DISCLAIMER: Disney owns Kim Possible. Not me. Elizabeth Anne Possible is an OC I created.

1 - Where's Kim?

Shego was surprised to find herself back in Middleton. It has been over three years since the Lowardians had invaded, and the town was actually back looking the way it once had. The first year after it had all ended, Shego had actually helped out with the aftermath. Specifically by dealing with anyone who was seeking to take advantage of it. She'd been shangheid into it by Kim Possible, whose sidekick had been the one to defeat the invading aliens. Sure, the plasma-wielding villainess had been pardoned for past crimes because of her actions in stopping the Lowardians, but she hadn't wanted to resume hero hadn't been able to resist Kim, though. She doubted anyone could've resisted the adorable redheaded lesbian. It had been obvious to the pale-skinned woman from the moment they met, but only obvious to Kim after the Li'l Diablo incident. That's also when Shego realized an attraction to the teen. During the time they'd worked together helping the world after the invasion, the two had grown close. Very close, as a matter of fact. When they'd woken up one morning and found themselves naked in bed with the smell of sex heavy in the air, Shego realized they'd gotten too close. The pale-skinned woman really hadn't known what to do, and hadn't had a chance to figure anything out. Saving the recovering world, dealing with natural disasters, and even handling common crimes had kept both girls from realizing how close and intimate they'd become. It got so that couldn't fall asleep unless they were cuddled up together.

To think, Shego thought, this all started with us becoming friends way back then. Though she was older than the redhead - old enough to have gotten a degree in child development with a minor in psychology - it wasn't hard for them to become friends 'outside of work.' They had to keep it secret back then, though, as both of their reputations would suffer; Kim's more than hers. As Shego wandered around Middleton, checking out the fully restored town, she continued to walk down memory lane, too. One year to the day when she'd been pardoned and Kim had announced their friendship to the world after tossing aside the pale woman's bonds, Shego had split. She'd run away; she didn't know how else to handle the confusing feelings within her. She had always believed she was straight, but the way Kim had made her feel had her questioning everything about herself. So she'd left Kim and vanished from the world's awareness, wanting to ignore what she was feeling but instead dwelling on it constantly. It had taken her a year to come to terms with it all, but in the end she had realized she truly cared about Kim Possible. Rather than run right back to the now college-bound teen, Shego spent the next year establishing her own business. She set up a security consultation business, Corporate Security Operations, and assisted companies and private concerns in improving or establishing their security. It was a pretty lucrative business, especially since her reputation as the best thief in the world got people wanting her to vet their systems almost instantly. She set herself up in the Bahamas, where she already had a home on an island she owned - legally.

And now, a year after she'd started all of that, she had 'returned' to the world - only to discover that Kim Possible had vanished about thirteen months ago.

Which was why she was back in Middleton after two long years. She knew that Kim had had her own apartment there - it had kinda been a graduation present from her parents - because they'd spent a fair amount of time there between missions (not always having sex, though). That was the first place the redeemed villainess checked; she was surprised that she hadn't lost her key to place. she was confused when it didn't work.

"May I help you?" the raven-haired heard. Turning, she saw an obviously older man looking at her from a bit further down the hall. Shego guessed he had just stepped out of his own apartment.

"Um, yes," she replied, feeling a bit embarrassed though she wasn't quite sure why. "I'm, uh, looking for the young woman who lived here."

"Are you a friend of hers?" the man asked. Shego nodded.

"At least, I still hope I am," she amended.

"She . . . I'm afraid she moved out. No one has lived there for about a year now."

Shego was stunned. She'd learned that Kim had withdrawn from public life and hero work, of course, but this was hard for her to understand. "Oh," was all she could manage to say. The man seemed to sense her confusion and dismay.

"She didn't leave a forwarding address," he explained apologetically. "You . . . are looking for Kim Possible, right?"

"Yes," Shego confirmed. "I'm Shego. Or, rather, I was."

"I thought so," he replied, his voice still warm and friendly; that kind of surprised her.

"No call to the police?" she asked, bewildered. "No Global Justice?"

"Why would I do that?" he wanted to know. "You helped save the world, you worked with Miss Possible for a year. You can't really be a bad person if the two of you were friends."

"I wasn't much of a friend, though," she said sadly. He shrugged.

