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

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

Chapter 31:
Reunions & Councils

'Ron!' Kim shouted, and she was racing towards him, worried the spell might break somehow. The short run seemed somehow interminably long, and through the haze of her tears, she was dimly aware that she had hurled herself into his arms. And his arms, solid and warm, closed around her. And for a few glorious moments, she felt as if Ron and herself were the only ones there, connected by weeks' worth of spiritual yearning now fulfilled by physical closeness.

'Please say you're back.' she said. 'Please tell me this isn't a dream - I need to hear you say it...'

'I'm back, KP.' said Ron softly. 'And I'm not going anywhere...'

Grimm and Rhonda had collided next to where Kim and Ron were standing as they reached each other in the center of the room, and at once they started kissing.

'Whoa.' said Monique, watching the two couples. 'Stereo glomp.' She watched Kim and Ron kiss chastely but longingly, and wondered why she and Enrique had been brought along. The scene before her seemed somehow too personal and intimate, and she felt like she was peering in on something not meant for her eyes. But when Grimm had shown up with this Indian Chief - Sackajawejah or whatever he was called, they had been asked to come with them to Yamanouchi.

She wondered if it was because they, like Kim and Grimm, had gone through a lot over the many days when Ron and Rhonda has been missing. Maybe it was some kind of cosmic reward for their patience - to be a part of the reunion in some small way. But as Monique saw her best friend sobbing without restraint into Ron's shoulder, she found herself looking away. 'Way to go, girlfriend.' she thought, and found herself wiping away a tear of her own. 'Way to go.'

'You did it, KP!' said Ron. His eyes were also wet, but he seemed to be trying to hold it back, as if he were embarrassed to show his feelings in front of a monkey and a giant bear. But he kept his eyes focused on her, holding her tightly as a lifeline. 'You saved me - just like you always do...'

And even though she felt happy to have him there in her arms, happy to the point of delirium, Kim still felt a sensation of shame. 'Did you see...?' she said, but she already knew the answer.

'Yeah.' he said.

His face carried no blame, or accusation. On the contrary, he was smiling and his eyes were sparkling as if he'd never been more proud of her, or admiring. But after her battle with Kim-i-i, that somehow made her feel worse. 'Ron I...' she started, but Ron interrupted.

'Kim... It's O.K.' he said. 'I saw it all - and you were right. It was no big. It never was, really.'

glomp

And she held him tight in her arms, with his arms around her. She couldn't recall ever feeling happier, but she had no words to express it. No big. So not the drama. Somehow, all of her usual pet phrases and casual slang seemed hollow and inappropriate. Whenever they had dated, something always seemed to interrupt them when they kissed. But as their lips pressed together again, she felt she could have ignored anything, even a lair exploding around them.

Master Sensei and Chief Sakituya briefly regarded each other, not having moved from where they had stood during the ritual. They simply nodded with quiet satisfaction.

Monique, in the meantime, found herself looking at Grimm and Rhonda after turning her eyes away from Kim and Ron. But this proved an even more uncomfortable sight. Rhonda had thrown her arms around him and their lips were pressing together. 'Mmmm - oh Grimm!' she gasped between breaths, kissing him like a starving person tasting food after a long fast. 'Grimm I thought I'd never see you again...!'

'Me too, baby...' he was gasping, and his lips melted against hers.

Monique covered her eyes with her hands. 'Ewww!' she said, 'They're villains - and they're kissing! It burns!'

Enrique had sidled up next to her. 'Well senorita,' he said slyly, moving a hand toward her shoulder. 'They say that when you are in Rome...'

Monique slapped his hand away quickly. 'Back off home-boy!' she said, glaring at him. 'I'm not the one who just got back from a spirit world!'

Enrique looked up to the heavens and sighed. 'Que lastima!' he said. 'Why do the good ones always have to be so evil?'

'Monique!' She heard Ron calling out here name. He and Kim were still holding each other, but now Ron seemed to have recovered enough to take stock of his surroundings. 'So you came to the welcome back party too? Badical!'

Monique felt uncomfortable with both Kim and Ron staring at her with such appreciation. 'Well...' she said timidly. 'Someone had to help set things up for another reunion.' And she took Rufus out of the hip pouch.

'Hmm hey!' Rufus squeaked, leaping down and scurrying across the room.

'Rufus! Buddy!' Ron shouted, and Monique couldn't help smiling as she watched the mole rat, Ron and Kim share a group hug while they both laughed and cried.

Next to them, Rhonda was squealing with delight as she caught Rueful. Enrique had turned him loose as well, and he had dashed straight into Rhonda's arms. 'Rueful - I missed you, I missed you...' she sobbed, kissing the top of his furry head. She sank to her knees while Grimm knelt beside her. 'You helped get my messages through, I'm so proud of you...' Then words seemed to fail her and she simply knelt there, with Rueful cradled in her arms and with Grimm's arms around her shoulders, half laughing and half crying while tears rolled down her face.

