A Christmas Suite
Kim wrapped her arms around herself as she walked up to the window that faced out over the front yard. A slight shiver cascaded over her as she looked out over the blowing snow. It was coming down hard and it seemed to be getting worse every minute. While the room was warm she felt cold. More than anything she longed to be warmed by a certain pair of arms. But that might not be for the evening. Their hopes of going to the same school did not work out for the pair. While Kim had her choice of any school in the world, Ron was not that lucky. Kim was attending school in London; Ron was going to the Middleton College. She had all but changed her plans to go to London and was going to go to Go City University when Ron put his foot down, literally, her foot was sore for two days after that. While apologizing profusely, he made her promise that she would go to her dream school in London. He had already applied to one of the Culinary Schools in London and if he could get some college credits under belt with some good grades they would accept him for the spring semester.
But, it appeared things were not going well. He was having a hard time with his grades and it looked like he was not going to be able to make the grades he needed to transfer. He had not been returning her calls and she assumed that he was too ashamed to face her about it. He had sent her a very short and terse email saying that he had to leave town to do something and he didn't know when he would be home. When she started to try and track him down her mother had put a firm stop to it.
"He has to do this on his own Kimmie. You say that you trust him, then do so. He will come to you when he feels that he can face you."
Kim turned to face her mother and could tell that she was not telling her everything.
"Mom, you know something."
Her mother had smiled the "I have a secret and I am your mother" smile while she patted Kim on her cheek.
"Well, you'll just have to wait and find out and don't even try the puppy pout. Now help me set the table."
That had been earlier in the evening. Now she stood watching the snow coming down. They had only had time for a couple of quick trips during the year to see each other but as the semester had progressed Ron had begged off more often than not saying that he had to study or work on a project. While she was proud of his work ethic she missed him terribly. The special 3-D SKYPE connection that Wade had installed just didn't fill the void of his touch. Add to the fact that so many of the so-called hotties at the school hounded her constantly for dates and the press never let up on her. His constant absence made it all the more difficult. Now on this very special holiday he still was not here. A voice snapped her out of her thoughts.
"Kimmie, come on sweetie. We are ready for the play and singing."
Kim turned and looked miserably up at her mother.
"Please mom, just let me stand here. I…I just don't feel like celebrating much right now."
Her mother's eyes flashed with anger for a moment before a thin hand settled on her shoulder. Nana Possible smiled at her daughter in law.
"Let me have a moment with my granddaughter and we'll join all of you in just a little bit."
Anne nodded and left the room. Kim's grandmother stepped over to her and handed her a cup of hot chocolate.
"Missing Ron are we?"
Kim nodded and stared down into the steaming liquid as she took a sip.
"I am sorry for being such a wet blanket tonight Nana, but I really had hoped to see Ron tonight and now…"
Nana took a sip of her coffee as she stepped up to Kim's side and stared out into the blowing snow.
"You know, there was a time when your grandfather couldn't make it to my home for Christmas. I moped around the house and was generally miserable and that made everyone else in the house miserable too. I realized that there was not a thing I could to about it and I was spoiling everyone else's Christmas just because I wasn't getting what I wanted. Now I know how much you love that man of yours. Lord, I miss your grandfather terribly, especially this time of year. Christmas was his favorite holiday."
Kim smiled a little. Ron really didn't celebrate Christmas being Jewish but he always had the best time with Kim and her folks. It seemed to be one of his favorite holidays too. She started to think about how lonely her grandmother had to be as she listened as her grandmother continued to speak.
"But there is not nothing you can do right now and your mother and father are really worried about you. Please come in here with me. I really need someone to sit with me who understands just a little bit of what I am feeling."
Kim turned to face her grandmother with tears welling in her eyes. She could see the moisture glistening in her grandmother's eyes too. Setting her cup down, she enveloped her grandmother in a hug. Nana set her cup of coffee down had pulled her into a tight embrace. Both of them stood there for a few seconds in the emotions of the moment. Then Nana pulled back and wiped the tears from Kim's face.
