I don't own these characters nor do I own this premise. The characters are Disney's and the premise belongs to the great Yayoi Ogawa.
This is the sequel to Walking the Line. I don't know, but you might want to read that before this if only to get a feel for what's going on. This is an AU, but it does take a lot from the real KP universe. The real KP universe? Isn't an oxymoron? Am I bugging yet again? Yeah, anyway, the suggestion is to read Walking the Line before this to understand what the hell is going on.
Italics at the beginning of each chapter are the thoughts of either Shego or Kim. I'll leave you to figure out which is saying what.
On a Short Leash
Dilemma One: Return of the Pet
"If you love something, let it go. If it comes back to you, it's yours. If it doesn't, it never was…" DMX, Let me fly.
I like hip-hop music and tend to take many of the deeper words to heart because it is poetry. That phrase, though, doesn't tug at anything in me. She was always mine, even if she didn't come back.
It felt like an eternity since she had had last been to Go City, like it was another lifetime ago. Maybe it was another lifetime ago, she thought with a bit of a sullen expression in her olive-colored eyes. Maybe it was foolish of her to consider that there was a way to get that back. It had already been so long.
"But, I have to try…" she muttered to herself.
She bet that everyone would think that she was stupid or insane if they knew what she missed most in life, including the one that she missed most. She bet the person that held such a special place in her heart had moved on because it was the logical thing to do, especially after so long. They would not pull off their relationship again, not now, because the one that she missed knew. She knew who she was and she knew what she was capable of. That would always complicate what was supposed to be such a simple relationship, right?
Life was like card game. One was dealt a hand and she had to play that hand out to the best of her ability until the next hand was dealt out, no matter how shitty the hand was. She had played her hand, but for someone else. Hey, there was a first time for everything. The person deserved a better hand and she made sure the little nitwit took it because she thought that the little nutcase would just continue to drift while avoiding everything that life wanted from her and had to offer her.
She should not dwell on what she did or what she did not do, she told herself, but she did. She always dwelled on it because it did not add up to her for some reason. She had wanted something, rather badly actually, and she did not take it because it was best for the second party involved. That was nothing like her, but she could not hold that little idiot back, right?
Why did everyday seem like the same day, even though they were clearly different? The outside stimulus was always of a different nature, but similar just the same. The empty feeling inside was constant, which probably made the days feel the identical. The feeling of dragging around like sloths, not giving a hundred percent or a hundred and ten percent depending on who was doing the calculations. The world seemed so terribly mundane and dreadfully ordinary, no matter what happened. Everyday was some new disaster, but a disaster just the same. And every night was the same drudgery. It was all the same thing. It was always the same.
Kim wandered Go City like a mindless tourist, hopelessly lost, but not in the usual sense. She did not have a particular destination in mind. She was just walking around, allowing her brain to bother her. She had gone to spend time with her friends and that had actually started her troubles. Monique was the specific reason her mind was eating away at her. The fashion diva had suggested that she go stop by to see a certain person, her former owner to be more exact.
Most people would probably think to discourage such behavior on Kim's part, namely pushing that she go see a woman that used to keep her as a pet. But, her friends were not like most people. They were used to the bizarre for the most part, not just because they were friends with a girl that saved the world on the daily basis from all kinds of lunatics, but also because they had been living in Go City for more than a year. Anybody that lived in Go City learned that the world was made up of very strange things. So, they all reasoned that it was all right to encourage Kim to go see her ex-mistress because Shego had been a person that made her happy.
The redhead was tempted, very tempted to go see her former master; she was tempted like Eve in the Garden of Eden. But, what would she say to Shego? "Thanks for throwing me away"? "Have you been happy without me?" "Have you moved on?" There were worse things that she could do aside from asking those questions.
What might she do, though? She was not entirely certain and she was nervous to find out. Would she beg Shego to let her back into her life? Would she beseech a chance to be able to curl up in the elder woman's lap again and lounge around like a lazy kitten? She could not do that. It would not be right for either of them.
So, just what in the world was a pet supposed to say to her ex-mistress? How was a pet supposed to act toward a former owner? Nothing came to mind for Kim, so she was fighting off the temptation, barely. It was tugging at her.
Her time with Shego had been very sincere. Well, on her end anyway. Shego had fought it and tried to pretend to be an apathetic mistress at best, but she was very caring with Kim through out her charade, almost loving. Kim saw through the pretense, which was one of the reasons that she stuck around.
