“What was the mission you were on two days ago?” her father demanded as soon as Kim got home from school.
Before she had a chance to say more he held a copy of the National Tattler up in front of her, “Did it have anything to do with this?”
Three-quarters of the front page was taken up with a photo of Shego, grimacing with pain on the couch in the tiny Havana apartment. Kim stood over Shego, her face partially hidden by her red hair so it was impossible to tell what her expression was. The headline took the rest of the space: Hero Threatens Lover! Once the headline put the idea in readers’ minds the implications of the picture were clear. The reader would believe the pregnant woman had been threatened, perhaps even hit.
Kim wanted desperately to believe that no one would pay attention to a source like the Tattler. Reality intruded its ugly head into her fantasy world as soon as she got to school. Shortly after she arrived in home room the intercom crackled into life, “Kim Possible, Please report to Mr. Barkin's office
The secretary waved Kim back to the vice-principal's office. She opened the door to find Mr. Barkin and Ms. Smallweed, the girl's PE teacher in conference.
“We've had calls of complaints from the parents of some of the girls in your PE classes. They, uh, do not want their daughters to be attending gym classes with you,” Mr. Barkin rumbled.
Ms. Smallweed continued, “And, well, given the notoriety attached to the law suit you will not be able to perform with the cheerleaders for the rest of the school year.”
There were only a few baseball games left in the Middleton High season, but being dropped from the squad still hurt. The evening brought more problems for Kim. The call from the Cuban mission to the UN in New York came about suppertime. Kim had violated the boundaries of the sovereign nation of Cuba and an arrest warrant had been issued for her. Since Cuba had no extradition treaty with the US it posed no threat to Kim, just a propaganda point for Cuba on how the US ignored international law.
The call from the US State Department an hour later was more serious. They didn't like journalists going to Cuba, and her vigilante mission was totally irresponsible. Her passport would no longer be recognized until she had a hearing on the matter.
US Gnus and even legitimate newspapers carried brief articles on it the next day.
Cuba Charges Kim Possible with Spying
was a typical headline. Apparently Shego had sent photos to a number of papers across the country. Only the Tattler had run it initially, but with the accusation from Cuba and a harsh public statement from the State Department various papers called to ask if the photos were real. While denying the context in which the photo had appeared in the tabloid Kim reluctantly confessed that the pictures were real and had been taken in Cuba.
Shego's initial court filing had only attracted the attention of the lunatic fringe. Kim's foray into Cuba brought the attention of more legitimate news groups. The fact Kim had risked the illegal trip suggested something was going on.
While the State Department restricts travel by US nationals to Cuba as much as possible, it can't stop it completely. Several media companies informed the State Department that reporters would be going to Havana via Canada or Mexico for a story on a former US hero.
The reporters expected to meet a raving loon, but instead they found the pale woman both surprising and charming despite the circumstances to which she had been reduced. Despite her insistence that her pregnancy had been caused by another woman she appeared to be entirely rational.
While they could not take her claim seriously she represented a wonderful human interest story.
Former Hero Living in Poverty in Cuba!
was the headline that most papers ran over the AP story.
“She's a former hero now?” Ron asked, puzzled as he read the story.
“Well, she really was a hero,” Kim reminded him.
“Yeah, but why not say current villain?”
The odd part of the story, for the media, was where Kim Possible fit in. If Shego's claim was nonsense, and everyone knew it had to be, why had Kim traveled to Cuba to confront her foe? The calls from legitimate media sources started to come in, asking if Kim was willing to make a statement or give an interview. The answer was a standard, “No.”
Deputy Bucket was back at Kim's house that evening.
“Another law suit?” Jean Possible asked when she answered the door.
“Sorry, no ma'am. Court order this time.”
“A court order? Give it to me and I'll--”
“Sorry, my job is to give it personally to Kim.”
She went to the foot of the stairs and called up, “Kim? Deputy Bucket is here with more papers for you.”
Neither Kim nor her parents were surprised to find a restraining order in the envelope when Kim opened it. It ordered Kim to remain at least one hundred yards away from Shego unless both were in the presence of their lawyers.
“That does it, I'm calling Bob Vholes in the morning,” James Possible declared.
“Bob Vholes?” Kim asked.
“Family lawyer,” her mother explained. “We don't need him much. But Kim, before you even think about seeing Shego again you had better let him talk you out of it.”
Former Hero Served with Restraining Order
was the headline over a small article on the front page of the Middleton Examiner the next day.
“Cool,” was Ron's comment. “So, KP, you filed a lawsuit to keep her from trashing your reputation?”
“You didn't read the paper, did you Ron?” she asked in a dull voice.
“Well, no, not really. How did you know?”
“Because they aren't calling Shego a former hero in the article, it's what they're calling me.”