Big thanks for all those who read & reviewed "Thinking About You" and "Noble Commitment" and those who just read the stories. Either way, I thank you for your support. :)
My thanks go to RedWingnut and Spectre666 for beta reading this story! Thanks for helping out, gentlemen!
Disclaimer: All Kim Possible characters are the copyright of Walt Disney Corporation. I'm just
borrowing them to write up a story with no intention of making any money. This is for fun. All other characters in my stories, that Disney doesn't own, are mine. :)
A/N: Ever since I've written "To Help A Friend", the idea for this story has always been on my mind, for it's part of the saga in revealing more on Debra's past. I've given hints in some stories regarding how Debra felt; now not only her story is told but also Kim's as well.
Sentences, that begins and ends with a slash (/), means the person is speaking in Japanese.
Just to let everyone know, I've only posted one half of the story for now. I know I made a personal commitment to not ever post a story until I first finish it. Yet this story took me more than a month to reach the half-way point that I'd decided to post the first half up and post the second half when I complete it, which may take another month to do.
Story rating: Rated T (aka PG-13)
Written: March/April/May 2006
Summery: Kim and Debra exchange stories on events, which changed their lives.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Kim Possible: The University Years
By JuPMod (aka JPMod)
Partly cloudy. That was what the weather forecasters had said the day was going to be. It was really another way to say slightly overcast - another cold winter day with occasional clouds blocking the sun.
The sun was peeking around a group of clouds when a 2005, red Toyota Corolla rolled into the driveway of a typical Middleton house sometime past 1:25 PM. The occupants came out of the car, and momentarily looked at the house, before the redheaded driver, in a purple winter parka, started to stroll up the curved sidewalk to the front door. The blonde passenger, in a blue winter parka, took another minute before he followed
For Kim Possible, this was the third time she had visited the Tsuda residence. The first time had been to drop her friend, Debra Oxford Tsuda, off at the start of the Thanksgiving weekend. The second time was to pick her up after the Drakken War Memorial. Yet both times she didn't see much of the house. This time she has a feeling she will know a lot more by the end of her visit.
For Ron Stoppable, this was his first visit ever to Debra's home, thus he had stared at the house for a moment longer than his girlfriend.
As the blonde man speed walked a bit to catch up, his redheaded sweetheart turned to give a small smug grin at him as she continued walking forward. "Expecting Deb's house to look Japanese, Ron?"
Giving a small sheepish grin, Ron shrugged a bit. "Well, yeah. Deb's 'rents are Japanese after all."
Turning around as she ascended the front steps, Kim grinned. "From what Deb told me, their dojo in the backyard has Japanese architecture. Maybe we'll see it today."
Ron only nodded and grinned as he followed her up the steps and faced the front door with her. He knew they weren't here for a tour but to help a friend, who was still suffering from the ordeal at Upperton University.
A few moments after Kim rang the doorbell, the front door opened to reveal a middle-aged Japanese man with some gray in his black hair. He grinned upon seeing the two young adults. "Possible-san, Stoppable-san," he nodded at them out of respect, "it's good to see you again."
"Hello, Mr. Tsuda," Kim replied, grinning as she also nodded back. "It's good to see you as well."
/"Mr. Tsuda,"/ Ron began, bowing his head/"It's good to see you."/
Mr. Tsuda gave a small snort of a laugh. /"As I do you, Stoppable-san. Your mastering of Japanese does you credit."/ He stepped to side as his hand gestured for the two to enter. "Please, come in, both of you."
Kim and Ron entered into the front foyer, and just when Mr. Tsuda closed the door, a Japanese woman, shoulder-length raven hair with a few gray strands, came out of the living room to greet the two guests. "Possible-san, Stoppable-san, welcome to our home," she grinned.
"Thank you, Mrs. Tsuda, for both of us" Kim returned the greeting with a grin as her hand gestured to herself and her boyfriend. Ron only grinned and bobbed his head.
Mr. Tsuda gentlemanly offered to take their coats. Kim gave her parka, but Ron took a moment for he tapped his coat's front pocket. "Rufus, wake up. We're here."
A pink, naked mole rat popped his head out of the pocket and yawned. He gave his owner a tweaked face for waking him up. Ron chuckled. "Sorry, buddy, but I don't think you will like being inside the coat closet during our visit here." He pointed to the hallway closet which Mr. Tsuda had just hung Kim's coat. Seeing what Ron was indicating, Rufus hopped out of the pocket onto Kim's shoulder, only then did Ron gave his coat to Mr. Tsuda to hang in the closet.
Wearing a green blouse and black jeans, Kim locked her eyes with Mrs. Tsuda's dark ones. "Where's Debra?" Ron, wearing a red flannel shirt with tan cargo pants, also looked at Mrs. Tsuda upon hearing Kim's question.
