Spoilers: Takes place after "But for the Grace of Ron".
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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. All original characters are my invention. I seek no profit from writing this, and expect none.
"You'd better postpone any jobs we've taken for the next couple of days," Kim said as she walked with purpose toward the hangar where Sappho was kept. "There's no telling how long we'll be out there, or what shape we'll be in when we get back."
"I've already taken care of it," Dr. Director said as she kept up with Kim. "And you sound very confident that you'll be coming back."
"Oh, please," Shego said from behind. "Monty couldn't beat her before! And the only thing that's changed since then is he's gotten a little more arthritic, AND he's got me to worry about. What the hell is he going to do to us?"
"He's had five years to plan in the jungle," Dr. Director observed. "There's no telling what defenses his hideout has."
"And that's NOT the only thing that's changed," Kim added. "Monkey Fist buying gorillas? Monkey Fist putting contracts out on people? And no matter how many times he lost to me, he was always the one enemy whose fighting skills approached my own."
"Not counting sidekicks," Kim told Shego quickly.
"And despite all that," Dr. Director said, "you're sure you will return."
"Oh, we'll win. I mean, doy," Kim replied.
Shego blinked. "Did you just swipe one of my catchphrases?" she asked, surprised.
"Uh, I guess I did," Kim said. She hadn't even realized.
"And yet she's never once said 'Booyah!'."
"Why isn't Monique coming anyway?" Ron asked as he brought up the rear.
"Awww, does Ronnie-poo miss his sweetie pie?"
"You should talk, Ms. I-heart-Kim Possible."
Kim laughed quietly as Shego turned and gaped at him. She didn't seem to have a comeback to that. "We didn't put her on retainer for this kind of mission, Ron," she explained. "Whatever we're getting into, I think the three of us can handle it."
Ron nodded. He STILL hadn't told Kim that she was mistaken about his relationship with Monique. He hadn't really had the time, and besides, there was one upside . . .
"And you haven't shown her any of your moves, right, Stoppable?" Shego growled. "I don't need you teaching her wrong!"
"For the fifth time, no," Ron sighed. That wasn't technically true - actually, that wasn't true no matter HOW you looked at it - but it protected him from their wrath. And even if he said no a hundred times, Shego wouldn't entirely believe him. He could see it was driving her nuts.
Like he'd said, there was an upside.
Still, he wondered why they were both so rabid about he and Monique not practicing their moves with each other. It was almost like they weren't telling him something. But of course, KP told him everything.
Except her sex life. And that was his call. He shivered. Shego behind closed doors was not a mental image he needed.
"Well, get in touch the minute you're finished," Dr. Director was telling Kim, and Ron realized they were at the hangar.
"You've been spending too much time with my mother. You sound like her," Kim said good-naturedly.
Betty looked a bit embarrassed by that. "Sorry," she said. "Make sure you report in when the mission is over."
"Very GJ," Kim assured her as they went in.
"Urgent mission, Kim?" Dr. Freeman asked as they arrived.
"Let's call it another 'animal retrieval'," Kim told him. "What brings you here?"
"Well, actually, someone's having a conversation with Sappho. They wanted to clear it with me first."
Kim looked around but didn't see anyone near the spaceship. "Where?"
"She's inside. I'm sure Vivian will be out momentarily.
Then the hatch opened, and a gorgeous blonde came striding out.
"I'm telling Monique on you," Shego jeered.
"Save it, Shego," Kim said as she went to meet the other woman. "Doctor Porter?"
"Kim Possible," Vivian Porter said. "It's been a long time."
"Years, probably," Kim replied. Dr. Porter had been a knockout when she was younger, and five years only made her fill out her clothes better.
And yet Kim's appreciation for her looks didn't extend into actual physical attraction. Sometimes she wondered about her sexual orientation. Maybe she was only into Shegos.
"Find a clone of Shego that doesn't melt, and you could have a hell of a night."
