A/N: Hope you enjoy.
"So you're certain this is the best course of action? You're going to pull the trigger on some of the best shots in the world?" Kim shouted, hands placed on her hips, with one brow quirked up.
"Miss Possible. I don't expect you to understand. I don't care if you understand. This matter concerns Global Justice, not a young advisor to the board of the new Union," the Director addressed mundanely.
"If I remember correctly, you fall under that board. Don't you?" Kim smirked.
The Director crossed her arms, her one eye locked with Kim's. "Miss Possible. I suggest you heed my warning. When I say this isn't any of your business, I mean it. It's best if you walk away now."
"No can do. You see, I'm not entirely convinced that you have the authority to do what you're doing."
"You can't be serious."
"Oh, I'm serious. What do you think Shego is going to do when she waltzes out of there? Surrender?"
The director gave Kim an unflinching stare.
"And what about them?" Kim stepped forward, thumbing back at the casually dressed green berets that stood guard at the entrance of the church. "Don't you think it will embolden Shego with them" — Kim thumbed at the readied soldiers on the patio — "ready to shoot you? You really think that your paper pushers will stand a chance?"
"They'll do their job," Betty replied. She stepped forward into Kim's space. "But, what will you do, Kim Possible? Are you going to intervene?"
Kim narrowed her eyes.
"Not right now."
Betty smirked. "Then I don't think we have anything to worry about."
"You want me to…" Shego trailed off, staring down at Ron's hand.
"Don't you understand, Shego? You have a family. Out there. In here."
Ron gestured with his eyes.
Warmth blossomed deep within her chest, a slight tingle as her fingers clasped around Ron's hand. Uneasy silence melted away, dispersing into the air with the dust as Shego locked eyes with Ron. A hopeful glimmer twinkled in her eyes as if a beacon of hope resounded behind them.
Ron lowered his head, waiting for a response from a former adversary, now a comrade-in-arms. "Sheg—"
"Ron, I told you I can't. I… I don't even know who I am anymore." Her hand slipped from his, retreating to her side.
The contours of her face told a story of pain and regret, her tense shoulders and arms rigid from years of neglect. One could see the scars Shego bore when her arms twitched from the fear of the unknown.
"Shego. We'll do it together. I promise."
"You need to focus on Kim."
Ron stepped back into Shego's space. "I will. But that doesn't mean I'm going to leave you behind. You really think I would do that?"
"I… don't know."
"Well, find out."
Shego snorted. "Wasn't it over a year ago you tried to kill me with your empty shot glass? Now, you can't stand the thought of me leaving?"
"After all we've been through together. How could I?"
Shego paused her reach. Was there really still a life out there for her? Could she rise above and conquer with nothing to stand on? And would Ron be there for her with Kim in his life? That was a question she hadn't thought of.
"What about Kim?"
"What about her?" Ron's face muddled up.
Shego inched her hand back from his. "I'm not willing to get in the way of both of you. If I come between you two, I won't do it. You guys deserve it. Believe it or not, I've mucked up my chance at life, and I'm not gonna ruin your chance at a better one."
"Shego? You're really worried about Kim?"
"Yes, I am. Is that a surprise to you? Your girlfriend isn't actually fond of me."
Ron stretched his arm out, the tips of his fingers grazing hers, asking her to follow his lead. "Don't worry about Kim. I have a feeling things are gonna be just fine."
Shego glanced down, then back up. She clasped her hand to his. "I trust you Stoppable."
"Then let's do this. Time to go show GJ they chose the team to mess with."
The soft snow stopped falling, giving way to a chilling, lonely wind that blew between and through the GJ agents and Kim Possible. No one backed down, with weapons still raised between Ron's comrades and Global Justice. It was anyone's guess who would blink first.
The doors to the front of the church burst open, Ron stepping out with Shego in tow.
"Shego!" The director stepped forward. "I'm sure you know we're here to take you in. If you don't want your fellow soldiers to be apprehended, then I suggest you turn yourself in peacefully and I will see to it they are free of any charges."
"And what if I don't comply?" Shego took a step down the church's entrance. "What if I want to continue my service?"
"Out of the question. The fate of the United States Army is sealed. The guarantee of your term doesn't allow a transfer to another service. And if you refuse to comply, I will see that your entire ODA is charged with treason."
Shego lit her hands ablaze. "And what if I resist?"
The clicks of safeties switched into fire position by dozens of GJ agents surrounding the church.
"If you wish to resist, you can only blame yourself for what happens to your own friends you've made," the director said. "Is that what you really want, Shego? You want to drag everyone down with you so you can get away scot-free. Just like you did to your former employer half of the time. Leave him for us to—"
"Shut up! Don't you dare mention his name if you know what's good for you, Betty."
