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Shades of Green: One Month

Fear of Oneself

Avengers Mansion

Hulk's Room

1:48 AM

The door slowly opened as a familiar female figure stood at the entrance, her emerald green eyes locking onto the sleeping form of the Hulk, who continued to rest peacefully in his massive bed. Silently as possible, Shego closed the door to Hulk's room shut as she entered, resuming to walk over to Hulk's bedside as she looked down upon the sleeping form of the Green Goliath. She couldn't help but smile in amusement, for it was rare to see Hulk in such a peaceful state, and despite herself, she thought that he looked cute.

For the strangest reason, Shego couldn't sleep in her own room, because she she felt as if it were uncomfortable to her now. It was for that reason that she kept sneaking into Hulk's room every night, finding herself comforted by his presence, which never ceased to confuse her already conflicted mind and emotions regarding the Gamma Goliath. What was it about him that made her feel this way? Could it be possible that she was falling for him?

No. I can't allow myself to fall for him. I mean, yeah, I've become very fond of him, but I've got to keep my head in the game! If this all pays off, then the world will be mine. And once I have the world in the palm of my hand, I'll just have to hope that Hulk will forgive me. Shego assured herself, despite the fact that she wasn't quite believing her own reasoning.

Could you really do that to him? Could you really use Hulk in such a way? He's the first person that you've ever cared about, the first person who accepts you for who you are, and you're willing to use and betray him in order to rule the planet? Could you live with yourself if you were to hurt him in such a way? A voice whispered in the back of Shego's mind.

She pushed those troubling thoughts aside, but not without some difficulty. She never felt this way about anyone or anything, and even though she would never admit it, it scared her to some degree. In her time spent with him, Shego began to care a lot about the Hulk, but not just as a close friend or companion, for she could feel an even stronger bond growing between her and the Jade Giant. It was this bond and her growing feelings for him that made her feel guilty regarding her original intentions to seduce Hulk in an attempt at gain the ultimate villainous recognition and planetary conquest.

Closing her eyes briefly, Shego let out a silent sigh in an attempt to clear her mind of these troubling thoughts and emotions. She opened her eyes to focus on Hulk's sleeping form again, his very visage causing an affectionate smile to grace her features, her left hand reaching down and brushing a few strands of his dark hair from his face. Then, without the slightest hint of hesitation, Shego momentarily lifted the blanket off of Hulk's body as she gently crawled into his bed, resting her green pajama covered body atop Hulk's form before covering themselves with the blanket sheet once again.

Shego allowed herself to get comfortable, resting her head on Hulk's vast chest, listening to the soothing beat of his heart as she soon drifted off into a peaceful slumber. Unknown to Shego, Hulk's peaceful state of sleep was merely a cloak to the actual turmoil that was now taking place within his mind... within the nightmare that he was now experiencing! It was a nightmare that caused Hulk an emotion that he rarely felt... fear! However, it was not fear of anyone or anything... but fear of himself.

Hulk's Nightmare

Hulk was surrounded by darkness, but he wasn't frightened, nor was he intimidated. Instead, all that he felt was a powerful rage, causing him to release a savage growl as his green eyes scanned the darkness that surrounded him, daring anything or anyone to challenge him to a fight! However, Hulk was not prepared to confront the being that lurked in the darkness, for it was a being that he never expected to face ever again.

"Always so angry, aren't we, Hulk?", A familiar voice remarked mockingly.

"Say that to my face... so I can tear yours off!", Hulk roared, clenching his massive hands into fists.

"It would seem that you are as violent and savage as ever... or perhaps even more so than ever before. But then again... you always were a uncontrollable monster.", The voice responded, taunting the Hulk as his rage increased, while his patience began to wear thin.

"Shut up and come out where I can see you... so I can smash your skull in!", Hulk snarled, narrowing his eyes dangerously as his muscles began to tense up, preparing for the conflict that was sure to come.

"Very well, Hulk. If that is your wish, then so be it.", The voice answered, accepting the Hulk's challenge.

