Chapter 22

Roxanne smiled at Megamind, and the ghostly visage of Megan that surrounded him, as they strolled down the street. They'd driven around for a while until she spotted a small Local Supernatural History Museum and talked him into visiting with her. She didn't believe in any of that stuff, but she was always interested in the stories and how they originated. And, since her boyfriend was a man of science, she couldn't help but attempt to tease him.

"Surely you've heard of the Michigan Dogman," she goaded him. "There's been sightings for over a hundred years."

"Yes. I read the same plaque as you," he said dryly. "That doesn't mean that campfire stories told to scare children has any semblance of truth. I can't believe that place actually called itself a museum."

"It collects local supernatural history. It counts," she replied back. "Even superstitions and legends should be remembered and recorded for the historical record."

"But not idolized, Miss Ritchi. Did you see that gift shop?" he chided which caused her to double over laughing when he said her name.

"Y-You can't call me that in your Megan voice. It's too bizarre," she told him when her giggles died down. She held up the bag she was carrying from the gift shop in question and said, "As a matter of fact I did. And I think our roommate will enjoy the ape-man apron."

Finally, his lips quirked like he was holding himself back from a smile and said, "Ok, fine. I admit that the apron is an appropriate gift. But seriously?"

"Aww, you mean you don't think the Nain Rouge will cross our path?" she teased.

He rolled his eyes and said, "Your fake ex-boyfriend has caused enough misfortune in my life, I don't need any supernatural aid in that particular arena."

"Speaking of my fake ex. I'd like to tell him. Before we go public," she said. She felt him shift from mild frustration and amusement to a slight wariness and she sighed. "Look, besides the fact that he is my friend, just logistically we'd need to give him a heads-up beforehand. Otherwise, he'd 'rescue me from your brainwashing evil clutches,' or whatever excuse he'd come up with. And then we'd get nowhere."

"And how would you convince him that you're not brainwashed now?" he asked. "Although I find the practice truly abhorrent and wouldn't stoop that low no matter what the general populous thinks of me."

"Honestly, I was hoping that he'd just believe me," she admitted. Then she frowned and added, "But he always argues with me when I tell him that I'm safe with you."

He was looking thoughtful too and added, "But if he really believed that, then he wouldn't have been late to rescue you so often. Thoroughly unprofessional, is what it is. Are you aware of how many timers of doom I've had to reset because of his tardiness?"

"At least twelve that I've noticed, so I'm sure there were a few others," she answered. "And that's not counting the four kidnappings that he didn't show up at all and Minion had to take me home."

"Yes. Exactly! So, why the arguing?" he asked, puzzled now. "Was he worried about your safety with me or not?"

"Perhaps he was still talking to me as Metro Man warning the Damsel instead of Wayne talking to Roxanne?" she suggested. "He has a hard time turning 'off,' you know."

He rolled his eyes and muttered, "If he has an 'off,' I've never seen it."

"We'll just call a time-out and talk to him," she said firmly, still believing that it was the best course of action.

"Probably the sooner the better," he seemingly changed his mind and continued with, "That way if he does take me to prison, I still have a window to escape before our trip becomes impacted."

Now she rolled her eyes and said, "Scheduling around prison breaks. What even is my life?" Then she bumped his shoulder teasingly and asked, "So if I get thrown in the slammer, will you break me out?"

He covered his eyes briefly and chuckled before looking back at her and answered with, "Ok, three things, my love. The first is I will always come for you. Full stop. Property damage be damned. Second, I will try my best to keep that from happening in the first place. And thirdly… don't call it the 'slammer,' the 'pokey,' or whatever else you've heard it called in those gangster movies. Just prison or jail. Which shouldn't really be used interchangeably, because they are two entirely different places, but that's where we are."

"I'll keep that in mind if I'm ever thrown in the clink," she smiled brightly at him, making him groan. She looked around and realized they were near her former work building. "Hey, I'm hungry and there's a pretty good lunch place around the corner. Want to go? It's after lunch, so it shouldn't be busy now." She knew he would get nervous around lots of people, so she definitely wanted to hit restaurants in their off-peak hours.

"That's fine with me," he shrugged and let her lead him there.

After standing in the short line at the counter discussing whether today was a sandwich or a salad type of day, they placed their order. As Roxanne reached into her purse, they were interrupted.

"I've got it. And can you add a number four to that? Thanks," a woman's voice said from behind them. Megamind instantly stiffened and she squeezed his hand to remind him that she was right there. Suddenly, Kim, the owner of the voice, appeared next to her as she handed some money to the cashier.

