A Kim Possible Fanfiction
by Greg Fisk (aka "Slyrr")

Kim Possible is owned/copyrighted by Disney and its affiliates, etc. etc.

Chapter 13:
Partners
Or: Middleton Daze

Grimm sat in Ron's room, looking around. His eyes flicked over the football awards, the pictures of Rufus and Kim, and the other objects of Ron's life. He sighed and ran his hand over his forehead as if to say How in the world did I wind up here?

The events of the last few hours played out through his mind as if giving the answers to himself. After agreeing to Kim's terms of cease-fire, there had been other details to work out which were almost as thorny.

'You are so not staying at my house!' Kim had said. And Mr. Dr. Possible had nodded with agreement.

'No... boys!' he said firmly.

'I thought we were chums now.' said Grimm, not without sarcasm. 'All that angst, and you still don't trust me?'

Mr. and Mrs. Drs. Possible and Kim's voice came back instantly in chorus. 'No!'

'Smart.' he said, though he only smirked a little. 'But it kind of defeats the purpose of me coming here in the first place. Now that we've hashed things out a little, my job is to stick to Kim like glue until she winds up facing off with Monkey Fist again. So if I'm not actually in the same house with Kim, I want to be somewhere nearby.'

'Are you expecting them to actually show up here?' Kim said.

'They might.' said Grimm darkly. 'Funny thing about luck is you can't predict it. So just in case, I want to be close at hand.'

'Doorstep.' said Kim, growling. 'Or there's a nice corner next to that oil spot in the garage.'

'I've had worse.' said Grimm.

Kim still looked defiant, but suddenly Mr. Dr. Possible got a cunning look on his face and pulled Kim and his wife aside until they were huddled and whispering in the doorway leading to one of the other rooms. After a few minutes, Mrs. Dr. Possible was on her cell phone making a call. She muttered and nodded, then hung up and gave a smiling nod to her husband and their daughter.

Grimm watched uncomfortably as the trio marched over and confronted him again. 'You want to be close by?' Kim said, and Grimm nodded.

'Someplace you can get here in a hurry if you need to?'

He nodded again.

'We found a place - but you'll have to pitch in and help them around the house.'

Grimm felt his mouth going slightly dry. 'Where is it?' he said.

And about half an hour later, he found himself in conference with Mr. and Mrs. Stoppable at their house. Mr. Stoppable's sanguine, soothing voice seemed unperturbed as he listened. 'That sounds wonderful!' he said warmly. 'It never hurts to have an extra set of hands with little Hana running around!'

He hadn't said much as the Possibles and Stoppables made the arrangements and showed him to Ron's room. 'We run a clean house here.' said Mrs. Stoppable, standing by the door as Grimm stumped in with his bag. 'So pick up after yourself. I won't ask you to do chores, but while I'm taking care of things, you can make yourself useful by looking after Hana!'

Grimm nearly recoiled as Mrs. Stoppable pushed Hana into his arms. He dropped his bag in surprise, opening his mouth to protest, but Mrs. Stoppable had already turned and was heading downstairs. He stood there for several seconds in silence before sighing heavily and sitting down on the bed. Hana smiled and burbled her lips.

'Oh cheese...' said Grimm, shaking his head and putting Hana down on the mattress next to him.

'Cheese!' Hana chirped. 'Cheese! Cheese!'

Grimm stared at her. 'Money.' he said.

'Mah-nee! Mah-nee!' Hana chanted, clapping her hands.

Grimm smirked. 'Evil.' he said.

Hana stared at him for a few seconds. 'Brother!' she said at last.

hana

Grimm winced as Hana laughed, bouncing up and down where she sat. He heard a four-note beep from his hip pouch and quickly took out his communicator.

'Yo, G-man.' Jade said. 'Settled into your new digs?' Jade raised an eyebrow at his withering glare. 'Look, are you sure you want to let them saddle you with baby-sitting? We could get you a room at any one of the classy hotels in Middleton...'

'Ixnay.' Grimm muttered. 'If something happens, I need to be able to move fast.'

'The bike is fast.' Jade said.

Grimm shrugged. 'Bike's in the garage, but I'd rather be close.'

'You da boss.' Jade said doubtfully.

'How am I on supplies?' Grimm said. 'Has the overnight kit got all the normal stuff?'

Jade nodded. 'When you told me about the plan, I also put in extra changes of clothes before you left - just in case it worked and you wound up having to stay in Middleton for the long haul. I've set up an expense account locally so you can use a debit card without letting anyone trace the money transfers back home - just in case you need to buy anything.'

'You rock out loud, Jade.' said Grimm, smiling. 'How about the cover story?'

'All set.' Jade answered. 'You'll be attending Middleton High under your own name, but as a temporary transfer student from Sudo Nim High School in Blacksburg Virginia. Maps and a bio of your 'home town' are already uploading to your communicator so you can study up on them. I even managed to squeak you into the same classes that Possible has while you're there. Don't skip out on your homework, now.' she ended mischievously.

Grimm smiled faintly. 'Jade, what would I do without you?'

'I shudder at the thought.' Jade said.

'Reading up will be good for a distraction while I baby-sit.' he said, punching buttons to begin the downloads. 'Did you include a list of movers and shakers at Middleton High?'

'You know it.' Jade answered. 'Should be in there with the rest of the info.'

For a moment Grimm stared at the streams of incoming data. He read, muttering, while Jade waited patiently. 'Tara.... good-natured doormat.... Jessica... non-descript sheep...' He kept reading, his face going into a deep scowl. 'Barkin? Felix? Bonnie? Jade, is this for real?'

Jade nodded. 'Fraid so. Freaky, isn't it?'

Grimm was shaking his head. 'This has got to be the weirdest....'

Jade looked at him suspiciously. 'What do you want all this for anyway?' she said.

Grimm shrugged. 'I don't want to follow her around and look stupid the whole time. Information is power.'

Jade's eyes narrowed. 'Grimm, don't use it to make trouble while you're there. You promised to be good...'

'Don't worry, Jade.' Grimm answered, looking over the scrolling lists with a sly grin. 'I'll be good. In fact, before long... I'm gonna be Kim's greatest friend.'

Jade clucked her tongue. 'Do I even want to know...?' she muttered. 'Well, enjoy your first night as one of Middleton's happy denizens. You're sure you'll be all right in Stoppable's house?'

Grimm sniffed. 'After helping Rhonda out with Indy, I think I can handle pitching in with doofus-boy's little sister.'

'Uh huh.' said Jade, a gleam in her eyes. 'And... where is the wee one?'

'She's....' Grimm stopped abruptly as his eyes fell on where Hana had been, only to see empty space on the bedspread. He heard a pattering above him, and glanced slowly up to see Hana dashing around in a tight circle on the ceiling.

'Oh crud.' he said quietly.

Kim took a short stroll around the neighborhood before going to bed and deliberately walked past Ron's house. She smiled as she heard a series of muffled thumps and shouts coming from Ron's room....

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In the spirit world, Ron was 'sitting' in the Lotus position. Sitting was only an operative term, since there was nothing to actually sit on. But he had his legs drawn up Indian-style, and his arms were slightly outstretched with his fingers cupped.

Rhonda was next to him, struggling to tuck her ankles into the crooks of her knees as Ron had done. With a yelp, her legs sprang straight and she tumbled in mid-air, hanging upside down. Ron glanced aside as she flailed around, trying to right herself.

'You're trying too hard.' he said. 'Let the Ron-ness just... come to you!'

Rhonda sat down again, her cheeks flushed red. 'Easy for you to say!' she fussed. 'I don't do stuff like this much! Legs... too.... stiff!' Finally with a squealing grunt she managed to fold herself into an identical pose as Ron. She gritted her teeth. 'Ugh... I'm gonna be feelin' this for a while...' she said. 'So what does sitting like Nanook of the North have to do with good vibes?'

'I donno.' Ron said. 'But it looks official!'

Rhonda buried her face in her hands with a grating moan of frustration.

'Look, they made me do it at Yamanouchi all the time.' said Ron. 'Something about clearing the mind and inner peace. I don't know why, but it helps.'

Rhonda sighed, looked at him, and then tried to match his arm poses. 'OK, now what?' she said.

'Just clear your mind.'

Rhonda was quiet for a few minutes. 'I can't stop thinking about the Sta-Puft Marshmallow Man....' she said, shaking her head.

'Clear.... your mind....' Ron said again, sounding half asleep.

'How?' said Rhonda angrily.

'Be like a hollow reed...' Ron crooned, lolling his head in a small circle on his neck like a yoga instructor, '...let your thoughts and your troubles flow through you the wind....'

Rhonda sighed and began imitating his movements. 'I am a Halloween....' she chanted. 'The wind blows through me.... I am a Halloween....'

'Hollow REED....' Ron said, wanting to chuckle, but actually getting into the yoga postures.

'Hollow reed....' Rhonda said quickly. 'I'm a hollow reed....'

For several more minutes they said nothing. Finally Ron spoke again. 'Have you achieved reed-ness....?' he said, his voice totally relaxed.

'I.... think so.' said Rhonda, also sounding relaxed. 'What now?'

'Well, honesty is usually a sure way to get good vibes flowing.' said Ron. 'Try being honest about something.'

'Like what?' said Rhonda.

'I don't know - just.... say what you're feeling right now.'

Rhonda paused, then spoke. 'This is stupid....' she said. 'What a total load of.... OW!' she flinched, clenching her fists, her face suddenly tensed in pain.

'Twinged a bit?' said Ron, who looked so relaxed that he sounded sleepy. 'Must have been too negative, try being honest about something else.'

Rhonda slowly relaxed, breathing faster.

'If it'll help, I'll get the ball rolling.' said Ron. 'I'm Jewish, and I have a real tough time with some of the dietary stuff. I know pig products aren't kosher, but I really love the smell of bacon.'

