cloudmonet’s kim stories

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Shego’s Baby

Part Four

Kim Possible, Ron Stoppable, Rufus, Monique, Felix Renton, Drakken, and Shego 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 at the end of Kim and Ron’s sophomore year of college, three years after “So the Drama,” and not long after my earlier story, “Mind Out Of Time.” This story 2006 by cloudmonet. This is part four of a four part story.

The small black jet with “KP” monogrammed on the tail slowed down as it drew closer to the white propeller plane with the aborigine painting of a crocodile on one side.

“There’s a black jet closing in on us fast,” said Crocodile Kate’s pilot.

“I see it!” said Sheila. “It’s your jet, Kim!”

“Croc One to black jet, come in,” said the pilot.

“Oh, please don’t use the radio,” said Kim. “Wanda Hu’s listening to everything.”

“He’s just playing music, like your mate Wade started doing.”

Felix pulled along side the propeller plane and signaled for a landing.

“You want me to land beside him?” the pilot asked.

“Yeah, thanks for the ride,” said Kim. “You can babysit Alicia, can’t you, Kate?”

“I figured you were gonna ask me that. What do I do if—”

“If she fusses and starts blasting?” asked Sheila. “It all comes out of her hands. Just hold her little forearms and aim out the window. She’ll probably think you’re playing with her.”

Alicia just sat quietly in the car seat, looking around with her big green eyes, then started drifting back to sleep.

“She’s so cute,” said Crocodile Kate.

“She is,” said Kim.

With a bump and long splash, the propeller plane touched down on its pontoons not far from the floating black jet. Kim and Sheila got out, fired their grappling hooks and swung from here to there.

“They’ve got Monique,” Ron whispered to Drake, while they sat on the jetski, hidden in the mangroves. “We need a rescue plan. Did you get those propellors?”

“One of ’em, and the rudder. She can’t be steered.”

“She?” asked Ron.

“That’s nautical talk for the boat,” said Drake.

“I knew that.”

“You took some serious hits.”

“It was worth it to get away. They thought they knocked me out, and I slipped away nice and quiet. It’s bad though. Wanda’s gonna try the suit.”

“This really does look like a job for Kim Possible,” said Drake.

“Don’t use your communicator,” said Ron. “Wanda’s hacked Wade’s encryption, and He started doin’ his disk jockey bit, playin’ ‘I fought the law.’ ”

Dot dot dadot!

“Maybe Wade got it fixed,” Ron said, reaching for Kim’s kimmunicator. When he pressed the button, he heard the Four Tops singing,

“Reach out, darling, reach out—
I’ll be there, you know you can count on me,”

while the screen went through random patterns and pictures.

“Ah, Motown,” said Ron. “Wade’s returned to form.”

Suddenly Kim’s face appeared onscreen. “Hey, Ron,” she said with music in her voice. “How’s the mission?”

“Uh, I’ve done better,” Ron admitted. “The good news is, we neutralized their guns, even Wanda’s blaster, and the speedboat itself will just go in circles or something, but the bad news is, they captured Monique and me. I managed to get away, but they still have Monique, and your super suit.”

“I would’ve talked to you sooner, but you guys took all the communicators.”

“Sorry. I didn’t think of that till we were underway. Uh, you don’t sound very worried. These guys are tough, and Wanda’s, well, Wanda, and she’s gonna wear the suit.”

“I know. I was worried about that, but now I’m not. Get ready for a grande-sized anticlimax.”

“I though we were gonna rumble,” said Sheila’s voice.

“Sure, but they’re just henchmen. Pow, pow, pow, it won’t take long.”

“Let me talk to Drackie-poo,” said Sheila.

“Drackie-poo?” asked Ron, handing Drake the kimmunicator.

“You being a good boy?” she asked.

“I sabotaged a propeller and the rudder,” he said proudly.

“Sounds fun. Kimmie told me how worried you were about me.”

“Uh, yeah, well—”

“Alicia’s so cute!” Sheila said, suddenly sounding like a giddy teenager. “She’s— aw, I gotta think tough girl, kick butt, but then— you’re sure Wade’s right about the suit?” she asked Kim.

“I’m just glad he thought of this before some villain did.”

“Thought of what?” Wanda said to her laptop. “She knows I’m listening, I think. She just wants me to think she can turn the suit into a weakness so I take it off. But maybe she really thinks I can’t follow that encryption change.”

