Kim Possible: Ronald's Diner

Chapter 3 Dinner Theater

I.

Ronald drove his car around the lot a couple of times trying to park as near as possible to the entrance of the Smarty Mart store as he could. This had less to do with being lazy or wanting a good spot and more to do with the rain that was falling out side. After turning the car off he handed his umbrella over to Bonnie.

"Here, this will keep you dry until we can make it inside."

"What about you?" Bonnie asked, "Can't we both use the umbrella?"

"Nah, it's not big enough. I'll be fine. Besides, it's just a short distance."

"No, it's your umbrella you use it. I'll just wait for you in the car."

"You don't want to come inside and shop for some clothes?"

"Look, I appreciate what you're doing for me, but I don't want to look like I'm taking advantage of the situation. I'd rather wait out here."

"Sounds like you still can't stand to be caught in a Smarty Mart." Ronald teased with a grin on his face. "Trust me, it's not as bad as you think. I'm sure you'll find something in there that you like."

Bonnie looked skeptical; "I'll gladly take what ever clothing you pick out for me."

"And risk picking the wrong thing and earning your wrath? No thanks, I'll pass." The driver said with a slight chuckle as he cinched up his jacket as much as possible before opening his door and hurrying toward the entrance of the store.

Bonnie watched as the man, who was turning out to be her unlikely benefactor, dashed for the dryness of the building's entrance. Taking a deep breath Bonnie resigned herself to her fate. She would have to go in Smarty Mart and shop with Ronald for new clothes. Opening the small umbrella, the down on her luck former cheerleader walked to the store entrance with a decided lack of any spring in her step. "Talk about karma," she said out loud.

"Took you long enough," Ronald joked with his usual lopsided smile. "I was starting to think you didn't want to be seen with me."

"It's the store, not the company." Bonnie muttered.

However, the racket of a teenage employee hurriedly pushing a long row of carts in to the building drowned her comment out. Turning her attention back to her new friend, she saw that he had already grabbed a shopping cart and was walking in to the store. Despite the promise of receiving much need new clothes Bonnie, with her head down and showing little enthusiasm, followed in to the big box store.

As they shopped, Ronald could see that his shopping companion still wasn't all that excited about being at Smarty Mart, so he attempted to make conversation with her and to try to take her mind off of the situation. But eventually his jabbering about how great a store Smarty Mart was and how you could find anything for a decent price finally got on to her nerves.

"You're probably enjoying this aren't you?" she accused while picking up a value pack of no name socks. "That's the only reason you brought me here."

"Enjoying what?" Was the answer, as he continued to push the shopping cart carrying the few things they had already selected.

"That I'm here buying clothes from Smarty Mart."

"To be honest I would enjoy this just about as much if we were shopping at Club Banana. Remember I'm a guy, its not like shopping is my idea of fun."

"Club Banana is a far more fashionable store. It was meant for a woman like me." Bonnie commented as she dropped a value pack of women's underwear into the cart.

"Hmmph, she used to say that too."

"She who? Kim? Like she ever had any fashion sense." Bonnie retorted as she held a pair of pants up to see how long they were. When she had lifted her head up again the look on his face said that she had just stuck her foot in to her mouth.

"Hey, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to bring up Kim. Just forget that I said anything about that." She said but could see that her apology was having little effect.

"Ronald, I'm sorry for saying anything bad about Kim. It's just an old habit. Besides why should you care… Its not like you two are still together….are you?"

"And how would you feel if I said something bad about Tara?" He replied harshly.

Bonnie frowned at the barb even though she had to admit that it was a fair one. "No I wouldn't like that." She said sternly before softening her attitude, "But your point is taken. I take back what I said about Kim."

He nodded his head and began to push the shopping cart again, "Thank you. Yes Kim and I are no longer together but I still consider her a friend. And if there was a Club Banana in Lowerton and if I had the money, then I would have taken you there."

"You would?" Bonnie asked in surprise.

Ronald was about to answer when they were soon approached by two men, one in plain clothes, the other wearing the local rent a cop uniform that Smarty Mart used in their stores.

"May I help you?" the blond asked the men standing in front of him.

The over weight man in the rent a cop uniform tried to look intimidating as he proceeded to accuse Ronald of being an accessory to shop lifting.

