Chapter 1 – An Indecent Proposal
It was a bright and breezy Sunday summer afternoon. The sky was blue, the air was crisp with a hint of dew, and a gentle breeze flew in to the Stoppable household from every available open window. Hardly a corner of the modest home had been left untouched by the undeniable wholesome scent of summer that seemed to pervade nearly everywhere during the month of July in their quiet mountain town. That is to say, except for one corner of the Stoppable Maison – the domain of the overwrought prince of the castle, Ronald Dean Stoppable.
Ronald Dean Stoppable was a boy who went by many names. He would often switch them up and change them about as the mood seized him. Some day he would be The Ronster – a manic and hip (in his own mind) fellow who was a hit with the ladies. Other days he was Rondo, the tough (yet lovable) dude who had all the answers. Some days he would even be Prince Aloysius Joseph Stoppable III, Defender of the Kingdom and Heir Apparent to the Mole-Rat Throne…
But honestly, he didn't talk about that name very often in public.
Today however, he wasn't anyone special. In fact, he was about as un-special as a young man could possibly be. Today, his name was merely Ron Stoppable and he could sum up what that meant with a very short list.
Neutered "Best Buddy".
Ron flipped over on his side and remarked to his pet mole rat, an altogether bizarre creature for a bizarre young man, "Well, I suppose one out of four isn't that bad, is it Rufus?"
Rufus hadn't been privy to the demented workings of Ron's inner monologue, so he didn't have much to offer on the subject other than a moments respite from eating some cheese and a quizzical look. Of course, Ron's questions tended to be more rhetorical in nature anyway; this time being no exception.
"Augh! Who am I kidding Rufus! Even I know that one out of four is an E! Heck, it's practically an E minus." Ron wailed at his diminutive pet.
Rufus waited for a moment, checking to see if Ron was actually paying attention to him, and then once he had determined that his owner was indeed wrapped up in another hormonally fueled bought of self depression, went back to peacefully eating his cheese.
Now, before you judge Rufus as a cold-hearted pet that didn't love his caring owner, you really needed to understand both the severity of Ron's emotional upheaval, as well as the duration of said teenage angst.
The pity hung so thick in the air you could cut it with a knife – a dull knife even. In fact, if you had attempted to cut Ron with a knife, it was most likely he would have bled tears. The depth of the young mans sorrow and the breadth of his accusations against the seemingly unfair universe were both creative as well as a little appalling and frankly it was starting to get to Rufus. Mole rats unfortunately weren't blessed with exceptionally long life spans, so they tended to not sweat the small stuff (and it was all small stuff), but Ron on the other hand… Well, his moaning and tormented agony had been going on for nearly three weeks and although Rufus did hold some compassion for his tow-headed master, he was getting pretty sick of it.
Hell, Rufus was a mole-rat; try competing with an entire colony for the affections of a single queen and then get back to him. Mole-rat society could be pretty devastating to your psyche if you happened to be young and romantically inclined – Rufus had learned this first hand before he had ended up behind the pet counter at Smarty Mart. It was probably one of the reasons why he ate so much cheese – substitution of affections, if you will.
Still, despite all this, something needed to be done. It didn't look as if Ron was capable of coming up with some sort of plan on his own – indeed it seemed that he had actually preemptively abandoned planning in favor of reacting to an imminent rejection that hadn't already happened. It hurt Rufus's brain to think about it, but it was Ron-logic, so that was to be expected. In any case, Rufus gently tried to push and prod his master towards, at the very least, considering some sort of action over the entire matter that didn't consist of just wallowing in his room all day. So far his guidance had met with little success.
"Ron!" came a voice from downstairs. It was his mother.
"Ron!" she repeated, "I need you to do something for me! Come down here!"
Ron wearily arose from his bed and crept across his room like a marionette that had lost it strings. He opened the door, not bothering to call back to his mother and made his way to the living room.
"What is it Mom?" he asked, making sure that his voice sounded sufficiently pained. He wasn't above attempting to elicit emotional sympathy when chores were on the line.