Suddenly Wade Load’s freckled face appeared on her screen. “You really are persistent at breaking my encryptions, aren’t you? But you know what? While I’m talking to you you can’t decrypt anything else.”

“That’s what you think, buddy,” she said, and typed some code, but whenever she managed to get rid of Wade, he was back a few seconds later.

“I don’t care if you try to use the suit or take it off,” he said. “Either way, you’re toast.”

Down in the hold, a new commotion began.

“What now?” she asked.

“Sounds like fun,” said Wade.

“You shut up,” Wanda said, and closed her laptop, flipped it over, and removed the battery. “Oh well, gotta straighten things out again.” She climbed down the ladder and watched the ruckus in the hold, her gang of pirates against the cargo ship crew and Monique, who was now somewhat confusingly wearing cammo and black like one of the pirates. “Yo! Captives! Eat plasma!” she yelled, sending a blast of blue energy at the cargo ship captain. He was knocked down but no worse. “Non lethal!” Wanda muttered. “I should have expected this. Oh, well, better’n nothing.” She let loose a few more blasts, most of them knocking down cargo ship crewmen. The last blast was kind of feeble, but she had everyone’s attention.

“This whole ransom scheme is kinda down the toilet,” Wanda said. “I’m gonna need my crew to help me fight whoever Big Brother’s sending after us. I can’t have you sons of female dogs breakin’ free every five minutes. You wanna be good hostages or bloody carcasses? We still have plenty sharp knives, savvy?”

“Cap’n, that jet’s comin’ back!” a pirate called down to her.

“Any more hassle, you’re all dead,” Wanda said, hurrying up the ladder. On deck, she opened the missile control panel, inserted the electronic key, and Wade’s smiling face appeared on the little screen. He waved at her.

“You’re forgetting the antiexplosive foam,” his voice said over the radio in the cabin. “Don’t think those missiles are gonna work. But just in case any of them still do, I, uh, hacked into your controller.”

Wanda pulled the trilithium power cell out of the radio. The black jet circled low, out of sight behind the trees lining the cove, no doubt dropping off Possible and her commando squad. “All hands on deck!” she cried, and one by one the pirates came up the ladder. “Start the engines! They dropped the squad. Let’s see how far they can chase us.”

“Aye Cap’n,” said the first mate, taking the wheel and throttle.

Down in the hold, the strange little hairless animal that kept chewing on the captives’ ropes was gnawing away again, though this time there were more ropes to chew on.

Suddenly the engine started, the boat spun in a crazy circle, and came to a sudden jolt with the sound of the steel hull cracking mangrove roots. The last pirate went up the ladder, completely unaware of Rufus.

“Be cool this time,” Monique whispered. “Let Rufus do it.”

“When you do move, get weapons, whatever you can find,” whispered the cargo ship captain. “It’s our last chance.”

“Boo Yah!” Ron exclaimed. “Good work, Drake. Now it’s smackdown time.” He drove the jetski toward the grounded speedboat.

“This isn’t exactly in my skill set,” Drake protested.

“What? You think I’m the greatest?”

“You’re pretty good.”

“Just pretend they’re crocs and jump on them. It’ll be cool. Kim and Sheila will show up before ya know it.”

Ron drove the jetski onto a patch of sand, pressed a control, and the jetski folded up into a compact mass. “A less appealing target for thieves that way,” Ron explained.

“You realize when Wanda gets desperate, she’ll start killing everyone in sight,” said Drake.

“That’s why we gotta move,” said Ron, as pirates began rappelling down ropes over the side of the boat. “Watch for knives and stuff.”

The first pirate to reach the bottom found himself flipped backwards onto the wet sand. The second one kicked at Ron, but it was no use. Ron jerked him off the rope, kicked him to the ground and jumped on him. “I remember you,” Ron said. “How many punches did ya give me? I counted, but I don’t remember now. Aw, who cares?” Ron started rapid-punching the pirate’s jaw. Then he saw other ropes drop over the side of the speedboat. “Here come your buddies. Gotta deal with them!”

Drake rammed his head into one pirate’s chest, knocking him down.

Ron was fighting three pirates now. He kicked the knife out of the first one’s hand, and flipped the second one against the third one. The first three pirates staggered to their feet and started to run toward the jungle.

At that moment, Kim appeared, did a handspring off a mangrove root and kicked one pirate to the ground, and flipped the second pirate against the third one exactly as Ron had done. “How many more?” Kim asked Ron and Drake.

