Honor Bound

Chapter 12

Stand up and then standoff


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TITLE: Stand up and then standoff

AUTHOR: StarvingLunatic

DISCLAIMER: I don’t own these characters.

SUMMARY: AU. Set in Japan during the Tokugawa era. Director Betty recuits samurai Kim and ninja Yori for a job to find out about a plot to overthrow the govt. The job: go undercover as geisha.

TYPE: Kim/Shego, Yori

RATING: US: PG-13 / DE: 12

Words: 6891

A/N: on my profile, there is a pic based on this story by Sapphicspencil. It's cool; readers should go look.

Shego stared outside a window with a dull expression in her emerald eyes and wondered why the Shogun’s forces were not regrouping for their daily, useless assaults on the castle, as they had been doing for well over a week now. Had they given up finally? Had they realized that they were no match for Drakken’s guns and rockets? She thought that was a little funny.

It was funny in an ironic sort of way if their enemies had given up. They were running out of weapons after repealing the Shogun’s troops so many times. They did not have an endless supply, after all, and the castle did not have the resources that Drakken required to make more or anything like that. It did not help matters that some of the warriors wielding the weapons went overboard and wasted ammunition.

Ah well, she thought. It had to end sometime. She did not mind that things were ending, but she would like to get some fighting in on a personal level. She doubted that the Shogun’s forces had given up entirely, but she wondered what they were going to do since they could not make it passed the weapons guarding the castle and they could not set the castle on fire like they kept trying to do.

Shego hoped that they were not going to attempt to starve them out of the castle. They had food enough for months and that was even without rationing things. She doubted that they would be able to ration things anyway. Drakken and Junior would more than likely manage to screw that up somehow.

She left the window with an almost weary turn and decided to go see what the Seniors and Drakken were up to. She was willing to bet that they were gloating prematurely because the Shogun’s men were not lined up outside of the castle for the first time since the siege began over a week ago. She was not too off when she entered the room to find them laughing and making fun of the soldiers that were no longer pestering them. She rolled her eyes to the spectacle and wondered if the fellows could somehow manage to get more annoying than they already were.

“Did you see the way they ran off yesterday?” Drakken asked the Seniors.

The Seniors only laughed, showing that they had seen the samurais run off like a group of insects when someone swatted at them. They had inflected quite a few casualties yesterday. The rockets and guns were so effective that their enemies were worried about even going to collect their dead or wounded because the guards in the castle were not below firing at them when they were trying to take corpses and injured men off the battlefield. But, that did not stop some people from trying.

They only thought it was funny when their enemies tried to pull the dead or wounded off of the battlefield and got sniped for their troubles. It was like a joke to them. Shego was not of like mind in that and their laughing about it was a bit stomach turning for her. She held the belief that one should respect a formidable opponent and remember that they were people too, even if they were the enemy. They had a right to collect their deceased and offer them a proper sent off rather than being murdered in cold-blood while trying to do right by their fallen comrades and were not even looking to fight at the time.

The pale woman considered that her clowns were not as funny when they were not the underdogs. They were just cruel men with no sense of honor. She had expected more from the elder Senior, but then as she watched, she noticed that he was not laughing much. The elder Senior did seem to notice the gravity of the situation that they were in and his expression showed that. He seemed to be in deep thought with an intense look in his eyes while he stared at the floor.

“You know they’re not lined up outside today, right, ojiisan?” Shego asked, speaking to Senior. They might not be getting along, but she figured that she would talk to the one person that understood how serious everything was.

“You suspect they’re plotting something?” the old man inquired. He still planned horrible, terrible things for Shego when everything was over, but for the moment, he respected her attention to their problem and her offerings to solve their troubles.

“They’re not plotting anything. They’re scared of my power!” Drakken declared and he began cackling.

“They’re not going to give up so easily, especially if a certain person is in charge. They’re going to stop coming at us in a way we expect and just come in a way that we don’t see coming,” Shego stated while fighting back a tired sigh because she could not believe the cerulean inventor thought that things would end so easily.

“No matter how they come at us, my weapons will stop them dead in their tracks!” Drakken argued.

“Do you think you can guess what they’re thinking of?” Senior inquired, speaking to Shego.

