Kim turned around after pressing the button to end the communication. “Is it ready to go?”
“Actually, it -is-,” Wade said from his position at an open panel on the other side of the Lava Tunneler, out of sight of the camera. He sounded utterly mystified, face showing a mixture of shock and confusion as he leaned into view. “Well, not totally, but all the principles are sound, it just needs some busywork. I could easily have it ready to go inside of an hour.”
“Take your time. Need to do some additional talking with Dr. Director before it gets launched.” Kim turned and thumped Ron on the shoulder with a fist. “Good job, villain sidekick.”
“Eheh.” Ron smiled nervously, squirming in the red and black leather outfit. Rufus peeked out of a specially-sewn pocket on one leg, gazing up at the weapon he'd lent a few touches of his own to creating. Ron scuffed a foot against the floor. “I'm not so sure about this, KP, but as long as it's just property damage…”
“It's just property damage,” Kim said firmly. Then she glanced at Shego. “You want to sit in on my talk with Dr. Director?”
“Pumpkin, I wouldn't miss this for the world,” Shego answered with a chuckle.
As Kim walked, Shego settled in close behind her. Controlling these new senses wasn't going to come quickly, but she was nevertheless hoping to use them to ferret out just what was on the redhead's mind.
Unfortunately, Kim was currently so dead set on being in control of herself that very little could be told from her body language. Every step was being calculated, her posture was perfect, like even here among friends she was taking her new image to heart.
Scent was another thing. While everything about Kim's movements radiated control and giving away nothing, the smells were different. Shego was learning to go with her first, basic impression of what a smell meant, that something basic in her seeming to know was the scent of emotion. And the scents roiling off of Kim were so mixed and confused that they might as well have meant nothing, as if someone had lit a dozen different scented candles at once. But Shego managed to pick out nervousness, a little fear, some exhilaration. Something else… something sort of spicy-sweet-musky, tickling at the back of her throat, something she couldn't quite pin down.
“Gotta hand it to you, Princess, you put on quite a show,” Shego ventured as they walked into Drakken's office, just to break the silence.
“Learning to make an impression is part of cheerleading,” Kim replied with a cheerful lilt as she dropped into the desk chair. “I just shifted my demographic.”
Shego didn't know whether to laugh or look at Kim like she was insane, so she just settled for the stoic look as Kim activated the line to Dr. Director's office. Sure, she probably wasn't going to be on screen this time, but playing the good little villainous sidekick was fun sometimes.
Dr. Director was pacing back and forth with such speed that it was almost funny. She'd have run into her desk, if she hadn't already apparently given it a good, solid shove, the piece of heavy metal furniture sitting at an angle with papers knocked askew. Kim allowed a corner of her mouth to twitch a little, then pressed the button.
“Good evening, Dr. Director.”
The one-eyed woman whirled towards the camera, scowling. “Kim Possible, just what the FUCK do you think you're doing?!”
Kim was almost as taken aback by the cursing as she was pleased by it. She'd obviously rattled Dr. Director's cage pretty badly. “I already told you that.”
“I gave you a perfectly reasonable out, and you go this far in the other direction?! Don't you care about what you're leaving behind?! How will you look at yourself in the mirror?!”
Suddenly, Kim felt all her elation at Dr. Director's state seep out of her. Her expression turned hard, her voice cold as she replied. “Funny, I was kind of wondering the same thing about you.”
“Don't start! I told you that Shego would be-”
“Locked in a tiny little cell, with manacles that go THROUGH her wrists?” Kim snapped back, tone icy.
Shego started slightly, turning her head to stare at Kim. But the effect on Dr. Director was much more profound. Her eye widened, and she actually took a step backward. Then another, until she was leaning against the side of the desk.
“You… you talked to…?”
“Which is more than you've done in, what, ten years? Fifteen?” There was no mercy in Kim's voice now, no pity, just a verbal assault that wasn't going to let up. “You couldn't even go in there to face what you'd done.”
“You were scared! You were scared of her, you were scared that you couldn't understand what you felt!” Kim continued, starting to rise to her feet, her entire body feeling hot. “Something bad happened, and instead of trying to figure it all out, you just locked the problem away where you wouldn't have to! Except that the problem was a person!”
“She… those men-”
“And how many does Gemini dispose of himself every day?! Your own brother, but you haven't hunted him down and locked him underground forever!” Kim slammed her hands into the desk, and Shego jumped at the suddenness of it. From the way Dr. Director jumped on the screen, the sound must have carried well. “She did what she did because she cared about you! She didn't understand it either, but she cared! She lost control because of what she saw happen to you, and you couldn't even go down to face her and say WHY!”
“I…” Tears were streaking down one side of Dr. Director's face now. “You don't… understand…”
“I understand perfectly,” Kim replied, the anger gone now, that frigid ice back. “And you do too. That's why you were so adamant about taking Shego. You knew. You knew that I was teetering on the edge of a choice you'd already made. To go with my heart, or go with my head. You went with your head, and you haven't had a heart since.
