I don't own, Disney does. I just play with 'em.
Welcome folks, to my own installment of my own contest, Something Different, Something New. The whole point is to write a story, one-shot or multi chapter, before August 31st and post it under your name. The only rule is, it has to be a pairing you have never done before. For some, that's easy, many have only ever written K/R or Kigo. For others, it gets exceptionally hard. I mean hell, I've already written stories for all 3 of the top pairings written on the net here, K/R, Kigo, and Ron/Bon, and there are some who have played even more than that. But once you have a story written, just let me know, and you'll be entered in the contest.
Once the contest is over, we will have the fans vote on the best story. The winner will get... umm... you know, I haven't thought that far ahead yet. Why don't you all tell me what the winner should get. For all the information, and list of other stories, be sure to check my FF dot net forum!
You know, I thought about doing a Ron/Shego at first, but there's been an upswing of those, and the idea I have for one would span a number of chapters, not giving me time to focus on anything else.. I also debated about doing a Ron/Tara, but that was going to be in the next chapter of my AFF dot net story Late Night Home, and I really didn't want to hold back that chapter, trying to keep to the spirit of the contest. So I decided to do something that few people were really was doing at all, and also something that would be a bit more challenging
Mistakes in Love
Here I sit, all alone, with only my thoughts to carry me. I watch them on the dance floor, laughing and carrying on, and it tears my heart out. But I can't blame them, it was all my fault to begin with.
Through our final year of high school, Ron and I were going strong. He had always been there for me, we trusted each other implicitly. I thought I was in love. That summer, before we went to college, we even gave each other our virginities. It was the happiest time of my life; missions, dates, love, all of that.
But then it came time to go to college, and all of that changed. Ron went to school in Middleton, and I went to school in Upperton, where my mom had gone to school. For a while, everything seemed fine. I'd get together with Ron on the weekends, and it was like nothing was different. We'd miss each other during the week, but we knew we'd see each other on weekends. But that was when I noticed a cooling between us. Now that I think back on it though, it was all on my part.
I had been hanging out with new friends at the college. Soon, I was starting to miss out on my Ron nights to go to parties. Then, the occasional weekend without seeing him. Oh, I'd call, and we'd talk, but I knew we were pulling apart. Ron could sense it too, and he'd want to talk about it, but I never even thought about it, not at the time. I was in college, I had great grades, and I had new friends. In my mind, nothing was wrong. I even thought Ron might have been the problem at times. But every time I needed him, he was there for me. For the first year of college, it was like this, and even during the summer, we just didn't have that same bond any more.
And then Bobby Andrews came into the picture. It was the welcome back party at the start of the new school year. Me and my friends were there, having a great time, when he walked into the room. I was stunned. Six foot six, sculptured muscles, and long, blond hair; he looked like he had stepped off the cover of a romance novel. I had looked at guys before, even during high school when Ron and I were at the peak of our relationship, but I had never even considered the possibility. But looking at him, for just a moment, thoughts of Ron disappeared.
I didn't want to talk to him at first, I thought it might be taken wrong, especially the way I was feeling about him, but my friends practically dragged me over there. My first thought was, there is no way a guy like that could have anything else going for him, he had to be a pig or something, but as I talked to him all through that party, he proved to be anything but. He was sweet and charming, and just a little bit shy. I remember he even blushed a little bit at some of the things we talked about. To me, he was perfect.
I didn't do anything inappropriate, not at all. For the next few weeks, we'd bump into each other and just talk. He had this aura about him that just drew me to him. By now, I wasn't even coming home to see Ron and my family, just staying there to go to parties and meet this wonderful guy. Even my calls to Ron were starting to taper off. Looking back now, I'm disgusted with how I was treating him, but then, nothing seemed wrong at all. That was when I made the biggest mistake of my life.
