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Cupid's Got A Gun

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This is love, you say, slipping bullets past my lips with every kiss.

Isn't this what you wanted -- a muzzle between your teeth, gun smoke in your eyes, the taste of copper on your tongue, the smell of iron in the air.

It is as they say; love is like violence:

There will always be blood on your hands by the end.

Cupid's got a gun.

m.a.w

The first time she's kidnapped and subsequently rescued, Metro Man's aim is off. The lasers he shoots out of his eyes miss the doomsday cloud accumulator and glance off her skin without leaving the faintest scratch. She's not surprised, and really, she doesn't care. Metro Man's not her type. To be honest, she's not sure what she would do if he was her soulmate; the thought of it makes her cringe.

The third time she's kidnapped, she manages to wiggle one of her wrists free from the ropes binding them behind her back, but the other is so tangled up that she can't manage to pull it free. When Megamind turns his attention away from the console table, his eyes immediately settle on her free arm. He opens his mouth in protest, but before he can start scolding her for the escape attempt, she bends over as much as she can, pulls her black patent leather pump from her left foot, and throws it at him as hard as she can.

Unfortunately, her aim is all wrong, and instead of hitting him in his giant blue head, the heel smacks against the spiked mantle covering part of his chest before clattering to the ground. The odd part was the soft, surprised noise that escaped him at the blow and the way his hand immediately came up to cover that same spot for a moment.

After that, quiet lingers between them, some sort of shocked, disbelieving, suspicious look flashing across his face before his eyes meet hers. The silence stretching out and growing until it feels like it has teeth of its own. When Megamind's voice breaks it, all he can manage is a puzzled, "Miss Ritchi?" His voice cracking slightly over the syllables of her name.

He opens his mouth to say something more, but then Wayne bursts through the roof before he finds the words he seems to be searching for.

The fourth time she's kidnapped, whatever seemed to be bothering him last time appears to no longer be an issue. Then, right on cue, Wayne swoops in, disables the Jaws of Death - a gigantic mechanical shark that distracted her from Megamind's monologue because what the literal fuck? - hauls Megamind off to jail and basks in the glow of the reporters' spotlights as she tries not to roll her eyes when she agrees that she's so lucky he's always there to save her.

By the tenth time she's kidnapped, she's fallen into the routine of it. She wakes up and complains about the bag until it's removed; before the cameras start rolling, Megamind talks to her - or rather, talks at her. Usually, about his brilliant new plot and the 'terrifying' new deathtrap he has for her this time.

The death traps might actually be scary if they were capable of harming her. Not that she doesn't want Megamind to be her soulmate. He's funnier than she'll ever let him know. She's honestly impressed with his brilliance. And although she rolls her eyes every time he calls himself an incredibly handsome mastermind of evil, she has to admit that he is handsome.

But really, out of the seven billion people on Earth, what are the chances that Megamind would be her soulmate?

Slim to none.

Which is for the best, really. With all of the things that Megamind's threatened her with, it would be better that she be invulnerable in the face of what would otherwise be certain death. Not that any of the death traps have ever come close enough to touch her. Metro Man always makes his appearance before her timer runs out. And even if he didn't, she has a feeling that Megamind wouldn't flick the switch or push the button even if he was late.

Her suspicions are confirmed that very day when the gigantic screen on the wall before her runs down to zero and Metro Man isn't there. All Megamind does is send the timer a withering glance before rolling his eyes, shaking his head, and muttering something about punctuality. Another thirty seconds tick by as they stare at each other in silence, and Roxanne honestly can't tell if he's forgotten about the death trap or if he's actively choosing to act like he's forgotten about it.

When a minute passes with no sign from Metro Man, Megamind lets out a long-suffering sigh and steps away from the console, calling out as he walks away, "Come along, Minion! We should leave before Mr. Goody-Two-Shoes shows up and tries to haul us both to jail again!"

Part of her knows that poking the proverbial sleeping bear with a stick is stupid, but she really can't help but stop him. She's too determined to prove herself right. "What?" She questions as he starts to step past her chair, making him pause and glance over at her before she quickly adds, "No flamethrower for me today?"

It almost looks like Megamind hesitates at her question, his eyes flicking over to the hulking machine sitting before her on wheels, only a small trickle of flame spewing from the front of it where it stands a few yards away from her. He glances back over at her a half-second later, drinking in her features in a way that makes her think that he's never really looked before.

