Author's note: This was inspired by BOC42's story "Immortal" and he deserves credit for the core ideas. The reason I wrote this is I was reading "Immortal" this morning and found myself wondering how I would end the story or which direction I would take it. Soon, I found I HAD to get it out of my head so I could get back to the business of writing UNION (which continues unabated).
This story does not take place in the REUNION universe.
I'm not into deathfics myself, but I couldn't resist the romantic/tragic aspect of this story. I hope as you read it, it brings forth the same emotions I had while writing it.
Don't Let Go
He was convinced it would be a mission gone wrong. If Kim were going to die, that's how she would go; fighting crime and saving the world. And if it had to be, then Ron could have accepted it under those circumstances.
But not this.
It had been a month since the Prom, and their senior year was drawing to a close. Soon they had plans to spend the summer together, and go to college in the fall.
They had spent the past month luxuriating in the newness of their love for each other. Every day spent together in classes, and every evening spent at one home or the other; holding hands, gazing into each other's eyes, or even immersing themselves in the pleasures of a passionate kiss.
Life was perfect.
And so it was on a late Friday night that Ron had built up a powerful need for a Naco. Kim had already gone home, her happy but sleepy eyes telling him everything he wanted to hear without her ever having to say a word;
I love you. And I will see you again as soon as I can.
Ron called over to the Possible residence in the off chance that Kim might still be awake.
She was, but she was already in her pajamas.
"Awww, come on, KP. You don't have to eat anything, just come keep me company." He whined good-naturedly.
"All right" she said, sighing and rolling her eyes. The mild tone of protest in her voice wasn't sincere. She was tired, but she wasn't about to say no to spending time with him.
Kim slipped on her green tank top and blue cargo pants, told her parents where she was going, and set off walking down the street toward Bueno Nacho. Ron had already gone ahead, and would be waiting for her there.
Kim was born with the reflexes of a cat, but even a hero can be distracted at times. She was genuinely in love for the first time, and it was with her best friend. What could be more perfect than that?
And what could be more distracting?
There were other factors working against her.
The driver was well over the legal blood/alcohol limit, and the car was a semi-luxury model with an ultra quiet engine.
And though Kim was alert to all kinds of dangers, a drunk driver was not high on her watch list.
She didn't even react until the headlights were almost upon her.
Mercifully for her, she didn't live long after impact.
Ron sat waiting in the Bueno Nacho less than half a mile away, heard the tires screech, heard the horn blare. He felt a wave of cold dread wash over him, and couldn't figure out why.
Minutes later, when Kim still had not shown up, and the emergency vehicles paraded by at high speed with the lights flashing and sirens howling, Ron began to put a face on his dread.
He bolted out of the booth and up the street, trailing after the ambulance that had just whisked by.
He didn't actually see her face. He saw her hair, saw the familiar green tank top, and the cargo pants. She had been knocked out of her shoes.
He started forward, but halted again when he saw the EMT drape the blanket across her, covering her entire form, including her face.
His mind refused to accept what he already knew; what he'd known the moment he heard the tires screech and the horn blare from far away.
He couldn't take his eyes off the blanketed form. One hand remained uncovered, tucked behind her back as though she were simply sleeping on her side.
Ron doubled up as waves of nausea overcame him. He was driven to his knees, his body heaving and bucking.
This isn't happening. This is not happening!
His mind was a cavern of white noise. Thoughts attempted to assemble themselves only to be obliterated by the image her form covered in a blanket, one hand tucked behind her, uncovered.
"Son? Are you all right?" The voice was a thousand miles away.
Ron could only see her, backlit by the harsh glow of police headlights and occasionally highlighted by red and blue swaths, as though she had an aura to match the spinning emergency vehicle lights.
"Hey, I think there's something wrong with this kid!" The voice was getting further away.
His head weighed a hundred tons.
"Kid!" Barely audible.
"She's…" Ron choked the words out. He heard himself say them from an oddly detached perspective, "She's my… Kim."
The dark night turned black.
"I think he knows the girl." So far away.
The entire school came to the funeral.
In fact, it almost seemed the entirety of Middleton had shown up.
Bonnie wept bitter tears right along with the rest of the cheer squad. She may had been Kim's rival, but was not something she ever would have wished on Kim.
Ron found he couldn't cry. He was too numb.
He didn't even want to be here.
A funeral was too final.
There was the possibility that this was all a bad dream and he'd wake up and walk over to her house so they could go to school together. That had to be it.
She can't be gone.
It was all his fault, of course. If he hadn't called and begged her to meet him at Bueno Nacho...
All his fault.
Despite the assurances Mr. and Mrs. Possible might give him that it wasn't.
He knew better.
Of course it was.
Mr. Barkin had offered to let Ron make up any school work during the summer and still graduate with his class the following week. If he wished, Ron didn't need to come to school. If he showed up at graduation, everything else could be taken care of later.
