Happy Hill of Beans

Ninnik Nishukan

Summary: A little tale about confidence. Set post-Odds Man In, but doesn't rule out the following episodes. Drakken/Shego. General/humor/drama/friendship/romance.

Spilling The Beans

"Hello? Shego?"

"Aaah!" There was a loud yelp and a thump as Shego tumbled off the couch in the lab, a slim stack of books falling after her.

Drakken couldn't help but grin. "So much for ninja reflexes."

Shego showed her lack of amusement by attempting to drill a hole in his skull with her glare. "When did you get home?" She demanded; and then, before he could even answer: "What do you want?" She all but hissed, scrambling to her feet and gathering up the fallen books. From the other side of the couch, Drakken failed to notice the way she hastily shoved the small pile of books under a couch cushion, glancing suspiciously at him.

"Well, I just wanted to—" He began, but halted, frowning. "Have you been holed up here all day?" He asked, puzzled as he realized that she'd been sitting in the exact same spot she'd been sitting in when he'd left that morning, and was still wearing the same dark jeans and soft, green sweater. He remembered telling her goodbye and that he'd be back before dinner, but he'd only gotten a distracted grunt in return.

"So what?" She said defensively. "It's not like I have to be Action Gal twenty-four-seven, is it?"

He stared at her, a bit flabbergasted at her continuing hostility. He'd been in a good mood when he'd returned home, and didn't feel like ruining it. "No, but, you know…what with us having been pardoned and the fact that we can finally go wherever we want now without getting arrested, I just thought—"

She scoffed. "Without getting arrested? Yeah. Without getting hounded by the press? Nooot so much."

"Didn't you tell me just yesterday that the press was nothing you couldn't handle?" He reminded her, a bit smug.

"Can handle? Sure. Want to handle? That's a whole other story." She said dismissively before her mouth quirked into a smile. "Besides, as long as I've known you, you've always complained about me doing things like, what was it you called it— oh, yeah…'joy riding and chasing boys left and right', 'dillydallying at department stores and running off on vacations at the most inopportune of moments'," She quoted in a haughty parody of his voice. "…so shouldn't you stop giving me a hard time when I'm actually spending a dayat home?" She teased, the hint of a chuckle in her voice.

Drakken harrumphed. "I merely wanted to know why— and you really were dillydallying, you know!" He pointed out, getting sidetracked once more. "You came home with mountains of clothing, yet you always seemed to be wearing the same old outfit! Looked like a waste of time to me. Did you ever actually wear any of it or did you just collect it like stamps?" He queried sardonically.

Shego gave him an enigmatic smirk. "Wouldn't you like to know…!"

Drakken threw his hands up and gave a sigh as if to say: "Women!"

"So, where have you been all day?" Shego asked across her shoulder as she walked towards the kitchen, smoothing down her sweater as she went.

"The Middleton Institute of Science and Technology." He said, trailing after her.

Shego gave him an overbearing glance before she opened the fridge. "And you accuse me of being holed up?"

"We went out to lunch, you know." Drakken remarked sulkily. "And they gave me a tour of the complex."

"A tour?" Shego looked incredulous as she pulled the carton of tropical juice out of the refrigerator. "Do they not remember that we've broken into that dump, like, at least twice? And didn't you even go to college there?"

Drakken rolled his eyes. "Hah, yes, it was all I could do to keep from laughing, but they were so eager to show me how their 'little operation' had changed since my college days that I didn't have the heart to tell them I know the new layout of the place like the back of my own lab gloves!"

Shego clucked her tongue as she poured herself some juice and put the carton back. "That's what meeting celebrities does to people, I guess."

Drakken beamed. "'Celebrities'. I like the sound of that."

"Well, it's weird, but it's true." Shego shrugged, taking a swig of juice. "That's what we are now."

"Yes! We're famous instead of infamous!" He exclaimed gleefully, nudging her side with his elbow.

Shego groaned. "Just…stick with the science and let me handle the jokes, huh, Doc?"

Drakken glared, his lips pursing. "Oh, and as if you're the next Terry Steinfeld!" He snapped, stalking back into the lab in a huff.

Sighing, Shego drained her glass and put it in the sink. Things had been so peaceful before he'd come back.

Still, she found herself following him back into the lab instead of simply going to her own room. Her feet were funny like that sometimes. They'd gotten her into a lot of trouble over the years by following Dr. D.

