And now... Review replies for Book I's epilogue!
CaptProd: thanks for the review, glad that you liked the fic! And now, here's the continuation. Hope you continue to enjoy, and if I do indeed need help, I'll keep the offer in mind.
Jimmy1201: yeah, I know the epilogue pushed it a bit, but, well, there was some important stuff in there... ^_^'' As to Shego's fears, well, we shall see, non? And thank you - as well as everyone that's joined you in reading - for enjoying and continuing to read my work!
And now... On with "Vacation from the Norm, Book II"!
Disclaimer located at the bottom, below Author's Notes.
The small sports compact with dozens of obvious aftermarket additions screamed around a corner and onto Go City's main thoroughfare. Tires squealed and the blow off valves of its aftermarket turbocharging system whistled even louder than the whine of its turbo or the burping of its exhaust system. Several vehicles were forced to slam on their brakes or dodge out of the way, resulting in three minor fender benders and one work truck narrowly avoiding a pair of pedestrians and the southeast corner's stoplight.
"Man, I can't, y'know, I just can't friggin' believe you, man!" the teen screamed at the driver of the car, one of his partners in crime. His livid face made more so by the rapid fire, nearly incomprehensible nature ranting, wild eyed stare, missing teeth and barely scabbed over sores on his thin, drawn face, "'Oh, it's just, just, it's just a simple li'l smash an' grab at this pharmacy, dude!' That's what you friggin' said man! An' now we're, y'know, gettin' our asses kicked, y'know? I mean, kicked hard, y'know? Y'know? Y'know? By some, y'know, some teenaged bitch an' a goddamn friggin', friggin' cripple in a friggin' wheelchair!"
"Yo, shut up you friggin' tweaker!" the huge teen in the back seat roared, slamming a meaty fist into the back of his partner's head. The methamphetamine addled brain of his partner didn't register pain as it should have, but being knocked literally into the footwell of the compact stopped his screaming for a minute. "It's not JC's fault, man! It should've been easy, so shut your mouth 'fore I shut it for ya!"
"We just gotta get to 43rd street an' head east, so both of you shut up!" JC, the latino driver of the car, growled with a half insane smile as he looked in the rearview mirror. His voice, despite being the smallest man in the car, was the deepest, and he seemed to be the one in command, "We get back home, ain't no way those two'll follow!"
"Unless they're helpin' the pigs to, y'know, y'know, to stop us 'n' shit, man!" the meth head screamed from his position, digging through his coat for something, "An' we gotta, y'know, we gotta keep 'em from our turf!"
"What the hell you doin', Maddog?" Smalls ground out as the man crowed in delight.
"Hey, man, check it!" he pulled out an odd looking device that looked to be part firearm, part power drill, "I got dis, y'know, the other day! Y'know, y'know, those dudes we found dead? Y'know? The dead ones, with the red outfits?"
"What the fuck, man, you stupid?" JC screamed, his normally deep voice breaking as sweat beaded on his brow, "Don' you dare turn that thing on, Ese, yo' gon' get us killed!"
"Wha'dya mean?" Maddog smiled insanely as he hit the power window switch, staring at the flying wheelchair behind them, "Worried that I got the firepower, JC?"
"No, you moron, that's a supervillain's shit!" JC growled, slamming on his brakes as Maddog turned on the power switch. The expensive brakes on the car dropped them from over one hundred and twenty miles per hour to nothing within seven seconds, and he slammed the emergency brake into place and opened his door, "Smalls, bail 'fore this pendejo gets us killed!"
"What the hell, man?" Smalls begged as he shoved himself over the coupe's seat and out of its door, right on JC's heels.
"There's a reason I didn' want anyone grabbin' shit from that warehouse we checked out!" JC said as he continued to run at top speed, even as he heard a whine from the weapon Maddog was wielding, "You heard about that supervillain, Gemini, doin' somethin' down southside?"
"No shit?" Smalls gasped as he glanced back in time to hear several bursts of highly concentrated plasma launched out of the passenger window at the two heroes that were descending upon them, "So..."
There was an odd sound in the air an instant later: several loud, hissing almost-whistles in the air. The two heroes seemed to notice them too as they swung wide of the car, just as three streaks of red and black shot from the sky on off white trails of smoke. The explosion that was JC's car was impressive, easily felt in the two gang-bangers chests despite being over one hundred yards away and half hidden in an alleyway.
"¡Hostia puta!" was all JC could think to say as he stared back at the burning wreckage of his prized tuner car. He wanted to cry, curse and scream all at once, but he just felt... Numb. Maddog may have been a crazy, methed up bastard, but he'd been one of the boys, dammit!
"Man..." Smalls finally gasped, apparently having held his breath as if expecting more missiles to home in on them, "I've never been so glad you kept me from signing up with HenchCo!"
"Yeah..." JC muttered, reaching into his light jacket and sighing in relief as he felt the odd, knurled stainless steel 'jar' the costume freak had asked him to get. He looked down and saw the jar, and shook his head as he realized it looked like a big, pop bottle sized version of the nitroglycerine bottle his granddad had. "He'd paid us good, too, but all this for a bottle of pills?"
