My thanks to campy, captainkodak1, Mr. Wizard, screaming phoenix, daywalkr82, whitem, Comet Moon, Drakonis Aurous, Quathis, Katsumara, CajunBear73, Josh84, waveform, Sentinel103, noncynic, Kwebs, Danny-171984, Molloy and TexasDad for reviewing and to everyone for reading.
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Special thanks, as always, to campy for proofing this chapter.
KP © Disney
James Possible, who had just dropped Kim and Ron off on campus, piloted his car back into the garage, where he found Jim and Tim giving his old Roth SL coupe the once-over.
"She's a beaut, isn't she?" he said as he joined his sons. "My very first car. They sure don't make them like this anymore."
Jim and Tim exchanged glances and resisted the urge to say "And that's a good thing, too!" The two boys watched with interest as their father lovingly ran his hand along the jalopy's contours.
"So, Dad, about the Kimminator …" Jim said.
"We'd like to build a new one, but, well we're kind of tapped out," Tim added.
"And you're hoping that I'll let you trick out the Sloth for Kim?" he said, looking at them knowingly.
"Yeah," the boys said in unison.
"Well, I guess it's for a good cause," James said as he patted the old beater's hood, showing a level of affection he usually reserved for his wife, cutting-edge rocket technology, and the three episode "Good and Evil" Captain Constellation arc.
"Hicka bicka boo!" Jim said.
"Hoosha!" Tim added, exchanging a high five with his brother. "The Kimminator Mark II is going to blow the Kimminator away."
"What is it, Dad?" Jim asked when he saw the wistful expression on his father's face.
"Nothing," the older man said. "It's just the Sloth was my first car. Calling it the 'Kimminator,' as much as I love your sister, just doesn't seem right."
The two boys looked at one another and grinned. "How about 'Sloth, Version 2.0'?" Jim asked.
James gazed at the broken-down vehicle, then smiled. "You know, I always wondered what it would be like to fit her out with solid fuel rocket boosters …"
Kim frowned as she looked at her watch: it was 8:20 AM and Ron still hadn't arrived. Making matters worse, he hadn't answered her calls, either.
"It's okay," Ashley said. "You can stop pretending that you're actually involved with that loser."
Kim was about to respond when someone knocked on the door. "Come in," she called out.
"Hola!" Ron said jauntily as he walked in. Seeing the vexed look on Kim's face he quickly added, "Sorry I'm late, KP, but …"
"Oh, look, it's the faux boyfriend," Ashley sniped.
"What's she talking about?" Ron asked Kim. "How can I be your foe if I'm your boyfriend? Isn't that an oxymoron?"
"Not foe, Ron," Kim said. " Faux: As in fake. She still thinks you're my pretend BF."
"Man, not another school word," Ron complained as an unfamiliar man followed him into the room.
"Uh, hello," Kim said to the unannounced visitor.
"Kim Possible!" the well-dressed stranger said as he extended his hand. "It's a pleasure to meet you. Ronald's said great things about you."
"Thanks," she said, confused. "Ron, you care to sitch me?"
"Ooops, my bad," he said sheepishly. "KP, allow me to introduce Martin Smarty, the CEO and incredibly amazing founder of Smarty Mart."
"Don't tell me that Frugal Lucre has struck again," Kim groaned. She so wasn't in the mood to deal with budget villains.
"Nope," Ron said enthusiastically. "I've been having a power breakfast with my main man, Mr. Smarty."
"I see," Kim said coolly, her arms crossed. "I thought we were going to have breakfast today."
"Yeah, about that," Ron said, rubbing the back of his neck. "You see…"
"Miss Possible, my apologies," Smarty interjected. "But I'm a busy corporate mogul and this was the only time I could fit Ronald into my schedule today."
"Wait a minute. You," an incredulous Ashley said, pointing at Smarty before she pointed at Ron, "wanted to meet him?"
"That's right," Smarty said. "Tell her, son."
"Mr. Smarty wants to buy the Badical Burrito!" Ron exclaimed.
"No way," a stunned Kim said.
"Way!" Ron and Smarty exclaimed simultaneously.
"Jinx, you owe me a soda," Smarty said.
"Aw, come on, not you, too," Ron whined.