With a small grin, Akina Tsuda gestured with her head up the staircase to the second floor. "In her room. She was very happy to have been given the gift Felix-kun gave her last night. She had thought her musical keyboard was forever lost, yet she was thrilled to have been given a new one with all her beloved music intact. Today, she has been in her room all day testing out her new instrument."
Takai Tsuda continued his wife's conversation. "Debra-chan is most honored to have friends like you." His kind eyes held both Kim's and Ron's. "She will need your strength to help her out of the pit of despair she is in."
"She's waiting for you," Mrs. Tsuda indicated the floor above with a hand.
Eyeing the front stairs, Kim took a breath for this would be the first time she would see Debra since the university. She wondered whether she could help the younger woman in any way.
Feeling a tap on her cheek, the junior-year university student turned her head to face her smallest friend, who stood on her shoulder. "Debra needs Kim," Rufus simply said, and his words made Kim grin, knowing he was right.
As Kim started to climb the stairs, Ron pointed up as he eyed the Tsudas. "Uh, which room is Debra's?"
Both Tsudas gave a knowing grin. "It will be hard to miss it, Stoppable-san," Mr. Tsuda answered. After raising an eyebrow on those words, Ron followed his beloved up the stairs.
Reaching the second floor, Kim paused a moment until Ron was beside her, and both walked to the left down the hallway, which had a few pieces of Japanese art on the walls. It was after they passed a bathroom on the right that they both heard it. Soft music was coming from a room on the left, which had a door slightly opened. There was no doubt that the music was from an electronic keyboard synthesizer.
Kim knocked on the door, and immediately the music stopped. "Deb? It's Kim and Ron. Can we come in?"
"Hai," came the familiar female voice. "Come in, please."
Pushing open the door, Upperton U's head female cheerleader gazed into the room and right away saw Debra sitting cross-legged on her single bed. The gymnast, giving a small welcoming grin, was wearing a cozy, warm, white, knitted sweater over gray slacks with her feet in white socks. Her long blonde/brown hair was loosely held up on the back of her head by a hair claw-clip.
As Kim entered the room, she kept her eyes on her friend, while Ron entered with his eyes examining the room out of curiosity.
"I see you received the present from Felix," Kim mused with a small grin as she approached the bed that had its' headboard against the wall between two windows. The keyboard synthesizer was in front of Debra on the bed.
A small chuckle escaped Debra's lips knowing Kim knew she was given the present when Kim had called last night. "Hai," she grinned up at Kim. "I thank you and Ron again for chipping in for it."
Kim smiled down at the younger woman. "Again, you're welcome, Deb." Her green eyes saw a 3D holographic display radiating from the keyboard and her curiosity was piqued. "What is that?" Her question even made Ron turn to take notice of the display.
Debra raised an eyebrow out of amusement and surprise. "You didn't know? I thought you knew what Wade did."
Shaking her head as she examined the holographic display, which looks like musical sheet notes, Kim gave a small lopsided grin. "Well, Ron and I knew Wade would insert the memory chips from your old keyboard to this one, but we weren't informed he added new features."
Giving a snort of a laugh, Debra grinned. "I presume that means Wade only told Felix of the new features, because Felix was the one going to give it to me."
"You presume right, Deb," Kim said, grinning as she turned her head slightly to lock onto the other girl's blue eyes. "Given he's your boyfriend, we all thought it would be best he presented you the gift."
"Yeah," Ron chimed in, his eyes still on the holographic display as he walked around Kim to face the foot of the bed. "He cares for you, Deb, so it was appropriate for him to give it to you."
Her face became soft in gratitude. "Thank you. I appreciate it."
Sitting down on the left edge of the bed in front of Debra, Kim pointed to the display. "So, what is it?" Her eyes turned to look at the display.
Debra giggled. "It's obvious. It's a holographic musical notes sheet board. I can load up any of my musical notes sheets as well as musical notes sheets from any song or music out there. Wade even has the board able to log onto the Net for me to download music and notes. It's a very handy feature to have for someone like me."
"I'll say," Kim agreed with a grin. "You no longer have to write on paper sheets anymore. You can do so on the display."
"Hai!" Debra smiled. "It's very helpful." Her sapphire gems moved to eye the small, pink mole rat on Kim's shoulder. "Rufus, hello!" Rufus in turn hopped off Kim's shoulder, onto the bed, before climbing up Debra's right arm to her shoulder where he hugged her face. Debra rubbed her cheek against the little guy's hug and brought up a hand to pet him on the head. "I miss you too, Rufus." Kim and Ron smiled at the exchange of affection.
After Rufus and Debra broke the affectionate hug, Rufus stayed on her shoulder, Ron returned to gazing around the room. "So this is your room, Deb." His words made Kim's eyes also wander around the bedroom.
On the left side of the room, a large closet extended from the windows to near the entrance door. It was obviously meant for clothes and other things; much like Kim knew she had in her bedroom. A dresser with a large mirror on top was on the right side of the room next to a bookcase, which reached nearly to the ceiling. There were some books on the shelves, but most of the space was taken by trophies, award ribbons, and framed photos. A desk stood to the left of the entrance door, which was at the far right corner of the room. The desk contained a few framed photos and a notebook computer.
