Kim Possible, Ron Stoppable, Rufus, Monique, Felix Renton, Wade Load, Mr. and Mrs. Dr. Possible, Jim and Tim Possible, Bonnie Rockwaller, Josh Mankey, Tara, Señor Senior Senior, and Señor Senior Junior are characters from the Kim Possible show, created by Mark McCorkle and Bob Schooley, owned and copyright © by the Walt Disney Company. The story takes place during Chrismas vacation of Kim and Ron’s sophomore year of college, about two and a half years after “So the Drama,” and shortly after my earlier story, “A Stoppable Vacation.” This story © 2005 by cloudmonet.
The telephone rang. Kim Possible, dressed in pajamas, rolled over and pulled the cordless phone off its crib, and said, “Hello?”
“Hi,” said a girl’s voice, rather shyly, “Could I talk to Jimmy?”
“Jimmy— Possible?” asked Kim.
“Yeah. Are you his big sister, Kim? My brother knows you. I’m Jill Mankey. Could you put Jimmy on the phone?”
“I’ll go get him.” Kim smiled to herself as she slipped on her housecoat against the chill and went downstairs to knock on the tweebs’ bedroom door. “Jimmy!” Kim sang out with a mock flirtaceous voice. “Jill wants to talk to you.”
Jim opened the door and glared at Kim. “You didn’t say anything embarrassing to her, did you?” he demanded.
“Oooh, you’re serious about her,” said Kim.
“She’s not my girlfriend, if that’s what you mean,” said Jim.
“Not officially,” said Tim.
“Yeah, but, c’mon, sis, please?”
“I’m sorry, sorta,” Kim said with a giggle. “I just remember how many times my dates used to dodge your rockets, so I couldn’t resist a little fun.”
“We never got between you and Ron,” said Jim. “Jill’s like that, okay? And so’s Katie!”
“Katie?” asked Kim. “I suppose she’s Tim’s friend?”
“I gotta take this call. Excuse me,” said Jim, picking up the phone. “Hey Jill, it’s Jimmy—”
Tim stepped into the hallway and closed the door. “We sorta got plans today,” he told Kim. “You could do us a big favor by going upstairs and getting dressed. Jill and Katie keep saying they want to meet you, so let’s try to make a good impression.”
Kim chuckled. “Sorry, Tim, this just seems so cute to me. All right, I’ll try to behave.”
“Just do. There is no try.”
“So who’s Katie?”
“She’s Tara’s sister,” said Tim. “They’ve both heard stories about you we’d like to disprove.”
“Um, well, I can’t guarantee those stories aren’t true.”
“Well, did you actually—” Tim whispered something into Kim’s ear.
“Where’s Mom and Dad?” Kim whispered back.
“Mom went to work. Dad’s downstairs.”
“Okay, then, that did sort of happen, but— I don’t want to talk about it.”
“Yeah, I wouldn’t either,” said Tim.
“I’m gonna go get dressed, okay?” said Kim, climbing the stairs to her room.
On a hilly private island off the coast of France, a tall slender woman in a red dress, with jet-black hair cascading over her bare shoulders, took a sip from her drink and smiled, “So you’re retired, Señor— Senior?”
The gray haired gentleman smiled back, “Yes, my business ventures were quite profitable, Mademoiselle La Bella Rouge, and you?”
“Dissolute daughter of the owner of Les Rouges, the most elegant hotels in Europe,” La Bella replied. “Perhaps you have stayed at one? But do not worry, Señor Senior, my dissolute days are past. I’m ready to settle down.”
“Of course you must understand as a man in my position, I must be careful with my heart. I cannot give my love to just any charming young woman. I have suffered through divorce proceedings.”
“As have I, Señor Senior,” said La Bella, smiling again. “So, you wanted to show me around your villa? The outer walls are built like a fortress.”
“I value my privacy,” said Senior.
“As do I,” said La Bella. “We do have some things in common. You’re well mannered. I like a man with culture, who fills his halls with statuary and beautiful paintings.”
“Oh, I wish I’d known that,” said Senior. “You see, I tire of looking at the same things, and my walls have only a couple of works hanging up right now!”
La Bella laughed. “A man who is willing to lie to please me! I like that, as long as you don’t lie about something important.”
