Three days later...
Kim pulled her mission shirt on over her head, and grabbed a hairbrush from the bedside table. She felt better than she had in weeks. Everything seemed brighter, crisper, clearer. Life seemed much more brighter, more vibrant.
She had spent the last three days in GJs medical unit, getting examined and testing her new form. Much more pleasant than when she had first arrived. The outlook was encouraging. She had gained two inches in height, she now stood eye to eye with Ron. Her muscles were more toned, slightly denser, increasing her strength. While she wasn't likely to be able to rip locker doors off with one hand, she could lift quite a bit more than she used to.
Her speed and reflexes were enhanced too. Once again, not the bizarrely superfast speed that Faye could move at, but definitely on an Olympic level. But the best part of all for Kim was her senses.
Everything that came through her senses were sharper, more acute. Sounds were clearer, scents were more acute. She could distinguish between various types of wood just by feeling the grain. Food tasted better. Even things she didn't originally like were now more flavorful. But the best thing was her sight. She had always had perfect 20/20 vision, but now, as far as GJ could tell, she had an almost unheard of 20/5 visual acuity. The doctor had described it as having "HDTV in your eyes." The details and colors were incredible.
All in all, it looked like Faye had left her with several gifts that could only help her in her world saving activities. Kim liked to think that Faye would have appreciated the irony.
She had finally been given a clean bill of health, although she was advised to take a couple of weeks off to rest. Her parents had also insisted that she put off starting college until the spring semester. "You deserve a vacation, Kim" were their exact words. They had even offered to pay for her and Ron to take said vacation. She hadn't decided where she wanted to go yet. She had other things on her mind.
"Kimberly?" came Dr. Director's voice. Kim frowned. And there's one of them.
Kim turned around. Dr. Director was in the doorway, her arm recasted and slinged.
Kim folded her arms. "Dr. Director."
"I heard you were being released. I thought I'd stop by to say good-bye."
Kim didn't say anything, just quirked an eyebrow. Director sagged.
"All right," the GJ leader said, "I wanted to say I'm sorry. For what happened to you, to your family, to Ron, his family, and Wade. I let the job get the better of me."
"You sold me out." Kim said.
"I had no--no, you're right. I sold you out. And there's no excuse for it."
"Where's ICAD One?" Kim asked.
"He bugged out when Faye escaped. But I turned everythign over to the UN Secretary General. He's dissolved the International Centre for Assurance Development. And ICAD One is out of a job. If he shows his face anywhere in the free world, he'll be arrested."
"Of course, he took great care not to let anyone actually SEE his face." Kim stated.
"Yes. Kim, I--"
"Do you know what really disappoints me, Betty?" Kim interrupted. "I looked up to you. I was sure you would always do the right thing, regardless of the rules. But as soon as your job was threatened, you caved. You took advantage of that admiration and you suckered me.
"We used to talk about me coming to work for GJ when I got out of college. But all this has made me seriously reconsider."
Kim walked across the room and fixed Dr. Director with a stern gaze.
"I will never, EVER, work for you, Dr. Director. Not if this is what Global Justice is really like. Not if there's goons on the payroll like Kemmerer."
Director looked up, surprised. "You know about Kemmerer?"
"Please tell me you didn't actually think my parents wouldn't tell me exactly what happened while I was running around Paris."
Director nodded. "I should have expected this. And if I was in your shoes, I'd probably make the same decision. Good luck, Kimberly."
Kim turned to look back out the window as Dr. Director began to leave. When she heard the door open, Kim decided to let the Global Justice leader off the hook.
Kim looked back over her shoulder. "I won't work for you. But that doesn't mean I still won't work with you from time to time."
Director gave a small smile. "Thank you."
"Ah, Kim Possible," said Senor Senior, Sr. "How good of you to join me. May I offer you some lunch?"
"Thank you." Kim said, pulling out a chair and sitting down. The two of them were sitting in the Atrium, the Upperton Arms' most expensive restaurant. A waiter arrived with a menu. Kim ordered a small salad and water. The waiter nodded and vanished.
"Where's Junior?" Kim asked.
"He is currently visiting Miss Rockwaller. She regained consciousness a few days ago. Junior has been visiting her every day."
