Standard Disclaimer Applies (SDA)
Kim found herself pacing in the living room, occasionally stopping to take peaks out of the window to see whether her boyfriend, Ron Stoppable, had arrived. She had only called him no more than fifteen minutes ago, and told him that it was urgent and that he should get to her place immediately.
She sighed, as she paced impatiently across the room. It wasn't really about the fact that she was needy, she consoled herself. It wasn't even really about the urgency that Dr. Betty Director of Global Justice had put in a direct request to her, by calling her personally over her Kimmunicator, to come in as soon as possible. It wasn't about the fact that she had just only been discharged from the hospital a week ago, over something that had made her realize how vulnerable she actually could be.
It was just that she needed Ron, now.
Sweeping her hair back with her fingers, she tried to sit down and wait quietly for his arrival. She reminded herself that he lived only ten minutes away, and that she should give him a little time to put on fresh clothes. She knew that Ron would also make sure Rufus got a slice of cheese. Just maybe she was being a little over anxious.
Her right hand shot out immediately to grip her leg, to quell the shaking that had started there. It wasn't intentional, it was just a reflex. Yes, she was anxious, that's all. No big, she thought, making sure she stated her normal catch phrase to herself as powerfully as she could. I'm alright,she continued to herself, I haven't been affected one bit at all by last week's sitch
"Last week's sitch, huh?" She grated out loud to no one in particular.
It was hard for her to remember the beginning of it all, the last two months passed by in a whirl. For her, maybe it all started with her kidnapping? No, it clearly went further back than that. She snapped her fingers in realization, it all started when she came into their lives.
A little over two months ago, Drakken pulled another hare-brained scheme that almost got Ron killed. Kim found herself still flexing her knuckles at the thought of it. It was a miracle that he survived the cave in. While Kim wasn't normally a religious person but at that moment, she felt ready to fall on her knees and sing to the hymns of angels, wonderful praises to the God that had let Ron live.
Somehow, it probably was a little twist of a cosmic joke, that irked Kim to no end, that not just Ron survived, but the person that directly almost caused his death did too.
Not only did Shego survive, but she managed to worm her way into Ron's life, quickly gaining acceptance among the Stoppables, and even with her mother, Anne Possible. Then Shego had somehow gotten Ron to help her put a dangerous villain behind bars… No wait, that piece of shit Reggie shot himself, Kim mentally corrected herself, not caring about the crass manner with which she'd cursed the dead man. She shuddered at the thought of that leering man who'd kidnapped her in an attempt to get to Ron and Shego. While she was sick when she heard of his suicide, she didn't find it in her heart to sympathize with the man that had raped Shego, and almost raped her.
Almost raped her... The thought bounced around in Kim's head as she unwillingly thought back to that night. The memories had been fleeting the first few days of her stay in the hospital. But now, nearly a week and a half later, and barely three days after her hospital stay, the memories were, to her horror, mostly intact. She had tried her best to put them behind her, but they kept coming back, each time more vivid than the last. They also had a tendency to hit her at the most unexpected times.
The scene would blur before her eyes, and then a tall slimy man and an equally vile platinum blond woman would slither into her mind's eye. They both swivel their heads to realize that she's finally awake, and the man sported a malicious grin as he sauntered up to her, drawing her chin up to have a good look on her face…
He gloated to her, like all villains did. But this time he went a little further than any villain had. The phantom pinprick of the hypo made her flinch, as tears springing to her eyes at the memory. He hit her, once, twice, she didn't care to count after that. He could have continued beating her for all she cared. She wished he hadn't stop, because in all her memories, when he stopped…
He leaned his face in towards her own bruised face, brushing his thumb tenderly over her swelling eye, crooned his smooth words, and leaned his lips in to capture hers. And she kissed him back…
Kim stood up with an incoherent shriek, suddenly realizing that she was back in her own house, in her own living room. She spun around wildly looking for the loud wheezing of air in the room, before realizing that it was her own panicked breathing.
"I didn't kiss him," Kim denied to herself with that same stubborn attitude when she first declared she could do anything. "I didn't…" She faltered for a moment as the vivid memory hit her again, his lips on hers. Or was it her lips on his? She clutched her temples in pain, and shook her head to clear herself of that thought. She dare not close her eyes, lest she found herself transported back to that room and he still stood over her…
"Drugs," Kim muttered angrily to herself. "It's those drugs… It wasn't me… I didn't kiss him."
