No own, no money, please no sue!
I blame MaceEcam for this. He mentioned the idea in chat, and it stuck in my head. Within 2 days, I had an almost compete story plotted in my head. But don't worry, he'll get his, I just have to find the right method. Lol
I'm not posting this story until it's complete, so no long wait needed. Updates will be every 2 days until the story is complete. Hope you enjoy!
Past and Present – Chapter 1
Ron smiled as he finished the cleaning. He knew she wouldn't care, but he did, and he always prided himself on setting an example. After all, it had been a couple months since he had seen his daughter Michelle, going to school all the way in New York, and he planned on celebrating.
He looked around the living room, soaking it all in. He could see her awards on the mantle, next to his football trophy and a few of his awards from his world-saving days. Her gymnastics awards, her cheerleading trophy, her swimming awards, all laid out on the mantle where everyone who came to their home could see them. Her pictures hung on the walls around the room, some of just her, others of the two of them.
He traced his finger along the one from her high school graduation, his eyes tearing up a bit. She had grown into such a beautiful, wonderful young woman, and he was so very proud of her. He was so thankful that she had acquired so much of her mother's drive, yet none of her attitude. He didn't think he would have been able to handle her if she had grown up to be like his ex-wife.
Ron was drawn from his thoughts as he heard the sound of the car pulling up out front. He had wanted to pick her up from the airport, but she told him she had a surprise for him, and would just get a taxi so that she could surprise him properly. He moved quickly to the door, throwing it open.
Michelle had hopped out of the taxi as soon as it had stopped, dashing for the front door. "Daddy!"
"Pumpkin." Ron opened his arms and his daughter flew into them, hugging her tightly. "It's so good to see you."
She kissed him on the cheek, her eyes filled with delight. "It's good to see you too Daddy."
He set her down, but kept his arms around her. "So... what's this surprise you didn't want me to see?"
Michelle turned until she was looking at the young man carrying their bags up to the door. "Daddy, this is Michael... my fiancée."
"Daddy? Daddy, wake up."
Ron could feel something soft under him, and he wanted to keep surrendering to the blissful darkness, but the voice was insistent. Slowly, he opened his eyes to see the worried expression on his daughter's face. "Honey, when did you get home? I was going to be waiting for you. I just had the most awful dream..."
Michelle winced, glancing up behind him. "Umm... Daddy..."
He could see the worried expression on her face, the constant glances upward, and Ron's heart grew heavy with dread. "It... wasn't a dream... was it?"
"Uhh... not quite."
"Mr. Stoppable... sir..." Ron turned his head to look at the young man standing beside the couch. "I really love your daughter, quite a lot."
Ron took a moment to look over the young man. He had slightly reddish hair that was neatly combed into a look that young professionals seemed to be wearing and a nice, innocent face, the kind that all fathers worried about when it came to their daughters. He was also pretty tall, probably about six feet tall, with a solid build. He wasn't football linebacker big, but by the way his muscles were, he could easily have been a swimmer or a martial artist. Knowing his daughter was on the university swim team, it's likely that's where she met him.
Ron groaned as he pulled himself up into a sitting position on the couch, taking a moment to hang his head into his hands, rubbing his temples. Michelle was right there, rubbing his back. "Are you going to be all right Daddy?"
"I'll be all right Pumpkin." Ron lifted his head to meet her worried eyes. "I just have to let this all sink in for a moment first."
Michael still looked very worried, moving to step in front of him, his hands held in front of him. "I'm sorry I didn't ask your permission first before I asked her, it was kind of a spur of the moment thing."
Ron took a deep breath, letting it out slowly. "Michelle, why don't you unpack your things while I have a quick talk with Michael here."
Michelle stiffened instantly at that. "Daddy..."
"I'm not going to run him off Pumpkin." Ron squeezed her hand in a comforting manner. "I just want to find out more about him."
Michelle gave her father a look that was entirely her mother's. "Isn't that what you said about John Matthews?"
"Uhh... yes... but I promise this time, no power drills this time."
Michael visibly gulped at that, but Michelle just met her father's eye, finally relenting. "All right, but I want him back in one piece when you're done Daddy."
Ron kissed her on the cheek. "I promise. Now go."
Michelle reluctantly left, carrying two of her bags, while Michael looked to her for support. Ron rose from his seat, waving Michael to head to the kitchen. "Michael, would you like something to drink?"
Michael paused at the entrance to the kitchen, taking it all in before he realized he had been asked a question. "Maybe a soda sir."
Ron gave him a look then nodded, moving over to the refrigerator. "Good choice, you passed the first test."
Michael's head shot up quickly. "Test?"