It was the end of October, and I had finally torn myself away from school to go for a visit home. For weeks I had thought and considered and pondered what I was going to do, and to me at that time, it just seemed so right. I was just drawn to Bobby, like a moth to flame. I barely even noticed how upset Ron seemed to be, though I did ask. I think he could see what was coming. It was then that I told him we were drifting apart, and I thought we needed to break up. The look of agony on his face broke my heart, and almost made me reconsider what I was doing, but the pull that Bobby had on me was too strong. I told Ron I always wanted to be friends, that I never wanted that to change. He agreed with me, and we even hugged. I didn't know just how badly I had hurt him, I was only thinking of myself, how I could now be with Bobby guilt free. We had only been talking and hanging out, but oh how I had wanted so much more. Now I could do that, and Ron was all right as well.
The next couple of months were a whirlwind. Bobby and I were dating constantly. Oh, I didn't jump right into bed with him, that's not who I am. But we did kiss a lot, cuddling all the time. But I knew it wouldn't be long before I gave myself to him, before we made love for the first time. I wanted to be sure about my feelings before I did anything like that. Missions had faded, I didn't have time for them any more, but I heard Ron was still doing them himself. That worried me a bit, but I knew he had gotten a better handle on his mystical monkey powers, and had matured quite a bit, so I knew he could handle it. And if he couldn't, I knew that he and Wade would call me in. He even started showing up on the television, the heroic hero. I couldn't be prouder of him. But my life revolved around Bobby now, and that's what mattered to me then.
I remember, it was Christmas time before I came home again, and I was floating on a cloud. Things with Bobby were going so great, and I was looking forward to seeing Ron and my family again. I was barely calling anyone by that point, so I wasn't sure what the situation was like. But when I saw my mother's frowning face, I knew there was a problem. For two hours, she talked to me about my behaviour, about how I had treated Ron. I tried to argue with her, tell her he was fine, that he was handling the missions, and how we were still friends, and I don't think it ever penetrated in my mind that what I had done was wrong. I know she finally gave up, and was almost cool to me through the rest of the break.
That was when I saw Ron. When I saw him on the television, he always looked so happy and composed, like he was having the time of his life. But when I saw him coming up the street that Christmas morning, I could see how tired and drawn he looked, his shoulders slumped in an almost defeated expression. I think that was the first time I truly worried about him. When he came through the door though, that defeated air about him was gone, replaced with the goofy, lovable guy I had always known. He acted like nothing was wrong whatsoever, even giving me a hug like nothing had happened. I could feel my mother's eyes on me the whole time though, as if trying to determine if any of our talk had gotten through. I think it did, because I started setting a plan in motion, one that would be anouther mistake on my part.
I stopped in at the mall after Christmas, looking for the person who could help me. Club Banana was open, and quiet, as I knew it would be a few days after Christmas, and quickly found who I was looking for. I knew Monique would help me, she was always good in a pinch. Of course, the coolness when she saw me surprised me a great deal, but we hadn't been talking much since the new school year, so I figured it was that. At the time, I didn't even think that Ron might have been talking to her about what was going on.
The conversation started was stilted and tough, she didn't seem to want to give me any slack at all. It was only when I mentioned Ron that she was willing to listen. I told her what I was worried about, and she agreed with me, which was my first confirmation of how things were besides my mom. Then I told her what I wanted her to do. At first, she was indignant, telling me I was trying to palm off my problems on her. I just told her I wanted Ron to be happy. Finally she agreed, but she stated categorically that she wasn't doing it for me, but for him. I don't think I realized then just how close I came to losing my best girlfriend that day.
So she did as I suggested, she and Ron went out on a date. I felt weird about that when I knew a date was set before I was to go back to school, but I just put it off to lingering jealousy on my part. For so long, when some other woman would look at Ron, I felt the urge to defend what was mine. I still felt that then. But I figured Monique was safe. She was my best girlfriend, Ron was my best friend who was a guy, I figured this would be a way to make Ron happy, help him get over his problems. They even went to the same college, so I knew he had someone close to help him. That was the thought I carried with me as I went back to school.
