Boilerplate Disclaimer: Disney owns all the characters from Kim Possible.
All's Fair in Love – part 1 - Joss vs. Wade
Joss and Bego sat cross-legged on the bed and talked.
The blue girl shook her head, "I don't know… Aren't you worried that could mess things up even more than they already are?"
"Yeah," Joss admitted, "but I got to try somethin'."
Bego sighed, then burst into laughter and lost her train of thought. "Did you see that?" she demanded.
"See what… You sighed!" She gave her metal sister a high five. "Callin' Viv to say it worked?"
"You bet… Wait, we were talking about you and Wade and your crazy plan."
"You really think it's crazy?"
Bego hesitated for a minute, then shrugged. "Yeah. I think it is. But you probably need something crazy. You said he's seeing a therapist? Maybe you should both go."
"He's comin' out this weekend. Can you be gone Friday night?"
"You're going through with it?"
Bego hugged her sister. "I really hope it works. For both of you."
"Thanks," Joss responded, patting the robot girl on the back.
Dinner at some restaurant on Harvard Square had become a ritual for Joss and Wade. His almost photographic memory reminded them where they'd been as they tried to eat their way through the Square, and where they wanted to eat again.
"Want to walk around the Square?" he asked as they left the restaurant.
"Nope, we're goin' back to my place."
As Joss turned the key to let them into the apartment Wade asked, "Bego home?"
"She's out for the night, the whole night." She said it emphatically, to impress that fact on Wade's mind.
"Sit on the couch," she told him as she locked the door behind them. "We need to talk."
Since they had started dating again she would normally have sat on his lap and they would have done more kissing and cuddling than talking. Tonight she sat on the chair beside the couch and stared, wondering if there was any good way to begin.
After a long silence he asked, "Well? You said we need to talk." He was desperately afraid she was about to dump him.
She couldn't find a good way to start the conversation, and plunged ahead, "I've been practically throwin' myself at you the last few months. What's wrong? Don't you want me?"
"No what? No, you don't want me, or no you do want me?"
"I want you."
"Then what's the problem?"
Wade leaned his head back on the couch and stared at the ceiling. He'd known this conversation would come. He talked about it with his psychologist. He didn't want to talk about it with Joss. He had hoped to work through the problem without saying a word to her. What would he tell her now?
Joss broke the silence. "I reckon there are a couple problems between us, and it has to do with our history."
He nodded in agreement.
"That night," she began. She referred to it as that night. They both knew exactly what night she was talking about. "I backed out. I said we were goin' to make love, and I backed out and said, 'no'. Are you afraid I'm goin' to back out again?"
Glad to have an easy answer Wade agreed, "Yeah, that's part of it."
Encouraged Joss plunged ahead, maybe her idea wasn't completely crazy. Maybe her plan was just what they needed. "You… You really lost it that night… You hurt me. Are you afraid you might lose it again? Are you afraid you might hurt me again?"
She could see tears filling his eyes as he answered, "Yeah, that's a part of it too."
Joss felt a moment of triumph. This was going to work. This was exactly what he needed. Before she could say a word, however, fear hit her like a blow to the stomach. "Wade… You said the fear I'd back out was part of the problem. You said the fear you'd lose it was part of the problem… Are those two parts the whole problem, or is there more you aren't tellin' me?"
There was a long pause before he answered, "There's more."
There was another long pause before she asked, "You goin' to tell me?"
"I'd rather not."
"Wade, you have to tell me. I can't take this. I want someone to love me. If it's not you I'm liable to go lookin' for someone who will."
"I think that's the problem."
Her brow wrinkled, "I got no idea what you mean."
"I mean the guys you… The guys you slept with when you came out here. I mean, maybe there's a level that it wasn't my business. We weren't dating. We were barely speaking… I… It just tears me up. Jealousy, anger, I don't know what it is. I… I'm trying to talk with my psychologist about it."
Joss had not expected that. Maybe her idea was exactly the wrong thing to do. But it also felt like an attack. "You're right," she told him bitterly. "It isn't your business."
"I didn't say it was," he reminded her.
"Yeah, but you also said it makes you think I'm too dirty for you to touch."
"And I never said that at all."
"You said the same thing."
"No I didn't."
"Yes you did."
