Oh, and I own squat, whatsoever. Even these early chapters are not mine. Disney owns the characters, Scoutcraft Piratess (Piratess of Summer/Backroads... man, she changes her name a lot, doesn't she lol) owns the story concept, I'm just posting and playing with them.
This is it folks, the final chapter. It's been a long road, and I can tell you now that this didn't end anywhere close to where Piratess was going to take it, since I added a whole extra plot to this (the synthodrone sitch), but I have to say, I am unbelievably happy with this story. I hope you've enjoyed the ride, and all future ones I put together as well.
Oh, and be sure to vote for your choices in the Fannie Awards. For all the details of what to do, see my profile, or check the forums. Everything is there.
The Ronless Factor – Chapter 36
"This is Tricia Lebowski reporting live from in front of Middleton General Hospital, where teen hero Kim Possible, still alive, is being checked over for injuries sustained in today's action. As was reported earlier, the mad scientist Dr. Drakken devised a new plot, involving the replacement of top scientists and politicians with synthodrone replacements. Once the plot was discovered, Kim Possible, her life endangered, faked her own death with the assistance of the government to put a stop to his nefarious plot. Even now, those kidnapped by the mad scientist are being checked over and returned home. Confirmed victims include the Vice-President, Prince Harry of Great Britain, and the Prime Minister of Japan. The respective governments have stepped up security on all top officials in light of this evidence."
"Drew Lipsky, AKA Dr. Drakken, is also under guard at Middleton General, injured when governmental forces, along with Kim Possible, apprehended him. His condition at this time is unknown. No word on the status of his known associate Shego, who was reported injured several days ago, but has since disappeared. Authorities state that she will not be charged in relation to Dr. Drakken's latest plot, but officials are looking to bring her in for questioning."
"On a related note, Don Struppable, sidekick to teen hero Kim Possible, has been reported alive and well. His death over a month ago was part of a plot on the part of Dr. Drakken to exact revenge on Kim Possible. An apparent clone was put in Don's place and was killed while the real teen was held in Dr. Drakken's custody this whole time. He was recovered, along with the kidnapped dignitaries, and he is said to be in good health."
"At this time, we are still waiting for a statement from Kim Possible. When we have more news, we will report back from the scene. Back to you at the desk."
"Thanks Tricia, and in other news..."
Ron flicked off the television in disgust as he sat in the hospital bed. "At least the got my name right in the obituary."
Kim just squeezed his hand softly, smiling the whole time. "It could be worse, at least they mentioned you. Plus, they had a decent picture this time. Plus, you have to admit, the cover story Dr. Director came up with should work pretty well."
Ron thought on that for a moment before grinning. "Yeah, there is that."
The door opened at that moment, allowing Dr. Anne Possible to enter the room. "Well Ron, all the test results have come back, and you're as healthy as a chimp."
Ron groaned at the expression, something that Kim's mom had picked up and ran with every time she treated him for something. "So that means I can get out of here?"
Anne tilted her head slightly, wincing. "Not... quite yet. While all your tests came back, we are going to have to redo all your shots. Looks like you've got a brand new body all right."
Ron stared wide-eyed at the older woman. "ALL my shots?"
Anne smiled as she pulled out a needle, tapping the side as she cleared the air bubbles. "Yup, I'm afraid so. Don't worry though, we'll be spacing them out over several months."
"Months?" Ron was pale, and Kim clenched his hand tighter to reassure him.
Kim turned to her mother, looking concerned. "But he will be able to get out of here, right?"
"Right after the shots." Anne Possible took hold of Ron's arm, applying the first needle.
Kim kept hold of Ron's hand as he winced at the needle. "So mom... what about... umm..."
"Drew?" Anne withdrew the needle, and pulled out a second one, much to Ron's horror.
"Yeah. What about him?"
Anne sighed as she resumed her work on Ron. "Most of his injuries are superficial except for the jaw. That one's going to take a while to heal. It did reveal something though. In fact, if you hadn't of broken his jaw, we might never have noticed the tumour in his brain."
