|The Quick and the Dead
Author: King in Yellow PM
Before his death Sensei feels compelled to explain Hana's origins to her, and ask for her forgiveness. The young woman finds the truth even more traumatic than ignorance. Best Enemies universeRated: Fiction T - English - Supernatural/Humor - Chapters: 8 - Words: 16,100 - Reviews: 46 - Favs: 6 - Follows: 5 - Updated: 10-31-07 - Published: 10-18-07 - Status: Complete - id: 3843465
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Boilerplate Disclaimer: The various characters from the Kim Possible series are owned by Disney. Any and all registered trade names property of their respective owners.
Long Flight Back
Hana grabbed the phone before the first ring ended. Her head hurt, but she managed to mumble a greeting soft enough to allow Sheki to remain asleep.
"+Time for breakfast, Sleepyhead,+" a familiar voice told her.
"+Give me a minute to dress.+"
"+Do you feel as bad as you look?+" the young healer asked her down in the lobby.
"+Worse," she muttered. "+What's for breakfast?+"
Hana groaned, "+My stomach isn't ready for that.+"
When they reached the food stall she ordered steamed rice and tea, and watched in awe as he attacked a banchan platter which would have been outlawed in forty-six states in America as a lethal weapon. "+Sure you don't want a bite?+" he asked, holding up some kimchi that glistened with hot sauce between his chopsticks.
Hana turned greener than Shego as her stomach threatened to rebel. "+Don't do that!+"
"+Sorry, Sis. You said we need to talk.+"
"+Yes, but I'm afraid this side trip messed that up. There's not enough time. Thanks for coming down.+"
"+When do I see Sheki?+"
Amused, Hana shook her head, "+After breakfast. But I had a question.+" There was a minute of silence before she screwed up her courage to ask, "+Did you know about me? Who I am?+"
"+I was told the day before you arrived. Sensei wasn't sure if you'd make it or not. I was appointed to explain it to you if you didn't make it in time.+"
"+The family takes too much pride in guarding its secrets.+"
"+Yeah,+" he agreed, "+you should have been told. What are your plans?+"
"+I don't know. Sensei believed Hiro will grow into his role of leader if we give him a chance. I don't like Hiro, but I think Sensei was right - he is the man who should have the job now. I'm wondering if I should skip coming to Yamanouchi for a couple years, give him some time to grow without worrying about me looking over his shoulder.+"
"+God, no!+" the boy objected, "+You think he doesn't like you? It's worse for me. You're my best friend in the world. Mom won't let me visit in America so you've got to come here or I'll go crazy.+"
"+Crazier,+" she corrected him, "+you're already crazy.+"
"+Yeah, sucks being you.+"
"+Sounds like it sucks being you too.+"
"+It sucks being us,+" they said together and gave each other a high five.
"+Seriously, I've tapped into Toshi's ability to call across space. I promise to start communicating with you regularly. Will that help?+"
"+That would help tons. But don't swear off coming over. This was a very short trip this summer - two lousy weeks.+"
"+Okay, I'll try to be back in a year, or sooner. No promises.+"
The two ate and chatted until Hana noticed the time, "+We need to move. Sheki and I need to catch a bus to Maebashi.+"
They hurried to the hotel, "We got company," Hana called as they entered the room. "You need your injuries looked after."
"Wha?" a sleepy Sheki yawned.
"Hana says you were scratched by the jikininki, the wounds need to be treated."
She opened her eyes, "You again? The scratches weren't deep."
"But it is very important they be cleaned properly."
"Why? Untreated do they give me an infection?"
"Worse, they can give you a curse."
She yawned, "You got the treatment?"
He held up a stone jar, "This salve is what you need."
Sheki pulled off her top, "Okay!"
"Sheki!" Hana protested.
"Booyah!" the healer said softly as he stared hard.
Hana slapped him lightly on the side of the head, "Salve, Romeo."
"Is my nose bleeding?" His hand was shaking so hard he was afraid to touch her.
"Yee-oooww!" Sheki groaned, "That stuff is cold."
"Sorry," he apologized, never taking his eyes off her breasts, "maybe I should have told you this stuff is cold instead of hot."
"Yeah, would have been nice," the pale girl agreed.
"How come I'm the only guy in Japan without a camera phone?"
Hana slapped him on the side of the head again, a little more firmly. "Pervert!"
"Am not! This is every red-blooded boy's dream come true."
"Well while you're dreaming, give me that," Sheki said as she grabbed the stone jar from his hand, picked up some clothes and headed for the bathroom. "I'll treat the lower cuts myself," she called over her shoulder.
"I'll be happy to help with any hard to reach places," he assured her.
