All right, I admit it; I wrote Megamind fanfiction. Normally I wouldn't write for a fandom like this, but it was just so darn cute. Anyway, this is just a short piece of AU fluffishness that wouldn't leave me alone after I saw the movie. It's also one of my first honest attempts at romance. Enjoy!
Roxanne trudged down the street, head down and arms wrapped around herself. The rain poured down on her, and she shivered in her tiny dress – her cutest, the one she had worn to impress him. Bernard had been so sweet, understanding, and she had wanted to look good just for him. Now Bernard was gone. There was no Bernard, never had been a Bernard, just him.
She hurt too much to try walking angrily. It would have felt better to be furious. Then she could stride away, heels clacking, after having delivered some venomous insult. She could punch her couch cushions when she got home and go to sleep when she had exhausted herself. There was no anger, though. She kept trying to summon it, but there was this cold pit in her chest that wouldn't get out of the way.
Around her, piles of trash and filth exploded into being. They had always been there, but it had taken this long for them to appear – like the truth, she thought bitterly. She remembered having reported that the city was being cleaned, and wondering whether he had changed his ways.
"Ha," she said aloud, but it sounded hollow.
She couldn't believe she had liked him, told him her secrets, held his hand, trusted him. It made her sick to think how she had lain awake at nights with a stupid grin on her face and had trouble breathing whenever they touched. She hated that she had dressed up tonight, just to see his face light up because she had loved the way he watched her. She shuddered. What had he really been thinking when he looked at her like that?
If the squealing of tires almost shocked her through her revulsion, then seeing him stumble out of midair definitely did. Roxanne turned around without pause and walked the other way, even if it would take twice as long to get to her apartment this way. "I can explain!" he called after her.
There was the rage. She welcomed it – it would get rid of everything else. She spun around, hands clenched into fists at her sides. "What do you think you can explain?" she snarled. "You killed Metroman and destroyed our city! Now you think you can parade around as someone else?" She had intended to hurt him as much as possible, but now it all came pouring out, whether she wanted it to or not. "What made you think you could toy with me, make me care about you? What could you possibly have hoped to accomplish with this?"
He didn't answer. He wasn't even looking at her, just standing there with his shoulders slumped looking at the ground. After a moment, his eyes twitched up and finally locked with hers. He looked defeated, as though she had physically assaulted him with her tirade, but there was something else there, too.
It didn't click so much as thud into place, leaving her shaken. "No. No, no, no. You can't be serious. This is…. You didn't actually…." He cringed. Roxanne, half-hysterical, had to repress the urge to laugh. Here she was, standing alone in the rain with this villain, the one who had destroyed her hero, her city; here was the dictator of her world, and he was the one begging her. This was too much to take in. "You didn't actually think…."
He still said nothing, but his gaze dropped back to the ground with a sharp exhalation. He was waiting for judgment, she realized. No – waiting to be condemned. Had he really taken over the city? It didn't seem possible, watching him now. She tried to say it – did you really think I would ever be with you? – but she couldn't. She couldn't do it to him, not when he was standing there in the rain looking like someone about to receive the killing blow. It was stupid; she should hate him, not only for the things he had done to the city, but for what he had done to her – playing with her feelings, making her actually think there was someone for her. Bernard had been amazing. He had done everything for her. He had always listened to her. He'd followed her work. When they went out, he'd never looked at anyone else the entire time. He'd taken her to see the newly cleaned park and shown her the restored museum. No, not Bernard…
Megamind had fixed everything. Whenever she'd confessed a problem to Bernard, Megamind had provided the solution. He had returned the paintings, cleaned up the trash, and reopened the banks – he had, in effect, done everything she wanted. He'd never had to; he could have easily kept up Bernard's persona without doing anything for her. But he had; he'd tried to make her happy.
No, she told herself viciously. Stop it. He's the bad guy. But he was looking at her again, which made her realize that she had been standing silently in the rain for some time, but he wasn't going to say anything before she did.
"Let's get somewhere dry," she said at last. Her teeth were chattering, making it difficult to get the words out.
His eyebrows drew together in utter perplexity, but he agreed. "Yes! Somewhere dry. You look cold." His voice trailed off hesitantly on the last sentence. It was something Bernard would have said, she realized as he led her around something that she couldn't see except for the fact that it was collecting rainwater. He pulled on something in midair, and the interior of a car appeared. Roxanne knew that getting in a car with a supervillain could never be a good idea, but at least it was out of the rain.
"So explain," she commanded tersely when they were both safely inside. "You said you could explain."
