I do not own Kim Possible, nor any of the characters that appear in this story. This story was written strictly for recreational purposes.
This story is a sequel to my earlier work, 'Family Legacy,' which is based upon Captainkodak1's story 'A Box of Cuddlebuddies.' Please take a few minutes and read these stories before reading this one. I believe that this story will be much more enjoyable with this background.
Okay, now that you're finished, please enjoy!
Ron Possible Jr. stood respectfully, two paces behind his uncle, Roy Stoppable, at the Middleton Transfer Station's Arrivals Section. While both were looking forward to seeing their two guests, one in particular, both men were apprehensive about the impending meeting with Roy's mother and Ron's grandmother, Tara Stoppable.
"Shuttle 985, from Denver, is now disembarking," a pleasant, female voice announced over the paging system. Both men gave their apparel a final once-over and stood a little straighter, demonstrating the utmost respect they held for their visitor. Soon they saw their mentor, flanked by one of their kinsmen, strolling out of the secure area.
Yori, Sensei of the Yamanouchi School, had never been a tall woman, even in her native Japan. Here, in America, most people towered over her. Yet, the elderly Japanese woman walked with such grace and assurance that even busy, flustered travelers could sense the power and dignity she exuded and treated her with respect. Carl Stoppable, Lon Stoppable's grandson, walked behind her, carrying her minimal baggage.
"Yori-sama," Roy greeted the woman, when she approached the two. "You honor us with your presence." He and his nephew bowed low. Yori returned the bow, although not as low as her students did. As soon as the men straightened, she stepped forward and embraced them, in turn.
"Roy, Ron," she greeted both, with a wide, sincere smile. "I can see your forefather in the two of you. It is so good to see you again. You honor Yamanouchi with your diligence and commitment." A frown creased the woman's face. "Is Tara Stoppable still determined to go forward with her plan?"
"Yes, my mother is," Roy informed his mentor, noting her stern tone. "But perhaps we should discuss such things in a more private setting?"
"Of course," Yori smiled back. Apparently, she had tested Roy, once again, and approved that he was willing to politely correct an honored elder.
Soon the four were loaded into Roy's car. Yori had the place of honor, in the front passenger seat, while Ron and Carl rode in back. Roy asked a few, polite questions about her trip but soon Yori brought the conversation to the matter at hand.
"Your mother wishes to resolve her legacy," Yori noted. "Why has she chosen now to do so?"
"I don't know my mother's motivations," Roy confessed. "She simply informed my nephew and myself." The man gave his mentor a rare, hard look. "Whatever your conclusions about my mother's character may be, Sensei, she is my mother and I will abide by her instructions."
"Of course," Yori answered, with a slight bow. "I wish to discuss the matter, with your mother, as soon as possible."
"She's expecting us," Roy informed her. "Ron informs me that both of you wish to deal with what may be an unpleasant issue, quickly."
"That would be the course of wisdom, Roy," the elderly woman agreed. "And I will take the opportunity to inform Carl about this situation."
The rest of the trip passed in silence. Carl was more than a little confused while both Roy and Ron hoped that the upcoming meeting would be at least somewhat civil.
Tara Stoppable sat in her bedroom, trying to ready herself for the confrontation that would surely occur shortly. In the three years since Ron had taken up residence in this house, she had kept out of his way as much as possible. The two conversed, of course, but Tara didn't like the way the boy…no, the young man, looked at her since learning her terrible secret.
A polite tap sounded at her door, interrupting her musings.
"Come in," she instructed. The door opened, admitting her grandson.
"Yori is here," Ron informed her, in the polite, yet cold, manner he had adopted when dealing with her. "She is in the den at this time."
"Very well," Tara sighed. "We might as well get this over with." The Stoppable matriarch stood and, with a stride that defied her age, walked down the stairs and to the den. There, she saw an elderly, Japanese woman conversing with her son and great-grandson. The woman's eyes locked upon hers, as she walked into the room.
"Mother," Roy said, stepping between the two of them. "May I introduce Yori, from the Yamanouchi School. Yori-sama, this is my mother, Tara Stoppable."
The two, elderly women looked at each other for a long time. Tara could see the Japanese girl she had glimpsed once, in Middleton High, walking through the halls with Ron Stoppable. Yori had never met her former crush's widow before, and had a hard time connecting the kindly face with the horrific act she knew the woman had committed.
