In timing with posting chapter 4… I have made revisions mostly to the end of ch. 2 and beginning of ch. 3. There was nothing technically "wrong" with them, but I thought I would try to make things more interesting than simply having Megs sitting depressed in his apartment sleeping and watching TV.
Sorry that it took so long to update: writer's block coupled with finals and then needing to get my computer fixed which took FOREVER.
Megamind returned home to his apartment. His attempted kidnapping shook him more than he would consciously allow himself to admit. He glanced around the apartment to the living room, the kitchen, to the open bedroom door where pieces of paper were strung from the ceiling and several large boards were mounted to the walls covered with sketches and post it notes.
Megamind decided to wander into the bathroom, closing the door behind him and turned off his watch to stare at his reflection. Gone was his: goatee, cape, collar, shoulder padding and gloves. Compared to how he had become accustomed to dressing when not in prison he felt naked. His hands braced the top of the sink for support as his body shuddered from just thinking about what had happened. It happened so fast…
No matter how many times Megamind replayed the events in his head he could not picture Minion doing what Roxanne alleged he had done. Then Megamind thought back to the night at the lair. It wouldn't really be too big of stretch for Minion to kidnap me after what happened at the lair.
How has Roxanne managed to put up with this…? Megamind thought. As far as he could tell not even when he first started kidnapping Miss Ritchi did she ever let on being distressed as he felt right now.
I can't keep this up forever…he will try again… Megamind thought. What can I do…? Megamind wondered. It was a disturbing thought to think in order to keep the new life he was building for himself he would be forced to hurt Minion even if Minion had hurt him.
"Huh…" Megamind let out an exasperated groan.
Is all this really worth it…? I am risking EVERYTHING and I don't know if this will work.
My job bores me most of the time and for all my creativity and ingenuity I can't bring any of my ideas to life without my lab. Megamind still possessed an insatiable need to tinker and invent and while writing his ideas down and string them up on the ceiling made him feel better he would inevitably feel disappointed because of being unable to bring his ideas to life. And when his head was void of any new ideas he would begin to feel equally frustrated fearing he was losing what made him special.
Seems like all I ever think about is HER! Megamind thought smashing a clenched fist against the sink. "Weakness! Human weakness! That's what this is!" Megamind said banging his fist against the mirror causing the mirror to crack. Megamind snapped out of his rage frightened of what he had done.
I did this…I pushed Minion away…I want too much…but I need her.
How can I be sure she would still feel the same if… Of course he knew the only way he would have his answer would be to tell Roxanne. He hoped she would still feel the same, but the signals and clues he had to go on were mixed.
I'll always want more time…I have to tell her. How long will it be until she touches me and realizes I'm thinner than her? Megamind thought glancing down at his thin torso and skinny legs. How long until she decides to play with my hair only to discover not only I'm bald, but my head is one and a half times larger than hers? Megamind thought running a hand the length of his head. If I don't tell her soooon she WILL hate me because of all the lies I will have told her to keep things the way they are, but…how?
Megamind heaved a heavy sigh before composing himself and striking a pose.
"I'll tell her tomorrow." He said in the most confident voice he could muster.
A day passed and then a second and then a third and Megamind still couldn't bring himself to confess his true identity to Roxanne. When an opportunity arose when they were alone the thought entered his mind only to be pushed down.
"Could this get any worse?" Megamind said toiling in the basement of the Metro Man Museum. "That's the last one…so now what?" Megamind said having dropped off the last item to its appropriate location. "Huh…what I wouldn't give for some visitors to give a guided tour of the museum." Megamind said, his spirits lifting at the thought of giving a blow by blow account of some of the more infamous battles between Metro Man and himself.
"Hey, Bernard." A voice called out—Megamind ignored it determined to deliver his now empty cart to where it belongs and find a quiet corner to sulk until there was something more to do. "Bernard, wait up." The voice called out again. Loud thumping footsteps pounded their way down a narrow corridor. Suddenly a figure darted in front of Megamind bringing him to a stop.
