Kim Possible: The Call of Wind Chimes

Disclaimer: Kim Possible and all the characters of the show portrayed here are owned by the Disney Company.

Inspired by Yankee Bard's "Sometimes It's Hard to Be a Hero", I came up with the premise of this account in a most unusual place, which I will explain below. I wholeheartedly recommend that those of you reading this find Yankee Bard's tale and read it beforehand to get an idea of where this story comes from. The issues Kim had with Ron's actions upon the Lowardians, Ron's recurring PTSD from taking those actions to save his love, while being repulsed by Kim as a murderer, and the fallout that came from their disagreement make for as intense a read of heart wrenching angst, mixed, missed and misinterpreted signals and belated epiphanies of the heart of any tale I've come across on this site.

I hope I'm not stepping on any toes or stealing any thunder with this interpretation of a possible ending Yankee Bard was building towards with this tale.

Also, a big shout out to screaming phoenix for his mad dialogue flow skills. He helped me out with the bulk of Ron and Sensei's conversation and the pathway to the end of the tale. I expanded and filled in the rest, so this is as much his tale as it is mine. Thanks guy!

Without further ado, here is my take on this sitch.

--

Whiteness, a blinding expanse of milky pallor, slowly darkening to swirling shades of grey, which exposes a light misty fog that completely blankets the landscape. The noise of rushing air surrounding an unseen entity moving hurriedly from a distance to an immediate STOP, is heard, slowly fading to nothing shortly thereafter.

The delicate sound of wind chimes wafts quietly from nowhere, yet everywhere, all at once. The soft tinkle of ceramic grows slightly until it fades away as the light groaning of bagpipes becomes audible.

Darkening still, the fog shows its swirls, thick lines of flow and movements throughout the space it covers, as a few openings appear in the seemingly solid haze of the moisture-laden blanket of air. Coming into focus, through one of these openings, is what appears to be two separate groups of individuals facing each other.

The view of the scene is similar to standing a short distance from a fuzzy, static-tormented television, struggling to gain and maintain focus of the signal it is displaying onscreen. Finally, the scene focuses to near perfect clarity, but then a slight grey-green tinge takes hold of the full color of the scene, giving the visual impression of disconnected observation. No sound is heard from the action clearly taking place amongst the two groups, who are clearly hostile to each other. The movements of all involved is slowed from real-time, just a partial step off in a sort of stilted slow-motion manner.

The drone of the pipes builds a bit here as some individual notes running a small musical scale, are lightly interspersed.

One group made up of a pair of tall, muscular, black-splotched, green individuals; one male, one female. The male, bald, except for a top-knot at the crown of his head from which his hair flows up and back, the female with a high ponytail, the hair of each is black. Each is dressed in scantily form fitting clothing over their well-muscled frames. Though human in appearance, it is evident that these two are not of this planet. Weapons present with both: a spear-like staff in the hands of the female, a hip-holstered pistol with the male.

The other group made up of three smaller human individuals: one blonde male and two females, one with hair of red, the other black. The blonde male dressed in a light gray one-piece outfit, as is the raven haired, green-skinned female; the redhead attired in a shredded, dark gown.

All are standing in an open area surrounded by huge devices that are strewn around all present. The devices are angular metal legs topped by a large disc and are either standing in place or lying about on the ground of this location. Amongst the devices are wreckage and rubble of the buildings and such of the area.

The bagpipes begin an extended note, in high pitch, that crescendos from near silence to the mid decibel range in volume, then slowly back down to almost inaudible in its softness.

At first, the blonde boy strides forward to the two tall aliens. His gait that of a overconfident, somewhat cocky individual, talking as he made his way to the huge green beings. Suddenly the male alien rushes forward and strikes the boy with a vicious uppercut that sends him flying backward and through the redheaded female and into the darker haired female. The redhead falls unconscious to the ground near the point of impact while the raven haired woman tumbles away from the scene and out of immediate sight.

