I do not own any Disney characters named herein, and am only borrowing them to tell a nonprofit tale meant for entertainment purposes only.
Kim Possible: After the Fall
"Kimberly," Ann called up to her from the foot of the stairs that led up to her room. "Are you still awake, honey?"
"Yeah, mom," came the listless reply. "I'm…not sleepy."
Ann Possible, a neurosurgeon with more than a little experience had no clue how to help her daughter.
The hearing had been bad enough for all of them, but ever since the news that Shego had died in her fourth operation, Kim had been suffering nightmares, and depression serious enough to worry the mother of the fabled teen heroine that once modeled the family credo that 'anything was possible for a Possible.'
Lately, however, Kim had not been doing much of anything.
Her grades were suffering. She had stopped taking missions. She didn't even go out unless it was to school, where her teachers claimed she spent most of the day staring into space. Her daughter was self-destructing, and Ann just didn't know what to do.
She didn't blame it on Shego. Not completely. Drew Lipski had played with her emotions with that synthodrone, and in the final showdown, he had once again proven his cowardice when he tried to flee while leaving Shego to face a very angry Kim Possible.
So angry, she had literally kicked the woman right off a building, and into a self-destructing transmission tower that collapsed on top of her. By the time they dug her out, she was already critical. Even with the woman's remarkable powers, she was very seriously injured, and only a series of emergency surgeries even kept her alive.
She didn't, however, survive the last surgery. That was when a DA out to make a name for himself had actually tried to charge her with manslaughter as a vigilante operating outside the law. The jury laughed him out of court. That, however, had not helped her daughter's mind. Kim was still taking everything very seriously. And very personally.
Stepping into her daughter's room, she saw her sitting by the window, staring out into the darkness. Again.
She didn't bother to turn on the light as she walked over to Kim's side, and stood quietly beside her for a moment.
"I know," Kim sighed.
"What do you know, sweetheart?"
"I'm being stupid. I need rest. I need to let it all go. All of the above, right?"
"Close. But I'd never say you were being stupid. I know…. Well, I can understand how you feel. It's never easy to take a life. Still, sometimes…."
"Mom, she didn't have to die."
"I…. I had already beaten her. Them. We had beat them. They were done. But I still…. I just…..hated her so much at that moment, that I wanted to…. I really did want to kill her, mom. I wanted to kick that smirk all the way down her throat, and….. And…. God help me, I got my wish," she finished with a choking sob as she buried her face in her hands.
"Honey, she would have done the same, or worse to you."
"You can't get much worse than dead, mom," Kim said quietly.
"Tell that to the paralyzed patients I see every day. Many of the most recent hurt by those two the night those robots attacked. You know the damage they did. And it was global, not just here. Whatever else, you still saved a lot of lives, dear."
Kim said nothing to that.
"Kim, I respect that you do value life. Still, sometimes…. Well, you did what had to be done. After all, you are a hero," she smiled, putting a hand on her shoulder.
"Heroes don't kill, mom," Kim said quietly, not even looking at her. "Heroes don't kill."
Ann had absolutely nothing to say to that.
"I don't know, Ron," Ann sighed as she sat with him in the dining room of the Possible house later that week. "Has she said anything to you?"
"Nothing, Mrs. Dr. P," Ron sighed. "I thought….. Well, it seemed like we were….. You know, getting close there for a moment. Closer. Then the whole Shego thing blew up, and then there was the hearing, and everything, and…. She just…..shut down."
"I know. I'm really getting worried. She even quit cheerleading this week," she said quietly.
"I think she quit last week," Ron told her somberly. "I mean, she just quit showing up. Bonnie was really on her about it, and then….. I guess she made it official this week."
"This just isn't like her," Ann sighed again.
"So, is she here," he finally asked, Kim having been ducking him of late more than once since he was trying to get her to at least talk to him about that night.
"No. She went for a walk. I'm guessing she went back to the cemetery."
"In Go City," Ann told him pointedly when his face was marked by confusion.
"Oh. Oh, man. That's just…..weird."
"Ron. Maybe you could talk to her again. I'm afraid I'm just not getting through to her."
"I'll try, Mrs. Dr. P. But to be honest, I don't know if she'll even listen to me any more. But I'll try."
"Thanks, Ron. That's all I ask."
He gave a wan expression, but said nothing as he didn't even bother to reach for the leftover pizza from the boys' lunch. Just then, he didn't have much of an appetite either.
"I thought I'd find you here," the somber woman said as she walked up behind the redhead who stood with slumped shoulders as she stared vacantly at the grave of her fallen foe.
A woman she knew was a sister to four real heroes. A woman that once stood for justice herself. Until she changed. Until she crossed over. Her brothers didn't blame her for what happened. That they let her go without any words of condemnation did not make her feel any better.
Everyone seemed to be happy she had killed Shego.
Even if it was Shego, it just felt…..wrong.
