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

A couple Fibber McGee and Molly allusions and two for Pride and Prejudice in the chapter. Apologies to Thomas Linquist and anyone else who knows the proper order of events in a triathalon for messing up the order last chapter.

Not sure how Ron ended up with Monique. I'm in kind of Kim-Shego rut, but Ron gets around.

Sooner or Later I'm Greater Than You

"Mom," Kim reported at dinner on Friday, "I asked Shego to come over tomorrow to play video games."

"Shego? Your enemy?"

"Who?" her father asked.

"Ms Go," Kim reminded him. "You thought she was with the circus."

"Is this another one of your insane competitions?" her mother asked.

"Video games aren't insane," Jim interrupted.

"Do you want some good cheats?" Tim asked his sister.

"No cheating, I'm going to beat her fair," Kim told her brothers. "But I was practicing with Ron and Felix last night."

"You are spending a lot of time with that woman," her mother pointed out. "You used to spend more time with Ron and Monique."

"They're spending a lot of time together, I feel like I'd be in the way."

"Does it bother you?" Anne asked her daughter.

"No… He seems to… I don't know, be more in date mode with her than he was when we went out."

"You'd been best friends since four," her mother reminded her. "I won't say he took you for granted, but he didn't need to impress you. He's unsure of himself with Monique so he's trying harder." She could have also told her daughter that, if she were romantically interested in Ron, she should have done more to show it – Kim also had manifested a tendency to simply treat Ron like a pal. Sometimes Anne wondered if the two had dated out of a romantic affection or because they had been close friends for so long that they slipped into dating unconsciously.

On Sunday morning Anne found Shego asleep on the living room couch with a comforter over her. "I wonder how long she and Kim were playing video games last night. She'll probably need breakfast."

After Shego issued her next challenge Kim asked Monique to judge the competition.

"What is it this time," Monique sighed. "And why me?"

"'Cause you're perfect. It's a shopping contest."

"Shopping contest?"

"Two of them. Right here in Middleton. Two different contests, really. Which of us can find the best outfit for ourself, while spending seventy-five dollars or less, and which of us can find the best outfit for the other, also under seventy-five dollars. We have to give you the receipts to prove we didn't overspend."

"So… You're dressing each other now?"

"We are not dressing each other. She claims she can get stuff cheaper than I can. I don't think she can. I'm going to beat her."

"Still say you're dressing each other. Have you noticed Ron is dressing better these days?"

"Yeah, I figured you deserved the credit. I could never get him out of that ratty old jersey."

"I had his mother lose it in the laundry. I see two problems. How do I judge who the winner is, and will you really wear an outfit Shego picks out for you? In public? Have you lost your mind? She's going to dress you like a whore or a clown or something."

"No she won't. Buying something trashy for the other to wear is a big lose. I hadn't thought enough about how to declare a winner… You want to decide? Ask Ron and Felix to judge? If they split their vote you decide the winner. Don't explain the rules too well to them. If they declare me the winner both times it means I won for finding an outfit for myself and Shego would win for the dressing me contest."

"Ask Wade to cast a vote. That way I don't have to do tie-breaking, I'll just check the receipts on the cheaper contest. I still say she's going to buy something to make you look bad."

"She wants to win too much… She's not so bad, really. We talk after our competitions. Under her attitude she's got a wicked sense of humor."

"Emphasis on wicked. Sense of humor as in dressing you funny?"

"Sense of humor as in she's fun to talk with… You know, there are weeks when the most fun I have is the competition with Shego and dinner with her after we're done."

"You sure the two of you aren't trying to dress each other?"

"Monique! I'm just saying I know her better… I think she'll really try to top me in getting me something nice under budget. Hey, I didn't accuse you of doing anything you shouldn't to get Ron out of his jersey, did I?"

Monique laughed, "Did I tell you about when I brought him home to meet Momma? His pants fell down. I didn't think Mom would ever let me see him again."

Monique worked at Club Banana that weekend. Kim and Shego showed up as the store opened to begin the competition. At two Kim and Shego had to be done shopping and turn their receipts into Monique. At two-thirty the guys were supposed to show up at Club Banana to serve as judges as Kim and Shego modeled their outfits.