Roxanne greeted her in surprise, "Hey, Kim. I was a little worried when you bailed on me last night." Megamind quirked an eyebrow at her and turned to investigate the newcomer as they shuffled out of the way of the register.

"Oh, you had more important things to think about than worrying about getting me home, your majesty," she said with a grin, the sobered and asked, "Is he alright?"

"He's doing better now. Thanks for asking," she replied.

"Oh, good. I was worried," she admitted. She looked over at Megamind, quickly glanced at their still joined hands and said, "Sorry. I didn't mean to interrupt. I'm Kim and I used to work with Roxanne sometimes. And you are…?"

"Megan," Megamind said flatly.

A smile slowly crept over her face and she looked Megamind up and down and said slyly, "Megan, huh? She told me she was dating you. Congrats! And this - is really good," she gestured at him. Their number was called and she turned to grab her lunch before saying, "For some bizarre reason I was late to work today and I need to get back, so I'll let you crazy kids get on with your day. And I am serious about those drinks, Roxanne. Megan. Hit me up, ok?" Then she looked back at Megamind again and said, "You don't get the recognition you deserve, Mega-n. I'm rooting for ya! And tell your friend I hope he's alright!" she continued as she exited the shop.

Roxanne grabbed their food and led Megamind to an out of the way table. She even purposely sat so his back wasn't to the door.

Once they were settled, Megamind asked her, "Did you tell her about…" he cut his eyes down to his disguise watch.

She shook her head and answered, "No. Just that we were dating. I think she just put the pieces together. Us holding hands, your alias, you know."

"Ugh, you would lead me to a nosy reporter hangout," he groused.

"She's not a reporter, she just works at the station," she reminded him. "And she helped me and Minion yesterday, so be nice."

"Nice?!" he sounded positively offended.

She laughed and corrected herself, "I'm sorry. I meant 'please spare her from your immediate villainous machinations.'"

He sniffed haughtily and replied, "I suppose I can spare her. This time."

"Oh, you're so gracious," she teased. They ate in a comfortable silence for a while before she asked, "So, you said you'd rather talk to Wayne sooner than later. How's tonight? I'd suggest after lunch, but I'm going to spend the day with you, dammit."

He leaned closer to her and purred, "My, my. Has someone missed me?"

She leaned towards him and whispered huskily, "Very much so." She closed the small gap between them and gave him a quick kiss. They were in public, so she couldn't exactly demonstrate how much she missed him when he was gone. But when she pulled back, she saw that he was blushing just a little from the PDA, so she was satisfied.

He cleared his throat then took a drink before continuing their previous conversation. "I suppose if you think we really need to tell him, then you can ask him to meet us at your apartment tonight. Just be prepared for it to all go down in metaphorical flames."

She ignored his pessimism and said, "I'll have to tell him you're Megan. He's seen us together and he knows that I'm crazy about her. I can't just say that I dumped her and started dating you. He'd never believe that was real."

"How does he know that? He's only seen Megan at the mall and perhaps that night when you broke up," he reminded her.

She bit her lip and admitted, "He came by the apartment while your roommate and I were packing it up. He used the watch and hid, don't worry. But Wayne may have mentioned that I've looked happy since I was dating her and that I shouldn't let you go. And I may have mentioned that I have no intention of doing so." She smiled at him and said playfully, "Sorry, mister, but you're in my clutches now."

He smiled beatifically and asked, "Why on Earth are you apologizing, my love? You should know by now how much I enjoy being in your clutches." She felt her cheeks warm up at that. "But that does rather put me in a delicate situation of having to tell him about the disguise generator. If we just tell him I'm Megan, he won't believe me without proof. I was hoping to keep that secret if for nothing else than to let Minion and me get out like we are now without drawing undue attention to ourselves."

She drummed her fingers thoughtfully on the table and said, "I know. I'm sorry." An idea hit her and she looked up him and asked, "What if you made him some type of peace offering?" At his instant scowl she quickly changed her wording, "Or-or like a bribe!"

He was squinting at her suspiciously and asked cautiously, "What would that flying lummox ever need that I could make for him? And why would I?"

She explained, "Well the why would be like a trade. He keeps quiet about the watch – and maybe keeps it from getting confiscated at the prison – in return for whatever you make him. And I was thinking maybe something wearable to cancel out his super-hearing?" At his confused look, she continued, "No seriously. He can hear everything in Metrocity. How many arguments are going on in the city right this instant? Screams? Simple conversations? He's told me before that noise canceling headphones only muffles sound to about a twenty-mile radius. I'm willing to bet that he'd be very flexible if you could make something that would make the world be quiet."