Kim knew that what she and Shego had was something special to the pale woman because of the way the elder woman acted around her. And since Shego was so relaxed, Kim was the same way. She grew very comfortable around the super-powered female and she had never trusted anyone like she did Shego, not even Ron. She was herself while with Shego while being "Princess/ Pumpkin" for her owner. She was at ease, at peace, she was everything that she never even thought about before Shego, but could not forget about it now.
Was it strange, the hero often wondered, to miss being someone's pet? She did not care about the answer. She was strange, so it did not matter either way. She missed being a pet because she missed being near Shego. She really liked Shego, more than she ever knew when she was with the woman, but she had known for a long time that she wanted to stay with that woman forever, for both of their sakes. She doubted that the green-skinned woman would accept her now, though. Shego just was not like that.
"She let me. She wanted what was best for me, not thinking she was what's best for me," Kim muttered.
She probably should go greet her ex-mistress, Kim told herself. That would be the polite thing to do, at the very least. She could tell Shego that she was doing all right, sort of anyway. She was making something of herself. She bet that her former owner would like to know that to see that she had not released Kim in vain. But, Kim did not trust herself to relay such information in person.
Kim could picture herself meeting up with Shego and doing the one thing that was likely to piss the woman off, namely implore that she take her back like some homesick puppy. She would not get any pity points and she knew that because she never got any pity points when acting pathetic. She would lose any respect that Shego had for her and she knew that the woman did respect her somewhat. It might be in an odd way, but she knew it was there. It might have changed when Shego found out who she was, but the respect was still there.
Besides, she would not have any respect for herself if she dared to beg for anything, even if it was her ex-master and she did want to be with Shego again. She did have some pride for crying out loud. Yes, a person that used to be a pet could have pride and self-respect.
She scratched the top of her head and continued to ponder what she should do. What good would it do if she went to see Shego, she asked herself. The emerald-eyed woman had more than likely moved on and was doing something new with her life. That was the kind of woman her former keeper was, after all. She doubted that her mistress lamented the loss. All right, no, that last bit was a lie.
Deep in her heart, Kim was certain that Shego missed her just as much as she longed for Shego. The only difference between them was that Shego would try to ignore the feeling that was devouring her insides. She probably looked at the feeling as an annoyance, the redhead thought, but she knew that her ex-owner mourned her absence. If only for a little while, anyway, but she would like to know if Shego still thought of her, maybe still missed her. She was still in mourning herself. If only there was some way to make the feeling go away. She could not think of anything that might help, though.
The hero thought that it was a bit ironic that she, a certified genius who could do anything, could not think of some way to right the emotions that were tumbling around inside her body. Nor could she think of something that she could say to her ex-mistress if she managed to go visit the woman. She could just let Shego see that she was all right, she figured. She did owe the elder female that much … right?
No matter how much Kim tried to rationalize if she should at least go show Shego that she was fine, she could not trust herself to do it. The sad thing was that she had been waiting for such a long time to have an excuse to return to Go City, even better an excuse to stay in the busy metropolis. She had both of those, but now she realized that she wanted more than those things. She wanted to stay with Shego again and she just could not see that happening no matter what.
Instead of bothering her former mistress, Kim thought that maybe she should just leave her alone. She figured that if Shego truly cared, then she would be keeping up with Kim's adventures on her website. She had been in the news a few times, too, because she saved the world a couple of times from serious megalomaniacs. So, her ex-master would know what was going on in her life and would know that she had not let her go for no reason at all.
There was also the chance that Shego might have company if she did decide to go see the pale woman. She would hate to go to the condo and find her former mistress entertaining Drakken. She hated to think that the woman might even still be with that imbalanced, cerulean, scatter-brained inventor.
Kim happened to glance up when she noted that the landscape was starting to look mighty familiar. She laughed a bit when she realized where she was. As monstrously huge as Go City was, she had unconsciously wandered right back to her old home. Well, she had been told that it was home and it certainly had felt so much like home, but in the end, she had to leave there, too. It was the only place that she had ever left with remorse and regrets.
There had been so much in that apartment that Kim never wanted to leave, Shego being the first and foremost thing. The elder woman sort of made all the other things come into existence. The intangible things that had been in that place had been lost to Kim's understanding until she lived there. Now, she comprehended what it felt like to be warm and secure in someone's arms. She was aware what it was like to trust someone completely and knew that no matter what she did, the person she was with would not judge her too harshly. She knew what it was like to live without pressure of any kind and to be enjoyed just for being there.