The front door slid open, La Bella and Senior walked inside, and the doors closed with a whoosh. “If I were to live here with you, the papparazzi would never get another picture of La Bella Rouge!” she said. “But it is so barren. You have an empty palace, even the painting there, so flat and abstract. Could you imagine what an El Greco would look like here, or a Rembrandt, or even something more modern like a Monet, or a Van Gogh?”
“These are not artists whose work comes up for sale in the galleries,” said Senior.
La Bella moved closer and put her arm around his waist. “Not often perhaps, but for a man with your wealth and connections, isn’t anything possible?”
“Yes, perhaps,” he replied.
The Possibles’ front doorbell rang. “We’ll get it,” the tweebs said together, rushing to the door, which they opened, only to find Ron standing there, Rufus peeking out of his pocket.
“Hey, Jim, Tim, what’s happening?”
“Come on in, Ron, I’m on the couch,” said Kim, and he hung his jacket on one of the hooks and came into the living room. “Come here, come here,” she whispered, waving her hand.
“What’s up?” he asked Kim.
“The tweebs have girlfriends,” she whispered. “This is so cute. They’re worried I’m gonna embarrass them.”
“Anyone we know?”
“Josh’s and Tara’s little sisters.”
“I remember Tara’s sister,” said Ron. “Remember some times at cheer practice, and the games, she was with Tara’s mom?”
“Oh, right, Katie the little blonde girl. I used to babysit her.”
“Better not mention whatever you remember she did,” said Ron, and Rufus appeared to agree with this.
Kim rolled her eyes. “I’m not like my mom. I wouldn’t do that. Did I ever meet Josh’s sister?”
The doorbell rang.
“Maybe we’re about to,” said Ron.
“We’ll get it,” the tweebs said again, and after a bit of mumbled dialog at the door, they came into the living room with two girls, Katie, the blonde one who looked like a smaller Tara with a ponytail, and Jill, a long-haired brunette who kind of reminded Kim of Bonnie till she smiled and looked all sweet. They were both wearing baggy sweatshirts and tight jeans.
It took a moment for everyone to figure out where they wanted to sit, but Tim managed to sit next to Katie, and Jim next to Jill.
“Okay,” said Jill. “What’s happening is my big brother, Josh, is having an art show at the Jabberwocky Gallery downtown, that’s supposed to open tomorrow, and we’re all gonna help Josh and Tara set it up, you know, hang up the paintings and move the sculptures, and—” she took a deep breath, “I’m supposed to ask you and Ron if you wanna help.”
Kim looked at Ron. “That sounds like it could be fun,” she said.
“Uh— okay. I don’t know much about art.”
“Ron, we’re taking art history,” said Kim.
“Well, that’s like Carvaggio or El Greco or something,” said Ron. “We haven’t got to the modern stuff yet.”
“So now we just need you to ask Dad to borrow the sports utility wagon, and we can all go together,” said Jim.
“Um, okay,” said Kim.
Following Jill’s instructions, Kim drove through the narrow alley behind the gallery and parked next to Josh Mankey’s van. The back door to the gallery was open. They climbed three steps to the loading dock and walked inside, where Josh and Tara were leaning a large canvas covered with an old bedsheet against the wall.
“Oh, Kim, I’m so glad you could come,” said Tara. “I know how busy you sometimes are.”
“Hey, Ron, Jimmy, Tim,” said Josh. “It’s all about bringing them in, then we’ll arrange.”
“Okay,” Kim said, looking at Ron. “Let’s do it.” For the next half hour or so, they carried canvases, small and large, and cardboard boxes filled with ceramic sculptures, while Rufus ran around the gallery, sniffing at everything.
“Okay, these gray panels can be moved,” Josh explained. “So they can mark off alcoves, subdivide the big room, or create a flow through the exhibit. I have several themes and stories to express, and I’ve sketched a few ideas, but we may have to try different arrangements to get what works best.”
“We could have done all that in a virtual reality space,” said Jim.
“Even a big screen doesn’t give you the feel of actually being here. There’s a physical reality thing that you can mimic but not exactly duplicate.”
“Okay, that’s Wade’s equipment,” Jim replied. “He’s got a holodeck like Space Passage, the Next Generation.”
“I think it’s more fun this way,” said Jill. “It’s a real reality space, and I can do this!” She grabbed Jim, hugged him, ruffled his hair, and let go before he could react.
Tim and Katie looked at each other and rolled their eyes. Tara and Kim smiled at each other. Ron started helping Josh remove the strings and tapes from the biggest painting.