Meryl Stoppable just looked at her son with a disapproving eye. She wasn't sure what had gotten into him recently, but his constant moping around the house seriously bothered her. She had decided that his complexion recently was starting to mimic that of Bueno Nacho's trademarked "cheese food substitute" and being rather old fashioned she knew instinctively what the cure for that was – Going outside. Meryl Stoppable was an odd woman for the 21st century, the kind of woman that still believed that there was very little you couldn't fix by just pushing your kid out the door and telling him to "go play".
"Here Ron," she said as she shoved a large brown paper sack into his hands.
"Take these to the Possibles. They left those dishes over here last week."
Ron looked at the contents of the bag he was holding. He remembered those dishes. Those traitorous dishes and the way they had practically leapt from his hands, dumping their contents all over the assembled diners at the Stoppable family table. Oh he remembered it well…
"Ron", James Possible had said, "Could you pass the mashed potatoes?"
"Sure", he replied as he reached his arm across the table for the steaming hot bowl of starchy goodness.
"And then…" Kim continued her story from earlier, "Eric asked me to go steady with him! Isn't that great?"
Ron wasn't sure what exactly had happened next, but he was dimly aware that Dr. James Possible didn't appreciate wearing mashed and steamed tubers as a chapeau.
"You made me look like a fool," Ron Stoppable lamented into the paper bag.
To their credit, the dishes remained silent.
Meryl Stoppable stared at her son for a moment and then gently pushed him towards the door. Ron, even at his best, was an odd child and she had long ago learned to overlook some of his more… startling eccentricities.
"Now go Ronald, and take your time… or hurry back if you want to clean the garage."
Ron may have been a melodramatic fool at heart, but when it came to choosing in between spending time with his best friend and hitherto object of undying affection, or doing manual labor, the decision was easy.
Oh the crosses us sensitive types bear.
Kim Possible sat on her porch enjoying the soft summer breeze as it caressed it's way across her skin. She had both of her arms behind her, leaning backwards – it was comfortable and she could feel the warm sun heating up her exposed face.
"Where's Ron? His Mom called and said he'd be right over."
Kim glanced at her watch and then back and forth down the street. A look of impatience spread across her face and she leaned forward to cup her head in her hands.
"If Ron doesn't show up soon, I'm going to have to leave. I'll have Mom tell him he's welcome to join Eric and I at the mall…"
Somewhere, deep down inside, Kim knew that despite her straight-A scholastic record, she had just thought something very, very dumb.
Which was unusual because Kim Possible was actually a really bright girl. Not just intellectually, but emotionally as well. She had a deep-seated empathy for people that allowed her to bring out the best in not only herself, but also everyone around her. It showed through the most when she was on one her many missions, but also it had worked it's way into other aspects of her life, like her friendships and of course her work on the cheer squad. Although it would probably make Bonnie Rockwaller bite off her tongue and die, Kim had often been referred to as the "natural leader" type and part of this was due to this amazing ability she had to read people.
With all this being true, it should be no surprise then that it was only by a supreme act of willful ignorance that she was able to maintain her "relationship" with her best friend, Ronald Stoppable, in the face of his complete and utter apathy for her newest (and in her opinion greatest) boyfriend Eric. Oh, it wasn't that Kim didn't know that Ron didn't like Eric; that was something she was able to pick up on right away. It was just that she seemed to gloss over the finer points of their interactions recently – the skull boring daggers Ron stared into the back of Eric's head, the overly dramatic and soul rending sighs, the wistfully mopey, "Whatever Kim's" that Ron seemed so readily armed with in retaliation to her insistence that they "talk".
Yep. Kim for the most part just ignored as much as she could and whatever she couldn't ignore she was determined to forget. It wasn't that Kim hated Ron, quite the contrary actually, it was just that if she was eventually forced into a confrontation where she had to choose between her best friend and her boy friend she knew somewhat instinctively that everyone would be walking away a loser.
