Author's note: Kim Possible is owned by Disney, not by me. And yes, I know a part of this is a blatant rip of "As Sitch in Time."
Since I forgot this at the last upload, thanks to G-Go and willk1989 for the mad props on "The Fallen". Go check out Will's "Everlasting Love" trilogy (currently a WIP) and G-Go's "Reunion" and "Union" fics. You will not be disappointed.
Io sono prigionièra/My fate is in your arms tonight/Though love is shining in your eyes/Will you be mine tomorrow? – 'Eternity', English version of 'Adèsso e Fortuna', from 'Record of Lodoss War'
Chapter 1 – Seniority
It was a warm, spring Saturday, one of the few that Kim and Ron would have free before Senior finals. Some high schools, of course, would allow their Seniors to opt out of taking finals; Middleton High was not one of those schools, given Mr. Barkin's oddly prevalent influence on school policy. Admittedly, there was a certain logic behind it: no college would allow anyone, Senior or otherwise, to opt out of finals, and real life certainly had no such provisions.
Still, logic never stopped teenage grumbling. Only a proper distraction could do that, and Kim and Ron had found a truly worthy distraction from Senior Year Stress in each other.
There hadn't really been much change between them, on the surface at least, since the Junior Prom. They still hung out together, walked together in school (when schedules permitted it, of course; they heydays of the Sophomore Year Schedule were far behind them), spent Friday nights and weekends together, went on missions together... still doing all the things they had done before they had started dating.
Except now... they would hold hands in the school halls, instead of just walking side by side. There were little looks and touches that they would give each other, that would keep the other walking on cloud nine for the rest of the day. Those little things, along with the look in their eyes when they beheld each other, were what told everyone around that, no matter what had been between them earlier, they were well nigh in love, and woe unto the man or woman who tried to come between them.
Like anyone would, of course; there was a small percentage of the school that didn't really believe the explanation that Erik had been a synthodrone, and suspected that Ron had somehow "done away with" his competition. A favorite theory involved cooperation from Dr. Possible (male) and black holes.
But that had been a year ago; now, the rumors had all faded into humorous memory. In fact, the only problems had come from Bonnie, who seemed to have a complete inability to be happy at the same time as Kim, and Brick, who's friendly what-did-you-two-do-over-the-weekend-wink-wink-nudge-nudge questions had quickly gotten on Ron's nerves. Ron doubted this was double-pronged assault (despite Bonnie's bragging to Kim and the other cheerleaders about her own "activities"), since Brick was nowhere near that malicious.
Either way, it didn't really matter anymore; they'd dealt with it (that had been an awkweird conversation if there ever was one), and the issue had been devolved into a petty annoyance. Brick had stopped asking entirely, once it had gotten through his thick head that it wasn't so much that Ron wasn't saying, but he and Kim weren't.
Still, even petty annoyances could become extremely tiresome. Which meant that Kim wasn't fully enjoying the clear, spring Saturday.
The trees were all green, and full of leaves; the birds were singing; the sky itself was an exceptional shade of blue, with nary a cloud in sight; and the park was full of happy, chattering people. Even the ducks were up and moving, swimming and waddling around the pond in that oddly amusing way that is unique to ducks.
Kim and Ron, for their part, were laying in the shade of a single, large tree that stood at the crest of one of the park's many hills. It was removed from the main area of the park, affording them a bit of privacy, but still with a good view of the ducks. Ron lay flat on his back, his arms crossed behind his head. Kim lay perpendicular to him, resting her head on his chest. Every now and then she would let out a not-so-happy sounding sigh.
Rufus was down by the pond, searching for dropped cheese, and trying to avoid one very cranky duck.
"Okay, KP," Ron finally asked. "What's got you torqued?"
"Take a guess," she muttered.
"Does this have something to do with those sesame seeds? Because I totally didn't know those came from Dementor..."
"No, Ron," she said, chuckling. He had made dinner for her and his parents two weeks ago. The recipe had called for sesame seeds, and Ron had wound up purchasing a bag of mutant seeds from a front company of Dr. Dementor's. It hadn't been pretty.
The conversation that she'd had with his parents, though, had been very interesting indeed.
"Aw, KP," he said with a groan. "That again?"
"Sometimes I think it'd be worthwhile for us to just go ahead and... you know... just to make her shut up about it!"
"I know, I know," she said. "We decided to wait... but to hear Bonnie talk about it, you'd think that makes us the craziest people alive."
"You should hear Brick," Ron said with his own long-suffering sigh.
"As bad as Bonnie?"
"Nah, not as bad as the Bon-Bon," Ron said. "At least Brick stopped asking me if we were, but I now know far more about those two than I ever wanted."
