For the first time since I posted my first story, Best Enemies, I find myself not actively working on a story. At least not any story I'm sure to post.
Unfinished Tales - Each 'chapter' of Unfinished Tales is a story I started. There have been a number started over the last few years. Some are a single chapter in length, while others are multiple chapters in length. There is a small chance I might try and finish some of these - if I suddenly discover an infinity of time. There are stories I know I won't do further work on. Some are set in the Best Enemies series. Some, such as this first fragment, are not. Explanation for not ending the chapter/story can be found at the chapter's end, or a word on where it might have gone if I kept writing.
Once Upon a Time - A story which will never to be finished by King in Yellow.
Boilerplate Disclaimer: The various characters from the Kim Possible series are owned by Disney. Any and all registered trade names property of their respective owners. Cheap shots at celebrities constitute fair usage.
Chapter 1 - A Man Suffered from a Cruel Fate
James Possible's first seizure, or perhaps it could more properly be called a spell, hit during his forty-fifth birthday party. For a full minute he thought he was a calico kitten named Whiskers. Anne initially thought it was some sort of bizarre joke on her husband's part, but he turned pale when told about what had happened. He confessed to stories of occasional insanity in the family. His grandfather had ended his days believing he was a Saint Bernard named King and pleading with passers-by to throw a stick so he could 'fetch'.
The next day's seizure lasted slightly longer, and Anne insisted he enter the hospital for a medical evaluation. No physical problems could be discovered, but each day the seizure seemed to last a little longer. The psychologists and psychiatrists who examined him shook their heads, whatever afflicted him fit nothing anyone had ever treated. Someone at the hospital violated privacy laws by releasing information on the case, which brought a parade of quacks, charlatans, faith healers, and exorcists - all of whom promised results at prices ranging from moderate to exorbitant.
Kim sat in her mother's office at the hospital, listening to the list of the day's failed tests when a knock sounded on the door.
Kim opened the door and found a very short, wizened man on the other side - his eyes huge and owl-like behind thick glasses. His garments appeared out of the eighteenth century, but he had a laptop under one arm. He peered at Kim, "You are too young to be Dr. Possible."
Anne leaned to get a look around Kim, and told her daughter, "Send him away."
"My mom says-"
But the little man pushed past Kim, "I need a list of your husband's symptoms."
"And you'll then offer to sell us a cure?"
"I have nothing to do with cures. I need to verify if his problem falls into my department's jurisdiction."
Kim was about to throw him out, but his claim sounded so curious that Anne gestured for her daughter to stop. "Falls into your department's jurisdiction?"
"Yes. If I might have about eight minutes of your time I can be on my way and will never bother you again."
Anne seemed confused, "I don't-"
"What is your department," Kim demanded, "and who are you."
"Oh, sorry. I didn't introduce myself, did I? My name is Bottom, I work in the department of curse registry." He handed her a jet black calling card on which the names "Splitfoot and Gabriel" appeared in blood red letters, along with a web address.
"Yes." He sat down on a chair and opened the laptop. "Now, symptoms."
"Just Bottom," he corrected her.
"Mr. Bottom," Anne continued, "I do not believe in curses."
"I am not asking you to believe in curses. And I do not know if your husband is under a curse. But my department currently has over seventeen thousand unaccounted for family curses in its backlog. And while many of those families have been extinct for centuries we must verify any active curses or close the case files on posthumous curses."
"You are insane," Anne told him frankly.
"If it makes you more comfortable to believe that, fine. Now, symptoms."
"Kim, remove him from my office. Remove him from the hospital."
"But-" he protested as Kim closed the lid of his laptop and took him by the arm.
"You really think my dad is under a curse?" Kim asked as she led him down the hall towards the front door of the hospital.
"I don't know. There is a chance and I wish to verify the possibility."
Kim had seen strange things which her mother had not, and wanted to talk longer. Maybe someone like Sensei would know how to break a curse. "I'll help you, if you can tell me anything you discover."
"At Splitfoot and Gabriel we don't-"
"This is the front door. Do you want my help or not?"
He hesitated a minute, then accepted her proposal.
They sat in the Starbucks to the north of the hospital and he asked odd questions about family history Kim couldn't answer and questions about her father's current condition which she could. He muttered softly to himself as he entered data.
"Finding anything?" Kim demanded.
"Ummm, Several options still here. You said your father was the second son, correct?"
