Shego stared out of cockpit window, thinking. Stoppable was asleep in the back, he and his naked mole rat snoring slightly as all of their adventures caught up with them. Kimmie, too, was asleep, which surprised Shego somewhat. On the trip out here, she had steadfastly refused to go to sleep, tired and bitchy though she was. Now, though, they had been in the air all of five minutes when Kim went out like a light. “I guess that is what trust gets you,” Shego mused.
She sighed softly to herself. Damn but this trip, and her life for that matter, were not going how she had anticipated. She was quite happy being a villain, thank you; she had no intention of ever going back to the life of a hero. But then, her Nanas had sent Kimmie an e-mail, popped up in her bathroom mirror and nicely turned her world completely upside down. Her former archnemesis was now sleeping like a baby in the passenger’s seat, she had just saved the world and she found herself formulating a plan to make sure that her afore mentioned archnemesis and her dopey sidekick would not see any jail time for all of their little adventures. Add in the fact that she had told her employer of the last several years to fuck right off, and well, her life was so screwed up that she was having trouble recognizing it. As if to drive the point home, Kim picked just that moment to wake up, stretch and smile at her, upping the weird just that little bit further.
“Morning, Princess,” she said.
“How long was I out?” Kim asked.
“Not that long,” Shego replied.
“How long until we get back to Middleton?” Kim asked, curious.
“Middleton is a few hours from here,” Shego answered. “But we are not going to Middleton. We are headed back to Mexico.”
“You don’t get to bail on us, Shego,” Kim shot back, but in a friendly way. Strangely, she wasn’t angry or upset; she had a feeling that Shego wasn’t trying to avoid responsibility but was trying to help them out in some way.
“Hear me out before you get all noble and shoot me down, Princess,” Shego retorted. Kim said nothing, but waited patiently and Shego continued. “I think you guys should take the amulet and head back to Middleton. It will go back to the museum, but Bob will get it back for me anyway. You can make up some bullshit story about how you followed me and got it back. And that way, everyone still thinks that you were there to help, not steal it.”
“That is totally not fair, Shego.” Kim stated. “What happens to you?”
“Fair, not fair, whatever,” Shego shrugged. “I have a rap sheet a mile long, Pumpkin. I am wanted in eleven countries. One more theft is so not going to affect me one way or the other. And besides, I get the better end of the deal. I get to relax on a beautiful beach in Mexico and figure out what the hell to do with my life while you have to deal with all of the hero bullshit.”
“Like I said, totally not fair, Shego,” Kim replied with a grin. “That’s why the answer is still ‘no’.”
Shego sighed. “Quit being an altruistic hero for once, Princess; think of yourself for once,” she argued.
Kim didn’t answer, but instead smirked at her, very much like Shego herself would have done. It made Shego very nervous. After letting Shego stew and fidget for a few moments, Kim answered her. “All right, Junior,” she said unexpectedly. “You have a deal.”
“What are you planning, Pumpkin?” Shego asked suspiciously, too on edge to reprimand Kim for the use of the nickname.
Kim had a plan all right, but she was still unsure of it, so she did not answer. It wasn’t her first choice of plan, in fact, far from it, but it would do and it would give her a way to be fair to Shego. That last thought made her pause. Never in her wildest dreams would she have ever thought that Shego was someone she would want to play fair with. “Why would I have any plans?” she asked Shego innocently. Shego was not convinced.
The next few hours passed as they flew and in order to make it pass more quickly, Shego used the time to teach Kim how to fly and navigate the hovercraft so that she could get them back to Middleton. Kim picked up on it pretty quickly, but she was still a little unsure if she could fly it and more importantly, land it. Seeing her point, Shego thought about it for awhile until she came up with the idea to interface the Kimmunicator with the hovercraft so that Wade could control it with his computer if the need should arise.
They landed in Mexico without incident and after some discussion, they decided that it would be better if Kim, Ron and Rufus waited until morning to go home. There was still only one bed, though, and there was a bit of a power struggle as to who was going to be politest and let the other girl have it. Shego won and Kim got the bed, but she didn’t feel much like a winner when she was trying to get comfortable on the floor.
Morning came, and Kim was up with the dawn, eager to be back home and to get this whole jumbled up mess straightened out. Shego reluctantly got up with them, and after Ron had boarded, they spent a few awkward moment looking at one another as they tried to figure out the right thing to say. Shego decided to plunge in first. “Here, Princess,” she said, taking the amulet off from around her neck and giving it to Kim.
Kim looked at it, and raised an eyebrow. “It didn’t have a chain when we took it from the museum and one magically appeared yesterday when you were draining the obelisk,” she mentioned.
Shego smirked. “One of those mysteries of life, Pumpkin,” she replied with a cheeky grin. “Anyway, here it is. Those museum people can have the chain or you can, but please hang on to it. And here,” she continued, reaching into her ankle pouch, removing something and flinging it at Kim, “you should take these, too.”
