Hate is Such a Strong Word

Chapter 4

You Can’t Go Home Again


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TITLE: You Can’t Go Home Again

AUTHOR: beeftony

DISCLAIMER: Kim Possible, Ron Stoppable, and all related characters are the property of the Disney Company. I own this work of fiction. I make no profit from this.

SUMMARY: What would happen if Kim turned bad? My interpretation of Kim's declaration of hatred towards Shego in StD.

TYPE: Kim/Shego

RATING: US: PG-13 / DE: 12

Note: Easier to Run is performed by Linkin Park

Words: 4776

Night. The time between today and tomorrow, when the sun rests, knowing that it must take its exhausting journey across the sky once more in but a few short hours. It is the time that all creatures sleep, taking a page out of the sun’s book and conserving their energy for the demands of tomorrow. By morning, these streets will be bustling with people, cars, and animals, polluting the air with toxic noise. But for now, all is quiet.

But this does not mean that all is still. The darkness afforded by the sun’s respite allows two figures to stalk their way through the shadows, like ghosts in the night. Elusive and well-trained, no one can see them, for they do not wish to be found. Their padded soles make no sound as the two figures leap from rooftop to rooftop, silhouetted against the full moon. Long hair swishes back and forth, ponytails occasionally colliding as the two thieves run silently side by side. The soft hair disappears into specially designed black masks, outfitted with everything from night vision to infared lenses. The thieves can see everything, like a pair of cats in the dark night.

The difference between the two thieves can be found in their choice of garments. The raven black hair of the first thief blends in nicely with a green and black harlequin’s-dazzle pattern, while her companion has chosen a solid color of deep maroon, barely visible in the faint moonlight. On her back, a viridian phoenix rises from the ashes, signaling her rebirth. Gone is her utility belt, replaced with a simple leg pouch in the style of her partner. The dark leather clings to her still-developing curves, offering tantalizing views for those with sharp enough eyes to look. Those eyes belong to her partner, who can’t help staring at that perfect bubble butt as she lags slightly behind. Under her mask, a wicked grin plays across her face.

They stop at a roof overlooking the valley. Their target is about a thousand yards away, clearly visible through the scope of the sniper rifle that the older woman has produced. She takes careful aim. Her intent is not to kill, merely distract. Specialized ammunition stolen from Wade Load discharges a large amount of electricity when it hits its target, causing a massive power surge. It is the same technology that brought down Drakken’s control tower just last week, the tower that served as the catalyst in all this. Neither woman speaks as total concentration is required. They only get one shot.

The first thief removes her mask so that she can more easily gaze into the scope, putting a couple inches of space between the lens and her face like a professional sniper. The computerized scope automatically calculates wind patterns and other variables, moving the crosshairs to the optimum position. For the woman, however, it is akin to using a calculator for a simple addition problem. She already knows how to do it, but it’s quicker this way. Holding her breath, she squeezes the trigger rather than pulling it so as to not upset her shot. She only has one chance at this.

In a fraction of a second, the tiny round shoots forth from the barrel and spirals through the air, homing in on its destination. The bolt strikes the transformer with a barely noticeable spark, plunging the entire area into darkness in an instant. Street lamps are extinguished. Television sets flick off. Due to the rather sparse number of power lines in Middleton, Colorado, the whole valley is pitch black. Now is the time to strike.

Re-donning her hi-tech mask, the thief puts the rifle on her back and nods to her companion, who produces two parachutes. They need all the distance they can get, seeing as they’re about to jump off a skyscraper. But to the two women, this is nothing new. Just another night on the job. Both have committed exploits far more impressive than this. Without hesitating, they leap over the edge into the cool night air.

