Kim Possible and all related characters are the property of Disney. Green Lantern, Death, and all related characters are the property of DC/Vertigo. The character of Death was created by Neil Gaiman.
Sector 2814. Planet Earth. Boulder USA
"Hello, Kim. My name is Death."
Those words chilled and infuriated Honor Lantern Kim Possible. She had fought death once before in the form of the monster Nekron. Now it seemed that Nekron had taken the form of a teenage girl who looked like she couldn't have been older than Kim herself. She immediately went into a fighting stance. "We stopped you!" Kim growled. "The Entity sent you back where you came from!"
The girl called Death gave Kim a confused look. "What are you talking about?" She scrutinized Kim's face, and then it dawned on her. "Oh! You think I'm that guy with the scythe! Don't worry, Kim. I'm not him and he's not me. He never was. Nekron is a creature of darkness, nothing more."
Kim didn't let her guard down. "So you're the real deal? What, are you tweaked that he failed to wipe out all life in the universe and now you're here to do finish the job yourself?"
"Kim, calm down," the girl said with a smile. "I'm not here to take you to the other side, but if you keep freaking out like this you'll give yourself a heart attack and I'll have to take you with me anyway."
Kim scowled at the pale girl. "I'm already dead."
"No you're not" Death chirped. "You're not even mostly dead. You just got seriously knocked for a loop. This was just the easiest way I could talk to you without you being dead. And believe me, we need to talk."
"KIM!" In a vision, Ron Stoppable had seen the bodies of everyone he loved laying dead or dying at the feet of Gil Moss. Now he saw Kim Possible, the love of his life, spread out on the street, deathly still. His heart filled first with anguish, then with red hot rage.
"Ron, it's all right!" Monique Davies, Kim's best girlfriend and a member of the Star Sapphires said. "She's not dead!"
"No," the beaked Green Lantern named Tomar Tu said. "If she was dead, her ring would have gone looking for a new bearer. It's still on her finger. Ring, report." A green beam shot out of Tomar's ring and washed over Kim.
"Green Lantern 2814.5 Honor Guard has been rendered unconscious. Her ring is currently healing mild cranial trauma. Estimated time of recovery: five minutes."
Ron knelt beside Kim. "Gil will pay for this," he said in a voice that scared those around him.
"We need to catch up to him, Lantern Stoppable," Tomar said.
"I'm not leaving Kim."
"I'll stay with her," Monique said in a soothing voice. "My ring's practically dead right now anyway. I'm no good for a fight."
"Then how will you protect her?" Ron hissed.
"Hey, I don't need a ring to kick normal bad guy butt!" Monique scowled. "So just chillax and stop biting my head off when I'm trying to help!"
"Thank you, Sapphire Davies," Tomar said, trying to diffuse the situation. "Let's go, Lantern Stoppable. I have a fix on him."
"Right." Ron stood up with his fists tightly clenched.
"All will be well," Ron's ring said.
"Not until I take care of Gil."
"What do you mean I'm not dead?"
"You're still alive and kicking," Death smiled. "Or you will be after that ring fixes you up. My little brother once had a Green Lantern in his realm to fight a creature that was invading people's dreams. His name was Kyle, I think. My brother called the ring a wishing ring. I thought it was a pretty accurate description."
"Your brother knows Kyle Rayner?" Kim stared at the pale woman. "Death has brothers?"
"And sisters. My family and I are called the Endless. The brother in question was Dream. You visit his realm every night when you sleep."
Kim sighed and sat down just in time to see Ron and Tomar fly off. "He doesn't look good."
For the first time, Death looked worried. "No he doesn't."
"You're not what I expected," Kim said. "I mean, I never thought Death would smile when killing people."
"I don't kill anyone," the pale girl explained. "I'm there when people die, and I take them to what comes next. I did that for your grandfather." Kim looked up wide eyed. She had recently fought a Black Lantern mockery of her grandfather and she wasn't sure she wanted to hear this girl's stories about him.
