Honor Bound

Chapter 21

Sprouting seedlings


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TITLE: Sprouting seedlings

AUTHOR: StarvingLunatic

DISCLAIMER: I don’t own these characters.

SUMMARY: AU. Set in Japan during the Tokugawa era. Director Betty recuits samurai Kim and ninja Yori for a job to find out about a plot to overthrow the govt. The job: go undercover as geisha.

TYPE: Kim/Shego, Yori

RATING: US: PG-13 / DE: 12

Words: 6191

Kim and Shego were strolling down a narrow pathway through some cliffs. They had gotten off the main highway to avoid anymore checkpoints. Kim did not do as well at checkpoints as she liked to pretend; it seemed that inspectors were more likely to believe her passport when she was with Ron for some reason that was beyond her. They had already gone through two checkpoints and even though Kim’s papers were all official and everything, inspectors seemed to like to bug her. Shego guessed that the inspectors thought that Kim would just take the abuse and as tolerant as Kim tried to play it, she had a nice little temper on her, which Shego thought as hot as long as it was not directed at her.

“You know, I’ve figured something out,” Shego said while putting her arm around her little kitsune since there was no one around.

“What?” Kim asked while leaning into the pale woman. She had her hands in her sleeves and was holding her elbows, which was how Shego was until she put her arm around her redheaded companion.

“You’re a troublemaker,” the fire-starter commented with a smile on her face.

“What?” the olive-eyed samurai said as if she was deeply offended by that. She was a hero, not a troublemaker. She helped people; she did not start trouble with anyone.

“I like troublemaking kitsune best of all,” Shego remarked, leaning in and placing a few gentle pecks on Kim’s cheek.

The redhead giggled a little bit because of the tender, soft sensation. The best thing about getting off of the main road was that they did not have to worry about a bunch of people seeing them hugged up together, which happened quite often. Though neither of them said it or even thought it, they were reveling in each other’s presence because with every step that they took they were getting closer to the end of their reality.

They tried their best to never think of what was at the end of the road and they were successful in that. For the moment, being together was the truth and being apart was an impossibility as far as they were concerned. It was like there was no future in their minds, only now. And since there was no future, there was no reason to consider where their journey ended and what would happen when they did find themselves walking separate paths.

“I’m not a troublemaker, especially not a troublemaking kitsune,” Kim argued in a very civil tone. She was already taking less offense to the idea being called a “kitsune,” even though it had only been decided a few days ago that Shego was going to use that nickname, whether Kim liked it or not. The problem with the statement was that it dubbed her a “troublemaker” more than anything else.

“Really? Well, I’m going to have to go find a troublemaking kitsune then. Got no use for non-troublemaking kitsune,” the pale woman joked with a taunting nonchalant expression on her face and she removed her arm from around Kim’s shoulder.

The olive-eyed samurai tried to pretend that she did not care about the limb missing. She stared straight ahead. Shego did the same while folding her arms back the way that she had them, putting them in her sleeves and holding her elbows. Both of their jaws tightened as they continued their journey. They were getting tense from the small space that was between them now. It was not even inches, but it might as well had been miles as far as their bodies and minds were concerned.

“So…” Kim said. She was not looking to fill the silence for any particular reason other than to forget that she desired to have that arm back around her, pressing her into the magnificent form of her cohort.

“No, don’t try that now. It’s too late,” Shego replied.

“You don’t even know what I was going to say,” the younger female pointed out.

“You were going to beg me to hold you again, but nope, too late for that now,” the fire-starter remarked with a bit of a smile.

“What?” Kim said rather indignantly. As if she would beg anyone for anything at all. Why the very idea was…not so insulting or farfetched coming from Shego. Damn it. Well, she still was not going to do that anyway, so it did not even matter.

“You know you were,” Shego teased with an amused smirk. Her eyes almost sparkled when she taunted her smaller companion. There was a strange level of joy that came over her when she teased Kim. Maybe it had to do with the fact that she was not looking to be malicious. She was being lighthearted, which was new for her.