Rhonda sighed. 'Isn't this like... truth or dare?' she said.

'Roll with it.' said Ron. 'Your turn.'

Rhonda was biting her lip. 'I....' she paused, looking like she was gathering courage. 'I... like Jar-Jar Binks.'

Ron's eyes flew open. 'What?' he said.

Rhonda was blushing furiously and looking fixedly at her knees. 'I know!' she said. 'I know everyone else thinks he ruined the franchise, and they all say he's a joke that isn't funny, but.. I thought he was hilarious.'

'Woah.' said Ron. 'That.... I mean.... my confession seems pretty lame by comparison.'

But Rhonda was still talking as if he weren't there. 'I mean, what's not to like?' she said, and then started waving her hands around and doing a squeaky voice. 'Meesha meesha meesha! Meesha Jar-Jar Binks!' she chuckled. 'And I'm pretty sure most people are just bashing him because everyone else is....' she suddenly stopped, her eyes wide and looking excited. 'Hey...' she said. 'I think it's working! It doesn't sting so much anymore!'

'Badical!' said Ron. 'My turn. Um... Oh yeah, for our half-a-versary, Kim got me a titanium mesh belt that doesn't break because my pants keep falling down.'

Rhonda looked like she was stifling a laugh, covering her mouth and pinching her nose. 'Why do your pants keep falling down?' she said. 'You're not an exhibitionist are you?'

'No!' said Ron, blushing in his own turn. 'I don't know why it happens, I always check the snaps and stuff, it just happens!'

Rhonda stared at him. 'No pain, I guess that means it's the truth.' she said. 'What's a half-a-versary?'

'Oh.' said Ron, looking uncomfortable. 'Kim made it up. It was six months after we started dating. You know - half a year - half-a-versary....'

'Oh.' said Rhonda. 'So... what did you get her?'

Ron froze. 'Uh.... Oh man, I didn't get her anything!' he said, as if he had just realized it for the first time. He flinched as Rhonda's fist punched him in the shoulder. 'Ow! What was that for?' He looked at her in surprise, for her expression seemed genuinely angry.

'If you're anything like me, you'd been pretty much dateless until you started shipping with her!' Rhonda said, 'Waiting your whole life for someone you really like - then you get your wish - and you didn't even get her a half-a-versary gift?'

Ron fended her off as she kept trying to punch him. 'Hey - ow! Knock it off! She didn't even tell me about it until the day she gave me the gift! And there's no such thing as a half-a-versary, how was I supposed to know?'

'You shouldn't have needed a half-a-versary!' Rhonda said. 'If it was me, I'd have been getting her stuff every week! Grimm's always giving me flowers and earrings and cards...'

'He does?' said Ron, surprised. 'I thought villains just stole things from other people, they don't give presents.'

'Stupid... dork.... doofus!' Rhonda said, turning away from him. 'Finding that special someone is the greatest thing in the world - how could you not appreciate it...?'

'I did!' said Ron defensively. 'Well, maybe not at first - after she gave me the belt, we went on a mission where she got hit by some kind of memory device. It wiped her mind clean and she forgot all about me.' he said. 'I spent days afterwards trying to bring her memories back.' Ron stopped and pondered. When Kim's memories had been gone, he recalled the almost disdainful look in her eyes when he'd told her they were dating. And then on the train, her look of sheer joy when she remembered her feelings for him.

'And then you still didn't get her anything?' Rhonda said.

Ron sputtered for a second, wild excuses forming in his mind, but he slumped his shoulders and fell silent. 'I guess the truth is.... I just didn't think about it.' he said. 'I was stupid.'

'Well....' said Rhonda, looking on the verge of tears, '...when you get back you darn well better get her something nice!'

'What's it to you anyway?' said Ron. 'I thought you didn't like us!'

'I don't!' said Rhonda defiantly. 'But.... well, stuff like that is important, that's all!'

Ron felt foolish. Here he was, trying to instruct a villain in the art of good vibrations, and she had wound up lecturing him on how to show appreciation to a girlfriend. 'All right... deal.' he said sheepishly. 'I'll make it up to her somehow.'

There was silence for some time. 'Ok my turn....' Rhonda said at last. 'My middle name is.....' she stopped again, shaking her head. '...Advoratrelundar.'

Ron stared for a moment. 'Rhonda Advoratrelundar Fatigable?' he said.

Rhonda covered her eyes. 'My dad was really into Dr. Who...' she said. 'He thought it was pretty.'

Ron looked away. 'It... kinda is.' he said quietly.

Rhonda sniffed. 'Thanks....' she whispered.

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Kim came downstairs for breakfast only to find Grimm leaning against the wall leading into the kitchen. He had a tired look in his eyes as he glowered at her. 'Morning, Probable.' she said. 'Sleep well?'

Grimm's eyes narrowed. 'Cute.' he said. 'Really cute. What took you so long anyway? You get ready for your day like you fight - slow and too much needless panache.'

Kim glared back at him. It occurred to her that she had never seen Grimm wearing anything but his mission clothes. Dressed in school attire he seemed to have shed some of his mercenary mystique. She also thought resentfully that he wore them well. 'What happened to your promise?' she said.

'That wasn't head gaming, that was an observation.' he answered.

Kim shook her head. 'If this is going to work, you need to stop acting like every waking moment is part of a game.'

'All of life's a game, Possible.' he answered. 'Players play to win.'

Breakfast was almost silent except for the clinking of utensils on plates. Every eye was fixed on Grimm while they ate, glinting with either disapproval or hostility. Finally as if trying to break the tension, Mrs. Dr. Possible spoke. 'Are you sure you don't want anything?' she said, glancing to the other side of the kitchen, where Grimm was sitting on a stool.

'I already ate.' he said flatly. 'I'm just here in case Monkey Fist shows up.' Grimm seemed to be staring at the handle on one of the cupboard drawers as if he were trying to memorize it's features, but Kim felt almost as uncomfortable than she would have if he had been looking at her. 'Uy Ron, I hope you appreciate this...' she thought, sopping up the syrup from her plate with the last forkful of her pancake. Then another voice broke the silence.

'Is it true you were the one behind the Transducer thing that really ticked Kim off?'

Kim gagged, looking furiously over at Tim. 'Shut up, tweeb!' she growled.

'That was all Zorpox.' Grimm said, without moving his gaze from the cabinet. But a shadow of his old smirk crept onto his lips. 'Sorry to disappoint you. Who knows where super-villains like him get their ideas?'

Kim slammed her fork down with a clang. 'OK, that was head gaming!' she said angrily.

'Withdrawn.' Grimm said quickly. 'Old habits are like car batteries, they die hard.'

He only got out of the way when they started clearing up. As Kim cleaned her dishes, she felt Grimm's eyes boring into the back of her neck like lasers. 'Stop doing that!' she said. 'Why can't you just tail me from a distance?'

'Tried that. Didn't work.' said Grimm. 'Until I get my shot at Maze, I'm not leaving. Get used to it.'

He watched in stone-like silence as Kim went through her morning routine of getting her stuff ready, kissing her parents good-bye as they prepared for work, and making sure Rufus was set up with everything he needed in her hip pouch. His bike was nowhere to be seen when she went out to the garage and opened the door to get into the Sloth. Grimm followed her and was moving towards the passenger side door.

'Uh uh.' said Kim. 'Back seat.'

Grimm paused, then shrugged. 'Fine.' he said. 'I'd hate for anyone to think we had a thing going on.'

The ride over to school was as uncomfortably silent as breakfast had been. Grimm kept staring out the window as if determined to avoid Kim's eyes, while Kim did her best to ignore him. She never listened to the radio much in cars, but the tension was so thick she tried it anyway. What sounded like an old lounge song was playing and jazzy lyrics floated through the car.

Like the wallpaper sticks to the wall
Like the seashore clings to the sea
Like you'll never get rid of your shadow
You'll never get rid of me...

  middleton high

Kim shut off the radio in disgust, thinking ruefully that sometimes her life felt as if someone was setting things like that up just to be ironic. She was soon parking the Sloth in the school lot. They were a bit early, but there was still a crowd of students streaming into the building, chatting on the sidewalks and still more were arriving. The marquee on the sign outside the school had a jumble of letters on it that read, "Middleton High Welcomes All Visitors". Both Kim and Grimm got out and shouldered their book bags, and Grimm put on a pair of sunglasses.

'What's with the shades?' Kim said.

'Still bruised around the eye from the other day.' said Grimm.

'They won't let you wear them during class.' Kim said. 'How are you going to explain the shiner?'

'I'll tell them the truth.' Grimm said. 'That I got beat up by Kim Possible. I hear I'm in good company.'

Kim saw Monique approaching on the sidewalk surrounding the lot. 'Wait here.' she said.

'Why?' said Grimm, sounding suspicious.

'Because I'm hooking up with a friend and I don't want you scaring anyone with your MIB imitation!' Kim snapped.

Grimm shook his head and leaned against the Sloth as Kim walked towards Monique. 'Yo girlfriend - how are you holding up?' she said.

'Not bad I guess.' Kim sighed. 'But I'm glad you're here. I can tell this is gonna be a long day.'

Monique nodded, lowering her voice a bit. 'So you haven't changed your mind?' she said. 'You're sure you still want me as your pinch-hitter?'

'Definitely.' Kim said firmly.

Monique looked as if she had been hoping Kim would say no, but nodded again and sighed. 'I thought you said you and Mr. Bad Boy did some kind of truce?'

'We did.' said Kim. 'But it'll be a long time before I actually believe he's on the level. In the meantime, I'm expecting weirdness. He keeps saying he's going to be right behind me until we find Monkey Fist again. If Grimm's got my back, I want someone there to make sure he's not looking for a good place to stick a knife.'

