The Dark Ocean

Part 14

Visiting Home

Rann Aridorn

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 16 - 17

TITLE: Visiting Home

AUTHOR: Rann Aridorn

DISCLAIMER: All characters having appeared in Disney's Kim Possible are the property of Disney, and are used here without permission, but with no intent for profit. All other characters are original and the property of Rann Aridorn.

SUMMARY: Drakken tries a new scheme on Shego, with unpredictable results. Now Kim is torn between what she knows is right and what she feels is right.

TYPE: Kim/Shego, Shego, No Romance

RATING: US: R / DE: 16

Notes: A lot happens in this part, and I suppose it could be argued that it happened too soon. But I saw no real value in dragging out certain aspects, other than a little bit of “When will it come up?” tension that seemed a little pointless. I also delayed releasing this part for awhile because I kept hoping to have at least one side-story finished by the time I published this part, specifically the one that deals with Shego's mom returning to Go City. But inspiration on that seems sparse, sadly. Well, here's hoping.

Words: 5139

Legalish notes: All characters having appeared in Disney's Kim Possible are the property of Disney, and are used here without permission, but with no intent for profit. All other characters are original and the property of Rann Aridorn.

“No, it's fine,” Kim said as she pulled on her jacket and brushed her hair back from under the collar of it. “Go ahead and start on the renovations to the front office, I like the idea. We'll talk about the rest when Shego and I get back, alright?”

“Yeah, okay,” Ron said halfheartedly.

“… Listen, Ron.” Kim reached out and squeezed one of his hands. “Are you sure you don't want to come? The plans we made yesterday didn't cover that, but we can wing it.”

“Nah. I mean…” Ron trailed off, then shrugged. “Maybe some other time, you know?”

“Okay.” Kim nodded once, then gave his hand another squeeze before heading towards the door.

“Ah… how will I manage your, um, friend while you are gone, Shego?” Yori asked, looking at the jaguar dubiously.

“She'll handle herself, mostly.” Shego was squatting down and giving the big cat a few light thumps on the ribs, drawing pleased rumbles. “She's pretty good about dealing with humans, even if she's not tame. She doesn't understand other people as well as she does me, but just try to be clear with her and she'll probably listen.”

“Very well.” Yori nodded, then gave a surprised squeak as the jaguar got up and prowled over to butt her head lightly against the Japanese girl's hip.

“Try not to be skittish, she'll try to pin you down and assert dominance or something,” Shego suggested, grinning and standing up.

“You ready?” Kim asked.

“Yeah.” Shego nodded, checking her painted reflection in the mirror to assure herself she looked Caucasian-normal, then slipped her dark sunglasses on. “Let's go.”

It was a bit of a drive and a short flight, but when it was done the two of them were strolling through Middleton. The town had changed and yet it hadn't… dozens of different little things, one or two big things, a million things the same.

Kim paused on the sidewalk and just looked around from behind her own slim silver sunglasses. It was unlikely anyone would recognize her… her face had changed, her body shape a little as well. And most people that had actually been acquainted with Kim Possible wouldn't have figured her for a snug, plain white t-shirt, Smarty Mart blue jeans, and a well-worn, thin black leather jacket. They certainly wouldn't expect her to have a tattoo on her neck.

Shego was dressed similarly, save in a black t-shirt and denim jacket, and with black cowboy boots instead of sneakers. She'd also topped it off with her black cowboy hat, and as she followed Kim's gaze, she fiddled with the brim a bit.

“Think we're obvious?”

“No… I kind of wonder if anyone even remembers Kim Possible or Shego,” Kim said rather wryly.

“I meant, do you think we look like a pair of huge bull dykes?”

“Oh. … Probably.”

They strolled into Middleton Park, careful not to rush, though most of Shego's senses, tangible and not so much, could tell that Kim was abuzz with nervous, eager energy.

