Comments: This is chapter one of an ongoing story. If it's a little long sorry I have a bad habit of not being able to stop. Not a lot of action in this one but there will be in chapter 2. Feel free to say what you may not like about the story or my writing (or what you do like ) as long as it's thoughtful. Please R&R if you can.
Kim Possible: Open the Door
"You think you're all that Kim Possible, but your not!" Yelled Dr. Drakken as fiery explosions ripped through his latest lair. Kim smiled as Drakken made his escape. To be honest she was way too tired to even make an attempt at capturing him. It had been a long night, cheer practice went late mostly due to Bonnie not even trying to cooperate. After she got home she had a mountain of homework to get through, by the time she was done with that and was finally in bed, the communicator goes off and Wade tells her that Drakken has some sort of take over the world scheme involving mutating poodles. Don't ask, even after Drakken did his usual rant explaining everything it still didn't really make sense. She half thought the whole plot was just to keep her from getting a good night's sleep.
Ron and Kim descended from the former lair in a mountain in the Pacific North West to a clearing in the surrounding woods where a stealth military transport jet was waiting to take them back home. Ever since Kim and Ron had saved the state of well, you know, Nevada the military had left an outstanding order that Team Possible had access to any available transportation as long as it did not interfere with military effectiveness or security. Fortunately due to an increase in Ron's security clearance (Kim had top level clearance some time ago) they were able to take rides that weren't "in the books".
They climbed onto the jet and rested in a couple of seats reserved for them in the corner. The Captain turned toward teens and grinned.
"Record time Possible, Stoppable you guys could teach a few of my men a thing or two." This was more of a compliment than either Kim or Ron knew as the crew of the stealth jet was one of several special force units that combated the megalomaniacs like Dr. Dementor and supported "unofficial law enforcement groups and individuals." This was all done in secret of course in order to maintain public image. After all how threatening could the villains of the world be if a 16 year girl could routinely beat them? This particular unit had actually supported Team Possible several times without the teens ever knowing.
Kim smiled at the compliment, she liked this officer, and he took the time to include both of them while most of the time people would just ignore Ron or even belittles how much he helped. Truth was, despite how clumsy he might be at times or no matter how often he might lose his pants (defies reason) he always managed to help just enough to get the job done.
"No big," she responded, "It was just a pack of mutated poodles."
Kim just shrugged you can't explain mutated poodles with even remote seriousness.
Ron chimed in. "I don't even think they were mutated."
"Well they were mean and there were a lot of them but I really didn't get a whole mutant vibe, what about you Rufus?" The naked mole rat popped out of his second home in Ron's pocket. "Uh-uh." Then he just as quickly disappeared.
The Captain shook his head and there were small chuckles throughout the crew. "Well they can't all be winners; you kids wanna catch a few Z's? It'll be a few hours until we can get you home.
"Please and thank you."
Within a few moments Kim feel asleep, head resting uncomfortably on the headrest of her chair. Ron leaned against the hull of the aircraft and tried to fall asleep but he was apparently having issues.
One of the crew leaned over and whispered something in the Captain's ear. The Captain grinned, nodded and ever so slightly tilted the jet. Kim rolled onto Ron too tired to wake. Ron looked startled, too startled to know what to do. The inspired crewman motioned for Ron to put his arm around the sleeping girl. Hesitantly he did and was almost shocked when Kim shifted closer to him and murmured peacefully. Ron looked at the crew who winked. He smiled back, settled down with Kim and soon the two friends were fast asleep.
The next day both friends made to school on time only by the grace of mach speeds and a generous freefall.
Kim rushed into her first period class and just made it into her seat. Monique leaned over, "Girl you do know you're still in your mission clothes right?"
"Yeah, no time to change, just finished a late night mission, parachuted into the parking lot like two minutes ago."
"Ouch. No sleep?"
"Some, me and Ron slept on the way back but I am still exhausted."
Monique grinned, "So you and Ron slept together on the way back?" she asked with a slight mischievous grin.
"It's so not like that Monique, you know me and Ron are just friends."
"Well best friends of course."
"So you didn't cuddle for warmth?" she continued playfully. She was surprised however when Kim averted her eyes and started to blush.
"Oh girl you didn't tell me everything!"
"So not the drama I mean all we did--"
The two girls looked up to see the teacher...and half the class staring at them.
"Would mind starting your day the same as the rest of the class?"
Sitting back in her seat Kim knew her conversation was hardly over, Monique thought she had some dirt and would not let up until she got the whole story, not that there was anything to tell, after all they were best friends, holding each other didn't mean anything more than comfort and warmth right? Kim sighed, she was really glad for the interruption in the conversation but this might be a little more drama than she had originally thought.
