At long last, the exciting conclusion! Mysteries solved! Questions answered! Buttons popped! Sides split! And Danke schoen to all those who have enjoyed my good-natured skewering of this venerable classic, especially Eddy13, CajunBear73, Katsumara, readerjunkie, and Reader101w.
Sam slowly awakened as Rufus continued to chatter in his ear, desperately trying to revive his friend.
"Ooh, my poor head. How long was I out?"
Rufus held up two tiny fingers.
"Oh, man! No more charades, please!"
Rufus giggled in reply and pointed at the clock.
"Oh, two hours. Sorry, little buddy."
"S'okay!" the mole rat cheerfully replied.
Rufus began chattering again as he stuck a newspaper under Sam's nose. The shipping news lay open before him, with the arrival time of a particular ship circled.
"The Capullo de Rosa? Looks like Big Daddy has a particular interest in this ship."
He picked up the phone and quickly dialed a number.
"Hi, Kimmie? It's me. I need to talk to Ms. Shego. What? She never showed up at your place? Well, you better get back to the office pronto. I'll meet you there as soon as I freshen up. Mr. Fatgut spiked my drink. No, I'm all right, but be careful, okay shweetheart?"
As soon as he walked out of the Hotel Brotherson, several fire trucks roared by. It didn't take him long to figure out where they were headed. In the distance, smoke was rising from the nearby port. He quickly made his way to the docks, only to discover the Capullo de Rosa enveloped in flames.
He looked down at Rufus and muttered, "Looks like they beat us to it." Rufus whimpered back in concern.
Sam flagged down one of the firemen. "Excuse me, but someone I know might have come aboard this afternoon. I'm worried because I haven't seen her since."
The fireman answered, "No worries, Mister. Only the Harbor Watch was aboard when she caught fire. He said he heard a big whoosh and saw a green flame, then the whole engine room caught fire."
Rufus hissed, "Shego!"
Sam agreed. "You said it, little buddy. But is she working alone, or is she in cahoots with Big Daddy? We better get back to the office."
As soon as Sam walked through his office door, Kimmie rushed up and gave him a big hug.
"Sam, are you okay? When I didn't hear from you, I feared the worst."
He rubbed his head and replied, "Nah, I'm all right, but I suspect that Ms. Shego has added arson to her list of possible crimes."
He quickly brought her up to speed on what Big Daddy had revealed to him about the Maltese Mole Rat.
"Now you know as much as I do, Kimmie."
"But do you believe him? That's quite a fish story."
"Actually, I think the mole rat's a mammal. A rodent, in point of fact."
Rufus popped out of his pocket, happily shaking his head in agreement. Kimmie merely rolled her eyes.
Just then, the phone rang. Sam picked it up.
A commanding female voice began to speak.
"Well, it's about time Mr. Stoppable. I've been trying to reach you all afternoon."
"Oh, hey, Dr. Director! And to what do I owe the exquisite pleasure of your courteous call?"
"You can turn off the charm, Mr. Stoppable. It doesn't work on me. You've been in contact lately with a certain Shego O'Shaughnessy. And depending on who you talk to, she's either your client or your sidekick, according to Lt. Barkin. Furthermore, she was spotted leaving the scene of a suspicious fire that broke out aboard the Capullo de Rosa just over an hour ago. Care to make a statement?"
"Uh, Mt. Middleton is 3650 feet high. How about that?"
"Oh, a wise guy, huh? Attempted murder and arson are considered serious crimes in this city, Mr. Stoppable."
"Uh, yeah, I know that, Dr. Director. I think I know who's behind it all, but I'm not completely sure yet."
"Well, would you care to take a guess?"
"Not for another two hours."
"You can't take a guess for another two hours?"
"No, I mean I'll probably know a little more then. My momma didn't raise no fool, and I'm not about to float any theories, especially in front of a District Attorney, until I have this case wrapped up like a fresh Naco."
"All right Mr. Stoppable. The ball's in your court. Just don't drop it."
As he hung up, he rubbed the sore spot on his face where he had repeatedly hit himself with his paddleball only a few days before. The irony of Dr. Director's comment didn't escape him.