Shego could see the Possibles sitting on a bench as they rounded the corner. There was more grey in James Possible's hair, a few more lines on his face. Anne Possible seemed a little more worn, the lines around her eyes and mouth more obvious, and Shego felt a surge of guilt. Just how much worrying had Kim's mother been doing the last two years?

As the women approached, Kim's parents looked over, then stood up and walked over, obviously barely holding themselves back from running. They swept in on Kim from both sides, hugging tightly.

“Oh, my little Kimmy-cup,” James whispered.

“Daaaad,” Kim groaned in token protest.

“You look thin.” Anne frowned, touching her daughter's cheek. “Have you been eating?”

“Plenty. I was just roughing it for awhile.” Kim smiled, stepping back a bit. “It's so great to see you guys.”

“The boys really wanted to come,” Anne continued in a soft voice. “I had to promise them you'd see them soon.”

“Pfft. The tweebs probably just missed putting me in danger with their latest gadget,” Kim replied. The longing in her voice was apparent to the other three, though. She probably would have fooled a complete stranger, but no one else.

“Well. Hello, Shego,” James said with forced cheer.

“Sir.” Shego tipped the brim of her hat. She always found herself doing that when she wore it, it was like the damn thing was possessed.

“How have you been doing?” Anne asked, a little more warmly. “Any more problems?”

“No. I'm… okay, now.” Shego tucked her hands into her jacket pockets.

“I was hoping you would be,” Kim's mother said honestly, managing a small smile. Looking back at her daughter, she continued, “How's Ronald?”

“He's good. He got married,” Kim said, grinning.

“Married?! But he's still just a…!” Anne trailed off, then shook her head. “Well just who did he marry?”

“Yori Kokuei. I don't think you know her, Ron met her when he was in the exchange program to Japan.”

“So she's part of your… uh… group, now?” James asked.

“Yeah. She's sort of our replacement Wade. Just a different token minority.” Kim snickered a little.

“So what are your plans now?” Anne asked as the four of them strolled back to the bench and sat down. “And that thing on your neck had better be part of your disguise.”

“Right now, we're going to start renovating the warehouse,” Kim answered, carefully ignoring the part about her tattoo. “We're probably gonna stay in Seattle for now as we feel our way through this. I guess at first we'll try stopping street crime, but we'll just see where it goes.”

“Well. I hope you'll be careful, Kim,” her father said slowly. “But in some ways I'm glad to hear that.”

Kim blinked behind her sunglasses. “You are?”

“I was always nervous about your missions, but it made me very proud that you were helping people. But it seemed as if almost everyone you went out to help was some government agent, some irresponsible scientist-”

“Present company excluded?” Shego interjected, grinning easily at the bemused look he shot her.

“Or some tycoon worrying about his business. There were times that I wished you'd use your talents to help… well, more normal people.”

“I never knew.” Kim smiled. “I learned a lot about helping people who hadn't asked or couldn't ask for help, though, in my training.” Kim squeezed her father's hand. “Hey, is that old ice cream stand still in the park? We should go get a cone.”

As James and Kim walked off down the path, Anne scooted over until she was next to Shego. Dryly, she asked, “Do I need to get out my scalpel?”

Shego gave her a long look, then sighed and shook her head. “It was a near thing, just recently.”

“What happened?” Anne asked tenderly.

“It's not important.” Shego shook her head. “I guess I just forgot that because I've come to realize and accept my differences doesn't mean they're obvious to everyone else.”

“Well. We all make mistakes.” Anne took one of Shego's hands in both hers and rested it in her lap. “It was very good of you to figure all of this out for us.”

“It was important for her. And for you guys.” Shego shrugged, grinning a bit. “Plus you're -really good- with threats, I didn't want to go through that again. Just the mental image is scarring.”

The redheaded doctor laughed. “I practice during boring moments. It's very therapeutic when dealing with paperwork.” She patted Shego's hand a few times, expression becoming concerned. “What about your family, dear? Have you thought about seeing your brothers?”

