Bad As She Wants Me to Be
Chapter 18: Death is Just the Beginning
Rating: M/MA- Language, violence, character death.
Disclaimer: Ron, Shego, et al, are not mine. I've simply borrowed them for a bit and I appreciate the Mouse's lawyers not coming after me for it. Also, the special guest in this chapter belongs to Disney/Marvel. Please don't send lawyers after me, but if an Avenger were to show up on my doorstep, I wouldn't mind.
Author's (final?) note: This originally started way back at the beginning as an experiment to see if I could actually write a sex scene or not. I had no idea just what a labor of love it would grow into. Thank you to all of you who've been there with me throughout this strange journey and kept me going. You guys rock! And as always, to my beautiful wife who somehow puts up with me and is willing to share me with the characters in my brain. …well…at least Ron anyway, she's a tad possessive when Shego's involved.
It had been three months since Ron's court date, and life in Middleton had returned to normal, or as close as it ever got for Kim. Even though she'd come to accept that maybe, just maybe, she wasn't the one he was meant to be with, she still missed him every day. She'd come to dread each time the Kimmunicator would go off, thinking that each time would be the time she'd have to come up against Ron in a fight, for the first time in their lives genuinely on opposite sides of the law. Fate, however, it seemed was taking a measure of pity on her and there had been no reports of any crimes with Dr. Drakken, Shego, or Ron's names attached to the reports. She still went on missions from time to time, when it was something she was reasonably sure she could handle on her own, like Adrena Lynn's plot to turn the Grand Canyon into the world's biggest skate park, or Frugal Lucre's plot to cripple internet shopping by means of a virus that would cap all bids at a one dollar maximum.
Other times she operated as a freelance advisor and sometimes field agent for Global Justice, assisting them on major threats or when it villain du jour came from her rogues gallery. Mostly though, she focused on school, which ironically enough, is where Ron's trial had had the most effect. After Judge Rockwaller was exposed as corrupt, Bonnie had lost her spot at the top of her much vaunted food chain; without her to maintain the strict rules that she'd set up and enforced, the food chain fell apart and students began to hang out with whomever they liked, regardless of what their social standing was. As wonderful as it was to behold, and not just because Bonnie finally got what was coming to her, it was that breakdown of social structure more than anything else that made her miss Ron, the simple fact that he wasn't there to witness something he'd advocated for for years.
As she had study hall for the last period of the day, Kim found herself in the school library preparing for finals when she was interrupted by the familiar tones of the Kimmunicator coming from her back pack. " Great, of course I can't just study in peace," she muttered, shutting her calculus book and rummaging through the bag until her hand found the device. " Go Wade," she said, trying to hide just how tired she felt, " Just tell me it's not…"
If the young genius heard the tiredness in her voice, he didn't remark on it. " No, it's not him…err…them," he reassured her with a weak smile. The question had become something of a routine and while he was as used to hearing it as she was asking it, it still provided a modicum of comfort to know that their old friend hadn't gone over to the dark side. " It's…well," he scratched the back of his neck, " Well I'd call it a hit on the site…but this is going to be hitting all the major news networks within the hour, so I guess it's really a preview of a message Doctor Dementor sent to the U.N."
Kim shuddered as a ball of ice formed in her stomach; while she knew there was no love lost between Dr. Drakken and Dr. Dementor, ever since Drakken had apparently disappeared off the face of the earth, Dementor's schemes had become ever more elaborate and deadly. * If he's sent a message to the U.N.* she reasoned * I'm guessing I'll be working with GJ on this one…which means the wonderful Agent Du.*. Somehow she managed not to roll her eyes at the thought, " Let's hear it Wade," she sighed, " Please and thank you."
Wade's image blinked out to be replaced by that of Dr. Dementor, " Attention governments of the world. If you care for your citizens, you will have wired to my Swiss bank account the sum of twenty trillion dollars, or suffer the consequences." The shot zoomed out to reveal an all too familiar cylinder jammed into what appeared to be some sort of transmitter. " For I, the great Doctor Dementor, have in my possession the pan dimensional vortex inducer. As you can see, I have incorporated it into my power amplifier satellite transmitter. Should you refuse my demands, I will target a different country every hour and have it sucked off the face of the earth, at which point my demand will triple each and every time. You have until midnight tonight to comply, or the first country to go will be the United States of America. I await your reply." The maniacal midget began laughing until the transmission was cut and Wade's image returned to the small screen.
" This sounds bad Wade," Kim said, pushing back from her table and throwing her calculus book into her book bag before heading towards the library door, " What do you think the odds are that he can actually do what he says he can?" Exiting the library she made a sharp right turn and headed for the closest exit, which would put her out beside the football field, giving GJ a clear spot to pick her up.
Wade frowned, clearly thinking it over, " To be honest Kim, I'm not sure. I've reviewed all the data global justice has on the PDVI and their knowledge of its capabilities is spotty at best. Given that it managed to transport you into a dimension where television programs were reality…I think he's got a pretty good chance of pulling it off. Let's face it, not only is Dementor smart, he's also fairly competent compared to most take over the world types." He paused, " Look Kim. I know you're good," Noting the look she was giving him he quickly amended the statement, " I mean the best really when it comes to these kinds of things. But, these are higher stakes than we're used to. Even with GJ, they're usually called on take over the world matters…this is almost a world ending matter…look, say the word and I can call in a couple favors, maybe get Team Go or Team Impossible to provide some back up."
Kim smiled, " Thanks, but no thanks Wade. It's Dementor, I can handle him, no problem. Even with Will Du backing me up, it shouldn't be too much of a hassle. Speaking of which, I think I see my ride. I'll give you a call once we've taken care of things." With that, she clicked the button to end the transmission and ran to the football field to meet the Global Justice hoverjet that had just set down. As the side door opened, she could see Will Du waiting for her, a spare Global Justice uniform dangling from his hands disdainfully. * It may not be the best looking outfit * Kim mused, tossing her bookbag ahead of her into the jet, narrowly missing Agent Du's legs * but at least they've cut down on how much I've had to spend on mission clothes.* " Hey Will," she grinned, knowing how much the informality bothered him, " Good to see you." She stepped into the jet and took the navy blue bodysuit from him.
" It's Agent Du, Miss Possible," he frowned, " I trust Mr. Load has already briefed you on the mission."