Out of the darkness, the imposing being revealed himself, the mere sight of him causing the Hulk to narrow his emerald green eyes as he unleashed a low growl of pure rage and hatred. With the exception of his bare upper body, the monstrous brute was wearing a pair of royal blue pants and combat boots, while a necklace made up of skulls and jewels hung from his thick green neck. If one were to look upon the monstrous brute, it would appear that he was an exact look-a-like of the Hulk, with the exception that he was older, his hair was long and white, and he supported a long white beard that was equal in length to Odin's own.

However, this being was not the Hulk, at least not the Hulk from this very reality or dimension, but he has forever been known by the name of the Maestro. This was the Hulk from a another reality, one in which the world was devastated by a nuclear war of epic proportions, and those heroes and villains that did survive were killed by none other than the Maestro himself. Unlike the Hulk, the Maestro was as insane as he was brutally cold and malevolent, feeling no guilt in killing anyone or anything that dared to get in his way. If there was any being that the Hulk despised more than any other, even more than Banner, it would have to be the Maestro.

It was true that Hulk was violent and short-tempered, but it was also an undisputed fact that the Green Goliath never killed or harmed anyone who was innocent, and those that he did kill usually were beings that either intended to harm countless innocents or tried to kill him. Maestro, on the other hand, was murderous and sadistic to a fault, taking a sick and twisted pleasure out of killing anyone or anything that was unfortunate enough to incur his wrath. There was so many aspects of the Maestro that reminded both Hulk & Bruce of their violent and abusive father, Brian Banner, who was responsible for killing Bruce's mother, Rebecca Banner. It was no wonder why both Hulk & Bruce despised the Maestro more than most of the beings that they came into contact with throughout the years.

"Maestro!", Hulk snarled between clenched teeth.

"I'm surprised that you remember me, but then again, it's hard to forget someone that you killed.", Maestro remarked darkly, an evil smile gracing his features as his sinister green eyes locked on to the Hulk's own emerald irises.

"You killed countless thousands of people... heroes and villains... men, women, and children! I wasn't going to allow you to live! Yes, I killed you, but in my opinion, a monster like you deserves a fate worse than death!", Hulk roared, his voice a mixture of rage and utter hatred for the evil Maestro.

"You're one to talk, Hulk. Have you've not realized that you're the real monster? The truth is... you're more of a monster than me!", Maestro taunted, crossing his arms over his chest as a smug smile formed on his visage.

"No! I'm not like you! I'm not a monster!", Hulk proclaimed, glaring defiantly at the monstrous being standing less than twenty feet away from where he stood.

"Still believeing that you're a monster who is a hero, even though you know as well as I do that you are a breaker of worlds. They can't even begin to comprehend how powerful you truly are! But you already know, don't you? You're a destroyer... An unstoppable titan of death and destruction... A killer of heroes, villains, and gods... You are the World-Breaker!", Maestro yelled at the top of his lungs.

"Shut up!", Hulk snarled, grasping his own skull as his anger continued to rise to dangerous levels.

"You can't deny who you are! Everyone you know, everyone you care about, everyone that you've ever loved... Your friends, your family, your teammates... You'll kill them all, Hulk. You will kill them all!", Maestro shouted before bursting forth in maniacal laughter.

"Shut up!", Hulk roared, lunging at the Maestro.

Hulk tackles the Maestro to the ground, the impact of their collision capable of shattering a dozen city blocks. Trading powerful blows back and forth, Hulk and Maestro continued their battle of dominance, neither willing to submit to the other as they unleashed their fury upon one another. Finally, Hulk managed to get the advantage by breaking Maestro's left arm, causing the evil incarnation of the Hulk from another universe to roar in pain. Taking advantage of the situation, Hulk began to viciously batter the Maestro, his fists smashing the monstrous green titan down, each blow more devastating than the last as green blood soon spilled from the Maestro's wounds.

