June 9, 2005
“KP?” Ron’s concerned voice shook Kim out her nightmare as she bolted upright.
Blinking, Kim looked around, taking in her new surroundings. Once again, she found herself sitting on a bed, but this time, she noticed she was in a hospital setting. The blinds on the large window were drawn, and bright sunlight was streaming into the room. Over her head, a monitor was steadily beeping – it was her heart, she realized. Feeling a strange, but somehow familiar sensation in her arm, Kim looked down to see an IV catheter inserted in her vein, which was attached to a rhythmic drip of Lactated Ringer’s solution. Clothed in a scant white hospital dress, she shuddered and pulled the beige blankets closer to her chilled body. That blonde boy with the naked mole rat – Ron – was sitting on a chair next to her bed, his leg elevated and an ice pack taped to his foot…the foot that Shego had stomped on, Kim realized.
At once, a flood of terribly conflicting emotions surged through her. Anger and rage at having been betrayed by someone she thought was a friend…someone she thought she liked (and perhaps loved). Still though, her feelings of resentment were muted by sharp pangs of attraction she felt towards the raven-haired woman, and Kim was sure that no amount of lying could have tricked her into feeling that way. Shego HAD taken her in and attempted to treat her – it was a genuine gesture of caring on her part. Right? But then again…Shego had killed two officers – she was a murderer. Or, maybe, murderess?
But for the immediate moment, there were more important matters to deal with.
“Where am I?” Kim asked Ron, still clutching the somewhat rough hospital blanket to her chest.
“The Middleton Hospital. You’re back home.”
Ron nodded. “You were having some sort of nightmare I guess. You screamed ‘you lied to me’ before waking up.” He extended a hand to pat Kim on her back in a small gesture of support. “You okay?”
Kim nodded slowly and Ron smiled warmly.
“Okay then. I’ll send your parents in.”
“What!” Kim exclaimed as she leaned forward to grab Ron’s arm before he had the chance to stand up. Ron winced slightly before smiling as he felt Kim’s strength. Obviously, her lost memories had done nothing to offset her years of toned muscles. Flashing another gentle smile at his best friend, Ron gave her a soft pat on the head to reassure her, but Kim still looked uneasy, a bit of fear still flickering through her green eyes.
Oh my god.Kim thought, suppressing a reflexive urge to panic. I hope my parents still love me. I hope that they don’t think I’m some kind of freak because I’m a lesbian.
What if they don’t? What if they treat me like some kind of outcast? I wish Shego were here. She would help me out.
Kim shook her head furiously.
No. Don’t think about her!
“Your parents. They’re right outside the door. They’ve been waiting for you to wake up.” Ron was explaining.
“Oh. Oh, okay. Sure! Uhh, send them in!” Kim breathed, her excitement and nervousness evident in her voice as she quickly let go of Ron’s arm, having enough sense to appear embarrassed at her outburst.
“Don’t worry, KP. It’ll be alright.” Ron smiled at her again before walking out the door.
Kim let out a tired sigh. This was all too confusing, and she didn’t have enough time to sort through her scrambled thoughts. Perhaps her parents would be able to help. Parents usually had that innate and uncanny ability to fix everything when it seemed that life was falling apart.
Kim swallowed as she heard the quiet click of the door handle turning, followed immediately by the creak of the door swinging open.
‘Mom!’ Was the first thought in her mind as she recognized the fiery red hair of her mother, a red shade that was her own.
“Kimmie!” Her mother exclaimed, running over to hold Kim in a fierce embrace, several tears already tracing paths down her cheeks.
“Kimmie-cub!” James Timothy Possible cried out moments later, following Kim’s mother’s example. “We were so worried about you!”
“Mom! Dad!” Kim gasped, suddenly finding herself in the embrace of two emotional parents. At once, she felt a wave of cool relief wash through her. This was the greeting she had been hoping for - this was what she wanted.
They don’t hate me!Kim realized, letting out a sigh. She lied…she lied about THIS too! Damn you Shego!
