June 7, 2005
Shego took the stairs three at a time and threw open the bathroom door, mentally prepared to handle almost any situation. Once she was able to wave the steam out of the way, she peered in.
Kim was sitting in the tub, her back towards Shego. She was leaning forward and clutching her left side. She didn’t seem to care that Shego had just burst in. The bottle of shampoo was on the floor, some of the translucent purple liquid leaking onto the floor.
Shego took a cautious step towards Kim, unsure what exactly was wrong.
Kim turned her head toward Shego while simultaneously moving her arms to cover her chest.
“I reached for the towel, and must have stretched too much. My left side hurt, and I guess I knocked the shampoo bottle off the edge of the tub when I pulled my arm back. Err…sorry. I didn’t mean to make you come running up here.”
Shego let out a sigh of relief.
“I’m just glad you’re alright.”
Kim nodded. “Sorry it wasn’t anything more exciting.”
Shego glared at Kim. “I think you’ve had enough excitement to last a lifetime.”
“Really? What do I do?”
Moving into the room while taking care to not look at Kim (even thought it was quite tempting), Shego reached for the towel still resting on the sink’s edge before passing it behind her back to a still-naked Kim.
“I’ll tell you after dinner.”
Her back still at Kim, Shego could hear Kim struggling to stand up and step out of the tub.
“Let me help you.”
“Hang on, I can do this…just a sec…”
Shego smiled to herself. Even with her memories gone, she still insisted on doing everything herself, and her way.
“Okay, you can turn around now.”
Shego turned around to see Kim clad only in the green towel, bracing herself on the wall. With reserved amusement, Shego also noticed that while Kim was in a pseudo-standing position, she was still in the tub, the water only beginning to drain. She extended a hand towards Kim, who took it to help her keep her balance as she hopped out of the tub on her good leg.
Kim caught Shego’s eye, and for a moment, both girls looked at each other, neither saying a word. The silence lasted only a few seconds, but Shego thought it felt like an hour.
“Well, it looks like you’ll be okay on your own now. Your clothes are right over there…I’ll be downstairs cooking dinner. Give me a yell when you’re ready to come down; I don’t want you attempting stairs on your own yet.”
With that, Shego strode out the door.
Back downstairs, Shego was relieved to discover that nothing had burned, overflowed, or set off the fire alarms during her temporary absence. The penne was boiling away, the marinara sauce only beginning to get warmed, and the meatballs were just crisping.
Getting out two bowls and the grated parmesan cheese from the refrigerator, Shego turned around to see Kim leaning against the doorway. She had managed to get her wrist and leg brace back on correctly, and it appeared that she had also re-bandaged her wounds. Some part of Shego’s brain noted how cute Kim looked in an emerald green shirt and black slacks.
The green shirt matched her gorgeous eyes…
“Kimmie, what are you doing down here?”
Shego ran over to Kim, and slipped under Kim’s arm, providing ample support for Kim to limp over to the kitchen table.
“I thought I told you to call when you were coming downstairs.” She sternly addressed Kim.
“I thought I would try it myself at least. And it worked. I got down here okay, no?”
“Kimmie, a girl with a head injury, a broken wrist, stitches, a broken tibia, and a shattered patella is not supposed to be walking down several flights of stairs, whether she thinks she can or not!”
“But I can! I just did!” Kim protested.
“Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” Shego countered.
“If I’m capable of doing something, there’s no reason I shouldn’t do it.”
“You think you can do anything Kimmie. And yeah, that slogan worked well for a while, and it was catchy, but you need to realize you CAN’T do anything. You can do a lot, but not everything.”
Shego went back to stirring the pasta, occasionally picking a noodle out of the pot and tasting it. She fished the meatballs out of the pan and put them in the stove to keep warm.
“I know my limits, okay? If I didn’t feel I could walk down those stairs, even with a broken wrist and broken whatever else I have, I would have asked for help.” Kim pouted.
Shego sighed heavily.
“No, Kimmie, you don’t know your limits.”
“Yes, I do.”
“No, you don’t.”
“How do you know? You’re not me.”
Shego spun around to face the young girl sitting before her.
“No, I’m not.” She snapped. “But I know enough about you to be able to pass calls on your judgment. And lately, your judgment isn’t doing so well Kimmie. In fact, it sucks. You wanna know why you’re like this? Why you have broken bones all over, why you can’t remember your own name?”
Kim opened her mouth, but quickly closed it. Shego was continuing.
“You’re like this because you made one very bad judgment call four days ago when you leaped off the edge of a cliff because you thought you could jump onto a hovercraft. You missed, and you fell, so excuse me for not believing you can make sound judgment calls.”