"Lucky you," Kim muttered. "Still... even if we aren't... I can still use you as a pillow, right?"
Ron uncrossed his arms and draped his left arm her shoulders, placed his his hand on her right shoulder, and squeezed her affectionately. She smiled, closed her eyes, and placed her hand on his.
"How could I possibly say no to that?" he answered with his own smile. They were quiet, then, for a time, just lying there in the shade and enjoying each other's company.
"It just gets to me," she said, snuggling closer to him.
"I know, KP," he replied gently. For some reason Bonnie's taunts had always gotten to her; neither of them really understood why.
"Maybe I should be more like you, and not care what other people think," she said whispered.
"See, that's what I'm sayin'," he agreed, his grin quite audible. "I mean, it's not that I don't care what other people think, it's just that the only opinions that matter to me are yours, my parent's, your parent's, Rabbi Katz's, Sensei's, Yori's, Tara's, Amelia's, Zita's..."
He began rattling off a series of names, which Kim realized as consisting of nearly the entire cheer squad (sans Bonnie), the flagettes and color guard (female members, at least), the girls track team... well, basically he was naming every single female at Middleton High (with the aforementioned lack of Bonnie, of course).
Slowly, almost mechanically, she turned her head to face him, and fixed a glare in the general direction of his head.
He raised his head towards her and winked, his face sporting a mischievous grin. She smiled sweetly.
"Ron," she said, her voice sweet enough to match her smile... then she dug an elbow into his gut. He grunted and folded over at the middle, or at least as much as the presence of her head would allow.
"My... spleen..." he groaned.
"That's what you get, you dweeb- ah! No, no tickle- Ron!" she said, laughing. He had quickly gone on the offense, and moved his hand from her shoulder to her ribs, and had begun to tickle her. She responded in kind, and they spend several minutes wrestling and laughing upon the ground. Like all such fights, it ended in a draw, and with them lying on the ground, side by side. Ron's left arm was around her shoulders, and Kim nestled herself against his side.
After a few minutes, Kim poked him in the side.
"So where does that list really end?"
"Eh, with Sensei."
She poked him again.
"Okay, okay... with Yori," he admitted, and then had to continue quickly before she poked him again. "Look, KP, she practically trained me the first time I was at Yamanouchi. She's a friend, and just as much my teacher as Sensei was."
"Riiight," Kim said dubiously. "You two still keep in touch?"
"I tried to, but I think I got her e-mail wrong, 'cause 'Yori at Yamanoochi dot jp' doesn't seem to work. Dunno why."
"That's too bad," Kim said neutrally.
"Yeah, well, I'm sure she's busy doing all her ninja stuff. Besides, if she needs us," he said, intentionally stressing the word 'us', "then she knows where to find us: right here in Middleton."
"Yeah," Kim said quietly, "in Middleton..."
"Okay, I know that tone."
"That quiet... tone... thing," he said shortly. "C'mon, KP, spill: what's wrong, and I know this has nothing to do with Bonnie."
All of sudden she sat up, and pulled her legs up to her chest; and she wrapped her arms around her knees. Ron too sat up, and looked at her strangely, sensing that she was troubled.
"Ron, I told you that I sent an application to Beircheart-Andswarian University, in Overton, right?"
"Well, they accepted me. Full scholarship and all."
"KP, that's great!" Ron exulted. "You've been talking about wanting to go there since you were, like, seven!"
"Yeah, it's great," Kim said listlessly.
"Or... not... great..." Ron said, worried.
"No, Ron, it... it's what I thought I wanted, but..." Kim began, trying to figure out how to explain it to him.
"I guess what I'm trying to say is... I've got a good reason to want to stay here," she said, and turned her face towards him. Her eyes left no doubt as to the identity of her reason. There was also the fact that she had no idea how she would be able to concentrate on her studies and rush off to save the world from supervillians, but she didn't mention that. Somehow, it didn't seem all that important.
"So you're gonna turn down BAU on account of me?" Ron asked. "KP, I'm flattered, but... acting like you don't have any sense is my job, alright?"
"Nah-unh, KP," Ron said, cutting her off. "I ain't gonna have you passing up a chance like this just because of me. It's what you always wanted, right?"
"Well, yeah..." she admitted.
"Then here's what you're gonna do," Ron said encouragingly. Even as he spoke he placed her hands on her shoulders and began to massage them.
"You're gonna take that offer," he continued, "and you're gonna go to BAU and wow them completely, in true Kim Possible fashion."
She relaxed under his touch.
"And what about you?"
"Me? Oh, I figured I'd bum around town for a while, maybe go back to work at Bueno Nacho. Maybe look up Zita..."
