Kim returned to the lair and found Shego pacing back and forth with a frown on her face. "What's... wrong?"

The green girl didn't even look at her as she responded. "Reality's punching me in the face, is what's wrong. I actually started thinking about being a hero again. Self-interest was the only reason I helped with the Lorwardians, but now everyone knows I used to be a good guy," she flung a hand in the direction of the screen, "And most of 'em think I am again. There are even people saying I've been one the whole time, sabotaging Drakken's plans from the inside! And it's pissing me off!"

"I remember a conversation not long ago when you admitted thinking about hero-ing again," the redhead pointed out, "For me."

That reminder earned Kim a frustrated glare from the former villainess. "Because of you. There's a difference." A new thought brought her pacing to a halt. "Hell, just because I've been pardoned by the largest political body on the planet doesn't mean there aren't people out there who are still after me. Right now the only reason I can think of to start with the heroics again is to make people think I'm trying to balance the scales."

The teenager crossed her arms and raised a sarcastic eyebrow. "Instead of actually trying to balance the scales."

"Oh, I did think about it. And the more I did, the more it sounded like one of my arguments with Hego about 'destiny' and 'using our powers responsibly' and all that jazz. There isn't much I regret about what I did since I switched sides, and most of it involves... well..."

Kim's expression softened with Shego's awkward glance in her direction. "You could still help."

"You're only saying that because you would. The Superguy attitude without the powers." The green girl rolled her eyes as she started pacing again. "That's not me, princess. I'm not him, and I'm not team material like the Law League or Defender Initiative, so while the two of us teaming up for a day or a week might work, there's no guarantee my pride would survive making it official." A snort. "I'm not even the Fearless Ferret; I'm the Avenger with a glow instead of guns."

It took a moment for the teen hero to remember who that was. "That's the skull-obsessed guy whose family was murdered by the mob, right? But you don't go on killing sprees. You're not a bloodthirsty vigilante, Shego."

"Kimmie, if the mob took you away from me, I'd spend the rest of my life killing every last one of 'em. The only heroic thing I'd do about it is warn the police to pull their insiders out before I start." Shego ignored the silence that followed, but was forced to stop when Kim stepped into her path and hugged her. The interruption was frustrating. "What?"

"You might not think of me as a teammate, but you do consider me family."

The green girl frowned, replaying what she'd just said, and blinked when she reached the same conclusion. "I guess I do," she admitted grumpily, finally returning the hug. "The less annoying kind."

"The kind that gives you multiple orgasms."

"Among other things." Her lover was trying to break her mood, Shego knew, but she wasn't quite ready to let it go. "I'm not your kind of hero, Kim, but... I dunno... I guess I can try it my way. And when you go to college, I'll tie up any loose ends left by the pardon."

"You don't want my help with that?" Kim asked. "With my rep-"

"Nah, not something I want to mix you up in. My record doesn't start with Drakken, you know. Should do it myself." And there might be things I have to do that shouldn't involve you. "For now, I... just want to enjoy a little normalcy," the former villainess added to forestall any questions.

If Kim was aware of the deflection, she chose to accept it. "I can think of something normal we can do... other than what you thought the moment I said that."

Shego's smirk widened. "To be honest, I'm too damn sore after last night. What were you thinking?"

"An actual date."

"Ah. Well, we have to go buy our new wardrobes first."

"I know just where to start."


As Kim had promised Ron, she had told Monique about her secret relationship with Shego when she'd come to visit her in the hospital... after her girlfriend had been discharged. She explained it as she should have to Ron from the start, starting with Shego's visits to her home, the respect that grew despite the ups and downs of their on-the-side interaction, and how it grew to affection, then more.

Monique's eyes and mouth grew increasingly wide as her idol explained the increasingly intimate nature of her relationship with her former archfoe, until the stunned girl sufficiently recovered her wits to ask why Kim had never told her. She was somewhat mollified to learn that even Ron hadn't known until recently, but when they got to the bombshell that Kim was now officially with Shego... well, Ron had taken it better. In fact, after Monique stormed out, it had crossed the teen hero's mind that her (former?) sidekick must have been expecting it since the night after graduation.

Now, as Kim and Shego approached Club Banana, the former told the latter to browse while she went to mend the fence.

