It was morning, during the transition between the first and second classes of the day, and Kim knew something was wrong. The other students were staring at her, whispering, and she could almost feel the wave of gossip sweeping about her, like some kind of filthy miasma.
Kim was used to some degree of attention, of course. Discussion of Kim Possible had been an ongoing feature in the halls of Middleton High for some time, and it had been much heavier since she and Ron had saved the world from the mini-Diablos. Was it only a week ago? Kim and Ron had saved the world before, but robots marching across the skies of every city in the world had made for her most famous mission ever.
More important to Kim than the fame, though, was new relationship she was building with Ron. It was still in its infancy, like a delicate hatchling bird, and every day she and Ron struggled with figuring out what should change and what didn't have to change. Both of them were terrified of destroying something so fragile by doing or saying the wrong thing. Ron Stoppable and Kim Possible acting like boyfriend and girlfriend, that had gotten some stares all on its own.
This was different, though. There were smirks, half-concealed laughter, and even pity in some eyes. Small objects were being passed back and forth, and Kim had a sick feeling that she was on the edge of something she was really going to hate. 'But I don't run from trouble,' Kim thought to herself.
Her target was obvious. Three sophomores clustered were around a cell phone, staring in fascination at something on the screen. Kim could have asked for permission, she could have demanded they show her, but she found she couldn't wait an instant longer. With an easy sweep of her arm, Kim snatched away the camera and looked at the picture on the screen.
It was like taking a kick to the gut, on first reaction. But a kick to the gut would have hurt and then started feeling better, and every moment she stared, this hurt worse.
The picture was of Ron Stoppable, stripped to his boxer shorts. Bonnie Rockwaller was draped over him, wearing a small bikini and rubbing one hand across his chest. She looked relaxed and seductive. Kim realized that there was an audio file attached to the picture, and she pushed the button to play it, her hand trembling. If the sophomores were saying anything, demanding their camera back, she didn't hear them.
"Ron, are you sure about this? I mean, what about Kimmie?" Bonnie's voice was flirty and light.
"KP and I are just friends," answered what was clearly Ron's voice. "Now you, me, what do you say?"
That was the end of the audio file.
Kim stumbled back against a locker, letting the phone drop to the floor. She thought she heard someone protesting, but she paid it no attention. 'I won't cry. Staying in control, here,' Kim thought to herself. Her eyes filled with moisture, but it didn't spill out.
The only thing she could think to do, the only thing she could do, was to look for Ron. He wasn't there, and if this had been an ordinary day, she knew he would have met her by now. The only explanation was that he had seen the picture and heard the audio.
Making it a mystery to solve helped hold down the lump in her throat. 'I know Ron. Where would he go? First idea, he'd rush to find me before I saw the picture. Not happening. Second idea….'
Kim hurried along the hall, not quite running, but definitely hurrying. She was there in seconds, at the door to the supply closet. The door was cracked open and she could hear noise from within. 'I don't run from trouble,' Kim thought to herself, less persuasively than before.
With a yank, she pulled open the door.
Ron was squatting on the floor, sobbing. His hands were clenched up and pushed up against his forehead. For an instant, he didn't seem to realize she was there, but then his head moved up and he saw her. The expression on his face was the saddest and most miserable that Kim had ever seen anyone carry.
"Kim…. It's a trick," said Ron. He stretched out his arms like he wanted to grab Kim by the legs, but couldn't bring himself to do so.
At that moment, Kim realized something. It was one of the most important thoughts she had ever had. For a long time to come, sometimes late at night, she would wonder if she didn't owe the thought to some higher power looking out for her, giving her a moment's grace when she needed it the most.
'Whatever I say next, Ron will remember it for the rest of his life. He'll never forget,' thought Kim. Kim Possible took that thought and with it, she shoved all the uncertainty and fear she was feeling away. This was too important.
"Ron, of course it's a trick. You don't even have to say. No big," said Kim. She knelt down by Ron, wrapped her arms around him, and gently pressed her lips against his.
Ron was trembling, but in Kim's arms the trembles went away quickly. She could feel all the tension draining out of him, and it was good. Behind Ron's back, though, Kim's right fist clenched and unclenched, her nails drawing blood from the palm of her hand. Kim had forcibly banished her doubts, but in their place another dark emotion was beginning to burn. She put it aside, for Ron's sake. For now.