"STOPPABLE!" she yelled, and tried to elbow him again, but he had moved his hands from her shoulders and wrapped his arms around her, effectively keeping her elbows from jabbing into his ribs. She struggled for a bit, and then groaned in frustration and stopped trying to hit him.
They both laughed, and he kissed the back of her neck.
"Seriously, KP, I'll be fine. We'll be fine; after all we've been through, I doubt the miles between here and Overton will matter. 'Sides, it ain't like you're going to Norway or anything."
"Still don't like the food there?"
"Still. Dunno why I don't, but I'm certain the food in Overton is better."
"I guess you're right," she said, leaning back into him. "What's a five hour drive between us?"
"After the synthodrone? Nothin' at all, KP, nothin' at all."
She elbowed him again, successfully this time.
"Though.. the constant abuse..." Ron gasped, "might have... some effect..."
"Oh hush. That one wasn't all that hard."
"Just for that," he grumped, "I'm not going to tell you how proud I am that you got that scholarship."
"But you just did."
"Yeah, well, my plans stink."
Their conversation went about like that for the next ten minutes, a rapid-fire exchange of sarcastic one-liners and playful banter in which Kim quickly gained the upper hand. Soon they realized just how close it was to lunchtime (for a Saturday, that is; such days run on their own schedule) and made plans to go to Bueno Nacho for lunch. Kim watched as Ron got up and walked down the hill, intent on collecting Rufus, who was still hiding from the acrimonius duck.
Her smile faded as he left.
'So I'll be off to Overton at the end of the summer,' she thought to herself. 'So, why oh why, Ron, have I been dreaming about you leaving ever since I got that acceptance letter?'
April passed into May and their last month of High School. While the new study schedule made life very hectic for them, there were a few benefits to be had. The first, of course, was the fact that Bonnie was also occupied with preparing for finals, and as such could not longer induldge in her favorite past-time of 'making Kim Possible miserable'.
They also discovered that they didn't have to worry about freak-fighting. Drakken and Shego hadn't been seen since they'd escaped from prison the previous May. Dementor was in jail, having been captured after the sesame seed incident. The rest were laying low, more than likely recovering from all the defeats that Team Possible had dealt them during the duration of the school year.
Stress was everywhere. The days were occupied in last minute teaching and review sessions in their classes; the afternoons, for Kim and Ron, were spent at Kim's house, along with Monique and Felix, studying for finals whilst Mrs. Dr. Possible kept them supplied with what she called 'brain food'.
At one point Kim had to explain to her, as patiently as she could, that brain-shaped meatloaf did not count as 'brain food'. However, she did have to give her mom credit, as the arrival of the brain-loaf had defused a tense situation; they had been studying for a while, and Ron had begun to mutter something about monkeys, Felix had developed a new facial tic, and Monique had a weird glint in her eyes.
The sudden arrival of the brain-loaf sent them all into diverse expressions of disgust, followed by much laughter as Kim turned beet red and shooed her mom from the room.
In the end they all survived their finals, even Ron. Final class rankings were announced, and graduation was scheduled for the last week in May.
The ceremony had ended, the students had filed out, and they were all standing in a giant clump outside the auditorium. Friends and couples, separated by the unconscionable tyranny of seating arrangement and procession by last name (alphabetical), struggled to find each other in the human mass.
Ron had spotted Kim, who was standing only a few feet away from him, yet beyond two rather large clumps of people. She had been talking to Felix, who was still laughing about how the exhaust from the hover-jets on his chair had displaced a portion of the principle's robe. He stopped talking, and smirked knowingly, as Kim whirled around at Ron's victory cry.
She was about to give one of her own when Ron finally made his way through the crowd and silenced her with a victory kiss.
Whatever she was about to say came out as a strangely-pitched and muffled moan.
A few people around them, including Felix, wolf-whistled and made cat-calls.
That, amongst other things, meant that Kim and Ron were both quite flushed when they came up for air.
"Possible, Stoppable," came a gruff voice from behind them. "That was a PDA violation, regulation number 4265... my office, NOW."
They turned (well, Ron turned) to see Steve Barkin, Middleton High's ubiquitous teacher, looking just as grim as ever.
"Mr. Barkin!" Kim said in surprise.
"C'mon, Mr. B.," Ron tried to reason. "We've just graduated, you can't give us detention now."
"Oh, I could Stoppable," Barkin said in a menacing whisper. "Believe me, I could withold your diplomas if I felt like it."
The two teens went from flushed to deathly pale in such a sort space of time that it was feared they would pass out.
Then Barkin's face changed from grim displeasure to amusement.
"But I won't," he continued. "Sorry, kids, couldn't resist; had to threaten that once more, just for old time's sake."
