Chapter 1: Friendly Visit
Ramona appears in Kim's doorway, and it only takes a glance for Kim to know this isn't quite going to be a "friendly" visit.
"You shouldn't be here," she says.
"I'm kind of a bad person," Ramona says, and drops her bag on the ground. "What's your excuse?"
"I hate Scott Pilgrim," Kim says as Ramona climbs into the bed with her.
"Sure." Ramona curls up against Kim's side and nestles her face into the crook of Kim's neck and breaths in deeply, but doesn't move after that, so maybe Kim was wrong about why she came over.
"Do you want to do something?" Kim asks after a few moments.
"Nnggh," Ramona grunts.
"What was that?"
Kim rolls her eyes, then perks up. "What's that, girl? Timmy's in the well?" Ramona pinches her. "Ouch."
"You're so weird," she says.
"Like you can talk." Kim tilts her head and looks down at blue hair. "Seriously, do you want to talk about it?"
"Oh god." Ramona finally pulls back, just enough so Kim can see her face. "Not even."
"All right." She grabs the remote control from the dresser and turns on the TV.
Ramona blinks. "When'd you get a TV?"
"It's Hollie's. I took it from her room."
"She let you take it?"
"She tried to say something, but I told her I needed something to drown out the sound of her humping my boyfriend, and she shut her stupid face."
"Hm." Ramona's looking at the TV, but she does look tired, so Kim turns the volume as low as it can go without being mute. Soon enough Ramona's asleep, and Kim's trying to develop superhuman hearing and/or psychic powers to figure out what the people on the infomercial are getting so excited about.
The door creaks open, and Joseph pokes his head in. Kim blinks at him, because she's honestly not sure if she's ever seen him anywhere but his room, the kitchen, or the bathroom. He looks at them, then looks at the TV.
"What?" Kim asks. It almost comes out sharp until she remembers Ramona, but she's pretty good at displaying venom in a whisper too.
Joseph is, of course, completely immune. "I can't help but notice we're not recording in here."
"No, shockingly, as this is my room and not yours, we're not recording," she says, and purposely does not think of the many nights she and Ramona had spent curled up on Joseph's bed like this, with Scott and his bass sitting four feet away.
"You two look cozy." Joseph would be smirking if his face was capable of any expression besides Annoyed at the World.
"Bite me." Kim glares at him. "Oh hey, how's Stephen Stills these days?"
The sound of the door slamming wakes Ramona up, and Kim mentally curses her stupid roommates. God, it's like Ramona and her exes. She couldn't find good ones to save her life.
"Wazzat?" Ramona mumbles.
"Just my stupid roommate."
"No, the other one."
"Ah." Ramona snuggles even closer if it were possible, but instead of falling back asleep she begins plucking at the buttons of Kim's shirt. "That was a nice nap."
"Whatever, you were asleep for like, twenty minutes."
"Then I am twenty minutes more rested than I was...twenty minutes ago." She pushes the shirt off Kim's shoulders, and pushes her down on the bed at the same time.
"Do you need towels?" Kim asks. "There's a crazy man on TV selling them super cheap. Special towels and stuff. I think it's towels."
"God." Ramona pauses in fiddling with Kim's bra to stare at her. "You do this kind of stuff on purpose, I swear you do."
"I'm pretty terrible," she says with a smile, and untucks Ramona's shirt so all will be forgiven. She needs for this to be light and easy and silly, even. It's about all she can do. It's about all Ramona can handle.
"Can I stay over here tonight?" Ramona asks.
Kim hesitates. "Sure," she says, and before Ramona can ask about the pause, "I don't think Hollie's bringing Jason over, so we should be good." Ramona accepts the explanation. In truth Kim had almost said something like, 'As long as you don't kick Scott out and make him crash on my couch again,' but a) that's a really stupid joke and b) sometimes mentioning Scott kills the mood, and she suspects this is one of those times.
"Is Hollie home?" Ramona asks.
"Uh, maybe? I don't really know. I think so. Why?"
