It started as obsession… Anger, frustration, and the lust for revenge were so strong that it coiled in her gut like a writhing beast seething to explode. It made her lips curl into a snarl that always seemed fixated on her face in mocking defiance. Though she often held her head high, when confronted with her source of turmoil, her shoulders hunched forward, head lowering like a bull ready to charge. Her fingers would flex, and every muscle seemed tensed into tight thick springs ready to bounce forward at even a moment's notice.

Try as she might, she was not a creature of blind emotions. Even if she was, it meant that she couldn't be locked into any said emotion without falling into others eventually. As time passed, she was forced to recognize that there was still life happening around her. She wasn't the only person in existence. The flowers still bloomed, children ran about the playground laughing, and adults watched them with careful eyes with smiles on their faces. Nothing outside of their world was wrong. Or at least, they hadn't completely imploded like hers had.

There was also the matter that small trinkets of joy were relentlessly being thrust into her lap like children showing off their spoils of victory. She'd tried continuously to ignore them, but the more she tried, the more they piled up. She'd suddenly found herself with heaping amounts of reasons she should try and look past her outrage.

She fought tooth and nail to stay angry. The rage was a source of infinite power, boundless amounts of courage and a leaping source of dedication. It gave her the push forward against odds that she would never have surmounted before. Her heart had always been in the right place before, and it gave her the ability to do amazing things. However, it would never grant her the ability to die and be reborn to do a job that a hero couldn't and wouldn't ever do.

Rage had breathed life into an empty husk. It had born white flesh pink, and pulled a still being into motion once more. It was a motion that couldn't be stopped. It caused a chain reaction, like a locomotive being chocked full of coal; more and more was thrust inside, building more steam and making it charge down a predetermined track that was unable to switch. It couldn't be stopped, not until the very end of the track when it crashed in a fiery blaze of twisted screeching metal and black smoke.

She already knew that. She'd come to terms with it as soon as she realized what her actions were bringing to fruition.

But there, staring her in the face, were all those little moments of joy with bright innocent smiles.

She tried to hate that too. She frothed at the mouth and ranted in a fashion that was remiss of her new employer. She'd created a new life for herself. She'd forced herself to become a person that she loathed with every fiber of her being. But… it was necessary. As long as she could complete her goal, it was all worth it. As long as she finished things, everything would be fine. It had to be.

Yet those moments… those blindingly innocent moments that she found she couldn't shake and apparently her heart cherished… kept happening. She hated what she'd become, but she had yet to cross the real line. She had yet to make the ultimate sin. And, in understanding this, she couldn't help but reach out when needed and save the very reason for her slipping anger and her growing anguish.

Life had been thrown at her contemptuously. It had given her hard tidings from the start. She'd pushed onward however, and pulled ahead. Then, everything truly broke. Her only solace was to finally take down the very reason her existence had become so "cosmically" explosive.

She had been oblivious of the truth for the longest time. Her eldest brother had been the first to realize. It'd messed him up. He couldn't function properly anymore. Something in him snapped, and now he was more befit the title buffoon than the one of hero. His charming intelligent self crumbled, and he was hardly a shadow of himself. The twins never discovered the truth, luckily. Her second eldest brother… well, he became far more withdrawn. He hid behind a false mask of self-interest and importance. He was no longer the sweet shy boy who was always eager to prove himself.

That left her. She'd completely went 'round the bend. She wanted justice for all the wrongs committed on her family and herself, and she would do her damnedest to see it happen before more could be taken from them. She'd tried to do it the right way, but seeing as everything political happened to be protected by and in return protecting the very ones she wanted so badly to pay for their crimes. She'd worked hard for years trying that route. It ended in more heartache.

So she'd thrown down one flag… and picked up another. She would be damned if something as frustratingly asinine as political standing would snub her right and power to convict those that had failed her and so many others. She would force their hand and make them do what they'd tried so hard to prevent.

She knew it meant her own down fall. Picking up another flag was the epitome of betrayal, and she knew that they would make sure she crashed and burned with them.

And then there was a thing called hope. She knew she'd tried to blind herself to it, but it kept winking at her in the overbearing darkness. It danced and spun before her outstretched fingertips as if begging her to chance it, to step away from the very tracks that she'd so devotedly followed.

