Shego didn't smile anymore.
At first Drew Lipsky, formerly known to the world as the villainous Dr. Drakken, didn't think much about it.
After all, people had good days and bad days. There was no reason why such a naturally cranky person as the woman he loved would be any different. It was only after some time he began to take note of Shego's glum mood. When he asked her, in his usual, roundabout way , what was wrong she denied anything being out of the ordinary.
Now, Drew wasn't the sharpest of cats when it came to reading people but he'd lived with and loved Shego long enough to know when she wasn't telling the truth.
That alone was a worrying sign. She had always been more or less honest with him and the fact that she now wasn't truthful was of course cause for concern.
It struck him that he had been very busy running his businesses lately. Having given up his career of evil after he had been instrumental in the defeat of the Lorwardians several years ago, Drew had found that he was a far better businessman than he'd first dared to expect. His pastry, cereal and cookie corporation made vast amounts of money but unfortunately also consumed large amounts of his time.
"Of course! How stupid of me!" He though. "Not enough 'Us'-time! No wonder she's upset with me!"
It didn't take long for him to get reservations at a nice restaurant, get tickets to a movie he knew was in Shego's taste and after that, why not some karaoke? Getting to be be snarky about his singing skills always seemed to cheer Shego up.
Once arrangements had been done he headed for the den where Shego usually lounged around when she wasn't busy working out, improving her martial arts or filing her razor sharp nails even sharper.
She wasn't there.
He found her in the bedroom, laying in bed, looking up at the ceiling a blank look on her face.
"Shego? Honey?" He started out, unsure what was going on.
"Hm? Oh..there you are." Shego looked up and beckoned him closer.
Drew came over and sat down on the bed, beside her. She took his hand, holding it as if seeking comfort.
"You know, Shego, we haven't spent much time together lately."
"No, I guess we haven't..."
"I know, I know! It's my fault really. I've allowed myself to be to busy with work and I'm sorry for that. I really am. But you know what? Why don't you go put something nice on and we'll have a nice night, just for the two of us. No one else, just you and me. How's that sound?"
Shego nodded. She didn't smile but she got up and kissed him. That was a good sign, he figured. She wasn't so mad at him that she was in a violent mood.
Her choice of dress surprised him. It was a long green number with slits showing off her shapely legs. It wasn't the cut of the dress as much as the dress itself that surprised him. He had bought it for her back in the old, evil days for some formal occasion or the other. She hadn't worn it for over half a decade now but now, like then, she looked positively ravishing in it. He made sure she knew how much he loved the way it looked on her with compliments and the occasional appreciating glance.
The night out had been successful at the first impression.
The dinner had been exquisite, the movie was just what Shego liked, the prefect blend of drama, action and romance. They had even made out in the dark of the theatre.
It wasn't until they were on the way home from the karaoke bar Drew realized how bad Shego's mood was. She hadn't said a single bad thing about his singing, not even the slightest little put-down that he'd come to expect.
When they got back home to the former lair it was already quite late and they prepared for bed.
He knew he needed to give Shego an opening to tell him what was wrong. She would never admit to it on her own volition. That fierce pride of hers could be attractive but it was an awful bother in situations like this.
"There...that wasn't such a bad evening, was it, honey?" He tried, leaving himself wide open to criticisms.
"It was lovely." Shego said and suddenly hugged him close. "I love you so much, Drew."
Her words were warm and rang very true but she still didn't smile.
A few hours later Drew woke up.
Something was not right. After all these years he knew what Shego's breathing sounded like when she was asleep. She wasn't sleeping. Shego was crying.
"What's wrong, Shego? Are you OK?" Drew quickly asked and put his hand on her shoulder, expecting her to snap at him, maybe even lash out. Any familiar reaction would be welcome now, no matter how hostile.
"I...I don't know!" Shego sobbed and sat up. "You love me, don't you Drew?"
"Of course I do! I love you more than anything in the whole world!"
Shego suddenly embraced him and clung to him, sobbing heavily. His pyjama soon was soaked with her tears.
"Please, Shego!" Drew pleaded. "Tell me what's wrong, is it something I did?"
Only after a while could Shego stop herself from crying.
"No. No, it's not you. I...it's just me. I'm so afraid that you'll leave me. I want to be with you but I feel like I don't belong! I don't know where I'm going or what's happening in my life and..." She broke down in tears again.
Bewildered and upset by the tears of his love, Drew spent several hours comforting her, holding her in his arms. Soothing words and promises that he would never stop loving her eventually allowed the distraught green-skinned woman to fall asleep again.
Drew, on the other hand couldn't sleep. Not after this.
Shego could be angry, upset, jealous or even bitter. But she hardly ever cried.
Leaving Shego to sleep, he sat down at the breakfast table, thinking hard. As he stared grimly into the gloom, the intensity of the scene was only moderately tempered by the smell of coco-moo as Drew downed cup after cup.
Something was so wrong it was off the scale.
In the old days, many had considered Dr. Drakken to be far from the evil genius he claimed to be. But the truth was that he really was a brilliant man. He lacked focus, his very short attention span and unfounded optimism often causing his schemes to fail but he was far from stupid.
Drew Lipsky's greatest asset wasn't his henchmen, his deadly devices or even the lethal green woman he loved.
It was his matchless mind which made his power whatever he chose it to be.
Now this mind was finally focused on one thing and one thing only.
"Shego does not cry. Not without a good reason. And, heck, even whith a good reason she doesn't cry. So...something must be making her cry."
He sipped at the coco-moo.
When was the last time she had extreme mood swings like this?
"Mood...shifting mood. Moodulations...Moodulator."
Drew's eyes narrowed.
The moodulators invented by Dr. Bortel seemed like the obvious cause.
He got up and went back to the bedroom. Shego was sleeping peacefully now. He lay down beside her and gently brushed her long, dark hair to the side to see if a moodulator was attached to her neck.
That didn't have to mean anything. It could have been modified to be some sort of ray.
At his touch, Shego mumbled something and snuggled closer. He put his arm around her and he was rewarded with a contented sigh from Shego.
"It seems I must go visit Dr. Bortel tomorrow." Drew thought before he drifted into a brief sleep. "He's got some explaining to do."