First, I do not own Kim Possible, or any of the other characters in this story. This story is not intended for profit, merely for the enjoyment of those reading it. (I hope that you, the reader, enjoy reading this story as much as I enjoyed writing it.)
This story is a continuation of my first, multi-chapter story, 'Ron Goes to the Mat.' If you haven't read this story, I urge you to do so before continuing with this one. Some of the original characters and references to previous events in this story will make more sense, and hopefully be more enjoyable, with the background provided by this earlier work.
I thank all of you for reading, and I ask you to leave a review so that I can improve my writing.
A big thank-you to Joe Stoppinhem for Beta reading.
Chapter 1: Traveling Commercial
"Hey KP, since we have a layover, want to look around?"
Kim set down the magazine she had been reading and smiled at the blonde teenager who had asked her the question. Ron Stoppable filled several roles in her young life. He was her best friend of twelve years, her mission partner of over five years, and her boyfriend of two weeks. He was also making a good suggestion, pointing out one thing by suggesting another. What he was really saying was 'we'll be sitting enough during our Denver to Honolulu and Honolulu to Tokyo flights. Why don't we stretch our legs while we can?' Kim was forced to agree.
Tucking her magazine into her backpack, she linked arms with him and joined him on a ramble through the concourses of Denver International Airport. It was a surprisingly fresh experience for them. While the two had crossed the globe several times over the last few years, they seldom flew commercial. Most of their international travel had been conducted in government, shipping or private aircraft. As a result, they either didn't have to wait for their transportation at all, or they had to wait in primitive conditions. With two hours before takeoff, they had plenty of time to take in the sights.
As was usual for her, heads turned in her direction; fingers pointed at her, and people whispered to each other while looking at her. Fortunately, the early weekday hour meant that most of their fellow travelers were business travelers. Such travelers were more interested in making a connecting flight than interacting with a teenage celebrity. But still, she knew that a few cameras and cell phones were taking pictures of them.
Kim thought back to the two of them getting together. Although it wasn't really a romantic 'coming together', she had to admit that it was probably the best one. There were no agonized confessions under duress or any other dramatic actions. Instead, it had been the two of them, behind the gym, telling each other their hopes and fears. The wonderful thing was that both of them hoped for something more than friendship. The drama had come later when the two of them, both thinking the other to be dead, suddenly found themselves face to face.
Kim smiled thinking of the rest of that night. Ron's scalp wound had required several stitches, but no transfusion and no overnight stay at the Medical Center. Both Mr. Stoppable and Mr. Possible had shown up while Ron was still receiving treatment. Kim hadn't had a chance to talk to Ron before her father dropped the two Stoppables off at their own home. Upon arriving at the Possible home, Kim found out that her mother was at the Stoppables' house, keeping Ron's mother company while Ron and his dad were gone. Her father had told Kim to get cleaned up and dressed. When she was finished, her father took her to Ron's house where, despite the late hour, both sets of parents had sat the teens down next to each other (Ron had gotten cleaned up as well) and demanded a full accounting of the night. While what Monkeyfist and Motor Ed had attempted shocked them, all four parents seemed overjoyed by the teens' choice to get together.
The next day, the two fathers had met with Ron and the two mothers had met with Kim. It wasn't something that either teen had expected. After all, there had been no such meetings when Kim had dated Josh, or Ron had dated Sue. The parents had laid down some ground rules about curfews and behavior. While she never asked Ron what the fathers had told him, some of her conversation had set her to blushing. It wasn't until the next weekend that Kim found out how smart the 'rents were in bringing this up when they did.
The next several days hadn't given the teens any real opportunities to explore their new relationship. They had finals at school, the media was following Kim like a pack of vultures, Yori was still staying with the Stoppables and the teens had just received their 'surprise' invitations to visit Yamanouchi. About the only outward change in their behavior was that they spent the week walking arm in arm whenever they went anywhere together. They also shared quick, discrete kisses when Ron showed up at the Possibles' house in the morning and when Kim left his house after their afternoon workouts. The moderate, visible affection the teens shared fueled a wide range of media speculation.
On Wednesday, Yori received her official recall to Yamanouchi. She spent a last day with her new friends from Middleton and a last training session with Kim and Ron. She spent the afternoon attacking the two of them, honing their teamwork. The next morning the Stoppables, joined by Kim, took Yori to the airport to say their good-byes. Surprisingly, at least to everyone but Yori, Felix met them at the airport. Two teens and two adults became rather wide-eyed when the Japanese girl kissed Ron's best male friend's cheek. Yori had then stepped back and paused before giving Felix a quick peck on the mouth. She then turned around and passed through security. Felix had looked smug, in a shy sort of way, for the rest of the day.
