The Kigo (Kim/Shego) subtext veers off the road, straight into mild text in this chapter. For approximately 1 paragraph. If that isn't your thing... you might want to skip to the middle of this chapter.Word Count:
2,822 (8 of 8)--- --- ---
Kim watched Buffy, Vi, and Mr. Giles leave the room. She would give almost anything to be leaving with them. Instead, she was stuck here with Shego, with orders from Buffy to 'figure it out' though she hadn't been too clear on what 'it' was. She'd even taken the kimmunicator with her so there wouldn't be any interruptions.
'It' could be almost anything but she was pretty sure it was a 'why', 'how', or 'what' of some sort. It could be why she'd gotten angry at Shego earlier; it could be how she felt about Shego after fighting her for so many years; it could even be what she thought about Shego doing things for the Council, things where they might have to work together. But whatever 'it' was she knew it was something to do with Shego. Who was sitting with her feet up on the table looking more bored than usual. Staring at her, Kim wondered why Shego looked truly alive only when they were fighting. Not that she could ask her that kind of question. That wasn't one of her 'it's.
"So..." Kim murmured, at a loss, not sure how to start, a rarity for someone who claimed to be able to do anything.
"That old man is pretty clever," Shego said. "I bet his plans always work."
"He grew up learning that kind of thing. The Council was like a big family in the old days," Kim said, shrugging. "If you didn't get your plans right, people died. If you really screwed up the world could end. Not like with us. When one of us screws up we're usually the ones who get hurt."
"What do you want me to say?" Shego asked, getting up and pacing back and forth. "This slayer thing... not sure what to think about it."
"Nothing. There's nothing you can say. It was my choice, though kinda not," Kim said. "You were acting so weird before that explosion..." she tried to explain.
"Didn't know you cared," Shego muttered, not offering Kim an answer to the question she hadn't asked.
"Of course I care," Kim said, staring at her in surprise. "Even if we're not friends, why would I want something to happen to you?"
"Because you wouldn't have to worry about Drakken anymore?" Shego said, her expression showing her confusion at Kim's answer.
"I don't worry about him now," Kim said, wondering in dismay if their thought processes were really that far apart, if they really saw things so differently. "When was the last time he had a workable plan?" she asked. "Besides, he's mostly harmless. He just needs supervision to keep his schemes from killing anyone."
"I'm hurt. If he's harmless, what does that make me?" Shego pouted.
"I don't know. There are times when I wonder why you stick with him," Kim mumbled, trying not to laugh at the pout. "I had fun last night. We haven't done that in a while."
"Might have been fun for you but I could do without the losing," Shego said, plopping down in the chair across from Kim. "And the bruises."
"Are you going to do it?" Kim asked cautiously.
"Do what?" Shego asked.
"Work for the Council. You didn't actually say yes," Kim said. "It would be major cool to spar occasionally when neither of us is in a hurry."
"I'm not giving up Drakken," Shego said, firmly shaking her head. "And I'm not going legit."
"But..." Kim looked at her in confusion. "They've got Global Justice approval."
"Were you actually listening, Kimmie?" Shego sighed in obvious disappointment. "Global Justice wants your friends to keep me locked up here so they don't have to."
"That's not what Mr. Giles said," Kim said, protesting.
"It was implied," Shego said. "And I didn't hear anything about a pardon or amnesty for any of my 'activities'. Did you?"
"No," Kim said, wondering how she'd missed that.
"If they thought there was a good reason to remove me from the picture they would," Shego said, her approving tone making it clear to Kim that she would do the same thing in their place. "You know they don't view the world through your rose colored glasses, don't you? If they are really involved in some brutal war against evil they don't have that luxury."
"You think I see the world all in black and white, like Hego!" Kim said, crossing her arms and leaning aggressively towards Shego. "You're wrong. I know things aren't perfect out there, that saving the world sometimes means doing things that are illegal or distasteful. And not just because the Council said so." She wasn't the perfect, one dimensional goody two shoes Shego thought she was. She had depth, she just knew it. She could feel some of her earlier anger returning.
Getting up, Kim stomped around the table, stopping when she reached Shego. Looking down at her green clad foe, Kim glared at her obvious amusement. Stepping closer, into her personal space, Kim angrily shoved her out of her chair, onto the floor.
"Temper tantrum, kitten?" Shego said, laughing as she rolled cautiously to her feet, not turning her back on Kim.
Glaring even more, Kim pushed an unresisting Shego up against the wall. She could feel Shego's pulse beating under her hands where they pressed against her arms. Something about her cocky expression caused Kim's chest to ache. It was an invitation for something, though she wasn't sure what.
"You like being on top, Kimmie?" Shego asked, her voice huskier than Kim was used to hearing.