Kim stared at Shego, amazement and disbelief plastered on her face. She tried to speak, but couldn’t formulate coherent sentences. Shego turned around and proceeded to drain the excess pasta water, fighting an overwhelming urge to throw plasma at the nearest wall in growing frustration.
“I…what?” Kim asked.
“You fell over 100 feet Kimmie.” Shego replied softly without turning around. “I thought you were dead.”
Kim decided to stare at the floor for a few minutes. She could hear Shego stirring something on the stove and felt the tension in the atmosphere.
“Shego?” She ventured, somewhat timidly.
“Yes?” Shego was terse, but there was a hint of something softer underneath.
Kim looked up at the older woman. Shego showed no discernable expression or emotion, but she turned off all the stove knobs and walked over to have a seat beside Kim. She sighed.
“I’m not angry with YOU, Kimmie. I just worry that one day, you’ll go off on a mission, and you won’t come back.”
Kim’s ears seemed to perk up.
“Missions? I go on missions? What do I do?”
Shego left Kim’s side and picked up two bowls, pouring the penne, marinara sauce, and meatballs into each one. She returned to the table and set one bowl in front of Kim, and kept the other for herself. She walked back to the counter to retrieve the grated cheese and utensils.
“Parmesan?” She asked Kim.
“Please.” Replied Kim, as she took a handful and proceeded to sprinkle it on her pasta. “Now, what missions do I do?”
Shego chuckled and gave Kim a wink. “Very secret ones.”
“No, really! What do I do? This sounds intriguing.”
“I told you – they’re very secret missions.”
“So secret, even YOU don’t know about them.”
Looking at Kim, Shego decided that the cheerleader looked for all the world like an entranced child listening to the story of Santa Claus for the first time. She laughed wholeheartedly before continuing, her previous anger now totally evaporated.
“Once upon a time, there was this young girl. She was spunky and cute, and found that she really liked defending those who couldn’t defend themselves. In other words,” Shego grinned “she was a goody two shoes.”
“Hey!” Kim protested in between bites of her dinner.
“I’m not finished Kimmie.” Shego mockingly admonished.
“As she grew older, she grew more beautiful, and her skills increased tenfold. She could execute a flip worthy of the Olympics, and a spinning roundhouse kick that could take down a grown man. Originally, she wanted to get a job as a babysitter, but as fate would see it, this girl was destined to become someone more, someone special. So one day, she formed the legendary Team Possible, and dedicated her life to fighting crime. She got sent all over the world and battled some of the fiercest villains of her time.”
Shego paused, glancing over at Kim. Kim’s eyes were wide, her supper temporarily forgotten.
“But one day, while battling her archnemesis, the girl miscalculated a certain jump. She missed her target and ended up falling into a deep ravine. She was badly hurt, and her chances of survival were low. But, this girl could do anything, and she managed to survive.”
Shego looked over to Kim again, a more serious look in her dark green eyes as she continued the story.
“That girl is you, Kimmie.”
Kim stared at Shego. “You’re telling me that I’m a superhero?”
Kim shook her head, blinking rapidly. “Wow. That’s just…Wow. I guess that explains the injuries then, huh?”
Shego nodded again. “Now do you understand why I worry about you?”
Kim looked away from Shego, her brain still in the process of digesting the information. Shego quietly ate her dinner, letting Kim mull over everything she just told her, knowing that the redhead’s mind must be reeling from information overload. As she observed Kim mentally rehashing everything, she knew the next question Kim would ask her, and took the time to attempt to formulate an answer.
“Shego?” Kim asked, getting the raven-haired woman’s attention.
“Mmmm?” Shego mumbled, her mouth currently full of penne.
“So, what part do you play in this story? Do we fight crime together?”
Shego swallowed, a little too quickly.
God damn it Kimmie. Don’t tempt me again.
Shego paused, her breath caught in her throat. Torn between giving Kim what she deserved (the truth), or yielding to her own hedonistic tendencies and lying, the lines of a certain poem repeated themselves in Shego’s mind.
Two paths diverged in a yellow wood…took the latter…and that has made all the difference.
What if Shego chose the road less traveled? What would happen?
She could see Kim gazing at her expectantly, and knew she had to say something. The silence was becoming awkward.
“I…” she reiterated, her mind still waging a fierce debate with itself.
If you love her, you’ll tell her the truth.
Her memory is still too fragile. The truth will destroy her now.
She deserves the truth.
She deserves to have someone who will love her and protect her.
And not lie to her.
And telling her who you really are will change that? You’ll still love and protect her.
But she would run from you if she knew.
Then let her run.
But she’s too weak still. She will injure herself more.
And how hurt will she be when she finds out you’ve been lying all this time?
I won’t really be lying…we are in a relationship, even if it’s not the most traditional one.
I can protect her.