"You have to move quickly if you want to make it to the top, son."
"Okay, wait a minute," Kim said. "Would someone mind giving me the 411?"
"During a trip to Middleton last spring I had a hankering for some Tex Mex," Smarty said. "I thought I was out of luck because Bueno Nacho had been flattened, but my driver told me that I needed to try the Badical Burrito. It was dee-lish. Fast forward to now. I realized that if Smarty Mart is going to offer a true 24/7 shopping experience, we need to be able to feed people, 24/7. Enter Ronald."
"Mr. Smarty wants to put BB in every store!" Ron said. "We're going big time, KP!"
"Wow," Kim said before her brow furrowed.
"What's wrong, Kim?" Ron asked.
"Don't get me wrong, Ron. This is ferociously good news."
"There's a 'but' coming, isn't there?"
Reluctantly, Kim nodded. "How are you planning to manage this and school?"
"That's easy," Smarty said. "He won't."
"Excuse me?" Kim asked.
"Mr. Smarty wants to buy me out," Ron said. "There won't be anything to manage but some Claude."
"Well, there will be a little bit more than that since I hope to retain Ronald as a consultant," Smarty noted. "Who knows what else the inventor of the Naco might cook up next?"
Kim stared at her boyfriend, speechless.
"So, what do you think?" Ron asked. "I told Mr. Smarty that I had to check with you, seeing how you're my business sidekick and all that."
Kim responded by throwing her arms around him and pulling him into a fierce embrace.
"I'll take it you're down with the plan?" Ron squeaked.
"That's such the understatement," Kim replied. "I'm so proud of you."
"Excellent," Smarty said before he looked at his watch. "Well, I have to run off to some meetings in Upperton. Why don't I come by around five and we'll fly to New York to celebrate?"
"Badical!" Ron said. "We're going to par-tay in the Big Apple!"
"Ron," Kim cautioned, "You have English Lit and Japanese tomorrow. I am so not letting you go to class unprepared."
"No need to worry," Smarty said. "I have a hypersonic aircraft with a fully equipped office on board. You and Ronald can do your homework en route."
Ron looked expectantly at Kim.. "Okay, you're on," she said as she relented. "But no in-flight games or movies."
"Yea-hey!" Ron cheered as he thrust up his arms.
"Well, I'll see you two later," Smarty said as he turned and walked out the door, looking at his watch. "Time to find out what the Dickens is going on with our wildebeest supplier."
The two teen heroes waved goodbye as the box-store mogul departed. Then Ron slipped his arm around Kim's waist and she reciprocated. She grinned impishly at him, pulled him in close and brought her lips to his.
"Ugh," Ashley said when Kim released a goofily grinning Ron. "Do you mind?"
"Sorry, just giving my fake BF a fake kiss. Have to keep up appearances," Kim said playfully before she looked at Ron. "So, you still up for escorting your fake GF to breakfast?"
"The Ronster can never have enough breakfast," he said, extending his arm. "Especially if it's with his badical faux girlfriend."
Kim, feeling a measure of peace she'd not before experienced around her roommate, smiled serenely at the obviously irked girl and took Ron's arm, letting him escort her out of the room.
"So, KP," Ron said as they left the dorm and stepped out into the quad. "About the show we just gave Ashley …"
Kim looked at Ron. "Surprised you with the aggressive PDA, did I?"
"Uh, yeah," he said. "Not that the kiss wasn't amazing, but …"
"It just wasn't me?" she offered.
"Yeah," he agreed. "Unless you count the time you were moodulated and that really didn't count."
"Wrong," she said. "That one so counted. I just didn't know it at the time."
"Does that mean that, and not the prom, was our first kiss?"
"Actually, I like to think of them as both being first kisses. Along with the time I kissed you in Drakken's escape pod at the North Pole."
"Okay, I may not have the Wade Load math skills, but how can you have three first kisses?"
"Did you forget the motto?" she said as she led him to a large oak and sat down on the grass..
"So you're saying that if you planted one of those bon-diggity five-alarm KP kisses on me right now it could also be a first kiss?" Ron asked as he settled in by Kim's side, enjoying the shade of the old tree..
"Exactly," she said. "After all, I can do anything."