"I told you I was finished," she told Dr. Betty Director who stood next to her in causal slacks, and a modest blouse rather than her usual GJ uniform.
"I came to talk to you, Kimberly. Not offer you a job."
Betty stared at the marker that said simply, 'Shego. Hero. Sister. Friend. R.I.P.'
"Do you know that I knew her when she was still a hero? Just starting out?"
Kim said nothing to that.
"I think she was a lot like you. Or vice versa."
Kim remained silent as her lips thinned.
"The point is, you both faced critical decisions in your life. You know where it led her. The question is, Kimberly, where will your moment of crisis lead?"
"I already told you, I'm out. I'm going to finish school, go to college, and live….."
"An ordinary life? Too late. If someone isn't already gunning for you, they will be when they think you went soft. If not you, then your friends and family. It's the way their world works. You know that as well as I do. Besides, we both know that sooner or later you'd reach a point where your own natural competitiveness would draw you back into the game."
Kim said nothing to that.
"Just as it did Shego when she first quit. That's right. She didn't just jump into the mercenary lifestyle. She quit Team Go, and tried to live her own life at first. Only she wasn't made for an ordinary life. I don't know if it was because of the comet, or in spite of it, but she had to have her kicks. Kicks she didn't get following Hego's lead."
Kim focused her gaze on the headstone as Betty cleared her throat, and went on.
"At first, she did small jobs. Anything for a dollar, so long as the thrill was there. Then the need for the thrill overcame her ambition. Frankly, were she less indolent, she might have been a real threat in her time. Oddly enough, she settled for working with Drew in the end, and I suspect it might have been partially because of you."
"Me," Kim asked quietly, glancing her way only then.
"She took a job with the man as part of her usual lark from what I learned. Only rather than the usual job that pit her against the usual authorities, she ran headlong into you. The first person to go toe-to-toe with her since the comet gave her her powers. It is, of course, speculation, but I suspect she only stayed with Lipski because you showed up so often to thwart him. The thrill, I have said, was important to her."
"I see where this is going," Kim finally commented when the woman fell silent. "You think I might end up following Shego's footsteps. Maybe even….literally."
"I won't deny it is a possibility. No pun intended."
"I don't care about thrills, Dr. Director. I like…. Liked to help. But what I did. That was wrong. Only no one else seems to even care that I took a life. That I….killed….."
"It happens, Kimberly. If you want someone to tell you how bad you are, and how much you need punished? Well, you're going to be hard-pressed to find them. Because Shego was worse. Thousands were hurt, even killed in just that last scheme, and that was just that one plot. She didn't earn nine life sentences by being misunderstood."
"I know. I know. It's just…. I never…. I didn't want to….."
"Kimberly, people die in this business. Sometimes it's the good guys. Sometimes, thankfully, it isn't. And if one of them goes down, I'm not going to waste tears on them," she said, all but glaring at Shego's grave. "I will say this much. If you can't cope with what was obviously an accident, then you're right. You don't belong in this job. Go home. Get married, and raise a family. Maybe one of your children will be more realistic about the necessities of the job they might join if they are anything like you. But don't stand here and mourn a bitch that would have laughed, and spit on your grave if things had gone the other way. She isn't worth it. She never was," the Global Justice agent spat.
Kim said nothing as the woman turned to go, pausing only to add. "I've said all I intend. The choice is yours, Kimberly. I just hope you make the right one. For all our sakes."
Kim said nothing as the woman walked away, and her gaze turned back to the gravestone.
She didn't understand. None of them did.
She had not killed Shego by accident. She had not beaten her in a fight. She had purposely, and intentionally killed the already spent woman in a fit of anger. She had lost her temper, and used her battle suit to purposely kick her over the side of the building. True, it was coincidence she hit the tower just as it was self-destructing, but Kim had put every ounce of power she and her battle suit had into that kick. She knew Shego was probably dying the minute she had gone flying.
She had seen it in the woman's stunned gaze as her eyes rounded, and blood fairly exploded from her mouth before she sailed over the side of the roof.
She had killed Shego as surely as if she had taken a gun, and put it to her head.
There was nothing heroic in that. Yet even in court, when she tried to confess the truth, no one wanted to hear that truth. No one cared. As Dr. Director said, everyone was just happy the plot was foiled, and Kim had saved the day again. Even the D.A. couldn't make those charges he brought stick, and he had only attempted the case as he had tried to earn himself political clout in an election year.
The attempt backfired, obviously, but Kim felt no better.
She shook her head, and turned to leave. "I'm sorry," she said, not for the first time as she left the solitary marker in a private corner of the cemetery where vagrants and paupers were buried. She knew Shego had family now, but even they didn't want her name on the stone. They didn't want their identities compromised even by their sister's death. Still, it was kind of sad, and tragic that even in death, Shego ended up alone.
Pausing, she turned to eye the grave a moment longer, and nodded. "I won't forget you," she told the isolated marker. Then turned and walked away.
To Be Continued…