Chapter 5
Closet Shippers

It was night. Kim, astride Ron's scooter, roared towards a foreboding structure perched atop a cliff. It looked shoddy and run down, but Wade had identified it as Drakken's lair in short order. 'You sure he's there Wade?' she said into her Kimmunicator.

'Positive.' said Wade's voice. 'Drakken's lair was easy to track down. Even easier than usual.'

'Thought so.' said Kim. 'Don't move against Jade until I'm alone with Grimm. That's when you may get your shot.'

Inside the lair, the now-functioning viewscreen showed a tiny red blip approaching the base. Grimm stood looking up. 'She's alone?' said Grimm.

'Looks that way.' said Jade, her face popping up in a small window on the viewscreen.

Grimm scowled. 'I don't like it.' he said. 'She's not that foolish. Keep sweeping the base. Make sure Stoppable and the mole rat don't get in.'

'On it, GP.' Jade chirped, and the window closed.

Grimm turned toward the door. The base wasn't that large, and Kim wasn't that far away. A few seconds later, the main door burst open, a scooter sped through and screeched to a halt, and Kim leaped and tumbled into the room.
Grimm snapped his fingers and Rhonda leaped to his side, both of them at the ready. 'Very confident or very foolish - but which is she?' Grimm said, staring down at her from the main console platform. 'Coming here by yourself, Kim Possible? You couldn't beat me one on one. What makes you think you can win alone?'

Kim glared up at him. Then she unbuckled her backpack, letting it drop to the floor with a thud. Then she threw her grapple gun down next to it. 'I didn't come here to fight. I came to talk.'

Grimm looked confused for one brief instant. Then his cocky smile was back in place. 'Talk is cheap Kim. If you're thinking to divert me, think again.'

'I haven't stopped thinking since our last fight.' Kim said. 'Thinking about what you said. And... you were right about me.'

Grimm shook his head. 'Nice try, Kim.' he said. 'But girls don't ever admit that guys are right - about anything!'

'I do.' said Kim. 'Can we talk... alone?' she said with a pointed glance at Rhonda.

'No way, pom-pom!' said Rhonda defiantly. 'Grimm and I are package deal! Anything you want to say to him, you can say it to my face!'

Grimm kept staring silently down at Kim. 'Rhonda,' he said. 'Take Rueful and check the corridors, the roof and the vents. Make sure Stoppable isn't here.'

Rhonda turned to Grimm. Her voice was a squeaky whisper. 'What?' she said. 'You're not gonna listen to that carrot-topped harpy are you?'

'I said, check the corridors.' said Grimm quietly.

Rhonda looked stunned. But she closed her eyes and turned, walking slowly out of the room. She looked back briefly before the door closed behind her. 'All right Possible.' he said. 'Let's talk.'

Jade had over a dozen monitors, each one with several windows open, each one showing the view from a different camera. She had an eye on each of them, as well as keeping constant watch on her routers, modems and firewalls.

She raised an eyebrow and zeroed in on one screen. Grimm and Kim were alone in the main room together. Not fighting. 'Wierdness.' she thought. She stared at them for nearly two minutes. They were just talking. She realized she was ignoring all the other monitors and started checking them again, but suddenly Wade's face appeared on each one of them.

'Thanks for the opening!' he said brightly.

The entire room went black. From the darkness, Jade's voice sounded exasperated and whiney. 'Oh man not again...!'


Wade beeped Ron. 'You're good to go!' he said.

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Rhonda stumped the corridors, muttering to herself. She made a squeaky imitation of Kim's voice. 'Can we talk alone?' she simpered. 'Just who does Miss 'bare-midriff' think she is....?'

'She's Kim Possible!' Rhonda whirled and saw Ron leaning against the wall with Rufus on his shoulder.

'Doofus-boy!' she said. he took out a whistle that let out a silent note and Rueful sprang out of a ventilation duct, scurrying to her side. 'Come back for another drubbing?'

'No,' said Ron, still looking calm and relaxed. 'I'm here the same reason you are. Kim wanted to be alone with Grimm.' he put heavy emphasis on the last word and was pleased to see Rhonda's freckled cheeks turning red.

'Grimm won't fall for it!' Rhonda said, advancing toward him. 'You'll see!'

'Is that why you're out here, and she's in there?' he said.

Rhonda growled. 'Rrrrrrr!' she said. 'I'm gonna mop the floor with you first - and then your ugly partner!'

'I think it's cute that you're jelling over your boss.' he said, pouring on the sly edge to his voice.

'I'm not jelling!' Rhonda said, stamping her feet. And she charged at him. Ron took out the 'Kissy-Face' lip gloss and with a deep breath, he opened it. Greenish fumes filled the corridor. Rhonda saw it and took a deep breath. She struck at Ron a few times and Ron managed to dodge. Luckily, he was ready. With his other hand, he took out a picture that Wade had digitized, showing Grimm and Kim kissing. The picture was faked, but the instant Rhonda saw it, she gasped, and the moment she did, her head rolled back and her mouth fell open, her tongue lolling out with a thin trickle of drool.