“Not really. I mean, maybe a little, but…” Shego trailed off, then looked toward the sky. “My mom sent me a letter. Kind of offering a hand to reconcile.”

“Do you want to?”

Shego nodded slowly. “I guess I'm not that sure where to start. It almost seems like it needs to begin between just me and her, but the rest of my family would be there to complicate stuff.”

“What about your father?”

“I dunno. Dad… I mean, we always got along okay, I guess, he just wasn't… demonstrative. He had a pretty clear idea of the way things were gonna be and pushed for it. He wasn't necessarily a hardass about it or anything, but… I guess I was just never close to him.”

“It's not too late to be close. Even with your lifestyle.” When Shego glanced at her in confusion, Anne clarified, “Staying hidden, not being homosexual, dear. But if you're going to rebuild your relationship with your mother, perhaps it's a good time to build a proper one with your father.”

“Maybe so.” Shego glanced down thoughtfully, then looked at Anne. “Hey. How'd you do that?”

“Do what?”

“Get me to talk like that. That's crap even -I- wasn't aware of.”

“Talking is a very important part of my profession. Some of my peers may not consider it so, but I believe it to be vital. Being able to be realistic but hopeful with people in just the right balance? Keeping them calm and sane when they know you've got their skull open and are cutting on their brain? Talking to my daughter's girlfriend about her family troubles isn't too difficult in comparison.”

Shego stared for another moment, then laughed and shook her head.

“What? What is it?”

“Kim keeps talking about my mom and saying that being an amazing woman must be genetic. I'm starting to believe her.”

“So. How are… things?”

Kim licked the ice cream cone, almost feeling a little disoriented at the situation. On the one hand she still had the knowledge that she was an adult now, had been living as one for at least a year. On the other, here she was, in the park, eating ice cream with her daddy. She felt thirty and eight both at once.

“I guess they're okay. I mean, it's just been a few days so far that we've all been back together and we're still figuring stuff out.”

“Things are okay with… um, your… Shego?” her father inquired, obviously feeling awkward about approaching the subject.

Kim smiled. “Yeah. Pretty much. … Well…” She trailed off, glancing back down the path.

“Kimmy-cup, what is it?”

“I dunno, Dad.” Kim sighed, walking over to another bench and sitting down, James following her. She concentrated on her ice cream for a moment, before shrugging and starting to explain. “We haven't talked a lot about what happened while we were separated training, and there will be these times…”

“Times?” James prompted gently.

“I'll see her just looking off into the distance, and there's this look in her eyes, it's like… it's like she's mourning or something.”

James nodded slowly. “You think she's going to leave things out when she talks about it?”

“I… I'm pretty sure, really. Something happened to her, I think. I know there was something that happened when she was with Yori and Ron that's pretty much okay now, but whatever happened when she was in Mexico still gets to her sometimes.”

“Your mother was the same way when she came back from some ‘special’ operations.”

Kim blinked. “Special?”

Her father nodded. “Your mother's one of the best neurosurgeons alive, Kim, and a fantastic general surgeon as well. Sometimes she'd be called away, and she never talked about where she went, but when she came back there was sometimes a look in her eyes that was…”

“Haunted?” Kim asked softly.

“Well, haunted might be a bit strong, Kimmy-cup. But it did seem like she'd seen some really bad things. She never really talked about it, though I let her know she could. Either she couldn't for some reason, or she just never felt ready to.”

Kim frowned, taking a bite out of her ice cream.

“There's the stubbornness I remember,” James said a bit dryly, though some of his fatherly reserve was removed when he realized his ice cream was dribbling on his fingers and he had to do some frantic melting control.

“I'm not gonna -force- it,” Kim replied with a bit of annoyance, her tone saying she'd intended to do exactly that.

“I think it's good that you don't. I'm, um… I'm still adjusting to these changes in your life, Kim, especially the idea that I still can't see you or talk to you whenever I want. But if you really do love, um, you know… her…”

Kim grinned now, giving a firm nod.

