Disclaimer: "Kim Possible" belongs to Disney that includes all the characters related to the show and so on and so forth. In conclusion, I don't own them.

Chapter 3

Kim walked into the apartment after a long day of working with Old Paul. She was finally adjusting to her daily work schedule, so wasn't as tired from working in the garage as she had been before. Her energy was back up and she didn't feel like staying inside of an empty apartment alone, because once again Shego was out doing something that Kim hadn't bothered to ask about and Shego hadn't bothered to tell her about.

It hardly mattered to Kim at all that yesterday's midday news had reported that a research lab in Macau was broken into and a highly volatile experimental fuel had been taken. While, in unrelated news a Dior Boutique in Macau had also been robbed and was now short on a ring they called a "Précieuse Trèfle" that had been described as an 18K white gold, platinum, with diamonds, emeralds and yellow sapphires estimated worth more than Kim would ever make working at Old Paul's garage. It was a beautiful ring, one Kim was sure she hadn't gotten a chance to see in person on Shego's index finger when Shego had decided to treat Kim to dinner at a five star restaurant the previous night.

Kim made her way through the apartment, past the Van Gogh painting hanging in the hallway, straight to her bedroom. She grabbed a few articles of clothing from her closet and then made her way to the bathroom. She showered carefully, cleaning off the remnants of Old Paul's Garage happy to be rid of the grease and oil that had accumulated on her body throughout the day.

Once clean, Kim dried herself off, put on her clothes and didn't even bother to answer the ringing phone before she left the apartment. Wade had been consistently calling her every day with a new mission he thought she wouldn't want to pass up on. He hadn't managed to offer her a mission yet that meant anything to her. He had often tried to goad her into action by bringing up something Shego was doing, but Kim let his words lose any real meaning.

No one knew that she was living with Shego, and as far as Kim was concerned no one needed to know who she was living with because it wasn't anybody else's business. No one even knew where it was she was living these days. Wade had attempted to figure it out by tracing the phone number she had given him, but Shego wasn't so stupid as to let her phone be traceable. Kim asked Wade to respect her privacy and Wade forced himself to honor her wishes, no matter how wrong he thought they were.

Kim didn't want to be found, so he wouldn't try and find her. He had convinced himself that if Kim was given enough space, then eventually she would come back to her family, back to her friends, and back to her home. The only reason why he kept on calling her was because he wanted to make sure that Kim was still alive. It was his immaturity that made him offer Kim missions he knew she would refuse. His youth couldn't quite let him believe that his hero was really giving up.

"Another time, Wade," Kim called out as she locked the apartment door behind her.

She went straight to the streets and didn't even bother to stop and think when she turned to walk down 34th street. The anxiety that had built up inside of her hadn't ever really mellowed and no amount of talking to Shego had given her any release. Her anxiety had turned into frustration and the frustration was manifesting into anger.

When she walked into the abandoned factory building, a fight already in progress, she didn't even wonder if what she was doing was wrong. Nathan had spotted her as soon as she walked through the doors and he walked right up to her and didn't hesitate to explain to her how she could register to get inside of the ring.

"So, all you have to do is kick some ass, ya know?" Nathan needlessly informed Kim as he was standing with her while she was waiting to be called for her turn to fight. "The people around here don't care for a lot of the fancy stuff, ya know. They just want to see a lot of blood and if you could manage to have it so that your opponent leaves here on a stretcher, all the better, ya understand."

Kim turned her attention away from the fight happening in front of her to the rambling man next to her. "I'm not doing that. I don't want to kill anyone."

"Whoa," Nathan held up his hands trying to physically fend off Kim's words. "Who said anything about killing? Just mess 'em up good, ya know." He dropped his hands and then immediately stuffed them into the front pockets of his dark jeans.

Kim looked over the man standing next to her, only now wondering what she was really doing standing next to him in this place, where fighting was a form of illegal entertainment. She wondered what brought Nathan here. He didn't look like a fighter. He wasn't much taller than her, and she could swear that the muscles on her arms were more defined than his. He wore dark rimmed glasses that were being held together by a piece of scotch tape that connected the two pieces to make a whole. He just didn't look like the type that would come out to make a bet that one human being could beat up on another. He looked like a familiar face, like any other, nothing too extraordinary about him.

"I get half of whatever you win off of me tonight, Nathan." Kim looked away from Nathan's dark brown eyes back to the faceless mass of people cheering on the fighters in front of her.

"There's already a prize for the winner. Why you gotta cut into my winnings?" If anything, he added silently to himself, the redhead owed him part of her winnings since he let her know about the place.

"That way you don't bet it all away," Kim didn't bother to look at him as she answered.

"What's it matter to you?" Nathan wasn't looking for someone to help him with anything. He was a grown man and he was fully capable of taking care of himself.