“You wish I was. If anyone around here ever does any begging, it’ll be you,” the redhead replied with a playful smirk of her own.

“Please, I’d sooner kick your ass than beg you for anything.”

Kim scoffed. “Keep telling yourself that, but no one kick’s Possible-sensei’s little baby girl’s ass,” she commented.

Shego laughed at that because she had considered that Kim was too proper to swear, but she guessed that she was wrong. It was good to know that the kid was not totally proper, even though she did have to fold everything the right way. She liked learning new things about the redhead, beyond the noble-class kid that hated playing the shamisen. It only made her like Kim all the more, knowing about her. The only thing that made that task a little difficult was that Shego did not ask questions.

“Possible-sensei?” Shego muttered to herself. Now, she was curious about Kim’s parents, about her family, even though the family name did sound very familiar to her. She never cared about people’s lives the way she did about Kim’s. It was just a little annoying and that was only because it was something new, but since it involved her traveling companion that made it almost completely all right with her.

Kim was actually curious about Shego’s family too; she did not even know Shego’s family name. She wondered about Shego’s past and how things got to where they were for Shego. Where was Shego from? Why did she leave specifically? When did she leave her home? There was so much to know about the pale woman in Kim’s opinion and she wanted to know everything, so she could be closer to Shego. And, unlike the green-skinned warrior, she was willing to ask as many questions as necessary to sate her curiosity.

“Hey, Shego,” Kim said.

“What?” the pale woman replied.

“Do you have any family?” the redhead asked out of the blue it seemed. She said it in a soft tone, in case it was a touchy subject. It was always possible that something negative happened to her companion’s family.

Shego glanced over at Kim without turning her head. She made it a habit to never talk about her family for several reasons, but mostly because she did not want people to know about them. It partially had to do with a desire to be judged on her own merits and not through her family, but there were other reasons that she would rather not think about at the moment, like how irksome they were. She was not too sure if she wanted to answer that question, even though it was Kim asking.

“What does it matter?” the raven-haired female countered. It seemed like the safest thing to do.

“I just wanted to know,” the redhead answered.

Shego did not respond and Kim tensed up because of that. Why was Shego being so closed off? Was she good enough to feel up, but not worthy of any information on Shego’s life? And to think, she actually cared about the green-skinned woman, only to be treated as if she was totally untrustworthy with general background information!

The younger warrior snorted in deep anger and turned her attention straight ahead again. She was fuming so badly that it was almost coming off of her in intense waves. It would have been more kind of Shego to punch her in the stomach than to withhold information from her after everything they had been through and how close they seemed to be. Maybe it was all just a lie, the redhead considered. Suddenly, she could not get to Edo fast enough and she began walking faster.

Shego noted that the petite samurai picked up speed, so she did too, which only made Kim go faster. Shego sped up too and before long, they were practically running side by side. It almost appeared like they were in a footrace.

“What the hell are you doing, hime?” the older warrior demanded to know.

Kim did not answer. Shego noticed the extremely tense expression on her kitsune’s face. Oh, she had gone and upset the girl. For a moment, she thought that she could not care and then her brain reminded her that she cared about everything that went on with Kim by making her feel guilty for vexing the slender redhead. Damn it, she was not too sure if she liked caring about someone if it was going to make her feel bad for being herself.

Kim was thinking in a slightly similar fashion. She had no problem with caring about someone, as she cared about plenty of people. It was caring about Shego in whatever way that she did that was starting to bother her. She disliked that someone had such a tight grip on her emotions where she could become so angry just from refusal to openly answer a generic question, especially since Shego liked to tease and taunt too. She could easily find herself emotionally and physically drained from being around a person with such a power, which was not a pleasing thought.