"I think you may have to prove it," he said with a challenging grin.
Not wanting to be accused of being unjustifiably boastful, Kim did just that.
"Okay, point proved," a goofily grinning Ron said when they were done lip smacking.
Kim smiled triumphantly, then leaned against his shoulder. "I think you've figured out that Ashley is ferociously annoying."
"Ron Stoppable's mad fu detection skills might have picked up on that," he said as he began to caress Kim's cheek.
She looked up and quirked an eyebrow. "Mad fu detection skills, huh?"
"Hey, I've got gifts," he said with an exaggerated shrug.
Kim snorted, then took Ron's hand in hers. "I had a reminder this weekend," she said.
"That Monkey Fist is five hundred miles of bad road?"
"Well, yes, but that's not what I was thinking of," she said. "We've been together so long, been through so much, that it's easy to take what we have for granted."
"Huh. I guess I've been doing some of that lately," Ron said, looking at his shoes.
"Don't harsh on yourself," she said softly as she took his hands in hers. "We both have. The important thing is we never let ourselves forget how special what we have really is."
"Sounds good to me, Kimbo. But what's this got to do with your rotten roomie?"
"You remember what you said about me and the academic food chain last week?"
"You were right," she said. "And it really bugged me."
"What? That I was right?" he asked.
"No," Kim said as she shot her boyfriend a look; he responded with a teasing grin, which earned him a playful swat on the arm. "You goof. I bugged that I was obsessing. I mean, why should I care what some self-important professor or stuck-up classmate thinks of me?"
"You shouldn't," Ron said. "But you said it yourself. You can do anything, which includes letting some jerk get under your skin."
"Exactly," Kim said. "But I can also choose not to."
"And smacking lips with me in front of the Ashmeister was your way of doing that."
"Exactly," she said.
"So does this mean you're only going to kiss me when you've got a point to make?" Ron gibed.
"I so don't think so," Kim said as she cupped his face in her hands and kissed him.
"I'm telling you, that's not him," Jenkins said.
"But the scan's positive," Chao replied. "It just doesn't make any sense."
The two perplexed GJ agents were huddled over a monitor, absorbed by the mystery before them, and so didn't hear Betty Director's approach.
"And just what do you find so absorbing?" she asked, startling the two operatives.
"This, ma'am," Jenkins said, indicating the image on the screen. It was of a fellow operative sauntering down a corridor, whistling show tunes.
"Very interesting," she observed.
"I think he's a new generation synthodrone," Jenkins offered.
"I'm telling you, it's mind control," Chao countered.
Betty Director shook her head. "It's neither," she said as she looked at the live video feed of Will Du practically skipping through GJ headquarters.
"Then what's going on, ma'am?" Chao asked.
"I'm not at liberty to say, Ms. Chao, though I do have a theory," Director answered.
"Is he okay?" Jenkins asked.
"Yes, I believe he is," Director said as she watched her Number One Agent, confident that there was only one explanation for Will Du's unaccustomed behavior: he appeared to be in love.
"I see that your mission was a success," Master Lunch Lady observed. "More tea?" she asked Yori as she picked up the delicate bone-china teapot.
"Domo," the young ninja replied. She and the old woman knelt on a tatami mat in the new sensei's quarters. "The mission was indeed a success. The painting has been returned and my grandfather's honor has been restored."
"You have done Yamanuchi – and your family – proud," Master Lunch Lady said.
Yori dipped her head in acknowledgment. When she looked up, she found her aged companion wearing a bemused expression. "Yes?" she asked.
The old woman sipped at her tea. "Tell me about him," she said, a twinkle in her eye.
Yori cocked an eyebrow. "You are most observant," she said, knowing it would be fruitless to dissemble to the very experienced and highly perceptive woman.
"I am ninja," she said plainly before taking another sip of her drink. "And I am a woman who has loved and been loved."
Yori smiled. "Very well then," she said. "It was quite unexpected. I met him while I was in Paris."
"While you were on your mission?"
"Yes," Yori said. "He is the brother of Phin Du."
"The dashing rogue who is romancing Shego?"
"Yes," Yori said. "Will-kun, however, is most honorable, an agent of Global Justice. He assisted me in the completion of my assignment."