Hulk did not relent, his mind consumed with rage as his massive fists continued to smash against the Maestro's muscular form, breaking bones and drawing more blood from the sinister tyrant. It was only when Hulk's fists became covered by the Maestro's green blood, which slowly dripped down to his fingers and onto the ground at his feet, his jade eyes never leaving the beaten body of the Maestro. However, instead of hearing the sounds of pain, the Hulk listened as Maestro once again began laughing in a maniacal manner as the sinister tyrant slowly got up and rested himself on his knees.

Hulk could only watch in a mixture of outrage and disgust, wanting nothing more than to silence the evil laughter coming from the Maestro, even if it meant beating the green titan to death. With a savage growl, Hulk reached out and grasped Maestro by the neck, his right hand tightly squeezing the throat of his hated enemy. It was at that moment that Hulk and Maestro came face-to-face, their eyes locking as they glared their hatred and defiance of one another, each possessing a gaze that was more savage than any beast and colder than the coldest winter snow.

"What are you laughing about?", Hulk demanded, tightening his grip around the Maestro's throat.

"You can't save them, Hulk. Try as you might, you won't be able to protect them from your wrath! Sooner or later, you'll unleash yourself as never before, and you'll kill all of them!", Maestro responded with an evil smirk, spitting blood directly in the Hulk's face, his boisterous laughter infuriating Hulk even more.

With a thunderous roar, Hulk throws Maestro aside, deciding that the malevolent tyrant was no longer a threat to himself. Hulk turned his back on the downed Maestro, trying to ignore the taunting laughter that still escaped the villainous monster's throat. Then, just as Hulk was about to resume his intentional desire to beat the Maestro to death, he turned to discover that the Maestro had vanished from thin air. However, the Maestro's voice continued to echo through the darkness that surrounded him, taunting and mocking the Hulk like some sinister spiritual phantom.

"Their blood will be on your hands, Hulk!", Maestro's voice echoed all around the surrounding darkness.

Hulk then looked at his hands, discovering that they were covered and dripping with crimson blood, his eyes widening in horror as the wet red liquid slowly fell in small droplets from his hands and onto the floor. However, the blood on his hands paled in comparison to what Hulk soon discovered, his heartbeat increasing as his eyes looked upon the horror that surrounded. All around him lay the motionless forms of the heroes and people that Hulk known... all of his friends and allies... everyone that he cared about and respected on one level or another... all of them dead!

The Avengers: Captain America/Steve Rogers, Thor Odinson, Wasp/Janet Van Dyne, Ant-Man/Giant-Man/Yellowjacket/Hank Pym, Ms. Marvel/Carol Danvers, Iron Man/Tony Stark, Vision, Hawkeye/Clint Barton, Black Panther/T'Challa...

The X-Men: Professor X/Charles Xavier, Storm/Ororo Munroe, Cyclops/Scott Summers, Jean Grey, Beast/Hank McCoy, Nightcrawler/Kurt Wagner, Angel/Warren Worthington III, Iceman/Bobby Drake, Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff, Quicksilver/Pietro Maximoff, Jubilee, Shadowcat/Kitty Pryde, Colossus/Piotr Rasputin, Rogue/Anna Marie, Gambit/Remy LeBeau, Wolverine/James "Logan" Howlett...

The Fantastic Four: Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic, Sue Storm/Invisible Woman, Johnny Storm/Human Torch, Ben Grimm/Thing...

The Defenders: Dr. Strange, Valkyrie, Namor, The Silver Surfer, Nighthawk, Hellcat/Patricia Walker...

Friends & Family: She-Hulk/Jennifer Walters, Rick Jones, Marlo Chandler, Doc Samson, Monica Rappaccini, Kate Waynesboro, Hercules, Amadeus Cho, The Sentry/Robert Reynolds, Spider-Man/Peter Parker, Namora, Thundra...

These and many more lay motionless all around the Hulk, their very blood now dripping from his hands, the very hands that had claimed all of their lives. The final horrific blow to the Hulk's heart came when he looked down at his feet, revealing the limp and motionless form of Shego, the mere sight of her dead body causing tears to stream down Hulk's face. Kneeling down, Hulk gently scooped up Shego's cold and motionless body in his arms, holding her close to him in an affectionate, yet sorrowful embrace.

