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In All the Gin Joints in All the World, He Asks For Coco Moo

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i. try the coco moo. it's soothing.

You meet the most interesting characters working late nights in Go City. Weekdays especially. That's what draws out the real sad sacks.

She almost laughs at this Poindexter the second he saunters into her bar. Body so thin and springy, he wobbles like a penguin with each kick of the squeaky shoe. His glasses are unflattering at best, crooked and likely snatched from an old man just trying to read his paper in the park. And God — that suit! Navy blue sport coat with a clip-on bowtie from a party supply store.

Poindexter looks so oblivious looking over the seedy tavern with beady eyes, so it surprises her when his voice scratches like a dog bark and he slouches into the bar and spits, "Appletini. More on the apple, less on the tini and in separate glasses please."

She groans and leans towards him. "Uh huh. Well you know what they pay me for, right?"

He shakes his oblong head. "I'm unfamiliar. A genius like me spends most of their time at coffee shops and libraries, not riff-raff like this, but my dear, it has been a day."

Ah, his braggadocio brings out the nasally underpinnings to his deep voice.

"Uh huh," she drawls. "Cool backstory. Anyways, I'm paid to put a lot of apple and a little bit o' tini into a metal shaker and shakey-shake 'em. Then I give it to you. If you're gonna be a fussy cuss, you can just buy the full bottles and I'll give you your own glass and shaker."

The man scratches his chin — wow, his fingers are like a baby's. So tiny she's surprised they can even bend. "Mm, I would — but then Mother would call me and ask why I spent so much on a bottle of tini."

"Your mother?!"

"Mm yes — well — it's my account — she just — erm — has access to it…" he grumbles and his cheeks glow like mulberries.

"It's not actually called tini by the way but alright," she smirks and slides three glasses over to him. Apple, tini, and whatever Poindexter whatever proportions Poindexter wants it to become. "Closed or open tab?"

"Depends — do you have Coco Moo?"

"What?"

"Nyrgh. Closed tab."

He hands her his debit card and while she doesn't do this for everyone — she sneaks a peekaboo at the name because he's just so much. She needs a name to her pain. "Andrew Lipsky?"

"Yes," his eyes nervously scroll elsewhere. "But if you want to see my work, you can internet my pseudonym: Doctor Drakken!"

Internet my name — what the flip is this guy talking about? She almost asks but spots some regulars somehow managing to jam their entire party of four through the same door frame at once. Ugh. She hands the card back to Poindexter and winds up getting slammed with a rush.

Poindexter gets aggravated early into the rush (it's very noisy) and slaps his notebook shut, leaving behind a very specific clump of cash as a tip. When she has time for it, she counts it off and finds that it's a perfect 15%.

Huh.


ii. to prove that i'm brillianter than the lot of them

If you asked her why exactly he likes her joint so much, she could not even fake a response. But Poindexter struts in every night, at least every night she works. She's a part-timer after all. Monday through Thursday, eight to two thirty AM with one half hour break at eleven. All her other weekday time is devoted to studying — she's a sophomore at Go City U — paying through the nose to get herself a teaching degree so she doesn't need a side hustle anymore.

Well — her weekend life isn't really a side hustle. Her dumb lummox of a brother calls it that — she calls it a charity case. She's actually not that into it — crime fighting that is — but she does have superpowers and regrettably loves violence — so it'd be weird if she wasn't out there saving the world.

It's just part time anywho.

Her big brother though? He wants her to quit the bartending gig and drop out of college because duh um Shego! the city needs you blagh gurmp I'm really stupid. So not happening. Unlike her brothers who never questioned their reality, she has direction. She studies hard and works for those tips because one day — she's blowing this joint. No more superhero antics for her.

God, she's a freakin' superhero. That'll never roll right off the tongue. But yep, she's got the key to the city and everything. You already know who she is. The moody green one from Team Go. And she's the only one with her head on straight. Mego, Wego, Hego — God, she can't believe she let them call her Shego.

To be fair, her pitches — Fuckgo, Shitgo, Pissgo — though brilliant names, were a little juvenile and she should have known better.


iii. the traditional captive - captor relationship

Poindexter ends up being such a character. Beyond that pocket protectin' exterior — he is committed to being a regular at this bar, though he still hasn't decided on his drink yet. But he always ventures to see if the bar has introduced Coco Moo yet, the answer always being no.