That caused Kim to look up sharply. "What?"
Anne withdrew the second needle and pulled out a third. "Don't worry Ron, this is the last one today." Anne got the last one ready as she spoke to her daughter. "Yes, and a nasty tumour at that. It might also explain his recent behaviour, it was pressing right on the control centers of his brain. I doubt there was a thought in his head that he didn't just decide to do at this point. Of course, something like that badly affects judgment and rational thought."
Kim was shocked at that. "So... his whole being evil thing could be the result of a tumour?"
Anne shook her head quickly. "Oh no, not at all. I'd say the tumour was recent, not more than a couple months old. But it is a nasty one, growing pretty quick. I'm due to operate on him in an hour to try and remove it, or at least stem the growth. If we hadn't caught it, he very likely would have died in a month or two. He's still not out of the woods, but we might have caught it in time."
Kim felt a bit chastened at that, but put it out of her mind, a bit startled still that her hurting Drakken might very well have saved his life. Kim shook her head softly before turning her attention back to her mother. "Any word from Ron's folks?"
"They're already on their way back from Ron's grandmother's place in California. They should be here tonight."
Ron's eyebrow shot up questioningly. "How did they take the news?"
Anne just shrugged. "Surprisingly well. I think they kind of expect the unusual when it comes to you, which is probably best. Anyways, what I would like to know is just how you managed to pull that off in the first place?"
"I wouldn't mind hearing that as well."
All heads turned to see Dr. Director standing in the doorway, alert yet calm. Kim just smiled. "Wade said he should be done the analysis by now. I'll just give him a call." She pulled the Kimmunicator out and signaled their tech genius. When Wade answered though, he looked haggard. "Uhh... hey Wade. Any clues yet on Ron's miraculous return?"
Wade sighed as he looked over his screens. "The best I can figure, it had to be a combination of Ron's mystical monkey powers, combined with a temporary reactive effect from contact with Drakken's spectral shielding, mixed with the energy of the modified death ray that Rufus toyed with," Rufus just chittered happily at that mention, "with a random convergence of sunspot activity."
There was silence from the group for a moment before Ron leaned in to look closer at the screen. "Really?"
Wade threw his hands up in the air. "I have no idea, but that sounds better than anything else I can come up with. There should be no way to reconstitute an entire person like that. I know the death ray burned out, so I couldn't get a proper reading from it, but something like that... it's just not possible!"
Kim just smiled, wrapping her arm around her boyfriend. "Anything's possible for a Possible, even if it is just honourary... for now." That comment caught the adults attention, as they gawked at Kim, though Anne had a big smile on her face as she did. Kim just shrugged. "What, can't a girl think of the future?"
"Sounds good to me KP." Ron hugged her close as well now, smiling brightly. "And you know, if I do take your name, maybe they'll start getting it right for once."
That set off a round of laughter in the room heard down the halls.
Ron pushed open both doors, pausing in the open doorway to savor the aroma. "Ahh... Bueno Nacho. You know how hard it's been to come here for over a month and NOT be able to eat anything. Pure torture I tells ya!"
The simultaneous yell drew everyone's attentions as twin bodies threw themselves at Ron, glomping onto him in a fierce hug. Ron could scarcely breath as Monique and Tara latched onto him almost as hard as Kim had done earlier.
Tara was practically squealing with joy as she pulled away to get a good look at him. "When I heard the news I just couldn't believe it. That's really you, isn't it? Not some clone or synthodrone or..."
Kim laughed as she pulled her boyfriend away from the very happy women. "Yes, it's really him. Now let go of my boyfriend before I have to hurt you." The threat didn't have much power with Kim smiling broadly.
"Sorry girlfriend, but it's not every day one of your best friends comes back from the dead." Monique gave him one last hug before pulling away. "Gotta get the hugs in now while you're not likely to go green-eyed on us."
Kim snickered at that answer. "Okay, I'll give you that."