The two of them ignored the tardy bell as it rang, still holding each other. Their only change was to shift from a kiss to a hug, and Ron let Kim rest her head on his shoulder for a while. Finally, they pulled apart.
Ron already seemed most of the way back to his usual self, now that he knew he had Kim's confidence. 'No matter what it is, he recovers faster than anyone I know," Kim thought to herself.
He actually tried to force a laugh, though he couldn't quite manage it. "You know KP, this thing might end up backfiring on Bonnie. A picture of her and me can't be good for her place on the food chain."
Kim nodded, not able to trust her voice yet.
"Er, about the picture, Kim. I wanted to explain-"
Kim covered Ron's lips with her left hand. "Ron, I've seen you lose your pants by accident too many times to question how someone could have tricked you out of them on purpose. No offense. I think I don't want to know the details."
Ron shrugged in his usual what-can-I-say fashion. "I didn't know there was a camera around or I would have told you about it."
Kim nodded. Out of Ron's line of sight, her right fist clenched again. "I am a little curious about the audio. It sounded kind of old."
"Real old," said Ron. "You remember back when you were crushing on Mankey, and I decided to get a date to the dance by asking every girl in the school?"
"You asked Bonnie!"
Ron raised his hands in a mock defensive gesture. It was only his usual body language, but Kim felt a twinge at the reminder of his desperate reaching for her only minutes before. 'Another thing I owe Bonnie for,' she thought.
"Not at first. But then she acted all offended that I hadn't asked her, like she was feeling left out. I mean- it's hard to remember now, but she just has this way of getting you to say things. I wondered why she even cared, since she just said no, but now I get it. She was making a recording," said Ron.
"Just so she'd have some ammo, if the chance ever came up," said Kim. "That bitch."
A part of her enjoyed seeing the shocked expression on Ron's face. Kim never cursed.
"Right. So Kim, we're good?" said Ron. He stood up, helping Kim to her feet along with himself.
"We're not just good, we're the best. But… you go on to class ahead of me, okay? I need a few minutes," said Kim, trying to seem casual.
"No prob. I need to make a stop by the restroom anyway." Ron rubbed his face, where a few streaks from his tears were still visible. He started to walk away, then turned back to Kim.
"In case I haven't said it enough, you're great. When I saw that picture, I was so afraid you would- Man, was I being stupid. See you in class." As he said this last, Ron shot Kim on of his usual grins, letting her know everything was okay. Then he walked away.
Kim watched him go, then she ducked back into the supply closet. She stood there for a full minute, controlling her breathing. Then she punched one of the metal cabinets, as hard as she could. The metal dented underneath the blow, but it made surprisingly little noise.
"Bonnie," said Kim aloud.
Kim's thoughts kept following the same track. 'Bonnie. She made me doubt Ron. She made me DOUBT RON! She could have screwed it up, the most important thing in my life. Bonnie and her stupid, stupid rivalry. Always thinking she was competing with me. Bad enough that stupid photograph is humiliating me in front of the entire school. Ron doesn't care what people think, but I do. But Bonnie did it deliberately, trying to screw up things between me and Ron. And why? Because that bitch is jealous of me and everything I have.'
Without thinking about it, Kim rubbed her bruised knuckles. She was skilled enough not to have broken anything, but punching the cabinet still hadn't felt good. Feeling her own fist brought on a new thought. 'Bonnie has to pay. I could make her pay. Punish her. Who's going to stop me? Who would blame me for a little justice?'
'Nice try, Kimmie, but we both know you're too much of a little goody-two-shoes for that. You don't have it in you.' The thought was Kim's, but she inside her head she heard it in Shego's voice.
'Like I didn't have it in me to throw Shego into that tower hard enough to bring the thing down on top of her?' Kim argued with herself.
'Oh, but I'm take over the world evil. Bonnie is just high school evil. Kicking Bonnie's biscuit would be mean and wrong and little Ms. Possibly Perfect would never do that,' mocked Shego's voice.