“Then it's probably best to let her talk about things in her own good time, especially if it was something that makes her feel… haunted.”

“Maybe you're right,” Kim murmured, looking thoughtful as she bit into the waffle cone.

“Are you keeping things from me?”

Shego blinked and looked aside at Kim. They were in a cab on their way to the Middleton mall, having finally said their goodbyes to Kim's parents after another hour of talking and a fair bit of hugging on the Possibles’ part.

“What do you mean?”

Kim's jaw worked a little. “I mean… I know we haven't had a chance to sit down and talk much, other than some little reminisces between you and the others, but it feels like you're intending to keep secrets.”

Shego scowled, then leaned forward. “Hey. We'll walk from here, pull it over.”

“She… eila,” Kim protested, the effect largely ruined by forcing herself to use the less recognizable name.

The cab drifted over to the sidewalk, and Shego paid the driver before stepping out, standing stiffly and holding the door for Kim until she got out. Then she slammed it and stalked off down the sidewalk, body bent forward, fists half-clenched.

Kim frowned, striding off after Shego, using her best In Command walk with shoulders straight. “Don't just get huffy with me! This is important, we could at least talk about it!”

“I am -not- feeling very talkative right now,” Shego snapped over her shoulder.

Kim drew up beside her. “Is that going to be your excuse later on?”

“So now I'm being condemned ahead of time on things you -think- I'm going to keep from you,” the raven-haired woman muttered sourly.

Kim almost set her shoulders and responded, then realized that getting more confrontational wasn't going to move this forward. Shaking her head, she tugged on Shego's arm, guiding her to the side and into an almost-alleyway between a jewelry store and a boutique.

“Okay, I'm sorry about that,” Kim said immediately, gentling her voice. “That wasn't fair, you're right.”

Shego folded her arms over her chest and leaned back against the wall, raising one hand briefly to pull the brim of her hat further over her covered eyes.

“… It's just that the look on your face sometimes, when you don't know I'm looking, is heartbreaking. I worry that you're going to bottle it up and let it fester.”

“It festered before,” Shego said slowly. “It's doing okay now.”

“So you're not going to tell me,” Kim surmised, shaking her head.

“No! Dammit, Kim, I-!” Shego cut herself off, then made a sound of frustration, dropping her hands and then raising them up to press over her face. “Okay. Alright. Obviously this is bugging you and I'll need to say something.”

“I'd appreciate it,” the redhead said quietly.

“… Something did happen in Mexico. Something I'm not proud of, but it's my stuff.” Shego rubbed her hands absently, making an almost washing motion. “And I've always intended to tell you. Eventually.”

“Why eventually?” Kim did her best to keep accusation out of her voice, to make it just a question.

“Because it's something that I almost couldn't deal with myself. It took something big for me just to keep functioning afterwards, and I've been getting by on functioning most of the time and… thinking of being with everyone again, really.” Shego shrugged. “I just figure… there'll be a right time to tell you.”

“Okay.” Kim nodded, reaching out for Shego's hands. “That's alright.”

Shego looked off to the side, and Kim pictured her eyes looking troubled, taking on that slightly distant, frightened look again. “It's… Kim, listen. I did something really bad, okay?” She took a deep breath. “I knew it was wrong to do it, and after I felt so guilty that…”

Kim watched her earnestly. The words were almost like a confession of infidelity, but she knew that when Shego had said it was “her stuff” she'd meant it. That would have affected them both.

“I almost just gave up living because I was so guilty and unhappy. About what I'd done, about other things.” Shego shook her head. “I can't even say that, given the choice, I wouldn't do it again under the same circumstances. I just hope that nothing like that ever happens to push me to it again.”

“Alright,” Kim said slowly. “I may need to get to know you again, but I do think I have a pretty good idea of what would make you feel like this.”

“Kim,” Shego whispered almost desperately.

“Details can come when you're ready. You obviously WANT to talk about this, so I know they will.” Kim took both of Shego's hands, looking at her through the two layers of tinted plastic. “-Do- you think it's something you're likely to do again?”

