SOC ROAD TRIP: TROPICAL HEARTACHE
Sweet sixteen? Yeah, right! Sweet sixteen was for girls who had normal skin and normal hair. Girls who didn't have a faster-than-normal healing factor and the ability to make their hands glow green. Sweet sixteen was for normal girls.
Shego wasn't normal.
Shego crept along the rafters of the warehouse into which she had sneaked. This wasn't how she should have been spending her sixteenth birthday. She should have been by a pool with a large group of her friends, or hanging at the roller rink, or chillin' at the local car hop restaurant. Instead, she was following a lead on a very dangerous criminal who had designs on the entirety of Go City... and perhaps the entire world.
Shego had scored the lead independently. She had long since given up playing the good team player with her brothers. Melvin was an arrogant ass and Hank was a pompous ass. Only the Weegs [oh, dear God, why did Wesley have to decide to make his own brother?] were tolerable, save for how stupidly young they were. That was okay. If Shego had to be the Batman to Hego's Superman and Mego's Green Lantern, so be it.
Shego was up to the challenge.
So Shego had began to cultivate her own network of contacts and informants. The more she delved into the mysteries of the criminal underworld, the more it fascinated her. It was as rich and deep and... alive... as any subculture she could ever imagine. But it was also deadly and even that Shego found fascinating. It was enough to make Shego want to become a criminologist someday.
Hank would be so proud of that.
Shego grit her teeth at that thought. She didn't need Hego's validation to know she was a woman worthy of respect. She was going to scout out this lead she'd been given after Hank had failed to show for her (admittedly poorly attended) birthday party. If the perp was here, she was going to bust her. Simple as that.
Shego skittered along the rafter like a cat on a fence, graceful and silent. Eventually, she found her mark. Electronique. Shego had only heard rumors of this woman... a technological genius was the power to manipulate electricity. It wasn't known if her powers were innate like Shego's or were the product of technology. But she was considered dangerous... and twice as mysterious.
What truly darkened Shego's mood, though, was what she saw next.
Kim Possible sat in the window seat of the airliner in which she was riding. She glanced to the seat next to hers and saw her girlfriend, Shego, fast asleep. Shego had her blanket pulled tight around her body, which was turned slightly sideways. Shego's face was half-buried in the soft pillow that the stewardess had provided. The part that Kim could see was so peaceful and serene and... and beautiful.
Kim could not believe how deeply she had fallen for this gorgeous, pale-skinned woman. Not even a year ago, Kim would not have even considered looking at a woman in such a way, let alone the one villain who had actually given Kim a challenge in all of the years she'd spent as a crime-fighting adventurer. But here she was, gazing lovingly at the sleeping form of none other than Shego. The Most Dangerous Woman In The World.
Kim smiled softly to herself, in spite of herself. For a short while, Shego had thought that the love that Kim felt for Shego had been artificially created by some pheromones that Drakken had created. But it was soon realized that both Kim and Shego had loved each other for quite some time; the pheromones had simply forced them out of their state of denial.
The road trip they were on had helped to bring the two women together. They had traveled through much of the United States in the last four months. Now they were on a plane from Las Angeles, CA, heading towards Honolulu, HI.
It was going to be the best Valentine's Day ever.
Kim blinked as Shego stirred slightly, mumbling something under her breath. Shego then settled back into a deeper sleep. Kim couldn't help herself at that point. She reached over and gently stroked Shego's cheek was her fingers. After a few moments, Kim sighed contentedly and drew her hand away.
And had to bite back a yelp of surprise when Shego's hand suddenly snapped out from under the blanket and latched onto Kim's wrist.
"Don't stop," Shego murmured groggily. "Please."
Kim smiled and cupped Shego's face with her hand, stroking the ex-villains' cheek gently with her thumb.
"You look so peaceful when you sleep, Rochelle," Kim whispered softly.
"I'm surprised," Shego mumbled, opening one eye halfway. "I was having a bad dream."
Kim's soft smile faded upon hearing that. "Rochelle, I'm sorry about..."
"No," Shego said, reaching out and stroking Kim's cheek and neck with her own hand. "The dream wasn't about what happened in Kansas City. It was about something much, much different."
