Notes: This is my first posting onto Fanfiction, so be gentle. I have been posting this story to the Megamind Livejournal community, and it's been suggested I post it here to spread the love as well as to combat the sometimes restrictive character limit found in LJ. This story is my own interpretations of the movie and particularly the symbolism found in Roxanne's hair. I noted a lot of key emotional scenes were highlighted by her hair, what she did with it, or how it looked. So I set about writing this fanfic to describe my thoughts. I go into a lot of extra detail about events around and in between the actual movie scenes, so I have to stress that this is based 'loosely' on canon events. I use dialogue and action from the actual film, but try to keep the chapters as fresh as I can so it's not a standard retelling. I'll be posting more chapters soon. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: 'Megamind' and all its characters are owned by Dreamworks. I own nothing.
Falling Before Her Eyes
Perhaps it was a human thing. One of those uncontrollable urges. Deeply engrained in genetic DNA, so it became as natural as filling your lungs with the next life-giving breath of oxygen. It seemed entirely ridiculous to him though. He sure didn't need to do it. Obviously. Anyone could tell that to look at him, especially since he wasn't even human. Not that he had much to compare with, in terms of his own heritage and whether his species did or did not participate in the activity he could only describe as a tick. What with potentially being the last surviving alien from his home planet, and all. Yet even without any real knowledge about his own race, or their traits, he was pretty sure they weren't afflicted with this particular character fault.
But that knowledge didn't make it any less annoying for him to watch.
The particular human in front of him did the same movement again, that same tick he was describing, and he could barely contain his own aggravated twitch in response. He narrowed his green eyes as if in warning, but the human seemed oblivious to its effects on him. Par for the course, he mused internally, choosing to focus his attention elsewhere to try and take his mind off of humans and their unfathomable actions. Par for the course? He was a little confused about that phrase, although he'd heard it used before. Was it supposed to be Bar for the course? Or was it coarse? Perhaps it was in reference to a physical rod that had a distinct texture to it. A Coarse Bar so to speak. Ah, who cared! It never mattered in the end. He'd confuse one saying for another, be corrected, and carry on. He never gave it more than a fleeting thought and a wave of his hand before leaping head long toward the next challenge (sometimes literally). He couldn't be befuddled by silly inconsequential things like that, when his brain was filled to overflowing with so many other amazing ideas!
Even after living his entire life (minus 8 days between birth and landing) on Earth, the lithe blue skinned alien had always struggled with social conventions like phrases such as that, and sometimes the pronunciation of words. Blame it on a massive intellect that swam constantly and had more important things to ponder than I before E, or whatever it was. You could also blame it on a poor upbringing. Criminals were never very renowned for their literacy skills, particularly those in the high-security facility he had been adopted into after his spacepod had crash landed into the exercise yard of the Metro City Prison for the Criminally Gifted. And with his troubles at Shool... He involuntarily shuddered at the memories. He had definitely been restricted in his education in that respect. Not that he really required much education. His intellect was staggering in its prowess, and even before crawling was an option, he was capable of devising the most ingenious inventions and machines. His immense, smooth shaped cranium wasn't just for show! But still, the complicated emphasis of the correct syllables of certain words... as well as social niceties, verbal cues, and etiquette... things like that still evaded his grasp. Which was fine for his line of work!
The Incredibly Handsome Criminal Genius and Master of all Villainy didn't need to have a perfect grasp of whether it was Metro City, or Metrocity that he was trying to take over and rule. He was capable of striking fear into the hearts of all of the sprawling metropolis's citizens with the mere whisper of his name, and that's all that really mattered. His epic battles were so legendary that... well they were legendary! For he, was Megamind! Arch nemesis of Metro Man and fantastically amazing evil doer!
And he was getting really annoyed with the human sitting and glaring at him and her damn human twitch of constantly trying to play with her hair.
"Will you please STOP that!" Megamind snapped, sitting upright in his tall captain's chair, raising his chin a fraction as if to make his glower that much more intimidating. It didn't have the desired effect.