He asked Shego because she was the one that figured when the enemy was going to send in ninjas, which had happened a few times since the siege began. She had been right on those occasions and saved them by making sure there were enough guards on patrol to handle the assassins with little problem. So, he guessed that it was safe to trust her on things when it came to the battle, but he was still planning to teach her that she was beneath them when it was all over. Maybe he would force her to be his son’s slave, he considered.

“I really don’t know what else they might be doing, unless they sent word to Edo that they were getting their asses kicked,” Shego said.

“And what would that gain them?” Senior asked.

“They did confiscate a lot of stuff when they arrested you lot, didn’t they?” she pointed out.

“You think they sent word for the weapons they took?” he guessed.

“Hey, fight fire with fire,” she answered with a bit of a shrug. She figured that if she was in the outside army’s place, she would send word for those weapons to try to balance the scale.

“They can’t do that. They can’t just use my weapons. They don’t even know how!” Drakken objected.

“What’s to know? I point the hollowed out end at my enemy, I pull a trigger, I blow the enemy up, end of the tutorial,” Shego remarked. She could train a monkey to use those weapons and probably cause the same amount of carnage as the guards at the Seniors’ castle. She wondered where they found such low-lives that got such a kick out of taking a human life in such a grotesque manner. Fighting was one thing, even killing, which she was not a fan off, was one thing, but the guards seemed to enjoy the slaughter much too much in her opinion.

“It’s not so simple,” the blue inventor argued.

“How is not so simple? You didn’t even make it so a person would have to know how to load the stupid gun. A baby could operate those things,” she stated.

Shego supposed that it was genius for Drakken to make such easy to use weapons, but there was obviously a downside to it all. He did not seem to think of that when he was improving the gun or those rockets that he created. The only thing on his mind was causing enough destruction to take over his half of the empire. Well, she figured that he had just learned his lesson in planning things out better.

“Well, I had to make them easy to use or we’d have had to waste time training an army too and we obviously didn’t have time for that,” Drakken pointed out to win the argument as far as he was concerned.

“I didn’t say we did. I’m just saying since your guns are so easy to use, it’s very plausible that they sent word back to Edo to have those things shipped here. We should’ve had spies within their ranks to prevent this from happening or to at least alert us if it did happen,” Shego said.

“It’s hard to get spies within those ranks,” Senior replied. He wished that he could get men that were as loyal as the ones that worked so closely to the Shogun.

“I know what you mean, but it would’ve made this easier. If they did send back for those weapons, we might be in trouble, especially if they have those exploding rockets. They could easily destroy the walls or even the castle, especially if they took enough of them,” the pale woman commented. They might be in a bit of a spot, she thought.

“This is true. We have to figure out what they’re doing and how to counter them,” Senior said. “Drakken, do you have anything for that?”

“Something to stop my own weapons?” Drakken asked as if he thought that the elder gentleman was a fool for even suggesting something like that. From the look on his face, it was shocking that he did not come right out and call the lord stupid.

“Yeah, it would be good to have a defense just as strong as your offense, after all,” Shego pointed out.

“Why would I make something to stop the weapons? The Shogun could have gotten his hands on that and then we’d have been finished,” the cerulean male retorted, once again feeling as if he had won the argument with that statement. He thought that it was utterly ridiculous for them to even suggest that he should have made something that could have halted his own weapons. How was he supposed to know that it was possible for someone to maybe use the firearms against them? Something like that happening seemed completely outrageous to his brain.

Shego and Senior looked at the inventor as if he had two heads. They just could not believe what they were hearing. They then looked at each other and seemed to silently agree that they were the only two competent ones there. It seemed that they were going to have to depend on each other for plans and counterattacks. Now they were just going to have to figure out what their enemies were up to and what they were going to do about it.

In the back of his mind, Senior decided that he was not going to split the empire with Drakken anymore. Someone so bizarre and scatterbrained did not need to rule over people, in his opinion. Besides, it would be so easy to take the other half from Drakken and why should he settle for a half when he could have the whole country? So, now he had to do something about Drakken and his pushy, wench of a bodyguard, after he did something about the Shogun anyway.

“Director-sama, why not just let us go in tonight?” Kim inquired.

