A Date With Destiny, by DoofusPrime
Notes - This was originally submitted as a one-shot for the "Guess the Author" contest found on the Kim Possible forum. However, I have decided to split it into two chapters and add some new scenes to each chapter. Hope you guys like it!
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. This work was not created for profit. No copyright infringement is intended.
Middleton Middle School. Edifice of education, terror of teens. Ron Stoppable stood in front of the school building, fresh off the bus, and took a deep breath as he steeled himself for the start of a new day.
Ron had only recently begun his first year of middle school, and the experience was already turning out to be more harrowing than elementary school. Middle school kids were nastier, almost feral; even Ron's classmates seemed to be changing in their new environment. After the coziness of elementary school, going to Middleton Middle School was like plunging off a dirt road and into a jungle. Social ambushes waiting around every corner. Teens with teeth. Ron missed the simpler days of single-digit ages.
Despite all that, Ron was looking forward to school today. He liked to look on the bright side of things, and no matter how catty his classmates could become, his best friend Kim Possible always had his back.
Kim had just recently made the cheer squad after completing a seemingly impossible routine given to her by Bonnie Rockwaller. Ron was happy to see how much Kim was enjoying the experience. As a matter of fact, tonight was the night of the first middle school football game, and Kim would be cheering outside of practice for the first time. Ron knew how much Kim was looking forward to it, mostly due to the fact that she had been bringing it up in conversation every day for the last week.
Kim's company was welcome during the school day, but a much newer friend was also keeping Ron company in the menacing wilderness of middle school Ron pulled the friend in question out of his pocket as he began to walk up the school's front steps. The young mole rat blinked his eyes in the sunlight, and Ron shook his head with a grin.
"Sleep time's over, Rufus. Wakey wakey. It's time to get educated!"
"Oh my God," exclaimed a voice from behind him. "What is that thing?"
Ron turned to find Bonnie Rockwaller standing behind him. She stared at the pink blob in his hand as if it was – well, a pink blob.
"This is my pet naked mole rat, Bonnie. His name's Rufus. I already took him to school a few times before today."
Bonnie rolled her eyes. "It's not like I can keep track of all the weird life choices you make, Ron."
Ron tried to think of a suitable retort, but sticking out his tongue and thumbing his nose at Bonnie were the only ideas that came to mind. Seeing as how Ron was a middle schooler, however, it was time to leave behind such childish retorts. Ron raised his nose haughtily instead.
"You're a weird life choice."
Ron pushed open the school's double front doors, satisfied he had gotten the upper hand. Bonnie had been getting on Ron's case more than she ever did in elementary school, but Ron got the distinct impression that she got on Kim's nerves even more.
Ron would be sure to share his clever retort with his best friend when he reached Kim's locker. Normally Kim rode the bus with him, but recently she had been walking to school. For the exercise, she had explained. Kim was trying to get Ron to tag along, but no way was Ron Stoppable going to exercise voluntarily.
"It's too bad about tin teeth getting on the cheer squad, huh Ron?"
Bonnie's voice snaked around from behind Ron yet again. She trailed along behind him down the hallway as they approached their lockers.
"Well," said Bonnie, "being on the cheer squad is more than just cheering. It's a way of life! Kim's part of the popular crowd now. I mean, kinda. Not on my level, but definitely not on your level either. Sooner or later she's going to find more popular friends, maybe start dating a jock, and then you won't get to hang out with your girlfriend anymore!"
"She's not my girlfriend! We're just friends."
"Suuure." Bonnie waved mockingly as she passed Ron on the way to her own locker. "See you later, Stoppable!"
Ron grumbled a little as he passed his classmates in the hallway on his way to Kim's locker. Bonnie was even feistier than usual today, for some reason. Maybe she was just on edge about the upcoming game. After all, Bonnie had barely been on the cheer squad any longer than Kim. The way Kim told the story, Bonnie had only been accepted to the team a week or two before Kim, but still liked to act as if she was the cheer squad captain.
Lost in his thoughts, Ron almost missed Kim's locker as he ambled down the hallway. He jerked to a halt in front of the row of lockers. There it was - Kim's locker.
But no Kim.