Thursday morning, the day after the funeral. Ron was most certainly not going to school. Because he'd woken up so often to his alarm clock the same time every morning, Ron found his eyes opening when his clock should have awakened him.
Blearily, he turned over to go back to sleep when familiar shades of green and red caught his eye.
She was sitting cross-legged on the end of his bed, smiling at him.
"I was wondering when you were going to wake up," Kim said brightly.
Ron sat up with a startled yelp.
"Is that how you say good morning to your girlfriend?" she said with a mischievous wink.
"Ronald?" Came the muffled voice of his mother at the door, "Are you all right?"
Kim grinned and put a finger to her lips.
"Uh…yeah, mom…I'm fine…bad dream," he stammered.
He returned his gaze to her.
"What?" She asked.
"I know," She answered, "But you needed me, Ron. And truth is, I need you, too."
"Are you… are you… real?" he whimpered, frightened.
She leaned forward and crawled up the length of the bed, bringing her face close to his. He felt the warmth of her closeness, smelled her hair, felt her breath against his face.
Then she kissed him.
Ron's fear dissipated in the space of that kiss.
Kim was here. That was all that mattered.
"Real enough for you?" She whispered.
"KP!" he cried out and flung his arms around her. Whatever this was, however this was happening, Ron was going to relish as much of her presence as he could.
"There's something you should know," Kim said, pulling back from him a little, "As real as I am to you, no one else can see me or even hear me. I'm just for you. So, you know, if other people see you talking to me, they might not think you're all there. But then again, I never did."
Ron pulled her to him for another kiss.
"As long as I have you, KP, I don't care who else sees you or doesn't." Ron whispered.
"You've got me Ron," She said, curling up in his arms, "You've got me."
"Man, I'm hungry. Is breakfast ready?"
"Ron?" his mother looked at him, perplexed "What are you-?"
"We… I'm going to school!" he said brightly.
"I… OK", his mother said hesitantly, "Are you sure about this?"
Ron seemed to give a secretive smile to no one, "Definitely, Mom."
"How is it we spent all that study time together and you still do so lousy on tests?" She teased.
Ron snorted and tried to ignore her.
He was oblivious to the stares he was receiving in all his classes throughout the day. Not that he would have cared much. He had her, and didn't really need anyone else.
Ron struggled through his final exams as he always did, except this time they would be the last of his high school career.
Kim sat next to him as she did through all his classes, helping him with some of his tests, teasing him that she didn't have to take any.
Ron's classmates could only cast uncomfortable glances in his direction as Ron took his exams, jovial despite the fact that he'd just lost his girlfriend. And his casting sideways glances and smiles at the empty desk next to him only served to heighten their discomfort.
They had lunch together. Kim watched him eat, and chatted with him. Ron tried to keep quiet on his end of the conversations but couldn't help it. After all, this was Kim. How could he not talk to her?
The others in the cafeteria saw Ron sitting at a table alone, muttering and smiling at no one.
Cheer practice was actually just a final get-together for the squad. The mood was understandably somber. Ron was his usual chipper self. The girls figured he was just in denial.
Bonnie tried to express her sympathies to Ron but it was hard for him to listen when Kim stood behind her and mimicked everything she said. Eventually, Bonnie gave up and walked away.
That afternoon was pure bliss for both of them. They held each other, kissed often and whispered their affections to each other.
"So how long will I get to have you with me?" Ron asked after a few minutes of silence.
Kim shrugged, "As long as we need each other, I guess."
"That may actually be a few years for me." Ron warned her.
"Only a few?" Kim protested, "I hope it's longer than that Ronald Stoppable."
Ron's only answer was to pull her to him and kiss her passionately. She returned every bit of his feelings back to him in that kiss.
Kim didn't really need to sleep, so at night she would go visit her family; check in on her parents and see how her brothers were doing. Often, though, she would simply stay in Ron's room and watch as he slept. She would always be there in the mornings, waiting for him to wake up so they could spend the day together.
Ron escorted Kim to her seat.
Out of respect for Ron, and in memory of Kim, Barkin asked if Ron wanted the seat next to him to be empty.
Yes he did.
Ha! Little did they know.
Kim beamed with pride as the two of them walked hand-in-hand to the stage to receive Ron's diploma.
Kim even cried a little during the memorial tribute to her. Ron didn't though, he couldn't help smiling.
What was there to be sad about?
He had Kim all to himself!
Summer was pure heaven for both of them. They would swim together, or spend afternoons in the treehouse in each other's arms, or better, summer nights in Ron's bed just holding each other.
In the morning, they didn't have to go to school. Sometimes they would get into tickle fights and playfully wrestle.
On occasion, Ron's mother would knock on the door and ask if everything was all right.
Ron assured her that it was.
Often people would stare at the unfortunate young man who was swimming alone and talking to himself, or strolling through the park laughing and smiling to no one in particular.
That was Kim Possible's sidekick, they would whisper to each other, he seems to have taken her death pretty hard.
