Disclaimer: "Megamind" is owned by Dreamworks. I am not profiting from this fanfiction.

Summary: -AU- Roxanne is engaged to the great hero, Metro Man. But one day, after Megamind nabs her for yet another plot, he's shocked to discover just how badly the "hero" has been treating her. . . Now it's time for the villain to save his damsel from the overbearing hero.

Bad To Be Good

1. The Truth

If he had to look back and describe this day, he would call it the best and worst day of his entire life. The reason behind this is entirely centered on one person: Roxanne Ritchi, soon to be Roxanne Scott — provided she takes her fiancé's family name. The day began like any other, of course. A prison break leading to another plot of ultimate destruction that would, fates willing, obliterate Metro Man. Kidnapping the hero's wife-to-be was simply the bait to bring him around, lead him into a trap.

At least, that's what the super genius known as Megamind would say to anyone else. In secret, he revealed the truth to himself: he had a soft spot for the woman. She was beautiful and clever and never flinched, no matter what situation he put her in. She was tough, had a nose for his schemes, and the way she smirked at him. . .

Poetry in motion, that was the adage applied to such a woman. It hardly did her justice. She'd had his eye since he'd first spotted her in ninth grade. And though he looked away every so often, he kept getting drawn back to her. She was just so. . .perfect. For him, at least. She could (and often did!) call him out whenever he did something stupid. She would sometimes banter with him, other times be the more mature one and wait out the completion of his plan. She could tell him "no" despite her place as the damsel under his thumb.

And then her body! Her figure and the adorable freckles sprinkled across her cheeks, her robust curves and soft skin, her amused eyes and perfectly-sculpted lips. . .her hair. So thick and soft, the urge to run his fingers through it itched at him every time he glimpsed it. Not having hair himself, he wasn't sure how hers was always so lovely and shiny, but considering the multitudes of humans without half as much skill at caring for their own hair, he could guess it was a long, involved process that spanned years to perfect.

More often than not, she could guess ahead of time when he would come to kidnap her (or, alternately, send Minion to do so) and dress accordingly for the inevitable tabloid photos later on. Knowing this, he was surprised when Minion deposited her in the chair, hands and ankles bound by lengths of rope. This was because she wasn't wearing anything stylish. Her ensemble today consisted of grey sweatpants and an oversized t-shirt — one of Metro Man's, probably.

Megamind felt a surge of jealousy then. It helped a little to think that she would look so much better in his clothes. They'd fit better, anyway, instead of hanging loosely from her shoulders.

Minion waved to get his attention, miming with his robotic hands that something was up. When Megamind motioned back to get on with it, Minion pulled off the bag. His eyes showed he didn't know what to think, and that alone sent Megamind to worry.

Well, her hair was a mess, she seemed to be lacking any makeup (not that she needed it, with her brand of natural beauty), but the thing that sent a red flag rising was the fact that her head was bowed. Her breathing was a little ragged - not out of fear, not Roxanne; she was never afraid of him and his schemes. Not that he'd ever tried to scare her, exactly. The whole "danger" subplot was only meant to impress her, to make her think that he did a genuinely bad job as the villain (in a good way).

Confused, he came closer instead of introducing himself in a grandiose manner as he did every other time. As he neared, he noticed how her hair was hanging down, completely covering her right eye. That was odd; he'd never seen her allow her hair to break form like that before.

". . .Miss Ritchi?" he started, tentative. This reminded him of one another kidnapping, during which she'd been on the verge of tears for the entire ordeal. It turned out the reason why was because both her parents had been killed in a car accident just two days prior, and she had still been in mourning.

He'd felt so bad, forcing her into another dangerous situation so soon after such a tragedy, that he'd forgone kidnapping her for two months after. He supposed he could have nabbed her sooner than that, but every time he'd considered it, his mind had warned him that it was still too soon after the accident. The last thing he wanted was to force her into a mental breakdown - her! Roxanne Ritchi, object of his adoration and desire. No, no, no; this woman was to never have her mental state put in danger. He respected and valued her mind too much to see it break.

Which was the exact reason why he approached her with so much caution now.

