=All-Purpose Disclaimer=

Kim Possible is a registered trademark of Disney Inc. One day, the dark empire of The Mouse shall rule all. Until then, I'm allowed to write this fic, seeing as how I'm paid bupkiss anyhow. Make sure you don't pay me, otherwise Disney will send its goon squad. Just imagine…large, hulking brutes wearing mouse-eared hats. *shudder* Not a pretty thought.

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Kim Possible

The Power of Love

by Cyberwraith9

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Doctor Possible hesitated on the threshold of his daughter's room. 'Former room,' he reminded himself silently. She didn't have any use for it anymore. Those days of hearing her lilting, joyous tone from above were over forever. With a heavy heart and a trembling hand, he reached for the latch of the door to the loft that used to be his daughter's.

Ascending the stairs, his weighty heart sunk further at the sight of Kimberly's empty room. The cleansing process had already begun; Much of Kim's stuff had been boxed up, waiting to move on. The room had a haunting emptiness about it, like the soul of the space itself had drifted away without the redheaded physical anchor to keep it in.

"Hon?" A soft voice called from downstairs. His wife's footfalls traveled softly up the steps to their daughter's room…former room. He heard himself answer her distantly as her brilliant crop of orange-red hair led the way. "Everything okay?" she asked with concern.

He looked at her, and (not for the first time) was astounded at how alike she and her daughter were. They both had the same hair, the same brilliant eyes, and that teasing half-smile that never strayed far from their lips. It only made him miss Kim more.

"It's so…empty." he muttered, striding forward to Kim's old desk. There, he lifted an old family photo to examine it closer. The picture had been taken almost ten years back, when Kimmie was just a small child. Of course, there had never been anything "just" about Kim. It was a beautiful memory frozen in time, never to come again. "I never thought it would end like this."



Sensing his tremendous sorrow, his wife, the other Doctor Possible of the family, placed a comforting hand on her husband's shoulder. She took the picture from him, setting it next to the photo of Kim and Ron on their first day of Middle School. "Oh honey," she sighed, giving his shoulder a reassuring squeeze.



His arms found their way around her waist, holding her close as they looked about the half-emptied, soulless space that had been their daughter's home for so long. "I just can't believe she's gone," he admitted sadly. "I never thought we'd lose our Kimmie-Cub like this."



Mrs. Possible buried her face in the nape of his neck, nuzzling him and comforting him as best as she could. "I know, honey," she sighed, "I know."



"Mom? Dad?"



He sighed wistfully, tilting his head. "I can still hear her voice…" he whispered. His wife rolled her eyes, nudging him in the direction of the stairwell.



Kim Possible climbed the steps, lugging a stack of empty boxes with her. She dumped them in the corner, mimicking her mother's eyes at her father's tearful reminiscence. "So not the drama, Dad." she scoffed with hands on hips. "I'm going off to college, not getting fitted for a pine box."



Her parents separated to allow Kim into the hug, which she returned gladly. "Try to see if from our point of view, dear." Her mother planted a kiss on top of her head as they broke apart, letting Kim get back to the business of packing her entire life into cardboard cubes. "We've never had anyone in the family leave before."



"Except Nana, of course." Mr. Possible sighed, "She's in a better place, now."



"She's in Florida." Mrs. Possible snapped with a tinge of annoyance. "We moved her there. You talked to her yesterday."



"Ah, that's right."



Hoisting one of the packed boxes, Kim gave her parents a patient, dazzling smile. The truth was, she was more nervous about moving out than she let on…more than she ever would have thought. Living in the same house for eighteen years, with the same people, knowing it would always be there if she needed it. Now, she would have to learn how to live without it.



She kept the smile in place, masking her inner doubts for her parents' sakes. "Besides," she added, "State U is right in Upperton. I'll only be nine miles away. And anyway, you'll still have the tweebs around."



A loud crash echoed from downstairs, driving the point home and drawing a groan from Kim. Her mother smiled, twisting to the door with a quick, "Speak of the devil," quip on hand. Laughing softly, she headed downstairs, calling out to the troublesome duo as she disappeared from sight. "Jim, Tim, stop breaking your sister's things!"



