I wrote this in my free time between writing sessions and really wanted to release it to show I still have plans and interest in sticking with this series. I also just really wanted to do a Kim/ Shego focused story (Mostly. Can't leave the others out) and this is my Valentine's Day gift to them.

If anyone's interested in seeing other character's Valentine's, just make the suggestion and I'll contemplate depending upon demand. Just don't expect anything too soon; my agent is cracking the whip as we speak. -_-

Fair warning, I gave this a T rating, but the last scene traipses into M territory. It's not graphic, but I don't want to offend the children.

Kim Possible is owned by Disney and I take no credit for its characters or creation.

Kim Possible: Of Hearts and Heroes

A sudden, deliberate pounding jostled Kim from the wonderful, restful sleep she'd been experiencing and she wished it would go away or be someone who gave up easily. It was too comfy; she was too content these days and resting was a luxury she hadn't taken advantage of in so long. They hadn't had a big mission in months, not since before the Christmas gala and that had been already two months ago.

The combination of Team Possible and now Team Hench had all but turned the villain community into a shell of its former self, leaving only natural disasters and random favors as their pastimes. She would usually be stifled without action to preoccupy her, but the scrappy teen hero was just far too happy with her normal life at the moment to care. Besides, if it was an emergency, then someone would have chirped her kimmunicator.

The pounding continued and the body beneath her let out a low, rumbling growl as Shego threw the blankets off herself.

"Oh, someone is dying this morning," she began to sit up, but Kim laid a calming hand across her.

"Lay back down, baby. I got it."

The younger girl, more energetic at this time of the morning anyways, bounced out of bed as her moody girlfriend snatched the covers back over herself. Kim was at the door before whoever it was outside had a chance to rile the plasma thrower up with more knocking.

She threw open the door, expecting many people, but not quite expecting the pretty brunette from her high school days.

"Hiya, K," Bonnie seemed abnormally giddy this morning.

"Hiya," Kim tossed back with confusion.

Silence immediately followed. Both girls had gotten much friendlier over the past few months, but there was still a hint of resentment for the childish things they'd done to one another in what seemed like entirely different lives ago. Bonnie opened her mouth a tad, but all she could manage was a faint exhale before closing it again.

"Water under the bridge," Kim said suddenly and Bon blinked confusion. "You look like you have something important to say, so I'll start first. Everything we ever did to one another, every barb, insult, and ill-intentioned trick, is officially null and void. We're even now. Deal?"

Bonnie couldn't have looked any more shocked, but she did let an exuberant smile cross her features as she absorbed what Kim had said. Kim enjoyed that smile more than she'd expected and she wasn't sure why. If anything, she assumed it was because she liked seeing people happy. Bonnie had been immeasurably happy since the gala and Kim knew exactly why.

"How are you and Betty?" she asked, spurring conversation.

The brunette bit her lip, but not at all in a negative way. Kim had seen that little quirk before on many girls in high school and had even caught herself doing it in times recent. It was a good sign as far as the redhead was concerned.

"I actually came about that," Bonnie finally stepped inside and, surprise of surprises, grabbed one of Kim's hands in her own. "You know what this weekend is."

How could she not? "Valentine's Day."

"Valentine's Day," Bonnie breathed the words as though they were sacred. "K, I don't know what to get her. I've been wracking my brain for days and I can't come up with anything…I need help."

"I got help for ya!" Shego called from the bedroom. "It's a punch to the stomach for waking me up! Happy Valentine's!"

"Big talk!" Bonnie barked back. "I guess that means you've already gotten Kim something if you can afford to lie in bed!"

Silence responded, which drew a satisfied grin from the brunette.

"I…," Kim rubbed her head…"actually haven't gotten her anything yet, either."

"Knew it!" Shego said.

"Perfect!" Bonnie almost hopped. "Well, not that we're all a bunch of procrastinating losers, but that makes this whole affair easier."

Shego appeared in the doorway to their room, "Do not say the word affair while holding my woman's hand."

Bonnie immediately released Kim, but still stood her ground as the raven haired woman approached. Shego made a show of leaning onto Kim, wrapping her arms around her in a clearly possessive show of affection.

"Spill it, Rockwaller," Sheridan commanded.

"Betty thinks it's a good idea that we split into two groups," Bonnie was animated now. "Couples split and make a group day out of finding presents for each other."

Shego scoffed, "I'm shopping with Kimmie. No way am I tolerating multiples of the peanut gallery for a whole day."

Kim leaned into her and nuzzled her neck, "It sounds like fun, Sheri. Consider it a team building exercise. Pleeeease?"

She felt the taller woman exhale before planting a kiss on her shorter lover's ear, "Always with the elongated pleases. You know I can't resist those."

