"...this is exhausting, you know? Like we are never getting back together. like... ever."
Taylor Swift, We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
I hang up the phone after giving Ron his directions and I lay down, waiting for Drew to come to bed.
I hate this charade... I can't wait till I Ron calls so I can end this and throw his sorry ass back in prison. I don't love him... not anymore. Now I can't seem to be able to control my disgust for him... everything he stands for, everything I used to stand for. I hate him. I hate this life.
Maybe I like being a badass... okay, I definitely like being a badass... I like the thrill of breaking into places, I like the adrenaline that comes with a good fight... I like all that stuff. But I realized eventually that I can do that anywhere... it doesn't necessarily have to be evil. The things that Drakken has planned since he's been back are not only ridiculous, they are also hideous displays of heartlessness that I've never seen before. I've tipped GJ off to his most recent scheme, and they'll take him off my hands soon.
"Yes, darling?" I ask with sweetness that I have to work awful hard to falsify.
"Who were you talking to on the phone just now?" Drakken asks. His voice is falsely conversational, and my guard is instantly up.
"Not that it is any of your business, but I was talking to my brother."
He raises an eyebrow. "Your... brother."
"Yes," I spit at him as he gets into bed.
He leans in like he's going to kiss me, but then there's a knife at my throat. "And your brother's name is Ron?"
Did he really think he could pull this off? I have to laugh as I let my hands ignite and he yelps in response to the heat. "Yes. My brother's name is Ron. Ron Stoppable, you've heard of him. He and Kim have been more of a family to me these past four years than even my own blood, and you know it's the damn truth."
"You betrayed me and put me in prison once," he says more to himself than to me. "How did I trust you again?" He glares up at me from his spot on the floor where I blasted his sorry ass into next week. "Oh, that's right. I love you!" He gets up, fuming. "You heartless bitch. You used me to help him! After everything we shared... I thought you really wanted me." He looks dejected by the end of his rant and I almost feel sorry for him. Almost.
"So you've always been an idiot then. Did you really think we had a chance after you tried to, not only ruin my career, but also use your stupid mind control thing on me?"
"Don't you fucking Shelby me," I hiss at him in fury. "I'm not heartless, you are! You got what you wanted, Drakken! World recognition, everyone who heard your name thanked it for the fact that they were still breathing! You were making good money and you were helping me with my GJ stuff... and we were happy. And then all of a sudden you're building a mind-control ray? Why? What in the fuck could make you destroy everything we built... everything you worked to achieve you got! What more do you need?! Tell me damn it, make me understand!"
He stares at his tiny hands. "Shelby... you're one of the smartest people I've ever met. How is it that you and people like Kim Possible can be content being told what to do by people who aren't half as smart as you? Even the Buffoon grew into his own. How is it that he is still content being only a sidekick? People like you... are at the top of the food chain. And you... you don't deserve to be someone's tool, someone's employee... you deserve for everyone to obey and listen to you. That's all I've wanted. If I could ever conquer the world, I would give it all to you."
The air around my hand stings with the cold after the fire in them dims into oblivion. "Drew... I don't need the world. I don't need to be... evil or whatever. My needs have changed. See... you know how I was when you met me. I became bitter and unsatisfied with anything... because I had nothing. And then I had this reputation as a badass evil chick working for a man who wants to take over the world... and I had my revenge on the people that killed Jason... and I was feared. And I liked it. But it wasn't what I needed. What I need is... what I need is peace, and I found that in an annoying as fuck teenager and her buffoon. They grew up, and they reached out to me even though they had every reason to hate me as much as I hated them. They were accepting and well, equally annoying, they were completely unselfish and open minded with me. They allowed me to change, they helped me change, into someone I can stand to look in the mirror at, directly in the eye, and be proud of. I never needed to conquer the world, Drew. I just needed to conquer myself."
He turned his back to me. "And I've been too blind and self-absorbed to see this."
"Conquering the world was your dream. This is my dream. Being with people that care about me and being able to pay back all the wrong I've done. Getting my life back. That's my dream."
He hung his head. "Am I going back to jail now?"
"We'll see about that," I answer with a smirk.
"Will you ever love me again?" His voice sounds really... tortured. It makes my chest tighten a little bit.
I draw a deep breath. "We'll see about that too."
"I told Monkey Fist about your plan."
"I know. But Ron is... he'll be just fine. I'll get some agents to go pick them up."