Kim leaned forward, her fingers digging into Shego's arms, fighting the urge to push her through the wall. Shego's only visible reaction was a raised eyebrow and slight tightening of her lips. Feeling heat radiating from her captive, Kim dragged her eyes down Sego's face and chest, pausing briefly at the sight of her pulse throbbing in her neck.
Continuing down her body, Kim's eyes stopped again when she reached her hips, her eyes drawn to the slight bulge where Shego's catsuit covered the bandages where the chip had been. Breathing deeply, Kim could smell fresh blood mixed with Shego's own unique scent. With each breath, she could feel herself losing control, a red haze beginning to cover the edges of her vision.
"Kim? What do you need?" Shego asked softly, her voice dropping another octave.
Kim's eyes jumped back to her face in surprise. Growling, Kim reached up and trapped Shego's face between her hands, roughly pressing their lips together. Even through the haze, she knew it was only technically a kiss, as she tried to pour all of her anger and frustration into the action, tried to force some kind of response from Shego.
It lasted only a second and forever. Kim lost contact with her when Shego broke her grip and pushed her violently away, the backs of Kim's thighs colliding with the table. With the separation, the haze seemed to drain away, leaving her shocked at what she'd done. Kim stared at Shego for a moment, pleading for an explanation with her eyes, before she turned and ran from the room.
Slamming the door closed behind her, Kim shakily leaned against it, trying to slow her rapidly beating heart, her lips burning. "What was that all about?" She whispered to herself staring down at her hands in confusion, looking for a clue, horrified at her own behavior. "What's with the drama?" Hearing a faint sound, she glanced up to see Buffy several feet away, looking back at her.
"Figure it out?" she asked gently.
"I'm, I'm not sure," Kim mumbled, cautiously touching her bruised lips.
"Vi will give you a ride back," Buffy said, attempting to move Kim away from the door.
"What are you going to do?" Kim asked, briefly resisting.
"Nothing you need to worry about," she said. "I'll leave her in one piece," she added before slipping into the room.
Kim stared at the door for a minute before quietly following a subdued Vi out of the bar.--- --- ---
Entering the back room, Buffy looked around for Shego. From the shocked look on Kim's face and her dark, puffy lips she could guess what had happened but now wasn't the time to confront her about it. The immediate question was, what was she going to do about Shego?
"You've got her twisted into knots," she said, quickly finding the green woman sitting on the floor near the table, her back against the wall. "And she really has no clue why."
Shego looked up in surprise, apparently not having heard her enter. "I didn't do anything to her," she protested, rubbing her lips.
"We've thrown you into the deep end of the pool, haven't we," Buffy mused, grabbing a chair. "Kim has had a few months to get used to the idea and to the big changes. But you have no idea what affect this has had on her, do you."
"Why don't you tell me," Shego said.
"A slayer is a rather unique creature, take it from someone who knows this intimately," Buffy said. "It's like everything is cranked up to eleven. Your strength is ten times an ordinary person's; your other senses are way up there; you get this mystical ability to learn how to use almost any weapon that is handed to you; and you can pick up fighting styles just by watching them."
"Sounds like the perfect little soldier," Shego muttered.
"Some seem to think so. Of course, they don't see the whole down side to this, how much becoming a 'slayer' screws you up. We won't go into my own sob story, because I'm sure you don't care, but I've had all of the bad to go with the good, so I have some idea what she will go through."
"Like what?" Shego asked, rubbing her hip.
"There's the shorter life span, because every evil thing that knows what you are is trying to kill you. The constant emotional roller coaster because so much of your power is tied into your hormones. Thinking you'll always be alone, because finding a partner who is your equal, someone who can understand how power screws with your head and can help you deal with it without both of you losing your sanity, is close to impossible," Buffy shrugged, standing back up. "Of course, that short life span used to be much shorter so most slayers didn't live long enough to have that problem. Slayers become extremely territorial. Don't try to get between a slayer and someone they love. We protect what is ours. Add in the aggression that comes with the package and we're talking guaranteed emotional train wreck."
"Charming," Shego muttered.
"And there's a lot more to it but for completeness, let's throw in on top of that the real prize. The one thing that makes it all worthwhile. Children. There are no records of any slayer having children after they've been called and only one recorded case of a slayer successfully becoming pregnant before becoming a slayer."
"I would think that was a benefit," Shego said.
"For some of us, yes. But how do you think our Kimberly Anne Possible, Miss Girl Next Door, will react when she finds out? We don't advertise it because there's no physical explanation, but her uber geek is working his way through centuries of Council records as we speak. If he's as smart as we think he is, he can't miss it. Do you think this is something he'll hide from her?"