She turned a little away from him, further hiding that shielded eye as she did so, when he was close enough to reach out and touch her. He longed to, in truth - but he couldn't let himself. First and foremost, because he always feared she would just snap at him about how he didn't have the right (she didn't know how right she was. . .) and second, because he had no idea what was wrong with her. Which meant, in turn, that he had no idea how she would react to it.

She hadn't answered his query. In fact, she was nothing like her usual spunky self, tough and unyielding and just a little bit amused by his antics.

"Miss Ritchi," he said again, stronger this time. No longer a question; now a demand. He wanted her attention.

No response was given.

He sent a glance to Minion, who hiked up his furry shoulders, lifting his hands in an empty gesture. Then she took a deep breath, shuddering on the inhale, then blew it out.

Odd. He reached back for his chair, drawing it closer to sit down where he was, almost knee-to-knee with her. Her shoulders drooped as she lowered her head further. Hiding from him. The motion struck him as so distinctly wrong that he couldn't stop himself from reaching out to grasp her chin, lifting her head. Where was all her — oh.


. . .Oh, no.

Though her hair still covered her eye well, it couldn't completely hide the discoloration high on her cheekbone, spreading to her eye socket a bit. It was an ugly mark, swelling purple with blotches of blue and red speckled into it. It looked like a perverse mock-up of her cute freckles. He hated the sight of it instantly - it was so wrong on her.

So shocked was he that he spoke without thinking.

"What happened to you?"

She gave a snort that lacked any kind of humor, pulling out of his grip in the process. Once more she dropped her chin, looking pointedly at the ground as she answered, "As if you care."

That stung. He did care. He made an effort not to appear as if he did, but. . .surely she must know? She saw through him with such ease, how could she not see it?

"Miss Ritchi," he said now, making the effort again and pretending nonchalance, "I believe I asked you a question."

A strangled laugh was his answer. It irritated him. . .but then, he supposed he'd never given her any reason to see fit to confide in him. She just didn't know him as well as he'd have liked. He would never judge her, never mock her, never make fun of her pain. It was only the same courtesy she gave him, after all. Since ninth grade, she had never made fun of him or mocked him or joined in when everyone else was laughing at him.

Hers was always the only pair of eyes in the crowd that watched him, paying attention, laughing with him and never at him. She was one of very few individuals who had shown him kindness. And most of her kindness had come from the fact that she'd generally kept away from him, talking with him when he spoke to her but otherwise letting him be. Those eyes saw the things he did, the creations he'd made with his superior intellect.

Those eyes. . .that were currently swimming in wetness and looking down.

Never. Being careful to avoid her obvious wound, he pulled her face back up. Look me in the eyes, Roxanne, he pled with her, calling her the name he only ever dared in his own mind.

She closed her eyes, denying his request. His jaw tightened in irritation - and then his eyes traveled further down, to her neck. There, too, on the left side. . .discoloration. Not as much swelling, the marks just an angry mottled red. But it had the clear outline of a large palm.

No. He couldn't believe this, even as his mind made the connections.

It had to be Metro Man. If anyone else laid a hand on her, Metro Man would have hunted him down and made him pay for harming her. The fact that she looked like she was strangling her own words down, hiding her gaze, instead of burning with vengeance or relaxed in the after-effects. . . It could only have been the one person she couldn't get vengeance against.

"Miss Ritchi," he ground out past the angry words stuck in his teeth, "tell me what happened."

Her eyes opened now, and that single motion started a tear down her cheek. His heart tore open to see it on her face. And then she was saying, "No. I'm not telling you anything."

Well, there was the strength he'd been waiting for. But it was still wrong; he needed her to trust him, to tell him. She had no reason to, he reminded himself; he repeatedly put her in life-threatening situations. That didn't matter anymore. Just seeing her bruised and broken like this was enough to change his entire outlook. No one hurt Roxanne and got away with it. And if Metro Man was the one hurting her, then he would be damned if he didn't become the one who avenged her.

He couldn't have stopped himself then - he lifted his other hand, cupping her face with the lightest touches he could manage. Slowly, carefully, he brushed her bangs back to take a better look at her bruise. Those blue eyes watched him as he took stock of it, winced, and allowed the hair to fall into place again.

