Revenge

(Do I really have to say this? I do not own Megamind in any way, have no financial stake in the movie or characters, and this story is just for fun. Thanks, DreamWorks, for letting us play in your sandbox.)

This update was done primarily to include a pseudo link to a work of fan art inspired by this story, although I also took the opportunity to correct some typing mistakes and other errors .


Chapter 2. Telling Stories, Making Decisions

It was instinctual to disarm and restrain his attacker; it was completed before he was fully aware of his anger at her betrayal. But the anger, when it came, was short lived. It was vaporized in the blazing heat of the sensations that arose as his body pressed against hers. The emotions he was experiencing were novel, exhilarating, although also unnerving, even terrifying. They were fascinating; he wanted to explore them further. What to do?

He had half expected her to try to escape when he first freed her hands. But when she had done nothing, and seemed to actually be enjoying their conversation as much as he, Megamind had relaxed his guard. The pain from the blow was nothing. But he was… disappointed that she had interrupted the flow of their very pleasant interaction. They could not return to that now. It wouldn't fit with the Plan. What would? He considered, and made a decision.

"Well, Miss Ritchi, you passed the test. I gave you an opportunity, and you showed… that you are... evil. YOU broke your promise." Swiftly, before she entirely realized what he was doing, he had her wrists tied together again, and he placed her back in the chair.

The damsel was freaking out again about being restrained, fearful of retaliation for the outburst. The reporter was frustrated because she couldn't get a handle on the situation. And Roxanne was feeling betrayed by her body, that seemed to like the way his blue fingers had caressed her skin, that was aroused by the pressure of his body against hers, causing bizarre, random thoughts, like wondering what his mouth would feel like. It was all making her feel powerless, out of control, and she hated that feeling. Now anger, that felt empowering. She was just looking for an outlet, some excuse to lash out at him, ignoring the damsel who was whispering, "Don't make him angry again, I don't think he's too stable." Hypocrite: it was partly the damsel's fault he had been angry a few minutes ago.

Finally, Megamind gave her an opening. He had gone back to circling her. It was unnerving. "I brought you here to talk about, among other issues, relationship possibilities-"

She cut him off. "What do you know about relationships, about any kind of relationship? Apparently the only "person" in your life is your fish servant."

"Minion isn't my servant, he's my friend."

"For a friend you sure treat him like a servant, ordering him around all the time. Did you make him in some weird science experiment?"

Suddenly he was in her face again, his own face hard and furious. "Never talk about Minion that way! You don't understand. Minion, Minion has been with me from the beginning; my parents gave him to me."

"You mean he's some sort of extraterrestrial pet?"

"NO, NO, NO! Stop interrupting and listen!" Megamind turned away from her, and was silent for a moment. When he revolved back, his face was impassive. "Minion is … my minion, my protector. I was only 8 days old when my parents sent us away to save us. Our planet was being drawn into a black hole. Minion has told me it is a tradition among my people to assign one of his kind as a type of protector to children. Usually, the parents wait until the child is older, but there was no choice with me, of course. The protector stays with the child at all times, to instruct the child, remind him of things he needs to learn, to care for him, and, well, protect him. I know he looks more like a fish than anything else to humans, but he's not really an animal, but another sapient, sentient species. My people have a kind of symbiotic relation with Minion's people. We help each other. He is my friend." And almost inaudibly, "My only friend." She could see the softening occurring in his face as he spoke, an expression she had never observed before. She began to comprehend: Megamind truly loved Minion. This was an aspect of Megamind she had never considered- it was astonishing, mind-boggling. She had thought she understood him, from all that time spent with him as his hostage. Now, she was starting to doubt all her preconceptions of him.

Into the silence, Roxanne asked softly. "You… grew up in the local Prison for the Criminally Gifted, didn't you?"

He nodded. "I suppose you found that out with your nosy reporter skills."

She gave a short laugh. "It really wasn't that difficult. The old newspapers have been digitized. It's possible to search through them by key words in headlines. It only took a few weekends in the library, searching through the records. Once I started covering your, ah…. conflicts with Metro Man, it's just good journalism to learn as much back-story as you can. Years ago some reporter wrote an article after interviewing a few of the former prison guards and inmates. There wasn't much, little more than proof that you had been there since infancy."

He nodded again. But his face looked somewhat sad, maybe melancholy. "Do you remember much about your time there as a child?" Roxanne inquired.

