Meetings and Returns


Authors note: Well, this is it-- the last chapter of Book II. Hope everyone enjoyed it. BTW, I couldn't find any canon source for Mr. and Ms. Possible's first names, so I used Jonathon for Mr. Possible, as some other fan pages had that-- If anyone knows the first name for Kim's mom, please let me know.

Thanks for all the reviews, and stay tuned for the conclusion in Book III.


Mom and Dad…Mom and Dad… Kim's mind kept saying that refrain. Here… how and why didn't matter, as she felt her eyes pool with tears and a feeling blaze through her mind.

"MOM! DAD!" Kim said and in a rush of running feat bounded squarely into them.

"Kimberly Ann Possible…" Her mother said and then broke down. "Oh my baby, my baby." Ron had come up but waited. Every time someone tried to get a sentence in, it quickly degenerated to joyous tears and a restating of peoples names. Even the Tweebs were caught up in the excitement. After some time, when people were slightly coherent. Kim looked at her family, and through her tears asked,

"How?"

"It was cool!" Jim said, "we woke up on the plane."

"A nice older man spoke to us on the flight over." Her father supplied. He and his wife looked at each other. Mr. Possible continued, "He told us a.. great deal about his adventures with you…"

Senior. Of course. She looked around at the packages. Luggage from home.

"They packed for you?"

"Yeah!" Tim said.

"Kimmiecub…" Her father then asked, "I know this is going to sound clueless…but why are you a 'blue fox'?" Kim laughed, feeling a tremendous weight lift from her.

"It's a… fad thing." She said. "I…oh Mom, Dad!" Kim said, knowing that she was sounding completely random and not caring.

Ms. Possible looked into her daughters open, happy, sane eyes, with no ghosts in them, and shed her own unashamed tears. They'd obviously woken both of them up. Kim was in her robe and poor Ron was only wearing his pajama pants. She hoped he wouldn't get a cold- Then Dr. Possible's trained eye noticed something her husband had missed. Kim's robe was slightly open, and her shirt was also a pajama top. Large for her frame. The same type as Ron's pajama bottoms.

Hmmm….

"I have to tell you so much!" Kim said, bouncing on her feet, and pulling her mother towards her room, not noticing Yori suddenly making desperate No! gestures. It was to no avail. Kim brought her mom up to the room…and suddenly, too late, she remembered. Blinked, turned red while her brain started acting like a slipping transmission. Her mother blinked and looked over her daughters shoulder.

Suddenly, she noticed several things. The mat was too small for two people…unless they were friendly…very friendly. Also…the clothes on the rack were mixed. They were mixed the way people mix clothes when they pay no mind to the nudity…or lack of nudity. The small table by the mat had a number of foil wrapped objects. She blinked.

"So, is this where Kimmiecub sleeps?" Ms. Possible spun and slid the door shut with a toe.

"It's a mess—you know how Kimmie can be about people seeing her room." She paused, "So Kimmie… where can we talk?" Kim looked over at the main meeting hall frantically.

"Oh, ah, um," She was rescued by Sensei walking past.

"This way," He said. The rest of the students were beginning to filter back to their rooms, with Hirotaka and Yori accompanying the group, along with Sensei. When they entered the main hall, Yori and Hirotaka bustled off, returning with tea for everyone. The three then left, leaving the family alone.

Once they'd finished, Kim and Ron told her parents what had happened…with omissions. Dr. Ms. Possible raised her eyebrows at the omissions. Ron was not reluctant to speak of going out with Shego to ruin a slave trading ring…and Kim brought up going out with Shego to make nice with the… Yakuza? Ron blinked at that one.

"You didn't tell me that?!" Ron said accusingly. Kim giggled,

"I was, but after you blessed me out for staying out late with Shego…well, I figured you didn't need to know about us walking into the lion's den."

"Well… you're probably right. Don't do it again."