“How are you doing!” Both doctor Possibles exclaimed simultaneously, their words barely discernable as they were choked with tears. “Are you alright? What did that Shego person do to you? Where have you been all this time? Where was she keeping you?”
“Let go! Can’t…breathe!” Kim squeaked, gesturing her arms wildly to emphasize her point.
Finally understanding what their daughter was attempting to communicate, both the doctors let go of Kim and took a step back, but still staying within a small radius of their daughter.
“Kim…first off…are you alright?” Kim’s mother asked slowly while taking the time to visibly examine her daughter, looking for obvious skin abrasions and bruises.
“Yeah.” Kim answered, taking a precursory glance at herself, almost as if doing the same thing. “I feel fine.”
“What exactly happened in the first place?” Kim’s mother continued, now moving on to inspect Kim’s older injuries, critiquing the bandages and splints for their effectiveness and tightness around the skin and circulation system.
“I…I don’t remember.” Kim admitted. “I mean, I think I might remember, but I’m not sure if my, I guess you could call them visions, are real, or dreams.”
“Hmm. They could be either. What do you think you remember?”
Kim’s father had taken a seat on the chair that Ron had been occupying only minutes earlier, letting Kim’s mother continue with her questioning and examination of Kim. She was, after all, a brain surgeon.
“Well…I dreamt of falling. Just…falling and not being able to stop myself. I hit the ground and keep thinking to myself how it hurts so much, I just want to die to make the pain end.”
“Falling is a very common theme in dreams and nightmares.” Kim’s mother admitted. “But, then again, considering the type of work you do, there is the very real possibility that you did experience a nasty tumble. Do you remember why you were falling, or even where you fell?”
Tapping a certain nerve bundle near her elbow, Kim’s arm jerked involuntarily, effectively hitting the woman. Kim looked horrified, but Dr. Possible just smiled approvingly.
“Sorry!” Kim squeaked, her face red, but her mother shrugged nonchalantly.
“Don’t be. I was testing your reflexes. Yours are still good, just in case you’re wondering.”
“Okay…but I think I knew that already.” Kim chuckled, her mind reveling in her ability to be able to laugh again.
A feeling of well-being started creeping its way through her, and Kim felt herself begin to relax somewhat. The last time she felt this way was…
A familiar scene flashed in her mind as she saw herself bolting upright in a strange bed, in an unfamiliar place. Her body connected to a bag of Lactated Ringer’s solution, her various damaged limbs sprinted and braced. The relieved and concerned face of a woman with ebony-black hair and dark green eyes was hovering only a few feet above hers.
“What happened? Why am I like this? Who am I? I don’t even know who I am, I don’t even know my own name!”
Within the span of a few seconds, she found herself in an embrace, and she felt worry and anxiety fade away to be replaced by relief…and love. But it wasn’t the type of love a parent bestows on a child…this was different…
Her hair was being stroked, and she was being slightly rocked back and forth, as if she were a young girl again…
“Shego…” Kim whispered.
Kim felt the now-familiar flood of varying emotions surge through her again, only to be replaced by an empty feeling of bitterness and confusion.
You saved me…Kim remembered. But then you lied to me. I want to believe you Shego…but so far, everything you’ve told me has been a lie. I don’t know what’s what anymore. I want to love you…I WANT to. But I can’t. I don’t even know if you like me back. Was that a lie too?
As Kim felt her cheeks flush red again, another image assaulted her overworked brain, once again fading too quickly for her to make any sense of it.
She was falling again, staring up at the sky.
“Yes, what DID that Shego girl do to you, Kimmie-cub?” Her father asked upon hearing the woman’s name uttered from Kim’s mouth, shaking Kim out of her thoughts.
“Nothing…” Kim mused thoughtfully. “She…she didn’t do anything. Well, not anything like try to kill me. Actually, she was rather quite helpful.”
The doctors Possible exchanged looks as their daughter continued her monologue, almost speaking as if she had forgotten her parents were still there with her.
“I mean, how I remember her is nothing like how she treated me though. The Shego who I interacted with was caring, and concerned, and loving. But the Shego I’m remembering is cold and mocking and arrogant. She…she tried to kill me.”
