Here it is, the fourth and final chapter. Sorry to delay so long, but it just wasn't flowing acceptably.
Thanks to the reviewers of chapter three, roycereece, AtomicFire, MrDrP, Amarin Rose, JPMod, Ultimate Naco Topping, WesUAH, whitem, momike, SHADOW DRAGON TWISTER, Newpoint, Commander Argus, Talitha Koum, conan98002, US.Steele, mattb3671, and spectre666.
Thanks to MrDrP for taking the time to beta read.
Disclaimer: These characters are property of Disney.
The Mad Dog Picnic
(An Essential Ronness Story)
A mortified Bonnie Rockwaller glared at Ron. Oh, this is just wonderful.
Glancing toward her retreating sisters, who were still enjoying their laugh at her expense, she strode over to him. "So, loser, how much of that did you hear?"
Ron nervously rubbed the back of his neck. "Uh, Bonnie, I just got here. Kim sent me to make sure you were ready—"
"Don't try and play me, Stoppable, you're no good at it. I know you've been here long enough. Go on, wallow in how you heard Bonnie the witch got slammed by her sisters."
"Huh? Dunno know what y–"
"Oh, I get it. You're doing the 'let's be all noble and let Bonnie save face and she'll feel better' thing." Angry, Bonnie shoved a pompom in his face. "Look, Stoppable, I'm not K. I don't need some goofball and his freaky pet watching my back. So whatever you think you're doing, just … just forget about it."
She stalked off in the direction of the Pavilion.
Ron sighed. "Well, Rufus buddy, good news, I think we brought Bonnie's Bon-ness back."
"Uh huh, Bon-ness."
"Bad news, uh, well, we brought the Bon-ness back."
Ron approached the Pavilion still unsure of how to proceed.
It just wasn't in him to do nothing. No one deserved to be bullied like that, not even Bonnie. The little matter of the daily helpings of scorn she'd heaped on him since junior high, not to mention her explicit orders for him to stay out of her life loudly and forcefully delivered just a few minutes ago, would have deterred any normal person. But Ron Stoppable had never been normal, and he didn't really want to be.
Distracted, he accidentally bumped into someone.
"Watch it, freak!" Lonnie Rockwaller snapped.
Ron recognized Bonnie's sisters. "Sorry," he said.
"Loser," muttered Connie.
Man, these two are something else. No wonder Bonnie's the way she is. Then Ron had a flash of inspiration, born of his uncanny ability to remember anything Kim had ever told him.
"Say, you bon-diggity ladies are Bonnie Rockwaller's sisters, aren't you? I can really see the resemblance."
The two looked down their noses at Ron—in fact, they regarded him as if he were something unpleasant they'd accidentally stepped in.
"She's our sister, at least that's what we've been told," Lonnie said.
"… but if she's friends with someone like you, I really wonder about that," Connie finished.
Ron ignored the dig. "You must be very proud of her, to be such a big part of the cheer squad."
"Proud? Of Bonnie? Why?" Connie said with disdain.
"She's not even captain," Lonnie said.
"Well, the squad's won Regionals every year since she joined it, right? That's quite an achievement. What was it before that? Something like eight or ten years since the last time Middleton won?"
He let that remark sit out there for a moment, then continued as if it had just occurred to him: "Hey, didn't I hear that you two were cheerleaders a couple of years back?"
The older girls looked at each other, and then at Ron. First Connie, then Lonnie opened her mouth as if to reply, but neither could come up with anything. Ron smiled and walked away.
"Boo-yah," he said smugly. "That's Ron-man one, bullies zero." A small victory, but a victory nonetheless.
"High five!" Rufus said, holding out a paw for Ron's finger.
"Now let's find KP." He headed for the Pavilion.
Ron was waiting backstage when the dressing room door opened and the cheerleaders filed out. When he caught sight of Kim dressed in her familiar cheer uniform, though, his eyes widened and his jaw dropped.
"Ron? You okay?" she asked, checking behind her for monkey ninjas or killer robots. She waved a pompom in his face. "Earth to Ron! Hell–o–oo."
Ron struggled to get his power of speech back. The last cheer practice of the school year had been held the day before the prom, so this was actually the first time he'd seen Kim in uniform since they'd started dating. She looked so amazing. He couldn't believe that he, once the loser that even the other losers used to mock, was actually dating Kim the head cheerleader, this dazzling exemplar of high school status.
"Whoa! KP, you are gorgeous!"
