Author: Lex 'Spork' Tenou
Fandom: Kim Possible
Date in Calendar: 17 June 2006
Summary: What might have been.
Disclaimer: "Kim Possible" and all derivative characters are property of Disney. All original ideas are distributed under the CreativeCommons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License. For more information on the Creative Commons License, visit CreativeCommons.org.
The fighting is a constant in my life.
I have so few things I depend upon. My equipment can, and has, failed on me at the most inopportune times. People fall through on their promises of help or concealment. Last time, my escape had been narrow enough that it left me with a scar across my ribs. Weather is unpredictable even with the most advanced meteorology. The ebb and flow of society's favor defies logic.
But all of that that fades to nothing compared to what I know I will find when I encounter her. With her damnable smirk and her accursed talent, I am blocked at every turn by her abilities. She is a true challenge that I know I can always rely upon...and as such, she is my one constant.
We did not always fight.
There was a time when I admired her. Her ability to perform consistently, her willingness to put herself at great risk to save millions, nay, billions, who would never know of her sacrifices...all this instilled in me a kind of hero worship that I am still working to overcome.
It helped immensely, the first time I met her in combat as an enemy. The long, flowing hair that had distracted me so many times before was loose around her head, a defiant statement of her ability. I was an unknown, my face covered by my bodysuit, my own garishly bright red hair flowing freely over my shoulders. It, and my eyes, were the only clues she'd have to my identity, that first time.
I'd broken into the natural history museum downtown, where a large blue diamond was on loan from a private collector. I don't recall which of the stuffed shirts it was, but I didn't care at the time, and I still don't now.
What mattered to me was the check.
That's all that mattered to me anymore. I used to be honest, hardworking, an upstanding all-American teenager, set to be Captain of the Cheerleading squad and begin my sophomore year of high school while helping people out in my spare time.
Then, my father was murdered.
The petulant whining bitch that was responsible was Drew Lipsky, a former classmate of my father's who was too weak willed and stupid to take a bit of teasing about his lack of scientific prowess. It is lucky for him that he was taken into custody so rapidly by Global Justice. Their prison is all that is keeping him alive.
The agony of getting there too late and holding my father as the life bled from his torn body is one that I would not wish on anyone. I still feel the stillness of his body in my arms as he told me he loved me while the warm gush of his blood coated my legs.
After that experience, I could no longer continue as I had. I found no fulfillment in my former activities. I quit the squad. I stopped responding to requests for help. I dropped out of school. I began to thieve and pilfer, seeking to allay some hole that had been created within me. I tried chemicals, people, hiding...
The money I recieve now for my jobs is enough to have allowed me to buy a new identity for my mother and brothers. They are safe, far from me, insulated from all I must do. I never tell them what I do, instead allowing them to think that being around them is too painful, when truthfully, it is far too dangerous. They don't ask questions of me and for that, I am grateful. They are happy with what I am able to provide monetarily.
I am wanted now, in multiple countries, by multiple agencies. If I were to list all the aliases I've been known by, the names that the papers have given me, you would recognize a good many of them. I am far from boastful in this, as it is, if anything, an understatement.
Unlike me, she is unknown.
I met her first so many years ago, in an operation that went south so quickly and so badly, I never got a chance to do my initial recon. Instead, I was left with only my thin cover and the sudden swarm of authorities.
As I sat amongst the cops and emergency personnel, none of whom questioned my story of merely walking by at the wrong time, she strode in. Her suit was tailored specifically to her body, hugging her curves in the way that expensive clothing does. The shield clipped to her belt gave her the freedom to walk amongst the throng, her dark sunglasses obscuring her eyes. She was stopped by a uniformed officer, hair shorn so closely to his head that it was barely visible as being light brown. The glasses didn't shift on her nose, but I felt the force of her presence radiating around her, forcing the young officer to stammer. I could not blame him - I could not tear my gaze from her. I can only pray that she did not notice.
