Author's Note: OH SNAP he posted the last chapter already! For those of you who saw the earlier end-of-chapter message, apologies for any angst it caused - I just really wasn't sure if I'd be able to get this out in time. It turns out, my "avoid packing" technique involves writing.
Standard Disclaimer: The various characters from the Kim Possible series are all owned by Disney. All registered trade names property of their respective owners. Cheap shots at celebrities constitute fair usage.
Kim Possible: Shadow Plays
KP KP KP
In the end, it took Kim and Shego nearly a week to get back to Sydney.
After getting Betty to the ER at the University of Colorado Hospital in Denver for emergency surgery to remove the bullet and clean up Shego's very rushed cauterization attempt, they stayed nearby, sleeping in the jet for two days, and were glad they had when a bunch of police and FBI agents showed up with a warrant for the arrest of a Jane Doe in Ward 6, backed up by a group of men in suits that Shego recognized as Cerberus operatives. They'd pulled everyone out in a hurry, with Betty still strapped to a gurney and Joe holding her IV line as they raced up the ramp into the jet.
Whoever was behind the explosion in the old NORAD base was clearly being thorough. They'd probably discovered that a one-eyed woman in her mid forties had been admitted to a hospital in the area near Cheyenne Mountain, and sent a cleanup crew to take care of the possible loose end. Shego and Kim had been careful to stay completely hidden and let Joe be the person to deal with the doctors, so they were fairly confident their mysterious opponent couldn't be certain they'd escaped, but they knew he'd assume it anyway. The doubt might work in their favor - as long as they didn't openly advertise their presence anywhere.
Joe ended up providing them a solution to the problem of a safe place to let Betty recover - Canadian Intelligence maintained several off-the-record hospital suites at a number of private hospitals in various cities north of the border, and he offered one for their use. After swinging by Baltimore, where they picked up an awake but still very sore Will Du (who was shocked to find his superior suffering a similar wound to his own) they had transported the two patients to Vancouver, where Joe and his team promised to watch over and protect them from any further threats.
"I owe her, she owes me, it's all a big circle of favors and trust," Joe had told Shego when she'd asked why he was helping.
"Well… thanks," she'd muttered. "Glad Betty's got someone looking after her."
Kim and Shego had stuck around to scope out the area and help Wade set up some remote sensors that he could feed to Joe and then finally, somewhat reluctantly on Kim's part, they prepared to depart when Shego made it clear they needed to get moving again.
"I'm going to take Kim back to Sydney," she told Joe. "Both of us have been on the go for almost two weeks straight, and we need time to recuperate and plan our next move, but first we're going to take a quick pass at Nashville, and HenchCo HQ."
"I understand. Safe travels. Oh, and Shego?"
"When you make your move, if you need my help, you'll get it. No strings attached."
He'd held out his hand and she'd shaken it, two days later she was still bemused by the easy friendship the Canadian secret agent had struck up with her. Professional respect, she supposed. They'd faced off as enemies once, back in the day when Drakken had wanted Canada, and they'd been in a rough situation side by side as allies in Colorado. That tended to leave an impression - comradeship under fire.
"What are you thinking about?" Kim asked, noting the thoughtful look on her face.
"Oh, just amused at the odd friends I somehow seem to be making while I'm travelling with you," Shego replied. "Hey… listen. I told Joe that we need time off to collect ourselves, slow down, and think through our next move. I'm worried that we - you mostly - might burn out if we're not careful."
Kim snorted. "You're the one who's still tired from the tunnel at Cheyenne Mountain, but wouldn't let me do anything in Nashville," she pointed out. "If either of the two of us is going to exhaust themselves, it's you. Plus I don't think you slept the whole time we were in Denver, it's like you knew someone was going to show up eventually."
"Call it a gut feeling - it's what I would have done, sweeping local hospitals for us. If Betty hadn't been so critical that we needed to get her there ASAP, I would have gone further afield. Phoenix, maybe, or even LA."
Kim nodded. "Well, they're hopefully safe now, with Joe watching them in Vancouver… and I agree with you. We need the downtime. I've felt on the edge for the last few days since… since nearly being buried alive..."