“So. You asked why I'm doing this. I'm doing it because I won't be -you-. I will not sit in an office, turning my back on what feels right for what everyone says should feel right.
“I want DNAmy loaded into one of the facility's escape pods, and launched at exactly nine-thirty this evening. It takes two minutes for it to make its sea landing. So at 9:33, if that pod isn't there, or I detect anything that even makes me THINK of a GJ operative for two hundred miles, the Lava Tunneler will be in the ground by 9:34.”
“Kim,” Dr. Director croaked out. There was a plea in her voice. A plea to listen to reason. Or maybe just her own reasons.
“You have my demands, Dr. Director. I suggest you follow them. Kim Possible out.” And with those final words, Kim stabbed the button, the image of Dr. Director's office vanished, replaced with a reflection of her own angry expression.
“I get the feeling I've missed out on a lot of backstory,” Shego commented dryly.
“You have no clue,” Kim muttered, straightening up and moving around the desk, towards the door.
“Not to pry TOO much while you're being a Pouty Pumpkin,” Shego continued, starting to fall in behind Kim again. “But what was all that stuff about following your heart?”
Kim stopped so suddenly that Shego had to take a half-step back to avoid running into her. The redhead turned around, looking up at Shego intensely, eyes boring right into the taller woman's.
“Uh… Princess?” Shego blinked. She could feel her cheeks heating up, for some reason. “It was just… a simple question, no need to go all Batman on me…”
Kim took a step forward. Shego took a step back.
“Now, listen, you've been acting weird enough this whole time, Possible, I dunno what's gotten into you, but…”
Kim took another step forward. Shego took another step back. Shego also continued trying to get Kim to say something.
“What's with that look? What are you doing? Oof!”
Shego suddenly sat down, realizing she'd backed back around the desk and wound up thumping into the chair. Her eyes widened as Kim leaned in, raising one leg up to rest her knee on the chair, her leg rubbing along one of Shego's.
“Princess? Pumpkin? Possible? … Kim?” Shego squeaked, eyes going wide as the redhead leaned in closer and closer, raising one hand to rest it on Shego's cheek.
That spicy-sweet-musky smell was almost the only thing she could smell now. It filled her nose and mouth, seemed to seep down her throat like maple syrup. Shego could feel her breathing getting shallow, her body getting hot, trembling. Arousal. That's what that scent was. Kim being turned on. Oh. Okay. Good to know.
Shego scrunched back into the chair a little as Kim leaned closer in. Here she was, fangs, claws, feral temper, and why did she suddenly feel as if -she- were the prey? Probably because Kim was halfway crouched over her, almost but not quite pressing against her body.
“Why…?” Shego almost breathed out the word.
“I have absolutely no clue,” Kim murmured back. She was close enough that the warmth of her breath washed over Shego's lips, carrying a hundred little signals of taste that danced across her mouth like little explosions of sensory information, making the green-skinned woman shiver. The redhead smiled a bit at seeing it, scooting just a little closer. “But when I decided to just start listening to my heart instead of my head, it started suggesting this as a good idea.”
“It's not,” Shego protested weakly.
“Why not?” Such a reasonable tone. So, so reasonable.
Shego squeezed her eyes closed, shook her head the tiniest bit, not wanting to risk actually touching Kim. Her hands were so tight on the arms of the chair that the metal under the leather was creaking softly.
“I… might hurt you…”
“I might,” Shego insisted, opening her eyes, trying to put the fire of a threat into it.
“We'll see,” Kim practically purred, closing her eyes and pressing her lips to the other woman's.
Shego closed her eyes, actually whimpering. She'd had some good kisses in her time… some really amazing kisses… but they'd never felt anything like this one soft little kiss. Because it felt like she was drowning in it, in that feel of soft lips, in every way that they pressed against hers and found their proper place to fit just right, in the smell of Kim, her arousal, her normal scent, her everything, wrapping all around her like a blanket, like the way you thought clouds felt when you were a kid, like something soft and warm that was all around you.
Inside, she felt the roaring of the storm on her dark ocean, could feel the roiling coils of the beast that lurked within it. Wanting to come up for air, wanting to grab and hold and taste and take and feel and hear. Wanting, wanting everything.
Shego gasped for breath as Kim released the kiss, her body shaking. 'Dear sweet lord, she didn't even use any tongue!'
“Er… sorry. Little much?” Kim actually seemed back to her usual self, sheepish and rubbing the back of her head.
“… Still… getting used to this… and definitely didn't expect that,” Shego managed between gasps for breath.
“Sorry. I just… I don't know.” Kim shook her head, sighing. “I'm sorry. Really. Just… I've been trying to figure out this thing, this connection, between us. The way it feels… comfortable, and right, and I just… I thought I'd try…”
The redhead blinked and looked up, just in time to see a green and black blur as Shego burst out of the chair and rushed her, pressed her back against the wall, pinned her with her body. Shego's hands were sliding into her hair, gripping her head, and those black-painted lips were all over hers. It wasn't just a kiss, it was like she was being devoured starting with her mouth, great hungry strokes of those lips against hers, tongue plunging into her mouth, tasting her, claiming her. Even if she had a chance against the now vastly stronger and faster woman, she wouldn't have done a thing other than what she was now, which was slumping against the wall, arms dangling limp at her sides.