Kim frowned, feeling that familiar rush of heat to her face and that tightening in her chest as tears threatened to spill. She blinked them away, but another image flickered through her mind, stronger than the last.
The air was rushing up around her, but there wasn’t anything to grab onto. Reaching to her belt, she couldn’t find her grappling gun – where the hell was it!
She turned her head skyward again, expecting to see the cerulean blue and crimson sunset above her, but no.
She was staring into a startlingly similar pair of green eyes – emotionless eyes.
And she was still falling.
“She’s always tried to kill me…” Kim whispered, her breath choked in her throat. “And I believed her when she said she loved me. I’m such an idiot!”
Kim smacked herself on her forehead. “My god, I’m so dumb! Why did I believe her? Why didn’t I see through her lies?”
‘Maybe because you didn’t want to…’Her mind suggested.
“She said what Kim?” Kim’s mother was asking, gently grabbing Kim by the shoulders as if to shake her daughter out of her reverie. “What did Shego tell you?”
“She said she loved me.” Kim repeated, her mouth quivering. “But I know she doesn’t, because we’re enemies, and she’s always tried to kill me. I bet it was just some cruel trick of hers, just like when Eric said he loved me!” Kim finished bitterly, spitting out the last word as if it tasted bad.
“Ahh…him.” Kim’s mother nodded, remembering how crushed Kim had been to find out that her ‘boyfriend’ wasn’t even real. And what was worse, that he didn’t care for her. He never did.
“She said she loved me! But she was lying!” Kim was continuing, her eyes filling with tears again.
But this time, Kim made no attempt to hold them back.
“I thought she cared about me!” A last anguished wail escaped from Kim’s throat as her resolve finally crumbled and she let her head fall into her hands, her shoulders shaking, wracked by her cathartic sobbing,
All the emotions she had held back – all the fear and worry and anxiety and bitterness she had kept suppressed for the last several hours – were finally released as her mind carried out an internal dialogue with itself.
I thought she loved me…but she obviously doesn’t…so…Why do I still…feel SOMETHING…for…HER?
Her? You can’t even say her name anymore?
YES! I mean, NO!
Because she lied to me! I loved her, and she was lying to me all along! That’s so wrong! It’s twisted and…WRONG! I hate her! I HATE her for what she did to me! I HATE HER!
Hate is such a strong word.
So is love.
But I still…love her? Do I? Can I? How can I? After what she did? Am I that starved for attention? What’s wrong with me? Why am I falling in love with my enemy, with my archrival, with my lifelong nemesis? I’m not supposed to!
You’re not falling. You fell. And when does love follow rules?
I don’t want her.
You’re right. You don’t WANT her. You NEED her.
Shit. Shit, shit, shit!
Huddled in the darkness and hiding from the world, Shego’s mind was racing as she mentally replayed the day’s events.
And ‘Shit. Shit, shit, shit!’ was all she could say about it.
Her perfect seamless plan of seduction…ruined by none other than Ron Stoppable.
That name brought upon a mini-seizure as Shego pictured his triumphant expression on his face as Kim had agreed to go with him. Why the hell had she agreed to that?
Shego took a deep breath and consciously tried to calm her pounding heart. As much as she despised the boy, she couldn’t hurt him. Well, nothing serious or permanent anyway. He was annoying, but he WAS Kim’s best friend – and a damn good one at that.
IS, Shego’s mind reminded itself. He still IS Kim’s best friend. Even if Kim’s accident IS his damn fault.
Always having relegated him to the role of pure comic relief, Shego was surprised at his demonstration of bravery earlier, as well as his show of amazingly practiced and well-executed defense and attack tactics. If she were forced to fight him again…he might just win.
Shego suppressed another wave of murderous rage within her as she pictured Kim falling. Where had Stoppable been? Why wasn’t he with her? Wasn’t he supposed to be her backup? Wasn’t he supposed to catch her before her body slammed into the hard unyielding ground? Wasn’t he supposed to save her before the audible crack of bones being broken and shattered resounded through the canyon?