"I said I wasn't sure what my problem was. Maybe I'm jealous of them. Maybe I'm angry with them. Maybe I'm angry with you. Maybe I'm angry with me for ruining what I had with you."
The conversation was turning more complicated than Joss wanted to deal with, and she still felt defensive. "I think I needed that."
"You needed to hurt me for what I did to you?"
"I didn't say that… Wade, you know that old sayin' about someone just fallin' off the turnip truck?"
Of course he did, but he nodded anyway to agree with her.
"When I got to Middleton I was fresh off the turnip truck. Never been out on a date with anyone, never kissed anyone… Not for real. If you and I had just kept on datin' I'd have always wondered if we were right for each other, or if'n I'd dated more I might'a found someone I liked more."
"So, you were comparison shopping," he observed sarcastically.
"It's not like that," she snapped. "You're the one I want to be with. And you won't touch me. How do you think that makes me feel?"
There was another pause before he admitted, "I don't know."
"Maybe I should go see the psychologist with you."
"Maybe… It might help."
"Wade, I've got to accept that night happened. But I want us to go on. I'm not goin' to let that one night break us up. I--"
"You had more than one night," he told her bitterly.
She almost slapped him. "It's not your business! Not any more. Not ever. I'm tellin' you I'm puttin' the past behind. I want us to have a future. If you want us to have a future you have to put the past behind too." Joss tensed in fear. What if he walked out now? She should have never brought it up. He said he was talking with his therapist. She should have just given him more time. Her idea was crazy.
"I'm sorry. Intellectually, I know you're right. But it's still tearing me apart inside. I want to make love to you, I just--"
"You really want us to make love?"
"Yes. I just--"
She was going ahead. She had to. She had to know if he was afraid to touch her or not. "Go into the bedroom, now."
"Bedroom, now," she ordered.
"Take off your clothes, and lie down on the bed," she told him as she pushed the door to her bedroom open.
"Take off my clothes?"
"You heard me."
Lying on top of the bed were several lengths of cotton rope. The bitterness returned to his voice, "You entertain this way often?"
"Damn it, Wade, I've never had to do this before. I've never had to tie to boy down to make him love me." She stomped over to the wastebasket and pulled out the plastic wrap that had been around the rope when she purchased it at the hardware shop. She shoved the wrap in his face, "Brand new, just for you."
Wade panicked slightly. Was this some kind of twisted revenge for what he'd done to her?
"What are you going to--"
"Take off your clothes," she repeated. "Lie down on the bed. I'm tyin' you down."
"I'm not a big fan of being tied down," he reminded her nervously, "especially tied down naked."
Joss kicked herself mentally, how could she have forgotten Innsmouth? "I'm not a squid," she pointed out. "Don't worry about me eatin' you. I'm goin' to leave you feelin' better than you've ever felt in your life."
"I don't think I want--"
"You said one of your worries was losin' control, right?"
"Well, if'n you're tied down you can't lose control. The control is out of your hands. You can't hurt me."
"But what if--"
"And you don't have to worry about me backin' out. Anythin' that's about to happen… Everythin' that's about to happen, is happenin' because I want it too."
"This isn't revenge?"
"You'll untie me afterwards?"
"I'll untie you as soon as I'm done." She kissed him, "I love you. Now, take off your clothes."
It felt surreal to undress while she stood and watched him, and slightly scary as she tied him down. "That's not too tight, is it?"
"I'm not tryin' to hurt you. When I had this idea I just didn't want you to worry about me backin' out or you hurtin' me. I wanted you to know I just want for us to make love, to do it right."
There was a little tone of amusement in his voice as he asked, "And this is the right way to make love?"
"Well, probably not," she admitted. "I'm hopin' that when you realize how much I want us to be together, how much I want us to make love, that I won't be needin' the ropes again."
After tying Wade down on the bed Joss took off her clothes and laid down beside him. She propped herself up on one elbow and looked down at him. "Still nervous?" she asked, smiling at him.
"A little," he admitted.
She kissed him, and gently ran her fingers over his chest while exploring his mouth with her tongue. "Still nervous?" she asked again at the end of the kiss.
"Not quite as much now," he grinned.
Joss kissed him again. The kiss lasted a long time, with Joss's hand roaming over his body. Then her kisses began to get lower, kissing him on the neck, the chest, the stomach, and working still lower.
