A/N: It seems especially fitting to launch KP:TNG this week. Kim Possible was just renewed for a fourth season because of the show of support from the show's loyal fans. And, as many of you know, the original Star Trek was picked up for a third season and Enterprise a fourth due to fan support.
I don't know whether this is a "cross-over" or "fusion" or what. I'm not calling it Sci-Fi because, as Wade noted, that disrespects the genre. More to the point, I'm merely interested in telling a good KP story and I thought the worlds of KP and TNG would mesh beautifully. I hope you'll agree.
I've planned a full "season" of action, romance, intrigue, adventure, and humor for you. And, since readers of Nacho Boy and the Dragon Lady seemed to like receiving a new chapter on the same day each week, I intend to adhere to a similar schedule. Mark your calendars: KP:TNG will be posted on Fridays.
It's a great pleasure to leave Spacedock with campy as my beta and proof-reader. Thanks, friend. Mr. O'Brien will be beaming those nacos to you in short order …
Do let me know what you think. If you're registered with FF net and you leave a review, I promise you a response.
Finally, CaptainKodak1, G-Go, Mattb3671, WesUAH, Zaratan, and yours truly have formed an FF writer's collaborative called GWA. Please check out our story The Darkness Within.
Lawyer's Line: if you saw it on KP, it belongs to Disney; if you saw it on Trek, it belongs to Paramount. If you saw it on Panda Girl, it belongs to me. Ah, to have a revenue-generating property of my own …
Ensign Kim Possible waited impatiently at the foot of the transporter pad, barely able to keep herself from bouncing up and down.
Chief Miles O'Brien smiled as he worked the controls. "I'll have your visitor here in a moment, Ensign," he said in his genial Irish brogue.
Kim was bursting with excitement. It had been almost a year since she'd seen him. And now he was going to visit her aboard Enterprise. "Thanks, Chief. It's just that Ron's been my best friend since we were four …"
"And you're excited about his coming here. I don't blame you; I bet he's excited, too."
"Totally. He thought it was so the drama when I was assigned to Enterprise." She remembered how he'd been almost as proud as her father. And Dr. James Timothy Possible had designed the Galaxy-class starship.
The transporter began to make the familiar whine, then the air began to shimmer, then …
"Whoooaaah! That is so cool!" Ron Stoppable exclaimed as he materialized on the pad.
O'Brien grinned. Transporter newbies came in two types: those who screamed, and those who thought it was the neatest experience of their lives. He always liked the latter kind.
"K …" Ron began to say joyously when his pants fell down; somehow, his belt was lost in the process. "Awww man!" Despite all of the marvels of 24th century technology, Ron Stoppable had suffered a life-long plummeting-pants problem, one that had now followed him into outer space.
Chief O'Brien gawked. He'd seen many things in the transporter room, but this was a first.
Kim laughed, then ran onto the pad and hugged Ron while the chief looked away, not particularly interested in seeing the visitor's boxer shorts. "It's so good to see you, Ron!"
"Same here, KP. Uh, mind if I find another belt?" he asked, pulling away and reaching into his duffel bag. After he remedied his transporter malfunction, he looked at his friend. "The uniform suits you, Kim."
"Why thank you, Ron," Kim said, as her cheeks turned the slightest shade of pink. "Let me introduce you to Chief O'Brien."
"Pleasure," the Irishman said, extending his hand.
"Same here," Ron responded with a grin. "But I think you owe me a belt."
"Don't know if I can help you there. But I'll buy you a drink in Ten Forward when Ensign Possible's on duty and you need something to do."
"Sounds good," Ron said, before asking "Uh, let's say I didn't remember what a Ten Forward was?" It sounded vaguely familiar, but Kim had been telling him so much about Enterprise in her communications that he couldn't keep things about the ship straight.
Kim slipped her arm through his. "You'll see! After you get settled in, I'll give you a tour of the ship."
As Kim and Ron exited through the doors, the Chief shook his head. Best friend, huh. Looks like a boyfriend to me. Think it might be time to start a little pool…
"It's so big, Kim!"
"It's the largest ship in the fleet, Ron," Kim said before rattling off a list of impressive statistics.
Ron was struck by the number of people and the varieties of species on board. He'd grown accustomed to diversity when he moved to San Francisco after high school, but this was different. Everyone seemed more equal out here in outer space. Ron tried to absorb what Kim was telling him, but was having trouble. He'd never been good with facts. And he was enjoying being with her. He'd missed her terribly since she'd graduated from the Academy and been posted to Enterprise. Now they'd have two weeks to catch up.
