Title: An Unacceptable Sitch 6
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.
"Stupid kung-fu fighting," one of the hoodlums muttered.
"Stupid ninjas," the other replied.
"Hey, am I going to have to gag you two?"
They fell silent as the masked individual pulled on the rope one last time. The two would-be muggers were now tied together, hanging upside down. Rope bound their ankles and they swung gently in the night breeze. Their captor tied the other end of the rope securely to a nearby dumpster.
The captor in question was medium height and slim, in a complete form-fitting black bodysuit that even covered her fingers and toes. She was obviously a she, however, from the feminine physique and bosom. She also wore black headgear with mesh over her eyes so that not even those could be seen and identified.
"I'll be going now," she said, "but I'll make sure you're not lonely for long. When I call 911, should I give them your names?" They didn't seem interested in the offer, and she turned to leave.
As she prepared to disappear into the shadows, however, there were sudden thumps behind her, and grunting noises.
She spun around and saw that the two criminals had been rendered unconscious by two new arrivals. "Was that really necessary?" she asked.
"When heroes such as ourselves talk," Yvonne Acceptable replied, "it's best if others aren't around, or able, to hear it. It lets everyone speak freely."
"So you're the Onyx," John Acceptable said. "I see why. Ninja?"
"Do I need some special insignia to go along with the gear?" Onyx asked. "Because if I'm going to continue to be mistaken for your garden-variety ninja, I need to find something to make this ensemble unique."
"I'm John, and this is my sister Yvonne," John answered, grinning. "We're two of the Acceptables."
"I know who you are," Onyx said.
"You guys do know you've been on television, right?"
Yvonne smiled politely. "And you've been in the local newspapers. Don't worry, I'm sure you'll make the TV screens some day too."
"Not interested, you know? The idea is quick, silent, blending in with the dark. If someone got me on video, it would mean I was doing something wrong."
"Anyway," John said, "back to why we're here, we just wanted to welcome you to the fold. We don't really concern ourselves with these penny-ante criminals, you know. We handle the big stuff."
"Those two clowns," Onyx informed them, "were armed with a gun and a knife. If they'd tried to rob someone before I found them, and things had gone south, someone could be hurt or dead. I don't view that as penny-ante."
Yvonne shrugged. "Whatever."
Onyx placed her hands on her hips. "Do I get a membership card now?"
"Membership card, heh, that's funny," John told her. "We just wanted to get an idea of your intentions."
"Fight crime, save lives. Is that going to be a problem?"
"No, no, of course not," John assured her. "We were thinking more along the lines of your ambitions, actually. My family wasn't always saving the world, you know. We had to start small."
"Right, and Kim Possible was doing it before you showed up," Onyx reminded them.
Yvonne only smiled more brightly, but John's smile slipped for a moment. "Which just goes to show how things can change," he eventually replied.
"Yes," Onyx agreed.
There was a pause, and she realized the Acceptables had gradually come closer, even as they seemed to walk about aimlessly as they spoke. "So?" Yvonne asked at last.
"Do you have ambitions beyond cleaning up human trash in the Middleton area?" Yvonne pressed her.
"Don't have the resources," Onyx admitted. "But if my path takes me there, then I wouldn't be averse to fighting on a wider stage."
The Acceptable siblings had no reaction. "Well, just as long as you don't get in our way," John told her. "You mentioned Possible, and she found out there wasn't room for two superhero teams, so she stepped aside. We might ask you to step aside if you interfered with our mission."
Onyx smiled beneath her mask. "Are you saying this world isn't big enough for the both of us?" she asked lightly.
"We're just saying we should work together more," Yvonne said. "Coordinate. Understand where we belong."
The other woman now frowned. It was like that old "red light" game. The Acceptables had split up so that she couldn't look at both siblings at the same time. Whenever she turned to look at one, they were perfectly still, but the other would be coming closer.
"We shouldn't have secrets from each other," John added. "We're on the same side. How about letting us see the woman behind the name?"
"No, thanks," she replied. "Lends mystery."
As if she hadn't spoken, John actually reached toward her head to take her headgear off.
She slapped his hand away forcefully, angered now. "No means no, Johnny."
"Women always say no, Onyx," John replied, smirking.
"And while we're all this big, happy family," she continued, "try getting the name right? It's Oryx. _Oryx_."
They both stood there and looked at her blankly. "What's an Oryx?" John asked.
"An oryx," Oryx informed them, "is an African horned gazelle. The newspapers saw the 'r' and thought it was an 'n'. Because of the black - really, how unoriginal do they think I am?"
