Title: The On Factor (2/??)
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?
"Now my life is a full freaking oyster," Shego muttered as she turned away from the pool a second time. Great. Her employer, the peace prize winner, the man who signed her checks . . . was going to die. She didn't mean that figuratively. She was literally going to choke him until he turned whatever color it was blue people turned into. Stoppable seemed to be getting over murder just fine. Like she couldn't do better than him?
She grabbed the back patio door and pulled it open. It only made it halfway, however, before it was yanked from her hand. The door slammed shut so hard that the glass shattered.
"If you're trying to stop me from going inside," she said, looking at the arm that had materialized to her right and the hand against the door frame, "you're not doing very well – Stoppable."
"Fix – her," Ron said angrily as Shego turned to face him. Blue as a raspberry – not that she'd ever actually seen a blue raspberry – and hair standing on end. "She doesn't know how to make it stop."
"Neither did I," Shego replied, indifferent. "I had to figure that crap out when the comet hit. Took me days. Why should Miss Priss have it any easier? She can do anything? Fine. She can think about it."
Ron grabbed her by the shoulder and threw her. It wasn't a very good grip, but it didn't matter. She had no time to prepare herself for it. If he'd thrown her any harder, she would have cleared the pool and probably broken something. As it was, she just hit the water again, but this time with enough force to make her vision briefly fade to black. She surfaced, coughing up water.
Ron just looked at the hand he had used.
"See?!" Shego snarled as she staggered toward the pool steps. "This is what I'm talking about! I had it bad enough before today, but now the sidekick is Superman! I suppose I should be grateful you didn't throw me farther, Stoppable. I saw how far you threw – "
"Don't," Ron said. "Just – don't say their names."
Shego got out of the water and came towards him. "Out of my way, Ron," she told him. "Drakken is probably sucking his thumb under his desk somewhere inside. I'll have no problem choking the life from him. I would prefer to just set his 'little genius' on fire, but then that's getting back to why I'm pissed in the first place!"
Ron stared at her. "You can't mean that," he said.
"Have I ever struck you as someone with a tight rein on their temper, Ron?"
"You don't want to kill him, Shego. Because if you do," he said, "you'll question yourself for the rest of your life."
Shego studied his expression for a moment. Typically, when she built up a huge head of steam, it took hours for her to calm down. Surprisingly, though, she felt her anger subside – a bit. "Wow," she told him. "You're really in love with Princess, aren't you?"
He blinked, surprised. "Well, yeah, duh."
"And because you love her so much, sometimes you use those new powers of yours to do bad, bad things. I always knew love was a bad idea."
Ron looked back at Kim, who had taken her hands out of the water and was now looking around helplessly, no idea what to do with her flaming hands. "It's not a bad idea," he said. "If I didn't love her so that I didn't care this much about what she thought of me . . . "
He turned back to his normal color. "Then I might just grab onto this power and never let it go. Not until people like you were all gone."
Shego folded her arms. She supposed she should be frightened by how much he meant that. He'd kill her just to protect Kim from her. But – huh, he was even stronger than she'd thought.
"Please, Shego," Ron said. "I'm dealing with these powers every day. Don't make her do the same thing."
She sighed. "Two minutes. You give me two minutes' headstart while I look for Dr. Don't. And I'll fix your girlfriend."
Ron took a step back.
Shego grunted. "All right, Pumpkin, it's time for a lesson from your Auntie Shego," she said loudly.
Kim glared at her. See, love was bad, but this was why anger could be a good idea. Anger made helplessness go away. "I don't want help from you, Shego."
"Deal with it. I struck a bargain with your sugar daddy. You want to know how to turn those off or not?"
The plasma was practically dripping from her hands. Kim's shoulders slumped. "Yes, please," she mumbled. "I, I knew how to turn Hego's powers on and off, but – "
"Hego is an idiot. If his powers were complicated, he would have leveled Go City years ago. Now, it took me days to learn this when I was younger than you," Shego said. "My – your – Go Glow is powered by strong, negative emotions. After I woke up from the comet strike, I spent days in a rage. I didn't look like other people any more, and I set fire to anything I touched."
Shego didn't like doing this. She didn't like thinking about that time. In a way, she'd been angry ever since.
"Go to your happy place, Kimmie. Think of something nice. You and Stoppable on the beach. Jumping out of a plane. A midget on a tricycle, I don't care. Happy equals no plasma. Then just think of something that pisses you off when you want to turn it back on. For me, it's your face – usually right after it's popped out of the ventilation."
"Do you want it to be harder? Fling it around for a couple days and it'll extinguish itself - for a while. You want to do it that way?"
Kim grumbled and turned around. "Can't do this looking at you."
"And here I thought you'd secretly wanted me for years," Shego said dryly.
Wow. Girl graduates from high school and already she's learned how to give someone the (flaming) finger.
Shego watched as the glow around Kim's hands gradually receded. She supposed she could be a little sympathetic. That first week of figuring out her powers had been hell. A year ago she might have wished it on Kim. Now, eh, it wasn't like they'd crossed paths lately.
