Kim Possible walked up into her room to find Shego lounging on her bed. The villainess had Pandaroo in her hands, and she was looking at it quizzically. A gasp was all that could escape Kim's mouth as she stood, rooted to the spot in surprise.

"So," Shego began, "Does the world know that theKim Possible has a cuddle buddy fetish?"

"Wh... what..."

"What, what?" Shego asked, holding up Pandaroo in one hand and miming it hopping through the air.

"GET OUT OF MY ROOM!" Kim exploded.

With her free hand, the villainess pressed the claws of her glove into Pandaroo's stomach. "Another outburst like, that, princess," she said without a trace of sarcasm, "And I'll shred this thing until it's nothing but fluff."

"Everything all right up there, Kimmie?" the voice of Kim's mother called from somewhere below.

Shego's fingers flexed, provoking a gulp from the redhead before she turned to project her voice down the stairs. "Fine, mom. It's just the tweebs. Good night!"

In their room, Jim and Tim looked at each other and shrugged.

"What are you doing here? How dare you attack my home!" Kim hissed as loudly as she dared.

"Relax, Kimmie," Shego used Ann's intonation of the name with a smirk, "Truce while I'm here. If you can agree to that, you can have this... what is it, anyway?"

"It's a pandaroo."

"Huh. Rolls off the tongue better than kanganda, I guess. So, truce?"

"I don't trust you, Shego," the heroine growled.

The green girl stared at Kim with a surprisingly earnest expression, then tossed the stuffed toy at her. "What about now?"

The teenager stroked the belly of the former hostage and saw it was unharmed. She looked back at the villainess, who was still wearing that honest expression. It was... unfamiliar.

"What are you doing here?" Kim finally acquiesced, though her anger still showed.

Shego rose into a sitting position as her arch-foe approached the bed, just in case; but she crossed her arms on her knees to show she wasn't about to try anything. "Until yesterday, it had been a while since we tangled..."

"Halloween," Kim reminded her nemesis as she placed Pandaroo back on the pillow where he belonged.

"Yeah. How's that 'never lying again' thing coming, by the way?"

"I've been 100% truthful ever since... until just now, thanks to you." Kim's frown renewed itself. "It's a lot less hassle to be honest."

"You just don't know how to lie," Shego figured, her smirk now back in place, "Or what to lie about."

"Are you saying you never lied to go to a party, when you were my age?" Kim asked.

Just as quickly, the green girl's smirk was replaced with a scowl. "My past is off limits, Kimmie."

"You're the one who came here to talk."

Shego's expression brooked no opposition on the subject. "Just... keep it in the present."

"Fine. What was Drakken doing with DNAmy?"

"They were both after the same genetic doohicky. He wanted a mutant army," she gestured to her left, then her right, "She wanted to make more live cuddle buddies. We were there because Dr. D managed to persuade Amy to give a proper monster a try. It was very disturbing."

"So the dinosaur was yours. What are they up to now?"

"Oh, nothing. They've parted company." Shego saw Kim blink in surprise, and added, "Believe me, I'm as relieved as you are. One look at her lab and he actually started likingher." The green girl made a face of disgust.

Kim's ire lessened from anger to frustration. "Shego... what do you want?"

The villainess sighed, unsure how to explain. "Fighting you again, after not fighting you awhile... it felt good. I enjoyed it."

"Aw, did the big bad Shego miss me?"

"I missed the fighting."

That frank admission surprised Kim. The tone of Shego's voice, the hint of a genuine smile on her face... the teenager sat on the edge of the bed. "You weresmiling a lot."

"You smiled too," the villainess pointed out. Kim's responding smirk echoed her own.

"I smiled because I could tell you were over-extending on purpose when you took those swings at me."

"I was trying to light your hair on fire, Pumpkin."

"And letting me avoid your glowing hands while I blocked, in the process."

Shego's grin grew. The teenager was obviously as quick to challenge her verbally as she was with fisticuffs. "Fine, from now on I'll aim for your face," she decided, before adding sweetly, "Happy?"

"Not really." Kim paused. "Is this what you want to talk about? The fights?"

The villainess nodded. "In my line of work, most of the people I usually take on only started learning how to fight for the sake of their job. Even people who take it seriously, most of them don't start training as young as we did."

Kim wasn't surprised Shego could tell; she had guessed as much about her. "Apparently I was a... I don't want to say I was trouble, I wasn't..."

"Coming from a female redhead, that means absolutely nothing. Heck, I'm surprised you don't have my temper."

"In my case it manifests in other ways..." Kim quickly averted her attention from Shego's rising eyebrows. "Anyway, I was such a bundle of energy, my parents were looking for any possible way for me to burn it off. When I saw the grown-ups sparring, I was hooked. I started with one style of kung fu, but the more styles I heard of, the more I wanted to try... why am I telling you this?" the redhead asked herself, but Shego answered her.

"Because I'm interested and I'm listening."

"I guess... but I can't help thinking you'll use it against me next time."

Shego shrugged. "I probably will. Guess you better be careful what you say."

Kim considered that, then gave a grudging sigh. "I like the fights too."

Shego's smirk eased back towards that genuine smile again. "You do?"

"A lot of the time I have to fight a bunch of people. Fighting one person who's just as good is... a challenge."

"Please. It's sheer luck you've survived this long."

"So not."

"My job is to protect Dr. D and help him complete his objectives. If it was just you and me, fighting to the death, you'd be the one on the floor at the end."

"Then why are you here?"

"...Because you're a challenge." Apparently that wasn't enough for the teenager, so Shego considered how to expound on that. "I've never gone up against someone who fights like you, before. I'm betting it's because you mix in that cheerleader crap into your style. But... you make me want to buckle down and do better."

"I think I've improved since I started fighting you," Kim admitted.

The pair stared each other in the eye for a long moment. Each saw what the other felt.


Apparently that was enough for Shego. Smoothly she rose from the bed and headed back to the window that was still ajar from her entry.

"Are we still enemies, outside this room?" Kim asked her arch-foe's retreating back.

"Absolutely." Shego paused to look back at the redhead, her usual smirk in place. "Don't think I'm going soft on you, princess. I'm still gonna try and kill you the next time we meet." She hopped out of the window and out of sight.

"I can take it," Kim decided before getting changed for bed.