A painful cry of anguish escaped Hulk's throat as he rested his forehead against Shego's own, allowing the tears to finally fall from his emerald irises, seemingly unaware of the fact that his body began releasing immense amounts of energy. All the rage, sorrow, and grief that the Hulk had suppressed for years was now finally being unleashed, creating powerful shockwaves that could create massive violent tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes all around the world. Shego, the woman he was becoming increasingly fond of... the woman that he secretly loved... was dead. It was a blow that not even the Hulk could withstand... a blow that finally unleashed... THE WORLD-BREAKER!

"Shego...", Hulk whispered, feeling his heart shatter into a billion pieces within his chest.

"NOOOOOOOO!", Hulk roared to the heavens, unleashing his power like never before, annihilating everything in existence in a brilliant Big Bang Gamma Explosion!

Hulk's Room

2:27 AM

Hulk shot up from his bed, roaring in a mixture of rage and fear, his actions quickly startling Shego from her peaceful slumber as she was tossed off Hulk's body and nearly out of the bed. She watched in both bewilderment and concern as Hulk stumbled out of bed, smashing against the side of the wall as he continued to roar with primal fury. It was only when Shego called out to him did Hulk stop his rampage, his green eyes locking on to her own emerald irises.

"Hulk? What's wrong?", Shego asked, concern evident in her voice as she got out of the bed.

"Shego... I...", Hulk spoke in a low voice before becoming silent.

Hulk averted his gaze away from Shego's own, his eyes soon looking upon his massive hands as he raised his arms to examine them more closely, causing flashbacks of his nightmare to resurface once again. As Hulk continued to stare at his hands, the expression on his face and the look in his eyes did not go unnoticed by Shego, who continued to watch the Green Goliath, a great concern for him entering her heart. She recognized the look in his eyes, for it was an emotion that she never expected to see the Hulk express in a million years, an overpowering emotion known as fear.

However, Shego could tell that it was not a fear of her, nor of anyone or anything else that was reflected in Hulk's eyes. No, it was completely different, unlike any fear that she had ever seen in another being, but one that she herself had experienced in her life. The fear that was reflected in the Hulk's emerald green eyes, the fear that seemed to have paralyzed him where he stood, staring at his massive hands, was an unconquerable fear of himself.

"Hulk?", Shego asked in a gentle voice, causing the Green Goliath to meet her gaze once again.

Shego slowly proceeds to approach, her eyes never leaving Hulk's own as she ventured closer without the slightiest hint of hesitation or fear, knowing that she was the only one capable of comforting him. Finally, she came to a stop directly in front of Hulk, but before she could do or say anything to comfort him, Hulk averted his eyes from her own before proceeding to rush out of the room. Shego followed quickly in pursuit, but she was unable to catch Hulk in time as he leaped through the very ceiling of the mansion itself.

"Sheena! What's going on?", Janet asked as she rushed out of her own room.

"I don't know, Janet. Hulk just woke up and went berserk! The look in his eyes... it was as if he was... scared.", Shego responded before becoming silent.

"Are you sure about that, Sheena? I mean, Hulk isn't afraid of anything or anyone, at least not as far as I know.", Janet replied, becoming thoughtful for a brief moment.

Then, without saying a word, Shego quickly turns away from Janet, proceeding to march towards her room. She knew what she had to do, because if anyone could understand what was going through Hulk's mind, it would have to be her. Still, she knew that she would least need Janet's help in locating the Green Goliath, for she knew all too well of how much ground Hulk could cover in just a few leaps. For all she knew, Hulk could be in Canada by now, which meant that she would have to borrow the Avengers Quinjet for this particular mission.

"Sheena, what are you doing?", Janet questioned, her curiosity getting the better of her.

