To my readers,

I feel a little vindicated now. More than one person has pointed out that their own website says that Shego's rays come from her gloves, not from any super powers. So if anyone is violating continuity, it's them :)

Second, this is the last chapter of something that basically started as a whim. Thanks should go to Query, who helped get me to watch this show in the first place. Whether or not I write a follow-up depends on how much the readers want one, so if you have an opinion on that score, please post a review. I do want to point out that even if I do a follow-up, it will probably be at least a few weeks. I would need to dream up a new plot, and then find time to write it while working six days a week, and writing continuations of my Gargoyles fanfic (sorry, but that's the show that guarantees KP will never be more than the second-best TV series ever from the folks at Disney) and my JL-Always a Bridesmaid fanfic. So if I do decide to take a second trip, please be patient.

Lastly, few have mentioned the identity of Oryx. I do know at least one of you guessed she was the girl from Japan, which was nice, because I knew then it wasn't _totally_ obvious ;)

Thanks to everyone who has posted reviews, esp. those of you who have spoken up after virtually every chapter :) If I do another KP story, I may send it out on a mailing list as well, so if you want to give me your email address, I can put you on it.

Anyway, let's get to the good part.

Sincerely, Allaine

____________________________________

Title: An Unacceptable Sitch (12/12)

Author: Allaine

Email: eac2nd@yahoo.com

Rating: PG-13

Spoilers: None that I can think of. But see introduction to Chapter Nine for discussion of the Team Go episode.

Feedback: As this is my first story in a fandom I've only begun following in the last month, I hope everyone will give me their opinions.

Disclaimers: Kim Possible, Ron Stoppable, Shego, Wade, and all other characters from the Kim Possible television series belong to Disney, its television production arm, and the creators and producers of the animated series. The Acceptable Family and all original characters are my invention. I seek no profit from writing this, and expect none.

Summary: Kim and Ron are twenty-one and living apart at college, while Team Possible has been replaced by an entire crime-fighting family. But Kim finds the original is usually still the best after a surprise visit from a desperate former enemy.

_____________________________________

Chapter 12

That had been one of the benefits of living with Señor Senior Senior for a month - maid service. Kim grumbled as she continued scrubbing the floor.

She felt her back pop as she straightened finally. "Ugh," she said out loud. "That's the problem with working out twelve hours a day. You can't keep it up forever."

Thankfully, her Kimmunicator went off then. She reached into her back pocket and pulled it out. "What's the sitch, Wade?"

"How's the new apartment working out?" Wade asked.

Kim shrugged. "It's bigger, which means it takes longer to clean."

"Didn't you start cleaning a couple weeks ago?"

"The last tenant moved out months ago, I think. It's about finished, anyway. What's up?"

"Got an interesting message which I was asked to relay," Wade told her. "From someone you haven't seen since that night in the Acceptable lair."

Kim felt her heart leap. Shego . . .

The next face she saw, however, was not pale skin and determined eyes framed by dark hair, however. "Dr. Director," she muttered, feeling a little disappointed. Shego had vanished so effectively last month, as if she'd been kidnapped all over again. It left things between them unsettled, just one of several things Kim had still to work out. Like Monique's nighttime activities, and her status at college, and -

She firmly pushed that last thought aside so she could pay attention.

"Kim Possible," Dr. Director said calmly, a ghost of a smile on her face. "I should begin by thanking you again for Team Possible's actions last month. Saving me was peripheral to the truly important act of stopping the Acceptables from attacking and perhaps destroying Global Justice one day. I have apprised them fully of the significance of your actions, and they want you to know that there is another offer outstanding for you to become a GJ agent. I am sure you could be a great agent, Kim, but I understand if you decline."

Kim wondered if she would. Her future was very much an uncertain thing, compared to a few months ago. Maybe it bore some looking into?

"Certainly, however, you will not see me at GJ headquarters if you ever return," Director continued. "By breaching security and turning over highly classified secret information to the Acceptables, I am considered a security risk, which I agree with. I will never be eligible for another assignment there, even if I wanted to come out of retirement - like some people," she added dryly.