"If a topless picture of Sheki got on the internet we'd find out if your blood is red," Hana told him. "The second thing her Eemah would do is hunt you down and kill you."
"What's the first thing?"
"First she kills her," Hana explained. She handed him two wrapped bundles, the Lotus Blade and the wakizashi.
"+Couldn't you just send the Lotus Blade back?+" he asked, slipping into Japanese.
"+I suppose so. I could probably call it to America if I wanted. But I want it to be carefully placed in its home. It shows the blade respect.+"
The three went to the bus stop together. Hana gave him a hug and kiss. "Do I get one from you?" he asked Sheki.
She laughed and complied. He grinned after she kissed his cheek. Sheki complained to Hana as they watched him board his bus, "When you promised me cute guys I thought you meant someone a little older."
Shego arrived first in Maebashi, making sure the plane had been serviced correctly for the return flight. While she looked over the plane a truck pulled into the hanger with the security man from Lipsky and Load, two security men from a Japanese high tech firm, and two government security men who needed to verify the cargo in the truck before it could be loaded. Shego noted that her passenger had easily twice as much personal luggage as he carried on the trip over.
The green woman was starting to worry about Hana and Sheki when the two arrived, looking tired. Shego peered closely at Hana, while she could not be certain she had a peculiar feeling the Japanese girl looked hung over.
"You two look like shit," Shego called cheerily. "My school left me feeling great."
"That's wonderful, Eemah," Sheki yawned.
"Yeah, they confirmed I've still got my act together. Still a double master and going to start working on a third style."
"What will that be, Ms. O'Ceallaigh?" Hana asked.
"Tai Sheng Pek Kwar," Shego cried, lunging at Hana. Tired and hung-over or not, Shego quickly found herself flat on her back on the tarmac, laughing loudly. "Hana, we never discussed what you owe me for making this trip especially for you, did we?"
"No, Ms. O'Ceallaigh."
"You can work your bill off giving me lessons. I told them I knew a great trainer."
Sheki gave her mother a hand up off the concrete.
"Thanks," Shego told her daughter. "Weird how much time I've spent on my back this trip. I mean, weird to spend so much time on my back without your Mom around."
"Eemah," Sheki complained, "you're embarrassing me again."
Kim and Jane sat on stools in the kitchen and Kasy held up her right hand, showing it empty. She made a gesture and, with a little sleight-of-hand, an egg seemed to magically appear. She held the hen fruit up between thumb and fingers. "Now, does anyone know what this is? Two answers will be accepted."
Jane's hand shot into the air.
"Yes, little person?"
"It's an egg."
"That is one correct answer." Kasy turned to Kim, "She took the easy answer, but there is another correct answer. What is this?"
"It's not an egg?"
"Yes, it's an egg, but also something in addition to an egg."
"Fresh?" Kim suggested. "Rotten? Hard-boiled?"
"Mom, it is so much more than just an egg. It's a possibility. Like you it can do anything! Poached; fried: hard, over easy, or sunny-side up; scrambled; and boiled, hard or soft. It stars in omelets, egg salad, deviled eggs, and quiche. It's an ingredient in all kinds of things - challah, cake, muffins. It's not an egg, it's an adventure. Eemah even says you can use it for emergency repairs for small holes in the radiator and use the yolk to get bubblegum out of a kid's hair."
"Could you use it to get bubblegum out of a big person's hair?" Jane interrupted. "Francis got gum in his Mom's hair and they had to cut it out."
"Maybe they didn't know about egg yolks," Kasy suggested.
"Or peanut butter," Kim mentioned. "That's what we always used on Kasy," she told Jane, "she went to pre-school a lot of days with her hair smelling like peanut butter."
"Not in front of the small fry," Kasy hissed. "And besides, you're getting off topic. This morning's subject is 'Having fun with Mr. Egg at breakfast'. What do you want to try?"
Kasy said nothing, twenty minutes later, as she crunched on her two eggs, over easy.
"I, uh, hear the shells are actually good for you," Kim said optimistically. "Rich in calcium for strong bones and teeth."
Kasy took it philosophically, Eemah and Sheki were supposed to be coming home today.
Hana and Sheki both slept for the entire return flight. Fortunately the young security man was up to the task of working a microwave and keeping Shego company in the cockpit.
When they touched down in Middleton all three women were happy to be home. Hana lagged slightly behind as Shego and Sheki looked for their family. The Japanese woman still wasn't sure what to say to the Stoppables. She spotted them as soon as she got inside the terminal, but paused, nervous and uncertain, rather than going to them.
