Kim turned the corner of the alleyway with Ron following close behind her. They were following a small group of crooks that they had just stopped from trying to rob a jewelry store. They were three small time crooks who somehow managed to get their hands on some high tech weapons. Nothing too serious, but it was enough to make them more than a match for the police. Of course she had faced much greater dangers on her missions, so they wouldn’t present much of a challenge to her. At least, that’s what she thought when this all started. Now, much to her amazement, she found herself chasing them down an alleyway and actually losing ground.
They’re just three punks with better weapons. So why is this so hard?! she questioned herself mentally.
She had no time to answer it, however, because youngest looking of the three turned and fired a blast from his weapon right at Ron. She leapt towards him and knocked him down just in time for the small energy wave to pass over them harmlessly. While the actual blast might have missed them, Kim’s leap caused both her and Ron to smash into a stack of nearby crates and sending them crashing down on top of them.
It was a simple, if a bit shoddy, act but it bought the crooks enough time to round the corner to where their car was waiting. They took only a few seconds to rest as they caught their breathes.
“You said this was suppose to be easy money man!” one of the shouted to their supposed leader.
“Aw, calm down Matt, this is nothing,” the brown haired man replied as he walked around the car. “Next time we’ll make sure to be faster so…”
He left the sentence unfinished when he saw an arrow sticking out of the quickly flatting front driver’s tire.
“What the hell? An arrow. When did that get there?” he wondered aloud then noticed the piece of paper attached to it.
Curiosity getting the better of him, he reached down and carefully pulled the note off the arrow shaft and read it softly.
“‘Ten seconds before the next one.’ What the-”
Again, his sentence was interrupted but this time by another arrow suddenly flying down from somewhere above him and imbedding itself into the back driver’s side tire.
“Tai, I’m getting a bad feeling about this,” Matt muttered as he held his gun at the ready.
“Yeah, yeah,” Tai agreed nervously. “We really need to get out of here.”
“How are we going to do that without a-AAAHHHH!”
At the sound of the youngest member’s scream, Matt and Tai turned around to see the other blonde haired boy being pulled up into the air by some kind of rope that almost looked like…spider webbing.
“MAAATTTT!” the boy cried out for this brother as he was whisked away.
“T.K.!” Matt shouted, running forward in a vain attempt to save him.
“Matt wait!” Tai called out to him.
“No! You wait!” he screamed back, pointing his weapon to his friend. “You said he wasn’t going to get hurt!”
“How was I suppose to know this was going to happen?!” the brown haired boy remarked, holding up his weapon as well. “Now just put the gun down and we’ll talk.”
“Not this time! I’m going after my brother and there’s nothing you can do to stop me!”
The two narrowed their eyes at each other as their fingers tightened over the triggers to their respective guns oh so slightly. Neither one really wanted to fire on their friend, but they didn’t want to back down either. The argument was settled for them, though, when two beams of white energy raced down from the sky and destroyed their weapons. They cried out in pain was the guns exploded in their hands.
“Ah screw this,” Matt muttered out as he turned and ran down another alleyway while cradling his injured hand.
He only got a few feet into the darkened alley before he inadvertently discovered it was a dead end by running face first into a wall. At least, he thought it was a wall. It certainly felt stone like, but he could swear he saw a human figure towering over him in the pale moonlight. He struggled to his feet and stood there frozen in terror.
“Sorry, no exit,” a gravely voice called from the darkness.
Matt watched in stunned silence as the figure appeared to move. From what he could make it look like the…thing was raising it’s right hand with its fingers held in classic flicking position. A stony finger like protrusion then shot out and struck him in the forehead with enough force to not only knock him out, but also knock him down onto the pavement as well. At the sound of a dull “thud” coming from the alleyway, Tai crept over carefully to check on is friend.
“Matt? Hey man, you okay?” he asked cautiously into the darkness.
The only answer he received so a low growl that sounded like it came from a cat. A very big cat. Despite his fear, Tai stepped forward to see if he could either find Matt or figure out what was making that noise. He jumped back slightly when something moved within the shadows. The outline made it look like a human head framed by two large…cat ears? As he tried to get a closer look, he heard the growling sound again and could just make out the figure starting to move again, as if it was getting ready to pounce. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what it was doing and the last thing he remembered seeing was a blur of grey and black heading straight towards him before the world went dark.
A short time, and many thrown crates, later Kim and Ron finally rounded the corner into the small clearing to find the ruined car and at least one of the three robbers they had been chasing laying unconscious on the ground.
“Wow. What did we miss?” Ron asked in a surprised and slight impressed tone.
“Good question,” Kim muttered as her eyes narrowed.
She walked over to the car and bent down to inspect one of the arrows. Before her investigation could get too far, a loud whistle was heard overhead and she and Ron looked up to see a figure in white with a flowing cape hovering just above the roof to one of the buildings around them. He wave politely at them, which Ron couldn’t help but return. The figure then made a gesture for them to come up before floating back towards the building and out of sight.
“Uh…KP…you saw that too right?” Ron asked unsurely.
“Yes I did,” Kim answered as she stood and took out her hair dryer grappling gun. “And we’re going to find out who he is and what he wants.”
Ron nodded then began to dig through his pockets in search of his own grappling gun. The only things he was able to produce, however, was a half chewed pencil, a couple packs of Diablo sauce, History homework from three years ago, and of course Rufus.
“You forgot your grappling gun again, didn’t you?” Kim asked with a sigh.
“Yes,” he admitted sheepishly.
She shook her head and smiled despite herself before wrapping an arm around his waist to hold him tight as she fired off her grappling line. It latched onto the side of the building and with a quick flick of her thumb, the two were airborne. They reached the roof within seconds and after a quick leap over the ledge came face-to-face with an unusual sight. Well, maybe not so unusual for them, giving all the crazy things they’ve seen over the years, but it was still a bit off setting. Standing before the two teens was a group of five people, or rather four people and one rock…thing, all dressed in brightly colored, tight fitting clothes. They were the kind of outfits that just screamed superhero. Though Kim supposed it could also mean super villains, but given that they hadn’t attacked them yet, she decided they were the former.