"Oh—it's just you."
"Geeze you're a fast walker. I had to run in order to catch up with you." The figure standing in front of him was a man with short black hair, tanned complexion wearing a grey suit. In some ways he resembled a shorter, less muscular and not so arrogant version of Metro Man.
"What do you want…Mark?" Megamind said straining his brain to remember his co-workers name.
"It's time to knock off—we have that big staff meeting we're supposed to attend."
"Oh, right wouldn't want to miss that." Megamind said with a touch of sarcasm, eyes rolling. "We still have time the meeting isn't until—five." Megamind said reaching for his watch.
"It's five o' clock now. We had better get going." Mark said gesturing to Megamind to come with him.
"Word is this meeting is pretty serious—I mean it's mandatory so I'm thinking somethings' going down."
"Like what?" Megamind asked with a raised eyebrow.
"Guess we'll find out, but I am guessing nothing good." Mark punched the button for the elevator and a minute later it arrived. Mark then punched a button leading up to one of the top floors. Wow… Megamind thought as the elevator doors opened, he had never seen this floor of the museum before: the ceiling was well lit, the carpet was a dark emerald green with white walls and some dark wood paneling going around the doors.
They walked to the end of a long hallway through two large and heavy double doors leading into a conference room. On the far left side of the room was a podium with several people standing around it. A few feet back there were several rows of chairs most everyone was seating and chatting among themselves.
"Looks like we haven't missed anything." Mark commented.
"So glad you could make it." An older man with graying sideburns and moustache in a tan suit said.
"Yes, uhhh…just got caught up in my work."
"Yes…but I suggest you do not make a habit of it—you're on thin ice as it is, Bernard. Megamind expert or not you are replaceable and rest assured if you determined to be unable to do your job we will find someone who can. I do not appreciate employees who miss work unannounced. One more infraction like that and you will be fired." The man said his expression unchanged his eyes boring into Megamind as if he were an ant to be squashed. "Now…perhaps with everyone here we can get started." The man said walking off toward the podium.
"Whoa…do you know that guy…?" Mark asked.
"No, never seen him before in my life. You?"
"Well he sure seemed to know you—hey I'm betting he is one of the big wig private donors. Judging by that performance he thinks he owns this place including us. I sure hope I never see him again after today."
"Same here." Megamind said staring at the surly man sitting in his seat by the podium up front. Mark and Megamind took two seats in the back row as a middle aged woman in a matching red blazer and pants approached the podium.
"Good evening everyone: donors, employees and volunteers. We are gathered here tonight to discuss the continued viability of the Metro Man Museum. I am not going to sugar coat this: the future of the museum in no uncertain terms is very precarious at this time. Much of the start up costs for the construction of the museum was secured through private donations." The woman speaker said with a breakdown of the financial backing being displayed on two screens one to her left and one to her right.
When the woman was done speaking a thin man in a blue-grey suit, with glasses came up to the podium. "In order to stay open much of our funding comes from the city and the cost of admittance to the museum." The man said with the screens changing to display information for current sources of funding.
"In light of recent events I have received word from the city that it is highly unlikely we will receive any further funding to maintain operations. As some of you are also aware attendance has also been far below what we had anticipated. What this means in the short term is cutting expenses, benefits, changing the hours the museum opens and closes and I am afraid to say it layoffs may become necessary in order to stay open. Long term what this means is if more funding cannot be secured through other means and attendance picks up we will soon be running at a fiscal deficit and have little choice, but to shut down. I can assure you we will do everything in our power to see to it this does not happen, but we also recognize the need to be realistic and communicate this so everyone can be prepared if the worse comes to pass."
Megamind sat planted to his seat the words being spoken going over his head. What he understood was his employment, identity as Bernard, museum archivist and by extension his relationship with Roxanne was all in serious jeopardy. Several more people mounted the podium to speak, but Megamind could hardly pay attention to a word any of them said.
