Ron's heart was absolutely racing out of his chest. And not just because of the fear that one pump too many on the gas was going to send him and the rockets of his newly-modified scooter shooting off into space.
It wasn't the victory that had almost slipped from their grasp that evening that was making his palms sweat, and it wasn't the lasting effects of their rooftop battle in the pouring rain that had sent a shiver running up his spine. No; the cause of the particularly nervous swarm of butterflies that were currently performing backflips in Ron's stomach was the tight sensation of the arms that were wrapped around his waist.
Around his waist.
Her hands weren't just loosely and innocently placed on his shoulders like when they had been tearing through the Middleton streets a mere three or so hours ago.
Kim's arms were squeezed around Ron's waist in an affectionate hug.
As the blonde teenager continued to break down the seemingly simply fact in his brain, Ron suddenly jumped just a little as he sensed Kim shift in her position where she sat behind him. The goosebumps dancing on the back of his neck were replaced with a renewed warmth as the teen hero shuffled closer to her best friend and turned her head to the side, resting her cheek against his back and nuzzling into him.
Ron gulped. Was this really happening?
As the beats echoing behind his ribs continued to peak and the thoughts in his mind continued to whirl, all of Ron's brain activity came to a sudden standstill when he spotted his and Kim's neighbouring driveways approaching on the horizon.
A million frantic questions immediately touched every corner of his soul. Should he drop her off at home? Should he walk her to her front door? Should he join her in explaining to her parents just what the heck had happened between the two of them?
...How exactly did Kim plan on saying good night to him that evening?
In the very next second, the sensation of the beautiful redhead sliding her hands down from his waist to pinch slightly at his hips abruptly snapped Ron out of his trance. With an uncertain 'eep' from between his lips, the teenage boy barely paused to think as he sent his scooter on a sharp veer towards the top of the driveway that belonged to his best friend.
Almost instantly, Ron's panicked insecurities made him second guess himself. On the rare occasion where the two would opt for his scooter over simply walking home from school or Beuno Nacho, Kim would always get dropped off at Ron's place. Why was he making it weird now?
Wait, was it weird?
Was he being weird?
Did Kim think he was being weird?
While his third internal argument in just as many minutes was surely about to make his head explode, it was then that Ron magically felt himself relax at the simple sound of Kim giggling gently from behind him.
"Um, I think you stopped a little short of your driveway?"
Scratch that, the panic was back. He was so being weird.
"Ha! Ah, yeah, I just figured, um, ya' know..." Ron began, scrambling to pull his helmet off, "After a long night of crime fighting and kicking syntho-butt and saving the world you might just, um..."
Finally stopping himself to take a breath, Ron felt his face turn pale as the embarrassment of his crazed ramblings slowly crept up on him. He hung his head forward over the handlebars of his scooter, groaning out loud.
"Look, if you want me to just drive up to my place like normal, it's - "
"Ron," Kim interjected, her laughter growing a little more amused, "Relax. I'm only joking."
"Oh," he murmured, "Oh, ha ha, yeah, I knew that..."
The blonde boy sensed the weight of his scooter shift as Kim carefully swung one leg over and came to her feet. Ron quickly followed suit, kicking down the stand and eventually turning around to face her.
The silence that fell between them felt sort of strange.
As Kim removed her helmet and flicked her gorgeous, red ponytail out of her face, Ron's heart skipped a beat. The teen hero smiled sweetly, holding the head wear out for him to take from her. When he didn't meet her eyes, Kim's expression drooped slightly.
Ron didn't have to gaze up to know that Kim was frowning at him. He could all but feel her sharp brows piercing right through him.
He swallowed, pausing for a moment as he thought back on the dreamlike hour he had just spent with her at the prom. He and Kim had arrived at the gym, hand in hand. They had laughed, they had danced, and they had... well, you know.
But after that singular instant of bliss, everything that followed had been sort of normal. Sure, Kim had remained attached to Ron's arm and snuggled into his side at every possible moment, but any questions from their friends regarding their relationship status were only brushed off for the sake of enjoying the rest of the night.
The whole thing had left Ron feeling kind of... confused.
As the bizarre quiet between them stretched on for certainly a second too long, Ron cleared his throat, quickly deciding on an attempt to lighten the mood.
"Heh, man, who would've thought after destructive kiddie toys, and synthodrones, and Drakken almost pulling one over on us that the weirdest part of the night would actually come after we beat the bad guys..."
Suffice to say, the joke did not go over well.
As Ron finally dared to peek a glance at Kim, he almost shrivelled right down within himself to find how tightly her arms were crossed over her chest and how narrowed her green eyes still were.
Heaving out a long sigh as he tried to look past how tweaked she was, Ron stared directly at Kim. Her hair and makeup may not have been as perfect as they were at the start of the night, and the bottom of her baby blue dress may have been singed from the earlier cybertronic encounter in her living room, but God, Ron swore that there was no girl in the universe more beautiful than Kim Possible.
Finally, as the small smirk in the corner of his lips dropped from his mouth, Ron took a deep breath. He knew that he owed it to both of them to make good on the thought that he had almost been brave enough to finish while they had been held captive in Beuno Nacho headquarters.
