The Matrix: Revelations

Chapter 5

New Reality


1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6

TITLE: New Reality

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. The Matrix is the property of Warner Brothers, © the Wachowski brothers.

SUMMARY: Kim discovers that she has been living in a dream world her entire life, and that she is the only one who can maintain the peace between the humans and the machines. She also finds herself feeling more than hate for her former archenemy.

TYPE: Kim/Shego

RATING: US: R / DE: 16

Note: Okay, apologies, but this is rather long. This puts my word count at over fifty thousand, which means that I’m about halfway done. I have several more chapters planned, which I will continue to work through at my own pace. This chapter sees the resolution of several conflicts, and the introduction of several new ones. Sorry for the abundance of Kim and Shego in this chapter, but it was necessary for what I’m trying to accomplish. This is the official beginning of the second act, and I'll spend several more chapters in Zion before moving on to the final act. Thank you to everybody who has read and reviewed this story so far. Without further adieu, here it is.

Words: 15436

Mortal lovers must not try to remain at the first step; for lasting passion is the dream of a harlot and from it we wake in despair., -C.S. Lewis, The Pilgrim’s Regress

Something wasn’t right.

Shego was by no means a creature of habit, but she knew when something wasn’t the way it was supposed to be. Something had changed since she’d gone to bed last night. She couldn’t quite identify it in her half-asleep daze, but something was amiss. She decided to investigate.

Emerald eyes opened slowly and beheld a dome-like object in the dimly lit room. A pale hand reached out for the lamp, flicking the switch and forcing Shego to close her eyes in response to the glaring brightness. Turning the switch counterclockwise to dim the lights, she dared to crack open her eyes again and saw what was out of place.

A thin layer of red fuzz could now be identified in the low light of the room. It was inches from Shego’s face, so close that she could see the tiny hairs move in response to her breaths. Looking down, she saw the body attached to the fuzzy dome, recognizing it immediately. Shego realized for the first time that her hands were clasped around the girl’s midsection.

Her first instinct was to let go, but she did not want to disturb the sleeping girl. Kim looked so peaceful like that; like an angel. Part of her wanted this. Wanted to hold Kim close to her body and feel her heart beat in time with her own. Wanted to feel her chest cavity rise and fall with each breath. Wanted to wake up like this every morning, and plant a soft kiss on the back of the sleeping beauty’s head to wake her up.

But the other part, the more rational part, knew that this was a mistake. Kim was confused right now, and making any sort of romantic gesture could cause the girl to become attached to the point where it posed a danger to both of them. Shego knew this wasn’t meant to be. But for now, as she held the younger woman close to her body, it felt so right; so goddamn right, that she never wanted it to end.

But good things never last.

Kim began to stir, letting out soft moans and other morning noises that made her all the more endearing to Shego. The green woman was at a loss for what to do. If she stayed, Kim might think she was interested and get too close. But if Shego left, the girl would think that the green lady was abandoning her and go after her anyway. Shego opted to stay.

“Good morning, Princess,” the green lady whispered next to Kim’s ear. What Kim did next did not surprise Shego, though it wasn’t quite what she expected.

The younger woman gasped and stiffened, goosebumps popping up all over her body. Shego could tell that Kim was operating purely on instinct from the way she tried to claw her way free, not stopping to think that Shego’s arms were holding her back. The green woman held Kim tight, determined not to let her run away before she’d had a chance to straighten this out. After a few moments of panicking, Kim seemed to remember where she was, and relaxed.

“Sorry,” she whispered. “I was kind of out of it last night.”

Shego released Kim and sat up, allowing the redhead to do the same. They stared at each other for a few moments before Shego smirked and broke the silence. “I'll say. You should be glad I actually wore pajamas to bed. Normally I sleep naked.”

Kim appeared to blush, though it was hard to tell in the dim light. Shego twisted the switch a few degrees clockwise, brightening the room to the point where she could see Kim clearly. The girl’s face was as red as her hair. Shego smirked. “So why did you climb into my bed in the middle of the night?”

“Nightmare,” the girl answered simply. “Or something like that. I’m not sure. All I know is I didn’t want to sleep alone last night.”

Shego nodded in understanding. “You wanna talk about it?”

Kim shook her head.

“Well we do need to talk. You can’t just be sneaking into other people’s beds.”

“I know.”

“Hey,” Shego whispered as she reached her hand out to Kim and placed it on her shoulder, causing the girl to look her in the eyes. “I said I’d be here for you. But next time ask. Alright?”

Kim nodded her head. “Thanks for not freaking out.”

“No problem,” Shego replied. “In fact, I’m kinda flattered that you’d go to me after you had a nightmare. But we can’t keep doing this. It’s not right.” She didn’t know why she said that. Perhaps it was some part of her mother that still stuck with her after all these years ever since the first time she had been caught kissing a girl and was severely scolded for it. Maybe it was because she didn’t want the girl to get too attached to her when she knew that she would only break Princess’s heart. At any rate, Shego hadn’t meant to say those words; they just came out on their own. In truth, she wanted Kim more than anything. But she couldn’t bring herself to admit it to the girl.

“What’s so wrong about it?” Kim asked. Ever since she had been freed, Kimmie was getting a lot more curious. Shego reminded herself that Kim wasn’t approaching this situation from the same angle that she was. To her it was just like going into her mother’s room on a stormy night; Shego represented comfort, warmth; a place where she could find refuge. She saw it as innocent. Shego, however, couldn’t get The Oracle’s words out of her head. She sighed.

“You’re confused right now, Kimmie,” she began, falling back on one of her old nicknames for the girl as a means of distancing herself. “I don’t want you getting too attached to me. I'm here to help you through this, but….”

“But what?”

Say it! Say, “I love you!”’ Shego commanded herself. But she couldn’t. Instead she continued,“But you know what we’ve been through. After all I’ve done to you, I wouldn’t be surprised if you still felt some resentment toward me.”

“I don’t,” Kim answered in that trademark confidence that was one of the main reasons Shego had fallen in love with her.

I know.’ “Yeah you do.”

“No, I don’t,” the girl repeated even more firmly. “Ever since I’ve been free, you’re the only one who’s been nice to me for a reason other than pity. I resented the old Shego. I don’t resent you. You’re nothing like her.”

Why would I be? That was just an act to keep you away.’ She couldn’t find the strength to say those words. “This from the girl who told me she hated me and kicked me into a signal tower.”

“That wasn’t me,” Kim whispered.

“It wasn’t?”

The redhead sighed. “No; that’s what the dream was about. Smith… he told me he did it. He told me he took control and kicked you into that tower. He was the one who said I hated you. That wasn’t me at all.”

Shego was dumbstruck. “Of course!” she exclaimed, slapping herself on the forehead. “All this time and I never figured it out! I figured me ruining your prom night was a pretty silly reason for you to try and kill me. I just never connected the dots until just now.”

“Why do you think I was so quick to forgive you?” Kim replied. “I don’t hate you, Shego. I never did. I respect you. A part of me always wanted to be like you; someone who doesn’t care what other people think.”

“I care what you think.” Shego had no idea why she decided to point that out. She just felt it was the right thing to say.

The younger woman smiled. “Shego, the only thing keeping us apart before was The Matrix. But now that’s gone. Now we can be friends.”

Shego had half a mind to smack Kim across the face for saying something so incredibly naïve. Then she realized it was she who deserved to be smacked for even thinking that Kim would see it any differently than that. The girl was too innocent to think about it the way Shego did. The green woman forced a smile. “Yeah,” she said, “let’s be friends.” ‘Goddamn it.

“Great!” Kim said cheerfully. “I’m gonna go fix us breakfast.” She started to get out of bed when Shego grabbed her by the arm.

“Oh, no, Princess,” she said. “I’ve seen you in the kitchen.”

“I’ve gotten better!” Kim protested, standing up.

Shego rose to her feet as well and started to lead Kim to the kitchen. “Yeah, but you’re still not good enough. Besides, you’ve had a rough couple of days. Why don’t you just sit back and let me do everything?”

Possible scowled. “Because I’m tired of it. I wanna do something useful.”

“You can set the table then,” Shego replied, continuing to lead the girl by the hand. Suddenly she felt a jerk as Kim stopped abruptly. She turned around and saw a pair of green eyes simmering at her. “Baby steps first, Kimmie,” she explained. “I'll teach you how to cook someday. But for now, you let me handle breakfast.” They started to walk towards the kitchen again.

“Don’t they have a download for cooking?” Kim half-asked, half-whined.

“I don’t think anyone’s ever needed one before,” Shego teased. The angry green eyes returned. “C’mon, Kimmie. I wanna cook breakfast for you. It’s the least I can do after all those years of beating you up.”

“Oh alright,” Kim relented with a groan and shoulder slump. “And I seem to remember beating you more often than not.”

“Only ‘cause I let you win,” Shego pointed out with a smirk, wrapping her arm around Kim and pulling her in for a noogie. “You wouldn’t have lasted five seconds against me at full power.”

“Yeah, but now I’m The One,” Kim retorted, interposing her arm between her body and Shego’s and putting enough distance between them to where she could walk properly. “What say we go into the sparring program after breakfast and see who’s better?”