Kim pointed to the notebook computer. "You have a new computer, Deb. Your 'rents gave it to you?"
Chuckling, Debra shook her head. "No. Wade did."
"Wade?" both Kim and Ron spoke in surprise as they turned to face the freshman student.
Nodding, Debra grinned. "Hai. Wade."
Kim's astonished face turned into a kind one. "That's Wade - Very generous when it comes to his friends. Giving you the computer showed he cares."
"I know," Debra replied, still grinning. "When I ever meet him in person, I'm going to give him a huge hug."
Ron chuckled as he walked toward the bookcase. "You may be waiting for some time, Deb. Wade very rarely leaves his room." Kim giggled on this simple truth. Looking at the bookcase's contents, the blonde man gave an approving, low whistle. "Quite a collection of awards here. First place in many gymnastic tournaments."
Debra gave a snort and a smirk. "Of course. I did lead Middleton High to the state championship." She saw Ron pick up a framed photo of a girl's gymnastics team, two rows of girls in purple/gold leotards, flanked by two adults in coach's uniforms. "That's my Middleton High gymnastics team. I'm in the front right corner." Ron saw the Debra in the picture had her hair up in a tight bun, much like she did at Upperton U.
Putting back the framed high school picture, Ron picked up another photo. It was a teenaged Debra at some outdoor event and she was side hugging two Japanese teens – one girl and one boy.
Seeing which photo he was holding, Debra explained its significance. "Those are my Cousins Hoshi and Akane, my father's brother's children." Her expression became warm and tender. "They were my dearest friends when I was growing up in Japan." Kim and Ron grinned at this bit of info.
Returning the framed family picture to its place, Ron noticed something among the books and grinned. His hand reached over and pulled out a large, thin book with the title 'Middleton High School 2007' with an embossed Mad Dog symbol on the cover. "Your high school yearbook," Ron simply stated, making Kim's curiosity again pique.
"Hai," Debra replied, saying nothing more.
Turning the pages of the yearbook, Ron grinned upon seeing familiar sights and faces, like Mr. Barkin or the cafeteria lunch lady. His grin widened upon seeing Debra's senior photo - her hair beautifully loose and flowing around her shoulders as she wore a black gown, which bared her shoulders. As he expected, the same girl's gymnastics team photo Debra has on her shelf was in the yearbook along with individual shots of Debra performing. One shot was Debra giving a radiant smile after winning the state championship.
Flipping through the pages, Ron smirked. "I have a feeling you were voted 'Most Athletic' in your class, Deb." Debra only grinned in response. Stopping at a page, he pointed to a photo in triumph. "Ha! I was right!" A photo, on the top left corner, showed a smiling Debra wearing jeans, a blouse, and hair in a ponytail as she stood leaning on the right side of gymnastic horse used for the vault event. On the other side of the gymnastic equipment, leaning on it, was a smiling raven-haired boy, wearing jeans and a T-shirt as he held a baseball bat against his right shoulder.
Once again Debra smiled as she clarified what Ron was looking at. "Hai. I was voted the 'Most Athletic' in my class in the girls' category. The boy there is Alex Hudson, and he was the pitcher for the boy's baseball team. He held the state record for the year in the number of strikeouts and helped the team win the state championship. He was voted 'Most Athletic' in the boys' category."
Turning to face Kim, Debra gave a smirk. "I bet you and Ron were voted 'Best Couple' in your class."
Giving a snort as she grinned, Kim rolled her eyes. "Was it obvious?"
Still grinning, Ron closed the yearbook. "I was surprised. We've only been together as boyfriend & girlfriend for a few months before graduation, and the class voted us as 'Best Couple'!"
"Ron," Kim spoke in a slight berating tone as she watched her man put the yearbook back on the shelf, "the entire class saw us as a couple for years, despite that we saw each other as 'just friends' before prom night." She smirked as Ron turned to face her and Debra. "Monique was right that if we hadn't gotten together before graduation, we wouldn't have been voted 'Best Couple'."
Shrugging, the blonde man gave his goofy Ron grin. "Well, it was great to be chosen in one category." He pointed to his girlfriend. "Kim on the other hand was voted in another category as well."
Eying the older woman, Debra gave a mock thoughtful expression. "Really? Another category? I wonder which one?" Her lips became crafty as she snapped her fingers before pointing to Kim. "'Most Likely to Succeed.'"
"You got it, Deb," Kim grinned widely in acknowledgement.
Debra giggled. "I'm not surprised. Given your world-saving reputation and your honor-roll status in high school, from what you've told me, there shouldn't be any doubt by anyone in your class you should be voted 'Most Likely to Succeed' in the girls' category."
