Thanks, as always, to campy for beta and proofreading.
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If you saw it on KP, it belongs to Disney.
Kim looked at her BFBF. "Okay, Ron: Spill," she demanded.
"What do you mean?" the tow-headed sidekick and boyfriend of the auburn-haired teen hero asked, suddenly feeling very exposed.
"Something's got you tweaked, and it involves my car," she said, her hands on her hips and her left eyebrow cocked.
"Nah, nothing like that," he said as he nervously rubbed his neck. "Why would I mind your car? I'm cool with the car. Why wouldn't I be? I mean, you've got this car. It's a great car. A car with wheels. Bon-diggity wheels. And it flies. And it has cup-holders. Yep. Gotta love those cup-holders!"
"Uh huh. Right," Kim, clearly unconvinced, replied. "Look, Ron, I've known you since you were four and a half. You can't fool me. Now tell me what's bothering you or …"
Ron didn't like the evil grin that was forming on his BFGF's face. He feared she was about to assault him with the Puppy Dog Pout.
"… I'm declaring an embargo on those five-alarm KP kisses you say you like so much."
"Nooo!" a horrified Ron said. "You wouldn't."
"I have lips and I'm prepared to not use them," she said smugly.
"Fine. Have it your way," he whined as his shoulders slumped. "My scooter's just a piece of junk anyway."
"And?" Kim wondered aloud, not voicing her thought that Ron had just stated the obvious.
"You want to go everywhere in your car!" he said.
"And this is bad why?" Kim asked before adding in her most seductive voice, "You know, Ron, we can now go places we could never go on your scooter – like the bluff overlooking Lake Middleton …"
"B-bluff," Ron stammered as he tugged at his collar.
"Mmmm hmmm," Kim replied as she walked her fingers up his arm and to his ear.
"B-badical," he croaked.
"So, then, why is it a problem if we drive my car everywhere?" she asked in a singsong voice.
"Because," Ron blurted out without thinking, "It's emasculating me!"
Kim's fingers abruptly stopped their exploring.
"Excuse me?" she asked, all thoughts of bluffs and Lake Middleton rapidly receding into the distance.
"Kim, Kim, Kim," Ron explained, "If I'm seen driving around town in your car what will everyone think?"
"That we're a couple in a kickin' car?" she retorted.
"No!" he exclaimed, his mouth now fully disengaged from his brain. "They'll say that Ron Stoppable is a kept man!"
"Really," Kim said flatly. "Right now I'm thinking they might say he's a crazy man."
"Okay, let me ask you a question."
"Shoot," she said, her arms crossed across her chest.
"Will you let me drive your car?" he asked.
Kim stared at Ron as if he'd just grown a second head. Given how many times he had to take his road test before he'd finally, barely, passed, it was a not unreasonable reaction on the teen hero's part. "Ron, you know how much I care about you, don't you?"
"That I think you're the best BF in the world?"
"Well, yeah," he said.
"Then please don't take it the wrong way if I say I am so not letting you drive my car again."
"I knew it!" Ron said feeling equal measures of vindication and indignation.
"You drove my car into the harbor!" Kim countered.
"Look, I thought Jim and Tim said it had acquatic capability," he replied defensively.
"And what about the second time?"
"It was an honest mistake?"
"Ron, do you know what auto insurance costs for a guy under the age of twenty-five? Especially one who set the all-time Middleton High record for number of attempts needed to get his license?"
"Kim, how many times do I have to tell you, Barkin moved that building!" he explained. "Besides, this is about something more important than Claude!"
"Really?" she asked. "Do tell."
"You just don't get the whole mojo between men and wheels, do you? The guy has to drive the girl. If I keep letting you drive me around, it'll be like giving up a part of my manhood!"
"I cannot believe I'm hearing this," Kim said as she flung out her arms. "You are so seriously flawed."
"Am not!" Ron snapped back. "You know, KP, if I let myself be a passenger, now that I've been a driver, it could have serious effects on my Essential Ronness!"
Kim pursed her lips in thought, then came to a decision.
"Okay, Ron, I'm going to make this one easy for you: it's me or your scooter."
Ron blinked. "You mean …"
"That's right," she said. "I'm so tired of putt-putting around on that thing, showing up at school and having to listen to Bonnie go on about my messed-up hair or getting soaked when it rains on our way home from the movies …"
"KP," Ron whined, "that only happened once. Well, okay, twice. Unless you count the hail storm …"
"… But if riding your scooter is more important than this," Kim leaned in and brushed her lips against his, "that's your choice and I'll respect it."
