This AU fic happens during the first semester of Kim and Ron's junior year. Sometimes, overhearing someone can change your life …


Thanks to campy for beta- and proofreading.

If you saw it on KP, it belongs to Disney.

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Kim launched a spin kick at Shego as Ron tore around the lair, trying to evade a posse of pursuing henchmen.

"Kimmmmmm!" he cried out.

"Kinda busy, Ron!" she called back as she drove her foot into Shego's stomach.

"You ever consider trading up for a better model sidekick, Princess?" Shego asked snidely as she jumped to her feet and let loose a blast of her glow energy at Kim. "I mean, surely you can do better than the Buffoon 2000?"

Kim glowered at the henchwoman as she executed an evasive handspring. Ron may have been clumsy and unpredictable and he could be easily scared and remarkably unfocused. But he was reliable, loyal, good humored, and for reasons Kim still couldn't fully comprehend, always ready to join her on missions, regardless of whom they might be facing and where they might have to go. Ron most definitely wasn't perfect, but he really was the best friend anyone could ever ask for.

"So not possible, Shego. Only one sidekick offers the Ron Factor," Kim replied with a growing grin as she dodged another green-hued bolt.

"Ron Factor? Puh-leeze!" Shego snorted, unaware of what was transpiring behind her.

Ron had gotten hold of the Wireless Integrated Duotronic Gigabit Electromagnetic Telemeter. He was now desperately trying to evade the blasts that Drakken's henchmen, armed with energy sticks, were sending his way. He ran to and fro, driven on by a combination of fear of his pursuers and a desire to not let down Kim. Then, suddenly and for no apparent reason, Ron's pants fell down and he tripped, sprawling to the ground yet somehow maintaining his grip on the device. What had moments earlier been a well-placed shot by one of his foes to his head sailed by – and directly into a control panel which erupted into a cascade of sparks.

"Lair Self-Destruct Sequence Initiated. Detonation in sixty seconds," a disembodied voice intoned.

"Stoppable?" Shego asked, unable to hide her surprise.

"Mm-hmmm," a smug Kim replied.

Shego stopped fighting. "O-kay, maybe you got something there, Princess," she said with a shake of the head. "Anyway, I'm outta here!" the glamorous villain added as she flipped herself up and into Drakken's waiting hovercar. "Sayanora!"

"And don't forget to turn out the lights before you blow up, Kim Possible!" Drakken sneered as he piloted the craft out through the opening in the ceiling.

Kim rushed over to Ron, who, no longer being chased by armed goons, was struggling with his pants. "C'mon, Ron. We've got to get out of here," she said, taking his hand.

"I'm with you, KP," he said, scrambling to his feet and following after her.

They made it outside the lair just in time to see it explode.

Kim looked at her sidekick. "Nice work, Ron!"

"Nah, just dumb luck," he said modestly.

"I thought it was dumb skill?" Kim retorted, her eyebrow cocked.

"Weeeell, okay. Maybe the Ron-man brought his mad fu skills into play," he replied, puffing out his chest a bit. Ron was feeling pretty good about things just then. He always liked being able to contribute to the success of a mission.

Kim smiled at her best friend and sidekick, then looked at her watch. "Ooo. If we hurry, we might get back to Middleton before ten!" she said enthusiastically.

"What's at ten?" Ron asked. Pals was at 8:00 and Agony County aired on Thursdays, while this was a Wednesday.

"Josh," Kim answered with a dreamy look in her eyes. "I can't call him after ten and I want to ask him to the Sadie Hawkins Dance."

"Oh," Ron said, watching his best friend slip away into the Joshzone.


Kim stirred, slowly waking. She found herself in a dimly lit hold, the space dominated by non-descript crates and the throbbing drone of an ancient DC-3's 14-cylinder radial engines. She brushed some stray hairs out of her eyes and looked around for Ron, wondering where he had gone. She was sure he'd been sitting next to her before she dozed off; now he was nowhere to be seen.

She rose to her feet and stretched, trying to shake the stiffness from her bones and muscles. Now that her eyes had adjusted to the shadows of the cargo bay, she looked around. Forward was the pilot's cabin. Aft was more cargo. Enrique was more than happy to give Kim rides, but he liked to be left alone in his cockpit, which had just two seats: one for him and one for his long-haired Siamese, El Jefe; the cat didn't like people other than the pilot and Enrique was convinced that if El Jefe was disturbed, something would go wrong with the plane. Kim, grateful for the free rides, never said anything about her benefactor's superstition. Since Ron wouldn't be in the cockpit, that meant he had to be somewhere behind her. She wondered if he had gotten up to do some homework, recalling how he had surprised her by doing just that on the circus train, shortly before the whole fiasco with Dementor's bonding agent.

