Glimmer

Ninnik Nishukan


Summary: Roxanne Ritchi goes all gangsta on Megamind. Before Christmas. Traditions, like rules, can be broken. Pre-movie AU, fairly light-hearted.


TWO


The time had come to try one of the many side doors in the humongous building.

She was careful as she opened it, half-expecting booby traps, but when the seconds ticked by and nothing happened, she took her chances and stepped inside, flicking on the light switch as she went.

The room she entered was cool and serene, and the light in there was even dimmer than in the lair.

While the rest of the lair was overflowing with tools, paperwork and gadgets, this room was spartanly furnished; it included a narrow bed, a nightstand and a chair. There was a glass of water, a small lamp and an alarm clock on the nightstand.

On the floor, halfway under the bed, there lurked a pair of black, bat-shaped slippers, their beady, red eyes peering up at her distrustfully.

On the bed, which was covered in a simple white- and blue-striped duvet, there was a ludicrous pair of pajamas lying in a heap, complete with a skull-and-lightning bolt pattern and even a high collar.

She snorted, suddenly wondering if she actually had any men in her life who didn't dress like an attention-seeking man-child. The closest she got was her doorman, Carlos, although who knew how he liked to dress when he wasn't in uniform?

Beyond the pajamas, though, something else caught her eye. There was something stuffed under the duvet, creating a tantalizing little hill. She had to know what it was.

When she drew back the duvet, full of anticipation and the slight thrill of doing something wrong, a small laugh was startled out of her.

It was a stuffed bear, its plush fur light blue, its button nose a darker blue. Stitches crisscrossed its belly and face, where it had obviously been mended several times.

The first thing that hit her was how unsurprised she was, after all.

It just figured that the guy who tried so, so hard to appear larger-than-life, menacing and evil, posturing as if his life depended on it, would have a secret like this.

Then, however, she was just filled with an almost disturbing sense of sympathy. There they were, both well over thirty…no partners, no kids, barely any friends, consumed by their careers…she loved her job, though, and didn't have the time in her busy, exciting schedule to consider any of these things…at least not until the end of the day, when her empty bed beckoned.

Roxanne had left all her teddy bears behind when she moved out of her parents' house…but loneliness wasn't a stranger to her.

She found she couldn't do it. Couldn't mention what she'd discovered. Couldn't mock him.

She frowned down at the stuffed toy.

Why did she have any mercy or compassion for a guy who harassed her so often? Perhaps they had some things in common, but they were all superficial. He was really nothing like her. He stole, robbed, kidnapped and caused chaos on the streets whenever he felt like it. A supervillain who made life just that much harder for regular people and her weeks impossible to plan didn't deserve any mercy. Was she holding back just because "the most wonderful time of year" was closing in or was it because she just didn't want to sink down to that level?

Or maybe it was because she'd already humiliated his public persona, while this was…private. Very, very private.

He'd never overstepped that boundary. Never gone inside her bedroom to unearth her secrets, never taken away her dignity in front of the city— or even under four eyes only, if it came to that.

Here, in this tidy, quiet, lonely little room, it felt as if she'd walked into an inner sanctum.

She shouldn't be in here.

Roxanne knew she was a journalist in a long line of Ritchi journalists, hence naturally inquisitive, but this was a bit nosy even for a Ritchi.

She decided to at least leave the drawers in his nightstand alone, in order to give him a little dignity and to ease her own creeping guilt. Besides, you never knew what you'd find in people's nightstand drawers, so it was probably for the best.

In the main hall of the lair, Megamind was growing increasingly worried. Why was she gone so long? Where was she? What was she doing? Why was the lair so silent?

He knew she couldn't have accidentally fallen into one of his security traps, because then the very loud alarm would've sounded instantly.

He'd tried to calm down, to show her that she couldn't affect him as much as she no doubt believed she could, but now he was losing his cool. She could be looking at anything! She could be crossing private boundaries that no person, especially not someone working for a news network, should cross.

"Roxanne Ritchi!" he shouted, trying to turn his head to see where she was.

No answer was forthcoming.

"Why are you so quiet? Tell me what you're doing! What are you— stop touching all my stuff! That's private property!" Becoming frantic now, he wriggled almost violently in his chair.