Back at school, I felt completely guilt free again. Monique would keep Ron happy, and I had this gorgeous guy with me constantly. I felt like I was in a dream. Little did I know that dream was crashing down around me without my knowledge.
In January, Bobby and I made love. It was beautiful, it was wonderful, but it wasn't the same as with Ron. I just figured it was different, having no point of reference, and didn't think anything of it. From then on, the rest of the semester became a blur, revolving around Bobby and parties and having fun. I never noticed my grades slipping from the standard As to barely respectable Cs. I didn't notice my friends pulling away from me. I had Bobby, that's all that mattered.
That was when things started going downhill. It was the beginning of April, and the crisp mountain air heralded the beginning of spring. I had noticed Bobby becoming a little distant, and tried hard to get back to that glorious peak we had been at at the start of the semester. I was even doing things for him that I had never done with Ron, and never dreamed of ever doing, just to make him happy. I was also starting to notice the way I felt after a party. I would remember going to the parties, making love to Bobby, and then blanking out before the end. When I'd wake up, I was groggy with a headache, but put it off to drinking too much, something I was sure my parents wouldn't approve of, but it was Bobby who insisted.
I was walking to my class that afternoon when I saw Becky Dumont walking towards me. We weren't friends, but we had talked a bit, usually at parties. I started to say hello when she drew back and slapped me. It caught me off guard completely, and I fell to the ground. I remember looking up at her, shocked and a little angry, and I asked her what her problem was.
That was when I got the shock of my life. She called me a slut, and accused me of sleeping with her boyfriend. That made me even angrier, and I got right into her face, denying it vehemently. I told her I had only been with two guys in my life, and unless she was moving in on my boyfriend Bobby, there was no way I had done what she accused me of. That was when she showed me the pictures.
To say I was stunned was an understatement. There I was, in all the graphic detail. I felt like I was going to be sick. I had no memory of it, but I knew that had to be me in the picture. I couldn't say anything, just staring at the pictures. I could feel tears in my eyes, but all I could do was stare at those pictures in my hands, wondering what was going on. I think Becky understood though, cause after five minutes of yelling and screaming at me with no reaction, she settled down, taking a look at me. I told her I had no idea how the picture had been taken, or how I had gotten into that situation, and I think she believed me. When she showed me pictures with other guys, all in the same room, getting worse and worse, I just threw up.
For the first time in months, I called Wade. I didn't want him to see the pictures, I didn't want anyone to see the pictures, but I had to be sure. When he told me they were real, my world just collapsed. I think I remember falling to my knees, and I do remember Becky holding me, telling me it would be all right. I didn't make it to my afternoon classes that day.
It was that night, the pictures in hand, that I confronted Bobby with them. I can never forget the look on his face that day. At first, he tried to deny it, but that didn't last long. I remember the smile on his face quite clearly though when he had given up denying it. Once the jig was up, he was more than happy to tell me all about the drugs in the alcohol he kept getting me to drink, the wild parties he set up with me as the star for all the frat houses we had visited in the last couple of months, even how much he was charging the frats for this huge honour. He even told me about some of the other women he had been with while he was with me, laughing at me for not catching on. I tried at first to deny what he was saying, this was the guy I loved, the guy I had given everything up for to be with, but his mocking laugh as he told me about the first time, and all the other times, calling me the gangbang queen of Upperton University, how almost every guy on campus had to have had a piece of me by now, it tore my heart out. I know I should have been angry at that point, but all I could feel was hurt and betrayed and disgusted, mostly with myself. He just walked off, as if nothing was wrong.