The redhead asked the question because she and her team were prepared to go into the castle that night, but it seemed like the one-eyed woman was not ready to allow them to do their thing. They had a map of the area, as well as the weapons to combat against the guards, especially at night. But, it would seem that Betty had other ideas now that a bunch of crates had finally arrived. Kim did not know what was in the boxes, but she was willing to bet that it spelled bad news.

“You don’t need to do something that risky now. We should be able to take down the wall and storm the place,” Betty replied while patting one of the crates. She was pleased that the boxes had arrived so rapidly because she would rather not do something incredibly risky like the olive-eyed samurai desired to do.

“But, that could cost a lot of lives on both sides,” Kim pointed out.

“But, if you go in there, there’s a huge chance of you not coming back out,” Betty countered. No matter what, the options that they had would involve risk and death, but she would rather they fight against their opponents on a level playing field than Kim going in with her friends and getting lost and killed like the others before them that breached the castle walls.

“There’s a chance of us not making it out of the big battle that you have planned too. You should let us try this before doing something so deadly,” the younger warrior argued. The one-eyed leader did not get a chance to respond as her nephew invaded the debate.

“Kim-chan, you shouldn’t debate with our leader,” Will stated as he walked over. His tone was as naughty and mocking, as if he thought that he were king of the world and Kim was not even fit to feed pigs.

Kim turned to Will and everyone could have sworn that off in the distance they heard two cats growl at each other as the pair’s eyes met. Kim and Will frowned at each other and now the question was if they would get into an argument or just skip that and go right to a fist fight. It was more likely that they would go right to the fist fight because Will had called her “Kim-chan.” He used the term “chan” whenever he desired to make it seem like she was inferior to even the lowest insects.

“Why don’t you back off and let us do what we’re good at?” Kim said to Will with a lot of attitude and a disgusted snarl tugging one side of her lip upward because of his presence alone.

“You are good at doing foolish things, but I can’t let you do something like this,” he replied, faking holding some affection for his future bride. He actually enjoyed just having an excuse to call her foolish and probably have his aunt agree since she was battling with the redheaded teen over agendas.

“Foolish? I’ve completed more missions this year than you have your entire career,” she informed him in a frustrated tone. Why did have he have to be such a bigheaded, pompous jerk of an ass? Sometimes, she just wished she could pop his big, air head.

“You don’t even have missions. You’re not a part of this group,” he stated calmly because he felt like he had the high ground in their fight for once. He could afford to be cool until she proved to be a hot-blooded, temperamental wench that he needed to harshly put in her place.

“I don’t have to be a part of the group to complete missions and I have done my part more so than anyone else out here, okay? You don’t even know what I’ve been through for this. So, why don’t you back off and leave us to get your ass out of trouble?” Kim huffed.

Some of the other warriors might have been insulted by that, but they knew that Will brought out the very worst in Kim. She was generally a nice, polite young woman that would never downgrade anyone’s role in anything, but once Will got her started, she had to try to prove him wrong as quickly and as severely as possible more often than not. So, she sometimes said things that she did not think out or did not mean. Will just egged on her more by denigrating her with his words, tone, and even his stance.

To the trained eye, they could all see that Will did try to belittle Kim with the way he stood before her. But, it was something that she returned when he was around. They always stood so tense and taut around each other, winding up a great deal of potential energy that they almost always put into motion. Either the energy turned kinetic by the pair going verbally back and forth, but also when they finally physically went against each other because they could not bend for each other in anyway.

“That’s not very ladylike,” Will commented, sounding even more arrogant now because he had a chance to attack her on two different fronts, her pretense as a warrior and her failure to act like the noblewoman she was.

“Who cares if it’s ladylike or not? We could go in there and end this without a whole bunch of people dying. Isn’t that a better solution than having to kill a bunch of people and destroy a whole castle?” Kim pointed out.

“You want to do something unrealistic,” the ebony-eyed spy stated soundly and condescendingly.

“You don’t even know what I have in mind!” the redhead huffed while making tight fists because of her frustration with him. He was such a self-centered egotistic always looking to demean her that he was judging her plan without even knowing a detail about the scheme. He was always looking to down her and that it led him to do such idiotic things in her opinion, like protest an idea that he knew nothing about.

“I know it’s foolhardy and going to get you killed more than likely. Just leave these to the people that know how to use their swords,” he informed her while turning his nose up at her and looking down at her through cold, onyx eyes.

