Authors Note: And here it is, the last chapter. Thank you to everyone who has read and reviewed, and to everyone who came back after the long break I took from writing this story. I'm really happy so many people have enjoyed it.
Disclaimer: I don't own Kim Possible.
Kim was too stunned to react when she heard the words of Commander Burns. It was only when the other agent took hold of Ron and cuffed his hands behind his back that she realized what was going on. She immediately made a move toward Ron, but was stopped when the two Global Justice agents turned their attention to her. Their intent was made clear by their body language.
"What do you think you're doing!" Kim yelled.
"This boy is a criminal. He's under arrest." Burns replied.
"What are you talking about? He just helped me stop Drakken!"
"What's that supposed to mean?"
Burns walked directly in front of Kim and stared into her eyes.
"We did a little research on Mr. Stoppable's background." He explained. "It turns out he wasn't always your sidekick. In fact, he only became your sidekick the night we found him bleeding in Seattle."
A chill ran down Kim's spine. She knew exactly what they had found. They knew at least some of what she knew, and that was that Ron used to be a mercenary for supervillains. At this point she decided to continue denying it hoping that they didn't know too much.
"I know you hate me, but there's no reason for you to go around making up lies like-"
"Don't you dare lecture me on lying when you're telling me one to my face!" He roared.
Kim was taken aback by the sudden outburst of anger. She blinked a few times and struggled to regain her thoughts on the subject.
Burns continued staring at her. After a few seconds he was satisfied that Kim hadn't said anything and continued to tell her what he knew.
"We know that Mr. Stoppable is guilty of several incidents of breaking and entering and theft. We also know that the items that he stole wound up in the hands of villains, including Dr. Drakken. While he was smart enough to somehow disable the security cameras in the buildings themselves, he could do nothing about the cameras at traffic intersections, banks, and so on."
Kim didn't say anything and instead looked at Ron. He hadn't said a thing since he had been handcuffed. It was as if he knew that there was nothing he could say or do to convince the men that he was innocent.
Finally though Ron looked at Kim and spoke.
"Tell the truth Kim." He said. "There's no reason for both of us to go down." He paused for a moment before speaking again. "Besides, we both know you're a terrible liar."
Somehow he had managed to smile weakly with his last statement. But Kim couldn't bring herself to do the same. This was no time for joking or laughing.
"Okay…" She said uneasily. "Ron used to be a criminal. But he's done with that now. He has been since you first met him. He really is my partner now."
Burns just scoffed.
"Irrelevant. I have personally shown Dr. Director the evidence against him. He is to be taken to our headquarters where he will have an opportunity to explain his actions to her. I doubt it will do any good though."
There was a question that Kim wanted to know the answer to, but was hesitant to ask. However, she knew she had to ask.
"What's going to happen to him if he's found guilty?"
"That will be up to her."
"What do you think will happen?"
Burns pondered the question for a few seconds.
"If I had my way, he would be locked away in a Global Justice prison for a few decades. He was a major threat to society, and the world is lucky that nothing catastrophic happened because of his stupidity." He paused before continuing. "But since he's a minor, I imagine that Dr. Director will only make the sentence five to ten years."
"Five to ten years?!" Ron yelled.
"Consider yourself lucky that you'll be out before you're thirty."
"You guys can't do this! I'm a good guy now!"
"For now. What happens when you go back to stealing for criminals?"
"He's not going to do that!" Kim said.
"And how do you know that?" Burns sneered. "You've only known the boy for a few weeks. How well do you really know him?"
"We may not go way back, but that doesn't mean that I haven't gotten to know him well. The friend I know isn't the criminal I met on a mission."
"And he will have his hearing." Burns said before turning to the other agent. "Take him to the jet. We're leaving."
The two men and Ron began walking toward the hole that was blown in the wall. Kim followed immediately after and spoke up once more.
"Then I'm coming with you." She said firmly. "I'm not going to let my friend and partner go through this alone."
Burns turned back to her as the other agent continued leading Ron toward the exit.
"Then I'm afraid you'll have to take the jet that you came here on, as was your original plan. Ours is full."
He turned once more and walked off without waiting for Kim to respond.
Kim immediately grabbed her kimmunicator and contacted Wade. She explained what had just happened and told him to get the other hover jet to the lair immediately. If she couldn't be onboard the same one as Ron, she was determined to make sure she got to Global Justice's headquarters when he did. As long as she had the opportunity she would defend him and try to make everyone see that he had changed.