"Perhaps the three of you could find some way to occupy your time," Yori addressed the three males. "Your ancestor and I have much to discuss." Roy, Ron and Carl took the hint and excused themselves, politely.
"Would you please be seated?" Tara asked her guest. Yori inclined her head and returned to her chair. Tara also sat and the two looked at each other long enough for the silence to become uncomfortable.
"It seems that you have decided to not call me the things you must be thinking," Tara finally said, breaking the silence. "So perhaps we can have a productive conversation."
"Indeed, Tara Stoppable," Yori replied. "Your grandson informs me that you wish to deal with what Possible-san has become, to end this…family legacy. How do you intend to accomplish this?"
"I've been speaking with my minister," Tara explained. "I confessed everything to him. He accompanied me to the pump room, in the basement, and heard…her…ranting. He consulted with his superiors and he has two ways of dealing with the situation."
"And what would these means be?" Yori asked.
"The first is a form of exorcism," Tara answered. "This method is the most certain of resolving the situation, but I would prefer not to resort to it."
"Why is this, Tara Stoppable?"
"Because it will destroy Kim's soul," Tara answered. "I don't know about your religious beliefs, but I believe that we are all born with a soul, that lives on after we die. Kim has been through too much, I don't want her to be condemned to…annihilation."
"So, what is the second method of dealing with Possible-san?" Yori asked.
"To have her give up her demand for r-revenge," Tara stammered. "I will c-confront her. If she takes my life, so be it."
"You repay your debt with a worn out coin," Yori commented. "You take Possible-san's life from her, live a full life, then offer her the last few years. Do you truly think that she will accept what life remains to you, in return for her loss of a long life, a husband and descendants?"
"It's all I have to give," Tara murmured.
"It is quite convenient that you wait until this time," Yori countered. "It is much like one who prepares a cup of tea, drinks most of it, then offers the last few drops to a stranger, expecting praise for her generosity."
"I'm not doing this expecting praise!" Tara snapped back.
"Then why are you trying to mollify Possible-san at this time?" Yori demanded. "Why not live out your remaining years in peace, secure that your great grandchild, Carl, is preparing himself to be the next guardian?"
"It's because of Ron," Tara admitted.
"Your grandson?" Yori asked.
"Yes," Tara replied. "He has a girlfriend, or did Yamanouchi arrange for that? Some sort of way to insure that the Stoppable bloodline would continue, so that there would always be a guardian?"
"No," Yori answered. "Yamanouchi…assisted…both Roy and Ron when they sought to enter Middleton University. However, their grades, their economic success and Roy's family have been their own doing." The elderly ninja snorted a laugh, "Ron is fit, successful and well-mannered. Do you not think it inevitable that some woman would claim him?"
"I couldn't help but wonder," Tara remarked. "His grandfather kept many secrets, so I don't know what is real and what is Yamanouchi manipulation."
"We are leaving the topic of conversation," Yori declared. "How has your grandson's romantic life made you decide to confront…what Possible-san has become?"
"I realized that I couldn't just leave this world, with this situation unresolved," Tara informed her. "I realized that Ron was eventually going to wind up with a girlfriend, then probably a wife, then most likely children. While he won't produce my first great-grandchild, Carl is my oldest, for the first time, I'll be here to see one of my grandchildren date, court and marry. I can't stand the thought of bringing an innocent young woman, who only saw a fine, young man, into this dark conspiracy. So I consulted the minister."
"Did you only consult one such advisor?" Yori interrupted.
"No, I pretty much dealt with a stable," Tara answered, with a pained smile. "I didn't tell them the full story, of course. I'd say that I was having problems with a haunting, or something like that, then I'd bring them to the house. They had all sorts of gadgets; some had crystals, some had electronic gizmos, some had sticks or branches. One came in here and waved a portrait around. The funny thing about most of them, their predictions for success got more optimistic with the more money I was willing to pay. In the end, only a couple seemed to be more serious than showman."
"Perhaps you choose wisely," Yori conceded. "So what is your plan and when will it take place?"