"I'd hate to singe your hair," He offers simply a moment later with a false sense of sincerity, shrugging lightly as he speaks.

Roxanne rolls her eyes at him, biting out a slightly scalding, "Careful there, supervillain. Your morals are starting to show."

She gets a genuine reaction at that one. Megamind narrows his eyes at her, a sneer pulling at his mouth. A half-second later, he leans in, bracing his hands against the armrests of her chair. "You're right. How very rude of me." His cool breath ghosts against her face with every word, and when he pulls back, she doesn't have a good explanation as to why her mouth is suddenly so dry.

"If the lady wants a flamethrower, who am I to deny her?" Megamind asks in a singsong tone, strutting back over to the console table before slamming his hand down on the giant red button with a thud. The flamethrower before her bursts to life immediately, the barely-there trickle of flame erupting into a blazing inferno without any further warning.

She swallows at the way her heart suddenly kicks into overdrive, though really, she knows she has nothing to be afraid of.

Megamind isn't her soulmate.

He can't hurt her.

He saunters back towards the exit, but not before pausing beside her chair and murmuring a soft, "As requested." Gesturing broadly towards the flamethrower that now seems to already be far too close to her.

He rights himself a half-second later and continues towards the exit, the sound of his boots echoing hollowly against the metal floor. The last she hears of his voice is a bright, "Ciao!" It echoes through the room as the door squeaks open and then bangs shut loudly enough that she flinches at the noise.

After that, the only sound is the dull roar of the flamethrower before her. As if on cue, it lurches slightly, the gears at its base finally kicking it into drive. A drive mode that is going to force it closer to her every second. She draws in a deep breath as she reminds herself once again that it can't hurt her.

She's played with fire before, or rather, she'd been forced to play with it back when she was in summer camp when she was seven. The obnoxious curly-haired boy who had a crush on her was certain that he was her soulmate. In an attempt to prove it, he'd grabbed her hand and thrust it into a bonfire.

That boy hadn't been her soulmate, and the fire that crackled around her hand really only felt warm, dry, and a little ticklish. Looking back at that experience as an adult, she still finds herself wondering why he hadn't merely pinched her, which is really the only socially acceptable way to find out if someone is your soulmate.

Some experts simply urge people to be more in tune with their bodies as they move through life. Everyone knows that physical touch always feels a little muted unless the person touching you is your soulmate. The trend of caressing strangers never really caught on, both because of the simple awkwardness of the suggestion, along with the fact that apparently pain is a more easily identifiable notification.

Regardless of her internal musings, the flamethrower continues along its path towards her. It isn't until a few feet have disappeared that she finds herself recognizing the stifling heat that's steadily bearing down on her. It's enough to kick her heartbeat up a few notches.

Megamind is not her soulmate.

This can not possibly hurt her.

A few more feet disappear between her and the flamethrower, and she finds her resolve in the simple mantra starting to fail.

Fire feels warm, ticklish, dry.

This doesn't feel like fire.

This isn't comfortably warm; it's hot. A blistering sort of heat that she's never experienced before.

This isn't ticklish; it's sweltering. A cooking sensation that makes it feel like the layer between her skin and her muscle is crawling.

This isn't dry; it's arid. A sort of suffocating lack of oxygen is everywhere around her. It's making it hard to breathe.

She swallows at the feeling of it, clenching her hands into fists.

Megamind is not her soulmate.

The fire can't hurt her.

Wayne bursts through the ceiling almost as soon as she finishes reciting the words in her mind, and she's never been so relieved to see him. He kicks the flamethrower away, and it flies across the room, landing on its side with a heavy thunk as the flames die out.

When he unties her, she wipes beads of sweat from her forehead and tries not to laugh at herself for panicking so much.

Megamind is not her soulmate.

He can never hurt her.

Regardless of that, the next time Wayne shows up late, she chooses not to goad Megamind into activating the boot-wheel-of-death. Why put herself through the unnecessary stress?

Besides, it doesn't matter whether or not he activates the death traps at the end of the day; they're only there for show, and they both know that.

He's not her soulmate; he can't hurt her.

At least she can keep telling herself that until she has undeniable proof.