Okay, here we go... the Epilogue to KP: Mind, Body and Soul... and yes, check the end for a final message from moi :)
Three months later…
Withered hands gently clipped and tied off errant branches of the tiny tree sitting in its earthenware pot. Another pot held the various small and specialist tools of a Bonsai expert, along with a tiny watering can and even a greenhouse.
Prune here, tie back here. The wizened hands snipped a tiny twisted growth off the man branches with ruthless precision and then rheumy eyes examined the result with a critical and experienced eye.
Yes, much better. As always, the skills this requires are applicable in life now as when the first father of my clan joined the Blood Jade and began this tree. A sigh echoed around the lushly decorated office, and sank into carpet of a deep green. Branches that twist away from the whole must be pruned, growths that show promise but are dangerous to the whole need to be cast aside… and no matter how carefully you cut away, salves need to be applied, or insects can attack, burrow… kill the trunk. How very much like ourselves, our organisation… Like Kara.
Putting the tiny tools down, the Grand Master of the Blood Jade groaned in annoyance and slid his hands over his eyes. Various reports and shock discoveries of the past three months ran through his head once more. All thanks to the Jade's standard security procedures as well.
While the battle had raged, the secure server Kara's team had installed to run parallel with Doctor Drakken's computer systems had done an emergency download to the Jade's secure, and heavily encrypted, server network. The information contained in the data sent had finally revealed to the Grand Master and the Council how corrupted and self indulgent Kara had become.
Oh, Kara… what has your foolish hidden thirst for revenge done to us? How far will the damage go? And how much of this is my fault for letting you grow and twist back onto the Jade itself? I was foolish! So foolish to let this happen! To indulge you so much and then have you fail us and reveal our secret existence! So promising… so foolish and flawed in the end!
There was no reply to his thoughts. How could there be? Considering that Kara had been killed by the very woman she had sought a single minded revenge against. A woman who had been involved, more than even she had realised, with the prize Kara had offered them to proceed with her own thirst for revenge. This thief, this mercenary…
The Fox's protégé, Shego.
Yes, Shego. Kim Possible's one time nemesis and now, through a unique set of circumstances her lover.
Sighing, the Grand Master turned his attention to his laptop and pressed buttons silently. As the laptop's mailbox flashed into existence, his lips narrowed at the amount of correspondence he now received on a daily basis. The reason was quite simple really.
Since Kara's death and their exposure to the law agencies around the world, the Jade were experiencing pressure and attacks on their businesses not seen since their inception. Especially the international Global Justice. They were the worst, and why? Because Shego, thanks to the grudge Kara must have instilled in her, was using every single bit of her skill and knowledge about illegal practices to help hunt them down.
And the Jade could forget asking support from the other, more public, organisations. In fact, the Grand Master felt, the ones that knew of the Jade's existence were almost enjoying the spectacle of seeing such an old foe under attack.
Then there was Kim Possible herself. The girl… no, woman now, had been growing slowly into a dangerous foe. Oh, she mainly saved lives, defeated the odd psychopaths with delusions of grandeur, but the Master could imagine how efficient, how powerful, she would be as an agent for Global Justice. So when Kara had dangled obtaining her for the Jade, he… they had jumped at the chance. To have the young woman working for them, and then Kara had offered Shego as a second obedient servant, well… it had seemed perfect. It would have been perfect.
He grunted realising, now, how easily they had been played by one of their own members, their newest, and now it seemed psychopathic, member as well. Hundreds of years of internal cunning, strife and power seeking, all bypassed by a twenty'ish year old girl with a fixation for causing the worst sadistic torture she could on her prisoners.
Maybe that was the sign that she was not… stable. But then it is so hard to find people who enjoy work like that. I… no, we, were greatful to have found her, and her sister a few years later as well.
His mind flicked back to Shia Fang's initiation and the serious expression the young blond woman had worn.
Never have I seen such a loyal member of the Jade. The lies Kara told her, so easily believed. She produced such a strong member of our enforcement clan, a bodyguard who was loyal and strong. It had been another reason for us to trust her with this. Foolish, I can see that now. I am sure she had her eyes set on more than just controlling the new business in the United States. But still, to lose Shia as well as Kara herself…
He scowled, fingers tapping in an agreement to sever a cocaine deal with the Spanish contingent. Too much danger there now… far too much.
Unbidden, as he finished severing the deal, he recalled the reports about Shia's defection.
Now Shia Fang is with Yamanouchi, accursed school that they are! Kara's insanity must have damaged even her sisters beliefs enough to make her realise it was all a lie. So, yet another branch I may… no, will have to prune. Unwillingly I admit. But she cannot join Yamanouchi… not another of our organisation! They know too much and are dangerous enough as it is!"
Of course, Kara was not the sole reason either. He was sure that Shia's sister had not expected her to meet her ex-lover in the ensuing battle. He'd heard Quia, who had managed to escape but now was a scarred shadow of himself, quietly explain that Shia had been wavering, her doubts generated due to seeing Yamanouchi's most recently favoured student, Yori, and had then been confronted by a previous lover. A lover, who she had once betrayed for the Jade.
Jasmine H'dara, whose parents owned a very successful consortium of businesses and other interests, had been the one to sway Shia to return to her side, to Yamanouchi. Despite all that had happened between them, it had been love that had swayed Shia away.
The parents of the white haired ninja had been a continual thorn in his side for years, since the removal of their daughter's finger. They had financially supported Yamanouchi's investigations into the Jade's existence, along with their own continual search for the illusive proof they needed.
Yes, she is a major thorn to our side… as is Yori. How little we knew when Kara approached us, how little we understood the friends Kim Possible has. Frowning, the Jade leader leaned back and swivelled the chair side to side as he thought. Who could have imagined this American teenager had friends at Yamanouchi?
He frowned. Indecision was not something he appreciated in anyone… especially himself.
"I must protect our interests, too many of our associates are rejecting or disobeying us. They mock our sudden naked exposure and the way we scrabble and fight to hide that which shows us.
He hummed at the thought. The two who seemed most likely to succeed at the task of re-hiding the Jade would arrive soon and now he wondered about a second task for them to perform.
Even if they remove the evidence I wish them to, the jade still look weak to our once allies. I must send a message to them to show that the Jade are still strong, still lethal to cross… still to be obeyed! But how?
His eyes glanced down to the file on his desk, and he scowled. There were too many factors to take in, too many potential targets to go for, and those he did not would know the Jade were responsible. But which ones would see the warning and investigate with more caution, allowing the Jade to vanish into the shadows once more, and which would be driven even harder to destroy them utterly?
None of these five are easy targets, nor are they truly at fault for what has occurred, considering this is all thanks to Kara… but I have no choice!" His hands flipped the file open and scanned through the images, finally selecting two with a slight hesitation. The Jade must survive… and maybe this will send a message to the ones that seek us to step cautiously, and to the powerful friends of these two, that nobody is safe.
He closed his eyes and leaned back, murmuring. "But if this fails… I will doom us all. For neither of these two will stop at erasing us entirely, if we are not successful."
The sudden tapping at his door made the old man look up, worried face wreathed in the shadows. "Yes?"
The door opened smoothly on oiled hinges, and his personal secretary, a demure young girl from the Thailand sex markets that he had 'rescued' stood politely in the opening. He tilted his head, worries momentarily forgotten, and watched as she bowed.
"Forgive the intrusion, my Master, but… the sisters are here. They claim you wished to see them so they may 'deal' with some problems?" The girl slid back upright and folded her hands neatly behind her, knowing that the Master himself, old though he was, enjoyed seeing the beauty of the body he sometimes amused himself with. For her, it was a small price to pay to escape the hell she had been in. "Shall I send them in?"
"Yes, thank you." The Master nodded and watched silently as her young body walked back out, smooth and well defined rear clad in a drape of thin silk. There were, thank goodness, many distractions from running such a complex organisation and he was thankful.
The sudden clatter of shoes on marble jerked him out of his thoughts, and he watched as those shoes were silenced to whispers as they stepped onto the carpet. Their owners paused in the doorway and bowed, one of them gently shrugging a Hello Kitty backpack off her shoulder.
"You wished to see us, Master?"
"Yes, come forwards, my dears. I have two jobs I feel that only you can perform. And though I do not wish to do so, I have no option but to request you attempt what may be impossible. For the good of the Jade."
Identical dark brown eyes shared glances and then the two figures walked forwards in tandem. School skirts wafted in the air and the Master of the Jade studied them intently. For such innocent looking young girls, they were one of his deadliest weapons. Not as adaptable as Kara had become, but certainly the Jade's only hope now.
As they approached the desk, he held out two pieces of paper. The first showed the Global Justice headquarters, the agency the Grand Master had discovered were the ones to store the copies of the data on his organisation. The second contained the images and vital statistics of the two women he had chosen. "Here…"
Two hands took the papers offered, and the eyes exchanged glances before one glanced back. Her colleague pulled a gleaming Yo-Yo with a popular child's cartoon image on it and began to play with it, still studying the blueprints.
"This building is to be infiltrated?"
"Yes, it is. You are tasked with destroying all data aligned with the Jade themselves in this building. I am sure our armoury will contain anything you require, and can adapt it to suit your…tastes."
The Master watched the second slide a stick of Poky into her mouth and chew it slowly, the stick rolling around like a lollipop. "And these are the ones you wish… dealt with?"
"Yes." The Grand Master nodded quietly. "We have no choice."
"It will be almost impossible. We know our limitations as assassins." The other girl spoke, not nervous or frightened. No, she just spoke calm fact. "If Kara could not deal with this, how can we?"
"I know, but it is one of the two options open to me. And I repeat I have no choice. Will you accept this mission?"
Both nodded, and the Hello Kitty backpack was gently placed on the floor. "For our Jade, anything. Even our lives."
"Good," the Grand Master watched them sink into the chairs in front of his desk. "Now, whatever you feel you need to complete this task will be provided. As for information, ask what you will. Remember, they are not to be underestimated, my dears. They destroyed Kara, and almost revealed us to the world, with no hope of repairing such a breech. Always remember that!"
"We will. We do… we know how lethal they both are."
"Good. Now, as I said, you must ask me everything you can think of to be successful. I will tell you as much as we can about any possible theories of their flaws or weaknesses."
The yo-yo bounced up and down its string quietly, while both assassins leaned back in their chairs and assumed an intent expression. Finally the yo-yo stilled and brown eyes met his.
"Do such things exist in them? They have never shown them before. The love they have for each other defended the one we managed to corrupt. That Kara corrupted. They do not seem to have any weakness we have heard of. And we have been considering them, as any assassin should."
The Master nodded slowly and sighed. "They must have weaknesses, my dears… I pray they do. And I will not lie to you. They are protected, greatly, by powerful friends. They are deadly themselves and are wary and watchful against us." He tapped the paper. "Regardless, these two must die!"
"We will do what we can… though we may die trying." They exchanged glances and the same girl tilted her head at her partner. "We will need to distract the targets as much as we can."
"And her allies… the Chosen one and," she broke off and sneered while her partners face darkened in loathing. "Yori."
A thought struck her partner and the yo-yo stilled as a sly smile slid onto an innocent face. "Tell us, Master. Where is Lord Monty Fisk at this moment?"
The voice echoed around the courtyard. "Students, first kata!"
The cry came from fifty voices and rose into the sky as clear and smooth as a choir. Bodies gently wove through a complicated series of movements and jabs, feet sweeping around in arcs across the stone surface.
