By the time the pair got to Pittsburgh, Kim was mentally getting into gear for New York. They visited more art and history museums, though for some reason the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, with its dinosaur bones and ancient Egyptian artifacts, gave the teenager a bizarre sense of deja vu.
Entering the destination city, the heroine got out her kimmunicator and played Queen's version of New York, New York.
Their first stop was the university's faculty housing office to sign papers, pay the deposit and collect the keys. They went straight to the apartment from there. It was in an old building and smaller than what Kim had seen in Pals, but it was just what she wanted: livable yet unobtrusive. It was New York, after all... how much time was she really going to spend there?
Kim managed to help a little with bringing things in, though her mother insisted on treating her wounds afterwards as an excuse to ensure her daughter hadn't caused any extra damage as a result. After that they went shopping, mostly for kitchen stuff; Ann didn't put up much argument against the quartet of wineglasses Kim saw fit to buy, since she argued that they would be easier to clean without a dishwasher.
Ann countered by buying a bottle of red wine when they moved on to groceries. She also made a point of cooking for Kim and allowing only one glass for each of them, before tucking her into her new bed. Kim acted as if it was corny due to the laws of teenager behaviour, but her eyes showed her appreciation. Not wanting to make use of what would be Monique's bed, Ann curled up on the couch for the night.
The next day, they went to the airport to pick up Monique. Kim could tell she was mad with excitement from the moment she saw her, and it proved infectious. Ann looked on, bemused, as the pair practically squealed for the duration of their greeting.
"Can you believe we're here to stay, girl?" Monique enthused between hugs.
"I'm sure it'll sink in once we start learning stuff on a regular basis, again," Kim giggled.
"No fear of that. This won't be like high school. We get to enjoy learnin' now!" She hugged Kim again. "Oh, I gotta surprise for you," she added.
Monique paused with a conspiratorial grin. Kim was about to start needling her when she got a stereo declaration of "Surprise!" from behind her.
"Tweebs?" Kim couldn't believe what she was seeing, then looked up to see who was wheeling their luggage towards them. "Dad! Ron! You're here!"
"Darn straight," James replied. "You didn't think we were going to start your greatest adventure yet without a proper send-off, did you?" The only response he got was a hug from his daughter.
"Do I get one of those?" Ron asked after a moment, and promptly got a kiss in addition to the hug.
While Ann drove the others (and the additional luggage) in the family car, the teens took a cab to pick up Monique's keys from the housing office before heading to the apartment. Kim let her best girl friend use her own keys when they arrived. "I took the bigger bedroom, I hope that's okay," she mentioned as they walked in.
"Actually," Monique replied, "I'm surprised you didn't take the other one for the sake of security. You sure you want the room with two windows?"
"You remember the windows I had in my bedroom back in Middleton, don't you? It's no big. None of my enemies have ever attacked my home directly. They know better," Kim finished threateningly.
"What about the Diablo toys?"
"Uh, technically," Ron offered, "Jim and Tim brought those home."
"We didn't do it!" The tweebs echoed as they ran past. No one was sure if they were inserting their opinion into the conversation, or if they'd already done something to the apartment. The trio paused, but no one was chasing the twins, and there were no explosions.
"Charming little place, Kimmie-cub," James told Kim as the teens joined him and Ann in the kitchen area, which had more chairs than the nearby two-man couch could seat. "Reminds me of our place when we were just starting out."
"Ours only had the one bedroom," Ann reminded him as she leaned against his shoulder, a hand going around his neck to rest on the other. They looked at each other affectionately.
"I'm guessing this was before my time," Kim supposed.
Ann's twinkling eyes turned to her daughter. "Well, it was more couple-oriented than family-oriented, that's true."
"Not that you were never there, so to speak..." James continued.
"...You just hadn't been born yet," Ann finished with a smirk.
"And that's all I need to hear about that," Kim hurredly decided, to the amusement of her parents.
"Come to think of it, though..." James turned his suddenly serious gaze on Ron, who gulped compulsively. "Since Kimmie is no longer living under my roof..." his expression softened. "No more black hole, Ronald."
"Oh. Oh! Yeah, uh... thanks, I guess," Ron said lamely, still nervous yet also relieved. It was entirely possible that Mr. Dr. P was oblivious to how 'close' Kim and Ron had become, but with the rocket scientist, one could never be sure.
"Black hole?" Kim asked Ron.
"Oh, uh... just a little man talk, KP. Leave it at that."
Kim noticed the entertained expressions on her parents' faces and raised an eyebrow. "What do you mean, man talk?"
"Hey, I didn't keep bugging you about waxing your eyebrows, kay? Man talk, it's like girl talk, except... y'know, with guys..."
"I wonder how much waxing your eyebrows would cost in this city," Ann thought aloud, deciding it was time to give Ron a break.