Kim merely shrugged her shoulders. "No big." Debra giggled again, while Ron looked fondly at the woman he had cared for so long.
Giving a small grin, Kim took a good look at Debra before releasing a small sigh. "Deb… I think it's time for me to tell you a story." The other girl blinked as her face showed confusion and curiosity, while Ron tensed a bit, knowing what his girlfriend was about to do. "You remember the Michigan/Upperton football game back in November?" After Debra nodded, the redhead continued. "Well, you didn't like the way the university TV station used you as a means to promote propaganda that every university sports team should be following your example. Ron told me that he and my mom had told you that Ron and I had a much worse experience than that during the summer after our high school graduation."
"Kim," Debra began as she sensed where her friend was leading, "you don't have to tell your story. It's all right." With a hand, the 18-year-old gently placed Rufus off her shoulder onto the bed between her and Kim next to the keyboard synthesizer.
Placing a hand on her friend's arm, Kim gave a sympathetic grin. "I believe I do, Debra. Maybe you'll understand afterward that what you've endured wasn't as bad compared to what Ron and I went through."
While Ron strolled over and sat on the bed's right-side corner opposite of Kim, the captain of the girls' half of Upperton University's cheerleading squad began her tale to a captivated Debra.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Time: Two years ago, Spring 2005
For Kim Possible, worldwide heroine, Middleton High honor-roll student, and quite a popular girl all around, felt like she was floating on air. The Senior Prom last Friday night has been a night to remember. It was a turning point in a special relationship she has shared with a certain blonde boy since pre-k.
That night has been quite an emotional roller coaster ride for her. She has first gone to the prom with a hottie boy, who she thought was perfect, only to have Drakken launch his Diablo robots on an unsuspecting world. Eric had been kidnapped, and when she went to rescue him, she found out he was a nothing but a fake – a synthodrone made to fool her. Defeated and in despair, she almost gave up the win to Drakken, but her blonde partner wouldn't let her. He boosted her spirits and confessed his feelings with four simple words, "Out there… In here." She realized then he cared for her as more than 'just a friend', and together they stopped Drakken and his evil plot. Afterward, she went back home, changed back into her prom dress, and with Ron as her new prom date, returned to the prom, hand-in-hand.
She had been nervous at first when she and Ron entered the gym together, but all of that had faded when they danced together magically to the tune of "Could It Be" and shared their first real kiss. That kiss was the clincher for them. They both felt it, and they both knew it. No longer were they 'best friends', for they were in love with each other and were boyfriend/girlfriend. It was the start of a new life for them.
Giving a dreamy smile as she opened her locker to begin her school day, she felt like the world was going right for her for a change. So high was she in the clouds that she didn't notice when her best female friend strolled up to the right side of her locker with sparkling eyes and smirk.
"Kim!" Monique Williams nearly shouted, startling the redhead out of her trance. Giggling, the African-American girl patted her friend's shoulder. "Girlfriend, your head has to be way out there to have me sneak up on you like this." Her smirk went wider. "Where were you? Pluto's orbit?"
Sheepishly grinning, Kim retrieved her books for the morning classes. "Well… Yeah, you can say that."
Monique smiled with twinkling eyes. "Kim girl, the whole school is talking about you two! That kiss you and Ron gave at the prom." She pretended to fan her face. "Woo! You two were smokin'!" Both girls giggled. "As I told you Saturday when I called you, it's about time you two got together."
Kim gave a dreamy smile. "Yeah," she said before she gave a slight frown. "I can't believe I was so blind to what was in front of me. Ron was hurting when I was with…" Her voice trailed off as she scrunched her face in disgust. Saying his name felt so wrong.
"Hey, Kim," Monique gave a reassuring grin. "Syntho-fake is no more. No need to get yourself worked-up over a guy who wasn't real." She placed a hand on her friend's arm. "You have yourself a real man now."
"So the truth, Mon," Kim replied with a warm grin.
Leaning up against the locker next to Kim's, Monique crossed her arms. "Speaking of your new BF, where is he?"
The redhead snorted a laugh. "It's Monday, and you know Ron tends to be a little late on Mondays."
Rolling her eyes as she chuckled, Monique waved a hand. "Oh, how could I have forgotten about that?" Her lips became sly. "Maybe your Ron will shape up now that he has himself a girlfriend."
Kim grinned. "Maybe. It would be good if he improves himself, Monique, but I don't want him to ever change in personality. I love him for who he is."
Dark eyes went wide as Monique gasped. "Kim! You're using the 'L' word so soon!" She gave full smile, looking like a little schoolgirl. "You're way beyond mere crushing, girl!"
Kim blinked, realizing her slip. "I said it?"
Giving the 'I'm not a fool!' look, Kim's best friend slapped her shoulder. "Yes, you did. You said the 'L' word. L – O – V – E." With merry eyes, Monique stabbed a finger into Kim's chest. "You two are in love."