Shia Fang gazed with pride at the assembled students in front of her. Dressed in white, they were a gleaming collection of young, hopeful and fresh faces and Shia felt herself inwardly sigh with pleasure. For these were her students, and she was their teacher.
"Very good indeed. However, remember that first kata prepares you to counter or attack. It is neither on its own… and requires a follow-through. Now, observe the second kata!"
Shia swung her hands around smoothly into an intricate horizontal line, imagining a blade of steel sliding in front of her gaze. As her arms reached as far as her elbow would allow, she tensed her muscles and ripped her arms forward in a punching jab, smashing past her imagined enemies defences and sinking deep into their armour and the flesh beyond.
"Hai!" Shia's voice echoed around the courtyard with power and elegance. "Now, repeat!"
Fifty young bodies fell into the smooth motion with their teacher, the sound of cotton and leather on stone a rough whisper, much like the sea as it washed against the sand of a beach.
"Hai!" The cry went up again, and Shia nodded, proud of her students.
"Excellent, I see you have all been practicing!"
"Yes, Teacher Shia!"
Shia chuckled, only to wince suddenly and gently place a hand on her stomach. Every student watched quietly, compassionately, as their teacher pressed gently on the area of her gi they all knew hid her sisters attempted death wound. Even now, after three months of healing, it still afflicted her, still prevented her from engaging in true, powerful, and exhausting combat. This was one of the reasons she taught the kata stances of her sword's path. She was too injured to do anything else for now.
Shia glanced up, expecting every single young face to be staring at her in disgust at her display of weakness. Instead, as she took in the compassionate, steady, and proud faces of her students, the blond woman chuckled and reminded herself that she was somewhere totally different compared to the Jade.
"Do not worry. It is just reminding me that I am alive… and not to over exert myself just yet, less teacher Jasmine scold me."
Her laughter was met with a low rumble of chuckles from the students in front of her, who all grinned and then bowed with respect.
"I want you all to know that you are all progressing well, and-" Shia broke off as she noticed a wizened body step through the courtyard doorway and then wait patiently behind her students. Shia gently rose, wincing quietly, until she managed to stand upright, blond hair wavering in the gentle breeze. "It seems I need to sit down for a moment." She glanced around and picked out three of her more skilled students. "Riana, Hazuraka, Aporia continue the exercises and arrange a little light sparring please."
"Yes, Teacher." The three murmured quietly, before turning to their fellow classmates. "Teams of two, kata one and two practice only!"
"Hai!" The others agreed, and Shia watched as her young 'ninjas-to-be' quickly began to parry and defend with their wooden practice swords.
"Very impressive…" She whispered, before making her way around her darting, dancing group and heading towards where she could see Sensei sitting on a bench underneath the schools apple-blossom tree. "Sensei?"
"Ah, Shia." The wizened and guileless face smiled softly at her. "Come, sit, you must be exhausted."
"I am a little tired, yes."
"As much as I am greatful and appreciate your input into the school, I do not want your own sense of debt to prevent you from healing, or make it harder on yourself to do so. You owe it to yourself to heal fully, Shia. And you owe it to the love you have for Jasmine. I doubt she would appreciate your training making you arrive in your shared quarters with a bleeding wound."
"No, I do not think she would. In fact, I would most likely be forced to bed for weeks." Shia smiled in appreciation and rolled her eyes slightly, making the wizened man's eyes twinkle. "She is fussing over me like a mother hen… though, and I beg you not to tell her this, I do enjoy it… slightly."
"Ah, well I am sure that she is only too well aware that trying to prevent you from doing what you wish would end up becoming an impossible situation." Sensei chuckled and Shia joined him. "Still, you are comfortable here?"
Shia's chuckling ended with a contented sigh. "Oh yes. Yamanouchi has changed little since I last was here. Everything is the same, wonderfully and peacefully the same. The woods, the snow mountain trail, the river… even Honourable Cook."
"She prefers the name 'Honourable Dinner Lady' now, thanks to the chosen one."
"Oh?" Shia shook her head, smiling still. "I shall have to remember that."
"And how is life with yourself and Jasmine?"
"It has been fraught, I will not deny that." Shia shrugged gently and the old man nodded. "However I wish to deny it to myself, I did betray her, you… the school and I must face the consequences of that. One of which is the healing scars of our relationship."
"But they are healing?"
"Slowly. Jasmine has forgiven me, mostly I hope, for my actions. She certainly refuses to link me to the people who cut her finger off." Shia closed her eyes, a pained expression shimmering there for a second. "Though I did let them in, Jasmine claims it was still their choice to do the task assigned to them. So that is one thing she refuses to accept my guilt over even though I know my actions were the cause. Still, I have tried to make her accept my apologies, but she refuses to even listen to me. There have been quite the shouting matches between us about it."
"Yes, I am well aware of your… 'discussions' as I am sure the whole school is." Sensei smiled, dulling the slight edge of his words. "For myself, I saw the two of you together at the lotus flower river bend. You seemed quite happy indeed."
Shia flushed. "Oh. Yes… Um, we were, Sensei."
He smiled, and then sighed in annoyance. "Which means that what I bring is most distressing. For me as much as you."
Shia blinked and then felt the blood in her veins rapidly cool to ice, a lump twisting her belly. "You… you do not wish to be rid of me, to leave… do you?"
"Of course not, child. No matter what happens to you, Yamanouchi will always remain a sanctuary. No, this has nothing to do with Yamanouchi's intentions, and all to do with those of the group your sister was linked to."
Shia winced at the word sister and Sensei gently reached across and rubbed her hand. "Such pain."
"I feel responsible for her actions, how can I not? She was family!"
"Do not forget that you yourself were a victim in this as much as anyone. Though you hurt others, and you are working to atone for that, you were not solely responsible for anything you did as a Jade member."
"But I should be. Ignorance and inaction is no excuse for being a coward and-"
"Inaction is a fine word, as is cowardice. But they are both used to both good and evil effect. As for me, I shall only say this. For those that call you a coward for not stopping Kara, then they have never had such an event happen to them. Kara was family, your family. Someone you believed loved you. Someone who you believed up to the last few days of your tenure with the jade had saved your life. They gave you a home, purpose, and as much as you may dislike it, a replacement of the family you lost. To find out that Kara was responsible for destroying that which she replaced must have been a blow to your soul I cannot fathom."
"I let her carry on her insanity, even when I knew the truth!" Shia whispered, clenching her fists. "I knew she was still torturing Kim Possible, her mother, and Shego and I did nothing! And when I could stand it no longer, I asked Yori to kill m-"
"Your inaction was confusion, horror, and shame… your desire to be taken away from the pain of what Kara did to you is understandable only to those who have felt a similar betrayal to them in the past. What you went through, Shia, is something that would take someone with less fortitude of the mind, years to come to terms with. I can only give thanks that Yori and Jasmine were both there to help you find the path back and I hope that here you will find peace and happiness again."
"I too wish that Sensei."
"I also hope that one day you will recover enough to aid us in the fight against evils such as the society your sister was part of… a society who has recently contacted you."
"The Jade?" Shia's voice rose in distress and a few of her students paused for a second in their practice before slowly resuming. "I will have nothing to do with them now! Sensei I have not had contact with them or intend to-"
"Calm yourself, Shia. Please." The wizened man spoke softly and Shia slowly relaxed in his presence. "The Jade message was for you, but I believe was more an intentional warning to us."
Sensei handed over a thick white envelope, Shia's name carefully inscribed in red ink. "It was found at the base of the mountain with the other mail and packages."
Shia stared at the envelope resting in her lap, and forced her fingers to stop trembling through willpower. "I see."
She opened the envelope slowly and watched as the splintered remains of a wooden tag fell from it and bounced around the flagstones at her feet. The blond woman shook her head slowly. "Of course, my pledge. I should have realised it would come sooner or later."
Sensei's hands suddenly clasped hers, the warmth making Shia start. "My child, I know only too well what this means. They have declared you a traitor, am I right?"
Shia nodded. "I am a target now, for the Jade themselves."
She recalled the time Kara, after the blade for her bodyguard ceremony had been handed to her, had offered a brush and a bowl containing the rapidly coagulating remains of the blood she had spilled in its creation.
She remembered inscribing her words of honour onto the tiny length of cherry wood, and watching as Kara had accepted it, and slotted her word into the odd wheel shaped desk at the base of the Grand Masters throne.
"Your pledge has been accepted." Kara had told her. "Serve it well and do not break it. For those that break their words will be destroyed as thoroughly as the pledge itself will be shattered."
Shia sighed. "I now carry a target on my back. I should have expected this… yes." She held up the envelope from inside the larger one and her eyes were dark. "They expect me to come and face judgement and expect my answer. There must be one of them waiting at the base of the mountain, for me to return this envelope with my decision."
"Well, they have sent their message. I think I shall be the one that replies for you, my dear Shia."" Sensei told her quietly, and the blond Ninja blinked as he produced a fresh lotus flower, around which was wrapped a gold chain connected to a tiny disk containing three words.
Sanctuary of Yamanouchi.
Shia could only stare as the old man slid the flower and chain into the envelope and then motioned softly. A ninja dropped from the cherry tree and bowed, before running off towards the path that lead down the mountain.
"You are Yamanouchi now, Shia Fang. You have our protection… and a powerful one it is. If they ever attack you, then Yamanouchi will be there at your side. And here, at the school, you are safe, I promise. As for the Jade, they will know soon enough what to expect if they attack you… I know Yori and Ron Stoppable very well."
Shia could only gape at what the wizened man offered. She rose suddenly and winced as she bowed deep, her healing wound protesting. "I am in your debit for my entire life."
"No, my child." Sensi smiled softly. "You owe me nothing. Besides, I promised to aid anyone who sought my protection. Especially when that person was praised for her bravery by not only Ron San, but also Yori."
"But… but you are putting the school in danger, in-"
"Shia, do you really think you are the first who came to Yamanouchi, who begged for protection from their evil and manipulations?" Sensei asked quietly. "You are not the first, Child, nor will you be the last. And long may it continue, where those who realise the Jade path should not be taken, come for aid."
Shia stared. "Then what must I do to repay you, the school… everyone who helped me?"
"I believe," Sensei interrupted softly with a smile. "That Jasmine asked me to pass on a message as well. Now, what was it? Ah, yes. She requests you come to the flower garden after I have spoken with you, for lunch I believe it was… She was certainly excited and happy when she asked me to pass this information on to you, and asked you bring some of the 'Poky' she knows you have kept hidden since your joint trip to see her family."
"How did Jasmine know I-" Shia faltered as Sensei raised an eyebrow, and then blushed as the old man chuckled. She shook her head. "But the training of my students today…"
The master of Yamanouchi slid to his feet and nodded as he took in the sights of Kara's group practicing with smooth skill and precision. A testament to Shia's skill, and more proof than was needed that Yori had chosen wisely for her replacement.
"I think that I feel the urge to train myself today. I am sure your students would appreciate my view on a few moves. With your permission of course."
"You are their teacher, Shia. It would be rude to take control without your permission, though of course it would mean you have ample time to walk down to the garden from the courtyard, where I am sure more, ahh, pressing matters await you?"
Shia felt the smile curl around her lips, she couldn't help it. "Yes, Sensei, I believe I would like to discuss matters with Jasmine. If you do not mind taking control of my lesson?"
"Of course not, please enjoy yourself."