So every night is a new concoction. Even an apple with only a bit o' tini is too much for the guy to stomach. She doesn't get what the appeal is for him but he always shows up, and he always sits in the same seat and takes up three other stools with his backpack and binders.

When she has time, she hears him out. He loves the sound of his own voice and over time, his rants become an anthology of all the times that people laughed him out of something. Like the time the kids laughed him off the four square court. Or the time he got laughed off stage in a high school performance of The Tragedy of Julius Caesar. Or the time James Possible laughed him out of college.

Yes, yes. James Possible. She has no idea who that schlub is but he comes up a lot. James Possible this and James Possible that, ugh. She starts to hate James Possible too, if only for making a neat bookends to Poindexter's pathetic life of rejection.

It's about a month into him coming to her bar that he officially becomes a regular. He struts in as always and her coworker elbows her in the ribs. "God, I hate that guy," the coworker growls. "He never fucking tips."

Huh. Weird.

She doesn't know what to say because whenever she serves him, Drew tips a solid 25%.


iv. fo'sheezy it's off the heezy

It's not every night you come out from the kitchen and find that your favorite customer has turned blue, and yet here we are.

He doesn't even seem stressed out about it. No, he's just leafing through the drink menu as always, trying to find something (that regrettably isn't Coco Moo) that could possibly give him some semblance of happiness.

She almost wonders if he's even noticed his new look but she knows she should give him more credit, so she hangs in the back kitchen for a little bit until she can think of a joke. Because something about him being blue is making her anxious, she is so not coming out until she can properly defuse the whole thing.

After ten minutes, she decides to go with the first joke she came up with, even though that now feels stale and disingenuine. But she sells it as an off-the-cuff gag when she leans in and snarks, "Wow. Violet Beauregarde over here, huh?"

Drew looks over his glasses and slides them back up. "Ha ha. And that's not a funny ha ha...but, — mhrm, it is a funny story. You see — it was a Tuesday…"

She rolls her eyes. "Eh, I'm good on storytime." Drew's smile falters and for a moment he actually seems disappointed. But no — he loves it when she kicks his teeth in like that. It's probably because his mom was too nice to him.

There's a quick flush of lime across her own cheeks but she tosses it off. "By the way, I have a surprise for you."

"A surprise?" he licks his lips.

She holds up two fingers and retreats back to the kitchen, already biting her lip. She really doesn't want to go through with this but it's too late now. There's a simmering pot of homemade hot chocolate waiting for her — or rather, him.

She's embarrassed to say but she actually came in early to prepare this: two cups of whole milk, a quarter cup of sugar, two tablespoons of cocoa powder, a cup of chocolate chips, a teaspoon of vanilla extract, and a cinnamon stick. Simmering for hours with the occasional stir. She used the extra time to power through her homework much to the chagrin of the kitchen staff but no one dared give her any lip — she was scary as Hell after all.

She pops out of the kitchen with two steaming mugs in hand and slides one in front of Drew. His gasp of joy ("COCO MOO?!") is so endearingly shrill she can't help but stare as he slurps the drink all over his face. His eyes shine as his lips purse inward, a chocolate mustache spread across his apelike maw. He leans in and raises an eyebrow to her and very cooly says three words that shake her to the core. "You do care."

She fails to fight off an authentic smile and sits across him. They clink mugs and bottoms up.


v. i'm going to open up a can of freak on all of you

Aviarius is always up to some nonsense. Bird Boy says he's taking over the world but she can never quite make the connection as to how his actions will tangibly lead to absolute, infallible power. Hego says that's because she has no imagination, but really it's because their arch-foe is dumber than a sack of bricks. But Hego won't hear it. Dude's positively convinced that Aviarius is Public Enemy #1.

But will her brother kill the dastardly foe? No, of course not. Moral high ground and all that. Hego has all the power in the world and uses it for — what exactly? Sure, big man likes to pin the baddie to the ground and lecture him on the differences between right and wrong — but...big picture?

That's nothing.

Aviarius is deluded to think that he'll actually conquer the world. There's a few months where she's pretty sure he's in on the joke — but no he's dead serious. He's as career about this as Hego.