"You need new glasses, you haven't shaved in a few days, and your eyes don't look so great either." Kim finally turned her attention back to Nathan.

Nathan dropped his eyes to the ground and took a long look at his shoes. "Fine." He shrugged. "What does it matter to me, ya know?"

The fight in front of them ended. The loser was being carried off on a stretcher and the crowd was losing control. Those that had won were holding up their money like it somehow managed to get them closer to Heaven, while the ones that had lost were holding their heads down upset that what was supposed to be a 'sure thing' wasn't quite as absolute as they had originally thought.

"Okay, Red, you're up next," Nathan raised his head and looked towards the fighting stage. "Don't let your nerves knock you down."

Kim looked curiously at Nathan, her head tilted slightly. "I'm not nervous."

"Well," One hand fell out of Nathan's pocket and then motioned in the direction of Kim's hands, "you're shaking."

Kim clenched her hands into a tight fist, then looked down at her hands as if she hadn't ever seen them before. She felt disconnected from her body, and this wasn't the first time she had experienced the feeling. The first time she had walked into a bar after a victorious mission, slid into a barstool, ordered a drink and then gulped it down was her original point of disconnect. It was the first time she had given up control, and the first time she realized just how easy it was to do.

She slowly unclenched her fist and stared down at the grooves her fingernails had left in the palm of her hand. She watched as the marks began to fade with an absent stare. She still couldn't recognize her own hand, no matter how much she tried to.

"You should go on up there," Nathan's voice forced itself into her awareness. "Unless you want to forfeit?"

"No," Kim shook her head. "No. I'm going."

She clenched her fists again, and then made her way up to the ring.

"I'm so fucked," Nathan whispered to himself as he saw Kim stumble into the fighting arena. He had for sure thought that she would be his sure thing, but the more he spent time with her he realized that she seemed really spacey and hardly worth his attention. He cursed himself again for not pulling out when he had heard the pseudonym Kim had chosen to use in the arena. "What kind of fighter worth anything goes by Princess?" He rubbed his forehead with the palm of his hand and then began to avidly pray.

Kim pretended not to notice Nathan's soft cursing. She focused her attention of the man standing in front of her. He was her opponent and she was supposed to beat him up enough so that he had to be carried out of the fight. That's the way things worked in this place.

She didn't throw the first punch. She didn't even bother to throw the second. She dodged all of the man's advances never pressing the various openings he left before her. After twenty minutes of overexertion, Kim's opponent collapsed to the ground and she hadn't even thrown a single punch. She had won the match by default.

Immediately after she was declared the winner, Kim jumped off of the stage and hurried to collect her winnings. The crowd was caught between whether they should be cheering for her or cursing her. They had never seen anyone move quite as fast as she had. They had never seen anyone win a match like she had. But there was no blood; there was no gore. There was no gruesome story to tell about how some Bit of Nothing going by the name of Princess had defeated a man who looked to be almost three times her size. Were they supposed to feel amazed or cheated?

"You're a weird girl, ya know." Nathan confessed as soon as he had caught up with Kim on the street. "You've left an angry mob back there. People want their money back."

"They can ask me for it back."

Kim didn't smile and she didn't sound like she was making a joke, but Nathan laughed anyway. "So, what else have you got planned for us tonight?"

"Us?"

"Well yeah," Nathan didn't let his smile fall from his face. "I'm like the Robin to your Batman now."

Kim stumbled but caught her balance before she fell. "I'm not looking for a sidekick."

"Heroes never look for sidekicks," Nathan shrugged tactically ignoring the fact that Kim had just tripped over her own feet. He was sure that even Batman managed to stumble when people weren't looking. "They just sort of get stuck with them, ya know."

"Look, Nathan," Kim stopped walking, "I think you're a nice guy and all, but I'm really not looking to get stuck with you."

"Yeah well," Nathan scratched at the back of his neck, "maybe I'm the one looking to get stuck with you."

"Go home," Kim softly said.

"Well," Nathan's hand hadn't dropped from the back of his neck yet, "I don't really have one."

Kim shook her head and then started walking again. "No." Shego would not look kindly to her taking in random men from the street.

Nathan didn't say anything else, he just followed his savior around figuring that eventually she'd hit him to get him to leave or would give him a place to stay for the night. He was willing to risk getting hit, especially since he saw the performance Kim had given in the fight. She just wasn't into the violence like some of the others he'd seen come before her.

Eventually, Kim got tired of walking and circles and knew that if she didn't get to bed soon then she'd miss her first day of work with Old Paul. "Fine." She turned to face Nathan who had been steadily following her throughout the night. "I'm just going to let Shego deal with you."

