DISCLAIMER: As y'all know, Kim Possible and all associated characters belong to Disney. Kara Nicole Possible and Jonathan Michael Stoppable belong to me. Carmen Dego was created by DragoLord19D. Cassandra was created by Zabon95.
A/N: This is the fourth story in my 'Anything, Everything, and Forever' series. It will cover a period between the last chapter of And Forever and Zabon95's one-shot. Just another little glimpse into Kara's life before she becomes a teen hero like her mom. ;)
Passing the Torch
Chapter 2 - Into the Finals
Middleton Convention Center, the next day
Gazing around at the people filling the seating in the convention center's main area, Kara wondered what had possessed her to do this. There were so many people here, more than she had expected.
"I don't know if I can do this," she queasily.
"No sweat it, Kara," Jon Stoppable, her best friend, said. "You got this in the bag!"
"He's right, girl," agreed Cassandra, who was more like a sister to her. "Look at your moms. They're both bad asses, and they taught you. What are you worried about?"
"Messing up," she said, looking at her feet. "I know I wanted this, but I don't want to embarrass my parents. I mean, they've kick my ass on a daily basis."
"That's because they taught you, girl!" Cassandra told her, wrapping an arm around her shoulders. "They're supposed to kick your ass because they know everything they're teaching you! These people here? I bet most of them only know one style, while only a few will know two. You, though? You know all sorts of moves, plus your mom's cheerleading skills."
"I don't think cheerleading counts as a fighting style, Cass," Jon pointed out.
"You should know better than that, Jon! After all, your dad went around saving the world with her mom. He has first hand experience with cheerleading as a fighting style."
"Okay, you two, okay, I get it," Kara said, grinning at her friends' antics. "I've got nothing to worry about."
"I dunno, Kara," Jon said, staring somewhere. "I think she looks like trouble."
Kara turned to look, and was struck dumb. "That's Carmen!" she exclaimed, surprised.
"Who's Carmen?" Cass asked.
"She's a girl who used to pull my hair and poke me a lot when we were kids," the red/black-haired girl explained. "She moved away a couple years ago, though."
"Guess she must be here for the competition," her mocha-skinned friend said.
"Let's go look at the bracket charts," she suggested. "Maybe it'll tell us when I'll be facing her." The three friends went over to one of the judging tables - which was currently empty - and looked at the bracket chart behind it. The way the main floor was set up, eight matches could be done at once. There were thirty-two entrants, and registration had closed half an hour ago, so the competition would be starting soon. Looking at the chart, Kara saw that she and Carmen were on opposite sides of the bracketing, which meant that they would only face each other in the final - if both of them made it that far.
Kara's first match had her up against a guy who looked like he benchpressed boulders as a warm-up. She didn't know what kind of martial arts style he used, but he seemed like a brute force guy who was more talk than action.
"Ready!" the officiator said. The big man settled into a slight crouch, arms spread slightly and fists clenched.
"Back out now, little girl, before you get hurt," he taunted. Kara just yawned and turned around. The officiator stumbled for a second, then shouted, "Begin!" With a roar like an enraged bear, he charged at her. Clasping his hands together, he raised them up and slammed them down, a move guaranteed to knock her unconscious - had she been there to recieve it. His hands slammed into the mat where she'd been standing at the same time she landed on the mat where he'd been standing.
"Back here, Tiny," she taunted, settling herself into a loose taekwon-do stance and making a 'bring it on' gesture. Roaring again, he charged at her with the intent of crushing her in a bear hug. He was forcibly stopped halfway when she darted forward like a striking cobra and landed a right punch straight in his solar plexus. The air whooshing out of him sounded the bellows of a blacksmith's forge. Straightening up from her stance, she reached up and lightly tapped his forehead. With a slight rocking motion, the man teetered for a moment before falling backwards.
"Match!" said the officiater. He pointed his arm at Kara. "Winner!" There was cheering for her, though it was hard to tell with all of the other matches going on. Kara did think she heard her family and friends rooting for her, though.
Carmen had seen Kara during the registrations, and had remembered her. Both of them had changed in the two years since they had last seen each other, though Kara was easy to recognize with her unique hair color. Their matches occured at the same time, so she wasn't able to watch the other girl's easy victory. Her own match saw her pitted against a guy who could not to stop moving.
"Ready!" the match's officiator said. Carmen nodded, standing her ground. "Begin!"
With a scream, the guy leaped at her, his arms waving all over the place. Rolling her eyes, she dropped down to the mat and kicked up with her legs. Her feet impacted with the man's abdomen and she bent her knees to absorb the shock before kicking out again and flipping off her back to land on her feet. Her opponent flew backwards and landed on his back, but the momentum sent him rolling over his head and onto his butt - outside the indicated ring.
"Winner!" the officiator said, pointing at Carmen.