In the lab, Drakken was stewing, cursing the couch as he simply couldn't seem to get comfortable. "Since when is the couch this lumpy?" He challenged the world in general as he scooted around, occasionally beating at the cushions with a fist.

Shego rolled her eyes. "Yeesh. Princess and the Pea much, Doc?"

"Let's give Shego a big hand, everybody," Drakken grunted sardonically. "Could you stop being so hilarious for five seconds and help me figure out what's wrong with the couch— huh?" He squinted, bewildered as he pulled out an old, worn and very familiar book. 'Introduction to Robotics: Mechanics and Control'? He thought, frowning, I've barely even looked at that in over two decades! He dug some more, and there was 'Intermediate Robot Building'…and then finally 'Mutation, Developmental Selection, and Plant Evolution', which was a much more recent publication. "What are these doing here?" He asked himself absentmindedly. "I thought I put these in my room…?"

Her eyes widening, Shego sprang into action, finally realizing that she'd forgotten all about the books she'd been reading. Gah, why did I put 'em under the frickin' couch stuffing? Why didn't I just slide 'em under the couch?

Now she rushed towards Drakken, already too late. She hadn't meant for him to find out like this; not when she wasn't even sure what exactly she was doing yet.

"Give that back!" She blurted lamely, trying to tug one of the books from his grasp.

Drakken seemed baffled, but then he growled, tugging back until she decided to let go. "Where did you get these? Did you go into my room?" He demanded, pointing a stern finger down the hallway, nostrils flaring with outrage. His room was— was private! She never went in there, just as he never went into her room— they'd never broken that agreement before, and to have her suddenly do so was just— what had she done in there? What had she seen?

Shego could feel her frame stiffen and quiver with embarrassment. "Um…"

For a second, Drakken looked like he was going to yell at her some more, but then a curious look crossed his face. "Shego…have you read any of these yet?"

Shego squirmed a little, looking like she'd prefer to take off rather than talk; finally, she nodded. "I'm… about two-thirds through this one." She said, picking up 'Mutation, Developmental Selection, and Plant Evolution'.

He drew a surprised breath. If he recalled correctly, that book was a little over four hundred pages in total. "And…and do you understand it?" He asked intently, his curiosity firmly winning over the indignation of having had her invade his privacy.

She sent him a distrustful look, but found nothing but honest surprise and interest; no patronizing intent. "Well, some of the science lingo I've had to look up, but yeah…I think I've got most of it."

His eyes were wide with fascination. "Really?" She always seemed so…impatient, and was always dismissing his attempts at scientific conversation as 'nerdy ranting' or 'geektastic', so he had some trouble imagining her totally immersed in literature concerning the very same subjects.

"Hey, I haven't hung around you for five years without picking up a thing or two, okay?" She began fiercely. "I mean, I've piloted your hover car," She went on, ticking off each item on her fingers, "I've used your super weapons, I can read your charts and blueprints and I've been your lab assistant from time to time, haven't I?"

He realized he was gaping at her, and shut his mouth. "But I thought you never listened."

She cocked her hip, scoffing slightly. "Oh, I listen, I just try to filter out the unimportant parts. You do have a tendency to babble."

"It's not babbling! It's just a…a stream of consciousness!" He spluttered, offended. "I'm very creative, I can't help it!"

Shego smirked. "Riiight…"

"And besides, I'm sure you've missed a lot of important stuff with your little 'filter' system." Drakken accused, scowling.

Shego made a small, exasperated and strangely embarrassed sound in her throat. "Yeah, well…maybe I have." She admitted, to his surprise. "Why d'ya think I'm reading all this stuff, anyway?" She added, a bit irritably.

"Why are you?" He asked, earnestly perplexed.

Tossing her hair somewhat self-consciously, she tried to think of how to explain herself; to Shego, it felt like she was trying to figure out her own intentions for herself even as she was telling him about them. "I dunno, I guess that…after all these years, I figured maybe I should actually find out what kind of business I'm in." She said haltingly, shrugging. "What you've been doing all this time while I've been listening to you rant or been out running dangerous errands for you or been on vacation."

Drakken stared at her for a while, and while he wasn't willing to bet money on it, it actually looked like she was blushing, if only a little. It manifested itself in fascinating, soft shades of pink and green.

