Special thanks to campy for beta and proofreading this story. When I told him this one-shot was coming, I envisioned something in the neighborhood of 1000 words. I was only off by about 12000 …
Leave a review, get a response (and maybe a mullet, too). Seriously.
All Purpose Disclaimer: If you saw it on KP, it belongs to Disney. Any resemblance of any characters to persons or mole rats living or dead is wholly unintentional. Further, no naked mole rats were harmed in the production of this story, though the same probably cannot be said for some clichés.
Deidre Lusional scowled at the cover of the Examiner's Arts section. Dominating the space above the fold was a color photograph of a twenty-year-old Kim Possible, who was wearing a sleek, black evening gown. Also in the picture, and holding the teen hero's hand, was Ron Stoppable, Kim's lifelong best friend, reliable sidekick, and long-time boyfriend, wearing a black tuxedo, red tie – and sneakers. Deidre, known as Dee to her friends, threw down the paper in disgust.
Dee couldn't believe that Kim Possible was still romantically involved with Ron Stoppable. Oh, sure, he was loyal to her and all, but he was so unsuitable a life partner for the incredible Kim Possible. Dee felt eminently qualified to render such a judgment: she was Kim's biggest fan, after all. She'd followed all of the young world-saver's exploits over the years, become intimately familiar with her biography, her likes, dislikes, strengths and quirks. To Dee, Ron Stoppable, Assistant Manager of the Middleton Smarty Mart and part-time student at Middleton Community College, was, perhaps, worthy of being Kim's friend. However, the role of being the beloved of someone as accomplished as Kim – a junior at Go City University, who was maintaining a 3.95 grade point average as she double majored in International Relations and Archaeology, captained the Giants' cheer squad, participated in numerous clubs, all while she continued to save the world – belonged to someone impressive.
Someone like …
Dee was convinced that by now the two women would have gotten together. She had been thrilled when Kim enrolled at Go City University. Free of Ron's ever-constant presence, Dee had hoped that the teen hero would begin to recognize that she had other options, better options, especially one who wore green and black.
Much to Dee's frustration, that didn't happen.
There was no epiphany – Kim didn't realize she was gay or bi, something Dee was sure would have happened by now.
There was no break-up with Ron – though the two had to maintain a commuter relationship, their time apart apparently only served to make their time together that much more special.
And there was no reconciliation with Shego – the hero and the villain continued to fight one another with venom and vigor on a regular basis.
Of course, Shego wasn't helping matters, either. In the years since the Diablo incident, Shego's stock in the villain community had only risen. She'd left Drakken in jail with his cellmate Frugal Lucre when she made her successful break for freedom. In the weeks that followed, she freelanced, impressing all of the world's supervillains and further burnishing her reputation. She'd ultimately gone back to work for Drakken, despite the unpleasantness involving Warmonga – he did offer extremely generous health care coverage – while reserving the right to take on contract work as it suited her. Instead of reevaluating her life's direction and returning to hero work as Dee expected, Shego was now living large and evil and having the time of her life.
Dee sipped at her coffee, then looked at the disappointing picture once again. She shook her head. She had hoped Kim and Shego would have realized on their own that they were meant to be together, but that hadn't happened. That meant just one thing: the time for Dee Lusional to take action had arrived.
Kim looked at the Kimmunicator screen with its split-screen images of her best friend boyfriend and trusty tech guru.
"Wade, are you sure this will be an easy gig?' Kim asked.
"Positive," he replied. "You should be home by eleven, midnight at the latest. Just remember to dress warmly."
Ron looked distinctly uncomfortable.
"Spill, Ron," Kim ordered.
"I just feel like I'm letting down the team, KP," he said.
Kim smiled warmly. "Ron, you're ferociously sweet. But Christmas is in just a few days, and I know how busy you must be at the store."
"Look, I can always get Bob to cover for me …"
"So not happening," Kim interjected. "I want you to get that promotion …"
"Well," Ron said with unconcealed pride, "it would be pretty badical if I were made store manager."
"Then it's settled," Kim asserted. "I'll handle this on my own."
"You really sure?" Ron asked.
"I'm sure," Kim replied confidently. "It'll be no big!"
"Are you sure about this, Wade?" Kim asked as she peered into the creepily dark passage while pulling her parka hood even tighter around her chilled face.
"Positive. My readings indicate the CDM is about three hundred feet ahead of you."
"Okay," Kim said, watching her breath form into clouds in the frigid Arctic night air. Being in the northernmost reaches of the Yukon in December was so not where she wanted to be. "Talk with you soon," she said as she ended the call. Then she turned to her ride. "I'll be out in just a few, Akut."
"No problem, Kim," the friendly Inuit said. "We'll be waiting for you."
Kim pocketed her Kimmunicator, took out and turned on her flashlight, and entered the tunnel. She had been asked to retrieve the Concentric Divergence Modulator by an abashed scientist named Deidre who explained with some chagrin via a message she'd submitted to the site that she'd inadvertently left the unit behind after an experiment; while she wished she could get it herself, she was in the midst of a very important, time-sensitive project. Wade said the woman's story checked out, so Kim had readily agreed to help; it's what she did after all. Still, she couldn't help but wonder why scientists were so careless with their inventions. She decided she'd have to talk to her dad about that over her Christmas break.
The young hero moved quickly. As she came to the end of the passageway, the beam of her flashlight illuminated the small cave. There she saw, sitting in the middle of the not-so-cavernous space, a meter-long, cylindrical mechanical device. She quickly made her way to the wayward item, bent down, and picked it up. Kim couldn't explain why, but her weirdar was pinging; she wished Ron were with her and not back in Middleton handling the holiday rush.
Moments later, the reason for Kim's unease revealed itself.
"Drop it, Princess!"
"Shego," she hissed as she dropped into a crouch.
"So, where's the buffoon," Shego jibed with glee-filled menace. "You finally ditch him?"
"He's not a buffoon," Kim growled, prepared for yet another battle with her long-time foe. "Unlike some overweight henchwomen I know."
Shego's eyes narrowed as she glared at her enemy. "You like to live dangerously, don't you, Pumpkin?"
"I so don't have time for this," Kim snapped. "I still have to complete my East Asian politics paper."
"Sorry, Kimmie-san, but schoolwork's going to be the least of your problems when I'm done with you."
"As if," Kim said. Knowing what was to come, she ordered with an outstretched hand, "Bring!"
"With pleasure," Shego responded as she reared into an attack position.
It was then they heard a thunderous roar. Wide-eyed, they forgot about their fight and ran towards the opening of the passage – only to discover it had been sealed by an avalanche.
"Spankin'," Kim groused.
"Figures," Shego muttered. "Why couldn't this have happened last Friday?"
Kim looked at her enemy quizzically.
"Karaoke night with Doctor D," the glamorous henchwoman explained. "Last week it was 'Freebird'," she added with a shudder.
Kim responded with a roll of the eyes before she pulled out her Kimmunicator. When she pressed the call button she received nothing but snow on the screen. "Great," she complained before looking around. There was no other exit. Kim once again faced the now snow-blocked entrance. She pointed the Kimmunicator at the closed exit and performed a scan. "Looks like a good ten feet of snow," she said with a sigh.
"Get out of the way," Shego ordered as she began hurling energy blasts at the snow, melting it in the process.
"Shego, wait," Kim cautioned.
"Don't worry, Kimmie, I'll save a few shots for you when we're on the outside," the villainess riposted as she continued to send carefully aimed blasts. "We'll be out of here in no –"
Shego was cut off by a deafening rumbling far more ominous than what they'd heard before.
"Get back!" Kim cried out as she grabbed Shego by the arm, pulling her back into the cave, just in time to escape the collapse of the tunnel.
The two women stared at the rubble that now blocked their way.
"Okay, so maybe I spoke a little too soon," Shego conceded.
Kim once again used the Kimmunicator to perform a scan. "Wonderful," she said with unconcealed annoyance. "The tunnel's collapsed. What were you thinking?"
Shego glowered at Kim. "Don't start, Princess," she replied menacingly.
Kim frowned, then turned from Shego. "Hopefully Akut wasn't hurt and he'll be able to get us help."
"Eskimo guy, about this tall?" Shego asked holding her hand up to indicate Akut's height.
"Yeessss …" Kim answered, suspecting she was about to be told something she didn't want to hear.
"Yeah, well, I don't think he'll be going anywhere ..."
Kim ran her hand over her face. "What did you do to him?"
