Such an extraordinary story from one of their own. To think that someone disliked Ron so much he wanted him dead. And how sad for Hana, everyone thought, to have had her parents stolen from her.
So many missions, Ron and I, Kim reflected, and to date the body count is zero. We made enemies, but none so mortal that they'd want to kill us, or we them.
She looked over at him sympathetically. Poor Ron.
Kim offered her condolences to Ron regarding his recent experiences, as did the others.
Ron thanked everyone for their sympathies. He thought, though, to himself that if he had to do it again he would, as much as he hated the feeling of having to. Though his life changed the day he awoke to darkness six years ago, he hoped to never become the sort to cut down every enemy to cross his path, rather those who were of the gravest evil and impossible to reason with, while trying to not jeopardize his soul. He would try to be the Ron everyone knew before, while accepting what he had done and that it may happen again.
He reflected on other things he did not tell his family and friends. He felt no need to add that there were other former Yamanouchi allies who helped him return to Middleton, including his airport escort from customs. And Yori… To tell them that for a while he thought that he and she could be together… But then she said something to him.
"I believe Kim Possible is your destiny, Stoppable-san." That was what Yori had said. She must have sensed it in the way Ron had talked about Kim and their worldwide adventures. And after being at Yamanouchi a while, Ron realized she must have been on to something, for he had begun to really miss Kim. And just as Kim felt earlier that day, he knew that she, too, has a place in his heart. It made him happy to be back with her.
After Hana woke from her nap she was up and being fully acquainted with everyone. Ron's parents had come across some old "Flippies" videos and introduced her to them. Hana took to the videos adorably, the music and dancing setting her into a fit of amused giggles and movements, with Ron, Kim, Wade, and the tweebs all keeping her company.
To celebrate his return a reunion dinner was prepared that evening by the parents. Kim had filled him in on her life before being brought home, so while everyone ate, Ron was filled in on the others' lives. He learned his dad had made 'Actuary of the Year' during what would have been Ron's senior year in high school. His mother still kept house. Mr. and Mrs. Doctors P had furthered their careers in their respective professions of rocket science and neurology. The tweebs were skipped ahead to high school during Kim's senior year in high school and would soon be staring their second year of college at MIT. Wade was dabbling in miscellaneous projects on behalf of numerous corporations.
After a long afternoon of getting reacquainted, the day came to an end. Guests parted company with the Stoppables, Kim adding to Ron that she would see him again the next day. By nightfall the Stoppables all retired to bed, Ron eager to settle into his new room.
The following morning the parental units of the Stoppable household awoke to a stomach-grumbling aroma and the scent of coffee. Curious, they cautiously went downstairs to the main floor and found their son there, dressed and without his sunglasses, making his way around the kitchen to prepare breakfast.
Amazed, Jean spoke first for the two of them. "Ronnie?"
Turning to face their general direction, Ron greeted them. "Morning, Mom and Dad. Breakfast will be ready in a bit. Have some coffee, though, it's ready."
His mother stepped forward. "Please, Son, let me get breakfast ready."
"It's no big, Mom, I've got everything under control. The table is set, so please go have a seat."
She looked at her husband, and he at her.
"Thanks, Son," said his father, smiling. Leading his wife from the kitchen Dean added, "The coffee can wait, we'll have it with breakfast."
"Sure thing, Dad."
On their way to the dining area his mother paused in her tracks. "Ronnie, are you sure you-"
"Relax, Mom, everything's fine. Go sit down and I'll be right in." Further he thought to himself, Be patient with them. Everyone will eventually understand I'm not helpless.
"Let him be, Jean," her husband advised. "He's fine."
They had been waiting for him at the table before hearing a light rattling sound, followed by seeing him round the entryway into the dining room carrying a serving tray. On it was breakfast, three coffee mugs, and a pitcher, steam drifting from its spout, all perfectly steady and surprisingly in no danger of toppling over. They watched him set the tray down with ease in the middle of the dining room table within reach of all. At the sight and smell of it all they commended their son.
The Stoppables each took a mug. The pitcher was within reach of Dean, so he started pouring into his mug before it was passed around the table. Jean wanted to serve Ron, but after a gesture from her husband she simply passed the pitcher to her son. Still, Jean offered fill their plates which both accepted. Upon tasting breakfast, the parents were astounded by how delicious it tasted.
