June 20, 2005 – The Present
“So did you hear about what happened to Kim?” One of the newer cheerleaders inquired, wanting to earn her way in the popular crowd. And gossip was always a great way to start. It was her first cheerleader practice at Middleton High, and she was determined to fit in.
“Old news.” Bonnie scoffed, an unpleasant expression overcoming her otherwise pretty features, a frown threatening to twist her mouth.
“Not really! I just heard about it!”
“Humph!” Kim’s rival cheerleader pouted, narrowing her eyes in what could only be described as disgust. “I figured she would get hers one day.”
“What do you mean? Isn’t she saving the world and working for good?”
“I mean that Kim’s just so…so…so…” Bonnie gritted her teeth, glaring daggers at the newest team member. “She’s such a goody two shoes. Miss Perfect. And she lords it over me, just to torment me!”
“She probably doesn’t mean to though. Maybe it’s a mistake?”
“No, she’s an arrogant bitch who deserved what she got!” Bonnie spat back, almost a snarl, but at the same time regretting the reaction. Sure, Kim was her rival, but no one deserved what happened to her…
Taking the not so subtle hint, the blonde teenager backed off, throwing up her hands in defeat.
“Alright, fine. Let’s change the topic then. Who are you going to the dance with?”
Bonnie grinned and gave a casual flip of her brown hair. “Josh. If Kim can even remember, she’ll be so jealous! Once she sees me and Josh together at the Prom…well…it’s the perfect ending to a perfect story.”
“Hey, KP.” Ron greeted Kim, giving an awkwardly overly cheerful wave.
“Hi Ron. What’s up?”
Kim smiled. This felt familiar, this friendship. There was something she just couldn’t describe or put her finger on, but it felt safe.
Hanging out at her place after school – working on homework, brainstorming on projects, and generally having a good time – it was a routine that Kim had gotten used to. Even Kim found herself to be a creature of habit. Even if she couldn’t fully remember…she could still feel. And this felt right – being a normal, albeit superhero, teenage girl.
“Hey, where are the rents?” Ron asked, looking around the house.
“Dad’s working late, and mom’s with the tweebs. I think they’re getting new sneakers or something.” Kim paused, and thought. “Or maybe some more model rockets, knowing them.”
“Ahhh.” Ron nodded his understanding.
“Oh, Rufus! Here, I got some cheese for you.” Skipping to the kitchen, Kim returned with a small plate piled with eight well-sized blocks of sliced cheese cubes. Squeaking and chirping in delight and gratitude, Rufus jumped onto the plate and began munching, patting his belly in between each cheese block and giving the thumbs up sign.
“Way to go Rufus!” Ron exclaimed, giving his pet a high-five. “And the molerat scores some food!”
“So Ron, what’s up?” Kim inquired, setting the cheese platter and accompanying critter on the living room table and taking a seat on the couch herself.
“I, uh. Never mind.” Ron finished quickly. “I’m sure you’re sick of it by now.”
“Sick of what?” Kim inquired.
“You know!” Ron egged her on. “The question.”
“The…” Kim narrowed her eyebrows, trying to think. Suddenly, her face lit up in understanding, and she playfully rolled her eyes at her best friend. “Oh, right. That question. Well, go on. Ask. You might as well.” She winked at him.
“How are you feeling?”
Kim chuckled. “Yeah, you’re right - I’ve been getting a lot of that lately. Really though, I’m fine. This new high tech experimental treatment thing that dad, mom, and Wade have developed is awesome. Record healing in record time!”
“Well, you do have three geniuses working on it!” Ron assured Kim.
“Yeah.” Kim agreed.
“So…” Ron trailed off, casting his eyes towards the floor, but making a show of pretending to cast them towards Rufus, who now had a noticeable bulge in his abdomen area.
“So, what?” Kim inquired, pressing him on.
“Are you going to the dance?”
“Are you asking me to?”
“I’m asking if you’re going, not who you’re going with.” Ron laughed nervously.
“You’re asking if I want to go with you?” Kim grinned.
“No, I. No. I mean, no.” He stuttered, scratching his head and turning a pale shade of red.
“No?” Kim questioned, looking only mildly dejected. “We’re not…you know…?” She trailed off, the unspoken question hanging in the air.
“Kim…” Ron began, taking a serious look at his best friend. “We’re friends. Best friends, really – well, there’s Monique too, but we have been friends since elementary school. But to answer your question – no, we’re not dating.”
“Then…who was I dating?”
“No one, actually. I mean, you used to like Josh, but then you fell for Eric.”
Ron flinched upon seeing a flash of remembrance and anger shine through Kim’s eyes. He quickly continued his train of thought.
“And, well, when you were going out with Eric, Bonnie. Uh, she and Josh began going out.”
Forcing an awkward smile, Ron carefully studied Kim, wondering what her reaction would be.
A plethora of emotions passed across Kim’s face – recognition, anger, betrayal, sadness, and regret – just to name a few.
“Eric…I remember Eric.” The redhead whispered, slowly turning away, lost in her own mind. “He was a synthodrone.”
Ron nodded. “Yeah. He part a part of Drakken and Shego’s plan.”
Ron blinked as Kim turned to look at him, casting a slightly accusatory glance in his direction.
“It wasn’t Shego’s plan. She’s just his hired help – she didn’t know what was going on! It wasn’t her fault!”
Kim found herself surprised at her behavior, and quieted herself. Her stomach gave a small lurch, performing a small backflip in her body. How could one woman evoke such a strong reaction?
You do realize that you’re defending a woman who tried to kill you, right?
No, she didn’t!
Just keep telling yourself that dear, and maybe, one day, you’ll believe it.
Awww, did I hit a nerve?
SHUT UP! Kim screamed at herself.
And in the blink of an eye, it happened again. Kim felt herself ripped from the present and launched back into the past – her own past. If it wasn’t so helpful in restoring her memories, it would be damn annoying.
She was all dressed up – wearing a dark blue – almost royal purple dress. But this was something special – it wasn’t a school dance, or any other similar formal social function. There was a vague recollection of a black wig, but she didn’t have it anymore – now her radiant red hair was flowing loosely around her neck.
And, incidentally, she was fighting.
And not fighting just anyone, but a certain black-haired, green-skinned woman with superhuman reflexes and plasma-generating abilities.
A rolling tray was pushed across the floor – well-aimed as it hit Shego squarely and sent her flying into the microphone setup.
Kim saw herself sprint towards the older woman, grabbing her by the front of her green and black dress and hoisting her up.
Shego was smiling. Grinning, rather.
“Where’s Drakken, and what’s he up to?”
And Shego was speaking, but Kim now found herself only half listening. That arrogant expression that Kim now knew was hiding deeper feelings underneath…it was strangely attractive now. And there were other things. Kim felt the warmth of Shego’s skin, the exact texture of the fabric, that low husky voice, the smell of her hair – all small details imprinted in her mind, stored away for recollection later.
Why does she remember those things?
Because she loved Shego then? Or because she loves Shego now?
“Huh?” Kim questioned, shaking her head, trying to regain her lost focus. Ron had been talking, but she had been wandering through the sparse back roads of her memories. “I’m sorry, I missed that – what did you say?”
“I was saying that you shouldn’t give Shego too much of benefit of the doubt. You never know what she could be up to.”
“No!” Kim protested, vehemently. “She wouldn’t do anything to hurt me.”
Gritting his teeth, Ron sighed heavily. “Well, she could have fooled me, with all those fights you have – with all the times she tried to kill you.”
“She knew I could survive whatever she threw at me. She wasn’t trying to kill me!” Kim found herself arguing. “Well, not deliberately… well, not intentionally. I… look I just know, okay?”
It was madness. Emotionally, she felt attached and strangely attracted to this woman, but another part of her kept disagreeing, kept trying to rationalize the feelings that it thought shouldn’t even be present in the first place. It was an internal civil war, tearing up her psyche.
Shego is a villain – the enemy. She needs to pay for her crimes. She's a criminal most of all! Flaunting the rules, the things you live by. Always doing what she wants! She'll steal, lie and cheat. She deserves to be punished! And as for what she did to you… the lies she used so she could have what she wanted again. A fling with a hero. That’s all you are to her – a fling.
