Story: Give Me One Reason (chapter 4)

Authors: A Markov

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Chapter 4

Title: Green Suede Boots, Four: Let's Go!

I know... it’s the oldest cliché in the book. “Criminal falls for hero... Details at eleven...” What a crock! I don't know when it happened. I don’t even know how it happened. I guess… I guess it was all those times we met. I know we talked about her most of the time, but what we talked about wasn't really important. It was the way you looked at me, like I was normal. You never treated me like a freak. I don't know how to get you to understand what a difference it makes when someone treats me like I'm normal. It’s so wonderful to be able to interact with someone without enduring all the snide remarks and looks of revulsion... or fear… people looking at me like I'm going to explode for no reason and start melting shit, just 'cause I can. But you never looked at me twice, never seemed to notice that I was green or that my hands glowed when I was excited or angry. The meetings with you were a time when I was truly human. I needed that time like I needed air. And I guess that's why I needed you. I think the first time I really thought about you and the possibility that I might... I could...

The first time I thought about it was right after Kim kicked me into that transmitter. You came to visit me in the prison medical ward. Do you remember? I was really nervous, because, for the first time since I'd been working for Dr. D, he almost did it. He almost took over the world. To this day, I'm not really sure what went wrong. Kim was devastated, the rat was locked up and if Ron can find his ass with both hands and a road map, I'll eat my hat. But something happened to get her out of her funk, she pulled it out and I'd never seen anything like it. Honestly, I was kind of in awe. That day, she grew up. And I could see for the first time why you thought she could do your job. And I figured... I figured it was all over. You wouldn't need anything else from me. You'd got what you wanted and you were probably going to lock Dr. D into a psyche ward ship me off to some impenetrable fortress never to be seen again.

But you didn't act the way I expected at all. You were concerned. You were kind. And I think that's when I started hoping. Hoping that you’d look at me or… I don’t know, really. I guess I was just hoping. I never admitted it, even to myself. Oh, I knew you were using me but, it seemed like you liked me too. You understood that I'm... that I need... you understood. Gahh! I can't believe I'm saying this. And it's all probably just another screwed up chapter in my screwed up life. Me thinking I'm in love with you because you treat me like a human instead of a freak. But you came in and you didn’t even ask about her. You were worried about me. You pestered the doctors to see if I was going to be all right. You brought me drinks when I needed them. You sat with me until I fell asleep. When I woke up I was confused. I really didn’t know what to do and then you came in and you were all business… Asking about Kim’s performance, taking notes, nothing to indicate you cared anything for me other than as a source of information. And it hurt. I got to thinking, maybe it was a dream. Maybe I only wished you’d been kind to me. Maybe my subconscious was playing tricks on me. I had to know. So I hacked into the prison security feed and I watched it. You really were there. You really were. I still didn’t allow myself to think about it though. I told myself I could use it. I was using you. I was going to get your sympathy and use it as my own personal “Get out of Jail Free” card. And I think I was doing a pretty good job convincing myself that I felt that way… until the day you thanked me for helping Kim and smiled at me. A real smile... for me... and I couldn’t lie to myself anymore.

Don’t close your eye! Where the hell is that ambulance? I called ‘em at least fifteen minutes ago. Oh, god! You’re so pale. You’ve lost too much blood. This bandage is soaked. Open your eye, Betty. Look at me… If you can hear me, squeeze my hand… Was that a twitch? Are you trying? You better be trying, Bets. This isn’t the way you die. Do you hear me? This isn't the way you die! You aren’t going to die because some drunken idiot got behind the wheel of his car. Gahh! Why did I insist on meeting you here tonight? We could have met over at Kenya Coffee, or Apollo’s. But no… I had to meet you tonight and it had to be here because I didn’t want to go all the way across town. Now you’re… No! Here they are! I hear ‘em. They’re here for you. They’re here, Betty! You…! Get the stretcher over here. She was hit by a truck! Asshole driver swerved across the median and hit her. I saw the whole thing. Yeah, I’m the one who called 9-1-1. I think her left leg is broken and she’s got a compound fracture on her arm. She’s lost a lot of blood. Yeah, it’s all her’s. She’s having trouble breathing too. Never mind why the damn truck is on fire, you take care of her! Goddamnit! This is your patient! That asshole can wait. Is she going to make it? Damnit! Tell me if she’s going to be O.K! You’re going to be O.K. Betty. What d’you mean I can’t ride with her? No, I’m not family. I’m… Damnit! Betty… I’ll visit you as soon as I can.

“Ms. Smith?”

Betty opened her eye and glanced around the room. She was in a hospital. She tried to speak, to ask where she was but her mouth was too dry. She licked her lips but there wasn’t enough moisture to make any difference. Someone on her blind side pressed something cold against her lips. Ice chips. She eagerly accepted as many as they would give.

“That’s enough for right now. Don’t swallow them, just suck on them and let the water roll down your throat.”

Betty followed the directions and the cool water that trickled down her throat was the most wonderful feeling in the world. The rest of her felt like death warmed over. She managed to turn and see her benefactor. A plump nurse with a red face smiled down at her. “Where…?”

“Middleton General. You’re a very special patient Ms. Smith.” The nurse beamed. “I’ve never had a patient with a bodyguard before. Police in and out, secret agents running around… caused quite a stir when you came in.” She paused to spoon a few more ice chips into Betty’s mouth. “There’s a whole platoon of people waiting just beyond that door to get a word with you. But I thought you’d like some time to get yourself together.”

She tried to talk again and, on the third attempt, managed to croak out, “How long have I been here?”