"Okay, guys," Monique instructed Ron, Felix, and Wade, "technically Kim already won this first round. This is strictly a price round, and Kim spent less. So, unless her outfit is so tacky you don't think she'd really wear it, she wins." She didn't tell them that while Kim had picked out this outfit for herself the second round would be outfits they had picked out for each other.

After confirming Kim's win the two women went back into the fitting rooms to change while Monique gave new instructions. "This is the round you're really here for. Who's wearing an outfit that really screams who's wearing it. Does Shego's outfit say Shego more than Kim's outfit says Kim?"

"Women talk to their clothes?" Wade whispered to Ron.

"They're kind of weird," Ron answered in the same whisper. "But talking to their clothes isn't that bad, it's when they think their clothes talk to them that you know they're crazy."

"If Ron's clothes could talk," Felix added, "they'd be saying 'Wash me'."

Monique sighed, "Will you clowns try to finish your routine while I see if Kim and Shego are ready?"

Shego wore a bulky, oversized green sweater, originally priced at a hundred and fifty dollars, but last season and marked down to thirty-four ninety-five in clearance. Kim had enough money left after the black stretch pants and shoes she bought for Shego to buy a pair of black earrings as well. Kim looked very preppy in a tweed skirt and white oxford shirt, a light sweater tied around her neck, and knee-high socks with saddle shoes.

The guys whispered among themselves for a minute before Ron announced, "Kim wins."

"I'm not sure what you mean," Monique asked for clarification. "This is about the outfit. Who is wearing the outfit you think fits her best."

"Kim," Felix told her. "She's leaving in a couple months for college and that will look good. Shego's outfit just doesn't–"

"This a great outfit!" Shego protested. "Merino wool, very soft and comfortable. I love it."

"Look," Wade tried to explain, "you may like the outfit. But it isn't flattering, too casual–"

"I happen to like casual," Shego insisted. "This is great."

"Sorry," Ron told her, "but you lose this one."

"Uh, actually it means she won," Monique tried to explain.

The expression on all the guys' faces was a skeptical huh?

"Kim got the outfit for Shego, Shego bought the outfit for Kim. So if you liked Kim's outfit more it means that Shego won."

"I still don't get it," Ron admitted.

"It means if we liked Kim's outfit that Shego won the competition because she picked it out," Wade commented.

"I still happen to think this is a hell of a good outfit," Shego insisted.

"It is," Monique confirmed. "Both of you did great. What do guys know about style or fashion?"

Kim walked with the green woman out of the mall. Before Shego left Kim asked timidly, "You really liked the outfit I picked out?"

"Loved it, Pumpkin. You did great. A little warm right now, but when it gets cooler I'll be wearing this."

"And I loved what you picked out for me. Thanks." An earlier conversation with Monique flashed through Kim's mind. "We are not dressing each other," she told herself firmly. "This was just a competition. Nothing more."

"So, what's the competition for this weekend?" Shego asked in her mid-week call.

"No competition this weekend."

"Why not?"

"Our church is helping a Habitat for Humanity project."

"And that's more important than me? You're hurting my feelings."

"It's more important than seeing which was of us can eat more hotdogs in thirty minutes."

"Was that the competition? 'Cause frankly, Pumpkin, that just sounds gross."

"No, that would not have been the competition. I'm saying that helping rehab a house so someone can live there is more important than proving to you I'm better than you."

"No, you're not. So… What will you be doing?"

"I don't know. Probably dry wall or shingles."

"Shingles? Nail gun or hammer?"

"Hammer. Are you… I can cover more than you."

"Sure," the green woman snorted. "if you just throw them down and hammer one nail in. I happen to be damn good with shingles."

"Any chance you'd care to put your money where your mouth is?"

"You're challenging me? You really think you can beat me? Name the stakes."

"Steaks."

"Yeah, that's what I said, name the stakes."

"No. See, you're staying stakes, s-t-a-k-e-s, and I'm saying steaks, s-t-e-a-k-s."

"Oh, so I not only get to whip your ass in putting on shingles but you'll buy me a steak dinner afterward?"

"No, you'll be buying me a steak dinner."

"In your dreams, Princess. Give me an address and time."