"Yeah..." Smalls growled in agreement, slapping a meaty fist into an open palm, the strike echoing like a gunshot in the alley, "So, we gone?"
"Yeah, man," JC hissed, "Let's call Anna an' get a lift to the park, man... We gonna at least get some compensation from that asshole!"
With that, the two turned and headed deeper into the alleyway, Smalls already on his smartphone and calling his current girlfriend for a lift. Neither saw the shadow lurking on the roof above them that dwarfed even the six foot three, three hundred and fifty pounds of Smalls, nor the sickly smile as that same shadow leapt down upon them.
All Anna heard when she picked up her phone was odd sounding footsteps and a strange, plinking slap as the huge shadow left the cooling bodies of the gangbangers behind, tossing the stainless steel pill jar back and forth between his huge hands with enough force to kill a person...
Kim Possible sighed contentedly as she felt the early morning Munich sun warming her legs. She was completely nude, but the slight chill in the air didn't bother her in the least, thanks to the warmth radiating off of the body she was cuddled up against, and the body spooned behind her. Ron's right arm was, as usual, around her waist where her left hand clasped to his right, and his left was under her left shoulder, with her lower left leg half trapped between both of his. His face was nuzzled into her flowing mane of red, and she felt the soothing flow of his breath against her neck every time he exhaled. Smiling slightly, she allowed herself a bit of an in situ, almost isometric stretch and opened her eyes, smiling at the sight before her.
Shay Gottlieb, known to most of the world as Shego, lay on her side, her right arm under Kim's head and curled up to rest her hand on the red-head's shoulder. Her left arm was resting easily on Kim's waist, just above and indeed touching Ron's arm, resting easily between Kim's back and Ron's belly. Kim had her right leg between Shay's, the middle of her thigh just a few centimeters below the apex of the older woman's legs.
The pale woman's hair was in disarray, much as Kim knew hers was. She didn't care, though, as she found Shay's sleeping face to be haunting in its seemingly innocent beauty. The tension she normally saw in the pale beauty's whole being was gone as she lie there, mouth slightly parted and eyes closed.
She carefully eased her right arm out from between her and Shay's bodies and raised her hand to move the few locks of hair long enough out of the older woman's face. She traced her fingers along the graceful angle of her jaw, her touch feather light, feeling a slight flash of awe as Shay turned her face into the touch, even in her sleep. Such a kitten... Kim giggled to herself, moving the fingers up past the older woman's cheek to her temple, then along her forehead.
Her skin's so soft... Kim marveled, drawing the finger back along the graceful arc of an eyebrow, around the outer edge of her eye, and down to her full, luscious lips. She's so... Amazing... Kim's mental tone was almost despondent as she observed her beautiful lover's reactions, Why did it take me so long to realize it?
She knew the answer was as complex as the question was simple. Even now, after admitting to loving the woman as much as she loved her fiancé, she wasn't sure how it had happened, but knew that she just... Did. Like she did with Ron, despite all the things that said she and her blond shouldn't be more than close friends at most. I guess it's just like Mom said... she sighed contentedly as Shay opened her lips a little more when Kim crossed over them, gently tugging the former thief's lower lip out ever so slightly with one fingernail before letting go, That's the surest sign of true love: that you can't explain its presence, or how it happened, just that it is...
Shay let out a low, almost disappointed sounding whine as the fingers left her face, but calmed with a soothed, whispered moan when Kim's fingers began tracing down the graceful curve of her neck. Kim stared in rapt fascination as, even in her sleep, the woman arched her neck to grant her caressing fingers better access. Kim slid her fingers along the expanse of flesh, then across to the shoulder and down the arm wrapped so comfortingly around her waist.
"So beautiful..." Kim whispered as she continued from the elbow to the curve of Shay's trim, muscular waist. She barely suppressed a giggle as the older woman's skin jumped slightly at the feather light contact, and then she paused for the briefest instants. Then she smiled - a bright expression of pure delight - as she realized that, from the shoulders on down, goosebumps had raised in response to her featherlight caresses.
Kim started to move her fingers again, around to what she could reach of the older woman's back. She felt Shay again arch ever so slightly, even moving her arm in her sleep to allow a little more of the contact her sleeping mind obviously enjoyed. Kim felt the muscles bunch briefly, before relaxing even further, felt the power that the woman held contained within her supple frame, and was overcome with an emotion she could only describe of as awe. So powerful... she thought with such pride at being allowed so close to her, Yet so feminine... How could she ever doubt she's beautiful?
She drew her hand down Shay's back, then gave the firm rear she was quickly coming to view as one of her favorite parts of the older woman a soft squeeze. Shay's breath caught slightly at the gesture, and Kim stopped, worried she'd woken the older woman. Shay shifted slightly, her legs drawing Kim's thigh even closer to her slightly heated core, then relaxed. Kim sighed softly in relief, drawing her fingers inwards across lower curve of Shay's hip to trace slowly up, then around her navel. Kim's smile widened in response to the goosebumps following, and the soft, almost-giggle that slipped from the older woman.
