Title: An Unacceptable Sitch 5
Spoilers: None that I can think of.
Feedback: As this is my first story in a fandom I've only begun following in the last month, I hope everyone will give me their opinions.
Disclaimers: Kim Possible, Ron Stoppable, Shego, Wade, and all other characters from the Kim Possible television series belong to Disney, its television production arm, and the creators and producers of the animated series. I seek no profit from writing this, and expect none.
"Such exertions!" Señor Senior Senior observed as the two women leaned both hands on their knees and breathed heavily, the sweat dripping from their foreheads. "One would almost think you were still trying to kill each other."
"Who says we're not?" Shego said between pants.
"I never tried to kill her," Kim managed to protest. "That's the difference between me and the Acceptables."
"That and you're not nuts," Shego muttered.
Kim looked up. "You're not in your wheelchair!" she said, surprised.
"I am old, Kim Possible, not paralyzed!" he replied. "In recent years I did not have the energy to walk about. Lately, however, I have not been feeling quite so decrepit." He rested his hands on the knob of his cane and regarded them.
"Checking us out?" Shego challenged him.
"My intentions are not so prurient as you suppose, Shego," he replied. "Tell me, Shego. Do you recall the first time you were here? When you had my son as a pupil?"
She sighed. "Yes."
"You were never exactly worried that the student would outshine the master, were you?" Senior asked dryly.
"Well, no, I wasn't," she admitted.
"I thought as much. It was probably for the same reason that you left him behind when you escaped from the Acceptables," he went on. "Oh, don't worry," he added, seeing the troubled look in her eye. "I know you told me you were in separate parts of the building, but it's because he would have been a liability, no? This was your last chance to get away, after all."
Shego stood up straight. "If I'd known I would end up here, I might have reconsidered."
"I doubt that," he said. "What incentive would I have had then to allow you to recover here? Besides, it would have made a poor hiding place for you. The Acceptables would have looked here first, and I suspect neither you, I, or my son would have been able to repel them."
Kim watched him uncomfortably. She had no idea where he was going with this.
Senior dropped his hand. "But I am allowing myself to be distracted. As I was saying, you could teach my son however you wished, because he would never be a threat to you. I wonder, however - have you both been giving one hundred percent in these training and workout sessions over the past two weeks?"
"What's that supposed to mean?" Kim asked. "I always give my all."
"Even if it means teaching Shego everything she knows?" Senior asked, raising an eyebrow. "Showing her your weaknesses? How to read your body language, anticipate what comes next?" He sighed. "What if you defeat the Acceptables, and Shego sets her sights on you, Miss Possible?"
Kim glanced at Shego, whose face didn't give anything away. "I'd prefer to worry about one enemy at a time," she said.
"Are you enemies even now?" Senior inquired.
"Ask the girl who locks her bedroom door at night," Kim said.
"I'm not the only one," Shego shot back. "And what kind of stupid questions are these, anyway? This is a truce. If we're still alive, she and I go back to whatever it is we were doing before."
"It's just those kind of answers that make me ask such questions!" Senior retorted, sounding angry for the first time. "I have allowed you to stay here because you are my last best chance at seeing my son again while I am still alive! So I must insist that you try to like each other, perhaps try to _trust_ each other. Worry about defeating the Acceptables, not whether you're creating a deadlier Shego or a more powerful Kim Possible, or the two of you can leave and fend for yourselves!" He gestured curtly out the door, but this last effort seemed to weaken him, and he began coughing.
Kim looked doubtfully at Shego. She couldn't imagine that Shego would ever hold back in a fight - she went to bed exhausted every night! - but had she, on some level, withheld something from their sparring? Had she kept a card or two from Shego?
Shego shrugged. "He's worrying about a lot of nothing, I think. Heck, the world used to stop just to watch us fight. How could anything stop us when we're working together?"
"Maybe," Kim said, "but do you think we can really work together when we don't trust each other?"
"Sometimes circumstances make for strange bedfellows," Shego said blithely.
Senior's face seemed to grow longer as one of his employees appeared from behind and hurriedly told him something in his ear. "It would appear," he finally said, "that this conversation will have to be delayed. An airplane was headed toward the island, but it's no longer on radar. Which means it has descended below radar level. We will have to activate the air defenses. It may be the Acceptables have found you after all."
Kim and Shego looked at each other and followed him as he disappeared into the hall.
Eventually they found themselves in the main control room from where Senior and his men monitored the island. "We have visual contact," Senior said grimly as he sat down. "It's flying over our island now."