Finally, Shego broke the kiss… if something so savage, so hungry, could be called a kiss… and stared at Kim, meeting those slightly glazed eyes.
“I don't know what it is either,” Shego hissed, voice coarse with arousal. “But if you ever apologize for that kiss again, I'll gut you.”
“Okay,” Kim responded dreamily. “Sure. Gotcha. No big.”
Shego nodded once, then with all the dignity of a cat that's just fallen off of the couch, turned and walked out of the room. “I need some rest.”
“Mm-hm.” Kim slumped against the wall for a few more moments, before making her way back over to the desk on wobbly legs and sinking into the chair. Stuffing was poking out from the holes Shego dug into the ends of the armrests. Kim shook her head a bit, trying to clear it, and took a look at the blank viewscreen. She took one look at her reflection, with its rumpled hair, and black lipstick smeared all over her mouth and even migrating onto her cheeks, and burst into almost hysterical giggles.
Doctor Bethany Director sat on her bed, chin resting on her laced fingers, staring at the blank wall across from her.
Technically, she had the power to have a fabulous, well-protected home almost anywhere she cared to. Or even to have an elaborate suite of opulent rooms built into the GJ headquarters for her own use. In her business, a little personal grifting for living arrangements was pretty much expected for people at her level, it was like an unspoken bonus for taking a stressful, low-gratitude government job.
But there was little other than the job for her. No family she spoke to, no shows or books or magazines she followed, nothing on a computer other than work. No hobbies. And after all, a room was really just a place to keep your things and yourself, and without much in the way of interests, why take more than a simple, Spartan room near her office?
Oh, it hadn't always been that way. Somewhere in Iowa, there was a large storage room at least two-thirds full of jigsaw puzzles. They'd been a great hobby, not only something she could collect and keep, enjoy finding new ones of, but she'd always found putting them together, searching out the right pieces, seeing the image grow, to be incredibly relaxing and soothing.
Then she'd begun taking her career very seriously, and convinced herself they had to go. She didn't have the time or space for them, obviously. It looked too chaotic, what if a superior officer or, worse, a lower-ranked agent were to see that and think she was sloppy? It would never do.
Right now, her fingers were almost literally twitching with the desire to rummage through puzzle pieces and search for an image.
What the hell was she going to do?
In theory, at the moment, she was taking a shower and getting some rest before making a decision and issuing orders about Kim Possible's demands. She'd been awake and doing some manner of work for at least four days now, and the headquarters physicians were always itching for an excuse to play out a scene from some episode of Space Quest and order the commanding officer to bed to flaunt their authority and concern. She didn't need that, she only had one eye to roll, so wound up rolling it doubly hard.
Kim Possible playing at being a supervillain.
Though it was comforting to think she was only playing at it, perhaps simply bluffing, Betty somehow doubted it. Kim had already shown herself unwilling to yield on the issue. Any attempt to push her into giving up just seemed to cause worse backlash. At this point, one of the brightest and most celebrated possible agents in almost two decades was threatening to use a lava weapon to destroy Global Justice bases. She was not looking forward to just how much worse it might get.
The agents were scared as hell. Kim Possible and Ron Stoppable, now pitting themselves against Global Justice. The two of them together had a reputation that had inspired great awe, and was now inspiring just as much fear. Will had been several shades paler ever since that communication had come through, though he was still carrying on as well as ever. And as pompously. Other agents weren't doing as well.
She herself, and her confidence in the duo, had been a large part of building up their reputation. Now that reputation was giving her a good, hard bite on the ass.
How could she have been so wrong?
'What, about Kim, or how you handled the situation with Punk all those years ago?'
She literally winced at the thought. She'd been doing her best not to think about that. Had been mostly successful for a few years now. Or at least a few months. She didn't need to start obsessing about it now.
'Except you've been obsessing over it for fifteen years. Obsessing about it is what got you into this situation. Own up.'
This was going to be one of those trite bits where her thoughts argued against her, wasn't it?
Well, smartass, what would you have suggested?
'Subtlety comes screaming to mind.'
Yes, okay, perhaps she'd been a little overboard. Perhaps she could have handled things with a little more… aplomb. But there hadn't been much time, she'd had to contain the situation.
'You mean contain Kim's choices.'
Dammit, no. She'd been locking away a dangerous criminal. It was what she did, it was her job. Maybe she hadn't handled it the best way, but Kim was only a part of it because she'd made the choice to be.
'Oh, I think you have every idea of just how much more complicated than that it is.'
Ridiculous. That was ridiculous, adolescent confusion and nothing more.