Kim did everything she could just to keep her smile in place, " Of course Agent Du," she rolled her eyes, " and considering I'm an Agent too, perhaps you should refer to me as Agent Possible. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go change. Why don't you let the pilot know we can get underway." Without waiting for a response, she turned smartly on her heel and headed towards the small restroom at the rear of the hoverjet's cargo area
Agent Du sat on a bench and waited for what seemed like an eternity for Possible to finish changing. * Why do I have to be stuck with the glory hound amateur?* he groused, checking the settings on his stun watch yet again, and not so casually checking the time while he was at it? Really, she should be more professional by now, like the pilot. I simply told him to lift off and he did, no lip, and we're on our way. Perfect, obedient, professional.* His mental rant was interrupted by the cushioning of the bench shifting as Possible took a seat next to him. Tempting as it was to comment on how long it took her to get ready, he held his tongue, after all, one of them had to be the professional. " I know you said Mr. Load briefed you as to the situation Agent Possible," he stated, " However, if you don't mind I would like you to explain for me your understanding of the situation and our mission parameters."
She knew it was immature but she couldn't stop herself from giving a mock salute, " Sir, yes Sir, agent stick up the ass." From the corner of her eye, she noticed with some satisfaction the way he silently ground his teeth together. * His dentist must love me* she thought with a small smile. " Let's see, I'm going to go with the usual, stop the bad guy, save the world."
Agent Du's eyes narrowed in annoyance, " Rather simplistically put Agent Possible," he acknowledged, " However, I fear there is additional information that Mr. Load was not made aware of as he is not an Agent of Global Justice unlike yourself." He paused, drawing himself up, his chest puffing with pride. " Not only are we to "stop the bad guy" as you put it, but Dr. Director has given instructions that we are to retrieve the pan dimensional vortex inducer as well as Dementor's power amplifier satellite transmitter, or baring that, schematics for the device."
" OK, just wait a second," Kim raised a hand, cutting him off, " Why on earth do we want the PDVI and Dementor's amplifier? I mean the amplifier's not any kind of threat without the PDVI. And as for that wonderful little piece of technology, I say we let it go boom with the rest of Dementor's lair when, inevitably the self-destruct goes off. It's more of a headache than it's worth considering someone manages to steal the darn thing every other week."
Agent Du frowned, turning just enough to see if his ever so naïve partner was actually serious, which, of course she was. " Agent Possible," he started, as though speaking to a young child, "Dr. Director has decided that while clearly those two devices are currently in the wrong hands, should Global Justice take possession of them, it could go a long way towards establishing and maintaining world peace, as no rogue state would dare step out of line if it meant that they may be wiped from the face of the earth." He paused gauging her reaction, which judging by the shock written across her face wasn't going to be complete agreement, at least she was silent. " That is why, it is imperative that there is no setting off of the lair's self-destruct mechanism or allowing Dr. Dementor to do so himself. To that end, Dr. Director has authorized the use of lethal force; if we cannot bring Dementor in to custody, then we are to bring him down." Agent Du leaned forward enough to reach beneath the bench and withdrew a silver metal briefcase with the Global Justice logo on it's side. Settling the case on his lap, he popped the clasps and withdrew an energy pistol and shoulder holster and set it on Possible's lap before pulling a second pistol free and setting it next to him.
Kim stared in shock at the weapon resting on her knees. Yes, she'd practiced with firearms as part of her Agent training, even besting Du's scores for accuracy and speed; and yes, she knew that occasionally Agents had killed or been killed in the line of duty, but she had never expected that she would be asked to take a life…even if it was to save billions of people. She was Kim Possible, she could do anything, except accept such a utilitarian perspective. " I don't do guns Will," she said quietly, " I'll stop Dementor, I'll even save his precious equipment for Global Justice, but I'm not, never have been, and never will be a killer, so you can take this back." She looked over to see that he had already returned the briefcase to beneath the seat and was finishing securing his own holster over his left shoulder.
" Ms. Possible," he said, disgust dripping from every word, " I will not take your sidearm back. You are under direct orders from Dr. Director. Should you refuse to comply with said orders, it will be my recommendation to her that not only will your status as an Agent be revoked but that we shut down your little website. How many people do you think you'll be able to help then? I'll give you some time to think it over." He stood and headed for the cockpit, pausing at the entryway, " But think fast Ms. Possible, we'll be at Dementor's lair in the Alps soon." Without another word, he opened the door to the cockpit and stepped through, letting it seal shut behind him.
Kim sat in stunned silence, alternately looking at the weapon in her lap and the sealed cockpit door. Despite knowing that Du would have her back in the coming battle; he was too much of a consummate professional to let his personal feelings get in the way, she'd never felt so alone on a mission. * That's the difference I guess * she thought morosely as she lifted the holsterd gun and began to slip into it * between having a colleague and having a partner. Ron wouldn't ever make me choose between having to take a man's life and saving everyone else on the planet, we'd find another way. Of course, that other way usually involved a naked mole rat with a penchant for disassembling doomsday weapons, but hey, it worked.* Her spirits buoyed by the memories, she smiled, " Ron may not be with me," she whispered to the empty room, " but that doesn't mean I can't find another way, he'd be the first to remind me that anything's possible for a possible. And besides, it's Dementor, a super villain wannabe with a Napoleon complex, how hard can this really be? Hell, even his dorky helmet isn't that original." Her mind made up, Kim pushed herself off of the bench and headed for the cockpit.
One very tense, quiet half hour later, the Global Justice hoverjet switched into hover mode twenty five hundred feet above Dr. Dementor's not so secret alpine fortress. " Well," Agent Du observed critically as he glanced over the radar display, " no signs that he's spotted us. No other aircraft in the area or indications of surface to air missile launches. Sloppy. Even if the stealth field cancels out radar detection, you'd think someone trying to ransom the world would use some good old fashioned manual spotters as well." He turned to Kim, seated in the jump seat behind the co-pilot and smirked , " Maybe you won't have to worry about using that big scary sidearm after all Agent Possible. This looks like it's going to be an easy one." Cocky smirk firmly in place, he rose from the co-pilot's seat and headed aft to the cargo bay, " Come on, let's get this over."
Kim bristled, biting back a few choice words and shared a look with the equally exasperated Global Justice pilot that clearly said they both thought Du was an arrogant ass. " You know, this just screams trap, right?" she observed as she made her way into the cargo bay and grabbed a parachute from the equipment locker. " No missiles doesn't mean that he's not expecting us.