What appeared when the bedsheets dropped was an incredible landcape showing the mountains behind the Mount Middleton vista point, with miles of depth, layer on layer of distant pine groves, mountains beyond mountains, and looking over the railing on the canyon’s edge, about a foot and a half tall on a canvas six feet by ten, Tara, her whitish blonde hair and pink dress luminous in the sunlight and moving gracefully with the wind.
“Jaw dropping to floor now,” said Kim. “That is so beautiful, Josh.”
“I started this last summer,” he replied. “This piece is the climax of the show, and has to go on that wall, right there, I think.”
“Oh, for sure,” Tara replied.
Josh and Ron carried the big canvas, edged with a carved wooden frame, over to the designated place.
They unwrapped a number of other large canvases, two more landscapes of the mountains near Middleton, a picture of the park in Des Moines, where the Mankeys lived for two years before moving back to Middleton, and some pictures of the Bay Area, where Josh met Tara again in college. There was one particularly stunning painting of Tara dancing in a vacant lot.
“I took a still from a video to get just the pose I wanted, and then painted the background from life, and filled in Tara’s details with her sitting on a plastic chair,” Josh explained.
There were many other portraits of Tara, and a few of Josh’s other friends from college.
Kim randomly picked up a smaller painting labeled “Kim” and pulled off the paper wrapping, revealing a portrait of herself, in a dark brown dress, posed as the Mona Lisa in front of an approximation of Da Vinci’s greenish trees and rocks. She laughed and wiped tears from her eyes at the same time. “Josh, when did you paint this?” she asked.
Josh smiled. “Oh, that! It was an art class project for high school. I used the snapshot you gave me to get your face. We were supposed to make paintings that quoted something from a famous composition. Your slight smile reminded me of all the cliches you hear about that painting, so I imagined you in the dress on the balcony bench with the hills and rock outcrops. It’s half fantasy, half parody, but it came out nice.”
“Why didn’t you ever show it to me?” Kim demanded.
“Um, because you had too many ideas about me as it was, and I didn’t want to give you any more.”
Kim sighed, “Well, okay.”
“Then my family moved to Iowa.”
“I hated that,” said Jill. “The girls in the Merriweather Lewis Middle School were all yeaaacck! I so missed Katie and Deborah and all my other friends.”
Ron crowded in, trying to look over Kim’s shoulder at the painting. “Oh, maann!” he said. “That’s how you look at me!”
Rufus hopped up on Kim’s shoulder and appeared to express agreement. Kim giggled, putting her arm around Ron. “You probably took the photo.”
“And you gave it to Josh!”
“Oops, sorry— but he made this, and that’s good, isn’t it? What do you think, Tara? Would I really look this pretty in a dress like this? Renaissance gowns aren’t my style at all, but, hmm—”
“Oh, I have costume dresses,” said Tara. “They’re beautiful, but way too expensive for how often I get to wear them.”
“Monique so puts this stuff down,” said Kim. “Everytime I want a dress with any kind of historic echoes, it’s yeaaacck! to her. Besides, with my luck, I’d find myself forced to fight someone, with no time to change. But I love the painting.”
“Me too, me especially,” said Ron.
“Mm hmm,” Rufus definitely agreed.
“Ron’s so sweet. He has several photos of me on his wall to remind him of me whenever we get separated for a few hours.”
On a white sandy beach on the edge of the sparkling turquoise Mediterranean, a young, muscular man lay face down on a beach towel while a curvy tanned blonde woman in a string bikini rubbed suntan oil on his back.
“Mm, Helga, rub harder, you know how I like it.”
“I vas tinking, Junior, maybe ve go to de deesko togezza, tonight I mean, and den—”
The shadow of someone walking by fell across their bodies, making them shiver. It was a warm day for late December, and warmer still in the sun, but this cold shadow wasn’t going away.
Junior sat up, “Father! You are blocking the sunlight and making us cold.”
Senior stepped to one side. “Get dressed, my boy, I need your assistance for an adventure I am planning.”
Helga looked at Senior and smiled. “I can be qvite adventurous sometimes, you know?”
Senior gave her an evil chuckle and frowned. “I am sorry, señorita, but this is something my son and I must do alone. I will return him to you, hmm, tomorrow most likely, or the day after that. This will not spoil your New Year’s Eve.”
