I don't own Kim Possible.
Again, thanks to MrDrP for his advice during the writing of this story.
"You were a rotten friend to me that day, Ron Stoppable. And now you think you can make some silly joke and we'll just laugh about it?"
"Uh … no?"
"I don't want to laugh about it, Ronald. I so don't."
Ron had never fallen from the highest heights to the deepest depths so fast, even on a mission. Just moments ago life had seemed perfect. Now it appeared he'd lost Kim as girlfriend and best friend too. He looked up at Kim. What is going on with her mouth? It almost looks like she's trying not to … smile?
At the same instant that thought formed she struck like a cobra, diving on top him and knocking him flat on his back on the sofa.
"But you'll laugh, oh boyfriend of mine!" she shrieked as she set to tickling him in all the spots she'd learned to exploit through more than a dozen years of friendship. "Oh, how you will laugh!"
Really though, it's difficult to say which teen did most of the laughing, as twenty fingers moved too fast for the human eye to follow, from tickle spot to tickle spot. All that can be said with any certainty is that after some time two right hands clamped around two left wrists. The tickling ceased, the merriment subsided. Brown eyes gazed into emerald gazing back. Rates of pulse and respiration returned to only slightly elevated levels, a tad more quickly in the fitter of the pair.
Inside the tree house, time stood still. Across the cosmos, stars were born, burned brightly for eons, and flamed out in blazing supernovae. Life forms slithered out of oceans, sprouted legs, evolved thumbs, grasped crude tools. Countless empires rose and fell. Armies marched. Mighty fleets set sail. Peacemakers offered hands and words of friendship. Still the two kissed.
On the bank of a deep, wide river a warrior princess in exile, daughter of the earth-mother and the battle-father, strode resolutely into her murdered lover's funeral pyre. The ring of purest gold he'd gifted her with fell down into the river, returned to the care of the sisters three, from whose guardianship the metal had been plundered so long ago. The flames rose and spread until they engulfed Warfather's resplendent citadel itself. The river surged over its banks, dousing the fire and washing away all that had been. The world was made new, redeemed by the love of the outcast princess for her betrayed hero.
The kiss ended somewhere during that last part—that was Wagner, nothing can outlast Wagner.
The emerald eyes opened and once again beheld the brown, from behind which a mind bade a voice issue forth three words: "Greatest. Kiss. Ever."
Kim giggled. "Ron, you say that like three times a day!"
"And it's true every single time. KP, you are without a doubt the most bon-diggety kisser in the whole history of kissing—and still improving!"
"Nuh-uh, there's one even better. I think I'll kiss him again ..."
As she lowered her eyelids and brought her lips closer to his, far away across the sea, in the great hall of the castle of Monsalvat a pure fool viewed a solemn ritual, seeing, but understanding not —
Oh, thank goodness. I was afraid we'd be here all day. Kim silently mouthed a word you'll never hear on the Mousey Channel as she sat up and fished the Kimmunicator from her cargo pocket.
"What's the sitch, Wade?"
"You feeling okay, Kim? You look a bit flushed."
"Fine, Wade. Just hanging here with Ron."
"Mmm-kay. Anyway, I just called to give you an update: your dad and I have solved the problem of the leftover Diablos. We won't ever have to worry about anybody re-activating them. We're going to use existing communications satellites to send them a command signal of our own. Every Diablo will be instructed to modify its own listening circuitry."
"As in frying it up so they'll never be able to hear another command signal again."
"That's great, Wade. So the kids won't have to give their toys up?"
"Right. It's really amazing how resilient most people, especially kids, are being about what happened that night. Everyone's seen the footage of that little girl climbing out of the blast crater and picking up the Diablo. A doctor on the Therapy Channel says it's because they were inspired by the courage of the great teen hero."
That got Kim's ire up fast. "Team, Wade. It's a team. I'd like you to contact that doctor for me and make sure he learns that word, please and thank you." She was so tweaked, her habitual courtesy came out sounding almost like a threat.
