Title: The On Factor
Disclaimers: All characters belong to Disney, Bob, Mark, Bill, Ed . . . wait, how did those last two guys get in there?
Spoilers: Takes place after the series finale.
Summary: When Drakken's plan goes awry, causing Kim and Shego to switch powers, it's a good thing Kim didn't have any powers . . . did she?
Note: This will be my one KP story for 2009. I've been working almost exclusively in a different fandom (maybe one of you has been following Reap What You Sow) for several months now, and I could use the break. And I have to say, really missing Shego these days. Is it strange that I watch the new Madagascar show and wish Marlene the otter was more snarky?
That being said, this is a low-priority story for me, as my other story is nearing a conclusion and it's extremely important to me that I finish this labor of love. Therefore, don't expect this story to be updated more than "infrequently".
Also, this is not a part of the "Unacceptable Sitch" series, which remains in retirement. It takes place no more than six months after "Graduation", as you will see very quickly. It will also be K/R. not Kigo. I can't wrap my brain around how to hook these ladies up so soon after Graduation without completely violating your sense of credibility. I'm not particularly inspired by the K/R relationship, but there are just some things you just have to deal with.
"Ah, Kim Possible! Won't you both come in?"
Kim felt the weirdness of the situation move up another notch. She couldn't remember the last time Dr. Drakken had greeted her arrival with anything less than complete astonishment. Then again, he had invited her and Ron, so if he'd been surprised when he opened the door, Kim would have suspected he was suffering from early-stage Alzheimer's. "Wouldn't a phone call have been simpler?" she asked dubiously.
"I highly doubt that the situation calls for something so informal," Drakken replied. "I felt it would be best if I had a face-to-face chat with you and Ronald."
Ron gaped at him. "KP, he remembered my name. My first name! Not even Shego uses my first name."
"In case you haven't noticed, Shego never calls someone by their given name if she can help it," Drakken told him. "She's worse than that character on Lost, the one all the girls think is fo-shizzle."
Drakken's ferociously misguided use of teen slang finally helped ground this day in reality. He was starting to sound - well, normal. For him. Then she gasped. "Your petals are gone!"
Drakken grunted. "No, just out of sight. I've begun using industrial-strength starch on my collars. There's simply no room for them to slip through." He stepped back. "I believe I invited you in?"
Kim and Ron looked at each other. Drakken and Shego had stayed straight ever since he won the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in stopping the Lorwardian invasion. He'd bought this expensive house, not hidden at all from surveillance or even the naked eye. And he'd recently gone on a short lecture circuit of college campuses. Middleton U had been one of them. Sitting in the audience had been a surreal experience for Kim.
Just not as surreal as this.
"All right, Dr. Drakken," Kim finally said. "But if this is a trick - "
"Pshaw, Kimberly," Drakken interrupted. "I don't think that would be very wise on my part. Which is why I asked you both to be here." He turned and began walking down what appeared to be a main corridor, and Kim and Ron warily followed.
"Where's Shego?" Ron asked.
"Sunbathing by the pool, last I checked," Drakken said. "It's her favorite daily activity."
"So the two of you are living together?"
Drakken turned and looked confused. "Of course," he said. "We've always lived together. Not much point to having a sidekick/bodyguard if she's across town at her apartment."
"No," Kim said. "What Ron meant was, are you two living together? As one?"
"You mean - " Drakken said as they entered an exquisitely decorated living room. A look of utter horror crossed his face. "Where did you get that idea?!"
"Um, you don't exactly need a sidekick any more, Drakken," Kim pointed out. "Not as a law-abiding private citizen. But you're still living in the same house."
"And that little hug at the Nobel ceremony - " Ron added.
"That little hug was a product of an impulse - an impulse by my tendrils!" Drakken said hurriedly, his eyes darting to his right. "I had nothing to do with it!"
"Denial - it's not just a river on the planet you helped save," Kim teased.
"Don't joke around like that!" Drakken hissed. "Our 'relationship' was tabloid fodder for days! And guess who Shego took her anger out on? Thank you, but check your insinuations at the door when Shego is near!"
"Fine, sorry," Kim said. "So what's the sitch? Why are we here?"
Drakken straightened his blue lab coat - why was he still wearing that thing? - and sat down. "I think we need to discuss our changing relationship, Kimberly."
"I'm not sure 'relationship' is the word I'd use, Drakken," Kim said.
"Whatever. Let's face facts - I've been forced to retire from the villainy business," he replied, "for two different but equally compelling reasons. First, my evil reputation is shot, of course."
"Frugal Lucre sure seemed impressed in Stockholm, at least."
"And second," Drakken said, ignoring Kim's remark, "it's clearly become too dangerous for myself and Shego to fight you any longer. It was different before, but now - "
"Whoa, whoa, wait," Kim interrupted. "What do you mean it's too dangerous?"
"Isn't it obvious? It became quite obvious to me that the gloves were off the moment Ronald here killed the Lorwardians."
