What's Kickin'? - Chapter 01
"Wow, K," the lovely, if somewhat elitist-appearing, brunette breathed as she watched the nearby redhead girl pack her gym locker. "You're really doing this?"
"I am, Bonnie," the redhead replied. "Between schoolwork and preparing for college, I can't focus on cheerleading anymore. You win. You're cheerleading captain now."
"You, the great Kim Possible, The Girl Who Can Do Anything, are just quitting and ceding the contest to me?" Bonnie asked incredulously. "You've never given up before. I've seen you overcome greater odds than me. Just dealing with Mr. Barkin in detention is enough of a challenge."
"A detention that you got us both into," Kim added, taking the last item from her gym locker and shoving it into her gym sack.
"My point, K," Bonnie growled. "is that you're not a quitter. Not like this. This isn't about me and my constant attempts to take cheerleading captain away from you, is it?"
Kim sighed and slumped her shoulders. Why couldn't Bonnie just accept a victory for what it was worth? Kim turned and looked at Bonnie and noticed something. Something she had never seen in Bonnie before.
Kim closed her olive eyes and shook her head.
"You're right, Bonnie, it's not about you," Kim finally agreed. "Though you made the decision easy, that's for sure. I'm just not feeling the challenge here anymore. You and everyone else on the team are top notch. You have the makings of a national tournament winning team. You don't need me to lead you there. You're every bit as capable as I am, Bonnie, and you have a better rapport with the rest of the team than I do. As arrogant as this may sound, me leading you guys to the nationals would be like Ron leading a pack of naked mole rats to Bueno Nacho. It's just too easy."
Bonnie chuckled at that analogy. "Well, if it makes you feel any better, K, I am welcoming the challenge. And you will be missed."
Kim pressed her lips together tight and considered Bonnie for a moment. Finally, she allowed herself a small smile. "Thank you, Bonnie. That means a lot to me."
"What will you be doing now?" Bonnie asked as Kim hefted the gym bag onto her shoulders. "Where will you find this much sought after challenge?"
Kim shook her head. "I don't know, Bonnie. I need to gather my thoughts and think more about what I want for my future. Considering how one part of that future has already disintegrated on me."
Bonnie bit her lip on that one. It was no big secret that Kim's romantic relationship with her best friend, Ron Stoppable, had lasted for only three months before Ron's mother got a job offer in Norway that she couldn't refuse. Kim and Ron had decided that they weren't ready for a long distance relationship and quietly broke up amicably. Kim had been so hurt by it, however, that Kim's other best friend, Monique, had to call her to task about her depression in front of everyone in the cafeteria. It didn't take long for the word to spread.
"Maybe some decompression time will be good for you," Bonnie offered gently. She was walking on eggshells, she knew, especially since she was normally Queen Bonnie, the head of the social order in Middleton High. One wrong word against her social archnemesis would be catastrophic. "But what will you do for a challenge. I know you well enough to know that you're going to need your hands busy to keep from going nuts."
Kim nodded knowingly. "I'm thinking about going into some sort of tournament fighting. Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Jiu Jitsu, something. I think I have the agility for such things. It's worth a shot."
"How about kickboxing?" Bonnie offered. "I mean, there are underground circuits I'm sure you would do well in."
Kim rose a brow at Bonnie. "You know about underground fighting circuits... how?"
Bonnie laughed and placed a knowing hand on her chest. "Kimberly, I am a scion of the Rockwaller legacy. We didn't get our wealth purely by stock interests, my dear."
Kim simply looked skeptically at Bonnie for several moments.
"You know you're interested," Bonnie smiled. She turned and pulled her purse from her own gym locker, rummaged through it for a moment, and pulled out a card. She handed the card to Kim. "Here, this is the person you want to contact. He's the fixer who hooks my dad up with the best kickboxers to bet on. He'll be able to assign you a sponsor and a coach. Given how good of a cheerleader you are, I think you'd do really well in these fights. And the prize pots shouldn't be laughed at, either."
"I'm not going into it for the money, Bonnie," Kim growled.
"No, you're doing it for the challenge," Bonnie agreed. "And who is more capable of giving you a challenge than someone who fights in an illegal fighting tournament?"
Kim considered it a moment before sighing. "Okay, I'm in," Kim said. "I'll call this... Raul Bender... and get myself set up."
Bonnie smiled impishly. "And I shall go home and let my dad know that there is going to be a new up-and-coming star that he needs to be betting on."
Kim couldn't help but chuckle and shake her head on that one.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
"So, you're Kim Possible?" the swarthy, morbidly sophisticated man asked as Kim walked up to him. "You're the rising star that Mr. Rockwaller bragged about? You don't look like much."
Kim considered the man for a moment, trying to maintain her warm smile. He wore a cheap Italian suit with his business-cut shirt open at the collar like some 70s drug tsar. He had one gold tooth; the others were simply yellowed from what Kim could only assume was too much cigarette smoking. In fact, the damning evidence of his habit lay casually between two of his fingers in his right hand.
"Well, my family motto is Anything Is Possible For A Possible," Kim said, hoping it would keep the man's enthusiasm flowing.
"Well, the sky is the limit when you work with Raul Bender," the man cooed, motioning dramatically with his cigarette-laden hand. He then turned back to Kim. "Tell me. Have you ever been in a fight before?"
Kim shrugged. "I've gotten into lots of arguments with Bonnie Rockwaller at school."
Raul laughed heartily at that. "Oh, my goodness. That's rich. No, babe, you need something more than that. If you've never been in an actual fight before, you're not going to stand a chance in the ring."
"Hey, Raul, send her over here," came a voice from over to the side. "Let me take her for a spin... see what she's got."