A half-hour in the meeting turned into a question and answer session: clarifying what had already been said, asking how soon the museum would run at a fiscal deficit and discussing a number of proposals on the table to keep the museum open. A few people quietly exited, but Megamind stayed.
From Megamind's observations the meeting was inconclusive. The meeting ended with the same woman in the red blazer and pants speaking at the podium.
"At this point nothing is final, but in order to make the best decisions we need to start considering our options now. If anyone has any further questions or concerns I suggest you take them to HR, your immediate supervisor or the board of directors."
The crowd of people huddled into the room was slow to disperse with some lingering to have a word with the people hanging around the podium. While others simply got up, stretched and talked. After sitting for a few minutes Megamind got up the energy to force himself to stand and walked. His head was down, his mind in a daze. Someone stopped him and put a hand on his shoulder and he turned around.
"Hey, it'll be ok." Mark tried to reassure him.
"NO. This isn't ok." Megamind said brushing the hand off his shoulder before walking away.
Rather than wait for the elevator he opted instead to take the stairs—at least this would give him some privacy. He walked down a few short flights of stairs. His walking pace was quick and agitated he was in such a hurry he misjudged the placement of his footing and fell forward, Megamind gasped. For the briefest of moments it seemed time had slowed to a crawl. Megamind managed to catch himself, sticking the landing at the bottom of the stairs his hands pressed against the wall keeping his face from plowing into the wall.
Megamind turned around and tried to catch his breath. It's all falling apart. Megamind thought raking his hands over his head before briefly burying his eyes in his hands.
I can't do this. Megamind took another minute to catch his breathe before heading down the next flight of stairs, exiting out of the stairwell to wait for an elevator. On the ground floor several of his co-workers were chatting away glancing over the exhibits with the knowledge that their days working at the museum could soon be coming to an end. Megamind walked past them more than anything he just wanted to leave.
Megamind was about to approach the front doors to leave when a familiar voice called out to him. "Bernard." Megamind was instantly pulled out of his stupor. Roxanne walked toward him, her facial expression contorting into a look of concern.
"Roxanne?" Roxanne ran right up to him and gave him a hug. "Roxanne…" Megamind said again. "Hmm…" Megamind hummed leaning into her. "What are you doing here?" Megamind asked as they untangled themselves from their embrace enough so they could see each other eye to eye.
"I got word from a co-worker about the museum closing down and I came to see you. Are they really going to close the museum?"
"No…at least…not right now, but before that happens they're going to cut staff and reduce hours, but it won't be enough unless other sources of funding are secured."
"I mean I know—it looks like Metro Man is not coming back—but it would just be sad to see this place go."
"I know what you mean…memories." Then Megamind had an idea. "Why don't I give you a personal tour? I know the museum closes soon, but I don't think anyone will hassle us if you're with me."
"Sure. I think both of us could use a distraction." Megamind nodded in agreement walking along side Roxanne at a slower less hurried pace toward the escalator to the second floor. Megamind and Roxanne explored the many floors of the museum at a leisurely pace. At some exhibits they just stared not exchanging a single word while at others Megamind would launch himself into a stage performance weaving the story of how Megamind's plot unfurled, how the plot thickened and the inevitable conclusion.
Roxanne played along with Megamind's dramatic re-enactments, adding her own commentary of the events as she remembered them and ridiculing some of Megamind's more ridiculous schemes.
Normally Megamind might have taken such comments to heart and felt wounded by them, but now that he was no longer Megamind the super villain he could find some humor in how over the top some of his schemes actually were.
More than a few times Megamind, pronounced Metro City as "Metrocity" the first time he said this Roxanne gave him a curious look, but seemed to brush it aside figuring he was getting into character.
After browsing the exhibits to their hearts content Megamind and Roxanne walked around the circular sky bridge. They stopped to stare across the reflecting pool at city hall which still featured a blue painted dome.
"You think they are ever going to get around to re-painting the dome?" Megamind asked.