Her harmless stalker grinned, thinking somehow that he had won. He followed her up to her apartment and blindly entered into it. He had hardly gotten past the threshold before he stopped mindlessly following Kim's lead. His eyes fell to the green skinned woman lounging on the black leather sofa in front of him, and he couldn't force his eyes to look away.

"Princess, I thought we had a conversation already about you bringing in strays." Shego casually swung her legs down from the back of the sofa onto the floor.

"Shego, please just get rid of him," Kim said her voice a little strained. "It's been a long night." She quietly told her roommate before she walked away towards Shego's bedroom.

Shego watched Kim's hurried exit, then stood up. "Well." Her attention went to the small pathetic man standing in her apartment. "If you're going to stay here then you're sleeping on the couch. You take anything and I'll kill you."

"Yes ma'am," Nathan managed to stutter through the fear he felt coursing through him. He was sure that Kim wasn't going to hurt him, but he had no confidence whatsoever that the woman standing in front of him now wouldn't kill him and hide away his body so that he'd never be found.

"The bathroom is the second door on the right. Clean yourself up before you even think about putting your dirty flesh on my furniture."

"Of course."

"We'll talk in the morning," Shego turned away from Nathan who hadn't managed to move since he stepped foot into the apartment. She followed the same path Kim had taken to the bedroom. Once she went inside, she saw Kim had already readied for bed and was lying down looking up at her hands as if they were some alien object.

Shego quietly closed the bedroom door, then made her way to the bed and sat down upon it as close as she could to Kim without being atop the younger woman.

"They look so much different," Kim let Shego's presence capture her attention.

Shego reached out and encased Kim's hands in her own. They didn't look much different to her, but she knew that Kim wasn't talking solely about their physical appearance. "They'll never look the same to you again, Kimmie." Shego ran her thumbs gently across the backs of Kim's hands. "That's what happens when you kill someone."

They hadn't talked about it yet. Neither of them had been brave enough to bring it up, but Shego was tired of waiting to see what condition Kim would show up in when she finally returned from running around at night. So far, Kim had come back physically intact but Shego wouldn't put up with Kim bringing home anymore Nathans.

"I did the right thing," Kim told herself, but no matter how often she repeated it she still wasn't sure whether she believed it or not.

"I'm not saying you didn't."

It wasn't by a complete fluke that Kim had stumbled into Shego in that dark alley. Shego had been out looking for the young heroine, because she could tell that Kim was slowly breaking down. That's why Kim didn't want a birthday party. That's why she sought out bars that fed off of the despair of humankind. That's why she was bored with her life, thinking that on some level she really didn't deserve it.

Kim's life had taken a turn and she hadn't known how to deal with it. Everyone around her had said that she had done good. She had saved people and that's all that mattered. They moved on from it like nothing had ever happened and Kim had done her best to move on with them. Fast forward to six months later, and she was stumbling out of a bar clueless as to where she was headed and clueless as to whom she might run into.

"Then why does it always hurt?" Kim clenched her fingers around Shego's hands. "Why doesn't the anger just go away?"

All Shego could say was that it would take time, but she knew that kind of answer meant very little. It had meant little to her when she had been told that after she had killed for the first time, and her anger hadn't managed to disappear yet. She had made choices based on that anger that she wasn't proud of, but couldn't change anything now and Kim would have to learn that she couldn't change anything either.

"What did you do tonight, Kimmie?"

"I went out thinking I was going to beat someone up," Kim didn't think twice about admitting the truth. "Turned out that I couldn't even throw a single punch."

Shego didn't ask the question so that she could judge the younger woman. She simply asked because she wanted to know what was going on so that she could step in and help if she needed to. If Kim wanted to beat someone up in a fight they were stupid enough to engage in, then that was up to Kim; she was a big girl and could make her own choices. Shego just didn't want to see Kim get hurt. She needed to know the things Kim wouldn't tell her, and that's the only reason she had let Nathan stay the night. He could tell her what Kim was too afraid to confess.

"That's not a bad thing," Shego let go of one of Kim's hands, so that she could reach out and wipe away a few of Kim's tears.

Kim pulled the hand Shego still held onto out of the other woman's grip. "I'm tired."

"Then get some sleep." Shego removed herself from the bed and began to get ready for the night. She wasn't going to push Kim into anything. Kim was doing better already, even if she didn't realize it. Just by getting away from the losers she surrounded herself with, she had taken a big step towards gaining back the control she had thought she lost. At least now, Shego admitted, Kim could act like something extreme had actually happened. She didn't have to act like it was 'no big' like the morons that surrounded her expected from the girl that could do anything.

It didn't take long before Shego slid back into the bed she was now sharing with Kim. She kept to her side of the bed, not wanting to trespass into the space Kim needed. So, she was only slightly surprised when Kim slid over and removed any of the space that had been between them. Kim's arm went across her body and Kim held onto Shego as if she had just found a life preserver just when she was beginning to drown.