A deep pain stabbed her heart that made her flinch, as she was struck by another wave of painful realizations. An inner voice that maliciously sounded like Reggie's echoedYou liked it, didn't you? You liked it because you're a whore. You're my whore... No, you're anyone's whore… You wanted to do that, didn't you? Pucker your lips and spread your legs for any guy… That's right, you're just a worthless, sullied little whore that no one wants, and you always have been, haven't you?
"No!" Kim frantically shrieked as she pulled at her hair, wanting to slam her head into the coffee table, the wall, or even a window; anything to block out the voice. "I'm not a whore… I love Ron… Ron loves me... I love Ron…" She found her own arms clutching herself in a tight embrace, wishing those were the arms of her boyfriend, as she kept on repeating those words. "I love Ron… Ron loves me... I love Ron…"
She felt tears creeping from under eyelids she didn't remember closing, still trying to force the images from her mind. She imagined Ron's voice whispering sweet nothings to her, that, indeed, she was not a whore, and was beautiful, not sullied by a sickening monster. She imagined his lips caressing her cheek, forehead, and eventually her lips, chasing her fears and self doubt away as her breathing returned to normal.
"Just another flashback," she mumbled out loud, trying to sound convincing to the empty room. "Just a nightmare… I'll be fine… I love Ron and Ron loves me… Everything's all right in this world." Slowly the flashbacks ebbed, and she let out a tentative sigh as she slumped back on the couch, hoping that she'd forget about this soon.
Kim forced herself to think of something else and wondered if, somehow, after the rollercoaster ride of highs and lows of the past two months, that was the end of it all. Not only did she find out what a wonderful boyfriend Ron was when he braved bullets and explosions to save her, she also found out that Shego had a change of heart, all but renouncing a life of crime officially, apparently all thanks to Ron. Shego's change of heart would have been great for Kim, except for two things: one being that Shego had moved into her boyfriend's house. And two: this same woman had developed a major crush on Ron.
She said she loved him…
"Please let it just be a crush!" Kim begged aloud softly. She thought of the other times when girls were interested in her Ron. "Maybe Shego will be like Tara… I mean, Ron did help her quite a bit, she should move on once she finds someone else, just like Tara did."
Through her mind, she ran through her checklist of why Ron should love her and not Shego. First of all, most importantly, they grew up together, from the tender age of four. Second, she'd always been there for him. Maybe not always, there were lapses in friendship, but mostly there. Third, she loves him. Very much, she added. Fourth, she's… She's… Kim threw up her hands in frustration.
"I'm grasping at straws!"
She stood up and glanced at her reflection in the hallway mirror. She stood on her toes, sucked in her breath and held it there, trying to imagine that maybe if she was a little thinner, a little taller. Maybe a little bustier too, as she used her hands to add a little support. Her mind wandered to the possibility of talking her mom into letting her have breast enlargement surgery. Maybe a C-cup, like Shego's. She grinned for a moment, wondering if she should head out with a little padding this time… Just to gauge Ron's reaction…
A screeching wail of tires broke through Kim's mental make-over session, and she leapt towards the curtain and saw a silver car drift into her driveway, leaving a nice set of clear skid marks and the unpleasant smell of burnt rubber in its wake, before abruptly braking inches from her garage door.
"What the…" Kim cursed out loud as she threw open the front door, ready to give that maniacal driver a piece of her mind. She had just opened her mouth to start her tirade, when suddenly she saw a ruffled blonde mop of hair with that ever-so-present, in an annoying but cute way, cow-lick that she could spot out among a throng of Middleton High students. "Ron?" she asked, her eyes narrowing dangerously.
"Heya KP!" Ron chirped cheerfully as he almost lost his balance getting out of the car. "Woah!"
Just before Kim could leap to her boyfriend's rescue, a black and green shadow slid out from the driver's seat and in a flash, leaped over the hood of the car, and caught him by the waist to steady him.
Ron looked at his rescuer with a huge smile and said, "Thanks Shego, I guess I'm still a little woozy from the ride… It was way badical! Like the Thundering Typhoon at the Middleton fair, only cooler!"
"No big," Shego replied with a warm smile, unconsciously stealing one of Kim's trademarked catchphrases.
"Ah-hem!" Kim cleared her throat loudly as her bright green eyes bore holes through a certain green-skinned hand wrapped around her boyfriend's waist, a little too closely to her boyfriend's goods.
"Hey, KP!" Ron sunnily greeted her again, as he slid out of a really awkward position as if not even realizing it. He wrapped his arms around his stiff girlfriend, before giving her a peck on the cheek. "So what's the emergency?"