'Sure, sure. Everyone spends a decade and a half thinking what could have come of adolescent confusion. Obviously it was hormones, despite the fact that you've never been attracted to another female in your life.'
So what? It wasn't like she-
'Wanted to jump Punk's bones? Wanted to rip her clothes off during a fight? Make out right there while still wrestling around and struggling for dominance?'
Hey now. That was-
'Completely and totally accurate.'
'Give the kid DNAmy. She's not even a high priority villain. Kim'll probably sit around, maybe boink Shego for a week or two, then she'll calm down and go home, and life can get back to normal.'
Or Kim might decide she liked the power, and getting her way through threats, and her villainous girlfriend, and move on to full-scale supervillainy.
'… Well, okay, there's that possibility.'
And why should Kim get special treatment? Sure, she'd done a great deal to help the world, but did justice take a holiday when it came time to apply it to a hero?
'I suppose not, but-'
And Shego should just be allowed to run loose? She'd killed one man already because of an inability to control her new powers. That was even assuming she didn't decide she liked her new killer outlook. Being a henchman might not be good enough for her anymore, and she was just smart enough, powerful enough, and experienced enough to be a very serious threat to the world at large.
Right. So that was where she was.
'Alright, smart chick, so answer me this. What are you actually going to do?'
And that, she still didn't have an answer for.
Once she'd cleaned herself up a bit and gotten her giggling under control, and had once more gotten her Tough Face on, Kim strode back out to the launch bay where the Lava Tunneler was being readied for possible deployment, Wade and Ron crawling all over it, Wade occasionally correcting Ron on how to make his own design work.
“Hey, Miss Possible.”
Kim glanced aside, then let the stony veneer drop enough to smile. “Hello, Mr. Latter.”
“Just Jacob, please. If I'm technically your evil minion, might as well call me by my first name,” the former security guard said in a mild tone.
“Heh. Okay. Jacob. What's up?”
“Oh, just playing gofer for the boys there. Did have a bit of a question for ya, though.” The older man scratched at the day's growth of grayish whiskers on his jaw, glancing towards the Lava Tunneler.
“Sure. What's the sitch?”
“Just a tad curious as to what your next plan's gonna be.”
Kim blinked once. “Er, I'm sorry? I don't really understand…”
“Well, you're a supervillain now, Miss Possible. Said so yourself. So, assuming this supervillainous plan works out, what's your next one gonna be?”
The redhead opened and closed her mouth a few times, then stared with somewhat widened eyes at the Lava Tunneler.
Somehow it had completely escaped her that deciding to go the supervillain route wouldn't just resolve itself in a week or so and let her get back to her life, maybe laying a bit lower than she had previously. Sure, on some level she knew it would change her life completely, but she hadn't quite realized she'd essentially chosen a -career-.
“Seems ta me you might wanna consider the future a little more. And now, I know how teenage girls are… don't take that as me saying you're making the wrong decision and need to think of how it affects your life. Just that y'might wanna think a bit beyond tomorrow with what you're going to do.”
“Um, thanks, Mister Lat-… Jacob. That's really helpful.” Kim kept her gaze on her own personal doomsday weapon, working her lower lip with her teeth.
“May feel like anything but helpful, but still something ta keep in mind,” Jacob mused, then grunted. “Now darn it, I forgot that I've got a box of circuitboards for Wade.” With a shake of his head, he sauntered over towards the scaffolding where Wade was standing.
'What's my next plan? I hadn't even thought -this- one all the way through!' Kim thought in a mild panic. If she'd realized how much this resembled the way most of her nemeses had done it, she might have been comforted.
But then again, maybe not.
Shego sprawled on her stomach on the bed, face buried in the pillow, heavy breaths washing into the cloth and sinking down into it, making it warm against her already heated skin.
By now, it was becoming obvious that her animal self was driving not only her senses and some of her emotions, but was very definitely a part of her libido now. It had taken every ounce of self control she had to walk away from Kim, and every ounce of energy she'd built up over her time spent in bed trying to… assuage various aches.
Now she felt sweaty, tired, a different sort of ache… and a bit of that original ache too, still. Sighing, she pulled herself up some and forced her muscles to work, staggering towards her bathroom and the waiting shower.
She knew she ought to take a cold shower, but she really hated cold showers. In fact, despite her usual impatience with waiting for such things, she hit the button set in the wall. Drakken was a sucker for gadgetry, even non-evil gadgetry, and he'd picked this hideout because the bathrooms had “convertible shower-baths”, the floor of the shower moving around, walls shifting slightly as it started changing into a full-size bathtub. It took longer than just putting a plug in a drain, but hey, it was great for attracting the bell-and-whistle obsessed sort of supervillains.
Shego climbed into the tub as the hot water came on and started filling it, wincing a little at the feel of cold, contoured metal on her sweaty skin, shifting around as the hot water level slowly rose around her. She leaned back carefully against the side of the tub, trying not to wince again at the cold, and closed her eyes.
