Title: Kim Barrassment (1/1)
Disclaimers: Kim, Ron, Shego, and Drakken all belong to Disney and the creators of "Kim Possible".
Spoilers: Takes place after "So The Drama". Ignores any developments in Season Four.
Summary: With Kim's Battle Suit able to protect her from Shego's plasma, Shego will have to rely on her fighting abilities. What if that's not enough?
"Looks like it's just the two of us," Kim said.
"Go me," Shego muttered.
"What?" Kim asked. "I thought it was your job to keep me away from Drakken."
"That was when Dr. D had a reasonable chance of handling Stoppable on his own," Shego replied. She spread her legs in a battle stance, one foot sliding across the floor, but she held her fists oddly low, and she waited a few moments before activating her powers, as if she had to decide whether she was going to or not.
"Not 'the buffoon' any more, is he?" Kim said smugly. Since the Bueno Nacho incident several months ago, Dr. Drakken no longer seemed to have a problem remembering her boyfriend's name, or what Ron's fist felt like tattooing the maniac's cheek.
"Just shut up and dance," Shego growled, jumping forward.
Kim frowned as she met Shego's fist with a flat palm. The stripes along her battle suit pulsed briefly as they absorbed and diffused the plasma energy, not only protecting her from harm, but even preventing Shego's glove from making contact with her hand.
Shego just grunted and responded with a sweeping high kick that the Battle Suit couldn't do anything against. But Kim's reflexes could, and she ducked.
Ninety seconds later, Kim's frown had deepened. There was something wrong with this fight, something she couldn't at once put her finger on. It made her suspect a trap. She backed away and looked left and right, instead of pressing her advantage, giving Shego the breather she needed. She'd been seriously outclassed, and . . .
Kim stopped. That was it. That was what was wrong. This wasn't a fight. This was a sparring session.
She beckoned Shego with one hand, waiting for an assault. It came, but more slowly than she expected. As Shego fought and Kim defended, the heroine paid attention to her enemy's moves, her speed, tells, reaction time, everything.
What Kim saw made her surprisingly angry. Letting go, she brushed aside an arm swipe and delivered a devastating blow to Shego's chest with both fists. Shego's breath was expelled with such force that Kim thought she could almost feel it graze her cheek. Shego tumbled backwards and hit the wall – hard.
"What is the matter with you?" Kim demanded. "You're barely trying! You're embarrassing yourself! At least make an effort!"
Shego didn't get up. She felt her jaw, then spat blood to one side. "Gee, Kim, guess I forgot I'm here for your enjoyment."
"And Kim, what's with Kim?" Kim asked. "There was a time you never said 'Kim' unless there was a M-I-E attached to it. You're just going through the motions today, Shego. What's Drakken up to?!"
"Well, judging by the clock," Shego replied, "I'd say by now he's up to fifty thousand in hospital bills."
"You know what I mean," Kim said.
"Not sure what you're looking for, Possible," Shego told her. "You should be happy. Last time Drakken even captured you was the Bueno Nacho plan, and that was eight jailbreaks ago. And me, well, I think you would have set a new world record for 'kicking Shego's ass' a couple minutes ago if you didn't suddenly go on the defensive." She chuckled sourly. "First time you didn't beat your old time in a while."
"Self-pity, Shego? It doesn't suit you."
"None of this does, Kim."
Kim was feeling increasingly bewildered. Shego was acting bizarrely. It was almost like she'd aged ten years in a day. "You're not – hurt, are you?"
Shego shot her a look that was a ghost of her usual sarcastic glare. "You just sent me into the wall. What do you think?"
"I don't mean that, I mean – were you hurt before today? Because frankly, your reflexes today have been shot."
"Well, I did have a groin pull, but I begged the coach to put me back in," Shego said dryly. She still hadn't risen from her seated position by the wall. "Nope, I'm all better from the last time you tenderized me."
Kim wasn't sure how to respond. Shego was acting like a different person, and it left Kim on unsure footing. "So what's the problem? You hesitated, you stayed on the defensive, I practically had to wave a red flag to get you to charge me!"
"Maybe I'm not in a rush to lose," Shego said.
"Uh, hello? Checked the scoreboard lately? You haven't won in, like, ever. Not when it really mattered, anyway."
Shego shook her head. "Then maybe I'd just like to preserve what little dignity I have left. Maybe you haven't realized yet, but I have. I'm not . . ." Her mouth twisted in a bitter grimace. "I'm not in your league any more."
Kim just stared.
"KP!" Ron came running in.
"Great," Shego muttered.
"Ron," Kim said, still astonished by Shego's confession. "Where's Drakken?"
"Well, the good news is, the MegaBlasto ray is out of commission, and Drakken's trapped. The bad news, uh . . ."
"What?" Kim asked.
"He's barricaded himself in his bedroom. I'd say he's got every piece of furniture he owns blocking the door, and I can't get in."
Kim sighed. "Just, um, just wait there. He's got to come out sooner or later. He'll get hungry or need to use the bathroom or something. Maybe if you're quiet he'll think you're gone."
"You sure, KP?" Ron asked. "You got Shego taken care of?" The fact that Shego was still on the floor didn't seem to make him worry any less.
"I'm fine, Ron," Kim said. "I'll be there soon."
"Will do, Kim."
When Ron had left them, Kim turned back to Shego. "Care to explain that last remark?" she asked.
Shego had one hand over her face. "He's hiding in his bedroom. Cripes." She lowered her hand and looked at Kim. "That's what I'm trying to avoid turning into, Kim. If I don't walk away now, I'll be running soon. Running from you."