Kim made her way aft, gripping the crates for balance. She smiled as she saw the rear of his head, his ever-present, always-untamable cowlick present like a beacon, a sure and steady sign of something she could count on. She was about to go up to him when she realized he was talking to someone.

"… could never like a guy like me. I mean, I know I'm not smart and I'm pretty goofy looking …"

Kim stewed, wondering what girl could be giving her best friend the short shrift. So, she asked herself, will I be having a little talk with Tara or with Zita when we get back to Middleton?

"… she's pretty, athletic, smart …"

Okay, smart rules out Tara. Zita is so busted, Kim thought.

"… and she does amazing things. I mean, Rufus, why would I even think I'd ever have a chance with someone like Kim …"

Someone like me? Zita's nothing like me. Who's he talking about? she wondered.

"… and anyway, she's all gaga over Monkey Boy. Yet what's he ever done? Sure, he's handsome and can paint, but it's not like he ever went to the Amazon for her, right?"

"Nuh uh," Rufus agreed.

"… Nope. That was me," Ron continued. "Not that I went because I wanted her to like like me; she's my best friend and I'd do anything for her. But what does it matter? It's not like there's anything I could do to make her see me differently. I'm just not BF material. Not for KP. I'm just a loser …"

"Nuh uh," Rufus squeaked, patting his human on the shoulder. "Not a loser."

"Thanks, little buddy, but we both know better. Bonnie's right," he said, hanging his head dejectedly, "I'm a loser."

Kim was rooted in place, unable to move, desperately trying to process what she was hearing. Ron likes likes me? she thought. The way a guy likes a girl? But he can't! Ron isn't a guy. He's … Ron.

Part of her wanted to sit down next to him and console him: Ron was weird, but he was most definitely not a loser, and she hated hearing him talk about himself that way. But another part of her wanted to flee, unsure of what to do with this huge revelation. She knew she had to think things through before she said anything to Ron. She liked liked Josh, after all, and she didn't want to ruin her friendship with Ron, who was her best friend in the world. Then, much to her surprise, she found herself wondering what would happen if she ever gave Ron a chance to be a guy. She had never before even considered the possibility. But how could she even do that. Ron wasn't a guy, after all. He was … Ron.

Kim was ferociously confused. Quietly, she retreated to her seat.


It looked like they were going to enjoy an incident-free, picture-perfect landing; then Ron found himself tangled on a goalpost and Kim had to spend forty-five minutes helping him struggle free of his parachute. It was 10:20 when Ron's feet finally touched ground.

"Sorry 'bout that, KP," he said glumly, "I know you wanted to get home in time to call Josh."

"No big, Ron," Kim replied. While part of her was annoyed since she'd have to wait until the morning to ask Josh to the dance, she mostly felt terrible, now that she knew Ron's secret. He liked liked her yet was hiding his feelings, expressing regret that he had prevented her from asking out another guy when she now knew he wished she were asking out him. She so wished she knew what she should do about this sitch.

The two teen heroes walked home in silence from the drop zone, Ron sure that Kim was secretly angry with him for causing her to miss her chance to call Josh, Kim still utterly confused by what she had learned that evening. When they reached Kim's street, they parted ways with a wave.

Kim trudged into the kitchen, shrugged off her backpack, found a box of cereal, went to the refrigerator, retrieved some milk and prepared her dinner. One drawback to free rides was the lack of in-flight food service; of course, listening to her father's complaints, she knew this was now a problem with most commercial rides, too.

She was tucking into her not-so-elegant meal when her mother came into the room.

"Hi, honey," she said in greeting. "How was your mission?"

"It was fine," she replied unconvincingly, playing with her Toasty-O's as her appetite deserted her.

"Kim, is everything okay?" Ann Possible asked as she sat down beside her eldest child. "Did Drakken get away?"

Kim sighed. "Yeah, he got away, but we got the WIDGET and destroyed the lair."

"Well, in the end, that's good, isn't it?"

"Spankin'," she said half-heartedly. "The world's safe until Drakken has his next whack brainstorm. But, yeah, you can chalk this up as a win for the good guys."

"So what is it then?" Ann asked, a note of concern in her voice.

Kim looked at her mother before answering. She felt like everything she knew, everything she had ever counted on was changing, and that by talking about her sitch, it would become permanent and irreversible. Finally, though, knowing she needed some counsel, Kim summoned the courage to explain matters to her mother.

"Ron's a very nice guy, honey," Ann said.

"But Ron's not a guy, Mom, he's … Ron," Kim protested.

"I see. I suspect he sees himself as a guy, however."

"Yeah," Kim finally conceded. "I guess he does. But, but he's not …"

"A hottie?" Ann offered. "He's not golden? Definitely not handsome like Josh."