As she came to the older woman's breasts, she slid her fingers around the outer edge of left breast, then back around to the right, at least, what wasn't pressed into Kim's own chest. I'm so jealous, she barely kept from speaking the thought aloud, These are so... Perfect... She traced back across the right nipple, then across to gently grasp the breast in her hand, gently squeezing. She was vaguely surprised to feel the nipple almost instantly harden, even if only a little bit. Kim was sure hers would harden in her sleep, too, but doubted it would be quite that quickly! It made her wonder after the older woman's libido.
She'd noticed, in their first few days of hesitant exploration of each other, that in the afternoon, Shay seemed to be... Indifferent wasn't quite right, but not as into touching and fondling as she was in the evenings. And, it seemed, she was like Ron in that she awoke horny. Kim wondered if that was going to be an issue in the future, at least, if the older woman could never come to grips with the idea of being with Ron. Kim was not someone that woke up aroused; not to say she couldn't be aroused, just that it took more time than if it were the evening or afternoon. She guessed some people, seeing her touching the older woman, wouldn't expect that, but she couldn't help but touch the flawless beauty before her, even if it was far from sexual in her mind.
Shaking the thoughts off slightly, she moved her hand again, stopping over Shay's heart and gently pressing her palm into the slight hollow at the top of her breasts. "I love you, Shay Gottlieb..." she reaffirmed her claim from the prior night, "As much as I love Ron... I always will, and I'll always be yours, as much as I am Ron's..."
She felt her eyes sting with the force of the emotion within her, saw her vision blur as tears came... But they were not tears of sadness, but of a joy she hadn't felt since Ron had asked her to be his wife. She knew, with more certainty than anything else in her life, that she was Shay's as much as Ron was hers, that Shay was hers as much as she was Ron's...
In that instant, she knew beyond a shadow of doubt, that she had a new mission. I want to help you Shay... To get past whatever this is, whatever hurt is inside you that scares you to be with Ron... she reached out to cup Shay's cheek, craning her neck slightly to impress a tender kiss on the older woman's luscious lips. Pulling back, she spoke in the barest of whispers, her words carrying the impossible weight of the love she felt for the woman in front of her and the man behind her, "No matter what, Shay, I want Ron to be yours as much as I am... For you to be his as much as I am... I promise, Shay, I'll do whatever I can to help you, so we can be yours, and you can be ours... So you understand, so you know, that when I say I love you, it's unhindered... So you know, when I say 'Now, always and forever!' It's not just for me, or for you... But for all of us..."
She craned her neck again and brushed Shay's lips, before curling herself back under the older woman's chin, as she had been when she awoke. Lulled by her promise and the slow, even breathing of her fiancé and her lover, she quickly fell back to sleep; had she stayed awake, she'd have been shocked to feel tears softly soaking into her hair, and felt the feather soft kiss of black stained lips on her temple...
Perhaps she'd have heard the desperate, loving whisper of her lover, "I love you too, Princess..." Shay Gottlieb drew a scared, shuddering breath, but as she stared at her hand - resting as it was between Kim's back and Ron's stomach - without feeling more than the a shiver of fear, her voice gained the slightest edge of hope, "Now, always and forever... I love you too..."
"Betty..." Sheldon 'Gemini' Director murmured softly into the ear of his sister, who, against all his hopes and dreams, had become his lover just over a week earlier, "Wake up, Little Sister..." He sat up slightly from his seated position on her bed as she moved to half rise on her elbows.
"Hmmwhaa..." she groaned softly, and a stab of guilt flashed deep in Gemini's stomach. It had been a risk, slipping into the apartment she slept in at GJEHQ, but it had been worth it. He, his Agents Alpha and Beta, and Beta Five had drugged her and taken her via a hidden accessway to one of the monitoring stations close to the European Global Justice headquarters. The blood tests he had ordered had, of course, terrified him. What if it hadn't been her? What if it was an agent of hers in disguise, or worse, someone else entirely? "Shelly?" her tone was worried, and then when she saw him, hot with not just annoyance, but worry, "Sheldon, what are you doing? If someon-..."
"Shhh..." he silenced her with a gentle finger on her lips using his flesh and blood hand, "It was a risk I had to take, love... We left a female agent using a holosuit to convince them with electronic means that you were there. I... I'm sorry, Betty, but I had to make sure..."
"Had to make sure of what, Shelly?" she hissed, a hurt, almost betrayed expression on her face.
"That..." he closed his eyes and drew himself up slightly, his visage firm as he continued in the cold tone of command he used so often, "That you, Little Sister, were indeed you. I had to run genetic testing, to make sure..."
"I see." Betty sighed, lying back on the bed and running a hand over her face, "I see... Sorry, Shelly, but all this running around and hiding..."
"I know, love..." he murmured, relaxing his posture and moving to lay next to her, cuddling up to his little sister and holding her in a comforting embrace, "It's getting to me as well..."
