It’s the box that gives Megamind the idea.
The night before Valentine’s Day, he and Minion rob every single jewelry story, chocolate shop, and florist in town. This sort of petty crime is beneath Megamind, usually, but he’s been feeling…off…since—since Halloween, at least?
Usually Megamind quite likes that particular human holiday—dark colors and candy and the celebration of, at least, the pretense of wickedness. Some of his best schemes have been on Halloween. He’s particularly proud of the year he set up a low-level thought-alteration beam that left half of the population convinced that they were whatever creatures of the night they had chosen to dress themselves up as. That had been funny.
(And not at all derivative or based off of that one episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Miss Ritchi! I have no idea what you are talking about at all! I’ve never even seen an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, even! I in no way cried tears of pain when the shiny, smart-mouthed heroine rejected the romantic overtures of the evil, eyeliner-and-leather-wearing bad guy who was desperately in love with her! I’ve never even heard of Buffy the Vampire Slayer! What is this Buffy the Vampire Slayer you speak of, Miss Ritchi?)
This year, he hadn’t been feeling as creative as usual.
The week before Halloween, Psycho Delic released a hallucinogenic gas in the middle of the south end of Metrocity that left all of the residents of two blocks of government housing screaming in terror at giant invisible spiders, shadowy creatures ready to eat their faces, and nonexistent rivers of blood running through the streets.
Metro Man had been close to useless in the crisis, too busy trying to keep the denizens of Metrocity from harming themselves and each other to locate Psycho or come up with a way to get rid of the gas. Megamind had done that himself. The south side is his territory; threats to it by other villains are not to be tolerated.
(He rather suspects that Psycho’s attack had been aimed at him; the bastard is always looking for a mix of chemicals that would get past Megamind’s natural immunity to his smoke.)
Roxanne had been there. She’d come to report after the first gas strike, and then she’d gotten caught in the second wave of smoke.
Megamind had seen her, in the haze of hallucinogenic purple fog. He’d grabbed her elbow, spun her around, intending to pull her away from the crowd, from the panic and the danger.
He’d turned her around and she’d—
—she’d screamed, when she saw him.
She’d looked at him, looked into his face, and she’d screamed in terror and—
It had—it had hurt.
Megamind was always trying to get Roxanne to scream for him, but this—
She’d looked at him like he was a monster.
Metro Man had come flying in at that point, and Megamind had shoved Roxanne into his arms, hissing at him to get her out of here get her out of here right now and then Megamind gone to track down Psycho fucking Delic and demonstrate exactly why it was inadfuckingvisable for inferior fucking villains to cross the Master of All Motherfucking Villiany, Roxanne’s screams echoing in his ears, and—
It had been a bit hard to get into the Halloween spirit after that.
He’d scrapped the plan he’d originally come up with (sonic helmet allowing him to control the vampire bat population of Metrocity) and gone with a standard giant-robot-with-lasers-and-spikes (Roxanne had seen that one enough that it definitely wouldn’t—definitely wouldn’t scare her) and tried to keep his interactions with Roxanne to a minimum.
But of course he hadn’t really been able to help himself, hadn’t been able to stop himself from attempting to find out if she was completely recovered from the smoke, hadn’t been able to stop himself from complimenting her choice of Halloween costume (a fucking Starfleet miniskirt uniform how the hell was he supposed to—he wasn’t made of stone)—
—hadn’t, when she made a quip about every day being Halloween for him, been able to stop himself—
(Roxanne screaming in terror, looking at him like he was a monster)
She’d said something about his clothes after that, but Megamind hadn’t really been listening, had turned away to fiddle pointlessly with the knobs and buttons on the console, had ended up powering the robot down accidentally in his distraction, and Metro Man had, consequently, been able to arrive early, knock Megamind around a bit, and then drag him away to prison, hooray, the evil monster is gone, Miss Ritchi, you’re safe now.
And things just didn’t get any better after that.
Roxanne has a standing date with metro Man every Thanksgiving, which she never makes because Megamind always kidnaps her instead. But this year, when he climbed up to her balcony, when he slipped silently into her apartment, when he stood in her bedroom doorway, can of knock-out spray upraised—
—when he saw her standing at her mirror, wearing in a very flattering red dress, carefully applying her makeup, primping for a nice day with her boyfriend and his family, he thought she deserves to have something good without you ruining it with your fucking presence, just this one goddamn time, you fucking—
And he’d slipped back out of her apartment instead.
He did kidnap her on his birthday, and then he faked a malfunction of the doomsday device of the day and made her play Clue with him instead: his birthday gift to himself.
(all the time, in the back of his mind, the awareness of she hates you and you’re such a joke and she’d be so disgusted if she knew)
And then it was Christmas. Fucking Christmas. The memories of his planet disappearing into nonexistence were bad enough, and then—all of the family! hope! love! What was this, some sort of sick game where the world threw everything Megamind would never have in his face over and over again?
He used the freeze-ray for Christmas.
“You look a little cold,” Miss Ritchi said, tied to the top of the giant christmas tree in front of City Hall, “I think your lips are turning blue.”
And he hadn’t been able to think of a single reply that didn’t involve pressing his lips against hers.
He didn’t, of course. He didn’t kiss her then, just as he never kissed her, any of the other thousand times he wanted to. He took a shaky breath and turned away instead.
After that, it was New Years, another year gone, an endless, repetitive round of failure and wanting things he cannot ever have.
And now it’s the day before Valentine’s Day.
Maybe he should break into all of the drug stores, grocery stores, and hallmark shops, and steal all the cards as well, really make a clean sweep of all things Valentine. Maybe he should cover the street in front of Roxanne’s apartment with all of the flowers he’s stolen. Yellow roses for friendship, red roses for passion, every single rose in the entire goddamn city for I-love-you-so-much-it-feels-like-dying-Roxanne.
He cringes, stuffing diamonds into a bag, imagining her reaction. Would she laugh? Would she turn away in revulsion? Would she tell him how abhorrent she found him, or would she let her silence speak for her?
There is a small safe, hidden underneath the display case. Megamind, glad of the distraction, drops to the floor and begins to twist the dial with meticulous care, searching for—ah, there it goes.
He opens the safe door. Inside is a tiny white box—the kind a ring comes in. He reaches for it, anticipation lifting his spirits momentarily. Anything this well-hidden has to be very special indeed! He wonders what will be inside—a ring carved out of a single gemstone? Ooh, maybe some sort of antique borgia ring; a hidden catch beneath the stone and a secret compartment for poison! Or maybe—
He opens the box with eager hands and—
And doesn’t that just say it all, right there? Metaphor for his entire fucking existence.
An unwilling laugh breaks from Megamind, and then he’s collapsing back onto the floor, shaking with laughter.
Because it’s laugh or cry at this point, and when it comes down to it, Megamind will pick laughter over tears any day. Besides, it is sort of funny, isn’t it? In a terrible kind of way? The hidden safe! The lone, mysterious box! The mounting expectancy! And then—!
It’s an empty box! Hidden away for him like some absurd April fool’s joke and—
That’s when it all comes together. Roxanne. His stupid, unwelcome, ridiculous feelings. The ring box.
April is coming up.
This could. This could work. It’ll give him a chance to—it’ll give him a chance to finally say all of the things he’s been wanting to say for so long, finally give him the chance to tell Roxanne how he feels and—
And it’ll be okay, because she’ll think it’s a joke. She’ll laugh, maybe, or she’ll shout, or roll her eyes, or even throw something at him, but it won’t matter, because she won’t know that he’s serious.
He’ll be able to get the desperate, insane hope that maybe she—he’ll be able to get it out of his system. And then he’ll be able to continue with their normal interactions without feeling that crazy urge to tell her say it just say it.
This has to be the best idea he’s ever had.
At first he thinks he should just leave the box empty, just like it was when he found it, but that doesn’t seem to be quite—enough? Somehow? So he takes a felt-tipped pen and writes APRIL FOOLS on the satin pillow on the inside of the box. There. That’s funnier, right? A better, clearer reveal?
He looks at the empty box and frowns, tapping the pen sharply against his desktop in dissatisfaction.
He wishes—he wishes this was for real.
Of course he fucking wishes it was for real.
He wants to kneel down in front of Roxanne, wants to open the box and watch her face light up with joy, wants to hear her say yes wants to pick her up and twirl her around, wants to slide the ring onto her finger—
—the ring. He can’t picture any of the rest of it very clearly, can’t picture her ever, ever saying yes, but he can see the ring quite clearly in his mind.
Simple, graceful lines. Roxanne never wears really showy jewelry. Three stones—lapis lazuli, the color of her eyes, flecked with marks of light like stars in the night sky. And—
He’s sketching it out before he realizes it.
This is stupid, he tells himself as he finishes the drawing, as he sketches another design of a ring for himself. It isn’t as if he’s actually going to make them.
He definitely makes the rings.
So the question is, what is he going to do with these goddamn rings?
Roxanne figures it out on Valentine’s Day.
She’s sitting alone in her apartment, watching Pride and Prejudice and definitely not feeling like she’s been stood up because Megamind decided not to kidnap her for the requisite holiday plot.
And what is with the Valentine’s Day scheme this year? Stealing all of the Valentine’s Day merchandise in Metro City? That’s not how Megamind normally does things at all. He’s usually so enthusiastic about holidays (except Christmas; Megamind always gets a little—hard-edged around Christmas; Roxanne’s always wondered why.)
This Valentine’s Day plot feels sort of—bitter. To Roxanne. Cynical. It feels—it seems weird.
But then, he’s been acting strange for months; since Halloween. Except—no, it had to have started before Halloween, because his Halloween Scheme had definitely not been up to his usual standards. Maybe he just hadn’t time to come up with anything really impressive, what with the whole thing with Psycho Delic.
Roxanne still has nightmares about that, about the sickly-sweet taste of the purple smoke, about the panic that followed, about someone taking hold of her arm and turning her around and about seeing—
—it was Megamind, standing there, Megamind, except—
—except he had been—
—he had been dead.
He had been dead, his head caved in on one side, bone showing white through the wound, black blood all down one side of his face, his eyes gone white and blurred and sightless and Roxanne had thought no and please no and she had screamed and screamed and—
And the next thing she knew, she was waking up in the hospital with he rest of the attack victims. They had all been disoriented; Roxanne had been frantic, trying to ask about Megamind, and a nurse had told her—
“There, there, you’re safe. You don’t need to worry about him now, dear.”
—which had, doubtless, been a kindly meant bit of reassurance, but which had left Roxanne with the impression that Megamind really was dead.
When Wayne came to see her, Roxanne was crying so hard she could barely speak. Wayne had looked distinctly uncomfortable.
“Er,” he said, “maybe I should come back later?”
Roxanne had wanted to hit him. How dare he act so—so unconcerned when Megamind was—when he was—
“I—need to—see him,” Roxanne managed to sob out.
“Uh,” Wayne said, “see who?”
“Megamind,” Roxanne hissed, rage and grief warring in her.
Wayne had blinked at her.
“Why?” he asked, looking baffled, and then terrified at the subsequent expression on Roxanne’s face. “I mean! It’s just—it’s—he’s not in custody? We didn’t catch him this time.”
Roxanne had stared at him for several seconds.
“Didn’t catch him,” she repeated.
“Um, no,” said Wayne. “Sorry?”
“Didn’t—so he’s—he’s alive? Megamind’s alive?”
“He’s all right?”
“He’s all right,” Wayne said, “I dunno about Psycho Delic, though. Megamind looked really mad, the last time I saw—”
Roxanne clutched at the scratchy hospital sheets. The IV needle in her arm itched and stung.
She burst into tears again.
Yes, the thing with Psycho Delic had been rough all around, which was why Roxanne was willing to let the fact that Megamind’s Halloween kidnapping had just been a standard giant-robot-with-lasers-and-spikes plot slide without mockery. That, and the fact that she had been so damn relieved to see him. (Wayne had said he was all right, but Roxanne hadn’t been able to shake that feeling of worry—)
“It appears,” Megamind said, eyes focused on her face, narrowed slightly in concentration, “that you are—completely recovered from the—unfortunate incident last week.”
“Yep,” Roxanne grinned at him. “I’m just fine now.”
“Good,” Megamind said quietly, and then added, louder, “Today, after all, is that day that I finally defeat Metro Ma-hn! We certainly cannot have you at less than your best today, Miss—” His eyes flickered over her costume.
Roxanne felt herself blush. It was a very short skirt.
Roxanne bit her lip in a vain attempt to keep herself from grinning harder.
Of course he knew which rank her insignia was for. (At the office party, Hal had called her ensign and she’d nearly upended the punch bowl on him in outrage.)
Roxanne leaned back in the kidnapping chair and crossed one leg over the other. Megamind’s eyes went wide (it really was a very short skirt indeed). She watched his expression with satisfaction.
“As a Starfleet officer representing the United Federation of Planets,” Roxanne said, “I am prepared to accept your unconditional surrender.”
Megamind’s eyes snapped up to her face.
“My—” he laughed, and Roxanne saw the moment that he decided to play along. “Oh, very funny, Commander Ritchi! But we both know that under your Prime Directive, you are powerless to interfere in a conflict between alien species!”
“Irrelevant,” Roxanne said briskly. “First contact has been established previously and you’re obviously a warp-capable civilization. I’m acting under Directive 010 now. Before engaging alien species in battle—”
“—any and all attempts to make first contact and achieve nonmilitary resolution must be made,” Megamind finished. “But I have no quarrel with you, Commander Ritchi, or with Starfleet. You aren’t acting as a combatant, you’re acting as a mediator. And according to Regulation 6.57—?” he trailed off expectantly, waiting for her to finish the sentence.
“At least two staff officers,” Roxanne said unwillingly, “are to be present during any treaty or contract negotiations.”
“And there’s only one of you,” Megamind said smugly. “Sorry, Commander Ritchi. Guess you’ll be the one unconditionally surrendering.”
“Never give up! Never surrender!” Roxanne declared grandly.
Megamind laughed, head tilting back, exposing the long, blue line of his throat.
“Galaxy Quest?” he asked, looking at her again, eyes dancing. “Skipping around a bit, aren’t you?”
“Ooh, a purist,” Roxanne said mockingly.
“No,” he said. “I sort of halfway count that one, too, actually.” He tilted his head. “I quite like the uniform, you know. It’s very—”
“Short?” Roxanne asked daringly.
“—accurate,” Megamind said, the tips of his ears and lines of his cheekbones blushing lavender.
“How come you never—” Roxanne began, and then added, “I mean, every day is probably sort of like Halloween to you—”
She faltered momentarily. Megamind’s expression—what the hell was that? He had—flinched. And then turned away from her to face the control panel.
“—what with the costumes and the capes,” Roxanne finished uncertainly. “But I was. Just wondering why you never dress up for Halloween…”
She trailed off into uncomfortable silence again. Megamind still had his back to her, his shoulders up and in, as if in protection from a blow, and his hands were moving over the control panel with sharp, almost clumsy movements.
Megamind never moved like that. And he still hadn’t answered her; what was—
“Sir!” Minion’s voice squawked through the speaker on the control panel. “I’m still in the suit, what—”
It was at this point that Megamind (apparently accidentally—okay, what the hell was the matter with him—) turned off the robot suit.
“Shit,” he had said flatly.
So that had been—really weird.
And then he hadn’t shown up at all to kidnap her on Thanksgiving—he always kidnaps her on Thanksgiving! Roxanne had been forced to go with Wayne to his parents’ house, which was a complete waste of the new dress she had bought.
He finally came and got her again in the beginning of December. That kidnapping had been strange, too. Something went wrong with the whatever machine it was he was planning on using (he never even got around to telling her what it was) and so the two of them played Clue instead while Minion tried to fix it.
That wasn’t the strange part—or. Well. Roxanne supposes it probably is strange, the fact that sometimes when an evil plot falls through, she and Megamind play board games or cards or try to one-up each other with logic puzzles, riddles, and bad puns. But it never feels strange, while they’re doing it.
It’s only later, when Roxanne thinks back on how she made Megamind burst into laughter by coming up with twelve terrible puns about vegetables in a row, or how she rolled her eyes at his gloating when he captured her last knight, or how—it’s only later that it ever occurs to her that these things should feel strange.
But this time was different. Megamind seemed—preoccupied. Unhappy. He was really quiet, didn’t even fight over which one of them was going to play Miss Scarlett. And his Clue strategy was all over the place. Usually Megamind is good at Clue, but this time, Roxanne won every game and Megamind didn’t complain or accuse her of cheating or anything. It was honestly a little unnerving.
The Christmas kidnapping was slightly more normal; the freeze ray (a good, winter-based plot) actually froze things and Megamind didn’t accidentally power it down. But he was still quieter, more subdued than he ordinarily was, even around Christmas, and when Roxanne, hung on the giant Christmas tree in front of City Hall, smirked at Megamind and said—
“You sure you want to be using that freeze ray? You look a little cold. I think your lips are turning blue.”
—there was no snappy come-back-edging-into-a-come-on from Megamind. He just took a breath and turned away from her.
There was no kidnapping on New Years. Wayne invited her to his parents’ usual party, but Roxanne pleaded a headache and stayed home. She sat out on her balcony alone, shivering in the cold and drinking cheap champagne out of a coffee mug, and wondered what the hell was up with Megamind.
When midnight rolled around, she was thinking about how he’d turned away from her when she said your lips are turning blue.
Roxanne, hearing the distant cheer go up from where people were gathered in front of City Hall, sighed and pressed her own lips against her coffee cup in a sad, lonely imitation of a new year’s kiss.
And now it’s Valentine’s Day, and she’s been left out of Megamind’s plan again. Roxanne brings her feet up onto the couch and leans her chin on her knees, eyes on the television.
She is feeling vaguely sad, she tells herself firmly, merely because she is twenty-eight years old, sitting alone on her couch on Valentine’s Day watching Pride and Prejudice alone. Not because the alien supervillain who kidnaps her regularly has failed to do so today, even though it’s Valentine’s Day.
God, is he getting tired of her or something?
Roxanne picks up the half-empty carton of ice cream she’s been eating and takes a large, vicious bite.
Fine! That’s fine! She is fine and this is fine and everything is fine!
Except the fact that she is alone and single on Valentine’s Day! That part is not fine and she is allowed to feel that it is not fine.
Roxanne takes another bite of ice cream and watches the television.
Darcy is proposing to Elizabeth. It’s the first proposal; the terrible one that’s half-rant, half-insult, and all desperation.
This, Roxanne thinks as she continues to eat her ice cream, is probably the most romantic part of the movie: unpretty words spilling out into the air because he just can’t take it any longer, less like a declaration of love and more like a declaration of war.
I want that, she thinks stirring her ice cream disconsolately, I want somebody to love me like that.
But she’s never met anyone who feels that intensely about anything, let alone who feels that intensely about her, never met anyone brave and crazy and dramatic enough to just propose out of the blue, to tell her I love you; I’ve tried so hard not to, Roxanne, please—
She can’t picture anyone she knows—
(Megamind would do it.)
Her mind offers the image instantly, Megamind stopping in the middle of an evil monologue with a noise of frustration I can’t do this anymore, Megamind kneeling at her feet I love you; I’ve tried so hard not to, Roxanne, please and Megamind pulling her into his arms and Megamind—
—and Roxanne thinks–
(yes yes god yes)
And then, subsequently,
Roxanne comes back to herself some minutes later to find that she’s clutching her ice cream to her chest, pressed back into the couch, eyes wide, as she tries not to hyperventillate.
This is. This is bad. This is really bad.
She cannot. She cannot possibly be.
She cannot possibly be in love with a supervillain who kidnaps her all the time. That cannot be a thing that is.
She’s in love with Megamind.
Megamind, who’s getting tired of her, apparently, and oh, god, what is she going to do? What is she going to do about this?
She is not going to panic, she tells herself, clutching her ice cream as if it is the only thing left in the world that makes sense. She is not going to panic. She is not. going. to panic.
By the time she’s done panicking, the movie is almost over. Darcy is proposing to Elizabeth for the second time and Roxanne’s ice cream is almost entirely melted and Roxanne has decided that clearly the only thing to be done is make sure Megamind doesn’t get tired of her.
And. Well. There’s one thing, isn’t there, that Megamind is always asking of her.
So for the next kidnapping, Roxanne screams.
He hasn’t turned the cameras on yet, thank god. Roxanne already feels like a complete idiot, screaming when the bag is pulled off of her head, and then Megamind—
Megamind, who is leaning over her, leaps back from Roxanne so fast he trips over his chair and lands flat on his back.
“Holy shit, are you all right?” Roxanne asks in concern.
Megamind makes a quiet noise of pain and then sits up abruptly, eyes blazing as he glares at her.
“Very. fucking. funny,” he says, and shoves himself to his feet.
Roxanne actually startles back at the intensity of his expression.
“Sorry?” she says.
Megamind makes a derisive sound.
“I was just—I was just playing along!” Roxanne says defensively. “Jesus! Next time I won’t bother.”
“Playing along?” Megamind repeats, stalking towards her. “Playing. Along.”
“Yeah,” Roxanne snaps. “Like you’re always wanting!”
“Miss Ritchi,” Megamind growls, leaning over her, hooking one foot beneath a leg of her chair and yanking it off the ground.
The chair rocks back on two legs and begins to fall; Roxanne makes an involuntary noise of alarm—
(is he going to let her—)
He doesn’t let her fall. He catches the back of the chair in one hand, holding it steady, bent over her, their faces close together.
“I’m not fucking playing,” he snarls.
And Roxanne makes another involuntary noise, but this one certainly isn’t one of alarm. Her eyes meet his, and then flick downwards, her gaze catching on his mouth before she tears it away, looking into his eyes again.
Her lips part and she sways forward and—
Megamind steps back abruptly, letting the chair slam back down on all four legs.
“I can’t—you—I can’t do this right now,” Megamind says, and he doesn’t sound angry anymore, he sounds—wounded, slightly lost, near to panic. “Not now. I can’t. I–you—you need to leave.”
“What—” Roxanne manages to get out, and then Megamind makes a sharp motion and Minion sprays her with the knockout spray.
So that’s a spectacular fucking failure on every single goddamn count.
He wears his ring.
(it’s pathetic; he knows it’s pathetic, but he always wears gloves anyway, and so if he wears it underneath his gloves, then nobody has to know, right?)
Wearing it on his right hand might be marginally less weird, but Megamind wears it on his left hand anyway, on his ring finger, because fuck it.
He debates over what to do with Roxanne’s ring for a while, but finally he hits on the idea of prying up the little fake satin cushion from the inside of the box, putting the ring in the box, and then replacing the cushion, hiding the ring beneath it.
(she’ll never know it’s there, but he’ll know it’s there, and it’ll be almost like it’s real when he offers her the box; he’ll be able to pretend—)
Yeah, he gets it: pathetic.
But if he’s going to do this, then he might as well fucking do it.
He presses his thumb to the ring that lies beneath the leather of his glove, tapping his drafting pencil against the tabletop. What would Roxanne—what would she want?