"Don't laugh," she hissed, her tone strong but quiet. Fear and pain filled her eyes. She was afraid he would laugh at her.

"Never," he answered, shocked to hear how rough his voice sounded. Doing his best at controlling himself, he put all the truth he could into his tone as he went on, "I would never laugh at your pain, Roxanne." For a moment, there was a flicker of life in her blue orbs, but then it died out again. Sinking to the depths of a sea of despair. He wouldn't stand for this. "Who did this to you?" he demanded. "Was it Metro Man?"

At the name of his rival, she reared back with a strangled sob, escaping his grasp once again. "Metro Man!" she echoed, her eyes sparking back to life. It scared him to see. She looked like she was losing her mind.

No, no, no — not you, never you. You're stronger than this!

"Talk to me, Roxanne!" he said, capturing her shoulders since her head kept evading him. The use of her name seemed to strike a cord in her.

"Talk to you?" she threw back at him. "To you? Why? So you can make fun of me?" Before he could deny her claim, she was going on. "So you can laugh at how horrible my taste in men is?" Her voice rose with every word. "How very wrong I was with picking him? Well, here's news for you! I didn't pick him! He picked me! I know a mistake when I make one — when it slaps me across the face, even!"

Slaps you across the face? his mind repeated. Metro Man slapped her? He heard himself growling as he queried, "Metro Man slapped you?"

She scoffed, settling a little. "Not this time. This," she turned her head to display the glaringly obvious wound on her face, "was a tap. He was just trying to turn my head. But when you have as much strength as he does. . ." She trailed off, leaving the rest unspoken. "Now go ahead. You have your answer. Laugh at me." It was almost a challenge, but also a plead to not do as she requested.

"Does this happen often?" he asked, ignoring her demand. The very idea that she was abused often by the self-proclaimed "hero" disturbed him greatly. Had she been suffering in silence since Prom almost a decade prior, when she and Scott officially got together? "How much has he been hurting you?"

Suspicion filtered into her expression — but left her eyes much untouched. The blue there looked darker than her natural shade now. Truly dead. A lump crowded his throat. She answered with a quiet, "What is this?"

"Tell me what he's been doing to you!" he snapped, too riled by his thoughts to ask nicely.

"When did you start to care?" she demanded, tossing his concern aside.

"I have always cared for you!" he shot back. He regretted his words instantly, but after a moment. . .stopped. No, he didn't regret this admission. She'd missed his signals for the fourteen years they'd known each other. He refused to regret telling her now. Especially if it could help her recover.

Her eyes widened at his words. Her lips parted. Silence stretched between them. After a moment, Minion shifted, making the only noise in the tiny monitor room of the lair. Everyone was stunned.

Megamind sat back after the silence began growing uncomfortably long. He didn't release her, rather he allowed his hands to slide down to her elbows. He had the distinct desire to untie her. Before he could do so, however, she spoke up.

"If this is some kind of trick, I will make you pay," she warned.

Still she didn't trust him. He couldn't blame her for that. "No trick," he replied. He edged closer in his rolling chair, reaching behind her. He was so close to her as he did this that he could smell her clearly. No perfume today, he noted. She hadn't been devoid of perfume since she was sixteen. . .

As he untied the ropes and tossed them aside, he noticed that she wasn't breathing. Not until he had drawn back. She massaged her wrists absently, though he knew it wasn't out of pain, her eyes finally gaining some emotion: distrust. He tried to ignore it as he pulled her feet up to the edge of his chair so he could untie them as well.

"Uh. . .sir?" Minion wondered, his tone asking the question.

He didn't answer, deciding then that this was all wrong. Not just today's developments, but everything he'd ever done concerning Roxanne. With gentle movements, he replaced her feet on the floor after he'd removed the ropes. For a long moment after, he couldn't bring himself to look up. Silence, again, pierced them all. Somewhere in the lair, a few brainbots were "talking".

". . .Okay," she said at last, causing him to catch her gaze. "This isn't a trick. But then, what is this?"

