Thanks for sticking it out, folks, were down to the home stretch! Thanks to my reviewers, some of the gang at ARA, and everyone else who bothered to read. Keep an eye open for more stuff from me. I've got about a half-dozen ideas for additional stories, but I'm fairly sure the next will be "The Legend of Black Bonnie", a story of high-seas adventure and mystery! Arr!
Remember, I don't own any of the characters, the Disney folks do. I recommend they do some more cool stuff with them, to tide us over until season 4; but that's just me.
06—Run, Kimmy, Run!
Larry couldn't remember the last time he'd wanted to have less company. Sure, he got out once in a while, but he spent a lot of Saturday nights alone; surfing the net and watching videos, wishing that someone would come over. Now, he had his eleven-year-old twin cousins, his friend's pet rodent, and two cute girls in his basement gaming room, and he wished that three of them weren't there.
He and Zita were side-by-side at one end of the oversized table he used for paper RPGs, he on his desktop PC, Zita on her notebook. They were playing World of Everlot, locked into a pitched battle with a Grave Wraith in the Bog of Necromancy. In the middle of the table, Rufus was munching deep into a pile of "Pop-Pop Porter's Cheez-ish Food-Like Carbohydrate/Nitrogen Puffs".
At the far end, Justine was debating the tweebs on esoteric physics theory. She diagrammed her models on the big whiteboard Larry used to chart out combat scenes. "Why would you want to fold space inside your bedroom closet?" she asked.
Tim responded first. "We want to make it bigger on the inside…"
"…than it is on the outside!" Jim followed up.
"You've been watching old 'Doctor What' episodes, haven't you. Well, I suppose using a gravi-magnetic dimensional impeller could compress the void scaling constant found there…" She set about scrawling a huge equation on the whiteboard.
Larry interrupted her. "I'm not sure that it's such a good idea to teach them how to fold space; my Uncle Jim is just now finishing the repairs to their house."
Justine was not fazed, stating very matter-of-factly, "A scientist is not responsible for the applications her theory engenders."
Zita butted in, with a touch of sarcasm. "Oh, that's a real good attitude there, Doctor Strangelove." She looked back to her screen. "Larry, I need a healing spell!"
Justine gave Zita the raised eyebrow. "Strangelove, huh? Not tonight, if you keep that sass up."
"What? Oh, right, spell." Larry tapped a couple hotkeys. On the screen, his Elvin priest cracked of a "Holy Interdiction", melting two minor zombies and topping up Zita's HP in one shot.
"Wicked move, Lar! OK, now for the Wraith—oh no!" Zita looked on in impotent horror, as two ghostly apparitions appeared on her screen. "Someone aggro'd another group! Larry, we need to…" She trailed off, as her screen filled with the dark smoke and ichor-spewing horror of the "Unmaker's Torment" spell. When it cleared, a shining ghost of her character was standing in the virtual graveyard. "Ack! Darn it! Hey, buddy, can I get a rez?"
"Sorry, Zita," Larry stammered nervously, "looks like he got me, too." He heard the phone start to ring. "Hang on, I need to get that." He made for the other side of the room.
Jim took the opportunity to talk behind Larry's back. "He's got it bad!"
"Yeah, he wants a crack at Zita's cooties!" Tim was, as usual, in agreement.
"Don't be such little wisenheimers, boys." Justine turned a disapproving eye to them.
Jim shot back. "How can you be so casual about it? He's hitting..."
"On your girlfriend!" Tim finished.
"I'm very secure in our—wait, what do you know about…"
"Oh, come on! We do have…"
Justine blinked at them. "Oh. Well, then." She returned to the whiteboard.
Larry picked up the phone, with his usual "Greetings, this is Larry." After a brief pause he said, "Stand back? What do you…"
He saw a bright green light. And a moment later, he was pinned to the floor. An unfamiliar female figure was on top of him, her chest in his face.
Zita saw it happen, and was over to the scene first. "Whoa, what are you supposed to be, green lady; some kind of sexy orc?"