She listened to him speak and she replied too softly for me to even hear a hint of her voice. I craved it then, but could think of no viable reason to get her to speak to me.
Then the glasses came off.
And she looked directly at me.
In that moment, I knew she could help heal the pain in me. I knew those I'd left behind would once again know me. Everything in our life would be blissful.
Then she turned and disappeared into the teeming morass of humanity that surrounded me. I waited a few minutes before slipping away.
I never finished my objective there, but since my client was one of the men killed, I've never found cause to lose sleep over that.
I hired a former associate to do some digging. I'd distanced myself from all those I used to know, out of some misguided effort to protect them from me. I kept very few contacts with my former life. The favor I called in then was the last I was owed. I would not see him again.
His work was as impeccable and invaluable as ever. Within an hour, he was able to present me with a ream of paper about her, including her personnel file from Global Justice.
As I held those papers in my hands, I smiled, sadly, and looked up at him. I thanked him and my eyes almost welled up with tears as his did. He nodded to me and signed off.
Unwilling to examine the morose pallor that threatened to overtake me, I turned my attention to learning all I could about my new paramour. I pored over those papers long into the night and all through the next day. I am still able to recall every word transcribed there about her, from the summary of her last physical, to the detailed statement she gave about the accident she and her brothers had been in as children.
Page by page, line by line, I learned about her. A twinge of conscience poked at my attention, but I ignored it. She was a distraction and I couldn't afford such things. I had to know her if I was going to eradicate her.
The physical pull I felt for her could be assuaged easily by a stand in with a passable physical resemblance, if not her. I had no doubt that I could have her. Her skills and athleticism, displayed in her file summaries, were enough to make my stomach flutter. Her spirit, and that twinkle of mischief in her eye, told me that she'd be a demon between the sheets. I could hardly wait.
I'd first seen her devilish grin many a month ago, our bodies pressing together in heavy combat. The blows we exchanged then left me sore for days, forcing me to lay low for far longer than I'd originally planned. I had also barely escaped the first time. I had felt the moist heat of her breath on the back of my neck as I ran full out, desperate for an escape.
The way she so effortlessly matched me pricked at my pride. I had to beat her. Nothing less than absolute victory would be acceptable.
All of these thoughts led me to my current moment, circling her warily in this dank and dusty warehouse. My equipment had failed. My transport had not started like it was supposed to - I suppose that last sputter it had given when I'd pulled in had been its dying breath.
I'd been doing preliminary recon once again, preparing for a job I was considering accepting. The upscale home would be easy enough to crack...and therein laid the problem. The alarm system was laughable, barely enough to prevent an elephant from stampeding through the house.
As a public service, I'd left a neatly printed note on the kitchen table, advising them to get a better alarm system. At the least, to get a dog. The psychological barrier of a dog in a home was enough to make sure that any thief that valued time - which was invariably all of us - would pass right on by and find the neighbor that didn't have a dog.
That good deed had been repaid with a dead vehicle and the sudden appearance of a familiar prescence at my back. The wide arc of her foot sailed harmlessly over my head and I dropped my pack, turning to meet her, my heel sweeping through the air in a wide strike toward her head. She leaned backwards, smirking at me, letting my foot slice through the air. As my foot passed her face, she stepped in towards me, crowding me. Still balancing on one foot, I wasn't able to step backwards, instead thrown off balance by her sudden closeness and subtle push.
It was enough to make me stumble, almost tripping me. I fell awkwardly against the unyielding brick wall of the warehouse.
Honestly, who built warehouses out of brick? They hadn't heard of wood? Or even steel? This place had probably originally been zoned for some other use. Probably a slaughterhouse or a firehouse, given the district's history.
What was I doing?
She had me pinned.
I was thinking of the history of the building.
No wonder she had beaten me so easily.
I stared at her cocked fist, waiting for it to smash into my nose and hopefully grant me blessed unconciousness. Anything to take away from my blinding failure.