"Well, Kimmie, the DA's on my back now. I better figure out what's going on before I get thrown in the slammer for attempted murder and as an accessory to arson."
Kimmie nodded. "Okay, Sam. So what do we do next?"
Just then, a heavy scuffing was heard just outside the door. Sam opened it and came face to face with an ancient mariner who looked every bit like a buccaneer from the days of yore. He was holding a bulky object wrapped in heavy cloth, and was bleeding from several gunshot wounds.
Kimmie picked up an accordion and began playing a tune that sounded suspiciously like a theme park ride featuring a pirate ship.
The stranger collapsed into a chair and whispered one word before expiring.
Kimmie cocked an eyebrow. "Rosebud?"
Sam nodded knowingly. "Rosebud was his ship. That's what Capullo de Rosa means in English. And it's also the ship that just got torched."
He searched the pirate's pockets for his ID.
"Yup, just as I suspected. Blackeye Brown, and after all these years."
Kimmie's mouth dropped open in astonishment. "What? Blackeye Brown, the famous pirate? That's impossible! Why, he'd have to be almost 400 years old!"
Sam waved his hands back and forth. "Yeah, and he sure smells like it."
She huffed, "You know what I mean, Sam."
"Well, Kimmie, anything's possible in a Possible fanfic, I guess. So, let's take a look at what Santa brought us."
He unwrapped the cloth from the object. It was further wrapped up in brown paper tied up with string. Underneath the paper was a box. And inside the box was the item, encased in bubble-wrap.
"Wow, is this thing well-packed or what?"
"Shall I play some mysterious background music to increase the dramatic tension, Sam?"
"Nah, I almost got it.
Finally unwrapped, he placed the object on the table and began slowly turning it around so both of them could get a good look.
Before them stood the Maltese Mole Rat. The light brilliantly reflected off of the enigmatic figurine's shiny black exterior.
"So this is what all the fuss has been about. And we've got it, Kimmie! We've got it! Too bad Blackeye Brown couldn't have stayed alive long enough to tell us anything about the thing."
The phone rang again. This time Kimmie answered it.
"Hello? Oh, yes, Ms. Shego. Where did you say?"
A terrific scream was heard from over the phone. Then the line went dead.
"Hello? Hello! Sam, it was Ms. Shego. She needs you! It sounded like she's in terrible danger!"
"Where is she?"
"She gave an address in the East Bay, about 20 miles from here. You better try and help her."
"All right. But first I better stash this mole rat thingy in my high school locker for safe keeping. In the meantime, call the police and tell 'em what happened, but no names, no statuette, and I got the call from Ms. Shego. Then go home and get some rest. I'll call you later after I find her."
"Just be careful, Sam. Please and thank you?"
The sultry sound of saxophone began wafting through the small office, but this time it wasn't Kimmie who was playing it.
"I don't know what I'd do if anything happened to you, Sam."
Moving with graceful sensuality, she slinked closer to him. The heat coming off her body was palpable.
"So come back in one piece, okay?"
She ran a finger languorously beneath his chin. He barely managed to squeak out, "Yeah, uh, sure."
Kimmie was now mere inches away from him, her emerald eyes locked on his. He knew now that he could get lost forever in those lucid orbs, and was sorely tempted to kiss those ruby red lips. He was almost overcome with a nearly irresistible urge to reach out to caress her supple figure, to feel the thrill of her divine loveliness pressed close to his body, possible sexual harassment charges notwithstanding.
"Of all the secretaries in all the detective agencies in all the world, and she has to work in mine…"
He pulled at his collar and stammered out, "Uh, Kimmie, could you call building management first thing in the morning and tell them that, er, the air conditioning is on the fritz again?"
He was just about to fall into her desperate embrace when he noticed who was playing the sax.
The clever little mole rat broke out in a devious snicker. The spell now broken, Sam quickly moved away from Kimmie. He began mopping his brow as he chastised his little friend.
"What do you think you're doing, trying to set us up for the obligatory kissing scene? The movie's not over yet!"
Rufus returned Sam's accusation with a self-conscious shrug of his tiny shoulders.
"Well, it'll have to wait until later, especially when our client's in danger, little buddy!"
He left as quickly as he could, leaving behind a very frustrated Kimmie. She stomped on the floor in annoyance.