"Hang on a minute, Rocket Boy!" Kim growled hostilely in his ear. "What's that?" She pushed her boyfriend aside, but definitely not in the direction of a certain ex-villainess currently dressed in a pair of black leather pants with a light green jacket and a white tee-shirt underneath that looked just a bit too tight for her.
"That?" Ron asked in confusion. "That… Is a car!" He beamed proudly at Kim.
Kim rolled her eyes as Shego snickered at his antics. "I know that's a car!" Kim snapped in annoyance. Whose is it and where did it come from?"
"Kim, that's a MAZDASPEED6 Grand Touring sedan," Shego intoned proudly as she drew her fingers of the silver hood of the car. "And it's mine. I just bought it."
Kim's mouth gaped unceremoniously for a moment as she struggled to take in the facts. "Yours?" She stood back for a moment, giving the entire machine one good look-over. "It's… Nice…" She found herself grudgingly admitting that indeed it was a beautiful car.
"Just nice?" Ron trumpeted in amazement. "KP! It's awesome! For one thing, it's definitely not Sloth!" He referred to Kim's hand-me-down vehicle of choice, which was actually more of vehicle of desperation rather than choice.
"Really?" Kim's voice took on a steel-like quality which was lost on the childlike-wonder of her ever obtuse boyfriend.
"Yeah! I mean, well… Take away the modified jet engines, flight mode, cool electronic gadgets that Wade installed, and it's… It's a Sloth!" Ron declared with a grin. "And remember your dad let slip about that recall…"
"Hey, diss my car again, and you find yourself walking to school," Kim threatened a little too seriously than she intended.
"Heh, no problem," Ron replied a little too quickly, unaware of his imminent one way trip to the doghouse. "Shego offered to drive me to school on Monday."
For a moment, Kim saw nothing but red. All she was aware of is a dull throbbing in her temple as her breaths became shallow.
"Err… KP?" Ron's voice broke her trance-like state. "KP? Earth to KP? You okay?"
"I'm okay," Kim spat out in annoyance, before turning to Shego and asked with a voice seething with faux sweetness, "So where did you get the money to buy the car from? I didn't hear about any bank robberies today."
Shego raised her eyebrows at the sarcastic dig, but decided to let it go for now. "I just got paid."
"Paid?" Kim's jaw slackened. "Drakken?"
"Nope," Shego grinned mischievously. "Betts."
"Betts?" Kim's face screwed up in astonishment. "You mean, Dr. Director?"
"Uh huh," Shego remarked with a nod. She tried her best not to laugh at the ridiculous look on Kim's face, realizing that the red-head had likely been tweaked and surprised enough for the week. "Turns out I didn't collect my last paycheck and severance pay. Betts just held on to those for me, and the stock market's been good to her…"
"But… But…" Kim stuttered. "A car?"
"Hey, I wanted to give it to Jean, you know," Shego replied in her defense, as she crossed her arms. "Mostly as a way of saying thanks for putting up with me this past two months, and to replace the Volvo. There's no way I'd give her a car bought with stolen money…"
"Then why are you out joy-riding with it?" Kim's voice grated dangerously as her head swiveled towards her boyfriend who thought it was wise to keep his mouth shut for now. "Don't think I've forgotten that Thundering Typhoon comment. The way you two tore up my dad's driveway…"
Shego and Ron shared a guilty grin. "Sorry about that, KP," Ron apologized.
"Yeah, sorry," Shego mumbled. "It's just that Jean would have none of it, she doesn't want any payment for her hospitality. Plus, she's just waiting for the check from the insurance company before getting a new car. So she insisted I keep it instead."
"How convenient," Kim muttered under her breath. "Anyway, while you two were busy risking your lives, Dr. Director would like us to see her immediately."
"Sure thing, KP," Ron nodded his head.
"Does that include me?" Shego asked.
"Yes," Kim replied coldly. "She personally requested for you and insisted that under all circumstance, you must show up or else she'd send the whole GJ after you."
"Ah dammit," Shego cursed under her breath. "She said that? I knew that check had strings attached. That damn bitch is way too sneaky for her own damned good. So like right now?"
Kim just nodded her head stiffly, eyeing the older woman.
"Dammit," Shego muttered. "I wonder if it's too late to return the car."
As Shego killed the engine, Ron opened the front passenger door and moved to the back door to hold it open for a sullen Kim. While it was one thing to hitch a ride with Shego, it was definitely a whole different matter to literally taking a backseat view of the friendly banter between her boyfriend and that of one green-and-black villainess. Former villainess, she reminded herself, as hard as it was. It'd seem so natural, so perfect.