Kim turned bright red. She almost could have sworn Shego had said that, but that purr had been in her mind alone. Obviously Shego's effect on her wasn't limited to catchphrases!
"How's Oliver?" Kim asked, trying to cover up her embarrassment.
"Still the same, with a few upgrades," Vivian said.
"I don't recognize her," Shego said. "Did Dr. Drakken abduct her?"
"Dr. Porter's problems weren't actually part of an insane world domination scheme, actually," Kim told her.
"It figures. Dr. D wouldn't have been able to handle her anyway. One look at her and he would have been tripping over his tongue the whole time," Shego said, losing interest.
Vivian looked at Shego. "I don't remember her, either," she said to Kim. "You have a new sidekick?"
Shego scowled while Ron quickly raised a hand. "Still here, VF," he said.
"What's your interest in Sappho?" Kim asked.
Dr. Porter shook her head. "I'm not at liberty to say. It's a confidential matter - "
"She's helping me with Thomas," Dr. Director spoke up as she came over.
"Oh! Hello, Betty," Vivian said. "I had an interesting conversation with Sappho. Shall I share with you once they've gone?"
"Certainly, yes," Betty agreed, although she felt a trifle awkward and she couldn't say why. Possibly because she hadn't intended this Dr. Freeman to hear anything about Thomas.
"So you're finished?" Kim asked.
"Yes," Vivian said. "You need her now?"
"Please and thank you."
"Good luck, Kim," Dr. Director said.
Shego snorted. "We won't need it, but thanks anyway."
Ron just went on looking at Vivian. She was years older, but man, someone like that made Ron remember that he was a single man in his prime. Suddenly the Ron Man's arm was feeling a mite lonely!
Too bad he and Monique were just friends . . .
Kim pulled out her Kimmunicator as she headed towards Sappho. "Wade, anything new?"
"I've got more precise coordinates," he told her. "There's a large stone structure about half a mile from where the email originated, possibly carved out of the hillside or something. But you'll have to jump a mile or so from there. The trees are too dense over the structure, and you'd get tangled up in seconds."
"I'd take the farther drop anyway," she said. "Maintain the element of surprise."
"Hello, Kim Possible," Sappho said brightly as Kim approached. "Oh, and Shego too," she added. She tried to sound nonchalant, but Kim could still tell who she was excited about.
"Just because you're on the Team Possible payroll doesn't mean you have to kiss up to me, Sappho," Kim said. "We both know you just want Shego to fly you."
"Is she?" Sappho asked. She sounded almost pathetically eager.
"I can already feel the stick in my hands," Shego murmured.
Sappho turned bright pink.
Dr. Freeman sighed. "I should have programmed a greater appreciation of the color gray when I designed her."
"Sadie always greets me when I get in," Ron complained. "How come Sappho doesn't greet me?"
Sappho sniffed. "I am nothing like my cousin."
"In other words, either the car loves you or the spaceship, but not both, Ron," Kim said.
"And I thought you and the TWEEBS were contentious," Ron said.
Ron panted as he pulled at the collar of his mission shirt. "Hey Shego," he said. "How about turning on those gloves of yours and waving them in front of my face? I'm DYING from the heat out here!"
"How about I just - " Shego began to snap, but a look from Kim stopped her. "I'm not sure how effective they'd be with this heat and humidity," she instead said. "Anything I touched would probably melt in a half-second."
"Well said," Kim said.
"Yeah, yeah," Shego muttered. "Must be nicer to Stoppable. What the hell was I thinking when I said that?"
They were making their way south through the dense tropical jungle of central Africa. Progress was slow. At least their outfits, as always mostly shades of green and black, allowed them to blend in better.
And as Ron had observed, it was beastly hot out. Kim looked at Shego again, then at herself. The one failing of her cargo pants had always been their performance in tropical climates. In her tight leggings, Shego probably didn't feel as sweaty below the waist.