Kim and Ron laughed nervously as the color returned to their cheeks.
"N...nice one, Mr. B.," Ron said.
"Yeah, really had us going, Mr. Barkin."
"Like I said, I couldn't resist. You did good, Possible; you too, Stoppable. I'm proud of the both of you."
He walked in between them, and gave Ron a little pat on the shoulder as he did so. He was past them, and they were staring at him in surprise (Ron especially so), when he turned his head and glanced at them.
"If you two ever need anything," the old soldier said, "you know how to find me. Once a Mad Dog, always a Mad Dog."
Then he turned and faded into the crowd.
"Okay, that was weird," Kim said finally.
"Yet not unpleasantly so," Ron mused.
They turned and saw Felix laughing so hard he had to clutch his stomach.
"C'mon, F-dawg, it wasn't that funny."
"Ron, dude, you didn't see your face," Felix said between laughs. "Trust me, bro, it was that funny."
"He's got a point there," came the voice of Monique, who was also attempting to bust a gut laughing, as she came up to them. She had, of course, seen the whole thing.
Kim gave them both a look.
"You know, Ron, I'm glad our friends find us so amusing," she said lightly. "I'd hate to think that we're getting boring."
"Speak for yourself, KP. I have no intention of ever becoming boring."
Ron and Felix let out a cry of 'Never Be Normal!' and gave each other high-fives. Kim and Monique just rolled their eyes.
"Girl, sometimes I just don't know how you do it."
Kim looked at Ron affectionately; he and Felix had fallen into a conversation on the finer points of Zombie Mayhem, and how they would schedule in a few final bashing sessions before Felix left for Cal Tech.
"Eh, he grows on you," she said with a light smile.
"Like kudzu?" Monique said sardonically. "Don't get me wrong, Kim, the two of you are cute as all get out, but-"
"But, really, you have wonder why Kim Possible would date a loser like Stoppable," came a cruel voice from behind them.
"Hello, Bonnie," Kim said icily. She turned and saw the slender, brown-haired beauty hehind her, a customarially unkind expression on her face.
Felix and Ron had grown quiet, and were watching the confrontation.
"Hi, Kimmie," Bonnie replied, her smile as icy as Kim's tone had been. "I was just on my way to find Brick; his family is treating us to a celebratory dinner... and then we'll be doing some celebrating of our own."
The last part was said in a manner that left no doubt as to what that celebration would entail.
"Bonnie, please," Kim said in annoyance. "Can't you be civil, just for once? I thought we had an understanding..."
"Oh, Kimmie, I understand completely: I wouldn't want to sleep with Stoppable either."
If looks could kill, Bonnie would have been rent twain assunder, and that just by the look Monique gave her. Kim's would have left her alive and eviscerated, and dying a slow, painful death.
"Bonnie..." Kim growled. It was unknown what she would say next, as they all caught sight of Brick and his family.
"Anyway, I, like, gotta go now, Kimmie," Bonnie said dismissively. "I guess I should say 'congratulations', or something. But I don't know why..."
She looked past Kim, at Ron, who had managed to keep his expression wholly neutral throughout the exchange.
"Since you can really do so much better."
"No," Kim said resolutely, "I really can't."
Ron finally let his expression change, and he smirked at Bonnie.
"Whatever," Bonnie replied. "Anyway, see you around, Possible. The loser, too."
"Hey, Bonnie," Ron said, finally speaking up. "Tell Brick congratulations, from me, on his football scholarship to KSU."
Bonnie harumphed, turned around, and walked off. Well, she didn't so much walk as she sashayed over to Brick, his parents, and his younger brother. Brick, cluelessly decent guy as he was, waved at Kim and company; Ron waved back. The Flagg family, as soon as Bonnie joined them, left the reception area, as they had a fairly early reservation at the restaurant.
Only Felix noticed that Bonnie's family, her sisters and mother, were nowhere to be seen.
"How long has she been like that?" he whispered to Ron. He knew the history between Kim and Bonnie, of course, so did everyone at Middleton High. He hadn't been privy to much of the recent tension, though, as his schedule kept his interaction with Ron and Kim confined to after-school hours, when they were safely away from Bonnie Rockwaller..
"Besides forever?" Ron replied sardonically. "Ever since KP and I started dating. But that was a low blow, even for her."
Kim, for her part, was still standing in place, her body tense, and wishing for all the world that she had hauled off an slapped Bonnie. She was so tense, in fact, that she was trembling.
'How dare that little-'
Her thought was cut off by Ron, who walked up behind her and wrapped her arms around her shoulders. She sighed and leaned against him, his touch immediately causing her body to relax.
"Thanks, Ron," she said after a moment. She patted one of his hands, and they separated.