The computer screen showed a small plane passing overhead. It was briefly blotted out by something before it appeared again and changed direction.
"What's that?" Shego asked as something else descended slowly.
"It appears to be a parachute," Senior said.
"There's only one," Kim pointed out.
"It could be a bomb. I need better visual magnification," Senior replied, typing quickly.
There was a moment's silence as the image came into better focus.
"That's gross," Shego finally said. "It looks like a penis."
"That is _not_ a penis," Kim retorted excitedly, "and I'll ask you not to repeat that in front of him."
"Is that a rodent?" Senior asked curiously.
"It is. Specifically, it's a naked mole rat," Kim said. "And his name is Rufus. Which means my family knows where we are."
Shego stared. "That hairless rat your doofus sidekick always had with him? That's the best they could do?"
"He appears to have some sort of package strapped to his body," Senior observed.
"Let's find out who's the doofus, shall we?" Kim asked sweetly.
Shego growled at her.
Kim only half-paid attention to the mole rat squeezing her knee tightly as she knelt in front of him. Maybe he was being affectionate, and maybe he was just hiding from the pale woman who was glaring at him. "Thanks, Rufus," she whispered. She ripped the package open.
Her breath caught in her throat. Inside was a brand-new Kimmunicator.
"Oh, that's a great idea," Shego said sarcastically. "Send us another copy of what they hacked into the first time. Doy."
Kim also was uncertain. What if she turned it on and the Acceptables found them?
Before she could wait any longer, however, Rufus ran over to the package and turned it on.
She couldn't go on, though, because a familiar face was on the screen. "Hey, Kim," Wade said smugly.
"Wade," she breathed. "It's good to see you," she said sincerely.
"Some of us weren't sure we'd ever see you again," he replied as she stood up, tightly clutching her first link to home in weeks. "I liked the clue, though. Subtle."
"It was no big," she said.
"What clue?" Shego asked.
Wade frowned. "Still stuck with Shego, huh?"
"Tell me about it," Kim said dryly.
"When I noticed the 's' and '3' keys were disabled on the miniature keypad," Wade explained, "I figured that was some kind of low-tech hint. Which, admittedly, isn't exactly my department, but it didn't take a rocket scientist to guess that you were referring to the Triple S, Señor Senior Senior."
"Did Stoppable know?" Shego asked.
"As I was saying," Wade said evasively.
"Could you quit insulting Ron for two seconds?" Kim snapped at her while Rufus made faces. "Someone could get the idea you were somehow jealous of him."
Shego appeared outraged by the notion, but she also fell silent.
"But Wade," Kim said, "won't the Acceptables be listening to this?"
"Nope," he assured her. "The old Kimmunicator was years behind the times, Kim. I never really bothered to update it for security purposes because you weren't in the hero business any longer. It took me and a few guys here at the lab a couple weeks, but we put virtually every security and encryption device and code we could think of into this little machine. I tested it out last night to be sure. I told Ron I'd be meeting you at a secret location, and they never showed up. The Acceptable Family is officially locked out of your mailbox, Kim."
"Yes!" she said exultantly. "How is everyone?"
"Your family's fine," Wade told her. "We think the Acceptables have them under twenty-four hour surveillance, though."
"How does he know all this?" Shego asked suspiciously. "You never had time to tell him what happened to us, because you got rid of the old Kimmunicator after we learned they were hacking it. How do we even know this is the real Wade? If Dr. D could fool you once into believing he was Wade, so could the Acceptables."
"If I was the Acceptables," Wade said calmly, "I would already be there."
"He appears to have a point," Senior noted.
"Anyway, it wasn't too hard to figure out," Wade continued. "One night you're telling me about Shego and her story about the Acceptables. The next day you vanish without a trace. _Then_ the Acceptables come to your parents, Kim."
"Mom and Dad?" Kim asked, alarmed.
"Relax, they wanted your folks to know that you'd been kidnapped by Shego, and that they should contact the Acceptables if they heard from you," Wade said. "But the Shego you described to me couldn't have abducted a Happy Meal, much less you, Kim. When we got the Kimmunicator in the mail later, we knew you weren't being held against your will. There's still a lot none of us know about what's going on, though."
Kim sighed. "The Acceptables tried to kill Shego, and then me when I got in the way."
Wade's eyes widened. "For real?" he asked.
"I wouldn't be hiding on Señor Senior Senior's private island if it wasn't," Kim snapped. Then she closed her eyes and held her forehead. "I'm sorry, Wade. These last couple of weeks have been a major stress overload."
