I want to thank King in Yellow, Sir Sebastian, Mr.Wizzard, aedan cameron & TransWarpDrive for the kind words. I hope this lives up to expectations as I am pushing it more than a bit to get it done.
The characters of the Kim Possible TV show are not mine and belong to Disney, though I would love to see them sue for legal emancipation due to neglect. Passages of "It's a Wonderful Life" are the property Columbia Pictures. They are used here without permission of their creators or owners. No profit has been intended or made on the part of this author and for legal purposes the following story should be considered a parody.
A Good Time for Extra Training, Chapter 2
He carried Shego around the couch and progressed to the bottom of steps before a soft hand on his chest stopped him. He looked at her with curiosity on his face at the worry that was now evident in her eyes. 'This is it, now or never," she told herself. She reached around his head and gently pulled his forehead to hers, enshrouding them both in her long raven hair, pulling them both into their own private world where nothing or no one would intrude on them. With all of the danger she had faced in her life, this was the most frightening thing that she ever had to do, because she would be vulnerable and powerless. "I…love you," she whispered her voice hoarse and cracking with desperation.
The momentary silence was deafening, as surprise at what she had said at first registered on his features, until he let a soft sigh and a warm smile crossed his face. He kissed her softly and told her, "My darling, I certainly don't object…but, you don't have to seduce me to get me to tell you that I lo…" SHUMP!
In a flash, Shego had acrobatically vaulted from lying on the bed asleep to wide awake and standing several feet clear of it with her hands ablaze. Heart in her mouth, she quickly controlled her breathing and then took in her surroundings listening closely for further sounds from possible intruders. Except for the chilled moan of the wind outside, the house was silent and gloomy in the grey semi-dawn.
After a minute more standing stock still, poised for battle and tensely listening for the slightest of sounds, Shego loosened only slightly as she carefully and silently made her way to the edge of the first window and pressed herself flat against the wall to peer out behind the blinds without disturbing them. Several terse seconds later, she concluded that she saw neither movement nor any footprints in the snow from the tree line up to her house. She gracefully sank into a deep crouch and spun on the pads of her bare feet to repeat the process from the other side of the window with the same result. Back to the wall, still painstakingly alert for the slightest abnormal sound, Shego slid over to the second window and peered out from the one side of the blinds of the second window until satisfied she had missed nothing from her vantage, spun 180 degrees in a low crouch under this window and searched for the most miniscule sign of attack from her next observation point. She cursed herself for leaving the portable infrared scanner downstairs in what would pass for the dining room instead of remembering to bring it with her to her bedroom last night. Letting her emotional state get the best of her was going to get her hurt or killed one of these days she mentally told herself. Her mental lapse meant that she was going to have to do this the hard way. She slunk soundlessly from room to room and repeated the entire procedure at each upstairs window of the house, including the window beside the stairway (the one she had installed shortly after she bought the house so she couldn't be blindsided from that direction when she was upstairs).
After slinking silently along the interior wall of the steps, she took a calming breath and vaulted over the railing where the steps opened into the living room. Landing nearly in the middle of the room, she dropped immediately into a defensive crouch and spun on the ball of one foot ready to launch a concussive blast at any intruder ready to take advantage of her giving up her cover. Seeing no one she half-raised out of her crouch and darted through the dining room, making sure to perform a couple of quick glances to the other side of that room while keeping on the move into the kitchen. Crossing the kitchen threshold, she rolled into the center of the room, coming up into another low crouch and spun once more on the ball of her foot, ready to blast, as she visually swept the last room.
Deciding that the interior of her house was secure, Shego wasted no time in backtracking into the dining room to retrieve the portable infrared scanner. Now, she repeated her visual check of the outside at each side of every downstairs window of the house with the added benefit of being able to "see" any heat signatures that might be hiding behind the trees and overgrowth at the edge of the woods.
Thankfully, there was nothing to be seen, no footprints except for animal tracks near the tree line at the back of the house, and nothing out of the ordinary except for freshly piled snow up against the staircase side of the house with a snowy mist still collecting on those windows--the snow there had apparently just recently slid off the roof onto the ground below. She mentally gave herself the "all clear" and allowed herself to fully exhale at last. "All that grief for nothing," Shego groused to herself She could relax a little bit now that she was satisfied that her house wasn't being ambushed by Global Justice or one of her or Drakken's villainous rivals.
Even though it was barely past dawn, there was no way at all that she was going to get back to sleep now. So, Shego went back to her bedroom, quickly dressed in her work clothes of a form fitting green and black cat suit with opposite colored gloves and boots, and then went downstairs to the kitchen. There she put on some coffee, then she grabbed the remnants of a loaf of bread to make some toast, but the blue and gray spots on several of the slices convinced her to just toss the whole bag into the trash. A quick inspection of the carton of milk convinced her that it too was well past its expiration, so even cold cereal was not an option. Since the stores would open late due to holiday hours, she would either have to wait a while to get something for breakfast, or go hungry in order to return to the lair to continue her training exercises first thing.
Thinking of the hollow feeling in her stomach, she decided to wait out the store opening. She hauled herself back out to the living room and plopped on the couch. Still not wanting to brave the holiday fare that would bombard her from the idiot box while waiting for her coffee to brew, she found herself with nothing to do but stare at the blank walls made no more inviting by what little gray light that did manage to filter through the blinds.