“Ho, okay den,” Helga said, giving Senior a model’s pout then a smile. She grabbed Junior and gave him a lengthy kiss before walking away with an enticing wiggle.
“Not bad, my son, not bad,” said Senior.
“Poof! She is too clingy,” Junior complained, folding his towel. “She was starting to keep the other girls away. I am glad you stopped by, I think. You sound like you want to make me do something evil, and I thought we agreed you retired from that.”
Senior shrugged. “If I need to have something, and no one will sell it to me, am I not forced to get it some other way?”
“Whatever it is, they probably have some on ebay,” Junior said, opening his bag and pulling on a T-shirt, a designer jean jacket, and some black pants. “No one could outbid you.”
“I already checked that. Now come.”
Junior sighed. “What do you want and what’s it for?”
“If you must know, I wish to collect some art to decorate our villa, to impress a beautiful woman.”
“Why do you want to impress her? She’ll just stick around, get you to marry her, and before you know it, another messy divorce.”
“It is not so easy for a man of my advanced age to find suitable companionship,” said Senior. “Some day it will not be so easy for you. You might be well advised to let one of the clingy ones cling, while you still have your choice of the best.”
Junior rolled his eyes and followed his father across the huge, half empty parking lot, with a red and black helicopter parked in the back. “At least tell me you’re not planning to steal the Mona Lisa from the Louvre.”
“Well, I considered this,” said Senior. “It would be an appropriate challenge. But no, anyone would know I stole this. I must collect paintings that are not so well known, from places that are not so well known.”
“At least tell me we’re not going to America to rob the museum in Middleton,” said Junior.
“And directly challenge Kim Possible? I am tempted, but no, it would not do to have Señorita Possible show up at my villa while La Bella is there.”
“La Bella?” asked Junior. “At least tell me not La Bella Rouge of Les Rouges Hotels.”
“Well, actually— what do you know about her?”
“She is dissolute and decadent,” said Junior.
“She admits this, but she is getting older,” said Senior, climbing into the helicopter’s pilot seat. “She is cultured, with a taste for the finer things in life. I find we have much in common, and, of course, her beauty is legendary.”
“You’d think she’d be satisfied with velvet paintings from a flea market,” said Junior, sitting beside his father. “Oh well, what are we stealing, and from where?”
“That was fun, don’t you think?” Kim asked, snuggling back against Ron’s warmth in the darkness. “Hanging paintings in the gallery, watching my brothers with their little friends. Jill’s so shy and Katie’s so funny. Can we go to the opening tomorrow evening? Maybe we could analyse Josh’s paintings for Art History class and get some extra credit.”
“Aren’t we already getting A’s in that?” asked Ron. “I’m on vacation.”
“Okay,” said Kim.
“I feel kind of jealous, I mean that Josh can make all those beautiful paintings of Tara, and I can’t do anything like that for you.”
“How many times have you saved my life in action?” Kim asked. “That’s way more important to me than pretty pictures.”
“I know,” said Ron. “And yet—”
“No one can do everything, Ron, not even me.”
Dot dot dadot! beeped the kimmunicator. Kim fumbled around in the dark and found it on the night table. “Wade?” she asked, aiming the screen and camera toward the window.
“The one and only. Do you need a moment?”
“Please and thank you,” she said, quickly slipping on her mission shirt and cargo pants. “You get dressed, too,” she told Ron. “This is probably a mission.” Kim turned the kimmunicator back on, her face by the glowing image of Wade in his room.
“There’s a robbery in progress at the Portland Art Museum. In the past two hours, there’s been breakins at Art Museums in Missoula, Boise, Spokane, Seattle. They seem to be taking mostly moderately sized impressionists, neoclassic, and old masters.”
“Sounds like a thieves with good taste,” said Ron.
“Hmm,” said Kim.
“How does this happen?” asked Ron. “We set up Josh Mankey’s art exhibit, and then we have a mission with art thieves.”
“It’s called coincidence,” said Kim.
“Giving it a name doesn’t explain it.”
“I’m assuming we can’t get to Portland before the police, so where do you think they’ll strike next?”
“I think we know where they’re going to go,” Wade said. “Here’s a security camera feed from Boise.”
The grainy image showed a hooded man in black, rather athletic, sliding down a rope, aiming a laser weapon at the camera, then the picture went to static.
“Doesn’t exactly look like a ninja,” said Kim. “Too bad we can’t see his eyes.”