"Yes." Ron pulled a couple of sodas out of the fridge, putting one in front of the young man. "If you had asked for a beer, this would be a very short conversation." Ron sat down at the island bar, motioning for Michael to do the same. "Now, tell me how you met my daughter."
Michael fiddled with the can in his hands, his eyes downward. "Well, we're both on the swimming team..." Ron smiled as he had guessed right, "and we just kinda hit it off. We started dating last year and things have been very good between us."
Ron nodded, taking a sip of his soda. "By very good, does that mean you've slept with my daughter?"
Michael cringed, seeming to sink into himself. Ron eyed him carefully until he sat back up again, this time lifting his eyes to meet his, a well of courage visibly swelling within him. "Sir... yes, I have slept with Michelle. We are both adults and we love each other very much."
Ron sat there a moment, letting Michael stew, before slowly nodding. "All right, you just passed the second test. You were man enough to admit it, and you defended her honour. I appreciate that." Michael visibly relaxed, his entire body tensed for any reaction. Ron pressed on. "So what are you planning to do after university to support my little girl?"
That question was a much more comfortable one and he smiled a bit. "Well sir, I am graduating with a degree in mechanical engineering and have a job already lined up starting in July from the Middleton Institute of Technology in Colorado. I'll be making more than enough to support her, even if she didn't want to work."
Ron nodded, and stuck his hand across the island. "Then welcome to the family." When Michael shook his hand, Ron held firm, whispering to the young man. "But if you hurt her, I will hunt you down like a rabid dog."
Michael visibly paled as Ron let go, leaning back a bit. "You can come in now Pumpkin, I'm done interrogating him."
Michelle came in immediately, her eyes shifting between her father and her fiancée. "Okay, what did you say to him that I didn't hear? There is no way he should be that pale unless you said something else to him."
"Just father's privilege Pumpkin."
Ron smiled as he sat down with his daughter and her new husband-to-be at the restaurant. "So, when do you want to have this wedding?"
Michelle smiled, glancing at Michael. "Well... we were thinking this June."
Ron's eyebrows shot up. "That soon?"
Michelle reached over and took his hand in hers. "We want to get married as soon as possible."
June seemed far too soon for him, but Ron just nodded. "And where would you be having the wedding?"
Michael was the first to speak up. "We were thinking of having it in Middleton, since that's where we'll be living afterwards. Plus, my family is mostly from there."
"Plus," Michelle was smiling brightly, "Grandma and Grandpa and Aunt Hana are there as well, so it would cut down on a lot of travel time. Besides..." Michelle was batting her eyes, almost pleading with her father, "didn't you say you wanted to move back someday, to be closer to the rest of the family? Maybe... you could move there too?"
Ron could see how much it meant to her, and it was something he had considered. He and Michelle made frequent trips to Middleton as she grew up, and he had always loved the city, even after everything. Plus, he did have a restaurant there, and it would be fairly easy to move his head office to follow him. He considered everything that he would have to do to accomplish it, then smiled. "I guess I can look into it."
Michelle squealed and threw herself around the table to hug her father. "Oh thank you Daddy!"
Ron held his daughter with a smile, looking over at Michael. "So Michael, what do your parents think about all this?"
Michael winced slightly. "It's just my Mom, my Dad passed away a few years ago."
Ron frowned slightly in sympathy. "I'm sorry to hear that."
"It's all right. But I haven't told my mother yet. That's what we're doing with the second half of spring break."
"Do you think she'll have a problem with it?"
"No sir." Michael smiled as his fiancée sat back down beside him. "She might be a bit shocked at first, but she should take it pretty well."
Ron smirked at the pair of them. "Better than I did at least?"
Michelle laughed, happy that her father was taking this so well. "Yes, if everything Michael tells me about her is true, she should take it much better than you did."
Ron nodded, frowning slightly. "Michelle... have you told your mother?"
Michelle's expression darkened slightly. "Why would I want to tell HER?"
Michelle never got along with her mother, not after she had divorced him and abandoned her when she was only three. She rarely called, and only visited twice, both meetings turning into complete disasters. She had, after all, despite her sweet demeanor, picked up her mother's stubbornness. "I know you don't like her much, but you should at least talk to her and let her know you are getting married."
Michelle crossed her arms in front of herself petulantly. "She's probably just on some yacht sponging off her next boytoy somewhere. She probably wouldn't go if you paid her."
"Still," Ron's tone was conciliatory, "she is your mother."
"No, she's the bitch that gave birth to me." Michelle met her father's hard glare before finally surrendering. "Fine, I'll let her know, but I don't like it."
"Honestly, I don't like it much myself, but you have to at least try."
Michelle slumped slightly in her seat, arms still crossed. "You always were too nice about her, especially after everything she did to us."
"I know Pumpkin, I know."
"I'm going to miss you Daddy."
