Author's Note: For personal reasons, MrDrP has recently seen fit to remove his original contribution to this story. As a result, I, johnrie18, will now be replacing the lost content of the first and third chapters of this story with new, never before seen or read content of my own!
As always, write a review, get a response. I am hoping to have the next chapter up before the weeks end. Thanks to all.
The loud sounds of the Fair reverberated into the sky, the fading sun off in the distance painting the heavens a deep crimson fire. Ron Stoppable remained steadfast outside the entrance way to the fairgrounds. Hundreds of couples, families, friends all walked past him, buying their tickets and going inside, as Ron stood anxiously, waiting.
"Ron!" The sound of his girlfriend brought Ron's spirits soaring. He felt his feet practically float off the ground as he followed the voice to its source. He couldn't keep his arms to himself as they wrapped around his girlfriend, pulling her in tight.
"Hey Tara." Ron leaned in, planting a quick kiss on her soft cheek. "And how is the most badical girlfriend on the planet doing this fine evening?"
Tara tried to suppress a deep blush as it burned across her cheek, which of course only had the affect of making it worse as she smiled back at Ron. Ron may not have been as romantic in the 'traditional sense' as she might have always wanted in a boyfriend, but just one look into those deep brown pools of his and she knew that there was nowhere else he would rather be than at her side. Even after three wonderful weeks together as a couple, she had to admit, it still made her heart flutter the way he always greeted her. "Better and better with every second. You ready?"
"Nah, got to wait for KP." Ron just shrugged as he smiled at her. "They're late. Again."
Tara didn't need another invitation as she leaned in, taking Ron in a deep kiss. "Oh darn. What will we do?"
"So not the drama." A familiar voice cut in from the side, prompting Ron and Tara to break up the smooch fest. "I see you two are trying to give Barkin another seizure with your blatant disregard for PDA policy."
"Please KP. You are so the hypocrite." Ron casually dismissed her accusations, eyeing Kim and her boyfriend with a knowing gaze. "You know, I think I heard some kids earlier complaining about some living bush that liked shake and moan." Narrowing his playful gaze, he looked at the two "You wouldn't know anything about that would you?"
"Ah, guilty." Josh Mankey admitted as he exchanged deep blushes with Kim. "We thought we'd have just a few more minutes before you two got here."
"For shame." Tara chided, knowing that she was every bit as guilty as she leaned back into Ron's chest, taking his arms and wrapping them around her.
"Well, guess we'd better get some tickets or else we're going to be out here all night." Kim added cheerful as she guided her BF towards the waiting lines. Ron and Tara quickly followed.
It didn't take long for the couple couples to start listing off the hundred and one different things that they wanted to do before the night ended.
"…cotton candy and I want to see the petting zoo." Tara admitted. "And-"
"The Disorienter!" Ron interrupted enthusiastically as he indicated to the enormous monstrosity waiting for them right at the front of the fair way. "Two hundred and twenty tons of death by extreme speeds." Ron's voice lowered as he admitted cautiously "They say no one has yet survived it."
"Amp down the drama Ron" Kim said, even as she stifled a chuckle before indicating to a few green faced patrons on wobbly legs moving weakly away from the aforementioned ride. "I think they qualify."
Ron watched as the group hurried over to a corner of a nearby tent and proceeded to throw up their meal of corn dogs and fairway French fries. "No they don't."
Tara felt her own stomach unsettle as she watched this gruesome display. "Ron, you may be my boyfriend, but there is no way I am going on that ride with you."
"Ah come on Tara, those guys are just lightweights." Ron tried his best to dismiss their synchronous vomiting even as Rufus popped out of his pocket and took the time to sigh at the pitiful sight.
"No. Thank. You." Tara really did hate to sound all girly on the matter, but she had come here for a fun, relaxing night with her boyfriend and that in no way meant loosing her dinner.
"Don't worry Ron. I'll go with you." Kim looked up at Josh expectantly "You coming?"
Josh did a double take on the group still trying to conceal their weak stomachs. "No thanks." He decided quickly. "I'll stay with Tara."
"Fair enough." Kim leaned in, planting a quick peck on his cheek. "Back in a flash."
"See you soon." Ron leaned in to plant a similar kiss on Tara before heading off, chasing after Kim as the two moved straight for the line leading up to the Disorientator.
Tara and Josh decided to treat themselves to some frozen chocolate covered bananas from a nearby vendor stand as they stayed within eye sight of the Disorientator.
"You know, I can't figure those two."
"How's that?" Tara asked as she bit into her frozen treat.
"Well, you've got a pair that goes around saving the world."
"And from what Kim's told me, that's a pretty extreme way to pass the time."
