Chapter XIII: Memories of Home
Ron was fast asleep in the back of the Possible's Station Wagon. It had been decided that the whole family would visit Kim's Uncle Slim in Montana. With GJ hunting Shego, it was the logical choice.
But was it logical enough for the Spirit of Vengeance residing inside of the boy? He could not believe how strong Ron's will power was. He tried to kill Will Du but Ron's compassion got the better of him and the Global Justice agent left burned but alive. Though with the Penance Stare, Will merely wished to be dead.
The Spirit knew nothing but love and vengeance. He was learning how to be compassionate through Ron. And how this world was filled with greys and not only black and whites.
This made the Spirit think. Was he so blind with vengeance that he tossed away his humanity and killed indiscriminately? If so, was he supposed to forgive the people that killed his beloved for a crime she did not commit? Was he strong enough to seek justice and not vengeance?
He knew the answer. And he didn't like it.
Ron Stoppable was a stronger man than he was. His love for Kim was his strength, his compassion for others was his anchor. His humanity was his treasure.
Ron may be asleep but the Spirit was awake. Since they shared a body, he was able to move while Ron's soul rested. And he found himself in a very difficult position.
He was sitting in the middle of the back seat. Kim was to his right, sleeping on his shoulder, or rather, Ron's shoulder. And to his left… Shego was resting her head on his lap. He dare not move. He didn't want to disturb their sleep. As he looked at Shego, he was reminded of a resting cat who found the most comfortable spot in the world.
But, to his heart's ache, they reminded him of his love. They reminded him of Quimm Possible. Kim had her compassion and kindness. Shego had her fire and thirst for adventure.
It must be Ron's compassion seeping through him, but the Spirit knew that coincidences were merely fate's way of unraveling the path they chose to walk.
A few days ago he would finish off his enemies without a moment's hesitation. A few days ago he would torment the guilty until their dying breath. A few days ago he would gladly… No. His hatred and thirst for vengeance had fueled his need to punish the guilty. If only Quimm was alive…
He realized that though they were vengeful, they were different from one another.
He sought vengeance because of hate.
Ron sought vengeance because of love.
And that simple difference was what made them apart from each other.
If only she would forgive him for what he had done, then maybe he could find peace. Until then, he would guide the young Stoppable to a path that would save his soul from eternal damnation.
Brighton smirked at the irony. He gave Ron a choice, a path towards vengeance, a path towards damnation. Now, looking at the souls Ron saved, he would do everything in his power to save him from his own choice.
Brighton felt Kim squeeze Ron's hand. She was snuggling closer to him in an attempt to get herself more comfortable. He then looked at Shego and slowly stroked her hair. He did it before for his beloved, it was nice having to do it to someone again.
It was times like these that made him wonder why he set a path for vengeance. And when he remembered what people were capable of… it left him confused.
"Forgive me Quimm," Brighton said softly as he himself closed his eyes and bore his pain.
Ron considered himself a man of many talents. Hell, he won a talent show because of the numerous things he had done, albeit just to stall until Kim came. However, if anyone came and said that he had a big heart, he would not believe them.
Ron may be more perceptive in some areas but could be dense in others. But he knew that he had chosen the mantle of Spirit of Vengeance so that others may not suffer as Kim had.
Ron could feel Brighton's anger. A few days ago he would have not thought of throwing a man in the path of a rocket. But now, it didn't bother him. And that what had scared him.
If he could just callously throw a man's life away would that make him the same as the ones he sought vengeance from? Would that make him a man less worthy of the love of Kim Possible?
Ron found that he didn't care. If Kim was okay, that what matters the most.
And there's Shego. True that he felt guilty that she caught the backlash of his Penance Stare but it just meant that she wasn't that innocent.
Hell, he knew she wasn't innocent. That what's made her to damned hot. And he got the feeling that his 'roommate' liked her a lot. And he didn't feel anything sexual in the attraction… no, that's wrong. It felt like… love.
How could a vengeful spirit from the civil war be in love with a modern day woman?
Because she reminded me of someone dear to me, Ron heard as he saw the young officer looking at him with sad eyes… even though all he could see was the flames of hell in them.
"Dude, stop doing that," Ron sighed as he looked at his companion.
Though we are of one body we are of two minds, Brighton said as he shook his head. You think too loud.
"There's this thing about privacy," Ron grumbled as he realized that his 'roommate' is right.
How could it be private if you shout what you think? Brighton asked. And don't think too much. You're giving me a headache as well.
"Let's talk about something else," Ron sighed. "Couldn't the others hear?"
This place exist between dream and reality. Mind and matter, Brighton said in an eerily familiar voice.
"You played the tweebs' PS2?" Ron asked but Brighton merely shrugged.
You were asleep. I was bored. Ron sighed. This spirit had a mischievous streak in him.
"Alright. The answer me this. Are you falling for Shego?" Ron asked and the young officer turned away to hide his face.
She reminded me of someone dear to me, Brighton said. Ron knew about the pain he had experienced. It was almost the same pain he had felt when Kim was violated.
"She looked like her?" Ron asked.
A bit, the spirit said. Though it's more that their spirit is the same. As thought she has half of her soul. Ron tried to understand and merely sighed. This was deeper than anything he had experienced before.
"You miss her?" Ron asked. Brighton merely looked at him with an amused smile.