Ron blinked in confusion. No Kim? He couldn't remember the last time he had missed his best friend before their first class. Ron looked around the hallway nervously – had he walked down the wrong hall? Was this actually Kim's locker? It seemed like the right number. Rufus peered out from a pocket and looked up at his owner, sensing Ron's confusion.
"It's alright, little buddy. I'm sure she's around somewhere."
Kim was nowhere to be found, but in front of her locker stood a crowd of Ron's fellow students, most of whom looked like they were older than Ron. A familiar girl stood in the center of the crowd, laughing and chatting with her friends. Ron's gaze made a beeline to a waterfall of brown hair that flounced about as the girl spoke. Mesmerizing, tantalizing brown hair.
Ron felt an unfamiliar flutter in his stomach. He had the urge to walk up to the owner of the hair, ask her to play Zombie Mayhem with him, maybe even hold hands. As for kissing, Ron wasn't sure – he was still undecided on the existence of cooties.
"Can we help you?" one of the teens asked as the group noticed Ron staring slack-jawed in the middle of the hall.
"What? Me? No. Just walking along. Minding my own business. Hi Amelia!"
Ron waved at the brown-haired goddess in the center of the group and immediately regretted it. Amelia stared at him as if trying to make out who he was.
"Hello, uh... you."
The rest of the group continued to stare as Ron smiled nervously.
Escape, Ron, before it's too late!
"Alright, um, bye guys. Time for first period!"
Ron tried to whistle nonchalantly as he raced down the hall to his first class. As far as he could remember, Ron hadn't talked to Amelia before, so that was her first impression of him. Ron's whistle trailed off as he left the group's sight. He'd be much more suave next time, he decided.
The first class of the day was English, which Ron did not share with Kim. He didn't see her anywhere in the hall as he went to his class, either. Maybe that was a good thing – he was sure Kim would have a comment about his awkward interchange with Amelia. Ron reached his first period classroom and pushed open the door, deciding he would have to catch his best friend later.
"Hey Stoppable," said Brick Flagg as Ron grabbed one of the few remaining empty seats beside him.
First period was not Ron's favorite period. English was taught by a particularly domineering teacher named Mr. Larkin, and Ron could swear that the brawny man had a grudge against him. Middle school had barely begun, but already Ron was looking forward to high school classes. He was sure that high school teachers would be much more reasonable. Not so militaristic. For now though, Ron would have to deal with Mr. Larkin.
The hulking teacher in question glared at Ron as he set his backpack down and pulled out his English textbook. Already, Ron thought. Already he's got it in for me!
"Glad you could join us, Stoppable. I was beginning to think you were going to stand out in the hall and whisper sweet nothings into Possible's ear like you normally do, instead of coming to class and learning the English language properly!"
The rest of the class tittered at Mr. Larkin's comment, and Brick gave Ron what seemed like a noticeably sleazy wink.
"Now," Mr. Larkin said after a gruff cough silenced the class. "Speaking of sweet nothings, today we will be practicing poetry writing. Pencils out, eyes on the desk, no copying! Poetry comes from the heart, not from the adjacent desk."
Mr. Larkin peered at the pink blob poking out of Ron Stoppable's pocket.
"And no help from your pink weasel this time, Stoppable!"
Rufus squeaked indignantly. "Hmph!"
As Larkin began to write notes on the blackboard, Ron cupped his chin in his hand with a sigh. After a moment of futile concentration on a blank page of paper, Ron couldn't help but look up at the wall clock to check the time.
One minute down.
Ron looked up at the wall clock. One minute to go.
Brick Flagg sat in the seat beside him, where Kim normally sat in the classes they shared. The wall clock ticked away as the teacher droned on, and Brick shared Ron's anxious stare at the clock's slowly churning hands. Brick noticed Ron sharing his gaze at the clock.
"Yeah, it's like the day never ends, dude!"
Ron was a little surprised – Brick seemed nice enough, but Ron didn't normally engage in conversation with him.
"I think that clock's broken," Ron said.
Brick nodded absently. A glance back at the rows behind him confirmed that their teacher was still helping another student with a problem they were having. Brick leaned over to Ron conspiratorially as he whispered across the gap between their desks.
"So, dude, are you and Kim Possible like, you know – going out?"