(Roxanne wants a clean kidnapping bag, a more comfortable chair, not to be kidnapped anymore, for Megamind to phase out of existence)
Okay, that’s—true, yes, but in the theoretical situation of her theoretically not hating him, what would Roxanne want in a proposal? Theoretically?
She’d probably want him to not be evil, right? Roxanne—disapproves of evil. (He doesn’t blame her; evil’s meant to be disapproved of.)
So. Nothing stolen, no offering to destroy the lives of her enemies, no giving her Psycho Delic’s heart on a platter—
Megamind hadn’t actually killed the bastard, not actually killed; the smoke hadn’t been intended for Roxanne, so he’d contented himself with making sure Psycho Delic fully understood the depths of Megamind’s displeasure. He’d then dehydrating him, rehydrating him several weeks later, after the other minor villains of Metrocity had a chance to really cut into Psycho’s share of the city’s drug trade. He might not ever get all of his territory back.
Especially since he was going to be fighting with all of his injuries from his encounter with Megamind still fresh—you didn’t heal while you were dehydrated.
(The people caught by the smoke had been wailing in terror, tearing at their own bodies, clawing at their own faces, and Roxanne had screamed and—)
No stealing, so no stealing all of the roses in Metrocity and laying them in the street in front of Roxanne’s apartment like he’d imagined doing for Valentine’s Day, but—
—he could buy all of the roses, couldn’t he? Legally? With money?
(Like a person.)
He could even use money that he’d obtained from his legal investments! Surely Roxanne would be pleased by this—he could show her the receipts!
Megamind begins scribbling madly.
There’s time for another kidnapping before April Fools Day; Megamind half-finishes the plan for Project: Proposal (this is the longest he’s ever worked on a plan, ever, most of them he throws together in about a day and a half, but for this one, everything needs to be perfect) and indulges himself in this gratuitous kidnapping (they can use one of his many reserve plots; it doesn’t matter which one, the important thing is seeing Roxanne). He intends it as a treat for himself, but that backfires spectacularly.
She screams when she sees him, the sound stabbing through his chest like a knife, plunging into his stomach like an unexpected punch and he remembers
(Roxanne looking at him like he was a monster oh god no please no)
and he throws himself away from her and winds up tripping over his own goddamn chair like a fuckwit and falling flat on his ass and it turns out that Roxanne was doing it as—what, as a joke?
Says she was playing along.
And Megamind just. His heart is racing so fast with terror and horror (oh god no) that it feels like it’s humming and there’s a sick churning feeling in the pit of his stomach, and he wants to curl up in a ball and cry because she—
(screaming like he was a monster and he is a monster, isn’t he; that’s the correct fucking reaction right there, Roxanne screaming in panic at the sight of him, not her asking if he’s all right, not her saying she’s playing along, and—)
Megamind feels an dark, ugly urge to scare her, really scare her (he hasn’t felt that way in a long time; getting Roxanne to scream has—for years it’s been an intellectual challenge, a way of matching wits with her, but this—)
He knocks her chair back onto two legs, only catching her from falling at the last possible moment, petty and cruel, (she makes a frightened noise and he thinks good) and he leans forward so that their faces are much too close for any degree of comfort for her and he snarls
“I’m not fucking playing.”
(I could hurt you; I could hurt you so easily and yet you just sit there and fucking taunt me like I’m not inhuman, like I’m not dangerous, not a monster, but I know what you really think of me now because I’ve seen you scream at the sight of me)
Roxanne makes another of those frightened noises and Megamind’s eyes flick down involuntarily to her mouth, and just like that, he goes from wanting to scare her to wanting to kiss her, a wave of
crashing into him so hard and sudden—not just a wave, a tsunami of it, leaving him breathless and aching
(just kiss her just tell her)
and he sways forward
like he’s caught in a riptide, being carried out away from the shore too far too far to make it back to safety too far to stop himself—
He stops himself.
(Megamind always stops himself.)
He says…something. About not being able to do this right now, and it probably doesn’t make much sense, but Megamind cannot find the words, cannot handle this, the heavy burden of what he is and what he wants from her, cannot look at her and—
This is why he needs the plan. So he can gain some control, some restraint, so he can pine for her in a decorous manner: wistful and a little sad, not this riptide that rages through him, screaming drown drown let yourself drown Roxanne is more important than this thing that you call breathing.
Love shouldn’t be like that. Love shouldn’t have teeth.
(Megamind loves like it’s a war and Roxanne deserves better.)
After she’s gone, after Minion takes her away, takes her home, after Megamind peels himself off of the floor where he’s collapsed to cry (quietly—he doesn’t want to scare the poor brainbots) and pulls himself together, he goes to the idea cloud and resumes the strategizing for Project: Proposal.
(Megamind does everything like it’s a war.)
“Sir,” Minion says, hovering at the periphery of Megamind’s vision. “Are you—feeling all right?”
“Peachy,” Megamind says, handing a scrap of paper to a brainbot, the rest of the swarm circling, waiting to be useful. “Never better.”
(Roxanne will suspect a trick if she recognizes what day it is; she knows him well enough to realize that he basis the theme of his evil plots around holidays; he’ll have to take her unawares somehow—)
“Only,” Minion says, “you sent Miss Ritchi home early…”
“I got bored with the Lava Gun plan,” Megamind says, and it’s not exactly a lie; he hadn’t been especially enthusiastic about the Lava Gun, but of course that’s not really why—
(He’ll show up at her apartment early in the morning! Roxanne is never at her intellectual best in the early morning hours—of course, she’s never at her best mood-wise in the early morning hours, either, so he’ll have to compensate for that somehow—)
“—right,” Minion says uncertainly. “Well. Have you given any more thought to checking up on our contacts on the north side?”
“Hmm?” Megamind says absently, pen moving swiftly.
“Lady Doppler has been unusually quiet lately,” Minion says in an I-have-told-you-this-already-probably-several-times-Sir tone. “In fact, the whole underworld has been unusually quiet lately.”
Megamind, still only half-listening, rolls his eyes, mouthing the words he knows are coming next as Minion says them.
Megamind sighs loudly.
“Minion, I have told you, they are doubtless all still busy squabbling over the former territory of everyone’s least favorite purple drug lord! We don’t need to concern ourselves with such petty maneuvering; we shall wait until a clear victor eh-merges. The Master of All Villainy will then call on this victor and make sure that they understand the standards expected of those who choose to sell recreational chemicals of the illegal variety in Metrocity.”
Megamind hopes it’s one of the less objectionable villains who decide to take advantage of the opportunity. He’d much rather deal with Lady Doppler on a regular basis than Psycho Delic, even if she does manage to imply, during every one of their conversations, that Megamind is the kind of low-class trash that ought to be grateful for being allowed out of the gutter and through the service entrance. (Much better than Psycho Delic; interactions with him leave Megamind with the urge to rinse the inside of his giant blue head out with bleach—that man is sick and the way that he uses his smoke powers is, quite frankly, deeply disturbing.)
Strange that Lady Doppler hasn’t made any noticeable moves on Psycho Delic’s territory yet; she is a horrible snob, doesn’t usually leave her territory in the north side, where the upper echelon of Metrocity’s society live (the Scotts have a mansion there, and Metro Man’s own personal penthouse is there, too.)
But surely, even she could see what an opportunity this was for—
God, he doesn’t want to think about this anymore. He wants to think of something that makes him happy, is that so much to ask? That, for just a little while, he be allowed to think of something that makes him happy?
“Oh, drop it, Minion!” Megamind says. “Surely I can’t be expected to spend my entire life babysitting the criminal population of Metrocity! I have plans to plan!”
“…of course, Sir,” Minion said. “It, um, looks to be shaping up into quite a plan,” he adds.
“My greatest one yet,” Megamind murmurs absently as he hands another page to the swarm of hovering brainbots.
“Metro Man won’t know what hit him!” Minion says enthusiastically.
He opens his mouth to explain to Minion that this is, in fact, a plan for Miss Ritchi, a glorious April Fools joke which will doubtless furnish much amusement for all—
—and then he closes his mouth.
He has—it’s an odd thing, but he has a strange feeling that Minion won’t approve of Project: Proposal.
“Yes, of course,” Megamind says instead.
(He’ll have to think of some way of occupying Minion while he implements Project: Proposal. And maybe he’d better refrain from broadcasting it, too. Can’t have Minion or Metro Man bursting in at the wrong moment. Yes. Privacy is better for this, anyway. Makes it more—intimate. More real.)
Megamind presses his thumb against the ring that lies beneath the leather of his glove, picks up another piece of paper and starts to write.
Roxanne stares into her coffee cup, vaguely aware that Wayne is talking, but not really able to make herself listen.
This unrequited love thing sucks. It’s not poetic, like people always say; it’s fucking miserable, an unrelenting background noise of pain, like the emotional equivalent of having a permanent headache, that saps the world of color, making everything seem gray and dull and lifeless.
God, she just wants to see him again; why won’t he come and kidnap her?
This is what her life has come to, Roxanne thinks, gazing into her coffee cup as though it holds the secrets of the universe within its caffeinated depths: moping around in coffee shops and hoping to be kidnapped. Such a goddamn—is this even a cliche? This is probably too ridiculous to even be a cliche.
“—Megamind,” Wayne says.
Roxanne jumps, coffee sloshing out of her cup and over the cuff of her shirt, secrets of the universe staining the white material brown.
“What?” she asks, heart beating hard. “Sorry, I sort of—”
“Uh, are you okay—”
“Fine!” Roxanne pulls a handful of napkins from the dispenser and mops up the puddle of coffee. “I’m fine! I just sort of zoned out for a minute, there, sorry. What were you, um, what were you saying? About Megamind?” she’s unable to stop herself from adding, because she is just that pathetic.
“I was just—do you really think he’s, you know,” Wayne takes a sip from his own coffee, “evil?”
Roxanne freezes, wadded napkins in her hand.
“I mean,” Wayne continues, thankfully too engrossed in his coffee to notice Roxanne’s reaction, “I just got to thinking, after that thing with Psycho Delic. The little guy really helped us out that time.”
Roxanne winces, imagining Megamind’s reaction to hearing Metro Man refer to him as ‘the little guy’.
“He’s the one who saved the day, you know,” Wayne goes on. “Stopped the smoke and everything. He was really mad, too, and it didn’t seem like just a this-is-my-turf kinda thing. Seemed like he was upset because people were getting hurt. I mean, he was definitely upset about—”
Wayne glances sharply up at Roxanne.
“What?” Roxanne asks.
“—er. Never mind,” Wayne says, shaking his head as if to clear it. “Anyway, I just—what do you think?”
Roxanne glances away, back down into her coffee cup.
“I’m not really sure I’m the person to ask,” she mutters.
“What? Come on, you’re totally the person to ask! You spend more time with him than anyone else!”
Roxanne feels heat flare all along her cheekbones, all down her neck.
Breathe, Roxanne, breathe.
“Okay,” she says, setting her cup down sharply. Her voice sounds high and tight to her own ears. “Okay, if you really want to know, then no.” She takes a deep breath. “No, I do not think Megamind is actually evil.”
“Right?!” Wayne says, forehead creased in a frown. “How did I miss that?”
Roxanne bites back a sarcastic comment gee, Wayne, I don’t know; I’ve only been telling you for years that he doesn’t scare me.
Wayne means well. He’s just not very observant. To be fair, though, Roxanne definitely failed to notice that she was falling in love with a supervillain until it was too late to do anything about it, so she doesn’t really have much room to talk.
“It was pretty cool,” Wayne says wistfully, “working with him like that. Took some of the pressure off, since it wasn’t just me.”
Roxanne makes a vague noise of agreement and wraps her hands around her coffee cup.
“Sometimes,” Wayne continues, “it gets lonely being the only man playing on the team.” He sighs. “Maybe I should get a sidekick or something. I’ve just been feeling so—I don’t know. Burnt-out? Lately. Maybe I just need to shake up the old routine.”
Ha. The last time Roxanne tried to shake up the old routine, it went very wrong.
(Megamind leaning over her I’m not fucking playing and Roxanne hadn’t been able to stop herself from swaying forward—)
Hadn’t been able to stop herself from swaying forward, hadn’t been able to stop herself from trying to kiss him, and oh god, it was right after that, wasn’t it, that Megamind had pulled away from her and said you need to leave and—
Megamind knows now, doesn’t he.
That’s why he—Roxanne has ruined everything, the entire set up of this ritualized combat between him and Metro Man, because the fucking damsel can’t be in love with the goddamn Master of All motherfuckingVillainy.
That’s why he sent her away; that’s why he hasn’t kidnapped her since then.
That’s probably why he’s been acting so goddamn weird; he must have suspected something for a while now, for months, but her swaying forward like that must have—Roxanne has—
God, Roxanne has completely given herself away.
Across the table, Wayne is talking still, but Roxanne can’t really hear him over the ringing in her ears and the way she’s trying valiantly not to hyperventilate.
“—I mean, do you think we should stage a ‘break-up?” Wayne asks.
“No!” Roxanne half-shouts.
Wayne looks startled by this outburst, as does the rest of the coffee shop.
“No,” Roxanne says, in a more controlled tone. “This is working! Why mess with routine? Don’t fix something that isn’t broken!”
(this is definitely already broken; Roxanne broke it into a thousand sharp-edged pieces when she gave herself away, but she is damned if she’s going to make it easier for Megamind to cast her off.)
Go down fighting, Roxanne thinks, and then mentally adds never give up! never surrender!
And then she remembers Halloween, remembers Megamind tilting his head back to laugh—
(the long, blue line of his throat)
And Roxanne has to take a quick gulp of coffee to hold back something that might be hysterical laughter and might be hysterical tears, and might be some awful combination of the two.
Megamind takes one last look around Roxanne’s apartment. He feels—he hasn’t felt this nervous since—
He’s actually never felt this nervous.
Everything is perfect, though. He sent Minion off to run a completely unnecessary set of flight drills with most of the brainbots in an empty lot on the other side of town in preparation for his entirely fictional plan to defeat Metro Man. So that’s Minion out of the way.
Lady Scott received a voucher for a ‘Day At the Spa With Your Son’ from the fanciest spa in town, so that’s Metro Man taken care of for the day.
Megamind bribed the owner of said spa to print the vouchers, and gave the rest of them to the occupants of the government housing hit by Psycho Delic’s Halloween attack. They deserve a treat. And Metro Man doesn’t spend nearly enough time with his mother, in Megamind’s opinion. It’s why he always kidnaps her instead of Roxanne on Mother’s Day. Lady Scott is a nice woman; a little dim, maybe, but very definitely nice.
(If that goddamn golden pod hadn’t knocked Megamind off course when he was eight days old, she would have been—)
Metro Man and Minion are taken care of for the day.
Megamind kept a handful of bots back from the drills with Minion, the quietest and most obedient bots the bunch, to help with setup for Project: Proposal—Pinky, Spikeless, Edgar, Teacup, and Tribble.
Well, Spikeless wasn’t technically supposed to be part of the Project: Proposal setup team—they were much too bitey. But they’d hidden behind the laundry machine until Minion had left with the other bots, and Megamind hadn’t been able to stand the thought of leaving them behind when he and the other bots left for Roxanne. Poor Spikeless would have pined! And they probably would have eaten Megamind’s slippers in retaliation.
“Shoo,” Megamind whispers to the brainbots. “Back to the Lair with you. Daddy will be home, soon.”
The bots swoop out of the open balcony door (Pinky and Edgar have to herd Spikeless out of the kitchen). Megamind glances out of the tall glass windows—yes, the flowers are in place, strewn over the street in front of Roxanne’s apartment. He bribed the Roadwork Commissioner into diverting all traffic away from Roxanne’s street.
Should he feel bad about all the bribery this proposal has entailed? Is all bribery automatically evil? He doesn’t really see how it’s so very different from just regular buying things—and! Megamind totally could have blackmailed and/or threatened the Roadwork Commissioner and the owner of that spa into doing what he wanted, but he didn’t. He gave them money instead. Surely bribery has to be very nearly not evil at all, when contrasted with blackmail and threats!
Fuck, he doesn’t know, and now he’s even more nervous, a flutter of almost-panic in his chest and in the pit of his stomach—shit, oh, shit, he’s feeling lightheaded—does he look stupid in these clothes? He bought normal-person clothes with the disguise watch because it seemed, somehow, like the Thing To Do, and now he’s really wishing he had his leather and spikes and giant cape to hide behind.
Megamind presses his thumb against the ring hidden beneath his lefthand glove and tries to remember how to breathe.
Breathe. Breathe. No, not that fucking fast, the goal is not to hypervenillate yourself into a fainting fit—
He needs to—
Roxanne is going to—
Oh fuck him fucking sideways—
What if—what if he—what if this were a real proposal?
He wouldn’t be this nervous if this was a real proposal.
Because he would have been dating Roxanne, would have already told her that he loves her, would have heard her say it back—he would still be nervous, yes, but in a—pleasant sort of way. Anticipation, not dread.
Megamind closes his eyes.
This is real. He and Roxanne are in love. They are in love and he is going to propose to her today.
(she hates you you’re so pathetic she’d be so disgusted if she knew)
Today, he gets to pretend, just for a little while, just for this short, shining while, that the world is how he wants it to be.
Megamind opens his eyes.
to be continued...
Roxanne wakes up to the smell of coffee, which, on one hand, mmm coffee, but on the other hand what the fuck because who the hell is in her apartment making coffee?
Her first, heart-racing, giddy-relief-inducing thought is that it must be Megamind and Minion, but that’s crazy, because Minion might offer her refreshments when a kidnapping runs long, but he’s certainly never made her coffee before a kidnapping.
She climbs out of bed as quietly as she can and casts around for something to use as a weapon—journalism award statuette, yes, that’ll do; it’s got some heft to it, as well as a spike-y bit on the top for potential stabbing.
Roxanne, statuette held aloft, sidles down the hallway to the top of the stairs and peers over the balcony to see—
Megamind is sitting crosslegged on her kitchen counter, pressing buttons on a black box-shaped thing that looks sort of like a microwave and sort of like it’s about to morph into a Decepticon and start shooting things, but Roxanne could fucking care less about the possibly-evil-microwave-thing because Megamind.
Megamind is in her apartment and he’s sitting on her kitchen counter and he’s wearing ordinary clothes, tight black jeans and a violet dress shirt, collar popped up and sleeves rolled up over his black gloves and holy fuck.
Roxanne must have made some sort of noise, because Megamind looks up at that, looks up at her, standing at the top of the stairs with a bronze statuette held over her head as a bludgeoning weapon and he—
—smiles. At her.
Except smiles isn’t really an adequate description of the way his expression changes, the way his whole face, his whole body, just lights up, like seeing Roxanne at the top of the stairs is the high point of his entire life.
“Roxanne!” he says, looking up at her and smiling like she’s everything he’s ever wanted and oh, god, Megamind has never called her Roxanne before, has certainly never said her name in that tone and Roxanne legitimately goes weak at the knees, grabbing the staircase railing to keep upright.
“Come downstairs,” he says, voice warm and affectionate, “I brought coffee.”
And Roxanne puts the statuette down and makes her (slightly shaky and deeply bewildered) way downstairs.
Megamind meets her at the bottom of the steps, holding out a cup of coffee, pressing it into her hands. Roxanne takes a drink reflexively; he’s made it just how she likes it: the perfect amount of sugar, just the right touch of cream.
And he’s still smiling at her, eyes crinkled at the corners and Roxanne’s first thought is
But the coffee is very definitely coffee-ish in a way that Roxanne’s sleeping mind has never been able to duplicate, and so her second thought is that she has slipped into an alternate reality where she and Megamind are together and she can have everything she wants.
Megamind steps back from her, expression going even warmer.
“You’re so beautiful,” he says.
Something like lightning sings through Roxanne, from the top of her head all down her spine, leaving heat and white noise in its wake.
“I’m in my pajamas,” Roxanne says blankly.
Jesus, they aren’t even her good pajamas; she’s wearing an oversized t-shirt and an incredibly ugly pair of orange shorts; if she had know that this—whatever this is—was going to be happening today, she would have worn one of her nice nightgowns! She would have—she isn’t wearing any makeup; she hasn’t even brushed her hair—
“You’re always beautiful,” Megamind says simply. “It doesn’t matter what you wear.”
“…gnh,” Roxanne says, clutching the cup of coffee as her heart full-on fucking flutters in her chest.
“Do you want doughnuts?” Megamind asks, moving back to the counter, fingers flying over the buttons on the Decepticon-Microwave.
It makes an ominous hrrrrr noise, and then a distinctly un-ominous ping. And then Megamind opens the hatch on the top and pulls out a plate of beautifully glazed doughnuts.
“Ah?” Roxanne says, and takes one. It. There’s. Because. She’s not sure what else to do.
Megamind is in her apartment telling her that she’s beautiful and giving her coffee and offering her doughnuts and nothing makes any sense.
(Roxanne never wants anything to make sense ever again.)
She takes a bite of her doughnut. It’s warm, the glaze at that perfect half-set stage; a thin layer of solid sugar over a deliciously melty, sticky one, the pastry itself light and airy, and then—ohh, raspberry filling, yes—
Roxanne, whose eyes have fallen shut in bliss, opens them to find Megamind watching her, eyes intent on her face.
Oh, god, she definitely just moaned over that doughnut, didn’t she.
“These—” Roxanne blurts out, “these are my favorite. Type! Of doughnut.”
“Yes,” Megamind says, still watching her with that smoldering focus. “I know. That’s why I bought them.” He licks his lips and then shakes himself, blinking rapidly. “Legally!” He adds, “With—with money! Like a person!” He bounces up onto his toes, reaching his arms up to pull down—
Uh, wow. There is—Roxanne didn’t notice until right this moment because she was still half asleep and more than a little distracted by Megamind, but there is—
There is a lot happening. With her apartment.
String, red string, lot of red string hanging from the ceiling, and things tied to the string like some sort of modern art exhibit: flowers, scraps of paper, origami shapes, and—clothing? Wait, she remembers those heels; the left one fell into Megamind’s alligator pit and she had to throw the right one away—
“See!” Megamind says, holding out what seems to be—a receipt?
For the doughnuts?
She looks up at him, he’s gazing at her nervously, expectantly—
“Well done?” she says, hazarding a guess as to the response he’s looking for, and it’s evidently the right one because Megamind’s face breaks into a wide, joyful smile.
Roxanne finds herself smiling back helplessly and takes another bite of doughnut to cover her confusion.
“Is all bribery automatically evil?” Megamind asks suddenly, looking worried.
“Uh—?” Roxanne says, because wow, non sequitur, and also that’s a hell of a moral quandary to expect her to deal with first thing in the morning, especially this morning, with Megamind standing so close and scattering her thoughts.
“I mean,” she says, “I guess not necessarily—there are probably extenuating circumstances sometimes?”
Hey, sometimes a reporter needs information and witnesses aren’t being as forthcoming as they could be.
“Oh, that’s a relief to hear,” Megamind says, smiling again.
“I thought the alligators ate that shoe,” Roxanne says, gesturing with her doughnut, because today is apparently weird conversational non sequitur day.
“Ah!” Megamind says. “They did!”
