She Goes With Me: A Kim Possible Oneshot
"Nice, Shego," grumbled Drakken as she, him, and all the henchmen sat in the paddy wagon pulling away from Bueno Nacho headquarters – his newest masterpiece Lil' Diablo takeover scheme recently foiled by the Kim Possible. "You had all the time in the world – and you didn't think of killing her?"
"For your information, Doc, you didn't exactly think of killing her instantly, either!" Shego snapped back, her frizzed hair - from Kim kicking her into that electrical tower - still smoking somewhat.
"Yes, but I'm not complaining about myself, Shego! I'm complaining about you! You've had numerous times in the past year to kill that pest woman – and you balked on all of them! Why?"
Shego looked at the floor of the van. "You do realize that I can break out of these cuffs at any time, and come over there to break your face into 40 million splinters in a split second - right?"
"DON'T. PUSH ME…" she growled - so menacingly, Drakken realized it better to drop all inquiry.
The guardswoman stopped, noticing something that wasn't out of Shego's hip pocket.
"Miss Shego, we're going to have to confiscate that from you, now that you're in prison."
Shego's hand went for the pocket. "You can try."
"Ma'am, do not make us use force to retrieve that item from you."
"Hrm…You must be a newbie – Eline…" Shego quipped, looking at the guardswoman's badge. "Well-" In the blink of Eline's eye, the pale-skinned woman slipped out her handcuffs, grabbed Eline's throat, and sent the guard through the table in the room with an earth-shaking CRASH! She clenched the now-terrified Eline's throat in a vicious death grip – while the other two officers in the room didn't move a muscle to help. "Clearly, you don't understand – THIS ITEM STAYS. WITH. ME. AT. ALL. TIMES. No ifs. No ands. And NO BUTS. Have I made myself clear?" she hissed venomously. Not receiving a desired answer, Shego further tightened her grip on the guardswoman's neck, beginning to dig her sharp nails into the cop's skin. "HAVE. I. MADE. MYSELF. CLEAR?"
"Enough, Shego." The warden walked into the room. "I must apologize. She is new. Hasn't gone through the portion of our training where all our officers are warned of situations like this."
Shego looked up, not releasing her grip on Eline at all. After a second, she sighed, and let the cop go. "And you let her on the prison staff already?" she snarled at the warden as she walked away to be escorted to her cell by the other two officers. The warden watched her go, then looked back at Eline – who was coughing and still holding her deep red finger-marked throat, gasping as she recovered her air.
"Hey Shego, nice seein' ya here again. Seriously."
"Whoah, chill, babe! Easy on the green - whatever they are blasts! Seriously, if you mess up the mullet-"
"You'll do what, Ed? Break out of your cell, break into mine, and air guitar me to death?"
"Whoah…now that'd be a cool way to go out! Seriously, it would."
"…Just shut up."
"Hey, what's your damage, anyway? Seriously. It got anything to do with Red?"
"Red, Kim Possible…C'mon, sister! Seriously, get with the terms, babe."
"Hey! I wasn't insultin' you! Seriously, I wasn't! But your beef's got somethin' to do with her – right?"
"Ugh…Yes, Ed, it does. Happy to hear that?"
"Dang…What'd she do? Seriously?"
"Shego, please – if you're going to vent your anger, keep it to your cell."
"Oh, shut up, Monkey Fist."
"May I also inquire as to what Kim Possible did this time to get you so riled up?"
"I – I don't know! She did that – THING – that she – always does to - to piss me off!"
"I can't explain it – but every time I see her, it's… All this anger inside me just boils to the surface!"
"Yes. Well, please let it boil away from my direction, thank you? That would be most kind."
"Yeah, same here, Shego. Seriously."
"Rrrghh!" Shego spun around and punched the wall behind her, leaving a sizeable crater. Ignoring the others, she collapsed onto her prison bed, taking out the item in her hip pocket. Just looking at it always seemed to help her calm down. And even that she didn't understand, considering who had left it for her.
"Good Morning-after-the-Prom, Ronnie!" Kim kissed him on the cheek. "Last night was wonderful."
"Last night…" answered a groggy Ron – who suddenly sprang up, covering himself with the bedsheet. "Whah! Kim, help me find my clothes before your dad comes up and puts me on a rocket to a black hole-"
"It's too late for that one, Ronald."
"AAH!" Ron spun around to face Mr. Possible, who was standing on the ladder entrance to Kim's room.
"DAD!" cried Kim, covering herself with the rest of the bedsheet. "Knock or something first! Jeezus!"
"Oh - sorry, Kimmie-cub. I just popped in here because I figured Ronald was staying for breakfast, and wanted to ask him if there was anything specific he'd like cooked, or if he was going to get his own."
"…You don't care that we're in bed together naked?"
"Not a bit, Ronald! I went to the Prom when I was in high school, too. I know what's up! And, I figure my daughter is a responsible enough young woman. You - you did use protection, right, Kimmie-cub?"
"Protec-ow!" Ron flinched as Kim elbowed him.
"Yea, dad! We used protection! Don't worry!"
"Alright," chuckled Mrs. Possible. "I'll leave you two alone now. Call you when breakfast is ready!"
After he was gone, Ron looked at Kim. "Well, that was weird."
She sighed, getting out of bed and picking up her dress and clothes. "I'll say. He would've put me on that rocket, too, if he found out we didn't use any of those condoms he and mom bought me a while back."
Ron pulled his jeans up. "Your parents bought you condoms?" he asked, as he grabbed his shirt nearby.
"Yeah, why? If I recall, your dad bought you a whole stack of videos when he talked to you about s-"
Ron clamped his hand over her mouth. "KP, that information does not go beyond the Stoppable walls!"
"Whatever. Where's my bra?"
"Uh…Ah!" Ron handed the garment to her.
"Thanks. Say, since you're already dressed, would you go get breakfast for the both of us? I don't think mom & dad will mind us having breakfast in bed. You can just tell 'em you wanna surprise me with it."
Ron clicked his teeth and pointed at her, grinning as he disappeared down the stairway.
Oh, that's IT! HRRAAHHH!"
"Oh. Oh, thanks, babe – leave us stranded! Seriously, not cool! Seriously!"
"…Ed, do shut up."
Kim kissed Ron on the cheek as she got her breakfast. "Thanks. Now we can study while we eat!"
"Whoah! What? Study? Kim, this is the morning after the Prom! It's a Saturday!"
"Yeah, and we have a Latin test on Monday. What's your problem?"
"Aw, man! You tricked me!"
"I didn't trick you! I just - didn't…go into detail of why I wanted you to get breakfast in bed for us!"
"Unbelievable." Ron crossed his arms. "Using the lure of sex to try and make me smarter."
"You do have to admit, it's an enticing incentive…" smiled Kim.
"Yeah, it is, but sex doesn't make us smarter!"
"No. Studying does. So let's get to it."
"But – oh, that's evil. You're evil…" glared Ron.
Kim just laughed. "C'mon, Ron, get your textbook out."
"Alright, fine, if that's the way you wanna do it, Miss Evil W-"
FLASH! A bright light enveloped the room as a mysterious energy circle appeared at the foot of the bed.
"WHAHH! What is that?" asked Ron.
"I don't – wait, something's coming out of it!"
A small figure appeared – one that looked like a very large-
The bigger naked mole rat looked at the date on the calendar. "2006? Whoops. Wrong time."
"Gah! He can talk!"
"WAIT!" Kim dove at the giant naked mole rat as it walked back into the energy. WAIT!"
"Hey!" yelled the mole rat as the huge watch-like object on his arm began to quickly slip off of it. "WATCH THE CHRONO-MANIPULAT-" His voice vanished, and all that was left was the device.
"-OR!" cried Rufus 3000 as he fell back into his own time. He looked around – nothing. "Aw, nacos."
BRANNNK! "Rufus 3000, you are fined one Grande for violating the Verbal Morality Menu."
"Shut up, you stupid computer…"
"What happened this time?" asked Rufus 2999, looking up from his computer console.
"Manipulator went on the fritz again."
"Ugh – not another one…You didn't have anyone come back with you this time like Miriam did?"
"Thankfully, no - but the Kim of that year took the Manipulator from me before the portal fully closed."
"Hmm…Odd. You've mistakenly traveled to two years that weren't the one you were aiming for – but so far the only timestream contamination we can detect is from The Supreme One's tampering with it."
"So I can go back and get the Chrono-Manipulator I just lost?"
"No. If the Kim of that year learns how to use it, it appears that whatever she does will have zero effect on the stability of the timestream. Take a new Manipulator. Oh, and check the cookies while you're up?"
"Huh? Oh, sure." Rufus 3000 went into the other room and opened the oven door - to plumes of smoke.
"They should be done by-ah, chimmerioting recipe…" grumbled Rufus 2999.
BRANNNK! "Rufus 2999, you are fined one Grande for violating the Verbal Morality Menu."
"Ron, stop babbling. It's not going to help us much."
