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Our Once A Month Romance

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            Ron groaned when the large number of ninja monkeys clambered all over his room. After the incident with Monkey Fist at Mr. Possible’s rocket fest, those monkeys have been infesting his room and ruining his life. They may be able to make themselves unnoticeable when he went to school, but he knows that they were following him everywhere.

            As he took his shower before turning in, he could see that the monkeys were doing their ninja training on his bed. This was almost the hundredth time they did that. His mother had warned him as a kid not to jump on the bed, which he finally didn’t, but now he was constantly blamed for something he didn’t do.

            “Ron Stoppable, you cease that bed-jumping right now!” Mrs. Stoppable said as she entered the room. The ninja monkeys immediately made themselves invisible, hiding at everywhere possible. Ron came out of his shower and protested.

            “Mom, it wasn’t me! I’m in the shower the whole time!”

            “Whatever you say, son,” Mrs. Stoppable ignored her son’s protest. “If I hear it one more time, you’re grounded!”

            As soon as his mother disappeared out of his room, the ninja monkeys reappeared slowly. Ron glared at them venomously and yelled at them, “That’s it! I had enough of your silly little monkey business! I may have lost a little bit of fear about you guys, thanks to Frederick the monkey astronaut, but this is too much! You guys are going to sleep outside! Shoo! Get out of my room, NOW!!”

            The ninja monkeys lowered their heads as they climbed out of the window and perched onto the tall willow tree near Ron’s window. Ron sighed in relief and shut the window, turning on the air-conditioner. As he slipped into his pajamas, he realized that he had forgotten something.

            “Oh yeah, I forgot. I promised Frederick that I’ll email to him.”

            He quickly sat in front of his computer and typed his message to the monkey astronaut. The ninja monkeys, who were peeking through Ron’s closed window, nodded at each other in agreement.

**

            Ron was awakened by the smell of incense. He sat up and groaned. He felt as if he had been through a long, tired journey for days. When he opened his eyes, he found himself in the middle of a huge ninja training hall. At a corner stacked loads of ninja weapons, another corner was a shelf with jars of the ashes of dead ninjas, and another corner was a table stacked with scrolls and parchments.

            “What is this place?” Ron could hear his voice echoing in the hall. Rufus, who usually accompanied him everywhere he went, wasn’t with him. He suddenly felt so empty. He stood up and looked around some more.

            A few distances in front of him, Ron saw a parchment and a long table with burning incense at each corner. In the middle of the table was some long curved object he couldn’t quite make out. The ninja monkeys stood in a long file at his left and right. One of the monkeys approached Ron and held out its paw. Ron took it hesitantly and was led by the monkey towards the long table. Three more monkeys came and knelt behind him. The monkey that led him also did the same, so Ron assumed that he had to do the same too.

            That was when he noticed that the long curved object was actually a banana made out of pure gold. Ron gaped in awe. He was about to touch it when the banana suddenly twitched and peeled itself. Ron shot his hand away and gasped. He wanted to back away and get out of the place but his knees suddenly felt weak. He was rooted to the spot. A flash of green light emitted from the golden banana and out came a fat monk with a monkey on his shoulder.

            “Welcome, my ultimate monkey ninja. I’m so glad you made it here,” the monk said in a kind voice.

            “Ultimate…monkey ninja?” Ron wrinkled his nose. “Oh, no, no, no! You got the wrong guy here! I’m not some monkey ninja. I’m nowhere near the monkey species! I’m Ronald Dean Stoppable, just a typical Middleton High schoolboy!”

            “I’m sorry, Ron Stoppable,” the monk replied. “I’m afraid I didn’t tell you much about your destiny now, did I?”

            “Obviously not! Would you mind telling me what the heck am I doing here with all these monkeys? Why are they always following me?! I can’t seem to get rid of them!”

            “All will be explained, Ron. But first, let me ask you something. Do you remember the first time you fought with Monkey Fist?”

            “How did you know…?” Ron stopped when the monk had that I-know-everything look on his face. He frowned and said, “Yeah, of course. How can I forget? I had to become what I hate the most! Ugh!”

            “It was quite a challenge for you, is it not, Ron?”

            “Duh! It’s more than just a challenge, it was a nightmare! But I got to admit, the power was pretty cool!”

            “Pretty interesting, is it not?” the monk smiled.

            “So…what does that have to do with…me being here?” Ron eyed at the monk suspiciously.

            “Ronald Dean Stoppable, you have been chosen by the prophecy to become the legendary Ultimate Monkey Ninja. You are going to be the leader of these monkeys and fight to bring prosperity to the world and carry on the tradition of the art of monkey ninja.”

            Ron’s eyes became as big as a pair of ping-pong balls. He was speechless for a while. A few seconds later he exploded, “WHAT?! Me?! Become entirely something that I hate the most and live with these…these creatures for the rest of my life?! You gotta be kidding me, man!”

            “No, child, I am not trying to fool you. The prophecy has spoken. It is your destiny, whether you like it or not.”

            “But…But why me?! Why does it have to be me?!” Ron asked, desperate to know that this is all just a hoax.

            “You see, Ron,” the monk said as he formed an aura on his palm, showing the four monkey mini-statues and a drawing of a person in the middle, “the prophecy has said that the ultimate monkey ninja has to be someone that can overcome his distaste for one of the most remarkable species in the human race: monkeys. You have done the unbearable: you accepted the power of the monkey statues even though you hated monkeys, you defeated Monkey Fist using the power that you detest the most, and you have overcome your fear of monkeys by tolerating these ninja monkeys and befriended Frederick, the monkey who has taken you to the stars.”

            “Yeah…so?” Ron was still unsatisfied.

            “My child, you have to embrace the prophecy. It has chosen you to become the ultimate monkey ninja. You have completed every test that was laid out to you for this position. Do not fight the prophecy, Ron. It is irreversible.”

            Ron wanted to protest some more but he couldn’t help feeling a sad aura around him. He turned around and looked at all the ninja monkeys. They were all kneeling down in front of him, their heads on the floor of the hall. The four monkeys that were kneeling behind him had those lost, sad eyes, begging Ron to accept the truth. Out of the blue, he heard all the monkeys’ voices pleading, “Help us, master. We are lost. Help us. Lead us.”

            Ron was startled, “I…I don’t believe this…I’m hearing their voices. I’m actually hearing their voices!”

            “The power has begun to expand. The power you have absorbed from the monkey statues is still in you and it’s growing,” the monk replied. “You are the one, Ron. You are the Ultimate Monkey Ninja.”

            Ron looked slowly from the monk to the ninja monkeys. If he were to accept this prophecy, he would be totally isolated from the world forever. He would become someone, or something, that was far beyond the human recognition. He won’t be able to see his parents, his friends, Rufus, and most importantly, Kimberly Anne Possible who he had a crush for so long.

            “If I become the ultimate monkey ninja, I’ll have to be here like…for the rest of my life…right?” Ron asked hesitantly.

            “I’m afraid so,” the monk replied apologetically. “This position is a solitary thing. You have to face the world alone.”

            Ron sighed in defeat as he asked, “Then…can I at least say goodbye to my friends and family?”

            The monk nodded and said, “You have three days to complete all your unfinished business. After that, one of your minions will come and get you.”

            Ron sat down with a sad look on his face. He had to put out a list of what to do once he gets home. He turned back to the monk and said, “Alright. I accept the contract. You better promise me that I get my three days.”

