In response to more feedback regarding "Secrets Reveal":
John Steppenwolf – Well, the Tweebs are only 14 years old. Who would know what careers they would take when they reach 18 or 20? Besides, they've built their own hovercraft, so it is still likely they might go down the aeronautics career path. :)
To be honest, Debra placed herself into it, given she knew she could stop Drakken. Monique and Loretta were only there to help Debra, so I didn't consider them being on a 'mission' per say.
Despite Drakken finally saying Ron's name at the end of "So The Drama," it would ruin the long running gag if he did remember his name. :)
In response to feedback regarding "Life Moves On":
John Steppenwolf – Are you sure Felix was aiming to snog Debra? Maybe he wants to be just friends. ;D
jasminevr – I'll do the best I can. This story right here has bit more of George Castle and Felix. Besides, there are still several stories I have in my head before Phase 3, so it's likely I might come up with more stories on George, Felix, and Ron (who seemed pretty much together with Kim).
Spitfire F.22 – Well, that is the case. People move on, and it has to take a very large disaster to temporary halt certain aspects of life for days as it was with 9/11. The Drakken War was horrible for sure, but it didn't affect Upperton University in any way to halt classes and every day university life. I always see that this is the case with our world – Life moves on regardless. :)
Big thanks to all who read "Life Moves On". :-)
And a great big thanks again goes to Spitfire F.22 for beta reading for me. Thanks, man. You rock! (big grin)
Disclaimer: All Kim Possible characters are the copyright of Walt Disney Corporation. I'm just
borrowing them to write up a story with no intention of making any money. This is for fun. All other characters in my stories, that Disney doesn't own, are mine. :)
A/N: Now that school is out for the Thanksgiving holidays for the TUY gang, it's going to be a long four-day weekend. :)
Sentences that begin and end with a slash (/) mean the person is speaking in Japanese.
Story rating: Rated K+ (aka PG)
Written: July/August 2005
Summery: The TUY gang spend the Thanksgiving Holiday – Kim, Ron, and Debra spend time with their families, while Monique, George, Felix, and Loretta get together for a university Thanksgiving dinner.
Kim Possible: The University Years
By JuPMod (aka JPMod)
Sunset was upon Upperton University. As usual, students and others were walking about, but far fewer than there had been in the morning. By late afternoon, most students and facility members had already left for the long four-day Thanksgiving holiday. Some students stayed, given they were too far away from home and families to even bother; yet some attempted the long-distance journey nevertheless to be with love ones. For others, the trek happened to be a short one.
Leaving her dorm building, Debra Oxford Tsuda handled a single small suitcase as she made way toward the closest parking lot to the dormitories. She had finished her last class one hour ago, and now she was eager to get moving. Given the rush, she didn't have time to make herself look presentable. Her blonde/brown hair was held back by a scrunchie, while she wore simple jeans, shirt, and light coat. She knew her appearance wouldn't matter where she was going, anyway.
Reaching the parking lot, she made her way to the red Toyota Corolla, where Kim Possible stood waiting along side the driver's side of the vehicle. Wearing simple clothing and a light coat with red hair loose and free, the junior student grinned as her passenger approached.
"Ready to get going, Deb?" Kim asked as she walked to the back of the car and keyed open the trunk.
"Hei," Debra answered before placing her suitcase in the trunk along sides Kim's. "It'll be good to see my parents again."
Slamming the trunk shut, the redhead smiled at her friend. "Then let's get moving."
Kim walked to the front and entered the front driver's side, while Debra entered the front passenger side. The two women buckled their seatbelts, before the engine was started. Given the fading sunlight, the headlights were turned on, before the car backed out of the parking space and drove off.
"I thank you again for providing me a lift home, Kim," Debra mentioned as they exited through the main university entrance, where on one side a small brick wall was with large white words of 'UPPERTON UNIVERSITY' on it. Lamps situated on the ground around the wall now lit the sign.
Kim waved a dismissing hand. "No big, Debra. Your family happened to live in Middleton, so it's not that big for me to drop you off before I head toward my home." Her green eyes glanced sideways a bit at the younger woman after Kim made a right turn onto Main Street. "I was surprised you don't have a car of your own."
The houses, some of them frat and sorority homes, slowly gave way to small stores, shops, and restaurants as they drove toward the interstate.
Debra shrugged. "It's not like I really needed a car. Upperton U has an excellent bus service, not only to various locations within the campuses, but also to the businesses along Main Street," she gestured with a hand to the buildings they were driving by, "and the large shopping mall on the other side of the interstate. My parents could easily pick me up to take me home, since the university is little more than an hour away. So in the end, I really didn't need a car anyway."
"True," Kim conceded. "Yet, in case of emergencies, like, say, you needed to get to the airport right away, what would you do?"
"There's always the taxi service," Debra smugly grinned. As they neared the interstate, she turned her head to Kim. "Honestly, Kim, I grew up in a Japanese city that has a great mass transit system, thus, not everyone needed a car. If, say, I need to get to Tokyo, I could have just taken a bus to the train station, where I take the train to Tokyo. In the Tri-City area, it's not hard for me to get to any train station or even Middleton International Airport."
Making a right turn, they drove up the entrance ramp onto the interstate's southbound lanes. Soon the familiar lighted landmarks of the university's clock tower and athletic stadium passed them by as the last of the fading sunlight was seen over the western horizon.
The redhead driver picked up the conversation once they were up to cruising speed. "I doubt you could have reached everywhere in Japan using mass transit alone. What about visiting relatives? Were you able to visit your relatives using mass transit alone?"
Debra gave a lopsided grin to what Kim was getting at. "True," she turned her head to gaze out the right window for a few moments, "my parents have a small car in case we needed to visit members of the family out of the way of mass transit. Yet for me, mass transit was all I needed to make way around Aomori." Her head then turned to face the front.
Blue eyes glanced to the left at Kim. "You're looking forward to Thanksgiving tomorrow?"
Kim, whose face was softly lit by the dashboard lights, grinned. "Oh, yes. As long as I could remember, Ron's family and mine occasionally shared Thanksgiving together at my home. It was nice, and since Ron and I started our relationship two years ago, both our families shared Thanksgiving always now.
"Ron, as you know, went ahead of us on his bike, so he can spend tonight with his 'rents. Tomorrow, it'll be quite a day as our families will share the day together."
Something Kim said caught Debra's attention. "You said 'occasionally'. You and Ron didn't always spend Thanksgiving together?"
Shaking her head, Kim replied. "Of course not, Debra. We may have been friends since Pre-k, but I know that his family didn't always attend Thanksgiving with mine. There were a few Thanksgivings where Ron could have met my grandmother, Nana, earlier, yet his family, just by chance, didn't attended. Ron didn't met Nana until we were in high school."
A thoughtful frown came to Kim's face. "He also happened to not attend Christmas during the years Nana visited my home. Given his family is Jewish, he was mostly focused on Hanukah, yet he always stopped by to celebrate." Her green eyes narrowed a bit. "Now that I'm thinking about it, I find it odd that Ron never met Nana during all those years he attended holidays with my family. Freaky coincidence."
Debra chuckled at the mystery Kim found. "Maybe it was pure chance he wasn't there. That's all."
Shrugging her shoulders, the world-known heroine gave in. "Yeah, that's all it was. Just pure chance."
Letting go the thoughts of the coincidental chance of Ron not having met her grandmother much earlier in life, Kim changed the subject with a small grin. "What about you, Deb? What is your family doing tomorrow?"