Wind rushes past their bodies, enveloping them in a pocket of cool air. The noise-blankers in their respective headsets filter out most of the noise, but both women are aware of the fact that they’re falling fast. But they don’t care. This is what they live for. Those few seconds of bliss before they inevitably have to pull the parachute. Like synchronized swimmers, they seem to dance in the air, holding hands as they spiral and tumble towards what would be their doom if they did not have parachutes. Sensing that it is time, both women pull their respective ripcords at the exact same time in a practiced movement. They have been rehearsing this for days. Time to play their parts.

The descent is much slower than the free fall, and requires even more concentration. Curling their legs close to their bodies and pulling down on the grips, the two women glide almost horizontally towards their destination. The darkness renders them invisible, but they can still see everything. Upon reaching their target destination, both women wait until they are a few feet above the ground and cut their parachutes, dropping silently to the ground below.

Standing still for a moment, the two thieves take in the target. It is a simple ranch-style abode, two floors, one garage. Just your basic average house. But to the thief in red, it’s something more than that. It’s the place she called home until just recently. She takes in a deep breath and both women stalk towards the house in complete silence. There is a grim understanding between them. Get in, get the goods, get out. Simplest job in the world. Until you consider exactly whose house this is.

They’re here for one thing and one thing only. A piece of technology that could give them a very real advantage if they are to have any chance of surviving in the criminal world. The thief in green always used to have a mad scientist to handle the tech. The thief in red always used to have the creator of the technology they’re after. Not anymore. Now they have to steal what they need, and learn for themselves how to use it. But that just makes it more fun.

With all the grace of an Olympic athlete, the thief in green bounds onto the overhang just below the main roof that lies right in front of the window leading to what was formerly her partner’s bedroom. Lying prone, she extends her super-powered arm and effortlessly pulls the 105 pound woman up. They turn their eyes to the bedroom, the night vision goggles showing them what is hidden from the naked eye.

It’s a rather small attic room, but Spartan it is not. It’s exactly as the thief in red left it a week ago, albeit closed off with caution tape and tarps spread across the furniture, even her telescope that she never really used. She has to hold back a remorseful sigh as the gravity of the sitch hits her. Never have five simple words by Robert Frost rung so true. You really can’t go home again.

But that doesn’t matter right now. All that matters is getting what they came for. Giving her partner a subtle nod, she backs up slightly as a gloved finger suddenly flashes green, illuminating the tiny diamond-tipped claw that is sewn into the other woman’s glove. The claw makes a small scratch as it touches the glass, carving a perfect circle around a strategically placed suction cup just like in all those high profile spy movies. Rapping it gently with the knuckle of her index finger, the thief manages to dislodge the chunk of glass and pulls it out carefully with the suction cup, setting it down ever so gently by her feet.

Like a snake, her arm slithers through the newly formed hole and undoes the latch. The thief in red wonders why they didn’t just infiltrate through one of the massive holes caused by the Diablo bots last week, but her partner likes to do things the old fashioned way. She reminds herself not to argue with the best and climbs in after her partner.

Skulking across the floor to the small space that used to be her closet, her hands find a touchpad. Removing her glove, she allows herself to be scanned. A soft beep signals that access is approved and a door hisses open to reveal the target item. She eyes it lustfully.

It’s not your standard battle suit. Infused with cybertronic technology, the suit can repair itself from virtually any damage. It can also defend the wearer by generating a high energy shield, transparent blue in color, that is capable of deflecting, disintegrating, or diffusing anything that makes contact. The hand can also morph into a “power glove” that is capable of absorbing high amounts of energy and slinging them back at the wielder’s opponent, similar in principle to lacrosse. The suit also enhances the wearer’s strength, speed, and endurance. It’s exactly what they need. And it belonged to the thief in red to begin with.

