I don't own KP, just this story. This is most definitely an AU folks, and has nothing whatsoever to do with my main storyline. But someone made a suggestion, and the idea just came to me. Hope you enjoy it!
Kimberly stared out the window, looking out on the town below with an almost melancholy. Watching the people bustling about, living out their lives they wanted to, able to make their own decisions. She envied them that freedom, just as she knew they envied her life. But life as a princess wasn't all it was cracked up to be.
Being told where to be, what to wear, she could have lived with that. But the life of a princess was a lonely one. Private tutors ensured her no one to talk with during classes. And while there were the always inevitable balls and functions she had to attend as the King's daughter, she never got along well with the other women who attended such functions. To them, she was always too boyish, too caught up in physical activities and learning to truly be a part of their circles. Most of them thought her crazy, though they were always taking great pains never to show it, her being the princess and all. Which meant her only friends there were fakes, always being nice to her to garner favour.
Kimberly descended the steps quickly, her lessons over for the morning. She needed to clear her head, and she knew of only one sure way to do that. She hurried down the hallways, dodging the servants working there, making sure to say hello to each and every one of them as she passed them by. She shot out quickly, past the barracks where the guard were kept, smiling at the sunshine as she exited the castle. The outdoors were where she belonged, not in those stuffy banquet halls and ballrooms.
After a moment's pause to enjoy the day, she headed straight for the stables, and knew everything would be ready for her when she got there. He never let her down, and knew just what she needed to be herself. When she saw the blond haired young man, his hair a mess and his face just the slightest bit dirty, her smile broadened.
Ron Stoppable was the greatest friend she could have ever had, and never doubted for a moment that she was incredibly lucky to have him. His parents had begun working for her father years ago, back when she was first just learning to walk. They didn't meet right away, but when she expressed an interest in learning to ride a horse, her father indulged her. It was that day, when she first came down to the stables, only five years of age, that was when she met him, and they'd been friends ever since. She could still recall the first time they ever met.
Kimberly was looking around in awe at the stables. She had never seen such a marvelous place before, and she gripped her mother's hand tightly as they entered. Her nose curled at the smell initially, but when she saw the first horse, magnificent in it's stall, she knew the smell would never be a bother.
"Your Lordship, we have just the horse for your daughter to learn on. Lord Fisk has been breeding this special breed just for you and your daughter, and sent one just last month."
She saw her father nod, as he inspected the tiny pony, a smile on his face. "And you'll have no problems training my daughter to ride?"
The man bowed low, and she could tell he seemed happy to do it. "It would be an honour, my liege!"
Kimberly had only been training a couple of hours when the stable keeper called a break, and servants came out with food and drink for her. It was while she was eating that she first noticed him, as he peeked out from one of the empty stables. When she turned fully to look at him, he ducked away. Kimberly turned away again, but noticed he began to peek out again. Quickly, she turned, and chuckled when he dove for cover again.
Rising to her feet, she headed towards where he was hiding, and found him pressed up against the wall of the stall, appearing very frightened. "What are you afraid of?"
The little boy was shaking as he responded. "I'm not supposed to be bothering you. My parents said so."
Kim huffed to herself, and knelt down in the straw beside him. "And what if I wanted you to join me?"
The small blond boy seemed to consider this. "Well, I guess it would be all right. After all, you're the princess!"
"Yup, and I want you to sit with me!"
She grabbed his hand, almost dragging him back to her blanket, where her lunch was laid out for her. When she sat down, she eyed him closely. "So, what's your name?"
"My name's Ron Stoppable. My father runs the stables and takes care of the horses."
"And I am Princess Kimberly Anne Possible."
Ron seemed to frown at that, as he ran it over and over in his mind. "You know, that's really long. Can I just call you PK?"
Kim was at first surprised at that, but smiled. "Sure, what does PK mean?"
Ron smiled broadly. "It stands for Princess Kimberly."
Kimberly laughed, and handed Ron a couple of cakes, which he quickly devoured. "You sure are a strange one Ron Stoppable, but I like you."
"PK? Are you in there?"
Kimberly shook herself from her thoughts, smiling at her friend in front of her. "I'm fine Ron, I was just thinking."
Ron smiled, and bowed deeply before her. "Well Milady, your steed awaits!"
Kim giggled slightly, as Ron led her to her horse. It was already saddled, with a basket hanging from one side. She turned back to him and smiled. "You made lunch, didn't you?"
Ron shrugged, a faint smile crossing his lips. "I might have whipped a little something up."
Kimberly hugged her friend before moving towards the basket. "You know, you should be the head chef, rather than working in the stables."
Ron just smiled as he readied his mount. "But then I'd have no time to spend with you."
Kimberly smiled, and leapt upon her horse. "You are right, we can't have that, now can we?"
Ron hopped up on his horse as well, and the two quickly rode off. Neither were aware of the eyes that were watching them from the castle as they departed.
Kimberly and Ron rode up to the stream, and she quickly dismounted, tying her horse up to the tree. She watched as Ron tried the same move, leaping right off the saddle, but at the last moment, his pants caught on one of the buckles. His momentum carried him so that he was now upside down, hanging from the saddle, and without warning, quickly found his pants no longer around his waist. He hit the ground, his ankles still caught in his pants, and looked up to see the laughing figure of his friend.
Kimberly grabbed the reins, tying the horse up to the tree so it could not run before moving over to help Ronald get loose. Pulling upward, she got them loose, and suppressed a laugh as he struggled back into them. "You would think, after all this time, you would be able to dismount a horse without losing your pants!"
Ron smiled as he retied his belt. "Yes, but then I would never hear you laugh. You don't do it often enough as it is."