Agent Du's smirk widened into a condescending smile, " Agent Possible, Dementor's demand was made to the United Nations, which is essentially a glorified legislature. Why would he expect us so soon? After all, he probably expects that they'll be arguing about whether or not to try and meet the demand until his deadline. We'll take him by surprise. Now, if you'll excuse me, one of us has a job to do." Without waiting for a reply, he slid the cargo bay door open and threw himself out into the evening sky.
Kim rolled her eyes as she finished slipping into her harness and ran for the door, throwing herself out after him. * Oh, one of us has a job to do all right * she thought sarcastically * Too bad it's me.* She pulled her arms in tight to her body as fell, doing her best to catch up to Du before she'd need to pull the chute; as much as she'd like to see him get his ass handed to him by the henchmen she knew without a doubt would be waiting, she was at least nominally his partner and she'd have his back even if he didn't appreciate it. * Besides * she thought * this way I'll get to see his face when he realizes I was right about it being a trap.* The thought brought a smile to her face that warmed her in spite of the Alpine chill. Below her, she saw Du's parachute deploy, jerking back towards her; she waited until they were almost parallel then pulled her cord, figuring she wouldn't be too far behind him. As her descent slowed, she caught sight of Du angling towards a skylight at the top of the fortress, and if the past was anything to judge by, it was more than likely where Dementor's lab was. From below came the faint sound of glass shattering as Will disappeared through the skylight, and a moment later, his chute tore away in a strong wind, clearly indicating he'd released it quickly for her to follow. " Here goes nothing," she muttered as she dropped through the hole he'd made feet first and braced for the tug of the chute catching on the broken frame. Seconds later, she slapped her release and fell the last few feet to the floor, landing in a crouch beside Agent Du.
Clearly visible against a far wall was the combination of the pan dimensional vortex inducer and Dementor's power amplifier satellite transmitter, wires running from the bottom of the device into a bank of computers next to it, there was no doubt it was operational and just waiting to be fired. Kim glanced around the room furtively, taking in the darkened stone archways that could easily hide an ambush. At the center of the room was a raised dais, upon which rested a ridiculously overblown ornate throne containing the megalomaniacal munchkin. " Welcome Kim Possible," he intoned, clearly amused, " I have been expecting you."
As they rose from their crouches, Kim couldn't resist shooting Du a look, " I told you so," she hissed, her eyes scanning the room again, waiting for the trap to be sprung and wondering from what direction it would come when it was.
Agent Du ignored her, unholstering his weapon and taking aim at Dementor. " It's over." he challenged, " by the authority of Global Justice, Dr. Dementor, you are under arrest. Now, power down your doomsday weapon and come along quietly or face the consequences."
Dr. Dementor glanced in Du's direction and laughed dismissively before turning his attention back to Kim. " Really Ms. Possible? A Global Justice agent for a partner?" he shook his helmeted head, tsking in mock disappointment, " You know, it was Dr. Drakken's opinion that your old partner Stoppable was the buffoon…and yet, I hear that even though his trial actually ended in his favor, he hasn't come back to you. It leads me to disagree with him, of course I would just on principle, but it seems that you were the actual buffoon." He grinned maliciously, obviously enjoying the way she bristled at the observation.
" Dementor!" Agent Du snapped, his blood boiling that he was dismissed so easily for that amateur Possible, " I'm telling you one more time. Surrender yourself and your weapon into Global Justice custody or I will fire." He paused, his finger tensing on the trigger, " You have three seconds to comply….two….one."
The diminutive villain sighed melodramatically, raising his hands over his head, " Fine, fine Agent, you win. I'll be down with you momentarily; I just need to get my GUARDS!" At their superior's shout, ten overly muscled henchmen in bright yellow shirts and black pants stepped out from behind the archways ringing the room, smiling smugly. " It would seem Agent, that you're outnumbered. Now, I give you the same choice you gave me," Dementor sneered, lowering his hands once more to the throne's armrests, " Surrender now, or face the consequences.
Careful to keep her hands well clear of her still holstered side arm, Kim slipped into a fighting stance, noting from the corner of her eye that Will had shifted his aim from Dr. Dementor and was swiveling on the balls of his feet, aiming at one guard and then another, as if he couldn't determine where the greatest threat was. " I see you got more muscle enhancing rights from HenchCo," she offered casually, " Tell me guys, do the rings cause your balls to shrink the same way injected steroids do or do you just like looking like purity ring wearing bodybuilders?" The comment clearly struck a nerve as the guards took a step closer, tightening the ring.
From the dais, Dr. Dementor laughed, " Ah, Ms. Possible, I do admire your spirit; pity that will be all that's left of you shortly. For you see, their physique is not the only thing that has been enhanced." He snapped his fingers and the guard closest to Agent Du darted forward, moving quickly enough that he was little more than a yellow blur and yanked the energy pistol from Du's hand before crushing it and letting it fall to the floor, a useless lump of twisted metal.
Kim gulped, " You know guys," she hedged surveying the room as she prepared to make her move, " About the whole purity ring thing? Yea…I meant it, you guys look ridiculous." The comment had the desired result as the guard directly in front of her let loose with a primal scream and charged. Kim took a moment to judge distance and speed and then leapt into a series of handsprings straight towards the charging behemoth. At the last moment, she pressed off the floor and flipped in midair before planting her feet on the back of his head and kicking off, adding her momentum to his own and sending him out of control into a guard across the room. It didn't knock them out of course, but it gave her some more fighting room and an idea. " Will," she called, ducking an attempted tackle from a nearby guard, " See if you can get their rings off."
Agent Du bit back an angry retort about how he should be the one giving orders and took off at a dead run towards the tangled henchmen, hoping to reach them before they freed themselves. As much as he hated to admit it, it was a sound plan. Kneeling beside the barely coherent thugs, he grasped the top one's right hand and slid the ring off of his finger, sighing in relief as the body shriveled in on itself leaving a scrawny specimen of a man in an overly stretched uniform. " That's one for me Possible," he taunted, turning his head to see her doing her best to continue dodging the near superhumanly fast henchmen. Sure, she'd knocked them together for him, but left the real work for the professional. * Typical* he thought * She plays around and I do all the real work*. Turning back to his task, he reached for the second thug's body only to find his hand completely encompassed by the thug's. His eyes widened as the henchman struggled to his feet, lifting Du by one arm before spinning in a circle and releasing the Global Justice agent in a perfect hammer toss directly into the base of Dementor's dais with a sickening thud.
