The last few months of Ron's life had been busy - very, very busy. He took the FAT (twice), wrote multiple entrance essays (with some help from Rufus); arranged for several family friends to write letters of recommendation; filled out dozens of applications for various colleges and universities; and, wrote all the checks that went along with those dozens of applications. He had done everything he could think of to make sure that he also got accepted into whatever college or university it was that KP would be attending. Be it the University of Upperton, Middleton Institute of Science and Technology, Middleton Community College, or wherever. He wanted to be with her, where they were wasn't important to him. So long as they were together.

Kim wanted to meet him at Bueno Nacho, after her shift at Club Banana ended. She had received the last of her 'Admissions Office' letters that afternoon and wanted him there when she opened them. So they could share in the moment, together.

So here he was - sitting in their booth, sipping on a soda, not paying much attention to anything - just waiting on her to arrive.

"Hey, Ron." Tara said as she slipped into the booth across from him. Smiled. "What's up?"

"Nothing much, Tara." He smiled back, barely, and took a drink of soda. "Just waiting on KP to show up."

She noticed the stack of envelopes on the table and asked. "College admissions stuff?"

"Yep." He lifted the stack, slightly. Let it go.

"Where'd you apply?" She asked, curious.

"Everywhere…" He murmured.

"Everywhere?" That was hard to believe, even she knew that - everywhere - was a lot of places.

"Yeah…" He spoke in a flat voice, barely more than a mutter. "Every college in the tri-state area…and then some overseas places - Hong Kong, Venice, Oxford - a couple others."

'Every college in 3 states, times, something like, fifty bucks per application - minimum, plus whatever those foreign places charged,' Tara pondered that for just a moment. "Sounds expensive."

"Tell me about it…" He had burnt through the last of what little money he had managed to actually hold onto during his brief stint as a Millionaire.

"I got my acceptance package the other day." Tara stated, trying to brighten the mood. "I'm doing Middleton Community College for two years, and then transferring to a four year school - probably Humboldt State in California." She smiled. "It's on the coast, up north."

Ron ran his thumb up along the stack of envelopes on the table again, murmured. "…sounds nice…"

"So where are you going?" She asked, interested. "Have you…"

"I'm not…"

"Not what?" She questioned.

"Not going." Ron pulled out one of the reply letters and began reading it aloud. "Dear Mr. Stoppable. Thank you for your interest in attending Lingnan University. After careful consideration, we regret to inform you…" He folded it and stuck it back in its envelope. He pulled out the next letter. "Dear Mr. Stoppable. Thank you for your interest in attending the University of Venice. We regret to inform you…" The next. "Mr. Ronald Stoppable. Thank you for your interest in attending Oxford University. After careful consideration, we regret to inform you…" He put the letters back onto the stack, squaring it up. "The rest are…the same."

"No one wanted you?" Tara realized just how that had sounded, and added. "You had to have gotten accepted somewhere…right?"

"Not anywhere that Kim wants to go."

"Where does she…" Tara began to ask, before cutting herself off as Ron once again thumbed over the stack of rejection letters.

"Kim's going…abroad?"

He nodded. "...yeah..."

"I never thought that she would…abandon you like that."

Ron shrugged, defeatedly. "You know how she can be…"

"Yeah, sometimes…I guess." Tara agreed, worriedly, asking. "When she...leaves...are you two…going to…stay together?"

Ron looked up, shrugged again. He wanted - more than anything else - to be with Kim. The possibility that he wouldn't be…wasn't something he wanted to consider, not right now.

"I hope you do...stay together." She rolled her lip, smiled. "You deserve her."

AN: Just a little something that came to me while watching "Clothes Minded" on TV the other day.