I don't own a thing, Disney does. This one goes out to MrDrP, who caught some very subtle hints in Redemption, and made a request, not knowing I already had that planned. This takes place shortly after the events of "Redemption". Enjoy!
Life Changes – Chapter 1
"I still think you should be in bed Dr. D!"
Drew just smiled. "Ah, but I wanted to see our new base of operations for myself. I have to head back at night, until my treatment is over, but during the day, I'm allowed to go out and… is that an SP3200 computer system? Oh goody! Shego, wheel me over there!"
Shego just shook her head, thinking over the events of the last few weeks. Three weeks ago, she and Drakken had just been planning their next take over the world scheme when Monkey Fist had dropped in for a visit, asking Drakken to help him with some piece of technology. After a few days, Drakken and Fist had finished, but Fist had betrayed them, stabbing her and brutalizing Drakken. She still flinched sometimes when she looked at him, remembering how she had found him. It was likely he would be in a wheelchair forever, but his mood seemed to be improving.
After getting him to a hospital, she had joined up with Ron and Bonnie to try and stop Fist, to punish him for what he did, but they had failed every time, first in Middleton, and then again in Go City. It was the second one that was hardest for her. She had lost two of her brothers there, Will and Wendell, better known to everyone else as the Wegos. With their death, her eldest brother Henry, Hego, had been institutionalized for delusions, a mental break down basically.
They picked up a couple more along the way, her brother Michael (Mego), with Yori and Hirotaka from Japan, and tried again to stop him. In Africa, they arrived too late, and almost died. But they made it through that, and with Drakken and Wade's help, managed to come up with a plan to stop Monkey Fist, now all-powerful.
It was a suicide mission, considering the power Fist had. She'd never really thought about it before, but she knew going in she probably wouldn't be coming back, and she knew that Ron wouldn't have been at all. She normally would have walked right then, her sense of self-preservation kicking in, but two things stopped her. The first was the knowledge that if they didn't stop Fist then and there, nobody would be able to. The second was Ron, but she let that thought slide for now. There had been a huge fight, and she had been forced to face things she had never wanted to face again, but just when Fist had them, ready to finish them, that little rodent of Ron's, Rufus, which somehow had the same power he did, saved them all, sacrificing himself.
That was when she did something she would regret and celebrate for the rest of her life. She had finished off Monkey Fist! He was hurt, badly, but still alive. Despite her vows of vengeance, killing was not something she did. It ate away at her. The first time, Dr. Chaos, had been a moment of insanity for her. Abused, tortured, watching her loved one killed, she had snapped. But Monkey Fist, Monkey Fist had been calculated. She had known what she was doing. She had done it in such a way that it would look like a result of the explosion of energy. And only she would know what she had done. It was something she would have to live with for the rest of her life, even if she knew it had to be done!
That was when Ron had offered her something she never thought she would have again; a second chance. He had gotten her and Drakken pardons for they're past crimes, and she was free and clear. Drakken had jumped at that, having gained some measure of what he had wanted, respect. The fight had been shown to the world, and now they were saviors, and Drakken was enjoying the newfound fame he had gained as a result of his actions. Book deals, scientific lectures as guest speaker, even companies seeking access to his technologies. He had everything he wanted!
She, however, just couldn't turn back the clock and become a hero again so easily. Too much had happened to her. She had contacted a few old "acquaintances" to see if she could get back into the game, but they all turned her down. She was too high profile now, too much of a liability, especially after her past as a hero had come to light. She knew the solo gig wouldn't work for her either, she had spent too long working with others, and had no desire to pursue that route anyways for any length of time. But Ron's suggestion of mercenary work appealed to her, especially with Drakken's suggestion of working together. Bounty hunting, contracts for hire, it felt right. She could still do what she loved, for a price. And it would give her a chance to work with Ron on occasion.
When she had first met him, years ago, he had been nothing to her. He was the distraction Kim Possible always had tagging along. He was never a threat, never someone she even concerned herself with. But as the years went on, he got better. She could see it in his fighting style. He was even able to take on Monkey Fist on his own quite often, and that was saying something. But he always did it with what appeared to be sheer luck and pure chance.
In the last year, he had really improved. At first, she assumed it was his relationship with Kim rubbing off on him. But when Monkey Fist had taken her out, he was still in there, fighting the good fight. With Kim in a coma, he stuck with the hero gig, pushing himself, along with that new partner of his Bonnie. He took the forefront, grabbing the spotlight for himself, even if he didn't want it. Shego admired him for that. He had fought the darkness within himself, a darkness that would have enveloped most anyone else, herself included, and he was stronger for it.
Admiration aside, it was the events of the last few weeks that really opened her eyes to him. When she had come to him, asking for help, he could have said no, he could have laughed in her face, he could have said any of a number of things, but he didn't. He talked with her, he trusted her, and after a little while, she trusted him. She had told him things she had never told anyone before, and he listened. He didn't judge, he didn't freak, he listened, even held her when she needed it. She had returned the favor once herself, when he needed it. Despite the fact that they had never said it, and probably never would, she considered him a friend, something she didn't have too many of in this world. That was the final reason she had decided to take the offer he had presented to her.