Kim instinctively leaned into Shego's caressing hand and sighed. Those fingers felt so different... now that she knew what that felt like.
"I should be the one to apologize to you, anyway," Shego said, sitting up slightly. "I thought it'd be a good idea to buy those movies. I didn't think that... I'm just glad we were able to talk about it afterwards."
"After you explained everything to me," Kim said, leaning towards Shego, "it all made sense. It's just that I'd never felt one before, so it scared me..."
"I know, Pumpkin," Shego replied, freeing her other hand to cup the other side of Kim's face. "I'd forgotten how scary the first one can be. I'm just glad..."
"ATTENTION, PASSENGERS. WE WILL BE LANDING AT THE HONOLULU INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT SHORTLY. PLEASE STOW YOUR TRAYS AND RETURN YOUR SEATS TO THE FULLY UPRIGHT POSITION."
"We're here!" Kim smiled, kissing Shego softly before turning properly into her seat.
Shego smiled and turned to return her seat into position.
"I still feel like I owe you for scaring you like that," Kim said softly.
"Well, trust me," Shego said, muttering the words softly. "You'll more than make it up to me today."
Kim looked at Shego curiously. "What do you mean?"
Shego sighed and looked back over to Kim. "We... we're meeting Mom today."
Shego crouched down and brought out a small device from her utility belt. At first, she hated Hank for making her wear the thing. All she needed was her agility and her glow to fight crime after all. But, as she got more experienced and more resourceful, she grew more grateful for the tools that the big lug of a comic book geek made her carry. This one was a small box, rather like a Walkman brand personal radio, with earbud headphones. She plugged the earbuds into her ears and turned the device on. Now she could hear the conversation below.
The conversation between Hego and Electronique.
"Henry Godeaux, my love," Electronique purred in her obnoxious faux-Eastern European accent as she walked up to the large teenager and wrapped her arms around his neck. "I am so pleased you came to visit me today. And on your sister's birthday, no less. You show me such amounts of devotion."
Shego's heart caught in her throat. Hego was... was dating Electronique? And he ditched Shego's birthday party to be with... with that... that tramp?
"That's the thing, Megan," Hego replied, gently stroking the woman's dark gray hair. "Shego. She's on to your latest scheme."
Electronique scoffed at that statement. "She's the only one on Team Go who could figure it out, to be honest."
Shego couldn't decide if she wanted to throttle Electronique for being evil, kick Hego's teeth in for betraying the team, swell up with pride over Electronique's statement, or laugh hysterically at the hurt look on Hego's face.
"She was bragging earlier today about informants she'd got on her own, outside of team operations," Hego added. "She said she had some juicy info that would lead her straight to you. I'm scared she'll..."
Hego's words were cut off when Electronique planted a deep kiss on the large teenager's lips. Hego tensed up slightly before melting into the kiss. Electronique took advantage of Hego's weakened state to press her body suggestively against his.
Shego fought with all of her might to not throw up at the sight. She won... barely.
Finally, Electronique released her kiss and grinned seductively at the now dumbfounded Hego. "Of course she's cultivated informants of her own. Did you think that she would let you and her arrogant prima donna of a twin brother hold her back any longer? She wants to get results and she wants to get them now."
Shego couldn't help but agree to that assessment, despite the tramp who was speaking it.
"What she doesn't understand," Electronique continued, "is that most of the informants she's found are on my payroll. I fed her the information that she has."
"What?" Hego breathed, wide-eyed. Shego was thinking the exact same word in her head.
"And that information led her straight to here," Electronique said. She then looked up into the rafters and straight into Shego's eyes. "Isn't that right, my dear, sweet Rochelle? Happy Birthday, by the way. I hope it's been a good one."
Hego's eyes went wide as he followed Electronique's gaze up into the rafters and saw his sister. "Shelly! Wait! This isn't what you think!"
Shego saw red at that point. Not only was Hego gallivanting behind the scenes with their most dangerous enemy, he had allowed that enemy to play Shego like a fool.
"Save it, Hank!" Shego shouted back, beyond livid. "You're both going down!"
With that, Shego leapt down from the rafters to attack both Hego and Electronique.