"Yeah, that sucked a bit."
Kim laughed. "You have a talent for understatement."
"And after Nashville was a bust.." Shego frowned. By the time they'd reached Nashville, the former HQ of HenchCo was a ghost building. Other than the name on the outside, there was no sign that "Teflon" Jack Hench had ever run his quasi legitimate business from the office tower. Convinced that he'd left booby traps everywhere, Shego had taken no chances and gone in alone, on the assumption that her extra durability would help her survive any potentially deadly traps, but all that she'd received for her trouble was a tension headache from being on edge for so long and a yellow post it note stuck to a temporary desk in Jack's old office with the words "Better Luck Next Time!" handwritten on it.
They would probably never find out if it had been written specifically for her, but it made her blood boil nonetheless.
Kim reached over and patted her on the shoulder. "We'll find him," she promised. "We'll find him and we'll find whoever has the Lowardian tech, and we'll make sure they get what's coming to them."
"Yeah.. Yeah we will," Shego said.
After they landed in Sydney, following a tiring flight that was broken only by a brief refueling stop at a private airfield on Maui - a location both of them agreed would be beautiful to stay at for a month or two - Shego powered the jet down fully and checked to make sure the security systems were fully engaged, then turned to Kim.
"Let's get outta here, I love her, but I feel like I've spent way too much time in this seat lately."
Kim nodded, smiling, as she followed Shego down the ramp and out toward the small office tucked in the corner of the hangar. "What is it?" she asked, frowning, when she felt Shego stop beside her.
"Just suddenly got this strange feeling, like I'll never see her again," she said, glancing back at the black and green craft.
Kim shook her head. "Shake it off," she said. "You said we were going shopping."
Shego forced a smile, and finished with her paperwork quickly. "That's right, I did, didn't I? Let's go spend some of Seniors hard earned cash."
Kim smiled back and grabbed her hand as they left the hangar. Shego noticed that she didn't let go until they had to separate to climb into the car, and that sudden loss of contact sent a surge through her that she would - with any other person - have known exactly how to interpret.
Oh hell. Don't overthink this, damnit.
The drive from the airport to the city was thankfully uneventful - apart from the looks that Kim was giving Shego - but nothing was said until she parked their car in the space reserved for the penthouse suite, and they climbed out.
"Jet lag is going to be a bitch if we let ourselves go to sleep now, so, shall we shop then find a place to eat?" Shego asked, not moving to retrieve her go bag from the boot of the car.
Kim nodded in reply and grabbed for her hand, and together the two of them set off to plunder the stores in downtown Sydney. They returned back to the hotel that afternoon, tired but satisfied with their respective hauls, having spent the last hour in a coffee shop with their purchases sitting around them, talking about everything except what had happened in the last few weeks. Favorite TV shows, favorite movies, favorite books, favorite music had been the starting point. The usually reserved Shego had been surprised to find that the two shared fairly similar tastes in a lot of things - she supposed shouldn't really have been that surprised, given the other similarities in their lives, though the age difference (and probably the influence of having older brothers) meant that Shego had a preference for early 80s martial arts movies, while Kim favored the mid nineties and early 2000s, and their music tastes similarly had a difference in preferred era, though the bands they did agree on had Shego grinning.
"I would have never figured you for a closet metal head, Princess," she'd snickered. Kim had shrugged.
"Sometimes, a good hard fast beat is what you need for a workout."
Both had realized the unintentional double entendre at the same time, and Shego burst into laughter at the growing blush on Kim's face.
"Nice one, Princess," she mocked, and Kim had just sighed.
Now, as they made their way back to the suite, bags full of clothing weighing them down, Kim's mind was buzzing pleasantly both from the triple shot choc mint latte she'd ordered, and spending several relaxing hours close to Shego, without any threats around them, and as the elevator took them up to the top floor, her eyes kept darting over to the older woman, who was doing her best to studiously ignore her.
When the doors opened and they stepped out into the small lobby before the door to the suite, Shego dropped her bags by the door and started digging into her pockets for the card key to open the room, but before she had it in her hands, Kim had grabbed one elbow and backed her into the wall.
