Description: She's tired of kissing frogs; she's ready for a prince. (K/R)
Disclaimer: I do not own Kim Possible, nor anything related to said show. Heck, I haven't even seen So the Drama (Much to my dismay).
Rufus is not mentioned in this story for a very specific reason. That reason being that I wrote the story based on an idea a friend gave me, but she wanted to see it. I don't know her incredibly well (She's a freshmen in my Bio class, so I know nothing about her outside of school) so I wanted to make it as easy as possible to alter it for her to read the thing.
Set while they're in college. (In a non-So The Drama Universe, because, as mentioned I haven't seen it.) We'll say they're 20.
And I'd like to make a quick apology for any and all OOCness. I'm trying to compensate for the fact that in three years they'd grow and mature more, and their friendship would gain a more intimate, yet not that kind of intimate, depth. It's my opinion that 16-17 years of friendship would do that. Also, let's face it. Kim Possible and Ron Stoppable are hard characters for pinning the personality.
Thanks to Laura in my Biology class for the idea. (Which somehow came up when we were discussing insects. How, I do not recall.)
And thanks also goes out to my beta-reader, Britt, known here as BballCSI54.
She was sick of it, plain old tired of the whole business. Dating sucked, guys sucked, the male gene pool needed a massive amount of chlorine. In a foul mood after her date-gone-horribly-wrong, Kim slammed the apartment door, forgetting it was late and her roommate and best friend was most likely asleep.
Sure enough, as she disgustedly tore off her shoes, he came walking down the hall, sleepy-eyed and tousle haired, but wearing a concerned look.
"What up, KP?" He sank sleepily into this favorite arm chair, watching her as she fell backwards on to the couch. For a moment she did nothing but remain silent, collecting her thoughts and breath.
She smiled lightly at the sound of his breathing; calm, rhythmical, even. The familiar tempo had a calming effect, and after a few moments, her own breathing matched it, inhale for inhale, exhale for exhale. He was tired, she knew. After all, she'd woken him, and he'd had a hard week of finals, just as she had. But she also knew she could sit here silently for hours, and he wouldn't fall asleep on her, he would sit patiently until she wanted to talk, because he knew she needed him, and she knew he'd be there.
Finally she spoke, now that she was calm. "I had a lousy date, guy was a jerk." At the tone of her voice he sat up straight, adopting his best friend protectiveness.
"He didn't hurt you, did he?"
She answered with a dry laugh. "No Ron, he didn't."
He looked even more concerned now. Fixing her with his trademark humorous smile, he rose from the chair. Kim moved her legs, inviting him to sit. When he had, her legs uncurled into his lap, and he leaned back contentedly.
"Why are all guys jerks and dogs?" She wondered aloud, as if she'd forgotten he was amongst those numbers.
"Can't help it, KP. We're programmed that way." There was humor evident in his voice.
She smiled and lazily opened one of the eyes that had drifted shut, gazing apologetically at him. "Sorry, every guy but you, that is. You're the only decent one in the lot." He beamed at that, and her opened eye rolled in reaction.
"Tell old Ron all about it," he said, patting her leg gently.
She giggled slightly, and shook her head. "It's no big, really. He was just arrogant and precocious. Just a real jerk, to the point where I was seriously contemplating initiating the 'Escape Plan.'" She air quoted the phrase with a smile. Long ago they'd developed an escape plan for really bad dates. She had only used it twice before, he had never had to.
His brow raised and he switched his own gaze from his eyelids to her face. "That bad?" She nodded and they fell into easy silence again, letting it envelope them like a warm, familiar blanket.
"I'm just so sick of frogs!" She said suddenly, causing his eyes to snap open and turn questioningly to her.
Her sigh was heavy as she explained. "I mean, I'm sick of the duds, the drags, the jerks. To be collectively referred to as the frogs from now on. I'd like to find just one prince amongst the amphibians."
He nodded, catching her meaning. He watched as she began to drift into an exhausted sleep, the toll of the week and the evening finally weighing down on her. When she was asleep, deeply enough that he could move her without her waking up, he slipped out from under her feet, and scooped her into his arms. She murmured slightly, wrapped her arms around his neck, her eyes remaining closed. With practiced ease he walked her to her bedroom, set her on her bed, and pulled the covers around her. His soft smile widened when she refused to relinquish her hold on his neck.
"Come on, KP, let go." He whispered. She grumbled, but let go with only a small amount of prying. "Night, Kim."
"Night Ron," She muttered from the mists of dreamland. "Love you."