Monique peered around Kim's shoulder. Grimm was still leaning against the Sloth, looking over the school as if appraising it in some way while Rueful's head popped out of the top of his book bag to peer around. 'So that's him?' said Monique.

'Yeah.' said Kim.

'And he's a bad boy?'

'Yeah.' said Kim again.

'Mmmm....' said Monique, looking him over. 'He is bad-boy hawt...'

'What?' said Kim, blinking.

Monique looked back at Kim. 'I said he's kinda hot.' she said.

'You didn't say hot - you said hawt.'

Monique looked surprised. 'N.... no I didn't.' she said, looking suddenly flustered.

Kim sighed. 'Monique - please promise you won't start crushing on Grimm. It would just be too weird.'

Monique shook her head, looking at him again. 'How come the good ones are always evil?' she said.

Kim smiled faintly. 'Come on, let's get this over with.' she said.

Grimm looked up as Kim and Monique approached. 'So am I allowed to approach you yet, your worshipfulness?' he drawled.

Kim ignored the crack, and gestured to Monique. 'Grimm, this is Monique. Monique - Grimm. She's my official sidekick until we find Ron.'

Monique smiled playfully. 'So I guess that makes you the sub-sidekick.' she said.

Grimm's eyes narrowed, but he said nothing. 'She'll be coming with us when we go out in the field, so get acquainted.' Kim said.

'I already did that.' Grimm broke in. 'Assistant Manager at Club Banana, amateur fashion designer and creator of a mildly popular local slang phenom called 'Monique-speak'. Last name is....'

'Hey!' Monique said, her voice rising almost to a shout. 'We never met before today, where'd you get all that from?'

'Research.' he answered cagily. 'The info wasn't hidden in any difficult way.'

'A-hem.' Kim said, glaring.

Grimm sighed, rolling his eyes. 'Fine - Kim, Monique, me. All one big, happy team. Got it.'

'Looks like you got him pretty well trained.' said Monique slyly, and Grimm looked away with a frustrated growl. 'Does he do windows?'

Rueful's eyes glittered and he growled at Monique from his perch on Grimm's shoulder, but at a look from Grimm, he scampered back into the bookbag. They made their way to the school, with Monique and Kim side by side with Grimm trailing behind. She and Monique chatted, though Monique kept making occasional asides about Grimm as they walked.

'He's not as beefy as Hirotaka was.' she said. 'You sure he'll be all right on a mission?'

'He'll be fine.' said Kim with a cool voice, though she was smiling at the look of discomfiture on Grimm's face as he followed in their wake.

'I thought you said he was bad road.' she said when they stopped at Kim's locker. 'How bad could he be if he got beat up by a girl?' Monique said with a coy smile.

Grimm opened his mouth as if he were about to say something, but then he stopped, looking back and forth between Monique and Kim. 'Oh, now I get it.' he said, his smirk returning. 'Bring in your friend to keep me distracted. Nice, Possible. Anyone would get the impression you didn't like me.'

Kim's smile faltered. Grimm had an uncanny knack for seeing through diversions and tricks. Partly, she reasoned, because he'd used them himself so many times. 'Can you blame me?' she said pointedly.

'No skin off my teeth if you feel too scared to have me around without backup.' he said, adjusting his sunglasses.

'This from the guy who wanted his hacker out here to keep him company.' she said.

Grimm sniffed and nodded. 'Fine, you win this round. I guess you could use a victory after the last couple of weeks.'

Kim was about to answer when she heard something behind her that annoyed her almost as much. 'How are things in the loser section of the halls?'

Kim winced, gritting her teeth. It was inevitable - with Grimm in the same school as her, that this meeting would take place. Bonnie rounded the corner, looking at Kim and Monique with the expression of veiled disdain she reserved specially for them. 'Hello Bonnie.' said Kim and Monique at the same time.

But Bonnie spotted Grimm and her normal flurry of snarky comments seemed to evaporate. 'Uh....' she said, sounding uncharacteristically flustered, 'Aren't you going to introduce me to the new guy?'

Grimm looked at her, his eyebrow raised again. 'I know who you are.' he said flatly. 'Bonnie Rockwaller. Now tell me why I should care?'

Kim sighed. She gestured vaguely. 'Bonnie - this is Grimm. Grimm Probable.'

Bonnie's mouth hung down, giving her a vacant, stunned expression. 'Haaaaa.....' she said tonelessly.

Grimm sniffed. 'So this is that famous Rockwaller wit I've heard so much about.' he said. But any further comment was stifled at Bonnie sidled up to him until she was practically in his face.

'Grimm Probable.' she said, her voice squeaking girlishly. 'That rolls of the tongue so smooth! Where have you been hiding yourself?'

'That's what I'd like to know.' Kim muttered.

But Grimm's attention seemed totally thrown as he backed up and Bonnie advanced until he was against the lockers. 'Temporary transfer.' he said, but seemed unable to articulate anything else.

'Aw....' Bonnie purred, putting her hand on his shoulder and tracing a finger across his chest. 'Well maybe you'll see some things here that'll make you want to turn your stay more.... permanent.'

Kim couldn't see past his sunglasses, but the rest of Grimm's face was a study in either disgust or discomfort, she couldn't tell which. 'I... have to check on some things.' he said, sidestepping until he was outside Bonnie's reach. He glanced towards Kim. 'I'll be at your first class in a few.' Then he turned and walked away without another word.

Kim was surprised, at Grimm because he actually seemed scared, and at herself for being grateful that Bonnie had showed up. Bonnie stared after him for a few seconds as if spellbound, then fell back against the lockers. 'Woah.' she said, fanning her neck with her hand. 'Major steam!'

'What are you talking about girl?' said Monique. 'I don't know if you picked up on it, but he's not even interested!'

'I know.' said Bonnie. 'He acts like he doesn't even need to go out with anyone! That is so cool!' She looked at Kim and Monique appraisingly. 'Neither of you are into him, right?'

'No.' they both said quickly.

'Then pardon me losers, while I see if our transfer student needs any help finding his classes....' And Bonnie darted down the hallway after him.

Monique stared after them for a few seconds. 'That is just sick and wrong on so many levels.' she said.

'Why?' said Kim. 'It's totally like Bonnie to laser in on anyone remotely cute. And it's not like she and Junior are going steady yet.'

'No, I mean the fact that she likes Grimm at all.' said Monique.

grimm vs bonnie

'Why shouldn't she?' Kim growled. 'He's manipulative, he's a player, he's a jerk.... It's a match made in.... the other place.'

'He's your mercenary opposite!' Monique said, staring at Kim. 'That means if she's got a thing for him, then deep down she might have a thing for.....'

Kim flinched. 'Ew!' she said loudly, feeling her skin crawling. 'Monique, don't even think that! I mean..... eeeeew!!!'

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Grimm darted into the janitor closet, closing the door softly behind him. He flattened against the wall, keeping an eye angled through the small window at the top of the door. He saw Bonnie's head flash past the glass, waited a moment then breathed a sigh of relief. After waiting a few more seconds, he tried turning the knob to go back out. He glared as the knob clicked, but did not twist. He tried turning it a few more times, but it was locked.

He gritted his teeth, shook his head, then fished the communicator from his pack. 'Jade - tell me there's a lock pick set somewhere in the bags you prepped.' he said.

Jade's face popped up on the screen. 'Uh, yeah.' she said. 'They're velcroed under the flap of the second lower side pocket.' She watched as Grimm fished out a tiny instrument from the pack and knelt in front of the door. 'And why do you need a lock pick within ten minutes of entering Middleton High?'

'Stupid crazy school.' Grimm muttered, angling the lock pick into the keyhole on the doorknob. 'What kind of idiot designs a building with a janitor closet that locks from the inside?'

Jade laughed. 'Another question - why would a student want to venture into the janitor's closet?'

'Don't ask.' Grimm muttered.

'That just makes me want to ask...' Jade smiled.

Grimm glowered. The lock wasn't turning, and he tried a different angle to get a feel for the tumblers. He'd broken into secret labs with easier locks than this one. 'I was... hiding.' he said sheepishly.

'From who?' You haven't even been there half an hour yet - have you already got enemies?'

'No! It was..... Bonnie.' he said, and he bit his lip.

Jade was staring. 'Grimm are you blushing? What happened?'

Grimm hesitated, still fiddling with the lock. 'She... came on to me.' he said. There was a sudden squeal of laughter from the communicator. Grimm looked away from the lock to stare angrily at the screen and Jade quickly stopped.

'Sorry.' she said, stifling another laugh behind her hand. 'What kind of come-on?' she said.

'Roaring.' Grimm muttered.

'Grimm half the girls at school have got an eye on you, and you've never hid in a closet before.' Jade said, still smiling. 'What makes this one different?'

Grimm's mouth pulled into a grimace. 'Because if Bonnie has a thing for me right off the bat, then it means... you know... he might...'

'Ew!' Jade said, suddenly waving her hands as if she were swatting away invisible mosquitoes. 'Grimm - I mean.... eewwwwwww!!!'

'Hence, the blushing.' Grimm said.

Jade shivered. 'Well - I advise finding a way to deal with it that doesn't involve closets.' she said. 'Who knows how long you'll be there?'

Grimm nodded. 'This is gonna be tougher than I thought.' Finally, the lock gave a loud click and stowing the lock pick, Grimm stepped back into the hall and headed for Kim's first class.

He caught up with Kim a few yards down the hall and fell in step behind her. She looked over her shoulder angrily. 'Stop doing that!' Kim said in a hissing whisper.

'Doing what?' said Grimm.

'Following me so close!' Kim said. 'You look like a secret service bodyguard or something!'

'I kind of am.' he answered.

'Well try to look a little less mercenary-ey!'

'How?' Grimm said, his face twitching briefly with exasperation.

