"I'll tell ya later, Ruf. Right now, it's 'Deep Space Nine' time!"
Again with the small-talk, Shego thought while driving Kim to the Radisson Hotel, well, she SAID she wanted to do this, and by GAWD I'm not gonna pass up the chance. So just yammer away, Pumpkin... your ass is mine. So to speak. She smiled broadly to herself while Kim went on about everything she didn't know about Jazz.
And she kept it up, too, right up until Shego opened the lobby door for her. Perhaps that's when it hit home for the red-head: she was going to DO this. Kim's mouth clamped shut like a bear-trap.
No luggage, just two shoulder-bags. The Presidential Suite. No food. Champagne on ice. Gold card.
Shego pinned Kim to the wall, trapping her between her arms as soon as the door shut behind them. "You're suddenly awful quiet..." she said, looking straight into the younger woman's eyes purposefully.
For her part, Kim held the stare without glancing away, for a change. Her mind was torn – Am I really going to DO this? God, I want this SO much! Am I really going to DO this?
"Uh... heh... yeah. Look, Shego... I'm... I'm sorry I'm such a... so 'Mayberry'. I've never done this... anything like this... with anyone... So, uh..."
"You're not about to say 'be gentle with me' are ya?" the villainess said, and started nuzzling beneath Kim's ear.
"Uh... it's really hard to think while you're doing that... but... yeah..."
Shego looked back into the so green - and a little frightened - eyes, "That's not really my way, Pumpkin. Not a gentle woman" she smiled with a trace of meanness.
"Make an exception? For me? Just this once?" Kim said, speaking her heart and finding it easier than she'd have ever thought it would be, somehow.
Shego sighed and put her arms down, "Yeah okay. For you, Princess, I'll be gentle. This time. God you are so cute I could just eat you with a spoon!"
The suddenly worried and perplexed look on Kim's face made Shego laugh out loud, "Oh, Pumpkin! Don't worry... there's no actual table-ware involved..."
There was a brief respite while the champagne was delivered. After the waiter left, Shego poured two tall, slender glasses, and handed one to Kim, who was looking out the balcony window, trying to hide her blush.
"I'm underage, Shego. This is illegal... Besides, I don't want to get drunk for -"
"Oh, please, Kimmie... it's just champagne. You are not going to get drunk from one glass, I promise" she took a sip, "If I wanted to get you drunk, I'd have ordered Long Island Iced-Teas instead. You might wanna remember that for future reference" she said with a conspiratorial tone, smiling openly.
Kim sipped her first alcoholic beverage, ever. It tickled, and she giggled. And Shego... she felt something new inside. My god... how can anyone BE so sweet! How come I never noticed... I need to sit down...
"Want to sit on the balcony? As I understand it, the first step of 'being gentle' is talking – not that you've actually stopped since I picked you up... well, until recently."
"Uh, someone might see -"
"Okay, but I need to sit somewhere, you're making me..." Shego looked away - she hadn't really meant to say that out loud.
She passed up an opportunity to make fun of me? Kim thought, I was SURE she'd make a smart remark about me being afraid someone would see... What's going on with her? "I'm making you what?"
She looked back up at Kim's face, "You're making me dizzy. Okay? Uh..." she took a chair without finishing whatever was going to come after the 'Uh'.
"It's just the champagne..." Kim offered.
"No, Kim. It's not the champagne. It's you. Sorry if that's TMI... I guess I'm kinda on new ground too, here..."
A meaningful moment of silence passed between them as they each sipped from their glasses; both of them wondering what was happening – and about to happen – to them.
After nearly three minutes – it sure seemed like longer – Shego spoke.
"So... why the change of heart? After our first date, I thought..."
For some reason she would never be able to explain, Kim suddenly realized she felt perfectly comfortable sitting there, in a hotel room, drinking champagne as a prelude to having sex, with her arch-enemy. Previous arch-enemy?
She chuckled softly, "I guess I couldn't stand the thought of Ron having a better time with Drakken than I was having with you. SO sick-and-wrong!"