He moves swiftly to the shoes and seizes a corner of a paper hanging beside them, turning it towards her, so that she can read it: EATEN BY ALLIGATORS.
“So I bought you a replacement pair!” he adds, pointing at yet another receipt that is hanging on the other side of the shoes. “I bought you replacements for all of your things that have ever gotten damaged because of my plans.”
Roxanne blinks and looks around. Yes, there’s that green skirt that got ripped by a brainbot, the handbag that was singed by a laser, the coat that got its sleeve dipped in liquid nitrogen—
“All bought legally!” Megamind says. “With legal money, even! From the legal income earned by my completely legal prosthetic limb patents, see?”
He snatches a page from a string and holds it up for her inspection. Roxanne looks at it—is that a bank statement?
“That’s—that’s very impressive,” Roxanne says weakly.
Megamind bounces excitedly on his toes, preening as he clips the paper back into place. Roxanne finishes her doughnut and eyes the plate Megamind has placed on the counter. She really wants another of those doughnuts, but is that going to be too—
She licks the last of the glaze and the raspberry filling from her fingers.
“Oh,” Megamind says, and Roxanne glances at him again. His eyes are on her, on her fingers in her mouth, and the expression in his eyes is—
Roxanne feels herself flush.
“Do you want another one?” Megamind asks, voice low. “I think you should have another one.”
Roxanne slowly reaches for another doughnut and bites into it while Megamind watches her, gazing at her like he wants to eat her.
Fuck, Roxanne has never considered doughnuts an erotic food before, but this is—uh. Really changing her mind?
“How—how did you get them to stay fresh like this?” she says, when the silent weight of Megamind’s gaze becomes too heavy to bear without shoving him up against the kitchen counter and kissing him.
“Stasis chamber,” Megamind says absently, still looking at her. He gestures to the Decepticon-microwave thing. “I was afraid I’d damage something if I tried to use the microwave; I almost always do. Inventing the stasis chamber was much simpler.”
Inventing. A stasis chamber. Was simpler. Than using the microwave.
“Of course,” Roxanne agrees helplessly, and takes another bite of her doughnut. “Well. The stasis chamber is—it definitely works really well..”
Megamind blushes, his cheekbones turning lavender and the tips of his ears going pink. He ducks his head, fingers of one hand going up to touch the turned-up collar of his purple dress shirt.
Roxanne, taking a sip of coffee, almost chokes.
“You—the—shirt—” she blurts out. “The—the shirt. That you’re wearing. Looks good.”
She swallows convulsively, but Megamind looked at her, dressed in her ugly pajamas, with her unbrushed hair and her makeup-less face and told her she was beautiful; she can damn well be brave enough to compliment him back when he’s leaning there against her cabinets looking like a sex dream.
“You,” Roxanne continues, feeling herself blushing violently. “You look good.”
“—really?” Megamind asks, green eyes going wide.
“Yeah,” Roxanne manages to say.
Megamind turns his head away slightly, smiling shyly, and then glances at her again through his lashes and dear god, Roxanne is going to die of a heart attack if he keeps this up.
“Put down your coffee and come to the window, Roxanne,” he says softly. “I’ve got something that I want to show you.”
Roxanne sets her coffee on the kitchen table, along with her half-finished doughnut. Megamind catches her right hand in his left one, tangling their fingers together. Roxanne makes a small, strangled noise and Megamind glances at her inquiringly.
“I’m—my fingers are sticky—” she stammers.
Megamind laughs, a warm, affectionate sound that goes to Roxanne’s head like champagne, and then he raises their joined hands and kisses the back of hers, easily, naturally, as though this is something they always do—
“I don’t mind,” he says.
“Oh,” Roxanne says, feeling as though she’s about to faint. “Oh. Okay, then.”
“Close your eyes,” Megamind tells her, smile at the edges of his mouth. “I want it to be a surprise.”
And Roxanne can’t do anything but let eyes fall shut, let Megamind gently take her other hand and carefully, so carefully, lead her across the room.
He stops, giving her hands one last squeeze before releasing them. He moves behind her then; she can feel the heat of him, standing close behind her. He places his hands on her shoulders and Roxanne shivers.
“Open your eyes,” Megamind whispers in her ear, breath stirring her hair, and Roxanne’s eyes fly open, less at the words than at the sensation, and she sees—
Megamind’s face, first, reflected in the glass of the window, and then, beyond that, down in the street below her apartment—
Roses fill the street, every color of rose, thousands of roses, laid there like some sort of offering before a goddess, like—
“For you,” Megamind says quietly.
Roxanne’s eyes meet his, reflected in the window.
“Why?” she breathes. “Why would you—all of this—”
Megamind’s reflection smiles softly, gently at her.
“Because I love you,” he says.
Oh—she turns towards him; she wants to—she needs to kiss him, but he’s stepped away from her and he’s—
Megamind kneels down at her feet and he holds out a tiny box to her and Roxanne stops breathing.
“I love you, Roxanne,” Megamind says, looking up at her with his heart in his eyes. “I love you desperately; I love you more than anything in the entire universe. I love you; I love you so much more than I ever expected, so much more I ever thought I would be capable of. I never want to be anywhere but by your side, Roxanne. I want to be with you forever. I love you. Please, Roxanne, please marry me.”
And Roxanne opens her mouth to say yes, god yes, Megamind, of course I’ll marry you, yes, because her answer to that question, asked by this man, cannot ever be anything but yes.
Her gaze falls from Megamind’s face to the box in his hands, the box that he’s holding open—
The box that—
The box that has APRIL FOOLS written inside of it.
Megamind looks up at Roxanne, waiting for her to laugh, waiting for her to—she should be laughing; why isn’t she laughing yet?
She shoves him, hard and sudden, sending him sprawling back, the box falling out of his hands and skittering across the floor.
“Get. Out.” Roxanne says, voice low and furious and shaking, standing over him like a vengeful fury.
“Get out!” she shouts, voice breaking. “Get out of my fucking house, Megamind; get out right the fuck now—”
Megamind pushes himself to his feet.
Roxanne screams, high and wordless and Megamind flinches, stumbling backward, out onto the balcony, where his hoverbike is waiting.
Roxanne throws a vase out of the balcony door after him, glass exploding into shards at his feet as he climbs onto the hoverbike.
He guns it, jerking the machine up into the air, away, away from Roxanne’s screaming, from her shocking, frightening, bewildering anger—he hadn’t meant to make her—
Inside her apartment, Roxanne throws something else; he hears it shatter, and then he’s flying away from—away from—
Roxanne waits until the sound of Megamind’s hoverbike fades into silence, and then she simply breaks down, collapsing onto the kitchen floor and curling into a ball, her hands over her head, sobs wracking her body.
She cries for a long time.
She thought—she thought—she really thought it was real, let herself believe that it was real, let herself believe that Megamind could possibly love her and he—
Roxanne never thought Megamind was cruel, before, never thought that he would—something like this, a trick meant to—meant to punish her for her stupid fucking—for her feelings for him, her inappropriate, presumptuous, unwanted feelings.
How could he—how could he do something like this?
Does he really hate her that much?
Roxanne, exhausted and finally out of tears, uncurls from the ball she has folded herself into and forces herself to sit up.
She wipes at her eyes—god, she hurts, her eyes hurt, her entire body aches, and there’s a knot of pain in her chest. She takes a shuddery breath and—
Her gaze falls on the ring box, sitting on the kitchen floor beside her, the words APRIL FOOLS scrawled over the inside of it in Megamind’s handwriting.
Roxanne makes a smothered sound, picking it up and throwing it across the room as hard as she can. It hits the kitchen island and breaks, hinges giving, that stupid little pillow coming out of the box and—
—something small and shining hits the kitchen floor with a quiet, metallic noise.
Roxanne freezes, tells herself that she doesn’t care what was in the fucking box, that it doesn’t matter, she doesn’t care, doesn’t even want to know—
And then she crawls over to see what it is.
It’s a ring.
She picks it up with shaking fingers.
It’s a silver band, graceful, asymmetrical, and understated, three circular blue stones set into the top of it, one large stone in the middle, two smaller stones on either side, all of them a deep, multifaceted blue, flecked with silvery-white points of light, like stars shining in a night sky.
It’s. It’s beautiful, and when Roxanne slides it onto the ring finger of her left hand, she finds that it fits perfectly.
Why would Megamind make her a ring? (Because he did make it; Roxanne can tell. It may not have spikes or lasers on it, but Roxanne has seen enough of Megamind’s work over the years to recognize that this ring is definitely something that he created.)
Why would Megamind make her a real ring for his fake proposal? Was it—was it part of the joke? Why would he make this ring to fit her hand and then hide it underneath the words APRIL FOOLS?
It doesn’t make any sense.
But then, Roxanne thinks, with a painful twist of her heart, this is Megamind. He makes stasis chambers to avoid using microwaves; a real ring for a fake proposal probably made perfect sense to him.
Roxanne yanks the ring from her finger, intending to throw it across the room, and then goes still instead.
Because someone on the other side of the kitchen island is laughing.
Someone—someone who isn’t Megamind—Roxanne knows Megamind’s laugh, knows every different form it takes, from his villainous cackle to his honestly-amused laugh, to the way he snickers at really terrible puns—
Someone who isn’t Megamind is in Roxanne’s apartment and they’re laughing, low and dark and unpleasant, and Roxanne feels her skin breaking out in goosebumps, fear crawling up her spine.
She slides the ring into the pocket of her pajama shorts and tries to think—better to make a run for the front door, better to try for the bedroom, better to trust to the element of surprise and attack instead of running?
But in that breathless second of hesitation, it is already too late.
A purple face—noseless, earless, like a skull, and grinning horribly, like a skull, appears over the kitchen island.
“Hey there, sugar,” Psycho Delic purrs.
And Roxanne tastes something sickly sweet at the back of her throat as her vision fills with purple smoke and then goes dark.
Megamind sits on the roof of the city library, leaning back against the hover bike, fingers stroking Spikeless mindlessly. Spikeless had been a very bad bot, disobeying Daddy’s order to go to the Lair, but Megamind hadn’t had the heart to even scold them for it.
He doesn’t—he doesn’t understand. He doesn’t understand what went gone wrong with Project: Proposal. Roxanne had been sufficiently bewildered by his behavior that he’d gotten through his whole proposal without a hitch, but she hadn’t laughed.
Why didn’t she laugh? Didn’t she think it was funny, the idea of Megamind playing at love, as though romance was something that anyone was capable of contemplating with a blue, giant-headed alien supervillain? Surely the idea of Megamind in love was—inherently ridiculous enough that she ought to have laughed.
But she didn’t laugh. She had been—
Megamind had been pretty deeply into his fantasy of a real proposal, so far into it that when she’d turned away from the window, when he’d knelt down, he’d looked into her face and allowed himself to imagine, for a moment, just one moment, that he saw something like love there, allowed himself to dream that when he said marry me she would say yes, had almost been able to picture it this time, almost able to picture her saying yes.
Madness, of course. All in his head, all wishful thinking and impossible dreams.
She had been so angry; Megamind has never seen her that angry before.
Why had she been—
—is the prospect of him loving her so very disgusting to her? To provoke that kind of a reaction—oh god, it has to be, doesn’t it? Fuck, has he ever made a miscalculation—she was
offended, she was horrified, she was—
Megamind shudders, letting go of Spikeless to press his thumb against the ring on his left hand.
Oh fuck him.
Fuck him sideways into the depths of fucking hell, he left the ring box with the ring at Roxanne’s apartment.
And if she was offended by him simply joking about being in love with her, how is she going to react when she finds the fucking wedding ring that he goddamn well made for her because he is a pathetic, hopeless fucking idiot?
Shit. Shit shit shit shit shitshitshit.
He has to get that fucking box back before she finds the ring.
Spikeless, who Megamind has been clutching increasingly tighter in panic, makes an unhappy noise and snaps at Megamind’s fingers. Megamind taps them sharply on the dome.
“Not. Now,” Megamind says through gritted teeth. “Daddy doesn’t have time to play now because Daddy is a walking cata-stroph-ee. Or however. You pronounce that fucking word. Disaster. Nnnnng.”
He jumps to his feet, dislodging Spikeless from his lap, and throws himself onto the seat of his bike.
Megamind sidles into Roxanne’s apartment, Spikeless (under strict orders to be silent or else) flying along behind him. The apartment is quiet—she must be upstairs. He’ll have to do this quickly; the last fucking thing he wants is for her to see him here again. He’ll just find the box and Roxanne will never even know—
A smell, sweet and cloying, drifts through the air of Roxanne’s apartment.
Megamind stops mid-step, holds dead still.
Oh god. Oh please god no, let him be wrong—
—his eyes fall on a piece of paper, twisting on its red string, an out-of-place piece of paper, one that Megamind never put there, it completely ruins the aesthetic of the—
Got your girl is scrawled across the paper in thick black lines.
The old strip mine. Come alone. No weapons. Fish shows and she dies. Cops show and she dies. Metro Man shows and she dies. Don’t even think about going to that ‘lair’ of yours—I know where you live, bitch.
Time we talked about who the REAL villain in Metro is.
Megamind feels—he feels a coldness settling in his skin, in his bones and chest and mind, making everything sharp and clear and simple.
the spare de-gun that’s hidden beneath the seat of the hoverbike
the stasis chamber
his disguise watch
a bottomless well of terrified rage
“Spikeless,” Megamind says sharply. “Bring Daddy the de-gun from the hoverbike.”
Spikeless swoops obediently out the porch door.
Megamind yanks open a kitchen drawer and pulls out a butterknife. No screwdrivers; that’ll have to do.
He turns to the stasis chamber. He needs the paradox ring from inside it; if he tweaks it he should be able to attach it to the de-gun so he can make it dehydrate itself. He’ll have to fuck with the gun’s dehydration setting first, though; he needs it to end up compressed a lot smaller than a two-inch-tall cube.
Megamind prises the control panel off of the stasis chamber as Spikeless flies into the kitchen, de-gun held in its pincers.
“Put it on the table,” Megamind says. “And then sit quietly in the corner until Daddy needs you. We’re going to war.”
Roxanne’s second awakening of the day is distinctly less pleasant than her first.
Her head is pounding, she feels a little nauseous, and, also, she’s been kidnapped by Psycho Delic.
When she said she wanted to be kidnapped again, she sure as fuck didn’t mean like this.
Her hands are in manacles, much heavier and tighter than anything Megamind has ever put her in, and she’s lying on her side, on a hard, gritty surface—the ground, she’s pretty sure, though she keeps her eyes shut, wanting to learn as much as she can without her captors knowing that she’s awake.
Because it’s very definitely captors, plural. She can hear them talking.
“—not gonna show, Psycho,” a male voice is saying.
“Oh, he’ll show, all right,” Psycho Delic chuckles. “Roses in the goddamn street, man. What a fucking laugh. He’ll show.”
“Forgive me,” an icy female voice says—sort of a—sort of a familiar voice? “But I thought you said he left the apartment. And that you then put the note in the apartment? What, exactly, makes you think he’s going to be reading your note any time soon? Some of us have better things to be doing than standing around in a dirty trash heap all day.”
“Lady,” Psycho Delic says, “trust me. He went back to the apartment. That was not the kind of argument you just walk away from without going back for some makeup/breakup fucking.”
“This is my hideout,” a deep bass voice rumbles. “It ain’t no dirty trash heap, lady!”
“So sorry to offend,” the icy voice says, in a not-at-all-sorry tone.
“Damn right you—”
“People, people,” a new male voice says in an exasperated way. “Can we please try to stay civil, here.”
“—don’t appreciate her sayin’ that about my hideout—”
“Roses in the street,” Psycho Delic laughs. “Shit, he’ll show.”
“I certainly hope so, after all this trouble,” says the icy voice.
“Agreed,” someone hisses.
“No kidding,” says someone else.
“—volunteered my hideout and this is the thanks I get—“
“Blue’s too smart for this,” sighs the ‘let’s all be civil’ voice. “When you said you had a plan, I thought you meant you had a workable plan.”
“Honey,” A second feminine voice gives a husky chuckle, “even the smart ones get stupid when they let their dick lead.”
“Man, I’d like to let my dick lead with sugar here,” Psycho Delic purrs. “Put that ass of hers to good use, you know what I’m saying?”
“Does he even have a—” begins the husky feminine voice in a tone of morbid interest.
“I really don’t see that as relevant,” says let’s-be-civil stiffly.
“Hey, a girl gets curious,” says the husky voice with another chuckle. “Not curious enough to actually touch that, mind you, but curious.”
“Personally, I find this conversation disgusting,” says the icy voice.
The husky voice barks a laugh that sounds like whiskey and cigarettes and aerosol hairspray.
“‘Course you do.”
“Well, you’ll be glad to hear that you can satisfy your curiosity by asking someone who doubtless knows the answer to your question,” says the icy voice. “She’s awake.”
“Hey, rise and shine sugar,” says Psycho Delic, “welcome to the party.”
Since there’s no point in pretending further unconsciousness now, Roxanne opens her eyes and sits up.
She is, indeed, on the ground; she’s been lying in the powdery gray dirt and is now sort of covered in it. Her manacles are attacked by a long, heavy chain to a stake that’s been pounded into the ground.
“Wow,” Roxanne says dryly, to disguise the way her voice wants to shake. “Zero out of ten for presentation. What kind of cut-price damsel-in-distress display is this?”
Her assembled captors blink at her in varying degrees of surprise. What, were they expecting her to scream with terror? Even Megamind can’t manage that.
Roxanne recognizes most of them; they’re the minor villains of the city: Psycho Delic, of course; and Hot Flash, the fire-powered, flame-haired villainess and a taste for younger men. Also another woman who Roxanne thinks is Lady Doppler, her long white-blonde hair in a high ponytail above her golden mask—something about Lady Doppler seems, somehow, familiar, though Roxanne has never met her before—
And there’s a man in a ridiculous, old-fashioned coat with lace ruffles and an honest to god cravat (he’s a fairly minor villain, Roxanne thinks, what’s his name again—oh, right, he calls himself the Conductor, that’s why he’s holding that useless-looking white stick). Also Judge Sludge, who is literally a gelatinous green mass dressed in judge robes, and the Destruction Worker, who has power tools attached to his arms in place of hands and who wears a construction cone as a hat.
Looking deeply uncomfortable to be standing beside these (admittedly rather odd and oddly dressed) people is a big, blocky man in a very expensive suit. Roxanne doesn’t recognize him, but it’s clear that the two other, even bigger men (in slightly less expensive suits and also looking embarrassed to be in company with the costumed villains) standing behind him are bodyguards of some sort.
“I didn’t know the circus was in town,” Roxanne says to the man in the very expensive suit and sees his lip twitch involuntarily.
“We ain’t the circus!” Destruction Worker bursts out. “We’re the Doom Syndicate!”
“Really,” Roxanne says in a deeply unimpressed tone. “Never heard of you.”
“That’s because we’re a new—”
“Oh, for heaven’s sake, can’t you see that she’s just goading you?” Lady Doppler snaps impatiently, and ha! That’s why she seems so familiar!
“Eleanor!” Roxanne says. “Eleanor Prigmore! I knew I recognized you. We met at one of Wayne’s mother’s charity events. You were so kind as to let me know that I was wearing last season’s shoes.”
Lady Doppler freezes.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” Roxanne says insincerely, “was that supposed to be a secret? Whoops.”
Lady Doppler’s gloved hands contract into claws, her eyes narrowing behind her mask. Overhead, the sky darkens suddenly.
“You really should learn to keep your mouth shut,” Lady Doppler says, raising a hand.
Thunder rumbles ominously.
“Get yourself under control,” the man in the expensive suit snaps. “No zapping the hostage.”
“Excuse me?” Lady Doppler says, in a voice like an ice sickle, sharp and cold and pointed. She turns to the man in the expensive suit. “Did someone put this thug in charge while I wasn’t paying attention?”
The man in the expensive suit glares and his bodyguards reach beneath their coats. Thunder rumbles again, louder this time.
“Listen,” says the man in the expensive suit, lip curling, “I don’t care what kind of PMS you’re going through right now, lady, but you need to calm the hell down—”
“PMS, seriously?” Hot Flash says, the flames of her hair crackling higher. “That’s the crack you’re gonna go with, you sexist asshole?”
“She has been nothing but unpleasant, this entire time,” Judge Sludge hisses. “One has to wonder.”
“Bitch called my hideout a dirty trash heap!”
“Don’t you call her a bitch, you—”
“Oh, give it a rest, you post-menopausal harpy!” the Conductor shouts.
“Harpy?! Harpy?! Oh, that is it—”
Hot Flash’s eyes narrow and her hair flares even higher. She raises her fists, flames jumping out of her clenched hands. The Conductor raises his little white stick; the bodyguards step in front of the man with the expensive suit, and Judge Sludge begins to glow a lurid yellowish color. Lightning cracks across the sky as the Destruction Worker’s chainsaw and jackhammer prosthetics whirr to life.
“Hey!” Psycho Delic shouts. “Get it together, all of you! Goddamn it, we don’t have time for this!”
The members of the Doom Syndicate glare at each other, but all of them back down. They all lower their weapons, but the tension remains.
Holy shit; this Doom Syndicate thing is a goddamn time-bomb; Roxanne is tempted to push just a little farther and make them self destruct—
But this is clearly a very unbalanced set of individuals. There’s no Megamind here, with his carefully arranged ‘non-combatant safe zone’ around Roxanne, no Minion keeping an eye on her.
If this crowd explodes into violence, Roxanne is probably going to end up very very dead.
“As fascinating as this conversation is,” Roxanne says, forcing herself not to panic, “what do you say we just skip to the part where I scream and Metro Man comes and drags you all off to jail?”
One of the suited bodyguards draws a gun from beneath his coat and levels it at Roxanne’s head, and Roxanne goes very, very still.
“None of that, Miss Ritchi,” the man in the very expensive suit says. “We won’t be requiring Metro Man’s presence today.”
“Sorry,” Roxanne says, her eyes on the gun, “I’m a little confused here. That’s usually how it works, see, I get kidnapped and then Metro Man comes. I’m sort of at a loss as to what I’m doing here if you don’t want Metro Man.”
“We don’t want Metro Man,” Judge Sludge hisses. “We’re waiting for your boyfriend.”
“I think maybe you’re the confused ones, actually,” Roxanne says slowly. “Do you want Metro Man or don’t you?”
“We ain’t confused,” Destruction Worker says with a scowl. “We’re waiting on your real boyfriend.”
“Blue boy should be along any minute now, sugar,” Psycho Delic tells her. “No point in lying now.”
The man in the expensive suit, evidently satisfied that Roxanne is not going to scream, nods at the bodyguard holding the gun. The man slides the weapon back beneath his coat.
They’re—they’ve kidnapped her to use as her as bait for Megamind? Because they think that he’s—
Oh fuck. Oh fuck her.
If she’s not Megamind’s girlfriend, then these people no longer have any reason to keep her alive.
This is really fucking bad.
