Disclaimer: I own everything. KP is mine. Really.
...if you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you...
A/N: I should stop getting weird pairing ideas from pairing memes. No, really, I should stop. And I should stop listening to a certain someone (VampireNaomi, I'm looking at you), especially since said someone can talk me into doing stuff like NaNoWriMo. Writing a 50,000 words long fic in exactly a month nearly killed me, I tell you :P
Anyway, I decided to kill two birds with one stone and write it about the aforementioned weird pairing that just took over my brain after reading a pairing meme. If anything, that plot bunny won't bug me anymore XD
…yeah, enough with my babbling and on to the story.
It had been so fast that he hadn't even realized what was happening until it was too late to escape.
All he knew was that one moment he had walking on the sidewalk to get back to his hovercraft, and a moment later the ground had opened – just opened – beneath his feet to let him fall into… into some kind of transparent, oversized test tube. He had yelled, pounding with his fists against the wall, but instead of letting him out that stupid thing had begun falling…then rocketing upwards…and then falling again through a maze of huge tubes underground.
It felt even worse than riding a roller coaster, and he always got sick on the roller coaster. That was no different: it didn't even take a minute for his stomach to turn, and he had to press his hand on his mouth and squeeze his eyes shut to resist the wave of nausea. He wouldn't manage to old back for long, he would just throw up there and--
Just as he was about to give up the tube he was into came to an abrupt stop. The side he was leaning onto for support suddenly opened, letting him fall face first on the ground, his head spinning. He groaned and raised his head, to see the figure walking towards him.
"Drew Lipsky," a feminine and rather formal voice called his name. Drakken blinked a few times to clear his sight – his head was still spinning badly – to look at the woman standing above him with just a hint of an amused smile on her face beneath the seriousness.
"I like Dr. Drakken better," he managed to slur, shakily getting back to his feet and leaning against a wall for support, trying to ignore his still upset stomach. He got the distinct feeling his face had to be green rather than blue now.
The woman didn't seem to acknowledge his reply. "I'm Dr. Director – the head of Global Justice."
"Global Justice?" Drakken croaked, his already upset stomach turning even more with nervousness "but I didn't do anything, really! Well, not lately, not after the Lowardian invasion anyway… is it because I double-parked my hovercraft, isn't it? I didn't do it on purpose, I wanted to get an ice cream and only had to stay away for a couple of minutes…"
Dr. Director chuckled, now clearly amused – so that was the guy who had caused so much trouble around the globe and then had helped to save the world from the Lowardians? And there she thought nothing could ever surprise her anymore. "I can guarantee you're not in trouble, Mr. Lipsky. Double-parking is hardly a… crime that would require our involvement."
"Ah," Drakken breathed a little more easily "and that roller coaster thing…?"
"It's our way to recruit people. You'll get used to it eventually. I looked worse than you do the first time I went through it," she said almost encouragingly. And it was true, really – when she had been recruited the first time she was barely more than a teen, and once she had finally landed she could have sworn she had a collapsed lung or something close. She took a mental note of thinking of a way to make their means of recruitment a little less traumatic.
He blinked. "…recruitment? Get used to it?" he muttered. He couldn't have heard right, could he…?
"Yes, you heard me. I'm formally asking you if you're interested in a job in our laboratories," she said, all humor disappearing from her voice.
Drakken stared at her for a few moments, flabbergasted, then he finally opened his mouth to speak without even knowing what he would say. Not that he got to say much, for but his upset stomach finally gave up, and nothing but a croak came from his mouth as he bent forward and threw up on the floor. Dr. Director's somewhat startled but definitely amused voice sounded oddly distant as she spoke again.
"… should I take this as a yes or a no?"
Over the years, Shego had seen Dr. Drakken wearing all kinds of expression – from childlike enthusiasm to unconvincing evilness, passing through short-lived triumph and utter frustration – and she had seen him completely dumbstruck way more times than he could remember.