"Kimmiecub…you went to the Yakuza?" Her father asked.

"Well, I had to, Dad." Kim said. "So they wouldn't go after Ron."

"Well, after we get home, we'll just pu-" Ms. Possible gave her husband a light kick to shut him up. He'd been ranting about this all the way over… and in a number of serious arguments they'd had. Mr. Possible broke off and started on another tangent.

"And Kim… why didn't you tell us about the time you lost your parachute fighting that nice but scary older man."

Oops.

"Oh, well, I…am…" Kim blinked.

"Trying to figure out to explain just how much you edited out?" Her mother supplied.

"Right, I mean, no, I mean…yeah." She said, looking embarrassed. "I figured that you picked it up on Mother's day." Now it was her mothers turn to look embarrassed in front of her husband.

"Well, maybe I did a little editing as well." She said. Neither Ron nor Kim missed the slight tightening of her father's lips.

But Dr. Possible did notice the omissions. Ron hadn't been reluctant to mention he'd stayed in the same room as Kim during her ordeal…up until a month ago. Her one test question about that was met with a series of frantic glances and stutters.

As they got to the end of the story. Ron looked up and asked.

"What about Mom and Dad?" He said.

"They handled it… as well as could be expected." Ms. Possible said. "A certain little green and black bird left a note on our doorstep a few weeks later." She laughed. "here it is, in fact." holding it out to Kim. Kim and Ron looked at it, noticed how much it had been folded…as if it had been reread almost once a day.


Psycho Kimmie is fine and so is her boyfriend. Don't try to contact unless you want to screw her up even more than she is now. Wait.

Shego.


"Ah." Ron said. Ms. Possible looked at him seriously.

"That's why we didn't contact you, or try to find you." She shrugged, "I know it sounds terribly naïve of us, but we…trust Shego and Drew." Kim and Ron glanced at each other.

"Drew?" Kim said, "Oh, you mean Drakken…" She paused, "What's he been doing…"

"He's patented a new invention." Kim sighed,

"What, a death ray, laser beam, or mind control chip?" Ms. Possible laughed.

"None of the above." She said. "He was always into cloning, and he and DNAmy, well… it was never a big deal, if you just want to conquer the world, but he's developed a method of cloning individual organs." At the teens' gazes, Ms. Possible sighed and continued, "Remember Kimmie—what's the biggest limit on transplants."

"Oh…" Kim said, a light dawning, "The number of donor organs available!"

"Right…"

"Dr. D isn't in the business any more?" Ron said,

"Oh, he still rants." Kim's father assured them. "Especially now that he has to pay for everything."

Meanwhile, Ron was having his own thoughts.

I can't tell them.

You must.

They'll kill me. They'll kill Kim.

No they won't. And even if they would, you owe them the truth.

"And so everything is just hunky doory!" Mr. Possible said.

"Not exactly." Ron quietly said. "Mr. and MS. P…there's something I need to tell you."

Of course if it comes to it, you are in a ninja school with a very well stocked infirmary…

Mr. Possible listened, blinked and then started to swell up. Ron had the sense of watching high speed timelapse photography of a rattlesnake striking at a mouse…from the Mouse's perspective.

"Ronald STOPPABLE! HOW COULD YOU-" He started.

"Dad-"

"YOU JUST WAIT YOUNG LADY, I'LL TALK TO YOU IN A MOMENT!"

Yep, definitely gonna need that infirmary. Ron thought.

Ms. Possible put her fingers to her mouth and cut her husband off with a deafening whistle.

"I agree." She said when he stopped. "This is inexcusable. How dare you use a room instead of a… 1975 station wagon." Kim and Ron blinked. What? What was she talking about?

"And taking so long, you're 17 Ronald, and Kim is almost 17! Why, some people get started at 15 and 15 and a half."

What? The two teens thought. Then Kim and Ron looked over at her father.

Her father who was beginning to turn a slow, brick red color….up to his ears, down to his neck.