“Princess, I—” Shego was about to explain herself, but they hit a rope bridge that did not seem to be able to support their combined weight. It probably did not help that they had ran onto the bridge, stressing it even further, but either way, it bridge snapped in two.

“Kuso (1)!” both females hollered as they plummeted.

They both looked down to see how far they had to go and they could see that it was quite the fall. They both went into their sleeves and pulled out grappling hooks. They let the hooks fly and snagged the end of the bridge. They almost slammed into the cliff face, but they kicked their legs out in time to avoid smashing into harshly. They breathed a sigh of relief until Shego’s wire popped and she continued to fall.

“Fuck it all,” Shego cursed and sucked her teeth. Of course the line would break when she was dangling a hundred yards from the ground!

“Shego, I’m coming!” Kim called as she dived after her cohort.

The redheaded samurai went down head first and pressed her arms to her sides, hoping to gain some momentum to catch Shego. The pair came close to each other, putting their hands out to grab for each other. They touched fingertips and then Kim suddenly came to a shocking halt because she did not have anymore length on her line. Shego, of course, continued to follow the path that gravity intended.

“Shego!” Kim screamed in pure horror and concern.

“Don’t worry!” Shego called to the redhead, not sure if she was heard or not as the space between them widened.

Kim watched in disbelief as Shego disappeared out of sight thanks to thick brush below. The redhead hollered at the top of her lungs in despair. She automatically decided to go down there to look for the pale woman. She hoped to the heavens that Shego was all right, even though she did not see how that was possible. What if the last time that they saw each other was when she was so angry with Shego? She just could not stand that thought and commanded the universe itself to protect Shego until she got to the older woman. She grabbed onto the cliff face and released her line. She started climbing down the cliff, determined to get her companion back in some form.

Shego swore for about the tenth time as she broke through some treetops and she grabbed a branch to avoid slamming into the ground. She jerked because of the sudden halt, but breathed a sigh because she had stopped. And then she heard the branch creak. She groaned, knowing what the sound meant. The branch splintered and broke off quickly and she was falling again. At least she did not have so far to go.

She hit the ground quickly and landed like a graceful cat. She was glad to be back on the ground. She looked down just in case the dirt wanted to be annoying and cave in too since her falling was suddenly in fashion. The ground seemed solid enough, though. She looked around once she was sure that the floor was not going to betray her.

She had landed in a regular, but slightly dense forest as far as she could tell. She decided to just wait where she was for a little while. She did not know if Kim was climbing down for her or not because the treetops cut off her view of the cliffs. She just knew that if Kim had fallen, she would be climbing down for the teen, so she gathered that Kim was climbing down since they seemed to worry about the same amount for each other.

Shego began picking leaves and twigs out of her hair that entrapped themselves there from her fall. While she was doing that, her instincts started to act up. She turned around, hands up in her fighting stance. She was surprised to see that there was no one there. She craned an eyebrow because she really felt like there was some danger around. She just could not see it. And then her feet were pulled out from underneath her.

Shego grunted as her back hit the ground and she looked up, trying to see what just happened. There was a tree root wrapping around her ankle and it started pulling her in the direction that it was growing from. Shego was not about to be yanked into a thick, lush bush by some pushy, possibly demonic tree root. She sat up and ignited one hand. She cut through the tree root and tried to climb to her feet. She did not even have time to figure out if she wanted to stand and fight or run off until she had better idea of what that root was and what it wanted from her.

A bunch of other roots shot out from the bushes and grabbed for her, wrapping around her wrists and ankles with amazing speed, especially for plant life. She growled in aggravation and cut through those irksome weeds as quickly as she could. She almost fell over because they had been pulling and she had been resisting the force. She then tried to make a run for it since she was free, but more roots came at her.

