In Her Life
AN: This came to me for two reasons... a line in StD: Diablo by Epic Quest INC (and thanks to them for the amazing tale) and some works I saw on DeviantArt of a certain rarely seen, but very beautiful, KP universe character. Have at me all you want for this pairing, but remember that imagination is why we are all here writing in the first place. Don't own any of it, except the idea for the pairing, that belongs to the odd part of my brain I don't let out much, for obvious reasons. This is AU after StD.
She was deep under Middleton, buried by miles of rock and earth, but she felt buried more by her duty.
The debriefing had gone well as she expected.
Team Possible had defeated Dementor... no, it had probably been Ronald that defeated that twisted man's army, but as usual Miss Possible took the credit for the success. She never let it show, but sometimes the natural 'Kimness' of Miss Possible drove her mad... There's no 'I' in team after all.
Dr. Betty Director dismissed the two, as they left she overheard Kimberly 'gushing' about some guy named Steven in her dorm.
Being that her doctorate was in psychology she easily caught the look of sharp pain that offhand remark gave to Ronald... Wait, aren't they together? They kissed at their prom, started dating and they've roomed together at Upperton University for the past two years, something has changed. It may affect mission performance if the look on Ronald's face is any indication. I will have to have a discussion with him soon, alone.
For some strange reason, the thought that Kim had hurt Ron made her angry... it was a small feeling in the back of her mind, but it disturbed her.
Refocusing on the reports at hand the business of keeping the globe safe moved forward.
The workday was ending, as director of Global Justice she could actually work 'bankers hours' if she wished. She usually didn't as her worry was always for the agents out in the field and the villains and terrorists that made sending them out necessary, today was different.
Ever since she had finished debriefing Ron and Kim she had been dealing with an unnatural fixation on the blonde man. Man, now that's the correct term for him.
As she put away the sensitive documents that made up the piles on the desk her mind wandered back to the first time she had seen Ronald Dean Stoppable. He had appeared before her with Kim Possible looking like her complete opposite, her outfit had been sleek and form fitting. His had appeared two sizes too big for him, the belts he wore not really helping his pants to stay up at all. Disheveled blonde hair, chocolate brown eyes and a lanky build had rounded out the impression. The randomness of the boy had shocked her, he appeared to be the South to Possible's focused and hard driven North, polar opposites.
The Ron Factor project had revealed many things about him, hidden depths of loyalty and courage. He was someone with the potential to do great things even if his outward appearance at the time seemed to deny it. So much had been revealed that she had kept the project open, with much less surveillance but she still looked at the file from time to time, she cursed her decision to not monitor his relationships as a part of it... he deserved that privacy though.
She could hardly believe he was 21 now. Instead of five foot six he now stood a full six foot two inches, he sported a medium muscular build that she had admired the last time Team Possible had visited the GJ infirmary. His freckles had faded but never truly left, leaving him with a boyish face, the eyes were still chocolate brown but now seemed deeper. The hair was still as golden blonde, still as disheveled but it seemed to fit the whole package now, the sideburns looked cute too. His mission clothes had changed too, combat boots, SWAT Tactical pants in black and an black commando sweater was the norm now with a tight fitting leather belt encircling his waist hung with pouches for his gear... he never lost his pants these days that she had heard as all his clothes fit him perfectly.
The biggest change though had been in his outward image. He walked with confidence now, no more the stumbling fool, he had grown into hands and feet that had once seemed two sizes too big. Two summers at Yamunuchi can do wonders... Betty remembered herself at Ron's age and smiled. His goofy grin was still there but now hid a mind that could see a solution to any problem, he could think outside the box better than any of her regular agents... if he would only step away from Possible he could soar. If only I'd had a partner like Ron when I was Kim's age, what I could have done... I never had that person I could trust unconditionally. Ron could be one of the greatest GJ agents ever... down to earth, a master of Tai Shing Pek Kwar, wielder of a mythical blade and in possession of a warm, loving heart... now where did that last though come from! He may as well be one of my agents, I can't think about him like that... can I? A small part of her mind admitted that he could be the one she had looked for all her life.