The rest of the class glanced up temporarily at Ron's raised voice. Ron coughed and hunched down in his desk, meeting Brick's whispered tone. "No, we're not. Why's everybody think we are?"
"Well, you guys are together all the time," explained Brick. "And it's middle school. It's time to go out with people and stuff. That's what adults do."
Ron had never thought about it, but perhaps Brick was right. When did people start dating, anyways? Middle school seemed as good a time as any.
"It's just that, I dunno if you heard, but I got on the football team during tryouts when school started. And Kim is a cheerleader, so it's kinda like we're supposed to be going out, you know? That's the rules."
"Yeah," said Brick. "The rules. I'm not sure what they all are, but I think cheerleaders dating jocks is one of them. It's in all those teen movies!"
Ron nodded. He had heard about Brick getting on the football team – it was surprising news at the time. Brick was a fairly scrawny kid, not much bigger than Ron, and the team was filled with middle school students who looked like they had been chugging chocolate milk all summer. Chocolate milk fortified with vitamins. Kim had suggested that Brick might bulk up in the future, but Ron had laughed at the image. Still, the coach must have seen something in Brick to let him on the team.
"Well, you can ask her out," Ron said, feeling inexplicably defensive. "It's not like I'm going out with her. We're just friends!"
As Brick pumped his fist enthusiastically at the news, Ron felt a raw feeling in his stomach as some vague insecurity bubbled up from the depths of his psyche. It was another one of those strange feelings that he had been starting to get as his early teen years rolled around. When it came to boys and girls, things seemed to be getting more complicated than they used to be. Ron had tried to talk about it with Kim before, but Kim didn't seem to have any idea what he was talking about.
"Besides," Ron added, "I'm interested in somebody else."
"Oh yeah? Who's that?"
Ron felt an icy flash run down his body. He wasn't even sure why he had made the comment. Ron had blurted it out on an impulse, as if it would impress Brick. Either way, he hadn't actually planned on having an answer. Without thinking, Ron threw out the first girl's name that came to mind.
Brick raised an eyebrow. "Seriously dude?"
Something about Brick's tone annoyed Ron a little. "Yeah, why not? You think I can't go out with Amelia? We're talking about the Ron-man here!"
Brick laughed. "Sure dude. You asked her out yet?"
The bell rang, cutting off their conversation, and students began to race out the door like they were being chased by bees. Brick slapped Ron on the back and got up to leave as well. As the noise dwindled down, Ron sat quietly, lost in a funk. He had just told Brick that he was going to ask Amelia out on a date, but could he really do it?
Ron started to panic as he thought about the implications of the idea. Amelia was older, in a different grade. Would she really pay any attention to him? If he asked her out, would she laugh in his face? Maybe asking her out would lead to total humiliation. Maybe she'd tell all her friends about it.
Ron was wondering what else he could do when he looked down at his backpack. It was unzipped, and in the midst of its messy contents, Ron noticed the corner of the poem he had written during class. The piece of notebook paper poetry reminded Ron of a quote that had been stuck in his mind a long time ago, from a poem he had read in one of his mother's poetry books. Ron's frown turned upside down as he toyed with his pencil, an idea forming in his mind.
Perhaps the love that dare not speak its name would work better in writing.
Ron took a deep breath as he faced the locker in front of him.
Amelia's locker. A rectangle of sheet metal. His dun-colored door of destiny.
Ron had seen Amelia rooting through her locker in the hall numerous times during the past few weeks of middle school. He had never paid much attention to the locker itself – the person who was usually standing in front of it tended to monopolize his attention - but Ron's memory was jogged by the fact that the locker was at the end of a row, adjacent to a janitor's closet door.
Other than a few passing stragglers, the hallway was empty of students. Ron was missing the beginning of his lunch period so he could avoid being seen by too many classmates as they passed by. Skipping even a few minutes of lunch was difficult, but in this case it was a sacrifice worth making. The few students still in the hall were paying no attention to Ron. Now was the time for action.
Ron stepped forward, holding his note gingerly in a sweat-drenched hand, and slipped the paper inside the locker's grille. He released his breath, the act finished. It was an anonymous note, but Ron had written a location and time below the poem he had already written in Mr. Larkin's English class. Ron hoped his poetry would touch Amelia's heart. Also, since Amelia wouldn't know who had written the poem, Ron figured he would have a better chance of roping her in when she decided to find out who her secret admirer was.