“You want to see me use this sword? I’ll jab it right up your big nose,” Kim declared, which earned her some low chuckles from a lot of people.

“You need to just go home,” Will growled, losing his cool like ice in the summer because she had settled on coming at him with such a petty insult and people were actually laughing at him because of it.

“Make me go back home,” she ordered him.

“You don’t think I will?” he inquired while putting his hand on his charcoal-colored katana handle. He had no problem drawing on her either. She needed to know her place, in his opinion. He would show her how a real warrior wielded a sword.

“Do you want to do that right here and now?” she demanded to know. Her hand on was now positioned her own sword; the katana that she actually used and had no qualms with using it against him. Maybe if she defeated him once again, he would learn to respect her, she figured.

“You two, this is not the time or place,” Betty told the pair as she stepped between them. She had stopped a sword fight just in time and she was very aware of that. She thought that it was such a shame that such talented adults were reduced to acting like toddlers when they got around each other.

“He started it,” Kim said.

“You started it!” Will argued.

“You started it!” Kim hollered at him.

Most of the people around had seen the pair at each other’s throats on more than one occasion, so they were not too surprised by their actions. They would even look forward to the fight if only they were not in the middle of a failing siege. They would even take bets on the outcome if it was another time because the pair’s battles were almost epic in nature all of the time, which made them entertaining, even though the two went at each other as if they were bitter enemies. The only thing was that Kim always won, which only left Will more bitter and hostile toward her. The men around could understand why Will was always so upset with Kim; after all, no man wanted to be defeated in combat time and time again by his fiancée.

“How are they going to survive each other for the rest of their lives?” Wade wondered out loud, referring to Kim and Will, who seemed to be trying to will each other to die with their glares at each other.

“One of them is going to have a very short life more than likely,” Ron remarked. He believed that Will was going to live about a week or so after marrying Kim, maybe less than that if they tried to consummate the marriage.

“I couldn’t imagine having to sleep with one eye open around you,” Yori said to her husband. She figured that Will and Kim would probably have to figure out how to sleep with both eyes open around each other, even though they only seemed to utterly despise each other when they started talking.

“Sleep? I doubt they’ll get around to doing that with all of the arguing they’ll end up doing,” the blonde warrior commented.

“Okay, okay, okay,” Betty said to her nephew and Kim, still standing between them to make sure that they did not start a physical fight. She turned her attention to the redhead. “Look, I can’t let you just go in there and possibly die, Kim-dono. You know that.”

“Director-sama, you know ‘can’t’ isn’t in Kim’s vocabulary,” Wade pointed out.

“Really. I mean, she’s probably already planning to go in there, dragging us along when you’re not looking,” Ron commented as if it was no big deal. It really was no big deal to him because he knew that Kim was going to go into the castle and he was going to follow her and Yori was going to follow him. That was just a formula they had.

Betty sighed because they did have a point. No matter what she told Kim, the younger warrior was going to do what she wanted to do and that meant that the redhead was going to go ahead with her own plan with or without permission. Kim would also more than likely take her team in there too, so she might as well concede for the moment. It was the smart thing to do, she figured.

“Fine, we’ll try it your way and then we’ll do it this way,” Betty yielded since she knew the redhead would do what she desired.

“We won’t need to do it that way once we go in there and cool everything down. So, Wade, tell us what you have for us,” Kim said.

“Well, I brought some new things I was working on since you said things were really bad out here. I’ve got my improved stink bombs,” Wade informed them and he pulled one of the bombs off of the carts that he brought with him. The stink bomb was a small, round sphere.

“Doesn’t look like much,” Ron commented.

“Want a demonstration?” Wade asked and before anyone could object to that, he tossed the bomb to the ground hard. He quickly covered his face.

The small ball burst open and a cloud of grey smoke came from the inside. It covered a fifteen foot radius, which engulfed the group that Wade was standing with. They all began coughing and backing up from the area.

“Oh, man, that is foul!” Ron groaned as he crawled away from the stench; the terrible, rank miasma had knocked him off of his feet. Rufus was right with him, coughing as if he was chain smoker.