"Want to give her a taste of her own medicine?" Ramona's got an evil grin, and between that and the way she's running her hands over Kim's chest, Kim's starting to get more than a little...excited.
Oh, hell yes.
Chapter 2: Cuddle Time
Ramona wants to cuddle.
Kim was sitting cross-legged on the floor, idly tapping her drumsticks on the hardwood -- except the stupid things kept falling out of her hands for some damn reason.
"Okay, so now we know, Kim's not allowed rum when she's got to play for real," Stephen Stills said, glancing over his shoulder from his position on the couch. "It totally makes you suck."
"Bite me," Kim said. "I haven't even had that much."
"You've had enough, obviously."
"God, he's right, even your insults suck when you're drunk," Julie called from the couch.
Kim opened her mouth -- she suspected 'Bite me' was going to come out of it again, because even though she totally wasn't drunk, her head felt a little fuzzy -- but Ramona suddenly walked over and dropped to the ground behind her. "Guys, you should be nice to Kim," she slurred. "She's like my BFF for life."
"Your what?" Kim asked. "That's so high school."
"Oh, I forgot, you guys are totally going to get gay married." Julie's head popped up briefly, then dropped back down on Stephen Stills' lap.
"Dude, we so are!" Ramona wrapped her arms around Kim and pulled her to her chest.
Kim glanced back at her. "We are?"
"Yes! It's gonna be awesome."
"Okay, sure, if you say so. Can I get up now? This isn't really comfortable." She was leaning back almost horizontally over Ramona's crossed legs, and Ramona's kneecaps were digging into her back.
"What? No, you can't leave me!" Ramona looked around, then let go and scooted back so she was against the wall. She spread her legs and reached towards Kim. "Here, let's do this instead." Kim rolled her eyes, but indulgently shifted backwards so that her back was against Ramona's chest. Ramona wrapped her arms around Kim's shoulders and hummed happily.
Young Neil walked through the living room and into the kitchen. "Dude, your girlfriend's totally cuddling Kim right now," he said.
"What? Are they making out?" Scott poked his head through the doorway, and blinked blearily at the girls. "Make out!" he called. Kim threw her drumsticks at his head, and he ducked back into the kitchen.
"Dammit Scott, stay out of my liquor cabinet!" Julie yelled.
"Man, this paneling is digging into my back," Ramona muttered.
"Really? I'm all comfy now." Kim snuggled a little closer, to drive the point home, and Ramona wrinkled her nose. Kim chuckled, and said, "Do you want to get up?"
"I have a better idea. Scott!"
Scott stepped out of the kitchen. "What's up?"
"Come here, come sit with us," Ramona said, and Kim resisted the urge to laugh. A few moments later they had shifted again, so that Scott was leaning against the wall, Ramona was leaning against Scott, and Kim was leaning against Ramona.
"Man, I got stuff digging into my back," Scott whined.
"Aw, come on, I thought you were totally tough." Ramona smirked at him. "You're seriously complaining about that?"
"I am so tough!" Scott cried, and leaned back harder against the wall. "I'm super tough."
"Dude, don't hurt yourself."
Scott reached around so that his arms were wrapped around both Ramona and Kim. "Yay, I have girls."
"Scott, don't make me bite you," Kim said.
Scott pulled his hands back some. "Would she do that?"
"She probably would," Ramona replied. "I'd watch out if I were you." She gave Kim a squeeze, and Kim smiled.
Some time and quite a lot of alcohol later, Stephen Stills finally stood up. "Hey guys, we're heading out," he said.
"Is the party over?" Scott mumbled.
"It wasn't a party, Scott, we were just hanging out. But you guys drank all my alcohol and now I want you to leave." Julie gave Stephen a good-bye kiss that turned into a good-bye makeout session while Young Neil shuffled awkwardly next to them.
"I don't even think I can move," Scott muttered.
"Dude, I know, my legs fell asleep like an hour ago," Ramona said.
"What?" Kim said. "You could've said something."
"But I wanted to cuddle..."
"We can cuddle at home," Scott said in a loud whisper.
