I know, I know, I've been really delayed in posting anything, but the move, combined with a severe case of writer's block, have really been getting to me. I am half done the next chapter of Life Changes, as well as another one-shot that came to mind, but than I saw the episode Job Unfair, and an idea hit me, one that tied in so beautifully as well as actually answering a couple questions related to the episode that always struck me as strange or curious, but which make sense in my universe, if the situation was right. This is that story, which take place during the events of that episode, and is definitely part of my on-going universe, with the focus being Bonnie and Barkin. Bold indicates vision, while italics indicate thoughts.
"I have to thank you again Steve. I doubt I could have gotten this chance without your assistance."
Steve Barkin just nodded, glancing left and right to make sure no one could overhear, even in the private domain of the janitorial room. "Think nothing of it Joe. The number of times you pulled my ass out of the fire when we were in Indonesia together…"
Joe Jones allowed a small smile to slowly creep onto his face. "As I recall, you did you share of saving me during that mission. Fourteen terrorist camps in two months gave us plenty of time to return the favour many times over."
Steve just nodded again. "So what makes you think Drakken will be attacking Canada?"
"The weather machine he stole requires vast amounts of water, far more than most countries possess. Plus, our intelligence states he is intent on moving his activities northward since the incident in Wisconsin."
"But why not just approach them directly? It would be far easier."
Joe just smirked. "Easier, yes, but this gives us an opportunity to… test them ourselves. Actually, it was Doctor Director who recommended this approach, to see how they would deal with… unusual circumstances."
Steve just laughed lightly. "I guess it would at that. Should be interesting to see Miss Possible's face when she sees herself assigned to a janitor for career week!"
Joe's smile widened. "I see you still have that streak of evil running through you!"
Steve patted his friend on the shoulder. "You know it! Remind me to tell you what I've been doing with young Mr. Stoppable to toughen him up. Anyways, good luck!"
The two quickly shook hands, and left the janitor's office, heading for the gym, intent on what they needed to do in the next few minutes.
Bonnie and Tara wandered the exhibits, checking out everything as the meandered through the aisles. Tara had quickly remarked on several that she found interesting, but Bonnie was intent on locating just one person; Dr. Andrea Possible. She had seen Dr. Possible at this thing last year, but had been too afraid to approach her. But that had been before the sudden spike in the number of visions she had been receiving, visions that seemed to focus more and more on Ron Stoppable. She wasn't sure what exactly had happened in the past year, but the frequency of the visions was starting to get to be too much for her, and it was time, Bonnie decided, to get the answers she needed. Even if it meant putting herself in the hands of a doctor and possibly having her secret exposed.
Bonnie was starting to give up hope when she saw Mr. Barkin entering the gym, followed right behind by the new school janitor. "T, I'm going to go talk to Barkin, see if he can point me to where Dr. Possible is."
Tara just nodded. "No problem. I want to check out this video presentation anyways."
Bonnie turned quickly, and began weaving in and out of the crowd. She saw him heading to the small podium, and moved to cut him off. Just as he reached the stairs, Bonnie reached out, grabbing him by the arm. He turned quickly, intent on chewing out whoever had grabbed him suddenly like that, but his expression softened a bit when he saw who it was.
"Ms. Rockwaller, what can I do for you?"
"Mr. Barkin, I was just wondering where Dr. Possible was? I was hoping to work with her for the week."
Steve just looked down at her. "Dr. Possible didn't come this year. No one signed up with her last year, and I didn't feel it fair to monopolize her time when she could be working."
Bonnie face fell, disappointment evident. "Oh… sorry to have bothered you then Mr. Barkin."
He placed a hand on her shoulder before she could get too far. "Just a second. If you are really intent on working with Dr. Possible, I'm sure it wouldn't hurt to give her a call. She seemed eager to help out last year, I'm sure she would be again if she knew for sure she had someone to mentor."
Bonnie's face brightened. "You would do that? Thank you so much Mr. Barkin!"
Steve just nodded. "Just let me take care of a couple things here, and I'll take care of it right away."
He turned and headed back up the stairs, leaving Bonnie with a wide grin on her face. She rushed back to Tara, who was just finishing watching the video, and grabbed her arm tightly. "I got it! Mr. Barkin is taking care of it himself!"
Tara broke out into a smile as well. "That's great! So… are you going to tell Dr. Possible everything?"
The smile faded on Bonnie's face. "No… but I should be able to do what I need to. At the very least, I should get some answers anyways."
Steve smiled to himself as he watched Bonnie take off. This is definitely unexpected. I hadn't expected to get this opportunity for some time, but it looks like Ms. Rockwaller wants some answers herself. This will be the perfect time to test the range of her abilities without being overt about it. Still don't know how Sensei found out about her when I haven't noticed anything myself, but he does know what he's doing.
Steve looked out over the throng of students, but it was a couple minutes before he saw his target. Kim Possible, with Ron Stoppable in tow right beside her, was just coming within range. It had taken a minor bit a rearranging at the last minute to position the booths where he needed them to be, but he knew that, if given a constrained time limit, there was only one booth nearby that would interest her; diplomacy. He just had to hope Joe was ready and waiting to make his move, because it was time to make his.