One afternoon, while they were hanging at the mall, Monique had to ask Ron to leave the store. Kim was ogling the latest fashions, and Ron was simply tagging along, offering his own opinions on what she thought was cute and what wasn't.
"Why do w-… I have to leave?" Ron asked indignantly.
"Because," Monique said softly, "You're over here looking at women's clothes alone, laughing and talking to yourself. You're scaring the other customers away."
"Come on, Ron," Kim said, taking his hand, "Let's go see a movie. I was done looking at these tired clothes anyway."
They tried a couple of missions at Wade's encouragement, but Ron found it was hard doing all the work while Kim could only tell him what to do and what to watch out for.
Eventually, Ron said thanks, but no thanks to Wade, and they never really spoke much after that.
Kim went to college with him of course, and enjoyed taking his classes with him. But Ron found it hard to concentrate. Kim would always ask questions about what he was learning and was interested in doing cool college stuff like spending time at the coffee house or seeing an independent movie.
Ron was willing to oblige, for her sake.
Eventually, however, Ron's grades became a problem and he was forced to postpone his academic career and get a job.
Ron didn't concern himself too much over it, though. He moved out of his parents house and he and Kim got an apartment together. It wasn't much, but they were both excited. Why, it was almost like being married! In fact, it was better! Married couples didn't get to spend this much time together. Kim could go to his job with him and hang out all day.
Ron began to drift from one job to another. His employers were always uncomfortable with the kid who kept talking and smiling to himself. They tried their best to work around his obvious problem, but eventually Ron would scare a customer, or just laugh too much to himself.
Kim didn't mind.
Ron insisted she come with him wherever he went, even though she offered to stay home during his work hours. He knew she would just sit around at home, bored all the time, and want to be with him.
She would always hold him, and whisper softly to him at night until he fell asleep, and she would always be there when he woke up.
One day, Rufus passed away, and they spent an entire afternoon holding each other and crying.
Their lives went on, years began to pass by more quickly.
Ron's parents didn't see him much. He seemed perfectly all right to them, but there were always those secretive glances, and tiny smiles cast in the direction of empty air.
Eventually, however, Ron began to grow more and more agitated. Kim would always ask him what was wrong, but Ron couldn't seem to put his finger on it.
The morning of his twenty-fourth birthday, Ron was in the bathroom, staring at himself in the mirror.
Kim was in the bedroom, suggesting they go to Bueno Nacho to celebrate.
Ron came out of the bathroom and gazed at her.
"What is it?" she asked, concern showing on her face.
"How old do I look to you, KP?" he asked.
"You look twenty-four, why?"
"Yeah," He agreed quietly, "I do, don't I?"
"Of course. What's wrong?"
"You don't look twenty-four… because you aren't twenty-four. You look the same as you did in High School. You're even wearing the same clothes."
Kim said nothing.
Ron stood at the bathroom door, trembling.
Soon, tears began to pour down his face.
"Sweetie! Please don't cry! It's your birthday!" Kim got up and hurried over to him.
"No." Ron sobbed, holding up his hand. "Please."
"What is it?"
Ron had a difficult time putting it into words. It wasn't just the fact that Kim hadn't aged as he had. In hindsight it seemed she wasn't exactly behaving like Kim. She never argued with him, was always supportive, and never showed her stubborn or independent side. For six years, she had only been what he wanted her to be.
Perhaps she wasn't real after all.
"I think you should go," he sobbed quietly.
"Ron, no," she stepped up to him and put her arms around him tightly. She began to cry as well, "Please, don't make me go."
"I'm sorry, KP, I just…" He couldn't finish. He sank to his knees, his shoulders wracking and heaving with sobs.
"Oh… OK," She said through her own tears. "I'll go. I'm sorry…"
Ron looked up to see her standing there, fading like an old photograph left out in the sun.
"I will always love you, Ron. Don't ever forget that." Her voice seemed to fade as she did. Soon, Ron found himself kneeling in a silent, empty bedroom.
Despite the fact that it was his birthday, Ron just wanted to spend it in bed. He laid down, next to where Kim usually lay and gazed at the empty space before him.
Had he done the right thing?
Had she been real after all?
Ron looked at the pillow next to him; the pillow where Kim had lay her head next to his, softly stroking his face and whispering to him as he fell asleep. But this morning she wasn't there.
"Kim", he whimpered.
Only the silence answered.
He cried himself to sleep.
His body was found by police the following week. His mother had grown concerned when he didn't return her phone calls.
Ron was tucked into bed, one hand laying gently on the pillow next to his.
Forensic pathologists were never able to determine the origin of the red hairs they found on the pillow where his hand had lain.
I like to believe that if God finds us worthy of passage through His gates and into eternity beyond, then He is kind and benevolent enough to tailor Heaven according to our innermost desires; to give us what we want the most.
If so, then I like to think that these two souls, who were always meant to be only with each other, have found themselves in each other's company once more, and that they are permitted to exist together as adults, or sometimes as teenagers, or even just children; holding hands, and laughing together.
And most importantly.