"Lord Gemini!" the sound of Beta Five's voice cutting into the room via intercom made Gemini flinch, "We have word of possible trouble!"
"Beta Five..." Gemini ground out, sitting on the edge of his sister's bed and saying, "It is unlocked..." Beta Five, sweating nervously but remaining otherwise composed walked in and Gemini indicated a seat across from the bed he sat on, "Have a seat."
Beta Five hesitated slightly, then felt his bowels wanting to void themselves as he noticed Betty Director's hand gently resting on Gemini's elbow. "Y-yes, sir."
"No need to worry, Beta Five..." Gemini smiled with cold amusement, "I've... Turned over a bit of a new leaf. I won't kill you just for being a messenger, or for minor to moderate mistakes... But, you have news?"
"Yes, two things, sir." Beta Five nodded, relief visible on his face, "We have word from Go City that one of the weapons that was stolen from our men's bodies was activated, and the thief was... Dealt with."
"Good, good..." Gemini nodded for him to continue.
"The other news..." Beta Five sighed, "Three of our operatives were found out by The Agency That Shall Not Be Named..." He nodded at Betty before continuing, "Agent Epsilon, Epsilon Two and Beta Two were discovered snooping around the GJ Frankfurt building, apparently not long after Shego left..."
"Damn..." Gemini growled, having hoped to get some samples of the woman's DNA, "Have they talked?"
"Only in generalities." Beta Five hedged slightly, "But they may be bringing in a Truth Ray Mk. II to use on them..."
"Try and get them out..." Gemini said, favoring his sister with a slight glance, before sighing slightly as she nodded, "But if you can not... Eliminate them."
"We have two teams in route, sir!" Beta Five nodded, "Agent Alpha had guessed you might want to attempt an extraction, so the first team is set up for removal, the second, for assassination."
"Good!" Gemini nodded, never having expected Betty's suggestion as to his new Agent Alpha, or her suggestion of improvement by learning from mistakes would have succeeded as it had. "Dismissed for now, Beta Five."
"Yes, sir!" Beta Five stood and saluted, then left smartly, closing the door behind him.
"Shelly?" Betty's voice called out, and he looked at her, seeing a now familiar glint in her eye, "Do... Do we have time?"
"A quickie, perhaps..." Gemini smiled lovingly at the beautiful woman staring so demurely up at him. Slowly, he reached out surprisingly gentle hands to fondle one of her magnificent breasts through the thin cotton sleepwear she wore, "And... Maybe some more cuddling."
"Oh, Shelly..." she sighed, sitting up and reaching for the front of his trousers, her knowledgeable hands making quick work of exposing her apparently second favorite part of him...
"Professor! Mathter! Come in, come in!" Jack Hench crowed in delight as the last two invited guests of a very exclusive party were escorted in by two Knights Lieutenants, officers among HenchCo's elite bodyguard henches.
Mathter looked around the modestly sized but opulent room with a smile, and held his hand out to Jack, "A pleasure to finally sum up to such agust surroundings, Mr. Hench!"
The man's smile was sincere, and surprisingly to Hench, less unhinged than it had been the last few times he'd met the man. I guess that a makeover can help bring someone up! Jack had to admit, his design department had come up with a doozy, but it worked quite well. Instead of gold, green and purple, they'd gone with making his overall costume a darker green, with gold and purple piping along the outer seams of the arms and legs. They'd gone with a paler version of each along his torso to give his costume a slimming effect, while removing the rediculous "M" from the top of his head.
Instead of a cap stuck on with spirit gum and hope, he now bore a tight fitting half cowl/half helm that was sleek looking, with a few cutouts that allowed his scalp some cooling and at the same time gave some free rein to his crimson hair. The cowl/helm left his ears free - and included a HenchTooth super-strong Bluetooth headset - and came down to the hollow of his cheeks, and the noseguard just below the eyes, both straight lined to look like a slightly stylized "M". It did not seem to block his peripheral vision, and Jack could see the telltale flashes of light that indicated he was currently using the suit's 'enhanced reality' function. Yes, it seems to have helped him immensely... Jack was so busy congratulating that he almost missed what the red-head said as he continued.
"I must admit to only a fractional role in the last equation," the man nodded to the taller man beside him with a nod of the head, "While I was coincident to the positive overall residual of the plan, my partner's ratio of work was less oblique than mine."
"Nonesense!" Professor Mindbender and Jack answered at the same time, Jack continuing after a nod from Mindbender, "Mathter, if we hadn't had you involved, our original plan would have had much lower positive cashflow... The idea of leaking information to OWFL and thus allowing some of my henches to 'assist' in the stoppage? Brilliant!"
"Indeed, Mathter..." Mindbender chuckled as the Mathter both blushed and preened, holding his hand out to Jack, "I'm honored for the invitation, Jack, is the Senator here tonight, or is this for less savory types?"
"Oh, he's here, alright, with his wife." Jack's smile was positively jackal-like as he nodded towards the buffet table, "And his sister-in-law, Nevada State Representative Ogterop."