"And…" Ms. Possible said. "You even had the poor judgment to stay aware of your surroundings. What kind of experience is that, when you don't have to hear a tapping on the window, look up and see your mother staring down at you?!"

1975 station wagon…why that was what…Nana owned? Kim really considered sticking her hands in her ears—there were some things that she really, REALLY didn't want to know and the image of her parents getting hot and heavy in the same station wagon that Nana had driven a much younger Kim…eeuwww…

Now Mr. Possible was the mouse, looking disbelievingly at the Rattlesnake that had replaced his wife, which was lazily looking at him, deciding whether to strike or not.

"Dear…this isn't really-" He said, pointing at the two teens and the two preteens—who looked like they just found the El Dorado of blackmail material. Her mother gave a smile.

"Why yes, you're right… we'll just step into the next room." She said. "You stay here…if you don't mind?"

"No." Ron said. If Ms. Possible wanted to phrase an order as a question, that was fine with him. The twins looked around, and the minute the parents vanished, they took off. Kim and Ron didn't do a thing.

"You didn't have to tell." Kim said quietly.

"Yeah, I did, KP." Ron said, "You know why." Kim nodded.

"Yeah. Thanks." She quietly said, and took his hands in hers. "So…what do you think they're doing?"

"Deciding on electrocution of beheading, probably." Ron said. "Or…maybe not."

"Don't worry, Ron…I'll be with you." Kim smiled, "Hey…compared to everything else…" Ron saw the worry in her eyes.

Compared to everything else, risking your family when you've just seen them again is a pretty big deal. Ron put his arm around her.

"Well, we'll just wait and hear the music."


"Dear, how could you do that!" Mr. Possible said, angrily. "You heard what Ronald said, what he admitted to!"

"Yes." His wife said, quite unfazed. "And if young love is any indication, probably they've been having sex on an average of several times a day. Your point is?" Her husband blinked. Blinked again.

"That's…Kimmycub!" Said the man who would always remember her as the young child, as Senor senior had refreshed his memories most dramatically. His wife nodded.

"That…but she's also grown up, Jonathon."

"Not enough for that—and with Ronald-" Ms. Possible frowned.

"And why not 'with Ronald?'" She asked.

"If you-"

"Remember the last time we saw Kim?" His wife asked.


"Jesus, what kind of stuff did she take?" The paramedic said as the toxicology readout came back. Kim's mother looked at it, banishing her desire to wail in the discipline of her calling.

"It's some form of cocktail—both uppers and downers." She frowned. "We can't administer anything else…"

"Got that in one, Doc—" The paramedic said. "Look at the BP—kid or not, much more and her heart is going to blow right through her chest." The emergency room supervisor came up to them.

"The other three aren't critical—I've prepped a room for her, but we need to strap her down."

"That isn't nee-" Mr. Possible started and the surgeon turned to him.

"I've got six cops with serious injuries, and a lot of other patients to think about. Yes, it is." But the moment the first strap was done, Kim…came to. Or at least part of her did.

"NO! NO! DON'T BURY ME, PLEASE DON'T, I'LL BE GOOD, I'LL PLEASE DON'T DO IT, I CAN'T SEE!" Her words died in a mad scream as she started fighting against the bonds, so hard that one, rated for a far larger individual parted with an explosive snap.

"Damn, she's going to kill herself."

"Give me a tranq!"

"Can't—drug interactions."

"Shit!" Mr. Possible moved forward, but a beefy cop shoved him back. Family always tried to reason… or held back.

"Take her loose and we'll get the straitjacket on her."

"Ready?"

"Do it." Kim was released and immediately grabbed by two big cops. There was no technique to her fighting, merely flailing and a wordless scream as she struggled. Even so, one cop caught a fist to the eye as they grabbed her.

"Dammit, hold her!"

"I'm trying!"

"She's hurting her arm."