She ran out to the sandy coast of the island lair to see that there was a jet already there. It was larger than the one she and Ron had come on. Dr. Drakken, Shego, and the three henchmen were being loaded into it by four of the agents. Commander Burns and the sixth agent were taking Ron toward it. Kim growled in frustration as she knew that she wouldn't be boarding it as well. She would have to wait a few minutes for the other craft to pick her up.
Ron sat on a hard metal bench alongside the very villains that he had just helped defeat. By now all had regained consciousness, and were all handcuffed like he was. The only exception was Shego, who had a specially designed pair covering her hands to prevent her from using her energy to break free.
Drakken turned and looked at Ron and noticed that his hands were behind his back. He couldn't help but laugh.
"This is delicious!" He reveled. "Seeing the boy who helped defeat me in custody is really helping to lift my spirits!"
"Shut up." Ron bit back.
"Look I don't know what you did to deserve this but I don't care! If I'm going down then I'm glad you are too!"
"How can you not remember him?" Shego interjected. "You hired him a few different times. And I cut him open."
Drakken thought for a few moments before the memories finally came back to him.
"Yes! That's right!" He exclaimed. "You were the one who stole the disc with the robotic designs on it."
"That would be me."
"And then you tried to stop me from acquiring the laser!"
"I still don't understand why you wanted to stop me. After all, I was paying you to help me."
"No you weren't!"
"Excuse me boy, but I happen to have a great memory." Drakken gloated. "I remember I paid you well for both tasks."
"Your check bounced the first time!" Ron screamed. "And I wasn't even working for you the second time!"
"Keep talking kid, this is all very helpful." One of the agents said as he pointed what appeared to be a handheld recording device at Ron.
Ron immediately switched topics.
"I want a lawyer." He said.
"We don't care." Burn told him.
"You have to. I want my phone call."
"Again, we don't care."
"You're breaking the law by denying me this."
"And why should I care about what a criminal like you says about breaking the law?"
Ron went silent.
"And furthermore, Global Justice is not under the jurisdiction of the United States Justice Department. Your rights mean nothing to us."
Ron felt himself swallow hard when he heard these words. If what Burns was saying was true, he didn't like where this was going.
"But you have given me a rather… interesting idea." Burns said as he reached for his phone.
Ron didn't know what to think of the last statement.
For the rest of the ride Ron didn't say a word. Even when the numerous people around him addressed him he said nothing. He didn't want to give the Global Justice agents anything that they could use against him. He also didn't want to encourage Dr. Drakken to mock him. Until they got to their destination, Ron thought about what he could possibly say to help him get out of this situation.
Kim's ride arrived a few minutes after the one Ron was on had taken off. She got aboard quickly and told the pilot to head back to his headquarters rather than her house.
When Rufus saw that Kim had come aboard without Ron he immediately dashed over to her and began squeaking. She could only look down at him in sadness. When he began clawing at her pants leg she spoke.
"Look Rufus… Ron's okay. But he's in trouble."
The rodent reacted to the words and became more frantic in his clawing before looking back up at her.
"They arrested him. I don't know what's going to happen, but I'm going to try to help him."
Rufus became a bit calmer when Kim had spoken about trying to help.
"I don't really know what I'm going to say…" She began before coming to a realization. "And I don't know why I'm even talking to you about it. It's not like you can understand me."
Rufus jumped around trying to tell her that he knew exactly what she was saying. Obviously it had no meaning to Kim who just sighed before continuing.
"I guess I just need to talk to someone about it." She continued. "And I doubt the pilot cares enough to listen. So you're all I've got."
Kim continued talking on and off until she reached the headquarters. Rufus for the most part sat on her leg and listened intently. She decided that there was only one thing she could do, and that was speak on behalf of him to Dr. Director. The head of Global Justice was one of the only people in the organization that didn't hate her. In fact she liked Kim. Kim could only hope that their good relationship would mean something when it came to helping Ron.
When Kim arrived at the headquarters complex she had spoken to a senior officer and had been allowed to speak to Ron while he was being held in the detention center. She was escorted by an agent to the area. She noticed how this area of the building was so much more primitive than the rest of it. Where the other sections of the complex were brightly lit, shiny, and had massive amounts of electronics, the prison area was very plain. It was made mostly of painted brick walls and cold steel bars.
She found Ron lying on a bed in one of the cells. He was silent as he lay facing the ceiling. She ran up to the bars.
He turned his head to find Kim moving next to his cell. He quickly got up and stood next to her.
"Kim I'm so happy you're here!"