Kim chuckled.

"GJ was able to provide me with a hearing device for my good ear that amplifies my hearing," Director said. "So my hearing is now almost as good as it was before I was imprisoned by the Acceptables." She rubbed at the hair that was styled in such a way that it completely covered the scarred tissue where her other ear used to be. "I did consider another job elsewhere. Something behind the scenes, where I don't have to feel self-conscious about my appearance. I even got an offer to work as an associate producer for a televised sports show. But once the preliminary petition was filed . . . "

Dr. Director disappeared from view for a moment before returning with a little boy on her lap. "For now, I have guardianship. But as he is the last living member of his family," she said, "my attorneys assure me that Thomas Acceptable's new name will be Thomas Director within a few months."

Kim was happy for both Dr. Director and the littlest Acceptable, but she shifted uncomfortably as she was reminded of the death of his parents and siblings. Specifically one Mrs. Acceptable, who had died because . . .

Closing her eyes briefly, Kim gave a little shake of the head and temporarily banished thoughts of that moment from her mind.

"My new mission in life," Dr. Director was saying, "is to make sure that Thomas has the childhood that his older brothers and sister never got. And to make sure that when he grows up, he is a normal, happy, productive member of society. If Thomas becomes someone like you, Kim Possible, rather than someone like John Acceptable, then I will have accomplished something very great indeed."

This time Kim smiled. Monique had been able to liberate the toddler from his mechanical prison before the robot fell and exploded in a fiery wreck beneath the Acceptable lair. The damage had eventually brought the entire building down, but they'd had time to make sure all the prisoners were safely away. No one had been sorry to see the structure collapse afterwards. It had been a place where great evils were committed.

"As for your future, Kim, your mother tells me you're trying to reconcile the life you've lived over the past five years with your decision to get back into the saving business - "

Kim blinked. Her mother?

"And it must feel like the first day of kindergarten all over again."

She groaned. Humiliation nation.

"I am sure you'll work it out, though. Because you're resourceful, and because you won't have to do it alone. You engender such loyalty in your friends, and even your enemies, Kim. You were born to affect the world, not be affected by it."

Thomas waved at the screen.

"He's such a precocious boy," Dr. Director cooed. "Maybe he'll want to be just like his mommy some day?"

Wade's face suddenly reappeared. "That's the end of the transmission," he said. "So, what about kindergarten?"

Kim growled at the device and turned it off.

It beeped again a second later, and she grumbled as she turned it back on. "Not a topic of discussion," she warned him.

"Got it," Wade said. "And I wasn't finished. Your site just got its first hit since we reactivated it."

Kim sprang up. Anything to get her out of house cleaning. Those janitorial lessons from high school were so not paying off. "What's up?"

"Anonymous tip that someone is going to commit a diamond heist at a museum in Los Angeles at midnight tonight. I've already gotten you air transport."

L.A. wasn't that far by air, and midnight was several hours off. Kim sighed. "So I've got plenty of time?"

"You bet."

If only he'd gotten her ground transportation instead.

_______________________________

"You're looking well, my son," Señor Senior Senior observed as Junior sat across from him at the breakfast table.

"After a month's relaxation and recuperation, I _feel_ better," Junior replied. He would never be mistaken for the young man who went into Acceptable custody. He walked with a slight limp now, and his impressive upper body looked slimmer, leaner, and harder. He also had a scar running down his cheek to his chin, intersecting with his lips halfway down. "And it's good to walk about freely."

"A man should be master of his domain," his father mused as he poured another cup of coffee. "Speaking of which, have you decided what you're going to do now?"

"I decided that before I even escaped," Junior told him flatly. "If I ever got out of there, I swore to myself that I would fight against the Acceptables until victory was mine."

"But the Acceptables are dead, Junior."

"Yes, but their goal of world domination - Father, you may not believe this, but I vowed that it would be I who took over the world, not them. I wish to begin again our old quest. This time, however, I have the commitment I lacked before."