This is what concerns the thief in green. That suit carries with it some uncomfortable memories, more specifically of being kicked into a high voltage tower after being told that the woman who is now her partner hated her. But that situation was quickly resolved, and now she will be able to use the suit for her own purposes. Well, hers and her partner’s. She grins devilishly under her mask as her partner shuts the door to change. After a brief moment, the thief comes back out, now clad in her battle suit, her hair pulled out of the ponytail she was just sporting. A faint blue glow emanates from her body, but not enough that she loses the element of stealth. After all, green isn’t the easiest color in the world to hide. But it makes it that much more satisfying when she pulls off the heist without a hitch anyway. Speaking of which, it’s time to go. She communicates this with her partner by motioning toward the window.

Nodding, the newly suped-up teen thief stalks like a cat over to the window and freedom. Her green-suited companion is already outside. She is about to join her out on the ledge when the impossible happens.

The light turns on.

A Few Hours Earlier

“Now I know how Batman feels,” Kim remarked as she took in the multitude of gadgets in the chamber in front of her. Shego really did have everything: grappling hooks, smoke bombs, gas masks, hell, even throwing stars.

“Yeah, but Batman’s a hero,” Shego reminded her. “Which you aren’t anymore.”

“I dunno, I don’t think he’s really interested in good so much as getting back at the people who wronged him,” Kim replied, grabbing a handheld grappler and placing it in the leg pouch of her newly acquired catsuit. “He doesn’t give a crap what the people think of him. He does it for his own reasons. I think that’s why I kinda like him. That’s also why I love you.”

“What did we agree on, Princess?” Shego said sternly, depositing a handful of smoke pellets into her own leg pouch. “Be sure you mean it when you say you love me.”

“I do mean it,” Kim insisted. “I’m ready to take this seriously. I was just saying that’s one of the things that attracted me to you.”

“And from what I’ve seen of Stoppable, that’s the thing that led you to believe you were in love with him,” Shego countered, pausing to level her finger at her companion. “I just need to know you’re willing to commit.”

“I am,” Kim reiterated, her tone growing slightly frustrated. “Why don’t you believe me?”

“I do believe you, Pumpkin,” Shego reassured the redhead. “I just wanted to hear you say it.”

“Well, I said it,” Kim snipped. “Excuse me for trying to pay you a compliment.”

Shego sighed. “Sorry, Pumpkin. I shouldn’t have been so mistrusting. But honestly, what do you expect me to do? How do I know this isn’t all just some elaborate ruse to capture me?”

Kim responded by raising her finger in the air. “One, you were already captured.” She raised a second finger. “Two, I may have just become a villain, but that doesn’t mean I’m evil.” Her third finger joined the first two. “And three, you know me. I usually go straight for the throat. Elaborate plots aren’t my style.”

“True,” Shego agreed. “But I still don’t know you’re not gonna run at the first sign of trouble. If we’re gonna work together, I have to be able to trust that you’re committed. I don’t like jeopardizing a job just because my partner is indecisive. I need to know that you won’t run off on me.”

“I won’t,” Kim replied. “I promise.”

“I’m gonna hold you to it, Pumpkin,” Shego warned. “I don’t like people who betray my trust. I guess I’ll find out tonight whether or not I was right to take you under my wing.”

“And how is that?” Kim asked.

“I haven’t told you where we’re going yet, have I?” the green villainess smirked.

“Where?” Kim demanded rather than requested, crossing her arms and tilting her head.

Shego leaned in and whispered something into Kim’s ear, a rather silly act since there was no one around to hear them anyway, but Shego wanted the redhead to understand that this was of the utmost seriousness. It didn’t help Kim’s case any when her eyes grew as wide as dinner plates.

“Oh,” she managed. “I guess that would be a test.”

“Am I gonna be able to count on you, Pumpkin?” Shego asked.

Kim took a deep breath and focused on Shego’s feet. “Yeah, yeah you can.”

“I’m up here, Princess,” Shego interjected, indicating her face. “Look me in the eyes and tell me you won’t run away.”

Complying, Kim set her jaw and stared the green woman right in the face. “I promise.”

Now she is not so sure. Gasping, she turns around to face what was once her door. Unable to speak for a few brief moments, she finally addresses the two figures standing in the doorway.

