Kim Possible and all the characters contained within are the sole property of Disney.

A/N: In my view of the Kim Possible universe, based on a careful examination of clues and information gleaned by taking tapes of all the episodes in a pile on the floor and danced over while intoning verses from Monty Python songs, I have come to several conclusions:

So the Drama was the 'Junior Prom', Kim and Ron are coming up on their seventeenth birthdays; they still have their 'Senior' year to complete at Middleton High.

Face it; Kim's comment to the Ninja's while protecting Nakasumi San was that her move won 'the Regionals'. For Kim, the Nationals HAVE to be in the future somewhere if not the World cheerleading competitions. Next, Seasons One had twenty-one episodes and Season Two had twenty-nine while 'Season Three' only had thirteen (plus StD), some of which have yet to air. That's at least half a school year that we haven't seen! (Try checking under the carpet Martha).

But what about some of those other clues. Well, "Car Trouble' was in Season Two. This 'Right of Passage' normally occurs around fifteen and a half. Giving time for Drivers Training and all, the fact that it's the fifth episode of Season Two and eight episodes before A Sitch in Time (see below) lends credence to the fact that she and Ron are in that envelope of fifteen and a half/sixteen.

Kim and Ron start a new school year in A Sitch in Time, which is the thirteenth episode of Second Two, shows where approximately the chronological order of the school year should fall and that they are in their Junior year through the period ending with StD.

REGARDLESS! There needs to be at least one year of Kim/Ron as a teenage couple together in High School! The world will accept no less.


And now back to our previous scheduled story.

She slowly came awake, giving an involuntary groan as she did so. During the night, her neck and back had stiffened up considerably letting her know that actual movement was not something to look forward too.

Prying her eyelids open, she saw her clock on the nightstand. It was almost nine. That in itself was an indication of just how fatigued she was.

With a wince, Kim slowly pushed herself over onto her back, actually opening her mouth in a silent crying out as pain shot through everything in the rear from her head, down her spine and neck and across to her right shoulder. Shego had missed her with that plasma blast but blown the wall she had been intending to rebound off of. The force of the blast had thrown her back onto the central bridge where she had literally crash landed on her back, shoulders, neck and the rear of her head. Only the force field of the battle suit had kept her from instant unconsciousness let alone a broken neck or fractured skull. She'd then 'bounced' from the force of the impact onto her right shoulder (that felt as if she should have dislocated it) where she 'bounced' again to finally land on her chest (parts of it was just turning a lovely shade of yellow when she went to bed).

The open mouth then snapped closed to gritted teeth as she waited for the pain to pass. She gingerly reached back and touched the sore spots (wincing again as she did so). After several moments of this self-abuse, she allowed herself to collapse and tried to relax until it passed.

She did glance sideways at her other nightstand and grunted to herself. Sure enough, there was a glass of water and a hospital type paper pill cup. Her Mother must have come in at some point and left her something to try to help her get through the worst of it.

But she hated drugs (especially potentially addicting pain meds) and she would try anything to go without them first. She adamantly reserved them for only when her Mother or another Doctor told her that she had to take them or they were truly a last resort for her to be able to even remotely function. She did mentally smile because her Mom knew that but provided them anyway knowing from experience just how banged and bruised she was going to be this morning. That did not however, change the way she felt about them or how she would deal with her pain initially.

It did bring a smile to Kim's face with memories of just how her parents reacted to their return home from Bueno Nacho Headquarters the previous evening—

Ron brought the speed down on his now rocket-powered scooter as they came back into the periphery on Middleton having swung wide round on the Interstate to avoid the center of town. In minutes they were coming into their neighborhood, looking about at the additional smoke, flames and wreckage caused by the Diablo toys when reactivated by Drakken's Command Signal from his Master Tower at Bueno Nacho Headquarters.

"Oh man," Ron breathed. "Who would of thought—? Everybody must have had one of those little monsters."

As she had her arms around him to stay on the scooter, Kim just hugged him tighter in response. She was unable to find words at the moment, her thoughts too tied up in her own emotions to give him an answer.

Yes, Kim said to herself, who would of thought a lot of things. Who would of thought that Drakken would at last come up with a scheme that almost allowed him to take over the world? Who would of thought that he would have been able to come up with something which would be my one 'great weakness', making me blind to all else in my desire to be like all the other girls, wrapping me around his finger with my need to have a boyfriend to call my own, making me his puppet by offering me access to the highest levels of 'The Food Chain', making me his slave by giving me a 'boy' that I wanted to kiss so badly, that I was almost ready to do anything, even—even go as low as Bonnie in order to do it, and that 'boy' wasn't even real but a damn Synthadrone!

Kim broke off her thoughts to watch another smashed house go by. The family was setting up camping equipment on the front lawn. At the roar of the scooter they looked up—

Then they were out in the street as the two of them passed, joyfully jumping up and down, calling her name, waving frantically, blowing kisses.

Kim had to turn her head away in embarrassment. No please! Don't! I just did it because it had to be done. She felt a rush of blood to her cheeks and. And her eyes flashed open in horror as she thought, my name, just my name. Nothing about him! Nothing about what he did. It's like they don't even know he exists. She craned her head around, ready to shout out through the sudden pain in her soul but their speed had already taken them away.

Kim gritted her teeth and crushed herself tightly against him. Never again! Never again will a villain like Drakken or a grateful family that does not know your name Ron Stoppable. I promise you that. I PROMISE you!

Then they were in their neighborhood. Without asking, Ron took her directly home. Both of their eyes widened to find a sea of trucks in her street running up into her driveway and an army of carpenters busy with nail guns and roofers replacing tiles.

In wonder Kim looked about as she got off the scooter to see her Father standing in the driveway taking to—

"Mr. Stewart the Contractor?"

