June 9, 2005
All sleep-borne cobwebs in her half-awake brain vanished instantly as she recognized the intruder. The voice gave it all away: the softness, the way it seemed to take on a life of its own and pull you close before entangling you in its insistency and unintentional huskiness. And by the time you realized what was going on, you were already lost.
But Kim knew better by now.
Kim spun around as fast as her body would let her, making sure a glare of contempt was on her face.
“You!” She hissed, wishing that she wasn’t so crippled at the moment so that she could launch herself at the woman and push her out the window.
“I need to warn you…and I wanted to see how you were doing.” Shego leveled with Kim, concern blatantly showing on her pale face.
“Because…why?” Kim challenged the older woman.
“You already know why.” Shego breathed.
“Do I?” Kim laughed, bitterness lacing her voice.
“Yes, you do.”
Kim scoffed. “I don’t believe you.”
“You just don’t want to admit it to yourself Princess.” Shego replied softly.
Kim only rolled her eyes, a flash of lightening illuminated her expression of disbelief. But Shego was continuing.
“Kimmie, really. I’m serious. How are you? Are your injuries healing well?” Shego pressed.
“Why the hell do YOU want to know?” Kim practically yelled, her eyes flaring. “You’ve been trying to kill me for years, haven’t you? HAVEN’T YOU!”
As she continued to stare down Shego, her feelings of betrayal renewed, Shego only took a small step backwards, barely noticeable, away from Kim. If Kim couldn’t tell, the older woman seemed slightly embarrassed. She opened her mouth, but quickly shut it, as if to rethink what she had been about to say. This momentary lull in conversation (if one could call it conversation) seemed to give Kim an extra burst of energy and spur her into another tirade. She took a step forward.
“You liar! You filthy liar! I can’t believe you! How dare you – how COULD you!”
Shego blinked in awe at the fury demonstrating itself in Kim’s green eyes. “I…I…damn it Princess! Listen to me!” She stuttered. Kim; however, wasn’t going to hear any of it.
“You lied about my family, my friends, me, you – my whole life! How could you do this, Shego? And why?”
“Princess, too much information too soon would have hurt your recovery – it would have been too much for your brain to handle. I was going to tell you, but slowly and over time.” Shego attempted to explain to an enraged and irate Kim.
“No, I KNOW what you were doing Shego!” Kim retorted, taking another step forward, poking Shego in the chest and effectively making a shocked Shego take another step backwards. “The doctors at the hospital told me about how mental conditioning works, especially on amnesiacs like me. You were trying to corrupt me, to turn me into a thief, to make me fall in love with you!”
Would that have been so bad, Princess…? We could have been happy together – you and me. We’re meant to be together, you have to see it! Yin and Yang – light and darkness – equal and opposite. I complete you, and you complete me. I could have given you anything!
And at once, Shego found herself somewhere else – a beach. Kim was there too, and they were both smiling. Shego pulled Kim close to her, her hand creeping around Kim’s waist. She leaned down to whisper something in Kim’s ear, causing Kim to grin and giggle.
“The charade…” Kim jabbed Shego on the sternum, knocking the older woman out of her fantasies.
“Ow, hey!” Shego protested lightly, more in surprise than in anger.
“The tea…” Another jab.
“The drugs…” Another poke.
“It was all a lie!”
“Not all of it.” Shego hitched out slowly. “I never thought of it as a charade.”
Breathing heavily, Kim paused her verbal attack, waiting for Shego to fight her.
The first blow never came.
“Fight me!” Kim demanded. “You’ve always fought me, why is tonight any different? You finally have your chance. The secret’s out – I know. And plus, I’m helpless. Completely at your mercy…its what you’ve always wanted, right? To finally beat me? To win? Well, here’s your big chance.” Kim took a step forward, so that she was mere inches away from Shego’s face, her green eyes staring into Shego’s identically-colored ones. When she spoke, her voice was considerably softer. “Go ahead.”
“Well…Shego…what are you waiting for!” Kim exclaimed, throwing her hands in the air when Shego said nothing.
“What? Kimmie, what are you talking about?” Shego questioned Kim, her voice low and steady.
“What are you waiting for?” Kim questioned.
“For?” Shego blinked as Kim raised her fist.
“You’ve always wanted to fight!” Kim yelled, exasperation lacing her voice.
“I told you before…” Shego whispered, suppressing an overwhelming urge to reach out and caress Kim’s flushed cheek. “I love you. I could never do anything to hurt you. Especially not now.”
Kim shook her head. “With everything you’ve told me, all the lies…which ones am I supposed to believe Shego? How can I love someone who lied to me about…about everything?”
Seeing Kim’s pained look, Shego couldn’t help but to reach out to the girl, wanting nothing more than to pull her close and embrace her, taking her pain and hurt away…but then again…the pain and hurt was her fault.
“Don’t touch me!” Kim hissed, raising a hand to ward off Shego’s.
“Pumpkin…” Shego started.
“And don’t call me that!”