Shego pulled her convertible into the parking lot and parked the car near the visitor's entrance. Kim, who had been riding in the passenger seat, quickly jumped out of the car and waiting as Shego stepped out of the car slowly.
"Queen's Medical Center?" Kim asked, looking from the building to Shego. "You're mother is here? What does she do here?"
Shego sighed. "You'll see, Kimmie. Come on, let's head inside."
Kim stepped up to Shego and walked alongside her as the two women stepped through the large, rotating doors and into the lobby. As they did so, Shego grabbed onto Kim's hand and held it tightly.
Kim glanced briefly at Shego, who kept her eyes straight ahead with a stone-cold look on her face. Kim bit her bottom lip and turned back to looking forwards.
The two of them reached the receptionist's desk. A middle-aged brunette woman in a lady's business suit glanced up at them. "Shelly? Here, let me get Matt on the phone."
"Thank you, Tasha," Shego replied, with little hint of emotion.
So many questions were boiling up inside of Kim. Kim knew that Shego knew that, too; a lot can be conveyed subconsciously through a handhold, which was why it was such an intimate gesture. But Kim kept her mouth shut and simply stood by, squeezing Shego's hand to offer reassurance. Despite Shego's emotionless expression, Kim still felt Shego return the hand squeeze.
"I will let her know that, then. Thanks, Matt," Tasha said right before she hung up her phone. She then turned to the two women. "Matt is on his way down. As usual, he'll escort you up."
"Thanks," Shego sighed as she stepped over to the side and gently pulled Kim along with her.
Kim looked at Shego with concern.
"You'll understand once we get up there," Shego replied simply. She then turned to look at Kim. Shego's face was still cold and emotionless, but the pain... the sheer, unadulterated pain in Shego's eyes. "Thank you for being here, Kimmie."
"Of course, Rochelle," Kim whispered gently. "You know I'd do this and more for you."
Shego nodded softly and then turned to face a tall, bald, dark-skinned man approaching the two of them. He wore a surgeon's gown over a business suit. A stethoscope hung lazily around his neck.
"Shelly," the man said by way of greeting, reaching out to shake Shego's hand.
Shego accepted the hand and shook it firmly. "Matt." She then turned to her girlfriend. "Kimmie, this is Dr. Matthew Collinson. He's my mother's head cardiologist."
"Doctor," Kim said, smiling and offering her hand.
Matt took the hand and shook it. "Please, call me Matt. And you must be the inimitable Kim Possible. Please excuse my rambling, but my daughter is a huge fan of you and your adventures. Maybe I could coax an autograph from you before you leave?"
"Of course," Kim replied. "But, if you don't mind my asking... you're a cardiologist?"
"That's right," Matt nodded. "Fixing broken hearts is my specialty. I'm afraid I can't say much more than that." Matt then turned to Shego. "Well, beautiful, are you ready to head on up?"
"Actually," Shego began, grabbing Kim's hand and holding it again. "Um, I want to exercise my power of attorney and have Kimmie put on the list of allowed visitors."
Matt considered Shego a moment before glancing at Kim then back at Shego. "Relationship?"
"Girlfriend," Shego replied, keeping her voice and facial expression both even.
Matt considered the two women carefully before finally nodding and smiling. "Okay. If it'd been anyone else, I'd've fought you on it. Hospital protocols and all that. But this is Kim Possible we're talking about. I've seen all of the good she's done and I think she'll be a positive influence on this situation. Come on."
Shego breathed a sigh of relief as she led Kim after Matt. Matt himself was already on his way towards the nearby elevators.
Once the three of them were in the elevator, Matt brought out a set of keys and turned a lock on the elevator. The elevator chimed and immediately began rising.
"You know, Shelly," Matt said, turning to the two women, "this will be the first visit she's had in over two months."
Shego's brow furrowed at that. "Where's Hank and Melvin been?"
"Both of them claim other business keeping their schedule tight," Matt replied, shrugging. "Hego with his superheroics and Melvin with... whatever it is he's doing right now."
"Probably kissing some television producer's tail like a sycophant," Shego growled. "I'll kill them both."
"You don't have room to talk, young lady," Matt pointed out.