“It’s a date,” Shego smirked, which caused the younger woman to stumble as all the blood suddenly rushed to her face.

Shego smiled. Making Kimmie squirm was victory enough.

Elsewhere in the city, another pair of eyes opened. Instead of green, however, they were chocolate brown, and they were met with the sight of raven black hair cut off at the shoulder. Ron smiled. Even if he didn’t have KP anymore, Yori was still way more than he deserved. He planted a kiss on her cheek and got up to make breakfast.

Ron had always been a good cook; it was among the few things that he didn’t make a complete ass of himself doing. Everywhere else he was treated as the goofball that was always underfoot, causing trouble and incapable of doing anything right. He was always dependent on other people, not caring about dignity and simply riding other people’s coattails as a means of survival. But here in the kitchen, he was the master of his domain. Here he was in control. Here, other people were dependent on him for a change. It was a feeling of power that he so rarely got, and so he savored every moment of it.

Grabbing a basket of eggs, Ron cracked several into the now heated skillet and stirred them around, sprinkling ham, cheese, and peppers on it to make an omelet. He placed it on the stove and headed over to one of the cabinets and produced a loaf of bread. The blonde grabbed a serrated knife, using it to cut four equal-sized slices and then placed them carefully into the toaster, which was considerably less stylish than the ones in The Matrix.

Now that the staples of the meal were in place, Ron found himself thinking, which he had been trying to avoid by fixing breakfast. But he couldn’t get The Oracle’s words out of his head.

Kim had taken the news rather well; too well, in fact. It had him worried that she might still be jealous and was just hiding that fact from him. It was just like her to do that; keep something from him if she was afraid of hurting his feelings.

It hadn’t always been that way. Before Ron had been freed, the two of them had shared every detail of their personal lives with each other, growing as close as brother and sister. They knew everything about each other. There were no secrets to separate them. But after Ron learned the truth, everything changed.

He couldn’t look at her the same anymore. He couldn’t look at anything the same when he knew it wasn’t real. Part of him had wanted to tell her, but the other part, the insecure part, told him that she would just laugh in his face and not believe him. Ron seemed to have been hit with the curse of Mercutio (1); no one would take him seriously because he had cried wolf one too many times.

Well, that wasn’t entirely true. Kim had taken him seriously the night of the Lil’ Diablo’s scheme. But then again, that wasn’t exactly a memory he treasured.

Sighing, Ron turned his attention back to the omelet in front of him. He tried hard not to think of that fateful night, but the memories came rushing back anyway.

He’d kissed her. Actually kissed her. On the lips. It wasn’t that the kiss wasn’t good; in fact, it was amazing. But that was exactly the problem. He’d gotten too close to someone he’d sworn to keep his distance from. He’d let his feelings get the better of him. It wasn’t how it was supposed to go. Kim was supposed to fail in her attempt to stop Drakken and start questioning the world around her. They’d even sent in Eric to make her question what was real! But no, he had to give into temptation and compromise the mission for his own selfish goals.

Their window of opportunity had closed after that, and everything had gone back to normal. Well, almost everything. Kim seemed to really be serious about pursuing a relationship with him, and Ron didn’t know what to do. If Kim was content with her life, then she may never be in the right state of mind to accept Morpheus’ offer. So he did what he did best: he screwed it up.

Pretending to take Kim for granted was remarkably easy, as the girl had a surprisingly high level of tolerance for his buffoonish behavior. But it still made him feel dirty. Every time he sabotaged a date, every time he pretended to lose his pants, he put another brick in the wall around his heart designed to keep Kim out. It wasn’t easy. In fact, it was the hardest thing he’d ever had to do. But he did it for the mission. He did it so that Kim could be free.

Looking back, he regretted it, and he doubted that things could ever be the same between him and Kim, but he also knew that it had to be done. After all, the mission had been accomplished, right? Kim was free now. He’d done his part. It didn’t matter what happened to him, as long as Kim came out of this okay. Ron had always put Kim’s happiness first—even if it meant sacrificing his own.

Ron was so caught up in his thoughts that he didn’t notice the barely audible footsteps behind him. Only when a pair of yellow hands wrapped around his waist and a pair of lips pressed up against his cheek was he aware that someone else was in the room with him. In typical Ron fashion, he panicked.

“GYAAAH!” he screamed as the omelet leapt from the skillet, barely maneuvering the pan under it in time to avoid a huge mess on the stove. “Yori! You scared me.”

The dark-haired girl simply chuckled as she stepped back. “You are amusing as always, Stoppable-san.”

Ron grumbled something in response, but this detail was lost to Yori as she trekked over to the refrigerator and produced a pitcher of orange juice. Grabbing a pair of cups from the cabinet, she proceeded to pour the drink into them and carried the glasses to the table. By now the omelet had finished cooking and Ron cut it in half, placing it on two separate plates. Yori grabbed the silverware while Ron buttered the toast.

Now that the meal was assembled, the happy couple sat down to eat. Well, one of them wasn’t exactly happy.

“You seem troubled, Stoppable-san,” Yori remarked, noticing the glum expression on Ron’s face. “Does something bother you?”

Ron chuckled internally at Yori’s overly correct English, but kept his composure. “Nah,” he replied. “I was just thinking about Kim.”

The ninja nodded in understanding. “It is difficult to face her, isn’t it?”

Stoppable nodded. “She seems happy now. She’s actually happy without me. Do you have any idea what that means?”

“I do not quite catch your meaning, Stoppable-san,” Yori replied, even though she understood perfectly the implication of his question. Sometimes it was best to let Ron fill in the blanks himself rather than putting words in his mouth.

“She doesn’t need me,” he remarked grimly. “She never needed me. She’s the girl who can do anything. I’m the guy who can’t.”

Yori looked at her lover with compassion and placed a hand on his shoulder. “Do not say that, Ron-kun,” she told him softly, using the honorific to convey to the boy that she truly cared for him. “She could not have gotten to where she is without you. You were her rock; the one she could always turn to.”

“Yeah, and now I’m not!” Ron shouted, startling Yori and causing her to withdraw her hand. “I spent so much time keeping my distance from her that now she’s found a new rock! You saw her with Shego! Tell me I’m still her rock!”


“You can’t, can you?” Ron continued, honestly scaring Yori with his tone that sounded as though he was slowly going mad. “You know those two are closer than I ever was with Kim. You know she doesn’t need me anymore! What’s the point of trying to reach out to her if I don’t have anything to offer her?!”

“You give her light, Stoppable-san,” Yori answered uneasily. “Your ‘Ron-shine’ is what keeps her grounded. She tends to take things too seriously. You help her to, as you say in America, ‘lighten up.’”

“America doesn’t exist anymore, Yori!” Ron bellowed, standing up and starting to pace. “It only exists in The Matrix! For all we know it never existed! Maybe the machines got it wrong! Maybe we were all communists up until the war!”

Yori appeared frightened. “Stoppable-san, how can you say such things?”

“It’s the truth, isn’t it?!” the blonde roared. “That’s what it’s always been about! The truth! Well the truth is Kim doesn’t need me anymore!”

“You need her.”

Yori’s voice was almost a whisper, but to Ron it was as loud as Mr. Barkin yelling into a bullhorn. Those three simple words stopped him in his tracks. “What?”

“Did I stutter?” Yori replied in a lame imitation of American slang that just didn’t seem quite right when she said it. “I said that even though Possible-san does not appear to need you, you still need her. That is why her new bond with Shego-san frightens you so. You worry that she will lose all dependence on you, while you will still be dependent on her.”

Ron bowed his head in shame. “Yeah, that’s exactly it. She’s like a sister to me, Yori. She’s family. I don’t know what I’d do without her.”

Yori stood up and walked over to Ron, placing a hand to his cheek. “Even though she does not appear to need you, Possible-san still requires the levity that you bring to any situation. She is just being herself. I do not recall her ever asking for help; it must be given to her. Do not be afraid to go after her. It is the only way she will ever know you are there.”

Ron nodded in understanding. “Thanks, Yori.”

“Anytime, Ron-san,” the ninja replied, pulling the blonde in for a kiss.

The breakfast was still uneaten an hour later.

Back at Shego’s apartment, however, the food was being consumed at a ravenous pace as Kim inhaled her pancakes with all the table manners of a stray puppy. Shego honestly couldn’t blame her; after eating that goop on the Neb II, she felt like wolfing down a few pancakes herself. But she maintained her dignity.

“I see you subscribe to the Ron Stoppable school of eating,” the pale woman remarked.

This caused Kim to stop suddenly and blush as she realized exactly how rude she was being. “Mh sghwy,” she mumbled. Swallowing, she repeated, “I’m sorry. I just haven’t had good food in a while.”

“Like you would say, Princess, it’s no big.”

Kim blushed even brighter, wiping the crumbs from the corners of her mouth with the sleeve of her shirt.

Shego smiled. “Y’know, I’ve always loved making you blush. It’s cute.”

“It wasn’t so cute that time it almost killed me,” Kim retorted, though her tone was still somewhat playful.

“That wouldn’t have happened if you didn’t care so damn much what other people thought of you.” Shego took a victory sip of her orange juice to commemorate the comeback.

