Disclaimer: Kim Possible and all original, registered characters and locations are the sole property of Disney until they tell me otherwise.

                                                                                                                Chapter One - Rigmarole

            It was your typical Middleton High School English class. Half the students were dozing off, and the rest were trying to look like they weren't. With the teacher droning on about participles and pronouns, it was hard to blame them.

            I thought we learned this stuff back in fifth grade, Kim Possible wondered absently. She was in the latter half of the student population, resting her head in her hand and trying valiantly to appear as though she was paying attention with her eyes half-closed. A glance back over her shoulder showed her best friend, Ron Stoppable, was in the opposite camp, snoozing away on his desk. Even Rufus, his pet naked mole rat, was drooped out of his pocket, snoring like a tiny, hairless pink whistle.

            Kim turned back to the teacher, but it was no use. Mr. Curmudgeon was quite possibly the most despised teacher at MHS, which would be an accomplishment for someone who allowed his students to sleep his classes away undisturbed. Of course, that was the problem. It was brutally hard to pass his tests if you were asleep for all the material.

            So heavy was the drowsy atmosphere that the sound of the door to the classroom opening barely drew any attention. Kim looked over, but she couldn't seem to focus on anything other than how nice it would be to have her pillow with her right about now. Mr. Curmudgeon stopped his monotone drawl, which brought Kim enough into consciousness to catch the words "welcome", "transfer student", and "empty seat". She vaguely registered the apparent newcomer as male before the lecture resumed and sapped the rest of her strength.

            Hopefully Dr. Drakken never finds out about my English class, or he'll be sure to pick this time to attack the school one of these days, was the last wandering thought she could remember.

                                                                                                                                 -- --- --

            "Yo Kim, is that the best class ever or what?" Ron said, stretching as they walked out of Mr. Curmudgeon's room some time later. "After all, sleep is the second best thing on the Listo De Ron."

            "And I could never guess what the first thing is," Kim replied with a sardonic grin, squinting slightly. Walking outside that room made the sunshine through the windows seem five times brighter.

            "That, KP, would be food," Ron informed her loftily. No small surprise; it was lunch time.

            They picked up their usual trays of the reprocessed medley that was the school lunch, which was probably patented for the sake of preventing any other restaurant from serving it. The two friends sat down at their usual table and tucked in, Ron going at what might have been pasta at one point in the process of creation with oblivious gusto. Kim brushed a stray lock of her long auburn hair behind an ear and started at what was probably supposed to be a salad, although it looked suspiciously like what she'd seen in a horse trough when rescuing a crown prince in Saudi Arabia a few weeks back.

            The clatter of another tray brought Kim's eyes up to see a third person take a seat with them. "'Sup Kim, hey Ron," she greeted.

            "Hey Monique," Kim said. "Enjoy the mudgeon's lecture today?"

            "How could I miss it?" the black girl replied dryly. "Oh, I know; perhaps because I was dead to the world."

            "Better bored and asleep than bored and awake," Ron said wisely, waving his fork.

            "Until exam time, you mean," said Kim.

            "No concerns here, KP. I'm assimilating his classes on a subconscious level," the freckled blonde replied. "I simply must recall the latent memories of English class when the time comes, and all will be well."

            "You must have had a latent malfunction last term, then," Monique shot back with a small smile.

            "And I though you tried the osmosis thing back in our freshman year, Ron – and failed, I might add," Kim reminded him.

            "There was a glitch in the memory systems, nothing more," he said airily. "And nothing Rufus and I can't fix this time around."

            "You sure about that?" asked Kim, glancing down at Ron's cargo pocket. "The mudgeon knocks Rufus out so cold that even lunch doesn't wake him up."

            Ron's rodent charge chose that moment to peek out of his khaki abode, blinking sleepily. Rufus loosed a series of squeaks that sounded like "Someone say lunch?" right before hopping up onto the table and helping himself to some of Ron's pseudo-pasta.

            Monique watched with a mix of distaste and amusement, but Kim had just noticed something out of the corner of her eye.

            A student was weaving his way carefully through the tables nearby, holding a lunch tray and looking around anxiously. Kim didn't recognize him, and she prided herself on knowing every face in Middleton. A foggy memory of something from last period told her that this must be a new student, and that meant he was probably looking for someplace to sit. Lunch time was unforgiving to the best of new students at the beginning of every year, and transfers had an especially brutal time. There were rumors involving everything from spitwads to tar pits.

            Kim saw him look sidelong at their table, and his eyes might have flicked to her ever so briefly, but despite the half-empty seats, he moved on deliberately. Even though the new kid was walking through the middle of the crowded Middleton caf, he seemed oddly unnoticed. He even walked right past the vaunted Senior Table with barely a glance in his direction. Kim sipped her drink, her eyes locked on like a Gemini mini-missile. Well, perhaps a bit better than that. She saw him zero in on the lone empty table on the other side of the caf. The arrangement sent him in an erratic course across the room, winding through narrow gaps, and brought him right by their table.