It wasn't like being in her dark ocean. That was… well, it wasn't even really cold. It was more like being numb. Feeling water but not feeling it. Feeling actual water around her actually highlighted just how different it was. This water was hot, it rippled against her, there were even little tingly bits from bubbles rising to the surface.
The water lifted her hair up as the level rose, and finally shut off when it had risen up around her shoulders. Shego opened her eyes a little, staring through the steam drifting off the surface of the water.
What was going on? Kim Possible had “gone villain”, and here Shego was, at her side. And kissing her with a passion and depth that she'd never felt for anyone else before. Why? Was it all part of what had happened to her, some kind of animal reaction? There were vague recollections of something associated with Kim when she was in that mindless animal state, the animal inside KNEW Kim, reacted to her. But was that all it was?
There'd been something special to their rivalry for a long time. Some bit of… was there even a word for it? Something in Kim's grin when they faced off, something in the way that at times, they could actually commiserate in the midst of trying to beat each other into unconsciousness.
Shego flicked a finger through the water a few times, watching droplets arc through the air and hit the surface again with short-lived ripples. What was she going to do now? Were she and Kim a couple? Or were they a villain and villain sidekick with benefits? Were they friends?
How could they be any of it? It still felt like something world-shaking, something huge, should be different. How could she just go on like nothing had happened, when something had happened to her that changed her right down to her DNA?
Well. Okay. A lot had changed. Her brothers were around again, and seeming like they might even be tolerable. There were all these other people around, very different than the sort she was used to hanging out with. And she was working for one of the most competent people on the planet instead of one of the biggest idiots.
Shego sank down in the water until it was almost up to her nose. All of a sudden, the changes to her genetics were starting to seem like the least significant ones to her life.
“Ma'am, are you SURE about this?” Will wheedled.
Dr. Director fought the desire to give him a dirty look. She was in a foul enough mood that it would be an exceptionally mean look, and Will still looked rather pale. He'd probably throw up.
“Kim Possible is simply too unpredictable at this point,” she replied, her tone flat. “Giving her DNAmy is the lesser of various evils at this point. We'll just have to hope that this is a temporary thing, that Possible will come to her senses soon, and thus we'll indulge at least this one demand.”
Dr. Director turned away as some agents started bringing DNAmy out of the cell. She didn't want to watch what she was still almost certain was a mistake walk down the hall. Unfortunately, that put her facing a very large, very sturdy set of elevator doors.
The doors were familiar. She'd stood in this hall and looked at them a number of times. She'd even, once or twice, glimpsed the inside of the elevator they concealed. But she had never actually stepped into the elevator. She didn't even know what the buttons looked like.
Kim was right about that, at least. She'd never had the courage to go down and see Punk face-to-face. The possibility of…
Could it be true that she was staring a very big possibility right in the face?
The idea that had just popped into her head could very likely result in her facing a mandatory psychological evaluation. Not to mention the fact that it would likely never work.
Then why was she suddenly smirking so big?
“No, Speed Devils!”
Shego stepped out of her room, tugging absently at a few places on her bodysuit. Sometimes lately, wearing it made her feel so… confined. She stopped and blinked at the very odd conversation she'd stepped into. Trotting down the hall, she rounded on her youngest brothers standing with their hands on their hips, looking at each other.
“That sounds more like a rapper! Or a fishstick mascot!”
“It does not sound like a rapping fishstick mascot!”
“Hey! Shut up!” Shego interjected, whacking the twins on the backs of their heads lightly, earning a stereo “ow” in return. “What's all the commotion?”
“Well, since we're villains now…”
“We thought we needed a new, villainous name!”
“What, 'Wego' isn't good enough?” Shego asked, folding her arms. After all, she'd kept her own “hero” name for a life of villainy, what was wrong with it?
“We've been talking.”
“We decided we were tired-”
“-of sounding like we're a-”
“-construction toy for kids-”
“-or maybe a toaster waffle.”
“Yeah, well, there is that,” Shego mused, rubbing her chin. “Why not pick individual names, though?”
“… Why would we-”
“Because if I'm going to have to spend time around you two, I want to be able to pick out one or the other to tell stuff too, much of a hive mind as you've got going.” Shego re-folded her arms over her chest, giving the twins a stern look.
“And if we don't?”
The boys folded their arms over their chests, returning the look in kind.
“Well then,” Shego said quietly, leaning forward. “I might have to start using your GIVEN names. Wendell. Wesley.”
First one, then the other twin winced, giving their sister plaintive looks.
“Uh, hellooooo? Not only evil, but big sister! I -so- would.”
“-think about it.”
“You do that.” Shego smirked, ruffling both of their hair in passing.
Shego made her way through the hallways back to the control center, pausing as she saw Kim standing in front of the main screen, hands clasped behind her back. The green-skinned woman slowly walked up to stand beside the redhead.
“Um.” Kim's cheeks colored slightly, but she didn't look away from the screen. “Hi.”