Kim could happily have stayed there for days, but at that moment, the Mystical Monkey tottered and clattered through their midst, whacking Grimm and Kim lightly on their shoulders with his staff as he passed. 'Yeah, yeah... enough with the mushy stuff.' he said casually, walking across the chamber until he was a few feet in front of the doorway that led out.

Then he turned to face them. 'OK.' he said, and he smacked a knob-knuckled fist into his palm. 'Now this about beating up Monkey Fist.'

Ron was still clutching Kim's hand as if he were afraid to let go. 'What... now?' he said. 'But we just got back!'

'The monkey's right.' said Grimm, though he also kept his arm around Rhonda's shoulders and was kissing Rhonda on her cheek between sentences. 'Monkey Fist and Maze are still out there, and they've still got the Jammer. If someone doesn't stop them, the whole world is in the soup.'

Kim kept a firm grip on Ron's hand. 'You're talking like you're still in this.' said Kim. 'I thought you said you were only helping so you could get Rhonda back. Are you gonna bolt now?'

Grimm didn't answer for a second. His glance flicked towards the Great Bear Spirit, who was still at the far end of the circular chamber. The Great Bear had said nothing since the ritual took place, but was looking silently on the proceedings, a glowing, hulking presence that Grimm at least hadn't forgotten about. 'I've still got a score to settle with Monkey Fist and Maze - for Rhonda's sake.' he said at last. 'Until that's dealt with, the mission isn't over.'

The Great Bear seemed to nod his head by the merest fraction, and then like a mist cleared away by a sudden wind, he faded from view until he vanished completely, the glowing blue of his presence fading with him.

Rhonda looked at the now empty space where the Great Bear Spirit had been. 'Oh man,' she said. 'I forgot to thank him for helping you. But why'd he go, if the mission isn't over..?'

'Oh he always do stuff that.' said the Mystical Monkey. 'Says if people could see him all the time, they wouldn't have faith....' and he made exaggerated air quotes with his long fingers.

'What about you?' said Kim. 'Will you help us?'

'Ha!' said the Mystical Monkey, pointing at her. 'That funny! You funny. What you think?'

Kim smiled faintly and shook her head. 'No.' she said.

'Dang straight.' said the Mystical Monkey with a quick nod. 'After all the stuff we teach you, if you can't beat them yourselves - you don't deserve to win!'

'But our original problem hasn't been fixed.' said Grimm. 'We still don't know where Maze and Monkey Fist are hiding. That was the one big reason why we could never shut them down during this whole mess - we couldn’t find them.'

Kim squeezed Ron's arm a little tighter. 'While you were in the spirit world, you could see us.' she said, looking back and forth at Ron and Rhonda. 'I don't suppose you saw them?' she ended hopefully.

'No.' they both said at the same time.

Grimm sighed, patting Rhonda's shoulder. 'Then we've got a problem.' he said. 'We can't fight them if we don't know where they are. I mean, it's not like the location of their lair is just gonna drop into our laps because Ron and Rhonda are back.'

At that instant, Kim heard her Kimmunicator beeping. She turned it on and heard Wade's voice. 'I got a hit on your site, Kim.' he said. 'It's an email with map coordinates.' The screen showed a map of the globe, which then zoomed in on the United Kingdom, then zoomed in on a series of mountains until it showed one which was blinking red along with a bright caption that read 'Monkey Fist is HERE'.

'I don't believe this...' Kim whispered, staring at the map coordinates, another long-sought gift that was now suddenly hers. 'Who sent it?' said Kim, confused.

'No idea.' said Wade. 'It came in totally out of the blue.'

She turned to Grimm, who shrugged and shook his head. 'Don't look at me.' he said. 'I was here too, remember?'

She turned to the Mystical Monkey, who was rolling his staff around in his fingers, looking innocently towards the ceiling. 'Did you do this?' she said.

'Who me?' said the Mystical Monkey, looking indignant. 'Donno what you mean, red. But what I tell you? After good guys make the tough journey, sometimes... things just go their way.'

'Then what are we waiting for?' said Ron. 'Time for another smack-down in monkey-town!'

Wade had been taking a swig from his soda when he went suddenly into a perfect spit-take, fanning a cone-shaped spray of his drink on the desk in front of him. He sputtered for a moment or so, getting his breath back. 'Ron?' he shouted at last. 'You're back!'

Ron blinked. 'What about my back?' he said. But Jade had pushed Wade's swivel chair roughly out of the way, leaning in.

'Stoppable's there?' she shouted. 'That means...' and her head darted away. An instant later, Grimm's communicator was beeping loudly, and he fished it from his hip pouch. He and Rhonda were still embracing, their heads side by side as he turned on his communicator.

'Rhonda!' Jade's voice came from the speaker. 'Screen hugs! Screen hugs!'