"Then why try?" Kim giggled and ran her lips across that perfect, green skin for good measure.

Bonnie watched the exchange with an interest that hadn't been there before, at least as far as Kim knew. She could almost picture the images in the teen's head, clearly of herself and Betty doing these things. She was forced to snap her old nemesis out of her reverie if they were going to get anything accomplished today.

She promised to be down shortly for breakfast as Bonnie – Bonnie Rockwaller – gave a little pleased squeal and hugged Kim violently before motoring downstairs. Not in a million years would she have believed that exchange had just taken place, but she knew all too well the reasoning behind it.

People were at their greatest when happy. Bonnie's happiness made her overcome her superior attitude enough to treat Kim like they'd been friends for years. Admittedly, Kim was just as much to blame for their continued rivalry, but she had her own happiness that helped her transcend her old high school conflicts.

She was held by that reason now and she squeezed the strong arms that embraced her with so much affection. She glanced into their bedroom, saw the box on her nightstand that held that beautiful ring, and knew, just absolutely knew, she would never be happier than she was now.

Shego couldn't remember a time in her life where she'd been so boringly all-encompassing in her utter contentment. For so long, her mornings consisted of training, light breakfast to avoid the ill effects of overeating, generous amounts of coffee, and then psyching herself up for that day's illegal activities. She looked back on them with fondness still, understanding those days contributed to the person she was today. Still, her contentment was absolutely nothing in comparison to the things she felt now.

Her mornings were this now: she sat at their meal table, like every morning, with the people she'd come to see as friends and family. In her lap was the beautiful redhead she loved; the girl she woke up every morning next to like the ending to a perfect dream every day. Kim was so light, so flawless in every physical detail, making Shego believe she could stay there all day and she'd never require a break.

Without words, Kim coaxed her lover's mouth open and fed her a fork full of scrambled eggs. That juvenile, childish display should have turned her stomach or sent her into a groaning fit that lasted hours. Instead, she felt her face warm uncontrollably and it had nothing to do from the delicious meal. This was her life now and she couldn't comprehend it being any other way.

They didn't really speak to one another, instead allowing their deep understanding of each other as a guide for action. Kim merely giggled softly as she scooped another offer for Shego. The former villain simply stared into the girl's eyes, those magical orbs that conveyed so much emotion.

Shego saw only love in those eyes and it humbled her every day. Kim didn't need to say anything; her gaze alone expressed the extent of what she felt, an entirely positive trait when one wore their heart on their sleeve. Shego, on the other hand, didn't know how to say these things, whether verbally or physically.

She could only fill her mind during their silence with all of the things she could never adequately express to the teen. How could she tell her and not make it sound hokey or lame? What words were perfect enough to tell Kim Possible that she was the center of her world? That little redhead had saved her from so much personal destruction. She took a former thief for what she was, imperfect and flawed, and accepted her without question.

Shego knew she was exceptional; there was never any question of that. She was smart, gorgeous, and possessed unlimited talent. She loved the person she was…but she loved the person Kim had made her even more. How could she even begin to describe to the girl how precious she was for doing that? She never could. Not a single string of words in any living or dead language would suffice, and thus she simply sat there and stared.

"Are you ever going to blink?" the redhead chuckled, but her face lit slightly in an attempt to match her hair.

That was too much. Shego snatched the fork from her Kimmie's hand and slammed it down on the table before pulling her into a kiss. A muffled sound of exclamation echoed into her that was followed by a slight moan of pleasure. She didn't care that she had bits of egg in her mouth; Shego wanted to possess those lips direly.

They were at that for a minute straight before releasing, Kim's gasp of inhalation doing wonders for Sheridan's already swimming head. They were centimeters away as Kim breathed into her mouth and she inhaled that combination of mouthwash and a unique smell that only Kim possessed. It was intoxicating.

"Hey," Drakken whined. "No hanky panky at the table. We're eating."

"Tell that to the other end too," Monique mumbled.

Shego looked past to see Betty and Bonnie had officially lost themselves in each other's mouths. Combined with Ron and Yori snuggling over their food and Wade and Yoko making goo goo eyes with one another, one would almost think the most romantic holiday in the world was nearing. Not that she gave any credence to the stupid day. Valentine's was a marketing scheme, plain and simple. Shego detested any day that expected people to "prove" their love by buying useless crap. Everyday could be like that if you were shallow. Shego would know, after all.

The only thing that halted her voicing of these beliefs was her knowledge that Kim was a sap for romantic garbage and was actively looking forward to the holiday. Sheridan would play along, if for no other reason than to see that beaming smile she adored.