"We'll handle it after we get her secured!" A few moments later, Kim was secured, arching her back, fighting for all she was worth. Then, like some strings had been cut, she relaxed.

"Mommy? Daddy?" She said. Mr. Possible came forward…maybe she was back, maybe she could be released. If she could get home, they could make everything right.

"Is Josh here? I don' want to forget his birthday party…" She said, talking about something that had happened six months ago. "Oh, I need to get a new cheerleading outfit…no big." Another event, not even related to the first, and occurring a year ago. Kim looked up, but her parents realized she wasn't seeing them…wasn't seeing the hospital as two attendants put her in a wheelchair and took her off to the violent psych ward.

"No Bonnie, we're not going with that routine," She said to another phantom as she vanished down the hall.


Mr. Possible shook himself, wiping his eyes as he did whenever he thought of that day.

"And remember what we feared—Kim dead, Ron dead, maybe she'd gotten free and kicked Ron out of that VTOL over the Pacific ocean only to crash soon after deciding to hide under water; Or at the least, she was one of those people you see on the street, muttering to themselves?" She paused, "Even after Shego's letter there was always the worry—what was happening to her, was she better, was she worse?"

"And now we find that-" Mr. Possible started, but again his wife didn't let him finish.

"We find that our daughter is alive, and sane, and happy. And we have one man to thank for this. Ron! Our Ron. He knew that she wasn't able to handle it—he even told me!" Kim's mother said, dabbing at her eyes. "I didn't listen. None of us did, except for Shego and Steve Barkin…and it was Ron who made the difference." She paused, and continued, "And then, he helped her detox—Jonathon…that means he held our Kimmie when she was hallucinating, and puking all of that poison out of her system and cleaned her when she defecated on herself…."

"I know he did that…" Her husband said, "But how-"

"They're getting an early start. So did we, and well, we were less ready. Be honest—if the run up to you taking my virginity had been three weeks of cleaning off vomit and crap, what would you have said?" Jonathon paused, and sighed.

"I don't know."

"Neither do I dear, if our roles were reversed. But those two have gone beyond where we can tell them "no."…and I for one, hope and pray for the day when I can number Ronald Stoppable as my son in law. For whatever reason Ron was the only one of us who could reach what was left of Kimmie and I'll always love that kid for that." Jonathon turned to the wall for a moment, and felt his wife's hands on his shoulders. He reached up and awkwardly patted one.

"It's just that… this shouldn't have happened. We should have protected her from 'them'…from going thru this." He paused, and cleared his throat. "I'm not even angry at Ron…much. But he shouldn't have had to do this without us…to grow up so fast."

"I know…but they're grown up now…and we can't try to shove them back in the box. Kim's happy Jonathon…I'm happy were hear to see it after all Kim's been thru. And since the day that she was born wasn't her being happy the only thing we've wanted for her?" He turned and held his wife.

"You're right." He said, and saw that she was crying as well. "It's hard to see them grow up…" But, and his voice became more determined. "The one thing we spoke of? It's non-negotiable."


In the hall, Kim and Ron were sitting still. The Yakuza interview had been good practice for it, Kim thought. Then, their parents, eyes red, came back into the room.

"Ronald…I'd like to talk to you, please." Mr. Possible said. Ron rose and walked over to him.

"Yes, Mr. Possible?"

"We'll… walk." He said. The two vanished from the room, leaving Kim and her mother alone.

"Mom."

"Kim." Kim paused.

"I'm sorry if Ron and I sleeping together has hurt you…" She paused, "But I can't say it was wrong…and I was the one who initiated it, he didn't take advantage of our situation."

"When?" Her mother said.

"On Ron's birthday." Dr. Possible smiled.

"Well, I saw that you were taking precautions."

"Yeah." Kim said. "I'm barely back to handling myself—I don't need any, ah…"

"Buns in the oven?" Her mother asked. Kim nodded.