No, she’s reformed, or in the process of reforming at least. Anyway, considering her brothers, can you blame her? Forced to be part of Team Go. It was pretty damn obvious she never wanted to be part of it! So she found a way to be free, as free as she could. But she's realised that she doesn't have to be a criminal to be free!
She tried to kill you! Has tried to do so for years!
She saved my life! That's not something she'd do if she wanted me dead!
Back and forth, round and round – it made Kim’s head almost physically hurt.
Even Shego deserves a second chance.
Does she? Are you really being objective here? Or is it that you're more interested in seeing the woman rather than stopping the criminal?
Sighing, Kim began to massage her head. Perhaps she could stop the headache before it began.
“Maybe you’re right. But you still need to be careful.” Ron agreed.
“Oh. I said that aloud? I didn’t realize.” Kim felt herself begin to blush. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean…” She trailed off.
An uncomfortable silence began to settle between the pair.
“Kim…” Ron began, walking up to his best friend and putting a comforting and reassuring arm around her shoulder. “I see the way you look at Shego. When you were…when you were sick, she must have done something really impressive. And if you want to trust her, then I’ll support you, and be there for you. But you’re my best friend, and I want you to be careful, okay?”
With a warm smile, Kim looked back at Ron.
June 21, 2005 – The Present
A dim small desk lamp was the only light source illuminating the work bench.
Black gloved hands skillfully added a few microliters of a clear liquid to a glass test tube. Capping it and swirling the contents around gently, there was a pleased chuckle.
This was transferred to a sickly green liquid that glowed in the dim light. As the clear fluid splashed into the glowing flask, the fluid began to churn and bubble, releasing a faint whisp of vapor.
A few grams of a light blue powder was added to the frothing mix, and the green liquid rapidly changed to a dark red, before frothing to an even brighter and more sickly foul green color. This time the liquid not only glowed, it pulsed steadily.
Blue eyes took in the pulsing light and a thin mouth smiled cruelly.
The vial was subsequently placed in a test tube rack and placed in a freezer for safekeeping.
With a click, the lamp was switched off, and the room was plunged into darkness.
June 23, 2005 – The Present
A loud voice boomed out over the microphone, announcing the start of the evening’s festivities. It was the end-of-year party, and the Middleton High School gym had been turned into a dance floor, complete with banners, posters, balloons, and a hired DJ.
“WHO’S READY TO PARTY?!”
And an answering resounding cheer rose up from the crowd, with the throwing of balloons into the air.
“IT’S THE END OF THE YEAR, SUMMER’S JUST AROUND THE CORNER, AND TIME TO CELEBRATE!”
For the Middleton High students, it was just the time to celebrate indeed. Most of the sports teams had placed in the top ten regional rankings for the athletic year, final exams were finally completed, and for the seniors, they were nervously awaiting the start of their college years or job internships.
Although all these aspects were important to Kim, Ron, and Monique, the current celebrations were directed at a different achievement: Kim’s recovery.
Nobody had expected such a fast and miraculous recuperation, but then again, they reasoned, this was Kim Possible – and anything is possible for a Possible. Her reflexes were improving dramatically, her strength was returning little by little, and to the delight of everyone around her, she was still able to execute a few of her crucial gymnastic stunts. She still felt small twinges of pain now and again, but they were most ghost pains than real physical symptoms – little reminders of her past – which, thankfully, were also returning to her, bit by bit. Small bits of progress are better than none at all.
Though if you asked her opinion, gingko tea was becoming more and more boring with each passing day.
Something suddenly punched her from inside, making her almost physically wince. Gingko tea was Shego’s idea. And apparently, a good one.
“You look hot, girl!”
A familiar voice at last. Dressed in a long flowing navy blue gown with her dark hair twisted into a bun on the back of her head, Monique also was stunning. Her smile was comforting and brilliant, matched only by the delicate silver chain necklace around her small neck.
“Thanks Monique.” Kim grinned.
The redhead was wearing a similar style dress, though hers was strapless and pure jet black with black sequins embroidered on the back and stretching to the front to form a wave-like pattern that shimmered and sparkled when Kim moved. She had a thin silver chain – much like Monique’s – around her neck as well, but hers had a small emerald pendant – the same color as her eyes.
And the eyes of…someone else.
“Where’s Ron?” Monique inquired, looking around the dance floor.
“In the bathroom. He’s straightening his tie. And gathering his courage to ask a girl for one dance.”
“Really? Which one?”
“Anyone that says yes.” Kim grinned, unable to suppress a small laugh of endearment.
Internally, Kim felt herself breathe a huge sigh of relief. Life was finally beginning to return to normal.
Behind the DJ station, keeping up a front of organizing the CDs and playlists, Senor Senior Junior was quietly talking into a hidden walkie-talkie while surveying the scene. In his back pocket, a small dart gun was hidden. Behind the stage, Senior Senior Senior was controlling the lights according to his son’s orders to be in time with the music. He also had a similar dart gun hidden within his jacket. Up in the rafters, staying out of view, Monkey Fist was watching the partying highschool teenagers like a hawk – following the movements of Kim and her friends and reporting them to the others. Hidden outside in a van, DNAmy, Duff Killigan and Drakken waited patiently. Once the dance was in chaos, and confusion was widespread, they would provide backup, preventing Kim from escaping. Monkey Fist’s monkey ninjas were also hidden outside, positioned in all the trees surrounding the school to make sure the targets didn’t escape through any back doors.
Hiding out behind the bleachers in the football field, Shego smoothed out her modified dress. She had toyed with the idea of tying up her hair, but ultimately decided against it – she liked her hair free flowing and subject to the whims of nature. She was wearing a dark green dress that both contrasted and blended in with her natural skin tone. It had an open back with laces that kept the dress together, and the dress itself came down to her ankles, though it could be hiked up to her knees should she need to fight – which was expected. On her right hand, a small gold ring rested around her ring finger, decorated with three small red rubies – barely visible to the naked eye. She, too, was carrying a dart gun – but it felt like a piece of heavy lead in her hand, dragging her down.
Without warning, her stomach gave a warning growl, and Shego realized that she hadn’t eaten in over a day – not even basic hydration with water. Thinking back to her actions within the past few days, Shego realized she was a mess. She had also neglected sleep as she was too busy worrying about Kim. Her mind was too active to quiet down, and even sleeping pills wouldn’t calm her down. A small throbbing headache had been developing for days, and tonight, Shego had taken a handful of painkillers to forget the pain and relegate it in the background. And now, she was hating herself – she had let herself become so ragged.
What if she wasn’t strong enough to save Kim?
A flash of terror tore at Shego’s heart, and she regretted she had been so foolish. She needed her strength tonight to protect her loved one. And yes, god damn it, she loved that girl.
“Shego!” Her personal communicator bleeped at her, the voice metallic but still recognizable as Drakken.
Shaken out of her reverie, she dropped the gun.
“What?” She whispered, dreading the answer.
“It’s time. Execute.”
And with a quiet click, Drakken closed the communication channel, leaving Shego alone with her thoughts…and actions.
Grabbing the gun, Shego quietly made her way towards the school.
With adrenaline racing through her system, Kim found herself spinning before landing in Ron’s arms. She laughed at it all. It was all so mundane, but again, so comforting at the same time – this was normal life – she, a teenager, at a highschool dance, and sharing one dance with her best friend.
But something kept nagging at her insides, that something wasn’t quite right, and she couldn’t quite figure it out. She tried to let it go, whatever it was, but a shadowy figure here, or someone lurking over there kept raising her internal alarm. Always, those suspicious people were always her classmates, but something just kept eating away at her.
Suddenly, from behind her, she felt a hand snake around her waist, and another warm hand gently rest on her shoulder. Although she couldn’t see the person, the touches seemed so familiar and at the same time, so feminine.
“Don’t turn around.” A low husky voice whispered in her ear, barely audible over the pounding music blasting over the loudspeakers.
And if she didn’t recognize the voice, the perfume gave it away in an instant.
At once, Kim felt her heart jump, but not before skipping a few beats.
“Shego!” Kim whispered back, her voice soft, and unable to think of anything more to say, her mind stumbling over itself.
Unaware of everything around her, Kim tried to spin around to face the source of all her pain and all her joy, but Shego was stronger and restrained Kim, dragging her into a darkened corner of the dance floor.