Shego closed her mouth, before trying again.
“DON’T TALK TO ME! PLEASE! I HATE YOU FOR WHAT YOU DID TO ME! I HATE YOU!”
“Oh god Princess, you can’t mean that.” Shego breathed, her heart feeling painfully constricted. Her stomach began to curl and go icy, and a wave of light-headedness began to permeate through her body. A rush of blood to her head made her temples throb painfully.
“I…I…I can’t call you…Princess-”
“NO!” Kim interrupted, jabbing her. “You’ve lost the right, damn you! The right to call me anything ever again!”
“You can’t-“ Shego tried again.
“I DO, AND I NEVER WANT TO SEE YOU ANYMORE! EVER!”
With a sudden and unexpected eruption of newfound energy, Kim pushed Shego against the wall, hard, wincing as she felt a sharp pain shoot through her splinted leg, the limb protesting having not been used to having to bear so much weight.
“Kimmie.” Shego sternly protested. “You’re tired sweetheart, you should-“
Her sentence was cut short when her peripheral vision caught sight of Kim’s fist swinging through the air, aimed directly at her face. She stood there, frozen, as her mind waged an internal battle with itself. If she tried to block it, she could potentially harm Kim in the process…but was she really going to stand idly and let Kim hit her?
The answer turned out to be yes.
The action itself seemed to hurt more than the stinging blow. As Kim took a surprised step backwards, almost as if she herself couldn’t believe what she had just done, Shego cautiously brought a hand up to her face to feel a warm fluid slowly creeping its way down her chin – blood. Kim’s punch had drawn blood. She looked at Kim, her face showing her disbelief and hurt, but Kim had taken two more steps back, and was standing in the middle of the room balancing on her good leg, and looking like she was expending a lot of effort and energy to be doing so.
And from the obvious rise and fall of her shoulders, and the fine tremor that was running through her entire body, Shego could tell Kim was trying to keep from weeping.
The two girls continued to stare at each other in silence, the only audible sounds Kim’s harsh breathing and the soft patter of the rain outside.
Minutes passed before any of them made a move…or it could have been hours…it wasn’t important.
Shego silently let out a sigh. She wasn’t going to accomplish anything tonight, and the longer she stayed to try to reason with Kim, the more it seemed she was hurting her.
Wordlessly, Shego turned around and hopped up onto the window-sill, perching on its edge before turning her head to have a last glance at her enemy-turned-would-be-lover. When she spoke, it was barely audible.
“I may have lied, but I do…I do love you Kim, no matter how twisted it seems to you. I…I’m sorry.”
And with that, Shego jumped back into the storm and was once again lost to the night. A clap of resounding thunder resonated through the room.
“Lying, two-faced green-skinned bitch! Coming here – to my house – and trying to…to…talk to me! How dare she! How dare she!” Kim hissed, trying to ignore the hollow pit forming in her stomach at the image of how genuinely hurt Shego had looked when Kim had punched her.
As she hobbled over to the window to close and latch it, a new thought crossed her mind: Shego knew where she lived, and had, perhaps more importantly, been able to enter her room undetected and unnoticed. Was this the first time Shego had done this?
Another flashback played itself in Kim’s reeling mind.
That feeling of being watched seemed to permeate through Kim’s sleep, and she squeezed her eyes tighter, as if that action would ward off the intruder.
But it was still there, still insistent, and Kim knew she should wake up.
But sleep was so much more satisfying.
I should really wake up now…I really should…
With a gush of effort, Kim opened her eyes, willing for the fatigue and bleariness of sleep to be washed away…and as she adjusted to the brightness of the room due to the moon’s light, she found herself staring into a certain shade of emerald green – a hue she knew too well, for it was the exact color of her own eyes…and the eyes of a certain green-skinned henchwoman…
Sbe blinked and the green color was gone.
Instead, she found herself sitting upright in her bed, with the window slightly ajar, and a small but welcome breeze drifting through her room.
And then it was gone.
Had Shego really been watching over her all this time? Been sneaking into her room? And if so…why?
While her conscious mind struggled to deny the obvious, her soul knew the truth.
How many times had she gone to bed with a crick in her spine (from one of her fights with Shego), only to wake up the next day with that exact same spot feeling miraculously better? How many times had she fallen asleep with a sore and overused muscle in her shoulder, only to wake up the following morning to feeling amazingly relaxed, as if she had gone to a masseuse?
Could it be?
Kim lay there, the moonlight making her green eyes glow unusually bright. Suddenly, she sat up, her hand gently caressing her neck, the exact spot in her memory.
The chill of the rain was barely noticeable now as Shego noiselessly meandered her way through the dimly-lit alleyways of Middleton, silently making her way to the edges of the town, where she had carefully hidden a black and dark green motorcycle. Her mind and heart were a flurry of feelings and passions – anger at being rejected, misery at being declined, fear for Kim’s safety, and self-loathing for causing all her aches, physical and other.