Roxanne jumped slightly as there was a loud, echoing crash from the other room.

"OOOWW!"

Dropping the teddy bear, she rushed back out into the main hall, her gun at the ready.


When she arrived, he was lying on his back, the full weight of not only his body but also of the heavy wooden chair pressing mercilessly down on his arms, which were still tied behind his back. The intense discomfort was etched across his face as plainly as a tattoo.

"Augh! My hands! My arms!"

Lowering the gun, she rolled her eyes at him. "I told you not to move."

As he hissed in pain, however, she winced in sympathy. Okay, so maybe he was a supervillain, but that just didn't look good.

She sighed as she stuck the gun into the back of her pants.

When the chair moved, he started a little before he realized she was pushing him up from the ground.

A sigh of relief escaped him when he was upright once more.

Then he groaned loudly as twinges of pain popped all along his arms, knifing through his hands. This was even more painful than getting put in a straight arm bar take-down by the prison guards.

"OoOOoowwWW!" he whined once more, looking at her through a narrow-eyed grimace of agony.

She merely stood there with her arms crossed, her gaze impatient. He stopped shouting and simply hissed again, wiggling in his chair. There was a beat, and then an explosive sigh from her.

"Okay, ya big baby…!"

He squinted up at her. "Huh?"

Before he knew it, her hands were sliding down the length of his leather-clad arms, prodding carefully before she started massaging the muscles, stimulating the circulation; he grunted, frowning.

A confused little noise rolled in the back of his throat as she kneaded his flesh through his clothes, brisk and business-like, before moving down, gently prying his twitching hands open, stroking the palms firmly with her thumbs.

Megamind fell silent, then, starting to feel completely lightheaded. He knew he should be objecting to this, he knew it was probably just another of her tricks, he knew he should feel deeply offended that she was treating him like a child with a skinned knee, acting all deceptively sympathetic when in reality she had him wrapped up like a Christmas present for her own diabolical amusement— but he couldn't quite seem to bring himself to get angry. He'd never been touched like this before. The circular motions and the warmth of her hands, even through the thick fabric of his outfit, were almost hypnotic.

It was all over in less than two minutes, though.

"Better?" she asked, her tone irked, yet strangely soft.

There came a slow nod and an appeased little moan in reply as he leaned back, arching into her hands, apparently wanting more. It struck her how similar he sounded to her whenever she (once in a blue moon) treated herself to a spa weekend.

Roxanne tensed, dropping his arms and taking a step back. What the hell was she even doing?

Just because he owned a teddy bear and silly pajamas and he'd gotten a booboo didn't make him any more innocent, or indeed, any more worthy of any kind of her attentions.

How many times had he forced people to get two jobs, another loan or another mortgage to be able to pay for the property damage he'd caused or keep the stores he'd robbed from going bankrupt? Granted, things generally worked out eventually as Metro Man often managed to bring back all or at least most of the things his nemesis had stolen and did his best to repair the damages, but did Megamind ever show any regret? No! No, he didn't! He had no consideration for the welfare of others!

This was not cool. This was not why she was here. She needed to get back to business.

Megamind was yanked out of the lala-land of soothing sensations to which she'd sent him when he heard her speak the words he'd dreaded most of all.

"Hey, I wonder what this does?"

Again, he was thrashing in his chair, desperate to get loose as he saw her running her fingers, feather-light and mocking, over the control panel connected to his death traps. "No! No, you leave those alone! You have no concept of the kind of fire you're playing with, Miss Ritchi! Your puny human intellect has no chance at grasping the complexity of—"

"Oh, really?" Roxanne taunted, her outstretched finger hovering ever closer to the big red button in the center; the most obvious choice. "I think you're just afraid of seeing what it really feels like to be the damsel in distress, tough guy."

"No! Don't!" he yelled, straining against the handcuffs. "You foolish, nosy reporter! You don't know, you'll— you'll—"

Her eyebrow cocked. "I'll what?"

He panted, shaking his head furiously. "If you don't know exactly how to work the system—"

She shrugged. "I've seen you do it before."

"No, no, NO— I've redesigned it recently— there are fail-safes, traps against intruders— you're only going to harm yourself!" he screeched.

There was a pregnant silence as they just looked at each other, both equally bewildered at what he'd said.