"I got the drop on him after you went into the tunnel. Nanook …"
"His name is Akut," Kim snarled.
"… And his doggies are tied up. Nice and tight."
"Hopefully, he'll be able to break free," Kim suggested.
"Don't think so," Shego said. "I knocked him out."
Kim slapped her forehead in frustration, then took a deep breath.
"Okay, here's the sitch. We're going to have to work together to get out of here."
"Oh, goody. You and me. Teammates," Shego said with a distinct lack of enthusiasm.
"Look, we don't exactly have a choice," Kim shot back, before she began to more carefully examine their surroundings. She walked up to one of the walls. "This is strange. These walls seem too smoo—"
Kim never completed her sentence thanks to Shego, who had just hit her in the back of the head with a loose rock from the collapse. The henchwoman watched with satisfaction as the young hero crumpled to the ground.
"Doctor D was right. You really aren't all that. Turning your back on me after all these years?" Shego shook her head before kneeling down. "You're even dumber than your dopey boyfriend," she added as she began to unzip Kim's parka.
Shoppers and employees throughout the store looked up to see the image of a frantic African-American teen appear on the flat-panel displays that usually advertised Smarty Mart in-store specials and other notices for shoppers who shopped smart.
"Wade?" Ron, who was in the tire section helping a customer, replied. "How are you doing that?"
"It doesn't matter," the young genius said. "I've lost contact with Kim!"
"What?" Ron yelped. "What do you mean?"
"I spoke with Kim before she entered the cave, then I lost all contact with her. And Akut's not responding either."
"Get me a ride," Ron ordered.
"I'm already on it. It'll be there in five."
"Thanks, buddy," Ron answered before turning to his customer, a stout matron of about sixty-five. "Sorry, but I gotta go. KP needs me …"
"I understand," the woman said sympathetically. "Things like this always used to happen to Henry."
"Thanks. Mike should be able to help you," Ron called over his shoulder, pointing at one of his colleagues as he ran to the front door. "Oh, and don't forget the two-for-one special on Pop Pop Porter's Corn Dogs – they're badical!"
Dee sat back in her home office and smiled. If all were going to plan, Kim and Shego, now fighting the Arctic cold, would be locked in an embrace that would lead to the discovery of their true feelings for one another. She hated playing Kim and Shego this way, but it was for their own good.
"Oh, my head," Kim groaned before she began shivering; she'd never been so cold in her life. Kim was chilled to the bone and wanted to curl into a ball to keep herself warm but realized she couldn't: her arms and legs had been bound.
The explanation for her predicament was to be found sitting on the other side of the cave: there was Shego, who was wearing her parka and insulated snow pants and eating one of her energy bars. By the villainess' side was Kim's backpack, its contents, including her hair dryer grappler and laser lipstick, scattered about.
"It took me far too long, but I finally managed to take this away from you," Shego said with satisfaction as she patted the hair dryer.
Kim noticed the hook was next to the hair care appliance and realized Shego must have detached the grapple and used the super-strong cord to tie her up.
"T-this is l-low even f-for y-y-you, Sh-shego," Kim replied, her teeth chattering.
"Hey, at least I let you keep your turtleneck and thermals," Shego offered magnanimously.
"G-gee, t-thanks," Kim said.
"So, I bet you wonder what I'm planning to do since I could have gotten rid of you right off the bat?" Shego asked. "I was going to, actually. But then I thought it would be a scream if I not only finished you off but let you help me get a free pass from the authorities for knocking out your Eskimo buddy." The glamorous henchwoman smirked. "You know, Doctor D was right: gloating's kind of fun."
"I am s-so n-not g-g-g-going t-to h-help y-you," Kim said as the cold seeped into her bones.
"Wrong, Kimmie," Shego countered. "You see, you were knocked out cold by that rock. It's too bad you didn't listen to me, but you had to use your laser lipstick to try to blast your way out of here. Anyway, I tried to revive you, but you never woke up and, unfortunately, you froze. It was only then that I took your coat and pants to keep myself warm."
"Y-you'll j-just f-freeze l-later," Kim stuttered.
"Don't think so, Pumpkin," Shego said as she looked at her fingernails. "My guess is that Nerdlinger's going to notice you're missing, call the buffoon, and send a rescue party. The extra layers should keep me warm long enough to get out of here. Kind of ironic: Your sidekick, saving your most dangerous enemy after she put you out of commission."
"B-big h-heady m-m-much?" Kim riposted. "Y-you're n-n-nothing c-c-compared t-to M-monkey F-fist. Or e-even D-D-DNAmy."
"You talk a big game for someone who's gonna be a Kimsicle," Shego snarled.
Kim scowled, then struggled futilely against her bonds as the green-hued woman began to laugh.
Finally, Kim, having no interest in watching Shego sneer at her, rolled over so she could face away from her foe.
The hypersonic transport touched down just outside the entrance to the cave. Ron ran out of the craft and into a growing snowstorm. "Kim!" he screamed, his panic mounting. His eyes opened wide after he looked around and saw Akut, trussed up and blue from exposure.
Ron ran over to the Inuit with Will Du and two other GJ agents. "Take him to the craft," Du called out over the howling winds.
"Yes sir," one of the men cried out.
Ron and Will ran back to what appeared to be the blocked entrance to the cave. Will did a quick scan. "The entrance is blocked by approximately ten feet of snow and the tunnel appears to be filled with fallen rock debris."
"Tell me that souped-up plane of yours has melty beams and some kind of anti-gravity ray thingie," Ron said plaintively.
"The GJ-3000 is fully equipped with all the latest technologies including …"
"Yes or no?" Ron demanded.
"Yes," Will replied, a little miffed that he wasn't able to brag about his technological marvel – only top agents were given access to such craft. He then withdrew a small control unit and entered a series of commands. The nose of the plane began to glow before a bright red beam lanced out and quickly melted the snow pack. Will then activated another beam, this one blue, which enveloped the first of the massive boulders that had fallen into the passage. Working a joystick, Will carefully moved the rock out of the way.
GJ's top agent, though annoying, was highly competent and highly efficient. In just a matter of minutes the rocks had been removed and the entrance cleared.
Kim felt herself fading from consciousness as the Arctic cold deepened its grip on her. She wanted to cry, to rage, but she was too tired, too worn out to do anything. She consoled herself with thoughts of her rich, if too-brief, life. It had been a full and rewarding one. Her only regret was that she and Ron didn't have more time together. She'd always assumed he would go first, most likely from heart disease brought on by too much Bueno Nacho; worried about a premature demise for the best friend she'd come to love, she'd finally secured a promise from him on her most recent birthday that he'd watch his diet. Now, with her gone, Ron would be free to backslide and kill himself with artery-clogging Tex-Mex junk food. That made Kim angry and helped her rally, if only a bit. Though she didn't know it at the time, it would prove to be enough in the end for her to survive – and save Shego's life.
Ron, with Will close on his heels, hurried down the now-clear passage.
He was stunned by what he saw. Kim, whose face was almost as blue as Akut's, was lying on the floor of the cave, bound and in her shirt and thermals while Shego was sitting on one side of the cave, shivering in Kim's parka and snow pants. Ron found himself gripped by a rage he'd rarely experienced.
"Shego," he hissed as he glared at her.
The green-skinned henchwoman looked up at him. "I-it's about t-time, S-sidekick," she muttered.
Ron approached Shego, grabbed her by the collar of Kim's coat, and rudely lifted her to her feet. "You're going to pay for this," he said coldly.
"R-ron?" Kim said weakly.
Immediately forgetting about Shego, the tow-headed young man let go of the henchwoman, turned, and ran to Kim.
Shego, though weak from the cold, had enough energy to raise her arms so she could blast Ron. Thanks to Will, that never happened. Global Justice's Number One agent trained his taser watch on Shego, fired and stunned her with what some might have described as excessive force. While the GJ agent may not have cared for amateurs like Possible and Stoppable, he had absolutely no use for villainous scum like Shego.
"Rufus, you're on," Ron said. The naked mole rat climbed out of Ron's pocket, saw Kim, and lost no time in beginning to gnaw at her restraints.
"KP," Ron said as he took off his cold-weather gear, "You're going to be okay."
"W-work," she said, having trouble focusing on where she was. "Y-you sh-should b-be at w-work."
"My shift's over," Ron lied.
"S-p-sp-sp-sp-spankin'," she rambled. "Y-you c-can t-take m-m-me to C-club B-b-b-banana."
"You got it, KP," Ron said gently. "C'mon, let's get out of here."