The old man smiled as Shia limped to her feet and, for someone with such a deep and healing wound, walked swiftly towards where the school sheltered the land from strong wind, and the sun beat down warmly, allowing perfumed flowers to grow. A most romantic spot.
"Yes, I do believe you should enjoy yourself." Sensei repeated, before turning back and rubbing his hands at the thought of the brisk workout ahead. "As shall I."
"Mom?" Kim forced open the doorway to her parent's home with a gasp, and turned back, her bottom halfway in the hallway, as she dragged a massive bag into the house with a large amount of grunting exertion. "Mom, I'm home!"
"Kimmiecub, we're in here!" Her mother's voice called from the kitchen, but Kim continued to wrestle with the huge bag. "Welcome back and…" A second thud and a curse had her mother pausing. "What are you doing in there?"
"Oh, well you know the courses I'm taking?" The redhead called back, kicking the huge bag into a corner, the things inside making dull thuds as she did so.
"Well, a couple of my lecturers have decided that, as I'm always jetting around the world doing missions, they want to make sure I have my assignment instructions and the books needed to do them, just in case anything happens."
"So? That doesn't explain the noise."
"They gave me them for the whole year… my entire course and subjects in one go." Kim huffed and leaned against the wall for a second, trying to get her breath back. "Thirty five books, all of them hardbacks. What felt like eighty tonnes of paper, and five DVD's, just in case I need to work on them via the Kimmunicator. I mean, why not just give me the DVD's?"
"Well, sweetie, I remember that when I was doing my thesis a great many of the answers to questions only really made sense on paper. Once that was done, I could type it up on my typewriter."
"This is the twenty first century, Mom!" Kim huffed and pushed away from the wall. Dressed in jeans and a white blouse, her red hair pulled back into a ponytail, Kim stomped towards the kitchen.
"Yes, well, come in here and have a cup of tea. It'll make you feel better. Oh, and I have something in here that may just cheer you up."
"Oh?" Kim smiled and thought of smooth green skin, emerald eyes, and a wicked smile. She shivered. "Did Shego leave a messa-"
Walking into the kitchen, Kim paused as her thoughts become reality in front of her eyes. Green skin shimmering with warmth as a hand gently slid a mug across the table, the wave of dark green, almost black, hair as a strong, agile body gently poured rich, dark, tea into it, and then green eyes twinkled as black lips chuckled.
"Well, well. Been a while since anyone left you breathless, Kimmie. After all, I have been gone for a while."
"Shego!" Kim felt herself lift inside. "Wow, you're back!"
"Hello, Princess, and yeah I am. Sorry about the wait, Kimmie." Shego, dressed in her trademark green and black checked suit, sighed and rubbed at her eyes. "I got back about four hours ago, called your house and was told to come over. I had GJ drop me off"
Kim slid into a seat next to the green woman and switched her gaze between mother and girlfriend. There was still that subtle tension in the air, the same uncomfortable air that had been layered over every event which had Mrs Possible and Shego in the same room.
"So, what happened?" Kim asked, trying to keep her tone light. Even now, the sensation of it made her feel uncomfortable. "I thought you were coming back to Middleton two days ago. You said it'd only be a couple of weeks too, it's been a month."
"I did, and I thought it would take that long, so did Betty for that matter. She ended up sending me to Japan. Tokyo to be precise. Wanted me to use my 'special' skills to aid the team she'd sent to investigate this rumoured drugs company front. It took far longer than they thought to get a warrant, and when we went in it all looked legit, but the GJ guys didn't notice the hidden entrance to the real factory."
"I bet you did." Kim told her and Shego nodded.
"Child's play, Pumpkin." The green woman sipped her tea. "It led to a very nicely equipped lab, designing and producing designer narcotics. Really nasty crap too. One big high, led by one heck of a crash and addictive as fu-" She paused, as Mrs Possible coughed slightly, rolled her bright green eyes in annoyance, and ignored Kim's chuckle. "I mean… really addictive. And the place had Blood Jade and Kara's fingerprints all over it. They're getting better at hiding everything she was linked to though."
Kim nodded, desperately trying to ignore the way her heart lurched at Kara's name, let alone the way her mother shivered. "So GJ's got you chasing the Jade for now?"
"Yeah. Betty," Shego said the name with a sarcastic tone. "Thinks that I'll be motivated to track them down, considering what they did to me, to you, and your mom."
The thief leaned back, hiding a wince as her back hissed with a temporarily forgotten pain, the wound there reminding her it had only started to heal yesterday, had been quite deep and had taken stitches for the GJ medics to close up.
Damn ninjas… and that robot for god's sake! All for a narcotics factory.
"Of course, she's right. But I still don't like the way she keeps her thumb on me. I've been working with em now for three months, surely they realise that I'm not going anywhere, that this isn't some ruse. Isn't it enough that I'm working for the damn 'goody, goody team' again?"
"Give it time." Kim murmured, reaching out and gently rubbing her lovers arm. "You were a problem to Doctor Director for years."
"I hate this, doing this…" Shego sighed and grunted in annoyance. "But if I want to be with you, to try and have something I want, I've gotta play their rules. It sucks and I hate it."
"Shego, I know it's hard but… well… I… I…" Kim began, worried and thinking back to the way her green lover had abandoned Team Go for the same reasons. The teen was scared that Shego would decide the payoff, namely her, wasn't worth it and leave her if she-
"I'm not going anywhere, Princess." The thief murmured quietly, knowing where Kim's thoughts were heading, thanks to years of knowing her almost as well as she knew herself. "I need you like I need air, or physical combat. So I'm not going anywhere, no matter how sappy that sounds." Shego smiled as the redhead relaxed slightly and then looked thoughtful. "Still, once I've repaid what I owe to 'Betty'," she sneered again. "Then maybe I'll be work for hire again."
"As a thief." Kim told her quietly, wishing she could sound more accepting. But the thought unsettled her still.
"Yeah, Kimmie." Shego nodded and shrugged. Not in apology, but understanding at how it unsettled her lover. "It's what I am. You're just going to have to trust me to do the right thing in that. Kay? And if this 'hand holding' Director insists on doing keeps up? Well, I'm going to have to have a few pointed words with her too."
"Trust me, if she didn't believe you were on the level, you wouldn't be here drinking tea with me, or dancing with me in clubs or-" Kim broke off, flushing suddenly, and Shego grinned as Mrs Possible narrowed her eyes with an intense, to her daughter anyway, speculating look.
"True enough, Pumpkin. Still, I've been living on the darker side of life for a while. This business with Global is taking some getting used to," Shego muttered, absentmindedly reaching out and caressing Kim's shoulder. "Don't worry about it, Princess. It just bugs me."
"So," Kim's mother interrupted, watching the gentle interplay of touches, strokes, and reassurance that Shego and Kim barely knew they were giving each other. She thought it was time to bring up the half finished discussion they had been having before Kim had come home. "What's the plan, Kimmie? After all, you're on break now."
Mrs Possible chuckled slightly; amused at the way her daughter blinked and then grinned.
"Yeah, I am. And my girlfriend is back in Middleton." The grin widened and a thoughtful expression crossed the redheads face. "This needs some thinking about."
"You need to think about what to do with a sexy, 'ready to rock' woman like myself? No wonder I hear the University bods are pushing you with their courses, Princess." Shego told her. "Still, even Nerdlinger has been wincing at the amount of work they've given you."
"So not! I can handle anything they dish out and-" Kim stared at the woman she loved. "How did you know I'd gotten into Middleton University? I only just found out I'd been successful in getting my placement!"
And you've been gone on this mission for over three weeks! Kim's brain added, upset. She reminded herself it hadn't been Shego's decision, or even Doctor Director's for that matter. It was just that they had needed Shego for that amount of time, and the green woman had agreed so she could stay with Kim when she came back. Remember that… she did this all for you, Possible, no matter how much she hates rules and regulations and doing 'the right thing' for people.
"Nerdlinger, who else? On that second hand Kimmunicator you found for me. I asked him to let me know what you'd decided." The green woman replied and then raised her mug with a smirk. "Um, I suppose I'm supposed to say congratulations that you've entered his vision of nerd heaven at this point?"
Kim scowled. "Yeah!"
"Congratulations, my little… well, nerd." Shego told her, smirking wider as Kim bristled. "Mmmn. Now, I remember that expression very well. And how dangerously sexy it is to me."
Kim glared and ignored the flirty words. "I'll have you know it took a load of acceptance tests to be taken in. Let alone a special exemption for my… absence!" Sulking slightly, the redhead pouted and Shego gazed at her with utter delight.
God, her Kim was sexy when she was annoyed.
"Sorry, Pumpkin. Put it down to me thinking you don't need qualifications."
"Yes, she does." Doctor Possible countered, sitting down and, with only a slight hesitation, holding out the biscuits to Shego.
The green woman took one, and felt her amusement drain out of her as quickly as it had come. She could feel Kim's mother tense every single time she came close to physical contact and she didn't like the uncomfortable feeling left behind. Worse, she felt guilty and that was rare for her…
"If you want my daughter to join you at Global Justice, then she'll need all the qualifications she can get. Plus, even if it doesn't work out at GJ, she has other options that qualifications offer her. So it's not pointless."
"Yeah, yeah." Shego muttered, dunking her biscuit into her tea. "Ignore me. It's just that I went to Go college when I was with my brothers, trying to avoid the life Hego kept moaning on and on about… and what happened to me? After months of personal abuse, name calling and one hell of a nasty time, I flunked my course and ended up becoming a crappy hero anyway! So excuse me if I think it's a waste of time and I don't want Princess exposed to all that 'you're a freak for being gay' crap…"
Realising she was giving out far too much personal information for her liking, Shego clammed up and fixed her eyes onto her tea and the soaking biscuit. At least Kim isn't green too…
"Hey," Kim whispered suddenly, making Shego glance up. "That's not going to happen to me. I promise. Even if it does, I'm not going to back down from any taunts about our relationship. It's my choice, and very important to me. But so is this chance at qualifications, and I want to do this. Okay?"
Flushing slightly, Shego nodded and then gazed back at her tea with an awkward air around her. Kim, knowing she was thinking back to her own past, left her to her memories and turned to her mother quietly.
"I know I need the qualifications, Mom. Don't worry."
"I'm not worried about you, because you're my smart little Kimmiecub." Doctor Possible told her and glanced at Shego with a surprising amount of compassion. "I didn't know you had such an unpleasant experience. I'm sorry I brought it back."
Shego waved a hand, uncomfortable with the way the conversation was heading.
Family, and all the compassion and support that came with it in Kim's world, was still confusing and a little un-nerving to her. She bit into her biscuit, praying Mrs Possible wouldn't ask her what happened. After all, it wasn't her responsibility to soothe such an old wound, nor be sympathetic. Especially when Mrs Possible was dealing with her own demons; one of which happened to involve her.
Kim's mother watched her for a second and then turned to her daughter once more. "So, what did you end up taking then, now that you're in?"
"International relations and culture. I'll be starting properly after spring break and then playing catch-up for the next few months." Kim told her mother, proud of her choice. "Dr Director suggested it's a good start for becoming a GJ agent and spoke to them personally when they weren't sure they could squeeze me into the course. She said I'd earned it after all the Jade business."
"True, but I bet that's not the only reason." Shego muttered and then blinked as both redheads glanced at her. "Um, sorry, none of my business."
"What other reason is there?" Kim asked, puzzled. "Come on Shego, please?"