From his perch above Dementor crowed in delight, " And that it would seem, would be a point for my team." He turned his attention from the insensate agent to Kim Possible; watching with grudging admiration as she ducked a clumsily thrown haymaker and swept her assailant's legs out from under him. " Impressive," he muttered as she sprang to the downed thugs head and delivered a punishing kick, knocking him out. " Perhaps when this is all over, I'll have to see if I can use some of her DNA to increase their agility." Even with two guards effectively out of the fight, he was confident of victory; after all even Kim Possible couldn't take the remaining eight on her own.
Removing the muscle enhancing ring from her unconscious opponent, Kim smiled up at Dementor, " And the good guys take the lead," she teased, feeling more herself than she had in what felt like ages. " You know shorty this isn't going to end like you're hoping, so why don't we just wrap this up. You give up, we take you in, and you cool your heels in a cell until you actually figure out a way to break out do you say?" Her smile faded as she caught sight of two thugs blurring towards her from opposite sides. Waiting until almost the last minute and hoping they'd collide with each other instead of her, she attempted to cartwheel clear of their path; to her credit, she cleared the henchman approaching from the left, only to be tagged mid- cartwheel by the one approaching her right, the force enough to throw her across the room into the wall. Only years of experience allowed her to turn enough to take the impact with her left shoulder rather than her head, though the resulting pop and lightening bolt of pain that came with it clearly indicated she'd dislocated it
Dementor chuckled darkly, " A tempting offer to be sure, Ms. Possible. I'll give you credit for bravery; however, let me make you a counter offer." He signaled to the remaining guards and as one the began to close in on the injured woman, forming a loose semi-circle, " You surrender now, and I may be so kind as to let you and your pathetic partner live in my new world. Your move."
Kim bit down on her lower lip as she frantically tried to think of a plan, any plan, that could get her out of this mess; unfortunately none came to mind. * I guess my luck couldn't hold out forever * she thought, fighting back tears of pain and frustration * I'm sorry mom, dad, tweebs…I don't think I'm coming back from this one.* Through the slowly tightening group of henchmen her eyes fell on the doomsday weapon, perfectly centered between two of the grinning goons. * Perfectly centered * she realized, a dim light of hope growing within her * just like at the GJ shooting range*. Ignoring the pain, she grabbed her still holstered energy pistol from where it sat against her injured shoulder with her right hand and aimed directly between the henchmen. " It's not your world yet doctor," she shot back. She took a deep breath and began to exhale slowly, just as she'd done in training, her finger tightening on the trigger.
Realizing just what Kim planned, Dementor waved his henchmen forward, " Get her now!," he shouted, the first inkling of panic settling in, " I will not be defeated again by a simple cheerleader!"
Just as the henchmen surged forward, to either stop the agent or if need be, take the shot themselves, the wall just to the right of Kim exploded outward in a shower of stone and dust, briefly obscuring her vision, though a couple of agonized grunts; a few octaves higher than she expected, suggested that some of the debris that definitely struck some of the thugs rather small target areas. " About time Global Justice sent in some reinforcements," she sighed in relief, letting the gun fall from her hand. Turning her head, she could make out two figures stepping through the hole in the wall, though the dust was still heavy enough to hide their features.
" Not quite Princess," came a voice Kim hadn't heard in far too long. As the dust began to settle, twin balls of green fire ignited, revealing the figures.
Kim blinked, wondering briefly if she'd actually been struck in the head by debris and was hallucinating. " Shego? Ron? What are you doing here? How did you know?" More questions flew through her mind, but couldn't make it out as she took in the sight of her unlikely saviors. Shego of course was dressed in her usual black and green catsuit, though, a bit dirtier than normal from the dust clinging to it, while Ron had traded his mission clothes for a simple black body suit and black gloves.
" Hey KP, long time no see.," he smiled as he stepped away from the raven haired villainess, who in turn immediately took a defensive position between Dementor's men who were stumbling back to their feet, and Ron and Kim. " Here, let me give you a hand up. " he bent down and carefully got under her good arm and helped her back to her feet. " Easy does it," he cautioned. Once he was sure she could stand on her own again he released her and turned to face the henchmen, who had frozen in place, unsure just what to make of the new development.
Finally convinced she wasn't hallucinating, Kim managed to get her vocal cords to cooperate, " Ok…seriously, what are you guys doing here? Did Drakken send you to steal the PDVI again? Seriously, he's got to learn that never works out for him."
Shego and Ron traded an amused look, " Same old Pumpkin," Shego sneered, " always willing to see the worst in people." Catching one of the henchmen trying to move forward from the corner of her eye, she fired off a bolt of plasma at his feet. " Ah ah ah sport," she teased, " We're catching up here, we'll get to kicking your ass in a minute, so just chill out."
" Amp down Shego," Ron chided, before turning his attention back to his old partner, " No we're not here to steal the pan dimensional vortex inducer. Believe it or not, we're here to help. Once Dementor's ransom demand hit the news, we figured we'd step in before Global Justice managed to really fuck things up." Seeing the flash of anger in the redhead's verdant eyes, he held up his hand in an attempt to forestall her wrath, " Note, I said that GJ would fuck things up, not you personally," he inclined his head towards the still unconscious body of Will Du where it lay against the dais, " Are you really going to argue the point?"
Reluctantly Kim shook her head, a weary smile playing over her lips, " You still don't like him, do you? I've missed you, you know." She took a step back, letting her eyes travel over her old friend's body, " You know basic black works for you, and hey, one piece…guess that means you don't have to worry about losing your pants on missions anymore" She couldn't be positive, but she was fairly sure the comment got a growl out of Shego.
Ron smiled, " I've missed you too KP." There was no doubt that that comment had elicited a growl from the verdant vixen just a few feet away, " In a completely platonic best friend kind of way" he hastened to add, " Look, you're obviously hurt, why don't you take Agent Dufus there and head out the way we came in, it's a fairly straightforward path, just out through the wall and down some stairs, then straight out through another hole in the wall…we weren't exactly big on looking for doors"
Kim shook her head, " No Ron. I still have a mission to complete and while I trust you.." she trailed off, casting a not so subtle glare at Shego's back, " let's just say this is something I have to see through for myself. Besides, the shoulder's just dislocated, not broken, if you don't mind giving me a hand with it?" She braced herself for the pain as Ron took her injured arm and popped it back into place. " Mother fu…" she slapped her hands over her mouth and blushed, just barely keeping the profanity from escaping.
