“Today, Metrocity will finally fall! Behold! The new anti-gravity beam, which will lift the city hall in the air and while Metro Man is too busy chasing his girlfriend, victory will be mine!"
Roxanne settled more comfortably in her chair. Now, onto her favorite part of the kidnappings.
Although she'd absolutely deny that she had a favorite part, or that it involved Megamind talking as excitedly about his work he was doing now, gosh, he really was kind of cute when he was acted as excited as he did when he was talking about his inventions like that...
Ahem. Yes. Now. Concentrate, Roxanne!
She shook her head lightly and tried to suppress the blush that rose in her high cheeks despite the cool air in the lair itself.
Megamind, oblivious to her inner turmoil had started explaining his newest, outrageous (and probably much too ornate to ever be fully functional) weapon, cape swishing behind him as dramatically as his gestures and intonation.
"Now, you see here we have the anti-gravity beam, and when the cameras start rolling, I will push this button here..."
"Sir! We really have to hurry now and get the cameras rolling, we’re far behind enough as it is!" Minion interrupted him from behind one of the curtains that divided the lair. He peered out of the slit between them, looking almost comically large from where Roxanne was sitting.
Megamind stopped abruptly in his steps. He frowned, and then waved a hand before he continued to pace. Roxanne wondered how he hadn’t worn grooves into the floor already.
"Yes, yes, although explaining the device is customary, it probably would be better to skip this part this time. At least then there won't be any more chance that our local nosy reporter will warn her boyfriend in advance!"
He glanced over to her suspiciously, his eyes narrowed to green slits. She rolled her eyes, while he raised a finger and exclaimed loudly: „You won't distract me with your wily wiles this time, Miss Ritchi!"
"Wayne… is not my boyfriend:” she sighed, more than slightly exasperated. How many times more would she need to tell him that?
“And I don't know how I could be able to warn him. Since I am, you know,”- she gestured with her head to the rope binding her to the chair - “Kind of tied up right now." Roxanne grinned at her absolutely abysmal pun and waited for Megamind’s groan of exasperation. He delivered, as dramatic as always, and she couldn’t suppress a tiny shudder at the sound.
I wonder what else gets him to make noises like that… Oh my god, Roxanne, get a grip!
"Anyways!” Megamind swung his cape around in one dramatic sweep. She grinned fondly. What a dork.
“I will not take that chance! Minion! On your position! Let's get the cameras rolling!" Megamind turned around and swished to his control panel.
"Aye aye sir!" Minion saluted, smiled at Roxanne, and closed the gap in the curtain, his heavy steps echoing in the concrete floor of the lair.
It was only now, that Roxanne remembered what they’d been talking about.
"Wait, seriously? You're not going to explain your new machine?" Roxanne asked incredulously. That was the first time Megamind had passed up on talking about his inventions since… Pretty much ever. Her expression was pure shock, and she gaped openly at him.
"Are you sick?"
"Why are you so weirdly insistent about this?" He looked over his shoulder at her, one sharp eyebrow raised in suspicion.
Roxanne raised hers as well. Two could play at that game. "Because it’s weird. Normally, you’d never pass up on a chance to tell me how brilliant your schemes are!"
Megamind flinched and froze for a moment. Then, as if nothing had happened, he resumed looking at the monitors in front of him, the motion of his fingers staggering on the keyboard only for a moment. A less perceptive person wouldn’t have noticed.
"Maybe I have decided to be courteous and allow my hostage some respite of the torture of boring her to tears. Be glad because next time I will not be so forgiving!" His evil chuckle sounded as unconvincing as her lie about dating Metro Man to her mother.
She frowned, hard. What did she do to him to give him that impression? Roxanne continued, brows furrowed.
"You... Do realize I like listening to you talk about your machines, right? I mean... I tend to complain about the "evil laughter" and frankly, the nicknames for some of them are plain ridiculous, but... It is my favorite part of your monologue. Please, keep on talking."
Roxanne was a little embarrassed to be saying this out loud, but she couldn't just let that sit. Yes, his names were ridiculous, and he did tend to take about a quarter of an hour just to get to the freaking point sometimes, but... His intelligence shone as bright as any starlight, and she (loved) liked to see it at every opportunity. And his inventions were perfect for that.
