Title: Green, Black and Blue (1/??)
Spoilers: Takes place after "An Unacceptable Sitch". Ignores the events of "Go Team Go".
Feedback: I hope everyone who was so helpful during the writing of "Unacceptable Sitch" will continue to give me their opinions.
Disclaimers: Kim Possible, Ron Stoppable, Shego, Wade, and all other characters from the Kim Possible television series belong to Disney, its television production arm, and the creators and producers of the animated series. All original characters are my invention. I seek no profit from writing this, and expect none.
Summary: As Kim and Shego gingerly try to strengthen the bond of friendship while finding new paths of their own, their pasts follow them everywhere.
Shego groaned as she bent over and retrieved her key from the pouch on her leg. After a month of physical training that had been infernally intense, a month in the tropics had seemingly caused her body to feel soft and mushy.
"I _am_ soft and mushy," she muttered. "Making nice with Possible like that . . ."
She frowned. At that moment, she didn't really feel annoyed or disappointed because she'd accepted the hand of friendship offered her. Shego instead regretted afterwards, when they'd been walking in silence back to Kim's apartment. She'd suddenly felt cornered, even a little frightened, and she'd begged off. Shego never even heard Kim's response to her request for a rain check, she'd dashed off so quickly, but she'd seen the disappointed look in Kim's eye.
Shego grumbled. She'd acted like a rabbit darting off the moment it heard human footsteps. Why did she behave like that?
That question, she felt, was as hard to answer as "Why had she gone with Kim in the first place?"
For now, she was stuck with her small, sparsely furnished apartment.
Shego unlocked the door, turned the knob, and opened it. Her apartment was pitch black inside.
Then the lights went on.
She put a hand protectively in front of her face, and then it dropped down, as she gaped in amazement.
Shockingly, Monkey Fist, Duff Killagan, Professor Dementor, DNAmy, and - Junior? The five villains were gathered in her apartment. Some of them looked a little older and a little grayer (Fist especially, thanks to the excessive amount of body hair) since the last time she'd seen most of them, but they weren't exactly easy to forget.
Most incredibly, a banner with the words "WELL DONE!" hung across one wall.
Recovering her wits, Shego crossed her arms and leaned one shoulder against the doorjamb. "Well, well," she purred. "It's like a mug book come to life."
"Ach, I hope you're not serious, lassie," Duff said, rubbing his chin. "I dinna think me mug shots do justice."
"Been a long time, Shego," Monkey Fist told her as he stepped forward.
"Monty," she replied. "What's with the gathering? Bridge club invitation?"
"Everybody knows what you did to the Acceptable Family, Shego," Monkey Fist said. "With a single stroke, you revitalized the entire world criminal community!"
"I was holed up - no pun intended, lass - on me island for years," Duff complained. "My fairways were becoming fouler by the day!"
"I had to take refuge in the jungles of Africa," Monkey Fist said. "It was easier than jail, or what they did to Junior here, or playing their protection racket."
"Protection?" she asked.
"Extortion racket!" Dementor cried, squeezing his fist and shaking it in the air. "Do you realize how much money they charged me _not_ to hand me over to the authorities? I probably could have rebuilt my lair _twice_ with that kind of money!"
"I had to sell some of my prized Cuddle Buddies," DNAmy moaned. "And they don't fetch the same prices they did a few years ago!"
Shego raised an eyebrow. "You're looking better, Junior."
He stood up and shrugged. "You know, private islands. You're looking well yourself."
"Does this mean I'm forgiven?" she asked sarcastically.
Junior smiled. "I would have told you so sooner, but you are so good at disappearing."
"Yes, where have you been?" Monkey Fist asked. "We would have done this sooner, but - "
"Well, first I was in Hawaii," Shego said casually. "But I left after a few days . . ."
Shego leaned back and sighed contentedly. She'd always stuck to the Caribbean and Mediterranean in the past, but this was a new era for her, and she'd decided to hit the Pacific for the first time. She'd found the quietest little beach on a Hawaiian island. The only other tourist there was a fat man who evidently forgot his sunscreen.
She smiled as she put her sunglasses back on.
Then she heard a noise. It sounded like a dune buggy.
"Ugh!" she growled, propping herself up on her elbows. If teenagers were going to go flying by every half hour in their stupid beach vehicles, she was going somewhere else.
