Disney owns the characters; I'm just taking them for a test drive. This story ties up a few lose end from my KP/Buckaroo banzai crossover "Team Possible in the 8th Dimension." You don't have to read that to know what's going on, but it couldn't hurt!
Monique Davies took another look at herself in the bathroom mirror. Her makeup was just right, her hair looked perfect, and the white blouse with the grey skirt and suit jacket she was wearing looked very professional. "Well, girl," she said to herself, "you look good, and so does your resume. Hopefully they'll be good enough." With that Monique turred off the light and exited the bathroom. For the last several weeks she had been staying with Kim and Ron Stoppable; ever since her parents moved to Colorado Springs. When the University of Upperton's housing department lost her information, it became apparent that this little arrangement was going to last longer than the summer. Knowing that she was going to be a somewhat permanent house guest, Monique made the decision to go out and get a job so she could pitch in. Today was her second interview. With the big boss. Monique was freaking.
"Wow, Mon," Kim Stoppable said when she saw her best girlfriend enter the living room. "You look spankin'!"
"I feel like a bird at a cat convention," Monique replied. "This is Club Banana Elite we're talking about here! I won't just be selling clothes, I'll be a commissioned consultant. This is like, way huge!" Monique collapsed onto the couch. "I am so gonna freeze in the interview."
"You'll be fine, Mon," Kim said with a smile. "And I just know you'll wow them with your portfolio."
"Well, I did design your wedding dress, so I have that going for me."
"And my mom, my mother-in-law, and my nana said it was the most beautiful dress they'd ever seen. Like I said, you'll be fine!"
"I hope so, Kim," Monique sighed. "I really need this job. I'm tired of feeling like a freeloader."
"What are you doing after the interview?" Kim asked, changing the subject.
"I'm meeting Pete for coffee." Kim and Monique had ran into their old schoolmate Pete Peterson two weeks prior; just before the second Lorwardian incursion. Since then, Monique and Pete had gotten together for lunch, dinner or coffee almost every day. Pete had asked Monique to help with the costuming for a student film he wanted to enter into the Spring Film Festival, and Kim could see the sparks starting to fly. "Girl, you better wipe that smirk off your face," Monique warned. "There ain't nothing like that going on with me and Pete! We're just friends."
Kim stifled a giggle. "Whatever you say."
"Anyway," Monique said, "this has all been about me. What plans do you have today?"
"Well, I have to go down to Middleton to meet with some execs from Tunes TV about something."
"Tunes TV," her husband Ron said when he came out of the kitchen with coffee for the ladies. "You know, I hear they used to run music videos. You know, before all the lame reality dating shows. Looking good, Monique!"
"Mmm hmmm," Rufus agreed from his person's shoulder.
"What does Tunes TV want?" Monique asked.
"Wade thinks they want KP to be on one of those retroactive shows," Ron answered.
"I think you mean retrospective show, Ron," Kim corrected. "If they do want me on one of those shows, I'm so making sure they know that we're a package deal. If they want me, they get Ron, too." Kim smiled at her husband and squeezed his hand. "And after that I'm going to the airport to pick up Josh and Tara."
"Not surprising that Tara went to Seattle to help Josh's fam out after his grandfather had a stroke," Ron said. "How's Mr. Mankey doing, anyway?"
"Tara said he was a lot better, but that he still had a long way to go." Kim took a sip of her coffee. "It was really weird. Tara sounded like something big had happened, but she wouldn't say what." Kim was going to find out when she met her friend at the airport.
One of the local network TV affiliates in Middleton was owned by the same parent company as Tunes TV, so it was only natural that this was chosen as the location for the meeting between Kim and the network executives. Kim, clad in a black short sleeve shirt and blue jeans, was ushered into the main conference room. At the end of a long rectangular table sat the two TV tycoons. They both wore matching pin striped suits, had nearly identical rimless glasses, and their hair seemed to be going grey in all the same places. If one of them hadn't been taller than the other, Kim would have sworn they were identical twins.