"Dang it, Rufus! I was so close! But thanks for trying."
Rufus sighed and muttered, "Maybe next time…"
An hour later, Sam sauntered back to the cab where his driver had been waiting patiently for him. Disappointment and concern etched his features.
"Wild goose chase, Sam?"
"Afraid so, Wade. The only person at the address Ms. Shego gave was some middle-aged guy redubbing Kim Possible episodes to the music of Mahler. Talk about sick and wrong. Oh well, better take me home."
Another hour later, Sam climbed out of the cab. Waiting for him in the shadows was Ms. Shego. In the darkness, her gardenia perfume was overwhelming.
He coughed out, "Wow, that fragrance is pretty heady."
She snapped back, "That's Headly."
He raised a questioning eyebrow. "Headly?"
She smoothly replied, "Yeah, that's the brand name of my perfume."
He sighed back, "Yes, yes of course."
Shego began to sway slightly.
Concerned, he offered her his arm. "You gonna be okay? Kimmie said you sounded frantic over the phone."
"I… I'll be okay once I can sit down."
Sam motioned toward his apartment. "Well, c'mon inside."
But as soon as he opened the front door, he was greeted by the disturbing presence of Big Daddy, Professor DeNile and Will Crook, all with guns drawn.
Sam nodded in understanding. "Well, the gang's all here, huh?"
Big Daddy easily chuckled, his oily demeanor belying his considerable anticipation. "Yes indeed, Mr. Stoppable. And the game is afoot, in the words of Sir Conan Doyle."
"Well, I'm more a Bogart fan than one of Sherlock Holmes, if you haven't noticed. So, you guys ready to make the first down payment for the Maltese Mole Rat?"
Will gave him a disparaging look. "Maybe, maybe not, amateur."
Big Daddy raised a fat hand to stop the sniping. "Now, now, Will. Indeed we are, Mr. Stoppable. But first…"
Big Daddy placed three shells on the table before him. He plucked a pea from his pocket and placed it beneath one of the shells, then proceeded to swiftly move the shells around almost faster than the eye could follow.
"Double or nothing, Mr. Stoppable. If you can guess which shell the pea is under, you get the money. If not, you get nothing."
Will chided, "But we'll consider letting you live."
Beads of sweat began to break out on Sam's forehead, as he tried to figure out which shell had the pea under it. He suddenly smiled as he remembered a trick he had learned back at Yamanouchi. He coughed, instantly producing the pea in his hand.
Big Daddy's eyebrows shot up in surprise as he quickly checked beneath each shell, only to find that the pea was indeed missing.
"My word, sir, you are a character! There's never any telling what you'll do next, but it's bound to be astonishing. So here you are."
Big Daddy handed Sam an envelope. He counted the money inside.
"Hey, there's only ten grand here. We were talkin' a lot more money than this, weren't we?"
Big Daddy offered a half-hearted shrug. "Yes, we were. But as you can see, there are now more mouths to feed, shall we say? I'm afraid that's my final price."
Sam snickered. "Yeah, but I'm the one with the mole rat."
DeNile warned, "Vee don't need to remind you zat you may haf zee mole rat, but vee zertainly haf you."
Sam nervously replied, "Heh-heh. Uh, yeah. I'm trying not to worry about that. But there's one other thing. We need a fall guy to pin Blackeye Brown's murder on, as well as Junior and Tuesday's shootings. And that's my final price. Lt. Barkin has had it in for me ever since the ninth grade, and he'd love nothing more than to put the blame on me. I need a perp to turn over to him so I can avoid being thrown in the slammer myself."
DeNile laughed, "Yes, but how shall vee choose? I'm sure no vun vill simply volunteer for zat honor."
Big Daddy smiled. "I, as always, have a fair and perfect solution."
He grabbed an empty root beer bottle from the coffee table.
"Spin the Bottle, anyone?"
He placed the bottle on the floor and spun it quickly around. It slowed, then stopped, pointing to its unfortunate victim.
Sam chuckled. "Well, well, Will Crook! Looks like you're our grand prize winner! And you're perfect for the part, with all that glowering and attitude. Let's see your sixteen different forms of surveillance help you now, wise guy."