The entire time the doctor is stitching my leg, Dr. Director is berating me about something or other. I blew up the plane which had evidence, I blew up the plane, I went in without back-up, I should not have shot Monkey Fist... blah blah blah.
The entire time the Director is ranting, Kim is sitting on the next bed in nothing but her bra and a smirk on her face while someone works on the mark on her back. She's blatantly laughing at me and I'm going to get her back for it... later.
Her arms and one hand are sewn up too, and I realize that she had to cock the gun without looking and that doing that had cut her hand, in the most annoying place to have a cut ever (you know, that area on the back of your hand between your thumb and the rest of your hand that hurts like a bitch with a drug problem when you cut it). She lost a significant amount of blood, and they did a transfusion and some saline to make up for it. I'm also making her drink water and eat that fucking disgusting hospital jello.
I ask her for like the ten thousandth time how she's holding up.
"Dammit Ron! I'm okay! You asked me that five minutes ago. The bag of saline hasn't even run out yet! Just chill, okay?"
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry," I answer with my arms raised in surrender.
"You will be," says the Director. "I'm tired of cleaning up your mess, Stoppable. I understand that you had to go on a rampage after your parents died and—"
"Okay listen very carefully, Betty," I seethe at her. "I killed that asshole because he had a knife to Kim's neck. I killed him because he threatened to hurt her, and my children. I killed him because he is the reason my close friend got tortured to death. Tortured, Dr. Director. He kidnapped my sister with the intention of killing her too. My first priority is my family, and I'll kill whoever the fuck I have to to keep what's left of it. I don't care about the mess you have to clean up! I don't give a flying fuck about crime scenes or evidence. I have all the fucking evidence I need, and whenever you're done ranting about all my mistakes I'll show you just why that bastard and everyone he's ever worked with is burning in the special place in hell I had prepared just for them. You knew what my plan was from the beginning so do NOT get on my ass about this."
Kim raises an eyebrow at me. "Ron, calm down. We're all okay now."
"Yeah, no thanks to—"
"Stop it, Ron. The Director made her resources available to you. Try to relax, let the doctor finish fixing you up okay? I want to go home."
"Oh no you don't! You two are being debriefed the second you sign out of here."
I level her with an icy stare that would have vaporized her if looks could kill. "Kim's had a long week. She needs to see her children." My voice is equally deadly. "I'm taking her home, Director, and I expect that we won't be interrupted while we are there. I'll set up an appointment for early next week and Shego will join us for debriefing then."
Betty Director stepped back. "Uh... A-as you wish."
"If you'll excuse us," I tell her with a smirk. She glares at me and stalks out of the room, muttering.
Kim glares at me. "Was that really necessary?"
"Yes, Kimmie Dearest, it was."
She glowers more.
"Okay, no it really wasn't but she was starting to piss me off."
She smirks. "Starting to?"
"Look, I don't need to be reminded of all the mistakes I've made. I'm very well aware of them, thank you very much, have a snake!"
Her eyes sadden. "I'm sorry, Ron. I know this has to have been difficult for you... you know how Dr. D is when she's stressed about how she's going to do something. Give her time. She's gunna clean it up and get off our case like she always does."
"You're right I guess... I just... I'm ready for this to be over now."
"It is over, Ron."
"No... no it isn't. As long as there is stuff out there that belongs to this... mystical monkey power... I'll never feel like its over."
"I thought we were going home?" He tells me where we are going and I frown. I lift the small plane into the air with ease. I missed flying.
He smiles at me. "We are... although home for you and your folks is a private island Shego owns off the coast of Greece. For a while anyway. Until this mess cleans up and all the threats to you and the girls have been eliminated."
"You had us put in protective custody on an island in Greece?!"
He grins. "Nah... I just told her she better find some place safe to stash my girls before I pulled any of this shit off. She told me that the Doctors P were due for a vacation anyway. She has it under an alias... she didn't tell me which one, but no one knows she owns this joint. Perfectly safe."
Many hours later, we're landing on an airstrip on a beautiful island with pristine beaches and rocky, tall mountains. Well... two rocky, tall mountains. The rest of the island just has trees and beaches. It looks like something out of a movie.
We walk along the beach for a while, hand in hand, the waves licking at our toes and making sand stick to our feet. We're both quietly absorbed in our own thoughts. My thoughts are for my girls. I miss them immensely and I feel like every nerve in my body is a live wire. I need to see Danni and Yori Anne... and I need to see Hana. I need to see for myself that they are okay.
