After a long and glorious career as hero of Metro City, Metro Man considered himself quite the villainy connoisseur. At this point, there really wasn't anything that surprised him anymore. Occasionally he would experience moments of interest or concern, but Metro Man could say he hadn't been truly shocked by Megamind in years.
His little buddy just hadn't been very innovative as of late.
At most, Metro Man could expect a recycled idea with some new bells and whistles duct taped in some tricky new location:
The Dangling Over the Pit, with vipers. The Dangling Over the Pit, while being attached to the rope by the ankles. The Dangling Over the Pit, with multiple pits and multiple lookalike androids. All three at once.
The truth was that this was just getting boring. Sometimes Metro Man thought that the only thing keeping him on this superhero track was the inevitable adoration of millions. If not for the city's love, who would stay in this endless circle of catch and release?
Megamind hadn't even changed his victim in years. Poor Roxie. Trapped just as much as the both of them.
And now, flying once again to the damsel's rescue—The Dangling Over the Pit with double ropes attached at the wrists and ankles, over rabid wolverine-deer hybrids—Metro Man remained trapped within his dark thoughts, almost welcoming the predictable turnout. These conflicting thoughts came more often lately; perhaps a distracting bout of wits was just what he needed to temper them today.
Unfortunately for Metro Man, someone had decided to be a little unpredictable today.
Approaching yet another generic abandoned warehouse, the superhero flexed his muscles briefly, blasting through the side of the building and spreading a liberal coat of wood chips all over the floor.
"All right, Megamind. Prepare for—oh."
Megamind and Roxanne, from across the room, slowly turned their heads to the sound of the blast. Everything should have functioned from there as planned. As was normal.
But for once in his life, Metro Man was rendered completely speechless. Each attempt to take in the scene before him fizzed out in his mind before he could even conjure some viable adjectives to describe…this.
His super vision seemed to run ahead of his mind without his blessing, assessing everything from the unstable building swaying precariously on its foundations, to Minion's curious absence, to
the lady herself and her blue captor, up against the control panel with their arms wound tight around one another, still attached at the lips and directing shocked expressions at Metro Man, who still had his fists out from punching the wall.
For a full five seconds, no one moved or made a sound, and then everyone began shouting all at once.
"Roxie, tell me this is the work of a toxin of some sort, because—"
"You evil jerk! What possessed you to think you could—"
"You were the one who started rubbing your leg all over me like—"
"—just step back and analyze this for a moment because there is no way—"
"—was falling asleep because the bonds were so tight and—"
"—oh, everyone does that when their leg falls asleep, they seduce perfectly normal, evil people to—"
"—all a big misunderstanding for both of you that I'm sure will be worked—"
"—just take everything the wrong way like every other man I've—"
"—not uncalled for, Miss Ritchie, you were the one who said we could "shake things up" to—"
"—calm down and I will take care of everything, Roxie, Megamind will never—"
"—exactly, because it's your fault for initiating physical contact, Megamind, and—"
"—kissed me first, and stuck your tongue in my mouth first, you insipid human woman. If anyone's being taken advantage of here—"
"—and by tomorrow, none of this—"
"—may have kissed you first, but you clearly were tricking me into it with all this low lighting and—and piano music—"
"—Minion's music anyway, he forgot to turn it off when he went to get the—"
"—take care of this if you two just settle down—Minion?"
"—your hands all over my butt like you own it, which is the most inappropriate—"
"—that rubbing and wiggling all over my lap isn't exactly appropriate either, and furthermore—"
Only Metro Man had noticed the sound of a nearby door being opened. Minion purposefully strode in holding a thin piece of metal and made it about three steps before drawing his robotic arms up and gasping. The object fell to the floor with a clang, breaking the two out of their trance. Minion edged closer, eyes wide and searching.
"Sir? Sir? What are you doing, sir? Why are you and Miss Ritchie…hugging?" Megamind and Roxanne exchanged a glance, apparently having not noticed their continued attachment in the heat of the argument. "Did something…happen while I was gone, sir?"
Megamind broke away from Roxanne first, holding his hands out like a shield as he slowly backed away.
"No, Minion, just—just a change of plans that I thought would—"
Minion's eyes narrowed.
"It that—? Is that lipstick all over your neck, sir?"
