Birth, and ReBirth 2: College Time Blues.
Disclaimer/Author's Notes: Kim Possible and all the characters of the show are owned by the Disney Company. Original lyrics to the songs referenced in this story and the music are the property of the respective authors, artists and labels. All other characters can be blamed on the author (he, however, is not responsible for all of their actions at all times, being barely responsible for himself most of the time).
This is a strictly not-for-profit, just-for-fun work.
Enjoy! Please read and review.
High School is over for our heroes Kim Possible and Ron Stoppable, and it wasn't the end of the world.
It was the end of high school, however, and the beginning of a totally new adventure for them and all of their friends and families...and foes.
It's a Birth of new emotions, friendships, and ways of life, and a ReBirth of old emotions, friendships, and ways of life; but, after all, isn't that what college is all about?
It's time for everyone leaving high school, and others, to have the College Time Blues….
Chapter 1: Hair today, gone tomorrow
Dr. Rachel Load was singing as she threw clay.
Well, not totally, literally, threw clay: she was making a pot for Jocelyn when she heard her husband's car pull into the garage.
She counted doors: three.
'He's using his walker again,' she smiled. She had been more than scared when the Lorwardians came, but not for the same reason as everyone else:
She was afraid that her husband wouldn't be able to get his MS medication refills since they weren't filled by local pharmacies but by specialty locations, and she had already seen the results of him off of it for even a short time: bedridden, his legs paralyzed as if he were having another exacerbation.
He opened the door and rolled in, and she wiped her hands as she stood and headed out of her studio.
"Hey, Rach," Ryan called out and held up a bag filled to overflowing.
"What's in the bag, hon?"
"Texas cantaloupe and ruby-red grapefruit: your favorites," and Rachel looked up at his head, and she sighed and smiled at the same time.
"You got a haircut," she laughed, and Dr. Ryan Load grinned. He knew that she knew that, whenever he brought these items home, he had just been to the barbershop next to the fruit stand.
"Looks good, too," she added, thinking about the fact that he hadn't had a haircut since mid-May, before the Lorwardian 'sitch,' as it was now known. Four weeks had driven her husband, the normally almost-anally-tight-scheduled man, crazy because he was unable to control his own schedule: he'd had to wait an entire week longer than normal to get to his barber, and that was because he was moving the tools he'd recovered. Both the barber and the fruit stand moved to entirely new locations after theirs were damaged.
"How did you even find them?" she took the bag from his hand, kissed his cheek, and carried them into the kitchen to prepare.
"He held some back for you, Rach: something about 'that gorgeous artist cannot go without her fruit, even if I never have another in my life.' Have you been teasing that poor man again?" Ryan laughed.
"I hav my vays," Rachel replied in a fake German accent as she wiggled her right eyebrow, and then she broke out laughing.
"How was your Institute meeting of the Board of Regents?" she asked when she had her laughter back under control.
"Very different from past one," he replied said with more than a modicum of understatement. "For one thing, there were very few arguments about anything.
"The Institute voted to require all students to live on-campus for the next two years," he added, and she gasped. "The off-campus housing is drastically different from any situation in the past, and the Institute agreed with the Tri-cities City Councils and the County government to place the priority on housing for residents who have lost homes."
"But, what about the students?" Rachel asked as she peeled and seeded the cantaloupes.
"Do you remember Clayton Dankansen?"
"Medium-height man who hit on me at the last Board dinner?" she smiled, and he winced; he remembered her response to him, as well.
"That's the one: it seems that he and his business partner Celia Payton have taken mass construction to a new level: they committed their corporate resources to building housing for a minimum of 500 students before freshman orientation, and he committed to having the remainder completed and ready for occupancy two weeks before school starts."
"How in the world will they do that?"
"They've committed all of their manufacturing facilities to MIST housing as the #1 priority, and they're working 24/7 and four shifts to get everything completed and shipped here in time for the assembly, inspection, and approval in 85 days. The regents pushed the start of school back two weeks, and they are notifying all incoming freshman of the new housing arrangements: they will be living in pentagonal housing, a pod with five bedrooms, two bathrooms, living, and a kitchen area. The bedrooms will be a minimum of 800 square feet; that's gonna be small for some of our students' conceptions of what they should have," Ryan laughed, "but they will each have their own room and the students have share two full bathrooms to share.
"Get this, Rachel," he grabbed a slice of cantaloupe and managed to dodge her hand swatting at him, "the company is opening the books for everything to ensure the regents that there is nothing going on that's padding the costs, and they offered to do that before they were even going to be considered. Meeting the delivery date, and at cost to the university, didn't hurt, either," he bit into the fruit and smiled. "I never knew how much I could miss something this simple; this is so juicy," he swallowed the piece and headed to the bedroom, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand.
"I'm going to take a shower and wash this loose hair down the drain," he announced, and Rachel laughed.
"You mean, you're going to take a shower, and you expect me to clean up all the loose hair in the shower floor, on the walls, and on the door?"
"Uh-huh: that's why I love you so much," he laughed as he closed the bedroom door, dodging the flying kitchen towel.
Ryan's cell vibrated, and he answered it.
"No, I didn't tell her yet," he laughed. "Did you tell yours, yet, either?"
Silence, and then Ryan laughed again.
"Well, I'm going to take a shower and wash this hair off: I didn't even tell her where you were all day today, so she'll be very surprised," he continued with a smile as he hung up his sports coat, removed his shoes and socks, and then pulled off his shirt and pants and lay them on the bed before he headed into the bathroom without his walker, cell phone in hand and ear bud in ear.
"See you in a bit, then," he concluded, and he tapped the ear bud, removed it, and placed it on the counter next to his now-turned-off cell before he headed to the shower.
"Hi, Mom," Wade called out as he came in the front door.
Rachel came from her study, having peeled and sectioned the grapefruit and peeled, seeded, and sliced the cantaloupe before placing them in containers for the refrigerator and gone back to her clay work.
"Ooh, those are pretty," she said as she looked at the flowers that her son was carrying.
"I'm glad you like them," Wade smiled as he presented them, "because they're for you," he added as Rachel smiled.
"And what, pray tell, has my son done, this time, that requires him to bring his mother flowers?" Rachel laughed as she took the bouquet and sniffed the flowers.
"Nothing major, Mom: I just got a new job, that's all," he grinned, and Rachel grabbed her son and hugged him.
"So, spill, son," she laughed.
"Not until dinner, Mom," Wade smiled as he broke away and headed for his room.
"That boy," Rachel whispered to herself. She looked skyward and whispered, "thank you," as she headed for the kitchen to get a vase for the flowers.
"Oh, by the way, Mom," Wade stuck his head into the kitchen, "Joss is coming down, and Dad's taking care of dinner, so you don't have to do a thing: Joss and I will take care of the table," and he headed back out to his room.
"Just what are those two up to?" Rachel asked herself as she headed for her study with the flowers and the vase.
Over an hour later, Rachel heard the doorbell ring, and she heard Ryan call out "I've got it, Rach: stay where you are!"
Rachel heard one strange voice and one somewhat familiar, but Ryan had turned the music up so she couldn't hear what was being said. Rachel thought that she felt carts being rolled into the house through the floors, but she wasn't certain. This went on for about 15-20 minutes, and then the voices left for the final time and Ryan closed the front door.
Rachel used the time to work on a different project, and she was still working on it when the doorbell rang once again.
"Rach, can you get that?"
"Men," she laughed as she wiped the paint off her hands and headed to the front door.
"Joss," she smiled as she opened the door.