"At least you're trying to make amends now, right?" he asked. He looked at his watch. "I've got to get to work or I'll be late again. You could always visit the Possibles' house; I don't know if that's where she went or not, but her parents might know where she's at."

"I'll do that," she agreed. "Thanks," she added, smiling a bit.

It didn't take Shego too long to get to the Possibles' house, though she took longer than she planned to because she needed to think. During the time she'd spent soul-searching and then setting up a new, legitimate life, she'd never really paid attention to the news outside of whatever was local to the area she currently in. Sometimes she did overhear people talking about her Kimmie (when she first realized she'd had that thought, she'd gone back to her hotel and banged her head against the nearest wall). It was rather ironic, in a bitter sort of way, that the moment she came to terms with herself and tried to start a new life Kimmie decided to disappear. Shego had felt beyond terrible when she had first heard about Kim's disappearance; in fact, she blamed herself for that happening because she wasn't there when Kim needed her. I wish I hadn't left, she thought. But I don't see how I could've stayed back then. Sighing, Shego looked up and found herself in front of Kim Possible's childhood home. She also found herself rooted to the sidewalk. She didn't think it was because she was afraid - even after coming to terms with the knowledge that she wasn't as hard as she had thought she was - but because she was nervous about how Kim's family would react to her now. She knew they were laidback and open-minded since they'd already accepted that their daughter was a lesbian, but after all Shego had vanished from Kim's life without a word for a little over two years. However, she needed answers, and there was only one way she knew of to get them. Taking a deep but somewhat shuddering breath, the pale-skinned woman gathered herself and walked up to the Possible house.

Ann Possible was relaxing in the den when someone knocked on the door. It had been a long day at the hospital. While she'd only had a couple of procedures to do herself, she had a lot of paperwork to deal with. After the Lowardian invasion a few years ago, Ann had found herself promoted to head of the neurology department at the rebuilt Middleton General Hospital; much to her embarrassment, the department was located within a wing named after her. Her husband, James, was still at the space center trying to wrap up the details that came with launching yet another communications satellite. She wasn't expecting him back for another hour, at the earliest. Her twin sons, Jim and Tim, were pursuing their second Masters', this time in mechanical engineering. And Kim? The aging redhead sighed as stood and walked to the front door. As far as anyone else knew, Kim had just disappeared; Ann only knew where her daughter had gone when she'd received a post card from the young woman. She didn't know why her daughter had left the world and everything she'd ever known, and Kim wasn't talking about it. When she opened the door, she took on the same facial expression as someone who'd seen a ghost.

"Shego?" Ann whispered, eyes wide. The pale-skinned woman felt a blush flow across her face.

"Actually I, um, don't go by that anymore," Shego said. "Officially, anyway." She blushed further, and added, "C-Can I come in?"

"Oh, sorry, yes," Ann said, stepping aside and motioning the younger woman in. Shego nodded in thanks and walked in. Ann shut the door then led the way to the den. When she sat down on the couch, her visitor hesitated until the redhead patted the cushion next to her.

"So what name have you been going by?" she asked.

"My real one," she admitted. "Rayne Gooding."

"You have a beautiful name," Ann told her, "but I'll use 'Shego' if you prefer."

"I'd appreciate it for now, if that's okay?" she asked.

"Whatever makes you comfortable, dear," the redhead replied. "Now, could you explain to me why you broke my daughter's heart and vanished for two years with no word?"

Shego winced at the gentle and caring rebuke; Kim's mom might be worried and concerned about the pale-skinned woman, but her daughter did rank higher. Shego took a deep breath and let it out before she began explaining everything. She kept her language down to a manageable level, and of course kept certain details private, but she told Ann everything about her and Kim - including why she just abandoned the young redhead. Her guilt and remorse was evident on her face and in her posture, and her word choices showed Ann that the woman truly did regret her actions. She was, however, proud that Shego had turned her life around so completely.

"And when I stopped by the apartment, I found out that Kim had . . . moved out about a year ago," Shego finished. "So I came over here."

"I'm afraid that I don't have much more information," Ann admitted. "About the time that Kim moved out of the apartment, she visited here and said she was moving away. She didn't say where, or why, just that she couldn't be around here anymore, and didn't want to embarass us or anything. Her father and I didn't understand why she would say something like that, and told her that. She just smiled at us sadly, as though she was trying to put us at ease, and said she knew we didn't. She apologized, and hugged us before leaving."