Megamind felt the muscles of his legs tightening anxiously against the chair. Oh, now he'd done it. How would he ever regain anything resembling villain credibility now? And what if she fell under the delusion that he actually cared— because that was just— just appallingly true

Oh, boy— gah— just let her ignore it—

It was Roxanne who finally spoke. "That's funny," she began in a slow, sarcastic tone, walking up to him and looking down at him unflinchingly, "and here I thought harm was the whole point of machines that spew flames and shove rotating knives in your face. Silly me."

"There's a time and place for everything," he gritted out, trying to lean back as she leaned forward in challenge; the back of the chair made this difficult, "and what a waste it would be if my favorite pawn in the game of Good versus Evil were to pointlessly harm herself, robbing me of the chance to do so, and without even the context of a glorious scheme culminating in my taking over the fair city in which—"

"—yeah, nice try, Dr. Evil," she interrupted him with a flick of her hair and an impatient glance. For a moment, she was severely tempted to reveal the fact that she knew about his teddy bear. Gah, what a pompous windbag, huffing and puffing and trying to make himself look so big and bad, when he wasn't even really all that— when he was actually kind of— nice

She froze.

What was that thing about the welfare of others again?

They stared at each other in acute disconcertion, the flimsy cover provided by their attempted vitriolic remarks abruptly blown as they floundered, unable to produce suitable banter relating to his unlikely attack of protectiveness.

They couldn't help being fully conscious of the fact that she wasn't making another attempt at playing with the control panel, either.

"What is wrong with you, Roxanne Ritchi?" Megamind blurted out in indignation, scrambling to make some noise, to change the subject. "Threatening another person with a dangerous weapon? A common criminal's handgun, no less? I'm so disappointed in you! You're supposed to be one of the good guys!" He sounded a lot like he was scolding a child now.

"Oh, you mean this thing?" Roxanne said innocently, retrieving the gun from the waistline of her pants and waving the weapon at him, watching him flinch.

A grin spread across her face, and then, her outstretched arms turning with her body in a deliberate, slow sweep, she aimed the gun directly at his face. To his further shock, she pulled the trigger. There was a loud bang.

For a second, he swore he could feel his heart stop. His mouth opened in a horrified, silent shout; his eyes closed tightly shut.

It took him a few seconds to realize he was neither injured nor dead.

Slowly, he opened one eye. "Whu—?"

"Why, Megamind…you didn't think it was a real gun, did you?" she inquired sweetly. "I mean, what do you take me for? Some kind of villain or something?"

There was a long, stunned silence, where he simply gawked at her, slowly taking in the terrible, terrible truth that he, the world's greatest criminal mind, was being held hostage by a journalist with a toy gun.

Then, Megamind simply exploded. "You— you— Ritchanne Roxi! ANNERIX ROTCHI!"

Her laughter poured out in great waves, no less loud or obnoxious than his unfathomable ranting, but admittedly a lot more musical and joyous. "OH! Oh, your FACE! You sh-should see your FACE!"

Roxanne had been carrying that gun on her for weeks in case she was kidnapped, but especially for this specific date; the day of the tree lighting ceremony, when she could always count on him to make an appearance.

Wow. She'd really been waiting for this. Looking forward to it.

And oh, boy, was it worth it.

"XORANNE ICHTIR! GRLPYT!"

"W-wow, so I see th-those weekend classes in Angrish really p-paid…paid off, huh?" she remarked, the muscles of her stomach straining under the effort it took to even speak.

He was practically foaming at the mouth now. "Bgglw! Mfrnkf? DMNKLY!"

Gasping with another bout of laughter, Roxanne rubbed her face in an effort to control herself. This was getting ridiculous. "Are you done?" she asked eventually, traces of laughter still tickling the back of her throat.

Just as he, breathing heavily by now, was about to attempt to yell something a little less incomprehensible at her, there was a rapid succession of clicks and flashes of light up above.

Soon, the entire room was bathed in an eerie blue and white shimmer.

Megamind sagged in the chair, the pang of regret in his gut deflating all his fury. Oh no, he'd forgottenall that work, and for nothing

Roxanne stared. Hundreds of blue and white lights sparkled and twinkled down at her in the shapes of giant lightning bolts and five-armed, crisp stars, each pointy arm straining to shine the brightest, and everything interspersed with smaller dots of light, flashing slowly off and on in rolling waves.