Ron's shoulders slumped; he knew he'd lost. "Fine," he sighed. "We'll use your car."
"Smart boy," Kim said as she gave Ron a peck on the cheek. "Now how about we go to the Bueno Nacho drive-thru. My treat?"
"Well, I guess I could use some snackage," Ron said as he tried to muster some enthusiasm.
"Hey, Stoppable," Jason Morgan said as he punched the blond sidekick's arm. "Saw you cruising again in Possible's car."
"Yeah?" Ron replied warily. Years of unwanted experience as the object of teasing told him he was in for some major ribbing.
"So, she ever let you drive?" Steve Farley asked as he elbowed Ron.
"Well …" Ron said haltingly.
"Is it true she makes you wear an apron when you go on those missions?" Kevin Guberman asked, sparking raucous laughter from the three team leaders, who headed down the hall – but not until Jason called over his shoulder, "Have a nice day … Mr. Possible!"
Ron seethed. Being teased by the captains of the basketball and baseball teams was one thing. But to be mocked by the captain of the chess team!
That vexed him so.
Ron waved, then watched as Kim drove off. He had to admit that going to school in Kim's car was better than going on his old scooter, especially during that morning's inclement weather. But as he watched his BFGF's car turn the corner, he longed for a vehicle of his own.
I ought to be dropping KP off, Ron told himself. It's part of being a man.
Unfortunately for Ron, he couldn't see how the situation was going to change anytime soon. There was no way his Smarty Mart paycheck would cover the purchase price of a car, especially if he wanted to have some money for dates with Kim. Regretting, once again, the fact that he'd squandered his Naco royalties, he resigned himself to driving his old scooter, which had lost whatever cool factor it had gained after the Diablo incident when his mother insisted that he remove the rockets.
Deepening Ron's funkage, he was on his own for the rest of the day. Kim had to go to her Cousin Larry's for Game Night, and while Ron was always welcome and would have happily gone, he had to baby-sit his sister that evening while their 'rents attended an Actuarial Association dinner meeting.
Ron, having tucked his sister into bed for a nap, went to the kitchen, grabbed some popcorn and a soda, and returned to the living room, where he was soon joined by Rufus.
"So, you up for some gaming action, little buddy?" Ron asked.
"Bring it," the naked mole rat squeaked.
Ron activated the video game – Road Warrior VI: Parking Lot of Doom – and was soon being crushed by Rufus. Much to the teen's chagrin, his little pink friend was defeating him by an even wider-than-usual margin. Ron realized he just couldn't get his mind off his car – or lack thereof – situation.
"Huh, I wonder who that is?" Ron said to Rufus as the doorbell chimed.
"I dunno," the mole rat squeaked as he shrugged his tiny shoulders.
Ron paused the game, affording Rufus the chance to scarf down some more popcorn, and went to greet the unknown visitor.
He was surprised, to say the least, when he opened the door to find …
"Jack Hench?" Ron said, before dropping into his best defensive pose. "I don't know what you want, dude, but you better not mess with my mad fu skills!"
The provider of quality gear to the villain community chuckled and held up his hands, palms open to Ron. "You crazy kids," he said. "I don't want anything."
"No?" a confused Ron replied.
"No," the smooth huckster said. "In fact, I have something for you!"
"That's right! You're the lucky winner of a brand-new Henchco Conquistador 9000."
Rufus scampered over and climbed onto Ron's shoulder.
"How could I … Wait," Ron said brightly, "Is this from that card I left at your booth at the Go City Evil Expo?"
"It is indeed!" Hench enthused.
"Wow, this sounds badical, but could you remind us what a conquistawhoozits is in case Rufus doesn't remember."
"Hey!" the naked mole rat, who was fully conversant in all of Henchco's products, protested indignantly.
"Why, it's only the most advanced mobile armored weapons system platform in the world! Here, let me show you," Hench said as he took Ron's arm and led him outside.
Ron's eyes opened wide as he saw the hulking (and shiny) vehicle parked in front of his house.
"That has got to be the coolest thing I've ever seen!" he exclaimed.
"Impressive, isn't it?" Jack Hench asked.
"Impressive?" Ron said as ran to the oversized vehicle, which he began to stroke lovingly. "It hurricane rocks!"
"I'm glad you think so," Hench said. "I hope you enjoy it."
"Oh I will," Ron said before an unwanted question popped into his head. "What kind of mileage does this thing get? Gas is kind of expensive, you know."