"KP, look... I know what Bonnie yelled out when we got to prom, and I know that we kinda' made a... statement... in front of everyone, but, like... if this is all too much for you right and now and you'd just rather pretend like nothing ever - "
"Ron!" Kim suddenly snapped, cutting him off for a second time. When she reached forward and laced her fingers between his, Ron's jaw dropped open, "Don't you dare finish that sentence."
His stomach fluttered when she squeezed his hands on the word 'dare'. She could tell by the way his eyes widened. Softening her chiselled expression, Kim finally grinned at the timid, blonde boy before her.
"Tonight wasn't weird at all," she promised him, "Tonight was perfect."
Ron choked on the start of a sentence as a breath of disbelief escaped his lips, "It was?"
"Yes," Kim assured him with a chuckle. She leaned up to brush his cheek with the delicate pad of her thumb, her smile at him still beaming, "And I don't want to ruin all that now with some long, daunting... slightly awk-weird convo about what we are and where we go from here."
Ron's blush was burning with how rosy he imagined his face had to be by now. He tried to shy away from her, but Kim quickly caught his attention when she took his hand back and inched her way closer to him.
"Let's talk tomorrow, okay? We can go grab breakfast together?"
"Well, okay," Ron squirmed with some reluctance, "But as much as I hate to say it, I am waaaay to scarred to eat at Beuno Nacho anytime soon..."
"There are other places in town to eat, you know," Kim teased, "How about that cute little brunch place right outside the main entrance to the mall? Say, nine-thirty?"
"Nine-thirty," Ron agreed with a nod of his head, "Okay."
Kim smirked up at him, "Okay."
An early summer breeze was the only sensation to cross them for a short minute as the two teens continued to stare into one another. But in the next instant, it was like they had been transported back to that mystical moment of twinkling light under the disco ball all over again. Sparkling green eyes mirrored chocolate brown, their matching smiles shone as bright as the stars that speckled the sky above them, and when Kim leaned up on her toes, Ron didn't hesitate for a second.
The kiss was just as warm and endearing as it had been an hour ago at prom, and yet somehow, it only tasted a million times sweeter. The strawberry scent of Kim's hair was driving Ron absolutely crazy as he dropped his hands to her waist and held her closer. Kim's kiss smirked against his in response while she settled her delicate grasp on the ruffled chest of his powder blue tuxedo.
With their skin tingling and their blood sizzling, their lips met again and again as they lapped affectionately at one another. Kim felt her head spin at a surge of bravery from Ron when he splayed his palm against the small of her back and coaxed her further towards him.
If for whatever accursed reason this was the last time he would ever get to kiss her, Ron was certainly making the most of it. It made Kim's insides burn with desire. And so, as soon as her wits managed to return to her, the teenage girl dared to even dive deeper into her best friend's embrace.
The blonde boy prayed that the squeaking sound that left him next was only in his head as he quivered at the most sensual half a second of his life when he felt Kim barely brush the tip of her tongue along his bottom lip. Luckily for the both of them, though, Ron was just able to keep from fainting before the need to breathe well and truly began to take over.
With a long, halfhearted sigh that travelled from their respective lungs and met at their parting lips, the two teenagers withdrew from the unbelievable exchange and took the tiniest step back from one another.
Her head was still swirling, he was still out on his feet, and they were both almost certainly out of breath. But when Ron glanced down and immediately spotted the happiness dancing in Kim's emerald green orbs, both of their chests absolutely soared.
The silence overcame them for just a second longer before she broke it with the most blissful little whisper, shifting her hand away from his chest to find his own.
"Good night, Ron."
The words left Kim with an irresistible glow as Ron murmured right back at her, giving her fingertips a gentle squeeze.
A cold, empty chill ran across him the very second her hand left his, but the feeling was instantly quashed as Ron watched Kim twirl around on her heels, her dress and her hair dancing gracefully all around her. The teenage boy grabbed a hold of the handlebars on his scooter, doing all he could to keep himself upright as his eyes continued to followed Kim's figure where she walked down her driveway towards her house.
Ron blew out a long breath, one that he hadn't even realised he'd been holding. Just as he was beginning to question whether or not the past five minutes had all been a vividly detailed dream, Kim took one last peek over her shoulder at him, his expression widening into a smiley blush for surely the hundredth time that night.
The young hero stared at her best friend a moment longer, keeping one eye on him as he finally about faced and began to walk both himself and his scooter back home. Her heart was thumping lightly in her chest. Through all the planes she'd ever jumped out of, and all the lairs she'd managed to escape before their imminent explosion, and all the villains she'd ever defeated - Kim was certain she'd never felt the level of adrenaline pump through her veins that had consumed her during her entire evening spent with Ron.
Impulsively biting down on her bottom lip, Kim whipped her head back around and kept on the beeline towards her front door - or, rather, the lack thereof. She had almost begun to believe that there was nothing that could possibly distract her from the bliss of one of the best nights of her life, when a light bulb suddenly popped on in Kim's head. She slowed in her pacing, her eyes narrowing towards the gaping hole in the front of her house.