"He had been so sick there at the end," Death continued. "He was glad that his suffering was over, but sad about leaving all of you behind. But he knew it was his time to go." The girl smiled at Kim and sat down beside her. "It was horrible when I took some of Ron's relatives in Europe. Those camps..." She looked down and closed her eyes. "I'm glad that's over now." She looked at Kim again. "I was ready to take Ron, but I knew he'd be back soon. I don't think he even noticed me! He was so focused on you that he had tunnel vision. He really loves you."
"It's mutual," Kim smiled. "Wait, you knew Ron would come back?"
"In a sense," Death said. "I knew I'd be taking him again, just like I knew that with Superman and the Flash, and everyone else who ever came back from the dead. Did Ron tell you about his mission?"
"He did, but I don't understand it."
"Everyone the Entity resurrected has a purpose," Death explained. "Some will help empower the new Champion of Earth, while others are to keep new threats from arising until the Champion is ready. Ron's one of the people who is supposed to keep new bad guys from popping up."
Kim quirked an eyebrow. "How is keeping me and our families from dying going to do that?"
Death got a serious look on her face. "If the Red Lantern kills you and your loved ones, a brand new evil will emerge and threaten the world. You've seen glimpses of it twice before, but this time will be a lot worse."
"Do Drakken and Shego become villains again?" Kim asked. Death only nodded in the negative. "One of my other foes rising up then?"
"No, Kim. Something so much worse than that. The threat is Ron Stoppable himself."
In the short time that Tomar Tu had known Kim Possible, he had grown to respect her. From what he had heard about Ron Stoppable (and Kim talked about him a lot), Tomar assumed that he was cut form the same cloth. Now Tomar could see a determined but angry young man, and that anger was giving way to something very ugly. "This isn't the way," Tomar finally said.
"What do you mean? You said you had a fix on Gil!"
"I do have a fix on him," Tomar explained. "What I meant was this anger you have in you for the Red Lantern isn't the way. You don't fight rage with rage, Lantern Stoppable. That will only make things worse."
Ron narrowed his eyes and poured on the speed. "You don't know what he did."
Tomar threw up a barrier to block Ron's path. "Then explain it to me. I know he was there when you died..."
"You think that's what this is about?" Ron demanded. "Me dying? I died trying to save Kim and I'd do it again a million times over! Gil made sure my body turned into a Black Lantern just so he could kill me over and over again! Thanks to him KP had to fight me, even if it wasn't really me she was fighting! He turned me into a monster!"
Tomar closed his eyes and floated up to the Blue Lantern. "Gil didn't turn you into a monster, Ron, he just made sure your corpse could be used as a puppet. You're turning yourself into a monster right now!" He saw Ron start to tremble with rage. "Kim always described you as a fun loving person who brought joy to those around him! Now you're scaring your friends! Is that what you want?"
"I want Gil to pay," Ron growled.
"He was paying in the sciencells. I don't know much about the Blue Lantern Corps, but I do know that you're not executioners! You spread hope! But I don't think you're feeling much hope right now."
Ron closed his eyes and sighed. "You don't know what it's like, Tomar. I watched Kim fight me! I saw how much it was hurting her! And I know how much it killed her inside when she had to destroy my body! I just don't want anything else bad to happen to her. She's my life."
Tomar put a hand on Ron's shoulder. "Bad things happen to good people all the time, Ron. You know that. From what Kim said, it happened to you a lot. Mutations, being called names..."
"Losing my pants."
Tomar made a face. "Not an image I needed. The point is, your rage will destroy you, just like it's destroying Gil. Just like it destroyed Laira." A tear came to his eye when Tomar thought about his fallen friend who had become a Red Lantern after being discharged from the Green Lantern Corps. "Kim lost you once. Don't make it so she loses you again."
"How can Ron be a villainous threat?" Kim demanded. "He's not evil!"
"He has a dark side, Kim," Death explained calmly. "Everyone has one. Even you. And you've seen Ron's dark side yourself."
