What can I say… D: ? I had a life, busy with school, illness and moar life! I can't believe it kept me from this story for so long and Kim Possible is now over. Time flies by, huh? I don't know if anyone still reads this except for a recent reviewer, but I know I need to finish this before I can start on anything else writing wise. I know how this story is going to end, and what's going to be in each chapter, but, no, I haven't written it all yet although I am ahead.

This Instalment is a long one (56 pages) so take your time reading through it before I can upload the next one! I've still got school and life to deal with, but I need to devote more time to this story and include it into my schedule. I'm sorry, guys… I really, really am. I'm just very honoured to those of you who continue to read it (and have gone back and read the first two! Ah, if I could edit them... XD ).

So! I MUST express my immense thanks to: nutty, Ace Ian Combat, CajunBear73, Classic Cowboy, Danny-171984, zero9g9, Shadowlost, Pojko, John M. Steppenwolf, C. Dawgz, nutshak, Marcus S. Lazarus (sure, go ahead! Sorry this reply is like, so late!), Lyokowarirtitan, sephiroth2004 (thank-you for that comment!), RabulaTasa, Shockwave88 and Trpl355oul whose recent review made me open this darn file again!! Thank-you everyone!

Enjoy this heckuva long chapter! Sorry for any mistakes but please do enjoy!

-A. King


¤ Instalment 06 »» Curtain Call ~ Missions Series Final~ ¤

The darkness is deep within you, and you can't fix it right away

I'll be here by your side, so go ahead and cry if you want

We'll wait until the light shines through, together.

~HIGH and MIGHTY COLOR, 'change'


She had The Nightmare again.

It had been awhile since she had last had The Nightmare. Such awhile that Kim had finally believed it would never return; that it's presence to her dreams were finally over with. Had she not said not too long ago that things like this were in the past? Perhaps she had not said it loud enough.

So with an abrupt gasp of shock and horror, Kim jolted out of her sleep, her brow masked in her own sweat. Chocking and gasping at the same time repetitively, Kim struggled to calm her racing heartbeat and lower her adrenaline level. Confused with the level of emotion that had passed through The Nightmare and into the waking world she felt such emotions such as horror, fear, weakness and disparity. Kim knew she should be feeling none of these emotions in the here and now. She was awake now! Yet her mind was still reacting to The Nightmare so she allowed moments to slide by in which her mind would calm down and remember itself.

As she waited for this to complete, Kim observed her surroundings. She looked up, right, left, backwards and forwards. Yes, she was in the tent as she should be.

Proof, mind, proof.

Proof she was no longer in The Nightmare, proof she was no longer in Ron's room. Yes. For there he was to her right, curled up in the sleeping bag next to her; the only part of him visible was his scruffy hair as the rest of him was buried within the bag. Sound asleep, he could probably sleep on for hours more to come perhaps still wrapped up in his own dreams. Hopefully his dreams were less traumatic than hers had been.

Ears perking, Kim strained them then raised her head to the roof of their tent where the sound that had attracted her senses was coming from. A light rain was still pitter-pattering above them; it had not stopped raining since last night but she surmised it would cease completely in a few hours. The temperature as well was far warmer than last night, Kim no longer felt cold. Wetting her lips, Kim tilted her head downward, knowing her mind was slipping back into reality.

Then she almost gave herself another hysteria when she looked down and saw herself in her undergarments. Oh, her poor brain! The jolt seized her brain and she flinched for real, her heart skipping beats and almost placing her back into The Nightmare. But after the gasp, she rolled her eyes and again forced her mind to calm down. Lifting up a hand, she fanned herself lightly.

She had no idea what the time was, but she was still feeling tired so perhaps it was best to fall back asleep until Will awoke them. He wouldn't leave without them, right?

Gulping, Kim glanced at the top of Ron's head, then cautiously crawled out of the sleeping bag in her underwear and opened the tent flap a slit then peered through. Nope, Will Du was still here—his tent still pitched. She could wake them now so she could have the upper hand but no—too exhausted myself! No, she didn't mind waiting until Will Du woke up and deemed it time to save the world. Kim closed the tent flap and crawled back into the sleeping bag, zipping it up fully and burying her face up to her nose in the sleeping bag.

Why had The Nightmare returned? She hadn't had it in months! It was one that always terrified her— even once she was awake it still had her seized in its entrapment of dread. Perhaps it had returned because of her and Ron's conversations last night… Ron had been too close, too close… It must have brought The Nightmare up in her subconscious once more.

This is why we can never go there, Kim insisted to herself while wrinkling her nose. We need to keep things like this from ever returning.

As Kim thought, her weariness intensified and she felt the desire to slip back into a sleep. It was obvious she was not even fully awake yet herself. But at the same time, how could she fall back asleep? A part of her mind was fearful that if she should return to sleep, The Nightmare might return…

Could it? Would it? It had been frightening… every time she had it, the fear… The shadow looming… the…

No!

Kim tossed herself onto her side and into Ron. She gasped automatically but her mind recognised all of Ron: his body, his scent, his breathing and thus instantly stilled. There was no reason to fear him for he loved her beyond all devotion. He would always love her no matter what she did (it was for that reason, she had learned said the bracelet around her wrist, that she must be careful with how she treated him because he was endlessly bonded to her).

So she nestled closely to him, clasping to his undershirt just as she had done the night before and wrapped herself in him to hide from her fears and looming horrors that still had the nerve to haunt her like this. She buried her face in his chest and shut her eyes.

"Keep The Nightmare away from me, Ron," she murmured.

Of course, Ron slept on blissfully unaware of Kim's entire trauma.

-ø-

Whoah, was it really true? No way.

Dude, did I just wake up all on my own?

And so apparently Ron did! Ron's eyes flickered open and his mind became conscious without anyone having to have awoken him. Straight ahead Ron could see light rain pelting the tent cover. It struck the tent lightly, creating soft pattering noises that brought Ron to an idyllic remembrance regarding the prior night.

It had been a night Kim and Ron had not shared with one another in a long, long time. Not even during Christmas had they been like that, although Ron had to admit it had been something he had been hoping for, anticipating.

Naturally Ron enjoyed such times when they came, and who wouldn't? Ron was grateful for Kim, for everything he had with her and how they had arrived at such a time in their lives. It was not something he took for granted in the least. Memories of the turbulent emotions they had each gone through made Ron raise his eyebrows and take in a deep breath. No, those times had taught them each and he was here, to-day, with Kim like this. This had been something he had always desired.

So he shouldn't feel greedy when he thought:

There's something else.

Ron could wait for as long as Kim desired, that wasn't what his problem with the issue was. If anyone would think that! Absolutely not. The problem was…

Even though Ron had tried to approach Kim on the matter last night, and no matter how perceptive he had tuned himself to be (with a great deal of effort!), Kim distinctly and firmly turned from his questions.

It wasn't just a matter of waiting.

And it wasn't about that.

It was about that there was something else between the two of them. Something Kim was withholding from Ron, this is what Ron had been able to understand so far. Some emotions caused by something were holding her from him. Ron was desperately trying to figure it out, to understand, what it could be—Kim had been far too emotional last night when he had talked to her, although she had tried miserably to pass it off scoffing.

Why won't she tell me?

The only answer that could come to Ron was because he was the problem.

But what have I done?

Perhaps then if Kim had been able to overhear Ron's thoughts, she would have alarumed that Ron was again becoming far too close to the truth. So how ironic it was that it was Kim herself, without even knowing, that broke Ron from these dark thoughts.

Ron's eyes double-blinked and widened when he felt Kim suddenly grasp to his undershirt tightly, the hand that had just previously been resting placidly upon his chest. Looking down, he instantly gasped to see such a constrained emotion on Kim's face, a face he could barely see.

Her face was tucking away from him and she was murmuring fervently, Ron could not hear nor understand what Kim was muttering (she seriously could not have just said 'Monkey Fist', right?) but whatever dream she must be having, it was distressing her a great deal. Sleeping on top of him, he felt her curl up, both her hands clasping to his undershirt as if she would fall into a lost world should she let go.

"Kim!" he had to wake her. He called to her quietly, yet fervently. "KP! Kimbo, wake up!" He riled her carefully, hoping she wouldn't lash out at him. "Kim!"

With a final out-bursting gasp, Kim's eyes shot open, never releasing her grip on Ron's shirt. Ron placed his hands on either side of Kim's shoulders and held her tightly while she slowly came to.

"Kim," he called to her once her breathing became paced, "W-where you having a nightmare?"

There was a pause before she responded, "The Nightmare…"

"W-what?" Ron asked, he made sure his palms were firmly clamped to Kim's arms. "KP, c'mon. Snap out of it! You're awake, kay?"

Kim frowned and her eyes darted up into Ron's. His reflected both anxiety and confusion for some odd reason, it solaced her and a smile began to drift across her face. Yes, this was her Ron. Not… not… No, this one was. Her silly, worrisome Ron.

So Kim yawned. "Thank-you for waking me," and she reached out with her arms to wrap them around Ron's neck to bring him close into a loving hug.

With her head buried by his, she heard him chuckle. "Hey, if this is how you react form nightmares then I'm all for them!"

"Thanks a lot!" Kim replied haughtily in jest.

Pulling away as Ron leered overtop, she placed a gentle palm upon his chest just above his undershirt. Lightly, she skimmed her hand across his faintly pale white skin. She heard a small gasp emit from his mouth but he held his ground. Just being able to feel him, here right in front of her eased her away from the fears of The Nightmare. A silence drifted between the two of them, one Kim found herself most comfortable in, that is, until Ron asked:

"What was it about?"

"Ah?" Kim was caught off guard by this question and withdrew her hand from him as if he had just burned her.

"Your nightmare," he whispered softly. "What was it about?"

"I-it was…" she found herself speechless. Then she looked up into his eyes once more only to recoil with just how severe the concern was that overflowed in his eyes. It was if… as if maybe… as if maybe he knew…

But he didn't and he wouldn't.

Kim cast her eyes and murmured with contempt, "It was about us being separated. That's all."

"Oh," he replied rather quietly. "Oh." Then, "About us… about, like, y'know?"

"Yea."

Now it's was Ron's turn to dart his eyes away. Underneath, Kim did not move a muscle, nor did her eyes once remove from the shadow of a bush cast upon the tent in her line of vision. As the silence pressed on, Kim felt herself feeling increasingly guilty— she wished Ron would say something first. What was there for her to say?

Although Ron continued to remain silent, he laid himself down next to Kim, faced her, and lightly began to brush his fingers against her cheek that was turned from him. Abruptly Kim became confused and she shuffled herself around in the tent to face Ron.

For a few moments, she only stared; trying to gather some sense from Ron's reaction. But his touch was so soft that Kim found herself leaning into it.

"Aren't you mad at me?" she asked.

"Well, yea, kinda," Ron admitted and Kim felt a small flutter of fear begin to rise within her. After all, she had been in his mind when he had been fuelled with never before seen rage. "But you had a nightmare."

"So?"

"So it bothers you too."

"No duh…"

"Kim," he whispered and moved closer and although she scolded herself for it, Kim could not stop herself from tensing up.

Ron's voice became that of not even a whisper. It was so silent and just on the very verge of his breath that he said: "Why don't we just leave?"

Kim's eyes fluttered wide open in shock. "Leave?" Now she really was confused, "Leave the mission? Leave Will Du?" A haughty remark issued from her throat, "I don't think so, that glory-loving—"

And for once, Ron did not react in laughter. Instead, his voice continued to remain low and serious. It held Kim's attention captive. "I mean after the mission. Why don't we just go somewhere? Just the two of us? And do whatever we want."

Now Kim really did fall silent. Currently her hands were cupped beneath her chin as she lay on her side. Now they wanted to clasp her heart. It jolted slightly when a particularly large raindrop struck the plastic cover above them; Ron didn't even blink.

"But… I don't… that's…" And Kim leaned closer to Ron, even casting a glance over her shoulder as if she understood that their conversation was not even for the shadows to hear. Leaning forward, she almost stated pleadingly, "Isn't that a little irresponsible?" When Ron did not respond, she continued, "We have lives, Ron. We have University and our family and friends and… and…"

But the look in Ron's eyes told her that none of these things were important to him— and most certainly not as important as the girl lying in front of him.

"It's our lives," he replied, his voice was always quiet. "We have so much that others don't, KP. We can go anywhere at the drop of a hat. We can leave whatever we want behind… I think… I think it'd be good for us."

"Good for us?"

"Sure. Like… no other distractions. And we can do missions too," he added this almost hurriedly, "But instead of going home, we can linger as long as we like. Hop somewhere new on the globe… We can just… like, just… focus on us."

Kim was aware of her eyelashes fluttering in her nervous reaction.

"It can be like last night in the tent whenever we like," he continued, "Only without Will Du and I think you'd like that."