'Jade!' Rhonda shouted, giving a sisterly hug to the device. 'Welcome to the party!'

Wade had wheeled his chair back into place in the screen of the Kimmunicator. 'Glad you're back, Ron.' said Wade, wiping his forehead as if he had come in from a long day's work. 'You would not believe the things we've had to put up with while you were gone...' and he was looking towards Jade, who was still hugging her computer monitor while she and Rhonda bounced up and down and squealed.

'I believe it, dude.' Ron answered. 'I saw some of it. Sorry about the fuss...'

'Don't be sorry.' said Kim, tightening her arm around him. 'I'd have done it a thousand times.'

'And now that we are all gathered, and the final piece of your puzzle has been uncovered,' said Chief Sakituya gravely, 'It is time we held council.'

'Quite right.' said Master Sensei with equal solemnity. 'We must prepare for an inevitable conflict. There is a council chamber in the main building of the Yamanouchi School. Our students will guide you. Sakituya and I will meet you there soon, and we shall plan for battle.' He and the Indian Chief turned and started leaving through the doorway which led back to the rear courtyard.

'Soon?' said Ron. 'Uh... how soon?'

'Your sojourn in the world of spirits was long.' said Master Sensei. 'I am sure you and our other guests would appreciate a few moments to return to our dormitories and be properly... refreshed.' and even beneath the heavy lids, his eye seemed to twinkle as he turned and left the mirror chamber. With a mischievous cackle, the Mystical Monkey followed after them.

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Ron came out of the washing room, mussing his hair and shaking his head back and forth. 'Oh man!' he said with a sigh. 'I never thought I'd be so grateful for a regular old bath!' He was swathed from head to foot in a clean robe. 'Feeling hot water, and cold air, all in the same minute. Spirit world's got nothing on that!'

Even though he was completely covered, Kim kept her eyes turned away, handing him a comb from where she sat. 'I thought you said you didn't get hungry or sleepy in the spirit world,' she said. 'You didn't get sweaty either, right?'

'Well no.' said Ron. 'But I still knew it had been ages since my last shower. It just feels better to wash it all away, you know?'

Kim was thinking again about her visions while training with the Mystical Monkey, and her battle with Kim-i-i. 'Yeah.' she said quietly. 'It does.'

Yori entered, bowing quickly before walking up to Ron with a black bundle in her hands. Kim felt a momentary flinch of indignation, still not used to the casual Japanese nature of bathing. 'Your mission clothing should be laundered and dried soon.' Yori said, handing him the bundle. 'In the meantime, we would be honored to have you wear one of our spare uniforms.'

'Hey, ninja threads!' Ron said, unfurling a black gi. 'Been a while! Thanks Yori.'

'Domo, Stoppable-San.' Yori smiled, and bowed again before leaving.

Ron had quickly vanished with a waft of steam back into the bath, but soon returned, fidgeting with the belt tied around his waist and tugging at the loose sleeves. 'I know they're cool,' he said, 'But somehow I never feel right wearing these.'

'You look great.' said Kim.

'Ah heh...' said Ron sheepishly, blushing and running his hand down the back of his head.

'Hmm-hmm!' Rufus squeaked, handing Ron his belt and hip pouch.

'Oh yeah, thanks Rufus!' said Ron, putting it on. 'A guy like me can never have too many belts...'

There was a knock on the outer door, and a slender fist punched through. 'Whoa!' came Monique's voice. Why didn't anyone tell me some of the walls were made of paper?'

'That's exactly what I thought when I first came here!' Ron squealed as Kim slid open the door to let Monique in. 'I mean - this is supposed to be a ninja school! Do they really think paper is gonna keep the Samurai out?'

'They want us for the meeting now, don't they?' said Kim, a comfortable thrill going through her. Despite the gravity of the sitch, just having Ron there made it seem better. Finally, it really felt like things were they way they should be. A mission upcoming, and Ron there beside her with Rufus. She had missed his silly observations, his warmth, his smile....

Monique nodded, looking down and seeing Kim and Ron's fingers interlocking as they held hands.

Soon they were heading back into the courtyard. They had just turned toward the main building when they caught sight of three other figures coming out from another one of the dorm structures - Enrique, Rhonda and Grimm.

Grimm was still dressed in his mission outfit, but it looked like Rhonda had felt the same need for a bath and a change of clothes. Her hair was still slightly stringy with dampness, but it had a fresher look about it. But Rhonda was not wearing a ninja outfit, either the standard black, or the white ones used for training and exercises.

She was wearing a pair of moccasins, a patterned brown tunic, and a strange wrap that looked like a cross between an overcoat and a robe. Ron was staring at her.

'That's... different.' he said. 'Where'd you get it? That's not Yamanouchi issue.'

Rhonda shrugged. 'Chief Sakituya brought it along with him.' she said. 'He said it was time for me to take possession of it...'