"I still can't believe you invited me, KP."
Kim smiled. "Who else would I invite? It's not like Dad hasn't been all over this ship, Mom hates space travel, and the tweebs and photon torpedoes? So not going to happen. Besides, you're my best friend in the galaxy, and I missed you."
"Same here, KP. I'm just glad you were the top performer on board ship your first six months and got to have a guest. Not that I'm surprised; you are the girl who can do anything, after all."
"Thanks, Ron. Though I have to tell you, on this ship, I don't feel all that special. The people here are incredible. Starfleet's finest. I am still so honored to be here."
Ron was surprised by the slight lack of confidence he heard in Kim's voice. That wasn't like her. "KP, as far as I'm concerned, you are Starfleet's finest."
"Thanks, Ron. You know, you're turning into quite the charmer!"
"Turning? The Ronman has always been the charmer. Known across the Alpha Quadrant for his bon-diggity moves!"
Kim slapped her best friend on the back and chuckled. "C'mon, Ronman, let me show you your quarters."
As Kim and Ron were walking down the corridor to Ron's quarters, Kim cast an admiring glance over at her best friend.
"You know, Ron, I have a confession."
"What's that, KP?" he asked, his curiosity aroused.
"I thought you'd hate the transporter. A lot of people are so weirded out the first time they do it."
"Nah, it was the same feeling I got when I ate those Atomic Crunchies when I was a kid."
"By kid, you mean someone 22 or younger," she said, a skeptical look on her face.
"Well, kid at heart. I mean, hey, KP, it's good stuff!"
"I cannot believe that a galaxy-class cook enjoys eating candy that makes his hair stand on end!" Kim said.
"You better believe it!" Ron replied with enthusiasm. "And it makes my toes tingle, too!"
"You are so weird, Ron," Kim said with an affectionate grin.
"Yeah, but you like me anyway."
"Yes, I do." Kim acknowledged before she reached over and mussed up his hair. "Well, here we are. Chez Stoppable." Kim opened the door and entered, followed by Ron.
Kim watched with satisfaction as Ron, in awe, took in his home for the next two weeks. Since a VIP suite was available, he'd been assigned one. The quarters had separate sleeping and sitting areas; the latter even included a dining and food preparation space. But what really caught Ron's attention were the huge windows that afforded a magnificent view of the heavens.
"This is badical!" Ron exulted. "I'm moving in permanently!"
Kim chuckled. "I hate to break the news, but if you decide to stay longer, they're going to downgrade you."
"You don't have a room like this?" he asked.
"I've got a roommate, remember?"
"Yeah, I know you mentioned that. So if there are two of you, your quarters are larger, right?"
Kim laughed. "Ron, this ship is big, but it's not that big. And I'm just a junior officer," she said, sitting down on the couch and curling her legs up. "I have a windowless cabin that is barely large enough to accommodate two beds, two bureaus, and a shared bath. But enough about that. What's in the box?"
Kim was inquiring about the large case Ron had brought along with his duffel bag. "In here? Treats!"
"Treats? What kind of treats?"
"Tasty treats for my best friend," Ron answered with pride.
"You transported food from Earth? How?" Kim knew that Ron's trip to rendezvous with Enterprise had taken the better part of a week.
"The latest in gourmet food equipment, KP. It's a portable stasis chamber. Keeps everything perfectly fresh for up to a month. I've got some delish delectables in here for you," he said with a grin. "Chef Ron plans to make sure his best friend has some bon-diggity meals while he's here."
Kim beamed as she contemplated the prospect of home-cooked meals by Ron. He'd become an incredible cook and was now employed as a sous chef in one of San Francisco's finest restaurants; she had no doubt he'd be the head chef in a great place soon enough. "Spankin'! When do we eat?"
"Well, when do you want to?"
"Hmmm. I'd like to right now. But you've traveled a long way, so you shouldn't have to cook. Besides, I'd like you to meet Tom tonight."
"Great," Ron said, feigning enthusiasm. He still hadn't decided how he was going to deal with the boyfriend situation.
"And, gee Ron, I feel terrible, but tomorrow's our three-month anniversary. Would you be terribly upset if I had dinner with Tom? He said he had something special arranged. Then I promise I'll be yours the rest of the time you're here."
