It's time to get together with a few of the other people we have been writing about for so long. Since our heroes are teenagers, it's easy to overlook the adults that they spend time with when no one is looking. For the comfort of Kim and Ron, I think maybe we will let them get on with their Graduation celebrations, and just pull a few people aside for a chat.

This is the continuation of the story I started at Bueno Nacho.

Standard disclaimer: Disney owns what it owns, the rest I get the blame for.


After Graduation

Parents and newly graduated students milled around, taking pictures and showing off various awards. Year books were signed, hugs traded and tears wiped away. All things considered, it was a typical high school graduation ceremony. Provided one was willing to overlook the devastated buildings and toppled alien technology that was lying around. The school itself was a mess, and this would be the last graduating class to walk the old halls.

In amongst all of these parents and other family members, an odd man was wandering about, congratulating one student or another. He stepped carefully around the various obstacles on the football field that was the setting for this auspicious event. His battered cane supported him when the ground was uneven. There was an unmistakable glint in the eyes behind the wire-rimmed glasses. There was a look as if each of the people he met were special to him.

Mr. and Mrs. Possible were hugging their oldest child when Thomas Linquist made his way over to where the clan had gathered. When Kim turned to talk with her grandmother, he took the opportunity to speak with these extraordinary people.

"Good evening, Mr. and Mrs. Possible. I'd like to congratulate you on this occasion. You have raised quite the young lady."

James and Anne looked at each other. Anne mouthed silently to her husband, "Do you know him?" He shook his head back to her and they both turned to look at the individual who was addressing them. At first glance, he certainly seemed harmless. It wasn't unusual for people who knew Kim to speak to them as if they knew them personally. Kimmie had helped a lot of people, and this gentleman might be one of them.

"Thank you, mister...", James said, sticking his hand out.

"Linquist, but you can just call me Thomas." The man shoved a clipboard under his left arm, the one which rested on the cane. He took the offered hand in a brief, firm grip.

"How do you know our daughter, Thomas?", Anne asked. "Has she helped you in some way? She does meet a lot of people, you know. We've given up trying to keep track of them all." She offered her own delicate hand.

"Oh, I've followed her exploits. Quite remarkable. Of course, I wouldn't expect any less from a child the two of you have raised." Thomas shook her hand gently, and gave a slight nod, as a sign of respect. He let her hand go, and stepped back a pace, to be able to see them both.

"Has Kimmie told you much about us? Most teen age girls don't even like to admit that they have parents." James thought back to the day during junior year that he and his wife had been chaperons on the class ski trip. His Kimmie-cub had been mortified that her friends might actually see them!

Thomas grinned at them. He was familiar with that, and many of the other little "embarrassments" they had inflicted on their daughter over the course of her adolescence.

"No, but I am well aware of the influence you have had on her."

He turned to Mr. Possible. "You are the most important man she will ever have in her life, Mr. Possible. While she may not admit it, sometimes she wants nothing more than to be your little girl. Her creativity and enthusiasm come from you, sir. It was you who told her that 'anything is possible for a possible.' You are always the one to cheer her when she is down." The eyes behind the lenses took on a slightly envious look. "I would hope that if I had a daughter of my own, that she would have the respect for me that Kim has for you."

"On the other hand, you are going to have to let go just a little bit." Thomas looked over to where Ron Stoppable was horsing around with some of the boys from the football team. James looked over in the same direction.

"Well, she will be in good hands. Still, she is always going to be my Kimmie-cub. Just don't tell her I called her that with someone besides family."

Thomas looked to the lovely woman before him.

"I see so much of you in your daughter, Mrs. Possible. More than just your red hair. I know that you have a lot of drive and self discipline. You couldn't be a leading neurosurgeon otherwise. That has been passed down to your daughter in spades. Somehow you have managed to build a successful career and still be available to guide Kim whenever she feels herself at a loss. If she has a problem that sheer will power won't solve, she calls you."

He chuckled softly to himself. "I would hate to have your cell phone bills though." How many times had Anne counselled her daughter while in the middle of a proceedure. Awkward in the extreme, but still good parenting. You just didn't want to be the patient on the table in the middle of a teen crisis.

"Again, my congratulations on this big day."

Thomas wandered off, leaving two very confused Possibles in his wake. They looked at each other and then at his retreating back. "What an odd man!", Anne thought to herself.

Thomas was making his way across the grass. He nodded to Bonnie Rockwaller in passing. She was still trying to come to terms with the blow of having to go to summer school. A rather prissy looking young man was trying to console her, but she just could not calm down. When she saw him, she gave a weak little smile and a half-hearted wave. Bonnie was something of a favorite of this strange individual. They had met months ago at the local fast food hangout.

Thomas' true target was the gruff man who had passed out the diplomas, Principal Steve Barkin. As usual, he was standing almost at attention, barking orders and directions at the various students. Once in a while, he would speak with one of the graduates, and his demeanor would actually soften, a little. A small group of girls waylaid him and he signed their yearbooks, telling them all the while that they needed to study hard or he would personally hunt them down and tutor them within an inch of their lives. They retreated to a far corner of the field.

"Excuse me, Mr. Barkin?"

"Yes, young man? What can I do for you?" Barkin looked down at the man in front of him. Not much of a physical specimen, to look at. "Are you a parent or relative of one of these kids?"

"No sir. I'm just here to see an aquaintance graduate. Kim Possible."

"Oh, Possible!" Barkin rolled his eyes and shook his head. "No offense intended, son, but that young lady has been such a handful. She is always running off on these missions of hers, dragging the Stoppable boy after her."

"It is all for a good cause, after all. I know that you yourself were a military man. Duty sometimes means dropping everything."

Steve Barkin looked askance at the stranger who seemed awfully familiar with his past. "That may be true, but in my time in Vietnam, I saw a lot of young kids just like her. Perfectionist, believing in their invulnerability, I lost too many of my men who thought they could do anything. Stoppable is another story. He is clumsy sometimes, and not always the sharpest tack in the box. He really means well, but one of these days, he is going to step into something pretty nasty."

"I think you've done a good job of preparing them for that, sir. I know that you have always demanded that they keep their commitments. You have tried to give them the tools to survive in what they do." Thomas stared up into the stern face of the educator. "Sometimes you come of as a bit of a martinet, but we all know that you just want what is best for all of the young people in your charge. That means driving them a little, to push them into giving their best. They will come to thank you in the end, Mr. Barkin. Even Bonnie Rockwaller."

"I hope so, Mr..."

"Linquist, sir." Thomas again offered a hand. "Thank you for looking after Kim and Ron. They are very special to a lot of us out there." When Barkin released his hand, he stepped back and raised his hand to his brow, in a formal salute. Short way up, long, slow way back to his side.

Barkin returned the salute, and returned to keeping the aftermath of the ceremony organized.