"Your paternal great-grandfather was also second son, but you don't know about earlier ancestors?"
"Do you have two brothers?"
"Yes, how did you-"
"Ah, Well, it appears that your father is indeed under a curse. More recent than some of the ones we work with, but a curse nonetheless. We should have known this one would stay around. Your younger brother's second son will suffer from it also."
"How do I break it?"
"I don't do breaking. My department is verification. My whole division has no interest in breaking curses."
"You promised to tell me everything you could."
He sighed. "Okay, once upon a time - late eleventh century to be more precise - Louis the Vulgar, ruler of Saxony-auf-die-Iltis, incurred the wrath of the local wizard's guild, which placed a poorly thought out curse on the family. The second son of the second son will lose his mind, beginning on his forty-fifth birthday."
"What do you mean, poorly thought out?"
Bottom shrugged, "Royal line counted it as a blessing, there would always be a male heir. And in the days when life expectancy was around thirty-nine it didn't matter much. Boils, now there's a curse with real suffering."
Kim seemed confused, "So my family is royalty of some kind?"
"No, first sons inherited titles. Second sons got the curse. I'm afraid your family diverged from the royal line centuries ago. All you inherited was the curse. Royal line was extinguished in the thirteenth century in a border war with the Wulfenbachs, which pretty much ended the chance for an easy end to the curse. "
"There was an easy way to end the curse?"
"Archbishop of Beetleburg could have lifted it with a blessing. Beetleburg was destroyed in the war. The former site," he checked the information on his screen, "is now a large potato farm in Byelorussia."
"What will happen to my dad?"
"The irrational periods will last a little longer each day until, at the end of the year, there are no rational times left. But there are two pieces of good news."
"Yes?" Kim asked eagerly.
"First, he will experience no pain. Second, he should be quite content playing with small bits of yarn and a catnip mouse." He closed the laptop. "Thank you for your help. Good day."
He rose to leave, but Kim grabbed the laptop and held it tightly, "You haven't kept your promise."
"I have," he retorted hotly.
"You haven't told me how to break the curse."
"I told you, my division doesn't break curses."
"But you know someone who does. Maybe my friend Wade can get the information off your laptop."
"You can't do that," he gasped. "There is proprietary information on there."
"You haven't told me everything you know."
"I'll give you a name."
"You'll get someone here."
"I can't I-"
Kim had her Kimmunicator out, "Wade, I need some help."
Bottom turned pale, "End the conversation. I'll call someone."
Kim looked at him, "Now?"
"Kim?" Wade asked, "Can I help?"
"I think I just got my help here. I'll call you back if I need you."
"Okay," Wade told her, signing off.
The little man had a cell phone out, and seemed to put in an unusually long string of numbers. "Bottom here… Yes, but I need your help… Don't say that, someone needs a curse broken… Look, I needed a little help and told her I'd give her some information. I wasn't planning on her being such a pain."
As he ranted on the phone a short woman with white hair and a laptop under her arm entered the Starbucks and headed straight for their table. "You can hang up, you know. I'm here." The elderly woman extended a hand to Kim, who found it surprisingly warm when she shook it. "Charity," the woman told her.
"What do you need?"
"Can I have my laptop back," Bottom whined.
"Not until I know she can help me," Kim shot back.
"I don't know if I can help you," Charity warned, "but I promise to try. Now, the problem?"
"He," Kim said, pointing to Bottom, "says my father is under some sort of curse, and I want to help him."
"The sins of the fathers," Charity sighed and turned to the little man. "What's the curse?"
"Odd little thing, skips generations and sometimes isn't noticed so we lost track of it. I-"
"What's the level?" she snapped.
He grinned evilly, "Level five."
Charity wished she were allowed to say Damn. "Five?"
"Oh, dear," the woman told Kim, "that does seem to limit your options."
"There's got to be a way."
"Of course there's a way… There are usually many ways… It's just that, well, a level five is a strong curse." She opened her laptop and turned it on. Kim wondered what the operating system was, like Bottom's it needed no start up time. She called up a screen. Bottom leaned over and stared at it with her.
"I don't see human sacrifice listed," he remarked.
"That option has been rescinded," she told him sharply. "Let's see," she said to herself and looked down the list, "That doesn't apply, not that, not that…" She stared as Kim for a minute, "Any chance you're Zoroastrian?"