Alone with her father, Kim set the boxes aside and sat down on the bed with him, looking around the half-emptied room. She felt her father's arm encircle her shoulders and drawing her near. Her head rested against his shoulder as they both shared in a contented sigh.



"It's going to be boring around here without you, Kimmie-Cub." he said, giving her a squeeze. "No more helicopters landing in the front yard to whisk you off on a mission to God-knows-where."



"No more boys calling at all hours, either." Kim smiled up at him, kissing him on the cheek. "You won't miss that, I'm sure."



He chuckled at that, ruffling her hair. "The only 'boy' I had to worry about," he remarked as he lifted a picture from her desk, "Was Ronald. And the worst he ever did was empty our fridge a few times."



Kim managed a laugh before she felt her façade slipping. The sullen expression wasn't lost on her father, who put his best parenting face on. "Dad," she half-moaned, "I'm going to handle this, aren't I? It's just college…No big, right?"



"Says the girl who saves the world as a hobby." Dr. Possible laughed. His daughter seemed irritated by the remark, so he switched tactics. "Kimberly," he put a finger beneath her chin, meeting her eye-to-eye, "You must never forget…Anything is possible for a Possible."



Her eyes closed in a silent smile as he kissed her forehead. "Thanks, Daddy." she sighed. Spirits renewed, she rose and began packing her pictures carefully in an empty box.



Dr. Possible rose to help her, heaving onto his feet with a slight grunt. He took another picture of her and Ron in hand; this one was from their high-school graduation, only three months before. "Say, where is Ronald?" he asked, handing the precious memory to Kim. "You'd think a best friend would be enlisted to help lift and tote."



Kim smiled at the picture, tracing Ron's goofy grin with her finger. "His parents moved him into a place near campus while he was gone." she said. "He just got back today, I think."



"That's right." her forgetful father nodded, "He spent the summer overseas, didn't he?"



She nodded. "In Japan." Her smile faded, but luckily she was turned so that her father could not see. She had missed Ron desperately over the summer. It was surprising how empty her days had been without his smile, his crazy antics. She even missed Rufus' chattering from Ron's pocket, and sharing a big pile of nachos with the two of them at their favorite hang-out.



The world of intrigue and crime that had somehow become a major focus in their lives had been surprisingly quiet for the past several months, which was convenient in a way; Ron hadn't called or e-mailed the entire summer, which would have worried her, except he had sent several postcards. Always, though, the cards were short, assuring her that both he and Rufus were fine, ending with a noncommittal 'Boo-yah!' or something to that extent.



She kept a discouraging sigh bottled up as the real world beckoned her back. "He said he'd help me move into the dorm." she said. "We're supposed to meet him at the campus gym."



"The gym?" Her father frowned, confused at the idea of Ron doing anything in a place such as that besides attempted flirtation. "What would Ronald be doing at a gym?"



Kim had to admit that the idea threw her for a loop as well. "I have no idea…"

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A hush fell across the padded floor as Ronald Stoppable took a cleansing breath. He was dressed in a simple white gi sashed at the waist with a belt of coal black. A small pink blob sat on is shoulder, holding another strip of cobalt cloth. A string of seemingly indecipherable chattering came from the squirming pink creature as it whispered in Ron's ear.

Sanding along the edges of the Martial Arts' Room was the top ranks of State U's Upperton Campus Karate Club, lined up at Ron's request on their inaugural meeting, and totally confused. The senior student, a second degree black belt whose name Ron hadn't caught, stepped forward. "You sure about this, New Kid?" he asked.

"Gimmie a sec," he called. "Rufus?" The pink rodent reached up with the black cloth, looping it around Ron's eyes and tying it off at the back of his head. Ron brushed the long locks of corn-blonde hair he had let grow over the summer out of his face, up and over the blindfold. Satisfied at his own sightlessness, he gave the other students a hearty thumbs-up. "Okay," he told them, "Ready."

"Are you serious?"

"C'mon!" Ron tapped his foot impatiently, his arms crossed on his chest. "Less yakkin', more attackin'!"