“Let me talk!” Shego insisted. Kim thought about protesting, but there was some kind of urgency in Shego’s voice, and it silenced any complaints Kim had thought about voicing.
“Kim, you have to get out of here.”
“What? Why?” Kim pressed.
“Drakken and DNAmy and all the others – they’re trying to kill you.”
“Huh? I mean, don’t they try to do that anyways?”
“No, they’re all working together now! And they’re planning something tonight!”
There was something in Shego’s voice that raised an internal alarm within Kim. The urgency of Shego’s tone…an undisguised fear.
“Let me go!” Kim snarled, more harshly than she intended.
To her surprise, Shego let her go. Immediately, Kim spun around to face her former enemy.
And as much as she steeled herself for this sight, and as much as she played it out in her mind, and practiced what she would say…she still felt at a loss for words and actions. In her mind, Shego was both a fallen angel yearning for love as well as a seductive demon looking to drag her into Hell. Maybe she was both. Maybe she was neither.
But right now, in her flowing dress that looked so soft to the touch, and that yearning look in her eyes…she was breathtakingly beautiful. And for a split second, Kim didn’t care if Shego was there to save her or damn her.
To damn you… Kim’s mind reminded her.
“How do I know you’re not involved too?” Kim accused Shego, glaring at the older woman and snapping out of her thoughts.
Somewhere inside her ribcage, Shego felt her heart drop into her abdomen.
Not like you expected her to trust you right away, no? You lied to her, remember that? Of course you do. After all, it is she who cannot remember…
Kim’s reaction was expected, but even though it was fully anticipated, it still drove deep like a dagger, and chilled her heart like a shard of ice.
“Kim. I’m supposed to be involved.”
Drawing forth the dart gun, Shego held it out to Kim, handing it over to her to inspect. As Kim gingerly took the gun from Shego’s hand, Shego was continuing her explanation.
“See? I was supposed to distract you, fight you, and if I had the chance, shoot you with this. I don’t know what it is, but it can’t be good.”
Kim was continuing to study the gun, turning it over in her hands. She noticed the unnatural glow from within, illuminating the darts with a sickly light that promised something evil and malicious.
“I can’t hurt you. Not again.”
“I don’t know what to say.” Kim admitted, half to herself and half to Shego, but she didn’t know who she was trying to convince.
Desperate, Shego gripped her shoulders and, to Kim's surprise, shook her. There was real fear in Shego's green eyes. Fear for her.
“You don’t have to say anything, but you do have to escape.”
Wordlessly, Kim nodded.
“Good job Shego!” A loud voice echoed around the room. “You’re cornered her, just like we planned!”
And at once, Monkey Fist dropped down from the rafters, and Senor Senior Senior and Junior appeared from what seemed out of nowhere. The front doors swung open with a clatter, and Drakken and Duff Killigan stormed through the entrance. And Kim noticed, all were holding similar style guns, the same type of gun that Shego had been carrying. In response to the sudden invasion, the dance erupted into chaos – students were running, hiding under tables, desperately grabbing for their cellphones, and there was so much screaming and shouting and wailing – it was almost deafening.
“Drakken!” Kim hissed, venting her anger towards the mad scientist, though underneath it all, a deeper feeling of betrayal was just beginning to boil. Just like they planned? It had been all a setup – right from the beginning. Tears of frustration were threatening to spill, but Kim knew at this moment, it was crucial for her to remain strong – or at least put on a convincing faÁade. But she was angry at herself – angry for falling for Shego, angry at believing her…
In Shego, a deep feeling of despair was beginning to blossom as she could see the emotions beginning to unfold within Kim. If Kim had begun to trust her again…well, it was all destroyed now. And Shego knew that even the nicest people have limits – could Kim forgive her again? Could Kim ever trust her again? All that work that Shego did, it just kept getting destroyed over and over. And a part of Shego was tempted to think it was a sign, a signal to quit. The writing had been on the wall all this time, and Shego had ignored it, and now, Kim was getting hurt in the process.
Her head felt light and dizzy, and Shego felt that she was about to fall into a deep abyss somewhere…
“Kim…” Shego started, taking a step towards the teenager.
“Don’t talk to me!” Kim hissed, raw emotion lacing her voice. “You knew all along, you… you deceiving and backstabbing bitch!”
“No, no, please. I didn’t!” Shego protested, pleading despite the small part of her that begged her to be silent, to hide the fact that she cared for Kim.
“Shut up!” Kim snapped back, before Shego could even speak one more word. To Kim, Shego’s voice was poison, and the less she spoke, the safer she would be. She was devious, a master of words, with all the powers of prose and persuasion. She was a dangerous woman not to be trusted.
The part within Kim that kept insisting that Shego was the innocent bystander was growing weaker and weaker, evidence slowly being eroded away.
“Kim Possible, we meet again. Though this time, there will be no escape.” Monkey Fist announced, breaking both Kim and Shego out of their respective reveries.
“Maybe not for you.” Kim scoffed back, trying to keep up her front of aloofness, though in her mind, she desperately wanted to scan the room for Ron and Monique – where were they? Did they escape? Were they hiding? Had they been captured?
But her attention couldn’t be diverted. Especially not now.
“Oh, such misplaced confidence.” A bout of laughter echoed around the room. “We’ve got the room rigged with traps and we outnumber you. Not to mention we can nab any one of your school friends. And yet you still believe you could best us in battle.”
Feeling her heart grow cold, Kim realized they had a point – fighting in here was not in her favor. They had successfully hidden themselves in the room and avoided detection from virtually everyone at the dance, who knew what else they had managed to set up? What other tricks were hiding within plain sight?
“Well, let’s even the odds then!” Kim exclaimed, making a show of idly tossing her hair.
“And how do you plan on doing that?”
“Easy. Like this!”
And on the last word, Kim launched herself up to land on the rim of the basketball hoop. From there, and in the blink of an eye, she further flipped to the light supports, and then to a small window. Giving a brief wink to the villains below her on the ground, she pushed open the window and climbed outside.
“She’s on the roof!” Senor Senior Senior shouted! “After her!”
Junior frowned, running along behind his father. Despite the situation, he scratched his chin. “If she has lost her marbles as Shego claims… how can she still do the supery heroey stuff? Did she have a book?”
“Junior, now is not the time!”
As the ground crew ran out the door, Monkey Fist imitated her moves to follow her outside.
Shego; however, was already gone.
On the roof, illuminated by the moonlight alone, two figures stood at a standstill, but a heated argument was building between them.
“Please Kim!” Shego was practically begging (and hating herself for it, but needing Kim to forgive her even more). “You have to believe me! I didn’t do this! Honestly! I was trying to warn you!”
“I don’t…I don’t…” Kim trailed off, gritting her teeth in frustration, her fists poised midair in case an attack came. Though it never did.
But deep inside her, she already knew that.
“Kim…” Shego whispered, her words barely audible. “I didn’t intend…any of this! Not tonight, not the lying – none of it!”
“Sure, yeah, you had good intentions!” Kim snapped, her eyes narrowing in what could have been a mixture of disgust and betrayal and perhaps even slight confusion. But before Shego could offer an explanation, Kim was continuing her emotional tirade.
“But don’t they say the road to hell is paved with good intentions? Your idea, your gesture of curing me…it was a good idea, it was a good gesture…but it was poorly executed!”
“I know Kim, you don’t think the moment –“
“No, obviously, you didn’t think! You lied to me!” Kim felt her cheeks flush red with heat, and tears threatening to well up in her eyes. Unable to control her storming emotions, and before she was aware of what she was saying, she blurted out, “I thought I was with someone who understood me…who was protecting me and helping me heal. You…you…you LIED to get what you WANTED!”
“Yes, Kim, damn you! Yes!” Shego shouted, her voice crescendoing to a forte, stunning Kim into a temporary silence. “I lied to you, and I’m sorry. The moment those words left my mouth, all that time ago, I instantly regretted them! You don’t think I didn’t?!”
“I honestly don’t know what to think of you anymore, Shego! And that’s part of my problem!” Kim yelled back, her voice rising in pitch, her chest rapidly rising and falling with her breathing. “I want to thank you, and I want to hug you, I want to love you, and I want to hate you – all at the same time! I don’t know what to do!”
“Hate me…” Shego whispered, her voice barely audible to even her own ears over the pounding of her heart.