"How--" Kim's voice choked up as she fought to ask. "How is she?"
"Surprisingly, much better than she originally appeared." Senior answered. "While she will have to undergo physical therapy once her bones have mended, there shouldn't be any lasting permanent damage. I have also been able to procure the services of some of the finest reconstructive surgeons in the world to aid her."
"You care that much about her?"
"Not necessarily. But Junior does. And I will gladly do anything to encourage Junior to step out of that narcissistic shell he's been in for so long."
Senior picked up the wineglass that sat next to his plate and swallowed the contents. "Ah. Lovely. Now then, my dear Kim Possible, I presume your visit has something to do with the matter we discussed?"
"Yes." Kim said. She paused as the waiter arrived with her salad. When he'd gone she leaned forward. "I found the person responsible for what happened to Bonnie."
"Really? That is excellent news." Senior said. He pulled a small notebook and pen from his inner jacket pocket. "What is their name and where can they be found?"
"That won't be necessary."
"Oh? And why is that?"
Kim fixed Senior with a solemn stare. The elderly villain quirked an eyebrow.
"Are you telling me that you, Kim Possible, actually took a--"
"I did what had to be done. She was a menace, and she wasn't going to come quietly."
"I see. And you are certain that they will not be...returning?"
"Quite." Kim replied. "I made sure of that."
There was a pause as Senior digested the information, and Kim took a mouthful of salad. After a moment, Senior reached back into his pocket and produced a checkbook.
"Very well. I would say that, given the circumstances, our agreement was reached." He picked up the pen and scribbled out a check. He ripped it out of the checkbook and handed it to Kim. "I realize you do not charge for services like this, but I think you have rightfully earned this."
Kim took the check and stared at the amount. She looked back up. "I can't possibly--"
"You can and you will." Senior said. "Given Miss Rockwaller's condition, I can guess how diffcult this particular mission was for you. I'm also aware there was some sort of altercation with Global Justice during this debacle. I think the amount reflects that."
Senior held up a hand. "If you do not take the check, I can assure you that the amount will find its way into your bank account in some other manner. My mind is made up on this, Kim Possible. You have truly earned it. Please do not insult me with false modesty."
Kim looked at the check again, then folded it and put it in her pocket. "Thank you."
Senior smiled warmly at her. "No, no. Thank you. And now, may I tempt you with some dessert? I understand the house specialty is a decadent little confection called Genocide by Chocolate..."
Shego opened her eyes, saw Kim standing at the foot of her hospital bed, and groaned.
"Oh great, I thought I told them no visitors."
"Special case," Kim said, "Part of a new system. I get to taunt you even before you go back to prison now."
"I'd rather be waterboarded." Shego replied. "What the hell do you want?"
"I wanted to see how you were doing. Ron said you were banged up pretty bad."
"I was. Just about had every damn bone broken. But I heal fast." Shego gestured at her legs which were still casted and in traction. "If it weren't for that, I'd be kicking your ass around this hospital right now. Tell you what, come back in three days and I'll be happy to do just that."
Kim smirked. "Yeah, right. I'll put it on my calendar."
Shego looked at Kim. "So, what the hell happened back there? One second you were there and the next...well." She gestured at the hospital room.
Kim shrugged. "You caught me on a bad day. I'm sorry."
Shego frowned. "A bad day. Right." She sighed and leaned back. "Not that I really care. Just know that whatever it was, I still owe you for it."
"I expected that." Kim said. She grinned evilly. "Anytime you want to bring it, bitch."
Shego blinked. "Okay, THAT was way out of character for you. What the hell's been going on, Kimmie?"
Kim smiled again, less evilly this time. "Changes. I think you'll find our fights a lot more interesting from now on."
"You'll see." Kim went to the door. "Get better soon. I'm actually kind of looking forward to it. See you around, Shego."
With that, Kim left the room. Shego sat up in the bed and frowned in thought. After a minute, she grinned.
"So, Kimmie's finally found her edge. Heh. Good for you, kiddo."
"So, how'd it go?" Ron asked as Kim got back in the car.
"Pretty good. She's almost healed." Kim answered, fastening her seatbelt and starting the car.
"Well, that's good. She's evil and all but still--"
"So, what's next?" Ron asked.