Abruptly, Kim spun around and walked out of the supply closet. She needed to get back to class, to get her mind on something else. So she shoved away the fires of her rage somewhere in the back of her mind, where they wouldn't be in her way.
But sometimes a fire pushed out of sight burns hottest.
The day had been predictably hard. The looks, the whispering, the laughter, none of them had stopped. It seemed like the entire school had seen Bonnie's little frame job by now.
Ron didn't seem to care, of course. He had only ever been worried about Kim's reaction and once he was sure of that, had cheerfully ignored everything else. For her part, Kim had made sure to take Ron's hand and lean into him, and otherwise do everything in her power to show the student body that he was still her boyfriend. Still, it was hard.
Kim hadn't seen Bonnie yet today. This didn't have the same morning classes anymore. She knew, however, that Bonnie would be in the lunch room. 'I don't run from trouble,' Kim told herself for the third time that day.
It was easy to spot Bonnie standing in line with her tray. She seemed somewhat isolated herself that day, without her usual crowd of hangers-on. Kim entertained a brief hope that maybe her classmates had seen Bonnie's stunt for the awful and cruel prank it was. Determined to have this out, Kim walked directly up to Bonnie without even the pretense of carrying a lunch tray.
"Bonnie. The little prank you pulled today? So not funny," said Kim.
"Prank?" said Bonnie with a false-innocent expression. "Just trying to do my part to show your boyfriend up for the disgusting little creep he is, Kim. Still, maybe you weren't expecting anything better when you went for the 'last-chance' choice."
"So you're not denying that you were the one who sent out that picture," said Kim.
"Deny it? Why would I deny it? Sure it was a little disgusting to have to suit up and get that close to Stoppable, but I'm all about suffering for art. You were getting a little too full of yourself being little 'Ms. Saved the World', so I thought I'd remind you that not only is Stoppable your last choice, you're his last choice. 'Just a friend' until one day he wakes up and realizes he can't get a date to the prom from anyone else."
"Ron and I…." Kim couldn't finish, she couldn't bear to talk about the uncertainties and buried feelings and still-fresh doubts that had paved the way to her current relationship with Ron. She certainly wasn't going to talk about them to Bonnie.
Bonnie merrily continued. "Of course, I guess Stoppable looks pretty good compared to your last date. A robot, Kim? That's right, your current boyfriend let the cat out of the bag about your last boyfriend. You're not the first desperate woman to require mechanical aid, but most women have the shame to keep it at the bottom of their underwear drawer instead of parading it to the dance."
"I didn't know he was a synthodrone," said Kim. She was on the defensive, where she too often ended up when in verbal sparring matches with Bonnie.
"Of course you didn't, Kimmie-cub. You were head over heels with a toaster and didn't know it. Then you find out and look, all of a sudden you 'discover' the sudden desire to suck face with your just-a-friend sidekick. Can someone say, 'Rebound'? Oh, I just did."
Somewhere in the midst of Bonnie's rant, Kim discovered she had made a decision. "I'll see you later, Bonnie," said Kim. She simply turned and walked away.
Behind her, Bonnie enjoyed her victory. "Looks like someone can't take the heat. Yeah, run away Kim. You think about what I said."
Kim took a seat next to Ron at their usual table. He looked over at her. " I can't help but notice you didn't get anything to eat, Kim."
"Not feeling too hungry today, Ron," responded Kim.
"If you want, you can have mine," he said, pushing his tray over to her. Rufus, who had been grabbing bits and pieces from Ron's plate, protested, but Ron ignored it.
"No Ron, that's okay. Really, I'm not hungry."
Ron took careful measure of his girlfriend. "You're not letting Bonnie get to you, are you?"
"I just realized that I've got to stop fighting on her terms. Snarking in a lunchroom line, I'm never really going to win. It's time to stop with the chit-chat and the lunchroom insults," said Kim.
"Boo-yah KP, that's what I'm talking about. Just ignore the Bon-Bon and she'll go away," agreed Ron happily.
"I'm not going to ignore her, Ron. I'm just going to try things a little differently, that's all." Kim paused for a moment. "You know, I think I might be a little hungry after all. I'm going to go see if I can grab something before the line closes."
Kim leaned into the branches of the tree and carefully concealed herself.