Was that supposed to be a joke? He didn't say it like it was but perhaps it was supposed to make Kim laugh. Only it didn't. She was struck too hard by Ron's sudden proposal.

For it was an interesting proposal. In Kim's mind: No, she couldn't do such a thing. There was life, life kept moving on no matter what detours you took. This she knew well. But at the same time… As much as she enjoyed her life at the sorority and her education at University there was the whole world at their fingertips—as Ron had said, it was not something everyone had. What was stopping them from taking it and being on their own if it was what they wanted, right? Anywhere with just Ron… (well, Rufus too!)

But what of her parents? They would be so worried! And… and even disappointed… and not just because they were helping her pay her way through University either. She was the straight-A student, always on the principal's honour role, valedictorian and a cheerleader. And head cheerleader next year too! How could she leave that behind?

To leave that all behind to be with Ron with no other distractions…. To just be 'us' and nothing else… Kim enjoyed missions like this, when they were able to spend lone time together. It was something she indeed looked forwards to.

But at the same time, what would it accomplish? Would it cure Ron? She didn't know; she didn't understand.

No, she came to the conclusion. This wasn't the right answer. Kim Possible did not leave her responsibilities behind. Kim Possible: she could do anything, after all.

"Ron," she finally spoke, just as gently as he. "You know that isn't the answer."

Was it just her or did the corner of Ron's mouth twitch as if to grimace?

"Ron… I love you so much but… but not yet. Maybe when we're finished University. We already have times like this on missions as it is. We should be thankful for that. I gave up too much to— …"

"To what?" Ron muttered.

"To be where I am now."

"Like what?"

"Like having to suffer with Lonnie as head cheerleader," she wanted to flourish this with a comical smirk but for some odd reason, her mouth refused.

"Oh, okay."

"Still angry?"

"Oh, yea, for sure. I'll be angry for awhile," he shrugged. "I'll probably be loathing when I'm in that cell of a room."

"Ron…"

To her surprise, he leaned forwards and kissed her on the lips. Certainly not the reaction she had been expecting from him after that remark!

Once he pulled away, Kim couldn't help but splutter, "Is it, like, Opposite Day to-day or something?"

"No," Ron replied simply, "I'm just gonna miss you just like in your nightmare while we're apart." Then he kissed her once again. "So we should take what we can now, right?"

Kim wrapped her arms around Ron's bare neck and shoulder to hug him closely. "I'd rather you take what you can and not hate me though."

"I don't hate you. I said angry. C'mon, KP, feel up a thesaurus? Two different definitions here."

At this, Kim couldn't stifle a couple of laughs. "Okay, then must you be angry with me?"

"Well… I suppose I could just put it on hold for a bit. Until the day comes that I have to go anyway."

Kim let out a sigh. "I suppose that's the best I'm going to get."

"No, but you might get something better than this," and Ron leaned in to kiss her gently upon the lips once more.

She felt his arms slipping around her waist and rolling on top of her. He snuggled close and they continued to kiss one another repetitively on the lips as if they knew for certain this would be the last time in a long while that they would be able taste one another's love.

Tenderly, Kim placed curved fingertips by Ron's cheek, the cheek where she had once struck him so many years ago. This she would always remember, so she began to stroke that spot over his freckles. At her touch, she felt him respond, whether because he too remembered in that moment or just because he found it so pleasing, he rose himself higher atop of her and his kisses became, not more passionate, but far more dire; in a way that he was suddenly desperate to appeal to her in such a way.

No… was that… no. It was!

Indeed, Kim did feel a soft, single, wet tear press itself against her cheek from Ron's.

Yes, he did remember. And although he forgave her for that act and the many others and expressed how much he loved her despite her faults, it still injured him and added even more to the pain of him having to leave her.

But it was for the sake of himself. For Kim could quite possibly lose Ron forever. And then where would she be? Certainly not… certainly not stroking his cheek as they kissed on another in each other's arms in a tent removed from any sort of civilization within the Amazon.

Kim felt a few more tears transfer from Ron's cheeks to her own and the surge of his emotions effected her own, as if she too desired to cry.

How silly we are, a practical side of her mind told herself. It's kind of stupid just how… just how much we need to be with each, to be close almost all the time. It's almost… No, it's not something negative but it sure does tug on the heart a lot.

It was just that thought that forced Kim to tighten her arms around Ron's neck to bring him yet even further. She found herself as well becoming more dire in her kisses as if Ron was about to leave her right then and this was their final time together. And it was just then that Kim felt a tear of her own surface from her eye when…

"Hey. Wake up." Then the sound of a hand slapping the tent outside instantly caused Kim and Ron to pull away and Ron, still over Kim, cast his head behind him where the voice was coming from.

Will Du was relentless: "Time to wake up the both of you. We need to have some breakfast if we want to foil Drakken's evil plot to-day." Then came the sound of his footsteps padding away.

"Tchach," Kim snorted, one arm still hanging around Ron's neck. "I've foiled Drakken's Evil Plans before breakfast many times."

"And sometimes through breakfast," Ron added pitifully.

"Lunch too!" Rufus added, popping out of Kim's belt pouch that she had placed by their pillows the prior night.

Kim laughed while wrapping the other arm back around Ron's neck. "We'll need to dress fast if you want to have breakfast before our mission." And she paused a moment to hear the sounds of Will Du rummaging around as he was surely preparing a meal. Ron heard the sounds too and whimpered.

"A great dilemma, huh?" Kim teased him so by tugging him even closer.

Ron allowed himself to lean nearer but his eyes were still in the direction of the tent flap. "I'm hungry," he complained.

Kim sighed and released Ron and in doing so stretched her arms high above her head accompanied by a yawn.

"Oh, go ahead," Kim covered her mouth with a palm. "Go get your breakfast before Will Du tries to leave without us. (I wouldn't put it past him…)"

Eagerly with a large grin plastered on his face, Ron struggled to slip himself out of their sleeping bags bypassing Kim right in front of her face (she grunted with mock disgust).

"Coolness! Thanks, KP!"

"No big."

Tongue sticking out, he shuffled around and yanked his clothing down from the rack where their clothing had dried over night.

"How are they?" she inquired more out of conversation than actual curiosity.

"All dry!" Ron reported enthusiastically; he began to change into his mission wear. "You gonna lay there all day or are you gonna help me bust out some justice?"

" 'Help you'?" Kim repeated absent-mindedly as she found herself stretching once more.

"Everyone knows I'm the real hero. You're just a cover so the villains think they're after you while I deal the real danger!" And Ron busted out some action poses in mid-dress. "How's about that move!" –Ron leapt over Kim from one side of the sleeping bag to the other and flailed about his arms in what Kim assumed was supposed to be a threatening move.

"Hey!" Kim jokingly snapped and slapped her palm against the material of the sleeping bag and admonished fiercely: "No Monkey Business allowed in this tent!"

At that instant they heard a faltering and sudden crash in the pots and pans Will Du was working with from outside.

"Ahahaha!!" Ron flopped himself down backwards onto the sleeping bag, resting his head where Kim's legs were underneath. "You sure got him good with that line!"

Kim was too busy blushing with a palm clamped around her mouth. This time she attempted to aim for Ron when she smacked her hands against the sleeping bag—fortunately for Ron he was too far away for her reach.

"That's not what I meant!" she let out hotly.

"And I'm sure Will Du will take it that way," he replied playfully. Hauling himself up, Ron began to crawl nearer to Kim. Kim gave him one rueful eye of caution before casting her head away, arm over her eyes.

But Ron was never one to heed caution, or rather, was usually too empty-headed to notice caution.

"Hey," he said, his voice dropping lower and this ventured one eye of curiosity from Kim. "Maybe on our return camp out we can enact some real monkey business." And her purred enticingly now leaning close to her as if to give her cheek a lick.

As he tempted her, Kim was still eyeing Ron with that one eye from underneath her arm; it was hard to judge her opinion until:

"I don't want your face," she stated, smooshing his face and lips as she pushed him away. He grunted. "I want my clothes." And she heaved Ron off as if he were a dog that had prolonged his stay on the bed.

Indignant, Ron clambered to his feet and reached for Kim's cloths from the rack. Below, Kim let out a sigh, now sitting up in the sleeping bag. She stretched out a hand and spoke to Ron, looking in the other direction.

"Hand me my clothes."

There was a pause.

Kim's head whipped to Ron and her eyes narrowed. She squinted at him and yet no matter how hard she squinted, that catish smirk across Ron's face was indeed there and not a figment of an imagination.

"You'll have to catch 'em first."

Kim's jaw dropped and her face exploded in blush.

-ø-

After a particular unforeseen event in the tent that had bypassed more time than Kim and Ron had known, there was very little time for Breakfast as Will Du had decided not to wait for the two crimefighters and proceed to pack up camp, including Breakfast much to Ron's displeasure.

At least I was able to slip that bowl of porridge away from his grasp and slurp sommaf it down before he noticed it was missing, Ron thought adamantly to himself. His chest surged with a small sense of pride in that small , at least Ron Stoppable had consumed his Breakfast.

Which was more than what poor Kim had; which was nothing. Ron cast a pitiful eye in her direction. Poor Kim neglected that in their game of rock, paper, scissors last night, while the loser had to pitch the tent… it was the other's turn to take it back down! And Will and already packed away Breakfast with his pack on waiting for Kim a full five minutes before she had finished.

It wasn't a great start to their day.

But while Will Du had marched ahead with Kim and Ron following behind, Ron had managed to catch Kim by her arm and put a little more distance between them and Will allowing him to whisper to her alone.

Again he had stressed to her to please stay calm and level-headed. She was better than him— she shouldn't lose herself in a fit! It would only fuel Will Du's pompous attitude after all. Ron had managed to swerve in a soft, submissive attitude which Kim levelled to and Ron felt he had genuinely reached her this time. Before releasing her to catch up with Will Du, he had given her a small kiss on her cheek. She had smiled so endearingly at him for that.

But that was hours ago, hopefully that kiss of his hadn't worn off.

"There it is," Will Du informed, lowering his handheld device and pointing at a large building barely visible through the trees.

"Yea, I can see it for myself, thanks," was Kim's response. But it came out more like a sigh than a snap.

"So what's our plan?" Ron asked openly. He edged closer to Kim and eyed the building barely visible. How had Drakken managed to build that right here in the middle of nowhere?

"Well," Kim gave another sigh and pocketed the Kimmunicator, "What do we usually do? Find a way to sneak in and pull the plug on the scheme." Then she abruptly turned to face Will, "Or do you have another idea?"

Was it just Ron or did Will's tiny eyes actually flinch? There was a brief pause, one that Kim didn't take notice of, but Ron did. Finally Will nodded, "It sounds like our best plan."

Kim nodded agreeably, "Alright. Glad we could agree on something there."

No, it wasn't just Ron—Will's mouth twitched into what could've been a smile.

-ø-

"Well," Ron breathed as he marvelled at the inside of Drakken's temple lair. "I'm glad it's not flashbackin' me to that other temple. Certainly is different."

Kim made no response to that.

"We have to be on the look-out," Will acknowledged, "There could be henchmen patrolling the halls. Be on guard for security cameras too." He stalked off, his shoulders tensed and his eyes overly focused.

Kim swerved her head to Ron next to herself and sent him a quirky grin. "Since when did Drakken have the budget for security cameras?"

Ron snickered.

As Kim and Ron followed together after Will in the silence Will insisted upon, Ron took to swinging his head from side to side as he visually explored their surroundings. The floors were tiled and the walls were intensely dark. There was just enough visibility within as to not require a flashlight but Ron felt inside himself that if he had one, it might pump up that courage bar of his just a slight.

Looking once more at the walls, Ron couldn't make sense of the pattern, it rather boggled his mind. A deep, rich brown, it appeared glossy with some kind of texture and streaks of lighter brown slicing through. Ron nearly paused to take an inquisitive closer inspection but Kim ushered him along, eager for him to stay at her side. Now was that for his comfort or hers?

"Is it just me," Kim finally spoke out in a quiet voice, "Or are we inclining?"

"How do you mean?" Will asked curtly, barely turning his head in his walk to hear better.

"I mean…" Kim halted and looked down at the path they had come. "Yea, I'm right. We're going up a ramp."

"And around," Ron added, eyeing the walls and making a circular motion with a finger.

Kim's eyes darted to those as well and agreed with him. "We're spiralling upwards… w-we're going up… and around…"

"Yes? So?" Will turned around to face the duo, his brow knotted. It wasn't frustration, but Ron was pretty sure it wasn't concern either. "We're going to the top of Drakken's lair then. How is that of any concern?"

Yea, Ron contemplated this as well. He made a slight movement towards Kim, she shuddered slightly and Ron frowned at this reaction. Slowly, he dipped his head and peered at her intensely. Something was troubling her. And yet Ron wasn't feeling the odd vibes—well other than the usual 'we're in the villains lair' vibes that is.

"KP?"

