It took Shego a couple days to master her domain. Her instinct had been to head for Kim as soon as she broke jail, and it had taken all the willpower she had to return to the Lair instead. Drakken made things a little easier for her by sending her to steal some plans from a research center in Europe. She caught herself thinking about being sloppy on purpose so that Kim would hear about the theft and come to stop her, but professional pride wouldn't allow it.
But nothing could stop her from thinking about Kim and Friday night. There would be no dinner at her parent's house. She needed to find a special place for her first time with Kim. Middleton didn't have a hotel nice enough… Upperton Hilton might be worthy of the redhead. Should she reserve the bridal suite before talking with Kim? Did she even need to talk to Kim? That kiss had said they were thinking the same thing. Shego thought about what she wanted to do with Kim once they were in bed, but soon realized the list included everything she knew, and then spending time looking for new ways to please another person. Would Kim let them spend the night together, or insist on turning into a pumpkin at one and going home? That led Shego to think about Kim's parents. She and Kim needed to keep things from them, it would be too awkward eating or playing cards with them if they knew she was having hot lesbian sex with their daughter. Could Kim keep a secret from her parents?
Kim could not keep her mind off Shego the rest of the week. The kiss had been too real, too deep. Their little pecks on the cheek could simply be polite, Shego's kiss in their first struggle for the magnetron might have been teasing, like Kim's kiss for the Legals. But when their lips met last weekend and their tongues explored each other's mouths Kim realized she wanted Shego. And when Shego's arms had gone around Kim, pulling her close, Kim had realized that Shego wanted her with the same passion. Kim had never felt anything like this combination of giddy lust and guilt. She had sucker punched Shego! She replayed the scene in her head again and again, feeling guilty every time she thought of punching Shego. Other times she changed the ending in her mind, dreaming of what might have been. In her favorite scenario she never punched Shego, the two of them had continued their kiss until they started to rip each other's clothes off.
They would not stay at C2K this week. Kim wasn't sure where they go or exactly what they would do, but the two of them would go somewhere private and explore what could have happened if no blow had been struck.
Friday the Thirteenth
“Exactly what do two women do in bed together? Could I call Alex and ask?” Kim wondered. On Friday morning Kim's mind was more on that thought and Shego than the Global Justice class when the accident happened. A pepper spray dispenser disguised as a ballpoint pen can be an effective means of disabling a violent criminal, but can be dangerous if you try and use it for class notes.
When the call came to the Middleton hospital Mrs. Dr. Possible demanded they move her to Middleton.
“Look, Dr. Possible, we can guard her more closely here in the Global Justice infirmary.”
“Thank you for your kindness Dr. Director, but I'm interested in her medical care. Are you telling me your medical facilities there are better than our hospital?”
The head of Global Justice paused before answering, “Well, no. But the security is better here. Kim has enemies. They might try to take advantage of her blindness--”
“And Kim has two eyes and I want to make sure she can still use them. If she needs corneal transplants I want her here and I want her here as soon as humanly possible.”
The eyes were the big worry, although there was a chance of permanent damage to her sense of smell also. Through the pain Kim had managed to joke with the men loading her onto the helicopter. “Oh doctor, will I ever smell again.”
“Like roses, kid, like roses,” he assured her.
Nothing seemed to help the pain, so intense she couldn't even sink into fear of losing her eyesight. By evening she was in a private room at the Middleton Hospital, with GJ agents manning key positions at both ends of the corridor and the roof.
There was no effort to report Kim's accident, indeed both Global Justice and the hospital did their best to keep it from being known, but it was impossible to fully suppress the news. Dr. Possible called the Stoppables, who had no idea how to get in touch with Ron, and then left a voice mail on Monique's phone.
Monique listened to the message three times. If Shego wanted to hurt Kim this was when it was going to happen. She reflected on her last call with each woman. Shego would not hurt Kim. “Two women have no business doing things with each other,” she told herself. “But it's not my job to judge them. Kim would want her to know.”
Kim's mom was in the security office, talking with the head of the hospital security staff about extra precautions when the man exclaimed, “Damn, we've got problems.” She turned to see the monitor behind her, which showed Kim's room. “I'll alert the Global Justice--”
“Don't,” Dr. Possible told him. “that is, um, a friend of Kim's. She is checking out the security system.”
“Well she sure as hell found a hole in it. I need to--”
“Please, don't do anything. I'll go talk with her.”
Meanwhile, in Kim's room, “Hey, Kimmie, drink some of this,” Shego whispered in her ear, then put a straw up to her mouth. Kim wasn't quite sure what it was, the nose damage affected her sense of taste, but it was cold and sweet.”