Will's face grew beet red as he silently worked his jaw, furiously trying to think of something to say. He turned to Big Daddy.
"No! No, you can't do this to me!"
Big Daddy merely shrugged. "Sorry, Will. I feel toward you like I would my own son, but I can always get another son. However, there's only one Maltese Mole Rat. Besides, you did shoot Blackeye Brown, did you not?"
He continued with a tsk, "But even after shooting him, you failed to retrieve the Maltese Mole Rat."
He chuckled as he rubbed his hands together. "So we now have a new game: Pin the Tail on the Donkey. And you're 'it,' Will."
Will lashed back, "No way! I'm not going to be the fall guy anymore! It's time for me to finally take a step up!"
He waved his guns around the room to prove that he meant business.
"And no one better try to stop me. These aren't just water pistols!"
Shego lost no time in firing two well-aimed plasma bolts, knocking the now useless weapons from his hands. A third bolt knocked him out cold as he collapsed on the couch.
Shego yawned dismissively and drawled, "Well, that's one fewer problem we have to deal with."
Big Daddy simply roared with laughter. "Excellent, Ms. Shego! Well, Mr. Stoppable, I believe we have a deal."
Shego licked her lips. "So, when do we get to see this thing anyway?"
Sam smiled as he picked up the phone and dialed a number. "Hello, Kimmie? I need you to pick up the statuette from my high school locker and bring it over to my place. Yeah, I know I graduated awhile back, but I knew that locker would come in handy again someday. Swell, see you in a few minutes."
Sam hung up and turned back to his still very dangerous guests. "One last thing. In order to pin everything on Will, I need to know exactly what happened and when, so I can explain the whole sitch convincingly to the cops. Let's start with Blackeye Brown."
Big Daddy began, "Very well, and I will begin with the truth. The Professor, Will and I were on the trail of the mole rat in Athens. We attempted to purchase it from General Sims, but he was extremely wary, calling the situation a Code Twenty-Three-slash-Skidoo. However, Ms. Shego and Tuesday had already formed an alliance, and managed to steal the Maltese Mole Rat from the General. DeNile had heard that Ms. Shego and Tuesday had been seen together on board the Capullo de Rosa and put two and two together, guessing that she had hired Blackeye Brown to spirit the item out of the country."
"So you kept an eye out for when the ship would dock here."
"Indeed. So when DeNile read in the papers that that very ship was arriving here today, he figured that the item must be aboard. We went down to the ship to retrieve it, but Ms. Shego had beat us again to the punch, instructing Blackeye Brown to deliver the item to you instead. Will tried to stop him, but only managed to seriously wound the buccaneer. Ms. Shego then tried to stop Will with her unique plasma powers, but only managed to set the unfortunate ship on fire."
Shego smiled dangerously from beneath hooded eyes. "So I like flames. Ya got a problem with that?"
She graced Sam with a suggestive look as she began toying once again with the buttons on her blouse. "You like flames too, don't you, Mr. Stoppable?"
Sam smiled sheepishly back at her, pulling at his chronically tight collar. "I've really got to get me some open-necked shirts if I'm going to continue in this bon-diggety line of work…"
He forced himself to return his attention to Big Daddy, gasping out, "I see. Go on."
"So we persuaded Ms. Shego to reveal to whom she had told the dear captain to deliver the object to. We further persuaded her to phone you in an attempt to draw you away, but unfortunately, you already had the item in your possession."
"I see. Now let's recap the night of the shootings. Why was Tuesday shot, along with my partner?"
Big Daddy flashed him an evil grin as he cackled, "Now, this will take a bit of creativity. Let's see… we tried to encourage Tuesday to join our little band, but unfortunately he refused to see reason. You of course have observed the result. As for your business associate, he was singing on stage, and having observed our little tableaux, Will was forced to take care of him as well."
"Sounds plausible, Mr. Fatgut. So, Will shot Tuesday?"
Will had by now regained consciousness, and mumbled back, "No, I shot Monday."
DeNile explained. "Billy Monday. He's zee owner of zee karaoke club."
Will shrugged. "What was I supposed to do? He wouldn't let me in without a ticket."
Sam pressed on. "Okay, then when did you shoot Tuesday?"