"That was only because he got his brain scrambled," Kim said, remembering the Attitudinator and the Reverse Polarizer.
"Those things only brought out what already exists in him," Death said. "And you saw how mad he was when he and your other friend took off. If he fails, and you and your families are killed, Ron will go over the edge. He'll start by taking out the bad guys first, but then he'll go too far and the rest of the good guys will have to gang up on him. And he won't go down easy."
"You are so making this up," Kim said harshly. "If I was going to die soon, you'd know! And besides, Ron lost his Monkey Powers! Which means if he does go bad, all he'll have is his blue ring, which I doubt will work then! So how can he be a threat?"
"You of all people should know better than to underestimate him," Death said sadly. "He's smarter than anyone gives him credit for. That weather machine was all him, not Dr. Drakken. Given the right motivation, Ron could scare gods like Darkseid!"
"Ron's not a monster," Kim almost whispered.
"No he isn't," Death agreed. "But the seed is there in him, just like it's in everyone else in the world. He's a good man, Kim. One of the best. But even good men can fall. You have to be there to catch him. After all, isn't that part of what love is?" Death smiled at the redhead. "By saving you Ron will save himself. You are each other's salvation. Remember that." Death looked over at Kim's stirring body. "Well, you're about to wake up, so I guess I'll be seeing you later."
That gave Kim a chill. "You will, won't you?"
"Eventually," Death said in an offhand voice, just before the scene shifted in Kim's mind from standing beside her unconscious form to looking into Monique's worried eyes.
"Wha..." Kim started to say as Monique and Jillian helped her up. "Where's Ron?"
"He and bird boy flew off a few minutes ago," Monique said. "You okay?"
"Not until I find Ron," Kim said, going into mission mode. "I just hope I'm in time."
"In time for what?" Jillian asked, fear clearly in her voice.
"In time to stop Ron form making a terrible mistake. Ring, track Green Lantern 2813.1's energy signature." Kim encased Monique and Jillian in a green sphere. "Come on ladies, it's time to fly!"
Sector 2814. Planet Earth. Middleton USA
Gil Moss slammed into the ground in downtown Middleton, scattering commuters as they made their way home. He was now fully armored; his skin was a thick, leathery grey hide like a cross between that of an elephant and an armadillo. There was no more reason to be found in his mutated mind. He was pure rage, and pure destruction. All he knew was that there were people he wanted to kill; needed to kill. He just didn't know who they were or where they were. So he decided to destroy everything around him until he found his intended victims.
Gil thrashed around, slamming his oversized arms into the buildings around him. He unleashed the rage boiling inside him, letting it gush through his ring at the unsuspecting world. He was a one man inferno mixed with a demolition derby. The terrified screams of those around him made their way into Gil's conscious mind. Part of him reveled in it, another part was as afraid as those around him. Those thoughts left his brain at the first sight of a green flash.
"Red Lantern!" Tomar Tu yelled. "As a duly designated representative of the Green Lantern Corps, I order you to stand down and surrender!"
"BUUURRRRRNNNNNNNN!" was all Gil said.
"I figured as much," Tomar sighed as he raised a shield. I really hope Ron's able to put aside his own rage so he can deal with this.
Ron Stoppable landed behind the mutated Red Lantern and tried to let loose his own light. Nothing happened. "What do you hope for?" the ring asked.
"What?" Ron asked in disbelief. "Come on, don't do this to me!"
"You are losing hope. What do you hope for, Brother Stoppable?"
"Anytime now, Ron!" Tomar said as he strained to keep his shield up.
"It's not working!"
"Then it's a good thing we got here when we did!" A green beam shot down from the sky and turned into a dome that encased Gil. "Sorry we're late," Honor Lantern Kim Possible said. "My honor nap went a little long."
"KP! You're okay!" Ron's ring sparked a bit at Kim's arrival.
Kim landed and let Monique and Jillian out of the travel sphere. "Ron, why aren't you doing your thing?"
Ron got an exasperated look on his face. "This stupid ring won't work!"
