The Full Circle
Futurama created by Matt Groening. Developed by Matt Groening and David X. Cohen. Owned by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. Used without permission.
Kim Possible created by Bob Schooley and Mark McCorkle. Characters designed by Stephen Silver. Owned by Disney. Used without permission.
At the Middleton Space Center in the early 21st century, Dr. James Possible was monitoring the ground control of a very important mission, especially to him.
"Kimmie-Cub," he announced on the radio to the ship's pilot, "are the controls of the new KR-1 ship working for you?"
"A-OK, Dad," said a familiar young female voice over the communication, "but why'd you name it after Ron and I?"
"Think of it as my way of celebrating recent events," he slyly answered his daughter.
"Hey," said a young male voice over the communication, "you're just glad that I've taken her home by her curfew time so far!"
"Yeah, that too," admitted Dr. Possible, "so, either of you see your objective yet?"
"Yeah," answered Kim, "it looks like a tear in space. It's big and yellow."
"[Big! Uh, huh!]" chirped a small animal voice.
"Are you sure it was a good idea to bring Rufus?" asked Dr. Possible, referring to Ron's naked mole rat.
"Dr. P," answered Ron, "I couldn't leave Rufus behind anymore than Kim would leave me behind!"
"Got that right!" said Kim assuredly.
"Wait a sec," she added, sounding surprised, "we're drifting off course! We're heading straight toward that rift-thing!"
"Kimmie! Use the retro-rockets at full-strength!" ordered a frightened Dr. Possible.
"I am!" exclaimed a frightened Kim, "It's not making a difference!"
"I guess.we should know by now that anything's possible," said Kim softly, "we're getting closer. Dad.I love you. Tell Mom, my brothers, and the rest of the family.I love them. And tell our friends that too."
Kim sounded like she was tearing up, a rare occurrence for her.
"Kim, don't give up!" Dr. Possible was almost hysterical now.
"I'm not, Dad! It's just that nothing's working; not as well as it should anyway! Ron, I.I think I should say that."
"It's okay, K.P.," said Ron's voice, "nothing would have stopped me from coming with you."
"Thanks, but what I meant was that I."
Just then, there was nothing but static. Dr. Possible found himself frozen and hunched over the radio.
The Planet Express ship rarely took the long way to Earth, but the previous delivery this day in the summer of 3005 was so rough that even the stern Captain Leela felt like they needed a break. She had left the ship on autopilot and went to see what her crewmates, delivery boy (and her current boyfriend) Philip Fry and the amoral robot Bender, were up to. Not surprisingly, she found them at the game council, playing one of Fry's video games. She sighed, hoping to have some quality time with Fry since they started dating some time ago. Usually, they were too busy to get very far in their relationship.
Leela went back to the observation deck and looked at the stars, wishing Fry would join her. She noticed something new, a kind of yellow "rip" in space. At first, she thought it was a galaxy, but it looked less like a grouping of stars as she got a closer look at it. It fact, it really was getting closer. They were being pulled toward it!
Leela rushed back to her friends.
"Fry! Bender! We're in terrible danger!"
"So what else is new?" asked Bender, "what kind of crisis is it this week?"
"We're being pulled into something! It's some kind of field, I think!"
"But the autopilot is programmed to deal with this sort of thing, right?" asked Fry.
"Nothing he's doing is working! We're almost there! We.!"
Just then, the power went out.and came back again.
"NOOO!" cried Fry.
"Fry, it's not that bad," assured Leela, "if we still have power, we still have a chance to get out of this."
"No, I mean I lost my progress in this game! It took me twenty lives to get that far!"
Leela sighed and picked up her friends by their collars (in Bender's case, the upper part of his torso).
"Just join me on the observation deck."
At the observation deck, they noticed a ship with an archaic design floating near them. It didn't respond to their hailing, but their instruments detected three life forms on board.
"So, what do we do?" asked Fry.
"It may be a trap," said Leela, "or they may be in trouble like we are. Either way, let's check the other ship out."
Kim slowly regained consciousness. She was uncertain if she was alive or not. Great, she thought, I face every sitch that Earth has and it's space that gets me. She then realized that she was alive, but as her concern switched to Ron and Rufus, she bolted up.
"-gasp- Ron! Rufus!"
"Uh, hi Kim," said a young male voice.
That voice wasn't Ron's but it was familiar. She turned around and saw a familiar, twenty-something, red haired guy.
"Fry? Philip Fry? Where am I?"
"The sick bay of Planet Express. You've been here for an hour."
"I have? What are you guys doing in the 21st century?"
"We're not. We're in some void along with your ship. We were surprised to see you three. I never knew you were an astronaut."
"I'm not; that is, not regularly. This was a favor. Wait, Ron and Rufus! Where are they? Are they okay?"
"In the TV room. Bender's with them."
"Oh, thank you."
She rushed to find the TV room, hoping that she hadn't failed Ron, especially now. Ever since they met in pre-school, where Ron tried to help her against some bullies (whom she ended up saving him from), Kim had tried to repay him by helping him and everyone else she could. Still, as close as she was to Ron, she didn't see him as "boyfriend material", but recently that all changed.
"Ron! Ron!" she called, almost frantically.
She soon found him and Rufus.playing video games with Bender.
"Hey," said Bender, "it's the female red mop! Back online, huh?"
"KIM!" shouted Ron as he bolted up and embraced his friend.
Kim patted Ron on the back, but was a little annoyed since she first thought he was hurt.
"It's good to see you too," said Kim, "but why was Fry watching me and not you?"
"We were taking shifts," explained Ron, "mine was the first."