“Five or six, plus Wanda,” Ron said.

At that moment, there was splashing on the other side of the boat.

Kim drew her grappling hook gun, grabbed Ron, shot at the railing, and winched them both up to the tilted deck, still slick with antiexplosive foam residue. To their surprise, they found Monique, the cargo ship captain, and his crewmen.

“Where’s the pirates?” asked Kim.

“Some of ’em left. We heaved the rest over the rails just now,” said the captain.

“And Wanda?”

“The Mongolian she-devil? Haven’t seen her since we came up from below.”

Ron felt familiar little claws scuttling up his cargo pants. “Rufus, ma’ man! Good work!” he said, nuzzling his face against the little animal in his hand.

“Aw,” Rufus squeeked, embracing Ron’s nose.

“There!” said Kim, pointing at flashes of blue and green light in the shadowy jungle. “Sheila’s gonna need our help. Looks like either the silicon phase disrupter didn’t work, or Wanda blasted it before Sheila could use it.” Kim patted one of her cargo pants pockets. “I have another one, just in case.”

“Give it up, Shego!” said Wanda, heaving her to the ground again. “You can’t match with me. You’re weaker than you used to be, and I’m stronger.”

Sheila staggered to her feet, snapped into a fighting pose, and lunged at Wanda again.

“I don’t have time for this,” Wanda said, and pulled a long knife out of the suit’s holster. “I always wondered, is your blood green like your skin, or red like everyone else’s?”

“It’s red, but you’re not gonna see it,” said Sheila, grabbing Wanda’s wrist with both hands and twisting with all her might.

Wanda dropped the knife, but snapped her wrist back, throwing Sheila through the air again, and picked up the knife with her other hand.

“I hate that cursed suit,” said Sheila, regaining her footing. “But you know it’s like my power, you use it too much, you start getting drained, and you’re using yours more than I’m using mine.”

“You think you gonna psyche me out, sweetie? You’re lame at that.” Wanda blasted blue energy at Sheila, who ducked behind a tree.

Twigs snapped. Leaves rustled. Wanda, instantly alert, sent a couple of blasts at the random sounds.

“Yo! Paranoid street scum! You’re blasting at monkeys!” Sheila said, lunging at Wanda and knocking her down. Wanda flipped her off with little trouble, but in the process Sheila somehow got her knife.

“Won’t do you any good, She-dog.”

Crouching behind a bush with Ron, Kim pressed the power button on her silicon phase disrupter and gradually eased up the volume knob while aiming it at Wanda.

“Could Wade have been wrong about this?” whispered Ron.

Kim turned the knob all the way to eleven. The device started buzzing.

“Now I’m gonna blast the wasps,” said Wanda, aiming her hand toward Kim and Ron’s hiding place.

“Getting tired?” asked Sheila, when no blue blast seemed forthcoming. “That’s what I’ve been waiting for!” She threw the knife high over Wanda’s head into a tree trunk.

“Oh, bring it, Shego!” said Wanda, assuming a fighting crouch as Sheila casually walked toward her.

“Hold this on her,” Kim whispered to Ron. “If the batteries die, the suit could come back to life.”

“Go get her, Kimbo,” said Ron.

Wanda turned her head just in time to see Kim jumping at her. All three women wrestled on the ground.

“Watch your eyes, Kim,” Sheila warned her. “She’s vicious.”

Even with the battle suit at least partially neutralized by the overloaded silicon phase disrupter, pinning Wanda was about as easy as pinning a tigress. The punches connected, the scratches connected.

In one instant, Kim was on her back , with her elbow wrapped around Wanda’s neck from behind, her legs wrapped tightly around Wanda’s right thigh, while Sheila was on top, pinning one of Wanda’s wrists with each hand and Wanda’s left thigh with her legs. Somehow Wanda almost managed to break free of all this, but then they all got stuck again, this time with Kim and Wanda face to face, Kim clutching one of Wanda’s wrists with both hands, while Sheila, still on top, had twisted the other arm behind Wanda’s back, and they again had Wanda’s legs pinned with their own.

And Sheila had what she wanted: Wanda relatively immobile, and her own left hand free, which she placed on Wanda’s forehead and blasted a jolt of green plasma. Instantly Wanda collapsed, unconscious.

“I am gonna be so sore,” said Kim, pulling herself out from under Wanda.

“You and me both,” said Sheila.

A small black jet with “KP” monogrammed on the tail floated on pontoons in the water near the pirates’ black speedboat.