Megamind thoughtfully stared off into the distance over her shoulder. She took a bite of her lunch while he worked through whatever problem she had just given him. "You're sure this will give us some negotiation leverage over him?" he asked finally.

She nodded and answered, "It's been his biggest complaint for the last few years. Just how noisy everything is. I think it'd be worth a lot to him."

His eyes shifted back and forth like he was reading something only he could see before he nodded and said, "You've convinced me, my love. But that means we can't meet tonight. I'll have to make the Deafenator first. Tomorrow. I can have a prototype ready by then," his hand was twitching, obviously searching for a pen. She knew then that she mentally lost him for the day. Even if she kept him out, he'd be working on the invention in his head.

She stood up and pulled him with her. "Come on, let's go back home and you can play in your workshop."

"Play?! It was your idea!" he protested as she led him out the door.

/\/\ - /\/\ - /\/\ - /\/\ - /\/\ - /\/\ -

The next evening had Roxanne in her mostly empty apartment along with Megamind and Minion. Both of them wearing their disguises of Megan and Joel and she was happily wearing her new glasses to see mostly through them. There was also a dining table and chairs that they brought along with an array of tea and snacks, courtesy of Minion. Most of the snacks consisted of various flavors of mini cupcakes. She'd have to increase her exercise routine if Minion was going to insist on feeding her these delectable treats along with his usual amazing meals.

There was still an empty chair at the table and Megamind kept nervously glancing from it to the open balcony doors. She'd sent a text to Wayne earlier that day asking him to meet her there and he'd agreed, so they were just waiting for him to arrive. She calmly picked up a mini-cupcake and popped it into her mouth.

"Joel, these are so good," she told Minion while sticking to their aliases until they told Wayne.

"I just thought I'd try something a little different, Ma'am. So, you really liked that one?" he asked and made a little mark in a notebook he'd brought with him for some reason.

Megamind perked up at the 'something different' remark and tasted the same type of mini-cupcake. "Hmm, these are good."

She nudged him and teased, "You just have a sweet-tooth."

He grinned back and said, "I can still appreciate the taste."

"Me too," she said and pulled him to her for a kiss. She heard Minion give a put-upon sigh and noticed that he brought a hand up to shield his eyes from them. She couldn't help but to deepen the kiss and Megamind was all too happy to let her.

"Oh! Sorry! I didn't mean to interrupt," Wayne's voice sounded apologetic, but they broke apart at the interruption.

"Look! It's Metro Man. Metro Man is here," Minion said loudly in a not-so-subtle hint to knock it off.

"Yes, yes. We see," Megamind grumbled as he sat back in his chair and crossed his arms defensively.

Roxanne sat back in hers and said, "Hey, Wayne. Thanks for coming. Have a seat and help yourself."

He sat and said, "Hey, Roxie. Thanks. And what's up?" Then his eyes widened as he took in Roxanne and 'Megan' and said excitedly, "Oh! Did you set a date? Congratulations!"

"A date?" Megamind asked in confusion, but Roxanne interrupted with a nervous laugh.

"No, no. Nothing like that!" She couldn't help but cut her eyes to Megamind and add, "Yet." She looked back at Wayne and said, "No, I wanted you to come by to tell you that I haven't been entirely honest with you lately. And I think it's time we came clean. Well, about the one thing anyway."

"Really?" Wayne looked surprised. "What about?"

She tapped her fingers on the table nervously then said, "First of all, this entire meeting? I'm calling time-out. No fights and nothing leaves here."

"Time-out?" he echoed. "What are you talking about, Roxie?"

"You know what it means," Megamind growled. She placed a hand on his leg under the table and felt him relax marginally.

"I've been around your battles long enough that I know you know what I mean," she replied.

He lowered his voice and said quietly, "That's really just a thing between me and Megamind, Roxie. And it's only for pretty rare situations."

She nodded and said, "I know that too." She pulled her de-gun from her waistband and set it on the table in front of her. She moved her hands away to let him see the signature weapon and asked again, "Time-out?"

He glanced between the weapon and her a couple times, then between the disguised Megamind and Minion sitting on either side of her and noticed they hadn't reacted to the weapon at all. He gave her a confused look and finally agreed, "Yeah, ok. Time-out."

She smiled cheerfully at him and said, "Great! Thanks, Wayne. So… what I wanted to confess is that I'm not, exactly, dating 'Megan.'"