"Well…great! It's about time!" He blurted briskly, breaking the silence, which was starting to become just a teensy bit awkward.

It seemed she wasn't entirely comfortable with the fact that he'd discovered what she'd been doing lately. It was no wonder, really, he thought, considering she'd spent the last five years or so convincing him on a daily basis exactly how little what he did impressed her.

So while he felt pleasantly surprised, he could tell it wouldn't be welcome to confront her any further about it. The simple fact that she'd been sneaking around and had gone through his things without permission instead of just borrowing the books from him made it abundantly clear that she was embarrassed over her developing interest in his research.

"As if." Shego muttered, but there was a faint smile on her lips. "See…you're never gonna be a martial artist master, and I'm never gonna be a scientific wiz, but hey, you were ballsy enough to try on my world, right?" She explained, her tone light. "Maybe I wanted to see what you were up to in yours."

"That sounds…reasonable." Drakken said neutrally, still not entirely certain what to make of her, and her uncharacteristic activities. "But if you want to read about robotics, you might want to consider buying some newer books." He added, as the thought suddenly struck him. "I mean, these aren't exactly up to date. I just sort of keep them around for their sentimental value."

"Yeah, tell me about it— I think I was still in kindergarten when those were published," Shego said with a scoff.

He was about to snap at her, suspecting that she was mocking his age, but there was something about the evasive tone in her voice that caused him pause; that told him that it was more about just trying to avoid the subject of her recent studies than seriously trying to make fun of him.

Shego cleared her throat, looking down. "So…what did you want, anyway?"

Shaking his head, Drakken tried to recall what his original intentions had been; he'd gotten so distracted that it was bad even by his standards. "Uh, well…the thing is that my old University asked me to hold a lecture on Saturday. They want me to tell them how I did it, and to demonstrate my new powers…"

"And?" Shego asked nonchalantly, giving a one-shouldered shrug. "What's the problem?"

Drakken winced a little as he got ready to tell her the next part. "Well, as I'm sure you've noticed, I don't actually, um…hold full control over my powers yet. They tend to take on a life of their own when I get…uh, flustered." He told her somewhat shyly, hoping she wouldn't mention his little episode at the UN earlier that week. It had been embarrassing enough that the press had been there and the picture of them wrapped closely together by his plant had made the cover of Humans magazine— he didn't need to be reminded of it yet again.

"And you're, what, afraid that you'll have problems with…premature pollination on stage?" Shego chuckled.

Drakken's eyes practically bugged out at the comment, his face turning a vivid purple. "Shego!" He barked in warning, but it only made her laugh heartily, clutching her stomach.

Drakken snarled. "Shego! You stop laughing this instant or I swear I'll—"


"—I'll…oh, for crying out loud!" Drakken howled, frantically tearing the accursed, yellow petals away from his neck. "See? This is exactly the kind of thing I don't want to happen in front of my old college professors!"

By now, Shego was gasping helplessly for air, laughing so hard she had to lean on the back of the couch to be able to stand. "Wahahahah!"

Drakken was starting to turn white with anger now, his hands balling into fists. "Shego! I'm warning you!"

Before either of them quite knew what was going on, Drakken's vine had wrapped around Shego, picked her up, lifted her above his head—

—and then apparently proceeded to use her on him as if she was some sort of human-sized club, their heads connecting with a dull 'BONK!', before it simply dropped her on top of him like a sack of potatoes, and retreated.

Drakken and Shego ended up in a tangled heap of limbs, clutching their heads in pain and groaning.

Shego was the first to get to her feet, immediately whirling on him and shouting down into his face: "What was that for?"

Drakken shot upright as well, wagging a finger at her as he snarled: "I told you I couldn't quite control my powers yet!"

"Well, then you better learn quick, because—"

"That's just it!"

She hesitated. "What?"

"I want you to teach me!" He told her, pausing before adding, in a slightly mellower voice: "I mean— who better?"

Shego stared at him. Even after how much he'd complained the last time, he still wanted her to train him again? And this time with powers, making it much more dangerous?

That didn't sound like the Drakken that whined over getting a paper cut. Not at all. One of these days, she was going to figure him out…but today didn't seem like it would be that day.

And she was getting intrigued again.