The wooden tentacles gathered Shego up before she would get away. She sucked her teeth in anger with the persistent plant and was ready to set the whole damned forest ablaze since it wanted to bother her at a critical time. The roots coiled tightly around her body in a matter of seconds; she did not even get a chance to mutter a swear word at the sheer absurdity to what was happening. Shego was completely covered and then sucked into the bushes before she could ever flex a muscle to try to escape. It would seem that the ultimate warrior had been defeated by an overgrown blade of grass. What a crappy day.

Kim made it down the cliff and ran into the trees, hoping to run right into Shego. No such luck, though. She did not see any sign of Shego for a moment, which she thought was odd, and then she noticed the drag marks on the ground. She hoped that the marks had nothing to do with Shego, but she followed them anyway because they were in an area that had broken sticks and fallen leaves about it. There was a chance that they were related to where Shego went.

She ran off into the dense bushes without even thinking. The only thing on her mind was that she wanted Shego back and she wanted her back safely as soon as possible, if not sooner than that. If Shego was so much as scratched by someone, Kim was going to kick that person’s ass thoroughly. Because of her impulsiveness, she was not paying too much to the landscape.

The redhead hit a slope and slid down it. She did not fall over or anything, but it took her a few seconds to regain control over herself. She made sure to grip her zori fronts because she did not want to pop the strap to her sandals. She hit the bottom of the hill and then heard applauds, which confused her. She looked up to see a quartet of children, who she guessed had just witnessed her unintentional show.

“Wow,” the group muttered.

“Um…hi,” Kim said awkwardly and she waved to the clique. “You guys haven’t seen a cranky woman with green skin around here, have you?” she asked curiously.

“No,” they all answered.

Kim cursed under her breath. She looked around and tried to think of what might have happened to Shego. The drag marks had led to the hill that she had just slid down, but she did not see any evidence that the drag marks continued where she was now standing. It did not help that the children said they had not seen Shego and she was a hard one to miss. While she was getting more worried by the second, thinking that something terrible might have happened to the pale woman, she was not losing her determination to find her companion.

“Have you seen anything weird around here?” Kim asked the kids.

They nodded enthusiastically, seeming to want to talk about the bizarre happenings that had witnessed. It would seem that there was no shortage of weird things that were going on around their home and they eagerly spilled out everything that they knew. They informed her that the forest was possessed and it often came alive. The demon plants sometimes walked around, not to mention the plants sometimes attacked and ate animals and people. Apparently, the local flora was a haphazard to anything that breathed and moved.

“Sounds like a dangerous place to live,” Kim commented, mostly believing the children because she had seen some very strange things in her short life. Killer lilies would not even crack her top-ten list of strange phenomena.

“You mean you believe us?” one little boy asked.

Kim nodded to affirm that and the children looked rather shocked. They were not used to being believed it would seem, especially by someone who was not from around their village. Kim was inclined to believe just about anything thanks to all of the things that she had seen and experienced in her life. The recent events in her life truly helped open her mind, giving her the mindset that anything was very possibly for anyone or anything.

“So, do you know where these moving plants come from?” the redheaded samurai asked the children.

“They come from the forest,” a girl answered.

Kim laughed a bit. She supposed that she should have seen that coming. She was dealing with very small children, after all. She guessed that she was going to have to go inspect things around the forest. She scanned the area while the children came closer to her. They were eyeing the weapons on her hip and one of the little boys was about to make a bold move. He was going to touch Kim’s mismatched long sword.

“Hey!” Kim barked at the boy, causing him to jump back because of the sound of her voice.

“Are you a samurai?” a girl asked curiously.

“Yeah, so don’t touch my swords. Don’t go around touching a samurai’s sword or your might get hurt by a not-so-nice samurai,” the redhead informed them. She did not like that the boy had gone right for her unused sword and she was not sure what might have happened if he touched it. Then there was the fact that if they did meet another samurai and made an attempt to touch that warrior’s weapons, there could be all sorts of problems, especially with samurai having permission to slay people below their status for disrespecting them.