The evidence of the destruction left behind from the not-so-lil' Diablos was clear as day when Kim immediately spied the way the ceiling in her family's living room was still completely caved in as she entered her home. She cringed with a scowl as she avoided the debris on her way to the kitchen through the seemingly empty house.
"In here, Kimmie," the response came in an instant.
Kim smiled at the sound of her mother's voice as she rounded the corner into the kitchen. Ann Possible was sitting at the small breakfast table in a comfy pair of sweats, sipping away from a mug of hot cocoa. The elder redhead grinned right back at her daughter.
"Hey," Kim spoke, frowning for a split second, "Where are Dad and the tweebs?"
Ann rolled her eyes at the long-standing nickname for her boys, "They've already checked into a hotel downtown for the night. Your father and I agreed it was much safer than staying at home without a roof or a front door."
"Mom," Kim argued, cutting through her mother's chuckles, "You guys didn't have to waste money on a hotel, if anyone even tried to break in through the ceiling in the middle of the night, then I'd - "
" - You have fought enough crime for one night, young lady," Ann countered gently, "Just leave everything to your dad and me - he's already enlisted the help of his workmen from the space station. All they need is a couple of days, and then this old place will be back to normal in no time."
Kim still looked uncertain as her mum stood from her place at the table. Ann affectionately touched her daughter's shoulder, passing her on her way to the kitchen sink, "You don't need to worry, honey. The Stoppables promised to keep an eye on the house tonight while we're gone."
The butterflies in Kim's stomach immediately soared into a spin.
A dreamy haze cast its way over her green eyes as she shyly glanced down at her feet at the sound of her best friend's name. The swooning reaction to the mere mention of him felt sort of surreal. Kim may not have been completely certain of what was truly happening between her and Ron - but she sure as heck knew she didn't want it stop.
"Soooo," Ann cooed teasingly, "How was the prom?"
With her head still in the clouds, Kim blew out a joyful breath, "It was perfect."
Without missing a single beat, the expression on Kim's face fell faster than the signal tower had fallen from the roof of Bueno Nacho HQ earlier that night.
The teenage girl's teeth found her lip again as she chewed down in nervous hesitation. Despite the fact that Kim had raced home before returning to prom that evening, all she had been focused on was bolting upstairs to change out of her battle suit and back into her dress before joining her new and improved date where he had been waiting for her on his scooter outside her house.
There may have been some crucial highlights from her evening that Kim chose to temporarily redact from her parents. Mainly the fact that Eric turned out to be an evil synthodrone built by Dr. Drakken that had been sent to destroy her. But also - and much more importantly - that she and her best friend of twelve years were now on the verge of discovering their incredibly strong feelings for one another.
Kim felt her skin tingle for a split second before the thought of Eric made her blood boil.
"Do not even talk to me about that syntho-loser."
From where she was scrubbing her empty mug in the sink, Ann sensed her brow crease into a frown, "Syntho-?" she began, shaking her head, "Sweetie, if this is some kind of new teen lingo, you're really going to have to - "
"It's not a code name, Mom," Kim sighed. When her mother turned back to face her, concern clearly etched into her features, she took a deep breath. It was now or never.
"Eric was a..." she swallowed, "Um, turns out he was a... synthodrone. One of Drakken's goons. That worked for him and Shego."
There was a beat of silence before the realisation slapped Ann hard across the face.
The volume of Mrs. Dr. P's shock was so loud that it shook the barely-there foundations of the Possibles' ceiling as she wrenched her daughter into a tight hug.
"Oh, Kimmie, I'm so sorry that happened to you!"
Kim chuckled slightly under her breath, "Mom, don't worry, it's - "
"That Drakken fellow has sunk to an entirely new low!"
"Mom, it- "
"He is one lucky villain to be locked up in prison right now, because if I ever got my hands on him, I - "
The exasperated tone in Kim's voice surprised Ann for a moment as her daughter wriggled out of the suffocating grip she had on her.
"Mom, seriously," the young woman repeated, "It's all okay, I'm fine. Well, no, I mean, it did majorly tank at first, but..."
As her eyes quickly found her dainty, blue shoes again, Kim reached across her torso to nervously scratch her arm. Ignoring the renewed sense of worry that had begun to rumble in her core, Ann placed a gentle hand under Kim's chin, tilting her head up and pushing a strand of red hair behind her ear.
Kim smiled at the loving understanding in her mum's face. A lick of bravery crossed her tongue as she finally opened her mouth to speak again, "But, I guess... the whole thing made me realise that Eric never really was the right guy for me in the first place. And that I should've been going to the prom with the date I ended up taking all along."
Ann raised a curious eyebrow, "A date?" she questioned, "Like, a date just to keep you company? Or a date date?"
Kim was genuinely shocked that the loud thumping of her heart couldn't be heard throughout the silent kitchen. Soon enough, she smirked through a fiery blush.
"A date date," she confirmed quietly, "With Ron."
The quiet didn't last much longer when a huge smile stretched across Ann's face.
Kim's jaw dropped at the unexpected reaction from her mum. The red colouring in her cheeks suddenly filled every other pigment of her porcelain skin as she chuckled in a mix of embarrassment and disbelief.
"Mom?" she questioned suspiciously.