"As to the when, tomorrow night," Tara answered her. "It's the Middleton Days Festival, so most of the neighbors will be downtown. As to the how…" here, Tara paused to regain her composure. "We will open the old cistern tomorrow evening. I will have Roy and Ron, as well as the minister, standing by. We will try to get Kim to give up her vendetta. If she attacks me, and my death releases her, so be it! Whatever happens, if she cannot or will not pass on, Roy and Ron will be there to contain her and the minister will be there to exorcise her." The elderly widow met Yori's steady gaze. "Whether or not I live to see the day after tomorrow, my legacy will be resolved."
The next day proved busy at the Stoppable house. First, Ron rented a backhoe and a dump truck, and brought in a load of fill dirt. The neighbor's expected it, since Tara had spread the story that they were going to fill in an old cistern under the gazebo. Inside the gazebo, Roy had moved a central table and had pulled up some of the floorboards, revealing a shaft that led two feet into the earth, to an old cistern cover. The gazebo itself was constructed of steel and had a rafter directly over the shaft. Roy hung a pulley on the rafter, ready to lift the lid. Then, he and his nephew took turns chipping the mortar away from the cover's seal.
While this was going on, Yori was deep in conversation with both Tara and Carl, explaining to the boy what his great grandmother had done and what they were doing, at this time. Tara relived the horrible experience of a descendant's expression changing when they heard the news.
"Now you know why your training has been different than the other students' training," Yori concluded. "While your classmates have been training to be secretive and stealthy, you have been trained to be a samurai, or more like a European knight. You are not a shadow warrior but a guardian against a great evil."
"An evil that my family created," Carl commented, drawing a wince from Tara.
"That is not important at this time," Yori admonished her student. "What is important is that this evil is eliminated."
"My apologies, Sensei," Carl hung his head in shame. "What do you wish me to do?"
"Assist your kinsmen with their preparations," Yori instructed, in a much kindlier voice. The youngest Stoppable left to do so, leaving the elderly women alone, once again.
"You might as well call me the names you're thinking of," Tara told her guest. "Trust me, I've already used pretty much all of them on myself."
"Such abuse would be neither beneficial, nor honorable," Yori retorted. "Although I must admit that I understand neither your motivation, nor your complacency. How could you…take Ron-san to your bed…knowing that you had killed his first love?"
"I'm not a disciplined warrior," Tara answered. "I managed to forget what I had done, at least until that Halloween." Tara shook her head, "as to why I did it, it sounds so silly now but it was so clear to me back then. He was walking into such an obvious heartbreak! Kim had his love and she probably even thought that she loved him, but I knew better. Ron wasn't golden, at least not by American teenager standards. I just knew that she was going to leave him for someone else and the longer they stayed together, the more it would hurt him. I didn't do anything for most of the summer, after they got together, hoping that she would drop him and his heartache would be something w…he could handle. Instead, they stayed together and I convinced myself that her dropping him would now make him…do something rash. I convinced myself that I was saving his life by taking hers."
"Were you so fond of him that you were willing to kill, in order to save his life?" Yori asked.
"I owed him," Tara informed her. "He saved me, and the entire squad, from a mutant. Still, I think that Kim never really loved him. She appreciated him, she valued him, but I don't think that she loved him."
"Surprisingly, I share that sentiment," Yori told her hostess. At Tara's shocked look, she continued, "When I came to Middleton, those many years ago to solicit Ron-san's assistance, I was irritated by the way Possible-san treated him. She was clearly fond of him but she did not consider him…worthy of her interest in that regard. I remember how thankful I was that she did not see him as a potential boyfriend."
"Then came the night of the Diablo attack," Yori continued, with a wistful smile. "And not long after that, they helped me combat Monkeyfist. At that time, Ron-san informed me that he and Possible-san were, as you Americans say, an item." Now, the ninja's face grew stern, "I did not, however, pass judgement on Possible-san. I wished her and Ron-san happiness and made my peace with Possible-san."
"Like I should have," Tara concluded. "Monique told me that you were looking at Ron in a very…interested way when you were here. What did you do after you found out that they were together."
"I did not mope and pine for what could have been," Yori answered. "I devoted myself to my duties. In the course of time, I fell in love with a good man, wed, gave birth to a son and raised him. He has given me a granddaughter." Here, the master of the Yamanouchi School gave her hostess an amused look. "My granddaughter is enrolled at the Yamanouchi School and has been giving your great grandson some…predatory looks."