Hearing a noise outside Kim's room Shego hissed, “Got to disappear for a minute Kim. I'm right here is you need me.”
“Shego, front and center, now!” Dr. Possible demanded in an angry voice.
A ceiling panel slid back and Shego dropped noiselessly down.
“What the hell were you giving to Kim?
“What do you mean?” she asked, trying to sound innocent.
“I mean the security camera in the corner,” Dr. Possible pointed behind Shego, who turned and cursed herself for missing something so obvious. It had to be her concern for Kim that was making her sloppy. “And I mean that glass with the straw still in it on the night table.”
“Okay, I worried that the IV might not be enough pain killer. I brought her a strawberry daiquiri.”
“So you came here to get Kim drunk. And what are you doing here at all? There are security men in the hall outside to keep any unauthorized personnel out of this room.”
“Yeah, and you can tell how good they are by the fact I'm in here,” Shego snarled.
Dr. Possible tried to calm down. “Shego, the hospital has regulations, you really do need to leave.”
“No, I don't. Kim has enemies. They aren't all in jail. And you don't know where some of them are. I don't know where some of them are. But if they know Kim is here they could try to harm her.”
“And I'm supposed to feel safer with you guarding her?” Jean Possible glared at the other woman, then brought her anger under control. “I'm sorry Shego. I'm upset.” Dr. Possible hugged the shorter woman, who appeared startled at first, then returned the embrace.
“Phew, you stink!”
“It wasn't exactly easy to get in here past the guards.”
“So you plan to stay in that space over the ceiling?”
“I want to be close to Kim. If she needs help the closer I am the better.”
“How long do you plan to stay?”
“Until she can see to go home?”
“That could be days at the least. Longer if, if…”
“Don't say that! She's going to be fine. I've got a little time, I'm using some personal days to stay here.”
“Well, yes. I used up my sick leave with a bad case of the flu.”
Dr. Possible almost smiled. “This is a hospital, there are regulations. I can't have you crawling around and through God-knows-what and over ceilings with sick patients. I'm ordering you into the bathroom to take a shower. And give me those tights, they're going to the laundry.
“You're going to turn me over to security naked?”
“I'm not going to turn you over to security at all.” She picked up a bag from the second bed in the room, “Here's a pair of hospital pajamas, I'll find something to cover your hair. There's an empty bed in here and you're going in it. I'll tell security you're a bodyguard I hired. Kim says she calls you Sheila at the coffee house. You'll go on the hospital rolls as Sheila Goldberg -- here with an unusual jaundice problem.”
“Mom? Mom?” Dr. Possible and Shego both ran to Kim's bedside. “Thanks Mom.”
When Shego emerged from the bathroom fifteen minutes later she handed Dr. Possible a plastic bag with her costume inside. Shego had a towel wrapped around her hair. Without makeup she looked almost as young as Kim to Dr. Possible.
“I'll get this washed for you.”
“It needs to be dry cleaned, there is some circuitry in there.” Then Shego noticed Kim's glass was empty, and that Dr. Possible had poured the rest of the daiquiri thermos into two glasses.
“It was really stupid to give a patient anything unless you know how it will react with her other medications,” Dr. Possible warned her. “Never do that again.” Shego nodded, sloppy and stupid, she wasn't doing anything right today. “Fortunately, I do know. The alcohol won't conflict with her other meds. It may even help her sleep -- I let her finish the glass.” She handed Shego one of the full glasses. “Here, I think Kim has had enough for someone with no experience with alcohol. She is asleep now. And I hate to say this, but this is good.”
“Thanks,” said Shego, pushing back the glass, “but I'm working and the way I've been screwing up tonight I don't want to take any more chances.”
“And I'm driving, so I'm going to pour yours down the sink and rinse these all out. Hospitals have regulations and I don't want anyone noticing the ones we just broke.”
Shego was in bed when Dr. Possible came back into the room. “Here is the button for the night nurse. Call if Kim… If you need anything. This one calls security… I guess you don't plan to use that. Here is the TV remote. Any questions.”
“Uh, Dr. Possible? The second bed. The pajamas that were in here. You were planning to spend the night here, weren't you?”
“Yes, I was.”
There was an awkward pause, “Thanks for letting me stay.”
“I'm doing it for Kim.”
“You really don't like me, do you?”
Jean Possible sat down on the chair and thought for a minute before answering. “No, I don't. It's nothing personal… My, that sounds stupid, doesn't it? How can you dislike someone without it being personal?”
“I really appreciate the fact you're always polite to me and don't forbid Kim to see me.”