Monique looked up from her magazine when the doorway chimed. "Welcome to Cl... Kim."

"Hey, Monique. Can we talk?" Kim asked as she approached the counter.

The black girl eyed Shego warily as the woman smirked and wandered into the racks of merchandise. "I'm not sure," she finally admitted.

"The store doesn't seem busy..." The place seemed empty, in fact.

"I guess a lotta consumers aren't quite ready to resume their normal routines. The discovery of hostile aliens IRL can do that."

"Even after all the movies we made about it," the redhead replied, a little nervously. Thanks to her heroic hobby, she'd been aware of intelligent, space-faring alien life for a few years now, but had felt obligated not to share such information.

"Uh-huh," Monique deadpanned. "I talked to Ron."

Kim blinked at the lack of segue. "When?"

"He came in to say bye before he took off."

"Was he okay?"

The assistant manager's expression turned contrite. "He explained a few things. Things I didn't give you the chance to. Sorry."

Kim mentally sighed in relief. "No big. I obviously need more practice explaining me and Shego."

"He said your mom knows," the black girl mentioned.

"She found out, but the rest of the fam's still in the dark."

"You gotta tell 'em soon, girl. Your fame has hit the fan - hers too - and it's only a matter of time before it goes public."

"I will."

Monique took a deep breath and asked in a cheerier voice, "So... you gonna introduce me to miss mean'n'green?"

Kim turned and called, "Shego?"

"Not to be confused with Miss Go," the former villainess was quick to point out as she came into view and approached the teenagers.

"I figured," Monique assured her. "There's no Middleton High left for you to teach at, anyway... though it does bring up some interesting questions about your life choices, if you really do have the cred for the job."

"Yeah, we're not going there." Shego leaned against the counter. "So, you two kiss and make up?"

"Uh..." the black girl stuttered.

"Shego, don't tease."

The former villainess treated her lover to a scathing glance. "I already cut down on the taunting, now you want the teasing too? Sheesh. I only wanted to know if I'd missed it."

Monique blinked. "The making up?"

"I doubt it," Kim muttered. "I'm not kissing Monique, Shego."

"Why not? She's hot. Want me to do it?"

"Shego..."

"How about it Monique? Which one of us would you rather kiss?"

"Wh... neither!" the center of attention declared. "You're TT!"

"Totally Together," Kim explained.

Shego smirked at the assistant manager. "We're not exclusive."

"Well, more exclusive than before," the redhead corrected her.

"We are?"

"I don't want you shacking up with random men you meet on the beach! We're officially together, now."

"Oh, I'd already assumed that much. But we can still share, right?" The green girl winked at Monique.

"I'm not..." Kim stopped short. Shego and family aside, Monique was the person she cared about most. After dating her best friend for a year, arguing that she was just a friend seemed hollow; why had it never occurred to her that Monique was a hottie? The teen hero had checked out her fellow cheerleaders more than once in the last few years, and it was easier to admit their hotness than it would have been before Shego had showed that kind of interest in her...

Because she's black? Kim didn't think she was racist. Was there such a thing as racial sexual preference? Regardless, now Shego had brought it up...

"Monique? You're okay about me being... a lesbian, or bisexual, or Shegosexual or whatever I am. Right?"

"Oh, yeah... well, I'm not sure about the Shego part," Monique pointed at the superpowered woman, "And I reserve the right to hate you if I decide you're no good for her."

Shego shrugged a single shoulder. "Fair enough."

Monique returned her attention to Kim. "But, yeah, you like who you like and that's all there is to it. I was tweaked because I thought you'd totally jacked Ron up, but that was before hearing his side of the story."

"Okay, next question: do you think I'm attractive?"

"...I've been thinking about that, actually," the black girl admitted, "Wonderin' what I might've done if you'd suggested we could be more than friends. Back when we met and I was fangirling, I mighta tried anything. Then I got to know the everyday you."

"And?" Shego prompted.

"I'll admit you're hella hot, but do I wanna piece o' that? Kim, if I was gonna experiment, it'd be with you; but I just don't think I'm up for it. Especially when you have a significant other."

"Well, it's still nice to hear," Kim admitted with a smile aimed at her best girl friend. "And the offer stays open, so you know."