Charity sighed, "Okay, rule that out also." She turned back to the list, found something odd and pointed it out to Bottom, "What's this? She can pledge her first born child to a dwarf in your division?"
"It's an old one," he muttered. "We don't have anyone handling those anymore."
"That comes dangerously close to human sacrifice," she scolded. She looked at Kim, "Unfortunately there aren't any more dragons to slay… I'm not sure if I know of a way to-"
"You could apply for an AoG." Bottom suggested to Kim.
"He is being sarcastic," Charity snarled politely, "David Hume took out a restraining order on those in seventeen forty-eight."
"What about this," Bottom suddenly asked, pointing to something on her screen.
"I don't think that applies," she responded primly.
He raised an eyebrow, "Why not?"
"Well…" she stammered, "just because."
"What is it?" Kim demanded.
He grinned, "Something with tremendous power."
"It could break this level five thing?"
"Indeed," he assured her.
"It doesn't apply," Charity sputtered.
"What is it?" Kim repeated.
"Love's first kiss," Bottom replied.
"Love's first kiss? I fall in love with some guy and the curse is broken?"
"No, it doesn't apply in this case," Charity insisted.
"Love's first kiss is only for princesses," Bottom told her. "You are not royalty. You need for a princess to fall in love with you. She must never have been in love before, nor kissed - there is a family exclusion clause on that rule. When she gives you her first kiss of love the curse on your father is broken."
"How can her kiss lift the curse on my dad?"
"Well, you could hardly live happily ever after if your dad was crazy, now could you?" Bottom reminded her
"I'm sure it doesn't apply to two women," Charity insisted.
"Check the rule book," Bottom told her. He turned to Kim, "Can I find a list of available princesses for you?" Kim seemed confused and he took advantage of the confusion, "My laptop?"
She pushed it across the table to him and he opened it up and began a data search. "It isn't giving me the names of any princesses under sixteen," he complained.
"You aren't keeping up," Charity told him, looking through the rules, "the age limit was raised to sixteen forty years ago - there's talk of raising it to eighteen."
"Here's the list of princesses," he said, "now, let me remove the names of those who've been kissed… Oh dear, only three left on the list.
Kim fidgeted and Charity continued to look at the rules as Bottom took a napkin and cleaned his glasses.
"Let's see… First one is a ninety-one year old retired nun living in a nursing home. Second one is married, but doesn't love her husband and her culture doesn't believe in kissing. Third is-" Bottom laughed, a long and evil laugh that sent a chill up Kim's spine.
"What is wrong with you," Charity snapped, angry that she couldn't find the rule she wanted.
"She knows the third princess," Bottom chuckled.
"I don't know any princesses."
"Oh, she doesn't know she's a princess. They were minor nobles who lost their land centuries ago, but according to the data entry she is a princess - and if she gives you love's first kiss the curse is lifted."
Kim licked her lips nervously, "A girl at my school?"
"No, her name is Vivien Duke."
"Vivien Duke? I don't know a Vivien Duke."
Charity turned pale. "Not her."
"Not who?" Kim demanded.
"You don't know her by her real name," Bottom explained, "you've only fought her under her assumed name - Shego."
"Shego is a princess?"
"She doesn't know it, but yes. And if she gives you love's first kiss before your father's next birthday the curse is broken forever. If not…" Bottom left it unsaid.
Boilerplate Disclaimer: The various characters from the Kim Possible series are all owned by Disney. Any and all registered trade names property of their respective owners. Cheap shots at celebrities constitute fair usage.
Chapter 2 - But His Brave Daughter Sought Help
"You don't believe any of that, do you Kim?" Wade demanded.
She still sat at the same table in the coffee shop. She had called Wade as soon as the two left. She had not revealed everything they had told her, especially the part relating to Shego. "I don't know. It's too weird." Kim sighed, "Maybe they're actors Drakken hired to mess with my mind-"
"Do you think Drakken could be behind your father's… 'problem'?" the young black man asked cautiously.
"I don't think so… But he might have heard about it and be trying to take advantage."
"What makes you think Drakken isn't behind whatever is happening with your dad?"
"Well, first of all, it seems to be working right and Drakken's plans usually don't. He'd probably have called to gloat by now also. And the doctors would probably have been able to figure out what it was… Wade?"
"Can you use the Kimmunicator to scan for curses?"