"What the..?" Shego muttered.
"I just.. I wanted to say I had a really nice time just hanging out today," Kim said softly, then before she chickened out, she slipped in close and went up on her tiptoes to give Shego a kiss.
Like the last time, Shego took a second to respond, before her arms wrapped around Kim instinctively and she drew the her in tight, the kiss continuing as Kim let out a soft moan, the tremors in her body once again setting off an instinctive response in Shego's body.
Christ, she kisses like a succubus was all Shego had time to think, before the sound of a ringing phone interrupted the growing passion.
A phone that was ringing from inside the apartment.
"Yes?" a male voice answered, and both Shego and Kim were instantly alert, standing side by side, hands out, and ready to defend themselves.
"No sir," the voice continued, "No sign of them here, though it's definitely theirs. We've got definite proof that Shego has been here - we found one of her catsuits in the closet of the second bedroom… no sir, but there's definitely been a woman in the other bedroom.. yes sir, separate bedrooms."
The man laughed suddenly, and Kim felt her fists clench of their own accord. "No, it doesn't look like they're sleeping together, sir… no sir.. yes, we'll set up the demo charges and keep an eye on the suite for when they return. Yes sir, I understand." The phone call ended, and then the voice carried on a second later. "Alright boys, we're gonna grab the charges and set them under each bed, one in each closet - very funny, Walker - two in the living room and one behind the fridge. Make sure they're synced for simultaneous detonation, and then-"
Whatever he'd been about to say next was lost as the front door exploded inwards in a barrage of splinters and green fire as Shego smashed through it, Kim stepping through just behind her, activating the battlesuit under her regular clothes and scowling. The closest man to them had just enough time to shout "Shit, they're here!" before a precision plasma blast slagged the gun was holding and burnt his hand almost to the bone.
"Hi boys," Shego said in a low growl to the six men in nondescript suits who were gaping at her. "I really quite liked this suite, but now that your grubby hands have been all over it, I'm going to have to disinfect every single surface, and that'll be after I remove the stains you're about to leave in it - and even then I'll probably still end up losing my security deposit. I really hate it when that happens, because I already hate dealing with real estate agents..."
As if unleashed by the implied threat of violence, all six men reached for their sidearms, and Shego burst into a blur of motion, darting forward to grab the closest man, twisting his hand as she looped around and under him and pulled his arm up behind his back, dislocating his shoulder, elbow, and wrist simultaneously and causing him to scream in agony and drop the gun.
Using him as a human shield, she pushed towards the next two closest men, while behind her Kim had closed with another man who had hesitated momentarily over which woman to aim at, and her speed meant she was on him before he could bring his gun to bear on her. She slammed her fist into the side of his jaw, knocking him out with a single enhanced punch, sending him face first to the floor, but she'd already moved on, diving forward and rolling across the floor behind the couch to avoid half a dozen rounds of gunfire that came her way from the last two suits.
As Shego slammed into the next closest two, who'd held their fire to avoid hitting their comrade, she lashed out with a foot at the one on the left, feeling the solid crunch of a knee being destroyed, then she slid to the other side and fired a ball of plasma into the pistol of the other, following it with a swipe of her claws that raked across his front, slicing downward through the shirt and his chest and instantly drawing blood. The screams of both men intermingled with the first man as she continued her slice down and then across the back of his leg, her claws severing his achilles tendon and sending him to the floor as the ruined leg collapsed under his weight.
Furious that her safe house for the last six months had been compromised, her brutal assault continued as she lashed out with her left hand this time at the suit she'd kicked, her strike to his nose breaking it and sending a spray of blood before she switched back to the slashed man, punching him once, twice, three times in the face before using the man she was still holding as balance to lash out with a powerful roundhouse that snapped his head to the side and knocked him into his companion, bouncing off that collision and collapsing to the ground.
She had only the briefest tingle of warning as her eye caught a red flash of a targeting laser, and she threw herself to the side, diving for cover as a high powered sniper rifle round zipped through where her head had just been, slamming into the far wall and surprising Kim long enough for one of her two opponents to get the drop on her and slug her with a punch.