“Yeah, I just might!” Kim snapped back, not catching the pain lacing Shego’s hoarse whisper.
Something within Shego had been tottering on the edge of a great precipice. It was a combination of stubbornness and pride pitted against a team of soft vulnerability and enlightenment – a realization of what could be, rather than what actually was.
On the ledge was everything familiar and systematic to Shego – loneliness and arrogance and thievery and self-reliance. In the empty space below her was the unknown – love and caring and honesty. And as much as she wanted those things, she would have to jump, and enter a world where she was a stranger. Who knows what else would be down there, waiting for her. She wanted to cling to her ledge, stay where she knew she would be safe. But also alone. And now…
Now she didn’t want to be alone anymore.
Taking a deep breath, Shego felt her metaphorical fingers loosening. And finally, with a sigh of contentment and maybe peace, she gave into one of the most primitive human urges.
The urge to fall.
And back on the roof, Shego was sniffling and wiping her eyes, though now she wasn’t ashamed of her tears, nor the public show of emotion. She wasn’t caring who saw, or what they said. This was her breaking point, and she finally cracked.
“Kim, I…I… love you.”
And as strong as Shego had intended her voice to be, now it was cracking, and interrupted by the occasional hiccup and sniffle.
“What?” Kim asked, her tone still sharp but having lost a little bit of its former edge.
“I love…you. I…need you. Can’t you see? All this time? You gave my life meaning, and without you, it would be empty. I…I would be empty. I understand if you hate me, and I wouldn’t blame you for it…and…and. If you still hate me, then so be it. But…until you’re safe…I have to protect you. Then I promise, I’ll…I’ll…leave you alone.”
Shego’s voice dropped again to a whisper. “I promise.”
Kim stared at Shego, opening her mouth as if to say more, but closing it at the last minute. A stunned silence descended on the pair.
Sighing heavily, Kim let her eyes flutter closed for a split second. Looking down at Shego’s feet, unable to look into her eyes, Kim mumbled, “I can’t hate you.”
Taking one hesitant step towards Kim, Shego paused, unsure what to do. Her heart wanted nothing more than to run over to her Princess and embrace her and take away all the hurt and pain, but her head was still spinning out of control, riddled with heated emotions and unsaid declarations of admiration and respect. But Kim was continuing her monologue.
“Yeah, you messed up. Sure, you messed up really bad. But, you helped me. And you took care of me. And you were so kind…”
And you made my heart race, and my blood pound, and you showed me what it means to really truly deeply care for someone.
Kim shook her head, trying to get her mind back on track, and back to the present.
And what it means to forgive…
And maybe, just maybe… need back?
“Kim…” Shego started, softly. “I…”
“What?” Kim asked back, her voice just as soft, and her eyes finally meeting Shego’s, two matching shades of rich green locking with each other.
“I, I…” Shego continued to stammer, all semblance of eloquence gone, and her well-rehearsed speeches and declarations of love conveniently forgotten.
Inwardly, she fumed.
Say it. Three words. 'I… love… you.”
Okay, how about “Love you? Can you do that, Shego?
Oh for the love of, Doy! Come on, Shego. How about her name then?
“Kim…” Shego whispered, a faint sheen of perspiration making her hair glisten in the night.
Kim took one small step towards Shego. Not quite enough to cover any significant ground, but enough to show her continued interest in the conversation. “Yes?”
“I’m sorry.” Shego stated, in a defeated whisper, breaking eye contact and looking down. This was the one battle Shego couldn’t win; she had already lost the war.
“You’re…sorry…” Kim repeated, barely able to hide the disappointment in her eyes. “That’s it?”
“That’s all I have to say.” Shego said, clumsily tripping over her own words.
“No, I know there’s more.” Kim pressed gently. “I can see it.”
“No!” Shego yelled suddenly, catching Kim off guard. “I know what you’re expecting me to tell you, and I’m not going to!”
Kim blinked in surprise. “Why not?”
“Because you deserve better!” Shego screamed, ignoring the painful twisting of her heart in her chest.
You deserve so much, Princess. So much that I can’t give you. A life with me will be a pain-filled life, full of disappointments.
A vision appeared in Shego’s frustrated mind. In this possible future, she and Kim were together – but always on the run from government authorities – both national and international. In the beginning, Kim was fine with it, understanding why all the secrecy was needed and dodging the police. But eventually, Kim got fed up with it all, and her happiness slowly evolved into bitterness and regret. They could never settle down, and now…for helping Shego…Kim was wanted too. And now, when Kim looked at Shego, Shego could only see hate in her eyes.
Continuing her impassioned speech, Shego spoke in hushed and humbled tones. “You deserve someone who loves you, who respects you, who treats you with dignity-“
“Someone like you?” Kim asked softly, interrupting the green woman, shocked that Shego didn’t see herself that way.
“I didn’t say that!” Shego argued back, stunning Kim back into silence. “I’m saying you do NOT want someone like me!”
“How do you know what I want?” Kim persisted, taking a few steps towards, bringing herself closer to Shego. “Wh…what if I…I want you?”
Shego felt herself retreat in Kim’s advance, stunned by this sudden proclamation. Secretly, she was terrified. In her fantasies, this was so easy and so natural, but in actual practicality…this was downright frightening. It made jumping out of planes child’s play.
“What?” Shego muttered, still trying to calm her crazed mind. Life, it seemed, enjoyed a good practical joke and a good dose of irony.
Kim sighed, a deep exhalation of air, but the tension continued to mount, almost to a tangible level. It was now or never.
“Shego…” Kim started, before pausing and taking a gulp to settle her nerves. “I won’t deny that I’m angry at you. You’ve been my enemy for so many years now, and you lied to me – in a big way – and I can forgive you for that, but it will take some time. But I also won’t deny that I… I like you, and I think…I think that if we could start over, and be completely honest with each other, we could have a chance.”
Silent, Shego continued to stare into the distance, wondering if this was a dream, and if so, praying she would never wake up.
“And you know, you DID put my mind back together. Except even I know everyone’s wondering where I got the whole ‘Shego is cute’ deal from.”
Shego looked up, and was startled to see Kim biting her lower lip and alternately looking back and forth between Shego and the ground while subtly shuffling her right foot. And if she wasn’t mistaken, she could have sworn she saw Kim beginning to blush, her cheeks just beginning to show a rather cute hue of pink.
“Aw, Kim.” Shego smiled, treasuring the moment. It was as if Kim were asking her out on a date.
Well, essentially, that’s what was happening.
“So? What do you think?” Kim asked, trying to look at Shego surrepticiously, attempting to gain a glimpse of the older woman’s reaction. “I mean, you would have to do things to make up for your previous crimes, but uh, I’m sure we could make up some kind of…you, know, arrangement. Maybe, you know, do volunteer community work or something like that. Well, maybe. I mean, I think so.”
Shego couldn’t help but be enchanted over Kim’s display of awkwardness, as the precious redhead was stammering and stuttering through her speech. It was incredibly and astoundingly adorable.
The younger girl looked so hopeful, her brilliant emerald green eyes lighting up in expectation, and thinly disguised hope, and her mouth slightly open.
And this time, Shego was smiling, and for once, her whole body felt filled with warmth and triumph, and not surprisingly, a rather huge sense of relief. Her small smile was quickly evolving into a no-holds-barred grin, and she couldn’t help it. “Kim, I think that’s a great idea! Even if I have to do a thousand hours of community service! Anything to be with you! I’ll wrangle with Dr. Director if you want me to!”
“Oh, really?” Kim gasped, a part of herself still shocked at Shego’s response.
The thief, indeed, had dramatically changed.
And Kim found herself reciprocating Shego’s grin, amazed at the turnout of circumstances. It had such potential to go so horribly awry. Maybe, sometimes, the universe does unfold as it should, albeit a few bumps and snags along the way.
“Awww, how sweet!” The sardonic comment came from an annoyingly familiar figure, and rudely interrupted what would have been a cathartic and tender moment. “Would you like me to find some roses?”
“Monkey Fist!” Shego snarled, glaring daggers at the primate-human mutant hybrid, perched in the branches of a nearby tree, several feet below the rooftop.
“I KNEW there was something going on with you Shego!” Drakken gloated, raising a fist in the air, his eyes glowing with triumph. “But I mean…really. Wanting to be Kim Possible’s girlfriend? You ARE odd… and I don't mean the green skin.”
