that might even be pushing things. She had on a black tank top that showed both of her arms were heavily bruised. Her right hand was also damaged with severe bruising, but that was not stopping her from eating as if she was starving.
"So, kid, what's the deal?" Shego inquired after a few minutes.
"Huh?" the redhead replied while taking a second to look up from her meal and pay her hostess some attention, as that was the polite thing to do.
"What's the deal? What were you doing in the box?" Shego clarified, motioning to the box by the door. She was not sure why the kid had dragged the thing in with her.
"Oh, I guess I got beat up," the teen answered with a rather sheepish look on her face.
"You guess?" Shego asked with an arched eyebrow. She figured that being beaten up would be something definite, either she was or she was not. There should not be anything to guess about.
"Well, I remember three guys and them saying something about how they didn't want me around. I was going to run because I didn't see the point in getting into a fight with them over something so stupid, but they caught me by surprise. They used some kind of powder and I got all dizzy. Next thing I know, I'm in your house," the redhead explained with a shrug, as if it was nothing, and then she looked around. "This is a nice place you got her. It's totally spanking," she commented with another smile; it was more cheerful than angelic that time.
"Whatever. What's this 'something stupid' they beat you up for?" the older woman inquired.
The girl scratched her head. "I think it was about being on their turf."
"So, a gang beat you up?" Shego guessed. There was no shortage of gangs in the city.
"I don't think they were a gang. There were only three of them," the redhead answered.
Shego nodded and she just let the girl eat after that. The raven-haired woman did continue to silently inspect her guest. Aside from the bruises, the girl appeared a bit dirty, which tended to happen after any good butt kicking. The bad thing was that the teen smelled too, like she had been in that box all day or maybe even longer than that. She figured that it would not hurt for the girl to get cleaned up while she could.
"When you're done, you can go in the bathroom and take a shower," Shego suggested … well, really ordered. It was either bathe or get out because that stench was enough to bring tears to her eyes.
"That would be so great. I'm not too sure I can do a good job with my hand all messed up, though," the teen mused aloud while flexing her right hand. She hissed a bit as she moved the injured part. She did not think that it would hurt as much as it did to make such a simple motion with her hand.
"What are you getting at?" Shego asked in a suspicious tone, narrowing her gaze.
"Do you suppose you could help me?"
"Take a shower? Hell, no. I did enough by feeding your greedy ass," the officer answered.
"But, I can't really move my hand."
Shego stood by her "hell, no" while the girl went back to eating. Afterwards, Shego found herself giving the redhead a hand in bathing because the teen's right hand was borderline useless for the moment. She washed the redhead's hair while the teen took care of washing her body.
"It's great to have a hot bath," the teen stated with a relaxed sigh while Shego was trying her best to not think about how she was in the bathroom with a nude stranger with her hands in the girl's head. Shego remained silent until her guest was about to turn around.
"Hey, don't move," the raven-haired female barked.
"Well, you're not talking, so I thought if I'd look at you, I'd figure out what was wrong," the younger female explained.
"What's wrong? What's wrong is that I'm in a bathroom with a naked bum that I don't know from Adam and I'm shampooing her freaking scalp," Shego pointed out the obvious.
"Oh," the girl nodded to show that she understood. "Thanks anyway." The redhead smiled brightly.
Shego frowned; apparently, she had found a kid that was emotionally imbalanced or something close to it. She could not think of another reason why the girl would smile and thank her after she called her a bum. She decided not to think too much on the matter because she figured that she would be rid of the teenager by the morning.
The pale woman provided the teen with new clothes, which were slightly too big for her because Shego was taller and she filled out a little more than her guest. She went to take her own shower while the redhead curled up on the sofa to watch television. When Shego came back into the living room, she found her guest tucked into a ball, sleeping soundly on the couch. She retrieved a blanket and put it over the teen before going to bed herself.
When Shego rose in the morning, she found the teen still out on the sofa. She did not think anything of it. She made herself some breakfast and left her guest a plate on the table. She left a note requesting that the redhead lock up on her way out or else. She then left for work.
"What do you mean you found a kid in a box?" Doctor Director asked Shego with a furrowed brow. They were inside the boss' very tiny office at the end of the work day.
The raven-haired woman had to tell Doctor Director about how she found a teenager in a box outside her home because, believe it or not, she and Betty were good friends, as far as a person could be "good friends" with Shego. They had grown up together, even though Betty was actually a few years older than Shego. But, they had the common interest of loathing their brothers and coming from eccentric families to bond over. They always had a lot in common and that kept them close through out the years.