"That is such a good idea," Ramona said. "But first we have to stand up."
"Oh man, I forgot about that."
"Come on guys, it's time to go home," Kim said. "Time for home." She stood up, and helped Scott and Ramona to their feet.
"If you die on the way home, it's not my damn fault!" Julie yelled after them at they stumbled down the sidewalk.
"She's such a bitch," Ramona muttered. "We're not that drunk."
"Yes we are," Kim said.
"We might be," Scott admitted.
"Oh. Oh well." Ramona grabbed Kim's hand and swung it cheerfully.
"So like...where are we going again?" Scott asked.
"Let's go to my place. It's more -- there's less gay dudes there, you know?"
Kim stopped walking. Scott ran into the back of her and put a hand on her shoulder, although she didn't know if it was to steady her or himself. Ramona took another couple of steps before being tugged to a stop by her and Kim's joined hands, and looked around in confusion. "What, what's going on?" she asked.
"You guys are going home to cuddle, and my house it kinda in the opposite direction," Kim said.
"Screw your house," Ramona said. "Your house sucks."
"There is that," Kim admitted.
"You should come with us," Scott said. The warm weight of his hand slid down to rest on Kim's back. "Our house is way better."
"It's my house, Scott."
"But you guys are going to cuddle," Kim said.
"So? We've been cuddling all night," Ramona replied. "It's been fun, right?"
"It's been totally fun," Scott said.
"Right, so you're coming with us." Ramona grabbed Kim's hand with both of her own. "No way you're going home alone now."
"I think you guys are drunk," Kim said.
"You think too much..." Scott mumbled.
"Agreed." Ramona started walking again, pulling Kim with her. "You're not allowed to think anymore tonight. And you're coming home with us."
Kim rolled her eyes. "I'm being kidnapped, am I?"
"We're totally kidnapping you," Scott said. His hand was still on the small of Kim's back, and Ramona's fingers were tangled with her own. "You're kidnapped, and it's going to be awesome."
She smiled. "I guess I can live with that."
Chapter 3: Practice
Lisa needs someone to practice with before her big audition. The things Kim does for friendship.
Lisa put her hands on Kim's knees and leaned over her, her chest about four inches from Kim's face. "Kim!"
"Lisa." Kim's eyes drifted downwards. "Lisa's cleavage."
"Kim, I need a huge favor."
Lisa chewed on her bottom lip. "It's pretty huge, I'm not gonna lie. And you're pretty much the only one I can ask, so just hear me out, okay?"
Kim quirked an eyebrow, but said, "Okay."
"Would you, maybe, kinda...make out with me?"
Kim blinked a couple times, then looked at her wrist. "Oh, would you look at the time. I have to go do something not completely random and retarded."
"Come on!" Lisa crouched down and rested her chin between her hands, which were still on Kim's knees. "This is really important. And it's not even weird or anything anymore, everyone does it."
"I think the stereotype is most people wait until college," Kim said.
"College is too far away," Lisa muttered.
"Look, if you really can't control your bi-curious urges for another year, we could try sneaking into this bar I've heard of--"
"What? No, no! I have this audition, and they asked if I was okay with same-sex kisses, and I said I was, but..."
"Oh, oh geez Lisa, why didn't you say that up front?" Kim rubbed her face and looked down at her friend. "That is significantly less retarded."
"I probably should have started with that, eh?"
"God." Lisa buried her face in her hands. "I'm not even thinking straight --"
"-- I'm just so nervous! If I get this part, it could be a really big deal."
"Okay, that makes sense," Kim said. "I guess you have to do that kind of stuff when you're an actor."
Lisa looked back up at her. "So you'll do it?"
Kim grimaced. "I didn't say that."
"Come on!" Lisa squeezed Kim's knees. "Kim, this is such a huge deal I can't even describe it. And you're the only one I can trust with this. Can you imagine if I asked Tara, or Lauren?"
Kim thought for a minute. "Uh, no. No I cannot."
