June 7, 2005
Shego stared at Kim, words escaping her grasp. Was she just hallucinating for the past few milliseconds, or did she hear Kim timidly utter the words “who are you” to her? Didn’t she recognize her? Where was that familiar look of determination? Where was the surprised outrage?
Before she had much time to ponder what was exactly going on, Kim was continuing.
“Wait, wait a minute!”
Kim’s voice was rising, a hint of panic discernable.
“Where am I? Who are you?”
Kim paused, her eyes growing ever wider as more time elapsed. She looked back at Shego, almost on the verge of tears, but her self-control was amazing. Shego leaned over and put her hand on Kim’s shoulder to reassure her that everything was under control.
“Shh, it’ll be alright. Just try and relax.”
“Who are you? Do I know you? Are we friends?”
“Kimmie…” Shego started, softening her gaze as to not frighten the girl.
“Kimmie?” Kim stared at Shego. “Is that my name?”
Kim started to sit up, but a sharp pain in her temples and her lower neck made her pause.
She looked herself over, and found that she had a white gauze bandage wrapped firmly around her midsection. Her left wrist was currently in a brace and an IV drip of 1000 mL Lactated Ringers (LRS) was connected to a catheter in her right inner arm. Even though she couldn’t visually confirm, she could feel that her right leg was braced and bandaged in its entirety, as movement in any direction seemed impossible.
Shego sat by Kim’s side, watching as Kim inspected herself, deciding it was better if she kept her mouth shut rather than try to explain everything at once in gruesome detail. A fleeting image of Kim falling, her expression of genuine fear, flashed in Shego’s mind.
“What happened? Why am I like this? Who am I? I don’t know who I am, I don’t even know my own name!”
Kim’s resolve was failing, and Shego could see it.
Without a word, Shego shuffled closer to Kim and pulled the girl into a firm, but gentle, embrace. At first unresponsive, Kim remained still; however, this show of affection and support convinced her to quickly abandon her reservations, and she leaned into the embrace. Her shaking shoulders indicated she was crying, and Shego stroked her hair, realizing that this was the first time she had actually seen the girl show any kind of vulnerability.
As Kim rested in Shego’s arms, her sobbing now reduced to a series of hiccups, Shego’s brain was frantically trying to work out what had happened. But no matter what scenario Shego was able to propose, the result would always end up the same: Kim Possible had lost her memory.
The concept of not being in control was something alien to Shego, and she thought about how frightening it must be to not be in control of one’s own memories, those silly things usually taken for granted. She cringed mentally, and squeezed Kim in a tighter hug.
“Excuse me?” came a slightly muffled question from Kim.
“Yes?” Shego said, still stroking Kim’s hair.
“What’s my name again?”
Shego smiled fondly. “Kim. Kim Possible.”
“What’s your name?”
Kim trailed off, and Shego could sense there was an unasked question still lingering in the teenager’s mind. She let Kim go, and looked into those confused green eyes.
Kim looked back at her, and Shego could tell she was mentally debating whether to ask a particular question. She opened her mouth before quickly closing it again.
Shego smiled down at her, urging her on. “Its okay. You can ask me anything.”
“We…are we…umm, you know? Uhh, friends?”
Shego swallowed. This was the question she was expecting, and this was the question she was most afraid of answering.
Wanting to say “yes” but having to say “no.” That’s just how life went.
She thought about how easy would it be to tell Kim that they were together. It was a tempting thought.
After all…she now had the power to reconstruct Kim however she desired. Isn’t that what she wanted? To be able to have Kim without all the strings usually attached to her, such as the sidekick and the job as teenage superheroine?
Shego looked back at Kim to find an expectant expression gracing her face; she was waiting for an answer.
You can do it.
No! You can’t lie to her.
It is what you’ve always wanted. You’ll have Kim all to yourself…
But if you change her, she won’t be Kim Possible anymore…
She’ll be YOUR Kim Possible…
Shego took a deep breath, and chose her words with the utmost care.