Rather than form a vehement retort like Shego expected, Kim just nodded. “Yeah. That’s what I always liked about you. You don’t care what people think.”

Shego repeated her words from earlier. “I care what you think.” The sentiment caused the younger girl to smile.

“That means a lot coming from you, Shego.”

Silence followed as the two women returned their attention to their meals. Locating the fork that she had somehow missed in her initial feeding frenzy, Kim cut off a section of her remaining pancakes and slowly brought it up to her mouth, stealing a glance at Shego as she did so.

Her earlier statement had been true; it did mean a lot to Kim that Shego cared about her opinion. She had thought that this morning would be awkward, but Shego’s words somehow made it bearable, and actually brought a smile to her face. Maybe she would ask Shego if she could sleep with her again tonight. It was the best sleep she’d had in a while. She looked at the older woman again.

For some reason, she couldn’t keep her eyes off of Shego. The green lady had always been attractive—Kim drew this conclusion objectively, of course—in The Matrix, but there was something about Shego here in the real world, something so… down-to-earth about her, that Kim could not tear her gaze from her. At that point she wondered exactly how she felt about the older woman.

Shego had been nice to her since she’d been free, letting her stay in her apartment and even her bed, talking to her and helping her through this difficult time. She was like a surrogate mother; taking care of her where her real mother’s role had been vacated after Kim left her old life behind. But she couldn’t help feeling that there was something more; something deeper. Why couldn’t she keep her eyes off of her? What was it about Shego that captivated her so?

Kim had never felt like this before. Every time she looked at Shego, her heart raced. She felt excitement; passion. She wanted to be close to her; to wake up in bed next to Shego every morning for the rest of her life. She didn’t know why she felt this way. But the more she thought about it, the less it mattered why the feeling was there. All that mattered was that it was.

Was she falling for Shego? Did the green woman have some sort of spell on her? What did this mean? Was this destiny? Was she supposed to fall in love with Shego? Again, all of the questions melted away and she focused on the feeling itself; this deep sense of longing that was slowly manifesting within her and making itself more clearly known with each passing second. Before long, the only thing that occupied her mind was her feelings for Shego. She wanted her. It was destiny.

But how to let Shego know this?

No sooner had she asked this question when the cogwheels began spinning in her head, forming a plan that caused her to grin widely at Shego, who seemed to just now notice that Kim was staring at her. “What’s up, Princess?”

“You done?”

“Yeah, why?”

Kim smiled. “I believe we have a date.”

A gentle breeze blew across the Zen garden (2), maneuvering around the rock sculptures and rustling through the cherry trees. Easily separated from their mother, dozens of blossoms allowed themselves to be carried off by the wind, offering no resistance and simply drifting to wherever the unpredictable air currents decided to take them.

As it turned out, their destination lay in between two warriors who stood several yards away from each other, preparing to spar. One had red hair and was dressed in a white kimono (3) with a blue obi (4). In her right arm she held a Katana at a 45 degree angle, just inches above the ground. Her hand flexed momentarily to refasten her grip, causing the curved sword to twitch.

Across from her was a raven-haired woman clad in a green kimono with a pair of black hakama (5) that matched the color of her obi. In each hand she held a three-pronged dagger, a Sai. Standing with her legs bowed, she appeared shorter than her opponent, when in fact she was actually a little taller. The stance was designed to lower her center of gravity and root her in place, which was odd given the characteristics of her chosen weapon.

Sai were designed to be used on the move, lightweight and quick for fighters who preferred agility over strength. The central prong was longer than the other two, and if all three were inserted into one’s opponent it could be twisted for an excruciatingly painful attack that was capable of tearing out a man’s stomach if done properly. Sai were favored by the ninja, whose guerilla tactics necessitated small, lightweight weapons. Shego’s current stance was better suited for heavier weapons like the nodachi. (6) However, she had no intention of holding this pose; just using it to throw her opponent off. After all, when your opponent was Kim Possible, you needed every advantage you could get.

Kim’s weapon, the Katana (7), was a long, curved sword favored by the Samurai for its toughness and razor sharp edge that held true in battle. It was designed for slashing, and was tempered to the point where it did not bend, but rather broke when pushed too far. The same could be said of its current wielder. However, like Kim, the sword had incredible limits, and was very reliable all around.

They stood there for several moments, sizing each other up, trying to read their opponent’s mind. An unspoken cue was delivered in the form of a bow from Kim, which was returned by Shego. Now that the formalities were out of the way, the battle could begin.

Leaping high in the air, Shego extended her arms behind her head and prepared to slam down hard with both Sai. Kim raised her sword to block, turning it to the dull, curved side rather than the precious edge, which had the tendency to chip if it hit another blade head on. She held it at a slight angle so that when Shego’s twin daggers made contact they slid along the length of the curve and off to the side, putting the green woman at a disadvantage.

Now on the offensive, Kim raised the sword over her head and chopped down hard. Knowing that her weapons had not the strength to block such a strike, Shego used the momentum of her torso to move her arms at lightning speed and beat the sword aside with both Sai, then followed it up with a kick to Kim’s midsection, forcing the girl back.

Shego twirled her Sai around like a pair of batons and slashed at the other girl’s face, neither surprised nor disappointed when Kim ducked out of the way of her strike and raised her Katana high in the air once more.

Crossing her Sai in an “X” to give them extra strength, Shego caught the blade between them, causing actual sparks to fly as the Katana chipped a little. She let out a disappointed scoff. Stalemate already? No, this simply wouldn’t do.

“You’re better than I thought, Princess,” she spoke up, trying to throw the girl off her game. That’s what this was: a game. A simple sparring match done purely for the sport of it. Unlike their previous encounters, the goal was not to defeat the other, but rather to test each other’s skills. Shego could also finally enjoy herself without having to hold back. The green lady was actually a pretty clean fighter, which was quite clear at the moment as she resisted the urge to kick her opponent in the shins. But that did not make her generous.

“You’re pretty good yourself,” Kim replied. It was true. Shego’s choice of weapon had seriously thrown her off at first, but now she saw that the older woman was a master of many fighting styles. The swiping motions necessitated by the Sai actually suited her quite well. At the risk of giving Shego the advantage, she withdrew her sword and started circling, ready to raise her weapon in defense at any moment.

“What say we up the ante?” Shego suggested, using the electromagnetic nature of her powers to “charge” the Sai in her hands, encasing them in green and black plasma.

“Lets,” Kim agreed, strengthening the blade of her sword with her powers to the point where it would be able to withstand the charged strikes. Now the steel in her hands was harder than diamonds. She held it straight in front of her in a textbook offensive pose.

Making the first move this time, Kim slashed diagonally at Shego, who rolled out of the way and caused her to cut clean through a rock tower, which collapsed under its own weight. Not giving her opponent any time to rest, the redhead leapt high in the air, sword overhead, missing Shego by mere inches as the green lady rolled out of the way yet again.

Kim took a moment to analyze her opponent’s strategy. This wasn’t the way Shego normally fought. Usually it was she who was on the defensive, but it appeared that her opponent was intent on wearing her out. Recognizing this, Kim halted her attack and adopted a more defensive pose with the sword held to her side like it had been at the start of the fight.

Impatient as always, Shego took the perceived lapse in her opponent’s offense as her cue to strike. With green glowing Sai creating trails in the air, Shego leapt high and came down hard, faking Kim out and kicking off the dull edge of the blade in a last second abort. She then rushed at the younger woman, swiping at her with green energy and failing to hit as Kim raised her Katana to block.

Shego slashed with her other arm, but that too was thwarted as Kim let go of her sword with one hand and caught her by the wrist, then ducked and swept the pale woman’s legs. Still holding Shego’s arm, Kim threw the green lady in the direction of the wooden walkway that surrounded the garden with a sudden burst of superhuman strength.

Digging her Sai into the red painted wood, Shego skidded along the deck for several feet before managing to stop and right herself just in time to see Kim rushing at her so fast it seemed like she was approaching in slow motion. The redhead swung her Katana like a baseball bat, forcing Shego to fall to the ground to avoid the strike. The thin paper wall behind her yielded like butter to Kim’s blade, creating a sound like scissors gliding across wrapping paper.

Shego spun around on her back, trying to sweep Kim’s legs. The redhead simply jumped over the feeble attack, however, raising her sword over her head and creating a vertical gash in the paper, forming a cross. Using her Sai to push off, Shego slid under Kim’s legs and stood up on the other side of the redhead, trying to grab her from behind. Kim was too quick, however, and, dropping her sword for the moment, gripped Shego by both wrists and kicked her through the wooden rails into the stream that ran under the arch-like bridge. Shego landed hard on her back.

Taking advantage of her opponent’s vulnerable state, Kim grabbed her sword again and leaped through the low roof, using her Matrix powers to jump an impossible twenty feet in the air. Holding her sword high above her head, Kim aimed for the bridge that, for the moment, protected Shego.

Dust and splinters of red painted wood flew everywhere as Kim crashed through the bridge, finding her opponent already standing and holding her charged Sai in a defensive position that caught the super-strong blade. Surprisingly, they did not buckle under the sheer power of the strike. Kim concluded that it had something to do with the fact that the green energy was not actually attached to the metal, but rather formed a thin shield around it mere nanometers from the surface. Sparks flew again as the ultra-tough blade actually chipped due to the impossibly hard impact.