Betty actively had to detach herself from her new squeeze, "Okay, okay; we can't keep this up all day."

Bonnie growled playfully, seeing it as a challenge, but she stayed her libido for the time being. Shego couldn't tell exactly, but it seemed Betty was still unused to their public display. It had taken her weeks to finally allow the other team members to know they were an item and she still was somewhat hesitant to show off. The old maid probably hadn't had anyone in so long, so this was her formative years all over again. Shego found some perverse joy in that.

Kim still held a firm grasp on her lover, "So, what's this about shopping teams?"

Betty replied, "Basic team building. We're a great unit, but we tend to pair off in our comfort zones: Yori always with Ron and Kim always with Shego. We need more diversity in case a mission comes along wherein we don't get to decide the participants. That…plus some of us aren't exactly punctual shoppers and we're effectively killing two birds with one stone."

"So, who are the teams?" Ron said between a mouthful.

"Kim, Yori, Bonnie and Yoko for Team One," she gestured to each, making sure they nodded in approval.

Shego took note of Nerdlinger's girlfriend, the most recent addition to their team out of sheer necessity to take some of the workload off of Wade. She had proved to be invaluable with computers, but she was useless in almost every other regard. She had no desire to do much besides keep Wade company, but that seemed to be enough for the group's sake. Plus, she made the little, chubby geek happy, so points for that.

"Ron, Shego, Wade and I will be Team Two," Betty continued. "I suggest deciding now where we'll be perusing wares so as to not bump into one another and spoil the surprises."

"Middleton Mall!" Bonnie called, effectively deciding for their group.

"You coming with, Mon?" Kim made sure to include her currently single friend out of the sheer kindness of her big, fluffy heart.

Monique, clearly bugged by the outgoing shows of affection all morning, looked as though she were on the verge of writing the whole group off.

She sighed, "Nothing better to do."

Shego was rather sure the girl had only agreed seeing as how the couples would be split and she'd be spared more impromptu make out sessions she was forced to stomach. Despite herself, the older woman did feel sorry for her in a sense. It must suck being surrounded by happy people and being lonely. Kim was sure to give her all the attention she required, seeing as that's how good of friends they were.

"What about you, Drakken?" Yoko offered.

"Valentine's Day. Ick," the blue man made a face. "No thank you. I have more important things to do than wax nonsense with the other puppy dog-eyed pea brains this holiday beckons to."

"That's not nice, doctor!" CiCi scolded while cleaning dishes. "I was hoping to go see Oliver and Vivian today!"

"I'm sure Vivian would love to see you," Wade wiggled his eyebrows at him.

Drew blew a dismissive breath, "Please. She's practically a child compared to me. No matter how intelligent she is. CiCi is more than welcome to visit them, but I have serious work to be done."

"Almost done with the new moped, doc?" Ron called.

Drakken smiled cockily, "I assure you, Stoppable. You won't be disappointed."

Ron gave a boo-yah as everyone chatted about their desired shopping destinations. Sheridan was already bored with the mundaneness of their breakfast conversation, but she held her sarcastic spurs and instead focused on the excited redhead. Kim was so looking forward to this day and Shego grinned in her own secret anticipation.

Oh, Kimmie. If only you knew how great it was going to be.

Bonnie was in top form for shopping, a pastime she excelled in during her high school years. While Kim had never accompanied her on these excursions, the stories from Tara, Hope and some of the other cheerleaders were more than adequate to convey just how deftly the brunette could go from store to store and pinpoint sales and special deals. She almost seemed to have a clairvoyant penchant for it.

Even weirder, Bon had made speaking to Kim first a priority throughout the day so far. While she didn't ignore Mon or Yori, she always made sure to question Kim first whenever a decision needed to be made over size, color, and style. Kim always ended up tossing the conversation to Mon, who was the expert after all.

Bonnie's insistence on her was bizarre, but the redhead was sure she knew the reason. She saw her former rival as a kindred spirit of sorts due to their similar taste in older women. Either that, or they were legitimately starting to like one another and Kim was almost one hundred percent sure that was lunacy.

Between her indecisiveness over what to buy Shego, Kim also made a point to deflect any potential suitors for herself directly towards her BFF. Kim wore her ring with pride and made no hesitation in showcasing it to anyone who even mildly flirted. However, Monique seemed…uninterested and only fairly polite to any boy who showed her attention. This worried Kim, but she had already spoken to her friend at length about her belief that she needed to spend some time alone to sort out her emotions. Kim just hoped this was good for her mental health.

"Mon, I need help!" Bonnie had rushed ahead into a sporting outlet for women and was waving them down.

"I can't give her the help she needs," Mon mumbled as she made for the brunette.

Kim chuckled and wished her luck as she left.