Kim was in danger…and it was mostly her fault. A rush of guilt threatened to well up inside Shego, but she suppressed it, attempting to reason with herself that their fights together was a drug they both were addicted to – Kim liked it too…
Damn it! I went too far that time…I thought she could handle it. I didn’t think she would go throwing herself into midair like that! And even so…she should have been able to clear that jump!
Well, she might have been able to…if it hadn’t been for -
STOP IT!Shego reprimanded herself, as she revved up the machine and instinctively strapped her black plastic helmet to her head, smoothing her soaked hair behind her ears.
You tried to save her, and you failed. But the point is that you tried, really tried. Her falling wasn’t YOUR fault. She didn’t estimate the distance correctly. Not your problem.
Yes it was. You weren’t quick enough. You weren’t strong enough. If you were, you could have caught her, then no one would be in this mess right now. You should be thanking your lucky stars that Kim is as strong as she is…otherwise, she would be dead right now, and it would be all your fault. Killing the one you love is such a fine way to show your affection.
You didn’t move as quickly as you can, did you?
She was falling! I couldn’t have moved any faster!
Couldn’t, or didn’t?
Couldn’t! There was no way!
She was FALLING! I can’t move faster than gravity!
And who was making the hovercraft rise so she was forced to push for that last inch? It wasn’t Drakken.
SHUT UP, SHUT UP! I don’t need a guilt trip right now. It’s not my fault!
Keep telling yourself that and maybe one day you’ll believe it.
I’m NOT in denial!
But it sure felt that way.
Shego took a deep inhalation as she struggled to calm her ranting mind, and breathed in as she tried to enjoy the sensation of the chilly air and the splash of the raindrops hitting her bare face as she rode through the darkness, the roar of the engine only a background noise, and easily droned out.
Within a half-hour, she had arrived at Drakken’s not-so-secret lair. The ride had not been as soothing as she had originally hoped it would be, and upon dismounting the motorcycle, Shego furiously un-strapped the helmet and pulled it off her head, ignoring the tug and pull of a few stray hairs caught in the straps. Rather violently, she flung it across the room so that it hit the opposite wall, making a satisfying clatter, but not quite fulfilling enough. Grumbling, she stormed into the main planning room, half of her hoping she would run into a synthodrone she would be able to utilize to vent her anger upon, and the other half desperately hoping she would be alone, so she could creep to her personal chambers to collapse in a heap of tears.
She wasn’t quite that lucky.
The whiny voice of her incompetent boss echoed throughout the otherwise empty room. Shego; however, ignored it and continued hastily walking towards the nearest exit.
“Shego! Listen to me! You’ll never guess what happened!”
“Can it Drakken.” Shego snarled though her clenched jaw. “I don’t wanna hear about your newest scientific breakthrough. I’m sure it’ll get foiled by Miss America soon enough.”
“No, no, no Shego! Its about that darned cheerleader!” Drakken protested.
“What? Found a foolproof method to beat her? Like that last debacle, cause we all know how well that went.” Shego remarked, her voice dripping with sarcasm.
“No, Shego. We won’t have to anymore. Kim Possible is no more!” Drakken grinned.
Shego froze in her tracks, her breath hitching in her throat.
No more? What the hell does that mean? Is Kim dead? Can’t be…I was just there a half-hour ago and she was fine…well…we did fight, but not physically…
Terrifying visions began to swim in Shego’s head of Kim, distraught after her encounter with Shego, had tried to run to her family, her eyes clouded by her tears, and in her rush, she didn’t see the tweebs’ rocket lying on the ground, and what if she tripped, or fell, or stumbled, or got hurt even more? What if another villain had snuck into Kim’s room after Shego had left and killed Kim? What if…?
I should have stayed to watch over her!
“WHAT DID YOU SAY?” She hissed, spinning around, her eyes wild.
She’s “no more?” Is she…is she…
Please god no. I’m not ready to let go yet.
“I said…” Drakken began a second time, his eyes full of malicious light. “No more Kim Possible. Didn’t you see the news?”
Attempting desperately to feign a mixture of disinterest and boredom, Shego felt her face twist uncontrollably, a ripple of turbulent emotions vying for dominance in her expression. Trying to relax her facial muscles, Shego’s sharp and concerned eyes were quite the contrast to the disinterested mask she was maintaining – and maintaining badly. She felt her left eye and lower lip twitch, and hoped that Drakken was too absorbed in his news to notice her discomfort.
“You know I don’t tend to watch the Middleton News on a daily basis Dr. D.”
“Well, you should, and here’s why: Kim Possible has been badly injured.”
Not dead, oh, thank goodness…
Shego wanted nothing more than to slump down in relief, but she forced herself to shrug nonchalantly. “So what? She’ll get the best medical care and will be back fighting crime any day.”
“Ahhh, you didn’t let me finish.” Dr. Drakken admonished, holding up a finger.
“Okay, fine, whatever. Finish.”
“Not only is she badly hurt, but she also lost her memory. She doesn’t know who she is!”