Kim raised her sword again and swiped diagonally at Shego, who blocked the strike with one Sai and used the other to slash at the redhead’s midsection. Kim arched her body, bending her spine and moving her soft flesh away from the blade, which missed her stomach by mere millimeters.

Separating, Kim attempted to stab, which worked against the design of her sword and put her at a disadvantage as her center of gravity was moved towards the front. Shego used this to her advantage and beat the Katana aside with one Sai, swiping towards Kim’s face with the other. The girl continued moving forward and ducked, narrowly avoiding the blow.

Kim swung horizontally, forcing Shego to the ground. Taking advantage of her opponent’s supine position, Kim maneuvered her sword so that she would stab Shego if the green woman did not move quickly. Shego somersaulted backwards, narrowly avoiding the strike. The blade ended up stuck in the ground as a consequence.

Using this to her advantage, Shego kicked next to the handle and separated it from the blade, following it up with a kick to Kim’s midsection. Shego took advantage of the opportunity afforded by her opponent’s momentary stunned state and leapt to her feet, crossing her arms into an “X.” The move she intended to use next could potentially separate Kim’s head from her body.

Kim was too quick however, and grabbed Shego’s wrists before the green woman could do any real damage, twisting the green woman’s arms and forcing her to drop her Sai. Raising her knee to her chest, Kim thrust her leg forward with lightning speed and kicked Shego a good thirty feet into one of the massive rocks that adorned the area next to where the bridge used to be.

Shego hit the boulder hard, the force of the impact forming a dent in the shape of her body and dumping her unceremoniously on the ground, where she coughed up blood. She looked up to see Kim standing over her triumphantly, holding out her hand. “Not bad, Kimmie,” the green woman moaned before a cough brought her to her belly again.

“Still think you’re better than me?” Kim taunted, still extending her hand. But Shego would not take it, not just yet.

“You got lucky,” she groaned.

“Aw, don’t be a sore loser, Sheeg,” the redhead teased, bending over even further. “You put up a pretty decent fight. But I guess I’m just the better fighter.” She was now bent well past ninety degrees. Obviously Kim had never read Hansel and Gretel, or else she would have realized that bending over that far was an incredibly stupid idea, especially against Shego. (8)

Grabbing the offered hand, Shego smirked wickedly. “To quote Jesse Ventura: ‘Win if you can, lose if you must, but always cheat.’” With that, she pulled planted her feet in Kim’s midsection and, using her back as a fulcrum, launched the redhead into the same boulder that she had made the acquaintance of. The girl appeared genuinely surprised at the trick, as though she somehow expected Shego to have changed even though they were no longer enemies. That thought made her grin all the wider. Kim fell to the ground with a loud thud.

Angry for letting herself get tricked like that, Kim rolled over from her prone position, then arched her back and put all her weight on her shoulders and head, kicking forward and launching herself into a standing position opposite Shego. She glared at the green lady, who wore a huge smirk as she reveled in her little victory. The redhead felt her blood boil, angry at the fact that Shego had not only betrayed her trust, but was extremely proud of it. She wanted nothing more than to wipe that huge grin off of her opponent’s face.

“That was a dirty trick,” Kim snarled accusingly.

“I’m not exactly clean, Princess,” Shego tossed back with a smile. “You think just ‘cause I’m your safety blanket now that means I’ve changed? You’re more naïve than I thought.”

“I should have known better than to trust you,” the redhead growled as she clenched her hands into white-knuckled fists. “You’re gonna pay for that.”

“Bring it on, Princess,” Shego taunted as she bent her knees and raised her talons, grinning wickedly.

Kim brought it full force, launching a flying kick at Shego’s torso, which the older woman easily caught. Using her grip on the girl’s foot to spin her around, Shego dropped the irate redhead to the gravel. “You’re cute when you’re angry,” she teased.

The younger woman grunted and raised herself up on one hand, rotating her body as though on a pommel horse in an attempt to sweep Shego’s legs. The anger made her sloppy, however, and the attack was easily dodged. Kim realized that she was letting Shego get to her.

Was it really that surprising? Shego hadn’t changed; their relationship had. Even though they were on the same side, the green lady still tried to needle Kim and throw her off her game. She had to remember that the remarks were only taunts, and that this was all just a game. Time to start playing.

Kim smiled genuinely at Shego as she got up. “I guess I shouldn’t have expected any differently from you,” she opined as she and the green lady began to circle each other. “Just like I thought you’d changed that time we fought Aviarius. I actually like you like this, though; gives me a challenge.”

“Well, you already kicked my ass in a fair fight,” Shego replied. “I figured it was time to even the odds.” With that, she lit up and clapped her hands together, sending a deadly bolt of plasma in Kim’s direction.

Years of experience in fighting Shego enabled Kim to leap over the blast and let it hit the rock behind her, which shattered into dozens of pieces. Twisting in midair, she landed facing Shego, who turned around and launched another blast that kicked up dirt and gravel as it missed the redhead once again.

Kim was leaping around like a Chinese acrobat, dodging Shego’s blasts with ease and causing the green woman to smile wider each time she came within inches of being hit. With incredible speed and no regard for the law of gravity, Kim ran along the edge of the roof that stretched all the way around the garden, her body parallel to the ground. Several of the blasts hit the pillars that supported the roof, which brought part of the structure crashing down. Kim leaped clear at the last second and landed in front of Shego.

“Still can’t hit me even when you’re actually trying,” the redhead teased. “Sad.”

Shego’s face contorted with rage and she let loose another burst of green energy, which Kim dodged easily. She smirked; this was all too familiar and easy. Just like old times.

Flipping away from a few more blasts, Kim came to rest by one of the smaller boulders that adorned the garden. Launching it into the air like a soccer ball, she spun around a full 360 degrees and sent it barreling towards Shego. The green lady saw it coming, however, and shattered it to pieces with another burst of plasma.

Kim repeated the process with a few more rocks before launching herself headfirst at Shego, reversing her position in midair and assaulting the pale woman with a bicycle kick, which her extremely strong forearms allowed the viridian vixen to easily block.

Dropping to the ground, Kim landed on one hand and kicked at Shego again, rotating as she did so. She pushed off hard with the one limb that was still connected to the earth and forced her opponent to stumble backwards.

Taking advantage of this, the redhead launched a series of punches and kicks, all of which were expertly blocked by Shego. The pale warrior formed her hands into talons and countered with an offensive burst of her own, taking Kim by surprise as she displayed a savage ferocity that the girl had never seen before. Moving even faster, Kim’s arms and legs were a blur. Time seemed to slow around them as they fought faster than they ever had before.

Kim ducked under a vicious swipe from Shego that almost singed her hair. Dropping down onto one hand again, she performed the first half of a cartwheel by raising her entire body to beat the green woman’s arms aside and give her an opening as she stood upright and jabbed Shego right above the sternum, stunning her. She followed it up with a perfect roundhouse kick that sent Shego sailing straight through one of the pillars that adorned the outer walkway.

And so they found themselves on the deck again, punching, kicking and blocking as though the whole thing had been choreographed. In truth, however, they knew each other so well that they could actually predict each other’s moves. They played off of each other naturally, and the “fight” was truly beautiful to watch.

Shego extended her right leg in front of her, pivoting on her left and delivering a solid spin kick that would have struck Kim in the side if the redhead had not seen it coming and had already moved her arms into position to deflect the otherwise flawless attack. She countered with a high kick of her own, aiming for Shego’s face. The pale woman ducked, then leaned an impossible 90 degrees backwards when Kim followed it up with another kick that would have struck her right in the midsection.

Springing up like a doll that came back at you every time you punched it, Shego aimed straight for Kim’s face with two ignited talons. The redhead caught her wrists, falling on her back and planting her feet in Shego’s midsection to launch her into the center of the garden. The green lady reached her hands out and landed gracefully in a front handspring. Man this was getting annoying.

Turning around, Shego fired one last volley of green plasma, intent on at least burning the girl this time. Kim merely smirked, however, and held her hand out in front of her. The bolts froze in midair, as though suspended by some sort of wire. Shego crossed her arms and pouted. “No fair,” she whined.

With a snap of Kim’s fingers, the plasma bolts disappeared. “You’re not the only one who can fight dirty,” she said in a voice that made Shego quiver a little. “In fact….” Rather than finish her sentence with words, Kim chose to punctuate the statement by tackling the older woman to the ground.

Caught off guard, Shego did her best to keep from being pinned as she and Kim rolled around in the gravel, dirtying their kimonos and pressing up against each other’s bodies in rather interesting ways. It took Shego a moment to realize that Kim was actually laughing as she tried to pin her. She was enjoying this. That thought put a wide grin on Shego’s face.

Finally coming to a stop next to their abandoned weapons, Kim pinned Shego to the ground. Not that the green woman was complaining, of course; one of the reasons she loved fighting Kim was because it gave her an excuse to be physically close to the redhead. “Say it,” Kim ordered.

“I’m your bee-yotch,” Shego said sarcastically, just like she had the last time she found herself in this position. This time, however, Kim did not blush.