"Well, what do you expect? You kidnap me, knock me out, put a bag over my head and tie me up," an irate Roxanne Ritchi grumbled back at him. She did it again, that incessant puffing and huffing of air, pursing her lips to blow at her bangs which were dishevelled and falling across her vision. "It's not like I can just brush my hair!" She wiggled in her bondage, tied to a steel chair in the center of the room, as if to prove she could not reach up to fix the errant hairs as she was apt to do CONSTANTLY.
"We put the bag on your head AFTER we tie you up," he corrected her staunchly. Her response was a fiery death glare which he conveniently ignored. "Well, if you're going to make a fuss about it, then at least get your facts straight," was his huffed and indignant response. "You're a reporter; I expect you to maintain certain standards in your investigating, especially in reference to me."
Roxanne Ritchi, the star reporter for the Channel 8 news team bristled visibly and shook her head half in disgust, and also to whip that hair out of her face again, and Megamind barely contained the strangled growl that sounded in his throat. Every damn news broadcast that Megamind had watched with the cropped-haired brunette journalist, and trust him when he said he'd watched them all, she reached up and swiped her fingers expertly across her brow to move the fringe perfectly. And it drove him insane! He had no idea why. On all accounts, it should bother her more than it bothered him, as it must tickle and itch the delicate freckled skin of her forehead. Just thinking about it almost made him itch himself. And yet, every three minutes, she was reaching up to fix her hair on TV like clockwork. And every time, he'd twitch and glare at the television, growing increasingly distracted from what she was reporting on to merely waiting and waiting for the inevitable bang-brush that he knew was yet to come as those thin, shimmery strands made a slow journey out of their proper order and down her brow. He could barely concentrate! And she was the broadcaster that normally covered his battles with Metro Man. If he was so distracted by this, then imagine all the other ignorant masses that might be too focussed on her silly hair to listen about his evil schemes and learn to fear him! And if it was infuriating to watch it on TV, it was six times more so in person. SIX TIMES! And while captive? He wasn't sure which was worse; her normal habit of using her hand to adjust her short hair, or this new blowing technique she was employing now while he held her hostage.
Megamind, being as amazingly handsome as he felt he was, had no such hair to have to keep adjusting on his blue skinned scalp. His vast, nearly bulbous (but still handsome!) head was perfectly clear of this annoying hair that humans were afflicted with. It also housed his magnificent brain which made him capable of devising all his ingenious plans for domination of Metrocity; all which hinged on destroying the city's sworn protector and hero, Metro Man. Metro Man had been the thorn in his side, the ying to his yang, the bane of his existence since they were infants. Travelling through space to escape the destruction of their neighbouring planets, the two had coincidentally landed in the same city on Terra Firma: Metro City. Imbued with super strength, invulnerability, super speed, flight, laser and x-ray vision, Metro Man was the classic hero, beloved by all even at an early age. And Megamind, with his superior intelligence, inventing skills, and an uncanny ability to persevere in the face of challenges both physical and mental, had struggled to find his place in the world and had finally found it as super evil-villain and the dark side to Metro Man's light. His sworn duty was to destroy Metro Man, his enemy, and take over the entire city. Which is where Roxanne came in.
"Now, Miss Ritchi," he grinned his most evil grin, his voice booming out in its normal, boisterous fashion. He made a quick running dash and hopped into his menacing Evil Overlord chair, his momentum bringing it swinging back around so when he came back into view, he had one leg crossed over the other, fingers steepled to rest his index fingers against his dark goatee. He fixed her with a terrifying glare over his finger tips. "It doesn't matter how you look, because you're just the lowly hostage. Once Metro Man hears of your capture, he will come racing to your rescue. And then he will fall prey to my evil plan!" he cried, finishing it off with his best maniacal laughter, one arm sweeping his cape dramatically as he stood up in one rushing movement. The sound of his laugh echoed loudly in the cavernous expanse of the warehouse around them, dimly lit by the humming and blinking lights of control panels, monitors, tubes and the bare bulb hanging over the hostage. Classic ambience for an evil lair. Really sets the mood. Mood and presentation were everything, he'd always said. He was very astute about getting just the right feeling in the air for his diabolical plans, otherwise he'd just look like an amateur! It was all in the details. And this would be one of his finest days yet, sure to give him the upper hand against Metro Man, and strike fear into the heart of Miss Ritchi, his prisoner. He glared down at her to check her reaction to the whole scenario.