“Maybe we don’t need to,” Wade said, zooming in on the man’s neck, where a bit of skin showed two parallel marks from a tattoo.
“Triple S?” asked Kim. “I thought Señor Senior Senior was retired. What’s this about? Why’s he stealing art?”
“I don’t think it’s for the money. There’s no sign of anything wrong with the Senior finances that I can detect. In fact, the tabloids are speculating that La Bella Rouge is courting him for his fortune.”
“Frequent victim of the tabloids,” said Ron. “Heiress, fabulously rich, decadent, dissolute, often gets videotaped by her boyfriends.”
“Why would you know about this?” asked Kim.
“Cause I look at tabloid covers when I’m buying stuff, okay?” said Ron, a bit defensively.
“You like the low necklines?” Kim teased him.
“Sweetie, they’re just there, and I get bored waiting in line, okay? I never saw anything about La Bella Rouge with Senior though. You’d think Junior’d be more her type.”
“It’s on the cover of the new Weekly World Scandal,” said Wade.
“Haven’t been to a store lately.”
“So Senior’s dating La Bella Rouge. Does she like art?” asked Kim.
“That’s what I’m guessing. It’s hard to find out much about her besides her clothes, boyfriends, and, shall I call it, intimate behavior.”
“Does she date criminals?” asked Kim.
“Okay, running a search, seems like usually not— oh, here’s one, young CEO, securities fraud, and another, younger son in a Sicilian crime family— and now Senior, that’s about it.”
“So we wake up Felix, give him some coffee, and get to Senior’s island before he does,” said Kim. “I don’t want to mess with all his automated traps. Is there a way I can just unplug them all, or blow his circuit breakers?”
“You asked this last time,” said Wade. “His electric system has multiple redundancies and smart gridding. If something goes, the power’s rerouted, the breakers reset.”
“There has to be a power source.”
“Four power sources, each guarded by motion sensitive laser cannons.”
Kim rolled her eyes and sighed. “I hate that island.”
A small black jet with the “KP” monogram on the tail was flying toward the red rising sun over a cloudbank above the Atlantic. Felix’s cyber-robotic wheelchair was locked in place at the control panel. Kim and Ron had just gotten up from the foldout bed in the back.
“These motion sensitive lasers,” Felix said, “are they camera activated or radar activated?”
“Oh, I see where you’re going,” Kim said. “They’ve always been activated by multiple interrupted beams, haven’t they, Ron?”
“All I know is, with luck, you can dance your way through.”
“Right, dancing confuses the targeting, but why?”
“Because the guns are programmed for a target that’s either running, walking, or standing still,” said Felix. “Moving in one place, more or less, isn’t what an enemy’s expected to do.”
“I wouldn’t want to put Rufus at risk this way, but the sensors don’t usually notice him,” said Ron.
“Well, they’re already here,” said Kim, looking at the red and black helicopter at the Seniors’ compound, and tugging on one side of her parasail to steer toward the opposite side of the island. Ron tried to copy her move, and almost spilled his air. So they landed about a thousand feet apart, and had to work their way over the boulders to the same part of the outer wall.
“That could have gone better,” Ron admitted.
“You jerked just a little too much,” said Kim. “Well, I think we’d better assume they saw us and are preparing some sort of nasty trap.”
Inside the front room, Senior and Junior propped one of Claude Monet’s “Water Lilies” paintings against the wall, having already brought in several large portraits of long-forgotten lords and ladies, and a cityscape of Venice.
“That’s the last one,” said Junior. “I’m leaving.”
“Yes, but we have a problem,” Senior said. “Did you not see the two parasails high above our island, hmm? I am afraid our attempts at stealth have failed. Kim Possible is here.”
“I that case, I will go out and, um, distract her, which should give you time to, um, figure out something evil to do.”
“Yes, hmm, what have I not already tried?” Senior wondered.
In the shadows, with dark water sloshing back and forth twenty feet below, Kim and Ron edged their way along the jagged rock on one side of a large grotto. Their whispers echoed alarmingly, but blended with the noise of the water.
“What makes you think this is the easy way in?” asked Ron.
“Every time we try the front door, he trapdoors me down to somewhere like this. I’d rather skip the fall. Besides, we’ve never tried the speedboat grotto. They might not be expecting—”
With a sudden harrrrruuummm! a noisy speedboat engine started, multiplied by deafening echoes. The wake churned all the water to white froth. Kim aimed her hairdryer, fired a grappling hook, and scooped her left arm around Ron, but the hook missed the boat and fell in the water. Kim winched back the hook, disappointed. “Dang! They got away,” she said.
