On the evening of their first "normal Saturday" since they became a couple, Kim and Ron had decided on going to Bueno Nacho and a movie for their second "official" date. It was then that Kim first discovered what she believed to be Ron's "favorite spot" on her body.
Since the dress she had hastily put on that morning looked far too formal for a naco-and-a-movie date, she had changed into jean shorts and a t-shirt shortly after they got Ron back from the hospital (he had been clocked by the tweebs' latest prototype space projectile) and prepared to leave for the evening. Although it served no practical purpose, Kim decided to keep wearing the band-aid above her right knee.
The small cut she had given herself that morning in the shower when she carelessly dragged her razor over her knee had stopped bleeding almost immediately and was barely noticeable. However, the gentlemanly kiss Ron had given her bandage shortly after coming to in the ER made Kim feel so … well … so cared for (it was so too early to start using the 'l' word—they hadn't even had a second "official" date for goodness' sake) that she preferred leaving it on.
While they had been waiting in line at Bueno Nacho, Kim had spotted Bonnie eyeing her from a nearby booth. Her arch rival was wearing a look that managed to be both dumbstruck and gleefully pleased at the same time.
Snap! Kim thought ruefully.
Not only was there a food chain of popularity, there was one of beauty as well. The main proponent of both stated chains, as well as the lead enforcer of their unwritten laws, in Middleton was, of course, Bonnie Rockwaller.
The unwritten laws of the food chain of beauty definitively forbid a girl wearing a bandage in public. Especially if she was a cheerleader. Especially if it was on her leg. And most especially, if the color of the band-aid was just off-color enough from her skin tone to make it all the more obvious. Per this unwritten etiquette, Kim should have been wearing a long skirt or full-length jeans. Kim hated the momentary flush of embarrassment she felt when her eyes met Bonnie's.
It quickly faded however. She was with her Ron; none of that superficial nonsense mattered anymore. Kim smiled as she realized this sea change in her priorities. She leaned into Ron's shoulder and enjoyed the warmth of his reflexive embrace. Bonnie and her chains were something she'd never need to concern herself with again.
Later, as they were standing in line to see the most recent incarnation of a Jane Austin novel to plague the Middleton Movie-plex (Thank goodness, it doesn't have Julia Roberts or Hugh Grant in it! Ron thought.), Kim noticed that the arm that Ron had left lovingly draped across her shoulder more or less ever since Bueno Nacho had migrated down her slim back and was now resting upon her butt.
When did THAT happen?
She looked down and discovered that Ron had hooked his right thumb in a belt loop on her shorts and had nonchalantly curved his hand around the curve of her butt and hip. He had done it so smoothly that she began to wonder if he had even done it consciously.
Her first impulse was to ask him to remove the offending hand-after all this was just their second official date. However, she decided against saying anything. Mostly because it didn't feel offending; it felt pretty good. There was no possessive vibes coming from the sensation, and he was, after all, just resting his hand on her. There was no grabbing, clutching, rubbing or anything else that would have made her go "ewwwww." It felt very much as it had on her shoulder, gentle and loving … the only difference being that it was lower down. But after a few minutes she could not not do something or at least say something. As gently as she could, she asked, "Ron?" and turned her head to face him.
She discovered that he was already looking at her with the most wistful smile she had ever seen. "Yes, KP," he said. There was no way she could say anything even remotely negative or sarcastic to such a look. He was practically beaming at her. The contentment that radiated from those cocoa eyes-eyes haloed with slight radii of silver branching out from the pupils (she could not believe she had never noticed those before)-was pure and absolute. It took her breath away.
"Oh, nothing, Ron," she managed.
"Are you sure, KP?"
"Yup. Everything's great, BFBF," she smiled as he pulled her in for a brief hug. As crazy as it sounded, she knew he had no idea where his hand was.
She felt for certain that he would realize once they got to the window and he had to move his right hand to pay for their tickets. But, amazingly, he didn't.
"Hey, you guys! How are things going?" the girl in the ticket booth asked.
"Hey, Z! Just taking my badical girlfriend out to the flicks!" Ron answered with a friendly wave to his former crush, Zita Flores.
"Hi, Zita!" Kim smiled and waved. Earlier, she had felt some anticipatory anxiety about seeing a movie at that particular theater because she knew Zita still worked there. However, she didn't pick up any awkweirdness from Zita's, Ron's, or even her greeting.
"You guys look so good together!" Zita enthused as she gave them their tickets.
"Thanks, Z! Still ruling Everlot with an iron fist?" Ron asked cheerfully.
"Nah! I'm taking a break from role playing games for a while. I've been looking for something that won't tax my brain so much, just clobber bad guys. But I'm getting schooled on Zombie Mayhem right now."
