"You can always stay here, you know." Kim appeared in the doorway and Shego suddenly became very conscious of the packed bags on the floor and the suitcase on the bed that she was currently preparing. It was finally happening.
She was really leaving this time. "I know," she replied, her voice small. The room fell silent. Kim stepped inside and closed the door, nervously stuffing her hands in her back pockets. "Where are you gonna go?" she asked.
Shego shrugged. "I don't know, I'll figure it out." She rolled up one of her sweaters and placed it inside the suitcase with the rest of her clothes. When she lifted her head, she caught a glimpse of Kim's face. After years of fighting and months of living together, Shego has learned to interpret her expressions.
She could read her like clear pages in a book. And right now, Shego knew that something was wrong. She let out a heavy sigh. "What?" she asked. "What is it?" Kim wasn't even surprised. "I just don't know why you're leaving," she explained, "You said it yourself, you have nowhere to go."
"Don't worry about me," Shego responded, "I told you, I'll figure it out." "Of course I'm going to worry about you. That's what I do," Kim stated. "Well now you don't have to anymore."
In that moment of silence, Kim's expression softened and Shego swallowed hard. She turned back to the suitcase, continuing to pack her clothes. Kim walked closer to her and brushed her fingers against Shego's hand, but she flinched at her touch, bumping against the dresser in the room. She leaned on it, gripping its edges.
"Kim," she called out, shutting her eyes tight before opening them again. "I can't stay here, okay? You have to let me go." "Why!?" Kim snapped. Her breath felt like fire while she spoke. "Has it really been that bad, you staying here? All that time we spent together, all the things we did? Did it all mean nothing to you?"
God. Shego wanted to be bruised and bloodied again. She'd rather go toe to toe against the very worst of her enemies and feel the pain that accompanied every punch, every blast, every attack that they could mount against her. She'd rather feel that kind of pain instead of this kind.
"Of course it meant something to me," she countered. "It meant everything to me. But I can't stay. I don't belong here." Kim scoffed at her. "That's bullshit." How could you...? Kim wanted to yell at her. She's never wanted to fight her more than this moment, right here and now.
She hasn't forgotten about Shego risking everything by jumping into action to save her, or all the times she's subconsciously pulled her closer in the middle of the night, the drunken confessions, the things she's told Kim when they took the jeep out for a midnight drive. "How can you just brush that all aside?" Kim fumed.
"Well what the hell do you want me to do?" Shego remarked. "Talk about my feelings until we confess our love and get married and live happily ever after!?" They were quiet, but Shego's words echoed in their ears. Kim felt a pull on her throat and hoped she could speak through the strain without her voice breaking.
"Yes," she nearly whispered. Shego shook her head. "Kim... " she faltered and lowered her head. "That isn't going to happen. We can't--"
"I love you."
Shego lifted her glance. Kim was crying now, and Shego held herself in place to keep from rushing over to her and wiping her eyes. Fuck. She almost prayed for for one of her enemies to appear and punch her square in the face.
Kim moved closer to her. "I love you," she said, "and I know you love me too." The tears stung Shego's eyes as they started to become glossy. She forced them back, blinking them away. "I do," she acknowledged. "But I'm no good for you."
Kim stepped back. "You really don't get tired of that stupid excuse, do you?" "It's not an excuse," Shego retorted, "It's something you need to realize." She went back to her suitcase, stuffing her clothes. Folding them was going to take too long. She needed to get out of there now.
"I don't care what you think," Kim denoted. Shego tried to ignore her and continue packing. "Hey," Kim said, "Please look at me." Shego paused and exhaled slowly. She put her clothes down and turned to look at her.
"Stay here," Kim pleaded. "Be with me." Shego's chest felt heavy and the taste in her mouth turned bitter. "I can't do that to you, Kimmie." Kim didn't understand. "Do what?"
Shego looked aside. "I have been a fucking burden to so many people. I will not let one of them be you."
"Why do you keep thinking I would treat you like everybody else has!?"
Kim was yelling now. She wanted to refrain from raising her voice, but keeping her frustration under control was beginning to take more effort to attempt. She closed her eyes and steadied her breathing, regaining her composure. She glanced at Shego, both green eyes meeting.
"Look, Shego," she said, "You know I'd never treat you that way. I want you here. But I just... I couldn't come here without trying." Shego remained quiet. A long stretch of silence came between them. Eventually, Kim convinced herself to move. She looked back once before leaving the room and Shego behind with it.