" Well, as touching as this little reunion has been," Dr. Dementor sneered, "you will still fail. Seeing as the United Nations found it more appropriate to attack me instead of accede to my demand, I see no point in waiting for my generous deadline to pass. Guards, take them, but do not kill them yet. I wish them to witness their failure as the United States is sucked off the face of the planet." He quickly pressed a series of keys set into his throne and the lights in the room dimmed as the pan dimensional vortex inducer and power amplifier satellite transmitter drew power to fire.
The guards broke from their stupor and charged their opponents, determined to carry out the order. " Like hell you're going to win Dementor," Shego snarled, leaping over the rushing wall of flesh as Ron and Kim moved back to back for defense. Coming down lightly, she fired off a bolt of plasma at the power cords connecting the doomsday weapon to the computer bank , severing it before continuing into a forward roll and aiming two more blasts above and below the PDVI, turning the power amplifier satellite transmitter into a hunk of molten slag around it and firmly sealing the whole thing to the floor. " None of Dr. D's schemes ever worked," she grinned unapologetically up at her helmeted villain, " Do you realize just how pissed off he would be if I didn't stop one of yours? I'd never hear the end of it…and sorry, but I am not going to listen to him bitch until I'm old and grey." Her smile widened, " Actually, that was kind of fun, I take it back…I'm not sorry at all."
Doctor Dementor stared at what remained of his beautiful weapon in shock; his plan was so close to success, only to be ruined by Shego of all people. It simply wasn't acceptable; where was the professional courtesy as a villain? Unfortunately, as much as he may have wanted to attack her himself, he was more than aware that he wasn't her match in hand to hand combat. Then again, that's what he had henchmen for. " There will be a substantial bonus paid to whoever brings me her head…the body need not be attached to it." He announced. Looking towards the sounds of combat, he saw that Possible and her lap dog had managed to take out two more of his henchmen, but he felt confident that the remaining six would be more than enough to handle the interlopers. Indeed, two had broken off and blurred towards Shego in a flanking maneuver, leaving four to harass Possible and her friend. It was just a matter of time now.
" Ok," Kim panted, slightly out of breath as she ducked beneath another clumsy punch, " I'll admit it, Shego's almost as good as Rufus at taking apart doomsday weapons." She blocked an incoming blow with her forearm and countered with a punch to her assailant's nose which landed with a satisfying crack and splatter of viscera. " Speaking of which, where is the little guy?"
Ron caught a kick with his upper thigh and winced, " Don't let her hear you compare her to a naked mole rat…for all of our sakes," he grabbed the henchman's foot before it could withdrawn and twisted sharply cracking his ankle; still holding onto the foot, he shoved upwards, throwing the henchman off balance and causing him to fall backward and slam head first into the ground, taking him out of the fight. " And Rufus is back at home…errr…the lair…you know what I mean. We agreed that it may be for the best for him to sit this one out." He grinned fiercely and beckoned one of the remaining guards onward, " Next."
Shego was well aware of the two goons trying to flank her and suppressed a smile, settling instead for turning sideways, so that they were coming at her in exactly a straight line from each side, showing they hadn't learned anything from the first two to attack Kim. Shego feigned a yawn, and stretched her arms over her head, which only encouraged the henchmen to pour on even more speed. * This, is going to be special * she thought. When she judged that there was no chance for the dimwitted guards to alter their trajectories, she lowered her arms to her sides and sent a splash of plasma into each of their faces. With the guards blinded, she leapt straight up and allowed them to crash into each other before landing on their heads and driving them down into the floor. Stepping down lightly, she smirked, admiring her handy work, " Damn, sometimes I'm so good I amaze myself." Glancing up at Dr. Dementor, she waved cheerfully and even blew him a kiss, " You shouldn't be so upset Doc, look at it this way, I just saved you some money."
Dementor scowled, " And I suppose I should thank you for that." He paused, rubbing at his exposed chin thoughtfully, " Your reward shall be a firey and hopefully quite painful, death." He entered a series of keystrokes on his throne and a dome emerged from the dais to enclose the seat; with a low rumble the throne blasted free of the dais and out through the broken skylight into the night sky.
The three henchmen still on their feet looked to the skylight and then at each other before disengaging from their attacks on Ron and Kim and beat a hasty retreat through the hole in the wall Shego had blasted. " Well," Ron observed, scratching at the back of his neck, " that certainly doesn't seem like a good thing." The lights in the room suddenly went out to be replaced with red lights warning lights as the lair's computer system warned that the self destruct had been activated.
" My boyfriend," Shego smiled sardonically, " master of understatement." There was the muffled sound of a distant that was strong enough to shake the room. " Princess, Ron, I think we should follow their lead and get the hell out of here while we still can. Another, closer blast, rocked the room as the trio began to make their way for the hole.
" Wait!" Kim cried, " Much as I hate to admit it, we can't just leave Will here to die." She turned to find that Agent Du had finally regained consciousness and was unsteadily making his way to his feet.
" Well," Shego drawled, " His being mobile will make this easier." Turning her attention to the wobbly agent she yelled, " Move your ass Agent Dufus or lose it, your choice."
Du startled, staring at Shego and then Ron, " Shego, Stoppable! I shouldn't be surprised that you'd be here too. What happened? Decide to ditch Drakken for someone who looked like he'd actually pull off world domination?" He spat in disgust, " So much for the vaunted honor among thieves." His eyes shifted to Kim, " Agent Possible, arrest them as accessories to Dr. Dementor's scheme."
Kim rolled her eyes, " Oh for the love of…Will, we can discuss your paranoia later, after we find a proctologist to get your head out of your ass, now come on, the whole place is set to blow." There was another rumble of explosives and a thick cloud of smoke rolled in through the archways at the far end of the room. Kim's eyes widened as what was left of the dais trembled and began to fall towards Agent Du. She started to run in his direction, not even entertaining the thought that she wouldn't get to him in time. She was brought up short as Shego blew past her and shoved Agent Du well clear of the falling debris. She however, didn't quite clear it herself, a large slab lay across both legs, pinning her face down to the floor.