Kim, now slowly beginning to warm up, focused on the young man at her side. "Ron?"
"Yeah, KP?" he said as he shrugged off his coat.
"Th-thanks for h-having m-m-my b-b-back," she said as she looked at Ron, who finished dressing her in his cold-weather gear.
"Hey, that's what we hot sidekicks, do, r-remember?" he said, as he began to shiver.
"You're getting cold …" Kim, now warming up, observed.
"H-hey," Ron replied. "N-nothing some f-five alarm K-KP k-kisses c-couldn't cure …"
Dee slammed the morning paper down on the table. The story of what transpired between Kim and Shego in the Arctic cave, not to mention Ron's race to rescue his best friend girlfriend, was huge news. It was clear that the bond between Kim and Ron was stronger than ever and that the antipathy between Kim and Shego had only deepened.
How could my plan have backfired so spectacularly? Dee wondered. Instead of bringing the two soul-mates together, she'd only driven them further apart.
Dee realized she'd have to come up with a different approach. She would not fail to bring Kim and Shego together. And when she had succeeded, everybody would know of The Matchmaker.
"Go, go Giants! Go, go Giants! Go, go Giants! Goooooo Giants!"
Ron watched with pride as Kim led the Go City Giants cheerleaders in a routine that made the opposing squad look like a bunch of flat-footed hippos.
"Go, Kimbo!" Ron cried out from the courtside seats. Being the boyfriend and sidekick of the world-famous Kim Possible definitely had its benefits.
Kim flashed her boyfriend a radiant smile as she and her fellow cheerleaders ran off the court and back to the sidelines.
Ron continued to watch the game with some interest, though not as much as he watched his BFGF in her hot cheer outfit. He thrilled every time the GCU Giants scored a basket since it gave him a chance to watch Kim wave her pom-poms, stretch, jump, or do a cheer split. Before he knew it, the game was over and GCU had won, 78-67. Kim ran off the court and into his arms.
"You looked great out there, KP!" Ron enthused.
"Thanks," Kim said as she took his hand and walked to her towel. "I so wish you were our mascot."
"Well, that giant guy's not bad," Ron observed.
"But he's no Mad Dog," Kim countered.
"True, but if I were to become a professional mascot, I'd have to give up my job. Hmmmm," he said, rubbing his chin. "Wear a goofy outfit or manage the Middleton Smarty Mart. Whaddya think?"
"I think you need to keep that employee discount, Captain Management. I so want a new pair of boots."
"You know we only have 'em in black, not onyx," Ron explained with mock gravity.
Kim chuckled. "You are so bad, Ron Stoppable."
"Well, I am Zorpox! Booyahaha – OUCH!"
Kim, who had just playfully swatted Ron with her towel, took off down the basketball court laughing.
Ron, also laughing, chased after her. "Oh, you'll regret that, Kimberly Ann Possible!"
"So what does this thing do?" Shego asked as she perused the latest issue of Villain's Digest.
"Big things. Evil things," Drakken answered.
"You don't know, do you?"
"NnnIdnknnnnnn," Drakken mumbled.
"Speak up, Doc," Shego said as she filed her clawed gloves.
"No, I don't know, okay?" the blue-skinned villain admitted sullenly. "But I must get to it before Dementor does."
"Why?" Shego asked.
"Why?" Drakken parroted.
"Yeah, why?" she said. "So what if Dementor wants it. What's the big deal?"
"The big deal, Shego, is that Dementor has it all: henchmen, lairs, exotic-yet-energy-efficient doomsday devices. Well, for once the Doctor is going to get the last laugh! I must have the Magnetic Photonic Phase Packet!"
Drakken had only learned of the M3P that afternoon, thanks to an anonymous tip from someone in the villain community who said she detested Dementor and feared that he'd "acquire" it first. Still smarting over Dementor's repeated success over the years at beating him to devices like the Pan Dimensional Vortex Inducer, Drakken had immediately resolved to get the M3P before his helmeted foe did.
"Okay," Shego said. "If you want it so bad, I'll get it for you, but it'll cost you."
"Cost me? But I'm already paying you!"
"You want this thing, you deal."
"Fine," he groused. "What do you want?"
"No karaoke," Shego said. "For a month. No, make that two months."
"Aiiiieeeee! You can't be serious."
"Oh, I'm serious all right," Shego said as she made a show of paying great attention to her gloves.
Drakken stared at his lippy sidekick. "One month."
"Deal," she said. "Where do I go?"
It was only after Drakken had given Shego the directions to the facility in Go City and she had left that he realized something: "Eight weeks. Eight weeks … Shego!"
Kim and Ron were on their way to the post-game victory party when the Kimmunicator beeped.
"Aw, man," Ron whined. "And I was gonna show off my bon-diggity dance moves!"
"Amp down, Dance King. There'll be time for that later," Kim said before turning her attention to the call from her webmaster. "What's the sitch, Wade?"
"I just got a hit on the site: we got a tip from a Doctor Ida Noh that Shego's going to try to steal a Magnetic Photonic Phase Packet from Micro Advanced Devices in Go City."
"Well, at least it's in the neighborhood," Kim observed.
"Uh, let's say I didn't know what a Magnetic Photonic Phaseamahoochi did?" Ron said.
Kim huffed. "Ron," she said a bit impatiently, "a Magnetic Photonic Phase Packet … okay, Wade, what does it do?"
The tech guru squirmed a bit. "To be honest, I don't know either," he confessed, "but MAD has developed some pretty highly sensitive biotech in the past."
"Well, that's good enough for me," Kim said. "Let's jet, Ron. It's time to bust the bad guy."
Dee was no fool. While she was confident she could implement her scheme without being detected, she was taking extra precautions. Ideally, she could have done this elsewhere, but MAD already had the equipment she needed to bring Kim and Shego together. So, wearing a wig and glasses with faux lenses, she seated herself at a colleague's computer terminal and hacked her employer's systems.
She checked all the settings on the equipment in the lab. Everything was ready to go. All that remained was for Kim and Shego to arrive. And she was sure they would both come: Kim, because she just couldn't resist a call for help, and Shego, because her boss desperately wanted to get his wee blue hands on the M3P before Dementor did, would be able to exact a high price from him in exchange for retrieving it on such short notice.
Shego would have preferred staying at home that evening. But the opportunity to get out of karaoke night for two whole months was too good to pass up. Now outside the MAD complex, she did some surveillance to determine the best point of entry. It wasn't long before she was using her glow power to disable an alarm box and cutting a hole in a window so she could slip into the facility.
Kim and Ron, now in mission gear, appeared at MAD's front entrance.
"This is weird. Nobody's here," Kim said. She expected someone to be there to meet them.
"Maybe whatever they're doing is so secret that if they told anyone what was here they'd have to kill them. And dead security guards wouldn't be all that useful, so rather than pay people you'd have to kill …"
Kim shot Ron a highly skeptical look.
"Hey, it's just a theory," he said defensively.
"Riiiight," Kim said as she activated her Kimmunicator. "Wade, we're at the lab, but nobody's here."
"Actually, I just got a message. Doctor Noh said she was double-checking security and would be delayed a minute or two."
Kim and Ron turned at the sound of a door opening.
"Looks like she's here, Wade. Talk to you later," Kim said as she ended the call. "Doctor Noh?"
"Kim Possible," a dark-haired woman with designer glasses and a warm smile said. "It's a pleasure to meet you. Thanks for coming on such short notice."
"It's no big," Kim said cheerfully.
"Hey, nice to meet you, too," Ron said as he extended his hand. "Ron, Ron Stoppable."
"Yes, thank you for coming, too," she said with far less enthusiasm before she returned her attention to Kim. "Please, follow me."
Shego stealthily made her way through the complex and to the lab where the M3P was supposed to be located. She shook her head in disgust as she evaded each and every security system with ridiculous ease. After about ten minutes, she found the door she was looking for. She looked both ways down the corridor, then hotwired the pad that controlled access to the lab she was seeking. Moments later, the door slid open and Shego darted into the room.
She was immediately targeted by multiple acquisition lasers.
"Snap," she swore; she'd been sure she'd deactivated all of the complex's systems. She would have wondered how she'd missed this one if she hadn't been swiftly struck by some kind of dart and knocked unconscious.
"This is where the M3P is kept," Dr Noh explained, as a worried expression formed on her face. "The door shouldn't be open," she explained.
"Stay back," Kim said to her host. "We'd better check this out, Ron."
"I've got your back, KP."