"Do you wish to accompany me to the local game store?" Yori asked as she pointed out the store almost opposite the sport outlet.

"Why not?" Kim shrugged. "What about you, Yoko?"

The little Asian looked at her nervously and Kim had to marvel at how completely inept the girl seemed in a public environment. She seemed fine at the hotel and was okay in open spaces, but something about the densely packed humanity inside the mall had her squirrelly and twitching. Not to mention, Kim had noticed the girl refused to make eye contact with her specifically.

"I'll, uh, go with Monique…if that's okay," she squeaked.

"That's fine, dear," Yori patted her in an effort to calm her.

Yoko scrunched into herself as she made for the other girls.

"She's very…eccentric," Kim tried to make it sound like a compliment.

"She is quite terrible with people," Yori actually chuckled that one out. "She seems to be rather intimidated by you."

"What did I do?"

"Nothing, Kim. She just appears to possess very little self-esteem. She possibly feels inadequate next to you, as many women do."

Kim frowned as they made for the game store, "I don't mean to."

"No one believes you do. But you must understand that there are many people who wish to be like you and simply cannot. Some resent this fact while others merely make peace with it."

"Well, those people need to focus on what makes them cool. Yoko can do things with a computer I can only dream about."

Yori began to dig through a bin of games, clearly looking for something Ron didn't already own, "And you are beautiful, athletic, confident…"

"Okay, okay, you're making me blush here."

Yori laughed warmly and pulled out a game, "Metal Gear Solid?"

"He owns all of them," Kim answered.

"Resident Evil?"

"He says those aren't good anymore."

"Tenchu: Stealth Assassins?"

"He returned that one. Said he can't play something that hits so close to home."

Yori went silent as she placed the game back. Kim saw her face morph into one of worry and a slight hint of sorrow.

"You okay?" Kim was next to her in an instant.

"I should know these things. I try to commit them to memory: every case, every character he speaks of with fondness. But…I feel I am out of my league with some of his hobbies."

Kim put an arm around her and felt her lean into the embrace, "It's alright. I don't even know all that much and he's been drilling this crap into my head for over a decade."

Yori closed her eyes, "I still…I don't know if I'm doing the right things as his girlfriend. I've never been with someone for this long and Yamanouchi was not exactly accepting of relationships between students. He is so sweet, so he will never admonish me for my lack of experience or outright say I have done wrong. I sometimes feel like I disappoint him more often than he lets on."

Kim straightened her so they were locking eyes, "Yori, you have no idea just how enamored he is with you. He's lucky to have you."

Kim saw the desire to believe that in her doe eyes, but there was a hint of doubt.

"I used to think he wished I was you," Yori whispered.

Kim's grip tightened before she released the girl out of sheer shock she would say such a thing. Yori leaned over the bin and began to rummage aimlessly as she continued.

"After the two of you separated, he came to us a broken man. He was not the Ron I had known. In time, he regained some of that smile, but he carried a terrible burden from those days onward. We began seeing each other less than a month after his arrival. I always cared for him, but I made peace with the fact that you were his destiny. He may have kissed me, but I had convinced myself he thought of you. I was like Yoko: I was intimidated by who you were and what you represented. I was merely the silver medal to your gold."

"You know that isn't true," Kim was intent now to show just how serious she was in that claim.

"How can I know?" Yori gave her the saddest look she'd ever seen.

Kim was indignant now. This would not stand. She couldn't bear to see the ninja downplay herself in such a manner. Kim had her pride, but she knew exactly how much more important her friends' feelings were in comparison.

"I may know all of his games, but that doesn't mean anything," Kim placed a hand on hers and stopped her rummaging. "I may have listened, but I looked down on his hobby as a waste of time. I may have even unfairly downplayed it and that was wrong of me. When he spoke about them, I'd sometimes zone him out. I only tolerated his childish tendencies and assumed it was a phase until he grew up. My close mindedness made me ignore that he was legitimately happy with his attitude."

Yori was staring at her now as she continued.

"Ron is Ron and he'll always be unique like that. The only person that ever truly accepted him for his quirkiness was you. Not Zita, not Tara, not me; you and only you. I see how you enjoy his antics because you know he'll be a man when he's called on. That's why he loves you more than he ever really loved me. And I'm okay with that, because you deserve him."

Even she couldn't question Kim's honesty and she meant every word of it. Her watered eyes were the closest she'd ever seen the ninja to weeping. She couldn't be sure, but she thought she saw something strengthen within the young ninja.

"I make this vow now, Kim," Yori lightly sniffled. "Even if Ron and I were to…not work out. Even if he and I could never truly be together again, I would still be here to assist you. I am more than just his girlfriend. I am a believer in what you do and I will always be Team Possible. I swear that to you."