'I don't know - follow 'casually' or something!' Grimm breathed a frustrated sigh as he followed Kim into the classroom. He started to sit right behind Kim but she glared at him and motioned further back. Grimm sighed again and sat two desks away from her.

Kim blinked as class started, for Mr. Barkin entered and was sitting behind the teacher's desk. 'Good morning students.' he said in his normal half-bellow. 'Mrs. O'Whiggens, your normal History teacher, was throwing out the trash when she threw out her back as well. I will be filling in until she recovers.'

He called roll, glaring at Kim for an extra second after calling her name, then saw Grimm seated two rows behind her. 'Sunglasses off mister.' he said loudly, and Grimm complied. Barkin took in the bruising around the eye, but said nothing until he looked over his attendance list. 'You must be... Grimm Probable - our temporary transfer.' he said, flipping through his pages.

'Yes sir, Mr. Barkin.' Grimm answered, his voice taking on a military style crispness.

Barkin looked at him warily. 'Well - welcome aboard Mr. Probable.' he said. 'Hopefully you won't be using the time away from your normal school to slack off while you're here.'

'No sir.' Grimm answered.

Kim glanced back at him, her eyes narrowing. She couldn't tell if he was trying to make fun of Barkin or not with his GI Joe style answers. But the lessons went normally for an hour until the bell rang.

The other students were filing out and Kim was collecting her things and getting ready to leave, when she heard Barkin's voice crack over her like a whip. 'Probable!' he said, 'A word if you please.'

Kim thought about bailing on Grimm, then decided she would rather stick around to see if Barkin was assigning him extra homework. She expected Grimm to slouch over, looking surly or to be smirking insolently, and was surprised to see him march up to Barkin and give him a salute. 'How may I help you, sir?' he said.

Barkin glanced towards Kim. 'I didn't ask you to stay, Possible.' he said.

'It's all right, sir.' Grimm said. 'I am assisting Kim Possible in her search for the missing Ron Stoppable - sir.'

'Is that so?' said Mr. Barkin, his attention fixing back onto Grimm. 'Then you should also know I don't tolerate smart alecs or trouble-makers in this school, Mr. Probable.'

'I would never presume to make trouble in a school overseen by Lieutenant Stephen Barkin, sir!' said Grimm.

Mr. Barkin looked surprised, but still wary. 'How exactly do you know me, mister?' he said, glowering.

'Everyone knows the name Barkin sir - you're a legend in the Marine Corps! You helped save the world....'

'Shhh!' Barkin hissed. 'That's classified information, Probable!'

'Yes sir!'

Mr. Barkin looked at him more keenly. 'You seem well informed.'

'Information is power - sir!'

'Dangerously well informed.' he said, still looking suspicious. 'I've dealt with suck-ups before, Probable. You think that buttering me up will get you in my good books?'

'No sir!' said Grimm, his straight expression never wavering. 'The Barkin I've heard of would never fall for such a cheap ruse, sir!'

Barkin regarded him for a moment. 'How'd you get the shiner, soldier?' he said.

Grimm paused for a splintered second before answering. 'I questioned Kim Possible's abilities - sir.' he said.

Barkin actually smiled. 'Not exactly a smart way to begin your stay here, Probable.'

'I hope to increase said intelligence while attending this educational bulwark - sir.'

Barkin seemed to relax slightly. 'Carry on, then.' he said.

Grimm saluted again, then turned and stood next to Kim, as if waiting for her to move first. Kim had watched the whole exchange with conflicting emotions, but she left the classroom and waited until they were in the bustle of the hallway. 'What was that all about?' she said, growling and not even bothering to look behind her as she walked.

'What do you mean?' said Grimm, wearily.

'That whole 'sir-de-sir-sir' routine.' Kim said.

'I'm just showing an authority figure the proper respect.' Grimm answered.

'Like fun you are.' Kim said, her voice lowering. 'Barkin doesn't know you like I do - so don't use that fake respect angle to try and pull off any funny business!'

Kim was walking faster and faster in her anger, and Grimm jogged to keep up with her. 'You made me promise to be good, I try to comply, and all you do is complain.' Grimm said, 'Would you be happier if I tried messing with him?'

'I'd be happier if you just kept your mouth shut while you're here and didn't do anything. Especially that!' she said, stopping and pointing at him.

'What?' said Grimm.

'The eyebrow!' she said. 'You keep raising it every time you look at anything. What's the deal?'

Grimm shook his head. 'Nothing.' he said quietly.

By the end of the next class, Kim was heartily sick of having Grimm tailing her. She couldn't shake the impression that despite his promise, he was secretly observing her and appraising her, trying to learn more about her techniques and her doings to use as weapons against her in their next encounter. She felt somehow pressured to try and make the day something special or extraordinary to impress or intimidate him.

But the lessons were the normal, standard stuff. Grimm seemed to be taking notes and studying the same as everyone else, and even answered a couple of questions when called on. She met up with Monique again for their algebra class, but instead of Ms. Merical, Kim saw Barkin sitting behind the teacher's desk. She sighed and braced herself for something weird and was not disappointed.

'Good morning class.' said Mr. Barkin. 'Ms. Merical is recovering from a bizarre accident involving paper cuts and lemon juice, so I will be your temporary algebra teacher today.'

Monique groaned. 'Barkined again.' she whispered, and Kim nodded.

Two seats behind Kim, she heard Grimm whisper. 'What - does this happen often?'

'Like every day.' Monique said.

Grimm said nothing more, but a few seconds later, Kim heard the telltale beeping of an electronic device. She turned, looking around the person sitting behind her, and saw Grimm putting his communicator away. She also saw the door leading into the classroom open a crack, and a swish of brown fur as Rueful's tail whipped out of sight.

She almost jumped out of her desk to confront Grimm, but he didn't seem to be doing anything else. His attention was focused on the equations Mr. Barkin was writing on the blackboard. And the rest of the lesson proceeded with it's usual numerical torpor.

When the bell rang, Kim pulled Monique aside. 'Mon, you were in a better position for watching Grimm - what did he do during the class?'

'He... took notes.' said Monique, looking confused. 'That ferret he's carrying around zipped out of the class early on, but it came back about half-way through.'

Kim felt her face going red. She looked around, but Grimm wasn't there. She stormed out into the hallway with Monique in tow, whirling around and looking. She spotted Grimm leaning against the opposite wall, talking into his communicator. As she went up to him, she heard his voice and Jade's.

'Are you sure about this?' Grimm was saying.

'Looks like it.' Jade answered. 'Annoying, but harmless.'

Grimm chuckled. 'Confirm it if you can. It could be useful....' Then he looked up into Kim's angry face. 'Gotta go.' he said, then flipped his communicator shut and slid it into his bookbag. 'All right, what are you mad at now?' he said.

'Where did you send your weasel during Algebra?' she said.

'He's not my weasel, he's Rhonda's.' Grimm said. 'I'm just looking after him...'

'Don't change the subject!' Kim said. 'What are you up to?'

'Nothing sinister.' said Grimm, his face taking on the aggrieved expression of an innocent man wrongly accused. 'In fact, it's something that may make your life easier.'

'You - make my life easier? That's a laugh for a start.' Kim growled.

'Whatever.' Grimm said. 'We hitting your next class or what?'

'I want to know what you're up to!' Kim said loudly.

'Nothing.' said Grimm defiantly. 'I'm just gathering information. It may help you and it may not, I don't know yet. But it's got nothing to do with the Ron sitch.' He started moving down the hall. 'You coming?' he said pointedly.

Kim gritted her teeth and pushed her way past him.

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Drakken was being pulled along by a strong hand. A blindfold of thick gauze was wound twice around his eyes. The air around him felt chilly, and his footsteps echoed as if he were in some kind of cavern, but beyond that he could tell nothing about his surroundings.

He stumbled on what felt like a loose rock and nearly fell to his knees. But the hand leading him was still pulling and actually dragged him a few inches before he scrambled and regained his footing.

'Slow down!' he grated. 'Some of us are blindfolded you know!' But soon he felt a hand pushing against his chest and he came to a stop. For a few seconds, there was nothing. 'Well?' he said. 'Are we at the secret clubhouse yet?'

He felt the gauze being pulled from his eyes and he blinked. Shego was standing silently next to him, her stone body rigid but attentive. He looked around and saw crates, parts and equipment, all surrounded by pitch blackness that was broken only by a few bright lights high above. He looked around a vast underground cave with a rough stone floor. He heard tapping and hammering far back in the depths of the cavern beyond his sight, like masons working.

In another section of the cavern, he saw a large machine connected to several banks of computers, with cables spreading out around it. His eyes lingered on the machine, for it was something his abilities and experience at least understood - far better than the unsettling and mysterious cave in which he stood.

'Impressive, don't you think?' came a smooth voice. Drakken turned and saw Monkey Fist approaching, followed by Maze. 'It's not the HenchCo time-share, but lately I'm into function rather than form.'

Drakken approached the machine, but paused as he drew level with Monkey Fist. 'Go on, take a closer look.' said Monkey Fist. 'It's this machine we would like you to acquaint yourself with. Your technical skills are what will earn you the reward we promised.'

Drakken blinked and walked up to the machine, inspecting the wiring, the computers and the support structure. 'You say you want a bigger version of this?' he said at last.

'Yes.' said Monkey Fist. 'And... feel free to suggest any improvements to its overall design and function that come to your mind.'

'That won't take long!' said Drakken, tugging at a tangled bunch of wires. 'Honestly, I'm surprised this thing could even boot up - it looks like it was thrown together by a monkey or something!'

From off to the side, the flicker of a smile sped across Maze's lips, but for several seconds there was heavy silence. 'I'll pretend I didn't hear that.' Monkey Fist said at last.

