I don't own Hadrian, Sheshona, Matteo, Wes, or Wen; Disney does. I also don't own Kim or Bonnie. I do own Isabel and Kane.

30: Love springs eternal

-*-(Present day)-*-

"Fancy meeting such a beautiful creature like yourself here," Kane commented as he sat down at an outside table at a small café. He grinned, quite pleased with sitting across from the world's most beautiful woman, as far as he was concerned.

Isabel smiled, a few lines showing on her face. She was already sitting down and as soon as he was across from her, she reached out for his hand. He wasted no time in taking it into his own. He massaged the top of her hand with his thumb.

"So, where are you coming from, anyway?" Kane asked curiously, leaning forward to make sure he did not miss her response.

"I was in London and just happened to wander into France. You?" she countered. She had been in London for work. They had been together a couple of months ago, taking in the sights of Egypt, but they parted ways when she was offered work and he did not feel like hanging out with her while she worked. Not to mention, he had a thing against London's weather; well, he swore the weather was out to get him.

"In the Eternal City, of course," he answered with a grin. It seemed like he always ended up in Italy when he was not with her.

Nodding, she smiled a little. "You and your beloved Italy."

"I'm hoping I can get you to come back with me. I thought it would be quite the place to spend our anniversary."

"Besides, you left my gift there, didn't you?" she teased, smiling at him like a delighted imp.

He laughed and had the nerve to look away as if he were shy. "I did," he admitted.

She waved him off. "That's fine. I had your gift delivered there."

Kane nodded and just smiled at his wife. So many wonderful years together, he thought. And to think, they started out where she hated his guts. Would our relationship be considered ironic then?

"So, how about we just go home?" Kane suggested with his typical grin and he wiggled his eyebrows.

Isabel chuckled a bit and shook her head. "Such an unromantic husband. He has his beautiful wife in Paris of all places and wants to leave," she remarked as if scolding him.

"To take her to Rome, an equally romantic setting," he pointed out. Well, he really was not taking her to Rome, but it was close enough. Hell, in his opinion, all of Italy was beautiful and romantic.

"Nothing is an equally romantic setting compared to Paris," she argued.

He frowned a bit, even though he knew that she was teasing him. "You know, I never got that whole 'city of love' thing. What the hell makes Paris the city of love? Why not … I dunno … Moscow? I know I'd spend a lot more time in bed in Moscow considering how cold it is and if you're there, I damn sure wouldn't be getting up anytime soon."

"Okay, first off, you know you don't need a reason to stay in bed. Second off, don't try to get off the hook. It's our anniversary and we're in Paris. You're practically obligated to do something romantic with me, dearest," she stated.

Kane looked down, as if concentrating on the table. She knew that he was trying to think of something romantic to do with her. She supposed that she should have just let him off of the hook and allowed him to take her back to Rome, but she did not see why he should go back to some place that he was less than a day ago when they were some place just as nice for different reasons. Besides, she needed to keep him on his toes or he would get truly lazy on her.

"I should call Shona and ask her for ideas," Kane grumbled. He was surprised to find out what a romantic their daughter could be, but he was certainly going to start taking advantage of that. He did want to do things for Isabel that showed he still loved her very much, even after so many years, but he never was good at thinking of romantic things.

"Matteo would probably have some decent ideas, too. You know how much he loves Paris," Isabel commented, amused smile in place.

"You're just teasing now. Are you sure you don't want to just go home?" he asked.

"If it makes you feel better, I will let you off the hook, but next year's anniversary better be special. None of this just meeting up in Paris by accident because I was going east and you were going west."

Kane practically beamed. "Deal! I better start thinking of something now."

"Considering how you move, the one year might not even be enough time to think of something special," she teased.

He smiled. "Gimme a couple of years and I should be able to come up with something." If not, then he really would be asking Sheshona or Matteo for ideas.

"Let's go," she suggested.

"We haven't even eaten anything yet!" he whined.

She rolled her eyes and sighed. "Fine, we'll eat something and then we'll go."

He grinned, quite happy with that information. They ate their meal and then went back to Italy at that very moment. As soon as they entered their one time home, they noticed a few packages waiting for them. They were expecting those.

"The kids always remember," he commented with a smile.

"They're better than you. Perhaps I could divorce you and marry one of the twins," she remarked.

"There are so many things wrong with that, but if you do that, I'll just go and marry Shona."

"Shona is so over you," she teased while draping herself on him.

He chuckled a bit, thinking that he knew what she meant. "Hey, if anyone could turn her around, it would be me."

