Title: Esmerelda (Layers)

Couple(s): Shego x Drakken, if you squint.

Rating: T

Warning(s): Language.

Note(s): My little sister recently started watching Kim Possible again, and I had forgotten how much I really loved that show while it was still on the air... and how much I love Shego's character.

"Things are not what they seem… Social reality turns out to have many layers of meaning."

-P. L. Berger

In less than a week, her entire world had been flipped upside-down. And she wasn't quite sure whether it was a good thing or a bad thing.

Shortly after word got out that she and Dr. Drakken had played a vital role in the failure of the Lorwardian invasion, the whole damn world was practically groveling at their feet. This was what she had wanted anyway, but out of fear not gratitude. Drakken seemed to be enjoying the attention, which she didn't blame him for; his genius (though it chagrined her to admit it) had gone unrecognized his entire life, so she could only imagine how pleasant it must have been for him to finally get the respect he deserves.

She, on the other hand, was not enjoying the media circus that was constantly surrounding her. This fame she was currently experiencing was not new to her, though; such attention was commonplace while she still was a part of Team Go... as well as part of the reason she quit. It all seemed so fake, so superficial, and people ate it up as if it were candy... She decided early on she wanted no part of the celebrity phenomenon and escaped into the world of villainy, where she could get a more exhilarating, dangerous type of thrill than that of superheroes.

But now, the United Nations wanted to give them a medal for their efforts, not to mention a pardon for all of their international crimes - tonight. Her career in villainy was literally hours away from being totally and utterly ruined. Once that shiny gold-plated medal was presented, there was no turning back; no villian would ever take her or Dr. D seriously again.

She had considered making a scene; burning some flags with her green plasma, attacking the President of the United Nations, anything to at least maintain some of her evil dignity. But once she saw how ecstatic Drakken was when he received news of the honors they were receiving, she knew she wouldn't be able to do it. This was his moment, and she couldn't bring herself to ruin that.

So there she was, sitting in front of a mirror in her room, dolling herself up for the ceremony... and hating every moment of it. As she stiffly applied her mascara, she contemplated what she was going to do with herself from this day forward. Shego had no idea how the blanket pardon would affect Drakken, whether he would shrug it off and continue to pursue his dream of taking over the world, or choose turn over a new leaf and begin life anew. If he decided to go with the ladder, she was in trouble. Shego simply couldn't imagine herself the employee of anyone else (as if anyone would hire her after tonight anyway), so her only choices were to either fly solo or... no... she would never be able to go back to being a heroine. She was far beyond the point of return. Her life as a superhero alongside her brothers had been buried long ago, and there was no way it could be exhumed...

A loud buzzing noise suddenly interrupted Shego's musings. She looked surprised, a single hand flaring up in momentary alarm. The villainess felt slightly embarrassed though when she realized that it was actually just her cellphone. Shego warily checked the caller ID, and grimaced when she discovered it read "Hego." She moved her thumb to end the call, but for hesitated for a split second, enough time for her have second thoughts and press the receive button.

"What?" she growled, annoyed with both the fact that her oldest brother actually had the nerve to call her and that she was stupid enough to take it. The other end of the line was silent with only a quiet hum of static in the background.

"Hego?" she inquired, growing more and more aggravated with each second that passed by. If this was some kind of joke-

"-Sorry, I'm just surprised you actually answered my call," said Hego finally. It had been nearly eight months since she last heard his voice, so it came almost as a shock to her.

"Yeah, well, you kind of caught me in a mood." She paused before adding, "So don't waste it, because it probably won't last long."

Shego could hear him chuckle.

"Esmé," he began again, his voice turning serious. "I just wanted to let you know that I'm really proud of you. No, we're really proud of you,"

What Hego said surprised her; no, it wasn't the fact that he, and apparently the rest of her family, were proud of her. She was half-expecting to hear that kind of bullshit when she answered his call. It was because he called her Esmé, a pet name she hadn't heard for years.

"Spare me, Hal." Hell, if they were returning to a first-name basis, she might as well play along.

"No, really," Hego persisted. "The twins are really excited for you. Even Ray has acknowledged your achievement and, well, you know how he is."