            “We never lie and we never break our promise. Now, Ron, hold out your right palm.”

            Ron did as he was told. Suddenly he felt his palm burning. The heat traveled through his hand into his whole body. He felt as if he was burnt alive. The heat was so searingly painful that he even lost all his strength to scream. He felt his world spinning, going darker and darker and…

            When Ron opened his eyes, he found himself back in his bed. He was about to think that this whole thing was a dream when he saw the mark on his right palm. It was the burnt mark of a ninja monkey, still quite fresh and still stinging and throbbing in pain. Ron winced when he touched and sighed sadly.

            “What am I going to tell KP?”

Chapter Text

            Ron got up slowly and cleaned himself. He was really quiet during breakfast, which surprised not only Mr. and Mrs. Stoppable, but also Rufus.

            “Honey, are you alright?” Mrs. Stoppable asked, touching her son’s forehead. “You don’t seem to be running a fever, though. What’s wrong?”

            “Yes, son, what is the matter? Anything to share with your dear ol’ parents here?” Mr. Stoppable asked, adjusting his glasses.

            “Nothing, Mom. Nothing, Dad. Just didn’t get much sleep last night, that’s all,” Ron replied, completely ignoring Rufus who was burying himself inside his cereal bowl chomping away the cornflakes.

            “You know, son, nothing beats a day with nice cup of coffee,” Mr. Stoppable said cheerfully as he poured more coffee into his cup. He passed it to Ron and said, “Go on, son. Have a drink.”

            “Dear!” Mrs. Stoppable pushed the cup away from Ron’s hand. “You know he’s not the age of drinking caffeine yet!”

            “Thanks, Dad,” Ron said gloomily, ignoring his mother’s protests as he took the cup. He actually drained the lukewarm coffee down without much consideration whether it was going to burn his tongue or not. His parents looked at him in disbelief as he finished the last drop of the coffee and said, “That was pretty good. Come on, Rufus. Let’s go get Kim.”

            Rufus whined as he jumped into Ron’s multi-pocket jeans. He was also worried about Ron’s sudden change of attitude. He left without saying goodbye, leaving his parents filled with questions.

            “Dear,” Mrs. Stoppable finally found her voice. “Did you see a burnt mark on Ron’s hand?”

**

            As usual, Ron went to Kim’s home to fetch her and walk with her together to school. It was his normal yet glorious routine. Only this time, his heart was sinking at the thought of not being able to walk her to school anymore. But before he reached Kim’s home, he made sure that he brought enough bandages to cover up the burnt mark.

            “Earth to Ron!” Kim said, waving her hand in front of his eyes. “You are way too quiet today. It’s not like you, Ron. Anything bothering you?”

            “Lack of sleep, that’s all,” Ron used the same excuse.

            “Tell me about it!” Kim rolled her eyes. “Insomnia is so not the kick! It can drive you up the wall! You should try to get some early shut-eye at night. It might help a little.”

            “What’s with your hand?” Kim noticed the bandage on his right hand.

            “Oh, it’s just a normal cut, that’s all. I sorta cut my hand when I’m helping my Mom in the kitchen.”

            “You ought to be more careful next time,” Kim shook her head weakly.

            Ron felt a little better listening to Kim. The day seemed to be brighter for him when Kim’s around. Yet once they reached school, the situation might not seem too good.

            “Hey, doofus! Where do you think you’re going?”

            Ron cursed silently. It was those bullies again. They were still after him even after Kim taught them a pretty good lesson when their brains got switched. Ron decided to ignore them.

            “Hey, Stoppable! I’m talking to you here!” the tall, fat bully bellowed. It was obvious that they won’t leave him alone unless he did something. He turned around to face them.

            “Look, guys, I’m not in a mood right now, so if you’ll excuse me, I have a class to attend.”

            “Oh, talking back, eh?” the fat one said as he took Ron’s collar. “Well, I ain’t gonna leave you alone. You still owe me money big time!”

            “Hey, you guys leave him alone!” Kim warned but she was ignored by the bullies.

            “Oh, just take it!” Ron said as he flung his wallet at them after taking out his IC. The tall bully was surprised and angered at Ron’s sudden bravery.

            “Nobody plays rough with the Big Guy and gets away with it!” the shorter bully growled and aimed a punch onto Ron’s stomach. That was when Ron really exploded. He kicked the shortie twice the force he gave on his stomach, grabbed the hands of the tall bully that were holding his collar, picked him up amazingly and threw him onto the lockers, making a dent on them. He pounced on the tall bully and aimed more punches onto his gut.

            Everyone gasped when they saw Ron actually beating up a person twice his size. Kim, Monique and, surprisingly, Bonnie and a whole lot of other people had to pull him away from them. The bullies ran away painfully, screaming murder. Ron breathed heavily, his eyes a dangerous look, as if he wanted to just end their lives there and then.

            “What is wrong with you, Ron?” Kim said, almost panicked. “You’re never this aggressive before! What’s gotten into you, Ron?!”

            “I…I’m sorry,” Ron said as he caught his breath. “I sorta lost control. It won’t happen again.”

            “Lost control? That is totally an understatement here!”

            “Looks like someone’s been in the stupid Buenos Nacho for too long. He’s got an overdose of soda and hot chili nachos,” Bonnie smirked before walking away from the glaring Kim.

            “You lucky that ol’ colonel is not around, or you’ll get detention,” Monique said. “You guys better split before he actually catches you, Ron.”

            As Ron and Kim dashed off to social studies class, Kim wanted to confirm her suspicions again, “Are you sure you’re alright, Ron? I’ve seen people being aggressive when they get insomnia but not like this.”

            “I’m fine, KP, I’m fine. It’s just…I’m just so sick of being bullied again and again and again. I don’t want to end up such a loser anymore, that’s all.”

            “Woah, Ron. You seemed as if you’ve just went under the lane of depression. Is your lack of sleep that bad?”

            “Let’s go to class and get over with the day, alright?” Ron said as he took Kim’s hand to urge her to walk faster. “Life’s just too short to worry about things.”

**

            Ron and Kim were at their usual haunt: Buenos Nacho. Ron ordered a shocking set of four tortillas, three boxes of nachos with melted cheese, two cups of sodas and three bowls of sundaes. Kim and Rufus gaped at the amount of food he was going to shove into his gut.

            “Are you really, REALLY sure you’re feeling OK? I mean…this is so not you!”

            “What? I’m just exceptionally hungry today, that’s all. It’s OK, Rufus, you can have this box of nachos.” Ron said as he pushed the box towards Rufus. Rufus soon forgot about Ron’s sudden huge appetite and dunked into the box of nachos.

            “Uh, yeah, but…you are actually going to stuff all these into your gut! Don’t you think it’s a little odd?” Kim said, pointing at all the nachos, tortillas, sodas and sundaes. Even the other guests were watching.

            “So?”

            “Alright, who are you and where’s the real Ron?” Kim said as she stared solemnly into Ron’s hazel-brown eyes. Ron blushed as he pushed her away.

            “Hey, come on! It’s me, really! The same ol’ cool Ronald Dean Stoppable, the handsome ol’ KP’s sidekick! Really, KP, I’m just a tad hungry, that’s all! Tell you what, after this, let’s go to a movie.”

            “What?” Kim wrinkled her nose in disbelief.

           “I mean it,” Ron said as he drank his soda, “let’s go watch a movie after this. Then we can go shopping or something. My treat.”

            “Ron…?” Kim was about to ask him but Ron cut her short.

