Once again I have Slipgate to thank for dropping this plot bunny into my lap. Slipgate, as I said, I don't think this is quite what you had in mind at the time, but hopefully you'll enjoy it just the same. There's a "wistfully" in here just for you.
Disclaimer: Me own Kim Possible? Now that's a fairy tale! Kim and Ron belong to Disney, and I promise the only gain I'm getting from writing about them is personal enjoyment.
It was almost bedtime. Which, for Megan Stoppable, meant hide-and-seek time. And Megan was always the hider.
It was Mommy's turn to seek, which meant Daddy was doing the dishes. Mommy was generally a better seeker than Daddy, but Megan had found a new hiding place tonight that she felt confident would buy her a few extra minutes to explore some of the wonders she had discovered there.
Kim wandered down the upstairs hallway, brow furrowed. She had already checked all of Megan's usual hiding spots and come up empty. Just as she was about to head downstairs and enlist Rufus's help, she noticed the light shining from under the door to the master bedroom— a light that she was fairly certain neither she nor Ron had left on.
As soon as she entered the bedroom, she noticed that the closet door was slightly ajar. But rather than head straight for it, she wandered around the rest of the room, peering under the bed, looking inside of the hamper and checking all of the dresser drawers. Finally, she threw up her hands and sighed loudly. "Well, I guess it's a lost cause. I'll never find her. We'll just have to find someone else to give all her toys to. Maybe Aunt Hana would like them."
A giggle from the closet confirmed her suspicions. She swung open the closet door to see Megan crouching in the back, wide hazel eyes dancing with laughter. "You weren't really going to give up, were you, Mommy?"
Kim just bent down and held out her arms, a gesture that Megan knew all too well. The three-and-a-half-year-old launched herself into her mother's embrace. "Of course not," Kim said, swinging her up into the air. "What were you doing back there, though?"
"I was looking at your princess dress."
Kim raised an eyebrow at her. "Princess dress?"
"Yes," Megan said, squirming out of her mother's grasp. Once back down on the floor, she grabbed Kim's hand and pulled her into the back of the closet. There she pointed toward one particular dress— a light blue one with a scorched hem— that Kim pulled out and stared at fondly. Megan watched her mother's happy reaction and smiled, now confident that her assessment of the garment had been correct. "Will you tell me about when you were a princess, Mommy?"
Kim opened her mouth to correct her daughter... but then thought better of it. "I'll tell you what," she said. "I'll tell you the story. After you take your bath and get ready for bed."
That was all it took. Before Kim could say another word, the little girl had dashed past her, out of the closet and down the hallway toward the bathroom.
Half an hour later, Megan had taken her bath, brushed her teeth, gotten dressed in her favorite pink footie pajamas, kissed Daddy and Rufus good night, and climbed into her big girl bed.
"Okay," Mommy said as she tucked the covers in around her, "got your Foxloth?"
"Yep," Megan said, hugging her Cuddle Buddy tight.
"All right," Kim said, standing up and walking toward the door. "And your night light's on, so..." She reached slowly for the light switch.
"Mom-my!" Megan cried.
Kim turned back toward her, putting on her most innocent expression. "Did I forget something?"
"Yes!" Megan said, throwing up her hands. "My story!"
"Oh, of course!" Kim said, slapping a hand to her forehead. "How could I forget." Dropping her hand from the light switch, she walked back over and sat down on the bed, putting her arm around her daughter and smiling as the little girl snuggled into her embrace. "Now if I could just remember what story I was supposed to tell you..."
"'Bout when you were a princess, remember?"
"Oh, right, that's it." She squeezed Megan's shoulder. "What would I do without you?" Megan shrugged, which made her mother laugh. "So maybe you know how I should start the story, too?"
Megan nodded matter-of-factly. There was only one proper way to start any good story. "Once upon a time," she prompted.
Kim grinned and nodded back. "Once upon a time... there was a brave knight named Kim—"
"No, no," Megan interrupted. "Knights are boys. Girls are princesses."
Kim frowned. "Girls can be knights, too."
Megan looked up at her. "Really?"
"Well…" The little girl considered for a moment. "Can she be a knight and a princess?"
"Absolutely," her mother said.
"Okay then, now that that's settled," Kim said with an indulgent smile, "As I was saying, once upon a time, there was a Knight-Princess…" She chuckled. "KP for short." Megan giggled at that, too, because she knew KP was Daddy's special name for Mommy—just like Nutmeg was his special name for her.
"And," Kim continued when the giggles subsided, "she was very brave—"
"And very beautiful!" Megan added.