"What?" Ann argued with an encouraging grin, "It's no secret that I've been rooting for you two."
"Uh, no secret to anyone except for me, apparently," Kim argued, following Ann as she circled back towards the kitchen table, "And you've been 'rooting for us' for how long, exactly?"
Holding a sarcastic finger to her temple, Ann hummed to herself in hesitation, "When did you and Josh stop seeing each other, again?"
Kim's complexion was now well and truly the same colour as her hair as Ann continued to giggle away at her daughter's expense. Offering a gentle hand of defence, Ann beckoned Kim to join her at the table.
"Oh, come on, Kimmie, I'm only teasing," she promised, smiling softly at Kim as she took a seat across from her, "So?" she asked with a hopeful breath, "A date with Ron? How did it go?"
Kim's shoulders slouched down with a wistful sigh as she leaned back in her chair, "Amazingly."
The simple answer of absolute happiness from her daughter peaked Ann's eager excitement, "Details, honey, I need details?"
Glancing up to catch her mother's curious eyes staring at her, Kim sensed the fair skin of her arms prickle with a thousand goosebumps. Her lips were still tingling as she cleared her throat, "I mean... we kissed. More than once."
"So, does that mean the two of you are - "
" - Not... officially," Kim spoke, finishing Ann's thought, "We didn't want to put a damper of how perfect everything about tonight was with some big, serious talk. We're gonna' grab some breakfast in the morning and, ya' know, talk then."
Ann nodded her head in understanding as she tentatively licked her bottom lip, "And... that mild panic attack you had the other week about him 'not being boyfriend material'?"
The bright features of Kim's face immediately dulled at the words from her mum. It took a few dreaded moments for the memory to fully return to her, but the second it did, the harshness of it all kicked Kim in the guts harder than Shego ever could.
Groaning out loud, the redhead buried her face in her hands, "Please, do not remind me," she sighed, "I was so unbelievably, ferociously wrong. I can't believe I would say something so stuck up and shallow and stupid and - "
"Honey," Ann consoled her, reaching across the table for Kim's hand, "Don't be so hard on yourself. Change is scary at the best of times, let alone when that change is affecting something you've been so comfortable with for your whole life."
Ann took a tighter grip on her daughter, giving Kim's hand a gentle squeeze, "The only thing that matters is that you want to be girlfriend and boyfriend now, right?"
Without wasting a single second, Kim shot her mum a rather obvious look, raising an eyebrow and smirking through her reddened cheeks. Ann chuckled again, smiling at her baby girl with all the affection in the world.
"Just be honest with each other, sweetie. Everything will fall into place exactly the way you want it to."
Kim could swear she felt the physical sensation of the advice from her mum settling comfortably in the back of her mind. It was honestly taking every ounce of willpower that sat deep within her to not dash over to Ron's house and wrap him in a tight hug and mark their official status with her kiss of approval right then and there.
But Kim knew her mother was right. As long as she executed even the tiniest bit of patience and logic and honesty - she knew that what she had shared with Ron that evening would become much more than just be a single moment of magic.
"Okay, okay, now before it gets too late," Ann suddenly spoke, glancing at her watch as she snapped Kim from her dreamy trance, "How about you run upstairs and jump into some pyjamas so we can head downtown to meet your father and the boys?"
A fresh warmth ran through Kim as she swivelled around in her seat to make a start for her room. The thought of changing into her comfiest PJs and snuggling deep down into a mountain of blankets sounded like heaven right now, even if it wasn't in her own bed.
She heard her mum follow behind her as Kim ascended the first step from the living room to the second floor of her house. She completely understood why her parents wanted to play it safe and stay at a hotel until their home was properly mended. Kim only hoped that all of the repair plans set for the next day weren't going to compromise the tight timeline she was facing in the morning.
Taking a second to mull over this thought, Kim swayed in hesitation before clearing her throat and glancing back over her shoulder at Ann, "Hey, um, just with tomorrow morning, though - "
"Don't worry, Kimmie," Ann interrupted with a sly smirk, "I'll bring you straight back home bright and early so you'll have plenty of time to get ready for your date."
With a roll of her eyes, Kim scrunched her nose up at Ann's lighthearted jab. Her butterflies may have still tickling her tummy just as fiercely as before, but they quickly told her to save herself from any further teasing and bring the storytelling with her mum to an end. At least for now, anyway.
Ann watched Kim as she turned on her heels and skipped up the stairs to her room. There was a distinct mixture of pride and joy and relief dwelling within her all at once as the older woman blew out content breath.
For a night that very well could have turned into complete and utter heartbreak for her daughter, Ann was simply over the moon that Kim - and Ron - had both ended up exactly where the two of them were right now.
And as the Possible matriarch shifted her glance to the old photo on the wall of the brace-faced redhead and the goofy little blonde boy for the second time that night - Ann felt her heart smile.
Ron was nervous. Ron was super nervous.
The jittery teen tried to get a handle on his shaky breath as he cleared his throat. He fiddled with the hem of his red hockey jersey, he scuffed one shoe against the other, he awkwardly scratched the back of his neck.
And, yet - unsurprisingly - Ron still felt nervous.