"I'm glad you like it," said Ron.
They were not too far into eating when they heard Hana from upstairs. Ron was about to go get her up when his mother asked to do it. Ron, hearing how eager she wanted to, let her.
"So how did you sleep, Son?"
"Quite good, actually, Dad," replied Ron. "I felt as at home as ever."
"I'm glad to hear that."
A short time later, Jean, joined by her adopted granddaughter, returned, moving on to the kitchen with Hana to make her breakfast.
Later that morning, Kim returned, inviting Ron over to the Possible house which he accepted. After telling Hana and his parents he would see them later, Ron left with her. Once there he reacquainted himself with the house, and while he did he was met with reminiscent sounds.
Kim introduced him to the next generation of mole rats. "Ron, meet Rufus 3, Rufus 8, Rufus 9, and Rufus 11."
Hearing their names attached to numbers amused him, and he thought, I wonder if in about twenty years there'll be a Rufus 3000.
Kim told Ron that they had eight siblings which found homes with other kids through Smarty Mart. Rufus Senior was so popular in his day that kids also wanted a mole rat. Ron ended up bonding well with each of the four. By day's end Kim and Ron agreed to turn them over to him.
Much happened in the days following Ron's homecoming. Kim, having Ron back in her life, decided to have her college credits transferred to Upperton University where she would continue her studies. Ron had agreed to see a specialist regarding his eyes at the recommendation of family members and friends. To their disappointment, and Ron's acceptance, it was determined his blindness could not be undone. Ron even had run-ins with old classmates: Monique, Felix, and even Bonnie among others.
It was on another occasion that Ron happened to run into another former acquaintance of his: high school mentor/tormentor Steve Barkin in Smarty Mart. To Ron's amazement he found out Mr. Barkin had been working at Smarty Mart in the Housewares Department as a second job for fourteen years.
Without having to recount his missing years in detail each time someone asked him about it, Ron reduced his ordeal to the actual incident that took his sight, being rescued by locals in seclusion, them teaching him to adapt to his handicap, and adopting a child before returning to Middleton. He left out the final test and the unfortunate events. Having heard about his role in thwarting the Bueno Nacho robbery, everyone admitted they were very impressed he had the skills, even with his handicap. Bonnie, despite her past dislike of him, actually showed some decency for Ron and his impairment.
One evening at the Stoppable residence the television was on in the living room, broadcasting news. Ron was sitting there with his father listening to the various headlines and exclusives, while his mother was elsewhere in the house tending to Hana. In the weeks following Ron's return from Japan the Stoppables acquired all the necessities for Hana's wellbeing, such as more clothes and baby-safe toys.
The anchorman on the news had just finished a report on an infiltration of a high-tech remote facility by a master thief, saying, "Anonymous sources are speculating that the thief did not act alone, that 'he' was aided by an external ally who disabled security. Federal agents are offering no comment at this time."
Somewhere in the house the phone rang.
"In local news," continued the anchorman, "the Denver Convention Center will soon be receiving a visit from world famous archaeologist, Lord Montgomery Fisk, who will present to visitors his finest collection of antiquities, including some of history's master crafted swords. About his sword collection, in a recent interview Lord Fisk had this to say…"
Ron heard the archaeologist speak, a gentlemanly British accent. "Despite the many swords I have acquired," said Fisk, "alas I fear it will never be complete, for I lack the one sword I truly desire: the legendary Lotus Blade." That comment brought a small smile to Ron's face. He had learned of the sword from Sensei, and even knew its true whereabouts.
Mrs. Stoppable came into the room, Hana in one hand, the cordless phone in another. "Ronnie, it's Kim."
Ron received the phone from her. "Hey there, KP."
"Hi, Ron. Listen, I'm going to check out a break-in at a high-tech lab."
"I just heard about it on the news. You be careful."
"Sure thing. Catch you tomorrow?"
"You bet. See ya then."
A/N: Readers, this chapter basically ends the A-side of this story. For now, it will be on hiatus while I set to work on other ideas. Fear not, though, I do have a general idea of how this is to carry on. Until then…