Disclaimer: I do not own Kim Possible. She is owned by Disney and Mark McCorkle and Bob Schooley. Any original characters shown or mentioned belong to me and can not be used without permission. Got it?
Primary Author's Notes: This story takes place within the "Maternal Instinct" universe and to better understand what's going on, it would be helpful to read "Seeing Double" and the first chapter to "The Pathetic Tale of Bonnie Rockwaller". Some things will be explained, just not in the detail as they were in those two stories.
The Burden of Leadership
Dr. Director looked through the thick glass of the observation room at the five colorfully dressed figures below her. At the moment they were engaged in a training simulation designed to help them improve their team work. For a gathering of heroes with such diverse styles and personalities they actually worked together quite well. Just as she knew they would.
A faint smile tugged at her lips as she remembered some of the protests from the higher ups, and some of her own people, when she first brought the idea to them. The obvious question was why Global Justice, they most highly advanced peacekeeping force in the world, needed its own group of superheroes. That was quickly answered with two words: Kim Possible. The fact that a teenage girl was doing more to keep the world safe then they were basically embarrassed the big wigs at the U.N. into allowing her to form a team that could handle situations that even GJ couldn't quite solve. And so the Justice Squad was born.
At least, the idea for it was born. Actually bringing them all together was a bit trickier. There were some egos and some trust concerns, and in the size of Stonehenge convincing him to come back into the public, but once those were ironed out things progressed rather smoothly. The fears that putting together five such strong personalities would cause problems were thankfully unfounded. White Knight seemed to be a natural born leader and was able to keep a fairly tight reign over the group without seeming too stern. He's somehow even able to put up with Spyder's cocky attitude, which she would just love to get pointers on. Besides him, the only other member to cause any problems was Catgirl, but that was due mostly to the fact that she was the youngest member of the group, which it seems left her feeling that she had something to prove. She had great potential but was at times a bit too impulsive for her own good. The last to members of the group, Longbow and Stonehenge, were the more reserved ones. Stonehenge because of his feelings of insolation, for obvious reasons, and Longbow because she seemed to take things a little too seriously. She was a good hero and all, but not much of a sociable person otherwise.
It was actually rather ironic because she reminded Dr. Director of the man she had handpicked to act as the liaison between the team and the rest of Global Justice; Will Du. Much like the archer, Will was a good solider, a capable officer, and a complete bore as a human being. She hoped that being around people that weren't tied down to regulation and protocol would help him lighten up. Of course, he did have to get over that arrogant streak first. That, however, seemed to be much more easier said than done. Still, she had to have hope that it would work out for the best for all parties involved.
"So let me ask you something," a voice spoke up behind her, breaking her thoughts. "What exactly are you trying to accomplish here?"
She chuckled a bit as she looked over her shoulder to see her second best agent, Ed Fynn, walk into the observation room.
"Funny, I was just going over that right now," she replied as she turned back to watch the training session. "I'm not going to have to move you to the psych division, am I?"
"No, no, I'm fine right here," he said, waving his hands. "I just know how to read body language and figured that's what you're thinking about. Plus I am curious as to the real reason. I know what you've told everyone and I'm sure that's part of it, but there's something else, isn't there?"
She let out a slowly sigh as her shoulders slouched just a bit. It was enough for only the keenest eye to detect but once they did they would see something truly was weighing heavily on her.
"To challenge me," she stated rather bluntly.
This earned her a confused look from Ed.
"Well correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this job challenging enough?" he prodded.
"The job is yes, the people I work with though..."
Now he was completely confused. "You...want us to act up more?"
"No, no that's not it," she remarked with a shake of her head.
She looked over and stared at him for a moment before she carefully sat down in the chair behind her. There was a look in that one eye of hers that he had never seen before. It was almost a mix of desperation and tiredness. It wasn't an uncommon look for someone in her position but seeing her wear it made him really concerned.
"Betty," he venture, folding his arms over his chest.
"Ed, do you know there's ever really been two people have called me on my decisions?" she asked, taking him by surprise again.
"No, but I also assumed that was a good thing."
"The commander in me says that yes, it is. But the actual person in me wonders sometimes if people don't just agree with me because of my status."
"OK, I think I can see how that might be a problem," he remarked, nodding a little. "So who are these two people?"
"Well one of them is of course Kim Possible," she explained with a small respective smile. "Which makes sense since she doesn't actually work for me. But when she corrected me on those facts with Prof. Green and that whole Ron Factor thing, I knew she would be one of the few people who wouldn't mind keeping me in line."
"Is that why you've been so hardcore about convincing her to join up?"
"That and her considerable amount talent."
"Alright. So who's the other person?"
The look in her eye went from tired to rather amused as she looked directly up at him.
"Why you of course."
"Me?" he asked, not sure if he should feel offended or honored. "Oh come one, I'm not that bad."
She held up a hand to stop to him.
"Before you get too flustered, let me explain. It's not a bad thing. You don't just seem me as your boss but also as a fellow human being. That's a rarity around here."
"Ah, I get it now. Tired of people basically being yes men."
"Precisely. You don't back talk my orders as you make sure they're choices I'm able to live with. I appreciate that."
"Well I've been in this business long enough to know that there are certain things you have to do that you can't be proud of. You just need to know how many of those choices you're willing to make. Too many can really wear a person down. Just figured that it wouldn't be best for the boss lady to have too many of those moments."
"And like I said, it's greatly appreciated."