"No way, Kim. I don't believe in ancient curses. But even if I did, I don't know how you'd analyze for that. It's like trying to analyze love - you can't put it in a test tube and run scientific tests on it."
"Don't mention love."
"Never mind. I just want to think about helping dad."
"Okay. So, what do you do now?"
"I'm not sure. Charity assigned me a case number and we exchanged email addresses. She says she'll keep trying to find something. Can you scan dad's room?"
"The stuff at the hospital can look at your dad better than I can."
"You said there are things that can be examined, and things that can't be examined."
"Well, the hospital examines for what it knows. I want you to run full spectrum of everything you've got. Look for anything you can find that their equipment wouldn't see."
A dejected looking Kim sat across the booth from Ron at Bueno Nacho. "…and he didn't find anything," she finished.
Ron did his best to cheer her up, "Hey, watch me put a whole grande-size burrito in my mouth at once!"
"I've seen it before Ron."
"Yeah, but this time I'm gonna do it sideways!"
Kim wanted to turn away, but watched in fascinated disgust as Ron managed the feat. An idea struck her, "Ron, do you think Sensei would know anything about curses?"
"Was that a yes grunt, or a no grunt?"
"That's what I thought. Is there any way for me to talk with him?"
"Great! How soon can you set it up?"
"Ron, I could kiss you… But not when your face is stuffed with food like that."
"No. Now swallow so you can make the call."
Four minutes and the Heimlich maneuver later Ron closed his eyes and took a series of slow, deep breaths. When he opened his lips the voice of Sensei addressed Kim.
"Stoppable-san says you wish to speak with me."
"Yes, Sensei. I have been told my father is under a curse. I am hoping you can tell me if it is true, and if you know a way to break curses if it is true."
"It will require Stoppable-san and I trade consciousness for a time, but I will inspect your father. I have some skills with the breaking of curses."
"Really? That's wonderful!"
"I have almost a ninety percent success rate with level three curses."
"My dad is a level five curse."
"Level five? That can't be right."
"That's what I was told."
"It had to be a typo. I've never even seen a level four."
"Do you know anyone who could help?"
"I know a Tibetan lama who claims to have broken a level four."
"So you don't know anything that would help?"
"Is there any chance you're Zoroastrian?"
"Okay, that won't work…" Sensei was silent for a minute, "Let me see your father. Perhaps the curse is not that strong. You should not treat him based on a misdiagnosis."
Ron opened his eyes, "Did Sensei have good news?"
"I don't think so. But he wants to see my dad."
"Yeah, we're going over to the hospital - Sensei mentioned something about a full consciousness switch."
"Ohh, never done one of those before."
"So, what's happening Kimmie-cub?" her dad asked cheerfully as she and Ron stood by his bed in the hospital.
"Someone told Kim that you're under a curse," Ron blurted out.
"A curse? I don't-"
"I know it sounds crazy, Dad, but Mom's checking everything she can. I have to work on anything I can find."
"So, how does this work?" he asked cautiously. "Do you bring in a Voodoo priestess with black candles and chicken lips or something?"
"No… Although that might be something to check later. Ron will examine-"
Kim blushed, "Well, not Ron. There is a great teacher in Japan who will temporarily trade minds with Ron and examine you."
Her dad took a deep breath, "I'm not sure I believe this, but I'm willing to try."
It took Ron a little longer to focus, but when his eyes opened they glowed blue.
Kim bowed, "Sensei, this is my father."
He returned the bow, and moved closer to the bed,
"I'm, ah, pleased to meet you, Mr. Sensei," James Possible said nervously.
"Would that it were under better circumstances," the man in Ron's body replied and began his examination. After a full ten minutes, during which neither Kim nor James saw him do very much, Sensei sighed, "He is cursed, as you were told. I do not believe the curse was level five-"
"So you can break it?" Kim asked eagerly.
"I do not believe it was a level five when it was cast. Some curses lose their force over time. This one, sadly, has ripened and grown stronger."
James, not sure how much of this he believed, asked, "Is there anything you can do?"
"I know of an ancient ritual, which requires twelve years to complete."
"That won't do my dad any good."
"Perhaps not, but your younger brother - or his second son - might be interested." There was a moment of silence in the room. "I will check the Annals of Yamanouchi and see if they contain anything which might help you. Would you like me to contact the Tibetan Lama?"
Kim bowed, "No, Sensei. Thank you for looking at my father."