"But you know of my situation," Shego countered.
"Until the Lowardian Invasion," Matt replied, refusing to back down. Kim didn't know whether to admire his bravery or his stupidity. "After that, your criminal background shouldn't have been stopping you."
Kim stepped in close to Shego, giving the pale beauty's hand a reassuring squeeze.
"It's okay, Pumpkin," Shego responded. "He's right. I should have come to visit far sooner. That's part... that's part of why I'm so nervous right now."
At that point, the elevator doors open and the trio stepped off into what Kim could only assume was the ICU, or Intensive Care Unit. The hospital rooms, as much as they were such, had large open doors and see-through glass walls along the front, allowing the attending nurses easy visual access to each patient. Each of the rooms were dark, allowing the various patients to sleep but also casting a dark and morbid air about the atmosphere. Gentle beeps, clicks, and whizzes broke the otherwise eerie silence.
"Her condition is stable at the moment," Matt whispered as they walked along the hallway. "She hasn't improved any in the last few months, but neither has her health declined significantly. She does spend a lot more time sleeping, though."
"Understandable," Shego replied. "She's been through a lot."
Suddenly, Matt stopped and turned to face one of the patient room. Shego and Kim stopped to look inside the room. And older woman with raven black hair, slightly grayed at the temples, lay asleep on the bed inside. Various tubes ran into each of her arms and a respirator was affixed firmly on her face. Her breathing was rhythmic, but Kim could just as easily here the slow churn of the respirator as she could see the rising and falling of the woman's chest.
Shego sighed and turned to Kim. "Here she is, Kimmie. Meet Janet Renee Godeaux. Meet my mother. Victim of a rare, degenerative heart disease."
Kim could only stare at the woman in the patient room as tears began to well up in her eyes.
Hego rose an arm to block Shego, who struck at him with both fists blazing. Shego had intended to attack Electronique first, of course... she was the one who was the villain, after all, and for all Shego knew Hego could have been mind controlled. If it was mind control, Shego was certain she would enjoy every ounce of pain she was going to inflict on the gray-skinned villainess. But Hego had interposed himself between Shego and Electronique.
In order to protect Electronique. ELECTRONIQUE!
"Shego, calm down!" Hego bellowed as Shego lashed out indiscriminately at her brother. "Let me explain!"
"Nothing to explain, you traitor!" Shego screamed, slashing through Hego's costume with her sharpened nails. "But please, do tell me... how good is that harlot in the sack?"
Electronique, who was standing to the side, enjoying the show, rubbed her fingertips on her costume and blew the proverbial dust off of them. "I do say I leave him quite satisfied."
Shego screamed incoherently and spun around to slash at Electronique again. Hego caught Shego's wrist, spun around, and threw Shego across the room into a pile of empty crates.
"Shego!" Hego bellowed again. "Please try to understand! Electronique is paying for mom's hospital bills!"
Shego shifted slowly out of the painful position she found herself in within the pile of crates. "She... what?"
"None of us can afford to pay the hospital anymore, Shego," Hego explained as his sister crawled back out onto the floor. "And state insurance dropped her a couple of months ago. Her condition was deemed incurable, so public aid doesn't want to help her anymore. With Dad already dead, I had no other choice but to turn to the only person in Go City who could afford the hospital bills."
"So she's the mysterious Megan Watts I've seen listed on the hospital bills," Shego hissed. "Hank, don't you realize there is always a price to pay for something like that?"
Hego paused and nodded shamefully, not looking at Shego in the eyes.
Shego took a deep breath and crossed his arms. "So, let me guess, the price is keeping her informed of what we're doing and making sure we don't catch her while she's committing a caper."
Hego nodded shamefully again.
"Once again, she proves how she is so much smarter than the rest of Team Go," Electronique laughed softly. Hego winced at that statement. Electronique then walked up to Hego and draped herself lovingly on his massive arm. "Besides, he gets an additional benefit beyond seeing Mom's expenses paid. He's no longer a virgin. Can you say that, you green freak?"
Hego wasn't fast enough to catch Shego. The green teenager screamed incoherently and literally flew across the room, jacking Electronique in the jaw so hard that the villainess flew across the other side of the room and crashed into the wall there.