            “I’ve been saving, don’t worry! Let’s have some fun, OK? Just for one lousy day! Come on!”

            Even Rufus egged her on. Kim sighed in defeat.

            “Alright, you win. I still don’t know what’s going on here but I’m not going to let this free opportunity go now, aren’t I? Bring it on!”

            So, for the whole day, Ron and Kim (and Rufus) went on a fun-filled trip. First they went to the cinemas to watch some romantic movie. Either Kim was too engrossed on the movie or Ron was too gentle, but when Ron wrapped his arm around Kim’s shoulders, she didn’t even flinch. She even laid her head on Ron’s shoulder. Uncanny, huh?

            Then they went on a shopping spree. Ron did not complain about the difference between Smarty Mart and Club Banana this time. He just let Kim buy whatever she wanted. Of course, Kim didn’t buy that much. She only got herself a set of army clothing and some body-fit belly button T-shirts. The rest was just window shopping.

            Later, they passed by the pet shop. Rufus, who was riding on Ron’s shoulder, turned to look at a tiny box at the corner of the display section. He sighed as he went weak all over. Ron noticed his yearning eyes and looked into the tiny box. There, dressed in a pink ribbon was a female naked mole rat. She was as cute and as pretty as Rufus was cute and handsome. She also had the same yearning eyes like Rufus when she saw him. Ron grinned and said, “You want her, don’t you?”

            “Uh-huh. Uh-huh!” Rufus nodded eagerly.

            “Then let’s get you your girlfriend!”

            “Rufus actually had a crush for this female naked mole rat?” Kim said as she peered into the tiny box.

            “He’s been crazy about her for a very long time now,” Ron replied. “It’s just that I often forgot about her because of all these missions and stuff. Funny though, no one seems to want to buy her. Lucky Rufus!”

            The next thing they knew, they were out of the pet shop with Rufus and the female naked mole rat in Ron’s multi-pocket jeans.

**

            Ron was much lively when he came home, much to Mr. and Mrs. Stoppable’s relief. He chit-chatted about his day with Kim and introduced the female naked mole rat he got for Rufus. He celebrated it by making a silly ‘wedding’ out of them, and him being the conductor of the ‘ceremony’. Mr. and Mrs. Stoppable smiled at their son who could never get enough out of fussing his naked mole rats.

            He gave Kim a call and chit-chatted for about an hour before Mrs. Stoppable told him to get off the phone. He looked pretty perky for the whole day. He had a smile when he took his shower before bed. He was quite happy when he wore his pajamas, and he definitely beamed when he sent yet another email to Frederick.

            Yet when he turned off the lights and tucked himself to bed, he suddenly became depressed all over again. He still hadn’t gotten over the fact that he was going to leave Middleton forever. Throughout his whole day, he was actually faking his enthusiasm and happiness. The part about stuffing his gut was actually to stuff his aching heart before he broke down into tears all over Kim. He wanted so badly to spend his remaining days happily with Kim that he made the burden in his heart even heavier.

            He never knew that pretending to be happy when you’re not would be so heart-breaking.

            He cried all night, until he cried himself to sleep.

Chapter Text

            His three days were almost up. He had done as much as he could do. He had gotten his secret luggage all packed and hidden under his bed, ready whenever the ninja monkey comes to fetch him. He had written his letter of resignation to the school (behind everyone’s back, of course). He had written the note to his parents stating his goodbyes. He bought the mate that Rufus has been in love with all his life and named her Tanya. He had done almost everything: from giving away his stuff to cleaning up his room for that somebody who might come to rent the room when he’s gone.

            He had only one more thing left to do.

            Telling Kim the truth.

            On his last day of his stay, he didn’t go to school. He went out in the morning as usual but he didn’t go to Kim’s house or went anywhere near the direction of the school. He took a detour and went to Monique’s house. Monique was coming out of her house and was surprised to see Ron coming towards her.

            “Hey, Ron! What brings you here? Where’s Kim?”

            “No time to explain. Can you do me a favour?”

            “What’s in it for me?” Monique eyed Ron suspiciously.

            “A full collection of wrestling DVDs, one of them featuring the fight between Steel Toe and Pain King,” Ron replied as he fished out the plastic bag filled with the DVDs in them. Monique snatched them immediately, an ecstatic look on her face.

            “What’s the favour?”

            “Give this brown envelope to the Principal and this blue envelope to KP.”

            “Why don’t you give it to them yourself?” Monique asked, taking the envelopes.

            “I…uh…got some things to take care of,” Ron replied as he ran off. “Bye, Monique!”

            Monique blinked her eyes in confusion.

**

            “Ron gave me this?” Kim asked, surprised.

            “That’s what he asked me to do,” Monique shrugged.

            “Why didn’t he give it to me himself?”

            “I asked him the same question. He said he had some things to take care of. I have no idea what. He even asked me to give the principal this brown envelope.”

            “What’s it about?” Kim eyed at the brown envelope suspiciously.

            “Beats me,” Monique replied. “Wanna check it out?”

            “So indeed!”

            The girls peeled the envelope open and took out the printed letter. They gasped when they saw that it was Ron asking for resignation from the school. They were speechless for a moment before Kim finally said, “OK, this is definitely so not Ron! Why would he want to quit school?”

            “I dunno. Maybe you should check out the letter he gave you.”

            Without a second thought, Kim peeled the envelope and read the words written in bold:

 

MEET ME AT BUENOS NACHOS AFTER SCHOOL. I GOT SOMETHING TO TELL YOU.

RON

 

            “So are you going to see him after school?” Monique asked.

            “What do you mean after school?! I’m going there right now!”

            So saying, Kim dashed down the corridor and out of the school.

**

            Ron spent his day at Buenos Nacho. He drank sodas, crunched a few boxes of nachos, walked outside the restaurant for some fresh air, then went back in again to play the juke box before sitting back at his spot to lick the chocolate sauce out of his sundae spoon. He was surprised when Kim suddenly dashed into the restaurant and walking quickly towards him.

            “Hey, KP! Why are you here? It’s not even after school yet…”

            “Ron, what is going on here?” Kim demanded. “A few days ago, you were suddenly so nice to me. You suddenly become aggressive to those bullies. You took me out to the movies, shopping and all sorts. And now you suddenly want to quit school! You…What is wrong with you, Ron? Why won’t you tell me anything?!”

            Ron removed the bandage on his hand and showed her the burnt mark of the ninja monkey. Kim stared at it intently before Ron slowly took his hand away. Without a word, he took out Rufus and Tanya and put them onto Kim’s shoulder.

            “Ron, what is this? Why are you giving me Rufus and Tanya?” Kim asked. Ron still stood there, gazing sadly into Kim’s forest-green eyes. How was he going to say it? How was he going to tell her that he was going to leave her forever, never to return? How could he even find the heart to tell her anything at all?

            “Ron, you’re scaring me. What’s all this? What was that mark about? I thought you cut your hand?”

           Silence.

            “Ron, talk to me please. You’re scaring me,” Kim was in the verge of breaking into tears. Still, Ron remained stationary. Ron couldn’t face the fact that he was actually going to leave his crush forever. He couldn’t tell her. He just couldn’t! This wasn’t fair! This wasn’t fair at all!!

            Finally, as a last resort, he hugged Kim’s waist and held her close to his chest. He smelt her fragrant auburn hair, closing his eyes to feel every inch of Kim’s body on him. He wished he didn’t have to let go. He wished this prophecy never existed. That way, he wouldn’t have to put up with all this terribleness he had to go through right now.