            As he approached, Monique and Ron both gave the briefest of looks at the presence walking behind them, but just as quickly went back to eating. That was perhaps the best way to describe the new kid, now that Kim could finally get a good, close look at him. He had the appearance of discretion, a simple average-ness that didn't warrant a second thought, let alone a second look. He probably could have disappeared in a crowd of two.

            A sudden impulse grabbed her as he walked by. "Hey, need a place to sit?"

            He stopped and looked at her; he seemed unsure she had been talking to him. "No, I, ah, wouldn't want to impose…" he said meekly, with an almost wary glance at the empty chairs.

            Ron, looking as though he had just noticed the kid for the first time, nevertheless jumped headfirst into the conversation. "Hey, no worries dude, this is just the Middleton caf, not the Royal Court of Rodeghan."

            The newcomer quirked an eyebrow. "Royal court of where?"

            "Never mind," Kim said quickly. The kid seemed shy enough as it was, and Ron launching into accounts of her world-saving exploits wasn't going to help. "Take a seat," she offered kindly.

            He glanced nervously around the table at each of them, and even shot the briefest of looks back in the direction of the empty table, but seemed to feel he had been backed into a corner. He moved next to Ron, giving Rufus a curious stare as he sat down.

            "This is Rufus," Ron said amiably, launching into introductions without missing a beat. The mole rat gave a friendly wave, which drew out a small smile. "I'm Ron Stoppable, this is Monique, and that's Kim Possible," he said, pointing around the table, "ultimate best friend and teen super-he—" Kim cleared her throat loudly, but Ron missed the hint. He paused for her to stop, then continued, "teen hero— ow!" he yelped, as Kim kicked him under the table.

            The new kid was looking at her and Ron as though perhaps doubting their sanity. She couldn't blame him, and glowered briefly at Ron, who was whimpering and rubbing his shin, before turning back to their newest acquaintance.

            "I'm Lynx," he said in a soft-spoken voice, "Lynx DeWard."

            Something about that rung a bell…

            "So, where you from in the wide world, my man?" Ron was rambling on like a steamroller now, but Lynx seemed to be enjoying it. There was nothing like a friendly face to get you comfortable in a new situation, and friendliness was one thing Ron Stoppable had never been accused of lacking.

            "Up north. Seattle," he replied.

            "Coo," Ron nodded. "You must have wrung your clothes out when you got off the plane," he said, nudging the new kid with an elbow.

            "Huh?" Lynx said, now looking confused.

            "Y'know, all the rain," Ron said, waving his fingers above his head goofily. Rufus produced a cocktail umbrella from somewhere, accentuating the joke.

            "Oh," Lynx replied, with a small, lopsided smile. Kim let out a silent sigh of relief; if that joke didn't scare him away, just maybe a saner resident of Middleton would be able to get a word in edgewise before the poor kid was irreversibly traumatized against his new home.

            "So when did you move in?" Monique jumped in, before Ron could, well, be Ron any more.

            "End of last week," Lynx said, somewhat nervously. Kim's feminine wiles were already abuzz with warning indicators. A glance quicker than the average eye could see shared with Monique showed it wasn't a false alarm, and it said one thing: girl shy. "Well, my parents flew down at the beginning of last week with my brother," Lynx moved to take a bite of his lunch, but when he saw what he was about to put in his mouth he seemed to reconsider. "I got here Friday."

            Something about his last statement set off another of Kim's internal warning sensors, one that could sniff out a dodged question from sixty paces. She made a note, but let it slide for now. Who knows, maybe he just had a girlfriend he had to say goodbye to before he came down. Kim frowned mentally. That was an odd thought to draw for consideration on the first shot. She shook it off.

            "So, what brings you down to Middleton?" Kim asked.

            "My parents are both in R&D – my mother in biotech, my father in aeronautics – and they both got job offers from local businesses that were too good to refuse." Lynx barely met her eyes as he spoke, almost taking another bite of his lunch before realizing that it hadn't become any more appetizing in the last minute.

            Kim had other things on her mind now than how shy their new acquaintance was. She snapped her fingers excitedly with sudden remembrance. "My parents both mentioned they were getting new workers this week."

            "Whoa, how about that?" Ron said, as if discovering a certificate for a lifetime supply of nacos. "Your first day here, and you run into the daughter of both your parents' bosses!"

            Lynx didn't seem so excited. In fact, Dr. Drakken had never looked so pale; and he was blue. He gave an extremely weak laugh.

            "Hey, no big," Monique chimed in quickly to reassure him. "Kim's cool, and so are her folks."

            "Yeah, don't worry, this is so not the drama," Kim waved dismissively.