"It's too late for you. Shona has two sweethearts now and you know that they are far cuter than you could ever be," she teased him, reaching down to lightly caress his cheek.

"Shona has all the luck! How did she land two beautiful and younger girls like that!" he whined.

Isabel shook her head and went to look at the packages that were waiting for them. It was more than she expected, but only one over. She smiled a bit, figuring out just who the extra one was from.

"They are such sweet girls," Isabel commented to herself.

"What?" Kane asked when he saw the dreamy look on her face.

"Kim and Bonnie sent us a present too. Let's open these, so we can get that out of the way and spend the rest of our time with you making it up to me that you didn't plan anything romantic for us to do in Paris."

"You know, you could have just as easily planned something for us to do. Why do you always try to blame me!"

Isabel rolled her eyes and inspected the other boxes. They always opened them in a certain order. Kane joined her as she found what they were searching for. The box was not very large and it was from Hadrian.

They opened it and found a card, which was expected. The card read: Happy Anniversary Mommy and Daddy. I hope you have many more. Make sure you enjoy this gift and try to get some culture for crying out loud! Inside of the card were tickets to football game, dated a month from that date. They laughed.

"He's come a long way," Isabel said with a smile on her face.

"Indeed he has," Kane agreed.

They had had to put up with Hadrian's angst for a few years after he graduated high school. He thought that being a hero would be enough, but found out that he was not the balance or glue of the team; he had driven that person away enough for her to quit the team before even leaving for college. His heart broke when the team disbanded before Matteo went off to college. His brothers just did not want to be around him after a while.

He tried doing the hero thing on his own, but found that it did not hold the same appeal without his siblings. He did not understand the hole that he was filled with, but it only made him more moody and distant to his parents.

Hadrian drifted aimlessly for a while with no team, hoping he could rely on Jason for a job. He found out that Jason did not have as much clout as claimed, but Jason was able to get him a job. That made Hadrian happy enough for him to actual move in with Jason for a little while.

Hadrian found living with his "father" to be less enjoyable than he expected. They clashed on so many things and Hadrian eventually realized that underneath it all he was very different from Jason. Things went to the point that he did not like to talk about when he lived with Jason. His parents did not speculate on the stay either.

Hadrian had come back humbled to his parents' home and was stunned when they accepted him without a word. They took him back with open and warm arms. It was just what he needed and he had never been more grateful for his family, his real family.

Their eldest son eventually made it to college and got a business and finance degree. He owned and managed one of those taco places that Isabel just could never remember the name to. He patched things up with Kane to the point where Kane was ready to pass his share of his company onto Hadrian soon enough.

"What else is in there?" Kane wondered aloud and he just carelessly dumped the rest of the contents on the floor. Two bottles crashed to the floor, almost shattering.

Isabel deadpanned. "Thank you, love," she said dryly.

"Hey, my favorite cologne. And that looks like your favorite perfume. It's a good thing they didn't break, huh?" he asked with a huge grin on his face.

"Yeah, it's a good thing it didn't break or I would've had to do something unspeakable to you," she growled.

Kane only grinned wider, as if that would make things better. Of course, it did. She sighed and hugged him before picking up the bottles. She put them down on a nearby table.

Kane dived into the next package. He grabbed out the card first. It read: Happy Anniversary, Daddy. I didn't know what to get you because you've got like fucking everything. So, here's my best wishes and some piece of shit painting I picked up one day. He laughed and pulled out the aforementioned painting.

"Now, for a girl that didn't even include you in the card to send this, something must be wrong with her," Kane remarked as he held up the framed 11x14 painting. Isabel smiled; it was a rare, recognized work by one of her favorite painters.

"Maybe she thought you'd appreciate it, too, just because you draw," Isabel explained.

"It is a damn nice painting, though. I wonder where she got it from," Kane commented as he examined the work in his hands. "These are nice colors around here," he added while drawing an invisible circle around the area with his finger.

Isabel nodded in agreement with that statement. Kane eased that gift down onto the floor. They thought that it was nice of Sheshona to send them something that they both could appreciate, even though she seemed to have an attitude while doing it. But then again, she seemed to have an attitude about everything.

The parents had long ago noticed that Sheshona's attitude got worse after her falling out with Hadrian back when they graduated high school. They thought that she would get better in college, but she actually got worse. Her patience wore thin because she seemed to be under the impression that the world was made up of idiots that only wanted to party. Amazingly enough, Sheshona was not a party girl in college and only seemed to get wild when she finally came home only to be shunned by her big brother even more than when she left.

