Chapter 3

The young brunette sat quietly on the gymnasium bleacher, held in the embrace of a blond boy. Someone she would never have thought she would be in any kind of position like this with. To say his words had unsettled her would be an understatement, and the girl did not yet trust herself to move from his comforting arms. He was still gently rubbing her back and stroking the back of her head, though she had stopped trembling quite some time ago. The blond knew things about her life she had never dared tell anyone. And though she did feel protected when she was held like this, it scared her as well. No one had ever held her like this, not even her parents; so, how could he seem so certain this was how to comfort her.

"I'm sorry I had to do this to you, Bonnie," he whispered, heavy with sadness. "It was the only way I could guarantee you would believe me."

The young girl shifted her head so that she was looking down, her cheek against his chest. "You were probably right," she sniffed. "I would have just brushed it off otherwise. I'll be fine."

Ron gave her a little hug. "I know you will. You've always been a strong person. One of your many great qualities. If it helps, your sisters end up old and alone."

The brunette gave a small laugh. "Really?"

"Oh, yeah," the young man assured her. "When they graduated from college, they got a place together because they realized they were too dependent on the other. They said it was because they already knew they could live with each other. But they still hung out together everywhere. So most guys thought they were lesbians because they don't share a lot of family resemblance. Those that do get to know them figure out that when you date one, you get nagged by both. Imagine getting your technique in bed criticized by the sister that you aren't sleeping with."

Bonnie looked up at him. "Ok, now I know you are making things up to mess with me."

"If I'm lyin', I'm dyin'," he replied, affecting a look of respectability. "I ended up becoming friends with a few of their boyfriends since your mom always wanted her girls to be friends. She'd have everyone over for dinner every month or so. Your sisters would even blame us for spoiling their relationships. Apparently, they didn't like how we looked in love; and it seems I would put ideas into their boyfriends' heads when I talked with them. A few of them even told me that they'd initially flirted with your sisters because they were trying to have a threesome, and they figured getting a lesbian couple was easier than trying to work it out any other way."

The young girl couldn't help but heartily laugh at that. For several minutes, she continued to laugh as she imagined her sisters with their future relationship problems. Bonnie settled down when she noticed the small smile on her companion's face. "What? You were messing with me, weren't you."

He shook his head as his smile widened. "No, it's all completely true. And it's the most likely outcome this time as well. I just…forgot how much I missed hearing you laugh and seeing your smile. I swear that every time you smiled, you would look so beautiful that I would seriously believe that there was no way Heaven could be better than that."

The brunette frowned and looked away. "I'm not beautiful. I have puffy eyes and a runny nose from crying. I must look horrible with my makeup ruined."

Ron cupped her chin and pulled her face back so he could look into her eyes. "You are a beautiful woman, Bonnie. And you will only grow even moreso as you mature into adulthood. Anyone that can't see that is blind; anyone that won't see that is an idiot."

The young girl was momentarily stunned by the seriousness and emotion in his voice. She could tell from his eyes that he believed what he'd said to be fact. Blushing, she looked down nervously. "So," she said, trying to change the subject, "you said I'm going to marry you and then kill myself. Kim is going to die on a mission without you two admitting your feelings. What can you tell me about everyone else?"

The blond stood up and walked a few steps away, rubbing his neck. Finally, he turned back around. "Just about everyone went on to live normal lives. Most of them, I never really interacted with. So, I never knew what happened to them and can't figure out now. Josh ended up doing graphics for an ad agency while selling some pieces on the side. Brick tried to go pro, but his talent wasn't enough. He wasn't able to keep up with the rigors mentally at that level."

"Wait, I thought you could see the different way things can go. Can't you see how everything went before?"

Ron grimaced a little. "Say that Kim represents my line, and you represent this one. Knowing what is going to happen is like choosing a dress. The event I'm looking for is a red dress. I can see how you would look in that dress because you'd wear one, but Kim wouldn't."

Understanding dawned on her face. "I get it. You see what's likely to happen, and everything else doesn't matter. What about taking tests? Or if I'm thinking of a number between one and ten?"

He shrugged. "That gets a little tricky. I usually can't see anything because I would have to have known the information being tested. In the case of guessing a number, there are three types of paths that are each likely. I could guess right, guess wrong, or you could lie about your number when I guess right. You were thinking seven, though."

"How'd you know," she exclaimed in surprise.

Ron smiled. "That was always the number you'd choose. It was how old you were when you first started cheering."

"Ha ha, Mr. Smarty-pants. You've talked about everyone else. Now, what about Tara?"

He looked away again and rubbed his neck. "She, uh…she died just before our junior year. Murdered by Gill."

"Oh," Bonnie replied somberly. "Um, how did it happen?"

Ron sighed. "Tara and I started dating after the Wannaweep thing. I can be dense, but even I know what it means when a girl kisses me on the cheek and giggles when she walks away. Things were going really well with us. We were each other's first. Gill was still mad about me stopping him, and he wanted to hit me hard. So, while I was away on a mission, he kidnapped Tara. I tracked him back to the camp when I got back a few days later." The blond swallowed the lump his throat. "He had the PA systems for all the camps connected and was taunting me. I couldn't be sure where he was. And then he started to torture her. I had to listen to her screams as I ran from building to building. I don't know how long that went on before he decided he wanted to get his jollies a different way. He would narrate what he was doing, what he was thinking. He raped her, and he laughed while he told me every disgusting detail. When I finally found her, it was already way too late. Her body was broken and covered with cuts and scratches. The sick bastard had recorded it all and set it to play when I triggered a motion sensor."

The brunette stared at his back in mute horror. "Oh, god. How can anyone do something so monstrous."