With one last nod and a fierce cry, the advanced class members leapt forward in unison, rushing at him twelve men (and women) strong from all sides. Their pounding feet and loud, fearsome shouts filled the room.

And through it all Ron stood stock-still, his hands calmly folded in front of him. Rufus shrieked and ducked into the folds of Ron's gi, squeaking something along the lines of 'gonna-die!' Ron, however, was the picture of calm. The twelve amateur warriors converged on the hapless sidekick, fists flying and feet a flurry of fury.

They never knew what hit them.

Ron was there one moment, and simply gone the next; Still blindfolded, he flew into the air like a feather caught in an updraft. Twisting and corkscrewing, he landed several feet away from the melee with flawless form and a perfect stance. The Karate Club crashed together before they ever realized his absence, slamming into one another in a wild orgy of inadvertent pain.

Several students on the edge of the pile-up noticed him first, turned away from them with his head cocked and a wry smirk on his face. They rushed forward at once, but more cautiously than before. The three on point spread out, tripling the odds as they surrounded Ron once again while the rest of the class hung back.

Punches and kicks rained in from all sides as the students tried their best to lay one on Ron Stoppable. Chops, spins and joint locks were applied liberally. And they all failed…every last one of them.

For most of the blows, Ron simply wasn't to be found. His remaining four senses were alive (though taste wasn't doing much for him at the moment), guiding him through the twists and bends around their fists and feet. The rest he simply blocked, sliding the shots along his forearms. 'One cannot stop the mighty river,' he recalled his Sensei's wise, slightly confusing words with a smile, 'But it can be diverted.'

Ron struck like lightning, letting the clues the other students didn't even know they broadcasted guide him; Their labored breathing escaping in ragged gasps beckoned his hands to jarring palm-heel strikes, knocking them dizzy; Their loud, stomping feet he felt through the floor pads, cluing him in to major changes in their formation; The wind whistling off their clumsy strikes assured him plenty of forewarning to block or move.

But superior skill couldn't hold out against sheer numbers forever. The students swarmed about him, striking high to ensure that he couldn't pull the same corkscrew leap to escape again. Desperate, he reached forward and grabbed the senior student's gi, planting one foot into his massive chest. Ron threw all of his weight and leverage backwards, rolling across the mat and tossing the much larger, more experienced student over his head.

The rest of the class scattered at the human projectile, giving Ron some breathing room. He finished the roll, landing in a crouch and leaping into a sprint for the wall, guided by his memory. Unfortunately for him, he misgauged the distance and ended up cracking into the surface head-first. A small squeal of protest escaped his gi as he bounced off, scrabbling against the wall until his hands found purchase on a thin shaft of wood.

'Right where I remembered it,' he congratulated himself. "Boo-yah!" In one smooth motion, he drew the bo staff from its wall mounting, swinging it over his head and down to sweep in front of him. "I speak softly," he said in a loud voice, "But mah stick is plenty big!"

The floor trembled as two dozen feet pounded in his direction. Ron spun the staff in a defensive criss-cross, his smile growing as he felt them draw near. Now that the odds were evened, the fun would really-

"RON!"

A familiar voice called out in panic from the distant door as a new set of footsteps ran across the pads. He reached up and tore the blindfold from his eyes just in time to see a green-and-orange blur streak across the room and crash through the students, breaking their formation.

Skidding to a halt in stocking feet, Kim Possible put herself between her best friend and his attackers. She stood out like a sore thumb among the pristine white uniforms in her baggy jeans and lime green tank top, but her lotus stance fit in perfectly.

"Stay back, Ron," she growled as the club regrouped, "I'll-"

"Hey!" the senior student cried, jabbing a finger in Kim's direction as his fellows picked themselves up. "Stoppable brought help!" With another cry, he began charging.

Kim wasn't a stranger when it came to fighting, but the combatant coming at them was nearly twice her weight, and formally trained to boot. With a room full of backup, it would end up being-

Ron's bo staff shot out like a javelin before Kim could even finish the thought. The oversized toothpick struck the student's legs, tangling the appendages and slamming him to the floor in mid-charge.

