Disclaimer: Kim Possible and all related character are property of Disney, and my use of them is for entertainment purposes only.
After nearly four years of sitting uninhabited, Lord Montgomery Fiske's castle, and everything in it, was coated top to bottom in a fine layer of dust.
And who knows how much monkey dandruff, Shego thought.
She dropped another stack of books onto the table in front of Drakken, sending up a cloud of dust that launched them both into a coughing fit.
Shego scowled at him once she was finally able to breathe again. "Remind me again why we're doing this?"
"What do you mean?" Drakken asked grumpily, covering his mouth and nose as he flipped one of the books open. "It was your idea, remember?"
"Noooo," Shego said, as if she was talking to a particularly stupid child. "I just said that there's no way I'm going to risk my neck going up against Kim Possible again unless we find a way to take the monkey-powered boyfriend down a peg first. And if there is a way, there's no place we're more likely to find it than here in Lord Monkey Statue's library." She paused and glared at him. "You're the one who wanted to get back into the villain thing in the first place."
"Because you keep complaining that our relationship is in a rut!" Drakken shot back.
Shego blinked at him. "Wait a minute, so let me get this straight." She closed her eyes and pinched the bridge of her nose. "I say we're in a rut, so you're going to get us out of the rut by... going back to what we used to do?"
"Nnngh, yes, well, when you put it like that it sounds stupid—"
"You got that right," she muttered.
"But we haven't done the 'villain thing' in years, and it is what we were doing when we first..." He waved his hands weakly in the air. What he wanted to say, of course, was "fell in love," but... he wasn't very good at this sort of thing, and he didn't think that Shego would appreciate it much anyway, so he just let his sentence trail off. "Anyway, do you have any better ideas?"
Shego just glared at him for a moment, then slumped down into the chair next to him and pulled the next book from the top of the stack. Drakken knew that was as close as she was ever going to get to admitting that she did not, in fact, have any better ideas. But, knowing better than to gloat at her, he turned back to his own book and they both fell into silence.
"Wait a minute," Shego said suddenly, and Drakken cringed. Maybe she did have a better idea after all. But when he turned to face her again, he saw that she was not staring back at him but gazing intently at the book in front of her.
"What is it?" he asked, standing up from his chair and leaning over her shoulder.
Shego pointed at the page. "This just might do the trick."
Drakken's eyes widened as he read the description of the object pictured in the ancient book. "Yes, Shego! This is perfect!" He surprised her by wrapping his arms around her from behind and hugging her.
She surprised herself by realizing that his sudden excitement made her feel... happy. Maybe he was right—maybe this was what they were missing...
"Now we just need to find out where it is..."
To be continued...
Author's Note: One year ago I waded into the KP fanfic waters with my first, very short, story, "Kim Stoppable." To celebrate, I thought I'd put up something longer—a whole 172 words longer! Seriously, though, next week there will be an honest-to-goodness kind of long (at least for me) chapter. The first of many.
I've had this much longer story percolating in my head since even before I posted my first story, so it's wonderful to finally get to start sharing it. I'd like to thank everyone who has read and reviewed my stories over the last year; your support was a great encouragement in helping me to feel ready to take on a longer work when NaNoWriMo rolled around.
And special thanks to Slipgate, for his friendship and beta services, in that order.