DISCLAIMER: Disney owns Kim Possible, not me. Elizabeth Anne Possible is an OC I created.
A/N: I'm doing this fic on my phone as the computer is out of order. That's why Red Flame hasn't been updated.
2 - Secret
Kim's scream startled Shego, making her fall back on her ass. Which was fortunate as Kim swung a fist through the space once occupied by the pale-skinned woman's head. It wasn't an actual strike, Shego noted, but a blind fear-induced swing. Getting to her feet, she was about to say something when she noticed Kim's eyes. They were wide and unseeing, yet filled with a shocking amount of fear and despair. She had never, in all the years she'd known the redheaded teen, ever seen her look like that. She was further stunned when Kim backed off of the bed and landed on the floor, only to keep scooting until she was backed into the nearest corner.
"Stay back," the redhead begged. "Please don't touch me!"
Shego's heart broke then, but not because of Kim's words; she could see that the former hero was still in the grips of her nightmare. What made the raven-haired woman's heart break was seeing the once confident and forceful person she'd known in this state. A terrible feeling gripped her heart; what if her leaving back then had led Kim to this? Without hesitating now, Shego quickly moved over to the redhead and knelt on the floor before pulling her into a firm but comforting embrace. Kim fought her, of course; or at least tried to. Shego rocked back and forth gently, slowly, rubbing the young woman's back softly. She activated her plasma, but kept the energy low and slightly warm to create a soothing effect.
"Shhh," she 'said' as she continued her actions. "It's okay, Kimmie. It's okay." Her gentle and soft tone, along with her plasma-enhanced rubbing, slowly helped the redhead calm down. Shego didn't know how long they were they were like that, and didn't care. When Kim had completely called down, she seemed to become aware of her surroundings again. And realized she was in someone's arms. She was a bit confused because of two reasons: one, Stephanie Rockbel (her friend with benefits) hadn't been by today; and two, she felt completely and utterly safe in the embrace. The last time she'd felt like this had been over two years ago, when she'd been with-
"Shego," Kim whispered, her head looking up to see the pale-skinned woman looking at her with concern and worry in her eyes and on her face.
"Hey, Pumpkin," the raven-haired woman said, a fragile smile on her face.
"Shego?" the redhead asked softly, unsure if she was dreaming or not.
"It's me, Kim," Shego replied just as softly. "I'm here." Kim's eyes filled with tears that fell like waterfalls as she choked out a sob before full on crying as she buried her face into the older woman's shoulder. Time didn't matter to them, though when Shego glanced at the clock on the nightstand she saw it was three in the morning when Kim calmed down again.
Before either of them could ask the other a question, the sound of someone else starting to cry filled the room. Both women's eyes widened, but for different reasons; Shego because that was the last sound she'd ever expected to hear, Kim because she knew what that sound meant.
"Um . . . Kimmie?" Shego asked, as another cry sounded. "What's that noise?"
"My . . . daughter," Kim replied. Shego was floored by that announcement, so much so that her arms dropped to her side. Kim got up and went over to the crib that was across from her own bed. Shego stood and turned around in time to see the redhead lift a little girl up.
"I need to feed her," Kim said, deftly slipping an arm out of her tank top to expose a pink-capped breast. Any other time Shego would've felt immediate arousal over the sight, but right she didn't.
"Oh, um, right," she said eloquently, prompting a tired but small smile from the redhead.
"You can wait in the kitchen, if you'd like," Kim suggested. "I'm sure you want to talk about something, and probably have a million questions now, so we can talk a bit after. But I do need some sleep. I've got work tomorrow. Well, later today."
"S-S-Sure, K-Kimmie," Shego agreed, then left the bedroom. Questions? Hell, her brain had stopped working the moment Kim said that the crying was her daughter. The pale-skinned woman made her way to the kitchen, which wasn't hard considering Kim's apartment was like a shoebox. She sat down at the obviously cheap table provided by the complex's owner and stared at nothing.
"You could have gotten a drink, Shego," Kim said, startling the pale-skinned woman. Shego's head snapped up fast and her green-tinted skin became darker as her face flushed with embarrassment.
"It's, um, n-not my home," she stammered in reply. Kim let out a sigh and nodded, before walking over to the small and cramped-looking fridge. She opened it and reached in to pull out a bottle of cranberry juice.