Shego lowered her sunglasses as the buggy came into view. It appeared to be driven by a nine year-old.
Being dragged behind it as it clung for dear life was what appeared to be a large shark with arms and legs. A small blue dog was on the shark-thing's head, pulling back on its ears and cackling viciously.
Okay, so it was a shark with arms, legs, and ears.
She turned her head slowly and watched it roar off in the other direction without slowing down. "Curse you, abominaaaaation!!!!" the shark man shouted as the odd parade vanished in the distance.
Shego blinked once, and then again.
Then she reached over and got her cell phone. "All I ask for is a _little_ peace and quiet. I should've gone to Barbados," she muttered as she dialed her travel agent.
When she finished speaking, everyone turned their heads and looked at DNAmy.
"It wasn't one of mine!" she said instantly. "It certainly didn't sound like any Cuddle Buddy I ever owned, and believe me, I owned them all." She tapped her chin. "Maybe I should unpack my bathing suit and fly out there."
DNAmy had never exactly been on the svelte side, and she'd gained at least twenty pounds since the last time Shego had seen her. The thought of her in a two-piece made Shego shiver.
"So you came to throw me a party?" Shego asked, banishing all thoughts of a bikini-clad DNAmy from her mind. "Because I hope you brought alcohol. My cabinet's dry."
"Actually," Monkey Fist said carefully, "we came to make you an offer, Shego."
She wasn't surprised. "What kind of offer?" she asked, folding her arms.
"Since you appear to be without a contract, we thought you would be interested in coming to work for one of us," Fist replied. "After all, if you choose the right one, you could be helping a certain monkey master rule the world one day."
"You're daft, lad!" Killagan shouted. "That's my private eighteen holes you're talkin' aboot."
"You would be most handsomely compensated," Dementor promised. "Certainly anyone would be lucky to have one of your reputation at their side."
"I'm not a sidekick any more," Shego told them. "I'm through taking orders from people. More importantly," she continued, "I'm not sharing living quarters with a pack of monkeys." She turned to look at Killagan. "And I hate golf. And I've worked for enough mad scientists, so that rules both of you out," she added, pointing at Dementor and DNAmy.
"What about me?" Señor Senior Junior asked calmly.
"Well, I do know my way around the island," she acknowledged.
He looked away. "Actually, eh, I am basing my lair in other quarters. It seems my father is no longer interested in world domination. Now he has this insane idea that he can make little naked rodents into popular pets," he muttered.
Shego chuckled. "The old man did carry that mole rat around a lot near the end."
"But Shego, you never had to ask for an equal footing," Junior told her. "You gave me my first lessons in real villainy. I could never be your employer. Only your equal," he said.
She smiled at him. "You know, if things were different, I could really get used to that," she replied.
Junior frowned at her. "Is that a no?"
What surprised Shego was not that she had declined their offers. What surprised her was how little they had appealed to her.
Which suggested that Kim Possible's trust meant more to her than she'd previously admitted. The thought staggered her.
"There is something else we want, Shego," Professor Dementor told her. "While we were waiting, Junior was telling us the most interesting things he'd heard from his father about you and . . . Kim Possible."
Their smiles made Shego think that they'd known about Kim long before tonight. "Yeah, so?" she asked, shrugging. "We both got what we wanted."
"And surely you have all kinds of information on her," Monkey Fist said cunningly. "Information we would pay dearly for."
"What exactly were you looking for, Monty?" Shego inquired. "Me, or Possible?" She was irritated by the idea that this was all an elaborate ruse to gather secrets about Kim's fighting skills. She wasn't able to resent Kim, however.
She was definitely able to resent them, though.
"Let's just say we have different priorities," Monkey Fist answered.
"Yeah, well, any special insight I might have into Kim Possible is too valuable to sell to any of you," Shego said. "I like having an advantage of my own. So I really appreciate the visit, but I'm feeling strangely tired," she went on, drifting over to the front door. "Maybe you all should get back to whatever evil blueprints you're working on."
They didn't seem to be taking the hint, and she opened the door, waving her hand in a 'let's go' gesture.
"Am I late?"
Shego froze. Slowly she turned to look at the voice behind her. "Dr. D?" she asked, astonished.
He grinned at her. Instead of replying, his fingers darted toward her face, as if he wanted to caress her.