"You don't sound… really angry." Kim said, and braced herself.

"Kimmie…" Her mother paused and gave a laugh "right now I don't know what I am. I thought I might never see you again…and that worse, you might never find yourself again." She shrugged, "I had hoped this wouldn't happen—but to be honest I really can't see anything else happening." She laughed, "I just thought it would happen in your senior year, at least."

"Mom?"

"Yes, Kimmie?" Kim suddenly looked much younger.

"I'm sorry I didn't call…but… I needed to…" Her gesture took in herself, and by extension what she'd been when she'd first arrived.

"I know Kimmie." Her mother said.


Ron and Mr. Possible walked out into the cool air.

"So." Kim's father said. "You've been having sex with Kim."

"Yes sir." Ron said.

"And…where do you go from here?" Mr. Possible asked.

"From here?" Ron said, indicating the school, "I don't know." He paused, "But from where we are me and KP…"

"Well?"

"Mr. Possible." Ron turned to face her father, and Mr. Possible noticed that his eyes were steady, without the self effacing joking that he'd been so known for. "I would like to marry Kim."

Well, you asked.

"Have you told Kim?"

"No."

"Why?"

"Because I wanted her family's blessing, Mr. Possible."

"When were you thinking of getting married—presuming you get our blessing?" Jonathon asked.

"Within the year." Ron said. "If Kim says yes."

"You haven't asked her?"

"No. Like I said, I wanted her family's blessing. Mr. Possible…you mean so much to her." Mr. Possible sighed. Yep, his wife was right. These two were no longer in the 'foolish teen heart' category.

But Kim wasn't destroyed, and this man is one of the main reasons, Jonathon. And be honest… Ron would make a damned fine son in law.

"Yes. You do." He said. "But you might want to wait a day or so—Kimmie's a little…"

"Overwhelmed?"

"Yes." He paused, "What about your money situation—you're behind in school and-"

"Oh don't worry about that." Ron said, "We're keeping up in school—Mr. Barkin made certain of that…and well, my last bank statement was just under 6 million dollars."

"For Nacos?"

"Um…" And blowing up a ship full of nukes and breaking up a slaving ring…but I'll mention that tomorrow. "Most of it."

"And here I spent fifteen years in school to earn a tenth that much." Possible shook his head ruefully.

"One last thing." And there was a sudden aggrieved tone to Kim's father's voice.

"Yes?"

"How long have you been sleeping together… I mean I know that I can be…unperceptive, but you weren't sleeping together when you were in high school…or Junior high?"

"Me?" Ron said grinning.

"Good." Mr. Possible said.


Meanwhile, the Tweebs had paused, outside of the hall with Kim and her mother in it. A few seconds later, they were putting a strange gadget up to the wall. Every bit of juicy black mail would be theirs… When suddenly they felt a presence behind them, and Hirotaka lifted both kids bodily.

"You were sloppy, and noisy." He informed them sternly. "Come, I will tutor you in the arts of the ninja." The two looked at each other, and then back at Hirotaka.

"Hoosha!" They said, as Hirotaka took them off to his first centering exercise. Behind them, the device lay abandoned in the corridor. A stealthy form dropped from the ceiling and Yori considered it. It would be important for her to help Kim and Ron…and everyone knew intelligence was an important part of any operation. She picked up one of the mikes….

And suddenly, a thumb and forefinger took one of her ears, and started pulling. Yori, unbalanced, saw that Sensei, without breaking stride, was dragging her out of the hall.

"Sensei—sorry, sorry, owowowow!"


Later, Sensei had made preparations for the Possible's to have their own rooms, and everyone made their good nights. Even all the excitement in the world didn't solve the evils of a time lag…and soon Mr. and Ms. Possible were in a room with their luggage. Mr. Possible was on the mat, staring straight up.

"This is working well," He said. "But I'm certain that Kim and Ron are very tired and are sleeping. Yes. They're Sleeping." His wife shook her head affectionately, and turned to him.