"Your lady friend there is a criminal," as he pointed thumb to Bonnie. Then pointed his index at him and continued, "And you might be too, if you're with her."

"Excuse me?" Ronald asked annoyed, "Just where do you get that idea?"

Then the plains clothes man spoke up, "Sir, this woman that you're with has been banned from Smarty Mart for the next six months after she was caught shop lifting here about a month ago. We agreed to not press charges at the time if she left and agreed to not come back. As of this evening she is now in violation of that agreement."

Ronald looked at the man in disbelief for a moment before asking if they had any proof. With out missing a beat the plainclothes man handed a picture from a surveillance camera that showed Bonnie stuffing a pack of underwear under her shirt. In the lower right hand corner of the picture was a time stamp indicating it had been taken about five weeks ago. Ronald then looked from the picture to his friend, the unspoken question obvious in his eyes. Bonnie managed to scrap up enough courage to look him in the eye as she nodded her head yes.

"Now if you will excuse me as I escort this criminal out of the store." The overweight rent a cop said as he began to move towards Bonnie.

"Hold on." Ronald interrupted, "I'm the one that brought her here tonight. She didn't want to come but I insisted that she come anyways so we could purchase some things."

He looked across to Bonnie, who was looking at the floor. Continuing his defense he added,

"That's why she broke her agreement. Also, do you have any evidence that she has actually stolen anything tonight?"

"No we have not observed her stealing anything tonight but we will need to search her to be sure." The plainclothes man, who appeared to be in charge, said, "However, regardless of the circumstances she has violated her agreement with the store. This can end one of two ways, if after we search the young lady and we find that she has not stolen anything tonight then we will let her go, but her ban from this establishment will now be permanent. If, however, we do find something on her, then we will immediately call the cops and have her arrested."

"OK." Bonnie said, "Let's get this over with, go ahead and search me. And he didn't know about my shoplifting in the past so he's not an accessory." Bonnie said pointedly towards the rent a cop.

"Watch you mouth miss." The plain clothes chastised as he pointed his finger at her. "You've been cooperative so far and that's working in your favor, but if you want to have an attitude I assure you we can make things a lot more miserable for you than you can for us."

"Are you threatening her?" Ronald asked incensed.

"No, I'm being brutally honest with her."

"Ronald, it's OK. I'll go with them and let them search me or what ever it is they want to do and then we can leave." Bonnie said flatly.

The former high school classmate could see that really neither one of them had a choice but to do as they were instructed. He then reached in to his pocket and gave Bonnie the keys to his car, "Bonnie, once they're done with you go and wait in the car. I need to purchase a few more things and then we can leave." Ronald explained while adding emphasis on the word purchase.

Watching as the fat rent a cop escorted Bonnie to the store's security office; the plains clothes cop then turned to address Ronald. "You friend there has been cooperative and that's good, unfortunately it's not entirely my decision as to what will happen to her, that's up the store's management."

"Then let's go talk to the management."

"Hold on. We can, but if she is innocent as you say she will need a character witness. If you are willing to come with me and be searched to prove that you also haven't stolen anything, that will be another point in her favor to convince the management not to press charges against her."

"Seems like you guys are being pretty heavy handed over one case of shop lifting. It's not like she was even stealing anything valuable, just some clothes that she needed."

"I know it may seem that way, but we have to take every case of shoplifting seriously since this store has the highest rate of shrinkage of any Smarty Mart in the state."

Ronald sighed in frustration. Arguing wasn't going to help the situation any and it certainly wasn't going to help Bonnie any. All he could do was to cooperate and hope for the best.

II.

A full hour later Ronald returned to his car. As he approached his well used old Pontiac part of him was relieved to see Bonnie was in it and not in a police car. However, another part of him was also equally relieved to see that both she and his car were still there at all. Climbing to in the driver's seat he handed a small plastic bag to her without preamble before starting the ignition. At first she didn't look in the bag that sat in her lap. Instead, simply looked out of the car's window in order to avoid looking at her "accomplice," in order to hide her shame and embarrassment.