"But - gh - Rufus - talk - agigh - Rufus - RUFUS! TALKING! RUFUS TALKING!" he finally blurted.
The Kimmunicator beeped. "What is it, Wade?"
"That wasn't Rufus." The Kimmunicator screen flipped to Rufus at Ron's house, sleeping soundly.
"See, Ron?" Kim showed him the feed – then jerked the Kimmunicator back so she was looking at the screen again. "Waitaminute – how'd you know what happened? Or what we were even talking about?"
"Uh…" Wade blushed and just grinned sheepishly.
"You were watching us the whole time?"
"Not the whole time! I mean, I turn the cameras off sometimes!" protested Wade.
"Did you turn them off last night?"
"Heh - um…Plead the 5th?" Wade shrugged.
"Whatever," sighed Kim. "Now – who was that – giant naked mole rat that just appeared in my room?"
"I don't know who he was, but you grabbed something off of his wrist."
"Huh. So I did." Kim picked up the device that had fallen off the creature's arm.
"What'd he say again?" asked Ron. ""Watch the Chrono Manip-" CHRONO MANIPULATOR?"
Wade spit out the soda he was drinking. "Chrono Manipulator?"
"…Chrono Manipulator?" Kim raised a skeptical eyebrow. "That item in that one game you two play?"
"Everlot is not just a game! It is life - enhanced!" declared Ron.
"It's life – wasted for 6 hours a day!" Kim countered dryly.
Ron shrugged. "Ehh – true, can't argue with that."
"In any case, what does this Chrono Manipulator do?" Before either guy could say anything to her, she interrupted again. "And don't give me "It fuses the core of the space-time continnum with bla-bla-bla in order to connect up with the net of energy in the whatsamabobber system" – tell me in layman's terms."
Wade sat back in his chair. "Well, there goes my explanation."
"Kim, all it does is it lets you travel through time," explained Ron.
"Oookay. I wouldn't believe that if I hadn't seen Beefy Rufus of the Future disappear 20 seconds ago."
Snatching the Manipulator out of her hands, Ron began fiddling with it. "If it works like it does in the game, all you do is set it like this…Hmm, let's go with 2004…Lock in the city - Middleton - and voilà!"
He pressed the button on the top of the device, and another circle of energy appeared behind Kim in a FLASH! of bright light. Kim jumped back, dropping the Kimmunicator. "Okay. That's kind of cool…"
"Yes! It works! I opened a time portal! See, Kim? I don't need to study to know all this st–WHAEAH!" Ron tripped over the textbook in his backpack on the ground, fell forward, and crashed into Kim, hard – knocking her off balance and causing her to fall backwards – right straight into the time portal. "KIM!"
"RON!" Kim threw out her arms for Ron to grab and pull her back through the time portal – but the portal closed as Ron picked himself up off the ground and ran over to reach her. "RONNNNNNNNN!"
"KIM!" yelled Ron, punching buttons on the Manipulator. "Oh no – it does work just like in the game!"
"What?" Wade gasped.
"It's been used 3 times already – we gotta wait an hour and a half before it'll work again!"
"Kimmie-Cub! What happened?" asked Mr. Possible, bounding up the stairs into the room.
"Uh, Mr. P. – Kim just went back in time," Ron confessed.
"Mr. Possible, it'd be better if you saw this:"
With that, the image on the Kimmunicator screen turned to the feed of the talking mole rat 'visiting.' Soon the feed came to the scene of when Kim disappeared – only now it showed Kim opening the portal tripping over the backpack, and falling in while involuntarily throwing the Manipulator away from it.
"Oh. Well, at least that wasn't caused by someone else." He slightly glared at Ron. "1 and a half hours?"
"Yes, sir. We can't reach her for an hour and a half."
"Well, then there's nothing I can do. I'll be off to work." Mr. Possible headed back down the stairs.
"See ya' later, Dr. P.!" waved Ron, quickly turning back to Wade. "Thank you, Wade. Thank you."
"No problem, Ron. Thought it'd be best not to get him angry at us."
"RON!" Kim threw her hands out for Ron to grab and pull her back through the portal – but everything disappeared from her view just as Ron would have clasped his fingers on her arm. "RONNNNNNNN!"
What happened next, she found she would never be able to accurately describe. She was hovering in place, falling down, and rising up, all at the same time. She was at once weightless with nearly 4 g's compressing against her; it was if she were spinning circles in a square that wasn't moving. She was over her center of gravity, but was beginning to get queasy as her body tried to cope with the imbalance-
WHAM! The sensation was over before it had even begun as Kim was jolted to by her chin slamming against hard asphalt.She stood up. It was a little bit chillier than normal for this time of year, but she recognized that she was in Middleton. Except it was night, and she was standing under a fire escape in an alleyway - an alleyway where 2 thugs just happened to be congregated. "Oh. Perfect," groaned Kim.
"Ooh…Hey toots," one man, clearly the leader, said upon noticing her. "Come here often, babe?"
"No – and I don't think you wanna touch me," Kim warned, her voice not wavering an inch.
"Oh-ho! Why should we not touch you?" the man asked back haughtily.
Kim fell into a fighting stance. "I know 14 different styles of kung fu and I'm kind of having a bad day."
"Hmm…You know what I love about guns, sis?"
"They hurt people?" Kim deadpanned.
The man snapped his fingers.
CLICKCLICKLCLICKCLICKCLICK! Instantly, 12 other men melted out of the shadows 2 inches away from her – and they all placed the barrels of their varied makes of guns square against her noggin.
"Even a 10th-degree black belt in 14 styles of Kung-fu will hesitate when 14 gun barrels are sittin' against their head," the man answered. "The most marketable attributes of these fine weapons, really."
"What, are you an employee for HenchCo?" sneered Kim.
"Fine! Here! Take my 20 dollars! Take all my ID!" Kim tossed her wallet & its contents on the ground.
The second-in-line man held his gun at her as he picked it all up and handed it to the first man. The first man looked it over – then stopped at the $20 bill. "Hey! This ain't no 20-dollar bill!" he proclaimed.
"What? That's a 20!" protested Kim.
"What the hell you tryin' to pull, bitch?" snarled the man angrily. "You think I don't know a $20 when I see one? Mr. Jackson's picture is twice the size as it should be, and it's off-center! And what the fuck is all this colour here for? Mix your counterfeit peaches operation with your counterfeit money operation?"
"I swear! That's a $20!" protested Kim.
"Hah hah hah hah! Dated 2006! 22 years away! Ahahahahaha!" the man almost collapsed in laughter.
"22 years aw- Oh no!" Kim gasped to herself. "I didn't get sent back to 2004 – I got sent back to 1984!"
Suddenly, the man motioned to his men to lower their guns. "I'll give you a break, seeing as I'm a nice guy and you've clearly got a child you're trying to support – no other reason a dame as young as you would be out here tryin' this shit. At least you didn't make the mistake of not printing them on denim paper. What say we cut a deal, sugar? Thief-to-thief bargain? I got a nice, big Swiss account…"
"There's just one problem with that offer, sir…" sneered Kim.
"Oh? And what's that, Duchess?"
Before the others could react and raise their guns back up to fire, Kim leaped into a lightning-fast bicycle kick, sending the man's gun into the air and him flying backwards, while she grabbed the fire escape railing behind her and flipped up it to the top of the roof – where she caught the airborne gun and fell into the shadows, only the reflection of the street light on her green eyes visible. "I'm not a thief."
The man rubbed his jaw as her footsteps faded. "Ooh – feisty… Well, she's got a future in this field."
"Shit! Jack! Cops!" Hearing the warning, the man and his cohorts took to their feet as the sirens drew nearer. "Hmm…Who'd she ask if I worked for? HenchCo?" He tilted his head in thought as he flew down the alleyway. "Hey Vinny!" His 2nd-in-command looked at him. "When we get back to the headquarters, let's go ahead and empty the Swiss accounts. I got an idea where can go "legit" on this…"
"I'm intrigued, boss! Will do!" Vinny saluted as the group scattered individually – exactly as planned.
"1984…That Chrono-Manipulator thing was defective! Oh, I hope Ron and Wade can figure that out!" Kim wailed to herself. Night had passed. She'd found another alleyway and wrapped a light abandoned coat around her as she had slept. Now she was walking down the streets with the coat on her back still, looking around at all the news stories. The Macintosh was being introduced today, apparently. Michael Jackson was still black, and he wasn't chasing little boys yet… All so foreign and unfathomable to her.
She gasped at a couple that passed by her.
"The rockets that man built…ah hah hah!"
"Oh hoo hoo – oh, you, James…"
It was her parents.
She went to follow them as they walked into Middleton Park, but stopped. "No! You can't interfere with anyone! You're in the past! You haven't even been born yet!" she scolded herself. "Go somewhere else. Escape from Middleton, so you're not tempted to change anything that might affect your future…"
A light went off in her head. "Go City! I can go to Go City! I'll get a small job, maybe as waitress, or-"
Then it hit her: She had no money. All the identifying cards and papers she had on her were dated 2006 – 'counterfeit' & 'stolen' in this time. Her Social Security Number was 5 years away from being issued.
