=All-Purpose Disclaimer=

Kim Possible is a registered trademark of Disney. No money was accepted during the writing or publication of this fic under any circumstances. Also, it's not my fault you suck.


Kim Possible

A Hero to Me

by Cyberwraith Nine


Saturdays on State U's Upperton grounds were usually peaceful days, especially in the fall. In the first weeks of October, the crisp autumn weather sent lollygaggers and slackers scrambling for warmer quarters, leaving the campus' large outdoor forums of browning grass and trees exploding with color relatively unpopulated. Only a few diligent students seeking aid from their professors and tutors ventured into the heart of the college. Even those that lived on-campus in the infamous dorms had found other, more accommodating facilities to inhabit. As such, the area was peaceful and quiet…

Most of the time.

A couple of young students in their late teens leapt out of the way as a dark blur roared down the sidewalk. One dove into the bushes, while the other tumbled out onto the pointy, itchy grass which immediately covered and clung to his coat. Neither got a good look at the pair mounted atop the black streak that had nearly run them down; they only knew that they were dressed in identical black leather, and that one of them was screaming hysterically.

"Stairs-stairs-stairs!" the passenger on the black motorcycle screamed, pointing ahead unnecessarily. The driver ignored the loud, shrill protests and instead revved the rice-burner's motor. Growling in response, the bike leapt forward and into the air, sailing over the concrete steps before slamming back onto the sidewalk.

Laughing hysterically, the driver pulled their ride over to the edge of the sidewalk. Doors and frightened pedestrians flashed past the pair too quickly to recognize. Leaning forward, the driver launched the bike off of a handicap entrance ramp and onto a row of planters next to the Chemistry Lab building, balancing their narrow tires on the concrete ledge. A strong force gripped at the driver's stomach as the bike's passenger began hyperventilating, but that only broadened the pilot's grin. "Hang on," the driver tossed back, "We're almost to the end!"

"That's what I'm afraid of!" the passenger screamed back.

Forcing both of their weights back, the driver yanked the handlebars upward just as they reached the end, getting even greater air on this jump than the last. It seemed like an eternity before they touched down again, nearly bouncing out of their seats. Hearing the passenger's tortured sobs, the driver decided to finally quit, and yanked the yoke to the side. The tires squealed against the pavement, leaving twin black trails as the bike skidded to a halt just inches before they would have slammed into a wall of solid brick.

The driver pulled her helmet off, shaking free a mane of glorious ginger hair and blinking her luminous green eyes. The smile on her face threatened to split her beautiful features in twain as she planted the helmet on her hip, looping it under her arm as she turned back to her passenger. "That," she gasped excitedly, "Was an absolute blast!"

Her passenger struggled with his helmet, staggering about as he fumbled with the latch beneath his chin. The offending protection finally came loose, allowing his tussled blond locks free. His chocolate brown eyes were frozen wide open, and his chest heaved up and down as the adrenaline forced every system in his body into overdrive.

"I'm glad," he wheezed, clutching at his chest. If his heart were to beat any harder, it would probably have broken through his ribcage and popped out of his chest. "Because it's the last time you sit behind those handlebars. Ever." Rufus leaned out of his pocket, emptying his little rodent stomach onto the sidewalk. It was the first time Kim had ever seen a Naco in reverse, and she prayed it was the last as well.

"Oh c'mon!" she whined, looking back at the sleek, black motorcycle with tender affection. It was Ron's souvenir from his summer in Japan, and she had been cajoling him for weeks to let her drive it. "It's not like I scratched it or anything!"


"You're just mad because I can drive it better than you." she smirked.

His eyes grew steely, though they never quite lost that essential spark of good humor he seemed to always keep about him. "Ev. Er." He said again.

"Aw, c'mon Ron," she smiled, "Let me at least drive us home."

"No." He turned around, folding his arms defiantly. "Not a chance. No way. I am an immovable pillar of decisiveness on this and any other matter pertaining to your usage of my motorcycle. So nyah."


"Forget it."


Ron's eyebrow tweaked as he continued to examine his precious baby. "You're not…doing 'The Pout', are you?" He felt a shiver of fear, almost as if the sheer power of her expression was cascading into his soul without his even looking at her.

"Pwease, Wonnie?"