"Miss Possible," the exec on the right said. "Thanks for coming. I'm Robert Williams, and this is William Roberts."
"Nice to meet you," Kim said, "and, actually, my name is-"
"Plenty of time for that later, Miss Possible," Mr. Roberts said. "Have a seat, and we'll see if we can work out a deal that will be mutually beneficial both to you, and to us at Tunes TV!" The man's voice became overly excited when he said "Tunes TV;" almost like Ron when he discovered a new video game.
"We had our people come up with this promo spot using some news footage of you," Mr. Williams said. He grabbed a remote control from the conference table and pointed it at an almost wall sized flat screen TV.
Ron would so be in heaven if he could play Zombie Mayhem on a TV like that, Kim thought. Maybe after he graduates from cooking school and I finish college we can splurge on one. Or we could see if Wade could whip up something better!
The lights in the room faded, and the TV came to life, showing an image of Kim in her old mission gear. "Kim Possible's your basic average girl, and she's here to save the world," the deep voiced announcer said.
Okay, this is most def not for a retrospective show, Kim thought as a scowl formed on her face. They better not be making some lame reality show about me. I can just see it; "Who Wants to be a Freak Fighter."
The image changed, showing Kim fighting Shego and an army of henchmen. "Kim Possible can do anything. Anything, that it, except find Mr. Right." A shot of Ron having his pants torn off by an errant grappler line replaced the battle montage.
Okay, not "Who Wants to be a Freak Fighter" This is so much worse. Kim was starting to fume even more, especially when she saw the two TV execs rubbing their hands together with anticipation out of the corner of her eye. "Um, thanks for the thought, but I'm not interested in any reality shows." They didn't listen.
"One of these guys will save our herione from dating oblivion." The image again changed, showing a dozen hottie guys, standing shoulder to shoulder. "Which one will it be? Who will have a Possibility of Love?"
The TV went dark and the lights came up. "Of course, that's just a rough idea," Mr. Williams said.
"We'll cut a much better promo once we start shooting," Mr. Roberts added. "We have it all figured out! We'll shoot for about three weeks in a nice mansion in Upperton, and we'll go from twelve hottie hunks to one perfect match!"
"Until season two, that is," Mr. Willimas interjected. "There's no true love in reality TV. We gotta keep the audience coming back for more!" Both men turned to Kim with smiles on their faces. "Well, Kim, what do you think?"
Kim was furious. Her brow was furrowed, her mouth was just a thin line, and she was struggling with herself to keep from tearing the room apart with her bare hands. "A dating show. You brought me here for a dating show. What made you think I'd even want to be on one?"
"Well," Mr. Williams gulped, "we never see any pictures of you out clubbing or anything."
"Yeah," Mr. Roberts agreed, "the only guy we ever see you with is that loser sidekick you got stuck with." That made Kim growl. "We, uh, we just figured that you needed to find Mr. Right. Or Mr. Right Now. Preferably Mr. Right Now."
"I'm only going to say this once; I'm not looking for anyone! You got that?" Kim held up her left hand to show off her engagement and wedding rings. "I'm married! That's why I'm not looking for anyone! I'm not going to any clubs because school and save the world missions take up almost all of my free time. If it wasn't for the fact that my husband is the so called 'loser sidekick' you took it upon yourselves to bash, I'd hardly see him!" Kim turned and stormed towards the door.
"Aren't you a little young to be married?" Mr. Williams asked.
Kim stopped dead in her tracks but didn't turn around. "So I'm too young to be married, but old enough to degrade myself on some voyeuristic dating show with a bunch of guys who are only interested in using me to get their own fame, get in my pants, or both?"
"Don't call me again," Kim said as she threw open the conference room doors.
