The night that Kyoko woke up alone in bed, she tried not to think anything of it at first. She considered that Shego might have just gotten up for something in the apartment and would be back. After a few minutes of waiting, she knew that was not the case. She frowned, but tried to tell herself that it was not possible. There was no way that her beloved would go out and do something dangerous after they had had an argument about it and reached an agreement. But, after a few more nights of such behavior, she figured that Shego had gone back on their agreement.
“Darling,” Kyoko said as Shego entered their bedroom after being absent for the night.
“Kyoko,” Shego gasped in surprise. She was shocked that her lover was awake and it showed on her face.
“Where have you been?” the Japanese woman inquired as if everything was fine when she was actually boiling over with rage. It did not even matter what Shego had done, whether she had gone out to “work” or had just gone out. The fact that she had done it in a sneaky manner made it seem like a betrayal because she obviously did not want Kyoko to know about it.
“You know, out,” Shego answered nonchalantly and with a shrug to boot. She was a bit shocked that she had been busted, but she did not think anything of it. Surely, her girl would cut her a break after all they had been through, she reasoned. It was not like she had gone out and killed someone after all and it was not like she was out sleeping with other women. Surely her girl would forgive her. She just needed to stop the itching.
“I thought you weren’t going to go ‘out’ anymore,” Kyoko stated, still speaking plainly, but her mood slipped in a bit.
“I couldn’t help it. We do need money to live,” Shego argued since she could tell that her woman was just a tad upset with her.
“We have money to live,” the Japanese woman pointed out. They had more than enough money to last several lifetimes.
“Well, we need a steady income,” Shego countered.
“Shego, I really can’t do this,” Kyoko sighed; she sounded defeated. She stayed up late, worrying about if Shego was going to come home now. And if she did come home, what kind of state she was going to be? What if she ran across some horrible people? What if she did business with people that betrayed her? It was scary just thinking about and she just could not take it anymore. If that was what Shego wanted, that was fine, but she did not want to be any part of it anymore.
“What are you saying?” Shego asked in a panic.
“I don’t want to be up late all the time worrying if you’re going to come in or not, thinking that you might have been arrested or worse. I can’t take this stress. It’s nerve-wracking. I don’t want to lose you,” Kyoko answered.
The green-skinned woman hurried to her girl’s side and embraced her. Kyoko returned the hug with her own, holding on tightly to Shego. She really did not want to lose Shego. She loved her girl and appreciated everything that Shego did and was doing for her, but she was scared for Shego and for herself actually. She did not know what kind of lowlifes Shego was dealing with and what they might do to either of them if something went wrong. Yes, she knew that Shego was strong, but Shego was still only one person and she could not be around all the time.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to worry you. I didn’t mean to make things hard on you,” Shego apologized honestly. She did not mean to do what she was doing. She just wanted to be a good girlfriend and make sure that they would have everything that they wanted, needed, and deserved. She had no desire to hurt or scare Kyoko during the process.
“So, you’ll stop?” Kyoko asked in a small, hopeful voice. She was afraid that Shego was going to give her another excuse as to why she could not stop and she knew that it was going to be the final straw. She just could not take it anymore.
“I’ll stop,” Shego promised.
Kyoko smiled and held on to Shego tighter. Shego smiled too and leaned in for a kiss, which was passionately returned. So, it was settled, she was going to stop. She could stop, Shego told herself. Kyoko believed that she could stop and she would stop for Kyoko. Or that was what she told herself.
Just like when she quit before, Shego continued to think about stealing. She tried her best not to be distant when it came to Kyoko, especially if they were in bed. She did not want to run the risk of Kyoko assuming that she was cheating on her or something just as ridiculous. She took the role of being the homemaker out of the pair of them since she really had nothing else to do with her time, giving Kyoko a chance to study more. They even discussed Kyoko applying to Go University, or really any other university in the United States, for graduate school. They needed some excuse to get her to stay in the country since she was about to graduate anyway.
Everything seemed to be going smooth until some old clients contacted Shego while she was out grocery shopping of all things. They figured that it was all right since Shego disliked setting things up over the phone, unless she and the other party involved were both on payphones. They had a job, a tantalizing job for the simple fact of where they wanted her to break into, which was high-security office building. They would not take no for an answer, needing the blueprints for some kind of high-tech weapon. It was something that she had never done before, but she told herself that she could not betray Kyoko’s trust again.
