I don't own Kim Possible, Disney does

No own, no money, please no sue!

I wanted to write a story for my thirtieth birthday, but I also wanted to write a story for my cheerleader contest (check out my forum for all the details). So as I was driving yesterday, my mind was working overtime to come up with something. Somehow, someway, the ideas merged into one single story. This is the result.

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Thirty

I awoke to the sound of pots rattling in the kitchen. After the momentary confusion, I smiled, knowing Ron had the kids working to make me breakfast in bed. After all, it wasn't every day you turned thirty years old.

I lay back, luxuriating in the sheets wrapped around me, enjoying the warm embrace they had me in. Being a Saturday, I knew I could just stay wrapped up in them all day, especially with my boys looking after me. I don't think I could have been happier.

Of course, I never would have imagined this would be my life back when I was in high school. Nothing could have prepared me for the realities of the real world. There were mistakes and problems along the way to get to where I am, but I don't think I would have honestly changed a single thing... except maybe one. I had a great job helping people, an amazing husband that I loved and who loved me so much in return, and two beautiful children who I probably spoiled rotten but that I loved very much.

None of what happened though had ever been in my plans, not in high school. Sure I had thoughts of family and a husband, but I never thought of it in concrete terms. It was always an abstract concept back then, just something to imagine that I might want. The reality was far different then I ever could have thought. Fights and squabbles with Ron, morning sickness three times a day, two am feedings for the babies, spending forty minutes getting ready to go to the store when I could have been there and back several times before we had the kids... reality is never quite what you imagine.

But there is also the good things you never could imagine either that are so much better than I could have ever dreamed. The first time making love to Ron, holding little James in my arms after giving birth to him, and then again with Michael a couple years later. All of those were so much more than I ever could have thought, ever could have believed.

And now, I've turned thirty, and I can look back on those moments fondly, even many of the bad ones. I can take a look at my life and say to myself, this has been a damn good life so far and it can only get better, even if it had not gone anywhere close to like I had planned back in high school. Even if I only have this life because of tragedy.

Even though I only have this life because Kim Possible died.

"Tara?" I look up to see Ron standing in the doorway, smiling at me. "Sorry we woke you up Honey. Breakfast won't be too much longer."

I smile back at him, seeing the easy, wonderful smile on his face. "Don't worry about it Ron, I'll just pretend to be sleeping when the kids come in."

Ron moved over to the bed, kissing me softly and gently. "I love you so much."

"I love you too Ron."

"Happy birthday." A loud crash caused us both to wince, and then the smile returned to his face. "I better go make sure the boys don't destroy the kitchen on us."

I watch him go, and I can't help how much I love him. I also can't help thinking that I would never have been with him if Kim were still alive today. It is the one thing I would change, if only for Ron. I love him so much, and I know how much that hurt him. Even if it cost me my happiness, it is something I would do for him if I could. That's how much I love him.

Just over ten years ago now. It doesn't seem that long ago, but over ten years have passed since that awful day. I remember sitting in class at college when the news came over the speakers. I remember the tears from the other students, how sad they were, how it was such a terrible tragedy, but none of them knew her, not like I did.

It was Professor Dementor, Kim and Ron's last big villain. It was on all the news, even as I made my way home, then made my way to the hospital, where they were bringing Ron and Kim's body. I wasn't even the first one there in the waiting room, especially not after having to go through all that press, but I was just glad that Kim's mother had made sure that I could get in. Both the Possible and Stoppable families were there, crying and hugging. Wade, Felix and Monique were there, Zita as well. Even Bonnie was there, with her husband at the time Junior. I just moved to the first warm body I could find and started crying myself.

When Ron came out, it looked like he was in shock. Nothing we could do could get him to react. He didn't even cry at the funeral a few days later. I know, because I spent a lot of time with him those few days, as did all his friends.

It was after the funeral that things changed. He disappeared for a couple of days without telling anyone, scaring us all to death that he might have gone to kill himself, to join Kim. But two days after he disappeared, he came back. He just walked up to the door of his home, where several of us were gathered discussing where we would look next, fell to his knees, and began to cry. A day later, they found Dementor's body, brutalized almost beyond recognition. Everyone knew Ron had done it, but no one ever said anything, never charged him for it, and it's the one thing in the world he has never told me.

