Happy New Year to all, and special thanks to Katsumara, Stormchaser90, Feudor, readerjunkie, CajunBear73, Sentinel103, Reader101w, Eddy13 and SwampFoxTheThird for their kind reviews. And now for the nutty conclusion to my farcical fruitcake fantasy…
Since going straight after helping to defeat the Lorwardian invasion of many months before, Dr. Drakken and Shego had dropped out of the public eye. Things had remained rather quiet at the lair, and this New Year's Eve looked like it would remain likewise peaceful. And although he still continued to sprout foliage after being accidentally exposed to his super plant mutagen, other things were now blooming for the former villain as well.
"Well, Dr. D, congratulations. Six months in the same lair, and it's still standing. Never thought I'd see the day."
Drew Lipsky smiled back at his former partner in crime, and his new partner in other ways. "Yes, Shego, it is a rather… unique anniversary, isn't it?'
"Yeah, now that Princess and her sidekick aren't climbing through our ventilation shafts every other week and blowing up the place. But I do miss the fights. Kimmie always kept me on my toes, and that definitely kept me in shape."
Drew graced her with an even more ingratiating smile. "And that shape still looks good to me, my dear."
One of his vines sprouted a tiny sprig of mistletoe, which inched its way directly over Shego's head. But instead of pulling away, she returned his effort with a gentle kiss.
"Ya know, Doc, that used to creep me out."
Drew continued the thought. "But now that our romance is… budding…"
Shego rolled her eyes at the pun. "Oh, puh-leeze. Your attempts at being witty are just as lame as ever."
He feigned being hurt. "And you still can be lippy at times."
She grinned back, "Yeah, but I think I'll still keep you. For the moment, at least."
He ignored her gentle jibe as he thought back over the past six months. "Yes, not constantly having to look over our shoulders has certainly been quite a relief. And instead of trying to take over the world, I've busied myself with my botanical research projects. I still haven't found a cure for my continual flowering, but those government grants have definitely kept us comfortable."
Shego quickly added, "Yeah, and let's not forget my rather large bank account and stellar credit rating."
He wagged a finger in mock warning. "Now, now, Shego. Global Justice was rather kind to let you keep all of your accumulated loot. Just their way of saying thanks for your part in saving the world from those Lorwardians, I suppose."
She nodded in agreement, but then let out a long, deep sigh.
Drew looked concerned. "Is something wrong?"
He suddenly had a horrible thought. He whimpered, "I… I haven't forgotten your birthday again, have I?"
Shego chuckled, "No, nothing like that. You're still alive, aren't you?" She flashed him her signature evil smile.
Drew instantly paled. "You know how that freaks me out when you do that, don't you?"
"Yeah, and that's why I do it. Just to keep you in line in case you ever have any second thoughts."
The last bit of blood drained from Drew's face.
Her smile warmed up a bit. "Just pullin' your leg, Doc. You're the only one for me now, honest."
Drew visibly relaxed.
She gave a small shrug. "But it's just not the same as it used to be. Don't get me wrong, it's great not having half the world pursuing us. And I certainly don't miss what was becoming my permanent bunk back in Cell Block D. But I miss the thrill and excitement of yet another one of your hare-brained schemes to take over the world, and the anticipation of blasting something with my plasma…"
Drew suddenly yelled out, "Shego, attack!"
She reacted automatically, launching a powerful bolt of green plasma into the far wall. She sighed contentedly.
"Thanks, Doc. You really know how to make a girl feel better."
He grinned back, "My pleasure. And I suppose I miss the excitement of our former evil lifestyle as well. But as the saying goes, be careful what you wish for. Take it from me, what you actually get might not be what you expected."
Just then, the doorbell rang.
Shego wondered, "Now who in the heck could that be?"
Drew whispered back, "If it's my mother, I'm not here…"
Shego activated the autoviewer. "Looks like a delivery boy."
She answered the door, and he handed her a package.
"Sign here, please."
She used her finger to sign with her plasma, and began to close the door.
"What, no tip?"
She charged her hand up with a whoosh.
"Uh, never mind. Happy New Year!"
She grinned back, "Same to you."
As the delivery boy beat a hasty retreat, Shego opened the package.
She slowly counted to ten, but her anger failed to decrease. If anything, it intensified.
Drew was now petrified. "Wha.. what is it, my angel?"
She spat back, "A fruitcake. And it's from Possible."
He jumped up from his chair. "What? You mean Kimberly Ann! And after all we've done for her! Well, over the past six months I mean…"
She sneered back, "One in the same. And this is the thanks I get? Especially after I taught her the secret of the Shego Smile…"
She tossed the despicable item onto the floor and launched her most powerful plasma blast in recent memory. It took nearly a minute for the automatic fans to clear the smoke from the twenty-foot deep crater.
But the fruitcake remained. If it had been sentient, it would have smiled back at her.
Shego stared at it in speechless disbelief as wisps of smoke continued to eddy throughout the lair. But Drew found the words to express what they were both now feeling.