Shego began to answer, then paused, pain briefly tightening her features. “I hope to God not. I hope that if it looks like I'm going to again, one of you would stop me somehow.”

“Alright. That's good enough for me.” Kim nodded, then leaned in to kiss Shego gently on the lips. “I still love you.”

“Really?” Shego's voice was soft, almost childlike.

“Really. You did something bad, for whatever reason. You beat yourself up for it and you're sorry, and you don't want to do it again.” Kim took her own deep breath, then shrugged. “I know it seems horribly simplified that way, but it works for me. Sometimes good people do bad things, for whatever reason.”

“Really bad things,” Shego muttered.

“Yes. Really bad things.” Kim nodded, not refuting it. “But I think you already judged yourself pretty harshly and beat yourself up over it. So I'll just take the loving you duties.”

“Chore shirker,” Shego teased, finally smiling just a little.

“You should see me ditch doing the dishes.” Kim smiled back. “But in the end, what else could I do? Turn you over to the cops?”

“A possibility.” Shego shrugged a little.

“Yeah, and we already established what would probably happen there.” Kim put her hand on Shego's cheek. “Baby, if you did something wrong, I'll just trust you to try and make up for it. We're going to try to fight the good fight, so if it makes you feel better, keep a tally.”

“Heh. Maybe I will.” Shego smiled again, then leaned forward to put her forehead to Kim's, her hat getting pushed back on her head. “I love it when you call me ‘baby’.”

“Yeah?” Kim giggled.


Monique looked over at the tall lesbian milling around the t-shirt section. Probably shopping for her girlfriend and not having a clue just how to shop for the “fairer sex”. Shaking her head, the black teenager trotted over, plastering on her customer service smile. “Hiiii, welcome to Club Banana! Shopping for somebody else today?”

“Actually, yeah.” The tall woman tilted her cowboy hat back, her voice vaguely familiar but not enough to really think twice about. “Do you still have any of those kind of dark khaki cargo pants you always used to sell here?”

“Why certainly!” Monique felt a brief surge of bittersweet nostalgia at the mention of that particular garment, but she'd been doing this job for years. Her polite smile wouldn't have faltered if an asteroid had hit her. “They're just over here! They're not a very big seller anymore, but we still keep a few pairs on hand.”

The tall woman nodded and followed her over to the cubby-style shelves near the dressing rooms, stepping past Monique to rifle through the cargo pants. Then she paused and glanced over. “Oh, by the way. DFO.”

Monique blinked. “DFO?”

“Don't Freak Out,” Kim whispered happily, opening the door of the dressing room she was hiding in and hauling Monique inside before closing the door again.

“KImmmph!” Monique stared at her long-absent friend with wide eyes and a hand over her mouth. “Mm ma mmv mm mn?!”

“The freaking out, I talked about this,” Kim said wryly, grinning.

“… Mm mt.”

Kim slowly took her hand away from Monique's mouth. “Hey, girlfriend. Still the same job, huh?”

“Manager, now.” Monique was still staring. “Girl where have you been?! You disappeared off the face of the planet, there were all these rumors, something about you holding a country hostage!”

“That's… a little blown out of proportion,” Kim said sheepishly. “But yeah, I'm not exactly one of the law-abiding community's favorite people anymore.”

“I better hear some ‘splainin’,” Monique demanded, frowning.

“Not a lot of time for it right now. But you know me.” Kim grinned. “I mean, really. You're one of the few people I think really knows me.”

“Yeah,” Monique said slowly. “You're a hero, girl. NDA.”

“Non-disclosure agreement?”

“No doubt abouddit,” Monique corrected, raising one eyebrow.

“Well, you're right. I am. I'm just not one that the other heroes like very much, anymore.”

“Hell, girl, you never let popularity contests get you down before. Too much.” Monique shook her head, then grabbed Kim in a hug. “DAMN it's good to see you, though!”

