Disclaimer Kim Possible, and all other related characters and material is the property of Dave Shooley and Disney Entertainment. I do not own them, nor do I claim such false ownership, no copyright infringement is intended.
The last few years of High School are usually the defining point of this life experience. The friends you make then will be the friends you will remember more than others, the classes are usually the toughest they will be and yet looking back they seemed so easy, and the love you have will seem as if it had existed all 4 years, even if you were together for only one. None of this was any different for a young Ron Stoppable, the last year at Middleton High was the best he had there, and stood out in his mind as the defining point of his young life.
After Junior prom, nothing changed and everything changed. His love for Kim that he hadn't yet realized until just before that night had finally been realized and acted upon. This prom brought two surprises into his life, not only did he have a real date to accompany him, but that date just happened to be his best friend for nearly all his life. Never would he have ever thought such a thing would happen, and he was quite sure it was the same for her.
The following year held the same tedious "surprises" as those previous had, villains attacked and were defeated, the only difference being that he found himself trying harder than usual. Now that he and Kim were together he felt he owed it to her to not maker her look like a fool by not making himself look as such. Deep down he knew she really didn't care, and that all that mattered was that they were together and that he tried his best for her. He tried harder regardless; sometimes he was forced to ask himself whether or not he was actually doing it for her. Sometimes he thought that perhaps he there was something he wanted to prove to himself as well, that he wasn't just the buffoonish sidekick, that when crunch-time came, he could be a man and stand up to fight his worth.
His basement became his shelter; his alter towards self-improvement and proving grounds of self worth. Any time not spent in school or with Kim was spent here. Of course, having absolutely no clue or insight into any martial arts style he had no clue as to how to train himself. For the most part, the basics were covered only, sit ups, push ups; maybe some fight training but only when there was something decent to practice against, having no real equipment to do so with. With each battle, Ron saw his natural skill in causing chaos stand firm much to his own dismay. However, if any improvement was to be seen from his training it would be proven only by keeping himself out of trouble, rather than helping Kim in any way. Luckily for them both, she could handle herself. Months passed and soon Ron, as with nearly all senior students at Middleton High, found himself faced with major life decisions, specifically, Higher Education options.
"Come on Ron, you've got to have some idea what you want to do." Kim frowned from across the coffee table in her living room, her pencil dancing slightly between her fingers. They had planned on this day ahead of time, hoping to get it out of the way so that some free time for them could be set aside for a date. Between future planning and villains such as the Seniors, Drakken, and Monkeyfist still on the loose they had to seize whatever free time they had while they still had it. In preparation Kim went on several visits to the school advisors' office to collect multiple pamphlets and school applicant booklets for nearly every option possible. All Ron had to do was to come with ideas, and apparently he couldn't even do that.
"I know I know this is some big life altering decision but I really have no idea. I'm happy where I am right now and to be honest I'd rather not think of changing things just yet." Ron struggled to get a grasp of the situation, quite overwhelmed with the sheer volume of choices he had in front of him. Art colleges, medical colleges, music schools, technical schools, culinary institutes; everything imaginable was laid out in front of him. All of which were offers toward a future that meant leaving Middleton, leaving his home and family, but most importantly leaving Kim.
"Ron, I know it's hard but this semester is almost over and by spring we should have applications sent out to at least three schools."
"Yes, a first choice, a second choice and a fallback school."
"Awwww man, this all too complicated. I don't even know what kind of school to look at." Ron laid his head down on the table, letting the pamphlets fall out of his hands and scatter on the ground, burying Rufus and his left over Nachos in a pile of glossy paper and print.
"Well, let's just start simple, you know, play towards your strengths."
"Brimming with confidence there KP…"
"Sorry…" Kim smiled nervously, hoping that Ron didn't take it personally. She loved Ron, but if she were completely honest with herself she would find it hard to find his strengths as well. There wasn't exactly a school to go for being a "sweet person."
"Not true, hey, how about cooking school?" Kim smiled, picking up one of the pamphlets that covered Rufus, unveiling the naked mole rat lying quite contently in a now empty plate, nacho cheese covering his mouth mixed with a fine dust of crumbs.
"Yeah, you'd do really great with that." Kim felt some tension ease as she handed the information over, hoping this would at least give them a direction in which to head in. She, herself still had some searching to do and as much as she cared for him, she couldn't spend the whole time trying to help him if there was going to be any chance of getting her own work done before their date.
"You think so?"
"Remember Chez Ron's?"
"Yeah, the facilities were a bit lacking but at least I was able to create my own menu."
"Is that something you think you'd like to do for a living?"
"…Maybe, I dunno Kim I like cooking but doing it everyday for the rest of my life?" Ron sighed, laying his head down in defeat. He was frustrated, they both were, and they were going nowhere fast without any sort of direction or goal in which to strive for. Checking his watch Ron rose to his feet, his hands buried into his pockets pitifully.
