So. The last time I updated this story (-cough-threeYEARSago-cough-) I had just finished my junior year of high school...
I'm a junior in college now! How time flies, right?
To explain why it took me so long to finally finish this story (-cough-threeyears-cough-) the only possible explanation I have is a change of interest. My fandoms changed faces, many times over, and this story somehow found itself lost. I'm unsure, exactly, how, but it did. However, the good news is, I found it, and I hate to leave anything unfinished if I can absolutely help it, so I sat down and wrote the final chapter of this poor story tonight. I sure hope I did the rest of the story justice here, because somehow I feel like it doesn't. I feel like I've lost touch with how I used to write, as a teen, and no matter how hard I try to channel into my memories and allow the fifteen year old writing this to resurface, she's gone, and she's been replaced with me. So I apologize if this chapter is crap; I tried. :/
Anyway, thank you all for being so patient! I hope you enjoy the finale to Then You Stand. :) Thanks for sticking with me!
Chapter Nineteen: Then You Stand
-Robinson house, November 26th, 2009-
The time machine gently made its descent to earth, where the wheels made indentations in the snow. The Older Wilbur quickly switched on the invisibility shield, and opened the hatch to the cockpit. He, his younger self, his daughter, and his father's younger self all jumped out into the winter air.
"It doesn't look like much has changed since we left." Younger Wilbur remarked. "How long has it been?"
"A week." Older Wilbur answered him as he adjusted the 2009 police uniform he was wearing as a disguise. He looked at Lewis. "You've been gone that long."
Lewis shook his head.
"It seems like a lifetime." He said, then he smiled as he gazed at the house not far from where they stood. "But I'm glad to be home."
Older Wilbur nodded. "I have no doubt." He said. "Now let's get you home."
Lewis nodded eagerly, and he grinned at his best friends.
"Just one question, though." Younger Wilbur asked as he turned his attention back to his older self. "Dad said in 2067 that Cleo had been taken into custody, and we promised to bring Lewis home. And he said it would be a few hours after the arrest, so no one would ever know…so how are we going to explain getting back here so fast?"
Krys laughed and slapped her hand on her best friend's shoulder. "Let's not get any more headaches than are necessary, please!" She said.
Older Wilbur chuckled, and nodded at his daughter. "She's right. Leave that to me and the TCTF." He said. "Now, as for the other police officers, they're gone. They got the call a few hours ago that you had been found and that an officer by the name of Robinson is bringing Lewis home. So we don't have to worry about convincing anyone other than Grandma and Grandpa that I'm the officer in charge, so try not to stand too close, got it? The last thing we need is any sort of recognition, especially with the two of us – " He looked pointedly at his younger self. "-in the same room."
"Got it…" Younger Wilbur said. "Don't stand too close."
"And deny everything!" Krys added, laughing.
Younger Wilbur opened his mouth to say something, but Krys cut him off by grabbing his wrist and pulling him forward. The trio ran towards the Robinson house, the older Wilbur fast in their wake.
Lewis was the fastest, hastily making his way towards his house, towards his parents, towards his future. He clabbered up the steps to the front door, yanking it open and stomping inside, not bothering to remove his snowy shoes.
"Mom!" He called. "Dad!"
Lucille and Bud appeared immediately from inside the kitchen, their faces lighting up when they saw their son, safe and sound, and finally, finally home.
"Cornelius!" Lucille said, rushing forward to envelope her son in a huge hug. "Oh my god, Cornelius!"
Bud had joined them, hugging the both of them close. "We were so worried!" He said.
"I know." Lewis said, his voice choking with emotion. "I'm sorry."
"It's not your fault." Lucille said, and she and Bud released him and stepping back so they could see him. "We're just glad you're safe!"
"I had help." Lewis said. He gestured to Krys and Wilbur. "If it weren't for Wilbur and Krys, I don't know where I'd be. They flew out to California and found me."
Lucille and Bud's attentions were turned to the two teens standing behind Lewis, and then to the police officer in the doorway, who gazed at the reunion with a smile.
"You two?" Lucille asked. "You flew all the way to California…"
"How'd you do that?" Bud asked. "And how'd you find Cornelius?!"
"I told you we had some detective work under our belts!" Krys said proudly. "My dad owns a plane, and he flew us out there." She said, not daring to cast a glance over her shoulder at the man in question, but she did give Wilbur a small grin. "As for finding him, it wasn't easy, but we did it."
"They're brilliant, those two." Older Wilbur said as he stepped forward, just a little. "They led us right to him."
Bud shook Older Wilbur's hand.
"Thank you so much." He said. "For all you've done. Thank you for bringing our son home to us."
Older Wilbur smiled. "As your son said, you should be thanking his two friends. They're the real heroes here, believe me."
Within moments, Lucille had Younger Wilbur and Krys enveloped in a bone crushing hug.
"Thank you both!" She said as tears ran down her cheeks. "Thank you, thank you, thank you!"
"Hey, that's what best friends do." Younger Wilbur said.
