"Wha'd'ya think, KP? Is red my color, or what?"
Kim Possible shook her head and managed a weak smile as she hovered over her best friend. Cold, lifeless straps of leather bound him to a gurney, and kept his crimson-soaked sleeve trapped close so he could not injure it further. Beneath the pair, the rescue helicopter bounced and lurched its way across the calm blue ocean, toward home and help. The coppery stench of blood overpowered a dozen different sterile smells, reminding Kim of just where the churning guilt in her stomach came from.
"I think it looks better on me than you, Ron," she humored him gently. "Better leave it up to us carrot tops." Her gloved hand hadn't left his since takeoff, after the med techs flying the crate assured her for the thousandth time that Ron would be fine, and allowed her access to him after having chased Kim off simply to gain some breathing room to treat him. Despite their assurances, the band of gauze seeped in blackened bile continued to pierce her heart.
Ron grimaced and squeezed back. "Guess so."
For a time, nothing more was said. Ron's head bounced and lolled with each bump the helicopter went over. He seemed content to stare at the ceiling of the aircraft. His hand never lessened its grip on Kim's, as if he feared she would simply disappear were he to let go. But a look of implacable calm had settled onto his face, still crinkled in mild pain.
But something had been nagging at Kim ever since their mission ended. It was her hope to talk about it once Ron had recovered from his wound. As she gazed upon his mixed expression and felt his hand pressed into hers, that intent vanished into smoke, swept up into the helicopter's rotors and blown away. "Ron...?"
It was hard for Ron to focus through the pain and the drugs. That much was written on his face. But his dull eyes managed to lock on her angelic features as he croaked, "Yeah?"
A thousand queries jetted through her mind, but only one word made it past her rose petal lips. "Why?"
Honest confusion returned to his pained features. It was a common enough look on Ron, one he wore with something akin to adorability. "Huh?"
With an impatient breath, she elaborated; "What you did back at Drakken's lair. Why?" She tried to quell the urgency in her voice with only moderate success. A pounding started to drown out his response, and only distantly did she realize that it was her own racing heart.
"Oh." A little amusement slipped between his grimace. A small swell of panic erupted within Kim as he released her hand, then was smothered as he began patting her arm. "couldn't let the world-renowned Kim Possible to be waxed by Doctor Drakken's Exoplantic Combobulatronic Whosits, could I?"
He was, of course, referring to Drakken's Rapid-Exothermic Chemical Driven Projectile Aggressor Engine. Leave it to Drakken to build something the size of a 50's computer that did the same thing as an ordinary sidearm. All the same, it was no less deadly to a teen heroine fighting a green, glowing super-villain. And it would have been deadly, if not for Ron's quick thinking and quicker feet, launching him into a flying tackle that thwarted Drakken's idiotic scheme with minimal damage.
Ron tried to shrug, but the harness kept him in place. It didn't matter. He didn't have enough energy to swat at a fly, much less make a gesture. It was a wonder he was even speaking. "Hey, that's what sidekicks are for, right?" A guttural cough rattled from his chest, and only after she saw him smile did Kim realize he was trying to laugh.
"Ron..." Kim rubbed his chest and gave him a good dose of irritation hidden within her concern.
His features sobered immediately, though they kept their wrinkles of pain. "You'd do the same for me, KP. Don't deny it." With another forced grin, he added, "Besides, I couldn't let anything happen to you before your big date with Monkey this Friday, right?"
A hollow laugh echoed from Kim's throat for Ron's sake. "Guess I wouldn't win any beauty contests looking like a colander," admitted she.
Kim was deeply shocked when she felt Ron's hand rise and caress her cheek. It took no less than a Herculean effort on his part to lift his leaden limb. His voice whispered, barely audible over the whirr of the rotors. "You couldn't possibly look more beautiful than you do right now."
Bruised and tussled and sweaty as she was, Kim was certain that, coming from anyone else, the compliment would have been vaguely insulting. But from Ron, well...It was the closest he would ever come to being suave. A light blush danced in her smiling cheeks as she took to his hand, running it along her jaw line as she closed her eyes. His hand felt cool, and tingled against her skin. "That's just the blood loss talking."
"Hope not," he replied softly. "It'd suck if I had to get shot every time I wanted to tell you how great you are."
Though her heart fluttered, the prudent part of Kim took over. Kim reached out and closed his eyes with a featherlight touch. "Get some rest, Hero. We'll be home before you know it."
Ron's eyes slid closed as he drifted into immediate slumber. His hair felt as threshed wheat between her fingers, now forgotten by the glove and drinking of his texture as she ran her hand gently over his still features. Stray locks teased at his forehead, which she brushed away with tender care. As his breathing became shallow and even, and she was certain he wouldn't wake, she leaned forward to stare into his face.
"Sleep tight, Ron," she whispered before pressing her lips to his. "I love you too."
Sorry my latest chapter of TpoT is late, everyone. I hope to have it up soon. Until then, I hope you enjoyed this little piece of fluff. It came to me one night, and I liked it. Hopefully, I wasn't the only one.