The old Ron was gone after that day. I remember wishing that just once I could make him laugh or get him to tell a joke, but nothing ever worked. All his friends were there for him though.

But slowly, his friends returned to their lives. All of us were in college, all of them had boyfriends or girlfriends, all of them had things to do. They all still visited and hung out with Ron, but it was the normal visits that would have happened if it wasn't for that tragedy. All except for me.

I didn't plan it, but Ron and I would go for dinner and talk, or hang out, reminiscing. I wasn't seeing anyone, but I didn't for a moment think about making a move on Ron, the boy I had a crush on in high school. It was just two friends, talking and enjoying spending time together. He'd cook dinner or we'd go to a movie and just enjoy not being alone. Just friendly, platonic get together's that we both enjoyed.

That changed at his twenty-first birthday party, ten months after Kim had passed away. I'll admit, it was partly my fault that night, but we were all drinking. Ron was definitely taking it hard, it was his first birthday since he was four without Kim. I remember how sad he looked and how much I wanted to cheer him up. At a quiet moment of the party, when it was just the two of us, I kissed him on the lips and said happy birthday. I'm still not sure what happened after that, but then we were both kissing and groping each other until we heard someone opening the door. I think that's when our brains kicked in again and we jumped apart, shocked.

I was stunned. He was even more so. Neither of us saw it coming. Ron took off from his own party, and I bailed as well. I couldn't stand the idea that anyone knew what we had done, even though we had done nothing wrong. But to me, it just felt so wrong, like I was taking advantage of him. Ron told me later he was feeling all those things as well, but even more, he had a sense that he was betraying Kim, the woman he had loved for so long and was engaged to be married.

It was a week before we even saw each other again, and it was beyond awkward. There were apologies after apologies, and I thought for sure that I had ruined our friendship. We avoided each other like the plague for weeks, dancing around each other.

It was Ron who made the first move. I still remember that conversation as he stood in the doorway of my dorm room.

"Tara... this is stupid."

Tara nodded, lowering her eyes, her arms crossed in front of her, hugging herself. "I know, I know, it was a horrible mistake. I never should have kissed you like that."

Ron reached out and grabbed her shoulders, though still keeping a huge distance between them. "Tara, it's not that... exactly. It's the avoiding each other thing. You more than anyone helped me after... after Kim... anyways, I need you. I mean, I'm not ready for more, but... Tara, I need my friend back."

Tara looked up tearfully, smiling slightly. "Do you mean that?"

Ron nodded quickly, trying his best to smile. "So... are we still friends?"

Tara nodded, then pulled Ron into a hug. Tara could feel him tense briefly, but he finally relaxed into the hug.

I think that was the main turning point. I know Ron was scared to feel something for someone else, and I was afraid of trying to replace Kim, but slowly, our touches became more. We'd kiss each other on the cheek to say goodbye, and hug all the time.

But I couldn't get that kiss out of my head. That first kiss that changed everything between us. I liked it. I enjoyed it. I wanted it again. But I was too scared to do anything, knowing how he had reacted before. Before I knew it, I was in love with him, especially as we began drawing more and more physical together.

Sixteen months after Kim died, Ron came to the door looking frightened. I was worried, as I had never seen him this bad, not since high school. I soon found out why. That was when he told me he had been feeling the same things as me. It was the guilt that was eating at him. Then he told me how he had talked to everyone about how he was feeling and what he should do about it. He had even talked to Kim's father about it. All of them told him the same thing; what he was feeling wasn't wrong and that Kim would want him to be happy. And he wanted to be happy again as well, and the only time he was feeling that way was when he was with me.

We didn't jump right into bed, but we did begin to explore our relationship further. I think it was easier on both of us to ease into it. It made us more comfortable overall not to rush.

But the one thing that I knew going in was that I would not replace Kim in any way. I knew how close the bond between them was and there was no way that I could ever replace that. I also had no fears, as our relationship got deeper, that this was a relationship that wouldn't last. I knew that this was a man who had enough love in his heart for me as well.

From those awkward beginnings came love. It wasn't always easy, but it was memorable. Our first time was better than I imagined, and soon after that we were married. A couple of careers, a couple of children, and here we were today, with me in bed getting pampered on my birthday.