He is always there for Kim, she knows if she gets in too deep he will move heaven and earth to make sure she is safe and the mission is complete. I needed someone like that then and I still need that person now. The admittance of this truth made her head slowly fell to her desk, after a minute of quiet contemplation she sat up straight and stiffened her features... no time for 'if onlys'.
The report from Team Possible's latest mission was on her desk now and it confirmed her earlier suspicions. Kim had dealt with Dementor and his personal bodyguard of four herself but Ron had been the one that had disabled twenty, twenty henchmen, the death ray and walked away with minor bruises only. During the debrief Ron had never mentioned that, it only came up today as her agents reviewed the security tapes Dementor kept. I knew he had done the better part of the work, you deserve a better partner than Possible... oh maybe me...
Betty snapped herself off of her train of thought, she had an agency to think of, a globe to defend. Her needs came second, always.
I need a drink and I need to relax in that order.
The travel tubes dropped her outside Maxwell's, a pub owned by a former Global Justice agent in downtown Upperton not far from her apartment. Jimmy had made good after losing a leg against that bastard Killigan. Betty thought back to all the people like that she knew, all sent out on her orders. It's a wonder I'm not an alcoholic.
She was recognized at the door with a hearty greeting bellow by the assembled patrons, it had taken a few tongue lashings but everyone had finally gotten the point that when she was in Maxwell's she was Betty, not the boss or Director, or Dr. Director, just Betty. It was a sign of how much her agents respected her that they gave her that and she loved them for it, she could be herself here.
Some of the leers she got as she walked to the bar made her smile. She knew at 41 she was no longer a young woman, but her active lifestyle and long days with skipped meals gave her an advantage over most. Letting her hips sway a bit more in a small show of triumph she made her way forward.
Placing her foot on the brass rail she smiled and greeted the bartender, "Jimmy! How are you doing? Business good?"
Taking a break from slingin' suds Jimmy smiled at his former boss, "Betty I'm doing better than fine 'cause the place is hoppin', the usual for you?"
"Yep, it's needed, it was a good day... remember those?" Betty said with an eye roll for added effect.
Jimmy couldn't help but laugh as he drew her a Guinness , "Yeah, I remember those, makes me wonder why I didn't do this from day one!"
She paid for her stout, "Say Hi to Carol and the kids for me." Jimmy waved as she made her way deeper into the pub, the music calming her as she greeted her coworkers and local police officers she knew with nods and smiles, the stress of the day bleeding off as she drank the brew.
Near the back of the pub she slid into her favorite booth without looking...
"Dr. Director! Badical meeting you here."
Without looking she knew, the voice... that low, deep tone that seemed to send a smile with every word. She remembered Kim's term for it from the Ron Factor files... Ron-shine. Her heart fluttered a bit startling her... it's the alcohol, been a long day with nothing in my stomach and I'm a bit tired, that's all.
She turned to face the other occupant with a warm smile.
"Stoppable! Good to see you... and its Betty when we're here. I get to be myself here." She admonished the man before her in the booth.
"Ok Betty, but no calling me 'Stoppable', only Shego does that," Ron let out with a smirk, "it's Ron and you already know Rufus." He said waving his hand at the a pink blur working through a large plate of nachos on the table.
Rufus poked his head up and waved at the newcomer, "hnuk Hi Betty!" Before diving back into the cheese covered chips with gusto.
As many times as she experienced it, Rufus talking to her had always amazed Betty, "Hi Rufus," she rubbed the back of the pink rodent gently with a finger as she addressed his master, "so, you discovered our official GJ watering hole?"
"Yeah, when I turned 21 four months back the guys on the weapons course I was taking, and thanks for getting me in on that by the way, decided I should get good and sloppy so they brought me here. Considering what had happened a few days before I made the most of the opportunity... that was one wild night." The smile on his face was brittle. "I really like the atmosphere and the people so I keep coming back when I need time away from the dorm, which these days is a lot."