            “Ron…?” He could hear her voice calling her but he still didn’t want to let go. ‘If I could just have 5 more minutes,’ he thought, ‘just a few god damn minutes with KP. Please!’

            “I love you, Kim,” Ron whispered to her ear. “I love you so much. I love you more than anything else combined.”

            With that, he took Kim’s face and kissed her deeply.

            When they parted, Ron half-expected for Kim to slap him for embarrassing her and kissing her in public. Yet he didn’t get what he expects he would get. Instead, Kim flung her arms around Ron and sobbed. No words were spoken between them. Kim took Ron’s face and it was her turn to kiss him back. She was kissing him between tears but she didn’t care. She wanted him so much that she couldn’t care about the world anymore.

            Ron kissed her back more gently, guiding her mouth to be less ‘vicious’. They didn’t care about the people who were watching them. They just kissed.

            Finally, they parted. Ron stared sadly at Kim one last time before running out of the restaurant. Rufus and Tanya whined, still not sure about what was really going on in Ron’s mind. Kim stared tearfully as Ron continued to run until he disappeared out of sight.

            Kim took out her Kimmunicator and called Wade, “Wade, we need to talk.”

            “Woah, Kim, what happened?” Wade asked, worried. “You look like you just cried a storm.”

            “Never mind that,” Kim wiped her tears hastily. “Just tell me what do you know about ninja monkeys.”

            “I thought Monkey Fist is already in bars. I always scan the city prison and I still see a very sad and weak Monkey Fist behind bars already.”

            “No, there’s nothing to do with him. I’m talking about Ron. He’s got a sign or a burnt mark on his right palm. I think it’s something to do with the prophecy Monkey Fist’s been babbling about.”

            “I’ll check,” Wade clicked on his trusty computer and got the answers immediately. He then told her everything about the legend of the Ultimate Monkey Ninja and its conditions to be one.

            Kim began to cry again as she understood everything that was actually going on.

Chapter Text

           Ron sat quietly on his bed, waiting for the ninja monkey to come. He stole a glance at the digital clock beside his bed: 10.30. Ron sighed. ‘Any minute now,’ he thought.

            Suddenly he heard some rustling coming from his willow tree. That was the sign. He took out his luggage from under the bed and walked towards the window. He was ready for his fate, for his destiny and for his new life.

            “Ron, help me up!”

            Ron was stunned. That wasn’t the monkey’s voice; it was Kim’s! He lowered his head to see Kim clambering up the tree, struggling through the thick branches and pushing past the dense leaves. Ron held out his hand and pulled her up and through his window into his room. He was careful not to make any noise.

            “Kim, what are you doing here?” Ron hissed, afraid that his parents would hear them. “Do you know what time it is?”

            “Only 10.30,” Kim replied, showing him her digital watch. She got on her feet and walked around his house. She saw the note for his parents on the table and said, “A real cliché way to say goodbye to your parents, huh?”

            “I couldn’t tell them face to face. It’ll crush them,” Ron replied as he sat back on his bed.

            Kim sat beside him and said hesitantly, “I…uh…I know about the…you know, the sign on your palm is all about.”

            Ron looked at the ninja monkey sign on his palm and sighed heavily.

            “Did it hurt?” Kim asked as she fingered the sign.

            “Like hell,” Ron grinned, clutching his hand shut, holding Kim’s fingers in the process.

            “Do you really have to go, Ron?”

            “I don’t have much of a choice now, do I?”

            Kim hugged Ron on his waist and laid her head on his shoulder, saying, “I don’t want you to go. I can’t let you go.”

            “Kim, the prophecy is irreversible. Even if you try to change it, it’ll still bounce back to me. Embracing it is the only way. Don’t make this hard on me, please.”

            “It’s all my fault,” Kim began to sob. “If I hadn’t accepted Monkey Fist’s invitation to find those mini monkey statues, you wouldn’t end up like this. Maybe you wouldn’t be chosen to become the Ultimate Monkey Ninja.”

            “I’m already chosen whether I took in the power of the statues or not,” Ron took Kim’s arms away from his waist. “There’s no use regretting anything now.”

            There was a momentary silence between them. The silence was so thick it felt suffocating. Kim inched closer towards Ron and said, “I never thought about this much before. I took our friendship for granted and now that you’re going, I finally realized that…I…I love you too. I never knew how you feel for me. I’m so not considerate about…”

            Ron put his hand on her lips to stop her from blaming herself. He closed his eyes and laid his lips on Kim’s, kissing her tenderly. Kim returned his kiss and put her arms around Ron, not wanting to let him go. Slowly, Ron felt Kim unbuttoning his jeans. He was quite taken aback at first but finally he let her do whatever she wanted. This was his last day in Middleton and certainly his last time in Kim’s arms. He wanted to savour this moment before his time was up.

            He, too, slipped his hands into Kim’s body-fit green singlet and caressed her breasts. Kim removed the rest of Ron’s clothes and started nibbling his ear, breathing onto his neck. Ron leaned over to kiss her shoulder, licking her like she was a melting ice-cream. He slowly advanced to her neck and removed her singlet. Kim was lost into the sea of passion. She forgot everything else in the world as she felt her body being tantalized by Ron’s soft touch. Everything else was a blur except him. She could feel his bare broad chest and his toned muscles. She was surprised at how well-built Ron had turned out to be after all these years of being her sidekick. She took his face and kissed him deeply. He laid her down slowly on his bed and kissed her some more, making her feel really ecstatic.

            “I’ll be very gentle, Kim,” Ron whispered as he smelt her auburn hair. It smelt of lavender, and it was obvious that Kim had been ready all along. He didn’t mind. As he caressed Kim’s body, he slowly let himself in.

            Kim winced and moaned a little when she felt Ron entering her but she didn’t care. All she wanted was to be with her Ron and nothing else. She cried not because of the pain; the pain was nothing to her. She cried because she knew that after this romantic, eventful ordeal, she would never see Ron ever again. She wound her arms around his neck and kissed him hungrily, trying to swallow the bitterness that was raging in her heart. Ron whispered comforting words as he licked the tears that were flowing out of her eyes, which made her feel even more bitter.

            ‘I’ll never hear these lovely words again. I’ll never even hear his voice again,’ Kim thought as Ron nibbled her neck. ‘This is not fair! So not fair! Why does Ron always have such ill luck? Why?’ The more she thought about it, the more bitter she felt and the more she cried.

            As the night passed by, Ron and Kim continued to feel each other’s passion as much as they could…

**

            “Master, master, awake.”

            Ron slowly opened his eyes. He saw the ninja monkey beside his bed, shaking him lightly to wake him. Ron knew that this time, he was really leaving. He sat up slowly and whispered, “Do I have to go?”

            “The time has come, master. You must leave now.”

            As he dressed, he saw Kim slowly stirring. She opened her eyes and saw Ron ready to leave, taking a ninja monkey’s paw. She quickly dressed and said, “Ron, please…”

            “I have to go, KP,” Ron said, his eyes a sad and reluctant look.

            “I’m coming with you.”

            “KP, you don’t understand. I have to do this alone.”

            “She can come, master,” the ninja monkey said. “But only to see the ceremony.”

            Ron looked from the monkey to Kim. Kim’s eyes were gleaming with determination. Those eyes. Those beautiful eyes. He could never resist them.

            Finally he took her hand too and they both disappeared into the night.