"Oh, we'll just spend the day together, that's all," Debra answered. "Thanksgiving is not celebrated in Japan, so it'll just be a normal day for my parents and I. We certainly will not be eating turkey and all those particular foods tomorrow."
A small smile came to the gymnastic athlete. "It'll be just a quiet day spending time with my parents, whom I haven't seen since August."
Kim gave a small warm wistful smile. "That's good to hear, Deb. I know how much I love my family, and it's good to spend time with them."
Giving a small giggle, Debra faced her friend with a small smirk. "Even your brothers?"
Hearing the teasing tone in the question, Kim slightly laughed. "Oh, yes. Even them, despite they've been a pain from time to time." She smiled. "Let me tell you the story; when I was 14, they burned the turkey the day before Thanksgiving. …"
As they drove down the interstate toward Middleton, Kim joyfully told the tale of her crazy twin brothers' turkey mishap to an attentive Debra.
"This is it," Debra mentioned as she pointed to the house. Kim nodded and turned the car into the driveway. Once they had left the interstate, Debra had provided the directions to her home in Middleton.
After Kim popped the trunk from the inside, she came out of the car to take a look at the Tsudas' residence. Lamps along their sides lighted the driveway and the front sidewalk. The house was two-stories tall, but overall it was smaller in size compared to the Possibles' home. Kim guessed it was close in size to Ron's home, since there were only three people in Debra's family compared to hers with five.
Retrieving her suitcase, Debra led the way up the front walkway, which was curved and connected to the left side of the driveway. Kim noticed that the lamps, upon closer inspection, were Japanese in style, and her eyes also spotted several small Japanese statues between the bushes along the sidewalk. Approaching the front door, it was hard to miss the sign to the right of the door, for it contained a single column of Japanese letters.
Pointing to the sign, Kim took a guess what the sign said. "That's your family name, right?"
Debra nodded. "Yes. It's the Japanese written word for 'Tsuda'."
Before Debra could push the doorbell button, the front door lights came on and immediately the front door opened. A Japanese man, tall as Kim, appeared first. His black hair has some gray in it, and his face a few wrinkles. He was followed by a shorter Japanese woman, whose was just a tad or so taller than Debra. Her shoulder-length raven hair has just a few gray strands in it. Both were wearing typical American clothing. To Kim, there was no doubt that these were Debra's adopted parents.
"Debra-chan," Mrs. Tsuda smiled, "welcome back home." She opened her arms and came forward to hug her daughter as Mr. Tsuda watched with a grin.
"It's good to be home," Debra returned the embrace with a grin after dropping her suitcase. She pulled back from her mother to step forward to hug her father.
Pulling back from her father, the petite woman turned to gestured to Kim with a hand. "Mother, Father, this is my friend Kim Possible. Kim, these are my parents, Takai and Akina Tsuda."
Mr. and Mrs. Tsuda both grinned and bowed slightly at Kim, who returned the Japanese greeting. "It's a honor to meet you, Kim Possible-san," Mr. Tsuda said as he rose from the slight bow. "Debra-chan has spoken highly about you in her emails to us."
"Yes," Mrs. Tsuda commented, still grinning. "You've helped rescued Debra-chan from those bad people weeks ago. You and your partner Ron Stoppable-san do great honor in your deeds."
"It was no big," Kim replied with a grin. "Ron and I couldn't stand by, not knowing what had happened to Debra. We had to do something. Besides…" She faced Debra with a small lopsided proud smile. "Debra did good holding her own against the bad guys. You should be proud of her."
Both parents turned to face their daughter with prideful expressions. "As we should," Mr. Tsuda said, "she is our daughter."
Feeling her cheeks flushing a bit, Debra smiled and placed a hand on her father's arm. "I have good teachers." Her father's smile broadened.
Mrs. Tsuda directed her gaze back to Kim. "Possible-san," she said, gaining Kim's attention, "would you like to come inside for some tea?"
Kim shook her head with a small reluctant grin. "I'm sorry," she answered. "Much as I would like to stay and chat, I have to return to my own family ."
"Quite understandable," Mr. Tsuda nodded. "Nothing is more important than family."
"I agree," Kim responded. She turned to Debra. "I'll pick you up on Friday as planned, Deb."
Debra simply gave a slight nod and a grin in response.
Facing all three Tsudas, Kim gave a slight bow. "Good night."
The Tsuda Family bowed back. "Good night, Kim Possible-san," Mr. Tsuda spoke for his family.
Coming back from the bow, Kim gave a final respectful grin to Debra before walking back to her car.
After the three watched as the car backed out of the driveway and drove off, Mr. Tsuda turned to his adopted daughter, who picked up her suitcase. /"You've made a great friend, Debra-chan."/
Debra smiled. /"I know, Father. She, Ron, and the others I have mentioned in my emails are all good people. They respected me for who I am, and in turn, I respected them for who they are. Very few people would want to be friends with me for who I am."/ Her smile faded as she sighed. /"Especially recently."/
Both parents gave a single nod. No words were necessary, given they understood completely what their daughter was enduring in the recent days after she done the great deed in stopping Drakken and his evil weapon.
/"Come, Debra-chan,"/ Mrs. Tsuda softly said as she placed a hand behind Debra's back. /"Go upstairs and freshen yourself up. After that, I'll have dinner prepared for you."/
Giving a small thankful grin, Debra walked into the house with her parents right behind her. Soon after the door was closed, the front door lights turned off, followed by the sidewalk and driveway lights.
"Welcome home, Kimmie," Mrs. Possible greeted as her daughter walked through the front door.
"Thanks, Mom," Kim grinned as she put down her suitcase to hug her mother.
Poking his head from the family room, Mr. Possible smiled upon seeing his little girl home. "Kimmie Cub!" He walked over as the two Possible women parted, and just after, his daughter gave him a bear hug. "We've been expecting you hours ago."
"Oops," Kim said before parting from her daddy. "I forgot to tell you yesterday that I was going to give Debra a lift home."
"You took Debra home?" Mrs. Possible asked.
Kim nodded. "I've even met her adopted parents. They look like nice folks, who seemed to respect their traditions. They called me 'Possible-san', so it wasn't hard to figure they followed Japanese traditions of respect."
Mrs. Possible grinned. "Well, if they raised a good young woman like Debra, they certainly are okay."
"True," Mr. Possible nodded in agreement. "I doubt Debra would have been who she is now if her parents weren't loving, caring people."
"No doubt," Kim also agreed, smiling.
Blinking, Kim looked around. "Where are Tim and Jim?"
With a proud grin, Mr. Possible thumbed toward the garage. "They're in the garage building their second hovercraft. They started on it Monday night and mostly spent their free time after school on it ever since."
Rolling her eyes with a small amused grin, Kim walked toward the inside garage entrance with her parents following. Opening the door, the sight of the framework of the hovercraft came to her view. Two engines were already mounted on the rear with various wires and equipment inside. She could see two brown-haired heads just behind the dashboard panel, and their hands were busy working through wiring and other electronics. The twins were so into their work that they didn't even notice that the inside entrance door had opened.
"Okay, hook the nav sensors to the computer," Tim said.
"Done," Jim replied. "Got the GPS link set up?"
"Doing it now," Tim mentioned.
With a smirk, Kim shook her head at the sight. She cleared her throat. "Ahem!" Two sets of blue eyes rose up from behind the dashboard. "You Tweebs never cease to amaze me."
"Kim!" both brothers cried out. They hopped out of the cockpit to greet their sister. She gave each a hug.
