Title: Phoenix Rising
Author: Lex 'Spork' Tenou
Feedback address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Date in Calendar: 23 June 2007
Fandom: Kim Possible
Pairing: uber Kim/Shego
Summary: Dames are a helluva thing.
Archiving: KP Slash Haven Archive. All others ask first.
Advertisement: Part of the FSAC:DD07
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.
Author's Note: I like noir. It amuses me.
She walked in, cool as an ice cream sundae and looking just as good.
Flicking the brim of my hat back, I shot my trademark crooked smile her way. She sent it back, COD.
"You're the one they call 'Phoenix'?" Last time I heard a dame with a voice like that, I'd paid three bits to watch her walk away with a man on the silver screen.
"Never heard of 'im. He owe you money?" Dames like her, they didn't come to my office. They sent their servants down to fetch my esteemed self, or they dropped a line to me to come and give 'em a fin's worth of head shrinking.
"Mr. Phoenix, I'm in terrible trouble. I was told you could help me."
"Drop the mister and your story." Maybe it was stupid of me, but this cool dame had chops. I could spend the entire day pounding the pavement through the Tenderloin and never meet another like her.
"It's my husband, he's in terrible danger." Sure, I bought that. Just as much as I bought that her eyes eating me up like a juicy steak was because she liked my ten dollar suit.
"Is that so?"
She stiffened up like a fresh corpse, which is what her little friend would be if I couldn't get the story outta her. "I don't particularly care for your tone, Mr. Phoenix."
"Look, doll, even if I were inclined to believe you've got a husband, which I ain't, I don't know him from Adam so I've no idea why he'd be neck deep in the sauce. Drop the wise gag and level with me or get out. I've got too much to do to mess around with a dime bottle baby."
"Why, Mr. Phoenix!"
"I told you once, doll, drop the mister. Just cause I'm in a suit don't make me a daddy."
She couldn't have been more shocked if I'd told her there was no Santa Claus. "Well...then I guess you are the one I need to see." The armor of respectable gentility dropped offa her like a mink coat she'd been told was fake. Leaning in toward me, she shot me through with shining, clear green eyes. "Phoenix, I need you to find a man. His name's Ron and he has the blueprints for the Chrichton America building."
That almost made me fall outta my dinky chair. The Chrichton America building was the biggest project this side of the Mississippi, but the project had more death than the morgue. "What's his take?"
"He designed it. The owner of the Hoyt Tower's been making noises about the project never seeing the light of day."
"Hoyt Tower? The world's largest building?"
"Until Ron developed the plans for the Chrichton America building. It tops Hoyt Tower by almost twenty feet."
I let out a low whistle. I hadn't heard that jive before. No wonder the guy had gone missing. "When's the last time you saw him?"
"Three hours ago. We were walking to his favorite soda shop when a 1932 Auburn Phaetom rolls up and two bruisers jump out, grab him and take him off before I can say anything. I started after them, and a third one, the size of a mountain, walks up to me and tells me to get back to my sewing."
"I suppose you liked that about as much as I woulda. Then what?"
"The flatfoot hit me."
"Dicks! You never said nothing about the fuzz." I was willing to do many things, but going up against the finest in dark blue wool? I'd rather get my brains scrambled by a prizefighter!
"Scared of a bit of a challenge?"
"Ain't no one alive that's ever called me a coward, and I ain't about to have anyone start. Let's go."
As I grabbed my coat, she backed up, confusion painting her pretty face with exactly the sort of expression I'd been hoping for.
"Where are we going?" I pulled the brim of my hat down, onto my forehead, and guided her from the office.
"We're gonna go to the drugstore and get a drink."
"Oh, you-" I cut her off with a shake of her arm.
"Look, dame, you're asking me to risk my license. Least you can do is cooperate."
She eyed me for long enough that I thought I'd forgotten to wash my face that morning after trimming my hair. Finally, she nodded, and I led her down to the curb so I could hail us a cab. Nicky showed up right on time.
"Morning, Nicky." The grinning driver tipped his hat to us. "What d'you know about some laundry? Say, over six feet, in dark blue wool?"
"Mmm, I'd say you're on your way to an early grave, Phoenix."
"Yeah? My tombstone gonna have an inscription?"
"Yeah, 'Here lies the Phoenix, doused by Murray.'"
"Got anything in mind for my obituary?"
"Nah, but the canary at the Hodgkins might have a thought or two for ya." Naturally, Nicky was already driving us there. I knew I paid him double fare for a reason.
At the Hodgkins, my silent companion latched onto my arm like I was some high roller. I gotta admit, I hadn't felt anything that soft since before the Great War.
By the time my eyes had adjusted to the darkness inside, the dame was already halfway across the room, her arms wide as she approached a tiny bird in a red dress. "
"Why, if it isn't Monique! I haven't seen you since the gala at the Mankey's." I'd caught up to 'em, and the little bird eyed me warily as my dame crushed her in a hug tight enough to squeeze out all her secrets.
Pipes led us into the back, into a little room just off the stage. When the door shut, she sank faster than a rock.
"You have no idea how glad I am to see you. Kim, there's been something funny going on around here, and I don't mean the tuna salad."
"Yeah. Any of it have to do with a shield named Murray?" It was the first time the voice had heard me talk. Unlike her friend, she caught on right away that calling me Mister wouldn't get her anywhere.
"Yes. You're Phoenix?"
"That's what my mother tells me."
"Charming. You really know how to pick 'em, Kim." I wasn't really sure how to take that. "Murray's been around here a lot more, especially when Tony the Throat's in town."
"Tony? When'd they let him out?" Last I'd heard of Tony the Throat, he'd been sent up on a pickpocket gig.
