Boilerplate Disclaimer: The various characters from the Kim Possible series are all owned by Disney. Any and all registered trade names property of their respective owners. Cheap shots at celebrities constitute fair usage.

Chapter 20 - And the Battle to the Strong

"You'll wear that," Mahfouz told Shego, jerking his head back to indicate she needed to look at what appeared to be a bulky backpack in the rear seat. "NNEMP - should be strong enough to knock out all the robots."

"'Should' is the best you can do?" Shego groused. "Don't you have anything stronger?"

He took his eyes off the road long enough to glare at her, "The NN stands for non-nuclear. We can make it a lot stronger. But the nuclear version would not only end the robots it would take out agent Possible, your friend Drakken, and a nice piece of countryside."

"NN it is," Shego muttered. "EMP… Electromagnetic pulse, right?"

"Right. Really tough vircator in it. Try and take it off before you trigger it, I doubt it would be fatal, but it wouldn't do you any good. Mr. Load rigged this one so if someone tries to destroy it - the pulse is activated. Someone else takes it off you - the pulse is activated. We were going to set it so when Mr. Stoppable took it off he had ten seconds to--"

"I've got the shoes, remember?"

"I was getting to that. I'll reset it to… half a second? when I strap you in."

"Should be good."

"Oh, and you realize this will destroy the shoes you are wearing, correct?"

"Absolutely," Shego agreed. "If they don't kill me there is no way in hell I'm ever putting on another pair of these things."

The Egyptian pulled over to the side of the road.

"Are we there yet?" Shego whined.

The brown man didn't get the joke. "No, I should explain more details of the plan to you - it will take some time."

"No, get back on the road. If those things understand there's someone out here capable of stopping the fast model they'll kill Kim and whoever can make the shoes. You can play secret agent man later, but get me to their base."

Mahfouz planned to stop a mile from the base, "Far enough out the jeep won't be affected by the pulse," he explained. "At your speed I can't get away in time if I'm in the effective zone."

"I'm still tired, these things take a lot out of me. Get in closer."

"Too close and we risk being seen."

"Don't get close enough and I collapse from exhaustion." "A mile would kill me."

The Egyptian wanted to called GJ to get an opinion on the best approach, but Shego convinced him not to call. He remembered enough details from discussing it with Stein, Wade, and Ron earlier in the day to make a wide detour and approach the bunker from the rear.

He coasted to a stop and Shego dug around in the trunk as he adjusted settings on the NNEMP. She found some small wrenches and wondered what they'd do to a target if thrown at super speed. After finishing his adjustments Mahfouz nervously whispered instructions to Shego as he helped her fit the straps. Shego had her own problems with nerves as she put on the shoes and prepared to activate them. She took a deep breath and turned them on. The jolt of pain knocked her to her knees long enough for Mahfouz to catch a glimpse of her before she got up and limped towards the entrance to the WEE bunker. The brown man considered trying to start the car, knowing that if she were successful it would not start but fearing that if she failed the Bebes would look for other intruders and the noise would give him away.

The green woman fought pain every slow step of the way. "I'm doing this for Kim. I'm doing this for Kim," she told herself endlessly as she slowly, or so it seemed to her, inched her way along.

She got her chance to test out thrown wrenches as she neared the entrance and a Bebe came at her - fast. The first wrench missed completely and went over the top of the bunker, the second went wide and hit the thick cement wall. The Egyptian would hear the sound, but Shego could not. The third toss went through the torso of the robot, tearing a massive hole in it. The lights in its eyes dimmed and the robot went tumbling, its momentum causing it to roll fifty yards before smashing into a large tree.

Not having studied the floor plan of the bunker the green woman planned to just go in a little way and trigger the EMP generator.