"I know I've only seen you two just this past Sunday," Kim said, "but it's good to see you again." Both Jim and Tim just smiled.
Turning her gaze from her brothers to the hovercraft, Kim whistled. "Wow. Looks like you're more than halfway done already."
Both twins shrugged with pride. "It's not like we made a new design," Jim began.
"What you're seeing," Tim said, "is the original design with a few modifications."
"So it was easy to build this one faster than the first one," Jim finished.
Kim nodded before smirking. "Did you settle on a name yet? From what I understand, you didn't name the first hovercraft before it was destroyed."
The twins smiled at this, and they could see, behind Kim, mom and dad were eyeing each other with knowing grins, given they knew what Jim and Tim were about to tell their sister.
Tim grandly gestured with a hand to the hovercraft. "Big sis, we named this craft…"
"The Kiminator Mark II!" Jim ended with just a grand voice.
Taken by surprised, Kim blinked at her brothers. "Kiminator?"
"Kiminator Mark II," Jim corrected.
"As you know, we kept fighting about the name," Tim added.
"So we settled on naming it after you," Jim said.
She was touched. "That's soooo sweet!" she smiled at the twins. "No one ever named anything after me." She reached over and kissed each on the cheek. Two years ago, they would have cringed on getting kissed or hugged by her, but now they took it in stride. It was no doubt due to the fact that Jim and Tim had hit puberty long ago.
"Come on, Kimmie," Mrs. Possible mentioned as she placed her hands on Kim's shoulders. "I have dinner ready."
"Right," Kim replied as she twisted her head to look at her mother. "Let me get my suitcase up to my room, and I'll be right down afterward."
With that said, she turned and left the garage. Jim and Tim went back to work on the Kiminator, while their parents followed Kim.
"Ah! It's good to have the room for myself now," George Castle thought as he sat at his desk in his dorm room. He was currently web surfing on his notebook computer while munching on snacks.
Now that his roommate was away for the entire four-day holiday, he was going to enjoy these rare moments of peace. Oh, he considered Ron a friend; it was just, like most people, George occasionally would want privacy, and privacy was hard to come by when sharing a dorm room with another person.
Just like last year, George didn't bother to return home for the Thanksgiving holiday. His home was in Delaware, and he knew it was not worth the headaches of air travel for only a few days stay. So the sophomore student opted to stay at Upperton U and use the time to do whatever schoolwork and studies he needed to do and just relax.
Growing bored with web surfing, George gave a small smirk as he entered the university's chat site. "I bet there are very few people in there, given most left the university for Thanksgiving."
Surely enough, the ponytail brown haired young man found no one in any of the chat rooms. That was until he came across a room with a familiar name. Like most chat sites, the university's chat site would aloud people to create a chat room for a short period of usage, and the chat room's creator could allow the room to be viewed by the public or to only certain individuals. The room George saw was titled 'Zombie B's room', and he knew of only one person who has such a nickname.
He entered the chat room and found two users online that he knew.
Captain C as entered the chat room.
Zombie Boy: George! I knew you'd eventually find your way here!
Club Banana Girl: Castle? Oh, great! So much for just chatting with just you, Felix. (rolleyes)
Captain C: LOL at CBG. I'm surprised you two are still here at the university! You both have families in Middleton, so why are you not there?
Zombie Boy: Mom has business to attend to at some convention in Los Angeles, and I certainly didn't want to spend the next four days in LA by myself with nothing to do while she goes to the con.
Club Banana Girl: My folks are visiting relatives in Georgia, and I wasn't going to hop on a plane to get there. Besides… My Aunt Ruby is crazy! I don't like her fashion sense one bit. She still wears clothing like it was the mid 1970's!
George raised an eyebrow.
Captain C: Really, CBG? She's that bad a dresser?
Club Banana Girl: Yes! She's that bad! (shiver) The last time I had visited her years ago, she tried to force me to wear some funky disco clothing. Ewwwww! It was horrible!
Zombie Boy: Least you and Kim have the same taste in clothing.
George munched a few potato chips as he smirked. He quickly typed on the keyboard.
Captain C: I'm guessing here, but did Kim or Ron mentioned to you guys about the time they visited her Grandmother Nana in Florida while in high school?
Zombie Boy: Ron had mentioned it to me, yes.
Club Banana Girl: Oh, yes! Kim's grandmother tried to make her wear dresses that are so 1960's! (giggle) Poor Kim! She said she was horrified when her grandmother showed her the dresses. She did have it worse than me when it comes to relatives with out of style fashion sense. :)
Zombie Boy: Ron told me that Kim's grandmother came to realize that Kim was different.
Club Banana Girl: That was after she rescued her grandmother from Drakken, and especially after Kim found out her grandmother was some top gung-ho, kung-fu crime fighter. They grew closer together, thus her grandmother came to appreciate Kim more.
Captain C: Yep, that was what happened. Ron told me about the surprise Spring Break party he and Rufus did at Drakken's lair.
Zombie Boy: (chuckle) Rufus was more popular with the Spring Break babes than him.
Club Banana Girl: (huffed) Kim told me that. What was Ron thinking? Was he really blind to Kim? I couldn't believe he went after other girls, when Kim was right there in front of him!
Zombie Boy: Uh, Monique? Ron and Kim weren't a couple then.
Captain C: That's right. If they weren't a couple, Ron was free to chase other girls, right?
Club Banana Girl: (Huffed loudly) It doesn't matter! She was right there, and Ron had the gall to chase after college girls! He should have been paying attention to her!
Captain C: (rolleyes) What ever you say.
Zombie Boy: (scratches head in confusion) That makes very little sense.
Club Banana Girl: Hmph! Men!
George frowned at Monique's last line. He ate a few more chips before picking up the soda can next to the notebook to drink from it.
Zombie Boy: Riiiiight. Anyway… Do you two have any plans for tomorrow? We can get together for a Thanksgiving lunch at the student center.
With a potato chip in his mouth, George typed his answer.
Captain C: I'm game.
Club Banana Girl: Count me in. It's not like we have anything better to do on Thanksgiving.
A thought came to George. He typed in what he was thinking.
Captain C: Was Debra's roommate from New York? I don't recall, given I only met her that one time weeks ago.
Zombie Boy: Yes, Loretta is from New York City.
Club Banana Girl: So, what about it?
Captain C: Well, if she's from New York, maybe she decided to stay here instead of flying there for the holiday.
Zombie Boy: Want to invite her to our lunch tomorrow?
Captain C: Well, if she is here, that is.
Club Banana Girl: I'll give her a call and see if she is indeed here. (smiles) Good idea, George! You're quite a gentleman to be generous like that!
Captain C: (smiles proudly) Thank you. I knew my James Bond charm would come in handy.
Zombie Boy: LOL!
Club Banana Girl: (rolleyes) I take back what I said about you being a gentleman.
Captain C: (grins) I aim to please, your Fashion-Sense Royal Highness.
Club Banana Girl: (smirks) You do have your moments, Castle.
George grins at her comment.
Captain C: So… 1 PM tomorrow at the cafeteria?
Zombie Boy: I'll be there.
Club Banana Girl: Ditto here. I'll give Loretta a call now.
Captain C: I PM it is! See you two then! Night!
Zombie Boy: Night, George!
Club Banana Girl: Night, Castle!
Captain C has left the chat room.
Munching on some more potato chips, George gave a satisfied grin regarding tomorrow's plan. He then went to visit some sites, where he could download some MP3 music to listen for a couple of hours.
