The Hitchhiker: Short Haul
*** KP - - KP – KP ***
1. Second Chances
Shego comes home from the hospital today!
I know! It's only been almost a week since the accident, but that time has felt like FOREVER. Especially after... well, you know. Kissing her. I'm not sure what I wanted when I did that, but, it felt right. I wasn't weirded out at all, and I kinda half expected to be. But it was sweet... and a little pinch-y. That was my fault, I was kinda still tired and not thinking straight.
Hah. Thinking 'straight.' No, indeed I wasn't.
*** KP – KP – KP ***
Kim's grin was infectious, and she was nearly stopped at the front desk of the Hospital in order to be quarantined. As such she found Shego already trying to leave her room without her, which, given the cane, arm sling, and full leg brace, was not going exceptionally well. Kim just beamed at her anyway.
"What are you so happy about?" asked Shego, annoyed.
Kim stared. "You being able to leave here! Doy!"
"Wow, did you become me while I was asleep?"
"Somebody had to," said Kim with a lift in her voice. "It's not like Sylia or Priss is gonna pick up the slack, they've got their own crazy to manage."
Shego found herself infected by Kim's contagion. "What about your brand of crazy, Princess?" she asked with a smile.
Kim swooped down to help Shego stand up and then grab the duffle bag of clothes at the foot of the hospital bed. "It's all tangled up in you right now," she said. She spotted the cane lying on the floor and kicked it up into her hand, twirled it once, then offered it to Shego.
Narrowing her eyes, Shego took the cane and held it in front of her. "This is pathetic."
"I'll get you one with fire decals on the sides," offered Kim. "After we get out of here."
"I shouldn't need it at all," scowled Shego, her mood finally recovering from Kim's contact high. "I can't believe I was so stupid. Priss even warned me about that turn."
Kim toned down the power of her smile a bit to appear less manic. "Hey. It's said and done now. Focus on the good side of things."
"What good side?" grumbled Shego. She started to take a cautious step forward but Kim gently touched her on the shoulder. With a glare, Shego turned to look at the girl by her side.
"You're still alive," Kim said softly. Her cheeks started reddening as her hand moved over to Shego's neck and wrapped gently behind it. "And if you weren't, we couldn't do this."
With a slight pull, Kim guided Shego's head down and pressed her lips tenderly against her. This kiss was the antithesis of their earlier effort. Where that one was coarse and desperate, this was soft, gradual, and full of longing. Like sculpture, they carefully crafted their union, pushing aside the world - which was suddenly very unnecessary – and revealed the shape of their desire. Kim dropped the duffle bag and brought her arm around to the small of Shego's back. In return, her partner ran her good hand up between Kim's shoulder blades and into her hair where Shego's fingers playfully tangled themselves up in her red locks.
In unison they pulled their bodies together, then hesitated momentarily when they started to crush Shego's slung arm. Without a word or even batting a lash they gently moved her arm around to rest behind Kim and then continued pressing into each other, feeling one another as best they could with layers of clothes between them. Time held in suspension as they kissed, slowly caressing one another, sometimes adjusting when Kim's hands found one of Shego's still sore wounds, but always with measured precision and never alarm. It was a symphony of tiny coordinated motions.
The sound was intrusive and an unwelcome reminder of the world beyond their bodies, but one that both women knew needed to be responded to. With reluctance, they broke contact with their lips and opened their eyes to look at one another once more before Kim stepped around to Shego's side to see who it was that had made the noise behind her.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to intrude," said Dr. Ann McKullen from the hallway. She looked a little apologetic but mostly embarrassed. "I was hoping to catch you before you left."
"It's okay, doc," said Shego.
Kim was a little confused but it was hard to feel anything other than contentment at the moment. "You haven't gone back to the Mayo Clinic yet?"
"No, I wanted to stay close to Shego during her recovery," she said. "I can do most of my work remotely these days, even teach classes."
"Thanks for all your help," said Shego. "I feel normal again... well, in my head anyway. Apparently my body needs to catch up."
"Yes, you've done remarkably well given your injuries," said Ann with just a bit of hesitation.
"What's wrong?" asked Shego, not willing to let the pause go unstated.
"I was wondering if you would mind if I came back to check up on you periodically," she said. "Run a few tests?"
"Why?" asked Kim. "What tests?"
"Just an MRI or two," she said. "I'm curious about... well, I'm not sure how to explain it."
"Something wrong with my brain?" asked Shego directly.
"Not ... wrong, per se," said Ann. "Just unusual. You have some scarring, probably the result of an older injury, and it's healed over in an extraordinary manner. I'm not quite sure I've ever seen anything like it."
"Does this have something to do with my sleep pattern?" asked Shego. She froze for a moment with a confused look on her face. "Actually, I've been sleeping regularly since I ended up in the hospital. Did the accident fix what was wrong?"
"What do you mean?" asked Ann. "What sleep pattern?"
"She only sleeps once every two days," said Kim. "Has since she was a kid."
"Extraordinary," said Ann. "And you have no side effects to this?"
"I'm bored a lot at night," said Shego. "But no, I just need about a quarter of the sleep anyone else needs. At least, until last week. Did you do something when you were rooting around up there?"
"I was not actually ever 'up there'," said Ann, pointing towards Shego's forehead. "You were already out of surgery when I arrived."
"Oh, fine, whatever. Did those other doctors do anything?"