Deciding to risk it, Ron turned around. Sure enough, Kim's bottom lip was like an enormous balcony of beseeching, and her eyes twin pools of pure, shimmering plea. "Oh no…not the Puppy-Dog Pout." He backed away, trying to shield his eyes. But it was too late; he had already seen it. If he could just muster every ounce of self-control he had…

Her hands clasped together, drawn down in front of her as she twisted to the side. "I'll be reeeeaally careful, Ron." she added, quivering her lower lip. Her hair fell over one eye, creating a picture that was caught between sultry, sexy, powerful and pathetic all at the same time.

Ron's resolve cracked like an American-made engine block. "Oh, all right." he groused, crossing his arms crankily.

"Ha!" Kim dropped the pout in a flash and put on a smug expression in its place. "You always did break like cheap glass, Ron." she teased, throwing an arm across his shoulder. He still seemed surly, until she started poking him in the ribs. "Cheer up. I'll try to keep her in two or three pieces."

"Gosh Kim," Ron laughed, poking her back, "When'd you find time for a humor transplant? Kim?" His laughter died down at Kim's silence. He looked to her questioningly, but her gaze was fixed on a youthful, hunky blond approaching the dynamic duo.

"Nice moves, Possible." the young lad grinned, burying his hands in his letter jacket. There were several sports' insignias sewn above the elbow on his coat, most notable of which was a tiny brown football with a gold star set in its center.

He stopped just shy of the two, with wandering eyes that admired a good deal more than Ron's impressive vehicle. It was all Ron could do to keep himself from launching at the ogling, obtuse ogre. Kim, on the other hand, seemed to brighten with the mere presence of the vaunted jock.

"Bret Bretterson…" she sighed softly, barely audible even at Ron's close proximity. Clearing her throat and straightening her posture, Kim quickly disentangled herself from her best friend, trying unsuccessfully to appear casual. "Hey! Uh, thanks…"

"This your ride, Storable?" Bret leaned in, pretending to examine the bike as he got a better angle to stare at Kim's smooth, leathered posterior. Kim didn't even seem to notice, but others did.

Ron's teeth gnashed painfully behind his smiling lips. "Stoppable." he corrected. "And yes."

"Well, it sure seems like Kim knows how to ride." Bret flashed a grin at the redhead. Then his fingers snapped, and his large, chiseled features transformed with a sudden thought. "Say, I just remembered; Delta Kappa Phi is having a big get-together tonight. Maybe you could come?" he suggested to Kim.

Kim blinked, taken aback at the sudden offer. Her hand fluttered to her breast as she stammered, trying to maintain her cool air. "I…I'd love to!" she exclaimed excitedly. Then she forced a calm over herself, and clearing her throat. "I mean, yeah, that'd be cool…if I have time, or something."

"Great." Bret smiled. Then he glanced over at Ron, quirking an eyebrow. "Oh, you can come too, if you want."

"Gee…" Ron sneered. "Thanks."

"Well, I'd better get going, Kim. Hope to see you tonight!" With that, Bret gave her a wave and walked off, whistling a jaunty tune.

Kim stood frozen on the spot for a few seconds, trying to sort out the rapid-fire manner in which her day had skyrocketed right to Cloud Nine. Bret Bretterson, captain of the State U Salamander's football team, major hottie extraordinaire, asking her to a party! A party at one of the coolest, most popular frat houses! "Ron, this is fantastic!" she exclaimed as soon as Bret was out of earshot.

"Yeah, whoop-dee-doo." Ron sighed, slapping his helmet back on. He climbed back onto the bike, waiting patiently for Kim to seat herself behind him. She had forgotten all about driving back home, and instead was jabbering on and on about the party. Pity…it had started out such a promising Saturday, too.


"What do you think? This? Or this?"

Ron put his Calculus book down with a disgruntled groan, pulling his head out of polynomial equations to look over at Kim's bedroom door. The redhead was standing at the threshold of her domicile, hoisting a pair of hangers. Her left hand held a small white tank-top with a pretty pink heart in the center, while her right carried a dark, black long-sleeved off-the-shoulder number.

"And this is for what?" Ron asked, slamming his book closed and setting it aside.

Kim rolled her eyes as if Ron was the single most stupid person on the planet. "For the party. Duh!"

"Oh." He shrugged. "I didn't think you were going."

She lifted the garments, hooking the hanger on the trim above her door before padding across the carpet to stand in front of the couch with hands on hips. "Ron, we're talking about a party at the Delta Kappa Phi house, which is only the biggest, coolest frat on the campus. We're talking about Bret Bretterson, one of the hottest guys in the whole school, showing a marked interest in 'me'." she lectured, placing a hand on her chest to emphasize the last point. "We're talking about a spankin' party with tons of music, guys 'and' girls," she reminded him, "And quite possibly the best night of our Freshmen lives! Why wouldn't we go?"