"Probably in another three to five years when they decide on a color, a budget and a contractor to do the work."
Megamind chuckled. "Who needs evil to bring the gears of government to a grinding halt when the gears are rusted over with the paralysis of analysis."
Roxanne and Megamind chuckled.
"I wish I knew for sure what Megamind was up to." Roxanne said propping her elbows on the railing staring out into the distance.
"If you're right sooner, or later he'll come to us so all we can do is wait." Megamind said mimicking the body posturing and turning to Roxanne. "It's not like we can ring the door bell and ask him." Megamind said turning his back to the railing while gesturing a hand like he was pressing an invisible door bell.
"No…but we can check out his lair." Roxanne said turning to Megamind.
"Oh no…bad idea. We don't even know if Megamind is even at his lair anymore it would be a big waste of time."
"Well we won't know for sure until we check it out. There's just no excuse for this. Something is going on and I want to know what it is."
"It's too dangerous. Last time we got lucky, next time we may not be so lucky."
"Technically it's only dangerous if Megamind is around and is not so keen on having uninvited guests."
"Roxanne I have a really, really bad feeling about this."
"Well you don't have to come—I can take care of myself and at the first sign of trouble I can book it."
"Roxanne…by the time you recognize the first sign of trouble it may be too late. Promise me that you won't go to Megamind's lair."
"Bernard—I'll be careful."
"Please…" Megamind said grasping Roxanne's hand in his and raising them up to chest level. Megamind spoke softly, but insistently, his eyes pleading begging her not to go through with it. Roxanne ran out of steam and conceded.
"I promise." A wave of relief washed over Megamind. He was completely serious about what he said there was no telling what Minion had in store for them.
Megamind and Roxanne exchanged a kiss and a hug before parting their separate ways from the Metro Man museum.
On the way home to his apartment Megamind came to a stop mid-step when he got an idea. This might actually work. It's so simple—why didn't I think of this before. Why couldn't he just talk to Roxanne as Megamind to see how she responds to his presence without necessarily outing himself?
Megamind was standing in the middle of a pedestrian crosswalk as the signal changed. Several motorists honked at him and started to edge their way toward him.
"What do you think you doing?"
"Get out of the way!"
"Move it! Let's go."
"While the night is still young." Megamind was frozen to his spot too afraid to move with his hands cupped over his ears. The motorists continued to yell at him. Impulsively he drew his gun and aimed at the closest offending car disintegrating it into a trillion tiny particles before calmly walking off to the closest curb.
"Now then, to Roxanne's apartment."
Roxanne had changed out of her work clothes into a tank top and a pair of sweat pants enjoying an evening snack curled on her couch with the TV on when the door bell rang.
"Bernard?" Roxanne asked aloud to herself. Quickly Roxanne put down her food and dashed for the mirror in her bathroom before going to answer the door. Without thinking to peek out the eye hole she undid the dead bolt and the chain on the door.
"Couldn't stay away could you?" Roxanne said.
When she realized who was standing in front of her, her whole demeanor changed. She was in total shock aside from Hal and Metro Man, Megamind was definitely on her list of people least likely to show up at her door step.
"Good evening Miss Ritchi."
"Megamind…" Roxanne said questioningly in a whisper. Silence, complete and utter silence Roxanne glanced Megamind over head to toe she wasn't used to seeing him so…so…stripped down compared to how he typically dressed. No cape, no spiked shoulder padding, no gloves? Roxanne normally as quick witted as Megamind and scarcely lost for words was completely taken by surprise. What does he want? He's just…standing there.
"May I come in Miss Ritchi?" Megamind asked. Roxanne just continued to stare. Her concentration was broken by the sound of a door somewhere down the hall. Without thinking she grabbed a fistful of Megamind's stretchy bodysuit and pulled him inside.
In the excitement Roxanne fell backward landing on her backside while Megamind was still on his feet standing over her. Megamind bent down low offering up a hand to help her up.