"He asked me to dinner. He is quite charming, in his own way."
Master Lunch Lady nodded, then rubbed her chin. "Tell me, does he have a sense of humor?"
Yori hesitated. "I believe that, given time, he could develop one," she said carefully before adding with a devilish smile, "With the proper encouragement."
Master Lunch Lady grinned. "Good. Without humor, honor becomes a prison, the mission a millstone. It took a long time for your grandfather to learn that lesson. But when he did, he was a far better, far happier man – and husband," the wizened old woman said. "It is late. I should retire." Before she had risen Yori was on her feet, offering her hand, which she gratefully accepted. "As always, I have enjoyed our time together."
"I have, too," Yori said as she walked the old woman to the door and embraced her. "Good night, Grandmother.
"Good night, Little One," she said, returning the hug. "And know that I am happy for you. You deserve a good man."
"And I believe I have found one," Yori said.
"Yoha, Mom, Mr. B," Ron said as he strode through the front door into his boyhood home, his girlfriend by his side. It was the Saturday following their return from Japan and they were joining his mother and her beau for lunch.
"Hi, Mrs. S, Mr. Barkin," Kim added cheerfully.
"Ronnie, Kimberly," Mrs. Stoppable said warmly as she embraced them.
"Possible, Stoppable," Barkin growled, watching with satisfaction as his former students stiffened before him. "Gotcha," he said, pleased with himself. "Good to see you, Kim, Ron," he added in a warmer voice.
The two teens stared at each other, momentarily slack jawed.
"Wait a minute," Ron said after he had recovered. "Did you just play us?"
Barkin grinned in response.
"Oh no," Ron said, gesticulating wildly. "No way. My mother's boyfriend who is my ex-teacher cannot play me in my own house. It's against the rules."
"What are you blabbering about?" Barkin asked.
"The house rules," Ron said.
"What house rules?" Barkin replied.
"My house rules," Ron answered. "Section 124, paragraph …"
Chuckling, Mrs. Stoppable led an amused Kim off to the kitchen. "Ronnie's walking so much better," she observed. "I'm so happy he doesn't need the cane anymore."
"Me too," Kim said. "Ron's becoming the monkey master not only let him save me, it pretty much healed his leg. Mom says he should be fully recovered by next fall."
Mrs. Stoppable cocked an eyebrow at Kim. "But you two will be resuming missions before then, won't you?" she asked, confident she already knew the answer to her question.
Kim beamed, looking like she had won the lottery. "Mom gave Ron the all clear. And now that he doesn't have the restaurant to manage and I've dropped a class, we'll have more time to save the world."
"Just don't overdo things," Mrs. Stoppable said.
"Don't worry," Kim said. "We still have Jim and Tim to pick up the slack."
"I thought they were taking over from Wade?"
"They are," Kim said. "But they had so much fun going on missions they insisted that they'd only run the website if I let them continue to go into the field."
"Those poor villains," Mrs. Stoppable said, eliciting a chuckle from Kim. "Would you mind carrying this out to the table?" she asked as she handed a platter to Kim.
"Not at all," she said as she took the food. "Is there anything else—"
"In your face!" Kim and Mrs. Stoppable heard Ron cry out with gusto.
"You're going down, Stoppable!" Barkin replied with equal verve.
Kim and Mrs. Stoppable, curious, set down the food and hurried out to the living room, where they found Ron and Barkin seated before the TV, playing a video game. The two women exchanged a glance and began to laugh.
"Do you mind?" Barkin asked as he furiously worked his game control. "I can't concentrate."
"Nice try, Stevie," Ron crowed as he appeared to score some points at Barkin's expense. "I own you."
"In your dreams," Barkin said.
"In your nightmares," Ron replied as he focused on the game.
Beep Beep Be Beep.
The sound of the Kimmunicator caught the attention of everyone in the room. Mrs. Stoppable sighed, knowing the meal would have to be postponed while Barkin looked relieved, Ron looked cheated, and Kim shifted into mission mode.
"Hi guys," she said as her brothers appeared on screen, "What's the sitch?"
"You just got a hit on the site," Jim said.
"There's been a break-in at the Werner Sisters studio," Tim said.