The more Hadrian pushed her away, the parents noticed, the worse Sheshona behaved. It had no choice but to turn into a vicious cycle. Sheshona would act out, Hadrian would insult and belittle her behavior, so she would act out even more. It was a good thing that Sheshona had to go back to school or those two would have ended up killing each other just out of spite.

Aside from her brother, Sheshona suffered from romantic troubles. Medea had been draining, especially when Sheshona went off to college. Medea was insecure and often used her magic to check up on Sheshona, sometimes without letting Sheshona know. The girls had arguments whenever Medea saw Sheshona out with a girl, even though it was always innocent enough. Sheshona eventually got fed up with such possessive behavior, especially since Medea refused to come out, even to her parents. The break up had gone in a strange manner where Medea had actually ended up ending things, but Sheshona did not care. She just wanted the relationship over and done with.

As far as her parents knew, Sheshona did not have any serious girlfriends while she was in college. They had no doubt that she dated; she even told Kane about some girls, but they were all flings. Sheshona just did not seem to want to spare the energy on another girlfriend that she believed would just drain her and leave her.

Sheshona ended up finishing college early with a double major, one in child development for a reason that she never disclosed and another in physics, which they knew had to do with her interest in math and engineering. After that, they did not hear from her too often. She claimed that she was going to find her own path. Kane was surprised to learn that she ended up being a mercenary for the very people that she fought against when she was teenager. Isabel was not so surprised, but that was because in her family there were all types of weirdoes with odd jobs. As long as Sheshona kept some kind of moral code while working, Isabel was fine with it. She just hoped that Sheshona had not taken the job to spite Hadrian, even though they all suspected that was the case.

They never really did find out why Sheshona had chosen to become a villain. She would never admit to that her career choice had to do with her big brother, of course. Sometimes, they knew that Hadrian thought the same; they could see the guilt in his eyes, even back then. It was one of the things that let them know he was not totally lost to them, but Sheshona never noticed. She did not want to notice.

Her parents were quite happy with the recent developments in Sheshona's life. They never imagined her almost dying would cause such wonderful changes in her life. They prayed that she stayed on the course that she was on right now and just continued to improve with each day that was granted to her.

"What should we open next? Kim and Bonnie's gift sort of throws off our system," Kane commented. Their order tended to go with from their oldest to youngest children, but now they had Shego's lovers to include, too, and he figured that they fit in more with going after Shego.

"Let's finish with the kids and then we can open Kim and Bonnie's gift," Isabel said.

Kane nodded to that and went onto the next box. He tore it open and went for the card. The card read: Hey, Mommy and Daddy, happy anniversary! My gift is going to be the best and make sure you call me! It was signed from "the Emperor." They chuckled again.

"We really messed that boy up in thinking he's an emperor," Kane remarked.

"Well, he is to us," she reminded her husband.

He nodded in agreement while digging in the box to see what was sent. Matteo, their other selfish and brainiac child, had sent tickets to a show in Italy that was a couple of nights from that night. They knew they were expensive, too, because Matteo never did anything cheap when it came to his parents, thinking that it was a way to keep him in their thoughts.

Along with the tickets, there was a ceramic bowl in the box. Kane looked at it with a craned eyebrow while Isabel nodded. He had a feeling that she understood the gift more than he did. He was pretty sure that it was some sort of rare piece of art that only Matteo could find.

Matteo was the child that they did not worry about, despite his selfish nature. In high school, he had easily made friends and joined groups that allowed all attention to be directed toward him, like the drama club. He went to college and graduated early, just like his dearest big sister, with a double major himself; one in the theater and the other in sociology of all things. Apparently, he had an interest in cultures and its affects on those who live in the society. Unfortunately, he had yet to find any jobs that he thought were worthy of him and wandered the planet, living off of his trust fund, but he was trying to find something worth settling in. They hoped that he found something soon, but as long he was happy, they were the same.

"We'll have to call him first before he has a cow," Kane pointed out.

"I know that," Isabel replied.

They moved onto the next package, knowing it was from the twins. There was no card, as there never was a card when it came to the twins. With the way that those two worked, their parents were always surprised that they even knew to send a gift.

"So, do you want to take a guess as to where they are based on the gift?" Kane proposed.

"Sounds good," Isabel replied.

They pulled out the gift together and were not sure what to make of it. It was a stuffed python that looked about ten feet long. Its jaws were open, showing off its six rows of teeth. Isabel craned an eyebrow while Kane smiled.

"This thing is so cool!" Kane declared.