"What do you hope for, Brother Stoppable?"
"You see? It keeps asking me dumb questions!"
"It's so not a dumb question, Ron," Kim said softly. "Your ring is fueled by hope. If you have none, it can't work!"
"What do you hope for?"
"Ron, I know this is hard for you," Kim said, trying to snap her guy out of his funk. "Gil turned you into a Black Lantern!"
"Worse, he made you have to destroy me," the Blue Lantern said.
"But that's over and done with now! You're alive again! You have a second chance at life. If you're not careful, you'll waste it, and then Gil will have won. Don't turn into what he is. Don't let your rage consume you." Kim smiled at Ron. "Do you know what I hope for? A long life together with you."
"So do I," Ron said.
"Sincerity detected. Hope registered."
"Booyah! I'm back in action!" Ron's eyes narrowed. "Now we get to take out armadillo boy!"
"Don't hurt him!" Jillian pleaded. "I don't care what he is or what he's done! He's still my son!"
"And he's breaking free," Monique warned. "RUN!" She shoved Jillian out of the way just as Gil broke through the dome and charged at them. He swung at them, catching Monique and sending her flying.
"Gilbert, don't!" Jillian screamed. "Stop this!"
The monster stopped and cocked his head. His uniform flickered as his ring dimmed.
"Do you recognize me? Do you know who I am?"
The red came back in full force, once again filling Gil with uncontrollable rage.
"Jillian, move!" A protective bubble flew from Kim's ring and enveloped Jillian, moving her out of the way. "Stay away from them, Gil," Kim warned, hoping Monique could shake off her daze and get moving.
"Alert," Monique's ring said. "Central Power Battery on Zamaron has been restored. Ring charging has been re-enabled. Access to pocket dimension granted."
"Thank you, Carol Ferris," Monique sighed. "Ring, get me that battery!" A swirling vortex of violet light appeared in front of Monique, from which emerged her lantern.
"Warning, ring power levels 0.0%." With that, Monique's ring went dark, and her uniform faded, leaving her in the red blouse and skirt she had been wearing before.
"Mon! Get to cover and get recharged!"
"Girl, you don't have to tell me twice." With a firm grip on her battery, Monique took off running, looking for a spot she could hide and recharge her ring. Gil was in hot pursuit.
"On no you don't!" Kim fired a force beam at the mutant, knocking him off his feet. "Come after someone who can fight back."
That was all the invitation Gil needed. He let loose a feral roar and charged at the Honor Lantern, who flew higher, hoping Gil had forgotten he could fly; a hope that was in vain. He was surrounded by a red glow and took to the skies after her.
Monique, meanwhile, had found a blind alley to hide in. "All right, time to get back in the game!" She pressed her ring against the violet lantern, and recited her oath. "For hearts long lost and full of fright, for those alone in Blackest Night! Accept our ring and join our fight! Love conquers all with violet light!"
Monique was surrounded by a swirl of violet energy that restored her uniform and flowed into her ring, bringing it back up to full power. "Ring power levels at 100%"
"All right! It's time for to show that love really does conquer all!"
Gil Moss was a one mutant engine of destruction. It was all Kim and Tomar could do to keep innocent civilians from being crushed by the street lights, power poles, and chucks of concrete the Red Lantern was tearing up and throwing around.
"I'm not sure how much more of this I can take!" the Green Lantern of Xudar said.
"Same here!" Kim replied. "But we have to keep trying!"
"Is it just me, or is he harder to stop this time?" Ron asked as he ushered a man and his young daughter away from the danger.
"It has to be the mutation!" Kim said. "It's like he's acting on some kind of destructive instinct!" Kim once again tried to cage the mutant in a containment cube, but he was strong enough to shrug off the construct. "This is getting so beyond irritating!"
"Then let me try something!" A violet beam shot down form the sky and encased Gil in a giant crystal.
"Conversion in progress," Monique's ring said.
"What does that mean?" Jillian asked, coming out from her hiding place. "Conversion?"