"I'm glad," Kim beamed and Yori's mood lifted considerably. "Now, grab some games and we'll try and find something he doesn't have."

"It could take a while," she smiled.

"Take all the time you need."

"Seriously," Betty never sounded agitated, but Shego was now experiencing the rare occasion of the older woman effectively throwing a tantrum, "it can't be that difficult. Just tell me what teens wear these days."

"Do I look nineteen to you!?" Shego bit back. "If you haven't noticed, my style is more unique than the myriad of samey crap kids wear these days!"

"Ugh! Of course I placed myself in the group without a single teenage girl to shop for a teenage girl. How could I have been so short sighted?"

"Having one eye will do that," Shego shot her a smug grin and Betty attempted to ignite her with sight alone.

"Come on…," Wade attempted some kind of peace negotiation, but Ron stopped him.

"Advice time, Wade. Never a smart move to get in between two A type personalities. You'll only come out with injuries. Come on; let's check out the music shop."

"What for?"

"I wanted to see if they had those nature sounds CDs. Yori probably misses Yamanouchi, so I figured I'd find something that reminds her of home. Japanese crickets at night or whatever."

The younger boy gave a respectful grin to his friend, "Not bad, Ron."

"Dude, you just don't even know how suave I've become. Just follow me and you'll learn everything you need to know."

Shego scoffed good-naturedly as the two boys left. Ron was certainly improving as a man, but she hoped the little chubby kid was as talented with choosing role models as he was in choosing hard drives.

"Are you listening?" Betty crowed.

Shego swiveled to shoot her a death glare, "No, I'm not listening because your voice pisses me off!"

Betty showed her teeth and Shego welcomed a tirade of any kind. Though she enjoyed being all lovey dovey with Princess, she was starting to think she might be going soft without anyone to butt heads with. She and her teen did have their moments of spatting, but it was always half-assed and usually never reached a degree that they didn't simply laugh off the misunderstanding or argument. Besides, Shego simply didn't want to be angry with Princess; she just wanted to be angry at someone. She was naturally bitchy after all, so she might as well have some fun with it. Then, like a slap to the face, Betty's visage changed from righteous anger to confused sadness.

"I'm sorry," Betty mumbled and Shego thought she'd have an aneurism, because she knew what was coming. "I just have no idea what I'm doing with that girl. I'm no good at this."

The plasma thrower roared inside her head. She was not about to have a heart to heart with Betty Director. She wanted to turn her back, to laugh in her face, to do anything she felt the older woman deserved. Instead, she softened her own features in an attempt to show she was willing to help.

God damn you, Kim Possible! You've done this to me! Making me help this woman when I should be mocking her! You sweet, beautiful, angelic do-gooder! I'd hate you if I didn't love you more than life itself!

Shego grumbled beneath her breath before speaking, "She loves Club Banana. She's always wearing crap that proudly displays their logo. Not just anything, though. She seems to focus on form fitting clothing, especially ones that show off her hips and those ridiculous boobs."

Betty instantly perked up a tad, "Well, that's a no go, since CB is at the mall."

"It's a chain, Betty. Those stores are all over the place. There's one two blocks from here."

Betty made a show of looking around her, clearly unfamiliar with the section of Middleton they referred to as the Strip. Shego almost growled again as she began to walk and beckoned Director to follow.

"Thanks," the brunette mumbled.

"Spare me. Just be glad Kimmie likes you."

Betty chuckled and Shego thought about the possibility of getting away with smacking her. Cooler heads prevailed as she instead filled her thoughts with her plans for later that night. Everyone was rushing to scramble for Valentine's Day presents, but she'd already planned a better surprise for Kimmie. Who needed these baubles the person probably wouldn't even use days after being gifted it? No, there were much better gifts that could leave much longer lasting impressions.

"That's a lecherous grin," Betty mused as she walked beside her.

"They're lecherous thoughts," Shego said unashamedly. "Speaking of which, how often does Bonnie tire you out?"

"You really expect me to answer that?"

"Worth a try."

Betty was silent for a moment, "She and I haven't done anything yet outside of cuddling in bed and heavy petting."

"Not for lack of trying on her part I'd bet."

"It may surprise you, but Bonnie is actually very chaste," Shego noticed the woman seemed to brighten when talking about her teen. "She's only been with one guy intimately and she swears that was a mistake. She sees herself as a prize and few have earned her. She honestly seems content with how far we've progressed, but…I sometimes notice the way she looks at me. It's actually very flattering."

"Well," the green woman rolled her eyes. "I guess, for an old maid, you have a bit of sexy going on."