That had to hold for a moment as her Father came over. He had his usual big smile on his face (which at times could be almost as goofy as Ron's) and his "Ahh, there's my Kimmy Cub," was it's normal perky self. But this time there was a darker, closer look to his eyes. Mr. Possible simply took her into his long arms for a quick hug and she knew the source of his discomfort. He considered his own involvement in this, the burden and responsibility he personally felt for the living metal in the Diablo's, and the danger that had come so close to his family that he could not just shrug it off with his normal light-hearted lack of concern. Kim could feel him trembling and that his hug was just a little longer, a little harder than any he had given her in a long, long time.

When her Dad finally released her, the big Contractor could finally hold out a hand for her to shake, "Miss Possible, at last I get to thank you for the time you saved my daughter when she was choking on that toy in the preschool you were talking at. It's been a long time, but I think this will be worth the wait."

Kim tuned her head away and gave him a wave of her hand. "Hey, that was no big."

Her Dad smiled. "That may be My Dear, but it's getting us the first fixed house in Middleton. They promise the work will be done within the hour."

Kim felt a moment of concern. "Dad, can I get into my room?"

Her Dad gave her a look. "Well, yes. You'd just have to go in through the rear of the house. Why?"

Kim felt her anxiety start to build. "I'd better tell you and Mom together." She could feel both her Dad's and Ron's eyes on her but she didn't say anything more. She led them around and into the house where they found her Mother on the phone, talking to the hospital, the Red Cross and the Mutual Aid Services, determining if there was any need for her skills in Middleton or anywhere in the Tri Cities area.

Her Mother was just hanging up the phone when they came in. As Mrs. Possible shot up out of her chair, her face when through all the contortions of a Mother who did not know if her daughter, who was always going into harms way, would come back every time in one piece.

And stopped herself.

Mrs. Possible had always made it a point to make her daughters return as routine and normal as she could lest she give Kim any idea of what times like this did to her heart and soul. So she immediately put on her Doctor face and—

"Damage report?"

Her daughter smiled ruefully and reached back to gingerly touch—"the back of my head to mid back, back of right shoulder, chest, left upper arm. Nothing real bad, just painful."

Her Mom nodded once and looked immediately to Ron. "And you?"

Ron smiled. "Just some bumps and bruises Mrs. Dr P. No prob."

Kim looked at him. "Ron! I saw the drone throw you bodily into a wall and you didn't have a battle suit to protect you."

Ron shrugged. "So I'll wont have to wear a mission shirt for the next couple of weeks as my skin will be all black and blue anyway. Save on the laundry bill."

Kim's Mom gave him a no nonsense look. "Anything broken?"

Ron looked her right in the eye when replying. "No Ma'am."

Mrs. Possible accepted that with a nod. She then looked between the two of them. "And Eric? Is he okay?"

That caused the two teens to exchange a look that was not lost on the good Doctor.

"Okay," Mrs. Possible asked in the best 'I want the truth' Mother's tone/look, "what's going on with Eric?"

Kim looked first to her Father, then back to her Mother. She then dropped her head in almost shamed embarrassment. "Eric wasn't what he seemed. He—he wasn't even human." With eyes on the edge of tears her head came back up to face her parents shocked looks. "Eric was a Syntho-Drone created by Drakken. Created for the express purpose of playing me for a fool. Created to make me fall for him and muddle my mind to the point where I wouldn't be able to figure out and foil his latest scheme." Her head dropped again as a single tear rolled down her cheeks. "It worked too."

Kim's Mom brought a shocked hand to her mouth "oh "Kimmy," was all she could manage to say.

Kim's gave a single 'sniff' before her eyes suddenly flew wide as if an electric current had touched her. Those eyes then darted down to her elbow where she found Ron's hand gently touching her, providing her comfort, support, and strength. Her eyes came up to meet his and his smile was there as well, reminding her of just why they were there at that particular moment.

"It's okay," Kim said firmly as she slewed her head back around to her parents, her eyes now sparkling bright, her smile exploding across her face, "it's no big. It's over, We—" and she looked back at Ron, her eyes still glowing, "no. I beat Shego, Ron and Rufus beat Eric and then Ron, you" and she forced the emphasis at him with her eyes, "beat Drakken.

Kim could tell that both of her parents were staring at him and he was finding those gazes more uncomfortable than her own. She held him with her own warm look just a moment longer, gathering her own strength inside before looking back to her parents.

"So," Kim breathed, "Mom, I really, really need your help. We have enough time, barely, if we hurry, to get back to the Prom."

That was obviously the last thing any of those around her expected to hear. Her Dad scowled, her Mom caught her breath; Ron just goggled. And that was when Kim dropped the other shoe, by deftly reaching around and firmly taking the hand that had her elbow in her hand and drawing it over her heart to where she could cover it with both of hers as she managed to get out through her slightly trembling voice, "because my Boyfriend here and I really need to put in an appearance there tonight."

Her face spread in a gentle, genuine smile in the morning light as the memories of the previous evening continued to spill through her. Her Mother had of course become a whirlwind of efficiency, practically throwing her bodily into the shower, quickly mending the major rips in her dress (it was decided to let the charred hem of her dress be, nothing short of a miracle could repair it, and as it was, it was kind of a badge of honor for her), wrapping the gashes on her left arm, (in a flesh colored bandage that wouldn't be overly visible in her sleeveless dress) helping her put her hair back up (as gently as possible considering how sore the back of her head was) and helping with makeup, (including spots where major bruising was already evident).