"I hear gazelles run pretty fast," Yvonne said idly.
"Yeah, but the oryx doesn't run. It fights."
Then Oryx whipped out what she'd been hiding behind her back almost from the moment they'd arrived. John was standing so near that he couldn't react as she pressed the small black device against his chest. The stun gun was an appropriate choice, she thought. Like the deer and gazelle, it had two prongs, and a nice kick.
John cried out as she delivered a shock that was five times greater than your typical store-bought shocking device. Then she struck him in the temple with a sweeping high kick, knocking him into Yvonne's feet. Yvonne tumbled down.
"Laters," Oryx said as she ran for it.
"Shouldn't have done that, rookie," Yvonne hissed as she struggled to her feet and pursued her.
Fifty yards away, however, Yvonne braked to a stop and looked around in consternation. There were shadows everywhere, and Oryx had basically been swallowed by them.
"Where are you?" she called in frustration.
Oryx's reply floated back to her. "Gazelles can leap too," she said mockingly, and Yvonne could tell it came from somewhere above her.
Kicking the dust angrily, Yvonne went back to collect her brother. "Mrs. Acceptable isn't going to like this," she muttered. "Which means Mr. Acceptable isn't either."
"Lobster, I will have you know, is not only a fine dish, but it is also much preferred by the supervillain set," Señor Senior Senior informed Kim and Shego as they looked at the shellfish being set down in front of them. "The lobster is kept alive in a small cell, its appendages tightly bound. Then it is lowered into a vat of boiling water, where it dies a slow death." He sighed contentedly. "As you can see, it is quite like the deathtraps our kind are so traditionally fond of."
"Well, maybe so, but I'm allergic to lobster," Shego replied, pushing it away.
Rufus happily leapt off Kim's shoulder and ran down to Shego's dish, separating the shell from the meat with his teeth.
"I don't think I can eat a whole lobster," Kim said hesitantly.
"Eat what you can, girls," Senior reminded them. "You burn the calories faster than you put them on."
The Kimmunicator in Kim's pocket suddenly went off. Kim ripped it out. "Hello, Wade?" she asked carefully. Maybe it was him, and maybe it was an Acceptable. And maybe it was someone else.
"Ron?!" She glanced at Rufus and saw he hadn't even heard her. His head was buried in the chest of the lobster like he was bobbing for apples. "I'm going to take this outside," Kim said to the others as she pushed her chair back and darted out.
Shego watched her go. "Letters from home," she said, sneering.
Kim closed the door to her room and sat on the bed. "Hi, Ron," she said, trying to sound casual and failing. She was smiling so broadly.
"Kim, Kim, Kim," he answered. "Preferring the likes of Shego to my company? If you knew you were going to unretire, at least you could have asked me if I wanted to be a sidekick again before you recruited one."
"Didn't want to pull us both out of school. Besides, you do have that affection for beer," Kim chided him.
"Yeah, well," Ron said, rubbing the back of his neck, "I took a leave of absence."
"Training," he told her. "Been working on my pecs. Zita - she's my personal trainer - she and I used to go out, you might remember. So she runs me ragged in the gym, because she's got extra incentive to see me in pain."
Kim shook her head. "You have such a way with girls, Ron."
"Hey, what about you? Your new pal has way more incentive than Zita does to see you suffer," he reminded her.
"She's not so bad, actually," Kim replied, "when she hates someone else more than she hates you."
"Speaking of the leave of absence," Ron admitted, "I'm thinking of transferring anyway."
"Cooking school. I think my grades are average enough to get me in."
"Ron, that's great!" she said sincerely.
"Yeah, plus there is this one school I'm looking at in California, when this is all over . . ."
Kim blinked. "That wouldn't be near Stanford, would it?"
"Forty minutes away, KP."
She couldn't help it. She was an adult, but she still squealed with joy. "Hoo-shah!"
Rufus poked his head out of the shell of his lobster. "Kim?" he squeaked.
"Your owner called, and she went running," Shego muttered as she picked at her salad.
"Ohh," Rufus sighed.
Senior had little difficulty enjoying his lobster. "The meat is sweet, especially with butter and lemon," he observed, "but sometimes getting there is equally satisfying." He grabbed one of the lobster's claws and pulled one of the pincers back until it completely snapped.
The combination of the visual and the audio made Shego suddenly flinch in her chair, for reasons she couldn't immediately explain.
Rufus' eyebrows rose. He scrambled around the lobster and took a pincer in both his little paws. He pulled back until it broke off, and then he chortled, holding the appendage in the air.
Shego shuddered, and a memory echoed in her mind.