"I didn't. I shot Junior, then he fell, then I left the bar as fast as I could."
"So you didn't shoot Tuesday, but you shot Monday, then Junior, then he fell."
"No, I didn't shoot him either."
DeNile explained once again. "Johnny Heefell vas zee waiter. He vas shot right after Tuesday vas shot, but Will had already left."
Will replied, "No, right before midnight on Monday."
"Sorry. I mean who shot first, you or Tuesday?"
Will looked confused. "Uh, no one shot First."
DeNile pointed out, "Jill First vas zee hatcheck girl. She vas schtabbed before zee karaoke contest even began."
Sam sighed. "Well then, who stabbed First?"
"Pete Who. He zang zecond but vas disqualified. In a fit of anger he schtabbed First, but zee police took him away right after zee third person zang."
Sam let out an exasperated sigh. "So let me get this straight. Will shot Monday, but not Tuesday, then Junior, then Will left."
"Nein, Will Left vasn't shot. He actually vas zee vinner of zee entire competition!"
Sam rubbed his temples, which were beginning to throb painfully. "Okay, let's start over. Will shot Monday, then Junior. Who stabbed First, then Tuesday was shot, then Heefell."
"Not quite. Tuesday didn't fall as he vas already sitting down. He merely collapsed on zee table after being shot."
Sam's exasperation had finally reached its limit. He yelled, "So who shot Tuesday!"
DeNile waved his arms. "Nein, Nein! Who stabbed First before Tuesday vas shot! Haven't you been listening to a verd I haf said? He couldn't possibly haf done it!"
Everyone then began talking all at once, Sam becoming even more confused as they all tried to sort the details out. Suddenly, there was a knock at the door, and everyone fell silent.
Sam opened the door. Before him stood Kimmie, holding the precious statuette. All eyes were drawn to the mysterious figurine.
"Thanks, Kimmie. You're an angel. I'll call you if I need anything else."
Sam set the statuette on the table. Big Daddy was nearly beside himself in joyful anticipation.
"Now, after all these years, I finally have it! But just to make sure…"
He pulled out a pocket knife and began scraping away the glossy black paint covering the figurine. His joy soon turned to frustration as he furiously continued to scrape away at the object.
"Fake… It's a phony! It's only charcoal! It's a fake!"
Sweat poured down Big Daddy's face as he sullenly collapsed into a chair.
Sam smirked, "Okay, Ms. Shego. You've had your little fun. Now tell us where the real one is."
Shego looked honestly puzzled. "Sorry, that's definitely the one I stole from General Sims."
She proudly smirked, "And he didn't make it easy. There were traps and alarms all over, but nothing that an expert thief like me couldn't handle. But I guess he expected that."
Prof. DeNile turned angrily on Big Daddy. "You! You bungled it! He must haf found out how valuable it vas and made a copy to trick us! You schtupid idiot! You fat-headed imbecile!"
Big Daddy mopped his damp brow. "Well, it would seem that we have another trip back to Athens in our future, as our little game of hide and seek continues."
He turned to Sam. "Why don't you join us, Mr. Stoppable? You're pretty good in a fight. We could use you."
Sam slowly wagged his head. "Nah, I've had enough excitement for one day, as badical as it might turn out to be."
"Very well, then. It's the top of the tide, and we must be off."
They suddenly noticed that in all the excitement, Will Crook had escaped. Big Daddy broke out in a hearty laugh, his jowls shaking in ironic pleasure.
"It seems that we all have lost something in this little misadventure, Mr. Stoppable. I trust you'll get along with the police without a fall guy?"
Sam heaved a small sigh. "Yeah, I guess I'll have to make do."
"And to you, Ms. Shego, I leave the heterocephalus glaber as a little memento. Possession is nine tenths of the law, as they say. And short farewells are the best, Mr. Stoppable. So adieu, auf wiedersehen, ciao, sayonara, and au revoir."
As Big Daddy closed the door behind him, Sam remarked, "How do you like that? He didn't even say goodbye."
