"How long has it been since we've been able to just relax and enjoy ourselves?" Ron smiled, laying down on the grass next to Kim, looking up at the sky.
"Well, if you call eighteen credits and stopping Drakken and Shego twice in the past week relaxing, we do it all the time." Kim admitted, her nose still in her anthropology book. College was still a bit of an adjustment for her. She was still getting A's and B's, but found that balancing school and hero life was a lot more difficult as an adult.
"Forget about schoolwork for a while and just have some fun," Ron insisted, pulling the book out of her hands, Kim giving him an annoyed glare. "You've always been far too serious." When Kim moved to get it, Ron merely used his telekinesis to move it out of her reach.
"Ron, stop it!" Kim demanded, reaching for her book, only to find it again out of their reach. She briefly worried that someone would notice, but out of everyone within sight, all of them were caught up in their own lives. To them, Team Possible was just part of the scenery
"Come on, Kim, a little bit of relaxation won't kill you." Ron smiled at her. "Do you even remember the last time you went somewhere, or just sat back for a while to enjoy the peace and quiet?"
"I do that all the time!" Kim protested. "Like two weeks ago... no, that was interrupted. Had to stop Dementor from breaking into a lab. But there was... wait, had to get a little boy out of a well." She was about to open her mouth a third time, but abruptly shut it. Much as she wanted to deny it, Kim had a difficult time remembering the last occasion.
"Even Monique's been noticing it." Ron smirked, his point being made. His friendship with Monique was almost nonexistent by this point, which meant that if she confronted him, she was quite concerned about Kim.
"I suppose one day won't kill me." Kim eventually conceded. "So... anything exciting happening?" The instant she spoke those words, she realized that all of the time she had been spending with him was on their missions. The rest of the time, she was either studying, or hanging out with Monique. She felt a little guilty for taking Ron for granted.
"Not especially; I'm still stuck at home with my parents." Ron sighed. One of the things he left out was that the fights between the two of them had been increasing both in occurrence and intensity. He was a frequent subject of their rants, and whenever he sensed something coming, Ron did everything possible to get away until it was over. He opened his mouth to tell KP...
Shut up; this is the first time in weeks you two have been able to hang out together, Stoppable. Ron exclaimed. Don't ruin the moment by complaining for what passes as your life.
"I spend a lot of my spare time practicing with this mystical monkey ability I have." Ron responded in lieu of mentioning his family situation.
"Wait, no computer games?" Kim teased him. "Sometimes, you're as bad as Wade."
"Yeah; that kid spends his entire life in front of a screen." Ron shook his head. "Makes me look downright adventurous by comparison, and definitely so compared to the adrenaline junkie sitting right next to me."
"I am not an adrenaline junkie!" Kim glared at him, smacking him on the shoulder.
"Says the woman who decided to jump off a bridge into the river because she was bored." Ron reminded, moving closer to her.
"It was 100 degrees and humid; I was burning alive out here!" Kim complained. "Besides, who are you to talk? You're the one who decided to try and fight Shego alone." Her voice transformed into a more concerned tone. "Are you sure you're all right?"
"I'm a large, semi-muscular man; I can take care of myself." Ron smiled reassuringly. Although he might have confronted, fighting was not exactly the proper way to describe the two of them. They did spar, to a certain degree, but for the rest of the time, they were unable to keep their hands off each other.
I really should tell Kim what's going on; she'll find out eventually, anyway. Ron thought to himself. Although it was quite rocky at times, he and Shego were still in a relationship. They had agreed to keep it secret from everyone else, mostly at Shego's insistence. She was honestly scared at Kim's reaction; the fight at Wannaweep was still fresh in her mind.
However, they had nearly gotten caught. Kim had defeated the synthrodrones that Drakken used, which were considerably upgraded from the originals. Drakken's comment: "Wait, were you two fighting or fornicating?" had been closer to the mark than he had likely realized. At least after that, the mission was successful. Drakken was too busy fleeing from an enraged Shego to offer much resistance to them.