"Strongest thing I have," the redhead explained, setting the juice on the table before going to get a couple of glasses. "I've had to watch my diet very carefully over the last thirteen months."
As Kim sat down at the table and began pouring the juice, her guest said, "It's Rayne Gooding, actually. Not Shego."
"Sorry," Kim replied, looking down at the table.
"Like you always say, Kimmie," Rayne said, "no big." Kim didn't say anything, just finished pouring the juice. After getting her juice, Rayne took a sip and sat there, watching the redhead. She was desperate to learn what had happened to Kim, why she was living like this, and how she'd gotten a daughter. Her impatience resurfaced a bit after a while and she asked, softly, "What happened, Kimmie?"
"You left me," Kim said. It wasn't said in a negative way, or to be cruel; it was simply a statement of fact. Nevertheless, it still cut through Rayne's heart like her own plasma would cut through solid titanium. "I don't blame you for anything," she went on forlornly, "but the day you left without a trace or even a call after a while just shattered me. I did go on, at least as far as everyone else was concerned." That last was said with some bitterness.
"Kimmie," Rayne said, but she didn't get to say any more.
"Don't say it, Rayne," the redhead interrupted. "I'm sure you're sorry and all, but what good would that do us now?"
"I'm clean now, Kim," the pale-skinned woman replied. "No more outstanding warrants, no more worrying about Global Justice watching my every move, waiting for me to screw up. Hell, I even reconciled with my brothers."
"You think that means anything now?" Kim asked. "I spent a few months in a depression after you left. Then I tried to forget you." That threw some reality into Rayne's face. She should've expected it, though. "I threw myself into the whole hero thing completely. Even accepted invites to social events and crap I'd never have gone to before. Tried the dating scene, too."
"Is that how you got your daughter? Gave up girls for a bit and shacked up with a guy?" Rayne asked curiously. Kim's expression darkened and her face closed up.
"Her name is Elizabeth Anne Possible," the redhead said quietly. "And I need to get some sleep. I have to be at SmartyMart later, and I'd prefer you to not be here when I wake up." Kim stood and carried her empty glass over to the sink. "Sorry if that hurts, Rayne. I appreciate your concern, but you can't just show up and expect - or hope - that things will go back to what they were before."
"I wasn't," Rayne said quietly as Kim left the kitchen and went back to her bedroom. She felt her heart start to break, and didn't bother to stop the tears from falling. "I just wanted to tell you I was sorry, and make things up to you."
Sighing - although it sounded more like a sob - Rayne took her glass over to the sink, washed both glasses, and put the juice back in the fridge. After closing it, she took a look around the small space that Kim Possible now lived. It was half the size of her previous apartment, and not even close enough in condition. There where water and coffee stains in the ceiling, unidentifiable stains in the cheap carpet, wallpaper peeling off the walls, and yellowing on anything that had probably once been white. This isn't right, she thought. Kim Possible shouldn't be living like this. Especially since she has a kid. Rayne remembered how Kim had reacted to her question. I shouldn't have asked it like that. I should've just asked something like 'how old is she' or 'she gets her looks from you.' Not tease her about her relationship issues. Rayne's shoulders slumped. She knew she'd screwed up, but hoped she could still cross this bridge again. Getting an idea, she pulled out a notebook and a pen from her jacket. She wrote down a bunch of numbers, labeled them, and lastly added her personal contact number. She left it on the kitchen table and left the same way she'd come; though she took a long, lingering at Kim before she left.
When Kim's alarm woke her up a few short hours later, she let out a groan. Last night hadn't been fun at all. She'd had the late shift at her second job, Tai Chi Latte Café, and had to stop by her babysitter's to pick up her daughter before heading home. Home, in this case, being the apartment she could barely afford with her two jobs; she included food, clothes, utilities, and insurance in that. Then there was the nightmare she'd had, along with the late-night visit from Shego (aka Rayne Gooding). She got up and made her way to the bathroom, taking off her bed clothes as she walked into it. After tending to her personal ablutions, she took a quick shower and had some breakfast (still naked) before getting dressed for work. Just as she got out to the living room there was a knock on the door. She unlocked the deadbolt, the chain lock, and then the doorknob before opening it. "Hey, Kane!" said the blond woman standing at the door. She quickly pulled the redhead into a hug before giving her a gentle kiss on the mouth.