She didn't exist yet. Her name didn't exist yet. Her name wasn't known all around the world – hell, it wasn't known HERE. All the people who helped her in her time would see her only as a stranger now.
She had nothing but her body and the clothes she was wearing.
She had nothing. She couldn't get a job. She couldn't get help from anyone. She didn't know anyone.
She staggered to a nearby park bench and nearly fell onto it. She had nothing. Was nothing. She was… She was a bum. A nobody. She had no way of getting money. Well, actually, she did have a few ways – but prostituting herself she'd never stoop to no matter how desperate, nor would she be joining a gang.
And then there was sitting & begging for money. All the ways she could get anywhere. None enticing.
She looked at herself. What if she really was pregnant, like the man had said she was? She'd have to not only take care of herself, but find a way to take care of her child, too. Very hard when one doesn't exist.
For the first time in her life...Kim Possible was alone.
Without anyone to help her.
Realizing this, tears welled up inside her, and Kim Possible cried for an incredibly long amount of time.
CLINK! The sound, contrasting heavily against the constant rattle of the rain, roused Kim up from her sleep. She got up slowly, not to jar the baby that had indeed been planted in her by Ron that Prom night so long ago. She brushed her tangled, matted, grungy and dirt-caked hair out of the way as she pounced on the jar in front of her, grabbing the nickel someone had dropped in it. Hastily taking out her carefully guarded coin collection, she counted all the money she had. "5 cents…30…75–" She stopped, stunned.
She had 75 cents.
SHE HAD 75 CENTS.
SHE HAD 75 CENTS!
After 3 months, she had 75 cents! She had bus fare! And enough bus fare to get to go to Go City, at that!
Kim would've squealed in celebration had her voice not partially gone out about 2 and a half weeks ago.
Finally! After 3 months, she had bus fare! She could go to Go City and forget this part of her life! She looked at her swelling pregnant belly. "We're gonna be alright, baby!" she choked up, almost in tears.
She quickly scooped all her loose change back up and tucked it away in her special padded pocket so none of her 'neighbours' would hear the chingling of the coins and jump her in an effort to steal it all. First she had to be clean enough to be allowed onto the bus. She semi-limped over to the broken gutter of the building and stood under it for a moment, using the few rags she had to clean some of the grime off her arms and face. She couldn't get all of it, but she could get enough. And at least she still had shoes. She checked herself in the 'mirror' of the side of the steel dumpster she'd rested herself against. Decent.
Of course, that would only be if one's idea of 'decent' was wearing the same green tank top they'd put on 3 months ago - which was tattered and stretching out to its limit since they were pregnant - and also wearing the same bra, pair of underwear, and jeans – the jeans of which were torn and ripped all to hell. She looked at her mouth in the 'mirror' - had her fingernails not been caked with dirt buried under them, she would've used said nails to scrape away the incredible buildup of plaque accumulating on her teeth.
The bus pulled up at the corner. Kim hurriedly picked up the rest of her belongings and ran to it with all her might. Too much might, actually – for she nearly collapsed of exhaustion once she had reached it. The bus driver looked down at her with pity as she dumped the change into the fare collector machine. "Could you…let me know when…we've reached…Go City?" Kim gasped once she had the ticket in her hands, her voice hoarse and grating in the absence of much water to keep her throat from becoming dry.
"Yes, Ma'am," the driver nodded kindly.
"Thank you, sir…" Kim responded, quickly sitting down to avoid any more staring at her from the other passengers than she had to. She rested her head back against the window and listened to the raindrops. She'd barely woken up, yet already was so tired. But she was on the bus. Heading up towards Go City.
Finally – she would have a life again! For her and her child! She sat back and closed her eyes to imagine…
"WHERE IS SHE?"
"She's just cleaning up after doing her last surgery for the day – AHH!"
Shego barreled up the hallway and burst through the doors of the operating room – sending all the surgeons scattering – except for one. "Shego! What are you doing here? Looking for my daughter?"
"LOOKING FOR YOU!" Shego bellowed, snatching Mrs. Possible up and deftly tying her hands and legs up, all in one move. "KIM POSSIBLE'S ANNOYED ME FOR TOO LONG – YOU'RE BAIT SO I CAN DRAG HER TO WHERE I TAKE YOU – WHERE YOU'LL DIE WHILE SHE WATCHES!"
"You don't really mean that, do you?" Mrs. Possible gulped. "Do you?"
"Have I ever been dishonest about my actions?" growled Shego, glaring furiously at her.
Mrs. Possible gulped for a 2nd time as Shego jumped out the Hospital window and fled the scene.
"May I ask why you're so angry at my daughter suddenly?"
Shego answered by punching Mrs. Possible's lights out. "No."
"How much longer?"
Ron sighed. "Wonderful."
"Yeah, really...Oh crap! Why now?"
"Shego broke out – and she's taken Mrs. Possible hostage!"
Kim's eyes shot open. "Whah? Huh?"
"You asked for the Go City stop, Miss?" The bus driver was standing over. "Well, this is it."
"W-oh." Still half-asleep, still tired, Kim somehow willed her weak legs over to the top of the bus steps.
"Miss? You okay?" asked the driver.
"Fine…" Kim gasped at the scenery. Crumbling buildings, all older than Middleton. "This is Go City?"
"The edge of it."
"You can't go further into the ci-"
"I can. You can't. Not unless you got enough money for a new transfer."
"Huh? What time is it?"
"5:00. You've been asleep for the last two hours."
The wrinkled transfer she held indeed expired at 5:00 pm. Kim grimaced, annoyed. "Oh. T-thank you."
"No problem. You sure you don't need any help, Miss?"
"No! I …I got it. Thank you, sir," she assured him, her will straining to its boundaries as she stepped off.
"Okay. Glad to be of service, Miss!"
"Y-yeah. Thank you." She threw together as much speed as she could into her legs to quickly get out of the way of the people waiting to get on the bus. The moment she'd passed them – everything fell away. Tripping over the rags of her jeans, she fell against old wood siding, driving a few splinters into her side. Ignoring the pain it caused her, Kim stood back up and dragged herself till brick siding replaced the wood. She collapsed, curling up and crying. She was in the same place - just, now its top coat of paint was gone.
Suddenly, she saw a puddle nearby. Crawling over, she fished the needle out, then ferociously lapped up the water. Disgusting as hell, but compared to the puddles she'd drunk from in Middleton, it was Perrier.
"Are you okay, Miss?"
"I said I'M FI-" Kim stopped when she looked at the man. He seemed familiar…but not.
"Well, if you're drinking out of the puddle that had that used heroin needle in it when I got on that bus this morning, I'd take a gander and say you're not alright, Miss," said the man. His kindness was clearly well-intended, but just something about this guy felt - not right to her. And she didn't know exactly why.
Maybe it was the fact she'd been treated like shit for the last 3 months – she smirked. Still found it funny that she didn't know how she knew it had been 3 months. But until her pregnancy had become obvious, she'd been jumped about a half-dozen times by some assholes who solely intended to rape her. Luckily her strength really didn't start to drain until after the pregnancy really kicked in, so she was able to fight them all off. The other times, a quick firing of the gun near their feet scattered 'em fairly easily. Yeah, sure, there were kind people here - she talked with Joe, one of the few honest bums, all the time. But she'd become benumbed to kindness, having only received it recently via the rare coin dropped into her begging jar, moreso out of pity for a 17-year old pregnant homeless girl than actual kindness. There were homeless shelters – she discovered her pregnancy while she had been staying at one – but the food there was simply just…enough, and they were absolutely nothing like the ones she had volunteered at in 2006. And now she understood why some homeless avoided shelters – she felt a little uneasy about them helping her, too – like it was…admitting she was so worthless she couldn't learn to survive on her own. She knew their intentions were pure, but still - something about them - and this guy - they just irked her.
"I have a gun…" she gasped, her semi-shaking right hand going for her hip as the man kneeled.
"Are you willing to use it?"
She looked at him. "I've already used it. 3 times."
"To kill some people?"
"…To scare some people off."
"Well, that's good."
"What are trying to get at…by talking to me?" Kim asked, just wanting him to go away.
"I'm trying to figure out how I can help you, Miss. I wouldn't have my reputation as the kind man with the pointy nose and glasses who's helped a lot of the homeless people here if I wasn't trying to do that."
"…Splendid," she sighed, not convinced. Yet…something made her want to keep talking to this man.
"First, you have anything like ID documents on you? That'd really help in getting you out of this mess."
"I - I don't have any identifying papers of any kind. The fare for that bus was all the money I had left…"
"Where are you from? Some other country?"
"I – don't remember. Been through so many… Where I came from…is ages away from me."
"Are you a criminal or something?"
"No! No! Nothing like that! I mean – I'm just…running, is all." Throat not quenched enough, she leaned down to drink from the puddle again – at which the man held out a 1.5-litre thermos filled up with fresh water, offering it to her. Kim's glazed eyes darted from the puddle to the thermos a few times - then she greedily snatched the thermos from his hand, gulping the water like an alcoholic plowing through beer.