"It means that she's trying to turn him into a Star Sapphire," Kim said with a scowl. The conversion crystals could take a subject and increase their capacity for love. In Kim's mind it was akin to brainwashing, and one aspect of the Star Sapphires that she definitely didn't approve of.
"Ewww!" Ron said. "Gil in a purple bikini!"
Kim winced. "Okay, definitely a gorchy thought."
"I don't think we're going to have to worry about that," Tomar warned. "The crystal is shattering!"
Cracks and fractures were spreading across the face of the violet crystal as Gil struggled from within. Kim immediately jumped into action. Her ring sprang to life, creating a shield around the breaking construct. "Tomar!"
"Way ahead of you!" The beaked Green lantern added his own willpower to the mix, strengthening the shield.
"Get the civilians clear," he said, finishing her sentence for her. "On it, KP!" But before he could move, the crystal exploded with such force that it tore through the protective bubble the Green Lanterns had encased it in. One shard flew right towards Jillian Moss, smashing into her head. Ron was immediately at her side.
Gil emerged from the green and violet prisons shrieking like a wild animal. He was about to charge at Ron when he saw his mother lying in the street. "M...muh...Mama?"
"Love," Monique's ring said, registering the first emotion from the mutant that wasn't rage.
"Rage compromised," Gil's red ring said, right before shattering. The Red Lantern uniform faded, leaving a Sinestro Corps uniform in its place as Gil collapsed to the ground.
"He's in cardiac arrest," Kim said frantically.
"Not for long." Monique went into her own version of mission mode. "Ron, how's Jillian?"
"A little dinged up, but she'll be okay," the Blue Lantern said as he helped the groggy woman to her feet.
"Good!" Monique helped Jillian to her son's side.
"What happened to him?" Jillian asked in horror.
"His love for you destroyed his ring," Monique said. "Because as we all know, there ain't nothing in this universe more powerful than the love between mother and child. And now we're gonna use that to save him!" A violet beam shot out from Monique's ring, connecting Jillian with her son.
Almost immediately, Gil gasped as his heart started to beat again.
"My turn," Ron said. He trained his ring on Gil, using it to purge the toxins left by the red ring from the mutant's blood stream. "That should do it. You know, except for the mutation."
Gil was still on the ground, looking around like a frightened animal. He only calmed when he saw his mother. "Now what?" Jillian asked. "He can't go on like this forever!"
"Agreed," Kim said. "I think it's time to call in the big guns."
Sector 2814. Planet Earth. Washington DC USA
Ron Stoppable knew from recent experience that the Hall of Justice had a state of the art medical center, and that Dr. Mid-Nite from the Justice Society of America was one of the best doctors in the world. Ron also knew that even for all his skill, the good doctor might be in over his head on this one.
The yellow ring had long since been removed from Gil's finger, and he had been sedated so he wouldn't wreck the infirmary. Dr. Mid-Nite let out a sigh after he finished examining the mutant. "I've never seen this much damage done on the genetic level. And you say this stems from exposure to pollutants in a lake? I'll make sure that those responsible spend the rest of their lives in a maximum security prison for this!"
"The lake caused his initial mutation," Kim said with a sad nod. "As well as the genetic damage. That's why simple sedatives and power ring exposure did this to him."
"Is there anything you can do?" Jillian asked.
"I don't know, Mrs. Moss," Mid-Nite said. "I've never seen anything like this before."
"Not even from me?" Ron asked. "I've been mutated a few times too."
"I saw no evidence of any genetic damage when I examined you, Ron," Mid-Nite said. "Either you didn't have as much exposure, or the white light repaired that damage after you were resurrected."
"My ring said that samples of either untainted DNA, or parent DNA would be needed to fix this," Kim said. "As well as intracellular surgery."
"Alas, I fear I know of no one who has that sort of skill, Kim," Doctor Mid-Nite said. "Even if we had both sets of parental DNA, I know I couldn't fix this."