"See? You have to help me. Please?" Lisa clasped her hands together and looked beseechingly up at Kim.
Kim sighed and rolled her eyes skyward. "If I say yes, will you get off the floor and let go of me?"
"Yes!" Lisa bounced up and threw her arms around Kim's neck for a quick hug. "Oh, thank you so much! Come by my house after band practice, okay?" And then she was off.
"Wait, today?" Kim asked, suddenly panicked, but Lisa was already gone.
Kim stood outside Lisa's house. "This is weird..." she mumbled to herself. Why had she thought she liked Lisa enough for this? After stalling for a few more minutes, she sighed and knocked on the door.
"Hello, Kim!" Lisa's mother said when she answered the door.
"Hey, Mrs. Miller," Kim said, and had to suppress the weirdest urge to blurt out, 'I'm about to make out with your daughter!'
"Lisa's in her room, you can go on up," Mrs. Miller said.
"Right, thanks." Kim tried not to wince -- that would've been kind of hard to explain -- and headed up the stairs. Lisa's door was closed, and she carefully pushed it open.
Lisa was sitting on her bean bag chair, nervously jiggling her leg, but she hopped up when she saw Kim. "Kim, hey! I was beginning to wonder when you'd show up."
"It's not --" Okay, maybe she had spent too much time loitering in front of the house. She closed the door behind her. "Yeah, well, I'm here now."
"Awesome!" Lisa walked over to the bed and sat down, then patted the space next to her.
Kim raised an eyebrow. "The bed? Really? Could you have thought of a less appropriate place to practice making out?"
Lisa rolled her eyes. "There's not exactly all that many flat surfaces in here. We could go to the school and hide under the bleachers if you want."
"Haha." Kim dropped her bag on the floor and sat on the bed, leaning against the headboard. Lisa stretched out next to her. "So..."
"So..." Lisa echoed. They stared at each other. "Sorry, I just realized I have no idea what I'm doing," Lisa said.
"It's just kissing," Kim said. Then, with an unexpected burst of courage, she said, "Watch," and kissed Lisa. And it was not, she realized, totally awful.
After a few moments, Lisa suddenly pulled back. "Geez, Kim," she said.
Kim tried to focus on the change in position, which was a little hard with her head buzzing. "What?"
"You're kinda..." Lisa bit her bottom lip, then said, "You're really getting into it, eh?"
"You..." Kim blinked, then pushed herself up. "You -- you said you wanted to make out! You didn't say 'kiss' or anything, you said 'make out.' I'm just doing what you said!"
"No, that's cool!" Lisa said quickly. "It-it's good! I guess I just wanted to make sure we're on the same page. I mean, I did say that."
"This was a stupid idea," Kim muttered.
"No, come on! I mean, this is exactly why I need to practice, right?" She chuckled self-consciously and said, "Hell, maybe you should be the actress."
"I'm leaving," Kim said, and made to stand.
"No!" Lisa grabbed onto the closest part of Kim, which happened to be her skirt. "I'm sorry, okay? I'll shut up. Just, don't even listen to me."
Kim sighed, but sat back down and leaned against the pillows. Lisa was looking downwards and running her hands nervously across the bedspread. She glanced up at Kim, who just quirked an eyebrow. She might be willing to do this for Lisa, but there was no way she was making the first move after that.
Lisa shuffled closer and carefully brought her lips to Kim's. She really wasn't half-bad at this, no matter what she said about practicing. For the next few minutes, Kim wasn't aware of much but the feeling of Lisa beside her, and Lisa's lips on her own.
Lisa eventually pulled back again, looking a little flushed. "H-how was that?" she asked.
"That was fine," Kim said distantly. "It was good. I don't know what you're worried about."
"Oh. Well." Lisa nestled a little closer. "It is a really important part."
"You may have mentioned that."
"Yeah. I'd just feel better with a little practice, you know?"
"Well, that's what I'm here for," Kim pointed out.
"Mm-hm," Lisa said, and kissed her again.