“M-mom? Dad?”

“Kimmie, we were so worried about you!” her mother begins, no doubt laying claim to the “good cop” role before it is taken by her husband, who stands with his arms crossed, eyes narrowed in a withering glare.

“Indeed we were, young lady,” he speaks, causing a shiver of fear to run up Kim’s spine. “Have you been out running around with some boy?”

Kim can’t resist the urge to smirk. “No, daddy, I haven’t been running around with a boy.” She glances behind her to the window, only to find that Shego has wisely hidden. Perhaps she can still explain this without revealing that she’s become a villain.

“Honey, remember? She helped Shego to escape. I don’t think Shego qualifies as a boy.” Crap. So much for that.

Kim’s father only scowls more. “Yeah, she’s even worse. She’s a criminal. A bad influence on my Kimmie-cub. I should never have let you go on all those missions.”

‘You don’t know how right you are, daddy. Or how little I care,’ Kim thinks to herself, but replies instead, “Daddy, I don’t think—”

“It doesn’t matter what you ‘think,’ Kimmie-cub,” her father interrupts, stabbing her straight through the heart. He’s never spoken to her like that before. Her parents have always let her have her opinion. “What matters is that you’ve been missing for over a week. Without contacting us, I might add. Everyone thinks you’re a criminal now.”

‘Well, I am, daddy. What do you think of that? What’s it feel like knowing the little angel you raised is going to hell?’ She can’t find the courage to say what she is thinking. “Daddy I—”

“Don’t ‘daddy’ me, young lady,” he snaps. “It’s ‘father’ to you. And I’m very disappointed in you, young lady.”

‘Like I care.’ “Daddy, you’re not being fair.”

“She’s right, honey. You should at least let her explain herself.” At least her mother is able to see reason. She should be able to use this to her advantage.

Her father gazes at her mother with a look of betrayal, but reluctantly agrees. “Very well, explain yourself, Kimberly.” Proper first name. Not good.

“Well, you see, the thing is….” Screw it. “I’ve switched sides.” ‘And I mean that in every sense.’

Her mother lets out a sigh. “So it is true, then. Kimmie, your father and I are very disappointed in you. We thought everything was going fine when you left here with Ron.”

‘Well, it wasn’t.’ “Mom, I thought you would understand.”

“What exactly are we supposed to ‘understand,’ Kimmie-cub?” her father interjects, using air quotes. But at least he called her “Kimmie-cub.” Maybe he’s not that mad. “Are we supposed to understand why you chose not only to leave poor Ronald at the prom all by himself, but also to commit a major felony by freeing someone you helped capture? Tell me where the logical explanation is that I’m obviously missing.”

‘There isn’t one. You should know that by now.’ “Daddy, I… I don’t have an answer to that question. The only thing I can say is… I love her.”

Her parents are dumbstruck. The anger has disappeared from her father’s face and it is overridden by shock. After several overlapping attempts to start a sentence, her mother finally speaks up.

“You… you love her?”

“Yes, mom, I love her. More than I’ve ever loved anyone before.” ‘And that’s the truth. I wouldn’t say it if it wasn’t.’

Her father sighs. “So I’ll have to amend my ‘no boys’ rule to include violent criminals who turn my Kimmie-cub into a lesbian.”

That’s it. “Goddammit, daddy, I’m not your ‘Kimmie-cub!’ I’m your daughter! Who’s trying to tell you that she’s fallen in love!”

“Exactly. You’re my daughter. Which means you obey my rules.”

“Fuck that!” The use of a swear word leaves her parents flabbergasted yet again. “I’m sick of your stupid rules! I’m leaving, and I’m never coming back!” She turns around and heads for the window.

Looking disapprovingly at her husband, Kim’s mother steps forward. “Kimmie, wait!”

Kim stops, but she doesn’t turn around. “What?”