"Ugh," Betty gave a playful face. "Never say something like that again."

"I already wanna' burn my tongue out."

Betty actually gave a very honest chuckle, "Something we have in common. Adored by much younger women who we honestly don't deserve."

"You insulting me, Director?"

"I know you well enough, Shego. You talk and act a tough game, but deep down you're unnerved by how much you care about Kim. And you haven't cared about much of anything in a very long time."

Shego scowled, "Just cause you have a ton of files on me doesn't mean you know me."

Betty went silent and looked to be reminiscing on a memory. She stared ahead as they awaited a crosswalk light to change and Sheridan honestly didn't miss the conversation. She didn't like Betty and probably never would. Their old wounds were too personal to heal.

"Kim used to talk of you a lot, back when she was still in high school," Betty said.

Shego narrowed her eyes, but didn't speak.

"She always reported to us from time to time on her rogue's gallery, allowing us to stay in the loop. She was helpful like that. She'd always focus on you and Drakken, her most common foes. She never hated the two of you. She'd talk for an hour about how scatterbrained and wacky Drakken could be. She'd spend even more time warning us of how dangerous you were. You'll notice we weren't exactly present for most of Kim's adversaries and that was a request on her part. She was convinced she could handle all of you and she was right."

"You reaching a point sometime soon?" Shego drawled.

Betty smirked, "According to reports, Kim had a picture of you hanging in her locker. She was always fascinated with you. We believed she admired you in a way. Still, it wasn't until you became Ms. Go for that week that I started to notice a change in her. She spoke of you as a person more often. She wondered over your life and not just the villainous side of it. She'd seen something in you worth noticing."

This wasn't news to Shego. That was the whole basis for her own admiration for the redhead. Still, it was a strange feeling knowing that Kim never hated her even as early as their first few meetings and fights. The physical and emotional interest clearly wasn't there for either of them until years later, but it seemed something had been pulling them towards one another since meeting. Most would say destiny or fate, but Shego would laugh at that derisively.

"Why are you telling me this?" Shego rushed her to the punch line.

"I'm more telling it to myself. I don't think I have it in me to care about someone to the extent I've seen you and Kim achieve. I've been a soldier for too long. Still, if someone like you, as selfish and misguided as you were, could earn Kim's affection so entirely…then maybe there's hope for everyone."

Shego made gagging sounds as she attempted to disguise the darker shade of green on her face. Betty wasn't fooled and even began to mockingly thank her for giving her hope and being a beacon for love and kindness. Even Shego's threats of immolation couldn't halt the jovial laughter and Shego only found herself slightly enjoying the absolutely peaceful expression on the woman's face.

Kim parked the Sloth and exited with fevered anticipation. After their very successful shopping trip, everyone had split for the day and Shego had ordered Kim to her high rise condo in Upperton. Apparently, she wanted them to exchange their presents early. Kim had no idea why, but she assumed early gift exchanging was Shego's way of belittling a holiday she clearly had no love lost over. Kim wished she was a tad more open to romanticism, but she was still more than willing to meet her halfway as she made sure to grab her girlfriend's gift.

With butterfly filled insides, she rode the private elevator up and walked the short distance between the last two floors. It was just now turning night and the sky was doing something wondrous with its natural colors. It was all so cheesy romantic and she blushed in response. She was well aware that Shego didn't share her love for starry-eyed romance, but she would always be a sucker for it.

She opened the door with her very own, personal keycard and squealed internally over the fact that she still possessed such a thing. The fact that Shego didn't want to do this at the hotel made her mind swim with possibilities, but she stopped short of deciding on one and instead resolved to simply be surprised.

The first thing she noticed upon stepping inside was an innumerable amount of paper charms hanging everywhere. There were thousands of them, each one a long string that dangled from the high ceiling and ended in an inch sized paper with writing. She maneuvered through the obstacle course and read several messages as she passed.

"I love you", "I cherish you", "My one and only", "My clarity" and other instances of passionate, whimsical, or tender verbiages. Some even contained more specific messages, "Cupcake", "Princess", clearly written by Shego. She spun and attempted to take in the vast amount of messages, which almost overwhelmed her.

It was then she noticed the thick, pink ribbon draped across the floor. It ran the length of the living room, from entrance to staircase and seemed to wind all the way up it into the second floor. Kim followed it as the clear directional invitation it was, giggling to herself and wondering what Sheridan intended with all of this.

When she topped the staircase, she stopped dead and her mouth unhinged. Lying on the bed was Shego, posed like the supermodel she could pass for and wearing the end of the ribbon like a one piece bikini, complete with big bow covering her chest. The look of absolute seductive need she gave the teen set her face aflame.

"Welcome home, Cupcake," she said alluringly.