Then again, she mused as she looked at him again, she had never seen him wearing the same stunned expression for at least half an hour straight. "Dr. D?" she called out impatiently, waving a hand in front of his eyes. She had found herself growing more and more impatient towards Drakken in those past few months, and she knew exactly what the problem was: he seemed to have quit villainy for good. At first she had thought that it was just a hiatus, that he was merely enjoying some time as a hero – he had had a hand in the final defeat of the Lowardians after all – and basking in the recognition he got from the world before he turned his attention to world domination schemes once again… but weeks had become months, and he still hadn't mentioned the worlds 'take over the world' once.
And for all that time, Shego had been nothing different than a secretary than anything else, which was starting to irk her. That wasn't what she had in mind when she had decided to part ways with her brothers and switched sides: she had been hired for evil deeds, not to check her employers' appointments all around the globe. They were going to have to talk seriously about that, she thought, and he needed to tell her whether he was planning to get back to his usual business or not. If he was, he better do so before she died of boredom. If he wasn't… well, in that case she was going to have to look for another job.
She bit her lower lip at the thought. It felt odd thinking about leaving after years working with Drakken, but that really wasn't her job anymore. It was boring, damn it, so boring that it almost made her miss her days as a member of Team Go. Almost.
She frowned at the thought and snapped at Drakken again. "Hey, Dr. D, wake up!"
"Uh? What?" Drakken blinked a few times before finally turning his attention to her "what now? I'm busy!"
"Yeah, staring at the wall and drooling from the corner of your mouth," Shego mocked him "do you have the slightest idea of how much time you've been like that?"
Drakken frowned a little in thought. "Er… no. How much time?"
"At least half an hour. You walked in, sat down and began staring at nothing, and that's creepy. You didn't do that since when you got back after being abducted by those aliens in Area-51. Where have you been anyway? I turned for a moment and then you weren't there anymore. Did you fall down the White Rabbit Hole or what?" Shego asked sarcastically, folding her arms.
Drakken shook his head. "Well, not really. It fell down a trapdoor."
Shego blinked. "A trapdoor."
"In the middle of a sidewalk?"
She sighed. "Ooookay…" she muttered "and where did this hypothetic trapdoor lead?"
Drakken seemed to hesitate for a moment, as if he was having trouble himself to process what had exactly happened. "The GJ headquarters," he finally said, deadpanned.
Shego stared at him, startled. "What? The GJ headquarters? What did GJ want from you?" she asked, then she blinked as Drakken looked back at her, still looking absolutely dumbstruck "… wait. Don't tell me… they didn't…?"
Drakken nodded. "They offered me a job," he said, his voice finally getting back some emotion rather close to awe "a job with GJ! Me! After I tried to take over the world for years – would you believe that?" he laughed a little hysterically "one of the most powerful organizations existing with all the most advantage technology at its disposal and unlimited resources…!"
No, had it happened only a few months before she wouldn't have believed it… but now that Drakken seemed to be a hero and a genius to everyone, his whole criminal record forgotten by the world, it was awfully easy to believe it.
Well, this is it. You better start looking for a new job, because at this point it's clear he's not going to get back to dear old evilness. There is no place for you here.
The thought stung more than she would have though, but she knew it was true. She had come to expect something like that could happen – not involving GJ, maybe, but still. "Well, that's great news. Congrats, doc," she heard herself saying. In retrospect, it was a surprise she had even stayed so long. She knew that the one thing Drakken had always wanted was recognition: it was what really led him to try taking over the world, and now that she had all the respect and recognition he craved for…well, why should he keep trying to take over the world, failing each time?
"Yeah, it's great, isn't it?" Drakken was saying excitedly "after I… er… recollected, Dr. Director gave me a tour of the lab, and it's one of the best labs I've ever seen – I can't wait to use the stuff they have there!" he grinned like a child anticipating a Christmas gift "and wait until I tell them about you! I'm sure they're going to need…uh…Shego?" he seemed a little puzzled at the glare she was giving him "…did I say something wrong?" he asked somewhat weakly.
Shego sighed, feeling as if something heavy had been laid on her chest. "Look, Dr. D, I'm glad you got this job – I'm sure it's going to be great if you don't mess up too much," she grinned a little weakly "but it's not my thing. I enjoy my job… how it used to be, before the Lowardians. I like evil stuff too much to quit. What the heck, I split ways with my brothers to stop being a heroine, and last thing I want is becoming one again."