"If she's your granddaughter," Tara replied, grinning herself. "Isn't she older than Carl?"
"I waited until my late thirties before having my child," Yori informed her. "As did my son. You and your descendants started to reproduce in your mid-twenties. As such, you have managed to fit three generations into the same time that I have fit two." Here the Japanese woman favored the elderly blonde with a wistful smile. "My only regret, in this life, is that I had but one child, late in life. I wish that I would have produced a brood."
"Have you told your granddaughter this?" Tara asked.
"I will, upon my return," Yori assured her. "Perhaps my line, and Ron-san's shall be joined before too many more winters bring their aches to these old bones."
Both matriarchs sat and remembered happier times.
The sun was creeping into the west when the last of Tara's neighbors left for the festival. A small group of people gathered in the gazebo, which sported a privacy screen for the first time in years.
"No, Ron," Roy Stoppable told his nephew, when the younger man offered him the Lotus Blade. "The blade has passed to a new guardian, you. In time, it will pass to Carl. I won't be helpless." The fifty-something picked up a metallic Bo.
"We may as well take care of this," Tara sighed, with a nod to Carl. The teenager started a winch, which ran through the pulley on the gazebo rafter, and to the lid. The lid rose, releasing a horrid smell. The small party stared in nervous readiness. For several minutes, nothing happened. Then…
"Where is she!!!" A withered, almost skeletal figure burst out of the shaft. The ravaged face spun around until it fixed on…"Tara?" It asked. "You're old! So old... How long have I been in there this time?"
"Years," Tara answered, forcing herself to face her one-time friend. "It's time to end this, Kim."
"Oh, it's so past time to end this," the figure agreed, lunging forward. Two men, one in his twenties and the other in his fifties, barred the way.
"Ron?" The figure asked. "No, you're too young. You're both too young." The horrid face whipped back to Tara. "What are they Tara? Children? Grandchildren? At least you brought them all here, so that I can deal with them!"
The figure's hand slashed at the younger man, only to be blocked by the Lotus Blade, in staff form. The other hand slashed forward, to be knocked to the side by the older man's Bo.
"Why do you attack them, Possible-san?" The head of the Yamanouchi School asked, stepping forward. "What wrong have they done you?"
"Yori?" Kim snapped at her one time, at least in her own mind, rival. "You're in on this too? It figures! I'll deal with all of you!"
"What good will that do, KP?" Tara, and the monster that used to be Kim Possible, looked to see Ron Stoppable, standing between his descendants. Nobody else seemed to see him but to Tara, he looked like he had just before that fateful Halloween.
"Ron?" Kim snapped. "Why have you come back? Shouldn't you be off somewhere else, lounging in paradise and laughing about what you did to me?"
"I didn't do this to you, KP," Ron answered, with no anger or fear in his voice, only pity. "What happened to you was a crime, but you've turned it into a tragedy."
"I turned it into a tragedy?" Kim demanded. "I was murdered, Ron! In a horrible way and by someone who I thought was my friend, whom I thought was our friend! How long did the two of you plan this? How long did it take for you to get in her bed after I was in the pit?"
"Years, KP," Ron answered. "I didn't know that Tara had done it. You were my whole world and I had lost you. When I found out, I didn't really know what to do." Was Tara's mind playing tricks on her, or did Ron look at her with an expression of sorrow and guilt?
"But you stood up for her, defended her when I got out!" Kim snarled. "Even after you found out, you wouldn't release me!"
"You were threatening to kill my children, Kim," Ron pointed out. "What have they ever done to you?"
"It doesn't matter!" Kim shrieked. "They're Tara's! Something she gained by killing me! They have to die! It's justice!"
"Justice or revenge?" Now Kim's parents appeared, behind what the redhead had become. "Will taking their lives restore yours?" Anne Possible asked her daughter. "Will killing Tara give you a life, a husband, and children?"
"You never lectured me when I brought down Drakken!" Kim retorted.
"Drakken was a dangerous man, Kimmie-cub," James Possible corrected his daughter. "When you took him down, you prevented him from harming others. What have Tara's children, grandchildren and great grandchildren done to earn your hate?"