A second fast Bebe came at her a few feet inside the door. Like the one armed robot the day before it possessed no fighting skills, but any blow it landed at super speed would probably be fatal. Rather than practicing defense Shego got in a fast kick which tore the metal creature in two. It didn't damage her shoes, but the exertion brought on pain which knocked Shego to the ground. Unable to stand she crawled forward. She got another ten meters before giving out. She wanted to go further, but had no strength. She opened the buckle and rolled out of the device. With no strength to run there was no way for her to get further away. Her last thought before passing out was the hope Kim would realize Shego loved her.

The bunker went pitch black.


In the kitchen Kim mentally cursed Drakken for whatever he had done. Not only were the lights off, but the glowing red eyes of the robots had gone out also. Her plan with Drakken was not ready to put into action, and triggering it prematurely put them both in danger. The redhead refused to panic. She stood in a totally dark room, and tried to remember the layout of the kitchen. In her explorations she had found some candles and matches, she just needed to remember their location, and find them. She tripped over one of the Bebes and almost fell, but kept her feet and after what seemed like twenty minutes - but was less than two - managed to locate what she sought. It took another minute to light a match in the dark. "I need to find Drakken."

In the lab Drakken panicked when the lights turned off and the Bebes collapsed. He didn't know what Kim could have done - but the red haired idiot would get them both killed. He started feeling for a door, tripping three times as he sought for a way out. He finally found a door, pulled it open and ran through - hitting the back of the storage closet with a resounding thud and collapsing to the floor holding his bloody nose.

As he tried to calm down for another attempt to find the door he heard, "Drakken? Drakken? Where are you?"

"In here!" he shouted. "I'm in here!"

A dim light revealed the doorway and a minute later Kim was there, holding a candle and lighting another one for him. "What did you do?" she demanded.

"What did I do? What did you do? I didn't do anything."

"We'd better get to work," Kim told him. "We don't have much time to destroy them."

"We don't have enough time! We've got to get out of here. Let's go!"

"No, we've got to get rid of them!"

"There's no time! We--"

"There are two of us. We can do it, but we have to work fast."

"The only fast thing I'm doing is running!"

Kim sighed; knocking him out would do her no good. Arguing would be a greater waste of time. She feared there was no way for her to defeat the Bebes by herself, but she had to try. She decided to accompany him to the entrance. She needed to start her sweep of the bunker somewhere and perhaps she could convince him to stay while they walked.

Shego's body lay on the floor of the corridor to the entrance. Kim dropped to her knees and took the green woman in her arms, now the redhead experienced panic.

"Is she…" Drakken stammered.

"I-- I think she's alive..." Kim answered.

Drakken went down on one knee and checked for a pulse. "She's alive, but she's in bad shape."

"Water, get me water!" Kim demanded.

"What good will that--"

"I said, get me water."

The blue man knew better than to argue, he ran for the kitchen -- putting out his candle. He came back and relit the candle, then headed more slowly for the kitchen as Kim cradled Shego. Kim splashed a little water on the unconscious woman. Shego didn't open her eyes, but revived enough to croak, "Get out… reboot… out."

"No, we're going to stay with you," Kim assured her, gently running her hand through Shego's black hair.

"Out… danger…"

"She's right," Drakken told Kim, and headed for the door. He managed to extinguish his candle again, but there was enough light through the open doorway for him to escape.

Shego felt confident she was dying. It would be nice to die in Kim's arms… "Get out of here," she gasped, "Ron's waiting for you."

Kim refused to let go of the injured woman. "No, I love you. I'm not leaving you."

Shego didn't believe it, but it felt nice to hear. Kim must also realize that she was dying. "Go, Kim. The Bebes… turn back on… I'm not going to make it… Wade right, shoes… gonna kill me."

Kim hugged her tighter. "No, you can't die. I won't let you. I love you."

"Didn't know… needed permission… to die…"

"You can heal, Shego. Do your healy thing."

"No time… Princess… Get out… Now… If shoes don't… Bebes will…"

Shego felt warm drops of moisture hit her face. Kim was crying. "I'm not leaving you, Shego. I won't. I can't."

"Go," Shego moaned.