I missed all my classes that week, holed up in my dorm room. It didn't do my grades any good, but I didn't care at that point. That was when the calls started coming in. Guys from all over campus were calling. The most obscene and disgusting people were calling now, telling me what they wanted to do with me. After the fifth one that first day, I unplugged the phone. I thought a walk might help, but that was just worse. That was when I saw the posters, all with my phone number, and the title in big, bold print, 'Kim Possible, she can do anyone!'. I thought I was cried out at that point, but I wasn't. Bobby was apparently intent on humiliating me as much as he could.
I changed my number, tore down as many posters as I could find, but it didn't help. Wade called me, told me about the pictures on the websites. They were popping up so fast on so many different sites, that he was having problems eliminating them all. He finally had to devise a virus to erase my image completely from the net, no matter the content, just to stay ahead of it all. Now, even my good works had disappeared, along with my good name. I thanked him, but even I could see the little bit of disgust he was trying to hide. I didn't blame him, I felt only disgust for myself as well.
The press had gotten a hold of the story, and were running with it non-stop. I was the new Camille, my name drudged up in conversation only as a joke, and usually only a dirty one at that. My parents were calling, but I knew I couldn't face them, not yet anyways. I focused on school, noticing for the first time just how far I had fallen, while trying desperately to avoid the looks and jeers and comments sent my way. The press continued to hound me, but Wade was willing to help me there, getting them at least off the school grounds, though those determined enough were still getting pictures of me from a distance.
I felt so alone. Becky would come by and hang out, now that she knew the truth. She had broken up with her boyfriend, and she was one of the few I could turn to. For the rest of the school year, I was either in class or at my dorm, with only Becky to talk to. A few other girls felt sympathy for me, but they wouldn't hang out with me at all. The guys, they just wanted to get into my pants, and there was no way I was going to allow that. I even considered dropping out, but I knew that would only make things worse. The complaints I filed against Bobby never went anywhere, it was my word against his as to whether or not I was participating voluntarily or not, and there was no way any of the other guys were going to step forward. I felt worse than I ever had before.
But just as it was coming up on exam time, something happened that gave me hope. Bobby went to the police, and he confessed everything. He even named names as to who had paid him or been there. When I confronted him at the police station, he balled like a baby, asking my forgiveness. The police, knowing what I could do, thought I had threatened him, but he denied it, claiming it was some dark ghost that haunted him, definitely a guy, threatening him with unspeakable pain and suffering if he didn't confess, lifting his shirt to show some of this ghost's handiwork. It was a criss cross of cuts and bruises, and I think the police believed me when I went pale at the sight of them.
They booked him right away, and began the long process of charging those involved. It caused quite a scandal at the school and in the media, who had been vilifying me constantly since all this broke. Of course, it didn't help me, just changed the by-line from school slut to victim. And it didn't help my self esteem at all either. But knowing who had gotten to Bobby did. Though I never asked him, even now, if he was the one behind it, I knew it could only have been Ron. Even after everything I had done to him, he still had my back, just as he always had. That knowledge, more than anything, helped me.
After exams, I headed home, for the first time since Christmas. I wasn't looking forward to it, not at all. I could just picture how disappointed my mother would be in me. I could imagine how my father would refuse to let me go back to school, though at that point, I probably wouldn't have minded at all. But when I hesitantly got up to the door, my mother was there, waiting for me. I didn't even get a word in before she wrapped her arms around me and hugged me tight. I don't think we said a word to each other for over an hour, she just held me and let me cry and cry and cry. When I finally pulled away from her, my dad was there and we repeated the process. Nothing had to be said, they were there for me, and that was all that mattered. I think I fell asleep in my dad's arms, cause when I woke up, I was in my own bed, and it was well into the afternoon of the next day. I still can't believe I didn't trust my parents enough to help me, but I had just felt so alone after everything that happened.
The next few days were pretty quiet, I just holed up in my room the whole time. Even the Tweebs were being extra nice to me, which I appreciated, even if it was weird. But after a few days, I knew I had to get out again. There was one person I just had to see and talk to, and probably apologize and grovel too as well. He deserved nothing less, especially now that I was realizing what I had thrown away.