While she was pretending to be unconscious, Psycho Delic said he’d left a call-out note for Megamind in her apartment. But there is no damn reason for Megamind to come back to her apartment: there will be no makeup sex because they aren’t together. And even if, by some chance miracle, Megamind does happen to return to her apartment, why the hell would he risk his life to come and rescue Roxanne?
He doesn’t care about her. He doesn’t even like her; the cruel joke this morning sure as hell proved that—
Oh god. Oh god, she’s going to die.
She’s going to die here in this—
—this is the old strip mine, isn’t it? She can see the stepped sides leading up to ground level and the towering piles of dirt and shale and the hulking, rusted shapes of abandoned mining machines and who the fuck cares where she’s at; she’s going to die.
She’s going to die in her ugly pajamas and—
“Jesse!” Hot Flash says suddenly. Roxanne turns her head in the direction of the woman’s gaze; a muscled young man in tight red lycra shorts, thigh-high red boots, and nothing else (except an obscene amount of body oil on his naked chest and a rather incongruous watch on his left wrist) has emerged from behind one of the piles of rubble.
He’s carrying a shovel and has a confused expression on his face.
“What are you doing here, sweetcheeks?” Hot Flash asks in an indulgent sing-song voice, walking towards him.
Lady Doppler rolls her eyes; the others merely look impatient.
“You’re supposed to be guarding the perimeter, Jesse,” Hot Flash says. “Remember, hon?”
Jesse doesn’t answer; Hot Flash frowns.
He swings the shovel hard in an upward arc; it connects with the side of Hot Flash’s head with a sickening crunch, the force of the blow sending her to the ground. She doesn’t get back up.
“Sorry,” Jesse says, baring his teeth in a smile that is too wide, too sharp, somehow, for a human face. “Jesse isn’t here right now.” He reaches for the watch on his wrist and twists something on it, and his face, his body, flickers impossibly, and then it’s—
Megamind is here.
Roxanne’s heart stops beating for a moment.
to be continued...
thank you for all of the lovely reviews!
Megamind is here and he’s dressed in the clothes from this morning and he looks about twelve times more terrifying right than he ever has in black leather and spikes. There’s an expression on his face, a really fucking scary expression of barely-controlled rage, and he’s holding the shovel as if he doesn’t even realize it’s on fucking fire, the wooden handle in flames from where it connected with Hot Flash’s fiery hair.
Psycho Delic gives a hoarse shout.
“It’s him! It’s fucking him; get your asses out here right now and get him!”
A group of henchmen erupt from behind a nearby pile of shale. Megamind pivots towards them, bringing the shovel up again.
Megamind strikes one man across the face with the flat of the metal shovel head, then flips the shovel around, the motion almost too quick to follow, and brings the handle up sharply beneath the man’s chin. The thug falls, and Megamind is already turning, pushing the shovel into the chest of another henchman.
The man grabs for the shovel reflexively, and then screams when flames leap up in his clothes. Megamind ducks a punch from a third attacker while kicking a fourth henchman in the kneecap, boot connecting with a crack, sending the man to the ground. Megamind stomps down hard on the fallen man’s face; Roxanne hears the man’s nose break, hears him give a shrill scream.
The third attacker’s second punch lands; Megamind stumbles back two steps and the henchman strikes at him again. This time, though, Megamind sidesteps the punch, catching the man’s wrist and jerking it forward, sending the man to the ground. He rolls onto his back and tries to stand, but Megamind kicks him in the teeth and then jumps on top of him, grabbing his wrist and yanking something from his fingers—
—a pair of brass knuckles, Roxanne realizes.
Megamind slips them onto his own right hand just as the fifth and sixth thugs lunge for him; he punches one of them in the solar plexus and elbows the other in the throat as he stands, then ducks down and away, slipping out of their reach.
The seventh henchman reaches for something in his pocket, which turns out to be a mistake, because by the time he’s gotten it out, Megamind has hit him three times across the face with his brass-knuckle clad hand. The man stumbles and Megamind grabs his hand, twisting the man’s wrist and forcing his fingers back until he drops the thing.
Megamind catches it in his left hand—it’s a switchblade, Roxanne realizes as Megamind flicks it open.
The man tries to grab Megamind, who steps away at the last moment, slashing the blade diagonally up the man’s chest and then stabbing him in the shoulder. The man that Megamind elbowed in the throat, having recovered his breath, charges Megamind, who slides beneath the man’s arm, grabs the man, and then twists, somehow throwing the man over his hip and to the ground. Megamind follows him down, stabbing him in the side before rising and whirling around swiftly.
The last thug still standing, the one who Megamind punched in the solar plexus, goes for Megamind again, striking wildly at him; Megamind slashes the man’s face with the switchblade, from the corner of his mouth to his ear, hits him again in the stomach with the brass knuckles, and knees him in the groin.
The man falls and Megamind turns towards Roxanne and all of the members of the Doom Syndicate who are still conscious.
Roxanne’s heart is beating a rapid tattoo in her chest; Megamind is—
Roxanne has never seen Megamind move like that.
Roxanne has never seen anyone move like that.
Megamind stalks over the fallen bodies towards them, fluid and graceful and so much more dangerous than Roxanne ever expected him to be, brass knuckles on one hand, switchblade in the other.
One of the fallen henchmen makes a grab for Megamind’s ankle; Megamind stomps down hard on the man’s hand, kicks him in the head, and keeps walking, still moving with that deadly purpose.
Someone grabs Roxanne by the hair and jerks her head up, and then there’s—ohgod—the cold pressure of a gun against her temple.
“One more step; one more fucking step,” snarls Psycho Delic, “and sugar here won’t have a goddamn head.”
“Yeah, that’s what I thought,” Psycho Delic says. “Drop the weapons and put your goddamn hands up.”
Megamind lets the knife and the brass knuckles fall to the ground and raises his hands, palms out.
“Thought I fucking told you to come unarmed,” Psycho Delic says, but he sounds pleased.
“I did,” Megamind says with a sneer. “It’s hardly my fault if your hired help can’t hold onto their toys.” He looks at Roxanne, gaze focusing on her.
“Search him,” Lady Doppler says sharply as several of the fallen henchmen begin to stir and get to their feet.
The henchmen eye Megamind warily.
“Cuff him first,” Lady Doppler snaps.
The henchmen exchange a glance.
“Now!” Lady Doppler shouts.
The henchmen advance on Megamind; one of them pulls a pair of handcuffs from his pocket; another grabs Megamind’s arms, bringing his hands together so that the first man can snap the cuffs on Megamind’s wrists. Once Megamind’s hands are secure, a third henchman pats him down roughly.
Roxanne is expecting Megamind to fight, but he just stands there, eyes on her, letting them handcuff him and search him.
She’s definitely expecting him to have at least one weapon on him, but the thug searching him comes up with nothing.
“He’s clean,” the man says, and then punches Megamind hard in the stomach.
Megamind doubles up with a noise of pain, but the henchmen catch his elbows, preventing him from falling. Roxanne bites her lip to keep from crying out. The henchmen drag Megamind over to the Doom Syndicate and shove him down on his knees.
Psycho Delic steps away from Roxanne, pocketing the gun again.
“Knew you’d show,” Psycho Delic tells Megamind gloatingly.
Destruction Worker, the Cundoctor, and Judge Sludge all laugh evilly.
Behind Megamind, the rest of the fallen henchmen are starting to move.
“He stabbed me! He stabbed me! Oh, god, I’m dying!”
“Can someone please put that idiot out of my misery?” Lady Doppler asks.
“Just put some pressure on it,” Megamind says in a voice that holds more anger than pain. “Evil gods, do I have to explain everything to you people?”
“Hey!” Psycho Delic says, “Nobody fucking asked you!”
Hot Flash groans and sits up.
“Shit,” she moans, hand to her head. “What did I miss?” She looks groggily around. “Shit, what did I miss?”
“Everything,” Lady Doppler says shortly.
“Hey, baby,” Hot Flash says, eyes focusing on the youngest, most attractive thug, “help a lady up, would you?”
“Damn it, kid,” the man in the expensive suit says quietly. “I thought you were smarter than this.”
“Well, I guess we’re both feeling a little let down, here,” Megamind says, baring his teeth in something that very definitely is not a smile. “Ollo, Uncle Lou.”
“Carl; Bruce,” Megamind adds to Uncle Lou’s bodyguards, watching as they shift their weight uneasily. Good.
Uncle Lou sighs.
“Don’t take it so hard, Blue,” he says. “It’s just business, you know?”
“Are you all right?” Megamind asks Roxanne, focusing on her.
Those manacles look too tight, and he can’t tell if she’s hurt or not because of the way she’s covered in dirt, and—
“I’m—I’m fine,” Roxanne says, but she sounds confused; oh god, what sort of fucked-up smoke did Psycho Delic drug her with?
“Very, very fine,” Psycho Delic purrs. “I can see why you like her. A little mouthier than I normally go for, myself, but, hey, what are gags for, am I right?”
“Fuck you,” Megamind snarls.
“Oh, sorry, is it the other way around?” Psycho Delic asks. “Is sugar here the one who does the tying up when the cameras are off? Or maybe you’re just bitter ‘cause you ain’t got the right equipment to really get her off. I could help you with that,” he says, and Megamind can smell just the slightest hint of smoke, the pink kind, the kind that makes people—
“Or maybe I’ll just do her myself,” Psycho says, grinning. “Right now. Show you how it’s done. I bet I can make her really scream for me.”
“You’re really,” Megamind says, feeling himself go cold all over, “going to regret suggesting that.”
Psycho laughs and looks at Roxanne.
“What do you say, sugar, want to try a real villain on for size?”
“Sorry,” Roxanne says, her voice shaking. “I have standards.”
“Aw, don’t be like that,” he says, leering at her. “I got a real dick and everything.”
“Huh,” says Hot Flash, leaning with exaggerated care on the arm of the good-looking henchman. “Would you look at that.” She reaches out and flicks the collar of Megamind’s shirt. “It’s all dressed up like it thinks it’s a person.”
Roxanne makes a quiet, pained sound, but when Megamind glances over at her, no one is hurting her, no one is even touching her.
“So who’s in charge?” Megamind asks, tearing his gaze from Roxanne and sweeping it over the little crowd in front of him. He looks at Psycho Delic. “You in charge?” He looks at Lady Doppler. “You in charge?”
“Nobody’s in charge!” Destruction Worker bursts out. “We’re the Doom Syndicate!”
“An association of equals!” Judge Sludge says.
“That’s right,” says the Conductor.
Megamind throws his head back and laughs.
“You’re kidding, right?” he asks. “Hoo, boy. That’s—that’s really funny.”
“Equals! That’s what he said,” Destruction Worker says, gesturing with his jackhammer-hand towards Psycho Delic.
“Ah,” Megamind says, turning to Psycho Delic, “so you are the one who’s in charge.”
“He ain’t the one in charge!” Destruction Worker insists, voice rising. “Stop saying that!”
“Stop listening to him, you idiot,” Lady Doppler says impatiently. “He’s only trying to upset you.”
“And you,” Megamind says with a sharp smile, “must be the second-in-command.” He turns to the Destruction Worker. “I give it a month before you’re taking orders from the two of them like a henchman. And for what? For the ‘glory’ of getting to deal with Metro Man yourself?”
Hot Flash laughs.
“Oh, don’t worry about him. We know how to handle Metro Man.”
“Really?” Megamind raises his eyebrows. “Have you managed to identify his weakness?”
(He seriously doubts it; he’s been testing for years and hasn’t come up with the answer, but there’s always the element of luck to be considered. Megamind has always had shit luck.)
“In a manner of speaking,” Hot Flash says. “Like I always say; even the smart ones get dumb when they let their dick lead.”
Megamind gives her a look of distaste.
“What, you’re planning on holding Miss Ritchi hostage? Wow. How original. Wish I would have thought of that.”
Roxanne makes a choking sound, like she’s trying not to laugh. Hopefully the drugs in Psycho’s smoke haven’t made her hysterical—
“We were thinking more along the lines of blackmail,” Uncle Lou says. “Carl, show him the photos.”
Carl pulls a manilla folder from beneath his coat and flips it open, coming close enough to show the contents to Megamind.
There’s a photograph inside; glossy and luridly colored: Metro Man, dressed in civilian clothes and a superfluous pair of spectacles (what is that; some sort of laughable attempt at a disguise?) sitting in a chair and looking up at a stage where there is—
Yeah. That’s. That’s clearly a stripper. A male stripper. Really. Obviously. Male.
Carl flips the photograph over and the stripper is sitting on Metro Man’s lap now. Flip. They’re kissing. Flip. They’re in an alleyway and the stripper has his hand down Metro Man’s pants. Flip. They’re still in the alleyway and the stripper is on his knees now and—
Roxanne makes a small noise; Megamind looks up at her; she’s craning her neck to look at the photograph, too.
The photograph of her boyfriend, who is—
God, Megamind wants to cover her eyes, wants to turn her away; she doesn’t deserve this.
“See, I got to thinking,” Psycho Delic says. “After you threw that fit when your girl here got caught in my smoke—seemed a little excessive, you know? If she was just a victim.”
“And he happened to mention something to me,” Lady Doppler says with a cold smile. “And I remembered that time I walked in on Wayne Scott in the coatroom with a busboy at a party.”
“And then they came to me,” Uncle Lou says as Carl mercifully closes the folder. “And I thought about how one of the usual customers at my club looked just a little bit familiar.”
“I love a good sex scandal.” Hot Flash grins.
The Destruction Worker sniggers unpleasantly.
“I thought they were getting a little too close to a conspiracy theory, myself,” the Conductor says. “But I’m not opposed to taking a gamble now and then.”
“But those photographs were damn convincing, wouldn’t you say?” Judge Sludge hisses.
“Roses in the goddamn street though,” Psycho Delic says. “I wasn’t expecting that.” He laughs. “How the hell did you fuck that up bad enough to make her throw you out, huh?”
“Why didn’t you just bring this to me?” Megamind asks Uncle Lou, ignoring Psycho. “You could have brought this to me,” he adds, allowing a little hurt to creep into his voice.
“Aw, kid,” Uncle Lou sighs. “You always did take things too personal. I told you, this is just business.”
He waves a hand around the strip-mine; Megamind, following the gesture, looks up to see—
—stepping out of the shadows on the raised sides of the mine—
Yes, that’s Big Jack Cartwright, who runs most of the fence operations in the city, and Mrs. Palmer, who handles all the money laundering in Metrocity, and a dozen other big name criminals, all of them with their own bodyguards, and—
(fuck fuck fuck oh god this is so much worse than he thought, and Roxanne is here; he needs to make sure that—)
“I see,” Megamind says quietly.
“Just business,” Uncle Lou repeats, voice regretful.
“How, exactly?” Megamind demands, raising his voice to reach all of the watching criminal population of Metrocity.
“How is this—” he holds up his handcuffed hands, gestures around at the Doom Syndicate, at the fucking strip-mine. “—how is this good for business? I am good for business. I have spent the last nine years of my goddamn life turning this miserable little shithole of a city into the smoothest-run criminal empire since Capone, and you’re telling me that this—” he jerks his head at Psycho Delic, “—this drug-addled psychopath is the better fucking choice?”
“‘Criminal empire’,” Uncle Lou says, “That’s the problem, Blue. What you’ve turned this city into is hardly even a criminal empire at all. There’s all these goddamn rules! Rules about who you can rob; rules about who you can sell to; rules about drug purity and what you can add and what you can’t—”
“My rules are there for a reason! You know who can’t buy drugs? People who fucking died of an overdose because nobody was regulating the purity of the product! Repeat customers are live customers! Why the fuck is it so hard for everyone to grasp this simple goddamn concept? This piece of shit,” he gestures sharply at Psycho Delic, “cuts his cocaine with levamisole! You would think,” he adds, “that someone who experienced the effects of levamisole poisoning first-fucking-hand would be a little more careful with that shit!”
“Shut the fuck up,” Psycho Delic growls.
“What are you talking about?” Lady Doppler asks.
“Levamisole poisoning,” Megamind says shortly. “Turns your skin purple, makes your extremities, like your nose and your ears fall off—” He waves his hands at Psycho Delic illustratively, raises an eyebrow.
(Across from Megamind, Roxanne says, “ohh,” in that I-understand-this-now tone of hers which is so damn captivating—hopefully a sign that she’s recovering from the effects of the smoke—)
“I thought you said you looked like that because you were in an accident at a pharmaceutical factory,” Judge Sludge hisses, green slime darkening.
“You said it was a workplace accident!” Destruction Worker exclaims. “We bonded over that!”
“It was! This big-headed freak doesn’t know what he’s talking about—”
“You said that’s how you got your powers, too!” says the Destruction Worker.
“It isn’t,” Megamind says shortly. “I did a background check years ago, after the first time Psycho and I had a little clash over territory. His unique physical appearance is due to levamisole poisoning and his smoke powers are most likely genetic. Also, he’s never been employed at a pharmecutical factory.” He smiles, sharp and bright, at the stunned members of the Doom Syndicate, and the watchers from the shadows, who are shifting uneasily. “If he’s lying about that,” Megamind adds, “what else do you think he’s lying to you about?”
...to be continued
Levamisole is a livestock de-wormer. It is commonly used as an adulterant in cocaine, especially, according to my research, cocaine sold near or in Canada. And since we’ve all decided Metrocity is in Michigan…
Levamisole poisoning is BAD NEWS. It really does have the effects described in the fic.
Roxanne looks at Megamind, desperately trying to keep herself calm.
(they are surrounded, but Megamind—surely Megamind has a plan, right? Megamind always—and he—he came here—for her?—he asked if she was all right—Roxanne isn’t really certain how to take that, given the cruel joke of this morning; it doesn’t make any sense, nothing—but—)
(Megamind—he—years of deathtraps and alligators and giant lasers and Roxanne has never been anything but safe with him—)
Roxanne takes a breath and decides to trust that Megamind will get the two of them out of this.
No reason he has to do everything himself, though; Roxanne can—he’s clearly trying to get the members of the Doom Syndicate (and the people—whoever they are—watching from the sides of the mine)—he’s clearly trying to get them to turn on each other, trying to get them to lose their tempers, lose control. And Roxanne was worried, earlier, about ending up as collateral damage if that happened but Megamind is here now, so—
Roxanne forces a laugh. Everyone turns to look at her, shock in their faces.
She doesn’t look at any of them, though; she looks at Megamind, whose eyes go wide before he pulls an expression of calm interest over his face like a mask: eyebrows raised, head tilted politely.
“‘Makes your extremities fall off’?” Roxanne quotes with a smirk. “Guess it’s a good thing I didn’t get too excited about Mr. ‘I got a real dick’ here.”
There is a breathless silence, and then Psycho Delic says—
“You fucking cunt, I’m gonna—”
He raises his hand, advances on her; Roxanne flinches in spite of herself.
Megamind laughs, loud and wild and cruel, and Psycho Delic changes direction mid-turn and backhands him across the face instead of Roxanne. Megamind’s head snaps to the side, but then he turns back to Psycho Delic with a hard, sharp smile.
“Wow,” he says. “Is that all you’ve got?”
Psycho Delic punches him. Megamind rocks back and then looks up, still smirking.
“You’re going to have to hit me a lot harder than that,” Megamind says, “if you want to make me shut up.”
Psycho Delic draws his fist back again.
“This is not—” the man in the expensive suit (Megamind called him Uncle Lou, didn’t he?).
Psycho Delic ignores him, though, hits Megamind again. (Roxanne can’t stop herself from crying out.)
But Megamind just bares his teeth and laughs.
“You didn’t even break the skin,” he taunts.
“You son of a bitch—” Psycho Delic snarls, skull-like face contorted with hate, and he raises his fist once more.
“That’s enough,” Lou says, grabbing Psycho Delic’s arm.
“Fuck you!” Psycho Delic shouts, punching Lou instead.
Lou stumbles back; his bodyguards growl and reach for their weapons, and Psycho Delic hits Megamind across the face again, hard, too hard.
Megamind almost falls over, but he straightens, looking up, blood on his mouth from where his lip has split, smiling dangerously.
“Fucking finally,” he says, wiping one of his cuffed forearms over his bloody mouth, and—
A brainbot explodes somehow, from Megamind’s arm as the two bodyguards draw their guns and Hot Flash’s hands flare into flames. The Destruction Worker’s appendages whirr to life and Judge Sludge turns a lurid yellow and emits a burbling noise. Lady Doppler raises her hands, lightning crackling across the sky, and the Conductor brings his stick up, a smaller sort of electricity dancing over the length of it, and Roxanne smells the sickly sweet scent of Psycho Delic’s smoke starting and—
“Spikeless! Plan B!” Megamind shouts, rising and throwing himself at the nearest bodyguard, getting the chain of his handcuffs around the man’s neck, choking him and—
And everything happens at once.
The brainbot dives for Roxanne, landing on top of her head and shoving something onto her temples (a headband—a crown, a—what the hell—) and Roxanne doesn’t even have time to react before it grabs the chain joining her wrists and bites down, tearing the chain apart. One of the henchmen tries to grab Roxanne, but the brainbot snaps its jaws down on the man’s wrist. The thug screams, and when the brainbot releases him, runs.
All of the henchmen are running now, and the brainbot turns back to Roxanne and—
—drops Megamind’s gun into her lap.
Roxanne raises the gun, pushing herself to her feet, and finds herself facing Lady Doppler.
“That pretty little dehydration toy isn’t going to do you any good,” Lady Doppler says, “in the rain.”
The heavens open up, water falling sudden and hard, and the Conductor shrieks and collapses, convulsing, as the electricity on his own stick zaps him. Lady Doppler turns at the sound; over her shoulder, Roxanne sees Megamind standing over the body of the first bodyguard, sees him laugh, his eyes meeting hers.
“Conductor,” he says. “Pun.”
Roxanne laughs, shocked and sudden. Fucking Megamind, just—
Hot Flash screams in frustration as the fire on her hands splutters out in the deluge, and Judge Sludge shrieks as his slimy body pops and hisses in the dounpour; one of the henchmen slips in the mud, scrambles to his feet, keeps running.
“Spikeless!” Megamind calls, holding up his handcuffed wrists, and the brainbot flies in, jaws clamping down on the chain before tearing it apart.
Lady Doppler waves her hands and the rain stops as abruptly as it began. The water has nowhere to go, trapped by the hard layer of bedrock beneath the dust of the strip-mine. Lady
Doppler gestures again and Roxanne feels the water puddled around the ankles of her bare feet begin to freeze.
Roxanne yanks her feet up before she can freeze in place, stumbling back as the Destruction Worker runs for her, chainsaw and jackhammer at the ready.
She jerks the gun up without thinking and pulls the trigger, bright beam of blue light hitting the Destruction Worker’s chainsaw, which bursts into sharp, blue-edged pieces.
The Destruction Worker screams and continues running for her, so close now that Roxanne pulls the trigger again, she can’t help but hit him in the jackhammer, which bursts apart, too.
The Destruction Worker falls to the ground, shrieking in pain.
Lady Doppler turns to Roxanne again, fury in her face.
