A/N: The characters used in this story, as well as a few of their quotes, belong to Disney, but the words and storyline are my own. I have made no profit from them whatsoever, except (hopefully) satisfaction in a job well done and perhaps constructive criticism from my peers and fellow writers. This is pretty much uncharted territory for me, so continuation of this story may depend on the feedback received. I do not own The Simpsons or "The Raven", either. I hope my friend forgives me for inadvertently inserting her into the story. And don't worry; an adult was behind Alli the whole time, so she wasn't in danger of getting attacked by pantsless hobos if she answered the door. I was planning on uploading this later, but SOMEBODY coughWillowleaf2560cough had to use some form of psychic powers on me, forcing me to upload. Maybe this'll make up for my late chapter last time. But now I'm behind schedule! hurries to write new chapter
After about fifteen minutes, I pulled my eyes and thoughts away from the article on the screen. Whatever was going on, it was seriously strange. Whether that... horrible article is true or not, it won't help if I have a breakdown or something when I should be trying to get home.
That's assuming you can get home.
I muttered something rather unfavorable about disloyal brains and clicked out of the "Wikipedia" page. I went back to the search engine and searched for a few more things. There were many "Middleton"-s in the USA, even one in Colorado, but none of them were mine- not one of them was near an "Upperton" or "Lowerton". I also found out a bit more about Littleton and printed out a map of it. I had backtracked to my first search and was about to click on a link that promised the "Naked Mole Rap: Super Sped Up Frenzy Edition", when I suddenly heard some young, male voices behind me, getting gradually louder and louder.
"Hey, did you catch that new episode of The Simpsons that was on last night?"
"Yeah. Hey, what about that part where Bart-"
"Kids!" Another, older, and feminine voice said harshly. "Be quiet in the library!"
The two boys' voices chorused in a groan. "Yes, mom."
I had to get out of there before somebody found me- I still wasn't sure I was allowed to be here. My eyes darted around nervously, and I came to a split-second decision and dashed to the corner the voices came from.
I sprinted past two startled preteens and a woman as I rounded the corner. "'Scuse-me-one-way-gotta-go-sorry!" I shouted as I ran past them and near the glass door that promised a way out.
"Woah! Where's the fire, dude?" One of the boys called.
The woman gasped. "Was that man not wearing pants?"
Soon I reached the door and pushed my way out. Whew, I thought as I sucked in the sweet, fresh air of freedom. No more musty book smell.
I took another cleansing breath and walked away from the library in relief.
I cursed my currently annoyingly insightful brain but conceded that I might need to plan ahead. My thoughts wandered back to the website I had seen, and especially that one sentence that sent my mind reeling.
"Ronald 'Ron' Stoppable is a fictional character from the Disneyanimated television seriesKim Possible."
Wait a second... "Animated television series"?
I fervently hoped that the article was wrong, but I had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.
The sidewalk was busier now- Maybe because it's not the dead of night anymore, Stoppable. Duh!- and I got several strange looks from fellow pedestrians.
"Look, Mommy, look! It's a dirty man without pants!" Shouted a little girl with short black hair as she pointed at me. Dirty? I looked down at myself and saw that I was indeed covered with dust and dirt from my little excursion in the library's vents. Strange. Whenever KP, Rufus, and I infiltrated a lair, the vents were always spotless. Although, now that I think about it, how did the villains manage to clean way in there?
"Shh, honey," A woman who I assumed was the girl's mother reprimanded as she gave me a wary glance. "It's not polite to point." She gave me a wavering, faux-ly empathetic smile and said patronizingly, "There's a Salvation Army on Arapahoe Road."
She started to hurry away and I called out, "A what? Where?"
She quickly yelled back some directions and hastened her daughter away as I looked after her, tilting my head in confusion.
Oh, well, I finally decided. It's not like I have anywhere better to go. I began to follow the directions given, checking my map now and then, and walked…
Just when I was about to say, "Screw this," and turn around (about two hours into my excursion), I finally came to a large, stone, L-shaped building with three tall white crosses decorating the corner. I walked around it, surveying its appearance, and knocked on the door.
A pretty teenage girl with a slightly grimy tee-shirt and her red hair pulled back into a ponytail answered. "Sorry, we're closed right now- doing a little renovation." She smiled prettily until she saw my dirtied body and nearly unclothed lower half, and did a double-take. "Oh, my," She murmured and started to close the door. I, in turn, almost walked away, but she halted and said softly, "No, don't go. I'll be right back."
I leaned against the wall. What was that all about? I didn't have long to think, though, because she came back with some jeans and a towel in hand. "I'm sorry we don't have many donated clothes today, but would you like some clothes? I think the pants'll fit- I'm a pretty good judge of sizes."
Stunned, I almost nodded, but caught myself. "Wait, it isn't what it looks like. I'm not a hobo or anything, I'm just lost."
"Oh, where do you live?" She asked, smiling again, this time sadly.
"Um, just… ah… nowhere you'd be able to help me get back to."
"Oh." The girl bit her lip. "Well, I'm Alli. Are you sure you don't want these?"
"I guess I could use them," I muttered, taking the clothes. "Thanks, Alli. I'm Ron."
"Alli!" A voice said from directly behind her. "Do you know where the paint is?"
"Yeah, just a second, Dad." She turned and added to me, "There's a shower at the park over there," and pointed. She closed the door after she said, "See you, Ron. I'll be praying for you!"
I waited a beat, and then started to walk where she had pointed, looking at the only slightly worn pants and the towel in my hand. That was nice, I thought. Alli was nice, too. She looked a lot like-
Kim. I felt a pang in my heart as I remembered her.
Remembered, schmembered. You never forgot her. How could you, that rare and radiant maiden whom the angels named Kimberley Anne?
Oh, great, now my brain's quoting Poe. That has got to be one of the warning signs of insanity.
Hey, it fit.