Title: But For the Grace of Ron (1/??)
Spoilers: Takes place after "No Living in the Past". Knowledge of the events in "A Sitch in Time" would be helpful. "Go Team Go" is not a part of this continuity.
Feedback: Some of you have been extremely helpful, and I hope you'll continue to do so. New reader opinions are encouraged too!
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. All original characters are my invention. I seek no profit from writing this, and expect none.
Summary: Exiled from her time and trapped in a past she doesn't recognize, the Supreme One from "Sitch in Time" wants to resurrect her future and destroy Team Possible. But what if stopping her means Kim and Shego - never met?
Monique sighed. Just because you were a manager didn't necessarily mean you could set your own schedule.
She turned her head and looked at the clock on the wall. Thankfully, Club Banana would be closing in five minutes. Then she could lock the doors, close the register, clean up the store . . . and then go home and change into her Oryx costume.
All, mind you, on a Saturday night.
She sighed once more for effect. She'd considered stopping at the Planetarium, but she knew Kim and Shego were on a date there tonight. This was one of those times they wanted to be alone there, and Monique knew she'd just raise Shego's hackles if the former mercenary spotted her there. Girl had a possessive streak a mile long when it came to Kim Possible.
Monique smiled. Shego didn't like sharing, but in truth, it was Kim who owned her pale butt completely. And even if Ron didn't like Shego, at least he'd gotten his brains unfrozen and stopped judging Kim over it. Maybe she'd give him a scare later. After all, he wouldn't be anywhere near the nightclub tonight either. He might have adjusted to the Kim/Shego relationship, but she knew it still got to him when he saw them all over each other.
Then she heard a noise from the front of store. It was an unmistakable sound. It was the sound of commerce, of possible Club Banana profits, of someone doing their miniscule part to help the American economy.
It was the sound of Monique's night getting even later. She had a customer.
She pounded her head softly on the countertop. "Why, why?" she grumbled.
Monique took her elbows off the counter and straightened. She'd track this person down and, oh, maybe gently remind them that Club Banana was closing soon? Not that company policy allowed her to kick a possible sale out unless it was really late.
It took her a few moments to find her, but a flash of green caught her eye. "Hi, welcome to Club - Banana?" Monique asked, stopping.
The woman looked over her shoulder. "I can manage," she muttered.
The Supreme One flung her cape over one shoulder. She'd reversed it so that the black side was facing outward and used it to hide her outfit from the passers-by. A newspaper box had confirmed that she had traveled almost fifteen years backwards. Why, she didn't know. Obviously something had happened to the Tempus Simia - damaged, even destroyed. It must have had a catastrophic effect on the timestream, and the ripple had evidently caught her bare seconds from hitting the ground.
Whatever problems she had now, the fact remained that the loss of her "time monkey" had also saved her life.
That being said, she couldn't be sure how the past had been affected. Her plans for global domination might still be in action in this timeline. Which meant she had plenty of resources she could access with a few phone calls. Unfortunately, she had no phone and no cash. And her clothes would only draw attention.
Therefore, her first priority had been to find an open clothing store and steal everything she needed. Her thieving skills might be a little rusty - the Supreme One merely took what she wanted, or had it handed to her - but she could certainly kick one salesgirl's ass and jimmy a cash register. The fact that she'd chosen what would still one day become her beloved Club Shego struck her as appropriate.
What was unexpected was hearing her name said out loud.
The Supreme One faced Monique. She DID seem vaguely familiar. Their paths must have crossed when she was younger. "Yeah?" she asked.
Monique just stared at Shego. Since when had she started wearing a cape? And since when had she dyed white streaks in her hair?
And Shego was supposed to be out with Kim all night tonight. She was expected to believe that Shego would leave Kim alone somewhere and make a pit stop at Club Banana?
Monique had not been born yesterday. There was no way this was Shego. And yet she looked just like her!
"Sorry," Monique said. "Didn't realize it was you. I'll just be, uh, straightening the racks. Let me know when you're ready, okay? I can, er, use my employee discount."
Then she turned around and headed for the back room. What she needed was in there.
The Supreme One watched her leave as alarm bells went off in her head. This girl - whoever she was - evidently recognized the famous criminal. Which meant she was going to call the police.
A green glow caressed one hand as her gloves charged up and she followed the salesgirl.
Monique heard her coming. "Fuck it," she said, and she broke into a run.
Snarling, the Supreme One ran after her.
Barreling through the door marked Employees Only, Monique dove for the small employee fridge.
As Shego pursued her inside, Monique opened the refrigerator door, retrieved the bottle of Diet Coke she'd left inside, shook it vigorously, and sprayed the contents right into Shego's face.
