Kim certainly was taking a long time, Shego thought as she looked around the bath. She and Kim had agreed to stay at a hotel and take a bath together; it would be a great way to relax. She had come out first and now she was waiting for Kim. She had been out there for almost five minutes. How long could it possibly take one small female to get undressed and neatly put her things away?
The green-skinned female decided that it was taking much too long for Kim to get out of her things. She got up from the bath and wandered back to the changing space stark naked, unaware of any possible chill in the air. She poked her head into the area.
“Hey, Princess,” Shego called as soon as she was looking into the room and then she noticed that the whole place was empty.
The pale woman arched an eyebrow in curiosity mixed with confusion. Where was Kim? She then noticed the kimono on the floor, crumpled and in a heap. Well, it was clear that she did not go anywhere of her own freewill without her kimono because that just would not make any sense. Why would she leave partially dressed? She could only think of one reason and she disliked it.
“Damn it,” Shego silently cursed and she went to get dressed. When she found whoever it was that took her…whatever Kim was to her…she was going to make that person pay by breaking every bone plausible in that person’s body. She figured that Kim had been stolen out of the room because of the abandoned kimono.
She had to get dressed before doing anything, though. She grabbed her kimono and hakama, glad that she did not bother to fold her clothes in some special manner so she could throw them on as rapidly as possible. She had an idea as to who it was that took Kim, but even with the idea in mind, she was well aware that she would still have to find that big monkey. She hoped that people around the town were not tightlipped about things or she was going to have to be very mean to people.
Kim was both pissed and intrigued. She was unbelievably angry with the fact that she had been kidnapped by Motor Ed and his gang. Not to mention the fact that it happened while she was not wearing a top. She was lucky to not lose her hakama considering the fact that she had untied her obi, but tied it back because she had the habit of keeping it on while she folded her kimono because she liked keeping her swords at her side until the very last moment. She supposed that odd quirk had saved her further embarrassment and she was thankful for that.
Now, she was intrigued because Motor Ed and his gang had some rather curious looking devices that they were using to make their getaway. They were like carts, but they were not tugged along by anything. They ran on their own power. She was willing to beat that they were some sort of clockwork machines, but she could not figure out how they were going. She was going to have to tell her brothers about it when she got home, if they did not get on her nerves anyway. Yes, even she could be civil to those little tweebs, but only if they could be the same. If she got home and they were trying to steal her pickles at breakfast again, they were going to get her fists and that was about it.
She and her brothers had a strange siblings’ relationship. They always tried to act like they normally did no matter what, even if Kim was gone from home for a long period of time. Sure, she missed them and they missed her, but when she got home, they never acted like it. They always went back to business as usual as quickly as possible and they liked it that way. It was the best way that they knew how to get along and they just wanted to fall back into their routine to be sure that everything was right in the world as far as they were concerned.
“Well, Aka-chan, we’re going to have a good time with you, seriously,” Motor Ed declared, throwing off his prisoner’s thoughts.
Kim rolled her eyes. She was positioned behind the blonde and his sidekick, who was handling the steering of the vehicle. She scanned around to take a head count of how many people Ed was running with just to know what she was going to have to deal with in a moment. As far as she could see there were six vehicles and each had two people in them, not counting the vehicle that she was in.
Well, that just meant that there were fourteen chumps for her to take out. Fourteen was nothing in her opinion in an open space, especially if the group was not too bright. She doubted that she was amongst geniuses considering the fact that they had bound her arms around her back and gagged her, but not an idiot among them thought to take her swords. She was rather pleased that they had not taken her swords or that would have been more trouble than she needed at the moment.
She looked around to get a feel for the environment to see if it was suitable for combat. They were out of the town, but on a slightly wide road. There were some trees around, but not enough to be considered a forest, and those were a few feet away from the road. The land between the road and the trees was flat and covered by grass from what she could see. There was a bright moon out that night, which would make it easy to see her when she decided to make her move, but that did not matter to her. The ground around her was really all that mattered to her. That was good enough for her to start some trouble, she figured.
The redheaded samurai decided that she did not want to see where they were going to take her. She would rather get back to Shego and their bath as soon as she could. She was curious and eager to see what things were like between her and Shego in a more normal setting. And Motor Ed had put a delay on that, which was rather irritating.