She tried to insist that she was out of that life, but the fellows just kept offering her more and more money. It did not help matters that she knew the place that they wanted her to break into and she would love nothing more than to try. The place was supposed to have the best security system that a building could have. At first, she walked away and just told them that she did not do things like that anymore and they would need to find someone else.
She then did a complete 180 and accepted when she wandered by an expensive jewelry store and saw a diamond necklace that she just had to have for her beloved. She would love to give it to Kyoko as a graduation gift, but she was not going to steal it. She did not steal anything that she gave her girl except for their first anniversary gift. She knew that Kyoko would never want to have something ill-gotten; she thought that one degree removed from the stolen item made gifts okay and Kyoko seemed to be fine with that.
A little evil voice in the back of her mind told Shego that the graduation gift was just an excuse to agree to the job. She had that same old itch that came up every time that she quit stealing. She wanted that thrill that she got by breaking into some place and making off with supposedly secure item. She missed that and she wanted it back, if only for the night. Her lover would never know and she could just quit again. It was that simple to her.
Kyoko frowned as the night pressed on. She had come in from class and found that Shego was not home, which she did not think anything on. After a few hours, she started to worry. She called Shego’s cell phone several times, but those calls were not answered; she had recently bought the cell phone just so they could stay in touch and it was supposed to keep Kyoko from worrying about her. The Japanese woman hoped that nothing happened to Shego and she did not know what to do, so she sat by the phone, hoping for a call.
The only time she left her seat was to use the bathroom. She even stayed up late that night, waiting, praying for a call from her beloved. She nodded off for a moment and when she woke up, she noted the light blinking on the phone, indicating that there was a message waiting. She played the message immediately, hoping that it was Shego calling and telling her that she was all right.
“Hey, baby, don’t get mad at me, but I need your help. I need you to go into our closet and go into a shoebox. You know which one I’m talking about and then I need you to…come bail me out…of jail,” Shego said into the voicemail. Her voice sounded ashamed and embarrassed.
“Jail?” Kyoko echoed. She frowned deeply, practically scowling.
She could not believe it. Shego had gone out and gotten arrested, just like she told her would happen. Shego had been at her old tricks. It would seem that the money was what she really wanted. It was never about them; her lover had just been using that as an excuse all the time. It was about the money that she kept bringing in and she obviously was not going to stop. In fact, she was just lying now. She had the nerve to claim that she was going to stop, but did not. She pretty much lied right to Kyoko’s face, thus betraying her by going back on her oath.
The Japanese woman was angered and hurt by that realization. Shego had lied to her while looking her right in the eye. Okay, apparently, Shego would rather have money than have her; logically, if Shego wanted her, she would have kept her promise. Fine, it could be that way then. She was not going to stick around for things to only get worse and for her to only get hurt again, maybe more than just emotionally. It was over.
Shego was released from lockup after making bail. She could not believe that she had let something as stupid as a silent alarm cause her problems. But, she supposed that it was all right since her lover had come to bail her out. The odd thing was that Kyoko was not there to greet her upon her release. The car was there, but her girlfriend was not. It was weird and she waited around for a while, hoping that Kyoko would be back. But, the Japanese woman never made an appearance.
Shego drove the car home and found the place silent and empty, which her body was starting to mimic out of anxiety. She rushed through the place and discovered some oddities, mostly that her beloved’s clothes were gone. Not the expensive clothing, but the clothes that Kyoko wore daily, along with her shoes and her books.
“No, no, no,” Shego said and searched the apartment more thoroughly, hoping to whatever divinity there was in existence that her beloved had not actually left her.
Everything for the most part was still in their home. None of Kyoko’s jewelry was missing, except for the golden triangle earrings that she wore all the time from their first anniversary. Pretty much everything that she had ever brought Kyoko since she started stealing was still there. And then she noticed the light flashing on the phone, telling her there was a message waiting.
“Darling, it’s clear to me that you have no plans to let go of that life and I just can’t do this anymore. I can’t pretend I don’t know what’s going on. I can’t pretend it doesn’t hurt when you leave me at night, especially after telling me you wouldn’t do this anymore. If that is the life you want, then it is yours, but I won’t be a part of it. I wish you the best. I do still love you, but I can’t be with you anymore,” Kyoko informed the answering machine.