Or… Her mind couldn’t resist taunting her. Wasn’t that YOUR job?
Shego shook her head violently, trying to dismiss the thought. Despite her best efforts, a vision of their last “real” fight above the canyon replayed itself through her tortured mind, making her wince as she saw herself delivering that one last blow to Kim.
You didn’t have to go that far that time…you lost control of yourself! Are you blaming Ron because you can’t face that fact?
But no…she couldn’t kill him. If she hurt the sidekick, Kim would never forgive her. Not that Kim would forgive her now anyways…
The morning had started out, at least in her opinion, perfectly. She had even cooked pancakes for the girl. Pancakes! Did Kim even know how hard it was to make decent pancakes? Her initial problem with the tea was beginning to solve itself with the discovery that honey lessened the bitter taste of the crushed pills, and Kim seemed to be slowly accepting that tea would be her main beverage from then on.
Besides, the tea was specially chosen…
After eating together, Kim had insisted on a game of Truth or Dare. Shego had assumed it was Kim’s way of attempting to indirectly weasel information out of her, but already having an appropriate story prepared, what did it matter if she fed Kim the carefully crafted half-lie? Oh no, it wasn’t a full lie – most of the information was correct – mainly the parts about Kim’s job as a world superhero as well as her missions. Shego had only conveniently forgotten to mention that Kim’s top villain priority was herself. She smiled at the thought that Kim’s highest precedence was…her. Not Drakken, but her.
Drakken was a fool. Shego could care less for what that blue-skinned scientist was working on. Even if he were able to construct a brilliant plan that was foolproof (which would never happen), Shego couldn’t give a no nevermind about world domination…nah…that wasn’t what she wanted.
The one thing she wanted was the one thing she couldn’t have.
Why do I want her? Damn it!
But she’d been SO close! She had been so damn close!
The little debacle that transpired earlier in the day had shattered any dreams she had of getting Kim to fall for her. Damn.
Shego sighed. How did this happen? How did she fall for Kim Possible? Miss Perfect. Miss Goody-Two-Shoes. Miss I-Can-Do-Anything. But she could, and that was the problem…she COULD do anything.
“Include make me fall in love with her.” Shego whispered to the empty air. “Why are you doing this to me?” She asked the night sky, wondering why Fate had decided to intervene so rudely in her life.
And why was that important to her? Why did she give a damn about Kim? Kim was her nemesis, they were supposed to fight! One of them was supposed to defeat the other! That was how it was supposed to go…how fate decided the story always went. They weren’t supposed to fall in love…they…they…DAMN!
It was against all the rules; it was against everything that every young child learns from his or her parents: Don’t lie, don’t cheat, don’t steal, don’t kill, and don’t fall in love with your mortal enemies.
Check, check, check, check, and check. Shego thought to herself, garnering only slight amusement that she had been able to break all five of those commands.
It was irrational, it was wrong, and if nothing else, it was cruel. For both parties.
Shego closed her eyes, enjoying the feeling of the night breeze caressing her exposed skin. She longed for a cold body of water to jump into – it would clear her head, and perhaps if she was lucky, shock her back into reality. An older reality where she and Kim were still enemies, where they would resume their nocturnal cat-and-mouse game, where Kim had never gotten amnesia and Shego had never taken her in. The comfortable reality where they would fight as usual, where their bodies did the talking for them, where their actions spoke louder than words ever could.
But no. She didn’t want to fight Kim anymore…well…not like that. The thought of her Kim in pain brought a sudden tightening of Shego’s chest.
That reality was dead, lost, and gone. There was a new reality to deal with now – a scarier one, but perhaps a brighter future, Shego’s secret fantasy – a life where she and Kim didn’t have to be at odds all the time, where they could say “I love you” in public.
Shego frowned. As appealing as her fantasy was, it also horrified her. She used to be so free-spirited, doing what she wanted how she wanted and when she wanted, not caring what anyone thought of her. And now…now all she could think about was being with Kim…being a couple.
As long as Kim didn’t kill her first, that is.