The sky was bright and sunny with a few clouds when the Stoppables, wearing coats, locked up their home and walked down the street. Both men wore nice semi-formal clothes with shirt and ties, while the sole lady wore one of her best dresses. Mrs. Stoppable was carrying a pie covered in plastic food wrap.
It was no big to walk to the Possible residence, given they happen to live up the street. Kim and Ron mostly had walked to high school, since the high school was not far. So in the end, it had happened to be quite an easy convenience for both families.
Upon arriving at their destination, Ron rang the doorbell. He could have easily walked in as he had mostly done, but given today was a holiday, it would have been rude to do so.
The front door opened and Mr. Possible appeared. He gave a grin for the Stoppables. "Hello, there! Ronald." He stuck out his hand and Ron shook it.
"Good to see you again, Mr. Dr. P," Ron grinned. "Has Mrs. Dr. P started cooking yet?"
Mr. Possible shook his head. "Not yet. As always, she appreciates your help in getting the meal prepared, particularly the turkey." He clapped Ron on the shoulder. "Get in there."
Ron walked past Kim's father with a grin. "I'm on my way," he said as he took off his coat, heading toward the kitchen.
After Ron was out of sight, Mr. Possible turned to the other two members of the Stoppable clan. "Donald, Hanna."
Mr. Stoppable grinned and shook the hand offered to him. "James," he greeted. "Happy Thanksgiving."
"Happy Thanksgiving," Mrs. Stoppable repeated with a grin of her own. "I brought the pumpkin pie."
Gesturing to enter, Mr. Possible stepped aside to allow Ron's parents to pass. "Who baked it? You or Ron?" He closed the door.
"I did," Hanna proclaimed, placing the pie temporarily on a table inside the hall to take off her coat. "You know Ron is not the only one who can cook in our family."
"Obviously, or else your family would have eaten take-out orders for the past 20 years," James joked with a chuckle.
"True," Donald mentioned as he took off his coat and handed it to his host who had taken Hanna's coat. "Of course, Ron most of the time ate at Bueno Nacho, so it was rare to have him eat at home."
As James placed their coats, along with Ron's after he picked it off the hall table, in the hallway closet, Hanna gently scolded her husband. "Don, we made sure he ate decent meals. Eating Bueno Nacho all the time is just not healthy regardless."
"Which is why I made sure he eats other foods besides Bueno Nacho at Upperton University," a female voice cut in.
All three looked up the front staircase to see Kim smiling at them. She was wearing a nice dress with long sleeves with a bit of lace along the collar and cuffs. Her red hair was in a ponytail held by a simple clip at the neck.
"Kim," Mrs. Stoppable beamed as she watched Ron's girlfriend walked down the stairs. "It has been a long time." The two women embraced.
"Likewise," Kim mentioned with a grin before they parted. She turned to give her boyfriend's father a hug. "Mr. Stoppable."
"It's good to know you're keeping our boy on his toes, Kim," Mr. Stoppable said in Kim's ear. They parted, and he looked into her eyes. "Especially to what he eats."
Kim smirked and rolled her eyes. "It's not easy, as you know. He hardly could go a day or two without Bueno Nacho."
"Nevertheless," Mrs. Stoppable pointed a finger at Kim before picking up the pie, "you're able to make sure he eats properly, given I'm not there to watch over him. That boy, regardless of his cooking skills, still neglects his own health at times."
"Speaking of Ron," Kim gave a questioning expression, "he's in the kitchen now?"
Ron's mother chuckled. "Where else?"
"Right," Kim sheepishly grinned, for the answer was apparent. She immediately headed toward the kitchen. Mrs. Stoppable, pie in hand, walked after Kim.
After seeing the two women depart, Mr. Stoppable turned to face Mr. Possible. "Where are those two sons of yours, James?"
James gave a pleased grin. "They're in the garage working on the Kiminator."
"Kiminator?" Donald was confused.
Mr. Possible nodded toward the garage. "Come on, I'll show you," he said, before the two men strolled toward the inside garage entrance.
Meanwhile, Kim stepped into the kitchen. "Ron!" she exclaimed upon seeing her boyfriend, wearing an apron over his shirt and tie. He turned from prepping the turkey, which lay in a tin foil covered pan.
"Happy Thanksgiving, KP!" He smiled as his beloved came over to give him a brief smooch on the lips.
"Hanna," Mrs. Possible, in her best Sunday dress with an apron over it, greeted Mrs. Stoppable as she entered the kitchen.
"Ann," Mrs. Stoppable replied before placing the pie on the kitchen table. They hugged briefly.
Looking around the kitchen, Mrs. Stoppable asked the most obvious question. "So what needs to be done?"
"Well, Ron is doing the turkey," both mothers watched Ron put stuffing into the turkey as Kim talked to him, "so it leaves us with getting the corn, cranberry sauce, and other foods to prepare."
Despite talking with Ron, Kim heard what the two elder women were saying. "Right," she turned to face them. "What can I do?"
Ron stopped what he was doing before he turned his head to his steady girlfriend. "KP," he warned, while both mothers gave slightly alarmed expressions.
Rolling her eyes, she held out both hands. "I'm not asking to cook! Just what I can do?" She placed a hand on her hip, looking ticked.
Having seen the dining table had already been set on his way to the kitchen, Ron gestured to the cabinets. "Why don't you open the cans of cranberry sauce and other foods, so our moms can prepare them properly."
Kim smugly smirked as she passed Ron to one cabinet. "Least the can opener is one appliance that I have no problems with," she stated. She opened one cabinet to take out the cans of corn, cranberry sauce, and other the canned foods needed.
Both mothers grinned in relief as they came over to help out. The four of them continued to organize the Thanksgiving feast.
In the kitchen of the Tsuda residence, Akina Tsuda was finishing preparing the last items for lunch. Rice was ready, along with the bowls of noodles, and assorted pieces of food, all chopped to be handled easily using chopsticks.
Taking a few steps to the intercom besides the back door, she pressed the call button. /"Takai, Debra-chan! Lunch is ready!"/ With that done, she began taking the food and a large thermostat of tea into the next room.
Behind the house at the end of the backyard, a small Japanese style dojo stood. Given the property border woods instead of someone else's backyard, the Tsudas, after moving to Middleton, erected the training/workout building, knowing it wouldn't bother anyone. It wasn't large as the dojo at Upperton University, but it was ideally suited for five to ten people to comfortably exercise their martial arts skills.
Inside, wearing white gi's, Debra and her father were working out together on the training mat, attacking each other with kicks, punches, sideswipes, and various moves associated with highly trained martial arts. They were in the middle of their fight, when they had heard the call for lunch on the intercom next to the dojo's entrance. The call however didn't stop them though, for they had continued fighting.
/"Your skills have improved a bit, since our last workout months ago, Debra-chan,"/ Mr. Tsuda complimented as he dodged a roundhouse kick.
