Disclaimer: "Kim Possible" and all related characters, imagery, etc. are property of Disney.
Author's note: This is based on the Season 2 episode, "Adventures in Rufus-Sitting." Enjoy! Thanks to everyone who read "Team (Un)Stoppable," and especially CajunBear73, MrDrP, Mengsk, XoXoGigglieGirl1, Worker72, the younger half of JAKT, and vash3055 for your reviews.
"Worth a Thousand Words"
Rufus yawned and slowly climbed out of Kim Possible's pocket, plopping down next to Kim on the Possible family couch. Kim smiled at the mole rat; for the past week, she had been watching him while Ron Stoppable and his parents toured France. That was no big. And neither was the mission late the previous week to recover a microchip from the bottom of the ocean, even if it was a sound chip for a greeting card. Ron got quite a chuckle out of that when Kim told him.
What was a big was Rufus getting kidnapped by Lord Monkey Fist, making her travel halfway around the globe and fight Fist, the monkey ninjas, Shego *and* Duff Killigan to get the little guy back. But then again, she was used to that. Not only had Kim defeated three of her toughest opponents and reclaimed her teammate, she had also managed to keep Ron in the dark about the whole thing; after all, a solo mission *definitely* wasn't in the Care of Rufus Guide.
The Possible family phone began to ring, causing Kim to mentally flip through Ron's itinerary and realize that he should be home by now. Quickly, she hopped off the couch and raced into the kitchen, skidding to a stop as James beat her to the phone.
"Hello, Ronald," began Mr. Dr. Possible. "Based on your calling patterns, there's about a 99.6 percent chance you want to talk to Kimmie." The rocket scientist noted the glare Kim was directing towards him. "And about a 100 percent chance I shouldn't have just called her that. Have a nice day," he said, giving Kim the phone.
"Hey, Ron! How was the trip back home?" she asked.
"KP! Lemme tell ya, it's so great to be back home again," responded an excited Ron. "And even better," he continued, switching to a singsongy voice, "we've got pictures!"
"Yay," commented Rufus, who had climbed onto Kim's shoulder to listen in. Having known her best friend for over a decade, Kim Possible needed to hear nothing more.
"On my way," said Kim, quickly turning the phone off and giving it back to her father.
Ron Stoppable knew there was only one suitable location for the big reunion. And soon enough, Kim Possible was sitting in one side of the usual booth at Bueno Nacho, with Ron on the other side and Rufus and a pile of nacos on the table between them. Noting that it was from a Smarty Mart One Hour Photo Center (typical Stoppables, she thought), Kim opened the envelope and took out the pictures.
"Let's eat, Rufus," interjected Ron, "I haven't had any real food for a while."
"Yummy," agreed the mole rat.
"Let me get this straight," replied an incredulous Kim, "I've been eating caff slop, you've been in France for the last week, and *I'M* the one who hasn't head any real food?"
"They don't have nacos over there, y'know?"
Kim could only shake her head in disbelief. She'd given up to trying to understand the way Ron's brain worked a long time ago. Nonetheless, Ron and Rufus dug into the nacos as Kim began to scan the pictures. All packed and ready to go in Denver...Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris...the beautiful skyline of the City of Lights...the majestic Eiffel Tower...a souvenir picture from the tower with herself and Duff Killigan parachuting down in the background – wait, WHAT?
The redhead quickly stashed the offending picture at the back of the pile. Ron just couldn't see that picture, because it would so totally bust her; at the same time, she knew he had looked at them already and had to have seen it. She was partially right – while he had seen the picture, he hadn't looked at it long enough to realize that it was Kim in the background. And now, her nervousness tipped him off that something was up.
"What's the big, KP?" asked Ron.
Pretending nothing was wrong, Kim quickly responded, "What big?" But Ron wasn't buying it for a second.
Intrigued, Ron made a sudden grab for the stack, but Kim yanked the pictures up and out of his reach, and it quickly degenerated to Ron swatting at Kim's right hand while she used her left to keep him away. Rufus decided to jump in on his owner's behalf, trying to climb up Kim's arm to the pictures, but in Kim's haste to get him off of her, Kim smacked the photos right out of her hand, making a huge mess all over the table (except for the nacos, which Ron guarded as best he could).