"Sure, KP," Ron said with a friendly smile, but disappointment in his eyes. I travel 200 light years to see her, yet Rondo once again takes a back seat to the latest hottie. Some things never change. Why am I even thinking about her that way … It's like high school all over again.
"You rock, Ron," Kim said. But then she saw the look in his eyes. He's never looked that way before. Or … have I just never noticed? she thought. Suddenly, Kim found herself feeling very bad about what she'd just done. "Ron, I'm sorry. I can't believe I just did that. You came all the way to see me and …"
Ron looked at Kim and saw something in her expression. He wasn't sure what it was. But in all the years he'd known her, she'd never expressed regret for setting him aside for another guy. Yet now she was. He found he couldn't stay angry with her. "Hey, KP. No big. I'll just have to go find some hot babe who enjoys fine cu-zine!"
Kim laughed. "Fair enough, Romeo." But much to her surprise, Kim realized she hoped he wouldn't.
He noticed the serious tone of voice. "Yeah, KP?"
"Please, do NOT touch anything, okay?"
"Me? Touch?" he asked, sounding offended.
Kim arched her eyebrow. "Two words, Ron: Utopia Planitia."
Ron laughed nervously, recalling the visit he'd taken with Kim's family to the Starfleet construction facility in Mars orbit; the ship Ron had managed to unmoor was still something best not discussed. He took a sudden interest in his shoes.
Kim couldn't describe it, but Ron suddenly seemed more awkward than he'd been in years. She decided she'd been too sharp and put her arm around his shoulder.
"Hey, sorry for harshing on you, Ron. It's just that I've had a lot on my mind lately."
"'S'kay, KP," he said, his normal goofy grin returning. "That's why I'm here. Everyone knows I don't use mine, so you can store some stuff up here," he joked, tapping his head. "Besides, you wouldn't want me accidentally firing a phaser or something. Though I do still have the highest score ever in Klingon Mayhem 4000."
"I thought Felix Renton had that honor," Kim gibed.
"Well, if you wanna get all technical, yeah. And it vexes me so."
Kim chuckled. "C'mon Game Boy," she said as they walked to the turbolift.
Once inside, Kim instructed the lift to take them to the bridge.
Moments later they arrived. The doors slid open. And Ron's jaw dropped.
"Ensign," the Klingon growled.
"Sir," Kim replied. "Please let me introduce my guest, Ron Stoppable."
Ron gulped. He'd met Klingons before. But the diplomatic corps types that wandered into the restaurant where he worked in San Francisco were … smaller. This one was a full-fledged Warrior. Six feet four and all muscle. Sort of like Mr. Barkin, but even scarier.
"Worf. Nice to meet you," the imposing figure said in a manner that seemed more threatening than welcoming.
"Uh, yeah, same here," Ron managed to squeak out in reply.
Worf looked disapprovingly at the scrawny human male. He knew that Ensign Possible was going to have a visitor – her best friend, no less – and assumed that so spirited a woman, a woman with the makings of a great warrior, would have more impressive companions. He was reminded that one should never make assumptions about people.
Kim looked at Ron. "I've told you about Lieutenant Worf. He's the chief security officer. I report to him."
"Ensign Possible is a most valuable member of my division," Worf said. "Few Starfleet officers are as skilled in the martial arts as she."
Kim's cheeks reddened. "Thank you, sir," she said.
Thank you, sir? She said it like she was surprised to be recognized. Ron remembered when Kim would have said No big! as if it was perfectly natural that she'd know sixteen styles of kung fu. This wasn't humility, something Kim always had trouble with. It was diffidence. Weird, he thought.
"This is my duty station when I'm on the bridge," she said, indicating the sweeping, elegant console.
Ron looked at the station, clueless as to what was before him, sure only that he wouldn't touch anything. Still, he was impressed. "Badical."
Kim began leading Ron away from Worf, much to her best friend's relief.
"This is the science station, this is communications. Over there is engineering …" Kim explained how all of the ship's functions could be directed, monitored, and coordinated from this one place. She then brought him down to the trio of command chairs.
"That's where the captain sits," she said, indicating the center chair.
"Is that the captain?" Ron asked. The person he was looking at didn't look like the man Kim had described in her letters.
"No, I am not. I am the Second Officer. Commander Data," the chair's occupant said, rising and extending his hand. "Welcome to Enterprise."
"Ron Stoppable. Nice to meet you."
"Thank you. It is nice to meet you, too."