"I'm going after Hulk. I need you to go to Hank's lab, get on that computer, and tell me where I can find and bring back our Green Goliath.", Shego answered, her tone brooking no arguement from the female brunette.

"Got it, Sheena!", Janet responded, shrinking down in size and flying off towards the lab.

Shego entered her room, closing her door before quickly undressing out of her green pajama shirt and pants, getting herself dressed in a pair of black jeans and a green t-shirt. Once she was done changing into her causual clothing, Shego marched out of her room and down the stairs, determined to search and find the Hulk, even if it took her all night. Once reaching the bottom of the stairs, Shego was stopped in her tracks by Janet, who quickly returned to her normal human size.

"Did you find him, Janet?", Shego asked, looking directly into the brunette's violet-blue eyes.

"Yeah. He's in Central Park.", Janet answered, releasing a light sigh of relief.

"Then I'm going to Central Park.", Shego stated, continuing to quickly walk onward towards the doors.

"What should I tell the others?", Janet asked, trying to keep up with her friend and fellow female teammate.

"What do you usually tell them?", Shego questioned, not even bothering to glance at the brunette walking beside her.

"Uh... I don't know. The truth?", Janet answered sheepishly with a shrug of her shoulders.

"Then that's what you'll tell them. By the way, keep me informed if Hulk decides to leap off to somewhere else, just in case that I might need to come back to the mansion and borrow the Quinjet.", Shego said to her friend as they reached the doors.

"Take care and good luck, Sheena.", Janet offered sincerely, a warm supportive smile gracing her features.

"Thanks, Janet.", Shego replied with a smirk of her own.

In an instant, Shego rushed out past the courtyard and exited the gate of Avengers Mansion, not even sparing a glance back at Janet. It was times like this that Shego found herself fortunate to have a friend such as Janet Van Dyne, who was willing to cooperate and understand a situation like this. It certainly made it easier for Shego to know that Janet was supportive of the relationship between her and the Hulk, which meant that she could always count on her in dire situations. But right now, all of Shego's thoughts were on one person, the one being who has become closer to her own heart... Hulk.

Central Park

2:57 AM

Shego continued to wonder through Central Park, her flaming emerald plasma encased right hand providing her the light that she needed to see in the darkness that surrounded her, her green eyes scanning the surroundings for any signs of the Hulk. She knew that Hulk was close, so close that she could nearly detect his presence in the surrounding enviroment, and she knew that her instincts were not wrong. She was going to find Hulk, even if she had to search through the entire vicinity of Central Park, leaving no stone unturned until she found the Green Goliath.

A sound caught Shego's attention, causing her to look towards an area where several large trees stood, her jade eyes scanning the darkness as she continued her search. It was when she noticed a familiar pair of green eyes watching her that Shego knew that she had found the person she had been searching for, because if the eyes didn't give away his presence, his massive physique certainly did the job as Hulk's towering muscular form stood in the dark shadows. Not willing to wait any longer, Shego began walking in that very direction, the fiery plasma that encased her right hand illuminating the surroundings with an almost eerie green glow.

Hulk slowly approached Shego, his green eyes never averting from Shego's own emerald irises, his attention focused solely on the woman that was standing just a few feet away from him. Despite being close to six feet tall, Shego couldn't help but feel small in Hulk's presence, her eyes staring in awe at the eight-foot-six-inch tall, two thousand pound Gamma Goliath. However, Shego knew that there was more to the Hulk than incredible power and a savage rage, for she knew that Hulk possessed a heart that was as heroically selfless as it was pure and courageous. When Shego looked at the Hulk, she didn't see a monster... she saw a man, a lonely human being, a friend... and someone that she cared about.

"Hulk.", Shego said in a voice just shy of a whisper.

"What are you doing here, Shego?", Hulk asked, his expression remaining devoid of any emotion, though the same could not be said of his gleaming jade eyes.

"Isn't it obvious? I came here looking for you, Hulk. Why else would I be out here at three o'clock in the morning?", Shego answered with a slight smirk.