“You really thought it just dehydrated things?” Roxanne asks, summoning the most wicked, Megamind-like smirk she can manage and spinning the setting of the gun to debilitate.
(Megamind showed her this, once, when Wayne was late to a kidnapping; he pulled his chair close to hers and showed her every one of the settings on the gun, hitting an empty coffee tin with everything from decoupage to death ray, skipping debilitate and demoralize because, he said, they were only for use on living organisms. It had been—only slightly like an evil monologue, way more like a very clever, very bored, very lonely person desperately seeking some sort of validation.)
(It had also been, in retrospect, really incredibly hot.)
Roxanne takes aim as the brainbot swoops in, diving at Lady Doppler, forcing her to her knees. She pulls the trigger and the beam of light hits Lady Doppler, who jerks once in a convulsive sort of way, and then collapses into the icy mud like a puppet whose strings have just been cut.
Roxanne hits the Destruction Worker with a debilitation beam, too, just to be safe, and then turns back to Megamind.
He’s facing Psycho Delic. Hot Flash is down again, the Conductor still isn’t moving, and Judge Sludge is still looking small and melted.
Roxanne shoots Judge Sludge with the debilitation beam; he shakes like a jelly but tries to move toward her, so she hits him again, and he sort of goes limp. Roxanne hits Hot Flash and the Conductor with a debilitation beam each; she doesn’t think they’re conscious, but better to be safe than sorry and—
Smoke curls off of Psycho Delic and Roxanne feels herself getting dizzy at the smell of it, an unreasoning terror touching her heart—
The remaining bodyguard screams and shoots at Psycho Delic, hitting him in the shoulder. Psycho Delic falls to the ground with a shout of pain. He tries to rise; Roxanne shoots him with the debilitation beam.
Megamind jumps for the bodyguard, but the man has evidently gotten a much stronger dose of the smoke than Roxanne: he’s still screaming and waving the gun wildly. Megamind grabs for the gun and Roxanne can’t stop herself from crying out, starting forward towards him—
—and the man shrieks, turning towards her, eyes fixed blindly on her, muzzle of the gun swinging around to point at her and—
—a shot rings out.
Megamind feels the gun go off, his hands atop of Carl’s on the gun, trying—
He hears Roxanne cry out, feels a split-second pulse of
oh god no please no
and then Carl jerks, red blooming high up on the right side of his chest, blood seeping out from the bullet hole that—oh, thank everything; the bullet-reflecting headband Megamind cannibalized the spikes and the power source of the stasis chamber to make for Roxanne works; Megamind takes back every bad thing he’s ever said about the universe, ever.
He yanks the gun from Carl’s hands, kicks the back of the man’s knee to make him fall and—
Another bullet goes past his head, he feels it buzz by his ear. Megamind turns to Uncle Lou with a wordless snarl, bringing up the gun he took from Carl.
Megamind sees Uncle Lou’s eyes go wide, sees him look over Megamind’s right shoulder, sees him change the angle of his gun so that it’s pointed, not at Megamind any longer, but at Roxanne and—
Megamind shoots him three times in quick succession: once in the chest to stop him, once in the hand to make him drop his gun, and once in the knee to make him fall.
And he does fall, down into the icy mud with an agonized cry.
Megamind feels cold, so very cold, and so very fucking angry, so angry it feels like a physical force, like something that threatens to pull him apart at the seams, threatens to make him fly into a million pieces like an atom spun through a collider until it smashes.
how dare he—how dare they all try to touch Roxanne—
Megamind stalks over to Uncle Lou, who is reaching weakly for the gun with his left hand. He kicks the gun out of his reach, grabs Uncle Lou by the collar, pulls him up to his knees, and presses the gun to his temple.
“What a comfort it must be,” Megamind snarls, “to know that this is all just business.”
“Blue—” Uncle Lou chokes out.
(the anger rising and rising, horrible and black and bottomless, a howling wave of rage too far to save yourself, too far to stop yourself—)
—Megamind stops himself.
(Megamind always stops himself.)
He shoves Uncle Lou to the ground.
“Spikeless,” Megamind says coldly, “get the photographs.”
Megamind hears the sound of the de-gun being fired, sees Carl twitch out of the corner of his eye; good, Roxanne has hit him with the debilitate setting, god; she’s fucking brilliant; he fucking loves her.
“What are you doing?” Uncle Lou asks.
“I want you out of Metrocity tonight,” Megamind tells him, in a voice like ice, like ice over the black pool of rage in his heart. “I don’t ever want to see you here again. And if any copies of those photographs should happen to find their way into the hands of—anyone, really, I will make you very sorry you ever taught me to hold a weapon, do you fucking understand?”
“Kid,” Uncle Lou says in a whisper, “Blue—you let me go like this and they’re gonna eat you alive.”
Megamind laughs, because it’s laugh or scream at this point, and now is not the time for screaming.
“Will they?” he asks. “Will they, really?”
He turns to the people watching from the shadows on the raised edges of the mine, to the ones who haven’t fled in terror, like rats deserting the sinking ship of the Doom Syndicate. Most of them have their guns out; all of them look nervous and uncertain.
Megamind raises his chin and spreads his arms wide, and this is every kind of stupid, but he is so very past giving a fuck.
“Anybody else?” he screams, because maybe this is the time for screaming, after all. “Anybody else think they’re hard enough to take down Megamind, the Master of All Motherfucking Villainy? Anybody? Go on. Try it. I fucking dare you.”
“No?” Megamind narrows his eyes. “Then drop your fucking weapons.”
Still, nobody moves.
“I said,” Megamind says, his voice falling to a growl, “Drop. Them.”
The weapons fall down to the bottom of the mine, a veritable rain of potential deadly force.
“Very good, children,” Megamind says with a sneer. “Now, watch closely. We’re all about to learn a valuable lesson.”
He turns his back pointedly on Uncle Lou, still crouched in the mud, cradling his ruined hand, and strides over to Psycho Delic, who is twitching on the ground, clearly trying to fight the effects of the debilitation ray.
Megamind grips the bastard’s collar and pulls him up. Psycho Delic’s mouth works; he’s trying to speak. Smoke curls weakly from his skin and then dissipates into nothing. Yes, the debilitate setting is a bitch.
There’s another setting that’s worse, though.
“Miss Ritchi,” Megamind says, “please set the gun in your hands to ‘demoralize’.”
He glances over at her, sees her twist the setting.
“And bring it here, if you would,” Megamind continues.
Incredibly, she does, walking towards him without hesitation.
He holds the gun in his hand out to her, offering it. He feels her take it from his hands, feels the familiar shape of his own gun being pressed into his palm.
Megamind looks over at her, standing beside him, dressed in her pajamas and a hastily constructed crown of spikes, holding a handgun, her eyes wide and her mouth set in a determined expression.
He forces himself to look away from her, to look at Psycho Delic, to look at the utter waste of carbon that thought he could threaten her and get away with it.
Megamind shoots him with the demoralize beam.
Psycho Delic’s mouth falls open; he goes completely limp in Megamind’s grip, not even fighting at all anymore. He groans low in his chest, the sound like a wounded animal.
“I told you,” Megamind says, voice hard, “that you would regret threatening Miss Ritchi. Tell me—” Megamind presses the gun to Psycho Delic’s head, “—are you regretting it yet?”
Megamind hears Roxanne take a sharp breath.
Psycho Delic whimpers.
Megamind shoots him again, at point-blank range, holding the trigger down so that the demoralize beam hits Psycho Delic in a steady stream, keeps it on for a good fifteen seconds while Psycho Delic jerks and twitches. When he finally releases the trigger, Psycho Delic’s eyes have gone blank and he’s emitting a low keening noise, tears and snot and drool dripping from his eyes, from the ruin of his nose, from his slack mouth.
And Megamind feels a sick twist of disgust: at Psycho Delic, at this goddamn city, and most of all at himself.
(He hates this he hates it he hates it so much)
He drops Psycho Delic in the mud.
“I trust the moral is sufficiently pointed,” Megamind says.
He looks around at the rest of the Doom Syndicate, some of them conscious, some of them not.
“This?” he says. “This was really the best you could do? All of you together, and this was the best you could do? You couldn’t even manage to kill me. I am so very, very disappointed.”
He glances at Roxanne, at her wide eyes, at the way she’s looking at him and—
Megamind laughs, sudden wild impulse taking hold: an idea, the breathtaking simplicity of it—
“And you know what else I am?” he asks the assembled criminal population of Metrocity. “Done. I am so incredibly done with all of this! Fuck it! You can all go back to cutting your cocaine with whatever you like and living in fear of the police and running scared from Metro Man! I am done babysitting you! Nine years of misery and this is the thanks I get? No. No more. I quit.”
A shocked murmur ripples through the watchers. They begin to shift uncertainly.
God, Megamind feels—lighter than he has in years, like dancing, like laughing, like—
“Now we,” Megamind says, gesturing (with the de-gun, not-at-all-incidentally) at himself, Roxanne, and Spikeless, “will be going! If you value your continued existence as living, breathing, thinking—” he waves a hand at the ruin of Psycho Delic, “—people, then I very strongly suggest that none of you try to stop us.”
There is a moment of breathless silence, and then all of the watching criminals start for the nearest exits at once. Of course, this leads to difficulties, with all of them trying to be first, posturing and threatening and—
—yep, there goes the first punch, god, what a bunch of fuckwits; Megamind is well rid of this pack of idiotic, short-sighted, squabbling morons. At least with all of them this distracted, he shouldn’t have any trouble getting Roxanne out of here.
“This way,” he says, tilting his head at her (what he really wants to do is take her hand—but there’s no way she’s going to want him to—)
She grabs his hand.
“—your feet,” Megamind says, horrified, noticing for the first time that she is barefoot, walking through an ankle-deep layer of dirty ice.
(Spikeless doesn’t have the capacity to carry her, not alone, Megamind would need several brainbots to—)
Fuck it. Fuck him. Fuck everything.
Megamind picks her up in his arms.
Roxanne makes a shocked noise, but she lets him do it, the element of surprise working in his favor. He starts walking, figuring she’ll be less likely to try and fight him if they’re actually moving, and, sure enough, after a couple of steps, she hesitantly puts her arms around his shoulders, tightens them around him.
No doubt she’s worried he’s going to drop her.
She still doesn’t protest, though, doesn’t say anything at all, just lets Megamind carry her out of the strip-mine in silence.
Megamind picks her up and Roxanne’s thoughts burst apart and scatter. He’s—this is—
She thought she was going to die; she thought she was going to die but Megamind saved her and now he’s—he’s—
—carrying her, holding her in his arms like—
She wraps her arms around his shoulders, her heart—flipping in her chest: fear, joy, panic, love, like the picture on a badly tuned television set, unable to settle on a single emotion.
Roxanne tightens her arms around Megamind’s shoulders and lets her mind go silent in a staticky roar.
He carries her out of the strip mine.
“Hover bike,” Megamind says, and he loosens his grip on her.
Roxanne’s first instinct is to clutch him tighter, but she makes herself let go of him, forces herself to allow him to lower her to the ground.
She’s shaking all over; her knees want to buckle but she will not permit this; she will not; Roxanne, get a hold of yourself—
—oh god; she’s still holding the fucking handgun—
She makes a horrified noise, holds it out at arms length, and Megamind swiftly plucks it from her fingers, and there is probably something wrong that Roxanne feels so very relieved that Megamind is the one with the gun now.
“Spikeless,” Megamind says, and the brainbot makes an inquiring noise. “Get rid of this.”
The brainbot flies in and snaps the handgun up in its metal teeth, jaws tightening until the pistol cracks in half, and then the brainbot drops the now useless gun it on the ground.
“Miss Ritchi,” Megamind says, and Roxanne turns her gaze from the brainbot to him again.
He’s on the hover bike now, de-gun stuck in his waistband—right, he isn’t wearing his holster—and he’s looking at her as if he’s waiting for—oh, Roxanne realizes, thoughts coming together only with an effort; he wants her to get on the bike, so that they can get out of here.
(Please god, yes, she wants to get out of here.)
She climbs on the back of the bike and wraps her arms around his waist.
“You’re going to have to hold on tightly,” Megamind tells her, and Roxanne has absolutely no problem with that.
It’s—it’s a shame really; Roxanne has always wanted to ride on the hover bike. And now she finally gets too, and she’s too—she can’t even—she can’t even enjoy it; she’s too busy clinging to Megamind (he said she could; he told her to) and hiding her face against his shoulder, trying to force herself not to fall apart.
—breathe, Roxanne, breathe—
Megamind lands the bike, cuts the engines, swings himself off the seat, so quickly that Roxanne almost doesn’t have time to make herself loosen her viselike grip on him.
They’re on her balcony, Roxanne sees, and she slides off the bike, movements slow and deliberate, the only way she can keep herself from falling. The brainbot, which must have followed them to her apartment, hovers near her shoulder.
Megamind turns to her, movement too abrupt, and smiles, hard and angry and just a little bit crazed.
“Do you want to scream?” he asks her. “Or should I?”
Roxanne blinks at him; what is he—
“You know what,” he says. “I’ll do it myself. I feel like screaming, anyway.”
And Roxanne still—
Megamind puts both hands on the railing, leans over it, head tipped back, face to the sky.
“Help!” he screams, so loud and sudden that Roxanne jumps. (The brainbot makes an alarmed sort of noise and nudges her shoulder, as if it’s worried she’s going to fall over.)
“Help! God! If I could please, please get some fucking help for once in my goddamn life!”
A noise behind Roxanne makes her turn.
Wayne is there, in full costume, not three feet away.
Roxanne shrieks and jumps again (the brainbot pushes against her arm).
God fucking damn that freaky fucking super-speed thing—
“Help!” Megamind screams one last time.
“Uh,” says Wayne, eyes darting between Megamind and Roxanne, clearly deeply confused, his manner switching between his Metro Man, Defender of Metro City pose and his normal posture.
Megamind whirls around, an expression of rage on his face.
“Oh, good,” he spits out. “You’re here.”
Wayne looks at Roxanne like he’s waiting for a cue, but Roxanne is holding herself together by sheer will and she does not know what to say to him anyway and—
“We have some things to discuss,” Megamind tells Wayne. “Spikeless, the photographs.”
The brainbot flies over to Wayne, hesitating a few feet away from him as if frightened to get closer, and then drops the photographs. Wayne darts forward to catch them.
The brainbot darts back towards Roxanne, electricity crackling rapidly in its dome, eyestalk fixed on Wayne, who is looking at the photographs, an expression of dismay dawning on his face.
“First off,” Megamind says, low and furious, “what the actual fuck is wrong with you? You have a girlfriend; she deserves better than—than fucking this!” He waves his hand at the photographs, voice rising. “And secondly! If! If you—as a public figure—are going to cheat on your girlfriend—you piece of shit—do not! Do it at a strip club! Owned by a goddamn gangster! Basic! Common! Sense!”
Megamind presses his lips together in a thin line, breaths sharply through his nose.
“There are doubtless copies of those photographs somewhere in the city,” he says. “I would strongly advise you to deal with this before they inevitably leak.”
“What.” Wayne says weakly. “Is this. Is this you blackmailing me?”
Megamind gives a wordless snarl.
“God,” he says, “This! This is why I fucking hate you—one of the many reasons—every time I try to do the right thing, you act like—no! No, goddamn it, this is not be fucking blackmailing you. This is me warning you that someone—not me!—most likely has photographs of you cheating on your girlfriend with a male stripper in an alleyway, and that you should probably—you asshole—make some sort of pre-emptive media announcement about this!”
“Well, I was in the middle,” Wayne says, looking flushed and nettled, “of trying to tell my mother that I’m gay when you interrupted my with all of the screaming!”
Megamind goes still.
“Gay!” Wayne shouts. “Is a thing that I am! I’m gay! Roxy isn’t my girlfriend because I am gay, all right?” He stops, and a shocked smile comes over his face. “Hey. You guys are the first people I told that to. That felt pretty great.”
Roxanne smiles weakly at him.
“Congratulations,” she says. “Glad you finally realized.”
“Wait, you knew?” Wayne says, at the same time Megamind says—
“You knew about this?” HIs eyes narrow. “And you decided the let me think—what, just to fuck with me? As some sort of sick joke—”
“Oh, do not even,” Roxanne hisses, glaring at him. “Do not even talk about sick fucking jokes, Megamind!”
She’s expecting him to snap back at her, but he—flinches, instead, shoulders hunching, arms wrapping around himself as if in reaction to a physical blow.
“Of course,” he says, eyes dropping, backing away from her. “Of course, I—never mind—”
“Er,” Wayne says, glancing between Roxanne and Megamind. “What are you guys—what happened to you guys? You’re all wet; was it raining?”
“I got kidnapped,” Roxanne says shortly, not really wanting to explain.
“I decided to quit supervillainy,” Megamind says at the same time.
Wayne stares at him.
“Uh, is that—” he asks finally. “Is—that the joke?”
Megamind laughs, a startled, harsh sound.
“I’m—pretty sure—my entire fucking life is the joke, actually,” he says,and then grins that feral, too-wide smile. “But I am very, very serious about quitting. No more. I am done. I quit.”
“You—you just quit?” Wayne asks, wide eyed and shocked. “You can—we can—I—is that allowed?”
Megamind makes a scornful, dismissive sound.
“Do I look like I give a shit about allowed? I’m sure I can manage to strike some sort of plea bargain deal with the—extremely corrupt, did you know?—law enforcement and ‘justice’ system of Metrocity in exchange for my information about the city’s criminal underworld.” He smirks at Wayne. “Have fun dealing with that, by the way.”
Wayne gapes at him.
Huh, Roxanne sort of feels like she’s floating; that’s weird. Probably not good.
“Right,” Wayne says uncertainly, “uh. But—would you—” he hesitates, and then goes on, “would you—ever—I don’t know—would you want to help with that? I mean,” he continues, sounding more confident, “like I told Roxy, it was pretty cool working with you during Psycho Delic’s gas attack last Halloween! We could—”
“Did you seriously,” Megamind says, voice dangerous, “just offer me a position as your fucking sidekick?”
“I—” Wayne says, scratching the back of his neck, “I was thinking—replacement? Eventually? If you wanted?”
Megamind stares at him blankly.
Oh, Roxanne is dizzy. That is. She needs to get inside.
“Replacement,” Megamind says slowly.
“You said,” Wayne gestures, still holding the photographs in one hand. “You said we could quit! If we wanted! Man, do I ever want to! I just—people are so annoying, you know? It’s all ‘save me! save me!’ I’m tired of saving them! I just want to live my life. So I just thought, ‘hey, maybe he’d like to take over, play the game from the other side’, you know?”
“Ah?” Megamind says, looking almost as dazed as Roxanne feels.
She starts edging for the door that leads from the balcony to the living room.
“And we could maybe ease into it, you know?” she hears Wayne ask behind her. “Don’t you—do you think?”
“We would—work together?” Megamind asks. “And then—I would—take over? This is a thing—that you want me to do?”
Megamind makes a shocked noise.
“So—so you’ll do it?”
“I—yes?” Megamind says.
“Yes! All right! All right, I gotta go; I gotta talk to my mom and then I think I’m gonna ask out the manicurist guy at this spa place! You guys are good, right? Talk to you later?”
Roxanne, in the middle of stepping inside, makes a vague noise of assent and lifts her hand in a half-assed sort of wave.
God, the inside of her apartment is still hung with all of Megamind’s—with all of the props from his joke this morning; she’s going to have to get rid of all that and—
Roxanne hears Megamind make a noise, close behind her; she turns and he’s—oh, wow, much closer than she was expecting, his face creased in a scowl.
“You are barefoot,” he says. “There’s broken glass; you need to—”
Roxanne’s knees buckle and he catches her, picking her up in his arms again, just like earlier in the mine, earlier when they both almost died, when she—oh god—Roxanne is shaking suddenly, clinging weakly to Megamind—she feels cold, cold all over, and she can’t seem to catch her breath, and her heart is racing—
“—I think I’m dying,” she blurts.
“It’s—I think you’re having a panic attack,” Megamind tells Roxanne. “Actually. Which is. Not surprising; what do you—ah—what do you usually do, Roxanne?”
“Usually?” Roxanne asks, voice rising.
“After a kidnapping,” Megamind says, “what do you usually do when this happens?”
“I don’t usually—this has never—”
(shit shit shit; what should he do? If it was him, he would—)
Megamind carries her to the bathroom and puts her down in the bathtub, then shuts the drain and turns on the taps. Warm, but not too hot, yes that’s—
Roxanne is staring at him, eyes wide; he’s not sure if she’s really seeing him.
(fuck. shit. he’s so goddamn out of his depth here. is it going to freak her out more if he touches her?)
He sits on the edge of the bathtub and takes the bullet-deflecting headband from her head, sets it aside, and slides his fingers into her hair.
(humans like this, right? it’s not as—intimate as it would be, if she was running her hands over his head; it’s a grooming thing with them, some sort of social bond—)
“Everything is absolutely fine now,” he says, voice gentle and soothing, as if she’s a wounded brainbot that he’s getting ready to perform maintenance on. “Perfectly fine and safe now, you’re safe and you don’t need to worry. Everything is fine. You’re safe, Roxanne, you’re safe, I promise—”
Roxanne shudders, gasping for breath. God, is he doing this all wrong? How is he supposed to convince her that—
He pulls his gun out of the waistband of his trousers, twists the setting to dehydrate, and presses it into her hands. He’d prefer that she shoot him with the dehydrate setting, if she ends up shooting him. Which she might; he wouldn’t blame her.
Roxanne looks down at the gun in her hands, eyes focusing at last.
“See?” he says, running his fingers through her hair again. “Absolutely safe. Do you want to shoot something?”
“What—” Roxanne asks, voice rusty. “Why would I want to shoot something, Megamind?”
Fuck him, he is doing this wrong; he just—he doesn’t know how else to do this—god, he should have made Metro Man stay with her; at least she wouldn’t be stuck alone with a fuck-up whose idea of comfort is handing her a gun.
“I—I mean,” he says, “it. Sometimes makes me feel better?”
The bath is full now; he reaches over and turns off the taps. When he looks back at Roxanne, she’s chewing on her lip, regarding a bottle of some kind that’s resting on the edge of the bath near the faucet. She levels the gun at it and pulls the trigger, dehydrating the bottle.
She makes a small noise.
“Is it helping?” Megamind asks worriedly, uncertain what that noise indicates.
“I liked it better when you had your hands in my hair,” Roxanne says, and Megamind’s stupid, desperate heart flips over.
(Stop. It doesn’t mean the same thing to humans, her asking you for that.)
Megamind cards his fingers through her hair again.
“Where’s the cube?” she asks. “Usually there’s a cube.”
“It’s still there,” Megamind says. “It’s just smaller. I adjusted the settings on the gun. See?”
He takes one hand from her head to flick water over the ledge, rehydrating the bottle.
“Is that what this weird piece is?” Roxanne asks, looking down at the gun in her hands.
“No, that’s the—that’s the paradox ring. From the inside of the stasis chamber. Twist it,” Megamind tells her, stroking her hair, thankful of the way it hides the way his hands are shaking.
Roxanne twists the ring.