"Now let's go in there and celebrate with the rest of them. If we don't hurry those two brothers of your will start without us."
"If they do they don't get any Lemon Squares later."
Nana burst out in a laugh.
"That's right Kimberly. You got that right."
Nana took Kim's hand after they had each picked up their cups. Together they walked into the brightly lit living room.
The tree sparkled in the dim light of the room as Tim and Jim finished putting up all the props from the play. The songs were over and all the eggnog was gone. As the festivities wound down from the highlights a silence settled over the room. Everyone knew that Kim was forcing herself to enjoy the evening as not to spoil it for the rest of them. Nana had not left her side the entire evening as she would reach over every once in awhile to take her hand and give it a slight squeeze. Tim and Jim were bursting with energy and excitement and could barely contain themselves.
Nana smiled indulgently at the twins and knew if their attention was not diverted somewhere else and soon that they would turn their attention to their favorite target, their sister. That would be a bad idea the likes of saying that Mount Everest was a molehill. While Kim was enjoying the evening to a point, there was an explosion of Kimtactic proportions lying in wait under her outward shell. All it would take to activate the Kimquake would be for them to pull one of their pranks. The result would be the possible grounding of one if not all three of her grandchildren on a very special holiday. It was time to pull out her bag of tricks. She turned to her son.
"James, would you get those packages that I gave you earlier in the evening?"
Mr. Possible stood up with a smile knowing what was going on. Anne gave a slight sigh of relief and a wink of an eye in gratitude to her mother-in-law. Leave it to Nana to save the day or evening as it was. James came back in the room carrying to packages and handed them to his mother. Nana took the first package and looked at Tim and Jim.
"Now boys, this once belonged to your father. I know that it's a little old fashioned and way out of date. But you might enjoy playing with it."
The two boys tore into the package and brought out a mechanical toy monkey. It was dressed in a garish costume with a tiny fez hat perched on its head. There was a pair of cymbals in its paws. Tim set it on the floor and flipped a switch on its back. The toy monkey barked a few times then crashed the cymbals together at it took a few steps forward. The boys stared at it intently.
"Wow, no robotics this is soooo cool."
While the twins were distracted with their new experiment Nana turned to Kim. Handing Kim a package she patted Kim on her leg.
"Now young lady for you, I know this is a little old fashioned too but this was something that your grandfather gave me years ago. I want you to have it."
Kim carefully unwrapped the package and opened the box hidden within. Kim's eyes went wide as she carefully lifted an elegant wooden nutcracker from within the box. Her son's eyes went wide.
"Mom, that…that is…"
"Yes James. That is the nutcracker that was the centerpiece of all our Christmases for so long. I wanted Kimberly to have it. I know that she will treasure it and care for it."
Kim gazed at the figure within her hands. It was a soldier with blonde hair and while the paint was rubbed off in a few places and the gold accents were a little tarnished it was still a beautiful piece. Along with the Nutcracker were a couple of small rat dressed up as soldiers, their white hair a distinct shade of pink. Kim turned to her grandmother.
"Nana, I can't accept this. This..."
Nana placed her hands on top of Kim's as they held the nutcracker.
"Now it's just fine. I always wanted to pass this down to the next generation. Your grandfather gave this to me our first Christmas together. Now, you it is yours. Build some memories with it. If you wonder about the little rats got to be pink your father got the box they were in wet. The dye from their little red coats caused their fur to turn pink. I just about turned his little bottom pink."
Kim put the figure back in its box and pulled Nana into a hug.
"Thank you, thank you."
Nana whispered into her ear.
"I also thought that the figure resembled a certain person and since he was not here maybe you might want to hold onto it until you can hold the real thing."
Kim looked back at the nutcracker and saw that Nana was right. It did look a lot like Ron. At that moment Anne called out to her daughter.
"Kimmie, can you help me finish cleaning up the kitchen?"