'And that's kind of weird.' said Grimm, putting his arm over Rhonda's shoulders as he glared at Ron. 'He brought an outfit for you with him all the way from the States. Like he knew we were all going to meet up here.'

'Yeah,' said Kim, taking Ron's hand and glaring at Rhonda. 'All of us one big happy family.'

  teams

There was silence for a moment as both teams stood opposite each other in the Yamanouchi courtyard. Kim realized it was the first time that both full teams were together in the same place since the battle at the UNIT building a month ago. Back then, Kim had been fighting to defeat and capture Team Probable to the point of obsession. Now there they were, and Kim was feeling her crime-fighting instincts rising up inside her. And Grimm wasn't helping matters any, standing and glaring at Kim with his old smirk starting to return.

Ron and Rhonda were looking back and forth at them nervously. They seemed to pick up on the tension. 'Come on...' said Rhonda, 'We've still got a job to do, right?'

Grimm squeezed his hand on Rhonda's shoulder without taking his eyes off Kim. 'Yeah, friend.' he said. 'Save it for when the mission's over.'

Kim sniffed and pulled Ron's hand, guiding him towards the main building of the School. 'Later then.' she said. Rufus and Rueful both seemed to sigh with relief.

They were nearly at the main building when Ron suddenly stopped and turned around. 'Oooh! Oooh!' he squealed, pointing wildly. 'Do you see that?'

Rhonda had also turned and was hopping up and down on the balls of her feet. 'I see it, I see it!' she said, her voice flush with excitement.

Kim tried to see exactly what they were staring and pointing at. From the look of it, Grimm didn't seem to get it either. 'What's the sitch?' said Kim at last, for Ron and Rhonda were both gaping, slack-jawed and spellbound, seemingly at nothing but the distant horizon beyond the outer wall of Yamanouchi. The sun had broken out from behind a bank of fleecy, billowing clouds, bathing the School in the yellow glow of the late afternoon.

'Sorry.' said Ron and Rhonda together.

'Don't mean to be all distracted,' said Ron.

'But the sun coming out... seeing it shining up there in the sky...' said Rhonda.

'...after all that time in the dark...' said Ron.

'...it's just so bon-diggety!' they said together, and they were both doing the bon-diggety dance in perfect synch. Then they both stood side by side, their faces upturned towards the sun, took in a deep breath, and both exhaled together.

'OK this is just freaky!' said Monique suddenly. 'Ever since you two got out of the spirit world, you've been acting like the tweebs.'

'Yeah,' said Grimm, and Kim picked up on the casual, but badly disguised jealousy in his voice. 'Did you guys connect in the spirit world or something? Are you... friends now?'

'No!' said Rhonda, with a lopsided smile. 'We just had a lot of time to hang out while we were there, and there wasn't much to do besides talk. But friends? He's more like... a brother.'

'And this is the first time a girl has said that about me and I'm OK with it!' said Ron. He sniffed, waving his hand. 'Friends?' he said, making air quotes.

'As if!' said both Ron and Rhonda together. Then they pointed at each other.

'Jinx!' they both said. 'You owe me a soda! Jinx! Jinx... Jinx!' They both kept saying the same thing at the same time while Kim and Grimm watched them with a growing sense of awkwardness.

At last, both Ron and Rhonda were laughing giddily. At the end of it, Rhonda took in a rasping breath that sounded like a pig in a barnyard.

Grimm raised his eyebrow. 'What... was that?' he said.

Rhonda blushed for a moment, but looked at Ron, who nodded at her encouragingly. 'Grimm...' she said quietly. 'I snort when I laugh...'

twins

'I knew it!' Grimm shouted. 'I knew there had to be a reason why you would never laugh around me!'

'Do you mind?' said Rhonda timidly. 'I mean, once Donnie finds out he'll never let you hear the end of it...'

He was holding her in both arms again, his smirk back in place. 'You're back.' he said firmly, as if that explained everything. 'You can dress like Bozo if you want.' And he was kissing her again, while Monique groaned and looked quickly away.

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'Open fire!'

Mr. Probable was in Washington. His DOD superiors had called him there within a few minutes of the U.N. building in New York being hit by the petrification beam. Using the plans and schematics that Grimm had given him, the army had quickly started cranking out Moo Goo guns. Mr. Probable was assigned to direct the defense of Washington DC.

The Yono's power was being blocked, but there were still a number of golems wreaking havoc in the city, and Mr. Probable looked out through his high powered binoculars towards the hills outside the city. There were masses of golems in the far distance, moving in a slow, plodding mass towards Washington. And more armies were approaching from other directions.

A volley of Moo Goo shots plastered onto the Lincoln Memorial statue, which heaved and struggled, but was stuck in place by the Goo. The assembled soldiers cheered as the statue continued to fight uselessly against the cocoon of imprisoning foam.

'That's the last one, sir!' said a grizzled looking Sergeant. 'All the statues inside the city have been neutralized!'