He sweeps her hair behind one ear; she lets him do it—god—
(get a grip, Megamind, this doesn’t mean a goddamn thing)
“Now pull the trigger.”
Roxanne does, making a small, surprised noise as the gun dehydrates itself in her hands.
“That’s what that’s for,” he says, as Roxanne lowers her hands into the water, rehydrating the gun.
“Decoupage setting to attach it to your hand?”
“Mm-hmm,” Megamind says.
Fuck, she’s so—she has her head bent forward; the curve of her neck is so beautiful it hurts to look at; he wants to run his palm down it so badly, but that would be inappropriate, Megamind, incredibly inappropriate; it doesn’t matter if she wouldn’t know how inappropriate it would be, it would still be—she isn’t holding her neck like that to get your attention; she has no idea what she’s doing to you—
Keep your hands in her hair and be grateful; this is so much more than you deserve.
He clears his throat.
“Decoupage dries quickly,” Megamind says, scarcely aware of what he’s— “So I had to time it—give it a try.”
Roxanne reaches for the bottle and unscrews the cap, sets it on the side of the bathtub. She twists the setting of the de-gun to decoupage, aims the gun at the top of the bottle, and pulls the trigger.
Blue light flashes, covering the bottle top in a thin, transparent layer of adhesive.
“Cap it,” Megamind says, and Roxanne puts the cap on the bottle.
“One—two—three,” he whispers. He reaches over and picks up the bottle, twists the cap, demonstrating the way it’s stuck now.
Roxanne makes an interested noise and absently drags the fingertips of one hand through her hair and then down the side of her neck, droplets of water sliding across her skin.
(oh fuck—oh god—)
Megamind swallows hard.
“The decoupage setting is incredibly strong,” he babbles. “That’s—that’s why I—needed to attach Spikeless to my arm as well, so they could exert enough force to tear the gun away from the material of the glove—”
Spikeless, hearing their name, pokes their eyestalk into the bathroom.
Megamind takes a shaky breath and glances at Roxanne out of the corner of his eyes; she’s smiling a tremulous sort of smile in Spikeless’s direction, so he says—
“Yes, Spikeless, come in and see daddy.”
Spikeless makes an excited noise and flies into the bathroom, nudging up underneath one of Megamind’s hands.
“Who’s a good bot?” Megamind asks, running his hand over Spikeless’s glass casing. “You are; yes, you are. You were very brave for daddy today, weren’t you? You did such a good job; there’s my murderous little cyborg, yes!”
Roxanne laughs quietly and reaches out a hesitant hand.
“Can I—? Is he going to shock me if I pet him?”
“No, the braincase is water-safe,” Megamind says. “Here.”
He gently takes her wrist and guides her hand so that it’s resting on top of Spikeless, who nuzzles into her palm happily.
“He’s a very good robot,” Roxanne tells Megamind, voice shaking only slightly.
“Thank you,” Megamind says, and then blurts, “but it’s—they, actually,”
Roxanne looks at him inquiringly.
“Spikeless is a they,” Megamind tells her. “Not a he.”
She tips her head.
“Multiple A.I.s?” she asks.
“No, ah—just one A.I. Non binary gender.”
“Oh,” Roxanne blinks. “That makes—are all of the brainbots non-binary?”
“No—they all have their own—some of them are male and—some of them are female and—some of them are agender—”
“Do you program them like that?” Roxanne asks, petting Spikeless, whose electricity crackles in a way that indicates happiness.
“The brainbot A.I. program is—it’s—they all start at the same base state, but their personalities and—gender, temperament, personal likes and dislikes, that’s designed to develop—not randomly, but—naturally? I—that’s probably a—I mean, they are cyborgs, though; I start with canine genetic material that I alter to—are you actually interested in this?”
“Yes,” Roxanne says, leaning her head against his knee, wrapping her arms around Spikeless’s metal body, holding them close. “Keep talking.”
Megamind—freezes for a moment—her head is right there—she’s—
“—oh—oh-kay—uh—I—start with canine genetic material that I alter to increase intelligence, and then—I implant it in the robot carapace and download the A.I. program that allows it to control the limbs and the eyepiece and the flight. But they’re—clumsy at first, and—until they start to learn and adapt and develop. The genetic material is the same for all of the bots, it’s all the same—but they all develop in unique ways. I name them, but I don’t—if they end up hating their names, I change it and—I don’t force them to—”
Roxanne tips her head to one side; the tendons in her neck stand out. Megamind shudders and closes his eyes briefly.
“What was Plan A?” Roxanne asks.
“When Spikeless burst out—in the—in the mine,” Roxanne says, voice tight. “You said ‘Plan B’ to—them. What was Plan A?”
“Plan A was—for if you were unconscious or—secured in a way that Spikeless would be unable to free—I didn’t think they would really underestimate you badly enough to chain you up with that much freedom of movement. Plan A was I got the de-gun, you got the bullet-deflecting headband, Spikeless stood guard over you.”
“The headband deflects bullets?”
“Yes, the electric force is—it’s the same concept as the spikes on my cape, and on the car. That’s what the spikes are always for, generally; I don’t use them just because they look cool. I mean, they do look cool, but—”
“But,” Roxanne says, and then falls silent
She tilts her face up, looking at him, frowning.
“—what?” Megamind asks, feeling terribly exposed, somehow, by the weight of her gaze.
“You only made one,” she says.
“There were only enough spikes and power for one,” he says.
“You aren’t wearing your cape,” Roxanne says.
“Er. No?” Megamind says, not really sure what she’s driving at.
“Plan A was I got the spike crown,” Roxanne says slowly. “And Plan B was—I got the spike crown?”
“Yes?” Megamind’s hands twitch in her hair. Why is she staring at him like that? “Of course?” How is that even a question?
Roxanne’s eyes fill suddenly with tears.
Oh, god; what has he said, now?
How is he supposed to make her feel better? What should he—
“Spikeless,” Megamind says, “Protocol 32.”
Spikeless wriggles out of Roxanne’s arms and flies out of the room, intent on their mission.
“Protocol 32?” Roxanne asks, sniffing and wiping her face.
“Comfy pajamas,” Megamind tells her, stroking her hair again.
(that worked last time; it should work this time)
Roxanne laughs tearfully.
“You have a protocol for pajamas?”
“Comfy pajamas,” Megamind tells her loftily. (she snickers—points for him). “The comfiness level is essential.”
“And scientifically determined?” Roxanne asks.
“Of course! Parameters include texture, warmth, cheerfulness of color and/or pattern—you think I’m joking?”
Roxanne laughs, then presses her lips together.
Spikeless flies into the room, a pair of exceptionally cosy-looking purple pajamas in one of its metal hands.
“—really not joking,” Megamind says, smiling down at her. “So. I’ll—I’ll leave and you can—”
“—uh,” Megamind says. “No?”
Roxanne pushes away from him and turns, standing abruptly, rising out of the water like—
“No, Megamind,” she says, mouth set and eyes narrowed, looking down at Megamind, who is still sitting on the edge of the bathtub. “You are not going to leave just yet. You are going to wash off and then you are going to borrow a clean pair of clothes, and then you are going to talk. to. me.”
“—I’ve been talking to you,” Megamind says weakly.
“You have been distracting me,” Roxanne says, voice hard. “And I appreciate it, but I am feeling better now and I am going to need some real answers.”
“I almost died today,” Roxanne says. “And—you—you owe me that much, Megamind.”
Megamind’s heart constricts painfully.
Answers. She wants—oh god.
“Of course,” he whispers.
“Good,” Roxanne says. She steps out of the bath, hand on his shoulder to steady herself.
(Megamind makes a small noise)
She wrings out the hem of her t-shirt and then pulls a towel from the towel rack and wraps it around herself.
“Spare towels are under the cabinet,” she says, fishing the de-gun out of the bathwater and setting it on the edge of the sink. “The hot water is probably all gone; you can just use mine if it’s not too dirty—”
Holy shit—that’s—okay—that doesn’t mean the same thing to humans—
“Okay?” she says.
“Ah—um—yes. That’s—I will. Do that.”
“Good,” Roxanne says. “Spikeless, come.”
She leaves the room; Spikeless flies out after her. After a moment, the door closes with a click; Megamind lets himself slide down the side of the bathtub to the tile floor, pulls his knees into his chest, and tries to calm his breathing.
Venus Anadyomene is the name for the iconic image of Aphrodite rising out of the sea, depicted by many different artists.
Elotaria, I hope you enjoy Roxanne using the decoupage setting on the de-gun!
Roxanne leans against the outside of the bathroom door and breathes out shakily.
Right. That’s. The upcoming conversation with Megamind is not one she really wants to be having in front of someone, even if that someone is a brainbot.
“Spikeless,” Roxanne says, using a firm voice and making eye contact with their viewing stalk. “I need to talk to—Daddy and I need to talk privately. So I need you to be a good cyborg and go home now, all right?”
The brainbot’s jaws work; their eyestalk darts from side to side.
“Please,” Roxanne says.
“Bowg,” Spikeless says, and knocks their glass case into her shoulder. They fly off down the hallway; Roxanne, following them, sees them disappear out the balcony door.
Fuck; there’s still glass all over the living room floor from when she threw her coffee mug at the wall; she’s going to have to clean that up. Not now, though. Right now she is going to find Megamind a pair of clothes to borrow, and then they are going to have this terrible, terrible conversation.
(Daddy and I need to talk privately; god, she sounds like she’s playing house. Okay, don’t think about that, Roxanne. Don’t think about it.)
(Don’t think about Megamind, down the hall, separated from you only by a door, stripping off his clothes and sliding into your bathwater—)
(Maybe just. Don’t think.)
Roxanne goes to her bedroom to find a spare pair of clothes.
She gets dressed first, taking off her wet clothes and putting on the purple pajamas that are apparently, scientifically, the comfiest pajamas she owns.
(the ring is still in the pocket of her shorts. Roxanne takes it out and stares at it blankly for several long moments, and then shoves it into the pockets of her purple pants, wanting it out of sight but not wanting to let it out of her possession because she is ridiculous and pathetic)
Megamind is not a large person; he’ll certainly be able to fit into her clothes. In fact, the problem with her pants, at least, will be the possibility of them slipping off his narrow hips—
(don’t. don’t think about that.)
—so! Something with a drawstring, then! And—well, he won’t be able to fit a t-shirt over his head—ah, but—
Roxanne pulls out a shirt that she bought during a brief, ill-advised flirtation with 80’s-retro fashion: soft and loose and with a wide, off-the-shoulder neckline.
Okay. Okay, good. Now she just has to—bring these to Megamind.
(who is currently in the bath. fuck. she didn’t think this through.)
Right. She can do this.
Megamind breathes, forehead on his knees.
Too much. Too much has happened; he can’t process—he feels—
He feels—too much.
Megamind breathes and attempts to regain control. Forget the fight with the ‘Doom Syndicate’, forget about Uncle Lou, forget about renouncing his career as a supervillain, (what he did to Psycho Delic, the way the demoralize setting had—)
Forget the incredibly bewildering conversation with Metro Man on the balcony and the fact that Roxanne is single (that’s not relevant, Megamind, you fucking idiot), forget that he’s agreed to not only turn his back on evil, but to become a, a, a goddamn super hero; god, Megamind isn’t prepared for this—
All of that can be dealt with later.
Focus on the immediate problem.
The immediate problem here—the immediate problem here—is the inadvertent mixed messages.
They are inadvertent. Roxanne doesn’t realize that asking him to touch her head and bending her neck in front of him like she was doing earlier screams ‘I am romantically and sexually interested in you’ to his stupid fucking alien instincts, doesn’t realize that telling him ‘you can share my bathing water’ would have been tantamount to a goddamn marriage proposal on the planet he’s from.
Megamind laughs, silently and hysterically, and presses his thumb to the ring he’s wearing underneath his left glove.
Well. It’s not as if his answer would ever be ‘no’.
A knock on the door makes him jump.
“Megamind,” Roxanne’s voice says. “I have your clothes.”
“Right!” Megamind says, jumping up and flinging the door open.
Roxanne looks startled, he notes, in the three-seconds it takes him to snatch the clothes from her arms and gasp out—
And shut the door again.
He dumps the clothes on the counter of the sink, beside his gun, and then turns to the bath.
Oh god. Okay. Should he—should he take off his clothes? Roxanne was wearing her clothes when she was in the bath, but that was because he was in the room. Would—would taking off his clothes to wash be an unforgivably awful thing to do?
Fuckfuckfuck fuck. He should probably keep his clothes on.
He should—but—he wants—
Oh, fuck it.
He unbuttons his shirt, pulls it off, and looks around the bathroom. What is he supposed to do with it? He doesn’t want to just leave it on the floor; should he throw it away? Surely he’s not meant to throw it away.
He hangs it on the empty towel rack, turns back to the bath.
He’s shivering as he unbuckles his belt, as he toes off his shoes and slips off his socks and finally peels his still-damp trousers off his body, shivering as he hangs everything on the towel rack, shivering as he looks down at the bath, less a reaction to feeling chilled and more—nerves fluttering in the pit of his stomach: nerves and guilt and a shameful amount of desire.
(She doesn’t want you; you’re so pathetic; she’d be so disgusted, so very disgusted if she knew what you’re feeling right now, you sick fucking freak)
He unbuckles his gloves and lays them on the side of the bathtub; he’ll have to rinse those; he’ll need them later to cover the ring he’s still wearing.
Because he is still wearing it; he’s still wearing it as he steps, trembling like a leaf in high wind, into the bathtub, still wearing it as he lets himself sink down into the water.
Megamind has to bite back a moan as the warm water slides over his skin. This is—it would already feel good, allowing himself the luxury of a bath after a fight, but the fact that—this is
This is really fucking gross and creepy, is what it is, he tells himself savagely as heat pulses between his legs. Stop it right now, you disgusting thing.
He washes quickly, keeping his hands away from his own skin as much as he can, not permitting himself the indulgence of touch. The ring on his hand flashes, catching his attention. He glances at it, and then looks away.
Damn him. Damn him and his ugly alien body and his ugly alien heart.
He rinses the gloves and wrings them out as best as he can, lays them over the side of the bathtub, and forces himself to get up and climb out of the bath and face the rest of his existence.
He drains the water from the bath and dries off with one of Roxanne’s towels and puts on the clothes she gave him, then looks in the mirror in dismay.
The pants are bad enough: loose gray sweatpants that ride low on his hips, so loose that he kind of feels like he’s not wearing pants at all, but the shirt—
—fuck, is shirt even the right word? It hasn’t got a collar! He looks naked.
Actually, he looks worse than naked, more naked than naked, the neckline of the shirt exposing the nape of his neck, all of his throat, his collarbones, material slipping provocatively off one shoulder. He pulls it straight; now both of his shoulders are nearly showing in a really teasing way. He tugs the shirt forward, trying to pull the neckline up over his shoulders, but that just makes the neckline dip lower in front, revealing even more of his clavicle.
He bangs his head gently against the wall.
Roxanne has no idea that she’s just—given him something to wear that is essentially lingerie. Maybe he can, fuck, improvise some sort of cape/collar out of a towel? Jesus, he looks—
(soft white shirt slipping over one shoulder again like an intentional display and his pupils blown wide and black with the fucked-up way that he’s still feeling really turned-on and the wedding band gleaming on his left hand—)
(he looks like this is his wedding night.)
Surely Roxanne has no idea what this shirt feels like to him, right? Unless—unless this is revenge, unless this is a power play, meant to shame him by making him dress up like—no.
Roxanne—Roxanne wouldn’t do that. Roxanne isn’t cruel like that.
He puts on his gloves, which is slightly better, very slightly, and then gulps and opens the door.
(He leaves his gun on the bathroom sink in spite of the fact that holding it would probably calm his shaking hands and his racing heart. He will not allow Roxanne to think, even for one moment, that he’s threatening her. She was terrified earlier; she doesn’t—she doesn’t deserve that.)
He takes a breath and steps out into the hall.
...to be continued.
(thank you to everyone for reading, reviewing, and sending kudos!)
Megamind walks into the living room and all Roxanne can think is that shirt was a mistake.
Actually, only half of her is thinking that the shirt was a mistake. The other half of her is too busy imagining licking the blue skin of Megamind’s exposed shoulder and neck for mental verbalization.
He is—entirely too beautiful; it isn’t fair.
He hesitates, once he’s in the living room, looking around as if searching for something.
“I sent Spikeless home,” Roxanne tells him.
He makes a vague, wordless noise, and then moves to sit beside her on the couch, tucking his feet up underneath his body and turning towards her, arms wrapped around himself.
(He’s wearing his gloves, still; why is he wearing gloves?)
“You said you have questions you—want me to answer?” he asks, voice subdued.
Roxanne nods, voice sticking in her throat, because she doesn’t want to have this conversation, doesn’t want to—
“—you called that man, the one in the suit,” she blurts out, desperate to talk about something, anything else than her goddamn feelings. “You called him ‘uncle’. Why?”
Megamind goes still, and for a moment Roxanne thinks he’s not going to answer, and then—
“He was one of the prisoners in—he was one of the prisoners in the prison when I was a child,” Megamind says, tight lipped and holding himself stiffly. “He helped raise me.”
Roxanne frowns, certain she must be misunderstanding something here.
“You grew up in a prison?” she says in disbelief.
“Yes,” Megamind says flatly.
“It was fine,” Megamind says.
“It was a prison!”
“It was fine,” Megamind repeats. “It was home. Prison isn’t that bad.”
Roxanne looks at him in dismay.
Jesus, he grew up in prison, and he’s spent half of his adult life in prison. That is awful. Prison isn’t that bad, fucking hell, who says that in that goddamn dismissive tone?
“Haven’t you—ever had any sort of normal societal interaction?” Roxanne asks, horrified.
Megamind’s face twists.
“I went to shool with your—with Mr. Goody-Two-Shoes Metro Man,” he says. He smiles bitterly. “Frankly, I prefer prison. Shool was—unpleasant.”
“Unpleasant,” Roxanne repeats dumbly. “Fuck, Megamind, what kind of unpleasant makes prison seem like the better option?”
“The kind of unpleasant that makes you briefly consider suicide before deciding on supervillainy as an alternative,” Megamind says, voice almost casual, avoiding her eyes, so much tension in his shoulders that he looks ready to snap in half. “Can we please stop talking about my childhood?”
“I am doing my best to answer your questions, Miss Ritchi,” Megamind says. “But I really don’t see how any of this is relevant.”
Roxanne feels that Miss Ritchi like a slap to the face.
“Megamind, you just said that you wanted to commit suicide, I think that’s pretty fucking relevant—”
Megamind looks at her, waving a hand in a sharp, dismissive motion.
“Briefly,” he says. “It was a long time ago. I’m fine now. This surely isn’t what you wanted to talk about.”
“You complained, earlier, about my distracting you,” he says, narrowing his eyes. “You’re distracting yourself now, and I think you’re doing it on purpose.”
“I did not complain; I said thank you for that! I just—”
“You’re avoiding something,” he says. “Just fucking ask it, whatever it is.”
“Were you really serious about quitting villainy?” Roxanne fires at him.
“Yes,” Megamind says, voice rising. “And you’re still avoiding your real question! I can fucking tell; I’m not stupid; just ask!”
“Are you actually going to take over as the city’s hero?” Roxanne snaps.
“Apparently!” Megamind snaps back. “If he was really serious about that, and you are still avoiding your real question, Roxanne! Ask!”
“God damn it, Megamind—”
“Ask!” Megamind shouts. “Ask and get it over with!”
“Fuck you!” Roxanne screams. “Fuck you; fuck you; fuck you, Megamind; what the fuck was that, this morning? What the fuck is all this,” she gestures around at her apartment, at all of the gifts and the flowers and the—“What the fuck,” she yanks the ring out of her pocket and throws it at him, hating the way he catches it before it hits him in his stupid fucking face, “is this?!”
Megamind holds the ring in his hands, and then drops it on the coffee table like it’s a snake.
“Actually,” he says, voice shaking, “can we please go back to talking about my childhood?”
“Why would you do that to me, Megamind?” Roxanne asks, near tears and despising herself for it. “Why would you do that?”
“It was a joke,” he says, flat and emotionless. “It was just an April Fools Day joke.”
“It wasn’t fucking funny!” Roxanne cries, wishing she had something else to throw at him. “Why would you do that? Why?!”
“I was trying to prove a point!” Megamind snarls.
“Really?” Roxanne smiles coldly. “Was the point ‘your feelings for me are unrequited and unwelcome, Miss Ritchi’? Because you could have just fucking told me that, Megamind!”
Megamind, mouth opened to retort, stops and stares at her, wide eyed and shocked.
“Wh—what?” he says. “Feelings? What—what feelings?”
Oh fuck her. He didn’t even know? And she just—
“Yes!” Roxanne shouts, because she might as fucking well, at this point, right? “I love you, all right? You complete and utter asshole!”
Megamind stares at Roxanne, scarcely aware of the way his breath is coming too fast.
“You,” he says, “This is a joke, right? This is an April Fools Day joke to get back at me for—”
“No!” Roxanne says, face contracted with fury. “It’s not a goddamn joke, Megamind, because I’m not the one who thinks it’s funny to play with someone’s feelings!”
And—this is—she cannot be—
She cannot be serious; she cannot. There is no version of reality in which Roxanne says she loves him and means it. This is definitely some sort of elaborate ruse to—but the joke is on her, because he is not backing down on this.
He unbuckles his gloves, then strips them from his hands: right, then left. He holds his left hand up so she can see the ring he’s wearing. He smiles, sharp and darkly pleased at the way her
breath catches and her eyes go wide.
(yes, that’s right, Miss Ritchi; I am obsessed; are you feeling scared yet?)
“This,” he says. “This is why. The point I was trying to make was to myself, actually: she’s never going to love you back, you pathetic freak. I asked you like that because I thought you would laugh and I would get it out of my system. I asked you—” Megamind picks Roxanne’s ring up from the coffee table, rises to his feet, shoves the coffee table out of the way, and sinks to his knees in front of Roxanne.
“—because I meant it, Roxanne. I meant every fucking word. I love you, Roxanne; I have tried—so hard—to stop, but I cannot. I love you—” he swallows; it feels like his throat is filled with glass, as though every word he speaks leaves him bleeding.
“—I love you,” he continues anyway, “more than my ability to think, do you understand? I love you and it isn’t pretty and it isn’t nice and I cannot make myself stop. I will burn the sky down if you want it and I will buy you raspberry doughnuts every day if you want it and I will go away and never even look at you again if you want it, Roxanne, because I want to give you everything you want. I want to spend the rest of my life giving you what you want, so will you please just marry me and let me do that?”
He waits for her to laugh, waits for her to push him away, waits for—
“Yes,” Roxanne says, voice shaking. “God, yes, Megamind; of course I’ll marry you.”
Megamind stops breathing, stops thinking, stops—
And Roxanne reaches out and takes the ring, her ring, the ring he made for her, from him, and she slides it onto the ring finger of her own left hand.
“Oh,” Megamind says, seeing it—she’s wearing his ring. “—oh.”