"Look Kim, I know you're trying to help but I'm not sure I'm ready for this kind of thing, maybe I just need some time to let things sink in." Rufus watched as Ron moved towards the door, exchanging sympathetic glances with Kim before scampering off and into his pocket.
"Ron…" Kim quickly stood to follow taking his arm gently and placing her delicate hand on his cheek. She was frustrated, but she wasn't about to show it, she knew he was scared, and right now that was clouding all judgment and thought. Ron was fragile, both their lives were about to change and he had no clue as to where. She needed to be supportive, she needed to be understanding, she needed to be his friend.
"I know it's scary, but think of it this way. This is a chance for you to do something you want to do."
"What do you mean?"
"Once you graduate, you don't have to have anything you have to learn or do other than what you choose. From now on you get to choose where you're going in life; you get to choose what you learn and what you do. Anything you want, you can now do."
Ron looked at her for a moment, the words sinking in and striking a cord deep within him. Anything he wanted, a chance to choose his own path in life, was that really all there was to this decision, was that all that really had to be done? A wave of cool ease rippled through his body, and for the first time today he felt somewhat at ease. His mind was slowly becoming clearer, for now, he had an idea of what to consider. Once again, Kim, his best friend, his girlfriend, had given him direction.
"No big." Kim smiled gently, leaning in and pressing her soft lips against his before letting him out of her arms and into the late afternoon back towards his home to think. Watching him walk off she could almost see the weight being eased off his shoulders, his step much lighter and his mind buzzing with new hope, and maybe even aspirations towards his future.
The next few months passed just as easily as the previous ones, missions, classes, dates all occurred as they usually did with only one slight change. During all these, Ron was constantly in thought. For the first time in his life he found himself dedicating himself towards this decision, using up every possible moment to contemplate his options, and eventually…the finality of his ultimate choice.
Sometime around Febuary was when the revelation had occurred to him, that nagging tick in the back of his mind finally clicked and it all became clear to him. Everything he had been doing within the past year, not only was further justified, but helped decide and define his future path. The only reason he wasn't as joyful as one in his position should have been, was that now not only did he have to tell his friends and family, but he also had to tell Kim which could prove to be the one of the hardest things in his young life to do.
The door knocked much louder in his ears than it would in reality, jarring him out of his deep thought and once again into his nerve-racked state. Ron had that split second to compose himself before Kim let herself in, as she usually did. Turning over his shoulder for one last glance of confidence from his coach the naked-mole rat, Ron took in a deep breath and prepared himself for whatever may come.
"Heyyyyyyy, Kim, what's up?"
"Not a whole lot…" Kim smiled nervously, noticing the tension in her boyfriend almost immediately. In the back of her mind she tried to figure out what exactly was wrong, if anything. She would be lying if she said that the possibility of him finally saying those three words to her at last wasn't on her mind, even if she wasn't quite sure if she was ready to hear it. "So, what's going on? You said there's something you wanted to tell me?"
"Yeah…um…I think we should sit down."
"Oh…ok." Kim blushed slightly, feeling her heart beat up against her chest. Sitting down on the soft couch cushions she had to hold her breath, slowing her heart just enough to keep her from trembling at his touch. There was a brief moment of silence when Ron's hand took hers gently, waiting for the right words to come to him.
"I've been…thinking a lot lately."
"Well, about the future…about, figuring what I want out of my life."
Kim sat silent; every once of energy she had within her was focused on keeping her heart from jumping out of her chest. With each word spoken the more convinced she became about what he was about to say, and although she wasn't sure of it at first, now there was nothing more she wanted to hear.
"Wh-what did you find out?"
"Well…I've realized that all the training I've been doing, all the effort I've put into missions and school and even…us have all been about me more than anything else." Ron started to drift his glance away from her eyes, whether it was due to his passion over the topic or in reluctance to face her he had yet to decide.
"I'm not sure I understand…"
"All I've been doing has been to prove to myself that I'm something more than everyone else, even I see myself as. I want to be more, and I think I've finally found something that I want to do…something that I might not be so great at, but I want so hard to try."
"Ron, just tell me…" Kim smiled warmly, leaning into his eyesight and now cradling his hand in both of hers. Her emerald eyes glittered with all the tenderness that she held within her, it comforted him, it always had and she knew that. She didn't know why he was making such a large even out of this, why it seemed so hard for him to say, what she did know that was whatever it was it was obviously very important to him. She wanted him to be happy, and whatever it was, she wanted him to have this thing that he spoke of so passionately.
"Kim…I…I want to go back to Japan."
Ok…before you guys say anything, YES, I realize that this first part seems a bit awkward and rushed at times. HOWEVER, truth be told it was a very hard piece to write, considering all my interest and focus is being put on Ron actually being in Japan. Also, I'm sure that the newest season (starting sometime in February) will cause some continuity issues with this series but…frankly I don't care. This is the story I want to tell…plus currently at college I do not get Disney Channel so there is no way for me to know what is going on. Finally, this is a VERY big semester for me so chapters might take a little bit to get out to you. Thanks for your patients and hope you enjoy the ride