Shego growled in anger and slapped the phone off of the nightstand. How could she just leave like that! Worse yet, she did not tell Shego where she was, so Shego could not go after her. She made it seem like it was all Shego’s fault, or so the pale woman thought anyway. They could have talked things out like before. They could have done so many things, but instead Kyoko left the like the coward she always was.
Fine, Kyoko wanted to leave after all she had done for her, Shego hollered in her mind. She did not care! She would show Kyoko. She would continue on and just wait for Japanese woman to come back because she was sure that Kyoko would. After all, no one would ever treat Kyoko the way she did. No one would ever treat Kyoko like a queen and she would come back to Shego because of that. She would…right?
(Four years later)
Kyoko was working late that night, still at her desk with a stack of paperwork. She needed to get things in order because Nakasumi-san was making a speech for the grand opening of one of his new factories. They were going to have to be on the plane early too. She was going to look a mess when it was all said and done, she thought, but she did not really mind that; she did not have anyone that she needed to impress visually anyway. She was pretty much married to her work and did not have time for a social life, not that she wanted one. Her attention was diverted from the papers that she was going through because she heard a noise in the office across the hall, Nakasumi-san’s office.
Kyoko rose from her desk to go see what was going on. She knew that Nakasumi had left for the evening, so she was not sure who or what was in his office. She opened the door to see a figure clad in green and black sifting through the filing cabinet that was position against the wall in the rather large, lush office. She gasped and the figure faced her, making her gasp again.
“Shego?” Kyoko said, not believing her eyes, but there Shego was, standing only a few feet away from her.
“Kyoko?” Shego said in a surprised tone of her own. Of all the places Drakken had her heisting things from, Kyoko had to be there? What were the freaking odds? Oh, man, Kyoko looked good, her mind immediately noted. That magenta mandarin-style shirt was clinging to her former woman in all of the right places. Aging had done her well; she still looked like such an angel.
“I’d ask what are you doing here, but that’s fairly obvious,” Kyoko remarked, trying her best to sound normal. The sight of Shego dredged up a lot of memories and emotions, all of them mixed. She did not know how to feel, although the sight of her former lover did confirm something that she had suspected since she left.
“It’s obvious for one of us. What are you doing here? Became a secretary and found yourself a sugar daddy?” Shego teased. The taunt was to hide the fact that she was hurt and embarrassed to see Kyoko, to have Kyoko walk in on her while she was working. There were so many nights that she longed to hold that slender body in her arms in the past and she could barely remember what that experience even felt like because back then, even when she held Kyoko, her mind had been thinking about stealing.
“I am Nakasumi-san’s trusted and valued assistant,” Kyoko declared proudly. It was an honorable job and allowed her to work in the business world, as she desired. She had fulfilled her dream and apparently, Shego was still doing the same old thing.
Shego rolled her eyes. “Big deal,” she muttered, trying to make light of the confident woman and the fact that she had found her niche in life.
“And I can see you’re still doing what you love. I always wondered why you flipped through dozens of papers almost everyday. And then I heard about you achieving international infamy, being wanted in eleven countries. You must be proud of yourself,” Kyoko commented sarcastically.
“I am,” Shego stated soundly. Well, she had been until she saw Kyoko. Now, her life seemed so meaningless, like nothing that she had mattered because something or someone was missing.
“That’s good. I suppose we never had any hope then, huh?” Kyoko muttered, thinking aloud more than anything else. Apparently, she never would have been able to compete with Shego’s “career.” So, it was the best thing that she left. The revelation coupled with the feeling that Shego’s presence confirmed merely agonized her further. She did a good job of not showing the pain, though.
Shego was stunned by those words. Did they really have no hope? She never thought that for a second when they were together, but she did not see the point in voicing that. It would be best if she did let Kyoko think that since there was no chance of them ever being anything again.
“If you leave now, I won’t call the police on you,” Kyoko stated. She was not even sure if she could call the police on the pale woman, but she needed to say something to get Shego out of the office and hopefully prevent her from stealing whatever it was that she was looking for.