Unable to deny the truth, Kim slightly nodded with a grin. "Yeah, I know we love each other, Monique. We didn't say it yet in words though, but I sensed it since we first kissed at the prom."
Monique was about to say something until her eyes caught something, which made her lips quirk. "Speaking of your new BF…" She pointed past Kim, and the redhead turned around and gave a full warm smile at the approaching figure.
Ron Stoppable returned his girlfriend's warm, loving look with his own. "Morning, KP," he said as he stopped by her side and slipped his left arm around her waist to draw her in. In turn, she placed her arm around his waist. His head turned to smile at Monique. "Morning, Mon."
"Morning, Ron," Monique said with a lopsided grin.
"Watch it, Ron," Kim said with grin and her freed left hand on his chest. "Remember Mr. Barkin's rules on PDA's."
Giving that goofy grin, Ron only hugged her tighter to him. "Well, you know the Ronster loves to a take a chance, especially when he wants to kiss the hottest, bon-diggity girl in all of Middleton."
Narrowing her emerald eyes at his chocolate ones, Kim gave sly grin. "And who may I ask is this hottest, bon-diggity girl in all of Middleton?"
"Right here," Ron smugly answered before pulling her into a full kiss, and for a moment, the two kissed with eyes closed with nothing else in mind.
Breaking off the kiss with a smooch, Kim devilishly grinned at him before pushing away from his embrace. "That was nice, Ronnie, but no more for now. I don't want us getting detention on our first day in school as a couple."
Nodding in agreement, Monique pointed to the pair. "That'll put a crimp in your day." She giggled as she lowered her hand. "You two are the talk of the town, country, and the world!"
"Of course," Ron grandly said with a smug grin. "We did save the world as we always do."
"It's not just saving the world you know, right?" the pretty African-American said with a smirk.
"Huh?" Kim looked at her friend, bewildered. "Of course, it is. What else could it be?" Even Ron looked confused.
Monique looked between her two friends in amused disbelief, "You two didn't read the papers on Saturday?" Seeing the couple shake their heads, Monique chuckled. "A picture of you two kissing at the prom has been printed in papers across the country!" The news made Kim and Ron widen their eyes. "You two becoming a couple has become quite hot gossip for everyone."
"Monique," Kim began, her face still in a stupor. "You're not pulling our tails, right?"
"Of course not!" Monique huffed before giving a small grin as she thumbed to the computer in Kim's locker. "If you don't believe me, ask Wade. Knowing him, he'll able to show you what I'm talking about."
Kim immediately pressed a button on her locker computer, and a moment later, the screen blipped on to show the 12-year-old face of Wade Load. "Kim," he greeted with a grin, "what's happening?" He slyly grinned. "Other than you and Ron being together that is."
"Wade," she said, ignoring Wade's teasing remark, "was a picture of Ron and I kissing at the prom printed in newspapers around the country?"
The young super genius blinked in surprised. "You didn't know?" He nodded. "Yeah, that picture was sent through the Associated Press and was printed in papers not only across the country, but across the world." His hands began typing on his keyboard, and the computer screen began showing newspaper clips from various American papers. "America," Wade said. The screen changed to show European papers with the picture. "Europe." The screen changed again to show Far East papers this time. "Japan and other Far East nations." Wade appeared on the screen again. "The picture of you two kissing has been printed everywhere."
Groaning, Kim closed her eyes. "We didn't ask for this kind of attention."
Feeling for his new girlfriend, Ron placed a hand on her shoulder. "No big, KP." She opened her eyes to turn to face him. "This will pass," he said before giving a small soothing grin, which made her grin in turn. "Like everything in the news, within a few days or so, we'll be old news, and we'll able to be back to normal."
"Yeah, I guess you're right, Ron," Kim mentioned, still grinning. "We faced super villains, so it shouldn't be hard to face the news media on this." Her right hand reached to hold his left hand in a warm, loving grip, and after a moment looking into those brown eyes she had come to love since Friday, Kim turned back to her young tech man on the computer monitor. "Thanks, Wade, for the info. I'll talk to you later."
With a friendly grin, Wade nodded his head. "Will do, Kim." After he pressed a button, his image blipped off the screen.
After closing the locker, Kim, with a gentle pull on his hand, led Ron away from the locker. Ron walked on her right side and Monique on the other.
"Well," Monique began, eying her friends, "you two better brace yourselves. Since you two didn't have a news conference with the news media regarding defeating Drakken and they didn't bother you over the weekend, it's only a matter of time before a horde of reporters will be knocking at your doorsteps."
"We'll be ready, Mon," Kim said with a confident grin. "Ron's right. It'll pass once the excitement on us dies down. We just have to endure it for a while." Facing forward, Middleton High's cheerleading squad captain and one of the best students around prepared herself for the rest of the day. "Now come on, let's get to our homerooms and face our day."
With those words, Ron and Kim went to their homeroom, which was next door to Monique's homeroom. The trio prepared for the day that lies ahead.