"Eight-thirty at—"

"Wait, eight-thirty in the morning?"

"We're planning to work all day."

"I sleep late on Saturday."

"That's okay. I knew you couldn't put up more—"

"I'll be there. What was the address?"

"Seventy-nine Wistful Vista."

Shego, in black jeans and an old green sweatshirt with donut in hand and drinking coffee from a Styrofoam cup, was at the site when the Possible car arrived. "Is that Shego talking to Johnnie Hurt?" Anne whispered to her daughter.

"Yes. I wonder what he's saying to-"

"The same thing he says to every woman between sixteen and sixty. Shall I assume this is another of your insane competitions? The two of you need to grow up."

"It's not an insane competition. She's here to help Habitat. Then she's going to buy me a steak dinner."

"She's buying you a steak dinner?"

"Well, after I lay more shingles than she does."

Anne sighed. "Try not to hurt each other, or break anything. And what is she calling herself."

"I don't know."

"Well find out in case someone asks about her."

"Kim! Anne!" the church member called as the Possible women approached. "Your friend Catherine beat you here."

"Catherine?"

Shego smiled, "Kim just knows me as Kitty. I'm not sure she knew my real name, Catherine Bennett."

"So nice of you to come and help when you and Kim hardly know each other," Anne said coldly.

"What can I say," Shego shrugged, "I'm just a generous warm-hearted person. Especially after Kim promised me a steak dinner if I showed up."

"I was asking her—" he began.

"Not the way I heard it, Johnnie," Kim told him. "She's buying me dinner."

"I'd be willing to take two beautiful women out for dinner—"

"Drywall, Johnnie," Anne told him firmly. "Kim, you said you and your 'friend' are working on shingles?"

"Yes, Mom."

"The two of you be careful. I wouldn't want anyone 'falling' off the roof. Mrs. Jordan and I will be putting up wall paper in the bathroom if you need me."

"Is Catherine your real name," Kim whispered as the man reluctantly left to work on drywall.

"What do you think?"

"I don't think you'd tell the truth under torture."

"Got that right. So your whole church full of leches?"

"He's not a lech, he's just lonely. Very lonely. Very, very lonely."

"I'll say. How are we doing this? There are two dormers on the front. That means more shingles on the front. But if we do those first, there'll be less roof on the front."

"I hadn't thought of… Same number of shingles in a bundle, right?"

"Good idea, just keep track of… Those dormers are still going to take some extra care."

"We'll do them first. We keep track when we start on the main roof. We'll flip a coin for who takes the front, but I assume whoever has that will finish first. We count who's used the most shingles at that point and you owe me dinner after we finish the back."

"In your dreams, Princess."

The dormers went smoothly. Shego peeled off the sweatshirt to reveal a black t-shirt as the competition grew serious. They flipped a quarter and Kim was assigned the roof of the front of the house. At noon someone called, "Kim! Catherine! Lunch. Get a sandwich."

"Going to keep working," 'Catherine' called. "Not hungry."

"Got to make sure we finish today," Kim answered.

At three o'seven Kim called, "Finished the front." Shego was ahead by eleven shingles. "Going around the dormers slowed me down," Kim grumbled. "I had to do more cutting and fitting. That's why you won."

"Tough luck, Princess. At least you admit I won. Going to finish the back here with me?"

Kim shrugged, "Sure."

Shego felt slightly guilty for having hidden five shingles and counted them in her total. She would have won even with an honest count.

Reverend Collins greeted them when they came down from the roof. "Thanks for coming out to help," he told Shego. "Forgive me for not shaking hands, I've been working on getting the sewer line clear. I hear you two did a great job." He looked at Shego, "I heard your name was Catherine?" Shego nodded her head. "Kim will be leaving for college soon, but if you want to come by and help next time our church has a Habitat Home you'd certainly be welcome."

At the end of the day James Possible was putting bandaids on his blistered hands and Anne's shirt was stiff in a few spots from wallpaper paste. "I have to take Shego out for dinner," Kim explained when her mother called her to get in the car.

"She can come with us," Anne invited. "Eating out makes sense, I don't have anything at home."