" Shego!" Ron screamed, practically flying to her side and trying to budge the stone from his love's legs. He was dully aware of Kim kneeling beside him and pushing at the stone as well. " Damn it Shego," he whispered, " He wasn't worth it, not by a long shot." He glared at Agent Du who had walked over and was staring down at the trapped woman, his eyes slightly glazed. " This is your fault," he hissed, " You're the so called good guy and you're so narrow minded that you couldn't see that we were here to help. That she was here to help. Hell, she stopped Dementor's whole fucking scheme while you were unconscious." There was a louder blast from the far end of the room and flames joined the smoke slipping under the archway.
" Ron," Shego coughed, turning her head to the side and pressing her arms against the ground before collapsing again, " It's time to go. You know we're not going to get this damn rock off of me, get out of here."
Ron moved to her side and took her hand gingerly, " Not a chance." He turned to face Kim and Agent Du, tears silently running down his cheeks, " You two get out of here, now. Just because Dementor's been stopped for now, doesn't mean that the world won't need saving again and you guys have the best shot of pulling it off. " He gave a weak laugh, " Well, provided Will here avoids any further head trauma. Now go."
Kim wiped at her eyes, not surprised to find that she was crying. * Hmmm…crying over Shego * a small, detached part of her mind noted * I guess I can honestly believe that stranger things have never happened*. " Ronald Stoppable, after all that we've been through, the good and the bad, if you honestly think I'm going to leave you to die you've got …." She trailed off at the determined look in Ron's eyes.
" Kim, the world needs you a lot more than it needs me," he said with a small smile, " Right now, Shego needs me." He gave his love's hand a soft squeeze before turning his attention to Agent Du. " Will, get her out of here, you know what you have to do." He grinned briefly, " Sorry, you probably get that all the time. Take care of KP for me."
Agent Du actually smiled, " I will Ron." Before Kim could object or ask what Ron was talking about, Agent Du aimed his stun watch at the redhead's back and fired; catching the young woman before she could hit the floor. He tossed her over his shoulder in a fireman's carry and paused, glancing back at Ron and Shego. " Ron, Shego…" his adam's apple bobbed convulsively as the words fought their way out of his throat, " I'm sorry." As the closest explosion yet rocked the room, threatening to collapse the exit Shego had made, he turned and bolted from the room.
Fifteen minutes and a few close calls later, Agent Du sat in the cargo bay of the Global Justice hovercraft that had set down in an open field not far from where the fortress had been; his head in his hands, he couldn't figure out how the mission could have gone so wrong. For once, he couldn't find any way in which it was the amateur's fault. * How am I going to explain this to Possible? * he wondered, looking up to see her slumped against the wall of the cargo bay.
Kim fought her way back to consciousness slowly, rubbing at her eyes with leaden hands * Whoa, did anyone get the number of the bus that hit me?* A small smile spread across her face * Great, I'm thinking like Ron. Ron!* Her eyes flew open as the reality of what had happened in Dementor's fortress slammed into her. It took her a moment to realize that she was sitting in a Global Justice hoverjet; as her focus settled on Agent Du across from her she growled, " You son of a bitch!" His head flew up at the sound of her voice, only to bounce off the wall as her fist connected with his face. " How could you Will?" She grabbed his collar, everything in her screaming to throttle the life out of him, " You stunned me and left my best friend to die just to save your own sorry ass?" She cocked her fist again only to find her arm caught at the elbow by the hoverjet's pilot before she could strike.
" Agent Possible," the pilot stated nervously, " Don't. It won't bring your friend back." He waited until he could see the rage in her eyes die down to be replaced by an infinite weariness. " I came back here to tell you we're getting a message from Mr. Load. You can take it up in the cockpit" The words were barely out of his mouth before Kim had released her grip on Du's collar, letting him drop to the floor. The pilot looked down at the battered Agent Du and shook his head in disgust, if what he'd heard was even remotely true, he couldn't blame Agent Possible for losing it a little. " I picked a hell of a day to stop smoking," he muttered before stepping outside to give Agent Possible some privacy.
Kim dropped tiredly down into the pilot's chair and reached out to key the receiver to broadcast the message onto the hoverjet's head's up display. " What's the sitch Wade?" She asked hopefully, after all, it wouldn't be the first time they had pulled off a last minute escape. However the deep red around Wade's eyes didn't bode well.
" Sorry Kim," the young man said, fighting back a fresh wave of tears, " I got what appeared to be a hit on the site. When it I saw that it was a message from Ron for us, I traced the IP and it was coming from Dr. Dementor's lab. I know that I should have waited but I thought it might have been some sort of trap." Her paused, tears leaking from his eyes, " I think you should see this too." He reached for a button on his end of the transmission and his image was replaced by Ron's.
" Hey KP," Ron said, trying to smile and not quite managing it as further explosions could be heard behind him, " I just wanted to tell you not to be too mad at Will. I meant it when I said that the world needs you more than it needs me. You're Kim Possible, you can do anything, and I want you to remember that." He coughed as the screen was momentarily obscured by smoke, " If our positions were reversed, I'd have wanted you to make the same decision." He paused, his eyes glazing over, " Actually, if our positions were reversed, it would mean you were the one in a relationship with Shego…hmmmmm…" he managed a weak laugh, " Sorry, I couldn't help it. I know she was your nemesis KP, but I wish we had more time so you could get to know her like I know her; I don't know how to put it better than this, she makes me happy Kim." He looked at something out of the camera's range. " I don't have much time…and Wade needs to hear this too." He paused as if gathering his thoughts, " I, Ronald Stoppable, being of sound mind and above the age of majority, do hereby authorize the release of all present and future Naco royalties from their holding account to the joint control of Mr. Wade Load and Ms. Kimberly Anne Possible." He smiled, his eyes watering, " Surprise, you guys deserve it and I know you'll be more responsible than I was the first time around. I have just one request. I want you both to take some of the naco fundage and set it aside for college. And Kim, if you could also set up college funds for Jim and Tim; and tell them I'm sorry I won't get to see them grow up, they're going to do some great things." Tears were freely flowing down his face, " Ok, I have to go. I love you guys." The transmission cut out suddenly.
Kim wiped ineffectively at the her eyes, waiting for Wade's image to come back to replace the black screen; after a couple of minutes without the screen changing, she checked her end of the transmission and saw that it was still connected, " Wade?" she asked, " Are you there? The screen's gone black."