“James and I promised ourselves we wouldn't object to whoever our kids brought home. We weren't expecting you when we made that promise. We love her very much and we will never knowingly hurt her. We will support her in her choices, even if we don't agree with them. If it makes you feel any better, as I've come to know you I've realized you aren't the monster I feared. That's why I'm letting you stay here.”
“Thank you for trusting me.”
“I'm not certain I do. But I know Kim does.”
In the chaos after the accident Wade hadn't been contacted. When he caught the rumor he immediately called for confirmation. Shego surprised him when she answered the Kimmunicator.
“Hey, Witch. How is she?”
“The doctors say she should be okay. She's asleep now so she can't talk. I wish someone else had done this to her so I could beat the crap out of them.”
“Anything I can do to help?”
“I've got a few names I'd like you to check. I want to know if any anyone might be in a position to hurt Kim.”
“Drakken on the list?”
“No. I don't think he'd attack anyone in the hospital. And I know he wouldn't make a move against Kim without me at his side. I'm not answering my cell phone if his ID pops up so he can't even ask.”
Shego lay in bed and stared over at the sleeping Kim. She tried to remember the exact words Kim's mother had used, ‘We love her very much and we will never knowingly hurt her.’ She wondered if her parents felt that way. She had always felt that Henry was their favorite. She felt like they forced her into Henry's dream, but maybe they saw all their children as heroes. If they thought that they were wrong, but they weren't trying to hurt her.
Shego turned her attention back to Kim. She'd wanted the two of them to rent a hotel room for the night. What would that have done to Kim's parents -- two people who treated her decently? What would that have done to Kim? The two of them had no future. She didn't want to rob Kim of her innocence, the way hers had been taken from her. Shego wondered about her own fate. She'd be useless, never able to fight Kim again. “I'll never knowingly hurt you, Princess,” the pale woman whispered to the sleeping patient. The only way she could imagine not hurting Kim was to find a way to get out of the younger woman's life. It would hurt them both a little now, but would be better in the long run.
Saturday was probably the worst. The pain medication didn't suppress it all and left Kim with waking nightmares. Despite the lack of media coverage the word got around about Kim's injury. Various friends stopped by, usually for only a few minutes since Kim was incoherent and rambling. Shego kept the curtain closed around her bed for most of the visitors. Dr. Possible spent most of they day in the chair besides Kim's bed. She appeared to have slept poorly and sometimes dozed off from exhaustion.
Many of the visitors were Global Justice agents, which brought a certain level of tension to the room. While Betty Director was there, chatting casually with Kim's mom, she handed her a note, “Are you being threatened or blackmailed?”
“Oh, God, she knows!”
Jean Possible shook her head no, but Betty Director noticed the slight look of fear in her eyes.“Is she worried about Shego or us?”
Half a dozen times during the day Kim tried to tear out the IV drip, it took much of Shego's strength to keep her from accomplishing the goal. Dr. Possible found herself appreciating Shego's help. They two chatted as much as they could, but each feared what the other might say for it to be very much. Mostly they took turns holding Kim's hand.
There was one breakthrough. “Sheila. I'm tired of you calling me Dr. Possible. Please leave that for James. Call me Jean.”
Dr. Possible closed Shego's curtain when the eye doctors came in for a consultation, but Shego listened carefully.
“She should be fine, the chemicals are not designed to do any permanent damage--”
“But neither were they meant to be fired at point blank range into the eyes--”
“Fortunately the doctors at the facility did a wonderful job of flushing the chemicals out of her eyes--”
“Hah, that is what they claim. We won't know anything for certain until we can see the eyes for ourselves--”
“The x-rays look good--”
“But don't tell us a damn thing for details as fine as corneal scarring or retinal damage.”
“I think when we take the bandages off on Monday she will be fine, probably able to go home that evening--”
“But we don't know anything for certain until Monday. Even best case scenario says a week or two of bed rest.”
When the eye doctors left Shego pulled back the curtains Dr. Possible stood at the end of Kim's bed. Shego padded over on bare feet. “She'll be fine, Jean, she's tough.”
“Thank you, Sheila.”
That evening, after Kim had fallen asleep, Dr. Possible had another brief talk with Shego before leaving.
“I've appreciated all you've done for Kim today.”
“It was nothing.”
“No, it was… Do you know that Kim says she loves you?”
“It's kind of the way things have been going… Would you believe we're both too scared to say anything to each other?”
“So the two of you haven't, well, you know?”
“She says she loves me?”
“She was talking about you a lot this last week, how much you've come to mean to her. The fact you came here to help protect her suggests you have some feelings for her as well. Please, don't hurt her.” Kim's mother fled the room, unable to continue the conversation.