Shego shook her head.
"I don't think so either," Buffy muttered. "We try to prepare them. We have a dozen counselors on call to help them adjust. But we can't be there all of the time."
"Why are you telling me this?" Shego asked. "I'm her only real enemy. You're telling me how to defeat her."
"Kim can handle you," Buffy said. "And she's been dealing really well with the whole slayer gig. Until now."
"What happened?" Shego asked, leaning forward, her face showing more interest than she had so far.
"You," Buffy said. "You throw her off balance. You probably have for a while but she was able to ignore it until she became a slayer. Before she lost some of her control. How long has she been more than a thorn in your side?"
"I don't know what you mean."
"When did fighting her turn into fun, something you looked forward to?" Buffy asked, shaking her head at Shego's sudden blank look. "When did you start collecting those videos? Which, gotta say, really is a bit stalkerish."
"I don't remember, it feels like always," Shego said, glaring at Buffy as if daring her to say she shouldn't feel that way.
"I know how that goes," Buffy said softly. "I've got someone like that myself. But those feelings can take you only so far. They don't fill those empty spaces."
"What do you want from me?" Shego asked belligerently.
"Nothing too complex. In addition to the agreement with Giles, which you will sign," Buffy said firmly, "there are several rules concerning your behavior around Kim."
"What makes you think I'll follow them?" Shego asked.
"I'm much stronger than Kim and I've been fighting things for almost a decade that would give you nightmares. And there are over a hundred women just like me. And we won't need a chip to find you. You really don't want to fight us," Buffy said. "The rules are simple, really."
"Give her three months. No fighting, no spying. Nothing. With that chip gone Global Justice isn't going to be able to force you together as often as they like. If you run into her while you're 'working' don't push things. Do whatever you can to get away but don't goad her into a fight. And don't hurt her if you can help it. I don't want to get out my black dress for either one of you any time soon. Her team is moving their operation and she's starting college. Let her settle into things, calm down a bit."
"That's it?" she asked.
"No." Buffy smiled. "She needs someone to train with that she'll listen to. Someone willing to challenge her. Someone dangerous. We don't have anyone available. You're moving to Go City."
"No way." Shego sat up suddenly. "Not happening."
"You will if you want to be involved in her life in any way," Buffy said, looking her in the eyes, refusing to be swayed by the panic she saw there. "It's non-negotiable. Bury hatchets, join the Y. Rob a bank. Whatever personal issues you have with Go City? Fix them."
"What else do you want," Shego asked, "while you're ruining my life?"
"This conversation? Didn't happen," Buffy said, standing. "Kim doesn't need to know we talked about her. If she asks, the Go City thing was your idea." Buffy looked at her sympathetically. "You know, some day she will get it. She'll see who you really are. But not today. Or any time soon."
"I'm evil. There's nothing more she needs to know," Shego said, getting to her feet and walking around Buffy. Crossing the room, she stopped at the door. "I'll follow your little rules, for now."
"Odd thing about slayers. We have really good evil detectors. We can almost taste the stuff," Buffy said, watching Shego intently as she stopped briefly in the open door. "And Kim has that ability as much as the rest of us. You can't fool her. She knows you aren't evil." Shego ignored her, slamming the door closed behind her. Shaking her head, Buffy stared at the door for a minute, listening as Shego's footsteps faded away.
"Heard enough?" she asked the apparently empty room.
A small pink head popped up, seemingly out of nowhere. "Uh-huh. Messy," Rufus muttered, jumping up onto the table and waddling over to her.
"Yup," Buffy nodded. "You guys are going to have your hands full with those two this fall. Do you want a ride back now or do you want to hang out some more?" she asked, smiling down at the small creature. She wondered if the rest of Team Possible realized just how smart Rufus really was. And cute. She'd have to agree with Dawn on that one.
"Ron, Y'ri" Rufus said, waving his arms enthusiastically. "Slayers cute. Nachos."
"Ron's picking you up? And you're hanging with the cute slayers you came with until he gets here?" Buffy asked, hoping she was understanding him correctly. "We'll have to see if Xander can make you nachos."
"Uh-Huh. Hang'n," Rufus said, jumping onto Buffy's outstretched hand and running up onto her shoulder. Nodding, Buffy walked back out into the bar. If she was lucky, Giles would have left already. She needed time to think about the Kim - Shego situation and how she could make use of it before he gave her his opinion.--- --- ---Author's End Note: This story took me 3 months from start to finish. It was meant to be shorter than it turned out to be. Although I have several ideas for additional related stories (What exactly were Ron and Yori up to while Kim was having Shego issues?), I have no idea when I'll get to them, if ever. I hope y'all enjoyed this.