Groaning under his breath in frustration with himself, Ron hastily rolled up his sleeve to look down at his Fearless Ferret watch. It was nine twenty-four in the morning. Despite the fact that the blonde boy was sure he had to be living in some kind of alternate universe by this point, time and space was perfectly intact, and Ron was just as early for his date that morning as he had been five minutes ago when he arrived.
Wait. Date? Is that what Ron had just thought to himself? Was this a date? Did Kim think this was a date?
"Get it together, Rondo," he suddenly muttered, cursing himself as he began to pace in small steps out the front of the breakfast cafe.
Maybe it didn't matter how exactly Ron and Kim chose to define their little meet-up that morning. That's what they were here to talk about anyway, right? All that mattered to Ron was that he had actually managed to show up on time - early, even. He may not have been a morning person, but the last thing Ron planned on doing that day was messing up everything that was simmering between he and Kim before it even had the chance to come to a full boil.
The anxious lump returned to his throat for a split second as Ron tugged on the collar of his shirt with one hand and stuffed the other into the depths of his pocket. The obvious vacancy between the khaki coloured fabric made Ron sigh. He was beginning to wish that Rufus was there with him to offer some much needed encouragement and support, but his little buddy had decided to give his humans the space they clearly needed to talk, just like he had the night before.
The tiny pink rodent was sure to be bummed about skipping out on breakfast, though. Speaking of which, it was then that Ron's stomach suddenly grumbled out loud. The teenager stuck his bottom lip out in a pout, trying to ignore the pain his empty tummy was causing him.
Just as he was beginning to wonder what may have been keeping the usual overly-punctual Kim, the sweet sound of a familiar voice echoing from behind him made Ron's heart skip a beat.
His face lit up in immediate happiness when his brown eyes landed on Kim.
The young woman was wearing one of her favourite pairs of cuffed, white pants and a baby blue top in her signature cropped style. Ron felt his throat turn dry as he swallowed. Summer had well and truly kicked in, and Kim looked like a goddess as the sun soaked into her ivory skin.
Just as he had finally remembered the need to actually converse with her, Ron suddenly cut himself off as he realised something about the way Kim was approaching him.
With a beaming grin glued to her face and an all too eager skip in her step, Ron sensed his eyes widen in surprise when his best friend threw herself into his arms, wrapping her own around his torso in a tight hug.
"Morning," she spoke gently, smiling as she listened to the sound of his heart racing in her ear.
After being frozen for only a quarter of a second, Ron had quickly returned Kim's embrace, holding her affectionately by the waist.
The joy in his voice was unmistakable, "Hey, Kim."
Her expression mirrored all the same emotions as Kim took a step back from Ron, observing him through twinkling, green orbs, "You're early."
"Heh, not, like, super early," Ron fumbled coolly through a white lie, "I only just got here."
"But without Rufus?" she asked, taking a side-eye glance at the pocket of his pants.
"Oh, uh, yeah," Ron answered, brushing off the thought, "Little dude was set on sleeping in. He'll eat something at home."
"Well, I don't know about you, but I am starving right now. After all the Drakken drama last night, I didn't have time for any dinner at prom."
Ron quickly nodded his head in agreement. He had been trying to block out the irresistible smells of sweet pancakes and sizzling bacon the entire time he had been waiting outside the main entrance to the mall.
But before he even had the chance to lick his hungry lips and open his mouth to respond, any notion of food suddenly became the last thought on Ron's mind.
"Come on," Kim exclaimed, reaching down to grab his hand in hers, "Before our stomachs start eating themselves from the inside out."
Ron could all but feel how abruptly his face turned pale in a flood of fresh nerves as Kim tugged him along behind her and into the cafe. Each of the same terrifying thoughts that had suffocated him on the way to prom the night before were back in full force as he tried not to panic.
Could she tell how anxious he was? Was she worried about someone they knew spotting them hand-in-hand? Oh God - was his hand all clammy and sweaty and gross where it sat in hers?
"Wanna' sit by the window?"
Ron gulped as the sweetness in Kim's tone cut straight through all his inner ramblings.
Even if his skin did happen to be swimming in a stressed coat of perspiration, Kim certainly didn't seem to care. As they made their approach to the small, cosy table in the corner of the cafe by the window, the teen hero gave Ron's hand a gentle squeeze before separating from him and entering the opposite side of the booth.
The hunger pains in his stomach had abruptly been replaced by the tickling of butterflies as Ron took his own seat. His arms tingled with goosebumps at the dazzling smirk Kim was still shooting his way. It made him falter for just a second - so much so that he didn't even notice the overly enthusiastic waitress approaching from over his shoulder.
"Good morning! How are we doing today?"
Kim giggled to herself as she spotted Ron jump slightly out of his seat. The young woman with a notepad in her hand and a pen behind her ear had brown hair in a low, messy bun and a kind smile as she looked down at the two members of Team Possible.
"Can I start the pair of you off with some drinks this morning?"
Kim took a quick scan of the menu before glancing back up, "Sounds perfect! I'll take a fresh orange and mango juice," she answered for herself. In the next second, she glimpsed over to Ron, affectionately narrowing her green eyes towards him, "He'll have a large soda."