'Sorry.' said Drakken sheepishly. Then he resumed his inspection of the machine, eventually moving to the table where the connected components were clustered. 'Hmm...' he said, taking out his magnification goggles and donning them. 'An Oscillation Overthruster! Always wanted one of those... Waveform Harmonicizer... CMC Transmat... Universal Decryption Matrix....' He looked up, sliding off the goggles and staring at Monkey Fist. 'These are the primary components for....'

'Professor Dementor's Ultra-Atmospheric Jammer.' said Monkey Fist. 'Quite right.'

Drakken twined his fingers together, grinning wickedly. 'O-ho! So that's your game, is it?' he said. 'Possible destroyed Dementor's Jammer some time ago - now that the heat's off, you're trying to quietly finish the work that he started!'

Monkey Fist smirked. 'Something like that.' he said.

Drakken was circling the table and inspecting the readouts on the computer monitors. 'Well I was never one to shy away from ripping off someone else's work.' he said. 'Very clever....'

Monkey Fist and Maze stared at him as he continued looking over the devices with renewed interest. 'Well?' Monkey Fist said at last.

'I think I can help.' said Drakken smugly. 'I can certainly rewire this mish-mash to make sure it doesn't blow up the next time you try to use it. But this mini version isn't nearly powerful enough to disrupt the global satellite network. You'll need it to be much bigger.'

'Which I believe is the reason we brought you here in the first place.' Monkey Fist drawled impatiently.

'Oh! Yes....' Drakken said. He was now looking around the cavern, and dashed over to where the boxes and crates were stacked. 'Not enough.' he said at last, returning to the table. 'We'll need more circuits, more metal, a stronger power source....'

'Can you compose a comprehensive list of what we will require?' said Monkey Fist.

'Certainly!' said Drakken, sounding insulted.

Monkey Fist was sliding the keyboard of one of the computers towards him. 'Compose it.' he said.

Drakken paused. 'We could just go back to my lair, I can retool a lot of my stuff and save some time...'

'No!'

Drakken peered around Monkey Fist to stare at Maze. 'The machines will be built here.' said the shadow shaman.

'I don't even know where here is!' Drakken groused at him angrily. 'And who are you anyway? You weren't at the last HenchCo convention!'

'That is not your concern.' said Maze darkly. 'You will build the machines here. The work must remain secret.'

'I'm afraid he is quite right.' said Monkey Fist. 'How many times has Kim Possible found and destroyed your lair...?'

'Only once!' Drakken shouted. But at a withering look from Monkey Fist, he seemed to deflate. 'Or twice....' he said. Monkey Fist continued glaring at him. '...this month.'

'The machines will be built here.' said Maze again. 'Where Mi'kksiistsikomma cannot find them. And you must remain here until they are finished.'

Drakken was sputtering. 'That wasn't part of the deal!' he yelled. 'What about my equipment - my labs? My cocoa-moo?'

'Anything you need will be brought to you.' said Monkey Fist. 'So I suggest you begin by composing your list. The sooner the tasks are done, the sooner you will have your cocoa-moo.'

'But what about manpower?' Drakken said. 'I'll need my henchmen for the heavy lifting at least!'

'Manpower won't be an issue.' said Monkey Fist, and he snapped his fingers, the sound echoing through the air. The noise of stonework coming from the darkness of the inner cavern stopped at once and Drakken turned slowly as he heard a dull thumping of many heavy footsteps. From the gloom, a number of figures lumbered forward. They looked like normal people except they were made of stone. They stopped once they had formed a semi-circle around Monkey Fist and Maze, and waited.

'Well,' said Monkey Fist after several silent seconds. 'Shall we get to work?'

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A squelching mass flotched onto a tray in the cafeteria at Middleton High. Grimm looked at the grey, steaming pool. 'What is this?' he said, looking up at the lunch lady.

'Mystery Meat.' the woman answered flatly, looking severe and intimidating as she always did with her scowling face and her hairnet. 'It's mysteriously delicious.'

Grimm regarded his tray for a moment. 'This could cause a stampede to beets.' he said.

'Glad you like it.' she said. 'Next!'

Grimm moved towards an empty table, but paused as a clutch of girls seemed to zip in out of nowhere and fill every chair but one, looking at him expectantly. He raised his eyebrow, then turned and moved towards a vacant table. The girls seemed to pass by him in a flash and occupy that table as well, looking at him and waiting.

He sighed and looked over at Kim's table, where she sat with Monique. He made as if to move towards another empty table, waited until the girls started moving, then he quickly changed direction and darted to Kim's table, taking one of the empty seats. The girls stared at Kim and Monique with undisguised resentment.

Most of the members of the football team were seated at another table. Whether intentionally or not, they hung out nearly as much off the field as they did on. Their ringleader was Nick Tragg. Nick had eagerly stepped into the role of 'alpha male' which had been vacated by Brick the previous year. For the most part, they left Ron alone as long as he kept winning games. Though they were still sources of school wide mischief towards anyone they felt was an easy mark - including exchange students. They were all glaring at Grimm as he took his seat.

'Who is that guy?' said one of the other jocks.

'Donno.' Nick muttered. 'He just showed up today, says he's a transfer student from some other school.'

Another spoke up. 'Well I don't like it - all the cute girls are flying around him like goths.'

'That's moths.' Nick growled. 'Jeez Cliff, this is a school - try and sound a little less thick.'

Cliff shrank into silence, but another member of the squad piped in. 'What's he doing at the same table with Possible? Is he moving in on Stoppable's turf?'

'Beats me.' Nick said. 'But if he's putting the moves on our running back's squeeze, that means he's wandering onto the team's turf.'

'So what do we do?' Cliff ventured. 'Sanctions?'

But Nick was looking at his cafeteria tray. 'Nah - I think it's time we showed the new guy that there's a food chain at Middleton High, and when you're from out of town - you start at the bottom.'

Grimm looked resentful as he sat down. 'I can't believe I have to eat with you guys just so your sheep classmates will back off.' Grimm muttered, ignoring the Mystery Meat and picking at the vegetables instead. 'Doesn't this school have any other guys they could hassle?'

'Why are you bothering to eat?' said Monique, smiling. 'Sounds like you're already pretty full of yourself.'

Grimm looked coldly at her, but said nothing. He opened his bookbag and Rueful slithered out onto the table. The weasel took a look at the mystery meat and let out a high-pitched wheeze of disgust before turning to a small tub of feed that Grimm had fished out of his pack and set on the table.

Rufus was eating his food with the normal gusto, but both weasel and naked mole rat kept looking up from their food occasionally to glare at each other. Monique noted with some amusement that Kim and Grimm were doing pretty much the same thing.

'So.... silence anyone?' Monique said after a few minutes. Neither Kim nor Grimm said anything. 'I'm having a great day, Monique.' said Monique, looking to her left. Then turning to her right she said, 'Me too, Monique!' Then she whipped her head back and forth as if holding conclave with herself.

'No problems?'
'Well, my BF's kind of quiet, but probably because her WE is here.'
'WE?'
'Worst Enemy.'
'Oh - good one! You are so clever Monique!'
'Thanks, Monique!'
'So, any chance they'll lighten up?'
'I donno, but if they get any more friendly they're gonna start throwing punches.'

Grimm looked steadily more impatient as she talked. Finally he broke in as Monique paused for a breath. 'With all this food, you think we could spend some time eating?' An instant later he lurched forward as a square of Jell-O splattered against the back of his head, sending lime green fragments everywhere. Kim and Monique shielded themselves from the worst of it with their arms.

'Eat that, new guy!' came a loud voice from a few tables down.

Kim looked towards the table where Nick was seated with other members of the football team. All of them were sneering and chuckling. There was a ripple of laughter through the cafeteria as Grimm used several napkins to mop off the worst of the jell-o bomb from his hair and neck. Rueful was on all fours, growling and hissing at Nick's table. A dangerous gleam was in Grimm's eyes.

'Don't even think about it!' Kim said. 'You're not the only one they've pasted.'

Grimm tasted some of the Jell-O that was still clinging to his fingers and the gleam vanished. 'Better than your Mystery Meat.' he said, muttering. 'Excuse me.' He stood up and Rueful leaped onto his arm, crawling up his shoulder and into the bookbag as Grimm hefted it. He left the cafeteria, heading towards the bathrooms, bowing as a few students applauded and whistled mockingly.

Kim's mood lightened considerably after Grimm left. 'I shouldn't have enjoyed that.' she said. 'It's immature jock-i-ness. But since it was Grimm...'

'Still, you gotta admit, he was pretty Zen about the whole thing.' said Monique. 'Could he have used kung-fu to mess them up?'

'Yeah.' said Kim suspiciously. 'I'll just put that in the hopper along with a bunch of other stuff I want him to explain.' she said quietly.

'Might not want to obsess over him too much.' Monique said.

'What?' Kim said. 'I am so not obsessing over Grimm!'

Monique bent forward and lowered her voice. 'Girl, you were cutting your salad.' she said. 'That's obsessing. You brought me on to help you out with this guy. Part of that's guarding you from him.'

'And you're doing great.' Kim said. 'Your Moniqueness is definitely taking some of his edge off.'

'And partly,' Monique spoke over Kim, 'I think it'll also mean guarding you from you.'

'Don't worry.' said Kim. 'Me and me just don't want him to get away with anything.'

'But it kind of looks like you're stalking him as much as he's tailing you.'

'Stalking?' Kim said.

'You're always wondering what he's up to.' Monique said.

'Because he's always up to something!' Kim shot back.

'Doesn't look like it so far.' Monique said. 'Might want to dial it back unless he actually tries something.' Kim blinked. 'Otherwise some people might think you're obsessing.' Monique finished with a smile, and she waved at Bonnie, who was looking at Kim as if she were made of Mystery Meat.

