Just a quick add on to this tale, to wrap things up. With thanks to all who have read and reviewed so far. I caught it from a few people for the deaths of James and Anne Possible. I felt that needed some expansion. Sorry if I bum you out with this.

As usual, I claim no rights to Kim Possible and the other canon characters.

Over a Cup

It was much later in the morning that Ron and Kim Stoppable sat in the kitchen. Ron was just adding honey to his tea, while Kim was blowing over the rim of her cup of coffee. After watching their daughter say goodnight to her boyfriend, checking him for signs of injury all the while, they had curled up in bed and related their conversations.

"If only my mother could have been listening down there, Ron. She would have been laughing at me and saying something about how I was getting a taste of my own medicine." She looked at her husband as he stirred his tea. "I really missed her last night."

Ron put his spoon on the rest and carefully tasted his hot drink.

"I know just what you mean. I kept looking up at that portrait over the fireplace, at the picture of your dad." He looked back at her with a wistful expression. "He and Dad were the best examples of fatherhood a guy could ask for. I think maybe your dad was one of the few adults I respected without fearing. He accepted me for who I was, and believed that I would be good enough for you." There was a moment of silent reflection. "With the possible exception of that night all those years ago. I thought for sure I was booked on a one way flight to a black hole."

Both of them just sat with little smiles on their faces. The smiles slowly faded.

"Ron, I think I need to go see them."

"That sounds like a good idea. It's not too cold out today, so we should be okay if we go this afternoon."

December 22, 2024

The Christmas spirit was alive and well in Middleton. There were decorations on almost every home. Garland was strung from lamp post to lamp post. School had let out the day before, and Sarah Stoppable was wandering the mall with her best friend, Evan Moore, searching out the perfect gift for his little brother, Ryan. Listening to the holiday tunes on the public address speakers, she happened to look to her right.

There, in the window of a jewelery store was an inexpensive yet beautiful pendant, a heart with a tiny stone set in the center. She grabbed Evan by the hand and took him over.

"There is the perfect gift for Jean! I swear, you get that for her, and she'll be smothering you with kisses." She made kissy-face noises at him and grinned. It had been her goal to get Evan and her young aunt under the mistletoe by Christmas eve. She had been teasing him about her for the last couple of months. He had made the mistake of telling Sarah in confidence that he rather liked the brunette girl. She felt it her duty as his best friend to set him up with somebody that she could get along with. Who better than a member of her own family?

"Aw, knock it off, Sarah. I like her and all that, but Jean is just, you know, a friend." He was simply echoing a line that they always traded. He had set her up on dates with guys from classes, and once with one of his distant cousins. While they enjoyed the company of their dates, there just never seemed to be anything more. Of course, they were still young. Time enough to meet the right person.

"Think about it, huh? I know that Jean would really like it, even as a gift from 'just a friend'." She looked at her watch and grabbed Evan's arm again. "We have to get back. Mom and Dad are going out to a party with Grandma and Grandpa. I promised Jean we'd have a movie night while they were gone."

The two kids ran out of the mall and caught the first bus to the Stoppable residence in one of Middleton's nicer neighborhoods. Evan said goodbye and went back to his own home, a few blocks away. He still hadn't found that gift for Ryan. Fortunately, last minute shopping was always a favored guy pastime.

The two girls enjoyed their videos, mostly chick flicks, like the new remake of "The Memo Pad". It was getting rather late, and both were starting to get worried. While still very active people, Mr. and Mrs. Possible were retired and tended not to spend late nights at parties anymore. If Sarah's parents hadn't been with them, they would have been even more concerned.

The ringing of the phone caught both girls a little off guard, and they giggled nervously as Sarah reached to pick it up.

"Hello? Stoppable Residence." Given her parents' careers, Sarah had learned at a very young age to answer the phone in a professional manner. Her cell phone was another matter.