Ron had apparently been waiting for her for several minutes when Kim finally came down. Her Dad was standing beside him and she had to wonder if he hadn't given him the 'Black Hole Deep' speech again. Dad had taken several pictures of the two of them in the front hall and as he had them pose, she caught sight of her Mom, standing, looking first at them, then at one of the pictures on the wall next to the stairs.

Kim swore there were tears in her Mothers eyes.

Dad had even driven them back to the gym to help them save time. The rest of the evening had been—

The last dance was over, the gym was clearing. But to them, standing still in the center, time was standing still in the way that only comes with the love that is encountered in a deep kiss between two who have only just found what they have been looking for, for a very long time.

When it was finally broken, and the faces came down to where their foreheads rested against each others, the lingering effects which swirled, shot, and cascaded through their senses and selves left them overwhelmed, breathless and weak. The smiles, though trembling, were heartfelt, and the eyes bored into each other with an intensity that neither had ever known.

Finally, as if by some unspoken word, they turned, his arm going around her shoulder as hers went around his waist, the other hands held tightly in front of them, her head slipping sideways over onto his shoulder. They then walked out of the hall, as silently as they had walked in. But instead of the fear and hesitation in expectation of all the eyes that would be watching their entrance, their whole world now was simply on the one right next to them as they walked out and the calls and whistles and smattering of applause as they exited was as lost to them as the distant sound of thunder on a summers night.

Eventually, the cool air outside revived her a little and with a shock, Kim realized that she had no clear memory of the past hours. It was all of sensations, feelings, desires. She knew that the DJ must have played music other than slow dances but she remember nothing but their arms around each other, the thrill of his hands running up and down her back, touching the bare skin of her neck under her hair. Surely at some point they must have left the dance floor. Did she ever talk to Monique? She didn't remember sipping any punch or anything.

What time is it? and Kim forced herself to repeat it out loud.

Ron took a glance at his watch. "Just after eleven thirty."

Kim stopped in frozen horror, his momentum pulling them apart. "Oh my God!" she uttered in despair. "I am soo dead! We said we'd be home by now!"

He reached out and gently pulled her along. "We are on our way. We will be at your house in eight minutes if we walk at a good pace. All things considered, if your parents want to steam, they can blame the Ronster because I'm the one with the watch and I'm the one who promised to have you home on time."

Still, butterflies of worry filled her stomach, but Kim allowed herself to take his lead and together they walked, hand in hand down the dark streets.

Their walk was initially in silence but there was so much that Kim wanted to say, so much that she had to say, but she had no idea where or how to begin. And there was just as much that she wanted, she needed to hear from him. For as wonderful as this evening was, it was so new and in reality, so unexpected. For after having been friends for so very long, it was going to take some very serious readjusting to get use to.

And— for us as friends and for me to even be able to think of him in a romantic way. All night long, I've been saying to myself, Ron, I l-l lov-, I can't even get the entire word out, and I don't know if that because it's just so new or because it scares me. The feeling is so intense and I don't know if its because its suppose to be that way or if it's because of the way its come about. I mean, is it really l-l-lo v. . . aarrggg! This is not good. Anyway, is it really that, or is it something else? Am I on the rebound from Eric? Feeling shamed because he wasn't even human, guilty because Drakken sucked me into his plan and terribly, terribly grateful to Ron because he pulled me out of it, got my head together and really pulled his weight at the end in defeating the plot?

Kim closed her eyes a moment and felt his hand in hers. She then opened them again and with a slight turn of her head, gave him a sidelong glance.

Kim found his eyes, warm and, and loving, gazing at her. And his hand squeezed hers gently.

No," she said firmly to herself. I can't have these doubts. What I felt when he said those words in the storeroom, what I saw when the scales were at last stripped from my eyes as Drakken, Shego and their goons were loaded in that wagon, those were real. And I can not doubt those feelings we had at that moment when we came together in that first dance anymore than I can turn away from what I see in those eyes of his right now. He loves me. I know he does. And—

And she had to stop and bring one hand up to her eyes and sudden tears started to trickle from them. Instantly Ron had his arms wrapped around her shoulders, his voice tender, full of concern. "KP, what is it? What's wrong?"

He was surprised when a choked chuckle came up from under the covering hand. "Nothing is wrong," Kim said as she pulled the hand down and brought her face up; blinking at him with shining, tear stained eyes. "It's all just a little overwhelming I guess," she said softly. "I know this whole thing with this dance was my idea but the fact is that you started it by opening your mouth in that room and now we're together and the fact is that the whole thing is more than a little confusing—"

"Oh KP," he said breathlessly, bending his head down to lay his forehead against hers, pulling her tighter against him as he did so. "I know exactly what you mean. If it helps at all for you to know that I have been absolutely terrified all evening long."

She gave him a rueful smile. "Ron, your always terrified."

He smiled back and said blandly. "Of course. So its no big after all."

She rapped him in the chest. "But I'm not use to it. Nor the confusion, uncertainty, nervousness or plain fear."

That made his face pale slightly and drop his eyes to look deeply into hers. "Does the idea of us being together upset you that much?"

She gave him a trembling smile. "It's not the drama of us being together that gives me those emotions. It's the pure massive power of my emotions towards you and our being together that gives me all those other feelings that I'm having trouble dealing with."

The hand that had been over her eyes came out to cup the side of his face as she said, "what I'm feeling for you Ronald is so powerful, that it is giving me confusion, uncertainty, nervousness and yes, plain fear. And the plain fear Ron, is that I may not be able to do it justice in being able to tell you just how much you mean to me—" Kim's voice caught and her eyes closed as if in pain. They opened again and more tears squeezed out of her eyes.

"Ron, this just happened! I don't know if this is too early or too new or what. I'm confused and more than a little lost! I don't know if this should be easy or hard. But right now this is so new, so intense, that it hurts and I can't even say it to myself within the confines of my own head. Ron, I want to tell you that I l—" and her mouth hung open on that letter as her head bobbed forward trying to get the rest of the word out

But nothing would come.