Ron was not as lucky as Kim and due to circumstances beyond his control was a few minutes late for class. It really wouldn't have been so bad, Ron had a relatively good reputation and most teachers were lenient considering what Team Possible has done for the world. Unfortunately
Today for his first class he had Mr. Barkin who didn't really care what his students did outside of "his time." After a ten minute lecture on the virtues of being punctual Mr. Barkin told him to take a seat while he thought of a more creative punishment. This had Ron a little nervous, when Mr. Barkin decided to go creative kids ended up crying.
After a few classes he managed to find some time to change into the spare set of clothes he kept in his locker. While he was changing his thoughts drifted to earlier that morning when he woke up in the jet, he had looked down and saw Kim was slowly waking but still resting comfortably in his arms, during the night she had wrapped her arms around his chest and had seemed content to stay that way. Ron didn't know what to do and while he was contemplating his actions Kim yawned, shifted and stretched against him, Ron really didn't want to move. A moment passed however and Kim woke up realizing where she was and who she was on. She still didn't move but as she was looking up at him the embarrassment colored her face. They had whispered a small good morning to each other and unwrapped themselves, neither knowing what to say or if there was actually anything that needed to be said. After they landed they both hurried to class without a word to each other, for Ron's part he wanted delay any discussion until he could work out what happened in his head.
So far he had avoided talking to Kim which was a lot harder than he thought it would be. Most of his day was scheduled to spend as much time as possible with her. He felt a little better, though, after getting changed and as he left the bathroom he considered finding Kim when Monique found him first.
"Okay Ron spill it!" she said coming out of nowhere punctuating her demand by poking him with her finger.
"What!" Ron said backing into a row of lockers while instinctively looking for an avenue of escape. There was none. "Spill what?"
"Don't you play coy with me Ron Stoppable! I know something happened between you and Kim!"
"I don't know, she won't tell me, so now I have to beat it out of you!" Now Ron felt a small spike of worry, Kim and Monique were pretty close and usually shared everything; if she wasn't talking something could be wrong. When he had held Kim it had seemed innocent enough, but maybe she hadn't seen it that way. He really needed to talk to her now, the longer he put it off the worse it could get.
"Ron? Are you going spill or what?" Monique said looking a little violent as Ron was lost in his own thoughts.
"Oh, sorry Monique, listen if KP doesn't want to talk about it I really shouldn't either."
"So something did happen!"
"Wait I didn't say that!"
"Pretty much, now you listen to me Ron Stoppable, you and Kim are my best friends but if either of you are hiding something from me I will find out even if I have to ask him!" she said pointing at Rufus who was watching the conversation with amusement.
"No way Rufus would ever betray me." The naked mole rat backuped the decelerations by making a motion like his lips were sealed.
She bent toward him, "Not even for a Grande naco meal?"
Rufus unzipped his lips. "Naco!" he said nodding.
"Traitor." Ron put Rufus back in his pocket.
"Ron it's only a matter of time and you can tell Kim that." Just as abruptly as she came she turned and walked away. She really loves gossip Ron thought to himself. Too bad he didn't know if there was anything to tell.
Kim had managed to get changed at the beginning of lunch and dodged Monique for the next few minutes before finally getting a break where she could sit and eat. She had tried to find Ron to talk about this morning but he was nowhere, she was a little worried looking back she could never remember a time when her and Ron had a fight in the morning and he hadn't forgiven her by lunch, unless he was really upset. They hadn't fought, but maybe he was upset? How would Ron react to this morning? She had thought the whole incident was mostly innocent until Monique had started in on her but maybe it was more serious than she had first thought. She started eating her sandwich but was mostly running through the same thoughts in her head; she and Ron had been best friends for a long time but had avoided any real talks about taking it a step further. This was the one real thing she didn't know about Ron, if deep down he felt more than just friendship, well for that matter, she chided herself, she had no idea how she really felt either. She had always had Ron in this box in her head labeled "Best Friend Do Not Touch" and only once did she take him out of that box and that was thanks to the moodulator, computer chips so did not count. And what happened this morning was NOT computer chip inspired, she knew that for a fact, she had Wade check. Kim sighed and ate a little more of her sandwich, if she was completely honest with herself she knew exactly what was the problem, it had nothing to do with falling asleep in each others arms, that had happened before, but what made this so different was that she had woken up before Ron and hadn't let go, it had felt so warm, so safe, and well...so right that she hadn't wanted to move. Plus when she pretended to wake up she had stretched and pressed her body against his and that was so flirting. Just like that Ron was out of the box. She heard Monique's voice in the back of her head laughing saying "Yeah the whole thing was completely innocent."