"Gotcha, Kim. Wade out." The KP logo returned to the screen.
"Or maybe I'll letter T - E - A - M on my knuckles and teach him myself" she muttered to herself.
"Amp down, KP. It's all good. Rufus isn't in this thing for the glory."
"Ron! I hate it when you put yourself down like that! You are my equal partner in this save-the-world thing. Rufus is a vital part of the team, and so is Wade. Together, we save the world. You all deserve just as much credit as I do."
Ron moved to comfort Kim, who was beginning to tear up. She held out a palm to stop him.
"Ron, please just let me get all of this out before you say or do anything, okay?"
"D'you want to know why I can forgive you for sometimes being a not-perfect friend to me? It's because I know I've been a bad friend to you. What was always the number one Ron Stoppable rep? 'Word-I-refuse-to-even-say-starts-with-L' who can't get a date. Well, Tara liked you for a long time. She would have gone out with you if you'd asked. I knew that, but I never told you. I told myself I had a good reason, it would distract you from the team. I even told her once she shouldn't flirt with you as obviously as she wanted to, 'cause it would make you uncomfortable and you knew she liked you already. I knew you didn't know, Ron. I just didn't want you to date Tara 'cause she's a nice, normal girl you could do nice, normal things with, and if you had her in your life you'd stop saving the world with me. And then I'd lose you altogether. And I couldn't take the chance of that happening."
Kim's eyes were brimming with tears. She seemed to be done, so Ron again moved to take her in his arms. She came willingly this time.
"Ah, Kim, it's no big. I wasn't ready to have a girlfriend anyway. I'd have messed it up, probably hurt Tara—and hurting Tara is a very dangerous thing to do."
"Says the guy who's risking a black hole by dating me?" Kim was smiling again.
"KP, no one's ever actually been to a black hole. Who knows? There might be a way back. Tara's dad owns Tri-City Tree Service. A wood chipper, that's forever."
Kim held Ron's left hand in both of hers, idly playing with it as he fished for nachos with the other. She was beginning to regret what she'd said earlier. Perhaps she'd been too harsh, scared him too much. Maybe she really wanted Ron to put that hand on her, caress her, squeeze her …
She considered just placing Ron's hand on her breast herself, considered—how had Jessica phrased it, recounting her most recent date with the Mad Dogs' cute-but-timid shortstop?—'awarding him' second base.
She looked at her boyfriend's face. She saw mischief in his brown eyes, and that goofy grin that just made her melt every time.
No, Possible, she mused, releasing Ron's hand, you don't need to do that. You think you have that boy cowed? As if! All your 16 styles of kung fu and all the deep-space probes your Dad can launch don't have that boy cowed. You just be the 'girl' for once. He'll pick his spot and he'll make his move. Maybe tonight, maybe tomorrow, he'll touch you and it'll take your breath away. Heck, he can do that just by brushing your hair back from your face. Like that …
Ron leaned in and kissed her again.
They broke the kiss when they heard a rustle from the basket of nachos in front of them. A rustle and then a crunch.
"Rufus!" Ron exclaimed, annoyed. "I thought we had an understanding. Those nachos were supposed to be for Kim and me."
"Sorry," the chubby rodent chirped, his beady eyes downcast. "Got real hungry!"
The little guy looked so contrite that Kim couldn't help but laugh. Ron joined in a moment later.
"Oh, Ron, let him finish them. We can go to my house. I forgot to tell you: Nana finally gave my mom the secret lemon square recipe, and she's making them today."
"Wow, and your parents have been married, what? Twenty years?"
"Twenty-one. Nana waited an extra year just to be sure it would last."
"I'm sure glad Dr. D's still locked up. We'd be fighting him for the crumbs if he was anywhere near Middleton. Rufus, you stay here. I'll bring you back a lemon square if I can."
"Okay! Buh-bye!" Rufus waved and dove into the basket.