“Kimmie, I’m sorry for your father. That was out of line. Please, come back and let’s talk about this.”

She wants to. She really does. But she also made a promise. A promise she’d very much like to keep. “I’m sorry mom, but I can’t. I have a promise to keep.” It’s the hardest words she’s ever had to say. With that, she climbs out the window, leaving her parents there with wide eyes and open mouths. But she doesn’t look. She can’t. A simple truth occurs to her. A truth that she has tried to deny until tonight.

You can’t go home again.

“Thought I’d lost you for a moment.” The words hit close to home. Already there are tears welling in the redhead’s eyes. She’s just made one of the hardest decisions of her life. “You okay?”

‘No.’ “Yeah. Yeah, I’m fine.”

“You don’t sound fine.”

”Look, just drop it, okay?” Kim screams the words at her partner, who wisely complies.

They walk in silence for several minutes. Finally, Shego speaks up. “How’d they turn the light on? The power’s still out everywhere else.”

Kim sighs. “They probably had a generator since the Diablos took out most of the house. I should have been expecting that.”

Shego places her hand on the redhead’s shoulder. “Hey, you couldn’t have seen that coming. I heard what they said to you. They don’t deserve to keep you if that’s how they’re gonna treat you.”

“I don’t know,” Kim sobs as she wipes her forearm under her nose. “I guess I expected, in some stupid, childish way, for them not to be angry. Shows how stupid that turned out to be.”

“It wasn’t stupid,” Shego reassures her, drawing the redhead closer to herself as they near the convertible that they have left here earlier in the week for their escape. They separate after a moment and open their respective doors in a synchronized motion. “In fact,” the green woman continues as they climb in. “I think you should be proud of your family for being that smart. At least they’re not total dumbasses like my brothers.”

“Why’d you end up leaving them anyway?” Kim asks.

“Later, Pumpkin,” Shego says, holding up a hand. “I don’t think you want things put in perspective right now.”

“That bad?” Kim laughs.

Shego chuckles as well. “Yeah, Pumpkin, that bad.” She starts the car. The radio is on, but Kim figures she could use a little music to take her mind off of what just happened. Until she realizes exactly which song this is. But she finds herself unable to perform the simple task of reaching over and pressing the “power off” button. Anything is better than silence.

It's easier to run
Replacing this pain with something numb
It's so much easier to go
Than face all this pain here all alone

The words pour forth from the speakers, piercing straight through the redhead’s heart. The deep emotional tones embody her inner struggle and give words to what she has difficulty articulating. Her heart is broken open by the simple truth that she’s not alone in this sitch. Shego has probably gone through worse. And now she has something in common with the green woman. It’s a bittersweet realization at best.

Something has been taken from deep inside of me
The secret I've kept locked away no one can ever see
Wounds so deep they never show they never go away
Like moving pictures in my head for years and years they've played

Kim feels that something has indeed been taken from her. Her father has never spoken to her the way he did tonight. Her mother tried to stand up for her, but she was just as disappointed. She’s lost her parents’ approval, along with her innocence. She’s no longer daddy’s little girl. She’s the girl who ran away from home. Tears fall from her eyes as she reflects on that. This isn’t what she wanted to happen. And yet, she somehow knew it would.

If I could change I would take back the pain I would
Retrace every wrong move that I made I would
If I could stand up and take the blame I would
If I could take all the shame to the grave I would

Oh God how she wishes she could take it back. But as she saw earlier, she has no family now. Only Shego. She’s given up everything she’s ever known. She wonders if Shego went through the same thing. She now has a renewed respect for the green woman.

If I could change I would take back the pain I would
Retrace every wrong move that I made I would
If I could stand up and take the blame I would
I would take all my shame to the grave

She wants to go back, but she cannot. The truth hits her like a tidal wave. Sniffling, she turns to the only person in the world that she can count on right now. “Shego?”