“And you guys are…?” she asked.
“The Justice Squad,” a familiar voice explained from the shadows.
Kim let out a slight groan of annoyance as the recognized the voice. She turned her head and saw the last person she ever would have thought to associate themselves with superheroes; Global Justice agent Will Du. He walked confidently over to the assembled group and placed himself between Team Possible and this so-called “Justice Squad”. Kim barely contained her huff of displeasure at seeing Will’s oh-so-smug face again.
“Will,” she greeted curtly.
“Kimberly,” he replied back in a slightly condescending tone. “It’s good to see you again.”
“I’m sure it is. So now you say you know these people?”
“Of course. They’re part of a project Dr. Director has been working on for awhile. Of course it was accelerated when she learned of Shego’s…condition.”
“You mean her pregnancy?”
“Yes. Seeing as how you might get sidetracked by family matters, Dr. Director put together a team of superheroes to help handle the situations that regular Global Justice agents couldn’t.”
“Then how do you figure into all of this?”
“Well, while the team has been sanctioned by Global Justice, they are still considered a separate entity legally and so need a liaison between them and the higher level GJ faculty. Naturally, Dr. Director picked her best agent for the job.”
“Naturally,” Kim muttered.
“Oooh I get it!” Ron spoke up before she could ask any further questions. “Global Justice. Justice Squad. Heh heh. That’s good.”
“Right,” Will remarked disapprovingly. “Anyway, allow me to introduce you to them.”
“Which is what I was about to do before I was interrupted,” the man in white said with a combination of humor and annoyance.
“Oh, yes, sorry. Anyway, this is White Knight,” Will stated, gesturing to the man who had just spoken. “He acts as team leader.”
“It’s an honor to meet you,” White Knight greeted as he stepped forward and held out his hand.
Kim gave him a dubious look for a second before she slowly unfurled her right arm to take his hand and shake it. The young heroine looked at the gloved hand as she shook it, thinking it as well as the boots the man was wearing seemed to gleam even brighter than the rest of his costume. They stood out even more when compared to the off white emblem on his chest of a chess piece knight.
“To his right is Longbow,” Will continued, pointing to a woman with a quiver on her back.
The satchel of arrows helped to clarify the woman’s codename, as did the actual longbow strapped to the quiver. A little more confusing though was the crossbow strapped to her right thigh with plenty of back up bolts attached to her left. Aside from the armaments the most striking feature of the costume was how much of the woman’s figure it revealed, particularly the top. The blue hardened piece covered only about half her rather impressive chest with the tan strap to her quiver fitting quite snugly between it. If one could draw their eyes away from that sight, they next thing they would notice her perfectly rounded face, even if half of it was covered by a blue domino mask. Altogether it was enough to make Kim feel rather self conscious about herself, especially since this woman was a red head as well even if it was a darker shade.
She merely nodded in response to her introduction.
“Next to her is Spyder.”
The duo turned their attention to the man, with Kim giving Ron a helpful poke in the ribs, first noticed the well worn black leather jacket that stood out over the rest of his head-to-toe sandy brown costume. It reminded Ron a bit of his “bad boy” jacket he wore for awhile, though his didn’t have the large red spider symbol over the front.
“Pleasure’s all mine,” he replied in a thick Irish accent that seemed to go along with the tuft of reddish orange hair sticking out of the top of his mask.
“‘Spider’?” Ron asked in disbelief.
“Yeah I know it’s not the most creative thing in the word, but all the good names were taken. It’s spelled with a ‘Y’ if that counts for anything.”
“It doesn’t,” Longbow retorted.
“Ah, always quick to wound me luv,” Spyder quipped, a slight shift in his mask giving away his smile.
“Anyway,” Will spoke again, trying to steer the conversation back on course. “To White Knight’s left we have Stonehenge.”
He waved towards a literal mountain of a man. Or rather an assembly of rock slaps that looked like a man. Only this fingers and toes were smaller, more segmented ones while the rest of his body were all large, cracked rocks that made a grinding sound as he moved. Despite his rocky exterior he still worn dark green pants, which put some very sick and wrong ideas into Kim and Ron’s head. His small grunt of a response helped to break their minds of those thoughts.
“And lastly we have Catgirl,” he finished, pointing to the final member of the group.
Her costume gave new meaning to the term “catsuit” in that her suit actually made her look like a cat. Light grey coloring, ears on top of the head, black gloves and boots for paws and of course a tail hanging down behind her. All in all, it reminded Kim a great deal of the Sheela of the Leopard People costume she had to wear to infiltrate the villains convention. Although this girl filled out her costume much more than Kim did hers. She wasn’t quite a bad as Longbow, but it did leave the former cheerleader feeling a bit inadequate.
“Hey!” Catgirl said with a friendly wave as her forest green eyes focused on Ron.
“Well since we’re introducing ourselves, she’s Kim Possible, naturally, and I’m-”
“Ron Stoppable,” she finished for the blonde boy as she walked over to him.
“You-you know me?” he asked in astonishment.
“Yep. And I have to say you’re definitely a lot cuter in person than you are in that ugly picture they always show of you.”
True to form when confronted by a pretty girl, Ron began to stuttered nervously as he tried to think of something to say. Kim couldn’t help by shake her head a bit in amusement over the fact that his confidence around girls hadn’t change despite there short relationship. The joyful moment passed quickly though when she remembered just who was talking to Ron and what she and her teammates might represent.
“So explain to me again why exactly does Global Justice need a superhero team?” she asked, looking Will directly in the eyes.