"Okay, okay. I just think that she's starting to groom you a bit, Pumpkin."
"Mmmn," Shego picked out another biscuit and carefully dunked it into her tea. "To become her protégé just like I was with Fox. She wants you running Global, Kimmie, when you're old enough and seasoned with a few years of course."
"I've kinda seen it happening over the years I've been keeping track of you, especially after that alien business. And of course, you'd have been perfect to keep GJ gunning after me, the number one thief in the world. Who better to hunt, and track me down, than my nemesis?"
"Really?" Kim blinked, uncertain if Shego was being flattering or her usual sly self. "But there's no guarantee I'll be accepted into GJ, or that I want to be part of Global. After all, considering all the stuff Doctor Director was forced to tell me when I wanted to reveal what you did for me, it's kinda made me dislike the idea of politics getting in the way of my duties if I did join. Besides, I'm dating you now…"
"Well, I don't think she ever counted on you falling for the bad girl, Pumpkin." Shego shrugged, a small smirk appearing on her lips, as Kim flushed red. At a very quiet sigh of resignation, the green thief glanced across at Kim's mother. "Nor did you, I'll bet."
"No, strangely I didn't see this coming along." Doctor Possible mimicked Shego's shrug and sat back, trying to relax next to the green woman. "However, you two seem to be getting along very well these past three months. Very well indeed considering you both thumped each other to pieces for quite a few years. I think it shocked a lot of people."
"Not hard at all, Mom. Not when someone told me she was in love." Kim whispered, and Shego's smirk gentled into a grin. "It was really easy when I found that out and came to love her the same way."
"Aww, Kimmie cares!" The green woman leaned in close to Kim's flushed face and brushed her lips across the redheads, gently. "Me too… a lot. Though we still fight, don't we, Pumpkin. After all, its fun to… well, play cops and robbers now and again."
Watching the two of them, and worried that they'd end up doing something better kept private- especially considering that she was, after all, still trying to deal with all of this- Doctor Possible coughed politely. Her daughter and lover glanced across and Kim's blush deepened at her mother's expression.
"I think you need to have a shower first, young lady, before anything like that gets started, and then Shego can show you her little gift."
"Gift?" Kim groaned with a mixture of horror and embarrassment. "I told you, you don't have to buy me stuff. I don't need you to buy me stuff." She paused at Shego's raised eyebrow and gleaming eyes… and then caved. "Okay, I'll bite. What'd you get me this time on GJ's expense account…" Kim paused and the devil took her over. "And was it expensive?"
"Shower!" Doctor Possible told her sternly, making Kim jump up. "Then fresh clothes as well!"
"Okay, Mom! Okay! Jeez, it was just a joke!"
As both women watched her vanish upstairs, a silence settled in the kitchen of the Possible household. A silence that was eventually broken by the faint echoing hiss of hot water. Shego glanced around awkwardly and then bit into her biscuit once more, while Kim's mother sat quietly, her fingers fussing with her mugs handle. As Shego raised her own mug, she masked another wince as she raised it too quickly.
"Do you want me to look at that before Kim comes back?" Doctor Possible asked quietly, watching as Shego stiffened and a small patch of slightly brighter green slid onto her cheeks. "If you keep trying to hide it, when Kim finds out she'll probably yell at you."
"Hide what?" Shego asked, trying to act nonchalant. "I'm fine. Big bad thief and Merc! That's me, Doctorr P."
"I think we're past the tough woman act now, Shego. You hurt just as easily as anyone else and that seems to be quite the wound you have. I presume you got it while doing the mission for Global and didn't bother to have it properly treated because you wanted to get back here. Right?"
"My powers-" Shego muttered, trying not to reveal anything further.
"Let you heal faster, but they don't make you immortal… or able to turn off pain, and I'm a doctor… so," rising and ignoring the way Shego hunched, Doctor Possible walked across to where she kept her medical kit and pulled it off the wall, before pausing and closing her eyes. "Suit off please."
Grumbling, Shego began to slide the zip of her uniform down. "What a chat up line."
And the medical case clattered to the floor as Doctor Possible froze, face pale.
It had been the sound of the zip and the sight of Shego standing in front of her, trying to remain cool and nonchalant, that triggered the memory Kim's mother had been trying to live with for the past few months. Her had fingers stiffened on the case and ended up slipping on the handle as the older redhead battled sudden nausea.
Shego blinked as the case tumbled onto the kitchen tiles and as she moved to pick it up, Kim's mother made an odd terrified animal noise at the back of her throat, making the green woman freeze.
Pale, Doctor Possible forced her fingers to stop trembling.
"You… the way you undid the…" Doctor Possible's voice faded into a breathless squeak and as Shego took a step forwards, concerned, and she took three back. "STOP! Just… just stay there for a moment!"
"Doc, I…" Shego blinked as the woman trembled harder and suddenly realised. "Oh damn it! I didn't know that undoing my uniform like that would-"
The redhead clenched her hands as the nausea slammed back into to her. "I know! Just… just stop moving for a second!"
Shego shuffled on the spot as Kim's mother slowly moved across to where Shego's chair stood and quietly sank into it. After a few moments she looked up, pale blue eyes conflicted, but no longer shivering.
Shego was a pawn, it was Kara… She repeated what she and Diana had discussed. Shego was a pawn, it was Kara… her intent, her order. She did it to hurt Kim, Shego, and myself. And Shego couldn't stop it, couldn't fight it and was a victim as much as me.
Taking a deep breath, Mrs Possible looked up at the green woman. "I'm sorry about this."
"Sorry?!" Shego stared in disbelief. "Doc, I know what Kara made me do, I was there! You have every right to hate me or be frightened. Doy! I tried to… to rape you!"
"Tried is the important word" The redhead replied simply and she looked up at the bad girl turned… if not good, at least not as dark as she had been. "I was there as well, and I know you had nothing to do with what happened… what she tried to make happen. Part of me, most of me in fact, is well aware that you couldn't have stopped it anymore than Kim. The other part of me though is scared of what would have happened."
"Yeah, I know what you mean…" Shego muttered looking down and glaring at the kitchen lino. She pictured Kara's face there, and ground a green boot into the image with careful precision. "If I'd been able to get free, I'd have done some surgery on Kara of my own, Doc. I promise you that."
"I'm having therapy." Mrs Possible blurted suddenly.
"Oh…" Shego managed, shuffling uncomfortably. This was territory she didn't understand and certainly had no intention to learn if she could help it. And the woman in front of her looked just as confused about what she'd said as Shego herself. "Why're you telling me this, Doc? You know, actually I don't think I should know about this!"
"I…" Mrs Possible sighed and took a deep breath.
For some reason, having the person she sometimes felt irrational fear about standing in front of her with an equally terrified expression on her face, seemed to calm her down. Maybe Diana was right.
"I wonder if you'd consider coming with me one day."
"To therapy?" Shego asked in total disbelief. "Me? Um, Dr P, I'm the one you're having therapy for!"
"I know, but I'd like you to talk to my therapist, Diana." She glanced up and saw the insult in Shego's expression and realised that the green woman, her Kim's strong independent thief, thought she was suggesting she need therapy herself. "Not for you! For me…"
"Okay, seriously weirding me out here!"
"I think Diana might be right. She, ah, has been asking me to see if you'd come for a while now." Doctor Possible shrugged uncomfortably and Shego remained standing, her whole body radiating an undecided decision to run or fight. "She thinks I need to… interact with you more. Maybe see your side of what happened, to understand how little control you had. Which is silly really, because I know that what happened was down to Servus and Kara. Not you."
Shego stared as the redhead played with her fingers once more. Despite her own desire to forget the whole damn thing, Shego could see the therapists point. After all, it was talking things through with Marie that had saved her own sanity, even if it had ended up placing her on a slightly… criminal path.
Kimmie is a bad influence on me. Whatever happened to my ruthless, cruel and sadistic 'don't give a damn bout anyone but me' attitude? Especially when I really need it!
Shego sighed and held up a hand.
"Listen, I… okay. I need to say this now, before you get any ideas!" She managed, watching as Kim's mother blinked and looked up. "I'm soft on Kimmie, but not you! Kay? So, I'll consider going as payment for screwing up on my side of things, namely Kara. She made me hurt you, I'm willing to try and fix it."
She watched in horror as Mrs Possible's eyes moistened and waved a hand desperately.
"Whoa! Can the waterworks! I'm… I'm doing this as a… a damn bribe! A bribe to make sure you don't stop me dating my Princess!
"Mom…" Kim's voice called from the stairs and both thief and Doctor stared at each other.
"Where's my hairdryer? It was in my room on the dressing table, but I can't see it anywhere. Did you clean up?"
"No, the boys wanted it for parts," Doctor Possible replied, still staring at Shego. "Something to do with creating a more efficient jet engine for their model plane." She listened to her daughters clearly audible grumbling and threats of bodily harm. "You can use mine if you want."
"Oh, neat! Thanks, Mom."
The quiet thud of the bathroom door as Kim went back in for some reason, echoed around the quiet kitchen. Eventually, Mrs Possible picked up the medical kit and raised an eyebrow.
"How about we consider fixing the wound you have part of that payment you mentioned?"
"Okay…" Shego nodded, relieved that the conversation was back on steadier ground. "I can do that."
Cautiously, Kim's mother stood up, clutching the medical kit tightly, and Shego slowly moved and sat down in front of her. The hands that touched her back trembled slightly, and she knew that Mrs Possible paused for just a second before even bringing herself to do that, but they returned swiftly, and had the same clinical feel she remembered vaguely from the first time she had come here.
"This is nasty," Doctor Possible murmured, checking the stitches with an experienced eye. "Still, they did a good job on it for you. I bet you were cursing a lot when it happened though."
"Yeah, ninja came at me with a dagger. I was too busy dealing with this military kill-bot they had looming about. Damn thing nearly wiped us out too…" Shego winced at the memory and turned her head to one side as Kim's mother began to fiddle with the kit on the table. "Um, you can keep how I got this to yourself, right? No need to worry Kim about something that I've dealt with. God knows we'll both probably end up getting worse knocks in our lives."
"Maybe." Mrs Possible felt the fear she had been feeling slowly trickle away, through her anxiety remained. "I don't think you'll ever have worse than what Kara tried to do. I really thought that horrible woman would be the end of me, Kim… even you. Until Ron appeared with Global."
"Don't remind me that I owe my life to the buffoon!" Shego rolled her eyes and Kim's mother surprised herself with a chuckle. "Please… leave some of my self respect intact."
"Ron's a very nice boy."
"I'm sure he is, despite his buffoon nature, his natural gawkiness and general dweeb appearance." Shego grinned slightly, getting into her stride even as Doctor Possible sighed in resignation. "Okay, I'll stop… but personally, I'm just glad that Kimmie likes bad girls far more than geeky good guys." She hissed suddenly as something cold was pressed onto her body. "What the hell is that?"
"Anti-bacterial wash. I'm cleaning your wound again and going to put a new dressing on." As Kim's mother worked, Shego grumbled quietly and then sighed.
"Listen, I don't usually say stuff like this, and if you tell anyone what I'm about to say I'll deny all knowledge," The thief leaned back slightly on the chair. "But thanks for not kicking my ass onto the street when you learned that I was in love with Kim. I suppose it's got something to do with the way you and your husband seem to live, the whole Possible thing you have going on. Drakken always kept going on and on about it…annoyed the hell out of me to tell you the truth."