Tara tugged Ron by one arm to the waiting table. "Come on Ron, we got your food already."
Bonnie was already sitting at the table waiting for them, smirking at the show. "Yeah, I think Tara blew her entire shopping budget for the week when she heard you were going to meet us here for lunch."
Ron smiled brightly at the blond. "You didn't have to do that."
Tara finally let go of Ron so that she could slide in past Bonnie. "Don't worry about it. We figured you needed a really great first meal back, since I'm betting the hospital didn't exactly offer much."
Ron's stomach growled in response, and Ron patted it affectionately. "You got that right. Man, it's been so long." Ron lifted the naco in his hands, staring at it reverently before looking over at Rufus. "Little buddy, it's good to be alive!"
Rufus nodded, and as Ron practically inhaled the first naco whole, Rufus dove into his own mass of congealed meat and cheese.
Kim just smirked, watching as Ron dove into the food with relish. "So, what's been going on the last few days. I am sorry about what I put you guys through the last few days, having to pretend to be dead and all."
Monique just waved it off. "Don't worry about it girl, you did what you had to do. Besides, I think it worked out for the best." She cast a glance at Ron, who was digging into an order of nachos now. "Maybe not our food budgets, but the best that could possibly happen. As for what's happened the last few days... there have been some changes."
Ron stopped eating as he heard Felix, and leapt over the back of the seat to get to Felix. "Felix, dude!"
The two teens hugged, patting each other on the back before backing up and grasping hands. "Man, is it ever good to see you Ron-man, though I am a bit steamed you didn't tell me about the whole ghost thing."
"Sorry, things just kinda happened."
"Don't worry about it man, just glad you're back among the living."
Kim turned back to the girls as Ron and Felix caught up on things. Bonnie, surprisingly, was glancing around the room as if looking for someone, but turned back to Kim after a moment. "So, how'd you get past the press anyways. I figured they'd be on you two for days."
Kim just picked at her salad slowly. "Wade set up the holo-Kim to distract them. Right now, all the press is over at my house where they think I am right now. Should keep them busy for awhile." She turned her attention back to Monique. "Now, you were just saying something about changes?"
Monique just smirked as she rose from her seat. Ron and Felix had finished speaking and were just making their way to the table when Monique threw herself into Felix's lap with a whoosh. Both Ron and Kim's jaws dropped as she wrapped her arms around him, settling into his lap.
Kim was practically gaping. "When did this happen?"
"Day you 'died'. I told Felix what was going on, we had a moment, and I figured I had some thinking to do. I decided this was the best move for me."
"What about Brikk, how did he take it?"
"Pretty well I think, he's already going out with Melissa, the volleyball captain."
Kim was still a bit shocked, but she had the presence of mind to turn to Bonnie. "Are you going to try and get Brikk back now?"
Bonnie just shook her head. "No, I am so over jocks. I thought I'd take a page out of your book this time. I mean, Ron here is so devoted to you, he came back from the dead. I want someone like that. You can't have that with jocks, so I figured it was time to expand my dating pool. Ahh, there he is."
Bonnie rose from her seat, and everyone turned to see who she was waiting for. Everyone was stunned when they saw her head straight for student body Govenor SamJones. He seemed just as stunned to have her standing in front of him and not berating him.
Bonnie had her hands on her hips as she blocked his way. "You and I are going to go out on a date tonight. You're going to pick me up at seven sharp, we're going to go to a nice restaurant, and then you're going to take me to a romantic movie. Not one of those sci-fi things you geeks love so much, a real romantic movie. And make sure you wear something decent, not those things you always wear from Smarty Mart. Flowers wouldn't be out of the question, though I might forgive that given the late notice. Well?"
Sam was stunned, his mouth hanging open as he couldn't believe what he was hearing. For a few moments, he just gaped, his mouth opening and closing like a fish. Finally, he was able to stammer out exactly what was on his mind. "Wha... uhh... yea..."
