‘This sucks,’ thought Kim Possible as she slammed her staff across the side of a mugger's head. Beating up criminals wasn't what sucked, of course, but her current state did. She was soaked to the skin, the rain seeming to seek out every little dry bit of her and do its best to reach that part. The ski mask she'd pulled on was soaked too, and the unpleasant feeling of it clinging to her face was distracting, as was the feel of rain falling down the back of her leather jacket and going down the back of her pants.
Still, she pushed through it, knowing she had other things to do. Maybe she'd just have to get used to these things. She whirled to face the other mugger she knew was to one side, and quickly checked herself, almost stumbling in her attempt not to hit Ron. He'd darted between her and the mugger to attack, and for a few moments Kim felt afraid, knowing she'd been put off-balance and vulnerable.
But the other mugger was down, and Kim looked around for the third. She saw Yori watching the couple the muggers had intended to victimize escaping, but she didn't see the third mugger. Or Shego.
“Shego!” she called, actually panicking for a moment.
“Here.” The black-clad woman walked around the corner of the alley, dropping the limp form of the mugger on the ground. “Chased a runner.”
Kim stared at Shego, trying to force her heartrate back down. “… Okay,” she allowed after a moment, then reached into her jacket to take out her grapple launcher.
The first night wasn't going very well.
Three attempted break-ins, an attempted rape, and a carjacking foiled later, Kim was practically seething. She couldn't turn around without -someone- getting in her way! Ron was always getting between her and whatever secondary bad guy she was ready to move on to, Yori was always darting around the place pursuing whatever secondary objective came into her head, and Shego would go running off to do what she pleased without a word.
And as the night went on, they had the gall to start getting SNIPPY with her. Their tones got more curt, answers more clipped and at times sarcastic. Kim began to wonder just what sort of bad habits the three of them had picked up at that Yamanouchi school.
She crouched at the opening of an alley, glowering across the way at where men in ski masks similar to her own were loading crates into the back of a freight truck. The masks, as well as the obvious tears in the door where they'd pried the lock away from it to get it up said this wasn't just a middle-of-the-night loading run.
“Let's go,” Shego whispered behind her. “We can bust them up before they get any more loaded on.”
“Not yet,” Kim murmured back.
She could feel Shego shift anxiously behind her, and tried not to let it distract her. Though by this point it was intensely aggravating. But Kim kept still, partly just by force of will, and watched the men load things.
“They're gonna get away,” Shego snapped five minutes later. “Ron, take the guys in the truck, Yori, take out the driver!” And with that, Shego slipped right past Kim and took off across the street at a run.
“Shego!” Kim hissed, clenching her fists around the staff as the other two went after the green-skinned woman. Cursing under her breath, Kim ran after them.
Shego leapt up onto the loading dock and darted inside the warehouse, slamming her palm across one thief's jaw and sending him sprawling to the ground. Ron jumped into the back of the truck and did much the same to the man nearest the open back, while Yori hopped onto the side of the cab and raised a hand with a gas disk to throw it through the window.
And that was the precise moment everything went to hell.
The truck jumped into motion with a shriek of tires searching for traction on the wet pavement. Yori swung backwards with the motion, thudding against the side of the truck and dropping the disk. Inside, one of the other thugs had pulled a gun, and only the lurch of the truck starting and throwing off both his aim and Ron's position made the bullet miss as he fired. In the warehouse, two thieves had drawn uzis and were firing at Shego, causing her to dive for cover behind a stack of boxes.
Kim glanced back and forth, looking at the interior of the warehouse being sporadically lit by the flashes of gunshots, then at the truck gaining speed and pulling away from her. Cursing, she leapt up and threw her staff inside, then landed and took off running after the truck.
The spinning quarterstaff struck one thief's outstretched hand and made him drop the weapon with a yelp, the impact on his extremity turning him slightly to one side. Shego leapt out of concealment, hands striking his shoulders and driving him hard to the ground. The other man, confused and trying not to fire on his accomplice, hesitated in pulling the trigger. Shego flipped up from her position and swung a kick at his head, sending him flying, the uzi giving a few last shots in random directions as his finger squeezed spastically.