"You had to face Shego alone; I'm not about to let that happen again." Kim's eyes darkened and her lip curled with anger. When she was unable to reach him, she had feared the worst. Yes, his skills had grown, but she was still extremely protective of him.
"I know I can't tell you not to worry, but... so what do you want to do?" Ron wondered. "We got a whole college to explore." Privately, Ron did not think Kim was fully ready for working for Global Justice just yet. Although she hid it well, her temper was still quite volatile and the memories still haunted her. He knew better than to bring it up, of course. Kim was the most stubborn person he had ever known. "They've got a Bueno Nacho!"
"Of all the places you could visit on campus, why would you pick Bueno Naco?" Kim sighed, but a small chuckle escaped her lips.
"I'm starving; can't have fun on an empty stomach." Ron pointed. "Still beats your idea of touring an art museum."
"Come on, you've got to admire the talent and hard work all the artists put into that." Kim stated.
"No way, you're not dragging me to another art museum!" Ron warned, beginning to climb up the tree that they were sitting under. Kim raised her eyebrow at his skill. If he was able to climb that quickly, why did he constantly slip and slide when they had to scale cliffs?
"Do you really think I'm not going to be able to follow you up there?" Kim pointed out, hands on her hips. Ron hung by his knees on one of the higher branches, blowing a raspberry in her direction. "Ron, get down here!"
"Fine, fine, spoil all my fun." Ron rolled his eyes, climbing down and flipping onto the ground once he climbed down to ten feet. "Ta-da!"
"Are you trying to drive me insane?" Kim complained. "If so, you're doing a great job of it."
"Hard not to; it's a rather short trip." Ron teased, and out of impulse, gave Kim a brief kiss on the lips. His eyes widened once his mind registered what he had just done. He began to blush and look away, but it also reminded him that even if they were no longer together, his feelings towards Kim were not fully gone.
"Let's... let's just head to Bueno Nacho, shall we?" Kim eventually managed to stammer out. Does this mean he wants to get back together with me? She wondered. The very thought of it filled her with joy and dread.
"What are you moping about now, Shego?" Drakken complained, although he was more than ready to run should she decide to use him as target practice. Not all of his burns had healed from the last time, although he was still forced to admit that she had a right to be angry at his comments.
"None of your business; go away!" Shego snapped at him, while Drakken made a hasty retreat.
"Look, you know... we're still an evil family, and if anything is bothering you, you can tell me, right?" Drakken told her, hoping that softening his approach would get his charge to open up. He was used to seeing her sarcastic and angry, not full of angst. Drakken actually kind of missed Shego's snarky comments about whatever his latest plan for world domination happened to be.
She briefly considered blasting him again, but decided against it. He did genuinely care about her, even if Drakken didn't know how to show it. "I'll be all right, Doctor D; I just need to be alone right now."
"Uh... let me know if you change your mind." Drakken offered. "In the meantime, I have a new plan that will defeat Kim Possible once and for all!"
"Yeah, great; have fun with that." Shego dismissed. Once he left, she pondered all of the choices she had made. Ron's words kept echoing through her head over and over.
Why do I feel like I just made a big mistake? Shego wondered. Her initial fears did not come true; they were still together even though they were on the opposite sides of the law. Hell, their fight was little more than a flirting session. Neither of them really made much of an effort to defeat the other, and her greatest weapon was a kiss that knocked him senseless.
"This is who I am; I can't change that." Shego told herself. She had repeated that line a thousand times, but it didn't stop the doubts from entering. Her crimes didn't bring her the thrill it once had. Shego never had any interest in world conquest the way Drakken had, or even cared about the money she made, although it was certainly a decent side benefit of her job.
Of course, ten minutes with my brothers and I'm more than ready to go back. Shego mused. Last week, she had made the mistake of confiding her doubts to her oldest brother, Hego. Yes, his real name was Henry, but it was hard for to think of him as anyone other than Hego. The instant she opened her mouth, he began to make a speech about how he knew she would do the right thing, that being a hero was in her blood, that he's glad that she finally realized how foolish she was to become a villain. The sound of his self-righteousness infuriated her so much that she slammed the phone down and went off to rob a small bank.