Like I wasn't even there a nasty side of her mind whispered to her. Kim resolved that the two of them would no longer ride with Shego, and if the need arise, they'd be taking her Sloth instead, and Shego would be the one in the backseat.
Together, the three of them walked towards the unassuming office building that housed the world headquarters of Global Justice. Kim made sure to interject herself in that small space between her boyfriend and that woman, while gripping tightly onto her boyfriend's arm. Unconsciously, she raised her free hand to sweep her hair out of her eyes, before speaking out loud.
"I wonder what Dr. Director wants with you," she tried her best not to sound too accusatory.
"Probably to give me a medal of honor so that she can chain me to a Global Justice desk," Shego shrugged with a wry grin.
Kim half-snorted at the villainess' quip. That wasn't funny at all…
"Ooh… So that's why they give those out," Ron replied with a loud laugh.
"Nah, knowing Betts, she's going to give me the whole recruitment drive speech again," Shego remarked darkly. "She probably wants you two there to guilt and berate me into joining back up with her again."
"What's so bad about working for the good guys?" Kim asked neutrally.
"For one, villainy definitely pays better," Shego smirked. "If Betty was the head of Global Villainy, I'd have bought a Mercedes SL instead."
"Money isn't everything, you know," Kim replied a little hotly, as she made a small show of clinging onto Ron a little tighter.
Shego made no sign that she caught on, and coolly looked ahead as she replied, "Yeah, I know."
"Ah, Kim? Do you mind?" Ron pointed at his arm. "Not that I dislike you hugging me, but... Do you mind not digging your fingernails into me? It still hurts even if you do it."
At that statement, Shego let out a loud hearty guffaw as Kim also caught onto Ron's innocent slip-up and blushed a deep tomato red. Wisely, Kim did not make any further attempts at conversation, and slightly loosened her grip on his arm.
The three of them made their way to the front receptionist and was directed to an elevator which would take them automatically the necessary floor. Despite the uncomfortably quiet journey, like always, Ron had managed to lighten the mood by providing some self-made elevator music as he hummed a few popular show tunes, much to the amusement of Kim and Shego.
Shego stood before the door of Dr. Betty Director's office and rapped her knuckles sharply.
"Come in!" Betty's voice barked out from behind the door.
"Morning, Betts," Shego greeted the one-eyed woman dressed in her regular blue Global Justice jumpsuit. "Something bit you in the ass this morning? You look in bad need of coffee."
"You can say that, Miss Go," Betty's tone immediately threw all sources of camaraderie and casual friendliness out the window. "Sit."
At her command, Kim and Ron instinctively moved to the chairs in front of Betty's desk, while Shego hovered just slightly behind the two, replying, "No thanks, I prefer to stand."
Eying Shego carefully for a long moment, Betty finally spoke up. "So do you know why you're here?"
"Shego said something about a medal of honor or desk job…" Ron replied before receiving a harsh elbow to the ribs from his ever-loving girlfriend who took it as her sole responsibility to prevent him from sticking his foot in his mouth.
Betty's good eye widened, before a low snarl emerged from her throat that was clearly directed at Shego, "Medal of honor? Desk job? The only medal or job you'd get is the one with the stamp of my boot on your ass."
"Hold it, Betts!" Shego retorted angrily back at the head of Global Justice. "What the hell is this about? You call us in here, start asking the questions and then rip into me like I've done something wrong. So what the hell is this about?"
"I ask the questions around here, Shego," Betty replied dangerously. "And while you're in my office, you do not use that tone with me."
"Bitch!" Shego yelled at the woman. "I'm not going to take this bullshit!" She turned to walk out the door. As she tried to twist the door knob, she found the door was locked. Whirling to face Betty, Shego snarled out, "Okay, this is what I get for trying to be the nice, law abiding former villainess?"
"If you were trying to be nice, where were you six days ago?" Betty asked dangerously.
"I was meeting up with my younger brothers and, in case you forgot, you over in Go City!" Shego shot back quickly.
"The entire day?"
"Obviously not! I was also looking for gifts for them after meeting up with you, Giddy and that FBI suit, and an old frie-…" she quickly fell silent. "What is this about?"
Without a word, Betty slid open the top drawer of her desk and pulled out three manila folders. Dumping them in front of Kim, Ron and Shego, she remarked, "Six days ago, while you were conveniently shopping in Go City, the Pan-Dimensional Vortex Inducer was stolen from the Go City Dimensional Physics Laboratories."
Kim and Ron instantly turned to look at a gaping Shego. The green-skinned woman instantly reached forward and grabbed one of the folders, and flipped through it, glancing briefly at the reports and eyewitness accounts.