He could see how confused she was. And she wasn't the only one. He felt lost, too; dizzy, unsure what to do. A glance at Minion showed his fish friend was in no better a state.

"This," he answered at length, "is me being honest. With you." She didn't reply, so he went on. "And this is me asking you to be honest with me. Will you do that?"

"Why should I?" she asked, no less suspicious than before. "Are you after secrets or something?"

"No. I. . ." He paused, took a breath, continued. "If he's hurting you, you need to leave him. For your own safety."

A tiny fire lit in her eyes. She bit out, "You think I haven't thought about that?"

"Then why are you still engaged to him?" he demanded.

"Because I'm not nearly stupid enough to break up with him!"

"There have got to be better prospects out there — if a man is all you're after —"

"Don't be an idiot," she hissed. "Think about this logically. If he can bruise me so easily just by trying to make me look in a certain direction, what do you think he could do to me if I told him off? I'm as powerless as a rag doll against him." Her eyes turned bleak at the thought.

Point taken. "You're not powerless, Miss Ritchi. You're brilliant. And you know you must be if I'm the one admitting it," he stressed. "You can get yourself away from him."

"Brilliance doesn't do much if my head is crushed in," she ground out.

"Then what other options do you have?" he demanded.

"Few," she sneered. "Mainly. . .I guess I'm going to have to just marry him. Or hope he gets tired of me." She gazed away again.

Damn it. She shouldn't feel as if she should look away. Avoiding any discomfort on her part, he turned her face back up, fingers curving around her jaw. He eyed each digit to make sure none of them grazed her bruise. "It. . .doesn't have to be that dire," he tried. He wasn't sure what to say to make it all better, but he could recall a dozen books that declare the incredible power of comfort to someone in pain. Would his words help?

She shook her head, pulling his hand away. "Oh, really?" she replied, sarcastic - and miserable. "And I suppose you have a way out for me?"

There was an idea. He considered it, even as a part of him marveled at the fact that she yet had a hold of his hand. Fear that she would let go kept him from drawing any attention to the member, leaving it still.

Could he get her out of her relationship with Metro Man? Not by simply sending a strongly-worded letter, of course. But what else could he do? Killing the man was proving more impossible with each failed attempt. Regardless. . .he felt as if she needed him to help her. A part of him seized onto the idea that he could win her if he did things right - another part of him sneered at himself for hoping for such a thing. Not because it was ridiculous, but because of the reasons behind it. He couldn't do this because it would win her. He needed to do it because she needed him to do it.

Whether or not she realized it, she was now relying on him for his aid. For her. . . Yes. For her, he would do everything in his power.

Now he said, "Minion." When Minion replied that he was listening, he continued, "We're pulling out all the stops this time. No more playing games." He met the fish's eyes. "We need to kill him."

For a moment, Minion looked too shocked to follow orders. And then his eyes darted to Roxanne, and he nodded. For a fish, he was remarkably intuitive and caring. Until today, he'd only shown care for Megamind. Now, Roxanne was a part of them. Minion accepted her presence with grace, attending to the plans via the computer next to him.

Megamind met her gaze again. Her eyes were on Minion for a second longer before she looked back to him.

"I knew it," she murmured.

He had the distinct feeling that she was trying to distract herself - which was a good thing, he figured, so he played along. "Knew what?"

"That you never really tried to kill him before."

"Defeat sounded as pleasing to the ear," he explained. "And provided I got good at it, I could say I defeated him repeatedly — instead of killing him just once."

"A sound plan," she allowed.

He edged closer, rolling perhaps an inch. Lowering his voice and leaning in, he said, "Now, Roxanne, I want you to answer me."

Her eyes narrowed, not in anger, but in remembered agony. "Answer what?" she prodded.

"How long has he been doing this to you?" Though he'd intended to say these words with a gentle tone, they came out harsh. He had never hated Metro Man more than he did now.

For a moment, it was as if she didn't know how to answer, or couldn't force the words out. Her jaw worked, she shook her head, her fingers clasped his tightly. . . And then she started to cry, the tears escaping in a rush.