Crap. He knows.
“Really, Dr. D. You can gloat all you want, but I’m sure she’ll be fine. Don’t get your hopes up. She’ll be back to her old goody-two-shoes self anytime now.”
“No, she won’t. Not this time Shego.”
Shego blinked. “What do you mean?” She eyed him closely.
“We’ll strike at her when she’s out of commission and helpless – don’t you see Shego? We’ll get her when she’ll be unable to fight. Finally! It’s the break we’ve been waiting for!”
No, NO, NO! Not like this!
Her laugher was strained and harsh, sounding alien even to her own ears.
“Seriously Dr. D. What do you think you’ll do? This is a bad idea, I’ll tell you that right now. This is Miss Perfect we’re talking about – she’ll probably be surrounded at all times by a task force of special Global Justice agents – multiple task forces probably. Plus we’ll have to deal with that blonde-haired buffoon, who will be sporting whatever techno-gadgets Wade develops for him. I could probably take out the boyfriend, but everyone else? No way you’ll be able to pull anything off.”
Shego subconsciously held her breath, all her attention focused on Drakken, looking for any sign of reconsideration. A twitch of the jaw, a narrowing of the eyes…even a blink would have been better than his actual reaction.
Waving his hand idly, Drakken gave Shego a knowing smile.
“Worry not Shego. You take care of the buffoon, and everyone else will take care of the Global Justice guards as well as Kim Possible. I suppose, though, that we could leave the final fatal blow to you – after all, she’s fought you for years. See? I can be a caring and kindly employer.”
Shego snorted, a real and genuine emotion.
“You and who else? If you think your synthodrones will be able to compete against Global Justice, you’ve got another thing coming. No offense…they’re good, but not THAT good.”
“When did I ever say anything about synthodrones, Shego?”
Shego blinked, a purely unconscious reaction. “What did you mean then?”
A knot was beginning to form in her stomach again.
“For the first time in history, Shego, we’re all banding together.”
“And who is we?”
“Why, all us villains Shego. I’ve already talked to Monkey Fist, DNAmy, Senor Senior Senior, Senor Senior Junior, and Duff Killigan. Despite our differences, the one thing we have in common is a hatred of that damned cheerleader, Kim Possible. We figure, once we can get her out of the picture, then we’ll all be unopposed to world domination. We could each take our own continent! You could even have Iceland!”
Words escaped her, and Shego could only growl as she felt her hands clench into fists, a small burning bit of rage beginning to kindle within her. Yes, it was going to burn for a long time.
“Speechless I see.” Drakken laughed. “Told you it was a good plan. Now, Shego…are you in?”
Shego mutely nodded her head, a choppy and robotic action.
“Yes.” Her voice was restrained and terse.
At least I’ll be there to protect Kimmie.
“Good good!” Drakken grinned, clapping his hands together. “Well, I’ll not keep you. It’s a big day of planning tomorrow, and we’ll all need our rest so we can be in top mental condition! Off you go!”
Shego seized the opportunity to make her escape, running through the empty corridors to her private chambers, her footsteps echoing loudly and mind in shock over what she had just heard. She might have been able to surreptitiously protect Kim from a few minor villains, but all of them at once, each one utilizing their own unique skills? It was a daunting task, and seemed impossible.
Within the safety and privacy of her personal rooms, Shego grabbed the nearest loose item, Milton’s Paradise Lost her mind noticed amusedly, and flung it against the mirror with an anguished cry. The glass splintered into a collage of cobwebbed patterns before shattering and falling to the ground in hundreds of minute pieces. But, it wasn’t quite fulfilling enough, so she sauntered across the room, the broken glass crunching under her boots, to throw a blind furious punch to the wall, her mind not caring that she was still dripping wet from the storm raging outside. The dull pain was a welcome call back to reality, and Shego repeated the process, this time leaving a visible dent in the plaster. Bringing her hand back to herself, she tore off the glove to inspect her pale skin – definitely some slight dark green bruising, and judging from the dull throbbing already beginning to develop, it was going to get worse before getting better. As she readied her already-injured hand for another blow, she stopped herself.
Be reasonable Shego! You’re angry and frustrated, but you can’t protect Kimmie if you’re injured too! Now stop it, and think!
Closing her eyes and suppressing a bout of tears threatening to fall, Shego collapsed on her favorite armchair.
Now…what have you accomplished? Let’s try and think through this.
Um, making Kim hate me?
Stop it. What else?
There was silence.
Well, I went over to Stoppable’s house to try and talk to him and…shit.
What was that?
I forgot to retrieve the box! I was so wrapped up in trying to defend myself from his attacks I totally forgot about the stupid box! Damn! Kim’s gonna hate me even more now.
Shego bit her lip and clenched her eyelids tighter, as though if she willed it hard enough, the real world would go away and the situation would remedy itself. Visions of how Kim would react began to play in her mind’s eye…Kim opening the box, her deep green eyes widening as she read the contents, especially the unsent letters. Then, her beautiful innocent eyes would quaver and fill with tears, as she began to think Shego had meant to kill her, and whatever fragile trust she might have grasped would be shattered.