“Oh, man, Wade!” Kim complained while getting far enough away from the smell, although she doubted that miles would be far enough. Oh, that stuff was beyond rank. She was surprised that it had not knocked them all out. It had brought tears to her eyes, though.

“Yeah, that’s a good one,” Wade commented while coughing himself. Obviously, just covering his face with his hand did not save him as he hoped it would. He made a mental note to never demonstrate such a weapon while he was standing around where it would go off.

“A warning next time, Wade-kun,” Betty said while trying to wave the smell away, but that was not working. It was like the stench was burning her whole brain.

They had to get away from that disgusting odor before they could even continue the discussion. They ended up backing into Yori, who had escaped almost a dozen yards away. Kim and Ron looked at the shinobi.

“How come you’re not coughing?” the blonde samurai asked his wife.

“Ninpo (1)?” Kim guessed, speaking to Yori.

“Ninpo,” Yori confirmed.

“That comes in handy,” Kim commented.

Yori smiled a bit because ninpo did come in handy. It certainly helped her escape that stink bomb and from what she could tell, the bomb worked well. She had expected as much since Wade was just as good at what he did as they were in what they did. She did not understand why her husband even called it into question; he was just asking for trouble and he seemed to get his wish.

“Okay, well, the stink bombs work,” Betty conceded. She thought that she was probably going to have to burn her clothes because she truly doubted that smell was ever going to come completely out.

“It doesn’t help much if it almost knocks us out,” Will pointed out, as if he was calling the small boy’s genius into question.

“Which is why I brought these too,” Wade said and he pulled out a mask from his cart. It was a mask designed to cover the mouth and nose and he had made it specially to combat against his stink bomb.

“Spanking,” Kim proclaimed with a smile. Wade thought of everything in her opinion.

“Okay, so you got some masks and some smelly balls. So, what? That’s not going to be a match for rockets and guns,” Will pointed out.

“Oh, ye of little faith. Next, we have these.” Wade yanked out a larger sphere with a small wick coming out of it.

“A candle?” Will asked. How was a candle going to help anything? He knew that Kim and her team were just playing around, even though they were not involved in a game.

“Flash bomb. Do you guys want another demonstration?” Wade inquired with a smile.

“No!” they all objected. They were just going to take his word on everything right about now.

“I sort of thought as much. If you use the flash bomb, you have five seconds to throw it after you light it and then you better shut your eyes. I’d like to see anybody aim a gun without being able to see,” Wade commented.

“I hope you have more than that,” Will huffed. He did not think that those couple of little toys would be enough to storm the castle, especially with the arms that their enemies were packing.

“I hope he’s not going in,” Wade said to Kim.

“Not if I can help,” she replied.

“You don’t have a say in who can go in and who can’t,” Will said to Kim in a hostile tone. His eyebrows bent down close to each other and a frown pulling his mouth to the ground, showing his frustration with the irksome olive-eyed female.

“I do since this is my plan,” the redhead countered soundly, but seeming a bit smug about it too.

“When did it become your plan?” he demanded to know, his nostrils now flaring out as he glared at her with intense hatred in his charcoal eyes.

“Oh, I don’t know, maybe around the time I sent the message to Wade!” she answered the obvious with her fists clenched tightly together, as if she was ready to strike the arrogant spy.

“You two!” Betty hollered and stepped between them again to make sure that they did not get into a quick battle while everyone was focused on Wade’s inventions.

“Tell her I’m going in there,” Will said to his aunt, still appearing quite upset with the redhead.

“He can go in there all he wants on his own, but he’s not coming with us,” Kim declared while turning away from the infuriating young man.

“That could work. Wade, do you have enough for more than one team to go in?” Betty asked.

“I’ve got more than enough for everyone. I always come prepared,” the dark-skinned genius answered with a smile. Kim always made sure to thoroughly inform him of a situation, so he could show up as prepared as possible and he always did.

“Well, this just might work. As long as you do have more than just those stink bombs and flash bombs,” the one-eyed woman said.

“I might have a few things,” he commented, still smiling. He figured that if things were going as bad as Kim made them sound in her note, then he needed to bring her as much help as he could. After all, he had to pull his weight in the team if he wanted to have a team to belong to.

Things were too quiet out there as far as Shego and the elder Senior were concerned. A whole day without any activity was just too suspicious, even if it did just mean that their enemies were tired of being shot at and blown up. Still, they did not like it.

