Title: Burning Pictures

Author: The Bookworm's Magician

Beta: Esther-Channah

Rating: K

Character/s: Shego

Pairing/s: None

Spoilers: Stop Team Go

Summary: Being evil, being good, and the problems that don't go away. Second chapter in the Chronicles of the Mind-Warped.

Disclaimer: I don't own this, I never have and I never will.

AN: I have an amazing beta. I hope that you all realize this.

Burning Bridges

Shego looked down at the pictures in her hand. Pictures of her and Miss Priss smiling together, laughing together, having fun in general… together. She sneered down at the them. What had she been thinking?

Good or not, she should've had more common sense! Kimmie had learned secrets about her! About her family! About her past! Things she'd managed to keep people from learning for years, through prison stays, different employers, victims out for revenge…

And now, all that effort was ruined. All because of one lousy trap by some second-rate villain who couldn't even keep up on current events!

Shego's hand tightened into a fist. She knew that beneath her glove, her skin would be white around her knuckles. She stared down at the pictures. Her expression in them, even taking in the odd outfit, was… happy.

Happy! Hah! Why would she have been happy? She'd been cavorting with the enemy!

Her hand unclenched slightly as she thought about that. Even though she'd been working, shopping, and even double-dating with the enemy, she'd had… fun. Actual, genuine fun. But not the kind of fun she was used to.

No, that fun had been 'normal people' fun. Gossiping, shopping, dating… all of it was the kind of fun normal people had. So, why had she been having fun too? Heck, she'd even had fun teaching!

She'd always enjoyed teaching, that was true, but to enjoy teaching a normal subject… that was just weird. And to go on a date with a normal—not another villain, not a corrupted hero (she'd done some of those; corrupted heroes were even more fun than villains, sometimes)—but a normal.

But even that, she could accept. She could get over that. She hadn't been in her right mind, after all. (And it had helped that he was pretty cute, for a normal.)

But the thing that she couldn't take was how happy she'd looked in the pictures. She hadn't looked like that in… a really long time.

That didn't mean anything, though! She was happy! The thrill of being a villain hadn't worn off after all this time, and she loved the chase, the wild rush of blood in her veins when she stole something everyone said couldn't be stolen.

She loved fighting worthy opponents, people who could actually give her a decent fight. She… enjoyed working with Drakken, whose occasional bursts of actual genius kept life interesting.

So, why? Why, if she was so happy now, did she look like she was having such a good time in the pictures?

It was the Attitudinator. It had to be. She was happy in her current life, and if there was a sneaking thought that maybe—no. No, she was happy, she was, and no screwy brainwashing machine was going to convince her otherwise.

(And if there were doubts in her mind, well, she pushed those out of her thoughts and forgot about them. Because she'd burned that bridge to the ground a long time ago.)

"Shego!" Shego could hear Drakken yelling for her, and she sighed silently. It was time to get back to work.

She set the pictures on fire and dropped them as she moved to rejoin Drakken. They fell silently to the ground and burned away, leaving nothing behind but ash.

Shego didn't look back.

…The End…