So every Sunday morning Aviarius pops up and robs a bank acting like this is it — his big break. And Hego takes it so seriously, and of course Team Go downs the bird once again and locks him up in the pokey. Yet somehow the cops are dumber than the villains and Aviarius flies again.

And Hego is scandalized! Aviarius boasts and brags as if a prison escape actually means something nowadays — though it's the equivalent of climbing out of the baby crib.

God, is there anyone in this city with two brain cells to rub together?

So she does something a little — ah — morally iffy? She — erm — she sabotages a classic Aviarius caper. Yes, she lets him get away. Because fuck it, why not. Possible change in the routine, and an opportunity for Hego to understand how fruitless this rivalry is.

"My Gods," Hego is shaken to the core as he watches Aviarius' silhouette dissolve in the sunlight. "We — we failed the planet. Team Go. We must not rest until we stop Aviarius. It could be this very moment that the mad man takes over the world."

She rolls her eyes and grabs her brother's burly shoulder. "Hey."

"Oh don't give me that look Shego!" Hego growls. "You'll see! You'll be talking about him in your political science class tomorrow! The ramifications of what it's like to live under a totalitarian mastermind!"

"Hego!" her voice catches in her throat. Are they really doing this right now? "Aviarius is an idiot who ran off with a big bag of money but guess what? Everyone knows his ugly mug! You think he can go around spending any of that? No! Chill. Out."

Hego makes to say something but instead sniffles. His bulking frame folds in on itself and he storms off.

Guess not. Today's not the day it implodes. She feels the metaphorical blood dripping from her mouth and wishes there was more of a smackdown in her town….

She feels bad — watching the Big Kahuna drag a thick arm across his nosey-wosey to wipe away the tears and snot. This is actually her fault after all. She sabotaged the mission and now she's starting to wonder what possibly motivated her to allow that.

It's just — petty. She's petty and has some work to do.


vi. ah, my teenage foe

It's been a month since Aviarius' hollow victory and surprise surprise — nothing of any significance happens. Except Coco Moo is officially added to the menu at the bar. While the drink is obviously cheaper than anything else on the menu, Poindexter tips tremendous percentages that mirror the money she used to get off him when he was weaning into over-priced self-destruction.

But this night — the game changes a little. Poindexter doesn't have much to talk about and in fact, he hasn't even brought his notebooks; his backpack is still strapped tight to his blazer.

This is the first night he asks for the Wi-Fi password and it take her a few minutes to actually find it somewhere in the employee handbook. He spends hours pouring over his laptop, tossing headphones on when the late night riff raff storms in to make a ruckus. She tries to make small talk with him but he merely grumbles indecipherable words like "Uhrm...nyrgh…" so she gives it a rest until her lunch break.

Ever since she started working here, she used her lunch breaks to go out for a smoke break and fit in some reading for school — and even though finals are coming up — she uses the half hour to slide onto the stool besides Drew. But he's too focused to even notice her, so she peers over his shoulder.

Kim Possible: She Can Do Anything!

She raises an eyebrow and looks over the site. It's some twelve year old cheerleader who is apparently saving the world with this dumb looking kid and his naked mole rat. Also available for babysitting gigs?

Weird.

The name too. Kim Possible. Why does that sound familiar?

"Yo, Doctor D!" she finally says.

Drew yelps and turns to face her, his blush is purple now because of the perma-blue skin. Super weird but she's also used to it. "Um...hello Sheila."

"You're not using our Wi-Fi to look at porn are you?"

"Huh? No! Wh—what is porn actually? Perhaps I am using it for that…"

She stares at him for so long and he doesn't even flinch, so she is forced to put a pin on that and steam ahead. "Don't worry about it. But um...seriously, what are you doing?"

"Ah, I'm fuming, Sheila," Drew explains as if that is a very normal hobby. "You remember my arch-foe, James Possible?"

She snorts. Arch-foe. Dumb. "Yes," she chuckles.

"This is his daughter," he growls and then says in an annoyingly shrill voice, "She can do anything!"

"Uh huh," she laughs. "Bitter much?"