'Aaaawwwwooooooouuuuuugh!' she said woozily, and collapsed to the floor. Rueful lay asleep next to her, also overcome by the knock-out gas.

'None too soon,' thought Ron, screwing the lid back onto the lip gloss. He wouldn't have been able to hold his breath much longer. So far the plan had worked. He cuffed Rhonda's hands together. Now it was all down to Kim.

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'I won't be distracted by feminine wiles.' said Grimm.

'I understand you a lot better than you think.' said Kim, stepping closer to him. 'I know you spend a lot of nights awake wondering if you'll ever find anyone. Worried, that in spite of everything you've done, no matter how skilled you are, that it still won't impress anyone enough to want to be with you.'

Grimm glared at her. 'How do you know that?' he said.

'Because I know me.' she said. 'And I felt the same way.' Kim looked up at him. 'We're not... so different.'

Grimm chuckled softly. 'Nice.' he said. 'Is this where I'm supposed to say that you and I were destined for each other - and I repent and forsake my evil ways? Or do you expect me to believe that you're prepared to walk away from your life just so we can go out?'

'I'm not asking for either.' said Kim. 'I'm just asking... for a chance.'

Grimm raised an eyebrow. 'A chance for what?' She was getting closer, and every instinct he had was screaming that he should spring into action. But a curiosity even stronger was fighting them down. He reasoned, if there was trouble, Jade and Rhonda would be letting him know, and he trusted them. And he was confident that one on one, he could take Kim down, no matter what she pulled.
Kim didn't answer, but stood in front of him and took his hand.

Ron crept into the room and saw Grimm and Kim. He felt a burning anger as he saw his hand in Kim's. 'Easy,' he thought. 'It's just an act....' He moved toward the console, edging closer.

'Is this so bad?' Kim said, squeezing his hand lightly.

Grimm's eyes softened for the briefest moment. 'I...' he said, but in the reflection of Kim's shining eyes, he saw a flicker of movement that was not him or her. He whirled around and saw Ron standing at the console. 'You!' he said, his voice furious. Then he felt something clamp around his wrist and saw that Kim had locked some kind of manacle on his wrist.

'Go Ron!' Kim shouted, dodging the lightning-fast punch that Grimm threw with his other hand.

Ron dived forward and clamped a second manacle on Grimm's ankle. Grimm leaped up and out from where Kim and Ron had him surrounded. Kim was right behind him with Ron shouting 'Booyah!' and making another dive.

Grimm took out his grapple gun and with one neat motion he fired and made a graceful swing around the room, making for the door. But Kim was now swinging after him, and though she could not block him, she threw a third manacle which hooked around his left ankle with a satisfying click.

Grimm looked at his wrist and ankles. 'I don't know what you're planning but it won't work!' he said angrily. 'Where's Rhonda?'

Ron stepped forward. 'Let's just say she's on time-out!'

'What have you done with her?' he roared, charging at them with a whirling leap and kick.

Kim was shocked by his sudden fury, but she rolled with his strike, and all three of them wound up in a tangle on the floor. Grimm was struggling to wrestle his way loose, and pushing Kim down onto the floor, his hands squeezing her wrists cruelly.

Ron was grunting, pushing his hands up from where he lay with Grimm kneeling on his stomach. Grimm's feet were in his face, but he twisted and slowly forced his way up. 'Kim!' he shouted.

Grimm raised a fist to strike, and just as he was bringing it down, Ron placed a fourth manacle on his left wrist. Grimm blinked, and saw Kim holding up a small remote with a red button, which she pressed with a smile.

The manacles hummed, and a powerful magnetic field activated. Grimm struggled, but his hands and his feet were slowly pulled closer together until they connected. He stared furiously at Kim and Ron, his hands and feet effectively locked together.

Ron smiled. 'They're 'electro' magnets!' he said. And Grimm suddely felt a charge go through each of his arms and legs. With a cry of pain, he collapsed to the floor.

'Way to go, KP.' said Ron weakly, his face still sporting the print of Grimm's shoe.

'Couldn't have done it without you!' Kim said, tapping his fist with hers.

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Outside the lair, Grimm, Rhonda were locked up in handcuffs. Rueful was scampering back and forth in a small cage. A police wagon and guards were leading them out. Kim stopped the guards from closing the doors after Grimm, Rhonda and Rueful were loaded in.
'Where's Drakken?' said Kim, glaring at him.

Grimm stared, his face angry, but still with an edge of satisfaction. 'You're too late. By now he's long gone with the weapons from Stafford base.'

Kim stared. 'You said you didn't want those weapons.'