She was surprised by his grip it was firm, but soft, and for his size and weight he felt very strong indeed. Megamind pulled Roxanne to her feet. They were now standing eye to eye, body to body. A small smile graced Megamind's face as he held her in his arms. Roxanne didn't seem to notice, instead focusing her attention on Megamind's face absently touching a finger to the place where Megamind's goatee used to be.
He's shaved…? Roxanne could feel the heat rise off her body and her cheeks begin to turn a brighter pink. The whole situation felt vaguely wrong from a moral standpoint and a common sense standpoint, but she couldn't bring herself to push him out the door. This was her chance to get a few answers.
Once again Roxanne heard a noise outside her apartment and realized the door was still open. She broke the contact and raced to close the door, slamming it shut and turning the locks to there locked position.
Megamind turned around his body involuntarily flinching at the door being slammed shut. Roxanne walked away from the door circling Megamind and appraising his appearance, stopping in front of him.
"What is this about?" Roxanne said with folded arms over her chest.
"I wanted to see you so I could talk to you."
"Well I'm not sure I want to talk to you. How can I trust you? How can I trust anything you say to me?"
"Fair enough…one," Megamind said raising a pointer finger, "for the past minute and a half I have been in your presence in your apartment and have not tried to kidnap you—"
"Yet," Roxanne corrected. Megamind barely registered the remark, but kept going.
"Second," Megamind said raising another finger, "you have the ability to call the police or scream for help neither of which you have done which tells me you want to have this conversation."
"Give me a third reason."
"Two isn't enough?"
"I want three." Roxanne said with confidence.
"How's this?" Megamind said removing his de-hydration gun from its holster, spinning it in his hand and extending it to Roxanne. Roxanne had anticipated Megamind would have a clever come back or utter something about how she was being demanding, but handing her his gun—this was most unexpected.
"You trust me enough not to use this?" Roxanne said appraising the gun.
"Yes—I do." Megamind said slowly and deliberately. Roxanne grabbed the long handle, bringing it closer to examine it before letting it fall to her side.
"Why don't we sit down?" Roxanne nervously said gesturing toward the sofa. Even with Megamind giving her three reasons to trust his intentions it still felt inadequate. For some reason holding Megamind's de-hydration gun did not have the intended effect of giving her a sense of control. Unsure what to do with the gun she placed it out of the way on the coffee table. Roxanne and Megamind sat down on the long end of the sectional sofa with a sofa cushions distance separating them.
"Miss Ritchi…?" Megamind prodded after an uncomfortably long silence.
"I'm still not sure I trust you." Roxanne blurted out.
"What more can I do to put you at ease?"
"Well…how is it you got past the front desk and up to my apartment?"
"You see this watch?" Megamind said extended his wrist watch to Roxanne. "It has the ability to scan a person's voice and physical likeness allowing the wearer to impersonate that person. Let me show you how it works." Megamind pressed one of the little buttons releasing a blue beam of light that scanned Roxanne from head to toe. Megamind then fidgeted with the dial altering his appearance so he looked like Roxanne's doppelganger.
"It's certainly something." Roxanne said as Megamind morphed back into himself. There's definitely something different about him, has he really changed? "Megamind…"
"Yes, Miss Ritchi."
"Do you…like me?" Roxanne cautiously ventured.
"Why Miss Ritchi I thought you would never ask..." Megamind edged closer to Roxanne. For a minute they sat still Megamind didn't advance any closer and Roxanne didn't shrink away. Slowly Megamind leaned in closer to her he could almost taste those lips, but he stopped. Roxanne had planted a hand against his mid-section. Her heart was hammering inside her chest and it scared her.
Is his heart beating as fast as mine…? Roxanne looked down at her hand and then up at Megamind. He was patiently waiting for her to make a decision. Roxanne took a deep breathe and relaxed her hand letting it wander working it's way toward the spot where Megamind's heart should be. She could discern a strong rhythmic beat that seemed to be beating as fast as her own. Her hand continued to explore going up to Megamind's neck and shoulder. He felt surprisingly warm to the touch. Roxanne swore that his ears were a brighter color of pink than they had been just a minute ago.