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With nearly everyone still in the cafeteria, the restroom was deserted. Grimm cleaned up as best he could and made sure his hair and shirt didn't have any gelatin sticking anywhere. 'I'll be lime-scented the rest of the day.' he thought resentfully. 'Now I remember why I never went in for football.' Rueful was hopping from sink to sink and looking at himself curiously in the wall mirror. Grimm was just smoothing his hair back in place when the communicator beeped and he fished it from his hip pouch.

'Yo G-man.' said Jade's voice. 'Might not want to turn on the communicator so fast in a men's room!'

'Relax Jade, we're alone.' Grimm said. 'What have you got?'

'Confirmation on the Barkin sitch.' Jade answered. 'I triple-checked the info I gathered when Rueful accessed Barkin's computer.' she paused. 'You gonna use it?'

'Not yet.' Grimm said, shaking his head.

Jade looked surprised. 'You seem pretty laid back today.' she said. 'Normally you'd be all over this stuff. And I just took a peek on the school secur-i-cam. Care for some jell-o?'

'Your point?' said Grimm, looking vaguely annoyed.

'You said you wouldn't make trouble.' said Jade. 'When Possible played you, you turned the whole world upside-down to get back at her. What are you going to do to the food-fighters?'

'Right now, nothing.' said Grimm, but there was resentment in his voice.

'Very Zen.' said Jade. 'Or are you just biding your time to plot horrible, flaming vengeance?' Jade said.

Grimm shook his head again. 'The Possible paybacks were different. That was business. This was just immature jock-i-ness. If they were trying to beat me up - well, that would change things. Too bad they didn't follow me here to try and mix it up.' He smiled faintly at the communicator. 'This is just me doing my bit to find Rhonda.' he said. 'I'd let the whole cafeteria pelt me with Mystery Meat to bring her back.'

'Mystery Meat?' said Jade.

'Don't ask.' Grimm muttered. 'I'm taking the promise seriously.' he said. 'Everyone was hammering me for not knowing how to help. How am I doing now?'

'It's a start.' said Jade. Then she paused. 'There's one more thing.' she said. 'You know how the whatever-it-is Monkey Fist is using has been blocking our attempts to find them?'

'Yeah.' said Grimm.

'Well, I've been thinking.' she said quietly. 'It's possible they could also use it to monitor our communications.'

There was silence as Grimm stared at the communicator. He remembered how false signals had led him to where he was ambushed by Monkey Fist in the UNIT labs. Information is power, he thought to himself again. 'Possible's too?'

'Could be.' Jade said. 'I don't know if they've tried it yet - or if they've got wind that you and Lady K are hanging out. But after what they did to Rhonda and Ron, I think they'd be real curious if they knew the BF and the GF were putting their heads together. I'd want an earful if it was me.'

Grimm sighed. 'I think it's almost time we told them everything Monkey Fist and Maze have gathered.'

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After lunch, the rest of the day had gone almost normally. Kim almost reached a point where she could forget Grimm was a few seats away from her in every class. Finally, the last bell had rung and she had gone at once to the gym to get ready for cheer practice.

  my shadow

Grimm had followed her right up to the entrance to the girl’s locker rooms, where he stopped short. Kim raised her eyebrow at him, then he raised an eyebrow back, then he turned and stumped towards the bleachers.

It felt good to shake him, even if only for a few minutes, while she and the rest of the squad got ready. But he was still in the bleachers as they came out and began practice. He looked bored and impatient.

But as the squad went through several routines, Kim began to forget about him. The simple joy of doing something she enjoyed so much and did so well was enough to help her start shrugging off the day's troubles. Rufus was standing by her book bag on the sidelines, holding a small megaphone and imitating some of their moves.

'Gooooo Mad Dogs!'

Kim vaulted herself into the air, doing one of her trickier flips. An instant before landing in the cradle formed by the interlocked arms of the rest of the squad, she could see that one of Tara's arms wasn't fully in place.

There was a yelp and a crash as Kim landed and Tara overbalanced, pulling the entire squad down in a tangle. When everyone was finally standing again, Kim put her hand over her eyes impatiently. 'That's the third basket toss we've botched since we started!' she said, trying to keep the day's frustration out of her voice. 'Head in the game people!'

But she saw that nearly half the squad, while facing towards her, had their necks and eyes craned off to the side. Kim glanced to the far end of the gym where a lone figure was on the balance beam. Grimm leaned forward in a graceful roll, slowly going into a one-armed handstand. His body arched until he did a perfect step-out before going into a back spring.

'Wow....' said Tara. 'Who is that guy?'

'Grimm.' said Bonnie. Then with a cold stare, she said, 'He's been following Kim around all day like a puppy dog.'

'I like puppies.' said Marcella dreamily.

By now most of the squad was looking over to the balance beams where Grimm was going through several routines. 'Hello?' said Kim, tapping her foot. 'Practice isn't over yet!'

'Good balance - and he's flexible...' said Jessica, tilting her head as Grimm did some handsprings. 'That's a plus.'

'Baaa. Baa-aaa-aaaah.' Monique piped in from the bleachers. She was lounging uncomfortably on the wooden planks and looking surly. She had agreed to attend cheer practice, even though it wasn't her normal thing, so she could step in if Grimm tried anything.

'Guys?' Kim said, putting herself in the line of sight between Grimm and the squad. 'Could you try looking less desperate? Back to the routine, people!'

The squad muttered as they got back in line. 'This one's tough Kim...' said Hope. 'It's not easy catching you from a near twenty foot drop.'

'Maybe we could try it with someone a little stronger in the base.' said Bonnie, her eyes riveted on Grimm. She started as Kim's pom fluffed against her head.

'Anytime this week, Bonnie.' Kim said.

Bonnie's eyes glinted and her face grew hard. 'You had him to yourself all day, Possible.' she said angrily. 'Does your BF know you've got other guys dangling on a string?'

The whole squad fell silent and Tara actually gasped. 'Bonnie!' she whispered.

Everyone stared as Kim walked up to Bonnie, and even Bonnie looked nervous, as if she realized the barb was a little too sharp. But when Kim spoke her voice was calm and quiet. 'I'm not cheating on Ron.' she said. 'Grimm's not my boyfriend. I don't even like him.'

The squad let out a collective sigh of relief as Kim picked up her pom and went back to the point position. 'One more time people.' she said. And the squad, not ungrateful for something to break the tension, followed her lead.

Monique fell back against the bleacher, letting out a great sigh. 'I would have decked her a long time ago, girlfriend.' she thought.

Now unnoticed from the far side of the gym, Grimm was looking intently at Bonnie.

When practice finally ended, Monique waited patiently for Kim to get changed. When Kim came back out of the locker rooms, she fell in step beside her. 'Brushing off the ice queen.' she said. 'You're pretty Zen today too.'

Kim put her hands together in a Japanese bow and did her best imitation of Hirotaka's voice. 'To fight her would prove nothing.' she said mysteriously. 'But I guess you were right about her obsessing over Grimm anyway.' She looked around. Besides herself and Monique, the gym was empty except for the remaining squad members who were already filing out of the various exits.

'Speaking of which - where is he?'

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Bonnie left the gym and entered the hallway, fluffing the locks of her hair. She was just checking her watch and getting ready to dash to her car when she heard a voice behind her.

'A-hem.'

She turned and saw Grimm, leaning against the wall and staring at her. She was at his side in a flash, her voice going syrupy. 'Hey there transfer guy!' she chirped. 'Hope you enjoyed watching us practice.'

'I saw a few things I liked.' he said.

Bonnie broadly and moved closer, but Grimm held up his hand. 'Hold it.' he said. 'Spoken for. There's a blonde at home I'm dating.'

Bonnie looked crestfallen, as if a grand opportunity was snatched from her. 'Well, I've still got Junior.' she thought. 'I beat out Possible there at least.'

'But I have to admit, I'm impressed.' Grimm said. 'The way you stuck it to Possible in front of the whole squad.'

Bonnie smiled, her eyes shining with mischief. 'Everyone knows I'm the better cheerleader.' she said. 'Miss Perfect spends so much time saving the world that she can't keep it together for the squad. She's only head cheerleader because she's a celebrity.'

Grimm stood looking at his hand, rubbing his thumb and forefinger together. 'You seem pretty confident, given the changes that are about to happen.' he said.

Bonnie blinked. 'What changes?' she said.

'Just... things I've heard.' he said, looking totally uninterested even as he spoke. 'I've heard Kim talking. She says it may be time to get some new blood on the team - cut loose some of the trouble-makers.'

Bonnie's face fell. 'What?' she said.

'I can kind of see her point.' he went on, as if talking to himself. 'I mean, the squad is, what? Over eighty percent seniors? They'll need to start bringing in more underclassmen, just to make sure there's someone on the squad next year with some experience. They'll probably do it before the season is over - maybe in the next week or two.'

Bonnie said nothing, her mouth hanging open.

'Still, I'm sure the squad leader will keep the ones she knows she can work with. The only ones who might get cut loose are the ones she decides she doesn't need. Good thing Kim knows you're the better cheerleader.' He turned to Bonnie and nodded curtly. 'Well - catch you later.' Then he walked off.

Bonnie stood rooted to the spot for several minutes afterwards, her expression as dumbfounded as if she had been slapped in the face.

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'Thanks for shopping at Club Banana!' Kim sent off another customer with a cheery grin, which vanished the instant the customer left the store. She glared over at a corner, where Grimm stood, staring around and occasionally glancing towards Kim as if to make sure she was still there.

'You've been doing that since I started work!' Kim said. 'Can't you go get a pretzel or something?'

Grimm shot a dirty look at her. 'Exactly what part of I'm sticking with you till Monkey Fist shows up isn't sinking through that hairdo?' he said impatiently.

