Ron rested on the sofa in the living room while Yori slept in his bed up in his attic room. There was so much on his mind that he knew that sleep seemed to be a foregone conclusion.
First was the fact that Kim hadn’t been gone even a week and he was already thinking about asking Yori on a date. He knew that he should give Kim more time, but how long was right? How long would he have Yori close enough to hug? Could he get time off with Joss being on the team now?
Sighing and turning over onto his stomach he watched as Rufus slumbered away peacefully. ‘Kim… what am I supposed to do? I know you broke up with me… but Yori is so sweet. She likes my jokes, my goof ups, and everything you do about me.’
Looking past Rufus to where a picture of Ron and Kim in first grade playing on the monkey bars rested Ron sighed. ‘You’ve been my friend forever KP… but… dating you was weird. I wish I knew why we didn’t work out… we would have been perfect. Was it me? Was I just too goofy?’
With a groan, he slipped off the couch and walked to the window where he stared out at the moonlit backyard silently. Sighing he couldn’t help but picture his time at the Yamanouchi school, and how nice it felt there. Leaning forward he rested his forehead on the window pane and let out a sigh. ‘Kim… I need you… come back soon.’
Turning away from the window he let out a sigh of frustration as he walked back over to the couch and tried to go to sleep again. As he laid there staring at the ceiling he let out a sigh of confusion. ‘Kim… I’m not the hero, you are. Get back here and tell me what to do.’
Ron rose the next morning stiff and sore with a familiar smell tickling his nose, but he just couldn’t place it. Stretching out the kinks in his back he wandered into the kitchen to see Yori cooking what appeared to be rice and miso soup. “Yori… I told you, you don’t have to cook…”
Yori turned around her apron fluttering forward enough to reveal the shorts that were being covered otherwise, relieving at least one of Ron’s worries. “Oh, Stoppable-san… I know you said that I didn’t have to cook, but it is my honor to cook for my host family. Would you like to make the Yakizakana?”
Ron chuckled as he shook his head, walking over to the fridge and pulling out the fish that he knew she had to have gone to get this morning. “Yori… I do the cooking here; can’t you just relax and enjoy your stay like a normal guest? And please… call me Ron, calling everyone Stoppable-san will just lead to confusion.”
Ron was so busy prepping the fish for grilling that he missed seeing Yori’s blush at the honor of calling someone so casually. Yori smiled sweetly at Ron’s back before returning to the soup and the rice.
Yori finished up the miso and rice taking both to the table and setting them at the side of where she planned to sit so she could serve Ron as he finished up with the fish. “So Ron-san … please … where is Possible-san? I was not informed of the details of her departure and you have been rather … distant.”
Ron sighed and scratched the back of his head. “I’m sorry Yori, if I knew where she was, I’d tell you. All I can tell you is that she’s going to get some special training, and Shego’s the one taking her.”
Yori stared a bit with her eyes going wide, “Kim-san has left … with Shego? She trusts that … thief?”
Ron tucked the fish onto the grill and sighed. “Yori… get comfortable, I have something to tell you about recent events leading up to now…” Waiting until Yori was sitting, Ron began to cover what had happened over the past few weeks, his eyes fixed on the fish so he didn’t see Yori’s eyes widening in shock.
Yori composed herself quickly so Ron wouldn’t see the look of ecstatic joy on her face when he said Kim had broken up with him over the situation. It would not be honorable to be so happy over such a thing, yet she could not deny that she was. “How long was Dr. Drakken in the hospital after Kim's … indiscretion?”
“According to Wade, he’s still there. Apparently he’s not planning to leave until he has a new person to cover his back,” Ron said sliding the fish onto a serving plate and walking over to the table. “That’s odd… normally mom and dad are up by now…”
Yori filled a pair of bowls for Ron, one of miso and one of rice after thanking him for the fish and waited for him to begin eating. “Perhaps they have decided to sleep in? What shall we be doing today? If we have some free time perhaps you could show me around as I did for you at the Yamanouchi, my last visit here left no time for seeing the city.”
Ron pulled out a pair of chopsticks from his pants after thanking Yori and began to eat. “Actually, I was thinking of going out on a patrol thingy today… So I could show you the city, if you don’t mind working while we’re out.”
With a giggle Yori began eating, “Of course Ron-san, it is part of why I am here after all.” As she finished her fish and rice she wondered if they would have the chance for anything more intimate before the day was out and then found herself blushing at the thought of kissing Ron. Hopefully, she thought, there would be plenty of time for them to get to know each other that way.
Ron played with his rice grains silently, wondering why he was so nervous around Yori suddenly. Picking up the grains and popping them into his mouth he chewed thoughtfully. After a few minutes he looked over at Yori and smiled. “I guess we’ll have to go shopping for some clothes… We don’t know how long you’re going to be here after all.”
Yori looked over at Ron and decided to tease him a bit, “It will not be your honour to help me pick out certain things Ron-san but it shouldn’t be that much of a problem.” She had her Ninja-express platinum credit card and a nearly unlimited budget from the Yamanouchi. “You can help with a few things however.”
“What? Are you saying the Ronster doesn’t have the ultimate in fashion sense?” Ron said while striking a masculine pose, still dressing in his Fearless Ferret jammies.
Yori didn’t know whether to laugh or blush but she figured it was time to have some devious fun. “I did not know Ron-san would know so much about feminine underwear… are you versed in the ways of the lingerie shop?”