She wasn't quite invisible, of course, but Kim was using a sophisticated camouflage technique she'd picked up from an Australian aborigine. To remain still aids in hiding, but to move with the motion of the world aids it even more. By swaying her body in coordination with the windswept branches of her treetop perch, Kim was able to become virtually invisible while dressed in her usual mission clothing of black belly shirt and cargo pants.
Certainly her target didn't see her. It had been trivial for Kim to get out of school and position herself along Bonnie's usual route home. None of the teachers even questioned it when she left class early anymore. So Kim had chosen her spot and waited patiently. Now her patience was being rewarded as Bonnie Rockwaller walked below her.
Kim dropped to the ground behind Bonnie and grabbed the other girl. One gloved hand went over Bonnie's mouth and the other twisted Bonnie's arm behind her back. Kim was stronger than Bonnie, but the key was really leverage. By tugging on Bonnie's arm in the proper way, Bonnie was forced to walk where Kim wanted or get her arm broken.
Kim quickly guided the other girl to her chosen spot, just a little off the road. Then she released Bonnie, giving her captive a little spin as she did so that Bonnie would turn around and see who had grabbed her.
'I don't believe it, she's relieved to see it's me,' thought Kim, when Bonnie had taken stock of the situation. 'She hasn't figured it out yet.'
"Kim Possible! I always knew you were crazy, but I didn't know you were insane. Just what kind of stupidity-"
Bonnie stopped at 'stupidity' because Kim had just punched her hard in the solar plexus, and she suddenly no longer had any air to speak with.
"Wow!" said Kim in a bright, cheery tone. "All these years, I've been trying to figure out how to get you to shut up, Rockwaller. And all this time, I had a means in hand."
As she said 'hand', Kim casually kicked Bonnie's legs out from under her and followed up with a hard slap to Bonnie's face. She kept the slap open-handed, not wanting to accidentally knock Bonnie out so soon.
"Now what I don't get, Bon-Bon, is how you could be so stupid." Kim punctuated her statement by kicking Bonnie in the mid-section, again not using her full strength.
"You've seen me on TV. You've even seen me fight in person. You know I'm good." Bonnie was over her shock by this point and desperately trying to scramble away on all fours. Kim leapt neatly over her opponent and kicked Bonnie again, applying a little lift this time so that Bonnie ended up face-down in the dirt.
"So how exactly did you think it was safe for you to keep screwing with me? What did you think would happen on the day I finally got tired of you and the shit you've put me through?" Kim was perfectly mimicking Bonnie's faux-innocent tone from the lunchroom earlier in the day.
Bonnie started trying to yell for help, so Kim knocked the air out of her lungs with yet another kick. That put a stop to it. "No talkie until I say you can talkie, Bon-bon. Sweetie."
There was a pause at this point as Kim allowed Bonnie to recover a little. Kim was surprised to realize just how much she was enjoying this. Every time she punched or kicked her opponent, it fed the rage burning inside Kim's heart. Here at last was a situation that Bonnie couldn't wriggle out of with a sarcastic remark and a put-down. Here at last had Kim finally shut Bonnie up.
As Bonnie began gathering herself for a move, Kim continued with her earlier line of thought. "I have an idea. Maybe, somehow, you decided I wasn't all that. Maybe you figured I was just a few fancy cheerleading moves and some flash and if it ever really came down to it, you could give me a fair fight. Well, let's test that theory. Get up, come after me. Go ahead."
Showing a certain amount of cheerleader grace, Bonnie sprang to her feet and leaped at Kim almost before Kim had finished making the invitation. Her face was a mask of rage, pain, and fear. Kim guessed that perhaps Bonnie wanted to surprise her, to catch Kim off guard before she was ready to defend herself. It didn't work.
Kim neatly caught both of Bonnie's hands and then head-butted Bonnie's nose with her forehead, drawing blood. She followed up by forcing Bonnie face-first into the dirt in a lightning-quick grapple move. "There's one theory disproved," Kim said. Throughout, Kim had never lost her cheerful and upbeat tone.
'I suppose this is really enough,' thought Kim. 'I've hurt Bonnie a little, given her a good scare, and that's a pretty good payback. I should tell her we're done.'