"Flattery will get you nowhere," Kim said, prompting another round of giggles as she tickled her daughter's fleece-covered belly. "So, the brave—and beautiful—KP traveled across the land fighting evil wizards and monsters wherever they appeared. And her best friend, Squire Ron, was always by her side."
"What's a skwy-er?" Megan asked.
"Oh, a squire… well, a squire is kind of like a sidekick."
"So the Knight-Princess and the Squire—and the squire's magical molerat Rufus, of course— spent all their days keeping the kingdom safe. And for the most part they were happy. There was just one thing that made KP sad."
"What?" Megan asked breathlessly.
"Well," Kim said, "the Royal Ball was coming soon, and she had no prince to dance with."
"Ah, a very good question. You see, though she didn't know it yet, the Knight-Princess was under a curse!"
Megan gasped. "What kind of curse?"
"Well, a curse that made it so she could never find her perfect prince."
Worried hazel eyes gazed up at her. "But she can make the curse go away, right?"
"Hmm," Kim said, tapping a finger to her chin. "I think you'll have to wait until later in the story to find that out."
"Awww," Megan whined, slumping back against her pillow. Then she got an idea. She looked up at her mother pleadingly, sticking out her bottom lip and even getting it to tremble a bit.
"No Puppy-Dog Pouts!" Kim said, quickly covering her eyes. "Now do you want me to keep telling the story, or not?"
Megan bounced in her seat, forgetting all about holding her pouting pose. "Yes, yes, please!"
Kim laughed, uncovering her eyes. "All right, then. As I was saying, the Knight-Princess was very sad that she had no one to go to the ball with. But suddenly, a new prince arrived in the kingdom, and her problem seemed to be solved!"
"But what about the curse?" Megan whispered. Kim only had to look down at her with one eyebrow raised before she quickly clapped a hand over her mouth and nodded for her mother to continue.
"This new prince, Prince Eric, was very handsome and very kind, and best of all, he seemed to like the Knight-Princess," Kim said. "And she was so excited when he asked her to go to the Royal Ball with him that she didn't notice that now it was her best friend Squire Ron who was feeling sad."
"Why was he sad?" Megan asked, concerned.
"Because KP was spending all of her time with Prince Eric and forgetting all about him."
"Why'd she do that?"
Kim sighed. "I don't know, baby." But then she smiled a little and leaned over to whisper in the little girl's ear. "But it might have something to do with that curse."
Both of them brightened then, and Kim continued. "The night of the Royal Ball arrived, and the Knight-Princess found herself dancing with a charming prince just as she had dreamed. But unbeknownst to her, while she had been preparing for the ball, trouble had been brewing elsewhere. An evil blue wizard and his green fire-breathing dragon had been plotting to take over the kingdom—and the night of the Royal Ball was the very night that they had chosen to do it!"
Megan gasped again. "What're they gonna do?"
"Well," Kim said, "the wizard cast a magic spell that made all of the toys of all of the boys and girls in the kingdom turn into giant monsters! Squire Ron found out about their evil plot and ran to the ball to warn everyone, but no one would believe him. No one, that is, except KP, because she knew she could always believe her best friend no matter what."
Megan nodded. "Good."
Kim smiled and went on. "So, KP went with Squire Ron to fight the monster-toys that were now causing havoc across the kingdom. They journeyed to the evil blue wizard's castle, knowing that the only way to stop the monsters once and for all was to destroy his magical tower. There they fought the green fire-breathing dragon, and just when it looked as if they might win… Prince Eric appeared!"
"What's he doing there?" Megan asked in surprise.
"At first, KP thought that the wizard and the dragon had captured Prince Eric. But then he revealed the truth: He wasn't a prince at all! No, the evil wizard had cast a spell on him to make him look like a handsome prince, but he was really… a disgusting slime monster!"
Kim nodded. "Yes, ewww. And the Knight-Princess was so surprised—and so grossed out—that the dragon was able to capture her and lock her and Squire Ron in the dungeon. KP was so sad that the wizard had fooled her and that her prince had turned out to be a disgusting slime monster that she felt like giving up."
"She can't!" Megan proclaimed.
"Oh," Kim said. "Why not?"
"'Cause… 'cause knights don't give up!"
Kim laughed. "Well, that's something like what Squire Ron said to her, too. Now, do you remember that curse I mentioned earlier?"
Megan nodded. "Uh huh."
"And you remember you asked if there was a way to make it go away?"