Bonnie was ashamed about being caught stealing from Smarty Mart, and by being strip searched by the fat rent a cop. But there was something else that was bothering her. Not about shopping at Smarty Mart. In fact she was actually looking forward to getting some badly need new clothes. What really bothered and truly embarrassed her was when her past had been aired in front of Ronald the way it had been. Still looking out the window as they drove back to his apartment, she was lost in these thoughts until he spoke up.

"Since your here I guess they decided not to arrest you."

"No they didn't. But I'm now permanently banned from every stepping foot in Smarty Mart again."

Ronald nodded his head before speaking. "You can look in the bag, there's some stuff in there for you."

Confused, Bonnie looked in the plastic bag and to her surprise, and partial shame, discovered assorted clothing inside of it.

"You got these for me?" She asked in surprise.

"Yes I did. You needed some new clothes and that's what we went to the store to get, despite the Barney Fifes of the world."

"Why?"

"Why? What do you mean, why?" Was the confused response, "Didn't you need some new clothes?"

"I did, I mean I do. But I thought that maybe you wouldn't bother to get me anything after you found out about my, you know shoplifting."

"Look, I could tell you needed some clothes, badly."

The brunette felt insulted and was about to retort when Ronald continued, "Bonnie, in that photo of you shop lifting you were wearing the same clothes five weeks ago that you have on right now. The clothes you said were the only clothes you have… You need these clothes."

"I know, but you must feel humiliated tonight. They accused you of shoplifting just because you were seen with me."

He snorted, "Yes, I was a little embarrassed…"

"I'm sorry," came the glum apology.

"Bonnie, you have nothing to apologize about."

"Yes I do. I could have prevented that. I could have told you why I didn't want to go to Smarty Mart with you. That it had nothing to do with my pride but the fact, that I was banned from being there. Instead my pride kept me from telling you I had been caught shoplifting and you ended up being humiliated while doing something nice for me."

There was a pause then a response; "Yes it would have helped if you mentioned the shoplifting."

"Sorry", came a meek reply. "But I didn't want you to know because I was embarrassed and to proud to let you know. And I didn't want you to make fun of me about it."

The driver spared a second from watching the road to look at his passenger. "Did you really think I would make fun of you for that?"

Nodding her head, "Maybe it wasn't a rational thing to think after how you've been treating me… But old habits die hard ok."

"Bonnie, I wouldn't have nor will I make fun of you for that. Yes your pride did get in the way tonight. But I won't hold the shoplifting against you. You were just doing something you felt you need to in order to survive. If I had known about it then I wouldn't have forced you to come with me. Besides the way they treated you was very humiliating. You didn't deserve that. At least we don't have to worry about that any more because I'm never going there again as long as they keep acting like everyone's a criminal there."

She merely nodded her head in agreement, seeing that Ronald was still annoyed with the store's security team by the way he kept grumbling about rent a cops being on power trips. Poor Ronald didn't know the half of it, and Bonnie wasn't about to tell him. The strip search she had endured in front of the fat rent a cop was bad enough, and was probably illegal since it had been only he and her in the room at the time, but Bonnie wasn't about to bring it up to Ronald. He was still worked up about the whole situation, and frankly they had both had enough attention and scrutiny for one day.

III.

Exiting the dryness of the car the former cheerleader clutched a plastic bag to her chest in an attempt to protect the contents from the rain. Bonnie never would have thought that she would find herself in her current position, yet here she was clutching a bag full of clothes from Smarty Mart as though they were the most precious thing in her whole life.

"Who are you kidding, this is only the second most precious thing," a small voice said from inside Bonnie's head. Most precious, second most precious, either way she never thought she would have gone shopping in Smarty Mart with the person she thought was the biggest loser from high school. And yet she had not only done that but she was smiling and almost content about it, despite what had happened at the store.

"Penny for your thoughts?" He asked while opening the door to his apartment.

"Just a penny?"

"All I can afford right now after setting you up in style."

"Hmmp. I wouldn't call four pairs of underwear, three pairs of socks, a couple of t-shirts and a pair of pants as styling."

"Compared to a few days ago, I would say you're ready to strut down the cat-walk." He said with a lopsided grin walking through the living room and in to the kitchen.