She paced around the lair, knowing the entire place by heart, not paying attention to anything that was going on around her. She bumped into some of the henchmen, completely ignoring their responses. A few wanted to say something, but knew better than to incur her wrath.
"Yeah; even they aren't that stupid." She laughed, but it came out as bitterness instead of satisfaction. Fear no longer appealed to her. At first, she enjoyed it, seeing the terror that cropped up on their faces, happy to finally be on the receiving end of it. Now it just made her feel hollow.
"Shego, I've been looking everywhere for you!" Drakken exclaimed, panting to catch up to her.
"Let me guess; there's some top secret device that you want me to steal so you can try to take over the world." Shego sighed, rolling her eyes.
"Now that's the Shego I remember!" Drakken laughed. It just didn't seem normal without her comments. At one time, he would have been perfectly happy to see her silent, but her sarcasm had become a part of his life. "Besides, there's no one else here I would trust to do you?"
"Oh, really?" Shego looked at him, her face indifferent but her heart fluttering. She always enjoyed being appreciated and it was moments like these that reminded her of why she began working for Drakken in the first place. He was usually insensitive, with conversations that ended with her playing "make Drakken go ouch", but every once in a while, he knew just what to say to cheer her up.
She did the job with nearly the kind of enthusiasm that she had before. Drakken kept a look out for Team Possible and handed her the code-cracking device that he developed in order to get past the security. It didn't look like much to her- just a cube the size of her hand, but it obviously seemed important to Drakken.
Once the job was over, however, her doubts began to return.
"Haven't had that much fun in ages!" Kim exclaimed, stopping just outside her home. Although she had the grades to be accepted into most universities, she had chosen to go to Middleton State College. She did not wish to be so far from home, and more than that, did not want to separate from Ron. He'd always been there for her... no matter how she sometimes treated him.
"See; told you that you needed to loosen up a bit." Ron grinned. "Even if I had to go to an art museum in order to get you to smile."
"And you still managed to lose your pants." Kim shook her head, but it was with suppressed laughter. Some things simply didn't change.
"How was I supposed to see that statue of David and Goliath?" Ron complained.
"Ron, the statue was ten feet high; how could you have missed that?" Kim couldn't take it before and broke down into laughter.
"Uh... my eyes were wandering." He was forced to admit. "Got to admit, that place had some hot girls!"
"Do you ever stop thinking with your hormones?" Kim wondered, knowing that the answer was most likely no.
"Of course; sometimes I think with my stomach instead." Ron grinned. He had to admit, he was glad to see Kim happy once again. After her kidnapping, it seemed like she was permanently locked in depression. It took him a lot of time and effort to coax her out of her depression, but it paid off. "That reminds me; I'm hungry again."
"You ate four nacos; how can you still be hungry?" Kim asked in disbelief.
"Only had three; Rufus ate the last one." Ron pointed out. Upon hearing his name, his mole rat popped out of his pocket and began rubbing its stomach in satisfaction. "So are your parents here?"
"No; mom had some kind of medical convention and dragged the rest of the family along with her." Kim admitted.
"Should be back soon, though, the way your brothers cause a ruckus." Ron informed. "I still can't believe they invited her back after what happened at the last one."
"Neither can I, to be honest with you." Kim chuckled. Somehow, Jim and Tim had managed to break into the lab where they were observing prototypes of the latest medical inventions. What resulted was the two of them hacking into one of the MRI machines and attaching robotic legs onto it. Unfortunately, it had proved a little beyond their control and it ran rampant, going after any individual unfortunate enough to cross its path. "I hope mom at least made sure they didn't bring any of their gadgets along this time."
"So we've got the house to ourselves, then." Ron proclaimed, stretching out on the couch. "Oh, crap!"