"I just wish Ron would grow up a bit. We're not little kids any more and we can't spend every day just playing together. I have a boy friend now and he needs to understand that."
It was, simply put, the cold, brutal, and frank truth – at least the way Kim saw it. She was convinced (or at least, had convinced her self) that the reason for Ron's overly emotional behavior recently was because of some sort of "best friend" crisis. He probably felt as if he was competing with Eric for a place in Kim's life. And while this was technically true on one level (Kim did, only have so much time in the day to give), there were parts of Kim's life that belonged only to Ron – so he shouldn't get jealous.
"If I could just get him a girlfriend…"
Kim stopped cold on that line of thinking. Something about it bothered her.
"Ok, how about this – a friend that is a girl who likes him…"
She wrinkled her nose and pouted slightly. That didn't sound much better.
"Hmm… I got it! A friend, that happens to be a girl that will spend time with him when I want to go out with Eric!"
For some reason that she couldn't put her finger on this sounded a lot better to Kim than her first two attempts. After a little bit of contemplation she eventually decided to attribute it to the fact that it was by far the most plausible situation she could imagine. After all, getting Ron a real, bona fide girlfriend was something she wasn't sure she could do.
At least before she died of old age.
"Or is it…"
Suddenly a devious thought sprung up in Kim's mind and she reached into her pocket for her cell phone to place a call.
"Hello, Tara? It's me Kim."
Ron Stoppable stood in front of the wide doors of a non descript house in a tidy little subdivision of Middleton Colorado. He could hear the music and the talking coming from inside – they were the sounds of merriment, the hallmark of people having a good time.
He was absolutely positive that he didn't belong here.
"Why did I even accept this invitation? This is just going to suck on so many levels…"
Ron didn't like to admit it, but the main lure had been that this was the first party, first birthday party even, that he had been invited to as anything other than "Kim Possible and Guest" - He had the invitation in his back pocket to prove it.
Ron also had another reason for showing up tonight. He had found out that the birthday girl had wanted to keep the celebration somewhat small – no one was invited except a few close personal friends and her fellow members of the cheer squad. This meant, that for once, Ron ought to be able to enjoy a few hours of Kim's company without either having to dodge giant mutated badgers, or having to deal with that smarmy creep Eric.
"I can't go on living like this – I have to put my foot down and let Kim know the score. It's either her best friend or her…"
Ron couldn't even think the word, so he just let it drop.
He carefully peeked into one of the front windows, trying to see if anyone was around and then resigned himself to knocking on the door. A few moments later it opened and the birthday girl and good-natured blonde cheerleader, Tara Strong, greeted him with a smile.
"Hi there Ron!" she chirped at him full of cheer.
Ron looked nervous. He got along well, at least as well as he could, with his fellow cheer-squad members, but he never did quite feel completely comfortable around them without Kim present.
"Hey there Tara… happy birthday!"
Ron had brought a gift for Tara (from Smarty Mart of course) and awkwardly thrusted it through the doorway at her like he was trying to ward off a stampeding bull.
"Um… thanks Ron!" Tara replied, looking bemusedly at the oddly wrapped package.
"Garfield" said Ron.
"Huh?" replied Tara.
"That ones Garfield," Ron stated pointing to the wrapping on the present.
"And that's Hagar the Horrible – more like terrible if you ask me, and over here is Family Circus, but I don't really get that one. Oh over here…" Ron took the box from Tara's hand and flipped it over, "Ah yeah! That's Boondocks. It's hysterical. In an angry black man kind of way."
Tara let out a giggle and took the package back from Ron. Most people stopped wrapping presents in the comic pages when you were five and coming from nearly anyone else Tara would have thought it kind of bizarre, but with Ron… well it was still kind of bizarre, but sweet also.
"Well, come on inside Ron," Tara offered, "My Mom didn't cook any food, but she went out and bought a couple of party platters from Bueno Nacho. Just let me put this over on the ta-"
Tara turned around, but didn't see Ron anywhere. Then another voice from her left, a person who had been hiding behind the door just incase she had been needed, spoke up.