Kim's head snapped up and she stared at Ron. Her eyes were nearly glazed and her chest surged slightly. Ron's consternation increased. He slid a look at Will who was still standing and staring at the both of them from a respectful distance.

"Kimbo," Ron lowered his voice. "You hot for this or not?"

"Yea, I'm good," Kim's voice was coming back… and yet…

"What is it?"

"Nothing."

"You suspect something?"

"No."

"You're feeling something."

"Something."

"What?"

"Nothing."

Ron raised a single eyebrow at her.

"Nothing important," Kim amended. "Let's just keep going."

"Are you sure you'll be fit to fight the villains?" was Will's call.

"Of course," Kim sounded aggravated by this.

With that, Will turned his back and without another word, progressed upwards. Just before Kim trekked after Will once more, she faced Ron.

"Thanks."

Ron shrugged. He was right about to follow after Kim, his mind about to delve in wonderings of what could have sparked such a reaction out of Kim when… Wait!

From the corner of his eye? Wait… what!?

Ron faced the wall abruptly. He stared at it. For several seconds.

Had the wall… did it just move? One of the brown streaks on the wall, did it just move?

Ron wet his lips and stepped forwards, reaching out, he sucked in his breath and bravely reached out. Gingerly, Ron placed then pressed his palms against the wall and gave a small gasp of shock. He knocked on it.

"Ron?" Kim asked; both she and Will turned around again. "What's the sitch?"

"I didn't notice it at first cos it was so dark," Ron spoke, not taking his eyes off the wall. "But the wall is made of glass."

"Oh? Really? So?" Kim stepped forwards and knocked on the glass wall as well. "So it is."

Ron heard a grunt of exasperation from Will.

"And dirt is on the other side," Ron added.

"Dirt?" Kim asked.

"And roots."

"Roots? Tree roots?"

"I guess."

Another final sigh from Will Du. "This is all very informative but it is not going to help us with our mission. Now we are wasting precious time. I… we could have defeated Drakken already—"

"Dude." Will stopped talking as Ron made a discovery. "The roots moved."

"What!?" Both Kim and Will exclaimed.

Ron nodded grimly. "I saw it move… KP. Roots don't move."

Kim became slightly apprehensive. "Ron… it seriously just has to be your imagination. You said it yourself: roots don't move."

"But Kim—"

"It was probably just the lighting on the glass when you went to step forwards, that's all. Gave you the illusion that it moved. Will's right, y'know, we need to keep moving."

Ron's mouth parted slightly and Kim rested a hand on his shoulder. She gave it a brief squeeze, a smile, then continued with Will up the ramp once more. Downcast, Ron looked once more to the roots behind the window.

It had not been his imagination, the pit of his stomach told him grimly. And roots were not supposed to move.

But he was now forced into silence and he knew now he should hold his tongue. His mood becoming dark as the dirt behind the glass, Ron stalked quietly after Kim— feeling rather shunned as well. It wasn't that Kim was really taking Will's side over his… Kim would never do that but… Well, if the roots really did move, Kim would find out eventually. There wasn't much they could do now anyway, other than be on their guard.

And Ron's guard was highly more attentive than before. As they progressed their way spiralling upwards, Ron continually kept a steady eye on the dirt and roots on the other side of the glass, but only out of the corner of his eyes. Not that the roots had eyes, but he felt as if it knew he was watching they wouldn't move. (Not that Ron exactly wanted them to move…)

Wetting his lips, Ron finally looked upwards when they began to near a platform—finally reaching the top of the spiral. There was an open doorway and both Kim and Will peered inside first, Ron looking in over Kim's shoulder.

Inside was a conservatory, it only made sense what with all the dirt behind the glass they had just walked up. Ron inclined his head as he surveyed the room. Already he could feel the adjusted temperature warm him and he knew that all the plants inside were exotic and adjusted to the Amazonian climate. Plants of green, red, shades of pink and blue and yellow flourished the room that Ron could not as of yet see an end to. There were huge trees inside that stretched tall and at the angle he was at outside the room, Ron could see that at the very top was not a ceiling, but glass—the conservatory was encased within a giant glass dome.

"Drakken's control panel should be in a room on the other side," Will surmised. His expression was unreadable and looked unaffected by the change of scenery.

Kim only shrugged—and was it just Ron or did she appear slightly relieved for some reason? He wasn't able to double check for she shook whatever expression she had quickly. "I wonder what Drakken's doing with these plants?"

"Maybe he's decided to take up the joys of gardening?"

Kim shot Ron a look.

"What? I can hear it can be a very relaxing recreational activity. Maybe he has arthritis. You gotta admit Kim," and he nodding knowingly as if he was soothing Kim of a horrid thought, "The blue guy is getting a little 'oooolllld'."

"Tchach," Kim rolled her eyes and replied sarcastically, "I will rejoice in the day that Drakken is finally confined to a wheelchair."

"Somehow I don't think that'd stop him," Ron added.

"And neither will standing here chit-chatting," Will interrupted and it was both Ron and Kim that shot him a devilish look. "Come on." And surprising even themselves, both Kim and Ron gave a shocked expression as Will carelessly marched into the conservatory.

Exchanging looks, Kim shrugged at Ron and motioned for him to follow her. Moaning inwardly, Ron gave one last longing look down the steep spiral they had climbed. It sure was a long hike… the depth underneath the conservatory sure did go down… And, Ron glanced at the trees inside, could even those tree roots actually stretch that far down..?

Hunching, Ron scuttled in after Kim and it was at that moment Ron knew, as always, his intuition had been correct.

All three whipped around when a loud electronic beep sounded out and the doorway shut behind them in a fast clamp. A red light above the doorway blasted open like an awakening, evil eye.

"Aw darnit," Ron muttered under his breath.

"It's a trap!"

"Gee, you think?" Kim shot back.

"Aaaahahahahaaaaaaaa…" Came a teasingly, gloating voice from all around.

At the sound of his voice, Ron's head snapped upwards as did Will's and Kim's. The voice belonged to a man that neither Kim nor Ron had heard in a long, long time. If only it could have stayed that way. From the speakers located in points all around the top of the dome, Kim, Ron and Will could all hear the formidable voice of Dr Drakken cackling then to boom into a triumphant guffaw.

"I hate it when he gloats," Ron whined.

"It usually takes awhile," Kim added sounding quite bored. She crossed her arms, relaxed herself and stood with her weight to one side. "Are you quite done?" she shouted out to Drakken.

Will Du was still tensed and in a ready-to-react stance. His eyes squinted and darted around constantly as if ready to attack some random thing of his imagination the could sprout out from behind that leaf.

"You don't have to be like that," Kim told Will. "It's just Drakken." Will relaxed and Ron smirked to himself.

"Aahaha-ha… ha… ha-what!? 'Just Drakken'!" Dr Drakken had stopped laughing and was now affronted. "What's that supposed to mean!"

"It means you're laughing like an idiot again." And this new voice coming from the loud speakers was a dry and unemotive one. Of course, it was Shego, Dr Drakken's henchwoman speaking from somewhere in the background on Drakken's side. "Do you mean to tell me you actually caught the prom queen?"

"Shego, you sound surprised." Kim arched her eyebrows as Drakken continued on as if he hadn't just actually gotten one up on his arch-foe. "Did I not tell you my plan was utter brilliance? Such utter brilliance that it couldn't possibly fail—so—"

"Yeah, yea you kinda did a few times," Shego interrupted. "For the past, what? Over a month you've been going on and on about this new plan of yours and how it's just soooooo much better than all your past ones and how you're going to—"

"AH-AH-AH!" Drakken cut off frantically, "Now Shego, the microphone is on. See? See the little red light right there? That… that means it's on."

"I know, I was the one who read you the instruction manual."

There was a pause.

"Yes…" Drakken sounded utterly wounded, "Yes but I put it together…"

"If by 'put it together' you mean played with the bubble wrap while I set up the entire mechanisim then yea, yea you really, really did help a lot. Argh… ah… y-you… you didn't even pay for it!"

"I had my wallet out!"

"But it was empty and you made ME pay for it AND stand in line while you chocked on bubble tea on a bench and furthermore you made Henchman Number Four and myself stand in the customer service line which is always longer than the cashier lines because somebody had to make a payment on their Smarty-Mart bonus card except they only realised they had no money WHEN THEY GOT TO THE FRONT OF THE LINE AN HOUR LATER."

"I said I'd pay you back!"

"DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY I.O.U. SLIPS I HAVE IN MY WALLET FROM YOU?"

Kim pursed her lips, Ron coughed into his fist and Will stood utterly blank-faced.

"Uhhh…" Kim took the opportunity of Shego seething with anger to speak out. "Think you might wanna deal with us right now?"

"This is no way to treat your guests," Ron nodded.

There was another pause.

"Ah, yes. My guests," Drakken coughed a few times as if regaining his authority. "My guests, I've given you some time to stroll around my conservatory," (Kim and Ron rolled their eyes; Will looked around as if seeing it for the first time,) "How do you enjoy it?"

"You could go a little more on the pinks in that corner over there," Ron suggested.

"Which corner?"

"That one."

"Which?"

"Dude, I'm pointing: that one."

"Uh 'dude', I can't see!"

"Well the right corner then."

"Ron," Kim groaned, "There are no corners in a dome. A dome is sphere."

Drakken growled, "Stop distracting me! You can't try to distract me to escape, my conservatory is unbreakable! You see… in here, I've been tenderly caring—"

"And by 'tenderly' he actually means tenderly," Shego put in. "Trust me. It's scary."

Kim and Ron sucked their lips.

"Uhhh… Shego. Why don't you go and deal with that thing over there?" A pause then a small yelp from Drakken as they heard the sound of footsteps stalking away. Drakken muttered to himself then directed his attention once again to Kim and Ron.

"Where was I? Oh yes, you see… I've been growing something in my new conservatory, something the world will soon be acquainted with as it's soon grown enough to have its coming out party! And lucky you will be its first…"

"Guests? Friends?" Ron supplied meekly.

"No!" Drakken bellowed laughter: "SNACK!"

"I think I'm going to cry now," Ron whimpered.

Suddenly the light altered from within the dome and a rumbling sound shook the glass and the hearts of Kim, Ron and Will as well. The ground beneath them began to shake and the leaves of the plants and trees trembled as if they too were afraid of what was coming. The shaking inclined and Ron gasped, stumbling closer to Kim.

"S-something's happening!" he cried out and Kim shot upwards, standing and recoiling when their attention was then directed to something trembling that had been in front of them the entire time.

It was a giant… superlatively tall flower bud.

Everyone's jaw dropped.

Just shy of the tallest trees within the dome a giant flower that had been standing quietly, innocently and so camouflaged now began to… to move. At first the vines on the ground and hanging from the nearby trees began to quiver, petals as well, all revealed to belong to the flower, but then they began to wiggle… to wiggle and… lift… They rose up into the air and twirled about, the plant testing all that belonged to it.

It was so terrifying of a sight to behold, so unlike that of which Kim and Ron had ever seen. Its massive shadow engulfed the three tiny humans beneath it and it lolled its head from side to side while swimming its vines, leaves and roots it used as feet around as it greedily explored the air around it and anticipated its dinner.

Its head was not a giant flower bud for long as it then… blossomed! Unfurling itself to feature a mash-up of colours the likes of reds, pinks, greens, yellows and perhaps some blue flecks. The flower petals were layered, rows of petals thicker than any kind of canvas. Perhaps it could have looked even beautiful despite its moving multi-appendages if it were not for…

The giant plant had unfolded it's mighty winged petals to reveal right in the centre, a deep black pit with rows and rows of spiralling, heart-puncturing teeth—each one pure white and glittering with an eager drive to feed.

A small sound gave way within Ron's vocal cords.

"Déjà vu," he moaned pitifully.

"I did not see that coming." Will sounded as stunned as he ever could even Kim was speechless and frozen.

The only sound that broke the silence of the plant furling and extending its foliage was the sudden burst of Dr Drakken's laughter.

"Now, Kim Possible!" his voice crowed from the loud speakers overhead. "Get a load of this! Ha! Haha! HAHAHAHAHAHA!!"

"We need a plan and we need one fast," Will urgently whispered to Kim.

"Ya think?" Kim shot back sarcastically.

"Uh, uh, uh, personally," Ron gulped, "My vote is for run."

And even though both Kim and Will desired to agree with Ron, all three of them found themselves inexplicably rooted, no pun intended, to the spot as they gapped up at the glamorously enormous plant.

Rearing its head back, its roots above the ground extended further and its vines began to explore rapidly through the air and towards Kim, Ron and Will. Stretching its petals wider as it took in the direct sunlight sheering through the dome glass from above, it leered forwards as if beginning to sniff out its prey. Its teeth quivered with anticipation and began to twirl in short bursts within its mouth.

