Kim had never really noticed before just how many stars actually speckled the night sky. Not in a totally oblivious sense - she understood the basic theory of the size of the galaxy, and every other galaxy that stretched beyond her own. But when she glanced up at the millions and billions of shiny dots that illuminated in the darkness, Kim couldn't help but shake her head.
There were just so many stars. And after tonight, Kim only wondered how many more of them were inhabited by extraterrestrial foes.
"Okay, so, look - I'm not going to deny that the player love is definitely a step up from the mascot love..."
Kim could only just hear the sound of Ron's voice above her own thoughts. But still, her vision remained skyward.
"But is it just me, or was everyone actually cheering louder for the Pep Puppies than they ever did for the Mad Dog?"
As he stood by and waited patiently for some level of comfort from his girlfriend, Kim's silence only made Ron raise an eyebrow at her.
"KP?" he asked, "Hello, Earth to Kim?"
When he waved his hand in front of her face, Kim suddenly snapped out of her trance, looking up at Ron with an empty blink.
"Sorry," she murmured, "I was miles away."
"Everything good? You were totally spaced out."
Kim felt an internal shudder cross her as she groaned, "Please - don't say 'spaced'."
The very moment that the last word left her, Ron sensed his expression drop with concern.
The teen hero had made it back to Middleton High a short while ago after successfully thwarting yet another attempt of Doctor Drakken's to take over the world. Only this time, there had been a distinct twist in his foul plan. This time, Dr. D. had enlisted some intergalactic assistance.
Now, Kim was sitting on the hood of her car where she had been waiting for Ron to return from the locker room after his football game that evening. And while the blonde boy had already checked in with his girlfriend and made sure she was okay, the features of Kim's face were telling a very different story to the words she had originally spoken.
"You're sure the fake out from the twins and me worked, right? Like, we're not worried about that two-legged alligator turning around and flying her ship right back here?"
Kim cracked a smile, "No. We're not worried," she quickly dismissed, her smirk only growing, "You were great, and so were the tweebs. Maybe even better than they were in their debut at Mad Dog mascotary?"
Her teasing comment caused Ron to furrow his brow at her. But his appearance soon morphed to a matching grin.
"Oh, really?" he challenged, taking a flirtatious step forward.
Kim nodded her head, her sarcastic, green eyes twinkling under the moonlight, "Mhm. They're pretty light on their feet. I heard they nailed their big finale, too. Must be their heightened levels of youthful hand-eye coordination."
Even when she was tormenting him, Kim had an irresistible way of making Ron's knees go weak. But all the same, he snorted at her daring brashness. He was relieved that the twins had already been collected by James after the game and weren't there to join in the madness of the Mad Dog related torture. Although, that suddenly wasn't the only reason why Ron was happy to be alone with his BFGF.
As he slung his training bag off his shoulder and placed it on the hood of the car beside Kim, Ron narrowed his brown eyes at her, "Hey, I'll have you know that all this sportage and additional exercise has done wonders for my hand-eye coordination."
Kim's smile widened expectantly when Ron's fingers came wiggling their way towards her. She started laughing before the tickling even began. Her giggling was absolutely infectious. She breathlessly attempted Ron's name between each laugh as she swatted his hands away. Ron's heart was racing happily when he crept even closer to her. He almost placed one leg firmly between each of her own as his hands wandered away from her stomach, around to her sides and over her ribs.
That's when her adorable laughter turned into an abrupt hiss of pain.
Immediately, Ron came a halt, "Kim?" he asked with the smallest panic. Rufus echoed all of his human's concerns when he appeared on Ron's shoulder with a surprised squeak. They both watched on as Kim recoiled and rubbed delicately at the spot by her waist.
The redhead chewed down on her bottom lip, cursing under her breath, "It's okay, it's nothing. I got a little roughed up, but it's, like, literally the tiniest bump."
Ron's skepticism was unwavering, "Yeah, it sounded like it," he spat cynically.
When he returned his hand to Kim's side, he waited to see if she would protest. His touch was feather soft. And when Kim sighed in reluctant defeat, she glanced up at him with confirmation in her expression.
The teen hero winced a small amount when her boyfriend lifted the back of her shirt up to gaze at the dark bruise that had formed in purples and blues on her back. Being hurled at crashing speed into the wall of Drakken's temporary new lair had certainly done more damage than Kim was willingly ready to admit.
Rufus blew out a soft gasp from between his bucked teeth, and Ron's voice was dismal when he spoke, "KP..."
"It's fine," she repeated, "Turns out Warmonga is just a lot bigger and stronger than Shego is. And greener, actually, believe it or not - "
"Are you sure you're okay?"
When he cut off her lame attempt at a joke, Ron's grip moved from her back to gently cup one side of her face, making Kim's bottom lip drop open. She almost stuttered over that start of her next sentence.
"Yeah... I mean, yeah, I've had worse battle wounds than this before, I - "
"I don't just mean on the outside?"
Instantly, Kim's heart melted.
She had never been one to allow any lingering frustrations or fears from her missions to consume and torment her. Nothing had even come close to shaking Kim like that. It was unheard of.
But while that certainly may have been how she was viewed by all the ordinary people in her life, clearly it didn't mean that any rare vulnerabilities on her part were able to slip by unnoticed by Ron. And Kim was so beyond lucky for that.
When his hand fell away from her face, she reached forward to lace her fingertips with his, "I'm okay," she promised sincerely, "Admittedly a little freaked out, but okay."
Ron was almost tempted to question her again, but instead found himself releasing the deep breath he was holding when he finally spotted a genuine smile cross her. He almost looked a little guilty for being so unnaturally worried about her, but Kim only squeezed his hand tighter.
"I know alien territory isn't exactly a regular sitch for us. But we handled it, right?"
"You handled it," Ron corrected, "Game or no game, next time I'm coming with you. What kind of boyfriend would I be if I didn't protect my girlfriend from being squashed by some nine foot freak?"
Kim raised an eyebrow of disbelief at her sidekick.
"...Or be the clumsy distraction?"
She laughed then. That was more like it.
"You know it."
There was a warm blush glowing in both of their cheeks when Kim leaned forward and pressed her lips to Ron's with a light peck. But the tiny gagging sounds from Rufus quickly told the teenagers that maybe it was time to finally go home, instead.
They parted with one last whisper of a chuckle when Ron stood to the side so Kim could hop down from her perch. He grabbed his bag and hung it back over his shoulder while Kim jingled her car keys between her fingers, hesitating again. When she cast her eyes back up to late evening sky, she sighed.
Kim did not lack even a single ounce of confidence in all of her insane ability - ever, but the whole alien encounter had definitely been wildly unexpected. Not to mention super confronting. They may have been able to easily outsmart Warmonga, but Kim only wondered if their physical battle had raged on any longer... would she have managed to out-muscle her?
The teen hero wasn't sure. She was just glad that it was all over.
When she glanced back down to find that Ron had opened the driver's side door for her, Kim felt the tickling of butterflies in her tummy. With one last shake of her head, she finally tore her thoughts away from the events of that night and made her way past her boyfriend. She smiled at him as she felt his hand ghost over the small of her back when he led her to her seat.
The thud from the door was quiet when he closed it in place behind her. A hell of a lot quieter than the thudding of her heart, anyway.
That, Kim was absolutely certain of.