Mrs Possible blinked. Shego was usually brash, but her voice had become soft for a second. "I want what's best for Kim."
"And you think that's me?" Shego snorted and chuckled a little. "Oh, Doctor P, you'd be amazed how many people'd think you're insane with that remark. I'm a thief, and a bad influence, bad tempered, sarcastic… hell, the list goes on and on for the reasons I should be miles away from Kimmie. And that's just the people I used to work with. Doctor Director and the media probably have lists."
"Perhaps, but I haven't seen Kim this happy since she dated Ron, Shego. I like seeing her this way, and I also think that there are benefits to having you involved as a couple." Doctor Possible ignored the way her patient tried to turn in surprise to stare at her, and continued to tape the new dressing into place. "You have experience as a heroine, Shego… of the good and the bad that can come of it. You seem very world experienced as well. You know about the dark on this planet too, something Kim has no idea of. Finally, my daughter needs someone like you to make her have fun. Goodness knows I've worked hard to make her try and balance her life."
Finished, Doctor Possible nodded to herself with satisfaction. "Okay, wound's all redressed."
The two women shared a glance and Mrs Possible smiled faintly. For the first time, she felt a little more at ease around the green skinned woman as Shego pulled up her catsuit and zipped it closed, the checked fabric slithering over the young woman's curves. Staring at it for a second, Shego smirked wryly.
"You know, I kept this outfit partly to remind me how much I hated being a hero. Now I'm involved with a hero, and working for someone I'd have stayed a million miles away from so I can remain with her." She shook her head. "Didn't see this one coming at all. Hero, to thief, to villain, to thief, to sort of hero again… god knows how my rep will weather all this."
"Well, if it makes you feel any better, Betty seems to consider you still as a mercenary for hire, and a thief. One she hopes to eventually have under contract with Team Possible." Kim's mother replied, packing away the medical kit.
"Working with Kimmie's team… I dunno about that. I left Team Go because of the whole 'team' thing getting in the way of my usual style. Solo." Shego grunted. "Besides, I love being a thief… I want to stay one. Heck I am one, just playing the good girl right now for some really important reasons."
"Well then your reputation with the majority of the thieving world will probably remain intact, despite the damage of a relationship with my daughter." Mrs Possible replied dryly.
The thief flushed, shifting uncomfortably. "That wasn't what I meant, and-"
"I'm sure it wasn't. If you do decide to remain a thief, just remember to leave your work where it belongs. No bringing it home with you." Doctor possible told her just as wryly. "Anyway, while Kim's not here, I suggest we focus on your little gift to her. Do you need anything from us?
"No, nothing." Shego replied, impressed by Doctor Possible's tactful steering of the conversation. "You already said I could take her if I wanted, so I suppose it's up to Kim to say yes now." The green woman grinned as certain thoughts danced through her brain. "I hope she does."
"I do too, actually." Mrs Possible agreed, beginning to wash the cups and plates from their discussion that afternoon. "After all, Kimmie is still healing and she needs the rest."
"Servus was a nasty little bug."
"Yes, but it's more the wounds she got in the battle. I still see her wincing sometimes when she bends down to pick up something." Mrs Possible sighed. "She had some very deep wounds which she won't physically relax long enough to let heal. It worries me."
"It's been weeks since I've had even a twinge, Mom!" Kim complained as she strode back into the kitchen, brushing her hair. "And do you have to talk about me behind my back?"
"I do. I like talking about you behind your back… and about it too." Shego told her in a sly tone, and as Kim glanced across, she winked. "It's one of my favourite topics with anyone I'm close to."
"Oh, jeez!" Kim told her, rolling her eyes and turning away to continue drying her hair.
"Wow, she is grumpy, Doctor P." Shego glanced across at Kim's mother and winked. "I think you're right about me coming back in the nick of time."
"Yes, and I think Kimmiecub needs this, Shego. So get on with it, and look after her when you do. Otherwise James will come looking for you to ask questions, and if he does, I hope you're not claustrophobic."
What are you two talking about?" Kim asked, puzzled, while Shego blinked at her mother in confusion. "All this break stuff is beginning to kinda freak me out a little."
"Well, what did you see this little break entailing for you, Pumpkin?" Shego asked, her voice a soft purr.
Kim flushed and smiled. "Well, what I really wanted to do is relax at home, maybe soak up some affection from my family and a certain green ex-villain, watch some movies, and let said ex-villain girlfriend take me out to a few places and do the whole romantic dinner thing."
"Well, that's what I intend to do, Pumpkin." Shego murmured, the purr in her voice shimmering into a seductive thrum. "Only I thought that we could do the first dinner date in say, oh, Venice… or maybe Tokyo?"
Kim stared, hairbrush clattering onto the floor, and her mouth worked soundlessly for a few seconds before she managed to whisper. "Wh… what?"
Ron's Student Pad
"I'm speechless, Yori… really!"
The ninja sighed and leaned back, staring at the blond man sitting next to her at his college apartment. "Ron, we talked about this."
"Have we, Yori? Have we?" Ron asked her, sulking slightly. "I don't think we have. Not really."
Yori stared at him, trying not to be upset but failing at how Ron was behaving since she'd come to tell him the good news. To her, when she had received the letter from Doctor Director, it had been wonderful, ecstatic news.
Her request to Global Justice, in that she be granted a position as their diplomatic agent to the Chinese and Japanese agencies, had been validated and approved. She knew she was young for the position, the initial interviewer and Doctor Director herself had pointed that out, and Yori had politely agreed. However, a set of immaculate references from Yamanouchi, coupled with the fact that she had already shown her own formidable skills with Ron had made the commander of Global Justice change her mind and offer her the placement she had requested.
So, in her excitement she had run to tell Ron the good news, dashed into his room and attempted to tell him. Of course, it had meant pulling the controlling device for his computer game console out of his hand and turning it off. With that done, she had waited for his reaction.
Now, he sat in front of her sulking and Yori felt her excitement slowly wane and dribble away. The ninja frowned.
"I thought you would be happy that I have managed to secure a way for me to be here with you, to allow us to maybe… date? A date that would allow us to develop our… definite interest in each other, into something much more personal?"
Ron blinked at the bitter tone the ninja was using towards him. He was even more confused with the subject. "What? You mean you got the position?"
Rufus, who had been sitting next to Ron on a plate of Nachos, cheered. "Uh huh… job! Yay!"
"Yes! I just said that I had, Ron Kun!" Yori told him, her voice confused and upset. "I just told you that and you began to attack me for accepting this position. I will not hide the fact that your response to my news has upset me."
"Aw, geez." Ron muttered, flushing red before turning to the ninja. "Yori, I'm so sorry. Really! I'm glad you've got the job, in fact I'm just as excited as when I heard about the double Naco offer."
"Really?" Yori asked, uncertain. "Then you are pleased I can stay in America for the foreseeable future?"
Ron nodded, his lips curving into a smile. "Sure, it means we can sort out my Monkey Power business…" He grinned suddenly and the blond teen's mind wandered back to the nights at clubs. "And other things too…"
Yori smiled faintly, flushing at the tone he used, but then frowned. "But why did you just hurt me with such words then? If it was a form of your American humour, I do not appreciate, like, or understand-"
He held up a hand. "No, Yori, I'm sorry I upset you. I want us to be together, I'd love you to help me with this darn monkey business, and there are way, way, cooler things I'm looking forward to exploring with you about us." He smiled at her growing blush and then shook his head softly. "But what I said before? Well, I wasn't talking about the job, or even our relationship."
"No?" Yori blinked, even more confused than before. "Then what do you-"
"I meant that we needed to talk about you turning my console off without permission…" Ron sighed and, as the ninja blinked in confusion, he glanced wistfully at the screen. "I was up to level thirty on Blood Knights Six…"
Kim stared at the booking and confirmation slip that Shego had slid in front of her, and then glanced up in disbelief. "Venice?"
"Yeah, at the hotel Daniel where our room's the diplomat suite." As Kim let out a choked gasp, the thief smiled. "I don't do second class accommodations if I can help it, Kimmie."
"And the reservation is an open one. As are the ones for Tokyo, Beijing, the nice little Caribbean beach resort I've chosen on St Thomas, Iceland, and Paris." Shego smiled warmly. "So we can visit wherever you want to go, when you want to go, for the whole month."
"I intend to have as much time as I can with you. Besides, this is your late birthday present and I wanted you to have as nice a gift as I could think of. So, happy birthday, and let's go tomorrow, kay?"
"A… a month?" Kim stared in utter shock. "You want a whole month?"
"Yeah, I do." Shego leaned back. "And before you even try, Pumpkin, I've cleared it with Doctor Director too. Well, with a few threats and a little arm twisting about why I wanted the time with you."
"But I'm supposed to be studying and-"
"Kim," Her mother interjected quietly. "You've been pushing yourself too hard ever since you got free from Servus. Doctor Director knows that, and she told the college as well. That's why you've been granted an additional two months vacation to recover. They've agreed to let you start the actual course after this time off."
Kim turned to her mother, an annoyed expression on her face. "You knew about this?"
"Yes, I'm your mother and Doctor Director came to see me about your physical and mental health. She knew what the Doctors who had treated you told her, but she wanted my opinion as well." The redhead leaned back in her chair and raised an eyebrow. "In my opinion, you need rest and Shego has graciously decided to help."
"Hey, selfish here!" Shego countered, staring at Kim with amusement as her little Princess fumed. "I want your daughter with me, alone, in some very nice places. More, I'd very much like to see her in a bikini."
"Shego!" Kim snapped, and ignored the green woman's sly chuckle. "What if I don't want a vacation?"
"Then you can call it medical leave and I'll ask Julian and Alyx to declare you medically unfit to the college, curtailing your studies there, to make sure you take it." Doctor Possible watched her daughter scowl. "Kim, sweetie, I love you and you've been very tired and irritable lately. I think you're mentally exhausted from what happened to us with Kara, and I think you're tired physically as well. You've pushed yourself far enough for me now, and I want you to relax for a bit. You're not superhuman."
"Don't you want to go on holiday with me, Pumpkin?" Shego leaned forwards and ignored the anger in Kim's gaze as she turned to stare at her. "I've been away for a while, we've both been trying to sort all this crap out recently which means we've not gotten past the occasional night together, and certainly not the way I've been hoping for." She ignored the embarrassed cough from Kim's mother. "I want this time with you, Kimmie. You and me, a tropical beach or warm evening, and no commitments or worries. Just us, free to do what we want."
Kim stared at her for a moment and then scowled. "Okay, I'll go if you tell me one thing."
"What?" Shego replied, wondering what Kim was going to ask.
"Where'd you get it?"
Shego blinked. "Get what?"
Kim slapped a hand onto the envelope in front of her that contained the various hotel booking forms as well as various spas and companies that offered extreme sports. Shego knew her lover after all, and had thought about entertainment for the two of them outside the hotel room.
"The money to pay for this?! I know that you're working for nothing at Global!"
"Yeah… So?" Shego replied, nonplussed at Kim's angry accusation. "I have to, Kimmie. You know that it was part of my agreement with Betty. Well, that and giving up all my savings from thievery and…" Shego stopped and frowned as she realised where Kim might be going. "Now, hang on a second. I think I need to tell you that-"
"This holiday you want us to go on. You've bought all this with your dirty funds!" Kim accused her, voice hot with rage. "Stuff I thought you'd gotten rid of!"