"Kiiiiiim," Ron wailed, backing up as far as he could. Ron's back smacked into the edge of the glass dome. Will ran back as well, Kim soon followed, lifting up an arm as if to bar the plant from Ron.

"So, got any plans?" Kim asked Will, Ron was unsure if this was a shot or not.

"Well…" Will's voice actually cracked. "It seems to me… that…"

But whether or not Will actually had a plan attached to that sentence, Kim and Ron were never able to find out for Global Justice's Number One Agent was cut off when at that moment the plant began to pull itself forwards by it's thick dirt-ladden roots.

Ron's jaw dropped. "Can it do that?!" he cried, now filling up with panic, "I don't think it's allowed to do that!!"

"And yet, I don't think we have a say in the matter," Kim's voice quavered as she too eyed those whirling teeth exciting for flesh to shred.

Oh man, she thought, the blood that could fly from that… it'd be worse than a Grade A Horror flick!

Then without warning, the plant pulled its 'head' back then thrust it forwards and with a small pouf! a yellow powder burst throughout the air from its mouth.

"Yeck!" Ron cried and tried to plaster himself against the glass behind him as the thick powder began to spread throughout the air and settle on the plants and on Kim, Ron and Will.

Kim coughed and waved a hand to clear the air. "Augh… w-what is this?"

"Some sort of pollen!" Will informed.

"No duh," Kim snapped, "I mean…" she coughed again, "It might have some kind of… of properties."

"Like?" Ron's voice rose in pitch.

"Does anyone feel sleepy or… or paralysis?"

Will flexed his arms while Ron poked at his eyes and both confirmed a no.

Kim shook her head grimly. "I'm not liking this…" She tried to wipe it off her bare arms where the pollen clung to but scarping it off was proving to become a difficult task. Most of it was settled on the ground now.

"Where can we go?" Ron cried and he again began to swivel his head in his lame hopes that perhaps Drakken conveniently left the escape door wide open for them.

"That thing is as high as the roof!" Will exploded, "We can't climb any of the trees, it'd still be able to reach us!" And he pressed his back even further against the glass dome when the plant made more increments towards them while wavering its petaled head from side to side.

"Can it smell us?" Ron asked, swallowing hard.

"It doesn't have any eyes or nose that I can see…" Kim thought aloud.

Ron grabbed his mouth, "It'd be so sick if it did…"

"If it did, we might've been able to blind it in someway to slow it down," Kim added darkly.

"Come on," Will reached out and grabbed Kim around the wrist and yanked her to the side into the undergrowth. Ron dove after them as the three ran along the side of the glass dome. While Kim and Ron had been talking, the plant, although still pacing itself, had been gaining some speed and had been nearing them a little too close to comfort.

The instant that Will Du had latched on to Kim's wrist, she immediately had the instinct to recoil from his grasp and snap at him viciously for daring to touch her. Kim's eyes darted to Will's hand still clamped tightly around her wrist as they ran and felt a strange surge of adrenaline that she associated with…. Fright? She glanced behind herself at Ron following but he was far too occupied with being terrified of the giant plant as was his right to notice Kim or her reaction to Will's touch.

Her eyes were still focused on Ron when they began to meander to something behind him…

She let out a cry that drove all attentions to her.

"It's following us!"

Everyone stared in horror as the plant was indeed crawling steadily faster after them. Now walking wouldn't be enough to stay out of reach from this mutated beast.

"We can't run from this thing forever!" Ron cried, "I'll just keep following us!"

"How is it following us?" Will seethed, becoming increasingly frustrated. "It must be able to smell us somehow!"

Kim gasped, "The pollen! That's why it must have sprayed the pollen on us! It's… it's because we're moving it must be attracted to the pollen when it moves! It never chased after us before it sprayed the pollen."

"Wha—?" Ron was cut off when he tripped over a tree root and crashed into Kim, knocking both her and Will over.

Kim grunted as her head smashed into the glass.

"KP!" Ron cried, "I-I'm sorry, I—"

He made an attempt to scramble up and keep running when Kim reached out and grabbed him, pulling him down and tightly close.

"Kim!" he alarumed, his face completely baffled, "We… it's coming closer!!" he panted, "We've got to keep run—"

"No!" Will interrupted, understanding Kim's plan. "No, stay still and don't move! It might not be able to track us if we stay still. That's your plan, isn't it, Kimberly?"

Kim smiled a yes but Ron heaved a scandalised gasp.

"Shhh…" Kim leaned forwards and whispered into Ron's ear. He twitched nervously, as if he found her breath on his ear more irritating than soothing. Disgruntled herself as this was kind of a life or death matter at hand, she firmly held fast onto Ron, gripping him close to her chest, her arms acting as a seatbelt.

"Alright…" Will breathed in as the plant neared, "Nobody move…"

The plant had been swaying from side to side as it now stalked towards them at a slower speed. It wavered at times, not sure where it was heading, but kept opting for heading straight. It was now a mere few feet from where Kim, Ron and Will sat frozen. Kim heard Ron give a small uncontrolled gag and at the small movement he made, the plant's head shot up and swivelled in their direction. Kim fastened her grip on Ron.

Creeping forwards cautiously, the plant lowered its head… lower, lower… now on level with Ron's face and inching all the more closer… At such a close range, Kim herself nearly felt the urge to faint. A potent air was wafting from the black hole that was the plant's mouth and a sticky, pussy saliva seethed through the needle-sharp teeth that gave small slow whirls.

Oh goodness…Kim thought, struggling with all her might not to gulp. The plant's face was now face to face with Ron and should he move… Oh goodness, should he move…

There was a gurgling sound coming from deep within the plant's mouth and then… then an upheaval of that pussy saliva gorged up and spilled through its teeth and all over Ron.

DON'T MOVE.

So far, Ron hadn't moved, not even his eyes removed themselves from the plants hideous mouth.

The plant let out another, long, satisfied sound, then swivelled its head in the other direction, following the scent of the pollen on some of the leaves. Surely… hunched over, it began to leave.

"Don't move yet," Will commanded. No-one did.

"Hard for you to say," Ron spoke slowly and grimly, his eyes now darted to the spill of saliva all over himself.

"We need to figure out what to do next."

"Well," Kim sighed, she moved her head slightly to the right as so she was able to see Will from the corner of her eyes. "We won't be able to do anything until we get this pollen off. I tried scrapping it off, it didn't work."

"H'mm," Will grimaced. "Unless we wait for the plant to wander over to the other side of the conservatory…"

"And then what?" Kim countered, "Run around like crazy?"

"Hey… The pollen came offa me."

"What?"

Ron sat up and Kim nearly heart attack, reaching out for him to pull him back down and hiss at him for moving. But before her arms could reach him, Ron stood up and stuck his tongue out in repulsion as he lifted a spit-laden arm. The saliva was both sticky and gooey and kept giving Ron reason to blanch.

"You're right!" Will cried optimistically, "The saliva must have cleaned it off!"

"Oh great, now why am I getting the feeling this doesn't equal as good as it sounds," Ron voiced.

"Because you're the one who can move and save us."

"Uh no."

"Uh yes," Kim retorted.

"But how?" Will supplied.

That left a silence between them in which they could hear the distant sounds of the plant shuffling around the conservatory searching for its pretty. It had been there a moment ago, it knew… so where was it hiding..?

As Ron continued to blanch as he whipped the saliva off his body, both Kim and Ron gazed at their surroundings—searching for something to help kill this beast or at least—escape!

"There, look!" Kim called the attentions of the two guys forwards and she dared to point upwards towards the roof of the dome. "Check it out! Sprinklers!"

"Yea, so?" Ron scowled, still preoccupied by ridding his person of plant-spit.

"So if you activate it, the water will clean us of the pollen and then you don't have to go one on one versus your new girlfriend back there."

Ron shot Kim a dirty look.

"Already swapping spit on the first date," she mocked.

Ron scowled again, turning from Kim. He told her he was displeased with her taunting by turning face from her.

Kim rolled her eyes, "Ron, this is so not the time to cop a 'tude, okay? Or would you rather hit home base with Audrey back there?"

Will arched an eyebrow, seemingly amused at the two's banter.

Ron shuffled around, "Yea, okay, sounds like a plan. Wuttamaye supposed to do?"

"Go all monkey crazy and climb the tallest trees so you can reach the sprinklers."

Ron eyed the sprinklers placed all around the dome and then the trees nearest them. "I dunno, KP, looks kinda difficult. You know that's not something I can just switch on 'n off."

"What is he talking about?" Will asked.

"His Mystical Monkey Powers," Kim briefly explained. She turned her attention back to Ron, "It's our only hope, Ron. If either Will or myself try to make a dash up there, we'll… well… Ron—you saw those teeth!"

"Yea, yea I sorta did," Ron's voice rose in pitch. His voice still remained anxious and eyes revealed his displeasure but Ron, in the end, realised he had no choice and was, after all, the best man for the job. "But how do I turn the sprinklers on?"

Kim already had an answer to this, "Go into my hip pocket," she told Ron. He bent down and reached inside. "Take my laser. If you grab some bark, torch it and it should create enough smoke to activate the sprinklers."

"Great plan," Will commended. Kim felt a small wave of gratitude wash over herself. But it was brief.

Ron twirled Kim's laser with his fingers, inspecting it through his glasses. He looked over the laser eyeing Kim, "And what if it doesn't create enough smoke?"

"Find more bark," Kim replied dryly and Ron accepted this grimly.

A small rustling came from nearby and all three of them dared not move. Perking up her ears, Kim could hear the distant sounds of the murderous plant pushing its way through the conservatory's undergrowth as it relentlessly searched for them.

"It'll find us eventually," Will breathed.

"Ron, you've got to go turn on the sprinklers," Kim urged. The fact that she was not able to carry out this ability herself stirred restlessly inside and if Ron didn't skedaddle up the nearest tree, her fierce world-saving determination would do it in his stead. Already she could feel her legs begging to at least twitch. Being inactive and hiding from being shredded to toothpick sized pieces was no excuse for sitting on her bottom, it told her!

But Ron returned Kim with an eager nod and a surge of faith thumped within Kim's heart.

"I'm on it," he confirmed then scuttled over to the nearest tall tree.

Slipping the laser in his own pant pocket, Ron tested the bark on the tree then looked up at its height. He was too slow for Kim's mind and she had to bite her own tongue to herself from moving. That leaf-crunching sound always constant in the background was a reminder that the plant was still close enough to snap her and Will up if they foolishly decided to act on a moment of attempted bravery.

But before Kim thought she couldn't control herself any longer, Ron reached up, his gloved fingers digging themselves into the bark and hauled himself off his feet. Rufus poked his head out of Ron's pocket and looked up where Ron was headed.

"He's climbing it bare," Will observed, seemingly impressed. A smug smile crept across Kim's face.

But it vanished as a gasp escaped Kim's mouth. No wonder the plant kept stalking in Kim and Will's general area and hadn't meandered over to the other side of the conservatory! It wasn't because it knew it had lost them in this area—after all, it had no eyes! No! A small amount of pollen was… stuck on Rufus!!

Kim very nearly whipped her head around to face the nearing plant but Will sucked in his breath loudly, forcing her into silence. Could she move her mouth? Could she cry out to Ron?! He didn't know the plant was coming near him!

And then… the plant pushed its grotesque head through two trees and into Kim's view. Its head bobbed up and down slowly, rhythmically swishing its petalled framed mouth of daggered teeth from side to side… it was taking in the pollen scent. Ron was moving… but slowly and the plant was homing in on his exact location.

Kim's heart was thundering against her ribcage, insane with rage that she wasn't able to call warning to Ron! Cursing to herself, Kim fumed and decided she didn't care, that she would distract the plant and run in the opposite direction when the plant whirled its eager teeth and then…

POUFF!

"NO!"

"Kim! A-ergh!"

"Wha..?"

A plume of freshly scented pollen plumed into the air from the plant's mouth and wafted into Ron directly.

He froze.

So did Kim and Will.

But the plant didn't.

Rearing its face, as tall as it could stretch, the plant almost groaned as it stretched out its roots that it used to move around and with a surge of thrill, the plant sped forwards. Its head swung about wildly, uncontrolled and in a brief moment of terror, the plant's face swung so close to Kim's that its teeth were inches from Kim's own nose where some of its spit landed. It lasted a second but it was enough of a premonition of Ron's soon-to-be-fate.

"HURRY!" Kim screamed out to Ron.

At Kim's jerk forward in her cry to Ron, the plant wavered allowing Ron just the second of time he needed to avoid becoming fertiliser.

As soon as Ron had seen the plant dashing over to him, he hadn't need telling twice. The Mystical Monkey Power that normally lay dormant within Ron, actually heard his plea for help and aided Ron in an instant race up the tree. Ron tore up the tree so fast that pieces of bark flew into the air, piercing holes and slicing rips in the plant's leaves. It reared back and let out the most haunting shriek unlike any other sound Kim had ever heard in her entire life.