"Hey dude, what was that?"
Ron jumped, startled, as Brick Flagg appeared beside him. He stammered for a moment, trying to think of something to say – suddenly, the idea of slipping an anonymous note to Amelia seemed a little corny – but Brick had caught him red-handed.
"I was slipping a note in Amelia's locker and asking her out. It had a poem on it, and at the bottom I wrote a location where she could meet me."
Brick gaped. For a moment, Ron thought he was about to get hit by a harsh laugh, but Brick did not seem to be mocking him.
"Dude, that's an awesome idea! It's all, like, romantic or something. I think I'll do the same thing for Kim!"
"Oh... oh yeah? Well, that's cool. It is a good idea, isn't it?"
"I was actually looking for Kim so I could ask her out," said Brick as he fumbled through his backpack for a pencil and a piece of paper, "but I couldn't find her. Maybe she's at lunch already. I'd ask her out in the lunch room, but it's a little too crowded, you know? I don't wanna get embarrassed."
Ron nodded as Brick fished a pencil and paper from his backpack and zipped it up. He knew exactly what Brick was talking about.
"Hey Ron, you mind pointing out Kim's locker so I know where to slip the note when I write it?"
"Sure, it's down the hall there. Follow me."
A crowd of students swept past Ron on their way out the school's front doors. The bell that let out the last class had not even finished ringing, but Ron – along with his classmates – were eager to escape into the sunny outdoors. Instead of leaving, however, Ron found himself walking aimlessly about in the hallway as he was buffeted left and right by passing middle schoolers. Once again, he was standing in front of Kim's locker, and once again, Kim was nowhere to be found.
Ron had noticed Amelia standing nearby, however, and managed to give her yet another goofy wave. She was grinning widely when he saw her, but Ron wasn't sure if it was in response to his wave or if she was just in a good mood. Hopefully she had gotten his note. But where was Kim?
"Hey, Ron! What are you doing?"
Ron looked down the hall and saw a familiar red ponytail poking through the crowd that was exiting the front doors.
"Kim? What are you doing out there on the front steps?"
"I was waiting for you, duh! You didn't meet me at my locker. Let's get out of here."
Ron followed Kim out of the school doors as she began to walk home from school. He looked longingly at the school bus as they took to the sidewalk that trailed away from the school's front courtyard, but Ron knew he wouldn't be able to convince Kim to take it. He decided, just this once, he would tag along with Kim as she walked home instead of taking the bus.
"Man," he said as he shook his head, "today has been a weird day. I didn't catch you at your locker at all."
"That's too bad," said Kim, who was looking unusually chipper, "because guess what I found in my locker!"
Kim gasped. "How did you know?"
"Uh, just a guess."
"Well, yes, it was. Somebody asked me out, Ron! There was even a really corny poem."
"Can I read it?" Ron was intrigued by what kind of poem Brick had written.
"No, it's private!" laughed Kim. "I'll be going on the date after the football game tonight. I guess I'll have to go after I finish cheering. By the way, are you gonna be there to see me cheer?"
"Um," said Ron falteringly, "I'm actually going out on a date too – I was kind of planning on getting ready for that at home."
Kim stopped in her tracks.
"A date? With who?"
"The tall girl with the wavy brown hair?"
Ron smiled wistfully at Kim's description.
Kim began to walk again, but still had to periodically glance at Ron in surprise. "She's not even in our grade. Isn't she like thirteen years old or something?"
"What can I say, KP," exclaimed Ron with a shrug. "I like the older ladies!"
Kim fell silent as the two of them walked down the sidewalk. Ron did not really want to miss his best friend's first game, but this was important – this was Amelia. Not to mention that it would be his first date. Ron wasn't sure what dates even involved, but he knew he could need a lot of time to psyche himself up beforehand. And besides, Kim couldn't be angry at him. She was going to be hanging out with Brick after the game, after all, and on Ron night of all nights!
As they approached their own neighborhood, Ron felt an uneasy feeling in the pit of his stomach. He had told Kim he was going out with Amelia, but Ron had no idea if she would even show up. Amelia didn't know it was Ron that left her the note. Perhaps this could all end in disaster.