Kim shot right passed a middle aged woman who was coming in from the lobby. She quickly poked her head in the conference room and saw the dazed looks on the executives faces. "I told you that you should've stuck with asking her and her partner to appear on the year end retrospective show," she said. The men said nothing. This is what happens when you send a suit to do a producer's job, she thought.
Ron Stoppable wasn't one for going above and beyond the call of duty when it came to academics. Ever since he enrolled at the Upperton Institute for the Culinary Arts, though, his attitude changed. Ron was excelling! He looked forward to going to school each day. He was admired by his peers, and treated with respect by his instructors. For Ron, this was a new concept; one he got used to really quickly. It was an easy decision for him to decide to take extra classes over the summer session.
"I hate you, Ron," Sarah Franks said. "You make it look so easy!"
"Ain't noting to it but to do it," Ron smugly replied. "You must become one with the blender, young Padawan." Ron held the blender that had been, just a few short seconds ago, oscillating wildly. It was strangely calm in his hands.
"Not that again," Justin Harmon, the third member of today's baking project chuckled. "The Zen Cooking Method may work for you, but I can't think of anyone else it's helped."
"It's all part of my Essential Ronness, Justin," Ron proudly said.
"Well, if you're not too busy, oh Zen Master of Kitchen Appliances," Sarah said, "I still need your help with getting that batter we're working on mixed."
"I'm on it!" Ron said as he returned to the counter where he and Sarah had been working.
Sarah let out a barely audible sigh. "He's just too cute."
"That he is," Justin agreed. "Too bad he's straight."
"And married," Sarah added.
"The best ones always are, aren't they?" Justin mused.
Ron, of course, didn't hear this; he was too busy mixing up the batter. The only thing that brought him out of his cooking was the alarm tones from his Ronlink. "What up, my most badical bride?" he happily asked when Kim's face appeared.
"I need you to calm me down before I hit the road," Kim growled. "Road rage in a super car is so not a good thing."
Ron stopped dead in his tracks and put on his serious face. "What happened, KP?"
Monique sat in dead silence as the man interviewing her went over her resume yet again. "You worked at the Middleton Club Banana," he said almost to himself, "and you have a letter of recommendation from Coco Banana himself." He sat the papers down in front of him and scrutinized Monique. "Club Banana Elite is much different from our retail branches, Miss Davies; even from Country Club Banana. We find the best fashions for our clients. Who have you dressed lately?"
"I dressed Kim Possible's wedding party." It was the question Monique had been waiting for. From her portfolio, she produced the photographs of Kim's wedding dress and the bridesmaid's dresses. The interviewer, Mr. Couture, looked over the photos very intently.
"Very impressive," he said with a hint of a smile. "I've never seen dresses like these before. Who designed them?"
"I did," Monique said with pride. "Look, Mr. Couture, I'm not trying to get in as a designer or anything, although that is my dream. Right now, I just want a job where I can help people look fabulous, and make better money than a part time assistant manager at a mall store makes."
The slight smile on Mr. Couture's face grew wider. "You speak your mind, Miss Davies. I like that. And our clients appreciate someone who isn't afraid to speak up. These people spend a lot of money on our expertise, and they want to get their money's worth. You obviously have the eye for style, and the personality we want here. I do believe I've seen enough." Mr. Couture stood and extended his hand. "Welcome to Club Banana Elite, Miss, Davies. Let's get you down to HR to get processed and set up your training schedule." He looked sown at the picture of Kim in her wedding dress. "This really is a is lovely. Do you mind if we keep the photographs?"
"Please do," Monique smiled. "I have a lot of copies."
"Excellent. I think we may be able to do something with this design. It's entirely possible that you might get your shot at designing sooner than you thought."
Kim was in a much better mood when she got to the Middleton airport to pick up Josh Mankey and Tara King. But then again, Ron always was able to calm her down when she was tweaked. Just another reason why he's the perfect guy for me, she thought. Josh and Tara, on the other hand, seemed standoffish with each other. They hardly spoke the entire time they were waiting for their luggage, and during the drive to the home of Josh's parents. Since Josh lived in the Upperton dorms during the semester, he came back here when school was out. He would have stayed in Seattle longer, but his parents, who had stayed behind, insisted that he head home and deal with getting his internship set up.