She'd been bored lately, and she had to admit that she'd wanted— not needed; never that— to catch his interest again, the way she'd done when they were sparring.

That time on the train a few months ago, when it had been about to blow up…well, mainly, she'd left because she was angry over the fact that he'd not only screwed up again but had put her life in danger, but she'd also expected him to follow her.

When he hadn't followed, she hadn't waited for him because…well, she'd figured that she should let him get out of one of his own pickles for once, and…maybe because part of her hoped and even believed he'd be able to hold his own against Kim Possible again.

It was dangerous and perhaps too stern a method of teaching, but from what she'd been able to see from the helicopter as she'd followed the train, he'd actually managed quite well…up until the point where he'd hit that tunnel roof, that was.

She'd stopped to help him home, and he'd accepted her offer, but he hadn't appreciated being left behind. He was in a foul mood the rest of the week, hardly approachable, and it wasn't as if she was going to ask him if he wanted to train when he was recovering from a head injury in any case.

After that, there was Frugal Lucre stealing his attention, then there was the time he was possessed by the spirit of Blackeye Brown…and in between that and his recent absorption with all things green— things that weren't her— they basically hadn't really worked out or sparred together for months now.

But now, he wanted to pick up where they left off, apparently…with the added excitement of his new super powers, which she had to admit she was getting curious about. He had, after all, taken down advanced alien technology with them. Not to mention that all this also begged the question of how his powers would react to her own.

This could get…very interesting.

Still…they didn't have much time, and he was sort of out of practice.

"Are you sure this is a good idea?" Shego pressed. "I mean, we haven't trained in four months!"

He blinked. "Really? Are you sure it's been that long?"

"Yeah, remember?" She said, nodding. "I was training you while you repaired Project Protean? And then we finally tried it out?"

"Hah! Yes, I remember! That was great! Especially when we threatened to use my sonic disrupter to…uh, disrupt the Pentagon! And when we slowed down time on the Wall Street stock market!" He whooped. "Honestly, I could have watched those rabid brokers trying to make their bids in slow motion all day! And the panic-selling that ensued…absolute chaos! And then, of course, there was the bailout-plan-of-the-month for all the stockholders and retirees who lost their shirts because the government was helpless to stop us!" Drakken laughed, slapping his knee in delight.

"And when we threatened to annihilate the moon! And started disrupting Mount Everest! And breaking the Hoover Dam! And speeding up random eighteen wheelers on the highway!" Another bark of laughter came as he gestured wildly: "I mean, Kim Possible had no idea what to deal with first! It was hilarious, watching her running around! She never saw it coming, because she didn't expect me to use the same plan twice in a row!"

Shego couldn't keep from cracking a grin, either. "Not to mention the fact that those Smarty Mart shares I snapped up have already split twice since things got back to normal. Guess the old adage to 'buy low and sell high' is good advice."

"Yes! Didn't I tell you that Project Protean would be brilliant, Shego?" Drakken gloated, puffing up his chest.

"Yeah, well…it seemed to be working until the cheerleader called on Global Justice and some kinda secret ninja squad, anyway," Shego pointed out, waving a hand, "whoever they were."

"Well, how could I have known she'd do that?" Drakken demanded, throwing his hands up. "She usually just works with her little friends!"

Shego shrugged. "I'll give ya that one, Doc. I didn't know, either."

He nodded, sending her a quick smile. "Thank you, Shego."

His feeling of gratitude faded when she spoke next, however: "Of course, then you managed to zap our getaway vehicle with your time thingie so we couldn't move, and we were captured by Miss Priss." She reminded him bluntly.

Drakken's face fell a bit. He'd forgotten about that part. "Oh…right." He harrumphed. "Anyway, you really mean to say that's the last time we had lessons?" He interjected, trying to change the subject to avoid any mocking.

Shego nodded firmly. "Yep. Then there was that whole thing with your super concentrated mind control formula, then there was the pirate ghost who possessed you, yadda yadda, the list goes on— you might say we got well and truly off track there, Doc." She added with a deliberate lack of subtlety, subjecting him to a rather accusing look that dimly reminded him of how his mother might look while guilt-tripping him.

Despite this, Drakken only faltered for a second or two before plowing on. "No matter— we'll start again, then!" He enthused.