A loud gruff voice called from across the cafeteria. "Ms. Possible!"
Kim looked across the tables of students to the double doors where Mr. Barkin stood giving her his best "I'm not your teacher; I'm your drill Sergeant Look." Kim glanced at her meal; even though she was hungry she had barely put a dent in her lunch. She dropped her head for a moment, the last couple of days had been rough and now she wouldn't have time to finish lunch.
She got up and walked over to the nearest trash can and discarded her mostly uneaten lunch and made her way to Mr. Barkin. He held the door open for her and they went into the hallway where they could have a measure of privacy. "Yes Mr. Barkin?" she started as helpfully as she could sound.
"Ms. Possible are you aware that Stoppable was late to my class again for the third time this month?" he asked with a slight coldness to his voice that would remind some soldiers of an interrogation.
"He was? No, I thought he made it on time, well I'm sure he tried to make it." Kim winced Ron was never as quick as she was and sometimes he paid the price. It wasn't like she could save him from the wrath of detention hall.
"Possible do you what brings me joy?" Not good, she thought, him asking her opinions or question was always a bad sign. Oh well better give it her best shot.
"Filling your student's heads with knowledge?" she said hopefully.
"Hardly." Mr. Barkin replied his eyebrow raising a fraction. "No, I enjoy bringing order to the chaos, you see Possible I get new students every year who think that they can come in break or bend any rule that they see fit. One by one they come to me and with time and creative use of detention I eventually have each and every one of those troublemakers towing the line in my classes. Everyone one of them Possible. A perfect track record. But now much to my dismay it seems I have finally come across a student who seems to fail to be broken. Now do you know who this is Possible?
"Umm...Ron, Mr. Barkin?"
"Yes since Mr. Stoppable became a student of mine he has periodically had issues with tardiness, missing homework and many other discipline issues, all minor, or at least my colleagues inform me, but persistent nevertheless. So I gave Mr. Stoppable special attention, I drowned him in detentions, I made him do extra homework, he cleaned this school several times. I even had him do "volunteer" work at Middleton Elementary. Did you know that he practically built the kindergartners playground and continues to do volunteer work for some of the after school programs there?
"Actually no." Kim said surprised, most of the time after school Kim was busy with cheerleading and other after school activities. While Ron was the school mascot he didn't have to show up at most practices. He never did talk about what he did do, they just met up later. Why did he never mention anything?
"Yes it seems they actually call him "Big Brother Ron" very noble but ultimately pointless."
"How is it pointless?"
"Keep with the conversation Possible. He is still having issues in my class!"
"Yes well I have racked my brain, gone over the situation again and again trying to find Stoppable's breaking point and I think I finally found it."
Kim was still trying to process the new information she had learned about Ron. Why had he never mentioned this before? She was distracted so her response was simple.
"You Ms. Possible?" Yeah, that got her attention.
"Mr. Barkin I don't make Ron have issues with school, in fact I like to think I help Ron as much as I can."
"Be that as it may, you are his inspiration, your the reason he goes all over the world for your unauthorized extracurricular activities. He puts with a lot of problems just for you, so if I'm going to keep my spotless record of "student reformation" I'm I will need to deal with source of Mr. Stoppable's resistance."
"What do you mean Mr. Barkin?"
"I've decided Possible, that since you are the main reason for Mr. Stoppable's discipline issues you will be joining him in his next punishment for the next two weeks after school."
"But that's not fair, I have cheer practice and not mention everything other thing I have to after school!"
"First Possible: life isn't fair. Second: Bonnie has already been informed that she will be taking over Cheer for the next two weeks."
Kim was in shock, how could this be happening?" "I still don't get it, how is punishing me supposed to help Ron?
"The best way to break someone Possible is to take what they care for most and what Mr. Stoppable cares most for is you."
"I needed a naco," Ron told Felix as they were headed toward their last class. Felix had wanted to know why Ron was late in the first place after Ron had started complaining about his unknown punishment.
"I had made it too my locker," Ron continued "and was getting to class on time when I noticed the two nacos I had leftover from yesterday. I hadn't had breakfast and I was hungry so..."
"Wait so you're telling me you have two weeks of detention..."
"Not detention, Mr. Barkin is being creative."
"Ouch, well two weeks of punishment then just because you couldn't wait to eat until lunch?"
"Hey! It wasn't all my fault, Rufus took forever eating his!" he said pointing down at his rodent friend.
Rufus averted his gaze and mumbled, "Sorry."
So when do you find out what your punishment is?"
"After class, I mean it can't be that bad right?"
His friend declined to answer.
