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
Shego walked into the kitchen, and stared at the coffee machine.
It had been prepped, but wasn't even switched on.
"Thought you were making breakfast," she asked her unusual roommate as the green-skinned woman noted that Kim was standing at the sink, staring out the kitchen window, but not otherwise moving.
Kim turned to eye her, looking troubled.
"I just heard from the Berne Institute," she said quietly, looking as grim as she could recall the redhead ever looking.
"Nothing's wrong, is it," she asked, reaching over to switch on the coffee machine. "I mean, I thought you had all the bugs out, and you guys were really cooking with that brain thingy now."
"We were. Are. But last night, someone broke in, and stole the Cerebral Modulator," she said. "Everything was stolen. The projector. Files. Everything."
"Why would anyone….?"
Kim only shook her head.
"Unfortunately, it could have been anyone. I immediately thought of Drew, of course, but I called and checked. He's still in prison after the last time we caught him. Or so they told me."
"I'm hardly in the loop any longer," Kim said, looking disturbed. "No one will tell me anything. They just put me off, and assured me they're investigating."
"You don't think they're looking hard enough," Shego guessed.
"The detective I spoke with sounded like he was more interested in what we were doing, than in finding out who could have broken in….."
She paused, and frowned even more darkly.
"Kim," Shego asked.
"You remember the Institute, Sherri," she told her. "That place has some serious security. Common thieves could not simply have walked in, or out of there. Not without help."
Shego filled two mugs once the coffe was ready, and handed Kim one of them.
"What are you going to do?"
"I was wondering that myself. Part of me wants to go check it out. Maybe even….call Wade again."
"Part of me can't help but wonder if this isn't Dr. Director making her own move. Trying to encourage me to get back into that kind of thing."
Shego sipped from her own cup as Kim just stared into her steaming mug. "I have to admit that sounds like the kind of thing she would do," the green-skinned woman nodded. "I told you all about her feeding Hego's heroic fantasies, and you know how that ended up. For all of us."
Even Shego had been surprised by the warm welcome the media had given her when Kim had circumvented anything Betty might try by issuing her own press release regarding her research, and her unlikely companion. Sherri still used 'Go' as an alias, even if Kim knew her real name, just to ensure her brother's aliases stayed safe. Meanwhile, she was finally starting to relax as she accepted Kim's hospitality in her modest apartment, considering her own future while Kim dealt with scientific journals, reporters, and updating her own medical research.
This morning, she knew, Kim was supposed to be going in to the local university that sponsored her research to give a lecture on brains, or something.
"Your lecture," she finally asked, thinking of it just then.
"I already called Dr. Wyatt."
"Why? If you can't do anything right now….?"
"Sherri, I may be over-thinking this, but….. If someone is making a play? GJ, or anyone else? What if they come after me next? I can't be standing in the middle of a crowded auditorium full of civilians if that happens. It would be just asking for trouble."
"You think it's possible," Shego asked.
"More than likely. If GJ is trying to….encourage me, they'll try to amp the motivating factor, I'm sure. If it is someone else that took my machine, they'll find they can't do much without my operating codes, which only I, and the head director at Berne knew. Without them, they can't power up the projector. Since nothing was said about any abductions at the Institute….."
"That leaves you as the obvious target," Shego realized.
"That leaves me," Kim nodded. "In either scenario, they have to be coming for me next. So, what do I do?"
Shego stared hard at her a minute, then nodded.
"Just because someone may be playing you, doesn't mean you have to play their game. Give them a target, and when they show….."
Kim set her cup aside after finally taking a drink, and smiled thinly.
"Smash anyone that pops up," Kim asked knowingly.
"Works for me," Shego grinned.
"Actually, that was exactly what I was thinking," Kim agreed somberly. "Which was why I was standing in the window, letting anyone out there know exactly where I'm at just now."
"You should have woke me earlier….."
"Sherri, this is my problem. Not yours. I'm not denigrating you, but…. If it is GJ, I don't you doing something that gives Dr. Director an excuse to target you again just when I'm about to publish, and let the world know that Sharonda Gordeaux is not a villain. Not any longer. Now she is just another patient looking for a new start at life."
"That was your plan," Shego asked quietly. "To….out me in some….science journal," Shego asked.
"Hardly. Your secrets? Your confidences? I keep those, just as I promised. But I do put your name on the list of people who might not have had a second chance without my study. Nothing will be said that wasn't already disclosed at the press conference. That gives you…."
"I won't be pitied," Shego growled, a sudden edge to her tone as she stood there staring at Kim after setting her own mug aside. "And I won't be…..protected like I'm some kind of….."