Shego lay in bed and stared at the ceiling. She knew Jean's comment had nothing to do with physical pain. “Kim thinks she loves me,” she repeated to herself. Shego stared at the woman in the other hospital bed, “I would never do anything to hurt her.”
Kim had no idea what time it was, but awoke with the sensation of lips on hers. “Mom? Dad? Mom? Where am I?”
“You're in the Middleton hospital princess, It's about 2:00 Sunday morning.”
“Shego? Is that you? Are you all right?”
“I'm fine Princess, you're the one who tried to blind herself.”
“Is there anyone else here?”
“Not now. You were little miss popularity all day long -- the room is filled with flowers.”
“Shego… I thought I felt someone kiss me.”
“You're dreaming Kimmie. No one here right now but you and me. I hope he was six feet two and had blonde hair. If you're going to dream you may as well dream about someone good looking -- see if he has a brother for me.”
“You know its you I'm dreaming about.” “What if I'm blind? Can she love me if we can't meet as equals?”
Sunday was a better day for Kim. Shego and Dr. Possible got her out of bed and sitting on the chair. Global Justice agents managed to arrest both Adrena Lynn and a crackpot with what looked like a homemade bomb when they attempted unauthorized entrances. Many of Saturday's visitors were back Sunday. While the attention was flattering Kim just wanted them all to go away and announced she wanted no more visitors except family. Of course the mysterious young woman in the next bed was not a visitor, she had to be counted as a fellow sufferer. And Mr. Dr. Possible violated the terms of the request when he brought in Monique.
“Hey, GF, that's the sort of carelessness I expect from Ron, not you.”
“Monique!” Kim squealed, “what are you doing home?”
“You think I'm going to stay in Chicago when you're in the hospital here? I had to fly in.” Monique gave Kim a big hug.” Looking over, Monique saw Shego and laughed at the sight. “What are you doing here?”
“I'm her bodyguard,” Shego giggled.
“And I know how much you will enjoy that,” Monique smiled. Shego turned a slightly deeper green.
Sensing things were getting far too girly Mr. Dr. P. took the tweebs to the cafeteria. The general silliness continued, Jean felt relieved to hear Kim laughing.
“Um, Dr. Possible,” Shego solemnly intoned. “This is a hospital, and there are regulations. The rules at the door state that no patient shall be allowed more than three guests at a time. And since you are not Kim's personal physician it appears to me that having your whole family here at once, with Monique, is in clear violation of the rules.”
“Oh, the twins aren't signed in as Kim's visitors. They're the Goldberg twins.”
“Goldberg twins?” Kim asked.
“Your bodyguard, Sheila Goldberg.”
“They're supposed to be her little brothers?”
“They're listed as her sons. I'm afraid poor Shelia had them frightfully young. She could be the poster child for unplanned parenthood.”
Shego couldn't join the others in laughter. The parade of floral tributes, piles of cards, and line of visitors were all testimony of what people thought of Kim. She, on the other hand, really felt like the poster child for a wasted life. “Who would visit me in the hospital? Anyone besides these three and Drakken? I'm an anchor around her neck. I need to get out of her life before I hurt her any more.”
After the male Possibles returned Shego kept the twins occupied trying to figure out a low level plasma flame around her hand and how she kept from getting burned. The men left, taking Monique with them, when dinner arrived. Kim's feeding tube had been removed in the afternoon and she was starved.
“This is the best you can do for her?”
“The hospital has regulations, Sheila, she gets the same food as any other patient.”
They took turns feeding her. Her helplessness weighed on Kim. “I'm going to be able to see again won't I?”
Her mom repeated all the doctor's reassurances -- which Kim had heard herself that morning.
“What do you think Shego, will I be all right?”
“You're going to be fine Princess, you're going to be fine.”
Kim reached towards the sound of the voice. Shego took her hand and gently squeezed it. Jean suddenly felt out of place. “I'm going down to the cafeteria. Can I bring you back anything Sheila?”
“Any chance of a twelve ounce tenderloin, smothered in mushrooms and onions?”
“None at all.”
“In that case,” Shego asked, “is there a real coffee shop in the building?”
“They can't do anything too complicated. What would you like?”
“Something with a shot of chocolate syrup, biggest size they have. I need the sugar,”
Kim laughed, “She's had a conversion experience -- that's my order. Can you make it two, Mom?”
“I'll do my best for you caffeine junkies. See you in half an hour.”
After all the visitors had left for the day, and before taking her sleeping pill, Kim spoke to the other woman, “Shego?”
“The beds roll, don't they?”
“If you take the brakes off, yes.”
“Could you move the beds close? Could they get close enough we can hold hands tonight. I'm scared Shego. If you hold my hand I'll feel better.”