"Okay, so things haven't gone well for you lately," Kim began.
"Uh, you think?" Shego asked. "Look at the facts, Kim. It all started because of that damned suit." She said the last word with startling venom.
"You mean the suit that keeps your plasma from making me extra crispy?" Kim asked.
"My plasma hasn't done jack for me since Bueno Nacho," Shego said. "You've even turned it against me more than once, and let me tell you, not a fun experience having my own plasma thrown back at me. So after the first couple times I thought, 'Okay, plasma's out, but I can still take her, I can kick her ass without powers'. Only, it didn't turn out that way, Possible."
"Stop calling me that," Kim snapped.
"Possible! What ever happened to 'Pumpkin'?"
"Aw, Kim, did we like our wittle nicknames?" Shego sneered.
"No!" Kim said. "It's just – weird."
"Yeah," Shego agreed. "It got weird." She slowly stood up. "I'm not as good a fighter as you. Maybe that's always been the case, I don't know. Maybe my plasma gave me the edge I needed, put you on the defensive a little more than you had to be. With that gone . . ." Shego sighed. "You've been winning. And winning faster."
Kim didn't answer for a minute. She thought back to their other fights since Bueno Nacho, and she realized Shego was right. The fights HAD grown shorter, easier. She hadn't even noticed, too focused on the mission.
"This time," Shego went on, "I figured, why make the effort? I already knew the outcome."
Shego hadn't aged ten years, Kim realized, but she still seemed older because she seemed – defeated. She'd given up. And when Shego said she was walking away, she meant permanently.
And no more Shego probably meant no more Drakken either. This was huge! This wasn't winning the battle, this was winning a war!
But instead of elated, Kim felt oddly . . . disappointed.
"It stopped being fun a couple months ago," Shego was saying. "The little pet names seemed, I don't know, pointless."
Disappointed like the way she felt when she realized Shego wasn't even trying.
"I'm not staying in prison either," Shego warned her. "I'm getting out, like I always do. So if you gotta come after me, fine, but I've got money saved up. Probably, I don't know, buy an island or something."
Shego was right. It had stopped being fun.
"You know what, Shego?" Kim said.
"What you're saying – it sucks."
Shego blinked. "Huh?"
"I'm not saying that you trying to kill me was an enjoyable experience," Kim said, although frankly Shego's vicious sense of humor was a big improvement over Monkey Fist's odor, "but our fights over the years, they made me better at what I do. I bet they made you better too, you know."
"Not enough," Shego grumbled.
"Then I guess you'd better pick it up a notch!"
Now it was Shego who gaped at her. "Excuse me?!"
"I don't accept this," Kim said. "You're not in my league? Fine. Work harder. Maybe your powers gave you an edge, or maybe they just made you lazy. And when they stopped working for you, you quit? What's the matter with you?"
Shego snorted. "You've got powers now, just like me, Kimmie."
Kim smiled. "Well, haven't heard that name today."
Shego muttered something under her breath.
"But you're right," Kim admitted. "This suit, it gives me powers. Not like yours, but powers that give me an edge. Maybe too MUCH of an edge. What if I let my skills go because I start relying too much on them, just like you?" she asked.
She tugged at her collar and started unzipping the Battle Suit.
"Kim? What are you – "
Kim stepped out of the suit puddled around her feet and kicked them away. "Now – " She looked at Shego and saw the other woman had turned her head. "Oh come on, you thought I was naked under that? I'm dressed, all right?"
Shego was surprised to see that she was, in fact, wearing her old mission clothes under the suit. The skintight suit had seemed awfully baggy that night, though. "You're kidding."
"One thing about this suit it, it's a lot colder than my old outfit. So when Wade said Drakken was in Alaska – " Kim shrugged. "So, you want to fight or what?"
"Now you're just pitying me," Shego snarled.
"Not really. I know I'll win anyway."
"Then why – "
"Look, Shego, I'll make you a deal. I'll stop using the suit when I come after you and Drakken," Kim said. "And we'll fight like we always did. And I expect you to get better. This is a limited-time offer, Shego. Sooner or later, I'll turn the suit back on. And if I see you relying on your plasma like you say you were, instead of an improvement in your fighting skills, it's going to be sooner. I expect you to practice, and learn, and fight me on equal terms."
"You didn't answer my question," Shego said stubbornly. "WHY? And don't give me that 'I need the challenge' bullshit. All you need is to win, and this isn't going to make that easier for you."
Kim scratched her head. "Because . . . I guess winning won't mean as much if I don't have to go through you to do it. And I suppose you make it a tiny bit more fun."
Shego folded her arms and looked at her. "You're serious," she said.
"Amazingly enough, yes."
"No more suit?"
"For now. If your game picks up, AND you have powers? I'd be crazy not to wear it again."
Shego's right fist suddenly burned with green fire, but she looked down at her hand uncertainly. "I could beat you if you do this. I could kill you if you don't change your mind."
Kim chuckled. "Who would I be without my archnemesis?"
Shego blinked. "Drakken is your – "
"Yeah, well, I have a cousin. She cleared that up for me a while ago."
Kim saw Shego's left fist flare to life, so she wasn't looking when Shego threw plasma right at her head with her right. Her peripheral vision caught it, however, and she bent backwards like she was about to do the limbo. "Sneaky Shego," Kim said, straightening again.
"My pleasure, Princess," Shego said, her voice becoming more confident.
Kim handflipped forwards and narrowly missed Shego's jaw with her chin.
She didn't have to like Shego. But Kim had to respect her. And because of that, even though Kim would try her hardest to take away Shego's freedom, she would never try to take away her pride.