"Ronnie, you're so weird," she said, giggling. "You've seen me in my cheer uniform a thousand times, you should be used to it by now." She leaned closer, and let her voice go soft and sultry. "Besides, you've seen me wearing a lot less recently."
Visions of an angel in shimmery blue at the prom, of the crop tops and short shorts Kim had been wearing this summer, and the revealing bathing suits she'd sported on their beach outings swirled in Ron's mind's eye. Then he sighed as he recalled that memorable finals-week flight back home after their Dementor mission, when she'd unzipped the battle suit down to there and hoo boy what a plane ride that had been.
"Kim, I don't think I'll ever get used to how beautiful you are. I sure hope I don't."
"Well, I know I'll never get used to how cute you are, Ron Stoppable." She wrapped her arms around his neck and toyed with his unruly blond locks. "Mmmm, these ears, those adorable freckles … and that Essential Ronness of yours …"
He gently laid his hands on her hips and held her a few inches away from him, because too much body contact was so not called for at that moment, what with the other girls just a few feet away and Mr. B liable to appear any second.
They gazed into each other's eyes for a long moment. All thoughts he'd had of discussing the Bonnie sitch were completely gone from his mind. There were so many things other than talking he wanted to do with Kim; and no, I don't mean sneaking into a villain's lair. Not that crawling through HVAC ducts behind her wasn't a pleasant way to pass the time …
Fortunately for Ron, he had another head in his cargos that was actually up to the task of doing his thinking when his brain was deprived of blood. Rufus clambered out of his pocket and sank his claws into the tender flesh beneath Ron's MHS pullover.
That snapped Ron out of his reverie fast. "Gah! Rufus! What was that for?"
The little mole rat chittered furiously, pointing in turns at Ron, then at Kim, then at the other four girls—no, it was just one of them, the brown-haired one …
"Oh yeah, thanks, little buddy," Ron said. "KP, there's something I wanted to tell—"
Just then, on stage a whistle blew and the Mad Dog Band's percussion section launched into the drum riff that signaled the start of "Work It Out."
Bonnie signaled Liz to press a button on a CD player to begin playing the track on the sound system.
"C'mon K, move it, we're on," she said.
"Show time, Ron, tell me later. You get that mask on, Mad Dog." Kim quickly lined up with her squadmates.
Waving their gold pompoms, the cheerleaders ran out on stage and began their dance. Ron and his bon-diggity dance moves were to make their entrance late in the number, so for the moment there was nothing to distract the audience from the five beautiful girls in their midriff-baring tops and short skirts.
Now, pretty much anything that attractive, physically fit girls in brightly colored cheer uniforms do is going to be appealing to men, and dancing more so than most. And when that dance has been infused with the Bonnie Factor, the excitement meter gets pegged. Bonnie Rockwaller was an expert in using the female body to its fullest advantage. The way she sat, the way she stood, the way she walked; all were designed to attract male attention. So it was only to be expected that a dance number she choreographed would be extremely … stimulating.
This one was, and these five girls possessed the tools to put it across in grand style. Within seconds, every male eyeball between 12 and 82 was glued to the stage. And the way the fathers of Middleton High's athletes were enjoying this show, it was a good bet some of the teens would be getting new baby siblings the following spring. Thus is the Mad Dog line perpetuated.
Ron joined the girls on stage for the last chorus, and the squad formed the pyramid they had rehearsed. Then the song was over.
The ovation was enthusiastic, to say the least. As the six scrambled to disassemble their pyramid, Ron attempted once again to get Kim's attention. No luck. They'd been told to remain on stage as the awards were handed out, three on each side. Ron made a move toward Kim, but she was already stationed between Tara and Bonnie at stage left. Liz and Jess pulled him over to the right with them as Mr. Barkin came out with his cordless microphone.
After a few moments, Barkin motioned for the audience to quiet down and began to call off a roll of award winners. The five smiling beauties (and one mascot) cheered and waved pompoms as each student athlete came on stage to collect his or her certificate and small trophy.
Ron was glad to see how visibly pleased with herself Bonnie was after the success of the dance. (It's probably a good thing he couldn't hear her attempts to needle Kim about how the redhead's slim frame compared to Tara's and Bonnie's more abundant endowments. His compassion for her sister sitch would have fallen off significantly. But Kim basked in the glow of her BF's appreciative gaze, and the brunette's taunts just rolled off her back.)
At last, the end of the program drew near.