Ron watches me. The sunlight makes the honey color of his eyes sparkle even brighter. I've missed those eyes.
"What are you thinking, Kimmie?"
"Just that... I really need to see my girls. All three of them."
He smiles for a moment, then he stops, turning to stare out at the water. "Thank you, Kim. For taking care of Han."
"Ron... you know I love her as if she were my sister too."
"You had every reason to say she was abandoned and dump her in foster care. Especially after finding out you were having the twins." He smiled at me. "I'm glad that you didn't."
"I wouldn't! I love her and I would have kept her no matter what."
"Calm down baby," he chuckles. "I know." He looks down at his feet. "Does she hate me?"
"She misses you immensely."
He looks out at the water again, and I can see tears gathering in his eyes. "I miss her too."
"Then lets get going."
When we get close to the beautiful beach house that is nestled amongst the trees, I'm amused to find my mom lounging on the deck with a drink and a book. She jumps to her feet immediately. "Kimmie! Oh baby, we've been so worried about you."
I chuckle. "Yeah I can see that. How's vacation?"
"If this is protective custody, you should get yourself in trouble more often, Kimmie," she says with a smirk.
Ron speaks quietly. "Shego says you guys are welcome here any time."
Her eyes widen comically and her jaw drops. "Ron?! Is that... is that you?" then she chucks her drink at him. "I can't believe you have the nerve to show your face around here!"
Ron glowers at his wet, sticky t-shirt and says nothing. I'm too busy laughing to come to his defense, and he glowers at me, too. He doesn't say anything to mom as she yells at him, though. I figure it's time to calm my mom down.
"Mom, it's fine."
"Fine? He left you here, pregnant!"
"He and I are working things out, Mom."
She looks at me like I grew a second head. "You're kidding... right?"
"No... he did some explaining. They are his kids too, mom, and he has the right to know them."
She deflates. "Okay but you better sleep apart unless you want James to put him in a deep space probe."
"I'd like to see him try," Ron mutters to himself with a smirk. Out loud, he merely says, "I'm glad to be home, Mrs. Dr. P."
Mom's eyes mist. "Oh honey... come here." She wraps him in a huge hug and consequently, her shirt is wet and sticky too. I just laugh. It really is good to be home.
It's the middle of the night. Ron stayed with me anyway, even though the lecture he got from my dad was long winded and mostly irrelevant, and did involve several mentions of black holes and foreign galaxies and frigid temperatures and lack of oxygen and so forth... he subtly told my father off in a way that had Mom and I laughing for hours, and had poor dad scratching his head.
The Tweebs tackle me when they hear us, and I squeeze each of them close to me. I know it's only been a few days, but it was intense and felt more like a year. I missed their insanity. After a long time of talking, lecturing, my brothers launching food during dinner, laughing, and bonding, we retire for the evening. Sometime during all the chaos Han woke up from her nap and launched herself at Ron, knocking him over. The tough exterior Ron has built around himself finished melting away as he held his sister for the first time in two years. It was an emotional sight for all of us. He didn't let go of her for the rest of the night, either.
Now, I'm wide awake, even though he must think I'm sleeping. He slips out of bed and presses a kiss to my temple before walking quietly down the hall. I follow him as he checks first one room, and then another. He tentatively steps in and I stand silently at the entrance as he reaches into a crib and picks up one of my little girls. She snuffles lightly and snuggles into him, and tears spring to both of our eyes. "That's Yori Anne," I state quietly.
He acknowledges the name without looking up. I step into the room and take her from him, and he looks at me questioningly.
"Don't you want to meet Danni?" I ask with a smirk.
He smiles widely and reaches into the other crib and picks up Danielle. "They're so..." his voice cuts out and he simply stares at his daughter.
"I know," I whisper.
"I never meant to hurt them," he chokes out.
"I know. You kept them safe... I'll never thank you enough for that."
He watches Danni sleep for a moment. "She has your hair."
"Yeah and she has your incredible 'marinating' talent," I add with a chuckle.
"That's my girl," he whispers into her hair with a small laugh of his own. Then he gives me a smug look. "I guess that means Yori Anne inherited your... intensity."
I flip him off and he gapes at me. "In front of the kids!" he hisses with another smirk.
"Oh shove it."
He kisses Danni's forehead gently and places her back in her bed. "I love you," he whispers to her, tucking her in gently.