After several minutes Joss complained, "Dang it, Wade, you're thinkin' about somethin' else. What is it?"
"I'm wondering who taught that to you. How often you've done it."
She changed position and let him suck on a breast. "Don't think about it," she told him. "Don't think about anythin' but the fact we're here now." One hand continued to check for his level of distraction. She shifted, and gave him the other breast, "A little harder," she panted, "you're doin' great."
She began kissing down his body again. She had done a very good job of draining all the blood from his brain. Wade's eyes were closed and he was moaning softly when she rolled over and began looking for something on the nightstand.
He opened his eyes, looking slightly dazed, "Wha?"
"A raincoat for Mr. Happy," she explained, pulling it out of the little package and putting it on him. After finishing with the protection she smiled at him, "Wade, I'm doin' this because I want to do this. I'm not backin' out tonight. This is my idea. But I'll stop if you want me to. Do you want this too?"
She kissed him quickly, "That's what I wanted to hear," and threw a leg over him. She tried to guide him and position herself, but it wasn't as easy as she thought it would be. "Dang it, should have called Justine and asked how she does it."
"I think Felix gets to use his hands."
"Well after tonight you can too… I think I've got it."
It took her a couple minutes to get the motion and rhythm the way she wanted.
All Wade could do was lie there and stare up at her as Joss rocked back and forth on top of him. Her eyes were closed and she smiled broadly. After several minutes Joss began to moan herself. The rocking motion became faster, and she ground herself against him.
Fifteen minutes later Joss fell forward on top of him, panting for breath and kissing him between breaths. "Is Mr. Happy happy?" she giggled when she could finally talk.
"Oh yeah… Are you happy?"
"I was happy twice," she laughed.
"So, you'll untie me now?"
She gave him a fast kiss, "You weren't listenin' to the fine print, were you?"
"You promised to untie me after we were done."
"I promised to untie you after I was done. Not sure I'm yet." She kissed him again. "Please?"
"I don't know if--"
"Can I try?"
Sometime later Joss panted, "Give me a minute to catch my breath." After a minute she untied his arms and flopped down on the bed, staring up at the ceiling. "You'll need to untie your own legs. You can have the bathroom first - goin' to take me a minute before I can stagger in."
She was still staring up at the ceiling when he came out a few minutes later.
"Your turn," he told her.
"Thanks," she answered, rolling off the bed.
When she got back Wade was putting on his pants. "What do you think you're doin', Mister. Goin' back to the wife?"
"No, I just thought I'd spend the night at--"
"You think too much, Wade. Take the pants back off and get into bed and no one gets hurt. You're goin' to hold me all night long. And tomorrow you're goin' to show me what you can do without both hands tied behind your back."
She closed her eyes as they lay in the darkness. It felt good to be in his arms, to know he'd be there in the morning.
"Marry me," he whispered.
"You got the order wrong. You're supposed to ask me that so you can get in bed with me." She felt the arm around her start to pull away. She grabbed his arm, and kept it on her. "It was the wrong thing to say, wasn't it?"
"I was jus' tryin' to be funny. I hoped… I guess I hoped this solved everythin'."
"No, I guess it doesn't," she admitted. "But I figure it's a good start." She turned her head and kissed him. "I love you."
He held her in his arms, "I love you too."
Morning light illuminated the room as she lay on top of him, almost purring.
"I like it better when I can move my arms."
"I like you both ways… Heck, you're more fun than Tornado."
"Tornado? Wasn't he your robot horse?"
"I used to love to ride him. Had a saddle with a big ol' saddle horn I could rub up against, and there was a canter speed that I just loved. Don't think daddy ever figured out why I liked to ride around the ranch so much. You're a lot more fun."
"I should hope so."
"Hey, if you knew how much fun I used to have out ridin' you'd be right flattered by the comparison."
"Okay, I feel flattered."
"Good. Can I call you my black Tornado?"
"Not where anyone else can hear you," Wade sighed. "And you never tie me down again."
"Never?" she pouted. "That was fun."
"The squid thing, remember."
"Maybe that was therapy for that too."
"I don't think that was therapy…" Wade fell silent.
"You think we need some real therapy?"
"Couldn't hurt. Might do us some good."
"I remember Kim and Shego talked with counselors a couple times when they first got together. Heck, I figure on the surface we've got a better chance of things workin' for us than they did startin' out."
