Held up in there now for the past twenty minutes, neither Kim nor Ron had been willing to disturb her after she had broken down and run upstairs for sanctuary. Ron thought he had heard the occasional sob as he waited down the hallway and wanted nothing so much as to just rush in and assure her. But all that had gotten was the door slammed shut before opening a full inch. He was sure there was no other way short of force to get in there, and another show down between Sarah and Kim was the last thing that was needed right now.
Ron finally dared to try again. A few gentle taps to the door as he called out Sarah?
The soft sobbing seemed to stop.
It s Ron. Can are you going to kick my head off if I open the door?
Ooh. Rufus winced at Ron s somewhat insensitive choice of wording. Ron felt himself blush and burn at himself until he heard the door latch click open just a hair.
Deciding to dare on, Ron eased the door open to find the room otherwise unlit, the curtains all drawn and all other light sources blotted out. A single O-Boyz poster decorated the wall immediately to his right, complimenting a bookshelf adorned instead with several trophies, mostly cheerleading from the looks of it. He thought he recognized the sash decorated by various sewn merit badges resting over her desk chair with a very modern computer on the desk itself. The room was otherwise very neat but not freakishly so, no clothes or books cluttering the floor leading to the bed where Sarah sat Indian style, clutching tightly what appeared to be a Flamingoat within her right arm while she seemed to pinch or pick at her lip absent mindedly.
Sarah? Ron waited for a response, but Sarah just seemed to stare down at nothing in particular. Ron decided to venture on towards her bedside, sitting down gently next to her.
Heh. He laughed anxiously, attempting to lighten the mood. I always wondered what the inside of another girl s bedroom looked like. There s less pink than I was expecting.
At this, a soft smile graced Sarah s lips for a second, reassuring Ron somewhat. But this did not remain for long.
This isn t your fault. Ron tried to assure her in his most comforting tone.
Yes it is. Sarah finally looked over at him, desperately. This is all my fault. My mom s in trouble and I Sarah s eyes began to water and she paused for a moment to wipe them dry.
You couldn t know that this was going to happen. Ron insisted.
The last thing I said to my mother was that I thought she was weak. Sarah felt a wet heat slide down the side of her cheek, but did nothing to try and clear it.
Ron tried to shrug it off consolingly in the face of her tears. Well, mothers can surprise you. You d never guess at the things they re willing to forgive. He said softly.
I don t deserve it. Sarah insisted as she clutched all the more tightly to her Flamingoat for strength.
Yeah, Ron said somewhat nostalgically. That s another amazing thing about them.
You know the thing is, Sarah just shook her head at the thought the whole reason for all of this was so that I could be Sarah tried to find the words for it before turning to Ron well, like you.
Me? Ron s voice rose in disbelief.
Yeah. You know, cool.
You think I m cool? Ron s jaw nearly dropped.
Yeah. Sarah replied obviously. Come on, you go out, fight the big bads, bust their heads in, and then walk up to them like it don t even phase you.
Well I Ron was about to correct her when the more bigheaded part of him answered somewhat modestly I don t usually like to brag about it.
Rufus gave a slight growl at this that went unnoticed.
I mean you tore through a whole room full of super villains and didn t even flinch. And then I show up on your front door ready to raise more hell and you just have me in for lunch. Nothing gets you down and I I wanted to be like that. Sarah s voice fell back a bit at this. Someone that never gets knocked down. And I just exploded. Sarah explained somewhat cryptically.
In that instant, Ron understood. All the pieces of the puzzle had come together. Yeah. You know sometimes, life just wants to knock you off your feet. And no matter how many times you get up, it knocks you back down, until finally it seems like all you can do is either stay down or Ron tried to find the right word before conceding, explode.
Sarah straightened up where she sat, finally looking Ron directly in the eye for the first time since he had come into her room. So what did you do?
Ron didn t need to think twice. He just shrugged I had someone help me to my feet. Just like you do.
Sarah s heart melted on the spot as she looked at Ron. Somehow, the threat of another throw down with Red wasn t nearly enough to detract her as she reached forward, throwing her arms around Ron and grabbing him tightly.
At first, Ron froze, unsure of the proper manner on how to react. So he did the only thing he had been able to do since this whole affair began and just winged it, putting one arm carefully around her in a comforting manner.
Relax, Ron said casually this is totally standard super hero stuff. We find the bad guys, kick their butts, save your mom, and hopefully go out for ice cream to celebrate our super heroics.
Mmmhmm. Rufus licked his lips eagerly from his spot within Ron s pocket.
This caused a chuckle to escape Sarah s perpetual haze of gloom. Thank you. She whispered softly into Ron s ear.
Forget it. Ron dismissed good naturedly as he pulled away from Sarah. Besides, Pixies stick together, right KP?
Sarah was startled as she turned about to see Red standing ominously in her doorway, her silhouette outlined by the light in the hallway in contrast to the shadows of the room.