Eventually the press conference was held the next day after school at Middleton's City Hall. Scores of photographers, TV cameras, and reporters came to hear the words of Team Possible on their victory over Dr. Drakken and his henchmen. Questions were asked, and Kim and Ron answered them as best as they could.
It came to no surprise that the questions started heading toward private territory, especially regarding Kim and Ron's new relationship as a couple. Some queries Kim and Ron have no problems replying, while others made them somewhat blushed and they kindly refused to say anything.
After the long press conference was over, the couple headed back to their homes to rest, eat, do their homework, and just go to sleep early for a change. They felt now that the news media had what they wanted; they would not bother them again.
And so Kim and Ron focused on school and the preparations for whatever plans they had in mind after graduation in June, not knowing that some people had their own plans in mind for the couple.
"Come on, Ron," Kim, her red tresses in a ponytail, exclaimed as she hiked up the hill among the trees. She heard a grunt and turned around to see her blonde beau almost struggling to catch up with her.
"What's your rush, KP?" Ron complained as he came up the hill toward her. "We have all day, so why are you in a hurry?"
Wearing hiking shirt, shorts, shoes, and a backpack, Kim smirked at Ron, who also was wearing hiking attire similar to hers. "Oh, nothing. I'm hoping we can make it to a nice spot near the top with a scenic view so we can spend most of the day gazing at the wonderful sights."
Hearing the emphasis, Ron knew what she really had in mind. "Oh, well, I certainly don't mind the scenic views, especially if they give me quite a show," he said with his smartass grin.
"Uh-huh," Kim replied, still giving a sly grin. "I'm sure you'll find plenty for your eyes to feast, Ronnie. Now come on." She turned around and continued the trek up the trail.
Brown eyes leered at that swaying shapely butt of hers in the tight hiking shorts. Ron knew she has chosen to wear those shorts just for him, and the way she was swaying as she walked, there was no doubt she was putting on a scenic view for him all right. Encouraged by the beautiful sight before him, the blonde young man followed after her.
In the past month since the prom, the couple has slowly begun testing the boundaries of their new relationship. At first, they had thought being a couple meant changes like really going out on dates, etc., yet they realized that they really didn't have to change the routine they had when they were friends. They were already comfortable with each other and knew each other for so long, that they found out that they were way past the typical awkward phase most adult couples have during the first date. The only thing that had changed was the addition of their romantic intimacy.
Of course, like most new couples with deep intense feelings, Kim and Ron found that they couldn't get enough of each other at times. They would find times to kiss at school, at their homes, or other places, and when they found they were really alone at home, their hands would roam during make-out sessions, touching each other as much as possible without removing their clothing.
The benefit side affect of their intimacy was they found they really came to enjoy teasing each other in sly and sexy ways. Kim really loved feeling crafty in sensual ways as she teased and showed off at times to Ron, and Ron in turn loved the flirty banter they exchanged occasionally. They knew if they really were comfortable this way with each other, it was only a matter of time before they were to go all the way, yet they knew they weren't ready to take that plunge. It was way too soon for them to even consider it.
So the two teenagers hiked up the hill until they eventually found the ideal spot they were looking for – a cliff-side buff overlooking the vast valley below. In the far distance, they could barely make out the cityscape of the Tri-City area. Kim and Ron had opted for some time alone on this weekend, thus they had borrowed her father's car and come to a wilderness park well outside the Tri-City limits to the east. They'd planned to spend the night and return to Middleton on Sunday afternoon.
After they set up camp with a single tent, Ron walked over to the edge of the cliff and gazed at the surrounding landscape before him. Trees, as far as he could see, were in all directions. It was a beautiful sight, and he intended to savor it, unlike during the many missions in the past years. They rarely had the time for site seeing at whatever places they were sent on those.
When she was setting up the bug zapper, a handy Wade Load device that guarantee a bug-free zone of 15 feet radius, Kim saw Ron had walked up to gaze at the scenery again. However, knowing him well, she knew he sometimes brooded like this when something was on his mind. She was particularly aware of his brooding many times in the past month, and it was always mostly on things that were important not just with him but also with her as well. Their loving relationship has made him realize the significant things when it concerned them as a couple.
For example, within a week after the prom, Kim had told him that she was changing her university enrollment from Harvard to Upperton U, so they would be together. Ron was surprised and said she shouldn't sacrifice her plans, but she convinced him that she just couldn't stand living on the other side of the country away from him for so long. Her confession made him think regarding his future, and with a serious expression, he mentioned perhaps he could find a way to enroll into Upperton U, maybe through a scholarship.
A fond grin came to Kim's face as she thought of that day weeks ago. It was touching that Ron really wanted to be by her side enough to go through the rigorous enrollment process. They both had set up an interview appointment with Upperton U on the first Saturday of June – Kim aiming for a cheerleading scholarship and Ron a cooking scholarship to help pay for school expenses.