"Running? Away from, or towards?" he asked after she'd handed the thermos back and thanked him.
"…Both," Kim sighed, pulling herself up into a sit against the wall, looking at the ground.
"From what, and towards what?"
"…Everything…" Kim began to tear up again. "…and nothing…"
"I – I don't follow you, Miss."
Drying her eyes out, Kim looked up. "I – where I came from, everyone…everyone knew who I was."
"…Sort-of. I was more like…a one-woman National Guard for…hire."
"N-No! M-more like a…I hate to describe it this way, but – superhero. Kinda…like the Fearless Ferret."
"Ah. One of thems with no powers."
"Yeah - except my identity wasn't a secret. Everyone knew who I was…and was always willing to do me a favour, help me out when I needed it – just as long as I returned the favour…and helped them out when they needed it. But here-" She looked around, eyes staring past him at a haze of blank and listless. "Here, I - I don't know anyone." She looked back down, still lost in the haze. "I don't know anyone..."
"You know me."
Kim lifted her head up, at once robotic and ancient. "No…I don't."
The man extended his hand in kindness. "Dr. Suiraiva." Cautiously, she accepted it, rising to her feet.
"K-Oh, what the hell does it matter? My name is useless here!" Kim cried, weakly shaking his hand before snatching it away from him and collapsing back down against the wall, returning to her sobfest. "I don't know anyone here… and I never realized until…now that – even when I was alone there – I wasn't. Three months… I've been wandering for 3 months! It took me 3 months to…scrape together that bus fare. And for…what?" she gasped, somehow able to talk through her utterly weak & tired form. "Now I'm just stuck in another place that I thought I knew, but…didn't. A former hero – now nothing but a whisper…simultaneously lost in my past and my future – and pregnant, to top it all off! Pregnant with a child who's not gonna…have much of a future of their own to look forward to once born! They… They were supposed to find me ages ago – but I guess I didn't know them as well as I thought, either…"
"Hey, hey - I just so happen to know of something that could help. Now, if your choice to do this is up to you - but I figure if you're like the Ferret, you might be willing to go a bit against the grain of law."
"TELL ME!" She grabbed his shirt collar, her voice burning with desperation. "PLEASE! TELL ME!"
"Hey! Easy on the collar, there-WHOAH!" Dr. Suiraiva cried as she, noticing some other people at the stop looking over at her accosting him, swung him around into the dark alley, fading into inky darkness.
Not believing that she was doing it herself, Kim shakily drew the gun and pointed it at him. "Tell. Me."
"Okay, okay! Just put the gun down, and I'll tell you everything I know that I think could help you out!"
Tears slipped from quivering eyes as Kim tried in vain to hold on to her rapidly crumbling composure. Wrenching her own arm back towards her, she looked at the gun - promptly throwing it away in disgust. She fell against him, crying. "Please tell me! I have to…get out of this mess! I can't raise a kid in this!"
"Come with me first. You need to get some food in you before your body naturally aborts that child."
"Yes. If you're too weak to sustain you & your baby's life, your body will naturally abort to save itself."
Kim clutched her swelling belly and looked up at him. "T-Thank you."
She was eating. Food.
Real food. Not some thrown away food she found after scrounging in a dumpster for 20 minutes. Food.
Kim knew she was being rude, but couldn't help it. 3 months without any real food. 3 months of eating food that had had ants on it until she'd brushed them all off. She scarfed everything Dr. Suiraiva put in front of her. 30 minutes, she'd already run through 2 whole meals and about 5 different kinds of drinks.
She hadn't eaten this well since before she'd fallen through the time portal and dumped into 1984. She'd forgotten what good food tasted like. Though she scarfed every piece of food, she was savoring it all.
"Thrnk Ybmu…" she mumbled – then caught herself, and swallowed. "Thank you, I mean."
Dr. Suiraiva chuckled. "Oh, no problem. You're actually one of the least messiest eaters I've seen here."
Kim looked around. The man clearly had helped people like her before. The whole room was filled with tattered items- old chairs, couches, mattresses...Clean, but not good furniture that would just get ruined.
Finishing her 3rd meal, she sat back and belched. "Oop!" She threw her hand over her mouth. Excuse me!"
"Oh, don't worry!" the Doctor chuckled once again.
"So, what's this…plan you say might…get me out of this…place?" Kim asked between huge yawns.
"Miss, right now I suggest you get some rest. You can use any of these couches."
"Huh? Oh, yeah, I guess I can hold off until tomor-" In an instant, she was fast asleep.
"Sos, whats kinds of a doctors is yous?"
"Oh, many fields: Robotics, Architecture, Interior Design, Culinary Arts, Medicine, Engineering, Marketing, Social Work - but my passion lies within my Zoology degree, with a focus on Oology."
The faint voices sparked her eyes open. Where was - then she remembered. She looked towards the voices – and saw that Joe, the one honest bum she always talked to, was chatting with Dr. Suiraiva.
"Oology? What do yas' dos ins zats?"
"It's the study of eggs, especially bird eggs. Oologists also study the nests & breeding habits of birds."
Stirring, Kim sat up.
"Heys! It's zats preggers girl whos names shes nevers told mes!" exclaimed Joe as the 2 turned around.
"Hey, Joe," Kim replied with a content smile.
"Rest well, Miss?" asked Dr. Suiraiva.
To Kim's own surprise, she found she actually had energy again "Y-yes!" she exclaimed, utterly stunned. She couldn't believe it: She had energy! Not much, but more than she'd ever had in a while.
"It's a goods things hes founds yas, Miss – if its werents for zis guy, nones of mys friends would'ves escapeds this hellhole!" Joe assured, smiling that somehow always comforting no-teeth-left smile of his.
"Yeah. How come…you never told me about him before, Joe?"
"Eh, I figureds you'ds have beens gones froms zis slums a longs times agos. When wes talkeds, I always saws zis fire burnings ins yours eyes. Tolds mes zats yous had ze strengths tos escapes on yours owns."
"Hmmph. Well, if there's one thing I've learned in 17 years, it's that no matter how much fire we have inside, no matter how determined we might be individually - none of us can survive without guidance."
"Trues, trues…" Joe nodded.
"Well said, Miss!" clapped Dr. Suiraiva. "Honestly - if people gave more than just pity for the poor…"
"Yeah, okay, whatever. You told me you knew of something I could do that might get me a new life?"
"Straight to the point, I see? You do have a fire in those emerald eyes…But anyways, to the point for me: See that house across from the bus stop?" He pointed out the window at the burned-down house.
"Yeah," Kim nodded.
"Well, it's got police tape around it, but the cops only bust people who don't look like you. Joe here scored some very nice cups and plates in the basement that escaped the fire that burned it in 1977."
"1977? And they haven't torn it down yet?" asked Kim, surprised.
"Yeah. It surprises me a bit, too. Then again, the Go City Council hasn't done shit to shit here for, oh, forever... But that's beside the point. There was a family that lived in that house - had a lil' redhead girl who'd look a lot like you now. Sadly, the family was inside when it burned down. But the redhead girl's body? Never found it. Some witnesses said they saw the girl escape the blaze, but couldn't be too sure."
"So, you're saying snoop around and I might find something?"
"Eh…Essentially, yeah. What was that girl's name? Ah! Margot Nash!"
"Tries snoopins ons za 2nds floors, Miss – zats where zes familys rooms weres," added Joe.
"I think you should give it a chance, Miss – you know all the other un-enticing options you have."
Kim sighed. "Hmm…Yeah, I guess you're right. Thank you – both of you."
She almost laughed as she watched the cop sitting in his car by the burned-down house stare straight at her as she ducked the tape and walked towards the building. Pity. As much as she despised it, she had to admit it was the only thing that had elicited any true caring for her in the past. Other than that, people sucked.
Inside the house, it was like a memory she'd heard from someone before. A second family, devastated by what they had no control over, leaving their children behind - Kim found herself hoping the little girl had survived and found herself a life of her own. At least, that's what she'd be most proud of her kid for.
She made her way to the charred 2nd floor. For some reason, the smallest room was the one that drew her to it first. Probably because of all the melted file cabinets – it just looked like someplace where what she was looking for would be. However, after rummaging through many barbequed papers, she'd found zip.
She checked the other rooms. All the big rooms were useless - one even had massive holes in the floor. So it was down to the room at the end of the hall. Expecting to see nothing but a burned-out husk of a room, she was surprised to find the fire had pretty much only scorched the surface of everything in it – no completely burned bridges here. Just a flame-licked outer shell wrapped around the dresser resting along the back wall. She opened the top drawer of the dresser – and it was staring her right in the face.
A Social Security card. Lil' burnt around around the edges, but the number, 078-05-1120, was readable.
And it was marked "This number has been established for Margot Rose, U.S. Citizen." All she needed.