He smiled deeply at the phrase. They used it in such a friendly way, easy and casual, but anyone who listened would have sensed something more intimate to it. "Love you too, Kim." Somewhere along the lines of their friendship, they had decided the phrase was safe, as long as neither used the 'I' first. 'I' made it personal, intimate. More then friendly, more than platonic. 'I' was the forbidden syllable that would have broken the familiar wall of friendship.
"Morning, KP." He greeted as she entered the kitchen the next morning, to find him making breakfast.
She yawned a half, "morning," and sat down. "Sorry about last night, didn't mean to zone out on you." Her smile was a guilty one as he poured the last of the batter into the frying pan.
"No worries, KP. If it hadn't been you, it would have been me." He flipped the two pancakes then turned back to her. "Can you get some plates?"
Standing, she walked over to the cupboard and took out two plates, and two glasses. She grabbed the silverware from the drawer, and pulled open the refrigerator. "Milk or orange juice?"
"With pancakes? Milk." He pulled a face as he walked past, set down the plate and walked up behind her. Kim stopped her vain search for the butter and half turned to look at him. He gave an uncharacteristic, but handsome half smile. "Syrup," was his reply.
He found the amber substance, and pulled back, moving to sit at their small kitchen table. Suddenly feeling the chilly fridge air on her bare arms, Kim shivered and shut the door. Milk and butter in hand, she sat down across from him.
"Looks good." She said appraisingly, taking a few warm pancakes from the stack. As she patiently buttered each golden brown circle, he applied a liberal amount of maple syrup to his slightly fuller plate.
"Your favorite." He answered with a wink. "Figured you might need a little cheering up. Besides, it's a celebration. Exams are over; class is done for the summer." He raised his glass of milk in a toast. "To freedom and summer, and time to hang with you best friends."
She smiled at his actions, but followed his lead. "To freedom and summer and time to hang with your best friends." The clink of glass rang through the otherwise silent apartment and the pair both took deep drinks of the milk before returning to breakfast. As they ate, they talked amiably about how they'd spend their few free months. Weeks ago they'd decided to take a road trip back home to visit their families. After that they'd trek back to the west coast to spend two weeks on the California coastline with a few old high school friends.
"So after we get back from the beach we'll have about a month to relax and do whatever we want."
"Sounds good to me, KP. We're leaving for home Wednesday, right?" She nodded. "My truck or your car?"
"Well, my car's better on gas, but your truck does have the box, so it depends on how much we want to take back here with us."
"I'd like to get my dad's old dresser for my room, instead of those plastic stackers, and we could grab that old trunk if you still want it?"
She nodded. "Alright, I guess we'll take the truck. I'm going to take the desk from my place too, then, so we've got more study space." She paused a moment, thinking. "Did my dad say we could take the baker's rack, too?"
"Yeah, he said it was okay."
Kim smiled and glanced back at him as she began to wash the dishes. "I still can't believe you decided to be a chef."
"And I can't believe you switched from becoming a vet to becoming a journalist." Ron swallowed his last bite and stood to join her at the sink. "Need a drying partner?"
"Always." Out of the corner of her eye, she watched him. He felt her gaze, caught it and smiled. "Sorry, again, about last night, the whole thing. Waking you up and yelling, and then, after all that, falling asleep."
Shaking his head, he turned and opened his arms, which she stepped into immediately. "KP, it's no big, that's what I'm here for."
"I know, but thanks." He gave her a final squeeze before releasing her and turning back to the dishes. For a long while the only sound in the apartment was the soft clinking of plates and silverware. They worked in easy rhythm, a perfectly orchestrated duet; washing, handing, rinsing, drying, never a beat missed nor the tempo broken: true tribute to their friendship and familiarity.
In the end it was the phone which shattered the tranquility, its ring sharp against the quiet. "I got it, KP." He walked away, into the living room, and she heard him pick up the cordless and head back. "Hello, Possible/Stoppable Residence." A pause. "Oh, hey! What's up?" Another pause. "Yeah, you can talk to her. One sec." His focus shifted to his soapy handed best friend. "Monique. Here." Shaking his head at her hands, Ron carefully placed the phone between her ear and shoulder and snatched the hand towel for her. She mouthed a quick 'thank you,' before walking to her bedroom.
Chocolate brown eyes watched her form disappear down the hall, and a soft smile crept upon him. Shaking his head to clear his thoughts, he quickly finished the last glass and put it away.
As he passed her door Ron noticed she was sprawled out on her bed, phone in hand, talking a mile a minute, finalizing their meeting plans. "Yeah, we'll be there, don't worry." Emerald eyes strayed from the ceiling and noticed him standing there. Lips tugged upward into a smile, and she rolled her eyes.
