I'm going to go right ahead and warn all readers that this is not another humourous regale: I decided I might delve into the darker side of the struggle to be a hero ALL THE TIME. Surely it can't be easy.

Basically, I understand that both characters will seem OOC, but I did my best...I'd appreciate feedback on this one, too, because I'm considering continuing it. If I do, it will become more cheerful as I go along.

Dreamworks owns all.

The scrape of the key turning in the lock, a twist of the brass doorknob and he was home.

On weary legs, Megamind stepped into the darkness of the apartment, worried that if he turned on any lights, he would wake Roxanne. He closed the door with a quiet thunk and shrugged off his cape, throwing it aside. It had been burned to a crisp in that last battle; what could he expect, fighting a villain whose fists could shoot balls of flame? Still, he did think scorch marks and soot rather suited him. He did look very dramatic with his leather pants smouldering and his eyebrows singed.

A heavy sigh passed through him, burdened by his exhaustion. Who was he kidding? Witty banter and a good fight were wildly entertaining, but he felt the evening was wasted. Why play hero when he could be here, in the peaceful quiet of Roxanne's apartment? As his eyes adjusted to the dark, he watched moonlight filter through her filmy curtains. Their curtains. Granted, he still spent much time being generally ingenious in a heroic way in his lair – he refused to call his home a solitary fortress, that would be an insult to the skulking darkness and lurking shadows, and the rock music – but Roxie had insisted that her home was also his. He liked the ring to it. Welcome to our home.

Cold starlight, watered down by glaring streetlamps, fell over the hulking shape of the couch and illuminated the narrow lip of a wine glass rested atop the coffee table. Megamind stepped toward it, running his finger around it to make a high, keening sound, the way Roxanne had taught him. He stopped when he found the oily remnants of red lipstick, the tattoo of her lips. She'd been drinking again. Waiting again. A bottle of sauvignon blanc stood half empty. A long foil strip of painkillers lay beside it, two tablets punched out and consumed. Megamind sighed. Roxanne had been worrying.

With something akin to quavering courage, he stole toward her bedroom – their bedroom. He was bathed in the warm light of the glowing beside lamp. Just as he'd known she would be, Roxanne was sleeping on his side of the bed. One arm was curled beneath his pillow in an embrace and the other alongside her, her little pink hand fisted gently. She still wore her work clothes, tight along the thick curves of her body. Megamind rested a hand in the valley of her waist just to feel the tempo of her breathing. These nights felt too frequent, as rare as they were. It seemed everything had its costs, even the selfless act of heroism.

The rhythmic sigh of her breath was drugging and Megamind felt his eyelids droop. He pressed his face into the curve of her neck to take the scent of her, clean and sweet; like melt water off mountains he'd never seen, and pressed flowers. It occurred to him that for all his dreams, he'd never once wanted to see the world.

"Megamind?" came her whisper, hopeful and heavy with sleep. "You're safe."

"Of course," he replied, lifting his face to kiss her soft cheek. "You know I'll come home for you."

Her breath was laced with wine. "I worried."

His answer was the comfort of a kiss; he pulled her up from the bed to hold her a while. Then his long-fingered hands went to the nape of her neck to find the zipper on her dress. He still liked the way she quivered under his touch, like a young girl new to such a sensation, and the way she let him undress her, slowly, like the last present received at Christmas. He liked that when they were close to each other, he wasn't the only one who was shaking.

Her tight dress fell to her ankles and she kicked it away from herself. Megamind took a moment to drink in the sight of her; the willowy curve of her collarbone, the ripe curve of her breasts, the flat plane of her stomach, the muscles in her heavy thighs. Kneeling, he kissed these parts of her in a fashion similar to a ritual, or a prayer.

"You need to sleep," he whispered. "It's late."

"You smell like a campfire."

"A very handsome campfire, I might add."

Her palms where soft when she pressed them to the dome of his head and she stroked his skin when he pressed his cheek to her hard stomach. "I can shower, if you like."

"No," she insisted. Her voice was pleading. "Don't go anywhere. Just come to bed."

He obeyed her, but not before unclipping her bra and slipping one of his sweaters (civilian clothes – Roxanne didn't like the way his leather chapped her skin, unless he was wearing it for reasons of heroism or in circumstances where it would be removed from him quickly) over her head. He undressed himself and guided her to bed, curling around her like a shield. She turned out the light.

He hated times like this, when they clutched each other like they might be torn apart; when he came home to find her in tears, or in fits of uncontrollable trembles. He supposed that the fear of losing one another came with love for someone so deep you just knew you would stop breathing if they were to leave.

On such melon-kolie nights, Megamind couldn't help but be grateful; for he loathed them, but at least at times like this he knew he had someone to share them with.

"Roxanne?" he murmured into the soft locks of Roxanne's hair. "What would you say if I told you that I'm tired of being a hero? I mean," he said, as she began to speak, "I'm tired of being forced away from you?"

"I'd tell you to stop thinking about me," she replied. "Metro City needs you, you know that. It's not about us, it's about the collective population." He thought there was something else in her voice, like regret.

Megamind read between the lines of her words: giving up would be selfish. Metrocity needed a hero. He tightened his hold on her. He decided that maybe selfish was a nice thing.

While Roxanne drifted deep into the throes of her dreams, and for hours after, he lay awake.