"No problem, my child, I only wish I had good news for you. And now, I return to Japan."
The blue light faded from Ron's eyes, and a broad grin spread across the young man's face, "Way cool."
Suddenly his eyes lit again with blue fire and Sensei's voice thundered, "Miss Possible, slap Stoppable-san!"
"But, what did-"
"While in my body he pinched Yori on- It doesn't matter, slap him!"
The blue light went out of Ron's eyes, and Kim slapped him.
"Oww! What was that for?"
Kim glared at him, "You know."
"Oh, yeah… heh, heh."
Kim sent an email to Charity, "Would a Voodoo practitioner know anything that could help me?"
The response was immediate, "If you are trying to put up a new house, do you look in the phone book under 'Demolition'?"
"But is there any chance at all?" Kim typed.
It took twenty minutes for Kim to receive a reply, a reluctant, "Maybe."
Kim called Wade as soon as she received the reply, "I need a ride to New Orleans, and an introduction to a Voodoo priest or priestess."
"You're really going after this?"
"I have to Wade, he's my dad."
In New Orleans Kim stared at the brown-skinned woman who answered the door of a nicely furnished rebuilt home.
The woman stared for a minute at the tongue-tied teen, "Can I help you?"
"I must have the wrong address," Kim stammered, "I was looking for a Ma… I'm sorry, I must have the wrong address."
"That okay, child, you have right address. Come in."
"This isn't exactly how I pictured things."
"You picture dirty little shop with wax figures and strange incense?"
The woman sighed, "That for tourists. Why you here?"
Kim sat at the kitchen as the woman brewed tea, "Now, what exactly your problem?"
The woman sipped tea and listened attentively as Kim talked. At the end of the story Kim asked, "Can you do anything to help?"
The Mambo shook her head, "She strong curse. I can't break."
"Do you know anyone who can?"
"No, but I ask. Leave me your number."
"You need to eat," Ron told her the next day as they shared their booth at Bueno Nacho.
"Food is not the answer!" she snapped.
"I know, but it can't hurt. It's a shame you can't ask Monkey Fist for help."
"Sure, he knows more mystical stuff than anyone else we've ever-" As he talked he watched Kim turn on the Kimmunicator to call Wade. "Hey, you wouldn't, would you?"
"Kim, how was New Orleans?"
"You did great, Wade, but she couldn't help."
In the background Wade could hear Ron saying "New Orleans? She?"
"Ron had a great idea. He said-"
Wade held up his hand for silence, "Ron had a great idea?"
In the background Wade could hear Ron sputter, "No I didn't!"
"Yeah, he said that since Monkey Fist knows more about magic than anyone else we've fought we should pay a visit to him."
"And you need me to find him and a ride for you?"
"Please and thank you."
"Ron coming with you?"
"In the background Wade heard, "Got your back, KP!"
"Two for… somewhere," Wade promised.
"A Miss Kimberly Possible and a Mr. Ronald Stoppable to see you M'lord."
Montgomery Fisk frowned, wondering what they were doing. "Did they state the reason for their visit, Bates?"
"They said something about needing your help."
"Needing my help?" maniacal laughter echoed through the ancestral country house. "Needing my help?"
The apelike British peer smiled, "Then by all means, show them in."
Fisk planned to listen, tell them no, and have them ejected. But he found the problem intriguing and the fact they came to him flattering.
"Bates, candles! I am taking the guests to the old dungeon."
"Dungeon?" Ron repeated nervously."
"Controlled temperature, low humidity… I store my ancient scrolls there. I know I have one on breaking curses."
"Way cool," Ron whispered softly as the flickering candle light revealed columns of lattice-like cubicles, each containing tightly rolled scrolls. On the further wall more conventional shelves groaned under the weight of massive tomes.
Kim shivered, but not from the temperature, the room seemed to reek of ancient evil.
"Hold on… I think it's over… there!" Monty set down the candelabra on a solid desk and began to pull out scrolls, check the labels and thrust them back into their cubbies. "Ah, here it is," Monty sighed and returned it to the desk. Kim and Ron stood behind him as he carefully unrolled the parchment. "Let's see… A pity that dragons are extinct… Human sacrifice perhaps? I can suggest young Stoppable as an excellent candidate for the ritual."
Ron, who had not been paying close attention, grinned, "Thanks."