"This is a proud day for me, my son," Senior said, beaming. "You have at last found your life's ambition. You have my complete support in this endeavor. Unfortunately, I cannot join you, but I will provide you with seed money to start your quest."

Junior stared. "What do you mean, you cannot help me? It was your idea in the first place!"

"Yes, but I have too little time for world domination now. Recently I completed a successful takeover of Smart Mart."

"Of who?"

"This has enabled me to gain access to their procurement division, specifically where they get their naked mole rats."

"Their what?"

"Within a year, the naked mole rat will replace the cat as the family pet," Senior said grandly. "Which reminds me - meet Ricardo, the newest member of the family."

A little pink animal climbed out of Senior's jacket pocket and stood on the table. "Hola!" he said brightly.

Junior smacked his forehead.

___________________________________

Kim moved carefully through the darkened museum. The curator's office hadn't received any reports of possible thefts, but they did have a large diamond which they'd acquired a few months ago on display, and it would be a very valuable prize for anyone who could steal it. They'd eventually agreed to allow Kim to wait for the perpetrator and apprehend him.

A year ago, they wouldn't have given her the time of day. But the truth about the Acceptable Family had quickly made the media rounds, and it was common knowledge now that Team Possible was back in business. Kim had waited a few weeks to reopen the web site, though, just so she could try to start getting her life back together. She'd missed a lot of classes, and while the administrators had been somewhat understanding, considering the press reports, she was still trying to work out her assignments with her teachers. And that assumed she would even _be_ finishing college. Could she be a full-time student and the driving force behind Team Possible at the same time? What about a career? Could she hold down a job if she was suddenly called away on a new mission? Might Team Possible _become_ a career for her?

Kim Possible, Renaissance woman - savior, spy, hero . . .

Killer.

She stopped, breathed deeply, and continued.

Ron should have been there, but they were still living in different parts of the country until Kim figured out her college situation and Ron knew which cooking school he should transfer to. And Wade hadn't yet worked out finding separate rides for both people, so Ron was sitting this one out until their lives got a bit less messy.

As she reached the exhibit room where the diamond was, Kim wondered how long she'd have to wait for the thief or thieves to show up. The museum curator had assured her that they were using a complicated system of lasers that would prevent anyone from getting too close. Still, lasers could be beat. Just ask her.

Or ask the shadowy form that was literally perched on the glass case containing the diamond.

"I believe that's breaking and entering," Kim called out.

"Actually, I'm just sitting here."

Kim froze.

"This," Shego continued, "is breaking." She reached down, placed her palm against the glass cover, and froze the glass. She then broke it with her knuckles. "And this is entering." Reaching in, she idly picked up the diamond and bounced it in her hand. "I think this is also called stealing."

"Shego, it's Kim," Kim said quietly. Why was she surprised? Upset? Shego had told her more than once that she had every intention of returning to a life of crime.

"Well, duh," Shego replied. "You think I can't recognize your voice when I hear it? I've been waiting half an hour."

"Waiting? For me? How did you know I'd be here?"

"That's the cool thing about anonymous tips. Anyone can leave them."

"Wait," Kim said. "You mean you tipped _yourself_ off?"

Shego nodded. "Rent-a-cops just aren't any fun, Kimmie." Arching her back, she pushed herself into a complicated back flip and neatly threaded her way through a thicket of lasers. "And lasers? I mean, how easy can they make it? Losers!" Turning her back on Shego, she started running. "And this is called leaving the scene!" she shouted over her shoulder.

Kim was flabbergasted for a second. Shego was behaving like Kim was back in high school, and the last five years hadn't happened. "Shego, stop!" she yelled, trying to keep the other woman in sight.

The moonlight made Shego's delighted grin gleam as she cast a glance backwards.

Kim had only run no more than a hundred yards, however, before she pulled up and stopped. Shego heard the sound of running footsteps cease, and she turned around, dancing lightly on her feet. "What's the matter?" Shego jeered. "Out of shape already?"