"No way! That's badical! Do you know Felix Renton? He and the Ron Man have Zombie Mayhem tournaments every Thursday … you wanna learn from the best!"
"That sounds great, Ron!"
"I'll call you."
"Cool. Here are your tickets. You two have fun!"
Ron and Kim waved good-bye. Before they could turn from the booth, Ron had already slid his thumb back into Kim's short's loop and his hand back into position on her butt.
Zita's smiling eyes registered a degree of shock when she caught sight of what Ron had just done and quickly flashed her look to Kim. Kim aimed a brief shrug to Zita and allowed her boyfriend to gently lead her into the theater.
"You're not tweaked are you?" Ron asked suddenly.
Kim wondered if Ron had figured out what he had just done-what he was still doing-or if he was still blissfully in a love trance.
"About what, Ron?" Kim asked innocently. Since he hadn't removed his hand, she assumed, correctly, that it was about something else.
"About Thursday, KP!" Ron cried. "Oh man! I cannot believe I just did that right in front of you!"
"What do you mean, Ron? Thursday has been your Zombie Mayhem night for months. We don't have to spend every night joined at the hip, you know." Kim wondered if Ron would catch the not-so-subtle reference to his hand's position.
"What about her?"
"You really aren't upset?"
"She's your friend. Why should I be upset?"
"Well, I used to be … crushing on her. I mean I know how I'd feel if you asked Mankey to …"
"To play Zombie Mayhem?" Kim giggled. "That would be way weird." Kim smiled. "Look, Ron that is an entirely different sitch. Zita started as a crush but she became a friend. Josh started out as a crush and became … well … nothing, I guess."
"So you aren't weirded out by me smashing zombies for four hours with Zita?"
"Well, I'll admit that I was feeling a little bit awkweird on the drive over. I was worried about how I might feel if she was working tonight and we happened to run into her."
"And how was it? Awkweird?"
"Not at all. I really felt that I had nothing to worry about when it came to her. I was always sure about you in that regard, by the way," she smiled patting his hand that was still on her butt. No reaction! Wow! Ron's really gone! "And after just now, I know I have nothing to be worried about. And the fact that you both felt totally comfortable discussing Thursday in front of me just reinforces my confidence in us."
They were at the snack bar by now.
"Wow," Ron breathed, "this boyfriend/girlfriend thing is so awesome."
"Funny how true love is like that," Kim beamed back at him. Realizing, with a slight degree of panic that she had just used the 'l' word in reference to herself and Ron, Kim quickly changed the subject. "Now what do you want? You bought the tickets, so I'll get the snackage."
"But, KP …"
"No arguments, Ron. I feel our relationship is beyond the whole guy-always-pays-deal. We're partners in this, so we ought to be treating each other. One stipulation, though-no nachos! You had that for dinner."
"Oh man!" Ron gave a mock whine and pulled Kim closer with the same arm he absently had wrapped around her butt.
Ohmygosh! He is STILL oblivious to what he's doing! I wonder how long this will go on. Not that I'm complaining.
In the darkened theater, things shifted back to normal … almost. Ron's right hand shifted smoothly from Kim's butt to her shoulder. So smoothly in fact that she didn't even notice at first.
Ron whined a little at the beginning because the movie wasn't in English. Kim shushed him, "Of course it's in English, Ron! It's just not in Ronnish!" She gave him a hard look.
About twenty minutes in, Ron tapped her arm and pointed animatedly at the actor playing the heroine's father, "Hey, it's that guy! The guy from Puppet Masters!" He rambled on in a somewhat hushed voice about the sci-fi movie in question that concerned these brain-sucking aliens that would land on your head and then control your mind but then everyone got that mosquito disease enceph-, encepha-, and anyway the increased temperatures of everybody's brains melted the aliens and the world was saved. And the guy in that movie, who was also the guy in this movie, looked just like his grandfather's old war buddy from Korea. They were doctors in a mobile hospital of some sort.
"RON!" Kim roared as quietly as she could manage, "I'm trying to watch the movie!"
Pretty much a normal night at the movies for Ron and Kim.
Until, that is, the second half of the picture. Ron actually seemed to be paying attention. He had pulled Kim close at some point, and she found herself snuggling into his chest. She listened to the steady beat of his heart and smiled. "I like hearing your heart beat," she whispered.
Ron kissed her on the top of her head and then surprised her by whispering gently, "Shhhhh."
Whoa! What is going on here?
Near the end of the movie, Kim found herself in a very awkward sitch. She felt like she was going to cry. She used to never cry, ever ... and now she was going to cry for the second time in a single day! For some reason this movie was threatening to break her down. She loved going to romantic movies as much as Ron loved going to see those silly sci-fi/brick-smashing/baseball films of his, but she simply watched them because they made her feel good. They never overwhelmed her emotionally.