“All right, that’s it!” Shego roared, standing her ground, and facing her new antagonists. “All of you, back off!”
With a rapid flick of her wrists, her signature plasma fire ignited with a muffled whoomp sound that reverberated through the air. Her dark green eyes issued a challenge to anyone who would accept it.
“You think you’re going to fight all of us? You’re a strong lass, I’ll give ya that, but there’s no way you’ll fight the lot of us.” Duff Killigan practically snorted, idly tossing a white golf ball from hand to hand. “Lassie, nobody can stop me when I use mah wood driver!”
“You never know until you try!” Shego snipped, experimentally waving her fists around to generate an impressive display of firepower. She glanced across as DNAmy crept, or tried to considering her bulk, across the roof towards herself and Kim. And as for you, blubber butt. You come one step closer and I'll show you just what MYgenes can do.”
“Of course, dearie. Whatever you say.” DNAmy cooed. “NOW!”
And from out of his coat, Drakken pulled out a modified rifle gun, braced it under his arm, and took careful aim at Shego. She grinned, knowing her catlike reflexes could counter anything that idiot and bumbling fool Drakken could throw at her, metaphorically and literally. Knowing his sloppiness during critical times, he would probably miss anyways.
There was a loud popping sound as Drakken finally pulled the trigger, and a colorful dart shot out from the gun, its needle point catching the light. And as the projectile came closer, Shego almost let out a sigh of relief – the dart was going to miss her – Drakken had aimed badly.
But as the dart’s approach continued, a dread feeling began to bubble from deep inside Shego’s heart, and her mind was frantically trying to work out the trajectory.
Drakken wouldn’t miss.
He would hit.
But it wasn’t Shego he was aiming for.
For one more unwanted time in her life, Shego felt time grind to a painfully slow halt as she watched the dart fly through the air.
A flood of unpleasant memories she thought she had buried deep within her psyche broke through her mental dam, and she felt the past becoming the present. It was as if her mind were replaying that one fateful encounter with the former object of her hate (and, incidentally, the current object of her love) – but unlike those horrid flashbacks and disturbing nightmares that have haunted her mind’s eye, this was happening in real life, in real time, and right in front of her.
She knew she had a decision, and that decision had been made long before this night. It had been made months ago, perhaps, years ago.
But for now, it was time to act.
Quick as a cat, Shego took a desperate leap in front of Kim, and launched herself into the path of the dart. Her extremely honed and almost superhuman reflexes kicked in, and with a well-timed flip and roll, Shego had successfully placed herself in the position to act as a human shield. And at the last minute, with narrowed eyes, Shego reached out and grabbed the dart, grasping it between her thumb and middle finger and plucking it out of midair. She felt a wry grin spread across her face accompanied by a sense of elation, realizing that she had foiled Drakken’s plan. A low chuckle escaped her lips, and her smile widened.
“Nice try.” She scoffed, arching an eyebrow to the astonished conglomerate of villains below. “I mean, hello? I used to fight Kim Possible hand to hand, and she has super fast reflexes… so come on! It wasn't even a hypersonic dart. Puh-lease!”
Triumphant and in control, her mind began to swim with visions and fantasies of the future – now Kim would understand that Shego meant no harm, and that she had truly and honestly reformed. And if these representations of pond scum below her were apprehended and carted off to a prison, perhaps she would get a lessened sentence herself for her good deeds. This moment was the beginning of a new Shego, a reformed Shego, and a…dare she say it…a good Shego?
But a rumble of low laughter interrupted her fantasy. Shego found herself narrowing her eyes in bewilderment. She had just prevented the master plan from becoming a reality, and yet they were laughing at her – there was more here than meets the eye. What was going on?
“Oh, Shego, you simple-minded fool!” Drakken sneered. “You’ve got it all figured out, huh?”
“What?” Shego snapped, her mind spinning in overtime, trying to figure out what game they were playing.
But the group below was continuing to sneer at her, and Shego still couldn’t figure out what they were hinting at.
“You think you’ve saved the day? Far from it.” Monkey Fist chuckled, rubbing his hands together in what could only be a perverted expression of malicious glee. “You're just making Possible's final defeat all the sweeter.”
Shego continued to eye her former allies, a defensive glare highlighting her features.
“If you even dare…” Shego threatened, baring her teeth to demonstrate her seriousness.
“We don’t dare, honey.” DNAmy grinned through a fake saccharine smile. “We act!”
And with those words, someone – it may have been Senor Senior Senior – shouted, “Attack!”
There was a split second of silence before all hell broke loose. Monkeys were running everywhere at the command of Monkey Fist, herding the bystanders into smaller groups at knifepoint. Duff Killigan was shooting golf balls at Ron and Monique, who were rather skillfully dodging them and reflecting them with makeshift shields. Senor Senior Senior was shouting something unintelligible and attempting to urge on his son to do something productive, rather than shuffle through the songs in the dance playlists.
“Look father! Boy's Aloud's first ever album. They do the whole swinging of the booty to the music!”
Still armed with his dart gun, Drakken took careful aim at the redheaded figure on the rooftop. With his sights set on the side of Kim’s neck, just a few inches below her ear, Drakken waited for a clear shot, and when the opportunity came, he pulled the trigger.
Even immersed in a flurry of surveillance monitoring, Shego was able to see Drakken’s minute movements from the corner of her eye. Mentally, she laughed.
So, Drakken thinks that with a bit of distraction, he’ll be able to get a clear shot of Kim! As if!
“Kim, look out!” Shego shouted as she took a diving leap towards Kim. While she was sure she would be able to successfully intercept the dart for the second time, there was no harm in yelling out a warning in the remote case she missed.
But, of course, she didn’t, and the bit of metal fell from her gloves. the remains now a molten blob.
Glancing over at her former archnemesis, Shego flashed a brief reassuring smile.
It’s alright Princess. As long as I’m here…no one will hurt a single hair on your head!
Quickly, Shego turned her attention back to Drakken and contorted her face into an expression of disdain and disgust towards her former employer, an expression that challenged a response. While she expected the meek scientist to pale, he tilted his head back and laughed heartily.
What the fuck is his problem?! Shego screamed at herself. Had this crazy scientist finally gone off the deep end permanently?
Before she could even utter one word of surprise and disbelief, she caught a glimpse of Kim in her peripheral vision. Kim’s face was twisted in an expression of horror and pain, and Shego’s first thought was to run over to the redhead and make sure everything was alright. What had happened? What did Drakken do? But before Shego could even twitch a muscle, Kim was pointing past Shego, and yelling something.
But everyone was shouting, and the cacophony was almost completely deafening. For all her other skills, Shego wasn’t great, or even proficient, at lip-reading. And in this instance, that lack was posing a significant problem.
Shego whipped her head around, wondering what Kim was gesturing about, and let her sharp gaze settle on DNAmy, who was standing on the edge of the roof with a rifle steadied in her hands.
She heard Kim yell her name, despite the chaos all around them, and took another quick look over her shoulder at DNAmy, and more specifically, the rifle she was holding. A rifle that looked eerily similar to the pistols that…
She managed an involuntary intake of breath as she felt the small needle pierce the skin on the back of her left shoulder. She felt, rather than saw, the small concealed plunger depress. But she felt the rush of liquid shoot into her muscles and the associated dull throbbing pain associated with it. With a grunt and scowl, she reached around to remove the dart, and eying it with contempt, tossed it to the ground.
DNAmy’s grating laughter was ringing in her ears, and her head began to hurt. There was a dull but insistent pounding behind her temples, and her senses were all off – the world seemed muted through her ears, with sounds lowered several octaves to a low drone. Her sight began to blur, and her orientation of up and down was mixed up. She needed to lie down, and lie down fast. The world was spinning, and the pain was becoming sharper and more pronounced, and her sense of balance was all off, and if she could just find the strength of will to sit down, but even the simple act of sitting itself was just so hard…
The sky was sideways…
She fell to her knees and blinked. The roofing tiles looked so… amazing this close up.
Gotta get up! She staggered upright, the world around her a hazy blur. Have to protect my Kimmie and… oh, look, clouds!
Why was the sky upside down?