"Dirty?" Shego growled, unable to help herself. "Pumpkin, that's money I earned doing what I do best! You know I'm a thief, so I expected you to deal with it now that I'm your girlfriend. So deal!"
"Not if you want to whisk me away for a few weeks of… of… hedonism at everyone else's request!" Kim kicked at the table and snarled in anger. "People, who don't know that I want to get on with my life! Not rest and laze around like some weak version of myself! People who should mind their own damn business!"
"I'm doing this for us! Not other people, and certainly not because you're weak, Kim! Damn you, I want some time alone, just us!" Shego stood up now, her quick temper flaring. "And as for the way I bought the damn tickets and everything I thought up for you on this holiday, that money once kept me alive!"
"You got it for hurting people, for thieving… for illegal acts!" Kim snapped, and glared at Shego. "Things I fight to prevent happening!"
"Well then let me use the money I do have for something nice, something 'good'!"
Shego banged a gloved hand onto the kitchen table and Doctor Possible, shocked by how quickly the scene in front of her had descended into two angry, screaming women, stared in horror at the scorch mark Shego left there, as well as the subtle flicker of green energy around the gloves the thief waved in the air.
"My past, what I did, is part of the Shego package, Pumpkin! I thought you knew that when you asked to fucking well be my girlfriend! I thought you understood what you were getting!"
"I do know about your past, Shego! I was there, remember?" Kim countered, and both women ended up face to face, snarling. "You got most of that money from Drakken for theft, assault, and trying to hurt or kill me!"
Oh my goodness. Doctor Possible thought with horror, watching as Shego stiffened and went so white the green tinge in her skin faded into nothing. Oh, Kimmie… really!
"You…you..." The green woman stuttered, vibrant green eyes glazed with shock. As she did so, Kim felt her own words sink like hissing acid into her mind, the red haze of her own anger fading instantly as she realised what, and how, she'd said. "You're using that against me?"
"I'm sorry! Shego, I-" Kim began, guilt over her actions flooding her body. But it was too late.
With barely a word, Shego stood up and stormed across to the kitchen archway, glancing back just once with burning green eyes. "I don't give a fuck, Kim! Keep the damn tickets and use em to indulge with one of your 'goodie, goodie' and clean friends. I'll find my own way home!"
"Shego, wait!" Kim blurted, and panicked as the green woman ignored her and stormed out of the kitchen. As the door slammed violently in the corridor and silence descended, she sank down next to the kitchen table, head in her hands. "What have I done? Oh … what have I done? This is so the drama!"
"I'll say, and one you've caused on your own." Her mother murmured, and watched as Kim's head slid up to reveal a distressed expression. "Oh, and congratulations, I think you two have had, or may be having in this case, your first lovers quarrel."
"Mom, please… not helping me here."
"And just so you know. Though I'm having nightmares about Shego now and again, in regards to this? I support her." The redhead watched as her daughters face registered disbelief and then hurt.
"You're on her side?"
"As much as there are sides to this, yes." Doctor Possible shrugged. "I said you've been overdoing it, and getting irritable and angry. Well, that's an example of how short your tempers become recently. It's due to stress and overwork. Hence, why I said you need time off. Oh, and she came to ask me about taking you on holiday a week before Doctor Director asked me about your health. It had nothing to do with me, or anyone else, thinking you need rest."
"She… did?" Kim felt the guilt swell and saturate her skin. "Okay… okay, so I may have overreacted about that, about people sticking their nose into my health. But, but… then the money she used to get the holiday stuff!" Kim managed, trying to defend herself. "I don't want her using any of the cash she made as a thief… working for Drakken, and-"
"Kim, you didn't ask her where it came from and let her tell you." Doctor Possible answered quietly.
"I did and-"
"No, Kimmie. What you did was ask and, before she could answer, tell her you didn't want to have dirty money spent on you. Then you snarled and snapped at Shego before ranting at her. You didn't give her a chance to tell you where she got it from at all."
"Fine, if Shego didn't get it from thievery, where else then?" Kim muttered, the guilt swimming in her system leaving a cold hard lump in her belly. She knew, just knew, that the answer to that question, thanks to the way her mother was staring at her, wouldn't make her feel justified or better. "She doesn't get any money from Global Justice, and she's been working for them since we got away from the Jade."
"And that was something I asked Betty about when Shego first came to me, to discuss giving you a surprise present." Doctor Possible sighed. "Kimmie, I know you never bothered to find this out, nor would you care either way, but the woman you've become involved with? Well, let's just say she's very well off."
"What?" Kim stared at her mother. "Mom, you're a brain surgeon, dad's a rocket scientist… So, when you say well off…"
"I mean that she'd probably be able to buy the entire city of Middleton, most of Upperton, and still have loose change afterwards to live in luxury for the rest of her life."
"That's my point, mom! Shego said she'd given all her money to Global, it was part of the deal to stay with me! I was so proud of her… doing that for us." Kim argued, horrified with the way the conversation was going. "And she… she lied to me."
"No, Shego didn't lie, Honey. She has surrendered all the accounts that were used to store her illegal funds. All that money from the theft, Drakken, and mercenary work was handed over to GJ for distribution as they saw fit." Doctor Possible shook her head at her daughters shocked expression. "I saw the records. Betty got them out for me."
"So where'd she get the money then, eh?"
"She surrendered her illegal funds, Kimmiecub. Nothing was mentioned in that deal about her legal funds. And it is legal, all of it. She had a share of the funds made from Team Go merchandising, and transferred third party control of it to another while she was thieving. This partner ran her stock market shares with Shego's advice and control, and she's been doing very well for herself." Mrs Possible smiled. "You have a very bright woman for a partner, Kim."
"So her money is…"
"All signed, sealed, and legal in the eyes of the law, yes. Very clever, very smart of her as well. Now, if you'd waited, I'm sure Shego would have told you, why would she hide such a thing? But you never gave her a chance to explain, because you were angry and yelled at her. As I said, your temper has had a lot to be desired lately."
Kim's mother watched as the younger redhead in front of her blanched sheet white, and she pushed on with the intent of hammering home a lesson for her daughter.
"Mind you, Kim, you have to wonder where the rant came from. Was this really more a matter of trust on your part?" Mrs Possible leaned back in her chair and tilted her head. "Shego is doing so much for you, letting her life turn on its head, trying to remain on the right side of the law, working for Global- and she does hate it, yes- and it's all for you, Kimmie. She trusts you, but I wonder if you trust her fully yet."
"I trust her." Kim whispered, feeling the guilt well up inside. "I do, really. More, I love her."
"Then you have a very funny way of showing it."
The comment hammered home and Kim groaned, letting her head fall back into her hands. "Great, just fantastic. I've destroyed our relationship before we even managed to get started."
Her body suddenly gave a shuddering heave and Mrs Possible watched quietly as her daughter fought back the tears that threatened to swamp her.
"You're right, Mom. You're right… I didn't show any signs that I trust her more than I did when she was a villain. I just went at her verbally, because you all care for me and she was a handy target! Oh, I'm… I'm a horrible person!"
Relenting, Doctor Possible stood up and made her way around the table to where Kim shook quietly and gently stroked the back of her daughter's neck, quietly making reassuring sounds to her as Kim fought back sobs. Finally, she leaned down.
"I never said you were a horrible person. Kimmie, I think you're tired, I think you need to relax and I think you haven't been spending enough time with Shego herself. You've both been under a lot of pressure, you especially considering the media reaction recently. I think that'd be bound to fracture a relationship. What you have to do now is fix it."
"What do I do?" Kim whispered, her voice so usually confident, now holding an uncertain tremor. "Please, Mom, if you know how to repair what I did… I… I need to know. I don't want her to go, I love her."
"So, you do trust Shego then? You love her a lot?"
"Yes, I need her so much now. It's been great since we hooked up. It's so cool to have someone who gets being a hero, working hard to be the best at what I do, the pressure, everything!" Kim fumbled with her fingers as they lay in her lap. "I kinda said what I did because I was angry with her, you… everyone telling me I needed to slow down, to rest. Because of that, I said such a load of stupid things."
"Then I think an apology, followed by someone telling her girlfriend what she just told me, and finally thanking and using her gift. That should do it." Mrs Possible smiled gently. "It's never too late to fix a screw-up, Kimmie. Not if you love the person involved. I learned that lesson after years of living with James."
"I'd better go and find her."
Nodding, Doctor Possible stood up and walked across to the kitchen sink, aiming to wash the cups that had been used. As she looked outside from the kitchen window, however, she paused and then smiled faintly. "Kimmie?"
"Yeah? What is it, Mom? I've got to go and find Shego. She could go anywhere on the planet if I don't catch her before the end of Middleton high street."
"Well, I think someone up there likes you then," her mother turned around and thumbed over her shoulder. "Shego's still in the driveway."
"She's still in the drive… our actual driveway?" Kim managed, unable to hide a sigh of relief.
"Oh yes. She seems to be having an argument with Mara, so it looks like you have a chance to put this right." As her daughter shot to her feet, Mrs Possible scooped up the tickets that lay on the table and waved them. "Say thank you for these, apologise, and tell her you love her."
"That was what I thought I'd do." Kim replied, taking the envelope carefully and taking a deep breath. "I hate admitting I screwed up, I shouldn't screw up!"
"People do, Kim. Fact of life… and relationships. Anyway, don't forget that anything's Possible for-"
"Please, Mom. Not now!"
"Listen to me you trumped up digital clock! You take me home right now or so help me I'll do something you'll regret."
Mara, parked so she could absorb the sunlight and watch the traffic cruise along the street, gazed at Shego with mild amusement and just a little bit of evil delight. Delight that grew and grew as the green woman in front of her stormed across to one end of the Possible drive, and then strode back, hands clenched and twitching.
This was really entertaining.
"I said no."
"Fine!" Shego whirled and swung out her boot, letting it connect with the soft blue bumper of the car in front of her. "Take me home right now or I'll do it again, you damn talking filofax!"
"Oh, ow." Mara replied dryly as her body's suspension took the blow with barely a shiver. "Hit by the big, green, and somewhat garish and tastelessly coloured boot of 'Shego the hot tempered'. Whatever will I do now?"
"Damn you!" Shego snarled, her hands igniting with plasma. "Keep that up, you blue moron, and I'll end up ripping off your bonnet and give you an energy burst you'll never forget!"
Mara grinned toothily and patted herself with glee.
It had been over a month ago since Doctor Possible, Wade, Vivian- and Mara still couldn't work out why the blond woman insisted she call her by her first name- and the combined science forces of Global Justice had finished the last few touches on Mara 'Mk2'. It had been over a month since her humming AI core had been lowered into its armour plated and shock absorbent housing and she had felt the body they had built for her come alive as she'd integrated into it.
And despite that it had been so long ago since that first feeling, Mara still found utter delight in her body, the technology, and the newer, faster, and oddly pleasant, set of senses that Vivian's upgrades to her neural spine network had achieved. Before, she had been able to detect the sunlight playing across her paintwork, warming the metal to the single degree. Now, somehow, she could feel it as well as a delicious tingle, a feeling she found she certainly enjoyed. It was, at its most basic, interesting to say the least.
Of course, she was as well equipped as before, better even, and her armour had been improved yet again thanks to Wade. And although she missed her old body, Mara had to admit that excepting Reincarnation, hah, this was as close as she'd get to a feeling of being reborn.
Now, focusing on Shego's angry face, the blue AI smiled evilly.