They hurried over toward their daughter, however, and she decided to be blunt, "I learned my adoption was fake. Sensei lied to you. He did something to make you accept it when he brought me to this country."
Her parents looked at each other for a few seconds before her father spoke, "We know that. Sensei told us about some of what he did about a year after you arrived. Technically we know your adoption is illegal. That's part of our worry, we're always afraid you'll meet your birth mother in Japan and she'll say she changed her mind about giving you up."
"Apparently Sensei did not tell them everything." "I saw the woman who gave birth to me on this trip." Hana felt her mother tense as she said those words.
"What did she say to you?" Rachel asked.
"She said nothing. We did not speak. I wanted to see that she looked happy. She did not see me, or, if she did, she did not know who I was. To her I am dead and I will do nothing to change that in her mind." "They knew the adoption was fake, and they never told me. What other lies have they told me?"
Rachel's arms tightened around her daughter, and she kissed the girl on the forehead. Her dad put a hand on her shoulder and gently massaged it, "We love you so much," he told her, "we couldn't bear to lose you."
"Do you really love me," Hana asked softly. "Sensei said he had played with your memories when he brought me here, making you think you had filled out all the forms and done all the paperwork. Did he play with your minds to make you think you love me? Am I a burden that you were brainwashed into accepting?"
"Don't ever say that again," her father warned.
"Sensei may have manipulated our thoughts about accepting the adoption as legal. But we really had wanted another child besides Ron," her mom told her.
"We'd given up when we found out how long, and difficult, and expensive the process was," her father continued. "I can probably find the letters we wrote to agencies long before you arrived if you need proof. I think they're in a shoebox somewhere in the basement."
Hana breathed a little sigh of relief. It hurt to have been lied to by the two people, besides her brother, she felt she could always trust. But they had wanted her. And the only lies they had told grew from their fear of losing her.
Rachel went on with the story, "When Sensei came and admitted the deception he used to arrange the adoption we didn't know what to think. We were afraid he had come to take you. He said that if we had any doubts you could go back to Yamanouchi with him to be raised."
"What happened?" Hana asked.
Rachel laughed, "Your father threatened to throw him out of the house for suggesting we had any doubts about you."
Hana smiled at the image of her father trying to throw Sensei.
"He liked that answer, and he told your mom and me that he would do all he could to make the adoption papers look right, so there could never be a legal challenge."
Hana buried in face in her mother's shoulder, laughing and crying at the same time. "You really love me? Despite it all, you really love me?"
"We really love you," her father assured her.
"Let's stop on the way home and pick up a carton of maple-pecan ice cream," Rachel suggested.
Hana laughed, "You're the best, Mom. Let's go home." "I'll tell you about Toshimiru some other day."
The Possibles and O'Ceallaighs watched from a distance as the Stoppables left the terminal.
Kim and Shego had their arms around each other's waists. "Good to have you home."
"Good to be back, Kim. What do you have planned for tonight?"
"What do I have planned? You leave me to take care of the house and two kids for two weeks while you go off and it's what do I have planned? You owe me!"
Shego raised an eyebrow and leered at her partner, "Oh, sounds like we need to negotiate. I'm very, very good with negotiations."
"Never try to negotiate with a lawyer," Kim warned the girls, "you'll be lucky if you can keep the shirt on your back."
"You sure won't keep it on tonight," Shego whispered in Kim's ear.
"Will you two ever grow up?" Sheki demanded.
"Not to worry," Kasy told her twin. "We've got a sleepover at Briana's and Jane gets to spend the night with cousin Stacy, these two can be as loud as they won't and it won't bother anyone."
Sheki laughed and gave her sister a high five, "Way to go! I don't know why people say you're the dumb one."
Kasy shot her a dirty look, and Jane spoke up, "Won't Smaug and Helen be home?"
"Well, there won't be anyone alive and human for Mommy and Eemah to bother."
"Let's go," Shego suggested. "I just want to get home and unwind. By the way, what is for dinner tonight?"
"I thought we'd go out to someplace nice," Kim told her.
"Ah, Mom, not again," Kasy groaned.
Kim drove back. She parked in the driveway as the rest of the family got out and Sheki and Shego grabbed their bags. Kim started the engine, and Shego demanded, "Where you going?"
"I, ah, need to get a few things at the grocery store," Kim explained.
"Okay, but I expect you back soon!" Shego called as Kim backed out.
Kim was almost a block from the house, but had the distinct feeling she heard Shego's voice as the pale woman stepped in the house, "DID ANYONE DO ANY CLEANING WHILE I WAS GONE!"
AN: Francis received his only prior mention in A Markov's Follow the Queen II: Deuces Wild.