They stared at one another for a long moment that seemed to vibrate with tension. Her eyes were a steely blue that narrowed challengingly and then she took a slow and deep breath in. Perhaps to scream in fright? Ha! All his preparation had paid off! A smile of wicked glee began to form across his face, eyes wide and expectant.
She then purposefully pursed her lips, and angled a sharp exhale of air up to send her bangs fluttering.
"GRAH! I swear, if you do that one more time..!" he bellowed, stomping his black leather boot as red flushed his face, turning his skin a hue of lavender.
"Now sir! Temper!" a figure chided soothingly, lumbering out of the shadows cast by the bright light swaying from the center of the ceiling. Megamind cast a scathing glare to the large robot, who folded its gorilla inspired metal hands together in front of itself, the coarse dark fur that completed the gorilla like resemblance shifting along his shoulders. The frilled aquatic fish-like creature controlling the robotic body tilted itself with a pleasant expression on its face within the larger water filled glass dome atop its shoulders. The fish resembled a piranha, all except for the slightly iridescent tentacles and spikes lining his head, an electrical node piercing the top of his skull that aided in his ability to control his lumbering mechanical suit. The fish-robot, named Minion, just smiled his good natured, sharp toothed smile from within his tank, ignoring the angry look he was getting for his interruption.
"We don't want you getting too overexcited before Metro Man arrives," he sing-songed happily back to Megamind, busying himself like a fussing housewife who was also a mechanical gorilla with a fish for a head by tip-toeing over to their hostage, tilting this way and that to inspect her. Megamind let out a calming little sigh as if to clear his head after his temporary annoyance with his Minion, but the creature made a good point. The atmosphere may be perfect for an evil plan, but if he was distracted in anyway, then the whole thing could unravel like... like... something that unravels very easily. And that would be bad. Not the good kind of bad, because it was quite good to be bad, but the bad sort of bad that was bad for being bad.
"You are correct, as always Minion," Megamind claimed loudly, separating the last word into two emphatic syllables, with a particular stress on the final '-yon' sound. Seemed so much more devious that way. "You are always a voice of reason! I shouldn't let myself get so DISTRACTED by insignificant hostages when I have much more import-," he went on, turning to glare at the offending woman, but then stopping short upon seeing Minion cautiously raising a hand and moving her bangs to the side himself, making her smile in an amused sort of way. Megamind cleared his throat loudly while barely containing his rage, causing the fish to swivel in his tank and give a start at the twitching eyed, infuriated stare Megamind was sending him, and then he hurriedly shuffled away from Roxanne.
"Sorry, sir..." the fish muttered, having the decency to look chagrined.
"Oh just give it up, Megamind," Roxanne interjected, straining forward in the confines of her seat. "Metro Man will show up any minute now, and no matter what evil plan you have, he will defeat you!" she said with a satisfied smile and great conviction.
"Is that so, Miss Ritchi? Well! We will have to see about that!" Megamind cackled derisively, tilting his head back, framed by the high swooping collar of leather and spikes that completed his black and midnight blue cape around his thin shoulders.
"Behold!" he cried, triumphantly, slamming his hand down on a large button on the main console which caused a rumbling sound in the distance of the warehouse to echo around them. The rumble turned to a chorus of electronic, tin sounding squawks and clangs. From the rafters, a swarm of mechanical floating creatures descended around them, causing the hostage to gasp and recoil in her chair in genuine shock and fear. Success! The robots snapped gnashing metal jaws, swivelling red optic eyes around on stalks affixed near their clear domed backs edged with a ragged spiked fin, where currents of vivid blue and white, or red energy crackled and sparked from within. In their mass numbers it was hard to discern one from another, turning the swarm of hovering robots that writhed and moved in one mass of undulating fury. Their movement caused the hanging bulb to swing wildly and shadows flashed menacingly across the room. Again, it was all in the details...