Turning to walk out, Kim stopped. Under the collapsed bed' mattress… Whatever it was, wasn't plastic. she moved closer to get a better look - and wheeled in disgust when she realized it was of human bone.
Gathering herself, she looked back at the skeleton pinned under the big, heavy mattress.
"I'm sorry for all of this, but… Thanks for at least letting me know the truth about you – Margot."
With that, she turned and left the house, pocketing the card.
"Oi…I tell ya', Margot, this place is gonna start franchising soon! I can feel it! I just know it's going to! Just think about it! Club Bananas in Brookdale…West Whitewater…Maybe …Maybe even Middelton!"
Kim rolled her eyes. "And New York…Tokyo…Paris…Sydney…Rio…"
"Exactly! EXACTLY! This place is gonna go global!"
"Eh heh, well, I'd tell you it goes further than that, but you probably wouldn't believe me, Benny…"
"What? Of course I would, Margot!" replied Benny Russell, one of the marketing writers, as he prepared his briefcase in lieu of leaving the office. "Welp, I gotta cut out early…My youngest son's been bugging me to take him and his brother to that newfangled Global Wrestling Association thing that's here tonight."
"Oh, kids… Well, see ya' later, Benny!" said Kim as he started to head out.
"Have a good night, Margot!" Benny waved.
After he was gone, another voice spoke up. "Hey, Margot!"
"Huh?" Kim turned around. "What is it, Mrs. Kleeg?"
"If you wanna leave early, too, I can handle locking the store down."
"What? Are you serious?"
Mrs. Kleeg, Kim's manager, smiled. "Yeah! It's a weekend, why not? Besides, I've got another bit of inspiration and need to get these designs in my head right now on some paper before I totally forget them." She chuckled. "Inspiration always seems to happen at the wrong times, doesn't it, Margot?"
"It would appear it does, Mrs. Kleeg."
"Well, then – now, off you go! Actually, you know what? Since you've given me an idea for a new maternity line, I'm gonna force you to be put on paid maternity leave until after you give birth!"
"Wha – you really mean that, Mrs. Kleeg?" asked Kim, stunned.
"Yes! Now go! Go, woman, go!"
"Th-thank you, Mrs. Kleeg!" Kim stammered as she got her stuff and left for the day.
"Hmm…Something to get for the baby to enjoy…Oh wait! The Disney Robin Hood came out on VHS in 1984! I love that movie! Yeah, better get that! If not for the kid, least I'll have something to watch…"
Kim dipped the roller back into the paint, and looked around the small room. "Oh, yeah. This works." Sure, it was weird to repaint the room, but a plain white room was just too bland for a baby's room. This just seemed to be such a brighter colour for a kid to look at.
"One more. PUSH!"
All the pain of giving birth she'd just gone through was worth it when faint crying reached Kim's ears.
"Heys! It's a girls!" Joe declared, holding up the crying baby after Dr. Suiraiva cut the umbilical cord.
Kim's eyes welled up with joyful tears after the baby was wrapped in cloth and Joe handed her the child. "I'm - This is my baby - I'm a mother…I'm a mother!" she proclaimed, beaming at the screaming baby. "Shh…Shhh...Mommy-Kimmie's here!" She rocked back and forth gently. "Oh, I can't believe this day is here!"
"Sos…Whats yas gonna calls hers?" asked Joe.
Kim looked at the newborn who was calming down – so fragile, so beautiful - such an overwhelming feeling of happiness washed over her. Lost in that feeling, she belatedly answered him. "Um…Kamie."
For an instant, the baby stopped crying – as if the tiny girl had already known what her mother hadn't, until just now… "That's right! Your name is Kamie!" Kim cooed. "And I'm your mother, Kimmie!"
The baby just stared at her, gurgling.
"Kamie?" called Kim, slightly worried. Kamie had grown fast – a year and a half, and already she was walking, talking, and acting like a 2-year old. She was also as prone as a 2-year old to somehow vanish before her mother's eyes. So now here she was, combing the living room, looking for her daughter…
"AH!" Kim feigned being - and actually was, a bit - surprised when Kamie leapt on her back from the arm of the couch.
"Nah zo fah, Cherwhiff ah Nawtyhan!" Kamie stood and pointed a construction paper longbow at her.
Kim grinned. Kamie had taken an instant liking to Robin Hood. The girl even went so far as to comment that her dream was "I wan be a heef!" – which, roughly translated, meant "I wanna be a thief!" Of course, Kim had taken the time to mention to Kamie that while Robin Hood did steal from the rich, being a thief as a profession wasn't exactly a good idea, and that one could be a hero without ever having to resort to stealing from anybody. However, this had done very little to change the adamant girl's young one-track mind, and to this day, Kamie's dream was still to be a thief like Robin Hood. "Okay, Robin Hood - you got me! You got me! But, you forgot one thi-ing..."
"I'm not just the Sheriff of Nottingham...I'm also the Sheriff of TICKLEHAM!" declared Kim, wrapping Kamie up in her arms just as the girl shrieked and tried to get away. "And I have an outstanding warrant for the arrest and capture of a one Kamie, for multiple charges!" she declared, descending a torrent of tickling upon her now-laughing daughter, who squirmed in vain trying to get away from her. "Ah ah!" Kim noted. "You ain't gettin' away just yet, Missy! You gotta stay here and serve out all of your time!" She continued until the girl squirmed out of her grip. "Okay, you can go now! You served your time!" Sitting up, Kim panted a bit. She had quickly gained a newfound respect for her mother, now that she had a kid of her own. The energy that they had… "Aht-Hey!" declared Kim as she felt someone poking her in the side. She looked to her left – and was poked on her right side. "Wh-hey!" She caught a glimpse of Kamie, running around her back, giggling. "Are you trying to tickle me, you little sneak? Ah! Hey! Stop! Stop it!" she said as Kamie switched sides poking her so fast it was hard to catch up. Finally, Kim reached around her back and swept the girl up into her arms. "You're just trying to be silly now, aren't you? Well, I can be silly, too!" she said, promptly lifting Kamie's shirt and blowing a big raspberry on the child's chest, making Kamie laugh out loud. "Okay, now – do you need to go the bathroom, sweetie?" asked Kim. Kamie shook her head. "No? Are you sure" Kamie nodded. "Okay, then – let's go get some sunblock on you so we can go to the Zoo and you won't get an owie burn from the sun, ok?"
Kamie eagerly nodded. Kim smirked. She hadn't put enough sun block on her daughter's face the last time, and the girl had shrieked for days over the painful sunburn that had resulted. Now, though, Kim was always prepared, and had bought three bottles of the strongest SPF sun block to use for sun-laden ventures. Today she was fairly worried because the temperatures had been fairly high all week, and they were going to be spending all day at the Go City Park & Zoo, and she didn't want a repeat of anything that had happened the last time.
"Kamie!" Perfect. The girl had wandered off again. "You know, silly girl, you're not gonna get sun block on ya' if you're over there - and I know you don't like sunburns," she said, dragging Kamie back.
"You take the handset off the hook like this, then press the numbered buttons in the order of the phone number you want to call - and if you have an emergency, you press the red button only once for 911!"
The baby girl threw up her tiny arms like on a rollercoaster, a wide grin on her face. "Nye Wuh Wuh!"
"That's right, Kamie! 911! In case of an emergency!" Kim grinned. "My, you're just a little bundle of smart, aren't you?" She wiggled her nose against her daughter's as the girl just giggled and smiled.
"KAMIE!" Kim's voice thundered. The girl froze, dropping the black crayon she'd been writing on the wall with and looking up at her glaring mother with the biggest saucer eyes. But it didn't work on Kim. "What did I tell you last week?" The girl started crying, but Kim was not fazed. "TIMEOUT! NOW!"
About a minute later – it was useless to put a one and a half year old in timeout for very long – Kim kneeled next to Kamie, still sniffling with her face wrinkled up in protesting anger. "Now, Kamie – You know what you were doing, right?" The girl nodded. "You knew I told you two days ago that if you were writing or drawing on the walls instead of the paper I bought, that you would be put in timeout and we wouldn't watch Robin Hood on Saturday?" The girl nodded, fiercely pouting. "Well, young woman, after dinner tonight, you're going to straight to bed." At this, Kamie started bawling. "I'm sorry, Kamie – I love watching Robin Hood as much as you do. I love watching Robin Hood with you even more – but you broke the rules, and not watching Robin Hood was one of the consequences of breaking the rules. However-" The uptick in Kim's tone of voice caught Kamie's ear, and she stopped crying and started to listen intently. "If you help me clean up the crayon you put on the wall, I might just let you watch Robin Hood tonight." Kamie's face brightened. "So, will you help me clean this up, Kamie?"
"Yeh!" came the enthusiastic reply. Kim smiled, taking her daughter's hand so she wouldn't lose her as she headed towards the pantry/washer room in order to get the bucket and two sponges that they needed.
"Heys there, lil' Kamie!" Joe picking up the smiling girl and spun her around. "Hows yous doins?"
The girl replied by giggling and poking his nose.