"I'm not going to do this any more, Shego," Kim replied quietly. The acoustics made it easy for Shego to hear her.

"What's that supposed to mean?" Shego asked, frowning. "You can't just let me get away."

"I can if it puts an end to this," Kim said.

Shego glared at her. "You've lost it, Possible."

"If you're stealing that diamond because you want me to come after you," Kim told her, "then I'm not going to play that game. Not after everything we've been through."

"Look, get it through your head, Kim," Shego retorted. "I'm evil, and I'm stealing this so I can sell it for lots of money. Then I can relax somewhere in the tropics and get my good laugh on all the people who have to slave away every day just to stay alive, while I live in luxury for breaking the law."

"At least the wage slaves aren't alone," Kim said.

Shego took a few steps forward and shook a fist at her. "Shut up, Kim, before I shut your mouth for you."

"Who goes with you to Waikiki or Bermuda or wherever it is you go, Shego?" Kim asked. "Family? Friends? Anyone? Are you so determined to live your life alone that you push away anybody who gets close to you?"

"Hey, I invited you into my life!" Shego said angrily. "You were the one who decided it was a little too close for comfort!"

"Well, that's a plus," Kim said. "For a minute there I was thinking you'd forgotten everything that happened to us."

Shego folded her arms and glared. "It happened. So what?"

"So there are still issues between us," Kim reminded her. "And we took those issues, and we put them in locked boxes and buried them in the ground, because we were trying to save our alliance. Now the Acceptables are gone, and I want to dig them up, no matter what the consequences. Because I don't want to fight with you, Shego. I want us to be what I thought for a few days maybe we could be."

"What?"

"Friends."

Shego laughed scornfully. "You don't want to be friends with me," she said. "You just want me to walk the straight and narrow path so you don't have to worry about me."

"You're part right," Kim countered. "I don't want to worry about you."

Shego looked at her, bewildered. "I just want it to be like it was before," she finally said plaintively. "It was fun. It was easy."

Kim sighed. "So what, you break the law and wait for me to show up? Then we fight, I win, you escape? And then we start all over again? You call that fun? Maybe before, when things were different. But not now, Shego. When people want to see each other, they don't commit crimes and leave hints. They _visit_. They _call_ each other."

"Are you for real?"

"I spent a month with you, Shego. Twenty-four hours a day. And then you up and vanish again, and I have no idea where you are, and I have no idea what happened to you," Kim said, upset. "The last time that happened, you were in a dungeon for four years and people were doing such horrible things to you that I want to curl into a ball! I was angry you disappeared, but I was worried too. Why don't we practice this, Shego? Instead of bantering, let's try talking. Tell me - where did you go?"

Shego looked down and finally muttered something.

"What?"

"Barbados," she said more clearly. "I was in Barbados."

Kim nodded. Shego deserved the R&R. "The whole time?"

"No, uh, I kind of went to see Dr. D."

"You went to see _Drakken_? Why?"

"Because I hadn't seen the big blue ox in years," Shego said. "Wanted him to know I was all right, I guess."

Kim wondered why Dr. Drakken got that courtesy before she did, but she didn't say anything.

"He's doing okay," Shego went on. "They've got him in remedial education classes, and he's not real happy about that. Then he realized I wasn't there to break him out, and things got a little . . ."

"Heated?"

"Pathetic," Shego grunted. "If it wasn't for the glass partition, he would have wrapped himself around my leg. Calling my name over and over again, banging his fists."

"How did you get away?" Kim asked.

"Well, again, he was behind glass. It wasn't hard."

"No, I mean, when he shouted your name. Didn't they try to arrest you?"

"No, they knew who I was," Shego said. "I've been gone so long, all the outstanding warrants have expired. I'm not actually wanted for anything." Shego looked a little bemused by this, as if it were a new sensation for her.

Kim smiled. "Sounds like Drakken, anyway."

"Yeah."

"See?"

"See what?"

"See how we can do this without fighting or chasing each other?"

Shego rolled her eyes. "Are we supposed to sing Kumbaya now?"