Kim turned back. "Ron, they're gone!" she said, relieved.
"Yeah, they're gone," he replied.
Shego turned away and walked past him. "But they're still in there," she murmured. "Aren't they, Stoppable?"
"Ron, why are you letting her go? She could – "
She didn't hear the sidekick's response. If Ron was the sidekick any more. Maybe he wasn't – until Kim got the green glow. Now who the hell knew?
Drakken might know. She'd ask him. But he'd have to write it down, because he wouldn't be able to breathe.
"This could be good, right?" Kim asked anxiously as they went into Drakken's house (until the authorities seized it, anyway) two minutes later. "I mean, Shego doesn't have powers any more, so she can't hurt people any more!"
"Yeah, maybe," Ron said.
"I hope I'm not going to burn something down every time I get angry," Kim added, becoming more subdued.
"Guess I'll have to be extra good at taking out the trash," he told her.
Kim's eyes widened. "You mean, when we're – living together one day?"
Ron blinked. He hadn't been thinking about it that way when he said it, but yeah, wasn't it obvious that they'd be living together some day? And then . . .
Whoa. Too soon to think about marriage, Ron.
"When we're living together," he just assured her.
She finally smiled. "Happy place," she said.
When Ron found Drakken – well, hopefully there would be something left once Shego was through with him.
"It was for your own good!" Drakken squealed.
Shego didn't say anything. She just backhanded him across the face.
"Remember the good old days?" she asked him. "You'd do something to really piss me off, and I'd chase you around that big ol' lair flinging plasma at you? Well, I don't seem to have plasma any more, so if I want to hurt you, I'm going to need to do it with my bare hands."
He scrabbled at the wall with his hands, struggling to his knees. She kicked him in the ribs, and he went back down.
"And feet," Shego added unnecessarily. "But you know what else I don't have? A big ol' lair, that's what. Which means you've got nowhere to run, Dr. D, except through me. And we both know that'll never happen."
"Shego, please, this wasn't supposed to happen!" he shrieked. "I was aiming for Stoppable! It was supposed to give his powers to you!"
Shego raised an eyebrow. "So you could have a blue girl of your own?"
"The tendrils hugged you at the awards ceremony, not me!!" The petals burst out of his collar once more.
With them, however, came familiar roots and vines. They hesitated, then launched in her direction.
Oh yeah, she thought. Something else different from the good old days.
Shego didn't bother struggling as plant tendrils wrapped tightly around her, pinioning her arms against her sides. "Let me go, Dr. D," she said coldly.
"You'll kill me if I do!"
"I'll kill you when I escape after you don't!"
"Nobody is going to die today."
Shego sighed. This was why she didn't like people. They kept showing up. "Kimmie," she said. "Care to give me two minutes more? Drakken here is being a little wuss about this."
"Give it up, Drakken," Kim said to him, ignoring her. "What was that beam? What happened out there?"
She sounds like Hego sometimes. And I had such hopes for her in the banter department.
"You think you're all that, Kim Possible – "
Ron stepped around Kim, brushed past Shego, and extended a single finger in the direction of Drakken's nose. There was a small crackle of something like blue static electricity and Drakken started.
"The Suck-Out, it's the Suck-Out!" Drakken gibbered. "Just don't let him throw me into the ionosphere, Kim Possible!""
"The good cop, bad cop routine, Kimmie?" Shego asked sarcastically.
"There's no good cop here right now, Shego," Kim snapped. "More like bad cop, worse cop." She turned back to Drakken. "I don't get it, Drakken. You were aiming at Ron when you hit me, but I'm the one with the powers, not her. So, if I hadn't fallen in the way, Ron would just be twice as powerful."
"Nothing went according to plan," Drakken said, sulking now. "Stoppable fell, you got in the way, the beam pushed you instead of going through you, and you fell in the pool! All that water conducting energy? Anything could have happened in that chlorinated cauldron!"
"Don't you get it, Pumpkin? It backfired. Don't try to complicate it with things like logic," Shego grumbled. "He screwed up. Things went backwards. This happens."
Kim's hands went from pale to green in an instant. She swept a hand past the tendrils keeping Shego in place, and they were burned to ash. The unburned remains shrank away, writhing. "But if you shot us again, it could – theoretically – be reversed?"
"Obviously, yes," Drakken said.
Kim sighed. Suddenly she whirled and pushed both hands in the direction of the machine that had powered the ray gun in the attic. Green fire splashed out and hit the machine, wrecking it almost instantly.
"What the fu- "
"Now, now, Shego," Kim said. "That language in front of teenager?"
"You just destroyed the only thing that could get my glow out of your body!"
"No," Kim replied with exaggerated patience. "I just destroyed the only thing that could put your glow back into your body."
Shego gaped at her. She should have been furious, but the feeling she identified was an intense dismay. "You thieving little bitch!"
Kim shrugged. "I'm sorry, Shego, but did you really think I'd let you have your plasma back? You admitted it yourself out there. If Drakken was staying retired, then you'd start freelancing yourself out there." She smiled evilly. "How much are people going to pay for you now?"