The images from her dream came back vividly to her, and now the bare grayed walls seemed oppressive—reminding her of prison. "No Christmas tree. No twinkling lights. No thoughtful gifts," she thought. Unconsciously, she blinked her eyes against some irritation and clutched her arms across her chest tightly. "No warm fire. No warm arms to wrap around me." Shego sighed deeply, closed her eyes, and leaned her head back against the couch. "No blue eyes with warm looks. No caresses. No warm kisses…"
Suddenly her eyes shot open and she shook her head violently. "I don't sit around and daydream. And I don't do self-pity!" she mentally scolded herself. She looked around for something, anything to do instead of this. Spying the remote, she scooped it up and jammed her finger on the power button. Shego clicked past a Christmas parade (at this hour?), a half-dozen talk shows about holiday decorating on a dime, and a least three different cable channels showing the same Snowman Hank Christmas episode yet again, before settling in on the classic movie station. Since the station seemed to be showing a commercial marathon instead of a movie marathon, she took a quick trip back to the kitchen to finally get her cup of coffee.
Returning to the living room with her steaming cup of coffee, Shego half-heartedly began to watch the black & white classic movie – some young couple were dancing at a prom or the like (since it was a decorated school gymnasium), when the floor started to open up revealing a swimming pool below. Surprisingly, the couple kept on dancing until they fell into the water and still kept "dancing" as the floor continued to open up and nearly everyone in the gym wound up joining the couple in the water. Her curiosity was piqued: "That's certainly something you don't see everyday and it's not another Christmas program. I think I'll watch this." Returning her attention to the television, the scene cut to the young couple walking home from the dance in a….old time football uniform and a bathrobe? Apparently, the guy's name was George and the girl's name was Mary—as they were walking along talking, he stopped, threw a rock at an old abandoned house, and broke a window:
Mary: What did you wish, George?
George: "Well, not just one wish. A whole hatful. Mary, I know what I going to do tomorrow and the next day and the next year and the year after that. I'm shaking the dust of this crummy little town off my feet and I'm gonna see the world. Italy, Greece, the Parthenon…the Coliseum…"
"Seeing the world isn't all it's cracked up to be, George," Shego thought. "After a while a lair or hotel room in one country looks just like the lair or hotel room in the next country and the one after that and the one after that…" She considered Drakken and the various henchmen with whom she had shared a lair, "and if you don't know the language, there is absolutely no one to have an intelligent conversation with."
Shego sipped her hot coffee and tried to forget about her feelings as she was caught up in the life story of George Bailey and how he could never seem to escape the town of Bedford Falls. She watched as George raced home when his father had a stroke, "I hope you got to say goodbye, George. I never did." She watched as a few years down the road George's mother pushed him out the door to visit Mary when she came back into town "You would have tried to make sure your wild little Sherilynn managed to find a nice guy, wouldn't you, Mom? I wish you could have been here to at least try." Remembering the images and feelings from her dream and then looking around her barren walls and house she sighed, "Sometimes I even wish you could have been here and succeeded."
She watched as George worked hard just to keep things afloat in Bedford Falls while he watched his brother do the things that got all the headlines and glory, "I feel for you Georgie," as she remembered her Team Go days, "I really feel for you on that one." She watched as George gave up his honeymoon money right after his wedding in order to save his family's little savings and loan from a bank run, "I guess…I never had anything I cared about that much, George." She watched as George came home to Mary after the bank run, on his wedding night, penniless. Mary didn't care about that at all and arranged a romantic little fantasy for George to make it clear just how much she appreciated and admired him, "I can't recall anyone doing anything romantic for me, just because, in my life, George. You don't know how lucky you are." Shego barely managed to blink back the tears burning at the corner of her eyes—she honestly could not recall the last time a man looked at her with anything but greed (for what she could do for them), lust, or fear in his eyes.
She watched, as due to the dishonesty of another, the institution that was George Bailey's entire career was facing ruination, and George would likely wind up taking the blame. "That hits a little too close to home," as the events that ended her heroic career vividly came back and deepened her melancholy mood. Then she watched as George's friends and neighbors rallied around him in his darkest hour, giving whatever they could manage to afford to rescue him from ruination. "No one cares enough to be there for me," she thought as the tears came to her eyes.
She had no friends left because they had all drifted away when she had become a literally explosive green freak. She had no lovers because when she made it abundantly clear that she did not want Drakken's goons pawing her, she had quickly gained a reputation that now kept the decent guys away. And what little she had left of family would probably sooner lock her up in the name of supposed justice as look at her, "I just wish I could at least see the twins again without having to be lobotomized by the Attitudinator"
As the movie drew to a close, George stood surrounded by his family, friends and neighbors. His brother with obvious admiration in his voice proposed a toast to the gathered throng, "To George Bailey, the 'richest' man in Bedford Falls." Hugs and kisses were exchanged all around and the closing credits began to roll. Shego looked up from the television and saw her empty room, her empty house...
...her empty life.
"What I have I done to deserve this?" she cried to no one as the tears began to flow freely. All of the henchmen had someone to go home to. Even that sniveling fool Drakken had run back home to Christmas with his mommy, without a thought of what Shego would be doing for the holidays. Why was she singled out to be left alone?
Shego was sobbing openly now as, without thought, she slid off the couch and onto the floor.
She would never make it to the store today, nor would she make it to the lair. She would spend this Christmas day as she had spent so many Christmas days before…
…alone with her tears.
Here's hoping you find what you're looking for under your Christmas tree this year—but more important than the gifts under the tree, is whom those gifts are from or for. If I wish anything for you this holiday season, then I wish you plenty of extra hugs and kisses. When it is all said and done, the love and appreciation of those we allow to be close to us is the only thing we can truly call our own.
Merry Christmas, and may God bless,