Shego sensed the change in her date, and felt dizzy all over again. Okay, I think I know what's happening here... to me... and goddammit, let it. I LIKE IT! With those thoughts, she relaxed, too.
"Yeah, I wondered about that. Dr. D wouldn't tell me anything. Did they...?"
'If I can do it, so can you'. Shego remembered Drakken's words from when they'd first discussed their relationships with Team Possible, I never thought - and I mean NEVER thought - I'd say this, Dr. D... but I owe ya a one. A Big One.
"Oh, that is just SO..." Shego began.
"... cute" Kim finished.
Shego smiled wickedly, "Not as cute as you. Rawr!"
Kim's smile matched it, "Meow..."
Insert "The 1812 Overture" here, complete with actual cannon-blasts. Stop complaining and just do it.
"What's the sitch, Wade?"
"Oh... well... uhm..."
"Wade! WHAT is the SITCH!"
"It's... it's Drakken and Shego, Kim... they're trying to take Fort Knox – doing a bang-up job, too. Uhm... Krache and Burns will be by to get you and Ron in ten minutes. Uhm, that is, if you wanna go..."
"... yeah... yeah! Of course we want to go! Uh... right. We'll be waiting."
"DAMN! FUCK! SHI... CRAP!"
The helicopter ride was unusually, if not morbidly, silent. Being dropped into danger was a well-rehearsed drill for Team Possible, so there wasn't much they really needed to say to each other, anyway.
"Here we are, folks... Fort Knox. I count... four, five Arachnoids in all. Wow! Look at those rockets go! Those are some mean machines..."
Ron looked out the window: they were mean machines... Drakken's signature color, rockets blazing from their "heads", well, most of their "heads". One seemed to be equipped with a probiscous of some sort, which it wiggled around and pointed at things that seemed to explode by themselves.
Rufus, perched on Ron's knee, looked up at the blonde sidekick knowingly, and Ron looked back.
"Yep, a laser. Capt. Krache? Get us in place to land on the back of the one with the long snout. That's where Drak... ken – Dr. Drakken – will be."
"Got it" the pilot said, looking back and adding, "I know I say this every time, but – you kids be careful out there!"
"Yes, Captain Krache" Kim and Ron said simultaneously. Then they looked at each other to see who would get the soda, but it didn't seem important, somehow. They checked each other's harnesses and waited by the door for the green light.
The backs of the Arachnoids didn't seem to be terribly well defended, but then, maybe they didn't need to be: the solid metal carapace was apparently impenetrable to all the artillery the Army was firing at them. They landed squarely in the middle of the "thorax" - the part where all the legs came together – of their target. And were met by... nothing and no one.
"Ron, you take the tail, I'll take the head, let's see if we can find a way in" Kim said, all business.
"Gotcha. Uhm... KP? What are you gonna do if... when.."
"I don't know. Don't ask. I was sort of hoping..."
"Yeah, me too. Okay. Let's do this." Neither of them were as excited as usual. Neither of them were, in fact, excited at all. They headed fore and aft.
Which was a mistake. As soon as Kim stepped off the thorax segment, one of the Arachnoid's legs tried to scrape her off, and she narrowly missed being flicked away like a bug. The leg came back, though, for another try, and Kim had to dance and flip her way around on the "head", desperately looking for a hatch and keeping away from the huge – but very quick – metal leg at the same time.
Ron was not so lucky. The abdomen of the machine was highly spherical, and completely smooth, and he soon found himself sliding down the side, his fingers unable to get a grip on anything. His grappling-gun projectile just bounced off, and soon Ron found himself falling through empty air four stories above ground. The Arachnoid was still walking, and he saw one of it's legs coming his way, so he grabbed for it, arresting his free-fall, and managed to slide down to the ground, a little winded and shaky - and effectively out of the fight.
The machines had passed the outer barricades and were converting on the main vault building, with it's massive steel doors large enough for four trucks to drive through. But the rockets didn't seem to be aimed at the doors; just as well – that would have proved futile. Only something like... like an intense laser beam could cut through that much solid steel...
Right. Well, if that's where the action will be, then that's where I will be! Ron thought, and began running.
