[Note: After much deliberation I've decided to "blog" about my experiences so that I could refer to them for future study. This will also benefit me later if my memory, for any reason should fail me.

I would not have so readily given in to the idea of writing my memoir if not for the encouragement of my wife Shego and that of my good friend Roland, both of whom I am eternally grateful to.]

Not long after my initial exposure to the Hypo-Pollinator Mutagen, the effects of the mutation began to progress. It wasn't just my neck the vines grew from… They began to emerge along the length of my spine as well.

Not only that, but the vines had become ultrasensitive as though they had literally become an extension of my central nervous system. I could feel everything they touched down to the slightest puff of breath. They were ten times stronger than that of the ordinary sense of touch. Even the most subtle of movements were agonizing. I couldn't bear to move let alone allow anyone, not even Shego, to lay a hand on me.

Worst of all I was unable to keep them from growing. They spread everywhere, curling and twisting, eagerly stretching their spidery roots across every available surface. Cutting them off was out of the question. I tried that once and with dire consequences. I blacked out from the pain after taking a pair of gardening sheers to the mass of flowered tendrils draped from my neck.

In such a weakened state, I was unable to command them with my mind and in the absence of proper instruction my lab soon resembled something akin to a jungle run amok.

Helpless to stop it, I lay sprawled upon the floor, shivering in agony whilst slipping in and out of consciousness. All the while, the vines continued to develop, oblivious to the fact that in their vain search for sunlight, I was slowly dying from their rapid consumption of my energy. By then, I ceased to care.

Shego had gone, possibly due to the fact that she didn't have the patience to deal with my condition. I don't blame her for leaving. Any sane person would've done the same. Why else would she have stayed? There was nothing she could do for me and after receiving a medal and a full pardon from the United Nations, I made the wise choice to retire from my wicked lifestyle. What would an uncaring mercenary for hire want with a villainous failure such as me?

I couldn't bear the pain any longer and allowed the plants to consume me uninhibited.

For all intents and purposes, I was fully prepared to die. I… I wanted to die and this was as reasonable of an excuse as any.

Starved, Dehydrated, and literally rooted to where I laid, I waited for death to claim me when out of the blue I heard the faintest sound.

At first I assumed that I was imagining things. Then, it came again, louder than before and by then the sound of my name being called was unmistakable even to one as delusional as I.

I attempted to raise my head and wasn't surprised to find that I couldn't. Nevertheless, it stoked my curiosity. Slowly and with remarkable difficulty, I opened my eyes to reveal the world as an indiscernible blur of color save for one distinctively acid green smear...

My vision cleared, revealing none other than that of the elusive Shego. How she managed to dodge the tangle of vines without causing me harm amazes me to this day and at the time, I was incapable of processing complex thought aside from staring at her in mute shock.

I thought she'd left me there to rot, yet there she was, her face drawn in obvious concern. She drew tentatively closer, doing her best not to touch anything attached to my body, which I gather to be quite a feat for even one as lithe and agile as her self.

She crouched carefully in front of me and placed her fingertips lightly upon my face.

I flinched at the contact, pain like lighting radiating from the veined roots buried just beneath the superficial layer of my skin. She whispered an apology then gently cradled my stubbled chin, carefully maneuvering my face a little higher so that I could see her better.

Immediately my eyes were drawn to the unmistakable glimmer of tears lining her face. My jaw slackened and I attempted to speak but my tongue felt swollen and dry like cotton. I coughed, hissing my displeasure as the involuntary vibrations within my chest stirred the masses of acutely sensitive vines.

I started to speak, "She...HK-KAFF!" and was silenced with a finger over my lips. 'You came back,' I thought, wishing that she could hear me.

"Shhhh, save your strength, here," she replied softly, producing a tray of several tall mugs she'd brought with her.

When the coughing fit ebbed she hurriedly pressed the edge of a cup to my lips and ordered me to drink.

Like a man possessed, I obeyed, simply because the autonomic desire to quench my raging thirst was too strong and detrimental to my health to resist. I couldn't have denied it even if I wanted to and in faith renewed the desire to live surged within me once again.