Shego frowned, she wanted to start her evil teaching again, but she was uncertain how she was supposed to be able to figure out how to tame his plant powers before Saturday. "Yeah, uh…I don't really know…" She began, grimacing with doubt.

"But…but you must have had some problems with your powers when you first got them, right?" Drakken prompted, trying to play the sympathy/understanding angle. If only he could make her realize that he was in the same position that she must've been in all those years ago, he was sure he'd be able to coax her to help him. If it took a bit of wheedling and guilt-tripping, then, well…he was in trouble, and wasn't afraid to resort to those things.

Shego hesitated, old mental videos of melted phones, chairs, various incinerated clothing, books, magazines and curtains and assorted hair disasters starting to replay in her head. "Um…well, there were…a few hiccups…" She admitted grudgingly.

Drakken beamed, self-content. "I knew it! So will you help me?"

Shego gave his face a long, appraising look before answering. "That depends."

"On what?" He asked, curious.

Her eyebrow rose in challenge. "Are you actually going to pay me this time?"

Drakken rolled his eyes, shoulders sagging in defeat. "Okay, but remember you have to get me ready by Saturday!"

Shego had to restrain herself from slapping her forehead in frustration. "Rrghh…"

He wouldn't let up: "So, will you?"

"I'd have to check my schedule." She said dryly.

A smirk quirked the corner of his mouth as he finally figured out which button to push with her. "Will you be able to help me?"

She couldn't help but smirk back at that; he knew exactly what he was doing. "Well…I do love a challenge."

"Good," he said, smiling. The smile soon paled, however. "You know, Shego…um, about my lecture…" Drakken gulped, clasping her hand between his on an impulse. "It would mean a lot to me if you would be there."

Shego raised an eyebrow. "Can I bring my mePod and some popcorn?" She teased, trying to ignore the warm tingle in her hand and the fact that it almost felt like he was asking her out on a date.

"I guess if you actually manage to stay awake, I can't complain, right?" He retorted sourly.

She gave him a crooked smile. "Wouldn't wanna miss the most thrilling social event of the year, now would I?"

He answered her with a brief scowl, but then his expression turned serious and a little nervous as he let go of her hand. "Um…Shego?"

Shego's hand was still tingling, and she swallowed as she saw the anxious, searching look in his eyes. "Hey, uh, Dr. D," she hurried to say, clearing her throat loudly. "How about we head over to the training room and see what we can do about those new powers of yours, huh? I could use to stretch my legs after just sitting all day."

Drakken groaned. "I don't know, Shego, I'm kind of tired. Can't it wait until tomorrow? I was thinking of starting dinner."

Shego's eyes flashed with annoyance. "You're the one who said you had to be ready for Saturday! Today's Wednesday already!"

Drakken paled. "I thought it was Monday…!"

"Ugh! You are so getting a planner for your birthday, mister!"

He pouted. "A planner? But that's so boring! That's like getting socks! Or a necktie, or—"

She growled.

Drakken eep'ed, taking a step back. "—and why wait for my birthday? I'll go buy a planner tomorrow!"

Dragging a hand across her face, Shego sighed as she eventually began to calm down again. "You're…you're hopeless, Doc."

An uncomfortable coldness trickled down Drakken's spine, and he swallowed. He didn't exactly know why he reacted this way now— he was used to her saying things like that— but it had something to do with how they hadn't trained for months, and how he'd, somewhere in his preoccupied mind, been wondering if she'd given up on him again, if maybe it was too late to start over. And to find that out now, when he really needed her help, would be twice as hard a blow. "You're not changing your mind, are you?"

She gave an exasperated chuckle. "No, no…I think…I think we can manage to do this, actually."

Drakken brightened immediately, drawing a deep breath as relief coursed through him. "I knew I could count on you!" He cheered, almost laughing as the fear fled him like an exorcized ghost. The departure of his worry, however, also turned out to coincide with the arrival of the urge to embrace his lovely sidekick.

He swallowed, stamping down on the impulse, covering it up by smiling at her. He'd had that urge a little too often lately, nosing along his more normal thoughts like tadpoles along rocks. Even now, his hands were itching to settle on her shoulders.

Shego stared; once again, he was giving her that look she hadn't seen for three months, the one where it seemed like she was Snowman Hank and good home cooking and victory and a shiny, new lab all rolled into one— except…except, that wasn't totally true, was it?