"Not that would explain the disruption of your circadian rhythm, or the correction of it, for that matter. Have you ever seen a doctor about it?"
"Yeah," nodded Shego. "They said I had something called Adenosine Immunity."
Ann stared at Shego for a moment. "That is not possible."
"Hey, that's what the guy said," said Shego.
"That may be true, but if that were indeed the case, you'd have a lot more problems than lost sleep... like tachycardia," said the doctor. "Adenosine plays a large role throughout the body beyond its sedative qualities."
"Hey, I'm no doctor, doc," said Shego.
"I realize that, which is why I'd like - with your permission – to research your conditions a little further. The scarring was one thing, but your Non-24 Disorder indicates an even more extensive change to normal brain physiology."
Shego eyed the doctor suspiciously. "Are you just looking to get famous off me?"
"Not at all," said Ann, a little insulted. "I'm interested in the unknown and advancing human medicine beyond our current limits. If the specific changes that led to your condition can be identified, it would reveal an immense amount of information about how the brain works." Ann held her hands together, looking hopeful. "Oh, and you don't have to worry about fees or anything, it'll come out of my research grants."
Shego frowned deeply, and was silent for several moments.
"You can trust her," said Kim, softly. Shego looked at her with an arched brow. "I'll tell you later," added Kim.
Shego sighed. "All right, what do you need from me?"
"For now let's just schedule an appointment to do another MRI and let me ask you some more questions about your condition," said Ann with a broad smile. "Oh, and let me know if your condition returns after you're outside the hospital."
"Fine," said Shego.
Ann handed her a business card. "Just call me when you get settled back and we can set up an appointment."
Shego nodded in a cursory manner and the doctor nearly skipped back down the hall in excitement. Once the doctor was gone, Shego turned her gaze onto Kim. "So... what? No, wait, I think I got it. She's... your mother."
Kim blinked. "Wow. Yeah, you got it in one. How did you know?"
"Even I can tell you two look related," Shego said with a shake of her head. "Hell of a lot more related than you did to that putz Possible."
Kim frowned slightly. "She seems to genuinely care about her patients," she added.
"It's fine, Princess, I don't mind a few more tests and questions." Shego shifted her weight slightly and then winced as a little too much pressure ended up on her bad leg. "Compared to this crap, it's a walk in the park."
"She was very kind when I ... needed someone," said Kim. She shivered slightly. "I didn't know what I was going to do without you."
The corner of Shego's mouth turned slightly upwards. She reached out to touch Kim's face gently. "You won't have to. I'm not going anywhere."
Kim reached up and held Shego's hand against her face. "I hope not."
Shego's half-smile slowly faded. "So what does that make us now?"
"What do you mean?" asked Kim.
"Friends who kiss each other - really well, I might add – friends with... benefits?" Shego said, a little hinting in her voice. "Maybe more?"
Kim looked up into Shego's eyes and the latter could see just the briefest hint of hunger behind them, kept carefully contained. "It felt... nice," Kim said quietly. "It was very nice."
"Nice is good," said Shego. "I like nice. Could always use more nice."
"I'm... not afraid to do it some more," said Kim, in an even quieter voice.
"Maybe you should be," said Shego. "I can be addicting."
Kim squeezed Shego's hand. "I still don't know what I want," she said.
Shego grunted. "Apart from me, you mean?"
Kim squinted her eyes a bit and seemed a bit hesitant.
"Oh, don't start," said Shego gruffly. "You always back away right after revealing yourself. For what? A label you don't like? Well, I'm not putting up with it anymore. It was cute at first, but I'm too brain damaged to endure the headaches anymore."
Shego threw down her cane and grabbed Kim around the waist, pulling her roughly against her side. She bent her head down such that their noses were almost touching. "Do you want me to leave you?"
"No," Kim said quickly.
"Do you want me to go bang Sylia 'til we're black and blue?"
"No!" Kim said more loudly.
"Do you want to live in some bland limbo, forever backing away from any decision because you don't know it's exactly, specificallywhat you want?"
Kim hesitated again. "No?"
"Then live in the now!" shouted Shego. "I already know how you feel about me, you can't shove that back in the box. No amount of hemming and hawing will make me forget it either! So, man it up and answer my question!"
She stopped, breathed, and then spoke again, quietly. "Do you wan to be my girlfriend?"
Kim looked at her and her voice could barely be heard. "Yes."
Shego leaned closer. "Do you want to be my lover?"
"Yes," Kim nearly squeaked.
"Do you want me to kiss you?"
"Well, now we're talking." Shego leaned her lips further in.
Shego paused and then turned her head slightly to the side. An older doctor with gray hair was standing in the doorway.
"Do you think, perhaps, you could take this conversation outside?" asked the doctor.
Shego looked back at Kim and the two of them smiled.
Kim grinned. "Do you want a rain check?" she asked.
Author's Notes: Okay, so this is obviously not Hitchhiker 4. I am still not comfortable with what I'm writing there yet to begin publishing, so stall tactics are required. Hence, here we have The Hitchhiker: Short Haul. These are a series of single chapter shorts that I'll be periodically publishing throughout November while I figure out what I'm doing with Hitchhiker 4. I hope you enjoy these, they're intended to be lighthearted and focused more on Kim and Shego (mostly anyway). There will be at least one of these a week, and maybe more if I find the time, but my attention is going to be on trying to figure out how to make Hitchhiker 4 work for me.
Thanks for reading!