Chapter Text

            Kim opened her eyes and found herself in the ninja training hall with Ron and a whole bunch of monkey ninjas. She widened her eyes in awe as she looked around the hall. Everything was exactly like those ninja halls she and her twin brothers watched together in Chinese movies (like Jackie Chan’s movie, for instance).

            As she continued to watch, she noticed Ron moving towards the table with incense. The monkeys walked towards the table’s direction too and knelt down. Four of those monkeys came behind Ron and knelt down too. Ron did the same. Kim stared at the golden banana as it twitched and peeled itself. She moved closer pass the kneeling monkeys towards Ron who was kneeling right in front of the banana. She gasped when she saw the monk popped out of the green light emitted from the banana.

            “Looks like we have a guest,” the monk noticed Kim and smiled kindly. “Is she your woman, Ron?”

            Ron blushed through his freckles and nodded.

            “There’s nothing to be embarrassed about. You must be Kimberly Anne Possible, the world’s famous crime-fighter.”

            “How did you know?” Kim said, but the monk’s I-know-everything eyes answered her question.

            “Are you ready for the acceptance of the prophecy?” the monk turned to Ron.

            Ron began to contemplate the whole thing again. He had done everything he could do in the last three days. He had spent enough happy days with Kim. He got Rufus a girlfriend to keep him from being alone for the rest of his life. And he also had spent a night of passion with Kim. Yes, everything was quite enough for him.

            Except for one thing.

            “Excuse me a second,” Ron said as he got up. He stepped away from the table and walked towards Kim. Kim was surprised. Was he going to withdraw from the prophecy? Was he going to fight the prophecy and asked her to take him back to Middleton? ‘Please, please let it be so, please! Oh God, please let it be so!’

            She was in for a disappointment.

            Ron took her face, gazed deep into her forest-green eyes and kissed her briefly on her lips. It was short and brief, not the long, deep and passionate one. Ron opened his hazel-brown eyes and said, “Goodbye, KP.”

            Kim was taken aback. She didn’t think that he had actually made his mind. She grabbed his hand, not wanting him to go, but Ron actually tried to shake her away. When she refused to let go, the sign on his palm started to heat up and burn her, forcing her to let go. As she stared in disbelief at Ron, Ron gave her a sad look and whispered, “I’m sorry.”

            Ron advanced back to the table. Kim wanted to run over and hold him in her arms but the monkeys held her back, not allowing her to pass. Kim began to cry again. She didn’t want him to go. She didn’t want him to change. She only wanted her Ron; her clumsy, funny, loveable friend. The one she ever loved.

            “I am ready,” Ron said in a determined voice. The monk nodded. He formed a bowl filled with crystal clear liquid and handed it to Ron. Ron took it hesitantly.

            “Drink this and you will be the legendary Ultimate Monkey Ninja. You will forget everything you were, including your past and your life.”

            Ron gazed into the drink and said, “Oh well, one way to stop myself from wallowing in self-pity.”

            Without another thought, he drained the whole bowl of its content. As soon he swallowed the last drop, he felt the change in him. His blonde hair began to grow long until it reached his elbows. His freckles disappeared and there were hair growing on his arms and feet. His clothes tore and there were more blonde hair growing on his back. His fangs slightly protruded and his hazel-brown eyes became darker and colder. His head began to ache and he shouted out loud in pain. He fell to the floor and rolled all over, clutching his aching head. It felt as if it was exploding.

            “Ron! Ron, oh God, what have you done to him?! RON!!” Kim wanted to run to him and help him but the monkeys still held her back. Kim struggled to get to him but she was outnumbered by well-trained ninja monkeys.

            Slowly Ron stopped rolling on the hall floor. He stayed there not moving for a few minutes before slowly getting up onto his feet. He tried to catch his breath and regain his composure. One of the monkeys handed him a robe to wear. When he looked up, he was completely a different man. The monkeys finally let Kim go. She ran towards him and noticed that he had actually grown taller.

            “Oh, thank God you’re alright, Ron! Are you OK? Are you hurt anywhere?” Kim asked worriedly. Ron took her hand away from his forehead and stared at her with his cold, expressionless eyes.

            “Do I know you?”

            “What?” Kim was shocked to receive this response.

            “Who are you? Who is this Ron you’re talking about? You must have mistaken,” Ron said as he walked towards the table and knelt down in front of it.

            “Welcome, my Ultimate Ninja Monkey. From now on, your name will be Wang Ching (Forgotten Love),” the monk said with a relief in his eyes.

            “Thank you, master,” Ron nodded his head. His voice seemed much deeper than before.

            “What’s going on here?!” Kim demanded as she advanced towards the monk. “What’s happened to him? Why doesn’t he recognize me anymore?! Why doesn’t he even know his real name?!”

            “My child, I am sorry to let you into this, but you see, if he were to become the ultimate monkey ninja, he has to forget everything he used to be. It is not wise for him to still dwell in the past because his role is very important. He must not hesitate to do anything that can bring peace and prosperity to the world. You know his attitude before he embraced this prophecy. He must eliminate that past so that he can complete his task easier.”

            “Then, does this means he…?” Kim didn’t dare to ask the woeful question.

            “Yes, my child. He had forgotten everything—his friends, his family, even his love towards you. He may have the righteousness, kindness, compassion and every other emotion a man has, but he is unable to love someone back anymore. His life and work is a solitary task now.”

            Kim fell onto her knees and burst into tears. How could this be happening? Ron has forgotten everything he and she had ever been through. He had forgotten Middleton, Monique, his parents, Rufus, all the missions he and she had encountered and now he had forgotten her! This wasn’t fair! Why fate had to do this to Ron? Haven’t he had enough ill luck already?

            Suddenly she felt Ron’s hand on her shoulder. She looked up and saw Ron smiling at her kindly. She was hopeful that the old Ron was still there, but she was crushed yet again when Ron said, “Don’t be sad. The Ron you’re looking for might be somewhere else. You just have to continue looking. Will one of you take her home, please?”

            “Ron, don’t you remember me at all? It’s me, Kimberly Anne Possible! Kim, KP, you best friend since pre-school! You have to remember! Please, Ron, you have to remember!”

            “Goodbye, lady, whoever you are. Take her home, please.”

            One of the monkeys took her by the hand and led her out of the training hall. Kim took one last sad look at Ron tearfully as she disappeared out of sight and, the next minute, found herself back in her own room. Rufus and Tanya awoke from their sleep and whined, wanting to know what happened and where was Ron.

            Kim took them into her arms and hugged them, crying bitterly.

            She had actually loved and lost someone that was so precious in her life all this while.

Chapter Text

            Life really dragged without Ron around. She woke exceptionally early everyday hoping that Ron would appear at her door as usual to walk with her to school, and everyday she was disappointed. Monique became Ron’s substitute to walk Kim to school but it was not what she wanted.

            But, of course, losing someone doesn’t mean you have to diss-out everyone else, so she had to accept Monique’s kind effort.

            Going out on missions were never the same again. Although Wade did not attempt to get Kim a new partner, she still felt empty inside. Even if she did complete the mission, she still thought that this job is undone without Ron. Rufus and Tanya were a big help towards her mission, but it was still not enough.

            One day, when she was lazily sipping her soda in Buenos Nacho, her Kimmunicator beeped. She didn’t attempt to pick it up. What’s the use? She would only go to another boring mission as a Lone Ranger anyway. Rufus took the call instead.