He did a double-take and his hands opened and closed on the steering wheel, just like Bernard's used to do when he was especially nervous. "I… There was…" He gestured wildly, as if trying to snatch the right words out of the air. "The night at Metroman's monument… No." He frowned. "Is that right? Is that the beginning? I don't know…." He groaned and let his forehead hit the steering wheel.
"Were you faking it?" Roxanne demanded.
Megamind shot up in his seat, horrified. "No! Never! Everything I told you was the truth." He grimaced a bit. "Well, most of it. Everything important. I…" He reached for her hand, but she snatched it away. He slumped back in his seat, shoulders hunched again, staring out at the rain. "I never lied about the way I felt," he murmured.
She eyed him suspiciously. "You cleaned up the city."
"Yes. That was me. I did that." He glanced out at the reappeared garbage. "Well, temporarily."
"And you returned the artwork."
"Yes. And I was terrified that you would guess my identity then."
"Then why did you do it?"
He seemed rather surprised. "Because you said you wanted them back." He turned back to the windshield, and Roxanne couldn't tell whether he was smiling. "I recall that you spent the whole time at El Perro Perezoso's talking about it. I was going to ask if you liked the sahlza, but I could hardly get a word in edgewise around all the talk about paintings! You were quite upset. Really, my course of action couldn't have been more obvious…."
Roxanne headed him off before he could start rambling, something he tended to do – something Bernard had tended to do. "Then why did you lie to me? If you really intended to do all these things for me," she added, tone still sharp, "why couldn't you have done them as you instead of playing mind games with me?"
He gave her a long, sad, sideways look before his eyes slid back to the rain outside. "I wasn't… I didn't think… you would ever…" His voice sounded hoarse; he cleared his throat and tried again. "Bernard was a nice fellow who had never taken over Metrocity or kidnapped you or… killed anyone," he said, forcing some joviality into it. "And he wasn't frighteningly handsome. Or blue. Or an alien." He watched for her reaction, almost pleading. "Do you understand now?"
She did. She had blamed Megamind for everything. Had he tried to approach her before all this, it would not have been pretty. Even now, she remembered the shock of disgust that had run through her at the restaurant upon opening her eyes and realizing who she was kissing. She understood, but she wasn't about to say it. It was being deceived, she realized, that had hurt so much. She pressed the heels of her palms into her eyes. She couldn't cry now. "Just take me to my apartment," she muttered past the lump in her throat. She was being too emotional; she just needed to go home. She felt the car obediently accelerate. He could kidnap her easily right now, she realized. And Metroman wouldn't be there to save her. Somehow, though, she wasn't very worried about that.
They rode in silence, Megamind only occasionally glancing at her and appearing as though he wanted to say something. Roxanne thought long and hard, wrapping her mind bit by bit around the truth. Megamind was Bernard. Megamind was the sweet and attentive guy she had come to know. Megamind had worked hard to make her happy; Megamind had put everything right just for her.
They stopped in front of her apartment building, jolting her out of her thoughts. "We're here," he said unnecessarily. He was fidgeting again. She watched his hands clench and release the steering wheel before looking him in the eye. If she looked hard enough, she could see the man she had dated. He was watching her just like he had when he'd first asked her out. "I… I won't bother you again. All you have to do is say the word. I mean, if you never want to see me again, I completely understand…."
"Megamind," she interrupted. He blinked, mouth clicking shut. He seemed mildly surprised about hearing his own name. "Will you do something for me?"
"Anything," he said so softly that she almost didn't hear.
This was stupid, she knew. There weren't many decisions dumber than the one she was about to make. But there were some things she knew for sure now. "Next time," she began, and his eyes widened, "don't wear the disguise."
He gaped at her, the edges of his mouth starting to twitch into a disbelieving smile. Before he could say anything, she had leaned forward, kissed him, and gotten out of the car.
"I will!" he called after her, breathless, as she climbed the front stairs. "I mean, no, I won't! But I'll see you soon… Roxanne! At eight – Tuesday! I'll be here!" She turned around at the door, sheltered from the rain by an overhang, to smile at him. He grinned back, impossibly ecstatic, from the car. "Good night!"
"Good night, Megamind," she called back to him. She was still smiling when she came in.
"Hey, Ms. Ritchi," the receptionist said from the desk. "Did you have a nice time with that Bernard guy?"
Roxanne got on the elevator, hardly noticing the receptionist's face at her proclamation: "Oh, I'm not dating Bernard. I'm with Megamind."