The two looked at each other through the bars not quite knowing what to say. After a few seconds Kim was the first to speak.
"I'm going to help you get out of here." She told him.
"How are you going to do that?" He wondered.
"I have a pretty good relationship with Dr. Director. I'm going to defend you in the hearing."
"Yeah, about that. Am I the only one who's upset about my constitutional rights being violated?"
"I know… it's kind of weird."
"I demand to speak with a lawyer!" Ron shouted to the guard who was manning the door at the end of the hall.
"Yelling at him won't solve anything." She told him. "Right now we need to keep our heads in the game. We need to come up with a plan."
"I got nothing."
"Ron, that's quitter talk."
"I should have stuck to video games…" He said. "Kim?"
"I don't really like admitting things like this… but I'm scared."
Kim was seeing a side of Ron that she had never witnessed before. When she had first met him he was confident and arrogant. Once they had become friends, he had lowered his defenses and she had seen the fun and goofy side of him. And now he was showing another part of himself. He was showing weakness and fear. It wasn't an aspect of him that she was used to. She was determined to help him.
"We still have time before the hearing. We can come up with a defense for you."
Another voice entered the conversation.
"I think this man will be the one to do that for you." The voice said.
The teens turned to see Burns walking toward them with another man by his side. He was wearing a dark blue suit with a purple tie, and his brown hair was combed neatly.
"Who's the new guy?" Ron asked.
"Well Mr. Stoppable, I decided that you were right."
"I was what now?"
"You do deserve the opportunity to have a lawyer." Burns explained. "So I called and got you one. That is if you want him."
"I do!" Ron confirmed.
"Good. I'll leave the three of you alone to get acquainted."
The Global Justice agent turned and left. The lawyer came up to the cell and reached in to shake Ron's hand.
"Hank Perkins, attorney at law." He said. "Don't you worry about a thing Mr. Stoppable, you're in good hands with me."
"I am?" Ron said hopefully.
"Absolutely Mr. Stoppable! No doubt in my mind."
"This is great Ron!" Kim said excitedly.
"I'm confident that we'll be able to do great things together. We're going to sue them for every penny they're worth!"
"Yeah!" Ron agreed. "Wait, what?"
"We're going to sue Commander Burns. We're going to sue Global Justice. We're going to sue the state. In total I think we can get you about $99 million from them. How does that sound Mr. Stoppable? How would you like to have $99 million in your pocket?"
The expressions on Kim and Ron's faces turned from elation to horror. Ron looked at her and then buried his face in his hands.
"I'm so screwed." He said bleakly.
It was about an hour later that Ron's hearing with Dr. Director began. He along with Kim and Hank were escorted to a room which vaguely resembled a courtroom. The three of them sat at a large table on the left side of the room, with another table on the right side where Burns was sitting. A few feet in front of them Dr. Director sat at a third smaller table which was facing them. The door closed behind them, and an armed guard stood next to it.
"Ms. Possible." Dr. Director said when she saw the redheaded teen enter. "I'm happy to see you again, though the circumstances aren't what one would call ideal."
"Good to see you again too, Dr. Director." Kim replied.
"I understand you will be speaking on behalf of Mr. Stoppable."
"That's right. I feel that my experiences with him over the past several weeks are worth taking into consideration in this hearing."
"Very well. I should remind you though that this isn't a trial. There is no jury, only me."
"If you're ready, Commander Burns would like to present his statement."
Kim looked over to the other table. The Global Justice officer stood with a few pieces of paper in his hands and turned to look at Dr. Director. But before he could speak Hank stood up and started talking.
"I would like to make it clear that neither my client nor myself recognize the authority of this courtroom." He stated.
"Mr. Perkins, please take your seat." Dr. Director told him.
Hank sat down with a smug smile on his face. He turned to Ron and brought his head close to his.
"Don't worry kid, we've got 'em on the ropes." He whispered into Ron's ear.
Ron sighed quietly.
"Dr. Director," Burns began. "I have already presented overwhelming evidence to you which proves that Mr. Stoppable was involved in numerous crimes. He is responsible for the theft of countless dangerous and valuable items that he then delivered into the hands of supervillains. It's not hard to see that this boy is a danger to society. It is my opinion that he should be punished for his crimes and rehabilitated before being released back into the public."
"Objection!" Hank screamed as he stood.
Everyone in the room turned to look at him.
"Mr. Perkins, there's nothing you can object to."
"So you're sustaining it right?"
"Please sit down now."