Instead, panting, Kim stared deep into Shego’s eyes, as though she was looking for something in those viridian orbs so similar to her own. Shego relaxed under the girl’s body, accepting defeat. Losing had never felt so good. She stared back, trying to catch her breath at the same time. The redhead’s face suddenly started moving closer.

Time seemed to stop as Shego tried to interpret the action. Was Kim leaning in? Did she want to kiss her? Should she kiss her back? What if she didn’t want to kiss and she was just tired? The battle had been awfully exhausting, after all. But what if she did want to kiss her? What if this was it? What if The Oracle’s words were true? Always a risk-taker, Shego decided to chance it. She closed her eyes and raised her head to meet Kim’s.

Shego hadn’t kissed a lot of people before. Sure, she’d fucked a lot of brainless hunks in The Matrix, but there was little actual kissing involved. But now, as her lips met Kim’s, it felt better than all of those meaningless encounters combined. She felt a rush; her heart fluttered. She held her breath as Kim’s eager tongue parted her lips, sliding in with little resistance on Shego’s part. Her hands seemed to have a mind of their own, wrapping around Kim’s back and pulling the girl closer to herself. This felt good; damn good. It was everything she had ever hoped for. Any disappointment she may have had about losing melted away as Kim’s tongue explored her mouth.

Kim seemed to be enjoying the kiss as well, probing vigorously in her quest for Shego’s tonsils. Soft moans from both women made it clear that this was what both of them wanted. Kim in particular seemed to be very forward, her hands exploring every inch of Shego’s body. Her left hand came to a stop by the green woman’s breast and gave it a tight squeeze. Shego moaned and arched her back, a sign that the action brought her great pleasure. Kim squeezed again.

Even though she knew it wasn’t real, the experience was still enough to transport Shego to another place, a location she would liken to Heaven. Waves of pleasure surged through her as Kim’s hands roamed her body, squeezing in some places and rubbing in others. This was nice.

A little too nice.

Shego’s eyes shot open and she gasped as she felt an intruding hand attempting to undo her obi in order to gain entry to her kimono. More out of instinct than any sort of rational thought, she grabbed Kim by the shoulders and pushed the girl off of her.

Panting, Kim stared at Shego, bewildered. “What… what was that for?” she demanded.

Also trying to catch her breath, Shego replied, “You’re moving… too fast, Princess. Usually a guy has to… buy me dinner first.”

“I’m not a guy,” Kim pointed out.

“I’m well aware of that,” Shego breathed. “Which is part of the reason we shouldn’t be doing everything at once. Complicated relationships take time.”

Kim let out an annoyed sigh. “C’mon, Shego; it’s not like it’s real.”

“It’s real enough,” the pale woman replied.

Another sigh escaped the younger woman’s lips, though this time it was dejected. “I’m sorry. I kinda jump into things without really thinking about where it may lead. I took the red pill, after all.”

Shego smiled. “It’s alright, Princess. We just need to talk this out. I’m not freaked out at all. Actually, I’m surprised it didn’t happen sooner.”

Kim arched an eyebrow. “Huh?”

“I’ve seen the way you’ve been looking at me,” the green woman replied seductively. “You climbed into my bed last night after you had a nightmare. Why would you do that? I mean, it’s not like you’re scared of monsters.” She chuckled, not expecting Kim to get the subtle self-insult that came with that statement. “You like me.”

“I love you,” Kim corrected. “I don’t kiss people I just like.”

“You kissed Stoppable,” Shego pointed out. “You can’t tell me you really loved him when you’re going after me instead.”

“Okay, so maybe I thought I loved Ron, but it’s different this time,” the younger woman replied. “You’re there for me. Ron isn’t anymore. I grew to love Ron because I could rely on him. Now I can rely on you.”

Shego smirked. “Sounds to me like you just want someone who’ll do everything for you. Seems awfully selfish for a hero.”

“You like it,” Kim said with certainty. “You wouldn’t even let me fix breakfast this morning.”

“Only ‘cause I don’t want you burning down my apartment.”

“Teach me to cook and I won’t.”

Shego responded by tackling the younger girl to the ground again, pinning her with little resistance. “Okay, you’re right,” she admitted. “But like I told you this morning, we take baby steps, alright? I don’t want this to end up like it did with Stoppable where you mistook desire for love. I wanna know you’re really willing to commit to this. Understand?”

Kim nodded.

“Good. Now we should probably get going; Morpheus is speaking tonight at the temple gathering and we’re supposed to attend. We’ve gotta find you something to wear.”

“What did you have in mind?”

Shego grinned. “Oh, you’ll see.”

Unfortunately for Kim’s curiosity, it was still only morning, which meant that she still had to wait several hours to see the outfit that Shego had picked out for her. She used this time to let the green woman take her on a tour of Zion.

The first thing she noticed was the bridges; endless bridges, crisscrossing each other in the near bottomless cylindrical chamber that served as the main city. Wrapped around the cylinder were the apartments where all of the citizens of Zion lived. Being a small town girl herself, the scope of the city naturally caused Kim to gape in awe.

She noticed that the rails on the walkways were rather thin. Awfully dangerous. Someone could fall to their death if they made a wrong move. Then again, it seemed that the people of Zion liked to live a little dangerously. Or maybe the centuries of war just numbed them to the hazard.

Which reminded her: “How’d the war get started again, anyway?” she asked her impromptu tour guide.

Shego appeared to stiffen at the question, signaling to Kim that the subject made her uncomfortable. After a moment, she answered, “When Stoppable got his monkey powers, the machines saw it as a threat. They didn’t do anything at first, but once we freed him….”

“Ron was the cause of all this?” Kim balked.

“Not exactly,” Shego replied. “Anyway, once we freed him, tensions started to rise. They tried sending a few agents after you, but we intercepted ‘em before they could get anywhere near you. They knew you were the last anomaly ever since your first mission. They also knew you had traces of Smith in you. After what happened to them last time Smith was free, they wanted to make sure you’d never wake up.”

“So… I was the cause of this?”

Shego just smirked. “Try not to think of it as cause and effect, Pumpkin. No one caused it. It just sort of happened as a result of everyone’s choices. Without enough communication between the humans and the machines, the truce broke down, and the war started all over again. Not sure exactly how it happened. I don’t know why, either. All I can tell you is that it did, and that it’s a goddamn miracle that you’re here right now.”

“Oh,” Kim whispered as she dipped her head, not really understanding but not wanting to push the issue any further. Knowing that she played a part in renewing the hostilities between the humans and the machines was hard news to take. She remained quiet for a few moments before she heard a scream.

Instincts that Kim had developed from her years of world-saving told her that the scream was one of someone in distress. Without even thinking, she began to run towards where she had heard the sound.

Once there, she saw a frantic woman leaning over the edge of the walkway, grasping desperately at something. Kim looked closer and saw that there was a child hanging on for dear life to one of the rails that extended a few feet below the walkway. The woman, probably the child’s mother, was having trouble reaching him. The child was crying, fearing for his life, no doubt.

Kim came to a stop by the woman and said the only words she could think of: “What happened?”

The frantic mother looked up at the girl with a wild look in her eyes. Kim guessed that she was running on adrenaline. She also knew the answer to her own question before the woman even opened her mouth to reply: “Thomas was runnin’ away from me and he fell over tha edge! Now I can’t reach ‘im!”

Years of experience handling these sorts of situations allowed Kim to reply calmly: “Ma’am, just calm down. I'll save Thomas. You just stay right here.”

Rather than follow this simple logic, however, the panicking woman grabbed Kim, screaming hysterically, “Save mah baby! Save mah baby!”

After trying unsuccessfully to separate herself from the screaming mother, Kim looked to her companion. “Uh, Shego? A little help here?”

With no time to argue, the green lady grabbed the frantic woman by the shoulders and pulled her off of Kim. Of course, this only succeeded in making her scream even louder and cling to Shego instead.

Meanwhile, Ron and Yori had also heard the scream. They had been walking over to Kim and Shego’s apartment—at Yori’s insistence, of course—to sort the whole thing with the two women. However, this sudden crisis brought them running.

They arrived on the scene to see Shego trying desperately to escape the woman’s grasp while Kim was trying to reach for Thomas. The boy was about ten feet below the walkway, hanging for dear life to a pole that extended below. There was no way she could reach him. “KP!” Ron shouted.

Kim looked up to see her best friend rushing towards her, just like old times. Yori went over to help Shego calm the frantic woman down. “Ron! Get over here! I need your help!”

That simple utterance disproved everything that Ron had said earlier that morning. She needed his help. That realization filled him with energy and brought him running. Crouching down next to her, he asked, “What’s the plan, KP?”

Now in her famous “mission mode,” Kim’s mind was firing on all cylinders. She looked around for anything she could use; anything that would allow her to reach the boy. Suddenly, she spotted it.

“There!” she shouted, pointing towards a clothes-line where several sheets were hanging. “Get me one of those sheets!”

Ron complied, running as fast as he could over to the clothesline and grabbing the sheet that Kim had requested. He brought it back over to her just as fast. “Good plan, KP,” he panted. “We lower the sheet down to him and have him grab on.”