"One more stop."
"Ah." Ron looked out the window for a few seconds. "KP?"
"You never really, y'know, told us what happened between you and Faye. I mean, how did you win?"
Kim didn't answer at first. Then she glanced over at Ron. "I didn't exactly win, and Faye didn't exactly lose..."
The two of them took up positions facing each other, muscles tense, eyes unblinking. Faye clenched and unclenched her hands. Kim tossed her hair out of her eyes.
"You ready?" Faye called.
"Ready when you are." Kim answered.
There was a brief pause, then, with both of them screaming at the top of their lungs, they charged.
Faye leaped into the air and thrust a hand forward, claws extended from her fingers. As she came down, Kim slid to a halt, reached up and yanked the arrow that was still protruding from Faye's leg. Faye screeched in pain and lost control of her landing.
Kim smiled intriumph but it quickly faded as Faye landed on her. There was a sharp pain in her chest at the same time that she felt something warm and sticky wash over her hand. The two of them crashed to the ground, grunting in pain as they hit.
Kim and Faye looked at each other, then down. Faye's claws had sunk deep into Kim's chest, while the arrow Kim had retrieved had gone into Faye's stomach and out her back. Blood was flowing freely from both wounds.
Faye giggled, blood flowing from the corner of her mouth. "Figures. We can't even settle it without killing each other. Looks like we go the way of Dr. Jekyll, huh?"
"We don't have to." Kim said.
"Oh, what, you pull the opposite of what I pulled on you?" Faye snorted, "You convince me to give up? Not a chance, sister."
"God, you're stubborn." Kim replied.
"So are you."
"That isn't what I was going to suggest."
"Oh? What then? That we--oh. Oh no. No way."
"We're dying. You can feel it. We're only talking now because this is only happening in our head."
"It still means I cease to exist. That ain't happening."
"You know there's no other way. We're both dead if we don't. This way, some of you is still there. And I can tell you, I'm not likely to forget you, ever."
Faye frowned. She felt her vision starting to darken. The graveyard around them began to dissolve into blackness. She looked back at Kim, who looked like she was about to pass out.
"I still hate it when you try to play fair, you know that?" Faye said.
Kim chuckled. "Yeah, I know. But what else can I do when dealing with myself?"
Faye returned the laugh then sighed. "All right...on three?"
"I'm still not exactly sure what happened." Kim said, "Faye just sort of dissolved and flowed into me. And then the next thing I knew, I was lying in your arms."
"So she's still in there?" Ron asked, concerned.
"She was always in there, Ron," Kim explained. "The formula just let her out. All we did was get rid of the separation. We're whole again, and I'm in charge. Just the way it should be."
"With a few extras." Ron said.
Kim smiled. "Yeah, with a few extras. But I think they'll come in handy."
Ron smiled breifly then brought up the other issue that had been bothering him. "Kim...Faye said something during our fight. Are you really afraid that I'll replace you, with the Monkey Power and all?"
Kim glanced over at him breifly before turning her attention back to the road."A little. I mean, Ron, you've got almost godlike power. Who wouldn't be intimidated by that?"
"Well, it's not going to happen." Ron said firmly. "You're the leader of this team. No matter how much power I've got, that won't change. I'm perfectly happy being your sidekick."
They pulled into a parking lot. Kim parked the car, turned it off and turned to face Ron.
"But I'm not." she said. "Ron, you're so much more than a sidekick. You're a wonderful boyfriend, a best friend, and I want you to know that. I don't consider you a sidekick anymore. You're my partner. And I just hope you won't think I'm holding you back if we keep our partnership going like it has been."
"Never." Ron said smiling. He took Kim's hand and leaned in and kissed her. "No one could ever replace you, Kim Possible."
Kim blushed. "Thanks."
Ron grinned. "No big. Okay, you want me to go in with you?"
"No," Kim answered. "I'll handle this one myself."
"Well, here's a surprise." DNAmy said as she sat down on the other side of the glass. "I didn't expect to see you again, Kim."
"Get used to it," Kim said. "I just came to tell you that it's over. Faye's gone and she's not coming back."
"Aww, fiddlesticks." Amy pouted. "And I was looking forward to seeing her again. Oh well, I guess that's the way it goes."