“Yeah, Pumpkin?”

“Is it always this hard?”

It's easier to run
Replacing this pain with something numb
It's so much easier to go
Than face all this pain here all alone

Shego sighs and turns her attention back to the road. “Yeah, Princess, it is. But you get over it after a while.”

“How long does that usually take?” She wants to know so she doesn’t have to feel this suffering much longer.

“It depends on how important the thing was that you lost. Something like that, losing your relationship with your parents… it takes a while not to care any longer.”

Sometimes I remember the darkness of my past
Bringing back these memories I wish I didn't have
Sometimes I think of letting go and never looking back
And never moving forward so there'd never be a past

“How’d you get over it?”

Shego looks to Kim and gives her a smile. “It helped that my brothers were a bunch of doofuses. I didn’t lose much, trust me. But… I could tell your family really loves you, Kimmie. I can understand why they’d be upset.”

Kim looks back at Shego with tear-filled eyes. She seeks reconciliation, comfort, someone to confide in. “So what do I do?”

Shego sighs. “That’s for you to decide, Pumpkin. I can’t make that choice for you.”

If I could change I would take back the pain I would
Retrace every wrong move that I made I would
If I could stand up and take the blame I would
If I could take all the shame to the grave I would

“I never thought it would be this hard,” Kim laments, dipping her head.

“I didn’t either when I was first starting out,” Shego says in the interest of relating to her partner. “But pretty soon you get used to the fact that life’s a bitch.”

“So what do I do until then?”

Shego stares at Kim for a few moments. “That’s something you’re gonna have to figure out on your own. I can’t help you with this one, Princess.”

If I could change I would take back the pain I would
Retrace every wrong move that I made I would
If I could stand up and take the blame I would
I would take all my shame to the grave

Kim chuckles spitefully. “How did I know you were going to say that?”

Shego just smiles. “Cause you know me.”

Just washing it aside
All of the helplessness inside
Pretending I don't feel misplaced
It's so much simpler than change

The green woman sighs. “Okay, Pumpkin, I’ll tell you what worked for me. You need to keep reminding yourself that it was your choice. Believe me, denial gets you nowhere. Yeah, it’s easier to run. But it takes real strength to face your problems head on. I just never had the courage to.”

“Me either,” Kim admits. “So I guess this means. I’m stuck with you?”

Shego smiles. “Yeah, Pumpkin, I guess it does. But at the very least you need to accept the fact that it was you who made the choice. They’re just reacting the way all parents do. They love you, Kim. It was you who chose to leave them.”

It's easier to run
Replacing this pain with something numb
It's so much easier to go
Than face all this pain here all alone

Kim dips her head. “I know. I still wish they would have been more accepting of you.”

“Yeah, well, what’d you expect? For them to say, ‘Kimmie, where’ve you been? Oh, so you’re a lesbian criminal now? Welcome home!’” As the redhead snickers, Shego smiles. “What?”

“Nothing,” Kim insists before she starts giggling again.

It's easier to run
(If I could change I would take back the pain I would)
(Retrace every wrong move that I made)
It's easier to go
(If I could change I would take back the pain I would)
(Retrace every wrong move that I made I would)
(If I could stand up and take the blame I would)
(I would take all my shame to the grave)

As the two thieves drive off into the night, the sound of laughter echoes from the car. So she can’t go home again. Big deal. It’s about time she cut loose anyway. Screw her parents. She has someone much better. It’s not just about discovering her true feelings anymore. It’s about proving mommy and daddy wrong. Because anything’s possible for a Possible.

Took me a little longer to complete this chapter. I had a hard time capturing the emotion that I wanted to convey, but I think I finally got it right. Kim has burned a bridge, and now she must live with the consequences. How will the rest of the villain world react to this new partnership? What will Kim say when she’s reunited with Ron? What about Global Justice? Find out all this and more in Chapter 5. Please read and review. No flames, please.


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