"Sniper!" Shego screamed, and continued her roll until she came up with her back to a wall that covered her from the sniper's nest on the roof of the next building over.
Kim reacted in the same instant, getting in ultra close range with both suits, not letting the sniper get a clean shot at her, and she traded punches and kicks with them while Shego contemplated her options.
Fuck, Shego groaned. I don't know if I can hit.. another round from the sniper rifle slammed into the suite, this time taking one of the two remaining suits Kim was engaged with in the back, and he stiffened before he coughed up bright crimson arterial blood from his lungs.
Kim slumped to the ground, pulling the dying man with her. "Kim!" Shego screamed.
"Busy!" Kim shouted back, lashing out with a foot into the kneecap of her last remaining attacker, which brought him crashing to the ground, howling, where she delivered a heel stomp to his face which silenced him. "I'm okay, I'm okay!" she cried, throwing the dead body off her and rolling quickly across the floor into cover, two more shots slamming into the ground behind her. She pressed her back up to the kitchen counter she was behind, and hoped to god it was thick enough to stop the large caliber rounds that were coming at them.
"Thank god," Shego groaned. "I thought..."
No, don't tell her what you thought. No time, damnit. Focus!
"I caught sight of him," she called. "He's on the roof of the building across from us, but he's got a good spot, the ledge has him covered."
"Damn," Kim grunted, and then called back. "Don't suppose you have anything handy?"
"Left my Barrett 50 cal. at home, sorry," Shego shouted, as more rounds crunched into the suite but thankfully didn't penetrate. "Australian gun law is more than a little bit tighter than back home, and besides, I didn't think I'd need anything more than these." She looked down at her hands, then back up at Kim.
"Okay, I distract him, and you fire the biggest ball you've got?" Kim asked.
"No!" Shego said. "I'm not risking you. Get out, Kimmie, go down the fire stairs and just... just go. I'll keep him pinned down as long as I can - there's gotta be a second team on the way."
"I'm not leaving you!" Kim told her.
"No!" Kim yelled. "No, I am not leaving you here to die! There has to be another way!"
In Shego's anger, she didn't notice the suit she'd clawed reach down to his side and draw the stun gun until he fired it, and then for the second time in less than a week, forty thousand volts seared through her, but this time, it didn't stop after half a second...
She screamed as the energy pulsed through her, the green flame burst forth uncontrolled from every part of her, the intense heat searing the wires and ending the current, but also burning away her clothes and instantly setting alight everything flammable in a five meter radius around her, including the floor, the couch, and the suits of three of the men.
"Shego!" Kim cried as Shego screamed in agony at the center of a green tornado of plasma that swirled angrily and flared with more and more intensity.
"Shego!" she called again, and then drew back in horror when the green skinned woman turned towards her and she caught sight of the eyes, usually a dark green, but now flared with green energy as bright as the day sun. A pair of bullets speared into the plasma, turning to nothing before even hitting the flesh underneath it, and the green demon suddenly growled, stepped out from the partially melted wall, took aim and flew across the space between the two buildings, green plasma trailing from her hands like twin rocket exhausts, and when she slammed into the low brick wall around roof of the higher building she exploded, the green blast more than bright enough to blind Kim temporarily.
She blinked her eyes, and as the afterimage faded from her retinas, she she was sure she'd seen another body being thrown like a rag doll flying across the rooftop away from them.
She looked over at Shego, who was on her knees, plasma still lit and incredibly bright.
"Shego!" she shouted across the gap between them, then shivered as those glowing green eyes turned to regard her with an inhuman anger clear in them. She felt a surge of terror that the monster in green flame was about to charge back at her, but then the eyes blinked twice, faded back to a more normal green, and her Shego was looking down at her hands, around at the rooftop she was on, then back up at Kim, forty meters away across the street.
Kim watched her mouth whisper holy shit, then she kicked her hands higher and was flying - far more unsteadily, this time - back across the gap to slam unceremoniously into the far wall of the suite, where she collapsed, her plasma gone, as the fire alarm belatedly kicked in - though unfortunately, it seemed the searing heat from her initial ignition had melted the emergency sprinklers above them closed, as a sudden rain poured down around everywhere in the suite except for the circle around where three charred bodies lay.