"Because," he reminded her irritably, "Someone's failing Calc." He picked up his book, tapping derisively on the cover. "And 'someone else' promised to tutor him tonight so he would pass the next test on Monday, pass the class, and therefore be able to graduate on time without taking summer courses."

It was Kim's turn to say it; "Oh." Her shoulders fell as she remembered her promise to Ron. He was absolutely right. "Jeez, I'm sorry." Her hand slapped over her face as she twisted around, falling next to him on the couch. "I totally spaced on that." Her lips quivered with a long breath as she sighed, never removing her hand from her eyes. Guilt began pouring over her without warning over the forgotten matter, intermixing with her disappointment. "You're right. Sorry."

Ron stared at his friend, clutching his Calc book to his chest as he watched her wallow in the sudden reversal of plans. The truth was, he didn't want her going to that party for a whole host of other reasons, and seeing her so melancholy was working his own guilt over. "KP, I…"

Kim sat up, putting on a neutral smile as she gently took his book from him. Her disappointment was thinly (and poorly) veiled, but she did her best nonetheless. "Okay," she puffed, "Let's get started. We should be able to get a chapter in before dinner, right?"

His soulful brown eyes tweaked as she opened the book to the chapter on anti-derivatives, flipping through to the first section. Truthfully, he supposed, it was only a matter of time; living with Kim for the past month had been too awesome to last. Ron figured that sooner or later, another guy would come along and catch Kim's attention after the Will Du debacle. He just really enjoyed being the most important guy in Kim's life again. But if it meant making Kim miserable and trapped… "KP," he said softly.

"So," she said with a forced smile, "Let's start with variables with no powers. See, when there's no coefficient-"


"-all you have to do is add one to the current power, which is technically 'one' anyway-"


"-and then take the new power, invert it, and place it as the new coefficient-"

"KIMBERLY ANNE!" Ron huffed. Kim stopped short at his use of her full name, something that she couldn't ever recall. She stared at Ron, whose shoulders heaved with heavy breathing. After getting her attention, he calmed visibly, and shut the book in her lap. "Go to the party."

"No, it's okay." she lied. "I made a promise to you."

"Go to the party." he said again.

"Ron, it's seriously no big." she waved him off. "Besides, if we get done with Calc in time, we could still catch our Saturday movie, like we always do."

"Kim…" he sighed, rubbing the bridge of his nose in annoyance, "Go. To. The. Party."

Kim eyed him cautiously, hardly daring to hope. "Are you serious?"

"No," he snorted, "I've only been repeating myself to practice my English skills." He took hold of her hand, looking her square in her beautiful eyes. "Look, you really want to go. It's not like the studying is ultra-crucial…at the moment," he allowed sardonically. "And I can already tell that your mind isn't going to be anywhere near math tonight. So just go to the party."

"Yes!" Kim's grin became genuine. She crashed into Ron, crushing him in a hug and pecking him on the cheek. "Thank you thank you thank you!"

Ron turned scarlet, patting her on the back. "You can thank me by helping me double-time tomorrow, KP." he assured her, masking his own disappointment far better than she did hers.

"You'd better believe it," she assured him, rising from the couch in a flash before he could rescind the offer.

Ron watched her dash off towards her room. He stopped her halfway, calling out, "And Kim?"

"Yeah?" she asked, turning.

"For the record," he said, "I think the black one looks better." As much as her excitement over the party hurt him, he couldn't help but marvel at her dazzling smile as she tugged the garments down from her doorway and locked herself away in preparation.


Kim emerged from the bathroom almost an hour later, fresh from her shower and glowing with excitement. Her hair was perfectly coifed in a simple variation of her usual style with just a touch of hairspray to give it bounce. As an added measure, she had braided a long, thin lock from her left temple, and tied it off with a tiny red bow that hung near her collarbone. She was dressed in the top Ron recommended, with a black mini riding low on her hips to complete the look. Kim was looking sexy, feminine, and ready to party.

Manning a frying pan at the stove, Ron did a double-take as he looked upon his best friend. Even Rufus rubbed his little eyes to make sure Kim really was even more beautiful than usual. The hamburger frying in his pan popped and sizzled in the silence of the boys' admiration.