Kim was more than a little concerned during the drive, but decided not to say anything. Instead, she waited until she dropped Josh off to suggest that she and Tara grab a bite to eat. Kim hoped that her friend would warm up over some Bueno Nacho. Instead, the uncomfortable silence continued as Tara picked at her chimerito. Finally, the blonde spoke up.
"Josh asked me to marry him," she said quietly. Kim was about to gush out congratulations when she saw her friend's left hand. There was no ring.
"I take it you said no."
"I said that I didn't know." Tara lowered her head. "I love him, Kim. I really do! It's just, I don't know if I'm ready. How did you know with Ron?"
Kim reached for Tara's hands. "Ron and I are so not the benchmark you want to compare yourselves to. We've known each other almost our whole lives! And we tiptoed around the issue of hooking up for years before it happened."
"I know," Tara replied. "How long did it take you to say yes when Ron proposed?"
"A while, since I forgot how to talk," Kim admitted. "So I pulled him to his feet and planted a big one on him. Then I said yes."
"And after that?"
Kim got a sly look on her face. "Nothing that can be repeated in polite conversation."
Tara smiled and chuckled. "I'll bet." She looked down and gathered her thoughts. "I don't know what to do, Kim. I mean, I don't think he'll leave me over this, I just..... I don't know what to do."
"Have to talked to him about this?"
"When I said that I didn't know if I wanted to get married, he kind of clammed up," Tara replied.
"You need to tell him what you told me, Tara," Kim said. "You two really need to talk about this. Marriage is a big thing. You want to make sure you're going into it for the right reasons. I married Ron because I wanted to spend my life with him. We knew we were ready, and our fams knew we were ready. Why else would my dad give Ron his blessing when we were only a few months out of high school?" Kim saw Tara nod. "You think this has to do with his grandfather, don't you?"
"I don't think it's a coincidence that Josh popped the question while Pops was in the hospital, if that's what you mean," Tara sighed.
"Josh's grandfather," Tara said with a sad smile. "He told me to call him that when I met him."
"I never met his grandfather," Kim said. "In fact, I got the feeling his 'rents weren't all that keen on me."
"They liked you, Kim," Tara said, "they just didn't think Josh fit in with your lifestyle. You know, the freak fighting thing. And after that mess with Team Ricochet....."
"Yeah," Kim agreed. The less said about Rick O'Shea and his plot against her, the better.
"But you're right, I do need to talk to him. Thanks, Kim."
That night at the Stoppable home, there was a small celebration. "To gainful employment!" Kim announced, holding a glass of sparkling cider high.
"Employment!" Ron, Monique and Pete Peterson repeated.
"Congrats again, Mon," the dark haired film student said. "This new job of yours makes me look like a bum."
"So not," Kim said. "You have a steady paycheck coming in, Pete. Besides, there's nothing wrong with working at a video store."
"Yeah," Monique agreed. "Now I can start paying you back for all the dinners you've treated me too. These two lowlifes here think we're dating, or something."
Pete cocked his eyebrow at the Stoppables. "Seriously? We're just friends, Kim!"
Kim sighed and sat down. "Okay. Fine. You win."
"Thank you," Monique said in a victorious tone.
Ron stayed quiet. He remembered all too well what happened the last time he tried to play matchmaker. Kim throwing herself at Junior was just so wrong-sick. "I think we should get this dinner started!" he announced. "Who wants to try my new and improved five cheese lasagna?" Kim, Pete, Monique and Rufus were all over that.
Tara hesitated for a brief moment before knocking on the Mankey's door. She knew that she needed to do this, and the sooner the better. Josh answered the door a few seconds later. "Can we talk?" Tara asked before being ushered inside.