Kim felt torn. She didn't want to leave Shego, not even for a second, but the only chance they had was for Kim to find and destroy all the robots before the fail-safe switches turned them back on. She softly lowered Shego's head to the floor.

"Going?" the green woman whispered.

"No, I've got to try and stop the Bebes. I'm not leaving without you."

Shego had no strength left to argue. Kim was looking for any words of encouragement she could give before she began what she knew would be a hopeless task when Stein and a half dozen other Global Justice agents carrying kerosene lanterns and another NNEMP came through the entrance.

"I don't quite understand this, but your friend, Mr. Stoppable, said I should ask, 'What's the sitch'," Stein told her.

"Where's Ron?"

"We wouldn't let him come. This is a Global Justice operation, and he doesn't belong… He'll be bringing in the fourth NNEMP if we need one. What've we got?"

"Thirty-one robots--"

"Twenty-nine," Stein corrected her, "Ms Ghose took out two last night."

"Twenty-seven," Shego whispered weakly, "got… two more."

"Five with super-speed - they're the most dangerous. I imagine Shego took one of them out last night," Kim reported. Kim noticed the shoes Shego wore, "I'll guess the two she just took out were two more… We have to find the last two!"

Kim looked down to Shego for confirmation of her guesses, but the green woman had lost consciousness again.

Stein turned to the agent carrying the EMP device, "Theophilus, try and find a central point for that." After the agent nodded and left Stein explained, "Your friend Wade had a chip on the first NNEMP. He'd figured out the interval for the reboot, and when the chip stopped sending it started the countdown for this one going off. He only had time to build three more after this - but if it's only twenty-seven robots we probably have enough time to disconnect them - Wade showed us all the reboot switch."

"Probably only need to find sixteen or eighteen, Drakken replaced the fail-safe switch on the ones he repaired - designed to only work once. He stopped them to 'prove' it worked… But he sometimes gets careless so we'd better find them all."

She hated leaving Shego, but with the best sense of the bunker and where the robots might be Kim reluctantly left the older women with an agent who claimed some first aid skills. Ten minutes into the search Mahfouz nervously entered the bunker, emboldened by the GJ vehicle parked near the front.

As the Bebes were discovered their torsos were opened and the reboot switches yanked. Thirteen of the Bebes were rendered scrap before the second NNEMP went off. Twenty-five had been destroyed by the time of the third EMP pulse - including the remaining Bebes with speed, and Agent Theophilus was dispatched down the road to flag down the jeep with the third NNEMP and use their radio to call the command center and tell them the final device would not be needed - and send a doctor with the bus to bring the agents in.

A bus and truck pulled up in front of the former WEE base after it had been secured. "I'm in charge of clean-up," Stein announced, and called off the names of three other agents to remain behind. "There're empty crates in the back of the truck - haul 'em out and pack up these robots. Then we comb the bunker and pack up any tools and spare parts we find."

"What's going to happen to this place?" one of the clean-up crew asked.

"Going to weld the doors shut -- again. I hope whoever does it this time does a better job than last time."

"I don't think they had super robots in mind when they sealed it last time," another pointed out.

"Well, they sure as hell should have left some sort of monitoring equipment in place…" Stein began to say, "Hey, that's a good idea, I'd better mention it."

"What's gonna happen to these things?" another asked. "One of the guys they hurt was my buddy."

"They're going to a smelter," Stein lied. He hated lying, but was under orders. Guards and drivers would change until those with him when he delivered the crates to a GJ research facility in New Jersey had no idea what was in them. Stein didn't know what would happen after that. He had been told to keep it secret because the technology would attract thieves. He had already been given the documents that certified the Bebes had been melted down. Bertie Widgeon didn't trust Stein to keep his oath of secrecy. In three weeks Stein would receive a promotion and be sent off to London as the assistant director of the European office, putting him far enough away to insure that the true story did not reach Betty Director.

