The old man sat quietly, motionless, looking at something that wasn't there, inhabiting a place and time far away.
Ron Stoppable, shaken from his reverie, turned and grinned sheepishly at his inquisitive, engaging granddaughter Annie. The young woman so resembled the seventeen year-old Kim Possible that, had she not had freckles and brown eyes, one might have thought her a clone of the one-time teen hero.
"Sorry," he said.
"It's okay," his granddaughter said indulgently as she took his large hand in far smaller one. "So, what happened?"
Ron looked off again. "Nothing."
"Nothing?" Annie asked. "What do you mean?"
Ron returned his gaze to his granddaughter. "I was scared and I don't mean the usual Ron Stoppable kind of we-may-be-running-out-of-nacos-and-there's-a-blizzard-coming scared."
"Why were you scared?"
"Because I was worried that your grandmother would think I was some sort of freak or bad guy because of what I did to Warhok and Warmonga."
A derisive snort alerted grandfather and granddaughter that they had company. Standing in the doorway was a trim, elderly woman with short yet stylish gray hair, laugh lines around her large green eyes and what could only be described as a loving smirk.
"As usual, your grandfather was overreacting," Kim Stoppable said as she sat down next to her husband and affectionately ruffled the little hair he still had on his head.
"I was not overreacting," Ron protested.
"You were so overreacting," Kim said as she leaned in and gave him a buss on the cheek. "I told you that nothing was going to come between us."
"Yeah, I know," he said. "Still …"
"Ron thought I was going to dump him because of what happened to Warhok and Warmonga."
"KP was always about not hurting the bad guys," Ron explained. "And well, I'd …"
"Saved my life and saved the world," Kim said flatly. "There was no way I was going to dump him though I did ask him not ignore his feelings about what happened."
"Man, did we spend a lot of time talking with Rabbi Katz," Ron mused.
"I wish you could have met him," Kim said to her granddaughter. "He was a ferociously good man."
"Grandpa, do you mind my asking what you hoped would happen when you threw those aliens into their ship?" Annie asked Ron.
"Honestly? I really hadn't given it much thought. I just tossed them and, uh, hoped they'd go away."
"Go away?" she asked incredulously.
"Pretty much," he answered with a shrug. "It's not like I was aiming or anything. I just wanted to get them away from Kim. It was just coincidence that they hit the ship."
"Once again," Kim said with a chuckle, "The Ron Factor saved the day."
"The Ron Factor does not save the day," Ron declared. "That's the Kim Factor's job. I just spice things up."
"Not that day," Kim said. "If you hadn't gone all monkey, I'd have been a trophy on Warmonga's wall."
"Talk about so the drama," their granddaughter said.
"So so the drama," Kim agreed. "Fortunately, as usual, your grandfather had my back."
"Hey, it's what we sidekicks do," Ron preened.
Kim rolled her eyes again. "You are not a sidekick. You're a partner."
"Maybe," Ron said. "But you have to admit, nobody could sidekick like me."
"True," she agreed. "When it comes to losing your pants, you're most definitely in a league of your own."
"I thought you liked it when I lost my pants," Ron said with a leer.
"TMI!" Annie interrupted, waving her hands theatrically, earning hearty laughter from her two grandparents, who could each remember what it was like to be a teen confronted with the reality that adult relations could and did smack lips and more.
"Well," Ron said as he stretched his arms and yawned, "I think it's time for the Rondo to hit the sack."
"Me too," Kim agreed. "I want to be well rested for the big day tomorrow" she said as rose from the couch and took Ron's hand, helping her husband to his feet.
"Thanks for coming to my graduation," Annie said as she rose and embraced her grandparents.
"We wouldn't have missed it for anything," Kim said before she took her husband's hand. "Shall we?"
"You got it, KP," Ron said. "Night, Annie."
"Good night, Grandpa, Grandma."
"We're very proud of you," Kim said softly as she kissed Annie on the cheek. "We're looking forward to your speech tomorrow."
"It's nothing big," Annie said.
"It so is," Kim said. "You're the valedictorian!"
"Well …" Annie said, blushing.
"You'll do fine," Kim said reassuringly. "Just remember to relax and focus on two or three people in the crowd."
"That's easy for you to say," Annie replied. "You used to testify before Congress and appear on TV on a regular basis."
"She's got you there, Kim," Ron said. "Being Director of Global Justice did give you mad presentation skills."
"Not helping," Kim said playfully.
"Gotcha," he said. "How about I remind our bon-diggety granddaughter that she's not just a Stoppable, but a Possible and we all know that anything is possible for a Possible, including giving a badical speech."
Kim smiled at Ron and then returned to her attention to Annie. "You'll be great," she said as she took the teen's hands in hers.
"You're sure?" Annie said.
"So sure," Kim said reassuringly. "After all, I've been through graduation and I can tell you that no matter what happens, it's so not the end of the world!"
KP © Disney; Original characters © the Author
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On April 28, 2009 I posted the following message to my readers:
"After much consideration, I have decided that I will not be continuing So Not the End of the World. The time I now have available for writing fan fiction is limited, and I do not believe that this story, which I last updated eleven months ago, is the best place to invest my creative energies. As I have never cared for uncompleted stories, I plan to remove this one from the site on Friday, May 1.
"For those who wonder what will come next, I plan to complete Law and Disorder. I will then turn to a new story that I have been plotting for some time.
"To those of you who have reviewed So Not the End of the World and to everyone who has read, I offer my thanks."
Since posting this message a number of readers have asked me to reconsider my decision. While I still won't be resuming this story I have decided not to remove it from the site. However, since my feelings about uncompleted stories remain unchanged, I was faced with a small dilemma: what to do as the action had left off in the midst of a conversation between Kim and Ron. My solution was this chapter, which while not truly completing So Not the End of the World, hopefully provides it with an ending.