When the first eight matches had all finished, the next 16 participants were brought out to their mats to engage in the second half of the first level of competition. Kara didn't really need the break that provided, though she used that time to study the other fighters out on the floor. There were some pretty good fighters out there, though thanks to her parents she could read their moves fairly well. It wasn't instinctive for her, not yet, but she was getting better. She became conscious of a pair of eyes on her, and turned to see Carmen staring at her from across the floor. She got the feeling that there was something about her now compared to how she had been. She met the other girl's eyes, and neither looked away because neither was willing to concede. The staring continued until the bell buzzed, indicating the end of the second half of the first level matches.
Kara's second match had her against an older teenaged girl who used a style that seemed to involve a lot of kicking. Every kick the girl sent her way, however, she either blocked with a kick of her own or dodged. Getting frustrated, the girl fired of a hooking kick that would have hit her upside the head and knocked her for a loop. Kara, however, dropped down into a full split, dropped onto her stomach, planted her hands, and raised her lower body off the mat. Before the stunned girl could react, Kara had her ankles locked around her neck and had thrown herself backwards, sending the girl flying forwards and out of the 'ring.'
Carmen's second match was against a kickboxer who was more box than kick. She slipped and slid out of the way of the punches. It was like trying to hit a bee, and she 'stung' with a jab to the jaw. While he was temporarily dazed, she slipped under his guard and fired a series of rapid punches into his abdomen. He fell backwards under the flurry of her assault, and she stood up from the slight crouch she was in.
"That's how you box," she taunted the defeated man as the officiator declared her the winner.
Eventually, it was down to the last four competitors. Kara and Carmen were two of them, along with a Japanese girl and a guy who used Da Sheng Pi Gua, a variation of the Da Sheng Men or "Great Sage" Kung Fu. Kara knew that this would be the second toughest match of the competition, with the finals being the toughest. She found herself paired off against the ninja girl while Carmen was matched with the Da Sheng Pi Gua student. These last two matches were being conducted at the same time, and would be followed by a thirty-minute break to allow the winners time to recover.
When her opponent bowed, Kara returned the bow and the two took up fighting stances. Kara assumed a fighting stance that combined a martial arts leg stance with a boxing-like upper body stance.
"Ready!" the officiator said. Kara shifted her stance slightly.
The ninja girl didn't waste any time, springing forward with lightning speed. Kara fell back, whipping around into a hammer fist that was dodged. She used the momentum the move gave her to spin into a crouch to avoid a high spinning kick. Jumping into the air like a coiled spring released, Kara flipped over her opponent in a move her mom had taught her. As she hit the ground, she leaped forward at her opponent - just like her mother liked to do. She led with a punch that hit the ninja girl glancingly, but it was enough to throw off her counterattack, giving Kara time to slip out of the way. She did a leaping spin kick, forcing the girl to duck, then followed with another that clipped her in the head. She moved to follow up with a third, but didn't follow through it; instead, she lashed out with a knife-edge hand strike, using the momentum of her spin and height to power the blow. Though the strike was blocked, it knocked the ninja girl off balance. Kara took advantage of the situation and fired off a rapid series of punches and kicks, alternating between each. Her skill was evident as, even off balance and stumbling, she managed to block two-thirds of Kara's attacks.
Then to Kara's surprise she stopped moving. Stepping back, wary of a trick, she was stunned when the girl drew herself and bowed to her before stepping out of the ring - thereby conceding the match. Surprised, she still managed to straighten up and bow back to the girl. Looking back up, she saw that Carmen's match had just ended, too.
"Advancing to the finals are Kara Possible of Middleton, and Carmen Dego of Go City," the officiator announced. "The final match will take place in thirty minutes."
The half hour break seemed to pass by quickly and take forever to end. That's how it seemed to Kara, at least. She'd used the break to change into a fresher set of clothes, consisting of a pair of black capris, a blue sleeveless shirt, and a pair of black fingerless gloves. Carmen had done the same, apparently, for as she took position opposite Kara on the mat, the red/black-haired girl saw her wearing a pair of white capris, a red sleeveless shirt, and a pair of white gloves.
"Nice to see you again, Kara," Carmen said, a little venom in her voice.
"I'm gonna pay you back for pulling my hair for four years," Kara growled.
"Talk is cheap," the snow-haired girl retorted.
"Ready!" the officiator said, preempting any further conversation. Both girls took up similar fighting stances.
E/N: And there you have it. The action-packed second chapter. And ended with a trademark cliffhanger. Carmen moved away two years ago, after tormenting Kara for four years, only to come back now.
What could this mean? Has Carmen been studying martial arts for as long as Kara has? Or did something happen to her in the two years she'd been gone from Middleton? Or did whatever it was happen before? Tune in for the answers in the next chapter, "The Final Bout."