"I… uh… don't know," Shego stammered. "I… um… didn't–"

"You'll eat with us," Anne told her firmly. "I like to know my daughter's friends. And as much time as the two of you spend together you're Kim's friend."

"Mom! We're not friends!" Kim blushed.

"Competitors!" Shego insisted. "We're competitors."

"Then James and I like to know our daughter's competition. There's a new Thai place on–"

"I promised her steak," Kim interrupted. "You and dad go to the Thai place. Shego and I will–"

"Will come with us for steak. We don't have reservations for Thai. Will the House of Dead Cow do or were you planning to take her somewhere fancier?"

"Mom!" Kim protested.

"I'm really not dressed for–"

"If you're well enough dressed to eat out with our daughter you're well enough dressed to eat out with her parents. Car. Now."

Wednesday Kim called Shego to apologize for having to eat with the family the previous weekend and set up the next competition.

"Your Mom is used to getting her way, isn't she?" Shego commented.

"Yeah. Pretty much."

"You've got the same problem. So, what's your idea?"

"Ice skating."

"Ice skating? Earth to Kim, it's summertime."

"There is a big rink in Allis. Olympic skaters practice there, but they have open hours. I'll be a nice break for the heat, I'll bet it was over a hundred on that roof last weekend."

The two were not able to go ice skating the next weekend. Kim and Ron were called for a rescue mission on Friday afternoon.

"Bless you for saving our village," the headman told the pair.

"It was nothing," Kim answered modestly. "Anyone could have rolled those boulders into place and diverted the lava flow."

"But you were the ones who did it. Please, spend the weekend here and let us thank you properly with island hospitality."

"I really need to get back to Middleton," Kim told him.

"We will give a massive feast in your honor," he promised.

"I don't want a massive feast... I mean, thank you very much for the offer but-"

"He said massive feast," Ron whispered to Kim. "Massive. We shouldn't hurt their feelings."

"I don't-" Kim began

"The two of you may invite guests," the headman offered. "We owe you our homes for what you've done."

"Monique would love a weekend in a tropical paradise," Ron argued. "Please? You can ask someone."

"Fine," Kim sighed. "You and Monique deserve a weekend in paradise."

After the village elder left to start preparations for the feast Ron asked, "So, who you going to ask? Felix? Your family?"

"I hadn't thought about it. I just agreed 'cause you want a weekend on the beach with Monique. I don't think the island is handicapped accessible, and I'm not letting Tim and Jim ruin my weekend."

"You could ask Wade."

"To leave his computers? I don't think they've got Wi-fi here."

"Any guy you've got your eye on? Nothing says romance like a weekend on a tropical beach."

Kim blushed, "I do not have my eye on any guy. And I'm not going to ask some guy I hardly know out for a romantic weekend."

"You should, you've been spending way too much time with Shego."

"Shego..."

"No, KP, quiet restful weekend. Island beaches, massive feast."

"There has got to be some kind of competition... Surfing."

"Are you listening? And you aren't a great surfer."

"I don't have to be a great surfer. I just have to be better than her."

"You're supposed to be having fun!"

"I have fun competing with Shego. Besides, how is Monique going to get here?" Ron opened his mouth, then shut it. He hadn't considered that question. "See," Kim continued, "if you want Monique out here the best way would be to have Shego fly her."

"I want to spend a weekend with Monique, not judging one of your contests with Shego."

"Fine. You don't have to judge any contest. But if you want Monique I need to give Shego a call."

"But no judging?"

"No judging, I promise. Hey, and you don't judge me for asking Shego, okay?"

"Got it, KP. Hey, if she can fly Monique out I'll never say a bad thing about her again, ever."

"Never?"

"Well, this weekend. I promise."

Surfing did not work as a competition. Unsure of the criteria used in serious surfing competition Kim and Shego decided that whoever suffered the most wipeouts would be declared the loser. Kim wiped out on her first wave and Shego stood her board in the sand and declared she would sun for the afternoon and be declared the winner by default. Grumbling, Kim agreed to let Shego score a win, if she'd just get back in the water. The two women gave Ron and Monique lessons as well. Ron did surprisingly well but Monique quit early, convinced she had seen a shark in the water.

