Thinking of Kitty.

I can't move.

Kim thought that laying in her bed. Her legs hurt. She had a headache. Pandaroo was on her chest and that hurt. The codeine was a mile away and her arms were leaden, and in any case, she couldn't take another pill, not now. Her mother trusted her with those strong drugs and part of that trust was that Kim wouldn't misuse them, and no matter how much she hurt now, she'd taken all she could until tomorrow.

Besides, I hate them. She could never understand how someone could become addicted—taking the pills made her woozy and her body didn't want to work, didn't tell her what was wrong.

Her mother had laughed softly at that and predicted that she would really hate it when she got pregnant. Kim bit her lip at that. Her expression in the mirror made even Kim laugh and she really didn't want to laugh right now.

The fight with one of Dementor's robots had been hard, and Ron… She sucked in her breath remembering how Ron had been tossed into the wall, the ugly crunch echoing in her head. He was in the hospital and she couldn't go to him. According to Barkin, he didn't need any PDAs right now.

But I can't just sit here. I have to get up.

She felt like a lead statue as she got up. Thank God Bonnie hadn't wanted to do the stunt. She'd…

As much as it hurt to say, she'd have to thank Bonnie for that. Agree that Bonnie had been right-

Kim hissed in pain as a muscle knotted in her back. Good.

Now I'm sitting up in bed. Okay, just get up and walk down. I'll watch some TV and maybe take a bath.

Then she whimpered as she was standing up. Her legs felt like someone had fed ground glass into them, and it was only going to get worse. She took one step, then another, then she was on the stairs and going down.

Good. One more-

"SHIT!" Kim shouted as her right leg chose that moment to give way and she tumbled down the stairs. She screamed as every bruise got hit and barely managed to roll correctly to protect her neck and spine on the way down.


Oh God no. Mom's home early. This isn't-

"I'm okay mom." Kim said and started to try and get up, then stopped as her mother's hands pushed her lightly down.

"And I'm a horse's ass. Stay there." Her mother looked at her, with that professional look. "Who am I?"

"My Mom."

"And where are you?"

"Bottom of the stairs."

"Good. Can you feel your legs, arms? No numbness?" While she did that she had a penlight out and was shining it in both of Kim's eyes. Kim blinked, but her mother nodded.

"Mom, believe me, numbness is the last thing I'm feeling right now."

"Okay, well you didn't hit your head on the way down, so here, let me help you." Her mother helped Kim up.

Don't let her hear how bad it hurts.

Kim didn't scream, quite as she was settled into the couch.

"I…I need to see Ron."

"He's okay, I was coming back to tell you, and yes, you are going to see Ron. I want you to spend the night in the hospital."


"No Mom's, Kimberly. I know you, I know how physically fit you are. How many tablets did you take.

"One." Kim sighed. "I lost some others down the drain at school."


"I, um…dropped them."

"So you were so badly off your form you can't even open a pill case? Hospital, young lady."

"But tomorrow-"

"You'll be taking a personal day from school tomorrow. I'll call and tell Mr. Barkin. After that, it's the weekend, so you'll have three days torest." She emphasized the last word. "No missions. No homework. Ron will be out tomorrow, and if you two want you can spend the weekend…" Her eyes quirked, "marinating, as Ron puts it, on the back deck."

"But what if some-"

"If someone needs a cat out the tree, they can call the humane society. If someone needs to save the world, they can call Global Justice, and maybe, just this once, they'll get there in time." Then her mother looked at her, and frowned.

"We can wait to go to the hospital in a moment, but Kimberly… have you considered taking a break?"


"From all of this. You can be a normal teen for at least half a year—I don't think the world will end."

"The world's almost ended a few times." Kim said.

"The world's almost ended a hundred times, most of them before you were born." Ann quietly reminded her. "Other people will step up."

"What if they don't?"


"What if they don't mom?" Kim said, "I don't just fight freaks, remember?" Her daughter winced as the soft cushions of the couch pressed against another bruised spot. "Remember the food drive? We didn't getanything."

"You got twice as much as they ever did get, Kimberly, that doesn't count as nothing."

"But it didn't last the month, and that was for here, and I had to do that stupid interview to even get that much and then all they wanted to talk about was me." Kim said. Normally she didn't like to unload on people, but she hurt too much to think about that right now.

"And sometimes I wonder if I'm just…" Her voice trailed off. Ann paused and looked at her daughter, and sat down besides her. It was time for a talk.

"Just what?"