"Oh… god.." Shego moaned, then her stomach emptied the lunch and afternoon tea snack that she'd shared less than an hour ago. Kim darted forward, scooping the long green-black hair out of the way, and held it as Shego retched several more times, until only bile was coming up. "Fuuuuck," she moaned, and Kim rubbed her back softly for a minute until the major implications of the situation set in for her.
"Can you get up?" she asked softly, and after a moment Shego nodded slowly, allowing Kim to slip under her arm and help her unsteadily to her feet and into the kitchen, where she poured a glass of water. "We need to get you some clothes from the bedroom, and then we need to grab the important stuff and go," she whispered. "This place is compromised. If they were from our unknown friend, he knows we were here now, and I'll bet he'll have more people on the way when these guys don't report in."
Shego nodded dumbly, stumbling into her room, as Kim raced to her own, grabbing the small collection of clothes and stuffing them into the bag she had handy, ignoring the water pouring down around them, before returning to the lounge and throwing the bag at the door. She ran into Shego's room and found her robotically putting clothes into her green and black suitcase.
"C'mon, we gotta hurry!" Kim said, and grabbed the remaining handful, stuffing it into the case. "Anything else here you especially want to keep?"
Shego shook her head, then as if realizing only at that moment that she was still naked, grabbed the catsuit that was still hanging in the closet, and slid into it gingerly.
Kim looked at her, then spun her around to help with the zip and velcro flap at the back of the neck, before giving the still somewhat stunned woman a quick hug and grabbing the suitcase with one hand, and Shego with her other.
"Let's go, let's go!" she said, tugging Shego along behind her. She scooped her bag up with one arm and slung it over her back, grabbed a few of the bags they'd left dumped in the entrance hall, and shot Shego a tight smile as the green woman grabbed the others and her suitcase.
Kim pushed open the fire door and the two of them started down the stairwell. They made it down a couple of flights before Kim noticed that none of the other floors appeared the be evacuating, and she could only vaguely hear the alarm above them.
"They must have cut the alarms to the penthouse off from the rest of the building," she said, and Shego grunted noncommittally in reply. "That's not a good thing - I wonder if the fire will be contained by the sprinklers?"
By the time they made it to the parking levels and opened the stairwell door, Shego was slowly coming back to her normal self, and she had recovered enough to pull the keys to the car from her bags and open the boot for Kim to throw their gear in on top of their still packed go backs. The two of them climbed in, Shego taking the wheel, backing out gingerly then rapidly winding her way through the parking structure, pausing only long enough for the boom gate to open before pulling out into the late afternoon traffic.
"Where..?" Kim vaguely asked as they crossed the massive steel structure of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, looking out over the famous Opera House and the rest of Darling Harbour.
"North," Shego said softly, her throat still sore from the vomiting spell. "North, all the way. To the reef. Need that vacation.."
"Yeah," Kim replied. "Yeah. Good idea." She reached across, gently squeezed the hand on the gear stick, and smiled at Shego. "Vacation."
KP KP KP
Twelve hours later, after an almost inhuman driving effort from Shego, they reached the twin cities of Maryborough and Hervey Bay. After a brief road-side rest stop, where Shego slept for about six hours to regain her stamina while Kim kept watch, they set off North again.
They hadn't talked about the fight at the hotel at all - Kim had dropped into an exhausted semi-sleep a few hours north of Sydney despite her attempts to stay awake and provide at least some kind of companionship, even if, by mutual agreement, it was a completely silent one, with both of them tried to process individually what had happened.
Now, though, it felt like it was building into a critical mass of silence that was about to explode, and Kim figured it was better to let the steam off slowly.
"So.. flying..? That's a new trick you picked up," she said softly, only barely audible over the sound of the wind through the windows, the engine and the road.
"I, uh.. I'm not entirely sure how I did that," Shego admitted eventually. "I've only got flashes of the last moments there. I remember feeling the taser, screaming from the pain, and suddenly there's this massive rush of…" She trailed off, then shrugged, unable to find the right words.