"Two months ago. He always comes by when he's in town, and he's always got a suit that never talks with him."
"Yeah? The suit got a name?"
Monique shook her head. "He's on the front of the style page of the paper today."
I had to bite my tongue to prevent the curses from flying outta me like a roller caught with funny dice. I knew who we were after.
"C'mon, dame, we haven't got a lotta time to find your little friend. You gonna be okay, pipes?"
Monique waved her hand in dismissal of my belated gallantry. "Go on. I never saw you."
By the time we got to the Hill, my dame was mighty confused and ready to let me know about it.
She snatched her arm away from me as the cab drove off and glared daggers at me. "What in the blue blazes is going on?"
"Your little friend has been kidnapped by the one man who more than anything wants to prevent his building from going up, and if we don't hurry, he's gonna end up with a pair of cement shoes courtesy of the city's finest, Murray! Now come on!"
I think I heard her curse at me, but I was too busy working out how the hell to break into Hoyt's security before his lap dog Murray found us.
I managed to twist the lock outta place and get us in, only to find myself staring at a six foot tall hedge. The rat had a maze.
It took us a good ten minutes to work through the maze, ten minutes that Ron did not have! We finally busted outta the maze, disoriented and dizzy, only to be faced with exactly the character we'd been trying to avoid.
"Why...hello, Detective Murray."
"Phoenix." His growl was kinda like a trapped dog, which was funny - since that's what he was. "You better turn around and take your little bird with you. We don't want any trouble." Murray glared at me, but the pistol in his hand made a much more compelling argument.
"Ah, we have visitors! Bring them up, Murray!" The called down command came from the second floor, I guessed from Hoyt.
"Yeah, Murray, let's go visit with the master of the house."
"Shut up, Phoenix."
The nudge of his pistol in my side was enough to make me keep my mouth shut until we reached Hoyt and the guy we'd been after.
"Pleasant day, is it not?" Hoyt poured himself a glass of what I guessed to be gin. "I'm glad to see that you made it here without issue."
"What's your game, Hoyt? Trying to keep the Hoyt Tower on top?"
Hoyt laughed and tossed back his drink in one go. "Nothing so simple, Phoenix. No, my goal has arrived." He set his glass down and smiled at me. I snarled at him. "After all...you're here."
"You slimy, two-timing-" I didn't get a chance to finish since Murray took the opportunity to scramble my head with a smack.
"Shut up, Phoenix, and listen to the boss man."
"Sure, Murray, sure, whatever you say." Twit.
"See, Phoenix, you're special." Hoyt held up his hand, an arcing rainbow of fire dancing around his fingertips. I stared in disbelief at the familiar colors. "Yes, that's right, Phoenix, I know where you come from. I know why you're known as the Phoenix. And I know how to take your fire away!"
"Over my dead body!"
"If need be."
"Put her in the chair, Murray." The huge man shoved me into an uncomfortable wooden chair, bending over to tie my hands behind my back.
"Don't move! FBI!" Murray spun around, his meaty face showing how shocked he was to hear those words come outta a dame's mouth.
Kim had a bead on him, her gun aimed for his gorilla skull.
"Miss, I assure you it is in your best interests to put your weapon down." Hoyt's calm voice sounded exactly like that time my dad caught me climbing trees in a Sunday dress.
"Like fun it is." I was so focused on Kim's transformation from damsel in distress to hard as nails that I almost missed it.
"Kim, look out! He's got a gun!"
Rapid fire, three shots rang out. When I opened my eyes, I saw Murray, Hoyt and Ron laid out on the fancy rug. Kim ran over to Ron and checked to see if he'd gotten plugged. She looked up at me, laughing. "He fainted!"
Didn't take too long before I was treated to the City's finest hospitality, courtesy of the Chief. "Now, Phoenix, d'you think you can explain how it is that one of my detectives ends up dead alongside one of the richest men in the lower forty-eight?" Commissioner Johnson wasn't happy, but I couldn't really blame him.
"Sure, Commissioner. See, Hoyt wasn't too happy about the Chrichton America building, but he was even more pissed about my brothers."
"You've got family? I always thought you were hatched somewhere."
"Cute. My brothers had managed to cut him out of a deal that woulda gotten him five hundred thousand dollars."
"Did you say-"
"Yeah, five hundred grand. He went after my brothers first, but he couldn't get 'em completely, he only kind of got them. They've got really good security." Not good enough, if their fire was taken. I'd have to visit a world of hurt on the lunkheads.
"Then, Hoyt finds out that I'm related to 'em, so he hatches this scheme to come after me to get back at 'em. Only thing he didn't figure on was that his playtime with Murray had already tipped off the FBI that he was crooked."
"I cannot believe that Murray was dirty."
"Believe it, Commissioner. I've got the lumps to prove it."
"Ah, lumps on you don't mean anything. If I could thump you, I'd do it."
"So what's happening with the FBI and the Chrichton America building?"
"That's up to you. You can either write it off as a murder-suicide rap or...we can drag the entire city through the mud. I'm sure the nightly rags would love to hear about a dirty cop."
"Murder-suicide you say?"
"Are you quite done yet, Commissioner? I have need of Phoenix'...services." From the way Kim was eyeing me, I don't think I'd have any problems taking on any case she ever tossed at me. I grinned widely at the Commissioner, sitting there behind his desk and shaking his head like we were a couple kids.
"Get outta my sight before I decide to charge you obstruction of justice, Phoenix."
Laughing, I shot a jaunty wave to the mountain of a man as I followed Kim into whatever mess she had in mind for me. "Until next time, pops."