All Along

Part 2: Roxanne

Did she ever get tired of being kidnapped? Yes. But did she hate being kidnapped?

Well, the first time was absolutely horrible. Her first day on the job, and she went from trying not to swoon over MetroMan to nearly gagging at his cliché answers to any of the carefully thought-out questions she posed, then suddenly she was flying through the room and blue and black leather had grabbed her. At first she thought it was the studio guys, either playing a really, really nasty trick on her, or just trying to up their show's ratings. Then, she saw the giant fish in a robot gorilla body screaming as the laser he sat at swung from side to side.

"I don't believe this," she groaned. That was about when the screaming stared. It wasn't that she thought this skinny blue alien would hurt her, no, but she could just see him crashing into a cliff or the engines failing or his stupid machine blowing up and they were all going to die—

Then suddenly MetroMan's arms were around her and the air went blessedly still. He set her down back at the studio and she thanked him, then wobbled off to the bathroom to empty her stomach.

She prepared herself for the next time, attending women's defense classes, talking about MetroMan as much as possible on the air, even convincing him to come in for a second interview. The day of the interview, she loitered in the back alley alone, and sure enough, someone tried to grab her and drag her away. The gorilla-fish-thingy. She hung limp, letting it take her to the car, and her plan worked—it kept apologizing and didn't even tie her up properly. As soon as the blue idiot was within hitting distance, she wiggled out of its grasp and went haywire with the only weapon on hand, her purse. Everybody got quite wacked up, and by the time MetroMan came, she had already saved the day.

They resorted to knock-out spray and tight-fitting metal handcuffs after that one. Her kidnappings became so regular, any time any MetroMan even would happen, or, she began to suspect, if Megamind started to get bored, he would go out and kidnap her.

She couldn't exactly complain—as annoying as it was to be kidnapped again and again, her fans seemed to enjoy the spectacle. MetroMan started calling her by name—in fact, she might have been the only citizen of Metro City whom he would call by name. It kept her on her toes, too—many a tiring day at the studio would brighten up after a few minutes of exchanging insults with the blue self-proclaimed evil genius. Although she began to question the 'evil' part—he treated it like it was one big game for him, and it got hard not to play along.

Like the time he used her as bait and battled MetroMan while a laser got closer and closer to decapitating her. He actually managed to pin MetroMan down, and the red beam slid across her throat, but nothing happened. It was a fake. She wasn't sure if he was just too squeamish to kill her, or if he actually started to like her company. If she didn't know better, it seemed like he was always trying to impress her. But that would never be right, because she was just a prop in his perfect little play that he kept repeating, more ridiculous each time, and besides, she was supposed to be dating MetroMan. The good guy always got the girl.

But what if Megamind was the good guy?

Don't be an idiot, she told herself. He keeps trying to destroy and take over the city. But she had done her research, looked into his childhood, and she couldn't help but feel bad for him. Besides, he had never actually hurt anyone. Sometimes, she thought he was like a lost soul, with no idea what to do, how to act, who had been rejected so many times that he had internalized everything and…

She cut off that train of thought. It was one thing to be growing fond of their frequent encounters, forgivable—after all they were exciting, they spiced up her life—she was even allowed to start to like Minion, who was adorable and funny and loyal. But to start to like him, that was unforgivable. That was losing, that was completely not fair to MetroMan and to the city and to the way the universe was supposed to work.

She allowed herself different ways to express this. She indulged in his banter, she tired to figure out everything she could about him, she took pride in the biting little comments she could use to get him all worked up (Trite! Cliché! Unoriginal! Boo-ring!). She kept herself wound up so tightly everywhere else, but with him, she could actually, sort of, well, be herself.

Then suddenly MetroMan died, and everything was ruined. He had a city to rule, and he had no idea how to do it, and he just started making a mess out of things. With MetroMan gone, she was nobody's love interest, and there was no reason to worry about her, no reason to kidnap her. Everything that had been good in her life had died, and she hated Megamind with a passion for taking that away.

Then Bernard had come. Quiet, uncaring Bernard had suddenly become animated, and talking to him was almost like talking to Megamind again, except they were allowed to agree, and Bernard was normal, and she could like Bernard and he could like her and it wouldn't matter. Suddenly, everything is Metro City didn't seem so hopeless, and for the first time in months, she laughed.

She was head over heels for this guy.

Then, in Megamind's lair—he had stood up to the slimy little alien! He had saved her life! He was everything she had ever dreamed of, and more. He was a real hero, not one in white tights, but a real person, with real courage, and real determination, who might actually perhaps like her a bit?

Then weirdly, like a dream come true again, the city cleaned up. Paintings appeared back at their places in the museum. Megamind returned the money to the banks, and the city began functioning again.

"Who tamed the beast?" she asked. He had seemed sort of normal—well, as normal as he ever was—when she and Bernard has stormed his lair. Well, actually, he had been acting a bit weirdly, fighting with Bernard, and he had seemed a bit…strange. Nervous. Like he actually had something to lose. She bit her lip. "This is Roxanne Ritchi, cautiously optimistic, reporting from Metro City."

Cautiously optimistic. Because she had her journalist intuition, and she could tell that something was wrong. There was some connection that she wasn't seeing, and it was going to come back and bite her. She could just feel it.

She almost felt better when she discovered Titan, who happened to be her slightly creepy stalker cameraman, who now suddenly thought they were dating. For goodness sake, she would rather date Megamind! At least he had the courtesy to know when he was being rejected, and trade witty banter, and knock her out before proceeding to fly through the city at breakneck speed. At least he could take a hint! And he had, in his own twisted way, some semblance of morals, of honor, this code he lived his life by. Hal…she shivered. What he wanted, he took, and now that he had this power…

Still, she felt better. Her life was out of wack again, and it felt familiar. Actually, it felt great. She and Bernard could deal with it together, and it made him feel like less of a dream.

They were drinking, they were laughing, she was confessing more of her inner feelings that she had ever shown anyone before, then suddenly they were kissing.

Then she leaned back and looked at him, his blue face, his goatee. His big green eyes, gazing into hers. It had been Megamind all along, and really, she had known all along. Bernard being there the entire time at the lair, and how he kept acting weirdly? The city cleaning up, the museums, the banks, after she had told Bernard how upset seeing her precious city in ruins made her? The witty banter that challenged her mind and made her laugh?

The surprised, delighted look that lit up her face when she had hugged him, like it was the first time anyone had hugged him?

She couldn't stand the idea, couldn't stand what it meant, so she went running of into the rain.

"Wait! Roxanne! I can explain!"

"Explain what? Are you really that evil? It wasn't enough to kill MetroMan and destroy the city, but you actually made me care about you, too? Why?" Her heart was so broken that she didn't care she was admitting that she cared.

Then she saw the look on his face, and she realized that maybe it wasn't so unrequited after all. "Did you really ever think we could be together?" she whispered, half to herself.

His face fell. "No." The rest of the sentence was unspoken—but it didn't matter, because every second with you was precious enough to make the rest of my lonely life worth it.

Suddenly, she felt very, very tired, and very, very alone. She walked away, but she looked back, already regretting what she said. She loved the Megamind underneath but she hated the idea of him, but no, this was for the best, so she forced herself to keep on walking.

She couldn't repress the excitement, the hope that rose when he showed up at her apartment the next day. And when he risked his life to save her from Titan, or Tighten, rather, she realized the truth: she had been fond of him from the very beginning. She could never had admitted it, but if she really paused, took the time, thought about it, she had loved him all along.


Thank you for all your reviews. I much appreciate the feedback.