The doctor looked worried as he examined Shego, but couldn't check her out thoroughly until they were back at the hospital. Kim wished Stein had ordered a helicopter to take her back immediately, but knew it would not have been possible. The bus had been equipped with a couple bunks and Shego was placed on one. Kim lay down beside her, "I'll hold her on the ride back," she told the doctor.

Shego awoke on the jolting ride back to the highway. She opened her eyes to find Kim staring into hers. The pale woman seemed slightly stronger after a couple hours of rest.

"Did you hear what I said in there?" Kim asked softly.

"It's okay, Kim… You thought I was dying… You don't have to--"

Kim frowned and put a finger on Shego's lips, silencing her. "Damn it, Shego. I said how I feel. How do you feel?"

"Lousy," Shego admitted.

"I meant about us."

"What makes you think--"

"Please, Shego, we're trying for honest."

"Honest? From me?"

"I need to hear you say it. I love you. How do you feel about me?"

Shego hesitated, wondering if Kim could be trying to trick her in some bizarre or cruel way but realizing it would be too out-of-character. "I love you."

Kim grinned broadly, "Say it again."

"You heard me say it."

"I need to hear it again, and again, and again."

Shego took a deep breath and let it out slowly, still not certain she could believe the redhead. "I love you," she said softly. Kim's good arm tightened its hold on the green woman slightly. "I love you," she repeated.

Kim's lips pressed against the top of Shego's head, "I love you," the redhead murmured.

Shego closed her eyes. "I love you so much it hurts… I've never… I want to… Damn, I don't know what I'm supposed to do or say."

"First, you move back in with me."

"Maybe second. The doctors need to look at your arm, and I feel like crap."

"I'm sorry," Kim told her, and kissed the green woman's head again. "Okay, second - you move back in with me…" Kim hesitated. "I'm scared too. I don't know what to say or do either. But I really want you back with me. I want us together."

An X-ray at the hospital confirmed Drakken's diagnosis of Kim's arm, and they put her in a better cast than he had the materials for at the old WEE base. They also gave her a pain killer Kim found simply marvelous. The doctors weren't certain how Shego could be alive, but gave her pain killers and sedatives and tried to figure out where to go from there.

The doctors might have discharged Kim, but she insisted on staying in the same room with Shego. Three times during the night nurses had to tell Kim to get back into her own bed. Finally the nurses stopped, and let the two sleep in each other's arms.

The next morning two doctors examined Shego again. They were amazed by the how much she had improved in one day, but one predicted six months in the hospital and, while the second did not voice his concerns, he feared she might never walk again.

Medication left Shego dozing all day. The green woman wasn't certain if it were real or some sort of drug-induced hallucination, but Kim was there whenever she woke up - often in the bed beside her and holding her.

In the afternoon Ron came in while Shego was awake. He grinned to see them together. "Told you it'd be a long talk."

"You knew!" Shego said in an accusing tone, "why didn't you tell me?"

"Would you have believed me?"

"No," Shego admitted grudgingly. "I'd have smacked you for playing with my head… Wade coming by to remind me he was right?"

"Nay, he took off. Got on Betty's shit-list when he left."

Kim spoke up, "What did he do to make Dr. Director mad?"

"He took Mahfouz with him," Ron laughed.

The women looked puzzled, "Wade is gay?"

"No, at least I don't think so. Wade hired him for Wade Internet Security. He's paying him like, two or three times more than Global Justice can give him." Ron looked at Kim, "And Betty's pretty ticked off with someone for knocking her out and tying her up."

Kim couldn't believe it, "Someone knocked out Dr. Director?"

"Yep, and stuck her in a bathroom."

"I'd hate to be in his shoes when she catches up with him," Kim chuckled.

"Uh, how about her pants?" Shego muttered.

Kim ignored her, the medications sometimes left Shego's mind wandering.