"I thinks she likes mes!" smiled Joe.
"She loves you, Joe," smirked Kim. "And we're doing fine - thanks to you and Dr. Suiraiva, mainly."
"Oh, you give me too much credit," Dr. Suiraiva chuckled.
"Sos, what dids yous and mommies brings for me ands my friends this times?" Joe asked Kamie.
"Foo!" the girl replied.
Kim grinned. "Food. Kamie's only a year and a half old, remember? Not a fluent speaker yet."
"Ahs. I sees. Wells, zanks you, little womans!" said Joe as he handed Kamie back to her mother.
Kamie just poked Joe's nose again, giggling.
"Wow." Dr. Suiraiva's eyes bugged over the caravan of bags of food. "That's a lot of food."
"And there's a lot of people in this place. I've always been someone who helps others. That instinct's definitely not gonna go away anytime soon, I can tell you that!"
"Yous helped yours mommy brings all zats food overs heres?" Joe queried Kamie – who nodded, smiling. "Wows – That must mean yours really strongs to be carryins zoze bags all bys yourselfs!"
Dr. Suiraiva handed a pendant on a chain to Kim. "Here. I inscribed it with Kamie's name. It's a thank-you for all these donations."
"Huh? Oh, thank you! You wanna wear it, Kamie?" Kamie took the pendant chain – and tried to wrap it around her neck. "Oh, you want me to wear it?" Kamie nodded. "Okay, sweetie – I'll wear it, then." Kim looked around. "Alright, well, I gotta get back. It's almost time for this one's afternoon sleeptime." Kamie shook her head - but then negated herself by yawning a big yawn. "Oh, yeah. She's ready for a nap!"
"Hmm - Well, in that case we won't hold you up. Thank you and good luck, Miss Rose!"
"Thanks yous fors all zese donations, Margot!"
"I'll be back next month with some more" Kim waved as she got in her car, putting the now-asleep Kamie in her child seat first.
"Hey! Ron! It's been an hour and a half!"
"Huh? Wha?" Ron sat up. "Yes! I'm going to go to 2004 and get K-"
"Wait, Ron! Just have it scan the timestream for the exact DNA of the last person who navigated through a portal it opened!"
"Oh, right! I forgot about that," said Ron, - but stopped, his hand hovering over the button set to activate the scanner in the Chrono Manipulator. "Wait - that'll drain 75 percent of the energy, though! We'll only be able to open a time portal once if we do that!"
"A portal that will only be open for 4 minutes, at that. But, Ron, the Buff Rufus from the Future said something about being in the wrong time. I think he meant that Chrono-Manipulator wasn't working right. She might not be in 2004! Wouldn't you rather have it pinpoint her than open three portals, find she's not there, then have to wait another hour and a half?"
"...Dammit, you're right." Ron pressed the button allowing the timestream scan to proceed.
After the last CRACK! of thunder, the screams came from down the hall. Kim's head whirled on instinct. "KAMIE!" She put her dinner down and dashed into her daughter's room – where the girl was fine, except that she was extremely upset about something. Then the lightning flashed, and the girl screamed again. "Oh, Kamie-Pumpkin…Is the lightning scaring you?" The wide-eyed-with-fright little girl nodded furiously and threw her hands up, signaling she wanted to be picked up – which Kim did, using every trick she'd tried before to calm her down. "Shh. It's okay, Kamie. Lightning's not so scary...Lightning's not so scary..."
CRACK! Another lightning flash and thunder crack made the girl shriek and grab Kim in a semi-death grip.
"Oh, Kamie, Kamie, Kamie…C'mere, girl…" Kim shh'd her and began to rock slowly back and forth.
She had to do something to get the girl to calm down and fall asleep. But what? Then she remembered what had put Rufus to sleep when she'd 'babysat' him: A song. She could sing to calm Kamie down.
But she had to make up some lyrics…She thought about it, laughed at how bad they were, then started:
"Rest your weary head, Little Kamie
Time for a story from Mommy Kimmie…"
The girl began to calm – as evidenced by her just jumping at the next flash of lightning and thunder.
"Let yourself be calmed, Little Kamie
The lightning's not really that scary…"
She patted her daughter on her back calmly. She could feel Kamie's little heart beating against her – and smiled when she felt that little heartbeat slowing down. She continued to rock back and forth, and sing:
"Just close those tired eyes, Little Kamie
You know the lightning can't hurt you…"
The girl wasn't even flinching when the lightning and thunder struck this time. Kim held Kamie close. "I can't be in the same room as you all the time, Kamie - but if you ever need me… I will be there for you. That's a promise. If you need to call me, call me. If you need to beep me, beep me. If you need to reach me, reach me. I will come help you. Why? Because you're my daughter, and I love you so much."
The toddler was sound asleep now. Kim just sat back in her chair, looking at her child. She smiled. "Ron, when you and Wade finally bring me back to 2006 – oh, are you gonna be in for a big surprise…"
She kissed Kamie on the girl's forehead & slowly laid her back into her crib. "Sleep tight, my Princess."
It took the young redheaded mother just about another hour before she stopped standing in the doorway looking at the sleeping Kamie and walked back to the living room. She may have been stuck here in the past with her little girl, but the feeling of warmth she got just knowing that little girl was her child…it was a feeling that crossed all the boundaries of time. It was like the experience of music - unexplainable, but everyone who's experienced it similarly knows just exactly what you mean when you talk about it.
"What's that?" Kim asked, looking at the fingerpainting Kamie was eagerly working on.
"Yew!" the girl enthusiastically responded.
"YEH! ZEE?" Kamie asked, holding up the fingerpainting. A stick figure woman with red hair, enclosed in a heart. "Da haht's do zhow I wuv yew!" she declared, dropping the paper and promptly hugging Kim.
"What-d'aww! Why thank you, honey! I love you, too! Now, why don't you go put on your Robin Hood costume and we'll watch that after lunch. That work, Miss Kamie?" Kamie nodded. "Alright then – go get your costume on, then call me when you're done! Go! Go, young woman! Go!" Kim chuckled as Kamie scurried to her room and shut the door. It took her 5 minutes to put on her costume - but she could already do it by herself, so Kim just waited patiently in the living room - and also, Kamie wouldn't able to hear anything Kim yelled for 5 minutes, due to the fact Kim had been forced to put up some soundproofing material in the room after 3 more thunderstorms had kept Kamie up all night screaming in terror - boy, could the girl YELL when she wanted to - and said screaming had kept pretty much everyone else in the apartment building up all night, too - to the point where the very kind landlady had been forced to demand Kim do something or she would be back out on the streets. Wanting to be able to sleep herself - and not ever wanting to return to the life she'd had as a bum - Kim had quickly complied, purchasing some top-level soundproofing material - and now one couldn't hear a bomb explode inside the room if they were outside it, and vice versa if they were inside the room.
Suddenly, a FLASH! of white light engulfed everything in the living room. Kim spun around. "What the – RON!" Kim gasped as he stepped out of the time portal. She grabbed him and hugged him tightly. "C'mon, there's something you need to see!"
"Wait – Kim! No! We gotta go back to 2006 like pronto!"
"Just wait 5 minutes!" Kim rebuffed him. "Trust me, you need to know about thi-"
"Kim, we don't have 5 minutes! We have 4, or this time portal thing closes on us - according to what Wade said!"
"Then leave me here!" Kim turned around. "Just leave me here."
"What Kim! C'mon!" Ron protested.
"No! Either you go back alone or we wait 5 minutes and she goes with me! I'm not leaving her behind!"
"What? Kim, what the hell are you talking about? Let's go!" Ron grabbed her by the arm and tried to pull her towards the time portal.
"NO! She goes with me!" Kim swatted his hand away. "I'm not leaving her behind!"
Now just impatient with her, Ron grabbed her with both hands - and Kim had had enough of it.
"NO! NO! SHE GOES WITH ME! SHE GOES WITH ME!" she screamed, turning and punching Ron hard in the face, sending him reeling flat on his back. She ran away from the spot where the time portal was still open, trying to get to Kamie's room - but before she could go very far, Ron had her in his grip again. As she frantically tried to break his grasp, she hastily grabbed a pad and pen on the living room table and began scribbling furiously.
"Kim! C'mon! Let's get you back to your own time!" Recovered, Ron stepped further out of the portal again and grabbed Kim's arm. Again, Kim kept resisting him, trying to break free, trying to get to Kamie's room. "KI-I-I-I-IM! What's going o-"
"SHUT UP! SHUT UP! JUST WAIT, LIKE – 5 MINUTES!" Kim yelled, continuing her attempts to break free and finally be able to unite Kamie with her father. She cursed herself for having put up the soundproofing in her daughter's room as she kept struggling with Ron.
"And I told you, Wade said this time portal's gonna close in 4 minutes!" Ron protested again, grabbing her much more forcefully.