"Look at it this way, KP," he said with a grin. "We don't have to deal with her ever again."
"This is true," she replied, beginning to smile again.
Then they heard a young voice from somewhere off to their right.
"Hey, I think I see 'em!"
The voice belonged to young Jim Possible, now thirteen years old.
"Yeah, over there by the fake plants," replied Tim Possible, his twin. "Hey dad! We found 'em!"
Kim and Ron turned towards the voices and saw the tweebs headed towards them, with the Possibles, Nana Possible, and Stoppables not far behind. They had been trying to find Kim and Ron after the ceremony, but that had been somewhat difficult, since the students and audience had exited the auditorium through different doors, and there had been quite a crowd to have to push through.
Of course, after the two groups spotted each other, it didn't take very long for the families to reach their graduates. Kim greeted her parents, grandmother, and brothers with hugs (the tweebs were slowly working their way out of the 'cootie' stage), while Ron hugged his mom and exchanged a warm handshake with his father. Rufus, who had spent the ceremony on Mr. Stoppable's shoulder (the principle had expressly outlawed the prescence of animals amongst the graduates), scampered down the across their arms to stand on Ron's shoulder.
"Monique, Felix," Mrs. Possible said when all the congratulations had been spoken, "we're taking Kimmie and Ron out to dinner, and the two of you are welcome to join us."
"Thanks for the offer, Dr. Possible," Felix replied, "but I've got plans with my mom. In fact, I should probably try and find her..."
"Same here, actually," Monique said, shaking her head. "Got stuff planned with my folks."
At the same time Mr. Dr. Possible had pulled the kimmunicator from his jacket pocket (Kim had given it to him to ensure that it wouldn't beep while she was receiving her diploma) and handed it to Kim.
"It started beeping a couple of times during the ceremony, Kimmie-cub," Mr. Dr. Possible explained. "I think it's Wade."
"Is he still on?"
"He said he'd wait till the ceremony was over."
Kim shook her head and pressed the call button. The image of Wade Load appeared on the screen, though the background was different, as it appeared that he wasn't in his room.
"Talk to me, Wade."
"Hey, Kim," Wade began. "Graduation went well?"
"Well enough," she said frostily, "even if my tech guy couldn't bother to show up."
"Yeah, sorry about that," he said sheepishly. "I had a meeting with the Attorney General, and it couldn't really wait."
"You're not in trouble, are you?" she asked, the icy tone from earlier giving way to concern. "Does this had something to do with-"
"No, it doesn't," he said, cutting her off, "and let's not talk about that, okay? Anyway, don't worry: it's good news."
"Right. So what is it?"
"Get Ron over here first. This is for the both of you."
"We'll be on in a moment, Wade," Kim replied. She turned and saw Ron giving Felix another high five, who then activated the flight systems on his wheelchair and flew above the crowd, evidently attempting go find his mother.
"Ah, arial reconaissance," Ron said to Rufus. "Gotta love it."
Kim shook her head and was about to call Ron over to her when she felt a hand on her shoulder.
"Heading out already, Monique?" Kim asked.
"Yeah, gotta track down my parents sometime, and I can't fly," Monique said dryly. "Give me a call later, alright? We've got a lot of shopping to do before the fall."
"Wouldn't miss it," Kim said with a grin. "You ready for life at BAU?"
"I'll tell you after the first Club Banana sale," Monique replied, again dryly. The two friends hugged, and then Monique set out to track down her family.
It was, after all, a fairly large crowd.
Kim turned to call Ron, only to discover that he was already standing next to her. She also noticed that her father (and Ron's dad, as well) was tapping his foot and looking at his watch, though his face showed no annoyance, just amusement. They were getting close to the reservation time.
"Okay Wade," she said, holding the kimmunicator so the camera picked up both her and Ron. "What's the sitch? And can we talk on the move?"
"Uh, sure," Wade said uncertainly. Kim, Ron, and family, began to make their way towards the door of the covention center.
"Wade, are you in your room?" Ron asked as they started to walk.
"Actually, I'm in a private jet, somewhere over Ohio, I think," Wade replied. "They let you travel in style when you meet with the government.
"Anyway," Wade continued, "I just got done meeting with the Attorney General, and finishing up the arrangements for my graduation present to the two of you."
The screen changed, this time displaying a building. It was flat, rectangular, utterly unremarkable, and seemed to be in the middle of nowhere.
"It's... a... building," Ron observed. "Wade, I know they do things funnily in the government, but Kim and I aren't even married yet, and if you think this is our idea of a dream home-"
He was cut off by Kim's elbow contacting with his ribs and by Wade's explaination.