"Yeah... " Shego's voice trailed off slightly, thinking of her other older brother, Mego. She was starting to regret answering this call. "... You know, I really didn't do anything, except make sure Dr. D didn't his ass fried by aliens. I wouldn't exactly call that an achievement."

"See? You are becoming good again - so modest, just like you were when we were little." Shego could practically see his stupid, smug grin plastered on his face. She gritted her teeth.

"Look, if you have nothing more to say, then I'm just going to hang up," she threatened.

"Well, I was actually wondering if you wouldn't mind the boys and I attending the UN ceremony," he replied. From the tone of his voice, he clearly wasn't taking her threat seriously. "You know, we would like to see you and... uh... what was his name again?"

"Drakken," she answered, irritated. "Doctor Drakken." Shego wasn't sure why she corrected herself; he wasn't a real doctor, he was a college dropout. Perhaps she felt, in an almost twisted sort of way, with all of his wacky inventions, dangerous death rays, plus his world-saving plant formula... he deserved the title.

"Right! Dr. Drakken," he said proudly. "We would like to see you and Dr. Drakken be honored."

"I'd really rather you not come."

"Why not?" He faltered, the hurt evident in his voice. Shego rolled her eyes.

"Because I... ugh, look, just don't come, alright?" she replied. There was another moment of silence, and Shego knew it was because he was thinking.

"Well fine, if you don't want us to go, then we won't." He seemed to be giving in, much to her surprise. He normally put up a much better fight than that. "But that won't stop us from watching it live on TV. Did you know they're broadcasting it on like every channel?

"I'm aware," Shego replied curtly, grimacing. She was seriously considering hanging up now.

"Still..." began Hego ponderously, with a hint of mischief in his voice. "Alejandro and Xavier will be so disappointed. They really wanted to see you in person." Shego pursed her lips. Dammit, he played the twins card; Hego was well aware she had a soft spot for the Wegos, and he used it to his advantage whenever he needed to.

"Okay, fine. Come if you want, but don't expect me to talk to any of you," she said in a huff.

"Thanks sis," he said, clearly enjoying the fact that he had won. "So, we'll all see you tonight. Love you."

"Shut-up," she snarled, though the chill in her voice was only half-hearted as she ended the call.

"SHEGO!" Drakken's voice echoed inside the walls of the lair. The sound of approaching footsteps grew more pronounced until it stopped and he peeked his head inside her room. Normally, she would've thrown a blast of plasma at him for not knocking, but she honestly wasn't in the mood to terrorize him.

"What's up, Dr. D?" she asked, turning in her chair to face him with one of her slender legs folded over the other.

"The limo's here to take us to the airport, where the jet is," he said plainly before his sour expression suddenly made a 180 degree turn to that of childlike excitement. "Can you believe it? They sent us a limo! And we're going to New York in a jet!" Shego couldn't help but smile, just a tiny bit. She sincerely hoped he didn't decide to stay on the straight and narrow, at least, not entirely. Despite the fact he could be a bumbling fool, in her three years of working for him, he had... grown on her.

"Right, I'll be there in just a moment." Drakken nodded and left as quickly as he came.

Shego stood up and straightened out the wrinkles in her emerald green dress. Before leaving, she glanced one last time into the mirror, and for the first time in a long time, she saw someone who was completely different from what she made herself out to be. No matter how much foundation she applied, no matter what kind of clothes she wore, or how valuable the jewelry that adorned her neck was... beneath her layers of cynicism and beauty, there was Esmerelda Antiago staring right back at her.


Comment(s): The commonly-used names for the Shego and her brothers are usually 'Henry,' 'Melvin,' 'Sheila,' 'Wesley,' and 'Wendell.' But I don't like to be common, so ha. Besides, I've always thought that 'Hego,' 'Mego,' etc. were just superhero aliases/nicknames they used.

Besides, I've always speculated the Shego's family is partially of Spanish origin. But that's my opinion and I don't own the show.

For reference, this is what I have personally named the Go family:

Hego = Heraldo 'Hal' Antiago.
Mego = Raymund 'Ray' Antiago.
Shego = Esmerelda "Esmé" Antiago.
Wego = Alejandro and Xavier Antiago.

Fun fact: "Esmerelda" means "Emerald," which matches Shego's character for obvious reasons.

Edited 07/03/10, just for some grammar/spelling errors I didn't catch beforehand, plus a few extra details.