Mrs. Stoppable, when she opened the door, looked prepared to slam it back in my face, most likely with a few choice words to go along with them. I was actually expecting them. But she looked me over, probably noticed the fact that I looked like I hadn't showered in days, which was the truth, and the dark, red circles under my eyes, and bit her tongue, telling me only that Ron was on a mission and that he would be back later. I think it was against her better judgment, but she actually let me in to wait for him, though she wouldn't talk to me after that. Mr. Stoppable just gave me a sad look when he saw me and left the room. It hurt, these people that I considered almost a second set of parents acting like this, but as I said, I couldn't very well blame them after the way I treated their son.
I could hear Ron's laugh before I actually saw him, as he pulled into the driveway. When he opened the door, I was standing just inside the living room, just waiting for him. When he saw me, he froze for a moment, then glanced over at Monique, who I saw was dressed in something like my old mission outfit. But after that moment, he came to me, and he hugged me as well. I had never been much for crying before this all happened, but now it seems like I couldn't stop. I could feel Monique hugging me as well, and it was then that I really felt like I wasn't alone anymore.
They pulled me to the couch, and I spent the next couple of hours telling them everything, leaving nothing out. I knew some of it had to hurt Ron a bit, but he didn't say anything, he just listened and asked questions every now and then. He kept his arm around me, holding me close, just letting me get it all off my chest, things I'd never told my parents or even Becky. It felt so good to be talking with Ron, even if it was about things I never wanted to say ever again. After, they took me to Bueno Nacho. I could still feel the eyes on me, but it wasn't as bad with Ron and Monique there.
With it being the summer break, I started looking at what I could do. Going back to Upperton in the fall was out of the question, I knew I couldn't go back there, so I started preparations to attend Middleton. They didn't have everything I was looking for, but after what I had been through, I just wanted to be near home with my parents, and Ron as well.
I was watching him, all through that summer, for the first few weeks. Gone was the defeated attitude I had seen only a few months ago. Now, he seemed to be standing tall, and he looked good. I don't just mean good, I mean he looked strong and confident, far more than I had ever seen before. He also looked like he had been working out, his muscles had much more tone to them then the last time I had seen him. Seeing him made me wish I had never laid eyes on Bobby Andrews, but I didn't have the confidence in myself to try and patch things up with him like that just yet. I knew I had to stop feeling dirty about myself before I could ever do that. I also wasn't sure how Ron would react to my renewed interest either, especially if he saw any of those pictures, as I was sure he had.
I did see Ron quite often though, he always made sure to make time to spend with me, even with the missions and such. Sometimes we would hang out like we always did, just sitting around, watching TV, or snacking at Bueno Nacho. And while I could feel a distance between us, I could feel him opening up a bit more to me.
It was the middle of August when I felt ready to make my move with Ron, to try and rebuild us as a couple. But I still couldn't be sure of how Ron felt though, so I went to the one person who I knew would have that answer. I had watched Monique hanging out with Ron, could see the closeness between them. She had also jumped into the role of sidekick for Ron as he went on missions, something I hadn't noticed before everything that happened, but for which I was glad. Granted, she mostly worked as a distraction, much like Ron had done for me when we had started out, but it made me feel better that he wasn't out there alone, especially since I hadn't wanted to just put myself back onto the team without asking him. Plus, I really didn't feel ready to get back into that world just yet.
I had asked her to go shopping with me, maybe grab some lunch, a sure way to ensure that Ron wouldn't be around when we had our little talk. For the first part of the day, it was like back in high school, just talking and shopping and gossiping about Bonnie's second marriage already on the rocks. I never suspected what was going to happen later that day.
We sat down for lunch in the mall food court, still just talking and laughing. I was even able to completely put the offhanded comments I heard out of my mind. That was when I changed the subject, and I asked her how Ron was. She paused for a moment, and told me he was doing much better, especially in the last few months. We spent a while just talking about Ron, trading stories that I had missed and that she didn't know about yet, and then I asked her the question. I asked her if she thought that Ron might be interested in getting back together with me.