"I dunno, Rox. That was a pretty good kiss I came in on for you not to be dating her," he chided her which caused Minion to snigger. Megamind leaned over to glare at him around Roxanne, which just made Minion snigger harder and thump his fist on the table a few times.

She rolled her eyes and tried again. But this was all part of her plan to ease him into it. "No, what I meant is that 'Megan' isn't real. That's a disguise we've been using. You kind of caught us at the mall, so we've stuck to the same disguise since then."

"Disguise?" he looked over at Megan, obviously looking for evidence of a disguise. Not finding anything, he looked back at Roxanne and admitted, "I don't get it. She doesn't look like a disguise."

Megamind grinned smugly and said, "Thank you. I try."

She took a deep breath and said, "Ok, cards on the table, Wayne. I'm dating Megamind. We want to go public, but I wanted to tell you first."

Wayne went still and looked over Megan again carefully. "Are you trying to tell me that Megan is Megamind in disguise? Because I don't see it," he said cautiously.

"Oh? So your X-ray vision can't see through the illusion? I did wonder," Megamind commented before glancing at Roxanne. She nodded slightly and he set a small box on the table. "A… compromise," he said, looking like he bit into a lemon. "The Deafenator in exchange for keeping quiet about my disguise generator. And if you could perhaps keep the generator out of the prison's hands when you turn me in, I will continue to make modifications to the prototype or make new ones if these get damaged."

Wayne didn't reach for the box and just asked, "How do I know this isn't a trick?"

Roxanne rolled her eyes and said, "First we called time-out. And second, you can tell when I'm lying. It's not a trick."

"Obviously, I can't tell when you're lying, Roxie, if you've been lying to me this entire time," he protested.

"Not telling you something isn't the same as lying, Wayne," she argued back, then she grabbed the box. "Here, I'll test them. And as I've told you a thousand times, Wayne, Megamind won't hurt me."

She defiantly placed the tiny ear buds in her ears and suddenly couldn't hear anything. Not even her breathing or heartbeat, which she always could when she tried to muffle her hearing. She saw Wayne's mouth move, obviously trying to say something to her. "I literally can't hear you," she said. At least, that's what she directed her mouth to say. "Or myself," she added just to clarify.

Megamind said something and gestured in her direction. Since she couldn't add anything to the conversation; she tried a different mini-cupcake. "Oh! This one's good too!" She looked over at Wayne to see he was looking in her direction. She pointed at the delicious snacks and told him, "You should try one." He flinched and patted the air in front of him with both hands. She gave him a look and asked, "What? Oh, am I yelling?" she finally clued in that he was trying to tell her to keep it down.

Megamind waved a hand in front of her to get her attention and she turned to him. He raised his hands to his ears, held his thumbs and forefingers together, then jerked his hands away from his ears. She smiled at him, did as he asked and removed the ear buds.

"Can you hear us, Roxie?" Wayne asked.

"Of course," she answered. "I took out the Deafenator. That was wild." She held them out to Wayne as she saw Minion sitting back down in the seat beside her. She never noticed when he got up. "Totally safe," she prompted, then turned to Minion and asked, "What were you doing back there?"

"Oh, umm… clapping, mostly," he admitted. Ahh, Megamind must have wanted him to further demonstrate the Deafenator.

Wayne hesitated to take the offered ear buds, but she could tell he was curious. He glanced at Megamind and saw that he wasn't making any sudden moves. Finally, he reached out and took the ear buds from her hand. He glanced at her once more and she just smiled warmly. He shrugged and put them in his ears.

Then he went still. His eyes opened wide and he looked around the room. And possibly through it.

"Wayne? How're they working?" she asked. "Can you hear me?" He didn't say anything, just kept looking around.

After a minute of silence, he took them out and looked at Megan. "Deal. No ruining your disguise thing and keeping it out of prison, you got it," he said immediately.

"And let him escape from you more often," Roxanne chimed in.

"Done," he agreed.

Megamind turned off the watch under the table and the ghostly image of Megan glitched away. Minion followed suit. Megamind looked at Roxanne and groused, "That seemed entirely too easy."

She smirked and asked him, "What? Did you want to explain it over deathtraps and robots instead of tea and cake?"

"Yes. Can we do it that way? Please?" he replied only half-serious. She could feel how uncomfortable he'd been this entire meeting. "I'll televise, and ask you to be my Evil Queen, you say yes – if you want to, of course – and I'll have the brainbots stick those things in his ears and convince him I deafened him. All the birds with one stone."

