So I got to thinking, Kronk is supposed to be some sort of bodyguard right? Except for seeing him lug Ezma around and other feets of strength/athletisism, where do we see any of that? This lead me to think, he had to go through some sort of training/selection process to become Ezma's bodyguard/right hand man, right? Which means he has to be reasonably good in emergency situtations, we just don't see it because, hey, it's a goofy kids movie/tv show. So, here he is, KRONK, in all his kick ass bodyguarding, warrior like glory. Enjoy.

Kronk was a good guy. No one could dispute this. He was one of those guys that literally anyone could get along with (a point which proved that however incompetent Ezma was, she was still just plain evil). Kuzco liked Kronk, quite a bit actually, he just… didn't want him as a bodyguard. First of all, Kronk seemed more then happy as the Woodland Guide Leader. Secondly, well… he was Kronk. Despite his large muscles and slow thinking, Kuzco had trouble understanding why Ezma had hired him as a bodyguard. Still, Kuzco spent quite a bit of time with Kronk anyways, especially since he had been made to go back to school. Of course, both Kuzco and Kronk understood that Kronk was only there as Ezma's spy, but there were no hard feelings over the matter. Kuzco knew Kronk was only doing his job, and he liked having the big lug around.

It was one of those rather pleasant school days that Kuzco's entire opinion of Kronk changed. They were on a field trip to the Palace, (to which Kuzco rolled his eyes and asked to be excused. He wasn't). Kuzco had pulled his friends away from the back of the tour group and dragged them off towards the more private (and far more interesting) parts of the palace, when disaster struck.

Now, assassins where nothing new to Kuzco. What was new was that he usually was surrounded by bodyguards, and those trying to kill him were usually being dragged away by the time Kuzco had even realized anything was happening. Today, however, he had no bodyguards. As far as his bodyguards knew, Kuzco was at school, and had taken the day off. All Kuzco had was himself, his cheerleading best friend, and Kronk.

There was a sound of some one whistling through the air, and suddenly, Kuzco discovered Kronk right in front of him, blocking a sword strike meant for Kuzco's neck with his own blade. Kuzco blinked.

"Hey!" he protested, "Why do you get to bring a sword on field trips?" he asked, "They never let me bring weapons." The assassin stuck again, and again, Kronk blocked the attack, the sound of metal clashing on metal bringing Kuzco back to the seriousness of the situation.

"Your Highness!" Kronk said, "You really need to get out of here."

Kuzco's eyes widened for a moment. Kronk never called him… he blinked, snapping out of it as his friend Melina tugged on his arm. He looked around frantically for an exit, but was disappointed to note that Kronk and his assassin friend were fighting in front of the only door.

"Need to talk to my blueprint guys about that," Kuzco murmured to himself as he looked around for a place to hide. Realizing that there were curtains behind him, he backed up, keeping Melina behind him as they slowly made their way to the red velvet. In a rare moment of chivalrous consideration, Kuzco shoved Melina behind the long red curtain before diving behind them himself. He looked around. Dam. This was one of those small secret rooms that seemed to have no purpose except to look cool and secretive, and as such, had no exit. Kuzco had rather been hoping for a window at least. He turned around to find Melina looking through one of two separate peepholes.

"Kuzco," she whispered, "You gotta come see this," she motioned him over, "Kronk's really holding his own out there."

"Really?" Kuzco asked, curious. He glanced around and shrugged. No way out, so, might as well. He positioned himself at the other set of eyeholes and looked out into the room they'd just come through. Kuzco cringed. The man in black, the one intent on killing him, was swinging his blades around with deadly precision, and Kronk was… holding him back. Kuzco's eyes widened in surprise. This was not the Kronk he was used to seeing. Kuzco was used to seeing the fun, lovable, abet somewhat dim, Woodland Guide. The Kronk he was seeing now was a tall, strong, capable bodyguard. Weird.

"Look, can't we talk about this?" Kronk asked his opponent. Kuzco let out a small sigh of relief to hear Kronk's normal lovable chatter. "I mean," Kronk continued as he blocked another strike, "What do you have against Kuzco anyway?"

"He is a selfish spoiled child," the man in black hissed, sending chills down Kuzco's back, "Incapable of feeling any compassion or mercy towards his people. He is unfit to rule this empire."

Melina glanced at Kuzco, who had gone sheet white. Poor Kuzco… she thought. He really is trying to be a better person, but until then, people are still going to think of him as this bratty kid…

Meanwhile, Kronk was still locking swords with the man in black.