Friday was a short school day with a last assembly just after lunch. Vice Principal Steve Barkin had urged everyone to attend the graduation ceremony the next day and to have a safe, fun summer. After dismissing the rest of the students, Mr. Barkin had called Kim and Ron into his office for a short meeting. During this time he stressed how important it would be for the two of them to conduct themselves in a professional manner in Japan. They were ambassadors of sorts and needed to project a proper image. Then he smiled and told them to enjoy themselves, but not too much. Kim and Ron blushed all of the way out of the school.
Kim and Ron had attended the traditional 'end of the school year' party up at Lake Middleton Recreation Area. They behaved themselves, since there were entirely too many people with cameras at the festivities. By tradition the underclassmen left at sundown, leaving the senior class one last get together around a large campfire. The two teens went to Kim's house and had a typical 'Kim and Ron' Friday. They ended it in a very non-typical way, spending a good twenty minutes 'saying good night' on the Possibles' front step.
The next day they attended the graduation ceremony and said their good-byes to the senior class. Among those who were leaving were Brick Flagg, Josh Mankey, and two cheerleaders, Hope and Marcella. Although Kim had been determined to enjoy her summer, her first one with a serious boyfriend, she wondered what the upcoming fall would hold in store for her squad. Julie would probably move up from mascot duties to become a regular cheerleader. This left an additional cheerleader slot, as well as the mascot duties, open. She had resolved to not worry about it until the next fall.
That evening Kim and Ron went out on their first 'real' date as a 'real' couple. They caught a movie, a late dinner at Riverna's, and a quiet walk in the park. For the first time since telling each other how they felt, they found themselves alone in a secluded location. Kim had thought that their first date would be rather awkward, but they were so incredibly comfortable with each other that their will power, or won't power, was put to the test. In the end, both of them were flushed, short of breath and a little scared about what had almost happened. They called it quits for that night and met up for a very honest discussion the next day.
"Hey KP," Ron's voice brought her out of her reverie. "You've almost got the clean sweep."
Ron gestured towards the magazine rack in a bookstore. Almost all of the news and celebrity magazines had a picture of her on the cover. Only two included him. Kim looked at Ron and could tell that it didn't bother him in the slightest. Ron had almost always enjoyed seeing her receiving praise more than receiving it himself. This was true even before an incident involving a so-called investigative reporter with questionable ethics. Seeing that his lack of coverage didn't bother him, she took a closer look at some of the headlines.
The news periodicals were fine, concentrating on the fallout from Drakken's diablo attack and Fisk's actions at Middleton High. The one such magazine that showed the two of them sported the headline: 'Team Possible, How Do They Do It?' Underneath their picture, the caption read, 'Investigating the dynamic behind Team Possible.'
"They forgot Wade and Rufus." Ron commented.
Kim agreed with her boyfriend, but was too pleased that the magazine had acknowledged him as her teammate to complain. She made a mental note to give that magazine an interview before any of the others. She then looked at the celebrity magazines.
She didn't much care for these, as they were more concerned with her appearance, her choices in clothing, makeup and her hairstyle. One cover showed the two of them. It must have been taken during the last week of school, since it showed the two of them walking arm in arm. The headline read, 'Are they a Couple?' Under the picture, the caption read, 'Why would Kim Possible date her sidekick, and how long before she comes to her senses?' Kim saw red.
"Relax, Kim," Ron said, unlinking his arm and putting his palm on her back in a calming gesture. "It's just a gossip rag. Nothing to get up tight about."
Kim looked at her boyfriend. The headline reflected his greatest fear, that she would meet someone 'better' and leave him behind. The headline bothered him. He was good at hiding it but twelve years of friendship gave her the ability to spot when something got to him. Unfortunately, she couldn't tell just how bad he felt. He could still hide the extent of his disquiet from everybody.
It doesn't matter how much this bothers him, she thought. He's your boyfriend now. It's your job…no it's your privilege to deal with this.
She spun towards him and clamped her arms around his waist. As he was a couple of inches taller than she was, (When had that happened?) she had to tilt her head up to look him in the eyes.
"Ron Stoppable," her voice was firm, even whispered as it was. "You get that thought out of your mind right now! I'm not going to drop you for some handsome face, just like you're not going to drop me for some nice figure. We've been through this, remember?"
"I know KP, it's just…" his voice tapered off.