Meanwhile, Ron had tackled the other man in the back of the truck and wrested the gun from him, but was having trouble dealing with him due to the bumpy ride and boxes tumbling and sliding around. For all his ninja skills, he found himself wrestling around, punching and being punched almost futilely, like a schoolyard tussle.
Yori had managed to hold onto her grip, and glanced aside as she heard Kim shout out. The redhead was at a flat run to keep up with the accelerating truck, but had caught up with the cab section and was holding out a hand. Yori swung one of her own hands out to grab the masked redhead's wrist and haul her up. Kim gave a terse nod of acknowledgement, then climbed up the back of the cab and onto the roof.
The driver screamed and yanked the wheel hard to one side as Kim came in through the windshield, feet-first amidst a shower of safety glass. The truck swerved wildly to the right, and Yori gave a short screech of her own as she was almost thrown off. Kim twisted on the seat and grabbed the wheel with one fist, slamming the other across the driver's head.
The truck lurched and gave a few more small swerves, before finally stopping. Kim quickly threw open the door and ran around to the back, ignoring the trail of shattered and broken crates and the scattered action figures that had filled them. “Ron!”
“Ugh. I'm okay, KP.” Ron sat up slowly, rubbing at his head, a small trickle of blood running down one side of his face. “Box fell on us, but this guy got most of it.”
Kim nodded brusquely, then glanced over her shoulder, noticing Shego trotting over holding her staff. As Yori circled around to join them, Kim turned and walked down the street, grumbling just loud enough for the others to hear. “Let's go back. We've done enough.”
It was a surly and silent group that trudged its way up the stairs of the hideout and into the dressing area. Kim peeled off her wet mask and threw it on the floor, then leaned her staff against the wall before shrugging out of her coat.
“What exactly is your problem, anyway?” Shego finally demanded after she'd pulled off the outer layer of her ninja garb, leaving her clad in a plain black sports bra and panties.
“… My problem?” Kim said in a low tone, turning towards Shego.
“Yes! You're supposed to be the alpha! Why the hell weren't you leading us?!” the green-skinned woman demanded.
Kim almost thought she could feel the hair on her neck stand up, and she wondered if that was what it was like to have her hackles raise. That was it, that was the last straw. “You want me to be an alpha?! Fine!”
She lunged forward, a hand grabbing Shego's shoulder, the other one arm. She twisted and toppled the other woman onto her back on the floor and swung astride her, shifting her grip to put one hand at Shego's throat, the other pressing down on her chest to pin her.
“KP!” Ron yelped in shock.
“Kim! Stop this!” Yori added, starting forward.
“Back off!” Kim snapped, making Yori hesitate. Then the redhead glared down at the shocked Shego. “You disobey my orders, you take off your own, then you have the audacity to bitch me out for being a bad leader? Well how's this, are you liking me acting like a wolf pack leader now?”
“Can't say I'm loving it,” Shego replied in a subdued tone.
“…” Kim's grip immediately lessened as her shoulders slumped. Sighing, she stood up and stepped aside, offering Shego her hand. “I'm sorry.”
“No. You were right, I guess.” Shego rubbed her throat briefly, then took Kim's hand and hauled herself to her feet. “I told you to be an alpha. Guess I wasn't careful what I wished for.”
“I think we're kinda all too on-edge to talk about this,” Ron murmured, rubbing the back of his neck.
“… I thought perhaps I was the only one,” Yori added quietly.
“No. No, I think we've all got frayed nerves.” Sighing, Kim unbuttoned and pulled off her shirt and threw it on the growing pile of clothing. Unbuttoning her slacks, she pushed them and her panties down, then pulled off her bra. “Hot showers for everyone, then we'll see if we can talk about it.”
By silent agreement, Kim and Shego headed towards the bathroom in back, while Ron and Yori went to the shower in the dressing area.
“I'm sorry,” Kim said again as she turned on the hot water. “I… can't believe I hit you.”
“You didn't hit me,” Shego pointed out, sliding up behind Kim and slipping her arms around the redhead's middle. “You put me in a slightly rough pin to make a point. And I was kinda asking for it.”
Kim winced, even as she leaned back against the other woman. “Please don't use phrases like ‘I was asking for it’.”
Shego rolled her eyes, raising a hand to slap Kim's shoulder. “Lord. Look, that was NOT abuse, okay? Maybe for someone else it would be, but you not only know how tough I am, you know how I react to a lot of things.”