Shego took another long sigh before disappearing into the darkness of the night.
As much as she both despised and feared the prospect, had to find Ron Stoppable.
Look what you’ve made me do Kim. Look what you’re making me do for you. Look how weak you’ve made me. If only you could see it…
Among numerous other things she wanted to confront Ron about…that bastard had commanded a police raid on her house after he had driven her into fleeing the scene, and unless she was mistaken, he now had in his possession a certain cardboard box. A box that contained several drafts of a certain letter.
Snuggled tightly in her parents’ supportive embraces, Kim’s sobs had finally been reduced to occasional hiccups. Kim’s mother could almost see the wheels churning in Kim’s head, the fierce emotions waging a relentless war.
And she could understand.
Well, sort of.
Although she was never privy of the tiny details of Kim’s missions, she knew enough. She knew that one of Kim’s most dangerous enemies was this older woman named Shego, a person who matched Kim in terms of strength, speed, reflexes, and martial arts and gymnastics skills. On top of that, Shego could generate and control plasma fire, which there was no denying that it gave her a slight edge on Kim.
And this woman, who time and time again, had fought with Kim and been the cause of countless scrapes, bruises, and strains, had been caring for her – at the very least, keeping Kim alive and healthy. Blood tests had shown that Kim was well nourished and hydrated, a lack of significant number of white blood cells indicated that the cheerleader was also infection-free – a relatively admirable accomplishment considering the nasty burn Kim had sustained before her accident.
X-rays demonstrated that her various broken bones had been healing well, and her multiple splints were well-placed and effective in their motion-limiting intent without cutting off her circulation. There had definitely been some research involved in tending to Kim’s injuries…and seeing as there was no record of anyone being admitted to a hospital (anywhere in the world) with injuries even resembling Kim’s condition, the only person to have fixed Kim up so well was…Shego.
Shego, as in Dr. Drakken’s henchwoman, the one who has the history of being a thief, villainess, and on top of all that, the one who had sent Kim to the hospital for stitches on numerous occasions. Dr. Possible blinked as a certain clarity dawned on her.
Kim’s only been in the hospital for stitches and the like. Trivial injuries, never anything serious – at least, not from fighting with Shego.
So…why did she save my daughter’s life? Why did she fight to heal her without lasting disablement? It would mean nobody could stop her.
Her mind wandering back to the blood test results, Dr. Possible’s thoughts settled on another puzzling little facet of the situation.
There were trace amounts of several drugs found in Kim’s blood.
Being a neuro-surgeon, Dr. Possible recognized the drugs – they were designed to directly affect the brain, working to alter the amount of oxygen delivered to the brain cells by changing the dilation of the blood vessels…which in turn affected the brain’s ability to remember and recall past events.
Kim’s mother found herself shaking her head. It wasn’t possible. It didn’t make any sense, and it seemed too contradictory. Take her in, care for her, feed her, clothe her, but then slip her drugs in secret? Why?
There were more questions than answers, and any proposed response only brought upon a flood of new questions.
It could be part of a huge secret plan to corrupt Kim, or even sneak under Kim’s defenses while she was weak to take her out…but it wasn’t quite Shego’s style. From what Kim had always told her, Shego seemed like the type of woman to want to settle things face to face – the raven-haired woman actually enjoyed fighting.
Kim’s mother suddenly remembered a conversation she and Kim had shared several months ago…
Kim was pacing nervously around the kitchen while her mother was busy trying to prepare dinner that night. Several pots were boiling on the stove, and the muffled sounds of the television were coming from the adjacent living room.
“What’s on your mind Kim?”
“Shego? As in, the sidekick of Dr. Drakken? The one who shoots plasma fire at you and Ron?”
“What about her?”
“I think she likes fighting with me.”
Kim had paused in her pacing and started lightly chewing on her lower lip.
“What do you mean, she likes fighting with you?”
“I mean, she seems to enjoy it.”
“Why do you think that?”
“Because she always gives me this strange smile right before we engage in combat.”
“Are you sure she’s just not trying to intimidate you?”