"Yeah," said Bender, "he was watchin' you for almost a half-hour until Fry took over. Somethin' about Fry 'having an idea how he felt.'"
Kim smiled to herself, having an idea of what Fry meant by that and that he would be more right than he knew.
Ron broke the hug and Kim smiled at him, but then realized something.
"Where's Captain Leela?" she asked, "I would expect her to greet us."
"She's in the engine room," explained Bender, "she's been there since we had trouble moving our ship."
"That reminds me," said Kim, "what happened to our own ship?"
"It's still floatin' outside," said Bender, "yer life support's been busted since we found ya!"
"I'd better talk to Leela," said Kim as she headed to the engine room, "sounds like we're all stuck here for a while."
Leela wiped her brow over her single eye, partially because to the heat, but partially due to frustration. She couldn't understand it; the engine and the controls worked fine, but weren't responding. She was starting to think of checking on the unconscious Kim Possible when she heard the automatic door open and some footsteps. She turned, suspecting who it might be, and was correct.
"Kim, hi. Good to see you, especially now that you're conscious."
"Hello, Captain Leela," said Kim while holding her nose, probably not used to the smell of Dark Matter, "thanks for saving us."
"Don't thank us yet," said Leela, "we're still stuck in this void. Everything works, but nothing's responding."
"Wait a sec," said Kim, reaching into her hair, pulling out something that looked like a ballpoint pen, "this is a lazar, you might be able to use this as a tool. I'd offer to help myself, but I'm not very mechanically inclined. We have someone who is, though."
"Ron? I never saw him as a mechanic."
"Actually, I meant someone.smaller."
"Who else.wait. That mole rat?"
"Yeah," said Kim, "there was a time when that would surprise me too."
"I'll take your word for it. I know what it's like to have an unusual pet. So, how are you and Ron doing in your time?"
"We've been a little busy," said Kim, "especially since junior prom."
"'Busy'?" asked Leela, "you mean with your hero work?"
"That too, we always are," said Kim, "but I mainly meant making much delayed quality time with something important and long overdue."
"What could be as important as your hero work?"
"Let's say," said Kim with a dreamy look on her face, "it's a labor of love."
"Oh," said Leela, realizing what she meant, "well, tell me about the lucky guy."
"I think I'm the lucky one," said Kim with a sigh, "and it's someone you know."
"But we're from two different millenniums," reminded Leela, "the only friend we have in common is.wait, you mean Ron?"
"Actually," said Leela, "given my own current situation and how close you two always seemed to be, not really."
"Your 'situation'? You mean."
"Yeah, me and Fry."
"Congrats! How did it start?"
"Long story and it involves the Robot Devil. You?"
"A whole army of robot devils and other stuff I'd rather not bring up," explained Kim sounding a little downcast.
"The robot devil invasion happened?" asked a stunned Leela, "I thought that was a myth."
"Believe me," said Kim, "it was no myth. All I'm happy about is the end result. And just between us, I'm glad that Ron's not trying to impress other members of our gender now. Come to think of it," said Kim, "Ron always liked you."
"Hmmm," said Leela playfully, "I wonder if I should be jealous."
"What I don't get," said Kim, "is how no one seems really surprised about it."
"Well, are you?"
"Not.really," answered Kim, "in fact, it makes more sense when I think about it. I just didn't see it until recently."
"It happens," said Leela, patting Kim on the shoulder, "I, for one, had standards. I thought they were high standards, but they were the wrong standards and they blindsided me."
"Same here," said Kim, "but I didn't even know Ron saw me like that. At least not seriously. Bottom line is that I finally realized what I really wanted was someone who would stay by my side and he's always been by my side. And it took me forever to get it. Pretty pathetic, huh?"
"Your standards were less superficial than mine," said Leela, "and if Ron is anything like Fry, I'd say we both did well in the end. I'm still a little surprised, though. He was always flirting with hotties."
"And you're surprised he likes you?"
"I'm as vain as the next girl," admitted Kim, "but I have a bubble butt and my legs are a little thick."
"Oh, sorry, Captain."
"It's alright. I thought I missed my chance because of my single eye. Fry's preferences seemed superficial to me at first, but it turns out that he really cares for me."
"You and Leela?" said Ron to Fry, sounding impressed, "badical! She's some lady!"
"Yeah," said Fry, proud but humbled, "but I think I'm lucky. I always thought I needed to impress her, but it looks like what I really wanted was for her to be happy."
"I've been there," explained Ron, "plenty of times and we were 'just friends'. So, I sort of thought of it that way. The only trouble was that I was fooling myself. I'm still surprised on how it all turned out, though, especially after hinting at how I felt."
"Wow! Wait," said Fry, "who are you talking about?"
"I.don't like talking about her behind her back."
"It's Kim, right?"
"Ah!" exclaimed Ron, "how did you know?"
"You mean I'm right? Wow, I'm never right. You know, I always had hopes for you two."
"But.," said a confused Ron, "I didn't think there was hope for me concerning Kim when we first met you guys. I told you that."
"You just seemed to be so close," explained Fry, "I always envied you two: you have each other and you go on adventures."
"You go on adventures now," reminded Ron, "and you're closer to Leela than ever now. Besides, we have people who want to kill us!"
"Big whoop!" dismissed Fry, "I'm from New York; I'd be used to that sort of thing."
"Well," explained Ron, "I'm from suburbia, so I'm not. Well, I wasn't used to that until Kim and I went from simply helping people to fighting crime. Still," he added softly, "for Kim, it's all worth it."
"I agree with that, buddy," said Fry, patting Ron's shoulder.
TO BE CONTINUED...