Hank once more took his seat before he turned to the other table.
"Yeah, that's what you get." He said quietly to Burns.
"Please continue." Dr. Director said to the Global Justice officer.
"While Ms. Possible claims that he is 'good' now, I find that hard to believe. The friendship of Ms. Possible and Mr. Stoppable is nothing special. For all we know this is just an act on his part and will continue committing crimes in the future. And even if he doesn't he still must face justice for what he has already done."
Burns sat down and was confident that his statement along with the earlier evidence would be more than enough to ensure that Ron was imprisoned for the next few years.
Dr. Director finished writing a few notes on a piece of paper in front of her before looking up at Ron.
"Mr. Stoppable, do you have anything you would like to say in your defense?"
Ron stood and was about to speak before Hank stood and spoke first.
"Ms. Director, I would like to say that this is an outrage. The way my client has been treated since his arrest is nothing short of a travesty. This whole operation is nothing but a sham. I understand that Mr. Stoppable was not even read the Miranda Rights. I have prepared a list of case precedents which will no doubt prove that my client is either innocent or will get this case dismissed as a mistrial."
"Mr. Perkins, Global Justice is a completely separate-"
"Miranda v. Arizona! Brown v. Board of Education! Marvel v. Capcom!" Hank began shouting.
"One more nonsensical outburst out of you and you will be removed from this room."
Hank stared hard at Dr. Director's face and his eyes narrowed at her threat.
"Roe v. Wade." He said.
"That's it. Get him out of here."
The guard grabbed hold of Hank's arm and began leading him toward the exit. The lawyer struggled to free himself as he turned and looked back at Dr. Director.
"Get him off of me! You can't do this! I'll sue you! I'll sue all of you!" He screamed as he continued to led out of the room. "I have friends in the Temp Agency!"
The door closed and the shouts of the lawyer grew fainter until they finally stopped. Ron turned to Kim.
"I'm so happy he's gone." He told her.
"No doubt." She agreed.
"Where were we…" Dr. Director said. "Mr. Stoppable, would you like to say something?"
Ron stood slowly with his hands behind his back and cleared his throat. Kim looked at his hands and saw that they were trembling.
"Dr. Director, I'm not too good with words so I'll just say this. Um, I know I've done a lot of bad things. I didn't really think they were wrong back then but I do now. I really am sorry for it all."
Ron took a deep breath and thought over what he was going to say next.
"I messed up. But I've changed. I really have. Kim will tell you that. I've been spending a lot of time with her lately and she even made me her partner. I mean, I have a hard time believing it myself but it's true. I just… I just hope that you see that even though I've made a lot of bad choices that I'm trying to make things right."
With that, Ron took a seat and awaited Dr. Director's response.
"Ms. Possible, would you like to add anything to that?"
Kim stood up and looked at the older woman.
"Ron and I haven't known each other for a long time, but we already have a lot of history together. When I first met him, yes, he was a criminal. He did work for supervillains. But that's all in the past now. He has changed for the better. I would know because I saw that change firsthand."
The room was silent as she went on.
"It started on a mission in Seattle. I was fighting against Shego and things were starting to look a bit ugly. Then Ron, who could have easily escaped with stolen information, stopped and came back to help me. In the process he was severely wounded by Shego. It was that night that I lied and said he was my partner."
Kim's gaze didn't waver for a moment as she continued to look at Dr. Director.
"Over the next few weeks we were forced to spend a lot of time together both in and out of school. I got to know him on a personal level rather than professional. He's a sweet and caring guy. He's made wrong decisions, but who hasn't? At least he's trying to atone for them now. He's doing good things. He saved me from Lord Montgomery Fiske, who as it turns out is some freaky monkey obsessed criminal. He was a huge reason the mission today was a success. I don't know if I could have been able to do it without him."
She paused as she thought about the last part of her statement. It wasn't something she liked talking about.
"And… a few days ago he helped me with something very personal. He didn't have to help me but he chose to because he's a good person. That's when we started to become friends. And over the past few days, I would say that he's becoming my best friend. While he did do some bad things, there's no doubt in my mind that the good in him, the good that he's done, the good that he will do, far outweighs the bad. Thank you."
Kim sat down next to Ron who looked at her in amazement.
Dr. Director finished writing and looked up at the two parties.
"I would like to thank all three of you for your statements. If there's nothing else-"
Dr. Director was cut off as the door opened. Another Global Justice agent entered the room. It was Will Du.
"Agent Du, may I ask what you're doing here?"