"What do you mean what do I mean? I found a kid in box outside my house. She was lying in the damn box," Shego replied. She felt that was explanation enough. It was as straightforward as she could be.
"What was she doing in the box?" Betty asked. She had never heard of something so farfetched. Who just found kids in boxes outside their condos in good neighborhoods? No one that she could think of and considering the bizarre things that she lived through and saw on a daily basis, she thought that she had a wide breadth of knowledge on the subject.
"I don't know, pretending it was a damn fort or something. She said that she was beat up and that was about the last thing she remembered," the pale woman answered.
"And you let her stay at your house?" the brown-haired woman asked incredulously.
"I couldn't just leave her in the box, especially after how hard I kicked the stupid thing," Shego argued.
"You don't know anything about this kid, though. She could've robbed you blind by now."
"I'd like to see the little bitch try." She would hunt the kid down just like she did the bastard that broke into her car, who was now sitting in jail.
"Right, I forgot who I was talking to for a moment, fucking superwoman. So, what're you going to do?" the one-eyed female inquired.
"Nothing. She should be gone by the time I get home," Shego answered with a shrug. She did not see any reason for the kid not to be gone by the time she returned home. It was not like they were friends or anything like that. They did not even know each other.
"Well, what's her name?"
"Don't know, don't care. I just want the little bitch gone by the time I get home," Shego stated.
"If you say so. I don't see why you took the kid into your house and you don't know anything about her. She could be a runaway, a serial killer, a freaking terrorist. I can keep going if you like," Betty said.
"You know I'd prefer that you didn't," Shego commented dryly.
Doctor Director only smiled slightly and shrugged. Shego frowned while trying to not think about the question of the conversation, which was why had she taken that kid into her house? She should have left the redhead in that stupid box on the street and she probably would have lived a much happier life, she figured. Well, too late to dwell on that now.
Shego left work after talking to Betty a bit more. She yawned as she came to her condo, thinking about how good her bed was going to feel after a nice, long shower. She hoped there were leftovers because she did not feel like cooking, but she would bet money that her guest ate those before leaving. She opened her door and was surprised for the second time in as many days because that redheaded girl greeted her. Shego hated surprises now.
"Welcome home!" the redhead grinned.
"What the hell are you still doing here?" Shego demanded with a scowl.
"Well, I was waiting for you."
"Um … because you cook very well and I was hoping I could have some more to eat. Besides, I don't have bus fare to leave," the redhead explained with a bit of a laugh.
Shego growled as she went into her jacket pocket. She pulled out her wallet, yanked out a few bills, and practically flung them at the teenager. The guest only looked at the money as it dropped to the carpeted floor. She then turned her gaze back to the emerald-eyed woman that owned the place.
"Are you going to make more chicken for dinner?" the redhead asked as if she was unaffected by the blatant disrespect to her person. She had that angelic smile plastered on her face again. "I ate the last of it as lunch."
Shego growled in fury, but marched away to put her things away. She then began cooking dinner. She prepared baked ziti and her guest ate like a girl possessed. She noted how pleased the teen appeared while eating. The redhead glanced up when she felt the eyes of her hostess on her and then she smiled brightly at the older woman. Shego sucked her teeth and turned away from the girl, figuring that eyeing the teen was only encouraging the little fool.
"May I have some more, please?" the injured girl requested as soon as her plate was clear.
"Huh? Oh, sure," Shego replied and she got the redhead seconds on her meal.
"This is so good. You're a great cook, ma'am. Thank you very much," the teen said.
Shego only rolled her eyes. She wanted to get rid of the annoying brat. If I wanted to live with a teenager, I'd have stayed home, she silently commented to herself. She tried to think of something to say to the girl that would get the bum to leave and then she got an idea.
"Hey, kid," Shego said with a devilish smirk curling onto her painted black lips.
"Yes?" the redhead answered.
"How'd you like to stay here?"
"Stay here?" the younger woman echoed.
"As my pet," Shego added smoothly, like it was a normal thing to offer.
"Stay here as your pet?" the redhead said with a rather dubious expression gracing her smooth features.
Shego thought that she had the girl. Surely, the redhead would be more than insulted and disgusted by such a vulgar suggestion. She would probably lose her temper and storm out while declaring that Shego was a very sick woman. She would be rid of the stupid kid and then she could move on with her life.
Wonder who the redhead is? Yeah, I doubt it. But, will Shego be rid of her pest thanks to her outrageous suggestion? Find out next time if you're still reading. Please, still read it! Okay, I'm done bugging.