"Don't worry about it," Wade said. "Anyway, you can't talk to Ron or your parents just yet, Kim. They have the new Kimmunicators too, but they don't know exactly when they're being watched, so they'll contact you when they feel secure."
"Okay," Kim answered, sniffling. This was a big boost for her, but she'd hoped to talk to someone else, especially Ron.
Shego snorted. "If you're going to dissolve into tears, I'm leaving."
"Don't bother, I'm leaving," Kim replied, suddenly needing privacy, especially needing to talk to Wade without Shego and the triple S listening in.
She left so quickly that she forgot about Rufus, who ran after her but met resistance as the door closed between them. He pounded with his little fists.
"Just what I needed, a hairless mammal in my control room," Senior murmured.
"Don't get your rubber underwear in a knot," Shego said. "I'll take him."
Rufus cringed but she was too fast for him. She scooped him up and went out the way Kim left.
Shego slowed down as she neared the door to Kim's room, unable to resist eavesdropping. Rufus tried to make a noise but she shoved him into her pocket.
"Is Ron really upset?" Kim was asking inside.
"He was pretty frantic for a while," Wade admitted. "He was able to focus, though. He's been working out a lot, actually."
"Ron?" Kim said.
"He said he had a little bit of a beer belly to work off," Wade said. "Plus, remember Zita?"
Kim had almost forgotten her. "They dated in high school," she remembered now.
"Well, she's his personal trainer at the gym he works out at. I think they might be rekindling the friendship while they're at it."
Shego stared. How could anyone be attracted to that nimrod?
"Hey, it's good someone isn't letting Ron slack off," Kim chuckled, though her good humor seemed a bit forced.
"We're going to need Ron to get you out of this," Wade told her. "You guys are practically alone. Not even Global Justice can help."
"What's wrong with GJ?" Kim asked.
"I was able to hack into their databanks. You know how those guys weren't quite as smart as they thought they were. Anyway, it looks like Dr. Director was one of the few people who didn't seem too enamored of the Acceptable Family," Wade explained, "but she was injured in an accident and she had to retire. The new head of Global Justice is all buddy-buddy with the Acceptables now."
"Great," Kim sighed.
"I do have a message from Monique, though," Wade added. "We couldn't get her a Kimmunicator because it looks like the Acceptables aren't paying any attention to her, and we don't want to raise any red flags. But she says when this is all over, the two of you are going out one night and painting Middleton red."
Shego barely heard the muffled "Thanks, Wade." When she peeked inside, Kim had her head buried inside a pillow, and Shego realized she was trying to hide her tears from the computer genius.
"She's sacrificing a lot because of me," Shego thought, and the realization made her shiver.
"Wait, Wade," Kim suddenly said, and Shego could hear her suppress any further waterworks. "If Ron is being watched, won't they notice Rufus is missing?"
"Taken care of, KP," Wade promised. "Ron bought a second naked mole rat and is calling her Rufus."
"It's a she. I think Rufus liked her."
Shego felt something and looked down. Rufus was sticking out of her pocket and sighing longingly.
Kim gasped. "Oh my God, Rufus! I left him down there!"
"Keep your top on," Shego muttered as she entered, pulling Rufus out. "He was getting on my nerves, so I brought him up. Maybe you can control him."
Rufus stuck his tongue out at her.
"Thanks," Kim said quietly as Rufus jumped down next to her on the bed.
"I'd better go, Kim," Wade told her reluctantly. "Even with all the new safeguards, if this convo lasts much longer, the Acceptables might be able to crack the code."
"Then you'd better go," Kim answered. "It was good seeing you again."
"You too, Kim," he said softly. "Don't worry, your parents and Ron will get to you soon."
Shego held her tongue and refrained from making sarcastic remarks as Kim turned it off. "Looks like it's just us again, huh?"
Kim nodded. "I actually feel more lonely than ever," she whispered, and Rufus crawled into her lap and settled down there. She looked at Shego. "Maybe we could try working on the liking thing, like Senior said?" she asked carefully.
Shego shoved her hands into her pockets. "I suppose," she muttered, "we could do a better job enjoying each other's company."
Rufus blinked and rubbed his eyes.
"You want to practice some more?" Shego asked.
"No, I think right now I'd just like to think by myself," Kim said.
"Fine," Shego replied. "I'll be in my room then."
She left, but instead of closing the adjoining door behind her, she left it wide open.
Kim looked at the open door. "Thanks again," she said.
There was no answer, but she knew Shego had heard her.
To be continued . . .