Ron, meanwhile, had been staring at the monstrosity that had been Gil Moss. Ron again saw the vision he had of Gil killing everyone he held dear. Gil hadn't been mutated in that vision, but to Ron that didn't matter. He knew Gil was still dangerous.
"I'll give you whatever you need to save my son," Jillian said, "but his father's another story. That louse left us for a younger woman when Gilbert was little."
"What's the man's name?' Mid-Nite asked as he walked over to a computer terminal.
"Phil Moss. Last I heard he had left Colorado, but I don't know for where."
"Wouldn't there be an address on file from the divorce proceedings?" Kim asked.
"What divorce proceedings?" Jillian growled. "He just up and left one day because I wasn't the trophy wife he felt he deserved. And since I can't afford a private investigator, there's no way for me to track him down."
"Is this him?" Mid-Nite asked.
Jillian went over to the computer and saw the spray tanned face of a man she thought she knew. "That's him. Bad fake tan and all."
"He's in the Florida Keys," Mid-Nite said, reading off the information on the screen.
Ron quickly dashed over and read the address. "Come on, Tomar! I need a wing man!" He ran out of the room before anyone could react.
Sector 2814. Planet Earth. Key West, USA
Phil Moss was strolling along a busy street in Key West with his latest conquest by his side; a perky brunette who was half his age. He may have abandoned his family to get this life, but it was a life he was enjoying. Then a blue light shined on him from the sky.
"Are you Phil Moss?"
The man looked up and shielded his eyes. "Yeah. Who's asking?"
"DNA scan completed."
"DNA scan?" the Phil asked in an irate voice. "Who the hell do you think you are?"
"I'm the Blue Lantern of this space sector, and I'm restoring the hope you took away from your wife and son," Ron said with an edge in his voice before flying off.
"What was that about?" the brunette asked her date.
"It was about this man neglecting his familial responsibilities," another voice from above said. This one was accompanied by a green glow. At the sight of Tomar's alien features, the brunette screamed and ran off.
"What the hell are you freaks talking about!"
Tomar pointed his ring at Phil Moss and encased him in a green sphere. "It's about your son, Mr. Moss. He needs you right now, and you're going to go to him whether you like it or not."
Sector 2814. Planet Earth. Washington DC USA
"DNA scan complete," Ron's ring said after it scanned a willing Jillian Moss.
"Are you sure you can do this, Ron?" Kim asked, clearly worried about her guy. Ron doing a complete 180 was nothing new, but these circumstances were. Not even two hours ago Ron had been ready to kill Gil Moss with his bare hands, and now he was going to try to heal him.
"My ring cured him once before, maybe it can do it again!"
"But my ring said intracellular surgery would be needed."
"Perhaps the different nature of the light powering Ron's ring is the factor here, Kim," Dr. Mid-Nite suggested. "You said yourself that the blue rings purged Gil of the mutagenic compounds before. Maybe with the DNA samples from his parents, Ron can restore Gil's humanity. I'll be monitoring closely, just in case."
Ron again approached Jillian Moss. "I need you to do something for me. I need you to hope for Gil's well being."
Jillian smiled and took Ron's ring hand. "You don't even have to ask."
"Hope," Ron's ring said.
"All right, let's do this."
Before Ron could begin, loud shouting shattered the solemn atmosphere in the infirmary.
"I said put me down!"
The sphere that had been carrying Phil Mos vanished, and he landed unceremoniously on his backside. "Done."
"Jillian," the man growled. "I should have known you had something to do with this. Just couldn't let me go, could you?"
Jillian calmly walked up to her estranged husband and punched him dead in the face. "If I could go the rest of my life without seeing you again, I would be more than happy to do it! But my son needs you right now!"
Phil saw the monster lying on the examination table. "What's that?"
"That's Gilbert," Jillian said as she walked over and took the mutant's clawed hand. "And he needs us. Now shut up and stay out of the way!"
Ron took a deep breath, trained his ring on Gil, and released a beam of blue light that bathed over his mutated form.
"Cellular scan complete. Purging mutagenic compounds. Purge complete. Beginning DNA scan."
