Title: No Living in the Past (10/10)
Spoilers: Takes place after "Green, Black, and Blue". Ignores the events of "Go Team Go".
Feedback: Some of you have been extremely helpful, and I hope you'll continue to do so. New reader opinions are encouraged too!
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: When Professor Dementor's trail leads Kim, Shego, and Ron to Boston, they encounter the LAST two people any of them, especially Kim, wanted to see.
"So how's O-business?" Ron asked as Rufus attempted to inhale a naco.
"O-business is fine," Monique replied. "O-business" was of course a coded reference to her late-night activities, fighting local criminals dressed in black and calling herself "Oryx". Thankfully, the newspapers seemed to finally understand that she wasn't "Onyx". All right, so no one knew she was African-American, but still, it was like being called "Ebony".
"Kim still seems to think it's too danger . . . uh, Ron, I know you said you didn't want to talk about her, but if you're going to make that face every time her name comes up, I don't think it's a subject we can really avoid," Monique said as a spasm seemed to cross Ron's face at the mention of Kim Possible.
And if he was still that mad at Kim, then it probably was a good idea she hadn't mentioned that O-business had included a fighting lesson from Shego yesterday.
"I can avoid it just fine. Isn't that right, Rufus?"
The mole rat looked up at Ron doubtfully. "Huh?" he asked. The expression on the rodent's face suggested he thought Ron was joking.
Ron sighed. "I just can't believe she had so little faith in me," he said.
"Come on, Ron," Monique said. "It's not like telling you she's changing her major or something. This is as big as big gets."
"Are you honestly trying to tell me that she was justified in not telling me?" Ron asked angrily.
Monique looked at him. "No," she said. "She was wrong."
"But you know, Ron, I realize that you're nowhere near as dumb as some people think you are, but lately your head has really been full of rocks, hasn't it?" Monique said, exasperated.
"Oh sure, you're not mad. She told you," Ron muttered.
Monique put her hand over her eyes. "You know what, Ron? If she'd spoken to me first, she would have lied to me, too. It was lying to you that did it. That's what broke the camel's back. Keeping this from you just about tore her up inside."
Ron shrugged. "Good."
She resisted the urge to bang her head on the table. "Hello? Is anybody home? This is not about YOU, Ron! This is about her! This is about her life getting turned completely upside-down over the past month, and she has no idea what she's going to do next, and she doubts herself every minute of the day!"
For the first time, Ron looked hesitant. "You think?"
"Do I think? Snap out of it, Ron! A couple months ago she was a normal college student. Since then she was a fugitive for a month from a family of 'heroes' who turned out to be wackjobs that tried to kill her and then kidnapped her mother. Then she realizes she's got feelings for another woman who was her sworn enemy for years. And then she's outed in the worst way possible - on the Internet, no less! Add to that she has no idea what she's going to do with college, her career, her life - and her parents!" Monique jabbed a finger close to his face. "Do you realize that Kim is telling her parents TODAY about Shego? Can you possibly imagine how terrified she is of what they'll say to her?"
"Monique - "
"No, don't you Monique me! I may complain about how she feels about me and what I do after midnight, but that doesn't change how much I love her. And no, not THAT kind of love. I mean the kind of love that I thought you felt for her. Kim's internal compass must be fried by now, she's been spun around so many times, and she still manages to fly across the country and save the world yet again. I admire her so much, Ron," Monique said, her voice dropping. "Yeah, I was angry for a minute or two, but I got over it. Now how about you get over it too? How about you do what you do best - you support her. Because Kim has the world on her shoulders, and it must feel heavier than ever. She's got me, she's got Wade - I know you hate it, but she's got Shego. But it's not enough. I spoke to her yesterday, and she'd devastated without her best friend. Not to mention that she's twice as scared as before that her parents will cut her off the way you - "
"All right!" Ron shouted at her, standing up.
The entire Bueno Nacho restaurant quieted as everyone looked at him.
"Uh, sorry," he said, waving a hand as he slipped back into his seat. "I can't forget this, Monique. What she did."
She put her hand on his. "I think she'd settle for forgiving right now."
Ron closed his eyes and sighed.
Kim's parents looked at her, then at Shego, who sat next to Kim. She was beginning to lose feeling in her wrist, because Kim had it in a death grip. "Uh, Kimmie? My blood needs to circulate?"