"Touché, but don't hold your breath on watching me walk down the cat-walk in these new clothes." Bonnie retorted before smiling. "Still it was nice of you to buy me these clothes since I don't have any others."

"What happened to them?" Ronald asked as he sat out two small plastic cups and filled them with water.

"They were stolen," she sighed before plopping down on to the couch, "Just one of the dangers of living on the streets."

"I can only imagine." He conceded handing one of the cups.

"That's all you're going to say about it? No 'It services you right' or anything like that?"

"Again, I have to ask..." He retorted then opening his arms out as a plea, nearly spilling the contents of his drink. "Why would I do something like that?"

"Payback for how I treated you in high school." Bonnie answered meekly as she lowered her head.

Ronald stared for several seconds as his mind worked to come up with a response. However, his thought process was cut short when Bonnie, having sense that she was being stared at, spoke again.

"Why are you staring at me? I deserve it. It's not like I was ever nice to you."

"Bonnie, we've been over this already. You know I'm not so petty as to try and hold that against you. Yes I didn't like the way you treated me, but that doesn't mean I should do the same to you. What possible good could come of me doing that?"

"It would make me feel better." Bonnie answered softly.

"Say what?" Ronald asked completely perplexed, which showed on his face.

Lifting her head to look Ronald in the eyes, "I'm not quite the same Bonnie I used to be, the old 'Queen Bee" of high school. I've had to grow up a bit and realize that the world doesn't just revolve around me."

"Come on. You weren't all that bad in high school."

"Nice try Stoppable, but we both know that I was. Do you know why so many people called me the 'Queen Bee" in school? It didn't have anything to do with comparing me to a queen bee and her drones, but instead it was a worse insult."

"To be fair Bonnie there were several times I called you 'Queen Bee' myself."

"I'm sure both you and Kim did. The difference is that I doubt you meant it the way everyone else did. When they called me 'Queen Bee' the emphasis was on the B."

"OK let's pretend I have no idea what you're talking about." Ronald said.

"What sort of disparaging word do you know of that begins with B and applies to females?" Seeing the continued confused look on his face she decided to tell him. "Bitch! They were calling me a bitch, not only behind my back but they were saying to my face as well and I didn't even know it." Bonnie said quite flustered before sighing.

"And the worst part was that I actually deserved it most of the time. I want to be a better person, the type of person worthy of the kindness you've shown me today. It's harder than I thought, but I'm trying to be a better person, even if I don't really know how to do it. And if that means letting some one give me pay back for how I treated them in high school then that's what I'll do."

"Wow, I think that's the most unselfish thing I've ever heard from you." Ronald said in amazement, "And based on what I've seen from you today I would say you've come a long way in being a better person."

As Bonnie listened she began to slowly smile at his compliment and had to wipe away what was the beginning of a tear from her eye.

"Now before you go and get all teary eyed on me…"

"I wasn't crying." She responded sternly.

"Aaas I was saying…" Letting out a yawn, "I have to be at the diner early tomorrow, which means you have to as well, Rockwaller. It's time for bed, since we'll have to get up around five in the morning. So if you'll excuse me I need to brush my teeth before you lock me out of the bathroom." With that he got to his feet and walked towards the bathroom.

"Fair enough. I'll let you use the bathroom first since it is yours after all."

"See, being a better person isn't so hard is it?" He teased just before he shut the door.

A few minutes later Ronald emerged from the bathroom and saw that Bonnie had already found an extra blanket and pillow and was attempting to make a bed for him on the couch.

"Thank you, that was kind of you to make me a bad." He said with sincerity.

"Your welcome." She responded the same before adding with a smile, "Just don't expect me to make your bed for you in the morning." As she began to walk past before stopping.

"Something wrong?"

"Ronald. I… I just wanted to say thank you for my new clothes." As Bonnie finished her thanks she gave a small peck on his right check. "Goodnight. See you in the morning." Before locking the bedroom door behind her.

Ronald touched his right check where he had been kissed. It was the first time in years he had been kissed by a woman, outside of his family, and he had forgotten how good it felt. Finally after a moment he managed to utter a reply to the now shut door, "That was most kind in deed…Goodnight Bonnie and pleasant dreams."

IV.