Shego braked to a stop and screeched. She shook her head, looked down at herself, and glared at Monique. "Carbonated soda?" she growled. "Look, I am NOT a clone!"
"Maybe you're the new improved one, because no way are you Shego," Monique said, assuming a defensive stance. She noticed the green hands. That just proved this wasn't Shego, because she hadn't had her special gloves since they'd been confiscated by - "What are you, some forgotten Acceptable experiment?"
"I don't have to tell you jack shit, kid," Shego snapped angrily. "I just have to kick your ass."
"After you've traded jabs with the real thing, what's the thrill in fighting with the fake?" Monique retorted.
The Supreme One's eyes widened at the odd remark, and Monique sprang at her, chopping her across the cheek with an open hand.
"You are so toast," Shego hissed.
Their fight took out several shelves of back stock, including one blouse that caught fire and was kicked aside, landing in some fallen clothes. Such is how fires can be started.
As for the Supreme One's fires, they burned hotter with every failed swipe of her claws. The salesgirl's moves were much better than she'd imagined, and they did seem awfully familiar. Not to mention that her own attacks were being anticipated in a way they shouldn't have been.
Still, Shego had many more years of experience, and eventually she slammed her heel against Monique's chin, jarring her skull and knocking her out cold. She tripped over her own feet and fell backwards.
"This night just gets better and better," the Supreme One muttered. She bent over and took a good look at Monique's features. The answer eluded her, however. "I guess it's not important," she said. She went back to the main floor for a minute, retrieving Monique's purse from under the counter and bringing it back.
"Monique," she said, testing the name on her tongue as she looked at the drivers' license. "I know I've seen . . . "
Now she remembered. "Well, isn't THAT a coincidence?" she murmured sourly. Just as the Supreme One had been about to begin torturing Kim Possible, an African woman had interfered. "Monique," Kimmie had called her. "Old friend." And something about Australia?
She shrugged and pulled Monique's cell phone out. The girl was going to have to die anyway, but by getting rid of her now, the Supreme One would have one less troublemaker to worry about some day.
Except how did Monique know her in the current year? She could have seen Shego on TV, and perhaps Kim had told her about the villainess, but why did Monique offer her an "employee discount"?
Frowning, she pushed the button for Monique's list of phone numbers. Three names leapt out at her. The first two had been expected. The third one had not.
"What the hell?!" Shego asked.
Seeing the name of Kim's sidekick had at least jarred a much older memory loose. Now the Supreme One understood the Australia reference, as she recalled how she'd seen this girl on the very day the "Three Stooges of Villainy" retrieved the head of the Tempus Simia from the Outback. She'd been filling in for the sidekick. Monique had been very good at running, hiding, and screaming, Shego recalled. In short, a perfect stand-in for Ron Stoppable.
No wonder she'd fought well years later. Monique here was friends with Team Possible.
But still, how did she know Shego well enough to have her on speed dial?
This answer, the Supreme One realized, could be answered very easily. After all, she had her younger self's phone number.
First she took the money from Monique's wallet. Grabbing clothes in her size, she stuffed them in a bag and tossed the rest of the purse aside. Then she went to check on Monique, who was still out cold.
"I should kill you for the soda alone," the Supreme One muttered. "I mean, a clone?! Ugh! Besides, it would make Kim miserable." She grinned evilly. Kim in pain was very good. But Kim in the ground would be even better.
She wrinkled her nose. What was that smell?
Shego looked to her right and finally realized that a fire was gradually spreading along the floor.
She smiled again as she looked down at Monique. Then she ripped the phone cord out of the wall. Spying a fire extinguisher nearby, she took it and, reopening the door to the shop floor, casually tossed it through. "You've got potential, Monique," she said. "But, see, that's the thing with potential. It doesn't mean anything - if you're not alive long enough to do something with it."
The Supreme One grabbed Monique's wrists and dragged her closer to the fire. Then, igniting her claws, she used the plasma fire to solder the emergency back door shut. Taking the bag with the clothes, she waved mockingly to Monique's unconscious form and strolled out. One more swipe from her glove rendered the doorknob on the other door inoperable.
"Evil is so much more fun when you don't outsource it," the Supreme One said as she dialed Shego's number and left the store. She thoughtfully put the CLOSED sign up as she left.
Shego leaned against the bar and smiled. Her beer sat next to her, untouched. Alcohol was nice and all, but the thrill of waiting for Kimmie to come back from the restroom was better.
They'd just re-enacted their first dance moments ago, swaying to the old Church song. The only difference was that their bodies had been pressed even more tightly together. Oh, and there had been no reason for the two to pull away from each other when the music stopped.
That is, until Kim announced she had to use the restroom. "Alone," she'd said, undoubtedly thinking of when Shego had followed her into a stall.