That pretty blue color…it was cerulean…the setting sun was casting an ethereal hue to the environment…everything was glowing…
Like Kim’s suit, that white and blue glowing suit when they last fought…oh dear lord how that suit hugged Kim’s body, emphasizing every curve and every outline…
She was so beautiful… is beautiful I mean, especially when she fights. The way her body moves – it’s like a dancer…it’s an art form all it’s own. And when she moves into you, that supple body, even in a throw or a strike, it always made me want to gently undress her and… and… god, I'm feeling hot.
I hope it's the weather. and not… not…
As Kim watched, Shego took a few awkward and unsure steps backwards. The usually sure-footed thief was stumbling for the first time Kim could recall. Considering the circumstances, such awkwardness was understandable; however, the same circumstances made this behavior dangerous.
“SHEGO!” Kim yelled, her second warning that evening. The raven-haired woman was perching precariously near the ledge of the roof, with only a few feet between her and empty air.
“Watch out! Oh god…SHEGO!”
With her heart sinking, Kim was remembering the layout of the school. Below Shego, who was still teetering on the rooftop ledge, was a hard wide concrete sidewalk. And if Shego fell…her skull would crack open like a walnut shell under too much pressure.
“SHEGO, WAKE UP! GET A GRIP!! COME ON!”
Despite her yelling at the top of her lungs, Kim intuitively knew that Shego couldn’t hear her, nor interpret her.
And she was right – Shego continued stumbling towards the edge of the roof, unaware of any of her surroundings or the danger she was putting herself in. And it all seemed familiar to Kim, though that sense of familiarity was reversed – Kim was the one doing the watching while Shego was the one doing the falling.
Before she knew what she was doing exactly, Kim was sprinting towards Shego, covering the ten feet between them with relative ease. And while the running happened so quickly, the events that followed seemed so slow.
As Kim approached her savior and her damnation, Shego had one foot on the raised concrete rooftop edge, with her other foot hovering midair. She was trying to regain her lost balance, but her sense of balance itself had been altered. Her body was tipping over the edge, and her center of gravity was leaning over the abyss below.
Shego’s eyes were wild and her drug induced confusion and bewilderment shone through. She gave a low laugh, not understanding what was happening to her. As her head began to slightly tip over the edge, following her upper torso, Kim reached out, extending her hand to the falling woman.
But Shego didn’t have enough sense of reality to reach out and grasp the helping hand offered to her. At the last minute; however, for one split second, Shego seemed to recover her sense of self, and as her eyes drifted towards Kim, focusing with intense and surprising clarity, Shego mouthed a single word before toppling over the edge.
It all was so horrifying – Shego’s body succumbing to gravity, and watching her slowly but inevitably disappear from the line of sight.
Down below her, the crowd was horrified and surprised to see Shego so out of it, her body pumped with drugs. Ron and Monique, focusing in on Kim, saw the look of desperation and terror in her eyes, shining like a beacon, and broadcasting her despair. And in that instant, Ron finally realized how Kim had been feeling about Shego, and…
If Shego fell, it would finally destroy her – mind, body, and soul alike.
Suddenly, and at the same time wholly appropriate and completely inappropriate, Kim was assaulted by a familiar sensation.
The hovercraft was right in front of her, slowly rising upwards. She had extended her arms to the fullest of their capabilities, and it was during that last extension when she realized she had overexerted herself…for the first time in her crime-fighting career.
It felt like a pulling burning stinging sensation, which originated in her midsection but quickly radiated to the rest of her body. She knew she had to keep going, keep extending, keep grabbing, but the curling of body into a pseudo-fetal position was just so instinctual…it wasn’t entirely due to a conscious choice.
Her fingers were so close to the dull metal side of the vehicle – if she could just manage a few more fucking inches!
She was falling, once again, and looking up to where she was supposed to be. On that hovercraft. Fighting and exchanging blows with Shego. Yeah…
And Shego was looking down at her while she was falling…with a neutral expression on her face – could it be fear that the normally cold woman was trying to mask?
Shego was afraid? That never happened…
Down, down, she was…falling
Kim blinked as she found herself looking towards the ground, and in her mind’s eye, saw herself through Shego’s eyes, but it was reversed – it was her who was Shego, and Shego who was her, and it made her head hurt.
She was seeing Shego fall, and saw the fear in her eyes, and the realization that she was going to die. But this was worse. It wasn’t that Shego couldn’t do anything to save herself, but it was that she was unable to, that she had been drugged and rendered incapable of action.
And despite their previous messed up twisted relationship that defied traditional conventions of hero and villianess, no one, not even Shego, deserved to meet her end this way – it was disrespectful and anti-climatic somehow. And dying? For all her thievery and involvements in world domination plots, she had never actually killed anyone. Well, with the exception of that fateful fall - a tumble that should have been fatal, and very well could have been fatal if not for Shego’s intervention and admittedly awkward attempts at reconciliation.
And Kim realized, that Shego had been faced with a choice.
The same choice that Kim herself had, at this very moment.
And like Shego, she chose without thinking, going with her heart and all the mysteries that lay hidden within it.
To save her.
With a single leap born from an absolute force of will, Kim reached out and desperately grabbed for Shego’s wrist. As Kim landed against the rooftop edge, her hand firmly clasped around the older woman’s wrist, and a pained grunt escaped her lips as she felt her shoulder wrenched out of its socket. Feeling all of Shego’s weight pull on her muscles and tendons, Kim gritted her teeth and fought the pain to hold onto Shego. Screaming wordlessly, and wailing to the stars above her, she continued to maintain her grip, determined not to let go. Below her, Shego was swinging back and forth rather precariously, and the crowd on the ground, even Bonnie, was screaming their encouragement.
“Hang on! I’ve got you!” Kim muttered, as she forced herself to stand up and began slowly backing up and hauling Shego’s limp body back onto the rooftop. A second burst of shooting pain jolted down her arm and up her neck as she threw all her weight backwards for the final pull that hoisted Shego to safety.
Panting and cradling her injured arm, Kim leaned down to have a closer look at Shego. The green woman was breathing in uneven gasps, and was lapsing in and out of wakefulness. Her lithe body was covered in a fine layer of sweat, and her forehead felt unusually hot.
“Shego…” Kim whispered, ignoring the pain in her shoulder to reach down and gently caress Shego’s matted hair, and stroke her feverish forehead.
“Whaa…” Shego murmured in response, jerking her head from side to side while other small spasms and seizures took hold of her torso and legs. Opening her mouth, Shego tried to speak again, but her tongue wasn’t working quite right, and some saliva ran out of her mouth.
“Oh, Shego…” Kim continued to stroke, to reassure, and the green woman underneath her continued to convulse and whimper. It tore at Kim. Shego had never sounded like a child before today, but now she sounded so… young. “Come on, hang in there. Fight it! Whatever it is, fight it!”
Carefully, Kim reached underneath Shego’s shoulders to lift her up. And with the same amount of care, she ran a single finger down Shego’s pale cheek, trying to urge her back into the real world. But Shego’s head only flopped backwards, all muscle tension lost.
“What did they do to you?” Kim whispered, mostly to herself. With the utmost amount of care, the redhead laid Shego’s head back on the ground, arranging Shego’s long black hair to form a makeshift pillow. A flame was beginning to ignite inside her, and Kim knew this wasn’t like an intense passing wildfire, but rather a prolonged and slow burn that would build for quite some time before exploding.
Kim stood up, her face hardened into an expression that almost promised unforgiveness.
She cast a vengeful look towards DNAmy, then towards Drakken and the rest of the villainous gang, and enunciated three words.
“How dare you! How… Dare… YOU!”
In Shego’s mind, consciousness was a thin delicate string that kept slipping in and out of her reach. Her fingers were sluggish and weak, and she could barely summon enough strength to even close her hand.
She could hear fighting…conflict…at the same time, it was so far away and also so damn close.
Kim would be spinning and dodging and kicking and punching and flipping and maneuvering, weaving in and out, between her enemies, moving like smoke in between her combatants. So much power in that young woman, and so much grace.
In her mind, Shego couldn’t tell if she was dying…or not. Surely in death, one feels no pain; however, there was such much agony, and so much misery. This couldn’t be death…
But what if it was?
An unbridled panic surged through Shego’s psyche, a raw and desperate single, but terrifying thought.
What if this was the end?