"Why?", Hulk asked, narrowing his eyes ever so slightly.

"Oh, I don't know. Maybe it's because I was concerned about you. You may find it hard to believe, but I actually care about you, Hulk.", Shego answered in a somewhat playful tone.

There was silence, one that seemed to last for an eternity, with neither Hulk nor Shego speaking so much as a word to one another. Hulk and Shego merely stared at one another, their emerald eyes locked on to one another as they remained standing in the silence that surrounded them. Then, without warning, Hulk took a few steps towards Shego until only a diminutive gap of space remained between them. Hulk slowly reached out with his right hand, allowing his index finger to lift Shego's gaze to meet his own, while at the same time he lowered his face until it was just inches away from the beautiful pale green-skinned woman's own face.

Despite herself, Shego could feel her heartbeat increasing as Hulk's face became close to her own, so close that she could feel his gentle breath against her lips. She could feel blood rushing up to her face, coloring her cheeks with a blush, and she surprisingly had to resist the urge to close her eyes and capture his lips with her own in an affectionate kiss. Still, she had to admit that she was finding it very difficult breaking away from Hulk's alluring gaze, as if she were becoming entranced by his emerald green eyes.

"You shouldn't.", Hulk stated with a small frown, temporarily averting his gaze away from Shego.

"What are you not telling... or rather... trying to tell me?", Shego asked, a hint of concern seeping into her voice as she reached up to caress Hulk's cheek with her left hand.

Hulk looked at Shego, reaching up to gently grasp her left hand with his own massive right hand, a ghost of a smile briefly gracing his features. Then, as soon as the smile appeared, it quickly vanished from Hulk's features as he released Shego's left hand from his grasp. Hulk proceeded to take a few steps back, smashing his back against the trunk of one of the trees before resting himself on the ground, averting his eyes from Shego's emerald irises.

"It's nothing.", Hulk lied, resting his arms on his knees, refusing to lock eyes with Shego.

Shego didn't know what was more infuriating. The fact that Hulk was lying to her, or the fact that he didn't trust her enough to tell her what was troubling his conflicted mind. It not only angered Shego, but it also hurt her on some level, though she wasn't sure as to why it did. She would give anything to gain Hulk's trust, not only to better understand and comfort him, but also to allow herself to get closer to him. The more time she spent with Hulk, the more Shego became comfortable with the Green Goliath, forming an bond that became a close friendship, yet with the potential to be something far greater.

Releasing a heavy sigh, Shego slowly rested herself on the ground, her black jean covered legs resting on the cool grass as she remained seated on her knees. For what seemed like an eternity, she could only stare at Hulk, wondering how she could approach the Jade Giant on the subject of what he was hiding from her. She knew that it wasn't going to be easy to engage Hulk in a conversation, but she had to try for his sake, and in hope that he would open up his heart to her in a way that few could ever hope to achieve.

"Hulk, just listen to me for a second, okay? I wouldn't be out here if I didn't care about you. I can tell that something is bothering you, and I know that not only from the way you acted back at the mansion, but from the look that I can see in your eyes. There's something that you're trying to keep hidden, something that's got you spooked, and I'm not leaving until I find out what it is. I know that you've known me for only about a month, but all that I ask of you, is that you trust me... like I trust you.", Shego said with the utmost sincerity and determination.

This verbal response got Hulk's attention, causing him to stare silently at Shego, taking everything that she had said into consideration as he contemplated them in his thoughts. Once again, the vivid images of him holding Shego's lifeless form from his dream flashed through his mind, causing Hulk to once again avert his eyes away from her. He didn't want Shego to see the anguish on his face, nor did he want her to see the fear in his green eyes, for the strongest one there is must never show emotion or weakness.

Then, much to his surprise, Hulk felt something touch his right hand, causing him to open his eyes in order to see what it could be. It was then that Hulk discovered it to be Shego's left hand, which rested gently atop his own massive right hand as a gesture of affection and an attempt to comfort him, while at the same time her beautiful emerald green eyes locked on to his own as they stared at one another in complete silence. There were few moments when Hulk felt at such peace as he was when in Shego's presence, for there was just something about her that made him feel like he was accepted in a world that feared and hated him.