"This… this is unbelievable! Unconscionable! Antiforgivnitastically incrediblastic!"
"You're babbling again, Doc." Shego's eyes narrowed. "But this really cuts it, so I'm right with you. Little Miss Priss has definitely crossed the line this time."
Their eyes locked as Drakken intoned, "You know what we have to do."
Shego nodded. "Yeah. Return it. And with extreme prejudice."
It was nearly midnight, but no lights could be seen from within the Possible household.
Drakken whispered to Shego, "Perhaps they're all out for the evening."
Shego snarled back, "Yeah, maybe. Which would be really good, given these ridiculous disguises."
She frowned at her skimpy green elf costume with the perky, offset cap, but couldn't help but laugh at Drakken's Santa Claus outfit. The suit was too baggy and the fake white beard hung haphazardly from his ears.
He muttered back, "Well, sorry, but it was the best I could do on such short notice."
His nervousness had also gotten the best of him, and he continued to sprout new flower petals quicker than he could pull them out, adding to his ridiculous appearance.
"Hmm. I suppose I should have practiced sprouting poinsettias instead."
"Ya think? Well, let's get this over with. I'm freezing in this silly getup."
They cautiously approached the Possible house, and nothing was stirring, not even a mouse. Shego found a side window and used a concentrated burst of plasma to pry it open. They climbed inside as quietly as they could, and quickly found the living room. The lights on the Christmas tree lit the room with their soft glow.
Drakken hissed triumphantly, "Their tree is still up, Shego! All we need to do is place the fruitcake under it, marked 'Return To Sender,' and our job is done!"
But no sooner had he placed the item beneath the tree than the lights were suddenly turned on, catching the two interlopers in the act.
"Freeze, you two!"
Officer Hobble and the Middleton SWAT team had the drop on them, backed up by Kim and Ron.
Drakken smiled back weakly. "Uh, you mean this isn't the JC Nickels return window?"
Kim glared back at them with folded arms. "Good try, Drakken, but no cigar."
"But how did you know we'd be coming? We were just dropping off this, uh, gift for you."
He tried handing the fruitcake to Kim, but she just kept her arms folded.
She smirked, "Wade had the fruitcake chipped, just in case anyone tried to pawn the thing back on us. He tracked it approaching us directly from your lair, so we thought we had better be prepared for anything."
Upon hearing the mention of food, Rufus popped out of Ron's pocket and eagerly tore into the package.
He quickly nibbled a piece, but just as quickly spat it back out in disgust, making a sour face.
Still trying to play innocent, Shego asked, "So, what seems to be the problem, Officer?"
Hobble began counting off the charges.
"How about unlawful transportation of a fruitcake across county lines for starters? You can also add a drive-by fruitcaking, and top it off with the most serious charge: breaking and entering with intent to terrorize with a fruitcake."
Shego shot Kim a scathing look. "Well, if Cupcake here hadn't given it to us in the first place, this little visit wouldn't have been necessary."
Now it was Kim's turn to be surprised. "Whoa, time out! What do you mean if I hadn't given it to you?"
"Here, take a look."
Shego showed her the previous gift tag, which clearly read: "To Shego and Dr. Drakken. Merry Christmas, Kim Possible."
Kim looked perplexed. "Yup, that's what it says all right, but that's not my handwriting."
She grabbed her Kimmunicator. "Wade, how's your handwriting analysis?"
The teen computer expert smiled. "Well, I'd be happy to address whatever the problem is."
"Very funny, Wade. Just scan this tag and tell us anything you can about it."
A soft blue light enveloped the tiny note. Wade's answer was immediate.
"Well, I can't positively ID the writer, but it's definitely not your handwriting, Kim. And the script has distinctly male characteristics."
Kim nodded. "So it's clearly a forgery, then. How about the tag itself?"
"The pH balance of the tag indicates exposure to a humid and salty marine environment. And get this, there's a smudge of Le Goop on the corner."
Kim, Ron and Shego chimed together in unison, "Junior!"
Kim laughed. "Jinx! We all owe each other a soda!"
Shego relaxed. "And we owe you an apology for trying to palm this freakin' fruitcake off on you."
The teen heroine smiled at the former villainess and gave a gentle shrug. "No harm done, Shego. Under the circumstances, I can certainly understand your reaction."
Shego slyly said, "So, Kimmie, what's our next move?"
Kim's eyes narrowed. "I think a visit to a certain European island may be in our immediate future."
Shego happily rubbed her hands together. "For some payback, perhaps?"
Both women broke out in a wickedly evil smile, while Ron and Drakken both quaked in fear.
Ron whispered, "Does that freak you out as much as it does me?"
Drakken whispered back, "Even more, if that's possible."
Kim turned to the police. "Well, Officer Hobble, it looks like this was a set up deviously designed to pit us against each other. But I think we can take it from here, if you don't mind?"
The officer scratched his chin as he thought it over. "Well, if you're not going to press charges…"
Both Kim and Shego gave him a perfect Puppy Dog Pout, and he instantly caved. "It's a bit out of the ordinary, but being that it's your house, I think we can let it slip this time, Miss Possible. Let's go, men."