Coming to rest some distance away from the redheaded female, the male shakes his head to clear it as he watches the two aliens cover the ground over to the down-for-the-count redhead. Once there the male alien picks the redhead up by an ankle and lifts her up, gloating while speaking to the female alien.

The bagpipes begin a tune of some familiarity, dating from the late 1700's, accompanied by a female singing in the brogue-laced voice of her homeland within the British Isles. The notes of the bagpipes accompanying her mezzo-soprano voice as she begins to sing.

'Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,'

While observing the unfolding scene, the blonde male turns to a glowing apparition that appears behind him and begins speaking to the human form that is present within the glow hovering just above ground. Looking back to the aliens and the redhead, he then turns to the glow and looks down as he shakes his head. He then turns to the trio behind him and watches in horror-filled absorption at what unfolds next.

'That saved a wretch like me.'

A quick motion of the male alien suddenly flips the redhead to where his large hand has a grip on her slim neck. From there he makes a sharply abrupt horizontal shift with the arm as he tightens his grip on her neck. The face of the redhead goes from the undisturbed demeanor of unconsciousness to a brief, painful grimace, to total slack. At this the two aliens start to roar with unheard laughter.

The blonde begins to seize up in a rage that expands into a bright white-tinged blue glow as his body tenses, fists clench by his side, arms curl up slowly at his front, head goes back as his mouth opens in a 'muted' scream to the 'observers' of this tragic drama.

'I once was lost but now am found,'

His right hand held high, a bright flash of light in it transforms into a Japanese katana that the cerulean encased blonde points before him as he rushes almost faster than the eye can blink, towards the alien murderers of the helpless redheaded female.

Reacting to the scream, the aliens turn toward the onrushing avenging angel of their prize. The alien female brings her staff weapon to bear in the general direction of the noise, in preparation of fending off an attack and to fire upon the intrusion. Her male partner brings his pistol to bear as well, while holding the deceased female in his other hand. Both fire at the blonde as he runs unerringly into the staff as both weapons' blasts strike him.

'Was blind, but now I see.'

Run-through the chest by the staff, the blonde rushes right up its length as his glow surges into a blinding blue-white, and with a quick flick of the wrist, separates the head of the alien female from her body. Her smug look barely registering the shock and surprise of the separation of the two body parts as they fall to the ground.

'T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear.'

With the staff still in his chest, the blonde makes a downward overhead two-handed slash of the katana from and through the top of the male alien's head, completely splitting him in two. As the alien's halved body tumbles to the ground, the blonde makes an upward slash with his sword separating the hand holding the redhead from his arm.

'And Grace, my fears relieved.'

Before the body of the redhead could contact the ground, the blonde male reaches out and gathers her tenderly in his arms. The sword disappears in a flash of light as he releases it, while the glow surrounding his body fluctuates sharply. After he places her body gently on the ground and removes the detached hand from her neck, he steps away, grasps the rear end of the staff with both hands. With great exertion in his hands and arms, and immense pain playing across his face, he pulls the staff back through his chest. The glow still surrounding him begins to wane, yet surges with each pull he makes of the staff in its removal from his body. At one last painful tug, he frees the weapon from his chest, flings it away, then drops to his knees beside the redhead's body.

'How precious did that Grace appear'

With slow, deliberate effort the blonde re-gathers the redhead's form in cradling arms and shifts from his knees to a sitting position, leaning back against some of the rubble strewn about the field. Firmly in his grasp, he carefully turns her body to where she is laying face forward, head to the side facing the 'audience' of this drama, onto his upper chest, her arms tucked underneath her chest, palms down on his upper torso. Here he hugs her firmly while rocking, one hand stroking her hair, the other flat against her lower back. He places a kiss on her lips, then on her forehead. His mouth moving while speaking in whispers to the silent form he holds snug to his body; tears flowing down his cheeks throughout. All the while the blue glow surrounding their bodies diminishing until it fades away completely.

Shortly afterward, the rocking and whispering ceases. The two lay still, moving no more.

'The hour I first believed.'