"You wish that they wouldn't dismiss you out of hand like that," Kim finished for him.
"Yeah," he replied. "I know I shouldn't let it bother me. I've still got a lot of growing up to do…"
Her finger on his lips silenced him.
"A teenager with a lot of growing up to do," she mused. "Imagine that! Now, a teenager who realizes that he has some growing up to do, that's unusual." She removed her finger from his mouth, wrapped that hand around his neck and pulled him down to kiss him. It was their first kiss in public, so they kept it short. Sort of.
"I'm thinking of buying a copy of that rag," she explained. "Just so we can pull it out of storage on our silver anniversary and laugh about it."
That caught Ron by surprise. Kim smiled at the way his eyes flew open.
"KP, I…" Ron stammered. "I mean, do you really think..?"
"We both have a lot of growing up to do," Kim answered him. "And I think we're still going to have some rough times. It's a long way off, but I really see us heading that way."
"I like that thought," was his simple reply.
Kim gave him a last squeeze before linking arms again and resuming their ramble. She had meant what she had said. Even though they had been dating for only two weeks, Kim already considered Ron her most serious boyfriend and had no doubt that he considered her his most serious girlfriend. Twelve plus years of almost inseparable friendship had a profound effect on their new relationship. While she had enjoyed dating Josh and a couple of other boys, she had never really thought much about what could become of it. Now, with Ron, she was looking forward to a future together.
"Milord, you must pay attention," Bates urged his employer. "We have obtained the services of one of the finest criminal defense attorneys in the world but he needs you to speak to him."
Lord Montgomery Fisk forced his head up from his habitual contemplation of his clasped hands resting in his lap. The small conference room in the Colorado State Penitentiary was hardly luxurious. He sat on one side of a thick, Plexiglas barrier while his butler and attorney sat on another. Fisk had no doubt that this meeting was being observed on camera and the conversation recorded, but he couldn't rouse his mind enough to care.
"What difference does it make?" He asked the two men. "My goals are forever beyond my reach. Young Stoppable has mastered the Mystical Monkey Power and the novice has become formidable. I will certainly be incarcerated for a number of years, during which time Ronald will increase his mastery. I have little doubt that the young man will dominate the world by the time I am free."
"Lord Fisk," Mr. Longwind, defense attorney, addressed his client. "I don't know anything about such powers, but you're facing some serious charges. Let's start with the state and local charges. You're facing attempted murder of one Ronald Stoppable, four hundred and twenty charges of reckless endangerment for trapping the dance attendees in that gymnasium and you parked your car in front of a fire hydrant. At the federal level, you have witness-tampering charges for attacking Stoppable, conspiracy to witness-tamper one Kimberly Possible and you're facing twenty-two charges of bringing unregistered animals into the country. To make matters even worse, Ed Lipsky has copped a plea. He's going to testify against you in return for reduced charges."
Longwind paused to look at his indifferent client before continuing. "Now, your fingerprints are all over that sword, so the best we can do is try to drop the attempted murder charge to assault with a deadly weapon. We will try to convince the jury that you intended to leave one exit open in the gym and that you didn't recognize an American style fire hydrant. We will stress that you had no control over Ed's actions inside the gym and point out that all of your monkeys were fully immunized."
"To be honest," Longwind concluded. "I don't hold out much hope for beating any of the charges. I must counsel you to try for the best plea bargain that you can. I'm prepared to discuss this with y-"
"Meaningless gibberish!" Fisk interrupted him. "Do what you will! I have devoted my life to obtaining the Mystical Monkey Power and it is now beyond my grasp. I have lost the most precious thing in the cosmos, the thing that would have allowed me to dictate the very function of the world! I no longer care if I live, die, have liberty or are permanently incarcerated! GUARD! We are finished here!"
Bates stared, dumbfounded as prison guards led his employer out of the room. Then he accompanied Longwind out of the facility. Longwind struggled to hide a self-satisfied smirk.
"I daresay," he addressed the attorney once they left the building. "You seem quite pleased with yourself, considering how the meeting ended."
"I don't think that it could have ended any better," Longwind agreed.
"I do not understand," Bates confessed.
"That meeting was both filmed and recorded," Longwind explained. "And the recordings are a matter of public record. We'll be able to use them to get your employer judged mentally incompetent to stand trial. Magical Monkey Power! The judge will listen to this ramble, as well as what he's said in our earlier meetings and conclude he needs help. We'll get him the therapy he needs, as well as a shorter sentence."
"You planned this?" Bates asked.