            “Rufus? Is that you? Get Kim on the Kimmunicator,” Wade’s voice sounded urgent.

            Rufus stole a glance at Kim. She shook her head, refusing to answer the call. Rufus turned back to Wade and shook his head, saying, “Uh-uh. Uh-uh. No talk, no talk.”

            “Kim, you gotta stop wallowing in self-pity!” Wade urged. “Pick up the Kimmunicator, Kim. You have an urgent mission to complete.”

            Kim finally sighed and took the Kimmunicator from Rufus and said weakly, “Alright, Wade. What’s the psych?”

            “Monkey Fist has escaped. He was supposed to be relocated in a mental institute in Colorado but on the way, he trashed the driver, the security who went with him and broke out of the van. He is now heading to China.”

            “So?” Kim asked uninterestedly.

            “He is going to fulfill the prophecy, that’s so! Or in his case, rewrite the prophecy. I don’t know how he did it, but he had found out about the prophecy. He found out about Ron! Kim, he is going to kill Ron if you don’t go there!”

            Kim was immediately alert. It has been almost a month since she seen him and now that Monkey Fist is on the loose, he will be able to lead her to her beloved Ron! She brought the Kimmunicator close to her and said, “Get me the fastest transport to China A.S.A.P!”

            “Already did,” Wade smiled as he clicked the keyboard.

            Soon, Kim found herself whisking away on a jet plane to the East.

**

            Monkey Fist was standing on a skyscraper of Beijing, the central town of China. He looked pretty nasty and upset, and he definitely was upset about something.

            “This cannot be happening! I was to be the Ultimate Monkey Ninja, not that blonde monkey-phobic loser! It was supposed to be me! Not him! It’s not fair!”

            As he looked down to the busy road below, his heart boiled even more. He couldn’t believe that the prophecy (he assumed) was meant for him could be taken away by the blonde who had defeated him twice in a row. He swore that he would kill this blonde and rewrite the prophecy to make it his.    

            “Come on, Ron Stoppable, you and I have a serious prophecy to correct.” Monkey Fist rubbed his palms with glee as he planned deliciously on how to destroy Ron.

            “I am here, Monkey Fist.”

            Monkey Fist turned around to see Ron standing behind him, his long, blonde hair billowing like a bright hood over his head by the wind. He had his black ninja suit on, and his hazel-brown eyes reflected by the moon were cold and expressionless.

            “Nice hair-do, Ron,” Monkey Fist said sarcastically. “Or should I say, ‘Ultimate Monkey Ninja’. I wonder who did the hair for you. Kim Possible, I presume?”

            “I don’t know who this Kim Possible is,” Ron replied as he struck a ninja pose, “but I know that you are going to ruin the prophecy for your own benefits. Prepare to meet your doom, Monkey Fist.”

            “I was about to say the same thing about you,” Monkey Fist grinned as he struck a pose himself. As they glared at each other, they knew that their fight has begun.

**

            Kim got off the jet as soon as she reached the plains of China. She hitched a ride to Beijing on a chicken truck. Once she got there, she took out the Kimmunicator and said, “Wade, any idea which part of Beijing are they?”

            “Hang on, let me check,” Wade replied as he clicked his keyboard. A few seconds later, he said, “I got it, Kim. The police HQ of Beijing noted a disturbance at the east-west of Beijing, on one of their skyscrapers. It’s the one with the logo of a fish.”

            “Thanks, Wade,” Kim thanked him and rushed towards the east-west. As she went further and deeper into the east-west city of Beijing, she saw a crowd of people looking up at a skyscraper. Kim looked up too. It was the skyscraper she was looking for: the one with a fish logo. She pushed her way through and jet up to the top. Monkey Fist and Ron were quite surprised to see her.

            “Kim Possible!” Monkey Fist hissed in contempt.

            “You again!” Ron exclaimed.

            “You going back behind bars, Monkey Fist,” Kim said as she removed the jet propeller from her shoulders. “Hello, Ron…I mean, Wang Ching.”

            “Ooh, the duo is back again. Kim possible and his faithful sidekick Ron Stoppable,” Monkey Fist grinned sarcastically as he pounced onto Ron. Kim jumped over to help but was pushed away by Ron.

            “Go away, woman. This is my fight,” Ron said. Kim wanted to protest but Ron glared back at her with his cold hazel-brown eyes.

            Kim was forced to cower away as they fought vigorously in combat. Face-punching and butt-kicking ensured. It was really hectic. Kim was surprised at the sudden agility and strength Ron had. He seemed so different than the original Ron. Monkey Fist and Ron were quite equal in strength but it seemed as if Monkey Fist has the upper hand. It was obvious that Ron was still new to his powers and still adjusting to them. Monkey Fist had him pinned to the steel floor of the skyscraper, dangerously on the edge of the skyscraper, ready to plant a heavy death blow onto his fair throat.

            Kim had to do something. She had to help him before Ron becomes a dead legend. She looked up and saw the lightning pole on the top most of the skyscraper. With her cheerleading skills, she leapt at a thrice towards the skyscraper and reached the top at no time at all. She took out a laser rifle and aimed it at the lightning pole. She quickly shot at the pole and within seconds, the pole came off and started falling…

            Right on target. The pole fell on whom she wanted: Monkey Fist. He was knocked unconscious and started slipping down to the edge. Ron quickly grabbed Monkey Fist by the collar, pulled him up and used one of his ninja gadgets and tied him up. Kim came down from the high spot and took it from there. It was hard to tell the police what had happened and requesting them to take Monkey Fist to Colorado as soon as possible, but Ron helped her to translate. Kim was pretty awed at how fluent Ron was in Chinese.

            After the incident died down, Ron went to Kim and said, “Thanks for helping me out.”

            “No biggie,” Kim replied. “Hey, we can make a great team, you know. You and I…”

            Kim was hoping that she can get back together with him during missions even if they won’t be together in real life.

            Ron shook his head and looked away, his hazel-brown eyes cold and determined, “I am Wang Ching, the legendary Ultimate Monkey Ninja. My work is solitary. Goodbye.”

            Kim grabbed hold of Ron’s sleeve and said, “Can we at least…well, have dinner together for a while? I mean…I really want to be your friend.”

            Ron looked at her with that I-don’t-need-friends look on his face.

            “I won’t bug you or anything. I won’t ask you to be a team again,” Kim pleaded. “I just want to be with you a while…I just…don’t want to be alone tonight.”

            Ron stared long and hard at the auburn-haired girl grasping firmly on his sleeve, not wanting to let go. ‘Who is this girl that keeps on hanging on to me?’ he thought. ‘What does she exactly want from me? Just to be friends or for a certain reason? What is going through her mind right now?’

            Finally he sighed and said, “Alright, woman. Just this once.”

            Kim smiled and said, “Wait for me at the nearest beach. I’ll get the dinner ready!”

            Before Ron could ask why the beach, Kim has already dashed off to a seafood restaurant.

Chapter Text

            Ron sat on the sandy beach, closing his eyes, meditating. The sound of the waves soothed his nerves, adding into the tranquility of his meditation. He hoped that his minions back at the secret temple are training hard.

            Soon he heard footsteps coming. He opened his eyes and got up slowly. He turned around to see Kim trying to walk as fast as she could towards him with a heavy-looking basket. He came to her and took the basket as easy as picking up a small stone. Kim smiled happily as she laid a picnic cloth on the sand.