"Oh," now Drakken looked somewhat lost "you mean… you're quitting…?" he asked a little weakly, the enthusiasm that had been on his face until a few moments before completely fading.
Great, last thing she needed was having him start behaving like a beaten dog. "Hey, cheer up, doc!" she said, patting his shoulder "you're surely not going to get bored now, are you?"
Drakken still seemed a little shaken by the thought Shego could be quitting after all those years working for him…still, she had a point: she simply wasn't doing what she wanted to do anymore. "Are you sure…?" he tried. She had been with him for so much time that it felt normal having her around, as if she were a member of his family or something, and the thought she wouldn't be around him all the time anymore was so odd…!
"I'm sure, Dr. D. It really isn't my thing."
"Oh," Drakken paused "so…you're leaving? Just like this?"
"Yeah, seems like it – I'm not for cheesy goodbyes and stuff," Shego said with a shrug, then she bit her lower lip "but it was fun while it lasted, you know."
"Yep, it was," Drakken admitted, then he sighed "so, uh… good luck, I guess."
Shego shrugged. "I don't need luck, but thanks anyway," she said with a grin, lighting up a hand "and enough with the long face, doc, it's not like I'm going to disappear or something. I know where you live, and you know my number. I'll drop by when you less expect me to so I can mock you a little," she taunted him, poking his chest with a smirk "how about that?"
Drakken smiled. "Great! Now, wait, I mean… do you have to mock me all the time? Even now?" he protested without much vehemence.
"Especially now. If I mocked you when you were my employer, let alone now that you're with the good guys!" Shego's smirk widened.
"Aw, snap," Drakken muttered, but he couldn't hide his relief upon knowing she would be back to tease him just like old times.
Well, it looked like Drakken wasn't the only one who could wave bye-bye to his reputation as a criminal, Shego mused as she sipped her drink, trying to ignore the odd looks she kept getting from all the villains at the convention. She snorted, annoyed. Fine, maybe she should have guessed that saving with world with Dr. D would backfire on her reputation as a villain, but she hadn't thought it would be that bad. Nobody had openly accused her of being one of the do-gooders – no one would dare – but it was clear that was what they thought now. Or at least they thought she worked for them as a spy or something, and the fact Drakken was now working for GJ didn't help at all to find a new job.
She snorted, finishing her drink and getting up. Who cared of them? None of them could provide her with a decent job anyway. She would find one eventually – and when she did, she was sure it would take her nothing to build back her reputation. She would show them…!
"Stop right there – you can't get any closer."
"What…?" Shego blinked and stopped in her tracks as a gruff voice snapped her from her thoughts. She glanced up to see some massive guys – someone's henchmen, judging by their uniforms – blocking her way. She cocked her eyebrow and grinned, rather pleased by the fact that, if anything, things were going to get less boring. "Oh, yeah? And why shouldn't I?" she asked, ready to light up her hands, and despite the anticipation she felt at the thought of beating the crap out of them she felt somewhat annoyed – never before anyone had questioned her right to be wherever she pleased at a villain convention.
"I'd say it's mainly because you're not someone I wouldn't like to see anywhere near some of my best prototypes," a collected voice came from behind the circle the henchmen had formed around her. A couple of them took a few step aside to let a man wearing a business attire step closer, and Shego immediately recognized him – Jack Hench. No wonder he wouldn't want to see her near his stuff, Shego thought with a small grin. At least his wariness was due to her work as a criminal rather than to any suspicion he could work for GJ or something – it was still something.
"Ah," Shego lowered her hands "Jack Hench, right?"
"Yes," Jack Hench narrowed his eyes, staring at her. "And you're the one who kept breaking into my industries to steal my best prototypes."
Well, now that was awkward, Shego thought. "Er… yeah, it's me. Name's Shego. No hard feelings for that, uh?"
Hench raised an eyebrow. "Do I even have to state the value of all the items you stole from me over the years?" he asked.