Ron leapt forward, putting himself between Kim and the students just as she had done for him a moment ago. "She's not part of the exercise!" he cried. "Stop! She's Switzerland, she's Switzerland!"

Kim watched with a mix of confusion and amazement as the State U Karate Club backed off, grumbling and rubbing their bruises. By the looks of it, they were fine. It was their pride that had taken the real beating.

The senior student stood, rubbing his shin as he picked up the discarded staff. His chagrin shone clear as he handed the weapon back to its owner. Still, begrudging though it was, his admiration was apparent. "I've never seen anything like that, Stoppable. Incredible! You can train with us any time."

Kim's awe grew as Ron took the staff and shook his hand. The blonde's sleeve draped back, revealing a forearm that, previously skinny, now sported strong, corded muscle that hadn't been there at graduation. With a bit of a flourish, Ron returned the staff to its place on the wall, giving it a twirl for good measure before sliding it into the holders.

"…Ron?" Kim was beginning to doubt that she had found the right person. He bore a striking resemblance to her best friend, but there were several key differences.

Ron's attention refocused as the rest of the club began shuffling out. Any doubts in Kim's mind vanished as she watched his face split into a monsterous grin. "KP!" he cried, lunging forward and snagging her in a massive bear hug. She felt her ribcage creak in protest, but none of that mattered as she got caught up in the moment.

It felt good to hug her best friend again. It was the best feeling, the most natural thing to be in Ron's arms. For the first time in three months, she didn't feel so lonely again. "Ron!" They separated, with Ron holding her gently by the shoulders. The big lug looked like he was about to cry, but his eyes remained dry and shining as he took a good look at her.



Her curiosity burst through the barrier of her happiness, reminding her of the display she had just witnessed. "Ron, what was all that? You were…well, amazing." she admitted.



He pulled back a little further, looking slightly embarrassed. "Heh…" he rubbed the back of his neck, "Just a few things I picked up at summer session in Japan."



Kim could sense he was holding something back; Ron couldn't lie to her if his life depended on it. But she wasn't going to pressure him until he was read to talk. She was dying to know what happened in Japan, though. He had clearly been working out. Maybe he met a girl? "Looks like you picked up more than a little, Hong Kong Phooey." she smirked, fingering his blindfold.



He flashed her the patented Ron Stoppable smile, a dazzling mix of buffoonery and charm. Taking a step back, he snapped to attention and gave her a low, formal bow. "Domo, Kimberly-kun. I-"



"Kim!" A tiny squeak shot out of Ron's gi, followed by a pink blur that smashed itself onto Kim's chest.



Kim laughed, missing the brief flash of annoyance that crossed Ron's features as she squeezed the tiny rodent. "Aww, I missed you too, Rufus. Have you been keeping Ron out of trouble?" Rufus nodded, chattering and nuzzling against her cheek as she held him up to face level.



Ron snorted, blowing a lock of hair out of his face. "Does a guy have to be bald and bucktoothed to make time with his favorite redhead?" he asked snappishly.



Kim's eyebrow quirked. "Your redhead?" she said slowly as she gave him a look. "Make time?" Ron suddenly got nervous as she sauntered over with swiveling hips, her lips pursed pensively. In the end, though, all she did was chuck him on the chin, giving him a good-natured tap on the shoulder for emphasis. "Did someone miss me while he was in Tokyo?"



"Actually, it was closer to Kyoto, and YES!" Ron grinned. The smile soon fell away, however, as a new thought entered his sluggish brain. "Oh man," he said with widening eyes, "Today's your big move-in day! Don't tell me I missed your dad's tearful speech about his little girl growing up."



"'Fraid so." She looped an arm around his waist, handing Rufus back to Ron as she led him out of the padded room. "But we saved a nice big box with your name on it."



"Aww, that's sweet."



She shook her head. "No, I mean, it's a box full of all the stuff you keep leaving over at our house. There was a lot of it…"



"Oh." he blushed a bit, but covered as he hooked an arm around her shoulder to match hers around his waist. "KP," he beamed, "I have a feeling that our best days are just over the horizon."