Almost instantly, Ron's expression dropped. Part of his gentlemanly plan to impress Kim that morning didn't exactly include downing a cup of processed sugar and water the size of his head.
"Uh... I mean, it's kinda' early."
"That's never stopped you before," she snapped back, rolling her eyes teasingly at him.
The waitress chuckled at the two of them, heaving her shoulders in a gentle shrug, "Sounds like the lady knows best."
Ron's next remark came in a matter of milliseconds as he exchanged the expression of adoration with the beautiful redhead across from him.
"She always does."
It was Kim's turn to be distracted by butterflies as she bit down on her bottom lip. The waitress had one more giggle to herself as she took their order down, "One juice and one soda, coming right up."
Their wide orbs were still locked onto one another as Kim sensed a rosy red colour begin to fill her cheeks. Quickly clearing her throat, she reached across for the menu again, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear.
"I've never eaten here before," she spoke simply.
Ron's fingers drummed against the table as he nodded his head in agreement, "Me neither," he replied, "Any chance they've somehow created their own version of the naco?"
"Ron," Kim laughed, glaring accusingly at him, "So much for the Beuno Nacho boycott."
"'Sha, a boycott of the establishment, KP, not the food. You know I can't resist the cheesy, Mexican goodness."
Kim shook her head, still chuckling to herself as she stared at him, "You are too much."
The dreamy affection in her voice sent a shiver shooting up Ron's spine as Kim's blush crossed from her to him. Darting his eyes away from hers and down to his own menu, he hastily changed the subject, "My mom filled me in on the sitch with your house. Everything, like, good there, or...?"
"Totally," Kim answered, "Everything's totally good. My dad and his crew from the space station were there bright and early at, like, six this morning to get started on fixing everything up. It should only be another night or two, hopefully."
"Not a fan of your temporary pad?"
Kim shrugged, "It's fine. It's a two-bedroom apartment, so plenty of space. One room for my parents, one for me, and the tweebs have full reign of the living room. Well, as long as they promise not to dismantle the TV for parts."
Her last sentence came with a second roll of her eyes as Kim leaned forward a little and crossed her arms over the table, "It'll just be nice to get home to my own bed, you know?"
"Especially after yesterday," Ron added, suppressing a yawn of his own from how exhausted last night's battle had left him.
Kim grinned sympathetically, "Did you get much sleep last night?"
"Sleep?" Ron echoed.
Like I was ever gonna' get any shut-eye when all I could think about was you...
"Oh, yeah, you know me, heh heh. Crashed out like a log as soon as my head hit the pillow."
The blonde sidekick gulped a little as he subtly tried to study Kim's expression. His best friend could always tell when he was lying, and as much as it was one of the things he appreciated about their friendship the most, Ron really hoped that now wasn't one of those times.
He felt the breath he had been holding escape with relief from his lungs when the teenage girl carried right along, "Well, hopefully we're in for a few less sleepless nights over the summer now that Drakken is behind bars," she commented, snorting with a small laugh, "Not to mention the wonders it will do for my self-esteem to finally have a break from Shego and her snarky insults."
Naturally, the irresistible wit from Kim sparked a warm fire in Ron's belly as her sarcasm made him chuckle. But in the very next instant, he unexpectedly sensed the flame fizzle out rather quickly. He swallowed, realising something as the freckles around his cheeks creased with a frown.
Hadn't Kim made out like breakfast that morning was going to be the chance to properly talk about everything that happened the night before and where the two currently stood with each other - as friends, or otherwise? And, yes, fair enough, Ron supposed he was just as capable of bringing up that particular topic of conversation himself, but he was still feeling far too nervous. He only figured that Kim would be the one brave enough to steer their casual chatter in the direction where it ultimately need to go. She just sort of... hadn't yet.
"I know I shouldn't let her get under my skin so easily, but she's just so good at it..."
Had something changed? In the space of ten and a half hours? Or was there some other reason why Kim was yet to bring up their kiss just yet?
"...I mean, not as good as Bonnie, though, obviously. Imagine if I actually managed to avoid Queen B for the whole summer, as well..."
Did she regret it already? Had a night to sleep on it made Kim realise that she never should have deviated from the food chain and kissed someone so beneath her?
"...And OH, speaking of Bonnie, you'll never believe what Monique told me happened at the after party last night - you know, the one you and me skipped out on?..."
Was it all just a moment of weakness? Was it never going to happen again? Did Kim not mean anything she told him last night?
"...I guess she really was willing to do anything to win Brick's attention back, so - "
"Did you only kiss me because Eric turned out to be a synthodrone?"
Oh, crap, oh, crap, oh, crap.
Ron had so not meant to ask that question out loud.
The blonde boy was suddenly resembling an incredibly sickly ghost as he desperately tried to hold down the anxiety ridden puke brewing in his guts.
Kim had immediately screeched into silence, thrown totally off guard by the accusation from her best friend. She opened her mouth, but quickly closed it again. And then, Kim's brow scrunched into a deep frown.
"Did you only kiss me because you were jealous of Eric?"
Ron paused. That wasn't exactly the response he had been expecting.
"I asked you first."