“We have an…interesting relationship.” She started to explain to Kim.
Some part of Shego’s brain scoffed.
Kim tilted her head, wanting a further explanation.
“We respect each other. There are certain…issues…we don’t agree on, and usually, we end up fighting over them.”
Kim blinked, and Shego mentally frowned. This was difficult. But she just couldn’t say they were enemies and were supposed to hate each other…
“But…I do care for you.”
Shego sighed. It was hard to admit she was attracted to Kim, but the more she seemed to deny it, the stronger the feelings became.
Why was it easier to tell Kim how she really felt now? Was it because for once, Kim wasn’t viewing her as the enemy, and she wasn’t looking at her with intensity and determination in those beautiful green eyes of hers? Was it because Kim was looking so vulnerable? Or was it because she had finally come to terms with her feelings towards Kim and had finally accepted (and even embraced) them?
With some anticipation, she looked at Kim, who was looking at her with an emotion akin to wonderment.
“Do I…do I like you too?” she ventured timidly.
Shego ruffled Kim’s hair.
“Only you can answer that, Princess.”
Kim looked amused, and a faint smile began spreading across her face. Shego laughed.
“It’s one of my nicknames for you.”
“One of? How many do you have?”
“Well, what are they?”
Shego smiled slyly.
“Oh, I’m sure you’ll figure them out.”
“Aha. I see.”
A sudden and slightly awkward silence descended on the pair. Shego cleared her throat, her expression becoming more serious.
“Its nice to see you again. I was…I was really…afraid…I had lost you.”
Kim took another look at herself and nodded.
“I can see how you thought that.” She paused. “So…what exactly happened?”
“Oh, sorry!” Kim apologized quickly. “Did I do something?”
“Oh no Princess. Its not you at all.” Shego quickly gave Kim a hug. “Its just that…it’s a bad memory, probably for both of us. It involves a deep ravine, a hovercraft, and the 3-inch scar you’ll probably have on your left side.”
Kim’s hand instinctively flew to her left side. Through the bandages, she could feel a tender spot and a line of stitches. She flinched.
“So…how did I get that gash?”
Shego bit her lip. She could foretell that she would be doing a lot of explaining to Kim within the next few days. Of course, she might have to slightly edit the parts in the story where she was involved…but she was confident she could tactfully navigate through those dangerous waters.
Perhaps if she just changed…?
Shego blinked and realized she had slipped into a pensive state again, neglecting to answer Kim’s earlier question.
“Well…it seems that we need to have story time. But first, I think you should get out of bed and shower. Its probably good for you. You know, hygiene and exercise. But first, let me unhook you from that IV.”
Shego reached over gently pulled the line of the catheter before carefully pulling out the catheter itself. Firmly pressing a gauze pad over the vein, Shego studied Kim’s face as she waited for the blood to clot at the small incision.
“I didn’t know you were a doctor.” Kim smiled.
“I’m not technically. But I know enough.”
Kim was looking at her with disbelief in her eyes. Not that Shego could blame her. The poor kid had just woken after four days of unconsciousness without her memories. Now this strange woman who wasn’t a doctor was pulling an IV out of her arm. She gave Kim a rub on the back.
Kim seemed to think about it before finally nodding.
With Shego’s help, Kim was able raise herself upright in bed. She looked around at her surroundings, finally mentally awake enough to register information.
They were in a rather large room with a vaulted ceiling. The lighting was very dim due to a lack of sizeable windows, but Kim was able to see that the room was sparsely decorated. There was a queen-sized bed (the one that she was currently sitting in), and two small mahogany nightstands on either side, the nightstand to her right having a small lamp on it. There was a small dresser and mirror on the opposite side of the room, and a bookshelf with assorted titles on the left wall. The dominant colors were black and various shades of green, the darker, the better.
