well enough of you whined about this ending for me to think of an extension. several folks made suggestions, but when i tried writing them, nothing worked. it's been four months since i wrote this, and i finally have a mostly completed short story.

I want to dedicate this to my mom. when i wrote this i was sad, tired, feeling hopeless. but now for me and my family, there's hope. for her, there's going to be a better life, and, like the characters in this story, she'll rise above the challenges she's faced and all the treatments she's had and will have to do, and things are looking very, very up. she's taught me that anything's possible, and i don't even have to be a Possible. I love her, and this is for her.

diclaimers and credits at the end of the story. i hope you all enjoy this.

"I love you, KP."

"I love you too, Ron."

"I'll see you in a week?"

"You bet!" She ended the connection with a bright smile and a kiss, and he sighed. Since she'd gone to GCU he'd been working almost non-stop. The holidays were coming up, and Smarty-Mart was going to be busy as all hell.

He missed her. He missed how her eyes looked greener when she was focused—or stubborn—and he missed how she smelled. He missed making her laugh. Most of the time she was busy, working on her paper, or working on her study sheet for her test, or working on something or other.

Dreaming of home at this Christmas time
Even more than I usually do

They only ever saw each other on missions, in which case she was focused on getting bad guys instead of making out. Not that he blamed her, but he wished she'd give him that tiny little smile she saved for him when she felt a surge of affection.

After his spectacular display of monkey-powered fireworks, he'd gotten better at keeping up with her. He took training seriously, and spent as much time as he could sparring with Kim, letting her teach him. He admired her confidence, her ability to act surely and decisively, simply because she knew she could do anything; it wasn't her just her motto, it was her life's philosophy, and she lived by it, as surely as anyone lived by any religion. She showed him that it was okay to believe in himself. And slowly but surely, he was catching on. He missed seeing the pride in her eyes when she pushed him to his limits and he somehow prevailed.

I'll be home for Christmas
You can count on me

God, he missed her. He heaved a heavy sigh as he finished stocking up food and toys in the pet needs aisle—aisle 17, right next to the aisle where he met Rufus, that was such a good memory for him— and headed back to clean the animals. If he didn't love Kim so much, there would be no way he'd be cleaning lemur crap out of all night. But he had to do it. He had to be better for her, he had to quit slacking off. She was gone, and if he didn't keep his ass in gear she was going to move right along.

He heaved another sigh. He told himself that only to psych himself out. It was his deepest fear—that she'd find a straight A student or a college jock or pretty frat boy, and she'd be over him. But the rational part of his mind knew Kim loved him. She had been great about calling him, keeping him in the loop about everything—she even had Wade send him his own Kimmunicator. That promptly drowned in the turtle cages, but whatever.

The song came wafted from the speakers in the ceiling, and he frowned as he felt himself miss her more. "Well, this sucks," he mumbled to himself, wishing he could find some way to break free of his sudden melancholy.

He'd taken most of Kim's winter break off. He wanted to be able to do things—namely sleep and eat on a regular schedule—with Kim. She would be just what he needed to lift his spirits this holiday.

He had to work Christmas Eve. It sucked, but everyone had hustled to take the holiday before he got around to it, and by the time he looked at his schedule there was nothing he could do except maybe bail at the last possible second. He had the morning shift though, so he could conceivably be on his way to celebrate with the Possibles by 11:30. They always made hot chocolate to go with lunch on Christmas Eve. Kim always looked so pretty sipping her Christmas mug, her pink lips puckering as she sucked at the sweet fluid.

He always got whipped cream on his face so he could make silly faces at her. She would roll her eyes or stick her tongue out at him. Last year, she'd kissed his chin until the white stuff was gone, and he felt something inside him he'd never felt before. Actually, he'd felt it once, another Christmas. In the North Pole... there had been a mistletoe and she'd kissed his cheek.

Please have snow and mistletoe

He absently rubbed his face to get rid of the light tingling he still felt there sometimes. Christmas was special to her. She had to come home and be with him, and with her family—and they'd have a game night on New Year's and watch movies, and he'd curl up with her and hold her. His arms ached, and it wasn't from all the heavy lifting he'd done tonight.

God, he missed her. He missed the way she tasted when he'd kissed her after she'd eaten a candy cane. He missed the way her entire face lit up every time a new package appeared under the Christmas tree. Let no one be fooled, Kim Possible might have been a hardened bad-ass hero, but she was the biggest kid during the holidays. He loved hearing her sing Christmas songs when she thought no one was listening, dancing a little bit to whatever holiday tune came on the radio.

And presents by the tree

He smiled a little bit. He'd see her soon. And maybe he'd dance with her, too.

Christmas Eve will find me
Where the love light gleams

His iPhone rang again, and he looked at it. Wade, on FaceTime. "What's up, Wadester?" Wade's face was so distraught that he gulped. "Wade? What's wrong?"

"Ron. I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news... something has come up. Kim... she went on a mission."

"Alone?" he hissed, equal parts angry and worried.

"I'm sorry... she said it was no big, and that she didn't want you getting in trouble at work so that you guys could spend the holiday together. It went fine, she did great."

Ron sighed. "Where is she?"

"I haven't called her parents yet," he whispered. "Kim hitched a ride with Bernice, the cropdusting lady."

"Yeah I know her," Ron said with a shrug.

"Five minutes ago, Bernice radioed a Mayday. I have visual confirmation that their aircraft is down."

Oh no. No, no, no no no. Oh, fuck... please no. "Have you heard from her?"

Wade's face said it all. "NTSB is there. They found two bodies."

"Wade... no," Ron begged, tears streaming down his face. "Please, tell me she's okay."

"Ron, I... I'm sorry."

I'll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams.