"You're not wearing blue," Roxanne says.
"Uh, no?" Wayne says, looking down at his white polo shirt, "Why would I be?"
"It's a Wolverines game!" Roxanne says, gesturing to the blue baseball tee, proudly emblazoned with the Metro City Wolverines logo, that she's wearing. "What do you mean, why would you be? Come on, Wayne; it's time to get into the game day spirit!"
"They're the worst team in the National League, Roxy," Wayne says.
"Hey!" Roxanne says sharply, grabbing her purse up from her kitchen counter, "don't knock my team, Wayne. This is going to be our year; just wait and see."
Wayne sighs a long suffering sigh.
"I can't wait for football to start," he says. "At least the Lions win sometimes."
Roxanne shoots him a glare and leads the way out the door.
Wayne, of course, isn't the only one who feels that way about Metro City's baseball team. The Metro City Wolverines are, in inescapable fact, the worst team in the National League. Honestly, they're the worst team in the entire MLB.
Metro City prides itself on winning; their baseball team is, to be perfectly frank, a bit of an embarrassment to everyone in the city except really die-hard fans.
People talk about the 'blue curse'; there was actually a push a few years ago to change the team colors to something that wasn't the same color as the other person in Metro City who's famous for losing. The fans got up a petition in protest at the proposed change, though (Roxanne signed it) and the colors stayed.
Wayne's mother isn't wearing blue, either. And Wayne's father has, evidently, declined to join them. Roxanne doesn't regret his absence (she doubts she's exchanged over two dozen words with the man the entire time she and Wayne have been fake-dating), but it does make things a little weird—instead of this being a 'double date' with Wayne's parents, it feels like Wayne's mother is chaperoning the two of them.
(as if they need chaperoning; please)
If this was anything but a Wolverines game, Roxanne would be tempted to fake a headache or something, and stay home. But there is no way Roxanne is passing up a ticket to a Wolverine's home game, okay. No way.
Of course the Scotts have the best seats in the stadium even though they aren't interested in baseball: field box seats on the first base line, five rows up—she can see the whole field, but they're still so gloriously close to the players (who are on the field now, warming up). Roxanne is barely able to stop herself from bouncing in her seat with glee. Wayne looks bored and takes out his phone. His mother strikes up a conversation with an acquaintance in the row behind them.
"Hey," Roxanne says to Wayne, "I'm gonna go get snacks before the game starts; do you want something?"
"Ugh, stadium food?" Wayne says, making a face.
Roxanne rolls her eyes and goes to search out some crackerjacks.
(and maybe place a bet, if she can find a bookie. Roxanne has a good feeling about this game.)
Megamind would be the first to admit that his position as Metrocity's Master of All Villainy is not always a glamorous one.
Just now, for example, he's holding a meeting with his head stadium bookies in a janitorial closet.
It is next to impossible to be properly intimidating in a janitorial closet; for one thing, there simply isn't room. For another thing, the mop in the corner keeps trying to fall on him, and he's been forced to keep it propped it up with one hand, which is severely cramping his style.
At least he had the foresight to make this a meeting with only the head bookies; they'll have to pass the word along to their underlings themselves. There definitely isn't room for everyone in here.
(this is, most likely, a waste of time; Megamind got a tip from one of his ticket scalpers that some of the stadium bookies were taking more than their fair cut of the vigorish, but Megamind is pretty sure the man just wanted to stir up trouble for no reason. But he finds it's best to put the fear of Evil into his employees from time to time in any case. And it's a good excuse to come to a game—definitely always worth it, even if crowds do tend to make Megamind feel a bit twitchy.)
"So," Megamind says menacingly, gesturing with the mop handle for emphasis, "I do hope we are all very clear that—"
There is a knock on the closet door. For a moment, everyone is silent.
The knocking sounds again.
Megamind puts his hand on the handle of the de-gun (the hand that isn't still holding up the mop) and motions to Shufty Liechester to see who is at the door.
Shufty opens the door a crack and looks through it.
"Tom," he says in an aggravated whisper, "what do you want? The Boss is talking right now, you idiot!"
The voice of Tom comes through the crack in the door—
"I'm sorry! I'm sorry! It's just she won't leave me alone! Says she wants to make a bet! I didn't know what to do!"
There is a silence.