The feast was as magnificent as promised and continued until dark. Under a full moon the four Americans went down to the beach after eating and Ron and Monique walked off along the beach, hand-in-hand, waves lapping at their feet, as Shego and Kim sat under a palm tree to talk and let their meals digest.

"You know, Princess, when I saw Monique in that bikini that day on the beach I figured I knew the two reasons Ron was interested, but she's smart. I had a nice talk with her on the way out here."

"I know she's smart. And Ron is smarter than you give him credit for."

"If he can tie his own shoelaces he's smarter than I give him credit for. Want to know what was weird about talking with Monique?"

"There's nothing weird about Monique."

"She was asking me questions about you. What I thought about you and shit like that. I mean, she knows you a hell of a lot better than I do, but she was asking me about you."

"My mom asks me about you."

"At least your mom doesn't know me. Monique knows you."

"I don't think anyone knows you. I don't even know your real name. What is your real name?"

"Drakken doesn't even know my real name."

"I didn't ask if Drakken knew your real name. I asked you to tell me."

"I'm not giving my last name, would make it easier to trace me."

"I could get that from your brother, remember?"

"He'd protect his secret identity."

"It's on his name badge at the Bueno Nacho. What's your first name - your real first name?"

Shego looked out at the moonlight reflecting on the waves washing up on the shore and sighed. "Haven't used it in a long time... Alexandra."

"No Sheila, or Sharon or anything like that?"

"Nope. My nickname was Xandy."

"Sandy?"

"Yeah, pronounced like that, but spelled with an X."

"Xandy? When your name was Alexandra? That... Yeah, guess I can see it. Is that where Sandy comes from?"

"Yeah."

"Why the X?"

"I wanted to be special. I wanted people to notice me. I wanted to be exotic."

"You managed to be all that."

"Turns out it wasn't as much fun as I thought... Got to agree with Kermit. It's not easy being green. Hard to find anyone willing to look past me being a freak and ask what I really like."

"What do you like? Really? The other day when my mom asked about you I realized I hardly know anything. I'll bet you know more about me than I know about you."

Shego chuckled, "Is that the contest this weekend? Who can share the more intimate details of her life?"

"Not a contest. I don't want all the intimate details. But I'd like to know you better. You said people saw you as a freak and didn't ask what you really liked. I don't see you as a freak. I'm asking what you really like."

"You don't see me as a freak? I throw freaking balls of green plasma at you, can bench press over twice my weight, and I'm green, and you don't see me as a freak?"

"No. What do you like? Let's start easy. Favorite TV show? I'll tell you mine if you tell me yours."

"You're serious?"

"I'm serious. I used to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer."

"Buffy? You watched Buffy?"

"Yes I did. Now, tell me your favorite show."

The conversation continued for hours. After the heat of the day the breeze coming off the ocean seemed cool. Rather than going back to their beds Kim moved in front of Shego and had the older woman put her arms around her. Kim woke up on the beach in the morning, still in Shego's arms. The redhead wondered what her mother would say about Shego confessing her real name. "Better not tell her. Shego trusted me, it's her secret." Kim ruled out teasing the older woman about her name as well, at least any time in the near future. Kim smiled, it felt wonderful that the older woman had trusted her.

Shego agreed to not count the island weekend as an 'official' weekend for Kim, and the next weekend they went to the ice rink. As they paid for admission on Saturday the woman in the ticket office explained, "The outer lane is for those practicing speed skating. The inner lanes are recreational, and you should be able to tell that the hockey rinks are for hockey. If you hear the siren it means the Zamboni is coming out. Move to the seating area at the center or off the rink until it's finished."

"I'm a little out of shape on ice skates," Shego confessed as she laced up. "How about we just skate around awhile until we're ready to race?"

"Sounds good. And we don't have any judge for style competition."

Kim smiled as Shego pulled on the heavy green sweater Kim had purchased for her at the shopping competition.

It didn't take long for Shego to regain her confidence, or perhaps overconfidence. She was skating backwards, just in front of Kim, when Kim noticed a child fall on the ice twenty meters ahead of her. Shego, who could not see the little girl, looked like she would collide with the youngster so Kim grabbed her hands and pulled the woman to one side, causing the two of them to twirl slightly on the ice and miss the child. "What the–" Shego began, then noticed the four year old. "Good move."