"Prepare to witness the wrath of my Brain-Bots! I will release these, my most diabolical and terrifying invention yet, against Metro Man, and he will fall before my eeeevil genius, once and for all!" he cried, arms spread wide as the bots, with their long trailing steel pincers snapped and chattered around him with a constant Bowg Bowg Bowg like drone. It filled the expanse of the secret evil lair with echos of sound, which only served in making them all the more horrifying and spectacularly evil. Oh, this was turning out to be such a perfectly executed day! Nothing could deflate his feelings of confidence and superiority.
He chanced a look down at her again, to see her reaction to this no doubt terrifying revelation of his latest creation (one which he was quite proud of, if he said so himself). She indeed looked more shocked and a bit frightened in comparison to the few others times he'd been kidnapping her. His small chest swelled with a sense of pride that he had silenced her normally quick tongue and sharp comments. She was struggling against her bonds as some of the Brain-Bots snapped their claws toward her menacingly, and she tossed her head to the side as if to shield herself. And a single strand of her choppy bands slipped down across her brow to stand in sharp contrast against her pale skin.
Megamind fixed his unwavering gaze on that piece of hair, feeling a muscle pulse under his left eye while a shudder ran through him. On her forehead. Itchy. It must be so itchy! Drifting closer to her eye as she looked back up to glare at him. Her mouth was opening and she was saying things; probably cutting remarks about how evil he was, and how he'd never get away with it. He could hardly concentrate on her voice, he was so focussed on that damn hair. She was going to blow on it. Any second now. She'd purse those thin little lips and her chest would swell with the intake of air, and she'd squint and scrunch up her nose as she blew out. She'd do it any second now. Any second now! The suspense practically drove him mad! All he could do was stare. Stare and wait. Oh the ANTICIPATION!
"Sir...? Sir? SIR!" Minion was saying insistently, and Megamind whipped around, eyes crazed.
"It's Metro Man!" the large cyborg stammered, pointing at the monitor which showed the white and gold clad hero of Metro City soaring through the sky toward them at lightning speed, mere seconds before he crashed through the ceiling above and rained debris down upon them. Megamind paled visibly. After the initial shock, he reacted instinctively and gave a scream of shock and fear, practically leaping in the air as Metro Man slowly floated down to touch his boot, rimmed with tassels, on the ground. His hair, perfectly coifed, with just a touch of grey at his temple, barely moved an inch as the hero turned steely eyes on Megamind, suddenly pointing one gloved hand at the alien while striking a valiant pose.
"Megamind!" he shouted, his voice booming in the large space and commanding attention. Megamind gave a squeak, still not quite over the shock, turning to the side while lifting one leg defensively, his arms up in front of his face. "I have found you! Prepare to be defeated!" the hero called out, like a well rehearsed actor.
Megamind tried to get into the spirit, despite the abruptness of the whole situation. He dropped out of his 'OMG was that a spider?' like posture by straightening his spine and mimicking the hero's pose, pointing back at him with a flash of his cape for effect.
"No! It is YOU who shall be defeated! Brain-Bots! Attack!" Not his best retort, but sufficient.