The plant tipped forwards, smashing its head into the tree Ron was flying up, shaking it and Kim could have sworn that it would have sent Ron through the air all the way to the other side of the conservatory but, miraculously, Ron's monkey-ability granted him power to cling fast to a branch and although it shook violently, he did not remove himself.

The planted shrieked a few more times, causing both Kim and Will to wince, it was at such a high pitch that surely Kim's eardrums could've burst!

The plant stopped shrieking and shaking the tree and Ron allowed this freedom to continue his way up the tree and towards a sprinkler although it was his movements once again that sent the plant into another fit and into another plan of action.

"What the…" Will gasped when the ground beneath them began to rumble. "An earthquake?!" he cried incredulously.

"N-no!" Kim called back.

The plant was too preoccupied by the strongest scent of its newly sprayed pollen on Ron to take notice of Kim and Will's movements. They even tumbled over, clashing their heads as they fell into one another as the ground continued to reverberate.

"Look!" Kim clutched her head and pointed to the base of the plant and Will uttered an extreme curse.

The rumbling sound came from the plants deep roots buried beneath the pillar of dirt as it inched its thick stalk-body upwards… upwards like an elevator allowing itself the height it needed to reach for Ron.

"Hurry!!" Kim again screamed to Ron. She had to help him!

Ron's gloves were torn, his hands were bloody and it was in these bloodied and torn hands that he clutched both Kim's laser and a thick piece of bark. At Kim's call, Ron's eyes flashed downwards at the plant. For some odd reason, Kim flinched to see Ron's eyes still somewhat possessed by his Mystical Monkey Power.

"You can do it!" she called to him.

"Faster!" Will added, his voice terse. Whether he actually cared or that he was just caught up in the moment, no-one knew.

Ron gritted his teeth. Splinters sticking out of his lip and caught within his teeth, Ron fiercely switched on the laser to one of its lower settings and pressed it close to the bark right beneath the sprinkler.

Almost immediately a small plume of smoke drifted right into the sprinkler. But it wasn't enough! Kim caught Ron letting out a chocking gasp of fright as the plant continued to stretch itself higher and higher, its vines were waving with excitement and its teeth began to whirl as if it could already taste Ron's blood dripping between its fangs…

The plant stumbled as a smaller root gave out and Kim almost cried a thanks— but the plant recovered instantaneously as another smaller root shot out of the ground to stabilise itself.

Meanwhile, Ron was continuing to burn the bark, the smoke thickness all the while increasing. His teeth began to chatter and his grip on the laser was slipping as his sweat made it harder to grip onto the device. Kim's eyes fluttered, wanting to close and yet unable to as surely by now Ron could hear the whirling if the plants teeth right beneath him…

FIZZ-WHIZZ-WHIZZ FIZZ!

And it was at that moment that a burst of water shot out in all directions. Not just the one sprinkler either, but all the sprinklers burst open and began to fizz-whizz-whizz fizz the conservatory in water. As soon as the dense rain of water splashed down on Kim, she was up in a shot towards Ron only…

Only it was too late.

The instant the water burst into action, a thick bullet of water shot Ron squarely in the eye, rendering him momentarily blind causing him to stumble back off his branch. The pollen, although running right off his body being the most wet in the front, did not clean his back where the plume of pollen had attached itself to Ron. As Ron fell back off his branch, the plant was still able to track Ron and so it flew a vine speeding through the air that latched itself around Ron securely.

"RON!"

Face contorted in rage, Kim leapt into the air, rolling herself into a ball aiming to bounce off the nearest tree and into the plant when something bowled her over. She fell back onto the muddy ground, skidding head-first into the base of a tree. Expecting it to be a vine from the plant, Kim immediately squirmed, attempting to reach for the laser that was no-longer with her.

"Are you insane?" came a sharp voice.

Once Kim was able to blink away the water from her eyes, she was able to make out the blurry form of Will Du pinning her to the mud.

"What are you doing?" she spat; she could toss him off easily.

"You can't just go charging head first after that thing! You need a plan!"

"It's going to eat Ron! Uh, hello? Am I the only one who saw those teeth!?"

"No, you weren't and that's why I'm saving you from total and complete DEATH. Kimberly, stop a moment, we'll rescue Ron, but just… we need a plan."

Kim paused, allowing sense to come back to her. That's right, she needed a plan. Otherwise she'd be shredded apart as well. Looking up and over Will's shoulder, she watched as the plant began lowered its head and began to attempt to pick up the scents of its other two victims. It wasn't about to eat Ron, just yet anyway.

Ron was wrapped now in two of the plants vines that covered all of Ron's torso and most of his legs. There wasn't anyway Ron was getting out of that on his own.

Then a horrific thought struck Kim, "My laser!" Kim pushed herself up, shoving Will off of her and sitting upright. "He has my laser, or dropped it…"

"Don't be ridiculous," Will reasoned, his voice hurried. "Even if your laser could slice through those vines, you wouldn't be able to slice through all of those thick vines in time to save Ron. The plant would get you too."

"Then what do you suggest we do?" Kim fired back. "We need… we need a plan…" Kim watched the plant, a short distance away. She should've been scared to death of it being so close. If it decided to send another plume of pollen their way, it would hit them before they could even scrabble away in this mud… Not that the pollen would stick to them anyway what with the water continuing to come down…

Mud…

Water…

Kim's eyes thoughtlessly meandered onto the plants roots embedded deep into the ground that stretched on and on and…

And on… she thought this and then…

"I've got a plan!"

Shocked, Will turned around, gazing in the direction Kim had as if hoping to see her plan written out in the air. He turned back around to face Kim but she was already fleeing into the underbrush. Flabbergasted, Will sped after her, calling her name.

"Kimberly! Kimberly, what are we doing? Tell me—"

She only halted when she reached the bottom of a tree, she faced Will. "Look," she urged, pointing at the ground.

Will looked down and pulled a look of disgust at the mud that had splattered all over his Global Justice uniform. His feet too were sinking into the mud created by the constant watering of the sprinklers. He inspected the bottom of his shoe with disgust but still did not understand Kim's plan.

"And there," she added, this time pointing to the plant.

The plant had moved, this time jiggling in its trudge in the other direction, Ron looking sick and defeated while he still swung around in the plant's unrelenting grip. Will was about to open his mouth and add another 'yea, so?' when he realised Kim hadn't just been pointing at the plant, but the base of the plant specifically and…

And it was having trouble moving.

Will gasped sharply as he realised the plant was not just stumbling and slipping the mud because it was slippery, because, no, it wasn't that at all. The roots weren't on top of the dirt, but, yes, embedded deep within the ground, it was moving that way and… the roots were having trouble supporting the plant up because the mud was deepening and if the mud was deepening underneath and the roots were having trouble…

"You're going to sink it!?" Will cried but then realised Kim was no longer standing next to him—she was already on a tree branch aiming her grappling hook at a higher branch. "H-hey!"

Whipping out a small tool from his utility belt, Will brandished a smaller more compact version of a grappling hook and followed after Kim, always one branch behind. When he landed on the highest branch, the one closest to the nearby sprinkler Kim was one, she nodded.

"Exactly."

"And how to you plan to do that?" Will surveyed the conservatory beneath him from his birds-eye view. It was a lot smaller than it appeared on the ground. A lot of the plants were now ruined, a lot of branches snapped and bushes flattened into a muddy mess on the ground—all having been wrecked havoc upon by the devil plant which now stood beneath them, a little off to the right.

Will looked back at Kim and realised she had frozen, staring at the plant and seemingly zoning out. Quizzically, Will looked back down at the plant beneath them. Ah, Ron was so close. He couldn't see them above his head and appeared to have lost despair… or was just bored. His head hung limply to one side, his eyes hooded and weary.

Will again turned to Kim. His eyebrows narrowed.

Only when the plant sent out another plume of pollen, attempting to retrack its lost prey did Kim snap out of her stupor. Growling to herself, Kim reached up and out for the sprinkler, slightly unbalanced. Without thinking, Will reached out nearly clamping her steady with his hands on her hips but caught himself before doing so. Kim was able to steady herself anyhow.

Holding onto the sprinkler, Kim tugged at it and when that wasn't working fast enough, Will handed her his mini grappling hook- the two quick minds instantly understanding its use. Kim latched the hook onto the sprinkler then handed the device back to Will. Cautiously, Kim took a few steps backwards, the tree branch swaying slightly underneath.

Once Will checked the Kim was steady, he pressed the button on the grappling hook, retracting the device and in doing so, tearing the sprinkler wide open.

A streaming burst of pure thundering water plundered straight down and into the ground causing a sploosh of mud to splatter everywhere and with a grin of satisfaction, Kim was pleased to see that her plan was working. The mud where the water was berating down on relentlessly was already sinking a few of the smaller bushes and gobbling up lone leaves.

"But it's not enough," Kim added desperately, "We need to break the others too!" she thrust a finger at a nearby sprinkler, then to all the remaining ones.

"We can split up—use our grappling hooks," Will nodded. "And you realise it won't be safe to return to the ground once the sprinklers are all broken."

"I do," Kim breathed, "But we have no other plan."

Nodding in agreement, Will stood up and aimed his grappling hook for a nearby tree. "You take that side then, and I'll go this way."

"And when we're done, I'm rescuing Ron." As Kim said this, Will thought it could've been a threat. But no, she was just fiercely determined—so determined that it would even be at the cost of her own life if it had to be.

Not waiting for Will to answer, Kim shot off herself in the other direction leaving Will to stand in a moment of stupid confusion before he himself remembered the plan and fled as well.

The two worked quickly around the dome of the conservatory, breaking each and every sprinkler head allowing a steady stream of torrent water to pierce into the ground and allow the mud to spread and deepen. And after she broke a sprinkler, Kim would constantly check on the plant's progress—and on Ron. Ron was still caught, the plant still so intent to have a three course dinner.

But the plant was soon realising this was, for some reason, becoming increasingly difficult.

The plant was sinking.

No longer were the roots above the ground visible, in fact, it was sinking at an incredibly fast rate. Well, not super fast, Kim noted, but faster than she had anticipated and the sooner that thing was done with, the better. After successfully completing the break of the last sprinkler head, Kim checked on Will's progress from across the conservatory and spotted him too breaking the last sprinkler.

Now all she had to do was wait.

The most difficult part of the task.

Squatting on her branch, and placing her palms down, Kim eyed the plant—her eyes never removing themselves from where the mud was slowly creeping up on the plant's stalk.

When the mud had reached its half-way point, Ron too began to notice what was going on. Looking down at the mud and realising both he and the plant were sinking, he began to panic. Ron squirmed wildly—left, right and center, but of course it would not help him. And Kim was agonised to see Ron so terse with fraught, thinking that he too would sink in the mud. Of course she wouldn't allow that to happen to Ron! But Will, blast him, was right, she couldn't charge in just yet.

The plant let out another of its shrieking cries as it sank further, the mud lapping at its petals surrounding its head. It struggled with difficulty to keep its head and its prey above the mud and continually fought with its roots to climb itself back to the surface.

Kim flinched as the plant continued to let out appeals and shrills of rage. But although she constantly flinched and her eardrums resonated with the unbearable sound, her eyes would not remove themselves from Ron. The instant the head went under…

Another cry—it sounded like the mix of a cat's yowl, the sound of metal scrapping, the groan of a creaking rocking chair and who knew what else alarumed Kim into what was happening to the plant. One of its roots under the ground must've given way and the plant toppled over, its vines, including the ones wrapped around Ron, smacked into the ground and were being swallowed up as well.

NO!

That was it— Kim was gone from her branch in less time it took to blink an eye. Searing through the air on her grappling hook, Kim splattered into the mud next to Ron. He, lighter than the plant obviously, was sinking quickly, already the mud was up to his chest.

"Kim!" he pleaded frightfully. He twisted himself in another lame attempt to free himself.

"Hang on, Ron, I'll get you outta there…" It was then that she realised she didn't have her laser.

"Kim?"

Kim stood completely dumbfounded and brainsmacked. HOW could she have forgotten!!? No! No, this couldn't be, this could SO not be happening to here! Not here, not now!!

Hands flying to her pockets and belt, she patted herself as she lost herself into the delusion that her laser would be with her, and that she'd find in just that last pocket… Otherwise… how else would she be able to free Ron!?

And while Kim was completely wound up in her shock, Ron sank further, now up to his chin, he called her name, but she was still in shock. Soon his cries became gargled. Ron was not the only one sinking either, Kim was too.

"Ron!" Kim's brain snapped back to reality and she reached out for Ron, plunged her arms into the mud and clasped onto his shoulders. Pushing on her feet, she fought to pull Ron up out of the mud but pushing on the mud beneath her that was now up to her knees only sunk her further.

"Kim…"

Ron gave a final breath before the mud swallowed his mouth, now creeping on his eyes…

"Ron…"

Kim wouldn't give up! Kim latched diligently fought and continued to inch Ron slowly out of the mud. The mud beneath them went on forever, the plant had already became its victim, Kim was determined neither herself nor Ron would add to the collection.

