Rufus Rides Again

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Rufus Rides Again
Date of Scene: 22 November 2012
Location: Path of Destiny, Phantasia
Synopsis: Ron and Jasmine (and their respective adorable animal companions, Rufus and Junior) meet and hit it off.
Cast of Characters: Jasmine, Ron Stoppable

Ron Stoppable has posed:

Endless fields of corn and wheat. Endless fields of calm optimism. Endless fields of...


Ron Stoppable's in the middle of complaining and crawling his way through these fields and probably drenching them in his annoyed mood as he continues dragging himself forth and towards the road where everything should start to make sense.

Rufus, of course, is on the ground next to him. Crawling at the same pace. He looks just as tired and annoyed and hungry as Ron does.

Ron's watch beeps in the middle of one of his more arm extended reaches and he immediately stops. "Water Break!" He exclaims with joy, popping up onto his feet and yanking out a small canteen. As Ron chugs at the water, Rufus scrambles up his pants leg, arm and then onto his shoulder, opening wide for his own moment of thirst quenching goodness! "Mmhm! You good, buddy?" Ron asks his trusty companion, only to get a wide eyed nod and squeak from Rufus. "Excellente! Shall we get back to it?"

WHUMP! And they are back down on the ground, crawling and dragging themselves towards the road again. Looking just as tired and worn out as before.

... the Road's not even two feet away.

Jasmine has posed:

Jasmine is climbing the mountain of Destiny.


She'd hoped it would be easier the second time around, but destiny's a funny thing. The paths and crevasses and cliffs are all a little bit different; she cannot find the table rock upon which she once had a picnic with a new friend, to save her life. And though /this/ time around she had the wherewithal (and resources) to bring climbing equipment, everything is just that much steeper. The mountain, she suspects, demands all you have to give, whatever that may be from day to day.

Next time, she's showing up in dancing slippers.

Dawn does marvelous things to her appearance, painting the golds and browns of her robes and skin a soft rose or sometimes even a startling violet. Her eyes, though, cannot help but linger on the horizon...

...because creeping fingers of darkness are beginning to show, as though the sun that's about to peek out from the earth is a black hole, rather than a shining star. Even here, amid such beauty, Darkness always chases the princess, wherever she goes. There may be no Heartless, be they individuals, squads, or Jafar's entire army, visible /now/... but there always will be soon.

Hanging from her rope a little too long as she studies the view with a thoughtful, faintly troubled expression, the grapple comes loose and she free-falls down the cliff towards the endless fields!

Fortunately for her, she was not too far up, and there's a soft landing below.

Unfortunately for Ron...


"Oh! I'm really... very sorry... are you all right?"

Ron Stoppable has posed:

Rufus, of course, is the first to know that something is going on. Animal Instincts and all that, right? He turns and looks up, spotting the falling Jasmine and immediately starts freaking out. Pointing and squeaking and tugging at Ron's shirt.

"Not now, Rufus! I'm trying to make it to the road!" Ron does not pay the Naked Mole Rat any attention and Rufus gives a shake of his head and scurries out of the way of the falling shadow. "Rufus? Rufus, you get back here! We're in this togeth-"

WHAM! Indeed.

Ron Stoppable is stopped in his crawling tracks without a second to spare as the Jasmine comes down upon him with gravitational rage. Ron's arm is still outstretched and he seems to be a state of pained frozenosity. Almost as if he had just seen Medusa and has been turned into a painful non-stone creature.

"... ow." comes out in a small whisper, before Ron attempts to turn and take a gander at the owner of the voice that has just smashed him into the ground and... Heart Eyes. Pain? Gone. Or at least uncared about at this point.

"... Oh yeah. I'm fine. Perfect even." His tone has gone all into sing-song mode because of the blissful sight for sore eyes that he's seeing at this moment in the Jasmine. "Please, fall on me as many times as you like. I could do this all day."

Rufus facepalms.

Jasmine has posed:

Other than a tangle of brown robes, entirely too much silky black hair, and a sling on her chest that seems to /wriggle/ in protest, Ron's first impression of Jasmine was her voice. It is soft, with a lilting, silvery quality to it, and right at the moment, deeply remorseful. That was no cursory apology. And her smokey laughter at his humor could probably be bottled and sold as an intoxicant on certain worlds. It's certainly infectious.

Much relieved by his good attitude, she gets to her feet, then offers Ron a delicate (but somewhat more callused than it used to be) hand up. In the same moment, the sling's occupant -- a tiny Dalmation puppy -- jumps out, to greet Ron and especially Rufus with a wildly wagging tail.