Maybe the jumpsuit would have been -
Kim stopped herself. She was actually looking for an EXCUSE to dress like Shego! Well, maybe there was a time for that, but she wasn't going to admit that just a couple weeks before Ron and Monique would complete the wager.
When Shego lost, perhaps Kim would make sure their next mission was somewhere cold, so Shego might look at Kim's pants with a bit of envy.
Kim contented herself with this notion until she froze in her tracks. "Whoa," she said.
"Subtle," Shego said sarcastically.
"Don't forget sick and wrong," Ron added.
It was a monkey temple. Of course it was a monkey temple. And it was in fact, like Wade had guessed, hewn into the face of a cliff. None of them could tell how big the interior was. But the simian snarl that was its front entrance was imposing, if crude, and looked oddly new.
"Monty must have made this one himself," Shego said. "It sure as hell doesn't look two thousand years old."
"Did this world really need another monkey temple?" Ron sighed.
"Monkey Fist always did have an exalted opinion of himself," Kim said, rolling her eyes. "Let's find a back way."
"Up the monkey's butt?" Shego asked, grinning.
Rufus spoke for Ron by poking his head out of Ron's pocket and holding his nose shut. Then he wiped sweat away and drooped over the pocket's edge.
"Word, little buddy," Ron said. He patted the mole rat on the head while Kim and Shego began taking a circuitous route around the temple.
Before Ron could try to follow them, the ground went out from under him. "Whoa!" he cried out as the earth moved, causing him to fall in.
"Ron!" Kim shouted, turning around.
"The element of surprise just got un-maintained," Shego said, scowling.
As if to prove her words, another opening appeared at their feet, and they vanished into the darkness below.
"Ow," Shego groaned as she sat up. "Stupid chimp booby-traps."
"Kim. Where are you? Where are we?"
They were in pitch blackness, but a light appeared as Kim turned on her Kimmunicator. "I'm not getting a signal," she said. "We must be far below the ground."
"My tailbone agrees with you," Shego muttered. She got up and went over to Kim, who was already standing. "You all right?"
Kim nodded and smiled. "Thanks for asking. You?"
"I'm pissed as hell now, but nothing a little spankage of Monty won't cure."
"Nobody gets to spank Monty but me!"
Kim and Shego both started. "Who's there?" Kim asked, looking into the darkness.
There was a yellow flame suddenly, about thirty yards away, and the flames multiplied as torches were lit one by one. A woman faced away from them as she lit the few remaining, revealing a cylindrical chamber with a very high ceiling. There were hexagonal depressions in the walls around and above them, dozens of them, each the size of a pizza tray.
"Welcome," the woman said as she tossed the torch aside. "We've been expecting you."
"I know that voice," Kim said.
"So do I," Shego agreed. "I just heard it a few months ago. But it CAN'T be her!"
The woman turned around. "Never tell a scientist she can't do anything," DNAmy said.
They stared at her. "Guess you tried the South Beach diet after all, huh?" Shego finally asked. “Don’t I get a thank you?”
DNAmy was the same height as before, and above the neck she was still no beauty. But now she had a slim figure that most men would actually find appealing. "Nothing so chancy," DNAmy assured them. "I simply spliced hummingbird DNA into my own. Now my metabolism is so high that I need to eat four times a day just to maintain my current weight."
"You could revolutionize the dieting industry, DNAmy," Kim noted, "and instead you're slumming with Monkey Fist? Why?"
Shego groaned and suddenly slapped her face.
"What?" Kim asked.
"Remember when Drakken and DNAmy created that monster a while back?" Shego asked.
"Not to give you an image that will lead to nightmares, but Drakken actually fell for DNAmy."
"Ick," Kim said, grimacing.
"And she turned him down because she was already in love with Monty."
"Excuse me? I am in the room, you know," a visibly angry DNAmy said.
"Sorry, I forgot," Shego said. "There was a time I relied on those thundering noises your feet made when you walked to know where you were."