Ron was trembling.
“Hope I didn’t scare you too much,” said Kim.
“Maybe it would have worked, but there’s a lot of sharp rocks down there.”
“I see the dock ahead. Let’s check it out.” Kim fired her grappling hook toward the roof of the grotto, it held, and she grabbed Ron and swung around down to the dock. Then she stuck her comb in the state of the art electronic lock and let it begin sending signals and queries to the mechanism. In a moment, the door slid open to reveal an elevator. Kim and Ron stepped inside and looked at the buttons. “Just two levels above this one,” she said. “Let’s try the top one.”
The elevator lurched, then accelerated, and gradually slowed down, as “1” lit up red, then “2,” then the door opened to a hallway with a large window at each end, with four doors along one side.
Kim stepped silently to each door and pressed her ear to it, listening for sounds inside. “I hear something buzzing,” she whispered, and stuck her comb in the lock. In half a minute the door slid open, revealing a big generator guarded by two lasers aimed toward the door.
“Silly me, I thought this was a bedroom.” She stood back, fired her grappling hook at the wire plugged into the generator, tugged at it, and the room momentarily went dark, then the lights came on again.
She rewound the grappling hook, stepped to the next door, picked the electronic lock with her comb, and fired the hook to unplug the second wire. Kim was just pulling the third plug out of the third generator when Señor Senior Senior came up the stairs at the far end of the hallway.
Kim made a tumbling kick to knock the laser gun out of his hand and down the stairs. Senior was stronger than she expected, but so far unable to escape her grip or gain advantage.
Ron pulled the comb from the third door and stuck it in the fourth, which opened quickly. Rufus ran around the room to the fourth generator, avoiding all the sensor beams, and tugged on the plug. After a tense moment, it came out and all the lights went out. Ron ran over to Kim and Senior.
“Tough old guy, aint’cha?” Ron asked, twisting one arm behind his back while Kim stood up and twisted the other.
“Don’t make us hurt you,” said Kim. “Where’s the art?”
“That was well played, my young foe,” Senior said. “I had the lasers downstairs programmed so there was no possible escape for you, and you were up here pulling my plugs. I really must install more security cameras.”
“That’s not what I asked you.”
“Downstairs, of course.”
“Ron, get that laser gun. Senior, don’t try anything!”
“I surrender to your mercy, Señorita Possible,” he said politely. She held the old man’s hands together behind his back and walked him down the stairs.
Ron had the laser gun. “What should I do with this?”
“Use it to blast all the lasers mounted on the ceiling, or as many as you can get before the battery dies.”
“I always wanted to do that,” Ron said, taking aim at one of them and blasting. “Oooh, this is fun!” He zapped a second, and a third.
“Okay, sit down and stay there,” Kim said, pushing Senior into a chair. “What’s this all about? Why are you robbing public art museums in Boise and Portland? Do you realize how much it’s gonna break their budgets to fix those holes in their roofs? It’s December! Stuff’s getting ruined, right now, by rain or snow. Why’d you do this? You’ve got the money to buy all the art you could ever want. Was it to impress that hotel heiress witch who’s after your money? I think you already impressed her, though you may wish you hadn’t.”
“What are you talking about?” asked Senior.
“Dude, it’s on the front page of this week’s Weekly World Scandal,” said Ron, after blasting another ceiling laser. “La Bella Rouge, Señor Senior Senior, they’re a hot new item, but is she just after his bucks?”
“The papparazzi never got a picture of us together.”
“There’s telescopes, and if that don’t work, there’s photoshop,” said Ron.
“There are artists all over the world making great paintings, every style anyone’s ever used and some totally new,” said Kim. “For a few hundred or a few thousand dollars you can buy truly stunning works. That’s how every one of these paintings you stole started, either someone bought it in a gallery, or hired the artist to do it. They belong to the world now, and I’m taking them back to the museums they came from. You— I’d love nothing more than to see you in an Idaho state prison or the like, but I’m thinking of the greater good. How does cost of repairing structural damage plus two million dollars for each museum sound to you? That might be enough to get them to consider not pressing charges.”
“I— I could do that.”