And with a tip of his cap he excused himself and the SWAT team, who looked quite relieved that they weren't in fact going up against Shego and Drakken today. "And a Happy New Year to you all."
After they left, Drakken spoke up. "My air car just got out of the shop, so if you ladies would care to make a little trip to the Senior's island…"
Shego half-jokingly shot back, "Hey! Who are you calling a lady?"
Drakken sputtered, "Well, I just thought, er, that, uh…"
Kim giggled. "You still like jerking his chain, don't you?"
Shego laughed, "What do you think?"
Suddenly, a bright light from far off began to glow in the night. A low rumble was heard as it approached, steadily increasing in intensity. They all rushed into the front yard.
Kim quipped, "Uh, something tells me that isn't exactly the Star of Bethlehem…"
The roar of the enormous spacecraft was now deafening, and its configuration was of unmistakable design. The Lorwardians had returned.
With a smug look, Shego crossed her arms. "Looks like our alien friends didn't learn their lesson the last time, eh, Dr. D?"
But Drakken could only look on in fear. "Oh, snap."
Ron wasted no time in activating his Mystical Monkey Power. Now glowing bright blue, he growled through gritted teeth, "Well, we kicked their alien butts before, and we can do it again."
As the gigantic ship hovered in midair, fierce blue electrical discharges danced back and forth between the craft's massive disruptor banks. A hologram appeared before them, and a swarthy Lorwardian began to speak.
"This is Warvulture of the Lorwardian dreadnought Revenge. Prepare to be escorted back to Lorwardia for trial and execution. You are charged with destroying Lorwardian property and terminating the lives of our greatest warriors, Warmonga and Warhok!"
Kim snarked back, "Hey, you invaded us, remember? Not exactly our fault for defending ourselves."
Ron chimed in, "Yeah, you tell 'em, KP! But how about a little gift first, from us to you?"
He picked up the fruitcake with a tendril of his Mystical Monkey Power and flung it with tremendous force directly at the spacecraft. But just before it hit, a blue tractor beam lanced out and plucked it from the air. Within moments, it had been taken aboard.
Warvulture broke out in a derisive laugh. "Well, what have we here? Another pitiful human weapon? We laugh at your pathetic attempt to damage our greatest warcraft with such a puny object!"
Suddenly, the alien captain's second-in-command began urgently whispering in his ear. A look of surprise appeared on Warvulture's face. "Stand by, please."
Shego's eyebrows shot up in surprise. "Whoa, what's the Ronster done now?"
Ron shrugged. "I dunno, but whatever I did, it's sure got their attention."
A minute later, the Commander reappeared, his countenance totally transformed from fierce anger to one of benign contentment.
"We… we may have seriously misunderstood your intent. What exactly do you call this delicacy that you have so graciously given us?"
Kim cocked an eyebrow. She cautiously responded, "Uh, we call it fruitcake."
His voice boomed back, "I call it… the Food of the Gods! We had no idea your culinary technology was so incredibly advanced! Our… our apologies for this recent incursion. Where may we obtain more of this incredible substance?"
Ron whispered, "Wow, KP. A polite Lorwardian! What's the universe coming to?"
Kim smiled at the unexpected diplomatic opportunity. "We have tons of it here on Earth, but no one here really likes it all that much."
Drakken quickly hissed, "Ixnay on the ike-lay, Kimberly Ann. This could be our golden opportunity to kill two birds with one fruitcake."
Kim immediately backpedaled. "That is to say, no one on Earth really likes to part with, uh, such spankin' cuisine. But perhaps we could work out some kind of… trade agreement?"
A huge smile broke out on the Lorwardian's face. "Agreed! We will send a diplomatic mission back to your planet in seven of your Earth days to begin both peace and trade negotiations."
And with a thunderous roar, the Lorwardian dreadnought picked up speed and was soon headed back into space.
Ron shook his head in wonder. "Man, KP, talk about a badical outcome! We give them our wrongsick fruitcakes and we get an interstellar peace treaty! How coolio is that?"
Kim answered with more than just a little relief. "Well, that's probably the best trade off the Earth has ever gotten in its entire history. But there's just one question I have now."
"What's that, KP?"
"Who gave us this fruitcake in the first place, and why?"
Ron winced. "Uh, that's two questions, Kim..."
Rufus giggled in agreement.
Shego spoke up. "Well, let's ponder that mystery while we take our little excursion to the Senior's island. My hands are just itching for some plasmatic target practice…"
Meanwhile, deep within the darkened corridors of Middleton High, a fearsome librarian with horn-rimmed glasses closed the door to her office and prepared to send a secret message to the Worldwide Evil Empire.
Her raspy voice croaked out, "Hatchet to Gemini, Hatchet to Gemini, come in please. Operation Fruitcake has failed. Repeat, failed. Now instituting our fallback plan, Operation Figgy Pudding…"