But with every inch Kim made in pulling Ron out of the mud, she sank an inch further all while the mud continued to eat at them, and in the end, Kim made no progress at all.

"Ah!!" she let out a cry when she felt arms clamping around her waist. But it wasn't any vines belong to the plant, that beast was gone forever now. It was Will Du!

With his grappling hook attached from a tree to his utility belt, Will wrapped his arms around Kim and Kim held fast onto Ron. Will brought the two upwards via his grappling hook to a safe branch. With the plant already dead beneath the mud having suffocated, the vines that had been wrapped around Ron gave Ron up with ease.

Reaching the branch, Will placed Kim against the trunk of the tree, allowing her to lay back and take in air. Ron was crumpled onto her lap, his chest heaving grievously for air. They would be okay. Choking for air, Kim looked once more at where the plant had been. Those last few vines that had seized Ron —the last of the plant to be seen—disappeared with a small bubble of mud.

It was over.

Sighing, Kim lifted a hand and placed it upon Ron's dirty head. Stroking his hair, it gave the both of them relaxation. Ron closed his mud-caked eyes as Kim stroked him and he continued to breathe strenuously.

When Kim was able to find her voice again, she looked Will in the eye. He sat in front of the both of them. Just watching. She studied his expression but there was none of that usual gloating look nor that typical sense of pride of his that he had saved the amateurs. No… his expression was…

Unreadable.

"Thank-you," Kim breathed.

Ron opened an eye, rolling them upwards to glance at Kim. He was just as shocked as Will to hear that coming from her.

And Will did fluster, if only briefly. But being as adept as he was, he recovered quickly and gave Kim a curt nod.

"When the two of you are ready, we can go after Drakken."

Kim wouldn't have it any other way.

-ø-

As expected, dealing with Drakken had been the easiest part. If not a little too easy, but such was Drakken.

The mad scientist had been rendered speechless to see that all of them: Kim, Ron and Will had not only escaped his genetically mutated corpse plant, but had even gone so far as to kill it as well. Oh, he had not been happy about that. Drakken had gone on and on about how he had raised 'the little guy' from a tiny bud and how they had sang karaoke together and all those nights they had spent staying up late, watching movies…

'Okay, what?' Had been Kim's response, and apparently Shego's as well. It was then that Shego cut off Drakken from his disheartening ramble about his plant when she had noticed Ron's glasses and proceeded to mock him. Ron had not taken to that and as Shego threw back her head for another round of hearty laughter, a small vial had fallen from her person. It was the vial she had stolen from the laboratory that night Kim and Ron had been guard-watching. She made a desperate lunge for it but Ron had gotten to it first, strutting over to his Kim and handing it to her like a good fetcher.

And why had the vial been so important to Shego? She certainly fought Kim ferociously for its return, so it had to be important. It was—it was a super bug repellent. The key to Shego's survival from the mosquitoes during her stay with Drakken in the Amazon.

While, now that Kim had it back and would return it to the laboratory, Shego insisted that she and Drakken make a run for it. Which was a good idea seeing as how both Will and Ron were working together to detonate the lair.

Of course it exploded in the end—the lair bursting into a plume of firey combustion. Kim, Ron and Will watched the sight a safe distance away from the building, sheltered by the trees and the sun going down. Off in the sky Kim could not see Drakken's hovercraft leaving with the villain and his crew safely aboard for escape. But Kim didn't even dare to assume they were completely gone—surely they had escaped somehow.

When the lair's fire burnt out, the trio made their way in silence back to their camp where they would resume their hike back to Will's hoverjet the following day. It was right when the three were in the middle of their meal did light rain begin to shower down from above.

Kim looked up and felt a raindrop splat herself in the eye. She winched and glanced back down at her bowl of oatmeal then glanced towards Ron who was already puffed up like an owl in a downpour. He was never one for rain. Will was the only one who appeared unperturbed by the change of weather. Not wanting to be out-done by Will especially since he had just saved her and Ron's lives that day, Kim stayed by the camp circle to finish her meal. And Ron stayed only because Kim did.

Kim was scrapping the bottom of her bowl when she felt Ron stir beside her. While he had been quietly eating his oatmeal, he had shuffled close to Kim so he was pressed against her as far as he could go; it had made Kim feel warm inside that he sought her comfort. When he did begin to stir, Kim lifted her head to watch and wonder what he was doing. He was done with his bowl and placed it on the stone he had been sitting on then walked away.

Not in the direction of the tent, Kim observed. She sighed heavily with immense disappointment in Ron's judgement. Turning away from him in mild disgust, she heard the rustling sounds of him disappearing in the bushes to wretch up what he had eaten. As discreet as he was, the sounds of his coughing could still be heard at the campsite.

Will perked up and looked around for Ron only to realise he wasn't there. Then he heard the sounds. "Is he sick?" Will whispered, leaning closer to Kim. "Is it something in the food?"

"No," Kim sighed and placed her cheek in her palm. "He's not sick."

Will frowned, then he began to understand. "He's not… is he?"

Kim nodded, "He's bulimic. We're working on it. To tell you the truth, I'm a little disappointed in him right now. He knows better."

"Odd, he's as thin as a twig."

"Long and personal story."

Nodding, Will replied, "Not something you often see in a boy. You know, there are some scientists at Global Justice—"

"As I said," Kim interrupted, "It's something we're working on."

Nodding curtly, Will scrapped at the bottom of his oatmeal bowl and left it to sit on the ground where the rain would clean it out over night. Then a harsh reply: "If he didn't want his half, he should have given it to someone who did."

Kim flashed Will a venomous look, but he didn't even notice or care to take notice. Instead, Will stood up, dusted his hands and said: "You better get some sleep, Kimberly. We'll be leaving early again to-morrow. Unlike… some… people. I have other missions to go on. It all comes with being the top agent."

"Oh, spare me," Kim snorted and rolled her eyes.

Will gave her a dirty look before he marched off into his tent.

Scooping up the last bits of oatmeal with her spoon, Kim stood up and tried to wring some of the water out of her hair. The rain was becoming heavier and she had a decision to make. It wasn't one Kim wanted to make, but she already knew the answer and began to dread revealing it upon Ron's return.

When Ron did return, he had another mint in his mouth. He walked over to Kim. "Where'd Will go?" he asked.

"Inside his tent," Kim replied, jerking her thumb at the light inside Will Du's tent. His figure could be seen sitting up inside.

"Alright, let's head into ours," Ron answered. "I'm getting all wet again," then he grinned, "Guess that means we'll have to sleep in our—"

"Ron," Kim spoke. Her voice was stern, stoic and saddened. "You won't be coming inside the tent to-night."

Ron's eyes lit up and he looked ghostly, his skin glowing pale in the rain and his hair plastered to his forehead as the rain continued to intensify. "W-what do you mean?"

"You know the rules back at campus."

"N-no way, KP. No way, not here, not on the mission. Kim—it's raining! Are you seriously suggesting that…" But Kim's depressed face said it all. Ron could only stare at Kim in shock. "Out… out here all night? By myself? Kim, please…"

"Ron, I don't want to do this, but you knew the rules when you went to vomit."

"Yea, but—"

"I never said there were any exceptions."

"What if I just stay in my sleeping bag instead? Kim, don't…"

But Kim was already shading her head sadly and turning to leave. "It'll give you a good lesson, Ron. I can't bend the rules or you'll never learn. It's to help you."

"You're not helping me," Ron replied bitterly.

Couldn't Ron see how torn Kim was? Couldn't he see this wasn't what Kim wanted either?

She didn't miss her eyes dart to the bracelet around her wrist. Now becoming slightly irate, she shook her head and clicked her tongue. "It has nothing to do with that, you won't con me that way, Ron. I'm sorry, I really am. But maybe if you realise how serious I am, you'll eventually stop. I can't let things slide. I'm sorry…"

Ron turned away aggressively, "Whatever."

"Ron, I love you…"

He said nothing. He only walked as far away as he could get from Kim and stay within the clearing. Ron sat down against a tree, it shielded him slightly, but only slight and she knew he would be beyond drenched before the night was through.

Left to stand in the rain, Kim watched him with a fallen face as he sat and did not move or stir. Downcast, Kim turned and entered her tent. Sitting down, she peered at Ron through the flap as the rain now began to thud down onto the forest floor.

Kim sat there in the tent by herself as minutes flew by. She didn't even stir, she was frozen in her own thoughts—her eyes never removing themselves from that spot on the tent that was no different than any other.

Momentarily, her eyes flickered when a large splatter of rain struck the tent above her head. Lifting her head skywards, she stared blankly at the tent cover, able to see the rain now beating down on the tent, just as it had done the night before. But the night before Ron had been in the tent with her… she faced the two sleeping bags that lay before her. Ron would not be joining her to-night.

Should she?

Should she continue this with him? Did it really matter now that she was going to be sending him away? Did she have to continue with this 'lesson' of hers so he would eventually come to understand not to do this to himself?

We only have… a few more nights together before I send him away. And I've no idea how long we'll be separated, it'd all be up to Ron then. But this… this I can control…

She gave one last longing look in the direction of the closed tent flap. Ron was out there, soaking and probably trembling in fright of the creatures and crawlies that came out in the Amazon's nightscape.

But if I don't allow him back in, it'll still be something he remembers. Even when he's at that place. He won't ever want this again and it'll stop him in case he ever has a relapse. So… I have to…

All this time Kim was telling Ron to suck it up and deal with it.

She should've been telling herself.

-ø-

"Back off!"

It was that snarling outcry that awoke Kim the following morning. Kim's eyes fluttered open and she could barely believe that she had actually fallen asleep all the way through the night. She had been so conflicted last night; she hadn't thought any time had passed by as she laid down on top of the sleeping bags to contemplate what to do. But time had passed and claimed her sleeping rights and now it was releasing her to the new day. That meant Ron truly had spent the entire night in the pouring Amazon rain.

Ron!

Was he okay!?

It was Ron's voice that had awoken her—that harsh, irate snap that came from outside the tent. Leaping to her feet with her cheerleader-like ease, Kim dashed out of the tent and blinked several times.

Not only was it no longer raining, but the sun was being awfully chipper too. The Amazon sun had returned and its scorching sunlight was reaching even the back of Kim's eyeballs. Taking a moment to squint, she spotted Ron standing aggressively by the tree where he had claimed it his shelter the prior night.

"It's none of your biz!" Ron shot out at Will Du who backed away from Ron, his palms up in defence.

"I only asked you a question!"

"Yea, with a side dish of carpe de 'tude!"

"I thought you were the sane one," Will grumbled, stalking away.

Kim's heart gave a jerk of fear the instant Ron's foot shot forwards as if he was going to fling himself at Will but thankfully Ron held himself from doing so. But that glare Ron sent Will's back was enough to be considered guilty of first degree murder.

"R-Ron!" Kim decided to call out to him, hopefully distract him and snap him out of that frightening look.

It worked halfway: Ron did snap out of that frenzied state of hate and stared at Kim. He blinked at her in confusion and then realised she was nearing him. Snorting, Ron pulled away, leaning against the tree and giving Kim his back.

"Ron, don't be like that to me," Kim growled.

"Yea, and why shouldn't I?" he snapped back, "You weren't exactly playing the Queen of Hearts last night."

Rufus poked his head out of Ron's pocket and stuck his tongue out at Kim; she frowned. Rufus then scuttled up Ron's back and brooded with Ron on his shoulder.

Kim sighed, she was just as upset about it as Ron was, but if he wasn't going to be open enough to understand that then she was in no mood to explain it. "Look, do you want breakfast or not?"

Ron slipped his glasses off his face to clean away the rain stains with his mission shirt. "Oh, no, KP, I dun wanna risk you leaving me here in the Amazon if I do."

"Ron!" Kim cried, scandalised by his continuously harsh attitude, "You know it wasn't because you ate."

Ron was too busy cleaning his glasses to respond.

Kim attempted to place a hand upon Ron's shoulder. "Come on, we've dealt with this before. You learned your lesson, right? So let's go have breakfast and head back to TCU."

For moment, Kim thought Ron would turn around, his brooding mood vanquished and give her that smile of his that always warmed her inside. He was about to turn his head, almost catching her from the corners of his eyes when… he defiantly cast his head away from her.

Denied.

Taking in a deep breath, Kim let out a long exhale. "Okay, Ron. You join me when you're ready," so she concluded darkly before stalking off.

While Kim ate her breakfast, Will had already vanished his and was packing away his tent. Ron on the other hand, hadn't even budged from his spot underneath the tree. As Kim ate, she wondered to herself if Ron was in the right—if he deserved to feel this way and if it was she who should be apologising, not treating him like he was acting foolishly. Her spoon clattered into her bowl and she stared at the half eaten bowl of oatmeal, feeling disgusted.