"Infinite," Hench said.
"Uh, I'm not much of a numbers guy," Ron said.
"It runs on a miniature fusion reactor," Hench explained. Seeing the puzzled look on Ron's face, he added, "It never runs out of fuel."
"Coolio!" Ron exclaimed.
"And, seeing that you are a budget-conscious young man," Hench added, "I'm happy to tell you that this vehicle comes with pre-paid insurance from Henchco Financial and a cash bonus to cover any taxes."
Ron may not have been in line to be the next president of Middleton's chapter of the Cerebellum Ultra-Smart Super Genius Thinking Society, but he was able to grasp what Hench was telling him. "So basically you're telling me that this thing is mine, totally cost free?"
"As long as you don't park at an expired meter," Hench said with a chuckle.
"Ha ha! Good one!" Ron said as he beamed at his new wheels.
"Now, if you don't mind, I'd like to get a picture of you and your prize," Hench said as he deposited a set of keys in the palm of the excited teen's hand.
Ron, with Rufus on his shoulder, posed in front of the Conquistador as Hench took some pictures.
"Well, have a nice day," Hench said after he was done. "And drive safely!"
"Will do," Ron said as Hench turned to leave.
"Oh, would you mind signing this for me?" Hench asked innocently as he handed a form to Ron.
"What is it?" the teen asked.
"Just the usual documentation transferring the title to you," the businessman said with a toothy grin. "Nothing you really need to worry about. Really. You can trust me."
"Hola, Clan Possible," a jaunty Ron Stoppable said as he entered the kitchen of his second family.
"Hello, Ronald," James said as he sipped his coffee.
"Good morning, Ron," Ann added. "Would you like some pancakes?"
"I'd love some, Mrs. Dr. P, but this morning I'm going to have to pass because I'm planning on taking my badical GF out to the Red Skiff for breakfast."
"Really?" Kim asked as she came into the kitchen and gave Ron a kiss on the cheek before adding teasingly, "So you don't mind being seen in my car?" The Red Skiff, a tri-city favorite for generations, was all the way in Upperton's College Town neighborhood; Kim knew they wouldn't be walking to the eatery.
"Actually, Kimbo, I thought we'd go in my car."
"You got a car?" she asked excitedly. "When?"
"Last night," Ron said proudly. "It's out front."
"Show me!" Kim ordered as she grabbed Ron by the hand and led him out of the house. Kim's parents and brothers, all curious, followed.
James whistled admiringly. "Is that a Mark VII plasma cannon?" he asked.
"Can we go for a ride?" Jim asked.
"And blow something up?" Tim added. "Please?"
"Well, you shouldn't have problems with people trying to cut you off in traffic," Mrs. Dr. P deadpanned.
Kim stared at the armored vehicle. She was speechless.
"So, what do you think?" Ron asked as he wrapped an arm around his girlfriend.
"It's … big," she finally said. "Ferociously big."
"And it's all mine!" Ron crowed. "All because of you!"
"What?" a stunned Kim exclaimed.
"Yup! If you hadn't told me to stop putting your name in contests and things, I wouldn't have put my name into the Hencho Raffle at the Evil Expo in Go City!"
"Whoa! You got that from Jack Hench?"
"Yeah, so what?"
"Hello, Ron! Jack Hench. The villain industry's number one supplier!"
Ron frowned at Kim. "What's your point, KP?"
"My point, Ron, is that we should be calling Global Justice and having them take this thing away …"
Ron's eyes opened wide; he assumed a protective stance in front of his Conquistador 9000. "Nobody's taking my baby away!" he cried defiantly.
"Fine. Whatever," Kim said, exasperated.
"Good," Ron said. "So, you ready to go for breakfast?"
"Not in that," Kim said. "I am so not going to be seen driving around in a Hencho car."
Ron glared at Kim through narrowed eyes. Kim stared back. An uneasy silence descended on the two teens. Then Ron's face lit up.
"I know what's going on," he said. "You just have to be in charge."
"Ron! That's so not true!" Kim snapped.
"Oh really? First you won't ride on my hunk-of-junk scooter and now you won't ride my state-of-the-art multi-system mobile urban warfare platform."
"Ron, your scooter's as old as Nana and your tank came from a villain!"
"Fine, KP," Ron said huffily, his arms crossed. "Be that way. If my wheelage isn't good enough for you, I'll just see if anyone else is interested in going out to breakfast."
Much to Kim's dismay, James, Jim, and Tim all eagerly raised their hands and began clamoring for a ride in Ron's new wheels.