Okay, the redhead conceded herself; since she was at the condo, she might as well go and see what Shego was up to. She entered the building and trotted up to Shego's apartment. She stared at the door for a moment before knocking and there was no answer. She was both overjoyed and disappointed that no one answered the door. She was still not sure what she would do if she saw her ex-mistress. As she turned to leave, she had a memory of one of the hundreds of times that she had run to the door to answer it either at the beckoning of her mistress or some other reason.
"I wish…" Kim trailed off, not wanting to voice that desire out loud lest she jinx it, or it might even come true. She was a firm believer in being careful what she wished for.
The redhead went back out onto the street and had no clue as to what she should do or where she should go. It did not even matter, her mind pointed out. She might as well return to her friends and report that they did not have to worry about her doing anything odd while she was in the city since she had not gotten in contact with Shego.
Kim walked off in the direction that she was facing, but she did not even make it to the next street. She ended up running into the one person that she did not want to see, but deeply desired to see. She knew that she needed to be careful what she wished for.
"Shego," Kim gasped. Her former owner was standing right in front of her, looking just as she recalled. They had been separated for a little less than a year, but it felt like centuries, yet based on their appearance it might as well have been minutes.
"Princess," Shego muttered, blinking as if she could not believe her eyes. She fought the impulse, almost instinct, to reach out and pet the girl. She reminded herself that she had set the girl free and she was no longer her pet. "What the hell are you doing around here?" the older woman demanded, fixing her face into a stern frown.
"Business," Kim found herself blurting out.
"Business?" Shego echoed, her façade slipping immediately. Part of her was saying what kind of business could her puny pet possibly have, but then she reminded her brain again that Kim was no longer her pet. She also reminded herself that Kim was a hero, an adventurer, and a genius, so it was very plausible that she could have so sort of business in Go City.
"Yeah, what happened was I found some very old armor when I was out on a mission. It was an accident really. I fell through a sink hole and landed in somebody's bunk, I guess," the younger woman reported with a sheepish look on her face as she scratched the back of her neck. She never told anybody that it was really an accident. She told them that she fell, but she made sure not to make it sound like clumsiness on her part.
"Only you," Shego laughed a bit. "So, what's the business?"
"Well, like I said, I found this armor and it turns out that it's in very good condition for its age. It's about two thousand years old or something like that. I'm being forced to go on tour with it through a bunch of museums that are looking to buy the pieces from me one day soon. It's a very big collection," the hero informed her former owner.
"So, you're going to sell it?" Shego asked. She could not believe it because she thought that her little monster seemed a little light in the head when it came to money. After all, she ran around doing fantastic feats free of charge.
Kim laughed a bit. "To tell you the truth, I'm going to give it back to the little village that I found it near. They could use the money if they chose to sell it way more than I could and it's theirs anyway." She shrugged.
"That's rather generous of you. So, why are you stringing the museums along?" Shego inquired. She knew that Kim would not go after the money; it just was not something that seemed to ever cross the girl's mind. She could only wonder how the little monster was going to make it in the real world.
"Well, I needed a ride back to Go City," Kim answered with a slight smile.
The pale woman shook her head. "You're still so hopeless. I suppose since you're here, you'd like to come for dinner," she sort of offered.
"Spanking," Kim agreed with a grin.
"You know you were coming here for the free meal, anyway," Shego remarked.
The shorter redhead only continued to grin and the raven-haired woman shook her head. The pair marched up to the apartment and Kim looked around the place that used to be her home. Everything was just as she recollected, as if she had only been gone a few hours and not plenty of months. Even her box was still sitting in the corner of the living room where she left it. She was a bit surprised that Shego kept her box.
"Hey, it's completely the same," the redhead commented as she inspected her old safe haven. She resisted the urge to flip it over and crawl into it. "Why do you still have it?" It was clean for a box, too. No dust on it or anything.
"Haven't had the time to throw it out," Shego answered as she went to the kitchen.
Kim accepted that response for what it was. She fought the urge to flop on the sofa like she used to when she was a pet. Oh, that was a good life, but she was not a pet anymore. She was a guest. How was she supposed to act like a guest in Shego's presence? She was not sure. She only knew what she should not do.
She knew that she should not lie on the floor and watch her hostess' butt while she prepared their meal. She knew that she should not lounge on the couch and wait for the woman of the house to caress her scalp. She should not say anything inappropriate; oh, that might be hard, considering how hot she thought that Shego was. She behaved for the most part by not moving until dinner was done.