Kim snapped her mouth to a tight teeth-gritted grimace and squeezed her eyes shut tight with a sharp intake of breath that announce that she was ready to cry. Her mouth came open with a tiny whimpered "damnit."

Kim didn't get any further. For Ron pulled her bodily into him, burying her face into his neck, one hand pressing her directly into him by running up and down her spine while the other tenderly ran fingertips though her hair as his lips caressed her ear even as he spoke directly into it and her being.

"Shussh, peace, hush my beautiful lady. Nothing more needs to be said. For your passion is well known to me, your best friend for life. You have always been one for action more than words at times but you have always had the right words when the time came. So I can wait for as long as you need for I will be here for as long as you need. I can tell you now with all my heart that I do indeed love you, that I have a friend since we first met. And I—" And he had to stop.

After a moment, she tried to pull back but he held her firm. "No," he told her, "your not going anywhere. It is difficult for me to admit this but I will." She stopped her resistance and relaxed back into his arms, realizing that he needed time.

Finally. "I can't say when I realized that it had happened. It just did." She was a little shocked to hear the guilt in his voice. This time Kim forcibly pulled her head back, wanting, needing to see his face, his eyes. She saw the same guilt there as well. But she saw total honesty, as well as something else, relief, and love.

"I held it back because I was so scared of destroying our friendship. I was more than willing to sacrifice everything I felt for that and more." Ron stopped and the guilt on his face increased. "Even when it made me so angry, which it did. And for that, I need to apologize to you KP, for that night in my tree house—"

"No!" she started—

"Yes!" he snapped at her with a vehemence that stopped her. And she instantly wondered about all the other boys she had dated and what all of them had done to him.

Ron saw her look and a smile spread across his face as if guessing her thoughts. "It's okay, KP. All those others I truly wanted you to be happy with as I hoped that I could have been happy with Zita had that worked out or had I known that Tara had been interested in me. But what happened here has been fairly recent. I don't know if it was that I couldn't admit it to myself until just recently or what. But it happened," and he dropped his head to increase the power of his eyes, "and now I'm glad its happened. For I was so very scared of completely ruining what we had. Now I hope we can make it so much better."

He suddenly released his hold on her to take her face in both of his hands, bringing her eyes very close to his. "You may not be able to say the words, but I can feel the strength of your feelings. You can't say that you love me, but I know that you do, and Kimberly Anne, please—know that I love you too."

She stood in open mouth awe of him, her hands gripping his wrists in a death clench, his words, the emotions, and expression on his face both tearing and healing herself at the same time.

"Oh Ron!" she wailed in the moment before she threw herself at him with such force that it almost sent them both tumbling toward the ground.

"Whoa" "EEAAKK" as they both scrambled to get their feet under them, his natural clumsiness assisted by her unaccustomed high heels. Only by dropping into a low combat crouch and grabbing him by his extra wide baby blue lapels was she able to get her center of gravity set and his rescued.

Their eyes met warily and they simply said, "Home?" "Home."

Another couple of minutes fast walk and—

Kim stopped with her shoulders slumping, a loud groan escaping her lips.

Where the block in front of her house had been filled before with construction trucks, it was now wall to wall with news vans.

Ron was looking at it aghast and said with horror, "so much for a quiet good bye kiss on the front step."

She hung her head and felt a tiny part of a perfect evening die. Then, pulling herself back upright, she turned to him, "lets just say good night right here. There's no way I'm talking to those idiots tonight. I'm going to circle the block and come in through the Stevens back yard."

Kim turned and wrapped her arms around Ron's neck, his going around her waist. "You know," she said softly, her deep emerald eyes piercing him, "I can't say anything about what this night means to me. Not yet anyway. I promise you though, someday, very soon, I will tell you everything you want and need to hear and more and I'm also telling you right now, flat out, that I want you as my one and only steady and serious boyfriend with everything that implies." She then kissed him deeply. It was returned in kind.

They were breathless and flushed when they parted. "I'll call you tomorrow," she promised. "But it will be at least afternoon by the time I help finish getting the house picked up."

Ron nodded. "I can't wait," he grinned.

"Neither can I," she breathed back at him.

Her Dad of course had been waiting up but she had been totally honest with him (almost) and he had seen the news vans. As Kim had been only a little over a half hour late by the time she came in the back patio door, he settled for a stiff warning (with a grin barely hidden behind it).

Her Mother had risen to check the dressing on the gashes in her arm and had not so subtlety probed her on how the evening went. Kim could tell that her Mom was deeply affected (to the point where she was in fact startled, she had no idea that her Mom had been pulling so hard for her and Ron to get together) and she ended up revealing more to her that she thought she would just to increase her Moms joy.

Kim was more than exhausted when her head finally hit the pillow but there was way too many other things going on in her head/heart/body for her to readily find sleep. Memories, sensations, and feelings stored up over the course of the evening raced through her and a driving need demanded attention, repeated attention, and even here, the results were startling in their intensity, more than Josh had inspired, more than even Eric (pre Syntho-Drone Eric) had ever aroused, she seeing him now in her minds eye even as she was reaching heights never before achieved by her.

Finally, sated, beyond exhaustion, she drifted off to sleep, holding Panda-roo to her chest as she did so (wishing that it was him), looking forward to dreams of a certain freckled faced young man.

Now in the morning light, as part of her had to wonder if it had to be a dream but at the same time it was all too real to her and her wonder and thankfulness for it all brought her right back to the edge of tears. Kim had her best friend for her Boyfriend with the definite promise of more and better to come. He loved her; she knew how she felt for him if it wasn't so damn strong that it left her tongue-tied and stumbling.