Shego, now wild-eyed with unkempt hair and a maniacal grin, seethed at the villainess. When Electronique did manage to look up, Shego snapped.
"Come on!" Shego cackled maniacally. "Get up! Say something else stupid! This is fun! I like this game!"
"Your brother is a dirty, filthy whore who is willing to sell out his whole team for a woman who can't take care of herself and a piece of tail?" Electronique offered, knowing full well what effect the statement would have on Shego.
Shego screamed and lunged to grab at Electronique. But she didn't make it there. Hego grabbed onto Shego's ankles, spun, and threw Shego through the air and against the wall on the far side of the warehouse.
Hego then spun and glared at Electronique. "Do you need to antagonize her? You know her temper is volatile!"
"She's dangerous," Electronique countered, a knowing smirk on her face, as she rose to her feet. "If she's allowed to go against the grain of your team, against what society expects of you heroes, she's going to become a villain herself and become an even greater threat than me!"
Hego paused and looked back in the direction he had thrown Shego. He bit his lower lip as he considered Electronique's words.
"Think about it, lover," Electronique purred, stepping up next to Hego and caressing his pecs lovingly. "She's already showing the signs. She studies criminals. She shows a fascination with them. She heads out on her own and does her own patrols, against team schedule. She's showing a great deal of distrust for you and Melvin and Wesley."
"You're right," Hego breathed. "It all makes sense now. She is turning into a villain."
Electronique leaned into Hego and whispered coyly into his ear, "We need to stop her before she becomes one."
Hego narrowed his eyes and made the fateful decision.
"Yes, we do."
Shego sat down next to her mother's bed and took the woman's hand into her own. Kim stood over to the side, holding one arm with the other hand as she watched her girlfriend.
"Mom, I'm sorry I haven't been by to visit more often," Shego whispered, bowing her head. "I've been so selfish. Even after I cleared my name and was able to move on with my life, I kept running. I didn't know how to stop. Part of me still doesn't know how..."
"You're taking her out tonight, right?"
Both Shego and Kim blinked when they heard the raspy voice of the woman laying in the bed. Janet slowly opened her eyes and gazed on Shego with a weak smile.
"Um, uh," Shego stammered, sitting up and scratching the back of her head. "What?"
"The pretty redhead over there," Janet replied, motioning her head towards Kim. "The one I saw you kissing on the news the other day."
Kim blushed ferociously as Shego looked at her mother with utter disbelief.
"They caught that on the news?" Shego asked incredulously.
"They were apparently already there when you took down your ex-boyfriend," Janet chuckled painfully. "So, yeah, they caught it on film when you went straight over and laid one on the redhead that would have turned any man into a puddle of goo."
Kim turned her head and mumbled something like "It did turn me into a puddle of goo."
Shego took a deep breath and steeled herself. "Yeah, that. Um, yeah. I bet that came as quite a shock to you. I..."
"I cheered so loud the nurses rushed in and ran a full battery of tests," Janet laughed, causing her to cough slightly. Shego sobered up and gripped her mother's hand gently. Janet finished coughing, nodding to let the women know she was okay, and continued. "Shego, I've followed your exploits all through your criminal career."
"Mom...," Shego breathed, ducking her head in shame. Kim stepped up and rubbed Shego's shoulders gently.
"I always thought that if you'd just stood up for yourself and told that idiot Drakken what to do with himself, you could've taken over the world," Janet added. She shook her head. "Instead, not only did you keep yourself under Drakken's heel, you started banging him!"
"Mom!" Shego gasped. "You don't have to put it like that!"
"It's what it was, wasn't it?" Janet chuckled, causing her to cough slightly again. "Please, dear, tell me he was at least good in bed."
"Mom...," Shego sighed, ducking her head again while Kim convulsed in disgust.
"It shattered my heart to learn that he'd struck you down like he did," Janet added.
"How did you...?" Shego started to ask.
"It was in the news," Janet pointed out. "Mind you, I didn't find out until after he'd been convicted for doing it, but I found out. But then I found out you were spending time with Kim Possible and it made me happier."