'Good work.' said Mr. Probable. 'Now we just have to deal with the ones outside the city.'

'We may be outnumbered,' said the Sergeant grimly, 'But we're not outsmarted! These babies were a godsend.' He patted the Moo Goo gun slung over his shoulder.

'Conserve your ammo.' said Mr. Probable. 'Our people are making more as fast as they can, but we need you to make every shot count. Take your men to the city boundaries on the north flank. Reinforce the platoons stationed there.'

'Will do, sir.' said the Sergeant, and he raced off to gather his troop.

The soldier in the Jeep with him tapped the steering wheel as Mr. Probable used the binoculars to examine other areas near the city. 'There's even more coming, aren't there sir?' he said, and he sounded nervous.

Mr. Probable grunted and nodded.

The soldier sighed. 'It's looking pretty grim, sir.' he said.

Mr. Probable sat down and buckled his seat belt. 'Get us to the city's west side.' he said. As they drove, he thought about Grimm's sudden departure, and his cryptic promise.

'I can't tell you all the details, because I'm not sure myself.' said Grimm, hefting his backpack of mission supplies. 'All I know is Chief Sakituya says it's important, and if things work out, it could mean a successful resolution for all of this.'

At the time, Mr. Probable had leery of Grimm heading out into the thick of all this world-wide tumult. But years of seeing Grimm come back from seemingly impossible missions time and time again had persuaded him to lend out one of his DOD jets and a pilot.

But as the hours dragged by and the news got worse and worse, he become more and more doubtful. Communications everywhere were crippled and they were reduced to using telegraphs, wire phones and anything else they could muster. From the scattered and fragmented reports, a number of cities across the country had been struck. Only a few areas around the country were equipped with Moo Goo guns, and they were simply being overpowered.

'Hurry up, boy...' he thought anxiously.

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It was a planning session unlike any other Kim had attended. It was even stranger than having Drakken show up for dinner with someone else's mind in his body - stranger than having Team Go seated around the family breakfast table. They were gathered in one of the council chambers in the Yamanouchi School, with several lit lanterns lining the room. Team Probable was at one end of a long, wooden table.

Grimm and Rhonda were still hugging where they sat, looking quite revolting as she kept her head nuzzled against his shoulder while Rueful was curled up and trilling in the crook of her other arm. Enrique was seated next to Monique, looking hopeful, while Monique kept nudging her chair further away from him. Master Sensei and Chief Sakituya were at the head of the table. Ron and Rufus were next to her, and she kept her hand tight around Ron's. In the back of the room, half hidden in shadow, stood the Mystical Monkey. To Kim's surprise, he had not disappeared like the Great Bear Spirit had.

'Now that we know the location of our enemy, the time has come to plan a strategy of counter-attack.' said Master Sensei, his deep voice rolling through the stone room. 'They are still formidable foes, and we must not allow joyous reunions to make us careless.'

'Sskipoyiwa and his shadow-medicine have become more powerful with the use of their machines.' said Chief Sakituya. 'And they have many servants now to defend them. Fighting them will not be easy.'

'Not to mention they've got a souped up Shegolem right at the lair.' said Kim, remembering the battle at the labs in Go City.

'However, our enemies do not know that Stoppable-san and Fatigable-san have returned.' said Sensei. 'This gives us the element of surprise - not to mention the considerable talents that the Chosen Ones already possess.'

Ron leaned in and whispered quietly into Kim's ear. 'You hear that, Kim? He thinks I'm talented!'

Kim felt suddenly uncomfortable. She couldn't tell if Ron was poking fun at himself or jovially agreeing with Sensei. After her spiritual journey, and all the turmoil it had caused her, hearing Ron dissing himself was something she didn't like. It was a reminder that it was talk that she herself had participated in at times. She wanted to do something, to get him to take it back. But the rest of the table was staring at her, and she made a note to get back to it later.

'Well, the lair is in England, on this mountain.' said Kim, marking a parchment map that was laid out on the table. 'It must be where they've hidden the Ultra-Atmospheric Jammer.'

'Be nice if we could just take it out with a missile strike.' said Grimm in a low mutter.

'Which, with your considerable cunning, you know is impossible.' said Sensei. 'Since their machine can control, and misdirect, all satellite communications and targeting systems.' Grimm sighed and drummed his fingers on the tabletop.

'But you still flew here.' said Kim. 'They didn't scramble your navigation systems?'

'We did it the old-fashioned way.' said Grimm. 'Compasses, maps... plus the Jammer doesn't block out the stars. You can still plot a course that way. It wasn't the easiest method, but it got us to Japan.'

'Then it can get us to England.' said Kim.

'We could jury-rig some missiles to dummy-fire from the plane if we can get close enough...' Grimm started.

'We won't need missiles.' said Kim firmly. 'Ron and I have the most experience in destroying evil lairs - and fighting Shego. He and I will go there and...'