Kim put down the nutcracker in her seat and headed for the kitchen.
"Sure thing mom, can you turn on the news? I wanted to get an update on the weather."
Anne gave a knowing mother smile and switched the TV onto the local station.
"Since when have we been so interested in the weather?"
Kim gave her mother a daughter to mother look saying "I know you have a secret and you are pushing your luck"
"I just wanted to see if the weather would be clearing up. I worried about Ron getting here."
Ann kept her peace. Nothing she could say would help the situation. Kim started putting away the leftover snacks. There was actually quite a bit left. She wondered if her mom had made more that before when she realized that Ron and Rufus were not there and that was most likely the reason for so many leftovers.
The weather anchor came on screen shaking his head.
"Well Middleton, I hope that you are already where you need to be because if you aren't I don't think you will be going anywhere soon. The National Weather Service has forecast very heavy snow and high winds over the next 24 hours. The airport has closed and most roads are impassable. The Highway Patrol and local law enforcement have said not to travel unless it is an emergency. The best thing everyone can do is hunker down and enjoy the holiday where you are."
Before Kim could say anything her mother came up behind her and put her arms around her. She could tell Kim was trembling.
"Now Kimmie, Ron will be here. I am not sure when, but I think I know that boy pretty well. Two gigantic aliens could not keep him from you. I don't think even a snow storm can keep him from you."
"I know mom. It's just…"
Kim turned and opened the dishwasher to get the clean dishes out. She started to think with a certain amount of blush to her cheeks of the time when she had lost her memory. Her brothers "she used the word loosely in reference to the incident" had convinced her that taking a bath in the dishwasher was normal. Luckily her mother chose to come into the kitchen at that time. The twins received a week's grounding over that little affair.
Kim had pulled out that the first dish when there was a crash in the living room. Kim joined her mother in running out of the kitchen and into the living room. Kim saw with horror her nutcracker lying on the floor, one arm lying loosely. With a cry she dove for it to pick up the pieces. James stepped up to his sons.
"Boys! What happened?"
They both pointed to each other.
"It was his idea."
Kim looked up at them with fire in her eyes. Before she could say a word Nana settled down and put her arms around Kim. James stared sternly down at his two sons.
"Care to explain?"
Tim looked at his shoes.
"We wanted to see if we could get the monkey to do something different. So we tried to rebuild it. We needed something for it to pick up so we used Kim's old nutcracker. It went crazy and …"
James crossed his arms.
"Okay first you will reverse engineer the toy back to its original condition. THEN, you will go to your rooms and go to bed. NO electronic devices."
The boy's mouths fell open as he continued.
"AND when presents are opened in the morning any gift cards you receive to Bull'sEye Store will be given to Kim to pay her for her nutcracker."
Jim started to protest.
"That's not fair. It's just an old..."
Mr. Possible stood tall over his sons.
"Do you wish to lose anything else?"
Both boys shut their mouths and shook their heads. James nodded.
"Well then, go to your room. Remember. I can build things too. I have a scanner here in the house that can detect any electromagnetic signal. If you so much as press a button I will know about it and you will lose something a little more substantial."
Both boys walked out of the room their heads hanging low. Anne nodded for her husband to follow them and she would stay with Kim. He nodded and turned off most of the lights as he left. Anne walked over to where her daughter sat on the floor clutching the remains of the nutcracker. Kim stroked the face of the toy as a tear traced down her face.
"Why am I so upset? I mean it's just…"
Nana gently rubbed her arm.
"It's just that it reminds you of a certain someone. Someone you would rather be holding than a toy?"
Kim glanced over at her grandmother and her mother who now knelt beside them. Kim gave her mom a timid smile.
"Mom, I am sorry to have been so much trouble. It is that I just miss Ron a lot."
Anne gave her daughter a hug.
"It's okay Kimmie. Here let me see if I can help."