The group nodded collectively. They seemed to know that Kim was right. The redhead figured that she could get some information from the children’s parents, so she asked them if they could take her to their village. They had no problem with that and charged off toward their homes. Kim was right behind them.

The olive-eyed samurai found that the adults in the small village that the children lived in were not as open as the kids were about the killer plants wandering around the forest. They seemed to want to save face or not come off as ignorant country folk. Kim tried to assure them that she did not think that they were insane or anything like that. She informed them that, in fact, she could help them with any problem that they had, especially if it was those plants.

The villagers eventually decided to trust Kim, especially if she could get rid of the demon plants, as they called them. The plants were dangerous because they did steal people away, eating them as far as the villagers knew because days after people went missing, they would find body parts of the missing person. They would love nothing more than to be rid of such a deadly force, especially since their village was practically surrounded by the forest. They did not want to lose anymore people, especially children.

“Don’t worry, people, I’ll take care of everything,” Kim declared and she was about to walk off, but stopped. “Um…could someone tell me what direction I should be heading in?” she requested with a sheepish grin on her face.

All of the villagers that were around pointed her in the direction that she needed to go and she smiled while thanking them. They all moped as she walked away. They were not too certain if one skinny little samurai was going to be able to do much, but they were going to give her the benefit of doubt, especially since she had not called them fools outright when they told her about what was happening. She was the first outsider to not laugh in their faces about their troubles.

Kim began running, thinking that Shego might have possibly been grabbed by the killer plants. It did not take her too long to find out what the villagers had been going on about the plants snatching people considering the fact that she was attacked by three traveling bushes that growled at her like angry cats. She pulled her long sword in an instant.

“Guess I’m going to be a gardener for the moment,” she commented. She was going to do things as quickly as she could because she desperately desired to have Shego at her side again. She hoped that Shego was well and good.

By the time Shego came to a halt, her face was covered by the tree roots and she could be heard screaming in a muffled tone; she was yelling every swear word that she knew and it was a long list. She was clawing at the roots as best she could, but they tightened around her as she scratched at them, cutting off her air and binding her hands closer to her body to stop her from moving them. It would seem that one of them was going to have to give sooner or later. Like hell she was losing to some plant, Shego declared mentally, and continued on despite the root acting as a constrictor.

“Oh, what have you gotten this time, my good little root?” a strange voice inquired.

Shego could tell that the person was close, but she could not place the accent, which she thought was odd. She was pretty well traveled and could tell where people were from based on their accents, but not with the person nearby. She could barely understand what the person near by was saying.

“Hey, whoever you are, get me the hell out of here!” Shego commanded in a muffled tone. Little did she know, but the mysterious person understood her just as well as she understood the person. She did have the excuse of having a plant over her mouth, though.

“Sounds like you got an angry one this time,” the voice commented.

“When I get out of here, I’m going to beat your ass if this thing is yours,” the pale woman vowed.

“Hold on to that one for a little while longer and then we’ll start the experiments,” the voice ordered the tree roots.

Experiments? Okay, Shego did not like the sound of that. It was time for her to get out of the predicament in her own special way. She just hoped that she was not in a house of anything or there might be all sorts of problems. She also hoped that there was no one around because she flared her hands. She growled as she powered up as much as she could, a low plasma charge coming from her whole body and coming out full-force in her hands. The tree roots burst into flames.

It sounded like the plant cried out in pain and it began to release Shego. She burst away on her own, easily breaking through the weakening wood. She dropped to the floor, unaware that she had been being held a couple of feet off the ground. She then quickly scanned the room, trying to get an idea of where she was and whose ass she needed to start kicking. All she saw was plants, all kinds of plants around the place.

“What do you think you’re doing!” a voice cried, causing her head to snap to locate the owner of the voice.

Shego was not sure what to make of the man that she was looking at. He was short, about the size of a small child, and was wearing a weird helmet. There was something beyond that, though. He just looked odd. It was the best way that she could put it.