"No," Kim answered in a small voice, feeling, for reasons she couldn't quite articulate, ashamed.

"When you think about it, Ron really doesn't have much going for him," Ann said evenly, catching Kim by surprise. "He has a strange pet. Either he's not terribly smart or he's amazingly lazy about his schoolwork. He can have atrocious table manners. To be honest, he's weird …"

Kim began to bristle. This was her best friend her mother was dissing! And even if what she said was true, there was more to Ron than that!

"On the other hand," Ann continued, "he'll do anything for you, makes you smile, ignores your moods, can cook, obviously loves being with you, is fun to be around, is loyal and devoted. Not many guys would go to the Amazon for you, you know."

Kim sighed. "Mom, you're not describing a boyfriend. You're describing a, I don't know, a—"

"Husband," Ann interjected.

Kim was glad she had stopped eating.

Ann smiled. "No, dear, I'm not telling you to marry Ron. For one thing, you're too young for that and, besides, I really don't want your father to keel over from a heart attack. But where do you see things going with Josh? What do you want out of a relationship? Romance? Companionship? Bonnie Rockwaller's approval?"

"I, I don't know," Kim admitted. She had just spent the past few months crushing on Josh; up until this conversation, that was the most complex emotional enterprise Kim could ever imagine anyone undertaking. Now her crush seemed so ephemeral. "Mom, maybe Ron is a guy, but he's my best friend!"

"So? Your father is my best friend, Kimmie," Ann replied.

"But that's different!"

"Is it really?"

"Well, you're attracted to Dad, right?"

"Yes, I am."

"Well, I've never felt that way around Ron …" Kim said, slumping in her chair.

"… Because he's someone you've known since you were four and still see that way. You said it before: to you, Ron's not a boy," Ann offered, finishing her daughter's sentence. "Maybe you should try looking at him as if he were one. Mind you, I don't know what will happen. You may feel nothing and then you'll have to decide what to do. Physical attraction is not the most important element of a romantic relationship, but it is part."

Kim looked at her mother, desperately seeking an answer.

"Kimmie, I can't tell you what to do, but maybe you should give Ron a chance, try to look at him as a guy and not as, well, Ron. Then see what happens …"

Kim sighed. Ron is so not a hottie, he's Ron … she thought.

Ann smiled. "You'll never know if you don't try. I still remember how excited I was the first time I looked at your father and realized how much I liked his ears. They were sooo sexy!"

"TMI, Mom!" Kim protested as her mother ventured into territory no child should ever have to visit.


It was 3:00 in the morning. Kim was sitting cross-legged on her bed, wearing her night-clothes, holding a flashlight over a pad she had marked up (there was no way she was going to do this on her computer where Wade could 'accidentally' read what she had written). Kim had made lists. There was a list of what she liked and disliked about Josh. There was another of what she liked and disliked about Ron. There was a list comparing the two. There was a list of what she thought she wanted in a boyfriend. And, sure to terrify her father if he ever found it, a list of what she thought she might want in a husband when, someday in the distant future, she got married.

She read the lists, reviewed them, marked them up some more, then sighed. Life can be so ferociously difficult, she thought. If only I hadn't woken up on the flight home, I wouldn't be in this sitch. Her eyes wandered over to the barely visible picture of herself with Ron that she kept on her dresser: she was smiling and holding him from behind while he looked panicked. She never knew why she liked the picture so much, but it was a favorite. As she looked at it, she realized that even if she hadn't overheard Ron, this sitch would still exist. Ron would still have his feelings, which he'd be hiding, and so their friendship would still be affected.

She flopped back on her pillows and groaned in frustration before she was overtaken by sleep.


Kim came down the stairs to the kitchen, and gave each of her parents a good-morning kiss. She happily accepted the full breakfast her mother set before her, having not eaten much the night before. As she ate her bacon, she wondered when Ron would arrive to walk her to school. The minutes passed, and Kim began to worry. Ron always walked her to school. But today he seemed to be a no-show. Reluctantly, and a bit disappointed, she got up and left, not wanting to be late to class.

She arrived at Middleton High just in time to see Ron opening his locker.

"Hey, Ron!" she said brightly, trying to look at him the way her mother had suggested. Much to her chagrin, all she was seeing was Ron.

"Oh, uh, hi, KP," he replied, his voice sounding leaden.

"I missed you this morning. Where were you?" she asked, concerned. He was still her best friend, after all.

"I, um, well, I thought you might be better off without me hanging around. You know, so you can ask Josh to the dance," he said, nervously rubbing the back of his neck. "Wouldn't want to be near a closet or anything when you did …" he added, trying to make light of the situation.

Kim winced, as memories of their sophomore year returned. More than a year later, she still felt bad about locking Ron in the closet the afternoon of the Spirit Dance.