"Ah..." Mathter said quietly, leaning slightly towards Jack, "Would it be rational to presume her prime reason for attending is in relation to a few projects coming to pass in her state that are reciprocal to her public agenda?"
"As a matter of fact," Jack kept his voice level and the surprise out of his beady eyes, but the Mathter's astute guess was spot on, "It does. She's especially concerned about how much she can push for her public environmental concerns while allowing those new... Resort developments... In her district, of course!"
"Hmmm..." Mindbender murmured as he saw the glint in his partner's eyes, "Is she wondering how much she can give, or take?"
"Oh, she wants to appear strong, but conciliatory and interested in both the environment and job creation..." Jack snickered, "She wants those resorts, however, as much as her conservative rival, if not more..."
"I do believe, if I can access the numbers of course," Mathter murmured, his mind already going through dozens of mathematical permutations, "That I can devise the appropriate differential for her... I'm sure the Professor's skills could help with the expected value, as well."
"Indeed!" Mindbender chuckled, "I'm sure a few words to the right... Contributors to the representative's cause could smooth things along... And if she were to imply that Lorwardian construction technology could be of assistance, what with one of the construction companies building a new plant for just that purpose..."
"Professor, Mathter..." Jack shook his head in admiration as he turned to continue escorting them to the table personally, "Don't try for my seat or I'll end you... But... I might just be looking for some like minded advisors in the near future..."
"I'm sure our interactions with you could prove to have a positive direction for everyone in the equation, Mr. Hench!" the Mathter chuckled, his tone of voice that of a villain moving up in the world...
Had Jack looked back, he might have noticed a brief eye contact and the even more subtle, shared wink that passed between the two villains...
"Thanks for letting us stay at your place after that mess..." Felix murmured with feeling, "Thought I think people would laugh at Team Possible Bravo being called in to housesit will get a few laughs!"
"Well," Joss countered with a grin, "we are lookin' after a hero's house when 'e has t' be with his wife, right?"
"That's one way to look at it!" Jody 'Mego' Gottlieb's wife, Sandy Gottlieb, smiled tiredly at the two teens. Her voice was deep for a woman's, but in a smoky, feminine manner, although she looked quite tired at that moment. "And it's cool... You two helped out the twins quite a bit..." She nodded to the two exhausted heroes that had demanded to come visit their older brother and their sister in law after their last mission.
"It's all good..." Joss smiled down at the woman, smirking over at the exhausted looking Wegos, "They kinda had t' help us out wit' th' sitch, so..."
"Yeah..." Jody murmured as he came into the hospital room where his wife was still under observation, her labor having been intensive and Jody's unique metabolism requiring the twins stay a little longer, "I... We're okay with you guys visiting for a few more days if needed..."
Sandy chuckled and pulled her husband closer, her green eyes shining out of her every so slightly pudgy face. She'd already heard a few of the nurses who'd had children complaining about how quickly she was losing the fat the babies had added to her body. "That's awesome of you, Jody..."
"Oh, I know..." he muttered, blowing on his knuckles and rubbing them on his chest... And stepping just out of Sandy's reach before she could get a solid pinch on the rear, "Hey, now... I have my looks to worry about, y'know!"
"Well..." Sandy countered, "I'd better be the only one seeing that part of your anatomy!"
"Er..." Jody hesitated, blushing slightly before responding with a somewhat nervous grin, "Yes, ma'am..."
"So whipped..." Jesse chuckled, finally letting everyone know he'd woken up, James continuing, "Shego'd just kill to see it..."
"Shut up!" Jody half hissed, half whined, "C'mon, guys, you know what she'd say..."
"And whose fault was it..." James snickered, Jesse folloing up with a snicker of his own, "For falling in love... With Sandy in the first place?" James winked at Joss and Felix, who had learned quickly to stay out of the quasi-arguments between the youngest three Gottlieb siblings.
Especially when there was a good chance at them having a point. Sandy, while blonde, had a thick fall of long, fine hair, that was straight yet styled in a manner startlingly similar to Shego's. She had a slightly larger nose and her eyes hinted at her half chinese ancestry, but with the shape of her lips, chin and brow, she could easily have passed for Shego's sister. Joss had seen a few pictures of the woman from before her pregnancy, and compared them to a recent picture of Shego taken when she'd visited the twins a month earlier. Sandy was somewhat more muscular looking, in the manner of a gymnast as opposed to Shego's martial artist's body, but their figures were very similar as well.
What was most striking, however, was her brilliant, piercing green eyes. They were expressive and open, yet looked like they could pierce into your soul. Jody had protested, when the twins had pointed out the similarities the last time the argument had popped up, that Sandy had worn contacts when they'd first met. And had shorter hair. Nonetheless, the twins still teased him mercilessly when he started getting too self absorbed.
Such as the moment that was unfolding before the two young members of Team Possible Bravo. "Not listening..." Jody hummed, covering his ears childishly and sticking his tongue out at his younger siblings. What he didn't realize was that he'd stepped back into his wife's range.