After finding the zapper was working okay, she strolled over to stand beside her man and gazed at the site before them. "Penny for your thoughts?" she asked a few minutes later, not taking her green eyes off the scenery.
Ron chuckled. "Maybe we should upgrade that to a quarter to adjust for inflation."
Kim softly laughed. "A dollar then?" She turned her head to look at his face, seeing that goofy grin.
His left arm came up to wrap around her shoulders, making her loop her right arm around his waist. As he gently rubbed her left shoulder, Ron sighed before speaking. "KP, do you remember our conversation in the tree house before the prom?"
Closing her eyes, she nodded. "Like I could forget that, Ron." She opened her eyes to see that he was looking at her. "You were hurting, and I was so blinded by…" She gave a small snarl. "Eric…" Her lungs exhaled and her face returned to normal. "That I just didn't see what was in front of me."
Squeezing her shoulder, the blonde man smiled in reassurance. "No big, KP. That's part of our past now." Her smile warmed him. "It's the future I'm concerned about." Seeing her curious face, he continued. "You remember what you said about growing up?"
"Yeah," Kim replied, "I said 'We're not in pre-k anymore, time to grow-up.'"
Giving a small smirk, he nodded. "Well, I've been thinking that it is time for me to grow-up, KP. For the first time in my life, I have to be serious about my future, and I really want you to be part of it." Kim felt her heart constricting on his words. "Besides trying to get into Upperton U, I know I have to change somewhat if I'm going to take our relationship seriously."
"Oh, Ron," she whispered before placing her freed left hand on his chest. "I don't want you to change too drastically."
Leaning over he kissed her forehead before his trademark Ron grin came to the fore. "Don't worry, Kim. I'm not aiming to change big time like when you gave me that haircut or when I received that 99 million dollars." They chuckled together at the memories. "I'm going to be serious about school from now on. I'm going to aim for a future."
He paused and gave a warm, loving expression. "Since the prom, I've been wondering whether I really do feel what I felt that night when we kissed for the first time, and I realized recently that the answer is yes." His chocolate eyes locked with her emerald ones, he placed his freed right hand over her left hand on his chest. "Kim, I love you, and I mean it, I truly deeply love you."
Kim gasped, and the warm feeling in her chest contracted so strongly that it made her lips widened into a smile and her eyes watering. In the past month, they had not said the 'L' word to each other. She knew she loved him and she felt he loved her, but this was the first time either of them ever said it. Clasping his hand, the redheaded beauty knew what to say in response. "Ron, I love you too, very deeply."
Ron's lips broadened into a smile to match hers. That loving expression on her face was all he needed to know that she had spoken the truth from her heart. He lowered his head to touch his forehead to hers while keeping his eyes locked with those shining emeralds of hers. "Booyah," he murmured warmly, making her giggle, a single tear escaping her eye to roll down her cheek.
Taking the initiative, Ron moved to cover her lips with his in a soft, warm kiss, their eyes closing, but before long, the kiss strengthened passionately, causing the couple to fling their arms around each other tightly, each melting into the kiss with a moan.
Even as her mind registered nothing but his sweet, soft lips, Kim knew this kiss was a turning point. It was their first true kiss where they both knew outright they loved each other, and she just couldn't get enough of him.
For Ron, he knew there was no going back. He loved her, and the way she was melting into him, he knew this was a kiss to remember next to the prom kiss. He would not ever love another woman like he was feeling for the one in his arms now.
Breaking apart their lips, but not their embrace, they opened their eyes before each smiled lovingly at the other. Ron gave her a quick smooch. "Now you know why I'm serious now, KP."
"Yes, I know," Kim responded, still smiling warmly up at him. "Just don't change much as I said. I love you just the way you are, you big goofball." They chuckled together, and after giving another quick smooch, they parted their bodies.
Kim walked back to their camp with Ron just behind her. "So I take it that's all you have to say for now?" she asked as she knelt down to rummage through her backpack.
"Yeah, pretty much," Ron agreed, grinning. "Although I'm thinking that maybe I should strengthen my mad Monkey Kung Fu skills a bit."
Taking out an energy bar, Kim stood up before turning to face him. "Really?" She gave a crafty grin, guessing where he was going. "Are you planning for someone to help you?"
The blonde young man pretended to give it some thought. "Oh, I know a really hot girl, who knows 16 styles of Kung Fu." His brown eyes narrowed as he leered at his redhead girl. "Do you think she can help me?"
"Oh, I'm definitely sure she'll help you, Ronnie," Kim teased, eyes narrowing sultrily. Ron's only response was a widening grin.
After ripping opened the wrapping of the energy bar, Kim eyed her man appraisingly as she ate. She gently scolded herself for not have taken their relationship up the next step sooner. If all it took was her love to make Ron improve himself slightly for the better, Ron would have far better high school grades than the average norm by now if they had gotten together sooner. She promised herself from now on to offer loving encouragement to him when he needed it.