The room fell into a hushed silence as Gil's body began to shrink, and the skin returned to a normal texture.
"DNA scan complete. Beginning genetic repairs."
Jillian held her son's hand tighter as it shrank and returned to normal. Her eyes widened as she saw the monstrous head shrink and contort into the face she had hoped to see again. "Gilbert," she whispered.
"Genetic repairs complete," the blue ring said just before Ron collapsed to the floor.
Before Kim could reach her boyfriend's side, he was surrounded by an almost blinding white light. His uniform faded to a pure white, and the White Lantern symbol appeared on his chest. "Ron Stoppable of Earth," the voice of the Entity said. "Mission accomplished. Life returned." And as quickly as it appeared, the white light vanished, leaving an exhausted Ron Stoppable panting on the floor.
"I did it, KP," he said. "You're all safe."
Several hours later, Phil Moss was in the main lobby of the Hall of Justice still complaining about his treatment. "I'll sue this whole freaking League!" he screamed for the millionth time.
"I'm not part of the Justice League," Dr. Mid-Nite said. "I was merely acting as a consulting physician in this case."
"Then I'll sue you!" he said, jabbing a finger in Tomar Tu's chest. "You're the one who pulled me off the damn street!"
"Good luck with that," the alien chuckled. "I'm not even from this space sector, let alone from this planet."
"This was a Green Lantern Corps operation," Kim said. "And as a member of the Honor Guard, I was well within my rights to enlist any help I needed. Lantern Tu answered the call. And since the Corps is a universal organization, your lawsuit is meaningless." Kim wasn't a vindictive person by nature, but she had no patience for people who abandoned their families.
"This lawsuit, however, is most def not meaningless," Monique said with a smirk as she entered the room. She handed a legal envelope to the confused Phil Moss.
"What the hell is this?"
"Divorce papers. You've just been served."
Ron Stoppable and Gil Moss had been staring each other down for the last ten minutes. Both of them had something to say, but neither really wanted to be the first to speak. "This doesn't make us even," Gil finally said.
"Actually, it does," Ron replied. "You blamed me for your mutation and for me stopping you when you wanted revenge. Fine. But you made it so Kim had to fight a freaky zombie version of me, and then you went on a rampage in downtown Middleton. This makes us more than even. Especially since I convinced the Justice League not to have you locked up in the Slab or shipped off to Arkham Asylum! As far as anyone knows, it was a space monster who went all Godzilla in Middleton, and not you. So you know what? I think that means you do owe me. Boo and ya!"
Gil was about to say something when his mother came in. "You have to let it go, son. Yes, some horrible things happened to you, but that doesn't give you the right to do even more horrible things to other people. Look at Ron! He died, for Heaven's sake! And now that he's back, he's not hurting other people because he was killed. He's helping them like he always did. He helped you. I think it's well past time you let it go."
Gil grumbled under his breath. "Whatever."
"Mrs. Moss," Dr. Mid-Nite said from the doorway. "All scans came back negative. Gilbert is one hundred percent cured! Now I want to discuss those counseling options I mentioned before..."
Ron left the infirmary with a smile in his face. A great weight had been lifted form his shoulders. For the first time since the Entity brought him back from the dead, he truly felt alive.
Sector 2814. Planet Earth. Central City USA
The twin cities of Keystone and Central had a long heroic tradition. It was in the days before World War II that Jay Garrick, the first to be known as the Flash, began his legendary career in Keystone City. Decades later, Barry Allen continued that tradition in Central City, and in the years following Barry's death, his nephew Wally West took the baton and returned the Flash to Keystone.
Now all three Flashes were among the living, and there were several other speedsters running around as well. But tonight was not a night for fighting crime at the speed of light; tonight was a night to celebrate being alive.
The home of Barry and Iris Allen was full to capacity. Their grandson Bart Allen (time travel and accelerated aging; don't ask) was there, as was Wally and his family. The guests of honor, however, were Kim Possible and Ron Stoppable. While Ron tried and failed to be victorious at video games with Rufus, Bart, and Wally's son Jai, Kim was having a nice chat with Barry, Iris, and Wally.