Well, it was time to get up. She had to call Monique and try to find out just what else had happened last night at the dance. She had those stupid reporters to face.

And then she had a very special young man to call.

Waiting is forever.

Ron had never been a very good waiter, especially when he was as wound and excited as he was right now.

He had thought that his victory, his triumph over Drakken had been the high point of his life. Boy it didn't even hold a candle compared to what had happened during the remainder of the previous evening. He had been confused when she had dragged him back to her house. He had felt concerned for her when she'd told her parents what had happened and just a little bit nervous when he's tried to support her in front of them by taking her by the elbow. When she had announced her intentions of going back to the Prom he had been shocked.

When she had looked at him with those huge emerald eyes, taken his hand in both of hers, called him her Boyfriend and asked him to come with her—

When he'd shown back up at the Possible house to pick her up, he'd had another talk with her Dad. But it was not the Black Hole Deep one he was expecting and in fact to a certain extent it left him even more shaken and moved than that one had. Thankfully she had not asked about it because he did not think it would be wise for him to tell Kim just what it was that he and her Dad had discussed.

Other than that first kiss, the Prom itself was a blur of emotions so intense that he never thought he would sort them out. He remembered being hugged by Monique at some point and Mr. Barkin shaking him hand and congratulating him for stopping the Diablo's along with making a very sincere comment on Kim's beauty and how lucky he was but other than that, it was all a haze.

The walk home however he remember clearly and he felt more than a little guilty for Kim's condition. She was such a person of incredible feeling and passion in everything she did and he, while he knew it wasn't really his fault, he just felt bad at being the cause of her uneasiness and discomfort. He had meant everything he had said to her, about being sorry, about everything he had gone through, about everything he'd been worried about—

And about how much he loved her.

Her response left him no doubt (not that he had any in the first place from the moment she took his hand outside the ruins of Bueno Nacho Headquarters) just how much she loved him.

He did not want to leave her when they parted. He already wished that they could sleep together (even platonically). Both of his parents were still up and breathlessly hung on every word (they had been out when he had hurriedly changed into his Dad's tux prior to returning to Kim's). Both had hugged him from both fear and joy, his Father heaping him with words of praise as a man, his Mother crying for fear and yet joy that it was getting to be time where her son might be getting ready to leave the nest.

Sleep of course would not come. Emotions were too charged and feelings where too lit up. He was both more than embarrassed and shocked by his greatest need. Embarrassed by the visions of her that drove him to it, shocked by the incredible intensity of the releases, unlike anything he had ever experienced previously.

He had no memory if he actually slept at all or not. He did know that by morning, he was definitely aware that the drone had body slammed him into a wall (not to mention what Shego did to him which he had totally forgotten about until he started to loose his voice shortly after sunup).

So now Ron was waiting, seemingly forever for his brand new steady, one and only girlfriend to call and he could hardly talk.

I would say the world is cruel to me. But after last night, I know the world will never be cruel again. As long as I have Kim's love, the world will be a good place to live.

Ron jumped as his cell rang. He reached. The number was Kim's.

"Hi" he croaked.

"Ron," her surprised voice came back in shock, "what happened?"

"I didn't get a chance to tell you, but after Eric shocked you out, Shego clotheslined me and I'm afraid that I'm paying the price for it now."

"Well, you shouldn't talk then. Um . . ."

"I got an idea, we'll text message."


Kim:----- how does the rest of you feel?

Ron:----- like my butt got kicked by a synthadrone. hardly got any sleep. but that's your fault. spent all night thinking about you.

Kim:----- same right back at you. and i don't think there isn't any part of me that isn't stiff or sore this morning. i'm just hoping that shego is worse. and when i did sleep, i had some very pleasant dreams about a certain boy that i have grown very fond of.

Ron:----- well, i promise to have like dreams about a very pretty redhead when i manage to go to sleep. did you take care of the reporters?

Kim:----- yes, gave them their interviews and answered questions. and got quite upset. realized that you should have been there! this was as much your victory as mine. from now on, we will be shoulder to shoulder as team possible or i will create some drama!

Ron:----- it's no big kim; don't get your crop top in a twist.

Kim:----- it is to me ron! i mean for us to be a team in every sense of the word. it's that important to me!

Ron:----- well, if it's that important to you, it's that important to me. heard from monique?

Kim:----- yes, she's shredding the furniture over us she's so excited and apparently we totally missed bonnie having a total meltdown. i'm more than a little embarrassed because i don't even remember talking to her at all last night. was i that out of it? anyway, she wants to meet at the mall for lunch. are you up for that?

Ron:----- sure, i'll just whisper lots and let my expressive eyebrows do the rest. when should i pick you up?

Kim:----- might as well come on over now so my mom can engulf you. she is absolutely over the top over this. and i thought i was bouncing off the walls.

Ron:----- you were bouncing off the walls, until shego blew them up from under you. be right over.

Kim:----- ron?

Ron:----- yes?

Kim:----- this text thing was a really good idea. you want to know why?"

Ron:----- why?

Kim:----- because this way, it's easier for me to say things that are too difficult for me to say otherwise—things like, ron—i love you—i love you very much.

Ron:----- and i love you kim, with all my heart. be right over to show it.

Kim:----- cant wait.

Once again his knees were knocking, his mouth was dry and his palms were sweaty, for they were about to enter that ultimate symbol of the American teenage bastion of status and peerage—

THE MALL. Where everybody went to see and be seen, to hang, gossip and chill with their buds, posse or whatever.

Ron of course, as a certified looser, had only been there, on occasion, with his Mom, to do looser things like shop for school clothes, books, shoes, things like that.