“I already told you, they’re here to help GJ on missions our normal agents couldn’t handle,” he repeated, a bit of tension creeping into his voice.
“You mean like missions involving, oh I don’t know, super villains? Cause it seems there’s already someone else who does that right now.”
“Are you insinuating something Kimberly?” the agent asked with a raise eyebrow.
“You know what I-”
“Miss Possible,” White Knight spoke up as he took a step forward. “What I think Will here is trying to say, is that we’re not here to replace you but rather help you. You have a family now and Dr. Director felt like you might need some extra time to take care of them. That’s why we’re here. To make sure you don’t completely miss out on your child’s life.”
“He’s right lass, there’s nothing more important than family,” Spyder added. “And trust me on this one, I know all about it first hand. Come from a big family m’self.”
“Oh God, please don’t start with this again,” Longbow sighed, placing a blue gloved hand on her forehead to rub her temples.
“What? We’ve only known each other for about a month.”
“And in that time you’ve told of all us pretty much every story about your family you have.”
“Oh that’s where you’re wrong, I have plenty more to tell. Trust me on that.”
“Getting back to the matter at hand,” Will said sternly as he focused his attention on Kim. “While I admit I might have stated it wrong, White Knight is correct in that we all just want to make sure the world is safe while you tend to your personal affairs. It won’t help anyone if become distracted during a mission because of lack of a sleep or something else and end up getting hurt or worse. And if you’ll excuse me for saying so, you do look rather tired.”
“You try dealing with 3 A.M feedings five times a week and see how good you look,” Kim snapped.
“Uh…I really don’t want to make you mad…er KP, but I agree with them. You have been kinda out of it lately,” Ron spoke cautiously.
Kim snapped her head towards him and gave them a look that would have frozen any villain their tracks. He jumped a bit then took a few steps back as he smiled uneasily. The reaction made Kim realize she might be reacting a bit too harshly to the situation. She took a deep breath and let it out slowly in an effort to calm herself before she looked towards the group again.
“Maybe you’re right,” she started. “Maybe having more free time wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.”
“‘Maybe’?” Ron repeated in shock. “Kim, having extra free time is always a good thing! It’s time to just sit back, relax and just zone out for awhile.”
“Maybe for you.”
“Oh right, yeah guess you wouldn’t exactly have that kinda free time, huh? Still, you get to spend more time with Shin and that can’t be a bad thing, right?”
“No. No it wouldn’t,” Kim replied softly with a wide smile.
“Then I think we’re all in agreement,” Will spoke up, drawing her attention again. “While you’re raising your daughter, we’ll help make sure the world is a safe place for her to grow up in. Now, if you’ll excuse us, we have work to do elsewhere.”
As if on cue, a GJ jet gently landed at the other side of the roof, kicking up a small wind as it did so. Will gave Kim and Ron one last polite nod before turning and walking towards the waiting vehicle. White Knight stepped forward and shook both their hands again before he followed Will. The rest of the team gave their own goodbyes, accounting for more than just a few nods from Longbow and Stonehenge while Spyder gave them both a quick, two fingered salute. Catgirl gave Kim a friendly smile and Ron an even friendly one with a playful wink. She followed her teammates and the blonde haired boy couldn’t help but notice the way the tail of her costume swished back and forth with the slight sway of her hips. He barely noticed when the door to the jet closed and the wind returned as it took off because he simply stood there and stared into space as if in a trance.
“You can pick your jaw up now,” Kim said in a playful tone.
The sound of his ex-girlfriend’s voice snapped him out of his daze and he shook his head to try and completely clear his thoughts.
“Uh…what?” he asked, still a bit out of it.
Kim couldn’t help but smile at him.
“Turning into a cat lover now, are we?” she teased.
“Kim, the hot girl in the skin tight outfit thinks I’m cute,” Ron defended himself, then after a moment added, “You should know how that feels.”
She was a little taken aback by the comment, but shrugged it off.
“I suppose so,” she remarked. “So by the fact that you’re making jokes now, can I assume you’re OK with it?”
“Would you prefer I still be all depressed and mopey?”
“I’d prefer if you two could get along better.”
“Yeah I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one.”
“Well…I guess it’s a start,” she sighed.
“What about you?” Ron asked with slight concern.
“What about me?”
“I saw how you reacted to the Justice Squad there. Are you gonna be cool with them?”
“Oh that is so not the drama,” she remarked with a wave of her hand. “So GJ has a team of superheroes now who want to help out. It’s no big, there’s still plenty of people out there who need and want my help, so I don’t think it’s anything to worry about.”
Ron looked at her unconvinced.
“Is this going to be another one of those times where you say you’re not tweaked but you really are?” he asked.
“No it’s not because I’m not tweaked,” she explained with a slight growl. “Now let’s just go home.”
She didn’t wait for a response before walking over towards the roof access door. Ron noticed that her steps where slightly heavier and one could dare say she wasn’t walking towards the door so much as she was stomping towards it. Her closed fists and stiffened shoulders did little to help her case.
“She’s tweaked,” he whispered to Rufus who was now sticking his head out of boy’s pocket.
“Hoh yea,” Rufus squeaked in agreement.
Kim let the door slam shut behind her as she entered the house. Normally she tried to be as quiet as possible when coming home in case Shin, and occasionally Shego, were asleep but at the moment she couldn’t seem to care. Despite her earlier reassurances to Ron, the fact that Global Justice now had a superhero team that was suppose to “help” her get some “free time” greatly annoyed her.
“I mean who do they think they are?!” she ranted under her breath as she moved absently through the house. “I can handle the whole family and world saving sitch no problem. I definitely don’t need a bunch of over pumped up guys and top heavy girls in brightly colors costumes giving me help. If anything I should be helping them!”
“Something on your mind Princess?”