"Shego!" Tim and Jim said in unison. "Gotta go!"
"Dial it back, tweebs! It's me, Kim." She rolled off of Larry, who was frozen on the ground, with a wide grin on his face. "Zita? What's going on?"
Zita said, "Isn't that more my line?"
"Good point. Long story short, some bad guys used a brain-switch machine to put me in the body of one of my enemies, I used an experimental teleport device to come back to town, and now I have to find her in a big hurry!" She stopped to catch her breath.
Zita put on a puzzled expression. "Wait, I saw you with Ron an hour ago!"
"That wasn't me; that was Shego! What, is she trying to steal my boyfriend now? That's just so low! I have to find them, fast!"
She picked up the bundle containing the brain-switcher. She heard a few components rattle inside. "Oh, no! I think the brain-switcher's broken!"
Justine approached her. "Let me see that." She made a cursory inspection. "This appears to be based on the discredited research of Doctor Brian Swintzer. It actually works?"
"Twice on me, at least. You know it?"
"I can figure it out. Leave it with me, I'll get it working." She hoisted the machine onto her shoulder, and headed up to the electronics workshop Larry's dad maintained in the garage. She passed the tweebs on the way, saying, "Boys! Put down the catapult, we've got work to do!"
"Aww! We wanted to…"
"…chuck these rocks at her!"
Rufus scampered nervously over to Kim's foot, letting out a little worried squeak.
Kim patted his bald head. "Sorry, Rufus; no pockets. Help Justine fix that thing, okay?"
"Hnnk. Gd'luck!" Rufus bounded up the stairs after the Possible brothers.
Kim looked down at her cousin, sprawled on his back with a goofy grin on his face. "You okay, Larry?"
"Heh, soft…" he muttered to himself.
Kim turned to Zita. "Don't let him stay down too long, Zita; and do me a solid, access my website, and let Wade know the low-down. Tell him I'm on my way to my house to grab my gear!"
"That's gotta be a ten-minute drive, you have a ride waiting?"
"I'm taking a short-cut; it's faster if I don't take the street!" Kim bounded up the cellar stairs, out into the night. She jumped the back fence, and started on a direct dash back to her house, blowing through the neighbor's hedge with a flare of green light.
The scene by Ron's van, atop a hill in Middleton Park, was deeply confusing, at least to Ron.
He'd eaten with Kim, on average, once every day for over a decade. She had a fast metabolism, and she often downed a lot more food than you'd think based on her size; but he absolutely could not believe what he was seeing now. His girlfriend had just messily horked down most of his carefully-prepared pasta meal like some Italian wood chipper. She'd finished both servings of noodles, the garlic bread, the salad, and as Ron looked on in partial disgust, she chugged the entire Thermos bottle of Alfredo sauce in one giant gulp. Then, she lay back on the picnic blanket, un-demurely patted her belly, and let off an earth-shattering belch.
Ron tried to be as delicate as possible, hoping to spare feelings. He stammered, "Uh, geez, KP, uh…"
"What?" She sounded a little cross.
"You might want to watch it. I mean, I'll like you regardless, no matter what you look like…"
He used a very non-confrontational tone. "But—and I don't care if you don't—I think you might outgrow your cheerleading uniform if you keep this up."
Shego was wallowing in her self-indulgence; the biggest quantity of dairy products she'd been able to have in years, enough to overpower the enzyme supplements she normally used to fight her lactose-intolerance. Ron's did make her think, though. I'm really going to ruin Kimmy's figure, aren't I. Bonus! She grabbed Ron's collar, saying, "Stow it, cookie! Now, what's for dessert?"
Kim ran as fast as Shego's legs could carry her, and arrived at her own house in only a few minutes. She leapt in through one of the holes in the roof, bypassing the door, and dashed to her bedroom. From her dresser, she could hear the Kimmunicator beeping furiously. She answered it, "Wade! Thank goodness!"
Wade came on the screen with a shocked look on his face. "Whoa, Kim? I guess it's true, then!"