The raven haired female walks apprehensively into the scene. Upon spying the two laying together as they are, she continues on , then slowly collapses to her knees beside them. She then lays a hand on them to where it is touching the two of them together, and places the other to her face as her head slumps forward. Her form then appears to be lightly sobbing as the grasp of her hand on the two tightens then moves to lightly stroke each on the cheek as she looks upon them for a time.

'Through many dangers, toils and snares'

A hovercraft then appears, flying across the scene with a blue-skinned, black haired man piloting the device. Wearing a dark blue lab coat and pants, black gloves and boots, his pony-tailed hair is offset by petals of Marigold surrounding his head at the shoulders, while flowered vines extend from various places on his body. Quickly landing, he exits the craft, cautiously, yet reverently walking to the trio. Once beside the kneeling female, he places a hand on her shoulder, the other hangs down at his side as he bows his head slightly.

'I have already come;'

Several vines slowly reach forth from the man, gracefully going to ground, encircling the silent pair laying forever in the arms of Morpheus. After a moment, the ends suddenly blossom in a colorful floral display that surpasses the legacy of Lady Bird and the Wildflowers of Texas; the tendrils sever from the man and withdraw back into the bank of flowers, creating a tender scene of two lovers sleeping peacefully in each others arms in a meadow.

'Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far'

The kneeling woman looks up to the man, tears in her eyes as she then leans into his legs. One hand still on the grounded couple, the other reaching around the legs of the blue lab-coated man to wrap an arm around him at the knees. He rests a hand on her head as each leans into the other, weeping for the silent pair laying together before them.

'and Grace will lead me home.'

The notes of voice and pipes fade, and are heard no more.

Static begins to intrude as the misty fog begins to envelope the scene. The grey fog then starts to lighten up to total blinding whiteness again as the sounds of the delicate wind chimes are heard once again as all fades away.

From within the expanse are heard the wretched despair of weeping, wailing, and sobbing, of more than one individual.

Slowly from within the pale vastness, forms take shape and come into focus on three people in a small room. One form was that of a small oriental man with a white flowing beard and mustache. Dressed in a gold-trimmed red flowing kimono, arms tucked into his sleeves, sitting in meditative repose a few feet from the scene before him, patiently observing the remaining occupants.

Before him were two teens: a blonde haired male and a red haired female. A black ¾ sleeve mock-turtleneck shirt on the male, a short-sleeved purple version on the female. Black gloves on their hands, black shoes on their feet, gray cargo pants on him, form-fitting black pants with a purple stripe running down the outside of each leg on her.

The male sits in the remains of a lotus pose, holding the female curled up in his lap and arms. She, weeping uncontrollably, shuddering in the blonde's arms, clutching at his shirt; he, holding her ever so close to his body, his head tucked into her hair while rocking back and forth, shuddering in his sobs as well.

Between them and the small oriental man was a glowing katana, floating tip down. Its blue glow surrounding the couple, dissipating as the sword slowly descended to the ground, to lay on its side. After a few seconds, the blade rose then glided to the young man, where it transformed into a small chain bracelet that encircled his right wrist. The blue glow around the chain disappeared after a few seconds.

Behind the two teens was a simple pedestal that extended several feet above them, upon which were two shards of stone that seemed to cling to each other within a reddish-blue glow. Just behind the pedestal was a swirling red/white portal that was diminishing in its diameter. The whooshing, swirling, rushing of air accompanying the entity receding in volume with its closure.

In the resulting silence, after some time had passed and the female calmed into fitful slumber, the boy kissed the girl tenderly on her head and tearfully looked up to the oriental man.

"Sensei", begins the blonde, voice cracking and low, "I don't know what to do. Please help me help Kim. It hurts me so much to see her this way. I can't leave her like this. What she's seen… we've seen, is just too much, I fear for her mind, her heart, her soul."

"What more do you need of me Stoppable-san?" replied Sensei. "I have done as you and Possible-san have asked. Through the Lotus Blade, the mystical power of Tai Shing Pek Kwar, and the remaining shards of the Tempus-Simia, you have seen all that could have happened, all that either of you could have become, in your final battle with the Lowardian warriors. What more do you need of Yamanouchi?"