She watched as Drakken, with just one hand, began playing with the computer, glee evident on his face. Shego smiled. Despite everything he had been through, he still was able to bounce back. She had already seen it before, always coming up with some new idea, despite being beaten on what seemed a weekly basis. But to see it in this situation was remarkable.
Most in the villain community always wondered why she stuck with Drakken. To them, he was a bumbler, a fool. She could be so much more powerful, they'd say, if she just hooked up with someone else. But she couldn't do that. Drakken, after everything that had happened to her, had taken her in when she left the hero business. When she had no one, he was there. They may not have really gotten along much, and always argued, but she saw him as an almost father figure, someone she knew would be there. Especially now, she couldn't leave him. He needed her help, even if neither of them spoke about it, and she would be there to provide it.
She was torn from her thoughts when she realized he was speaking with her. "What… what did you say?"
Drakken just humphed in his chair. "I said, that handler they're sending over from Global Justice should be here in a few minutes."
Shego just glared. "I don't even know why we need a handler. They could just call us up when they need a contract taken care of."
Drakken just sighed. "You know as well as I do, it's part of the agreement we made to have our records cleared. They provide us with all the goodies and parts we need, we had a few contracts gratis for them." Drakken looked around briefly before lowering his voice. "Plus, I don't think they really trust us just yet."
Shego just laughed. "I think that one is pretty damn obvious Dr. D. It was less than a year ago we nearly took over the planet! All this guy they are sending is going to do is spy on us! The only reason I'm even letting him in the front door is because Stoppable says they are sending someone he assures me we can trust, even if he doesn't know who it is. Says that GJ promised him as much."
"See Shego, no reason to over react…" The glare Shego gave him made him stumble with his words briefly. "Umm… what I mean to say is… if Stoppable says he's good, than we can trust his judgement." Drakken turned back to the computer, playing with it. "You know, I rather like that young man, don't you? He even got me a Snowman Hank DVD as a get-well gift!"
Shego just shook her head. "I'm going to check the rest of this place, see what we've got here. You be OK here for a few minutes?"
Drakken just waved her away, caught up in checking out the computer systems. She meandered through the halls, noticing a lot more rooms than she figured they would ever use. Most were empty, but a couple had beds in them. She figured she would have plenty of time to pick out a room, so she left them for now. When she saw the exercise room, she almost felt like crying. She could see several sparring rings, as well as enough training equipment to keep over a dozen people busy. An Olympic size swimming pool sat behind a glass wall, the water a sparkling clear light blue. She knew this must have been a housing compound for a number of agents at once, and began to wonder why it had been given over to her and Drakken.
The dining hall and kitchen were huge, and fully stocked. They had been preparing this well in advance, and she found many of her favorite foods. A little more wandering and she found the hanger. A jet sat there, capable of carrying several people, as well as a couple of Drakken's ships, parked off to the side. GJ must have brought them down from their last base. It looked like Global Justice was giving them every chance to prove themselves, and silently thanked Ron, knowing a lot of it was because of his doing.
Done with the tour, she made her way back to the control room and Drakken. Opening the door, she saw him talking with someone. She knew he had to be the handler GJ had sent over. While she had the chance, she looked him over. He was well muscled, standing just over six feet tall, with short, dark hair that was brushed pretty short. He wore a brown suit, looking as if he had just come from a meeting or something. With his back turned, she couldn't tell much more than that, but from what she could see he looked pretty cute.
Walking over, she began thinking that maybe this wouldn't be so bad after all.
When he turned to face her, she could see he was a little older than her, maybe late twenties or early thirties. His chiseled jaw, and stern features, would have made him look imposing to others, but she kind of liked it.
"Ah, Shego, good to meet you. I take it you have had a chance to look around."
"Yeah, pretty sweet pad for just us."
The man just smiled. "There is a reason for that, but I won't get into that for now. I want to get a couple things straight though. First off, many were not certain that the two of you should be given… free reign so to speak, let alone pardoned. You're fortunate that Stoppable was able to make a convincing case on your behalf. As for the second, I'm here to facilitate any needs that you might have, as well as ensure the conditions of your pardons are met. That said, while many would prefer to keep you on a very short leash, I am not one of those. I'm willing to give you a little slack, based on what Stoppable has reported to me, as well as his general reports. That's why I volunteered for this assignment!"
"Ron told me he didn't know the agent that would be coming. How did you talk to him?"
He just laughed. "Yes, while it's true that he didn't know the "agent" who would be handling this assignment, I've known Stoppable for quite some time. Allow me to introduce myself."
"My name is Agent Steve Barkin!"
Author's Notes – I spent quite a bit of time here setting the scene of who Shego is at this point, her realizations and rationalizations, because I thought I should highlight just why she has chosen this path. Normally, I would have just gone right to the story, but I thought, since this was no longer a one-shot, I'd give it a bit more depth, and make things a little easier for anyone not reading everything of mine.