"Yeah," Isabel deadpanned. "I say they're in the Amazon again from the looks of this thing."

Kane nodded in agreement. "Yeah, probably. They do love Brazil."

"They inherited your wanderlust as well as your looks. I guess you did manage at least two kids that were like you," she teased.

"Hey, that's more than you got. At least the two that are like me get along with me and everything. I mean, Shona doesn't even like you!" he countered.

Isabel snorted and rolled her eyes. "Shona's just jealous of me."

Kane could not help laughing at that one, especially since she sounded quite serious while saying it. He then turned his attention to their last shared gift, the one from Bonnie and Kim. He carefully opened the box.

"It was really sweet of them to send something. I guess this means they're serious about being with Shona, though, right?" Kane asked. He hoped that they were because he was fairly certain that Shego was head-over-heels in love.

"I think that is an accurate assumption, although I think it was safe to assume that they were serious the moment they became a trio instead of a couple. They're all so cute together," she replied.

"They are. Hell, I just realized, we should find out their birthdays and everything to send them gifts like we do with the kids. If they're this serious, they're going to be a part of Shona's life from now on and I'd like to welcome them into the family," Kane explained.

"Sounds like a brilliant idea, which might explain why I already had it."

"Yeah?"

"Yes, so we can take care of that when we need to. I'll let you know the day before, so you don't screw it up."

Kane balked and looked ready to burst into tears. "Why do you have such little faith in me, Bella!" he pretended to cry.

Isabel only laughed before opening the box from Kim and Bonnie. There was a card that simply wished the couple a happy anniversary. There was a framed photo of Shego, Kim, Bonnie, and their cat, all lounging in the living room on their sofa. Shego appeared to be asleep, which would explain why she took the picture in the first place.

"Hey, they've got a cat. I hope they aren't turning into one of those couples that get cats or dogs instead of having kids," Kane commented when he took note of their calico cat resting on top of Bonnie, who was lying on top of Kim, who resting on Shego, who was knocked out on the bottom of the pile.

"Calm down, dearest. They're not like us. They probably would like to be together for a little while before thinking about having kids. It would be nice to have a grandbaby or two by now. I mean, god, I'm fifty!" Isabel complained.

"Soon to be fifty one," Kane chimed in for no reason.

"Are you trying to call me old?" Isabel demanded to know, grabbing her husband by the collar with one hand and made a fist with the other.

"Never, sweetest, dearest Bella!" he replied while sounding like he was crying.

"That's what I thought," she huffed while letting him go.

Kane threw on one of his biggest, goofiest grins. She sighed and leaned down to kiss him just for the hell of it. His expression was dazed by the time she pulled away. She chuckled a bit when she saw his face.

"Let's see what else they sent us," she suggested.

He nodded and made a noise that she took as a sign of agreement. She pulled out some wrapping and saw that there was another box in there, which was tied up in gift-wrapping. She handed it to Kane, knowing that he just loved to tear wrapping. He ripped right into it and then opened the plain white box to reveal matching pajama sets, which got a laugh out of him.

"They are just too cute," Isabel said, referring to Kim and Bonnie.

"That they are. With luck, the boys will find themselves some girls like them," Kane commented.

"Well, Hadrian was saying that he's seeing a nice girl. He doesn't want us to meet her yet, though. He says he needs to prepare her," she informed him with a chuckle.

"This might take a while," he added in with a laugh.

Isabel only nodded; they did not have the best track record when it came to meeting their sons' girlfriends. At least Sheshona, or Shego as she preferred to be called now, knew to introduce them to the girls that could handle it; they had met maybe four of Shego's girlfriends out of who-knew-how-many. Out of those four, two were Kim and Bonnie; one of the others was Medea.

"Let's start making the calls, so we can have the rest of the day to ourselves," she suggested.

Kane nodded and they went to sit down to call up each of their children. They called Hadrian first. He was polite and did not keep them long, thanking them for the call and indulging in a minute of conversation to catch them up on his life. Matteo was a different story, though.

"Hey, Mommy, Daddy, I'm glad to hear from you! I hope you liked my gifts!" Matteo said; they could tell that he was grinning proudly as he spoke.

"They were a very thoughtful gifts, Matt," Isabel assured him. She supposed it would not be good to tell him that she planned on using his bowl as a candy dish.

"Why'd you pick something so boring?" Kane pretended to complain.

"Daddy, you saw that same thing two years ago and thought it was the greatest thing ever made," Matteo deadpanned.