The two teen heroes entered the room. The first thing they saw was Shego sprawled on the floor. Then they saw the lasers.
"Ron, my weirdar's going …" Kim said before she was hit by a dart and fell.
"KP!" Ron cried out before he was also struck.
Rufus, realizing something was wrong, popped his head out of Ron's pocket to investigate. Before the naked mole rat could retreat, he, too, was felled.
Ron woke up, bound and gagged, sitting against a wall. Rufus had been caged.
Ron looked around for Kim. When he saw her, he began to desperately struggle against his restraints.
A woman wearing a black cowl and a floor-length cape turned when she heard him.
"You shouldn't be up now," she said, "though I guess it really doesn't matter if you're awake."
"Kmmmmphhh!" Ron said, clearly panicked.
"Don't worry. You won't be hurt. Neither will Kim nor Shego."
Ron had trouble believing this as he saw that Kim and Shego, both clearly unconscious, were lying on gurneys. The woman pressed a small device that Ron thought looked like the one used by the cranky doctor on Space Passage: The Original Series to Shego's neck. Then she pressed a similar one to Kim's. She then went over to a work bench where she removed cartridges from each of the devices and placed them into a machine that, much to Ron's discomfort, looked like it would be at home in DNAmy's lab. He wondered if the cowl-wearing woman was going to try cloning Kim and Shego.
The woman pressed some buttons. The machine began to whir and hum and a series of diodes on its front began to flash at ever increasing speed. Then, after all of the lights flashed on, the machine powered down. The woman opened a hatch on her device and withdrew a cartridge that appeared slightly larger than the two she'd inserted and placed it into a handheld unit of some sort.
She then walked over to Kim, gently undid the front of the young hero's cargoes, adjusted her underwear an inch or so, and finally laid the unit against Kim's bare skin.
Ron felt an impotent rage well up inside as the unit began to glow. He cursed his stupid Mystical Monkey Power, wondering why it never showed up when he needed it. Instead, he found himself struggling futilely as the mysterious woman did who knew what to his best friend girlfriend.
After a minute or two, the unit stopped glowing. The woman carefully adjusted Kim's underwear and gingerly zipped and buttoned her cargoes. Then she turned to Ron and smiled.
"Should Kim and Shego want to know who's responsible for this gift, please tell them it's from the Matchmaker, with love and admiration."
Ron looked at the woman, confused and scared, wondering what she was talking about as she walked out of the room and into the corridor.
Kim felt like she'd been run down by a truck. Groaning, she sat up slowly, rubbing her temples. The first sound she heard resembled muffled screaming. She looked to its source and, seeing it was Ron, climbed off the table and, though still groggy, hurried to his side. The first thing she did was remove his gag.
"KP!" Ron cried out. "Are you okay? That Matchmaker lady zapped you with something and it glowed and I'm really sorry I couldn't do anything …"
"Keep it down, Sidekick," Shego groused as she came to and sat up.
"Ron, just calm down," Kim said as she rested a reassuring hand on his shoulder. "Take a deep breath and tell me what happened."
"You want me to start at the beginning?"
"Please and thank you."
"Okay, but untie me first, will you? I'm getting rope burns."
Kim did as asked and Ron did as instructed. As he told his story, Shego joined the two heroes. As she listened, a scowl grew on her face. "Cloning. I hate cloning. This must be some kind of whack plan of Doctor D's to get his hands on my DNA."
Kim frowned. "I don't think she was cloning us," she said as she looked down at her bare midriff then at Ron and Shego. "I think she was making a baby," she said softly.
"Are you nuts?" Shego spat out, incredulity infusing every word.
"It makes sense, Shego," Kim said. "From what Ron described, it sounds like this Matchmaker took DNA from each of us, combined it, and somehow … impregnated me."
Stunned by what she was saying, Kim sat down by Ron and leaned into his shoulder. Ron took Kim's hand and squeezed; she squeezed his in response.
"Let's get one thing clear, Princess," Shego said. "I am not having a kid with you."
"You may not have a choice," Kim said. "If I'm already pregnant …"
"Get an abortion," Shego said to Kim and Ron's shock. "What? It happens all the time. People make a mistake, they get knocked up, it's inconvenient, they end it. It's legal, you know."
"No," Kim said softly. "I can't do that."
"Then you're on your own," Shego said as she headed to the door. "I've got a life to live and it doesn't include you or a brat. Sayonara, Princess!"
Kim and Ron watched as the henchwoman departed, then sat in silence.
They sat there for a long time, Ron with his arm around Kim, who leaned into him. Finally, she spoke.
"I so can't believe I'm pregnant …"
"Hey, maybe Shego's right," Ron countered. "And clones aren't that bad. As long as they're not of Bonnie …"
"Ron, I'm pregnant. Everything you described adds up to that and, well, I just know," she said, resting her hand on her bare midriff. "So much for GCU …" she added, an unfamiliar tone of surrender tingeing her words.
"What are you talking about?" Ron replied.
"Ron, I can't go to school full time and take care of a baby."
"You don't have to," he said. "I'll be here to help."
"What? Go City to Middleton isn't exactly daily commuting distance, Ron."
"Kim, Kim, Kim," he said patiently. "I work for a company with more than 3000 locations nationwide. I'll get a transfer and work here in Go City while you're in school."
"And what will the baby do while I'm in class and you're at work – play Zombie Mayhem?" she asked tartly.
"Actually, I was hoping it would survive the jungle law of day care and make a badical best friend for life." Sensing hesitation on Kim's part, Ron continued. "KP, Smarty Mart pays me a pretty decent salary."
"Ron, I can't let you pay for my child's day care!" she protested.
"Who said anything about your child?"
"What are you talking about?"
With his free hand, Ron began to rub his neck. "KP, Kim, we've been best buds for what, fifteen years?"
"And we've been dating since junior year of high school …"
Kim nodded again.
"… Well, I don't know about you, but I've been thinking about, well, you know, us, for a while. And, well," he said nervously, "I had planned to wait for the right occasion and I did want to talk to your dad first, but," he took a deep breath, then looked Kim right in the eye. "Will you marry me?"
Kim stared back at Ron.
"Ron," she said quietly, "please don't hate me, but I have to ask you this: are you proposing because you really want to marry me or because you've got my back?"
Ron looked hurt.
For the first time since she'd learned about what the Matchmaker had done, Kim smiled. "Don't give me that look, Ron Stoppable. You've had my back since pre-K. Don't think I forgot about how you had your mom take me to the dentist when I locked braces with Walter Nelson or how you went to the Amazon to get that orchid so I didn't embarrass myself to death or how you broke up with me during the moodulator incident because you didn't want to ruin our friendship or how you didn't say anything when Eric showed up because you wanted me to be happy. Sorry, but I wouldn't put it past you to marry me just because you wanted to help me raise the baby."
Ron gently placed a hand on Kim's cheek. "KP, raising a baby with you would be badical. And I do want to be there for you. But you're smart, you're cute, you're athletic and I love you more than anything in the world. So, no, this isn't when I planned to propose to you – I know I'm not normal, but even I wouldn't plan on popping the question in some villain's lab – but, yes, I was planning on asking and now that you know why I'm asking, I'll ask you again: Will you marry me?"
Kim reached up and cupped Ron's face in her hands and pulled him in for a long, deep kiss. "You so bet I will. But on one condition."
"If I'm wrong, and Shego was right …"
"You mean you're not pregnant but you've been cloned instead?" Ron interrupted.
"Mmm hmm," Kim replied. "You'll still marry me."
"'Sha! Of course I'll still marry you, Kimbo," Ron said. "But not the clones. I am not marrying any clones!"
Teen Hero, Goofy Sidekick to Wed.
Go City (UP) – February 27, 2010 – Kim Possible, who has saved the world numerous times, and Ron Stoppable, her long-time boyfriend and colleague, announced via a posting on her website today that they would be marrying.
Ms. Possible, a junior at Go City University double majoring in International Relations and Archaeology, and Mr. Stoppable, the Assistant Manager of the new Go City Smarty Mart Mega Mart, said the wedding will be held in the spring, at the conclusion of the academic year. The ceremony will be private.
The couple also announced that Ms. Possible is expecting a baby in the fall. According to Ms. Possible, a yet-to-be-identified woman who calls herself the Matchmaker impregnated her after combining her DNA with DNA from the notorious supervillain Shego, who, according to both Ms. Possible and Mr. Stoppable, suggested Ms. Possible terminate the pregnancy and since Ms. Possible declined to do so, has expressed no interest in the baby or its upbringing. Ms. Possible and Mr. Stoppable said that he will adopt the child.