Kim's head snapped around to look at Ron, whose face had turned pale. He collapsed onto his seat. "It was an accident, Drakken!" A horrible, terrible accident that they'd been able to ignore until GJ undersea divers located the wreckage of the alien vessel and the bodies of the two would-be conquerors. No one was inclined to press charges against Ron - it was practically a state of war, and the Lorwardians were enemy combatants. Plus there wasn't actually any kind of law stating it was illegal to kill nonhuman lifeforms from another planet. Ron hadn't cared. He'd taken the lives of two sentient beings from a race that had built an advanced civilization. Could there be any doubt that their deaths were morally equivalent to the deaths of humans?
Of course there was no blame coming from Kim. He'd engaged the Lorwardians to save her. And Kim knew all about reckless acts of endangerment. Just because Shego had survived without even a hospital stay, it didn't take away from the fact that Kim had kicked her off a building, then electrocuted her. If it had been, say, Monkey Fist, then Ron would have become the sole (human) claimant to the Mystical Monkey powers.
So she could empathize with Ron. With her help and several sessions with Rabbi Katz, Ron was moving on. That didn't make Drakken's remark any easier to take, though.
It didn't help matters when Drakken tapped his chin with one finger. "He accidentally threw them into a spaceship?"
"Drakken, drop it," Kim growled. Ron wasn't even defending himself, which bothered her. Maybe it was because Drakken was so blithely assuming Ron was a murderer, when everyone else assured him it had been self-defense, or an accident, or a wartime casualty, or . . .
"All right," Drakken said nervously, "but however you look at it, you can't deny that Ronald's power surge against the Lorwardians meant he had picked up his game - oh, about a hundred times better? You were trouble enough, Kimberly, but when your sidekick is lifting giant war machines with his mind, you're almost harmless by comparison."
"Well, I wouldn't say that," Kim grumbled, even as a corner of her mind acknowledged that yes, Ron had powers on a scale that Kim could never approach now.
Drakken chuckled. "In fact, Kimberly, you could say we have something in common. Both of us have sidekicks who could destroy us if they chose to."
"I would never hurt KP," Ron said quietly. "And Kim has taken down much more dangerous people than me."
"Be that as it may, I'm forced to admit – privately! - that Shego was having a hard enough time coping with your Battle Suit, Kimberly. There's no way we can go on waging this fight as long as Ronald has those powers. Considering you've been my archnemesis for years, Kimberly, I thought you'd like to hear it from me personally. I'm hanging up my evil spurs and moving to Corporate America." He shrugged. "It's a different kind of evil, but it's not really the same."
Kim didn't know what to say. Her life had become a little easier once Drakken dropped off the radar, and now it was going to stay that way forever. She should be pleased. She was pleased. It was just that the way of finding out was so odd.
There was a quiet ding somewhere in the rear of the house. "Whoopsie," Drakken said, standing up. "I need to check my marshmallow squares. Would you care to wait by the pool for a few minutes? Shego may have different plans for the future than I do."
"Fine," Kim said, although it always set her teeth on edge to see Shego relaxing in luxurious environments and not deserving it in the slightest. "Which way?"
He pointed to his left. "Down that hall, make a right." Then he hurried away.
"Come on, Ron," Kim said. "Hopefully Shego will be her usual bitchy self. I could use an extra dose of reality."
Dr. Drakken scurried down his basement steps, opened the secret door, and went into his hidden lab. From here, he could see everything, including the pool area where Team Possible was going. Shego was doing laps, as if she didn't have a care in the world.
As far as she knew, she didn't. Drakken hadn't let her in on his little plan, since generally Shego wouldn't permit him to shoot her with a giant ray gun. Once this worked, though, he figured she'd forget about being angry. (Although she'd probably hurt him just a little first.)
The ding Drakken had heard was not in fact marshmallow squares. It was a warning that his new ray was fully charged and operational. After watching too many episodes of the World Series of Poker, he'd christened his invention by naming it the "Suck-Out". It was an appropriate name.
Drakken hadn't lied out there, not really. He couldn't beat Kim Possible if Stoppable was emitting blue light in every direction and throwing banks of machinery with one hand.
So he'd just have to take those powers away from the sidekick.
And, since they had to go somewhere, Shego would be their recipient. All he needed was a clear shot that would hit Stoppable, pass through him, and then hit Shego. Once that happened, Stoppable would go back to being the buffoon, and Shego wouldn't have a problem with Kim Possible's force fields and plasma scoops any longer.
Knowing nobody could possibly hear him, he let loose with a full-throated cackle.
His petals finally popped out.
"Stupid experiment gone wrong," Drakken muttered, even though he still hadn't learned that his words could be applied to all of his experiments.
Shortly to include this one.
Kim had once observed (ironically, just before her first encounter with Warmonga) that her life had better perks than Shego's, namely "cuter boyfriends". She believed that more than ever, but that didn't mean she couldn't agree with Ron's complaint that Shego, for a woman with a criminal record a mile long, could enjoy some things that she'd probably never have. The money, the long vacations, the expensive resorts. And as Shego emerged from Drakken's pool in a skintight green one-piece swimsuit, Kim enviously noted that she still had the better body.