"Well, I guess I'll talk to you later," said Kim as they reached her house. "You gotta tell me all about your date with Amelia."
"Sure. See you later, KP."
"Eek, bye!" squeaked Rufus as he clambered onto Ron's shoulder.
"Bye Rufus." Kim smiled and nodded at Rufus a little awkwardly. She was still getting used to the blue-veined, hairless blob that Ron had purchased a few weeks ago out of the blue.
As Ron continued down the sidewalk to his own house, the thought of his upcoming (possible) date with Amelia began to hang on his mind. Ron's feelings had started out optimistic, especially after writing that poetic masterpiece that Amelia was probably still marveling over after discovering it in her locker. But ever since since then, his optimism was mutating into something closer to his usual nervous temperament.
Had Kim been jealous? Ron asked himself the question and wondered if it was a ridiculous question to ask. There was no reason for Kim to be jealous, of course – they were only friends. But she had seemed a little disgusted with the idea of Ron dating Amelia. Ron thought it was a monumental achievement, or at least it would soon be if Amelia actually showed up. He knew Brick would approve. But then, Kim had told him to let her know all about the date after it was finished, so maybe Ron was imagining jealousy where there was none.
He found himself very preoccupied with how to interpret Kim's reaction to his big news, but just as bothersome was the thought of Brick going out with Kim. Not that Ron was jealous or anything, but Brick just didn't seem like Kim's type. His best friend was into goofier guys, he imagined. Guys with a natural suave way with the ladies, an abundance of intelligence, and a certain devil-may-car, individualistic streak. Ron knew he had a specific example of someone in mind, but he couldn't quite put his on who it was.
Arriving at the front door of his house, Ron forced the uneasy thoughts back into the depths of his psyche. There was nothing to do but go on the date and go with the flow.. Ron would bring Rufus along to be his wing man, which was something he had heard about on television. Wing men had your back, the show had told him. That way, even if Amelia didn't show up, Ron could have a fun date with his favorite naked mole rat.
Ron dropped his backpack and raced up the stairs after going inside. Passing by on the way to his room, he noticed his father's office door hanging open. Dean looked up from his unending pile of actuarial papers and nodded at his son, who waved back.
"Going to your friend's game tonight, Ronald?"
"No dad, I have a date!" said Ron as he disappeared into his room.
Dean nodded as he stared at a particularly confounding form.
Kim stood in the kitchen and stared at the appalling disaster around her. Since she had been at school all day, Kim knew that her cooking could be ruled out as the culprit – the only other option was that the tweebs had gotten into the pantry. Anne Possible was wearing gloves and crouching down on the floor as she cleaned up the mess. The sight sparked a little sympathy in Kim, and she stooped down to give her mother a hand.
Kim smiled and stared at her mother questioningly, who had no trouble reading her daughter's expression.
"Yes. The tweebs."
Kim reached her arm under the refrigerator to try to fish out some snack mix that had rolled underneath it. From the looks of it, one – or both- of the tweebs had thrown a bag on the ground and stomped on it, sending snack mix debris scattering in all directions.
"Ready for your first game tonight, Kim?"
"I think so. As long as Bonnie doesn't switch me back to that qualifying routine again."
Kim knew the upcoming game could be the start of an illustrious cheering career, but she found that her upcoming mystery date was taking up most of her attention. Not only that, but Ron's date with Amelia kept popping into her mind as well. She just couldn't picture the two of them together. Ron needed someone who would tolerate his ridiculous behavior. Amelia did not seem like someone who was likely to do that.
Ah well, Kim thought to herself. It's a good thing I've been taking a few martial arts classes lately. If Amelia hurts Ron, she'll get a date with my foot!
"Something wrong, Kimmie? You were glowering there for a moment."
Kim looked up, the image of Amelia getting a roundhouse to the stomach dispelled by her mother's question. After a quiet pause, Kim decided she didn't want to mention anything about dating to her parents. At least not quite yet.
"Oh, I'm fine. Just this stupid snack mix."
Anne nodded as she soaked up spilled milk with a paper tower, sympathizing with her daughter. She loved her sons, but sometimes the twins could make anyone want to glower a little.
Notes - Hope you guys enjoyed it! Reviews are appreciated.