Disclaimer: "Megamind" is owned by Dreamworks. I am not profitting from this fanfiction.
Almost completely hidden, the invisible car prowled along the road, its two occupants eying both sides of the streets. They were looking for a certain brunette who should've gone down this way an hour ago, heading home.
"Where is she?" Megamind hissed, frustrated. How was he supposed to kidnap her if he couldn't find her?
"Maybe she didn't go home," Minion suggested, driving. He pulled to a stop at a red light. The roads were deserted; it was eleven at night. "Maybe she went to a friend's? Or on a date?"
Megamind scowled. With the perfect hair goody two-shoes, no doubt. But before he could muster up any good hatred, he noticed an odd lump down an alley. For some reason, he felt alarmed by the sight, though he couldn't discern what it was at first.
"Minion, stop!" he ordered, eyes widening. That was. . .a person? A well-dressed person, no less? It couldn't be a homeless person. . .and his mind kept coming back to the possibility that it was Roxanne, his preferred captive. He jumped out without thought, rushing over as Minion came after him.
Each step closer only proved it was Roxanne Ritchi. Her face was bruised on one side, and she was wearing a burgundy blouse torn at one shoulder and black slacks. She was unconscious.
"Minion," Megamind said, drawing his fish companion nearer. "How do you wake up an unconscious person?" All he'd ever done before was knock them out.
"Oh, uh," Minion began, kneeling. "Usually you would shake her shoulders or tap her face."
"Her face is purple," he shot back, kneeling down to apply the other method. He grasped her shoulders and shook, wondering how much effort he should be exerting.
Roxanne gave a weak moan, so he figured he was on the right track, weakening the shakes. When she pushed at his hands, wincing, he let go and stood back up, Minion rising with him.
She pushed up to her elbows, touched her cheek with a grimace, and finally blinked open her eyes. They were unfocused, but seemed to notice his boots and clear up. When she rose her gaze and spotted the two of them, she uttered a cry and scrambled back.
"Wha-what?" she demanded. "What do you want?" Straight from fear to fury; her spirit was admirable.
"Uh, well, I was going to kidnap you," he answered honestly, "but now. . ."
She bared her teeth as she righted, but no amount of anger was going to hide the tears brimming in her eyes. That alone shocked him to silence. Roxanne Ritchi did not cry. Other than a few strangled screams the first two times he'd 'napped her, she never even showed any terror. In fact, these last two times, she'd seemed only mildly worried.
"What, suddenly I'm not a good enough captive?" she retorted, facing the wall. "Not a good enough worm on a hook?"
The next words out of his mouth were involuntary. "What happened to you?"
She brushed her hair back, and he saw her fingers were trembling. "I was mugged."
He leaned into Minion, whispering, "What's 'mugged'?"
Minion answered, "It means someone stole her things."
Megamind looked her up and down once more. It was fall; she should have a jacket, he realized. And where was the purse she always had under her arm? Was that what was taken?
Putting up a careless front, he declared, "Well, you're in no condition to get kidnapped today. Minion, call a taxi to this spot." He pulled out a handful of human currency (he always had some on him in case he wanted something like a hot dog and didn't want it added to his rap sheet), coming closer to hand them to a stunned Roxanne.
"What is this?" she asked, eying him warily.
He rolled his eyes as if it were obvious. "Money for your taxi ride home, of course."
"Why?" she queried, narrowing her eyes. Suspicious.
He couldn't blame her. He said, "Because, Miss Ritchi, you were mugged. And you think I'm going to let someone else kidnap you? I think not," he finished with a scoff.
"Taxi's on its way," Minion told them.
"Is that enough to get you home?" Megamind asked, pointing at the wad of bills now clutched in her hand.
She seemed to shake off some stun, replying, "Oh, uh. . ." She glanced at them, spreading them to count. "Yeah. More than enough, actually."
Fifty-six dollars was more than enough? Odd, the things he usually bought were immensely expensive. But if she was sure she'd get home with that. . .
"Try not to get mugged again," he advised, turning his back. "Minion. Ciao!" he said with a wave over his shoulder.
"C-ciao," he heard her murmur as he got into his car.
"You didn't see the assailant?"
"No, sir," Roxanne replied. She was sitting in a police interrogation room, answering questions while filling in line after line of what little information she had. "He came up behind me."
"You said you were knocked unconscious?"
"Yes. He dragged a. . .cord around my neck," and the ugly red wound was proof of this, "and slammed me into the wall." Again, the proof was in the swelling purple bruise on her left cheek, practically taking up half of that side of her face.
"And after taking your purse and jacket, he left you?"
"Without a word," she added.
"A pedestrian aided you, calling you a taxi and paying for it? Can you identify him?"
You wouldn't believe me if I did, she thought, then answered, "He preferred to remain anonymous."
