Chapter 6

Kim looked at the boy before her in confusion. "You're called Tai Shing?"

"Yes, I am," he answered.

"That sounds familiar. Isn't that like monkey kung fu?"

"Tai Shing Pek Qwar," he confirmed.

"You were named after a fighting style?"

"I am the manifestation."

"You mean you're the mystical monkey power."

"Yes," he nodded. "That would be a fair summation."

The redhead laughed. "You had me going there, Ron. Now stop playing around. Are you feeling ok?"
The boy looked at her seriously. "You faced gods that could have ceased your existence had you shown yourself unworthy. I believe I was returned to this form to serve one of two purposes: safeguard the body for the proper soul or assume his duty of protecting the world."
"Ok, than let's get him back. Where is he?"

"Here," he answered, pointing to her chest.

"Is that philosophical, like he's in my heart?"

"No. I refer to the necklace he gave you. It's why he couldn't be returned."

"I don't understand."

"A great deal of power is tied to one's blood. By giving you a drop of his and pledging to protect you, he bonded himself to you."

"So, how do I get him unbonded?"
"I cannot provide that answer. In all the history of the power, no warrior has ever been resurrected. My only suggestion is to break the orb."

Kim activated the mechanism to open the chest and looked at the small globe. "Do you think it'll work?"

"I cannot say. I have never been in this situation."

She released the switch. "I'm sorry. I can't do it. It sounds silly, but I feel like I'd be breaking Ron's heart."

"Perhaps another way shall present itself. Until then, I shall assist with the protection of your world."

"Any luck, Wade?" Kim asked into the device.

"Afraid not. The pendant did what it's supposed to do. He pledged his undying love to you, and legends say you both will go on to the next life together."

It'd be romantic if it weren't actually happening," she sighed. "Any loopholes?"

"None that I can see. The way it's worded, you would have to die. Since there are no records of this kind of situation, I can't be sure if Ron will go back to his body or move on with you."

"And neither of which is acceptable," she said, frustrated.

"I know," he agreed. "How's everyone holding up?"

"It's been a weird week for everyone. He's staying with Ron's family, and both our parents are trying to be courteous to him. Ron has me making sure Tai Shing eats at least a naco every day. I try not to freak out around him. He looks like Ron and almost sounds like him. He even knows everything Ron did, but it's more like reading from a book."

A beeping came from one of Wade's terminals. He typed away for a few moments. "Trouble, Kim. Monkey Fist is stealing a mask from an African museum. It's said to give the wearer monkey-like agility."

"All right. Set up a ride. Guess we'll see how good Tai Shing is."

"It's over, Monkey Fist," the redhead said as both teens landed gracefully between the villain and his objective.

"Ah, Kim Possible and the pretender. You will not prevent me from achieving my destiny," the hairy man growled.

"Why does the guy that mutilated his body to play at being a chimp think Ultimate Monkey Master is his destiny?" Tai Shing asked off-handedly as he checked the mask. "By the way, this isn't a mystical artifact. It's just a ceremonial mask."
"Of course it's mystical," Monkey Fist exclaimed. "I'd sense if it wasn't."

The blonde cocked a brow. "You can barely use the power to summon the secrets of the Lotus Blade. I'd be surprised if you could sense a stiff wind on a cold day."

Kim tried to suppress her laughter, but a smirk still touched her lips. Apparently, Ron's quips came with the memories. "Just give up so we can get this over with."

"Monkey ninjas, attack!" the man yelled. The two teens took defensive stances, but the assault never came. Monkey Fist glared at his minions who kept a wary focus on the boy before them. "What are you waiting for? Attack!"

Tai Shing chuckled. "It seems your disciples are trained better than you are. They know what I am."

"You are nothing. A buffoon. A pretender to the power," he spat.

Blue energy arced across his body. "That wouldn't be possible. I am the power incarnate."

"I think not," the man scoffed. "Ninjas, take Kim Possible. I'll handle the buffoon. A few new tricks do not intimidate a true master of Tai Shing Pek Qwar."
As one, the monkey ninjas fell upon the young girl. They attacked from all sides, keeping the teen on the defensive. Monkey Fist was faring worse as the young boy before him dodged each strike effortlessly. The fluid gliding of his movements made the man look choppy by comparison.

When Kim fell under the mass of scratching and biting animals, her cry drew the attention of her partner. Thinking to capitalize on this opening, Monkey Fist struck with a punch. To his surprise, he found himself flying backwards when the boy twisted his striking arm and back kicked him without looking. Not slowed one bit, Tai Shing rushed to the redhead's aid, throwing the monkeys off of her.

They did not hear the clatter of the necklace as it fell from the paw of the monkey that had grabbed it and slid across the floor to the fallen man. Snatching it up, he rose quickly. "So, the boy has pledged his heart," he laugh insanely. "I shall ensure you cannot return his love in this life or the next. Monk--"

Monkey Fist was suddenly dangling off the floor by a choking hand on his throat. With blue energy flaring in his eyes, Tai Shing simply held his other hand palm up. When the man quickly put the necklace in the waiting hand, the boy swept the man's legs and slammed him down into unconsciousness.

Kim sat lost in thought as the pair rode in the back of a small transport prop plane. Her companion silently meditated. "Hey, Tai Shing?" the redhead called.

"Yes?" he answered, opening his eyes.

"I was thinking about something Monkey Fist said, and then about the last thing Izanami told me."
"I don't believe I understand."

She sighed in frustration. "It's hard to explain. Something I think I understand inside, but I just can't find the words."

He nodded. "Use what words you can and put your emotions into them. Perhaps your meaning will become clear."
Kim presented the pendant to him, the heart crystal open. "I want to return Ron's heart to him and share mine with him. Because no matter where we are, our hearts are with each other."
A small smile crossed his lips. "Your meaning is clear. The final trial is completed," he said as he extended a finger to the pendant and blue energy sparked between them. The young boy's eyes softened as he looked around in confusion. "Huh. You can have the weirdest dreams, KP."
She raised a shaky hand to his face. "Ron?" she asked softly.

Ron grinned. "Yeah. Don't I look like me?"

The young girl hugged him tightly around the neck. "You're alive."

"Oh," he replied as understanding dawned. "That makes a lot more sense."

Kim smiled. "So, what's the first thing you're going to do now that you're alive again?"

He pondered for a moment. "Have a naco."

"Ron!" she exclaimed, slapping the side of his arm.

"You're right, KP," he said solemnly. "This kind of moment calls for a chimerito, too. Grande size."

The teen sighed. "That's not what I meant, and you know it."

"And, yet, you still love me," he replied, smiling. Then he leaned in to give her a loving and tender kiss that lasted the rest of the flight.

A/N

Gotta apologize for the delay in getting this one done. I had a bit of writer's block in parts. I knew where I wanted to go and some of the sights I wanted to visit on the way, but I just couldn't get the journey figured out. Turned out better than I thought it would. I'm still not entirely happy with it, so I might come back and re-edit it to read and flow better some time.