“Gaikokujin (2)?” she muttered in a puzzled voice with an expression to match. She guessed that he was not from Japan anyway. He looked just as weird as his accent sounded.

“Everyone, get her!” he ordered.

Shego wondered what he meant by “everyone” since she did not see any other people and then all sorts of plants attacked her. She quickly sprang into action, clawing at anything that got near her. She could not believe that she was even being attacked by flowers. They happened to be flowers with sharp teeth. What the hell was going on and who the hell thought that an iris was improved when given fangs?

While she was trying to fight off the plants, the little fellow who seemed to be controlling the mutants grabbed a few darts. He drew one at her, which she saw coming. She slapped the dart out of the air, but quickly had to turn her attention back to the murderous foliage and went back to clawing them. She had to change her focus again as another dart came her way. That went on until she was scratched by a dart.

“Shimatta,” she silently swore and she felt a little dizzy, but she shook it off.

The little man laughed loudly and obnoxiously, knowing that he had gotten her with that dart. “You can try to fight the toxins, but it won’t work. I don’t know what you are, but it’ll be interesting to study you and figure out how you light yourself on fire like that,” he declared.

Shego did not pay him any mind and continued to fight on. She was slowed down, but she was still clawing and burning plants. The short male was baffled by her ability to stand up after he had managed to poison her and began throwing darts again. Shego cut through most of the plants attacking her, but she had three darts stuck in her back now. She was hardly able to stand up by the time she sliced through the last plant.

The little man laughed again, rather arrogantly, as he stared at her. He was upset that she had gone through all of his plants, but it was clear that she had nothing left in her. She was breathing hard and bleeding from various parts of her body. She could barely stand up from what he could see.

“Do you think that you could just stop me, the great Dementor!” the fellow declared and he laughed.

“Shego!” they heard Kim call.

“I’m in here, Princess!” Shego replied in loud voice, shocking the short guy that she was sharing a shack with. He did not think that she was strong enough to even raise her voice.

“What’s going on?” the short fellow, Dementor, wondered aloud.

His question was answered in a manner that he did not like much. Kim kicked the door down to his hideout, which was not very well hidden in her opinion because it was a large house in the middle of the forest with trees coming out of the roof. Had Dementor been aware that Kim was going to storm in as she had, he probably would not have been standing by the door. The door, along with some of the wall that it was attached to, came down, hitting Dementor. Kim stepped in with a powerful stride that needed to accompany such an entrance; she was walking on the door.

“Ow! Do you mind?” Dementor hollered at the top of his lungs.

“Hmm?” Kim made a curious noise and then noticed that she was standing on him. “Oh, sorry,” she apologized as she stepped off of the door.

“Don’t apologize to him, you crazy kitsune! Just pick him up, so I can kick his ass,” Shego ordered and Kim turned her attention to the pale woman.

“What happened to you?” the redhead asked curiously because of the horrid state that her companion was in. Between her tattered clothing, the blood stains on her clothing, the almost tired look in her emerald eyes, and slumped stance, Kim guessed that she had shown up at a good time.

“I got attacked by a deadly side dish,” Shego remarked. “Look out!” she warned the teen.

Shego hollered “look out” because Dementor was climbing to his feet. Kim turned around and kicked out at the small fellow. Kim was used to fighting people taller than she was, so when she kicked, she was used to it being a side kick, but with Dementor’s height, she hit him in the head. He went flying to the side and was stopped by a wall, which he dented on impact. He groaned and did not move, but he still seemed to be conscious. The helmet probably saved his life with the force that she hit him with. Kim went to go inspect him.

“Gaijin (3)?” Kim said curiously when she looked at him. She looked rather perplexed by his presence.

“That’s what I said,” Shego commented as she limped over to Kim.

“Are you okay?” Kim asked, hiding the concern that she was feeling by sounding relatively normal.