He picked up the phone and quickly dialed a number. "Hello, Officer Hobble? Sam Stoppable. Listen, I've got the case all wrapped up. Blackeye Brown and Junior were shot by a kid named Will Crook. He works for a guy by the name of Casper Fatgut. Ya can't miss him, he must weigh 400 pounds. Oh, and don't let him play any games with you, he's more slippery than a greased pig. Prof. DeNile's with him too. What? DeNile stiffed you with the bill at the bar and grill last night? Well, here's your chance for a little revenge sitch then. But you better hurry, they're headed back to the Hotel Brotherson and are about to blow town. And don't forget to bring your little playmate Lt. Barkin along. I've got a special surprise for him."
He hung up and turned to Shego.
"We only have a few minutes to get ready for the police, so give me all of it quick! When you first came to my office, why did you really want Tuesday followed?"
Shego stammered, "I thought he'd betrayed me. I wanted to find out…"
"Liar! You had him wrapped around your little green finger. You wanted him out of the way so you wouldn't have to split the Mole Rat with him. So you told him he was being followed."
Shego began to falter. "Yes… yes, that's what I told him."
"Then Junior entered the picture. He doesn't have much in the way of brains, but he had enough karaoke experience to be prepared for the contest. But he totally lost his head when he saw you, angel. He was just naive enough for that. He looked you up and down, licked his lips and sung his heart out for you, isn't that right?"
Shego was aghast. "Sam, don't say that. You know how I feel about you…"
Sam cut her off. "There's no time for your schoolgirl act! The police will be here any minute! And I know Will couldn't hit the broadside of a barn, let alone on some enchanted evening, across a crowded room. He just likes to brag, even if it means 20 years to life. So talk! Why did you shoot Junior?"
Shego finally broke down completely. "I didn't want to at first, really. But when Bonnie offered me a Chased credit card with a $10,000 limit, I couldn't resist."
Sam was astounded. "So it was Bonnie who hired you! Now it makes perfect sense. With Junior out of the way, she thought she'd have a chance with me. And with Tuesday out of the way, you'd have a shot at the Maltese Mole Rat. Then the police would figure that Tuesday shot Junior, and that Fatgut and his friends shot Tuesday, and you'd be off scot-free, laughing all the way back to Athens with a priceless mole rat and a badical credit card."
Shego's face fell as dark, foreboding orchestral music began playing form the other room. Kimmie waved her baton to cut off the orchestra just as Sam announced, "Yes, angel, I'm sending you over. You might get out in 10 years. Maybe 120 months with good behavior."
Shego breathed a sigh of relief. "Yeah, 120 months would be a lot shorter than…"
She hit herself on the head as she realized she was being kidded.
Sam continued wistfully, "And when you get out, I'll be waiting for you with a gift certificate for some new clothes from the Smarty Mart collection. But if they hang you by your pretty green neck, well, I'll always remember you."
Shego gave a self-conscious little laugh. "Don't, Sam! Don't say that, even in jest! I was scared for a minute, there. You've always done such wild and goofy things… I really thought you were serious there for a moment…"
Sam brusquely cut her off. "Sorry, Shego, but I'm not playing the sap for you anymore! When your partner gets shot, you're supposed to do something about it, not go all gaga over the femme fatale that did it. It's bad for business."
Shego made one last ditch effort to charm Sam. She sashayed over to him, giving him the best Puppy Dog Pout that she could manage. "But it's not too late, Sam. Y'know, we could still make such beautiful music together."
But Sam firmly stood his ground. "I don't think so, Shego. Kimmie has that music playing sitch totally over you in spades. And I don't think she'd appreciate turning my duet with her into a trio. That would just be wrongsick."
Sam locked eyes with the dangerous vixen. "Sorry, my green angel, but you're taking the fall!"
A police car's siren was heard in the distance.
Shego's face hardened as she ignited her plasma with a powerful whoosh. "Oh, yeah? Over my dead body!"
Kimmie suddenly appeared directly behind Shego. "That can be arranged, you tramp! And keep away from my boyfriend!"
Kimmie instantly clobbered her with the statuette. Shego crumpled to the floor while Kimmie looked on and smiled.
"Sweet dreams, Shego."
Sam looked down at the unconscious femme fatale. "Nice shot! What did you do, hit her with the Maltese Mole Rat?"
"Yeah. I warned you that you'd get in over your head if you weren't careful. And it's a good thing I was close by, Romeo. Just what is it with you and all these bad girls anyway?"