Drew's face drops and he blushes. "Well my hubbub with James was a formative experience for me and to see his daughter do so well — out of sheer luck at that — "

He grumbles some other things but she stays hung up on the sheer luck part because that's a weird thing to say. So she asks him about it.

"Mm," Drew pauses and purses his lips. "I have a theory — see — this site is called kimpossible.com yes? Well — there's also impossible.com — for Team Impossible — you've heard of them I trust?"

Is it weird for a bartender to have heard of Team Impossible? Maybe? But of course she knows them and fuck it, she actually likes Drew so she tells the truth and nods. Strange she has to mull that over for so long, usually she's more knee-jerk in conversations, but something about Drew makes her want to be careful. Because this friendship might actually mean something one day.

Drew goes on to explain his theory that Kim Possible's first contact was actually trying to reach out to Team Impossible but made a typo...fascinating stuff really. Makes sense too, it's just one letter off.

But she can't stop thinking about Team Impossible…see, it was a week ago that she met them; it was for an interview. She likes their style, this whole capitalist heroism angle. Charging people for their services. Makes sense. The lack of a paycheck is why she can't stomach taking time for Team Go anymore. Freakin' bartending at minimum wage pays the bills. Not superhero antics. Those don't do her any favors. Hego refuses to accept any payment. Because of morals.

What freakin' ever.

Team Impossible turn her down though. They give her some corporate schlock about how their team isn't a good fit for her but she sees right through them; the boys' club just doesn't want to split the cut with her. Well. Okay. They will rue the day they — ugh. She's starting to internally rant like Doctor D.

By the end of the conversation, she's actually proud of Little Kimmie for knocking Team Impossible down a peg. But on the flippity, she hates this brat because once again, a hero who doesn't accept payment is storming the scene and that makes it harder for gals like her….

Gals who just want to put a roof over their head.


vii. has society gone completely to seed

She hates ceremonies — like, she already accomplished the thing, why does she have to show off? It's done. She's not a student anymore, she's alumni. Summa cum laude baby.

And see — now she's annoyed. She wouldn't have been annoyed if she didn't have to doll up for this dumb thing but guess what? She paid for extra tickets and guess who decided not to come anyways? Ah-yup-yup. There's an empty metal chair with a reserved sign over it. She's not stupid; she can tell that the Wegos duplicated themselves to fill out their row.

God fucking damn you Hego.

Among the black storm of everyone throwing tasseled caps in the air she peaces out. Enough is enough. "Where is he?" she growls at Mego.

Mego throws his hands up. "Listen, I don't want a fight right now — how about we just take you out and celebrate?"

"No. Where. Is. He?"

Mego looks aside and grumbles something. Sounds like Aviarius. Unfuckingbelievable. She snarls and spits. "Fuck him," she says coldly. "Seriously. Fuck him."

"I know, he's being a bit of a bonehead — " Mego starts to say.

" — a bit?"

"Okay, a lot of bonehead, I dunno," Mego shrugs. "Fuck, don't take it out on me. Listen if you want to fight let's just do it and get it over with, okay? You can yell and scream all you want right now, but when we're done we're going out — and we're not gonna talk about this — and we're gonna get fucked up. It'll be fun."

There's a long pause. "Should we go home?" the Wegos ask together.

"Yes," she and Mego say together.

After the twins depart, Mego looks her right in the eye. "Hego wants you to exchange your college hours for Team Go hours — "

" — no. I've already committed that time to the bar."

"To the bar?" Mego doesn't mean to sound judgmental but oho — he's really going through the motions of it. "I thought you wanted to be a teacher."

"Yes — what?! It's my job you ass — just because you decided to freeload in Go Tower and not worry about actually trying — you know what? Fuck it. I don't care."

It's not the first time a conversation between them has gone like this, and it's not the last, so Mego doesn't bother. They part ways and she feels kind of gross. He does too, because she's right. She's always been right, but it's easier to call her a crazy bitch and be done with it. But when the chips are down? No duh — Team Go is squandering on borrowed time.

She's shaking for some reason. It's weird. She's quit Team Go like seventeen times — oddly enough she's never thrown in the towel when Hego's around. Only with Mego, whom she actually kind of likes. And she always comes back. Be it a day or a few weeks, she comes back, ready to brawl.