I knew as soon as I said it that there was something wrong. She looked away, like I had slapped her, and refused to look me in the eye. I still remember that conversation as if it were yesterday.
"Kim... I don't think... you hurt him pretty bad you know."
"I know that Mon. But I want to make it up to him, I really do. I love him."
"Kim... me and Ron... we've gotten pretty close..."
"I know that, and I'm glad. Ron needed you when I left him."
"No Kim, I don't think you understand. Ron and me... we're in love. We've been seeing each other seriously since January now."
I didn't know what to think after that statement. At first, I thought I was hearing things. How could Ron have fallen in love with someone else so quickly? How could Monique have betrayed me like this? I just sat there stunned, no words exchanged between us for the longest time. As it finally clicked in my mind what she was saying, I was pissed. More pissed than I had ever been, even after everything Bobby had done to me. I screamed at Monique that Ron was mine. I told her that Ron didn't love her, that he loved me. I created such a scene in the mall that I was sure security would have been there at any moment. But through it all, Monique just sat there and took it, just looking up at me with a sad look on her face, and maybe a touch of pity. I think there was pity there, but I can't be sure, but I think there was. I probably deserved it too, but then it just made me angrier. I thought I might even beat her up, but I controlled myself, at least enough to just storm away. I didn't even remember the bags I had, or even my purse, I just stormed right out of there.
I drove straight to Ron's house. I'm not even sure how I got there, I was yelling and crying so much. I still can't believe how much I was crying back then. When I got there, I just started pounding on the door until Ron showed up, and I barreled right past him. I told him how much I loved him, I told him how much I needed him. I begged him to give me anouther chance, to not keep seeing Monique. I think I even threatened him if he didn't dump her and come back to me. I did everything I could to get him to come back to me.
By the end, I think his parents were ready to call the police on me to have me dragged away. Ron told them not to though. Instead, he took me in his arms and he held me. I thought at first that he was coming back to me, and I held him gratefully. I think I got in a couple kisses on his cheek before he pulled away from me. That was when I saw the same look in his eyes that Monique had had at the mall, and my heart broke all over again. If it didn't at that moment, then it surely did when he told me he was with Monique now, and that they were in love.
Ron I didn't hold back with. I slugged him good, right in the face. I'm thankful now I had gotten out of shape, I think I would have done some serious damage otherwise. He dropped like a stone when I hit him, and I stormed out of the house before his parents could stop me.
Thinking back now, I can't believe how badly I acted, like a spoiled child not getting what she wanted, but I didn't realize that then. I just wanted Ron back, and everything to be like it was before everything went to hell on me. He was the one I loved. I may have lost sight of that for a while, but I knew he could make everything right again, if he just gave me a chance.
I rushed home and went straight to my room, slamming doors and stomping my way up. I just threw myself onto my bed, wondering why no one loved me any more. I know my mom tried to get me to talk, but I wasn't even listening to her. I think that was the first time I ever locked my bedroom door. I didn't want to say anything. My phone rang a few times, and I knew it had to be Ron or Monique, but I refused to answer. After all, they had betrayed me. My two best friends had got together and betrayed me. That was all I saw.
It wasn't until the next day that I came out of my room for breakfast. My mom cast a look at my dad and my brothers, and they all left the room. I was getting ready to leave as well, knowing that she wanted to talk, but she stopped me. For a few minutes, we just sat like that, not saying anything. When she broke the silence, she told me she knew all about Ron and Monique. I know I must have looked betrayed when I looked up at her, and I felt it too, but she didn't let me cut in. She told me some of what had happened, though obviously not a lot of details, she didn't know them all. But she told me how much Monique helped Ron get through his hurt, hurt that I had caused. She told me how happy they made each other, once he got past that hurt. And she also told me how much Ron still cared about me, and how if I cared about him, I would try to find some way to accept what the two of them felt for each other, like Ron accepted how I felt about Bobby. That in particular hurt, like a low blow to the gut, but I could see what she was getting at. It didn't make it hurt less, but I did understand what she was trying to say.