/"Thank you, father,"/ Debra said as she blocked a side chop. /"I've learned a few moves from Kim-san."/ She gave a quick high kick, which was blocked. /"I know she may not be highly skilled compare to you, but she does know 16 styles of kung-fu."/
/"16 styles you say?"/ he asked as he blocked a sidekick while punching toward her face, which she blocked easily. His interest was piqued. /"Impressive. Where did she learn 16 styles of kung-fu?"/
Debra back flipped to avoid a few kicks before raising her arms to block the high chop. /"I had asked her the same question."/ She gave a knee chop, followed by a punch. Both were blocked. /"She had said she trained at various schools throughout the country."/ Her leg came up to block the roundhouse kick. /"I find that hard to believe, given how she could have learned 16 styles by the time she was 15 years old as she claimed."/ She punched toward the mid-section only to have it blocked. /"Yet during our workouts, I can not dispute that I have seen her used 16 styles."/
After blocking a sidekick, Mr. Tsuda raised a single hand up. /"Halt!"/ Debra stopped. They both then stood upright before bowing toward each other. Coming up from their bows, Mr. Tsuda gestured to the entrance door. /"Your mother has lunch ready."/
Picking up towels, they wiped their brows and necks as they walked toward the entrance. Mr. Tsuda slid the sliding door open, and under the overhang, each slipped bare feet into their slippers before he slid the door closed. Taking a few steps off the small front porch, they walked to the back door of the house, feeling chilled as their hot bodies met the cold air. They soon were through the back door into warmer air, making them feel relief.
The kitchen was besides two rooms. One was the dining room with the usual westernized dining table and chairs. The other room was a smaller dining room, and it contained one Japanese low table with cushions around it. The westernized dining room was used when the Tsudas had guests, but the smaller dining room was the one they used when eating by themselves. It was into this smaller dining room Mr. Tsuda and Debra ventured after depositing the towels onto the kitchen counter.
Father and daughter saw the lady of the house was already on her cushion at the end of the table closest to the kitchen. She sat on her knees with both legs lying to one side. Food was already on the table with the exception of the rice.
Mr. Tsuda went to the cushion to Mrs. Tsuda's left and sat on it cross-legged. Debra went to the one on the right and sat on it like Mrs. Tsuda was doing – on her knees with both legs lying to one side.
When they were seated, Mrs. Tsuda reached to the side and opened a large rice warmer. She scooped rice into three bowls and placed one in front of each of them. She then turned to the other side to push the top button of the thermostat to fill three cups with tea before placing one cup in front of each of them. With these chores done, she went back to her usual pose.
All three bowed their heads and said together, "itadakimasu" ("I gratefully receive"), before they picked up their chopsticks from the chopstick holders and began to eat.
/"So, how did your workout go?"/ Mrs. Tsuda asked as Debra and Mr. Tsuda raised their bowls of rice close to their faces to spoon rice into their mouths with the chopsticks.
Momentarily lowering his bowl, Mr. Tsuda answered. /"Debra-chan has improved her skills a bit in the past few months."/ He presumed eating his rice.
/"Really?"/ Mrs. Tsuda turned a curious face to her daughter. /"Does it have something to do with Possible-san?"/ She picked up a piece of fish from the large platter in the center of the table and ate it.
"Hei," Debra replied before dropping her left hand, with the bowl, down a bit. /"Kim-san taught me a few moves."/ She picked up a piece of tofu and ate it. /"She does know 16 styles of kung-fu."/
Picking up her rice bowl, Mrs. Tsuda raised an eyebrow. /"Impressive."/ She then brought up her bowl to her face to eat her rice.
Debra chuckled. /"That's what father said."/ She eyed her father.
Dropping his rice bowl hand, Mr. Tsuda grinned. /"It does explain how she was able to handle all those villains she fought when she was a teen."/ His chopsticks picked up a piece of omelet to place in his mouth.
/"True,"/ Debra agreed before taking a piece of sushi in her mouth.
Placing down her rice bowl, Mrs. Tsuda eyed her daughter. /"Debra-chan."/ Seeing she caught her attention, she continued. /"How are things going for you at Upperton University since Sunday?"/
Seeing even her father had momentarily stopped eating, Debra sighed. /"Okay… I think."/ She frowned. /"I've been receiving offers to join bands, attend concerts, etc. I did say no, but I think some people are not heeding my answer."/ She looked down for a few seconds before raising her face again to her parents. /"I don't want to see history repeat itself here."/
/"It will not, Debra-chan,"/ her father replied. /"America is different from Japan."/
Debra rolled her eyes. /"They're human, father, just like in Japan. How can we tell it will not happen here?"/ She picked up a piece of omelet to eat it.
Mrs. Tsuda answered. /"Well, it is too early to tell, true, but least you seem to have more a measure of peace here than in Japan."/
"Hei," Debra nodded a bit before lifting her rice bowl to her face, her chopsticks busy pushing rice into her mouth.
Feeling the need to change the subject, given the slight tension in the air, Mr. Tsuda chosen a topic he knew would perk Debra up. /"So how are your studies going?"/
As her mother ate her rice, Debra replied with a thin grin. /"They're going okay. I'm having trouble with math, as you know."/ Her grin grew into a smile. /"But with help from Kim-san and my roommate, I think I'll able to pass math fine."/
/"Your roommate happens to be the math genius from New York City as you mentioned in your emails?"/ Mrs. Tsuda asked.
Debra nodded, her face smiling. /"Hei! She's the one! She's really amazing, mother!"/
Seeing Debra's spirits lifted again, both parents joyfully ate as their daughter told them more about her roommate and friend from New York.
"I say that was a good Thanksgiving feast, don't you think?" George smiled at his three dinner companions.
Monique smirked. "Well, it wasn't bad… For perhaps pre-frozen slice turkey."
Loretta and Felix chuckled. George gave a simple shrug, still smiling. "Well, obviously I doubt the kitchen staff could order so many turkey birds to serve," the architect student joked.
As they had planned, the four students had lunch at the cafeteria of the main student center. Monique had found that Loretta had stayed, and the New Yorker agreed to join them for a Thanksgiving lunch. They were all now seated at a table next to the windows of the cafeteria, having eaten their Thanksgiving lunches.
The university knew that not every student would leave for the Thanksgiving holiday, so they had conjured up a Thanksgiving lunch for all students who stayed. Given it was a holiday; the cafeteria staff would only be there until 4 PM to serve the Thanksgiving foods before they would part for their holiday plans. The student center, though, would stay open for students to hang out, even though the food court, cafeteria, shops, arcade, etc., were all closed for the day.
Picking up a nearly empty can soda, Loretta gestured to cafeteria around them. "I'm still amazed that the university went out of the way to prepare Thanksgiving meals for those of us who stayed. There doesn't seem to be many who had stayed though."
They all could see the cafeteria was only 1/8 full, but it was still plenty of people for a place that could seat roughly 500 comfortably.
"Well, it's only a little past 2 o'clock," Felix pointed out. "I'm sure some more students will show up before 4."
"Yeah, I know," said Loretta. "I simply was pointing out that there seems to be fewer people who stayed out of the entire student population."
Monique waved a hand at Loretta. "Well, girl, you know as well as all of us that almost every university or college would have a variety of people from all across the country. Upperton U is no different. You're from New York, while George is from Delaware. I know of couple of students from California. So we're a pretty mixed blend. Not every student would want to travel far just for a few days stay at family."
George thumbed behind him to a couple of young Arab men sitting in the far corner. "Heck, we have students from the Middle East. One guy in my architecture class is from Germany. I say universities and colleges are more internationally blended than just country blended."
Loretta gave a small smirk. "Like Debra?"
Monique grinned at what Loretta was referring, while Felix and George frowned in thought.
"I don't know," Felix said. "She was born American."
"But she was raised in Japan," Monique countered.
George was confused. "Then what does that makes her? An international citizen?"