"Now, I won't disagree with you on the first part there," Kronk said, "He is pretty selfish…"

"Thanks Kronk," Kuzco muttered to himself, causing Melina to giggle.

"But about the second part there," Kronk continued, "He's gotten really good at the whole 'compassion' thing, so-

"The Kingdom will be better once he is gone," the assassin cut him off, "I will kill him to bring peace to this Empire, and you will not stand in my way."

Kronk blinked in surprise, taking a step back and lowering his weapon. The man in black watched him warily, waiting for his next move. Then, Kronk did something that no one expected. His face became drawn, serious- dark even. He crouched down into a defensive position, his eyes glowing in anger.

"Nobody kills Emperor Kuzco on my watch," he growled. In the silence of the next moment, Kuzco and Melina looked at each other in surprise. Did Kronk just… growl? Actually growl? And since when did Kronk get angry? At any one? Over any thing? As they turned back to see what the assassin would do, Kuzco felt a lump form in his throat. Sure, Kronk was his friend, but he'd never expected that he care that much about him. He was… touched…

The assassin looked at the man in front of him, prepared to die for his emperor. "So be it."

If before, the two opponents had been fighting, Kuzco wasn't sure what you'd call this. A battle perhaps? They ranged all over the room, using the swords in their hands, and the furniture in their disposal, going in for the kill. Kronk was… Kronk was a different man. He was focused, serious, hard, and deadly. Just seeing him like this… the two teens hidden behind the wall were almost a little afraid of him themselves, until they remembered that he was fighting in their defense out there. Still, it made Kuzco shiver in his skin.

The assassin struck from above as Kronk sank to one knee and blocked his blow with a wooden post. Kronk twisted in an attempt to disarm his opponent, only to have the man slip out of his hold. The man in black, thinking he had surprise on his side, tried to swipe Kronk's legs from under him. Kronk, seeing this, rolled to the side. The man in black turned to strike him down just in time to feel Kronk's blade run him through the middle. He blinked, looked at Kronk in surprise, and stepped back, stumbling to the ground. Kronk stood, looking grim as he watched his foe struggle to breath.

"As long as… that… boy… remains… on the throne…" the man wheezed, "There will be… others… to finish… what I've started…."

"And I'll be here to make sure they fail," Kronk told him. The man nodded in recognition, and died.

Kronk went down on one knee, his head bowed in respect, silent for a moment. Then he removed his sword from the dead man's body, wiped it clean, stood, and slid it back into it's sheath.

"You can come out now," he said, his head still bowed, "He's gone."

Melina came out first, Kuzco walking somewhat stiff behind her. She looked at the body for a moment, then ran to the nearest trashcan to hurl. Kuzco continued to walk slowly towards the scene, stopping a good few feet away from any actual blood.

"You killed him…" he said in shock, staring at the body. Kronk shrugged modestly.

"Yeah," he said, as if attempting not to brag, "I'd say I'm fairly competent in the field- I know five different ways to kill a man with my thumb." He held the appendage out in example. Kuzco looked at him, a look of utter bewilderment on the young Emperor's face, the sound of Melina still retching coming from somewhere behind him.

It sounded like the Kronk he knew. At this point, it even looked like the Kronk he knew- happy face, easy posture, contentment in it's self evident in every inch of the man. Yet… Kuzco looked again over at the body of the slain assassin, then over at his friend, then the body, then his friend… He could not put the two together, no matter how hard he tried, despite seeing it first hand. The only thing to connect Kronk to the body on the floor was the bloody cloth at his feet that he'd used to wipe off his sword. As Kronk noticed the look of confusion Kuzco was sending his way, a puzzled expression crossed his face.

"What?" He asked, clearly seeing nothing amiss. Kuzco opened his mouth to explain, then pausing for a moment, closed it again and smiled.

"You're a complicated man Kronk," he said finally. Kronk shrugged.

"Not really," he argued. Kuzco raised an eyebrow.

"Ezma's hired you to kill me how many times?" he asked, crossing his arms, "Yet, you continue to either not do so, and or, fumble it up. Him," he said pointing with one hand to the body, "You have no problem with." Again Kronk shrugged.

"It was armed combat, more honorable," he said "Besides, he was threatening you." Kuzco frowned, trying to understand, as an ill looking Melina came up behind him.