"That's one's been revoked or canceled," Kim told him. The two looked at Ron, who was playing Rocks-Paper-Scissors with Rufus and regularly losing.
"A pity," Monty sighed. "It still might be worth trying."
The peer returned to the list. "That doesn't work," Monty mumbled, "not that either." He looked up, "Are you Zoroastrian?"
"Too bad. It would seem an AoG is your best-"
"There is some sort of restraining order on the use of those," Kim interrupted.
"I think it was the seventeen hundreds."
"You need a new scroll or something," Ron pointed out, "that one's out of date."
"This is a mystical object!" Monty snapped, "not a carton of milk at the grocery."
"Ron, please, he's trying to help."
The Englishman returned to the scroll and reread one of the suggestions, "Which of your fathers is suffering from the curse?"
"Mine," Kim reminded him.
"Ah, then it doesn't apply."
"What doesn't apply?" Ron asked.
"Love's first kiss." He turned back to the scroll, but Ron was curious.
"Love's first kiss?"
"So glad you were listening," Monty sneered.
"You mean, like, if I kiss Kim the curse is lifted?"
"It only works for a princess."
"I think Kim is a princess."
"It doesn't really matter what you think. The one needing the curse broken must receive love's first kiss from a princess. So unless there is something you haven't been telling Miss Possible I suggest you close your mouth."
"Wait, if Kim kisses a princess?"
"Yes, twelve years old or -"
Kim coughed to get his attention, "That one has been raised to sixteen."
Ron opened his mouth to say something.
"Not a word," Monty snarled. "Not one word."
Ron turned to Kim, "You knew about that?"
Ron grinned as a slightly more vacant look than usual glazed over his eyes.
"Ron?" Kim asked.
"Uh, sorry," he apologized, snapping out of his reverie.
"What were you thinking about?"
"You kissing a princess… I mean, it's not going to happen, but the image is so hot!"
"Oww!" Ron complained, rubbing his cheek, "Did Sensei hear about that other thing?"
"Ron, I'm not even going to ask what other thing. That wasn't from Sensei, that was from me."
Back home Kim made sure no one was around before calling Wade.
"Nothing from England either?" the young man asked.
"Well, nothing new. He confirmed what I'd heard before."
"Sorry. I'm going to try and come up with some sort of paranormal scanner if I can… I just don't know how to calibrate the thing or what I'm looking for."
"You rock, Wade. I hope it works."
"Me too. I don't really know what I'm looking for so I've got no idea how to find it."
"Yeah, I know. In the meantime, I've heard there's a woman who might be able to help me."
"Hope so, you've had a lot of strike-outs."
"Her name is Vivien Duke. Age… Early twenties? I don't have an address for her."
"I'll find one for you."
"No, don't do that!"
"Look, I don't really know if she can help me. I'd just like you to do a little background check for me. Tell me anything you can find out. Family history, look for family history."
Boilerplate Disclaimer: The various characters from the Kim Possible series are all owned by Disney. Any and all registered trade names property of their respective owners. Cheap shots at celebrities constitute fair usage.
Chapter 3 - And Her Stalwart Friend
"I'm glad you didn't ask for an address on that Vivien Duke," Wade told the next day when he called her with the result of his search.
"'Cause I don't have one in a big way. She disappeared about seven years ago, right before her seventeenth birthday."
"Ran away. Family filed a missing person report, but later said they'd heard she was alive. Police closed the case on her on her eighteenth birthday. She's got brothers. Two of them have Facebook pages where they beg her to come home."
"Family history, did you get any family history?"
"What was I supposed to be looking for? I got a lot of stuff but don't know what's important."
"Sorry, I should have been more specific. When did the family move to America. Where is she from?"
"Mother? Father? Mother's mother or father? Father's mother or father? Mother's mother's mother or-"
"I get the picture Wade. Sorry. I should tell you more."
"You had more to tell - and you didn't give it to me?"
"Bad Kim, I know. But what I heard was just so… so weird that I put it down as something I couldn't do."
"For you, I thought you'd take something like that as a challenge."
"Not this time. What've you got for me?"
"You still haven't told me what part of the family."
"Father's line. Going back through fathers as far as you can."
Wade sorted through screens while Kim waited impatiently. "I got a great, great-grandfather who arrived on Ellis Island claiming to be the rightful heir to the throne of some place in Italy."
"The king of Italy?"