"Thanks," Kim smiled. She released one of Shego's hands, but without even thinking continued to hold the other hand. Nor did Shego object, instead the pale woman intertwined her fingers with Kim's. Neither said a word as they continued to glide around the track until the siren and flashing red light announced the Zamboni.

"We could sit on the stands and watch the hockey game until the ice is resurfaced," Kim suggested.

"Sounds good. You find a place for us, I'll buy a couple cups of hot chocolate."

Kim took a sip of the hot liquid as they watched middle school students play hockey. "I swear, those kids must have been born wearing ice skates."

"Probably real uncomfortable for their mothers… So, Pumpkin, what happens when you go to college? Going to keep up the crime fighting?"

Kim shrugged. "Mom wants me to give it up for freshman year and settle in to college life. She says I can't save the world unless it's an emergency or something. Drakken have any big schemes in the works?"

"Nah. He owes Jack Hench a bundle for all the labs you and Ron blew up, he–"

"Ron and I do no blow up labs! The explosives are all his."

"Whatever. He's doing quality control in Hench Labs to pay off the debt. Drakken doing quality control? The world should be safe for awhile."

"What are you doing?"

"Don't really know. Probably taking it easy for a few months. I–"

"You could come out and visit me."

"What?"

Kim blushed, afraid she had sounded too eager, "I mean, some kind of competition or something… If you want… I mean; I'll probably have time to… Never mind…"

"No, sounds good. I like… I like the competition. You're almost as good as I am."

Kim chuckled, "So how good are…" She blushed. The conversation was getting out of hand. "We… I need to go now."

Kim spent Monday moping in her room. "What's wrong?" her mother asked.

"I don't know."

"Are you coming down with something?"

"I don't think so."

"Worried about going off to college?"

"Yeah… That's probably it. Were you kind of all mixed up before you went to college – all excited, and scared, and happy, and sad all at once?"

Anne laughed, "Oh, I've felt like that several times in my life. We moved when I was ten years old. I think that was the first time. My first boyfriend in middle school… Second boyfriend too. Going to college. When I met your father. The night before they announced board certification. When I found out I was pregnant with you. Big changes in your life – or thinking there may be big changes in your life – can bring the feeling on. Are you sure college is what's troubling you?"

"What else could it be?"

"I don't know. Just asking."

Tuesday Shego called for the next competition. "Wally World?" Kim asked, puzzled. "What kind of a competition is an amusement park?"

"We'll find something, Princess. C'mon, it'll be fun. Have you heard about their new Killer Koaster?"

"Is that the one where the crash test dummies they used on the practice runs kept coming back with missing heads, arms, and legs?"

"That's the one. They don't run it full speed with people on it – and they make you sign a waiver of limited liability before you can get on."

"Why does that not sound like fun?"

"You chicken?"

"Hey, Drakken's death traps didn't scare me – and they were supposed to kill me. But I wouldn't go on a death trap ride just for the thrill of it."

"You'll scream like Ron."

"Fine. I'll go on the ride with you. But you have to stop making fun of Ron."

They talked for two and a half hours until Kim's cell phone battery died.

They arrived early at the amusement park. They were both laughing as they got off the Killer Koaster.

"Flying out here with you was scarier than that," Kim told Shego.

"You making fun of my flying?"

Kim ignored the question, "I saw bumper cars. I love bumper cars. I can hit you more than you hit me."

"You're on, Princess."

The manager ejected Shego from the bumper cars pavilion. Kim found her waiting at the exit when her time was finished.

"I thought the whole point was hitting people," the green woman complained.

"You have to play by the rules. No headons. And go with the flow of traffic instead of against it."

They ate cotton candy and hot dogs for lunch and rode the Tilt-a-whirl until Kim felt sick to her stomach. They rode the Ferris-wheel until Kim felt better, enjoying a cool breeze and view of the park that was impossible on the ground.

At the arcade Kim beat Shego at ski ball. "It's a game of luck," Shego complained. "I can beat you in games of skill. Let's hit the midway."

"Three balls for a dollar," the barker at one of the concessions called out. "Knock down all three cans on each target and win a bear."