Bonnie smiled victoriously. "Good. I'm looking forward to it." With that, she leaned forward and kissed him gently on the cheek. Dropping her voice to a sultry tone, she whispered her final statement in his ear. "I am so looking forward to tonight."
As Bonnie turned back to the table, Sam promptly suffered a nose bleed and passed out on the floor of Bueno Nacho. Everyone at the table was stunned as Bonnie retook her seat with a smile. Even Rufus had stopped eating altogether, only able to stare.
Ron was the first to find his voice. "Umm... Bonnie, I don't think..."
Kim elbowed him gently, shutting him up. "Let it go Ron, she's trying."
Ron just nodded slowly and resumed eating. That left Kim and the girls free to talk. "So, what sales are going on? I so haven't hit the mall in so long."
Monique slipped right into shopping mode, even as she and Felix were sharing their food. "Girl, you wouldn't believe this one sale at..."
Ron choked as the familiar bellow rang through the restaurant, getting everyone's attention. Most slunk into their seats, trying to look small. A few ducked out the door once Barkin had moved past them, trying to get away while they could. Unfortunately for Ron, he was penned in, and there was no way the big man was going to miss him. Steve Barkin stepped over the prone figure on the floor, his attention set. Felix and Monique moved away a bit as he stopped in front of the table, glaring downward. "Possible, good to see you still with us after all. Stoppable, I knew I'd find you here." Barkin's eyes bored right into Ron's. Ron was locked, unable to look away, only feel the growing panic within. "I understand you were captured by your enemy for the last few weeks."
Ron's eyes were wide as he nodded slowly, unable to look away. "Uhh... yes sir."
"Well that's no excuse to miss your homework. You only have one more week in this semester, and I expect this," Barkin dropped a large box on the table which Ron only just noticed, "to be completed by then, including all tests you missed. Have you got me soldier?"
Ron eyed the box, which had thudded quite loudly on the table in front of him, then back up at the stern man in front of him. "Uhh... yes sir."
"Good. And Stoppable..." the stern expression faded for a moment, though he would deny vehemently it ever happened, "it's good to have you back with us as well."
With a sharp nod, Barkin turned and stalked off, casting glances at some other students who were trying their best to hide. Ron eyed the box in front of him with dread. "Oh man KP... can I go back to being dead, cause this is going to kill me as it is."
Kim patted Ron's shoulder, eying the box as well. "Well, it's not THAT bad. You were going to have to make up the work anyways."
Ron nodded slowly. "Yeah, but if this is what he gives me when he's glad I'm back, I'd hate to think what he would give me if he knew I was the one..."
"STOPPABLE!" Ron froze completely, afraid to even think as Barkin shoved a dozen more pages under his nose. "This is extra for the pranks. I don't know how, but I know you are the one responsible somehow. I expect this completed along with the rest by the end of the week." And with that, Barkin stormed out of the restaurant.
Ron looked at the pages as the last of them fluttered to the table. "Man, he doesn't even know I was the one responsible and I still get the blame. How is that fair?"
"Don't worry Ron, I'll help you with it. It won't be so bad." Ron only stared glumly at the mountain of work. Kim kissed him on the cheek, trying to lift his spirits. "Come on Ron, let's get this over to my place and we can start in on this."
"Actually KP," Ron turned to look Kim in the eye, a serious expression on his face, "I want to make one more stop before we get started on this."
"Man, this is weird." Ron looked down at the headstone, one that he was already quite familiar with but held new meaning.
Kim glanced over at him before turning his attention back to Wade. "And he's... I mean... it's still... there?"
"I'm sure of it Kim. They're both him. I thought maybe there might have been some sort of transference of physical essence, that might explain how Ron came back, but... he's in there, definitely."
"Thanks Wade." Kim keyed off the Kimmunicator and took her boyfriend's hand. "Ron, are you going to be all right?"