Kim held up a set of keys. “These are keys to the Mansion,” she guessed.
“Yup,” Shego admitted.
“Are there still ghosts in the bathroom?” Kim joked.
Shego grinned. “Probably, just to be pains in the ass.”
Kim laughed, then without warning, took her/Mim’s ring from off of her right hand and put it in Shego’s. “What in the hell is this for, Princess?” Shego asked in confusion.
“Well, you have trusted me with your stuff, so I am returning the favor,” Kim replied nonchalantly. Shego looked at her as if she was nuts. “Fine, think of it as collateral then,” Kim said. “It is a bargaining chip to make sure I return your stuff.”
“You would anyway; it is the hero thing to do,” Shego grumbled, but she made no move to give the ring back. Instead, it went in her ankle pouch and Kim grinned. “Yeah, yeah, don’t read too much into it, Pumpkin,” Shego warned. “Now get the hell out my life for a while, would you?”
“Since you asked so nicely, I suppose,” Kim replied. She paused briefly and then impulsively gave Shego a hug. “Bye, Shego,” she said and quickly retreated to the safety of the hovercraft. The gangplank went up and the craft took off, while in the meantime, Shego stood there slightly shell-shocked. She shook her head and snapped out of it, smiling bemusedly. She then opened her ankle pouch, withdrew Kim/Mim’s ring, looked at it for a couple of seconds, then took off her green glove and put it on.
“What are we going to do, KP?” Ron asked as they made their way back toward Middleton. “Do you actually think they will throw us in jail?”
“I don’t know, Ron; they may,” Kim admitted. “But we are going to tell the truth regardless.”
“I thought we were going to let Shego take the fall,” Ron said.
“No way, Ron; it is totally not fair,” Kim replied. “I told her I would do that so she would stay put. Otherwise they would have arrested her on sight, she probably would have confessed just to make sure I wouldn’t blurt out the truth, and nobody would know that she actually did a good thing for once.”
Ron looked at her strangely and Kim ignored him. They had been friends long enough that he knew something was up. He wasn’t quite sure what, but something was up and something deep inside of him told him he wasn’t going to like it.
The rest of the trip passed with little talking as both of them contemplated being on the wrong side of the law and the jail time that could be associated with being there. Despite of Kim’s earlier protests, she was able to handle the hovercraft just fine, and after making it to Middleton, she was able to land in her parents’ front yard without incident. The instant they left the craft, though, they were assaulted by Mr. and Mrs. Dr. Possible, Mr. and Mrs. Stoppable, Tim, Jim and much to Kim’s surprise, Dr. Director.
“Kim! Where have you been? We were worried sick!” her mother scolded, grabbing her and hugging her tightly.
“I had a mission, Mom,” Kim explained embarrassedly.
“You could have told us!” her mother protested. “No one knew what had happened to you after you went after that Shego woman. What happened? Did you catch her? Where is she? And how did Ron get there? No one saw him go after her.”
Kim stood there awkwardly, knowing now was the time she needed to ‘fess up, but not really knowing exactly how to start doing that. She started to explain, but before she had gotten the first word out, Dr. Director stopped her cold.
“I would advise you not to say anything, Kim,” she said evenly. “We need to talk first.”
“Oookay,” Kim answered, drawing out the word before promptly shutting up.
“Now that you know they are safe, we would like to take Kim and Ron back to headquarters for a debriefing,” Dr. Director informed the assembled parents.
“You could have told us you were working for GJ, son,” his father chided him.
“Um, yeah, sorry about that,” Ron replied sheepishly.
“Let’s go, people,” Dr. Director ordered. “I have a car waiting.” Kim and Ron followed meekly behind her and the three of them were whisked away to GJ headquarters. Once they were there and safely ensconced in a conference room, Dr. Director got right to the point. “Where is Shego and how did she convince you two to knock over a museum?”
“It wasn’t all her,” Kim protested. Dr. Director lifted an eyebrow. Sighing, Kim started explaining, knowing it was going to sound ridiculous. “So, um, like about 5 or 6 days ago, I got an e-mail from the Middleton Mansion people asking for my help, so I went to check it out. As it turns out, the problem had nothing to do with the Mansion itself and what they wanted to tell me was that the world was going to blow up if I didn’t help.”
“And who are these mysterious Mansion people?” Dr. Director prompted, sensing some failure to disclose on Kim’s part.
“Um, the ghosts of the people who used to live there, one of whom just happens to be my great-great aunt,” Kim replied honestly.
Dr. Director didn’t bat an eye. “I assume the other one was Sheila Goshen, then?” she asked with no hint of sarcasm.