"From what Debbie told me," Loretta chimed in, "she considers herself a member of both countries even though she says she still at times thinks like a Japanese." She smiled. "I was pointing out that Deb truly is an example of our international blend of people at Upperton U. How often does anyone hear of an American-born Caucasian raised in Japan? It has to be very rare."
Both men grinned at this. "Hear, hear," George said. "Well said," Felix added. Loretta raised her can in salute before drinking down what little soda was left.
A mischievous grin appeared on George's face. "So we're an international university where our turkeys come from the country of Turkey with all the trimmings." Three low moans greeted his pun joke.
"That was bad, Castle," Monique mentioned with a small glare at him.
He gave a small snort laugh. "When I was a kid, when I first heard of the country of Turkey, I had thought that was where all the turkeys come from. I told my dad that we should go to Turkey the next time we go out to get one for dinner."
Felix raised an eyebrow at him. "And you easily remembered this?"
George shook his head in amusement. "Nope. My dad would remind me every Thanksgiving. He found what I had said very amusing." He shrugged. "Of course, I was only a kid then. It was embarrassing to be reminded about that time, when I was a teenager." The other three students just grinned and shook their heads at him.
Mentally shaking her head of the image of a child George Castle telling his dad to get a turkey from Turkey, Monique gestured to the exit. "How about we go to one of the lounges, guys?" she inquired. "We can continue chit-chatting there."
"Sounds okay to me," Loretta answered. Both men simply said "Sure."
The four students dumped their garbage in the trashcan and returned their trays before venturing into the hallway to one of the nearby lounges.
At the head of the dining table, Mr. Possible sat back into his chair and patted his stomach with one hand. "Now that was a good turkey."
"Well, Ron gets the credit dear," Mrs. Possible smiled at her husband as she sat besides on one side of the table. "He did all the preparations and cooking."
On the other side of Mrs. Possible, on Mr. Possible's left, Mr. & Mrs. Stoppable grinned. "I always said to Ron that he should open a restaurant of his own," Mrs. Stoppable said.
Mr. Stoppable eyed his wife. "He did well for that brief time in high school."
Mrs. Stoppable nodded. "Yes, until the Food Health Inspector found Rufus serving the food." She gave a raised eyebrow at the pink mole rat that was lying besides Ron's plate with a satisfied grin and full belly. Rufus obviously didn't hear her. He gave a burp, causing Mrs. Stoppable to turn away with a slight shake of her head as she rolled her eyes.
Ron, who had gotten up from besides his mother, took his empty plate and utensils and began taking his parents'. "Well, it was fun when it had lasted then. I certainly had enjoyed my brief time as Middleton High's #1 chef," he grinned.
Kim smiled at her boyfriend. She too had risen, from Ron's left side, which was on the other end of the table, and began taking away empty plates and utensils. She took hers and began taking her brothers, who sat opposite of Ron and Mrs. Stoppable. "You were amazing then, Ron. You even had impressed Mr. Barkin. It was rare to ever impress him, as you know."
"I say," Ron remembered. "Mr. Barkin was always on my case." He turned to head into the kitchen with his load of dishes and utensils.
As Kim followed him with her load, Mrs. Possible followed up to Ron's statement. "Steve Barkin certainly ran the high school like the Marine Corps."
"He is an ex-Marine, dear," Mr. Possible pointed out. "Yet I can't dispute that he has made the school more efficient in the way he runs things."
Mr. Stoppable frowned a bit. "He was a bit harsh on Ron at times."
"A bit," Mrs. Stoppable agreed, "but I say Ron had deserved being shape up. He was laidback at times. If he had put in half the energy he used in helping Kim with her missions, he would have had better grades. He's lucky to have entered Upperton University through a cooking scholarship."
In the kitchen, out of range of the conversation in the dining room, Ron placed the dishes in the sink. "Want to bet they're talking now about Mr. Barkin and me?" he grinned as he head toward the kitchen table to retrieve the pumpkin pie.
"That's a sucker's bet, Ron," Kim smirked as she placed her dishes in the sink to later be placed in the dishwasher. "Obviously they would talk about Mr. Barkin and you." She took a few side steps to open a cabinet to retrieve the coffee tray, dinner coffee cups, and dessert plates. "You've come a long way from what you were in high school."
Ron smiled at her as he came over with the pie in hands. "Same as you, KP." He placed the pie on the counter before pulling open a drawer to retrieve a pie/cake cutter. "We've both came a long way." Wielding the cutter expertly, he sliced the pie into eight even cuts before placing the cutter under one slice.
With cups and dishes on the tray, Kim reached out to take the coffee pot from the coffee maker, which had started brewing coffee an hour previously. The pot was kept warm from the heat pad of the coffee maker. "And we both still have some ways to go," she mentioned as she placed the pot on the tray, which sat on the counter.
Looking over at the woman he loved, Ron gave a loving smile at her. "We'll get there. Together, as we always do," he softly spoke.
Hearing the soft tone of his voice, Kim turned her head, and upon seeing that face full of love directed at her, her face transformed as well into one full of love and warmth. "I know, Ron," she replied just as soft. "We'll get there." Her lips then quirked a bit, eyes sparkling. "Come here," she whispered intimately.
Reaching out, she slightly pulled on his tie and drew him to her. Her lips sought his as his sought hers, and they kissed soulfully and passionately with their hearts. His hands were on her waist as her free hand came up to hold onto his shoulder.
As their lips locked together for some time, they weren't even aware of the presence of two others. That was, until they spoke.
"See, I told you they would take the opportunity to snog each other and play tonsil-hockey."
Kim and Ron parted to turn their heads to find Tim and Jim standing just inside the kitchen's door threshold. Their expressions were mischievous and amused as they eyed the couple.
"Yeah," Jim continued after Tim, "They certainly play it often."
Even though he knew he was blushing, Ron grinned and took the ribbing in stride. Kim however gave a glare at her brothers.
Jim turned to Tim. "What's their record now?" he asked pointing at the couple.
"How would I know?" Tim smirked as he still kept his eyes on her big sister and her boyfriend. "They no doubt have more snogging and tonsil-hockey trophies now than the Montreal Canadians with 24 Stanley Cup titles."
She knew she could take ribbing from her and Ron's friends, but it was a bit different when it came from her brothers. Eyes narrowing, Kim growled, "Tweebs."
The twins weren't deterred. They gave kissy faces at her.
"Well, I certainly recall you two boys playing tonsil-hockey more often in the past few months," a female voice came from behind the twins.
With faces like a deer caught in the car headlights at night, Jim and Tim turned their heads to find their mother there with a smug, knowing expression as she held two empty plates with utensils. No doubt she came to place away the dishes of hers and her husband's.
Pretending to give it much thought, Mrs. Possible prepared to drive the knife in. "What were those two girls' names?" Her face lit up in mock recognition. "Oh, that's right." She smiled sweetly at Jim. "Alison Cranmore," she said before turning to Tim, "and Jasmine Ever."
"Mom!" the twins moaned.
Ron laughed and gave some hooting sounds. "Way to go, dudes!" Kim curled her lips up in amusement and mischievous glee.
Mrs. Possible passed around her sons to place the dishes in the sink. "You two boys should lay off your sister and Ron, now that you're doing what they are doing."
Jim and Tim rolled their eyes. "We're just teasing!" they cried together.
"Yeah," Tim continued eyeing his sister, "Kim couldn't take it." Kim's eyes narrowed on that.
"Unlike Ron," Jim said, "he can take it." Ron placed a hand behind his neck and just sheepishly grinned, knowing better than to reply to that statement with Kim in front of him.