“I don’t think so. She never smiles at anyone else she fights…like Ron, or any of the backup police officers that show up sometimes. She just frowns at them like she’s bored. I don’t know. Its…strange.”
“Well, it also seems that you’re the only one who can actually keep up with her, and beat her. Maybe she embraced the life of a thief because she gets an adrenaline rush from fighting? And when she fights with you, she gets some sort of weird thrill from it all because you have similar levels of martial arts training?”
“Yeah…but…” Kim trailed off, seeming unsure if she wanted to continue or not.
“She calls me…nicknames.”
“Nicknames? What nicknames?”
“Princess. And…uh…pumpkin. And Kimmie.”
“I wouldn’t worry about it too much Kim.” She shrugged. “They’re probably just a tactic for her to try and throw you off.”
Three words were echoing in Kim’s mother’s thoughts: Princess. Pumpkin. Kimmie.
Petnames. Shego had assigned Kim petnames.
A conclusion was starting to form…and she wasn’t sure what she thought of it yet.
She CAN’T BE! Not Shego…not really in love. Can she?
Taking another glance down at her daughter, Dr. Possible shook her head. This whole debacle with Shego was confusing to HER. How must poor Kim feel about it?
Judging from what Kim had said thus far…Kim didn’t even have all of her memories back yet. Just scattered confusing images and sound bits – not anything in its entirety, but enough for Kim to remember that Shego was the villain.
Enough for Kim to be devastated by Shego’s treachery.
Even if it was meant with the best intentions.
But she’s not really gay. Kim’s mother reminded herself. She can’t be…
“Alright, how does that feel?” Dr. Nidadavolu asked Kim with a gentle smile as she slowly and carefully inserted a needle into Kim’s right leg, pushing deeper and deeper – all the while studying Kim’s face for any sign of discomfort.
“Um, its fine I guess.” Kim breathed, making an effort to not watch the process. She couldn’t quite figure out why, but needles seemed to be an irrational fear of hers. It wasn’t that they hurt all that much, but the concept was just too…creepy.
“The local anesthetic should have kicked in by now, so the only thing you should feel right now is a slight pressure. If you feel any pain at all, you need to tell me, okay?”
Glancing over at the screen to make sure her aim was correct, Dr. Nidadavolu depressed the plunger, releasing the solution of nanotubes directly into the compromised bone. It was the newest technique for quickly treating broken and fractured bones.
“Carbon nanotubes work so well because they are ideal for the rapid production of lightweight, but high-strength materials – like bones.” The doctor was explaining to Kim. “The nanotubes are low density, have a high mechanical strength, and demonstrate excellent flexibility. They are able to mimic collagen as a scaffold for bone growth and repair. Plus, the technique of injecting them directly into the bone is much less invasive than an actual bone graft, where we would have to manually screw and pin the healthy bone to the artificial crafted one.”
Kim winced and the doctor nodded.
“We thought you might prefer this method. Besides, these carbon nanotube enhanced bones will be stronger than before. This way, you’ll be back to saving the world in no time.” The doctor smiled encouragingly, but Kim was only able to manage a weak laugh.
If saving the world meant she would have to face Shego, she wasn’t quite sure she wanted to get back in the business. At least, not anytime soon.
It’s like seeing your ex in one of your classes.
Am I really considering Shego my ex! This is too weird. If Shego is my ex, then we were girlfriends at one point…right?
Kim smiled to herself as she pictured what it would be like for Shego to romance her. Maybe Shego would have sent her red roses and a little note card to tell her she loved her. Or maybe she would have quietly pulled Kim into an embrace to whisper, “I love you” in her ear before gently kissing her. Or maybe she would have shown up in a disguise at a school dance, sheepishly admitting her true feelings for Kim and asking her for a dance. Maybe they would have left the building and danced outside, together under the faint glow of the moonlight. Maybe…
“Alright, done. That wasn’t too bad, right?” The doctor exclaimed with a flourish as she pulled the syringe out from Kim’s leg while simultaneously pressing a piece of white gauze over the puncture to slow the tiny amount of bleeding that did occur.