"You don't understand, dad," the figure sobbed. "I didn't even know I was dead! I was trapped there, in the dark. It was hard to breathe and I kept blacking out, I didn't know how much time had passed. At some point, I managed to get free from the cuffs. Every so often, tapping or scrapping on the cover would wake me up. I thought that Tara was tormenting me, or maybe getting ready to let me out. Then, the cover opened up and I was free. It was dark outside and nobody was there. I thought that Tara had let me out but was too afraid to stay and face me. I went home, determined to find Ron and confront Tara the next day."
"But I couldn't get into the house," Kim moaned. "The spare key wasn't in its hiding place. The door didn't even have a keyhole, just a keypad. I broke in and saw that the furniture wasn't the same so I ran to my room, but it wasn't my room anymore. It had changed as well. Then I looked into the mirror."
"I saw THIS!" Kim shrieked, pointing to her withered face. "And I knew that I was dead. I knew that months, maybe years, had gone by. I went back to Tara's house to deal with her. That's when I found out that she had married Ron, had a family, HAD A LIFE WHILE I WAS TRAPPED IN THE PIT!"
"I don't understand, Kimmie-cub," James Possible admitted. "But you still haven't answered my question; how will killing Tara, how will killing her children and grandchildren give you back what she took from you?"
Pausing for a time, Kim finally replied, sobbing. "It won't. Dad, what do I do now?"
"Give up your hate," Anne Possible stepped forward. "Tara put you in the pit, but it was you, and your demand for revenge, that kept you there."
"Just let go," Ron added, stepping towards his one-time girlfriend. "And come with us. You were robbed of life, but you don't have to spend your existence miserable."
"I don't understand," Kim sobbed.
"You will," James assured her. "If you just quit trying to get even. Besides, what have her children or grandchildren ever done to you? Do you have the authority to punish them, for their mother's crime?"
At this, Kim Possible's bony shoulders sagged. "I don't," she admitted. She then turned to Tara, stepping slowly between Ron (Possible) and Roy.
"Tara," Kim said, in a wavering voice. "I forg…"
Suddenly, the thing that had once been Kim Possible collapsed to the ground like a stack of twigs that was no longer tied together. Yet, Tara could still see Kim standing there. Only now, it was clearly Kim Possible, looking like she had the day Tara had trapped her; long, auburn hair, wearing capris and a crop-top.
"Mom, dad, Ron?" The…newly liberated Kim gasped at the others who had passed on.
"Come with us, Kimmie-cub," James Possible murmured, stepping forward and engulfing his daughter in an embrace. Anne and Ron quickly joined them. "It will all be alright, you'll see."
With that, the four began to fade from Tara's view. Just before vanishing from her sight, Ron turned to her.
"Tara, I'm so sorry," the phantom told her, with warmth in his tone that the old woman had missed for so very long. "I was wrong. I should have handled things differently, but it isn't too late. I'll be waiting for you."
Before Tara could respond, Ron was gone.
"Very well, it appears that she's accepted her peace," Roy's voice snapped Tara out of her reverie. "Carl, if you could accompany your sensei and your great grandmother back to the house, we have a great deal of work to do."
"So you didn't see Ron, or Kim's parents?" Tara asked again, after everybody but her and Yori had left.
"No, Tara-Stoppable," the elderly Japanese woman insisted. "I saw…Kim Possible emerge from the cistern. I saw her confront you and I heard her speak with people whom I could neither see nor hear. Then she collapsed. Shortly after this, you began to weep. Yet, if what you described actually took place, I believe that you accomplished your goal, and an honorable goal at that. Kim Possible is now at peace, Stoppable-san."
"Mother, we've taken care of everything," Roy declared, entering the house and sparing Tara from needing to respond to Yori.
"The cistern is filled in," Ron added, walking in behind his uncle.
"What did you do with…" Tara couldn't force herself to say the word.
"The remains?" Roy said the word instead. "Something Ron and I worked out when you suggested this undertaking. I won't say what we did, but I'll assure you that it was something…symbolically correct."
Tara Possible lay down and relaxed in her bed, happier than she had been in years. It had been a hectic, but satisfying week since they had resolved their family legacy. Two items stuck out in Tara's mind. The first was the fact that her son and grandson now treated her better than they had since they had found out about what she had done. The second happened earlier that night, when Ron brought his girlfriend over to meet her.