She stopped, because the Mystical Monkey was loudly clearing his throat from across the room. She glanced at him, and he was shaking his head slightly. She looked at Ron, who was shrugging and looking confused. She tried again.

'Ron and I will stay here while Grimm and Rhonda...'

Again, the Mystical Monkey cleared his throat, louder than before. He shook his head again, not looking at them directly.

Now a bit flummoxed, Kim spoke more hesitantly. 'All four of us will..?' she started, but the Mystical Monkey again cleared his throat, now so loudly it sounded as if someone were trying to start the engine of an old car. Kim now glared at the simian Sensei. She had learned not to dismiss his advice lightly, but it didn't mean she felt any less frustrated by the interruptions.

The Mystical Monkey looked firmly at her now. He slowly pointed at her, then at Rhonda, then at the floor.

Kim looked back and forth between the Mystical Monkey, Team Probable, and Ron. 'OK... me and Rhonda will stay here - Ron and Grimm will go to the lair.' The Mystical Monkey nodded his head almost imperceptibly. Despite her confusion, she was pleased to see a look of annoyance on Grimm's face.

'Why do we have to split up that way?' he said. 'For that matter, why do we have to split up at all? If both Maze and Monkey Fist are in that lair, we're cutting our attack power in half by only sending in part of the strike force! I'm used to working with Rhonda, and we only just saved her from the... ow!'

Grimm was cut off as the Mystical Monkey whacked him across the back of his hand with his staff. 'You talk too much.' said the Mystical Monkey. 'Who the super-wise monkey here? You? No? Then go get ready - you and Chosen One go to lair!'

'But this is supposed to be a planning session!' Grimm sputtered. 'You expect us to just go there and wing it? What's our strategy? What if Shego takes out Ron, like she usually does? What if...'

This time Grimm whipped his hand aside before the Mystical Monkey's staff could hit him. 'Your plan is get going!' he said, waving his arms in the air. 'Your strategy is win! Then come back and we make pancakes.'

Kim almost chuckled at the look of dumbfounded exasperation on Grimm's face. After several days of having to deal with the Mystical Monkey on her own, it was nice to see someone else being baffled by him.

'Then all is decided.' said Master Sensei with a bow to the Mystical Monkey. 'Those who are going to the lair must quickly prepare for departure. Those who are remaining may assist them.'

Grimm was sighing and shaking his head as the others left the table and started filing towards the door leading out.

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Kim had gone ahead to the dorm room to start getting their gear ready. Ron was supposed to be there too, but as he went back towards the dorms, he was distracted by another look at the sun and clouds. He shook his head after a few minutes. 'Focus!' he thought. 'I'll have plenty of time to look at the sun after the mission...'

As he continued on his way back, he heard someone clearing his throat. The sound had come from an ancient looking dojo in one of the further areas of the courtyard. He had seen it several times during his first stay at Yamanouchi, but as far as he could tell, no one had ever used it or been allowed in. But now as he looked at it, he saw the Mystical Monkey standing at the top of a short set of stairs which led into the dojo.

The Mystical Monkey was beckoning to him. Ron paused and looked around, but there was no one else in the courtyard. He looked back, and the monkey was still beckoning, looking more insistent. Ron pointed at himself in confusion, and mouthed the word 'Me?'.

The Mystical Monkey rolled his eyes and mouthed back. 'Yes you - duh.'

Even more confused, Ron slowly approached the dojo while Rufus scampered ahead of him and eagerly dashed up the stairs. When he entered, the Mystical Monkey was standing in the center of the mats, looking at him expectantly. Ron approached warily, but when the Mystical Monkey gestured for him to sit down, Ron flinched. 'Aaaaah monkeys! Don't hurt me!' he wailed.

The Mystical Monkey rolled his eyes again. 'Grow up, Chosen One!' he squeaked. 'I not gonna hurt you. I here to help you. Sit.'

Ron sat down, and the Mystical Monkey sat opposite to him, looking him straight in the eye. 'Hear this now, Chosen One.' he said. 'Mystical Monkey Power not evil. It can be used for good, or for evil. But that depend on the kind of person using it.'

'So... it won't make me evil?' said Ron. 'It's only evil for Monkey Fist because he wants to use it for evil?' The Mystical Monkey nodded. Ron sighed and rubbed his forehead. 'But if Mystical Monkey Power comes from you, can't you just... take it away from him or something?'

'That one of the things you were chosen for.' said the Mystical Monkey. 'It not an accident you got power same day as Monkey Fist. When he first got power, you were right there to make sure someone good have it too. But Mystical Monkey Power cannot fight against itself if destiny is to be fulfilled. Once Monkey Fist defeated, balance will be restored. You are the Monkey Master, Chosen One.'

'Monkey Master?' said Ron. 'Me?'