“The cargo ship’s okay,” Wade was telling Kim on the kimmunicator. “A Global Justice squad has taken control of it. Unfortunately, um, the members of the gang who were on board got away.”

“We got Wanda Hu and eleven others,” said Kim, “and rescued the cargo ship captain and crew. So what now? I have the feeling if we turn them over to the locals, they’ll bribe their way out.”

“Maybe not exactly the locals,” said Wade. “But the attorney general in Jakarta understands the need to wipe out piracy, so if you take them there—”

“I’d rather take Wanda somewhere else altogether.”

“So would I,” said Wade. “But we do want to continue being allowed to operate in Indonesia.”

Kim sighed. “Yeah.”

“Not that you haven’t gone where you’re not welcome, but it’s better to keep the cops on our side whenever we can. Is Ron right next to you?”

“He’s talking to Monique and Felix. I’ll get him.”

“No, I don’t want him. I want to talk about him. How did he do, really? Should I let him take missions like this if you’re unavailable for some reason?”

“Ron’s work was very good, but it took all of us to bring Wanda down. Ron might have succeeded without me if Wanda hadn’t gotten my battle suit. Letting Monique wear my suit was a bad idea.”

“Uh, that wasn’t my idea, it was something Monique and Felix came up with.”

“Okay— I’ll have to have a talk with them. Meanwhile, can you fix the battle suit so it will only interface with me? Even if I’m the one wearing it, someone could take it again.”

“Always wear clean underwear,” interrupted Sheila.

“Hey, this is private talk,” said Kim.

Sheila giggled. “Sorry. Just wanting to get back home to baby.”

Back in Queensland, almost midnight, Sheila and Drake drove their Volkswagen bug to their little rustic house on the edge of town, parked in the drive, and unbuckled Alicia’s car seat from the back seat.

“I did it,” Sheila said carrying the sleeping baby through the living room into the bedroom. “I whupped Wanda Hu.”

“Kim helped some, didn’t she?”

“Sure, but I could’a took her myself.”


“You know how Kim always used to beat me? She just dodged my blasts and waited for me to wear myself out. See, if I pace myself, and don’t use the green glow anymore than I have to, I’ve got more stamina.”

“So you might be able to take Kim Possible?”

“So not interested in trying. Don’t even think about it.”

“Well, yeah, sure, she saved your life, and—”

“Keep thinking good, sweetheart,” Sheila said, stroking the stubble on his face. “Hmm. You need a shave. Anyway, we’re free, we have an innocent little baby, and you like making robot cameras and water pumps. I know, I know, I’ve got this rebellious goth chick inside saying bleech! whenever I see that pink flowered couch in the living room—”

“We could get a green couch,” suggested Drake. “Or slipcovers.”

“No, I like the flowered couch. I’m not that goth girl anymore. We don’t have to be bad to have adventures. We’ve had plenty— blowing up logging equipment for those Indians, sailing with Greensleeves and fighting ninjas, getting kidnapped by terrorists, jumping on crocodiles, catching giant lizards, whupping Wanda Hu— and when it’s all over we get to go home and cuddle instead of being taken away in the paddy wagon.”

“I was so scared I was gonna lose you, and be all alone again.”

“I don’t know. It was weird. I was in the hospital bed, pushing out the baby, you know, and— nothing. And then Kim was poking around. I started thinking of things, and everything I thought of somehow involved Kim.” Sheila laughed. “Do you know how weird that seemed? I didn’t understand the telepathy machine, and—”

“Good guys can be sappy, right? Cause I never could tell you how much I love you.”

“That’s so sweet,” said Sheila, kissing his lips, then playfully biting his nose.

“Hey!” Drake protested, and she kissed him again.

And the next morning, a small black jet with “KP” monogrammed on the tail flew across the Pacific. Felix’s cyber-robotic wheelchair was locked in place at the controls. Monique was sitting beside him. They were listening to some sort of music through their headphones. Kim and Dr. Ruiz were passing a laptop computer back and forth, taking turns typing. Belinda was asleep in her seat, Ron asleep in the foldout bed in the rear of the plane.

They reached Lima, Peru, late that evening, dropped off Dr. Ruiz, and spent the night at a suite in the Lima Les Rouges.

“What’s with Monique?” Kim asked Ron as they lay in bed watching an old movie about an American cowboy in Australia, in English with Spanish subtitles.

“What do you mean? She seems fine.”