"Rachel," Jocelyn Possible smiled as she stepped forward and hugged Rachel Load. Gone was the prepubescent woman-child of last fall, and in front of her was a young 15-year-old woman, so much more confident in herself, her actions, capabilities, and emotions. Wade had told his mom some of what Joss had gone through at the ranch during the invasion, but only what C. P. and Joss had told him. Will Du would only smile and say that "Joss' mom would have been proud of her, and she held up the standards of Global Justice." Joss, Wade said, that she "didn't do nuthin' special." He told his mom that he didn't believe her completely, but that he'd wait for her to talk about what happened when she was ready.
'Her face showed her confidence, though,' Rachel thought, 'and it shows the love that she finally realized that she truly has for Wade.'
"Do you know what Wade's up to, Mama Rachel?" Joss asked as Rachel closed the front door behind her. That was when Rachel got a really good look at what Joss was wearing for the first time, and she smiled.
'Sheri Nicole, your little cowgirl has become a real, live, grownup girl,' she grinned inside. Joss' dress wasn't a party frock, but it wasn't a sack or a jean dress, either. She wore a ribbon-embroidered taffeta strapless dress in a pale emerald green that set off her skin and hair wonderfully. The ribbon sash and bow detail were a bit much, Rachel thought, but the short flared skirt was accented by her signature chestnut-colored tall boots.
'OMG, she's even wearing makeup and perfume: Betty, I blame you, but you still can't get her in a pair of heels,' Rachel laughed inside.
"No clue, dear, but if that's what you're wearing to dinner, I'd better get dressed," Rachel laughed, and she led Joss back with her to her room to change.
"Based on what you're wearing, I need some advice," Rachel laughed, and Joss hugged her as they closed the door.
Rachel let Joss go after about 15 minutes of talking and laughing, and she got dressed.
There was a knock on her door about 30 minutes later, and she opened it to see Ryan, single cane in hand, and his blue pin-stripe suit with the yellow rep tie. He offered his arm, she took it wordlessly, and they walked into the living room where Wade was wearing his charcoal-grey suit and white shirt with his favorite maroon tie, Joss on his arm, and the foursome headed into the dining room.
Rachel swore she'd never be surprised again by her husband or son, but this one did it: there were six waiters, standing in their dining room, and a chef dressed in full chef's regalia.
"Good evening, Doctors Load, Miss Possible. I will be preparing your meal tonight," the chef smiled, and Rachel tried not to laugh.
"Good evening, Ronald," she smiled back at him, and he threw her a huge wink.
That broke it, and Rachel and Ryan burst into full laughter, followed closely by Wade, Joss, Ron, and the entire wait-staff. Different members of the wait-staff each took a lady's arms and escorted her to their seats, and they guided Ryan and Wade to theirs.
"Hey, Ron: where's then old ball-and-chain?" Wade laughed, and both Josh and Rachel hit him at the same time.
"My fiancée, Wade," Ron laughed as Wade doubled over from the twin punches, "wanted to be here, but would you want her in the kitchen, Wade?" and Ron laughed as Wade shuddered. "She's out enjoying a 'fun' evening with her parents and brothers putting the last interior wall up on the part of their house that's back up; when I leave here, I'm heading over to help them finish up, and I'm bringing the hot dogs and marshmallows to celebrate," Ron added, and one of the members of the wait-staff gagged. Then, Ron assumed his chef's aspect once again.
Joss watched as Ron seemed to look even more professional than ever before, 'kinda like he pulled himself up when I told him I knew who the real hero was after Drakken's hat sitch,' she thought.
"Tonight, we will have-" Ron began, but Joss interrupted him with a laugh:
"No roasted skunk butt, please and thank you," she smiled, and Ron laughed and agreed with her.
"Not tonight: per request, it's seafood night: 'see food, eat food,'" Ron smiled, and even the wait-staff groaned. "We're having grilled catfish, grilled jumbo shrimp, and grilled lobster, with sides of grilled tomatoes, asparagus and corn, the tomatoes and asparagus basted in EVOO, and the corn basted in a fresh rosemary and tarragon herb butter, and the salad will be a Caesar with the dressing made table-side to ensure freshness.
"Dessert will be a surprise, so be certain to save room for it," Ron nodded, and he and the staff all left the room for a moment, and then two of them returned with chilled bottles. One expertly poured for Ryan and Rachel, while the other poured for Joss and Wade.
"I would like to propose a toast," Ryan stood, and Wade stood, as well, beaming as he did. Joss and Rachel followed, perplexed.
"MIST has a need to fill faculty positions, Rach; you remember hearing that we lost two to the invasion, and we just lost another to NASA. Well, today, the Board of Regents approved the filling of the three replacements, and MIST made history in two ways," Ryan smiled as he held high his glass.
"Rachel, your son and I," Ryan stopped for a moment and took a deep breath. Rachel noticed that he was almost starting to tear up; for what reason, she didn't know. "Your son and I," he restarted, "made history today: we are the first father/son faculty members in MIST history. Joss, your Wade will be teaching students, older than him, in six classes this fall, including all four sections of Introduction to Computer Science, a required class for all incoming freshman. Dr. Wade Agamemnon Load is now an Associate Professor at Middleton Institute of Science and Technology, and I could not be any prouder of my son than I am now," Ryan finished, and Rachel and Joss were stunned.
"Son, I've always been proud of you. But, now, having you as a colleague," Ryan motioned with his glass, and all four touched glasses, "Stephanie would be proud of you, too, even more than I am. Congratulations, son," and Ryan drained his glass, followed by Wade draining his,
Joss drained her glass quickly, and she turned to Wade and smiled a smile even more poignant as she saw the tears of joy in his eyes from his Dad's comments.
"Kin I kiss an Associate Professor?" she grinned.
"As long as I'm not teaching your class at the time," Wade replied, and Joss grabbed him, pulled him to her, and she attacked his lips with pride and love.
Wade had no complaints.
"AHEM!" came from Ron, and the pair broke apart with grins on their faces.
"I'm really, really glad to see you two back together again, but can you save the tonsil hockey for after dinner?" Ron laughed, and Wade stole one more kiss before he pulled her chair out for her to sit.
"If you keep cooking like this, maybe I won't have to bang my head in class like I did when I was tutoring you in Algebra, Ron," Wade laughed, and he got salad greens on his head for his comment. Joss laughed as she picked them out and placed them on his salad plate.
"By the way," Ryan added as he watched Joss lovingly pull arugula from his son's head, "Sarah's dad is now a full professor, and he'll be teaching mostly graduate students, Rachel."
"Good for him, bad for the grads," Rachel laughed as she watched Joss. 'That girl is definitely in it for the long haul, and I'm so glad she didn't lose Wade,' Rachel thought as Joss leaned over and kissed the no-longer-green Associate Professor.
Ron made the salad dressing, adding contents of one bottle carefully to the bowl along with several other ingredients as he finished mixing. One of his associates mixed the greens, and Ron then poured the fresh dressing mixture over the product. Another associate added freshly-made croutons, and the first associate performed the final tossing of the entire mixture and served it on the four chilled salad plates, with just the right amounts on each person's plate that they could eat.
Joss tasted it and smiled. "Ah don't normally lak rabbit food, Ron, but this salad is excellent, and I just love the dressing! What's in it?"
Ron smiled as he turned the bottle around, and Joss blushed as Wade laughed out loud as he read: "Sparkling Red Grape Juice."
"Just a hint; I thought you'd like it, Jocelyn," Ron laughed and ran back into the kitchen before Joss could come after him.