Ron came by later that day. He looked almost worried, and when he saw me, he started apologizing. He didn't mention the punch at all, even though his eye was purple and had to hurt like hell. No, he apologized for hurting me, and I knew then I couldn't stay mad at him for not coming back to me. I had left him, he had his own life to live. I broke down, asking him to accept my apology for how I had acted. When he gave me that goofy grin and told me I had nothing to apologize for, I couldn't help smiling. That was Ron, always trying to help me.
I sat down with both Ron and Monique a few days later, when I had calmed down some more, and after apologizing to Monique as well, and they told me the whole story. They told me about the talks they had, how Ron was worried about the way I was becoming distant and pulling away. They told me about those two months from when I had broken up with Ron to when I asked Monique to take him on a date, all the pain he felt, and how the two of them drew closer in that time. That was the hardest part to hear, because I knew that was all my fault. They talked about Ron picking up the slack on missions, and how after the first few dates, Monique would go with Ron to back him up, as he had a lot of trouble on the previous mission.
And they talked about how they grew as a couple, no longer bemoaning the fact that I had left, and working on what was bringing them together. They tried to skirt around a few things, like if they were intimate or not, but I insisted, wanting to know everything, no matter how painful. They talked briefly of their first time, only a few months back in April, just a few days before everything blew up for me, and how they continued to become closer as a result. They also told me they didn't want to hurt me, and that's why they kept it hidden from me for so long. As they talked, I could see them holding hands as they sat beside each other, a casual gesture, but one that held such meaning, as they probably didn't even notice they were doing it, drawing strength from the other when a particularly difficult topic came up. It was something that me and Ron had had at one time.
I so wanted to hate them. She was taking my Ron away from me. He was leaving me for someone else. But I also knew that I was the reason for it in the first place. I was the one that gave Ron up, he wasn't leaving me. He had been here for me when I needed it, even after what I did to him. And she wasn't stealing him from me, I had asked her to date him. I practically gave him to her. I had nothing to be angry with them for, it was all my fault.
Ron must have sensed all this in me, cause he got up from the couch and wrapped his arms around me, holding me close, and he told me that, even though we couldn't be together, he would always be there for me. He was still my best friend, no matter what happened. After everything I did to him, he could still say that and mean it. I really didn't deserve him, I still don't think I do, even now.
Things settled down again after that. While they didn't flaunt their relationship, they also didn't hide it either. I still hung out with them whenever I could, which was fairly often. Though they were dating, they still made sure that I was a part of their lives. I appreciated that so much.
When the new school year started, we all rode together. I had little trouble adjusting to the new school, and the change of environment was good for me. While everyone still knew what had happened to me, there was also no one there who had been a part of it, though I had no idea if there was anyone left at Upperton who had after the scandal and charges. It was like a fresh start for me. I found that Ron and Monique shared many of the same classes, all on the business aspects of what they were looking at, and though I didn't share any classes with them, we still made sure to get lunch together and just talk about our days.
But while I adjusted to the new school, I still had trouble adjusting to their new relationship. Oh, I put on a brave face, but inside, it was tearing me apart. I loved Ron, and he had been mine for so long, right up until I threw him away. Sometimes, I would just watch them as they shared a casual kiss, trying to be polite in front of me, and I'd wish it was me there with him, his lips pressed against mine. They never pushed things in front of me, they knew how I was feeling, but it still hurt just the same.