"Yes dear, they're sleeping" She smiled, "And because we can do so without worries or fear, for the first time in a long time…" She let her night gown fall to the floor. "Do you mind if we do some sleeping just like they have been?"

Meanwhile.

"So Kim."

"Yes Ron?"

"The parents are ok with this."

"Yes."

"And absolutely no black holes in my future?."

"No black holes."

"Then why is the fact that their just five doors down mean that I am not…"

"Uh-huh, I know what you mean."

"Think this will wear off?"

"I hope so." Kim said, facing her lover. "Or we'll just have to go and rent that little hotel room you and Shego stayed in." Ron grimaced.

"What?"

"Not with the Tweebs here what if they followed us? Could you imagine unleashing them on Tokyo?"

"Well, if it survived Godzilla…" She paused, "You're right. It'd be toast." Then Kim blinked.

"Where did the tweebs go, anyway?"

"I don't know…"


Tim and Jim sat in their trunks, on a stone. This wasn't very ninja like. Hirotaka sat crosslegged like them.

"When are we going to learn how to be Ninja's?" Tim asked.

"First, you must be silent under any stimulus. Are you ready?"

"For wha-" Hirotaka pulled the lever, lowering the small dam above them that let the glacier fed stream pour over…onto the three. Hirotaka was completely unaffected, even his hair staying the same. Jim and Tim…

"EAIIIIGGGHHHH!"

"Ninja's do not scream, or let their teeth clatter." He informed the two blue kids. Then he paused. "Nor do they hug to share body warmth. After a few minutes to cleanse our souls, we will begin on our morning excercises."

"But, i-i-its not light yet!"

"Of course not! Why would we waste light doing exercises! Light is for combat drills!"

The next morning, Kim and Ron were up, as usual, and Mr. and Ms. Possible were woken to the sound of the summer students practicing and working. Both Kim and Ron were leading several younger students in exercises, pausing to correct a stance or make a point.

"Mom…dad…save us." They heard the weak voices, as their sons crawled towards the door.

"Tim, Jim?" Mr. Possible asked, "What's the problem?"

"We asked to be…ninjas." They said. "That was dumb…" Abruptly, Hirotaka was there, looking immaculate.

"Ah…here you are. It is time for our midday jog to relax." The two blinked.

"Where to?"

"To here, to the top of the mountain."

"But we're already up here!"

"Ah—you are right. We shall jog down the mountain, and then return—it shall be even more relaxing—half the trip is downhill."

"Have fun boys!" Their parents said.

"Maybe we should look into hiring them as babysitters when we get back home?" Ms. Possible said.

"It certainly would have helped with Kimberly." Her husband agreed.


At lunch, there was much talking and chatting, with the Possible's sharing a table with Sensei, Yori and Hirotaka—and the twins who were trying to avoid falling asleep…but Mr. Possible seemed pensive. Finally, he looked at Kimberly.

"Kim…" He paused, and continued, "I have to, well…tell you something."

"What is it Daddy?"

"I want you to stop doing the hero stuff— It's too dangerous. until you're 18 you're still a minor so I'm sorry but my mind is made up this is final." Everyone stopped eating.

Oh boy. Ron thought. Maybe he should have told them that everything Kim had done so far was to prepare herself to return to the world…and mentioning the suit of supertech battlearmor probably wasn't a good idea right now. Kim looked…. Odd.

She isn't angry…what the hell? Ron thought.

"Until I'm 18?"

"Yes… Kim…it isn't just for you… our family almost didn't survive this." Ron noticed that the twins were completely quiet and serious.

Kim nodded.

"Okay."

"Yes?" Her mother and father turned and looked at each other. Then back at Kim.

"That's…a bit fast, Kimmie." Ms. Possible said.

"Not really—I won't have much room for heroing where I'm going." She paused. "I want to go back to Middleton, with you. To turn myself in."