It took three days before the doctors permitted Shego to leave the Elm Grove hospital The other recruits were on break between training sessions and Marie and Langston came out to help bring her back to a hospital near Kim and GJ headquarters. Mr. Addams allowed her to take the final exam late for his class, and Ms. Feinkelder still wanted a paper so the two vowed to work with her and Kim to make sure 'Shelly' passed the first session.

There were a couple small fights in the hospital. One began when Kim discovered that Shego had remained in classes at Global Justice after leaving her. "How could you do that to me?" the redhead protested.

Shego provoked the second. "Kim, you cheated."

"What do you mean?"

"You're some kind of mutant freak, Wade told me."

"Wade told you I was a mutant freak?"

"Well, not in those words. He said you're stronger and faster than any person should be."

"I don't…"

"So when we fought, you cheated."

"I still don't get the cheated part."

"Well, duh. All those years I was pulling my punches because I didn't want to hurt you - and you took advantage of my good nature."

"Took advantage of your good nature?" Kim grumbled. "You don't have a good nature to take advantage of."

"Don't take it so personally. I had to learn to live with being green. At least yours doesn't show."

"I am not a mutant freak."

"It's okay, Kim. I think us freaks need to stick together."

"We'll continue this argument later. Right now I'm feeling too happy to fight. Have I told you lately that I love you?"

"Not in the last seven minutes."

"I love you."

"I love you too."

"I love you more."

"No, I love you more."

A nurse popped her head through the open doorway, "Can you two knock it off -- you're disturbing the patient in the next room. Why don't you just make out or something."

They took her advice.


Thursday evening, and Kim was in Shego's hospital bed. "The doctor's will let me out tomorrow," Shego reported. "Is there any food in the apartment?"

"Uh, no… I'm here every spare minute I have. When would I have time to go to the grocery store?"

"So they'll send the invalid home to starve. I--"

"You won't starve. I'll get take out for us. I seem to recall the doctors recommending two weeks of bed rest when they discharged you."

"No way, second session starts on Monday. I'm not gonna fall behind this time."

"Don't do it! Exhaust yourself and it'll take even longer for you to make a full recovery."

"Yeah? Well, fall behind and spend the whole session playing catch-up isn't good for me either."

They compromised with Kim waiting on Shego hand and foot over the weekend, and Shego agreeing to put off assisting Mr. Kim for at least a week.

On Tuesday Shego received good news, "It's official, I passed both International Law and Criminal Justice." She raised an eyebrow, "First session completed… I feel the need to celebrate."

"Shall I call a restaurant for--"

"Celebrate, Kim, do you remember how? We haven't celebrated since we got back together."

"Oh, a celebration… Are you feeling well enough?" Kim asked, the concern showing in her voice.

"Trust me, Kim. I need to celebrate."

The redhead grinned at her, "So do I, but I've been waiting until you're healthy. I don't want to put you back in the hospital."

In all relationships there is an adjustment period as the 'Wow, this is the most incredible person in the world!' wears off and reality sets in. Kim and Shego found areas of friction, but learned to deal with them. Shego remained too secretive from force of habit, and Kim sometimes had trouble trusting her from past experiences - but hugging your partner several times a day and telling her that you love her helped them get through the roughest spots.

A larger apartment helped… Even a same-sized apartment might have helped - a change meant it was no longer Shego living at Kim's apartment but the two of them in their apartment. Other agents and recruits helped with the move, and stayed for soda, beer and pizza at the apartment warming party afterwards. When the last of the guests finally left Kim insisted Shego go out into the hallway with her. Puzzled, the green woman did as requested.

"What's this all about," Shego demanded as they stood in the hall and the apartment door swung shut behind them.

"We're going back in to celebrate. But I'm going to carry you across the threshold," Kim told her, scooping the older woman up in her arms.

Shego giggled, "And the amazing thing is, you're completely sober," as Kim turned the knob, only to find the door locked. "Uh, Shego? Do you have your key on you?"

"No… Don't tell me you…"

Kim nodded glumly.


Epilogue

Shego completed her training to become a Global Justice agent with no clear sense of what she would do. Kim wanted her as an agent and partner on missions.