Shego, who is wanted by the authorities in at least twelve countries, has been unavailable for comment.
Fortunately for Shego, there were more than 180 countries in which she wasn't wanted, and quite a few of them offered balmy climates and wide, sandy beaches. She sat back in her chaise lounge, sipped at her drink, and adjusted her stylish dark glasses, while she appreciated some beefcake that was strutting by on the sun-drenched tropical beach.
After she enjoyed her eye candy, Shego picked up the copy of the Examiner (International Edition) that the cabana boy had brought along with her strawberries. She flipped through the pages but stopped when she saw the headline, "Teen Hero, Goofy Sidekick to Marry."
Shego quickly read the article, snorted and shook her head, laid down the paper, and took another sip of her drink. She still thought Kimmie was nuts to have the baby. But if Princess wanted to do that and marry the buffoon, that was fine with her. She had other, more rewarding, things to do.
Dee, upon reading the news of Kim and Ron's engagement in the Examiner, muttered a string of cuss words that cannot be repeated on a family web site. She was sure that the baby would bring Kim and Shego closer together. Instead, it had somehow driven Kim even further into the arms of Ron. She was at a complete and total loss.
The idea of Ron raising what would likely be the most amazing human ever born made Dee want to scream. Rather than learning how to fully exploit the incredible gifts she would enjoy as the progeny of Kim Possible and Shego, the baby would instead learn the joys of eating Tex-Mex and shopping at a big box store from her dopey adoptive father.
Once again Dee wondered where she had gone wrong. She rose from the kitchen table and began to pace her kitchen. Then she looked, once again, at the picture of Kim and Ron that accompanied the short news item: a candid shot of the two kissing.
That was when inspiration hit. Dee slapped her forehead. There was still an obstacle to Kim and Shego coming together. Once that had been removed, the two woman would surely recognize they were meant for each other.
Dee took the paper and dumped it into her recycling bin. Then she went to her home office, sat down at her desk, and began making some notes …
"I just wanted you to know that there will always be a chair at this table for your child. Do you have a name for the little one?" Hego asked.
"Well, we know it's going to be a girl because Shego and I are the birth parents …"
"Two women, no guy chromes," Ron said sotto voce to Hego, in case the oversized hero didn't remember his high school biology, while Kim rolled her eyes.
"I think you mean chromosomes," Hego observed.
"Yeah, heh, heh, just testing you big guy," Ron replied as he gave Hego a friendly punch in the arm.
"We're naming her Veronica. But we'll be calling her 'Ronnie' after her father," Kim said as she looked at her fiancé affectionately.
Hego smiled as Ron blushed and beamed simultaneously. While the genial, muscle-bound superhero was sorely disappointed in his sister for having no interest in her baby, he was pleased that this young man, who he recalled had the Power of Imagination, would be helping to raise his new niece.
"Then it's settled," the giant superhero said slapping Ron on the back – and almost knocking him across the room, "We'll call her 'Rongo'."
"Uh, dude, don't know why, but that sounds sick and wrong," Ron observed as he regained his footing.
"I have to agree," Kim said with a shudder.
"Well, how about RonnieGo – when she's not going by Ronnie Stoppable, of course?" Hego asked. Kim and Ron exchanged looks and nodded; they both had agreed that if the baby did have Go powers, it would help the child feel less isolated if she got to know others with the same gift. "You know, I'm looking forward to finding out what the newest member of Team Go's special power color is so we can integrate it into the color scheme here."
Kim smirked. "Ron's betting it'll be plaid."
Hego frowned. "But plaid's not a color …"
"So? 'Never be normal'! That's my motto and it's gonna be Ronnie's, too!" Ron declared as he gently patted Kim's tummy. "Though since Kim's the mom, she'll also have 'She can do anything' as a motto. And, oh! Oh! Even though the baby will be a Stoppable, she'll still be a Possible, so she'll also have 'Anything's possible for a Possible' as a motto, too. Hey, do you guys have a motto?"
"Ron, enough with the mottos," Kim said sternly.
"Gotcha, KP," he said sheepishly.
"Well, we'd better be going," Kim said. "If I don't finish that paper for Professor Jones' archaeology class, it's going to be so the drama."
Dee held the device up in the air. It was perfectly balanced, with a grip molded to the contours of her hand. She smiled. All she'd need was two shots.
Drakken walked into the kitchen and headed for the refrigerator. After a long day plotting his latest effort to take over the world (and grousing about that ninja girl who seemed to have assumed Kim Possible's role in foiling his schemes ever since his no longer teen-aged foe had announced her sabbatical), he was in the mood for a nice tall glass of cocoa-moo. Taped to the door he found a note:
Got a call about a free-lance job in Go City paying big bucks. Don't wait up.
"Your loss, Shego," Drakken said as he opened the refrigerator and removed not only the cocoa-moo but also a treat-filled baking pan. "These Crispy Rice squares would have rocked your world!"
Ron left Smarty Mart and headed to the El. He was looking forward to going home and watching the GWA Smackdownpalooza while Kim was at the GCU library doing research for her paper. He was whistling the Naked Mole Rap and was lost in his thoughts when something, which felt all too like a gun barrel, poked into his back.
"Come with me and Kim doesn't get hurt," the weapon's owner ordered.
"What?" Ron exclaimed.
"You heard me," the person said. "Come with me and Kim doesn't get hurt."
Ron swallowed. "How do I know you're not playing me?"
"You don't. But are you willing to take a chance with Kim's safety?"
Ron gulped. "Okay, I'll come. But if anything happens to KP, you're going to be sorry. I, I have mad fu skills!"
Dee smiled to herself. Something was definitely going to happen to KP and she would most definitely not be sorry. She led Ron to a car and motioned for him to get in behind the wheel.
"You're driving," she instructed.
Dee kept the gun trained on Ron. She knew he could have fled or tried to jump her along the way, but she also knew he wouldn't do anything to imperil Kim. "Get out," she ordered as they pulled up before a warehouse.
Ron did as he was told. He hoped that he could somehow take down his captor after they entered the building. But he didn't feel he could do anything until he was sure that Kim was safe, lest he endanger her.
Dee pressed her weapon into the small of Ron's back, forcing him forward. She led him down a darkened corridor and into a lab.
Ron looked around. Nobody was there.
"Hey! Where's Kim?" he demanded.
"She'll be here soon enough," Dee said as she jabbed a needle with a double dose of sedative into Ron's arm.
Unconscious, he collapsed to the floor.
Kim decided to take a study break, get some fresh air, and call Ron. She put her things into a locker and stepped out of the library into the night air. When she pulled out her cell phone, she noticed she had a message waiting for her. Assuming it was Ron, just calling to say hi, she didn't listen to it and called him at home.
She was surprised when he didn't answer. She had assumed he was at their apartment watching Steel Toe and Pain King pretend to wrestle. She wondered if everything was okay and decided to check her messages.
"Ms. Possible, I have your sidekick. If you want to see him again, you will follow these instructions …"
Kim was furious. Nobody kidnapped her fiancé.
"Ron's definitely at that address," Wade confirmed.
Kim was once again glad that Wade had chipped Ron all those years ago.
"Thanks, Wade. I'll talk with you later."
"Kim, are you sure about this? I could call Global Justice."
"I am so not taking any chances," she said as she adjusted the gloves on her Mark III Battle Suit, which, thanks to the Matchmaker's 'gift', she knew she'd not be able to wear for much longer. "The caller said I was to come, alone, or Ron would be hurt. I can't risk anything happening to him."
"Okay, Kim, but I'll keep tabs on you. If anything goes wrong, I'm contacting Doctor Director and Yori."
"Fair enough, Wade," she agreed before adding, "and thanks, you rock."
Dee looked at her watch. If she was right, and based on her extensive knowledge of the two women she had no reason to believe otherwise, Shego and Kim would both be soon arriving.
Shego had no trouble in stealing the Magnetomic Oscillating Universal Spectrometric Emitter. Nor did have any difficulty finding the warehouse where she was supposed to rendezvous with the purchaser of the purloined item.
Once inside the storage facility, Shego quietly made her way towards a light at the end of a corridor, assuming that was where she would find her contact. She stepped into the room – and was surprised to find Kim Possible's dopey sidekick sprawled on the floor. Shego, now on the alert, began looking around the room for clues as to what was going on; she knew she could fence the MOUSE on eBid if necessary, but preferred to get her cash and be done with the business sooner rather than later.