"He went right for the low class Mexican food. What did I tell you? That boy's predictable."
Tara giggled and set her gift down.
"Are you sure about this Kim? I mean… Yeah I kind of like Ron, but I'm sort of dating Josh right now and… well… not really, but maybe soon…" Tara's voice trailed off.
Kim could tell that Tara was wavering in her commitment to her diabolical plan. It had taken Kim no small amount of effort to convince Tara that not only did Ron secretly like her – but that he was just too shy to come out and admit it on his own. She felt somewhat bad lying to the girl like that, but she thought it was for the best. After all, Tara (for some God unknown reason) did have a bit of a romantic crush on Ron and Ron… well dating a cheerleader could only improve his standing amongst his peers.
"I'm totally sure Tara. Ron really likes you, he's just shy…" Kim felt a twinge of regret as she continued, "All we have to do is put him into a situation where he can overcome that shyness and the rest will come naturally!"
Tara looked up at Kim with her big blue eyes full of doubt and even a little expectation.
"Are you sure Kim?" she pleaded in her little girl voice.
"Um… yep! Totally! Absolutely!" Kim responded.
"Oh, I am so going to hell for this…" she thought to herself.
"Just wait here and I'll go work on setting up things like we planned…" Kim stated.
"Hey KP!" Ron said in a cheery voice that actually made Kim take a step back.
"Hey Ron!" she replied, "You sound like you're in a good mood, what's up?"
Ron shrugged and then took another bite from the Naco he had been munching on.
"Oh you know… good tunes, good food, good company. The Ron-man is all about a good party."
"And Eric isn't here so I might actually get to spend some time with you!"
"Awesome Ron. Hey can I talk to you for a minute?" Kim asked, putting her arm on Ron's shoulder and leading him away from the rest of the partygoers.
"Hmm. What's going on with Kim? My bad news detectors are going all haywire!"
"Uh…" Ron began nervously, "What's going on Kim?"
Kim sat down next to Ron and leaned closer to him so that they could talk semi-privately.
"Ron… what would you say if I said there was a girl here tonight that liked you?" she asked tentatively.
Ron's mind reeled. He wondered what Kim was getting at.
"Uh… Cool? Wait – Who?"
"Well, let's just say… She's a cheerleader."
Ron started to formulate a mental list.
"A cheerleader – like Kim."
"And she's actually liked you for a long time."
"Do you mean like best friends since pre-K?"
"And she's even kind of dating someone right now, but might be willing to break it off with him for a little bit of Ron-shine."
Alarms and buzzers were flashing inside Ron's head.
"Wait… Kim is dating Eric! Oh my God, Kim wants to break up with Eric and go out with me? This isn't bad news! It's BADICAL news!"
Ron's face instantly broke out into a huge grin.
"Well, I'd say to her – why doesn't she give the Ron-man a whirl and see if she likes the ride?"
Kim made a face at Ron, arching her eye in incredulity at the obvious smarminess of his statement.
"Look, it's a little bit more complicated than that Ron. You see, she's really shy and she wants to know how you feel before she says anything." Kim said.
Ron nodded with sage-like wisdom.
"So, we're going to have to play a little game. Let me explain it to you…" Kim said.
Explaining the finer details of "seven minutes in heaven" to Ron hadn't been one of the high lights of Kim Possible's young life, still she had managed to complete his education with a minimal amount of emotional and mental scarring – mostly to herself.
It was a party mixer type of game, and mostly a harmless one. Basically it involved throwing two people, generally a male and female, chosen at random into a closet together for seven minutes. What they did inside that closet was their own business, but people were generally allowed to make scandalous assumptions – so long as it didn't get out of hand.
Of course, when it came to choosing people "at random", Kim had explained to Ron that the fix was in - when he got chosen, the person to step into the closet with him was going to be his "mystery woman". She had expected Ron to show a little resistance to the idea, and on some level deep down inside she was actually slightly disappointed that he hadn't. He even looked a little eager when he had selected the short straw from Kim's hand – hell, he had practically sprinted to the closet.