“Not at all.” Kim agreed, amazed at distracted she had been, feeling a twinge of embarrassment. Was she really that in love with Shego?
“Good. Now we’re going to do the same thing to your left wrist. Roll up your sleeve please?”
Wordlessly, Kim obeyed; however, her mind was still on a certain green-eyed raven-haired woman…
In a rapid blaze of green and black, Shego dodged a baseball hurled at her, her body easily flipping out of the ball’s trajectory. She quickly brushed her dark hair out of her eyes as she turned to face Kim’s best friend again.
Damn damn damn! Stoppable, I swear you’re making this much harder than it needs to be!Shego thought, exasperated at how quickly the situation had spiraled downwards.
“Get out of my house, you sicko!” Ron screamed at the woman, his cheat heaving as he grabbed the nearest object (which happened to be a flower vase), pulling his arm back to take aim. Shego opened her mouth to talk, but Ron had already flung the vase in her general direction. Ducking her head to avoid the heavy vase thrown at her, Shego’s face twisted in confusion and anger as she realized that if the vase had indeed hit her, she would have been knocked out cold.
“I just said I wanted to talk, Stoppable. How is that a crime?”
“Is that what told KP before you brainwashed her?” Ron shot back.
“For the millionth time, I didn’t brainwash her!” Shego yelled back, utilizing all her mental strength to not lunge forward and tackle the boy.
You’re lying.Her mind whispered, taunting and jeering at her. You can’t even romance someone without it being on your own terms.
“I even rang the doorbell.” Shego finished.
“What?” Ron scoffed, a bit of confusion lacing his tone.
“I said I rang the doorbell. You know…the other alternative to breaking in and beating you up to make you talk.” Shego explained. “I can’t believe I’m even saying this!” She finished, her frustration clearly showing.
Ron narrowed his eyes at the villainess in front of him, his expression very obviously telling that he wasn’t buying anything Shego had said.
“Well, actually I knocked first, but I guess you didn’t hear that.” Shego added, straightening up.
“Well…you said you wanted to talk, so talk. But make it quick.” Ron demanded, a small bit of nervousness creeping into his voice as he realized that he didn’t have the luxury of several SWAT officers to back him up for this encounter. He gulped in an attempt to swallow his supposed fear, and was surprised to discover that he wasn’t afraid of her anymore. An encouraging rush of self-esteem flooded his senses as he remembered his training at the Yamanouchi School of Ninjas. He remembered how supportive Yori and his Sensei had been. They believed in him for a reason. As did Kim.
The thought of her being subjected to Shego’s twisted mind games was enough to spur Ron back into action and courage again. Quickly reaching for the second baseball he kept around, he gave it an experimental toss in the air before catching it again and returning his glare towards Shego.
“Okay okay.” Shego started, holding her hands up in a mock gesture of defeat. “I just want to know how Kim’s doing.”
“Fine.” Ron answered tersely. “Anything else?”
Shego rolled her eyes. “I won’t accept ‘fine’ as an answer. How is she? Really.”
Ron snorted. “Like you care?”
Shego felt her pent-up rage boil up again, trying to resurface.
“I do.” She growled.
Though why I should give a damn about my enemy is beyond me. No matter how far she fell because of me. No matter…no! It wasn’t my fault! It couldn’t have been! Why am I caring about that girl? She’s my nemesis…my…cute nemesis.
“That’s surprising. I thought you were just screwing with her head. You know, messing her up worse than she already was. And for what? Sex?”
Shego clenched her jaw, but Ron smiled, seeing how his tirade was affecting the older woman.
“Of course not you little bastard.” Shego hissed, barely controlling her temper.
Was I?Her mind begged the question.
“This was all some sort of power game for you, huh? You know, dominating her in bed or something, because you know you can’t beat her physically.” Ron continued to mock her, a smug smile plastered on his face.