Kim blinked. "That's it?"
Amy shrugged. "Well, this whole mess wasn't really what I was trying to accomplish. I just thought it was fun to witness. Now it's over. Oh well."
"Right. I guess we're done here then." Kim said, getting up.
"Don't be a stranger!" Amy said brightly as she was escorted back to her cell. Kim left the prison, feeling oddly dissatisfied.
Whe she got back tot he car, she found Ron in video comunication with Lord Utterson.
"Hey, KP! I was just letting Lord Utterson know that we, uh, took care of DNAmy's copy of the Jekyll formula."
"Yes, indeed," Lord Utterson said. "I must commend you on your thoroughness, Miss Possible."
"Well, it was a challenge tracking it down, but we found it and destroyed it. Dr. Jekyll's legacy is safely destroyed. You can rest easy, Lord Utterson." Kim replied.
"Excellent. Are you certain there isn't anything I can do to repay you for all your hard work?"
"No charge for this kind of thing, sir." Kim said.
"Ah, yes, but I still feel you deserve a bonus of some sort. Ah, I know! I have a small villa in the south of France that needs a good airing out. Perhaps you and Mr. Stoppable would like to stay as my guests for a week or two?"
"Really, Lord Utterson," Kim began, "that's really not necessary..." She trailed off and thought for a moment, looking at Ron, and thinking about the enforced vacation her parents were making her take, as well as the check in her pocket. And a few other thoughts passed through her mind. Thoughts that the old Kim Possible would never have entertained.
She smiled and looked back at the screen. "It's not necessary," she repeated, "but it sounds wonderful. Can we get back to you once we have our plans finalized?"
"Certainly. I'll have the staff waiting for your call. Thank you again, Miss Possible. You have done my family a great service."
"Thank you, Lord Utterson."
The connection terminated and Kim started the car. As she drove away, Ron reclined his seat and put his hands behind his head.
"All right, a week in France with no school and no missions. Sounds like paradise."
"You'll certainly think so."
"Remember what I said back when we first set up the apartment?" Kim turned her head and grinned evilly at Ron. "It's going to be SO worth it."
Ron looked at Kim for a moment, then turned bright red.
DNAmy sighed as she was shown back to her cell. She looked at the shelf of Cuddlebuddies that was mounted on one wall.
"Well, it looks like Kim Possible won...again." she said, taking the Gold-Class Ferrockatoo off the shelf. "She's such a little hussy. So stuck up and superior."
She sat down and stroked the stuffed toy. "But, Faye warned us about this, didn't she? Good thing she had a back up plan."
Amy reached down and parted the broken seam in the back of the Cuddlebuddy. She withdrew a small glass tube. It was filled with a dark red liquid. A label on the tube read "SAMPLE: MORGAN, FAYE." She held it up briefly to the light in her window and smiled.
"Well, let her enjoy it for now. She'll get what's coming to her eventually..."
Author's Notes: Whew! About time! Between writer's block, technical problems, and loss of internet access, it's taken me almost three years to finish this thing. But at least I got it done! Hooray!
I'd like to thank those of you who have stuck around since the beginning of this story, and also those of you just discovering it. While I have nothing against shippy stories, it's still nice to know there's still an audience out there for fanfics which are more than just two characters proclaiming their undying love for each other, whcih sadly, seems to be the state of all fanfiction these days.
If you didn't know, inspiration for this fic came (and some scenes were outright stolen) from the excellent BBC miniseries Jekyll. It's available on DVD and I highly recommend it. While there are some similarities (and the aforementioned thievery) there are still some substantial differences and plot twists that I think you'll enjoy immensely, not the least of which is James Nesbitt's excellent portrayal of Mr. Hyde.
And to those of you wondering about ICAD One, he got away because I still have plans for him. He's still out there, and still up to no good. You'll find out what happened to him soon enough.
As for the ending of this story, don't hold your breath for a sequel. While I do put teasers like that in my stories, I have yet to actually write a sequel to any of my fics, even when I've planned one. I don't expect The Hyde Factor to be any different. So please, don't ask.
Thanks to Brian Taylor, as always, for being the best damn sounding board anyone could want, and also to Daniel J. Wild for his feedback.
And now, on to the next one...