"I take it this meets with approval." Kim remarked wryly, twirling to give them a view of the entire product. It wasn't often that she got the chance to dress up, and it was good to know she hadn't lost her touch.

Ron blinked hard, knowing full well that the image was burned into his retinas, and would stay that way for a long time to come. "Only if you're trying to get every guy on the planet to fall for you, KP."

Her smile widened. "Including you?" she teased.

"Sorry," he retorted with equal amusement, "But best friends are immune to your dark charms, fee-male."

Kim smiled, sauntering over to the counter. She had spent the better part of the month living with Ron, and the whole time she had tried to sort out her feelings for him. Thus far, a reasonable solution had eluded her. She knew she felt something for Ron, something more than the platonic love they had always shared. Part of her believed that Ron felt it too. But she didn't have the courage to act; if she was wrong, or even right, it could end up destroying everything they had together.

All of this flashed through Kim's mind as she approached the kitchen, spying an oddity resting on the counter. Since her shower, a small vase of roses had found its way into the apartment, and was currently at rest next to the toaster. Plucking one of the long stems from its arrangement, she breathed deeply of its blossom. "What're these?" asked Kim.

"It's a thank you from that tiny village you saved last week." He answered, turning back to his dinner preparations. "Just came while you were getting gussied up."

Upon further inspection, Kim found a tiny card attached near the gift's base. She pulled it from beneath the vase and read aloud, "To Kim Possible and Friend. Awww…"

Ron snorted. "At least they didn't try to remember my name," he said sarcastically. "I still remember the flowers those Guatemalans sent to 'Kim Possible and Roy Stockable'."

Kim circumvented the counter, walking up behind her despondent roommate. "Aw, cheer up, Roy," she ribbed him gently. Her arms folded across his back as she laid her head upon his shoulder. "You were a big help with that flash-flood."

"Oh yeah," he replied bitterly. "If I hadn't nearly drowned, you might have gotten bored just converting their town hall into an emergency shelter." His eyes rolled towards the ceiling.

"It was really no big," she shrugged.

"Says the girl who saved six hundred people from certain destruction not seven days ago."

She pulled away, playfully batting him upside the head with her rose before slipping it into the buttonhole on his collar. "You only need to save one person to be a hero." she said. "And you've saved me plenty of times."

Ron turned around with a passable attempt at a smile. "Thanks KP." he said. Then he pulled back to arm's length, examining her outfit. "Hmm… Needs something more. Rufus!"

Rufus popped out of his pocket, yawning and stretching. The mole rat looked up questioningly at his mobile home. Clearly, he had been napping, and was loathe to leave the pocket for just anything.

"Rose me!"

Charged with his mission, Rufus saluted and squeaked, "Roger!" He scampered up Ron's leg, across his chest, along his arm and onto the counter in just seconds. When he reached the vase, Rufus reached in and retrieved a rose from the bouquet, which he promptly brought to Ron.

Ron reclaimed his pal, complete with flower, and grasped at the green stalk carefully. His opposite hand adjusted its grip on Rufus, wielding him like a tool. "Now," he said, examining the bloom, "We clip off the excess…"

As Ron brought the stalk to Rufus' face, the rodent obediently clipped a good portion off with his powerful teeth. Only a few inches of the stem remained below the bloom itself, just enough for what Ron had in mind.

"Next…" His tongue poked out between his lips as Kim watched on in amusement, "We remove any remaining thorns." Once again, Rufus' power was used for the forces of decorative gardening, clipping away at the sharpened points until they were all gone. "And voila! The perfect accessory." He reached up and placed the shortened stem behind Kim's ear, letting the blossom rest opposite her braid.

Kim reached up, fingering the flower delicately. "Thanks," she said softly, smiling. She looked to Rufus, who had scampered back over to the vase and was munching on another one of her roses. "How do I look, Rufus?"

"Ho, pretty!" Rufus squeaked.

Ron let his hand linger, brushing a stray bang back into place. When Kim caught him staring, he looked away abashedly, and pretended to regain a sudden interest in his burning hamburger. "So you're, ah, all set." he said to the wall. "Better get a move on, or you'll miss out on all the fun."

A soft hand rested upon Ron's shoulder. He swallowed hard as Kim turned him around and took the pan from him. "Come to the party, Ron. You were invited too." she reminded him as she set the hamburger down on the stove.