"What are the odds?" Ron complained, receiving a sympathetic look from Kim, who had promised to take him to see the new Exterminator movie that evening. "Can't they call the local cops?"
"They said something about wanting to keep this all under wraps," Jim said.
"Sorry, Ron, it's go time," Kim said as she placed her hand on his shoulder. "The Governator's going to have to wait."
"Stupid bad guys," Ron groused.
"I promise you'll get to see your movie," Kim reassured him before she returned her attention to her brothers. "Do we have a ride?
"The studio's arranged for a charter flight," Tim said. "There's a plane waiting for you at the airport."
"You two rock," Kim said as she ended the call. "Sorry to not even eat and run," she apologized to Mrs. Stoppable.
"Don't worry," Ron's mother said. "This is what you do."
"You need some backup?" Steve Barkin asked, a hungry gleam in his eye as he considered the prospect of a return to the field.
"No!" Kim and Ron said in unison, each forgetting to call 'jinx' as they hurried out the door before their old teacher could find a way to justify his addition to the team.
"That was close," Kim said when they reached the end of the walkway.
"Tell me about it," Ron agreed.
"Aw man, we left him behind! He's going to be cranked."
"Maybe, but I bet Rufina will be happy to have him at home after that last mission with the Tweebs."
"True. But just to be safe, I'll pick up some cheese for him on the way home," Ron said before he scratched his head. "So, uh, any idea as to how we're supposed to get to the airport?"
Kim was about to answer when a stretch limo pulled up. "Kim Possible?" the driver inquired.
"Yes," she answered.
"I was sent by the studio," the man said as he climbed out of the car and opened the passenger door for the two heroes.
"Thanks," Kim said as she slid into the luxurious vehicle.
"I think I'm feeling better about this mission," Ron observed as he joined his girlfriend and looked around.
"So you're not too bummed about missing your movie?" she asked.
"Admittedly, not seeing the Governator kick synthobiscuit is disappointing, but the Ronster is all about coping," he said as he spotted the snack and beverage bar.
"I'm glad to hear it," Kim said with a smirk as she watched her boyfriend scarf down some pretzels.
A few minutes later, and much to Ron's disappointment as he was enjoying the car's amenities, the driver pulled onto the tarmac of Middleton International Airport. "The plane's ready to leave immediately," he announced as he pulled up next to a small corporate jet.
"Thanks," Kim said as she opened the door to the car. "You ready, Ron?"
Ron held up his hand as he finished gulping down his Slurpster. "Okay, KP," he said when he was done. "Let's hit the road. Or air."
Kim rolled her eyes, then led the way up the stairs into the airplane, where she was greeted by the pilot.
"Miss Possible," he said, "Welcome aboard."
"Thanks," she said.
"Sweet!" Ron declared as he looked around the cabin, seeing comfortable leather chairs and a couch, a very large plasma screen, and a state-of-the-art gaming console.
"The flight shouldn't be too long," the aviator said. "Once we're all strapped in I can ask the tower for clearance and we can be on our way." He then entered the cockpit, closing the door behind him.
It wasn't long before the craft was airborne and the seatbelt sign was turned off. Ron rose and headed to the video game. He was picking up a controller when he felt a strong hand grip his wrist.
"Are you sure you want to do that?" Kim asked.
"Sure?" Ron replied. "This is the latest in gaming technology and a giant screen! What else would I want to do?"
"Oh, I don't know," she said as she sat down on the couch. "Stock up on those five-alarm kisses you rave about?"
Ron grinned, dropped the controller and sat down next his girlfriend. "I'm all about the stocking up," he said.
"Smart boy," she said as she pushed him onto his back, quickly driving all thoughts of video games from his thoughts.
The high altitude make-out session was nothing more than a happy memory for Kim and Ron as the limousine pulled up in front of the studio. There, a well-dressed woman was waiting for them. The driver got out and opened the door for the two heroes, who squinted as they emerged into the bright California sunshine.
"Miss Possible, Mister Stoppable," the woman said as she extended her hand in greeting. "Welcome to Werner Sisters Studios. If you'll come this way," she said as she turned and entered the building. Kim and Ron followed her inside and down a long corridor, with Kim more than once having to pull Ron away from photos of stars and displays of memorabilia from series and movies ranging from Space Passage to the Bricks of Fury saga to Scamper and Bitey.