The dinner was delicious, and dessert: Strawberry Shortcake with homemade Whipped Cream, whipped table-side, topped off the evening. Ron took care of the table cleanup, and Ryan and Rachel shooed Wade and Joss outside to a spot in the back yard that Ron had prepared for them: a blanket already spread, with grapes and a bottle of Sparkling Red Grape Juice chilling in a cooler.
The air was clear and crisp, even for an early June evening, and the sky had only wisps of clouds.
Wade offered his hand as he knelt, and she took it and knelt beside him. They kissed for a moment, and then they lay on their backs, face-up, side-by-side and holding hands, watching the clouds roll by.
Wade could smell her perfume, and he wondered how he'd made it this long without her.
Joss felt the blood pumping in Wade's hand, and she sniffed silently and smelled his soap; she wondered how she had been so foolish to almost drive him out of her life.
'Never, again,' was the thought in both their minds, and they turned and smiled at each other.
"I love you," they said at the same time, and they giggled and squeezed each other's hands.
They looked at each other and giggled again, and Wade nodded as they sat up.
"When I wasn't sure you'd take me back, Wade, I wanted to die, right then and there," Joss admitted, and Wade saw a tear in her right eye. He reached over and wiped it from her face, and she smiled as she reached up and touched the hand.
"I wrote something," she began, and Wade pulled the two of them up to a sitting position and laughed.
"I wrote something, too, Sweet Tea, on the way back from Orlando, after I heard you'd come to Middleton. I wasn't sure what you were coming to tell me: you forgave me, or bugger off," Wade laughed, but Joss could see the sadness behind the laugh.
"I'm no poet, but I named mine 'brown,'" Joss said, and Wade laughed.
"I'm a scientist, not a poet, and I named mine 'brown,' too," and they laughed and hugged each other.
"If that jus' don't beat all," Joss said when they separated, and they both stood.
"Wade, I wrote this on the GJ Jet back here to Middleton, raght afta the Lorwardians. Ah hope you lak it," Joss pulled out a neatly folded piece of paper from her small clutch purse and began to read her handwriting:
Brown is blah.
Brown is boring.
I used to think that.
Then, I met him.
Brown was cute
Brown seemed intriguing.
Brown seemed to have my attention.
Then, he touched my pain.
Brown was bad.
Brown was evil.
Then, he touched my soul.
He held my hand, when I learned where my pain had been hiding.
He told me I was his hero.
Brown was smart.
Brown was beautiful.
He stood with me, at Mom's gravesite for the first time since she died.
He gave me the courage to be there.
Brown was strong.
Brown was amazing.
We had our first fight.
Brown was ugly.
Brown was stupid.
Then we shared consciousness.
We learned more about the other than we had a right to ever know.
Brown felt my heart.
Brown touched my life.
We grew closer together.
Then, I saw something, and I wanted to die.
Brown betrayed me.
Brown abandoned me.
Then, I learned the truth, and I should have known it all along.
Brown would never leave me.
Brown would always love me.
Another fought alongside with me.
This time, I fought to live, and he told me what was important.
Now, I understand the beauty of brown.
I hope brown understands me.
I hope brown forgives me for my stupidity, my ignorance, my inability to see the hidden truth.
Now, I know for certain:
I love brown: now, more than ever.
She folded the paper and looked up, and Wade was crying and smiling at the same time...
Wade reached over and touched hand. "I love you, too, Sweet Tea," and Joss realized, for the first time, that she was crying, as well. Wade reached into his top pocket and pulled out a crisply-folded piece of paper; 'of course, his was typed.
"I was busy on the way back from Orlando, Sweet Tea, and I didn't know if you wanted me or nor, but I hoped with all my heart that you did.
"So, here's what I wrote," he smiled, and he began:
"Roses are red,
"Joss loves me:
"Woo-hoo, extra hoo!"
"WADE!" Joss laughed through her tears and swatted Wade's leg, but she got an evil gleam in her eye...
...and she began the tickle assault on the sides of the super-genius with no mercy, and Wade was helpless and hopeless as he laughed, louder than he had in weeks.
"All right, all right, all right, I give!" he cried, and she finally let him go. He took several deep breaths in between laughs until he was finally able to calm himself down, and then he picked up his long-since dropped paper.
"Like I told you, I also wrote, and mine is also titled 'Brown,'" he smiled, and he began to read:
I can't help it: I had to understand, and you know me, Sweet Tea:
I researched, as I am wont to do:
They are clusters of concentrated melanin, most often visible on fair-complected persons; so, we do have something in common, and I relish in that thought of comparing levels on all portions of our bodies on our wedding night.
They are also called an 'ephelis.'
To me, though, they are the height of beauty, especially when they are fortunate enough to be on my Andrea Jocelyn, my Sweet Tea.
They are, indeed, the color of perfectly-sweetened tea.
I knew that they were genetic, and I have never loved genetics more than when I hold you in my arms.
It's said that they are more often found in people with fair hair such as blonde, strawberry blonde, dishwater blonde, or most commonly red hair; but I've never considered your hair fair; more like far, far beyond the world's feeble understanding of the definition of pure beauty.
It's also stated that they are triggered by exposure to sunlight and become darker and more numerous with exposure; if that's true, I would never have blinds or curtains on our windows at home for fear that they would run away and leave.
Predominately found on the face, they appear on any skin exposed to the sun, and I've never been happier for the Montana sun in my life.
They're rare on infants, and more common on children before puberty and are less common on adults. I never want yours to leave: they define who you are, and your beauty is highlighted by them.
I have traced the freckles on your face more than once, both with you and on the pictures you gave me of you.
I have mapped them on your arm, causing you to giggle uncontrollably.
I have worshiped them on your lovely back when I applied sunscreen, more than once wishing I was that sunscreen so I could be that much closer to you.
Science has taught me many things, my darling, but it never taught me what true love was; it could never have taught me what true pain was when you were gone; and it never will imagine the measures of joy I will feel when I hold you in my arms, once again, and I hear those magic words from your beautiful lips:
Wade, I love you.
I never want to be without you again, Andrea Jocelyn; I can't live without you in my life. I will do whatever I need to do to be with you, to be yours, forever.
Whatever it takes, my dear, my forever love, to be with them for the rest of my life.
Those wonderful, beautiful, brown parts of you that I adore.
I love them so.
Wade looked up, waiting for a sign.
Joss' face was fixed, but the tears gave her feelings away.
She reached over and placed a hand on Wade's cheek, touching it ever-so-gently, and she leaned in and kissed him tenderly.
"Thank you, Wade: that was the most beautiful thing I've ever heard," she smiled and whispered in that voice that made Wade's body react, and the pair lay back down on the blanket, again holding each other's hands.
They lay silent for a long time, watching the clouds lighten as the sun went down and the stars appeared, simply enjoying each other's company, occasionally sharing a secret hand squeeze.
Then, Joss turned over on her side and faced Wade.
"Wade, kin ah ask you a question?"
Wade turned over and faced her. "Certainly, Sweet Tea."
"How do you get your hair cut?"
"At a barber, like most people," Wade laughed.
"I'm serious, Wade," she countered, and he looked into her eyes and saw Ron's "serious face."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, when I get mine trimmed, they comb it out and cut it evenly. Do they straighten all those curls every time?"
"No," Wade laughed. "The barber combs and brushes it until it's not tangled, and then he uses electric clippers and cuts different amounts off at a time until he gets it close to the length I want. Then, he trims it with scissors and gets it even over my head.
"What brought about an interest in hair, dear?" He continued with a question, truly curious.
"Well, Mama Rachel told me that your Dad got a haircut today, and she had to wash all the loose hair out of the shower floor. She laughed as she told me,but it seemed like it was the most wonderful thing in her life that she could do."