"Well, the curse could only be broken by saying four very special magic words. And through pure dumb luck—or dumb skill, as your father would say—Squire Ron, as he was trying to make KP feel better, just happened to say those very words: 'Out there, in here.' Just like that the curse was lifted, and the Knight-Princess could finally see that the prince she had been looking for… had been right in front of her all along! It was Squire Ron!"
Megan's little mouth hung open in delighted surprise for a moment before she thought to ask a most practical question: "You can be a squire and a prince?"
"Oh yes," Kim said matter-of-factly. "Just like you can be a knight and a princess."
"Ohhh." Megan nodded her understanding. "Then what happened?"
"Then Ron's magical molerat Rufus appeared and used his magical powers to free them from the dungeon. So the three of them went and fought the evil blue wizard and the green fire-breathing dragon and the icky slime monster—and they beat them all and destroyed the wizard's magic tower!"
"And then all the monsters turned back into toys?"
"That's right," Kim said, "which made all the boys and girls in the kingdom very happy. And the evil wizard and the dragon were locked up and sent away to the royal dungeon."
"What about the slime monster?" Megan asked.
"Oh, the slime monster," Kim said with a wicked grin. "Well, the slime monster didn't need to be sent to the dungeon, because Rufus bit him with his magical molerat teeth and made him melt down into a big puddle of ooey gooey slime!"
"Good!" Megan said, sticking out her tongue.
Kim laughed. "So now, with all the monsters gone, Princess Kim and Prince Ron still had time to go back to the Royal Ball—together. And when all the people of the kingdom saw them arrive holding hands and realized that Princess Kim's curse had finally been lifted, they all clapped and cheered."
Megan clapped gleefully herself. "And then they kissed, didn't they?"
"Yes, and then they kissed," Kim said, smiling wistfully.
"And then they got married and had a baby."
Kim laughed. "Well, not right away. But yes, eventually they grew up and got married, and then they became a Mommy and—"
Kim followed Megan's gaze to see Ron leaning against the door frame. She raised an eyebrow at him. How long have you been listening in?
In answer, he stepped into the room and bowed low. "Squire Ron humbly requesting one last goodnight kiss from the fair Megan."
Kim grinned as he straightened back up. "Don't you mean Prince Ron?"
"Oh, right," he said, grinning back. "Or... Squire-Prince?"
"No, no!" Megan interrupted, shaking her head at her parents. They stared at her in confusion. "When princes and princesses get married, they turn into kings and queens," she explained as patiently as she could. "So I'm the princess now."
Kim and Ron both laughed. "Of course!" Ron said. "How could we not know that?"
Megan shrugged, which just made her parents laugh more. She didn't quite understand what was so funny, but she loved it when Mommy and Daddy laughed, so she joined right in.
But then she thought of something else and her laughter was quickly replaced by a worried frown. Noticing her daughter's sudden change of expression, Kim asked, "What's wrong, sweetie?"
Megan looked up at her parents. "If I'm a princess like you, do I have a curse, too?"
Kim pursed her lips, trying to think of the right way to respond. Ron had no such hesitation. "Yes!" he said. "Until you're 16 at least. Preferably 30."
Kim elbowed him, and Megan giggled.
"What Daddy means," Kim said, sitting back down on the bed and giving her husband a pointed glare, "is that you don't have to worry about curses. Or evil wizards, or fire-breathing dragons, or secret slime monsters. You'll find your prince when the time is right, just like I did." Megan smiled and nodded, confident in her mother's assurance.
"And until then," Ron said, walking around to the other side of the bed (safely out of the range of Kim's elbow,) "just remember that all boys have cooties."
Kim glared at him again, but Megan just laughed. "But, Daddy, you're a boy!"
"That's right, so you'd better watch out!" he said, just before lunging toward her and covering her face with kisses while she giggled and squirmed.
After the kissy-attack had finally subsided, Megan planted a sloppy wet kiss of her own on Daddy's cheek, and then another on Mommy's before laying back, hugging Foxloth and yawning. Mommy straightened out the covers and tucked them back up under her chin, and Daddy brushed a few strands of red hair out of her face, whispering, "Nighty-night, Nutmeg."
Then they both walked to the door and for the second time that night, Kim reached for the light switch, but once again she was stopped.
"Mommy, wait!" Both parents halted in the doorway and stared back at their daughter questioningly. "You forgot to say the end of the story," Megan said.
This time Kim's confusion was unfeigned. "I did? I thought I finished it. What did I forget?"
Megan sighed. As smart as Mommy and Daddy were, sometimes she was amazed by the things they didn't know—like the only proper way to end a fairy tale. "And they all lived happily ever after," she said.
Kim and Ron looked at each other and smiled.
"So they did."