"Tom," Shufty says patiently, "you're a bookie. If someone wants to place a bet, that means you—"
"But it's Her," Tom wails in a whisper, "it's the Boss's girl!"
"—come again?" Megamind says in a quiet, deadly voice.
(he hasn't got a girl; is this some sort of joke at his expense?)
Shufty sees the expression on Megamind's face and gulps audibly.
"—aah, sorry, sir, Tom's a bit of an idiot; he doesn't mean any—"
"Oh, you know what I mean!" Tom says in a panicked undertone, "it's Roxanne Ritchi and she followed me here; please let me in, Shufty—"
Shufty opens the door only slightly wider and hauls Tom inside. Megamind slams the door shut behind him and, on second thought, locks it. He wouldn't put it past Roxanne to—
Sure enough, the handle jiggles.
"Hello," he hears Roxanne's voice on the other side of the door, "come on, is this a joke? I know you're in there."
"Let me get this straight," Megamind says to Tom in a pleasant whisper. (Megamind smiles a slightly manic smile and Tom gibbers a bit) "—you, as an illegal bookie, were approached by a reporter—"
"—didn't know what to do," Tom says feebly.
"—so you decided to lead her straight to the secret meeting of the leaders of the underground gambling ring?!" Megamind concludes, gesticulating wildly (he still has the mop in that hand, which means that he ends up very nearly smacking himself in the face with the handle, but he recovers quickly and valiantly pretends that it didn't happen.
Roxanne knocks impatiently on the closet door. Tom makes a pathetic noise as all of the other bookies present turn to look expectantly at Megamind, who grinds his teeth together and resists the urge to bang his giant blue head against the door repeatedly.
Why is everything always so much more difficult than it needs to be?!
Roxanne knocks on the door of the janitorial closet again. She frowns, hearing someone speak on the other side of the door. Is that—it sounds like—
She leans closer, pressing her ear to the door, and then stumbles and almost falls as the door is suddenly yanked open.
Someone catches her and Roxanne stands upright quickly, a little embarrassed.
The guy standing in front of her isn't the same one who vanished into the closet. The one who hid in the closet had been wearing a suit—an ugly suit, but still, a suit—this one is dressed low slung jeans and a slightly ragged blue Wolverines hoodie.
Something—she doesn't recognize him, but something about him—his posture, the tilt of his chin, the way he moves when he reaches behind himself to shut the closet door with a sharp snap—something about him seems oddly familiar. He reminds her of—
oh get a grip, Roxanne, she scolds herself. you are not thinking about him today; you are here to watch baseball.
(she really needs to get over this thing she has for Megamind; it's starting to make her crazy; this guy looks nothing like him, Roxanne.)
"Can I help you, Miss Ritchi?" the man asks.
Roxanne takes a sharp breath, recognition jolting through her, because that voice—he sounds like—
She looks at him more closely, and sees what she missed at first glance: the color of his eyes, the lightning bolt pattern on his belt buckle, the way he tips his head—Megamind's logo on the face of his wristwatch—she is not crazy, this is Megamind and how in the world did Megamind make himself look human?
"You know who I am?" she asks, wondering if he can tell that she knows who he is—she doesn't think so.
"Doesn't everyone?" he asks, raising both eyebrows now—Megamind's expression on a face that is not his own.
So he doesn't know she recognizes him; should she let him know?
"Is that why your friend ran away from me?" she asks. "Because I'm a reporter? I kept trying to ask him for the odds but he wouldn't give them to me."
What was Megamind doing in a janitorial closet? Is it an evil plot of some kind? It doesn't seem to be; if it was, he'd be kidnapping her now, not just standing her talking to her.
"Illegal betting?" Megamind asks, smiling a sharp smile, "tsk tsk. Whatever would your boyfriend think, Miss Ritchi?"
(if she tells him—if she tells him that she knows who he is, they'll have to fall into their usual damsel/supervillain pattern of interaction, won't they. She won't be allowed to smile at him flirtatiously—like this—and step close to him—like that—and put her hand on his arm—like so—)
"Wayne," she says, "disapproves of everything fun."
Megamind laughs in a shocked way.
(she won't be able to hear him laugh like that, not a theatrical supervillain cackle, but a real laugh)
"Come on," Roxanne says, biting her lip and looking at Megamind appealingly (his gaze drops briefly to her mouth and Roxanne's heart flutters just a little), "give a girl the odds on the long shot, yeah?"