"What has gotten into that boy?" Kim idly wondered to herself.
"Ok ladies!" Kim spoke up, "Time to see which one of us is going in too!"
The looks on the assembled faces of the Middleton High Cheer Squad ranged from apprehensive to down right disgust. Kim had reminded them under her breath that they had been pretty excited about the game until just a few seconds ago when they had found out which of the few male guests had been selected. Personally Kim thought they were just being babies – even if they did have a chance of being selected, and Kim had made sure that they didn't, it wasn't like Ron was going to grope them or feel them up.
It was Ron after all!
Just as Kim was about to offer the first lot, the doorbell rang.
"Oh, I better go get that…" said Tara as she took off for the door.
Kim rolled her eyes and proceeded to draw the first straw. It was, as she had known it would be, very, very long.
"Oooh! Bonnie!" squealed Tara from the foyer, "I'm so glad you could come!"
Kim looked over her shoulder and saw that her co-captain, high school arch-nemesis and queen of the food chain, Bonnie Rockwaller had just arrived at the party. She had actually been surprised when she had arrived earlier and Bonnie wasn't here – her and Tara were best friends after all. It turned out that Bonnie had some sort of family engagement that evening and was just coming a bit later – fashionably so.
Bonnie Rockwaller strode into the living room, took one look at the assembled girls and then bluntly asked, "What the heck's going on here?"
One of the other girls piped up, "Seven minutes in heaven!"
Bonnie raised her eyes a little bit and a few of the other cheerleaders giggled and a couple of them let out some low "Oooh's". All in all, it was a pretty salacious atmosphere.
"Take one Bonnie!" said one of the cheerleaders.
Bonnie just rolled her eyes and said, "Who's in the closet?"
There were no immediate answers, just a lot of giggling. Everyone knew how Bonnie Rockwaller felt about Ron Stoppable – so even entertaining the prospect that they would be locked in a closet together for seven minutes seemed down right hysterical.
"Just take it Bonnie!" one of the girls said, followed by a slew of more giggling and a chorus of "Yeah! Do it!"
Bonnie Rockwaller, while being the top of the food pyramid at school, had one major weakness – she was completely vulnerable to peer pressure. In this sort of situation, there was nothing she could do but bite the bullet and hope that she didn't get the short end of the stick.
Bonnie sauntered over to Kim and took a lot from her hand, then looked back at her assembled teammate and did a "Who care's?" shrug of her shoulders.
Kim passed out the rest of the lots and then all the girls got together in a circle and compared the relative lengths of their straws. Several of the girls were obviously out right off the bat – Kim being one of those. Eventually it became obvious who the winner was.
"Bonnie?" asked Tara as she shot an accusing glance at Kim.
Kim, for her own part, was completely baffled. She hadn't meant to give Bonnie the short lot – in fact she was down right positive that she had saved it for Tara. Did she make some sort of mistake? Did she…
"Oh crap!" Kim thought to herself as she realized her error.
When she had gone to make the lots, all she had available were those stupid bendy straws from the Bueno Nacho party platters that Tara's mother had bought. She had lined them up and then taken a sharp kitchen knife and sliced them ever so slightly in a diagonal pattern moving from right to left. The end effect should have been a slight graduation in lengths of the straws, with the smallest one safely tucked away to be presented to Tara. And it probably would have even worked out that way if she hadn't made a minor cock-up and counted out the wrong number.
When Bonnie had arrived and been given a lot, Kim only had enough straws in her immediate hand for the amount of girls that had been present when she had started to pass them out. Because of this she had reached into her pocket and simply just grabbed another straw from the original batch she had cut. The thing she hadn't realized was that instead of grabbing a straw, she had actually grabbed the fully extended bendy part of one of the straws that she had already cut. It was, unfortunately for everyone involved, a rather small scrap and even more unfortunately it was sitting in Bonnie Rockwaller's hand.