“I… guess. I was just…”
“Asserting yourself as the alpha. Knocking around your bitch, who was getting way too far out of line.” Shego smirked and leaned her head down, gently nipping Kim's earlobe with a fang. “It's cool, pumpkin. Honest.”
“Mmph. If you say so.” Kim pulled away enough to step into the shower, Shego sliding in behind her.
Shego grinned as she ran her hands through Kim's ski-mask hair, working the hot water through the tangles and rubbing at her lover's scalp. Hearing Kim groan softly in pleasure, she decided the mood had lightened enough to tease. “Would you feel better if I ‘sentenced’ you?”
Kim sighed as she flopped out on her back on the bed, spreading her arms to the sides. “We should have gone over this some more, trained together more. We weren't ready.”
“That's kinda harsh, doncha think, KP?” Ron frowned and sat down on the edge of the bed, looking over at his friend.
“No, she's right.” Shego scooted back to lean against the headboard. “The three of us learned to work together, but that was with me in charge. I kept wanting to do things our way.”
“And I was used to doing things on my own. I'm not even used to Ron being a really active… um…”
“Competent,” Ron prompted, grinning a bit.
“Right. … Sorry. Um, competent part of the team. I kept wanting to do everything myself, or wanting you all to just know what I wanted you to do.”
“You were waiting for something, with the truck,” Yori posited as she lay out on the bed as well, at a right angle to Kim. “But since you didn't tell us you were waiting for the right time…”
“It just looked like I was hesitating, since you guys are used to Shego going right for the throat,” Kim finished dryly. “Right?”
“Pretty much.” Shego chuckled softly. “Not that you aren't good at that, too.”
“Hush,” Kim muttered, blushing.
“I guess we screwed up pretty good, huh?” Ron said with a sigh.
“So not the drama, Ron. We just made some mistakes. We've made some big steps in getting used to being a whole pack here, in the lair, we just need to focus on becoming one out there.” Kim rubbed her face. “Sorry guys, looks like it's back into the training room for us. We've gotta come up with scenarios, some rules to follow…”
“I can add a lot there.” Shego shook her head. “Hego might have been a pompous windbag of a hero, but he was actually pretty good at leading the team. Just… really clueless about a lot of other stuff.”
“Yeah, I always meant to ask about that.” Kim looked aside at Shego, forehead furrowing a little. “Did Aviarius used to do that thing of calling you in your home base while you were still on the team?”
“… And you never thought to point this out as a bad thing to Hego?”
“Yes! … No. … Kind of.” Shego shrugged. “I was still a bit young and naïve when we first got into the hero thing, so I took it a little for granted. By the time I got old enough to realize how stupid it was, I'd also gotten wise enough to realize that Hego kind of liked it that way, and Aviarius wasn't really that dangerous anyway. Or maybe I'd just gotten cynical enough to not care, I dunno.”
“Anyway. We'll figure out whether we'll keep going out or if we need to concentrate on this first tomorrow. For now, let's get some sleep.”
“You know, princess, I've been thinking of something.”
“Hm?” Kim looked up from the table where she'd been going over some city roadmaps and making notes.
“You're basically still fighting in regular clothes. And I can tell that ski mask makes you pretty miserable, especially when it's raining.”
“Which it usually is,” Kim muttered.
“Which it usually is,” Shego repeated agreeably. “So we should probably come up with something different for you.”
“A ninja costume, you mean? I don't know, Shego… I dunno if I wanna be a… -costumed- hero, you know?”
“A costume can be pretty important. It lets the bad guys know what they're dealing with.” Shego rubbed her chin. “Trust me, when street punks and stuff think they might be dealing with someone just trying to horn in on their heist, they get a lot more violent than dealing with what's essentially an authority figure.”
“Huh. Really?” Kim turned that one over in her head for a few moments, then nodded slowly. “Makes sense. A ‘good guy’, however scary or rough he might be, is probably just going to beat you up and send you to jail. Another ‘bad guy’ might just kill you outright.”
“You already know that a persona can be really valuable. That's what the whole thing with Hench is about. It worked on him, why not the bad guys out there?”