Shego chuckled. Why, didn't Kim want them to share close quarters? Maybe this would be the first night where the two could share a bed as more than friends, she reflected. She wasn't expecting sex just yet - Shego acknowledged that neither woman felt completely ready for that.
But there were plenty of things they felt more than ready for. Things that required a closed door.
Of course, cotton sheets were better than a smelly ladies' room.
Then her phone rang. Aggravated, she pulled it out. Kim had convinced geek-boy that Shego ought to have her own "Kimmunicator". Since Kim, Ron, and Monique all had their own, she'd also suggested they be modified so that they could all contact each other, or even all at once. The only reason Shego didn't have hers yet - why nobody had their Kimmunicator at the moment, in fact - was that Monique had gotten hers when she became "Oryx". At the time, Kim had been in college and Shego had been incarcerated, so Wade hadn't bothered to make her Kimmunicator compatible with the others. He'd promised that he would only need a day to recalibrate the four devices so that they'd all be completely in sync with one another.
"Whoever this is, I'm busy," Shego snapped as she answered the phone.
"Remember that alley when you were nineteen?" the caller asked. "After you failed to get the job working for Master Blaster?"
Shego froze. She'd never told anyone about that night, just like she'd sworn. "I - remember," she whispered.
"You owe me. Roof of Middleton Bank. Thirty minutes. Come alone. I need something."
"But - "
"You OWE me. I'll find you anyway. So be there."
Shego stared at the phone as the connection was cut. She realized her heart was pounding. "Holy shit," she said.
"I'm glad I get that kind of reaction from you."
She hadn't even noticed Kim standing there. "Hey," she said, licking her lips. Kim did look exceedingly hot tonight.
"Who was it?"
"On the phone. Who called?"
"Oh," Shego said slowly. She couldn't tell Kim. The called said "alone". "Monique," she finally said, randomly choosing a name.
Kim blinked. "Monique? Why?"
"Look, Kim, I've gotta call tonight off," Shego said, inwardly cursing the luck. "I've got an emergency to take care of. Tomorrow?"
"Shego," Kim said, confused. "Is Monique in trouble?"
"No, it's just - look, I can't explain."
"But - " Kim began to ask, but Shego stopped her by pulling her close and kissing her passionately. Kim felt it in her toes and she melted against Shego. "Wow," she whispered when Shego stopped. "Shego - "
Shego vanished into the crowd before she could say anything else.
Kim looked around wildly. "Shego? Shego?!"
By the time she fought her way outside, Shego was nowhere to be seen. "Damn it, Shego," she muttered. "What's the drama this time?"
Shego was five minutes early. Her mind was reeling. Could this be the same person? The one who had mysteriously materialized years ago? The one who had helped make Shego what she became, who she was? She'd left yet another criminal's lair that night, still determined to become infamous as well some day. But she needed to get in on the ground floor, and so far she'd failed to get hired by anyone as a henchperson. A slip of a girl? Even with a few moves, why gamble on her when there were always a dozen brawny men waiting?
Shego had supposed she could make it on her own, but she'd needed publicity. She'd needed the spotlight. Or she'd just be your typical ordinary crook. Master Blaster, with his "themed" heists, was her latest attempt to snatch an ounce of that spotlight. Like the others, though, he'd sent her away in the end.
And then a faceless shadow offered to open the door for her . . .
Shego jumped. "So are you," she finally said to the figure who, if it was indeed the same person, was once again shrouded in darkness. "So what's all this about?"
"What else did I offer you that night?" the mystery man whispered. "Besides the gift, that is."
Shego stiffened. "Fashion advice," she finally said. "You told me to - "
The person stepped out where Shego could see her, and Shego gasped, taking a step back. "I told you to wear something bold," the Supreme One said. "Something to catch the eye. They won't always remember your name, but they'll always remember the clothes. Then they remember the name." She grinned, spreading her arms and posing, having decided not to change into her stolen Club Banana clothes just yet. "You did make such a great choice, you know."
"You - you're me!" Shego said, stunned.
"Ironic, huh? You always wondered who gave you your gloves, and all along it was you."
To be continued . . .
Author's Note - This is a slightly edited first chapter. Last night I was reviewing the third part of "A Sitch in Time" when I realized Monique identified herself in Shego's hearing. Certainly the memory of her defeat would be fresh enough that the Supreme One would immediately identify her name. So I made a change.
As for temporal mechanics, time travel, and paradoxes, I feel very confident that by the end of this story, everything will be explained within reason. I would remind my readers, however, that the "ASiT" movie didn't do a very good job logically explaining how time was being manipulated. So I am working from a shaky foundation.
Lastly, I am continuing to ignore the events in "Go Team Go", and I expect to ignore said events for the remainder of these stories.