Ron squeezed back reassuringly. "Yeah, I'm good. Just... the thought that I'm up here and down there at the same time... that's a lot to process." For a few moments, the pair stood vigilance over the grave site, just staring. Finally, Ron just looked up and breathed deeply. "Where do we go from here?"
"Well," Kim pause only to snuggle a bit closer to Ron, "I thought we might take a break from missions for a bit."
"KP, you love the missions."
"I know, but... this last month has been hard. I just got you back, and I don't want to risk losing you again. Besides, I just said a break for a little while. Global Justice and the police and all that can handle whatever comes up for a little while, especially after the deal that Shego worked out."
Ron turned his head to look at Kim in surprise. "Deal?"
"Yeah, Dr. Director told me about it while you were getting dressed. Think of it like community service, only she gets paid to do it. She does a few missions for them while we take a break, she gets paid, and then she walks. I don't know what it all entails, but considering what she's wanted for, I'm thinking she got a good deal. If we have to deal with her afterwards, we will."
Ron just nodded, before turning away from his grave. "Come on KP, let's get out of here."
The pair walked slowly out of the cemetery, holding each other close. "My mom will have supper ready by the time we get there. I'm not letting you out of my sight for a few days at least."
Ron just smirked. "I don't think your dad is going to like that idea."
"Already talked it over with him, you're just going to have to get used to sharing a bed with me for a few days."
Ron coughed harshly, freezing in place. "KP?"
Kim tugged him along by the arm to get him moving again. "I didn't mean like that Ron, you really think I'd ask my dad that? But for the next week at least, I want my boyfriend to really hold me while I sleep. I never slept anywhere near as well I did before I knew you were in the room with me, and I'm hoping the real deal is even better."
Ron stumbled as he tried to keep up with Kim's pace. "You are joking, right? Do you remember the talk your father gave me just days ago? And I was a ghost then. He can really do those things now."
"Nope, I'm serious. You're not leaving my side this week, and Dad understood that. He did want to have a talk with you first though."
"Oh man KP, he's gonna fit me for a space suit, I just know it."
Kim grinned wryly at him. "Why, are you planning something that would require him to need it?" Kim's dropped her voice a couple of octaves, becoming huskier. "Cause I sure am." Kim couldn't help chuckling at the combined panicked and excited look on Ron's face as the two emotions warred within him. She broke him from his reverie by tugging him forward again, laughing the whole while.
When Ron had finally settled on his emotional state, he settled into an easy pace beside his girlfriend. "You know, that's just cruel to do to a guy KP."
"Well what are you going to do about it?" Kim had a mischievous look on her face as she glanced over at Ron.
"Well..." Ron's hands shifted slightly as he prepared, "I thought I'd do... this!" Ron's hands flew over Kim's exposed sides, his fingers working mercilessly to tickle her before she could react.
Kim squealed as she laughed at the sudden assault and pulled away, but not before trying to turn some of that same attention back on Ron. When he started to get the upper hand on her, she pulled away, breaking free from his grasp. For the next ten minutes, the two of them chased each other up and down the street, laughing like children at play.
Ron grabbed Kim about the waist, but Kim was trying to dodge, so the two of them fell to the ground, rolling around in the grass and laughing the entire time. When the rolling finally stopped, Kim was on top as they both breathed heavily, looking deep into each others eyes.
With a final sigh, Kim leaned down, her lips meeting his in a kiss filled with all the passion and joy the moment could entail. When Kim pulled away to look into his eyes again, she smiled. "I love you Ron Stoppable."
Ron's hand came up to brush away a stray hair that was hanging over her eyes. "I love you too KP."
Their lips met again as they shared in their love, lying on the grass under the brilliant blue sky, two souls joined forever, certain that whatever came in the future, they would face it... together.
Author's Notes – Th...th...that's all folks! This wild ride is finally over and done with. Far more chapters than I ever thought when I started this, picking it up from Piratess, but man was it worth it. But I have plenty more stories to do, so stay tuned for those, and don't forget about the Fannie Awards. This is the Zaratan, signing off!