Bonnie awoke with a start. Looking around the unfamiliar surroundings Bonnie fought through the fog of sleep to try to recall where she was. Finding that she was alone in a bed things began to slowly come back to the brunette.

"That's right, I'm at Ronald's place."

Glancing at the clock next to the bed, the glowing numbers on it indicated that it was already five in the morning. Being an early riser, as she had been for most of her life, Bonnie decided it was no use lying in bed anymore and decided to get up. Besides which she and her roomate would be fighting for the bathroom soon enough, so she might as well beat the rush. Speaking of which, the former high school cheerleader wondered how he was doing.

Unlocking the door between the bedroom and the living room, Bonnie poked her head out and spied the young man sprawled out on the couch, his blanket having nearly completely fallen off of his body during the night. She couldn't help but to grin at the scene, while he was not as buff as Brick had been in high school, over the years Ronald had still filled out nicely. Aside from the dark circles under his eyes she could consider him reasonably attractive, or at the very least cute while he was sleeping.

"Poor guy, he looks so uncomfortable." She softly said to herself as she picked up the blanket and gently placed it on him before retreating to the bedroom to take a shower.

V.

Ronald bolted off of the couch and assumed a crouched position as the sound of an alarm going off woke him from his slumber. As the shock of the unexpected sound began to wear off and he exited what Kim used to like to call "mission mode", he noticed a small alarm clock sitting on the coffee table next to where his head had been lying on the couch. Standing up from his crouch, first turned the alarm off and then wondered where it had come from. As far as he knew the only alarm clock in the place was inside of his bedroom, the one that his guest was now occupying.

The former Queen B had just pulled one of her new shirts over her head when she heard a knocking on the bedroom door.

"Bonnie, are you in there?"

"Well who else would it be? Unless there are other girls that you let sleep in your room," she answered with a snarky response.

"Well I do let Hana sleep there when she visits." Was his reply, as the door opened.

"Is this going somewhere or did you have a reason you knocked on the door to ask me a question?"

"Oh, I, uh. I just wanted to ask if you knew how an alarm clock ended up next to my head this morning? It surprised the heck out of me."

"Poor baby, scared by a little alarm clock," she laughed, "I put it there this morning after I got out of bed, didn't want you to oversleep since we have to be up so early today."

"Which I didn't." Ronald said with a slight frown, "But you could have at least placed it near my feet or something and not next to my head with the alarm set on the loudest setting."

"Look, I told you last night I'm trying to be a better person. I didn't say I was good at it yet." The roommate replied with an "I'm guilty as hell but trying to look innocent" smile. "At any rate I'm done in the bathroom so you can use it now."

Fifteen minutes later a showered but still in the process of shaving, Ronald walked out of the bedroom. "Bonnie, can you get the plates out for breakfast? I'm going to have to hurry to make…."

"Make what?" Bonnie asked as she sat two bowls on the kitchenette table.

"Did, did you make breakfast?"

"Hey try not to sound so shocked there Stoppable. Unlike Kim I can actually make something edible in the kitchen. Although today all I had time to make was some oatmeal."

"That's OK," he said with a smile, "Oatmeal is part of a good for you breakfast, and you just saved me a lot of time this morning."

"No problem. But since I cooked you get to clean up." Bonnie informed her breakfast companion.

Over breakfast it was pointed out to Bonnie that she needed to work harder at being a nicer person since she had insulted Kim about her cooking. This annoyed her for two reasons. The first being that Ronald still stuck up for Kim for no apparent reason, and two, it wasn't an insult if it was true, and it was well known that for the girl would could do anything, the kitchen seemed to be the one challenge beyond her ability.

After breakfast, and yes Ronald did clean up the breakfast dishes, the two left the apartment and headed for the car.

"Brrr, it's cold out this morning." Bonnie complained.

"The weather man said this rain storm is supposed to last through tonight it probably won't get above sixty degrees all day today."

"Then hurry up and start your car so we can get some heat going."

"Yes malady." The driver answered sarcastically.

Sensing that she may have pressed her luck too far, Bonnie wisely decided to ride out the remainder of the trip in silence. As much as she hated to admit it Ronald was right about one thing, the newer nicer Bonnie needed to learn to stop being so sarcastic, especially to someone who didn't deserve it.

TBC