"Sherri," Kim stopped her. "We both know you're still physically capable of facing down just about anyone out there. We both know if you wanted to leave, not even I could keep you here. I'm just asking you to give me a chance to get the public fully on your side before Dr. Director can paint you as just another unrepentant rogue. Because you're not. Not now. Are you," she asked quietly.
Shego turned half away, and stared at nothing as she seemed to fall utterly silent.
"I remember…. When Hego wanted to make his point…. He always babbled about his age. His gender. His stupid muscles. All of that made him somehow right, and somehow better. Like the comet gave him all the answers, and left the rest of us idiots. Before I learned my own worth, my own abilities, he used those muscles to enforce his point. Whatever stupid idea it might be at the time," she admited.
"I figured that out the first time I met him," Kim smiled faintly. "But you overcame that past. You can overcome this, too. I have faith..."
"You didn't grow up under that...freak, though. You didn't live it every single day. Every mistake I made, and every decision he argued was wrong was all somehow because I was…..flawed."
"You're not flawed, Sherri."
She looked back at Kim.
"You're not. If you're going to reject your brother, then reject what he tried to teach you, too. All of it. Not just..."
"We'll try it your way," Shego finally nodded when Kim trailed off. She knew the truth about the abuse suffered at her allegedly heroic sibling's hands still confused and distrubed her. She had lived it, but Kim had no real understanding of that kind of life. She was, Shego decided, beyond lucky in that respect. "I still think I should be at your side, though. What if some wacko has some way to….?"
"As you pointed out, I'm not exactly soft, Sherri," the redhead smiled. "If someone shows up, I'll be ready. Frankly, I'm hoping it is Dr. Director. If she is involved, it will give us additional leverage if she's caught up in something that is both ferociously illegal, and likely unethical."
"She's a spy," Sherri shrugged now, turning to refill her own mug. "Goes without saying."
Kim only smirked at that.
"I'll go get dressed, and maybe drive around town a bit. See if I shake any of the usual nuts loose," Kim declared after a moment.
"What about breakfast?"
"I'm too tweaked to eat just now. Make yourself something, but I likely won't be back for a few hours. I want to swing by, and run a few things past the tweebs, too."
"All right," Sherri sighed. "Sure you don't need backup?"
"With the tweebs," she teased, and left the room.
Shego heard her walk out the door a few minutes later. She sat at the table, sipping the hot brew, but something was bothering her.
Something, her old instincts were waking to scream at her just then, wasn't right.
Still in her pajamas, she almost dropped her mug as she leapt to her feet, realization dawning as she bolted for the front door. Jerking open the door, she stared at Kim's weird, little car still setting in the drive, and stared out at the empty street.
She found Kim's briefcase just three feet from her car.
She reached down and picked up the satchel, and looked around.
Sniffing, she tried to pick out any ambient odors from the smells around her, trying to find a scent that might explain how the redhead was taken so quickly. So easily. Without so much as a shout, or a fight. Because if she knew anything, it was that Kim Possible wouldn't have just lay down for anyone.
Nothing appeared to explain her absence, though.
Heading for the house, she tried to think of how to best proceed.
Kim had been right.
Someone came for her, and they had taken her completely by surprise.
She could already guess at least part of the why.
Her machine didn't work without her codes.
And it wasn't that long ago that Drew had been trying to snatch it.
Rushing to the phone, she swallowed her own bile, and dialed a number she never thought she would ever use.
"Commander Du," a faint, smugness painted the tone of the man that answered the page.
"What did you do," came the harsh quip without introduction, or formalities.
"I did as you asked," Will smirked at the one-eyed agent on his monitor. "Isn't that why you called me? To give you what you needed? Well, it's done."
"How did you do it," Dr. Director demanded. "Exactly."
"I just arranged for Lipski to be freed, and pointed him at Possible. I might have allowed a few things to slip out to give him a slight edge in their initial encounter, but I wager in the end, everyone gets what they want," he said a little too complacently.
"Possible has disappeared, along with her machine. No one has any idea where she is, or what Lipski might be doing with her, or her machine. Need I say more," the head of Global Justice demanded.
"Well, surely your inestimable protégé will manage. Isn't that what she does," he sniffed.
"Understand me, William. I wanted Possible back in play, but on our side. You know how Lipski works at the best of times. If anything happens to Possible, it's on your head."
"If anything happens," he drawled indifferently, "Then she's not the woman you claim," he said in a dismissive tone. "I'd be watching Shego, though. I sure that seeing Possible….neutralized might just energize her again."
Will's smile faded as he eyed the glowering woman on his comm-panel, and realized that Betty Director was saying nothing. She simply closed the channel, and he was left staring at the now dark monitor.
He shrugged, utterly pleased with how things had gone.