He panicked. Roxanne Ritchi did not cry. The fact that she was now — plus the tear that he'd seen earlier — only proved what he feared: that she'd been abused long and hard. And that was not acceptable. As he floundered, trying to think up something to say or do while clutching her hand like a lifeline, he noticed something else.

She wasn't sobbing. She was making no noise whatsoever. The tears were. . .silent. That felt even more wrong, somehow. Didn't people usually get obnoxious and loud when they cried? Especially so while they cried as much as she was?

"Roxanne," he breathed, his brilliant mind offering no solutions to this newest problem. His free hand sought out her elbow, her shoulder, her cheek; searching for some place to give comfort. He could think of nowhere acceptable. He felt. . .useless. First for not even noticing how she'd been hurt all these years, and now for being unable to fix it.

Her grip tightened further, pinching his fingers together. It hurt, but he didn't care. If she needed to wring his fingers into spaghetti, then so be it. Anything for her. Everything for her.

Then, in a sudden, quick move that caught him unaware, she lunged forward. Her arms wound around his middle, almost crushing him from the strength she was exerting. Her face pressed into his chest.

He was shocked, though his arms lifted of their own accord to hold her. Before he touched her, however, he eyed the spikes on his gloves with disdain. Oh, no. They had to go. For as long as was necessary. He stripped them off, remembering his shoulder pads as he did so, and removed that as well. Then he deemed himself in a harmless enough state to hold her.

She burrowed in closer when his arms went around her, one hand cupping the back of her head. In an odd way, this felt nice; he had her in his arms, and his fingers were at long last learning the texture of her hair. It just felt so terrible to him that something so horrible had to cause it. Why couldn't it have been something like desire that pulled her to him? Why couldn't it have been love?

She surprised him when she ground out, "Ah, God, why couldn't it have been you. . ?"

So close were the words to his thoughts that he wondered if some psychic mind-reading was going on between them. Then he pushed that idea away and focused on her. "Me. . ?" he prodded.

"I hate him. So much," she hissed out. Her words were surprisingly coherent for the state she was in, shaking like a leaf with tears soaking his shoulder one by one.

He could hardly believe his ears. But then, so far the entire encounter with her had been thus. "Are you. . . Are you saying you would have. . .preferred. . .having me and not him?"

"Yes!" she cried, with no hesitation. He was dumbfounded. She reared back at last, anger lacing her voice as she snapped, "I don't want to see anyone who remotely looks like him right now. Can you. . .can you hold off the plan for a while?" Her eyes pled with him. "Taking into account 'what ifs'. . . I don't want to see him so soon."

It wasn't 'what ifs' when it happened every time, he figured. It was pattern recognition. He couldn't deny that so far, the pattern had always been simple: he raises hell, Metro Man comes, they fight, he loses and gets sent back to prison. Still, the fact that she even offered the "what if" warmed him a little. She may not have any faith in his ability to actually kill the white-clad hero, but she was hoping he could. She wanted an end.

Which he would provide if it was the last thing he did.

"It'll take time to set up everything as it is," he agreed, reaching over to wipe away the wetness on her cheeks — careful of her bruise. "So, yes. You won't be seeing him soon."

She caught both his hands then, as his fingers lingered over the freckles he so adored. She didn't remove them, just held them. It made him freeze. So long he'd gone without touching anyone skin-to-skin, and now here he was, his bare hands on the very same woman he'd desired since before he thought he could desire a woman. He swallowed.

Slowly, so slowly, she closed her eyes, then began moving her hands — drawing his fingertips across her cheek, her nose, her lips. . . His breathing turned ragged. She sucked in a wavering breath.

"Wayne was the first boy to ever kiss me," she murmured, reverting to Metro Man's given name. "And he bruised my lip every time."

Searing jealousy rent through him. He hated that fact — that Wayne had been the first and only one to ever kiss her. Megamind wished it were him. More so now, after hearing how even their kisses had harmed her. Wrong, wrong, wrong! his mind chanted. Did Metro Man just not care that he kept hurting her? That even his shows of affection left her with wounds to nurse?

That made him wonder: had he been indirectly causing some of her pains? It stung to consider, but he forced himself to think it. By putting her in these situations where Metro Man had to carry her to save her, had he been giving her more bruises?