'You.' said the Mystical Monkey, nodding. 'And one day you will use Mystical Monkey Power for.... important stuff.' he ended cryptically.

'But then why doesn't it work for me?' said Ron. 'It just kind of... comes and goes.'

'Because you not yet ready.' said the Mystical Monkey. 'You still acting all scardey-pants of monkeys - and Mystical Monkey Power. Mystical Monkey Power will not fully embrace you, until you fully embrace it.'

'When will that be?' said Ron. 'I mean... I could really use it for this coming battle.'

'The time is not yet.' said the Mystical Monkey, shaking his head. 'And time will not come... until the day when you are about to lose that which is most precious to you.'

Ron's head started buzzing. 'Lose?' he said. 'That which is.. most precious? You mean my game collection? My job?' The Mystical Monkey kept shaking his head. 'Uh... Nacos?' said Ron.

The Mystical Monkey paused, then shook his head again. 'No... though that would be pretty bad to lose. When the time comes, you will understand.'

'Aw come on!' said Ron. 'Can't you even give me a hint?'

'Ask Kim Possible,' said the Mystical Monkey with a laugh. 'She tell you all about how good I am with hints. But as to the coming fight - there no time for proper training. All I can give you are some tips....'

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In the small dorm room that had been lent to Team Probable, Rhonda watched as Grimm impatiently stuffed some of their standard mission equipment into his backpack. 'This is stupid.' Grimm was muttering. 'Who's the super-wise monkey? What kind of an answer was that?'

'Grimm...' Rhonda said hesitantly, while Rueful curled in her lap.

But Grimm didn't seem to be listening. 'I've got half a mind for us to strike out on our own and do the job ourselves. At least then we can be sure it's done right...'

'Grimm...' she tried again.

'In fact, that idea sounds better every time I think it.' said Grimm. 'Now that you're back, we can probably slip off without much trouble. I've got some smoke bombs packed, I could set them...'

'Grimm!' Rhonda said, and she was surprised to hear her voice sound so forceful. And Grimm fell silent, looking at her in surprise. 'Grimm, do you remember what I said to you in the backyard - before you fought the giant golem?'

A faraway gleam stole across his eyes. 'So it wasn't a dream...' he said.

'No, it happened.' said Rhonda, leaning forward and taking his hand. 'You asked me why you should help Kim in the fight.'

'You said you didn't know,' said Grimm, 'You just had a feeling.'

'Well, I've got the same feeling now.' said Rhonda. She used her free hand to touch her upper arm where the bear paw birthmark was hidden under her shirt sleeve. 'I think the monkey guy is right. We should do what he says.'

Grimm didn't speak for several seconds. Finally he drew his hand across his forehead. 'This isn't any easier to accept than it was to go fight the golem.' he said.

'But it turned out OK.' said Rhonda. 'And I think it will again.'

Again, Grimm didn't answer right away. 'How do you know?' he said. 'We've got no proof for any of this. All we've got are feelings.'

She put her hand on his cheek. 'Feelings helped bring me back.' she said.

Grimm sighed, putting his own hand on her cheek. 'Sure, throw that one at me.' he said. And they held each other in silence.

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Kim had assembled two backpacks loaded with their normal mission equipment. One for her, and one for Ron. She was a bit resentful of the Mystical Monkey's strange instruction. Ron and Grimm - attacking the lair by themselves? While she stayed at Yamanouchi with Rhonda? As she worked, she went through a whole list of possibilities in her mind. But each one simply seemed as if it were some kind of joke the Mystical Monkey was playing - keeping their 'normal' teams apart and teaming them with their opposites.

She was nearly finished by the time she realized that Ron was supposed to be there helping her out. A chill crept into her heart, realizing his absence. At once, she dashed outside, looking around the courtyard. But she couldn't see him. Feeling anxious and nearly afraid, she sped from building to building.

She was just about to start calling out for him when her eyes fell on Toshimiru's dojo, and at once she felt herself drawn towards it. As she started climbing the stairs, she heard voices within, including one that she knew was Ron's. Immediate relief took hold of her, as if tightening bands had been suddenly released. For a moment she thought he had disappeared again somehow, and the thought had been nearly painful.

 

As Kim reached the top of the stairs, she heard the Mystical Monkey's voice speaking. She peered around the edge of the doorway entrance and saw Ron standing in front of him. '...and don't forget to say waaaaau!' said the Mystical Monkey. 'That very important - it the whole point of kung-fu! Say it with me! Waaaaauuu!'

Kim couldn't help smiling as Ron sank into an identical monkey-ish pose, one hand raised behind his head, the other palm out in front of him, and both he and the Mystical Monkey squealing while hopping on one foot.

'Waauuuuuuuuu!!'

'Now bring your hands in front of you like this!' said the Mystical Monkey, planting both his feet firm on the mat and holding his arms out with the palms extended and his fingers splayed out. Ron imitated the move, a little less confidently, but the posture was correct.