Ron had never seen a human with Data's complexion or eye color before. "So, Commander, uh, where do you call home?"
Kim felt slightly uneasy as Ron began to converse with the one of the senior officers on such familiar terms. Still, she couldn't help but be impressed with how at ease he appeared to be with Data, especially after his discomfort with Worf, which she decided wasn't all that odd given the Klingon's menacing countenance. Ron really had grown more confident since she last saw him.
"Home? My home is Enterprise," he replied. Then he looked at Ron. "Ah. 'Where do I call home?' A colloquialism. You wish to know my planet of origin. Dr. Soong created me on …"
Ron's eyes bugged out.
"… Ah, you were not aware. I am an android."
"Are you playing me?" Ron asked, challenging the second officer.
"Playing?" Data asked.
Kim groaned. She adored her best friend, but sometimes wished he were a bit swifter. Sometimes he just wasn't the quickest draw, though in recent years, she'd come to learn that Ron was a lot smarter than people, himself included, gave him credit for. A large part of his problem was he was lazy, though that, too, seemed to be changing.
"Ron," Kim said testily, "Mr. Data really is an android."
"Coolio," Ron enthused. "I come from New Middleton on Mars. You can call me a Martian. Just don't call me a cab."
Data's head twitched. "Ah, I see. Ancient Earth humor. Very good!" He then let out a stilted approximation of laughter. "I hope you will be able to tell me more jokes while you are with us, Ron."
"Love to!" he said with a big grin, before turning to Kim.
She shook her head, but smiled. Kim then pointed out the operations and navigation stations, then asked him to follow her. She brought him up close to the view screen.
It had looked large enough from the turbolift; from here it appeared immense. And the clarity of the image was incredible. It was like looking through a giant window. Ron gawked at the planet, with its continents and great oceans, below.
"Wow, KP. This is so cool!" After a few more moments of looking at the screen, Ron realized he had to do something. He turned around, remembering that he saw a door. "Uh, is that the bathroom?"
Just as Ron asked his question, a distinguished-looking bald man of about 60, followed by a burly, bearded man and a woman with long, dark, curly hair, emerged through the door Ron had just asked about.
Data, looking at Ron, answered, "No, Ron. That is not the bathroom; it is Captain Picard's ready room."
"Bathroom?" the captain asked. "What is this all about, Mr. Data?"
"Ensign Possible's guest was inquiring about a bathroom, sir. I believe he has to relieve himself."
Will Riker looked at Kim and flashed a mischievous grin. He was clearly enjoying this.
"Uh, sir, Captain, this is my friend, Ron Stoppable. He's the person I invited for ship leave …" Kim said, feeling about two feet tall.
Jean-Luc Picard, standing ramrod straight, looked Ron over; Ron responded by unconsciously adjusting his posture. "Welcome aboard, Mr. Stoppable."
"Uh, thank you, Captain. This is a badical ship you've got. Really cool," Ron stammered. "Bon-diggity. Big." He knew he was babbling. "Sorry."
"Indeed," the captain turned from Ron and went to his chair, Data rose and took his station at the ops console and Riker and Deanna Troi took their places.
It was all Kim could do not to grab Ron's shirt and drag him off the bridge.
"He wanted to … In my ready room!" Picard marveled at what had just transpired.
"You have to admit, sir, it was pretty funny," Riker offered, unable to stop grinning.
Picard looked at Troi. "Counselor, any thoughts?"
"Perhaps you could put an 'occupied' sign on the door?" she suggested with a chuckle.
"Merde," the captain grumbled.
They rode the turbolift in silence. Kim was a cauldron of emotions. She was embarrassed for herself and for Ron. She was angry with him for being so … Ronnish. She didn't need this, not when her promotion review was in process. At the moment, she was tempted to push him into an airlock. And then to make things more complex, there was the whole matter of the transporter incident.
Kim Possible was still struggling with the unexpected sensation she'd experienced when her best friend's trousers fell to the deck; it was anything but platonic. When she had it, she thought it was just an odd reaction upon seeing him after so long. Yet the feelings it stirred had remained with her, which surprised her, since Ron wasn't a guy, he was, well, Ron. And then there was the matter of Lieutenant Tom Carter, her boyfriend.
Ron's emotional state was much clearer. He was dejected. He'd been on board for just a few hours and he'd already managed to make a fool of himself, and by association Kim, in front of all the bigwigs on the ship. He'd been thinking about Kim a lot lately; the reaction he had when he saw her in her form-hugging one-piece uniform merely confirmed what he'd finally admitted. He wanted to be more, much more, than 'just friends' with his life-long best friend.