"I'm getting you the pink bear," Kim told Shego and pointed to a large stuffed bear on the top shelf.

"No you won't," Shego warned her, "it's a cheat. And I don't want a pink bear, it would clash with my skin color."

"It's skill, and I can do it," Kim insisted. "You are so getting the pink bear."

Kim put a dollar down on the counter and was handed three balls. Shego noted they were wrapped in electrical tape to hide the fact they had been cut in two with a weight replacing the core on one side to keep them from throwing straight. Shego counted two other methods designed to keep anyone from winning the top prizes

Kim was given a rainbow pencil as a consolation prize. "This time for sure," she told Shego and put another dollar on the counter. At the end of eight dollars Kim had five rainbow pencils, a rubber duck and a toothbrush holder from the level one shelf, and a set of fuzzy dice to hang from the rearview mirror from the second shelf.

"Give up," Shego urged. "You're not winning the bear."

"I am going to get that bear," Kim insisted. "Give me a dollar."

"No."

"C'mon, this time for sure."

"No, Pumpkin. Now is the time for serious intervention. You need the bear off your back." Shego looked at the barker running the booth, "Give me three balls," she said, handing him a dollar.

Two minutes later Shego smiled sweetly, "I think that means I get any prize on the top shelf?"

"How the hell did you do that? You cheated. What was that green fire stuff?"

"Green fire stuff? No idea what you're talking about."

"You cheated!"

"Want me to call security over to look at your setup?" Shego bluffed. "I know Wally World expects you to make a profit, but that electromagnet you've got—"

"Top shelf," he sighed. "Whatta ya want?"

"Thanks," Kim said, hugging the bear as they walked around the park.

The rainbow pencils were handed out to passing children, as was the toothbrush holder. Kim gave Shego the rubber duck for her bathtub and the fuzzy dice to hang in her plane.

"I spent more on you than you spent on me," Kim pointed out as they headed for the exit.

Shego opened her mouth to point out that Kim had gotten the better prize, but she looked over at the red-haired woman beside her, laughing and hugging the pink bear, and suddenly felt like spending the day with Kim had been the best prize. "Yes you did, Pumpkin," Shego agreed. "You win on that."

"Of course, it was your idea, and you flew us here, and you did better at knocking down the cans. But I beat you at ski ball and… I think I beat you somewhere else. Can we call it even for the day?"

"Sounds fair to me… Of course I think the fuzzy dice put me ahead, but I'll call it even."

Kim hoped her Pandaroo™ wasn't jealous about spending the night on the chair while the stuffed bear took its place on the bed.

Shego called Sunday, worried that Kim might have gotten sunburned at the park.

On Monday Kim found an excuse to call Shego, but really just chatted.

Tuesday Shego asked about the next competition. "I'm working on it," Kim promised. "I haven't picked out where yet, but I know what we're going to do."

"Well, what are we going to do?" Shego demanded.

"Call tomorrow," Kim giggled, "I'll tell you then."

"It's your turn to call me tomorrow."

"Um… Well, I'll call tomorrow, but you have to ask."

"I'm asking now."

"Patience is a virtue."

"If you haven't noticed, I'm not very good with virtue."

"I noticed. I'm trying to decide if it's one of the things I like about you."

Wednesday Kim told Shego they would be dancing, she hadn't found a good place yet. "Unless," Kim said nervously, "you don't want to dance with me."

"No, I… I'm not used to dancing as competition, just for fun. Are we supposed to get judges like that Dancing with the Stars or something?"

"I hadn't really figured that out… Why don't we just dance and decide at the end of the night?"

Saturday morning Kim called to ask Shego to pick her up that evening.

"I don't have to come into the house and meet your parents or anything, do I?" the green woman asked suspiciously.

"No, mom and dad are at a scientific conference and my car is in the shop," Kim explained. The car in the shop was true. Her mom and dad were actually out at a square dancing competition, but it would have required torture for Kim to admit that to anyone.

The club was dark, which encouraged a sense of anonymity. And the dance floor was crowded which forced Kim and Shego close together. Neither seemed to mind the proximity. The volume of the music was loud enough to discourage any unnecessary conversation and the air conditioner, running full blast to counteract the summer heat and the warm bodies on the dance floor, produced gusts of cold air. The two women were grateful for the slow numbers, where they could stand with their arms around each other, swaying to the music.