Kimberly's face fell slightly. "I don't get much of a chance to. If it wasn't for you…"
"You hungry? I sure am!" Ron grabbed the blanket from his saddle, and carefully spread it out on the ground by the stream, taking care with it, as he motioned for her to sit. She smiled up at him, as he went to the basket on her saddle, and laughed as he emphasized everything he did. "Madam, we are serving a lemon duck, served with a collectionof fried potatoes and vegetables. And for dessert, a selection of fine pastries for your perusal. Does this meet with Madam's high standards?"
"Ron, what would I ever do without you? I can't believe how lucky I am that you are my friend!"
Ron watched Kimberly eat, taking care to slow down his own eating. He wanted to take as long as he could, spend as much time with her as possible. As she sat there smiling, he couldn't help thinking just how beautiful she really was.
He knew that it was impossible; he was a peasant, she was royalty! There would be no way that he could ever expect her to return those feelings to him. He couldn't believe she even liked spending time with him. He knew why she did though. He was the only one she could be herself around. With others, she had to be the princess, the perfect daughter to the King and Queen, and the others treated her as such. She never knew just how much those others her age really liked her, with their attempts to win her to their side, or in their pursuit of something. When they were together, she could enjoy herself as she couldn't around everyone else.
The King had initially been worried, his daughter hanging around a boy like him, a commoner at that. But after watching the two of them, he had reluctantly accepted that she needed him. Ron had been so unbelievably honoured when they had had him for dinner one night to get to know him better. They trusted him, and he wouldn't do anything to disabuse that trust. And that meant that he could never tell Kimberly how he felt about her.
Kimberly smirked. "Something on your mind? You've hardly touched your food."
Ron snapped out of his reverie and smiled. "Just enjoying some quiet time. Apparently there are some dignitaries coming, and we have to prepare some of the extra stalls for their horses."
Kimberly paused for a moment. "I don't remember father mentioning anything to me."
Ron shrugged, before taking a bite. "Guess it can't be that important then. At least you won't have to worry about a ball or something like that."
Kimberly grinned. "That is definitely good news then."
Ron finished his food in silence, and Kim sat watching him the whole time. When they were done eating, he continued sitting there, glancing on occasion her way. "Ron, is something the matter?"
Ron fidgeted a bit, before turning to face her. "PK… we're always going to be friends, aren't we?"
Kimberly placed her hand on top of his, smiling. "Of course we are. I couldn't imagine you and me not being friends."
"Well… what about when you get married? I mean, I'm surewhoever you wedwouldn't like you hanging around with me all the time."
Kimberly frowned slightly. "Ron, that's not going to be for a while yet! Besides, if I find the man I want to marry, he'll just have to know, that my friend is part of the deal. That's all there is to it! Besides, how do you know you won't be the first to get married? After all, I'm sure there are plenty of eligible maidens in the village."
Ron looked away sheepishly. "Yeah, I guess."
Kimberly frowned as well now. "Ron, are you all right? I mean, I know you can be a bit shy, but I'm sure there is someone out there for you."
"I guess you're right."
Kimberly stared at him, trying to make out what he might be feeling. "That's not the problem though, is it? Ron, what is bothering you?"
"PK… I can't really… I mean… oh, look at the time! It's getting late, and we should get going. I still have a lot of work to do before the guests arrive."
Kimberly watched her friend as he began packing everything up, and she moved to help him. She was also somewhat troubled. Ron never keeps secrets from me. That's why I like spending so much time with him. What could be bothering him so much that he couldn't tell me?
Kimberly watched her friend as they began the ride back, but Ron had apparently put it out of his mind, and was back to joking around. Kimberly was satisfied for now, as she knew it couldn't have been too important if he was able to get back to joking so quickly.
Kimberly was just changing her clothing when she heard her attendant come up behind her.
"Princess, you really should have let me know you needed to change. I could have helped you!"
Kimberly just shook her head, but that didn't stop the woman. "Susan, it is no trouble for me to dress myself. I have done it before."
Kimberly could see her nod in the polished silver hanging from the doorway. "I understand Princess, but I should at least be on hand to offer assistance."
Kimberly sighed, and contented herself with letting the woman fix her hair for her, knowing she wouldn't be happy unless she was able to do something. When Kimberly was satisfied, she closed the door to her closet. "So, does father need me for anything before I return to my studies?"
Susan nodded to her, the woman's dark hair cascading across her shoulders as she did. "He spoke of needing to speak with you at some point before tonight. He did not specify whether it should be before or after your studies."
Kimberly nodded. "I guess I should see him before then. I'd only wonder about it through studies if I didn't." Kimberly entered the hallway, and paused at one of the guards on duty as to her father's location. She smiled when she heard he was in the library, and rushed over there quickly.
Opening the doors, she noticed he had many candles going, and she could hear him talking. Walking in, she saw it was with the court magician Lipsky. Kimberly shivered slightly when she saw him look up. He always gave her the shakes, just by the way her looked at her. Her father also looked up when he did, and smiled.
"My little Kimberly!" He rose, pulling her into a hug.
Kimberly's cheeks blazed with embarrassment. "Father, I'm not a little girl anymore."
Her father pulled away slightly, a frown creasing his once happy expression. "I know that. That is… what I had to talk to you about."
Kimberly was worried by the expression on his face. "What is the matter father?"
Her father sat back down, gazing up at her as he held her hand. "You are old enough to understand your responsibilities now, and while it pains me to do this, we need to secure relations with their kingdom. His father is a powerful man, and he can provide you with much for the future."
Kimberly pulled back, a touch of fear crossing her features. "Father, I don't understand."
He cast his eyes downward, refusing to look her in the eye. "King Mankey is looking for a wife for his son, and I have agreed to the union."
Author's Notes – Well, this was definitely different so far, wasn't it? Not my usual fare, but I am a huge fan of the whole medieval thing, with warriors and magic and heroes.