Kim barely had time to register what was going on, let alone make up an excuse, any sort of excuse, that would get Tara into the closet with Ron. She looked on helplessly as the rest of the girls (sans Tara, who was equally as shocked as Kim) grabbed Bonnie and pushed her towards the closet. Faster than anyone could blink the door was open, Bonnie was forced in, and then just as quickly closed. The members of the cheer squad, with the exception of Kim and Tara, could barely contain their giggling.
Ron had been trying to listen to what was going on outside the closet for long minutes now to no avail. He felt for sure that he had been in here already for at least an eternity, so by the time Kim joined him he'd have been waiting for… well, a very long time. It wasn't that he was complaining exactly, and really, what did he have to complain about? His beautiful and stunning best friend was practically jumping through hoops just to get him to confess his love for her.
Suddenly he perked up – he could detect movement on the other side of the door and he heard the handle starting to move. There was a bright flash of light as the door swung open, but he couldn't see anything due to the fact that his pupils were dilated – still he did feel the warmth of another body being pushed up against his. There was an uncomfortable silence as he contemplated his next move.
"This is it man! This is your chance – tell her how you feel! Oh… she smells nice. Wait! Head in the game Stoppable!"
Ron tried to calm himself by slowing his breathing and concentrating. It was damn hard for him to do both because the closet was so small and he could feel Kim's body pressing up against him. He wanted to just reach over and hug her right now, but he knew from the way that Kim had been talking before that it was going to take more than that for him to win her over. He wasn't an idiot, he knew what Kim wanted and he was going to have to dig deep within himself to find it - Sincerity.
Slowly, he cleared his throat and then began to talk.
"Look, I know things haven't been all that great between us recently…" Ron knew he had hit the mark when he felt Kim's body tense up.
"But I want you to know something – well several somethings actually."
Ron was desperately trying to get the words out and to not concentrate on Kim's hot breath on his face.
"First off – I think you're an amazing person, and I don't just think that because you're the most beautiful girl in the school. I mean that from the bottom of my heart, I think who you are as a person is just amazing."
Long weeks of anguish had given Ron plenty of time to come up with exactly how he felt about Kimberly Anne Possible, and he was going to make sure he did his damned best to let her know.
"Other people might not notice it, but I'm always looking at you, always watching you and… I know you – I know how hard you work to always do your best, even though people think that your best comes so easily – I know the truth. I know that although sometimes you might seem a little insecure, or worried about your popularity, that deep down inside you're a sweet, kind hearted girl."
Ron heard a slight gasp come from Kim as he said these words to her – he mused that he must have touched a nerve.
"I guess what I'm trying to say is… even if nothing ever comes of this, I want you to know how I feel about you from the very bottom of my heart."
Ron leaned in closer now to Kim. She seemed to be shaking slightly and he could feel the warmth of her body against him.
"I love you," Ron pronounced in a soft voice and then almost hesitantly he leaned in and kissed Kim – miraculously finding her lips in the dark. It was a sublime moment of joy for him that he thought would go on forever.
In reality, however it lasted only about 10 seconds. For some reason Kim, who had merely just stood there in shock as Ron kissed her, had decided to pull away. Ron was confused, and certainly wasn't prepared for what she said next.
"Ron… Don't kiss me!"
He would have sworn that Kim sounded a hell of a lot like Bonnie Rockwaller before he lost consciousness due to the pain emanating from where her knee had suddenly impacted with his groin.
I hope everyone enjoyed the first chapter of "Cupid Has Crappy Aim" – my little foray into the vastly under-represented RonBon pairing.
Basically how this story came about is after I finished my huge Rongo story, "Ron Stoppable, Ultimate Monkey Master" I was looking for something else to write and Bubbahotek suggested a comedy. Now, I'm not confident on my ability to write comedy as much as I am drama, but I'm hoping that I can at least do goofy and sweet.
In any case, please review – this first chapter was an excruciating 5,000 words for me to type coming right on the coat tails of my 25,000 word final chapter for my last story. So I can't promise any super speedy updates, but who knows? I do intend to finish all my stories some day!