"Oh, it's just an occasional extravagance, mom," Kim told her. "Shego... I mean, Miss Go and I went for it instead of watching the last Bricks of Fury with Ron."
"You two did get along rather well that weekend, didn't you?" Ann said. She noted her daughter's reaction to that simple statement, the slight blush that came with the double-take.
"I told you, her moral poles had been flipped. It wasn't the real Shego."
"So you prefer the one that attacks you on sight," Ann gently teased.
Oh god, has she figured it out? Kim wondered as she stared slack-mouthed at her mother, before she realised she was referring to her wounds. "Well, the good Shego didn't seem to fight as well as the bad... and fighting her is how I know her best... so I guess..."
James chimed in. "I guess it's hard to figure out where you two stand now that she and Drew have been pardoned for their villainous behaviour, after all that alien business."
"Yeah, I'm not sure how long that's gonna last," Ron responded doubtfully.
"What do you mean?" Ann asked.
"Well... I don't know about Drakken, but I think it's only a matter of time before Shego gets back to her usual villainy."
Kim frowned at him. "Ron, most of the time she was working for Drakken. He doesn't need her to steal things anymore; she's mostly a bodyguard now."
"And the only reason she didn't rumble with you last time was because she'd already seriously hurt you!" Ron reasoned. "I bet once you're completely healed, you two will be kung fu fighting all over again."
"Boy's got a point," Monique had to admit.
"Well, maybe," Kim conceded, "But it won't be the same, and... I won't really mind."
"Monique, you only ever met Miss Go. You've never really seen her in action. Cheerleading helped to keep me in shape, but Shego kept me in fighting trim. She said it herself, I'm better now than she was when we met. I wouldn't mind if we kept... sparring."
"You really think you two can be friends, now?" her father asked.
"I dunno. Maybe," Kim shrugged.
"Time will tell," Ron said, obviously skeptical.
"It usually does," James said in a more upbeat tone. "Now, Kimmie-cub, what say we take a little walk around your new neighbourhood and find ourselves a nice restaurant for dinner? My treat."
"As a college student, I am legally required never to refuse free food," Monique declared with a hand over her heart in mock officiousness.
"I guess that means I can't either," Kim grinned. "Thanks dad."
Kim took a quick look around to make sure nothing would burn the place down while they were gone due to tweeb interference, before they all left together. It was a pleasant enough evening, and Kim and Monique took note of the places they passed that they'd visit during open hours.
They found a place called The Spotted Pig off of Hudson Street with a menu bizarre enough to grab James' interest. Beef tongues and calf livers were among the entrees, but the main courses were slightly more sensible. Conversation was light and humorous throughout the meal. Dessert was mostly cake, some of the flourless chocolate variety, some of walnut, chocolate and amaretto. Everyone but James and the twins ended up tasting the latter; James and Ron shared the cheese plate with the occasional titbit slipped to Rufus as he remained hidden in Ron's pocket.
As they all walked back to the apartment, Ann slowed her pace to match her daughter as she lagged slightly behind the rest of the group. "You okay, Kimmie?"
"Yeah, great," Kim answered with a soft smile. "Just basking in... whatever it is. I don't think I'll ever forget this evening."
"You seemed a little distracted during dinner," her mother had noticed.
"I've just been enjoying this feeling. Good times, family, friends. Content, that's what I feel. I just wish..." she cut herself short with a sigh.
Ann did not miss the slight blush that accompanied the abrupt end. "That she'd been here with us?" the perceptive mother ventured.
Kim was appropriately startled. "Sh-she?"
"Shego," Ann murmured into Kim's ear so the others would not overhear. The teenager's blush deepened. "You've been thinking about her a lot, haven't you?"
Kim was silent for a minute or two as she stared at the ground just in front of her feet. "The first year, it was mostly professional," she finally began, "Then something changed. She was fighting me for her own sake, more than Drakken's. At some point, she became... possessive of me. Saved me from others because I was hers to destroy. And like you said, when she was good, we really got along."
"And yet, after her pardon, she hurt you worse than ever before."
"The honesty room was messing with both of us. I think she restrains herself a lotta the time, and stuff like stealing and fighting are how she lets off steam. The room made it harder not to be true to herself, to restrain herself, and that's why we ended up fighting. She's never held back with the actual fighting, but her powers... if she had ever really cut loose with the glow, she would have killed me, I know that now." She raised her wrists a moment. "This is the consequence of me cutting loose. It's not even a punishment... it's a lesson. One I think I'm still learning from." Kim cleared her throat nervously. "As for... the rest..."
"I'm not a certified psychologist," Ann admitted, "And you know her far better than I do. Just be careful, honey. Remember what I said: no regrets." Kim only nodded with a grateful smile.