            Kim and Ron sat together on the cloth and tucked in. Rufus and Tanya popped out of Kim’s pocket and also tucked in. So far, Kim was the only one enjoying everything. She enjoyed being with Ron the most. A month without him seemed like an eternity. She marveled at how he looked like since their one month separation: his long blonde hair, his toned muscles, his freckle-less face (which made him the more handsome), and of course, his hazel-brown eyes. If they weren’t so cold, he could be even more handsome.

            Kim didn’t mind if Ron didn’t remember her or whether he agreed to her invitation out of a gentleman feeling inside him; she was contented to be by his side. She knew that she was only going to have him this once, and she wasn’t going to waste her time for anything. Ron didn’t eat much—just a portion of everything she bought using her KP privileged credit card she got from Wade last week as a comforting present. It wasn’t much of a use to her before, but now she was grateful that Wade gave her the card.

            “So…is life in your training ground OK?” Kim asked, trying to break the ice between them. “It was pretty…ceremonial the last time I was there.”

            “I’ve got some new students last week. They were really determined to learn the art of monkey ninja. They have went through all the deadly obstacles just to get into the training hall to see me,” Ron replied in an as-a-matter-of-fact way.

            “Wow!” Kim was impressed. She didn’t know that this ninja art has become such a hit among the outside people. “So, uh…where is that training ground of yours? I mean, the last time I went there, it was like a flash and I didn’t know where I was going and how I got there…”

            “You wish to find out about the secret temple?” Ron glared at her dangerously. “I should’ve known your kind gesture was a plot to get to me.”

            “Wh…What? No! you don’t understand! I…” Kim tried to explain herself but Ron stood up quite suddenly.

            “You’re trying to ambush my secret temple and send people to destroy me, are you not?” Ron advanced to her with a killer look in his eyes. “You’re trying to destroy the art of monkey ninja! I should’ve known that your crying that day was a plot to soften my heart and get rid of the art while I’m not looking!”

            Kim back away from Ron, terrified. He was going to kill her. She was sure of it. It seemed that after he became Wang Ching, he became very over-protective towards his art, his temple and his minions. How could she tell him that she wanted to know the location of his place because she wanted to see him? How could she tell him that she wanted to know because she couldn’t stand being alone anymore and she wanted to be with him forever, even if it means that she was going to face unrequited love for the rest of her life? He wouldn’t believe her and he wouldn’t understand either. He couldn’t love her. He never will be able to.

            Rufus and Tanya were, too, terrified of Ron’s blazing cold eyes and ran and hid in Kim’s pocket.

            When Ron was about to strike, he suddenly stopped abruptly. There was a slight painful look on his face. Suddenly he fell onto his knees and clutched his head hard. He seemed as if he was suffering a massive headache as he soon was rolling on the sand painfully, screaming his lungs out. Kim couldn’t understand it. It was the same way when he drank the water given by the monk.

            A few minutes later, he stopped rolling and was gasping for breath. Kim walked towards him tentatively and asked, “Are…Are you OK, Wang Ching?”

            “Uhh…” Ron groaned and whispered, “Hmm…? KP…?”

            “Ron…?” Kim was almost at lost of words. He actually called her by her nickname! He was actually calling her by her name!

            “KP! What are you doing here?” Ron grinned his ever familiar grin and said, “Gee, where am I? I thought I’m in the temple with those monkeys…”

            “You remember me? You actually remember me?” Kim was still doubtful.

            “Of course I remember you! Doy!” Ron rolled his eyes, then took her in his arms and whispered, “Why would I want to forget about my KP? Although I also remember fighting with that horrible Monkey Fist and you saving me…”

            Ron didn’t get to finish his words. Kim buried her face into Ron’s chest and cried like a baby. Rufus and Tanya climbed out of her pocket and joined in the group hug. Ron kissed Kim’s cheek and held her closer.

            “I missed you so much, Ron…” Kim sobbed. “I missed you so much…”

            “Hey, KP. I’m right here, aren’t I?” Ron grinned as he held her hands and gazed deep into her eyes. Slowly his eyes shifted to the food and said, “Wow! Chinese take-out! Booya!”

            Ron and Kim sat together back on the picnic cloth and ate the rest of the food, only this time, he was chattering happily with Kim, telling her all he had been through in the secret temple. Of course, Kim didn’t force him to tell her about the temple’s location; she didn’t want to arouse Wang Ching’s temper in him. It was enough for her to have him by her side.

            After they ate their fill, they laid down on the sand, looking at the starry night. The moon was full that night, and the night sky was filled with peace and serenity. They never felt any more blissful than this.

           Slowly she felt Ron’s hand on hers. She turned and saw Ron smiling at her with those mesmerizing hazel-brown eyes. She was right. He did look more handsome when his eyes are not so cold and expressionless. Those were the eyes she had brought herself to love after all these years. When Ron advanced towards her and started kissing her neck while removing her black belly-button shirt, she made no attempt to stop him…

            Finally, when Kim woke up the next morning, she saw Ron walking away. She quickly dressed herself and rushed towards Ron who was going further and further away from her. She grasped his sleeve quickly and said, “Ron! Wait up! Where are you going?”

            “Oh, it’s you, woman,” Ron replied nonchalantly. “If you do not mind, I would like to return to my temple. I’m sorry about my outburst.”

            “Ron, what are you talking about? What’s going on with you? You were OK last night and…”

            “I must have been so angry that I made myself unconscious. It will not happen again,” Ron said as he turned to leave. He stopped in his tracks and said, “What is your obsession about calling me ‘Ron’? I told you, my name is Wang Ching.”

            “But…But don’t you remember me anymore? Don’t you remember the moments we had together last night, Ron? I…” Kim tried to make sense of this double personality of Ron’s.

            “Of course I remember you. You are the troublesome girl who keeps on calling me ‘Ron’ and always on my tail. I was unconscious the whole night through; of course I don’t remember what happened last night.”

            Kim wanted to ask what had suddenly struck him when she saw those two cold hazel-brown eyes staring back at her. He wasn’t Ronald Dean Stoppable anymore; he’s the cold, legendary Ultimate Monkey Ninja Wang Ching.

            As she followed slowly behind Ron who was walking among the people of Beijing, she called Wade on the Kimmunicator.

            “Wade, I need you to tell me more about the prophecy.”

            “I told you everything, Kim. There’s nothing more to say,” Wade said in surprise. “I thought you’re with Ron.”

            “Well, to be exact, I was with Ron, the original Ron, last night. He had this massive headache and he woke up in the form of the real Ron. This morning he turned back into the Monkey Ninja state again. He can’t seem to remember anything we’ve been through last night!”

            “Hmm…Maybe I have been missing out something,” Wade contemplated the matter and started clicking his keyboards. A few seconds later, he said, “Incredible!”

            “What is it, Wade?” Kim was curious.

            “It says here in the scrolls that once a month, on a full moon’s night, the Ultimate Monkey Ninja will have a chance to be relieved of his duties and have the freedom to do whatever he wants. Kim, was there a full moon last night?”

            “Come to think of it, it was. You don’t mean…?”

            “Yes, Kim. That full moon must have triggered his DNA or something inside him and returned him back to the original state. Wow, talk about split personalities!”

            “Thanks, Wade,” Kim said and rushed towards Ron who was walking towards the plains of the Beijing countryside. How he and Kim could get that far from the city side of Beijing, she had no clue. She had to go to Ron and fix something.

            “Wang Ching! Wang Ching!” Kim called. Ron groaned and turned around to face her, exasperated.