Now, with his heart in his mouth, Ron was walking across the parking lot with someone who was considered a mall ACE!

"Would you relax," Kim said to him, shaking the hand holding hers at the same time, "you're crushing my fingers. This can not be any worse than walking into that gym last night and you have to know that I am more than proud and happy to be here with you."

Ron creased his face in a sheepish smile. "You may say that," he said in a strained whisper, "but I remember all too well, all the 'dates' we had where you insisted that we we're there as 'just friends' and nothing more. I'm afraid that the habit is a little hard to break."

Kim stopped them dead in the parking lot, pulling him to face her, her loose hand snapping up to cup his cheek as she said, "but on 'those' dates, I would never do this" and she kissed him deeply.

When she released him, Ron was red cheeked and had a hard time meeting her eyes. Kim pulled his face where she could grab and hold his eyes in hers. "I absolutely want every single teen in Middleton to know that we are a couple, a total complete hand-holding, arms around waists, lip-locking, tonsil-hockey playing couple because I am damn proud of you, of who you are, of what you are and what you do to and for me. And the sooner you realize that—" and now Kim gave him a mischievous, half seductive smile, "the more fun you will definitely be in for."

Ron was looking at her in kind of a half shocked way. But then he shook his head and gave her a shrug and a goofy smile.

"Now come on, Monique's waiting." And once again, dragging him by one hand, Kim took him into the mall.

It took until they were through the doors for her words to really hit him. She's like, totally serious. This is like, the real thing. This is like, the chance to really act like a really cool guy walking with a really cool, super beautiful girl, which of course, there is no girl in existence who is cooler or more beautiful than she is. But who do I do this without looking like a looser?"

Ron wracked his mind for a moment, like a shot out of the blue it hit him, and he was both amazed and appalled that that memory was the one that came to him. Her and Mankey walking through this very mall one time when he was in here shopping with his Mom. But they had been the epitome of cool and it had looked like it would feel soooo good.

He released her hand and slipped his arm around her waist which was bared by her crop top, half his fingers kneading the soft skin, his pinky inserting itself into the belt loop on her pants, locking his arm into position. Kim gave him a sudden surprised look followed by a flashing brilliant smile. She darted in and pecked him on the nose, growling happily, "now your getting the idea," as she dug her hips into his, throwing her arm around his shoulders and neck, running her fingers through his blond hair.

Ron savored the sensations; unlike anything he's ever had. Sure, his Mom had done things like that to him, but this was a girlfriend, this was Kim running her hands through his hair and there could be no comparison.

"You know KP, you really should consider hiring yourself out as a scalp masseuse," he whispered with a smile.

Kim gave him an evil grin back. "You should try my full body massage."

Ron's eyes got wide as his face burned red.


"I'm teasing," she giggled, hugging him to her.

They were coming into the central court area and he saw groups and groups of eyes swinging to look at them. At the same time, Kim's hand came out of his hair and her arm dropped to tightly go around his back, her hand anchoring under his arm, her pulling herself as tightly to him as she could manage.

Ron pulled her to him just as tightly and met the eyes with his. And strangely enough, the apprehension didn't come. Ron felt Kim's love and support like a deep, warm fire next to him that blew away any chance of anything bad coming toward them from beyond.

Yes, he saw dark looks in some girl's eyes, but those same girls were the ones who always had those looks, be it here, at school or even on the streets. They had their problems, their petty jealousies with Kim for whatever reason and nothing would ever change that.

And there were still the boys who looked at him with laughter, disgust, and scorn. Well, now he could feel pity for them, for they had their looser girlfriends who would dump them in six weeks for some other guy who maybe had a car or might have scored the winning goal in the game that week.

At the same time, Ron was definitely surprised at the large number of smiles, little nods and waves that he saw, some of which came from the most unexpected people. He knew he would never really belong, but maybe now, at least in his senior year, things might go a little bit easier for him.

They'd made the turn toward the food court and he heard Kim snort. "What?" he asked.

"Didn't see Bonnie, only a couple of her posse and they looked really out of sorts. Wonder if something happened last night that we didn't hear about. Hope Monique knows."

They were coming into the food court where the spotted Monique in front of the mini Bueno Nacho booth. Monique looked up just as they approached and launched herself at them.

"YOU GUYS, Yoooo!" Monique shrieked as she tried to hug them both. All she managed to do was squeeze Rufus awake in Ron's shirt pocket, the mole rat popping out like a jack-on-the-box.


Monique jumped back, a look of contrite apology on her face, "sorry Rufus," she squeaked.

Ron put his hands on his hips. "I think that's worth a grande as payment Monique."

Monique gave him a look, then pointed a finger. "For him maybe, but not for you—"

Ron crossed his arms. "But as his official—"

"No Ron. That's final."

He held her with a hard look for a moment, then gave her a broad smile. "Lady drives a hard deal. Got to respect that."

Monique's face fell. She looked to Kim, still pointing at him. "Did I hear that right? Him giving up without a long whining argument?"

Kim reached over and hugged his shoulders. "All it took," she said with a broad smile, "was a little respect from a defeated supervillian."

And Ron put his arm around Kim's waist whispering, "finding that the perfect girl loves me might also have something to do with it."

"OOHHH!" Monique cooed and she actually did a little dance in front of them. "You two just can't believe how good that sounds to my ears."

Kim gave her a rueful look. "And I can't believe that I have no memory of last night."

Monique looked at her. "Do you remember him and everything the two of you did?"

Kim had to give an embarrassed smile. "Not everything. A lot of it is a golden haze."

"But it's strictly him?"


The smile could have broken the black girls face. "What else could you possibly want to remember girl?"

"Well," Kim said, throwing her hands around helplessly, "my other friends as well."