The young man chuckled humorously. "Turns out he'd mutated himself back into that muck creature. He was deemed unfit to stand trial. Kim and I weren't sent after him when he escaped the asylum. But the agents that were sent knew the history. They got him to confess how he'd planned it all and enjoyed every minute. He's been in solitary confinement in a special holding facility for the last twenty years; even his meals are delivered by an automated system. Officially, Gill is serving a life sentence without parole. Unofficially, the agent appointed as his warden retired halfway into the sentence. Since there's no one left to miss him, he'll never be let out."

Bonnie hugged him from behind. "It must have been horrible growing up with that kind of knowledge."

"I didn't get full access until Kim and I beat Monkey Fist the first time," he replied, taking a cheery tone. "Until then, it was just the odd feeling here or there. My first imaginary friend was actually me as an adult, though he was just some ghost I was seeing. Accidentally finding things on missions. I didn't like Fiske because he had killed Kim, but I didn't realize it at the time. It was when I got hit by that mystical power that the gift was opened up to me. Now, I'm just trying to make the best future I can."

The two teens stood in silence for several long minutes before she broke the quiet. "So, where do we go from here?"

"Out the door and to our respective homes," Ron teased.

The brunette lightly slapped his back. "You know what I meant."

He smiled. "Pretty much our separate ways. You can't tell anyone about this without looking crazy, and I'll be denying any extraordinary abilities. But we share some secrets now, so I guess we can talk to each other when things get too tough."

"That might be nice," she replied quietly. "I don't have to start being nice to Possible, do I?"

The blond chuckled. "I think you'd both explode if you did. Be yourself; eventually, life will change you as is its want." He tilted his head in thought. "Hey, in a few weeks, your mom is going out to a play with some friends and will be gone a couple days. She'll be leaving your sisters in charge. The afternoon that she will be leaving, move her tickets from her pocketbook to her nightstand. And set up a study night with Tara."

"What will that do?" Bonnie asked.

"She'll be picking up one of the friends and realize she can't find them. They'll both arrive while your sisters are throwing a party. You will be the good and studious daughter."

The brunette smiled wickedly. "I could enjoy some of the benefits of having a confidante."

He disengaged himself from her embrace. "Don't rely on it too much. After all they put you through, you deserve some payback. But we'll have to leave soon; the lights are going to go off in a few minutes."

"Your vision deal telling you that?"

"Actually, my watch," he grinned.

"Oh," she replied in slight embarrassment. "Yeah, I guess we should be going."

"Um, before you go," Ron stopped her, "there's a personal favor I wanted to ask you for when the lights turn off."

"What's that?" she inquired suspiciously.

"See, I never got to say goodbye to my Bonnie. And I was hoping I might be able to give that kiss to you." Fearing she was going to be angry with him, he shot the rest out quickly. "Feel free to say no, it's cool. You can just pretend I'm somebody else; I won't mind."

The young girl looked him over, enjoying how nervous he was under the scrutiny. She had to absorb a lot in a short time, and the hardest was that some future her had loved him. Looking at him, the brunette wondered what it was she could see later that she didn't now. He had already shown himself to be compassionate, caring, devoted, and resilient. It wasn't like he wasn't kind of attractive or funny. "OK, fine," Bonnie sighed in defeat. "I guess one little kiss won't be that bad. But you'd better keep your hands from roaming."

Both looked around in confusion as the lights took that moment to turn off. Though it was dark, they could still see by the emergency lighting. Shrugging, Ron stepped up and put his hands on her hips. The brunette brought her arms to his shoulders and looked into eyes. The mixture of love and sadness shocked her, and it warmed her heart that it was all for her. The two teens leaned their heads together into a tender kiss. The kiss was broken momentarily and followed by another longer kiss. Another deeper kiss quickly followed as Bonnie ran her fingers through his hair. His arms wrapped around her waist, pulling her body tighter against his as his hands gently slid across her back. The brunette's arms encircled his neck, a hand pulling his head into hers to deepen the kiss. She knew Ron had forgotten he wasn't kissing his departed wife when she felt his hand move to her butt, and her only response was to moan into his mouth as their tongues fought one another.

The young girl wasn't sure how long it was before she noticed her partner's passion slowing. Their kisses gradually turned softer until they became a series of pecks broken by labored breathing. Still held in each other's embraces, they stood with their faces almost touching. "Goodbye, Bonnie," he whispered as she nibbled on his lower lip. The feelings behind those simple words resonated with a need the young girl always tried to deny. Surprising her partner, she pulled his head back into a long kiss. A small whimper escaped her until the shocked male returned the kiss, tightening the embrace once again. She wasn't sure how long they stayed there as he kissed her in a tender way that filled the need in her soul. When she realized what was happening, she quickly broke the kiss and was glad the darkness hid her blush of embarrassment as she looked away. Though she knew she shouldn't, Bonnie was mad at herself for letting anyone see that she had a weakness. The young girl tried to leave, but the comforting arms around her stopped her light protests.

Ron kissed the top of her head. "Thanks, Bonnie. It feels good to be reminded of why I'm doing this." He gave her a tight hug. "You are a beautiful and talented young woman," he whispered sincerely, "and I will keep telling you that even after you start believing it yourself." She watched as his dark figure walked away and exited through the gym doors. The young girl knew deep down that even that was for her, to allow her the chance to compose herself and leave with dignity. When she was ready, she walked out with her head held high and the knowledge that she had someone to support her.

A/N

So, that's that. Now you know how Ron's power works. In a way, this was my way of having Ron romantically connected with as many women as I could. I skipped Yori because he wouldn't have met her without going to Yamanouchi. Zita was skipped because I was figuring Ron was either dating Tara at the time or recovering from losing her. But, I hope I made the power understandable. I'm not entirely sure where I'll take the story from here or if I'll continue it.