Tara had to nod at this. She had heard more than a few horror stories of her own from Ron, and while she was pretty sure he embellished them, she had to admit that world saving and globe trotting was probably something she would never be able to get into herself.
"And yet, what do they do in their free time?" Josh went on.
Tara finished swallow the lump of banana and ice cream in her mouth before replying "Find the most extreme ride in the whole fair and go on it first thing?"
"Exactly. You'd think they'd want to unwind a little."
Tara just shrugged. "Ron's motto is 'Never be normal' and let me tell you, he commits to it."
Both had to laugh at that thought. The two took a second longer to share in their mutual moment before a sight off to their sides caused them both to flinch in synchronization.
"Oh." Josh had to wince at the sight. "I'm guessing Ron also decided to abandon his policy of only crackers and soda before extreme rides."
"Just tell me he didn't hit the…" Tara's hopes were dashed as her eyes fell upon the sight. "Yeah, he hit the clown."
"Still… totally… worth it." Ron admitted weakly as the ride attendant, with rolled eyes, let both him and Kim off the Disorientator.
"You just had to get off your 'diet', didn't you?" Kim looked at him with crossed arms.
"Cheese pizza with the Possibles, KP." Ron held onto his stomach as Rufus, similarly wobbly and disorientated, stuck out of Ron's pocket and fell to the floor. "I never miss it."
"Of course not." Kim rolled her eyes even as she picked up Rufus. "That would just break my dad's heart."
"Exactly." Ron chased after her, disregarding his sensitive stomach long enough to make his point. "I know how much it means to him. I don't want to break his poor heart."
"Oh please, you just can't resist cheese." Kim narrowed her smirking eyes upon his golden hair that seemed alight by the last vestiges of the setting sun. It was a sight that she forced herself past after a stunned second before remarking smartly "You'd eat cardboard as long as it was covered in cheese."
Ron looked about ready to retort when he caught himself. Lost in thought, he finally admitted aloud "Well, I did enjoy the cafeteria pizza on Tuesdays, so you got me there."
Somehow, Ron's comment hit Kim's funny bone squarely, causing her to burst out laughing. She looked at Ron again, catching him beaming with pride at the wittiness of his joke. The two smiled at each long and hard before Kim finally broke up the moment. "Come on ride boy, let's go find our dates."
Josh and Tara looked up to see Kim playfully swatting at Ron even as the slightly wobbly legged blonde made his way back into the waiting arms of his girlfriend.
"Everything ok?" Josh asked.
"He'll live." Kim walked up, kissing Josh squarely on the nose. "Though once again, we learn that cheese and extreme riding do not mix."
"Oh nag, nag, nag." Ron griped as he pulled Tara close to his chest. "You sound like my mother. Or a nagging old wife."
"I so do not." Kim bit back sharply at the 'old' comment, ignoring any mention of the word 'wife', even as it reverberated back and forth within Tara's mind.
"Oh really?" Ron teased back as he started walking down the fairground with his arm around Tara's shoulder. "Stop me when this sounds familiar." Ron paused for a split second before beginning again in an imitated higher tone of voice "'Ron Stoppable, stop clowning around. Ron Stoppable, this is mission time, stay focused."
"I have so never uttered the phrase 'mission time.'" Kim tried her best to sound indignant, even as she began giggling at Ron's impersonation, all the while she stood with Josh's arm around her shoulder, walking alongside Ron and Tara.
"'Ron Stoppable, don't you dare provoke that rabid ostrich." Ron went on, ignoring Kim's remark. "'Ron Stoppable, stop tearing open a whole in reality.'"
"Did he actually do that?" Josh looked down at Kim.
"Once." Kim admitted, fumingly. "And I did not sound like that."
"You tore open reality?" Tara asked Ron, more than a little concerned.
"Hey, in my defense, with all the times people steal the Pans Dimensional Vortex Inducer, you would think that the people who make it could at least leave some safety instructions on the side."
Kim and Ron shared a laugh at this. But without any prior knowledge of what the two were talking about, Josh and Tara were left out in the cold.
However, Tara's mind was drifting off anyway to thoughts of an off-hand comment made earlier. The notion of Kim as Ron's older, nagging wife somehow had disquieted her. Tara knew that it was still far too early to be thinking of such things but still, for reasons that she couldn't quite articulate, the matter left her to brood on troublingly.
The evening went on for several hours longer before eventually, the couples said their goodbyes.
On the front steps of the Possible home, one such goodbye was going on at that very moment.
"Thanks for a great evening." Kim leaned in for a quick kiss on the lips as her arms remained wrapped around her utterly gorgeous boyfriend. With the full moon over head, Kim couldn't help but to glow even brighter than the stars.