"Hulk... you don't have hide anything from me. I would never betray your trust... I would never hurt you.", Shego proclaimed, not daring to break eye contact.

"You don't understand. It's not me I'm trying to protect, Shego. It's you that I'm trying to protect.", Hulk responded as he rested himself on his knees, his words completely catching the pale green-skinned woman off guard.

"Then... what are you trying to protect me from?", Shego asked, raising a confused eyebrow as she stared inquisitively at the Green Goliath.

"Me.", Hulk answered grimly.

"You? What do you mean?", Shego demanded, crossing her arms over her chest.

"I am a monster. And I don't want you to get hurt.", Hulk explained, tearing his gaze away from Shego's, unaware of the concern that entered her emerald irises.

"Wait... so... you're afraid that you'll hurt me?", Shego questioned, her eyes remaining focused on the Green Goliath.

"Yes.", Hulk answered, his voice just short of a whisper.

In all honesty, Hulk didn't care about his own safety, but he did care about Shego's own safety, which had the affect of causing her heartbeat to increase ever so slightly. She was touched by Hulk's selfless confession, because in all of her life, Shego never knew anyone who has ever cared about her. Despite herself, she could swear that she felt tears stinging in her eyes, not just because she was touched by Hulk's confession, but also to know that he was fearful of harming her. Without hesitation, Shego reaches out with both of her hands and gently grasps Hulk's face, turning his head until his eyes locked onto her own.

"You can't let your fear control you, and you shouldn't let it make your decisions. Trust me, when I first got my powers, I was afraid of what I was capable of. I was afraid of burning or killing someone, and I won't lie, because I did unintentionally injured some people. I eventually learned to control my powers, and ever since then, I conquered my fear of losing control.", Shego said, revealing a part of her past that very few beings knew of.

"Why are you telling me this?", Hulk demanded, raising a questioning eyebrow.

"I'm telling you this, Hulk, because I trust you, and so that you can understand. You think you're a monster, but I know that you're not. Yeah, you've got immense power that could be potentially dangerous, but let me ask you this. Have you ever intentionally or unintentionally killed anyone who wasn't a villain or threatening the lives of others?", Shego replied with a question, her tone serious and yet seemingly knowing.

"No.", Hulk answered, his mind wondering where she was going with this conversation.

"See? I told you! You're not a monster, Hulk! That's why I know that you'll never hurt me, and why I'll never fear you.", Shego stated in reply, a warm smile gracing her features.

"You don't fear me?", Hulk asked, his tone a mixture of surprise and disbelief.

"No, I'm not scared of you. And I don't want you to leave... I want you to stay... with me, Hulk.", Shego confessed, a single tear escaping her right eye and streaming down her pale cheek.

Noticing the tear, Hulk reached out with his left hand, proceeding to wipe away the tear with his thumb. When Hulk was about to move his hand away, he was stopped by Shego, who grasped his left hand with her own hands. She then proceeded to rest her face against his hand, closing her eyes briefly as she enjoyed the feeling of Hulk's flesh against her own as her right hand gently caressed his knuckles. When she opened her eyes, she once again noticed that Hulk was staring silently at her, his emerald green irises focused solely on her.

"Will you stay?", Shego asked, her voice almost sounding like a plea.

"I'll stay.", Hulk answered, releasing a light sigh as a smile formed on his visage.

Without warning, Shego rushed forward, embracing Hulk in an affectionate hug as she rested her head against his chest, listening to the soothing beat of his heart. Slowly, Hulk gently returned her embrace, encircling his massive arms around Shego, holding her close in an affectionate manner. He rested his head against the crook of her neck, inhaling the sweet scent of her hair, enjoying every moment that he shared with the woman that he cared about the most.