"Nah. Before Germany and Italy were united in the late nineteenth century there were lots of dinky little countries around there. When they united a lot of nobles were out of jobs."
"Was he really a king?"
"I dunno. I'm just telling what he claimed on the immigration form. It may be why the immigration people gave him the last name Duke. Do you need me to see if he really was some kind of noble in Europe?"
"That's okay, you've told me enough."
"Will you tell me what this is all about?"
"Have you told anyone?"
"No, I haven't."
"Bad idea, Kim, somebody needs to have your back."
"I know Wade, but I can't tell you. I can't tell anybody."
"You're scaring me Kim. Can you at least tell me why you can't tell me?"
"I'm thinking of doing something I shouldn't do, and that scares me."
"Kim, you've got to talk with someone. If not me, how about Ron?"
"Monique?" he asked. Kim hesitated. "Please, it really sounds like you need to talk with someone. Promise me you'll talk to Monique."
"And I mean now. When we stop talking, you call her, okay?"
"Okay, I promise… Wade?"
Kim did not want to invite Monique over where family might overhear the conversation - and did not want anyone in Monique's family to hear the discussion either. Talking with Monique made Kim realize just how limited her knowledge of places to go in Middleton really was. She didn't have any place to suggest they go besides Bueno Nacho - and she didn't want to go there for fear of running into Ron.
"The Club Car," Monique told her.
"The Club Car?"
"Not much chance of running into our friends there, since you're being Miss Secretive. We'll get a booth at the back, split a piece of cheese cake and order diet cokes."
"I don't even know where The Club Car is."
"Twenty-seventh and Oak, there's a little strip mall. It's toward the north end."
Monique listened to Kim without a word for almost fifteen minutes before starting to list the problems with the plan. "This has got to be the craziest thing I've heard from you, GF. And I've heard plenty of crazy stuff from you."
"I'm doing it for my dad!"
"I don't care, it's impossible."
"It's not impossible. I-"
"Let me list some of the reasons this is crazy. First, there is no way you could pull that off. You're straight, and to-"
"Uh, technically I think I'm bi."
"Yeah, sure," the black woman said in a tone that meant, "No way in hell." "And you know this how?"
Monique's jaw dropped, "You've got a girlfriend? And I don't mean friends who are girls, because, GF, I am certainly not your GF like I think you just said you have a girlfriend."
"Okay, I had a girlfriend. The relationship went bad."
"What do you mean relationship? Just how far did it go?"
"You know my motto, 'I can do anything'?"
"Isn't that your family motto or something?"
"No. My dad says our family motto is 'Anything is possible for a Possible'. My ex was the one who said I can do anything, and she moaned it anything."
"Girl, I didn't need to hear you say that… But I've seen you date guys."
"Bi, Monique. I like guys and girls both. You can talk about liking guys. People treat you weird if they know you like girls. I need to be careful about… Did you know I had a crush on you when you first moved to town?"
Monique's jaw dropped, "Say what?"
"You didn't think it was weird that, for like a week, I was with you every waking moment? We shopped, ate, did everything together."
"I didn't… I mean, I was new in town, you were the only person I knew!"
Kim sighed, "Yeah, that's what I figured and didn't really ask you out. Besides, I got burned so bad with… What is your second reason?"
"Burned bad with who?"
"The girl I was dating."
"Who was she?"
"Never mind, what's the second reason?"
"Do I know her?"
"Oh, I do know her - or you'd have told me."
"Let's move on to the second reason."
"She burned you bad… Bonnie? Bonnie Rockwaller? You were in the sack with the drama queen?"
Kim blushed crimson, "I'm not giving a name."
"And you had a crush on me?"
"Oh yeah, big time. You're hot."
"I am so glad you never told me. I… Kim, not sure I'm gonna have you over for a sleepover again."
"See, that's why I didn't talk about it."
"Yeah, I would have been more comfortable not knowing. Second reason this won't work, you don't know if she's into girls. And sure as all get out she is more likely to punch you than kiss you."
"I've got to try. I've got to break the curse."
Monique looked at her friend, "Kim, the biggest problem I see is this. It is wrong, and you don't do wrong. Trying to get someone to fall in love with you when you have no feelings for that person? Your heart won't be in it."
"I'm doing it for my dad… I guess I should feel bad for Shego, but not after all the times we've fought and she's tried to hurt me. I mean, if it works I'm hurting her - but she's tried to hurt me worse!"