"You're a Kimmie fan too?" Shego growled disapprovingly, earning a playful slap from her girlfriend.
Janet smiled and shook her head. "I'm not, but Collinson's daughter is. They like to come in on major holidays and spend time with me, since they know my children don't come to visit me that much."
Shego winced at that statement. It hurt mostly because it was true.
"Shelly, sweatheart," Janet said, trying feebly to reach out to her daughter. "Listen to me. I don't blame you. I know what happened between you and Henry. Am I upset you became a villain? Yes. Am I upset that when you did decide to become a villain, you weren't the best villain you could possibly be? Yes. But you had a lot of baggage to deal with. I'm sorry I gave you that baggage."
"Mom...," Shego whispered, right before she broke down crying.
Janet looked up at Kim. "Please take care of my daughter, Kim. I don't know how much longer I'll be of this world. And I know that if anyone can take care of my Shelly, it'll be you."
"Dammit, Mom!" Shego seethed, suddenly looking up and glaring at her mother with tear-soaked eyes. "You've fought like a warrior against this thing for over twelve years. You're not dying anytime soon."
"Rochelle Denee Godeaux," Janet sighed. "Yes, I have lived with this condition for that long. That is true. But I'm not getting any better. And there will be a time when I will grow tired and I will want to join the spirits of the world."
"Please, not yet," Shego pleaded, gripping her mother's hand tightly. "Don't go yet. Not yet."
Janet chuckled again. Kim was somehow finding that simple, painful laughter uplifting. "No, not yet. Shelly, you act like I'm planning to close my eyes and fade away right this instant. Ready to die, I am not, padawan."
"Mom!" Shego laughed, wiping away her tears.
"But you need to understand, sweetheart," Janet added. "I'm not going to be around forever. It might not even be for much longer. And you need to be able to accept that as a fact, so that you can let me go and live your own life."
"But," Shego choked, burying her face in her mother's arm. "Everything I've done so far..."
"...has been for me, I know," Janet smiled, stroking her daughter's raven hair gently. "You think you could get that one past me, too? I mean, who else but a world-class villain could afford hospital bills such as mine?"
Shego bit her lip on that.
"Rochelle?" Kim breathed, suddenly connecting the dots.
"Yeah," Shego sighed, turning slightly to acknowledge Kim. "All those times you've been kicking my tail and sending me packing? I was earning money to pay for Mom's stay here."
"Wow," was all Kim could think to say in response.
"My darling Shelly has always had a heart of gold, Kim," Janet said, patting Shego's hand proudly. "She just likes to sheathe it in fire to keep it from getting tarnished."
"You and your metaphors, Mom," Shego chuckled.
"I just want you to promise me, Shelly," Janet said, suddenly taking on a more serious face. "When I go, I want you to celebrate my life, not mourn my death. The Spirit Plains are calling me and I will be in a much better place, I promise. Celebrate my life and the fact that I raised five of the most beautiful children on the face of the planet."
Shego snorted. "So, you're counting Weston, huh?"
"Damn straight I am!" Janet laughed. "I got a set of twins without having to carry them. Of course I'm counting him!"
"Mom, I'm not going to make any promises I can't keep," Shego warned, pointing a finger at her mother. "But I will say I will try."
Janet smiled weakly and closed her eyes. "That's all I ask, sweetheart. That's all I ask."
"I love you so much, Mom," Shego whispered, reaching up to touch her mother's face.
"I love you too, Firebug," Janet smiled softly just before she drifted off to sleep.
"Get some sleep, Mom," Shego whispered back before standing up. "Princess and I will be back tomorrow. I promise."
As they left the room, Matt stood by smiling. "You have no idea what seeing you meant to her, Shelly."
Shego smirked playfully at the cardiologist. "Matt, you have no idea what her seeing me meant to me."
"True, that," Matt agreed. "Are you two heading back out now?"
Shego nodded. "Yeah. I'm taking Kimmie to one of those shows where they have the hula dancers and the fire jugglers or whatever they are and where they bake that pig under the ground and all that. I figured she'd get a kick out of it."
"We're going to a luau!" Kim squealed as softly as she possibly could. She bounced up and down excitedly. Then it dawned on her. "You've never been to one?"