"No, it's not a dream home. This is the newly-constructed Gaol Federal Prison. I designed it myself."
"Oh really?" Kim said.
"Yup," Wade said, with obvious pride. "It's escape-proof, with each cell specifically tailored to keep in one of your arch-foes."
"That's right: you stick anyone from Drakken to Monkey Fist in this prison, and it'll be assured that they'll serve their whole sentence."
They exited the convention center then, and stepped out into the light of a cloudless day. Kim and Ron traded dubious looks.
"C'mon, guys," Wade complained, seeing their faces. "You know the design is good."
"We ain't hatin' on the design, Wade," Ron said, "we're just wondering about the, ah... what are we wondering about, KP?"
"The human factor," Kim said, rolling her eyes. "Wade, I'm certain your design rocks, but guards can still be bribed to look the other way. It's how the Seniors got out the last time. I mean, you could use robots, or Boy Scouts-"
"Even better," Wade said excitedly, not letting their doubts get him down. "Retired Marine Corps senior NCOs! About as tough and incorruptible as you can get."
"He's got a point, KP. Remember Barkin..."
"Ron, Barkin was in the Army."
"Army, Marine, same difference."
Kim and Wade traded a look.
"Ron," Wade advised, "never say that to any actual Marines.
"So," he continued. "What do you think?"
"I think you've sold us," Kim said with a smile. "So this is why you were in Washington?"
"Sort of. See, the thing is, all of your villains still have time left on their sentences. Say, five to ten years apiece..."
Five years. Enough time to complete a degree, to go through college and graduate without...
Without having to deal with some maniac trying to take over the world. Time to concentrate on studies, and not have to run off to stop Drakken's latest scheme, or keep DNAmy from violating the laws of nature. High school had been forgiving in that regard, but college was another league entirely, and Kim knew that she would not need the distraction.
Time to live, without that life's rhythms being defined by schedules of madmen.
She came to a stop, just outside the convention center. Ron placed a hand on her shoulder.
"Wade," she said after a moment, "have I ever told you that you give excellent presents?"
"I try," he said modestly. "After everything the two of you have done, we figured you could use a break to concentrate on school instead of saving the world. There is a catch, though..."
"Yeah. See, given all your successes against these guys, the DOJ figures that the two of you are best suited to hauling them in. How about it?"
Kim thought about for a moment, then she turned to Ron with a grin.
"What do you think, Ron? Up to one last summer of freak fighting?"
"Two words, KP," Ron said with his own grin. "Boo. Yah. At least, so long as we wait 'till after dinner..."
It did wait until after dinner; in fact, they waited nearly a week before setting out. They did need to take time to strategize and prepare if they wished to take their "rogue's gallery" out in one fell swoop. Besides, they had just graduated, and Kim and Ron wanted to have some 'together' time.
It was a sign of Mr. Dr. Possible's trust in Ron that he didn't fret much over their 'together' time; it was a sign of Ron's quality that he never violated that trust.
They soon set out to reign in the tide of lawlessness and psychomania that was their list of foes. Dr. Dementor, of course, had already been transferred to the new prison, so he didn't even make the list.
The first name on said list was DNAmy. They figured best to start light, and she had been the easiest to track down; the equipment used in her genetics 'research' and experiments was highly specialized, so it was easy to track down what locations had received delivery of such items. From there, it was even easier to determine which companies actually existed, and had valid banking accounts.
Her latest project was a... thing... designed to aid her in tracking down Monkey Fist. This also explained to Kim and Ron why Monkey Fist had been quiet lately.
No one was ever really sure which creatures its unholy form was an amalgam of; all that was known was that it was large, had many horns, well-developed olfactory organs, and was highly tenacious.
Unfortunately for DNAmy, it also had an ingrained fear of naked mole rats. Which meant that it knocked a very large hole in her lab's wall as it fled in unreasoning terror at the onset of Rufus.
DNAmy was apprehended shortly therafter.
Duff Killigan was second on the list, and was attempting to lower his average score by detonating his exploding golf balls in every hole in every course (even put-put courses) in the world, thus increasing the size fo the holes and his chances of getting a hole-in-one. A quick dodge by Kim meant that the golf ball intended for her went into Killigan's carry-bag instead.
This set off the rest of his exploding golf balls, all at once, and sent Duff himself flying forty yards through the air and into a water hazard.
The prison allowed him to eat haggis.
Next was Monkey Fist, who was attempting some scheme or another that dealt with Mystical Monkey Legends. Kim held off the monkey ninjas while Ron defeated Monkey Fist in single combat. At least, that's what they told everyone. The truth of the matter was that Ron accidentally backed into one of Fist's monkey statues, causing it to fall and hit the both of them on the head. Ron simply woke up first, just in time to see Kim "go all super-suit on the last monkey, bam-pow!", as he would put it later.