Earlier that week, when she'd come to rescue him from the Lorwardians…then, there had also been that look. As he'd caught sight of her and had realized she was coming for him, that she hadn't forgotten about him, his entire face had lit up like a Christmas tree, practically glowing from the inside, and he'd reached out for her—

Until…until he'd suddenly…well, she wasn't quite sure what had happened, but he'd caught himself, and he'd stopped, and the moment had whooshed straight by her by like a busy Go City cab.

But now, there was that look again, and she realized that his arms had reached out for her for a second before dropping back to his sides. As she watched him smiling awkwardly at her, she had the disturbing sensation that she was being filled up with hot, steaming water from head to toe, and it dawned on her that she was holding her breath.

She let it go, trying to seem casual even as her chest boiled and her throat felt tight.

"So, when do we begin?" Drakken asked, and the fact that there was a little tremble in his voice made her feel marginally better. He'd noticed it, too, whatever it was, he'd noticed that not everything was…normal. And in fact, she could see his whole body vibrating gently, as if he was holding his breath, trying to be calm.

That was when she decided to…say something.

It wouldn't be the first time she'd ever flirted with Dr. D, but before, it had always been within the realm of mocking or teasing. Nothing serious, and certainly nothing with any particular intentions— except for amusing herself, of course.

But now, there was something…mutual there that made her think that maybe it wouldn't be such a bad idea to say something that actually did have some sort of intent behind it.

She'd never really felt the urge before, but now she wanted to, and was surprised to find that she could.

"Tell you what," She began, her flirtatious grin belying the nervous flutter in her stomach. She tried to keep her voice nonchalant as she went on, but the sudden rush of hot, nauseous fear made it a harder task that she'd anticipated. "If you can post-pone dinner an hour or so to do some training, I promise you that you'll get something much better than an 'I told you so' for dessert."

The comment sounded quite suggestive, but she wasn't worried. This was Drakken, the guy who never laughed at the henchmen's dirty jokes (not that she did either, as lame as they were) and never made any of those kinds of jokes himself. He probably wouldn't read too much into it, if he even got it at all. She really hoped he'd get it, though, because it would be way too embarrassing to have to actually explain what she wanted.

For some reason, it felt like the bravest thing she'd ever said, and she'd said and done a lot of very brave things in her life…some even gutsy or downright insane. This one would have to be filed under 'insane', she figured.

Drakken frowned. "Dessert? What, like pie? Or ice cream or—" He froze, then, blinking at her suddenly very irked expression. Slowly, comprehension dawned, and brought with it a fierce blush. "Oh. Um, you mean…?"

Shego hesitated, but eventually nodded.

"K-kissy face?" He asked tentatively, somehow sounding both scared and hopeful.

Shego almost snorted in laughter at how he'd managed to reduce that big, frightening, drastic step into something small and silly by simply uttering three syllables, and the fact that his reaction had been just as innocent as she'd expected. "If you insist on calling it that, yeah."

Drakken gaped. "Are you kidding?"

She shrugged. "Probably not."

"Probably? What's that supposed to mean?" He asked, frowning with perplexity.

Again, there was a shrug, possibly even more careless this time. "It means probably."

An irritated little snort left him. "Which means?"

"Probably," she repeated, knowing she was driving him nuts and really starting to enjoy it.

"Okay…okay, so now you're going to be difficult, huh?" He said through clenched teeth, scowling deeply at her. He was getting fed up.

"Well, what can I say," she began teasingly, "it's a talent. I just can't seem to help myse—"

Her words died in her throat when, darting forward, Drakken gave her mouth a quick kiss, and stepped back again just as quickly, as if he was an inexperienced tourist who'd just attempted to feed a dangerous zoo animal.

Shego blinked. Okay…she so hadn't expected that.

The kiss had been a bit clumsy, but it had also been warm and soft, and she wasn't used to being timidly pecked on the lips like that-- more like Frenching on the beach or in a hotel room— so while she tried to get a grip, she could still feel her face heating up with the shock.


From what he felt was a safe distance, Drakken tilted his head at her, studying her curiously for a moment. "You're…actually not kidding, are you?" He asked eventually, his eyes widening as she still failed to get angry at him.

Shego gave a delicate cough; her voice was a bit hoarse when she spoke. "Um...well…no."