He nodded and winked before going into his own room. Despite the early hour, he sank exhaustedly into his chair. After Kim had woken him up last night, and he'd brought her to her room, he'd sat up for hours contemplating that dangerous, little phrase, and, more so, that dangerous, little four-letter word.
Some time later, when Kim had finally managed to escape Monique, she realized things were far too quiet. Inspection of Ron's room showed why. Emerald eyes softened as his tired form slept deeply in the armchair he'd found at Goodwill.
Guilt stung at her. After all, Ron would have slept all night had it not been for her. Stepping with her practiced silence, she approached him. A tentative hand reached up to brush against his forehead. She smiled as he leaned slightly into her touch. Grabbing the throw blanket from his bed she carefully spread it over him. Her lips rested momentarily against his forehead before she whispered, "Sweet dreams, Ron."
Ron woke up some hours later, to the sound of rain on his window and the scent of burnt bread filtering into his room. Standing, he winced at the strain in his neck. As he proceeded to the kitchen to discover the scent's source, he raised his hand to try and knead away the pain.
"KP, what's burning?" He grinned at her guilty look as she turned.
"Nothing." His brow raised in doubt. "Well, not anymore, anyway. I wanted to make dinner since you were tired because I woke you. I only burnt the first loaf of cheesy bread. The sauce and the spaghetti's fine, and the new loaf is too." She motioned towards the table, which was set with the aforementioned foods as well as a bowl of salad and the various needed tableware. "I was just about to wake you up to eat."
"What time is it?"
"Seven-thirty? I slept for nine hours; you let me sleep nine hours?"
"You were tired, we had nothing else planned today, and Ron, you needed the rest. Besides, you were so peaceful I couldn't have woken you if I'd wanted to."
A breath of air escaped him, no matter what happened he could not be upset with her. Not only because she had a point, but because she was Kim, and she'd always had that power over him. For a moment he considered asking her how she could do that; keep him from being angry with her, but that would be pointless. "So the amazing Kim Possible made dinner for me?" He took his seat with a grin, then got up and grabbed them each a can of Coke and sat down again, as she followed suit.
"Well, you didn't have any lunch, figured after that amount of time you'd eat anything."
They laughed together, and then proceeded to fill their plates and eat. A few minutes into the meal the phone rang, and Ron grabbed it from the counter. "Possible/Stoppable Residence. Oh, hello, Mrs. Dr. Possible. Yes, I'm fine. Kim's good too. Of course we're still coming. Leaving Wednesday, should be there by mid afternoon on Thursday. Called to check? Alrighty. See you then. Oh? Yup, I'll tell her. Bye." The phone clicked off and Ron set it back on the kitchen counter, the turned to Kim. "You're mom just wanted to be sure of when we were coming. She says hello, and that she loves you and can't wait to see us. And that my mom says the same."
The remainder of their dinner was spent talking in that friendly, familiar way that allowed them to speak of anything. The topics varied, as did their interest in the subjects. When they'd finished Ron started stacking plates, and turned on the warm water in the sink. Kim was about to rise and join him when she noticed the cracks of lightning rip across the dark night air. "Hey Ron?"
"You want to put this off and go watch the storm for a little bit?"
"You don't even have to ask. Meet you there in a few?"
"I'll bring a blanket, you get the hot chocolate." As Ron began making the hot cocoa Kim left the room. He found her waiting on the porch swing several minutes later, waiting for him. She patted the space next to her, and he obligingly sat down and handed her one of the steaming mugs as she wrapped the blanket around them.
"Thanks." She took a slow sip, remembering to first blow on the chocolate brown liquid. Chocolate brown, the same color, she knew though for the darkness could not see, as his eyes. "This is nice." She said softly, leaning slightly against him. When he nodded in agreement, she felt it.
"It is nice." His arm slung itself about her shoulders, bringing her closer. Neither questioned the action, it was easy and familiar.
As the wind picked up the rain began to pour, driving to the earth and saturating the ground in a matter of minutes. Thunder startled to roll in and frequent lightning began to rip across the sky. It was quite a storm, the first major thunderstorm of the summer, a symbolic beginning to the warm weather that would come after this suddenly wet chill. Ron felt a shiver run through Kim's body, and he looked over to her. No wonder, he thought with an internal grin, her bare feet were sticking out from under the blanket.
"You know, KP, you'd be a lot warmer if you covered your feet." He smiled in the illumination of the lightening, and moved closer to the side, so she could situate herself on the swing with her feet up as well. She did, and the result was her leaning more against him then before.
