Obligatory disclaimers: Kim Possible, Ron Stoppable, Wade, Dr. Drakken, Shego, Lord Monkeyfist, Duff Killagin, The Entire Possible Family, Rufus, Professor Dementor, and all other characters and events that are manifestly (that means "obviously" but it makes me sound smarter) the work and creation of Mark McCorkle et al and owned by Disney are clearly not owned by me and I claim no such ownership.
The characters of Lord Deathray, Ronin, Goliath Kilgore, Raymond Beam and any other characters and events not manifestly owned by Disney but created by me herein I hereby claim as mine. You know, just in case Disney comes barging through my door begging for the movie rights…
Be warned, it will take quite a few chapters to tell this one (ten years is a long time, after all), but if you grant me your patience, dear reader, I shall do my best not to disappoint.
And now, without further ado:
The car pulled into one of the few unoccupied parking spaces left in front of Middleton High School. The sign out front said "Welcome ten year reunion. Go Mad Dogs." They were a little late. This was due in part because she wasn't sure if they should come at all. She hadn't been back here since graduation, and everyone would be asking questions. But Monique had called and begged her to come, and to bring her fiancé with her. In agreement, her fiancé insisted they should go. Now, sitting in the car out in front of the school, she was wondering if it was a mistake to come.
They got out of the car and she felt a twinge of sadness upon seeing the front door. The school was smaller than she remembered. She heard music coming from inside. At first she couldn't place it, but then remembered. It was Smashmouth. This realization alone brought back a flood of memories, all crowding into her mind and demanding her attention. Smashmouth. That was the night of the dance, when Bonnie had been kidnapped by the Bebes. It had taken a week for the effects of the shoes to wear off, and then Ron had spent an afternoon helping her pry them from her feet. Ron… she stopped in her tracks.
What if Ron was here?
Monique had called from the reunion and assured her he wasn't. And it stood to reason that if he wasn't there by now, he wouldn't show up at all. But yet… back then Ron had an almost uncanny ability to read her mind. Sometimes he would be there when she needed him, without her having even called for help. Not just on missions, but times when she needed to talk to someone. Times when she needed a shoulder to cry on.
But maybe that was an effect that had worn off as well. Maybe he couldn't read her mind anymore. After all, she hadn't seen Ron in – what? – six years? Had it been that long?
"Sweetie?", her fiancé asked softly, "Are you alright?"
Maybe Ron could still read her mind, and wouldn't show up out of respect for her. But then this particular thought tore at her. She wanted to see him because it had been so long, but then she didn't want to see him, because it might be too painful, for both of them.
"No big," she told her fiancé lightly, "Just tripping down memory lane."
"Bad memories?" he guessed out loud.
Depends on how you look at it, she thought to herself. Out loud she said "Not all of them. High School, you know, plenty of drama."
"Yeah", he said halfheartedly. He could tell there was more than she was willing to let on, but said nothing else.
She stayed silent as well. They continued on to the front doors. The closer they got, the quicker her heart beat. She was eager to see Monique, and all the girls from the cheer squad. Maybe not Bonnie, but then she could deal with seeing Bonnie. If Ron was here she wouldn't know what she would do.
"Get a grip," she told herself silently, "As in FIRM! You're Kim Possible. You used to save the world on an almost weekly basis. You're twenty-seven years old now, not in high school anymore. You've faced death, you can face Ron."
But could she? She stopped when they got to the doors. She wasn't convinced of any of the things she had just told herself, even the fact that she was twenty-seven. She almost felt that if she stepped through those doors, she would revert to being a seventeen-year-old high school student. Just POOF and it would be ten years ago. It wasn't a farfetched idea, after all, she'd seen devices that could make someone tell the truth, tap the mind, make you smarter, or even cure the common cold. It was a somewhat comforting thought to remember that she had destroyed most of those machines. Maybe she could conquer revisiting high school.
As she opened the door, a thought occurred to her. It wasn't high school she was afraid of. It was unresolved issues that began in high school. It was her first love. It was Ron. She decided she didn't want Ron to be here after all. Too painful. She took her fiancé s' hand and squeezed it tightly as they stepped through the door, and into Kim's past.