The snarl in Shego's voice sent shivers up and down all the spines of the GJ agents. Her hands light grew by the second, green flames raging against their holder's restraint, begging to be unleashed.
"Struck a nerve, have I. Do you want me to tell you how it happened? Do you want me to tell you what little remains we found? I can tell you it all, detail for detail."
Ron's own hands turned a cyan blue, not just because he wanted to lunge at the director's uncouth behavior, but because it took the excess strength his power gave to hold Shego back from clawing away the director's face. He clamped down on her arms trying to hold her back, but blame her? No. The director had gone too far.
The director was bolder than her size gave, as she took a step forward. "Do it, Shego. I dare you. Because the moment you do, I'll make sure you're all locked up in the deepest hole in the ground and I'll throw away the key. You'll be on hell's doorstep."
Shego's eyes darkened. "Not if I send you there first."
"I dare you, you little—"
A crack thundered through the air. A hollow hole drilled through the side of the director's hair. All fell silent.
Shego's flare blew out with a gust of icy wind.
Ron's glow died down.
Everyone stared at one person.
A brass casing plopped against the soft old wood of the church.
The smoking barrel of a berretta pistol held in the hand of Sergeant Bryer, stared down at the director's awestruck face.
"Shut up. One more word from your hole and I swear I'll decorate the agent behind you with pink mist. Don't try n' test me. You'll be nothing more than a memory and when I meet you in hell, I'm gonna be your eternal torment. Do you understand me? Am. I. Clear?"
The director said nothing, instead, taking a step back from her verbal assault on Shego.
"That's what I thought." Bryer kept the pistol leveled at the director while looking out at the rest of the GJ agents. "As for the rest of you who think you have a clear shot and are going to take us, let me give you a clear scope of who you're effin' with. I have three sharpshooters in the treeline along with a sniper. Sergeants Ramos and Ryker here could knock out five a piece before you'd get a shot off, and I haven't even counted Sergeant Go or Stoppable into the equation yet."
"Don't forget about me."
Sergeant Bryer glanced down at Kim Possible, who stood like a birch tree, firm in the face of a flood. He smirked. "And may God himself help whoever puts… attempts to put, a scratch on Sergeant Stoppable back here."
None of the GJ agents spoke a word.
No one dared.
"I appreciate your cooperation. Now. How about you all lower your weapons and switch the safety on? Otherwise, I'm gonna consider this entire street a combat zone and light you all up anyway."
Several clicks later, the entire GJ force backed away.
"That's more like it."
"Hold on, Sergeant. I have a couple words for the director herself."
The director recomposed herself. "If I'm allowed to speak freely…" the director glanced up at Bryer.
He nodded, never wavering the aim of his pistol.
The director spoke softly, choosing her words carefully, cowed by the sergeant's threats of death. "What's on your mind, Miss Possible?"
"You said that the US Army is disbanding, correct?"
"That I did. Yes. There is no longer a purpose for national armies that will only serve as a future barrier for the Terran Union. Their purpose is obsolete."
Kim smiled. "And what if I told you that wasn't the case? In fact, what if I told you that the leader of the Union will address the nations, starting with America, and ask them to keep their militaries standing?"
The director's face soured. "I would say you're bluffing. Bluffing hard. In fact, I only believe it not just because it's from you, but you must have done something while we were waiting."
"Right on the money. Here's the new sitch. I asked a friend to break a story on the true heroes of the war. These soldiers that you've threatened, they're going to go viral, and what a shame when the world finds out at the same time that GJ threatened to off them."
The director smiled. "That's it. You do realize you'll be exposing a national secret. You want to be tried for treason inst—"
"Tried for treason? Have you forgotten who I am? You realize I've built quite a reputation among many leaders and politicians in the world, don't you? Let's just say that they've been watching your antics for the last twenty minutes or so. I wonder how they feel about now?"
The director's eyes widened when an unarmed GJ agent stepped beside her and whispered something into her ear.
"What?" the Director exclaimed, anger twisted on her face.
Kim crossed her arms. "My bet is that your stand-down order just came in. So let me suggest something to you, director." Kim stepped toward her mockingly. "Step back and leave."
The director clenched her fists before composing herself, straightening her stance and her face. "Well played, Possible. But I'm sure we'll meet again soon."
"I'm sure we will."
"And I'll remember this moment. Just an F.Y.I."
The director spun around and walked away, the rest of the GJ agents following her lead.
"I spared your brother!"
The director turned around, finding an angry Shego stepping down the steps to where Kim stood.