She'd never seen the gloom of the lair illuminated like this before.

Still, the light wasn't intense and unpleasant. It just deepened the shadows in the corners and gave the large room a blue, radiant glow.

"What's all this?" she asked Megamind, a curiously dreamy lilt to her voice now.

"It was on a pre-set timer since I wasn't sure Minion would be available to throw the switch!" Megamind complained, his face suddenly covered in miserable, disappointed anger. "It was supposed to be the surprise reveal! The grahn-dey finah-ley! And the Christmas lights weren't supposed to work at City Hall, so mine would be even more visible inside the lair! Even brighter! But nooo, of course you had to—"

"Shut up, Megamind," Roxanne said calmly, turning off the giant monitors so the bright lights at City Hall were no longer competing with his.

Megamind was so surprised at the fact that she appeared to be indulging him that he did shut up.

The effect was instantaneous. The lack of multi-colored, excess light from the monitors cast the bottom half of the high-ceilinged lair in hushed darkness. It was like looking up at some bizarre winter sky, a star-lit night painstakingly decorated in shards and sparks of electric blue and clear white; constellations created by some eldritch divine beings.

"Wow, that's…even more…wow," she breathed, her head tilting back in awe.

He felt dazed. It was like looking at a mirage; he wasn't quite sure if he could trust his own eyes. But there was Roxanne Ritchi, looking absolutely delighted and overwhelmed by something he had constructed with his own two hands. She wasn't mocking, she wasn't criticizing, she wasn't even rolling her eyes…she looked joyful, like a small child in a toy store. And it was over this, which shouldn't even be all that impressive, at least not compared to everything else he'd built. These were just there for aesthetic purposes; to be pretty and bright and outshine Metrocity. Yet this was what had her bowled over. A lump formed in his throat as he watched her smile. This felt…different than making somebody fear him.

"You…you like it?" he heard himself asking her, in this timid, hopeful voice that sounded nothing like the Megamind he knew.

"Yeah…" Roxanne nodded, not caring whether it would inflate his already industrial-sized ego even further— or even whether he'd use it against her at a later occasion, whenever he wanted to remind her that she wasn't always so blasé. This was the first time she'd seen him create something beautiful rather than something harmful. And it was very beautiful.

His expression told her that at least part of the purpose of all this had been to impress her.

Well, color her impressed.

"Really?" His face lit up for a second, taken by her frank answer, but then he caught himself. Donning a booming, bragging voice, he twisted everything around: "I mean, of course! I bet you've never seen anything like it! Nobody can surpass the ingenious electrical engineering abilities of—" Megamind halted as he watched her drifting closer to him, still looking astonished, but also amused now. He squirmed in his chair, swallowing. "…you really like it?"

"Yeah…and you know what? As long as you're all gussied up for the season…" she murmured, fingering the stream of tinsel around his neck. This whole situation had felt almost unreal from the get-go, and after years of craving some sort of retaliation, she'd been reckless and giddy, just doing whatever had sprung to mind. Now, when he'd blindsided her with the gorgeous light display on top of everything else, she felt almost drunk somehow.

"What?" he demanded nervously, tensing up as she tugged on both ends of the tinsel with her hands, pulling him slowly towards her as if she was reeling in a stupefied fish. "What are you…?"

"Happy holidays, Megamind," said Roxanne, and kissed his cheek.

Electricity seemed to spark along his skin. When her soft, slightly moist lips broke the contact, their warmth lingered with him, spreading across his face, back and chest.

"Looks like I really did get to see some Christmas lights on December first for once, hmm?" Smiling briefly in triumph at his thunderstruck visage, she went to pick up her coat, scarf and gloves.

At the back of her mind, there had been a warning sign flashing at her, trying to get her attention; now it was clawing itself to the forefront of her mind, assuring her that this had been a bad, bad, bad idea. Yet she'd done it.

He'd felt strangely normal; his skin smooth and warm, the bristly hairs of his goatee brushing lightly against her chin. Although, what had she expected? Scales? Slime? Maybe she had.