Still fighting for survival on the head of the Arachnoid, Kim wasn't having much luck locating an entrance. Surely there was one! How did one get into one of these damned things? While she was thinking that, the leg that she'd been using all her skills to avoid seemed to disappear, as if the giant spider had given up trying to get rid of her.
"Go home, Princess" she heard a familiar voice say, "Please. We'll talk about this later."
Finally able to stand up straight, Kim turned to find Shego behind her. The hatchway was apparently in the thorax section itself... but screwed down so tightly that it didn't even show until it was opened.
"You know I can't do that, Shego! You know you're going to have to stop me! And we've both known this was going to happen, eventually! What did you think?" Kim challenged.
Shego's mouth lost it's trademark smirk, "I.. I hoped... well, that you wouldn't come. Or that you'd be too late. Or something. I don't know what I hoped... I just hoped it wouldn't come to this" she said, lighting up the plasma on her hands. "Seriously, Pumpkin, Drakken's got a pretty good plan, and things actually seems to be working right. He may pull it off this time. PLEASE go home! You can't win 'em all!"
Kim stared at her girlfriend - her lover - trying to see the Shego she'd come to know over the last month. It was amazing, really... she looked the same... she even sounded the same... but she was acting... well, she was acting the same too, really. Kim just didn't want to admit it.
Preparing herself for the coming fight, Kim said simply, "I have to try, Shego. That's just what I do. I'm... sorry it hasn't worked out for us."
What does that mean? Shego wondered, Is she trying to say it's over? That we... aren't going to... Dammit Pumpkin!
"Doy! You are SO fucking MAYBERRY! It's... it's infuriating!" She took her first swing/kick, just to get things started. Kim, of course, blocked and ducked, twisting for a kick of her own. This was a relationship they were used to! This way of dealing with each other was a Known Quantity! This was how it was supposed to be!
They had no time to think about it. But at a deeper level, neither of them could help it. All those nights curled up together under the covers, the evening sex, the morning sex, the afternoon sex... the sex in general! Well, after all, sex is just sex. It's just rubbing and sucking and licking, getting each other off, getting off on each other... It would be a loss, but they would survive without sex. Been there, done that before. No Big. Really, No Big...
But there was more, wasn't there...
They had worked-out together. They had shopped together. They had eaten together. They had watched TV together... as near as possible for a teenager still living at home, they had lived together for that month... Why, they had even... shared hair-care products! How intimate was that?
And every time they saw each other, it just made them so... happy! Silly shit-eating-grin HAPPY!
Until this time. The fight went on...
Without warning, the Arachnoid jerked to a sudden halt, throwing Kim off her balance mid-spin, and allowing her opponent's left foot to come in full-force contact with her ribs. Shego felt the crunch, and Kim crumbled, unable to move for the pain. Shego stood over the toppled super-hero, victorious, for the first time. She'd WON! Shego had finally WON a fight with Kim Possible! But from the look on the green thief's face, on one would have thought so.
"KIM!" she dropped to her knees, "KIM! Are you okay? I didn't mean... the Arachnoid stopped, and... Kim! Kimmie!"
What ever it had been she was fighting for, was forgotten. Kim was hurt. It was all Shego knew. It was all she cared about.
"Good... kick... sweet-heart... should've... compensate..."
"Don't try to talk, Kimmie... we're gonna get you inside. Too dangerous out here..." She got her arms under the teenager in preparation for lifting her up, "This... this is probably going to hurt. A lot. Kim... I... I'm sorry..."
"No big. Ready... when you... are" Kim said, thinking she really was, and trying to catch her breath.
Here I am, Drak. Can't go around me... gotta go through me. I guess the question is: will you do it? Ron thought, standing front-and-center between the huge steel doors and the laser-wielding Arachnoid. An ear-piercing scream suddenly split the sudden quiet, apparently coming from somewhere on the giant machine's back. It was obviously Kim's scream.
KP! Dammit, I can't see... and I can't go, anyway. Damn! It physically hurt him to not "have her back" for the first time, and when it sounded like she needed his help more than ever. Maybe Shego... then maybe Shego is what made... no, surely... I WISH I COULD SEE!