"So you'll marry me?'
"You goin' to keep askin' me to marry you after every time we make love?"
"Only until you say yes."
They were too busy talking to hear the keys in the locks, but they heard the, "Anyone home?" as Bego entered.
Wade quickly pulled the sheets up over them. "In here," Joss called. "I'm in bed with my new Tornado."
"JOSS!" Wade and Bego yelled together. "You weren't going to tell anybody about that!" "You told him about that?"
"You can open the door," Joss called, "we're covered."
"You told him that?" Bego repeated, looking into the bedroom.
"You told me you wouldn't tell anyone else you called me that," Wade reminded her.
Joss answered Wade first, "Bego doesn't count, we're practically the same person. I have to tell her everything." She turned to her metal sister, "He was a lot of fun. He didn't care much for being tied--"
"You told her you were going to do that?" Wade gasped.
"I told you, I have to tell her everything." She turned back to the blue girl, "But he was a lot of fun--"
"At least she didn't yell, 'Yee-ha!'," Wade muttered.
Bego shook her head, "Don't give her ideas."
Joss returned to the topic of conversation, "Seriously, it was great. You want to take him out for a ride?"
"JOSS!" the two yelled at her together as she collapsed into a fit of giggles.
"What did you do to her," Bego demanded.
"I didn't do anything! I swear."
"Well you must have done something, I haven't seen her this happy in years."
"I haven't been this happy in years, and it's all your fault," she told Wade, as she started to tickle him.
Afraid of losing the sheet Wade threw his arms around her and held her tight. Joss didn't seem to mind.
Bego shook her head, "I am going to assume you haven't had breakfast yet."
"No," Joss admitted.
"Why don't you get dressed and eat. I want to hear what's happening."
"He keeps asking me to marry him," Joss blurted out, unwilling to wait until breakfast to spread the news.
"He does?" Bego smiled
"Sure 'nuff. And he does it after we make love. I think he likes me."
"Seems like a reasonable inference. Does he know about--"
"No. I don't think that will be a problem."
"What?" Wade asked, suddenly afraid of the unknown.
"What's the problem?" Wade demanded.
"It's not a problem," Joss told him. Wade looked worried.
"We made a little promise to Dad before we went to Middleton to go to school."
Wade looked puzzled, "A promise?"
"I've got to get Dad's permission to get married," Joss explained.
"He was afraid I'd meet someone like Shego and turn gay or something," Bego continued.
"But that's not--"
"Well, he was worried about it."
Wade's brow wrinkled in thought, "So… Do I need to call your father and ask for his daughter's hand in marriage?"
"Nah, I'll call after breakfast," Joss told him. "I'll tell him that the most wonderful man in the world asked me to marry him. And he'll say I can."
"But what if he doesn't?" ran through three minds.
After breakfast Joss left Wade and Bego in the small living room and went into the bedroom to make the call, "I don't need you two sayin' rude things in the background."
Wade and Bego made small talk while they waited for her return. "You've really gotten over your accent," he told her.
"Thanks, I had it surgically removed." He smiled, and she continued. "Too many people judge more on how you sound than what you know. I've got classes where people with dumb ideas get a hearing because they use large words. Speak poorly and you don't get a hearing at all."
"Engineering is easier, in some ways. There's a right answer. Doesn't matter how good you sound if you can't make something work. Besides, I think Joss likes to surprise folks. She keeps the hick sound so not much is expected of her - then knocks their socks off with her brains."
"Actually, I was wondering if you ditched the accent, in part, to make yourself distinct from her."
The blue girl paused. "I don't know. Maybe. I mean, Jim and Tim need to show they're different people. In my mind I still think I'm Joss most of the time. I mean, all our early memories are the same. I think that's why I'm majoring in philosophy. Joss could have gone liberal arts if she wanted. I could have gone science and engineering like she--" Bego paused as the bedroom door opened and dejected looking Joss stomped into the room and flopped down on the couch by Wade. "Not a happy face," her metal sister observed.
"So…" Wade began.
"Dang it! He could'a listened better!"
"What does that mean," Wade asked.
"I hit him with somethin' too new. I reckon Dad doesn't like surprises. I'll keep after him. He has to give in. I love you."
"I love you," Wade told her.
"'Sides, we weren't planning on getting' married right away, were we?"
"Define right away."