And following this one animalistic rush of hopeless and anxiety, a second powerful sensation flooded her mind.
Not the type of fleeting passing sorrow, but real genuine remorse. The kind of regret that keeps you awake through the night and into the early morning – the kind that you mull over while watching the sun rise. The kind that makes you subconsciously and consciously replay the scene over and over again and again in your mind and dreams, wondering and hoping and fantasizing and imagining what could have been, or what might have happened in an alternate universe – anything but what actually DID happen.
The kind that slinks into your soul, haunting your dreams and seeping into your nightmares like a clever virus – finding the weak spot and getting past all those well guarded defenses and multiplying and growing and expanding and taking over everything in your being until you don’t know where YOU end and IT begins. And then, you become one single entity of fear and hatred and sorrow and yearning and wishing.
The kind of regret that worms its way deep inside you, in between every crevice of every cell, and makes you secretly wish that a god really does exist – just so you could have an opportunity to beg for forgiveness and any semblance of salvation for whatever immortal soul you still might have clinging to life inside your hollow shell of what used to be a physical body. Because what you did, or didn’t do is just too hurtful and wrong to contemplate while sober and logical, because it wasn’t really logical to begin with. Logic took a vacation that day, hijacking common sense with it. And somewhere during the journey, both got lost and have yet to return.
From far away, Shego saw herself slowly blink.
Kim…I’m so sorry…I can't fight it any more… I'm… oh, Princess.
She closed her eyes, and there was blessed darkness.
And the world fell away around her.
For Kim, it was a total opposite. For her, the world suddenly was jerked into sharp violently dark focus.
It felt as though Kim had been living life for the past few weeks through a specific, but thick, filter. Her vision was blurred, her hearing was suppressed, and her voice was smothered. But now, it was as if someone had cruelly ripped away her filter, leaving her more enlightened – but this came at an unacceptable price.
But that is always how it seemed – the lesson learned was learned too late. Nothing was gained for free, and everything had its cost. This was unfair, but so again, was life. Cruelly unfair.
It is said that some things in life are simple, and others are easy - but very rarely are things both simple and easy.
On this occasion; however, the choice was simple, and the action was easy.
A voice was screaming inside Kim’s head. It was devious, and had been longing for release for quite some time. It had been kept tied down, locked in a cage, and shielded from escape, but once in a while, when the tension was just right, and the emotional storm had just enough strength, it would wrench itself free from its prison.
You’ve been good – so good – for so long now. Don’t you just want to let it out? All that anger, all that rage - you need your outlet. Being completely evil and malicious and unhinged isn’t great, but bottling up your emotions isn’t great either. You have to let yourself FEEL, and let yourself get angry.
It was seductive and alluring…making so much sense…
Show the world that you have feelings too.
It was devious…
And hurting the ones you care about has consequences…
A new thought raced through Kim’s head. It was forceful. It was adrenaline. It was all reaction. It was pure, though not by the usual meaning of the word. The driving force within Kim that was beginning to push her to act was sheer and complete, not mixed with any other emotions. But it was not virtuous.
Revenge. Kim Possible smiled with a feral grin. Make them suffer and BLEED!
Despite being injured, and despite the small twinges of pain she felt, Kim took a running leap off the rooptop, executing a series of flips to land down below with what might have been an almost-perfect score from Olympic level gymnastic judges. Her emerald eyes were blazing and sharp, and with a smug smile, caught the golf balls flung at her at breakneck speed by Duff Killigan, tossing them back to the golfer and making him yelp as they exploded, forcing the Scottish golfer to scrabble for cover.
“I’m disappointed.” Kim smiled. It hinted at an inkling of cruelness.
With his eye twitching, Drakken managed to crack a smile, though it was painfully forced and horribly fake, not only to Kim, but all the other onlookers present. His mind was spinning and twirling – he just couldn’t figure out what was going on. With her beloved Shego out of the picture, Kim was supposed to crumble and crack – completely breaking down into a blubbering sobbing mess unable to even lift a finger to resist, much less launch an offensive attack.
But this…this was…
Something wasn’t quite right in Drakken’s mind. He had it all figured out – the formula, the roles, the tricks, the attacks, the diversions, the reactions – it had all been carefully thought out and anticipated.
Everything but this.
But that nagging feeling of forgetting something crucial was continuing to grow.
But what was it?!
He took another glance at Kim, not caring if she noticed him studying her. It was familiar, and triggering something in the back of his mind, something that was hidden deep within the recesses of his grey matter.
Those hardened eyes, and that intense stare, and that eerily calm smile that radiated something malicious and something vicious threatening to be unleashed into the world.
An almost twisted pleasure at causing others – namely, himself and his peers – pain.
He blinked. And then it hit him. And damn, did he feel stupid. The most obvious thing, that was staring at him in the face all this time, and he missed it.
The last time he had seen her act in such a way was at the ill-fated conclusion of his Lil Diablo world domination plot. Just the thought of it gave him twinges of embarrassment, but he suppressed them – now was not the time to muddle in the past.
It was then that Kim kicked Shego into the tower, an impact that only Shego would be able to survive, given her superhuman abilities bestowed upon her.
And at the thought, Drakken felt the blood in his face drain, and he paled.
If Kim did that to Shego…what would she do to him? And the slightly more important question, would he be able to survive it?
And Kim’s grin grew wider.
Below, Ron watched Kim's body lanugage as she stepped closer and closer to the villains.
Even down in the crowd he knew…
Something was wrong. Very wrong.
“We have to get up there and stop her.”
“You mean them, right?” Monique asked, blinking in surprise.
“No, I mean Kim. Before someone gets hurt.”
Her footsteps echoed throughout the…
The what? Where was she?
Shego looked around, her raven black hair swishing around her rather gracefully and slowly, as if time had no meaning here.
There was mist swirling around her too, gathering at her ankles. There were no landmarks – no trees, no plants, no animals, no buildings – no nothing – just an infinite expanse of pure nothingness - everything was white and grey, and everything felt very empty. The silence was creepy, and very unsettling. It was getting under Shego’s nerves, making her skin twitch.
A terrible thought hit her. Was she dead? Was this the end at long last?
There was no pain, but there wasn’t quite the sense of peace she thought would be present in death – but then again, maybe her soul was so corrupted, she would never find peace. Maybe that was her punishment, and eternal damnation. She reminded herself that people like her don’t deserve happy endings.
Was this hell? Surely not. Hell had fire. And demons. And torture. Unless this was some exquisite form of torture that she hadn’t completely figured out yet. Or, unless, the worst was yet to come.
The waiting itself was agony.
Of course, this led to the more important question – if there was a hell, and heaven, and purgatory, was there a god?
Shego shuddered, though not from a temperature drop.
Was she going to be judged?
Shego blinked, and cocked her head. Was that her answer? The voice – it was coming from very far away, and it also sounded very familiar. It, the voice, was also filled with grief and mourning, and a frightening amount of anger, and suddenly, Shego could put a face to the sounds and emotions. A face with emerald green eyes and auburn red hair, a face usually sparkling with enthusiasm about life.
Shego closed her eyes, and slowly took a deep deliberate breath out, and let herself feel, absorbed in the stillness all around her.
And she could feel Kim’s animalistic rage, and this unbridled dark force pulling her into a dark and deep abyss. And she could see Kim, back in the real world, acting on pure adrenaline, kicking and punching and flipping and dodging. But it wasn’t all in defense – it was a malicious offense. She could feel that Kim had lost herself, and was beginning to walk a path that Shego, herself, had once walked. And having been there once before, Shego knew where it would ultimately lead.
No, Kim, no! Stop! For yourself, you have to stop this madness!
But Shego knew that Kim couldn’t hear her.
I have to go back…
And, almost as if someone or something was listening to her, the world shifted and she saw the path that would take her back to her own body…
Back to someone special. Back to Kim. Back home.
The students who had successfully fled had taken shelter in nearby buildings with friends or friends of friends or parents of friends. They were cautiously peering out the windows, watching the horrible scene unfold and calling for help.
It only took minutes for the Middleton police force to arrive, sirens blaring and German Shepard dogs barking in alarm and excitement.
But in those few minutes, an immeasurable amount of damage had been done.