"So that's what you're hoping they'll do?" he asked, nodding toward the Justice Squad.
"Yes. Since they don't directly work for Global Justice I'm hoping they'll say some things that some of my agents are afraid to say."
"I guess I can see that. Still you don't want it to get too bad otherwise they might start a mutiny."
Dr. Director chuckled slightly before she grew serious again.
"I highly doubt that would happen. People have too much respect for my position to do that."
Ed tilted his head to the left a bit at the wording of her statement. More importantly at the way she used the word 'position' rather than anything related to her herself.
"Something else on your mind?" he asked.
"You really are a perceptive one, aren't you?" she retorted, sounding a bit more bitter than she meant to.
"Wouldn't be your second best agent if I wasn't."
"It's just..." she paused with another sigh. "Have you ever wondered why I spend so much time in my office?"
"I just figured you're busy with work."
"And that's true...for the most part. But when I first started I use to make rounds to see how everyone was doing. To make sure everyone was alright, in perfect mental and physical health and just try to get to know my people. Then...something happened. Eventually no one would see past rank. I'd walk by and conversations would just stop, even if they weren't talking about something work related. Just normal things. Like I would demote them or worse just because they found a small amount of time to enjoy themselves. I tried to shrug it off at first and not let it get to me, but eventually..."
"It's lonely at the top," Ed muttered.
She nodded softly. "That's why I take these moments to heart. They're the only real conversations I seem to have in a day. I can't even go into the cafeteria without people either scouting away from 'the boss lady' or someone coming to me for approval on some kind of project. I would just like to sit down and eat at some point like a normal person."
"Well...if it's any consolation the fact that you sit alone helps you stay away from Roy and his endless talk about his wife. I mean I know the guy loves her and all, but come on! They are other things to talk about!"
There was another soft chuckle coming from Dr. Director chair at that statement. It quickly changed into a full on uproarious laughter that had the head of Global Justice holding her stomach as she rocked back and fourth in the chair. The sight of one of the most powerful women in the world acting like a schoolgirl caused Ed to join in the laughter. For nearly two minutes they laughed, faces turning beet red and tears streaming down their eyes. They took deep breaths as they finally started to calm down with only the occasional giggle escaping their lips.
"Oh God, thank you Ed I really need that," Dr. Director said between breaths as she wiped a tear from her eye.
"Anything to make the boss lady happy," he replied joyfully as he glanced down at one of the files on the console he was sitting on.
He picked one up and shook his head in amusement.
"You know I still can't get over it. Here we are in the boom of the digital age and you still like to use paper files," he remarked, as he thumbed through it.
"Call me old fashioned but I prefer to have a hard copy of everything. Computer files can get lost or corrupted far too easily," she explained.
"Well I guess it keeps the people down in records in a job."
His eyes suddenly went wide as if he had seen the most shocking bit of news in his life. He looked at the name on the top of the file and once he saw it read "Longbow" he turned his attention back to the training session. His eyes immediately focused in on the red haired woman in the blue form fitting outfit as she drew back her bow in preparation to launch an arrow at her target. His head went back and fourth between her and the file for a few seconds as he tried to process the information he had just found.
"She was a model?!" he finally blurted out, asking the air as much as Dr. Director.
"Yes, she was," she confirmed evenly.
"I thought she looked familiar! Damn, I remember some of those jean ads she did. Wow. I thought she died of heroine overdose or something."
"That's what a lot of people believed," Dr. Director remarked as she stood up and looked over at Longbow. "But thankfully for us, she didn't. She just decided to fight against that kind of behavior. Though I think that does make a statement about society when a famous model can just disappear without rasing much suspicion."
"Yeah no kidding," Ed muttered as he set the file down.
"It also says a lot about you that hers just happened to be the first one you picked up," she said with a sly smile.
"Are you trying to insinuate something Betty?" he asked, trying to sound innocent.
"I might spend most of my time in my office, but I still here some things."
"Nothing too bad I hope."
"No, but you might want to tune down the Mr. Charming routine a bit." Her smile widened at his gasped response. "Besides, I think you might have to compete with Spyder down there now. I'm hearing a lot of talk about some 'charming Irish man'."
"I'm not too worried. He goes around wearing that mask all the time. Kinda hard for someone to trust him when they can't see his eyes or face."
"Maybe. But he's certainly making some rounds."
"Whatever," Ed muttered as he stood up from the console and looked down at the team once more. "I still say my team could take 'em."
"Oh careful there Mr. Fynn or I might seriously give that idea some consideration."
"Hey, any time, any place," he boasted as he started to walk backwards out of the room.
He turned around to walked out the door properly but stopped when he was in the archway as a thought occurred to him. When he turned back around the cocky attitude was gone, replaced once more by that of a concerned friend.
"By the way Betty, the next time we find ourselves with some free time, how about you join me down in the café for some food. I can't promise it'll be good, but it should at least be edible," he offered with a slight shrug.
"I'd like that Ed," she replied with a gentle smile. "I'd like that a lot."
Author's Notes: It's amazing what my muse can come up with given just a simple idea. This original hit me about two weeks ago while watching the new "Battlestar Galactica" where Adama has a similar incident where his crew turns away from him as he passes by. I just thought the same could apply to Dr. Director and...well here we are. I hope you enjoyed this little peek into the head of Global Justice's life and that it helped provided a little more insight on the Justice Squad that appeared in the third story in the "MI" universe. Let me know what you think.