“Kim.” Shego started. She paused, took a deep breath, and finished her sentence, her eyes locked on Kim’s. “We’re dating.”
Kim’s eyes widened even more, and Shego’s inner demon cackled in triumph. There. She said it. It was done. Kim was hers.
But… Shego’s mind taunted. Can you protect her from yourself?
“I, uh, didn’t know I liked girls.” Kim stammered nervously. She turned towards Shego. “But, uh, I guess I do?”
Biting her lip, Shego nodded, while simultaneously wishing she could go back in time and take back everything she had just said.
“Well, okay then?” Kim breathed, still looking unsure about everything, but accepting of what Shego was telling her.
“But, remember that just because I tell you something, doesn’t mean that it has to be that way.” Shego quickly reminded Kim. “Remember how I told you only you can tell yourself how you feel about me? Well, its true. No matter what anyone might tell you, only you can decide how you truly feel.”
Kim nodded slowly. “Yeah.”
Inwardly, Shego cringed at the pathetic attempt to rectify the situation. There was no taking back what she said, but she could at least try to make sure that any feelings Kim might develop for her were genuine, even if the original concept was falsified.
She reached over and ruffled Kim’s beautiful red hair before continuing.
“I don’t want you to like me because I told you to. I want you to like me because you do.”
“But, if I’m dating you, then I have to like you, right?” Kim questioned.
“Well, yeah, that’s normally how dating goes.”
“Then I must like you.”
Shego help up her hands in a mock gesture of defeat.
“I’m just saying Kimmie…I don’t want you to think you have to do or feel anything just because you can’t remember. Its possible that when you get your memories back, your attitude towards certain persons may change based on how you interact with them now when you lack a past precedent to base your opinions on. Its also possible that nothing will change. In this case, you won’t need to worry about it.”
Shego paused, not knowing exactly how to finish.
“Of course, you also have to consider the possibility that your memories will not ever come back, and if that is the case, you have start making new ones from what you’re able to experience now.”
“What are you saying?” Kim asked, shaking her head in confusion. “If I didn’t like someone before I lost my memory, I’ll bet that when I meet them again, I still won’t like them. There must have been SOMETHING that made me dislike them in the first place, and I’ll bet that aspect won’t have changed in the four days I was asleep.”
“Don’t be too sure of that.” Shego warned.
“No. See, right now, the only person I’ve ‘met’ since my accident is you, and you’ve been extraordinarily nice to be so far. I think can trust my instinct on this.”
Kim smiled, almost reassuringly.
“I’m going by what I feel NOW, Shego, and that is that you care for me. You’ve taken me in when I was hurt, tended to my wounds, and now you’re feeding me and explaining my forgotten life to me. You’re under no obligation to do so, right?”
“No. What’s your point?”
Kim shrugged. “You’re a good person.”
Shego frowned. “Only to you. I think your idiotic sidekick would beg to differ.”
Kim tilted her head. “Who?”
Shego mentally reprimanded herself for making such a careless slip. As much as she hated to admit it, Kim Possible was part of the Team Possible package, which included Ron and Wade, and a la carte was not an option.
Well, now a la carte was definitely looking like a possibility.
Over the years, Shego had repeatedly attempted to isolate Kim from the other two and had disappointedly discovered that wherever Kim was, the other two were bound to be close behind. It was only recently that Shego was beginning to accept Ron as Kim’s friend and sidekick, as ineffective as he was…
“Team Possible is basically you, this genius Wade who you’ve actually never met, and that bumbling childhood friend of yours, Ron Stoppable.” Shego explained. “Oh, and there’s a naked mole rat too.”
With each word Shego uttered, Kim became more and more confused.
“I work with someone on a team who I’ve never actually met?” Kim wondered aloud.
“Okay Princess, here’s how it goes: Wade talks to you via your Kimmunicator. He also invents stuff for you. Your sidekick is some kid named Ron and his sidekick is this rather ugly naked mole rat.” Shego explained, slight disgust creeping into her intonation.
“Awesome. I think it got it now.” Kim nodded.
“Good. Then tomorrow, we can begin.”
“Oh, you’ll see. I think you’ll enjoy it.”
Shego smiled mysteriously.
“But go ahead and finish your dinner Princess. You’ll need a lot of rest.”
“Aww, please Shego. Tell me.”
Kim attempted to use her patented puppy-dog pleading face, and Shego blinked in surprise. Since when did she remember that? Or maybe that was a personality quirk that somehow didn’t get erased? After all, only a few hours earlier, Kim had stated that she could do anything, but wasn’t able to associate the significance of her declaration to her particular…career.
Shego folded her arms. The girl was adorable, but Shego was stronger than that.
“That’s not a valid answer.”
“Of course it is.”
“Only from your point of view!”
“But that’s not fair.”