"Unfortunately. Do you have a fix on Ron?"
"Of course. He's in the park, and, uh, 'you' are with him."
"Good. He's okay?"
"Near as I can tell."
Kim suddenly had a horrible thought. "Have they, um, done anything?"
"Kim, I haven't been spying on them! That would be heinously wrong!"
"Ok, no. They've just been eating non-stop. Or, rather, she's been eating non-stop. Here's the coordinates." His face disappeared, replaced by the GPS display.
A minute later, Kim was on her motorbike, roaring off into the night.
"Gimme the cheesecake!" Shego tried to snatch the basket away from Ron.
He dodged out of the way, and gripped the picnic basket in his teeth. He'd been keeping it away from her for a few minutes; she was stuffed to near bursting, but he was tired and hungy. "Kim, this is for your own good! Tough love time! Now tell me what's gotten in to you!"
He tried to shimmy up a tree, but Shego jumped up and grabbed his belt. She said, "I'll tell you what hasn't gotten into me: cheesecake!"
Ron slid out of his pants, and bolted around the far side of the van when Shego fell to the ground. "I'm not sure what's going on, but I know it's not normal!" He jumped in the slider, and out the tailgate, trying to lose her.
Shego caught up to Ron, and got him by the collar. He managed to slip out of his shirt as well. Shego finally tackled him, pressed his shoulders to the ground, and straddled him. "I'm sick of these games! Give it to me!"
Kim charged up the embankment. She'd stopped the bike a few yards back, afraid that Shego might hurt Ron if she lost the element of surprise. She stepped into view, and stopped short when she saw the scene: Ron was stripped to his boxers, 'she' was on top of him, crying out for Ron to "give it" to her?
"Shego!" She cried out, her voice tense with rage. "Get my hands off of him!"
Ron was finally had his fill of confusion. "Kim, why is Shego here, why is she talking like you, why are you acting funny, and—oh. Oh crap."
"It's taken this long?" Shego rendered him unconscious with a quick blow to the forehead. "Real bright bulb you have there, Possible."
"Ron!" Kim ran towards him, but her opponent blocked her. She asked, "What were you even doing here, Shego? I thought you'd be halfway back to Antarctica by now." The two women started to circle each other.
"I just stopped off to grab a quick bite. How'd you get back here so fast?"
"That thing was in the prison?" Shego's face was a complex mix of annoyance and shock. "Why did we even bother—if I'd known about that, I'd have been out by day two!"
"Save it!" Kim tackled herself, and the bitter enemies grappled each other for control.
Shego doubled back, and planted her feet in Kim's, or really, her own abdomen. She landed a few feet away. "Oh, damn, that's going to leave a bruise! Be more careful with my stuff, Princess!"
"Oh, please! You don't want your body hurt, don't hit it!" That gave Kim an idea. She flipped herself over, and landed hard on her back. "That hurt, but it's worth it!"
Shego tried to bluff. "Who cares? Maybe I'll just keep this one; I can handle being seventeen again, for a while. Aren't you happy to have some curves for once?"
"Not like these." She gestured to Shego's chest. "They look like key limes with cocktail olives glued to them."
"And yours are like mosquito bites!" Shego ran forward to grab Kim again.
They came to blows, neither hitting very hard, but both trying in vain to win. They had tired each other out in a few minutes, and stood face to face, panting.
"Ugh, I'm going to hurl!" Shego grabbed at her borrowed stomach, holding back a monster retch.
"How much did you eat?"
"Too much. I gotta hand it to Zorpox over there; he can certainly fill a girl up right. Oh, wait, that came out wrong…"
"Glagh! Shego!" Kim lit her hands.
"Ok, this is new." Shego did a rolling dive, as a bolt of energy scorched by her head. "Watch it, princess! You almost made your hairstyle even worse!"
"It—it just slipped out!"
"Yeah, it does that sometimes. Try to think happy thoughts."
