CHAPTER II

Swiftly and silently, hero and ex-thief moved through thick jungle foliage as sunlight and shadow printed intricate patterns on their bodies. They ran with an easy athleticism that came with being natural warriors, leaping roots, slapping vines and branches out of the way, always keeping an eye open for security and anti-personnel measures. The thick, rank smell of vegetation gone rampant filled their noses and the humidity clung to them like a second skin as they made their way through a tropical paradise. Finally they came upon the boundary of SeñorSenior, Senior's compound.

"Race you to the top, Cupcake!" Shego smirked.

"Shego! We are not here to play games!"

"Chicken."

"I won't dignify that with a response." Kim suddenly gave an arrogant grin, "Besides, I'd win."

"Oh, it's on!"

Surely and swiftly, Shego scaled the outer wall by using her plasma powers to punch finger holds into it, while Kim leapt and bounced, Jackie Chan style, from a nearby tree to the wall, back to the tree, and then to the top of the wall. Both made it to the top in less time than it would take a normal person to open a gate and stroll in, this match ending in a tie.

"Okay, you cheated by throwing me off my game. I expected to hear that grapple dryer of yours going off. The leap rattled me."

"Didn't want to hear you whine about the dryer, so I didn't use it."

"Huh. Didn't think of that."

"Come on. There is a lot of open space in that lawn, perfect for ambushes. Let's not give him time for mischief out there!"

"Hel-lo! Ex-thief, here? I was avoiding ambushes while you were in Junior high!"

They quickly scrambled across the open lawn, leaving almost no time for ambushes, until they finally came to the house proper. Moving with a practiced synchronicity which came from long years of fighting each other, they performed twin leaping kicks knocking down the heavy oaken door.

"Freeze, SeñorSenior, Senior!/Your plan is over, old man!" they yelled at the same time, each striking eerily similar fighting stances.

"Ladies! Welcome, I have been waiting for you!" said the dapper, elderly gentleman in his cultured, European voice. He smiled charmingly at them while standing in front of his bar. He held out two glasses, one holding a dubious green liquid, and the other holding a brown, foaming something. "Apple-tini, Ms. Shego, root beer, Ms. Possible?"

"Nice try, what's in the glasses?" asked a suspicious Kim Possible.

"Exactly what I said. Oh," he said, laughing with a disarming charm as he smiled at them, "you mean the 'plot' that I have…, cuál es la palabra …hatched. Yes, it was all to get the three... I assume Mr. Stoppable is retrieving his pants about now... of you here, to my private island to chat."

Both women relaxed. Shego smiled, and took the Apple-tini. "Why didn't you just invite us, then?" asked a confused Kim Possible, taking the root beer from him. He turned around and held out another dark drink, quirking an eyebrow expectantly at the door. "We left Ron behind, figured he could use a break."

"Ah, I see, how embarrassing. The reason I did not simply invite you is, would you have come, or expected some elaborate trap on my part?" he smiled at them, again.

"Of course we wouldn't have come/Hell no, we aren't crazy!" answered the teen and the ex-merc simultaneously.

"Shego! Manners!"

"Puh-lease! I've said worse to Drakken"

"If I may be so rude as to interrupt? I do enjoy a reputation for deviousness, my darlings. I understand you want a three-way ceremony, which most countries won't allow. I am, therefore, now declaring my independence, and naming my island a sovereign nation. It would please me greatly to host your wedding, as a favor to my favorite nemesis, and my son's favorite tutor."

"What?"

"Nice try. No, really, what are you up to, Old Man?"

"Shego!"

Señor Senior, Senior smiled as he watched the bi-play, and laughed silently at the unintentional pun he made in his own head. He also sighed as he mentally counted the money he lost on that particular bet on whether these two would ever end up together or not. Meanwhile, he waited for their banter to finally wind down, and sipped at the root beer that he had prepared Señor Stoppable.

to be continued...