Damn it, I’ve caused you enough tears!Shego swore. I promise Kim, I’ll make it up to you somehow. Even if I have to sit there and endure you beating me senseless.
The internal movie of Kim reading the secret letters was replaced by a much darker one – one where an enraged Kim was fighting Shego, but this time, the redhead’s anger and betrayal were powerful weapons, and she had Shego backed into a corner – or maybe forced her to the ground. And, in a cathartic moment for both parties, Kim had begun to physically beat Shego, landing a series of relentless blows to the raven-haired woman, spilling blood, and making her eat every word. Huddling there, Shego had taken the assault, not raising not even one finger to stop the onslaught. She deserved it, after all.
Exhaustion overtook her, and within a few minutes, Shego was asleep, her fevered mind swimming with visions of herself being repeatedly tortured and beaten by Kim.
Kim’s snarling face was above her, her mouth twisted in an expression of pure hatred and loathing. In her fist were the remnants of the hidden letters, crumpled scraps of paper. Kim waved them in Shego’s face forcefully.
“Every damn day you lied to me!”
A roundhouse kick to Shego’s midsection knocked her to the ground.
“Every!” A wicked punch to her jaw dislodged a few teeth as a thin line of blood began trickling down her pale chin.
“Damn!” A kick to her chest forced the air from her lungs, a muffled crack audible as a few of Shego’s ribs snapped under the applied force.
“Day!” A third kick to her gut left Shego panting on the ground, trying to steady herself with a free hand. Blood – her blood – was dripping on the floor.
“You manipulative bitch. I hate you, I HATE YOU!”
After making sure Kim had settled in her own room without much difficulty, James and Anne Possible retired to their room, a collective sigh escaping their lips. It had been a long and trying day. While James had insisted on staying with Kim as she explored her room, Anne had firmly disagreed.
“No. She needs to learn on her own. Having us there will probably make her nervous. If she has questions, I told her we’re right here, and she could bother us anytime.” She explained.
“But –“ James had attempted to interject.
“No. Regaining one’s memories after amnesia is a highly personal quest. We can be there for support, but we can’t remember for her.”
Finally seeing the reason in his wife’s logic, James left the issue alone.
“So, what is the verdict?” He asked, settling into bed and tossing his shoes aside.
“About what?” Anne inquired from the master bathroom, pulling her nightshirt over her head.
“About Kim. What did the doctors say?” He clarified.
“Aside from the amnesia, she should be alright. Tomorrow we have plans for immersing her in a bio-suspension tank filled with vitamins, glucose, and a whole slew of other water-soluble medicines. It should speed up the healing process exponentially. Plus, Dr. Oakley has agreed to fly out here to work with Kim – he’s the best physical therapist around.”
“Bio-suspension?” James raised an eyebrow. “Is this new? Is it safe?”
“Both. But for Kim’s case, we decided it was needed.”
“And how about mentally? Will Kim be able to regain her memories?”
“That’s really up in the air still. MRI scans demonstrated no permanent or crippling damage to the brain tissue. There’s no excessive swelling of either her grey or white matter, thank goodness!” Anne exclaimed, slipping into bed next to James. “In fact, she has increased blood flow, which is probably why she’s getting progressively better at remembering events and persons from her past, even if her recollections are brief flashes.”
“Well, that is definitely a relief!” James sighed. “But still…I can’t believe that Shego person! The nerve of her!” He finished in a huff.
“Well…” Anne began, a hint of nervousness and uncertainty creeping into her intonation.
“Hmm, dear?” James pressed.
“That’s what I’m worried about.”
“Of course you should be worried! That ruffian tried to hurt – “
“I don’t think so.” Anne finished quickly, not giving him the chance to complete his thought.
“I think Shego is in love with Kim.”
“But…she’s a girl…and so is Kim.”
“Yes, dear, that’s one of my points.”
James was silent, and Anne could almost see the wheels turning in his head as he began to process the information and put the pieces together.
“But…they’re both girls!” James protested.
“Yes dear, they are.” She answered calmly.
“But…but…does Kim reciprocate the feelings? How could she, especially after what Shego has done? And why do you think so in the first place? Shego likes Kimmie-cub? Why? How? I just don’t understand how anything like this could happen.”
“Well, Shego is gay and she’s fallen for Kim. It does happen in this day and age dear.” Anne sighed, her annoyance peeking through.
“I know the basics Anne, but our daughter? I mean…Kimmie-cub? I know she hasn’t had much luck with boys, but…still…” James mused thoughtfully, the frown on his face still revealing his extreme displeasure at the unfolding debacle.