Kim shook her head. “It’s not long enough. We’re gonna have to tie it around my waist and lower me down there so I can grab him and then pull both of us back up.”

Ron stared at her blankly.

“What?” she asked.

“KP, this isn’t The Matrix,” Ron replied. “You could die.”

“I can die in The Matrix too,” Kim reminded him. “And that’s never stopped me before. Just because I don’t have powers out here doesn’t mean I can’t still save people. Now hand me the sheet.”

Those few simple sentences reminded Ron why he had been Kim’s friend in the first place. She was so confident, so ready to give her life in the service of others, that once she set her mind on something, there was no convincing her otherwise. He handed her the sheet.

Having calmed the woman down somewhat, Shego turned to Yori. “Those two seem to be catching up on old times,” she remarked.

“I was bringing Stoppable-san to your place so that he and Possible-san could repair their friendship,” Yori said. “It appears that I no longer have to worry about that.”

Shego nodded as she watched Kim tie the sheet around her waist in a makeshift harness, then tie the other end around the rail. Without hesitating, the girl did a swan dive off the walkway, counting on the sheet to hold her relatively light weight.

Her slack depleted in a matter of seconds, and Kim jerked to a stop just a couple feet from Thomas. Holding onto the sheet with one hand, she extended her other arm to the boy. “Grab on, Thomas,” she said softly, as she had learned to do when rescuing someone. “I’m here to help you.”

Thomas had heard the rumors about this girl. Supposedly she was The One. And now she was here to save him. He stretched out his hand.

Kim’s strong fingers wrapped tightly around the boy’s wrist. When she was sure that she had a firm grip on him, she turned around and shouted to Ron, “Pull us up!”

Shego turned to Yori. “I’m gonna go help. You got this?” she asked, indicating the somewhat less frantic woman.

“It will be my honor,” the ninja replied.

Smiling at the cheesy remark, Shego ran over and helped Ron to pull on the sheet that served as Kim’s lifeline. They worked as a team, one pulling when the other let go of the rope to move their hands back into position.

Kim smiled. This was just like old times. Well, not exactly like old times. Shego had rarely helped her before. But this was even better. Now they were a team, and together, they had been able to save this boy. Mission accomplished.

Or not.

A ripping sound reached Kim’s ears, and she looked up to see that part of the sheet had torn and was now hanging by several threads. It appeared that her weight combined with that of Thomas was too much for the thin fabric to handle, and if she didn’t get to the walkway soon, they would both fall to their death.

Ron saw the sheet tear as well, and to him everything appeared in slow motion, like a train wreck. He couldn’t look away. Had this been The Matrix, he would have used super strength to pull both of them back up instantly. But this was the real world. Here he had no power. Here he was useless. Here he couldn’t save anybody without something going wrong. KP was going to die, and he was going to have to watch.

The flimsy cloth ripped, and Kim began to fall with Thomas. Her scream reached Ron’s ears, seeming to drag on endlessly as he watched her fall in slow motion. He had failed. She was going to die, and there was nothing he could do to stop it. He was Ron Stoppable, the boy who couldn’t do anything right.

The hell with that,’ a part of his consciousness told him. Kim had been right earlier; even though she didn’t have any powers here, she could still save people. Ron had always been one to shy away from danger, but when the chips were down, he was always the one KP could count on. Just because they weren’t in The Matrix didn’t change that. She needed him, and he was going to help her. That was what he was here for.

Without thinking, he lunged forward, catching the sheet at the last second and stopping Kim’s fall. “Grab my feet!” he yelled to Shego, who complied. “I gotcha, KP!” he shouted. Turning back to Shego, he commanded her, “Pull us up!”

The green woman complied, using her legs to pull the combined weight of the three people onto the walkway. Once Ron was on solid ground again, he helped to pull Kim and Thomas up the rest of the way.

Kim reached the walkway and released Thomas, who moments later was swooped up in the arms of his mother, who smothered him with kisses and said repeatedly, “Don’t you ever do that again! You scared momma half to death!”

As they watched the happy reunion, Kim turned to Ron and smiled. “Thanks,” she told him.

“Like you would say, KP, it’s no big,” Ron replied with an even bigger grin. She pulled him in for a hug.

“And what about me?” Shego asked, interrupting the happy moment.

Kim turned to the green lady and smiled. “You were a great help too, Sheeg. Thanks.” Without thinking, she strode up to her newly appointed girlfriend and pulled her in for their first kiss in the real world.

It was passionate and yet chaste. Long and deep, yet appropriate for public. As far as first kisses went, this rated an eleven out of five. It was the perfect end to the perfect rescue.

Until reality set in, that is.

A loud throat clearing sound caused the happy couple to separate. Blushing as red as the fuzz on her scalp, Kim looked uneasily at Ron, who stood there with his arms at his sides and his jaw on the floor. Yori, who had made the interruption, was standing there with her arms crossed.

“Perhaps it is best that we get inside,” she suggested. “It looks as though an explanation is needed.”

A series of incoherent mumbles from Kim and Ron confirmed their agreement. Shego just stood there with a huge grin plastered on her face. Looking straight at stuttering Stoppable, she said, “Booyah.”

Ron’s eyes rolled into the back of his head and his body fell to the floor as all the blood suddenly rushed away from his brain and he fainted in shock.

When he awoke, the blonde found himself on a couch in Shego’s apartment. A quick glance around the room revealed that Yori was seated next to him, while Kim and Shego sat on the opposite couch, holding hands and giving each other nervous glances. Ron chose to voice his first coherent thought since he’d blacked out:

“What the HELL is going on?!”

Kim blushed and shifted uncomfortably in her seat, looking anywhere but into Ron’s questioning eyes. “Well… you see… the thing is….”

“We kissed,” Shego interrupted, getting tired of Kim’s babbling.

“I knew that already!” Ron shouted. “Why?!”

Kim decided to answer that one. “Well, you see, we… love each other.”

Ron stared at her as though his mind could not process that statement. As though he couldn’t accept the fact that his ex-girlfriend loved another woman. All he could do was stare and blink.

“Look Ron, I know this is hard to believe….” Kim started.

“Oh no, I believe it!” Ron yelled, standing to his feet in rage. “You made it pretty obvious when you were swallowing each other’s faces! Is that why I never satisfied you?! Because you like women?!”

“You broke up with me!” Kim reminded him as she too stood up. “And no, I don’t love women! I love Shego! Not for what she is, but for who she is! That’s why I used to love you!”

“Yeah, ‘used to’ being the operative word! I used to be your best friend. I used to be the one you turned to whenever you had a problem. Now you’re in love with Shego?! When did this happen? Why didn’t you try and win me back?”

“Because you went out of your way to avoid me!” Possible screamed. “Because you turned your back on me when I needed your help! Because she was there for me and YOU WEREN’T!”

“I did that to protect you!” Ron insisted.

Kim was dumbstruck. “Protect me from what?”

“From YOURSELF!” Stoppable yelled in return. “You’ve always been too clingy! You wanna know what was supposed to happen the night we hooked up? You were supposed to LOSE!”

That caught Kim’s attention and shocked her out of her rage for a brief moment. “What?”

Ron continued with his assault, not caring about salvaging his friendship with Kim anymore and just letting the girl have it. “I said you were suppose to lose to Drakken and start questioning the world around you! We even sent in Eric to make you question what was real! But no, I had to go and give into my feelings because I’m such a fucking IDIOT! Falling in love with you was a MISTAKE!”

Kim looked like she was ready to cry. “Ron, how could you…?”

“Because I had to!” the blonde screamed. “Because if you were happy then you’d never want to leave The Matrix! You think I wanted to be a bad boyfriend? You think I wanted to break up with you? I loved you more than anything in the world, Kim! Letting go of you was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do!”

“Ron, I—”

“Save it! I don’t wanna get dragged back into this after I worked so hard to put it all behind me! I don’t wanna see you anymore because every time I look at you my heart breaks when I remember what we had! I can’t do this anymore! You and I would be better off never talking to each other again!”

“Alright, that’s ENOUGH!” Shego screeched, standing up and frightening Kim and Ron to the point where they stopped what they were doing and just stared at her in fear. “Now I have heard far too many arguments between my brothers to give a SHIT what you’re fighting about!” she growled through clenched teeth. She turned to Ron. “So things didn’t work out as planned between you and Princess. Big. Fucking. Deal. I heard enough of your fucking crying when you first broke up with her, and I do NOT need to hear it again! So SHUT UP!”

Nodding quietly, Ron sat down and obeyed. He had always been easily intimidated, and Shego’s temper was legendary, even outside The Matrix.

Shego looked to Kim. “You,” she said, leveling her finger at the girl, “need to realize that Stoppable didn’t dump you to be mean. He sacrificed his own happiness so that you could be free.”

“Thank you,” Ron piped up from the couch.

“I DIDN’T SAY YOU COULD SPEAK!” Shego roared, causing the boy to cower and hold Yori’s hand in a death grip. Shego gave a brief smirk and turned back to Kim. “Both of you need to stop acting like a couple of children and talk this out. Because I am sick and FUCKING tired of you two dancing around each other like there’s still some tension left! I liked it better when you two were friends! Get over whatever the hell it is that’s got you two bickering and GO BACK TO THE WAY YOU WERE!” She walked over to the couch and gestured for Yori to follow her into the next room. “You two make me sick,” she finished before walking out of the room with Yori and slamming the door.