Tara sighed, thinking that there would now be no reason to keep the old house in the family. There was no longer a legacy to hide. However, she hoped that her grandson would keep it. When his girlfriend and Tara discussed how perfect the house was for a large family, a conversation that left Ron looking ready to bolt in terror, Tara got the impression that the girl would like to fill the house up with children. The matriarch smiled yet again.
The only thing that bothered her was the fact that she was the only one who had seen the Dr.'s Possible, Ron and Kim, after she had given up her burden. Later that night, she understood why.
"Tara, wake up," a gentle voice called. Tara opened her eyes to see Kim Possible, looking like she did when she was in her late teens, standing at the foot of her bed.
"Have you come to take me?" Tara asked, perfectly calm.
"I've come for you, but not for revenge," Kim told her.
"It's time for you to join us," Ron told her, now appearing next to Kim. Ron looked like he did just before he found out about Kim; a little gray mixed with his blonde hair and the years leaving just a little bit of a mark on his fit body.
"You mean, you're here to go with me?" Tara asked again.
"Yes, Tara," Ron smiled at her. "I handled everything poorly, when I found out about you and Kim, but there's plenty of time to make up for it."
"I don't understand," Tara admitted. "If you're…and I'm about to…doesn't that mean that we're out of time?"
"No," Kim smiled while shaking her head. "Life is just the beginning of existing, and existing is just the beginning of eternity."
"I don't understand," Tara repeated.
"You will," Ron answered. With a gentle smile, he reached out and took Tara's hand. Tara rose, with none of the aches, pains and slowness that eighty-plus years could inflict upon a body. She looked own at herself and realized that she now had the body of a fit, forty-year old mother of three. Back on the bed, she saw her old body, lying at peace.
"Let's go, Tara," Kim suggested, taking her other hand.
If there had been anyone else in the room, they would have seen the three fade from sight.
Epilogue: Forty-eight Years Later.
"So, what seems to be the issue here," Chief Hobble asked the Lieutenant. The chief didn't like the idea of moving all of the bodies out of the old Middleton Cemetery, but orders were orders. The city's planners had decided that the land would be better served as a spaceport, so the inevitable surprises had to be endured.
"It's one of the Stoppable graves," the young man reported. "Ron and Tara Stoppable."
"What's the problem?"
"When the workers excavated the graves, they managed to drop Ron's coffin and it split open."
"So? They had oversized coffins on hand, in case this happened. Why didn't they just put his remains, old coffin and all, into one of them?"
"It wasn't just Ron Stoppable inside," the Lieutenant reported. "There were two, complete skeletons inside the casket. One of the stand-by forensics inspectors did a snap DNA profile. To the best of his knowledge, one of the skeletons is Ron Stoppable's remains while the other set was," here, the young man consulted his notes. "Kim Possible, a girl who went missing over a century ago."
"Did you find out anything else?" The Police Chief asked his subordinate.
"Yes, the investigator used his scanner and checked the seals on the casket. He also reviewed burial records and has come to the conclusion that the casket had been opened, and Possible's remains placed inside, long after both of them were dead. About that time, an attorney shows up with a written statement from both the Possible and Stoppable families, demanding no further investigation. We sealed up the remains in one of the standby coffins and went back to work."
"Kid," the chief told the youngster. "You haven't lived here as long as I have. The Stoppable and Possible families have been here for generations. They're so intermarried that sometimes it's hard to separate the families. The only thing that I know is that when either of the families wants something done, it usually gets done. Now, for some reason those two families gave decided that Kim's and Ron's remains will stay together forever. You might as well quit digging into it; nothing's going to keep them apart."
Before I leave you with my parting thoughts, some words from Captainkodak1:
This is the Captain. I would like to thank daccu for his work on both of the stories he has written based on my original story. This one was just right leaving all the characters where they should be. Kim and Ron could not spend their lives together, but now they will spend eternity together. Thanks again to daccu for the great story.
As you've probably noticed, I just couldn't leave Kim in the cistern.
In closing, I'd like to thank Captainkodak1 for letting me run with his original story, and Joe Stoppinghem for beta reading this tale.
I'd also like to thank everyone who participated in the recent (2008) Halloween contest, either by entering or voting (even if you didn't vote for my story)!
Finally, I'd like to thank everyone who offered me congratulations for the results. I enjoyed writing the story and the recognition was gratifying.
Until my next posting, best wishes;