"Kim, being Kim, just had to know if there were any alternatives to the outcome with Warmonga and Warhok, especially non-fatal ones, but the way that battle ended was tame compared to what we witnessed here today." explained the blonde.

"In her desire to be absolutely positive there was no other way for your encounter with the two aliens to end in fatalities, she asked 'What if there was another way?', did she not?"

"Yeah, I guess so, Sensei, it's just the way she is about things like that.. but her Kimness just wouldn't let this one go. We had such a terrible fight over that day. She just couldn't believe that there was no other way to end that battle than to go all Monkey on Warhok and Warmonga and toss them into their ship during its re-entry, killing them. Said I had crossed a line with her and she lost respect for me when I killed."

"I see. Then in order to satisfy her severe inquisitiveness, you asked if there was a way to allow you to learn of other options in your battle with the Lowardians, did you not?"

"Yes, Sensei. Though I'm grateful you were able to recover the means of allowing us to do this and settle this argument that had almost permanently split us, the memories of what we learned will always haunt us. I'm just afraid that this will leave us with a hesitation that might cause us harm, or worse, in what we do as Team Possible."

"Possible-san is a young woman with a great sense of justice "Sensei explained. "She also wants to believe that there are always ways to accomplish her goals without killing. Sadly that option is not always available or advisable for that matter."

Ron paused in the caring of his girlfriend and looked up at the aged master of the Yamanouchi School.

"Wha ...What do you mean Sensei?" Ron stammered.

"Stoppable-san… you, yourself, saw what could have happened if things had gone differently. Would you have preferred any of the outcomes that you witnessed or the one that you participated in?"

Ron bowed his head and placed it gently on the sleeping form of the one person in the world that he would do anything for.

"I was hoping that there was some way...some advice, anything to spare her the pain of knowing what I had to do to save her."

"Do you regret your actions?" Sensei asked gently.

"No." Ron, looking up, in a fierce whisper. "I mean I would have preferred not to do it but, they had Kim...by the leg...threatening to mount her on a wall...", trailing off as he explained his never ending nightmare from that day.

"Would you do it again, knowing the outcome, and the price you will have to pay?" softly from Sensei.

"To save Kim?" in a rising whisper, "Absolutely!"

The murmuring noise of the conversation between Ron and Sensei had begun to register on the fatigue induced weariness of the sleeping form curled up in her boyfriend's arms. Kim awoke slowly, confused at first, as to where she was. She began to understand parts of the conversation going on around her. She always felt safe and protected when she was held by Ron. It was a special place, a place that she could let the troubles of the world pass her by; secure in the knowledge that she was loved by this special man.

Then she had learned that Ron had killed Warhok and Warmonga while she had been knocked out. He had done it to protect her. At first she had been overjoyed just to be alive. But after all the rush of graduation, the party at the lake, that magical kiss they had shared as the Sloth has rocketed into the night; she had begun to wonder: 'Did Ron have to kill them? Couldn't there have been another way?'

Before that day she would have sworn that Ron was incapable of killing anyone… or anything. If she was wrong about such a fundamental part of her life, what else might she be wrong about? Her uncertainty made her question parts of her life that she had never thought of before. Her relentless need to know drove her to the depths of her soul seeking answers that were not forthcoming. Confusing her until she had lashed out at Ron; saying the most hurtful things to him.

She finally convinced a reluctant Ron to contact Sensei, to see if there was any way to determine if there were alternatives to what he had done. To know, without a doubt, what would have happened if things had gone differently. Well she had seen the answers; so much death and destruction were the alternatives if the Lowardians had succeeded in their plans of world domination. Ron had been right in what he had done, and that knowledge had crushed her.

