Boilerplate Disclaimer: The various characters from the Kim Possible series are all owned by Disney. Any and all registered trade names property of their respective owners. And cheap shots at celebrities constitute fair usage.

This is obviously set immediately after the Interlude.

A Funeral in the Family – part 1

"This the ranch?" Wade asked when Joss told him to turn into a long drive.

"Yep." She should have volunteered to drive the rental car they had picked up at the airport, but neither she nor Bego felt up to driving.

As they neared the house Wade frowned at the sight of an official vehicle. The decal on the car's door read 'County Sheriff' and he could see a man in uniform in a field talking with 'Slim' Possible. He slowed and looked closer. Several headstones were visible in the grass where the two men stood in conversation, and a low mound of dirt.

"Park the car," Joss ordered. She and Bego were out of the car before Wade had the motor off and running over to Slim. Joss threw her arms around her dad and gave him a hug. Bego wanted to hug him also. In her mind he was her father as well, but Slim had always made it clear he wanted nothing to do with the blue woman.

Slim glanced over and scowled at the young black man, who continued to stand by the rental car. He wondered if anything could go right, and turned back to the sheriff, "So, what're you going to do?"

The sheriff turned to the girls, "Joss, isn't it?"

Joss nodded, "This is Bego. She's my sister--"

"No she's not," Slim could be heard to mutter.

The sheriff said nothing. He knew of Slim's work with robotics and figured this was some companion the rancher had made for his daughter. "You're out at school back east, aren't you?"

"Yes, we are. I'm at MIT in Boston. What's the matter?"

"Been a change in state law on the disposal of a body. I'm afraid this isn't legal anymore."

"You're here to stop dad?"

"Like hell he will," Slim interjected. "Mom's goin' in by Dad."

The sheriff turned and looked at the beginning of the grave, "No law against digging a hole six feet deep on your own property." He turned to Slim, "When will your mom get here?"

"Niece is bringing her home. Got a hearse rented to bring her out. Probably two or three this afternoon."

"The funeral?"

"Tomorrow at ten."

"I'll be here with the Missus. Your parents were good folk. I'd appreciate it if you stopped by the office next week so I can charge you. You could have asked the judge for an exemption, you know. Family plot and all."

"Didn't need to talk to no judge before we buried dad."

"Times change. You got to change with them." Slim made no response, and the sheriff turned to the two women and tipped his hat, "Sorry about your grandma."

The officer headed back to his car and Slim swore softly under his breath, then turned to Joss, "Your mom's in the house with the other women in the kitchen. You best get settled so you can help."

When Joss and Bego turned to go back to the car they saw Wade struggling with two small girls. As they got closer Wade gave up the battle and Kasy and Sheki shot across the tall grass to their cousins. Joss scooped up the little redhead and hugged her while Bego took command of Sheki.

"Wade's mean!" Kasy declared emphatically.

"Why's that?"

"He wouldn't let us go out and see you while the man was there. An' then he wouldn't let us go out when you were talking with Uncle Slim."

Bego patted Sheki on the back, "Your uncle Slim is upset. It was his mommy and Grandpa James's mommy who died. You'd be very upset if your mommy died." Bego hugged the little girl tightly. "And he thinks the two of you are freaks like he thinks I'm a freak."

Joss got in the car with Wade to help him find a place to park while Bego walked the twins towards the house. They met James Possible, heading to the family plot to take his turn at the grave, and he gave them all hugs.

"How long until Kim and Shego get here?" Bego asked as her uncle hugged her.

"Got a call saying they'd arrived at the airport here," he told her. "They were waiting for the hearse to arrive, but we expect them in a couple hours." He gave the blue woman a thoughtful smile, "I'm really glad we've got Sharon in the family. It made the paperwork for bringing mom home a lot easier."

"Go play with your cousins," Bego suggested to the twins as their grandfather left them. "I need to help Wade and Joss bring in the luggage."

"Can we help?" Sheki asked.

"The other kids won't play with us," Kasy added.

Bego frowned, "Why not?"

"'Cause they're all bigger than us."

"Isn't Aunt Faith here with her grandkids?"

Sheki looked puzzled, "Aunt Faith?"

"Grandpa James and your Uncle Slim's sister. She has two grandkids about your age."