At the same time Megamind and Roxanne closed their eyes the sensation of their heated breathing replaced by smooth and moist lip on lip contact. Megamind loosely coiled his arms around Roxanne bringing her closer.
For a while they just held the pose until Megamind broke the contact.
"Does this answer your question?" Megamind said dragging out the words in a low seductive tone of voice.
Come back… Roxanne leaned into Megamind using her hands to grip Megamind's head and neck. She could sense him tensing, muscles straining, but it passed and Megamind didn't protest.
Very slowly Megamind grinded his lips against Roxanne's coming in close enveloping her lips, withdrawing and returning for another taste. As he did this he pulled Roxanne closer still. Roxanne responded in kind by undulating her lips against Megamind's. They kissed again and again, but Megamind set the pace with each successive kiss he drew it out longer and longer until he stopped.
An arm lazily draped across Roxanne's shoulders with a hand at her chin. Roxanne just stared into his emerald eyes. She couldn't recall a time prior to this when Megamind looked so beautiful with a dreamy sparkle to his eyes.
Roxanne couldn't think of anything worth saying and simply smiled back her mind in a pleasant daze of ecstasy. Reminds me of… Roxanne suddenly bolted to her feet.
"You need to leave, NOW."
"Hold on." Megamind said slowly rising to his feet trying to placate Roxanne while gesturing with his hands that they needed to remain calm.
"I have a boyfriend! A boyfriend your friend Minion tried to kidnap!" Roxanne said.
"Then you know why you need to leave."
"Roxanne…as crazy as it might sound you have to believe me when I say I had nothing to do with Bernard's attempted kidnapping-"
"Coming from the person who has made a career of kidnapping me to get to Metro Man." Roxanne countered. "You obviously have a motive and the means to do so. I can't think of anyone else who would want to kidnap Bernard."
"I didn't do it…" Megamind said trailing off unable to complete his sentence. "Because…I want you, but not like that, not because I've kidnapped someone you care about." Roxanne considered his words carefully. At least by appearances Megamind looked like he meant every word he said.
"Have you really changed…or this just another competition to prove you're better than everyone else?"
"Remember what you said about me on a newscast a month ago? 'The parks restored to their original glory. The streets the safest they've ever been. Has something happened to Megamind? Has someone tamed this monster?' " Megamind said.
Roxanne couldn't believe what she was hearing and it unnerved her. "I'm sorry, but you need to leave." Roxanne said pushing and shoving Megamind toward the door.
"Hold on." Megamind said turning around. "Meet me on the sky bridge of the Metro Man museum tomorrow, around closing time."
"Why would I do that?" Roxanne asked defensively.
"I'm the answer to your questions." Roxanne considered the offer. None of this was making any sense. She felt more confused and unsure now than she did before Megamind showed up at her apartment.
"Alright, but you should go now." Roxanne said undoing the locks and opening the door. Roxanne stood expectantly with the door open. Megamind stared at her and stared at the door and walked out into the hall. When he cleared the entry way Roxanne swung the door shut and locked it.
Roxanne paced her apartment her head buzzing in thought to the point it was overwhelming and beginning to give her a headache. Roxanne was obviously glad that Megamind cleaned up the city parks, returned the artwork and was relieved to know that Metro Man wasn't dead and Megamind was no longer in charge of the city.
For once Megamind appeared to be acting like a mature adult—so why was she giving him such a hard time?
"I'm calling Bernard." Roxanne declared, retrieving her cell phone and dialing Bernard's cell phone number. The phone ringed, once, twice, but on the third Bernard picked up.
"Bernard…you are not going to believe this." Roxanne said plopping down on her sofa.
Another chapter done… Hope I will update this soon since I have a general idea where I want it to go next.