"And finally," Steve Barkin announced, "the award for the Booster of the Year. This award is given in memory of a true leader, one of the finest Mad Dog athletes of all time, the first president of the Boosters Club—Mr. Charles Rockwaller. Presenting the award will be Charlie's granddaughters, past co-captains of the cheer squad, Connie and Lonnie Rockwaller."
Connie and Lonnie walked on stage, with Connie holding a brass and wood plaque. Ron looked across the stage and saw Bonnie slump perceptibly and the sparkle disappear from her eyes.
It was time, he decided, to shine a little Ronshine on the situation. He acted.
Pulling off his mask, he crossed the stage and took the microphone from Mr. Barkin's outstretched hand before a surprised Connie could reach it.
"Stoppable, what are you doing?" Barkin whispered.
"Excuse me, Mr. B, but I think all the Rockwaller granddaughters need to be part of this."
Ron continued to the other side of the stage. He took hold of Bonnie's arm. Dragging the wide-eyed girl to center stage, he turned and faced the crowd.
"Bonnie Rockwaller here is the one who planned that badical dance number you all enjoyed today. Everybody did enjoy it, right?"
"Yeah!" the crowd, especially the men, roared.
"I bet you'd all like to see to see more performances like that next year, wouldn't you?"
"Yeah!" they roared again.
Ron turned to Kim, who like everyone else on stage was wondering what was going on. He beckoned her to join him.
"Head cheerleader Kim Possible has an announcement she'd like to make at this time."
A very puzzled Kim approached the group. Ron cupped his hand over the microphone and whispered to her. "What you were talking about this morning, KP? It's time." He handed her the mike and stepped back.
Kim, looking around at the group on stage, recalled her own introduction to Bonnie's two sisters and understood that Ron must have experienced something similar. He is one of a kind, she thought, gazing admiringly at her best friend/boyfriend. As many times as Bonnie's put him down over the years, most people would love to watch her take it on the chin for a change. Not my Ron.
She took a deep breath, draped an arm over Bonnie's shoulders and spoke into the mike. "On behalf of the rest of the girls and Ron, I'd like to ask Bonnie to provide us with more great dance numbers next year from her new post as co-captain of the cheer squad. What do you say, Bonnie?"
Bonnie blinked in evident surprise. Then she began to regain her poise. "Pyramids?" she asked quietly.
Kim arched an eyebrow. "Half."
Bonnie grinned. "I accept," she said into the mike.
The audience applauded, the cheerleaders waved their pompoms. Connie and Lonnie, wearing strained smiles, clapped awkwardly.
Kim turned to Connie and, smiling sweetly, deftly relieved her of the award plaque, which she then handed to her new co-captain.
"Here, Bonnie. Why don't you present this award now."
Bonnie looked down at the plaque, then back up. "The Charles Rockwaller Award for Booster of the Year goes to Mr. Brock Flagg."
Brick's dad came up on stage and took the plaque from Bonnie as the audience gave them a standing ovation. Kim grabbed Ron's arm and pulled him into the wings as they watched Connie and Lonnie leave the stage, confusion and frustration evident on their faces.
Ron looked at Kim. "You're not mad, are you, KP? It's just, I overheard those two harshing on Bonnie about not living up to the big Rockwaller legacy, and I had to do something. It's bad enough having to deal with the kinds of bullies that used to pick on me, but to get it from your own family …" he shuddered. "That's just wrong-sick."
Kim wrapped her arms around her boyfriend and hugged him tightly. "Don't worry, Ron, I'm not mad. That's one of the things I love about you: that you're still willing to be a good friend to Bonnie, even with the way she's treated you. And I know you'll have my back if she starts gooning on her new power." She pulled back and looked at him with a wry grin on her face. "Just make sure when you're spreading the Ronshine around that the extra-special varieties go to me and me alone, 'kay?"
Ron looked befuddled. "Extra-special … Oh! I getcha. Have no fear, Kimila. As long as I get all the mucho caliente Kimness, the extra-special Ronshine is all yours."
Kim smiled seductively. "You like it mucho caliente? I got your mucho caliente right here, Mad Dog …" she said, bringing her lips to his for a long, slow kiss.
The first small rockets of the fireworks show that was to conclude the picnic could already be seen bursting over the lake. The crowd quickly filed out of the Pavilion, eager to secure prime spots to watch. Bonnie was waiting on stage with Mr. Flagg while a photographer from the Examiner set up for a shot. She looked over and saw Kim kissing Ron.
She rolled her eyes. Those two are so weird. It's gonna be a snap to push her out and take over the squad completely. I'm thinking … Homecoming Game, no prob.