“Um, yes, actually,” Kim replied, surprised that Dr. Director was being very accepting of what she was saying and wasn’t questioning her sanity.
“That would explain how Shego figured into the equation,” Dr. Director mused. “Please continue.”
“Well, Shego was at the Mansion that night,” Kim admitted, “and they told us both that we had to find their journals. Aunt Sheila’s were at the Mansion, but Aunt Mim’s were all over the place and I took a day to track some down. My Nana had a couple of them in Florida and those turned out be the ones we needed. I brought them back, Aunt Mim and Aunt Sheila finally told us how the world was going to blow up and together we figured out how to prevent it, which is why the next day we went to Chicago because the Museum had the only way to prevent it.”
“Which I assume is what you stole?” Dr. Director asked.
“We tried to get it back legally first,” Kim huffed. “We went to Shego’s lawyer, who told us it was legally Shego’s and who started the paperwork to get it back. That was going to take too long, so we tried asking for it, but they weren’t exactly rushing to hand it over.”
“So you stole it,” Dr. Director stated flatly.
“We had to!” Kim countered. “The crystal would have fractured without the dampener.”
“Slow down, Kim,” Dr. Director replied calmly. “Is that what you stole? A dampener?”
“Yes,” Kim answered. “It was a small metal disk about this big,” she explained holding up two fingers to give an estimate of the size. “As a kid, Shego wore it around her neck until she got hit by the comet.” She could have shown it to Dr. Director, of course, but the amulet was fastened around her neck and tucked under her turtleneck and she had no intention of letting her know that it was in her possession.
Luckily Dr. Director didn’t ask. “What happened next?” Dr. Director prompted.
Kim continued. “After a brief stop for the night, we went to a temple in Guyana. That is where, according to Aunt Mim and Aunt Sheila, the amulet had to be returned to and by returning it, we could prevent the destruction of the world.”
“What did the crystal you mentioned have to do with it?” Dr. Director inquired.
“As it turned out, the amulet was actually well, a dampener that kept the power found in the crystal in check, and since it had been gone for a while, the crystal was becoming highly unstable and was about to explode, taking half of the world with it, which is why the amulet needed to be returned,” Kim said.
The questions kept on coming. “How did you find that out?” Dr. Director asked skeptically.
“The alien being told us after all five of us made it to the top,” Kim replied.
Dr. Director did the quick math in her head. “There should have been three of you, and that is only if you count the mole rat,” she pointed out.
“Um, yeah, well, Shego inadvertently got Aunt Mim and Aunt Sheila kind of sort of resurrected and they helped us get to the top,” Kim admitted, knowing exactly how absurd it sounded.
Dr. Director looked at her sharply for several moments before she spoke. “I have three more questions about the ‘mission’ of yours,” she said. “One, if they came back to life, where are Mim and Sheila now; two, how do we know the dampener has stabilized the crystal, and three, where is Shego now?””
“Well, Shego thought it was a bad idea to have the fate of the world resting in a small metal disk, so she used her plasma discharge powers to drain the crystal of its power until it was stable without the dampener,” Kim said, answering question number two first. “And with no crystal to baby-sit, the alien could leave and she took the power keeping Aunt Mim and Aunt Sheila alive with her, so when she left, Aunt Mim and Aunt Sheila went back to being dead.”
“And Shego?” Dr. Director persisted.
“Mexico,” Kim answered truthfully but succinctly.
“Can you be any more specific?” Dr. Director asked wryly.
“A beach town in Mexico,” Kim clarified vaguely.
Dr. Director was tired of the game. “Give me the name of the beach town in Mexico,” she ordered.
“I don’t know it,” Kim replied truthfully, and in spite of her irritation at the lack of information, Dr. Director knew Kim was telling the truth and that she would get nothing else from her.
Dr. Director summed up. “So, what you are telling me is that Shego, one of the most wanted and antisocial villains in the world, not only joined forces with you, her highly-social cheerleading archenemy that is always trying to bring her to justice, but she also took it upon herself to rid the world of a potent threat.” Kim nodded. “Why, if I may ask, would she do such a thing?”
Kim shrugged. “Her Nanas asked her to,” she replied simply.
To Kim’s surprise, Dr. Director did not get angry, but instead gave a wry half grin. “If anyone could that and come back from the dead, it would be them,” she said with a touch of admiration. Kim and Ron looked at one another with mirrored questioning looks on their faces. Dr. Director answered their unspoken question. “Mim and Sheila were two of GJ’s first operatives,” she explained. “They were two of the best we ever had, but they never wanted to be tied down, and they were always freelance. They would do one or two missions for us, then decide they wanted to explore an African jungle or something and off they would go.”
Kim smiled. “Sounds like something they would do,” she said fondly.