"I heard Aunt Becky say somebody had trouble with her flight," Kasy reported.

"Yeah, and… who's that thin lady with the short hair?"

"I think you mean your cousin John's wife."

"Okay, well she asked if more kids were coming and Aunt Becky said no, and Grandma Anne said that was too bad because they would have played with us."

Bego gave in, "Okay, you can help carry. But only 'cause I like you."

"Took you long enough to get here," Joss complained when the trio reached her and Wade at the car.

"You teasin' or got a problem?" Bego demanded.

The question brought Joss up short, "Sorry," she apologized. "I'm stressed."

"We're all stressed," her blue sister reminded her, and told her the news on Aunt Faith and the estimated time of arrival for Kim and Shego with Nana Possible's body.

"It's so weird to be one of the adults," Joss sighed.

"In what way?" Wade asked.

"When grandpa died I don't think I was any bigger than these two," Joss began.

"They just told me, 'Go out and play'," Bego continued. "The men dug the grave. The women cooked. Just now dad told us to go to the kitchen." He hadn't actually included Bego in his words to Joss, but the metal woman chose to take it that way.

"We goin' stand for that?" Joss asked her sister.

"Stand for what?"

"Bein' told to stay in the kitchen. We're blood kin. We loved grandma as much as anybody. I want to take a turn digging."

Bego smiled and gave her sister a high five, "I'm with you. I reckon Kim will join us. 'Sides, we're all better off keepin' her out of the kitchen."

"While you two plot a feminist war, any idea where I'm supposed to go?" Wade asked.

"You're down in the old bunkhouse with uncles Jim and Tim," Sheki told him.

"Hope you brought a warm sleepin' bag," Bego warned him.

"Gets cold at night," Joss finished, "and that place should have been torn down twenty years ago." She gave Wade a fast kiss on the cheek, then turned to the twins, "You two chipmunks know where the bunkhouse is?" They nodded yes, "Well, take Wade there. Bego and I are goin' into the house."

Joss's older brothers were in the house when the two young women went in. They both gave Joss hugs. Clint, like his father, ignored Bego as much as he could. John gave the metal girl a hug also, which she returned with gratitude. "Thanks, bro."

"No problem, Sis. We're all family." He wasn't certain what he thought of Bego. Sometimes he accepted she was a real person with his sister's memory and sometimes he wondered if she were an elaborate toy. But it made Joss happy when he was friendly with the metal girl. He dropped his arms and stepped back, staring closely at the blue woman, "Any more upgrades?"

"Nope, can't improve on perfection. I'm… I'm gonna miss her."

John gave her another hug, "We're all goin' to miss her."

"You took a turn digging yet?" Joss asked.

"Nah, let Dad and Uncle James start. It's good to do something physical when your minds are all awhirl. Once they hit hard clay we'll take over. Us and Jim and Tim. Those two shot up like weeds, but they were so skinny last time I saw 'em I thought a stiff wind would knock 'em over. Looks like they're startin' to fill out."

Joss decided to keep her plans quiet until Kim arrived and she and Bego headed for the kitchen.

Their mother hugged them both. There were more hugs and tears before the two girls were assigned jobs, and the conversation returned to a fairly constant normal. Her mother wanted to know how classes were going for Joss, and Anne made certain that Bego told about her classes as well.

Faith blew in like a thunderstorm, "Damn airlines!" she swore. "And I don't know what's wrong with my kids. I offered to pay their way and they said they couldn't make it. Nothing's more important than family."

"Amen," Slim's wife added.

Before Becky could assign a job to her sister-in-law Joss gave her aunt a hug, "Where's uncle Fred?"

"He's talking with your dad."

Bego gave Faith a hug also, "Good to see you Aunt Faith." The older woman returned the hug, although somewhat uncomfortably. Like John she hadn't made up her mind, but would give Bego some benefit of the doubt.

Forty-five minutes later Kim and Shego arrived.

"Do you need any help moving in the casket?" Bego asked.

"Nah, it's in the front room," Kim answered.

"Do you and Sharon want to help here in the kitchen or do you need a minute to rest first?" Anne asked. She knew most of the women there were mildly uncomfortable around Kim since she came out to the family, and some of them were very uncomfortable around Shego.