"Sarah, this is Captain Hobble, of the Middleton Police department. There has been an accident, and your parents wanted me to call you. A car is on its way for you and Jean." Over the years, the police force had made a habit of keeping close relations with the Stoppable and Possible families. Captain Hobble was a frequent guest in their homes.

As she put the receiver back on its cradle, there was the distinctive blue flashing lights of a police cruiser outside. Both girls hurried to pull on their coats and boots, Sarah explaining what little she knew as they did.

Inside the car, Sarah closed her eyes, and, as her father and Aunt Hana had taught her, found her center. With her mind opened, she could sense her mother and father. Both were in an extremely emotional state. Kim's mind, in particular, was in chaos. Concentrating still farther, Sarah began to glow blue with her share of the Mystical Monkey Power. She looked through the eyes of her father, and heard through his ears.

There was a lot of commotion, and loud beeping and buzzing noises. People in surgical scrubs were rushing around.

Sarah opened her eyes with a gasp.

"What is it?" Jean was used to seeing her niece/sister using the gifts of the ancient power.

"It's awful, Jean! I can't... it's just so hard to see."

The brakes of the car squealed as the cruiser pulled up at the emergency entrance to the Middleton Memorial Hospital. The officer opened the rear door for the girls and ushered them in through the crowds of nurses and people waiting to be seen. By the time they had cleared the doors to the trauma unit, both Kim and Ron were waiting. They were both covered in blood, and Ron's left arm was in a sling.

"Jean, Sarah!" Kim rushed forward and grabbed both girls. She was sobbing heavily and broke out into a flood of tears. "They're gone. We did everything we could, but they're gone." The girls just held on to her as she shook. They had seen Kim sad, and scared, but never anything like this.

"It was a drunk driver girls." Jim and Tim came from a door behind Ron. "Your mom and dad stopped to help somebody with a flat tire, Sarah. A guy on his way home from a office party lost control of his car and smashed into Mom and Dad in your parents car." Jim walked over and took his little sister in his arms. "I'm sorry, Jean. The doctors did all they could."

At the cemetery a few days later, Sarah and Jean were both crying profusely. Evan Moore stood between the two of them, While he comforted Jean, he clutched onto Sarah's hand. She didn't hesitate for a moment to bury her face in his shoulder as the caskets were laid in the earth. Neither noticed the look that Ron and Kim exchanged, even through their own tears. They recognized that subtle connection their daughter was sharing. Many was the time they had felt it, without knowing what it was.

Jean was at first uncomfortable in the colonial house that her parents had built, and for two years, she lived with her sister and brother in law. As time went on, she returned to her family home, to live with her brothers, who were always there for her.

January 1, 2028

Ron and Kim Stoppable stood looking at the granite stone that bore the names of James and Anne Possible. Ron had his arm around her shoulders and occasionally gave her a small squeeze. Four years had not taken as much of the sting from the loss as one might have hoped. This year it was even harder to stand there, with so much to share.

"Mom, you would be so proud of Jean. She's been working so hard, volunteering, working with Sarah as part of the new Team Possible. She wants so much to be a doctor, like you were." Kim sniffled a little, as she spoke to somebody that she could only have faith was listening. "Sarah is growing up. Last night we came home and interrupted her and Evan wishing each other a happy new year. I couldn't help but think of you when I was talking with him in the gym."

Ron took his arm from around his wife's shoulder and stepped up to the marker. "Dad, I know now why you were so very angry and disappointed with me that night, so long ago.: He rubbed the back of his neck. "You were right. The shoe was finally on the other foot. You'll be pleased to know that Evan is the one, I know it, just like you did." He gave a little chuckle then. "Tim has told me that the garage has a diagram of a space probe on the wall, and that all of Jean's boyfriends get lessons in the mechanics of black holes."

Kim put her hand on his back and said quietly, "Thanks for being such good parents, Mom and Dad. Thanks for teaching us how."

Ron placed two pebbles on the top of the stone, and then, taking his wife's hand turned and walked back to the car parked several yards away.