Kim thought about that. A look of horror slowly crept into her face. "Get out", she said.

Shego left unhindered, this time.

Shego was hiding behind a mini-van in the clinic parking-lot, waiting to see if Kim would show up or not. When she saw her car drive in, and the mane of red-hair pop out of it, she hid herself behind the corner of the van again, because she didn't want Kim to know she was there. When she'd judged that the other girl should be walking away, she poked her head out again, to find Kim standing in front of her car, carefully looking around.

Looking for her, no doubt.

Every instinct that had worked for Shego as a thief, ever fiber of her being, told her to hide again.

But for some reason she would never be able to figure out, even years later, she stepped out from behind the van instead, putting herself completely in Kim's view. When the red-head turned around, she saw her instantly, and they stared at each other for fully a minute. Shego wondered if she should wave... or say "good luck"... or SOMEthing, but what could she say? Everything she could do was either trite or out-of-place or just rude, so the two girls just stood there, on opposing sides of the parking-lot, staring at each other. Finally, Kim turned to go inside, and the spell was broken.

When she came back out, two hours later, she didn't really give a damn whether Shego was still watching or not.

KPKPKPKPKPKPKPKP

That night, Kim went for a walk in the park, by herself. She stopped on a foot-bridge over the duck-pond, looking down into the black water at her reflection in the quarter-full moonlight. She didn't hear Shego coming up behind her, but she could feel it, just the same.

"Ahem" Shego pretended to clear her throat.

"I already know you're there, Shego" Kim said matter-of-factly, but without malice.

Not knowing what else to do, not even really sure why she had presented herself at all – the results of Kim's visit to the clinic were obvious – Shego eventually joined her at the railing. They stared off at the ducks with their heads buried in their backs on the shore.

Without knowing she was going to say something, a thought in Shego's mind voiced itself, "I'd take 'em all back if I could, Kimmie."

"I know" Kim said simply, still watching the sleeping ducks. She sighed deeply. "Just to let you know, my womb's okay – barely – but my tubes are shot." She wasn't really sure why she was telling her this. What did it matter?

"Kind of the opposite of me" the other girl replied quietly.

They remained silent for a long time, each girl absorbed in her own thoughts, about her own problems. Finally, have had enough self-pity for one evening, Kim turned to look at her arch-nemesis.

"Well, I guess there's no use changing anything now. Got any new plans for world-domination I should know about?" It was an attempt to be flippant, but it didn't work. Shego had been thinking about the question of "what to do now" for longer than Kim had.

"As a matter of fact, I quit. I'm just... my heart's not in it anymore. I don't think I could bring myself to fight you again, and that was the best part of -" she cut herself off abruptly, having said more than she'd meant to.

But to her surprise, all Kim said was, "Yeah. Me too." She wasn't really listening to Shego, too absorbed in her own thoughts. Going back to "business-as-usual" just seemed too sadly dreary, now.

"Anyway," Shego went on, still a little surprised but relieved at the same time, "I was thinking of starting over somewhere else. Siberia. The Gobi desert. Someplace... uh -"

"Barren" Kim suggested.

They were on the same wave. What they didn't know was that they always had been.

"Yeah. I guess you could say that..." Shego sounded dejected.

"Not going to be much worth stealing, in places like that."

"Actually, I was thinking of becoming a good guy. Not 'saving the world' but... running off bandits. Finding people's lost llamas. Little stuff. Build up some karma."

Kim didn't say anything as it sunk in. Shego was going to leave? It had been Shego who had ignited the fire within Kim, it was her unfulfilled desire for Shego that had turned her to Monique in the first place... The villain's teasing had struck a nerve, and now she was going to leave? And be a good guy? Now?

But Shego was saying too much, exposing too much of herself, and she didn't know why. In desperation, she lashed out:

"So, how's it going with Monique?" she asked snidely. If there was one thing Shego excelled at above everyone else on the planet, it was hiding her feelings from others.

Kim was shocked, and couldn't speak for several moments. How much did she know? And why, really, did it matter? After all, Shego was leaving anyway. She wouldn't be using Monique as ammunition to embarrass her, or expose her, or even just generally be mean, from Siberia...

"Monique is none of your business" she said. She knew it wouldn't end there. Shego would have to get in at least a few taunts.

"Yeah. You're right. Anyway, congratulations. She's seriously sexy" Shego said, changing her mind and wishing she hadn't brought it up in the first place.

THAT was not what Kim had been expecting.

Needing to stall for time - to think things out - Kim explained her relationship with Monique, "Monique is just my... I mean, we're not a 'couple'. We're just... CONVIENENT for each other, is all." Why was she saying this? And what did Shego mean when she'd said Monique was "sexy"? And HOW did she even know about Monique, anyway? It was her deepest secret. NO ONE knew...

"YOU'VE BEEN SPYING ON ME!" Kim cried, grabbing Shego by the shoulders to face her squarely. "WHY!"

Unbeknownst to Kim, the pieces of the puzzle were lining up like dominoes... ten thousand dominoes, waiting for the first one to be pushed over. The tension in the air was becoming electric.

Shego thought about how to answer the question. Sun Tzu – Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. She could say that. Or, she could tell her the truth. No, she couldn't do that...

"SHEGO! WHY!" Kim screamed again. She felt violated, she wanted an explanation.

Shego remained silent, staring into Kim's emerald-clear eyes, her forehead wrinkling as she fought to keep the truth to herself. Finally, Kim broke off her stare, beaten. She let go of Shego's shoulders and began to turn away, saying, "It doesn't matter. Good bye, Shego."

Shego's heart finally broke, hearing those three words. "Because I love you" she said softly.

Kim froze. The first domino fell with an almost audible "click".

But Shego, free of Kim's hands now, turned away too. Her heart was bare, fluttering in the breeze, and she couldn't stand it. Once her back was turned, she said, "I wish... I wish things could have been different, between us..."

Click.

Kim stammered, "The... the insults..."

Click.

"The... all those dirty taunts..."

Click.

"All those times you'd make fun of me if I even so much as glanced at you..."

Click-Click.

"... the.. the times you'd be stealing something, and you'd set off just ONE silent alarm..."

ClicketyClicketyClicketyClickety...

Kim's arms stretched out to spin Shego around, embracing her at the same time. She pounced on her lips, the dominoes still falling. Neither of them would ever be able to say how long the kiss lasted... it might have been minutes, it might have been days. There was no way to tell. It was magic, and time ceased to have any relevance. Their mouths wandered over each other's necks and cheeks, ears, eyes, hair. It seemed important to both of them – although they weren't thinking it – for at least one of them to have her mouth on SOME part of the other at all times, lest the spell be broken.

But Kim had a burning question, and eventually it could no longer wait. Knowing she would be ruining the moment, she pulled away, panting, gazing directly into the eyes that so perfectly matched her own. "You won't leave me, will you?"

But the magic didn't stop then, as she'd been so sure it would. The feeling remained.

Shego knew her answer would end it... end everything. She couldn't stay. She was too badly wanted by too many people, organizations, governments... she had to go.

"I have to go, Kim. I have to..." then, a new thought: "Come with me? Please?"

And still, the magic remained unbroken.

KPKPKPKPKP

No one knew their real names. On the Russian steppe, the locals called them by a name that translated to "Fire and Grass". All along the Silk Road, residents and caravans whispered about "Emerald and Ruby". In Korea, it was "Blood and Jade", and along the Chinese coastal cities and plains, they were called "Sunrise and Ocean".

But in the legends, the rumors, and even in the few eye-witness accounts, there was always one common thread: they always appeared together.

The legends said there was magic between them.