            Lynx ran a hand nervously through his longish light brown hair. "Yeah, guess I just have a penchant for big coincidences," he chuckled.

            "How's that?" Ron asked.

            Lynx froze for the briefest of instants, as if just realizing what he'd said. "Oh, nothing. Just a… a funny story about something my mom was working on a couple years ago."

            "Awesome, I love hearing good stories!" Ron said excitedly. "As long as they don't involve monkeys. Does it involve monkeys?" he asked, looking around nervously.

           Tack another look under the confused column, Kim thought. At least he pulled it off well. A very composed, thoughtful confused… she shook herself mentally. Reality check. New kid bears little to no resemblance to Josh Manke, stupid thought patterns can now cease, she chided herself.

            They spent the remainder of lunch talking about nothing in particular – though Ron made a game effort to turn the conversation into a GWA debate when Lynx let slip that he, his father and his brother were all fans. Kim tallied a minor victory when he said how much he enjoyed watching it even though it was fake. (Ron had been almost speechless after that.) By the time their half-hour in the bustling crowd of the Middleton caf was up, the newcomer was ten times as comfortable, but still seemed fairly reserved about anything beyond small talk. Kim chalked it up to being nervous around new friends, but she still made a mental note to have Wade do his thing with the name Lynx DeWard.

                                                                                                                                -- --- --

            "Shego, you know how much I hate taking long trips without proper lumbar support!" a pale, dark haired man was ranting to a dangerous-looking woman in a green and black jumpsuit.

            "Let's review," Shego replied coolly, as she and Dr. Drakken rocked back and forth with the swaying of the aptly-named ship Big D's Folly. "Who decided there was only one place we could get electro-dermal plastic, and that one place was Seattle? Who suggested we take a boat from Tokyo to Seattle? And finally, who picked the ship for us to swipe?" she said, counting off fingers and snapping each question with increasing venom.

            "Well, I did, but—"

            "But nothing!" Shego, who was decidedly greener than usual, barked. "We could have stolen a cruise liner, or even pirated a supertanker, but you just had to have the twenty-foot dinghy that's as likely to capsize as it is to get us across the Pacific Ocean!"

            "Now, Shego, this is a fine vessel, fit for an evil genius of my—"

            "Did I fail to mention it's the middle of typhoon season!?" she roared, rising to her feet only to quickly stop and clutch her stomach. She sank back into her seat queasily. The rain beat down relentlessly on the roof of the cabin, and the ship was rocking unsteadily with ten-foot waves, but the little motor was still puttering along determinedly, pushing them with the thirty-knot winds towards the northwestern coast of the U.S.

            Dr. Drakken, an evil genius in only the loosest definitions of the words in Shego's current estimation, seemed to finally be quieted. She grabbed the map and tried to ignore the fact that her stomach was roiling worse than the ocean outside, grumbling nonstop while making sure they were still reasonably on course.

            "I assure you, Shego," Drakken began again meekly, "I have a reason for choosing this method of transportation, and it is of the utmost, vital importance to my newest evil scheme!"

            "You mean you wanted to wear the cap," she corrected blandly.

            "Well, yes," Drakken stammered, snatching the captain's hat off his head and twiddling it nervously, "but… Well, I have two reasons for choosing this method of transportation!"

            "I'm breathless with anticipation," Shego replied, her voice dripping with more sarcasm than the ship was dripping rain water.

            There was a long pause. "They're on a need-to-know basis at the moment, and I don't think you need to know."

            Shego's forehead slammed into the desk. "I would throw you overboard, but I think the effort would just make me even more seasick," she grumbled into the map.

                                                                                                                                 -- --- --

            "I'm telling you, there's no way that wrestling is fake!" Ron raved at Lynx as they were getting ready to leave for the day. "Just ask Kim, she's fought one of the GWA's superstars herself!"

            Kim froze midway through her locker combination, and tried to ignore the look of surprise on their new friend's face. She could have slapped herself for letting Ron get this far before she could stop him. Then again, the half-day spent interacting with someone who didn't know she was a world-famous teen hero had been longer than she'd dared hope for.

            "Really? Did you win a guest appearance at a house show or something?" Lynx asked.

            Kim laughed weakly. "Well, actually…"

            "Actually, Kim went toe-to-toe with Jackie the Jackal right in prahm-tahm baby!" Ron interrupted, pumping a fist. "I helped, too… sort of."

            Lynx blinked.

            "Well, we didn't really wrestle him…" Kim said lamely, thinking quickly of a way to salvage the situation. No luck there. "And he was kinda possessed by the spirit of Anubis at the time, so…"

            Lynx snapped his fingers. "So you are the same Kim Possible. I can't believe I didn't recognize you sooner."

            "Well, yeah, wouldn't Ron Stoppable being around be a dead giveaway that she was the one-and-only big hero?" Ron asked, as if stating the obvious. "You know, the whole sidekick thing and all."