"Stephanie," Kim groaned in exasperation at the antics of the older woman. "It's Kay Anne. Initial Kay, and then Anne."
"Oh, pull that broomstick out of your ass, Kane," Stephanie Rockbel replied with a cheeky grin. "Is my favorite redhead still sleeping?"
"I thought I was your favorite redhead," she pouted. When she'd left everything behind and moved to Seattle, she'd put 'K. Anne P.' to everything she'd had to sign. There was the whole social security number issue, but she'd bypassed that with no trouble; she'd actually rescued the owner of the SmartyMart she worked at once so he didn't ask questions, and the owner of Tai Chi Latté was kind, generous, and understanding (if Kim Possible didn't want to be known, it wasn't his place to say otherwise).
"You're my favorite redheaded FWB," the blond said, going into the apartment as Kim stepped aside.
"Yeah, Elizabeth is still sleeping for now," the redhead said, answering Stephanie's question. "There's plenty of expressed milk in the fridge."
"This isn't my first time with that little angel you call your daughter."
"I'm a mom, remember?" Kim's smile faded a bit. "Seriously, though, Steph; I really appreciate the help. I'm really grateful that you won't let me pay you, even though I don't understand why."
" After three months of me doing this for you, you don't understand why?" Stephanie shook head. "Kid, I help because we're friends - even if we didn't have the benefits part - and because it's the right thing to do. Now, go on. You've got work to get to."
"Thanks, Steph," Kim replied, giving her FWB s quick kiss on the lips. As she did, she thought about how she and Shego used to kiss, which startled her a bit.
"That was a little different," the blond said after they'd parted.
"I had an old . . . friend stop by last night," the redhead blurted out. Her eyes widened as she hadn't meant to say that.
"An old girlfriend, eh?" Stephanie winking at her.
"It was never official," Kim muttered. "Look, I've gotta get to work. I'll be back around five or five-thirty." Then the redhead left her apartment. Stephanie stared at the door, her face looking said.
"I get the feeling that whoever this mystery woman is, she must've been someone special to have cause you such heartache, Kane," Stephanie said softly to herself.
"Still nothing, Ron," Wade said as soon as he'd accepted the kimmunicator signal from the blond.
"It's been over a year, Wade," Ron replied. His voice sounded weary, and not just from the day of training he'd finished; it was the weariness of someone who'd kept trying even though he'd failed every time before.
"She didn't take anything with her," the young genius replied. "No kimmunicator, no computer, nothing. Wherever she is, she hasn't done anything that I can trace. I've even checked for hits on her social security number since she would have to have a job, but nothing. And before you ask, again, there are way too many people in the country, much less the world, with the initials KP. And I've even taken her middle name into account."
"How can anyone disappear so completely?" the blond asked. "It's Kim Possible. Her appearance is impossible to miss."
"Appearances can change, Ron," Wade reminded him. "It wouldn't take much, either; a simple haircut would be enough of a change. I'm sorry, Ron. Wherever Kim is, we won't find her unless she wants to be found."
"I wish I knew why she just left like that, though," he said. Wade just shrugged. "Alright. Thanks, man." Wade nodded and signed off.
"No information about Kim-san, Ron-kun?" Yori asked, coming up behind her fiancé and wrapping her arms around his waist as her chin came to rest on a shoulder.
"Nothing," Ron replied. "She's just . . . vanished."
"If Wade-san has had no success, then perhaps you could ask Yamanouchi. If your need is great, perhaps Master Sensei could locate her through the mystic energies?"
Ron hesitated. He was certain that both of those options would succeed in finding his best friend, but . . .
"No," he said finally. "As much as I'd like to, I won't ask. I think it's time I stopped relying on others to do what I myself can attempt to do."
"A warrior's answer, my beloved," Yori replied. "And it shall be my honor to accompany you on your quest."
"I wouldn't have it any other way," Ron agreed, turning his head to kiss the raven-haired ninja on the lips.
E/N: There you have it. Chapter 2. I have to say, I'm surprised so many people have followed this story. Read and review, please. Next time, Kim and Shego meet once again, with a bit of tension still in the air (make that quite a bit), Stephanie learns who Kim's 'mystery woman' is, and then the blond begins the groundwork of bringing the two estranged lovers back together.