Without even looking at it, she could feel the bracelet around her wrist—she could feel the grooves of the woven lanyard bracelet around her wrist and the weight of the heart charm dangling.

I'm not doing this on purpose, she told the condemning bracelet. I just… I don't know what to do right now. I love him, duh. At least… at least I won't have to deal with times like these for much longer. Some professional will be able to handle him and I won't have to feel guilty.

Sure didn't stop the current guilt though.

Unable to control the inner turmoil that was beginning to leave her feeling sick to the stomach, Kim decided she was done with her meal. Cleaning out the bowls and packing them all away, by time she had finished with the tent, Will was already lounging on a rock waiting for her while Ron was still brooding with his arms crossed under his tree.

Kim's eyes darted to Will, he had been watching her.

"What?" she snapped at him, still in an irritable mood from her conversation with Ron.

"Nothing," Will replied without changing his expression.

"Tchach," Kim rolled her eyes, "You always have something to say."

"I'm waiting so we can head back to my jet."

"Oh, well I'm so honoured your highness graced me with such a charitable act." Nervously, Kim's eyes flickered over to Ron, he was staring at the trees above.

"You know," Will's calm voice startled Kim, "You should take better hold of the situation."

"Excuse me?" Kim whipped around, dropping the metal poles she had been stuffing away.

"It's not your fault he's acting this way. You did the right thing. He won't stay like this forever. If he wants to be left alone, do it. Hold your ground."

Kim's rigid stance slid. She blinked a few times. "Oh. Thanks."

"You are the leader of your ama- … group."

"Yea…"

Slowly, Kim turned back to packing up the tent. Her brows furrowed as she was slightly disturbed by what Will had just told her. It was true, after all, Ron wouldn't be in this mood forever, but it still pulled on her guilt strings. But then Will was right, as was her inner self: don't be wishy-washy with him, he won't learn that way.

Ron's used to getting what he wants with me all his life. Okay, so he's just throwing a tantrum and you've got to let him do that, Possible. She told herself. Hoisting up the tent bag, she exhaled deeply. Hopefully Ron will be get distracted by something shiny and be back to his usual blissfully innocent self!

All ready to go, Kim began to push her way through the undergrowth vegetation and after Will who was leading the way on the hike back to his hover jet. Pausing with a hand upon a leaf of a fern, she glanced behind herself and spotted Ron ambling after them, staring moodily at the ground. Kim sucked on her lips. Alright, if that's the way it was going to be for now, then so be it.

It had been a few hours hike through the jungle as it had been the first time. Although to Kim, it certainly felt a lot longer than that. Of course, this was not only due to the fact that the sun was beating down on them mercilessly, but more to the fact that Ron had not spoken to her nor tried to appeal to her attention the entire time. It was almost like he wasn't there and at times this sent a small pain of anxiety inside Kim. Kim would find herself peering over her shoulder from time to time just to make sure Ron was still there even though she could hear his footsteps. Not once did she catch him looking at her.

"Nrggg…" it would always have her saying. Then she would look up ahead at the back of Will's head and groan yet again.

Great, stuck with two hard-heads. What fun this trip is turning out to be!

She had been sure Ron would have at least, once the first hour had gone by, at least be walking next to her! His prolonged attitude was becoming to be a shock to Kim. But not as great a shock as the next one was going to be.

"WHAT?!"

"W-Will?"

Will's gasp was a loud one. "M-my hoverjet!!" he cried out.

Blinking in stunned confusion, Kim bounded after Will Du to see what was causing the great commotion. Maybe there's a monkey sitting on his jet, Kim chided to herself.

But when she saw that it was not a monkey sitting on Will's jet but rather looked like monkeys had torn apart his jet, Kim was no longer laughing.

"No way," she breathed.

Will stood before what once could have been called his jet. But now it looked like it had been his jet a hundred years ago. The entire hoverjet had been decimated on the outside. It was torn and stripped apart, the wings were broken and limp, the windows were smashed into thousands of criss-crossing spider webs and parts of the jet's inner mechanisms were thrown all about the little clearing. The door was in a crumpled heap on the floor.

"No way!" Kim this time cried and ran after Will who had already clambered inside the hoverjet. "Will?" she called.

Kim coughed and frowned through the dim light and waved away some dust motes. The jet, having one of its wheels ripped away, was lopsided and Kim had to hold onto the doorframe to keep herself steady.

"Will…" she didn't even know what to say.

Will was sitting in his cockpit seat and going over the controls. The seat was also on a slant and he had to sit in the corner to just sit upright.

"Broken, broken, broken," Will was muttering under his breath as Kim climbed over to where he sat, always holding onto pieces of poking out jet. From behind, she heard Ron approaching the doorframe and knew he too was taking his first glimpse of the destroyed insides.

"Is nothing working?" Kim asked, trying to contain the shock.

"Nothing's working!" Will slammed his fists on the slanted control panel. Losing his temper, he smashed himself back into the seat and pushed his hand through his slicked back hair.

"What about… what about…" Kim scanned the control panel and tried to understand what she was seeing. The entire board was basically gutted. Levers were yanked out, wires from inside were hanging out… everything was a complete mess. "What about a distress signal? What about…"

Then Will shot up and reached for the receiver. He flipped a switch a couple of times while saying: "Agent Will Du requesting urgent SOS to Global Justice, do you read me?"

Everyone was quiet as they waited for a response. Frowning with increasing temperament, Will repeated this.

Then there was a static and Kim sucked in her breath. Was that… faint voices?

"Hello."

Kim gave a small cry of joy while Will almost fell out of his seat, surprised it had actually worked. "Uh… Agent Will Du reporting. My hoverjet has been rendered incapable of flying and a replacement is needed urgently. My coordinates are, um…" He whipped around facing Kim, "What are our coordinates!? The jet's broken—I can't check!"

"Uh…" Kim was about to respond when the voice on the other side broke in.

"Check that Agent Will Du. We have a lock on your coordinates and will be sending the replacement jet. It will arrive shortly. Over and out."

Will gave a sigh of relief, "At least the signal wasn't broken otherwise I wouldn't know how they could locate us."

"Well, Ron's got a chip in him, they could always track that!" Kim smirked, it had been meant as a joke but when she turned around to exchange a smile with Ron, she just caught him leaving. She groaned silently to herself.

"C'mon, Will, let's wait outside."

"I don't understand how this could have happened," Will exclaimed as he trailed after Kim and outside the hoverjet. "Who could have trashed my jet?! Who could have known it was here?"

Outside, Kim approaching the torn shell of the jet, gently skimming her fingers over the shredded metal. "Maybe Drakken did this, maybe he found the jet on his escape and Shego with his henchmen trashed it? You know, to strand as a last ditch attempt for killing his plant?"

Will squinted at his hoverjet for a few seconds. "Perhaps."

"But you would've thought they'd have broken the receiver cord. I mean," Kim shrugged, walking away from the jet. She spotted Ron sitting by a giant fern with Rufus just on the edge of the clearing. "Wouldn't that be the first thing they would go for? To make sure we can't contact anyone for help?"

Now looking at the ground, lost in thought, Will nodded. "That would've been the likely thing to do. Not that I'd ask him to do it."

Kim chuckled, "Oh wow, now was that supposed to be a joke?" She arched an eyebrow.

Will snorted and looked away, "No." A wry smile crossed Kim's face. "It was sarcasm."

"But you said 'not'. That's a joke, Will."

Continuing to look away, Kim distinctly caught a small, very tight smile stretch slowly across his face.

Satisfied with that, Kim strode over to where Ron sat and leaned against the nearest tree. She allowed a few minutes of silence to pass by before she attempted to speak.

"Pretty suspicious, huh?" she said conversationally.

"I didn't do it."

Kim raised her eyebrows in surprised. "Didn't say you did, Ron."

Ron slouched forwards, chin in his palm. He pushed his glasses further up his nose.

"Ron, how about we go to Bueno Nacho when we get back to TCU?"

Ron didn't even look at her.

"Ron, what are you so wound up about? Still last night? Still because you had to follow our Rules?!"

"Yea, I kinda am, KP!" Ron stood up, dusting off the dirt from his pants. Rufus wound up to his neck from his pocket and peered menacingly at Kim. "You know I'm gonna be leaving you soon! For I don't even know how long! We got little and littler time together, KP. I'll be learning all my lessons real good and fine once I'm all locked up so I expected a little more compassion from you. You know, maybe act supportive before I'm jailed in? I'm not exactly bustling with anticipation over this!"

"Ron…" Kim recoiled, tapping the tips of her fingers together feeling ashamed.

Ron crossed his arms and continued to glare at Kim.

"I thought maybe you 'n I could be having a great time together, cut all these stupid 'rules' and 'lessons' since I'll be studying them real hard when it's time for me to leave. You know, just so we could just be us and enjoy the little time we have left?" Ron snorted and hunched his shoulders. "But guess not."

Then he stalked off to another spot where he could be alone with Rufus and Kim was left by herself, slouched and feeling battered.

"Ergh!" she cried and hit herself against the tree which she followed up with a despondent moan.

Of course Ron was right and she wanted that more than anything! Didn't he understand that she didn't enjoy playing the role of police officer?! Didn't he think she wanted him in that tent just as much as he did?!

But she couldn't because Ron made the mistake and he had to be punished for that, right?

She moaned again.

Can I really forgo the rules in these last few days? She asked herself. Then she recalled what Will had told her that morning at camp:

"It's not your fault he's acting this way. You did the right thing. He won't stay like this forever. If he wants to be left alone, do it. Hold your ground."

Well, two against one… Maybe Will was right. Sighing, Kim turned around, this time leaning her back against the tree. She allowed her hair to hang over her face.

Yea, but Ron's sure acting like 'forever'. She lifted an eye to spot Ron brooding on another end of the clearing.

Releasing all of her thoughts aggravations into a much-anticipated sigh that blew a strand of hanging hair from her face and her eyes meandering across the clearing, Kim went over in her mind what she ought to be doing. Well, given their sitch, she decided perhaps she should beep in Wade and give him the down-lo on what was going on. He hadn't called in for quite some time. Blinking, Kim realised she was a bit surprised that he hadn't beeped in that morning.

Frowning, Kim was just about to reach into her pocket for the Kimmunicator when she heard the sounds of a plane whooshing through the air up above. Caught off guard, Kim stumbled away from the edge of the clearing and into the open staring at the sky. No, it definitely wasn't her imagination! Kim caught the distinctive colours of Global Justice painted onto the approaching hover jet.

Wow, they really do mean fast! Kim realised she had better move back to where she had been standing before to allow the hove jet some space to land. Sure wish I had Global Justice to pick me up from school on those rainy days back in High School!

Making sure she knew where Ron was brooding, Kim watched, she had to admit, impressively, as the hover craft hovered in the air by its beaten up cousin and then began to descend. Squinting as the rushing air of the hover jet whipped up a flurry of wind, Kim glanced at Will who was already making his way towards the jet despite the brewing breeze. Once the craft had landed, the doorway lifted and a boarding plank slid out promptly.

Uncharacteristically cautious, Kim stepped forwards placing a shoe in the still waving grass and once again double checked that Ron was following her before striding forwards completely and venturing onto the emergency hover jet. The hover jet wasn't an exact duplicate of Will's. Glancing briefly to the left, Kim noticed the cockpit was in another room and to her right past some rich-blue curtains, she found herself entering more of a mini lounge than rows of airplane seats.

"Is this the executive class?" Kim couldn't help but tease Will. But then the smirk vanished when Will didn't even return a haughty remark. In fact, he hadn't even heard her. "Will?" she wavered.

Will, having past the curtains, was standing in the middle of the craft looking rather bemused as he slowly scanned the entire craft with his tiny, scrutinising eyes. His fists, slightly risen, were clenched at his side. Tilting her head as she gazed, Kim wondered if he looked as if he had never seen the inside of a hover jet before.

Kim chuckled to herself, wishing she could share her joke with Ron. Perhaps Will's never seen the inside of a real hover jet before. Maybe now he realises he's not Global Justice's Number One Agent! Am I sensing a strong case of jealousy? Somebody bring in the jury!

Feeling content with her jokes, Kim strutted past Will. The door to the craft shut in a zip the instant Ron clambered on after her. Taking a seat, Kim bounced backwards into an armchair and stretched out her arms. Well, at least this was a lot more comfy than Will's hover jet!

Oh and hey, wouldya look at that. A teen magazine! Kim plucked what happened to be one of her favourite teen magazines from a table and began to flip it open. It was a really old issue, from about a few years ago, but she didn't really care. Realising what opportunity the magazine brought to her, Kim stealthily spied on overtop the magazine at Ron now taking a seat further away from her on a chesterfield. She grimaced. Ron placed his hands upon his lap, sniffled, and began to look around the craft. This reminded Kim of Will and she groaned as she spotted the supposed 'Number One' agent still brooding over how better this craft was than his.