Kim narrowed her sharp, green eyes, "So, you were jellin'?"
"And you were bummed that your so-called perfect boyfriend turned out to be a total syntho-freak?"
"Is this you trying to win me over?"
Ron's jaw dropped open. Nice going, Stoppable, he told himself. He scrambled to form some kind of quick defence, but his saving grace suddenly appeared in the form of their returning waitress with a perfectly balanced tray of drinks.
"One orange and mango juice, and one large soda," she spoke with a smile, failing to notice the sudden tension brewing at the teens' table, "Enjoy! I'll be back in just one moment to take the rest of your order."
Kim watched as the petite brunette turned to leave, making sure she was out of ear-shot before focusing her attention back on the boy opposite her.
Ron's heart rate had peaked again at the way Kim was completely deadpanning at him. He almost flinched when the fiery redhead simply reached forward to pull her drink towards her.
And then with a long sigh, Kim finally opened her mouth to finish her last thought.
"Because, to be honest... you kinda' already did."
Ron blinked, his snow coloured cheeks re-filling with a red blush of disbelief.
"I-I did?" he murmured, "When?"
As she slowly stirred the orange coloured juice with her straw, Kim hesitated, "When you had my back - no questions asked - to save my boyfriend who you didn't even like. When you dropped everything and raced over to my house to help me rescue my dad from Drakken."
For the next couple of seconds, Kim paused. She glanced up to mirror Ron's soft, kind eyes with her own. It was clear that his outward anxiety was beginning to affect the atmosphere at their table as the young woman chewed on the inside of her bottom lip before taking a deep breath.
"...When you showed me how focused and determined you were to save Bueno Nacho with the petition you worked so hard on."
"But," Ron stuttered with another unwilling frown, "But that was... before Eric."
"Before Eric..." Kim echoed, slowly trailing off.
The bile that built up in the back of her throat every time she spoke her former syntho-fling's name could be heard all too clearly. As much as Ron wanted to try and persuade Kim to reveal what she was really trying to say, he knew his best bet was to keep his lips zipped and allow her to take her time. Especially seeing as he had gotten off so easily after his last slip of the tongue.
When she spotted his supportive, little smirk, Kim returned the affectionate gesture. As she flicked her mass of red locks out of her face, she huffed out one final sigh.
After the guts that Ron had shown the night before to bravely share his true feelings with her, it was only fair that Kim owed him the same favour.
"Who is the one person on this planet who can totally zap me of all my confidence and turn me into an insecure puddle of mush at the bottom of the food chain?"
"Uh, that would be one Bonnie Rockwaller."
Kim cocked a triggered eyebrow, "Not sure I appreciate the immediacy of your answer, but moving on..."
The lick of a flame behind her eyes made Ron chuckle awkwardly to himself as he gulped down a huge swig of his soda and waited for Kim to continue.
After a swaying moment of reluctance, the redhead finally did.
"So, like... prom was coming up, and Bonnie had gotten up on her high horse in that obnoxious way she does about how all the popular jocks and other eligible guys were already taken," she started gently, "Because I was too busy 'saving the world' to look for a date..."
Ron sensed his vision slowly begin to narrow suspiciously as he listened to Kim speak. Her tone sounded off - way off to the stern certainty he was used to hearing in her voice. It was almost like she was... just as nervous as he was?
Kim Possible was nervous?
"And then she said I was probably going to just end up... stuck... with you..."
Ah, right. There it was.
"And, look, honestly, it kinda' did freak me out at first," she rushed, trying to back-peddle as truthfully as she could, "But only because, like, Bonnie was so in my head and she implanted this whole stupid idea there that going to prom with my best friend was somehow this huge deal."
Ron nodded slowly as Kim gathered her next set of thoughts.
"But after talking about everything with my mom that night, and chatting with Monique the next morning, I realised that it actually wasn't a big deal at all, and that you and me were cool, and that us going to prom together didn't matter," she assured him, smiling sweetly, "Like, I still wasn't sure whether that us was going to turn into an 'us' us or not... only then - "
"That's when Eric showed up?" Ron finished for her.
Kim slouched back in her seat as she uncomfortably folded her arms over her chest with a nod of her own, "He was just so nice, and driven, and charming, and a way for me to prove Bonnie wrong,and - "
" - A total hottie?"
The teen hero's chest iced over for a split second as she tried to analyse her sidekick's tone for any trace of sudden insecurity. But when all Ron could do was smirk at her cheekily, Kim scrunched her nose up at him and straightened at the table again.
"A distraction," she corrected, her voice melting with softness, "From the feelings I was starting to develop for you."
The methodical sipping of his soda came to sharp halt as Ron's heart began to race out of his chest. She may have held his hand, she may have hugged him close, and she may have even kissed him - but that was the first time Kim had spoken out loud of any true feelings that were brewing within her for Ron. And to hear it now felt absolutely surreal.
"I didn't like him as much as I thought I did, and I didn't like him as much as I was starting to like you," she admitted, "He was just the easier option. Which was so ferociously wrong."
Ron's expression relaxed towards her own, "KP - "
"Ron, I'm sorry."