"Girl," came the reply with a lopsided smile, "being that you now have your date for the SENIOR Prom, you'll have every opportunity to see and enjoy all your friends at that time, in the company of your steady boyfriend," clapping him on the shoulder as she said it.

Monique then jerked her had down. Rufus was tapping on her ankle with one hand, rubbing his stomach with the other. She rolled her eyes. "The bottomless mole rat calleth."

Once all the food issues were taken care of (and Rufus was set up on an adjacent table to make all the mess he wanted), Kim finally got a chance to ask the first question burning in her mind.

"Is something going on with Bonnie? You said when we were talking on the phone that she really burned out of the gym looking like she was going to explode like a nuke. And on the way in, we saw just a couple of her posse and they didn't look happy."

Monique looked up with eyes flashing more emotions than could possibly be held. "You don't know half of it and frankly I don't know if everything I've heard since I talked to you this morning is real or just nasty rumors. All I know for a fact is that Bonnie's in the hospital."

"WHAT!" Kim's jaw and mind actually unhinged as a hundred possibilities, all of them horrible ran though it. She felt his arm go around her shoulder and she reached out to grab his leg that was next to her. "What happened? Is she going to be all right?"

Monique gave her a grim smile. "Condensing all the various rumors and gossip, it sounds like she and Flag and a bunch of the other Football players went to one of their houses. Bonnie had way too much to drink and got way too much out of control. I don't know how much credence to give it, but a lot of the talk is that she started to get involved with the other girls boyfriends and it was getting pretty ugly. The guy's whose house it was called an older college aged sister and she drove Bonnie home. Supposedly Bonnie's Mom found her this morning passed out in her room with a half dozen bottles stolen from her parent's liquor cabinet, mostly empty. They couldn't get her to wake up and the paramedics were called. So she's in the hospital for acute alcohol poisoning as her blood alcohol level was something like two points under the level that should have killed someone her size and weight."

"Oh my God," Kim breathed, feeling Ron shake his head beside her. She looked to him with dread on her face, "you don't think—"

Ron pulled her to him. "Don't even think that," he hissed. "This was totally and completely Bonnie's doing. She's dug her hole long time ago and if you think that what happened with us last night in that gym—"

"He's right," Monique stressed to her, eyes pleading. "You can't think that you're to blame. Everyone in that gym except Bonnie was cheering for you last night. What does that tell you, what should that tell her. I would say that it did tell her something and in typical Bonnie fashion, once again she took it to a dangerous extreme."

Ron pushed her back in order to look into her eyes. He was upset to see that they had tears in the edges of them. Bonnie wasn't worth that after everything she has done to you, he thought. But then that was just the kind of person you are my love, kind and compassionate, even towards your worst enemy when that enemy was in trouble.

"Hopefully," he grated, "this will be enough of a dangerous close call to teach her something. Maybe open her eyes up a little, make her a little more aware. We can hope for that, as we can hope that she makes a quick recovery."

Kim nodded, dropping her head to rub the tears out of her eyes. She then looked back up at him, "can we see if we can visit her?"

Ron smiled and nodded, "as soon as we can hose the cheese off Rufus."

It was late afternoon. They were in Middleton Park, lying in the grass together. Ron was on his back, head against a tree, Rufus sprawled lazily atop his blond hair. Kim was snuggled into the crook of his right arm with her head on his shoulder

Bonnie was still unable to see anyone but at least they had tried. They had spoken to Bonnie's mother who had been completely mystified by her daughter's actions. Obviously there was a parent who had no clue what her child was doing.

They had been in the park, in each other's arms for the better part of an hour. Ron was enthralled by it all. Not even his wildest dreams could match the reality of what had come to pass. Yeah, he had had some of those Senior Girls hanging on his arm after one of his many 'makeover's and he and Zita had held hands a couple of times, but nothing, nothing compared to this.

Kim on the other hand, had to bite her tongue and try not to make any out-loud comparisons with any of the other boys she had been with. Ron might not understand and might have a hard time believing her even if she did try to be totally honest with him. But she wanted in the worst way to tell him. Sure, she had been held and cuddled like this before. But it had never, never, felt like this ever! The face that something that she had previously experienced could be so shockingly different. The fact that it felt . . . . so right, so perfect.

But all good things must come to an end.

"We better get going," she sighed with deep reluctance. "It's getting on dinner time. And we both have to start getting ready for finals."

Ron sighed just as heavily. "You know KP, remember when we use to do this all summer long?"

Kim chuckled. "Yeah, but we were never quite this close and we had to stop when we started doing the mission thing."

He sighed again. "I know. It's just been nice, that's all."

Kim rolled up over onto him, her eyes burning straight into his, "I know, and I promise that we will have as much time as we can make just to be together but we have to be realistic as well. We have our whole life ahead of us—"

Now Ron chuckled, "with me sitting at home cooking and doing your laundry while you're out saving the world."

She hunched herself up onto him further until her nose was against his. "Not on your life Stoppable. There's a major news conference at Buenos Nachos Headquarters on Monday. We're going to be there, as Team Possible and the record is going to be set straight and will be kept straight from there on out."

Kim then stopped and reached out to gently take his face in her hand. "Tell me that I'm right," she said very softly, "and that we're meant to be together for the rest of our lives and everything that means. Because that's the way I've felt since this has all happened. And it's felt so good and so right. Tell me that you feel the same way?"

Ron didn't say anything. He just reached out and took her head, bringing her in to kiss her for a very, very long time.

When he finally let her go, she was crying. She smiled, sniffing and started to try and brush back the tears. It was all she could do to say, "I'll take that as a yes."

"Booya" he whispered with a smile.