They leapt at each other again, and got stuck in a mutual headlock.
"Shego, let go!"
"No, you let go!" Shego brought her knee up into Kim's abdomen, sprawling her on the ground. "Hah! Even with my powers, there's no way you can—huh?"
She was gripped from behind by a pair of moderately skinny arms. Ron jumped on her back. "Ugh! Take that, you body-snatcher!"
"Honestly, Stoppable! If you're that lonely, take it up with her…"
Ron held a small container near her face.
Ron cracked the lid on the knockout lip-gloss. Shego was down inside a second.
Ron ran over to where Kim had fallen. "KP! That is you, right?"
"Ron! You're all right!" She wrapped her hands around his neck, and pulled his face down next to hers.
Ron put his hand between their mouths, blocking an inbound tounge. "Uh, KP? This night's been confusing enough for me, so how about we get you switched back before any hanky and/or panky?"
She released him. "Sure. Oh, wait, I need you to help tie me up!"
"What did I just say?"
Kim's bike pulled up to Larry's house, followed closely by Ron's van. Kim's body, with its nefarious tenant, was tied securely to one of the back seats. She had regained consciousness, and was starting to struggle and curse at Team Possible.
Ron unlatched the seat; he and Kim lifted it free, and carried it towards the garage. Larry, Rufus, Zita, Justine, and the tweebs were all there. The machine appeared to be in better shape than it was before, but they could see the tweebs and, oddly, Larry working on it.
Zita was standing by the side of the door when they arrived. Kim noticed that she, strangely enough, had oven mitts duct-taped to her wrists. Kim called out to her, "We got Shego, uh, what's going on?"
"Well, cousin," Zita spoke in a voice distinctly not her own, "we've hit a tiny bit of a snag."
"Larry! Is that you? What happened here?"
"It was a bit of a mishap in testing," Kim heard Zita say. She turned to face her, but found Jim in her place. "We all got kinda randomly shuffled. Justine's almost got it, I think."
"So, was Larry doing some welding, or…" Ron pointed to the oven mitts.
Zita glared at herself. "No, I just wanted to make sure he didn't touch anything, especially himself.. I'd have told him to sit on his hands, but, well, that'd kind of defeat the purpose."
Over by the brain-switcher, Kim could see her cousin's body leaned over the machine. It was, apparently, home to Justine Flanner. "Urgh! A curse on your sausage-fingers, Larry!" She looked up. "Kim. I see Ronald is undamaged. Don't worry, this problem is well within my ability to solve."
Ron looked around the room. "Hey, Rufus! Where you at, buddy?"
Tim came around the corner. When he saw Ron, he started to squeak and jabber unintelligibly.
"Rufus? So that means…"
Ron looked over in the corner of the garage. He saw Justine, writhing around laughing in the voice of a tweeb. She looked like she was trying to reach a bump on her back, but it was moving around under her clothes.
Justine hit herself on Larry's forehead. "Ah, for the love of Newton. Tim! Don't stuff your brother down my shirt!" She returned to her work, and reconnected a final plug. "There. I have it all rigged up. It should put everyone back into their proper heads automatically."
Kim seemed puzzled. "What, all at once?"
"Yes, I've refined the principle. It should be able to return us to the bodies our minds naturally want to be in, if the theory is sound."
"Is the theory sound?" Ron asked.
"It's mine, so yes." She put her, or rather Larry's, hand on the switch. "Let's light this candle!"
"Hold it, Tesla. I'll be outside, I don't want to end up in the mix." Ron dashed out the garage door.
Justine threw the switch, and the garage was filled with arcs of electricity.
Ron was standing next to Kim when her vision cleared. "KP? You okay?"
Kim looked down at herself. A really ugly clothing combination, but it was definitely her own body. "Yeah. I think so. Everyone alright?"
Larry, Zita, Justine, and Rufus all replied in the affirmative. Kim looked over to the tweebs. "And you?"
"Uh oh." Tim said.
"I think we're in the wrong bodies!" said Jim.