"My job is to represent my client," Longwind assured the butler. "You are paying me a great deal of money and I intend to earn every penny. Fisk needs psychiatric help, not a jail cell. It's my job to get him what he needs."
"I thought these guards were supposed to be tough," Shego swaggered to the Officer of the Watch. "They look like they're ready to wet themselves." Her boisterous words concealed the fact that she was nervous. Of course, being held in an ultimate security prison, specially constructed to hold 'enhanced' villains, didn't help her state of mind.
"Lady, just speak your piece." The officer, Shego thought the uniform made him a Marine Corp Major, didn't appear to be one to dwell on niceties.
"Okay, green boy," the mercenary tried to keep her voice at a bored drawl. "First of all, I've only had four meetings with my lawyer since I've been here and I'm pretty sure that these guards waggling their heaters at me violates my civil rights." She then raised her hands, which were encased in exotic, polymer mittens. "And these little things are giving me a rash. So what do I have to do before someone does something about my complaints?"
The Major looked at her for what seemed like a long time.
"Okay, lady," he finally said. "You're trying to make your little scene, trying to play us all. I'm not even going to waste my time by telling you that it won't work. Instead, let's deal with your bitching."
"First," he continued, extending a finger to count off the point. "Your lawyer. International law gives you one meeting a week until your formal charges. You did know that you're officially a prisoner of war, didn't you? You're being tried for war crimes, so not all of the civilian, constitutional protections apply to you. After you plead innocent or guilty, then you get daily meetings. Once the World Court gets done with you, you're going to face US Federal charges. After that, about eighty other nations are queuing up to extradite you to face charges. Then after that, you're going to be facing State and Local charges, assuming that you haven't been executed, or died of old age during the proceedings."
"Secondly," now two fingers were up. "The weapons. We know all about what you can do, so whenever you're out of your cell there's a minimum of two guards keeping a minimum of twelve feet away from you. You've already noticed that they have their weapons loaded, aimed at you, and safeties off at all times. Remember that you're a prisoner of war, not an inmate. That makes you an enemy combatant and your protections under the Geneva Convention vanish the moment you do something stupid, like attacking one of the guards. Two Federal Judges have already approved of these actions so if you want to waste time complaining about it to your lawyer during your next meeting, go ahead."
"Third," a third finger joined the first two. "Your mittens. The Geneva Convention calls for us to disarm enemy prisoners. We've already pointed out that the only way to really disarm you is to amputate your hands, but the JAG representatives balked at that. We came up with the gloves as a compromise. You might be interested to know that the ACLU has already filed suit on your behalf. The judges said they'd take away your gloves if the ACLU attorneys would change places with your guards. There weren't any takers, so I'm afraid the mittens stay on. Again, if you want to spend your meeting time with your lawyer bitching about your manicure, go right ahead." The Major crossed his arms front of his chest and glared at Shego.
"I'll clue you in on something else," the Major continued, before Shego could come up with another complaint. "Just to make life a little easier on my guards. Before we took over watching you, your brothers came in here and trained us. They beat the living crap out of us and let us know you were the toughest of all. So yeah, all of the guards here are scared to death of you. That means that if you make trouble they aren't going to try to restrain you; they're going to empty their magazines into you. None of us need any outside authorization to use deadly force; as per the Geneva Convention, if you take any aggressive action against any of us, we're shooting."
"So you're telling me to be a lady while I'm here?" Shego didn't think that she could be cowed, but the Major was coming pretty close.
"Not at all!" The Major snapped at her. "Let me give you a little story about my family. I had a little brother who was an officer in the Army. Yeah, Marine and Army in the same family; the heckling over the Thanksgiving Dinner table was something else, but dad was really proud of us. Anyway, my brother was a tanker, stationed at Fort Riley. His battalion was out on a gunnery range when your robots attacked. His commander gave his company the mission to seize and hold the base's ammunition bunkers. During the fight, his tank ran out of ammunition, so he ordered his men out, took the drivers seat, and rammed the robots until his tank was destroyed."
"So now I have a widowed sister-in-law living with me," the Major's voice wasn't angry, it was devoid of emotion. "And a half-orphaned niece who's idea of 'daddy' is a case holding a folded flag and twenty-one polished cartridges. Most of the guards here have similar stories to mine."
"We have authorization to use lethal force if you resist us or attempt to escape," the Major was looking her directly in the eye. "Please, PLEASE, resist us or attempt to escape."
Shego was completely intimidated as she walked, head down and hands out away from her sides, back to her cell. One thought kept running through her mind.
Maybe we went too far this time.