"I would like to make a statement in this hearing." He said.
"I have no objections to this." Burns smiled.
"Aw crap." Ron said softly.
"Very well." Dr. Director said. "You may continue, agent Du."
Will moved to stand between the two tables.
"I met Mr. Stoppable once in England." He said. "I was flying him home after dropping Ms. Possible off at Lord Fiske's mansion. Mr. Stoppable insisted that we had to turn around to help her with something. I honestly didn't care much about what he was saying. It was then that he used some foul smelling chemical to knock me unconscious. He took control of the hover jet and crash-landed it back near the mansion."
Burns grinned with every word that Will was saying. This would only make Ron look even worse.
"When I had recovered I found that both Mr. Stoppable and Ms. Possible were responsible for the arrest of who we now know as Monkey Fist. I didn't know this at the time and was angry at what had been done to me. I struck Mr. Stoppable in the face. But I have since learned the details of this incident, and know that Ron's actions, while illegal, were done out of virtuous motives. This is my only experience with the boy, and this is all that I have to say about him."
Burn's grin turned to a grimace and his heart sunk when he heard Will begin to speak well about Ron.
After a few moments of silence Dr. Director once again spoke.
"Thank you agent Du." She said. "I have decided on Mr. Stoppable's sentence."
Ron's heart was thumping harder than he could ever remember. He was shivering and his hands were cold and clammy.
Despite the fact that it wasn't her fate that was about to be decided, Kim was experiencing the same things as Ron. She could only hope that the words she had said had been enough.
"Ron Stoppable," Dr. Director began. "I am sentencing you to three hundred hours of community service, and a probation period of twelve months."
"What?" Ron said hopefully.
"What!" Burns said furiously.
"While the arguments against you are no doubt strong, so are the ones for you. You have done many bad things, but you have also done good things. And I am inclined to agree with Ms. Possible about your new and changed life. And spending time more time with her, both as her friend and as her partner, can only help you to continue to improve as a person. Being with her will do far more good than being locked away in a Global Justice prison."
"You mean I'm not going to jail?" Ron asked.
"That is correct." She told him. "You will perform three hundred hours of community service before the end of your upcoming summer vacation. You will also be on probation for twelve months. Any criminal activity during this time will be met with severe consequences. Are we clear?"
"Yes ma'am!" Ron said excitedly.
"Good. This hearing is over."
Dr. Director stood up and exited the room, followed shortly after by an enraged Burns.
Ron didn't quite know what to do, so he jumped up and wrapped Kim in a huge hug.
"Thank you so much!" He said.
They came apart before Kim responded.
"You're welcome. I'm really happy you're not going to jail."
"Yeah." He said before pausing for a moment. "Did you really mean all those nice things you said about me?"
"Of course I did. Every word."
"Oh. Thanks. I'm glad I mean so much to you… because… well, you really mean a lot to me too."
The moment was interrupted when Will cleared his throat. The two teens turned to look at the Global Justice agent.
"Hey Will. Thank you for what you said about me." Ron told him.
"I told nothing but the truth." Will replied coolly.
"And I thought you said you weren't going to report the jet incident. And the punch."
"I changed my mind."
"Oh. Well I'm glad you did. Thanks."
"You have a good heart." Will said. "You're an idiot, but you have a good heart."
The agent walked off after saying this leaving Kim and Ron alone together.
"Wow…" Ron said. "This day has been full of surprises, hasn't it?"
"Yeah." Kim laughed. "So much drama. But I guess it all worked out in the end right?"
"I guess so. But wow, three hundred hours of community service? How am I going to do all that? It's already the middle of April, and I have to get it done before summer vacation ends?"
"You can do some work with me."
"Wait wait wait, you actually do community service voluntarily?" He asked.
"Yeah. It's a teen hero thing." She smiled.
"I guess I still have to get used to that stuff."
"Yup. Ever hear of the Sunshine Spreaders?"
"It's some work I do a couple times a week. If we do two or three hours a day from now until the end of summer we'll have it done in no time."
"You would be willing to spend all that time with me doing that?"
"Of course. What are friends for?"
Ron pulled her into another tight embrace. This lasted several seconds longer than the prior one.
"This feels pretty nice." Kim thought warmly.
A moment later her eyes opened at what she had thought, and realized that her head was resting on his shoulder.
So this is the end of this tale. For more Kim and Ron action, check out my other stories such as Karma Chameleon and its sequel, Hand of Sorrow. You won't regret it if you want more stuff like this.
Thanks again for reading.