Was the movie that good, or was it because she was now really involved with someone? Was it because she was in love herself (there's that word again) with someone who felt the same way about her so that a story about the same thing could touch her like it never had before?
In any case, she was NOT going to cry now. She clutched Ron's hand, and, for some reason, that seemed to steady her. Just as she felt she had passed her danger zone, she realized that Ron was sniffling! She looked up from where her head was laying on his chest, and, sure enough, there were tear tracks coming from both of his eyes.
She immediately wanted to comfort him. "Oh, Ron, are you okay?"
"Oh, KP!" he sighed. "It's so beautiful!" He wiped the tears away with the cuff of his shirt and held her closer.
Kim was so shocked she couldn't think of anything to say. Ron had cried at movies before-the final car chase in Bricks of Fury II had, she recalled, proved to be very heartrending for Ron. But he had never done anything except snore during one of her romantic films. Apparently, their relationship was having a similar effect upon Ron's emotions as well.
As they walked out of the theater, Ron tried to apologize for crying in the movie. Kim would hear none of it.
"It was very sweet, Ron. You don't have to apologize. But I would like to know why you felt like crying."
"I don't know, KP." Ron shrugged. "It's not like there were any badical effects or stunts, but it just seemed right to do it."
"To tell you the truth, Ron," Kim confessed with a smile, "I almost lost it too."
"You did?" Ron asked in surprise. "Really?"
"Mmm-hmm." Kim nodded. "It just made me feel so happy. I guess it kinda reminded me about us."
"Yeah," Ron said trying not to tear up again, "I think I was feeling the same thing."
It wasn't until Ron walked Kim backed to his mother's car and opened her door that she realized that he had rested his hand on her butt all the way out of the theater.
Man! Now I'm getting oblivious to it!
Kim had Ron stop the car a few blocks before they reached her house.
"What's up, KP? We're going to be late for curfew. I don't want to get on your dad's bad side on only our second date."
"Chill, Ron. We still have fifteen minutes and what I have in mind won't take that long."
She got out of the car, walked around to the driver's side, and opened his door. After he got out, she leaned in and whispered in his ear, "I wanted some good-night Ron Factor." She knew that that certainly would not fly on her parents' front steps.
"I might be able to provide that," Ron leered.
"Grande size, please and thank you," Kim leered back.
"Only if it comes with some KP five-alarm special sauce."
She pretended to consider his request and replied coyly, "I could probably manage four-alarm, but we'll see."
As they embraced and began the lip locking, Kim became slowly aware that the Ron Factor could … well … be kicked up a notch. Although it was good, real real good, the experience would be so much better if Ron were to move his hands from around her back to someplace … better.
"Whoa! What are you doing, KP!" Ron asked in shock as he pulled away from her. She had been guiding his hands down to her butt.
The look she shot him froze the blood in his veins.
"Don't get my wrong, KP," he sputtered, "I want to do it, believe me I do, but I really don't think I should be getting to second base so quickly … it is only our second official date."
Kim rolled her eyes. "Ron," she shot out her right hand with her index and middle finger extended, "two things. One, this," she grabbed his right hand and gave her butt a little smack with it, "is NOT second base."
Ron let out a shocked "Eeep!"
"This," she said placing his hand against her chest, "is second base."
"Aaaaaah!" Ron shrieked.
"Calm down, Ron," Kim said, amping down herself. "It is only second base if it is underneath my clothes. You have inadvertently touched my chest on missions before, no big. But the second point I want to make is that you have had your right hand on my butt for practically THE ENTIRE NIGHT!"
"Ever since we were in line at the theater!"
"I - uh- I don't remem-"
"Ask Zita on Monday. She saw you do it, and I think it freaked her out a little."
"Yep, in the line for the tickets, in the line for popcorn, allllllllll the way down to our seats, allllllllll the way from our seats to the car. I am certainly glad I had you stop here. You probably would have had your hand there all the way up my parents' driveway. And you just know my dad will be peaking through the blinds as soon as he hears your car drive up."
"I'm sooooooo sorry, KP! Geez, what a piggish thing to do! And in public too! Great! I'm a possessive jerk and didn't even know it! Aaargh! You must hate me."
"As if," Kim smiled. "True, it did tweak me at first, but you did it so … well, gentleman-like, and besides, I kinda enjoyed it."
"Oh yes. You did it so nonchalantly … it just seemed, I don't know, natural … like it was your favorite spot."
"Well, if you don't mind …"
"Not at all. Except in front of certain people. So let's try this again, shall we?"
So when the lip-locking recommenced, Ron's hands gently traveled down Kim's back of their own accord and came to rest on Kim's petite, yet perfectly formed butt. For the next few minutes the two lovers enjoyed a Grande sized Ron Factor with Five-Alarm KP sauce.