I never thought that chicken broth and water of all things could taste as delicious to me as it did then. Shego was remarkably patient, taking her time to nourish me, reminding me that if I drank too quickly I'd make myself ill. To reassure me that I wouldn't, she intentionally held back to allow my stomach to settle before permitting me to hungrily reclaim the edge of the mug.

She waited till I'd had my fill then carefully broached the subject on how I could be freed but by then I was barely coherent, too full and exhausted to do much else than sleep. She must've known what it'd take to relieve me from my prison because the next time I woke, I was laying in a bed, oddly free of pain and the constraints of my vines.

'How long had I slept?' I wondered.

Within my hazy field of vision I identified the unmistakable line of an I.V. drip beginning at the crook of my right arm and traced its path to the bag of morphine suspended above me from a stainless steel hook.

It dawned on me that I had been sedated. Wouldn't I have felt the sting of the needle? Considering my dilemma there was little doubt to the extent of my fatigue and what little I could recollect were brief and intermittent snippets of clarity which were abruptly quashed by waves of drug induced comatosis.

Much to my embarrassment, I soon discovered that I had also been bathed and dressed into a clean pair of loose fitting boxer shorts. I momentarily shut my eyes to shun the perverse images conjured by my mind. Instead, I chose to refocus my attention to making a self diagnosis.

While unconscious the ensnaring vines had been cut, cauterized, or naturally sloughed from my body in the process of removing me from the lab. I deducted that at one point I'd bled in certain areas where the vines were still securely rooted to my body due to a number of bandages wrapped around various parts of my anatomy.

Astoundingly, upon closer inspection, the flesh beneath the bandages had regenerated and in place of the old vines, newer fledging vines had already begun to emerge. Furthermore, the exuberance with which they grew seemed to increase in my current state of awareness.

"So you're up," a familiar voice replied.

My train of thought abruptly derailed as I inadvertently forgot to breathe at the sight of her standing at the doorway opposite of the bed. Heat rushed to my face, turning the powder blue of my skin a lovely shade of violet.

"Glad to see you too," she commented wryly. "How you feelin'?"

I gaped at her in mute horror as torrid images of her seeing my nakedness returned with unabashed fervor.

"Cat got your tongue?" she teased.

I tried to work my mouth but to no avail.

Shego threw her arms up in exasperation, "Oh, come ON now! You're starting to resemble a fish out of water! You should be thanking me! Hell, I even shaved that horrendous beard you were sporting."

"Th-Thank you," I managed at last.

"HE SPEAKS!" she declared in mock surprise. "…and you're welcome," she added gently.

I tentatively raised my left arm to rub idly at my chin, confirming the absence of my recent week's growth of beard.

"You should consider getting a hair removal treatment for that. Facial hair doesn't suit you at all."

I frowned at the web of tiny roots forming beneath the surface of my forearm. "Unduly, noted. I'll think about it when I'm not so concerned about turning into a tree. …and again, thank you for the morphine. I doubt I'd still be conscious otherwise."

"You may not be awake for long," she said doubtfully. "It isn't just the morphine that I've pumped into you… I've been keeping you sedated for a reason because I didn't want you to O.D. on the stuff. You're so pumped full of it already that I'm genuinely surprised you're even awake now. You've got enough tranquilizer in you to knock out an elephant."

Now there was something I hadn't heard before. My metabolic rate and immunity levels had also increased. …Intriguing.


"Last I tried to wean you off the painkiller you woke up screaming like you were being burned alive. It was pretty chilling." She shivered to enunciate her meaning.

"…That bad, huh?"

She nodded, lips pressed into a thin line.

"I'm afraid I don't recall," I muttered tiredly. "Everything's been a blur."

"I'd imagine so after what you've been through," she said.

I held my breath momentarily, my thoughts returning to my state of cleanliness. "You…" I began to say.

"Mm?" She leaned heavily against the door frame and folded her arms.

I realized she hadn't entered the room, acting as though I were contagious. "You bathed me?"