This time though, it takes three months for her to return.


viii. do you think that I'm evil

"Nyrgh…"

"What are you grumbling about tonight? You're kinda pissing me off."

Drew looks up, looking worse than ever. He used to have such good posture — now he's a hunched over lunatic with darting eyes. "Demenz," he says simply.

"Oh God, what is it this time?" she shakes her head. "Did he call you Violet Beauregarde? Because you can tell him I came up with that joke three years ago."

"No, he hasn't quite found his nickname for me yet fortunately — " Drew ponders but shrugs it off. "Demenz invented the weather disruptor machine I've been working on."

"So? He invented it." Drew doesn't even bat an eye so she has to continue her lecture. "He obviously came up with it before you did, if that's what you're implying."

"Ah!" Drew waves a finger in the air. "I did not steal from him! No! I — I invented it too! You see, I came up with the concept independently!"

"Mhm," she smiles wryly.

"He can just build faster because he has an army of henchmen. It's not fair!" he pouts.

Yep. There it is. Another red flag. Drew's been throwing up a lot of them lately; she already knows he's a mad scientist aspiring to be a wacked out supervillain, but he's way too much of a softy for that field. She almost wants to sit Drew down and tell him the honest-to-god truth: that she is a superhero. Then she can give him some real talk pointers on how to get his act together.

Because this Kim Possible kid now? She's huge. She like saved the world six times or something last week. Like she's already graduated from fighting off goons like Aviarius. If Drew — Drakken — wants to compete — then he needs to let go of this stupid James Possible grudge and actually do the work.

"You know Doctor D," she says while wiping off a dusty glass. "You should just steal the weather gizmo from him if you want it that bad."

"Hm?"

"Steal it! You know — spooky evil stuff."

"Aaaaaah…evil..." Drew mulls it over and pulls back his stupid pompadour into a ragged ponytail. "Stealing, huh? Well — I prefer to call that outsourcing and either way, I don't have the manpower to do that, I'm a one-man band."

And that's the end of that for some time.


ix. you think you're all that

Drew gets banned from the bar one night. She's not even there to see it. Apparently Drew comes in with Demenz for drinks on a night she wasn't working and they got into a bit of a spat. Something about Dementor calling him the Genie from Aladdin, and Drew calling Dementor Winnie the Pooh.

Yeah. Dumb. Drew could have cooked up something better. He really needs to spend more time journaling so he can be faster on the uptake.

But there's a spat and that spat becomes a brawl. Everyone starts smashing things and at the center of it is her snivelling Poindexter. It's nights like these that she wishes she helped him out with the whole evil thing because Jesus Christ — someone beats the tar out of him. Yeah. A glass shatters across Drew's face and those splintered shards dig deep. He's got this gnarly scar running down his cheek, leading from the corner of his eye.

Honestly, he got off easy. With the mouth on him it's a wonder he didn't get into more trouble...but yeah, someone got the drop on him and now — that villainy career? It's probably over now. Poindexter doesn't have the moxie. How can he not see that by now?

She feels sad for him. Not enough to go visit him at the hospital but — there was — potential? He had this spark and it could have been fun but now...

...now she's catching herself brewing Drew's Coco Moo. She stops when she realizes he's not coming. She considers drinking it alone but pours it out into the sink.


x. but you're not

By day, she's a superhero. By night, she's a bartender. And every moment in between she's hungry.

She's addicted to job applications. At first she is very selective on what she applies for but there aren't any biters. When she does get lucky enough to score an interview, she hits the employers with everything she's got and somehow never gets a call back. Not even an email. So after some desperate months of that, she just applies everywhere.

She remodels her resume and draws up cover letters as if she's a full time writer. She can sell a book out of her stupid please hire me diatribes. But nothing seems to land and after six months of ten applications a day with no interviews — she gives up.

Because fuck it. It's not her that's the problem, it's the world that doesn't get when they're seeing gold and she's not going to wait up anymore.

So she becomes full time at the bar for some reason. She doesn't know why. Everyone she started with four years ago has moved on to bigger and better things — probably — she just kind of assumes those people are happier than her. The only thing that's consistent are the regulars — aside from Doctor D.