Kim meant to say that, she really did. Somehow, though, different words came tumbling out. "As long as I have you here, sweetie, there's a few things I've been meaning to say to you for a long while now."
She released Bonnie from the hold. Rockwaller responded by rolling over onto her back, holding her arms out in front of her in a desperate attempt to ward off Kim.
The anger Kim was feeling couldn't be shoved aside so easily now that she had given it free reign. Without consciously deciding to, she slipped a fist past Bonnie's defensives and punched her hard in the face.
"That was so you'll remember this," said Kim, feeling a need to explain herself.
Bonnie moaned in pain.
"What I wanted to talk about, Bonnie, is this little idea you have that you and I are some kind of rivals. That we're competing with each other. Because all those so precious comments and insults you love so much, they seem like some kind of desperate attempt to one-up me. Well Bonnie, I just wanted to let you know that there is no competition. I'm better than you in every way. So you can go ahead and stop trying."
Kim kicked Bonnie again to punctuate her statement. Bonnie responded by balling up, clutching her knees to her chest and tucking in her head in a desperate attempt to protect her head and body.
"Take popularity. First step to being popular, people kind of have to know who you are. So let's compare. Me, I'm famous. I walk down any street in the world and every once in a while, some stranger will come up to me and ask if I'm the famous Kim Possible. Compare to you, whose name is known by a few kids at your high school. And, I'm sorry to tell you this, but outside of the sports crowd that you've personally charmed, most of the school knows you as 'that girl who's always fighting with Kim Possible'. So I'd say I have popularity wrapped up."
Kim realized she was saying all the secret, prideful things she had always wanted to say. She was saying everything that she had always suppressed with a casual 'no big', because she didn't want to seem immodest. Kim realized this, and she realized she loved it.
"Smarts. Well, my father is a rocket scientist. My mother is a brain surgeon. I get straight A's. Not saying I don't work for them, but let's compare them to that 'B' average you've worked so hard for. Doesn't really measure up, does it?"
Kim nudged Bonnie with a foot. "You listening, Bon-bon?" She began poking harder and harder with the foot, gradually turning tapping into a kick.
"Yes!" said Bonnie in what was half a sob.
"Good. I also want you to understand that I'm a better cheerleader than you are, Bonnie. I can do routines you don't have a prayer of managing. You, you're pretty good. Pretty agile, pretty graceful. For someone who's not me, I mean. I'm going to tell you a little secret now. Don't tell the rest of the squad."
Kim leaned down and said softly. "When we do routines, I have to hold back so that I don't make the rest of you look as slow and clumsy as you are, compared to me. Me outperforming all of you like I could; it just wouldn't look good. I keep it in mind when I'm designing routines, don't-"
Kim had to leap back as Bonnie suddenly uncurled and begin swinging wildly at Kim. In response, Kim grabbed one of Bonnie's legs and yanked her into a loop through the air, slamming her opponent into the ground.
"See what I mean? I saw that coming a mile away. Nice to see you still have some fight."
Bonnie could only take short, painful breaths in response.
"So where was I? Oh, me being better than you in every way. Well, I could go on all evening, but you're not worth my time. I want to explain why we've never had a little talk like this before, Bonnie. It's because you were never anything more than an annoyance to me. All this time, you thought you were the big bad bitch-queen of the high school, and you never managed to rate as anything but a slight irritation. I have an arch-enemy, and it's not you.
"But you finally got my attention. You see, things are a little delicate between me and Ron right now, and for a second there, you made me doubt him. That's something I just can't forgive. Lucky for you, Ron and I are going to be okay, but I can't deny that you finally got to me. You finally found something that actually hurt me. So today I'm treating you like an enemy. This is what I do to my enemies, Bonnie. I beat them up until they stop doing bad things," said Kim, with a cheerfully malevolent tone.
If she could have stood outside herself and heard herself at that moment, Kim would have realized she sounded a lot like Shego.
Kim pulled back her leg and gave Bonnie a soccer kick. "Would you like me to stop hurting you, Bonnie?" She stomped on Bonnie's mid-section. "Would you?"
"What's the magic word," said Kim.
"Please. Please stop hurting me."