Neither redhead noticed Ron during the conversation, so they never knew how much he'd overheard.
After some tearful farewells, Kim and Monique waved as the crowded car drove off into the night. The former was surprised that Ron had not suggested he stay overnight, but he told her he had things to sort out and would be back after she'd properly settled in.
"One of the better nights," Monique hummed contentedly.
"Absolutely," Kim agreed. "Come on. There's still half a bottle of wine inside, and I say we toast the start of our new adventure right now."
"You don't have to tell me twice."
The next twenty minutes were spent curled up on the couch, sipping wine and planning the week ahead. Some of it was definitely bound to be spent exploring, and they promised to remind each other not to spend their money on anything less than essential until the semester started and they knew what they'd need for their education.
"What?" Kim asked after Monique fell silent.
"We planned it, then we set it up, and now we're here in New York, doin' what we wanna do," Monique sighed happily. "I guess it's sinking in now my mind's windin' down."
Kim pondered for a moment. "You're okay with being here with me, right?"
"I mean, you're not worried a supervillain will kidnap you to get to me, or an alien war machine is gonna drop on the house and kill us, or anything. Right?"
"What I am is glad I have my BGFF here to share the awesomeness with," Monique declared, and slid across the couch to hug Kim, who returned it gratefully.
It didn't cross her mind in words, during that embrace, that Monique was hot. It was something that Kim had always known but never really noticed before. She squeezed tighter, felt her friend's breasts pressing against her own. "Thanks, Monique," she whispered in her ear, before planting an experimental kiss on her cheek.
Monique giggled. "I think you're drunk, girl."
"No one I feel safer being drunk with," Kim replied. "Shego would probably stick her tongue in my ear to freak me out, then tease me about it."
"She's been on your mind a lot, lately, huh."
"Yeah." The redhead leaned back to look her companion in the eye. "Monique, you've never really said anything about what she did."
"I dunno what to say, girlfriend. Miss Go was so sweet she'd give you tummy ache, so I guess Shego must be pretty freakin' nasty; but the truth is, I just don't know her. I do think it's wierd you're not tweaked about how bad she hurt you, even if it is payback for kickin' her into that tower. I just don't get it..."
"I kicked her so hard the impact collapsed the tower. It fell on her, Monique. She could've died. Anyone else would have..." Kim took a deep breath to keep herself from tearing up. "She used to call me things like princess and cupcake, in the old days. Not after that night. Not until after the invasion."
"Sounds like she started takin' you seriously."
"I made it personal. After that night, no one was allowed to beat me but her. She even saved my life. Twice." That revelation provoked wide-eyed surprise from Monique, but Kim was thinking out loud now, not paying attention. "Then she was pardoned, and we were no longer enemies. We don't know what we are, now." She looked down at her injuries. "The room kinda made her do this, but now we've both been honest with each other... I guess we're free to be whatever we're gonna be."
The teen hero fell silent, but it took her a moment to notice nothing was coming from Monique. The dark-skinned girl was staring at her with an almost amused expression. "What?" Kim asked.
"I'm starting to see why people drink or do drugs. Sounds to me like you had this stuff figured out already, but it took half a bottle of red for you to actually understand it."
Kim gave her a goofy smile. "You're probably right. Fiddling with the brain filters. And since the wine's all gone now, it's probably time for bed; enjoy sleeping 'til noon while we can." She blinked. "Did you ever make your bed?"
Monique facepalmed. "Shoot!"
"C'mon, I'll help," Kim assured her rising to her feet and hooking an arm around one of Moniqu's to pull her upright. They got another laugh out of navigating the apartment despite their wooziness. The bed was made, good nights exchanged, and the redhead retreated to her own room.
Okay, so Monique's hot, Kim thought to herself as she changed for bed. Her breasts felt nice, kissing her felt nice... but there was no desire, no... lust. Definitely nothing like what I feel when I think of Shego... Now it was Kim's turn to slap a palm to her forehead, making her wince for banging her injury in the process. And I've just gone and admitted I'm totally crushing on my nemesis. Crawling under the covers and turning off the light, she listened to the unfamiliar night noise of the city that never sleeps. She thought back to her fellow cheerleaders in high school, but no erotic feelings ensued. Is it just Shego?
Perhaps, like Shego, it took a special girl to get Kim's attention.
Author's Notes: Yes, the Spotted Pig (and its wacky menu) is real; no, I've never been there, or to NYC. Queen never did a full cover of New York, New York. However, the world Kim Possible lives in is rather idealised, so I decided Queen did do it there. Also, in Kim's world, the original Highlander movie got the quality sound and visual effects it deserved; and there were no crappy sequels, just the series. It got to explore concepts you couldn't cover in a movie, and Adrian Paul did good things with the money he made. Stuff like that makes the world a little brighter for someone, so I'm not gonna knock it.