“I love you, too, Megamind,” Roxanne says, voice uneven and trembling around the edges, “and I really think that you should kiss me now.”
Megamind rises up on his knees as Roxanne leans down, and their lips meet.
(And the angle is odd and he’s not at all sure what to do with his hands or his mouth, or with—any of himself, really, and it is easily ten thousand times better than anything he’s ever imagined because it is real.)
“Two proposals,” Roxanne says softly when they pull apart, “and I just finally got you to kiss me.”
“Three,” Megamind says breathless and sort of dizzy. “If we’re—earlier, when you offered to let me bathe in your—that’s how people proposed on the planet that I’m from. Sorry. That’s really weird. You probably don’t want to count that.”
“Oh, my god! Oh my god, are you serious? No wonder you acted so—we’re definitely counting it.”
She leans down to kiss him again, lips brushing lightly over his own, and then hooks her fingers in the collar of his shirt and tugs. Megamind stops breathing.
“Come up here,” she says.
And he isn’t sure—how close does she want him? Is she—should he—god, he can’t think straight—
He doesn’t want to be presumptuous or, or, or pushy, though, so—he should—
He sits on the other side of the couch, body turned towards Roxanne, watching her, waiting for some sort of cue.
She climbs over the cushions towards him, until she’s practically in his lap, cups his face in both hands, and kisses him. It’s a quick kiss, though; she’s laughing as she pulls away.
“I can’t believe I proposed to you on accident after you proposed to me as a joke,” she snickers. “That is ridiculous; we are ridiculous.”
Megamind makes a noise of agreement and leans forward to steal a kiss while she’s laughing.
God, this is intoxicating; she’s laughing and she just let him kiss her; Megamind wants an entire lifetime of this and—
He can. He’s going to. She said yes. He replays the moment in his mind, the moment he could never properly picture: yes; god yes, Megamind; of course I’ll marry you.
“Are there any other cultural features that I should be aware of?” Roxanne asks, smiling and still sort of laughing. “I mean, I don’t want to offer you a cup of coffee one day and find out I’ve accidentally asked for a divorce.”
“Sharing drinks is actually indicative of closeness,” Megamind says, even though he’s fairly certain that was a joke. “Like with humans, but more—ceremonial? You only do it with family or very close friends or romantic partners. And the drink should be water, ideally. If you want it to be meaningful. I do like coffee, though.”
Roxanne tips her head, looking intrigued. Megamind runs his fingers through her hair, like he did earlier.
Oh, that is. That is so much better without his gloves on.
“Desert culture?” Roxanne asks. “Lots of water-based cultural stuff, it sounds like.” She frowns. “Minion is a fish, though, so—are you—are you maybe partially aquatic?”
Megamind feels his eyes go wide, cups her head in both his hands.
“Do you know,” he says breathlessly, “how very attractive you are? Your mind is brilliant; I love it; yes, I’m partially aquatic.”
Roxanne blushes and bites her lip, smiling at him.
“Thanks,” she says, moving her hands to hold the sides of his head as well. “And—your mind is pretty great, too, you know?”
Megamind feels his heart stick in his chest.
“Oh,” he says, barely audible.
Roxanne’s eyes widen.
“Was that significant?” she asks. “I’m guessing by your reaction that it was significant.”
“Hands—there—is—significant, yes, affection and—romantic implications, especially with the—complimenting someone’s intelligence is very—it’s—the—highest form of compliment.”
“Hey, you started it,” Roxanne says, smiling gently.
“That is because it is true,” Megamind says fervently. “You are the smartest person I know.”
“Besides you?” Roxanne teases.
“No,” Megamind says, quite serious. “Not besides me. Smartest person, full stop, no exceptions.”
Roxanne’s mouth shapes itself into an O.
“Megamind,” she says, voice hushed, “you—you’re the smartest person I know, too.”
She moves her hands from the sides of his head to the back of it. Megamind, who was not expecting that, is barely able to keep himself from moaning, is completely unable to stop himself from bending his head back into the pressure—god, her hands, the warmth of them, the texture of her skin—
“What—?” Roxanne says.
“Erogenous zone; erogenous zone!” Megamind manages to say. “Back of the head is—”
Roxanne’s hands slide down the back of his neck and Megamind isn’t able to stop himself from moaning this time, falling back against the arm of the couch. Her hands brush down his shoulders and he gasps for breath, and then she pulls the neckline of his shirt even farther to the side, exposing his entire shoulder.
He shivers and then cries out as she licks over his shoulder and up the side of his neck god, oh god—
“Do you know,” Roxanne whispers, lips against his ear, and Megamind twitches helplessly, “I’ve just realized how incredibly suggestive this shirt is on you.”
She leans back and looks at him, finally having mercy and moving her hands from his shoulders to his chest. Her thumbs brush idly back and forth; one of them rubs over his nipple and
Megamind hisses through his teeth. Roxanne smirks at him and does it again.
“Fuck!” Megamind says, and fucking hell, he takes it back; Roxanne is not merciful; Roxanne is evil.
“Incredibly suggestive,” Roxanne says again.
“Yes,” Megamind agrees, breathless and trying not to arch up into her hands. “Very nearly not clothing at all.”
Roxanne laughs and strokes her fingers down his sternum. Which still feels really good, but at least Megamind can breathe while she’s doing it.
“What’s the wedding ceremony like?” Roxanne asks.
“What?” Megamind says, thoughts still scattered. “I—the—uh.”
“The wedding ceremony,” Roxanne says, biting her lip and smiling down at him. She rests one hand on his chest, thumb stroking the edge of his collarbone, and traces up the line of his throat with a single fingertip of her other hand. “On your planet.”
“Oh god,” Megamind says, swallowing involuntarily at the sensation, head falling back, baring his throat even further to her. “I—there isn’t. Any ceremony. It’s—the indication of the intention and—and then. Um.”
“AndThenYouHaveSex?” Megamind says quickly, feeling himself blush. “The sex is the ceremony. I guess? You don’t have people watch, though. Because that would be unspeakably weird. So mostly people only knew when you told them you were married?” Roxanne’s hands still against his skin and Megamind has to force himself not to groan in frustration.
Roxanne looks down at Megamind, flushed and panting beneath her.
Jesus. The sex is the ceremony.
“Okay,” she says, sort of breathlessly. “Okay, but—is that—something you want to do?”
Megamind looks up at her through his lashes with a disbelieving sort of expression.
“Am I not making my desire for you sufficiently obvious?” he asks. He pushes up into her hands and his eyelashes flutter nearly closed as his lips part.
But. but—if the sex is the ceremony, then—has Megamind ever—he’s probably never—
“Right, but, like now,” Roxanne says, far too turned-on to be anything but blunt. “Is that something that you want to do right now, Megamind?”
His eyes go wide, flying open to meet hers.
Megamind stares at Roxanne. She—she wants—oh.
Oh, no; he didn’t think this through. He never imagined he’d get this far, didn’t formulate any contingency plans for use in case of success.
Shit. Shit shit shit. Fuck. Shit.
(oh god, when she sees—she’s never going to—)
His body is—all wrong. Utterly wrong.
(That awful pulse of heat again between his legs, that shivery feeling in the pit of his stomach, reminding him of all of the ways that he is wrong wrong wrong)
And Roxanne is going to be disgusted at best, terrified at worst; there is no way for this to end in anything other than disaster, but Megamind is weak and Megamind’s heart is raging like a riptide, and Megamind can either spin this out for an indefinite amount of time, until some future date when Roxanne finally gets tired of waiting and gives up on him, or he can say fuck it and try now to have this anyway, never mind that it’s impossible.
(Megamind loves like it’s a war, does everything like it’s a war, and he will burn his ships in the harbor and the bridges he crosses and he will not retreat until she tells him to.)
He pushes himself up on one hand, wraps his other hand around the back of her neck, and kisses her.
“Yes,” he says, pulling away just enough to speak, “yes, Roxanne, I want you right now.”
He carries her to her bedroom. Roxanne laughs, breathless and disbelieving when he picks her up bridal style off the couch.
(again, just like when he carried her out of the mine, just like when he carried her to the bath)
She tells him—
“—I can walk just fine, Megamind.”
“Hush,” Megamind says, smiling with his mouth pressed to the skin of her neck.
(he will not think of the inevitable end; he will not; in this moment he is holding Roxanne in his arms and he will be happy now)
“Honestly, Miss Ritchi,” he says, in a mock-scolding tone, “I’m trying to do this wedding thing right. This is totally a thing humans do; I know that much about it.”
She snickers and winds her arms around his neck and licks his ear.
“That is—terribly distracting,” he says, and she giggles and does it again, catching the pointed tip of his ear in her teeth and tugging lightly.
“Uncooperative as usual, Miss Ritchi,” he says, leaning against the railing of the staircase.
“You love it,” she says, smiling as she looks at him.
“I love you,” he agrees.
She laughs as he carries her up the stairs.
(do not think of the inevitable end)
(he wishes the staircases was taller)
He puts her down on the bed, her back against the headboard, and Roxanne reaches for him, kissing him again. He doesn’t seem to want to stop, this time; every time Roxanne pulls away for a breath, he only gives her a moment before capturing her mouth again.
And that’s—god, so wonderful, kissing him like this, the way he seems to want the kiss to last forever, but Roxanne wants more, wants—
The next time she goes to take a breath and he tries to kiss her again, she turns her head and he ends up pressing his lips to her neck instead.
And Roxanne’s neck might not be as sensitive as Megamind’s had seemed to be, back on the couch, downstairs, but it’s sensitive enough that she shivers at the touch of his mouth.
She tilts her head invitingly, and Megamind finally stops standing over her, finally kneels on the bed in front of her as he kisses her throat again and again. He presses an open-mouthed kiss to her pulse point, sucking lightly at her skin, and Roxanne gasps and thoughtlessly puts her hand on the back of his head, pulling him closer.
He moans and bites down, sucking hard, and Roxanne cries out, the combination of the pleasure and the pain and the vibration of his voice sending a pulse of desire through her.
Megamind pulls away quickly, standing again.
“Shit, shit, sorry—” he babbles.
Fuckfuckfuck he’s hurt her; he bit her for fuck’s sake—what is wrong with you—inhuman, dangerous—
There’s a mark the shape of his mouth on her throat, marring her perfect skin, already red; god, it’s probably going to bruise—
“What?” Roxanne says blankly, “What are you—?”
What is he looking so freaked out about?
She touches her neck, where he’d bit her; the skin there is still tender and tingling. Megamind makes a noise of distress that sounds somewhat like the trill of a bird, and then looks even more appalled at himself.
“You—have a—mark,” he says, in a tone of horror.
Roxanne stares at him. Is he—is he really panicking over giving her a hickey?
“Uh—” she says, “that’s—okay, Megamind. You don’t need to—”
He shakes his head, backing away.
“Megamind,” Roxanne says, softening her voice and reaching out her hand to him, “come here—you don’t have to be—”
Megamind can feel his heart slamming against his ribcage, too hard, too fast—she’s reaching out to him, but she doesn’t—she doesn’t know, and this is—
—it’s time. For him to—
(Not yet, not yet; she’s reaching out for you; let yourself have just a little bit more, just a little more time, a little more Roxanne—)
(drown, drown, let yourself drown; drown yourself in this, Megamind; you’re not going to live through it anyway, so you might as well drown)
He could—he could—he wants touch her, wants to taste her, wants to watch her come; he’s never—but Megamind is good with his hands; he’s certain he could figure that much out, at least, could—she wouldn’t have to touch him back, wouldn’t have to know—
But Roxanne deserves to know what kind of monster she’s invited into her bed.
Megamind is a monster and Megamind is a thief, but he will not steal this from Roxanne. He cannot stand the thought of how she would feel, afterwards, how she would remember it: the memory of her own pleasure overlaid with disgust and horror at the realization of what sort of thing gave it to her.
(let yourself; let yourself—)
“I will not,” Megamind says through gritted teeth. “I. Will. Not.”
Roxanne’s heart drops like a stone into the pit of her stomach and she drops the hand she’s holding out to Megamind.
“Do—do you not—want me?” she asks, hating how—fragile—she sounds.
Megamind laughs, dark and bitter, arms wrapped around his chest.
The alien harmonics of the sound make Roxanne shiver with something that Megamind assumes is fear.
“Oh, I want you,” Megamind says, voice low and dangerous (Roxanne shivers again). “I want you so fucking much, Roxanne. But there is something—I will not—I will not—I will not hurt you, Roxanne.”
“I know that,” Roxanne says softly, confused, hating the way he looks like he wants to hurt himself.
“There’s something I need to show you,” Megamind says abruptly, and pulls the soft white shirt he’s wearing over his head.
Roxanne blinks, even more confused—the implication of Megamind taking off his shirt ought to be a sexual one, but the way he’s moving is more like someone tearing off a bandage.
He is—quite beautiful, with his shirt off, the slender strength of him, smooth blue skin over lean muscle, thin and graceful, so much stronger than he seems—like a—featherweight boxer or a dancer—so beautiful—
This can’t be—what he is concerned about—what is—
Megamind hooks his thumbs in the waistband of the pants he’s wearing and sucks in a breath.
(and Roxanne remembers: does he even have a—and—don’t have the right equipment—and—)
Oh, Megamind—oh sweetheart—as if she would ever care—
Megamind shoves the sweatpants down, steps out of them, tosses them aside, and then stands in front of her, eyes shut tightly, breathing hard through gritted teeth, hands clenched into fists as though he desperately wants to use them cover himself, and is holding himself back from doing so by willpower alone.
He doesn’t have a penis; instead there is a sort of vertical seam between his legs, low on his abdomen.
“Megamind,” Roxanne says gently, “sweetheart. Is this all you were worried about?”
Megamind’s eyes fly open; he looks at her with an expression of shock. Then he laughs, that unhappy, inhuman-harmonics laugh.
“All I was—” He laughs again, choking. “I would—you have no idea how much I wish—that this—was all I was worried about.”
“Just watch,” Megamind says, “and—please—” his voice breaks, “—please—try not to scream.”
Roxanne opens her mouth as though she’s about to say something; Megamind makes a frustrated, miserable noise—he needs to do this quickly, before he loses his nerve—
The desire is still—in spite of the despair he’s filled with, the desire is still there, twisting in the pit of his stomach, shivering through his whole body, making his skin feel hot and tight and oversensitive, making his hands shake as he lifts them to touch himself.
He puts his hands behind his head, cups himself there briefly before sliding his palms downward, one over the back of his neck, one over his throat. The sensation is—it runs through him like electricity.
He hisses through his teeth—
(Roxanne is on the bed, watching him touch himself, god—)
Megamind runs his fingertips over his shoulders, and then back in over his collarbones, arousal rising like the swell of a wave—
(Roxanne is watching him still, eyes dark, lips parted—)
He slides his hands down over his torso, circling his nipples with his thumbs and then rolling them between his thumbs and fingers, little zings of pleasure at the sensation—
Roxanne makes a soft noise, close enough to a sound of arousal that Megamind lets himself pretend, lets himself use it as he closes his eyes and slides his hands down his abdomen towards the ventral slit between his legs.
He’s wet, slickness beneath his fingertips as he brushes them down the slit, heat pulsing, pulsing between his legs—almost enough, almost—
Megamind moans, rubbing up the slit and—
—he hears Roxanne moan, too—
His eyes snap open—what—
Roxanne is touching herself.
Her right hand is pushed down the front of her pants, wrist moving as she strokes herself between her legs; her left hand on her neck, fingers running over the mark he left on her throat, the ring he gave her flashing in the light.
Roxanne is touching herself while she looks at him.
A shock of desire floods Megamind’s body, finally enough to—
He moans again and lets all five of his tentacles unfold from his ventral slit and—
—god, the relief, the—
Roxanne has stopped moving on the bed, eyes wide—
(please don’t scream please don’t scream please don’t scream)
Fuck, he’s blocking her way to the door—he shouldn’t have stood here—he shouldn’t have put her on the bed for this; she’s probably terrified that he’s going to—
“—I’m not going to force you, Roxanne,” Megamind blurts out.
Her eyes snap up from his (horrifying, awful, disgusting) tentacles to his face; she frowns.
“Force me?” she asks. “What are you—what are talking about, Megamind? Why would I ever think that of you?”
“I have tentacles,” Megamind tells her, voice tight, wanting to cry, wanting to scream, wanting to run and hide and die, “I—would think—that would be self-explanatory, Roxanne.”
“Self-explanatory?” Roxanne says blankly. “What—what the hell does you having tentacles have to do with rape?”
She feels her eyes go wide as the phrasing of that hits her. Oh—oh, Megamind—
“Everything!” Megamind says, voice rising. “Every single piece of—human—literature, media, art—aliens who have tentacles—any sex is always—I’ve looked, all right; and let me tell you, it’s always—”
“That’s—nonsensical, Megamind, just because—some—it’s not all—”
“Name one!” Megamind shouts, voice uneven, tears in his eyes, “name one where it’s not, Roxanne, name—”
“Galaxy Quest!” Roxanne screams, and—
—Megamind goes silent, eyes wide.
“Galaxy Quest, Megamind,” Roxanne says, voice calmer, more controlled. “Come here.”
“There isn’t any sex in Galaxy Quest,” Megamind says, sounding uncertain, frozen in place at the foot of the bed.
Roxanne rolls her eyes.
“Not onscreen, maybe,” she says, “but it’s pretty blatantly implied, Megamind, would you please just come here?”
“Megamind,” Roxanne says, holding out her hand, “sweetheart. Please—come here.”
For a moment—for several moments, Roxanne thinks that he isn’t going to, but then—
He takes a step towards her, and then another three, and then he moves to sit on the bed, not quite near enough to touch, looking at her with wary, unsure eyes. Roxanne leaves her hand outstretched, waiting, waiting, hoping—
(please, please just trust me, please)
Megamind looks at Roxanne, holding out her hand to him, she—
—and she still—
—does she really—
It’s her left hand she’s holding out to him, her left hand, the one with the ring.
He reaches out his own shaking left hand towards hers, lets it hover above hers, giving her—giving her a chance to pull away—
But she doesn’t.
So he lets himself touch his fingertips to hers, just their fingertips, watching her face—
(is this—is this okay?)
Megamind touches his fingertips to hers, looking into her eyes like he’s waiting for her to push him away, and Roxanne’s heart feels sharp-edged in her chest, cutting into her each time
she takes a breath.
She slides her fingers between his, lacing them together, and after a moment, Megamind tightens his fingers around hers.
Roxanne moves to her knees, moves towards him, and pulls both of their hands closer.
“Megamind,” she says.
She bends her head and presses her lips to the ring that he’s wearing.
“I trust you,” Roxanne tells him.
She reaches for his other hand, places it on the side of her head, holds it there until he tightens his fingers in her hair, then lets go to place her own hand on the side of his head.
“I love you,” she says.
She leans forward to kiss him, doing her best to make it absolutely heart-stopping, sliding her hand around to cup the back of his head, pulling him close like that.
She pulls away to look in his eyes, slides her hand down the back of his neck, around the front of his throat, over his shoulders and his collar bone, then down over his chest, mimicking the way he’d touched himself, before.
Roxanne circles his nipple with her thumb and then rolls it between her fingers, then slides her hand down his abdomen.
Megamind gasps again.
“And I want you,” Roxanne tells him, and slides her hand into the tangle of tentacles between his legs.
Megamind gasps a third time, sounding shocked and broken and near to tears.
“Oh,” he says, “oh.”
And then he kisses her.
Megamind kisses Roxanne—she trusts him; she loves him; she wants him; she said—
God, she is—she—her hand, she’s—
He shudders into the kiss and lets go of her hand to cup her head in both hands.
(he loves her; he loves her; he loves her so much)
She—does something particularly clever with her hand, twisting her wrist and tightening her fingers, and Megamind breaks the kiss to gasp for breath.
“Possibly,” she says, smiling at him, “you’d like to take these pajamas off of me? They are very comfortable,” she continues, “but I don’t imagine they’re particularly attractive.”
“You’re—always beautiful; I told you,” Megamind says, mind reeling with the way she’s—oh—oh god—her hand—“—doesn’t matter—what you’re wearing.”
“That’s very sweet,” Roxanne says, and then her smile changes to a smirk, “but don’t you think I’d look better wearing nothing?”
Megamind’s mind sort of—
—for a moment, and then he says,
“—fucking hell, Roxanne,” and moves his hands down to undo her buttons.
She laughs and kisses his jaw, then his neck, which is—
She hums, lips against his skin—fuck that’s—that feels—and then she—
—bites him, sucking at his skin hard, like he—like he did to her, earlier—
Megamind forgets about the buttons, hands going up to cup the beautiful, maddening curve of Roxanne’s neck as he fucks his tentacles against her hand—pushing into her palm, twining them through her fingers and around her wrist—
Roxanne kisses his neck again and then pulls away slightly, hand sliding from his tentacles as she reaches up to undo the last few buttons herself.
Megamind pushes the shirt off her shoulders, helps her slip it off of her arms—god, the way he’s looking at her is—
Roxanne shivers and he pushes lightly at her shoulders.
“Lie down,” he whispers.
She does, shivering again and lifting her hips so that he can take her pants off of her.
He looks at her, all the way down and up her body, and Roxanne feels herself flush beneath his gaze, the intensity of his focus.
“Yes,” he growls.
“—yes?” Roxanne asks, thoughts scattered by the way he’s looking at her. “Yes, what?”
“Yes,” he says, voice low and rough, kneeling between her legs, arms on either side of Roxanne, palms flat against the mattress, leaning down to hover over her, “you definitely look best wearing nothing.”
“Oh,” Roxanne says weakly, which is—impressively articulate. She feels. Under the circumstances.
Megamind kisses her, kisses her until she’s breathless, and then he kisses her throat again, her shoulders. She reaches up to touch his face and he kisses her palm. She strokes her thumb over his bottom lip, feeling his mouth curve as he smiles down at her, then runs the pad of her thumb down the strip of his goatee.
She slides her hand around to hold the back of his neck and he makes a low sound in the back of his throat. He bends his head down to kiss her left breast, cupping her right one in his hand.
“Oh,” Roxanne gasps. He wraps his lips around her nipple and sucks and then—fuck—bites down lightly.
“Oh god,” Roxanne says as he resumes sucking at her breast, rolling her other nipple between his fingers, tugging slightly at it. “Oh—”
Megamind kisses the center of Roxanne’s chest, then switches to her other breast—obviously he’d been correct when he’d extrapolated that sucking and biting was a thing that would be pleasurable for places other than the neck. Roxanne arches up towards his mouth, hand still on the back of his neck—oh, that is—
He lifts his head, looks down at her. There is a flush all along her cheekbones; she’s trembling, her lips reddened.
(I did that, he thinks wonderingly, she looks like that because of me)
“Tell me—what you want,” he says, “tell me what you want, Roxanne, please, and—I’ll do my best to give it to you.”
Roxanne looks up at Megamind, his face so open, his expression so—full of love it makes Roxanne’s entire body sing, makes her heart feel like it’s—made of light, a sun inside her chest.