"Well now," Mrs. Possible turned around from the sink to eye her sons, "I'm sure you two wouldn't mind your big sister having her dues."
The twins' faces were shocked. "What?" they cried as their eyes went from their mother to their sister, where they found an evil expression on her face.
"That's riiiiiight," Kim said in a low singsong voice with a face of a predator about to pounce on her prey. "Now that you two are dating, it's my turn to tease you."
Feeling like they were cornered, Jim and Tim did what they always had done when it came time to retreat. "Uh, gotta go!" they said together before quickly exiting the kitchen back to the dining room.
The three laughed at the two retreating teenagers.
Kim turned her face to her mother. "Thanks, Mom," she smiled.
Mrs. Possible patted her daughter's shoulder. "No big, as you always say." Mother and daughter shared a chuckle. "Those two no doubt will not stop kidding you, but now you have something to fight back with."
"I say," Kim smirked. "I'm certainly going to enjoy myself the next time they tease Ron and I this way."
She felt Ron's hands squeezed her waist, and she turned around to face him. "I don't feel sorry for them," he playfully quipped. Kim smiled gratefully at him and reached up to give him a quick smooch.
After taking out eight dessert forks and placing them on the coffee tray, Mrs. Possible took the tray in hands and carefully walked toward the dining room. "Come on, you two. Both your fathers are craving for dessert."
Kim took the pumpkin pie and went after her mother out of the kitchen. Only after he retrieved a can of whip cream from the refrigerator did Ron also follow the two Possible women.
Hours after lunch was concluded, beautiful piano music could be heard in the family/living room of the Tsuda house. In one corner of the room sat a small piano, which was beside the threshold of the hallway that led to the front door. On the piano bench sat Debra, and her fingers were busily dancing over the keys. She could definitely read music, but the melody she was playing was from the heart, thus there was no music sheet in front of her.
After lunch was concluded, Debra and her father had washed up and changed from their gi's to regular clothing. Debra had opted for simple blue jeans and a white blouse, and her long hair was kept off her face by two hair combs, one on each side of her head. Only after taking a nap had she decided to play music.
Much as she enjoyed playing on her musical keyboard synthesizer, nothing beats playing on a real piano, and she had deeply appreciated her parents buying the slightly used piano for her a few months after moving to Middleton.
As she played, her head swaying to the gently melody, Mr. and Mrs. Tsuda were nearby on the couch as they listened. It had been months since they had last heard her play the piano, thus, it was a joy to hear again music sounding through the house. When the family had been in Japan, there had been no room for such a large instrument in their home, thus they had given her the musical synthesizer. Yet they had a hunch their daughter would take to a real piano with ease, thus they had bought the piano when they knew they had the room in their new American home.
With eyes closed, Debra played a few more notes before the melody was concluded gently and softly. As the final long note faded away, she opened her eyes and softly grinned. She always felt at ease and at peace whenever she played on this piano, and she knew her parents felt the same.
Sighing, Akina Tsuda grinned at her daughter as she gently glided a finger over the piano keys. /"Oh, Debra-chan… It has been so long since we last heard the piano played. You certainly have a wonderful gift for music. As I had said many times before, I'm sorry our family in Japan couldn't be here to listen to you play. None of them has yet to visit us."/
Takai smirked. /"Well, we did try mailing them an audio CD of her piano music."/
Debra gave snort/chuckle. /"And you know it's not exactly the same as listening to the actual music with your own ears, father."/ She turned around on the bench to face her 'rents. /"The recording does not do real music justice, no matter how advanced audio technology becomes."/
Her father shrugged. /"It was the best thing we could do."/
/"True,"/ his daughter admitted.
Smiling, Mrs. Tsuda changed the subject. /"So, Debra-chan…"/ she said in a good mood/"what are your plans for tomorrow and Saturday?"/
Grinning, Debra answered. /"Tomorrow, I'll be going to Middleton Mall with Kim-san and Ron-san. We'll just shop around and have fun. That's all. Maybe I'll find a new dress to wear for Sunday."/
/"Does Kim-san has a good taste in clothing?"/ her mother asked out of curiosity.
Giggling, the petite young woman raised a hand. /"Oh, yes, mother. She does have a flare for clothing, given what I saw in her dorm room's closet."/ Lowering her hand, Debra slyly grinned. /"I'm sure her views will help me greatly as we shop tomorrow."/
Nodding her consent, Mrs. Tsuda was pleased.
/"And Saturday?"/ Mr. Tsuda inquired.
Debra shook her head slightly. /"Nothing planned. I might study and do schoolwork to pass the time."/
/"And Kim-san and Ron-san?"/ Mr. Tsuda raised an eyebrow.
Feeling her cheeks slightly blushing, Debra gave a small grin. /"Kim said she and Ron are planning to spend the entire day and night, spending quality time alone together."/
/"Ahhhhh,"/ Mrs. Tsuda smirked. /"Obviously, as a couple, they need the time to get away from the university for a while."/
/"Precisely,"/ Debra agreed with a smirk of her own. Mr. Tsuda's only response was a chuckle.
Turning back to the piano, the Tsuda's only child pressed her fingers to the keys and music ventured forth once more. This time the musical notes were more upbeat and happy.
The four university students, upon reaching the lounge, had spent several hours talking about things – school, world events, politics, etc.
Upon hearing Christmas music in the overhead speakers, George chuckled. "Well, it's official. Now that Thanksgiving here, the Christmas season now begins!"
"Oh, don't remind me of that!" Felix moaned. "Some stores already had placed up the Christmas decorations and stuff weeks ago, after Halloween!"
Monique nodded. "I say. I wonder how long until some people will grow sick and tired of hearing Christmas music most of the time from this point until Christmas."
Loretta raised a hand. "I know some relatives of mine that are like that. They had enjoyed Christmas until the commercialism ruined it for them."
George pointed at Loretta. "Oh! You mean they're like Charlie Brown!" he joked.
The New Yorker blinked her eyes, until she realized what he was talking about. "Oh. You're talking about that Peanuts character." She snorted in amusement. "George, I have a uncle whose first name is Charles. You don't know how often he gets teased in comparison to the Peanuts character."
Felix however did understand what George was aiming at with his joke. "I think George was pointing out that like Charlie Brown, the Peanuts character, people shouldn't let the commercialism bring down their spirits regarding the holiday season."
Shaking her head, Loretta dismissed his point with a wave of a hand. "In my opinion, that can only go so far. Not everyone will see it the same way as Mr. Shultz had when he made A Charlie Brown Christmas."
"Speaking of the shopping season," Monique chimed in, "I feel like hitting Upperton Mall tomorrow to check things out."
A chuckle escaped Felix's lips. "What you want to do is look around the mall and see whether you'd like to buy anything, particularly from Club Banana."
Monique held up both hands as she grinned. "You got me, Zombie Boy." She lowered her hands. "I just love that store."
Loretta eyed her. "Are you going alone?"
Monique shrugged. "You guys are welcome to come along."
"I'm in," Loretta grinned.
George grinned casually and shrugged his shoulders. "I'll go."
Felix looked over at George like he was crazy. "George, we're talking about accompanying two women on a shopping trip."
The sophomore architect student slyly grinned at his gaming friend. "There's the arcade."
"Oh," Felix blinked.
"There's also the mega multiplex cinema," George added, still grinning.
"That's right." Felix's lips started curling into a grin.
"How about the Suncoast Video store?" George waggled his brows.
"Now you're talking!" Felix pointed at his friend.