“She’s hanging out with Felix and Belinda. She doesn’t like Belinda, I don’t think. And she seems happy. I don’t get it.”

“Booyah!” said Ron, as the cowboy’s rifle shot took down an improbable target. “He got him!”

Kim sighed but smiled. “Yeah, he’s quite a shot,” she agreed.

Next morning, next stop, Northwestern State University, to return the portable telepathy machine.

Belinda handed Dr. Hurlbetter a large envelope. “What’s this?” he asked.

“Open it up,” said Kim.

Dr. Hurlbetter read aloud, “Avrum Hurlbetter, Ph. D. and Anna Ruiz, M. D., Electronic Telepathy As a Method to Revive a Comatose Patient—” Anna’s card was clipped to a handwritten note: “Dr. Hurlbetter, please review this rough draft and call me about any needed changes or additions ASAP. Let’s also discuss clinical trials. Yours, Anna Ruiz.”

“She really wants to meet you,” said Belinda.

“She wants to meet me?” asked Dr. Hurlbetter. “Do you realize who she is?”

“I worked with her. She’s very nice.”

“Anna Ruiz is one of the world’s most respected research physicians— and she’s making me the senior author of a paper she wrote.”

“Actually, I wrote the first draft of most of the paper,” said Kim. “Anna added the medical jargon.”

“Oh, really?” Dr. Hurlbetter said with some distaste in his voice. “You don’t expect author’s credit, do you? Lab assistants do not get author’s credit.”

“Don’t worry about me,” said Kim. “When I write my memoirs, I’ll be on the best seller’s list.”

“Ruiz gets papers published in a snap,” Dr. Hurlbetter said. “She treated a man with a bizarre skin discoloration in November, and the paper was in print by February. This is exciting.”

“Told you so,” said Belinda.

“Yes, indeed,” he said. “You know, Kim, if you’d told me Anna Ruiz was the treating physician, I would’ve given my immediate blessing.”

“Hey, I just knew her as a general practitioner from Lima who offers clinics for local Indians. Wade found her on the internet.”

“Shouldn’t be a surprise,” said Ron. “Ask Wade for a doctor, and he’ll find the best.”

“Oh yeah,” agreed Rufus, perched on Ron’s shoulder.

Next Stop, Seattle, Belinda’s home, just a short flight to the north from Northwestern State. Kim flew the plane, so Felix and Belinda could spend a little more time together. Belinda’s parents met them at the airport. She went on and on to them about her work with Dr. Hurlbetter, but spent no more time introducing Felix than the others.

Monique pulled Kim aside and said, “I think she’s gonna dear John him over the summer.”

“Is that why you’re so happy?”


“You’re delusional,” said Kim. “They’re solid.”

“She’s not doin’ this right. I’d be all, ‘Hey Mama, Dad, meet my man!’ ”

“She might have family issues.”

“I don’t know. All I know is a few days back she was all over him, and now—”

“Just because you haven’t let them have much time alone together, doesn’t mean—”

“Well, all summer he’s gonna be in Middleton, I’m gonna be there too, and she’s gonna be in Seattle. Who knows? Maybe she could get dear Jane’d.”

“Monique, you’re bad!”

“What’s she doin’ bad?” asked Ron, who’d just joined the two of them.

“Girl talk, not for your ears,” said Monique.

“Gonna make your move this summer?” Ron asked conspiratorially.

“You know?”

“We talked about this last Thanksgiving. You were all weepy eyes about it.”

“I was? I don’t remember that.”

“I do,” said Kim “We were sitting at the Bueno Nacho on Fifteenth Street, and Felix rolled up and said—”

“What, what’d I say?” asked Felix, rolling up.

“You said, ‘Hey guys, what’s happening?’ ” said Kim.

“Oh, yeah, I say that a lot, don’t I? So what’s the sitch?”

“Time to go back to Middleton, I guess,” said Monique.

On the flight to Middleton, Kim and Ron overheard this choice tidbit: Felix told Monique, “So when Kelly saw us in the zoo and started calling me, she also talked to Belinda.”



“That why Belinda’s being so chill? Cause I didn’t mean to cause you trouble.”

“She didn’t care,” said Felix. “In fact, she encouraged me to see Kelly while she was busy at the hospital. That’s what Kelly was saying when you heard me hang up on her.”

“Say what?”