Megamind glances down at her hand on his arm, but he doesn't try to step away.
(both of them are too taken up with staring at each other to notice the closet door cracking open again)
"You really want to bet on the Wolverines beating the best ranked team in the league?" Megamind asks disbelievingly.
Roxanne shrugs, still smiling.
"I always did like the underdog," she says, then adds, daringly, "especially the ones in blue."
Megamind's lips part.
Roxanne glances down at the shirt Megamind is wearing, then back up into his face, and arches an eyebrow.
"You're wearing blue, I see," she says, "don't you think we can win?"
"I—never said I wasn't a fan, Miss Ritchi," Megamind says, "I just—find it's best not to get my hopes up."
"How depressing," Roxanne says.
"I prefer 'realistic'," he says.
"Hmm," Roxanne says critically. "Give me the odds, then, and let me prove you wrong."
"You don't give up, do you, Miss Ritchi?" he says, shaking his head.
"Not when it's something I really want," Roxanne says. "And please—call me Roxanne."
Megamind pauses for a moment.
"—six to one against," he says, "Roxanne."
"You're on," Roxanne says, repressing a shiver at hearing him call her by her name.
She gets her wallet out of her purse and takes out two twenties, offering them to him.
Megamind takes the two bills from Roxanne.
(he can feel his own heartbeat in his throat—she asked him to call her Roxanne—calm down, Megamind; she doesn't know it's you; it doesn't mean anything)
"You're very trusting," he comments.
She grins at him and reaches out to put her hand on his arm again.
And this—this isn't fair; Megamind isn't prepared for this; how is he supposed to deal with something like Roxanne Ritchi with her hand on his arm and smiling at him (smiling! at him!) without being warned ahead of time?
"Not really," she says, "I'm taking you back to sit with me."
Megamind freezes for a moment and sees a touch of uncertainty creep into Roxanne's expression.
"They're good seats," she says, sounding unsure, "I promise."
(as though she's trying to convince him, as though she thinks he'll refuse, as though her presence isn't temptation enough to defeat his better judgement.)
"Won't your boyfriend have something to say about that?" he asks, but he's already offering his arm to her, letting her slide her hand around so that her arm is linked with his—god, oh god—
"Oh, no, see," Roxanne says, opening her eyes up, wide and innocent, "I was in line at the concession stand when I just so happened to see my very good friend…" she pauses for a moment, clearly waiting for him to supply a name.
"Miguel," Megamind says.
"My very good friend Miguel," Roxanne says, "who I haven't talked to in forever—and so of course I just had to invite him to sit with me!"
"He really won't have a problem with you bringing a friend on your date?" Megamind asks dryly.
Roxanne rolls her eyes.
"He'd better not," she says. "Seeing as how he brought his mother."
Megamind laughs and lets her lead him through the crowd.
The occupants of the janitorial closet watch the two of them walk away arm in arm, and then Ned, in the corner, speaks up.
"It's happening today."
Shufty rolls his eyes.
"It is not happening today," he says, "every time the two of them are in the same room, you say 'it's happening today', but I'm telling you—"
"If it happens today—" Rodriguez begins.
"—it is not happening today!"
"If it happens today," Rodriguez continues. "can we even count it? I mean, she doesn't know it's him."
Henry, in the corner opposite Ned, snorts.
"Oh, she knows," he says, "didn't you see the way she was looking at him?"
"She knows," Ned agrees, "and it's happening today."
"It is not—"
"Put me down," Ned says firmly, "in the book for today."
Shufty shakes his head, but takes out the notebook—not the one he uses for stadium bets, the other notebook—and makes a mark next to Ned's name on today's date.
"Anyone else?" he asks.
There is a rough chorus of assent.
"You, too, Tom?" Shifty says, "Well, it's your money. You know the drill, gentlemen, fifty bucks each, into the pot—but I'm telling you, it's gonna take two people who are as clueless as the Boss and Miss Ritchi at least six more months before they manage to get together."
...to be continued.
The Metro City Wolverines are a fictional MLB National League team. In reality, Michigan only has an American League team: the Detroit Tigers. Michigan did have a National League team once, and they were called the Wolverines, but they were also located in Detroit, and the team disbanded after 1888.
In this fic's alternate version of history, the Wolverines did not disband, but moved cities instead, becoming the Metro City Wolverines.