"That was two years ago. It's a new year," Kane remarked, smirking. He was obviously getting a kick out of teasing their son.

"Mommy, you'll like it and you have to force Daddy to like it since it was from me," Matteo commented and they knew that he was quite serious.

"Oh, I will force your father to like it. I promise you that," Isabel vowed, glaring at Kane, causing him to fall back.

"Good to know. I know you'll love it. I saw it not too long ago. The actors in it were perfect. Of course, I would've done so much better, but you can't always have the best," Matteo remarked. They could practically feel his arrogance through the phone; it seemed to get worse as he got older.

The parents then had to wiggle their way out of the conversation with Matteo because he would talk forever if they let him. They called the twins next since it was pretty easy to hold a rushed conversation with the two of them.

"Can't talk!" Wen hollered.

"Free falling!" Wes added in.

"Just wanted to say thanks for the gift," the parents informed them before disconnecting the call.

"Hmm … want to make a bet on how Shona answers the phone?" Kane asked curiously.

"If she answers the phone. Usually, Bonnie answers when I call," Isabel replied.

"Fine, let's make a bet on who answers the phone. The winner gets to be in charge of everything during our anniversary," he proposed.

"And if Kim answers?"

"Then nobody wins and you get to keep pushing me around like always," he remarked with a grin.

Isabel agreed and then dialed up their daughter's home. They waited patiently for an answer. They would not be surprised if no one picked up since all three women in the trio were busy … well, when they all wanted to be anyway. Shego could probably sleep her life away if given the excuse to do so, her parents thought; of course, Kane did not think that was such a bad thing.

"Hello," the very familiar and happy voice of Kim chirped. Even though neither of them won the bet, Kane and Isabel could not help smiling at the sound of her voice.

"Hello, Kim dear. It's Isabel. Are my lazy daughter and your other hardworking girlfriend around? Kane and I would like to speak to all three of you," Isabel explained.

"Sure. Hold on a sec," Kim replied.

"No problem," Kane said.

"She is just too adorable," Isabel remarked under her breath, referring to Kim. Her husband nodded in total agreement.

"Mommy, what the fuck do you want?" Shego chimed in, voice as gruff as always when her mother was involved.

"Hey, firefly. Your daddy and I are calling to thank you and your girls for the wonderful gifts for our anniversary," Isabel explained.

"Whatever. We don't need your damn thanks," Shego replied. "Daddy, you don't let this demon woman push you around."

"Electra complex …" Bonnie hummed.

"I don't have a damn Electra complex!" Shego huffed.

"No, she just loves her daddy very much," Kim teased.

"Oh, fuck all of you," Shego said bluntly.

Kane decided to jump in because he had a good feeling that the four women could be at it all day if left alone. "We just wanted to say thanks for remembering us and sending gifts. You three should get back to your night. And if that's not enough of a hint, I'm trying to score here, so just hang up already," he remarked with a laugh.

"Thank you, Daddy. That's just what I needed to hear," Shego said quite sarcastically.

The call was disconnected and Kane pounced on Isabel before she could even put the phone down. Isabel was about to say something, but her typically amorous husband swallowed all of her words down. When he pulled away for air, she decided to tease him a bit.

"Strange, you mean you can still perform at your age?" she asked while caressing him below the waist, making him groan.

"I think I'll always be able to perform for you, Bella. I could be ninety and still have the energy for you. Now, you might not like that if we make it to ninety," he countered, hissing a bit as she continued to touch him.

Isabel just laughed and figured that since it was their anniversary, she would be nice and stroke his ego. "I don't think I'll ever get tired of you, dearest. No matter how stupid you act." She just could not avoid taunting him now.

"I figure you're used to my stupid behavior by now. You've been with me for over thirty-one years," he pointed out.

"Hopefully, we'll get another thirty-one," she said. "And some damn grandkids one of these days."

Kane laughed a little bit. It struck him as funny that Han women seemed to love children, even though their tough personalities seemed like childcare would not be their thing. He was sure it was this trait that made Shego major in child development. He supposed that he would enjoy grandchildren, too, but he was not as impatient with it as Isabel was. He reached down and caressed her side.

"We'll just have to wait for that. But, until then, let's get this anniversary started," he remarked.

She just smiled at him, silently agreeing. Thirty-one years of marriage and five children later, they were still deeply in love it would seem … not that Isabel would admit that, even now. Still, she would admit that they would be together until the day that one of them died. Love was a strange thing.

-8-8-8-8-

The end.

If you want to see more of Isabel and Kane, please read "In the Middle."