Part of Ron ached to take her up on it, but he shook his head. After years of social awkwardness, he had developed a sixth sense for detecting situations that would end in his humiliation. A frat party just seemed like it would end with his being left out on the front lawn, hanging upside-down from a tree in his underwear. "No, I can't."

"C'mon." she gently insisted. "It's Saturday night. You should be having fun, like every other teenager in Upperton."

"I can't, KP." he reiterated. His thumb chucked back to the couch, where his books waited patiently for his return. "If I don't pass the next Calc test, I'm seriously gonna graduate with your brothers in about six to eight years."

Though she smiled at the exaggeration, Kim couldn't help but feel a little disappointed and guilty. What good was going to a kickin' party and flirting with one of the hottest guys on campus when your best friend was stuck at home reading math? And besides which, part of her had hoped to dance (and maybe flirt a little) with Ron as well…a large part, she discovered.

"All right." She admitted defeat with a sigh. "Try not to have 'too' much fun without me."

"Same goes for you," he smiled back with a grin that was just as fake. "Watch those frat guys, they aren't to be trusted."

"Please," she waved his warning off. "'She can do anything,' remember? I think I can keep a few drunken frat boys from taking advantage of me."

Ron swallowed his worry and disappointment, trying hard for Kim to make his smile genuine. "Just concerned for my best friend is all."

Kim leaned in and planted a light kiss on Ron's cheek. As she pulled back, she noted with some amusement how surprised he seemed, and vowed to do it again some time. "Catch you later, Ron."

Ron stood there, motionless, as Kim bounded out of the apartment. The door closed behind her. His hand rubbed on the slightly moist spot left on his cheek by her lips. "It's both cool and sad," he told his flower-munching friend, "That I just experienced the highlight of my weekend in a fraction of a second."

"Ho, brother!" Rufus rolled his eyes, slurping on another rose petal.


The first thing Kim noticed was a thrumming baseline echoing all through the tightly-packed house. She felt rather than heard it as she walked through the doorway and into the madhouse. It vibrated uncomfortably in her skeleton as she sidestepped left, narrowly avoiding a pair of laughing, inebriated (and underaged!) couple as they spiraled out of control and into the door frame.

Kim eyed the pair as she warily entered, then swept her gaze out at the rest of the room. The Deltas had packed the house full; people were everywhere, talking, dancing, laughing. And nearly everyone had a plastic cup filled with a watery amber liquid Kim's nose identified as cheap beer.

"Possible!" a familiar voice called through the crowd. Kim's head turned, and she immediately began to feel relieved as she saw the host of this madness muscling his way through.

"Hey Bret," She slid between a pair of provocative dancers and reached him in a few steps. "Uh…cool party." Bret was dressed in a reflective club shirt and jeans. She noticed with a little distaste that he, too, was holding a couple cups of alcohol.

"Thanks." he grinned. Raising the cups in his hands, he asked, "Can I offer you a drink?"

"Oh, no," she waved the cups down. "I, uh…I don't 'do' alcohol, thanks."

"S'cool." he shrugged. Kim saw with some disappointment that a portion of the interest in his eyes faded at her declination of the drink. "Well, come on in, we're just getting warmed up around here."

She spun in a slow, lazy circle, examining the room. The pictures on the walls seemed ready to fall courtesy of the pounding music. People kept bumping into her from all sides, sloshing drinks and hooting like morons. She spied one unlucky guy who looked to be about her age in the kitchen, pouring his drunken guts into the filthy sink before wiping his mouth on his sleeve and taking up another drink. Kim made a mental note to stay away from him.

"Yeah," she said with feigned enthusiasm, "It looks…" Bret was gone, already talking to another of his guests. Kim looked around once more, and did not recognize a single face in the room. She felt more uncomfortable with each passing moment, and felt totally out of her element. If only a costumed freak was around!

"…fun." she muttered.


Ron sat on the couch, flipping idly through channel after channel of useless, uninteresting programming. His Calc textbook was resting beside him on the futon with a pencil stabbed through the cover. The murdered book had been so ever since Ron determined that Calculus was a tool devised by Lucifer himself, and that Isaac Newton really hadn't had much to do with the process after all.

"I will not let this Saturday night go to waste," he idly promised himself. Everyone else had something to do; Kim was at the party, and Rufus was catching up on his twenty hours of necessary sleep in a bowl on the kitchen counter. So why was he the only one lame enough to have nothing to do?