            "Actually, I'd never heard of you before," Lynx replied offhandedly, still intent on Kim.

            "Bah, still no glory for the sidekick! What's this world coming to, Rufus?" he asked to the mole rat perched on his shoulder. "Robin never had this much trouble getting his fifteen minutes from Batman!"

            "I can't believe I met you both on my first day here," Lynx went on, shaking his head in amazement. "My dad actually tried to tell me he was going to work for the father of the Kim Possible – he saw that GWA show live and told me all about it – but I thought he was joking."

            "Ugh," Kim rolled her eyes, "having a 'the' in front of your name is so not the drama."

            "Oh…" Lynx deflated like a balloon. Kim was mildly surprised: he was the first person she'd met who actually had the grace to realize that celebrity might not be the best thing in the world. She even felt a little guilty for snapping at him. "Er, well… I didn't mean to make a scene about it."

            "No big," Kim said, and Ron nodded in agreement.

            "Don't worry, KP's used to this sort of thing."

            Kim finally finished putting in her combination and set to pulling out her usual collection of books.

            "Hey, is that a GTX-47?" Lynx asked, craning his neck to get a better look at her in-locker computer.

            "Er, I guess," Kim replied. She'd never really bothered to find out exactly what Wade had installed, come to think of it. Though it had been a rude awakening to get to school one morning to find a computer crammed into your locker.

            Lynx nodded, impressed once more. "Powerful stuff."

            He jerked in surprise when the screen suddenly flared to life. The young black boy on the monitor did his own double-take at the same time. "Who's this?" he asked.

            "Hey Wade," said Kim. "This is Lynx, a new kid here at Middleton. What's the sitch?"

            "Oh, nothing major. Just detected an unfamiliar signature at the school; guess I didn't have far to look."

            Lynx was studying the area around the terminal with clinical efficiency. "Ah, the Albus 9000 infrared scanner," he said, reaching in to tap a small, barely visible blue-gray bump under the monitor. All three visible faces blinked at him. "My dad works with advanced computers as kind of a hobby," he explained. "I guess it's rubbed off."

            "No doubt," Wade said, sounding impressed.

            "Ok, back to a subject fit for those of us who don't speak Star Trek?" Ron groused.

            "Sorry Ron, the world's a quiet place today," Wade replied, "unless you want to feed Mrs. Gillborn's cats again."

            Ron and Rufus both shuddered. "I can't believe I let you talk me into that the last time. Those things were shedding so badly Rufus was a haired mole rat for a week."

           Wade was taking a sip from one of his omnipresent soda cups when a gold light started blinking above him. He punched a few keys and frowned.

            "Something up, Wade?" Kim asked.

            "Maybe," he replied vaguely. "But it might just be one of the satellites I'm pirating— er, borrowing data from going a little haywire. Unless you think Drakken is the type to suddenly take a pleasure cruise across the Pacific on a twenty-foot dinghy during typhoon season."

            "So not," Kim said dismissively. "The day the super villains stop using fancy jets, blimps, UFO look-alikes or the occasional submarine is the day the tweebs get an award for good behavior."

            "You're probably right," Wade shrugged. "I'll keep an eye out, just in case. Later." The screen blinked off.

            "Drakken," Lynx said thoughtfully. "Where have I heard that name before?"

            "He's KP's numero uno arch nemesis and ultimate world-conquest-aspiring evil genius," Ron supplied.

            Lynx shook his head. "No... Well, I mean, of course you're right about the evil genius arch-nemesis thing," he amended quickly, "but that's not where I've heard his name before." He shrugged it off. "Oh well."

            "Well, I dunno about you two, but I'd say it's high time for some snackage!" Ron proclaimed, swinging his locker shut with a clang and heading for the exit.

            "Dare I ask?" Lynx whispered aside to Kim as they moved to follow. When he leaned over, it was the closest he'd been to one of them all day. She felt somehow flattered.

            "Don't worry; he's harmless when it comes to food. Besides, you haven't lived in Middleton until you've eaten at Bueno Nacho."

*A/N* - Aside from plopping in my original characters, which I'm going to craft like they were being written into the show anyway, I'm going to write this like it's an episode from the series. After all, why change a good thing? I'll leave the romances and Matrix crossovers to those who do them best.

Let's just hope this story doesn't get caught by the curse of all my other writings… I post them on FF.net, get about as many reviews as I get Major League Baseball contract offers (hey Cubbies, southpaw with a 64 mph fastball and something that might pass for a slider on a good day is available!), and quickly lose interest in writing them when it seems that no one has an interest in reading them. You heard it here first, folks, I'm a wannabe writer desperate for a little confidence boost! (Or is it an ego massage? *shrug*) Drop me a review and you too can help salvage my pathetic soul! ;-)