Shego's shoulders slumped. "So no one knows where she is?" she asked. "I asked . . . Wade . . . about her, but he said she'd gone completely off the grid."

"It's true," Ann told her. "Kim only took her clothes and some money. Anything electronic was left behind, either sold or delivered here. But . . . I did get a postcard from her a few months after she'd . . . left." The expression on Shego's face told Ann she'd made the right decision in letting that out. Not even her husband knew about it. "I'll tell you where she's living now, including the exact address, but only if you promise me one thing."

"I will never tell anyone else - other than Kimmie if she asks - what you tell me," Shego vowed.

"I'm glad," the redhead said, "but that's not the promise I need. Well, not the only one now."

"Whatever it is, I'll promise it if I can have just one more chance with her. Or to at least explain everything to her."

"I want you to promise me that you won't break her heart this time."

"Out of all the places she could have chosen," Shego grumbled, three days later, "Kimmie just had to choose Seattle." It wasn't that the pale-skinned woman hated the place - she didn't - but it always seemed to be raining whenever she visited. She knew her plasma powers would keep her relatively dry and warm, but she didn't want to attract attention and so just wore a wool-lined black trench coat, a forest green fleece turtleneck, black leather pants, and black hidden heel boots with dark green buckle straps. She also had a black and green umbrella to keep her mostly dry. She recognized the neighborhood she was entering even though she'd never been in this part of the city before; it was one of Seattle's low-rent districts.

Why the hell would Kimmie live here? Shego asked herself as she neared the redhead's apartment building. She had always believed her former rival and lover (she was able to admit that to herself nowadays) had at least some sort of standard. A second later she admonished herself for those thoughts; she didn't know anything about Kim's situation at all and had no right to judge her. She also didn't really have the time or patience to investigate the whole building to find the redhead so she did the quickest thing: she asked someone living. Even though it was three in the morning, there actually was someone up and about.

"Excuse me," Shego asked the young woman leaving the building, "but I was wondering if you could help me?"

"I don't swing that way," the woman said. "And I'm not that kind of girl."

"Oh, God, I didn't mean it like that," the pale-skinned woman replied, blushing intensely. The other woman also blushed. "I-I am looking for an old friend who moved here. I was out of the country at the time, and didn't find out she'd moved."

"About when did she move?" the woman asked.

"About a year ago."

"Oh, that would be Kay."

"Kay?" Shego asked.

"Well, she goes by K Ann, so I just call her Kay when I see her."

"Do you know which apartment she's in? I'd like to stop by sometime while I'm in town and try to catch up with her."

"I dunno if I should tell you that," the woman replied hesitantly. "I mean, she's never mentioned friends on the few occasions I talk to her."

"I understand," the pale-skinned woman said. "But I promise I mean her no ill will. I just . . . I just want to talk to her. At least just once, if she doesn't want to see me again."

"Old girlfriend, eh?"

"More or less," Shego admitted. "I . . . I wasn't the best person back then, and want to apologize for that, at least."

"I can help you, then," the woman said. "Third floor apartment, west corner."

Shego was perched on the narrow windowsill outside Kim's apartment a few minutes later. She was getting soaked now as she'd had to put up her umbrella to climb up there. She was looking into a bedroom decorated in basic colors and styles, including a cheap twin-size bed. Laying on the bed was a familiar redhead. A flood of the motions came over her as she watched the sleeping woman. She frowned, though, as she watched Kim toss and turn; it looked as though the redhead was having a nightmare of some kind. Almost without realizing it, Shego found herself picking the cheap lock on the window and quickly slipping inside. Now that she was inside, she could hear Kim's moans and whimpers. She was afraid to say anything, but that fear was overridden by an irresistible desire to comfort the poor girl. Coming up to the bed, Shego crouched down and reached out to touch her former lover's shoulder.

"Kimmie?" she said softly, but loud enough to be heard. "Kimmie, wake up. C'mon, Princess. Please?"

E/N: And that's the first chapter of The Little Princess. Next time, Kim and Shego have a short conversation, but not before a tender and comforting moment - and right after Shego discovers something mind-blowing.