(_I've given you all the information on Drakken I have! What else do you want from me?_)
(_I want to see you cry, Shego._)
(And cry she did after he'd broken one of her fingers a third time.)
Rufus merrily cracked open the lobster's other pincer.
Shego felt nauseous, and she bolted from the dining room.
Senior and the rodent looked at each other. "Perhaps she is more allergic than she thought," Senior mused.
"So who's the new mole rat?" Kim asked.
"That would be Rufus Two," Ron replied. "Temporarily, anyway. It's a girl, and I don't think she would go for that."
Kim was about to reply when she heard footsteps followed by the sound of Shego's door slamming. The door between their apartments was open, and she could hear Shego making odd noises as she ran by the doorway.
"Uh, Ron? I think I might have to split," she said doubtfully.
"No big, Kim. Wade says we can't go over a certain time limit anyway. Just wanted to check in with you."
"Thanks, Ron," Kim replied. "I needed that."
"Tell Rufus I miss him."
She promised to do so and terminated the connection. Then she cautiously stood and walked into Shego's rooms. "Shego?"
The door to her bedroom was shut, and she knocked. "Go away," Shego called.
Kim had never taken orders from Shego, and she wasn't about to. She turned the knob and entered.
Shego was lying facedown on the bed, and she looked up. "I said . . ."
Kim almost sat on the bed, but she was afraid of what Shego might do if she got too close, so she sat cross-legged on the floor instead. "What's wrong?" she asked again.
Shego muttered under her breath. "I said nothing. I just was reminded of something that happened to me in the Acceptables' lair."
She said nothing for a minute. "They were breaking the lobster claws in the dining room," Shego said softly, "and I remembered how John Acceptable broke my fingers. I told you about that, right?"
"They'd been interrogating me pretty hard those first few weeks," Shego went on. "They wanted Drakken's plans, his hideouts, his inventions, his bank accounts, everything. After a while, when regular beatings weren't enough, they used other methods. John liked to power up the old generator and find interesting places to put the alligator clamps," she said flatly.
"That's inhuman," Kim whispered.
Shego shrugged. "Sadistic people aren't exactly new for me," she said. "Hell, I like to twist the knife now and then. Don was more of a results guy. John was more emotional. And I screamed and screamed, and eventually Don and his folks got everything they wanted. But not John."
"What more did he want?"
"He wanted my tears, all right?" Shego snapped. "He wanted to see me cry. And I gave that to him too. He broke me. I would have given him anything just to make him stop grinding the bones in my fingers against each other. You can't imagine how excruciating that pain is. It's like lasers traveling up and down your spine. Maybe it wasn't the worst thing they ever did to me, but the thought of him doing it to all ten fingers - I knew he would, you see. I was so fucking afraid of that, I cried. I willed tears, and then I was crying for real, because that's when I gave up." She paused. "When I escaped, I'd been shamming being docile so they'd relax, but for a long time there, it wasn't a scam. It was real. And I will never forget that."
"Maybe instead of thinking about what they made you do," Kim suggested, "you could focus on when you started to fight back."
Shego rolled over so that she was staring at the ceiling. "You don't have the answers here, all right, Kimmie?"
Kim got up now and sat next to her on the bed. "If you're saying you want me to shut up, then fine. I'll shut up. But I'm not going to leave you here alone with your demons, Shego."
The brunette closed her eyes and mumbled something.
"What was that?"
"Stop talking," Shego muttered. "But you can stay. If you want to."
Kim nodded, and she took the hand that she knew had been injured. Shego's hand tensed, but then she relaxed.
And as she'd promised, she didn't say a word.
John snapped the cattle prod in two and discarded the pieces. One end still smoldered. "He doesn't know anything," he said to Don, who was watching him.
"We questioned Junior a couple days after she escaped with Possible, remember?" Don reminded him.
"I thought I'd make sure," John said.
"You thought you'd relieve the embarrassment of losing that Oryx girl, not long after that debacle with Kim Possible. But anybody can torture a man tied to a chair. Completing the mission is what you need to be Acceptable."
"Who are you, our father?" John snapped.
Don chuckled bitterly. "I'm not that big an asshole."
"So what do you want?"
"Stoppable's been using a personal trainer lately. She's an ex-girlfriend, it turns out. The 'rents think she could be the Oryx."
"They want me to tail her?" John asked hopefully.
"Yeah, right. 'Women always say no'? Are you that un-PC? The trainer's my assignment. They want you to take over following Ron. See if you can avoid fucking that one up."
"Screw you," John muttered.
"That's our mother's job," Don said.
To be continued . . .