Sadly, no amount of quick recovery and dramatic flair could salvage the day. With barely ten seconds to scramble into position, Megamind was ill-prepared for this particular encounter with the burly do-gooder, and suffered one of his more embarrassing defeats. Even with his Brain-Bots, Megamind felt like a runner who had started the race already winded, and several yards behind the other contestants. He reflected on this less than an hour later as he was led back into the jail-cell he knew so well, shackled and tallying up yet another sentence to his already lengthy stay in the prison system (a pittance in comparison, since he hadn't even done any real evil doing aside from kidnap the young woman, but the humans were stern about keeping their records up to date, despite the inevitability that he would never fully complete his sentences). He had been so confident about his Brain-Bots! And everything had been going so well too! But... because of little Miss Ritchi, he'd been so distracted and frazzled, he'd hardly been able to focus on the battle at hand and Metro Man had been fairly capable of mopping the floor with him. He massaged the aching side of his large head once the guards had shoved him roughly into his home-away-from-home cell, wincing while he pondered over what he could change in the future to ensure his success.
First of all, he had to work on his designs for the Brain-Bots, because they had obviously been a bit of a failure against Metro Man. A shiver went through him as he recalled the way the dark haired man had incinerated almost half of them with one fell-swoop of his laser beam eyes. So he definitely had to go back to the drawing board to upgrade their defensive and offensive capabilities. He'd also have to escape from jail, which was easy enough. Minion had plenty of backup plans for busting him out of his solitary confinement, and would come soon to free his master. But most annoyingly, there was one large question mark in his plans for dominating Metrocity. And that was Miss Ritchi.
Metro Man came running anytime that Megamind did anything devious. Blowing up buildings, unleashing killer robots on the city, highjacking nuclear explosives, even petty robberies just to fund his rather expensive operating costs for creating such schemes and running the lair. But when Megamind had seized the nosy reporter during a battle some weeks before, that was quickly becoming a little too one-sided for his tastes, Metro Man had stopped dead in his tracks. Fist raised to deliver another crushing blow to the blue evil genius, he'd had to pull up short when Megamind used the woman, who had been there doing her silly little job of reporting the superhero's good deeds, as a human shield. And this had been an epiphany for Megamind. A hostage! Perfect! Metro Man wouldn't strike a citizen of Metrocity, and therefore Megamind could use his weakness for protecting others against him! And how convenient that Miss Roxanne Ritchi was always under foot with her little microphone and camera. And what had started out as a matter of convenience, with her always being around, had quickly become his modus operandi in terms of schemes, as he'd already done it fourteen times since that faithful day. Kidnap the girl, hold her hostage, and try to defeat Metro Man with the constant threat of harming Roxanne as both bait and back up plan. And with the tel-ee-vision always seeming to point to Metro Man and Roxanne being involved in some romantic fashion, Megamind was confident that Roxanne was the best hostage he could find, as it held the added bonus of stealing something Metro Man cared about.
Plus, she was getting used to the kidnappings now, so she struggled much less, which Minion found relieving whenever he had to carry her into position after knocking her unconscious. He never had a stomach for the screams of terrified citizenry.
But now, perhaps Roxanne was becoming more of a hindrance than a help. Today she had succeeded in distracting him enough to foil his attempts to destroy Metro Man. He was able to reflect on all of this silently in his swivelling chair, perched in the direct center of the circular solitary confinement room he called home, at least until Minion came to break him out. The walls, still painted since his youth, showed prancing kittens playing with yarn, and adorable blue birds flitting among the clouds, reminding him that Happy Thoughts Make Happy People. Fingers steepled before him, leg carefully crossed over his opposite knee dressed in the garish orange of the prisoner uniform, he mused and mulled over his problem while gazing up at the monitor attached to the ceiling, the local news channel displaying the predicted weather for the next week. He hadn't tried to cause a tornado or typhoon in a while... perhaps that could be his next plan. But how to incorporate Roxanne? Perhaps tie her to the top of Metro Tower to experience the full force of the natural disaster? Bah! Why was he trying to incorporate her into another plan? Wasn't he trying to find a way to stop her from messing things up? Maybe he should just give up on kidnapping her all the time... That didn't seem like a very good option though, for some reason.
Somewhat abruptly, she appeared on the screen as if conjured from his imagination.