" Yea, I'm here," came Wade's disembodied voice, " Sorry Kim, I'm just having a little technical difficulties with the transmission. You know how computers are." There was the not so subtle sound of sniffling.
In spite of herself, Kim smiled, " Yea, I know." She paused, doing what she could to pull herself together for her young friend. " It's going to be ok Wade." She didn't know how, but she was determined to make sure it really would be.
" I know Kim," Wade replied, sounding just about as sure of it as Kim did. " Hey," he paused, " will you let me know when all the…arrangements are in place? I think I'd like to be there for him."
Kim felt her smile grow wider even as she had to blink away tears, " Of course. I think he'd like that too." She glanced out the window to see what appeared to be nearly the full fleet of Global Justice hovercraft approaching the remains of Dr. Dementor's fortress. " Hey Wade, I've got to go. Duty calls." She paused, " I'll get back in touch with you as soon as I can, and if you need to call, for any reason you can."
It seemed to lift his spirits just a bit, " Thanks Kim. Talk to you soon." There was a barely audible click and the heads up display indicated that the transmission was terminated. Kim took a moment to compose herself and then headed out to get the pilot, after all, as she'd told Wade, duty called; she could break down on her own time later.
The Global Justice investigation of what was left of Dr. Dementor's fortress took little over a week to complete and through review of the remains found in the lab and dental and medical records in the Global Justice database, it was confirmed that neither Ronald Stoppable nor Shego had survived the blasts that had destroyed the building. What Kim found the most irksome was that despite the loss of Ron and Shego; who she was surprised to find she genuinely mourned, Global Justice considered the overall mission a success. Not only had Dr. Dementor been stopped, but they had found a cache of doomsday weapons and plans in an intact bunker. Fortunately, the upper echelons of Global Justice command were spared her immediate wrath as she had thrown herself into the funeral preparations for both Ron and Shego.
Two weeks after the mission in the Alps, Middleton Memorial Cemetery was overflowing with mourners. Dignitaries from around the world, celebrities like Britina and the O'Boyz, and the everyday people that Ron had helped as part of Team Possible had flocked to the town to pay their respects to a young man who'd never have realized just how much of an impact he'd made on their lives. Due to the extreme security issue raised in protecting the various world leaders, including the President of the United States, Global Justice forces and the Middleton Police were supplemented by S.H.I.E.L.D forces and Team Go, who had come in to say goodbye to their sister. There had naturally been some controversy over the decision to honor a noted criminal in the same way as a local hero; however, Kim and sto her surprise Agent Du had argued until they were blue in the face that Shego deserved to be honored for her sacrifice too and seeing as there wasn't enough left from the blast to give a proper burial, the Stoppables and Team Go had been presented with urns containing the remains of their loved ones, while twin eternal flames were established in the cemetery.
Kim had declined the opportunity to sit with the diplomats and dignitaries to sit with her family and the Stoppables before the simple stone monument which would house the flames once ignited. She knew she should be paying attention to what the President had to say about her friend but found her mind wandering. She glanced down the row of folding chairs and saw Wade sitting with his mother at the end, looking just as lost as she felt. He turned his head and met her gaze, offering a sad smile, which she returned with what she could only hope was a supportive wave. She was pulled from her reverie by a tap on the shoulder. " You're up Kimmie-cub," her father informed her, giving her shoulder a quick squeeze and nodding towards the now empty podium before the monument.
Somehow she got her leaden legs to cooperate and she made her way behind the podium, on the front of which were mounted two photos provided by the families, one of Ron, the other of Shego. " I..I don't want to be here today," she started honestly, " I wish that none of us had to be here today and we could have our loved ones back." She took a deep breath and gripped the edges of the podium for support. " Ron Stoppable was, is, and always will be my best friend. We met fourteen years ago on our first day of Pre-school. He was this kind of weird kid with an impressive vocabulary for a four year old and an imaginary best friend named Rufus," she smiled at the memory, " he was also, the only one there willing to talk to a shy little redheaded girl. He must have recognized somehow the two outcasts belonged together. He never cared what other people thought of him, taking "never be normal" as his personal motto. Even as we got older and like everyone else, I just wanted to fit in, he had no problem with standing out." She laughed softly, " Though his definition of standing out usually lead to ridicule from the "popular" crowd, it didn't bother him, but the moment anyone would say anything negative about me, he was there defending me. That's what made him truly stand out, he was an outstanding friend, never one for the limelight; he preferred to hold the light for others. He never would accept the title of hero, or even acknowledge that he was a partner in Team Possible; he viewed himself as just the sidekick, just the distraction." She paused once more and looked out amongst the crowd, seeing several heads nodding at the truth in her words. " But the thing is, he was more than my friend, he was my inspiration, my hero. No matter what, he never gave up. Even when faced with his own death, he reminded me of how much he believed in me; his faith is a gift that I can never repay and his passing will be a loss I feel every day for the rest of my life."
She closed her eyes, not quite sure what to say, and when she opened them, she found herself staring directly at Team Go, taking a moment from providing security at the back of the crowd. Knowing they'd lost just as much as she had, she found the strength to continue. " I'd like to just take a moment to say a few words about Shego." She said softly and waited for the murmur of the crowd to die down. " I think we're all aware that there was no love lost between the two of us, but I respected her. Not for what she did," she raised her hands for quiet as another murmur spread through the crowd, " At least not in the last few years. But she challenged me, never letting me get away with giving anything less than one hundred percent. I've often thought that I could have ended up like Shego but for the grace of Ron. She started off as a teen hero, and she ended her life as a hero again, the stuff in between doesn't matter anymore as far as I'm concerned and I know that change had something to do with being in love with Ron." She wiped at a tear that had broken free from her eye, " I wish that I could have gotten to know her the way he did. If Ron could find something worth loving in a woman that most of the world had written off, then maybe we weren't looking hard enough. And that is the message that we should take away from this, if anything, we should take a closer look at the people around us before we make any judgments. While we may only get one chance to make a first impression, that doesn't mean that it's the right impression. Thank you." Wiping at her eyes, she made her way down from the podium and back to her family.