Ron rose from the sofa and started down the ladder. He stopped. He shot her the Zorpox grin again.
"I hope you don't mind me going first, KP. I want to watch you come down after me." Then, with a wink, he disappeared. Kim laughed again.
The two teens approached the Possible home hand-in-hand. It was obvious they'd arrived at the right time: the aroma was heavenly. They opened the kitchen door and stepped inside.
"Auggghhh! Not again!" Kim moaned. Yes, again. Her parents were sharing a tender kiss in the breakfast nook, a plate of lemon squares on the table in front of them. They looked up as they moved a little further apart.
"Hi, Kimmie; hi Ron. Have some lemon squares. Your dad says they came out just like Nana's."
"Hey, Drs. P.! I'll bet they taste badical! It sure smells great in here—and that looked like a nice little celebration we just walked in on."
Kim's dad looked a bit abashed, her mom looked very pleased with herself and her lot in life. Kim just rolled her eyes.
"Let's go in the den, James. These two will want some privacy," Kim's mom said, getting up from the bench. "Kimmie, do bear in mind, your brothers might walk through that door at any time."
James Possible stood up too, then turned back to reach for one more lemon square. (That he could shoot an icy stare in Ronald's direction at the same time was a nice bonus.) His wife stayed his hand. "You've already had two of those, dear. You need to consider your waistline." The twinkle in her eye hinted that a different kind of sweet-and-tart treat might yet be in his future. Kim's parents left the kitchen.
Kim went red in the face. She sat down in the booth and slid over, holding her head in her hands. Ron slid in beside her and picked up a lemon square.
Kim sighed. "Embarrassment Ninjas and tweebs were nothing. If Drakken had brought those two on my date with Josh, I wouldn't have lasted five minutes."
Ron munched on his lemon square and reflected on how one of his most poignant memories had somehow lost most of its sting. Just the thought of Kim's date with Josh Mankey had once been enough to bring tears to his eyes. While Ron had been trekking through the rain forest to bring back the rare orchid they needed to keep Kim from succumbing to Drakken's serum, Kim had made possibly the single dumbest decision of her life: she'd gone out on a date and nearly been embarrassed out of existence. Ron had returned with the orchid and saved her in the nick of time, with a smile and a thumbs-up even while his heart was breaking. Monkey Boy had ended up kissing Kim goodnight. Now Ron had the girl, and the memory wasn't that painful any more. He helped himself to another lemon square.
"These are very good, KP," he observed analytically. "But I think your Nana uses a pinch or two more grated zest."
Kim picked up a square and took a small bite. She chewed and swallowed, then nodded her agreement. "They do taste almost as good as Nana's."
"So KP," Ron said, casually. "When we came in just now, was your dad's hand in the same place it was the oth—OW!"
While I was writing this, Wade hacked into my computer and circulated my first draft around Middleton. Here is a sample of the early feedback I received:
Ron Stoppable said: This story is snobby, pompous, overwritten, and there aren't even any pictures. Compared to this, Lo, the Plow Shall Till the Soil of Redemption is a page-turner.
Kim Possible said: Have you been reading my diary? TWEEBS!
Jim & Tim Possible sang: Kim and Ro-on / sitt-in' in a tree / kay-eye-ess-ess— … Gotta go!
Dr. James T. Possible said: Not cowed, huh? Time for me to have another talk with that boy. If he puts his hands on my little Kimmie-cub, I swear …
Yori said: Should you visit the Yamanouchi School again, Ron-san, it would be my honor to read Lo, the Plow Shall Till the Soil of Redemption aloud to you. I believe you would find it quite stirring in the original Japanese.
Kim Possible said: Get your own boyfriend, Yori. Ron is MINE!
Steve Farley said: Timid? I'll give you timid! Some of us just happen to respect women, you perv!
Bonnie Rockwaller said: Brick, are you going to let Kim Possible get away with calling you a lummox?
Brick Flagg said: What's a lummox?
Goodbye, and thanks for reading.