After repeating the process a couple more times, the Mystical Monkey signaled him to stop and then they bowed to each other. 'Now you ready to take on anybody!' he said. Ron only looked confused.

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They were back in the courtyard. Master Sensei was there, along with Chief Sakituya, Team Probable and Monique. Grimm had his gear and looked ready to leave. Kim handed Ron his pack.

'It is time to depart.' said Sensei. 'Our helicopter pilots will return you to the airport and your jet. Good fortune to you - and always remember, when one has true friends, he is never alone.'

'You take care, now.' said Monique to Ron. 'After everything we went through to bring you back - you'd better make it through this.' Ron smiled and nodded.

'Good luck.' said Kim, not sure what else to say. 'And be careful. Monkey Fist is a lot tougher now.'

'You got it!' said Ron enthusiastically, and Rufus poked his head out of Ron's hip pouch, looking comfortable and at home. 'I'll be in touch as soon as we trash the Jammer!'

'That's presuming a lot.' said Grimm. 'Even if we manage this, it'll be some time before we can contact you. It's not exactly a short flight from Japan to England. It takes a few hours, even for a supersonic jet.'

'Oooh, that OK.' said the Mystical Monkey, breaking in. 'It take a few hours to hike to Yamanouchi on foot from the base of the mountains. Timing should be juuuuust about right. But you gotta go now.'

'What does hiking up to Yamanouchi from the lowlands have to do with catching a flight from Japan to England?' said Grimm, shaking his head.

'Never you mind!' said the Mystical Monkey, as if Grimm had asked a stupid question. 'What you still doing here? Go! Now! Leave! Why are you not going?' he was waving wildly at Ron and Grimm now, flapping his robes and slapping at their knees with his hands.

Grimm took Rhonda's hand. 'I wouldn't agree to this crazy plan - for anyone but you.' he said in a low voice. Rhonda's eyes sparkled with tears as she nodded.

Kim held Ron's hand tightly. 'You've only been back a little while. I don't want you to go...' she said softly.

'Hey, don't worry KP.' said Ron. 'They couldn't keep us apart before, and they won't this time. I'll be back before you know it.'

Then they were leaning slowly towards each other, and Kim closed her eyes, anticipating the warmth of his lips against hers...

But they were pulled apart by a pair of hairy hands. 'Plenty of time for that later!' said the Mystical Monkey, now looking annoyed. 'You go now! Don't make me start throwing things at you!'

Kim leaned in and spoke softly into his ear. 'Watch your back, too.' she whispered. 'He's still Grimm.' Ron nodded, but was being ushered towards the rear courtyard by a pair of black uniformed Yamanouchi students. His hand left hers, and they kept looking at each other until he and Grimm disappeared through the courtyard gate.

Rhonda was standing near to Kim with Rueful on her shoulder, and with Monique and Enrique behind them. Rhonda was staring after Grimm's vanishing figure with a similar look on longing. They soon heard the whining of an engine, saw a cloud of dust billowing up behind the courtyard, and then the black silhouette of a helicopter slowly rising.

Kim and Rhonda stayed in the courtyard the entire time, watching as the copter moved off into the distance, vanishing into the mountain clouds...

farewell

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Evening was fast approaching in Japan. At the base of the mountains, unseen by any, a deepening shade near a patch of trees began spreading outwards as if the trees were filled with black ink that had suddenly been spilled.

There was a thumping of many heavy footsteps. When the shadows receded, at least thirty figures emerged from the darkness. They stepped out onto the path which was the starting point for the arduous trek up to the hidden school sanctuary.

Monkey Fist paused and regarded the path which snaked up into the mountains. He would have preferred to arrive directly at the school, but Possible's meddling had prevented it. The base of the mountains was the closest workable target area which Drakken had plotted out, the nearest coordinates which the Ultra-Atmospheric Jammer could reach.

He would also have preferred to use the power of the Yono to rapidly make the ascent up the mountains and hasten his victory. But he wanted his golem slaves there with him when he began his attack, and the only way they could make the journey was on foot. But weariness was no obstacle - for himself, or his army.

He smirked, his petrified face crinkling into a wicked smile. These would be the last of Possible's irritating obstacles that needed to be overcome. After that - sweet revenge would be his. At a gesture, his golems fell in step behind him, and Monkey Fist began climbing the path to the Yamanouchi School.

               
 
Chapter 32

It cannot be seen, cannot be felt.
It cannot be heard, cannot be smelt.
It lies behind stars, and under hills
and empty holes it fills.
It comes first and follows after,
ends life - kills laughter...

Author: Hopefully I've answered a number of questions in this chapter - but if I missed anything, be sure and let me know. The devil is in the details, after all, and there's still plenty of time to make sure everything is wrapped up in a neat little package. But the final showdowns are looming - what exactly will come of it all? And what will it mean for Teams Possible and Probable?

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