School was over and Ron made his way to Mr. Barkin's classroom, he knew he had to get this over with but was having himself actually hurry.
He came up to Mr. Barkin's door and hesitated for a moment, reflecting on the day's events he wondered why he wasn't more worried than he was. Mostly Mr. Barkin's punishments were pretty bad (except for volunteering at Middleton Elementary that was pretty fun) and this one would probably be no exception. Most likely the whole thing with KP made everything else seem unimportant. No punishment would be worse than losing Kim. He paused, took a breath, it didn't matter right now he wouldn't even see Kim until after he finish whatever punishment Mr. Barkin had invented. Sooner he was done the sooner they could clear things up, with a renewed sense of duty he knocked on Mr. Barkin's door.
"Come in Stoppable." Keeping in mind that Ron had no idea that Kim had been enlisted to serve his punishment with him you can imagine his surprise when he saw Kim sitting in the front row of the looking upset and a little impatient. He glanced at her eyes trying to get some idea as to why she was here. To his dismay she glanced away refusing to make eye contact.
"Well Mr. Stoppable so glad you could join us, maybe if you could show such punctuality to my class the both of you would not be in this situation."
"Uh thanks I think...uh Mr. Barkin why is KP...you know here?"
"I have come to conclusion that since Ms. Possible seems to be the reason for you being late, she should join us...and by us I mean you...on our little "creative social reform project."
"Okay I really don't know what means."
Mr. Barkin sighed, "She's in on your punishment Stoppable."
"Wait a minute, Mr. Barkin! Kim wasn't responsible for me being late; I hadn't eaten breakfast and had a quick snack before class. I'm really sorry and will take any punishment you want but Kim has things to do after school." Ron protested.
Ms. Possible has already had her social calendar cleared for the next two weeks so the both of you can suffer together. I sure everyone can survive for that short amount of time without the help of Team Possible." Mr. Barkin said with a slight bit of sarcasm in his voice.
Ron thought quickly, no way did he want KP to suffer for him. "What if I due whatever it is for twice as long?" Ron heard Kim shift behind him; hopefully this would make up for anything she may be mad about.
"Impressive Stoppable, are you saying that you would double an unknown punishment from me just in order to help Ms. Possible?
"Yes." Mr. Barkin glanced for a moment at Kim with a look that seemed to say "I told you so." like he had proven a point.
"Well that is all very noble Stoppable and you seem to have an unnatural ability to take punishment that would do you good in the enemy's camp but is not acceptable in my class. I think the punishment will stand as is.
Mr. Barkin interrupted, if you don't mind Stoppable I've been waiting for this moment all day." Ron sighed and took a seat near Kim who still didn't make eye contact.
I'm sure the both of you have been wondering what I have planned for you well I'm be happy to let you know that it's something you both have experience in." He handed Kim a folder that had a symbol of a smiling sun on the cover. Ron knew that symbol from his time volunteering for the "Sunshine Spreaders" a volunteer group that helped the elderly at local nursing homes and local residents living alone. It was one of these residents who had convinced him to become the Fearless Ferret, a costumed superhero who dwelled in the night. Only problem was the Fearless Ferret had just been an old TV program and Ron had just played into his delusion.
"In this folder you'll find the name and address of your punish...err...assignment. The gentleman at this estate is something of a recluse, and a difficult case. He needs help organizing and cleaning his estate.
Kim finally spoke up," That doesn't sound so bad."
"The guy's a tyrant, he actually make's me look nice. Of the eight volunteers we've sent there eight have come back broken and crying. He was actually on a "No volunteer" list but I think he deserves another chance. Maybe he just needs the help of the right volunteers. I'm sure the two of you can handle it. After all, your Team Possible." he sad with a slight chuckle.
"Now there are certain conditions you both need to be aware of. First, this punishment had to be filed as after school volunteer work and will counted and since our principal thought this punishment was too harsh without some incentive I have to award you some extra credit upon completion of the two weeks." He grinned, "However if you fail to complete the two I can and will assign the both of you to a month of detention. Is that understood?"
"Yes Sir." both the teens responded. Kim stiffened at the thought at a month of detention. Bonnie would take over cheerleading. She almost wanted to growl at Ron, all this just because he needed a snack!
"Now you two better get running don't want to be late on your first day."
"Yes Mr. Barkin." said Kim shooting Ron an angry look. Ron watched as his friend grabbed backpack and stomped out of the. If she wasn't mad at him before she was now.
"You better catch up Stoppable; you don't want to cause any more trouble for do you?"
Ron felt anger and looked at his teacher whom he normally respected. "Mr. Barkin are you punishing Kim just to get at me for being late to your class a few times?"