"You... like them?" Megamind had stopped pretending to check the camera angles by now and focused only on her. His hands on the keyboard had completely stilled. She was almost blushing under his intense gaze – and at his soft tone.
He sounded... Surprised?
"Of course, I like them! They're incredible – I mean the tech in this invention alone, I love seeing how much pass..." Roxanne started heatedly, and she could feel him hanging onto every word, his eyes never leaving hers.
"Sir, sir! Everything is prepped, the cameras start in two minutes!" Minion burst back into the room; a gigantic floodlight cradled in his furry arm. "Where should I put this?"
"Yes, yes, of course! " Megamind shook his head, and just like that, the spell was broken.
Roxanne took at deep, calming breath, and tried to slow down her pounding heart. She tried to sound confident. “Soo… Are you planning on explaining that thing to me?” She grinned winningly. “Or is a time limit of two minutes too little for our resident evil genius?”
Megamind smirked back at her confidently, one eyebrow arched. “Why, Miss Ritchi, is that a challenge?”
And oh, how she loved it, when he was rising to a battle, confident and smart and...
She was in so much trouble.
In the end, he had explained the machine to her in even less than two minutes.
And although She’d have (loved) liked to hear him talk to her for a few moments longer, Roxanne was glad for the noisy distraction that was Metro Man, who burst into the room exactly on cue.
The following battle was pretty much standard, although the fight took place up in the skies over Metro city – the anti-gravity beam working beautifully until Wayne smashed it and had to catch Roxanne she fell to her death, and Megamind could escape on his hoverbike, the chrome gleaming in the sunlight.
Well, she would have fallen, if Megamind hadn’t attached a parachute to her standard kidnapping chair, Roxanne thought savagely, while standing on her balcony slowly sipping on a cup of coffee. It was windy, but her hair had been destroyed enough already, and the sunset was beautiful tonight. She closed her eyes, savored the wind on her face and the opportunity to just… feel….
Roxanne sputtered on her coffee, and almost dropped her mug as she whirled around. “Wh-how—I—” she coughed as she tried to somehow breathe, talk, and get the coffee out of her nose.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you!” Megamind said, frantically pounding on her back.
“Sto- stop, it’s alright- I - just need to – breathe”, Roxanne inhaled and exhaled slowly. Then, she turned around to the supervillain who still had his hand on her shoulder, looking at her with wide, green eyes.
“I was just… Startled, I didn’t expect you.” Well, somehow you should have known it was him, a cynical part of Roxanne thought. You’d have hurled your coffee cup at his head if he’d been anyone else. “Wait... Why are you here?” Her eyes widened and she couldn’t have hidden the note of worry that crept into her voice even if she tried. “is something wrong? Are you okay?”
“What? No!” He tried to assure her, softly patting her shoulder. Roxanne tried extremely hard not to notice the warm weight of his hand.
“I just wanted to…Check up on you. But I guess that backfired.” He turned his eyes away from her, took his hand back and chuckled wryly. “I’m sorry for almost killing you twice today.”, he said, eyes lost in the distance.
“Almost killing me?” Roxanne asked, lost. She could understand his remorse for just now, that had been… Avoidable (also, he owed her another white blouse, this thing was absolutely ruined with coffee splotches by now). But the other time…
“You’re afraid of heights Roxanne.” Megamind stated, still not looking at her. Regret was written all over his face. “And then that stupid hero smashed the beam, and if he…”
“Megamind.” She said, firmly. “I’m afraid of heights, yes…” (Perhaps more than a little, he probably still remembered how she had screamed…) Roxanne hesitated, not sure if she should voice this out loud.” But I knew I was perfectly safe. Because you attached a parachute to my chair.”
Her body moved almost without her consent, seeking to reassure him with the same curtesy he’d given her. In the past, she’d always held back, noticing how he flinched from every touch, and although she knew he had to dislike it or … something, she couldn’t hold back now.
She laid a hand on his shoulder. He turned away from the stetting sun, the orange and gold framing him perfectly, and her heart hurt.
“I knew I was perfectly safe… Because I was with you. And you’d never let me fall.”