“So, I think it’s banking hours in Switzerland,” Kim said, handing him his own satellite phone. “If you would call your bank and make the appropriate funds transfers to the accounts of the five museums you plundered, I’ll call Wade and verify the transactions.”
Senior sighed, “Ah, very well.”
Kim Possible’s little black jet landed on a runway in snowy Missoula. As instructed by Wade, the art museum staff met the plane with a truck, and carefully carried out the paintings which were theirs. “Thanks ever so much, Miss Possible,” said the curator. “As far as I can tell, there’s no damage to the works, and the compensation will more than repair the building. We can put in those handicapped bathrooms and buy more paintings.”
“Handicapped bathrooms are nice,” Felix said with a sly smile.
The same scene was more or less repeated in Boise, Spokane, Seattle, and Portland.
“And we’re home in plenty of time for Josh’s opening,” Kim said, as Felix landed her jet at Middleton airport.
“Kimmie, where have you been?” asked Mrs. Dr. Possible, when Kim and Ron walked in. “Dad took the twins and their girls to the opening.”
“We had to deal with some art thieves,” said Kim. “It might make the evening news, I don’t know.”
“It’ll make the local news in Missoula, Boise, Spokane, Seattle and Portland,” said Ron. “But I don’t think we can see that here unless Wade streams it.”
“Um, Katie brought over a dress for you, from Tara, to wear tonight. I told them I didn’t think it was your style.”
“Like a historical costume dress?” asked Kim. “We kinda talked about that.”
“I laid it out on your bed,” said Mom.
“I’ll be right back down,” said Kim. “Are you gonna come to the opening, too? The paintings are awesome!”
“So I’ve heard. It should be fun.”
In a few minutes, Kim was making her entrance down the stairway, wearing a brown velvet gown with a wide neckline, a smocked tightly fitting top, and a very full skirt.
“Wow, check it out,” said Ron. “You’re beautiful.”
“Let’s go to your house and get you in a suit,” said Kim.
“I don’t know. The black mission shirt could go with the whole art thing.”
“Why don’t you put on a clean mission shirt and wear it with a suit jacket and pants? That’d look Bohemian but classy.”
Kim’s fashion sense for Ron was right on. Josh was also wearing a suit with a dark T-shirt. Tara’s green velvet dress was similar to Kim’s brown one.
Kim and Ron were near the front door, talking to Katie and Tim, when Monique and Bonnie both showed up, wearing evening gowns.
“Is that you, Kim?” asked Monique. “What are you wearing?”
“Pretty costume dress,” she replied. “Tara loaned it to me.”
“She’s gotten into historical costumes and dancing,” said Bonnie. “Next thing you know she’ll have you and Ron dancing minuets!”
“I haven’t seen much of either of you this vacation,” Kim said. “The bad guys have been keeping me busy.”
“I think they’re all bad,” said Bonnie. “Guys, that is.”
“Straight up,” said Monique, raising her hand. “You’re supposed to high five me,” she mumbled.
“Oh okay, whatever,” said Bonnie, raising her hand to slap Monique’s.
“Well, Ron’s okay,” said Monique. “He is, isn’t he, Kim?”
“You sound like you’ve been sampling too much champagne,” said Kim.
“We’re just bummed,” said Monique. “Nice pix, aren’t they?”
“Tara’s a goddess, Kim’s Mona Lisa, and I’m just homecoming queen. This tanks,” said Bonnie. “Someone should paint me.”
On a white sandy beach on the edge of the sparkling turquoise Mediterranean, a young, muscular man lay face down on a beach towel while an olive-skinned woman with raven-black hair in a red string bikini rubbed suntan oil on his back.
“I don’t know what to think about your father,” she said. “He seemed so well-mannered and cultured to me, but you say he forced you into his life of crime?”
“Rub my back a little deeper, La Bella,” said Junior. “I like a woman who is strong with her fingers. Ah, yes, my father. I’ve tried to save him from his own bad inclinations, but— I would rather not talk about it.”
“Do you think I’m too old, you know, to be appealing to you?” asked La Bella.
Junior rolled onto his back and looked La Bella over carefully. “What I can see of you looks quite appealing,” he said. “If you want to show me the rest, we can go to my beach house.”
“Oh, you,” La Bella said, diving on top of Junior to demonstrate how a French woman gives a French kiss.
And peering over the crest of a dune, a photographer with a big lens began taking pictures of the amorous couple.