"RON! NO! STOP! STOP! NO!" Kim resisted violently – but Ron was fed up, too, and used a Monkey Kung-Fu hold he knew that Kim could not break free of. "NO! RON! THIS IS FOR YOUR OWN GOOD, TOO! WAIT! WAIT!" Frantic, Kim looked down at her necklace with her daughter's name on it – and in a fit of desperation, she broke it in two, tossing one side right next to the pad she'd written on. She fought to get back to the pad – where she struggled to write one last note. "RON! STOP! PLEASE! SHE GOES WITH ME! SHE GOES WITH ME! SHE GO-" The pen scrawled as Ron grabbed her.
After she somehow was able to kick the phone off the table and onto the floor without breaking it or taking it off the hook, the room filled with silence as Ron finally dragged Kim back through the time portal.
"Dih ih! Dih ih! An ah by mysef two, maw-" Little Kamie froze at the now-empty room. "-hmee?" She looked around. "Mawhmee?" Nothing. "MAWHMEE! WHEH AH YEW? MAWHME? MAWHMEEEEEEEEE!"
After nothing again, the girl saw the phone on the floor. Tears cascading down her face, Kamie ran to it, lifted up the handset and dropped it away from the base – then pressed the red button only once.
"-ES WITH ME!" Kim finished screaming as she fell out of the time portal and into Ron's chest. She sprang up, looking around, her eyes wide with hope Kamie had come through, too.
"Kim! KIM! What were you yelling? Shego's not with you! She broke out and has your mom hostage!"
Kim spun around and began pummeling him with a vicious set of punches that she would not stop. "HOW COULD YOU DO THIS? HOW COULD YOU? HOW? HOW, RON – HOW?"
"Ow! Hey! What-ah! Kim! What are doing? Why are you – egh! – punching me? Kim! STOP!"
Wade watched in shock from the Kimmunicator as Kim continued to beat Ron into a pulp.
Kim wasn't done yet. She picked Ron up, angrily slamming him against the side of her dresser. "YOU JUST LEFT YOUR ONE AND A HALF-YEAR OLD DAUGHTER 22 YEARS IN THE PAST, RON! YOU IDIOT! OUR! CHILD!" She punched him again. "OUR! CHILD! HOW COULD YOU?"
"Whoahwhoah, hold on – our child? One and a half years? Kim, I'm – I'm sorry…" Ron held her close. "I made another stupid decision…but it's only been one and a half hours since you disappeared here!"
Kim grabbed his shirt and stared at him, her eyes wide, the tears and the fury merged into one singular madness. "SEND ME BACK! SEND ME BACK! I NEED TO GET OUR DAUGHTER BACK!"
"Whoah! Alright! Alright! ALRIGHT!" Ron began to sit up. "I'll send you back th-"
Kim's eyes went wide in horror. She looked at Ron, silently pleading to tell her what the noise was. Ron checked – and cringed. "Uh, KP – Promise not to beat me if I tell you that was the time portal...thing?"
Kim's lip trembled violently as Ron held up the busted Chrono Manipulator. He threw his hands up to protect himself in case she went off—
—but instead of raging, she burst into tears, and grabbed him, sobbing. "I - I had the whole week planned out – was gonna take her to the Go City Zoo again tomorrow, the Go City Aviary on Wednesday…and now…" She bawled some more, pounding on Ron's chest in her frustration.
"Okay, Kim? This is a bad time, but Shego's kidnapped your mom and taken her to Go City!"
"What? Where in Go City? Go Tower?"
"Uh…Some abandoned apartment or something."
"Yeah, I didn't really catch the whole th – HEY, WHOAH! WAIT UP! KI-I-I-I-I-M!" Ron yelled as Kim's eyes went wide and she suddenly shot past him out the door.
Lightning crashed as she reached the building. Her brain was still trying to comprehend the whole thing, but it was slowly sinking in. A lot of it connected together. Some of it didn't. But there were enough of those connections for her to be confident her guess was right - despite how much she really wanted to believe otherwise. She sighed and slipped inside, heading for the room the telltale green glow was in.
"SHEGO! Unhand Mrs. Possibwhoah!" Ron cried as he fell through the windowsill. "Ow."
Shego grinned. "No can do, buffoon! You'll just have to wait till' Kimmie's here!"
"Kim's right with m – wait, where'd she go?" Ron looked around. "Kim?"
"Hah! Pumpkin choose not to come?" sneered the pale-skinned woman.
"Rest your weary head, Little Kamie
Time for a story from Mommy Kimmie…"
Shego's ears perked. She involuntarily let Mrs. Possible go as she looked around. "That song-"
"Let yourself be calmed, Little Kamie
The lightning's not really that scary…"
"Why is that song so familiar? AH!" Shego jumped as Kim appeared in a flash of lightning, standing next to the couch. Mrs. Possible ran to her safety by Ron as Shego's attention was focused away.
"The lightning always did scare you quite a bit," smirked Kim, smiling warmly at Shego.
"What? Lightning's never scared me," Shego snarled – albeit looking confused.
Kim kept smiling warmly. "Oh-ho, it scared you quite a bit there, sweetie…" She traced her finger along the top of the couch in memory. "Here – Robin Hood captured the Sheriff of Nottingham. Right here."
""Sweetie?" KP, what are you-" Ron shut up as Kim held up her hands.
"Tell me about your mother, Shego." Kim looked back at the pale-skinned thief.
"What? My mother died when I was 8, Princess, thank you very much."
"Not that mother."
"Whaddya mean, "Not that mother?" That's the only mother I ever h-"
"There's an item you keep with you. Never let it leave your sight." Kim started walking towards Shego. "Every officer at the prison knows if they try to take it from you, they'll end up unconscious - or worse."
Caught off guard by the statement, Shego instinctively went for her hip pocket as she backed up. "-and how the hell you know that?" She drew her hand away, leaving part of a chain hanging out the pocket.
Kim did not stop her forward movement. "I made a guess, people talk…Take your pick."
"Alright, fine then. So I was adopted. Again - why the flying son of a hell do you care, Princess? And if you get any closer, I'll slice - DAMMIT!" Shego fumed, seeing Mrs. Possible safe & far away from her.
"Bargaining chip gone, eh? And why do I care about your biological mother? I think I may know her."
"Oh yeah? And who would she be?"
"I'm not sure yet, but I'm almost certain I met her in the past. And okay, change of subject – why'd you drag my mother to this old apartment? Were you gonna give her the grand tour or something, Shego?"
"What? Shut up! I've never been in this apartment before. I just picked it 'cuz it was abandoned!"
"Abandoned by whom? And my, someone's got a temper today!"
"I don't know! Certainly not anyone I know!"
"Damn, 22 years & they didn't touch a thing…" Kim mused, looking at the hallway they'd moved into.
"Uh, hello? Yeah, hi, Kimmie, eyes on Shego, please! Can we just skip to the me fighting you thing?"
"Alrighty then." Kim suddenly ran at Shego, and ducked into a slide as the woman's glowing green punch swooped through the air. As she slid past Shego, she snatched the chain from Shego's pocket. Making sure she had what she wanted, Kim stood up, ran into the room down the hall, and shut the door.
"W – HEY!" Shego's voiced boomed. "YOU DID NOT JUST TAKE WHAT I THINK YOU TOOK!" She ran after Kim and nearly kicked the door of the room down with all her anger when she reached it.
She found the young woman standing at the other side of a dust-covered baby's room, her back turned. "Bring back memories, doesn't it?" asked Kim, looking up out of the window instead of turning around.
"I'M GONNA BRING BACK YOUR MEMORIES IF YOU DON'T GIVE THAT BACK TO ME!"
Kim kept looking out the window. "Whoah…Calm down, there Shego. There's no reason for you to get upset. Whining about something like this isn't going to solve the problem any faster. You know that."
"Oh, but I'll feel so much better…" growled Shego. She inflamed her left hand & launched a left hook-
"It belonged to your biological mother, didn't it?"
Shego stopped mid-punch. "Why the hell do you care so much about my goddamn biological mother, Kimmie? I can't even remember her face… She apparently raised me for a short while – but then that ungrateful bitch of a woman just had to up and abandon me when I was only one and a half years old! Left that as my only reminder of her – a broken heart, cause she couldn't afford to have a whole one! And thank you very much, Princess. Oh, and now that you tricked me into that Freudian slip, I'm going to get you to give that back, or I'll abandon the one unsoiled spot on my criminal record: # of kills."
Kim looked down – but still didn't turn around. "It wasn't that she abandoned you intentionally."
"Hmmph. What do you know?"
Shego froze as the redhead chucked the chain over the back of her head to her - with a whole pendant.
She looked up, staring at Kim.
"It was more like someone couldn't wait the five minutes for you to get dressed and put on your Robin Hood costume before pulling her back through the time portal…" Kim tilted her head back, singling out Ron – who she could see standing in the doorframe along with Mrs. Possible in the window's reflection .
Shego kept staring at Kim.
"All those times, Shego. All those times. How many times did Drakken ask you to just outright kill me? And yet you couldn't. Oh, you tried. But something you coul- wouldn't - explain always held you back."