Kim gave her the nutcracker and used some medical tape to put the arm back on the figure and close up some of the cracks. Kim cradled the nutcracker in her arms. Nana gave her a kiss, stood and left the room. Anne got a wink from her mother in law and knew what to do. She knelt back beside Kim.
"You go ahead and stay up if you want. There are blankets in the hall closet if you get cold. I'll leave the tree lights on for you."
Kim nodded and looked over at her mother.
"Thanks mom. I just want to be alone for a bit."
Anne gave her daughter a kiss on the head as she left. Kim sat on the floor for a few minutes before she stood and set the nutcracker gently on the couch. She lay down on the couch and pulled the comforter down over her as she pulled the nutcracker close to her side. Lying her head down on the pillow, she tiredly closed her eyes.
Kim woke with a start and glanced around the room. She thought she had heard something. All the lights were off except for the tree and the slowly dying fire in the fireplace. Someone had placed a blanket over the comforter that she had pulled down on top of her. Her senses were fully awake as she slowly scanned the room trying to find the source of the sound she thought she had heard.
Looking down she grew concerned. When she went to sleep, the nutcracker had been nestled against her side. Now it was gone. Her attention was drawn to the fire with a snap and a pop. Then a rustling sound came from the direction of the tree. Kim propped up on her elbows and stared at the tree. She didn't see anything. The clock over the mantel changed over to 12:00. Then the tree began to shake and shiver. Before she could more the room seem to expand while the tree, gifts and the ornaments seemed to start to grow.
Kim kicked off her covers and jumped to her feet. Out of the darkness two eyes appeared to glow. There was an evil laugh with the sound of two pieces of metal clashing together. The Monkey walked into the pool of light smashing its cymbals together. The fez that had been on its head had been replace with a crown. The face had changed from a grin to a lurid snarl with prominent canines. The figure stopped and chuckled a deep hideous laugh. Tossing its cymbals to the floor it made a waving motion with its hands. Small versions of itself appeared out of the darkness and began to surround her. As she slipped into a fighting stance a rope of tinsel sailed from behind the monkey King and wrapped around her. The rope pinned her arms to her sides.
Several of the small monkeys grabbed the rope and held her tight. She tried to kick out at her captors but they and the rope were too strong. The monkeys dragged her up toward the Monkey King as it chuckled. There was an explosion behind her and a small cannonball bowled several of the small monkeys over. Kim turned her head to look over her shoulder to see the Nutcracker standing there behind a small cannon its mouth still smoking. Behind him marched line after line of small pink rats dressed like soldiers just like the Nutcracker. The Monkey King snarled as the army of rats advanced with the Nutcracker leading them. The Nutcracker pulled his arm out of the sling her mother had fashioned for his arm. He drew his sword and continued to lead his army of rats forward.
The monkeys holding Kim let go as they all turned with their King to face the Nutcracker and his friends. The two forces charged each other and in a crash met together is a melee of rats and monkeys. The Monkey King and the Nutcracker ended up facing each other as they battled. The Monkey King had produced a sword to match that of the Nutcracker. The two traded blows but it was soon apparent that the Nutcracker's arm was not as strong and the Monkey King started to get an upper hand. Kim was able to use the Kimmunicator to cut herself free from the tinsel rope.
She faced toward the two main foes just as the Monkey King knocked the Nutcracker to the floor. She aimed the Kimmunicator and fired a short laser burst at one of the ornaments hanging from the tree over the Monkey King's head. It fell and hit the Monkey King on the head with a crash. The impact stunned the Monkey King for a second. In that second the Nutcracker stabbed the Monkey King with his sword. The Monkey King shrieked in dismay and stumbling back fell and ceased to move. All the smaller monkeys stopped fighting and rushed to their King's side. Picking him up they carried him into the darkness from which they had come.