            “What is your problem, woman? Why can’t you just leave me alone? Are you trying to follow me to see where the temple is so that you can destroy me?”

            “Chill out, Wang Ching. I…uh…needed to just say one thing,” Kim laughed nervously.

            “There’s nothing to say to me. I am not interested. My minions need me,” Ron replied coldly and turned away.

           “I want you to meet me at that beach again next month,” Kim blurted out, stopping Ron in his tracks. “You will come, won’t you?”

            Ron didn’t reply. He just stood there, his back facing Kim, sighed and walked away quickly towards the dense forest ahead of him. Kim didn’t attempt to follow.

            “OK, which way is back to Beijing’s city again?”

Chapter Text

            Kim counted the days to their next meeting. She always ticked the day on her calendar before she went to bed. Her obsession with the days was pretty worrying to her family, but she refused to tell them and they didn’t attempt to ask. Usually she lost count of days after fighting long hard battles with the villains, but this time she even asked Dr. Drakken what’s the date today before the police took him away. Uncanny, isn’t it?

            Ron has been making quite a name in the crime-busting world, only that his territories are mostly in the East. He has been fighting crime throughout Thailand, Korea, Japan, China, and Singapore and even in Taiwan. His stealthy moves and increasing agility in his monkey kungfu has made him pretty famous. He became the good news for the people and bad news for the villains. Many people called him all sorts of nicknames, like Monkey Boy, Super Monkey, Monkey Ninja and stuff like that. He has become a hit among the people in the East and a mystery to the governments of the Eastern countries because no one knows where he came from or where does he live. He was even spotted once or twice the familiar Malaysia. Journalists have relentlessly tried to find him but to no avail. Kim couldn’t help feeling proud of him.  

            Finally, the full moon day has come. She got herself really cleaned—she washed her auburn hair and put a lot of effort in blow-drying it and sneaked a few of her mother’s expensive Kanebo perfume. She ransacked her wardrobe to find herself a good outfit to wear. She tried to find something befitting but she couldn’t find anything suitable. In the end she had to rush to Monique’s to borrow her clothes. Monique got her a horizon-coloured belly-button blouse and a sunset-coloured mini skirt.

            She called Wade to get her transport ready to Beijing and ordered a big take-out from Buenos Nacho before she left. Rufus and Tanya did not want to miss out the reunion. They popped into the basket of Buenos Nacho goodies and stuffed themselves a little during their trip. Kim had to watch out to see that they don’t finish the food before they even got to Beijing.

            As soon as she reached Beijing, she rushed straight to the beach without a stop. She was hoping to see Ron waiting for her there but unfortunately, he wasn’t. Kim tried to cheer herself up by saying, “Oh well, maybe I got here a little too early.”

           She set her things down and waited. The sky was starry and the moon was full, just exactly like the last time they met. Rufus and Tanya got a little tired of waiting, so they dozed off in Kim’s pocket. Kim lay on the sandy ground, staring up at the moon. She looked at her watch. 8.30 p.m. She has been there for an hour or so, but that didn’t bother her. She could wait. She was going to wait until Ron shows up.

            Yet when the watch showed 10.00 p.m., she began to worry. She wondered where Ron could be. Probably he forgot about it. Probably his Wang Ching personality has persuaded Ron to not go to their meeting and concentrate on their own crime-busting and ninja training. Maybe Ron didn’t even bother to come. Maybe he didn’t even remember their date; well, he didn’t exactly make a promise now, did he? Probably…

            Kim sighed. Maybe Wade got the facts wrong. That incident last month could only happen maybe once in a million chances. She was disappointed yet again. The days she woke up early hoping to see Ron at her door to walk her to school and the disappointment she got every time he didn’t show came to her like a merciless blow. She promised herself that she would wait until he shows up, but after thinking of all these disappointing possibilities, she decided that last month would be the first and last time she’ll ever be with the real Ron again. She got up tearfully, picked up the basket and was about to walk off when…

            “Kim! KP!! Wait up!!”

            Kim swung round. There, at a distance, Ron—with his ever familiar grin and out-going features—ran up to her. He was in all smiles as he came up to the speechless Kim.

            “Sorry I’m late. Got a little tied-up with my students,” Ron stressed the last word with distaste. “Am I too late for our dinner, KP?”

            Kim reached out and hugged him, the tears falling out of her eyes, whispering, “No. You’re just in time.”

**

            “Mom, is Dad really going to come?” A small 6-year-old girl with blonde hair and forest-green eyes tugged at Kim’s sleeve.

            “Don’t worry, Elizabeth. He’ll come. Remember, patience is virtue.”

            Kim was waiting at the same beach in Beijing 10 years later. This time she wasn’t alone. No, she wasn’t only accompanied by Rufus and Tanya, who had a small family of their own, but also with her own two children Elizabeth and Joey. She had religiously come to the beach every month for 10 years just to meet Ron. No matter how busy she was in her crime-busting or her job as an archeologist, she always found time to jet to Beijing to meet her love.

            5 years ago, Ron and Kim got married. She announced at their one of their monthly meeting that she was pregnant and that she told him not to worry because she’ll take care of the baby by herself. The next month, Ron appeared with a ring in his hand that he got from a very grateful citizen he saved and proposed to her. The month after that, they were wed at Middleton Church, in front of some limited guests, like Kim’s family, Ron’s parents, Monique, Josh Mankey and a few other close friends from school. Wade also ‘attended’ the wedding from a mini hovering satellite camera. They didn’t want to make it big—too much publicity is going to wreck havoc, especially from thousands upon thousands of Ron’s fans.

            They had Elizabeth Jay Stoppable first, and then 2 years later, they had Joey Kay Stoppable. Elizabeth had her mother’s eyes and her father’s hair, and Joey had vice versa. Now they’re waiting with their mother to meet their father just like the way they waited ever since they were born.

            “Mom, I’m hungry. When is Dad gonna come?” Joey whined, his hand fingering naughtily at the basket of Buenos Nacho take-outs.

            “He’ll come soon. Don’t you worry. And don’t think of taking a bite of the food. Wait until you Dad comes.”

            “But I’m hungry. Can’t I have just one piece of taco, Mom?” Joey whined and did his puppy-eyed pout he inherited from his mother. Kim couldn’t do much to resist.

            “Alright, but only one piece. Leave some for your Dad.”

            The kids grinned and rummaged through the basket for tacos. Rufus and Tanya joined in to have some of the tacos.

            “Eating before me, eh?” Ron’s familiar voice came from behind the kids. He had tied his long blonde hair and wore his usual clothes he wore before he was the Ultimate Monkey Ninja. Weirdly though that his hair hadn’t grown any longer. The last time Kim and Ron met and Kim tried to cut his hair, it just grows back again the second she snipped the hair off. Finally, after several attempts, she gave up and let it be.

            “Dad!!!” Elizabeth and Joey jumped up and hugged their father. Rufus and Tanya scurried up Ron and kissed his cheek. The naked mole rat couples’ 4 kids also tried to climb up on Ron but they were too small and too weak. Ron picked them up in his palm.

            “That is one big family, Rufus. Way to go, slugger!”

            “It nothing,” Rufus chuckled, waving away Ron’s complement proudly.

            “Come on, Ron. The nachos are going cold,” Kim said as she laid out the food on the picnic cloth.

            As they sat together on the picnic cloth enjoying their Buenos Nacho dinner, they really looked like a one big happy family. And they will always be that way.

            Even if it means every month, it was enough.