Kim let out a frustrated groan. 'Don't obsess.' Monique said out of the side of her mouth.

Grimm sighed. 'Why was day one so boring anyway?' he said. 'I thought you were a globe-trotting people-helping crime fighter. This has just been lame.'

'I don't get missions every day.' Kim growled without looking at him. 'Besides, some of us actually work for a living.'

'This is my work.' Grimm fired back.

'Get real.' Kim said. 'No one's paying you for this one. What'll you do for money while you're here?'

Grimm laughed. 'Don't worry about me.' he said. 'I've got plenty in stash. My clients pay a lot better than yours.'

'I don't charge my clients at all!' Kim said.

'Well there you go.' Grimm said quietly. 'Not very honest of you though.'

'What's that supposed to mean?'

'I've always been more honest.' said Grimm. 'And this isn't head gaming either - this is the truth. I charge a straight up fee for my services and make no bones about it. But you? You keep saying it's wrong to charge money. How long is that gonna last once you're out on your own? You're a senior. That means college, independence and responsibility are gonna close around you like a bear trap - and fast. You could blow off classes in High School to go out and save the world - but college costs thousands, tens of thousands of dollars. If you don't show, they won't sympathize. Your parents may wink at the late nights, your loser part time bosses may put up with the absences as an indulgence. You may have gotten friends to cover for you up to now. But in the real world - they'll expect you to be there. So unless you find yourself one hekkuvva rich stand-up husband who'll foot the bill, you'll have to start working for hire. You may not like me. But in the end you'll have no choice. One day - you'll be me.'

'Not gonna happen!' Kim said defiantly.

'True.' said Grimm. 'You can always quit. Do you really think Ron is going to be that rich husband? Face it, Kim. He doesn't really want to be rich. He doesn't need millions of dollars to be happy. All he needs is you. And as long as he's got you, he'll be content. You'll both have enough to support yourselves and probably a family. But there's no way you'll be rich enough to support your stupid 'save-the-world' thing. Believe it or not, I'm trying to do you a favor by telling you this. The sooner you accept the truth, the better off you'll be.'

'Not even half right.' said Kim, glaring. 'If any of that was true, I'd never have made it for as long as I have. But I'm still going strong. If I need a ride, or information, then all the people I've ever helped are there too, ready to pitch in. That's why it works - because it's not just me. It's everyone.'

Grimm didn't answer, but stared back at her evenly. 'That's also why Drakken and the other no-good-niks out there can never win.' Kim said. 'We've got them outnumbered. People are better and stronger than you give them credit for - and when they need me to help them, there's always a way to make it happen.'

Grimm smirked. 'Believe it or not, I'm glad to hear that.' he said. 'You're ensuring me a steady supply of clients and money. You wouldn't believe what a great job it is. A never-ending parade of clients with the dumbest ideas you ever heard of - all of them destined to fail in the end. But they never give up when people like you and your 'friends' shut them down. They just keep coming back with even bigger ideas and more money.'

Kim sniffed. 'And how would your clients feel if I told them exactly what you think about them and their plans?'

'Go ahead.' he shrugged. 'I try never to insult them when I'm on the job. But even if I did, most of them are just too proud to admit their ideas won't work. The more you point out the flaws, the more determined they are to try them out.'

Kim paused, thinking about Drakken - who was always forging ahead with his schemes no matter how many holes Shego poked in them. 'What'll you do if one of your clients plans comes home to roost?' she said. 'This thing with Monkey Fist may just be the start. Helping them didn't make them leave your GF alone when it came down to it. They went after her too.'

'The deal is always the same.' Grimm said quietly. 'Play it straight with us and we play it straight with you. Double-cross us, and you get double-crossed. And that's what's going to happen now. They broke the rules, and soon they'll have to pay the price.'

'Rules only stop honest people.' Kim said. Grimm didn't answer.

'As fun as this philosophical back-and-forth has been,' said Monique, 'We've actually got a store to run here.'

'Hi Kim!'

Kim winced at the sound of Bonnie's voice. Somehow she had slipped into Club Banana without her even noticing. Grimm vanished behind one of the clothing displays. Kim sighed. The only times Bonnie ever came to Club Banana when Kim was there was so she could take advantage of the whole 'serving the customer' sitch. Typically it involved her making Kim play fetch and carry, or making her dig items out of the back room.

But as Kim looked closer at Bonnie, she actually felt a chill. Bonnie had a horrible look on her face that could only be described as a smile. But it wasn't her usual glaring, arrogant smirk - it was a simpering look of forced politeness that didn't suit her at all.

'I just thought I'd drop by to say hello.' she said, with a chirpy sound to her voice that was almost as disturbing as her expression. 'Practice went really well today, don't you think?'

'What do you want, Bonnie?' said Kim, sure that some unreasonable request was about to be voiced.

'Nothing.' said Bonnie with a sing-song croon. 'I just think it's tragic that we spend so little time together, as close as we are on the squad and everything.'

Kim blinked, and so did Monique. 'Wh.... what?' said Kim. 'We've never been close.'

Bonnie gave a laugh that sounded the same as the forced laughter used by radio DJs. 'Don't be silly.' she said. 'You can't have forgotten how we used to be joined at the hip. Everyone knows the Bonnie and Kim team is inseparable.'

'Since when?' said Monique, not believing what she was hearing. It sounded like Bonnie was actually trying to suck up to Kim - but why she was doing it was something she couldn't guess. Bonnie never played up unless she wanted something, but so far she still hadn't asked for anything.

'Since like forever.' Bonnie said quickly. 'All that bonding we did because of Doctor Demeanor.'

'Professor Dementor.' said Kim coldly.

'Yeah, that guy.' Bonnie chirped. 'I tell you, all the things we got to do together, like helping save your life... Good times.'

Kim and Monique stared and Bonnie gave another false laugh, her eyes darting back and forth between them. She seemed to realize she was overstaying her welcome and started backing up, the ends of her mouth frozen into a teeth gritting smile. 'Well - I'll see you tomorrow at practice.' she said. 'Can't wait to work with you on the new routines - and anything I can do to....' She paused, taking a breath, as if the words she was speaking were painful, '....to help, just ask!'

By now she was at the entrance to Club Banana and she turned and left, waving at them through the glass like a beauty contest winner passing by in a parade.

'OK.' said Monique, her skin visibly crawling. 'Who was that pod person and what did she do with Bonnie?'

'I... have no idea....' said Kim, but she glanced off to the side and saw Grimm leaning against the corner behind the display stand. He looked at her and gave a small nod.

'Oh... no...' Kim said, shaking her head.

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She waited until work was over and they were headed back to the Sloth. 'What's your game, Probable?' she said.

Grimm looked hurt. 'I have no idea what you're talking about.' he said. 'I made a promise that I'd be good while I was here - I'm just keeping my word.'

'What did you say to Bonnie? I told you no head gaming!' she said quietly. 'You promised!'

'I said I'd leave you and your friends alone.' Grimm answered. 'I didn't say anything about your enemies.'

'Bonnie's not my enemy!' Kim said. 'She's... just a jerk.'

Grimm sniffed. 'Don't get any noble delusions, Possible.' he said. 'She's your enemy. You keep asking what I'm up to. This is it - all part of me turning over a new leaf while I'm here. These people are obviously making issues in your life. I'm just trying to ease your burdens a little. To help.'

'Probable, your help comes with so many strings attached, it's better if you just don't do anything.' Kim said. 'What did you say to her?'

Grimm shrugged. 'I just hinted that you might be thinking about getting some new members on the cheer squad - and replacing some of the old hands.'

Kim glared at him. 'That's not true!' she said.

'It didn't have to be true.' Grimm smirked. 'Just plausible. If you paint a reasonable enough sitch, you don't have to do a thing to make people believe in it. They let their own imagination and insecurity fill in the gaps. And look at the results - the biggest pain on your squad is already saying she's ready to lick your boots.'

She heard Monique chuckle. 'It was kinda funny.' she said.

'See? Your friend gets it.' said Grimm. 'The beauty is you don't even have to use your position to actually do anything to her. Just hint that you're thinking about it and she'll fall in line. Then all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the sincerity.'

'It's fake sincerity!' Kim said.

'So?' said Grimm. 'Like she was ever going to be genuinely sincere? I know her type. People like her will do anything to hold on to what they've got if they think someone could take it away.'

Kim sighed. 'Look - just stay out of my life.' she said. 'You're here to help get Ron back - that's it.'

'Suit yourself.' Grimm said. 'But just so you know - the seeds are already planted in Bonnie's head. Try watering them a little - and see what happens.'

Kim shook her head, taking out the keys to the Sloth. 'I really need some me time.' she thought.

Then she froze. There was a van parked next to the Sloth marked 'MIDX News', and standing next to her car was Dibble and his cameraman. He was blocking the way to the driver's side door, microphone in hand, and looking eager.

'Miss Possible,' he said, his voice jaunty. 'A.U. Dibble, MIDX News. I was hoping we might have a follow-up interview to my series.'

Kim glared at him. 'Not with you.' she said coldly. Grimm hung back, looking curiously at Dibble.

'It'll only take a couple of minutes...' said Dibble, not moving out of the way.

Monique surged forward, looking furious. 'She said no, news-hound!' she said, jabbing her finger into his tie. 'So clear out of the way before I see if your mike can double as an endoscope!'

Dibble ignored Monique, his eyes focused on Kim. 'Is it true that your partner Ron Stoppable recently went missing as a direct result of your crime fighting activities?' he said smoothly. Kim didn't blush, but her eyes narrowed as Dibble continued. 'Would you care to make a statement about how you help people? How did your missions help Mr. Stoppable?'

'No comment.' said Kim, growling.

Dibble held his ground. 'The people have right to know the truth, Miss Possible.' he said. 'You can't run away forever. Is that something a teen hero would do, Miss Possible?'