His brown eyes widened as he held a hand out to stop her, "Kim, you don't have to - "
"Yeah, I do," Kim argued, taking the opportunity to snatch his outstretched hand up in her own, "I almost let some lame, generic upper-member of the dumb food chain come between us. But I am so done with all that, and with letting Bonnie manipulate me, and with caring about what anyone thinks of us."
A spark of electricity raced up Ron's arm when Kim squeezed his hand to punctuate her promise to him.
"Besides, like you were saying, there are guys out there that are better for me than Eric. Guys that are real, for one thing."
Instantly taking the lead from her, Ron sucked in a deep breath. He wasn't going to let any other interruptions or intimidated nerves overshadow what he should have been brave enough to properly admit to Kim the night before.
"Guys like me?"
Her smile was all the assurance he needed as the bright whites of her teeth lit a beacon brighter than the mid-morning sun. It made Ron's chest soar and gave him all the confidence he needed to clutch back at her just as tightly as he went on.
"So, like, does this mean that we're, like... uh, you and me are - "
"Well," Kim cut him off, suddenly yanking her hand away from his. Ron was taken aback for a terrifying two seconds before he realised that the beautiful redhead was standing up from her seat.
When she slowly made her way around the table and placed herself beside him, shuffling into his side of the booth as closely as she could, his cheeks exploded in a crimson blush.
As she plucked at her bottom lip with her teeth, Kim raised a challenging eyebrow towards Ron.
"I don't think it's official until you ask me."
The happiness in his heart was indescribable. If this truly was all a dream, it was one that Ron never, ever wanted to wake up from.
"Kim - will you be my girlfriend?"
Surely it was a given, right?
And yet, as her emerald eyes were clouded with a sultry gaze, and she inched her expression closer to his - Kim still somehow managed to find a way to completely surprise Ron that morning.
Her touch was warm and sent a fire rushing through him where she placed her hand on his thigh, and her lips were soft and sweet where they met his in the heavenly chaste exchange. Ron wrapped his arm around Kim's shoulders and pulled her close for an irresistible moment before she pecked at his kiss once more and slowly pulled away.
When she glanced up at him, Kim blinked, swaying her head to one side.
"Does that answer your question?"
For the first few seconds, Ron was sure that his voice box had vanished on him. But as the blonde boy sensed the swirling of his stomach slow, he realised that it wasn't a matter of him being unable to speak - but rather, it was matter of him being unable to give a certain answer.
In the most adorable, goofball way possible, of course.
"Uh... yeah, no, I kinda' got a lot riding on this, KP, I think I'm gonna' need some verbal confirmation to - "
"Yes, doofus," Kim teased, nudging into him with a gentle giggle, "There is no one in the world I would rather be my boyfriend."
The weightlessness of the entire room immediately seemed to lift the two teens up on a cloud of relief as their heads spun with happiness. Ron resisted the urge to pinch himself. The title of 'boyfriend' was not one he realistically saw being placed on himself maybe, well, ever - but to hear it come from Kim after all they had been through together truly made it all the more sweeter.
Totally sweet, and just a little bit unbelievable.
"Wait, so, like... what do couples even do over the summer together, anyway?"
The reassurance from Kim was immediate, "The same things that best friends do. Only with a lot more of this," she flirted with a coy grin, lacing her fingers back together with Ron's and squeezing tightly.
The fast pulsing in his wrist where it sat against hers shot throughout the rest of his body as Ron eased out a gentle sigh. He could so get used to this.
"But, hey, um... I mean, I know I probably don't even have to say it, but," Kim started again, tilting Ron's face up to meet hers, "Like... no matter what else we are or we aren't - you and me will always be best friends. Forever."
And in the same way it had the night before when she had stared at him with such adoring intent and kissed him like he was the only one in her universe - time truly stood completely still for Ron.
It was literally the only thing he could ever wish for in the whole world.
As the beautifully intimidating thought stayed with him and rumbled in his core, Ron's eyes locked themselves back onto Kim's lips. His breath hitched in the back of his throat. And just as he dared to lean back in for another taste of his new favourite flavour, some busy footsteps from behind him interrupted his eager actions with a familiar giggle.
"Ah, I see you've been playing musical chairs," the waitress jabbed lightly, watching with an amused grin as Ron sprung away in embarrassment from Kim.
As the two young women swapped an understanding glance, the friendly brunette reached back across the table for Kim's drink, "Let me just grab this for you," she said, making a rather obvious point in replacing the tall juice at the teen hero's new seat, "Now - what can I get you two for breakfast this morning?"
It was only when Ron's tummy grumbled out loud under his red jersey that the teenager suddenly remembered how hungry he was. He and Kim exchanged a quick look, their expressions dropping.
Through all the honest chatter and blissful laughter and sweet kisses they had just shared - the young couple may have forgotten to actually check over the scrumptious looking breakfast menu that morning.
Their appearances mirrored one another as the pair broke into gentle laughter. This was definitely going to be the greatest summer their friendship had ever seen.
As this thought remained with her, and it filled her soul with more warmth than all the food in the world ever could, Kim dropped her hand from Ron's to clutch at his knee as she turned back to their waitress.
"Can we just have two more minutes?"