HI HI HI HI HI HI HI HI! it, he, says to the Naked Mole Rat in puppyspeak. WHAT ARE YOU? CAN WE BE FRIENDS? YOU ARE MY NEW FRIEND!

Jasmine's version of that speech is nearly as friendly, but slightly more restrained. "Thank you for the offer, but for the sake of your well-being, I'll try to avoid it. I'm Jasmine, and this," the puppy, "is Junior." If he took her hand, she turns it into a handshake, gentle and unchallenging, yet firm enough to bespeak a certain self-possession. "May I ask your name? And that of your friend?"

She bows her head respectfully towards the small pink one, who has not gone unnoticed.

Ron Stoppable has posed:

Ron Stoppable hasn't been around his Best Friend for a long time. Even the silhouette of a female is going to have him in Gaga Land right now. It's just what works for the Stoppable-san. And that's probably why it's taking him a few tries to actually figure out how to speak again. Or to actually let go of the hand that was used to help him up. Ron doesn't want to let go but he does know that he's going to be a creeper if he doesn't so he does. Slowly. But he's not quite going to be too worried about dusting off his clothes.

"No, really, it's fine. It happens to be all the time. Mostly by me. It's this whole big me thing. Not that I'm all about me. Far from it! I'm pretty the opposite of being all about me. See?" And there goes the Stoppable Ramble.

Meanwhile. the excitement of Junior has Rufus kind of smiling and laughing at the same time. He hops up a little bit himself and is waving back at the excited puppy, before he takes to running towards him and leaps to see if he can't land on the puppy's back. Yee-haw!

"I mean, really, my well-being was un-beinged a long time ago. So it's fine. Really." Ron. She changed the subject already. Keep up. "Oh! I'm Ron. Ron Stoppable. The Most Bon Diggity Traveler to Ever Travel on this here Traveling... Road... Field... thing? Aheh." He gives a quick wave towards his own companion. "And that's Rufus! Only the best Naked Mole Rat in the whole wide world!"

More waving from the Rufus!

Jasmine has posed:

Junior lifts his chin proudly and becomes the BEST ride a Naked Mole Cowboy-Rat could ever have, steadying his gait and marching around with his tail still waving like a banner. Rufus may or may not have escaped an enthusiastic lick on his way up.

Jasmine, meanwhile, is not discomfited by Ron's demeanor; she bears his 'scrutiny' patiently, and reclaims her hand without any fuss, when it's finally released. Her smile -- shining, shimmering, splendid -- widens at the lengthy introduction. "It's lovely to meet you both," she murmurs, clasping her hands loosely at thigh-level. They almost disappear into the sleeves of her burlap robe.

A bit of concern leaks into her eyes, however, when Ron mentions being, well, un-beinged. Un-well-beinged, technically. She tilts her head to one side fractionally, a very feline gesture, and her brows lift with curiosity. "Is something troubling you, Ron Stoppable?" There's a bit of formality to her phrasing, always, that extra hair of elegance that says 'was not raised in a ditch'. "I am sorry to hear you haven't been well."

Ron Stoppable has posed:

"Huh? Oh! No nono nono no no. I meant, I'm fine. See?" Ron even does a little hop into the air and a spin around and then proceeds to dance a little bit. It's really horrible dancing that looks like he stole it from an Oh Boyz music video... wait, not that Jasmine knows what the Oh Boyz are, but it's still ever so horribly choreographed that he realizes he's doing it and freezes in mid dance move. "... I just meant I'm a tough cookie. I fall. A lot. And get hit. A lot. And crash into things. A whole lot. But here I am! Good as new!" Ron tries to plaster a big smile on his face, because that's just what he does after he talks too much.

Rufus, wet with puppy lick, is having quite a bit of fun with the riding around on Junior. Rufus may have grabbed an ear of corn and fashioned a crude cowrodent hat out of the leaf surrounding it. But either way it goes, he's not going to be climbing down off Junior any time soon. Faster! Faster!

"Buuuuuut. Now that you mention it. There /is/ a little something that's kinda' been working my little noggin to the bone." Ron sighs, taking a deep breath as if he just knows this is going to not end well, but he's going to go for it anyway.

"Do you have any idea, at all, where the Bueno Nacho is? Because I can't find it! And this weird guy in a hood stabbed some wolves and told me there was one around here somewhere! And yet? I SEE NO BUENO NACHO!"

Jasmine has posed:

Jasmine's smile hasn't faded too far, and Ron's reassuring antics bring it back, full force. She nods along with his explanation, her gaze occasionally flicking off to the side to keep half an eye on Rufus and Junior. When they start to go a little too far, she whistles softly, and the best hoss in the wild wild west comes a'bounding back. "Okay," she replies to Ron, "Just making certain."