There were also, so very troubling to both of them, several scenarios in which one lived while the other had died, leaving behind a much different person than had entered this sitch of global invasion and mortal combat amongst those two aliens. Shocked at some of the darker versions of herself that rose in the wake of her lifelong best friend and love's demise, she was utterly horrified at the many variations on the absolute manifestation of evil or vengeance that the man she loved became when she had perished. In either one's case, love of anyone else was never in the equation, just carnage and destruction… massive amounts of both, especially in those cases when Ron alone, survived.

Besides the hypothetical results of the Graduation sitch, these 'nightmarish visions' they witnessed had to be discussed, at length with all parties, here, as soon as possible. Kim now knew that there was so much more to her mystically powered boyfriend than she ever suspected, and she needed full disclosure of what happened to her Ron that had made him so overwhelming a force of nature. In preparation to coming here, Ron had explained to her what she was allowed to know about his part in the Yamanouchi Prophecy of the Chosen One and the Lotus Blade.

With Sensei's invitation, at her and Ron's behest, to take part in this little exercise, came the promise to enlighten all present during a summer of training and reflection on all that encompasses Ron Stoppable, Tai Shing Pek Kwar, Mystical Monkey Power, the Prophecy, the Lotus Blade, and Kim's place in all of this.

Kim was interrupted from her musings when Sensei asked Ron a question.

"Would you, Stoppable-san still kill them, even if Possible-san would hate you for the rest of her life?"

Kim tensed as Ron drew her closer to him and placed his nose in her hair. She heard him breathe deeply of the scent there. Ron's tears fell as he answered with a quavering voice.

"Yes Sensei, then I'd know that she would continue to live so she could hate me as long as that would be. But she would continue to live."

Kim slowly raised a gloved hand to cup Ron's cheek tenderly.

"I would never hate you Ronald Stoppable. You are my heart."

Both teens enveloped each other in a crushing hug, tears of joy flowing freely.

Sensei watched this display of emotion with an impassive face, but a small smile could be seen partially hidden by his flowing beard and moustache.

Kim disengaged herself from Ron and sat beside him, an arm still around his waist, as one of his was wrapped around her shoulders.

"Crisis of conscience over Possible-san?" Sensei inquired.

"No." Kim admitted with her characteristic honesty. "But at least we can talk about it now. And there is so much to discuss after we've rested."

All three of them stood and bowed to each other.

"It is late and I believe you two will have much to talk about. Perhaps the conversation of all that had been seen today would be better served in the coming of the next day." Sensei remarked.

Kim and Ron bowed to the Headmaster of the Yamanouchi School and exited the room. Walking together, arms around each others waist, and heads touching; their body language relaxed for the first time in weeks.

When the two teens were out of hearing range Sensei called out to the night air.

"Have you been observing as I asked?"

A shadow disengaged itself from a nearby tree and appeared next to the headmaster.

"Hai, Sensei."

"And what have you learned this night Yori?"

"That Team Possible seems to be recovering from their experience."

"I suspect they may talk long into the night, sorting out their feelings about what has happened to them and what they have seen here today."

"Hai, Sensei, that is all very good, but…." started the raven-haired ninja.

"But, what, Yori-chan?"

"In that last vision I witnessed… I am confused."

"What confuses you so, my child?"

"From my studies of the scrolls regarding the 'Chosen One', he possesses the power of healing, self and projected, does he not?"

"That he does. What of this has left you in such a quandary, my best pupil?"

"As the Chosen One, Stoppable-san possesses the mystical power of Tai Shing Pek Kwar. Would he not have been able to save himself and his best-beloved from those mortal wounds instead of succumbing to them as that last vision portrayed?"

"Normally he would have been able to do so, but the Lowardians accomplished something that assured he would not have survived his wounds."

At this Yori, goes silent, contemplating what her Sensei has explained to her. Shortly it becomes evident that she is not able to understand and looks to him in askance.

"I beg forgiveness, Sensei, please advise this unworthy pupil what I am not able to ascertain from your simple, yet explicit account."

"The Chosen One's inability to resuscitate himself and his beloved came from his loss of heart, all that is his world, and could be no more."

"So the staff through his chest was the fatal blow?" queried the young ninja.