"Shego?" Kim called her name, her tone distinctly neutral.
"No way," the villainess spat out. "No fucking way! That wasn't me! That seriously wasn't me!"
"The job was done very professionally," Betty remarked coldly. "Only a handful of people in this world could have gotten past those security measures. And one of them is currently standing right here in front of me."
"What the? I sure as Hell did not take the PDVI," Shego shouted angrily back at her accuser. "I mean, why would I do something like that?"
"Yeah, why would you?" Kim asked her questioningly.
"Oh, come on, Princess!" Shego groaned. "Not you too! Whoever it was, I didn't do it! And you!" She stabbed her finger angrily in Betty's direction. "You do not call me in here and start yelling at me and accusing me of things I did not do!"
"What's your plan, Shego?" Kim pressed on her questions. "Was this all a setup?"
"I can't believe you two!" Shego raged. "Look, I'm going to say it one last time. I did not steal the Pan-Dimensional Vortex Inducer! You think I'd have setup all that bullshit from Reggie down to my rape just so that I could steal that piece of crap? I could have done it in my sleep!"
"Exactly," Betty replied coldly. "You could have done it in your sleep. Or during a shopping trip to Go City."
"Betts," Shego clenched her teeth as she spat out her name. "This is low, even for you."
"I don't think she did it," Ron suddenly interrupted from his quiet side of the room.
"There! Finally! Someone believes me!" Shego half-yelled as she threw her hands up. "Thank you, Ron!"
"What?" Kim gasped as she turned to glare at her boyfriend.
"I just don't think she did it," Ron replied uncomfortably, as three pair of eyes quickly bore down on him. "I mean… Other than her professional thieving skills and the fact that she was in the area, what other proof do we have that she was the thief?"
Shego turned her gaze towards Betty as she crossed her arms and tapped her foot impatiently, "Well?"
Betty's demeanor changed to a calmer disposition, as she just shrugged and replied coolly, "I wanted to see if you were innocent."
Shego's jaw dropped as she gaped at the woman. "You mean you accused me based on circumstantial evidence that no judge in the country would dare allow in his courtroom?"
"I'd know if you were lying in a heartbeat," Betty remarked coolly as she turned her attention back to a report in front of her. "That's why I brought you in like this. Besides, I have people clamoring to bring you in for a full interrogation. I thought I could save everyone some time and paperwork by doing this."
"Betts, you have some nerve," Shego growled threateningly. "I should rip out your cold black heart…"
"Oh really, Shego?" Betty replied with a slight grin. "Shouldn't you be thanking me instead? We could have done this by protocol, you know. Lock you up for six hours, drug you up on sodium pentothal and then subject you to our not-so-friendly interrogation techniques?"
"I…" Shego gaped in surprise, not quite sure of a proper comeback.
"So don't you owe me a favor now?" Betty asked rhetorically, smiling and knowing that she has Shego sitting right in the palm of her hand.
"Damn you, Betts," Shego grumbled. "For yanking my chain around like that. You can forget that damned favor."
"Fine," Betty replied. "But you're going to do this one for me anyway. You're going to retrieve the Pan-Dimensional Vortex Inducer for me."
"Why the hell should I?" Shego yelled at the stoic woman. "You accuse me, play your dirty mind tricks on me, try to turn two of very few people in this world I consider friends against me... And then expect me to do as you say? Don't forget, woman, I don't work for you anymore!"
"Oh really?" Betty asked with a drawl. "I kept your butt out of jail, so I guess that means that same butt belongs to me."
"Hell, I didn't ask for your help!" Shego shouted back. Then muttering under her breath, she added, "I knew there was a catch to that check you gave me. Dirty, rotten, rat-fink bitch."
"I've always looked out for you," Betty replied coolly. "Besides, you got a huge debt to society that you better start paying off. And I think this mission should be of particular interest to you."
"Society still owes me a big fucking check for my career at Team Go and what happened with Chesterfield!" Shego pointed out vehemently. "In between those, I figured we're pretty much square now!"
"Doesn't work like that, Sheila, and you know it," Betty replied coolly. "You're out there right now, under public scrutiny. Thank god that this time you came out in the public's eye as a victim and a good guy, standing alongside the good reputation of Team Possible. But there are still politicians out there who would lynch you for another term in office. So you better help me make it easier to tell them why the hell you aren't paying for your crimes yet."
"Dammit," Shego cursed under her breath. "You're damn good at these games, Betts. All this fucked up politicking; you should just run for President."