"Dinner was fantastic, Mrs. Allen," Kim said.
"It's Iris, Kim," the woman said with a smile, "and thank your boyfriend for that. I've never seen anyone work with spices like that!"
Kim looked over at her guy being virtually decimated in the living room. "That's my potential boy."
"So what's next for you?" a redheaded man asked. This was Wally West; the first to be known as Kid Flash, and the third to wear the crimson garb of the Fastest Man Alive.
"Ron finally got an acceptance letter, Wally," Kim smiled. "So we're both going to be starting at San Francisco State this spring. Housing, however, is going to be a tougher sitch than we thought."
"Why's that?" Linda Park West, Wally's wife, asked, while trying to keep her young daughter Irey from gushing hero worship at Kim.
"I was pretty high profile even before I got this ring," Kim explained. "But now that I'm a Green Lantern, the university's administration is afraid super villains and space monsters will coming looking for me and endanger the other students."
Wally thought for a moment before pulling out his cell phone. "I think I have a solution to that." He quickly dialed and waited for the line to pick up. "Hey, Dick! It's Wally. I have something I need to go over with you. You remember how Gar and Raven said they could use people to help with training at the Tower..."
Sector 2814. Planet Earth. San Francisco USA
The first Titans Tower was built in New York by Dr. Silas Stone. His son Victor, a.k.a. Cyborg, had joined a new group of Teen Titans, so he provided them with a headquarters. That first tower had long since been destroyed, and even the structure that replaced it was gone.
This other Tower had been built in San Francisco Bay overlooking Alcatraz, following the reopening of the prison. This group of Teen Titans had the job of escorting super criminals to their new home in that infamous island prison. It was this Titans Tower that Kim Possible and Ron Stoppable were now going to call home.
Wally West and Dick Grayson, two founding members of the original Teen Titans, had gotten the ball rolling to get Kim and Ron on the roster as senior trainers. It was help that veteran members Beast Boy and Raven desperately needed.
Now a green skinned man named Garfield Logan, a.k.a. Beast Boy, after having met Kim and Ron at the dock, was showing them to their room.
"We're not gonna be sending the wrong message to the others by sharing a room, are we?" Kim asked. She lightly chuckled when she saw Rufus practically leap out of Ron's pocket and stake his claim on the room's TV.
"The younger members are only here on the weekends," Beast Boy replied. "Only Raven and I are here 24/7. And you guys are adults, so I don't think it'll be a problem. Unless you have a problem with the arrangements."
"No problem at all," Kim smiled.
"I'll let you get settled in then," Beast Boy said. "I'll see you guys at dinner. By the way, Ron, Wally said you're a fantastic cook. Whenever you feel like dazzling us with your culinary prowess, the kitchen's all yours!"
Rufus perked up at the mention of dinner. "Cheese?"
Beast Boy smiled and shook his head. He was going to have to try turning into a naked mole rat at some point. "Don't worry, little guy, we have plenty of cheese. Anyway, Raven and I will go over training schedules and who does what when the younger Titans get here tomorrow afternoon."
"Sounds good, Beast Boy," Kim smiled. "Thanks."
"Call me Gar. Dinner's at six. Don't what forget what I said about the kitchen, Ron," Beast Boy said with a mischievous grin before closing the door.
"Maybe I should've tried culinary school instead of college," Ron mused.
"You'll be fine," Kim said before giving her guy a peck on the lips. She went over to the window and looked out at the fog rolling in from the bay. "Well, here we are," she said. "It looks like we're home."
Ron came up beside her and put his arm around her shoulders. "Wherever you are is home for me, KP."
Author's note. This is probably going to be my last story for a while. I know I say this a lot, but real life has been doing its best to throw things out of whack for me, so I need to focus my energies elsewhere for a while.
I just wanted to thank everyone whose read my stories and supported me over the years. It's meant a lot to me.