Avengers Mansion

The Living Room

9:25 AM

Shego was peacefully asleep, resting atop of Hulk's body, her head laying on his vast chest as they remained asleep on the couch. It was rare that she would sleep this peacefully, but whenever she would be with Hulk, there was this aura of serenity that seemed to course through her being, calming her in ways that were thought to be impossible. It would seem that the same applied to the Hulk, for he was also resting in a peaceful slumber, seemingly at peace for the time being. Neither could have expected a certain female brunette to be near, nor could they have know that she was the first to witness the intimate scene between Hulk and Shego.

It was only when a brilliant white light flashed from out of nowhere did Shego stir from her sleep, releasing a low moan of annoyance as she opened her eyes. Sure enough, standing less than twenty feet away, with a camera in her hands, was none other than Janet Van Dyne. As to be expected, Janet was wearing her usual casual clothing and supporting her usual cheerful smile, her violet-blue eyes twinkling in amusement at the scene before her. However, Shego was still too sleepy to really care, offering her friend a small smile as she rubbed her eyes.

"Good morning, Janet.", Shego whispered.

"Good morning, Sheena. Don't mind me. I was just leaving. I'll talk to you later, okay? Bye-bye!", Janet responded in a cheerful, yet quiet tone as she walked out of the living room.

Shego turned her attention away from the direction that Janet left, her emerald eyes looking upon the sleeping visage of the Hulk. She smiled affectionately as she brushed a few strands of his dark hair away from his face, an amorous feeling entering her heart, one that was growing stronger with each passing moment that she spent with the Green Goliath. A light chuckle escaped her throat as she leaned her face down and planted a short, yet passionate kiss on the Hulk's cheek, causing the Green Goliath to smile in his sleep as his arms continued to embrace her affectionately. Feeling sleep overcoming her once again, Shego rested her head down on Hulk's chest, closing her eyes and joining her beloved in a peaceful slumber.

I feel all the faint morning light

Filled with hope

'Cause you're here in my life.
I really enjoyed writing this story, if only because it gave me the chance to include some more darker themes, especially regarding Hulk's self loathing and fear of himself and what he's capable of. Also, I've been wanting to write The Maestro, who is a very cool character from Peter David's Incredible Hulk: Future Imperfect, which I highly recommend. It's definitely some of Peter David's best Hulk work along with Hulk: The End.

Listen to the song, "All That You Are" by the Goo Goo Dolls as you read. I feel that this song really fits this story, especially from the scene in Central Park till the very end. Here is the link to that very song: [link]

Expect more great work from me soon.

Until then, see ya later! :D

Hulk (C) Marvel

Shego (C) Disney

Preview Image By- Paul Pelletier
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Dreamcastfan Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013
Nice story, i hope that you'll bring Devil-Hulk back too (the real one, not the Brian Banner).
GorillaKing18 Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013
Only time will tell. ;) :)
MightyMorphinPower4 Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2011
Another exllcent one here cool job with the Mastro here
GorillaKing18 Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2011

I was going to use the Guilt/Devil Hulk, but I favored Maestro over them due to the fact that fans and non-fans are more familiar with the Maestro Hulk. :)
Jose-Ramiro Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Pretty good one. Yeah, the Maestro really took the whole 'your worst enemy is yourself' thing to a whole new level.
GorillaKing18 Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2011
Definitely! :)
Agent00Soul Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2011
Are Kim and Ron every going to make a return appearance?
GorillaKing18 Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2011
These short stories take place during the first Shades of Green, during Shego's first month at the mansion and before the confrontation with The Leader & The Masters of Evil. However, I can tell you that Kim & Ron will have an appearance in Shades of Green: Heart of the Monster.
felinelisa14 Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2011
Great story. Keep up the good work and i am looking forward to the next chapter.
GorillaKing18 Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2011
Thanks :)
felinelisa14 Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2011
i guess it is true. sometimes our worst enemies can be ourselves. talk about an inner struggle.
GorillaKing18 Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2011
Yes, it is quite true. We all have the potential to be a monster. Some just refuse to acknowledge it.
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September 13, 2011
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