The characters in this story are the property of Disney. I make no monetary gain from their use (so don't sue me).
(a Kim Possible fanfiction)
"Okay, buddy," Ron said, laying the fast food bags down on the desk in his room. "Dinner is served!" The response was immediate and enthusiastic. A small hairless rodent popped seemingly out of nowhere, making a beeline for the steaming bags of quasi-Mexican food.
"Oh boy!" squeaked Rufus, rubbing his forepaws together in anticipation.
Ron opened the Bueno Nacho bags – he only did takeout now – and set out a beef and bean burrito for Rufus. The burrito was almost as big as he was.
Undaunted, the little pink rodent merely smiled. "Mmmm… Buh-rito!"
"Yeah, buddy. Burrito," Ron said, petting Rufus absently.
"Aww," Rufus said softly, seeing the look on Ron's face. He started to walk over to him, then his little stomach rumbled. He looked from Ron to the burrito and back, finally deciding to comfort Ron after he'd eaten.
Ron settled himself down on the floor, drawing his knees up to his chest. Soon he was lost in thought.
He sat there for a long while. It was nearly dark when he heard voices outside his window and went to investigate. Down on the street below, two young people were walking, hand-in-hand, lost in conversation with each other. He would have recognized the redhead a mile away in the dark. Kim Possible, out on a date with her new boyfriend Josh Mankey.
"Mankey…" Ron muttered under his breath. Rufus, his hearing sharp as usual, made an unflattering sound at the mention of Josh. "You got that right, buddy."
Although, Ron pondered once again, just how "new" was this boyfriend? Kim and Ron had only stopped dating a couple weeks ago, so "officially" they were a new couple. But Ron wondered how long she had really been seeing Josh.
Sighing, Ron went back to his place on the floor, his back pressed against the desk. His thoughts turned once again to that terrible day, two weeks before.
Ron had gotten out of school early, his entomology meeting having been cancelled. Ever since his run-in with the giant cockroach Roachie, Ron had developed a keen interest in insects. At the beginning of the year, he'd joined the Buggers, Middleton High's own entomology club. They had shirts and everything. Ron had been a little disappointed that the meeting was cancelled, but then he thought of Kim. He'd be able to see her that much sooner!
He ran across the school, to the gym where he found Bonnie running the other cheerleaders through some drills. "Kim's not here," she said before Ron could even speak. "She said she had something to do at home. So, go bug her… Bug Boy."
Ron rolled his eyes, letting the insult roll right off his back. Bonnie was clearly distracted, she could come up with much better than that! Anyway, he had more pressing business, like seeing his girlfriend! His grin never fading, Ron ran all the way over to Kim's house, intent on surprising her.
Using his Monkey Kung Fu skills, Ron crept silently up the loft stairs to Kim's room. He even skipped the one squeaky one. He drew a breath to yell "Surprise!" or something else spontaneous and witty, but what he saw next blasted all such thoughts from his mind. There, on Kim's bed lay his girlfriend, his one true love, his future wife… And there on the bed with her was Josh Mankey.
Ron didn't remember much else that day after he ran screaming out of Kim's house. He had a vague memory of Kim calling after him, then he was in his room, and his arms were bleeding. A kitchen knife lay at his feet. Rufus apparently had gone to get his mom, who called the ambulance. And as if things couldn't get any worse, the last thing he saw as they closed the ambulance doors was Kim and Josh, his arm wrapped around Kim's slender waist. The apparent concern in Kim's eyes was actually more insulting than anything else.
This is all her fault, anyway – she did this to me, Ron thought bitterly.
Those words were still echoing in Ron's mind when he came back to himself, back to his room. Tears were streaming down his face. He looked at his bandaged forearms, imagining the puckered flesh beneath. He'd be getting the stitches removed soon.
Whatever, he thought, sniffling. Rufus, hearing him, waddled (he'd eaten the whole burrito) over to the Bueno Nacho bags, pushing a bag of cheese-covered nachos over to Ron.