As Kim and Ron continued to enjoy their camping trip, they were unaware of a mysterious figure lurking in the shadows of the trees nearby. The figure placed a camera, with long-range zoom lens, into a bag before quietly departing the area. She figured she has taken enough pictures to satisfy her customers.
Entering the school's front entrance, Kim felt like another day would go great for her. Her grades were great, she felt confident she would able to get into Upperton U, and most important, she was in love. Nothing could go wrong today.
Reaching her locker, she opened it, and immediately, her locker's computer screen blinked on to reveal Wade. "Kim!" he said excitedly. "I only just found out this morning, but you and Ron are not going to like what is happening!"
Her good mood fled her. Something major must had happened for Wade to be this worry. "Calm down, Wade. What has happened?"
His face turned grim as he pressed a button, and the next thing Kim saw on the screen was the front page of a tabloid paper. Her jaw hit the floor upon seeing a picture of her and Ron kissing from their camping trip, and the headline over the picture slowly began boiling her blood. "How?" was all she could say as her mind tried to form words.
Wade reappeared on the screen. "The photos are in every tabloid paper in the country. I've –"
"KP!" Ron's holler interrupted the 12-year-old boy genius. Kim turned to her left to watch her boyfriend rushed toward her holding up the front of a tabloid paper to her. "Someone paparazzied us!"
"I know, Ron!" she exclaimed with scorn.
"Man!" the blonde man cried as he turned the paper around to look at the front page. "Mom showed this to me this morning! She's freaked! Dad is trying to calm her down!" Rufus, from Ron's pants pocket, bobbed his head in agreement.
"You think you have problems?" the redhead said. "My Dad will be major freaked if he reads this!"
"Guys!" a voice to Kim's right turned their attention to Monique approaching with wide eyes as she held up another tabloid. "Have you seen –?"
"We know!" both Kim and Ron interrupted with Ron holding up his paper to show Kim's best female friend.
"Ron!" another voice entered the fray, and they all turned to the left to watch as Felix, in his wheelchair, rolled over to the group, holding up yet another tabloid. "Have you seen –?"
"We know!" Ron and Kim nearly yelled with Ron again holding up his paper to show his best male friend.
A tweaked Kim faced her computer screen and her tech man. "Wade!" she began. "Who took those photos?" Even Ron, Rufus, Monique, and Felix eyed the computer screen, waiting for an answer.
"That's the problem," Wade explained, clearly vexed. "Credits are 'anonymous', and all information I can find through every tabloid's computer systems don't reveal a clue."
Monique huffed. "You really think they will leave any evidence for anyone?"
Felix looked down at the headline of his paper, and reading it, made everyone paid attention to him. "'Teen World Heroes Go Wild in the Wild'." His blue eyes rose to look at Kim and Ron. "You two didn't do it, did ya?"
Ron shook his head. "No, we didn't, Felix."
"Anyway," Wade continued, making everyone again focus him. "I'm going to see whether I can find any information in the Associated Press and the newspapers."
Kim nodded, knowing she could always trust her friend to pull through. "Thanks, Wade. We appreciate it."
The young super genius nodded, his face firmed. "Will do, Kim." He was about to sign off when he again turned to face his friends. "Oh, Kim, Ron?" Seeing he has their attention, he resumed. "You don't need to be warned. You know the paparazzi as well as anyone. Be on your guard."
Kim reached out to hold Ron's left hand with her right. "We will, Wade", she kindly grinned.
With a kind grin matching Kim's, Wade signed off, making the computer screen go dark.
Letting go of her love's hand, Kim sorted through her books while Felix spoke up. "I hate to point this out to you two, but you are aware this story," he pointed to the tabloid in his lap, "will not reflect well on your upcoming interview at Upperton University this Saturday."
A sigh escaped Kim's lips. "Yes, it certainly does put a negative spin on us." Seeing she has all her books for her morning classes, she closed the locker. "Ron and I will just have to tell them the truth if they ask us."
Both Felix and Monique gave skeptical expressions. "Girlfriend," Monique started, "you really think they will believe you after seeing this photo?" Her index finger aimed at the photo in her paper of Kim and Ron kissing passionately.
"Maybe," Kim said, eying her African-American friend, before her lips curved up slightly. "After all we are Team Possible." Her right hand snaked out to captured Ron's left hand while still keeping eye contact with Monique. "If they will not believe two people who constantly saved the world and do good, who would they believe?"
Felix chuckled, his eyes on Monique. "They do have a point," he gestured with his head to the handholding couple. Even Monique grinned at this.
"Well," Monique said with a finger pointing at her best girlfriend, "I hope you two do get in. Felix and I are already in, and it will be good to have you aboard."
"Yeah," Felix grinned. "We'll be able to continue going to school together for the next four years." Kim and Ron smiled at that thought.
All four high school seniors soon departed to their respective homerooms, hoping for best would come out of this sitch with the tabloids.
Continue in Chapter 2