Joss was silent for a few minutes, and then she spoke again.
"Besides, I was wondering about kids' hair," She continued, and Wade looked up at her.
"You know," she smiled, "what kind of hair our kids would have," and Wade fell in love all over again with the auburn-headed wonder with the heart of gold and legs that he wanted to...'well, great legs, anyway,' he giggled inside. 'I love those boots,' he smiled, both inside and out.
"You want to know: would they have red curly-headed hair like mine?" he smiled, and she nodded.
Wade reached over and pulled her down to him, kissing her all the way down and holding her.
When she propped herself up on her hands, she asked, "What was that for, mister?" with a gleam in her eye.
"A kiss," he replied, "for the mother of my children," and Joss smiled at him.
"That was my thought, you know: the first time I saw you in the Kimmunicator, Joss, I wanted you to be with me the rest of our lives, but I never dreamed that I could be this lucky and that it could really happen."
Wade pushed himself up from the ground and pulled her up with him.
"Let's go," he said, pulling her toward the secondary tube entrance in the side yard.
"Where are we going?" she asked as they stepped forward.
"Shopping," he replied, and they went down the tube.
"Shopping?" Joss asked as they stepped out at the Middleton Airport.
"Hello Joss, Wade," Commander Lindsey Peterson smiled, and a muffled "hello" came from underneath the aircraft.
"Are we ready?" Wade asked, and Supervising Agent Will Du slid out, covered in grease and smiling. He ripped off the outer covering and revealed a perfectly-pressed jump suit.
"We are, now. All aboard," Will called as he laughed and shooed them onto the small craft.
"What is this, Wade?" Joss asked as she took one of the 10 seats in the rear of the aircraft and strapped herself in with a four-point harness: 'not your ordinary seat belt,' she thought.
"Just a little something I've been working on with Global Justice, for you, Kim, and Ron," Wade replied as he reached forward and touched the console after getting seated and strapped in.
"Passengers strapped in and ready for departure, pilot," he called.
"Roger that, Dr. Load: AJ-1 is ready for departure," Lindsey replied, and the plane moved forward.
"'AJ-1?'" Joss stared at Wade, and he grinned.
"Very good," Wade smiled, "you can say the name," he replied as the craft began to roll forward faster and faster and left the ground; after only a few moments, a massive blast of power hit, and Joss was pressed back into her seat, harder than she'd been before on any aircraft. This quickly disappeared, and the 'fasten seat belt' light was extinguished.
Joss unbuckled and stood in front of Wade.
"Wade, you've got some 'splainin' to do!" she commanded, and she could hear the laughter from the cockpit.
"Some-body's in troooooou-ble," Will called over the intercom, and Wade heard Lindsey laugh.
"I can't believe we don't have to do this by hand, anymore," the student aide said to the staff member working with her to get the letters out.
"Well, you'd better be glad we don't; if we had to do what the Regents wanted us to, by hand, we'd have been here four straight days, 18 hours a day, going through the freshmen lists, preparing the letters, and setting up the overnight deliveries.
"Instead," she clicked her mouse, and the last step: the selection of optimal delivery method to reach each student in the next 48 hours with their hard-copy letters and information packets began. "It helps to have a super-genius install and upgrade the software far beyond the original specs," she smiled. "And Dr. Wade Load is such a nice young man too; he's a lot like his father," she added.
"Did you hear?" the co-ed asked excitedly. "He's going to be teaching here this fall!"
"Dr. Load, the younger?" the staff member asked, and the co-ed nodded excitedly.
"He's so cute," she added, and the staff member laughed.
"Forget it, Sally: he's hopelessly in love with another redhead, or did you not watch the news the other night?"
"I saw it, Mrs. Weeks, but a girl can dream, can't she?" Sally asked, and Mrs. Weeks nodded as the program completed and displayed the delivery companies contacted, times for pickup, and the high-speed printers began, printing the letters, information packets, and routing them into the sorting machine to be stuffed into the packet envelopes and labels printed, complete with the postage already calculated and printed on the envelope.
"Besides, Sally, he's 16," Mrs. Weeks added, and Sally smiled.
"And, how old is Mr. Weeks, ma'am?" Sally asked innocently, knowing full well that Mrs. Weeks had a 'younger man' in Mr. Weeks.
Mrs. Weeks blushed.
"Well, it was different back then, my dear. You see," she began, and Sally sat back to listen to the tale of Mrs. Weeks and her younger husband, once again, but she enjoyed hearing it every time. She reached up and twirled her red hair...
"So, Sweet Tea, are you still mad at me?" Wade grinned as Joss squeezed him.
He gently stroked her arm, and he felt her goose-bumps pop up on it. "Cold?" he asked.
"No, Aggie, not when I'm with you," she replied.
'That's the first time since we got back together she's called me that,' Wade fought to keep from busting into tears.
"You're doing something else to me," she smirked, and she pointed.
"Happy, huh?" he smirked back.
"Uh-huh," she replied in a voice that he would have sworn came from Kim, and he looked up just in time to see an eerily-similarly look on her face that looked like Kim with the Moodulator attached, and he had just a second to take a deep breath before she pressed her chest against his, kissing him and pulling him just enough forward to get her hand behind him to hold him.
He put his arm around her shoulder as he kissed, and he rubbed her back. He could almost feel her freckles, and the soft skin on her back did things to his imagination that he knew he shouldn't think, but he couldn't help it, and his imagination transferred into other biological reactions.
"Somebody else is happy," she slipped her lips away for a moment to comment, and then she reattached to him, her tongue marching forward into Wade's mouth.
Will closed the cockpit door quietly, and he returned to his seat with a smile on his face.
"What?" Lindsey asked.
"You were right: less talking, more exploring," he replied with a smile.
"Like someone else I know," Lindsey smiled as she slid one hand off of the controls and onto Will's thigh.
"I'm glad I lost that shoot-out," Will commented.
"Will, you were out-shot by an expert: give it up,' she replied with a chuckle as she squeezed his thigh, removing her hand and taking the controls once with both hands. She pressed the microphone button on the yoke.
"Orlando Control, this is Global Justice flight AJ-1, requesting runway and landing instructions per approved flight plan," Lindsey stated into her throat mike, and Will clicked his to open the intercom connection.
"We're landing in about 15 minutes, so everyone back in your seats, and no more groping, please and thank you," he laughed and clicked off his microphone.
"You're just jellin'" Joss called out.
"You got that right, AJ," Lindsey called back with a laugh of her own, and she felt Will's hand-
"Stop that!" she giggled, and she glanced at Will. He had a perfectly-innocent look on his face and his hand on her leg, but he could only hold the look for so long…
"I can't help it," he replied, squeezing her thigh slightly. "It's so much fun, Lin," he added as he stroked it.
"Later, lover," she whispered.
"How much later, Lin?" Wade's voice came over the system, and Will laughed.
"Sooner than yours, Wade," and Will leaned over, clicked off the intercom, and looked at the now-beet-red Lindsey Peterson.
"Oops," she grinned, and Will took the opportunity to steal a kiss.
"So, just what are we shopping for, Wade?" Joss asked as they stepped into the car to take them to their destination.
"Well, it's not boots, even though I would love to be with you, just once, when you shop for them; that would make one of my fantasies come true, Sweet Tea," he laughed, and she punched him lovingly as they drove off.
Lindsey laughed. "You still haven't told her?" She asked as they rode.
"Nope," Wade replied. "It's a surprise," he added.
The car pulled to a stop, the door opened, and a hand reached in and was offered to Joss.