Megamind choked mid-sentence and began flapping his hands in the air frantically. Roxanne seemed frozen against the control panel, simply watching as Megamind blushed fascinating shades of pink and purple.
"Oh, I didn't even realize she—I mean no! No. No, no. This cannot be lipstick on my neck because…why…would I have lipstick on my neck?" Megamind cringed. "Honestly, you say the most ridiculous things, Minion."
"It's all over your face, too! Oh, now I get it, sir. All this time you've been sending me away when she's here, for crowbars and raw meat for the alligators and more Chardonnay, what you've really been doing is kissing! Oh, this is so bad. So bad."
"Well, it wasn't bad. It was the best—wait, no. I meant to do it to…to take revenge on Metro Man! I stole his girlfriend and now he'll be too heartbroken to save the city when we take it over!"
"I've known you too long for that to work on me, sir! I told you a long time ago that kissing beautiful women is a threat to your career!"
Megamind continued to wave his arms about, frantically grabbing for some sort of comeback. Metro Man and Roxanne briefly made eye contact. Roxanne shook her head—but why?
"It isn't my fault, just look at her! Look at that skirt she's wearing! What is that, a tea towel?"
Roxanne jolted out of her reverie and let out an indignant scoff, crossing her arms defiantly.
"Oh, that's a fine thing to say! You are in no place to criticize anyone's outfits. Look at what you're wearing. That's ridiculous."
Metro Man blinked, unsure what he was supposed to do with all this and developing a slight headache from all this bickering. He still hadn't put his arms down yet, for crying out loud.
Suddenly, predictable didn't look so bad anymore. If this was what passed for shocking and original, he'd had enough of it. Things like this were clearly trouble for everyone involved. With a grave nod of his head, Metro Man went into action.
Smoothly shifting to autopilot, the superhero gave a heroic toss of his painstakingly crafted hair before striking a pose. The other occupants of the room went quiet and peered at him curiously.
"This has been," he said, "quite a productive afternoon, however, I must bring this romantic escapade to an end."
"I was not—"
"Fear not, Roxie, for I am here to save you from…" Metro Man gestured randomly. "…This. There's still time to make sense of your emotions away from this place. Juliet may have believed in her infatuation, but you still have time to come to your senses."
"Juliet? Are you seriously suggesting that I—?"
Metro Man determinedly ignored her. He would leave this place sane.
"We must go quickly. Time is running out."
"Running out for wha—aaaaaaugh, hey you have to warn me when you take off! You can't just grab me and zoom away!" Metro Man tightened his grip on her waist and ignored her indignant cries, leaving behind the warehouse, Megamind, and something he never wanted to see again. He couldn't believe she'd been grabbing Megamind's—Metro Man screwed his eyes shut and grit his teeth. This was not supposed to happen. You didn't play the game like this. It wasn't fair!
Maybe I need to rethink this gig.
He didn't stop until he reached the little school house on top of his hill. Hauling a now quiet Roxanne inside, he deposited her in the middle of his living room unceremoniously. She stood staring as he flopped back against his couch and covered his face with his hands.
"Please go into my kitchen and mix together every alcohol you can find. There's an empty ten-gallon barrel in the closet." Maybe tonight would be the blessed night he would finally experience intoxication.
"…Right." She went through the kitchen doors cautiously, glancing over her shoulder at him the entire time. "Um, Metro Man, about today…"
He was at her side in an instant, both hands placed gently on her shoulders.
"Roxie, I think this is one time we should both agree to pretend like none of this ever happened."
"You know, I think that's probably a good idea."
"Your shirt is untucked, by the way."
"Oh. Yes. Thank you."
"And your skirt is backwards."
An awkward silence spread between them like a wall. Roxanne fixed her clothes methodically. Metro Man gaped unseeing in her general direction.
"I'm going to go get that drink now."
When she turned, Metro Man returned to the couch and laced his fingers together behind his head, revisiting his thoughts from earlier that afternoon. His mind disobediently replayed the warehouse bit again and again.
One thing was for sure; he was never going to complain about predictability ever again. So lost in his musings, he almost missed Roxanne's little smile as she brought a delicate hand to her lips and slowly drew an index finger across the swollen surface.
Metro Man tipped his head thoughtfully.