Raul and Kim turned to see the speaker. It was a woman, probably in her mid-to-late twenties, with a tight, defined musculature, a body of a track athlete, and long raven-black hair. She wore a dark green pair of sweat pants and a light green tank top. She was in the process of putting on a hand wrap as she looked back at the duo.
Two things struck Kim about this woman. The first thing was her eyes. The woman's eyes were the most brilliant emerald green, a sharp contrast to Kim's own dark olive green. The second thing was the woman's skin. It was pale with an almost greenish tint to it. In spite of that skin tone, however, the woman looked wildly attractive in a very dangerous sort of way.
Kim bit her lip slightly, wondering in the back of her head why she was considering another woman "wildly attractive."
"You sure about that, Shego?" Raul asked, scratching his head. "She hasn't ever been in a fight at all, ever."
Shego stood up with a grace that took Kim's breath away. Every visible muscle moved in perfect harmony with each other. Kim found herself wondering if she would ever be as fit as this woman.
"I'm sure," Shego replied, stretching her arms upward and then stretching her torso from side to side. "We're not ever going to know what she can do if she isn't given a chance to show it."
"Fair enough," Raul nodded. "Okay, kid, one of the best coaches here on the circuit is giving you the chance of a lifetime. She's a slave driver, but she gets results. If you have any potential whatsoever, she'll make you one of our best fighters. So give her all you got, okay?"
Kim nodded and stepped forward to Shego. As Kim approached the beautiful, green-hued woman, Shego backflipped to the nearby boxing ring and hoisted herself up and over the ropes in one smooth motion. Kim was left shaking her head in utter disbelief.
"This is just a friendly spar to see what you're capable of," Shego explained as Kim climbed up into the ring. "So I'm not going to fuss about stupid stuff like making sure your hands are properly wrapped or anything like that. I'm just going to attack and you're going to block and counterattack. Got it?"
Kim nodded sternly as she looked around the ring.
"Normally, you'd start by coming out of that corner over there," Shego said, pointing to one of the far corners. "But this isn't a bout, just a spar. So..."
Suddenly, Shego struck forward and sent a powerful looking roundhouse kick at Kim's head.
Almost by instinct, Kim bent backwards, causing Shego to miss the redhead completely. Kim finished her move as a handstand flip, moving in quickly to take advantage of Shego's over-extended vulnerability by ducking back under the kick and attempting a low kick at Shego's thigh.
Shego rolled with the kick, allowing it to knock her off of her feet but using the momentum to land on her hands. She then hefted herself back into the air, just as Kim was about to follow through on her kick with another low kick. That put Kim behind Shego when Shego landed back on her feet. Shego quickly spun and attempted to strike a vicious blow into Kim's vulnerable side with her elbow. But Kim was fast enough to catch Shego's elbow with her own and use Shego's momentum to lift her up and over her own body.
This would have allowed Kim to slam a lesser fighter straight onto the mat on his back. But Shego was able to twist her body so that she landed on her feet. As Kim let go of Shego's elbow, Shego attempted a quick strike with her other hand, a flat-handed blow straight to Kim's sternum. But Kim was able to quickly cross-block the blow and then bring her knee straight up towards Shego's chin.
Shego avoided the blow to her chin by bending slightly backwards, causing Kim to go slightly off balance. That allowed Shego to bring her own knee up and tag Kim on her over-extended leg. Kim reflexively flipped away from the strike and tumbled into a battle crouch several feet away from Shego.
Shego stood up and brushed herself off. "You've never been in a fight? Really?"
"I don't know how to explain it," Kim explained, breathing heavily from the exertion, as she stood up from her stance. "Everything seemed to just flow. Every motion you made seemed to have a counter motion that just made sense to me. You finally maneuvered me into a position to where you'd've really hurt me on that leg had you been serious."
Shego shook her head. "I usually get big, burly men bragging about how big and tough they are, having gotten into so many fights or whatever. I usually have them on the ground begging me to stop within two seconds. You just lasted twenty seconds with me before I finally got the first real blow in."
Kim bowed her head to that. She didn't know what to say.
"I'm taking you and I'm making you a priority," Shego said. "Like Raul said, I'm a slave driver. If I don't get 110% out of you each and every day, I'm kicking your ass black and blue and sending you home. If I do get it, we're going to be scoring some major prize pots."
Kim nodded. "I'm in it for the challenge, not the money. If the other fighters are anything like you, I think I've finally found the challenge I'm looking for."
Shego laughed heartily to that. "Pumpkin, don't go comparing rank and file fighters to me. I've been in this circuit for ten years and I've seen the worst of the worst come through. Prepare to be disappointed your first couple of fights. You'll be bored to tears. But once we get you past those first few, you'll find your challenge. I just need to get you caught up to speed on the circuit rules and how to fight like you're in a ring and not on the street."
Kim nodded again. "I got this. So not the drama."
"That's what I want to hear," Shego smiled. "We'll start here tomorrow, straight after you get out of school. No later than 4pm. Got it?"
"Got it," Kim said.
"Now, go home and get some sleep," Shego said, slapping the redhead on the back. "And, for God's sake, eat something with some protein in it. We need to give you some muscle."
Kim laughed softly as she climbed down from the ring and walked away.
Raul walked up to the ring while watching Kim walk away. "So, what do you think, Shego?"
"She's cute," Shego smirked, still watching Kim walking away. "She's got a nice ass."
"I meant as a fighter, Shego," Raul sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose.
"She's got potential," Shego admitted. "In fact, I think we may have finally found the person who will take the title away from Josh Mankey."
"I hope so, Shego," Raul said. "I hope so."
In the rafters nearby, a shadowed figure narrowed his eyes at Raul and Shego before he skittered silently away.
[END CHAPTER ONE]