"What is it?" Kim immediately went on the alert.
"Forgot all about my history class!" Ron suddenly realized. "I hope I don't lose any attendance points."
"Ron, this is college; they don't take attendance." Kim reminded him.
"Oh, yeah; still kind of weird actually being an adult." Ron admitted. "I can't quite wrap my head around it. Am I supposed to be all mature now?"
"We'll get used to it eventually." Kim replied. "At least this means I can pursue my dream."
"Going to work for Global Justice full time, huh?" Ron smiled. "Who would have guessed a simple typing error would have made such an enormous difference? I, for one, never imagined that we'd be a pair of superheroes."
"I wouldn't have it any other way." Kim declared. It was difficult for her at first, and she frequently complained about how her job was cutting into her social life. Now, however, she couldn't imagine not doing what she did. The period where she was suspended had been among the most difficult of her life... although admittedly there were other reasons for that as well.
She sat down next to him, and before she knew it, had buried her head into his shoulder. Neither of them spoke, simply content with the silence. Ron wrapped an arm around her shoulders, pulling her as close to her as he could. It reminded them both of the old days, before their lives had gotten so complicated. Being kidnapped and learning of a long-lost relative will do that to you, Kim mused.
"Thanks for hanging out with me, KP." Ron finally broke the silence.
"You're welcome; I'm sorry I didn't contact you before." Kim looked at him with a guilty expression. "I didn't mean to ignore you. I just..."
"I know; life keeps both of us occupied." Ron replied. I've grown up more than I thought. Not so long ago, he'd be falling into depression, terrified that he might have done something wrong and angered her. For a good part of his life, she had been the only friend he ever had. His insecurity was often highly visible as he constantly worried about her leaving. Now, however, he was better able to understand that she had her own life independent of hers. "How are you parents doing, by the way?"
"It's still frosty between them, but not the way it was when all of this began." Kim responded absently. In truth, her mind was elsewhere at the moment. Ron noticed as much and decided not to inquire further.
"Uh...KP... you're staring at me." Ron observed. It had been going on for nearly thirty seconds, confusing him.
"Sorry; got a bit lost in my head for a bit." Kim pointed out.
"I thought that was my job." Ron jested.
Should I ask him? Kim wondered. It was times like this that made her want to resume the relationship they once had. The idea was in the back of her mind almost constantly, but with the fear that she would harm him, had refrained from ever bringing it up. Now... she was coming closer than she had before. Is he still interested in me? Has he found someone else? Kim didn't think so. Even if she had pushed him away before, Kim couldn't fathom him keeping something that big from her.
She was about to gather her courage to bring up the subject when her communicator beeped. Frustrated yet grateful at the same time for the distraction, she opened it and asked: "What's the sitch, Wade?"
"I'm afraid it's not Wade this time." Director informed them. "Sorry to disappoint you."
"Oh...uh... what can I do for you, Director?" Kim inquired.
"Come on, can't we get at least a small break?" Ron complained. "Some of those bad guys have got to take vacations!" Deep down, though, he knew that this was something bad, beyond what was normal even for them. His still untrained senses were warning him of something, though he was unable to pinpoint it.
"That's... not what I was calling about." Director sighed. Kim observed that her facial expressions were uncharacteristically grim, even for her. "Your reinstatement has not been universally accepted."
"So you're kicking me out again?" Kim gasped, trying to hold back her tears. The day had been going so well, and to discover that her hopes were being ruined...
"Not exactly," Director admitted, looking nearly as upset as she was. "I'm afraid... Order 31 has been initiated. I'm sorry, Miss Possible."
"What... what are you..." Kim still gasped in confusion, her mind unable to comprehend just what she was saying. Ron was equally confused and outraged on Kim's behalf.
His confusion soon turned to horror when a Global Justice agent entered the room and fired three bullets into Kim's chest before either of them could react.
Bet you weren't expecting that one! The next chapter should be up in a week or so, which will hopefully answer any questions you might have.