As if in response to his thoughts, the head of the Arachnoid lowered halfway to the ground, tilting toward him, the probiscous only ten feet away. It was aimed right at his chest. On the plus side, he could now see Shego carrying Kim down some sort of steps in the mid-section of the metal monster. Well, I guess that's better than I was thinking it might be. Looks like Shego cares, anyway. Just you and me now, Drak.
The head of the Arachnoid opened like a clam-shell, to reveal the typically blue-clad Dr. Drakken standing behind the "driver's seat", scowling at him.
"Get out of the WAY, Ron! This is business! You shouldn't even BE here!" Drakken shouted.
"I know what kind of 'business' it is, Drak. And I actually did think about not coming... but you know Kim... I HAVE TO watch her back. It's what I do!"
Drakken looked behind him to see what Shego was up to, and saw her lying the out-of-commission heroine on the floor beside her fire-control console, and then grabbing the first-aid kit.
"Looks like Ms. Possible is down for the count! Your job is over! Now stand aside!" Drakken tried to reason with him.
"No can do, Doc! I'm here for the duration! Go ahead, punk... make my day!" Ron shouted, smiling to himself at the irony of the phrase in this situation. People usually don't say that with 40-megawatt laser cannons pointed at their heads.
It struck Dr. Drakken's funny bone too. For him to say something like that, in a situation like this... it was so... so RON! Gads! I love that boy... Was the first thing he thought. The second wasn't so warm and fuzzy: No. No! I WILL NOT stop when I'm this close! FINALLY this close! Gah! Please, Ron... No, he's doing what he does, what he's always done. I shouldn't expect anything else. He raised the Arachnoid's head again, pointing his cannon at the top-right edge of the hole he intended to burn. Well, maybe a little taste will scare him off... He fired.
Instantly-vaporized metal filled the air, and a shower of molten steel rained down only feet away from where Ron stood. The smoke made him cough and wheeze, and the a few sparks burned through his clothes and hair.
But he didn't move.
The Arachnoid's head lowered again, "You will die from suffocation long before the beam even gets close to you, Ron! Now go! There's nothing you can do to stop me! I've finally won! Do you hear! I HAVE WON!"
Ron only wiped his eyes and looked back, "I know" he said, not shouting this time, "Congratulations. Now bring it on..."
Drakken was shaken. The boy meant to... he'd do that? But... but even if he did...
"It's pointless, Ron! I will win anyway! Why... why do this... for nothing? Or... Oh, I see now! That's been your plan all along, hasn't it... you think I won't do it! You think I won't do it because I... well, YOU ARE WRONG! By GOD, I WILL DO IT! The WORLD WILL know my genius, and bow before me! Even YOU and your devious schemes will not stand in my way now!" He sat back down behind the controls, preparing to continue cutting through the door.
"God, Doc... are you that far gone? You really think that I... what WE, Kim and I, would go through all this just to stop one of your schemes? You think I'm just... bending over forward for Justice? Come ON Doc! Get a grip!"
'Bending over forward for Justice'... good one, Ron Drakken couldn't help but chuckle to himself, at least temporarily breaking his insane mood. They had only brought their love-making to that point a week ago, and only then after long, long talks. Because it was one-way: Drakken himself couldn't take part as the "catcher", and didn't feel right about not being able to take only the one side, as it were. But Ron didn't seem to mind, and eventually, it seemed, quite enjoyed it. And for Ron to let the one-way-ness stand, never hinting that he thought it unfair... put him in a special place in the scientist's heart and mind... He owed Ron. He... loved Ron...
But he had something to prove, too! And not JUST to Mr. Mystical Monkey Power!
"The WORLD MUST KNOW MY GENIUS, I WILL -"
"I know your genius, Drak... you want respect? You got it. Admiration? Gotcha covered. Maybe... maybe that's enough?"