Shego spun around, her hands aglow, only to find herself facing an ordinary-looking woman in non-descript clothes standing in the doorway – and aiming a weapon at her.
"I really don't like people pointing guns at me," Shego said before she launched an energy blast at Dee. Dee, however, anticipated that, and easily dodged the attack. Then she pressed the trigger of her weapon, loosing a coruscating orange beam that struck Shego in the abdomen, quickly enveloped her, and just as quickly faded.
Shego smirked. "Looks like your death ray doesn't work."
"Oh, it's not a death ray," Dee replied. "It's a Sappho Ray. And I'm sure it works just fine."
Kim heard the blasts and hurried down the hall, worried and angry that Ron had been injured. Her fears only seemed to be confirmed when she ran into the room and saw her fiancé lying unconscious on the floor, with Shego standing beside him.
"You are so busted, Shego!" Kim snarled.
"Hey, don't blame me, Pumpkin, I found him this way," Shego replied.
"Riiiigght," Kim said dubiously.
"She's telling the truth," Dee said.
Kim then noticed the ray-gun wielding woman who looked vaguely familiar. "Doctor Noh?"
"Actually, my name's Deidre. Deidre Lusional," she answered as she fired the Sappho Ray at Kim. "But my friends call me Dee."
As Shego had been before her, Kim was momentarily enveloped by the lurid orange aura. She didn't know what was going on but was more than willing to peg it at least twelve point five on the weirdness meter. The whole sitch – from an unconscious Ron to Shego's unexplained presence to the orange beam to the unnervingly satisfied smile on Dee's face – was bizarre.
"Okay, spill," Kim demanded after the glow faded. "What did you just do to me?"
"Us, Princess," Shego corrected. "I was zapped too," she explained in response to Kim's questioning expression.
"Don't you feel anything?" Dee asked hopefully.
"Other than totally clueless about this sitch and like I want to kick your biscuit," an annoyed Kim said as she knelt down by a still-unconscious Ron. "No."
"Not often I agree with Princess here, but that pretty sums it up for me, too," Shego added.
"But you're attracted to each other, right?"
"Uh, no," Kim said as her weirdar went off.
"But the Sappho Ray … it changed your sexual orientations," Dee explained. "You're both lesbians now …"
Kim and Shego's jaws both dropped.
"… You should finally be recognizing your attraction to each other."
Shego snorted. "Me? Attracted to Possible? Puh-leeze. Look at her: she's got the body of a twelve-year-old! I need a woman with a real bust, not a couple of mosquito bites." Shego blinked, surprised to realize that she needed any kind of woman.
"It worked, yet …" Dee said, confused.
"So, what about you, Princess?" Shego jibed, deciding to make the best of the situation – which meant finding a new way of taunting her foe – by thrusting her assets out. "You like?"
Kim had no doubt that Dee's ray had worked: much to her dismay, her ever-present desire to kiss Ron was gone; indeed, the idea of kissing any guy suddenly made her feel queasy. Looking at Shego, Kim quickly realized she had her preferences, too. "Sorry to harsh your assets," she said with a roll of her eyes. "But those are way too big for my taste." Kim thought it would be way rude to add that they would also be way too green for her, too.
"I don't understand," Dee said to herself. "I did everything. I brought you together under duress, I gave you a child…"
It was then that the madness of recent weeks finally made sense to Kim. "You're the Matchmaker!" she exclaimed.
"That's right … unh!" Dee was knocked back off her feet by one of Shego's energy blasts.
"Shego!" Kim protested; though she thought Dee deserved a thorough smack-down, Kim wanted to know what was going on and why.
"Nobody steals my DNA!" Shego yelled, ignoring Kim.
"But I was just trying to help," Dee said lamely.
"I am so not understanding how impregnating me with Shego's baby or making me like women is helping," Kim said acidly.
"Don't you understand?" Dee replied plaintively. "You two are meant to be together."
"That is so many flavors of wrong!" Kim snapped back. "I belong with Ron!"
"No you don't," Dee said. "You belong with Shego! You two are perfect for each other. You're strong-willed, bright, you clearly like being with each other …"
"Lady, you're whacked!" Shego said. "I can't stand being around Princess."
"Then why you call her by pet names?"
"What?" Shego said. "You mean Princess?"
"Yes," Dee said.
"Doy!" Shego said as she smacked her forehead. "Those are put downs. Look at her – she's nothing but a jumped up cheerleader."
"At least I don't dress like a clown," Kim muttered.
"Like you should be talking, Kimmie," Shego said as she cast a dismissive glance at the Battle Suit.
"Stop it," Dee cried. "Do you know why the two of you fight all the time?"
"It's our job," Kim suggested. "She's the villain, I'm the hero. It's kind of standard, you know."
"No, you two fight because you crave physical contact with each other, because it's the only way you thought you could be together."
"Uh, no," Shego said. "It's because I enjoy beating the stuffing out of Kimmie."
"And you?" Dee asked.
"It's what I do," Kim answered. "I stop the bad guys!"
"But all that fighting, the physical contact … surely …" Dee said weakly.
"I mix it up with henchmen all the time, too," Kim said. "Are you going to suggest I want to be intimate with them also?" she snapped in exasperation before she looked back at her fiancé. "The only person I want to be intimate with is Ron …"
"TMI, Princess," Shego said.
Kim reared and glowered at her foe. "Too bad, Shego. I love Ron," she continued, now staring at Dee. "I have for a long time. I don't know who you are or why you think you have the right to decide who I should be with, but you don't. Ron's …"
"But you're wasting yourself with him," Dee said defiantly. "He's not good enough for you."
"You are so wrong," Kim growled menacingly. "Ron may not be the perfect guy, but he's the perfect guy for me," she declared as she stood up and advanced on the Matchmaker. "Now undo what you did to me."
"I can't," Dee said as she held up her hands to ward off an attack.
"What?" Kim exploded.
"I, I didn't think I'd need to," Dee said as she shrank back against the wall. "The process is irreversible. I'm sorry."
Kim and Ron sat quietly in the living room of their apartment in Go City's Hide Park neighborhood.
"I'm so sorry, Ron …" she said, holding his hands in hers. "I so wish things were different …"
"It's not your fault, KP," he replied. "But if you don't mind my saying so, this totally tanks."
"To the extreme," Kim agreed. "But it's for the best. You deserve to be with someone who can be fully present with you. Someone who can love you in every way. I've tried but, I, I just can't, not anymore." After Kim had been hit with the Sappho Ray, she'd traveled home to Middleton where her mother and a team of experts studied her case and concluded that the effects of what Dee had done were indeed irreversible. She and Ron had hoped that their feelings for one another could overcome Dee's handiwork but it became clear that Kim really had been hardwired in a new way that precluded her being physically intimate with Ron in any fulfilling way.
"Yeah, I, I know," Ron said glumly as he looked at the engagement ring now sitting on the coffee table.
"Still best friends?" Kim asked.
"'Sha," Ron replied, surprised that Kim could even ask such a question. "Always."
Kim embraced him. "Ron, will you be Ronnie's godfather?"
"I, I'd be honored, KP," Ron said wiping away a tear. "So, you're still gonna call the baby Ronnie?" he added.
"Hello!" Kim replied, pulling back so she could look Ron in the eye. "You're still the most important man in my life and you always will be."
"Thanks, Kim," Ron said. "That means a lot to me. You're, you're the best," he said as he choked up.
"You are, too," Kim said as she finally surrendered and broke down in tears.
Ron exited the Go City Smarty Mart Mega Mart to find a raging snowstorm. The lousy weather fitted his mood. He'd been depressed ever since he and Kim had agreed to call off the engagement.
He was trudging across the parking lot, lost in his funk, when someone approached him from behind. The howling wind muffled the sound, obscuring the figure's footsteps, which allowed the person to strike quickly and knock Ron unconscious.
Ron's assailant looked down at the young man's prostrate form, then knelt down, reached under his arms, and began to drag him away to a waiting van.
"Oh, man," Ron groaned as he woke up. He wanted to rub his throbbing temples but realized that wouldn't be possible since he was shackled to a table. Compounding his problem was the very menacing ray gun that was pointed at him. "This is not good," he muttered before he cried out, as loudly as he could, "KIM!!!!"
Rufus popped out of Ron's pocket and looked around.
"Uh oh," the mole rat squeaked after quickly assessing the situation.
"This isn't looking good, Little Buddy," Ron said.