"This is Roxanne Ritchi reporting live from City Hall, as we take a look back on today's events as Metro Man foils yet another of Megamind's terrible plans for destroying our fair city," she said into her microphone, all business and endearingly dramatic. He felt a small grin tilt on his lips. He had to admire her showmanship. Her performance was both informative as well as entertaining, and he was a sucker for a good bit of presentation. But he wrinkled his brow at the use of the words 'terrible plans'. Had she meant his plans were terribly frightening and wicked? Or just terrible, as in doomed to fail? Knowing her, the latter. His smile faded and was replaced with a glare.
She continued to outline the events of the day, her stern visage taken off screen for a moment to show real action footage of her, earlier that day, making a report to her cameraman before a flash of light and dark smoke sprouted to life in the background. Oh he did enjoy watching things like this! He secretly struck at times when he knew she was being filmed, just so he could see how awesome his capture had appeared. The tape continued to roll, Roxanne's current live report audio replacing the tape's, so he couldn't tell what she had been reporting on when he had kidnapped her. But the live feed was now her, describing her own capture from earlier that afternoon, as she had turned around mid-sentence to view the smoke with wide eyes, only to abruptly look up with a stagger of shock as a metal cylinder had suddenly plummeted down around her, impacting hard into the ground so the camera shook and toppled over, the very ground heaving and thick planks of concrete breaking around the impact zone. The image scrambled and wavered until it finally was able to track back onto the target of Roxanne, now within the tube like prison as it rose into the air, suspended by his latest flying vehicle with him at the helm, laughing triumphantly and with his best cape flying in the wind against the dark clouds. He definitely had looked magnificent. Perhaps one of his best performances yet! The tape cut back to current time Roxanne.
"Shortly after my capture, Metro Man defeated Megamind in yet another feat of strength and prowess, easily defeating the evil mastermind's legion of robots. Just another day as Metro City's sworn protector and saviour," she grinned into the camera.
Megamind flapped his hand open and closed to mimic a mouth, sticking his tongue out in some disgust.
"They weren't just robots, they were Brain-Bots," he corrected her sternly from his prison where no one could hear him. She was starting to slack in her journalist integrity. First the tying up and bag incident, and now this oversight in information. If she didn't watch it, he was going to have to remind her she had a duty to report the REAL facts.
All things considered, he felt testy, especially with the way she was grinning, almost as if she knew he'd be watching and was rubbing the defeat in his face. Well, there was always another day. And he'd continue to kidnap her just to spite her. He sneered at her image wickedly, as if she might somehow be in the room and might experience the fear he wanted her to have of him. But, she wasn't in the room, and he was just watching her in a new broadcast, so the sneer served no real purpose. It only made him glare at her picture with great intensity, eyes narrowed and brows drawn together. But slowly, his face relaxed to a more entranced expression, his vision focussing not on the whole of her visage, but on a singular part. A piece of hair. Drifting down, down and down, threatening to breach that line of her eyebrow where it would become enough of an inconvenience to trigger her human tick. He felt like he couldn't even look away for a second, and he chewed his lower lip while a dramatic frown stole across his face. Every time she talked, or moved, or the muscles under her skin shifted, it went a little further. Down it went, pausing just briefly atop one of her well sculpted brows before a single ounce of breeze took it all the way. He twitched.
"This is Roxanne Ritchi, reporting for KMCP, Channel 8," she then concluded, and reached up to flick her bangs to the side.
Megamind practically shattered the remote control in his hand, making a guttural noise of rage and annoyance that caused the guard posted at his door to curse loudly at the sudden outburst, banging on the window as a warning. Megamind responded with a cold glare over his shoulder.
This was definitely a problem. He had to address this issue of Roxanne Ritchi, and the distraction she caused him. He decided then that it wasn't a human tick. It was just her. She set him on edge in such a way, that even an innocuous movement like touching her hair sent him into theatrics. He would have to find a way to fix this issue, and fast. He'd have to keep kidnapping her, not just to get to Metro Man, but so he could investigate and analyze her more thoroughly, like a rare specimen under a microscope. He had to find a way to negate the effect she had on him. Her and that stupid piece of hair.