"I would," Betty looked up with a grin. "On the reputation of reforming super villains. You'd be my close personal aide and trophy."
"Ah fuck you, Betts," Shego grumbled. "Okay, so why should I be remotely interested in this thingama-doodad?"
"We haven't discovered who took it yet, or who is behind it," Betty explained. "On a completely unrelated note, it turns out that Dr. Drakken, your former employer is on the move again. A couple of large recent financial transactions have set off flags and we believe that he might be planning something, or already in the process of carrying it out. Considering that he's been dormant for the past two months, we believe this theft and these transactions point to it being his 'something big'."
"So?" Shego asked as she rolled her eyes. "You said it was unrelated, and I don't give a shit what that blue idiot is doing."
"On the rare chance that the PDVI and Drakken are connected, I'd like you, along with Team Possible to bring him in," Betty replied. "It's just that we have no leads right now on Drakken right now other than a few suspicious transactions, so I think you're better off chasing this PDVI."
"So I get to go play fetch for you?" Shego asked sardonically. "I don't know whether I made myself clear but I'm not going back to Global Justice."
"Oh you're not," Betty smugly replied. "You're a freelancer working on contractual basis that is not on the Global Justice's payroll."
"Damn you, Betts!" Shego hollered. "I quit! I'm out of here, I don't have time for this bullshit!"
"Ahem," Betty replied. "I'm sure Team Possible wouldn't mind the assistance. Right, Kim? Ron? After all, you do technically owe them a few favors."
Instantly, on cue, Ron nodded his head, and voiced his thoughts, "Yeah, just help us out, it's nothing big."
Shego turned her gaze over to Kim who just looked impassively at her and shrugged. She looked back at Ron, who gazed at her half-expectantly with those large brown chocolate eyes, which quickly forced Shego to turn away.
"Ah shit on you, Betts," Shego grumbled. "You conniving, sneaky, little bitch."
"Okay, so let me know how it goes then," Betty replied with a wide smile. "Dismissed…"
"Wait a minute, Betts," Shego halted her. "I can't do this full-time; you know as well as I do that I have a job."
Betty raised her eyebrow and replied nonchalantly, "We know, the background check was just cleared with us yesterday."
"What the…" Shego exclaimed hostilely. "You fucking know! You know everything I've been doing, every transaction…"
"Right," Betty replied smoothly. "That's a nice ride you bought there, I thought I told you not to blow that check all in one place."
"It's leased!" Shego shot back. "That's why I got a job, to pay off the lease, go legit, you know."
"Whatever," Betty replied smugly. "So when are you taking me out for dinner?"
"When you burn in hell, Betts," Shego grumbled as she turned her back and walked towards the door. She yanked the doorknob hard, and to her surprise it was now unlocked. As she left the room, she heard a little chortle at her expense, and a voice calling after her.
"Anytime, Sheila, anytime."
She was in a really bad mood, as she got into the driver's seat of her new Mazda and slammed the door shut. Sticking the key into the ignition, she did not feel that sense of satisfaction, pride and ownership when the engine came to life. For some reason, the car felt dirty. Maybe it was because the license and registration was sitting in her 'Wanted' file in some Global Justice file cabinet. For some reason, everything she did, no matter how legit, ended up tainted with her criminal past.
"You okay, Shego?" Ron asked as he slid into the front passenger seat.
"Yeah, Stoppable," Shego replied tiredly as she rested her forehead on the steering wheel of the car.
"You didn't do it, right?" Kim asked from the back passenger seat of the car.
"No," Shego replied curtly.
"Then you should be fine," Kim replied in a low voice.
"Hey, don't let Dr. Director get to you," Ron said as he reached out a hand to touch her shoulder. "She's probably just doing her job."
"You know what bothers me?" Shego asked listlessly. She paused for a moment before continuing. "It's that no one fucking trusts me. I mean, not just this time… It's like when I came over to your house first. It was hard, no one trusted me then, and I completely understand. Then after a while, I thought it'd be all good, and I could maybe leave things behind. But they just keep coming back, you know what I mean?"
Kim shifted uncomfortably in her seat as she clearly remembered the shouting matches and fights the two of them had when Shego first moved in with the Stoppables. Safe to say, it took a while before a necessary truce was called. She watched the green-skinned woman's slumped shoulders and felt a little guilty for thinking she could have stolen the PDVI. After all, Shego was innocent, right?
"I just thought, 'Hey, Shego, if you've given up a life of crime, everything should start to be nice and peachy, right?' and then when some shit like this happens, people are quick to think that I did it," Shego continued in a melancholic tone.