“Good to see you too, ‘Nique,” Kim said with a sigh, hugging back. “I couldn't sneak a visit home without seeing you.”

“Well you better be careful,” Monique said, pulling back and looking at Kim. “Or you're likely to wind up seeing some other old ‘friends’.”


Suddenly, there was a brief shriek and then a thump from outside, making both girls jump. A second later, the dressing room door swung open, Shego standing there with a smug look on her face. One hand held the collar of Bonnie's Club Banana employee shirt, the brunette slumped forward with a goofy grin of unconsciousness on her face.

“Look what I found trying to sneak stuff out of the back room under her shirt.”

Monique's jaw dropped, partly from the scene, partly from having it confirmed that Bonnie really had been responsible for the increase in inventory shrink.

Kim put a hand to her forehead, then grinned in bemusement and gestured with it towards the older woman. “By the way, ‘Nique, I forget… did you ever meet my girlfriend, Shego?”

“Girl, you MUST be trippin'!”

Kim snorted and slapped Shego on the arm. “Quit it.”

“Sorry.” Shego grinned, flopping out on the hotel bed and stretching out. “I just can't get over her. She's an amusing little bundle of attitude and odd acronyms, isn't she?”

Kim snickered, tossing her jeans over the back of a chair and crawling onto the bed in her panties and t-shirt. “That's as good a description of Monique as I ever heard, I guess.”

“It was good seeing your mom again,” Shego said, wrapping an arm around Kim as the redhead snuggled in against her side.

“Yeah. It really was wonderful to see them.” Kim tilted her head up and kissed Shego's green-once-more cheek. “Thank you for working it all out.”

“Sure.” Shego smiled and squeezed Kim against her side.

They fell silent for awhile, not really trying to go to sleep, but mulling over their thoughts.

“I killed people.”

Kim raised her head a bit, looking at Shego's face. Shego was staring up at the ceiling, her eyes drawn in and tight.

“… Yeah. I thought that's probably what it was.” Kim rested her chin on the other woman's shoulder. “… Why?”

“Because they killed someone… something… I cared about. I was so full of rage and hatred that it seemed like I couldn't do anything but kill them.”


“… A jaguar. The mate of the one that came back with me.”

“Oh,” Kim said softly.

Shego shook her head a little. “It was never a case of justice. Of thinking that an entire camp full of poachers was equal to a jaguar. I just… hated them so much that I did it anyway, knowing full well I shouldn't and it was wrong.”

Kim gave a tiny nod, her chin pressing against Shego's shoulder.

“After, I was just… dying inside. I felt like I'd lost a family member, because even animals can be pack to me now. And killing those people didn't bring her back, or make it better. It just made me feel guilty. Like I was a monster.” Shego turned her head away, staring at the wall. “I'm a psychopath.”

Sighing, Kim reached a hand out, fingers touching Shego's cheek and turning her head back towards her. “You're not a psychopath.”

“How can you say that?” Shego's face twisted in remorse. “I killed all those people with my claws and my teeth.”

“A psychopath wouldn't have thought what they were doing was wrong. A psychopath wouldn't have almost died of the grief from what they'd done. A psychopath wouldn't hold onto it and keep feeling bad for it.”

“So what does it make me?”

Kim paused, then looked at Shego, sadness tingeing her features. “A murderer, I guess.”

“… Oh.” Shego averted her gaze downward.

“Shego…” Kim shook her head, sliding over to straddle Shego on her hands and knees, looking down at her. “You can't take back what you did. You were a murderer when you did it… you can choose not to be one anymore.”

“Don't I have to pay for what I've done?” Shego whispered, almost as if pleading for the answer to be yes.

“Maybe you do. But what good would it have done to turn yourself in? They'd have just locked you up or killed you. And what would that have solved? They'd still be dead, and you wouldn't have any chance to try and balance the scales.” Kim wrapped her fingers around Shego's wrists and pulled them up, gently pinning them over her head. “Do you want me to play judge after all?”