“Well, I don’t think Kim has any favorable opinion on Shego right now, but before we intervened…who knows. I have this hunch about the drugs found in Kim’s blood chemistry. I’ll find out their exact identities tomorrow, but I just have this feeling they aren’t supposed to be harmful. Think about it: If Shego really wanted to kill Kim, she would have had a great window of opportunity to do so. But instead, she takes Kim in and takes care of her.” Anne paused in her explanation. “Has Kim ever talked to you about the nicknames Shego calls her?”
James shook his head no, and Anne sighed.
“Better get a cup of coffee honey. This might take awhile…”
The doorbell rang, a soft melodious sound that reverberated through the house. Bracing her good hand on the couch’s arm, Kim hoisted herself up and took a few uncertain steps to the door. Her body, though still a bit weak, was feeling much better today, and she could have sworn she was able to bear a little bit of pressure on her leg.
That morning, Kim and her parents had spent a few hours at the hospital while various doctors continued to perform a number of reflex and reaction tests on the teenager. Satisfied her stretch reflex was still healthy and functional, they then made her wait for a rather boring hour while she lay in a claustrophobic bio-suspension tank. With a heady mix of nutrients as well as a plethora of biochemically-designed soluble drugs that permeated her skin to exert their action, the experience was definitely new. At least it was relaxing. Kim had utilized the hour to meditate and let her mind drift away from the real world…at least for a little while.
“We’ll get it Kim!”
The twins rushed past her, one of them jumping over the back of the couch. Kim chuckled. Man, did they have a ton of excess energy.
“Its Ron!” They chattered, yelling to Kim even as they proceeded to drag Ron into the house. Holding a bouquet of flowers in one hand, and a cardboard box under his opposite arm, Ron flashed Kim a smile that somehow was both goofy and encouraging at the same time.
“Hi Ron.” Anne walked into the living room to greet the guest. “Would you like some lunch? We have some leftover pizza.”
“No thanks Ms. KP. I just ate.” Ron patted his stomach for extra emphasis.
“Nacho!” Rufus chirped, poking his head out of Ron’s pocket and resting his front paws on his chin.
“Alright then.” Anne smiled. “But if you would like anything, just let us know.”
“Okay Mom.” Kim thanked her mother as Ron made his way across the living room to have a seat next to Kim.
“These are for you.” He smiled, extending the bouquet.
“Oh, Ron, they’re beautiful!” Kim exclaimed in joy as she brought her nose to the yellow roses, so delicately arranged with ferns and baby’s breath, pausing to inhale their fragrance. “And they smell so…nice! Thank you!”
Leaning closer to envelop Ron in a hug, he seized the moment to move a few inches away from Kim, holding his hands up to prevent her from actually hugging him.
“Actually, KP. These aren’t from me.” He admitted, rubbing the back of his neck with a free hand. Rufus nodded in agreement and pointed at the flowers.
“What do you mean?” Kim inquired, confusion lacing her eyes.
“They’re from a friend who wanted to remain anonymous.” He explained, hoping the nervousness in his eyes wasn’t giving too much away.
But Kim; however, was keener than that.
“An anonymous friend?” She pressed. “Would that anonymous friend happen to have an ability to shoot green fire from her hands?”
“I’m not telling!” Ron crossed his arms in defiance.
“Jeez, they ARE from her.” Kim muttered in disgust. “She just doesn’t know when to quit, huh?”
And before Ron or Rufus could stop her, Kim had grabbed the flowers and walked into the kitchen to find the nearest trash bin to violently throw them in, tears welling up in her eyes. She blinked them away. She was stronger than that. Ron’s surprised protest sounded from the living room, but Kim ignored it.
I can’t let her trick me again! I won’t!
As Kim turned around to leave, Anne silently poked her head in the room to have a glance at what Kim had thrown away. Making sure Kim was safely out of sight and back in the living room, she retrieved the flowers from the trash, giving them a rinse under the sink. Smiling as she heard the exasperated sound of Ron’s voice scolding Kim, Anne began untangling the flowers from the clear plastic wrap and myriad ribbons. Producing a vase from one of the cabinets, and with an almost practiced ease, began to skillfully arrange the flowers.
“Don’t scorn such a tender gift Kimmie…you may regret it later.” She mused quietly to herself.
You’ll thank me later Kimmie.
Smiling at her finished work, she made her way upstairs to place the flowers on Kim’s nightstand, wondering where exactly Shego was hoping to end up with all of this.
As Kim practically stormed across the common room to let herself flop on the couch next to an astonished Ron, he noticed the flowers were gone, as well as heard the metallic clang of the trashcan lid opening and closing only a few moments before. It didn’t take a genius to put two and two together.
“KP!” Ron exclaimed, obviously stunned by her reaction.
“No Ron!” She protested. “I don’t want to accept anything from her. Its gotta be a trap.”
Ron nodded, able to understand her train of thought. It was sound logic, but she still wasn’t drawing the correct conclusion. Or, she didn’t WANT to.
“Well, I brought some stuff we gathered from the raid. We could have a look at them…” He began, thinking maybe Kim would at least be interested in reviewing said items – maybe they could find some kind of motivation for Shego’s admittedly contradictory actions. Kim looked at him, her expression definitely saying ‘No way.’