Kim could only babble a reply as she stumbled slightly on her way to the green goddess before her.

"I hope you liked my welcome messages," she fingered one of the dangling charms. "Though, I'm sure the present has gotten most of your attention."

Kim somehow forced herself to peel her eyes away from the…view before her and instead paid more attention to the charms. She made a show of inspecting them over drooling.

"I love them," the redhead finally offered.

Shego grinned and sauntered off the bed and towards her, making sure to over animate every sashay of her perfect hips. Kim was almost dumbfounded by how much that affected her, despite having been intimate with her on numerous occasions.

Sheridan brushed the charms as she passed them, "I would ask you to read every one, but that seems a little too daunting."

With her speaking and being this close, Kim began to notice the woman was blushing just as much from the display, though she knew her embarrassment was more due to the emotional state and not the physical state of her gift.

"I know I don't tell you how important you are often enough," she continued. "The words don't come to me easily and they sound…disingenuous coming from my mouth. Still, here they are. Every thought of you, everything I can never really place into spoken words, is hanging in this house. I figured, if I can't choose the right ones to say, I'll let you choose the ones you like the most. Pick any you like, because they're all true."

Kim allowed her that monologue, allowed her those moments to speak her words before she assaulted her with affection. There weren't enough kisses she could plant that would equal the loving words just spoken, but she'd dedicate the next few years to trying. It was true: Shego wasn't one for waxing romance and, honestly, Kim never expected it from her. She knew how the woman felt; there was no doubt.

Still, they were almost painful in how gloriously whole they made the teen feel as every utterance of her love was laid bare. Shego's chuckles were quickly replaced with slight moans of acceptance and pleasure. Something as simple as kissing seemed so much more intimate when they were together.

Kim barely thought as she lifted a small bag into view, "Yours."

Shego accepted it with a smile, reaching in and pulling out her gift. It was small, just large enough to fill her slender hands and shaped like a heart. It was an ornament not for wearing, but for display.

"Simple, but effective," Shego mused as she turned it in her view.

"It's not what's outside that counts," Kim hinted.

The former villainess raised an eyebrow until she realized there was a small compartment built into the trinket. She clicked a small button on the side and the heart opened on a hinge like a locket. Inside, a hollow had been carved out and surrounded by glass.

"It's empty," Shego mused.

"No, it isn't," Kim muttered and dipped her head shyly. "You just have to know what to look for."

Shego was clearly confused and Kim didn't blame her. God, she was turning red all over from the simple thought of explaining this sappy metaphor. Still, she needed to say it.

"Inside that locket," the teen began, "is the piece of myself that I gave to you. I know this sounds lame, but…I used to believe in destiny, that two people can be meant for one another and fated to unite. I know now that that's just children's fables. Love doesn't take fate or stars aligning; it just takes two people who accept each other entirely. When other people look at that locket, they'll always only see an empty box; but, when you and I look at it, we'll see what's in there: the part of myself that you made yours. The part of me that no one can ever take from you no matter what. I hope that makes sense…"

She trailed off as she hid her face low, terrified to see what had to be Sheridan's face almost set to burst from restrained laughter. It was so hokey, but it just sounded so right to say. She was immeasurably glad that Shego had also gone for a purely metaphorical gift, showcasing that the two had a strange talent in mimicking each other's behavior. It made the occasion feel more personal and simply right.

The taller woman stepped up to her as close as possible without actually embracing her. Kim looked into her face to see the faint hint of tears in her emerald eyes.

"I always felt really empty inside ever since I left my family," Shego almost whispered. "I assumed it was the normal feeling one felt when they left behind everything that used to comfort them. It disappeared after a few years and I actually began to ignore it once I had you to focus on. Our fights, our squabbles, even our times as "allies" helped me in ways I wasn't aware were needed. I…still feel that emptiness sometimes, but it's so distant now. I assume I have you to thank for that."

Shego balled the heart into her palm and pressed it between the two of them, leaving not a centimeter of empty space. She gently placed her forehead against Kim's and the teen closed her eyes and simply enjoyed the feeling. No one felt like Shego. No one had that unique heat, not too stifling but just warm enough to make her feel safe, wanted and loved.

"I don't have much left in here," she continued with a sad tone. "But, whatever little tidbit of worth still exists in me…it's yours."

"I'm so glad you came back that day," Kim said, remembering so long ago that Shego had appeared on her lawn and defended her when she was injured.

"I'm so glad I let you in," Shego exhaled softly, a more generalized but still important claim.

They shared a very simple kiss. It wasn't raging in hormones or powered by untapped lust. It was humble, modest, and unassuming. It was perfect for that moment.