But then she catches sight of that darkness growing on the horizon again, and rather self-consciously smoothes her beige veil back over her hair, patting it into becowled place. Her stance tenses, very slightly, and in so doing it becomes clear that she was never entirely relaxed. "I should really keep moving," she explains, a bit of urgency creeping into her voice. "I do not know this 'Bueno Nacho', but I promise to keep an eye out for it, on my journey. What does it look like?"

Bending down, she starts to gather up her fallen gear. There's a heavy-looking haversack that she shoulders with only a minimum of trouble, and in little time at all the rope-and-grapple are coiled and ready for use again.

Ron Stoppable has posed:

"It only looks like the GREATEST PLACE EVER! I mean, think about this. Heaven, right? Add Tacos. Add Cheese. Add affordable prices and bon-diggity seating arrangements. And booyah! Bueno Nacho. Delicious Bliss." There's a sigh that comes along with that explanation, but only because he's ever so focused on thinking about this whole finding the Bueno Nacho thing and making sure that it exists. If not, he and that Riku person are going to have some words.

It takes him a moment to realize that Jasmine is about to leave. "Oh. Right. You gotta' keep on moving. Yeah, me too. I got much heroing to do. Y'know, fighting the fight to save the day and not the night. Because the day is right and the light is not... the night... or the dark. Right." Ron's horrible attempts at singing himself a theme song are going to have to be stopped by his own declaration of, "RUFUS!"

And the Naked Mole Rat flips off Junior to land in front of him and give him a hearty salute! Before scrambling back off in the direction of Ron!

Jasmine has posed:

For a moment, Jasmine seems bewildered by Bueno Nacho's description, but then she gets it. "Oh! An eating place." Her grin turns a little bit dry. "It must be marvelous, to inspire such devotion." There's nothing ironic about her expression, or her voice, though, when Ron proudly explains his mission in life. It warms further, becoming rather fierce, in an admiring way. Her eyes widen, and shine.

"I... I'm glad to hear it," she says simply, and without any of the DO HO HO RON'S SO ADORABLE patronization; she seems to really mean it. "I think the day and night need all the help they can get. And... if everyone does their best, things will work out in the end." She means that too, a wellspring of infinite optimism apparently hidden behind her relatively unassuming frame. Very Saturday Morning Special.

Shouldering her burden into place, she beckons the puppy, who bounces around Rufus three times in joyful farewell, then starts trotting beside her. "Stay away from the Darkness," she suggests, rather solemnly, chinning at the distance to make her meaning clear. There's a capital D to it, somehow. "If you go far enough off to one side, it should pass you by." How she knows that is a mystery, but she says it with iron certainty.

Ron Stoppable has posed:

"Right! You too! Stay away from uh... stuff! Bad things! That want to hurt you! Because that would totally suck! Y'know, if you got hurt!"

Ron scoops up Rufus and looks at him. "Welp. Looks like it's just you and me now, Buddy. Hrm." Rufus scrambles out of Ron's hand and back up onto his shoulder, while Ron's face is in complete and utter think mode. After all, he's clearly trying to remember what direction he was headed in before he was crashed into by falling beauties.

Rufus is not really any help because he wasn't paying too much attention. He was merely coming down from his high of playing with the super excited puppy of awesome. Ummm. Rufus points off in a random direction. That way?

"Looks good to me, buddy! Let's go! Onward! Give me Bueno Nacho! Or give me death!" Rufus raises a little fist to the air as the two heroes(?) start their trek again.

Right towards the Darkness.

Jasmine has posed:

"Please... Be safe, Ron," Jasmine calls after him, and somehow it's more than a casual farewell -- it's a prayer, a benediction, even, courtesy of one of the seven pillars of the universe's subconscious. Ron probably doesn't sense it, but Rufus might... a momentary passage of some impossibly phenomenal cosmic power between girl and boy-plus-naked-mole-rat, enfolding them gently, comfortingly. Protectively.

The princess doesn't actually realize what she's done, either, but she smiles to herself all the same as she starts making her way back up Phantasia Mountain. 'Ron Stoppable' and 'Rufus'. The universe seems determined to throw her in the path of so many nice people! She can only enjoy it, and hope that she isn't getting them into too much trouble with her very presence.

Some time later, as she spots Ron descending into the Darkness, he, in turn, may see a blinding flash of pure white Light from up on the mountainside... her best effort to keep the Heartless focused on her, instead of him. Maybe it will be enough.