"Everything was green," she continued eventually. "I do mean literally, it was like someone had shoved one of those green 3D lenses down over each eye - then I blinked and I was in midair flying towards that asshole with the sniper rifle on the roof. The next thing I know I'm kneeling in a foot deep crater of cooling concrete and twisted metal, the sniper is nowhere to be seen, I'm realizing that I'm forty meters away from you on the other side of the street and I have no clue how I got there."
Kim nodded. "It was… impressive. And also a little scary. Your eyes, they did the whole glowy bright green thing," she said. "For a second before you flew, and then again when you were over there, I called your name, and you looked at me and it was not a happy look."
Shego shuddered. "I was angry, I think. And… I'm not quite sure of the right word.. hungry?"
Kim blinked. "Hungry?"
"Yeah, hungry, but not for food… for fighting, I think. There was something in me that wanted.. wanted to claw it's way out and just… destroy. It was looking at you like an opponent, or a competitor or something... then it was gone, and I was looking back at you, and I figured if I had done it once, I could do it again, and, well, you saw how well that worked - or rather, didn't." She shuddered. "And before you ask, no, I really don't want to try it again because I looked down while I was doing it, it was not a clever idea at all."
"So... you're gonna tell me that the spewing was just vertigo?" Kim asked, curious.
"Oh no... that was definitely the smell of burnt flesh and.. and realizing I'd left dead bodies."
"Oh. Yeah. I uh.. I kinda blocked them out. Somehow. I guess... I mean... you had to."
They lapsed into another uneasy silence for a few kilometers before Shego opened up again.
"Look… I know… I've tried not to.. you know, kill anyone bef.."
"You keep going down that line of thought, and you're going to get the exact same speech you gave me," Kim interrupted. "And it'd be hypocritical of me to think any less of you, since you clearly haven't thought any less of me after Middleton.."
Shego kept her eyes staring ahead on the road, but a ghost of a smile slowly turned up her lips.
"Thanks, Kimmie. I.. I appreciate that. More than you can know."
"Oh, I dunno," Kim replied. "I'm pretty appreciative of everything you've done for me - I think I said thanks for saving my life today, haven't I?"
"Shall we just agree to let the thanks go unspoken from now on? You know, if we're going to be making the whole saving each other thing a regular occurrence?"
"Somehow I don't think that'll work," Kim replied. "Pretty sure you're still gonna want credit for pulling my ass out of the fire."
Shego turned to look at Kim with a rueful grin. "True. Though depends on exactly how on fire your ass is at the time, I suppose."
Kim smiled at her, then after a second nodded toward the front of the car with her head. "Hey, eyes on the road."
Shego's grin morphed into a wide smile, and she focused on the road ahead of them again.
Things are.. I guess, sort of okay, she thought to herself.
Sure, Jack had pulled a fast one and disappeared, Betty and Will were still in hospital in Canada recovering from their injuries under Joe's watchful eye, and the Senior clan were.. well, they'd vanished to somewhere or other, but they were at least safe, and on their side - she hoped - and there was the matter of the Lowardian salvage that was still missing, and the unknown person who was clearly out to kill them, but...
For all of the bad, having Kim in the car beside her, the stuff they'd salvaged from the hotel suite in the boot, the wind coming through the window ruffling her hair wildly and the highway taking them north to the Great Barrier Reef, Shego allowed herself to relax for the first time in a while.
She regretted it almost instantly.
She just caught the faint glow from the rocket engine on the missile coming at them out of the corner of her eye with barely enough time to throw the wheel of the car hard over and start pumping as much plasma out her side of the car as she could generate in half a second, hoping like hell her aim was good.
Kim's question was drowned out by the explosion of the missile as it entered the still forming plasma cloud. The force of the detonation picked the car up and tossed it like a toy, sending it rolling several times in the air before crashing to the ground, luckily landing right-side up, skidding to a stop.
Shego came to slowly, dazed from where her forehead had slammed against the steering wheel, and she moaned as a bolt of pain shot through her from her right side. When she looked over, she realized her shoulder had been dislocated and the arm was hanging limply. After struggling to get her seat belt off for a second, she gave up and summoned plasma from her good hand, gasping at how weak the green glow was, but it proved to be enough to part the belt and free her. She crawled through the window when the door failed to open, and found herself lying on the ground screaming in pain after trying to put her weight down on what was clearly a very broken left leg.