Her instincts were as good as they were the night they invaded the Acceptable headquarters, and she just barely snapped her head back, so that his hand parted the air in front of her face. Her first thought was that he'd tried to liberate one of her hairs - always obsessing over cloning her!
As she backed away, however, Shego realized what she'd seen between two of his fingers - a little red square.
"That had better not be what I think it is," Shego said, her voice shaking with anger.
"You're looking well, Shego," Dr. Drakken replied, straightening after he'd almost fallen over when he missed. He stepped forward and closed the door behind him. "Better than the last time I saw you. When was that again? Oh yes, when you visited me in prison. And decided _you weren't going to get me out of there!_ Do you know how long I was in there?!"
"About as long as I was in an Acceptable cell," she snapped, unable to feel sorry for him.
"Perhaps," he said as they formed a ring around her. "Luckily my _true_ fellow villains recently were more generous than you. You know, I did learn one very interesting thing that day I used my mind-control chip on you, Shego. I learned how my victims know what's happening to them, but are powerless to stop it. I think that as much as I will enjoy seeing you beg me on your knees for forgiveness, I will enjoy even more the thought of the real you trapped inside, feeling all that humiliation."
Shego tightened her fists, trying to put aside her rage and focus. She was in a closed space with several villains, none of whom appeared very friendly at the moment. Beating them was possible, but she decided that her main goal was just getting out of there. "You really want to go back there, Doc?" she asked icily. "You remember what I did to you the last time?"
Drakken looked briefly frightened, but he recovered. "I'll have you know I've made improvements! When this goes on, it's never coming off."
"Hm. Uh-huh, right. Why is it every time you bring out that chip, I seem to be surrounded by _dodos_?!"
"Ha, Shego! You still don't know dodos are extinct!"
"She was insulting us, you moron," Dementor muttered.
"Oh, ah, yes, well - you see? That's the kind of disrespect this chip is going to end!"
"Enough talking," Monkey Fist ordered. He pointed a finger, and several small black-and-brown shapes came running out of Shego's bedroom. "Monkey ninjas - "
"If your little chimps got into my closet, you're going to hurt twice as much, Donkey Fist!" Shego warned him, assuming a fighter's stance.
Earlier Shego had felt as if her body was nowhere near the peak level of efficiency it had attained on the Seniors' island. Now, however, as the adrenaline coursed through her veins, she found she didn't feel quite so slow after all. Later, when she looked back, she felt it was one of her finest moments.
Despite being outnumbered, she had several advantages. One, her opponents were practically crowding into each other, forcing them to avoid each other's attacks, while Shego could land her blows wherever she liked. Two, some of them weren't really what you could call "fighters".
Three, she was the deadliest woman on the planet. Kim Possible might be stronger, but that was a question that would probably never be satisfactorily answered.
"Go pound some sand, lassie!" Killagan screamed as she grabbed one monkey by the tail and swung him around her head, striking Drakken in the face. His driver arced toward her head.
She easily dodged as she continued to pummel anything that got in her way. Shego's body gracefully slipped in between kicks and punches, but gradually her body was absorbing damage, especially from the little claws and teeth of the monkeys.
"Would you really hurt your fellow member of the old cellblock, Shego?" Junior asked as he appeared before her.
"No," she said, feeling the wind move behind her. She ducked, and Killagan's club struck Junior in the mouth, bowling him over. "I am willing to let you get hurt, though."
Two minutes later, however, Shego was running low on banter. She was backed against the wall, favoring one leg, as a half-circle of bruised and battered villains cautiously approached her. Except for DNAmy, who had avoided fighting and lurked in the corner.
"To think that you take Kim Possible's side over our own," Monkey Fist sneered, wiping blood away from the corner of his mouth.
"I never said I did," Shego retorted.
"Junior says he learned a lot from his father's security cameras," Fist replied. "Apparently you two were - close."
She growled at him, flashing her claws. But it looked like there was no escape for her. "You come near me with that chip again, Drakken, and I'm introducing your testicles to your neck."
"Now, DNAmy!" Drakken cried.
"With pleasure," she said from the corner as she pushed a button on a device in her hands.
Shego felt the tremors before she heard anything. Turning around, she backed away from the wall as it smashed apart, revealing a gray monstrosity with a single horn on its nose. "A rhinoceros - with a rabbit?" she said disbelievingly.
"Get her!" DNAmy called out.