"Not a single one," Shego admitted, shrugging. "I've just seen 'em on the Travel Channel and whatnot. I thought it'd be cool to go to one."
"Well, love of my life," Kim purred, kissing her girlfriend on the cheek. "You most certainly chose the perfect Valentine's Day gift."
"I'm glad you approve," Shego replied with playful sarcasm. She still enjoyed the kiss, though.
Matt escorted the two women to the front lobby and bid them farewell. As Kim and Shego walked towards their car, Kim turned to Shego.
"Angel," Kim said, carefully touching Shego's arm, "please forgive me for prying. But you became a villain in order to pay for your mother's bills here. How are you handling that now? Do you need help?"
Shego shook her head and grinned evilly. "Trust me, Kimmie. I'm fine. When I accepted that Global Justice pardon, they did indeed seize all of my illegal assets. They didn't seize any of Electronique's illegal assets from before her first prison term."
Kim looked at Shego queerly as the ex-villainess grinned smugly and stepped into their rental convertible. Her mind still full of curiosity, she stepped into the car too.
As Shego pulled out of the parking lot, Shego looked at Kim. "By the way, if you ever call me by my mother's pet name..."
Kim shook her head. "I hate it when my mother calls me by her pet name, so..."
"Oh, yeah, Bubble-Butt," Shego chuckled. "That was so long ago, I forgot I heard her call you that on that train... I might have to..."
"Try it, Firebug," Kim replied, glaring at her girlfriend.
"Right, no Bubble-Butt, then," Shego laughed.
With that, Kim snuggled up against Shego's body as the ex-villainess drove on to their hotel.
Shego crashed back into the crates behind her, caught unawares by the avalanche of wood and metal that came crashing down on top of her.
Hego stood by, bloodied and worn, breathing heavily as he stood in a boxer's stance. "Please don't make me do this, Shego. I love you. You're my sister and I want the best for you. I don't want to see you become a villain."
"Is that what your girlfriend is telling you now?" Shego groaned, working feverishly to get the crates out of her way so she could stand up again. "That I'm going to become a villain? Wake up, Hank! I'm here to STOP the villain!"
"You're trying to put down the one person who can pay for Mom's medical bills," Hego shot back, picking up a nearby crate and tossing it at the pile that covered Shego. "In my book, that makes you a murderer. And you already have an unhealthy obsession with the criminal subculture. I should have seen it by now. It just took someone like Electronique to wake me up."
Shego grunted under the weight of the crates that was piling up on top of her. "What do you intend to do to save me, Hego? Kill me?"
"No!" Hego's voice snapped, the anger suddenly obvious. "I'm not a murderer like you! I'd have you committed, where you could receive the therapy and medication you needed to find your balance again. I want Team Go to thrive... that won't happen if I kill you."
"Here, lover," Electronique's voice cooed. "Take this."
Shego froze in fear at that moment. One of Electronique's shticks was that she could take anything electronic and turn it into a weapon. If it was already a weapon, she could make it an even better weapon.
"What is this?" Hego's voice asked.
"It is a quantum destabilizer," Electronique's voice explained. "It will freeze Shego in time. That way, she can be safely transported to the asylum of your choice."
Quantum destabilizer, you fraggin' idiot! Shego wanted to scream. But the weight of the crates that was now on top of her was making it hard for her to breath, let alone speak. It's going to unravel time around me, not freeze it!
Shego could literally feel Hego shrug as he pondered it for a moment. "It's worth a try. Thanks, Megan."
"Anytime," Electronique cooed coyly.
This is it, then, Shego thought to herself. Happy Sweet Sixteen, Rochelle. Your brother is going to kill you without even knowing it and then he's going to bang Electronique for the rest of his probably very short life. What a successful superhero you are.
Shego closed her eyes and braced for the moment of death. But it never came. Suddenly, Electronique's voice shrieked in anger and the weight of the crates began to lighten. Considerably.
"Don't worry, Sis!" came the voice of Wesley, one half of the Wego twins.
"We'll get you out of there," came the voice of Wesley's clone copy, Weston.
Thank God! Shego breathed as she felt herself being able to actually... well... breath.