“Well, that’s not really important, is it?” The nurse’s cheerful reply died in her throat when she saw the expression on her patient’s face. The full affect of Dr. Director’s intimidating stare was mitigated only slightly by her fragile condition. Its intensity caught the nurse off guard. “We don’t usually tell patients how long they’ve been… I’m not supposed to… Ms. Smith… you’re being very…” Her flustered voice trailed off.

“Meaning I’ve been out for a while.” Betty continued grimly.

“You almost died, Ms. Smith. We had to induce a coma for… Oh! I’m not supposed to say any of this. That’s for your doctor to—“ She was interrupted by the opening of the door to her room. Agent Will Du strode in. “Nurse, you are dismissed.” The flustered woman wasted no time complying, but she did favor the stoic agent with a disapproving sniff as she hurried out. After the door closed behind her, Will subjected Betty to an intense scrutiny. “How are you feeling, Ma’am?” He asked formally.

“My mind is clear, Will. How long have I been out of it?”

“You’ve been in the hospital for ten days, two of those in an induced coma. This is the third day I have come to visit you this week. The other two visits were… unproductive.” At her raised eyebrow he shifted uncomfortably and cleared his throat. “You were heavily medicated.” He wouldn’t meet her eye.

“I’m Mrs. Smith…?”

“Easier to avoid the media, Ma’am.”

She nodded her acceptance. “What the hell happened to me?” She asked, settling back into her bed. “I feel like I got run over by a truck.”

For a split second the normally unflappable agent seemed to be at a loss for words. “You got run over by a truck, Ma’am.”

She looked up at him sharply. “If I didn’t know you better, I’d think you were making a joke. However…?” She let the question hang in the air between them.

“The operator of a heavy duty pick-up truck lost control of his vehicle and it struck you. He was found to be intoxicated. The police have him in custody.” He looked at her sharply, “Do you remember any thing about what happened to you?”

She closed her eye and tried to remember. “I was on my way to meet… an informant and…” A flash of green and black. She shook her head. “That’s it. I was on my way to meet an informant… I was crossing the street and…” A flash of green and black… Strong hands holding her head… “...I'm not sure.”

“You were struck while crossing Third Avenue. Witnesses say the driver lost control of his vehicle about ten yards from you and crossed the median on your blind side.” A dark look clouded his normally stoic features. “You wouldn't have heard anything out of the ordinary. He never even touched the brakes.”

“Witnesses?” A flash of green and black… Strong hands holding her head… Hot tears falling on her face…

“There were several witnesses... to the accident… and the events just after it.”

“Who was there, Will? What happened that you don’t want to talk about?” Strong hands holding her head… Hot tears falling on her face… An insistent, worried voice…

“It was Shego, Ma’am. She…”

An eruption of pain… A scream of rage… A flash of green light… The sound of screeching tires… “She…? What...? I don’t remember, Will. What happened?” Hot tears falling on her face… An insistent, worried voice… “Stay with me.”

Apparently, Shego witnessed the accident and…”

A scream of rage… A flash of green light… The sound of screeching tires… Glass shattering… metal groaning… Fists on flesh… Bones breaking… “She attacked the driver?” An insistent, worried voice… Stay with me… Listen to my voice…

Will looked a little startled. “Yes, she attacked the driver. And she—“

“Stayed with me until the paramedics arrived.” Stay with me… Listen to my voice… I was in my room… “It’s starting to come back to me, now. She… bandaged me up and held my head. I remember her talking to me, trying to keep me conscious.” And when I wound down, I took a deep breath and screamed some more...

“We were curious as to why she showed up.”

Until you showed up out of nowhere and started talking about Kim Possible. “She’s the informant I was on my way to meet.” The fights were never what was driving me… “Is the driver alive?”


“The driver of the truck, is he OK?” The fights were never what was driving me…

“Shego beat him severely, but he will live.”

And even though there’s very little said, I’m pretty sure he gets my point. “She…” Betty shook her head to clear it. “Where…?”

“She is still at large.” He managed to look embarrassed. “To tell the truth, Ma’am, we have not pursued her with much vigor. Global Justice's official stance is that the incident is a matter for the local police. And between her saving the world from that Wormonga creature last month and the evident reason for her attack on the driver… well, there has not been much enthusiasm for her apprehension.”

“I see.” A flash of green and black… Hot tears falling on her face… Strong hands holding her head…An insistent, worried voice… “Is there anything that requires my immediate attention?” No, the real reason why I needed to fight Kim was because... “Anything that...” the real reason why I needed to fight Kim was because... “Anything I...” I needed to fight Kim because after I fought her, I had an excuse to... “Anything…”

“Dr. Director…? Ma’am…?” There was concern in his voice.

I had an excuse to spend time with you... “What?” She snapped. I’ll visit you as soon as I can.

“You were drifting off, Ma’am. You should rest. I’ll come back and visit tomorrow.” A flash of green and black… Hot tears falling on her face… Strong hands holding her head…An insistent, worried voice… stay strong. Stay alive... I’ll visit you as soon as I can... Hot breath on her cheek followed by a brief caress of lips...

Betty closed her eye and shook her head. I couldn’t deny it any more… She was missing something important. You sat with me until I fell asleep. She fought to stay awake against the affects of her pain medication. An insistent, worried voice…Something important had happened and she needed to figure it out. You still don’t get it, do you...? Betty's fingers brushed her cheek and her frown of concentration eased into a brief smile as sleep finally took her.


[End notes:

This is the conclusion of this particular plot bunny. However, I have several ideas about where this can go and I think they are all interesting. When I get around to it, the next section of the story will probably be called “Give me one reason.”


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