"Shego . . ."

"No, really," Shego said, waving her arms. "How fucking naive are you really? What do you expect me to do? Become a goody two shoes like you? Save the day? Get a job maybe? I am _not_ interested, Kim. It might be easy for you, brought up to be Miss Perfect, but - "

"Damn it, Shego, you don't know what you're talking about!" Kim screamed.

Shego stopped, looking startled.

"You have _no_ idea how difficult my life is right now," Kim went on. "You never have. You want to think my life is easy? _You're_ the one who takes the easy way. I have responsibilities and expectations and so many questions, I don't even know what they all are, much less the answers! My best girl friend has decided to fight muggers and thieves in the middle of the night in some of the worst parts of town, and I can't talk her out of it. Ron is putting his college training and career on hold so he can be somewhere near me, and I don't even know if I'm going to _stay_ in college. This _other_ person, who I suddenly _care_ about, 'hint hint', insists on keeping me away with a forty-foot pole. Not to mention the fact that I _killed_ someone last month - " Kim stopped and put a hand over her mouth as she turned away.

"Kim."

Looking up, Kim saw Shego had walked half the distance between them, but she was looking at Kim helplessly, evidently not knowing how to respond. "Have you ever taken a life, Shego?"

Shego looked at her feet. "No," she grudgingly admitted. "Surprised?"

"I don't know. Kind of. Those old gloves of yours weren't exactly minimal force."

"I was never in a position where I _had_ to kill someone," Shego said, "so I didn't. There were all those times with you, of course, but I guess we already covered that."

Kim nodded. "You said once that you thought I considered you beneath me. Shego, I never thought that, but now I feel beneath you. I killed Mrs. Acceptable, and I had my reasons - I had to end it so the baby could be saved, and I wanted Thomas to be free of his warped family forever - but it doesn't change the fact that I did something I never _imagined_ I would do. And that's something I have to live with. But it goes on the pile with all the other things on my shoulders, and there are times when I feel like I'll never make things work. God, Shego, you have no idea how tempted I was when you made me that offer on Senior's island, to be someone like you whose biggest problem seems to be boredom. No idea."

"Then say yes," Shego said softly before she knew what she was doing. "Forget college, forget responsibility, even forget about _her_. We could have such a great time together. Give me someone to lie on the beach with."

"See?" Kim asked, smiling a little. "Being friends - it's what we both want."

Shego just waited for an answer.

"My life has become so complicated since you smashed through my window that night, and it would be so easy to just say 'Screw it all', but I'm not going to do that," Kim said wearily. "I say no, not because I don't want to be with you, or because I look down on you, Shego. I say no because I'm not wired that way. I'm not someone who can escape responsibility. I'm someone who embraces it. So I'm going to work through my guilt. And I'm going to get that college degree. And I'm going to find a way to fit everything in. I don't know how, but I'm going to do it. But there's one other complication I'm not giving up on, Shego, and that's you," Kim added. "Why can't we figure out what we're going to do with our lives together?"

"I - I don't know," Shego whispered.

"You won't be alone," Kim said. "And Ron could promise you that you'll never be bored with me."

Shego grimaced. "Don't ask me to be friends with your friends, Possible."

"I only ask that we try being friends with each other." Kim smiled. "That sounded kind of like a maybe, Shego."

Still scowling, Shego looked at the diamond in her hand. Then she flung it away, disgusted. "I don't know why I'm doing this," she muttered. "And what happens next then?"

"Well, how about you come back with me, and we work some more on this whole 'talking' thing?" Kim offered.

"A sleepover?" Shego asked dubiously, raising an eyebrow.

"Hang out," Kim said. "Maybe help me clean?"

"Don't push it," Shego said as Kim walked over.

Neither spoke as they walked next to each other, but then, there would be plenty of time for talking later. At least Kim felt like things were starting to work themselves out..

Kim looked at her and smiled. Uncertainly Shego smiled back.

"Hoo-shah," Kim thought.

The End. (To be continued???)