I tuck in Yori Anne again and we go back to our room hand in hand. He sits on the edge of the bed, staring into space. "Dear God... I have kids," he says breathlessly. He looks up at me, his expression mixed between awe and utter bewilderment. "I have... kids! Baby girls, alike as they can be."
I smile at him. "They will love you, I know it."
"I already love them," he says quietly. "I... I have for a long time. I still have pictures of the... I mean, the sonograms. Shego would get copies of them for me. I framed them all, in my... I guess the equivalent of my office." His eyes shift uncomfortably. "Kim... I'm not the same. I'll never be the same."
"I know," I tell him. "I gathered that during our little... trip."
"I'm sorry you got hurt, Kimmie."
I shrug. "I've had worse."
"Can you love me like this?" He whispers, and tears spring to my eyes.
I swallow hard. "We can work this out. We can, and we will. I can't... I won't let you walk out on me again."
"I'll never walk out on you again," he answers back. "I let my tragedy get in the way of us."
"I loved them too, Ron," I whisper. "I still miss them. I still remember the dark, cold, awful place I found Han in... it still haunts me, too." I sit next to him, taking his hand. "It was our tragedy. We were supposed to be happy. But instead we got all of this."
He stares at our hands. "I wish I'd been better at letting us handle it... together."
I shake my head. "We have different ways of dealing with things. Seems we have suffered a bit of role reversal," I chuckle.
"Yeah, a little bit," he laughs. He kisses my temple gently. "I love you so much. Thank you for giving me back my family."
I pull back the sheets and he slips into bed. I do the same, and we curl into each other. It feels like it always did... perfect.
Sleeping next to her these past few days has been magnificent, blissful, and amazing. I wish it were that way when she is awake...
"What the fuck, Ron?" She hisses at me so that the rest of the family won't hear. "Why didn't you tell me that you had to leave again?!"
"Kim... I told you it wouldn't be over until... until all of that stuff is gone."
"And how long is that going to take?"
"As long as it has to," I hiss back at her. She's starting to piss me off. "Look, I get that you're anxious about me going again."
She scoffs and puts her fist on her hip. Shit, now I'm going to get it. Nothing good happens when she puts her fist on her hip. Fucking sexy angry redhead.
"... last time you took off to 'take care of some business' you were gone for two years and became a bonified criminal! You're damn right I'm fucking anxious!"
"I'm not really a criminal, KP, baby. I had to act the part."
I shrug. "Mostly to piss off he-who-shall-not-be-named. But it also had to do with the fact that most places in the world weren't going to be nice and just let me take the stuff. It had to be done a bit more forcefully."
"Oh that's great. So you're going back to stealing and robbing banks and getting yourself shot and whatever the fuck else you've been doing?!"
I'm not going to win this... I'd better quit while I'm ahead.
I get up early and fix breakfast for everyone... something I haven't done in a long time. It feels good to stretch my culinary muscles again. Han wakes up just as I finish the last of the waffles and plate the chopped fruit. I take her down to the beach for a few to play with her. I missed her. After a few minutes, the twins come crawling along too, and I have tons of fun with them. Kim watches silently, a small smile on her face. It's the first time in days I've seen her anything other than angry or tense. I pick up the twins and go up to the deck where she's standing. The sunrise makes her hair glow even more red than usual and I take a minute just to watch her. God, she's so gorgeous. I missed her.
"You're still going through with this?" She asks quietly.
"I'll leave tonight after I tuck the girls in," I answer.
She draws a deep breath and then her eyes are on me. "If you leave me here... you aren't coming back."
"KP I'm not going to just leave you here. I'm not going to do just that... I need to make sure it is safe for you guys to come home. I'll be in contact, every day. Always." I take her hands in mine, looking into her eyes. "I promise, Kimmie. I'll come back for you when it's over."
She removes her hands from mine and turns her back. "I don't think you understand what I meant. I mean, if you leave tonight... I'm not going to take you back."
My jaw drops. "Kim are you... are you fucking kidding me with this shit right now?!"
"No I'm not, Ron! Global Justice is perfectly capable of taking care of this! You just want to leave out of some sick revenge sitch that's still going on in your head."
"You're right that this is personal, KP. But I'm the lead operative on this assignment. I am Global Justice... for this assignment, anyway."
"I'm going with you."
"Hell the FUCK no, Kimberly Anne."
"You think I'm not capable of being on a mission now?" She crosses her arms.