"What?"

"No way sis,"

"Kim-san!"

"Kim, that's about the most-"

"QUIET!" Kim said. Everyone looked at her, and her father started up.

"Kimmiecub…there are multiple felony charges outstanding against you! If they choose to try you as an adult…you could spend decades in jail."

"Not to mention you weren't in your right mind!" Ron added.

"I know." Kim said, "I know." She repeated. "But I have to do this. Dad, you say you want me to give up the hero business, right?" Mr. Possible nodded mutely.

"I can't be a hero…not until I face what I did." She turned to Ron. "And I can't be Shego, Ron. I can't wonder if I'm going to be arrested, or what to do if someone decides to try and arrest me." She continued voice soft, but steady. "And I did it to myself—I could have asked for help, from any of you…but I didn't, because I wanted to 'do it myself' It wasn't as if someone made me take those drugs."

"You had been traumatized, Kimmie." Her mother said.

"And the police officers I hurt weren't? Bonnie wasn't? The last I heard, she was still in therapy."

"Yes." Her mother said, "Bonny has come over to our house a few times, Kim." Her mother paused. "She forgives you… in fact…" Kim's mother reached under the table to her purse, and handed Kim a paper. It was the school paper and Kim took it.

"Read the editorial. I was going to show it to you later." Kim looked.

LET THEM MARCH. It was by Bonnie. She blinked reading down, until she came to a single passage.

"Kim and Ron have done so much for us—is it too much to let them march? This school can't do anything about the law, but can at least say that they'll be with the class of 2006 when it walks up the aisle." Kim found herself blinking rapidly.

"See?" Her mother said. Kim nodded, but looked back steadily.

"But it doesn't change the fact I broke the law, Mom… I hurt people. I know it wasn't completely me, but some of it was… you know drugs don't produce anything that isn't there." Kim held her hand up, "I can remember what it felt like to have Shego's neck in my hands, to attack those police officers, to hear them scream when I broke their bones." She paused. "I can't be a good guy if I don't obey the law, and I can't be a bad guy…at all." Kim shrugged, "So I'll go back. My life with all of you has to be free and clear. I never want to lose it again." There was dead silence in the room.

"I'll go pack." Ron said.

"Ron?" Kim said, "You should stay here."

"Nope—I can be a character witness….and who ever heard of a fiancée leaving his partner in the lurch?"

"I-what?"

"You heard. I asked Mr. Possible yesterday…so with his blessing, I'm asking you. Will you marry me, someday Kimberly Ann Possible?" You could have heard a pin drop. Kim blinked, blinked again.

"You may be waiting a while." She said softly.

"Maybe…but I will wait."

"Then…yes." She looked at the others. Kim was scared. Now that she'd said it, she was thinking of their room, of Tokyo…all the people she'd met here, the ones who had helped her. But she was right. She had to go…because until she came full circle, she couldn't heal herself….not entirely.

"We should start packing." Kim said to Ron.


Epilogue:

Shego entered the house on the outskirts of Middleton…and the lights stayed off. The mercenary tensed—the lights were on an independent circuit—they should have come on…but equally, anyone who could bypass that circuit could also bypass the alarms.

The house was like anyone of a dozen she owned, or rented (not by the name of Shego, of course), and it had racks of clothes, food…but few personal touches. It was a sterile place—a place of refuge, not a living home. She was the only one who used them now—Dr. D had his little arrangement with the feds, leaving Shego as a free agent once again.

It was ironic—after all his screwy plots, the federal government had been willing to cut a deal for him and not for her…not that she would have asked. Best to be free and independent…because like she'd told Kimmie, the government could be awfully cold blooded when you ceased to be of use to them. She wondered how Kimmie and Ron were doing—hopefully screwing like monkeys. They were good kids, even if hopelessly, pathetically, naïve.