She rolled her eyes. "C'mon, it was work," she said "Dr. D told me to steal this or that, and I stole this or that. It's my… well, it was my job."
"It will still be as soon as I find a new employer – possibly with a decent job for me," she said "I split ways with Drakken so he can enjoy his success and I can keep doing what I do best," she grinned a little, casually lifting a hand and lighting it up.
"I see," Hench said somewhat thoughtfully, then he gestured his henchmen to stay a little aside so they wouldn't be circling her anymore but would still be ready to act should she try to do anything against him – as if they could do anything to stop her, Shego thought sarcastically before turning her attention back to Hench. "And you haven't found a new employer? What a shame. Your… talent definitely should be put to a good use."
Shego's grin widened. "Good?"
A small chuckled escaped him. "My bad, it was a most inappropriate wording – still, you get what I mean," he said, dismissively waving his hand "may I ask how comes someone with your skills hasn't found an employer yet?"
"Good question," Shego grumbled a little "my guess is that people didn't get over the fact I helped saving the world with Dr. D, Miss Priss and what's-his-name. They must be afraid I'm a mole for the do-gooders or something. As if!"
"You have to admit that it was a rather… unusual thing to do for a criminal such as yourself," Hench pointed out, sounding somewhat amused.
"Hey, I had no choice," Shego protested "I mean, hello? You all would be dead or enslaved if we didn't take down the aliens. I don't know about you, but I happened to have other plans. Besides, they had kidnapped my employer."
"Good point," Jack Hench admitted, then he frowned in thought for a few moments "I think I might be able to help you out," he finally said "do you happen to have you résumé with you?" he asked. He already knew her résumé had to be quite impressive: that Shego had a lot of potential that was crying to be put at the right use… and he knew exactly who could beneficiate from her skills.
Shego shrugged. "Sure," she said, reaching to take a small disk from her pocket "here's a copy. I would have needed too much paper to print it out," she added with a smirk at his slightly surprised expression.
Hench chuckled and took the disk. "I understand," he said "I think I know someone who could be interested in giving you a job – unless he found someone in the past week, he really needs someone with your skills."
Shego frowned a little. "Who are you talking about?"
Jack Hench shook his head. "I'm afraid I can't tell you anything more for now," he said "but rest assure that I'll send him your résumé, and he'll contact you himself if he's interested."
"Are you trying to play mysterious just for the heck of it?" Shego asked, faking a yawn "because in that case, you're failing spectacularly."
A hint of annoyance showed up on Hench's face just for a moment, then he simply shrugged with a smirk – should she really get that job, it would be better for her to drop that attitude around her new employer… unless she wanted to be unemployed again in record time and with her most recent memories erased from her mind, of course. "Let's just say your potential employer would rather not take any risks until he's sure he wants to hire someone," he said "then again, I'm rather sure he'll be very interested in your résumé… and I also think you'll be very interested in the pay check you would get."
Well, Shego thought, now that was talking. "Okay, you got my interest now," she said – maybe she could wait a little to actually know who her potential employer would be "when and how should I expect to be contacted?" she asked "I would like to avoid surprises like a jet or something landing in my apartment while I'm bathing."
Hench held back and amused chuckle at the mental image. "I suppose you provided the means to contact you in your résumé, didn't you?"
"I wrote my cell phone number and e-mail address," she said with a shrug.
"They will suffice – though, if I know him well, you're most likely going to have to expect an e-mail rather than a phone call."
Shego nodded, turning to leave. "Okay, I'll remember to check the mail," she said with a shrug "now I better go before those oh-so-scary bad guys over there start thinking we're conspiring to hand them over to the police or something," she said, and Hench noticed that, indeed, the people that were attending to the convention were looking at her somehow warily.
How foolish of them, he thought, shaking his head slightly – it was obvious that in a situation such as the one she had to face teaming up with Team Possible against the aliens was the only solution. And while he hadn't been surprised to see how easily Drakken had switched sides after he got the recognition that he had always craved for deep inside, Shego had always seemed one who just enjoyed evil – and she clearly enjoyed it too much to quit it anytime soon.