"Miss Possible, Dr. Load, welcome to Orlando, and welcome to B'Golly Solutions," the young man helped Joss out of the car. "I see you brought guests; no problem, we've got you covered," he added as he smiled at Lindsey.
"Thank you, Robert, and I appreciate you allowing us to tour on short notice and in off hours."
"My pleasure, Dr. Load: after all, if you can save the world, shouldn't you have at least one perk along the way?" Robert laughed. What looked like a golf cart pulled up, but it was enclosed in the ready, the driver covered but not totally enclosed. The driver stopped the vehicle and stepped out wearing a security uniform and armed with what looked like a Taser.
"Leroy will take you anywhere on the grounds you want and answer all of your questions," Robert laughed. "He's a better salesman than most of my sales staff," he added.
"Yet, you never promote me, so what does that say about your management skills, Robert?" Leroy shot back, and Joss grinned.
"It says I need to leave you with these good people and get out of your way," Robert replied.
"So, I get the commission on this one if they buy anything?" Leroy asked.
"I would assume so," Wade replied. "Isn't that right, Robert?" he asked, and Robert saw his vacation in Tuscany go out the window, no matter how he answered.
"That's right, Leroy: your sale," Robert muttered and turned. He walked off, mumbling something about being 'held hostage' by children.
"Well, he would have lost the sale with that remark," Leroy commented. "I'm Leroy, Dr. Load, and it's an honor to meet you," and Leroy shook Wade's hand. "I've been a fan of yours for a long time, and C. P. has kept me informed with more details in the past few months.
"Miss Possible," Leroy took Joss' hand and gently raised it, barely brushing it to his lips before lowering it. "You're as pretty as C. P. said you were, and that's a lot for that old doctor to say," he laughed.
"Agent Du: good evening," Leroy shook his hand. "Glad to see you still going strong after the Lorwardians," he added with a smile, much to Will's confusion.
"Commander Peterson," Leroy resisted the urge to hug Lindsey, settling for a handshake and a slight squeeze. "Again, C.P. understated your loveliness, just as he did Joss'.
"Climb in," he opened the door, and they all laughed. The rear of the vehicle looked like a small limousine, complete with video screen and refrigerator.
"Ready?" Leroy asked from the driver's seat, and he started the vehicle and began to move forward.
"All right, Leroy," Wade asked, "just where do you know C. P. from?"
"Long story, Dr. Load," Leroy laughed. "I met C. P. at a writer's chat a few years back, and then I met him in person at a Captain Constellation Con-Fab, and we've been good friends ever since."
"C. P., a writer?" Will laughed, and Lindsey punched him in the side.
"Yep, and a good one, too, but that's not why you're here: you want to look at these," and Leroy turned the corner to-
"They're…they're the most beautiful machines I've ever seen," Joss managed to get the words out, and Leroy laughed.
"Lots of people have that reaction, the first time they see one up-close and personal," Tin said as he drove past a pair of Search and Rescue vehicles that B'Golly manufactured.
"Designed for Search and Rescue, this model handles all your needs, carrying the tools and equipment that encompass the full spectrum in search, rescue, and recovery: it has air and hydraulically-powered tools, lifting tools and winches, cutting equipment and shoring materials."
"What about the ability to scan, both inside collapsed buildings and underground?" Joss asked.
"You're good, Miss Possible," Leroy replied, and Wade smiled and squeezed her hand. "We don't have anything like that available yet: the power requirements are too large for vehicles this size," Leroy added.
"This would work great for urban rescue, but the wilderness needs something different," she commented, and Leroy smiled. "Smaller, more ATV-like, I would think," she added, and Lindsey and even Will grinned.
"More like this?" Leroy asked, and he turned the corner, and even Lindsey gasped.
"This is our wilderness vehicle, used for tactical engagements in forest fires and rescues," Leroy explained. The EFR is used by the National Guard in several locations out West."
"Impressive," Joss replied. "How many do you have in stock?" she asked, and Will's jaw dropped while Lindsey chuckled.
"How many do you need?" Leroy asked.
"How many ya got?" Joss shot back, and even Wade laughed, this time.
"We assemble these, custom, for the Guard, but the parts can be assembled quickly, based on the customer's requirements," Leroy replied.
"How about four: two in 30 days, and two after that: kin we do that, Wade?" Joss turned and looked at her almost-fiancée, and he nodded.
"It's possible," Leroy replied, and the rear of the vehicle exploded into laugher.
"You know what would be good?" Joss asked. "An ATV vehicle, pumped up with the extra body strength and engine power of a combat-worthy vehicle, and small enough to carry one driver, a passenger, and two or three people strapped on the back. That vehicle would be able to move in the woods a lot easier than something this size, and do a lot less damage, too," Joss mused, and Wade reached over and kissed her.
"What was that for, Wade?" Joss asked. "Not that I minded it, Aggie," she added.
'For the most brilliant idea after the BlazeIT! name, Sweet Tea. Leroy, if I get you some plans for this, can B'Golly make them?"
"Of course, Dr. Load," he replied.
"Wade, please," Wade replied.
"Wade: the customer is always right," Leroy chuckled.
"Leroy, just what is your full name?"
"Thibodaux Leroy Bradford Al-Simone," he replied. "No one can ever pronounce the first name, so I just started going by Leroy."
"And, when did you get the arch supports, Leroy: just a few months ago?" Wade asked.
"You've been around KP too long, haven't you?" Leroy laughed. "Just started wearing them six weeks ago, right before the fun began," he said.
"Well, looking good. Feet feeling fine?"
"Nice use of alliteration, Dr. Load," Leroy replied dryly, and Lindsey and Will both laughed. "They are feeling better, thank you for asking.
"Now, about ambulances," and they drove onward through the lot.
Just before they got into the car and headed back to the airport, Leroy tossed a question to Wade.
"Are you entering the Father's Day contest, Dr. -- Wade?"
"It's on the national radio stations, and it's being held locally in lots of locations: you write a letter about your father, and the winner gets a free dinner at the restaurant of the station's choosing: considering the food sitch these days, it should draw a crowd of replies," Leroy smiled as he helped Joss into the car.
"Thank you, Leroy: you've been a wonderful host, today," Joss smiled and shocked Leroy by leaning out and kissing his cheek.
"I'll never wash this cheek, ever again," Leroy swooned, and Will and Wade both laughed. Lindsey decided to follow Joss, and she kissed his other cheek.
"You ladies must be striving for water conservation, since you don't ever want me to wash my face again," Leroy laughed, and Will nodded as he shook Leroy's hand.
"'Thanks," Will said, and Leroy nodded.
"Wade, do all the women that are around you look this good?"
"Hey you know us nerds, Leroy: we attract only the bright and the beautiful," Wade laughed.
"If that's true Wade, I want nerds like this around me more often," Leroy replied as both he and Wade heard raspberries coming from inside the vehicle.
"Wade, thank you for this order: Robert will have a large bovine when he sees it," he laughed, "but he'll still be happy when he sees what is does to his division's sales numbers," Leroy shook Wade's hand, and Wade stepped into the car. Leroy closed the door, and the car pulled forward.
"Doctor Wade Load and Miss Joss Possible: who knew I'd ever meet them, face-to-face," Leroy mused as he looked at the sales order he'd taken and smiled.
"This should cover my doctors' bills for awhile," he laughed as he got back into the vehicle.
On the flight home, Joss and Wade spent the time talking about the radio contest Leroy told them about, talking quietly back and forth and, by the time they landed in Middleton, Wade had a plan….
The knock at the door turned out to be a special delivery man with a package.
"A package from America, from your college," and the running feet were followed by a young woman, looking very much like the 18-year-old that she was, with a big smile on her face.