"Uh uh," Rufus agreed.
"Man, I wish KP were here," Ron said. "I've got nuthin'."
"Hey!" Rufus said indignantly.
"Didn't mean to diss you, Rufus," Ron apologized. "Why don't you take a look around and see what's up."
"Hokay!" Rufus agreed before he jumped off the table. He looked at the steel shackles holding his human in place, realized he could nothing about them from there, and so began investigating the room.
For what seemed the longest time, but was really only a couple of minutes, Ron's cry for help was answered only by silence. Then he heard footsteps. Much to his chagrin, DNAmy entered the room, took a look at him, and grinned. "Hello!" she said cheerfully. "Just make yourself comfy. This shouldn't take long."
"This? What do you mean by 'this'?" Ron asked, his panic quickly rising. If 'this' involved the combination of the large ray pointed in his direction and DNAmy, he thought, 'this' couldn't be a good thing. "Look, if this is about what happened on Mount Middleton back in high school, I'm really sorry. I'll, I'll sell everything I have and buy you some new Cuddle Buddies …"
"That's awfully sweet of you, but I've rebuilt my collection. And once I finish here, I'll finally have my own Flamingoat," she replied happily. "They only made ten of them, you know," she confided conspiratorially.
Ron began babbling. "You know, highly valuable, limited edition collectible plush is really overrated. Porcelain figurines, on the other hand …"
He was cut off when a second person entered the room.
"Can it, Sidekick, I'm on a tight schedule," Shego said. She didn't feel a need to tell Ron that she had a date with Adrena Lynn, who, unlike Kim, had very impressive assets.
"This is sick and wrong!" Ron protested as he looked at the two unlikely partners.
"You sure this is going to work?" Shego asked, ignoring Ron, as she surveyed the equipment.
"It'll work like a charm," Amy sing-songed.
"Aw come on, will someone tell me what's going on?" Ron asked plaintively.
"I'm trying to fix a mess, that's what's going on," Shego answered tetchily before she looked to Amy.
"What do you mean?" Ron asked as he caught Rufus eyeing some cables. If he could buy his little friend some time, Ron thought, he might escape, or at least postpone, whatever fate Shego and DNAmy had in mind for him.
"Okay, here's the deal," Shego said. "I'm not really interested in having responsibility for a kid. I enjoy my life the way it is. But it looks like I don't have a choice, since Princess wants to be stupid."
"Uh, let's just say DNAmy here doesn't understand how you would be responsible for Kim's baby?" Ron asked.
Shego let out a low growl and began clenching and unclenching her fists. "The way I see it, now that you and Kimmie have broken up …"
Ron cringed. Releasing that announcement to the press was the hardest thing he'd every done. But it was nothing compared to what Kim had to deal with – all the media had wanted to talk about was whether it was true that she had been secretly dating Britina.
"… She's going to wind up being a single mom, since in her heart she still wants you even though her body hurls at the thought of being intimate with you. Nobody else will have a chance with her. You following me so far?"
"Good. Now, even though Princess likes to say she can do anything, she can't and she'll probably have to drop out of GCU. You know what that means? Whoosh, her career prospects and her future go right down the toilet. And sooner or later, Kimmie's gonna resent the kid for that."
"KP's not like that," Ron protested.
"Sorry, Sidekick, but you don't know what you're talking about. Before that kid's even born, life's throwing it some crummy curveballs. So I asked myself: what's the problem here? The answer: You."
"Okay, now you've lost me," Ron said.
"Gee, there's a surprise," Shego said rolling her eyes. "Look, Princess needs a partner, but the one she wants – you – is a guy and she needs a woman. So I thought, what if I take care of that? Problem solved. The kid's got two parents who love each other and will do a good job taking care of it."
"Uh, Shego, I may not be the brightest bulb on the block but you seem to be suggesting that …"
"We're going to turn you into a woman!" DNAmy said gleefully.
"Is she serious?" Ron asked Shego.
"Yeah, that's pretty much it," she said as she pulled down her goggles. "And don't worry. We'll make sure you like girls."
As DNAmy was about to pull the lever on her ray, Rufus, who'd finally deciphered the complex machinery, yanked a red cable. Much to the surprise of Shego and DNAmy, Ron's shackles popped open.
"Oh great!" Shego spat out. "The rodent's here!"
Ron, seeing that his little friend was about to detach another cable, took a deep breath and called out, "Yo, Rufus: Stop!"
"Huh?" the mole rat squeaked, blinking his beady little eyes in confusion.
"If this means Kim and I can be together, I'll do it," Ron said. He looked directly at DNAmy, gulped, and said, "Let's get this party started."
Kim lay in bed, reading, occasionally looking over to the empty space beside her. While she was mildly concerned that Ron wasn't home yet, she wasn't ready to call him to see where he was. She was still assuming that the inclement weather had just delayed the trains from downtown.
Kim smiled wistfully as she remembered how she and Ron used to enjoy snuggling together on a cold winter's night. That had stopped after the Sappho Ray incident. She still enjoyed Ron's presence, but only platonically. Ron, however, while the very model of an understanding best friend, was a frustrated twenty-year-old male who still wanted to be with her 'that way'. It was all very awk-weird.
Awk-weird. That seemed to sum up Kim's whole life now. She and Ron were trying to navigate their suddenly altered relationship. She was almost two months pregnant, even though she'd never had sex; she and Ron had decided to save that, if little else, until they were married. And she was attracted to her female classmates, something that still made her uncomfortable, even if it was now perfectly natural. All of this awk-weirdness was thanks to Dee Lusional, who was now in custody. Kim took little satisfaction from the knowledge that the woman had been detained by Global Justice; if Dee went to trial, Kim would have to take the stand and that would be so the drama.
Kim sighed, then put down her book. Maybe Drakken had been right all those years ago. Maybe she should have just stuck to babysitting. If she had, her life wouldn't have been turned upside down and inside out.
She climbed out of bed, put on her bunny slippers, and headed to the small kitchen. She opened the freezer, pulled out a carton of ice cream, found a spoon, and tucked into the frozen treat. It didn't matter that a blizzard raged outside; she needed some comfort food and a pint of Jen and Barry's was what she wanted.
Kim took her ice cream out to the living room, sat down on the couch, and wrapped a blanket around her shoulders. She sat in silence and watched the snow falling outside the window as she polished off the treat. Not long after, she fell into a fitful sleep.
After a while, she began to dream. At one point, she dreamt that she was hearing Ron. Yet his familiar voice sounded different, softer, somehow higher. Then she felt a hand on her shoulder.
She slowly opened her eyes and saw that she wasn't dreaming, that Ron really was standing by her, saying her name. She watched as he pulled down his hood.
And then she gasped.
"Uh, hi, KP," Ron said nervously as she took off her parka.
"Ron?" Kim stammered, as she looked at her best friend, who was now – a woman.
"Yeah, it's me," she said sheepishly.
Kim could not help but stare at her best friend. The first thing she'd noticed was the voice, with its higher pitch. Then she noticed the lips, which were fuller, clearly feminine. Kim continued to notice other changes: Ron's still-freckled face was softer. Her ears and hands, while still large, were somehow delicate. Her body was definitely curvier. And her shirt was clearly covering two modestly sized breasts.
"You want to tell me what's going on?" she finally asked.
"Just a run-of-the-mill run-in with Shego, DNAmy, and a Genetic Resequencer Ray Thingie," Ron said with a shrug of the shoulders.
"Whoa! Shego and DNAmy working together?" Kim said, incredulous. "That is wrong on every level."
"You're telling me," Ron said before sitting down next to Kim.
"And they were working together why?" Kim asked.
"Shego gave Amy a Flamingoat in exchange for zapping me," Ron explained.
"I can understand what was in it for Amy," Kim observed; she'd love to have a Flamingoat of her own, after all. "But what was Shego thinking?"
"Apparently, Shego's developed a little bit of a soft spot for Ronnie."
"You have so got to be kidding me," Kim said, recalling Shego's earlier suggestion that she end the pregnancy.
"Nope," Ron replied. "Shego thinks Ronnie needs two parents."
"So she changed you into a woman so we could be together…" Kim said, shaking her head, trying to get her head around the fact that Ron, whom she'd known for more than fifteen years, was now as much a girl as she was.
"Pretty much," Ron agreed; she, too, was still trying to adjust to the change. Then Ron reached into a pocket and withdrew an envelope and handed it to Kim.
"What's this?" she asked.