Letting out a roar of indignation, Shego let her hands burst into plasma flame as she twisted her fingers into claws, wanting so badly to grab that annoying sidekick, drag him to the top of the nearest skyscraper, and throw him off. The sound of his body hitting the pavement below would be so satisfying…
In response to Shego’s display of aggressiveness, Ron calmly slipped into a TSPkwar fighting stance. With one hand behind his back, he summoned the Lotus Blade, having no second thoughts about using it in case Shego attacked him. Tilting her head to study what the sidekick was going, Shego found herself to be incredibly surprised that she didn’t recognize the fighting stance. In all her extensive martial arts training, she had never come across a stance quite like the one he had stationed himself into.
Careful!Her mind warned her. He already proved to you that he’s not just a buffoon – he actually knows what he’s doing.
Still staring at the boy, Shego opened her mouth to take a deep breath in and out, attempting to prod her rage back into its cage. She let her plasma flames go out before speaking again. When she spoke, it was slow and forced, each word enunciated with startling clarity and broadcasting a raw feeling of…need. Ron found himself moved by this startling show of emotion from the villain. It wouldn’t hurt him to at least listen to her for a few more minutes.
“Ron. I just want to know. Is Kim alright?”
Taking a moment’s hesitation to answer, Ron finally replied, only a slight look of disbelief showing through his eyes. Behind his back, and unknown to Shego, the Lotus Blade had vanished as suddenly as it had appeared.
“Yes, she’s fine. She’s in a hospital being treated for her injuries and broken bones.”
Shego let out a heavy breath. “Good.”
Ron could have sworn he saw a relieved smile flicker across Shego’s face, but he blinked and in an instant, it was gone. Perhaps it was his imagination – today was turning into quite the stressful day. He took a careful step towards Shego, wondering if he should ask her about it, but Shego had already back-flipped out of the front door and was lost to the cover of darkness outside…but not before dropping something on the ground.
For what seemed like the first time in ages, Ron let his tired muscles relax. His mind; however, was anything but calm.
Shego was just here. And she didn’t hurt me. I could see it in her eyes…she was holding back.
Shego…my enemy…Kim’s enemy…the woman we’ve fought for years. She’s in love?
Another question begged to be asked.
With caution, Ron walked over and picked it up – it was a plain envelope. Taking a quick look around before opening it, he found one hundred dollars in cash along with a note. Ron blinked. A hundred bucks!
Please buy Kim get-well flowers. Yellow if possible. I would do it myself, but I know you wouldn’t trust anything if it came directly from me. Tell her it was from a friend.
His mind still reeling from the recent encounter with Shego (not to mention the note she had left) it was only then that Ron realized that Shego had addressed him by his real name.
And she DID ring the doorbell.
Several hours and four needles later, Kim was more than ready to go home. Despite several of the hospital staff petitioning Kim to stay in the critical care unit so they could keep an eye on her for the rest of the night, Kim and her parents had reasoned that the best way for Kim to try and regain all of her lost memories would be to immerse her in her old life, which included her younger twin brothers, her house, her room, and as many family photo albums as they could recover from the bookshelves, basement, and attic.
It was late at night, but the Possible residence wasn’t far away from the hospital, and in Kim’s parents’ opinions, the sooner they got Kim back in a familiar environment, the better.
Sitting on the relatively comfortable hospital bed, Kim found herself very excited to be going home. She was looking forward to seeing her room, secretly hoping that once she got home, her amnesia would improve. While at first she had her doubts that her “parents” might not be who they said they were (look what happened with Shego, she reasoned), all the hospital staff had assured her that indeed, everyone who had visited her this day were who they said they were, and Kim assumed that several dozen hospital staff couldn’t be wrong. Besides…she had felt…something click when she saw them, and when they held her in their arms. Maybe it was something on the cellular level? She was their biological child, after all.
Kim’s father had left to go warm up the car and drive it to the main entrance, and Kim’s mother was having a chat with the other neuro-specialists regarding several treatments they could try that would help Kim remember. While Kim had decided she definitely had enough needle pokes to last her for the next few lifetimes, if that’s what it took to help her regain her memories, she would deal with it.
Kim sighed and closed her eyes, savoring the feeling of contentment that was slowly beginning to drift over her.
She was going home.
To be continued…