Duff Killigan’s arm had been broken, and huddled underneath a tree, he was trying to push the fractured bone fragments back under his skin, grunting with the effort. DNAmy was nursing her broken nose back, pinching it with her two fingers and trying to stop the bleeding. But considering one of her fingers was broken, this was no easy task. Senor Senior Senior was laying unconscious on top of a white minivan, and Junior was nowhere to be found. Monkey Fist was hanging upside down from his ankles, tied to the nearest tree and swinging freely. A dart of embedded in his stomach, and he too was unconscious.
And now, Kim was standing over Drakken, who was sniveling and groveling for his life to be spared. Her face was hardened, and an empty look haunted her eyes. She was holding a tree branch she had grabbed from the ground, and was rhythmically banging it against her palm, and unspoken threat on her face.
The school and police were staring at her, somewhat afraid of interrupting her in this altered state. The same question was on everyone’s mind: What had set her off like this? This was not the Kim Possible everyone had known, this was someone else – someone a bit more dark and foreboding, and a bit more scary. Was this caused by the damage she had suffered from so long ago? Was this part of Drakken’s plan, that had somehow gone awry? Chemicals? Had Shego done something? Brainwashing of some sort?
But Ron knew. He had seen that expression and that rage only once before. But also, like that one time in what seemed like long ago…he didn’t know how to help her.
Come on Shego! He found himself thinking. You can bring her back!
“Please, please, please! Have mercy!” Drakken whined, throwing up his hands in defeat, praying for some form of divine intervention that might spare his life.
“Why? You weren’t going to show me any!” Kim spat at him, rolling her eyes in disgust.
“Because!” Drakken shouted, having no other answer or justification.
“Not a good enough answer.” Kim grinned, raising the tree branch to strike the blue-skinned man.
As she let her arm fall with an almost unnatural strength borne of hatred and a burning desire for revenge and retribution, one word choked out by a familiar voice shook her from her frenzied state. It was uttered softly, with barely any breath behind it, but even so, it cut through the haze surrounding Kim, and registered in a deep part of her brain. Was it even a sound… or more simply a thought?
Opening her mouth in stunned surprise, Kim let the branch fall to her feet, hitting the ground with a muffled thump, all thoughts of vengeance instantly forgotten.
Running to the fire escape ladder, Kim climbed up to the school’s rooftop, making it to the top in record time. Back on the ground, Drakken breathed a deep sigh of relief and collapsed from sensory overload while the police swarmed the ground arresting the injured and unconscious villains, unable to put up much of a resistance.
On the roof, Kim wasted no time in setting herself by Shego’s side, the older woman just beginning to regain consciousness, her eyes lazily beginning to open.
“Kim.” She mouthed, unable to even speak a proper sentence.
“Shh, shh, I’m here now.” Kim whispered, hot tears making paths down her cheek. She gently took hold of the thief’s head, and slowly began rocking back and forth and stroking Shego’s hair. “It's gonna be okay, you're gonna be okay. I promise! I'll take care of you this time, just like you did with me. Remember that? Remember how you took care of me?”
“You…” Shego whispered, her voice beginning to crack.
“Shhh!” Kim admonished gently. “You should rest. And I’m going to get you to a doctor. I’m going to take care of you.”
“Did you stop?” Shego mouthed, expending a great effort to try and lift her head.
“Stop what?” Kim asked, trying to figure out what the green woman was attempting to get at, letting a few tears drop on Shego’s cheek. “Stop Drakken? Yeah. The police are taking care of it now. Though I think I got carried away…I hurt some of them pretty bad. No one died though, thank goodness.”
Shego smiled weakly, but just the sight made Kim’s heart ache with joy and something else she just couldn’t place her finger on.
“Carried away…but you…you came back.”
Kim smiled and patted Shego’s head, before leaning down and placing a soft kiss on Shego’s forehead. “So did you.”
“Kim…” Shego started, looking into green eyes so similar to her own.
“Yes?” Kim urged, looking back.
“I love you. I…I just wanted to say it. Just to say it.”
Kim felt herself beaming back, unable to suppress a huge grin. She laughed in relief and joy. “I love you too. But oh dear, we really need to get you to a hospital.”
“Finally. We… we agree on something.” Shego murmured as she fell back into unconsciousness, a pleased and sleepy smile on her face.
“Yes. We finally do.” Kim agreed, smiling down at the unaware woman in her arms.
“Hey Wade.” Kim quickly activated her Kimmunicator, and aimed it at Shego’s prone body. “Can you analyze her? What was she hit with? What drug was it? What does it do to her?”
“Sure thing KP.” Wade winked, furiously typing into his computer. “Okay, the scan is being sent over here, then it’ll analyze her.”
“Can’t you do it faster?” Kim pleaded, taking another look at Shego. “I don’t know what the hell this is in her.”
“Hey, the machine is working fast as it can.” Wade threw up his hands.
“Come on, come on, come on…” Kim found herself chanting, as if her repetition would help the machine’s analysis be completed more quickly.
“Okay, done!” Wade exclaimed, picking up a printout.
“Great! Talk to me Wade!” Kim commanded, urgency lacing her voice.
“Oh, don’t worry.” Wade laughed, looking relieved. “It’s ketamine laced with a drug that inhibits the memory center of the brain. It won’t kill her.”
“Won’t kill her?!” Kim exclaimed. “INHIBITS THE BRAIN?! SHE WON’T REMEMBER ANY OF THIS?!” A wave was pulling at Kim’s soul, threatening to drag her into a dark space in the ocean, where there was no light and no oxygen.
“No, no, no - don’t worry - the cosmic powers within Shego neutralized the drug by denaturing the molecular structure as soon as the solution entered her bloodstream. Give her some time to rest, and she’ll be fine.”
“Great! Thanks!” Kim signed off her Kimmunicator and put it back in her hip holster.
The commotion below her was somewhere in the distance, and not important to her now. For now, Shego was cradled protectively in her arms, and that was quite enough.
For the first time in many weeks, Kim finally felt like she was home.
And even though she was unconscious, deep within Shego’s heart, she felt at home too.
Three months later…
“Naco?” Shego wrinkled her nose at the supposedly edible item in front of her. “What is this?”
Kim smiled, her teeth sparkling in the bright lights of Bueno Nacho. “It’s a cross between a taco and nachos.”
“And…why do I need to eat this?” Shego asked, studying her food. “I’m not quite sure this is FDA approved.”
“Because on the full comprehensive body scan and blood chemistry panel at the hospital, the doctors found the one thing the drug did manage to erase from your mind before your body fought against it - the taste of a naco.” Kim explained, still grinning.
“Are you sure it’s good?” Tenderly, Shego held up the tortilla wrapper and inspected the contents inside. “Are you sure I used to eat these?”
“It’s alright.” Kim laughed, playfully elbowing Shego in the ribs. “Ron eats them all the time, and he’s fine!”
“Heh, depends on your definition of fine.” Shego retorted, winking.
“Hey! Still being mean? Obviously, then, I’ll still have to keep an eye on you!” Ron warned, staring the former thief only semi-seriously.
Shego nodded. “I wouldn’t expect anything less.”
Ron nodded back, and Rufus joined him. “Good. Cause I wouldn’t trust anyone that won’t eat a naco.”
“Alright then. Here we go!”
With a grandiose theatrical motion, Shego took a big bite, and chewed thoughtfully. Ron and Kim, and even Rufus looked on expectantly.
“Soooo…?” Ron drawled.
Without a word, Shego grinned and took another huge chomp. Within a matter of seconds, the naco was gone, followed by a glass of ice cold water.
“I think she likes it.” Ron observed, slapping Rufus a high-five. “We’ve got another convert!”
Putting her arm around Shego’s shoulder and lightly toying with her soft black hair, Kim slowly turned Shego’s face towards her and leaned in with closed eyes. Shego returned the kiss, her soft warm lips pressing against Kim’s with an urgency and feeling that stole Kim’s breath away and made her legs wobble.
Breaking the embrace, Shego smiled at Kim, who enthusiastically returned the expression, her heart leaping in joy. An unspoken understanding passed between them, and they were finally at complete peace with each other.
Words, in this case, were completely unnecessary.
End Notes: Wow, I can’t believe it’s over. It’s been quite the rollercoaster. Go thank Hobnobrev for being my beta reader throughout this story. And again, thanks for reading! Kigo rocks! (But you all knew that already…)