The sarcastic retort broke through Kim’s ranting. When she looked up she found she had somehow made her way into the kitchen where she found Shego feeding Shin. Or maybe trying to feed Shin was the more accurate description. The pale green baby sat in a high chair next to the table with food splattered over the front of her bib, the sides of her mouth, and somehow even the small tray attached to the front of the high chair. Shego meanwhile sat slightly stooped with a spoon full of baby food in hand. Judging by how her hand hung frozen in the air between herself and Shin it was obvious that Kim’s rant had disrupted another feeding attempt. As she stared at the scene domestic bliss, Kim couldn’t help but notice how it was the complete opposite of how Shego usually liked to present herself. The idea of big, bad Shego being unable to control her own child brought a smile to the redhead’s face and helped her calm down quite a bit. Once she was back to her senses, she walked over to the counter to grab a napkin before moving over to the table where she sat down and gently rubbed the mess of food of Shin’s cheeks.
“Having some trouble, are we?” she asked with a playful glance towards Shego.
“Not as much as you seem to be,” the raven haired woman replied as she set the spoon down for now. “So what happened?”
Kim leaned back into the chair with a sigh.
“Global Justice put together this new superhero team cause they think I need some ‘time off’,” she explained, making the air quotes motion with the last two words.
“They said that?”
“Well maybe not exactly that, but the message was the same. They think I can’t handle having a family and saving the world. Check the motto-”
“You can do anything. Yeah, gotcha,” Shego interrupted, much to Kim’s annoyance. “I really, really hate to agree with them, but I do think they have a bit of a point.”
The young woman stared at her with an utterly shocked expression.
“Et tu Shego?” she asked, sounding betrayed.
“So much for ‘so not the drama’,” the pale woman quipped but then frowned at Kim’s annoyed look. “OK maybe now’s not the time. But look you gotta admit you’ve been-”
“Do not say I’ve been looking tired lately.”
“Alright I won’t. Cause you haven’t been looking tired, you’ve been tried.”
“I have not!”
“Princess, you’ve been hitting the sack the second you come home for the past few weeks. And let me tell you, that mission gear of yours isn’t the most comfortable thing to sleep next to.”
Kim opened her mouth to offer a rebuttal, but stopped when she realized Shego was only telling the truth. The last few missions usually ended with her coming home and going straight to bed, often times not even bothering to take her boots off. It was only by hers, or Shin’s, need to go to the bathroom that woke her up for her to realize her mistake and change into proper night clothes. She really hadn’t thought anything about it until tonight when pretty much everyone was forcing her to think about it. And she had to admit…they were right. Between taking care of Shin and all the world saving, she was running herself ragged. Worst yet the time she was spending with her daughter passed in a daze of half sleep so she barely even remembered being there. So what was the point of trying to make the world a better place for her child if she wasn’t actually going to be around to raise her?
“Okay, okay, maybe you and the others have a point,” she finally caved in. “Taking time off wouldn’t kill me and it’d be nice to be able to help out with Shin some more.”
“I know I’d appreciate it,” Shego muttered as she picked up the spoon again.
“But if someone puts a hit on my website I’m still going to answer it.”
“Of course you are. You wouldn’t be Kim Possible if you didn’t. And eventually when I feel I’m ready to get back in the game, I’ll join you and we’ll show the bad guys and GJ’s little spandex clad group who really kicks butt.”
Kim’s smile returned at Shego’s offer.
“Still planning on that, huh?” she asked playfully.
“Oh yeah. I mean I love Shin and all, but I’m starting to get a little stir crazy just staying in the house or going shopping and all that crap. I need some action!”
“I could say something to that, but I’ll let it go. Just this once.”
“Right, like you could ever say anything dirty.”
“I could! I just, you know, never…feel…like it,” Kim replied lamely, looking down at the kitchen table.
“Uh huh,” Shego replied absently as she concentrated on trying to get the spoon into Shin’s mouth again.
Unfortunately, the baby didn’t want to cooperate and kept turning her head away with a small pout every time the utensil came near her. Kim couldn’t suppress the small giggle that came from watching Shego fight the losing battle. The raven haired woman snapped her head towards her lover and glared dangerously at her.
“You think this is funny?!” Shego snapped.
Kim seemed to think it over for a minute. “A little bit, yeah.”
“Like to see you do any better,” she muttered, starring at the brown mass on the spoon. “Not that I really blame Shin, this stuff looks horrible. I still can’t believe this is what people have been feeding their kids for…God knows how long.”
“Oh come on, it can’t be that bad,” the redhead said dismissively
In response, Shego quickly shoved the spoon into Kim’s mouth. Acting on instinct, the younger woman scooped the contents off with her tongue and swallowed the baby formula with a slight shudder. She pulled the spoon out of her mouth and returned the glare Shego had sent her way earlier. The smug look on her face irritated Kim, but that changed quickly when she heard Shin letting out an amused giggle at her expensive.
“Well at least someone’s having fun,” she mumbled.
The relative peace of the familial setting was disturbed by the familiar tone of the Kimmunicator. Shego just shook her head at the timing as she scooped up another spoon full of baby food while Kim let out a soft sigh before answering the call. She was a little surprised to see Ron’s face on the screen instead of Wade’s but it was quickly forgotten when she saw the look of shock he had.
“Ron, what’s wrong?” she asked.
“Kim I’m down here as Smarty-Mart and…well you gotta get down here and see this!” he replied in a disbelieving tone.
Kim rolled her eyes and let out a slight groan.
“Ron, I am so not in the mood for another lecture on the greatness of Smarty-Mart,” she chided him.
“It’s not that KP. You gotta see who’s down here!”
“Frugal Lucre come back?” she asked, going serious again.
“No it’s not him. It’s just…well you gotta see it for yourself.”
“Alright, alright. I’ll be down there in a few minutes,” she resigned then switched off the device. “Looks like I’m going back out.”