"Coming up next on the Late, Late Show," his television spewed, "We've got stupid owner tricks, followed by-"

Ron's thumb mashed down on the power button before he tossed the remote aside disgustedly. "Okay," he groaned, letting his head flop back onto the couch cushion. "That's it. This Saturday is officially wasted. Blown. Garbage."

Naturally, no one responded.

He blew out a breath of impatience, tapping his fingers against the wooden arm of the couch. Ron had never liked silence. It always seemed unnatural to him in some way. It made him feel uncomfortable. On a mission, he didn't just talk constantly to keep things light; he yammered to keep himself sane in an otherwise totally chaotic situation. But now, there was no one to talk to.

Then it occurred to him that there was probably plenty of noise at the Delta party.

'Hmmmm…' Ron debated internally, 'On the one hand, I could go, meet some new people, hang out for a while and try to salvage what's left of this weekend. On the other hand, I'd have to watch Kim flirt with Bret Brick-head-erson all night.'

The silence echoed back, answering his dilemma for him.

"Well, it's not like I haven't seen her chase after other guys before," he reassured himself aloud as he stood. "Quick change of clothes, and I'll be ready to pah-tay!" 'Just hope Kim doesn't mind me horning in on her action,' his brain added.


Kim was squashed between two couples on the Deltas' couch, listening in misery to the pairs suck each others faces off. 'Where's Ron when you need him?' she thought glumly. Then she did an about-face at the thought, her eyes quirking at the strange apparition entering her brain. 'Just for someone to talk to,' she clarified.

"Hey!" a slurred voice sang from across the living room, barely audible above the pounding music. "Hey Red!" Kim's head snapped up. Her horror and disgust tripled as she saw a young, athletic senior in a Delta jacket stagger through the crowd, his buzzing eyes somehow focusing in on her. "Yeah, I see you there Red. C'mon, give us a dance, huh?" There was a half-empty beer in his hands. Most of the missing half, it seemed, was sloshed across the front of his shirt. Kim guessed (accurately) that it wasn't his first drink of the evening, either.

She looked left and right, but there was no avenue of escape, and the drunken, disgusting dancer was drawing ever closer. Kim stood anyway, hoping to force an exit before he could reach her. Unfortunately, no one was budging.

The strange boy was almost on top of her when another Delta jacket stepped between the two. Though he was facing away, Kim recognized the back of Bret's head. A well of gratitude washed over her as he caught his brother by the shoulder and eased him off. "Sorry, Ted," Bret consoled him loudly, "But Kim's already agreed to have a toast with me.

Ted seemed to shake the disappointment off rather quickly, and staggered off in another direction as Bret turned back to Kim. The older boy smiled, cradling a pair of glasses in his free hand as he clapped her on the shoulder. "You okay? You don't look like you're enjoying yourself very much."

"What? Oh, no!" she shook her head quickly. Brushing back a few stray strands of hair, she put on her most dazzling smile. "This is great…really!"

"Well," he seemed to accept the answer, "I'm glad. Oh, and I was serious about that toast, if you were interested." He held up his large hand, nodding to the two glasses. Each contained a yellowish liquid that smelled rather sweet. When he caught her eyeing the drinks, he amended, "It's lemonade, I promise. I've been scrounging around for something for you to drink. Sorry it took so long."

Kim's heart melted a little as she took the drink. Her smile became genuine as she thanked him. 'Maybe I was wrong…' Kim thought, watching Bret raise his glass.

"Here's to new liaisons." He smiled and tossed his head back, downing the drink like a shot.

Kim shrugged off the odd wording and mimicked her host. The warm, sugary liquid poured down her throat, leaving a pleasant tingle as it went. She smacked her lips, handing the glass back to Bret. His smile had doubled, and she couldn't help but smile back.

Then his smile doubled again…because there were two of him in front of her. Then four. Then there were too many to count, and the whole room was spinning so fast that it wouldn't have mattered anyway. Kim staggered, trying to keep her footing, but it was no use. She felt a pair of strong hands grip her beneath her armpits, keeping her aloft, but she couldn't see whose hands they were.

"I'm really glad you came, Kimmie." Bret's voice whispered from the swirling colors. "We're gonna have a great time tonight."

Kim felt herself slipping away. Her head became a balloon, floating towards the ceiling even as the rest of her body turned to gelatin. She felt relaxed, and at the same time, it was as if a fire had been lit in her belly. Her mind screamed out for help, but there was no one, not even herself, who listened.

'Someone,' her last conscious thought sobbed as she felt herself being guided somewhere new, 'Please help me!'