Kim was sitting on her bed when a vaguely yellowish blur suddenly tackled her, knocking her off the side. "AUGH WHAT THE HELL?!"
"I got the part!" the blur screeched in Lisa's voice.
"Oh my god!" Kim yelled, trying desperately to twist her left leg into a more natural position.
"I know, I'm so excited!"
"Yeah, congratulations or whatever, but god Lisa, can't you call like a normal person?" Kim finally righted her leg and pushed Lisa off her. "Or find some way to let me know that doesn't involve maiming me?"
"Oh, whatever, you grump." Lisa bounced excitedly. "I'm excited, and nothing's going to change that!"
"Yeah, no, you're right, it's really cool." Kim gave up on massaging the soreness out of her knee and turned to give Lisa a genuine smile. "Seriously, congrats. You totally deserve it."
Lisa beamed. "Thanks! Of course, I couldn't have done it without you." There wasn't exactly a lot of room between the wall and the bed, but she squeezed a little closer to Kim anyway.
"No kidding," Kim teased. "So, is your character really going to have to make out with other girls?"
"Nah, they said they're not really going that direction with the character after all."
Kim looked at Lisa, and Lisa looked back. "What?" Kim asked, but Lisa just gave her a bland smile. Kim opened her mouth, closed it, and thought for a while. Then she said, "You were totally holding out on me, weren't you?"
"Not even!" Lisa cried, but she was grinning much too widely for Kim to trust her completely. "Seriously, sometimes they just do stuff like that. It's the name of the game, Kim!"
"Yeah, okay, whatever," Kim said, rolling her eyes skyward.
"Oh, come on! It was good practice, and it wasn't even that bad, ya whiner. Right?" When Kim didn't answer, Lisa nudged her in the shoulder. "Right?"
"Fine, fine, you weren't a totally terrible kisser," Kim admitted, making an exaggerated 'Why me?' face.
"You weren't so bad yourself!" Lisa said, and laughed. "Man, I'm so excited. I'm super pumped. I have all this energy now. Do you want to go do something? We should do something."
"Like, celebrate?" Kim asked.
"Totally!" Lisa hopped to her feet and held out her hands. "My treat, even."
Kim grabbed her hands and let herself be pulled to her feet. "Well, how can I turn down an invitation like that?"
Chapter 4: Freckles
What does Scott remember about Kim?
This is based directly on a flashback panel from Scott and Kim's high school days from volume 2, and the dialogue is lifted directly from a conversation between Scott and Ramona in volume 3. It might not make much sense if you're not familiar with those volumes of the comics.
"Why don't you -- like, tell me about you and Kim, or something?" Ramona said, flopping across the bed.
"Kim?" Scott asked. "What about her?"
"You dated her."
"Is your memory of that time period hazy, too? C'mon, inform me."
"Okay...there was this girl in my...history class...I think...and it was Kim. We had to do a thing together. She had freckles?"
She had freckles, dusting her shoulders and the top of her chest and her thighs. And it was...he had seen them before, or some of them, but he had never...they had never...god...
"Are you..." Is this... "okay?" he asked.
She nodded. "Mmhm." Her leg shifted, and it rubbed, and god.
"Okay." He should say something, shouldn't he? Or ask what she...what she wanted. He opened his mouth, but didn't have the words.
Her touch drifted across his chest, around his waist. She looked calm, but her hands were shaking. "Shh," she said, and, "Listen to this song. This is a really good song."
He listened, to the melody and the rhythm, to the sound of her breathing, to the rustle of the blanket, and he felt her around him, and he saw freckles...
"Um...We started a band -- I had a band with my other friend, and we needed a drummer, and Kim was...uh...a drummer."
"Yeah, I moved. I moved here. It kind of ended. We changed..."
Chapter 5: Julie Gets Drunk
Julie doesn't understand why Stephen broke up with her. Kim doesn't understand why Julie's complaining to her about it.
"He left me!" Julie screeched.
"You say that like it didn't happen every other week for, I don't know, five years?" Kim pointed out as Julie downed (yet another) glass of vodka. "You'd think you'd be used to it."