Kim took her legs and brought them as close to as she could. She then slid her arms underneath her feet and brought them to the front of her. She then unsheathed her short sword slightly, just enough to cut her ropes. She snapped her bounds away from her wrists and then pulled her wakazashi (1) from its scabbard. She put the point of her blade at Motor Ed’s back and that caused him to jump in surprise.
“However you stop this thing, do it now,” Kim ordered in completely livid tone.
“Whoa, Aka-chan has bite, seriously,” Motor Ed remarked with a strangely pleased smirk. It was like he was happy to have the sword at his back.
“What do you want me to do, aniki?” the sidekick asked curiously. He was a bit panicked about having an armed and angry woman behind them with a sword in her hands, but then again the boss seemed to be calm about it, so that eased his nerves.
“Show her our moves, seriously,” the blonde answered with an arrogant glint in his eyes.
“All right, aniki,” the sidekick replied with a smirk of his own. It was time to show the girl what for, he thought.
Kim yelped in surprise as the vehicle jerked violently to the side. She almost lost her balance, but she did maintain it, only for the vehicle to go to the opposite side. She quickly sheathed her sword as she almost fell off of the vehicle. Just as she thought that she would be safe, the vehicle wrenched again, much more violently than before, and she was thrown off.
Motor Ed and his people laughed as Kim went flying. She righted herself in the air and landed in a kneeling position. She skidded along the ground, putting her hand down in hope of slowing herself down. She looked up to make sure that she knew were Motor Ed and his gang were. She learned that they were turning around.
It would seem that they wanted to play, she noted. If they wanted to play, she would oblige them. It was not like she enjoyed being kidnapped. It actually did a number on her self-esteem more often than not and she would enjoy getting back at them for that. She smirked like a hunting cat as they started coming back toward her.
Shego was now in a quiet panic because she had been searching for Kim for nearly an hour and not getting any closer to her goal. She had never felt so anxious so quickly before in her life. She was not sure what to make of it, but she pressed on like she always did. She was going to have her way, she told herself.
The hotel keeper had not seen Kim leave, nor had he seen Motor Ed or anyone suspicious at all. The pale woman had never felt the way that she did now, not even on the many occasions that she had lost Drakken; he was so easy to misplace. She would guess that Kim being kidnapped would affect her differently than Drakken being captured by whoever it was they were pissing off at the time, but she did not think that it would be as bad as it was. She could not even describe what she was feeling at the moment, but she did not like it.
Shego could not breathe right thanks to the feeling, she knew that much. Her chest just felt constricted and her stomach felt as if it had descended into her feet. Her guts were tying themselves in and out of knots. Her limbs seemed like they were ready to fail her at any given moment and she felt so close to crying that it was made her realize that she had forgotten what it felt like to cry.
It had been a long, long time since something, let alone someone, caused her to cry. But, right now, thinking of what might have happened to Kim was tearing her up inside. Did that odd little samurai mean so much to her, she asked herself. She did not even have an idea what that even meant. How could a person that was not related to her in anyway mean so much to her as to spark physical responses in her that she could barely remember being able to feel? She hardly even knew Kim, she tried to tell herself to at least get herself to calm down. What good was she to Kim if she was a nervous-wreck while looking for the redhead?
She tried her best not to think about what Motor Ed might be doing with her darling little princess. Surely, Kim would be able to fight him off if he tried anything, she tried to assure herself. Kim had defeated her in a fight after all, she reminded herself. But, what if he had men with him? What if they helped Ed—Stop it, she commanded herself. That was not going to happen. She refused to let happen.
She went out into the streets and asked the people in the town about that blonde monkey. People knew Motor Ed; they knew him fairly well from what she could tell. They all described him as a weird yakuza leader because he created some sort of cart that drove itself and he had one for every member of his gang. She could care less than nothing about the man’s crazy hobbies. She wanted to know where he spent his time when he was not in the town showing off the fact that he was nuts. No one had an absolute answer for that one, even though they knew so much about him.
“Damn it,” Shego cursed aloud while standing in the middle of the street and just wondering what way she should go. Where had Motor Ed taken her Kim?
Her heart began pounding even worse than before as confusion started to take over her body. She started to walk in one direction, only to turn around and go in the opposite direction. She did that several times before she realized that she was not getting anywhere. She stopped and took a deep breath to gather herself.
Okay, first, she asked herself what it was that she was getting so worked up about. It did not make any sense, she told herself, that she was nearly going out of her mind with worry over the missing redhead. She did not know Kim that well outside of whatever they had done and discussed when they were at the teahouse. But, she reminded herself that she had revealed layers of herself that no other being on the planet had seen. Of course, there was more to show, but she had started.