The neurotoxin he had arranged for Lipski to find, and use, would keep Possible under control long enough for him to do whatever he wanted to that redheaded pest that shrouded both their lives. The power vacuum would inevitably bring Shego back into the game, and then he could move in, take them all down, and for once, he would be the undisputed hero in all eyes.
Lucky amateur, zero.
Will Du, all the marbles.
Considering he had all but written out Lipski's plan this time for him, in disguise, of course, he couldn't see how anything could possibly go wrong.
Shego stepped out of the little car, still surprised by all it could and did do, and eyed the high cliffs before her.
Not that she was interested in climbing.
When she called the harpy, it took about four seconds to read between the lines, and figure out the woman had her own grandstanders at work. Like always.
She realized that if anyone was going to help Kim, it wasn't going to be the usual bumbling wannabe cops. By the time they did anything, Drew might have lobotomized her, or worse. She went to the car after making her own preparations, and 'woke up' the AI, asking her to help find Kim before it was too late.
Fortunately, the Nerdlinger was also listening, and opened the thing up for her, and got it to home in on Kim's signal.
She wasn't too surprised where it led.
She waited a few minutes, and walked over to the rock wall before her, ignoring the steel door that towered like some bad cliché in the metal frame set into the living rock.
She held up both hands, and for the first time in weeks, technically years, she summoned her comet-spawned power on a level that made even that muscle-headed brother of her nervous.
And then she knocked.
"Now what," Dr. Drakken demanded as the sounds of shouts, and even screams reached him as he labored over the cobbled together devices before him, and to which Kim found herself facing when she finally woke up. Alert, but strangely paralyzed, her last clear memory being of about to climb into her car.
By the time she was finally able to move her body again, she was already bound to the bench under the inevitably phallic ray, and Drakken was ranting in his best form as he mocked her, her family, and all things Possible.
Even she was starting to think she was in real trouble this time when the chaos broke lose somewhere else in the lair. Chaos that seemed to be coming closer, and driving fleeing Henches through the lab as if the men were running away from something bad.
Drew looked up even as he heard the slammed doors to the lab rattle after his anxious men had babbled something confusing, and engaged all the security and locks they could find.
And most still ran off afterward.
Then the very wall of the lair began to melt, and buckle.
Just before a gloved fist smashed through the superheated rock, and a familiar voice filled the air.
"Hi, boys," the sardonic voice well known to her reached Kim's ears as the rubble stopped falling, and she looked up from where she was strapped to a machine she was afraid might just destroy her mind. "Remember me?"
To their credit, the remaining henchmen turned and tried to bolt at the sight of the woman in green and black with flaming hands who had just punched and melted her way though a solid stone wall rather than bother with the obviously booby-trapped door.
Dr. Drakken, however, was still not that bright.
"Shego! I knew you'd come back to….. Yeeeoooowwwww," he howled as the plasma burst caught him full in the chest, and slammed him across his lab into the far wall.
"What did I say? What. Did. I. Say? No one," she said, pausing to slice one shackle that freed Kim's right hand. "No one touches my Princess. Ever," she roared even as Kim quickly freed herself, needing only that slight advantage, though virtually all the henches had fled by then.
Kim grinned as she jumped to her feet, grateful her body was responding again, and smiled at her. "Thanks, Sherri."
"Kimmie. Right now? I'm Shego," she growled, and turned on Drakken again. "Allow me to demonstrate," she said as Drakken paled, leapt to his feet, and bolted from the lab following his men.
"Mommmmmeeeeeeee," shrilly echoed after him as he ran.
"Gah," Shego groaned, and calmed down as she turned back to Kim, both of them now alone in the lair. "I cannot believe I used to work for that….."
"How did you know where I was?"
"Please. I didn't work for that moron all that time without learning a few things. I knew he'd be using the closest lair he had to Upperton after he took you. Then, too, your little car-brain sealed the deal when I got it to follow your signal thingy, which Drew obviously didn't think to shut off. He….didn't hurt you, did he," Shego asked, pausing to look her over now as Kim turned to the machine before her.
"He didn't get the chance," she smiled, and turned back to Drakken's machine.
"So, what was he planning this time? Something stupid, no doubt."
"What he planned, and what would have happened are two different things," she told Shego as she investigated the machine's programming. "He still thought my CM program could literally reprogram minds. He thought he was going to 'upgrade' me, as he put it."
"Let me guess….?"
"He would have effectively destroyed my mind. Or any mind he used this on," she said, examining the device, and its bastardized programming. "Damn, it'll take me weeks just to reprogram this, and I'm still not certain it would be safe. I'll be better off just rebuilding it."
"I'm sorry," Shego told her, moving to stand beside her, putting a hand on her shoulder.