It was then that the smell hit her. A gagging stench of rotted meat and coppery, old, blood. Shego gasped and tried to breath through her nose. What the hell was that? Finally, she decided and called her fire to her, to see what was in the building.

She wanted to puke. Monkey Fist's monkey ninjas were there… what was left of them. Some of them had been smashed into the walls so hard that they'd left impressions. Others had been ripped apart, limb from limb.

"Hello Shego…" The voice came from above her. She spun around hands at the ready. In the green light, Monkey First grinned at her, perched on the side of the wall, casually pulling one of his ninjas apart. The cracking and tearing sound of bone and cartilage caused Shego's gorge to rise.

"You helped that Possible slut a year ago. I thought you would have liked her demise." He said. "And then working with Ron…distracting me. Do you know how much money that ship's cargo would have brought me?"

"You…" She hissed.

"No…not me." He said. Shego blinked. The air around him was…twisting, warping, as if there was something about him that hurt to be near. It was wrong…more wrong than anything she'd ever felt before. Unexpectedly, Shego found herself afraid.

"When I lost the ship, I lost everything…the buyers were not…understanding, you see." He said. "And so I had nothing to lose, in the water, in the steam, but to ask my benefactors…my true benefactors for aid. And they granted it." He hopped down, moving in an odd disjointed gait. Shego found herself backing up…the air…the material around him, the floor he was on…she could swear it was screaming…

"I kept looking for mystical monkey power, you know…and breaking Stoppable, was to be vital step… but one I could never achieve…until I thought to look to what lay behind, mystical monkey power." One of the dead Monkey Ninjas was near him… in the aura, and it was rotting—like a time lapse photograph, maggots devouring skin even as it fell into corruption.

"I heard them, whispering in the dark…and I called to them…and they answered Shego…not like the little gods people go to on Sunday… My benefactors talk back."

"Keep away from me!" Shego said. She could slice him, gut him like a trout…so why was she trembling?

"They found me, understood my quest for power. They spoke to me, whispered to me in the night, showed me what I'd been looking for…they gave me such power…and such servants." He said, giggling. He blinked, and Shego gasped and leaped back. One blink, and his eyes were pure black, like empty holes. Then, they were back to 'normal'.

"They can even see through me, when They desire…and show me other things, like her mewling in that Coffin. Dr. Drakken shouldn't have done anything. I'm afraid that They are displeased with him now."

"What do you want?" Shego snarled.

"I want to go over good times with you, Shego…" He said, and then moved. Moved like lightning. Like Shego was standing still. But Shego somehow managed to dodge him and struck back.

And screamed. The aura around him felt like it was twisting her, leaving unclean worms running through her perception. She yanked her hands away from him, feeling sick, dizzy. Her arms were on fire, and her green flame turned sickly, went out. In the darkness, he seized her, then slammed her down to the ground. Shego gasped and with a supreme effort, called her flame back-- to gut him like a fish.

And the plasma splashed off steel hard skin uselessly, doing nothing more than ruining his shirt.

"That shirt cost money, Shego dear…but what is a shirt between friends. I have one service to ask of you." He said.

"What do you want me to do?" Shego said, struggling against him. He reached up and ripped her jumpsuit, down from collar to crotch, exposing her to his gaze.

"Oh, Shego…It's not what do I want you to Do… It's what I want you to BeI want you to be a little messanger … the annunciation of my return, as it were…that their little temples, little cities, little stinking homes will burn, all burn…" he crooned to her, "It's only fair, don't you agree?" He paused, one hand holding her wrists helpless in a grip of iron. His other hand dipped down. "But I don't want you squirming." He finished, as he revealed his other hand.

Holding a railway spike.

"Scream if you want. This will hurt a great deal."

The building was in a bad part of town, and few people lingered out at night. Of those, none were the type to go investigate screams, no matter how loud or desperate…

Even when the screams became very shrill…

To be concluded in Book III.