Kim sank further into her beanbag chair, the perfect place for sulking. Lost in her thoughts, the teen hero didn't notice her mother appear in her loft.
"Something bothering you, Kimmie?" Mrs. Dr. P asked.
"I wanted to go to the mall, but Ron's out cruising in his tank again."
"Well, maybe you can go with someone else. I'm sure the boys would like to go the arcade."
"Mom!" Kim protested. Kim didn't know what seemed less attractive about the prospect of driving the tweebs in her car: the uncool factor of chauffeuring her little brothers or the very real probability that they'd somehow modify the vehicle during the fifteen-minute trip to the tri-city area's favorite shopping emporium.
Mrs. Dr. P smiled. "Well, how about going with Monique or Tara?"
"Mom," Kim whined. "It's not the same thing. Ron's my BF. We're supposed to do stuff together …"
"And?" Mrs. Possible wondered.
"… And now all he wants to do is drive around with Wade and Felix or Dad and the Tweebs! He even took Mr. Barkin for a ride!"
"And this is a problem?"
"Well, yeah!" Kim said. "He should be driving around with me!"
"He did offer to take you out the other day, Kim."
"Mom, I will so not ride around in that villainmobile," Kim said huffily.
"So what you're saying is that Ron should be driving around with you in your car," Mrs. Dr. P said.
"Thank you! Finally, someone is seeing reason," Kim declared, as she looked heavenward.
Mrs. Dr. Possible looked at her eldest child for a moment before she asked her next question. "Honey, is it the fact that Ron's driving a Henchco tank that's bothering you, or is there something else?"
"What? I don't know what you mean," Kim said.
"Is the problem really what Ron's driving or that he's enjoying doing something without you?"
The teen hero shifted uncomfortably in her seat, prompting a knowing smile from her mother.
"Kim, Ron's a young man with his first adult vehicle. It's a special time for him. But that doesn't mean he cares about you any less."
"If that's true, then why would he rather be in that stupid tank than with me?" she huffed.
"Kimmie, I remember the first time your father worked his first rocket launch. He just seemed to disappear. I was angry at first, and thought he didn't care about me, but then he'd come home and dote on me like he always did. I finally realized that your dad was just excited about his new toy."
"But that tank is such a guy thing – and Ron's never been about guy things!" Kim complained.
"And I remember when you said Ron wasn't a guy …"
Kim looked at her mother with suspicion, wondering where the older woman was going with her observation.
"… But the way I've seen you two kiss," Mrs. Dr. P said impishly, "you seem to have changed your mind about that."
"Your point being?" Kim mumbled as she turned beet red.
"Maybe if you realized Ron's a guy, you can realize he might like guy things … like massive, overpowered vehicles."
"By the way, he did have a point the other day when he said you liked to be in charge."
"Are you going to deny it?" Mrs. Dr. P asked with wry grin.
"Well, no," Kim said sheepishly.
"Kimmie, I know how you feel about villains, but maybe you should consider going for a ride with Ron. Let him be macho for once. I bet it would really mean the world to him."
Kim pursed her lips in thought. It just seemed so ferociously wrong to be driving a vehicle provided by Jack Hench. But Ron did seem to win it fair and square. And she was his GF after all …
"You know what, Mom?" Kim said. "You're right."
The teen hero gave her a mother a hug, then picked up her phone to call her BFBF.
"What is it, boss?" a squat henchman with a pompadour asked his boss. "You'se looking pretty excited."
"That's because I am," Motor Ed said as he did a riff on his air guitar.
"How come? Is there a new hoagie shop in town?"
"Dude, this is seriously bigger than a hoagie," Motor Ed said as he shoved a brochure into his colleague's face.
"A tank?" the little man asked.
"Dude, it's not just a tank. It's the most righteous set of wheels ever built!"
"So, you'se going to buy one?"
"Dude, buying things is so totally bogus."
"Ah, so how about we boost one?"
"Now you're talking, bro!"
"Awesome! So where we gonna find one?"
Motor Ed thrust another piece of paper at his associate.
"'You'se could be our next winner'," he read aloud before looking up at his boss. "I don't get it."
"Bro, Red's skinny dude has one," he said, pointing to the picture of Ron posing in front of his Conquistador 9000. "We just have to make sure she's not around …"
"And we'll be cruisin' down the Turnpike!" the henchman said enthusiastically.
"Yeahhhhhhh!" Motor Ed responded as he shredded his air guitar.