Very utilitarian, Kim thought. And the color scheme very fitting.
With some effort, Kim swung her legs over the edge of the bed. Shego stood in front of Kim, and helped hoist her into a standing position, pausing for a moment to make sure Kim had oriented her balance. She was a little wobbly at first, but quickly gained control of her center of gravity. Shego smiled encouragingly, internally amazed that despite all her injuries, Kim was still able to stand on her own (on one leg no less) after only four days of unconscious rest.
Bracing herself against Shego, Kim took one hesitant step forward. Then another. And another.
“You’re doing great.” Shego volunteered.
“I can do anything.” Kim chuckled.
Shego arched an eyebrow.
“Can you really?”
“Of course.” Kim answered, a smug smile on her face.
Studying Kim’s eyes, Shego found nothing familiar, and felt a small tinge of disappointment. Kim didn’t remember anything. That sense of empowerment, that was just the way she was.
Shego paused, reiterating to herself what she had just thought.
That was just the way she was.
A new and uplifting thought dawned on Shego. Kim may not have her exact memories, but at least from what she had seen so far, Kim’s basic personality seemed unaffected.
Step by step, Shego helped Kim down the hall to the bathroom. With each step, Kim seemed to gain a bit more confidence in her abilities.
Once they reached the bathroom, Shego paused, feeling a tad awkward. It was a bit early in the relationship to be stripping Kim naked, but then again, for all intents and purposes, Kim had virtually no use of her right leg and left arm.
Kim paused too, and Shego could tell the same thought processes were running though Kim’s mind.
“I can get you a towel and some shampoo and conditioner.” Shego said. “Do you think you’ll be okay then?”
“Yeah, I’ll be fine, thanks.”
Shego left Kim sitting on the edge of the rub and walked over to the cabinet by the sink. She got out an extra dark green towel and two bottles, one each of shampoo and conditioner. She placed the towel on the edge of the sink and the shampoo and conditioner in the tub.
“I think I got everything. Anything else you need?”
Kim looked around.
“No, I think I’m okay.”
“Good. If you want, you can toss out your old clothes when you undress. I can wash them today and give you something else to wear in the meantime.”
Shego nodded. “While you’re showering, I’ll go make us some dinner. You must be famished.”
As if it heard Shego’s comment, Kim’s stomach rumbled. Shego laughed.
“I’ll take as a ‘yes’ then.”
With one fluid motion, Shego turned around and exited the room, closing the door behind her and leaving Kim in peace.
Downstairs, Shego decided to make pasta with meatballs and parmesan. It was simple, easy, and yielded lots of carbohydrates and proteins.
Kim was in desperate need of some nutrition. Not wanting to say so in front of Kim as to frighten her further, Shego was alarmed to see how much weight Kim had lost. She was a lean girl to begin with, and her four-day lapse of consciousness was starting to wear on her health. The IV drip was the only thing Shego could do to ensure that Kim was at least getting some form of nourishment, no matter how rudimentary.
The human body can survive up to about a week without solid food; however, only a few days without water. Shego was afraid that Kim stayed unconscious any longer, she would have to take the girl to a hospital (again) so the doctors could insert a feeding tube. And then she would have to do some major explaining. She could just imagine the debacle.
Yeah, I need treatment for Kim Possible.
Oh. Well. She was fighting me, and tried to jump on my hovercraft, and uh, missed.
And you brought her here?
Umm,yeah? Where else does one bring an injured person?
Why are you helping her? Aren’t you her nemesis?
Because I have a crush on her, is that okay with you, or do I need to fill out an application?
Plasma fire would have shortly followed…
The water starting to boil, Shego emptied about half a box of penne into the pot and started to heat up the marinara sauce. She was turning the meatballs in the frying pan when she heard a loud thud and a muffled yelp of pain that could only be coming from…
“KIM!” Shego shrieked as she dropped everything and bolted upstairs to the bathroom.
To be continued…