Now alone, Kim and Ron stared at each other for what seemed like an eternity, each waiting for the other to speak first. They were two trains that had met on the track; neither could move until the other did. Stalemate.

“I’m sorry!” they blurted out at the same time.

“Jinx! You owe me a….” Kim started, only to see Ron glaring at her. “Nevermind.”

They sat in silence for a few more minutes before Kim spoke up again. “I really am sorry.”

“Me too.”

They stared at each other for another few moments. Ron broke the silence this time. “I never wanted to hurt you.”

“I know. You did what you had to. I probably wouldn’t have been able to do it.”

“You know I’ve always put you first.”

Kim nodded. It was true. Ron was always willing to sacrifice himself for her sake. It was the reason she had fallen in love with him in the first place.

“So do you really love Shego?”


“That’s nice.”

They stared at each other for another few moments before busting out laughing. It was just so ridiculous, to be facing off like this, when all either of them wanted to do was run across the room and embrace the other person in a hug. They decided to do just that.

“You know I'll always be here for you, KP,” Ron said. “I can get used to this. It’s not really all that surprising now that I think of it.”

Kim sniffed and wiped a tear from her eye as she separated from Ron and sat down next to him on the couch. “Really?”

“Really. I mean, the signs were there all along.”

“What signs?”

“Oh, I don’t know, maybe the fact that you jumped Shego every chance you got, you kept that picture of her in your locker, and you always called Drakken your arch-foe, not her,” Ron listed off the top of his head. “You always liked her. You just couldn’t see it ‘til now.”

“Yeah,” Kim said in a far off voice as she smiled reminiscently. She turned to Ron. “I’m glad we worked this out. Being away from you was one of the hardest parts of being free. I couldn’t live without you.”

Ron smiled; that was exactly what he had needed to hear. “Thanks, KP.”


“You think they’re done yet?” Shego whispered to Yori.

“It sounds as though they are laughing.”

“Showtime then.” Shego opened the door and went back into the living room with Yori to find a giggling Kim and Ron in the middle of what appeared to be a very happy reunion. “Looks like you two finally decided to make up.”

Kim smiled and got up, walking over to Shego and giving her a kiss. Ron grinned widely as Yori came up beside him. Shego spoke up. “Hate to call an end to all the touchy-feely crap, but Kimmie and I really gotta get ready for the temple gathering tonight.”

Yori nodded. “Ron-kun and I must also prepare. We will see you in a few hours.” She bowed and started walking towards the door. Ron followed and soon Kim and Shego were alone.

“Now then,” the green lady said. “What should we get you to wear tonight?”

Elsewhere in Zion, Morpheus got the feeling that something wonderful had just happened. He would have to see what it was later. Whatever it was, it brought a smile to his face.

That smile quickly faded as he arrived at his destination. Opening the heavy metal door, he entered a rather cluttered and cramped office that belonged to one Commander Jason Locke. The years had not been kind to the Commander, as his grey hair and stress-wrinkled face attested. His face was in a permanent scowl from the years of stress that he had endured since the end of the first war and the beginning of the current one. His loathing for Morpheus was especially personal.

“Morpheus,” he snarled as the bald Captain strode calmly into his lair.

“Commander Locke,” Morpheus addressed his superior courteously. The bitter old man took it as an insult, however, gnashing his teeth and glaring at the Captain.

“What exactly are you planning to say tonight at the temple gathering?” he demanded.

“What I have said for the past seventeen gatherings,” Morpheus replied calmly. “That Neo and Trinity died to save us, and that we must honor their memory.”

“That’s not what I meant,” Locke spat venomously. “What do you plan on doing with Kim Possible?”

“I am not sure I understand your question.”

Locke glared at the man before him. “You know damn well what I mean.”

“She is The One. Naturally she is to be given some recognition.”

“Dammit, Morpheus, that’s not all she is!” Locke thundered as he banged his hands on his desk and stood to his feet. “She’s not Neo, she’s Smith!”

“Actually, Commander, she is half-Neo and half-Smith,” Morpheus countered. (9)

“I don’t care what the hell she is,” the Commander snarled, leaning over his desk. “All I know is that she’s a threat to the security of this city. You know what happened last time Smith took control of one of our people.”

Morpheus nodded solemnly. “With all due respect, Commander, Bane did not have a choice in the matter. Kim can still resist Smith. Just earlier today she saved a boy from falling to certain death.”

“I. Don’t. Care,” Locke growled. “I never cared about The One or the prophecy, even if Neo did save our asses. All I’ve ever cared about is this city, and the safety of the people in it. And as long as that monster roams the streets, I can’t sleep, because I wonder just what’s going to happen when she loses the will to resist.” He sat back down and gestured for Morpheus to leave.

Just before he did, however, Morpheus turned around said seven simple words to the Commander: “And you wonder why she left you.” (10)

With that, he walked out the door, leaving the Commander alone in his narrow-minded paranoia.

Kim sat on her bed, eyes closed. Shego had a surprise for her. As much as she hated not knowing, the fact that it was a gift was enough to have her trembling with excitement. This was their first date. She always got nervous before a first date.

It was funny; in every other area of her life Kim was the girl who could do anything, confident and brave. But when it came to dating, she was the exact opposite. She was anxious and jittery. She shouldn’t be; she loved Shego and the two of them had done quite a few “relationship” things already, but the importance of the first date was still enough to make her a little nervous. Okay, a lot nervous. As the seconds wore on, it was becoming more than she could handle.

“Are you ready yet?” she called to Shego.

“Just about,” came the reply. Kim was finding it more and more difficult to keep her eyes closed. She had to know what the surprise was. Her entire body cried out to know the secret, but she remained steadfast. She wanted to show the older woman that she could be patient. But it was starting to become more trouble than it was worth.

“Alright, now no peeking,” Shego’s voice commanded as Kim heard the familiar footsteps of the pale woman entering the room. She did as promised and squeezed her eyelids shut, holding out her hands in anticipation. “Here.” Kim felt some sort of fabric placed into her hands. “Now open your eyes.”

Kim did as she was told, opening her eyes and looking down to the object in her lap. It was white; that was the first thing she noticed about it. It was also incredibly thin. She could see Shego through it. It was, however, thick enough in the right areas to allow her to maintain modesty. It was also made of a much finer material than the rough wool that composed her standard clothes. It was almost like silk. She was speechless. “Thank you,” she managed.

“My pleasure,” Shego replied with a grin.

“Why?” Kim asked, more out of curiosity than anything.

Shego smiled. “Don’t tell me you forgot your own birthday, Princess.”

Kim’s eyes went wide. She had forgotten! So many things had been happening recently that she failed to realize the significance of this day until Shego pointed it out to her just now. She smiled and stood up, draping her arms around the green woman. “Well this is the best present I ever could have asked for.”

“Why do I get the feeling you’re not talking about the dress?” Shego remarked before Kim closed the extremely short distance between their faces. The kiss was long and passionate, Kim’s way of showing gratitude. They eventually broke the kiss out of a mutual need for air.

“I’m gonna go change,” Kim whispered saucily. “Wait right here.”

As the younger woman sauntered off towards the bathroom, Shego bit her lip. Who would have thought that someone so innocent could be so sexy?

“Tonight marks the nineteenth anniversary of the end of the war,” Morpheus spoke in a booming voice as he addressed the entire adult population of Zion. “Even though we now find ourselves in a new conflict, the sacrifice that Neo and Trinity made to save us from certain death will never be forgotten.”

Behind Morpheus stood several of the other captains, as well as Commander Locke. Kim and Shego stood by Niobe, who was watching Morpheus intently.

Kim’s dress had turned out to be far more revealing than she’d thought. She’d grown accustomed to midriff-baring outfits over the years, but this outfit showed off a little too much skin for her tastes. The top was composed of two triangles that covered her breasts and met right above her abdomen, tied in the back. Below that, she wore a very short skirt that showed off her impressive legs. She was barefoot.

Shego was even less conservatively dressed, wearing a green and black outfit that was so sheer that Kim could see her discolored nipples. She wasn’t sure how she felt about that. Part of her was turned on by the sight, the other part wondered just how many other people were staring at her girlfriend. Jealousy had often found a home with Kim. It wasn’t that she was envious; she’d just never learned to share.

“Tonight we honor two heroes whose sacrifice allows us to stand here today,” Morpheus continued, snapping Kim out of her thoughts. “Tonight we remind the machines that we are forever free from their control. Tonight… we cherish the memory of Neo and Trinity, who gave their lives so that we might live.”

“Overemphasis much?” Kim whispered to Shego, who snickered. Their giggling was quickly cut short by Niobe, who cast a withering glare in their direction.

“Tonight we honor their deaths, and celebrate the new life that we have found. The human race is slowly but surely becoming free, and it is because us that the machines are losing their iron grip! They have never taken this city, and as long as we believe, they never will!”