Ron reached up and, without looking, pulled the bag down. He accidentally knocked something off the desk, which hit the ground and rolled a little ways. Popping a nacho into his mouth, Ron picked up the offending object. It was a small glass bottle. When he saw the label, he knew what it was instantly. He immediately checked the lid. The wax seal was still intact. Breathing a sigh of relief, Ron set the bottle next to him and resumed eating. One nacho after another he ate, robotically.
Rufus hopped down to sit next to him. He picked up the small bottle, looking at it. "So-dum Cy-nide" Rufus read off the label, then "Salt!" He knew the word sodium very well.
"Uh-uh, buddy, don't mess with that," Ron told his little pink friend. "You know what that is?"
"Uh-huh! Uh-huh! Salt!" Rufus responded instantly, pointing at the label.
"Nope," Ron corrected him, holding up a finger. "It's sodium cyanide. You know what that's used for?" The little rodent blinked at him.
"Nuh-uh," he finally said.
"It's what they use to kill bugs with," Ron explained. "You put a little in a jar with some wadding, add a couple drops of water, then put the bug in." He made a sound, then dragged a finger across his neck for emphasis. "Quick and painless."
Rufus looked horrified. "No, I've never made a jar, buddy." And it was true, he had all the materials, but every time he set out to build the jar, he thought of his friend Roachie. There was no way he could kill bugs just to mount them on some board. Ron Stoppable would study his insects alive.
Still, he thought, looking at the bottle in his hand. Quick and painless sure beats slow and agonizing… He reached behind him on the desk again, his hand closing on a days-old Bueno Nacho cup. It was still half-full. Ron set it between his legs and popped the top off of it. The soda inside was warm, watered-down, and quite flat. But, more importantly, it was liquid.
He seemed to watch from far away as his thumbnail ran around the wax seal on the bottle in his hand, then flipped the top off of it. As Rufus looked on curiously, Ron upended the bottle and poured the one-and-a-half grams of sodium cyanide into the cup. Ron recapped the bottle carefully, then set it back up on the desk. He sat, swirling the cup, watching the old soda spin like water in the drain. Just as his life was now spinning down the drain…
He smiled at the comparison. It seemed to fit. He patted Rufus on the head one time.
"Take care, buddy," he said, turning up the cup and quickly draining it.
It tasted horrible, like table salt, and it was gritty going down. But he got it down. Setting the cup on the floor, Ron immediately felt light-headed. His chest was heaving with sudden effort, but he couldn't seem to get enough breath. He looked down at Rufus, who was tugging at his arm frantically.
He clumsily made as if to pet the mole rat again, but his hand would no longer obey. Quickly, Ron's whole body began to convulse. This isn't painless at all he thought wildly, surprised at the sudden agony he felt. I should tell the other Buggers…
He collapsed onto his side, his legs thrashing out uncontrollably. The last thing he saw as his vision closed in on him was Rufus. The little pink rodent was looking into Ron's eyes, paws pressing his face. Ron felt sure the little guy was yelling something, but he couldn't hear. He had one last, fleeting thought before the darkness overtook him.
I thought it was supposed to smell like almonds?
Down below, on the sidewalk, a red-haired girl stopped and turned to look back for a moment.
"Do you think he's OK?" Kim asked in response to Josh's questioning look.
He followed Kim's gaze back to Ron's bedroom window.
"I'm sure he's fine," he answered, tugging at her hand gently. "He's probably sitting in the dark, listening to sad music and cutting himself."
"Josh!" Kim protested at once, though she surprised herself with a snort of laughter. "Be nice! I still care about Ron, even if he's…" she didn't know how to finish that.
"Whacked out?" Josh suggested, flinching when Kim hit his arm. "Hey! Sorry…" he said, with that smile of his.
"I said, 'Be nice,'" Kim admonished him, trying hard to suppress her own grin. The sitch with Ron was ferociously not funny.
"I'm sorry," Josh said again. After a moment: "Ice cream?" he offered.
"Do-able," Kim said thoughtfully. "But you are so totally buying."
"Whatever," Josh happily agreed, pulling Kim to his side as they continued on down the street.
As Kim walked along, her head resting against Josh's shoulder, she thought she could hear a distant siren, growing nearer.
God, I hope nobody's hurt, she thought earnestly.
She had no idea that her silent prayer was already two weeks too late.