It was Shego's turn to blush. "Wh-What." She began to sputter then masked her embarrassment by assuming a defensive stance. "SO WHAT IF I DID?"

I bit back a smile, the threat of impending laughter making my throat ache. Stars and garters, it felt like ages since I'd had a good laugh.

Leveling me with a scathing glare, her hands ignited with deadly green energy. "You stupid bastard, you stank to high heaven! SOMEBODY HAD TO!"

"My apologies," I chuckled, my voice rising an octave. "The look on your face… IT'S..."

She stomped toward the bed, looming dangerously over me. "You think this is all a fucking joke," she spat. "I ought to leave your ass again! I-"

I froze as the impact of her words struck me like a smack on the face. Her words stung as they were meant to and though I understand she'd said it out of anger I couldn't help but think she really would. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but eventually...

Realizing what she'd said and instantly regretting it, she took a step back. "I-I didn't mean to-," she stammered.

I took a sharp breath and gazed at her sternly, my brow drawn into a scowl. That week I'd spent without her was the longest and most agonizing of my life. It was all I could do to restrain the onslaught of negative thoughts from rending me apart altogether. ….And yet, there she was, threatening ME that she'd leave again after all she'd done to care for me. I couldn't accept that. I wouldn't and I wasn't about to give her that chance. Not again. Not ever!

With an unexpected surge of energy, I bolted upright and seized her glowing wrists firmly in my hands. Despite the fact that my head spun and I felt terribly nauseous, I held fast.

She fought me for a moment but quickly ran out of steam when she noticed that my palms were well on their way to developing second degree burns.

"You -hanf- Nngh, Y-You don't Nn-mean that," I said slowly, panting against the pain. "You don't mean that," I repeated before slumping half off the bed like a limp sack of potatoes.

With a gasp she lurched forward and caught me under the arms and held me in a firm embrace.

For a few seconds neither of us did nor said anything. We simply breathed, and with my head against her chest and her scent filling my nose, I listened to her heart drumming against my ear. It was a sound which I'd longed to hear. It chased away all of my doubts and fears like a dream. God, if only I had the nerve to tell her how I truly felt.

I swallowed the lump of sorrow aching in my gullet. 'No,' I thought. 'Now is not the time for weakness! She'll never respect you as a man if you continue wallowing in self pity.'

Her breasts heaved as she sighed and I forced myself to lift my head once the dizziness abated. If I lingered much longer she'd assume that I was being a pervert. Perhaps I was though I was far too weary to make a joke of it.

"Are you alright?"

I closed my eyes and nodded quietly, unable to meet her gaze. The monitor at my bedside betrayed me, beeping erratically in tempo with my heart beat. I resisted the compulsion to wipe the sudden rash of nervous sweat prickling the nape of my neck.

"Shego," I said hoarsely.

She eased me back against the pillows. "I have to take care of your hands I -" She paused awkwardly, a distinctive blush returning to her cheeks. "You should've known better than to grab me like that or shit like this happens!"

"I wannn't'talk," I insisted, the drugs finally taking effect and making my speech slur drunkenly.

"We'll talk when you've had more rest," she countered.


She arched a brow, "You sure about that?"

I offered her a lazy smile to prove that it didn't and she smiled shyly in return.

"You're too out of it to care much anyway, right?" She said as she carefully smoothed back the wild locks of my hair.

The gesture seemed oddly poignant considering that she'd been so furious with me a moment ago. Then again, that was Shego for you. She was as unpredictable as a mid-summer's rain storm.

"Shhhhego, pleez…don'have mush'more time…"

She raised her head from inspecting my hands and regarded me irritably, "Well, spit it out then."

Gazing at her earnestly, I overturned my blistered hands and curled my fingers into the soft curve of her palms. "Marry me."

Her look to me was incredulous, "What?"

Just before consciousness slipped away, I opened my mouth to respond, wanting desperately to tell her that I loved her but found that I couldn't. If only I'd had a moment longer… Alas, I knew there was nothing I could do and resigned myself to a dark and dreamless slumber.