"You're certain it wasn't the same man?"
"Positive," she said, fighting back a scoff at the idea. Megamind would never stoop so low as to mess with her head like that. Especially because she'd learned he never did anything without purpose, and what use would he have for her purse and jacket?
This new side of him, too, left her befuddled. He'd always been so stoic, taking joy only in his dastardly plans. He always had a cruel chuckle on wait when she screamed, so she'd stopped screaming. And though he clearly enjoyed scaring her, she'd found out that's all his inventions ever did. He didn't mean her any real harm - though the same might not be said for Metroman.
He was an increasingly large puzzle, and just whenever she thought she knew what the picture was turning into, she learned another slew of pieces were yet to be placed. She was starting to believe he was being a villain just because he could, with no real malicious intentions behind him.
The very fact that he more or less just took care of her proved it. But if he still wanted to play, she supposed she could play along. It gave the station good ratings to have its star anchorwoman routinely kidnapped, anyway. She'd already gotten two raises, and there'd only been seven kidnappings total.
Only. As if she were looking forward to a dozen more? She shook her head at herself.
She realized it'd been quiet for a long while and glanced up in question. "Sir?" she asked.
He was thrumming his fingers. "I have no more questions," he explained. "I'm just waiting on that report."
Luckily, no one had to second guess her identity. Having to prove who she was would've taken hours more. The moment she walked in, however, everyone had recognized her as Roxanne Ritchi. Her reputation as Metroman's girlfriend (though false) had policemen stumbling over themselves to get to her. There'd been a slew of questions about the hero before she'd broken through and explained she had a crime to report. At once all of their faces turned contrite as they seemed to finally notice the huge bruise on the side of her face.
This man had been the lucky one ordered to interrogate her and take her statement. She could tell he was just now waiting to take her report so he could ask something.
Once she finished, she slid it over to him. "I'd like to go home now," she said before he could pop off a query.
His face fell, and then he seemed to remember himself, shooting to his feet. "Oh, yes, ma'am. Come with me." He led her out.
It took no effort to find someone willing to drive her home, and though he asked three or four Metroman questions, her lack of answers finally made him ashamed of himself and shut up. He escorted her to her room, then left, promising to provide her with any and all information they dug up.
After the stressful night, she wanted nothing more than to hide under her covers. At the same time, however, she didn't want to be alone. Being in the company of so many police officers had kept her calm, and now that she was alone in her apartment, cold and wounded (in more than one sense), fear seeped into her.
She darted around, locking doors and windows. It would do no good against someone like Metroman or even Megamind, but the difference between them and the man who'd accosted her was obvious. The supers didn't want her hurt. The man had willingly injured her when she wouldn't have even put up a fight. Her purse and one jacket of seven wasn't worth risking her life.
Fear kept pounding into her once she was idle, everything double-checked for security. She went for her bed, shaming herself when she tore off the blanket and crawled under the bed with it. Wrapping herself up, she hid there, feeling more pathetic she ever had before. Slowly, so slowly, she began falling asleep. She could feel each second, waking in a rush at every unexpected sound, only to curse herself for the flinch. Finally, though, nothingness encompassed her.
Sometime later, a sound jarred her from sleep, making her jump -
And slam her head into the box spring above her. "Ow!" she bit out, holding her head. For a moment she was dazed, wondering why she was under her bed. Well, at least she was warm. . .
She crawled out, recognizing the sound now as a knock at her door. As her memories flew back, she thought it must be an officer, or even Metroman - she may not be his girlfriend, but he definitely cared about her. She stumbled to the door, light-headed and woozy from a lack of sleep. When she opened the door, however, she saw no one.
Motion caught her eye, and she dropped her jaw to see her jacket was pinned to the door. She took it down, frowning when she saw a price tag still attached. No, not her jacket - but the same type. Same color, same size. A replacement?
Her phone rang then, making her jump again. Shocking morning, she thought dryly, shutting and locking her door.
"Hello?" she answered.
The clipped tone made her sit as she said, "Yes?"
"This is Sergeant Mallory. We spoke last night, about your robbery?"
"We've. . .apprehended the criminal," he explained.
She blinked. Why the pause? "You found him?"
"Uh, he was handcuffed to the precinct's front door this morning. No one was seen dropping him off, so we're assuming Metroman did it. He confessed to mugging you, as well as. . ." the sound of papers flipping came through, "seventeen other women. His m.o. was the same, stealing the purse and jacket."
"Oh." She glanced down at the jacket still in her grasp, now hanging over her lap. "Then, my belongings. . ?"
"We raided his home, recording all the evidence we could find. We can't give you back your belongings yet, partly because they were scattered with the other women's. The jackets, however. . ."
"What is it?"