Monkey Fist, for his part, wound up in a cell directly across from DNAmy. His face contorted in horror when he saw her, and he seemed to be about to scream... but instead he sighed, and his face took on the look of a man who was resigned to his fate.
DNAmy, as can be surmised, was thirlled to death.
Next up was Señor Senior Sr., and Señor Senior Junior, whose capture was wholy unremarkable. The remarkable thing occurred at the prison.
"Well played, Ms. Possible," Señor Senior Senior had said, as the cell bars clanged shut in front of him. "Very well played indeed."
"Oh, I'm not done yet," Kim replied. "Ron, the kimmunicator, please."
She held out her left hand.
"Here ya go, KP," Ron said as he slapped the kimmunicator into her outstretched hand. They had Señor Senior Senior's attention.
Kim pressed a button on the kimmunicator, then leaned against the bars and held it up for him to see. He began to smile as he read the headline.
VINCINT WHEELER INDICTED FOR FRAUD.
"The DA is willing to cut you a deal," Kim explained. "You turn State's Evidence against Wheeler, and you and Junior are out of here in a year."
"I see. What is the catch?"
"Simple. This was my idea, Senior, so you'll owe me. You get out of here, you have to swear on the Book of Evil that you'll give up villainy for good."
"Give up villainy? My one joy and pride?"
"What of me, Father? Am I not your pride and joy?" Junior asked from the cell next door.
"Quiet, Junior, now is not the time."
"Yes, give up villainy," Kim said resolutely. "Find some other hobby, something that doesn't involve holding continents hostage, and that won't require me to skip class to deal with you. If not, then the whole deal is off."
"I see," he said contemplatively.
"I am an old man, Ms. Possible," he continued, looking at her. "I should wish to spend my remaining years on my island, with my son."
He pounded upon the floor with the tip of his cane.
"Very well, Kim Possible; we are in agreement. Again, very well played."
"Spankin'," Kim replied. "The DA will be here tomorrow to finalize everything. See you in a year."
She and Ron were nearly to the door when Señor Senior Senior called out to them.
"Tell me, Ms. Possible, Mr. Stoppable... were we good villains?"
"It took ya a while, " Ron replied seriously, "but you did alright."
"Kim Possible! You think you're all that, but you're not!"
The door to the police wagon slammed shut and cut them off from the rest of the world. Dr Drakken, his hands bound behind his back, turned in his seat to face his partner.
"Excellent fight, Shego," he groused. "You really showed her who was boss."
"Yeah? At least I fought, instead of cowering in front of the sidekick."
"But... but... he had the serious face," Drakken said, a twinge of fear in his voice. Ever since the Diablo plot, the serious face of Ron Stoppable had haunted his dreams...
"The serious face? The serious face! You were on your knees, babbling incoherently, just because he looked at you with a 'serious face'?" Shego said increduoulsy.
"Shego!" Drakken yelled. "At least I wasn't knocked out while mesmerized by the buffoon's underpants!"
"I didn't expect them to be pink," Shego replied defensively. "So... now what do we do, since you wasted all of last year on the little projects that we'll never get to use."
"Quiet, Shego. Yes, we may have been captured this time, but soon we will escape from prison, and then I will use my Legacy to wear down Kim Possible in battle after battle, until finally she will be at my mercy!"
He began to laugh maniacally, whilst Shego just shook her head.
"Oh yeah, Dr. D. Great plan."
"O f course it's a great plan, Shego! I got it from a comic book," he said proudly. Then his face clouded, and he looked at her questioningly.
"Wait... were you being supportive, or saracastic? I still can't tell..."
"Kim Possible! You think you're all that-"
The door of the police wagon slammed shut and cut off the rest of Drakken's taunt.
"-but you're not," Kim finished for him. "Really, you'd think he'd have come up with something different by now, right Ron?"
"Yup. Totally unoriginal," Ron agreed, still sounding a bit flustered. Kim had been worried about him during the trip over, as he'd been unusually quiet and introspective. Then, with what had happened during the fight...
Well, maybe tweaking him some would shed light on what was going on in his head. She took him by the right arm and started to lead him back towards their ride.
"So, I guess this was it, huh?" Ron said. Drakken and Shego had been the last names on the list; it had just seemed appropriate.
"I guess," Kim said. "I still get the feeling that we're forgetting something, though."
"Eh, probably just has to do with that 'Legacy' stuff Drakken was ranting about. I think GJ plans to keep an eye out for it."
"Yeah, I guess you're right," she replied, then leaned her head against his right shoulder. "It shouldn't be a problem.