'I'd like to make a statement.'

Dibble and the cameraman turned their heads to where Grimm was leaning against another car. He was putting his communicator away and looking at the newsmen with a mischievous gleam in his eye. Kim felt a chill, for it was the same expression he got on his face whenever he was taunting her in the middle of a fight.

Dibble looked wary about moving away from the Sloth's doors and giving Kim an easy escape route, but he held out his mike. 'And who are you? Kim's new partner? Has she told you about the potential dangers of being her sidekick?'

'He's not my partner!' said Kim. 'And he doesn't speak for me!'

'Don't interfere, Possible.' Grimm said quietly. 'If you try to shut me up now, it'll just make him more curious.' He looked straight at Dibble and continued. 'The name's Grimm. I've been hanging with Kim all day, and I've got some real dirt you'll be anxious to hear.'

Dibble was at his side in a flash. 'I'm sure our viewers would be glad for any information you have about Miss Possible's activities.' he said, an almost oily eagerness in his voice.

Kim clenched her fists as Grimm cleared his throat. 'Leather Ninjas 3.' he said.

Kim raised her eyebrow and looked at Monique, who shrugged, looking just as confused as she felt. But the effect of the words on Dibble was dramatic. He lowered his mike as if in shock. 'What...?' he said.

'You're a smart guy, Dibble.' Grimm said, and his smirk was almost gleeful. 'So don't play dumb. I said - Leather Ninjas 3.'

Dibble's voice sank so low that Kim had trouble hearing it. 'How do you know about....'

'I know everything about you, Dibble.' Grimm broke in. 'Drummed out of the Washington Press Corps because you didn't fit in with the 'mainstream' reporters. Four years being bounced from station to station until you got shunted to a blowtorch affiliate in Topeka. Then another three years before you managed to claw your way to MIDX news. Tell me, does your current boss know about those underground videos you did to pay the bills when you were between jobs in Arizona? Or the amateur videos you hosted for the Pepper Channel under the name of 'Deep...'

At this, Dibble signaled wildly to the cameraman behind him to stop recording. Only when he saw the camera lowered did he turn back to Grimm, unhooking his microphone and dropping his professional manner with it. 'I don't know how you dug all that up mister, but I've worked hard to build a career for myself in Middleton, so if you don't want me to take a closer look at you and your family, you'd better forget everything you may have heard!'

Grimm laughed. 'The people have a right to know the truth.' he said, his voice sneering. 'Isn't it funny how all that talk about a free press and the people's right to know just gets thrown out the window when it's something the media wants to keep secret? How about you exercise your right to clear off and shut your mouth?'

Dibble looked like one of the veins on his forehead was about to pop. 'Why you little punk....' he started, but Grimm broke in again.

'Because if you don't, you stand to lose a lot more than I do.' said Grimm. 'I'm just a high schooler. I don't even have a career yet - so if your career is important to you, then I'd advise you to rake your muck somewhere else. Drop the Possible story. Then I think I can promise that your peers won't find out that you were the host of 'Alien Autopsy IV - The Final Autopsy-ing'.'

Dibble was glaring. 'That's blackmail.' he said.

'A process you should be very familiar with.' said Grimm, his eyes gleaming. 'Get lost, Dibble. From now on, Possible, her friends and her family are yesterday's news.'

The corner of Dibble's lip twitched. Then he turned on his heel and walked back towards the news van, motioning curtly to the cameraman to follow. Kim couldn't help feeling some satisfaction as he got into the van, slammed the door shut, and drove off.

'I hate you, but thanks.' she said, turning to Grimm.

Grimm was putting his sunglasses back on. 'There goes another phony.' he said. 'See how easy your problems can disappear if you just step off the high horse? If you had had Wade do some digging on him from the get-go, you could have shut him down before he ever became a problem. Take it from me, Possible. People like Bonnie and Dibble are all the same. When they accuse someone of doing something crooked, it's a sure bet they're doing it themselves.' He motioned to the empty space where the van had been parked. 'He may try to keep at the story in a more sneaky way.' he said. 'If he does, I'll have Jade give Wade all the files we've got on him. Just tell him to back off or he'll never work in the news business again, in or out of Middleton.'

'I don't do stuff like that!' Kim said. 'I help people, I don't blackmail them!'

Grimm shrugged, moving towards the rear passenger door of the Sloth. 'If helping is your thing, just think of it as a way to help him get his act together.' he said. 'Making sure he walks the straight and narrow - what could be more noble?' He turned to Kim, toggling the door handle. 'You gonna unlock these or what?'

Kim dropped Monique off at her house and then drove home herself, flicking occasional glances at Grimm, who just stared out the window as if he were looking for something. He'd only been there a day, and it seemed he was trying to worm his way into all the major players in her life.

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Mrs. Dr. Possible finally got annoyed with Grimm during dinner as he sat there again and watched them eat. He reluctantly agreed to wait in the living room after being assured that if Monkey Fist barged in, they would call for him.

She expected to find him waiting there once dinner was over, but there was no sign of him. 'Maybe he's gone home - wherever that is.' said Mr. Dr. Possible jovially.

'If only.' Kim muttered. She went out into the backyard looking for him, nearly as nervous with him out of sight as she was when he was right there. He wasn't in the yard either, and she slipped over the fence, stealthily making her way towards the wooded area behind the house.

It was difficult to see under the shadows of the overhanging branches with evening coming on, but she spotted him in the middle of the grove. He was sitting on the grass beneath the trees, his eyes closed and his head bowed. Rueful was next to him, imitating his posture. She heard soft words being spoken and strained to hear them.

Omahkkiaayowa,
Nitsiinihkatsimatsiiwa,
Omahkkiaayowa,
Nitsiinihkatsimatsiiwa....

He did nothing else for several minutes and eventually, she turned and made her way back to the house. She was confused because it looked like he was meditating, or praying - Something she would never have expected from him.

She turned on her Kimmunicator as she reached the house. 'Wade - can your friends make another translation?' she said.

Wade nodded. 'Depends.' he said. 'Is it Blackfoot again?'

'I think so.' she said, then she repeated what she had heard to Wade as best as she could. 'Get back to me if you can sort that out. If it's Indian for 'I strike the minute Kim drops her guard', then I want to know.'

'Will do.' said Wade, then held up his hands. 'Uh, the affectation, not the guy.' he said, then the screen went black.

Kim looked back out towards the wooded area behind her house. The sun was going down, bathing the lawn and trees with an orange light. She breathed wearily, feeling anxious for the day to end, but dreading what the next one might bring. Having Grimm close at hand made everything seem to drag out longer and in a more annoying fashion.

She settled heavily into the couch in her living room and began doing her homework. 'So how was your day Kim?' She looked up to see her mother staring at her from the reading chair.

'Fine.' she said.

'All right.' said Mrs. Dr. Possible. 'Now - how was it really?'

Kim paused for a moment. 'Lousy.' she said at last. 'Mom, am I really doing the right thing - letting Grimm on board to help with this?'

Mrs. Dr. Possible smiled faintly. 'No fair asking tough questions, Kim.' she said. 'Ask me one about neurosurgery.'

Kim stared at the pages of her book, and the text seemed to become indistinct lines as she pondered her own question. 'I want to believe it's the right thing.' she said. 'But if you get to the right place by doing the wrong thing, is it worth it? Grimm actually fixed the sitch with Dibble, and helped with Bonnie. But his methods.... I just don't want any of him to rub off on me.'

Mrs. Dr. Possible smiled. 'Kim, I've watched you save the world for years now.' she said. 'You've rubbed elbows with some of the worst society has to offer. But you've never sunk to their level - as far as I can tell. You'll be fine. Just keep your chin up and remember - you're a Possible.'

Kim smiled warmly. 'Thanks Mom.' she said.

Mrs. Dr. Possible nodded. 'Are you going to be all right?'

Kim sighed. 'No fair asking tough questions.' she said.

At that moment, Grimm came into the living room, spotted Kim, then took a seat in a chair across the room. 'The day's over Probable, go back to Ron's.' she said, her voice tired. 'I'll beep if something goes down.'

'I'm here 'till you go to sleep.' he said. 'Besides, I can do homework easier here than I could while watching Stoppable's super-ninja sister.' He took his own books out of his bag while Rueful also emerged and started nosing around on the carpet.

Mrs. Dr. Possible got up and left, looking towards Kim, who waved her out with a reassuring smile. Then for some time there was nothing but the sound of pages turning and the scratch of pens on notebooks as they both went through their material.
Grimm seemed to be deep in thought, beyond anything he was going through in his textbooks. When Kim was just about finished, he looked down at his knees and spoke. 'Possible, there's something I need to....' he started, but at that moment, the Kimmunicator beeped.

'What's the sitch?' said Kim, looking down at her wrist as Wade's face blipped on.

Grimm straightened in his chair and though he didn't change position, Kim could tell he was tensed like a spring as Wade spoke. 'Just got a hit on your website Kim - you've got a mission.'


   
Coming Soon:
Chapter 14

What's green and bitter and full of rage?

Author: Sorry about the delay on this one. Beyond real life and work being tougher than usual, the chapter went on a lot longer than I expected. There were so many funny sitches to jam into it, and I couldn't make up my mind between them, so I decided to use them all. This was one of the chapters I had in mind for a long time, and I'm glad the story finally got to a point where it made sense to include it. Having Grimm hanging out in Middleton triggered a lot of great ideas, with him interacting with the Middleton regulars, Kim's school, Bonnie, work and everything else. But you have to write it in a way that doesn't seem tacked on. Hopefully I've managed that while keeping it linked to the overall story.

And coming up in chapter 14 is another idea that just had to be done. What would it be like if Kim and Grimm went on a mission - together? Ideas, input and reviews are welcome!

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