"Ready to unwrap your present?" Shego purred.

Kim didn't answer, but instead pulled the bow that covered her lover's chest. By design, that simple pull unwound the bow and took the packaging with it. A naked Shego stood before her and Kim couldn't think of a more beautiful thing on this planet.

Sheridan lifted her easily and moved her to the bed, setting her down gently and beginning to kiss across her neck and collar. The sensation tickled and excited her as she smiled and allowed the woman free reign. Her affections traveled further south until she was kissing her navel and flat stomach. It was slow and methodical, which only served to rev Kim's internals.

Her heart nearly popped as she heard and felt the button of her pants unfasten. She didn't look, didn't speak, but simply lay back and allow Shego access. It was no effort for the woman to strip her bottom half, panties and all, and she couldn't even begin to think about being embarrassed. She assisted slightly by discarding her shirt and bra, allowing the silken blankets of the huge bed to cool her.

Slight inhalations sounded as Shego touched every sensitive spot around her thighs, hips and waist with her lips. She made her intentions all too clear as the seconds passed and for once Kim's hormones didn't demand a speedier arrival to the best portions of their revelry. Shego had a plan and Kim could force herself to wait out her throbbing desire for the time being.

Eventually, the older woman moved back up her body, letting her form slide against the smaller girl's frame until they met eyes. There was a profound joy in Shego's face, something she saw on rare occasions when her guard was lowered completely and she allowed herself to be happy. Kim adored that happiness and wanted to give her more of it. She'd heard her parents say that, when you truly loved someone, you could feel their happiness as your own. It was more true now that any moment of her young life.

Shego and Kim weren't meant to be together. There was no celestial commandment that stated they were star crossed to be lovers. Such things were seen as romantic, but Kim knew they undermined something far more wonderful. She'd found the person she knew she could spend her days with not through luck or divine intervention, but through perseverance and dedication. Kim had always fought for what she knew mattered. She'd made the mistake of letting Sheridan get away once; she would not allow that mistake to occur twice.

Shego kissed her softly once more before moving back down, giving her that longing look of promised trust between them. Their fights had been for dominance, but they had no use for such things in the bedroom. It wasn't about dominant and submissive, it was about trust. It wasn't about who was better, it was about being good for the other.

The first sensation made her breath catch and something wonderful pulse from the depths of her stomach all the way to her face. The next few sensations made her grip the sheets and moan softly. The following sensations were impossible to hold in and Kim suddenly was very grateful the condo had no neighbors as her cries of pleasure filled the house.

Shego flopped back onto her bed and closed her eyes to keep from seeing the world spinning. Wow! That had to be their best session yet. Kim, for having not only been with no one before Shego or with a woman in general, had picked up the intricacies with admirable pace. Her still pulsing womanhood was a pinging testament to that fact.

A satisfied Kimmie flopped next to her, instantly burying her face into Shego's shoulder and finding that comfortable home she'd made ever since that day at the fair. She allowed her breathing to slow and her post-climax high to subside before she dared opening her eyes again. As with every time she awoke next to the redhead, she was pleased beyond measure that their time together hadn't all been a dream.

Kim pulled the covers over them, intent on sleeping this way and Shego was not intent on complaining. The plasma user took one last loving glance at that simple ornament displayed on her end table and felt her heart skip just enough to know she'd found something else to cherish forever. She then pivoted her head slowly and made immediate eye contact with this wonderful creature that clung to her as if she were some kind of magnificent prize.

They didn't need to say they loved one another. It wasn't in the words at this moment. It was in the eyes, the very breaths they took, and the very real feeling of natural comfort that came from their forms touching. Words like love, as diluted as it was, could never adequately convey what they felt. It wasn't perfect, but it was perfect for them.

There was no guarantee that this would be easy, but Sheridan had already felt the pain of no longer being this special person for Kim. As uncertain as the future could be, she'd face any horror before revisiting that debilitating anguish that came with losing the teen. Even at her most pessimistic, Shego could see this working forever. They were both strong. They didn't need fate or luck or miracles to be together. Who needed miracles anyway?

They had each other.

The End…

Or To Be Continued…

Whichever sounds more romantic

A/N: I've been deliberating on, whenever I finally continue this story line, exactly how I'd go about doing so. I believe the title of Necessary Changes has run its course as that particular arc has ended. Beginning a new story in general seems adequate and would be a continuation of this story with an entirely new focus, possibly set some months in the future. So much needs to be said still: Team Hench is still an enigma, Monkey Fist is still missing, and the mysterious use of Lorwardian technology hasn't been explained (yes, I remember that). Also, it seems a few of you won't be content until Kim and Shego are in wedding dresses. What will the future bring? Time will always tell.