Disclaimer: I don't own KP or any of the characters, and I don't earn anything with this story (except a few reviews).
AN: This story ignores the events of "So the Drama" and consequently season 4.
Okay, so this update took even longer than the last one; once more, my apologies and a big thank you to all who reviewed and continued to virtually "kick" me to continue. Also, a Happy New Year to you all!
This chapter ends this story. I do have a few ideas for sequels (and there are things I haven't resolved that I need to address), but I'll take a little break from this pairing first.
So thanks for reading, and enjoy the last chapter!
"Wade, you can't be serious!" Kim exclaimed.
"I can and I am, Kim," came the reply. "I don't see another way."
There was a pause.
Finally, Kim sighed in defeat. "Alright, Wade, I'll try. Talk to you later." She switched off the Kimmunicater after Wade had wished her luck and turned to Shego, who was trying very hard to pull herself together.
As their eyes met, Shego snarled aggressively, although she couldn't stop fresh tears from falling. "Well, congratulations, princess, you've done it once again."
Kim bit her lip in order to keep from taking the bait. She knew that a fight with Shego wouldn't get her anywhere. "Listen, I think we both need to calm down, okay?"
Shego laughed hollowly. "Calm down? Staying calm never got me anywhere. I think I'd rather smash that pretty little face of yours!" She took a menacing step forward, igniting her hands with her plasma, but stopped dead in her tracks at Kim's next words.
"Would Ron want that?"
Shego blinked, and a moment later, her shoulders slumped. "Damn you, Kimmie," she muttered in a tired voice. "That was a low blow. You didn't have to bring him into this."
"Oh yes, I did," Kim replied, trying hard to keep her voice calm. "This is all about him. What did you do to him?"
"Yes, you!" the redhead answered heatedly. "The way he acted in school, that's not the Ron I know! So what did you do?"
Shego looked at her, honestly confused. "I don't know what you're talking about, princess." She did have a feeling of – was it worry? – though, so she had to ask. "What happened?"
Kim held her gaze for a moment, trying to find out if Shego was lying. She couldn't discover any signs of it, so she finally answered. "He attacked Bonnie, one of the cheerleaders, in the hallway and got into Mr. Barkin's face. That's our vice principal. Then he left."
Shego gasped at that. She couldn't really imagine Ron attacking anyone.
Kim saw her reaction and felt the need to defend Ron. "I mean, it's not like Bonnie didn't provoke him, but still, it's not like him to get violent."
Shego had a sinking feeling in her stomach. "What did this Bonnie do?" she silently asked.
"She mocked him, made fun of him, but that didn't faze him. Then she called him freak, and that's when all hell broke loose."
Shego took an involuntary step back at this proclamation. "Oh no…"
Kim looked at her intently. "What is it, Shego? Tell me!"
The green-skinned woman slowly shook her head. "I shouldn't have told him…"
It all made sense now! She could easily imagine what had happened… Ron knew how much she'd been hurt by being called freak over the years, and hearing a person he didn't like use that same word… He'd probably blown a fuse. And who could blame him? Still, it worried her that he'd resorted to violence; Ron just wasn't the kind of guy who could ever threaten or harm anyone. That was more her kind of style, and she really didn't want him to copy it, knowing where it would lead him. She really needed to talk to him! But would he even listen? After what he'd found out just now… which brought her thoughts right back to her red-headed enemy, who was staring at her and obviously running out of patience.
"Shouldn't have told him what?" Kim asked, exasperation clearly audible in her voice.
Shego sighed. She was having an inner debate about what to do now. Part of her wanted to fight Possible, verbally or physically, yet another part of her knew that it would be counter-productive. In that moment, she realized one thing: If she wanted to try and save the friendship she had with Ron, she'd have to get along with the princess somehow. Those two were a package deal, always had been. The question was, could she accept that? Finally, she came to a decision and looked at Kim with an unreadable expression.
"I'll tell you, but there's one condition."
Kim's eye-brows rose. "And what condition is that?"
"You…" Shego found it very difficult to say the words, but she knew she had to. No matter how much she despised Kim, she knew how important the redhead was to Ron. So she'd show weakness this once… but only this once! For him… "You let me be a part of Ron's life."
Ron was sitting in his room. He didn't really know what to do; the revelation that Kim and Shego had made some sort of bet… it had really shaken him. Had he been wrong about Shego? Had it all just been a ploy to get him to trust her? He found it hard to believe that… And what about Kim? What could she have said to Shego? He sighed. He felt hurt, confused and kind of alone, and the bad thing was he couldn't see that changing anytime soon.
Suddenly, however, he was torn out of his thoughts by a knock on the door. "Ron?" Of course, Kim.
He glanced at his alarm-clock. It had been almost two hours since he'd come up, so he shouldn't be surprised. Kim had never been one to let things be, especially if she felt at fault, so it was more surprising that she'd even waited this long before trying to talk to him again. Ron knew he had to face her sooner or later anyway, so he sighed once more before calling out, "come in".
He didn't turn when the door opened. "What do you want, Kim?" he asked in a tired voice with his back to her.
Kim nervously cleared her throat. "We want to apologize, Ron."
At that, he spun round, and indeed, there was Shego standing right beside Kim. Both women were unhurt from what he could tell (which was kind of surprising given their history), and both seemed very uncomfortable.
"Ron, "Kim began, "we're really sorry. Shego and I talked downstairs, so I know what happened."
Ron blinked, then turned to Shego. "You told her everything you told me?"
The green-skinned woman held his gaze, although she was trembling a little. "The abbreviated version, and I left out one or two details, but other than that, yes." She took a tentative step forward. "Ron, I'm really sorry. And I'm not playing a game here. You can hook me up to any device, shoot me with a truth ray or whatever, but please give me a chance to prove that I'm telling the truth."