"Good." Their mugs lay under the swing now, empty and forgotten. In the world outside that porch world the lightening cracked and the thunder rumbled. Inside the porch world the two friends sat and talked peacefully, barely aware of the thunder.
"So have you recovered from your frog incident?"
She laughed, enjoying that he was joining her in her frog term. "Yeah, I'm over it. It was no big, really. I think I was just a little tweaked with the long day and stress."
"I'm glad. It just generally sucks to see you upset, especially when it's because someone was being a jerk to you. You, of all people, don't deserve jerks, KP. No one deserves someone great more than you do."
"I'm sure there are those who'd disagree, but thanks Ron, it's good to know you think so. You always see the good in everyone."
He gave her shoulders a friendly squeeze. "Well, when it's you, it's not hard. Nothing but good to see, after all."
Her free hand, the one not trapped at his side, lightly punched him in the shoulder. "You would say that." Her head turned to gaze at him questioningly. "When did you become such a sweet talker? My little Ron's all grown up."
"Spend your life with a girl for your best friend and it rubs off on you."
"I wouldn't say that Ron. I don't' think I've picked up any of your mannerisms."
"Are you saying I never touched your life, or made a different?"
In the darkness of the night, and momentary lack of lightning, she'd not seen the joking look on his face. "That not what I meant, Ron!" A flash of lightening displayed the smile he wore. Her own expression narrowed. "Not funny Ron." She was upset now.
Again lightning flashed brightly across the open sky, splitting it in two. It was in that moment that Ron saw something that he had never seen before. Beneath the hurt and anger swimming in those emerald eyes was something he'd never noticed before, though he suspected its presence was not new. Like the sand bottom obscured by the flowing river, it was there. Hidden by other swirling feelings, but still there. Still foundation to all else: love.
He reeled mentally at this realization, and apparently his surprise registered on his face. "What's up?" She had no idea what he'd seen, because her air changed from one of anger to one of concern. "Are you okay?"
It was one of those rare moments, Ron would later realize, that he would never regret, never rewrite mentally. It was not a perfect moment, not a perfect admission, but he would one day look back and realize there was no other way he'd have wanted to do it.
Taking a deep breath he steeled himself for his next words. "I love you, Kim."
She freeze-framed. He had put in that forbidden syllable, and the impact of that one letter hit her, along with the fact that his tone held no lilt of humor. He was serious.
"You, what?" Her voice was quiet, barely a whisper, especially through the dying storm, but he heard her as clearly as he would have had they been in some world that included only themselves.
"Kimberly Anne Possible, you've been my best friend since always, and I love you."
There was such sincerity in his voice that she could not doubt him. There were times, spread about in the last few years that she'd pondered her feelings for Ron. Every time she had, she'd shrugged off anything serious, anything not platonic. But deep down, especially lately, she'd realized that maybe those types of feelings weren't so far fetched. Looking at him now, his face shrouded in half darkness, a soft, wistful smile broke out over her own face.
When next she spoke, her voice was set and determined, but full of a soft, hushed, tenderness that caused a wave of ease to wash over Ron. "I love you, too."
Neither moved for a long moment. A sort of joyful exhilaration, mixed with a calming peace, filled them. A mesh of feelings that might be described as the feeling of rightness, the feeling that one had just done exactly as they should have, that things were what they should be. Almost a feeling of destiny achieved.
Suddenly, Kim realized something, and broke the moment. "Ron." She saw his outline move slightly, showing she had his attention. "You said that I'd been your best friend since always." Her voice betrayed slight confusion. "We haven't known each other all our lives."
She could tell, without needing to see, that he was wearing his old goofy smile now. "Well, I figure the first three and a half years of my life don't count. After all," he added, "you weren't in them."
Her voice caught in her throat. For the first time her in life, someone had said something to Kim Possible that she could not verbally respond to. She knew, in those moments between his words and her reaction, several things. First, she knew that everything she did from here on out was going to involve the man beside her, more then it ever had. She knew that somehow, in some way, she would be able to get through all the struggles in life, because he was there with her. And she knew that Ron Stoppable was indeed not one of the frogs that had hurt her in the past. He was the one person in life that was her match; who balanced and completed her.
Wordlessly she leaned forward and kissed, for the first time in her life, not a frog, but a prince.
Okay, cheesy in the extreme guys, I know. And like I said, way OOC, but I tried and next time I'll do better. (And believe me; with the idea I've got buzzing, there'll be a next time.) Anyhow, feel free to drop me a note with suggestions, ideas, opinions, I'd be glad to hear them and take note. Also, sorry for the rambling on. I had my starting point and ending point when I started. Middle ground was hazy.