Grimm smiled. 'I didn't. But Drakken does. The weapons theft was just to give him access to the technology. The money was so he can build them bigger and better. Saying I didn't want the weapons was enough to put you off the trail and get them to lessen security at the base. Drakken had an easy run after that.'

Kim smiled. 'Well he'll have to make his next move without your help - which means I'll have an easy run.'

Grimm said nothing. She was right and he knew it.

Rhonda stood up, defiant even in handcuffs. 'You think this is over?' she said. 'It's not over until the G-man says it's over!'

Grimm sat with his eyes downcast. 'It's over, Rhonda.' he said, his voice low and flat.

Immediately, Rhonda sat down next to him. 'OK, I got nothing.' she said, her voice now quiet.

Just before the doors were closed, Kim cried out. 'Hey, Grimm!'

Grimm and Rhonda glanced up with dour expressions from where they sat shackled in the police van. They blinked as the flash in Kim's camera went off. 'Now that's a keeper!' said Ron, grinning as the wagon drove off.

Inside the police wagon, Grimm thudded his shackled fists into the bench on which they were sitting. The wagon sped down the road, heading toward the police station in the distant city. 'I can't believe I fell for the pretty face scam.' he said, his voice sounding frustrated and tired. 'I feel like such a dork.'

Rhonda looked at him. 'Come on Grimm - they didn't beat you, they just played you. Besides, there are plenty of girls who'd love to be with you.'

Grimm didn't look at her, but lowered his head. 'Yeah, right.' he said, his voice sarcastic. 'You really think there's a girl out there for a guy like me?'

Rhonda looked down. 'Out there....' she said. 'In.... here.....'

Grimm looked at her and Rhonda looked up at him. Their eyes locked.

'Oh.... really?' he said, his eyes softening.

Slowly, they leaned closer, and very tenderly, they kissed.

When they broke apart, he kept staring at her, and the light that was shining in her eyes lit in his as well. 'Woah.' he said, the smile returning to his face. 'Woah.' Rhonda blushed furiously and took his hand.

Suddenly Grimm's communicator bleeped and turned on. 'Woah!' said Jade's tinny voice. 'Should I come back later?'

Grimm eyed the shackles binding them. 'No, Jade.' he said, smiling and slipping a lockpick from inside his glove. 'I think we're ready to check out.'

The police van continued driving down the road. Suddenly, it screeched to a halt. There was a voilent lurching, and the van bounced up and down on it's tires for a few moments. Then the doors opened and the two cops driving it flew out of the driver and passenger doors, landing on the ground by the side of the road with loud, rolling thuds.

Grimm and Rhonda peered out of the windows of the wagon after closing the doors. 'When you see Kim Possible,' Grimm shouted to the driver, who was getting up on his hands and knees, 'Tell her she's a lousy date!'

The wagon screeched off and vanished down the road.

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Later at Bueno Nacho, Ron sat with Kim at their favorite booth. 'How's this for progression, KP?' he said, holding his own poem aloft. 'C-plus!'

'Congrats, Ron.' she said. 'I think it's safe to say we've both gone up a level. I just wish Grimm hadn't gotten away.' She looked out the window, frowning.

Ron looked at her curiously. 'Something wrong, KP?' he said, blinking.

'He said I was a bad date! Me! Can you imagine?'

'Yeah, the nerve of that guy.' said Ron, smiling. 'He doesn't know what he's missing. And I hope he never does.'

'Thanks for putting up with the act, Ron.' she said, her voice demure and warm. She took his hand in hers and held it tenderly. 'You're the best.'


'No, you are.' said Ron, gazing at her slyly.
'No, you.' she said, looking back at him with a smile.
'No, you.' he said, taking her other hand.
'No, you.' she said again. Their voices became steadily more crooning and cutesy with each back and forth.

'Do you mind?' came Bonnie's voice from the booth behind them. 'There are people trying to eat here!'

Ron and Kim looked at Bonnie's glaring face for a moment. Then they looked back at each other.
'No, you.' said Kim.
'No, you.' said Ron.
'No, you!'
'No, you!'

Bonnie growled and stormed away from her booth. 'You two are so disgusting!' she grated as she left.

After a while, Ron fell silent, staring at his now empty tray. 'So now there's something wrong on your end?' said Kim.

Ron looked up. 'Wade still can't find them?'

Kim shook her head. 'They've disappeared. And we never did find out where they're really from.'

Ron looked up. 'So they'll be back someday?'

Kim smiled. 'Don't worry, Ron.' she said. 'We beat them once. We can do it again.'

Ron didn't look satisfied. 'I was thinking, KP.' He said. 'When 'shipping put us off our game, we came back from it closer and stronger than ever, right?'

Kim looked back at him. 'Yeah...' she said.

'So.. by getting Grimm and Rhonda to 'ship and putting them off their game, does that mean they'll come back stronger too?'

Kim looked back at Ron. 'No way.' she said, but there was a doubtful edge to her voice.

The End

Next Time:
The Return of Zorpox

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