Ron’s jaw dropped as a blush formed on his cheeks. “I… umm… well… gah… err… No, that’s more Kim’s and Monique’s department…”
Yori grinned a bit at his embarrassment, “I see … well then it will be your honor to assist me after all Ron-kun … Possible-san is off with Shego and I do not know this ‘Monique’…” She quickly hid her face behind the bowl of miso as she drank the last of it, it served nicely to hide her own blush and prevent her from laughing further at the face Ron was now making.
Ron sighed as he tried to focus on his bowl of rice. “Well, she works at Club Banana, which is one of our stops today, so you can meet Mo’ there. She would know more about those things than I would.”
Yori pouted a bit over that, “As you wish Ron-san.” She got up and placed her dishes in the sink preparing to clean them so they could get started. Ron could be so frustrating at times.
Ron sighed as he studied the table in frustration. ‘Why am being so stupid? She wants me to help her, not Mo… Get it together Ronster… you can do it, you’ve hung out with Kim enough you can do most anything… right?’
Swallowing the lump in his throat Ron stood and walked over to dry and put up the dishes. “Yori… would… I mean I’m not that knowledgeable… but would you like my help in picking out l… lin… err… female underclothes?”
Yori turned to look at Ron and both hoped he was being serious and joking at the same time, she had to admit to herself that she had asked for this however. Swallowing a bit nervously she nodded; she had gone this far might as well see it all the way through. “It will be your honor to… show me what you like.”
Ron’s blush grew deeper as his eyes widened in surprised. ‘Kim… please tell me what to do…’
Kim’s voice seemed to whisper to him, ‘If you find someone else … I won’t mind.‘
Ron gulped nervously as he put the dishes in the cupboard. His eyes looked over at Yori who was wiping out the sink silently. “Yori… umm… what would you like to do for lunch while we’re out? Anywhere you want my treat.”
Yori dried off her hands and turned to lean against the counter as she thought. “Pizza?”
“I know a great spot just outside of the mall…” Ron said as he shut the cabinet doors, and turned away to hang up the towel, just catching a glimpse of his parents ducking behind the doorway. ‘What the… they don’t think…’
Yori noticed Ron's sudden distraction and listened carefully, she could hear the sounds of two people trying to sneak away and wondered if the Stoppables didn’t like her for some reason. “I will go to your… the room and get changed Ron-san you will wait till I finish?” She had no objections to having a bit of fun at Ron's expense. He had told her his parents were … unusual.
Ron nodded before going after his parents with a frown. “Mom… dad… what’s going on? Do you dislike Yori?”
“No, we just thought that you’d enjoy some time alone to be with your…” Mr. Stoppable paused as though searching for the right word. “Female friend…”
Ron blinked a few times as he tried to wrap his brain around what his father was implying, “Er … Kim and I broke up … well she left me. Yori and I are …”
“More than just friends…” Ron’s dad said with a smirk as his mom went to check on Hana. “You don’t have to cover up with us Ronald… I saw how you looked at her. And I know she’s helped you out on missions before.”
Ron nodded as he looked to the stairs where Yori had just been before heading to his room. “She is… and maybe… well… We're going out today, don't know when we'll be back though.”
Ron’s dad nodded with a smile before pulling out his wallet, scooping out a wad of bills and packed them into Ron’s hand, along with a crinkling, inch-square packet with a circular bump in the center. “Stay out as late as you need to… we’ll understand.”
Ron swallowed a bit nervously as he took the money and other item, “eh heh heh er … Since you guys are feeling so generous I don’t s'pose I could get the house for the night when we get back…” If ever there was a time he wouldn’t mind his parents not being home this was it.
“Ronald… I’m surprised,” his father scolded as his son lowered his head shamefully. “I would have thought you’d remember that we’re taking Hana to the baby jamboree this week.”
In his own defense Ron muttered, “I have been a bit … occupied dad. Kim vanishing then turning up only to end up being put into the hospital by Shego then Shego turning into a cat… it’s been… rough ok?” He shook off the depression guilt and anger he had felt so much of recently. “That’s cool though you guys have fun … I know I will.”
“Just be careful son… and remember to let her set the pace,” the older Stoppable replied, “Also, remember to clean up any messes you two make. Oh, and we cleaned out the basement for you to sleep in Ronald… much better than the couch.”
Yori slipped back into the bedroom after witnessing the rather blatant display by Mr. Stoppable, it would seem he was trying to help his son she just wasn’t sure if she appreciated that kind of help. And now she was blushing again. “Hormones it’s just hormones.” She muttered to herself as she slipped into the skirt she had picked out for the day, not that she had many to begin with. “Well I guess we'll see how this goes tonight.”
Ron sat in the kitchen trying to force the blush on his cheeks to fade away. ‘Kim… I am really lost here… HELP!’
Once again he heard Kim’s voice in his mind, he hoped the fish wasn’t bad. ‘You need to meet new people Ron‘ Well Yori wasn’t exactly a new friend but their relationship was new.
‘But Kim… I don’t know what I’m going to… to…’ Ron’s thoughts trailed off as Yori flowed into the room, the skirt and blouse combo she had chosen caused his heart to race and his jaw to hang open slightly. ‘Oi vey…’
Yori smiled pleasantly noting the reaction her outfit got from Ron, “Aren’t you going to go change so we may have our day out Ron-kun?”
“Change? Yeah… change good…” Ron said as he started walking out of the room only to run into a wall. Blushing and hurrying back out, he rushed up to his room. ‘Oh man… I’m never going to make it through today…’
Laughing as she watched Ron stagger upstairs Yori went to the living room to wait. Ron's parents walked out carrying Hana, leaving them to themselves for the day. It was looking like a good start in her opinion.