"I didn't say that at all. I did chase you two miles in a bit less than ten minutes. A five minute mile is impressive, by the way. I've never seen you run that fast before. I know you're physically and mentally capable of doing missions if you wanted to do that. I just can't have you on this one. They are hunting you, remember. You and Hana. You're better off here, making sure everyone's safe... both strategically and for the sake of my own sanity. Please, don't push this. Okay?"
She sighs and grits her teeth. "Fine... do what you want. You always do."
I grit my teeth too. "I don't want to leave."
"Then stay," she begs, turning to face me. "Please, please stay."
I put my arms around her, squeezing her as close to me as I can. After a moment, her arms circle my waist. "You better come home soon," she whispers into my shirt. I realize that she's crying.
"Don't cry baby. I promise I'll talk to you every day. I promise I'll be home as soon as possible... I swear, I swear I'm not leaving you. Never again."
"Hi, Kimmie," he says quietly, a tired smile on his face. His eyes are jaded. I wish he'd let this go already. He smirks. "I know what you're thinking and I'm fine."
I curse under my breath, sending the chat from my Kimmunicator to the computer. "Ron, I'm telling you we're all-"
"Kim, can we please not argue today?"
I sigh. Every since he's been gone again, we can't talk five minutes without bickering about something or other. He said that Global Justice used all the robberies as an excuse to say that the stuff he's looking for is 'dangerous and can be used for mass destruction' so most things have been handed over. However, he still has had to... forcefully remove some of the more valuable things, like this one statue he almost got himself killed over last week after hacking through the jungle for days without any way to contact the outside world. And he was still nursing a god-awful gash on his leg when he went out two days later! I swear sometimes I wonder just how much lead paint he was exposed to as a child...
"Kim, I know you're frustrated and anxious and—"
"Look please don't do the whole 'I know how you feel' thing right now. I can't handle it."
He looks away from where he's sitting, and I can see him gritting his teeth. "What do you want me to tell you?"
"That you'll come home."
His shoulders slump a bit. "I'm sorry I'm putting you through this. I promise, I'll come home. I'll be back before you know it."
"It's been more than a month. You didn't even call for Thanksgiving—"
"I told you I had something that needed to be done."
"You're out on all these assignments and the Han cries for you and I have no idea what to even tell her! You're gone and none of us are at peace."
He's quiet. He has no response for that.
"Christmas is in two weeks. Will you be home?"
"I will do my best," he says tiredly. Then he grits his teeth again. "If that's not good enough for you then I'm sorry. Maybe your boytoy Saul or his douchebag brother Dylan will—"
"How dare you, Ron?!" I growl at him. "How dare you insinuate something like that?! You left me! This is not my fault! You fucked this up on your own, Ron. You spent our last week together being an asshole... and I tried to be understanding, because I know what you went through that week is unspeakable. Then you, drunk off your ass, by the way... God, and I was stupid enough to let you, too. I stupidly thought you just had to get it out of your system and that you'd be okay, but I was wrong. You used me for sex. You fucked me into next century and then you took off in the morning, never to be seen or heard from again. How do you want me to feel, Ron? Do you want me to do a fucking happy dance?! I can't do that! I'm tired of letting myself get hurt because of you. You know what..." I stand and turn away from the computer so I don't have to see his face... and maybe it's so that I don't lose my nerve either. "This isn't working."
I swallow hard and then I continue. "It's not working and Han and the girls see us arguing and they get upset. I'm tired of it and I know you are too. Maybe we should just face facts. It's over, we won't work out. We tried. I can't... I'm not even over the last time you were gone, and now you're gone again and I can't handle it. I refuse to put myself through this hell again."
When he speaks, his voice is barely above a whisper. "Maybe... maybe you're right. I knew this could happen. I'm sorry that... I'm sorry I... fuck. I'm sorry I hurt you." He clears his throat and his voice is now icy, almost unemotional. "Goodbye, Kim."
The line disconnects. I bury my face in my hands.
oh you didn't think it would be that easy, did you? you guys should know you better by now... hmm. so, this marks the end of the um... segment, i guess, of this story. now comes the long awaited, CB-has-no-idea-how-i'm-going-to-pull-this-off reconciliation.
anyway, i hope your thanksgiving is frickin fantastic, i hope you all enjoy your families and have turkey-induced comas and shop at the ass crack of stupid o'clock in the morning, and all that other stuff that happens on turkey thursday. let me know what you guys think about this so far :)