Well, this sucks!" Shego grumbled as she lay, dressed in a plain, orange jail jumpsuit on the bunk staring at the ceiling of the bare cell. Of course, she had been repeating those immortal lines over and over again for the past several hours and just couldn't seem to get her mind past them. It had looked so good this time, right up to the end! It had all the appearances of success right up to the very friggin end! Dr D actually had a plan that was working!

The Diablo's had already been kicking ass all over the world, the calls from the smaller governments begging for mercy had already started to come, offers of massive money transfers from corporations and private individuals had been flooding their 'in' box.

Then Possible had appeared! At the very last friggin minute! Like the stupid cavalry coming to the rescue. What was with her? She should have been broken, mentally destroyed if nothing else. How had she recovered? And how in the hell had she gotten loose?

And Stoppable? He had actually gotten in there and held his own against a Syntho-Drone that should have been way beyond the ability of any regular human around.

Shego put a hand on her forehead. It would make my head hurt if it didn't already from that stupid tower falling on me. The hand then moved down to her chest. But that tickled compared to that kick she gave me. That would have torn a normal human in half. She had to be majorly ticked off. It's a good thing my enhanced body was able to handle it? That was more than a little out of character for her. The whole boyfriend thing must have really struck a nerve.

She sighed heavily. It's a good thing that the only thing in this whole mess that I take seriously is my rivalry with little Miss Kimmy. Until the day that I decisively beat her in one on one combat, everything else is just a game that keeps me around to encounter her.

And she opened her eyes and glanced around the cell. And here we go again. How long will it be and how many jails, how much of the local 'criminal justice system' will I have to be sent through before I can get it all scoped out to find the right combination of breaks I need to bust out. She then chucked to herself. Which I will. Even after all this time, none of these jokers has figured out what it is that holds me in here and what it is that doesn't. And eventually they'll stick me where it doesn't and it'll be bye bye—again."

Shego then frowned. I hope they don't move Dr D. too far away in the meantime. I hate it when I have to search to bust him out.

She sighed deeply. I guess I really shouldn't have thrown that table into that group of hookers in the processing room. Got myself put into solitary too quick. Could use someone to help me get all these tangles out of my hair. She shook her head. This sucks.

The Duty Sergeant was flipping through sheets on three different clipboards when the ear splitting ring of the panic alarm ripped though the control room.

DAMN! He had three buses in the bay, had the loads from seven more standing in the halls waiting to be placed into holding tanks, had the contents from three of those tanks in the process of being shifted upstairs to their cells and something was going to shit in—his eyes found the red telltale, Block Center South.

"Lock it down," he shouted as he came out of his chair, "lock it all down" and was immediately rewarded by the sudden heavy crashing of iron and steel doors, the echoes reverberating back through the long corridors, thundering over the curses of angry men and the shouts and commands of deputies.

He had snatched up the hand held radio from his desk, cranking the volume knob up, waiting for something to give him an idea just what was going on.

"CP, Sam 7, we need EMT in Block Center R13, expedite!"

The Sergeants face got grimmer. Whatever had happened, someone was hurt and it didn't sound like it was good.

"CP, Sam 7, have Sam 1 respond my 20."

His eyebrows went up. It had to be really serious as he lifted his hand held to his mouth and said, "Sam 1 in route."

When he came into the corridor, he found it was filled with gang member's proned out on their stomachs; hands behind their backs with twist cuffs. At the entrance to R13 was Sam 7 and he was pale.

"What happened Paul?"

"We got a major screw up Sarge."

The face narrowed further and the tone got lower. "So what happened?"

The subordinate took a deep breath and swallowed. "Bills had this tank covered but he cut his hand in that fight earlier. He went to the dispensary to get it cleaned. Right after he left, bus 28 came in, this one, the one from Camp Smith that was an hour late due to that pile up on the Interstate."

The Sergeant looked at the bodies prone on the floor and looked back to the subordinate with a nod.

The man swallowed again. "With all the tanks up front waiting for the evening traffic from the courts to come in, there was no place else to put these guys so they were put in here. But—"

The Sergeants eyes narrowed further. "But what Paul?"

Paul licked his lips. "No one checked the tank before they put these guys in. Bills had a single overflow, an isolation, a keep away."

The Sergeants eyes flew wide. "Oh my God! Who?"

Paul wiped his forehead with his hands. "That blue skinned guy." His eyes then burned into the Sergeants. "He was in there with them for over a half an hour, they did a full number on him."

The Sergeant closed his eyes in pain before walking into the tank and turning to look to where the EMT's were working.


She had never known such anger. And she did everything she could to hold onto it, to fan it, to encourage it.

The visits had helped. Her clueless, hopeless, absolutely worthless Mother, blubbering over her like she was some kind of a baby. She wanted to scream at her, physically strike at her, tell her to get away from her, that she didn't need that, that she was more mature, more aware of the 'real' world, of how sick and rotten it really was. Her Mother would even be able to comprehend that fact.

And of course, two of the primary teachers of that knowledge had also come to pay her a visit. Her insufferable sisters, Connie and Lonnie, the two bitches she hated only marginally less than the main thorn in her life. They had made their usual snide comments about how she wasn't even smart or hip enough to do herself in right. They actually got her going to the point that her monitor alarms went off.

But she reserved her true hatred for the one who really deserved it. The one who was the focus of her thoughts, the phantom of her entire being as she had rutted her way through that party and then tried to drown herself in alcohol.

Somehow, before the Senior Prom, she would find someway, whatever it took, lying, cheating, stealing, using anybody she had to in any way that she had to, using her own body in any way that she had to, it didn't matter what it took or who she had to hurt to do it, somehow, she would get to Kim Possible and she would bring her DOWN.

Because no one made her look like a fool in front of the ENTIRE class like she had last night

No one.