The green-skinned female called her guest to the table by saying dinner was ready. She was unsure as to what she should call the girl at first and nearly called her by a pet name again. She figured that calling a guest by a pet name would not be the best way to start an evening.
"So, what have you been up to?" Kim asked Shego, trying her best to make conversation, even though Shego seemed content with the silence. The younger woman recalled the last time that they sat in silence and she did not like it very much, so she wanted to stop remembering it by having a discussion of some kind.
"Same shit, different day," Shego answered in disinterested tone. "You?"
"Same here," Kim admitted.
"You going to school yet?" the elder woman inquired.
"Funny you should mention school," the redhead replied.
"Why is it that funny?"
"I've been applying to dozens of places. I mean, applying like crazy," the girl informed her former mistress.
"Well, that's good. So, you've figured out what you want to do with your life?" Shego asked.
"Well, sort of. I'm going to stick with the biology and I actually considered being a wildlife vet. I figured woods, animals, open space, that's all me to a certain extent. But, it's actually too close to a medical doctor, I thought," Kim explained a bit with a laugh.
"And you don't want to be a medical doctor?"
"No, because then I'd also have to be a rocket scientist, so my dad's feelings wouldn't be hurt. Besides, the whole family is either medical doctors or engineers. That's just boring."
"That's boring?" Shego repeated in a skeptical tone.
"Well, not boring, but limited. I'm not built for that, though. I'm more of a mover. While some Possibles do get around, I make even those guys look like sedentary rocks," Kim remarked with a smile. Shego actually could not picture the girl being very active, but that was only because most of her memories of the girl were her lying around the house or cowering underneath her box.
"What are you built for?" Shego asked in a slightly amused tone. She nearly smiled, but she caught herself.
"Adventure?" Kim guessed.
"Well, how does that trigger into your going to school for bio?"
"Outside and animals. I don't mind getting dirty when it's called for," the redhead said. She was fashion conscious, but not when she was out on a mission. Out in a jungle or a forest somewhere, Kim was just like a kid playing in mud. In a mountain, she was like a kid in the snow. In a swamp, well, she was like a kid in a pool and in mud.
"So, what are you going to do?"
"Well, I don't know about that yet. I just know I'm going to study animals in some way. I've even considered hunting for new species since I travel the world so much," the girl answered.
"Glad to see you've figured out what you want to do with your life … sort of anyway. So, where are you going to go to school?" the emerald-eyed woman inquired.
"Well … I've been accepted to Go University. Their biology department is rather well known and prestigious. Their courses and labs are very cool. They've been trying to get me to go there since I started school at Middleton College."
"So, you're going to go to G.U.?" Shego inquired.
"Maybe. I think it's a great school and I'd like to hang out with my friends."
"So, why maybe?"
"Two things, my parents hate me living in Go City, especially if I do it on my own. And I can't do it on my own anyway since my lifestyle kind of doesn't work with regular jobs. I need a place to stay if I go there."
"Well, I'm not looking for a freeloader around here," Shego declared.
"I wouldn't be a freeloader," Kim argued.
"You've got a paying job then?"
"Well … no," the redhead answered.
"Then how wouldn't you be a freeloader then? You couldn't pay me any rent or pay any bills, could you?"
"Okay, fine, you make a point," Kim conceded there.
"Well … you know your old job is still open," Shego muttered.
"Really?" Kim asked, her olive eyes shining bright with hope.
"And you won't mind?"
"Why the fuck would I mind?" Shego asked. She knew what Kim was getting at. She thought that because she was all-mighty Kim Possible that it would be impossible for them to go back to the way things used to be. As far as Shego was concerned that was pure bullshit. She was the one in charge, no matter what. She did not give a damn if the kid was the bleeding Queen.
"Well, if that's the case, I accept," Kim replied with a nod and a smile. From what she could tell, taking her old job was just about the only way she could hope to stay with Shego at the moment because it seemed like the only way the elder woman was going to allow her into her life.
"All right, Princess. All the old rules stand, you're back in the loft, and you'd better not be lying to me."
"Me lie? Come on, Shego, you know I don't lie," Kim said with an impish smile; a smile that Shego silently admitted that she sorely missed.
"You'd better not start either. So, you're going to stay here to night or did the museum that you're stringing along spring for a fancy hotel room?" the pale woman inquired.
"I'll stay here. This is home, after all," the redhead answered with a grin. Home, sweet home.
Next time: Kim and Shego try to fall back into old habits.