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"Our best days are just over the horizon, Shego."



Shego looked up from her file and nails, squinting in the dim light of their latest lair. Deep within the shadows of his lab, lingering among countless beakers of varying color and size, outlined in pure black so that only his wild, white eyes pierced the veil, stood the mad genius known to the world only as Doctor Drakken.







Well, he was mad, at any rate.



"So," Shego quipped as she blew on her nails, "I guess that BO Fertilizer project has paid off…finally." she added quietly with a roll of her eyes.



Drakken stepped forward into one of the room's scant spotlights. He clutched a small vial of greenish liquid in his tiny fingers. His face was twisted with confusion stacked upon its usual bitterness. "Fertilizer?" he bellowed, already in full-rant mode, "Fertilizer?! Why on Earth would I…Wait." He raised an arm, sniffing tenderly at his blue jacket. "I don't smell, do I?"



"Uh, Dr. D? The goop?"



He yanked his face from his pit, scowling deeply at her. "Patience, Shego!" he snapped. "I was getting to that."



"Sorry." Her eyes rolled again as she put the file away, chasing the last of the filings from her green and black jumpsuit. "I guess I'm a little anxious, seeing as how we haven't done anything nefarious for the past four months after Kim Possible nixed your evil…super taffy…nonsense." she trailed off vaguely, waving her hand.



Drakken's eye bulged at the slight. "My Turbo-Taffy was NOT nonsense!" he cried, clutching the emerald beaker to his bosom. "Mistakes were made, I'll be the first to admit to that." Raising his precious beaker triumphantly, his twisted face split into a malignant grin. "But this, dear Shego," he told her, "Is our redemption. This is the future!"

"Uh-huh…" She eyed the greenish liquid skeptically. "What is it?"



"I told you already," he huffed, "It's a bio-terminator."



"Ye-ah." her face ticked with irritation. "Do I need to remind you which one of us is the scientist again?"



"Just watch." He ignored her obnoxious sigh, leading her over to a table in the lab beneath another ominous villain-style spotlight. There, on the otherwise empty tabletop, was a single rose planted in a simple brown pot. "Behold!" he gestured, revealing the flower.



"Huh. Pretty."



"Thank you, I grew it myself." He pulled the stopper from his mysterious beaker. "Now observe."



Drakken poured a small amount of the green sludge into the pot. Even Shego's short attention span wasn't an issue; The effects were immediate. The rose began to shrivel and crackle, turning brown before their eyes. In mere seconds, the beautiful, prize-winning flower was reduced to a small pile of brittle ruins and dust.



Drakken stood back proudly, pleased despite the loss of his rose. "Well?" he puffed.



"Sooooo…We're going to destroy the world one flower at a time?" She folded her arms, far from impressed. "La-ame!"



"My bio-terminator can destroy any plant or vegetation with only a minor dose." he hissed patiently between gritted teeth. "With the proper delivery system, we could destroy every farm in America's heartland, thus causing worldwide starvation and skyrocketing food prices!"



"…and?"



Drakken blinked. He had been on the verge of a villainous laugh when Shego's simple question had blindsided him. "And? And?! What do you mean, 'and?'" he demanded. "Isn't global malnutrition and market crashing enough for you, Shego?"



Shego groaned, taking the beaker from him. "Look, destroying crops is fine and dandy," she said, balancing the beaker at the end of her fingertip, "But how does it help us with the whole 'World Conquest' angle?"



"Well, I-" Drakken froze in mid-sentence, his finger poised in the midst of making a point. Rubbing his jaw, he began muttering to himself as Shego waited patiently for an answer. "Well," he said at last, "At least we caught these design flaws in the early stages, right?" A small, pathetic laugh escaped his lips.



"Oi!" she slapped a hand to her face, groaning again as Drakken continued to rant.



"Nevertheless, we shall continue forward with the plot!" he proclaimed, shaking his fist into the air. "And this time," his voice grew to new levels of sinister as his eyes narrowed dangerously, "Not even Kim Possible will be able to stop us!"



His laughter echoed into the darkness, a mad symphony of bad omens for the innocent, unsuspecting world.