George pointed at Felix. "Not to mention--"
"The Game Store!" George and Felix cried out together. "YES!" They pumped their fists down in manly joy.
Monique grinned and shook her head, while Loretta just grinned. They eyed each other. "Boys," they simply said together.
Felix and George frowned at the two women. "Well, we're going to be doing clothes shopping all day, you know," George raised an eyebrow at them.
"Fine, whatever," Monique waved him away. She then grinned at Felix. "Since you're coming along, Felix, how about we take your van?"
"Fine with me," he replied, grinning back at her.
George clapped his hands together. "Excellent! I love that van of yours, man!"
Loretta blinked in confusion, yet she smirked. "What's so special about your van? Other than it was modified to accompany your handicap, Felix?"
"You'll love it!" George answered instead. "If you think his wheelchair is pretty cool with gadgets, you should check out his van!" He finished pointing at the wheelchaired man.
Raising her eyebrows at Felix, she pointed at him. "Your van got gadgets?"
"Pretty much," Felix nodded.
"Cool," Loretta grinned. "I'll look forward to seeing it tomorrow."
Monique grinned at them all. "How about we meet at the dorms' parking lot at 10 tomorrow morning? The mall stores don't open until 10:30 AM, anyway." Getting confirmations from the other three, she said. "Great!"
Getting up from the cushioned lounge seat, George stretched his arms and legs, as he had been sitting for hours. "I'm calling it a day then. I'll like to get back to my room to do some studying and work. Maybe be online for some time before sleeping."
"I'll do the same," Felix agreeing.
Loretta and Monique rose up from their seats on a couch. "Yeah, that's a good idea, Castle," Monique said as she walked over and gently punched George on the arm.
"Yeah, I might as well get some more work done as well," Loretta mentioned as she walked behind Monique out of the lounge. George and Felix soon followed.
Many minutes later, as the sun was setting, each of the four students was back at their perspective dorm rooms, working and studying the rest of their day away.
Sighing, she snuggled closer, even though she knew she was close as she could get to the body of her boyfriend. Kim certainly loved snuggling, and this was what she was doing with Ron on her bed in her old bedroom. Her body was half over him as she lay in the crook of his right arm with her head on his shoulder. She knew Ron loved holding her this way.
After dessert and coffee, Kim and Ron's fathers and the twins had retired to the family room to watch sports on the TV, while the two mothers had cleaned up the dining table and chatted in the kitchen afterward. It left Kim and Ron the opportunity to retreat to her room to snuggle and talk. They had taken off their shoes, lay together, and watched the last light of the setting sun faded away.
"Mmmmmm," Kim purred as she closed her eyes and kissed her love on his neck. "I don't think I will ever grow tire of this."
"Back a'cha, KP," Ron lovingly grinned as he placed a gentle kiss on her cheek.
Kim moved her head to gaze up into those chocolate affectionate eyes and smiled slyly. "Oh? And when we're both old and gray, do you think we'll still be doing this?"
Ron smirked. "Yep. We'll still be snuggling on this bed in your parent's house, trying to control ourselves not to go beyond kissing and petting."
Closing her eyes, she gently punched his chest as she softly laughed. "That's not what I meant, Ron!"
Quietly chortling, the blonde man indicated the obvious. "Well, I certainly couldn't pass the opportunity to point out the obvious what we're doing now."
"You wouldn't be 'The Ron', if you didn't," Kim quipped, smiling up at him with half closed eyes.
He gave a teasing, knowing grin. "You got it, Miss Possible."
With his right hand gently and respectfully stroking her lower back, Ron's face turned thoughtful. "Honestly, Kim, I always invisioned living our lives together, where we'll still be loving each other like this when we become senior citizens. Even when we become old and gray and perhaps no longer could physically make love anymore, I will always love you." He smiled with his face full of tenderness. "What we're doing now is just one way we can show our love without the intense physical interaction."
Sighing, her own face matched his own as she raised her right hand to his cheek. "I certainly don't mind it at all, love. I certainly will not mind it at all." With that said, her hand guided his head down a bit to connect their lips into a long, slow kiss that they always love. Surely enough, the kiss evolved into a passionate one as he wrapped both arms around her and hers went around his neck.
Breaking the kiss for air, they stared at each other before smiling. With her bare foot rubbing his sock-covered one, she gently nudged him back to his original position so she could snuggle back to her usual position.
"We can wait another two days, Ron," she gently said before reaching up to give a quick smooch.
"That we can," Ron nodded as he placed his cheek on the top of her head.
The loving couple resumed their cuddling. They talked and relaxed in each other's arms, and both are thankful they have met so long ago in pre-k, as many times they had mentioned and thought of it before. Each knew they were not complete without the other.
Thanksgiving ended with many people being thankful for what they have. Good friends to hang out and confide with. Good family to find support in. Love ones to cherish with all one's heart and soul.
It was a day for everyone to be thankful for.
1) I had done a Google search for 'Japanese dining tables' and came across not only references to the low traditional tables they used but also the proper procedures they practice when eating. All foods must be on the table and everyone served before anyone can start eating. It's common practice to start and end the meal with a saying of gratitude - "itadakimasu" ("I gratefully receive") before starting to eat, and "gochisosama (deshita)" ("Thank you for the meal") after finishing the meal. Etc. I read that even though most Japanese today now eat on Western style tables, there are still some who eat the old Japanese way on the low tables (If anyone ever seen the animated series Ranma 1/2, the Tendos eat on a low table.). The way I see it, the Tsudas eat the old fashion way but keeps a western dining table for friends and colleagues who are not used to sitting at a Japanese low table.
2) Japan does not celebrate American Thanksgiving. It's not a holiday for them, thus why it's just a normal day for the Tsuda family. They may not celebrate the holiday, but they are not fools to take the opportunity to be together. :)
3) The use of 'chan' at the end of a given name is mostly used when referring to children. Given Debra is the Tsuda's child, they have the right to use this title. 'San' is used at the end of a family or given name to show respect. I'm using the modern day usage of these Japanese titles instead of the old style warrior titles. Just do a Google search of 'kun', 'san', or 'chan', and you'll get the sites explaining the usuage of these Japanese titles.
4) I pretty much have a strong hunch that not every university/college student would leave for the Thanksgiving holidays. It's only four days, for crying out loud, and it doesn't give much time for those who have family on the other side of the country or in another country for that matter. I knew Monique and Felix have family in Middleton, but I like the notion they stay at Upperton U and interact with George and Loretta, whom have family too far to travel just to spend a few days with. Besides, it had given me an idea for the next story I have in mind. :)
5) I don't know anything regarding the shorthand of typing chat-room dialog, thus why the characters are typing normal sentences. I know they would all know how to type chatroom shorthand, but given I don't know, I typed them up longhand.
6) Just like to point out that the Stoppables and Possibles were all wearing their best clothing one would wear for church. Not highly fancy, yet nice. I have grown up in a family who wore church clothing for Thanksgiving, and I thought the Stoppables and Possibles were likely to do the same.
7) To all the K/R shippers: Yes, if you read the hints correctly, Kim and Ron will be spending some quality time alone for one day during this long four-day weekend. You just all have to be patient, like the loving couple, to wait for that day to arrive. ;-D
8) Credit goes to John Steppenwolf for his feedback on "Secrets Reveal" which provided me the idea for the Tweebs' 'tonsil-hockey trophies' teasing comment at their big sister and Ron. They seemed knowledgeable enough to know sports to make that comment. :)