Steve quickly stood up at the podium, grabbing the megaphone he had placed there earlier. "Listen up people! It's time to pair up with one of the volunteer mentors here today. Choose carefully! Your entire future could well hinge on this decision. Choose carefully!"
Steve watched with an almost gleeful expression as students throughout the room scattered, trying desperately to find someone, anyone, that they could work with. His attention though remained riveted to Kim as she pushed her way through the group of students blocking her way, trying almost desperately to reach her objective. When she launched into a flip over the remaining crowd, he began to fear that Joe wouldn't be able to respond in time. But when he saw her land and quickly shoot off to the side, he knew his friend had been successful.
Steve quickly worked his way through the crowd, clipboard in hand, arriving just in time to see her trying to back away. Moving to block her path, he fought down the urge to smile as she bumped into him and whirled quickly. "Ahh… Possible… and Joe, the new janitor. Interesting mentor choice." Steve turned and slowly began walking away, a satisfied grin on his face.
Kim looked almost panicked. "Mr. Barkin, wait. He's not my…"
"The custodial arts. Frequently maligned and misunderstood, but crucial to all institutions and industries."
"Sure… but I… I was planning…"
"I look forward to your report."
Steve fought down the urge to laugh. He still had a job to do, especially now that the Team Possible situation was taken care of.
"We'll get someone on that right away, Agent Barkin. Good work!"
"Thank you Doctor Director." Steve hung up the phone briefly, before dialing a new number. It rang a couple of times before he heard someone pick up.
"This is Dr. Possible."
"Hello Doctor, this is Mr. Barkin, over at Middleton High School."
There was a brief pause on the line before he heard her voice again. "Has something happened to Kim?"
"No, no… I'm sorry. Kim is fine." Steve heard an audible sigh through the phone before he continued. "I was just wondering if you had time to take part in the mentoring program. I had a student request you, and I was hoping you had the time to help us out."
"I'd love to. Who made the request?"
"A Miss Bonnie Rockwaller, ma'am."
Anouther pause on the line. "Bonnie requested me?"
"Yes ma'am. She seemed most eager to work with you."
"Well, I'm between procedures right now, so I guess I have time to come down right now and pick her up. Could you let her know I'm on my way?"
"No problem Dr. Possible. I'll have her ready to go by the time you get here. Thank you again for doing this on such short notice."
"It's no problem Mr. Barkin, I'm always willing to help out if I can."
Steve hung the phone up and smiled. Everything is now in place!
Bonnie couldn't believe how quickly Mr. Barkin had gotten Dr. Possible to agree to mentor. She had expected at least a couple days, not a half hour. It gave her plenty of time to try and get some answers, hopefully without Dr. Possible finding out anything that could come back to haunt her.
Hooking up with Tara before heading to her locker, she pondered just how she might be able to accomplish what she needed without Dr. Possible finding anything out. It wasn't going to be easy; the second she saw the tests she would be curious. I just hope I can trust her if she figures anything out. I really don't want to be some kind of lab rat, but I need answers, and this is the only way I can do that without making everyone curious.
Bonnie grabbed her books for the week, and quickly shut the locker. From the corner of her eye she caught a flash of red, and moved down the hall towards it. As she got closer, she could indeed see that it was Dr. Possible, but winced when she saw Kim and Ron talking with her. Bonnie took a deep breath, and…
A bright flash, as the lights suddenly came on, blinding Kim.
The serious expression on the new janitor's face showed he would brook no argument. "And so we begin!"
Kim just turned to face him. "Let me guess, some tips on mopping?"
He didn't appear amused. "My teachings will center on… this."
Kim looked at him skeptically. "A vacuum cleaner?""The vacrometer. You will know it inside and out…
Bonnie blinked, and leaned against the locker briefly. Placing a hand on her head, she hoped that she could forgo the inevitable headache a flash like that usually brought about. Taking a moment, she righted herself, and headed over to Dr. Possible and Kim. At least she wouldn't have to pretend bitchy, that last vision had been enough to spoil her good mood.
"…but I'm paired up with…"
Bonnie resisted laughing as both women said her name with such surprise. She could see Kim's face fall as she made her approach, and forced a smile onto her face. At least if my good mood gets shot, I can share the wealth. "Doctors are so fascinating, don't you think? And who did you get for a mentor Kim? Ohhh… that's right… the new janitor."
Bonnie turned slightly when she heard the pager go off behind her. Dr. Possible reached into her pocket quickly, and with a quick glance got all the info she needed. "It's the hospital, we better get going. See you tonight Kimmie!"
Bonnie let Dr. Possible go a couple steps before leaning in to Kim. "Oh Kim, now that you're a janitor, can you do something about the mirrors in the girl's bathroom? They're kinda streaky."
Bonnie stuck around only long enough to hear the growl from Kim as she followed Dr. Possible to her car.
Author's Notes – I didn't expect this to be 2 chapters, but the story just kept fleshing out, and since it's been a while since I updated anything, I figured I'd send off the first part of the story now. I'm thinking of doing one based on the episode Exchange as well, but that will depend on how well this one goes over. Let me know what you think!