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The Aftermath

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            Drakken easily ducked out of the way of the coffee machine as it flew where his head once was—reflexes from his several fights with Shego.  That was one of the worst, certainly.  (Usually she didn’t throw heavy objects at him.)  But, he was at a loss for words upon realizing what she had said.

            “You couldn’t even hug me!

            She… she had wanted him to hug her?

            Shego panted across the room, seething as she stared him down, but all Drakken could do was look at her with widened eyes as he tried to figure out what that meant.

            Was… was it just-just possible—just the tiniest bit possible—that-that he… that he hadn’t been deluded?  That she had run to him too?

            “Say something before I rip out your vocal chords, Dr. D.,” Shego snarled.

            Drakken blinked.  Right.  She’s angry.          

            But that didn’t seem to matter in the moment.  The scientist in him took this new information and reevaluated his thoughts from the night before—and this new hypothesis which was forming in his mind seemed too good to be true.

            “You—you wanted me to hug you?” he finally asked, his face still a mask of surprise, afraid to reveal the happiness that threatened his composure (or what was left of it).

            Shego dropped her stance as her eyes widened, and Drakken was certain that she hadn’t realized she had uttered those words.  Those beautiful, glorious words.

            “I-I didn’t—.  I-I mean—” she stuttered.  Drakken’s eyes widened even further as he felt his face go slack.  Was Shego… actually getting flustered over this?

            He could feel the gears in his mind turning as he tried to determine her reaction to his reaction, and he looked towards the floor before he began pacing, for a moment ignoring how she stood before him.

            What did this mean?  Why was she upset?  He knew that Shego wasn’t an affectionate woman.  Hell, the only things in this world that he knew she cared about were her tanning bed and her brothers (despite knowing that she would never admit affection for the latter).  Why would he be included in that exclusive list?  The woman was as guarded as a… as Fort Knox!  (Assuming she has something to guard, of course.  And for once it seemed like she did.)

            What if Shego actually did lo—have feelings for him?  Then what?  What would they possibly do?  He knew damn well that Shego wouldn’t become a homebody and make a home for him.  Even if she were willing to settle down he would be the homemaker.  Which was fine by him, honestly, but where did this thought of settling down come from?  Sure, he wanted children, but he always assumed he would get to that once he conquered the world.  Then, he had figured he would have his pick of women to take as his queen and go about it that way.  But now…  He knew damn well that even if he managed to conquer the world (a prospect which seemed more and more distant with every passing second and every new realization that he came to, really) he wouldn’t want anybody by his side except Shego, who was also appearing further and further away from him, even now when she seemed to be so close to his grasp.  

            Shego’s biting voice brought him out of his revelry.  “Doc, just what the hell is going on?”  He startled, looking up at her.  She seemed to have regained her composure (despite still being miffed) in the time he was mulling everything over, but he still wasn’t satisfied.  Will I ever be? he thought.  Will I ever be satisfied with myself without Shego?

            “I—I was t-thinking, Shego,” he told her. 

            “Yeah, Doc, I can see that.  You’re starting to wear a rut in the floor.”

            Drakken cracked a small smile at that, but his heart was still fluttering, and he had no idea what Shego was thinking, now that she wasn’t stuttering or flustered anymore, and, yes, she was still speaking to him a bit sharply, but she more or less seemed to be back to normal (well, at least her version of normal).

            “Shego…” he started, unsure of whether he should utter the words on his tongue.  What if this was all some kind of sick joke?  What if she didn’t actually want his lo—his affection but just was pretending to try and get something out of him?  A raise or extra vacation or something?  What if this was her way of torturing him for saving the world?  Or worse: what if he went and told her of his feelings (and botched it up in the process, because when has he ever caught a break?) and she reacted… well, negatively (to say the least)?  What if she burned him or threw something at him again or laughed in his face for even thinking that he had a chance with her?  What if… what if she just—just left?

            It wouldn’t be a surprise if she did that, he thought.  After everything that happened…

            Except her words from the night prior came back to him as though echoing through mists on a moor (which sounded very Scottish, Drakken admitted, somewhere in his mind.  Very… Duff Killigan). 

            “You could have been killed, Andrew,” she had said.  Drakken slapped himself on the forehead.  In his own exhausted state, he had been focused on the fact that she had called him “Andrew.”  Even his own mother never called him Andrew!  Of course he would be taken aback by the proper use of his name!

            But now he could see that he had completely ignored what had preceded his name—how could he have been such a fool!  That was Shego who had uttered those words.  And Shego, damn her, was never an affectionate person.  For her to say that spoke volumes of her true feelings, even if she was in a sleep-induced state! 

            She… she must have been running to him on the ship!  And—and then—!

            … And then he went and pulled away, thinking he was deluding himself and afraid of then humiliating himself in front of her.  

            Drakken sighed as he rested his head in the tips of his gloved fingers.  Oh, damn it all, he thought.  When have I ever cared about humiliating myself?  He sighed again as he wondered why this was so difficult all of a sudden.

            Because it’s her.

            He supposed that it all had something to do with the fact that he had never truly been in love before, and the woman he had chosen to give his heart to was possibly the one woman on earth who didn’t have a heart.  Or so it seemed, his mind supplied. 

            Drakken punched the counter next to him in frustration.