Shego could feel the heat on her own cheeks. But more than that, she thought she could feel the heat coming from Kim as well, touching against her like the warmth radiating off a space heater. The air was full of the scent of arousal, almost blotting out the varied scents of other emotions, soft musk curling past Shego's teeth every time she inhaled, dissipating into her throat.
'Ohhhh, this is gonna be interesting,' the villainess thought in bemusement.
“So what's up?” Shego asked, trying to keep her tone light.
“Global Justice caved. DNAmy's escape pod just launched, we sent some Synthodrones out to collect. Just in case.”
“Wow. You've backed GJ down. No small feat, Pumpkin,” the dark-haired woman replied, letting a little bit of how impressed she was into her voice.
“Do you have to call me things like 'Pumpkin' and 'Princess'?” Kim looked aside at Shego, frowning just a little, before turning back to watch several dots on the screen.
“Yes. Yes, I do.”
“Well, quit. In theory, you're my sidekick now, too. I could at least get a little respect.”
“And if I don't?” Shego challenged, smirking.
Kim slowly turned to look at Shego, face solemn as she replied, “I'll spank you.”
Shego actually snorted, looking at Kim and opening her mouth to reply. Then she closed it, eyes widening slightly. “You'd do it, wouldn't you?”
“… You take no prisoners when you flirt, huh, Possible?”
“Oh is -that- what we're doing?” Kim said cheerfully.
“Or something like it. So, what's going on? Are all the dots being good little blippy things?”
“Looks like. Wade hasn't been calling me to say that anything's messed up. So far, so good.”
“So, what then?”
“We've been getting a genetics lab all set up for Amy, so-”
“No. I meant, what for villainous stuff?”
“… I was hoping you wouldn't ask about that,” Kim said with a sigh, lowering her head. “I really don't know, Shego. I've been thinking about getting Amy and hopefully getting her to help you, and that's really it.”
“Don't let it get you down too much.” Shego leaned back against a console, settling her rear against the edge of it. Lounging about in a villain's hideout was a skill she'd honed. “Most villains don't think much beyond the scheme they're working on at the moment. Then they just sort of stumble around until they trip over their next one.”
“So, you're saying…?”
“I'm saying, don't worry. Supervillainy is basically one long string of 'Oh so THAT'S what I do next'.”
“Oh. Well, that's kind of a relief. I guess.” Kim scratched at her cheek, then smiled brightly at the other woman. “Thanks, Shego.”
Shego actually felt her cheeks color, and fought the urge to stammer out something that would sound like “aw, gawrsh”. Damn that smile was devastating when it was aimed at her. Her stomach did a few flip-flops. Then a few more. Then it snarled at her.
'Hm. That's not butterflies. … Oh.'
In fact, now that she was paying a little more attention to it, her stomach was telling her how empty it was. As if giving it even the slightest focus brought it to full bore, she felt a distinct ache in her middle, and a tightness growing around her eyes, her teeth trying to grind against each other.
“Uh… 'scuse me, Princess,” Shego murmured, turning to walk away. “Gotta go grab something from the kitchen.”
“Hey! What'd I say about the nicknames?!”
“Later,” the green-skinned woman replied distantly, disappearing down the hall.
'Hm. Must not have been feeling good, if she couldn't quip,' Kim mused, frowning. 'Hope it's nothing serious.' Then her attention was taken up by a beep from a nearby console, and she slapped a button. “Go, Wade.”
“The retrieval team is landing with DNAmy now, Kim. Did you want to go see her?”
“Please and thank you.” Kim shut the channel, then hurried off down the hallway towards the landing area. Before she got there, she forced herself to slow up, turn her steps into longer strides, and tuck her hands behind her back. Being a supervillain demanded a certain amount of panache, after all.
A pair of synthodrones were awkwardly helping DNAmy step out of the small aircraft they'd used to pick her up, and seemed to be having some trouble involving Amy's hips and the somewhat lesser size of the aircraft door.
“DNAmy, glad you could make it,” Kim commented, doing her best not to grin or giggle at the sight.
“Th-thaaaank you, dear,” Amy grunted, before squeaking as she popped free. The synthodrones managed to keep her from falling on her face, though they themselves toppled over and went rolling, until they actually fell over the edge of the landing area.
Kim closed her eyes and sighed internally. Maybe Drakken had been so nuts as his way of dealing with the silliness. Clearing her throat, she opened her eyes and focused on DNAmy. “We've got a lab all set up for you. Do you think you could get to work right away?”
“Well I suppose I could. But what's in it for me?”
“Room, board, and not going back to a GJ holding cell.”
“Sounds reasonable, I suppose.”
Kim started to say something else, before Wade's voice came over the loudspeakers.
“Kim! Something big's happening on the news!”
Kim blinked, then beckoned for Amy to follow and made her way back to the watch room. Almost everyone had assembled, staring at a solemn-looking newscaster.
“-captured the plane while it was still in transit over the Atlantic. Their current plans are unknown, but this does not appear to be some sort of suicide attack at this time. The suspects are believed to be from the small country of Ilnasia, and-”
“Suspects,” Mego snorted. “Is there some doubt that these guys waving around knives are in fact hijackers?”