Kim rubbed her chin, then nodded. “I'll think about it.”
Hours later, Kim sat up and stretched, then gave a little rueful yelp and rubbed at a place on her back that she could swear had never twinged her before from long periods sitting hunched over papers.
‘Must be this chair,’ she though grumpily, then looked at her work. She'd begun outlining patrol routes that they could try out, and after a few more moments’ consideration she decided she'd made enough headway to call it a night. She headed downstairs and saw Ron and Yori flopped out in bed, already asleep. Shego and the jaguar weren't there, however.
Kim hmmmed, then wandered past the bed and into the hallway that had been put in when they'd sectioned off areas of the floor into rooms. She knocked lightly on the door of Shego's private area a few times, then poked her head inside.
Shego was laying back against a stack of pillows, fast asleep. One arm was slumped across the jaguar laying along her side, rumbling quietly. A book dangled from Shego's hand, and a few other papers were scattered across the bed.
Smiling, Kim stepped into the room and walked over. The jaguar raised its head, and Kim rubbed between its ears for a moment before gently taking the book from Shego's hand and turning it to look at the cover. She blinked in surprise as she realized it was a catalog of college courses, and looked at the other papers, spotting some brochures and pamphlets.
“Mmph. Kim?” Shego raised her head a little.
“Sorry, baby, didn't mean to wake you.” Kim smiled and brushed the backs of her fingers along Shego's forehead. “Planning on enrolling?”
“Oh.” Shego slowly sat up, picking up a few of the pamphlets. “Nah. Just… heh.” She rubbed the side of her head, looking embarrassed. “You know how some people gather materials and imagine vacations they couldn't possibly afford? I've been on those.”
“But not to college,” Kim supplied, sitting down on the edge of the small bed. The jaguar nosed her leg, so she began rubbing its head again.
“Nope. Never went, left my family and everybody not too long after high school. I dunno… I guess I've still got my idealistic dreams about what it might've been like.” Shego shrugged and settled back again, laying her arm along the jaguar's back. “But I was still so insecure about how I looked back then it probably just would have been miserable, too.”
“You never know. I guess we probably never would have met, though.” Kim considered for a moment, then said, “I have to admit, I never pictured you as missing not going to college.”
“I'm full of surprises, I guess.”
“Always. But it makes me think we really need to talk more.” Kim turned around and crawled around to Shego's other side, settling in against her. “Like… tell me one thing you'd want to be in our lives somewhere down the line.”
“Huh?” Shego blinked.
“You know, something like… a house with a white picket fence, world domination, whatever. Don't care how far out it is, I want to hear some fantasy of yours that involves us being together ten years from now.”
Shego was silent for long moments, squeezing Kim against her. Her voice was quiet as she finally murmured, “Kids.”
Kim blinked, and looked up at Shego in surprise. “Kids? Really?”
Nodding, Shego ran a hand up her face and across the jaguar-mark over her eye. “I don't know. Years ago I had that dream, and it's been way in the back of my mind ever since. Sujigaki actually asked us to take over Yamanouchi one day, and with that and mom putting me on the road to being a Teacher…” Shego closed her eyes, sliding both arms around Kim instead of just one. “I know it sounds ridiculously mooshy, but I want that. I want to teach kids and make them strong so they can face the world. I want them to learn from my mistakes…” She squeezed Kim again. “… And my victories. And I want some of those kids to be ours.”
Kim stayed silent for awhile, resting her head on Shego's chest and listening to the faint thud of her heartbeat. Finally, she simply nodded. “We can talk about that someday, then. It's not like there aren't lots of kids out there that could use a mom and dad, though we're not exactly able to go through official channels. Or if we want our own, we do have a mad scientist or two we could ask. Though with DNAmy we'd have to look over her shoulder to make sure the kids didn't come out half puppy or something.”
“… You'd really want to?” Shego stared at Kim with something bordering on disbelief.
“Yeah. Someday when we've stabilized our lives a little, somehow. I'd want to talk about it, at least.”
Shego closed her eyes and squeezed Kim as tight against her as she could. Somewhere deep inside, the beast thrummed with pleasure at the idea of actually reproducing with their mate.
“Mmph… Shego… ribs compressing.”
“Oops. Sorry, pumpkin.”
-End Part Sixteen