“Good. We’ll come with you,” Shego remarked, putting the finally empty spoon down.
Kim gave her a skeptical look. “Are you sure that’s such a good idea?”
“Look whatever’s going on at Smarty-Mart can’t be that serious cause no self respecting villain would ever lower themselves to take anything from there. So if it some kind of emergency and Stoppable just not overacting again, then I’m sure you’ll be able to handle it. Besides, we do need to go grocery shopping again.”
“I thought you just said no self respecting villain would take anything from there?” Kim asked with a smirk.
“OK, 1) I’m not a villain anymore and 2) I said ‘take’. I’m actually going to buy something there.”
“Wonders never cease,” the redhead quipped again before she grew serious. “I just want to make sure you two are going to be alright.”
“And that’s sweet, but I don’t think I’m quite that out of practice that I need you to keep protecting me. Besides even if I can’t move as fast as I use to just yet this,” she charged up her right fist, “moves plenty fast enough. So don’t worry about me, I’ll be just fine. Now the real question is, what about you?”
“What about me?”
“You seriously going to go down there in that?” she asked, pointing to Kim’s outfit.
Kim looked down at herself and realized she was still wearing her missions clothes. She had actually forgotten she had them on and would have marched right down to Smarty-Mart wearing them if Shego hadn’t said anything. She did think about keeping them off since this might actually be another mission, but then she remembered Ron didn’t seem to be wearing his missions clothes when he called. Besides, if she was going to go into Smarty-Mart, she really didn’t want to wear anything that would make people recognized her right away.
“I guess you’re right,” she resigned. “I’ll got change while you two get ready.”
Shego just nodded then waited until Kim walked out of the kitchen and was further down the corridor before turning her attention to Shin.
“Mommy’s being silly again, isn’t she?” she asked in a slightly high pitched voice, earning another appetitive laugh from the baby.
There’s an old saying that seeing is believing. There’s also a version that says people can see something and still not believe it. Kim was definitely inclined towards the latter of those expressions at the moment. It turned out that Ron did call her down to Smarty-Mart to spy on a person there, though thankfully it wasn’t Frugal Lucre. Not that he would have been any real challenge, she just wasn’t in the mood to deal with this annoying habits at the moment. Who she did see, however, surprised her much more than the discount villain breaking out of jail. Even now as she stared at the check out desk in the clothing department from her hiding space behind a rack of sun dresses she just couldn’t believe it.
“Bonnie?!” she cried out, nearly giving away her and Ron’s location.
The girl behind the register certainly looked like her old high school nemesis. Same hair color and style, same slightly tanned skin and same aqua colored eyes. Those eyes, that were once full of such superiority and contempt, were now filled with hopelessness and despair. Her whole posture had changed. Where once she stood tall and proud and looked down her nose at just about everyone else in Middleton High, and in fact the world, she now stood slouched over with her head resting on her hand and looking as if she were waiting to wake up from some horrible dream.
Of course, if Kim were in her position and had to stand behind the register in one of those God awfully bright orange Smarty-Mart vests as well she would probably look about the same. Just standing in front of one of the registers while waiting to check out was bad enough, but actually having to work one? She wouldn’t have wished that on her worst enemy. Which was rather ironic, since that seems to be exactly what had happened. That of course lead to a much bigger question:
“What’s she doing working at Smarty-Mart?” Kim asked in astonishment.
“Can you please turn down the retail snobbery for just a minute?” Ron asked indignantly.
“Yeah!” Rufus squeaked in agreement.
“Sorry guys, it’s just…Bonnie wouldn’t be caught dead shopping let alone working here,” Kim explained.
“That’s because just like you, she had no real appreciation for the greatest that is Smarty-Mart and their all the time low, low prices.”
Kim groaned. “Gah, I swear you should be the one working here considering how much you shill for them.”
“It’s not shilling if it’s the truth.”
“Whatever,” the redhead waved off as she looked up at the brown haired girl again. “Are we absolutely sure that’s Bonnie?”
“Positive. Unless of course she has a twin sister no one ever knew about.”
“Oh please, if Bonnie had a twin sister we’d all know about it cause she’d probably go on big tirade that she was so beautiful God had to make her twice,” Kim fumed. “Besides I met her family when we’re bonded and there was no evidence of a twin.”
“Could be a cover up,” Ron suggested.
“Just forget about the twin sister!”
“OK, OK. Well then…maybe it’s a clone?”
She shuddered in disgust.
“Please! The last time we had to deal with Bonnie clones was bad enough, I don’t need to think of more of them running around. Besides, who would want to clone her?”
Ron tapped his finger on his chin. “Hmmm…good point. Oh and sorry, I know how clones are probably a bit of sore spot for you at the moment.”
“It’s just the one really,” she replied but then smiled softly. “Thanks though.”
“No big,” he smiled back. “Now are still trying to figure out if this actually is Bonnie and not just some girl who really, really, really, really looks like her?”
“Yeah,” Kim whispered, focusing her attention on the counter girl again. “I just wish she’d do something that would give us some kind of hint.”
Just then, a rather large woman walked up to the counter and snapped the girl out of her daze.
“Excuse me miss, but I was wondering if you had anything here that would fit me,” the woman asked politely.
The girl gave her a disapproving scowl just before answering.
“Ma’am we don’t have enough material in the entire store to fit you,” she said venomously.
“It’s her,” Kim muttered flatly.
“Well it’s good to see she’s grown as a person,” Ron quipped.
“Not that it isn’t just fascinating to watch you two be all Secret Squirrel,” Shego remarked from where she stood behind the two with a stroller, “but if there’s nothing else going on I really need to be getting to some shopping now.”
“I didn’t say you had to stay here,” Kim replied as she turned towards the older woman. “You can go do whatever shopping you want and Ron and I can handle this.”