The green-skinned warrior nodded, but then she collapsed onto the redhead. Kim caught the pale woman, who was not unconscious, but dizzy as hell. She was sweating rather hard and it did not take a genius to know that she was poisoned.

“What did you do to her?” Kim demanded to know in a furious voice, grabbing Dementor by the folds of his red uwagi with one hand while making sure to keep a good hold on her companion with the other.

“Nothing!” he lied vehemently.

“Tell me the truth now!” she commanded him with more force in her voice than she knew she could use. She slammed his back into the wall for him to understand that she was not playing around.

Dementor flinched, but he did not say anything, even though he could practically see the fires of Hell in those olive eyes. It was the look in her eyes that made him reluctant to talk. Perhaps if she knew that he had introduced toxins into her friend, she would become even more ferocious and destroy him, he considered. Kim growled and was prepared to force him to talk, but Shego stepped in first. She decked Dementor with as much strength as she could muster and knocked him cold.

“Why’d you do that?” Kim asked.

“His accent is pissing me off,” Shego replied. “Besides, people cooperate so much better when they’re unconscious.”

“But, he did something to you.”

“Don’t worry about it. I haven’t met a poison that could screw me over yet. Let’s get out of here,” Shego said in a dismissive tone.

Kim was not too sure how to argue that, but she did anyway. She pointed out that Shego was poisoned, but the pale woman just fought with her on the issue. Apparently, they were both stubborn when they got a notion in their heads, but Shego was just a little bit more so and won out. She smirked arrogantly over it.

“You’ve just learned a great lesson, Kim-hime. Never argue with me,” the raven-haired female commented and Kim just rolled her eyes.

They looked around to make sure that the plants were taken care of and from what they could see, Shego had done a good job taking them apart. Shego started for the door, but noticed that Kim was grabbing the foreign munchkin. The emerald-eyed woman wondered what her companion was doing.

“Princess?” Shego said.

“I’m going to take him back to this village that he’s been terrorizing and let them watch him until the proper authorities come for him. He can also tell them how to stop any of the plants that might still be out there,” Kim explained.

Shego sighed; she was trapped with a goody-goody to the max. She did not say anything as Kim picked up the little guy and they started toward the village. When they arrived, Kim tied Dementor up extra-tight to a tree and went into her sleeve. She pulled out a slip of paper and writing tool. She quickly jotted down a note and rolled it up. She then took out her small whistle and tossed the bound note into the air. It was caught by a bird that continued on flying.

“So, an official should come and take this guy off of your hands in a couple of days or so. Make sure he tells you everything you need to know before that because officials sometime don’t like to do more than the pick up work,” Kim said to the villagers.

“Thank you so much,” the people said to her, everyone bowing in appreciation for her courageous efforts.

Kim waved it off as nothing, especially since Shego had done the real work in her opinion, but the people would not hear of it. They offered Kim and Shego shelter for the day, not to mention medical care for Shego. Kim accepted when they proposed that they would help Shego. The pale woman tried to protest, but she was weak from the poison and could not muster up the strength to do so. Kim smiled in triumph while giving Shego a look that said she always won.

Kim and Shego were alone in a hut that was given to them for the night by the grateful villagers. Shego was lying on a tatami (4) mat and her head was resting in Kim’s lap. The redhead was caressing Shego’s head and it was very soothing, especially since Shego was still feeling some of the effects of the toxins, but not much. Shego sighed, out of the blue it seemed because it was an almost defeated sound.

“So…I do have a family,” Shego started. “I have four brothers, one ahead and three behind me. My parents recently died…” the pale woman continued on giving a general history of herself. Kim smiled fondly and just listened to her cohort go on.

1: Kuso: damn it; shit!

2: Gaikokujin: foreigner.

3: Gaijin: foreigner.

4: tatami: straw floor mat

Next time: Kim and Shego learn a lot more about each other, like why Shego is green and why Kim carries a sword she doesn’t use. More importantly is the fun in a hot spring.

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