"Don't think Betty's gonna let that happen," Shego told her. "My cover story is too thin. Someone looks at it close and I'm in prison. She's trying to get a real pardon for me, but it takes time."

"So what are you going to do? Keep working with Mr. Kim on training new agents?"

"Dunno… Maybe. Betty's talking about moving Jorge over to the number two spot in HR and making me her office assistant."

Kim laughed, "You as a secretary? No way! She's going to get back at you for knocking her out last spring."

Shego joined in the laughter, but didn't mean it. Kim was a good agent, and naively happy going out on missions to promote justice. Shego felt more aware about some of the nasty office politics going on at Global Justice. Maybe Betty wanted to protect her from Bertie Widgeon, or just keep her from being used as his tool. Perhaps Betty hoped to use her as her own ally or tool. Shego hoped she was wrong, but feared things would turn ugly at GJ and couldn't share Kim's happy optimism.


At Christmas the Drs. Possible let Kim and Shego stay in the same room. They were not happy with Shego and secretly hoped the two would break up, but hid it as best they could and tried to get to know Shego better.

"So, when are you taking me to meet your family," Kim asked as they cuddled in the redhead's old room.

"You know the expression, 'When Hell freezes over'?"

"Yes."

"Well, it ain't gonna be that soon."

Kim left Shego at home watching a game with her dad one night while the former Middleton cheerleaders went to dinner.

"Will Ron be there?" Shego demanded.

Kim gave her a kiss, "Don't be jealous, I love you. I'm hoping to set Ron up with one of them. Will you be happy if I can find someone for him to date?"

"Fine," Shego grumbled, "but don't expect me to be gone when you get back."


Four weeks later Kim took a week of vacation when Shego booked another week at the resort where 'Shelly' met 'Kay' a year earlier.

Kim stood by their bags as Shego spoke with the desk clerk. He left to confirm details of their reservation and Kim poked Shego, "In four days, anniversary of the first time we made love."

"We didn't make love last year, we had sex."

"Well, this year we'll be making love."

Shego slowly scanned the lobby area.

"What are you doing?" Kim demanded.

"Well, if this year I'll be making love, I'm just wondering who I'll be making love to."

Kim pretended to stomp on her foot. "Honestly, I don't know why I love you. It's not for your sense of humor."

"It's 'cause us mutant freaks got to stick together."

"I am not a mutant freak!" Kim protested as Shego threw her arms around the redhead.

"Yes you are, and I love you for it. You love me because I can keep up with you."

A discrete cough from the returned desk clerk interrupted their kiss. "Um, if you would please remember this is a family hotel…"

Kim enthused as they rode the elevator to their floor, "This time we do snorkeling!"

"And sex."

"Volleyball, I love volleyball!"

"And sex."

"You're impossible," Kim said, and stuck out her tongue before opening their door with a room card.

"Let's face it, Kim, we aren't getting anything else done until after I get into your panties. Surrender to the inevitable and maybe we can get out to the beach in time for the volley ball tournament."

"You're not getting into my panties this morning," Kim whispered.

"I'm not?"

"I planned ahead," Kim giggled, "I'm not wearing any."

They checked out the balcony view before unpacking. Kim leaned over and gently nipped Shego's ear, "Two questions for you, Sasha. The first is, what do you want to do second? And the other question is when do I learn your real last name?"

"Give me a minute Pumpkin, I'm too busy thinking about what we're going to do first to think about what to do second… Last name? Um, how about if we stick together for five years I tell you my last name?"

Kim pouted, "Five years?"

"Okay, four years if you're good."

"What if I'm really good?"

"Maybe three."

Kim leaned over and rubbed herself against Shego, "What if I'm great," she purred.

"Two years."

Kim whispered in Shego's ear, "I'm going to be so incredible you're going to tell me your last name before we go back."

Shego smiled, "Make up your mind, Princess, do you want to get out and play volleyball or not?"