The creature loomed above her. Finding the ceiling a little low, it tried to leap on top of her.
Shego nimbly darted between its legs and allowed it to crash behind her, momentarily blocking the others' way. Then she realized the convenient escape route left for her through the hole in the wall. "Thanks, DNAmy!" she called mockingly. "For that, here's a tip! Try the South Beach diet!"
DNAmy, who was already comforting her injured genetic creation, squawked in fury.
"As for the rest of you," Shego said as she backed out of the hole, not losing sight of her enemies as they began climbing over DNAmy's pet despite the scientist's cries of outrage, "I will rededicate the rest of my life to ruining the rest of yours!"
She'd been in prison for a long time, but she really needed to catch up on her TV watching. She was quoting sitcoms that were several years old.
Then she vanished into the night, running as fast as her injured leg could take her.
The animal screams of Fist and his ninjas filled the air behind her.
Kim covered her mouth as she yawned, shuffling toward the apartment door. She'd been snatched from badly needed sleep by an insistent knocking that refused to stop. "If Ron flew out for an impromptu visit and forgot about the time zones," she thought, "I'm going to leave him out there."
She leaned forward as she reached the door and looked through the peephole. It was dark in the hallway, but the silhouette was unmistakable. "Shego," she whispered.
She'd been very disappointed when Shego bolted earlier that night, like she'd had some brilliant bird in her hands, only to watch it fly away. Kim hadn't complained, though. She understood that even now, their bond was fragile, and she was willing to let Shego determine the speed with which it evolved.
Kim had just hoped it was not the last time she would see the strikingly clad beauty. Evidently it was not.
She hurriedly unlocked the door and opened it. "Shego?" she asked.
"Yeah," Shego said, lurking in the shadows. "Thought maybe I'd join you after all," she added nonchalantly.
Kim opened the door wide. "Come in," she said, forgetting about going back to bed. If Shego had come directly with her, she never would have turned in anyway.
Shego silently walked past her, casting her eyes back and forth suspiciously, as if she expected GJ agents to jump out at any second. She dragged one foot slightly.
"What happened?" Kim asked, worried as she instantly noticed the limp.
"It's nothing," Shego muttered, shrugging. The motion revealed the tears in the back of her outfit.
"Shego!" Kim said, turning on the light. Both women's eyes had grown used to the dark, and they squinted briefly before facing each other. Kim was shocked to see Shego looking like she'd been attacked by a swarm of rats. "You were fine an hour ago!"
"You should see the others," Shego replied, noting Kim's tousled appearance, dressed only in a T-shirt and cotton pajama pants. "You were sleeping," she realized. "I'd better go."
"Absolutely not," Kim said, blocking her way. "You are going to sit on that couch," she told her, pointing the way, "and wait there while I get some bandages."
Shego rolled her eyes. "I can take care of myself, you know," she mumbled.
"Then why are you here? And what happened to you?"
"I'll tell you later," Shego said as she turned toward what was too small to be considered a "living room". It was more of an "existing room".
Kim suddenly remembered the box she'd left on the couch, and she hurried past Shego, shoving the box and its contents under some throw pillows. "I'll be right back."
"What was that?" Shego asked.
"What was what?"
"That thing you obviously didn't want me to see," she said, her eyes darkening.
"Nothing! Just making room," Kim said unconvincingly. She rushed toward the bathroom and hoped Shego would accept her explanation.
"What the hell?!" she heard Shego say as she was getting what she needed from the cabinet.
Trust Shego not to trust her just yet.
Kim slowly came back in and found Shego holding up a wrinkled pile of green and black fabric. "What's this?" Shego asked, looking like she didn't know what was going on.
"You know what it is," Kim said.
"Yeah, but where did you get this?!" Shego began to rise.
"Come on, Shego," Kim said plaintively. "Do you have to try and run off every time something unexpected happens?"
"Yes!" Shego retorted.
Kim sighed. "Do you remember that time Dr. Drakken used those chips on us?"
Shego started. "Déjà vu," she murmured.
"Nothing. I remember. What about it?"
"Well, Drakken made me wear one of your outfits, and I still had it on when I got home," Kim told her. "My first impulse was to burn it, just so I wouldn't have to remember what Drakken did to me. But, um . . ."
Kim looked exasperated. "Mom didn't want me wasting good material like that," she muttered.