"All right," said Kim. She took a couple of steps back, away from Bonnie. "So here's the deal, Rockwaller. Our little rivalry is over. From now on, if you try pulling your stunts again, I'm going to treat you like a bad guy again. I'll hurt you. I never want to have to deal with any problems coming from your direction ever again. No one can protect you. No one can stop me. Are we clear?"
"That's good. Good. Have a nice day, Bonnie." Kim left. She didn't look back.
As she walked home, Kim felt feverish. Her body burned and everything seemed strangely remote. Only gradually did she start to understand what she had just done.
'Was that me? Did I say those things? Did I do those things?' Kim thought.
Suddenly she remembered punching Bonnie in the face, supposedly to make her 'pay attention' but really because Kim had wanted to enjoy hurting Bonnie.
'No, I couldn't have done that. I'm not that kind of person. I don't hurt people like that.'
Bile rose up in Kim's throat. She barely made it to a convenient drainage ditch before puking.
The anger that had taken command of Kim was gone. In its place was nothing but cold ashes and a rapidly growing fear.
'What if Bonnie calls the police? What if she tells my parents? What if Ron finds out? What will they think of me, when they see what a monster I can be?'
What scared her most of all, though, was how much she had enjoyed it. She could remember enjoying it, even as the memory sickened her.
The remote, distant feeling faded some as Kim walked through the door back into her house. It was all reassuringly normal. Her father was working on his laptop while her twin brothers ran about, chasing an invention of theirs that had gotten away from them.
Kim walked to the stairs up to her room. Before she could set foot on them, though, her father called out to her, "How was your day, Kimmie-cub?"
Kim froze, wondering what to say. After a moment, she said, "Same old, same old. Went to school, beat up a bad guy."
Her father nodded and looked back at his computer screen.
'I told him the truth, but it's still a lie,' Kim thought as she climbed the stairs.
Once back up in her room, Kim kicked off her shoes and lay on her bed, looking out the window. She reached out and picked up her phone.
"Ron, can you come over tonight? I need you."
Kim didn't do anything but sit and think until Ron got there.
The door was open, but he still knocked on it to get her attention. "Hey KP."
"Hi Ron. Thanks for coming."
"You called, I came," replied Ron, but he still hung back at the doorway, looking uncomfortable.
"This is the first time I've been up here at this time of day since we, uh…. I mean, are the rules still the same? Can you have a boyfriend up here?"
Kim rubbed her eyes. "I don't know. For now, let's just go with you leaving the door open."
"Right." Ron walked in and sat on the bed next to her.
Kim sighed and scrunched up next to Ron, leaning on him.
"Ron, I think I did something wrong today."
He put an arm around her. "Whatever it is, I'm sure it's not that bad."
"I waited for Bonnie after school, and I beat her up. I really worked her over, and I told her I'd do it again if she ever tried another stunt like she did today." Kim looked Ron in the eyes.
Ron was confused. "You had a fight with Bonnie? Why, uh, why now? You and her have been arguing for years."
"No Ron, it wasn't a fight. A fight would involve some give and take. This was me dragging Bonnie off to the side of the road and hitting her until I felt like stopping hitting her. After today, I was just so angry. Before when Bonnie messed with me, it was always about either cheerleading or boys. This time she was trying to come between you and me. I never really hated Bonnie before today."
"So you're saying Bonnie deserved it?" asked Ron.
"No. Yes. Maybe she deserved being hit, but she didn't deserve what I did. I humiliated her. I said every mean thing I always wanted to say to her, everything the mean proud parts of me ever thought, and I made her listen to it. I made her beg me to stop hurting her."
"I can't picture you doing something like that, Kim," said Ron. "That sounds like something the bad guys would do."
"It was something the bad guys would do. That's the thing, I know it was wrong, but I enjoyed it. I liked hurting her."
Ron actually scooted away from Kim a bit. "So what, you're saying you want to become a villain? Like Shego? Because I am so not down with that, Kim. I might be persuaded to go to dark avenger. Maybe as far as anti-hero. I'm sorry, but I can't follow you all the way to evil-ville."
"No Ron! I enjoyed it, but I feel bad about enjoying it. I don't want to be like that ever again," said Kim.
"Except for the part of you that does want to be like that again," said Ron.
"The very small part!" Kim was now arguing with some enthusiasm.