The crowd cheered. Kim had to admit that for all his overly dramatic mannerisms, the man sure could move a crowd.

“I believe!” Morpheus shouted. “I believe that it is not because of chance that we are here, but because of choice! Not because of luck are we free, but because others sacrificed their lives so that we might be free! I believe that our time will come again, and the machines. Will. FALL! Try as they might, they will never overcome us! I believe that we are the thorn in their side; the one thing they cannot remove no matter how hard they try! I believe… that each and every one of you… holds in your mind… the one thing that the machines can never take away!”

He paused for a moment, allowing the crowd to fill the silence with applause that disappeared the moment he raised his voice again.

“In The Matrix, anything is possible,” he continued. “In The Matrix, we can be convinced that the old world still exists. They can blind us from the truth. They can take away our freedom of choice. They can make us believe anything they tell us to. But there is one thing they can never make us believe.” The crowd leaned forward as he paused. “Try as they might, the machines can NEVER convince us that WE are not REAL!”

The crowd roared in approval. Shego even nodded in agreement.

“COGITO! ERGO! SUM! (11)” Morpheus finished, holding up his arms in victory. This elicited a massive cheer from the audience, and Morpheus walked off the stage with his arm outstretched, reaching back to his people.

The band to his right began to play, and all the citizens of Zion began to dance to the rhythm. Kim stood still for now, waiting for Shego to decide what they should do. The green lady smiled and grabbed her by the hand, leading the redhead down to what looked like the world’s biggest rave.

Kim’s heart began to dance along with the hundreds of thousands of people who lined the cave. The heat caused sweat to emerge from her pores, soaking her outfit and making it stick to her wet skin. She held on to Shego’s hand, as though letting go would cause her to lose the pale woman forever.

Upon reaching a small clearing where they could dance, Shego turned around and moved her body close to Kim’s shaking her hips. The girl was a bit embarrassed at first, wondering if she should be doing this in front of so many people, but once she saw that everyone around her was doing the same, she began to loosen up and get into the rhythm. She smiled as she turned to the side and bumped Shego’s hip with her own.

Halfway across the cave, another couple was also engaged in dancing. Yori was careful not to get too close to Ron due to his infamous tendency to step on her feet whenever they danced, but once he had gained her trust she moved closer to him, teasing him with the inches that separated her body from his. Yori was not necessarily chaste, but she did have a sense of honor that was difficult to get past.

Still, she was less awkward than Ron, who was trying his hardest not to look at the dark nipples that could be clearly seen through Yori’s sweat-soaked top. Even though he was more than familiar with those features of his lover, he still had enough respect for her not to gawk. There was time for that kind of fun later. Right now he had to focus on dancing.

Kim was just as hesitant as Ron, but found herself staring at Shego anyway because the pale seductress was way more forward than Yori. Shego’s entire body swayed as she rocked back and forth, moving in time with the tantric beat that Kim was starting to lose herself in. It was strangely mesmerizing, and she felt herself thinking less and reacting more to the green woman’s advances.

Grabbing Kim’s wrists, Shego pulled the girl in closer and planted a kiss on her lips as she bucked her hips forward and brought their centers into contact. The rush of pleasure that Kim experienced caused her to shudder, goose-bumps popping up all over her sweaty skin. Her breath stuttered, and her eyes rolled into the back of her head as she embraced the moment of pure ecstasy.

Yori turned around, allowing Ron to come up from behind. Grabbing his wrists, the ninja rubbed his hands up and down the front of her body, stopping on the twin mounds that he had been trying not to focus on. Seeing that his lover wanted him there, however, Ron squeezed just enough to cause Yori to buck her hips backwards into a part of his anatomy that was becoming increasingly hard.

Ron moved his hands down to Yori’s hips, holding her steady as she ground her body against his. He exhaled on her cheek, and the dark-haired girl reached behind her and grabbed his head, pulling him in for a kiss that they held as she turned around to face him once more. Their hips moved in unison, colliding in time with the beat.

Kim didn’t know what sex was supposed to feel like, but this was pretty damn close. Really close, in fact. It got even closer when Shego reached her hand inside Kim’s top and gave one of her breasts a squeeze. The younger woman fought the urge to cry out as waves of pleasure surged through her. She opened her eyes and gazed upon the older woman with hunger. She moved her hands from their current spot on Shego’s lower back down to the pale woman’s perfectly formed ass, where she gave a tight squeeze.

Shego let out a loud moan, signaling to Kim that her efforts had been successful. The green woman pulled her in closer, splitting her mouth with that sharp cherry tongue and eagerly exploring her throat. Kim was all too happy to do the same.

Ron and Yori had started to move away from the crowd, towards the edges where they could make a hasty escape from the scene to satisfy a desire that both of them seemed to have. Their faces were locked; seemingly inseparable. And yet nobody noticed, which made it all too easy to slip back to their apartment.

Yori’s top was easily cast aside the moment they crossed the threshold, followed quickly by her very short skirt. Ron’s clothes came off next, and by the time they reached the bed they were completely nude.

Falling back supine, Yori beckoned Ron with a raised index finger that curled back towards her. The blonde was all too happy to comply, mounting her and attacking her with his lips once more. He took the top position, a rare position of power that he savored every moment of. The foreplay had been taken care of on the way over; the couple just got straight to business.

Ron was by no means a stud, but he was large enough to fill his lover, whose lack of experience before the blonde made her rather tight. Stoppable was all too happy to loosen her up. With Yori’s nod of approval, he moved forward, eliciting a cry from the dark-haired girl that brought him a sense of satisfaction.

It wasn’t their first time doing this, but there was a certain magic in the significance of this night that made their embrace more passionate than it had ever been before. Yori was making a number of delighted sounds; the feeling of being emptied then filled then emptied again was driving her crazy. She let loose a long wail as Ron hit the jackpot, giving her another orgasm with each thrust.

Back at the temple, Kim was experiencing pleasure of her own, though it had not developed into sex just yet. But the mutual fondling suggested that the girl’s innocence was no longer intact. Not that she cared. All that mattered right now was Shego. She lost herself in the sights, the smell, the sounds, the taste of the older woman who was working her like an accordion and bringing her to the edge of orgasm without even moving her hands south of the border, except perhaps to give Kim’s bubble butt a tight squeeze.

The night began to drag on as Kim lost herself in the beat. She was operating on instinct. Not thinking; reacting. There was a certain sensuality to all of this, and her rational side was being pushed away in favor of her animal desires that ran purely on lust and hunger, which were indistinguishable at the moment. Her hands moved up and down Shego’s sweaty body, and the same was done to her by the woman she loved. It felt good.

Really good.

Really, really good.

Kim let loose a loud shriek as Shego’s center touched hers, causing her to climax. Shego bumped her again, bringing forth another scream. The sounds of passion were drowned out by the crowd, who failed to notice the two of them as they became one. Kim thrust her neck forwards and met Shego’s lips, attempting to swallow the older woman whole.

Yes, this was it. This was what she wanted. All the troubles of the world faded away as she danced with Shego, losing herself in the passion. She could think about it tomorrow. She had all the time in the world. She wanted this moment to last forever; this moment to define their relationship from this point forward. Kim loved Shego. Shego loved Kim. And that was all that mattered.

1. Mercutio was Romeo’s best friend in Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” When he confronted Tybalt (and made a complete ass of himself in the process), he was stabbed, and died with everyone laughing at him, thinking it was a joke. Ron seems to have a similar problem.

2. For those of you who have trouble visualizing, I used Ghost’s Zen garden from the “Enter the Matrix” video game as a reference point for this arena.

3. A Japanese garment that functions similarly to a robe.

4. A sash worn with a kimono.

5. Wide-legged pants.

6. A very large Japanese sword that was said to have been designed to be used against cavalry, although it was rarely used for that purpose because not only were they difficult to wield and even more difficult to make given Japans limited supply of iron, but pole weapons like the naginata and nagamaki served the same purpose much more efficiently. Fittingly, the name translates to “field sword,” although some linguists claim that it shares the same root as “?dachi,” which means “large/great sword.” Sasaki Kojiro is said to have been a master of the nodachi, and is somewhat famous for losing to Musashi Miyamoto, whom some say was the greatest swordsman who ever lived.

7. Interesting note about the Katana: the sword was originally called a “tachi” when it was worn with the hilt down, then became a Katana when worn with the hilt up. It is a rather trivial detail, but I thought it was cool.

8. The witch in Hansel and Gretel was defeated when Gretel tricked her into bending over to check the oven, then pushed her into the oven and cooked her alive. Fairy tales are actually disturbingly violent when you think about it.

9. Another line lifted from Classic Cowboy. Consider it an homage.

10. That’s the last one, I swear. Classic Cowboy’s Matrix crossover was too good not to steal from.

11. I think; therefore I am.

End Notes:

Whew! Glad that’s done. This is the fastest I have ever achieved fifty thousand words with a story, and the fastest I have ever written a chapter of this length. And to think that I’ve written stories shorter than some of the scenes in here. It shows how far I’ve come as a writer.

Excuse the self-congratulatory remarks above. I tend to get a big head. I think it’s justified in this case. This chapter was a labor of love, and I doubt any of the subsequent chapters will match it. Still, hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.


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