"Well, I'm not. I got to graduate first."
"It'll will also give the two of you time to come to your senses," Bego pointed out. "That is, assuming you want to come to your senses."
Wade and Joss looked at each other, "I see no need to second guess asking you to marry me."
As the two kissed Bego observed, "I hate to get Jesuitical, but--"
"Time!" Joss called, breaking the kiss, "Jesuitical?"
"Paying more attention to the words of a law than the spirit," Wade explained.
"It was an insult their enemies used against the Jesuits."
"Dang, you two gangin' up on me to make me feel dumb?"
"Of course not," Bego assured her. "You want to talk electronics with Wade and make me feel stupid?"
Joss giggled, "I get your point."
"I was going to mention that we only promised not to get married without Dad's permission. There was no promise against becoming engaged."
"True 'nuff. Wade, want to look at rings?"
Bego shook her head, "I'm sorry I mentioned it. Look, why don't you two just calm down a little. You can pick out rings next week, or next month. It's still more than a year until graduation. You two act like you've been chewing loco weed." She eventually coached them down to earth, but only with the promise she would go with them the next day to start looking at rings.
Wade suggested going out to dinner to celebrate, and Joss told Bego to invite a friend. Bego tended to feel a little self-conscious at meals, because she didn't eat, but had a guy in a Lit class who she wanted to know better and gave him a call.
Wade called his mother, to let him know that he had made a proposal. She spent the rest of the phone call moving erratically between telling him he was too young, and telling him how wonderful it was that he'd found a good woman.
Dinner went well. Wade and Joss actually had calmed down enough to talk with someone besides each other and Bego's friend fit in well.
The couple managed to put off buying a ring for more than a month. Wade wanted her wearing a symbol that proclaimed she was taken. He suspected he was too jealous, but that was the way he felt.
Joss spoke with Slim on the topic at least once a week. Or at least she tried. She had the sense he tuned her out whenever Wade came up, and his answer was always 'no'. She was too young; it could wait.
Bego and Joss spent the first week of winter break in Montana, then went to Middleton. Finding time for the two of them to be alone proved difficult for Wade and Joss. Although they weren't able to spend time alone Joss got to know Wade's parents better. Lipsky and Load held an engagement party for the couple. During the party Wade made an off-hand remark about Joss coming to work there after graduation.
Zita tensed at Wade's statement, but chose not to make a scene at the party. Wade did not make the hiring decisions for Lipsky and Load.
The two did some preliminary work on places to live. The first day they visited a couple farms which had been on the market.
"Are you really set on livin' in the country?" Joss asked.
"Isn't that what you want?"
"Wade, I grew up on a ranch. I know how much work it is. 'Less one of us is goin' to take care of it full-time the answer's no."
They discussed relative merits of building new, and getting exactly what they wanted, or upgrading an existing home. The day before Joss went back to MIT Wade took her to Kim and Shego's neighborhood. They walked around a couple blocks, noticing vacant lots for sale.
"I think we might consider building here."
"Why? I mean, it'd be okay to be close to family, but I don't need it."
Wade pointed towards Middleton U, "The University is expanding in this direction. They just finished buying up the houses on two blocks a couple blocks over. The new Middleton University Science library will be going up there."
"So we'd be…"
"About three blocks away."
Joss laughed, "Don't know which of us is weirder."
"What do you mean?"
"I mean, you're pretty odd, thinkin' you can turn my head by promisin' me a home close to a science library. But I must be pretty odd too - it worked."
They spent the evening talking about what they wanted in a dream house.
Zita read the riot act to Wade after Joss and Bego returned to Boston.
"But we'll be needing another engineer! Business is doing great!"
"We'll hire someone new when we have to, but we're not keeping the job open for Joss."
"She's going to be my wife."
"That doesn't mean she's qualified."
"You don't think she's qualified?"
"I'm not an engineer. I don't know if she is good, bad, or indifferent. But I'm in charge of running this place - and we're not padding payroll to keep you happy."
Wade kept his thoughts to himself. He had to acknowledge Zita had a point. But Joss wasn't padding payroll. They could almost use someone now. Hiring someone now would make it harder to bring Joss on. He sighed, he'd work extra hard and not complain for the next few months - try to downplay the need for someone else until Joss could be considered. The firm needed Joss, and he would not let Zita stand in the way