Shego smirked and decided to tease the Japanese woman again. “Aw, you still love me,” she quipped.
“I do,” Kyoko easily confessed, which stunned the hell out of the thief. That was what the sight of Shego had confirmed. She definitely still loved that green-skinned woman with all of her heart and soul. “I love the you that you once were before the money was everything and the only thing that you wanted.”
“You loved the hero I used to be. That’s what mattered to you,” Shego argued heatedly. It was never about loving her, but having a hero that could protect Kyoko, she was willing to bet.
“You know that’s not true! I would’ve stayed with you through every hardship you ever faced, not just the low paying job or the small apartment, but everything! But, you lied to me. You betrayed my trust and proved that I didn’t matter to you at all. The only thing that you cared about was money,” Kyoko shot back.
“You mattered to me!” Shego blurted out because of the heat of the moment. Damn, she really wish that she could take that back. But, then again, she wished that she could take a lot of things back when it came to Kyoko.
“You had a funny way of showing it,” Kyoko remarked with venom in her voice. God, how she wished that Shego had shown her back then that she mattered instead of lying to her so many times. She would have stayed if that was the case.
Shego did not miss a beat and regained her composure. “It went with your funny way of appreciating it, running away without even bothering to talk it out.”
“I didn’t want to be lied to again,” the Japanese woman huffed. Lying seemed to be the only thing that Shego do when talking to her back then.
“You shouldn’t have asked then,” Shego said with disdain in her voice, as if that made any sense.
“That’s no way to have a relationship. We used to be open and honest with each other. We used to be able to tell each other everything and then suddenly I wasn’t supposed to ask and you were lying if I did? That’s no way to behave, especially toward a lover,” Kyoko argued.
Shego was stuck. How could she debate against that? Their relationship had been closed off once she started being secretive. She used to be able to tell Kyoko everything under the sun about her, but when she became a thief that all stopped. She was not able to talk about anything because she had been fearful that she would lose Kyoko and that happened anyway. Smooth move, loser, her brain commented. She had lost the most precious thing in the world to her and she was so stupid that she only just now realized it completely; or at least, she just now acknowledged it.
“Kyoko…” Shego wanted to say something, but she was not sure what. “I…I just wanted to make you happy,” she mumbled in a sorrowful tone.
“As I constantly told you back then, when you never listened to me, I was happy and I wished that you had just been able to keep your word. I would have been happy with you, Shego, if only you had kept your word. But, now we are where we are. So, like I said, if you leave now, I won’t call the police,” Kyoko replied.
“What if I just take you along with what I came here for?” Shego proposed with a sinister smirk.
“What good would that do us? You’ll take me to your lair, tie me up, ravish me for the rest of our lives? Do you think that’s going to make me want to be with you again? Do you think that’ll be even close to a substitute of what we had?” Kyoko countered, almost sounding insulted and quite angry. How dare Shego even joke about doing such a thing to her after what they had in the past? After they had been so close and so in love? How dare she even think such a thing after what they had?
“Kyoko…” Shego was not sure what to say. She wished that there were words to get Kyoko to give her one more chance right now because she would actually leave it all behind for the Japanese woman because Kyoko had been the one thing in her life that gave it meaning. She wished that she could bring herself to say those words and that her former lover would believe them and that they could be together again, but she knew that such a thing would never happen. Kyoko probably would never believe any words that came out of her mouth now. No, she had ruined that trust in the past and it was never coming back.
“Just leave, Shego. Make this easier on the both of us this one time,” Kyoko pled, tears starting to well in her eyes at the sight of the woman that she knew she still loved with all of her heart and she probably always would. She wished that they could go back and do it all over again with the knowledge that they had now. Maybe they would have been able to save their relationship or maybe they were just doomed to fail.
Shego doubted that she would ever feel as low in all her life as she did at that very moment. And instead of prolonging the agonizing moment for the sake of seeing the one woman on the planet that she loved just a little longer, she actually obeyed Kyoko. If only she could have done that years ago, they both mentally commented. Now, it was too late for them. There was no “them” and there never would be. There was only a past and in that past, a teenage Kyoko and Shego loved each other and they smiled together while holding each other tenderly. In the present, a grown Kyoko and Shego loved each other and agonized over it, separately, never to be together again.