“Look I only stayed here cause I thought things might be interesting, but if all you want to do is spy on some girl you went to high school with then I’ll be on my way. Just don’t stare at her too long or closely cause otherwise I might be jealous.”
Shego grinned evilly at the red hue that appeared on Kim’s cheeks at her words and gave a quick wink and air kiss before she walked off to buy some groceries. The teen hero stood still for a moment as she tried to bring her body temp down and focus on the task at hand. Of course, thinking about the task at hand made her remember Shego’s words and her blush started a new. Thankfully, as many times before, Ron was there to help her out in his own unique way.
“So wait, Shego will shop here, but you won’t?” he asked, sounding a bit betrayed.
It was enough to completely stun her out of her embarrassment.
“Oh don’t you even think about taking that tone with me Ron Stoppable,” she admonished, jabbing an index finger at him. “She’ll only shop here for food and things like that. But she agrees with me that these,” she grabbed one of the dresses, “are totally not in style.”
“Because you’re both retail snobs,” Ron insisted.
“We are not! We just prefer designer brands that are tougher and more comfortable and-”
“Stop that,” she growled. She then shook her head. “Look this is getting us nowhere. We need to get back to the matter at hand.”
“Why is Bonnie, of all people, working here?”
“I dunno. Didn’t really think about it actually. I just thought you’d want to know cause it’s kinda funny.”
“Oh,” Kim whispered, feeling a bit silly now. “I guess it kinda is. But still…” she paused to look back at Bonnie who was now leaning against the counter again and looking even more depressed. “I’d just like to know how this all happened. I mean look at her. She looks so…broken.”
“Well then this is the place, cause Smarty-Mart has an excellent return policy.”
Kim glared at him.
“Stopping now. Actually I think I’m going to do some shopping as well. Rufus needs a few new things for his cage and I need to pick up some more socks. Somehow I keep end up going through all mine in like a day. Don’t know how that is.”
Kim ignored his ramblings and gave him an absentminded wave as she focused her attention on Bonnie again. She knew Ron was right and she really shouldn’t worry about it and quite honestly if seemed like the brunette was getting exactly what she deserved. Still, she couldn’t deny that there was a hopelessness about the girl that she had seen on the faces of many of the people she saved. Maybe it was that look that spurned her on to wanting to know more about how Bonnie ended up like this and maybe even…helping her.
Me? Help Bonnie? she thought in amazement of herself. Never mind what’s happening to her, what’s happening to me?
Despite the reservations about her sanity, Kim couldn’t help but think about Bonnie’s predicament for the rest of the night and even into the following day when she, Ron, and surprisingly Shego, met up with Monique for lunch as Bueno Nacho. It was the first time Monique had been able to come visit since moving to L.A. to attend college and Kim knew she should have been focusing on catching up with her friend, but her mind just couldn’t get around this mystery. Something bad had happened to Bonnie and she just had to know what it was, even if she really wasn’t sure why.
Thankfully, her friends and lover were keeping themselves occupied while she was lost in thought by debating another important matter.
“Gah, I can’t believe I’m actually sitting in Bueno Nacho,” Shego groaned. “I had enough of this place when Drakken was using it as part of his scheme. And I can just feel myself getting back all the baby weight I lost just by sitting here.”
“Hey, there will be no knocking the Bueno Nacho in my presence,” Ron protested as he picked up another naco.
“Yea!” Rufus squeaked in agreement.
“You know what, you can go ahead and put whatever crud you want in your body but some of us actually care what we look like,” Shego countered. “Plus I shudder to think what being in this environment is doing to Shin,” she added as she looked over at her sleeping child.
“It’s not all that bad. At least now they have salads,” Monique pointed out, stabbing a piece of lettuce in the bowl in front of her for emphasis.
“Blasphemy!” Ron cried out. “Those are even worse than the kid’s meals.”
“At least these don’t have little toys in them that turn into giant, rampaging monsters.”
Monique’s eye widened a bit when she realized what she had said and more importantly who she had said it in front of. She looked sheepishly up at Shego who was doing her best to look nonchalant. She was failingly miserably at it.
“Sorry,” the dark skinned girl apologized. “I didn’t mean-”
“It’s okay,” Shego said with wave. “Not like I can change the past, I just need to deal with it. Still feels kinda weird though.”
“What? Being here and not trying to tear the place apart?” Ron asked in his usual half minded away.
Monique and Shego shared a glance before looking back to the blonde who was happily chewing on his naco.
“You want to hit him or should I?” Monique asked.
“Nah, it’s not like it would do any good anyway,” the pale woman retorted.
The girl nodded then looked across the table at Kim, who still seemed trapped in her own little world.
“Something serious on your mind girl?” she prodded, hoping to get the redhead’s attention.
It seemed her efforts were in vain as Kim showed no signs of even having heard the question.
“Allow me,” Shego offered then quickly jabbed a rib into the girl’s side.
“Ow! What?!” Kim asked irritably.
“You’re asked a question,” the older woman replied, gesturing towards Monique.
“Huh? Oh, sorry I guess I wasn’t listening.”
“Guess not,” Monique muttered. “So what’s so important you can’t spend some time talking to your best gal pal while she’s at home visiting.”
“I was just thinking about the Bonnie sitch is all.”
“You mean the fact that she’s working at Smarty-Mart?”
“Uh huh,” Kim nodded.
“Actually she’s probably worrying more about the fact it seems to be crushing this Bonnie girl’s spirit. Not that I blame her, I’d probably want to dive of a bridge of I found myself working there as well,” Shego said.
“Oh! Again with the knocking of the things I love!” Ron complained.
“I try to be consistent.”
Monique ignored the two’s bantering and instead focused on Kim.
“Why are you so buggin’ about this girl? If you ask me, Bonnie got exactly what she deserved,” she offered.
