Words Hurt, Shego
This story is not for profit. It's based on a true argument. The characters and the details have been changed to make it a far more interesting tale. This is a very, very belated birthday ditty for my friend, BD.
Shego was bored. She was sitting, her feet propped up on a sofa chair, arms crossed, waiting for her employer, Drakken, to do something 'brilliant'. Instead of being his usual manic self, reminiscing about the good old days of world domination and how Canada was his for the taking, Drakken had been quietly sitting at a table oblivious to his surroundings; too quietly for Shego's liking. On top of that, the scientist had give the handful of henchmen who had remained loyal to him, a day off. That courtesy was not extended to his long suffering sidekick.
Normally Shego did not care. As long as she got paid, she was not bothered by the plans the blue man had in stall for her. They were all dumb. After all these years with Drakken, she had developed a routine of sorts as a way of coping, but of late this was not enough to get her through the day. She was extremely agitated and desperately needed something to break that feeling. Sleeping, training in the gym, doing her nails and letting rip at Drakken with some brilliant sarcastic zingers only accounted for a small portion of the her day, and gave her very little satisfaction.
Shego was now the one that wasn't able to sit still; and that was a first. If it weren't for the fact she treasured her long and luscious raven locks, Shego would have started pulling out her hair. She was tempted to start yanking out the long strands of Drakken's mullet, just to give herself something to do, but she was sure Drakken had not handed all of his toys over to Global Justice, so she did not risk it.
The former villainess focused her attention towards Drakken. From her position low on the sofa, she could not see what her employer was doing. His head was hanging low, and appeared very close to the table surface. His blue, scarred face was swaying side to side like a typewriter, and his black ponytail was swishing with every movement. It looked downright weird, even weird by Drakken's standards. Shego was not able to ascertain what exactly he was doing. "Dr D, why are you kissing the table?"
"I'm not," replied the scientist. From where Shego sat it looked like he was. "Then, what are you doing?"
Drakken lifted his head and glanced over to the green woman. "Shego, I am reading."
"Aren't you going to ruin your eyes like that?"
"No. I have you know, I have perfect twenty-twenty vision."
Shego rolled her eyes. Like she believed that. He probably had hairs on his palms too. "So, what is it you are reading so intently?"
"The newspaper. It is the scintillating Middleton Tribune."
Shego arched a sculpted eyebrow. "Scintillating, Dr D? Really? The Middleton Tribune?" Now she had heard everything.
The Middleton Tribune was a provincial newspaper that just happened to be a located in a town that was a hub for nerdy scientists, villains who were keen to steal their work, and annoying teenage heroes hoping to bring it back. It had its own space centre. Middleton also seemed to attract the unusual; alien invasions and toy robot armies. No wait that last one was Drakken. In any case, Shego thought the Middleton Tribune was a mediocre paper despite of all the excitement the town generated.
The former villainess had to admit she was biased because the paper had not shown her or Drakken in a positive way. It didn't help that the pair seemed to return to Middleton time and time again to test the newest evil scheme. Shego was never sure what it was that kept bringing Drakken back there. Maybe it was because his mother wasn't in the small town, like she wasn't going to watch it on television.
That was in all in the past. There was no reason for the Middleton Tribune making snide comments about the pair whenever they could. It was like the Lowardian invasion didn't happen and the green woman was still a wanted criminal. If the world could acknowledge their courageous efforts why couldn't that damn provincial paper? Shego was tempted to revert to her bad girl ways and show the editor of the paper what a bright spark could actually do.
"Oh you'd be surprised, Shego," said Drakken drawing her back. "The science section is quite extensive and the daily crossword is quite challenging." The blue man continued reading, ignoring his sidekick once again.
"You never used to read the Tribune."
"This is true. I never needed to. In the good old days I got all my information from the Super Villains Guild newsletter or a Hench Co catalogue."
"Is that where you got the tips to rip off Dementor?"
"I heard that on occasion he liked to don on the lederhosen for the ladies. Like that would work." Drakken snorted.
Where the hell did that came from, thought the green woman. There was no logic to the man sometimes. She was tempted to ask, but Drakken continued with his original train of thought. "It was all his own fault you know. Dementor liked to do his own promotion, arrogant and boastful little man that he is. Besides Shego, I don't call it stealing. It was outsourcing."
In the mood she was in, the green woman did not appreciate the difference. Shego even resented the fact that Drakken seemed so relaxed. If she was not happy, no one could be. "Don't you have a deadline?"
"Most probably. Shego, you know I don't pay attention to those sort of details."
"You don't pay attention to details, period!"
The former villainess decided to needle her employer even further. "Why aren't you being the brilliant scientist you claim to be? I doubt Betty's deal includes you slacking off on GJ time so you can read the paper."
"But Shego, I often get inspired reading the paper, especially during the long stints in the bathroom. Why do you think I have a notebook and pen next to the pan?"
"Eww, too much info Doc, way too much info," said Shego shuddering. She had an unwanted mental image of her boss doing his business, his pants around his teeny weenie blue ankles.
Drakken gave his sidekick a manic grin, obviously enjoying her discomfort before he lowered his head and continued with the paper. It wasn't long before the blue man started pounding his tiny black gloved hands on the table. He was very excited about something he had just read.
Shego cast Drakken an enquiring look. "What's got you in such a tizzy?"
Drakken looked up and addressed the green woman. "It says here, that the word 'whatever' was voted the most annoying word for the third year in a row."
"You like the word 'whatever', Shego."
Shego's eyes narrowed, "Your point, Dr D?"
"Well, it says here that 'whatever', not only is the most annoying word for the third year running, it is also the quickest way to kill a conversation."
"Again, what's your point?" Shego asked, but this time with menace.