"Well, good luck with that. Of course, you do know that, like my last body shell, this one is also plasma proof and hardened that even your gloves won't make even a slight scratch." Mara chuckled and waved a hand. "Feel free though, and I promise I won't electrify my shell and blow you off your feet if you do. I'm really enjoying this scene you're creating far too much to do so. It's a wonder we haven't got an audience."
"Goddamn it! What will it take for you to drive me home?!" Shego snapped, the icy ball lodged in her stomach making her growl and kick the cars bumper a second time. "I don't want to be here!"
"I guessed that much." Mara told her with a snort. "And no matter how much of a lovers quarrel you're having with Kim, I'm her car and hers alone. So, either Kim tells me to take you home, or I do it because I like you. And guess what." Her blue avatar leaned over the bonnet and smiled winningly. "You don't count on either point, Greenie."
"I… wait. Lovers tiff?" Shego snapped, and then roared. "You were listening to us?!"
"No, listening to you means I had a choice. I think anyone a good fifteen metres from the Possible kitchen would have heard you and Kim screaming at each other." Mara sniffed. "Humans and your problems. Jeez."
"I don't need an AI with delusions of grandeur as a relationship councillor, telling me what she thinks!" Shego hissed the words and stomped up to where the AI watched her. "I don't need you, I don't need this family, or the problems going straight, and I'm beginning to think I don't need the cause of all this crap, Kimmie!"
"Wow," Mara shook her head, unafraid of the growling green woman in front of her. "Three months of being together and you still think everyone has no idea how much you need Kim compared to how much she needs you. I'm impressed."
The ice in her belly lurched and Shego looked away. "Kimmie can go screw herself! She said that I was using dirty money to-"
"Do I care? No. Did I hear it? Yes. Now, my opinion is this. Just one little argument and you run away." Mara sighed. "Especially when you were right and she was wrong. You should have stayed and waited for Kim's brain to catch up with her mouth. Now, as much as I hate to do this, but I love Kim… I love her as my owner; I'll give you some advice. I think I have an idea about how to fix this, if you want it of course? "
"You… I… fuck you!" Shego snarled, and moved to stomp down the drive. She didn't need a damn mouthy cars stuck up climate control to analyse her. No, she didn't and… and… going that way would leave her alone, with nobody that made her smile… worse, no-one who could physically fight her to the point that she was enjoying herself. It would be a long, lonely and bleak existence… and it had been one argument. Everyone had them, right?
Shego paused and growled at herself before she turned back to where the blue hologram watched her quietly. Her emerald eyes narrowed and after a few seconds, Shego stomped back to where the car and hologram sat. Mara had begun to hum to herself and ignored the thief as she stood there. Finally, Shego bit reluctantly.
"Okay, fine. You said I was right?"
"Yup." Mara shrugged. "Kim really flew off the handle and she's been doing that for a while. Her mother thinks its exhaustion." A smile flickered across dark purple lips even as Shego tried to assimilate Mara's words. "Personally, I think it's being hooked up with you. I know it'd drive me insane."
"I thought you were going to give me advice on my relationship, not needle me with personal crap you know nothing about?"
"Oh, sure." Mara smirked. "I'll tell you what I think you need to do, to fix stuff with Kim, but where's the fun in not ragging you?"
Shego raised a hand and it burst into plasma as she leaned against, and then slid up, the warm bonnet, staring into the AI's mild blue eyes. "You know, pummelling your bonnet and seeing how plasma proof you really are is still an option for me, and it's sounding better every second."
"Yeah? If you don't want to listen to me, fine. But if you want to try and plasma me to death, one of my options is driving over your foot and staying there, and my weight is measured in tonnes, baby."
Shego was so busy mustering a pithy reply that she never heard the door to Kim's house click open. Nor did she hear the gentle and hesitant footsteps of the woman she loved, and was infuriated by right now, coming closer. It was only when Kim coughed gently that Shego realised she was there, and the ball of ice expanded to freeze her in her place.
"Um, Shego… Mara? What on earth is going on out here?"
The AI turned to Kim, while Shego fought a minor battle with herself, lost, and reluctantly turned angry and hurt eyes to her redheaded lover.
"Shego's been trying to use me as some form of anger management I think. I've certainly stored another fifteen unique swearwords and slang terms into my database. She seems angry that I don't like her."
"No, I wanted this goddamn speaking clock reject to take me home." The thief bit her lip and then kicked the wheel next to her. "I was that pissed off at you, and I have every damn right to be pissed off and angry, Possible!"
"Yes, you do." Kim replied quietly.
Shego blinked at exactly the same time as Mara did. However, while the AI smiled with triumph as her suspicion of what Kim would say turned out to be a hundred percent correct, Shego stared with suspicion.
"I mean, you were rude to me, and you pretty much said you don't trust me. That hurt, Pumpkin. I didn't do all this to be insulted by you like that."
"Yeah, I was. And I did kinda give you the idea that I don't trust you, yes." Kim admitted, and scowled as the words made her feel even guiltier, especially as she could see the upset in the emerald gaze in front of her. A gaze that once would have held nothing more than a gloating challenge and excitement. "As for hurting you, well… I… Shego, can I say I'm sorry?"
"You want to say sorry?" Shego replied, deeper suspicion on her face. "You want me to just forgive you?"
"Yes, you dumb green moron… she does!" Mara snapped, rolling her eyes, and as Shego growled at her, the AI shrugged. "My sister is right. You fleshies are so annoying when you want to say something to each other!"
"Mara, please… you are so not helping right now. Look, could you, um, give me some privacy for a bit?" Kim asked, and she glanced over at the shimmering blue woman. "Please? I have something I want to say to Shego and it's for us only."
"Oh, right. Um, sure, Boss." Mara replied, and then vanished with a flicker of discharging photons. At the same time, the strobing sensor strip across her front, now a deep purple thanks to the upgrades Wade had squeezed in, slowed and then stopped with a quiet whine.
"Okay, the talking car's finally shut up." Shego crossed her arms over her chest, and cocked her head in question. "Well?"
I can do this. Kim bit her lip and gazed at the woman, the beautiful and free spirited woman who had agreed… no, allowed her, the chance to become her mate. To explore the person underneath the one who had become her nemesis for so many years. The thief's hair spilled across one eye, a shimmering fountain of the darkest brown and green. Kim gazed at the gorgeous creature in front of her, and then took a deep breath. Yeah, I can do this for us.
"Shego, I'm sorry for insulting you, for yelling at you, for telling you I didn't trust you, for rejecting your lovely gift," Shego's arms slowly uncrossed and the green woman stared in surprise as Kim stood quietly, arms behind her back and face turned down, as she whispered the words. "I'm sorry I brought up the bad memories of before… us, as we are now, and I'm really sorry you saw this side of me. You mean so much to me now, I… please don't go."
"Let me finish, please?" Kim looked up and quietly continued. It's been great since we hooked up, really amazing. It's cool to have someone who gets me being a hero. I know you don't believe in what I do, but you understand it. I know you also understand how hard it is, working to be the best at what you do. I… I need that, and I know that now. These past few weeks I've been able to have with you, despite both of us working our butts off, have been amazing. You've been amazing.
Shego was speechless, for the first time in years.
Kim took a deep breath and continued. "Basically, I … I want us to have this relationship, I want to make it work. I know it can if we try."
The green woman felt she had to comment. "Same goes, Pumpkin. But it's be easier if I felt you actually trusted me and-"
Kim held up a hand and Shego trailed off again. "You remember at the club, Shego? When you came back, that you said I'd have to put up with you being… well, sometimes difficult to live with?"
"Yeah, I do." Shego admitted. "I stand by it, Kimmie. I'm no damn saint."
"Well, welcome to the other side of Kim Possible." The redhead admitted reluctantly. "Ron calls it my natural 'Kimness'. My family knows about it, mom and dad certainly do. When it gets out of control, which it can, very rarely though, I can be… a little difficult to live with. That was what you saw and heard in the kitchen… I was angry and upset because people were pointing out I couldn't keep going. I wanted to hit out at someone, prove everyone wrong, and you were there. I'm sorry, Shego."
"A natural 'Kimness'…" Shego repeated, tasting the word, and then she smirked. "Would that be the same 'Kimness' that still makes you think you can beat me in a fight?"
Kim's humble expression faded slightly and as she began to glower, the thief held up a hand.
"Joking, Princess, that's all."
"So," Kim asked her after a few moments, the redhead trying not to bite her lip a second time. "Am I forgiven for being a little too… overbearing back there?" She held up the envelope and smiled hopefully. "I do love the gift, Shego. Honestly. And I can't wait for to leave. But I'm only going to go if a certain green skinned woman I love is with me."
"I don't know…" Shego replied, stroking her smooth and delicate chin with a gloved hand. She raised a single elegant eyebrow. "That was an awfully easy apology, Kimmie. I don't think I should let you get off that easily." A sly smirk slid onto the dark lips and Kim shivered slightly at her expression. "So, tell you what. If you do two things for me, then all will be forgiven. How's that?"
"You want me to do two things for you?" Kim repeated, and Shego nodded with the same sly smile and then she licked her lips ever so gently. The redhead blanched, knowing Shego's sense of humour and signs of arousal only too well. "No! I'm not doing anything out here for you, no way!"
"Oh, Princess, do you really think I'd be that pathetic? Please, give me some credit here. Things like that take planning, thought… ways of avoiding citations for public nudity." The green woman continued to stroke her chin, mulling all the possible ways she could use Kim's apology to her advantage.
And then, it came to her and she grinned. "Oh, yes… perfect."
"What?" Kim asked, shivering with mixed feelings of fear and arousal at the suddenly hungry gaze Shego's emerald eyes were giving her. "I know you, Shego… what'd you want from me?"
Shego inspected her gloves for a second, and then smiled, with just a touch of wistfulness.
"More than you could possibly imagine right now, Kimmie, I promise. But I can wait until you're ready, and I've been patient so far. But, for what I want from you right now? Well, now, let's see. For the first thing, we'll go for something I want you to pack and bring with us on holiday." Shego smiled. "I happen to know that in your room, on the very top shelf of your wardrobe is an innocent little cardboard box and-"
Kim let out a gasp. "You've been prying?"
"Only a little bit, Kimmie." Shego held out her forefinger and thumb, tightly squeezed together. "A teeny tiny little bit."
"Flattery will only get you some places, Pumpkin. Anyway, as I said, on the top shelf of your wardrobe is an innocent little cardboard box tied with string. I wouldn't have thought anything of it, except for the fact that this box, despite being tied so tightly, showed every sign of being opened regularly."
"Shego-" Kim tried again, flushing bright red. "I can explain-"
"Not interested in the why, Pumpkin. I have a damn good idea and I don't blame you." The thief replied, and watched Kim's cheeks flare an even brighter red. "Now, I want what's in that innocent little box, in your suitcase… the whole contents of it too. I'll decide when and where I want you to use it… and how often."
"Shego," Kim whispered, looking mortified and earning a chuckle for her efforts. "I can't do that. Please!"
"Oh yeah, you can. And if you didn't like it, then why keep it? Mmmn?"
"I…" Kim flushed at Shego's expression, embarrassment making her green eyes sparkle. "Okay, you win… you win! Just, not outdoors. Okay?"
"We'll see, Princess." Triumphant, Shego raised a finger. "And now for the second thing."
"Oh, come on!" Kim complained, earning a second chuckle from her lover. She sighed. "Fine, what?"