"They were. . .irreparable," he said, clearly having difficulty finding the right word.
She didn't want to know, staring more intently at the jacket now. "Okay, so I won't be getting it back," she said.
"We could reimburse you -"
"No, thank you, I have plenty more." Besides, someone already has reimbursed me.
And she had a very good idea who.
"You'll be needing to come back to the precinct later, to identify him in a lineup if possible."
"Which it probably isn't," she retorted.
"That's fine. We have enough evidence to prosecute him without it. And there's no rush; seventeen more women are eager to come down and see his face."
"I don't want to just walk down there. . ."
"Call back when you want to come down, and we'll send a car up."
"Okay. Thank you." They said goodbyes and she hung up.
She held up the jacket again, staring at it, still a little stunned by it. A part of her denied the truth offered before her, while another part of her smirked and yelled out, I knew it!
Other than the officers, no one else knew she'd been mugged - except for him. So if the police were baffled by the mugger's appearance, it followed that he must have done it.
Which, alone, went against everything he seemed to stand for. He was a villain, a supervillain, by his own admission. And yet he seemed oddly possessive of her, as his captive. Like he had the right to kidnap her whenever he felt like it. Had he, somehow, stopped viewing her as a means to an end? Had she become a companion of sorts, someone who'd recently started talking back?
She was starting to believe that he enjoyed back-and-forth banter more then he'd ever enjoyed her terrified screams. Which made sense, in a way; someone with as much of an amazing intellect as he would love debating with someone who could keep up. She imagined he didn't get enough of a verbal challenge with Metroman or Minion.
She smirked. If he'd really apprehended the criminal and replaced her lost jacket (now just waiting on her purse and its contents), then he'd, of course, deem her in a good enough condition to be kidnapped again. Yesterday she'd been shaken, jumping at shadows, wondering if another mugger would pop out from behind each corner.
He'd known that, somehow, and since that made her unfit to be captured, then all he had to do was solve the problem. Catch the mugger and return her items. Point A to point B.
She shook her head, grinning despite herself. For as much of a genius as he was, his mental paths were easy to map out. She got up, removing the tag from her new jacket. Well, then, she'd just have to repay his thoughtfulness by being a good victim.
After going to the precinct (wearing her new jacket) to try to pick out the criminal's face - a failure, as she had nothing to go on besides the completely terrified look one of the men sported - and begin claiming her items out of the table lined with various belongings, she headed for work, already having called in that she'd be late.
Everyone was shocked at the bruise on her face, enough so that she had to keep reminding herself not to smile. How quickly her day had brightened.
Upon exiting the building, waving off a concerned Hal who wanted to drive her home, she purposely walked her usual path until blackness swam her vision, accompanied by the sound of an aerosol can being sprayed.
She woke up feeling no worse for wear, blinking against a light as the customary bag was yanked off her head. Tradition, she thought, fighting down another smile.
She looked up, met Megamind's gaze as he tapped his fingers, his usual evil smirk plastered on his face.
"Miss Ritchi," he greeted.
Only her past two years behind a camera kept her from cracking a smile. "Megamind," she hissed, faking an annoyed tone. "Again?"
"Yes, again!" he agreed, throwing an arm up in the air with his usual flair. Then he sobered a bit to say, almost conspiratorially, "You seem better. Had a good night's rest?"
She knew it, then - yes, he had indeed pulled the strings that caught Benjamin O'toole (her mugger) and then replaced the one item she couldn't get back. But she could also see there was no way he would ever admit to it.
"I did, actually," she half-lied, because it was more the waking up than the falling asleep that had helped.
"Your face is still bruised though," he pointed out, frowning at it. "And your neck is. . ?"
". . .Injured," she finished for him.
"Why would he leave two wounds on you?" he wondered aloud, clearly confused.
She shrugged. "Overkill?"
"Why that lousy -" he cut himself off, coughing as though his speech was a fluke. He jumped subjects. "So, why aren't you healed yet?"
She blinked in true surprise. "Because I have a huge bruise and a rope burn?"
"No, I mean - I see the injuries. What I mean is, shouldn't they have healed by now?"
"No." She kept a brow cocked at him.
"Wait. How fast do you heal, then?" she asked.
He shrugged. "Why would I tell you that?"
Minion leaned in nearer to her, "On him, those wounds would be gone in a day -"
"Minion!" Megamind snapped. "No feeding her information like that."
"Oh," she said, a little impressed now. "So you heal faster than humans. That's how you keep recovering from Metroman so well, huh?"
He scowled but answered, "Yes. And you won't be reporting that!"
She shook her head. "Agreed." At his stunned look, she explained, "That would just make the citizens more afraid of you."
"Good point," he murmured as if to himself. Then he seemed to like the idea.
When he opened his mouth, she cut him off, "I'm still not reporting it and you can't make me."