As he finally got her answer, he almost asked her why she'd suddenly decided she wanted to kiss him in the very immediate future, but wisely held his tongue. Judging by her strangely jittery expression, she might not even be able to answer the question completely. Oh well, Drakken thought, feeling almost detached and dream-like as the interesting bit of news danced recklessly around in his brain, better not look a gift horse in the mouth.

The funny thing was that it wouldn't be the first time they'd kissed…more like the fourth or fifth or however high their kissing count was now, after all those Moodulator-induced kisses, not to mention that time three months ago when he'd been so overwhelmed by success and pride and gratefulness that he'd swooped her up and— well, it wouldn't be the first time.

That didn't make it any less scary, though. Because, of course, the next time would be the one that really counted.

For at least fifteen seconds, neither of them spoke, simply staring at each other. It was Drakken that finally broke the silence.

"Shego," he said softly, almost absently, "you do realize that what with my new powers, and your powers, together we're probably the most…well, powerful villains in the world…right?"

"Uh huh," she nodded, smiling a smile that was anything but innocent. "What are we gonna do about that?"

He hummed pensively in the back of his throat, rubbing his chin. "Well…I'm certainly not going to retire, but…I don't know about you, but I think perhaps I want to enjoy all this attention and respect and free money for a while, at least. Maybe I could spend a little more time than usual on the next plan."

"Enough time for me to get another degree?" She suggested brightly, but he could tell it was something she was going to do with or without his consent.

He raised his brow, intrigued. "You want to go back to school?"

She nodded, stretching her arms lazily above her head like a cat to work the cricks from sitting for so long out of her back. "Maybe. I was thinking…Botany. Or Robotics. Whichever one of those has the least boring professors."

His heart clenched and swelled in his chest at what she'd said and at what had sounded like a promise, somewhere between the lines. He found he was having a slight difficulty keeping his voice even when he tried to speak next, so he didn't say much. Revelation after revelation…it was getting to be a bit overwhelming.

"Really?" He asked simply, his voice more gravelly than usual.

"Yep." She said, turning her head half-way towards him and sending him a sort of coy, little smile from behind her hair. "You think you might know somebody willing to help me with my homework?"

Ah, so the tables were turning, huh? His mouth twitched as he attempted to avoid grinning. "That depends."

"On what?" She asked suspiciously.

He had to grin now. "Are you going to pay me?"

"Oh, shut up," she said, but she was trying not to laugh.

Later that evening, Drakken discovered that kissy face really was a lot more satisfying that being able to say 'I told you so'.

Even for a villain.

The End.

Author's note: "You don't hate jazz. You fear jazz."

I apologize for the lateness of this, the final chapter of HHOB, but Real Life has kicked in something fierce lately, and between studies and my new job, I just haven't had the time.

Thank you, thank you to my beta, Charlotte C, who was extremely quick to beta read this time, for which I am very grateful. Thank you for the thorough beta and the helpful suggestions.

Reader: 'Well, Ninnik, aren't you gonna write something where she teaches him how to use the plant powers?' Ninnik: 'Nope. This is the end. EET EES OVAR.'

Book titles: Found them by googling words like 'robotics' and 'botany'. I also used amazon dot com.

Terry Steinfeld: I am just making nooo effort anymore, am I? XD Meh, Terry can also be a girl's name, so that's why I chose it. Steinfeld is the last name of a famous Norwegian journalist.

BLOOP!: Flower sound effect stolen from Sarah Ashley T. Just because it's so cute. XD

Clean Slate: No, I'm not so sentimental and ship-crazed that I think that's why she actually left him on the train. Those are just the reasons given here, in this AU, where she's been training him and all, which she didn't do on the show.

Smarty Mart stocks etc: These two lines were suggested by my beta, Charlotte. I liked them, and had to incorporate them into the story:

This one: "And the panic-selling that ensued…absolute chaos! And then, of course, there was the bailout-plan-of-the-month for all the stockholders and retirees who lost their shirts because the government was helpless to stop us!"

And this one: "Yeah, and those Smarty Mart shares I snapped up have already split twice since things got back to normal. Guess the old adage to 'buy low and sell high' is good advice."

Thanks, Char! :)

'Dessert': The kind of joke that people made for D/S captions at RS Net all the time last year. XD Of course, this one was a bit more innocent since 'dessert' meant kissy face, not sex.