"Come close." Shego murmured, and as the redhead did so, she leaned in and quietly whispered into the redhead's ear. After she finished, Shego stepped back, and observed Kim's dazed expression with wicked delight. "Okay?"
"I… um, wow. I…" Kim babbled, her cheeks so red they glowed. "It's kinda obvious what you want to happen on this holiday."
"When you're ready, yes." Shego grinned. "I'm hoping sun, sand, food, and my hot little body in a bikini, will change your mind… Oh, and one of the beaches is private, Pumpkin. So I may not need a bikini. Or you either for that matter."
"No need for a… wow." Kim whispered, wondering why her body felt as if it wanted to launch itself into orbit. "Yeah, we… we can do that."
"Mmmn, Princess you know how to say the right thing at times." Shego murmured huskily and smiled, gently stroking Kim's arm. "Okay then, I forgive you, and happy birthday."
"Thanks…" Kim replied, still dazed and shivering at the touch of her green lover to be. "Yeah… thanks… for everything."
The sudden hum and spatter of blue particles announced Mara's reactivation, and the AI blinked at the scene in front of her, blue eyes flicking down to where a green glove was rubbing Kim's skin in gentle circles. Her sensors picked up the spike in Kim's vitals, all of them spiralling into the higher region of arousal, and she narrowed her eyes.
"What the heck were you two talking about while I was gone? I thought you were leaving in a huff, Greenie?"
"Oh, I was…" Shego glanced across at the AI. "But that changed after Kimmie and I had our little heart to heart."
"About what?" Mara asked, glancing across at Kim's dazed and flushed expression. "What did you do to Kim?"
"Nothing, yet, but our little discussion was basically about how much I'm hoping our vacation will involve Kim and me having incredible, intense, and mind blowing sex." Shego told the AI, and flashed a wicked grin.
"You… Kim…. Oh! Oh man! I… together? Organic… copulation? Oh! Neural net overload, emergency reboot!" Mara's face went completely blank, her purple eyes rolled up into the back of her head, and she fell to the tarmac, body hovering ever so slightly above the surface.
Blinking, Kim glanced down and the dazed expression faded from her face as she took in the floating, unconscious, hologram. "Shego! What have you done to Mara?"
"Nothing she won't recover from." The thief replied smirking and quietly chalking one up for her side. "Speaking of which, Kimmie. When I do get to show you how… agile I can be? That's exactly the expression I want from you."
"Will you stop? I said I'd do the things you want!" Kim pleaded, glancing around. "You've already broken my car, please don't break anyone else! Especially mom with stuff like that!"
"Hmmm, let me see. Tell the calm and composed Mrs 'Doctor' Possible that I intend to passionately-"
"Shego!" Kim snapped.
"Her daughter until she falls unconscious… or not bother and behave?" The green woman began to back towards the house and Kim narrowed her eyes. "You know, Pumpkin, guess which one sounds far more fun?"
With that, Shego winked, blew her lover a kiss and ran for the house, the redhead swiftly following. After a few more seconds, a groan came from the tarmac, followed by a pale blue hand slapping onto the car bodywork.
"Kim? Shego? What happened to me? The last thirty seconds of my memory has been deliberately purged." There was silence for a second. "Kim? Hello? Oh, great. 'Lets all leave the artificial intelligence to pick herself up'." More silence followed. "Okay, maybe only I can touch my body to pick myself up… But I could at least have done with some encouragement!"
WWEE- Classified location
Gemini paced the main lounge of his private quarters and scowled down at the humming PC terminal sitting neatly on his sharply edged desk. He reached down and hit a few keys for yet more projections and estimations to slowly roll by. Each one was less than twenty percent in his organisations favour.
"This is unbelievable!" The bulky, one-eyed brother of Doctor Director snapped. "I refuse to believe that Global Justice will crush WWEE in eight years, unless we stop all operations and go to ground!"
The sudden yapping from the corner of the room had Gemini, also known as Sheldon Director, quickly striding over to a small red velvet cushion nestled on one of his large sofas. Sitting on top of the cushion, and yapping as loudly as he could, the small dog that Gemini treasured, quivered with rage.
"There, there, my sweet little Pepe!" He picked up, cradled and stroked the rat-like animal. "Daddy won't let his evil and trumped up little sister destroy all he's worked so hard to create."
"Oh, really?" A female voice, smooth as silk, asked him, cutting through the air. "How do you intend to stop this from occurring?"
Gemini turned to where the voice came from, and scowled at the pool of dark that took up the area reserved for guests in his personal domain. Someone had turned all the lights off at that end of the room, leaving a single, dully lit, spotlight to shine on the long conference table in front of the pool of dark.
Sitting on the table sat a single glass of red wine, which was suddenly, but gently, picked up by a gloved hand that slid out of the dark. After a few seconds, the glass was replaced on the table, its contents visibly less.
"Well?" The voice murmured quietly. "I'm waiting, Mr Director."
The name is Gemini!" Sheldon snapped, his fingers itching to press one of the many 'disposal' buttons recessed into his mechanical arm. "I don't tolerate people forgetting that!"
"I apologise." The female voice replied, and Gemini was certain he saw pale white teeth flash around dark red lips, before the figure leaned further into the dark. "But do not forget that I also have protection, Mr Gemini. You have already met them once, when I announced my offer of assistance to you."
The leader of WWEE shivered at her tone and blinked as again, shadows within the darkness seemed to move, and two sets of eyes reflected the dull spotlight like laser beams at his chest. He had the oddest and uncomfortable feeling that those eyes were sizing him up for dissection.
"Well, what have you done since you came to me over a month ago? Eh? All you've done is sit in your room, you never come out, and my staff report you keep opening files that have nothing to do with Global Justice!"
As Pepe descended into another frantic bout of yapping, Gemini calmed his pet down and then glared in the direction of the wineglass.
"You claim you have resources, but I haven't seen them. You claim you have unique knowledge about how WWEE will be defeated, but you haven't said anything! And I for one am sick of it! I am the leader of WEE, and I will not be played with in such a manner that-"
A sudden papery rustle echoed across the table, swiftly followed by two dossiers. The hand that had slid them across the table towards Gemini swiftly slid back into the dark, but this time Sheldon Director caught a faint glimpse of an eye patch before the shadowed face managed to be swallowed once more.
As the leader of WWEE picked up the two dossiers, the hidden woman at the table sighed mockingly.
"You have all these profilers working for your projections department, Mr Gemini, but none of them have bothered to factor in the fact that Shego and Kim Possible are now together."
Gemini looked up from the dossiers that had, unsurprisingly, been about the two women in question. "No, we factored them into our original projections. Our estimates were that their relationship would be destroyed within six to eight months. Kim Possible would be crippled at the loss and would no longer be an able force, and Shego would most likely either rejoin the villainy ranks, or retire permanently. None of this had an affect on WWEE's projected success. Not until you came along!"
"No, and your profilers are fools. Shego and Kim complement each other perfectly. Where one has a flaw, the other is there to refine and defend it. They are true opposites, and as anyone knows, opposites attract to the point of peace." The figure sighed. "More people should study the philosophy of Yin and Yang. Together, they are at peace… and a force with no equal. Kim and Shego are the same."
"Yes, yes." Sheldon muttered. "It does seem that Kim Possible and Shego are… bonding more than anticipated. But what has this got to do with WWEE's destruction at the hands of Global-"
"Justice?" A hand stroked Pepe before he could descend into a barking torrent.
"Oh come now, Mr Gemini." The shadows moved and Gemini could swear the two guarding figures shared glances with each other. "It's very simple, and something I'm surprised you haven't realised."
"Oh, enlighten me then." Gemini snarled, tired of the way this person was playing with him. "If its Shego and Kim Possible? Forget it. I'll deal with them in due time."
"No, you will not." The head figure told him, hand sliding out to grip, sip, and replace the wine. "Shego and Kim will avoid every single attempt you make to eliminate them, trust me that I know from experience on this matter. They will eventually both form, and become part of, Team Possible. This mercenary and life saving organisation will be hired by your sister, Doctor Director, to work for her on a regular basis. With each operation that they are involved with, success is certain."
"Now hold on." Sheldon began.
"They will initially end up dealing with the other major villains. How and where will most likely be different from my own projections, but I assure you that they will deal with them quite successfully."
"I wouldn't allow that!" Shedon roared, ignoring the shivering pet in his arms as he stared at the shadowed figure. A quick gleam of the same white teeth showed her amusement at his outburst.
"No, you won't, and you will get WWEE involved. And this is why your organisation will then become the target of both GJ and Team Possible, who will form a mutual taskforce to destroy WWEE once and for all. As my projections indicate, this will all occur within eight years. You, Gemini, will end up in jail, permanently this time."
"No…" Gemini whispered, horrified.
"Oh yes, trust me." Again, the shadowy smile flicked on and off, and Gemini could swear the two forms of this woman's bodyguards were also smiling in amusement. "It's a certainty."
"I won't allow this!" Gemini stood and paced, stroking Pepe with aggravated strokes that had the dog whining. "Something must be done about them!"
"Yes, which is why I offer my help." The voice told him smoothly. "You know of the Blood Jade's destruction?"
"Yes, it was quite a shock to discover they exist."
"Mmn, I am sure." The voice murmured. "Well, it just so happens I knew of their existence far before Kim Possible and Shego revealed them to the world. I also knew of Kara Fang before they killed her."
"That didn't concern me." Gemini snarled. "Though I would have liked to meet the Jade themselves, from what I read in GJ's reports, this Kara Fang woman was insane."
"Perhaps, perhaps not. Of course, true genius is often thought of as insanity." Another dossier slid across the table. "Regardless, in there you will find a timetable of my projected events for the next two years, starting with the destruction of the Jade. You need to examine this and discuss the areas you feel would be best to counter attack GJ and the forming of Team Possible."
"You think it can be done?" Gemini asked hopefully. "If we pool our resources?"
"Oh yes." The figure nodded, the eye-patch shimmering into view. "With my help, you will destroy your sister, her organisation, Kim Possible, Shego and everything they stand for. But only with my help! And the timing must be perfect to do so!"
"So now we wait?" Gemini asked, a glimmer of respect showing in his eyes. For all her theatrics, the woman in front of him was far more deadly and intelligent that he could have imagined.
"Yes. For you see the Jade are most likely about to make a second, huge mistake." The wine vanished one final time and then the glass itself was replaced, empty. "They are going to try again… the fools."
"And while Kim Possible and Shego are busy with them…"
"You begin to plan and assemble those you need to fight them, Gemini. And I will help."
"Excellent!" Gemini hissed, a cruel smile flickering on his face. "And when we are ready, Global Justice and Kim Possible will be destroyed to make way for a new world order… MINE!"
Okay, ladies and gentlemen... that's it. MBS is finished. Done finito... which is why I shall, in the next few months, be presenting MBS: The Parisian Connection to all those who wish to see this story become a series. (raise your hands, LOL).
My thanks to all those who made me think about the storyline, your comments were appreciated and thought about. Some changed the way I intended MBS to go. So, I thank you all. My thanks to Apoptosis for beta-reading the series for me, I couldn't have got such high quality out into the web without your assistance.
As for MBS:TPC... Who are the new assassins? GASP What does Shego want with Kim? We all know, but GASP anyway , What was in the box? guesses on a postcard please to the usual KP forum , Who is the shadowy woman with Gemini? Gasp??
Stay tuned, thanks for reading... and if you enjoyed MBS, please vote for me in the Fannies. Always appreciated.