"Hold on, Heeg," came the voice of Shego's twin brother, Melvin, aka Mego. "We'll break you out of Electronique's mind control in a jiffy."
"Um...," Hego started to mumble.
"Don't stand there, you dolt! Do somethi... ACK!"
"Nice rapid regrowth uppercut there, Meeg!"
"Guys, this isn't a good idea."
"Hold that thought, Heeg. I'm going to find that device that Electronique used to mind control you and try to reverse its polarity. Where is it, anyway."
"Mego, there is no..."
"Ah, here it is. Hold still and... huh. Nothing. Well, the effects might not be visible to the naked eye. How are you feeling, bro?"
"Um, good, but..."
"Great! That means it must've worked. Hey, Weegs! How're you doing in unburying Sis?"
At that point, Shego saw florescent light. Two sets of hands reached down and pulled Shego's stiff and aching body to its feet.
Shego looked around. The warehouse was an absolute wreck. Broken and shattered crates were strewn everywhere. Electronique lay unconscious near her computerized workstation. Mego stood next to a flabbergasted Hego, holding a strange device in his hands. And the Wego twins carefully dusted Shego off.
"Are you okay, Sis?" Wesley asked.
"You're not hurt too badly?" Weston asked.
"Thanks for the signal you sent us a few minutes ago, Sis," Mego said, smiling triumphantly. "Thanks to you, I was able to swoop in, defeat Electronique, restore Hego's sanity, and save the day. All in a day's work for Go City's greatest hero, if I do say so myself."
Shego growled angrily and yanked her arms out from Wesley and Weston's grasps.
"You all are a bunch of flamed idiots!" Shego seethed. "That's it. I quit."
"What?" Wesley gasped.
"You can't!" Weston claimed.
"I can," Shego growled, glaring at each of her younger brothers as if to dare them to speak again. "And I did."
"I can't let you," Hego said, stepping towards Shego. "You'll..."
"I would shut up if I were you, Mr. Hero!" Shego snapped, pointing a finger at Hego. "You're cured of your madness, remember?"
Hego stopped on a dime and bit his lower lip.
"Thanks to me, thank you very much," Mego bragged, placing a hand on his chest in pride.
Mego was rewarded with a blast of plasma flame in his face, knocking him on his back.
"Shego!" Hank snapped.
Shego growled audibly at Hego, baring her teeth. She then caught a glimpse of Electronique's unconscious form and sighed. She rose from her battle stance and strode over to Electronique's workstation.
"Shego?" Hego asked, watching his sister.
Shego lit her right hand with plasma flame and then plunged that hand like a knife into Electronique's workstation. Within moments, she yanked out a box that looked like a glorified hard drive. She then turned to her brothers.
"Do not try to follow me, if you know what's best for you," she warned. "I'm done with this. I'm done with your idiocy. I'm done with these schemes and these thankless jobs. Most of all, I'm done with heroism. Just make sure Electronique gets a prison cell, will you? She should get a solid ten years, easy."
With that, Shego closed her eyes and stormed past Hego. Surprisingly, the big lug didn't lift a finger to stop her. She then stormed past the Wego twins. They looked like they were about to cry, so Shego closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and acted like it didn't affect her at all. She just kept on walking, a cold, emotionless look on her face.
Mego finally stumbled to his feet and saw his sister walking away. "Shego, wait! We can..."
Mego started to step forward, but a large hand on his shoulder stopped him. Mego turned to see Hego shaking his head.
"Let her go, Mego," Hego said with such a soft, level voice as to creep Mego out. "Just... just let her go. I have a feeling it will all work out in the end, anyway."
With that, Hego, Mego, and the Wego twins watched as Shego walked out of the warehouse and into the night... with all of Electronique's personal data in her hands.
[END THE SHADOW OF TROPICAL HEARTACHE]
NOTE: This story is hella early. But as many of you know, when you're artist, you work as your muse strikes you. If you're liking this story, you might enjoy my other KP stories as well. If you haven't already, go to my profile and try out the TSOD Universe stories (The Specter of Death, Robots & Redemption, Wedding Elements, and The Shadow of Infinity) plus my new Chrono Trigger crossover story, Chrono Sitch.