Think about it. Ron chuckled as he realized that if he were in the same position, he would miss Kim like a part of his soul had been taken away from him.
"How long have you been a Ghost Rider?" he asked.
About a month, Brighton said. After I had avenged Quimm I brought her remains to her family in Montana. Do you think we could try and find it? Ron smiled. Despite the difference in personalities, their hearts were nearly the same.
"Sure," he promised. "Do you remember where it was?"
That part's a bit sketchy. But maybe we could find some clues.
"Okay," Ron smiled as he nodded. "So do you remember where her family lived?"
Lazy C Ranch. Ron froze as he heard the name of the place. Rimson Possible started it after… well… after there was trouble in Texas. Maybe Kimberly's a relative?
"Maybe," Ron frowned. "It's too close to home."
We shall see. Uncle Rim was kind enough to let me work as a ranch hand. Uncle Dim taught me how to shoot. After Texas… I don't know… Things were kind of strained for a few weeks.
"What happened in Texas?" Ron asked however, he knew that this was a sore subject for him.
Killed some buggers that tried to rape Annabelle Possible, Brighton said. Uncle Dim's wife. Had to move for that ladies' sake. Though the rival rancher did leave us alone after I disposed of the rubbish on his property. After the other hands saw what had happened to them… let's say they looked for work else where.
"Didn't the guy's friends go after you?" Ron kinda knew where this was going.
Some tried to get revenge. It's a good thing the Possibles had already moved and left the homestead empty. So I packed it with enough TNT to start a small war and waited.
"And when they came you lit the fuse," Ron nodded in understanding. "How old were you?"
Thirteen. If it were any other person, Ron would have told him he was lying. I'm not proud of what I have done, Ronald. But to me, the alternative is unthinkable. It is much the same if someone had violated your Possible family. What would you choose? Ron was silent. He knew what he would have chosen. In fact, it was that choice that got him his 'roommate' in the first place. You see. I became this way because I hated the people that made my family suffer. You, old chap, love Kimberly enough to sacrifice your soul for all of this. Brighton looked at his flaming hands and sighed. He extinguished the flames and looked at his new friend.
Vengeance poisons the soul. Little by little it eats at who you are until you are left with just a hull. A shell that had been burned to its breaking point. And after you had your revenge? You will be left to wander purgatory for eternity.
"Restless soul huh?" Ron stretched his arms until he could hear his joints crack. "I pride myself to never be normal. Guess this tops it, doesn't it?"
Yes, the spirit agreed. It does.
"Hey," Ron smiled mischievously. "Can a dead guy really fall in love?"
Do not even go there.
Kim awoke refreshed. It's been a while since she slept soundly in a car. But, it's also been a while since she slept in a car with Ron. She looked at his peaceful face, thanking God that she had realized that she had loved him dearly. She was about to kiss him awake when she noticed that his other hand was resting on Shego.
Kim frowned at this. Resting wasn't the word she would use. Shego was using his hand as a cuddletoy, moaning in her sleep as she stroked her face on his hand. She was about to remove his hand when she felt his other hand squeeze hers. With slightly opened eyes, Ron looked at his girlfriend with a serene smile.
"Chill KP," he said. "Let her be. She had a rough day."
"Enjoying much?" Kim teased.
"I always enjoy my time with you KP," Ron smiled as he turned to face her with his usual goofy smile.
"I was referring to having a woman on your lap," she nodded towards Shego.
"I would love to but it's a long trip and most of my left arm and leg is asleep," Among other things, Ron thought.
"So nothing's awake yet?" Kim implied as she saw how close Shego's head was to what Kim would consider her territory.
"Awake? What do you mean…. Oh…" Ron grimaced as he understood what she had implied. "No. No action yet KP. But if you continue to rub your… um… delightful… I'd better stop that description." Kim blushed as she realized that her breast was touching his arm.
"As much as I enjoy your embarrassment Kimmie, I would doubt your father would be as understanding as I am in this situation," Anne Possible said from the driver's seat. Both young adults had the grace to look embarrassed and look away from each other. Thankfully, Bonnie and Tara, who were in the front seat, were asleep and didn't hear the exchange.
However, Kim didn't release him from her protective hug.
"Are you scared?" Ron asked but Kim merely rested her head on his shoulder.
"Not when I'm with you," Kim honestly said. Ron smiled and kissed her forehead.
"Ugh! Enough with the sappy," Shego groaned as she sat up. "Would it be too much for you two to get a room?"
"Four words," Ron sighed. "Black Hole Deep Probe."
"I wouldn't worry about that," Kim's mom smiled. "I've got your back, as you say."
"You rock mom!" Kim smiled as she snuggled closer to Ron. "You okay there Shego?"
"Yeah," Shego said as she mimicked Kim and snuggled to Ron. "Somehow I feel… at peace." Kim smiled. Shego said this without malice and without her usual spite. They were friends once and she wouldn't mind being her friend again.
Ron however, was in agony. At one side was his beloved Kim, at the other side was the extremely beautiful Shego. He really wondered if a dead guy could even fall in love again.
I told you not to go there.
Ron sighed and relaxed. He felt his friend relax as well as he felt Shego's head on his shoulder. This birthed a new question.
How can a spirit woo a woman? The spirit had only one response to Ron's question
End of chapter
a/n. Going through my old stories and trying to update them as I can. Please read and review. Thanks for your patience.