“Yeah I know, and you’re probably right but it just…something seemed so off about the whole thing,” Kim tried to explain. “She just looked so…hopeless. I just wish I could do something to help.”
The other three occupants of the table shared a groan at the statement and began to shake their heads disapprovingly or in Shego’s case rest it on the table altogether.
“What?” Kim asked, looking between them.
Shego picked her head up to look between Ron and Monique while they looked back at her and to each other. The round of exchanges continue for several seconds, with only occasional glances at Kim, who at this point was thoroughly confused and starting to get a little irritated.
“What?” she repeated a bit more forcefully.
“Well go on, tell her,” Ron said to Shego.
“Me?! What do I have to tell her?” she shot back.
“Tell me what?” Kim asked.
“Because you’re her…uh…girlfriend and this is definitely a boyfriend/girlfriend/significant other kinda conversation.”
“Or it could be the kind of conversation for someone who’s known her longer, like say…since pre-K?”
“Oh that’s just hitting below the belt! Just because I’ve known her longer and we’ve shared a lot of things doesn’t mean I have to be the one in the crossfire!” he countered.
“What crossfire? What are you guys talking about?” Kim spoke up again, wondering if she’d somehow become invisible and mute.
“Fine then how about her ‘best gal pal’ who represents the normal part of her life?” Shego tried again, this time pointing to Monique.
“Oh no, don’t drag me into this! I’m only here visiting,” the dark haired girl remarked with a wave of her hands. “Besides, you two have known her longer than I have.”
“Yeah but I’ve only known her on friendly terms for a few short months,” Shego retorted.
“OK seriously, what is up with you guys?” Kim tried once more.
“Still your relationship lasted longer than ours so that has to count for something in this situation,” Ron said.
“I still think the one who gets to just leave town for awhile should get to tell her,” Shego repeated, looking over at Monique.
“WHAT?! Tell me WHAT?!” Kim finally shouted, drawing the attention of the other costumers in the restaurant.
She smiled and waved weakly at them as she shrank down into her seat. While she was recovering from the little outburst she noticed that Ron and Monique were staring pointedly at Shego who was just glaring back at them with the same look she use to give her as they were fighting. Whatever “it” was it seemed that she had been the one chosen to tell Kim about it and she didn’t look too happy with that fact.
“You guys will pay for this,” she said softly right before turning to Kim with a bright, cheery expression. “Kim, sweety, when you talk about things like that you kinda get…a look.”
“A look?” the redhead repeated.
“Yep. A look,” Ron added.
“Mmm hmmm,” Monique chimed in.
“I don’t have a look.”
“Yes, you do,” Shego insisted. “It’s the kind of look someone gets when they find a lost puppy.”
“So you think I’m equating Bonnie to a lost puppy?!”
“Pretty much, yeah.”
“Yep,” Ron said again.
“That’s right,” Monique nodded.
Kim stared in open mouthed astonishment that her friends and significant other would say such things about her. Sure, she liked to help people and hated seeing them in trouble, and maybe she was thinking too much about Bonnie’s situation but that doesn’t mean she thought of her as a puppy. If there was ever any kind of dog Bonnie Rockwaller could be compared to it was a female kind. Any female kind. But even so, Kim had seen a glimpses of another side of Bonnie, a more human side and if that side was hurting or in some kind of trouble then she needed to help her. She was Kim Possible, dammit, that’s what she did!
“I do not have a problem with helping people!” she snapped at the three.
“We’re not saying you do KP, we’re just saying that…uh…” Ron started.
“You’re too compassionate for your own good,” Shego finished for him.
“I am not!”
“Kim, you took Shego in with almost no thought at all.”
“She was pregnant with my child! What else was I suppose to do?!”
“You could have thrown me Global Justice’s hands, waited until the baby was born and took her from me then have me thrown away for the rest of my life,” the pale woman said almost offhandedly.
Kim looked offended for the second time in five minutes. “I would never do anything like that!”
“Which, trust me, I’m very thankful for, but it could have backfired on you. I could have just looted your parents’ house and run off into the night to raise Shin by myself.”
“But you wouldn’t do that. Would you?”
“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think about it for a few seconds at the start.”
It was a revelation Kim wasn’t ready for and it reminded her all too much of some of Jade’s words. It also brought with it that same numb feeling that made her realize their relationship might not be as steady as she liked to believe.
Shego saw this reaction and immediately began to regret what she had said. She reached over and gently grabbed Kim’s hands, causing the girl to jump a bit in surprise. When she calmed down she looked into Shego’s eyes and found all the reassurance she needed there.
“I’m sorry,” Shego whispered. “I shouldn’t have said that. I was just…well…being stupid.”
“No, no it’s my fault. Maybe you’re right and I trust people a little too much, but I’d rather just see the good in them. You know, provided they have any good.”
“And you actually saw that in me?”
“When you told me you’re pregnant yeah. I still see it, especially when you’re around Shin.”
The strength of Shego’s gripped tightened into a gentle squeeze which Kim happily returned. As they continued to stare into each others’ eyes the fear and doubts of their relationship began to fade and they knew could handle whatever life was going to throw at them.
“OK, this is getting uncomfortable,” Ron spoke up, breaking the serene scene. “Monique! How’s live going over in L.A.?”
“It’s good,” Monique replied, also trying to get the conversation back to civil. “I mean there are a lot of crazy drivers and pretentious egos to deal with, but it’s no big.”
“I still can’t believe you moved out all the way to L.A. though,” Kim said, getting back into the swing of things.
“Yeah but I figured it was the best place to go to study fashion since there were as more of a change I was going to schmooze with some big name Celebs there than in New York.”
“And just how many celebs have you ‘schmoozed with’ so far?”
“None unfortunately,” Monique sighed with a dip of her head. “But there’s always hope.”