I'd been an agent for a couple years before I first glimpsed her. She was a nameless victim of the latest crime of Lipsky, D., a petty and vain little man who referred to himself invariably as "Dr. Drakken". The title was purely honorific: the man hadn't finished more than six months of college.
His mania had gone undetected until the quiet April morning when he had invaded the sanctuary of the rocket lab and the observatory, rendering four doctors, including Mr. James Timothy Possible, to red paste smeared along the walls as so much pudding from a child's hand.
It was my first lead on a case.
Maybe that was why I did it.
In Dr. Possible's desk effects, there was a picture of his family, wallet sized. I'm somewhat chagrined to admit that I copied it and carry it with me, a...reminder. Of those I fight for.
The picture had to have been taken just before his death. When I saw her, I knew.
I couldn't say anything. How was I supposed to explain a hunch based on staring at a picture of a family just before it was shattered? That hours of staring into smiling green eyes had etched the innocent face on my memory?
That the next time I saw those expressive features, it was from beneath a mask, scant inches separating our faces as I struggled to subdue her?
From that first grapple, I knew she was good. I started looking out for anything in her league. I was able to hone in on her style rapidly. High risk, yet remarkably bloodless even when confronted. The worst anyone ever recieved was a dislocated knee, and that was the guy that had actually gotten a hit with his little peashooter of a pistol. Soon enough, I had a file three inches thick. It was a preoccupation, my time devoted to puzzling out this captivating enigma. The names, aliases, for those in my file were over a dozen in number - but I knew they were all her. They had to be.
My life narrowed to nothing beyond the job. My free time was spent poring over the files I had on her. I knew them word for word. I could draw them from memory, each line impressed on my mind's eye. Each item taken, each system bypassed...I knew them all. I was able to recognize new cases with a scant glance.
Through all this, I didn't dare breathe a word of it to anyone in the organization.
Here, with her pressed against me, her body flush against the wall, I stared resolutely at her, my world screeching to a halt with my cocked fist poised for the decapitating blow.
This was the woman I'd been thinking about, some would say obsessively, for months...years. I had her pinned.
After all this time...she was mine.
I had no idea what to say to her.
"Either hit me or get the hell off me."
Her voice broke over me abruptly, sharp and edged with annoyance. I stared at her blankly for a moment...and then it struck me.
How to justify my work.
How to help her.
How to make this very unofficial visit a downright official one.
"Kim..." The bare escape of breath that formed her name startled her. Beneath the cloth mask, her jaw visibly clenched. "I can help you."
"I don't need your help." Her words were sharp and bitter. I reined in the impulse to wince.
"You don't want a challenge? Something that really tests what you can do?" I leaned in, lowering my voice to a hiss. "Something that makes you feel /alive/?"
The green eyes I'd stared into for hours in the flat medium of photographs narrowed in speculation, her intellect intrigued by the promise of something new.
"I can offer you guaranteed action in all parts of the world. If you want it, backup and support." A small, devilish smile quirked my lips. "And me."
My heart thudded loudly in my chest. Surely she had to have heard it by now. It was deafening.
What was she really offering? Freedom? There was no true freedom. There was only offensive or defensive positions.
The only quasi-feasible thing she could be offering was a position, either with Global Justice...or with her, personally.
"Outline it for me."
Her mouth curved from a slight to a full smile, her white teeth a slash in the dim light of the warehouse. "Private contractor...full benefits...and then there's the toys."
My eyebrow arched upward at the last. "Toys...really now."
I grinned widely and reached up, pulling off my mask. Her eyes raked over my exposed face as though memorizing my features. I watched her, an intrigued smile tugging at my lips as I did, some faint trace of amusement touching me. I wasn't sure what she knew, precisely, which enticed me with it's mystery. "I could be," I gave the vague reply, lips curling upwards a little more. My chin raised a touch in defiance before I finished, "Continue."
- a possibility -