Roxanne tried to ignore the thousand mile stare she felt on her back as she dressed.

Right when she'd gathered up her shopping bags and her handbag and was about to leave, Minion came hurrying out from some side door she hadn't even noticed. "Sir! The robot body's warmed up now, Sir!" He cried enthusiastically. "I know I'm a little late, but uh, it took so long, so I kinda fell asleep— oh, wow, would you look at all the lights! It was really worth it, wasn't it, Sir? It all looks so—" He came to an abrupt stop. "Uh…Miss Ritchi? Why aren't you tied to the chair like usual? And where's—" Minion's large, brown, worried eyes darted across the room, searching until they found what they were looking for. "Sir!" Minion shouted, shocked as he took in the highly unusual sight of his master tied up, covered in tinsel and looking completely punch-drunk.

"Happy holidays, Minion!" called out Roxanne, who'd used the moment of confusion to sneak towards the exit. "Oh, and I left the ray gun over there on the desk! Bye!"

With that last farewell, she was gone.

"Happy…holidays?" Minion repeated uncertainly, his gaze ping-ponging between the exit and the addled countenance of his friend and boss. "Sir?" Minion tried, prodding his shoulder gently with one robotic finger.

This immediately snapped Megamind out of it. "What?" he barked defensively, frowning up at Minion. "Don't just stand there staring like a— a being that has been granted creepy googly eyes by evolution! I don't know— an owl! Stop being an owl, Minion! Make yourself useful and untie me instead!"

Blinking, Minion bent down to undo the knots. "What happened, Sir?"

Going oddly purple in the face at the question, Megamind nevertheless clucked his tongue in lofty disapproval. "Miss Roxanne Ritchi, hitherto viewed by the public as wholesome and innocent, has begun utilizing weaponry, Minion!" There was no reason for Minion to know it hadn't actually been a real gun, right?

Minion gasped. "No!"

"Yes! Can you believe it? Damsels in distress just aren't what they used to be!" Megamind agreed, pleased at his audience's appropriately scandalized reaction. Throwing off the untied ropes, he struck a triumphant pose. "But next time, we will not be fooled so easily! She simply took us by surprise, that cunning minx! Well, it's a whole other ball game now, and Megamind is not one to shy away from "stepping up", as they say! I accept your challenge, Miss Ritchi!" he bellowed, stabbing a relentless finger at the ceiling.

"Good for you, Sir!" Minion cheered, deciding not to comment on the usage of "we"; never pointing out the fact that he hadn't even been there, and so technically couldn't have been fooled.

Megamind flashed him a smile. "Thank you, Minion."

"You're quite welcome, Sir," said Minion, smiling in return.

There was a pause as Minion redirected his gaze to the hypnotic winking of the ceiling lights.

Looking down, Megamind realized he was still wearing the tinsel. Slowly, he dragged it down from around his neck. "Minion…did you know humans have a holiday tradition that says they have to kiss anybody who's wearing tinsel? I thought that was missley-tooey."

"It is mistletoe, Sir," Minion confirmed.

He glanced at Minion, then at the tinsel dangling from his hands. "Are you sure?"

"I'm pretty positive, Sir."

"Ah."

Minion leaned forward, lowering his voice. "Why, Sir? If you don't mind me asking."

Megamind hesitated, realizing too late that he'd probably said too much. "Just…something I read online," he fibbed, avoiding Minion's eyes.

Minion gave him a curious glance, but shrugged. "You know, the lights really did turn out wonderfully, Sir."

A wistful smile ghosted across Megamind's lips. "So I've heard."

"Huh?"

"Nothing," he said quickly, waving a peremptory hand at Minion. "Let us start the work on repairing your other robot body!"

Minion's face lit up. "Yes, Sir! Thank you, Sir!"

As Minion bounded off happily towards the storage area for his robot bodies, Megamind paused for a moment, staring up at the twinkling lights on the high ceiling.

Shaking his head, he dropped the tinsel on his cluttered desk, noticed the ray gun lying there and re-sheathed it in its hip holster. She could've stolen it quite easily. Why hadn't she? His fingers lingered pensively on the gun for a second before he frowned, following Minion.

This had all just been some sort of fluke. Nothing similar would ever happen again. No more having his hard work openly admired, and no more kisses.