“How'd they even get 'em on board?” Ron queried, biting his lower lip.
“They're not sure. May have disguised them as part of something else. There goes your ability to carry-on hairdryers.”
“How many people are on board?” Kim's mother said quietly.
Wade bent over his keyboard a moment, then sucked in a breath, before raising his head. “… Eighty. And fifty of them are kids from an exchange program”
“Someone oughtta do something,” Williams grumbled, scowling darkly.
“… Yeah,” Kim whispered. “Someone ought to.”
Sucha Bihklyr leaned back in his cushioned chair and smirked at the drama playing out in high definition on his big-screen plasma. The decadent pigs were really in an uproar over this one. Ilnasia's star was going to be rising in certain circles, and Sucha was looking forward to the good relations it would bring from them. As long as he made sure to make a few half-assed declarations that his country gave no official support to the terrorists, he should be safe from any real retribution. Life was good.
Then the floor shook heavily under his feet. Sucha yelped and almost fell out of his chair, clinging to the armrests. The shaking subsided after a few moments, though Sucha noticed that the temperature was rising. He wasn't sure who to call first, his aide to demand an explanation, or the repairman for the air conditioner.
Before he could make up his mind, his aide ran into the room without being summoned. “Illustrious leader! Illustrious leader!”
“What the hell is the matter with you?!” Sucha boomed, rising to his feet. “I didn't summon you! I ought to give you a few days in a cell to think about bursting in on me!”
“Forgive me, illustrious leader, but… but look!” The man pointed a trembling finger at the tall windows lining one side of the office.
Scowling, Sucha deigned to walk the five steps over to the window and peer out. What he saw almost caused him to spontaneously empty his bladder. Between the thirty-foot driveway that encircled the entire house and the well-groomed gardens, where once had been a thirty-foot-wide hedge, was now a moat made of seething orange and red lava.
“W-what has happened?” Sucha stammered, eyes wide.
“I happened, 'illustrious leader'.”
Sucha wheeled around, staring at the redheaded teenage girl who was now appearing on his television.
“No. I'm not a new news anchor. My name's Kim Possible.”
“How dare you speak to me?! You, you, you heathen pig girlchild!” Sucha spat. “And with such disrespect?! I will-”
“You will shut up. Now!” Kim snapped. To his own surprise as much as anyone's, Sucha actually shut up. “Listen closely. Your new moat can either go away, or get a whole lot bigger. And I wouldn't think about evacuating yourself via helicopter. We've got that taken care of, too.”
“What… what do you want?!”
“I want you to contact the Ilnasian terrorists that have taken control of that plane over the Atlantic. I want you to tell them to drop their weapons and to sit down and behave themselves until the plane lands, and they can be properly arrested by nice, angry law enforcement people.”
“I-I have no control over them! The Ilnasian government does not condone terrorism! It-”
“Shut up,” Kim repeated mildly. Again, Sucha shut up. “Let me be blunt. I'm a supervillain. I don't care about the excuses you feed the world to keep yourself from being bombed into your component molecules. I'm just a very angry woman with a volcano-maker. And in that vein, if you -don't- have control over those men on that plane, I suggest you find a way to -get- them under control within the next two hours, unless you want to take a very, very hot bath.”
With that, the TV screen went blank.
“… Illustrious leader, what will we-”
“Shut up,” Sucha grumbled, turning back to stare out at the roiling river of molten rock surrounding his mansion. He was already drowning in the irony, he had no desire to drown in lava.
The door of Punk's cell slowly swung open. It had more of a hiss than a squeak… Punk had somehow expected it to squeak after all the time it had been closed. She stared at the woman standing in the doorway, mentally adding a ponytail, subtracting an inch of height and the eyepatch, then letting her reminiscences drift away with the impact that, after so long, here they were again, face-to-face. Well, across a room, anyway.
“Heya, Betsy,” Punk said slowly. “You look pretty good.”
“Punk.” Dr. Director nodded, once, her face an impassive mask.
“So, uh. I'd offer you something, but…” Punk waved a hand, indicating the empty cell, and the remnants of her meal tray that were steadily dissolving into nothing. The chains of her manacles clinked as she moved, and a drop of blood fell from her soaked sleeves down to spatter on the floor. Punk stared at it for a moment, resisting the impulse to apologize. It somehow seemed rude to go around bleeding in front of other people. … Boy, she had been in here a long time, hadn't she?
“I didn't come to trade quips,” Dr. Director replied coolly.
“… Then what did you come here for?”
“There's a young woman named Kim Possible. She used to be a hero. Lately, she's been engaging in some… very unsavory activities. They've now elevated to terrorism, with her making demands of a country's highest elected official, using the threat of violence if he doesn't comply.”
“… Lemme guess. Pretty teenager, red hair, green eyes?”