"Okay, I'm ready," Josh said. "Lay it on me!"
"You said we need to talk," Josh explained. "That's usually code for 'it's break up time.' Let's just do it and get it over with."
"Josh, I'm not breaking up with you!" Tara said in a hurt voice. "I asked if we could talk; I didn't say that we needed to! And just because I'm not ready to get married doesn't mean I want to stop dating you. I love you!"
Josh slumped into the nearest seat. "When you said no to my proposal..."
"I said I didn't know," Tara said as she sat down beside her guy. "Now I do know that I'm not ready to get married. We're still in college!"
"So are Kim and Ron," Josh argued.
"Yeah, and they've known each other a good decade longer than we have." Tara reached out and caressed Josh's cheek. "Does this sudden interest in getting married have anything to with Pops being hospitalized?"
Josh sighed and looked down. "He always told me to decide on what I wanted to do and go for it. And when I saw him in the hospital after he had that stroke...... I don't know, I guess it scared me. And it made me think about the future, and how much I want you in it."
Tara leaned in and gave Josh a toe curling kiss. "I'm not going anywhere, honey! You don't have to marry me to keep me from leaving, or anything. I want to be with you. But I'm not ready to take that walk down the aisle yet. And I don't think you are either. To be honest, this kind of fear isn't the right reason to get married. Pops would smack you over the head if he heard about this."
Josh chuckled at the accurate assessment of his grandfather's probable reaction. He then took a small ring box off the coffee table and opened it, gazing at the sparkling diamond ring within it. "I guess I should see about sending this back to Seattle so my mom can return it for me."
"I wouldn't do that," Tara said. "We're not ready now, but we will be eventually. Save the ring. You can give it to me when the time is right."
"So I guess that means we're engaged to be engaged," Josh smiled.
"That so works for me."
The next day Kim Stoppable was, against her own better judgement, back at the TV station to meet with another person from Tunes TV. This time it was a producer, not an executive, and this time she had Ron with her. "Tell me again why we're doing this?" she grumbled.
"Because Wade said one of the mucky mucks from Tunes TV wanted to apologize for the other two being such creeps," Ron said. "Besides, your main man is here! If they try to force some sick and wrong dating show on you, I'll show them how much of a loser the Monkey Master really is."
Kim took Ron's arm and gently hugged him. "I think I'll keep you around," she happily said.
Back in the conference room, Kim and Ron were met by the woman Kim shot by in the hall the day before. "Thanks for agreeing to meet with me Mr. and Mrs. Stoppable," she said with an apologetic voice. "My name is Gabby DeLaney, and I'm the producer for 'What a Year' on Tunes TV. Let me just say how sorry I am that you had to deal with those two idiots."
"I'd say it was no big, but it was a major big," Kim replied. "I so didn't need that."
"No you didn't," Gabby agreed. "Don't worry, those two won't be bothering you again. Now they've decided they want to do a show about shapeshifting disinherited heiresses."
"Camille Leon? On TV?" Ron shuddered. "That is just wrong sick."
"No argument here, Mr. Stoppable." Gabby opened her briefcase and produced a few forms. "Now, I was hoping we could talk some business. I'd like the two of you to be panelists on our year end retrospective." Rufus scampered out of Ron's pocket and scowled. "Correction. The three of you. Sorry, Rufus." The naked mole rat let out a satisfied squeak. "I can't expect you to agree after the experience you had with my colleagues, but I hope you'll consider it."
Kim looked over at Ron and Rufus, and then at Gabby. "You know Ron's name, you know that we're married, and are willing to accommodate Rufus. I think we can reach an understanding, Ms. DeLaney."
"It's Gabby, Kim. Now, let's see what we can work out. This is the tentative shooting date......."
Kim smiled as she listened to Gabby's plans for the retrospective show. Okay, despite how this whole sitch started, this is gonna be no big. Actually, it sounds like it could be fun!