"Girl, she was trying to lay a whole different kind of hurt on you, and you know it."
Kim sighed, "Yeah, I know… I think the only reason I'm considering this is because it is Shego."
"Oh, and you think she's hot too?"
"It's not about a great body. All I ever do is fight her. I mean the only reason I'd consider this is because she is my enemy. I'd… I'd never do this to a friend."
"No secret crushes there?"
"Cross my heart."
"You liked her when she was Ms. Go."
"Yeah, when she was Ms. Go. She was fun. But this is not Ms. Go."
"Be careful Kim… Do you have a plan?"
"Yeah, I'm going to use Ron for a model."
Monique stared at Kim as if she had grown another head, "Ron? You're taking lessons from Ron?"
"Absolutely," Kim told her solemnly, "whatever Ron does - I do the opposite."
The two women laughed.
"I'm home," Shego bellowed as she entered the lair, "what crackpot idea did you come up with while I was gone?"
She heard no response. The second hovercraft was still in the hanger.
"DRAKKEN!" she shouted again.
"Probably in the john," she grumbled, pulling out her cell phone from her leg pouch and hitting the speed dial.
A phone began ringing in the lab. It sounded close and she stared over at the workbench where the noise seemed to originate. "Did he forget his phone?" After three rings it stopped and she heard, "Hello," whispered from under the workbench and through her phone.
"Where are you?" she demanded, quietly moving over towards the workbench.
"I'm not here… I'm… Go away."
She cautiously peered around the table and found him curled up underneath. "Is he taking a nap?" He appeared to be hiding, but from whom? From her? "BOO!"
Startled, Drakken screamed and shot up - hitting his head on the underside of the lab table.
Shego was rolling on the floor with laughter as he extracted himself from his hiding place. "You scream like a girl," she panted trying to regain her breath.
He brushed dust off his lab coat and tried to salvage any remaining dignity. "I was looking for something."
"I was looking for something."
"Who were you hiding from?"
"Kim Possible," he admitted.
She mocked him with a soft, cooing voice, "And itty-bitty little cheerleader scared the big strong man?"
"She is a most accomplished adversary and demands respect."
Shego shook her head. "Gutless. You don't see me hiding in fear."
"I don't see you beating her very often either," Drakken thought - but not too loudly in case Shego could read minds. "I wasn't expecting her, that's all. She surprised me."
"Pumpkin? What was she doing here? You don't even have a plan that's been started for her to stop."
"She was looking for you," Drakken said, gently rubbing the bruise on his head.
"She left those," he said pointing to a large bouquet that sat on a table to one side of the lab.
"I would presume so. I've not examined them."
"Probably bugged," Shego muttered, moving cautiously towards the plants."
"Not that kind of bug!"
Drakken slipped out of the room as she walked towards the vase and flowers. He had been under the worktable for almost two and a half hours, and experienced an ever growing need to visit the facilities during the last hour of that time.
Shego avoided smelling the flowers… Who knew what kind of drug Kim might have put on them. With the advances in micro circuitry she had to be careful in checking them out. Only when she believed the flowers were not bugged did she open the envelope and read the card inside.
The flowers were so beautiful I thought of you.
Having answered the call of nature Drakken returned to the lab. "Shego?" He received no answer. "I wonder if she went to her room?" Drakken pulled out his cell phone and hit the speed dial.
A phone began ringing in the lab. It sounded close and he stared over at the workbench where the noised seemed to originate. After three rings it stopped and he heard, "Hello," whispered from under the workbench and through his phone.
Boilerplate Disclaimer: The various characters from the Kim Possible television series are all owned by Disney. All registered trade names property of their respective owners. Cheap shots at celebrities constitute fair usage.
Chapter 4 - And a Princess Under No Enchantment
I couldn't work any further on this story. I had scenes in mind... Imagine a Pepe Le Pew cartoon with Kim in the role of Pepe and Shego in the role of the cat who unfortunately ended up with the white stripe. Shego tries to flee, but wherever she goes Kim is there - waiting for her.
My initial goal had been in the direction of off-the-wall humor. But I found the underlying premise - the growing insanity of Kim's dad too dark. There are writers who use insanity in humor stories, but I don't. Further the story required behavior from Kim that seemed too unethical and out-of-character for me to feel comfortable writing more. There is a point where something becomes too AU for me to write, and this hit that wall. I like bits, but can't finish it.