Besides, he mused as he glanced down at the disk in his hands before glancing at Shego's retreating back again, he was pretty sure Gemini would know better once he could take a look at her résumé and possibly test her skills himself: she certainly had all she needed to become one of his top agents. It was definitely worth a try.
"So," Gemini said smoothly, his flesh and blood hand stroking the head of his pet chihuahua, his only eye fixed on the poor agent standing below the platform on which his desk was "you failed again, didn't you?"
Agent Sigma swallowed. "I… it wasn't my fault, sir!" he almost squeaked "Global Justice--" he was abruptly cut off by a fit of desperate yelps and barks.
"No, no, Pepe, it's alright!" Gemini immediately shushed his pet, clamping his ears shut before glaring death to his agent – who, on the other hand, was almost wishing he could just teleport in someplace safer… like a jail cell, for example. "You must not say those words in front of my puppy!" Gemini barked "look what you did to him!"
Agent Sigma seemed to shrink as he blabbered something, then he suddenly went pale and shut his mouth as he felt a dreadfully familiar buzzing noise. He swallowed and turned to see a seat emerging from under the floor.
"You must be tired, agent Sigma," Gemini said affably as his dog finally began to calm down, his sudden change of attitude utterly frightening the poor guy "have a seat."
"N… no," Sigma stuttered, taking a step back "sir, please…!"
"It's not polite refusing a seat when you're offered one," Gemini said, his voice a little colder.
Sigma was almost shaking now. "It wasn't my fault, sir, I swear! It was Glob…I mean, it was GJ…!"
Gemini dismissively waved his hand. "Now, now, there's no need to panic," he chided him almost patronizingly "why don't you just sit down and tell me what happened? No, don't even think about that," he snapped as he saw Sigma hopefully glancing at the door "I wouldn't try anything rash if I were you – because in that case, you're sure to end up falling down a trapdoor. On the other hand, if you just behave and have a seat," he gestured to the seat again with his mechanical hand "we could try to just talk about it, don't you think?"
Agent Sigma hesitated.
"My patience has a limit, agent Sigma…" Gemini snarled, and the poor agent shuddered before he finally decided he really had no choice. He took a deep breath and just sat down. "So," Gemini resumed talking, as if they were having a chat over a coffee "what did exactly happen?"
Sigma breathed a little more easily – maybe he could really get away with it. "Well, sir, I had managed to break in and was about to acquire the item, but those Global Justice--" as another fit of yelps and barks covered his last words, agent Sigma knew he had made his last mistake. He froze and glanced up at Gemini, who was holding his panicking pet closer, and he swallowed at the look of pure malevolence he was giving him.
"You had your chance, agent Sigma," Gemini said icily, and before the poor guy could react he reached to press a button on his control panel. The seat Sigma was perched onto immediately rocketed upwards and disappeared up a tunnel on the ceiling, cutting his terrified scream short.
Gemini snickered briefly as the tunnel closed once again and turned his attention back to his still trembling chihuahua. "I'm sorry, Pepe – daddy will put a quarter in the GJ jar to make up for this," he cooed at his pet. He knew he should have gotten rid of that idiot right away so he wouldn't get a chance to say those odious words again and upset his poor Pepe, but then again it was so much funnier disposing of them when they started thinking they could get away with it…! "So there will be enough quarters for a new chew toy – you would like a new chew toy, wouldn't you? Oh, yes, you would!" Gemini chuckled as his pet began yapping enthusiastically.
Gemini reached to the press another button. "Agent Tau, you're the new agent Sigma," he announced to the interphone before leaning back against his seat with a sigh. "Is it too much asking for one competent agent?" he asked aloud, petting Pepe's ears "you really are the only one I can trust in here," he finally muttered, turning to glance at his desk, and he frowned as he noticed the flashing icon on the monitor.
"Looks like I got mail," he muttered, leaning forward to take a closer look, and when he finished reading he was grinning. That was perfect, just perfect! "Well, now this is a great timing. Looks like good old Jack got me an early Christmas present," he said to no one in particular before he began reading Shego's résumé again with extreme interest.