“Me too, Kim.”
The curtains were closed on Monday morning, and the lights were low as the doctors started to unwrap the layers of gauze around Kim's head. The Drs. Possible held each other and ‘Sheila’ held Kim's hand.
“We will turn off all the lights before we finish taking off the bandages. After three days in darkness your pupils are dilated to their fullest. We will only gradually bring up the light to the point where we can examine them.”
As the last of the gauze was unwrapped the pads that had been on Kim's eyes fell onto her lap.
“Can you open your eyes Miss Possible?”
“They hurt… Yes, they're open…” her fingers tightened on Shego's hand. “I'm blind, Oh God, I'm blind…”
“We'll tell you if that is the case. Remember, it is dark in here. Give yourself some time to adjust as we bring up the light.”
“Ow, I'm seeing something.”
“Sorry, we'll turn up the light more slowly, it is still pretty dark in here.”
But it was light enough to see Kim's face. He looked like she had been beaten -- bruises all around her eyes, which were so bloodshot no whites were visible. Her hair was matted and greasy from its confinement. Kim's dad, unused to hospitals had to turn away, unable to look.
“I look awful, don't I?”
“You look beautiful Princess,” Shego assured her, giving her hand a little squeeze.
After their examination the doctors agreed with Shego.
“Wonderful, just wonderful, in a week you'll never know she was injured at all.”
“Better than I had hoped.”
“She can go home today if she wants.”
“Wednesday would be better.”
“Today is fine.”
“But rest, lots of rest for the next week.”
“Aspirin or Tylenol for any pain the next few days.”
“Tylenol with codeine, the pain may still be great.”
“The pain won't be that bad.”
“Vigorous pain suppression provides the most rest--”
Jean Possible shoved the eye doctors out of the room. Her husband was already holding Kim. “Not so tight James. Don't hurt her -- and give me a turn.”
Kim was given the option of staying a few more days in the hospital, but wanted to go home. Her father left to take care of the paperwork while her mother and Shego helped Kim organize.
“How are you feeling, dear,” her mother asked, “are you strong enough to take a shower by yourself Kimmie?”
“I think I can shower. I didn't lose all my muscles in three days.”
Kim let out a scream when she saw herself in the mirror. “Shego! You lied to me! I look like death warmed over. And not warmed very much.”
But with her hair cleaned and brushed, along with a pair of very dark sunglasses that hid most of the bruises and protected her from bright lights she did look better.
The paperwork having been completed, her father arrived back at the room with a wheelchair.”
“Why do I have to leave the hospital in a wheelchair?” Kim protested, “I can walk.”
“Because, Kimmie, the hospital has regulations.” Shego and Kim's mom had managed to say it at exactly the same moment and laughed together, more in relief that Kim would be fine than for the joke no one else seemed to get.
A picture on an inside page of the newspaper on Tuesday showed a nurse or orderly, also in large dark glasses, pushing Kim out of the hospital. It didn't seem newsworthy to report she had gotten in the Possible car to help the family get Kim home. Had the picture been in color readers would have noticed the nurse looked vaguely green.
Kim's euphoria seemed unusual considering she was still on pain medication. But she had just learned she would not be blind and was riding home with the woman she wanted to be with. While her father put the car away Jean and Shego escorted Kim into the house. As soon as they were in the front door Kim threw her arms around Shego, “Mommy, she followed me home, can we keep her, please? Please, please, please.”
“Hush Kimmie. Shego, you look beat. Do you want to try and take a nap?”
“Can she stay overnight, Mom, I'll sleep better if she is on the bed beside me--”
“I just meant like the hospital, where she had a bed beside mine.”
Kim ‘s mom shook her head, not sure what to make of Kim's excitement. She wanted to believe it simply reflected Kim's relief that her eyes would recover, but she knew more of Kim's joy was centered on Shego than she could feel comfortable with. “On a more serious note, Shego, you look like you could use a nap. Let me make up the guest room.”
“Thanks Jean, but it would be better if I went back to my place. If you don't mind I'd like to sit and talk with Kim for a few minutes.”
“No problem. Why don't you two sit in the television room? We have the blinds shut and there is a big couch if Kim wants to lie down.”
Mrs. Possible checked in a half hour later to see if Kim needed anything. Kim had fallen asleep sitting up. She leaned against the back of the couch, her mouth open, snoring softly. Shego was curled up on the couch beside Kim, asleep, with the head resting on Kim's lap. One of Kim's arms was draped protectively over Shego's shoulder. If Kim were not her daughter, if she didn't know who Shego was, Jean Possible would have thought they were a lovely couple.