"'Middleton Institute of Science and Technology,'" the deliveryman read and smiled as he handed the package to Jamie and the pad for her to sign for it. Jamie quickly signed and handed him back the pad and pen.
"Gracias," she smiled as he waved goodbye.
Her mother was closing the door as Jamie ripped open the package. Jamie read a few lines, looked at another piece of paper, and then she dropped the entire package on the floor and fell to her knees, crying.
"JAMIE!" her mother quickly ran to her and tilted Jamie's face up, and she had a huge smile in her tears.
"Mama, school will be starting a bit late, but they've arranged with the airlines for the flight changes not to cost me anything," Jamie started, and her mother crossed herself with a smile on her face.
"That's good, mijo, no?"
"I'm the luckiest girl in the world, Mama," Jamie announced, stood, and twirled her mother around.
"JAMIE! What are you doing?"
"I'm so happy, Mama: I just found out who I will be sharing space with in the dorms."
"Keemberly Ann Possible," she announced, and her mother crossed herself again and fingered her rosary beards.
"It is a sign, my daughter: you are destined to succeed, if you will have her as a roommate."
"Mama, I will have a single room at college: we all will."
"A single room?"
"And, for no more cost than a double, Mama: MIST is building all new dorms, and they are mansions, Mama: over 70 square metres, Mama!" Jamie almost danced.
"Mama," she looked into her mother's eyes. "Mama, I will bring honor to our family, and to our country, and I will help lead our country's future space program with what I learn in school.
"After all, Mama, Keemberly says it all the time:
"'Anything's Possible,' Mama," and Jamie and her mother hugged.
Father's Day, after the Lorwardian sitch, and Wade and his Mom had invited Betty, Slim, and Joss down for dinner.
Wade had taken on the grill, thanks to some quick lessons from Ron, and Rachel made the salad. Betty brought some dessert from her apartment after she first stopped at the Load house and then took a side trip home with Joss.
Joss, of course, brought the drinks, and Wade laughed as she iced the bottles down.
"Wade, what's going on in town?" Ryan asked, and Wade tried to look innocent.
"What do you mean, Dad?" he asked.
"Well, I was in a store, yesterday, and the clerk took my card and grinned when he read the name.
"'Ryan Load, huh? Lucky guy, to have a son like that,' he said."
"I had a similar 'experience yesterday in the store, Ryan," Slim said. "Sweet Tea, what have you two been up to?"
"Nothin', Daddy," she giggled, and Wade's heart thumped several times at the sound of music coming from his 'Sweet Tea.'
Dinner was relaxing: barbeque beef ribs and sausage, and Rachel's potato salad topped the main course, and Betty even slipped some baked beans in when she brought back the dessert: a pair of fresh key-lime pies.
Everyone was full, and Wade pulled out a remote.
"Dad, I wondered what I could get for you for Father's Day, especially after your speech when mom found out what I'd be doing in the fall," Wade began, and Joss saw the tears begin to form in his eyes. "Then, I got an idea from a new friend, and Joss liked it, so we both did it, and…well, here it is," and Wade clicked on the outdoor sound system, and two voices came over the speakers.
"I'm Ben," the first voice said.
"And, I'm Jerry," the second voice added.
"And, no, we're not selling ice cream," they said together, and a gong sounded in the background.
"This is a special replay broadcast for Dr. Wade Load and Miss Jocelyn Possible of the show we did Friday evening. Wade, if you're listening," Ben laughed.
"And, we know you are, since you have the whole world wired," Jerry laughed,
"This is for you, and for Miss Possible, and thank you, from the fathers of Middleton, Colorado, and the fathers that live around the Lazy C Ranch in Montana,' and the click was audible.
"I'm Ben," the voice repeated.
"And, I'm Jerry, and we have a special treat for all of you who have entered the contest, and for all of you who were planning to enter the contest," Jerry replied.
"We received a very special letter," he continued, "from a member of Team Possible: Doctor Wade A. Load.
"Ben, just how many jokes do you think he got about his name, growing up?" Jerry asked.
"More than I bet he'd care to remember, Jerry, but that's not important," Ben replied. "What is important is this letter from Dr. Load, addressed to both of us.
"'Dear Ben and Jerry,' the letter began, 'I want to tell you about my dad, Dr. Ryan Load.
"'Not a lot of folks have heard of him, mainly because he has the 'good fortune' to live in a town with Kim Possible, Ron Stoppable, and a pain-in-the-arse son named Wade,'" and Wade laughed.
He stole a glance at his dad and saw that he was holding his mother's hand and smiling.
"'I may be smart, but it's all because of my parents: great genes, and the perfect set of parents to raise me.
"'Very few people know this, but my dad is disabled: he has Multiple Sclerosis. The doctors don't know what causes it or how to cure it; all they can do is give him medicine that will, hopefully, keep the attacks from coming back with less frequency, if at all.
"'I first remember seeing Dad, stretched out on the bed, and Mom was massaging his legs. I thought that that was a nice thing for Mom to do; I didn't know that Dad's muscles had locked so bad that he couldn't get out of bed.
"'Dad has had two exacerbations that I know of since I've been alive, and he had one right before I was conceived.' So much for the idea of 'disabled'," Ben laughed, and Jerry banged the gong.
"'Several universities had been interested in hiring Dad, but when they saw him with the cane, all bets were off. The walker was a real deal-breaker, too. So, when MIST offered him a position, he snapped it up, and he and Mom moved to Middleton, Colorado.
"The mountain air must have been good for them, because I was born three years later, but Dad had had his second exacerbation while he was preparing for classes. He was afraid that MIST was going to let him go, but they did just the opposite: they did everything in their power to ensure that he could teach his classes remotely until he was back on his feet.
"'The most poignant memory I have of my dad was when I was in Panthers: we had a camp-out for first graders, and everyone in my group was coming with their dads, and I wanted mine to come.
"'So, here was Dad, setting up a tent, standing with a walker, shorts and black socks, and kids from other groups were laughing and pointing at me and him. We had the largest tent of all, since Dad needed the room to move around, but we had the sharpest campsite of all; even the adult leaders commented to Dad that night on the quality of his campsite. Dad, of course, then proceeded to tell them of the importance of good campsites in military history, and the adults were hooked.
"'The first group of kids stopped laughing the next day when Dad and I won the three-legged race; then Dad, on the first night, left the entire group in stitches with his jokes and stories that Mom whished he wouldn't tell at parties, but all the kids enjoyed them.
"'Dad and I won both the archery and the putt-putt contests the net day, and even more kids stopped laughing at him and started cheering for him. When he sang all of those funny Panther songs the next night, he was getting cheers and major-league applause.
"'One kid came up to me and asked me why Dad used a walker, and I explained that he sometimes lost his balance because his leg muscles didn't always want to work right because of his disease.
"'I wish my dad had a reason to use a walker,' he replied; ' that looks cool, and your dad is cool, too,' he added as he walked away, and I was never prouder of my dad than then.
"'Later, after I started studying for my first PhD,' and that was, what, at age eight?" Ben laughed, and Jerry hit the gong, again, "'I met a young lady, my first redhead, who became a very good friend. She was having some family problems, and Dad and Mom treated her like the queen that she was. She died, but I later found out that Dad had suggested to Mom, before she died, that they seriously look into adopting her.'"
"Ben, do you know who he's talking about?" Jerry asked.
"No, Jerry, I don't," and Ben continued.
"'I got scared to leave my room, and Dad worked with contractors to remodel the house so I could survive, and I did, in my room, for the next few years. I didn't leave the house for more than five times, in five years. Yea, Jerry, and that was even after I started working with Kim and Ron.