It was much harder to swallow now. He said, "Roxanne — tell me. Have I been. . ." He broke off, struggled with the words. She looked at him, and a slight motion from one of them — he didn't know which — dragged his fingertip across her lip again. It caught his feeble attention, making him focus entirely on that pink curve of flesh. Oh, he desired her. Every last bit of her.

"You're so. . .different," she observed. "I never expected your skin to be so soft. It's so much better. . ." She trailed off, her eyes going far away.

He soaked up the compliment. Better, she'd said. She didn't have to finish her thought for him to know what she meant. Better than Wayne. It didn't matter that she'd ignored his unfinished query. It could wait.

And then, with tears filling her eyes again, she repeated, "Why couldn't it have been you?"

"No — no, don't cry, Roxanne," he breathed, moving his hands to cup her face — again, he reminded himself to be careful of her bruise. "It doesn't matter that it wasn't me before." He still didn't know exactly what she meant by that. "I'm here now. Please, Roxanne, I'm here. If you need me, I'm here."

The tears came anyway — seemed to have been egged on by his words. She forced out the word "you" several times, then leaned closer. He fully expected her to latch onto him like she'd done before. . .but she didn't. Her aim was higher, her arms going around his neck. For a moment they were both moving in awkward jerks, and then she was in his lap and her lips were on his.

He didn't care what her reasoning was anymore, or if it was because of a lack of reason. The fact was that she was sitting in his lap, willingly, and kissing him. He closed his eyes, lifted his hands to hold her, and returned the light, tentative pressure of her lips. Every second was bliss, punctuated by the repeated word "careful" in his mind. His hands moved, roving her back, skirting her two bruises and - sadly - discovering three more by her flinches and tiny squeaks of pain. The new wounds were added to the off-limits section in his mind. He avoided them as if his life depended on it.

He completely forgot about everything else. The brainbots in the lair, Minion working on the plot, Metro Man's inevitable discovery of the lair. He had Roxanne in his lap; what else was there? His face felt wet from her tears, but they didn't seem so bad like this. It was more like the tears were part of her healing, as was the kissing. She needed both, so he'd be damned before he stopped her.

It didn't take long for him to notice the complete silence on her part. Like before, the only sound she made was her breathing - and now, the little smack-smack sounds their lips made as they met again and again. He heard himself giving tiny groans and grunts, his verbal approval of the turn of events. Yet she made no sounds. It was starting to disturb him. Enough so that he took a turn with the way things were going, adding more pressure to the kisses.

He wasn't sure what to do and what not to do, so he stuck with what felt natural. When she came back for another meeting, he captured her bottom lip between his, pulled on it very gently. A dab with his tongue made her shiver, so he did it again, beginning to suck on the lip he'd caught.

At last, she made a noise: a tiny uh sound on an inhale. The sound both pleased him and surprised him. Clearly he'd done something right; how had he even managed to do something right? This was the first time he'd ever kissed anything, yet it seemed he was pretty good at it. Emboldened by her quiet reaction, he kept it up, pulling whatever tricks came to mind and studying her feedback to them.

And then it hit him: somehow, he'd won her. All the years he'd spent trying to impress her with the destructive creations of his mind were — well, not wasted, but pointless. It hadn't been his intellect that had won her over (though he was still arrogant enough to say it played a part). It had been his trust, honesty and compassion. He'd known he was in love with her for the past few years, had admitted that truth to himself. With this. . .maybe she knew, too. The thought didn't scare or upset him. It pleased him. After all, if she was aware of how he felt about her, then she would know exactly how serious he was about this situation.

He would do whatever it took to save her. If it included destroying the entire city, so be it. Nothing else mattered anymore except her safety.

Minion chose then to ask for input, and when Megamind gave no response, his metallic feet carried him closer, to peer around the chair. He gave a surprised shriek at the sight - what a sight we must be.