"My pleasure." Josh could feel his innards melt at the radiant redhead staring at him. He had to admit, as much fun as it had been to double date, he was enjoying this moment alone with Kim far, far more. "And I hope you will be there tomorrow for my showing at the Middleton Gallery."
"Totally. As if I'd miss."
This brought a wide smile to Josh Mankey. The thought of having Kim to himself for a whole afternoon was a prospect that Josh had been looking forward to all week. It wasn't that he didn't like Ron or Tara, but ever since both Ron and Kim had hooked up with someone else, the two still liked to double date. While Josh had to admit that he still enjoyed such occasions, he also had been eager to get Kim alone. The idea of her holding his hand while he showed off his latest works, a few of which he'd yet to even show to Kim, to some of the most critical eyes of Upperton's School of Arts was just so perfect.
"I'm really sorry Ron." Tara looked crestfallen as she stood on her doorstep. She'd been holding in this confession all night, hoping not to ruin such a wonderful evening. But she couldn't put it off any longer.
"It's ok." He admitted somewhat half-truthfully.
"No it's not. It's your birthday." Tara had hoped that Ron might actually get all jealous or upset. Somehow, that he seemed to be taking this so well seemed to make her feel all the guiltier.
"Yeah, but it's your aunt." Ron smiled back at her, staring into those deep blue eyes as her perfect blonde hair hung from her sides. If Ron had to, he would never have guessed that he'd ever score such a smoking hot girlfriend. Even now, he still couldn't help but feel like the luckiest guy in the world.
"It's my aunt Eleanor and I just… I haven't seen her in so long." Tara knew that she had already explained all this already, but she still felt bad about it. "She's only going to be up in Go City for the weekend, and my whole family is going up there and…"
"Tara, Tara," Ron interrupted, grabbing her hands as he leaned, placing a gentle kiss on her lips. "It's cool, really. You know, Rufus and I can chill for a weekend, catch up on some comics while you're with your aunt. It's no big."
"It feels big to me." Tara let out a long smile.
"I'll be here when you get back." Ron returned the smile. "It'll be fine."
"This tanks." Ron lamented into the phone as he lay in bed, trying to read his favorite issue of Fearless Ferret. He managed to skim through only the first few pages before throwing the comic aside in frustration.
"I'm really sorry Ron." Kim answered back as she lay in her own bed, her Pandaroo clutched safely in her arms. "I know she even had a new dress picked out."
"Dress?" Ron perked up at this. "Dress? What dress?"
Kim threw her free hand over her lips, cursing her carelessness. She had promised to keep Tara's dress a surprise. It was supposed to be part of her gift to Ron. "Nothing."
"What? You know something about a dress." Ron shot quickly into the phone. "What about a dress? Does Tara have a new dress?"
"Ron, I'm not supposed to tell you." Kim confessed guiltily. "I promised."
"So she does have a new dress!" Ron's eyes shot wide. "Tell me about it. Is it hot?"
"It's smoking." Kim admitted. "I helped her pick it out. She wanted to surprise you with it at your party. But you can totally not tell her that I told you about it."
"Wow." Ron leaned back in his bed. Even though he knew almost nothing about it, he could just imagine his smoking hot girlfriend showing up in a smoking hot dress, and all for him. "Heh, it's just not going to be the same without her."
"Relax Ron. I'm sure if nothing else, she'll wear it to the Spring Fling Dance."
"Yeah, it's just… well it's my birthday!" Ron whined into the phone. "I mean, I'm trying not to be a bad boyfriend about this, but this still totally tanks."
"Ron, you're an awesome boyfriend." Kim assured warmly into the phone. "Anyone who asks Tara knows that she feels the same way."
"Totally." Kim smiled. "I'll hang out with you this weekend for your birthday."
"Heh, thanks KP." Ron couldn't help but to smile at the thought of it. "You're… you're kinda totally awesome, you know?"
"So not the drama." Kim smiled. "We're best friends."
"You can't be serious." Kim looked at Josh, practically horrified.
"I'm sorry. But there was some kind of mess up with scheduling and now the Gallery is holding my exhibit tomorrow." Josh confessed as he and Kim made their way through the school cafeteria. The lunch line seemed like far too crowded a venue to be having this particular discussion but now that it had been brought up, there was no sense in avoiding it further.
"Josh, I can't make it on Saturday." Kim confessed in a tight whisper so as not to attract undue attention to the two of them. "Ron's birthday is Saturday and I already promised him I'd be there."
"But you promised you'd make it to the gallery." Josh pleaded.
"That was before you changed the date on me." Kim bit back.
"It wasn't me." Josh insisted defensively. "And besides, why can't you miss Ron's birthday this once. Or at least catch up with him on Sunday instead."