"'Kim was my second redhead,'" Jerry laughed and banged the gong..
"'It took another redhead to get me out of my room,' Gee, Jerry, I wonder who he's talking about?" Ben laughed, Jerry hit the gong again, and Joss squeezed Wade's hand. "Wade definitely needs to stay in the color spectrum if these are the kinds of women he ends up with, and they're all redheaded," Ben added with a laugh.
Joss looked over at him, and saw tears beginning to fall down his face. She looked over at Ryan and Rachel, and they were practically glowing with pride at their son.
"'I picked up a second Dad in the deal: Slim treated me with respect after Joss, his daughter, found out what happened to her mom; when I told him that I, a foolish 13-year-old, wanted to marry his daughter when she graduated from college, he shocked me by agreeing. Then, after we stopped speaking to each other, just before the Lorwardians ruined all our summer plans,', understatement of the year!" Ben laughed, Jerry struck the gong again, and the outdoors at the Load house was filled with laughter. "'Slim believed me when I told him I had no idea what I had done to make her mad at me, and he defended me with his daughter.
"Then, I found a third Dad in Dr. Adams: he listened to me, believed me, and helped me figure out what had happened, and then he delivered the message to Joss when I realized what I had done,'" and Joss squeezed Wade's hand again. "'Unfortunately, the landings delayed us getting back together, but we made it, finally, and we're all together on Father's Day.'"
"Everybody except C. P.," Joss smiled, and she had a tear in her eye for the man that helped her see the consequences of her actions, and the fence gate opened to-
"C. P.!" Joss yelled, and she jumped up and ran, slamming into the man and hugging him.
"'Guys, I've been blessed: I have three major male role models in my life, and I have had the chances to help people in lots of different ways,'" Ben stopped.
"Jerry, you need to read this: I just can't," Ben said, and the listeners could hear papers moving, and they could hear sniffling in the background.
"'I want to give my dad, Slim, and C. P. The kind of Father's Day gift that they deserve, but what can you give such wonderful role models?'"
"Cash is always a great gift," C. P. smiled, and Joss didn't help him any by kissing his cheek and punching him in the side at the same time.
"You've been around Betty too long," C. P. wheezed, and Betty's laugh could be heard down the street.
"So, Guys, I've sent this message to you to go out to the kids of Middleton and those that live around the Lazy C Ranch in Montana... This is the message:
"'For your Dad, your Mom, and/or that person in your life who helps you when things are at their worst, take them out to dinner, and tell them to order whatever they want: dinner is on Wade Load and the radio station.
"'Guys: you get the bill, and send it to me: I'll pay it, no matter the amount, and no matter if they entered the contest or not, they eat for free, and the meal's on me. This is for my Dad, Dr. Ryan Load; my girlfriend's father, Dr. Samuel Possible, and my new good friend, Dr. Charles Adams,'" and, this time, Ben hit the gong, but it was a tiny crash compared to the ones that Jerry had made.
"Now, there's a kid with class," Ben said, and the listeners could hear him sniffling.
"Yea, a kid who could send you to the moon and back for calling him a kid," Jerry laughed and struck the gong with a strong shot, and Wade laughed.
"And, there's a father who should give lessons," Jerry added.
"I think I'll keep you around, hair and all," Rachel squeezed Ryan's hand, and he turned his head to find that he was the subject of a lip assault.
"You're not a bad catch, Samuel Clemens Possible," Betty grinned, and she mirrored Rachel's assault.
C. P. looked at Wade and grinned.
"Don't even think I'm going to match Mom and Momma2, C. P.!" Wade replied. Joss laughed and kissed C. P. on the cheek.
"Nothing personal, C. P., but I'm going for younger chocolate, today," and she ran and fell into Wade's lap, kissing him as she went down.
"'Thanks, guys, for allowing me to tell my story, and I hope you take me up on my offer. Signed, Dr. Wade A. Load,'" and this time, no gong was heard, only sniffles over the airwaves.
"Well, Ben, what should we do: should we take him up on his offer?"
"Well, D'OI, Jerry, or have you been sniffing the blueberry topping, again?" Ben laughed. "Dr. Load, we humbly accept your offer, and we'll let the restaurants know: Dad's Day Dinner is on you"
"Do you think his dad or Slim will hear this before Father's Day?" Jerry asked, and then he laughed. "What am I saying? He's got the whole world wired, he can jam whatever he wants," he said out loud.
"Or," Wade lifted a smiling Joss Possible from his face, "he can make sure that they're not turning on the radios to hear any of this going out," he grinned, and C. P. walked over and shook Wade's hand. Wade realized that C. P. was crying.
"Thanks, Wade: I haven't had a Father's Day like this in a very long time. I haven't seen my daughter since a year after my divorce: she decided that I was evil and wrong for making her mother cry, and she has refused to see me ever since. Father's Day has always been a knife in my heart, an annual reminder of what I've lost, and you just gave me my first good one in a very, very long time.
"Thank you, son," and C. P. grabbed Wade and hugged him.
Joss heard the gate open, and two men came in, carrying microphones and wearing large and very visible PRESS credentials.
She heard the radio click over the speakers, and there was a loud murmuring of voices and clicking of what sounded like dishes in the background.
"Dr. Load," Jerry began, and the voices quieted down a bit, "It's our turn to bring you a surprise. We're live at Uncle Sato's Texican Ribs 'n Stuff, and there are a few people who want to talk to you. We also are live, in the backyard of the Doctors Load.
"Ma'am, did you have a few words to say to Dr. Load?" and the whistles started up, and the catcalls, and then she spoke:
"Why, yes, I do," the sultry voice came over the airwaves, and Joss laughed as Wade looked shocked and surprised at the same time.
"Hello, there, 'baby boy,'" Monique began, and Wade began to sweat.
"M-M-M-Monique?" he stammered, and she laughed.
"Yes, Wade, it's Monique. I just wanted to tell you thank you for doing this; Dad hasn't had this much fun in years," she added.
"That's right, Dr. Load," a smiling, gravelly voice spoke, and Joss was surprised to see both Wade and his dad sit up straighter. "Son, I always knew you were a good kid, but now I see you've become a good man, as well."
"Thank you, Doctor Reverend. Jenkins," Wade replied, "and thank you, too, Monique, for everything you did during the recent times. Sir, your daughter-" and Mr. Jenkins cut him off.
"My daughter used what the good Lord giveth, and what the good Doctor provideth," he laughed, "and that combination was enough for all of us.
"I guess I can't call you 'baby boy' anymore, can I, Wade?" Monique added, and Joss could hear a bit of a sniffle in her voice.
"Yes, you can, my shopping guru," Joss replied, and Monique laughed while Wade slapped his head in mock annoyance.
"Thanks, Joss: I knew I could count on you," Monique replied. "Thanks, again, Wade."
"You're welcome, Monique, and thank you for all of those years of dreams, too," Wade replied, and rounds of whistles could be heard over the speakers.
'Just a few more, Dr. Load," and the microphone moved-
"Hey, Wade," and Joss' ears perked up.
"Kim!" Wade's smile grew big.
"Wade," Dr. Anne Possible's voice came across after Kim's, and Rachel smiled. "Thank you, Wade, from all of us. I've got a kiss waiting for you, for everything you've done, for helping Ron bring my daughter back, alive," and Anne's voice could be heard to crack a bit.
"Thank you, Dr. Possible," Wade blushed. "Kim, how's the house coming along?"
"We've got the kitchen, baths, and a living area dried in, so we're safe from the summer rains; we're working on the bedrooms, and we should be back in one piece in six weeks or so," she replied, and a cheer could be heard from Jim and Tim.