Certainly no more holding him hostage; not if he had something to say about it.

The undisputable fact that she'd kept the secret location of his lair a secret stayed with him, though, refusing to leave.


"Good evening, Roxy!"

Looking up, Roxanne smiled at Metro Man, who was hovering just above her balcony. "Evenin', Wayne."

"May I?" he inquired politely as he drifted closer to where she was standing, reaching out a foot towards the balcony floor. When she nodded, he landed softly, following her into her apartment.

"So I take it you caught the live broadcast tonight?" she asked, her tone innocent as she picked up her mug of tea from the countertop at the kitchen island and watched as he gingerly placed the four shopping bags he'd been carrying on the edge of her red couch. "Figured you'd show up at my balcony sooner or later."

"O Roxanne, Roxanne! Wherefore art thou Roxanne?" Metro Man joked half-heartedly, showing her a deliberately cheesy grin. "Seriously, though, you're one of a kind, you mad reporter! That was a pretty big stunt you pulled there, Roxy," he told her honestly, his eyebrows raised. "Not a lot of people would've even considered it. You've got real guts."

Roxanne hid her flattered smile behind the mug. "Oh, you know…I try."

"Pretty soon I'm gonna be out of a job, huh?" he teased her, but there was something about the way he said it that sounded rather pleased at the prospect.

"Too bad he's never going to fall for the same trick twice." She shrugged, grinning as she put the mug down, empty. "Looks like you're gonna have to protect the tree lighting ceremony on your own next year, big guy."

His shoulders seemed to slump for a second, but then he snapped back to his peppy old self so fast that she wondered if she'd just hallucinated it.

"Of course," Metro Man said bracingly. "It's my duty!"

Blinking, she turned to the small pile of gifts on the kitchen counter and picked up the record she'd bought him. "So, anyway…here ya go," she said brightly, trying to smile as she handed the flat, rectangular parcel to Metro Man. "I figured since you're here, you might as well get your present. I know how busy you get this time of year, what with the increase in fires, traffic accidents and suicide attempts."

This time, she was sure she saw his shoulders slump; his eyebrows even drew together in an uncharacteristically worried frown.

She cringed. Sometimes her chronic realism could be a bit too much for people. It was an unfortunate side effect of being a news reporter. They should rather be amazed at how relatively optimistic and idealistic she stayed, really. "Um, sorry— but look on the bright side! After what I did to him, I'm sure Megamind won't bother you again until January!"

The worried frown turned inquisitive. "Uh, Roxy…what exactly did you do to him, anyway?"

She chuckled awkwardly. Wrapped him in tinsel, refrained from going public with the secret location of his evil lair, went through his private stuff, marveled at his fantastic Christmas lights, kissed him…the usual. "Oh, you know…just gave him a taste of his own medicine," she said evasively, flapping a hand in dismissal. "Let him see what it's like on the other side of the hostage situation."

Metro Man scoffed, puffing up his chest. "So the Big Bad can dish it out, but he can't take it? Figures."

She shrugged, silently agreeing with him by sending him a big, exasperated smile.

Metro Man smiled back, shrugging as well. As usual, the subject of Megamind was treated as a mundane yet amusing routine, one which irritated them but that they were so used to by now that it was actually charming in its familiarity, like some eccentric uncle who visited just a little too often. Of course, eccentric uncles didn't usually have robot armies, death traps and flashes of real evil genius that occasionally kept them on their toes, but still…this tree lighting ceremony thing was getting old.

Metro Man's turned serious again, then. "But how did you manage to take him hostage? I mean, you must've threatened him somehow, right?"

Sending him a somewhat rascally grin that she knew looked silly on a grown woman, she went to grab her handbag from a kitchen chair. "I simply used this and the imagination of an experienced hostage," she told him, laughing when she saw his shocked expression as she presented the gun. "Don't worry, it's just a very realistic-looking toy. It doesn't even fire blanks," she reassured him. Then she beamed, "You should've seen the look on his face! He had no idea."

He blinked, perplexed; she could tell he was trying and failing at imagining exactly how the whole thing might've gone. "Is that the story you're going to tell the press? I bet the phone's been ringing off the hook here."