"So the only person allowed to kill me is Ezma," he stated. Again, the unusually serious look came across Kronk's face as he shook his head.

"Not even Ezma," he said. This time Melina spoke up in confusion.

"But don't you work for Ezma?" she asked. Kuzco mirrored her confused look. Again, Kronk shrugged, this time with a smile.

"She pays good money, and her plans never work," he said, causing the other two to smile as well. They laughed for a moment, remembering the various times Ezma's plans had gotten completely out of hand, knowing that indeed, her plans never seemed to really work. As they calmed down, however, Melina glanced over at the body.

"What are we going to do with him?" she asked in a hushed tone. The three of them looked solemnly at the dead assassin laying in his own pool of blood on the floor.

"I'll make sure my people take care of it," Kuzco said quietly, thinking about who, exactly, he'd need to call up for the task.

"Kuzco," Kronk gained his attention, snapping the Emperor out of his thoughts.

"Hmm?"

"Make sure he gets proper rights," he told the young man in a serious tone, "He died for a cause."

"Yeah," Melina said sarcastically, "That cause was to kill Kuz-

"If we can find out who they were, he'll reach his family," Kuzco promised, ignoring Melina, "Full burial rights for a warrior." Melina looked surprised to see the young man so serious, but Kronk smiled and placed a hand on Kuzco's shoulder.

"Thanks." Kuzco waved him off with a grin.

"Least I can do, really."

Melina smiled at the pair of them, before commenting quietly, "We really should be getting back to the group."

"Uh.. right," Kuzco agreed, looking around. "One sec…" spotting what he needed, he pulled down a decorative drape from the wall (not the drapes he'd been hiding behind earlier, those were much too heavy for this purpose) and dragged it back to where his friends were standing.

"Kronk, lend a hand here?" he asked.

"Right," Kronk nodded. The two of them carefully draped the material over the body, covering it and almost all the blood pooling over the floor.

"Now we can get out of here," Kuzco said. They left the room and it's single occupant in search of their group, and a servant Kuzco could send to find his Major Domo.

They found the Major Domo first, Kuzco quietly explaining things to him and giving orders on what to was to be done with the body. By the time he was done, they just barely caught their group at the very tail end of the usual palace tour.

"Darn! We missed the whole thing!" Melina complained. Kuzco shrugged.

"Eh, I can show you around later." She glared at him.

"And that will help us with the pop quiz on Monday, how?" she asked.

"So I'll show you around on Saturday," he promised, "Seriously, be here, eight o'clock."

"And there won't be any more people trying to kill us?" she asked. Kuzco would have taken offense, but the way her voice wavered he knew she was still very shaken by today's ordeal.

"Emperor's honor," he declared, holding up his hand in salute.

"Good," she said, breathing a sigh of relief. "You know you're really lucky Kronk was around today."

"Hey, I know it!" Kuzco protested. He turned to Kronk, placing a hand on his arm. "Thank you," he said, "For you know, saving my hide back there. I'm really glad you're my friend Kronk."

"So am I," Melina piped in. Kronk turned bashful, kicking his foot in the dirt a bit.

"It was nothing, really," he said, "Just doing my job."

"Well we appreciate it," Melina insisted, "Don't we Kuzco?"

"You're the man, Kronky!" Kuzco agreed, giving him two thumbs up. Kronk's eyes watered up in affection.

"I love you guys!" he said as he swooped them into a bone crushing group hug. The two teens assured him that they loved him too, and got him to let go in time for them to follow their group out the door.

As they followed their class out the door and down the steps, Kuzco's eyes lit up with a sudden idea.

"Say, Kronk… every thought about being a personal body guard? You'd just have to follow me around, so you'd be doing what you normally do, only you'd get paid…"

So? I bet you didn't see that coming, did you? I have to say, I surprised myself a bit, but it was so worth it. It just makes you want to go squeee! even more when ever Kronk walks on screen, doesn't it?

Anyhoo, in case you don't know, Melina is from the TV show. She's Kuzco's best friend who he really wants to date. She's smart enough to turn him down though. She's not really improtant to the story, but if Kuzco and Kronk are hanging out together, Melina's got to be there too. She just kinda... I don't know, demanded it. Pushy like, now that I come to think of it...

Anyways, what did you think? Too much to take in? Too far gone from the Kronk we know and love? Please, let me know.

As always, thanks for reading!

Gwen