First, Kim began we are strictly observing Barkin levels of PDA between you two until this is over. From the tone of her voice, both correctly guessed that Kim was tweaked. And second, she is so not a Pi...
But before Kim could finish, Ron casually pointed over to Sarah s desk chair where her Pixie Scout sash hung, proudly adorned in assorted merit badges.
This caused the two girls to look at one another in mutual disbelief.
You too? Sarah was the first to vocalize their shared incredulity.
Sorry KP. Can t abandon the Pixie oath now. Ron just shrugged as if he were helpless in the matter.
So, what s the plan? Sarah asked.
You stay here. Kim pointed at Sarah. She then pointed over to Ron. We ll get your mother and bring her back here.
As if! Sarah shot up to her feet and off her bed at this. I m going with you.
Too dangerous. Kim insisted.
Please, I can chuck losers twice my size just as easily as you can. Sarah asserted proudly with all the tone of a formal challenge.
Ron and I have more experience at this than you do. Kim stated flatly. You re benched while we handle this.
Technically, Ron wished he d listen to the voice in his head telling him to stay out of this my experience has more been with the distracting than the chucking. Also with the running.
See? Sarah said hopefully. You ll need me help.
Not a chance. Kim was about to turn about as if the matter had been settled when Sarah rushed in front of her, putting her arm out, blocking Kim s path.
This is my mom and this is my fault. Tell me you d stay out of it if it were your mom.
For a moment, there was silence as Kim and Sarah attempted to stare each other down, waiting to see who would back off first.
Fine. Kim relented. Then I guess we need a plan.
Well, I ve got an idea. Ron admitted out loud, drawing surprised looks from everyone. What? Why is everyone looking at me like that?
Hello? Sarah called out into the large, dark room. Having followed the directions on the tape to the letter, she now found herself abandoned warehouse, dressed in her Squirrel Girl costume with full mask and all. Evil villains in clich hide out, are you there?
She waited a second longer for a response. It didn t take long.
The lights came on, revealing the room to be nearly twice the size she had guessed. A long walk way running around the entire room thirty feet off the ground showed three henchman with trained turrets locked on her, one to her left, one to her right and one dead ahead. In the center of the room, two gentlemen in distinct costumes awaited her. One wore a straightforward purple uniform with a noticeable metallic glove (or was it a hand, she couldn t quite tell at this distance) and dark hair sporting an instantly noticeable eye patch. The other wore a crimson uniform and had noticeable yellow skin, which Sarah recognized from the convention. Behind them was a small army of henchmen dressed in a starker red color that covered most of their persons and right in the middle of their midst, Sarah saw her mother bound and gagged.
Why Ms. Currage. Gemini exclaimed with a sinister delight. What a pleasant surprise.
How are you surprised I m here? You told me to come here.
I know that. Gemini fumed at the insolence. I was being facetious.
Why? Who does that help?
Now you listen to me you little but before he could continue his frustration, a hand to his shoulder caught his attention.
Aha, young Squirrel Girl. You must forgive my comrade. He iz quite uzed, I believe, to doing battle with his twin sister. I, on zhe other hand, am quite familiar with the insolence of young teenagers. Dementor snapped his fingers and Karen Currage was pushed into his grip where he trained a weapon upon her. And let me assure you, I vill not suffer another moment of it.
Ok, ok! Sarah threw up her hands at this.
Excellent Gemini smiled, quite satisfied. Gentlemen, would you please restrain the young lady.
Karen Currage let out a muffled scream of protest even as several henchmen approached her daughter with thick, dual bar manacles, which they used to secure her hands behind her back.
You know, you guys must be real bad dudes to pick on a single mother and her daughter. Sarah spat at everyone in the room. I bet in your spare time, you like to steal candy and toys from small children.
Ach, heavens no. Dementor spat in disgust.
Oh indeed. The screaming, the whining. Gemini agreed. I mean sure, once and a while for cheap laughs or if there s really nothing else on TV.
Or occasionally to reinforce my status as zhe superior super villain. Dementor added. Now, you vill be coming with us.
You said you d let my mother go. Sarah looked at them both sternly.
And we will. Gemini insisted smugly. Unless of course Hench wants a matching set.
He ll have to settle for a commemorative card. From somewhere on high, no one really knew where, Kim Possible leapt out in full battle suit, somehow knocking aside all henchmen around Sarah in a single attack.
Present and presentable. Kim smiled.
I vould not be too eager Miss Possible. Or have you forgotten zhat ve have ze hostage?" Dementor pointed to behind him where Karen Currage was standing, oblivious to the brown figure that dropped from the ceiling on a supporting line, scooping her up and then rising back up into the air.
Both villains went wide-eyed before turning around. Upon seeing a hoard of clueless henchmen and no hostage, they looked up.
Spankin save blondie! Sarah called up.
The sidekick. Gemini hissed.
And vhat in zhe name of inzanity iz he wearing?
Karen Currage, having only now been able to spit her gag out, could not help the bewilderment that came from her mouth as she asked, Is that the Fearless Ferret suit? Tim?