He looked at Kim. "You believe her?"
The redhead nodded. "I do, and I think I have a pretty good idea why you're trying to help her."
Ron slowly shook his head. "I really don't know what to think anymore..."
Kim looked at him seriously. "Ron, whatever you might think, we swore we'd be best friends forever, and I plan on keeping that promise. I know I've made mistakes, and I'm sorry, but I'll try to make things right again." She took a deep breath. "For now, please talk to Shego, okay?"
They shared a long look before Ron finally nodded.
Kim smiled. "Alright, I'll be downstairs then."
Kim found it very hard to leave Ron's room and return downstairs, but she knew she had to.
When she'd said that she thought she knew why Ron was helping Shego, she hadn't lied: Shego had told her about herself in the past hours before they'd gone to Ron's room, and Kim had realized something she was sure Ron had realized, too: She and Shego were pretty similar in several aspects, even if they both didn't want to admit it, so it was almost logical that Ron would try to be Shego's friend if given the chance. Well, with the whole bet and everything, Ron had received that chance, and obviously, he'd taken it.
She had to smile. It was just like Ron to see the good in a person, even if no one else could; not only that, but he even managed to bring out that good, and if Shego really reformed now, it was all thanks to Ron. And she was pretty certain Shego would.
She sat down on the couch in the living-room, still smiling. With everything she'd done for other people, with the many times she'd saved the world or helped save it, with all the things she'd achieved in her young life, being able to call Ron Stoppable her best friend was still the one thing she was most proud of.
Upstairs in Ron's room, silence had descended upon the two people standing opposite each other, unable to look the other in the eye. Finally, it was Ron who broke the silence.
"So it wasn't a game?"
Shego gulped. He sounded more timid and anxious than she'd ever thought possible from him, and it dawned on her just how much damage she and Kim could have caused.
"Only at the beginning, but after we had our first real talk… no. No, it wasn't a game." She tried to sound as honest as possible, knowing that everything depended on whether he believed her or not.
"Why did you talk to Kim? You don't even like her…"
She was a bit surprised by the question, but she answered honestly. "You're right; I don't like her. That doesn't change that she's your best friend, and I have to accept that. That's why I told her. And to be honest, after I'd talked to you, it wasn't as hard to talk about it again."
Ron seemed to consider her answer for a moment before he spoke again. "So what do you expect now?"
She took a deep breath. "I don't expect anything, but I hope we can be friends again. I…"
She took a tentative step toward him. "I really don't want to lose that."
She looked at him, but his expression didn't betray his thoughts, which scared the villainess a little.
"Look, I'm really sorry, and if you tell me what I can do to make it up to you, I'll do it! I mean it!"
His voice sounded hoarse. "Anything?"
Shego gulped. He was asking for a lot, and she was sure he knew perfectly well how much he was asking. In the end, it came down to whether she trusted him or not. With that thought, she answered almost automatically.
There was a moment of tense silence after her reply, but finally, Ron's mouth twitched, and a small smile formed on his lips.
She was tempted to reciprocate that smile, but her nervousness wouldn't allow that just yet.
"So what do you want me to do?" she asked with more anxiousness than she would have liked.
His eye-brows rose, and his lopsided grin spread all over his face, while he shrugged his shoulders.
"Uh, nothing really; I just wanted to see if you were serious. But of course, I wouldn't say no to an invitation to Bueno Nacho. The Ronster's always up for some sn-mmmm!"
He was cut off in the most pleasant way possible: Shego, hearing what he said, just couldn't keep herself away from him anymore. He not only accepted her apology, he didn't even want anything in return for the gift he'd given her; this precious gift, his friendship and trust, was what sparked something inside her, and in that very moment she knew she'd fallen for him, and fallen hard. Being the impulsive woman that she was, her relief and happiness could only be channelled in one way, so Ron found himself cut off by a pair of black lips on his own.
When Shego let go of him, his eyes were glazed over, and a dazed smile was on his lips. Seeing the effect she had on him, the very last bit of doubt inside her vanished, and an enormous weight was lifted off her shoulders and her heart.
"Thank you, Ron."
He only managed a slow nod and something that sounded like "uh-huh".
She embraced him with a playful smile.
"I hope there were enough sparks for you, 'cause it definitely meant something to me," she whispered.
That got him out of his daze, and he pulled back a little so he could look her in the eyes with a serious expression.
"No games," she echoed, softly caressing his cheek with her fingertips.
He nodded and leaned in for another kiss, and this time, it was Shego who was left with a dazed smile.
Ron's expression turned thoughtful, though. They'd have to deal with a lot of things, only few of which would be easy; it would definitely be a long and hard way…
"What are you thinking about?" she softly asked, having noticed his sudden change.
"The future… It won't be easy, you know?"
She nodded, but smiled. "It won't, but between the two of us, we'll manage."
She sounded so sure that he had to smile a little, too. Plus, he liked how she said "we". "I hope so. For now, there's one thing I'm really worried about."
"That we have to tell Kim about what's just happened," he said anxiously.
Shego smiled. "I think she won't be too surprised. I may not like her all that much, but I have to admit that she's clever."
"So there's a chance I'll survive the day?"
"A very good one. And if all else fails, you still have me."
He sighed and nodded, squaring his shoulders. "Alright then, let's go down."
Shego nodded and left the room at his side. He was right, it wouldn't be easy, but she meant what she'd said: As long as she had him by her side, she'd be able to deal. He'd already become her rock and her strength, and she knew he'd never leave her. 'Perhaps I'll even return to the good guys,' she mused with a smile as Ron led her down the stairs and onto the path of a new life.