She thinks about him more often than she'd like to admit. She gazes at the door when she punches in, wondering if they'll push open to reveal that ungodly strut he always marched in with. Months pass by as if they're nothing and he never returns.


xi. i do think of us as kind of an evil family

The only reason they're at the chemical labs that night is because Aviarius and Mathter are teaming up to do — something. Who cares anymore. She just shows up because it's an opportunity for her to beat the crap out of someone.

But while she's sneaking around, she sees a man crouched over a safe. He's grumbling very loudly and is apparently deaf because he doesn't hear her footsteps pattering across the metal girder.

Gross, dry black hair, rattail, awful posture, tiny digits, and Violet Beauregarde skin peeping past the high-collar of his coat — oh God.

She squats down and watches him fuck up the safe combination again. He pulls out a notebook and reads off the numbers out loud. "Thirty six...twenty one...four. What — what am I doing wrong?"

She can't hold it anymore; it's like watching your teenager try to march out the door in that outfit. Like — honey no.

"Seriously?" she laughs.

You can hear a pin drop. For a second. And then you can't. Because Doctor Drakken shrieks and scrabbles away, but she grabs him by the boot and he trips into the safe. He looks at her and scrunches into a fetal position almost. Then he blinks and remembers her. "You're — you're — whatsername — the girl from the bar!"

She rolls her eyes but forgives him. Doctor D's not good with names. At least for people he actually likes.

"You're — " he stutters. "A superhero!"

She just grins and lets him process it all on his own.

"You're — you're Shego! Oh that makes sense — your name is Sheila Go, isn't it? I don't know how I didn't get that."

"Eh, most people don't somehow. Everyone in this city's an idiot so…."

"Mm, well I'm no idiot, I'm a genius!" Drakken declares. "I just seem to have copied the safe combination down wrong.

She rolls her eyes. "Are you kidding me with that? Dude, Doctor D, you never use the combination. Those change all the time — you want to bring the equipment — here. Move over."

Her fist lights up into a brilliant emerald and Drakken needs no reminding that he better back up. Her hand closes in on the safe and the metal immediately lights up at the intensity. It's hard to hold a flare this long — but for him? For him it's kinda worth it. So she drags her hand through the safe until she burns a little hole out and pow — the metal gap ker-thunks to the floor.

"So — you're helping me then?" he asks.

Her eyes widen a little. "I guess I am, huh?"

There's such an uncomfortably long silence that it almost makes more sense to kiss him than do what she is about to do.

"I don't want to do Team Go anymore, it's dumb," she shrugs, trying to play it cool. It's not like these thoughts have been tormenting her for years or anything.

"Ah, and I do need an assistant," Drakken grins something surprisingly charming. It's not like he's been a loser with no friends except the bartender ever since James Possible got him kicked out of college.

"I'm def not your assistant, but I'll do with partners."

"Sidekick?"

"Partners."

"Henchwoman?"

"No. Partners."

Drakken eyes her as if any second the cameras are about to swarm him from all over and broadcast his naivete and gullibility all across America. But no one comes.

"We'll stop you Aviarius!" Hego proclaims from waaaay across the lab, saying it with the relish of an actor who can deliver a line one hundred times and somehow always keep it fresh. "Even if it's the last thing I do."

She snaps and grabs his tiny hands, making the decision for him, rocking his arm up and down. "We'll talk logistics and titles later — let's steal the cash before my brother trounces that idiot. Drakken's your monicker right?" She wants it to sound like she didn't already know that — but she's no phony. Not like Hego. And Drakken sees right through the I-don't-give-a-fuck-facade.

He nods along anywho. Because he likes the banter.

She grins. "Good. Doctor Drakken and Shego. I like it. Kinda like Frankenstein and Igor — "

Drakken raises a finger to make the exact same point that just came to her mind.

"So not a lab assistant," she shuts that down fast and laughs as he droops like a rapidly wilting flower. "But we're going to make a big time villain out of you, Doctor."

He smiles and finally grips her hand back.

"Partners," they say together.


A/N: Hey!  Katrina here.  Thanks for reading!  For anyone reading my multi-chapter fic I'm Scared Too, I'm taking a quick break to focus on some new ideas.  It'll just be a few weeks and I'm really excited to jump back into it, I just need a break so I can really get those juices flowing.