"I'm just glad you showed up. Still, I don't want anyone getting their hands on this….monstrosity. Would you do the honors," Kim asked her as she stepped back.
Shego grinned, and stepped forward, hands blazing.
"Just don't ever tell anyone," Shego quipped with a playful smirk on her full lips. "They might mistake me for your new buffoon."
Kim stifled the giggle that surged up in her throat as Shego made short work of the cannibalized device Drew had ruined. She smiled at the green-skinned woman, and impulsively stretched up to peck her cheek just as Shego turned toward her.
"Thanks. I just have one more stop."
"Oh," Shego asked, not commenting on the kiss.
Although her cheek had blazed a bit before she regained her usual composure.
"Think about it? Drakken was just arrested a few weeks ago, and he's already out?"
"I get it," Shego commented knowingly. "So, either someone broke him out, or….."
"Someone let him out," she growled. Spotting her Kimmunicator band on a nearby lab table just then, she stalked over, snatched it up, and switched it on.
"Wade, I've got a stich."
"Kim! You're okay?"
"I am now. Thanks to Shego."
Wade said nothing to that.
"What do you need," he asked quietly, knowing that look in the redhead's eyes.
Shego tittered as she walked into the house well after midnight the next day, looking and sounding far more like herself of late.
Kim was grinning just as much as she followed her, locking up after they entered.
"I have got to say, I've honestly never seen anyone turn that shade of green."
"I would say I can safely add acting to my list of skills. He actually believed me when I first walked into his office," Kim chortled.
"Princess," Shego grinned. "For a moment, I was convinced you were really about to turn him into guacamole."
"To be honest, I was ready to do a lot more. That jerk almost cost me my brain. More importantly, he almost gave Drakken the means to ruin a lot more lives. Scaring him silly by pretending Drew sent me to...tie up loose ends was nothing compared to what he deserved."
"Guys, and their egos," Shego murmured. "Some of them just can't handle women like us," she realized.
"That doesn't make them right," Kim told her. "Any of them," she added, knowing what, or who Shego was likely thinking about just then.
"I know. But…. I think you're right. All of my own issues? Most of them do come back to Hego. And…. Team Go. I let a lot of old insecurities drive me, and before I knew what had happened, I had given away too many years to loons like Drew just to spite Henry."
Kim paused, and eyed the woman back in civilian clothes now.
Dr. Director had been surprisingly contrite. Especially after Wade produced monitored conversations he had discovered that implied she had all but armed, and aimed Will Du before turning him loose on the pair of them. That woman wasn't going to be looking their way for a while after this one. Her past with Shego as both a member of Team Go, and a villain didn't help the senior agent's case either. Especially with the British officials arresting Commander Du for his complicity in aiding a known felon of Drakken's status.
That was just icing on her proverbial cake to Kim.
"So, what will you do now, Sherri," she asked. "It looks like you're going to be free and clear now after everything came out at that grand jury hearing. No charges. No wants. You're finally free to do anything you want."
Shego stood in the living room, just staring at Kim.
"What if…..I wanted to stay with you," she dared ask in a very soft whisper.
Kim's smile slowly blossomed as she stepped forward.
"Well, I do believe I could work you into my schedule so I can...keep an eye on you. I wouldn't want you to risk a….relapse," she smiled up at the woman who had so changed her life in so many ways.
"I'd like that. And…. I think you're right. We should go see the boys. I need to put some things to rest, once and for all."
"Nothing physical. Unless he starts it," she added after a moment's pause, her smirk more than telling. "But, you are right. It's time I started living my own life. Not reacting to old hurts. And…. I'm really glad I didn't lose you that night, Kimberly," she called her. "I knew Drew was going too far, and….."
"The past is past," Kim murmured, putting a finger over her lips. "Face it, and let it go. Remember?"
"I remember," Shego said, and reached to pull the smaller redhead into her embrace. "Here's to the future," he murmured, and pressed her lips down onto Kim's with all the passion in her swelling heart.
Even as they kissed, Shego heard a mewling protest, and looked down to see Hope. "Oh, no," she realized. "I completely forgot about her!"
"I'll bet she lets you know about it, too," Kim grinned as Shego leaned down to scoop up the kitten.
"Don't worry," Shego cooed. "We'll get you something good to eat, and then..."
Shego's eyes raked Kim, and she added "And then we'll see if we can't find something for us to do."
Kim only smiled back.
"Sounds like a plan," she agreed, forgetting the rest of the world for a time. With luck, they'd even manage to keep it at bay for the rest of the week.
One could hope, she mused, and reached over to pat the small ball of fur that Shego cradled. Their eyes met again, and both women shared a knowing smile.