"Stoppable-san's heart was actually struck twice, my child. By itself, he could have survived that penetrating blow, but Warhok's actions essentially sealed Stoppable-san's fate."

"You mean…?" began the young ninja, her eyes going wide at the implication.

"Yes, Yori-chan, she is his heart, as he is hers. While his ascension came rising to the defense of his beloved in the grasp of those murderous aliens, it is Possible-san who is at the core of his being." replied the ninja master.

Continuing, "Together, each is the other's fiery steel and temperance; he, the calm center of her hurricane, she, the spark to his inner fire. Formerly, the Chosen One was more moderation to his mate's actions or reactions, whether hasty or defined, than she to him. Presently this is balancing out, but theirs is a dynamically fluid Yin and Yang relationship: flowing back and forth between them."

"Yes Sensei, I have noted the differences in them from previous encounters. But with acceptance of the Power, wouldn't their bond become more stable and stronger?"

"Yes Yori-chan, but Stoppable-san's rise increases the volatility of this bond. He will be in need of what Yamanouchi provides with the gentle, and sometimes not so gentle, guidance of a loved one to grasp all that he has and will become."

"I see, Sensei. But what of Possible-san? Would this not bring some upheaval to her perceptions of the status quo in their relationship?"

"It will be here that Possible-san will come to grips with a concept her heart has not yet fully embraced about Stoppable-san and herself: 'Love is long suffering, love is kind, it is not jealous'. From this one, precise summit in her heart.. she will understand all that she is… and shall be… beside her lifelong best friend. She, too, will rise as has her beloved, when her heart and pride embraces that nothing between them diminishes, yet grows further, as their lives become even more intertwined."

"Yes Sensei. I can see how Stoppable-san's growth in these matters and Possible-san's perceptions of herself and her betrothed would be conditions to work through to make them stronger together. But is the sum of their union more than their combined parts?" questioned the raven-haired ninja.

"Separate, each either goes a bit astray or is somewhat unrestrained, though they possess within themselves means for self-reliance and righteousness that comes from their upbringing and personal interactions to hold back the darkness they, like all of us, have."

Nodding, Yori beckons her Sensei to continue: "However… if villainous fatality would come to one, under the proper mix of circumstances, the other could descend into a darkness that may well take the world with them. Stoppable-san, with what traces of embedded darkness he has within his heart, and in possession of the Lotus Blade, is the more capable of the two to do so."

"Sensei, that is such a horrible circumstance to contemplate! Would not the Lotus Blade prevent such a result, and if not, how would Yamanouchi defend against such a horrendous outcome if this relationship risks such peril to the world?" questioned the suddenly panicked ninja.

"That is what this visit of our Chosen One and his beloved was about, my child. The door to the possibility of Stoppable-sama gasp, yes Sama, becoming the darkest of mystical warriors was opened the day Warmonga and Warhok captured and threatened the life of his beloved."

"The results troubled each member of Team Possible, but in different ways. The consequences from that encounter fed a fear or fears each possesses concerning the safety and wellbeing of the other, taking the life of another, and now their newest concern of descending into the darkest reaches of their souls as a result of horrific personal tragedy." replied the aged ninja master as his pupil's eyes widened even further during this account.

"As for intervention from the Lotus Blade, though his heart would no longer be pure, it would still reside with its master, yet do nothing regarding his path other than subtly resist and offer a return to his original destiny."

"What must be done to prevent such an outcome, Sensei? Will we have to do the unthinkable to this young couple in order to avoid such a dark outcome? Or is there another way?" came the rapid fire questions from the heart-troubled Yori.

"Patience, guidance, respect and love, my child. That is all we can do, and today the first steps were taken towards guiding Stoppable-sama and his betrothed down that path, the rest is up to them. Their reaching out to Yamanouchi after nearly severing their bond was but the first step. We are already preparing what is needed to guide and counsel them, starting with this visit, and will continue to do so from this day forward."

"What of when neither are within Yamanouchi to receive guidance or counsel? When can it be certain each or both is strong enough to resist the darkness that could come from the fatal separation of either?"