"Aww… Don't be like that, Shego," Ron tried to sound cheerful. "We believe you. After all, you saved us, and we'll stick by you."
"Yeah, thanks for that," Shego lifted her head off the steering wheel and turned to give Ron a weak smile.
"So what was that about a job?" Kim asked Shego from the back.
"Job?" Shego asked with a slightly more upbeat voice. "It's something I did last week, looked it up and applied."
"So are you going to tell us what job it is?" Kim asked.
"Oh, it's going to be a surprise," Shego said smugly.
"Nothing illegal?" Kim half-joked.
"Nothing of that sort, Princess. At least not yet," Shego riposted with an evil, knowing smirk. "But you'll find out soon enough."
Despite the cajoling from the two teens, she remained tight-lipped the entire way home. She was not going to be denied the amusement of witnessing the look of their faces when they found out.
On Monday morning, Kim was in a grouchy mood. Grouchier than normal on an average Monday. Her hair did not have its usual sheen and its stiff movement showed that it has been brushed hastily. She walked up to her locker and spun the combination angrily before yanking open the door. After grabbing her books, she slammed the door, and turned around to almost bump into someone.
"Pissy much?" Monique greeted her with a smile. The African-American girl glanced left and right first before turning to Kim with a puzzled look. "Where's Ron? Is he sick today?"
Kim muttered something under her breath, and ran her fingers through her hair quickly as she ducked her head down a little.
"Wait, you two didn't have a fight, did you?" Monique asked in shock.
"Worse," Kim grumbled with a nasty tone in her voice.
"What could be worse than a fight?" Monique gasped as she raised her hand to cover her mouth. "No… Tell me it's not true! The last one bastion of all that is romantic and full of the promise of true love, you two did not break up!"
"Drama much, Mon?" Kim snapped at the dark-haired girl. "Nothing like that. Someone else is giving him a ride to school."
"Oh! So that explains the rumors I've been hearing!" Monique wondered out loud. "Is this someone tall, black-haired, all goth-y pale skinned and hot as hell?"
Kim's eyes flashed angrily at the last description. "Hot as hell?" Her voice asked dangerously, with raised eyebrows, gripping her books tightly and through clenched teeth.
"Marcella's words! Not mine!" Monique amended a trifle too quickly, raising her hands quickly and taking a step back. "She saw him get out of the car with this 'smoking hot babe that looks way sexier than Kim ever would.' Err… Kim… Kim?" She waved her hand in front of Kim's face, but got no discernible reaction.
"I've got to go," Kim spat out at Monique.
"Kim? Kim!" She called after the storming red-head. "Should I tell the others that cheerleading practice is canceled because one of them is hospitalized and the other one's in custody?" Monique received no reply as the back of the red-head faded into the crowd of milling students.
"Heya, Monique!" A cheerful voice greeted her from behind.
"Ron!" Monique spun to see him. "Woah momma, boy you got some serious damage control to do. Kim's on the warpath."
"Huh? Why?" Ron asked confused.
"Something to do with the hottie that gave you a ride to school?" Monique hinted.
"Hottie?" Ron screwed up his face in confusion. "Oh… You mean Shego. Nah, she just offered me a ride here this morning because she said she was heading in the same direction, that's all."
"Shego?" Monique's jaw dropped in amazement. "You mean big, green and mean?"
"I don't know about mean…" Ron wondered wistfully.
"Ron!" Monique snapped at the blonde. "Anyway, you better get to Kim before she does something that'll get her twenty to life."
"Yeah, Kim… Warpath… Got it," Ron awkwardly saluted as he ran down the corridor in search of his girlfriend.
With a smile on her face, Monique shook her head at those two friends of hers. Although they save the world on a regular basis, sometimes even the best of them can get caught up in the average teenage drama. She was about to turn and share her new findings with the Middleton High grapevine on all rumors, true or otherwise, when the bell rang. With a sigh, she trudged towards the gym. The pep rally would be a bitch, but with any luck, Monique would get to sit next to someone who can explain to her the latest dish on what happened between Richard Rollings and Francesca Susans on Friday night.
The gym was mostly packed by the time she got to it, and Monique quickly scanned the crowds for a seat when two hands… No, make that two hands and a claw belonging to a naked mole rat waved to her from the back of the bleachers.
"Heya, girlfriend," Monique smiled as she sat down next to Kim, who was decked out in her cheerleading uniform. "Looking good?"
"Much better, please and thank you," Kim returned a much cheerier smile.