"Say any stupid crap like that again and I won't give you the chance I gave him."
The director didn't acknowledge her threat, turning her head away, and seating herself in her ride.
"So, how much of what you said is true, Princess?" Shego asked. She rested an elbow atop one of Kim's shoulders.
Kim's face contorted in annoyance. "You know, for someone's butt who was just saved, you're acting real smug."
"Yeah," Ron stepped beside Kim. "She can be like that sometimes."
Shego's face fell flat. "Come on, Kimmie. After all this time, you act like you don't know me."
Kim grimaced, a low growl emanating from deep within her.
Shego turned her head to find Bryer holstering his pistol in his coat.
"Get your arm off Miss Possible. We all need to get back to base. Now that the standoff is over, there's no need to stick around and scare civilians."
"Oh com' on, sarge. I hav—"
"Don't get it mistaken, Sergeant Go. For now, Miss Possible bought you time. Bought us time. Nothing more. Until what Miss Possible said comes to pass, we'll stay on base."
Shego slid her arm off Kim, moseying away.
"Besides. Captain has one last mission for you and Stoppable to carry out. One that I think will be your toughest yet."
"What is it?" Ron asked.
"I'll let the captain inform you. For now, we RTB."
"You can't give us the order yourself?" Ron asked.
"Not here. At base."
"Whatever you say, sar—"
A thud clanged against Ron's ears.
He snapped around, finding Shego racked with sobs, her arms crossed over her chest, trying to hug someone that wasn't there.
"He's gone. He's gone…"
Her eyes clenched shut, tears streamed down her cheeks.
Sergeant Ryker and Ramos dropped to her, wrapping their arms around her shoulders. Ron kneeled down in front of her, letting her sob into his shoulder.
"He's go-oo-nnn…" Shego's cries silenced the cold air before melting into her comrade's embrace.
Kim stepped forward, a wary look etched over her face. Shego and Ron's proximity to each other sent an itch across her neck. Her hand reached to intervene, but her feet remained grounded, unsure of the bond Ron and Shego shared.
"Take it easy Miss Possible." Kim turned to find Sergeant Bryer taking a step beside her. "Shego just learned that she's practically homeless. Her last refuge might be torn down in a couple weeks, disbanded."
"What happened to her?" Kim asked.
Kim stared at him. "Like?"
Bryer sighed. "Doctor Drakken was killed. Killed by a car bomb in Vladivostok. She just found out today."
"How long did you know about it?"
"I found out just the other day. Remember Miss Possible, I'm a grunt as much as your man. They only tell me what I need to know. Besides, Global Justice is in charge of the investigation."
"In light of everything, that's pretty suspicious." Kim grabbed her arm. "Have they found anything yet?"
"Nothing. Nothing they've told me, anyway. If you can't tell, I've burned most of my bridges with that agency."
"What happened?" Kim's eyes stared at Ron and Shego, twitching at the sight.
"You mean, why are they so close?"
Kim winced. "Yea… that."
"They're comrades. Brother and sister in arms, Kim. A bond forged in the fires of hell. I can guarantee there aren't any feelings above camaraderie between the two."
Kim lowered her shoulders, relaxing the tension in her fibers, a wave of guilt washing over her.
Kim turned to Bryer.
"A word of advice." His grim voice heaved itself over her ears. "What those two experienced on that island… it changes people. In the future, you're going to start seeing it bleed out of Stoppable like a bad gut wound. You're gonna wanna ask him questions. Don't. He'll talk to her about the things you so desperately want to find out. Don't push him to answer. Don't ask him why he won't talk to you?"
Kim's face narrowed. "But he's—"
"I get it. He's your man, however you want to put it. But you're going to have to put away any petty feelings you have for Shego. They're practically brother and sister at this point."
Bryer turned and took a step away.
Kim followed. "Do I want to know what happened?"
"Is that a real question? Or do you mean, when will he tell you?" Bryer asked.
Kim shuffled her feet. "The latter…"
Bryer tilted his head back. "My advice, don't ever push him. Eventually, he'll tell you when he's ready." With his last words of advice, Sergeant Bryer turned and walked away.
Kim turned to the disconcerting sight of Ron comforting Shego. The other soldiers huddled around Shego, doing their best to help Ron. Kim clenched her arm, unsure of what future awaited them.
A/N: I hope you enjoyed this continuation of the series. Yes, this is the final chapter.
Bobtrumpet. I hope this story finished on a note that was satisfactory.
CajunBear73. Hope I finished on a good note.
Jimmy1201. I'm sorry, but as of now. Drakken is gone. Ron was in disbelief.
Again. I hope the ending was good.
Next story will be 'Messenger'.