"This is different and you know it!" Julie cried, slamming the glass on the bar. "I need another round."
"Here too, please?" Kim said, rubbing her face with her hands. The bartender set them up again, giving Kim a sympathetic smile as she did.
Julie grabbed her glass. "I can't believe he left me for that hairy little bitch."
"He does seem to have a type, doesn't he?" Kim muttered, taking a drink.
"It's a bunch of crap," Julie seethed. "We've been together since our first year of college. You think I don't know him by now?"
"Julie, I really, really don't care. I didn't care when you first sat down, and I don't care now. In fact, I don't even like you. I'm Stephen's friend, remember? Not yours."
"If he has something to say to me, he should say it like a man!" Julie continued, obliviously. "Instead of hiding behind that, that little..."
Kim sighed and leaned her head against the bar. "Bitch?"
Kim pushed her empty glass towards the bartender. "Keep 'em coming, please."
Thirty minutes later, Kim was very close to attempting seppuku with a barstool. All she wanted was to go out, listen to some music, get a little drunk, and go home without being accosted by crazy people. Was that too much to ask?
"And t-that one time, with the, the hammer...and he -- ooh, I knew what that meant!" Julie slurred, weaving in place.
"Really," Kim said sarcastically, but for some reason this time Julie actually heard her. She turned and blinked blearily at Kim.
"You," she said, and suddenly shoved her finger in Kim's face. "You're WITH HIM!"
"What?" Kim quickly moved back, since with Julie's current lack of hand-eye coordination she was likely to gouge something.
"You, and that, that..." She waved her hand vaguely in front of her face. "Beard guy."
"Yes! You two are, uh..."
"Yes!" She suddenly leaned back and gave Kim a wide-eyed stare. "Did you know about this?"
"Stephen and Joseph? Uh, yeah, yeah I did." She could tell Julie exactly how she had found out about Stephen and Joseph, but she suspected Julie was too drunk to fully appreciate that story. She'd save it for later, when Julie was sober enough to have it burn into her memory.
Julie opened her mouth, and Kim thought another accusation was going to come out of it, but then she said, "It's such crap! So what, he's like -- he's just gay now?"
"Whatever! That's so...that's not so hard. He just -- I, I can do that."
"You can what?" Kim said, and then Julie kissed her.
Kim's hand flailed uselessly against the bar. She had to get Julie off her -- like now -- but her hand-eye coordination wasn't so good either at this point. Luckily, Julie pulled back after a few seconds.
"Oh my god," Kim said, as Julie stared at her, looking vaguely confused. "Julie, that was terrible!"
Julie blinked, then the confusion slid off her face. "What the -- what's that supposed to mean?!"
"It means it was terrible! Did you kiss Stephen like that? God, it all makes sense now."
"Fuck you! I'm a great kisser!" Julie cried, and this time she grabbed Kim's face and pulled her in for another, much more involved kiss. Kim managed to get her hands on Julie's shoulders, but damn if Julie's grip wasn't powered by raw drunken self-righteousness. After an eternity, she finally pulled back and stared at Kim.
"That was worse!" Kim spat. "What the hell?!"
"Oh, fuck you!" Julie yelled, and stood up. She promptly collapsed, then pulled herself up by the bar stool and stumbled away. "Fuck you Kim Pine!" she yelled over her shoulder as she disappeared into the crowd. And Kim, for the first time that night, breathed a sigh of relief.
"Wow," the bartender said. "Nice show."
"We are never speaking of that again," Kim said, and made a face. "I need a shot. I don't care what, just make it really strong."
"Sure thing." She turned and started fixing the drink. "So, was she really terrible, or were you just trying to get rid of her?"
"No, she really, really was." Kim hid her face in her hands. "I understand why her boyfriend went gay. Seriously."
"Too bad. She was kinda cute."
"Yeah, well, she's single."
"No thanks. I'm not that crazy." She put the shot glass down in front of Kim. "Here, on the house."
"Bless you," Kim mumbled, and quickly downed it.