“I didn’t believe it, so I asked Belinda, and she told me, yeah, she wants to be, like, open—”

“I just don’t get that whole thing,” Monique said. “My ex-boyfriend was like that. Well, he said he was like that, but he was just an out and out player.”

“Kelly likes to be open, too. That’s not what I want. I want—”

“What they have?” Monique asked, obviously meaning Kim and Ron.

And then the voices dropped.

Kim landed her jet in the general aviation section of Middleton International Airport. Felix’s mom met them there. Monique’s green Buick was already in the parking lot, courtesy Aaacme Driveaway Service. First they loaded Felix’s stuff in his mom’s van. Somehow Monique made sure she was the one who helped Felix lift himself from the chair to the passenger seat. She smiled at him, looked into his big blue eyes, and said, “See ya around, soon, maybe?”

“Yeah, I’d like that,” Felix said. “I’d like that a lot.”

Monique kept smiling and nodding her head, and somehow her eyes closed and their lips met. It was brief, sweet, but definitely a kiss. “I’ll call ya, or you can call me— either’s fine, okay?”

“Okay,” Felix agreed. Monique closed the car door and the van pulled away.

“So spill,” Kim told Monique. “What was that?”

“I think it’s called a kiss.”

“No duh.”

“Who’s the girl? Was I right about Belinda, or what?”

“I guess. Wow. This is gonna change everything.”

“We were talking take it slow, see how it feels, but now I’m crushing.”

“Dare I ask about Chuck?”

“He’s a nice guy, I guess,” Monique said. “We didn’t do anything. Well, okay, we did a little. But I can’t get involved with a guy whose life is so somewhere else. I’ve known Felix for, what, about four years? The only reason I hung out with Chuck that night is cause hangin’ out with Felix that afternoon got me all hot, and seeing him with Belinda made me jeal.”

“Uh huh,” said Kim.

“Am I the only one loading all this stuff in Monique’s car?” asked Ron.

“Looks that way. Thanks, Ron,” said Kim, but she and Monique started helping him fill the trunk, and then the back seat, with boxes, garment bags, and suitcases.

Rufus kept scampering back and forth from the inside of the car to Ron’s shoulders.

“When Felix and I were at the zoo, I was walking beside him, feeling kinda awkward, so I got real and spilled how I feel,” Monique said.

“Risky move,” said Kim.

“If you don’t say something, how’s a guy gonna know? I asked him how he felt. He said he thinks I’m beautiful. You know what that did to me? Oh my god! Nobody’s ever told me that.”

“You are beautiful,” said Kim.

“Thanks. I try. What girl doesn’t, you know? He says he never made a play for me cause I date jocks like Brick and Wendell, so he thought he didn’t have a chance. Now that made me feel bad, cause that probably was how I used to feel. I’m all, let’s be friends, but if Belinda don’t work out, come see about me. Then Belinda’s all, I’m busy with Kim and the doctor, go hang out with Kelly or whatever. She went on about how she likes open relationships, which he doesn’t want.”

“That was sudden,” said Ron.

“You’re the girl,” said Kim.

“So you gonna hang out in Middleton for awhile?” Monique asked.

“Just a couple of days,” said Kim. “We’ll stay at the Lake Middleton Resort, have dinner with the families, both his and mine, and then— we’re not sure. Being here doesn’t feel like coming home, more like time travel back to childhood, and I like my now a lot better.”

“So where you gonna go?” asked Monique.

“I don’t know. What do you think, Ron?”

“Summer’s always over before we know it, as long as we’re together. Have I ever worried about details?”

“We’re not living with our parents now.”

“So— let’s rent a summer cottage,” Ron said. “Maybe in Maine, or Minnesota.”

“Mm, okay,” said Kim.

“I guess I’ll see you guys at the end of August, then,” said Monique.

“Don’t worry, I’ll stay in touch,” said Kim.

Monique started the Buick and drove away.

“More changes,” said Kim. “It’s been a year of changes. It’s all good, though. We got married. We should be married. Drake and Sheila— that’s such a change for the better. I guess this is good, too.”

“Hey, where’s Rufus?” asked Ron. “Oh, no! Is he in Monique’s car?”

“Check the pockets before you panic.”

“Right. Uh, okay.”

Rufus blinked and looked puzzled.

“Sorry, buddy,” Ron said, and put him back in his pocket.

Kim put her arm around Ron’s waist. “So let’s get the Stealth Bike out of the plane and go to the lake.”

“Booyah!” said Ron and they ran back to the jet.

The End