Unexpectedly, Wayne laughed, causing everyone to draw their attention to him. "I guess this really was more of Roxie's idea, then huh?" he asked. "Because I can see you attempting to pull that off."

"See?!" Megamind gestured wildly at his nemesis while looking at Roxanne. She laughed lightly and placed a hand over his.

Wayne cleared his throat and asked, "So how long have you been dating?"

Roxanne smiled, bit her lip and glanced up at Megamind through her eyelashes before answering. "Shortly after my apartment got robbed," she admitted.

"That-that wasn't very long ago, Roxie," he said cautiously.

She shrugged and scooted her chair closer to Megamind. In response he put his arm around her shoulder. She said, "I think it's been long enough."

"Please don't encourage them," Minion pleaded.

Roxanne said in a stage-whisper, "We keep offending his sensibilities."

Minion continued to complain now that he had someone who might listen, "I drive the car, they're all over each other. I walk into a room, they're both tangled on the couch. I've seen pornos with less action!"

That startled a laugh out of Roxanne and she couldn't help but ask, "When did you see a porno?"

"Prison," both Megamind and Minion answered flatly.

She nodded and said, "Fair enough."

"Getting back on track here," Wayne interrupted their tangent. "What's the disguise thing that I'm not letting the prison collect?"

Megamind pointed to his wrist and answered, "My watch. You can just deliver it to Minion or Roxanne."

Wayne then turned his attention to Roxanne and smiled softly at her, "So he's really the guy you've been all goo-goo eyed over?"

She turned and looked Megamind in the eyes and replied softly, "Yeah. He is." She couldn't help but to lean over and kiss him with all the love he was sending her.

"Man, it's about time, you two!" he enthused with a laugh.

She broke away from her kiss and looked at him sharply. "What do you mean?" she asked. She noticed Megamind frowning at him too.

He shrugged and said, "Oh, come on. With all the flirting during your kidnappings, it was kind of obvious you two were into each other."

She gave him a confused look and asked, "If it was 'so obvious,' then why are you always arguing with me about how 'safe' I am with him?"

Wayne gave her a half-smile and replied, "Roxie. I know you. You stay cool and collected. Except when you get angry, then sometimes you blurt things out you didn't really mean to share. I was trying to get you mad enough at me to admit why you felt safe with him and possibly realize your own feelings."

She just gaped at him. Finally she stuttered, "You-I- What?" He was trying to play her?

He just chuckled at her flustered face and said, "I meant what I said earlier, Roxie. You hold on tight, and I still want an invite!"

"I-I'll see what I can do," she answered, still kind of wrong-footed. She could forecast several issues in inviting Wayne to her and Megamind's potential wedding. Although, it would give it an element of legitimacy.

"Great! Well, if that's everything, I think I'll split. I'm going to go home and listen to absolutely nothing for several hours," he stood up from the table then looked over at Megamind and said sincerely, "Thank you." Then he was gone.

There was silence for a moment, then Megamind broke it by saying, "That went infinitely better than I anticipated." He glanced at her and continued, "And I think you undersold the usefulness of the Deafenator. He probably would've agreed to cede Metrocity to me for those ear buds."

She shrugged and said, "I'm still surprised you agreed to make them."

"Haven't you figured it out yet? I have a very hard time saying no to you, Miss Ritchi," he purred at her. She was glad she was still sitting because her knees just went weak.

Minion scoffed and started packing up the uneaten snacks.

He reached out, placed one hand over hers and used the other to gently tilt her chin up until she was looking at him. He softly asked her, "Have you possibly reconsidered my standing offer? Will you be my Evil Queen?"

She bit her lip, looked intently into his eyes, placed a hand on his cheek, and asked softly, "What exactly are you asking me, Megamind?"

"Just stay," he answered truthfully. That's all he's ever wanted from her. "What we have now, marriage, children, reining Metrocity by my side, faking my death and moving to the other side of the world, whatever you want. I'll do it. For you. Just stay."

Her smile slowly lit her face until she was glowing and she answered, "Yes." She laughed delightedly and continued, "Yes, Megamind. All the yes. Call me whatever you want, but yes. I'll stay."

He smiled brightly before pulling her into a deep kiss that she was incredibly happy to return.

AN: Thanks for reading (or re-reading chapters 1-15, as the case may be) and thanks for the lovely comments! I'm excited that I finally finished this fic after it was on hiatus for 7 years. If the mood strikes you, let me know what you thought.