"Here we are," the woman said when they reached the end of the hall. She opened the door and ushered the two teens into a small, well-appointed theatre with its own concession stand.
"Pretty swish," Ron said as he looked around, impressed by their surroundings. Out of habit and hunger, he approached the food counter. "Look! Jelly Jumpies!"
"Want some?" Kim asked as she joined him.
"Sure – Hey! Since when do you let me have snackage on a mission?" Ron asked.
"Snackage usually isn't part of a mission," she answered. "Today it is."
"Really?" he said, surprised.
"Really," she said.
"Coolio!" Ron said. "Can we have popcorn, too?"
"I don't know," Kim said, rubbing her chin. "We'll have to ask our host."
Ron looked around. "Hmm," he said. "I wonder where that lady went."
"Actually, Ron, she wasn't our host," Kim said as she activated her Kimmunicator. A moment later, the door opened and a very familiar Hollywood producer entered.
"Kim Possible, Ron Stoppable!" Jimmy Blamhammer boomed. "Good to see you kids again!"
"It's nice to see you again, too, Mr. Blamhammer," Kim said as the mogul pumped her arm.
"Yeah," Ron said as it was his turn to have his hand power-shaken. "Sorry about Monkey Ninjas in Space."
"Don't mention it," Blamhammer said with a wave of the hand. "Ever," he added, not wanting to think about MNIS, the big-budget disaster that was universally deemed to have out-Waterworlded Waterworld, a remarkable, if dubious, cinematic achievement. "So, you two ready for some movie magic?"
"Yes," Kim said. "After we get our Jelly Jumpies and popcorn."
"Excellent!" Blamhammer said as he began to retrieve the snacks. "How about a couple of sodas to go with your food?"
"Please and thank you," Kim said.
"Uh, KP, you mind telling me what's going on here?" Ron said. "Not that it isn't cool, but …"
"What does it look like?" she asked.
"Uh, we're going to see a movie?" Ron replied.
"Not just any movie!" Blamhammer said. "Exterminator II in 3-D with a post-screening appearance by Ahnuld himself."
"Wait a minute. The Governator's going to be here?" Ron sputtered.
"In the flesh!" Blamhammer exclaimed. "Assuming he isn't waylaid by any cyborgs or lobbyists, Ahnuld should be here in exactly two hours and thirty-three minutes!"
"This is so cool!" Ron said giddily as he hugged Kim. "I can't believe we're going to meet Ahnuld!"
"It was no big, really" she said as she returned her boyfriend's embrace, quite pleased by his reaction. "I just called in a couple of favors. It's the least I could do for my BF, especially since he missed a premiere so he could go to that wine and cheese do with me. So, you ready to pick our seats?"
"You bet," Ron said. They sat down in the middle of the theatre and made themselves comfortable. "Man, this is badical – no tall guy to block my view!"
The lights dimmed, the overpowering theme music began and the glow of the film washed over them. Ron looked to his side and took in Kim's features. Then he leaned over, wanting to give her a kiss. She gently placed her hand on his chest, rebuffing him. "There'll be enough time for that on the flight home," she said softly.
"Ah-booyah," Ron whispered in reply. Then he draped his arm around Kim. "I assume it's okay to do this?"
"So okay," she replied as she snuggled up against him. "Now let's enjoy the movie."
"But you said no lip smacking until we go home," Ron joked, offering an exaggerated leer.
Kim shook her head in mock disgust. "You are such the bad boy, Ron Stoppable."
"Hey, I am what I is," Ron said, puckering his lips.
Kim looked at him, cocked an eyebrow, and snorted. Then she smiled warmly and met Ron for a kiss. After all, they could always watch the movie when it came out on DVD …
A/N: Unlike its predecessor Epic Sitch, which I wrote in a matter of weeks, Epic Sitch: Big Monkey on Campus has taken more than two years to complete, far longer than I ever imagined would be the case. ES:BMOC was originally intended to be a bridge to the long-rumored, now quasi-mythical, Epic Sitch Eye Eye. Along the way the story grew and other projects intervened. I am deeply grateful to all of you who have patiently followed this story to its conclusion.