"But, uh, Mrs. Robinson, could you put us down? We can't…breathe!" Krys gasped.
Lucille immediately relinquished her grip on the two teens, and they took in a few gulps of air before turning back to grin at Lewis.
"Well, I need to be getting Krystal and Wilbur home to their parents." Older Wilbur said. "So I think it's best we say goodbye."
Bud nodded at him, and shook his hand one last time. "Thank you." He said. "I hope we meet again sometime in the future, Officer…" He glanced at Older Wilbur's nametag. "Robinson…huh! What a coincidence!"
"We'll meet again, I'm sure." Older Wilbur assured him. He turned to Krys and Younger Wilbur. "Come on, you two. Your parents are waiting."
The two teens nodded, and turned back to face Lewis. Krys threw her arms around her future grandfather's shoulders and hugged him.
"See you soon, Lewis!" She said.
"Thanks, Krys." Lewis said, grinning. "See you soon."
"Hey, you don't think you can keep us away for very long, do you?" Younger Wilbur said as he, too, grabbed his future father and gave him a noogie.
Lewis laughed and managed to wrestle himself away from his best friend. He gave him a pointed glare that clearly stated Do that again and you'll end up grounded, mister. "See ya later, Wilbur." He said before once again allowing himself to smile and punching his future son in the upper arm. "Stay out of trouble!"
"I promise nothing." Wilbur said, grinning. "It's not in my nature."
Krys gave a 'humph'. "That's for sure!" She said.
Younger Wilbur glared at her.
Older Wilbur stepped forward and clasped his hands on their shoulders.
"It's time to go now." He said. "I think the Robinsons want to have some time to themselves, don't you?"
"Yeah, sorry." Younger Wilbur said. He gave one last grin towards Lewis. "See ya."
"Bye, Wilbur." Lucille said. "Don't be a stranger! You either, Krys! You should visit with your cousin more often!"
"I will!" Krys promised as she turned and walked out the front door with the two versions of her father. "Bye!"
With that, the three of them made their way back out into the chilly November air, and slowly made their way around back to the time machine.
"So what happens now?" Younger Wilbur said as they climbed back into the time machine, and Older Wilbur started it up, closing the hatch.
"You go back to 2038 and unfreeze time." His older self said. "Life resumes as usual."
Younger Wilbur nodded. "Then what?"
"Well," Older Wilbur said, grinning at him. "You get grounded."
"What?!" Younger Wilbur yelped. "No way! Not again!"
Older Wilbur laughed. "I'm just kidding." He said. "You wait for the next big blunder to happen, that's what."
Younger Wilbur glared at him. "I never knew I was so cruel." He said. "Giving my own younger self a heart attack! That's just not fair."
Krys giggled, her green eyes sparkling. "Sure it is." She said. "It's hilarious to watch!"
"Haha, very funny." Younger Wilbur said. "You only think it's funny because I read your diary again."
Krys casually took off her glasses and cleaned them with the hem of her shirt. "True." She said. She grinned mischievously. "But you just wait until I find yours."
"I don't keep a diary!" Younger Wilbur said.
"Not yet you don't." Krys said.
Younger Wilbur looked from Krys to his older self.
"I neither deny nor confirm anything." He said before Younger Wilbur could say anything. "I think you're just going to have to find out for yourself."
"Great." Younger Wilbur mumbled. "I had a feeling you were going to say that."
Older Wilbur smirked. "Now you're beginning to get the hang of it." He said. He punched in the coordinates for 2067, and tilted the time machine towards the sky. The familiar bubble formed outside, and before they knew it, the bright skyline of the 2067 Todayland came into view. Older Wilbur carefully maneuvered towards the TCTF Headquarters, where he landed the time machine in the hanger with the others. He opened the hatch, and the three of them exited.
"Alright, you two, let's get upstairs." He said. "I need to debrief everyone before you go back to 2038, Wilbur."
Younger Wilbur nodded.
For a few moments, none of them said anything as they walked towards the travel tubes at the far end of the room, passing Wilbur's time machine that waited for him to take him back to the past as they did so.
And then, Younger Wilbur spoke.
"So, Krys, who is this Matt person? Because you seemed pretty smitten with him in that one diary entry I read…something about how beautiful his eyes were?"
His future daughter glared.
"I'll give you to the count of three to start running, mister, because if I catch you, you'll be sorry!" She said.
And with that, Younger Wilbur took off running, Krys not far behind him, screeching as she did so.
"Wilbur! I'm going to kill you!"
Older Wilbur chuckled and shook his head.
"I really hope I'm fast." He said quietly as he watched his younger self and daughter disappear into the travel tubes. "The last thing I need is another paradox to clean up…"
Well, there you have it folks!
Again, I thank you for your patience, and your dedication, if you stuck around to see how - and if! - this would ever end. :)
Oh, and a special shout out to SkyHighFan for his unfailing dedication to getting me to get off my butt and write! Without him, this never would have been possible (the completion, I mean)! :D
Until next time!