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            Shego couldn’t take it anymore.  Just what the hell was Drakken thinking?!  So she made a fool of herself in front of him by mentioning that fucking hug.  So what?  Like he hadn’t humiliated himself in front of her before?  What was so strange about the roles being reversed for once?

            Was she that alien to him that he couldn’t believe that she could—could have feelings

            He had run for her on the spaceship!  But had he been that deluded that he thought that she would be mad at him for—for a measly fucking hug?  Was the revelation of these—these fucking feelings so strange to him that he had to go and start pacing, muttering to himself as if he was trying to decipher the world’s most difficult code?

            So she wasn’t heartless.  So she wanted lo—affection, the damned thing.  Was that so hard for him to believe? 

            Shego thought back to all of their fights—all of the times when she humiliated him in front of the henchmen, in front of the other villains, in front of Kim Possible… even in front of his own mother.

            She even thought back to when he told her that he asked DNAmy to… to go out with him or—or… something…  And how she mocked him for that...  

            But damn it, it wasn’t in her nature to be kind! 

            What did he expect from her, some kind of confession or something?!  Because he sure as hell wasn’t going to get it! 

            And then he went and punched the counter.  Again.

            Drakken stood in front of the newly made hole, and somewhere in the back of her mind she made a note to take control of all future decorating in their lairs.  If Drakken was going to keep punching the counters in their kitchens, at least he wasn’t going to be able to break them.  (Hurting his hand in the process would be a—a simple bonus.)

            But in the moment, she stood and watched him as he apparently made efforts to destroy their kitchen yet again, his antics a good distraction to the rapid beating of her heart as she tried to ignore what she had said to the man not five minutes prior.  At what he had heard her say not five minutes prior.

            “Doc, at this rate, we’re going to have to move.  Again.  And if we do that, I’m taking a three month vacation, and leaving you to do the hard work on your own.  Comprende?”

            Drakken looked up from his stupor with wide eyes again, and as his breathing calmed down, Shego could have sworn that she saw a hint of a smile grace his face.  And not an evil grin, either.  A genuine smile.

            It was sickening.

            Sweetly so.

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            Drakken’s eyes widened when he heard those words.  If Shego was going to go on vacation, then…  Then that meant she was coming back!  That she wouldn’t leave him! 

            Oh, but what to do about what he now knew?  Now that he knew that she did care for him (even just a little bit—and a little bit was enough for hope to develop).  He had thought the night prior to just ignore his thoughts.  To ignore that he had saved the world and to ignore the fact that he knew now at long last that he was truly, madly in love with Shego. 

            But now?  Now that he knew that he hadn’t been completely deluded?  That Shego had run for him on the ship?  That she did worry about him and care for him (in her own way, of course)?  What now? 

            He didn’t want to lose her—that was for sure.  He couldn’t.  Or rather, he didn’t want to.  Not after he thought that he was going to lose her forever.  Except… would they enter villainy again together?  As partners this time?  Would they be forced to become heroes after all that had happened?  His subconscious reminded him that none of the other villains had made any attempts to stop the aliens from becoming their overlords.  What did that mean for him?  Did it mean that he was… (damn it) good deep down?  That Shego was also good for helping him?  Or did she do it just to save her own hide?  (But that couldn’t have been the case.  Even the other villains didn’t do that.) 

            Did she do it for him?  Did this mean that they really were riding the same wavelength in their lives?  That they were finally, truly in sync?

-------

            Shego watched with a hint of awe as the man in front of her began to think to himself for the umpteenth time that day.  She was used to his antics, at this point in their lives, but usually he acted this way when constructing a new doomsday plan—not when he was trying to respond to her.  Her of all people.  Usually they would just… bicker, and then laugh it off while watching a movie or TV or something.

            Of course, she would make him confused when all she wanted to do was hurt him, like he hurt her.  The cricket in her mind suggested that he wasn’t aware that she was hurting, and she yelled at it in her mind to stop.  Damn him.  Damn him and his—his buffoonery!

            (And now she was picking up his lingo, and adapting his grammatically incorrect forms of said lingo into her own vocabulary.  Fuck, she spent too much time with the man.)

            The anthropomorphic cricket reemerged in her mind, and dared to utter the words she didn’t want to admit to herself.  “Is it any wonder that you’re in love with him?”

            “No,” her mind supplied, in response to her subconscious thoughts.  She just wasn’t sure whether she was saying it because she was denying the sentiment, or answering it.

-------

            Drakken stood in front of Shego, mirroring her.  Both of them, he realized, seemed to be caught in their own thoughts about the other without really recognizing that the other was in front of them.

            Gosh darn it!  If he hadn’t been so focused on showing all of his peers all of his life that he was better than them, maybe he could express what he was thinking to Shego now.

            But as he and the situation stood, he realized that blaming his isolated past self for not being more outgoing wasn’t going to help his problems with Shego now.  (And somewhere deep in the depths of his mind, he realized that recognizing that would make any therapist proud.)

            Yet that didn’t change the fact that he didn’t know how to communicate his feelings to the woman in front of him.  And he knew that.  He knew that his current train of thought couldn’t possibly be the way to go about doing things.  But he knew that she wouldn’t leave—that she wanted to stay.  He also knew that she wasn’t mad at him for saving the world (the thing he thought would have finally been the straw to break the camel’s back, so to speak). 

            And he knew that she did care about him.

            So he said them.  He said those three words that he figured would solidify their feelings for each other and their places in each other’s lives.

            “Marry me, Shego.”