"Jody..." she murmured just loud enough for him to hear her and he stiffened as he felt her fingers grabbing onto his rear end threateningly, "What'd I tell you about being a self absorbed ass?"
"Um, that it's as cute as mine is..." he started, and hurriedly finished when he felt her fingers tighten, "But it gets old quick?"
"Good boy!" Sandy murmured, chuckling at him and patting the rear instead of pinching it.
"Hey, no flirting in the hospital room!" Felix joked, earning a swat on the arm from his... His friend. His friend that was a girl. His... Oh, just get over it and admit it! he screamed at himself, She's your girlfriend! He paused at his internal debate, blinking a couple times before shaking his head. God, considering her my girlfriend is gonna be a lot harder to get used to than I thought! It wasn't this hard with Zita... he chuckled to himself, Not that I mind, she's awesome, and I'm already in love with her, aren't I... His amusement earned a raised eyebrow and mild pout from Joss.
"Whaddya find so funneh, sweet cheeks?" Joss prodded when Felix just stared at her.
"Oh, just thinking..." he murmured, leaning forward to give her a quick kiss on the lips, "That my girlfriend is incredibly beautiful, and that there's a diner down the street she wanted to check out..."
Joss smiled and cupped his cheek, speaking in a low, loving tone, "It's a date, Wheels..."
There was a collective "Awww..." at Joss' statement, which drew a blush from the auburn haired teen. Jody opened his mouth to speak, but the door to the hospital room opened, startled everyone into momentary silence.
"Hey, everybody." Greg 'Hego' Gottlieb offered a half hearted, but contrite smile smile as he looked at his sister in law and middle brother, "How's things going?"
"Hey, Greg..." Sandy nodded to him, a tad irked from the last time he'd spoken to them, but the bashful look in his face gave her the patience to hear him out, "You calmer today?"
The big man sighed, running his hand over his face, "I'm sorry, you two... Seriously, I am, I don't know what came over me."
"Couldn't be working fifty..." Jesse snapped, James picking up after him, "To sixty hours a week... And spending half the night... Chasing has beens... And petty criminals..." The twins waited for Greg to open his mouth, then pounced at the same time, "Could it?".
"I..." Greg had the decency to look ashamed, and nodded, "Yeah... I've been screwing up a lot lately."
"I'll say..." Joss muttered under her breath, drawing a chuckle from Jody.
"Girl's got a point, bro..." Jody pointed at Greg's big chest, "First ya forced those two to break off chasing some up and coming villains... Then a less than a week ago, the cops had that bank robbery in check for once, but you just had to skip out on my kids being born..."
"I know, Jody!" Greg half snapped, then sighed, "Sorry, I guess I deserved that..."
"Yeah!" James snapped, followed by Jesse, just as hotly, "And you weren't around... When we found out Shego got hurt... Either!"
"But you two were..." Greg gave them a proud, if brief smile, "And she was with Team Possible..."
"Thank God f'r small favors..." Joss muttered, "Ya do realize that she was in a bad way, right?"
"I..." Greg grimaced, "I know... And it's probably for the best I stayed out of it..."
"Yeah," Jesse reluctantly agreed, James finishing, "Probably..."
"So, what brings you around?" Sandy interjected with surprising smoothness, trying to stop the argument that seemed bound and determined to happen.
"I had hoped to see my nephews and maybe..." Greg shrugged slightly, "Maybe try and start to make amends for the last few years?"
"Your nephews, you can see..." Jody agreed, "Making amends... You've tried that a few times already, Heeg!" Greg winced at Jody's use of Shego's old nickname for him, "You'd better be sincere this time..."
"I am..." Greg started, then stared at the TV screen that happened to be situated above Joss and Felix's head, "I hate to ask, but could you turn that up? Please? I'm not planning on jumping into this, I promise, but..."
Sandy looked up and saw an interview with a police officer and what looked like a crime scene. Then she saw a familiar face, one she hadn't seen since she and Hego had graduated from high school. Reluctantly, she turned up the volume, gasping as the announcer's voice cut in, "...-olice have released the identities of the deceased. Thirty one year old Juan Christos D'Cruz was found in an alleyway next to twenty two year old Luis 'Smalls' Robledo, not two blocks away from where an apparent accomplice of theirs, Jason 'Maddog' MacAlister died in a vehicle explosion.
"Although details of either crime are sketchy at this time, MacAlister was apparently using a weapon of some kind, tentatively identified as formerly belonging to the supervillain known as Gemini, and suffered the madman's well known wrath. D'Cruz and Robledo, however, seem to have fallen afoul of a different group, as they were found, their bodies, according to a source in Go City's Criminal Investigation Unit, looking quote, '...like they were on the receiving end of the jaws of life...', unquote. Beyond tha-..."
"No!" Greg croaked, staring at the screen in horror as he fell to the floor, landing solidly on his rear end with a loud thump. He wasn't the only one to make a shocked gasp, but he seemed to be the most stunned. Sandy quickly lowered the volume as Greg sat, shaking his head slightly, "I... I just talked to him the other day! He said... He said he was leaving the life, that his kid and wife needed him..."