“And you share many of their qualities,” Dr. Director stated gruffly. “Like impeccable timing for instance.” She grabbed a remote on the table and activated the large viewscreen behind Kim, causing it to display a large map of South America. “About six months ago, our sensors detected a large energy surge coming from there,” she said, indicating a point on the map. “This energy became more and more unstable as the months progressed, but all of the agents we sent there had no luck in accessing the energy source. You wouldn’t happen to have the coordinates from that temple would you?” Kim accessed the Kimmunicator’s records and handed it over. Dr. Director punched them into the computer and as everyone expected, the coordinates of temple exactly overlapped those of the energy surge. “So, how exactly did you get in?”
“We had the keys,” Kim replied. “They were bequeathed to Shego and I because we were Aunt Mim and Aunt Sheila’s heirs.”
“Who has the keys now?” Dr. Director asked.
“Shego has both of them,” Kim admitted.
“Figures,” Dr. Director grumbled. “At any rate, yesterday we detected a noticeable drop in both the instability of and the total energy output coming from that sector and after putting what few clues we had together, we figured that you had succeeded in counteracting the threat.”
“That was mostly Shego,” Kim pointed out.
“So I gathered,” Dr. Director replied. She looked sternly at them both and this is where Kim fully expected the hammer to fall. “You both are should be charged with theft,” Dr. Director told them bluntly. “And, you, Kim,” she said, turning to face Kim, “should also be charged with aiding and abetting, obstruction of justice and probably a few other things for your failure to completely cooperate in the capture of a known fugitive.” Kim spared a thought to the stolen property around her neck and was silently thankful that Dr. Director didn’t know about that. “But,” Dr. Director continued, “because the two of you were instrumental in saving the world yet again, these charges will not materialize and the museum will be quietly told that you three were on a classified mission for GJ and thus they are to cease and desist in any action against any of you. However, I warn you, if this unlawfulness somehow becomes a pattern, no matter what the eventual outcome of your actions is, even if it is the saving of the world, you will face any and all charges that stem from your actions.”
“Meaning this is our one and only ‘get out of jail free’ card,” Ron whispered to Kim.
“Precisely, Mr. Stoppable,” Dr. Director interjected, scaring the crap out of Ron who was unaware that she had heard him. “That just about wraps it up here. I would ask in the interest of international security that you do not mention your mission or this conversation to anyone.”
“What about Drakken?” Kim asked. “I need to tell the police what happened so he is not charged with kidnapping.”
“The FBI and police have already been informed that you are safe and that there was no kidnapping plot,” Dr. Director assured her. “However, he has been turned over to our custody for other crimes he has committed.” Kim looked satisfied with that. “Very well, are you two ready to go home? There is a car waiting for you at the end of the hallway.”
“Dude, am I ever,” Ron answered and bounded in the direction of the car. Kim, on the other hand, said nothing and hung back.
“Something on your mind, Kim?” Dr. Director politely inquired.
“Well, um, I was thinking about expanding Team Possible because a friend of mine needs something to do and she would make a great addition to the team,” Kim said hesitantly.
“But?” Dr. Director prompted.
“But, um, she is kind of on the wrong side of the law at the moment. But she has been a hero in the past and I was thinking with a little guidance she might fight for the good guys again. But she won’t join if she thinks she can be hauled off to jail at any moment,” Kim haltingly explained.
“Would you be providing this guidance?” Dr. Director asked, as an insight flitted by and said hi.
“Yes,” Kim confirmed, and confusing mix of excitement, unease and anticipation ran through her.
“Well, since the ‘friend’ in question is wanted in eleven countries, she would have to do something extraordinary to make up for past transgressions before she could join your team with nothing over her head. Turning State’s evidence would help, her just saving the world will also help a great deal and it is in her favor that she only has theft and destruction of property on her rap sheet. If you can convince her to join Team Possible, I will see what I can do about her record,” Dr. Director promised, knowing that expunging Shego’s record would be well worth it if Kim could make her switch teams. At the very least, Drakken would no longer be a threat and the possibility, however remote, of having another Possible/Goshen team was far too tempting to pass up.
“Thanks, Dr. Director,” Kim said sincerely and ran off to join Ron. Dr. Director watched her go, an odd look of amusement on her face. “I hope you know what you are getting into, Kim,” she chuckled. “Mim sure as hell didn’t.”
The Possible Residence, one week later
Kim sat at her computer nervously going over the e-mail she was about to send. She had written and re-written it at least three times, but it never seemed to sound very good. Finally fed up, she hit “send” just to be done with it; she was tired of stressing about it and annoyed that she was stressing about it.
Small Beach Town in Mexico, several nanoseconds later
“I’ve got mail? Who the hell from? Only Drakken knew about this address,” Shego grumbled at her laptop as she double-clicked the envelope in the system tray. She blinked in surprise when she saw who it was from, then sighed. “I blame you two for this,” she muttered as she began to read what Kim had written.