DNAmy seethed. "You can make all the snide remarks you like, Shego! Our love is eternal!"
"And your madness is never-ending!" Kim shot back. "Where's Monkey Fist? And Ron?"
"Oh, don't worry," DNAmy told them. "My Monty is taking care of Ron Stoppable."
"Someone gets the name, and he misses it," Shego said.
"You have your own problems," DNAmy went on.
There was a grating noise as dozens of hexagonal tiles slid sideways.
Behind each one was a pair of yellow eyes.
"Just great," Kim grumbled.
"Whooooaaaaaahhhhh!" Ron screamed as he slid down the ramp. "Now that was a ride!"
Finding himself unhurt, he stood up and looked around. He was in a square room, somewhat large. The ramp behind him was extremely smooth, as were the walls. He didn't see himself climbing back out, and there were no doors in plain sight.
One of the walls was different from the others, and he realized it was one huge monitor. One that very shortly was filled by the immense visage of Monkey Fist. "Well, well, if it isn't the false Monkey Master, Ron Stoppable," Fist sneered.
"At last they get the name right," Ron said. "Shego said we'd be going up the monkey's butt to get in here. I guess your face would be the logical finish."
Monkey Fist bared his teeth. "Laugh if you will. But your doom is nigh."
There was a hissing sound, and two small packages slid down the ramp and into the room. Ron looked at them. "Trap?"
"If you don't wish to open them, that's fine. One of them is filled with explosives wired to go in sixty seconds."
Ron swallowed. "Opening now," he said, reaching for them. "Uh, if I open it, does it blow up?"
"If I wanted that, you'd be Stoppable pizza right now."
"Uh, yeah." He opened the first container and found only a collar with a transparent gem attached. "Not a bomb," he said.
The second container was in fact packed with explosives, and a timer that showed 0:45. "THAT'S a bomb."
"I could deactivate it, you know."
"And there's no catch, right? This is all a big joke and you'll let me go?"
"Such rapier wit."
"Guess not. What's the catch then?"
"You must put the collar around your neck."
"I'm not the one here who needs tick and flea protection," Ron said.
"The timer is down to 0:30. Do you really want to keep talking?"
"I'd like to keep talking, breathing, eating, and oh yeah, kicking your tail."
"You know, I'm sensing this collar is bad, and you're not helping."
Ron grumbled as he took the collar out. "Does the gem go in front or in back? Because if it goes in front, I'm not sure I can buckle it without looking at what I'm doing."
"Oh for god's sake, it doesn't matter! Just put the damn thing on or you'll be painting the walls in thirteen seconds!"
"You've got the remote control! If you're in such a rush just push the button now!"
"Foolish pretender, I should just kill you right now!"
"Why don't you?" Ron shot back.
"Because you're going to put that damned collar on first!"
Ron sighed as he finally "put the damned thing on". "Happy?"
"Oh, yes," Monkey Fist purred as he lifted his hand and pressed something. The timer stopped on the explosives. Then he lifted his other hand and pushed something else.
The wall slid aside, revealing two hulking shapes swaddled in black cloth. They looked like monkey ninjas, except - bigger.
"Stoppable, meet your end. My morilla ninjas will destroy you!"
"Mo-whatsits?" Ron asked, sure only that they were apes, and therefore inherently evil.
"Morillas - half gorilla, half monkey. All the size and strength of the gorilla, with the monkey's agility and speed. You cannot defeat these creatures, Stoppable."
"Great," Ron sighed. "How about I take the collar off and you blow me up instead?"
"Sorry, I like this way better."
"Of course. And dude, morillas? You seriously need to go back to the drawing board on that. They sound like Cuddle Buddies!"
"Actually, it was DNAmy who coined the expression," Monkey Fist told him.
"And that was your first mistake," Ron said.
"For heavens - morilla ninjas, attack!"
If he was going to die, at least he deserved to die fighting something with a cooler name.