“Let me me give you what you want, Roxanne,” Megamind begs, “Please. What—what do you want?”
“You,” Roxanne says, smiling up at Megamind like—sunlight on water, he thinks, shining and golden. “Like this.” She places one hand on his hip and pulls him down so that he’s lying fully on top of her, their bodies pressed together.
Megamind’s tentacles encounter warm, slick flesh—Roxanne—
“Re—really?” he says—she wants—
“Yes,” Roxanne says, rocking against him in a way that looks—is that involuntary? Does she want—does this feel—does he feel good to her?
He concentrates, making all five of his tentacles surge against her in a single movement, and Roxanne moans.
“Oh my god, Megamind,” she says, “that feels—so good.”
He shudders and moves them again, differently this time, a sort of ripple pattern, one then another, and Roxanne moans again.
Megamind—loses track of time after that, the world narrowing to the feeling of Roxanne beneath him, the sounds that she’s making, his entire being focused on finding the best way to move his tentacles for her, finding the things that make her back arch and her hips rock, finding what makes her moan and whimper and cry out his name.
He rolls his hips against her experimentally—a pulse of pleasure goes through him and Roxanne makes an entirely new noise, a sort of sobbing oh-hhh, the sound of it sending another pulse of pleasure through him, stronger even than the reaction to the physical sensation.
He does it again and she clutches his body against herself, one arm around his back, one hand on the back of his head.
Megamind rolls his hips rhythmically against her, continuing to move his tentacles, and Roxanne begins to roll her hips, too, moving with him. He moves a little faster, a little harder, in response, and in his distraction misjudges the angle of of the downstroke of one of his tentacles, causing the tip of it to actually slide inside of Roxanne.
He freezes, expecting—but Roxanne—
“—yes,” she moans, hooking one leg over his waist and arching her back and pushing him even further inside of her.
“Fuck,” Megamind says, blank and—overwhelmed by the fact that Roxanne is—he is inside of her, holy fuck, and she is so hot and wet around him, it’s—
He rolls his hips again, sliding the tentacle out and then in, and Roxanne makes that sobbing, moaning sound, so he does it again, again, again—
“More,” Roxanne says, “more—”
And Megamind—doesn’t know what she means by more, exactly: faster? harder? another tentacle? So he takes a guess and does all of them at once, pushing another tentacle inside of her, snapping his hips and speeding up the motion of his other tentacles against her.
This is—evidently the right choice, judging by the way she cries out.
Megamind wants—the angle isn’t quite—
She still has one leg hooked around his waist; he slides his hand beneath it and pushes her knee up and back towards the mattress, tipping her hips upwards. He thrusts—deeper, yes, god, so much better—
He watches Roxanne’s face, checking to see if this is—
“Megamind,” she moans, head bending back, face tight with pleasure.
And it—hits him, suddenly, that he is—that this is really happening, that he is making love to Roxanne.
“Oh,” she gasps, opening her eyes and looking at him. “—oh,” she says again, as if she’s just finally understood something, something wonderful, and then she—
—shudders underneath him, pulses around him, muscles contracting, contracting, that look of joy on her face—is this—is she—
—god, yes, she is. Megamind watches her the entire time, even as he continues to move for her, his eyes on her face, drinking in every detail of her expression as she comes.
She is—so fucking beautiful, and when she’s finished, he’s still looking at her face when he lets himself come.
Roxanne strokes the back of Megamind’s neck as he comes, his tentacles pulsing and fluttering against and inside of her. He shivers and moans, and then goes still.
“Roxanne,” Megamind says, and then he—
—he resumes the motion of his hips, and—Roxanne feels her eyes go wide, because the tentacles are moving again, pressing and twisting inside of her, rubbing and flicking at her clit.
But Megamind already—
Oh, this is—such an unexpected plus—
The tentacle nearest to her clit begins to move in a circular motion. She feels so—her body is still humming with arousal, but she feels—more relaxed now, after her orgasm. She watches with lazy pleasure as Megamind fucks her.
“Mmm,” she says, “that is—so nice, Megamind.”
“Ah?” Megamind says, voice and face tight.
He doesn’t look like he feels any calmer; he looks positively desperate, still, and something about that is—really, quite excellent, the raw need in his expression, the way he’s shaking slightly.
Poor man, Roxanne thinks, half in sympathy and and half in delight, feeling terribly wanted, terribly powerful.
(smartest man on the goddamn planet, and she’s reduced him to a trembling monosyllabic mess)
This man, Roxanne thinks, this man will give you anything you want.
“I want you to kiss me,” Roxanne says, and he does, leaning down—it is amazing, the amount of multitasking that Megamind is capable of, Roxanne thinks.
“I want more of you inside of me,” Roxanne says, loving the way Megamind’s eyes go wide at that. He slides another tentacle into her.
“Yes,” Roxanne says—god, that feels fantastic, “more.”
He looks even more shocked this time, but he does as she asks, pressing another tentacle into her.
“Megamind,” Roxanne moans.
Oh, she is—she is close again, already; she can feel her climax building, sweet and powerful and yet still calm, like hearing a storm raging outside her bedroom window and knowing that she’s safe, like hanging over a precipice by a rope and knowing that she’s safe because Megamind is the one who tied the knots, like Megamind’s I will burn the sky down if you want it and his I will buy you raspberry doughnuts every day if you want it, Megamind with his arms spread wide and his chin up, ready to fight the entire world, Megamind sitting on the edge of the bathtub pressing his gun into her hands and running his fingers through her hair—
Megamind here, with her, above her, inside of her; wanting her, loving her—he wants to marry her; Roxanne is—
—Roxanne is going to marry this man, this beautiful, crazy, clever man—
Megamind; she’s going to marry Megamind
Roxanne’s second orgasm sweeps through her, hard and slow and strong.
Megamind is—Megamind cannot seem to think, he cannot seem to—Roxanne is everywhere, the smell of her skin and the taste of her mouth on his, four of his tentacles buried in her wet heat, one flickering against the velvet-softness of her.
She convulses with pleasure, again, underneath him, and Megamind lets himself—
His climax hits him like a riptide, so intense that it’s almost frightening, would be frightening, this loss of control, this feeling of drowning in pleasure, if it weren’t for the way he’s anchored by the sound of Roxanne’s breathing, by her hand on the back of his neck, by the way she’s looking up at him, eyes smiling, not afraid at all I have you I have you you’re safe—
Megamind shudders as he comes back to himself, shudders and gasps for breath like a drowning man dragged back to the surface, dragged back to the shore, brought back to life.
Roxanne’s arms are around him, and she’s smiling up at him, and so he stops gasping for breath and kisses her instead.
(Roxanne is more important than this thing that you call breathing)
“I think,” Roxanne says, watching avariciously as he tears the last doughnut in half for them to split, both of them lying naked in her bed, “that we should elope. What do you think?”
“Uh,” Megamind says, handing her the half with most of the jelly, “you—you mean, like—like now?”
“Immediately after we finish this doughnut,” Roxanne says firmly. “Is that a good time for you?”
Megamind smiles so wide his face hurts and kisses her in answer.
“Minion!” Megamind says, using one hand to button the shirt that Roxanne has loaned him, her cell phone in the other. “Roxanne and I got married!”
Roxanne, getting dressed on the other side of the room, chokes a little—the sex is the ceremony, jesus christ.
“No, Minion, this isn’t an April Fool’s day joke! We got married! Yes. Yes, I’m serious.”
There is a moment of silence, and then she sees Megamind roll his eyes.
“Yes, yes,” he says, “I’m aware that it doesn’t mean the same thing to humans! Yes, I did in fact explain to her—yes, of course I explained before we got married! Minion! Stop lecturing for a moment and listen! We’re getting human-married now! Eloping! Is the word! And I need you to be my best man!” There’s another pause and then Megamind says, “Hold on, I’ll ask her.” He covers the speaker with his hand. “Minion wants to know if he can make you a dress.”
“Can he—finish a dress in the time it’s going to take us to drive to Vegas?”
“Yes,” Megamind says, sounding absolutely certain.
“Yeah, okay,” Roxanne says, “What are you going to wear, though?”
“Well, not this, certainly,” Megamind says, gesturing at the shirt he’s wearing, “it’s yellow; I look ridiculous.”
Roxanne laughs again and he grins.
“Would you be terribly opposed to my usual clothes?” he asks. “Or I could wash what I wore earlier, but that’s going to take a while—”
“Usual clothes are fine,” Roxanne says.
“Minion! Roxanne says you can make her a dress, and I need you to bring my clothes, too—no, I haven’t been wandering around naked! I wore something else, but it got ruined. It’s a long story; I’ll tell you later, just bring my clothes—”
“And Spikeless,” Roxanne tells him.
“And Spikeless,” Megamind repeats. “Yes, Spikeless! Of course I’m sure, Minion! Spikeless was a very good bot for Daddy, today, and Roxanne wants them there! Yes, we’re at her apartment. All right.” There’s a pause as Megamind listens to something Minion is saying, and then he blushes. “Ah—yes. Thank you,” he says, and hangs up the phone. He clears his throat and pops the collar on the yellow shirt he’s wearing. The effect is—even more ridiculous. “Is there—anyone else you think we should bring along?” he asks.
“Er—hey, guys,” Wayne says, sounding confused, “what’s—going on?”
There is a man with an expression of frozen terror half-hiding behind him; judging from the fact that he’s wearing a uniform and a name tag that reads Todd, Megamind guesses that he must work here. He narrows his eyes. Hmm, yes, Todd appears to be clutching a nail file—this must be the ‘manicurist guy’
Todd whimpers when Megamind narrows his eyes at him, but he doesn’t scream. A good sign, Megamind decides. Metro Man should definitely keep this one around.
Roxanne, seeing the way Megamind is glaring at the poor man, rolls her eyes and smacks him on the arm.
“Hello, Roxanne, dear,” Lady Scott says vaguely, then blinks at Megamind. “Oh, but it isn’t Mother’s Day.”
“No,” Megamind says, “not this time.”
“I didn’t think it was,” Lady Scott says.
“Sooo,” Wayne says, with a subtle air of what-are-you-doing-here-I’m-trying-to-look-cool-in-front-of-this-guy-and-you’re-ruining-it to his manner, “what’s—what’s up?”
“We’re getting married,” Roxanne blurts.
“—wait,” Wayne says, “—is this the joke? From before?”
“No,” Roxanne says quickly as Megamind starts to bristle. “We’re getting married—eloping, and I was wondering if you wanted to be one of the witnesses.”
“Oh!” Wayne says, “everything makes so much more sense now!”
“—does it?” Todd says underneath his breath, sounding close to hysterics.
“That’s why there were all those flowers in front of your apartment!” Wayne says. “That’s how you knew he wasn’t evil! Oh, man, no wonder you were both so freaked out about the smoke thing before Halloween! Roxy, why didn’t you just tell me you guys were dating?”
“Uh,” says Roxanne.
“Congratulations, dear!” Lady Scott says, beaming and—
—patting Megamind on the arm.
Megamind goes perfectly still.
“Of course we’ll come to the wedding,” Lady Scott continues, and Roxanne gets ready to elbow Megamind in the ribs before he says something like you’re not actually invited, but—
“—thank you,” Megamind says, quietly to Lady Scott, his eyes a little shiny, “I’d—I’d like that.”
Lady Scott turns a surprisingly sharp look on Todd.
“Why don’t you come along, too? I’m sure my son would be glad of the company.”
Wayne goes red.
Megamind cackles evilly at his expression, just a little, under his breath. Roxanne shoots him a warning look, but there’s a smile tugging at the corners of her mouth as she does.
“Megamind,” the Warden says, as Megamind turns off his holowatch. “This is a change of pace, at least. Usually you’re breaking out of this place, not breaking in.”
“‘Change of pace’,” Megamind repeats, then laughs, more than a little awkwardly, “you—have no idea.” He presses his thumb to the ring on his finger (the Warden sees the move, Megamind observes the way the man’s eyes flick down.)
“I’ve resigned from villainy,” Megamind says abruptly, “I’m—going to—be a—” he feels his face pulling itself into an expression that—even he doesn’t know what it is. “—a superhero? I guess. Metro Man seems to be serious about that…also, I’m—” he’s smiling now, he can’t help it. “—I’m getting married. Today. And. I wanted to see if you—this is—an optional kidnapping. I—I wanted to see if you…wanted to come? To the wedding. That I’m having. My wedding. I wanted to see if you wanted to come to my wedding.” he trails off into silence. “This isn’t actually a joke,” he adds after a long moment.
The Warden stares stonily at him. Megamind feels his heart fall in spite of the way he’d told himself that he wasn’t hoping—he told Roxanne, he told her that the Warden wouldn’t believe him, wouldn’t want to come anyway, even if he did.
“Never—never mind! Of—of course you don’t—I’ll just—” Megamind says, backing for the door, “I—I’m sure you have much better things to do than—”
The Warden’s face softens.
“You’re really serious about this,” he states.
“I—yes—I really am,” Megamind says, eyes wide and uncertain.
The Warden rubs a hand over his face.
“Just so we’re clear,” he says tiredly, “Miss Ritchi did actually say yes, right? You can’t kidnap the bride, you know.”
“It’s not a kidnapping!” Megamind says, offended, “It’s an elopement, and she’s the one who suggested—uh. How. How—did you know it was Roxanne?”
The Warden gives him a look that makes Megamind flush.
“Yeah, okay, fair enough,” Megamind mutters. “I’m obvious! I get it!”
“Not just you,” the Warden says. He sighs, lips twitching into a smile beneath his mustache. “Optional kidnapping, huh?”
“Let me get my coat.”
The back of the invisible car is—fairly crowded when Megamind ushers the Warden inside, although Metro Man has, at his mother’s urging, elected to fly Todd to Vegas on his own.
Still, it’s pretty full: Minion, two bolts of white fabric, Spikeless, Lady Scott, and—
“Lou,” the Warden says carefully.
“Warden,” Lou says, just as carefully.
“What the hell happened to you?”
“Long car ride,” the Warden observes.
Lou makes a noncommittal, pained noise.
“—oh, yes, that fabric is just lovely,” Lady Scott says to Minion, who takes a moment from frantically cutting and basting to smile in a slightly flustered manner.
“Bowg,” says Spikeless, eyestalk on Minion’s scissors, clearly longing to pounce but not quite daring to. (Daddy told them to be on their best behavior! And they were the only bot allowed to come along! The others will be so envious of them! They will be a good bot. And then maybe Designation: Roxanne Ritchi will pet them again! Ohhh, but those scissors look delicious—)
Both the Warden and Lou are silent for a moment.
“Our boy’s getting married,” the Warden says, voice studiedly casual.
“Yep,” Lou says, and then adds, in an identical tone, but raising his voice slightly so that Megamind, sliding into the driver’s seat, will hear, “Proud of you, kid.”
“Yep,” the Warden says, matching Lou’s volume. “Me, too.”
Roxanne, in the passenger seat, watches as Megamind flushes and sort of twitches involuntarily.
“Thank you,” he says in a rush, and then quickly closes the metal panel between the two halves of the car.
“Ugh!” he groans, and leans his head on the steering wheel.
“Are you okay?” Roxanne says, torn between amusement and real concern. “Are you sure you—want both of them along? I mean—one of them is your prison warden and the other one tried to shoot you today…”
“Yes,” Megamind says, head still on the steering wheel, “I’m fine. It’s just—family. And. And people being—people are being really nice to me? I don’t really—that’s not—”
“Megamind,” Roxanne says, voice soft. Megamind makes a strangled noise and she switches tactics. “Seriously, do you call this a kidnapping?” she says, making her voice as flat and unimpressed as possible. “You haven’t even put me in the back of the car.” Megamind turns his head, peering up at her from where he’s still leaning against the wheel, an expression of bemusement on his face.
“Are you—being mean to me to make me feel better?” Megamind asks.
“Is it helping?” Roxanne asks.
“Really, Megamind,” Roxanne says, huffing a put-upon sigh and gesturing, “you haven’t even tied me up.”
“Whatever was I thinking,” Megamind murmurs, sitting up, a smile at the edges of his mouth.
“Clearly, you weren’t,” Roxanne says, “I mean, I could just—go anywhere I want to.”
She climbs over into his lap.
“See what I mean?”
“A terrible oversight,” Megamind agrees, definitely smiling now. “I’m appalled at myself.”
“Besides,” Roxanne continues, “I really don’t have time for the whole kidnapping thing right now, Megamind.”
“Oh?” he says, hands settling at her waist. “Plans for the day, Miss Ritchi?”
“Terribly important ones,” Roxanne says, sliding her hands beneath the collar of his cape, palms against the skin of his neck, watching his eyes go half-lidded in response.
“Really? Do tell.”
Roxanne leans forward and runs the tip of her tongue over the rim of Megamind’s ear, then whispers, “I’m getting married today.”
Megamind makes a soft noise and moves his hands from her waist to the curve of her ass—
A loud knock on the dividing panel makes them both jump.
“Not to interrupt whatever’s going on up there,” the Warden says in a dry tone, muffled by the panel, “but Minion’s wondering when we’re going to get on the road. He says we’ll have to stop soon so Miss Ritchi can try on her dress, and he’d like us to at least have the car started by then.”
Roxanne snickers and climbs back into her own seat.
“Nagging fish,” Megamind mutters, a high flush on his ears, making them turn pink.
He starts the car.
The wedding party is definitely one of the weirder ones that Carl, the Elvis impersonator/minister at the ‘Lil White Church has ever seen, which is saying something.
But really: a blue alien dressed like a heavy metal singer, a woman in a white dress and a spike crown, a flying robot, a fish in a mechanical gorilla suit, a man built like a bodybuilder who constantly hovers several inches above the ground, a mustachioed man in a conservative suit, another man (who Carl is pretty sure is a gangster) with a bandaged hand and a limp, an impeccably attired society lady, and one very bewildered manicurist named Todd.
At least the bride and the groom seem happy and—actually quite in love. They’re already wearing their rings; when he gets to that part of the speech, they both fumble to pull them off, hand them to each other, and then put them on each other’s fingers again.
“—you may now kiss the—oh. Uh. Well. I guess you’re—already doing that,” Carl says, then clears his throat. “Anyway—”
Megamind breaks the kiss, picking Roxanne up and spinning her around, both of them laughing.
Even Carl’s deeply cynical Las Vegas heart is touched by the looks on their faces; he quietly snaps another picture.
(He already took one of the whole party, earlier: standard package at the ‘Lil White Chapel only includes one photograph, but. Well. He figures he can hand out a freebie just this once.)
“Thank you, thank you very much,” he says, not really minding how nobody’s really listening.
They leave Lou in Vegas (plenty of crime in Vegas, kid) and Minion rehydrates the hoverbike for Megamind and Roxanne to use before driving the Warden and Lady Scott (and Spikeless, who tries to hide behind the hoverbike) back to the city. Todd elects to fly back with Wayne again—evidently the date hadn’t been a complete disaster.
Minion pushes a small package into Megamind’s hands before hugging him.
“Ah—yes—I—ahem.” Megamind says, a flush lighting up his face. “Thank you.”
Megamind and Roxanne take the hoverbike to a small town outside of Vegas.
(Roxanne jokingly suggests they go to that Area-51-themed town of Rachel and really blow the minds of the people at that A’Le’Inn hotel.
“Veeery funny,” Megamind says dryly. “but—I’d imagine me getting attacked by a mob would probably put a damper on the honeymoon.”)
Neither of them know the name of the town they do end up at, but the hotel is nice and, although the woman at the front desk does give them a strange look, there is certainly no attacking mob.
“I,” Roxanne says, “am going to take a bath.”
She more than half-expects Megamind to suggest joining her, and is fully ready to accept the offer, but he merely nods.
Roxanne goes to drain the water from the bath after she’s done, and then pauses and reconsiders. They’re—already married (married; she’s married to Megamind; she finds herself smiling and is quite unable to stop) but the—point—of the bathwater probably still stands, doesn’t it?
He can always drain the bathwater if he doesn’t want to use it.
(He does use it, a warm glow in his chest spreading outwards as he sinks into the water—Roxanne knows what this means now, and she still—he wraps his arms gleefully around his chest. Married. He’s married to Roxanne.)
He steps out of the bath and drains the water, dries off, and opens the package Minion gave him.
He looks at what’s inside and takes a deep, shaky breath.
Okay, he can do this.
Roxanne sits on the bed in the nightgown she’d managed to stuff into her bag while Megamind wasn’t looking (the light blue one, with the black lace—she bought it in a weak moment a week after Valentine’s Day and hasn’t ever been self-indulgent enough to wear it before now).
She smooths the lace over her thighs (again) and tells herself (again) that it is ridiculous for her to be this nervous.
Megamind has already—they are married, for—
(married, she thinks, heart fluttering)
She takes a deep breath, which is probably for the best, because in the next moment the bathroom door opens and Megamind is standing in the doorway and Roxanne—
—absolutely stops breathing.
He’s wearing a white shirt, made out of the same, gauzy material as the top layer of Roxanne’s wedding dress, and absolutely nothing else but his wedding ring. The cut of the shirt is similar to the one she’d loaned him that he’d called ‘very nearly not clothing at all’. This one is even less like clothing; the hemline reaches halfway down his thighs but the translucent material leaves—really almost nothing to the imagination, and the neckline is wide enough that it’s slipped entirely over one shoulder and very nearly over another, all of his neck and his collarbones exposed.
Megamind pauses in the doorway in a way that Roxanne—isn’t entirely certain if it’s an intentional pose or not; Megamind has always known how to make an entrance but—
She looks at his face; his expression, as he’s looking at her—
He looks just as awestruck as she is.
“What—what are you wearing?” Megamind asks. She’s—Roxanne is dressed in his colors: a sky blue close to the shade of his skin and black lace and god she is so very—
“—me?” Roxanne asks, “What about you?”
“Ah,” he says, with a quick, uncertain movement of his hands, “well. It’s. Traditional? Sorry, this is probably really—I’ll just—”
“Don’t,” Roxanne says softly, and he stops backing away. “I want to look at you.”
He freezes, eyes wide, as she does.
“Traditional, huh?” Roxanne says, after a long moment of looking at him as he blushes even harder.
“Uh, yes?” Megamind says.
“That shirt I gave you before,” she says, “really was incredibly suggestive, wasn’t it?”
“So, um,” he says, “this. Is this okay?”
Roxanne’s heart is—so full of love that it feels as though it’s spilling out of her into the air.
Is this okay? Oh, you foolish, foolish man—
She holds out her hand to him and the blue stone in the middle of her ring catches the light.
“Come here, love,” she says, smiling.
He smiles back at her, slow and wide and filled with joy—
(…these two fools live happily ever after)
Thank you so much for reading! And for all of the lovely reviews!
I had such a good time writing this story; I hope you all enjoyed it, too!
A really excellent piece of fanart for the story by tumblr user animefreakkatie can be found at http://setepenre-set.tumblr.com/post/144847458094/animefreakkatie-yay-its-finally-finished
The link goes to my tumblr (I go by setepenre-set there) which is primarily Megamind-themed. You are all welcome to follow me!