She had taken Kim to her special place on the hill. She had never shown that spot to anyone, not her parents, not her brothers, not even her close friends. It had been nice to have company there. She had always assumed that company would ruin her favorite place, as if other human life would soil her hollowed grounds. But, that had not been the case and she took Kim there on more than one occasion because the redhead seemed to only make the place more enjoyable.
Thinking about that was not helping Shego much. She only started to panic more so as she thought about what she had shown Kim and told her that the samurai did mean quite a bit to her. It just made her think that she needed to find Kim all the more and she was not getting anywhere by just standing there and thinking.
“Okay, if I was a big, stupid blonde monkey with obvious good taste in women, but horrible judgment, where would I go?” Shego asked herself. She was only slightly pleased that she could not come up with an answer to that question since it proved that there was not a part of her that could fathom being brain-dead.
She decided to take to the rooftops, considering that having a bird’s eye view might improve her chances of finding some sign of Motor Ed and his crew or at least a sign of Kim. Her eyes were keen, but they were not seeing anything worthwhile aside for plenty of wheel marks. She would have followed some of those if only she could find out which fresh tracks that she needed to follow. From what she could tell with the trails, those idiots probably just wasted their days riding around on those foolish contraptions, probably drinking while they were at it, she guessed.
Shego sighed. “Why can’t it ever be easy?” she begged to know and she was referring to her life. Every time things seemed to be looking up, there was something that had to bring things down.
She did not see anything from the rooftop, so she leaped down and went to inspect the wheel marks again. She could tell the fresh ones from the old ones, but there were plenty of fresh ones, so she did not know which to follow. To make matters worse, she did not know which direction they were coming from.
The pale woman sucked her teeth. She was not going to give up. She decided to leave things up to fate. She would go to Kim if things were meant to be that way. She closed her eyes and spun around in a circle three times. She then began walking off in the new direction that she was facing. It was not the most scientific approach to things, she would admit. But, she trusted her instincts.
Kim leaped out of the way as Motor Ed and his band drove their vehicles back in her direction for the seventh time. They were having a good time trying to hit her, she noted. She doubted that she would suffer much physical damage if she did get hit from the speed of the things, but the way that they had spikes positioned on the front, she was sure those would give her one hell of a sting.
“I guess I shouldn’t let them have all the fun,” Kim thought. The redhead began to run at the vehicles that were coming at her.
“She’s crazy, seriously!” Motor Ed howled in joy as he watched Kim charge their machines. He laughed, thinking about how funny it was going to be when she realized that she was acting insane and halted herself to avoid getting impaled.
“You should’ve made these things higher,” Kim declared as she leaped into a kick and practically took one of the driver’s head clean off thanks to their forces meeting.
The kick landed clean on the driver’s cheek and knocked him out just as cleanly. He naturally lost control of the vehicle and veered off of the road right into a tree. His passenger jumped off just in time to miss the impact. It was not particularly hard, but it did send the unconscious driver flying out of the vehicle.
“Whoa,” Motor Ed muttered in awe when he saw the slender redhead in action.
“Well, that’s one down,” Kim commented with a laugh.
She went to go make sure work of the other six vehicles along with the thirteen people left to tangle with. It might be a long night, she considered. That thought was not very pleasant since she really wanted to get back to Shego. Well then, she supposed that she better wrap things up as soon as possible.
The olive-eyed warrior had to leap out of the way of one vehicle and was nearly hit by another when she landed, but she moved just in time. The redhead frowned at the close call. Okay, they wanted to play rough. She could play rough just like them. She drew her katana.
“Thirteen against me, that’s so not fair to you guys,” Kim remarked in a confident tone as she charged another vehicle.
The driver to that machine challenged her just like the last one. He was met with a kick to the face as well. His passenger also jumped from the ride before it fell into a ditch. Kim met the passenger, though. He was grimacing as soon as he stood up because her foot was buried in his side. As soon as he was set to scream in pain, her fist was on his cheek. He fell to the ground.
“Oh, come on! Somebody hit her, seriously!” Motor Ed ordered his bumbling band since they could not put any metal on the young woman.
“Yeah, somebody hit me, seriously,” Kim mocked them with a laugh.
A vehicle turned to mow the cocky samurai down, but she flipped out of the way. Another ride came at her from a different angle and Kim had to jump over it. She took a swing at the driver with her katana and nearly severed his hand from his arm. He screamed in utter agony as blood gushed from his wound, but he did not lose control of the car. She landed behind him.