They tried to set me up on dates, guys they knew and trusted, but I just couldn't. I still had too many bad memories of Bobby, who seemed like such a great guy. I also couldn't for the simple fact I was still in love with Ron. It was silly, but I had this stupid notion that if I showed I was good, didn't get involved with someone else, Ron would realize just how much he meant to me and come back to me. But I did go on a few dates, so long as they were willing to double with me. I think they were worried about me, and I didn't want them to worry.
It was October before I finally got back on the horse and started going on missions again. I didn't want to insinuate myself on the two of them, they were doing great, and I thought it might be uncomfortable. It was Ron and Monique who asked me to go. I tried to decline at first, but they insisted, said they needed some help, some sort of super villain team-up or something. And it was. By the end, I was glad I came, even with Shego's barbs that cut really deep. I don't think Ron heard them, or he would have gone right for her, even if it left Monkey Fist all alone to accomplish their mission, but I dealt with it. The pain of what Bobby did was starting to fade a bit thanks to Ron and Monique and my family by then, but it still hurt.
After that, I was going on missions again full time. When watching on the news, you can't really see what's going on. But going along, I could see the bond that Ron and Monique have, that silent communication that Ron and I used to share. It made me long all over again for what I once had. But again, I put on a brave face, just smiled, and tried my hardest to get back to that level with him.
I think it was Christmas when I finally realized that I wasn't going to win Ron back, no matter what I did or how hard I tried. We were all together with my family, even Mon, who my parents made sure to invite. Even though we weren't dating anymore, Ron was still a member of the family. We were all exchanging gifts, and Mon opened hers from Ron and she just squealed, pulling out this beautiful necklace and earrings. I think that was the first time they really kissed passionately in front of me, they had always made sure not to do anything that would be too much in front of me, but they lost themselves in the moment, until my dad coughed and they broke apart sheepishly. I kept a brave face on that day, even when I opened my gift from Ron and saw the sweater I had been eying at the mall, a gift a friend would give a friend. Mom though saw through that, and when Ron and Mon left, she came to me. I think that was the first time I had cried since they told me about they're relationship. She just held me and told me it would be all right.
And that brings me to the here and now, as I watch them on the dance floor. Mon just looks so happy, holding him in her arms. Even in the dim light, I can see the engagement ring sparkling as they twirl around. Ron proposed to her on Valentine's Day, and I don't think I've ever seen her so happy. I remember the reluctance when they told me the next day, but I had already realized by that point that I was out of the picture in that way. They even asked if I would be Mon's maid of honour. Two weeks later, her parents threw her an engagement party, and here I am now, just sitting and watching.
I glance up, and notice I had failed to see them leave the dance floor. Ron is standing there with his hand out, held out for me.
"Can I have this dance?"
I take his hand cautiously, glancing at Monique, but she just smiles and nods. Getting up from my seat, he leads me out on the dance floor. He wraps his arms around me, and for the first time in a long while, I just lose myself in the sensation of dancing in his arms again.
When the song comes to a close, I pull away slightly, and look up into his eyes. "Ron... I'm happy for you."
He meets my gaze for a moment, looking a little sad and wistful. "No, you're not... but thank you for trying." He kisses me softly on the cheek, then smiles. "Just remember KP, if you ever need me, I'm there for you."
He leads me back to my seat, and then takes Monique in hand again, and I watch them move back out onto the dance floor. I can see how happy they are, how very much in love they are. I know Monique won't ever let him go, not like I had done. I know Ron will always be there for her, just like he's always done for me.
I made a lot of mistakes in my life, and their love is the result of those. But I don't think I can ever think of their love as a mistake. It may hurt, seeing the one I love in the arms of anouther, but I will be happy for them. They deserve the chance to be happy. I just hope that I can find someone to love me. I know I won't make the mistake of giving up on that love again.
Author's Notes – You know, I didn't plan on this being so long, but it just kept writing itself, and I went with the flow. It's also a completely different style then I normally use, a first person narrative, but it seemed the only way this thing would write, I couldn't do anything about that. I hope you enjoyed!