"Oh," Kim said, letting go. The look she gave Shego said, quite clearly, "Don't Go Anywhere". Kim had insisted that Shego be with her when she told her parents the truth. Shego would have preferred to lurk in the corner, knowing she was completely out of her depth here. Family drama? Emotional turmoil? Hello? Not her.
That hadn't mattered to Kim. She'd practically dragged Shego to the couch and hadn't let go throughout the entire speech to her parents.
Seeing how the past few days had turned this fierce young woman into a frightened, blubbering mess, an appalled Shego was glad she didn't have a family. Of course, if she was with Kim long enough, then the Possibles would become her family too, wouldn't they? Maybe one day she'd care about them almost as much as Kim did.
The idea worried her.
"Well," Dr. Possible finally said as his eyes settled once again on Kim. Her eyes didn't even blink in response. "You're dating Shego here."
"A girl. Not a boy."
"And you don't plan on dating any boys in the near future."
Dr. Possible glanced at his wife, who still appeared a little stunned. "Well, if this means I don't have to worry about you chasing any boys, that's good enough for me."
Kim stared at him, open-mouthed. Shego resisted the urge to roll her eyes. Mrs. Dr. Possible had no reaction.
Kim's father smiled at her. "Was there anything else, Kim?"
She flew off the couch and wrapped her arms around her father. "Thanks, Dad," she mumbled into his shirt.
"Don't mention it, sweetie," he assured her as he patted her hair. "Honey? You have anything you'd like to add?"
Kim's mother finally looked up. "Er, yes, could you give us a minute, dear?" she asked quietly.
Kim turned to look fearfully at her mother.
"Sure thing," he said jovially. He moved out of Kim's embrace and casually headed upstairs.
"Your father," Mrs. Dr. Possible sighed. "Sometimes he's so unaware of the world outside his lab."
"Sorry about this," Kim said.
"It's a bit of a shock," her mother said, laughing weakly.
"You always said - "
"I know, Kim, I know. But this . . . isn't exactly what I had in mind." She looked down. "We're both modern women, you and I, but I still looked forward to the day I'd help plan your wedding. And then there'd be your first child, of course." She sighed. "You risk your life all the time, Kim, but the promise of those days never seemed so faint as it does now."
Kim held her breath for a moment. "Mom? Am I still - your daughter?" she whispered.
Her mother seemed to look through her for a few seconds before she shook her head. The movement suggested a negative response to Kim, and she felt a stab of ice in her heart.
Then Mrs. Dr. Possible really looked into her eyes. "Oh, Kim, you know you'll never stop being my daughter. I love you no matter who you are."
Kim's head dropped and a tear landed on the sofa cushion.
"Come here, Kim," her mother said, opening her arms.
Slowly Kim sank into her mother's arms and held her tightly. There were no more words for a minute, as Shego watched them rock.
She'd never had anything in her life, Shego realized, that she'd been so afraid of losing.
Except maybe Kim.
For the first time, she considered the notion that Kim's family wasn't just a liability.
"It's just going to take some - adjusting," Kim's mother finally said.
"Yeah, lot of that going around," Kim said as she sat up and rubbed her arm across her eyes.
Mrs. Dr. Possible seemed to remember Shego was sitting quietly nearby. "Do you want to contribute anything to the discussion, Shego?" she asked.
"Um . . ."
"I assume you have only the best of intentions for my daughter?"
Shego detected the edge to the older woman's voice. "I'm not here to hurt her," she said. "Seems like she's the only person who knows me for who I am."
"Very well," Mrs. Dr. Possible replied. "You're both adults, and your father and I have no right to give your orders any more, Kim, but I would appreciate a candid response. Have you and Shego, well - has this become an intimate relationship?"
Shego's eyes widened, and Kim coughed. "Um, no, Mom. We haven't done anything like that yet. But - it certainly could happen in the future."
"There's one other thing, Mom," Kim added. "The reason I'm telling you all this now? Remember Bonnie Rockwaller?"
"She was in your graduating class," Mrs. Dr. Possible recalled.
"Well, she got wind of our relationship, and she basically emailed our whole class about it."
"Why that - that's horrible, Kim," her mother said, outraged.
"Yeah, I know. But that means it's just going to get more and more public over time," Kim pointed out. "And you might be hearing it from other people. I just want you to be prepared for, you know, embarrassment."
Her mother sighed. "I've never been ashamed of you, Kim, and I'm not going to start now."
Kim turned red. "Thanks."