"Even if it's just to watch," Shego added, snaking an arm around Kim's waist to pull her close before cupping a breast through the redhead's T-shirt.

"I thought you said you were still sore from last night," Kim said, smacking the offending hand until it stopped squeezing and dropped away.

"You didn't say you were. I could do you in a changing room right now, if 'Nique wants."

"How about we do what we actually came here to do, and buy some clothes?"

"Yes, princess," Shego sighed in defeat before standing and looking to the assistant manager. "Kimmie needs datewear... and I guess two of pretty much everything else."

"Why only two?" the redhead asked.

"Because that's the core of every wardrobe; wear one while you wash the other. You're already expanding on it with a dress you'd never be able to afford yourself; I just haven't decided if I want it to be a little black one, or something like the midnight blue you had last year."

"Oh! You're paying?"

"Damn straight. If I let you buy your own clothes, your fashion sense might get involved," the green girl said with an insincere sneer.

"Hey!"

"Monique, how much pink did she buy in the last year?"

"Less than the year before," the black girl answered diplomatically.

"Hmm. Well, the new missionwear was an improvement over those drab pants..."

"I put that outfit together!" Monique enthused as she came around the counter, put her arm through Shego's and led her to the appropriate area of the store, leaving Kim to follow. "Though would you believe Rufus brought me the design?"

"I always knew the rat was some sort of mutant."

"Oh no, girl, don't you go dissin' the Rufus!"

"You don't know how often that little penis metaphor saved the day."

"Guess that wasn't a good thing from your perspective..."

Kim chose not to point out that Rufus had copied the design from the Fashionistas.

The three girls spent the rest of the morning selecting outfits for Kim to try on, Monique and Shego continuing to bond in the meantime. The pair shared a sarcastic wit honed with practice, and the redhead was glad she did not fall victim to it, instead listening to Monique bemoan her poor taste in men and Shego flagrantly insisting she give the other team a try. This culminated in the former villainess sandwiching the assistant manager between herself and the wall and treating the poor girl to one of her breathless-inducing kisses.

Monique recovered to see Kim giggling at the sight, and had to ask, "You really don't mind when she does somethin' like that?"

"I know if I - or you - told her to stop, she would. Shego likes to push everyone's boundaries, is all. But more importanly, no matter who else enters the equation, we know we're in love with each other."

"There's no cupcake like my cupcake," Shego added for good measure, "But it's criminal how it's taken her this long to consider her best friend as a potential fuck buddy. Especially one with this ass," and she gave the peach in question a good squeeze with both hands, making the black girl yelp.

"You don't waste any time, do you?"

"This is me showing restraint. I had my way, I'd be sinking my teeth into these, not my claws."

"Claws? Ah, my skirt!"

Shego laughed as she released Monique and stepped back, allowing her to inspect the cloth covering her rear end for punctures. None were immediately apparent.

The conversation then turned to the former villainess' outfit, how she'd added the claws to her gloves after quitting Team Go to better reflect her fighting style, and demonstrating her trademark green glow. Monique had been Kim's biggest fan back when she was still just doing rescue missions and the like, and had never paid much attention to the 'freak-fighting' aspect that had come later, when the teen hero started taking on villains.

Kim recognised the look in Monique's eyes as she watched the glow flicker and roil. "Shego, I know your outfit's a classic, but what would you say to Monique designing something new for you?"

"I suppose," the green girl mused, "But I promise nothing."

The statement did not deter Monique, who was already sketching when the pair left the store. "Why didn't you get anything for yourself?" Kim asked.

"Club Banana doesn't do the kind of dress I have in mind. I'll find it after I drop you off at the Stoppable house for lunch, so you can tell the rest of your family I'm fucking you on a regular basis before tonight."

The teenager halted in shock. "Wait, what? Now!?"

"Well, we're going out, right? In public? That means you gotta tell 'em this afternoon... Or do you want poppa Possible to read all about it in the morning newspaper before you tell him?"

Kim gulped. She wasn't sure which would be worse, but she could suddenly hear herself saying, 'This is my way of telling you!'

Okay... okay. Over lunch. I can do this. I can do anything.

I just hope I don't give dad a heart attack.