Ron knew Kim was seeing someone, but he came on board, ready to try anyway. He'd secretly crushed on her in high school, but what he'd been feeling recently was different. But now? He'd be lucky if she still wanted to talk to him; he knew she couldn't afford to have a loser – he hadn't thought of himself that way in a very long time – messing up things for her, not if she wanted to have a successful career in Starfleet. And Kim hadn't even snapped at him, which she normally would have done by now. Instead, she was giving him the cold shoulder.
Kim looked over to see Ron staring at his shoes, his shoulders hunched, a hangdog expression on his normally buoyant face. He looked miserable. This wasn't the way their visit was supposed to start. Her desire to be angry with him vanished.
She reached over and put her hand on his shoulder.
"It's no big, Ron," she said. "Really."
"No, KP, it is. I don't belong here. I made a fool of myself. And even worse, I made you look bad. I'm sorry. Maybe I should just beam down and catch the next transport back to Earth," he said, sounding utterly defeated.
Kim couldn't understand what was going on with Ron. He had always been so resilient, never one to quit. She wondered if the months away had put so much distance between them that she no longer knew him as well as she once did. That prospect made her feel sad. Not wanting to accept that possibility, she decided that something was bothering him and she would find out what it was. She put her other hand on his other shoulder so they were facing one another. "Okay, shapeshifter. Who are you and what have you done with Ron? This sure doesn't sound like my best friend."
"Maybe you need a new best friend, KP," he said morosely.
"STOP!" she ordered the turbolift.
"Look at me, Ron," Kim demanded. "Now …"
Reluctantly, he complied.
"… I'm not going to stop being your best friend because of what happened on the bridge. It's so not the drama. Besides, to be honest, it was kind of amusing."
"Ya sure, KP?" Ron asked, not convinced.
"Yes, Ron I am," she answered, thinking of the expression on Commander Riker's face. "And more importantly, I'm still sure that you're my best friend," she added, before giving him a hug. Which, she had to admit, felt good. Very, very good.
Ron had positioned a chair so he could enjoy the view of the stars streaking behind the ship, which was now heading to its next destination. He was surprised that the crew weren't all huddled around windows and portholes stargazing; the sight was incredible. That anybody could ever become so accustomed to this that they just ignored it amazed him. He wondered if Kim felt that way.
He sighed. Everything seemed to be back to normal. They were tight. They were best buds. And she had a boyfriend, this Tom guy he was going to meet in a little while.
Ron couldn't blame her. She was out here, he was in San Francisco. She was beautiful and smart, he was goofy-looking and not particularly bright. Ron found himself wishing his parents had sprung for some illegal gene resequencing to boost his IQ and physique. Not that any of that would have helped – it wasn't as if he'd had the guts to tell her what he was thinking these past few months. He kept delaying that, worrying about their friendship, worrying that she would laugh at him. Now she was involved with someone else, which made things so much more difficult.
Of course, now that he was feeling completely inadequate, he wouldn't have to worry about how she'd react. There was no way Ron could tell Kim that he had realized he was in love with her.
Kim let her hair down and combed it out. She was glad she had her quarters to herself; Yori had yet to return from her duty shift, though she was supposed to join them in Ten Forward later in the evening.
Kim looked in the mirror, considering her hair and the outfit she had chosen, and decided that she liked what she saw. Then she looked at the dresser, at the hologram of her with Tom Carter. He was a high-flying lieutenant on the command track and a real hottie. They'd been together for almost three months.
Then she looked at the other hologram on the dresser, the one that had been taken on the day she graduated from the Academy. She was smiling happily, but Ron …
Kim picked up the picture and looked at it. She'd never really noticed it before, but Ron was beaming with pride, looking like the happiest man in the solar system.
She sat on her bed, looking at the image, her thoughts returning to the transporter pad, to the conversation in Ron's quarters, to the hug on the turbolift, before she sighed. What am I thinking? I'm with Tom. And this is … Ron. Kim thought. Sure, he is kind of cute in his own way. Wait … did I just think that? Ron Stoppable. Cute? Well, maybe he is. But he sure isn't BF material. Right? Wait a minute, why I am I even asking that question?
Kim flopped down onto her bed and let out a groan. Things had gone from normal to awk-weird at warp speed.