Nah, it s just me. Ron Stoppable smiled through his mask. I had a super suit but I had to loan it to a friend.
Me. Sarah smiled, as she broke loose of the manacles holding her hand. The camouflage feature on the suit that Ron had given her activated, changing the color scheme of her costume to a sleek, dark version of the original Squirrel Girl costume.
Whoa. Even Kim had to admit, as costume designs went, this one was much sleeker than the original she had first seen Sarah wearing.
Sarah never heard the comment. She felt the suit s power coursing through her. This new costume fit her perfectly and for the first time in her life, Sarah Currage felt right.
I have already suffered enough teenage insolence to last me a lifetime. Gemini clearly did not share the wonder of this moment. Get them! And someone recapture our hostage.
On the ground, the hoard of henchmen rushed Kim and Sarah.
Think you can keep up, Red?
I ll slow down if I get too far ahead of you.
And with that, there was no more interest in small talk as the two took off like dual racers in a competition.
From on high, the Fearless Ferret swung through the rafters as best he could with his passenger in tow. Fortunately only a single henchman with a turret was targeting after him while the other two focused on the young ladies below. Unfortunately, he was proving himself an exceptionally good marksman.
Ron fiddled with his line as he struggled to hold on to Karen. He could see Rufus as Wonder Weasel trying to chew through her ropes, though he suddenly worried that that might end up being a mixed blessing as she could only flail so much, bound as she currently was, which admittedly was making it easier to carry her.
A well-aimed shot knocked Ron from his perch. He was able to lower Karen onto the rafters safely, but there was nothing for him to hold onto anymore as he fell, caught by his line.
Dangling helplessly in the middle of the room, Ron looked up to see the henchman re-taking his aim, locking his sights squarely on the Fearless Ferret.
Wonder Weasel! Even from so far, Ron recognized Rufus petite frame as it latched onto the enemy s face. As he looked up to see Karen having freed herself, he correctly guessed that she had given Rufus the assist.
It s in my hair! It s in my hair, it s in my hair! The hired goon may have screamed like a little girl, but he still had little patience for such an obvious distraction. Grabbing at his face, he managed to catch the tiny rodent in his hand before throwing it aside. Turning back on the Fearless Ferret, he readied his weapon and aimed again.
What would the Fearless Ferret do? Oh yeah! Answering his own question silently, he grabbed his trademark grapple gun. Taking the only moment he had, Ron leveled and fired, the grapple latching itself perfectly onto the tip of the turret. Ron pulled hard just as the henchman fired, the blast shooting the walkway out from beneath him and causing him to fall to the ground.
Despite what one may see in movies, it is not that easy to knock out a grown man. Men beaten with clubs or other hard objects have retained consciousness even after being knocked to the ground. In football, some of the largest men ever to walk the earth have been tackled and slammed into by men three times their size and walked it off afterwards. Even professional boxers can attest to the difficulty involved in the act of rendering an adult male unconscious.
Of course, neither Kim nor Sarah could.
Instead, the two turned what should have been an epic battle for their very lives into a mix of one part race, one part workout, and one final part acrobatic competition, with one of them launching into a maneuver or attack and the other finishing what the first would begin.
Is this what you and blondie do all day? Sarah spun in the air, knocking a combatant to the ground. As she landed, she spun around into a perfect uppercut, knocking another one to the ground.
Don t get cocky. Kim dropkicked an attacker to Sarah s exposed flank. Landing on his chest, she perfectly transferred her weight into a perfect flip, grabbing the shoulders of the assailant behind and then, landing behind him, tossing him like a rag doll. Learn to walk before you run.
Actually, Sarah rolled to her feet, knocking the feet out from another a henchman sneaking up on Kim. I learned to run before I walked.
Yeah. Kim came up with a head butt, knocking an enemy out cold. Me too.
Alright ladies. Gemini drew attention to himself and Dementor sporting a strange looking device, almost like a keypad for a computer, in his hand that neither Sarah nor Kim had noticed before. I am, of course, extremely impressed. But I am afraid that I am going to insist that you both stop right where you are.
Oh really. Kim eyed even as she rubbed her hands together eagerly. Over confident much?
It s not a question of confidence. Gemini nodded to Dementor who began working his control. I said I insist.
As Dementor pressed the controls on his pad, both Kim and Sarah felt their suits lock up.
Ah yesss. Dementor gloated. You are no doubt wondering Squirrel Girl why I was invited to participate in zhis endeavor. You see, Kim Possible s interference was quite predicted, as vas the use of her superzuit. Which is vhy I brought along the remote I once used to control her battlezuit, and which I am quite pleased to zay, is working on your battlezuit as well!
Both struggled to no avail as they felt the suits lock up tighter than solid metal where before those very same suits had been as light as regular clothing.
Ah yes. It is working. All your battlesuits are belonging to me! Dementor gloated as he and Gemini burst out in thunderous villainous laughter.