Drakken and Junior took the silence as a time to celebrate their victory; like Junior had even done anything, Shego thought. The pair decided that it was a good time to get drunk, so they had a servant bring them wine and food. They were not in the same room as Shego and the elder Senior, which was good because seeing something like that would have pissed Shego off a great deal.

“What do you think? A ninja raid?” Senior guessed.

“Probably. It would be the only way for them to do anything considering the moat, the wall, and everything. Besides, we can’t use the rockets on them inside the castle. It would be the smartest move if they’re going to do anything right now, even though it does leave them to be prey for the gun-wielding guards that seem to like blowing ninjas open. They might just be waiting for some real fire power or maybe even some more men to just storm the castle. There’s a few other options for them aside for just sending in some assassins or spies or something like that,” Shego replied and she shrugged.

Really, Shego had no feelings one way or another about what the Shogun’s forces were planning. Out of everything, no matter how insane things were going to get, she knew for a fact that she was going to get away before anything heavy landed on her. She would do her part while she was there and give input to whoever would listen, but if or when the situation became hopeless for her comrades, she was going to let their attitudes dictate her actions. If they continued to act as they were, she was not going to trouble herself with them as they seemed to be more eager to die than to live.

“Well, I’ll make sure to have all the guards out,” Senior stated.

“Sounds smart,” she commented in a noncommittal tone.

“Anything you’d like to add?” he asked. He noted how detached she seemed to becoming toward their plight. She seemed almost bored with what was going on; she was actually getting close to reaching her limit of being around the people that she was stuck with. He thought that it was good that she was getting lax because it meant that when everything was over, it would be easier for him to take his revenge against her. She would never see it coming and he would have her in chains, waiting on his son before she knew what was going on.

“What more can you add? We might want to tell that rambling blue idiot to break out some other weapons if he has them. If there are ninjas coming, they’re not going to come like before. They’re not just going to let some mindless imbecile gun them down again,” she replied.

“That’s true. Where is Drakken anyway?” Senior asked.

“Not getting on my nerves, so I don’t really care.”

“Most bodyguards would care about the wellbeing of their master.”

“He’s not my master,” she informed the old man as she turned to leave his company.

Senior did not say anything as she walked away. She was just about the most uppity servant he had ever witnessed. She seemed to think everyone was beneath her when she was actually the nobody amongst them. He wondered how Drakken came across her. He did not wonder why Drakken kept her around, though. He had seen her in action, after all.

Shego was not sure what she was going to do with herself. She was a little doubtful that their enemies were going to attack tonight, but she would not mind it if they did. It just seemed too obvious and if Director Betty was in charge, she doubted the woman would go for the obvious. Unless, she found some rather exceptional ninja and that was an interesting thought.

The pale woman walked to the window and looked out, checking on the action of the world. The sun was sneaking off behind some hills as night approached and that was the only thing happening outside the window. Well, she guessed that she would find out if there were stealth warriors coming in soon. If they did come in, she hoped that it would not be boring or a massacre again. She needed something to do or she was just going to sneak out of the castle sometime soon.

She would rather not have to be trapped around morons for months on end if the siege pressed on. She was planning to give the circumstances another week or so, just to see what happened and then she was going to go her own way, at least for a while. If the siege persisted beyond the week, she also planned to see how her companions reacted to that. She was not interested in the arrogant attitudes that they had going now and that was why she would leave, to give herself a break. Maybe she would return to them or maybe she would enjoy being on her own. There was also the chance that while she was gone, they could be taken and then she would have to consider if she was going to rescue them again. Sometimes, she even dared to wonder why she put up with such fools.

“Do these pants make my butt look big?” Ron asked. He was sporting some dark blue pants to go along with a matching jacket.

“Why is it every time we put on some ‘sneak’ gear, you have to ask that question?” Kim inquired.

“Sneak gear?” Will echoed.

“It’s what Ron-kun calls the outfits,” Yori replied. They were all dressed in dark blue, hoping to blend in with the oncoming darkness.

“Okay, so with more than one team going on, you can search every room that they might be in once you make it to the keep,” Wade said while looking down at the map of the castle. “Do you all got this in your minds?” he inquired, referring to the layout of the fort.