“I know it might be hard KP, but I just thought it might be a good idea…you never know what you’ll find, right?” He tried again hesitantly. As educational as the experience might be, he didn’t really want to force Kim into it.
“He’s right, you know.” Anne added, strolling in the room to have a seat next to Kim. “And we’ll be right here to help you if you want.” She smiled encouragingly.
Kim sighed. She knew Ron and her mother were right, but she didn’t really want to face that past…it would be like reopening a wound and letting it bleed afresh…but wasn’t that how they had to treat injuries every once in a while? Hell, her mother was right. If she had to face a painful reminder of Shego, she might as well do it with the most support available.
“Okay.” She agreed. “But I want both of you here to – “
A small and barely audible chirp made her smile. “All three of you, I mean.”
Rufus beamed before beginning to drag the box towards Kim, the weight of it obviously a problem. After a few moments of struggling, Ron finally lifted the box and brought over to Kim. Rufus sighed in relief.
Kim looked down at the small box sitting on her lap, the size of a couple of shoeboxes put together, and only a couple of pounds. It seemed so insignificant (it was only a box), but inside were so many memories…some good…some bad…but all confusing. What exactly would she find in there? She unconsciously licked her lip and put trembling hands on the lid. Taking a deep breath, she opened it quickly in one swift and deliberate motion, as if she expected something to come bounding out at her.
Of course, nothing did.
A pile of papers and a few paperback books stared back at her.
Kim picked up a book, the one on top of the pile, reading the title aloud.
“Exercise and Fitness Regimes for Paraplegics. Hmm, interesting.”
Passing that book to Anne, Kim pulled out a second book, which was more of a thin pamphlet than an actual novel.
“So, You Know Someone With Amnesia: A Rough Guide to Helping Your Loved Ones Through A Life They Don’t Remember.” Her eyes narrowing suspiciously, Kim skimmed the contents. “Published by the American Mental Health Association…” She murmured quietly, her eyes still scanning the pages.
With a hurried motion, she handed the pamphlet to Ron, who had been trying to read over her shoulder. Noticing how there were a whole bunch of informational handouts, she grabbed the whole bunch, now more interested in reading the titles than the actual text. Ron and Anne remained silent as they let her explore.
“Herbal Supplements…Natural Remedies…Coping with Depression: How to Recognize Symptoms in a Friend…Recommended Reading for Brain Trauma Patients…”
Kim’s eyes narrowed in obvious confusion, but she continued on, pulling a few more booklets from the box.
Her sharp eye noticing the logo, Anne smiled to herself as she realized all the information guides were the same ones usually distributed in the various waiting rooms of the Middleton Hospital. Her suspicions of Shego’s true intentions were becoming more and more founded with every pamphlet. As she began to read the “Herbal Supplements” guide, she noticed a particular section circled in dark green ink, and highlighted fluorescent yellow: Gingko biloba – an herbal supplement for thinning the blood, improving circulation to the brain, and improving memory. And scribbled, with the same hue of green ink, on the opposite page were the words, “Gingko tea.”
Stealing a glance at Kim, who was currently absorbed in reading “Recommended Reading for Brain Trauma Patients,” Anne shook her head slowly.
Shego…what are we going to do with you?
“Mom…” Kim’s timid and confused voice knocked Anne from her ponderings.
“What’s this book? I don’t’ get it. I don’t get any of this. It doesn’t make any sense.”
Kim held out a small paperback to her mother. It wasn’t a medical book or leaflet; it was actually a novel. Her eyes narrowing, Anne took the book from Kim and read the title to herself.
Where is the Mango Princess by Cathy Crimmons.
“Its…” Mrs. Possible began, unsure of how to explain to Kim the significance of the book. She found herself smiling down at her befuddled daughter, pushing the book back in Kim’s hands. “I think you better read it, Kimmie. Its really hard to explain – you just have to read it.”
Kim looked less-than-happy at her mother’s cryptic response, but nodded her head in acknowledgement, setting aside the book next to her for safekeeping.
Anne’s mind; however, was overwhelmed, her hunch confirmed.
‘Where is the Mango Princess?” is the book I recommend to people whose spouses have suffered traumatic brain injury? It details the healing process, not only for the victim, but for the victim’s lovers and friends and family…it allows the victim’s family to understand what the victim is going through…if Shego had been reading this book…she had been trying to…
The thought was left unfinished as the phone rang.
Kim watched her mother as she answered, idly flipping pages of her newest reading assignment.
“Hello, this is Dr. Possible speaking…oh, hi Fred…yeah, that’s great, thanks so much for getting those done so quickly…mm hmm…interesting…alright, thank you….yep…bye.”
“What’s the sitch mom?” She inquired, her expression inquisitive.
“I just got your blood chemistry results back.” Anne smiled. “And don’t worry, everything’s fine.”