"Ron, could I ask what happened? I noticed this morning the pained look on your face when Kimberly mentioned some guy. I'd like to think that we are friends, if you need to talk I'm here for you." Slowly she moved a hand across the table and took hold of one of his.
She saw a look of pain cross his features before he settled into a fragile smirk, "Betty, someone as important as you doesn't need to hear the trials of a loser."
The grip on his had tightened until she could hear him gasp, she spoke to him in a low venomous rasp... whatever Possible did to him was worse than I thought, his self esteem is shot, "You are not and have never been a loser Ronald Dean Stoppable. I have seen every bit of research done on you via the Ron Factor project, it never really ended you know." She saw his eyes widen in shock. She continued in a low voice, her eye boring into his two. "Oh yes, I know all about your trips back to Yamunuchi, I know of your mastery of Tai Shing Pek Kwar and your status of keeper of the Lotus Blade. I saw your scores from the weapons training and I've seen you practicing your skills, just this afternoon I read a report about you knocking off twenty henchmen and a death ray with only a few bruises and I'm not going to go into your personal wealth... you are many things Ron, but a loser is never, ever one of them! What in the devil happened between you and Possible to make you think such drivel?"
"Assuming you really do want to hear it, its a long story." He responded, cheeks a deep red.
"Ron, I really want to hear what happened. I'm your friend, I know who and what you are... in short you are a good man, that means a lot coming from me. I want to hear this, I want to help you if I can because to tell the truth people like you are what gives me hope someday we won't need Global Justice, someday we'll win for good."
He looked surprised, his smile became a bit stronger, "Ok, ok... I'll spill, let me order a few more pints and some more nachos, this is going to be a long one, I'm buying."
"Don't think I like you for your money Ron." She laughed giving his hand one final squeeze before releasing it as he stood.
"Good to know Betty, I'll be right back."
She had to look as he walked away from the booth towards the bar, at six foot two inches he wasn't that much taller than her own five foot eight. He had on blue jeans that seemed made for him, the wear spots showing that they had been his for a while. She felt her cheeks colour and her midsection tingle as she let her gaze linger on his firm looking ass as she traveled his body. A white fitted T-shirt covered the rest of him, the cotton skimming him in all the right places and a pair of brown leather hiking boots finished the package... nope, definitely not a loser, but would he have anything to do with me?
Again she drifted back to thoughts of what could have been if someone like Ron had been a part of her life twenty years ago... no good thinking like this, it's not twenty years ago, never will be again and Ron wasn't there, all I'm doing is causing myself pain... but maybe he could be a part of my life now, better late than never. A smile crossed her lips as she realized it might work, sure she was 20 years his senior, but she didn't look a day over 30 herself and she could still hold her own in a fight with any of her agents. Heck I bet I could give the mighty Kim Possible herself a run for her money, age is only just a number. She could have not just someone like Ron in her life, she could have the real thing.
Banishing the thoughts from her mind for the moment she focused on the immediate concern, what had Kim Possible done to her warrior to damage him like this?
AN1: Yeah, I'm going where everyone thinks I'm going. Only comment: Age is but a number. And yes, Dr. Betty Director is a very nicely drawn woman! The eye patch doesn't hurt a thing, gives her that edge. Hey, what can I say I have weird tastes. Betty being emotional? Well command is lonely, and she's been a leader for a long time the way I see her, it's natural no matter how trained we are to have thoughts like that, to realize what we have missed and what it could have meant. Some people just get to act on them.
AN2: Ron's mission gear at age 21 would include Danner Ft. Lewis Duty Boots, SWAT Tactical Uniform Trousers (black), 5.11 Tactical Muscle Mapping Shirt (black), Nomex Flight Gloves (black), and a Commando Rib Sweater (black)... all of this can be found at a favorite online store of mine. If you figure out the store you can imagine all the great pouches that could be hanging on Ron's belt from the same place.
Read and review, please and thank you!