After her eulogy the funeral mostly broke up, aside from a few mourners who had stayed to give their condolences to the Stoppables and so Kim found herself relatively alone before the monument, lost in thought as she gazed into the two flames, one bright blue to represent Ron, the other a deep green; naturally, for Shego. She knew she should go, Felix, Monique and the majority of the cheer squad had planned a wake of sorts for later so they could say goodbye in private, she just couldn't bring herself to move. * Damn it Ron* She thought angrily, wiping away tears for what had to be the millionth time over the past couple of weeks * What am I supposed to do without you?* It was silly, she knew, but she almost expected to get an answer from the flame. She was brought out of her thoughts by as soft clearing of a throat behind her. She paused as the sound was repeated * If I have to deal with one more reporter asking me about the real Ron Stoppable, so help me there's going to need to be another funeral today* she mused in frustration. Swallowing her irritation, she turned to face whoever it was, " Yes?" she asked, keeping her voice as even as possible.
The man behind her appeared to be in his mid-thirties, maybe his early forties, with chestnut brown hair which had patches of white running through it at the sides starting at the temples. He wore a black trench coat over a royal blue bodysuit; but perhaps the most striking thing about him was the eyepatch. " That was a beautiful eulogy, Ms. Possible," he stated without preamble, "very moving. I didn't mean to interrupt, but I wanted to come over and offer my condolences in person."
Kim did her best not to stare at the eye patch. * Geez, you'd think after years of dealing with Dr. Director I'd be used to people with eye patches * she thought, a small smile tugging at her lips * If Ron was still here he'd never stop teasing me*. Still, there was something familiar about the stranger; she felt almost as though she should know who he was. " Thank you," she replied, " That's very kind of you." She offered the stranger a smile and turned back to the flames, hoping he'd get the message and leave her in peace. When She heard him step forward to stand next to her, she knew that wasn't going to happen.
They stood in an awkward silence for a few moments before the stranger spoke again. " So, have you given any thought to what you're going to do now?"
Kim bristled, but decided to be polite, " Not a lot," she admitted, " College in the fall and I'm still going to do what I can to help people. I owe Ron that much."
The stranger nodded, " Global Justice?"
Kim swore she could almost hear Ron's voice telling her to amp down; all she wanted was to be alone and this guy just wasn't getting it. " Actually, I don't think so," she answered tersely, " I'm not sure I'd be a good fit with them anymore, we've had some differences of opinion on some things lately." As annoyed as she was to have her space intruded upon, it was oddly relieving to get that out in the open.
The stranger turned to study her profile thoughtfully, " I'm not surprised," he stated matter of fact, " I've read your file. I was hoping you'd be willing to sign on with my organization, we could use someone with your unique skill set and who isn't afraid to think outside the box."
At that, Kim whirled to face him, staring into his eye, " What the hell gives you the right to look through my file?" she seethed, her hands curling into fists at her side, " Who the hell do you think you are?"
The stranger smirked, clearly amused by her reaction. " Sorry, I've forgotten my manners," he held out his hand, " Nick Fury, director of S.H.I.E.L.D." It was a challenge but he kept from laughing as the redhead's anger gave way to shock and her jaw dropped as she numbly shook his hand. " And as I said, I've read your file. Based on your scores on both intelligence and physical testing, you're clearly in the top five percent of non-super powered people on the planet, with the right training, you could easily move up even further. We'd like to offer you that training."
Kim sputtered in shock, dropping his hand, " If you've read my file, then you know exactly what my problems are with GJ, sir." She paused, carefully considering her words, " I don't know how working for S.H.I.E.L. D would be that much of a difference."
Fury nodded slowly, " I understand. You're used to being the one giving the orders and making the plans. It's also my understanding that you have issues with using firearms or taking a life in the course of a mission" He held up a hand, cutting off the argument he saw in her eyes, " Or that's the cliffs notes version anyway." He paused, " However Ms. Possible, while firearms training is required for all S.H.I.E.L.D agents, not all my agents believe in using them either; furthermore, there are several independent contractors shall we say, who occasionally work under our direction. People who, like yourself, don't believe in taking a life. I think you'd fit right in." He reached into his coat pocket and withdrew a business card, " You don't have to answer right away, I want you to think it over though." He placed the card in her hand and then turned and walked away without so much as a look back.
Kim stood there for a moment watching as he walked away, then looked down at the business card in her hand, not daring to believe it was real. There was a sudden whoosh from the monument and she turned back to it curiously. * I must be imagining things * she thought * there's no way Ron's flame is actually brighter. * Still, the thought comforted her. " Still looking out for me, aren't you Ron?" She whispered with a smile as she slipped the card into her pants pocket before turning and walking away from the monument.
It was well after midnight and Middleton Memorial cemetery had been cleared of mourners and all signs of the massive gathering that had taken place earlier in the day when three figures snuck in amongst the graves and made their way to stand before the twin flames of the memorial.
" I still don't know why we had to come here at night," Dr. Drakken shivered, looking around warily at the surrounding tombstones, " After all, you both sat and watched the funeral, did you really need to see this in person?"
"Yes!" Ron and Shego answered at the same time. Holding hands the pair stood before the flames in silence for a moment.
Ron, naturally, was the first to speak, " This is so weird," he smiled, turning to watch the play of light and shadow across Shego's face, " I've gotten the feeling that someone was walking over my grave before, I just never thought I'd be the one to do the walking."
Shego rolled her eyes good naturedly and gave his hand a squeeze, " Of course you couldn't be serious, even at at time like this." She gazed at the flames a moment longer, " Never thought I'd get a hero's funeral," she admitted. " So, where do we go from here?"
Ron shrugged, " I don't know. This whole being dead thing is new to me too." He paused and smiling, "But we just saved the world. I'm thinking a vacation is in order. What do you think Rufus?" He looked down to the pocket of his cargo pants where the naked mole rat was riding comfortably.
" Hmmm…yep yep…beach!" Rufus squeaked, nodding enthusiastically.
Shego grinned, " Sounds like a plan. And I do know of a few rather secluded islands where we could spend some quality time together." She winked and gave Ron's hand a reassuring squeeze, " You ready to go?"
Ron nodded, tearing his gaze away from the flames. Together they turned and made their way out of the cemetery, the same way they had come in, leaving Dr. Drakken to follow behind them, still watching the graves intently. " Errr…," he stammered, " a vacation is all well and good, you two obviously need more time to yourselves…but you do plan on moving out of the lair at some point right? Maybe even finding a lair of your own? One perhaps where the henchmen won't be afraid to open the broom closets when they need to get cleaning supplies? Right?"