Anne’s cheerful smile was a weak mask of the emotions she was trying to conceal.
I have to tell Kim, but how do I do that?She wondered. How do I tell her that Shego had been slipping her the drugs vasopressin, nimodipine, and piracetam with choline? How do I explain that to Kim?
As a neuro-surgeon, Anne Possible was very familiar with vasopressin, nimodipine, and piracetam with choline. Their purpose was to increase blood flow to certain lobes of the brain, especially those lobes whose function it was to retain and recall memory.
All three of them were the standard drugs used to treat patients with amnesia…someone like Kim.
This is going to change everything, for both of you…how do I tell you…and Shego…what the hell do we do about you?
A deep sigh from beside her shook Anne out of her reverie, and she turned around to see Kim holding up a few pictures of herself. In these pictures, she was just smiling, looking calm and content and happy.
“She has pictures of me.” Kim mused, while Ron curled his lip.
“I don’t know KP…that’s a little…stalker-type, ya know?” He asked.
“Don’t know Ron…I used to think she wanted to kill me, but with all these medical flyers, I don’t know anymore.” She admitted, her shoulders slumping down. “But I guess…I don’t know. I really just don’t know. Maybe she wasn’t as bad as she seemed.” She finished as she reached once again into the box, her hand closing around a series of letters.
Unfolding them, her eyes grew wide in shock and disbelief as she began to read them.
“I am writing to you to regretfully inform you of the recent passing of Kim Possible. Three days ago, Ms. Possible was rushed into the ER department suffering from severe and traumatic head injuries, several broken bones, and a collapsed lung. It appeared as though she was in a major impact collision. The exact situation of the accident is unknown, as she was unconscious when brought in by a group of mountain hikers who had found her during their daily trek. Despite our best efforts to stabilize her vitals, she passed away within a couple hours of her arrival. An autopsy is being performed even as I write this. Her parents, relatives, and other friends and colleagues have already been notified of the situation. Due to her relative fame from being a superhero, and the suspicious circumstances of her death, her body is being kept under close surveillance and we regret to inform you that we are not accepting visitors at this time. Again, my sincerest regrets and apologies, Edward Lee, M.D.”
Furiously, Kim skimmed over the other letters, only to discover they all said the same thing – that she had died.
The silence that followed her flurry of actions was tangible, and the letters fluttered to the ground unnoticed.
This time, she couldn’t hold back the tears any longer, and dropping her head into her palms, she began to cry. The pair of arms that enveloped her into a supportive hug helped a little, but didn’t really ease the pain that was threatening to rip its way through her soul.
You WERE trying to kill me, you bitch! YOU LIAR! I…HATE…YOU!
Through her tears, Kim didn’t see how her mother had picked up the dropped letters. Nor did she see her mother read them quickly and glance at Ron in shock. Nor did she see how Ron shook his head in confusion as he mouthed, “I don’t know what these were for” to Anne. Shrugging her shoulders in a gesture of agreed confusion, Anne’s expression became anxiously puzzled as she continued to comfort her daughter.
The ruckus and cacophony was deafening, and it was extremely tempting to plasma-blast all of them.
Sitting in a corner, a scowl plastered on her face, Shego exuded hatred and loathing at the scene rapidly unfolding in front of her.
“I’m telling you, my Monkey Ninjas will be able to sneak past any Global Justice team they’ve set up.” Monkey Fist scratched his chin with his foot thoughtfully.
“I could engineer their DNA though so that they’re even faster. I could give them cat reflexes.” DNAmy chirped, grabbing onto Drakken in her excitement, completely ignoring his attempts to disengage himself from her grasp.
“Well, I still say we should have synthodrones. Monkeys running about will call attention to themselves. At least synthodrones look human.”
“Aye, I agree with that lad about that.” Duff chimed in, tapping his golf club on the table. “But I want a chance to kill the lass.”
“No, I do!” Monkey Fist interjected. “After she stole the Tempus Simia from me, I think I deserve the chance to finish her off.”
“No, she’s my soulmate!” Senor Senior Junior protested lightly, only to be smacked by this father, who promptly told him not to believe such animology rubbish.
“Hey, wait, my syntho-hottie Eric was the closest. I should kill her!” Drakken exclaimed.
“Err, how about that Shego girl?” DNAmy suggested, timidly raising her hand and gesturing at the still-quiet reclusive Shego grumbling in the corner. All eyes turned to her, a grudgingly respectful look in them.
As Shego studied them, a series of deranged smiles lit up their faces.
“Aye, the wee lass is right. Shego has fought Kim more than any of us.” Duff observed, his eyes cast skywards in thought. Even Monkey Fist and the two Senor Seniors were nodding.
“Its settled then! Shego will be the one to take Kim Possible out.” Drakken grinned while DNAmy clapped her hands together.
“Excellent.” Monkey Fist breathed, cracking his knuckles.
And Shego could only stare back, her eyes intense, a scream threatening to tear itself from her throat.
To be continued…