Before Shego could answer Faith interrupted, "Any problems getting mom home? I hear you're a lawyer."

"Yeah, it probably helped. It was just making sure all the forms are initialed and signed."

"Thanks," Faith told her, and a couple other women added their own thanks. Whether they liked Kim's partner or not they appreciated having her shoulder that responsibility.

"Kim, why don't you lie down for a little while," Shego suggested. "I'll stay and help in the kitchen." Shego looked at the women, "She hasn't slept well since we got the news."

"Actually, I'd like Kim to take my back when I go out to fight daddy," Joss added.

Her mom looked at her sharply, "We do not need a fight today!"

"I want to take a turn diggin' the grave. I don't want to just be stuck in the kitchen. She's my grandmother. I need to do it."

"What we're going in here is important," her mother reminded her.

"I'm not sayin' it's not. But why can't I do both? I need that too. I need…" Joss started to cry.

Bego put her hand on Joss's arm, "We need that closure too. In my mind she's my grandmother. I remember her teachin' me how to skip rocks on the pond. I remember her holdin' me when I was sick. I need a turn too."

Kim stepped over and put an arm around Joss, "I hadn't thought about that… You're right. I'll go out with you. You want me to take point against your dad and you can have my back?"

"No you won't," Faith said sharply. Before Shego could jump to Kim's defense Kim's aunt continued, "Joss is right. I'm going out with you. And my brother better know better than to say no."

Kim, Joss, Bego, and aunt Faith left the kitchen.

"Oh dear, that's not going to be good," Becky sighed.

"But they're right," Anne countered.

"Maybe, but we don't need a fight before the funeral."

"Little hard to fight over digging a grave unless there's going to be a funeral," Shego pointed out. John and Clint's wives laughed nervously and Shego changed the topic, "Anne, how were the twins on the flight? Any problems?"

Everyone seemed grateful to have a different subject to talk about and children and grandchildren became the topic for discussion in the kitchen.

Dinner that evening was simple, most of the cooking during the day had been for the lunch after the ceremony in the morning.

Jim and Tim argued who had developed the most blisters while they were digging, and Joss's older brothers laughed at both of them and accused them of not knowing how to do honest work. Joss felt slightly ashamed of her own three blisters - she saw them as a sign of weakness and didn't mention them. But her Aunt displayed hers as a badge of honor.

After dinner Wade headed to the bunkhouse with Jim and Tim to discuss work at Lipsky and Load.

Most of the adults gathered in the living room after dinner. Anne and Becky joined them after loading the dishwasher. They asked why family never got together anymore except for weddings and funerals, and said they needed to try harder. Faith made the uncomfortable observation that with the passing of their mother she and her brothers, with their spouses, were now the 'old' generation. And they retold the stories they all knew of their mother, mother-in-law, and grandmother.

Joss and Bego, on the uncomfortable cusp between child and adult, were asked to watch the children. Joss took her brothers' kids. They were old enough to have some idea about death and they mostly needed someone to listen to their fears and talk with them. Kasy and Sheki, too young to really understand what was happening, were put in Bego's care and she kept them busy with games until bedtime.

With the nearest motel forty miles away sleeping space was at a premium. As the conversation wound down John and Clint headed down for the bunkhouse also, leaving their wives and kids to the greater comfort of the house. Twenty minutes later the door of the house opened and two more figures emerged into the night carrying sleeping bags.

"Calm down," Kim urged Shego.

"Jesus, Kim, did he think we were going to rape Joss?"

"I said, calm down. Uncle Slim's upset. He just lost his mom."

"His problems started long before your grandma died. Uncle Stupid makes Hego look sane."

"Please, he's my uncle."

"Oh, and what does that mean? Possibles aren't allowed to be pricks, or that we just have to accept it?"

"Shego, please. I don't need this right now. I need sleep. Want to sleep in one of the cars or crash with the guys in the bunkhouse?"

"I want to stretch out, so no car. And this afternoon your uncle gave me enough testosterone bullshit for my whole monthly quota - so the spit and scratch house is out… Did I see a barn?"

"Yeah."

"Want a roll in the hay?"

"Not tonight, dear. I've got a headache. But just you and me, cuddling together in the hay loft? I definitely think I could live with that."