"Well, this didn't work for competition did it," Kim whispered in Shego's ear.

"No," Shego agreed. "Not every idea works out… I don't mind."

"It's fun," the younger woman agreed. "except you always want to lead."

"Me? You're the one always trying to lead. I bet you made Ron follow."

"Not sure I ever danced with Ron like this. But you're having fun?" Shego said nothing, simply holding Kim a little tighter. Kim laid her head on Shego's shoulder and sighed. "Me too."

They left before midnight. "Promised I'd be home," Kim told a disappointed Shego.

"Aren't they out somewhere?"

"Yes, but they will come home."

"Just a little longer? We're both having fun."

"I want to, but I can't."

"I could refuse to give you a ride."

"I could call a taxi."

"We can go," Shego grumbled.

Shego insisted on walking Kim to the front door. "Think your parents are home?"

"I doubt it." Kim unlocked the door, but didn't open it. There was a minute of tense silence, each waiting for the other to say something. "I… uh… guess I need to go in," Kim began and started to turn.

Shego gathered her courage, afraid of the consequences, but not willing to remain in ignorance. Her hand shot out, catching Kim's wrist and jerking the younger woman towards her. "I kiss better than you."

"No you—" Kim started to protest before Shego's lips met her own.

The kiss lasted only a second before Kim pushed the older woman away with a sharp, "No!" Shego was ready to apologize, but instead of the rebuke Kim warned. "You can't start a competition without warning me. I can kiss better than you." Kim put her arms around Shego and pulled the other woman close to prove her point.

When the first competition proved inconclusive Shego suggested, "We should try again."

"Still not sure," Kim admitted after the second round. "Best fifty out of ninety-nine or keep going until we've got a clear winner."

"I think we've got two winners now," Shego smiled, and pulled Kim close for another kiss.

They moved inside for the next phase of the competition.

Kim's parents returned home more than an hour later. Her mother heard noise coming from her daughter's room as she entered the house. "Kim, are you all right?" Anne called.

There was no response.

"Kim!" Anne called louder. "Are you okay?"

The noise ended suddenly. "Fine," Kim called quickly. "No problem."

"I thought I heard something."

"Uh, moving furniture. No problem."

"Moving furniture? After one in the morning?"

"Just... Sorry… Wasn't thinking."

"Can I see what you've done?"

"NO! I… It didn't work… I was just putting things back where they were."

"Well your father and I are home and we're going to bed. Please stop moving furniture."

Kim looked over at the dark-haired woman beside her in bed. "You heard Mom, quiet now," she whispered.

Shego smiled, and kept her own voice to a whisper, "Moving furniture? Interesting euphemism. I was hoping you felt the earth move."

"That too," Kim agreed, and pulled the older woman close for another kiss.

"Moving furniture?" James repeated to his wife, "at this hour? She's leaving soon, why is she moving furniture?"

"She told me she was feeling very stressed a couple weeks ago. Maybe she thought physical exercise would help her sleep."

"I could make her a glass of warm milk."

"Don't. She just needs to rest."

"But a glass of warm milk–"

"No! Go to bed. We're all tired." Anne sighed to herself as she and James went to their bedroom, "I wonder if Shego will want breakfast in the morning or try to sneak out of the house without anyone seeing her?" She liked the idea of honesty, but didn't want to explain things to her husband. Perhaps this was just some experiment on Kim's part, or maybe it was just some insane competition between her daughter and the older woman. "I don't know what I'd say to her or Kim. I'm glad Kim is leaving for college soon. She needs some distance from that woman."

"I definitely felt the earth move," Shego told Kim when her lips were again available for talking. "Little surprised about you not being honest with your parents."

"I'll be honest with them, just not tonight."

"I'd like to see that."

"I'm planning on you being there."

"I don't know about that."

"You will be there," Kim whispered emphatically, "and we do it before volleyball next weekend."

Shego looked disappointed, "I know we're competitive, but I was kind of hoping we–"

Kim put her hand over the green woman's lips to silence her. "We'll be a team. You and me together? Nothing can stop us."

-The End-