“You bitch!” the driver raged and he swung the invention around to crush her.
“I guess I pissed him off,” Kim muttered to herself as she noticed the vehicle coming back around for a second try.
The redhead doubted that she could be able to build up enough speed to do another kick attack. She quickly thought of a backup plan and leaped into the air as soon as the driver was about to hit her. She managed to connect her knee with his jaw. His head snapped back brutally and he was out like a candle. The ride hit a tree with the passenger exiting before that happened.
“Oh, come on! Seriously, do I have to do everything myself?” Motor Ed demanded to know in anger. He really wanted that girl back now and not out of anger. She was just turning him on with the aggressive display.
“I’m not as easy as I look, huh?” Kim taunted the group as she went to take care of the most recent ride-less gangster. He fell as easily as his comrades.
The remaining thugs were having about just as much attitude as they could bear from the slender redhead. One of them pulled out a weapon that Kim did not expect, a rifle. Once she made it home, she hoped that she was never going to have to see another gun again because heavens knew that she had seen enough from the one trip to last a life time. And then, a shot was fired.
Shego heard a gunshot. Lord, she was so sick of guns, but she took off toward the sound of the shot. It was in the direction that she was heading anyway, but she was heading there much faster now. She hoped that the shot was not directed at the person that she was looking for, but with her luck, she was willing to bet it was. She just hoped that the shot did not mean something truly bad, like Kim was injured. If Kim was hurt, people were going to taste her plasma at full force and until she just could not sustain the charge anymore, whether there were bits of the assailants left or not.
She caught sight of something in the distance, but she could not make it out completely. She did consider that her eyes might have been fooling her because the first thing that she saw were the vehicles that Motor Ed and his lot was using, but then she saw Kim jumping all over the place. As she got closer to the battlefield, she could see the destruction brought and was willing to bet that Kim was the one that delivered because she saw that some rides were laid out and some thugs were looking worse off than their rides. Kim also did not appear injured at all, so the gunshot had not hit her; it had come damn close, though.
“At least she saved me the big monkey,” Shego commented with an amused smirk when she saw that Motor Ed was not beaten up like some of his men.
The pale woman charged into the fight with a predatory smile on her face. She ran right by Kim, who was landing from hopping over a vehicle. The redhead noticed her companion go by her, but did not pay her any mind since she had enemies to take care of and she did not want to almost get shot again. Shego had her sights set on one person and nothing was going to stray her from that path. The vehicle that she wanted was not even paying her any mind and she came in from the side, leading in with a heavy fist.
“Guess who?” Shego snarled as she landed her fist right on the chin of Motor Ed.
“Wha?” the blonde wondered in a dazed tone as the blow forced him out of his invention. He pushed his sidekick out of the way because she had hit him from the passenger side. Both males tumbled as they hit the ground.
Shego ended up in the vehicle and behind the steering wheel. She had no clue what was going on, but she took hold of the wheel. Motor Ed noticed and he looked totally aghast with the image of Shego driving his invention.
“What the hell is this thing?” Shego wondered. “And how the hell do you control it?” she added in a shout as she saw that she was going straight toward another vehicle.
“Ah, that green babe is going to totally wreck my baby, seriously!” Motor Ed griped with a sullen expression in his eyes.
Needless to say, Ed was correct on that matter. Shego drove right into the other vehicle that was in her path. She figured, hey, it was there and she was looking to take down the gang and the vehicle did not mean anything to her. So, why even bother trying to get out of the way, not that she could if she wanted to.
The impact was not harsh, but it did put the vehicles out of commission because they were impaled on each other thanks to the spikes on the front of the contraptions. Shego stood up and kicked the closest guy to her, who was the passenger in the other vehicle. The driver of that vehicle pulled out a pistol and aimed at Shego.
“You might want to look behind you,” the green-skinned female comment.
The guy actually turned around instead of pointing out that was the oldest trick in the book. He was met by Kim’s fist anyway and knocked out. Shego laughed a bit; he was damned if he did and damned if he did not.
“You’ve got these guys?” Shego asked Kim.
“Piece of cake,” Kim answered with a confidence that Shego silently admitted to liking.
“Then I’m going to give that dumb monkey what for,” the pale woman remarked.