“Nor is life. Get used to it Pumpkin.”
Shego leaned over and softly kissed Kim’s forehead. Kim closed her eyes, letting herself experience the moment – or perhaps even enjoy it? She didn’t know all that much about herself, but her gender dating preferences seemed pretty clear: She liked girls. Well, some girls. Maybe this girl.
“You alright, Kimmie?”
Kim opened her eyes to see Shego studying her. A slight blush crept across her face as she nodded.
“Tough day?” Shego inquired? But a hint of a smirk on her face made Kim think that she had something more on her mind.
“Yeah. Its just that…” Kim trailed off. She shook her had, as if to clear her mind. “I’m just trying to figure everything out. I see that I’m going to have a long healing process ahead of me. And when I’m not trying to reteach myself how to walk, I’ll have to basically relearn my life.”
“It’ll be tough.” Shego agreed.
“Yeah…but…” Kim felt the rush of heat to her cheeks and knew she was blushing. Shego; however, didn’t seem to notice, and if she did notice, she wasn’t acting like she had seen it.
“But, you’ll be here too, right?”
“Of course. I’m not letting you go.”
“About what Princess?”
“You won’t let me go?”
“Do you really want that?”
“Right now, you’re the only constant thing in my life. I don’t want to lose that.”
Shego closed her eyes momentarily, her expression unreadable.
“Then yes, I promise. I won’t let you go.”
Kim smiled in what appeared to be relief and Shego felt a tinge of guilt, only to be superseded by a feeling of possessiveness.
I have her now, and I’m not giving her up. She’s mine.
Shego stood up from the table and picked up both her bowl and Kim’s bowl and brought them to the sink. Washing both the bowls as well as the various pots and pans used to cook their meal, Shego worked swiftly and with surprising efficiency. Kim started to hoist herself up from the table, but a stern command from Shego made her pause.
“Sit down Kimmie.”
“Chill out, I’m just stretching.”
“Uh huh. I don’t quite believe you Princess.”
“You’re not even looking at me!”
Shego turned around, a mischievous grin on her face. “I can still hear you.”
“Then you have amazing hearing.”
“That’s not all I have Pumpkin.”
Kim arched an eyebrow. “Oh? Is there something else I should know about you?”
Shego shrugged nonchalantly, but there was a playful gleam in her eyes. “Oh, I’m sure you’ll figure it out in time.”
Putting the last fork in the drying rack, Shego walked over to Kim and held out her hand. “Back upstairs Kimmie.”
Kim took her hand and Shego helped her up. Slowly but surely, they eased their way back upstairs and into the bedroom. Kim took a seat on the edge of the bed and Shego bent down on the floor and took her right foot in her hands.
“What are you doing?” Kim questioned.
“Testing.” Shego calmly replied. “Tell me if you feel anything.”
“Testing wha – OW! HEY! OUCH! SHE- OW!” Kim yelped as Shego pinched all five toes.
“Okay, good. You felt those.”
“Of course I did. Why wouldn’t I?”
“I wanted to make sure that when you broke your leg, you didn’t sustain any nerve damage. I wanted to see if you could still feel sensations. In addition, I wanted to make sure you didn’t put your brace on too tight.”
“You could have warned me.”
“Well, you could have done a better job.” Kim huffed.
A sly grin slowly spread across Shego’s face. Without a word, she moved behind Kim and began toying with Kim’s hair. It only took a few seconds for Kim to realize that Shego was putting her hair up in a messy bun.
“What are you doing now?” Kim asked, her eyes narrowed.
Shego didn’t answer, but Kim could feel hands pressing on the base of her neck, deliberately moving in clockwise circles before descending lower. It was amazing.
Inclining her head to give Shego better to access to her neck and upper back, Kim let out a satisfied exhale.
“Like that Princess?” Shego whispered in Kim’s ear, her breath hot against Kim’s cool skin.
“Mmm hmm.” Kim murmured.
As Kim sat there, a general feeling of contentment began to overtake her. She closed her eyes, letting herself get lost in the moment. Time became meaningless as seconds became minutes, but minutes felt like hours.
Shego’s voice seemed far away, but Kim obeyed. It was the logical thing to do…
As Kim shifted position so that she was lying on her stomach with Shego straddling her above her waist, a sudden jolt of remembrance shot through her. She couldn’t exactly place it, but somehow, this felt…familiar.
Her body succumbing to relative exhaustion, Kim felt sleep begin to take her. But right before she let herself slip into blessed unconsciousness, one thought reverberated through her mind.
Shego looked down at Kim, noticing that her breathing had become deep and regular. She carefully slid off the bed and pulled the soft covers over the redhead while tenderly pushing a few stray hairs out of Kim’s face.
“Sweet dreams, Princess.”
To be continued…