Shego slapped her.
Ron grabbed her wrist and twisted it behind her back. "Knock it off, Shego," he said quietly.
Kim was the one who looked shocked now. "You slapped me? When did you turn into such a girl?"
"I don't know, maybe when you stole my powers?" Shego shook her free fist impotently in Kim's direction. "Screw this. I'm leaving. I haven't committed a crime today, other than assaulting that blue nimrod, and you can't hold me here."
"Let her go, Ron," Kim said calmly, rubbing her cheek with a now-depowered hand. "She's right. And besides, it's not like she's a threat any more."
Ron let go of Shego's arm, but she barely even noticed as she backed away. Kim was dismissing her? The pain of being kicked into an electrical tower was less than the humiliation of being deemed irrelevant.
"Trust me, Kimmie," she said. "You're going to want to know where I am later, but you won't know how to find me – until it's too late."
Shego glanced at Ron. "Enjoy Kimmie with powers," she sneered. "I'm sure she'll handle it just as easily as you have."
Then she stormed back out the way she came. She didn't even spare Drakken another look. Shego would like to see him break out of prison now.
"You appear to be unharmed, Kimmie," Anne said as she finished her examination. "Your hands haven't sustained any burns, which is amazing – "
"It's the Glow, Mom," Kim said. She concentrated for a moment, and her powers sprang to life. "I'm just as safe as Shego was."
"Hm," Anne said. "I'm sorry you couldn't get her here. Doctors know very little about how the human body survives the Go-Glow. We know nothing at all about how the human body survives losing it long-term."
Kim looked doubtful. "You mean there could be health risks?"
"There could be," Anne said. "Emphasis on could. Like I said, no one knows."
"Huh. She said I'd want to know where she was some day," Kim said. "Didn't think it might be today."
"We have people looking for her."
Kim glanced over to the corner of the room, where Doctor Director had been silently monitoring the medical exam. "I guess this is a good day for you," she said. "Drakken back in prison, Shego without powers, me with powers. Good Guys 3, Bad Guys 0."
"Mm-hm," Betty Director murmured. "I'm just glad you're unharmed by this."
"Well, we know Shego's brothers are still okay, and they've had their powers for years," Kim said. "And Shego certainly never seemed to be suffering physically. So I should be fine."
"Besides the skin discoloration," Betty reminded her.
Having a green Go-Glow had nothing to do with the sudden paleness of Kim's face. And Anne glared at Betty, who seemed to lose her composure for once.
"I'm sorry, I didn't realize you hadn't talked about that yet," Betty apologized. "I just thought – "
"I used to have Hego's powers," Kim said. "And I was fine. This won't be any different."
Hopefully Kim didn't notice the look Betty shared with Anne. You only had his powers for a short time, Kim. Unless we find a way to transfer these to a third party, we can't assume anything.
Which reminded her . . .
"Kim," Betty said. "According to Drakken's confession, his 'Suck-Out' was designed to transfer Ron Stoppable's powers to Shego. Basically, it would steal them from the first target, and insert them into the second target."
"That's what he told us, yes," Kim agreed.
"But in your case, the powers were stolen from the second and received by the first. How was that even possible?"
"Well, the beam pushed me into Shego, so in a way, I was still being struck by the ray when it then struck Shego," Kim explained. "And then we went into the pool."
"I see," Betty said. "What was the angle of the shot? Would it have fired across the pool or into it?"
"Into it," Kim assured her. "It was fired from above us."
"Mm. So it's safe to say that the ray continued to strike the water even after you were in the pool."
"Dr. Director, what are you getting at?" Anne asked.
Betty looked at Kim's mother. No need to worry them unnecessarily. "Nothing, Dr. Possible," she told them. "I'm just trying to understand how Dr. Drakken's plan worked in reverse. If they were both in the water after being shot, AND the energy from the ray was being fired into the water at the same time, then anything could have happened in that pool. I think it's quite possible," she added, "that instead of transferring a single target's powers, the Suck-Out switched the powers of two targets."
"So Shego's powers were swapped with mine?"
"It would explain a few things."
"But I don't have powers," Kim pointed out.
Betty smiled. "Shego's loss, not yours."
Kim chuckled, then yawned.
"Dr. Director, I understand you have a case to resolve," Anne told her, "but she's tired, and I know a certain boyfriend of hers wants to say good-night?"
"Say no more," Betty said. "I'll let you know if we locate Shego. We'll run our tests, don't worry."
Kim waved tiredly instead of saying anything, and Betty went out into the hospital hallway. As she walked out, though, she held her wrist up to her mouth.
"I'm going to need to see all the scientists who worked on the On Factor project," Betty said into the transceiver. "Keep trying to find Shego, and in the meantime, I want to step up surveillance on Kim Possible. More than ever, we need to know if today was a very good day, or a first-class disaster for the good guys."
Betty looked back at Kim's hospital room. She had a world's worth of hopes for the teenager. For that reason, Kim absolutely had to be kept away from Shego until this whole thing was settled.
It would be a major calamity, after all, if Shego killed her.
To be continued . . .