"You often finish our conversations with 'whatever'." The green woman's forehead furrowed instantly, her black lined lips snarling.
Drakken persisted; he was oblivious to Shego's growing annoyance. "When you say that word, I feel like you're dismissing me like some underling. We have been through thick and thin, Shego. We are practically family. It also shows a total disregard for my feelings. It is very hurtful. Words hurt, Shego."
The former villainess just stared at the blue man. Why did he insist on saying her name in every second sentence? It was annoying beyond belief. Then the point of what the mad scientist was saying sunk in. Shego stood and started moving towards Drakken. "I'll show you hurtful." Her fingers glowed green.
Drakken lifted his tiny hands to shield his face. "Shego, I was just making conversation. I'm not trying to infuriate you. If anything I'm trying to help you." The blue scientist finished with a squeal. Shego was close enough to burn him.
"Help me how?"
"Well, you have been rather down since you came back. I was wondering what happened and whether you had an argument with Miss Possible and ..."
"And, I wondered if that is the reason why you're not talking to her."
"You know, the most annoying word in the world, three years running."
Drakken had hit a nerve. A low guttural sound escaped from Shego's lips. She lurched forward wanting to hurt the scientist but stopped her plasma when she saw Drakken flinch. "Dr D, that is none of your business." Instead, Shego poked her employer hard in the chest and then pushed him away with her flat palm. "Ah, whatever!" Drakken surprised Shego by not reacting and actually standing his ground. He just rubbed his chest without a complaint.
For a few minutes, neither Drakken nor Shego spoke, just eyeing one another. "That's exactly what I mean. See, an instant conversation killer."
"Then why are you still talking?"
"Shego, normally I do not get involved with your personal life. What you do on your days off is up to you. But after your last vacation, you have come back very irritable and quite frankly, you have been extremely mopey. It's very annoying."
"You're calling me mopey and annoying?" Shego could not believe her ears. That was rich coming from Drakken. The blue man was really pushing his luck today.
"Yes, yes you have been. You have been distracted. You've been secretive and not at all part of our evil family."
Shego could not refute most of Drakken's points and chose to focus on the one she could, "Might I remind you Dr D, that we are no longer evil after our deal with GJ."
"Yes, but we are still a family. The henchmen noticed your behavior and have flagged it with me."
"How long have you been sitting on this, Dr D?"
"A few weeks," the blue man admitted sheepishly.
"My vacation was only a few weeks ago," said Shego.
"Well, you did put a few of the henchmen out of commission on your first day back. They complained you were too rough with them. You even referred to Bob as Kim before you kicked him. He cracked a rib that day. You have not asked him once how he was doing. Bob is still sore and very sore with you, Shego. And you made the situation worse by causing a commotion when you refused to go to Becker's birthday dinner like you promised."
"The little gossips!" Shego was furious at the thought of the henchmen and Drakken talking behind her back.
Shego thought back to the time Drakken was referring too. Instead of coming back refreshed and recharged, she had come back the complete opposite. Shego's whole demeanor screamed pissed off at the world. She barely had control of her plasma. All efforts to centre her mind and to meditate were exercises in uselessness. She was holding stress in her body like never before. Shego's shoulders and buttocks were in desperate need of a good massage. Midas was ignoring her calls. Despite the numerous threats to the man with the golden touch, he was not willing to cancel an appointment to fit Shego in any earlier. Midas was booked solid for the next three months.
Shego did take her mood out on the henchman. She knew she was being irrational but she couldn't help it. She had seen Bob go down in pain when she had kicked him in the ribs but she didn't do anything to help. Shego had been too wound up. It was Becker who took Bob to the emergency ward. Afterwards, when she had cooled down, Shego had been too embarrassed to face Bob. Instead of just apologizing and moving on, she chose to ignore him.
When Becker asked if Shego was going to attend his birthday dinner and drinks at the local steak house, she made a scene so she wouldn't have to face the guys in such a personal environment. Shego didn't ask the boys to help her spar from that point. The working relationship was strained enough. Instead she spent many hours in the gym on her own. Even though it tired her out, it gave her little pleasure.
Shego knew the avoidance worked both ways. The henchmen steered clear of being near her at all opportunities. There were references to 'that time of the month' or 'guess who is not getting any'. It was never said out loud, or said directly to her but the green woman overheard the comments. And even though Shego was determined not to voice her feelings, the comments upset her. Shego just didn't know how to fix it.
Drakken broke her reverie. "Don't be angry, Shego. We care about you."
For a second, Shego thought that Drakken looked like he was going to pat her on the arm but decided against it. He's a smart man, thought the former villainess. "Why didn't you say something?" Shego demanded.
"Every time one of us comes close, you take umbrage. The henchmen asked me to talk to you on their behalf but I haven't found the right opportunity. Until now." Drakken played with his ponytail nervously. "So, do you want to talk about it? A trouble shared is a trouble halved."
The former villainess sat down on the table next to her boss. Her mood went from angry and defiant to be deflated in seconds. As much as she hated to admit it, she did need the help and Drakken wasn't completely useless. She desperately wanted to make peace with Bob and the boys. Shego did not glance at the blue man when she whispered her reply, "Yeah. I might as well."
"Why don't we get more comfortable in the kitchen over some cocoa-moo and cookies. I made a new batch this morning." Drakken was giving Shego a pout of sorts. It looked unnatural on his scarred face.
"Alright, alright. I'll play along. Let's get this straight. This is a one off experience for you. Enjoy it while you can, Dr D."
"Excellent Shego." The blue man's pout disappeared. He flashed his sidekick a grin. It was one she couldn't quite interpret, but she followed him to the kitchen just the same.