The days had passed far too quickly for Ron's liking, as he hugged his daughter tightly. He couldn't believe she was leaving already. "You just have a good trip, and I'll see you in June."
Michelle pulled away, looking up at her father's face. "I just wish you could come to Middleton earlier."
"I know." Ron kissed her on the forehead. "But if I want to move the corporate headquarters before then, I have to stay here until it's complete."
Michelle smiled back at her father. "I'm just glad you're going to move to Middleton with us. It will be so great having you there, especially once we start having kids."
Ron felt himself going faint at that. "Kids..."
Michelle laughed, kissing her father on the cheek. "I'm kidding Daddy, that won't be for a few years yet."
That calmed Ron a bit, and Michelle pulled away. He turned his attention to Michael, who seemed to have also paled a bit at the mention of kids, and stuck out his hand. "It was good to meet you Michael. You take care of my little girl for me."
Michael smiled, shaking Ron's hand. "Yes sir, I definitely will."
Ron smiled, keeping a firm grip. "Michael, call me Ron... or Dad."
Michael's smile got broader at that. "Thanks... Dad."
The months flew by quickly as Ron got set for the move. He'd be in Middleton a couple weeks before the wedding, and he was looking forward to it. Everything was moved from his offices in Los Angeles, and now it was just a matter of setting up. Everyone from his staff that was coming with him were already settled or getting settled into their new homes, while those that hadn't had been moved to the new regional office he had set up or with new employment that he had worked hard to create for his loyal employees. Owning a chain of fifty restaurants required a lot of work.
As his plane touched down, he wondered just how much had been set up for everything. He knew the church was set up, after they decided on a Christian wedding that didn't go over too well with some of his family. But to Ron, it didn't matter, as long as they were happy. The reception should be largely ready as well, considering he had paid for it. His own restaurant would be doing the catering, which Michelle was more than happy to accept. It was all down to the final details now, and if Michael was right, his family was taking care of that.
Michelle met him at the airport, and immediately hugged him tight. "I'm so glad you're finally here Daddy."
"I'm glad I'm here too Pumpkin." Ron let her go, picking up his bags. "Where's Michael? I thought he'd be here with you."
"He wanted to, but something came up with his tux and he had to go there. He'll meet us at the party."
Ron parked up at that. "Party?"
Michelle smiled at her dad's reaction. "Yup. I wanted both our families to meet before everything got hectic, so we rented a hall. Michael and his Mom are going to meet us there."
Michelle and Ron chatted on the drive over to the hall, mostly about inconsequential things, but at the mention of Ron's new house, Michelle put her foot down. "Daddy, you're going to stay with us."
"Pumpkin, I don't need to." Ron was shaking his head. "I can just get a hotel until the movers get all my stuff here. I don't want to intrude..."
"Daddy, you would not be intruding, and you are NOT getting a hotel room."
Ron chuckled, knowing there was no way he was getting out of this. "All right Michelle, if you insist."
Michelle smiled when her father caved in. "Good." She turned into the hall parking lot, pulling up beside anouther car. "Michael and his Mom are already here. Good, you can meet her right away."
Ron got out of the car, a smirk on his face. "So, what's his Mom like? Is she cute?"
Michelle made such a face Ron couldn't help laughing. "Eww, that's going to be my mother-in-law. That would be WAY too weird." When her father settled down, Michelle took on a more serious expression. "But while we are on the subject, you should find someone to be with Daddy. You haven't dated anyone seriously since Mom left, and that was almost twenty years ago."
"Pumpkin..." Ron knew that this was anouther subject that Michelle was concerned about, and not without a point. "I don't think..."
"That you're ready for a relationship?" Michelle let out a loud sigh as she walked through the door her father held open for her. "Daddy, you shouldn't be alone. You're too good of a man not to have someone in your life."
Ron smiled vaguely as he followed his daughter. "I have you, that's enough for me."
"Daddyyyy." But Michelle cut what she was going to say short when they got to the room. "Oh, there's Michael and his Mom. Let's go meet them."
Ron smiled as he followed her into the room. He noticed only a few people in the room so far, so he could easily see Michael talking with a smaller woman. He took a moment to look her over as they got closer, and his smile faded slightly. He could see the long red hair, and though it had been years, the butt looked very familiar as well. He had a very bad feeling.
Michael though noticed none of that. "Hey Honey... Dad... I'd like you to meet..."
Michael's mother turned around with a smile on her face, but it quickly disappeared when she saw who was behind her. Her wineglass fell to the floor, shattering on impact, but she never even noticed. "Ron?"
Ron grimaced, his hands clenching involuntarily. "Hello Kim."
Author's Notes – A reunion that neither expected, in a way that neither would ever have expected. Kim and Ron come face to face after more then twenty years.