Roxanne reacted to the cry by jerking herself back. Way to go, Minion, he thought with disdain. She looked so shocked, as if her world had just turned inside-out and she recognized nothing. He caught himself holding his breath, scared that she might realize she'd made a mistake (when it slaps me across the face) and never let it happen again. Awaiting judgment. Sitting in the "defense" seat at court had never been this harrowing. His heart was on the line, about to be either saved or destroyed, he didn't know which.

Either way, he promised himself, Metro Man dies. Even if she broke his heart, he would still be loyal to her.

And then the corner of her mouth twitched, lifted. It took a long time, but she smiled. At him. Her eyes were still watery and red-rimmed from crying, but gaining life again. The streaks down her cheeks shined, and instead of looking sad or painful, the way the tears glittered suddenly looked beautiful. Her smile was magic, plain and simple. Before now, he'd never believed in such a thing.

Still, he reached up, deciding that no matter how pretty they were, tears had no place on her. He wiped them away with light touches, using the backs of his fingers when the fronts were coated.

She caught his hands again, squeezing her eyes shut. Though her eyes read pain, her smile grew, until he wasn't sure what she was feeling anymore. Almost to herself, she murmured, "You are so much better. . ."

He puzzled over why she would say that for a moment — and then realized. . . It was the contrast. Wayne Scott couldn't touch her without hurting her, whereas he had been avoiding causing her any pain. Wayne's kisses bruised her lovely lips; his were as gentle as he could manage. Wayne made her cry. . .he was brushing away her tears.

If she needed any further proof of his feelings. . .

"I would never hurt you," he said now, partly aware that Minion was still privy to this, awaiting his answer. "You know that. You have always known that."

She looked up, and he was pleased to see the pain vanish from her expression. She looked so lovely now, with her smile wide and her eyes still shining. But it wasn't just her smile that rocked his world sideways, disbelieving the truth before him because it couldn't be possible. It was the sight of his hands on her cheeks, of her fingers intertwined with his. Peach and blue. So different. They weren't the same species, not exactly. But he loved her and cherished her and valued her existence more than anyone else's.

He didn't know what she was seeing as she stared at him. So he did his best showing the depth of his emotions for her, in his eyes and face. It was difficult, to say the least — opening himself up like this, leaving him vulnerable. But, he reasoned, if it was for her. . .

". . .Sir?" Minion ventured, tentative. He obviously didn't want to interrupt, but needed an answer all the same.

Breaking her gaze was the hardest thing he'd ever had to do. He looked over at Minion, still hyper aware of his hands — more so when he felt her start to pass her lips over his knuckles. "What is it, Minion?" he forced out, torn between the two.

"The. . .the calibration is still an issue. I thought I had it perfect," Minion explained with an apologetic gesture, "but with the new parameters it's not aligning."

The additional lethality of the traps would cause it to screw up, he supposed. He sighed, then regrettably retrieved his hands. "I'm sorry about this, Roxanne," he said as he ushered her out of his lap, "but this is going to need my full attention." She nodded in understanding as she seated herself. "Minion," he added, "attend to her until I call for you."

"Oh, of course, sir," Minion agreed, edging closer to her.

He turned to the computers and monitors then, bringing up the coding for each of the individual traps. His mind had them dissected in no time — Minion had no idea just how off they were now. With a sigh at all the time he was going to lose with Roxanne, he started to work, fingers flying over the controls. Three separate keyboards were off to the side, and when he wasn't making much progress, he hooked up all three. And, he would admit later, he had never been so fast or precise with the coding.

Then again, he'd never had a reason to be - before.

Note: The name "Wayne" I got from Sevandor1. I wasn't so fond of the use of "Mark" but I wasn't coming up with any good names for him myself. Wayne, however, I like, so I yanked it. Which, apparently, is also the name he was given during the original script. That makes it sort of his official unofficial name, so spread it around, kiddies. Share the knowledge.

Be kind with your reviews, please. This idea struck me out of nowhere and refused to leave me alone, so I had to write it. The dialogue is a little different than the original scene in my head, but I still like it. The title — "Bad To Be Good" — fits so well I'm shocked at myself for coming up with it. I can think of three separate meanings behind it, and all of them are so applicable, I don't know which one works best.

Next chapter: Metro Man comes to 'rescue' his bride-to-be.