Dr. Director was still for a moment, before giving a very small nod. Punk snorted softly. Somehow, the kid hadn't struck her as the sort to declare Jihad. She wasn't getting the whole story here, but considering she'd gotten no story at all for a pretty long time, she didn't feel up to arguing.
“Her actions have caused a diplomatic nightmare, besides being totally inexcusable in their own right,” Dr. Director continued in that carefully neutral tone. “I've been authorized to go to any and all lengths to disable her operation, capture her, and bring her to justice.”
“And that's where I fit in, I'm guessing.”
“Correct. We're going to send you up against Kim Possible and her cohorts. We want them alive, so try to restrain yourself,” Dr. Director added, the tiniest trace of venom entering her tone.
Punk scowled. She sat back against the wall, now glaring at her former archnemesis. Suddenly, every last bit of fun had gone out of her. Great. “So what's in it for me?”
Dr. Director took her hands out from behind her back, revealing that she was holding a few papers. The one in front was a glossy photo of something that looked like the stereotype of a deserted island paradise.
“It's five miles across, and completely isolated from the world by a large reef. We drop you there. Every month you get an air drop of food and supplies. You never leave the island again. But no cell. No chains.”
Punk fought to keep her eyes from going wide and her jaw from going slack, but barely managed. Swallowing, she fought down her surprise, and forced skepticism back to the surface. “And how're you gonna know I won't just swim for it?”
“Because you'll be injected with one of these.” Dr. Director slid the island picture behind another glossy photo, this one of what looked like a white robot spider floating in something yellow. “It's a tiny robot that will swim through your body, attaching itself to different vital organs. Moving around, to keep you from risking trying to dig it out. Not only will it allow us to keep track of your position down to one square foot, if at any time you disobey an order or go outside the mission parameters you've been given, it will detonate with a charge that I've been assured even you can't heal from in time to ward off death.”
“… Snazzy,” the pink-haired woman said in a dry tone.
“There's no middle ground on this, Punk. You do what we say, when we say it, and you get to spend the rest of your life in an exile that most people would think of as a tropical vacation. If you say no, I step outside of this cell, the door closes, and it -never- opens again. It's that simple.”
Punk looked down at her hands and flexed her fingers. She almost wanted to say no. Just to deny that the spunky, smiling girl she'd known fifteen years ago hadn't turned into the politics-minded, all-or-nothing, heartless administrator that was standing in front of her and talking to her in a voice that sounded like the one she'd spent nights dreaming of hearing again, but drained of life.
But spite wasn't going to get her anywhere. Literally. After a few moments, she forced a smirk and looked up. “Sounds like fun. But there's a couple of others I'm gonna need to help me out. If they're not locked away too, I'm sure you can bust out a little incentive to get them to sign up.”
Punk's smirk became a little more genuine as a pair of GJ operatives made their way into the room and approached cautiously. She even managed not to wince as one of them injected her in the neck with a compressed air hypodermic before they began undoing the chains around her wrists. “Oh. And there's one more thing.”
Dr. Director held her hand out to the side, and a rather weasely-looking young agent handed her a plastic-wrapped bundle, which she tossed on the floor.
“Aw, Betsy. You kept them all this time.” Punk stood up, the agents scurrying away from her as if still frightened. She looked down at her wrists, watching as the holes in them gradually closed, the skin turning whole and unblemished for the first time in almost a decade and a half. Then she grabbed the collar of the prison orange one-piece and pulled, ripping the thing almost completely in half, her breasts bouncing free. She watched Dr. Director as she did it, and was pleased at the faint blush that appeared.
The weasely guy fainted. Poor schmuck.
Yanking the sleeves off and bending down to tear the legs away, Punk squatted down and pulled open the plastic, pulling out garments smelling faintly of something mothball-like. First on went the stretchy black pants with the hips cut out, and she was gratified to find that they fit exactly the same as she remembered. Hooray for superscience.
Then she pulled on the tie-dyed t-shirt with the midriff ripped off at an angle, a few strings still dangling across her bare stomach. She pulled on her beloved leather biker jacket, the leather feeling a little stiff after being folded up for so long, but she knew that it would break back in against her within a day. Finally, she flopped down to pull on and lace up her combat boots, tying them in bulky double-knots. This was great! She felt like she was twenty again!
Standing again, Punk patted herself down, checking her pockets, as well as looking over at the empty plastic. Surprisingly enough, her wallet was still zipped away in its pocket. Hey, she'd had ten bucks! Kickass! Credit cards were all expired though. Damn. Well, at least the debt collectors had probably given up long ago. But as she finished checking her pockets, she frowned. Something was missing. She looked up at Dr. Director to say something, then saw silver flash through the air, and snapped her hand up to catch the tossed item.
“There. That's everything. Can we please get down to business?” Dr. Director said icily.
Chuckling, Punk held the silver chain wide and dropped it over her head, making sure it missed her ears. The little silver skull with its ruby eyes and cute kitty ears on top settled into place on her chest.
“Sure. Let's get this party started.”
-End Part Three