"That's great, Kim!" Jerry exclaimed.
"Yea, great," Kim said with a sad tone in her voice. "You can rebuild a house, but it won't have the memories in it that our old house did," she added.
"But, Cousin Kim," Joss said, "can't you build new memories in this house?"
"We're sure gonna try," Ron Stoppable said, and a loud chorus of Ooh, Go Guy!, and Whoa was heard in the background.
"Ron, did Uncle James just come up behind you?" Joss asked with a grin.
"I did, Jocelyn," James said, and everyone heard Ron gulp.
"Ronald, after what you've done for my family, I trust you, and I'm sure I won't need that deep space probe for those memories you and my Kimmie-Cub plan to make," James said to the entire listening audience, and Rachel and Ryan gasped.
"You...you trust me, Mr. Dr. P?"
"I've always trusted you, Ronald: welcome to the family, just don't do anything stupid, or I'll need to get updated measurements."
"Agreed, Mr. Dr. P."
"Hey, Wade," a new voice came over the airwaves, and Wade's smile grew.
"Hello, Sarah," Joss smiled, and Wade smiled in relief.
"Hey, Joss: I have somebody here who wants to say hello to Wade; is that all right?"
"Hi, Wade," the young girl's voice came over the speaker, and Joss saw Wade's face scrunch in horror.
"Olivia?" he whispered, and Joss heard giggles coming across the speakers.
"That's right, Wade: it's me. Did you miss me?"
"Well, of course, Olivia; after all, we are friends still, right?"
"Yea, I know about Joss, Wade, and I understand," Joss heard sniffles coming over the speaker. "Really, I do….well, bye," and the sound of crying could be heard fading.
"Wade, Olivia can't find her parents, so she's staying with us until things get settled," Sarah said. "That won't be a problem, will it?"
"'Course not," Wade replied quickly, but Joss saw Wade sweating. She decided to wait and ask about that sitch later, when they were alone.
"Well, Dr. Load, that's all from here. Is there anyone there, where you are, who would like to say anything?"
"I'm proud of my son," Wade's head snapped around when he heard his father's voice, "and I'm happy he did this, even if he did go stealth on me to do it," Ryan laughed. "I love you, son," and the applause came over the speakers in waves.
"That's all from Uncle Sato's," Ben started, but a new voice broke in.
"Sato," Wade replied.
"You no pay, Dr. Load: Sato pay," Sato said in a crisp Japanese cinema accent.
"Sato," Wade smiled, "you would bring dishonor to me, in front of my father and mother?"
"Gotcha, Wade," and Sato laughed as he reverted to his perfect English. "I sent some PFP and ice cream over, it should be there any minute," and swoons from ladies in the yard and at the broadcast site almost overpowered the speakers at the restaurant and in the backyard.
"PFP?" Ben asked.
"You've never had PFP?" Monique, Kim, Anne, and Sarah all asked in unison, shocked.
"No," Ben sounded wary.
"We're signing off, now," Jerry laughed. "There are four women surrounding Ben, and they look scarily \hungry," and the speaker clicked off to waves of laughter from the backyard, alls stopping when the backyard gate opened and Sato's team began to roll in the trays of PFP and ice cream.
Celia Patricia Danes-Parsons was cleaning out her closets.
After all, the clothes she wore in high school just would not do for college, even in Colorado, and the ones she's worn on her two-year sabbatical/time of self-exploration in Europe (her father's high school graduation gift to her) were...well, those clothes were worn.
After two hours of hard work supervising the maid, she had finished clearing the closets, and the maid had left with the piles of clothes. Tisha Louis, her maid of the past 10 years, had asked how she wanted to dispose of the clothes, and Celia was intrigued. Tisha told her that her daughter had seen Celia's clothes and asked her mother, if Celia ever got rid of any of them, if she might be able to buy them from her at a discount. Celia was touched, and she told Tisha that she could have them for a penny for each piece. The total turned out to be US Two Dollars and 50 cents, and Tisha paid it gladly, getting thousands of dollars of clothes for literally pennies.
Celia didn't care: she would never see the girl again, or the clothes.
She calculated the amount of clothes she would need for the fall; she'd have to change wardrobes in the spring, so she could shop during Christmas.
Celia changed into her favorite workout outfit and had begun her stretching exercises when she heard a knock at the door.
"Come in, Mother," She smiled as her mother opened the door, carrying a package.
"Here's a special delivery for you from that little college you're going to, Celia," Janice Beverly Danes-Parsons, Celia's mother, smiled as she handed Celia the thick envelope.
"MOTHER!" Celia laughed. "I told you before: MIST is not a hole-in-the-wall."
"I know," her mother sighed, "but I had hoped I could convince you to become a legacy at my college" her mother added.
"So, I could meet a nice young man, like you did, Mother?" Celia replied sweetly, and her mother had no reaction. She knew how Celia felt about her biological father, her mother's ex-husband. She had put it behind her after she fell in love with and married Jason Christopher Parsons III, but her daughter wanted nothing to do with her biological father.
"MIST is far enough away so I'll be able to break from this group of friends. Besides, Kim Possible and Ron Stoppable will be there, and I want to expand my network."
"Ever the planner," Janice smiled, walked over to her, and kissed her cheek while Celia opened the envelope.
"Well, that's just great," she groused.
"What's wrong, dear?"
"They're moving the start of school back two weeks so the first of the new dormitories can be occupied by all freshmen.
"Dormitories," she snarled, "and not even an apartment," she mumbled, and she looked further through the document.
"Snap!" She yelled. "I only have an 800-square-foot room? What am I supposed to do with only 800 square feet, Mother?"
"Ah, college time blues, when my daughter gets to suffer for her decisions," Janice laughed.
"You'll enjoy it, Mother: I need a shopping trip in a few weeks for college clothes, and you and your cards are coming along for the ride," Celia laughed.
"Not a problem, daughter: Jason will be back in town from Stuttgart in a few days, and he can come along and buy for the both of us," she smiled, and Celia grinned.
"I do have some interesting people in my pod, Mother," Celia read.
"Well, I have a pod-mate, from Wake Island," Celia began. "Eliza Doolittle Booth," she added, and her mother smiled.
"Someone liked literature," Janice commented, and Celia laughed with her
"Annabelle Stephanie Cartwright, from San Angelo, Texas," Celia continued.
"Oh, my; I do hope she's not a redneck hick or, even worse, a cowgirl," her mother remarked.
"An interesting name: Cathryn Crey Cochran, from Japan, someplace named Yamanouchi, I think it's pronounced," Celia read on.
"Oh, dear: I do hope she doesn't try to force that nasty raw fish on everybody or drive you all crazy cooking rice all the time," her mother laughed.
"Wait," Celia smiled. "I actually have a Middleton resident in our little group; maybe she knows Kim," she said thoughtfully.
"What's her name?"
"Sarah Janine Best."
The beginning of college at MIST actually started as high school ended; the summer prior to the fall semester is always a cornucopia of exciting events for both the institution as well as the students. For MIST, it's even more so this year, being in the center of the Lorwardian invasion events.
Some things will remain the same, and some will change, drastically….
Next, on Birth, and ReBirth 2: College time Blues:
Chapter 2: Moving days and surprising sitches….
Thank you, to all of you, for supporting all of us on this new journey.
Special thank, especially, to my wonderful betas Star-Eva01, ja, and kt, without whom this would not be the story it is. Any errors in this copy are mine. Who knew that I could have betas from opposite ends of the age spectrum that agree on so many things, both that are good and that needed to be 'kicked up a notch'?
Thanks again for reading, and please review.