"Then just switch shirts!" Ron suggested.
"Oh. Okay!" They said together.
Kim felt a horrible rumbling in her gut, her insides were in revolt. "Oh, geez! How much did you feed her?"
"Hey, normally you're the one to have all the self-control!" Ron grew contrite. "Kim, I'm sorry!"
"I should have known it wasn't really you. I don't know what happened, there."
"She's very tricky, Ron. Besides, you can't assume every time I act funny that I'm someone else. Hey, wait, where is…"
They heard the roar of a starting vee-twin, and the squeal of tires as the sport-bike tore off into the night.
"Ah, crap!" Kim lamented, "Shego stole my bike!"
"Well, it was Drakken's bike first, KP." Ron reminded her, as he struggled to untie her wrists from the seat.
"I guess. Let's just let it go, she won't be up to anything else tonight. I need to go home and digest."
"I'm sorry you didn't get to taste it," Ron said. "It's some of my best work, if I may say so!" He loaded the seat back into the van, and called for Rufus and the boys. "Tim, Jim! We're outie! Let's roll!"
"Oh, totally," Kim replied, as she settled herself into the passenger seat. "What's stuck in my teeth is just spankin'! I just hope I can avoid tasting it a second time."
Drakken was going to die. He knew it in his heart. It had been just over fifteen hours since he left the prison. It was night in the Antarctic, at least fifteen below. He sat, shivering, next to a barely-burning campfire made from a pile of pilfered books and toilet paper.
He tried to eat some of his fruitcake furniture scraps, but they were frozen solid. There's no point. No one will find me. Shego's not coming, the authorities won't be able to track me down, I'll be carrion for a hungry seal in no time! I hope he chokes on me!
Off in the distance, he could just about make out a faint green glow. He paused a moment. What is that, the southern lights? Wait, are there even such things as the southern lights? What does it matter? I'm dying!
"Doc!" He heard a voice call out. "Drakken!"
No way. No chance at all! "Sh-sh-shego!" he called out, barely able to speak through the shivering.
A few minutes later, she helped him up the ramp into the cargo craft. It was a larger version of his hover-saucer, built as an airborne moving van for their frequent lair-relocations.
"Y-y-y-you're y-y-you ag-g-gain, h-h-how?"
"Possible came to find me." Shego sounded bitter about the whole affair. "Did you know Dementor's Transportulator was in the prison?"
"W-w-w-what? Who could be so idiotic as to leave something like that in a prison?" Drakken's anger was warming him.
"GJ, apparently. What dipwads, huh, Doc?"
"Yes, Shego, the dippiest and most wad-like of them all. Wait, how did you even find me? Do you have me chipped, or something?"
"I could just put you back out there." Shego set about launching the craft. "We off to find another lair?"
"No. Not this time." Drakken situated himself, rather weakly, in the passenger seat.
"Wha? No lair? How are we supposed to implement an 'evil scheme' with no lair?"
"There's enough left in the emergency war-chest account to restart the operation, but…" Drakken looked crestfallen. "I'm tired of it all, Shego. Being on the inside, it changes a man."
Shego couldn't believe him. "That was the shortest stretch we've ever done! It was a week! In a luxury suite with robot servants!"
"I just want to take a break. How about I give you your back pay, you drop me off somewhere, and we just take a vacation. Then maybe, in a few months, we start smaller. One country, or maybe two if they're really tiny ones."
"See, that's what I always say. Why are you suddenly listening now?"
"I'm just glad you came back, is all."
"Don't read anything into it, ya mush-headed loser. And I'm going to need to have next week to myself; there's a convention of colorblind bodybuilders in Palm Beach, and I'm feeling a bit lonely."
Drakken leaned against the window, wistfully lost in his own thoughts. She came back. She came back for—uh oh! Frozen window glass!
"Sh'gh! M'face's st'ck to th' wind'w!"
"I swear, why did I even bother coming back…"
Many thanks for the reading, and be on the lookout for the follow-up, coming soonish.