Shego continued to keep staring at Kim.
"You knew, Shego. From the 1st time you saw me, when we went after that stolen nanotick. You knew. But everything happened when you were so young. You didn't know what you knew; why you knew it."
Shego looked at the pendant, and stopped her hand from shaking. She half-sneered. "Nice try, Kimmie."
"I'm not trying anything, Shego. You know me. Would I lie to you?"
"Yep. On more than one occasion, actually."
"More than one occasion?" Kim finally turned around. "Name all the times you know I've lied."
"Well, there was that Halloween thing with the Centurion Project, and…"
"Hold on there, Kimmie! Gimme some time to think!"
"Alright, alright…" Kim threw up her hands and turned back around as a gesture of leaving her alone.
"Is it me, or are they both acting really strange, Mrs. P?" asked Ron in a whisper.
"Shh!" whispered back Mrs. Possible. "I think I know what Kim's trying to tell her."
"…and…uh…" Looking around the room, Shego's eyes fell on the dust-covered baby's crib by the wall. She walked over to it, inexplicably drawn to it by something – something she could not fully explain…
The voice was so close she could feel it resonate through her skin, yet so quiet it seemed almost a dream as it faded. "-same room as you all the time, but if you ever need me… I will be there for you. That's…"
Shego pointed at Kim furiously. "WHEN YOU PROMISED YOU'D ALWAYS BE THERE, BUT THEN YOU-" Her eyes widened and her voice stumbled as she realized what she'd just said. "-w-weren't..."
She dropped to her knees, her eyes wide in stunned shock.
Kim turned back around, walked over to Shego and helped her back to her feet - then suddenly embraced her in a warm hug. To the astonishment of Ron and Mrs. Possible, Shego didn't even try to break away. "You know it's true, Shego." Kim looked at her, and brushed some fallen bangs out of the woman's eyes. "You know it all is - or you would have sliced though my chest about 30 seconds ago."
Shego looked into Kim's eyes, her lower lip quaking as she mentally fought to deny the truth with every cell in her body - just as all the memories seemed to come flooding back into her mind at once. The look on her face was three parts anger, three parts refusal, and three parts joyful crying as she suddenly threw her arms around Kim, returning the hug of the one person she thought she'd never see again. "Mom…"
Kim shook her head. "No. Please, Shego, d - don't call me Mom. You can't call me your mother. You can't. You just-I was barely there for you. You had another mother who raised you for 7 and a half years."
"Raised me." Shego sniffed away her tears. She looked up at Kim. Seeming more pained than happy as repressed anger and weakened denial tried to force her from saying it, she smiled. "But didn't…love me."
As Shego's embrace grew tighter, Kim decided to let her determine when the hug would be broken off. "It's hard to believe, Shego. I know. To me, it's only been 20 minutes since I last saw you. 20 minutes ago, I was watching my little Kamie fingerpainting, smiling up a storm. But even those 20 minutes away from you felt like an eternity to me. I know now they were an eternity for you. And I'm sorry I couldn't be there for you, like I promised you I'd be. I wanted to be. I wanted to be, so badly… But now - look at you." Kim grinned. "Now I see why parents always complain about their children growing up too fast."
She nodded towards the doorframe. "Ron? Mom? You don't have to act like you're hiding from us."
"Ronald?" queried a smiling Mrs. Possible as she wiped away a forming tear of joy.
"I believe it's time we went over there and talked with your daughter."
"My – WHAT?"
"She's right, Ron," said Kim.
"Wait, hold on!" Shego lightly pushed Kim away from her. "Stoppable is my father? The buffoon?"
"Hey! That's no way to talk to your father, young lady!" scolded Ron. "Wait - why did I just say that?"
Shego slapped her face. "Oi. Well, score one for the feeling-embarrassed-by-your-parents column…"
"I'm not that embarrassing!" Ron looked around. "Am I?"
"If I may interrupt?" asked Wade over the Kimmunicator.
"What? Your nerdlinger's been listening to us the whole time?" Shego sniped.
"Yea, I have - and I'm as shocked as everyone else. But this does explain why you hate Kim so much -"
"-W-which you have every right to do, of course, Shego…" added Kim.
"Sorry to make this a tad bit complicated, but you being Kim's daughter actually makes a lot of sense. You knew who Kim was the last few years you two have been fighting, and you thought she'd recognize you somehow - say something about how proud she was of what you'd accomplished with your life. But she didn't recognize you – albeit because she hadn't even become pregnant with you yet – but the fact that she didn't, annoyed you. It's probably why you've stuck around Dr. Drakken for so long: The both of you have wanted to prove something to a Possible for something that they did to you in the past."
"What's Drakken's beef with – oh, yeah, he blames Mr. P. for laughing at him in college," said Ron.
Shego looked at her mother. "Eh. Makes sense. So, uh, hey - random question: Now that you know for a fact that I'm your daughter, uh… There anything that I've accomplished with my life you're proud of?"
Kim chortled. "I'm not proud of everything you've done, obviously…" she replied. "But you grew up strong & independent. You were even a hero for a while. And… Well, technically, you did achieve your dream. That-" She graced her hand along Shego's cheek, smiling softly. "–I am quite proud of you for."
Words Shego hadn't even realized she'd been waiting to hear her whole life. "T – thanks…K - Mom." She broke the hug and sat down on the floor. "Gah, this is still so weird… I have all this anger in me directed at you for leaving – and now that I know you really had no choice in disappearing, I – I can't use that anger against you, because then it would be misguided…ARRGGH!" She punched the floor, sending splinters flying in every direction. "But the anger's still there – and yesterday - when you said you hated me…Well, I guess in that subconscious level of my brain that knew you were my mother…"
Kim gasped. "Oh my god…Dammit, and I thought I felt bad for doing that afterwards – Now…c'mere." She embraced Shego – the pale woman's rare tears falling again. "I'm sorry. Even though I didn't know you were my daughter when I said that, still…I am so sorry... Oh my god… But the rest of that anger that you've got in you?" Kim broke the embrace. "I can't help you there. You're just gonna have to find a way to let that anger out. However, I'd - rather you not do it by destroying your old bedroom floor. I – I did try to write you a note saying the pendant was for if we ever met again in the future - I just didn't-"
Shego wiped her eyes. "Yeah, but the cops confiscated that while investigating your 'disappearance.'"
"So, what did happen after I 'disappeared?'" inquired Kim.
"Apparently, little 1 & a half-year old me managed to call 911 and cry into the receiver long enough for them to trace the call to the apartment. They found me, the Go Family adopted me, you know the rest."
"You dialed 911 all by yourself?"
"Yeah. Press the red button only once, right?"
Kim nearly teared up as she hugged Shego again. "You really are my little Kamie…"
"Hey – agh – what are you doing – Rrrrrr!" Shego huffed. "It's gonna take so long to get used to this…"
Lightning crashed, making her jump slightly. Kim chuckled. "Still scares you a little bit, doesn't it?"
Shego rolled her eyes. "You're gonna lord that over me for the rest of my life, aren't you?"
"Ugh… The villain community's gonna have a field day with that once this news breaks."
"Would you rather I tell them about the time you ran around the apartment in that cute polka-dot diap-"
"NO! NO!" Shego clamped her hand over Kim's mouth. "For god's sake, please no!"
Kim laughed. "You do have to admit, it was darling…"
"Maybe, but it's not something I wanna have Monkey Fist chiding me over anytime soon…" Shego tried to change the subject. "Am I off the hook for this kidnapping your – kidnapping Grandma - thing?"
"If you hadn't broken out of jail the day after helping Drakken with that Lil' Diablo world takeover scheme? I think not!" interrupted Ron. "You ruined Bueno Nacho one too many times, young woman!"
He stopped himself again. "Gah! Why did I just say that, too?"
"I'm sorry, but – your father's right on this one," said Kim. "Besides, you're an adult now. We have no say in what you do with your life anymore. And, frankly, we…never really did. I can't say I'm unhappy about you going to jail, 'cause that's a lie based on the fact I recently discovered you're my daughter…"
"Yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever, Mom. I gotta serve all of my time. I can live with that," Shego sighed.
"Okay. Well, guess that's settled. Let's go turn you in," said Kim, standing up & beginning to walk out.
"Not so fast, Kim." Mrs. Possible's voice froze Kim in her tracks. "Your slate isn't exactly clean, either."
Shego looked up, her ears perked. Kim turned around. "What – what do you mean, Mom?"
"Your father and I bought you a pack of condoms because we figured you were a responsible young woman. If Shego is your and Ron's daughter, why weren't you using any of them last night with him?"
Kim and Ron's faces turned beet red as Shego collapsed on the ground laughing.
Author's Note: I have to thank Triaxx at the KPSlash board for the idea for this story, as he casually mentioned it in a challenge thread that was on a different topic which involved time travel – everyone told him "I hate you for suggesting that," – but then I saw his quip and realized that such a plot could easily provide many answers to a lot of questions about the relationship of Kim and Shego. Thanks, Triaxx!