“Why?” His voice broke, he looked directly into her eyes and Roxanne knew she could get lost in his heated gaze. “Why would you trust me that much -I -- I- kidnap you regularly! I threaten you!”, Megamind said, almost accusingly.
Roxanne knew she had to break this moment somehow, or she would do something very, very stupid.
Like tell him how she felt about him.
So, she turned to another thing that came almost as easy to her as loving Megamind: Teasing him.
“As if the incredibly handsome genius and Master of all villainy would ever let his damsel in distress down! You’re too brilliant to ever make a mistake like that!” She tried to grin at him, sure he would appreciate her godawful pun, or groan as dramatically as usual, she’d do anything to dissolve this dangerously intimate moment.
But he just lifted the corner of his mouth with a vague attempt at a smile. “I am brilliant. A brilliant menace, that’s for sure.”
“What do you mean?” Roxanne asked, now very aware of how her hand rested on his arm, and how he had seemed to almost lean into the touch, instead of turning away.
” What do you mean?” She repeated, more softly. “You’re probably the smartest person on the planet. Your machines are just… Incredible. And your medical patents and prosthetics probably improved the life of thousands!” Her tone was still soft, and incredulous. “Has no one ever told you that?”
Megamind almost gaped at her, his eyes huge. “How did you find out about…” he closed his mouth, his brow furrowing, but his eyes looked …sad. He looked away again.
“Oh, I have been called many things. Including knowledgeable. But they always framed it differently.”
His grin was sharp, the razor edges almost as cutting as the hurt beneath it. “A bit more along the lines of “Know-it-all” and “Big-brained Freak”. Or simply “Too much”. At least when they knew it was me, who invented their new gadgets, me, who found a solution to their problems, me, who could solve every math problem if someone would just let me try… But I guess I’m just too much, sometimes.”
He inhaled and resumed with a self-deprecating smile. “Well, that’s the reason why I frame my patents under another name by now. Especially the prosthetics and medical equipment. No one should have to trust a supervillain for that.”
Suddenly, he seemed horrified at what he had just said, his eyes flickering wildly. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to unload this on you, I know we don’t have this kind of relationship--”
“I trust you!” Roxanne blurted, and just went on spilling out everything she thought, furiously and loudly, because she hadn’t meant to say that, but she’d do anything to keep him from looking at her like that.
“I trust you! A-and I think you’re literally the smartest person I know, and I think you should be appreciated more, and I think people are just plain stupid “she spat, “if they don’t trust you because you’re different or you pretend that you’re evil, because we both know that’s not true, and I love that you’re trying anyways because you deserve so much more and I…”
Roxanne trailed off, her tirade stopped by the look in his eyes, that was unlike anything she’d ever seen before. “like…you. And your brilliance. And your demented, incredible ideas.” She blushed furiously, and finally removed her had from his arm.
“So, I appreciate it if you tell me stuff like this or tell me where I can find whoever said that to you, because I’d very much like to try out some of your deathtraps on them.” She finished, now gesticulating as wildly as he did sometimes, in the middle of a plan, almost manic with passion. She hadn’t intended to say the last part, but oh, now she understood why he was always threatening people, it did feel kind of relieving…
“You… Like my ideas?” Megamind still stared at her, lost, his voice small, so much smaller than his lean stature and his leather outfit would ever suggest.
“But… People don’t … do that…” And Roxanne was this close to crying, seriously, because whatever had convinced this wonderful man that he wasn’t the most brilliant thing ever?
“I’m serious.” She bit her lip. “May I … hug you?
” And for a moment, he seemed frozen, as if that simple request had been enough to still his thoughts entirely.
He nodded, evidently not trusting his words. Roxanne stepped closer and put her arms around his shoulders slowly, but tightly.
He smells like leather, and wind.
It took another moment for him to return the embrace, but then he hugged her back lightly. She chuckled and could feel him inhale slowly at the sound.
“You can hug me tighter, I won’t break. You’re not too much for me.” She whispered near his ear, and he shuddered.
“I know. Sometimes, I can hardly believe you’re real, my dear, unbreakable Miss Ritchi….” He murmured, so low that it was probably not intended for her.
Someday, she’d convince him that he was just as brilliant as she thought he was.
She just needed a little more time.