The Nutcracker stood and approached Kim. As he did the scene around them changed to an elegant ballroom. His battle scarred uniform changed to a dress uniform. As he got closer she realized that he looked almost like Ron only more mature like Ron would look in years to come. She marveled at how absolutely handsome he looked. As he stood in front of her he bowed and extended his hand. As she took his hand her sweater and pants changed into an elegant green evening gown. Her hair was pulled up into cascading tresses from a small shimmering crown that sat upon her head.
The Nutcracker lead her out onto the dance floor and took her into his arms. She felt as if Ron himself was holding her. Graceful music started in the backroom as the light dimmed except for the area where they started to dance. The very sky above seemed to have stars shimmering there. Kim nestled herself into the Nutcracker's arm as they continued to dance. After what seemed to be dance after dance the Nutcracker smiled and pulled back. Taking her hand again he gently kissed it and bowed. The lights seemed to dim and he stepped back and started to disappear.
"No, please don't go. Please don't…."
"Hey KP, I'm not going anywhere, I just got here."
Kim's eyes sprang open to see that she was back laying on the couch in the living room of her home. The early morning light was just starting to flow in the room from the windows. The next thing she realized was that someone was kneeling right there in front of her. Her eyes focused on the lanky figure in front of her. The mop of blonde hair and two shining brown eyes framed by a scattering of freckles was as familiar to her as her own face. It took her a moment before she found her voice.
She grabbed him and pulled him to her all the while trying to suck his lungs out with a kiss. When the need for air forced her to break the kiss she gazed contentedly into those eyes she adored so much.
"Where did YOU come from? Last I heard nothing was getting through."
He rubbed nosed with her.
"Nothing can keep the Ron-man from his Kimula. I was able to call in a favor to fly me in. I walked the rest of the way."
Kim sat up.
That was when Kim noticed the pile of wet clothes sitting on the floor just inside her door. A set of snowshoes leaned against the door. Kim turned back to him. He nodded.
"Nothing was going to keep me from you."
She stood and let him sit down. She then nestled herself down into his lap with a sigh.
"It doesn't matter as long as you are here."
She buried her face into his neck to wait for the rest of the family.
Kim snuggled up against Ron as she held on to her mug of hot cocoa. All of the gifts had been opened and the two of them had settled down in front of the fire. Kim didn't notice her mom motioning for everyone to leave the two of them alone.
"Well, now are you going to tell me where you have been and why you wouldn't talk to me? Do you have any idea on how that made me feel?"
He turned to look him in the eye with a tear flowing down her face.
"I know things were not working out. But I don't care about that. I don't care if we have to face another semester or even another entire year at different schools. We will deal with it. Please, please don't cut me off again. I was going crazy without you. I thought you…you might…."
Ron placed a finger on her lips.
"I'm sorry KP. I didn't think I could face you. I was a failure. I failed you and I failed myself."
Kim glared at him.
"Listen Ronald Stoppable. You…."
Ron held up his hand for her to stop.
"As I was saying. I thought I had failed you. But, I knew that you would not stop, so I know I couldn't. So I called in a favor and called the Culinary School I was trying to get into in London. They listened to my proposal and agreed. So I flew to London the other day and took a special cooking test with their professors."
Kim's eyes flew wide.
Ron turned to face her with a grin on his face a mile wide.
"Yeah, your mom and dad and my mom and dad got together and helped me put it together. They helped me pay for the flights and everything. I swore them to secrecy just in case things didn't work out."
Kim's heart leapt with hope.
Ron leaned close.
"How would you like to have dinner with me after WE go back to London to go to school?"
The four parents, Nana, two brothers and one sister cringed at the shrill squeal that came from the living room. Nana settled back as she nursed her cup of coffee.
"Well, I think young Ronald just gave Kimmie his news."
On the shelf in the living room, the Nutcracker seemed to grin down at the two giggling young people nestled together in front of the fireplace.
I hope that you enjoyed this little story. This is another one that I have kept in my back pocket for several years. The plotbunny finally bit hard enough for me to but the story together. Thanks for reading and please leave a review. I would appreciate it.