Fortunately Ron only had eyes for her. He wouldn't have cared if it was Gisele Bundchen getting out. Naked.
"Pumpkin," Shego muttered, grabbing a towel. "Ron."
Kim gasped. Drakken and Shego never called him by his real name, and now suddenly both did it in the same day? Was Ron's moon in Pluto or something?
"Shego," Ron said. "You're looking tanned."
She snorted. "Sarcasm noted," she replied. Shego sunbathed for the warmth. She could still get sunburns, but her pigmentation would never, ever change. "You two are out of uniform. Did Dr. D invite you?"
"You didn't know?" Kim asked.
"He lets me know when he leaves the building," Shego said, shrugging. "Beyond that, he could throw a kegger for the Phi Chi Psi sorority sisters and I wouldn't know about it. What did he want?"
"He wanted to tell us you guys are retiring from villainy," Ron told her.
"We are? Maybe Dr. D is, but I'm not. If he retires, my contract expires and I'm a freelancer, Ron."
"What's with the 'Ron', Shego?" Kim asked. "I noticed I'm still a Pumpkin."
Shego chuckled. "More like an eggplant, Princess. Wide at the bottom, skinny at the top."
Kim glared at her.
"Ron doesn't get cutesy nicknames from me because he's all grown up now," Shego explained. "Big man, taking it to the next level, Ron." She grinned at Kim. "Whereas you're still just the cheerleader. Ron's the adult here, not you."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Ron asked.
"I don't like you, Ron, never will," she said. "But I have to respect you. You've got cojones."
Ron looked down doubtfully at himself. "Are those near the pectoral muscles or something?"
"Ignore her, Ron," Kim said before Shego could reply. She'd had a sudden, dreadful insight that Shego was going to say it was because Ron had taken a life, and he didn't need to hear that for the second time today.
She frowned. Was that a coincidence, or had Drakken and Shego rehearsed these conversations in advance?
Shego just shrugged. "You've got some amazing powers, Stoppable. I think I'm going to enjoy taking on your 'monkey style' in the future. It'll be a much better challenge than Cupcake here." Her grin turned positively wicked. "I guess Kim will have to settle for finding the self-destruct button from now on."
Dropping the towel, Shego headed back towards the pool.
There it is! The shot I've been waiting for, Drakken crowed mentally. He slammed the button as Shego unwittingly put Ron between herself and the Suck-Out.
A medium-width nozzle, hidden in the shadows of an attic window, suddenly came to life, blasting a yellow beam downwards right towards Ron.
Or rather, the space Ron had just been occupied. Ron had pursued Shego. She had no right to mock KP like that, and since they weren't battling one another, he had the luxury of telling her so.
But his foot struck a loose stone, and he tripped forward. All the Monkey Magic in the world couldn't save him from falling down and hitting his head on something.
And as he fell, the beam shot over him. Once again, a pratfall had saved him from something worse.
Unfortunately, Kim had moved to try to catch him before he hit bottom, and the beam struck her instead. And it didn't go through her. It went into her, threw her forcibly back into Shego, and the two were bathed in yellow light as they fell into the pool.
Horrified, Ron stumbled to his feet. He couldn't see either woman, as multicolored flashing lights in the water made it hard to see. He almost expected a hundred gremlins to come flooding out.
When the light subsided, Ron rubbed his eyes and looked down - right into Shego's pissed eyes. "Yeargh!" he screamed, throwing himself back.
Shego climbed awkwardly out of the pool, looking unhappy but unharmed, and Ron was relieved to see Kim getting out a couple yards away in similar condition. Of course, she wasn't wearing a swimsuit, so being soaking wet had a different, much less flattering look for her.
"Excuse me, Stoppable," Shego said. "I think I need to go and eviscerate my employer now."
"Not so fast, Shego," Kim said as she stood on dry ground unsteadily. "Why should I believe you weren't part of this?"
"Uh, because I don't like being shot? Doy!"
"Yeah, but even so, I want Drakken first," Kim retorted. "So whether you want to kill him or protect him, I need you to step aside."
"Bite me, Pumpkin," Shego said. "I got dibs on the talkative member of Blue Man Group."
"Ladies, can't we work together on this?" Ron asked.
"No!" both women said in unison.
Mystical Monkey Power or not, Ron was going to do what he did best - not getting caught between these two.
"I see last year's clothes are looking a little wet, Kimmie," Shego sneered, cocking a fist back. "How about I dry those off for you?"
Kim was already dodging the expected plasma burst as Shego threw her arm forward. And Shego didn't exactly watch her hand as it moved. So Ron was the first to notice.
"Uh, Shego, don't you usually turn your powers on first?"
Shego looked down, startled. She shook her hand, opened and closed it, made a fist, and then did the same with the other. "Oh, Drakken," she breathed. "If that ray did what I think it did . . . "
It was about that time that Kim realized her hands were on fire.
She screamed and ran for the pool, plunging both hands under the water. The water hissed and boiled, but she could still see the flames under the water.
" . . . you're a dead man."
To be continued . . .