She sighs heavily, staring down at her glove-less hand with sightless eyes. A certain redhead is proving again and again that there is hope in the very system that had so broken her family and taken the very lives of a handful of them. The only positive side she can see is that said redhead hadn't officially been pulled into the system. She was still outside of it, fighting for the right reasons… and not for the money it'd put in her pocket.

Shego sighs again, rubbing her eyes tiredly. Time had passed swiftly these past few days. She's trying to convince herself she was just waiting for Drakken to get his next plan out and quit fawning over that stupid award they gave him for "saving the day".

As if. She knows it's a ploy. They are trying to distract her, pull her back into the very life she'd had before they'd broken it like throwing a mirror off a fifty foot building. She wasn't tempted in the least… Except a part of her is. The longer Drakken plays with his shiny hunk of medal, the longer she'd stares at it and remembers how beautiful her life had been when she'd been oblivious.

Can't go back, she knows. But, she wishes…

It doesn't help that she knows that maybe… just maybe… Kim would help. She can't be sure. Kimmie is always full of surprises, but if she got lucky and could explain it right, it would work perfectly. She'd say yes, and they'd be able to topple the very foundation that had helped create them both.

… Yeah right. She's really dreaming now. Kim would laugh in her face and then punch her just as quickly.

Standing quickly, she grabs a long jacket and heads out the hotel door. She'd thought a vacation would help clear her head, but it'd only seemed to make it more muddled.

Sleeping onto the dark streets was comforting. The weight of the clouds overhead and the distant rumble of thunder are oddly comforting, and Shego lets her feet carry her where they may. Her eyes roam about slowly, taking in the dark alleys, the bums tucked in corners, and the party goers laughing and stumbling along the sidewalk. The chill of the oncoming rain makes her smile and snuggle deeper into her jacket.

It isn't long before her smile vanishes. The unnerving feel of eyes on her back makes her shoulders stiff and her pace quicken. It's only a few blocks before a hand seizes her shoulder.

Instinct takes over. Hands blur into motion as she grabs the offending limb and flings its owner over her head and into an alley. She follows quickly, not wanting witnesses to crowd around as she pulverizes whoever had dared touch her.

A shock of red glinting in the streetlight freezes all motion.

"You're kidding me…" mumbles Shego. She sighs and internally wails about the ridiculousness of the situation as Kim hops nimbly to her feet and into a defensive position.

Shego stares at her, clearly not falling into an attacking position. Kim waits uncertainly, eyes searching the thief's eyes.

"Why are you attacking me in the middle of the night, Pumpkin? Especially in a city like New York?"

Kim blushes slightly, her stance relaxing slightly. "I've been looking for you. And I wasn't attacking! I… just wasn't thinking you'd react like that."

"It's one a.m. on a Saturday. How did you think I would react?" Shego smirks at her, relaxing her weight on one leg and crossing her arms.

Kim blushes again, mumbling something under her breath.

Seeing the redhead isn't about to answer, Shego decides to prod for more answers. "Why are you here? Weren't you and the buffoon saving the world from an overgrown monkey in some jungle in South America?"

Surprise lights the younger woman's eyes. "How'd you know about that?"

Shego rolls her eyes. "Villain community has just as many private network connections as heroes do. Word spreads quickly."

Instead of protesting or hunting out more clues about said network, Kim's troubled expression changes to one of a calm one of interest. Unnerved by the quiet scrutiny, Shego shifts her stance to her other foot.

"Seriously Pumpkin, why the hell are you out here? This isn't exactly the place you normally visit. This place has dangers on a whole different level than what normally is thrown at you." She gives a pointed look down the very alley they stand. It is eerily quiet in the alley, but you can hear the call of sirens and other screams in the night in the distance.

Kim glances around with a small frown.

Shego hopes the girl will protest, but doesn't receive the rise she'd expected.

"You haven't come back," comments Kim quietly.

Shego blinks fuzzily. "What?"

"You haven't come back. It's been eight months since the invasion, and you have yet to step foot in Middleton. We all known Drakken has been preening over his medal, but no one has heard a peep out of you."

Shego looks away. "I've had other business to worry about."

Kim stares at her long and hard. It takes a lot of effort to ignore her, on Shego's part.

"Normally, I'd known what you're talking about; maybe not specifics, but a pretty good general idea. However, seeing as you've never worked alone, and all the other villains can't decide how much they hate you, there is a massive gap of information."