"The information for the off-shore account Shego opened up for Ronnie …"
Kim stiffened. She so did not want her child to have stolen money.
"Shego said the fundage was legal, that she'd made a killing before the dot com bust."
"Uh huh," Kim said, not wholly convinced. Still, curious, she opened the envelope and took out a piece of paper. Her eyes opened wide; Ron looked over and whistled. "That's a lot of zeroes …"
"Why do I suspect there are strings attached," Kim finally observed.
"Well, Shego did say we owe her big time. Apparently, working with DNAmy was driving her nuts."
"Serves her right," Kim snorted before she slumped back into the couch. "I'm sorry, but this is all so ferociously weird," she added.
"You're telling me," Ron said. "Though it's not as strange as being turned into a giant beaver. I just hope that when I put on a skirt I still find the breeze refreshing …"
Kim looked at Ron, then smiled, as she recalled both Ron's second mano-a-mano with Gill and time the two best friends had switched bodies. Fortunately, the process of transforming Ron into a woman apparently hadn't affected her Essential Ronness. As Kim considered what had happened to Ron, however, her smile turned into a frown. While Shego was trying, in her own weird way, to help the baby, it was still ferociously unethical and unfair. Having had fundamental changes forced upon her, Kim could empathize with Ron's situation. She felt terrible for her.
"So, how are you feeling?" Kim asked, taking Ron's hand. "I'm surprised you're not totally torqued, or at least freaking out, after they did this to you. This really is so the drama."
"Well, actually, I let them," Ron said as she rubbed the back of her neck.
"What do you mean, 'You let them'?" Kim asked, wide-eyed.
"Rufus could have stopped them, but I told him not to," Ron explained.
The naked mole rat chose that moment to pop out of Ron's pocket. He nodded at Kim, then disappeared in search of some snackage.
Kim looked at Ron in disbelief. "And you did that why?"
"Because I love you, KP" Ron said simply. "And this looked like the only way we could be together, so …"
"Oh my …" Kim said as she embraced Ron.
"So, uh, you're cool with this?" Ron asked.
"I am so cool with this," Kim said.
The two best friends, now holding hands, sat on the couch quietly. Then Ron pulled her hand away and once again began to nervously rub her neck. "So, uh, what do you think of the new me?" she asked self-consciously. "Do you think I'm, well, uh, cute?"
"Yes," Kim said. "I do."
"So really," Kim said with a warm smile, "In fact," she said, blushing, "I think you're not just cute, you're pretty hot."
Ron offered Kim a goofy grin. "You really, really think so?"
"I know so," Kim said, "Think it about it, Ron. I liked you as a guy when I liked guys. It only makes sense that I'd like you as a woman now that I like women."
"Hmm, I guess that makes sense," she said.
"So," Kim asked, suddenly nervous herself. "Do you still like me that way?"
Now it was Ron's turn to blush. "Yeah, I do."
"Spankin'," Kim said as she wrapped her arms around Ron's neck. She looked into her best friend's chocolate brown eyes, then puckered her lips. "May I?" she whispered.
"That'd be badical," Ron said.
And so Kim kissed Ron.
It began tentatively; as much as the two wanted to kiss each other, the situation was new and unfamiliar to them both. Their initial awkwardness quickly passed, however, and the kiss quickly deepened into something primal; hands began exploring as the two were swept away in a river of desire mingled with curiosity.
"Ah-boo-yah," Ron said after they finally broke the kiss. Part of Ron was confused as she felt things she'd never experienced before. It was, after all, the first time she had kissed anyone as a woman. But her confusion was more than matched by the excitement of once again locking lips with Kim, which felt as right as it ever had.
"Ah-boo-yah, indeed," Kim agreed breathily. This experience of kissing Ron was different from anything she'd ever felt before; after all, she'd never held a woman this way before, let alone kissed one. Yet what had just happened felt so right. The old, familiar fireworks she'd missed since the encounter with Dee had returned with hurricane force. "You know," she said as she began to nibble on Ron's ear. "I really like this new flavor of Ronshine."
"So, uh, you want some more?" Ron asked.
"Please and thank you," Kim said as she got up and led Ron back to her bedroom.
"You are a very bad girl, Ron Stoppable," Kim said with a grin.
"So, it was good?" Ron said hopefully.
Kim laughed as they snuggled. "Ron, that was …"
"Badical?" she asked with a now-cocky grin.
"Actually, I was going to say ferociously awesome," Kim replied with a satisfied smile as she gently brushed her fingers against Ron's breasts.
"Oh, wow, KP …" she moaned.
"You really like it when I touch the girls, don't you?" Kim observed.
"Yeah," Ron said with a sheepish grin. "It, it's … wow."
"Now you know why it was such a big deal for me when I let you take second base back in high school," she said.
"Yeah," Ron said. "You know, while this is all incredibly strange, it does seem appropriate."
"Oh, really?" Kim asked. "Do tell."
"Well, I often felt like I was the girl in our relationship. Now I really am!"
Kim laughed. "You are so weird," she said, before adding, "but I love you so much."
"I know. I love you, too, KP," Ron said, returning Kim's earlier favors and eliciting a low moan of pleasure in response.
The blizzard had abated and morning light spilled onto the floor through the crack at the bottom of the shade.
"Good morning," Kim said as she lay on her side.
"Morning, KP," Ron replied before looking down at herself. "So, I wasn't dreaming."
"No, you weren't," she said. "You going to be okay?"
"Let's see," Ron said with a grin ash she wrapped her arms around Kim and pulled her in close for a gentle kiss, not caring about morning breath. "Yeah," Ron said when they were done. "I'm Chauncey. Though I'll admit it's gonna take me a while to remember not to use the Men's Room!"
"You are such a goofball," Kim said with a fond smirk.
"Yeah, but I'm your goofball," Ron replied.
"Yeah, you are," Kim sighed contentedly. She kissed Ron's cheek, then ran her fingers through Ron's hair. "I hope you'll let this grow out. Maybe shoulder length."
"You think François will give me a discount on hair care products?" Ron wondered.
"No hair care products," Kim said with mock severity. "You know what happened the last time …"
"You're just worried that all the girls will want a piece of the Rondo."
"And they're welcome to it," Kim said, "As long as they're willing to be on the receiving end of sixteen kinds of kung fu."
"Looks like I'll be a one-woman gal, then," Ron said cheerily.
"Smart girl," Kim said, giving Ron a kiss on the nose. "You know," she added as she noticed Ron's shirt, sweater, and pants lying on the floor, "We're going to have to get you some new clothes."
"Good thing I have my Smarty Mart discount," Ron said.
"You are so not buying your clothes at Smarty Mart," Kim said. "Their women's department is such the fashion disaster."
"Wait a minute," Ron replied. "I thought you were all about my manager's discount?"
"Well, sure … for things they carry in both stores, like capris and boots. But you so don't want to wear Smarty Mart skirts. And their tops: those are so not happening if you're going to be my GF."
"Oh, I see," Ron said. "If I want any more of those five-alarm KP kisses, I have to start shopping at Club Banana."
"Well, I do know what's best for you," Kim said sweetly. "You can't just put any top together with any skirt, Ron. You're going to have to learn how to coordinate. And accessorize, too."
"What do you mean?"
"You know, choosing the right earrings or jewelry to go with an outfit …"
"Oh! Oh!" Ron said excitedly, "Speaking of accessories, I just remembered something!" she said as she climbed out of bed.
Kim watched Ron with satisfaction, enjoying the fact with Ron she could appreciate a woman's curves without feeling awk-weird or self-conscious. Kim relaxed, and smiled, especially pleased that Ron still had such a cute butt.
Moments later, the tow-headed young woman returned with a small black box. Kim's eyes began to water when she saw what Ron was holding.
"Is everything okay," Ron asked, worried that she'd done the wrong thing. "I didn't mess up, did I?"
"You so didn't mess up," Kim said, a huge smile on her face. "Now get back in this bed and give me back my engagement ring, please and thank you."
"You got it, KP," Ron said with relief. She opened the lid of the small box, took out the piece of jewelry, then took Kim's hand and slipped the ring onto her finger.
Kim looked at the diamond solitaire, which was back where she believed it belonged, then at her partner. She caressed Ron's cheek then pulled her in for a kiss, which soon grew into something more.
When they were done making love, the two young women luxuriated in each other's presence, knowing that as crazy as their lives had become they could always count on each other, that no matter what anyone thought, no matter what anyone did, Kim Possible and Ron Stoppable were meant to be together, forever.