You do? He did? Drakken fell back into his chair, unable to stand. He does? Well... yes, he did. Thinking back on the last month, Dr. Drakken could see that he did, even if he sometimes showed it in... subtle... ways. I'm such an idiot for not noticing... gah! SUCH a blasted idiot... I don't deserve... But Ron was just a... young man. Not even a part of his "peer group". THAT was who he wanted so badly to impress... "The other villains... the scientific community... THEY don't -"
"Hell, Doc, look at you! You did it! You take me out, and the entire backing of he U.S. Government is in your hands! Everyone can see that! The other villains must be cringing in their Lairs, watching the news! It's a sure thing, Doc! Only... only I'm asking you to let it go, is all. For me. Look, you've been obsessing on this 'take over the world' business for a long time. Maybe... maybe because you thought everything else was behind you? Well, maybe it's not..." Ron paused, preparing himself for what would probably be his Final Word on the matter – perhaps his Final Word, ever. "Doc, you do what you gotta do. Me or them. Your choice."
Him or them? Is that what it's come down to? I've waited for this moment since... since before you were BORN, Ron! And to ask me to give it up, now... NOW? I was going to do it! I was going to be King of the World! Can you match that? Can you come close to -
Ron was growing nervous waiting. There were places he MUCH rather be...
"Coco-moo and 'Snowman Hank' on the tube, Doc! Whaddaya say?"
And you in pajamas... As the image sunk into his brain, Drakken sighed.
So, this is how it ends. All those years of preparation and scheming, the anger, the madness... all taken away by a warm body with freckles who likes 'Snowman Hank'. He smiled faintly to himself at the irony.
"All five seasons? Twelve hours?" he shouted down.
"And don't forget the pilot episode, too!" Ron answered back.
Drakken glanced back at Shego to see how she might react to the change in situation - he might have to deal with her later. She looked up from the tape she was wrapping Kim with and nodded.
"I need to get her to a hospital, Dr. D. I think one of the ribs I broke punctured a lung. I'm taking the escape pod" she said.
"Right. And... right behind you" he turned back to look down at the young man who'd single-handedly changed his life – oh, and saved the world – just by being who he was. "Pick you up after school tomorrow?"
"Be waiting with bells on, Drak!"
'Be waiting with bells on'... GADS I just LOVE him!, Drakken thought.
Drakken was muttering to himself, "...forty-three million in damages! Not like the government doesn't get it's third of my money in taxes anyway... one-point-five million in over-time wages for the soldiers... bloody hell..."
"Oh, get over it, Dr. D" Shego said from the couch, "They're wiping the slate clean. No more disguises. You can put your phone number in the book. Besides, it's not like you can't afford it... how much did one Arachnoid cost?"
"It's the principle of the thing, Shego! And thank you for reminding me how much I'm out for the Arachnoids! As a theme-park attraction, they might have paid for themselves, in twenty or thirty years! But as guard-bots at Fort Knox, I get diddley! It's not FAIR, I say!"
Ron walked by and set a fresh cup of Coco-moo on Drakken's desk, "Calm down, Drak. At least it's unfair to everybody." He gave the Dr. a kiss on the ear and a pull on his pony-tail as he carried the other mugs to the girls on the couch.
Drakken sighed and went on with what he was doing, taking his frustration out on the adding-machine. "... five million for new vault doors... and I just KNOW they're upgrading, and calling it 'replacement'!..."
"Can you sit up, Kim?" Ron asked, holding the steaming mug towards her as she reclined on the couch."
"Barely... oof..." she complained.
"Kimmie... I'm know I've said this before, but -"
"Give it a REST Shego!" Kim giggled painfully, "Besides, I've had worse. It was my fault anyway, I should've been in a position -"
"KIIIIMMMM..." Drakken, Ron, and Shego all said simultaneously. They'd heard the "would've, should've" story SO many times now.
"Well, I should've..." Kim said petulantly.
Even Rufus was tired of hearing about it, "shudof!" he mocked from the top of the TV, "wudof, cudof!"
"I think you need to find your rat a girlfriend, Ron" Shego chided, "Give him something to do besides make fun of us. I notice he never makes fun of you..."
"That's because he's my buddy. But... you may be right. I bet he'd like a... hmmm. Whaddaya say, Rufus? Girlfriend, or boyfriend?"
Rufus jumped from the back of the television and disappeared. No one saw him again for two days.