Shego partially glares at the redhead, un-amused and looking ready to storm off. "Just because I'm not working with those dunderheads, it doesn't mean I don't have my own priorities to take care of."

"Despite the fact you have yet to give me a reason to trust you," began Kim, effectively halting Shego. "I find myself standing here, in the rain, in a city I rather dislike, trying to see if my trust is well warranted."

Sighing heavily, Shego shakes her head. "You'll never trust me. You're too wrapped around the Directors pinky to give me the chance you're talking about."

Kim squints at her, arms crossing over her less than ample chest. "What do you mean?" Though not outright hostile, there is an edge to Kim's voice that wasn't there before.

Shego chuckles dryly, dropping her arms to her sides and shaking her head. She turns away to start walking down the street. "Kim," she calls over her shoulder. "I'd break your world with the truth, and I'm not sure I want to be responsible for doing it."

Despite the warning, Kim is beside her almost instantly, falling instep as if they're old friends that always take walks in the middle of the night. "You realize that I take that as a challenge, right?"

"You're actually predictable that way. I really did mean it as a healthy warning though. I really don't expect you to believe me either way."

"I'm awaiting this world shattering information," she huffs.

"Kim, old One Eye is not the person you think she is. She's done some pretty despicable things in her past. Maybe she's cleaned up some, but I know that the whole damned thing she runs is a sham."

It takes a long silence before either of them dare speak, and even then Shego isn't sure she should.

"It's been a long while since it was at its worst, but there were some really dark times when I was still a hero. GJ isn't a new thing. It's been around longer then my grandparents' lives. What isn't known is that it's got a lot of shady dealings squirreled away in places not even your Nerdlinger can find. It took me a long time after working for them I discovered their true face. It wasn't until long after my parents died that I found out that they were responsible."

The gasp is expected. The hug isn't.

"I'm sorry…" There are sobs filling the night air and making Shego increasingly uncomfortable.

"Kimmie, I've hardly explained what…"

"I read the file."

Shego gaped. "W-what?"

"I've had Wade digging for ages. I was never certain about GJ. Maybe it started out with my irritation with Agent Due, but one way or another I wanted to be sure what I was getting myself into. Wade found that file about three months ago. It didn't get into specifics of a lot of things, but it did have stark truth in the fact they had organized the murders of two of their Agents, agents that had retired to raise a family."

The world was blurry. Shego tried to blink to clear her vision, but that only seemed to make it worse. The arms around her tightened.

"I immediately contacted Wade. He had already read it before giving it to me. He sent me the rest of the files he found, and started digging for the rest. The following months were all spent finding all incriminating files." She pauses, giving Shego a measured look. "I hadn't connected those two agents to you until just now, but it certainly makes sense now. You couldn't get justice with the very group claiming to be justice being the criminals."

Shego finally manages to clear her eyes enough to see a pair of green eyes looking at her intently. A broken laugh fills the air. "The irony… I was just wondering if you'd ever help me if I asked…"

Kim smirks at her. "As I see it, I kind of owe you anyway. You did save me from that overbearing alien."

Something in her chest eases. It flutters then pushes outward, like someone had broken the seam let all the steam rush out at once. It momentarily takes her breath away and her eyes to flutter.

"Are you alright?" Kim has stopped and gently taken hold of her arm.

Shego's growing smile is blinding. "I… just jumped the tracks." She laughs loudly, causing Kim more concern.

"Do I uh… need to call someone?" asks Kim, clearly getting edgy.

"No, no… sorry." A few dying chuckles filter into the air before Shego is once more just smiling widely. "I was just… coming to a realization." She shakes her head and links arms with Kim. "Let's head back to my hotel. I don't mind rain, but I mind wet clothes when they start getting too clingy. We can start making plans there."

After a quick once over, Kim nods and follows.

Internally, Shego is practically singing. She glances at Kim and tries hard not to giggle like a school girl.

To think… it'd all started with obsession.


A/N: Random idea I had to write. I know I haven't updated others, but this demanded attention first. I do apologize. However, I've been sooooo insanely busy, I had to write something because I was going stir crazy having written nothing. I'm in my senior year and my workload is extremely demanding. I just about finished my second set of finals for this year and I have one more set left. Once school is done, I'm hoping that any job I get will be less demanding and allow me the free time to write again.

Hope you enjoy!