"Mommy! Mommy!"

I lay head head back down, closing my eyes, but unable to resist the smile that crosses my lips. It's Michael who bounces on the bed to get my attention, and I slowly open my eyes to meet his happy face.

"Happy birtday Mommy!"

I reach out and grab him before he can escape, smothering him all over with kisses. "Thank you Sweetie."

James was next through the door, holding the tray in his hands as best he could without spilling anything. Ron stood behind him, carrying my coffee and making sure that James didn't have any problems. But once the tray was down, he was in my arms as well, and I kissed him just as much. "Happy birthday Mommy."

"Thank you James." I look down at the food, and can see that they whipped up all my favorites.

Ron sits down beside me, cuddling up. "You kids can go watch cartoons now if you want." Ron had barely finished the sentence before they were both out the door. We both had a chuckle at that, and then I set out to enjoy what my boys had brought me.

After a minute though, Ron sensed the mood I was in. "Tara, what's wrong."

I look into those warm eyes, smiling back. "Nothing, just thinking about how we got here. You know, reflecting now that I'm getting closer to old age."

Ron laughed, kissing me sweetly. "Well madam, you are the finest looking old person on the planet then." Ron hugged me tighter, reassuringly. "So, you're not freaking about hitting thirty?"

"No, just... reflecting. Thinking about how lucky I am."

"Good, because I think I'm pretty lucky as well."

I smile, glad that he can say that now. It took Ron so long to recover from Kim's death, even with me there to help him. Now, I can even see some of the old Ron when he's playing with James and Michael, and it's a sight to warm my heart. He had no problem turning thirty just a couple months earlier either, not like that twenty-first birthday.

That's not to say that Kim is gone from his mind. The anniversary of her death every year, he goes off on his own. I know he spends that day just thinking of her, talking to her. I don't begrudge him that. I know how much he loves me, even if he still loves Kim with all his heart.

I think of all my friends who have hit this age as well. I know it hit Bonnie hard, especially the way her marriage was going. As much as I love her, I don't think she's ever really going to understand what she wants though.

She married Junior right out of high school, but that lasted only four years. Husband number two, Mark, lasted all of two. Husband number three looks to be heading out the door. They all had one thing in common though; big, dumb, and rich. With each divorce, Bonnie became richer and richer.

I do think she's beginning to understand a bit though since her birthday. She's been spending more time here the last while, and I can see her watching us wistfully at times, seeing all that we have. She may have all the money in the world, but it hasn't made her happy like she thought. I think husband number four might be the one for her, if she tries to find someone like Ron.

Felix and Zita are married and happy, though I know Zita freaked when she hit thirty a few months back. They have one child now, a little girl, and they're pretty settled in.

Hope got exceptionally drunk when her big day arrived. But then she never did settle down much since college. She says she'll settle down later and think about kids then. I think it will be harder for her then, but what can you say.

Jessica seemed to accept thirty better than all of us. I wish I knew her secret. I know it's only an arbitrary number, that I'm not THAT much older than I was yesterday, but it sure feels that way. But Jessica just shrugged off all the worries, smiled, and said she was looking forward to forty. I think she's the only one of us who can say that her life turned out how she planned.

Maybe that is the way I should take it though. Why should I worry about thirty? I have my loving husband, I have my beautiful children, my career, my home. I have almost everything I need. Almost.

Ron's hand trails over my bulging stomach, feeling the kick with a smile. "I think she's enjoying breakfast as well." Ron's hand almost jumps as she delivers a really powerful kick. "Man, she's gonna be a fighter."

I smile and place my hand on his, feeling my little girl kick. She'd be along in just a couple of months, and we were all anxious to welcome her to the world. "Yes, I think Kim is going to be very special."

So now I'm thirty, but I don't think I could be happier. It's not the life I imagined in high school, and it hasn't always been the best at times, but it's been good so far. I wonder how things will be by the time I'm forty. Will we still be happy? Will things be as I imagine they could be? I have no idea, and you know what? I think I'm looking forward to finding out.

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Author's Notes – This was for everyone hitting hitting or who has hit that big three oh. Man... when the hell did I get old. lol