"Well, if there's nothing else, I have to make a phone call or two," Mrs. Dr. Possible said as she stood up slowly.
"Oh, right. Thanks, Mom."
Kim's mother looked at Shego. "My husband and I expect you to treat our daughter - "
"I'll be good," Shego said, crossing her fingers.
"Yeah, you really meant that," Kim said, grinning.
Mrs. Dr. Possible went into her study and closed the door. She picked up the phone and hit the speed-dial. "Hello, Betty?" she asked when the connection was made. "Think I could come over and talk? I've had quite a day today."
Meanwhile, Kim and Shego had made their way out the front door. "That could have been a lot worse," Shego observed.
"It could," Kim agreed. She looked at her hands and realized they were trembling. She shoved them into her pockets. "I could be moving in with you right now."
"Not sure why I should see that as worse, but I get your meaning," Shego said.
Kim didn't respond when she saw Ron's car pull in front of the house.
Shego saw the car a moment later. "If he's here to start another fight," she said angrily.
"Shh," Kim said.
"KP," Ron said as he came over. He glanced at Shego. "Shego," he mumbled.
"Hey, Ron," Kim answered.
"Monique told me you were going to tell your parents," Ron said. "How'd that go?"
Kim smiled tentatively. "Better than I expected. Dad's just happy I'm not interested in boys now. Mom's still dealing with it - she's probably talking to Dr. Director as we speak - but I think we're going to be okay."
Ron nodded. "Good to hear. Look, Kim, what happened between us, I'm not sure I can forget that any time soon."
"I understand, Ron," she said softly.
"But . . . I'm willing to try and forgive," he added gently. "If you promise not to do something like that again."
Kim stared at him. "I promise," she managed to say.
"Good. And don't expect me and Shego to be shiny happy people with each other, either."
"I expected nothing of the kind," Shego said, snorting.
Kim came forward and carefully put her arms around Ron's neck. "Thanks," she said in his ear.
"You're welcome," he answered, patting her on the back.
"I'm not going to cry this time," Kim said, laughing quietly. "Because today is a good day."
"Scene of the crime," Shego said.
"When I was assaulted by a mystery dancer," Kim replied, smiling.
"You certainly seemed like a consenting adult when you put your arms around my neck."
"It was instinctive. I was trying to strangle you."
It was a Saturday night, three days after the drama at Kim's house, and Kim and Shego were on a date, just the two of them. They sat within the dark shadows that seemed to hug the walls of the Planetarium. Shego's arm was around Kim's back, and Kim's hand was on Shego's knee.
"You do realize," Kim said, "that this is an establishment frequented by crime-fighters. They say the Oryx was spotted here."
"I thought it was spelled with an 'n'," Shego said.
"Oh, don't ever say that in front of her," Kim chuckled.
"So what, you're saying I should be somehow frightened?" Shego asked. "A career criminal like me?"
Kim smiled. "I think you should be terrified. Because there's all sorts of things I could do to you."
"You'd probably even let me," Kim said as she breathed into Shego's ear.
The other woman squirmed. "I think pleasure is sweeter when you have to fight for it," she said.
"Well, we could fight our way onto the dance floor," Kim suggested.
"Through that throng? I'd rather fight Killagan and Monkey Fist together."
"We'll find them," Kim said seriously.
"Of course," Shego said, surprised. "And we'll kick their rears. Why worry about it?"
Kim nodded. "Why indeed? Want a drink?"
"No, I think I want you right here. At least until our song begins."
"I don't think I want to fight you on that one," Kim said.
"Well, in that case, maybe I won't fight so hard if you want to come inside when we go back to my apartment later," Shego purred. "I might even invite you in."
Kim shivered, and she turned her head to look at Shego. Words failed her as she took in the tight leather pants and the revealing green top. So she kissed her instead.
Summer vacation had arrived way too late, but it was still going to be great.
There was a flash of light and a crackle of energy in the air as the dark form hit the pavement with a thud. She rolled over onto her back. "Ooooo," she moaned in pain.
A few minutes later, she staggered to her feet. She looked up into the sky but saw only darkness.
"When I get back up there, she is so dead!" she growled as she staggered through the alley.
But when she got to the main street, she stopped and stared. She looked at the restaurants and the shops and the happy people in every direction.
Shego leaned against the wall and ran her fingers through her white-streaked hair. "This doesn't look anything like Shegoton," she hissed.
The End. (To be continued in But For the Grace of Ron!)