Shego stared for a moment before she grinned. "She had better taste than you did, obviously."
"Obviously," Kim replied drolly. "Anyway, I ended up sticking it in a box and shoving it in the attic, so I didn't have to think about it ever again." She shrugged helplessly. "After that day on the island, I decided I wanted to get it out again."
Shego looked surprised, and then annoyed. "I totally forgot about that time. Guess I didn't want to think about it either. So when you tried my outfit on at Senior's island, it wasn't the first time. It was the second time. But you made it sound like you always wanted to try it out."
"I _did_," Kim shot back, frustrated by Shego's insistence on finding cause for doubt. "I don't think that day counted. I wasn't given a choice. When it was over, I just wanted to get it off and forget Drakken ever used my body like that." She looked away. "It totally spoiled the moment."
"Oh," Shego said, looking mollified. "So - have you tried it on again?"
"No," Kim admitted. "I took it out, looked at it, but . . . I decided not to, for some reason. Maybe I just needed someone to be there, tell me what they thought."
Shego looked down. "Funny you should mention Drakken and his mind control chips. He got out of prison, you know."
"Beats me. But he showed up at my apartment tonight, along with all your old archvillains. They claimed to be there to thank me for stopping the Acceptables, but really they just wanted me to be their sidekick. Then they wanted information on you. Then they just wanted to take over my mind and use me," Shego muttered angrily.
Kim sat next to her carefully. "I'm sorry," she said.
"Don't feel sorry for me," Shego said. "Because I took them on, and I lived to tell the tale." She rolled her eyes. "Why do I always seem to end up at your place in the middle of the night, with bad guys on my tail?"
"At least you used the door this time," Kim said, smiling a little.
Shego blinked, but then she laughed softly. "I never thought I'd have manners," she said.
"So who was there? Monkey Boy?"
Shego nodded. "All three, plus DNAmy and Senior Junior," she said. "It looks like they've all unretired with the Acceptables gone, just like you."
Kim grumbled. "Great. Almost makes me wish the Acceptables were still in charge."
The woman next to her stiffened, and her eyes flashed. "Wouldn't that be great," she said sardonically, standing up.
Horrified, Kim rose a split second later. "Oh, Shego, I'm sorry! I didn't mean it! I, I said 'almost'! You know I could never have left you at their mercy."
"You were just speaking your mind, is all," Shego shot back, looking more hurt than angry. "I knew I couldn't - "
Kim's arms shot out. Grabbing Shego by the shoulders, she pulled her into a hug. The brunette stood stiff as a board, stunned by the unexpected gesture.
"Please forgive a girl for a thoughtless remark, Shego," Kim murmured into her ear. "I'm willing to face all those clowns again, if it means having you safe, and as a friend. Please stay. If they chased you out of your own apartment, stay the night. I want you to."
Shego slowly disengaged herself. "All - all right," she said hesitantly. "I forgive you. Just don't say anything like that again!" she added heatedly.
"I won't," Kim promised. "So you'll stay?"
"Fine," Shego sighed. "Only I'm not up for talking. So you'll have to save the heart-to-heart for another night."
"That's fine," Kim said. "Sit down and let me help you out of your clothing."
Shego looked at her and smiled oddly. "You propositioning me?"
Kim flushed. "No! I meant so I could check your wounds."
"Ohh," Shego said knowingly. "You're not interested. I'm not pretty enough for you?"
Kim smiled, still quite red. "Believe me, Shego - if I was into girls, you would be the first one on my list."
Shego smiled back, a little uncertainly. "I guess I believe you. I'm not used to being hugged like that."
"How horrible," Kim said. "You deserve a little affection."
"Uh, Kim? Remember the no talking agreement?"
"Right, sorry." Kim helped her strip to her waist, revealing quite pale skin and a bra. "Just one more thing, though."
Shego groaned. "What?"
"There's just the one bed. I'll take the couch, okay?"
"Well," Shego said, grinning slyly, "if you're sure you're not interested, then there's no reason why we can't share a bed, right?"
Kim's cheeks had been returning to normal, but now they pinked a little. "Okay," she said.
Later that night, as they slipped into Kim's bed having kept the promise not to say anything more, Kim looked at Shego, seeming almost fragile in her white bandages, and wondered how her life had changed so since the night before. And why she liked it so.
To be continued . . .