"Josh Mankey," Josh's innards began to constrict at Kim's no-nonsense tone. "I have not missed Ron's birthday since I was five. I am not going to start now because your gallery opening changed at the last second. And it is so not fair of you to ask."
"I… I'm sorry. I know." Josh admitted, defeated. He had known this was an argument that he wasn't going to win, but still, he'd had been hopeful. "I just really wanted you to be there."
"I'm sorry too." Kim's voice fell with Josh even as the two found an open table to sit at. "I really did want to make it."
"Hey guys." Ron's voice drew away Kim's attention, and as it did, Josh felt his heart tighten at the sight.
"How's it going?" Tara asked as she sat down next to Ron, opposite Kim and Josh.
"It's cool." Kim insisted weakly.
"We're fine." Josh agreed in the same pitiful tone.
"They're having problems." Ron whispered to Tara loud enough for all to hear.
"Ron!" Luckily, Ron was saved from Kim's true wrath by the tell-tale chimes of the Kimmunicator. Drawing it out, Kim looked down with her all-business tone "Go Wade."
"Hey guys." Team Possible's resident tech support appeared on the screen. "'Fraid I got a hit on the site.
"Super villain?" Josh guessed.
"Nation in trouble." Tara guessed.
"Monkeys." Ron let out with a groan.
"Uh, yeah. How did you know?" Wade asked.
"Just a guess." Ron sighed, as he sank in his seat. It was always monkeys. Why this was so, he never knew, but it just was.
"What's the sitch?" Kim asked, ignoring the playful banter of those around her.
"It looks like Monkey Fist is after the Codex Simius Rex." Wade double checked the information on the computer screen in front of him. "It's a book that supposedly details the end of the world. It actually provides step by step instructions."
"Huh. So after all this time trying to destroy the world, Monkey Fist has finally decided to just read the manual. No wonder all his other plans never worked." Ron mused aloud, causing Kim to laugh heartily at his comment before looking back down to Wade.
"On its way, courtesy of Global Justice." Wade replied with an all too proud smile. "They should be there right about… now."
Wade's comment was punctuated by the familiar hum of a GJ hover jet as it touched down over the Middleton football field, drawing the attention of more than a few students.
"Wow. They make good time." Tara noted.
"You have no idea." Ron smiled as he leaned in, planting a much needed kiss on Tara's cheeks. "I'll catch you later."
"I got to run." Kim explained in much the same hurried fashion as she leaned over to Josh. "I'm sorry. I promise I'll call you later tonight."
"That's fine." Josh smiled. "Be careful."
"You too." Tara insisted as she spoke to Ron.
"Please." Ron just waved off her concerns. "The Ron man is batting close to a thousand."
"Come on, 'all star." Kim joked, drawing a smirk from Ron as he chased after her.
This left Tara and Josh to stare as the two walked away, sitting in silence.
"Do you ever wonder about those two?"
"What do you mean?" Tara asked, glancing suspiciously back at Josh.
"Well I mean, just… well think about everything that they've been through together."
"It's a lot." Tara admitted as she worked on her fries, devouring them lazily.
"It's more than just a lot." Josh insisted anxiously. "When was the last time you were in a life and death situation with Ron?"
Tara paused a moment to think about the matter. "Not since Wannaweep. But it was so amazing." Tara seemed to rise up from the cafeteria lunch table to be swept by the wind as she drifted back to that moment. "Ron was so brave there. It was unreal."
"I've never been in that situation with Kim." Josh said as his mind began to drift back as well. "In fact, aside from some weirdness on our first date, I don't think I've ever come close. Meanwhile, those two go on that kind of thing… well just about every other day."
Tara's eyes began to narrow as they cast a suspicious glance at Josh. "Did you and Kim have a fight?"
"She's missing my gallery opening this weekend." Josh admitted. "But that's not what this is about. Well, at least it's not just what this is about."
"Uh-huh." Tara drew a knowing look at him.
"They spend more time with each other than they do with either of us." Josh argued, determined not to be dismissed as merely an overly jealous boyfriend speaking.
"Well… yeah." Tara admitted reluctantly. "But they've known each other a lot longer than they have us. Face it, we're still the newcomers."
"And that's my point." Josh went on, taking great care to choose his next words carefully. "You ever get the feeling like we maybe we're the odds ones in the middle? Like maybe we interrupted something special."
"What?" Tara looked at him incredulously. "No. Look, I'm sorry Kim is missing your Gallery, but just chill ok. It's not that big a deal, and I'm sure if you play up the guilt angle, you can get her to make it up to you. I for one am totally happy with my boyfriend, and I am not walking away from him for anything."
"Whoa, whoa." Josh held up his hands defensively. "I didn't say anything about walking away from anything. It's just… well, Kim had a choice between her best friend and her boyfriend and… sometimes that makes me wonder."