“I…” Shego swallowed, then nodded.

“Okay. Sheila ‘Shego’ Go, I find you guilty. I hereby sentence you to spend the rest of your life beside me, helping the helpless, saving lives, and trying to make the world a better place, in the hope that one day you'll have atoned for what you've done.” Kim leaned down, looking Shego in the eye. “Does the defendant understand the sentence?”

Shego nodded, slowly this time. “… Yes. I do.”

“Do you feel you can comply with it?”

“I'll do my damnedest.”

“Acceptable. Then I release you into the custody of those who love you, and declare that any further settling-up is to be handled between you and whatever higher power you may believe in.” Kim smiled softly, then leaned down and kissed Shego on the lips. “I can't approve of what you did… but I can love you and trust that you do want to make up for it.”

Shego took a shaky breath, closing her eyes, two tears sliding down the sides of her face. Finally, she spoke up. “Thank you. I… I think I needed someone to tell me it was wrong, and to set out something I had to do to make up for it.”

“Even if it was what you were going to do anyway?” Kim teased gently.

“Even if, I guess.” Shego opened her eyes, looking up at Kim and smiling. “It still hurts inside, but maybe I really can start healing. Instead of just living with it.”

“Good, because I intend to live a long time with you. Good stuff and bad stuff… we'll share both, and hope in the end we come higher up on the good stuff scale.”

“Yeah.” Shego shook her head, still smiling. Then she blinked, tilting her head back to look at her pinned wrists. “Uh, Kim… you finished judging me, you can let me go now.”

“When I'm good and ready,” Kim practically purred, leaning down and pressing her lips to Shego's, letting them slowly conform against them before opening up to deepen the kiss. Her hair fell down like a curtain around both their faces, hiding them from everyone but each other.

Sunlight fell in through the inexpensive blinds, sketching lines of brighter orange across the red of Kim's hair, Shego's hand drifting through the sunbeams as it stroked.

“Mm.” Kim shifted a little against Shego's side. “What time is it?”

“Almost seven.” Shego leaned down and kissed Kim's forehead. “We need to start getting ready. That stupid makeup takes awhile to apply, and we don't want to be late for our flight.”

“Okay.” Kim didn't seem particularly inclined to rise from bed despite her agreement, instead raising a hand up to trace one fingertip along the underside of Shego's jaguar-mark. “How you feeling this morning?”

“Better, I guess. Ravi… my teacher in Jaguar Jiu-Jitsu… he didn't agree with what I'd done, but it was like he kind of shrugged it off and said it was time to live my life. But like I said… I think I needed someone to tell me what I already knew. That it was wrong and I needed to atone.”

“I understand.” Kim traced the fingertip down Shego's cheek and over her throat. “I was hoping that was what it was. The fact that it means you'll stay with me and help is a bonus.”

“I don't think it would have worked coming from anyone but you.” Shego ducked her head and nuzzled Kim's cheek. “You're not just my mate, you're the Alpha.”

“The Alpha?” Kim blinked. “You mean, in the pack? Like I'm in charge?”

“Yeah. So it's up to you to ultimately tell us what's right and wrong, and punish us… me… when the wrong hits. It… felt right for you to take charge and do that.”

“That's… a lot of responsibility, Shego,” Kim said slowly, looking at the other woman as if unsure she liked the idea.

“Yeah, but it's the cost of having people this devoted to you, Pumpkin,” Shego replied, tone a bit wry. “Ron and Yori both knew we were gonna be defining our actions by your lead. You've always been a take-charge person… so you're gonna have to keep taking charge of us, looks like.”

Kim looked at Shego thoughtfully, then grinned in a positively wicked fashion, hands snagging Shego's wrists and giving them a small squeeze. “What, again?”

“Whoa, princess, down! We have a plane to catch and… ah… th-that's not fair… stop tha-ah… ah, KIM!”

-End Part Fourteen

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