The pain was almost too much for her nervous system to handle, and her vision became a dark tunnel for a second. Only the thought of Kim managed to keep her awake, and after a few rasping breaths, she struggled to drag herself back partially upright, then turned and rammed her shoulder against the side of the car, feeling a disgusting grating followed by a hollow pop as the shoulder popped back into its socket, a fresh agonising bolt of pain shooting through her side in response. "Fuuuuuuuuuuuuck" she screamed.
Gotta… find… Kim… she thought unsteadily a few moments later, pulling herself upright, and looking into the car, seeing no sign of her, but noticing that the windshield had been smashed - outwards, she realised with a nauseous ball forming in her stomach at the implication.
"KIM!" she screamed.
A faint groan floated back to her, through the ringing in her ears, from further up the road, and Shego blinked in surprise as Kim slowly sat up from where she had been lying on the verge, and she was beyond thankful that she'd insisted Kim keep her battlesuit on underneath her street clothes. The black suit looked torn and scratched, and though it seemed to have activated quickly enough to protect her from catastrophic injury, she guessed Kim was stunned from the impact of hitting the roadside sign post that had folded around her head.
Shego took a desperate half step towards her, forgetting for a moment her broken leg, and she went down screaming again, as the ringing in her ears finally cleared enough for the sound of the helicopter hovering over them to finally penetrate. As she rolled onto her back and looked up, a pair of soldiers in black body armor descended from the helicopter, their guns trained in her direction, but rather than drop on her, they landed on either side of Kim. One bent to pick the unresisting form up into his arms, and suddenly they were lifted back into the sky again.
"NO!" Shego screamed, but she couldn't force herself up anymore, all her strength was gone and and her vision was fading to black again. She only had breath for one final scream. "KIMMIE! NOOOOO!"
KP KP KP
In a dark cavern half the world away a pair of eyes that were normally hazel but were now flaring a bright blue behind the closed lids suddenly snapped open, pouring blue-white light out into the cave.
"Stoppable-san?" a confused man's voice asked.
There was no response for a moment, then a newer blinding flare of brilliant blue light suddenly lit the cave, revealing a beautiful grotto with crystalline stalagmites and stalactites, each outcropping reflecting the new light in a thousand different directions, turning the entire cavern blue with rippling light that flickered and danced.
The source of the new light was a sword which had appeared from out of nowhere, and as it settled slowly into an open hand, blue flames ran joyfully up the sword like waves unleashed from the simple hilt.
"Ron-kun?" a soft, feminine voice asked, then without warning there was a thunderous roaring sound that was vaguely like the cry of a thousand monkeys, and then man holding the sword uttered a single word.
Then he promptly disappeared in another burst of the blinding blue light, and the cave fell back into darkness.
KP KP KP
A/N: The end! THE END!? Only of this part of the story, don't worry. Coming soon, Kim Possible: Shadow Wars will be the continuation of this story, and part two of a planned trilogy that will conclude in an as yet unnamed third story (that I'm currently working on under the daft draft title of 'Return of the Jedi' because i'm a total dork).
To be totally honest I've had most this last chapter, aside from a few things that required review and minor adjustment due to earlier changes in plot points, ready from almost day one, and the surge of inspiration I got today was more than enough to finish polishing it off and publish. This sequence with the battle in the hotel and the drive north was originally much earlier in the book and in that draft it sort of set Kim and Shego off on their journey, but I feel like it works so much better here as a (horrible!) cliffhanger, and the last teaser scene sets a big ol' hook for a couple of cast members who - yes, I can confirm will be joining us in Book Two - though they'll all be bringing their own issues with Kim and/or Shego, which will make things even more interesting.
As I mentioned, I'm away for the next month on a holiday to Europe, and I'll probably need 2-3 months to get far enough through Shadow Wars that I feel comfortable starting to post it up, but in the meantime, I look forward to reading your comments and reviews when I get back. :)