"Y'all knew 'im?" Joss asked quietly, not wanting to intrude on the huge man's apparent grief, but knowing the police would need to know all the information they could get.
"He..." Greg had tears in his eyes as he turned away from the screen, "He was my best friend in high school..." The superstrong hero swallowed against the lump in his throat, trying to blink tears away as he continued, "He... Fell in with a bad crowd after high school, but... After he got out of prison, he looked me up... We talked... I've been helping him, working to help his wife and little girl move out of the hellhole they were in..."
"Oh, God..." Sandy whispered, "Is Ruby still with hi-..."
"Yes..." Greg muttered in seeming inconsolable grief, "He'd just moved them into the Westview Apartments... He had to do one last thing to make sure his 'boys' were taken care of... But he was gonna quit..."
"Greg..." Felix said softly, but urgently, "He was the getaway driver for the breakin at the Madison Pharmaceuticals facility..."
"That's what he meant, then..." Greg clenched his fingers together, looking down at his hands, "If I could have helped a little bit more, he wouldn-... Wouldn't've..."
Jody was standing by his brother's side, a look of indecision on his face. It was plainly visible that part of him relished the pain his big brother was feeling, but only a small part. His expression, though, proclaimed he couldn't help but be a brother. Greg was family, no matter what, after all! With a gentle arm, he reached around the huge shoulders of his eldest sibling and murmured, "His girl and boy are still alright, right, Hego?" Greg looked uncomprehendingly at Jody for a long moment, but finally nodded, "Maybe he was trying to get out, maybe he was having one last hurrah... But I don't want to hear you blaming yourself for someone else's stupid decision..."
"But..." Greg began, then sighed heavily, "I... Guess you're right?" He shook with a mix of repressed rage and grief, "Guys... I don't know if I can forgive myself for failing my friend that easily, though..."
"Hego..." Jody murmured, patting his shoulder, "Let's go see my kids... Your nephews... And let you think about this: sometimes, people die for stupid reasons, sometimes for no reason at all... But if he really was trying to change his life, it's a good thing... And maybe, just maybe, his kid will come out differently than he did, okay? Isn't that worth something?"
"Yeah..." Greg whispered, looking at his hands as if they held the answer to his high school friend's death
The woman was... Not cold, exactly... But neither was she warm. Somewhat above chilled was the only way she could think to describe it. Then again, thinking wasn't high on her list of priorities for the five minutes it took her to fully awaken, the thick, congealed fog she remembered being reading from the few subjects used to test the Metabolic Suspension and Containment Chamber. At first glance - inside or out - the device could be easily mistaken for DNAmy's genetic zipper, mostly because it was based on the very same device.
The original designer, Dr. Brigham Löwe - a high ranking agent within Global Justice that had plans to take the top spot of the organization - had modified the genetic zipper with the sole purpose of holding one Shay 'Shego' Gottlieb, when no other prison would ever hold her. It was supposed to have been destroyed after its four tests and one operational use - on Shego, of course - and Dr. Löwe was still jailed for his near disastrous first test.
The superpowered woman had been secreted away from normal authorities and placed in the chamber after her third arrest by Kim Possible. The result was literally hundreds of millions of dollars of damage when she had woken from stasis and destroyed the lab and most of the surrounding building. Thankfully, the superthief hadn't recalled the incident, nor had she killed anyone, but the woman now in the chamber felt it had been the what made her decide to embrace 'evil' instead of merely dally with it. For a normal human, they would be in a dreamless stasis for up to two weeks, then the stasis would break and the person would wake up. For Shego, it had been just under thirty-six hours, and so far as anyone else could, it had been a thirty-six hour long nightmare.
Okay, I have no idea how she has this... Did she have one made, or was it never destroyed in the first place? The woman quickly shook off the question, and the unwelcome memories, as best she could and stared up and down the interior of the chamber. She tried to ignore the tousled look of her deep auburn hair as she leaned close to the seams around the door, studying them with a critical eye, Snap out of it, you vain bitch! Your looks don't matter now, action does, so concentrate on getting out of here, save the woolgathering for later! The thoughts in her head were venomous as she reached out to wipe the condensation off of the inside of the tube, Now, am I still in the same place, or was she smart enough to move me?
The answer seemed obvious at first as she wiped the condensation on the inner surface of the window away. She'd been moved alright, though she was fairly certain she was still in France. At least, she was if the newspaper and the warning plaques on the wall being in French were any indication! Unfortunately, that didn't help too much, as she could have been moved to anywhere that had a French company's warehouse. At least the place looks abandoned at the moment... She had been stripped down to her bra and panties and her captor had managed to remove most of her lockpicks. By the feel of her underclothes, though, she still had at least two left; whether they would allow her to escape was another question, however...