Sam smiled weakly, offering a tiny shrug just as Detective Hobble and Lt. Barkin walked in.
"Hey, Detective. Got all the bad guys?"
He patted Sam on the back. "Faith and begorrah, we got 'em all, Sam. Good work."
"Coolio! Here's another one for you. Ms. Shego shot both Junior and Tuesday, and torched the Capullo de Rosa to boot. And it turns out that Bonnie hired her to do the deed. Oh, and here are some exhibits: the gun that Will Crook used to shoot Blackeye Brown with, and this badical statuette that all the fuss was over."
Lt. Barkin looked the figurine over and asked, "So what exactly is this thing anyway?"
Sam intoned, "The stuff that dreams are made of…"
DeNile yelled out from the back of the patrol car, "Der schtuff zat dreams are made of! Cannot you hear straight? Ach, and I am zee one in custody…"
Kimmie looked back down at the statuette. The impact had broken off pieces of the second layer of charred crust, exposing another layer beneath. She eagerly broke away the rest of the charcoalized Naco exterior to expose its true form. Before them now glittered a pure gold statuette of a naked mole rat, encrusted with precious jewels of all shapes and sizes.
Sam was astounded. "Wow, Kimmie! So this was actually the real deal after all! We've hit the jackpot! Booyah!"
He held the treasure up to the light, casting its beautiful multi-colored reflections throughout his small apartment.
"Now I can afford to move out of this flat and into something a lot nicer, and get the office completely renovated, just like I've been promising!"
Kimmie happily grinned back, "Sounds spankin,' Sam!"
As Lt. Barkin handcuffed Shego and led her away, Kimmie continued, "Oh, and by the way, the AARP called. Something about our sign sounding discriminatory against seniors."
Sam scratched the back of his neck. "Ooh, yeah, I can see that. Uh, first thing tomorrow, have that taken off, and have 'Stoppable and Peregrine, Private Investigators' put on.
Kimmie gasped in delight. "Really?"
"Yeah, and who knows? We might even have to replace that someday with "Stoppable & Stoppable."
She pumped both arms into the air in victory, and happily began dancing around the room.
"Yes! Yes! Yes!"
Rufus grabbed his tiny sax and began playing a jazzy rendition of "Here Comes the Bride."
Kimmie then gave Sam a devilish look as she gazed at him through half-closed eyes. She proceeding to slink over to the boyish detective.
"Now, where were we a few hours ago? Say, in your office at about 5pm this afternoon?"
Sam hooded his eyes in return as he swept her into his embrace. "Sorry, shweetheart. Employer/client confidentiality and all that."
She slyly replied, "Oh, really?"
As their lips met with delicious finality, the credits began to roll, and Ron awoke from his pleasant reverie.
He rubbed his eyes and moaned, "Oh, man! I slept through the whole movie again. But what a bon-diggety dream…"
He slowly got up and walked upstairs. As his dream began to fade, he began to reminisce over his real past. He gratefully recalled the thrill of countless missions he had shared with Kim, and he was even more thankful for their continued relationship, which had stood the test of time. She had encouraged him like few others had, which ultimately had gotten him his present position as Professor of Antiquities at the Middleton Institute of History and Archeology, a post he had held now for many years.
But had it not been for Rufus, they might not even have survived some of those missions, let alone get together romantically. There was little doubt that his feelings for his faithful wife of so many years had been the underlying reason for that vivid dream, along with a generous dollop of gratefulness toward a certain naked mole rat.
But he had better get some sleep now. It wouldn't look too good for the professor to fall asleep while giving his class their final exams, especially in the college's newest wing, Barkin Hall.
Kim was sound asleep, but she looked every bit as beautiful as she had on their wedding day, nearly fifty years before. But before he crawled into bed, he passed by the niche in the wall, gently running his fingers over a tiny memorial statuette. A small, wistful tear formed in the corner of one eye.
"Thanks for getting us together, Rufus. We'll never forget you. You always had the right stuff: the stuff that dreams are made of."
A tiny flicker of light from Ron's nightlight reflected off of the figurine's tiny jeweled eyes. As Ron turned away, it almost looked as if it were smiling.