Mr. Barkin heard the strength in his voice and tried not to show any approval. "I'd like to look at it like a lesson in responsibility Stoppable, as long as you keep this up for two weeks she'll be fine, but if you mess up she'll have an even worse time."
Ron resisted temptation and did not snap back. He knew it would only make things worse. Ron left the room and tried to catch up with his royally pissed off friend
As Kim had made her out of the school she had received a call from her Mom patched which thanks to Wade could double as a cell phone. She was still angry at Ron and was having issues trying not to let it slip into the conversation. It probably didn't help that she was trying to explain why she was in trouble with a teacher when she hadn't actually done anything.
"Mom I'm sorry Mr. Barkin has gone totally thermonuclear on this one. Ron was late to class and for some he reason he thinks it's my fault too. So he's trying to teach Ron and me, mostly Ron, some sort of lesson in responsibility." Kim hurried as she heard Ron leave Mr. Barkin's classroom and started to catch up.
"Kimmie, you know that your missions can't override school, if you're having issues...?"
"So totally not the case, Ron's one who's in trouble for being late. Mr. Barkin's acting like I'm responsible for Ron being late." she said as frustration began to creep into her voice.
"Honey, I hate to point this since you seem to having a bad day but you are partially responsible."
"Not funny Mom."
"Not joking Hon, you always tell me that the two of you are best friends and a superb team right?"
"Well yeah but we're not on a mission, we're at school."
"So? Do you stop being friends when you get to school?"
"Of course not!"
"What about being a team?"
"We're always a team."
"And really Kim do you think Ron would have as many issues with school if he didn't drop everything to go and help you?"
"Well I don't know..." Kim said not liking where her Mom was taking this.
"Kim if you two really are a team it means more than just helping each other on a mission. It means helping each other even when they don't ask for it. When you need someone to be there for you do you have to even ask Ron?
"But if he's having issues he should have to wait for a teacher to bully you into helping him and then have you mad at him when it was Mr. Barkin who made you do it, Kim it seems to be a little bit of a one sided relationship.
"It's not a relationship." she whispered in response thinking back to that morning.
"Kimmie you both have spent every available moment together since you were in kindergarten and you routinely depend on each other for your lives. What would you call it?" Kim didn't know what to say, first Monique, then Mr. Barkin and now her Mom, were they all seeing something she didn't? She heard Ron keeping pace a good distance behind her but not catching up. She felt guilty; he was probably wondering how mad she was, her Mom was right it wasn't even his fault, not really.
"I gotta go Mom, Ron's catching up." she said as she slowed letting Ron know it was okay to catch up.
"Just think about what I said okay?"
"I will thanks for the perspective Mom, I think I needed it."
"Of course Kimmie that's what I'm here for. We'll see you when you get home."
Ron caught up and they didn't say anything at first. She was trying to work up the nerve to talk about everything that had happened today but didn't know how to start, Ron started first.
"Listen KP, I'm really sorry about today."
"No big, I mean Mr. Barkin sometimes just goes overboard I knew it wasn't your fault. I'm sorry if I started to take it out on you."
"No prob KP but I wasn't just talking about Mr. Barkin. I'm sorry," he paused and Kim saw he trying to gather his strength, "for, you know, this morning."
Kim hesitated before she said anything; she had been going over this moment in her head all day, wondering how she felt and what she should say, now that he had brought it up all the things she had thought she was going to say vanished. And to top it off he was worried and apologizing! Ron took her silence as conformation of his worse fears and started to apologize again hoping that he could make it right.
"Look KP, If you're mad and don't want to talk to me I understand, I can just stay out of your way, I'll stop coming to your house and will seat somewhere though if Rufus could visit--."
"Oh Ron," Kim interrupted hugging her friend in a tight embrace, "don't be stupid, your my best friend, I in no way, shape, or form want you to go. You did nothing wrong, I am so not mad at you, I've been thinking the same stupid thoughts all day." She stopped hugging Ron but took his arm as they walked toward the parking lot where Ron's moped was parked.
"Kim I'm you know relieved and everything but about this morning it was different wasn't it?"
"I'm mean your my best friend, I don't wanna mess that up, I think what was really worried me."
"Same here but Ron I don't think that will change."
Ron looked down at her with one of the most serious expressions on his face she had seen. "Does that me we are going to let the rest change?" he asked as he handed her the spare helmet to his moped. He sat down and started the engine, more aware of her presence than ever when she sat behind him and slipped her arms around his waist.
"Let's just say I think we should be open to the possibility." she replied as they drove off.
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the Kim Possible characters nor to I intend to make a profit from them.