"… Awww man, I can't believe I said that," Ron whined. "Sorry, KP, I didn't mean to be a jerk. I know the dance is important to you."

Kim looked at Ron, at his expression. He might dislike Josh, he might even be jealous, but all he seemed to be interested in at that moment was her happiness. Then something strange happened.

Ron's face seemed to fracture. It was like watching a kaleidoscopic image come apart. Suddenly, Kim found herself focusing on parts, rather than the whole.

And it was all very shocking.

Brown eyes had become deep chocolate pools that one didn't look at but one gazed into.

Freckles she had taken for granted all her life became marks of enduring and endearing boyishness.

Blond hair became a straw-colored mop that begged to be ruffled.

And his large ears were … sexy.

Then, as suddenly as Ron's face came apart, it reassembled itself. And to Kim it was a different face, even if its appearance hadn't changed. It was a face she wanted to caress, a face she wanted to … kiss.

"I'm not asking Josh to the dance," Kim said.

"Huh? But I thought you wanted to. Hey, don't tell me he's going with someone else. Nobody treats Ron Stoppable's best friend that way," he said, his sadness swiftly displaced by anger.

"Amp down, Ron," Kim said as she rolled her eyes. "Josh didn't do anything."

"Okay, now I'm confused," he said, thoroughly stumped. Kim was dressed up, wearing her black top and red skirt. Surely she was going to ask someone to the dance. Ron wondered who the lucky guy was.

He was even more baffled when Kim took his hands in hers.

"Ron, would you go to the dance with me?" she asked.

Ron blinked a couple of times, before he replied.

"Did you just ask me to the dance?" he asked in disbelief.

Kim smiled and nodded.

"Uh, what gives KP?" He was feeling quite at sea. Ron had many good qualities, but he really wasn't the fastest boat on the water.

"I'm asking you to be my date, Ron," Kim explained. "In fact, and maybe this is rushing things, but I'm kind of hoping you'd, well, uh, be my BF." Kim hadn't planned on saying the last part, but the words just came out, and she felt comfortable with, even excited by, what she had just said. It just seemed right.

"Me? Y-your B,BF?" he stammered, unable to believe what he was hearing. It was just too good to be true. He wanted to ask Rufus to pinch him, but he was too stunned to summon his little friend.

"Yes, Ron. You. My BF. What do you say?"

"Boo-yah?" he responded tentatively, half-expecting to wake up from a dream or discover a mind-control chip.

"Boo-yah is a good place to start," she said with a smile as she saw Ron's look of confusion change to one of dawning happiness. She never realized how much she liked seeing his goofy grin. She knew then that she was ready to kiss him.

And so she did, right there in the hallway, not caring about Mr. Barkin's PDA restrictions. The kiss started off gentle and tentative, but soon turned into something passionate and confident.

"Wow," Ron said when their lips finally parted. "That was incredible," he added in awe-filled tones.

Kim, blushing, agreed. "That was, wasn't it? I think I could get used to that," she added with a giggle.

The two best friends-turned-couple stood by the lockers, oblivious to their fellow students, and looked at one another, seeing things they'd never noticed before. Finally, it was Ron who spoke up.

"Well, uh, we should probably head to class. Don't want to be late and get detention or I won't get to see my bon-diggity girlfriend after school," he said, obviously relishing his use of the word 'girlfriend'. Then, a bit sheepishly, he asked, "Uh, Kim, can I carry your books for you?"

Kim's jaw almost dropped. She'd never imagined Ron to be chivalrous, though she vaguely recalled him lecturing Rufus about his eating habits when he was interested in Zita. This was different, however, and it was exciting. Just moments into this new sitch, he was already surprising her. Happily, she handed her texts to Ron, realizing that Josh, who was a perfectly nice guy, had never offered to carry them.

"So tell me, KP," Ron asked as they walked down the corridor, "Why?"

"Why what, Ron?"

"Why, uh, us? Not that I'm complaining. Just wondering why I'm so lucky today. Yesterday, you were all about Josh."

Someday in the future she would tell him how she had reached this point. But for now, she decided, a simpler, shorter answer would suffice. "Josh was such the crush. I woke up this morning and decided I was ready to trade up to a real BF," she said. "And Josh didn't have what I need in a real BF."

"Huh. And what would that be?" Ron wondered, thrilled, but still amazed, by what was happening.

Kim flashed her new boyfriend an electric smile. "That's easy," she answered as they began to walk down the corridor, "The Ron Factor."

"The Ron Factor …" he echoed.

"That's right," she affirmed, slipping her arm through his, as they headed together to their Latin class, where, as fate would have it, they would conjugate the verb amare

The End

A/N: Yep. Amare means 'to love' in Latin.