"All very good questions Yori-chan. Each of these, and many more, have already been taken into account and are to be dealt with from the present by Yamanouchi. We can do no less for for our Warrior Hero and his Only Beloved, and in the process, we can secure the safety of the world inhabited by these champions of justice."

"I understand Sensei, and hope the best for all contingencies that arise from Stoppable-sama and Possible-san's interactions in their 'mission' lives. But what if even after our best intentions and guidance, the worst happens? "

"Then, we must be prepared to counter that prospect as well. As I said, there are many things we are prepared to contend with and plan for, and it would be unwise to ignore that outcome."

"Yes Sensei. I see the wisdom of your words and stand ready for what you require of me." replied the young ninja as she bowed low to her Sensei.

Returning the bow, "As always, you honor me with your faithfulness. Now my child, would you walk with me about the courtyard for a moment before we retire? I wish to be certain all is well with our young heroes as they share their night together."

"As you wish Sensei. You honor me with your request to accompany you in your stroll before retiring."

After a bit they arrived outside the window of one of the guestrooms offered to Kim and Ron. It was noted that, except for a light blue glow coming from within, the lights of the room were out.

"It appears that our two young ones must have been more weary than was suspected. I see they have retired for the night after all." observed Sensei.

"Hai, Sensei. They have been non-stop in their travels from Middleton to the school and then the long hours in the chamber seeking the answers that Possible-san sought regarding her questions. I am surprised they did not need assistance to their rooms when the session ended."

"As am I Yori-chan. Possible-san's quest to receive her answers here had nearly driven her and her beloved to complete exhaustion. Her 'balance' was not heeded and she not only almost lost what she holds most dear to her, her persistent questions received answers she was not prepared for."

"I believe it would be best that we not awaken them in the morning and let them sleep in. There is much to discuss regarding their questions and answers: those sought after and unintended."

"As you wish Sensei, it shall be done; I will see to it before retiring to my quarters for the night. Now may I accompany you to your quarters beforehand?"

"Yes, Yori-chan, you may. But first I must look in on our visitors for a moment."

Looking into the window, Kim and Ron are seen sleeping, each nestled in the tender grasp of the other, smiles of serene contentment on their faces as they are surrounded in a light blue glow. He also notes that there are two small precise places on each of them that are glowing more intensely than what encompasses them: together at their heads and their hearts.

Thinking to himself, 'Stoppable-sama once again is looking out for his beloved, using his abilities to heal the discomfort of her mind and heart as well as his own. I expect no less of him. He will make such a compassionate champion with his love beside him. Heaven help those who would separate these two, for assistance in their resulting plight shall not come from Yamanouchi.'

Returning to his student, "All is well, Yori-chan. Let us retire for the night and begin anew tomorrow with Stoppable-sama and Possible-san's 'Post-Graduation' studies."

"Hai Sensei, as you wish."

As they turned to walk away, Sensei stopped and tilted his head to one side, slightly towards the guestroom, as if listening for something.

"Do you hear them Yori-chan?" he whispered softly.

"What do you hear Sensei?" Yori asked in concern.

"Wind chimes my child, the call of wind chimes, as a school bell."

Turning her head as he had, Yori closes her eyes and listens for a moment.

Her eyes open in wonder, Yori whispers, "Yes Sensei, I hear them. I do hear chimes… ringing as you say."

A peaceful smile on his face, "All is well my child, now we must retire for the night. Tomorrow, the first of many steps by our champions are to be taken."

With that two of Yamanouchi's very finest quietly turn and walk into the blue-tinged, starlit night. Barely audible as they walk away is the sound of wind chimes sounding in the rhythm of a school bell ringing, rising lightly in volume then fading into silence.

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A/N: As mentioned above, Yankee Bard's tale, "Sometimes It's Hard To Be A Hero", is the inspiration for this tale. In the aftermath of the battle with the Lowardians, Kim and Ron had a fight unlike nearly any I've ever read on this site. In this case it was over Ron killing the Lowardians who were going to mount Kim as a trophy / present to Warmonga to commemorate their conquest of the planet with the fall of the thorn-in-the-side of Warhok's battle mate.