He looked like he wanted to, but also like he respected the way she stood up for herself. "Any news to report while we're awaiting your beloved Metroman?" he taunted, changing the subject and plopping down in his rolling chair with the high back.
She cocked her head as though in thought, eying the ceiling. She drew her brows together. "Yeah, believe it or not. My mugger was apprehended."
"Oh?" he said with feigned disinterest. "And whom caught him?"
She recognized that coy tone - he was enjoying himself. "I don't know. The police figure it was Metroman, but that doesn't make sense."
"Why not? Wouldn't your boyfriend with the shiny grin do that for you?"
"Oh, he would," she agreed, no longer bothering to deny the relationship. No one was listening, anyway. "But he's on vacation."
Silence fell around them. Even Minion froze in place.
She eyed them both with real curiosity. "You two didn't know?"
"No, no, of course I knew!" Megamind laughed, trying to play it off. "I just thought he'd come running back."
"And how would he know to come back?" she challenged. "I don't even know where he is, let alone how to contact him."
"I'm sure one scream from you would reach him even if he was on the moon," Megamind told her as if she had forgotten an important lesson.
She shrugged, the action limited by her hands tied behind her back. "I don't see a reason to call him back yet. I figure, let him have a break."
He cocked a brow at her in disbelief. "A break? He doesn't deserve a break!"
She shrugged again. "Think of it this way: if he's gone a week, that's a week you won't be spending in a prison cell. Last I heard, they even painted it with rainbows and deer," she added, disgusted by the thought. Does that ever actually work? She doubted it. A solid color would probably be more calming.
"They did," he agreed with a gruff tone, as though annoyed by the fact. He shook his head. "But we were discussing your recent mugging, yes?"
"So if Metroman didn't catch him, who did?"
"My guess?" She pretended an admiring expression, staring off into the ceiling. "I must have someone else watching over me, too."
She heard him suck in a breath at her words, but resisted the urge to acknowledge it and glance at him. He spun around in his chair, and she considered this an odd enough move to draw her eyes.
Minion hurried over, leaning around the chair without budging it. "Sir?" she heard him whisper.
"I need a minute. Distract her," was Megamind's hissed reply. He sounded flustered. She had to bite back a smirk.
"Uh, yeah, so, Miss Ritchi," Minion began, coming to stand between her and the chair. "Would you like to hear our latest plan to kill Metroman?"
She met eyes with the fish, drawing her brows. "Why would I? He's not going to show up anytime soon. Really, we should probably reschedule. . .like when he returns, maybe?"
"That's. . .not a bad idea," he replied, swimming in a way that mimicked tilting his head.
"No, no, no!" Megamind bit out, kicking off and spinning to get around Minion and face her. He pointed. "You're not getting off that easily, Miss Ritchi!"
She figured as much. Leaning back in the chair, she pretended to be exasperated, though in actuality she was intrigued. Then, if he wouldn't harm her and enjoyed chatting with her, what would they do to pass the time?
"Well, if I'm going to be stuck here for a while," she sighed, "you can't leave me bored."
"Sure I can," he answered, then began an evil cackle.
She had to admit, he was good at that. Still, she interrupted, "How about a game?"
"Like what?" he challenged.
"Chess?" she guessed. She was good at it.
He looked interested.
Until she added, "I'd need my hands freed, of course -"
"Hah! That won't work on me," he told her, his tone going sly, lingering over the words. "I'm not letting you just run out of here." He mimicked a run with his fingers.
She rolled her eyes. "Please. As if I was that stupid. I don't know if every single blinky dial or button around here is linked to a weapon of destruction, but I'm not going to chance it. For all I know, I'd step on what I thought was a bolt, only to find it's a button that opens a trap door down to an alligator pit."
He didn't reply, stunned silent.
She quirked a brow. "There's not really a button on the floor around here that looks like a bolt and opens a trap door to an alligator pit, is there?"
"Well, yes, actually -" Minion started to answer.
"No, no there isn't!" Megamind snapped, waving his hands. "Minion," he bit out, yanking the fish's robot body with him a few steps away. She could still hear him as he rushed out, "What did I tell you about revealing our secrets to her?"
". . .Not to," Minion sighed. "But she guessed it, so why not -"
"Never agree with her! Ever!" Megamind snapped.
Minion sighed again. "Yes, sir."
Sometimes she really pitied Minion, putting up with such an eccentric master.
"So, Miss Ritchi," Megamind continued as if without pause, tenting his fingers, "there will be no chess. No freeing of your hands at all."
She pursed her lips, thinking. Well, there was one thing. . .
"How about logic games?"
That caught him, a spark coming to life in his eyes. She knew it - logic games would be irresistible to him. Too bad for him, then, that she was a champion at them.
Let the games begin.