"Still, Ron," she said sweetly, "thanks for the assist back there."
He flushed red.
"Oh how I rue the day that red sock got mixed in with the whites."
"You actually had Shego staring at you," she teased. "I think you caught her eye."
"Sick and wrong, KP."
They bantered for a bit, but it was half-hearted on Ron's part; the boy clearly had something on his mind.
"Okay, Ron," she said. "Spill. Something's up with you, and I want to know what."
He looked at her for a moment, then nodded and changed direction towards one of the larger rocks outside of Drakken's mountain base. They sat on the rock, and Ron stared at his feet for a moment.
"My parents gave me something a few days ago," he began, and then told her the story.
His maternal grandfather, Wiktor Sobieski, had died of pancreatic cancer when Ron was only six months old. Before he died, though, he had recorded a series of cassette tapes, just so he could pass on his story, and some of his wisdom, to his grandson.
"And they waited till now to give them to you?" Kim asked. She liked the Stoppables, she really did, but knew that they could act very cold on occasion.
"Well, the bank lost a few of the forms that would let them get into the safety deposti box. That, and it was what Grandpa Sobieski wanted," Ron explained. "He told them to wait until I had graduated and, well, until I'd fallen in love."
"He said that way I'd understand. I think he was right."
Ron then told her more of the story. Wiktor had emigrated to the United States from Europe in 1947. He had lived in Poland until the invasion and blitzkrieg of 1939, but had actually been born in Germany.
"That's what he said in the tapes, at least," Ron continued. "KP, there was this one picture in the box... I saw it before I listened to the tapes. It was my grandfather holding me on the day I was born."
'The only other time I saw someone look that overjoyed was when I looked into the mirror after prom,' he thought, but didn't say aloud. She knew it anyway.
"There was a number tattooed on his arm."
Nothing more had to be said; they both knew what it meant for a European Jew to have such a tattoo.
He had watched everyone he loved die in front of him, in the Dachau concentration camp. He himself had barely survived until the liberation by the 45th Infantry Division in 1945. Somehow, he had made his way to the States and had built a life for himself, having survived the worst that men had to offer.
He had lived to see his descendents to the second generation.
Finally, though, summer itself drew to an end, and Kim Possible prepared to leave Middleton. At last, the day came. Ron had come by to help her pack, and to see her off. Finally her stuff was in the car, her family was in the, and then it was just her and Ron, standing in the yard.
"Well, Kim, I guess, uh, I guess this is it," Ron said nervously. He found himself wondering exactly why he had encouraged her to go to BAU in the first place. Still, it wasn't like she was changing continents or anything, and he knew that she would be back in Middleton for Thanksgiving and Christmas... but he didn't realize just how much he would miss her until just then.
He found it hard to keep from crying.
"Yeah, yeah I guess," Kim replied, her voice in the exact same tone. They'd been separated before, when Ron had gone off to Camp Wannaweep, but they were children then, and it had been nothing like this.
Even Rufus was whining.
"Uh, here," Kim said, handing something to Ron. "I had Wade whip this up for you."
"My own kimmunicator," Ron said appreciatively as he took the small blue object.
"Correction: ronnunicator! You can call me, or beep me... you know, if you want to reach me?"
Ron looked at Kim, then he looked at the ronnunicatior, then he looked back at Kim and got the strangest feeling that they had done this before. He began to sniffle a little bit, and his vision blurred.
"No need to cry, Ron," Kim said kindly.
"I'm not crying," Ron protested, though the quaver in his voice belied the assertion. "Well, maybe a little..."
Then the talking stopped, and they embraced. Kim wrapped her arms around his neck, and Ron's were around her back; he held her so tight that she felt as if she would burst. Then they kissed, a long, lingering kiss of lovers soon to be separated, yet with hopoe and knowledge of an eventual reunion.
The communication devices would let them talk to each other and see each other, but it wouldn't be the same.
Finally Ron pulled his lips away and took a breath.
"I think you need to go, KP," he joked. "I can hear your dad's teeth gnashing from over here."
"He's just worried that we won't get there on time."
"Rocket scientists, all about the timing," Ron said. He let Kim go and stepped back.
"I'm going to miss you, KP."
She stepped foreward and give him one last kiss on the cheek.
"I'll miss you too, Ron. See you at Thanksgiving?"
"I'll be here when you get back."
She nodded, and, reluctantly, turned away from Ron and got into the car. Ron stood there in the yard and waved goodbye as the Possible family set off to deliver their daughter to college.
He stood there still, long after they were out of sight. Finally, he looked down at Rufus, and put the ronnunicator in his pocket.
"Well, buddy," he said at last, "let's go home."
END CHAPTER 1