Several months ago I was at a parade where a lone bagpiper marched by while playing the tune of the moment. In his passing by, a spark of an idea came to me that lead to write this tale. The key was the 'battle' being played out mystically and accompanied by 'Amazing Grace' playing in the background. Why that tune in this scenario? To me with the bagpipes playing, and/or the voice accompanying, that song fits so solemnly and eloquently with the action of the fatal combat of favored sons or daughters. A simple, yet eloquent complement to the recounting of the ultimate sacrifice, though in reality nothing is elegant in ends such as these. The music was intended as a tribute to such acts of personal battle and ultimate self-sacrifice, nothing more.

To those wondering about Scottish bagpipes and a song originating in the land of the Scots, with Oriental wind chimes in Japan, and what they have to do with each other? Well what does Chinese Kung Fu have to do with a Japanese ninja academy? Not much really, but they have been put together just the same.

As for 'Ron's demise' in the last vision, let's just say I was also inspired to include a scene from an Arthurian movie from a couple of decades ago, that also included a mystical sword, two lovers and a tragic ending to that legendary tale. I thoroughly enjoyed that movie and recommend it to anyone who is a fan of the Legend of King Arthur. If you think you know the name of the movie, I'll PM you about whether or not your guess was right.

Originally, I intended to have the crux of the tale only show the last of the myriad of 'what-if' battles with the Lowardians which would lead Kim to realize that in the life-and-death missions they undertake, the step Ron took sometimes could happen. The wrap-up to it all was to have Kim and Ron go forward from this MMP-powered 'show and tell' (something I sort of 'borrowed' from whitem and a tale he put out using similar methods in this way) and heal together, under Sensei's and Yamanouchi's guidance. I had a block in continuing forward from the early portion of Ron's and Sensei's conversation, and with where to take the story. After going back and forth with, and requesting help from, screaming phoenix he came through and gave me the path from there to an ending I could use, and work from. Thanks guy, I can't thank you enough for your help on this. Maybe the next time Ohio State plays an SEC team for a BCS National Championship things will work out differently...? Third time's the charm…? Just hopefully not against LSU… ;D!

Well, once screaming phoenix's passage was incorporated into my tale, a whammy that has hit many a contributor to this site struck me: the 'Add-On Plot Bunny'. He happened upon me (the little seen yet nearly as vicious a critter as the cousin we are all so familiar with), and I came up with more to add to the story. As a result of A-OPB's bite, I inserted the specter of the dark warrior rising from the ashes of a loved one's death The conversation with Sensei and Yori was expanded to include the discussion of how this could happen and what to do about it, as well as Kim's musings, ominous or disheartening, as she woke in Ron's arms from the post-viewing hysterical meltdown that followed the disturbing 'visions' they witnessed.

I also asked Yankee Bard to look this over and not only did he give me his blessing, he also has made adjustments to his tale so these two could fit together. To him I send my thanks and gratitude for his acceptance of my play on his original tale. I highly recommend reading his works of fiction as well as this one. As I mentioned above, you may also want to read his tale on this topic to have an idea where this one-shot came from.

It took a while to get to where I needed screaming phoenix's help and a bit more time to get to an ending I could be happy with to present to those of you who take the time to read this. It is my hope that you enjoy this humble work of mine, with screaming phoenix's invaluable contributions, and that you leave a review to just to say what you think about this story.

Thank you and I hope that you enjoy this work of KP fiction.

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Amazing Grace Lyrics:

1779 by John Newton (1725-1807)

The scene alluded to of the Wildflowers of Texas courtesy of Claudia Alta Taylor Johnson, known to Texans, citizens of the United States and the world as Lady Bird Johnson (1912-2007), widow of the Thirty-sixth President of the United States, Lyndon Baines Johnson (1908-1973).

Sensei's quote regarding Kim Possible's status quo, from: 1 Corinthians 13: 1-13