Kim laughed a bit and turned her attention back to the remaining gangsters. She still had her long sword in hand, just in case some things tried to be more difficult than others. She also kept a careful eye out to anyone that might have had guns on them. At least they only fired a single shot, she thought. Sure, the shot had been dangerously close to her head, but it could have been worse.
Shego ran right back toward Motor Ed, who was climbing to his feet. He noticed that the green-skinned warrior was coming at him and he pulled a gun out from the inside of his ugawi. He smirked at her and she smirked in return as he aimed the pistol at her.
“It’s stupid of you to point that thing at me, just like it was when you took my princess. You’re just all around idiotic so far in my opinion,” the raven-haired woman informed him.
“I’d totally watch who I call idiotic when someone’s pointing a gun at me, seriously,” Motor Ed replied.
“Well, that’s probably something that makes us different. I hope it’s a long, long list. I’m going to add something else to it right now. I’m willing to bet that only one of us can do this.” Shego flared her hands with her plasma. “I wonder which one of us it is.” She smirked like the demon she knew that she was about to be accused of being.
“What the hell are you, some kind of oni?” Motor Ed demanded to know in a confused tone. He thought that there was something different about her with the green skin, but now she was lighting her hands on fire. He did not understand it, but he was not going to let something that he did not comprehend frighten him.
“To make things easy on your monkey brain, let’s say yeah. I’m an oni that you really pissed off by stealing her princess,” Shego replied with a bit of a growl.
“I can still, like, totally shoot you, seriously,” he pointed out as if he was in total control of the situation.
“I don’t think you can,” she stated as if she was in complete control of the situation. It would seem that one of them was going to be proven wrong by the end of the standoff.
“What makes you think that, seriously?” he inquired with an arched eyebrow. He thought she was really stupid if she thought that he would not be able to shoot her because he certainly had plans to do so if she did not back off.
“Because I can also do this.” Shego flung a plasma sphere at Motor Ed, which surprised him and connected before he had time to totally comprehend what it was.
The blonde male fell to the ground and dropped his pistol. Shego was not done yet. She was way too angry to be done with him yet. He dared tried to take someone that meant quite a bit to her, more to her than she even knew if her earlier panicked reaction meant anything. In her lonely existence, searching for some kind of meaning in her freedom, he dared to take the one person that seemed to offer her something beyond entertainment; it outraged her like nothing else in recent times. She leaned down and proceeded to punch him in the face until he was just stopped moving and his eyes lulled into the back of his head. She had no idea if she killed him or not and she sincerely did not care.
Shego stood up and turned her attention to Kim. The redhead seemed to be having some fun finishing up the few goons that were left. Shego guessed that she had been worried over nothing. Kim had things under control, even with a gun being brought into things. She told herself that she should have had some faith in the redhead. After all, Kim had defeated her.
The olive-eyed samurai used pretty much the same tactic against all of the bad guys, not even having to bother with using her sword on them. They did not seem to learn from their mistakes, she thought. She was not going to complain about that. As soon as she finished off the last guy, she looked around for Shego. She spotted the pale woman standing a few feet away from her, just watching her. Kim smiled, as did Shego and she walked over.
“You are quite impressive,” the emerald-eyed woman commented when she was standing directly in front of her companion. She wanted to just take the shorter female into her arms and hug her tightly while placing grateful kisses all over her face, but she refrained because Kim did not seem as overwhelmed as she was. She suspected that she had taken things more seriously than the teen had.
“You should see me when it’s a challenge,” Kim boasted with a confident smile as she sheathed her weapon back on her hip.
“Impressive and cocky. For some reason, I like these things about you,” Shego admitted as if it was nothing.
“So, what should we do now?” the younger warrior asked. They were already down a road and she was pretty sure that it was in the direction that they were heading in, so they could start walking on to the next town.
“What do you mean? We already paid for that hotel room. We’re going to live it up while we got it,” Shego answered quite seriously. She never let something go to waste once it was paid for.
“Okay, then come on,” Kim agreed with that.
Shego nodded and she put her arm around Kim’s shoulders. They started walking back toward the town. If Ed and his band of maniacs wanted to go at it again tomorrow, it was fine by them since they were still going to be in town and that was if Ed was still alive. But, for the moment, they were going to have a comforting rest in the hotel room and maybe discuss, or at least ponder, what they were to each other. And maybe, Shego would show her appreciation of Kim being unharmed by those idiots.
1: wakazashi: short sword.
Next time: Kim and Shego return to the hotel room and explore just what they are to each other.