“For the most part,” Kim answered.

“You know, we could just wait until you all know the map,” Wade said.

“I’m not really interested in waiting,” the redhead replied. She wanted to go home. She had not been there in way too long in her opinion, not even bothering to count the one night that she had spent there when her mission had ended.

“If she’s going in, I am too,” Will declared.

Some might have thought that his declaration was sweet or loving or something like that if only they all did not know how he did mean it. He was not going to allow Kim to show him up. He was not going to let her take all of the glory or credit either. He would not let it seem like she was better than he was. Besides, she might need him to get her out of some trouble since she did have a tendency to get into things and since he was superior to her, he felt that he was responsible to save her from herself.

There were five teams of four that were going to go in, although Kim’s team would only have three because Wade did not go into battle. Betty would have stuck Will in Kim’s team if only she did not know that it would be a disaster. Will and Kim would some how get to arguing and blow the whole mission; it had happened once a couple of years ago. No one wanted a repeat of that.

All of the teams took separate ways into the castle since the blueprint of the castle did show several different secret passages to go in. They knew that some of the corridors had to be traps, but Wade seemed to know those too and told them what to expect. One day, Betty silently swore that she was going to find out how that boy knew all that he knew.

Kim sometimes questioned how Wade knew so much too, but she was not too interested in that at the moment. She just wanted to close the mission, grab the bad guys, and go back home. She also hoped that she did not come across “yojimbo-san” while in the castle. She hoped that he was not with his so-called friends anymore.

She had no idea what she would do if she did come across the bodyguard, except maybe feel disappointed that he had not taken the chance that she had given him to be free. Was that it? Would she feel let down if he was involved with everything? Well, she knew that she would feel that way, but it seemed like there was more to it. There was an almost anxious feeling building in her because she thought that “yojimbo-san” might be in the castle with the other fugitives and that meant that he was once again in danger of being captured and being killed for treason. The notion still did not sit right with her, even though “yojimbo-san” seemed to be all right with going along with traitors.

Kim, Ron, and Yori moved through the castle silently and looked around a corner. They happened across a group of guards armed with guns, but they hide in the shadows to avoid being seen. Kim reached into a pouch on her hip and pulled out a flash bomb. It was time to see what Wade had put together.

“Ron-kun, do you have a light?” Kim inquired.

“Yup,” Ron answered. He had flint stones. It took him a moment to get a spark, but he did get one and he lit the bomb.

Kim quickly got rid of the sphere into the group of guards and she ducked behind the corner again. Five seconds later, there was a huge beam of white light that lit up the area almost like it was daylight. The guards screamed in pain when the brightness hit their eyes and the trio ambushed the guards, quickly knocking them out before their eyes readjusted to the dark.

“Wow, Wade is good at this,” Ron commented after they dropped the group.

Shego strolled by a window while wandering the halls of the castle for lack of a better thing to do and she noticed that there were flashes of light going off in the lower, outer parts of the castle. She did not need to be out there to know what was going on. She figured that she might as well warn the others. Maybe something interesting was happening. She wanted to see her comrades’ reactions too, just to figure out if it was worth her time to be around them for even as long as she planned to.

“You guys, we have company,” Shego informed Drakken and the Seniors when she found them having drinks.

“Company?” the elder Senior inquired. He had thought that they were going to be left alone for the night, which was why he decided to have a drink.

“Yeah, company. I think the ninja strike is on,” the pale woman replied.

“They’ll never make it to us,” Drakken declared in a smug tone. He sounded unbelievably confident in that statement and then he sipped his drink, further displaying his confidence in their power.

“I wouldn’t be so sure,” Shego remarked. She doubted that they would come in again if they were going to just be slaughtered again. Their enemies had to have some plot against them.

“Even if they do make it this far, I’ve got something for them,” Drakken proclaimed and he began laughing again. Shego looked skeptical on that idea, but she did wonder what he had up his sleeves. After all, his weapons were proving more than formidable now. Well, she would see what the outcome was going to be.

1: Ninpo: refers to ninja skill, but mostly the fictional and mythological actions ninjas were said to perform, like being able to disappear and such.

Next time: “Akako-chan” and “yojimbo-san” are reunited.

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