Roxanne gave a wry smile. "No, this is more of a comedy. People like drama." Placing the toy gun on the counter, she fiddled absentmindedly with one of her earrings. Sometimes they came a bit undone during her kidnappings; a couple of times, she'd even lost one. Not this time. "I've got a few interviews lined up tomorrow afternoon. I'm sure I'll have thought up something suitably thrilling by then."

Metro Man chuckled, shaking his head. "Yeah, I'll be looking forward to hearing what you cook up with that occasionally scary journalist mind of yours."

A brief laugh tumbled out of her. "Damn straight. Now remember, no opening the gift before Christmas morning," Roxanne chastised him flippantly, wagging her finger at her friend. "That means no X-ray vision, Metro Man."

Metro Man shook the parcel, listening with exaggerated concentration to its contents rattling almost inaudibly inside. "Oooh, I wonder if it could be a record…"

"Yes, but which record?" Roxanne retorted just like the year before, indulging him with a wink. She knew he needed a bit of silly, casual playfulness in his life when all the people he met would rather kiss his feet than kid around with him like he was just a regular guy.

Smiling, Metro Man picked up one of the paper shopping bags and handed it over to her. "Happy holidays, Roxy. I didn't really know what to get you this year, so I got a little of everything," he explained when she looked surprised. "Besides, I figured you deserved a couple of extra ones after what you did today," he added with a boyish grin.

Rattling the bag a little, she listened to the individual presents bumping against each other and grinned at him. "Happy holidays, indeed. If this is a hero's reward, maybe I'll consider doing some more work for you, hmm?"

There was a melancholy chuckle from Metro Man, and then he gathered up the rest of his shopping bags, waved at her, and flew out the balcony doors— literally. She wondered if she'd ever get completely used to that part.

Just before she closed the balcony doors after him, she swore she could hear him singing up there, loudly and slightly off-key.

For Metro Man's sake, Roxanne hoped that Megamind really would lay low until January.

For her own sake, she hoped her inevitable next kidnapping wouldn't be as completely awkward as she suspected it would be. She'd only kissed him on a whim, intoxicated by the spectacular sight of his home-made light show and oddly grateful for it, intoxicated by wicked, righteous triumph and wanting to show him who had the power for once; wishing to taunt him one last time before she went home, the way he always taunted her, telling her that she'd never be saved, that her hero was doomed…

She wondered briefly if some of her grudges against him had been buried, if being able to get back at him even a little, being able to switch their positions and intimidate him, dominate him in a manner he hadn't managed to do to her in years, had been some sort of catharsis for her. If that was why she'd been in a good enough mood to give a supervillain a Christmas kiss, even a mischievously mocking one.

And besides, it'd only been on the cheek, right? No big deal.

Roxanne prayed the purely impulsive moment wouldn't come back to bite her on the ass.

The End.


Author's note: Because we all know Megamind would have amazing Christmas lights. :D

In my personal canon, Metro Man and Roxanne aren't close friends, but they do keep in touch and meet up occasionally outside of Megamind's evil plans.

Thank you, borg_princess, for volunteering to beta read the final chapter. Thanks for all your helpful suggestions and praise. :)

For amuseoffirebane, who commented on the first chapter over at the Megamind LJ community: I wanted so badly to reply to the comment you made where you said you couldn't quite see Roxanne with a gun, but that would've totally spoiled the second chapter, so…yeah. It was just a toy gun all along. Dun dun DUN. XD

And yes, in case you missed it, readers…this story screams "sequel". Unless Real Life gets completely in the way, there might be one. Please don't leave me reviews or emails asking for a sequel, though, because while I have begun writing it, I can't make any promises about being able to finish it. My life is about to get really busy again now.

Grlpyt! Bgglw! Mfrnkf? Dmnkly!: Copypasted (with some slight tweaking) from a game script of The Secret of Monkey Island. Angrish (from TV Tropes: when a character is so angry, pissed off, or shocked that he is literally unable to form a coherent sentence) is harder to write than it looks, and I remembered there were some complete nonsense words in TSoMI. :P

For anyone who wants to hear what it might sound like when Megamind speaks Angrish, please go to YouTube and search for either the Will Ferrell "glass case of emotion" clip from Anchorman or the "where's my dog?" one from Bewitched. Then you'll get the general idea. :D