Visibly embarrassed, Kim's face turned redder than her best friend's shirt as she buried her head in her hands on the table.
"Look what you did, Rufus," Ron quipped.
"Uh-uh, not my fault," replied Rufus, when something else caught his eye. "Ooh, nacos!"
Ron rolled his eyes – same old Rufus, he thought.
"It's alright," said Stoppable after a few seconds, "head up now, KP." Ron began to clear the loose pictures from the table, and as he did, the one with Kim in it caught his eye. He picked it up as Kim lifted her head off the table, hoping that Ron hadn't found the incriminating photo...
"Hey, buddy," said Ron to his best friend, "did you know about this?" Rufus climbed onto Ron's shoulder to get a better look at the picture.
"Uh-huh," affirmed the mole rat. Kim knew exactly which picture they were looking at (unless there was more than one?) and had an uneasy expression on her face as she prepared for the worst.
"So, Kim," continued Ron, "what did I miss?" She knew there was no sense hiding the facts any longer.
"Well, you remember the greeting card microchip we found right before you left?" Ron nodded his head affirmatively. "Somehow, right after you left, Rufus managed to eat it."
Ron looked at Rufus incredulously. "Why'd ya *do* that?"
"Idunno," responded Rufus with a shrug of his shoulders.
"We came here for supper – this very table, in fact – when Wade called me and said I needed to get Rufus back to safety, and then Monkey Fist showed up and did the whole 'monkey ninjas attack' spiel," said Kim, busting out the air quotes, "and while I was fighting them, he took Rufus." The mole rat shuddered at the memory.
"Monkey Fist went to France," continued Kim, "so I went after him and actually got Rufus back, but then Duff showed up with his stupid blimp and took him right out of my hands! I caught the blimp, but not only did he jump out right away, it was also a trap."
"Of course it was," said Ron.
"So I jumped out after him and since Killigan – how should I put this – um, isn't very aerodynamic, I caught up to him, which is when you called me the second time, when he was freaked out. Anyways, we landed on the Eiffel Tower, where Shego and Monkey Fist were both waiting for us. It wasn't as bad as it sounds, because the three of them most definitely *weren't* working together. So I beat 'em all and got Rufus back. No big."
"Yay," said Rufus, approving of the end of Kim's story.
"That's it?" inquired Ron.
"Yep," affirmed his lifelong friend.
"And you didn't tell me about it why?"
"Ron, you were *on vacation.* You were supposed to be having fun, relaxing, enjoying France, not worrying about hunting international criminals," Kim said.
"It would have been better than going to that boring art museum," countered Ron, causing Kim to roll her eyes once again at Ron's lack of appreciation for French culture. Ron paused for a second to collect his thoughts. "Kim?"
"Yes?" she responded.
"That wasn't it, was it?" As clueless as he can be around others, Kim thought, he sure knows how to read me. She shook her head slowly.
"You thought I was going to be mad at you." Yep, nailed it, she thought as she nodded affirmatively.
"For what?" Ron grinned. "Not being able to fight off a master of Mystical Monkey Power and four ninjas at the same time? Doing what we've been doing for years now? Going halfway around the world to try to rescue someone else's pet?" Kim smiled, as she could tell that he wasn't actually mad at her.
"Rufus isn't just 'somebody else's pet'," said Kim, using more air quotes to emphasize Ron's description, "he's your best friend. And I wasn't about to let anything happen to him."
"Well, that's why I left him with you," responded Ron. "And honestly, that's the same way I feel about you. If something would happen to you, especially when I was literally RIGHT THERE and could have done something about it, I'd never be able to forgive myself." Both teens sat in silence, digesting what he had just said.
"KP," continued Stoppable, "promise me you'll never do that to me again."
"I promise, Ron."
"Then, now that we have that settled," said Ron, "let's eat! These nacos aren't getting any warmer, y'know?"
To Kim Possible and Ron Stoppable alike, that sounded like a really good idea.