Kim chuckled. “Well keep trying I’m sure you’ll get lucky eventually. So, while you’ve been up there I don’t suppose you’ve run into a girl named Ren Reilly, have you?”
“Oh, no reason,” the redhead replied with a sly smile.
Monique blinked at the gesture and looked toward Ron and Shego to see similar expressions on their faces. It gave her the distinct impression that a loop had been formed and she was not a part of it.
“Anyway,” she continued, “there is another advantage to being out there. I am just one town over from my boy.”
“Your boy? So then that means you and Dave are actually…?” Kim rolled her hand in expectation.
“Wait, who’s Dave?” Shego asked.
“You remember Jen Credible? The girl who helped that demony guy?”
“Yeah? Oh wait, you mean the guy that was working with her?”
“You’re dating him?” Shego asked, looking at Monique.
“Yep. I admit he came on a little strong when we first met, but we still traded IM names and have been talking back and fourth since then and well…things kinda progressed.”
“Way to go Mo!” Kim cheered. “But are you sure you two can really get along? He seemed kinda…”
“Oh trust me girl, it’s nothing I can’t handle. After a few months I’ll have him wrapped around my little finger. And the first thing I’m gonna go is change that outfit of his.”
“OK being that I’m the only guy here,” Ron started.
“Only technically,” Shego interrupted him.
He glared at her, but continued on. “As I was saying, being that I’m the only guy here I feel compelled to ask not on just Dave’s behave but for guys everywhere, why must you ladies always try to change our wardrobe?”
The question seemed to almost offended Monique and as she went on a long tirade to Ron about the importance of style and function, Kim found herself slipping back into her mind and more importantly on the issue of Bonnie. It wasn’t that she didn’t take her friends’ comments to hurt, it was just that her own curiosity had gotten the better of her and she had to find out what was going on with her old high school rival one way or another.
The Sterling Apartments complex could be placed aside those things and people with ironic names. Like calling a tall many “Tiny” or a large many “Slim”. The word “sterling” was in complete opposition of what the building actually looked like. Perhaps at one time, like when it first opened, the name actually fit but now nothing could be further from the truth. The once bright yellow paint was now dull and peeling and was the same color as someone’s teeth after they had been smoking for thirty years. The brick was full of chips and cracks and large sections of the roof where patched quite carelessly, often times with the replacement shingles being a completely different color than the original. It wasn’t uncommon to see a faded red shingle next to a slightly brighter green one. The wooden stairs on the outside of the building were dried and rotten and looked like they could snap at any moment. It was the almost the definition of rundown and probably close to being condemned.
So as she sat in her SUV and stared at the building from across the forgotten park, Kim had only one question running through her mind.
“Wade, are you absolutely positive this where Bonnie lives?” she asked to the screen of the Kimmunicator, her voice full of doubt.
“I’m telling you Kim I checked it five times already,” Wade replied as he stared at one of his computer screens. “It says right here, apartment 134 is registered to one Bonnie Rockwaller.”
“Yeah but…” she paused as she looked at the broken down building again. “Even at her lowest Bonnie wouldn’t even think to look at this place let alone live here.”
“Well you said she might have fallen on hard times. Maybe they’re just really hard.”
“You know, I could get that information for you in just a few seconds,” he offered, cracking his knuckles.
“No that’s alright Wade. I kinda want to hear it from Bonnie herself. I just-oh wait!”
Kim instinctually ducked down when she saw a figure exciting one of the apartment buildings. Grabbing a pair of binoculars she peered through the to find that the person was in fact Bonnie. She was dressed in her Smarty-Mart uniform again and was hurriedly making her way down the stairs, checking her watch as she did so. Kim couldn’t help but notice the way the staircase shook with each quick step and nearly jumped out of the vehicle when she saw Bonnie trip and almost fall head first down them. Fortunately, the brunette was able to catch herself on the railing and straighten up before things could take a turn for the worst. In her flailing about, however, she had managed to tear a rather large piece out of the railing. She glared at it hatefully for a second then threw it down to the ground as hard as she could. She then made her way down to street level and after looking from side-to-side walked off out of Kim’s line of sight.
“So?” Wade’s voice asked of the Kimmunicator.
“You’re right, Bonnie lives there,” she replied, still sounding shocked.
“Well I knew I was right. Now the question is why doe she live there?”
“I don’t know. But I intend to find out. I’ll call you later when I know more or need to know more.”
“You know where to find me,” he said with a grin before ending his half of the transmission.
Kim tucked the device away as she started up her SUV.
Everyone wants me to take some time off from saving the whole world? Fine. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t save at least one person. Even if that person is Bonnie, she thought with a fierce determination.
To Be Continued…
Author’s Notes: Now I know what some of your are probably thinking right now. “Did he really just write a story that had Bonnie’s name in the title and then have her in only two scenes with one line of dialogue in this chapter?” Yes. Yes I did. That’s just how I roll. Never giving people what they expect. But don’t worry, this was just a setting up chapter and starting with the next one we focus heavily on Bonnie and how she came to be in this miserable existence. They’re all be a look inside her apartment and if you think the outside bad, wait til you see the inside. Muwahahahahaha!
Now as for the Justice Squad. I’m sure that felt like it came out of left field, but really they’ve been planned to appear every since “Maternal Instinct”. In fact, chapter three of MI features the very first hint of them. Go back and read it, it’s there. I know it seems odd to start off with them here, but well honestly I couldn’t think of any other way to start this thing. I knew I wanted to use these characters cause the names just fell into place and were too good to pass up. So there ya go. Plus it shows why Kim will have so much time to devote to helping Bonnie. Don’t worry though, they’ll be making some more appearances throughout this story and the whole “MI” universe in general. The fun part though is figuring out which characters are parodies/homages/big fat rip-offs of real superheroes. Anyone care to take a guess?