"So what we're saying is, you're a really good person who sometimes wants to do bad things," said Ron. He started grinning.
"Exactly! Hey, why are you smiling?" asked Kim suspiciously.
"Because that makes you pretty much a normal person, doesn't it?"
Kim opened and closed her mouth, trying to puzzle this out while Ron watched in amusement. Finally she said, "Okay, point. But unlike most normal persons, I've now actually done the bad things once."
"I'm pretty sure most normal persons have done bad things once."
"Well, but I'm better at doing bad things than your average normal person," said Kim.
"Okay Kim, going to let you win the argument here," said Ron, raising his hands in surrender.
"Well fine." Kim scowled, then she smiled at herself, realizing Ron had managed to completely destroy her dark, depressed mood. "But can you promise me something?"
"It depends," said Ron.
"It does? So you're not going to just agree to promise whatever I ask you to promise?" said Kim.
"All right. Ron, I want you to promise to keep an eye on me in my use of violence from now on. Warn me if I'm going too far or start acting like a bad guy," said Kim. She took hold of one of Ron's hands.
"I promise. But if I'm going to do that, you have to promise me to take me along for all your future violence use. Can't judge what I can't see, Kim," replied Ron.
"Well, we already go on missions together…. So we're saying my big mistake today was going to beat up Bonnie without bringing you along?"
Ron squeezed Kim's hand gently. "That would actually make sense. Besides, I would have liked to have seen you kick some Bonnie biscuit. Her stunt today was aimed at me too, you know."
"All right. We now have an agreement that my boyfriend will be included in all future planned violence," said Kim.
Kim and Ron looked each other in the eyes for a second, taking that in.
"Let's not tell anybody about that unless we find a way to put it differently," said Ron.
They sat for a while, enjoying each other's company.
Finally Kim said, "So what do I do about Bonnie now? Should I apologize, or try to make it up to her, or am I not sorry, or what?"
"Dunno. Guess we'll just have to play it by ear," said Ron.
There was more silence. This time it was Ron who spoke up. "Kim, I have something to confess…."
"You were bluffing about not being willing to follow me into villainy?"
"How did you know?" asked Ron.
Kim just smiled a girlfriend-type smile.
"Fine, I was bluffing. Is it weird that we're talking about this?"
"Very weird. You know what, I think I'm just going to go with trying to be good from now on," said Kim.
"That might be a good idea. Apparently, you're very scary when you're bad," said Ron.
This was inspired by a deleted scene in the "So the Drama" DVD where Ron suggested that Kim use her "mad skillz" to "kick Bonnie biscuit" like she kicks Shego biscuit. Kim responds that Shego is take over the world evil, while Bonnie is just "high school evil". She then appears to consider it anyway, deciding against it only for fear of the mark on her permanent record.
The idea took hold, and I couldn't stop wondering what would happen if Bonnie did something so outrageous that Kim lost her scruples and decided to "kick Bonnie biscuit".
This was originally going to be a much longer story. Ron was going to fight Brick Flagg when Brick tried to avenge his girlfriend and there was going to be a second confrontation between Kim and Bonnie where Bonnie got to explain why she hated Kim so much. Kim was going to ask her parents to punish her and be told to quit the cheer squad.
But…. I realized that the point of highest excitement in the story was Kim actually beating up Bonnie, where we got to see Kim letting her darker emotions take control. That was in the first chapter, so everything in the chapters after that would be a letdown. So I figured I would just go for a dark, angstful ending where Kim sat alone in her room, worrying about what would happen if she ever lost control again.
Kim outsmarted me, though. I realized that the natural thing for her to do would be to call Ron, so she did. Then I couldn't picture Ron not making her feel better. So then, the whole thing ended on a much more upbeat note than I had anticipated.
Oh, and despite the savage beating she received in this fic, I like the character of Bonnie. She would have had more to do if the fic had continued as I had originally planned, but I guess Bonnie fans will have to be satisfied with her winning the verbal battle.
Sorry for doing this instead of the last chapter of The Kimpetitive Edge, but sometimes a story starts demanding to be written. I may not get that last chapter out for a while, either, as I'm going to be out of town and away from my computer for the next six days or so.