"No time like the present to find out, I guess..." With that, she carefully felt around the rear of her panties waistband. She found the point where there was the slightest lessening in the material's give; with a specific fold and push, a thin, high strength plastic wire with several small bends in it popped free. She put the piece of plastic between her lips and removed her bra, letting her prodigious bosom hang free. Like with her panties, she felt around the rear top of her bra's strap, smirking when she felt the ever so slight lessening of give.
Popping the hooked piece of plastic out, she put her bra back on before kneeling at the base of the tube's door, working with quick, sure motions. A couple minutes later, when she knew the plastic was at its breaking point, she contemplated stopping... When a click resounded loudly in the enclosed space. "Yes..." she whispered as the hook slipped ever so slightly to the left.
Barely restraining her triumph to that one word, she stood and braced her back against chamber wall, taking care not to jostle the slightly loosened door, before using the chimney climbing technique to get to the top of the door. Thank god the interior has a textured surface, or I'd be on my ass with all this condensation! she chuckled to herself as she carefully braced herself at the top. When she felt solid she began to work, being more careful here than she had been at the bottom. Almost four minutes later, with her powerful legs and lower back quivering from the sustained tension, there was another click and the door swung outwards as silently as a grave.
Carefully she dropped to the floor of the tube and stepped out, bending at the waist to stretch her hamstrings before muscle cramps left her immobilized in pain. She then stretched her lower back, calves and quadriceps, before taking better stock of her surroundings. The first thing she noticed was a chamber similar to her own, but decidedly extraterrestrial in origin. Lowardian tech? she boggled at the presence of an active, alien device in such a run down looking warehouse. She turned to inspect the stasis module and realized immediately that there were several pieces of supervillain tech hooked up to it with implications that utterly terrified her.
Genetic Sampler? Genetic information impinger? Selective personality engram implanter? Is this a genetic zipper after all? With those disturbing questions floating around her mind, the woman taking her place could easily fool anyone into thinking she was... Her thoughts froze as she noticed the last device sitting behind all of them. Selective mind scanner and depositor...
She thought this out better than I thought she had... she realized as she walked over to the lattermost device, praying that whoever had used it had yet to remove the last memories scanned and deposited. Luck, it seemed, was with her as she scanned over the memories. At least she didn't check the truth behind the eyepatch... she grimaced as she noticed that half of that memory was, indeed, there, At least, not completely!
With a twist of her lips, the woman deleted the information from the solid state drive in the device, then removed it, before popping the case open and removing the memory core as well. She followed suit with the other three devices and made a quick survey of her surroundings. She was disappointed that her uniform was nowhere to be seen, but there was clothing - including a warm jacket - that would fit her, as well as a soft sided briefcase where she could put the memory and storage from the devices...
And a firearm, a Walther PPQ. Grabbing it, she popped the magazine and, after grabbing the magazine, worked the slide; she realized immediately it was a well cared for weapon, which was a relief. She glanced at the magazine and her smirk widened, Well, well, well! Caliber is... .40 Smith and Wesson, one loaded twelve round magazine and two empties.
She looked around a bit more and found a box of ammunition and a holster designed for the small of the back and immediately put it on. She loaded the spare magazines and stowed the weapon in its holster she placed one spare magazine in the inside pocket of the coat and one in the briefcase. Settled slightly with clothing and a weapon, she glanced back at the tube of Lorwardian tech and walked over to it. The outside was covered in a thin layer of frost, which she quickly went about clearing off. When she did, she barely kept a scream from her throat as she gazed upon the inside. No way, she's...
Any further thoughts were dispersed when she heard a vehicle pull up outside. She still had a job to do, but she'd do everything in her power to get some men down here to recover what seemed to be a cryogenic stasis pod! But... First things first.
She made her way over to the door next to the overhead door and hid behind the side that would put the door between her and the intruders when they entered. She let a silent snarl take to her face when she heard the men talking, though she couldn't quite place the language... But knew it wasn't French!
That didn't matter, however. She had a mission: no matter what, she had to get away and find communications gear... And find the bitch that'd put her in this situation! You'd better hope you're not with them, you bitch! she growled in her head, Because no one, no one, tries to take Betty Director's place!
Well, the chapter's a li'l smaller than my norm, but I figured I'd give everyone a chance to get back into the swing of my fics... Plus, it's the start of Book II! Looks like it's off to a surprising start, with the criminal's eye view of Team Possible Bravo chasing them down and... Oh, that doesn't bode well, does it?
And then Kim waking up in such a predicament... Not only does she not seem to mind, she seems to be quite smitten, non? And Shego, the tricky, sneaky minx, has it just as bad... And more of the strangeness that is Gemini and Betty? Uh, oh...
And once again, we see the Mathter and his mysterious partner, Professor Mindbender... What are they planning, and does it have much to do with HenchCo? And a cute li'l scene between Joss and Felix, with a look into Mego's life... And devastating news to poor Hego.
Finally, a hidden warehouse, and... Oh, boy...
As always, thanks to Neo the Saiyan Angel for her flow/feel beta work. As well, remember everyone, there's lots of fics out there so keep up the reading, and remember: if ya like a fic, give the author a review!
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