"So, do I need to call Marcella an ambulance today? Or did Ron manage to stop the green jellin' machine from running down a few cheerleaders?" Monique asked with a grin.
"So not funny, Mon," Kim rolled her eyes, as she quickly scanned the gym and instantly zeroed in on a group of bubbly girls giggling away at the front row of the bleachers.
"Uh huh, yeah, and I'm the Queen of England," Monique grinned.
"Your majesty," Ron waved from Kim's other side, and Rufus managed to perform a gracious bow in front of her.
"Ooh… The royal treatment," Monique replied gleefully. "I could get to likin' this adoration from my loyal subjects…"
She was suddenly interrupted by the booming voice of the one true terror of Middleton High. Standing at six foot four, with a weight of at least two hundred and seventy pounds of pure, harsh, no-nonsense muscle, capable of dishing out six detention slips a minute, was the real one-man disciplinary committee of Middleton High: Vice-Principal Steve Barkin.
"People! Settle down!" His voice boomed across the gym, instantly silencing every single student. His baleful eye washed over everyone present, and only stopped for a moment on Ron, before continuing to study the rest of the student population.
Mr. Barkin continued in that loud voice that did not require a megaphone or PA system, and reported, "Listen up, people! As you well know, today is our pep rally, and a week from Friday is our Homecoming. Before we get to that, however, the lunch lady wanted me to inform you that today's special would be Mystery Meat Deluxe, with added Mystery."
The student body groaned in unison, and even Barkin was beginning to look a little green after making the announcement.
"People! People! Quiet, people! Settle down!" The military man was quick to resume control over the nauseated crowd. "Anyway, we only have one other piece of administrative news on the agenda today before we get to the rally. We have a new teacher joining us today, and she will be teaching gym class."
There was suddenly loud clapping and cheering, as students rejoiced over the fact that gym would no longer be taught by substitute Steve Barkin.
With a glowering look, he silenced the crowd. After he was satisfied that order was restored, he continued, "Anyway, it would be my pleasure to introduce… Or rather reintroduce…"
The gym door swung opened and a tall woman with raven black-hair stepped in.
"No… Way…" Ron's jaw hung slack.
"Is that?" Monique asked.
Kim's eyes opened wide in shock, as a single word escaped her lips. "Shego." Kim closed her eyes, pinching the bridge of her nose with her thumb and forefinger.
"Ms. Sheila Go, former hero of Go City and new gym class teacher for Middleton High school!" The warm introduction didn't go unnoticed by the students, many of whom both remembered the woman from her brief stint as a school-wide favorite teacher, as well as the brief time she'd spent dating Mr. Barkin.
"Oh," Monique said with a delighted, gossip hungry gleam in her eye, as she cast a brief sidelong glance at her two dumbstruck friends. "This is going to be good!"
After over a month, I've finally posted the first chapter. It took a little longer than normal this time because I've apparently moved place of residence twice in this month, and just completed my second move. I'm sporting a large bruise on my left shin where I roughly slammed it against a concrete divider that I tried to hop over. Hurray for little things.
I'm starting to like Betty's character here a lot more. Hell, she's even bitchier than Shego, and she has an eyepatch. If that does not scream sexy, then… Okay… Never mind. But I like Betty here a lot more. She's starting to show more of that tough love attitude towards Shego, which I think shows more of her leadership skills and her abilities to manipulate people. Plus I think she also gets the kick out of tweaking Shego like that. How many people would dare piss off a green super powered woman with impunity like that? She clearly plans ahead, she has firm control over the situation, and she's not above cheap shots. I'm sure Ron being there was an intentional plotting to coax Shego into doing Betty's bidding. Classic signs of leadership, I feel.
I'm sure many people saw the job thing coming. After all, that's the only way Shego becomes a bigger part of Kim and Ron's life. But I clearly enjoy Monique's reaction. She's definitely enjoying the presence of the new gym teacher already.
Finally, I sort of wonder if Shego's reaction to Betty was wholly in character. Mainly because there were no scorch marks, or stench of burnt flesh. I could always claim that she was totally caught off-guard by Betty, which she definitely was. And Betty has always been a friend to her, well… Thus far… She probably still is… And I figured as much that Shego won't want to eviscerate anyone with Ron looking on. Hmm… That'll be a great pickup line. "Hey, you look cute. Wanna go have a drink with me later? Hold on while I cut out this bitch's heart and feed it to her."
Anyway, I suppose that's it from me. By the way, thanks for all the support from the Fannies. Didn't really expect much at first, but kinda great to get this far. I tip my hat to you, and hope you'll enjoy this sequel.