Men, Kim shook her head and returned to her magazine. Blowing more strands of hair from her face and rolling her eyes, Kim predicted she would be in for a long, silent and boring, ride back to TCU.

-ø-

Well, she had been half right on that one. It was long, and it certainly was boring, but it wasn't exactly quiet. Kim wasn't even quite sure how she found herself in the situation in the first place, but before she knew it herself, the magazine was facedown on her lap and she was currently engaged in conversation with Will Du.

Okay, so Kim wasn't exactly engaged in conversation either as Will was the one doing the most talking. Resting her head upon her hand leaning against the armchair rest, Kim was nodding as she listened to Will Du walk about some new program Global Justice was constructing. She was only catching bits of the conversation, but a lot of it was going out one ear. Basically, she was wondering why Will was even talking to her. (Or even thinking she'd be interested in such a conversation!)

In any case, at one point, just to make things a little more interesting, Kim found her eyes resting on Ron as Will droned on. At least he didn't have to pretend he was listening. Ron had not engaged himself in either Will or herself the entire time. He defiantly remained silent and had been mostly looking out the window with Rufus on his shoulder. But as Ron shifted himself in that instant, she found herself locking eyes with him.

She felt herself go a little flushed. Why? Was this reminding her of something? Kim furrowed her brow.

("—Oh I know, it aggrieves me too—" Will went on.)

Then as Ron's eyes flickered and some colour rose to his cheeks, a flash of a long ago memory came back to her…

In this memory she, just as in the present, had just locked eyes with Ron as the two stared at each other from sofas far away from one another. Neither of them were alone although just looking into the other's eyes, they each felt that way. But the reality back then that each of them had been with someone else. Kim with Josh and Ron with Tara. So many years ago at a party during which the two great friends had not been so great of friends.

Embittered, Kim thought on this memory. They hadn't come to talk to each other that time despite the longing feeling she had felt inside herself to do so. She had blocked that feeling and had been in deep denial. Kim knew better than that now, surely Ron did as well.

This was stupid, Will's advice was stupid and Ron was being stupid. Gritting her teeth, Kim realised she didn't care what anyone thought and if she wanted to go sit next to Ron and feel bad for what she'd done as she was obviously feeling then she'd go do so.

But just as Kim placed her hands on the armchair's armrests to push herself up… the memory repeated itself.

Kim was in half stance and she stared dumbstruck as Ron, his eyes already removed from Kim, stood up and walked away from Kim, beyond the curtains.

Kim sat down.

She couldn't help herself but an insane amount of shivers just trickled down her spine and all over her bare arms! As Will droned on in background noise, Kim's mind raced to calm herself down. This was not a repeat of last time.

He's probably just going trying to haggle free peanuts from the pilot!

Her eyes nervously swept to Will next to her. And then out of pure shock…

"What's wrong?"

"H-what?" This time Will did earn her full attention.

"I asked you what's wrong," he repeated bluntly.

"N-nothing," Kim replied, a nettle growing.

The corner of Will's mouth twitched. "I don't believe you're telling me the truth, Kimberly."

Kim's eyes flew open wider, shocked by her friendly-rival's persistence. "Um, it's just Ron, that's all," she decided to say, "He just went past the curtains, erm…"

Will shrugged, his eyes darting to the curtains. "Probably just going to try and find free peanuts.."

A small smile, "That's what I thought."

He smirked. "Are you interested in what I'm talking to you about?"

"Hah?"

"Are you? Do you want to know more?" Will seemed oddly persistent.

A groan made itself known inside Kim, So he can brag some more. But at least it would distract herself from Ron.

"Sure, go ahead."

This time Will actually smiled and he continued his who-knew-what topic.

Kim felt herself deflating on the inside as time passed. She caught herself doing it the first time, it was clear to her that her eyes were automatically dashing over to the curtains, checking for Ron's return. With no watch on hand and no clock on the wall, Kim had no idea how to judge time but something inside of her felt as if Ron had disappeared behind those curtains for a pretty long time. Surely if the pilot didn't have peanuts, he would have booted Ron back to the lounge by now!

Right when Kim began to wonder if she should go and bring Ron back, she lifted an eyebrow and her eyes once again returned to the curtains where Ron had disappeared behind.

She thought she heard a scuffle but then she supposed Ron probably just tripped over something as he was often prone to doing.

"Look, Will—"

What was that sound? Metal scrapping metal?

Kim lifted the magazine.

She thought she heard a thud.

"I'm really sure that's all very fascinating to you but—"

A groan?

"—quite frankly this article on which nail clipper—"

"KIM!!"

Kim dropped the magazine.

Okay now WHY was their a sudden humungous draft inside the plane!?

Kim's face whipped in the direction of her hair and she felt her heart seize itself when she saw the curtains now flapping wildly. Will too jolted out of his seat but it was Kim who ran forwards and leapt through the curtains to see…

The door was wide open and Ron was missing. Kim slammed into the doorway and was horrified to see Ron tumbling out of the airplane.

What in the WORLD?

She would allow time for what happened later, right now: it was rescue time. Without a second's thought, Kim dove out the airplane.

Still in the air, Kim reached for her grappling hook within her backpack and shot it back up to where she had just leapt off. The hook clasped onto the doorframe and held her securely.

Satisfied, Kim directed herself downwards. Now able to swoop through the air like a warm blade through butter, she sped downwards, aiming towards her target. Pulling her left arm to her side and keeping her legs tightly together, Kim gained velocity, diving fearlessly, her only concern to rescue her friend who meant so much to her (and Rufus too!). Like a hawk sweeping towards it's prey on the ground, Kim directly herself with precision, her grip securing on the handle of her hair dryer/grappling hook, preparing for the sudden extra weight.

"Gotcha!" Kim grinned once she reached out to Ron with her left hand and snagged onto the quickest thing she could grab of his; his belt.

"Kim?" Ron shouted with confusion, looking up at his heroine. Rufus even sneaked a peak out of Ron's pocket to take a look at the action, but suddenly decided it was too spacious up in the air, high above the rainforest.

He's not smiling at me…

Regardless, with a smile to him, Kim had prepared herself well and kept her strain on the handle steady as she felt the backlash of the sudden weight. For a moment, she continued to swing forward with Ron in tow, but instantly she felt the familiar feel of the rope reaching its highest point with the newly added weight surely only to swing back. Gradually, it lost its momentum and came to rest swaying slightly as the airplane continued to soar in the air.

"How about we get back up to the plane, h'm?" She attempted to tease Ron.

"But Kim!" He returned, raising his voice to be heard over the rippling wind. Kim didn't hear him, his voice was swept away by the rapturous wind.

Reaching for the trigger on the handle, Kim was ready to reel themselves in and back into the safety of the plane where they would continue their safe and relaxing journey home to Middleton. Maybe after this event, maybe after Kim saving Ron's life, he would talk to her again…

But it didn't happen that way.

The rope continued to rock to and fro, thus angling the two in the flurry as the airplane flew on; this made it complex for them to reel in this way, going against a harsh wind. Slightly nettled, Kim wondered why the pilot wasn't slowing down some for them; she didn't recall him saying he was on a schedule. But it didn't matter, it was still no big. Harder, but no big.

She waited for the familiar back flap, much like a flag flapping in the breeze on a flagpole. She'd wait for the rope to reach its highest point then the rope would slack for a fraction as to wave backwards and then repeat this process in the other direction creating a back-and-forth waving motion. The slack would be the easiest moment to pull the trigger.

Just as she felt it, something suddenly felt appallingly wrong.

To Kim, it all occurred in slow motion, but in actual retrospect, it happened so fast, no-one had even a split of a second to think or react appropriately. All Kim could remember was the sudden firmness of the rope at its brink fail altogether and feel herself slip down… too far down; down in a falling sort of way. And at the exact moment she felt the unforeseen slack, her mind screamed and felt suddenly lost… the same moment was when she lost her grip; her hold on not only the hair dryer… but Ron too.

He let out a yell of terror and it bore into her mind forever. It flooded her mind and she felt excessively sick, Kim thought she might actually retch right then and there in the air. She was at such an angle that she could actually see Ron fall… fall to the canopy trees… no parachute… no grappling hook… no Kim. Like a cat who never quite got it straight, he turned in his fall, but not so he faced the tearing trees below, but to look up and see Kim.

His eyes cried volumes to Kim and she felt as if she was his own executioner, for a slight moment they locked eyes once again and she felt suspended in midair for that time alone. Ron's bright brown eyes wide in fear, they almost spoke to Kim: 'You let me down… again.'. And then that fraction of suspended time broke like a crystal, shattered into millions of pieces on a ballroom floor. But to Kim, time wasn't the only thing that shattered…

Then Ron's expression changed, just before it became unreadable and nothing but a distant dot in a sea of green and black. Kim was mystified, it suddenly depicted a new fear and it took her a moment to realise he was no longer looking at her, but past her. And in that instant that the message was sent, he plummeted downwards, his back arched for impact. Ron was gone.

Nothing could be done for Ron now, no way to save him, her rational side of mind cried out bitterly yet managed to say, but focus on what he was telling you, and she did. Ron was looking past her for a reason, only when Kim managed to twist herself in her pitch and to the airplane above did the sudden breakage of the rope make sense.

Residue of emerald-green, with hints of black, plasma-flame burnt in the violent zephyr upon the rope that had once held them tight to the plane. There, standing in the doorway and beside herself in nefarious glee was the familiar form of twisted colours: green and black.

Shego.

It was a trap! Kim wept miserly, wind pounding in her ears deafeningly, Will's hover jet being trashed… oh why didn't I see it? Everything ruined except for the radio to call for help... calling to Drakken to let him know we're ready to be taken to our deaths!? It had all been a trap…

Rushing air continued to blare past Kim's ears; it was all her mind could focus on, that and the repetitive scream of 'Danger! Danger!'. It felt forever for her to fall through the barren sky; she looked up at Shego above, standing in the airplane doorway, grinning daemonically down at her as Kim sped further and further away from the plane. All the while waving at her as Kim went. Then to Kim's horror, she first noticed that Shego was not just waving a mocking hand, but an object…. the Kimmunicator!

Now Kim's thoughts raced harder than ever and she was sure that her heartbeat could be heard even down to the ants on the rainforest floor, vibrating the leaves and rustling bird's feathers. There was no way to call for help, her only communication with Wade… lost.

Her hair whipped about wildly in the wind, obscuring her visions and stinging her eyes. She tried to push the screaming thoughts of fear aside and concentrate: no tools did she have to get her out of this mess… Her grappling hook was cut from its grapple, the rope and hook still clinging to the airplane and the actual hair dryer had fallen from her grip in a moment of panic and now lay lost somewhere on the rainforest floor.

Parachute! Her mind blazed the thought like a lighthouse. No more did she look into Shego's deriding face, but rather turned herself around in the air to look upon the dizzying scene of endless oceanic green that was the top layer of the emergent layer below. The wind raced past her madingly, so hard was it for her to concentrate on any sort of thoughts as the sea of forest was drawing closer to swallow her whole.

Tug! She thought and Kim reached to her backpack and groped despairingly for the hook to pull… There! Hope was not all lost, the first tug didn't open the chute and she let herself panic for a split second. No time for that! And she reached again and tugged harder. Nothing. Not to worry, even I've had to tug more than once to open a parachute… twice… thrice…

Kim's adrenalin level was sky-rocketing as she tugged, tears of desperation flying into the air when she yanked on the parachute cord countless times to no avail. Above her, beyond the wrathful wind and her screaming thoughts she heard distant laughter. It was sadistic to Kim's ears to hear Shego laughing; Kim was sure the villainess was laughing at her failed attempts to secure her only brand of safety; with the retched sound of vile laughter her heart sunk somewhere around the region her stomach. Of course they wouldn't give me a working parachute… if there was even a parachute in there!

From far above, beyond the wind ripping away at Kim's eardrums she could hear Shego laugh out: "Bye-bye, Princess!"

It was then that everything seemed pointless. Her motto… it meant nothing now: 'I can do anything!', what could she do? As she fell, the trees sweeping closer and closer, for once Kim felt utterly hopeless. Not only was it all over, but she had lost and let down Ron too. It was all her fault. Nothing mattered anymore, there was no way she… Ron could survive any of this. Plummeting from a speeding aircraft and dropped helpless from a ridiculous height with nothing but a rainforest to envelope her body. Would Wade be able to find their mangled bodies? A more shallow side of her said: And Ron was still angry with me.

But with that aside and the knowledge of her fate, that at least herself and her long-time friend since three would at least be together, wherever they may be headed, set a peaceful calm flow through her mind and body.

Nothing left to do, Kim thought, But to embrace the impact, I just hope it won't be too painful.

And she fell like a fallen angel to the forgotten rainforest below where the trees embodied her, all becoming the most darkest of blacks.