"I remember everything." She gawked at him. "Big brain, remember," he said, tapping his forehead.

"That's amazing!"

He shrugged. It's just the way he had always been. Roxanne hesitantly asked, "Do you mind if I ask something else?" He looked a little uncomfortable, but shrugged again. "Did you have any…, well, friends growing up?"

Megamind looked down. "When I arrived, some of the prison inmates found my space pod in the exercise yard where it had crashed. I guess I was a novelty; their lives are pretty limited after all, and it is a prison for the 'criminally gifted.' They hid me, got me food, and played with me. Maybe some of them had children they couldn't be with, and I was a substitute. I don't know. A select circle of men called themselves my uncles; those were the ones that took care of me, taught me things. I suppose in a way they were friends, although not exactly, more like parent substitutes. Of course, finally the guards and the warden found out about me. It was never explained to me at the time, and it was only later, when I finally got out of there, that I began to wonder why they kept me. I just supposed it was because they couldn't find a foster family for a blue-skinned, big headed baby who was preternaturally precocious. I only know that, when I was a child, it was my home. And I always had Minion for company. As I started to get bigger, and was no longer a small child, most of my uncles lost interest in me, or they weren't around because they were released."

"That, that's so sad." Megamind told himself he didn't want pity, but Roxanne's sympathy felt…nice.

"So you never went to any type of school?" she asked, and was surprised to see his face close like a bank vault door.

He was quiet for a while, maybe a minute. Then he rose and, again, went to a drawer in the console. He removed a folder, and bought it over to her. He laid it in her lap, and released her hands again. "I was going to get rid of it, maybe burn it, but Minion insisted we keep it. I might want it someday, he said." She opened the folder and examined the photo inside. A class picture, the children all grouped around the teacher, all except one. A skinny, big headed blue-skinned boy in an orange prison jumpsuit, holding a fishbowl, so far off to the side he was almost out of the frame. "That pretty much says it all. I didn't go long. It…. was not a good experience." He took the photo and the folder from her hands, placing them back in the drawer. She didn't have to ask to know he would say no more about this, not tonight.

She glanced at his face again; he looked, what, beaten down maybe? Is that how he felt growing up, constantly rejected, the outcast? Suddenly another connection was made in her head. That's why he was so sensitive about his appearance, his presentation, his public persona. That's why….

She reached her hands out to him. He looked confused, wary, but he took them in his own. Her eyes were starting to water, and there was a catch in her throat. "Do you want to hear me say it? I'll say it. Here it is, from the deepest part of my heart: I am sorry." His expression was puzzled. "For my ...stupid stunt. Well, you sort of deserved the gun and the tying up part for all of my social plans you messed up. But I am really, really sorry for the broadcasting part. That was cruel."

There was a battle going on in his face; she couldn't decipher it. Finally he said, "Apology accepted, under one condition." Now she was the one who was wary.

(The damsel whispered from the closet, "It's a trap." She shushed her.) "What's the condition?" Roxanne asked.

"That we talk about relationship possibilities."

"Well,… alright, but could we deal with something else first?"

He looked impatient, but said, "What's so important it can't wait?"

Well, now she had a genuine reason, a truthful reason for asking to be released. "You know, Megamind, it has been hours, and I have consumed water, and I don't know how much wine. It does tend to have a certain effect on a person."

He appeared perplexed; then her meaning dawned on him. He looked slightly embarrassed. "Oh. Right. Well, I did prepare for everything." He rolled her chair over to different corner of the room. He touched something on the wall that was imperceptible to her, but a door opened. Releasing her feet from the restraints, he made a little motion. "Well, go on, there's nothing in there you can use to escape. Even MacGyver, well, never mind. Go on."

She walked into the little room, and a light instantly came on. She shut the door and looked around. Everything was black, the floor, the walls the ceiling, all the fixtures, except for the chrome faucet and the lever on the toilet. There was a mirror over the sink. She couldn't help herself; she brushed her hands through her hair, trying to improve her appearance. She wished she had her purse, so she could touch up her makeup, and she chided herself for the thought. She did look tired, but she didn't feel sleepy. She was wired; she didn't think she could've slept even if he had let her go home. Well, she did have a reason for being here, and took care of it, trying not to think about the fact that he was on the other side of the door.


While she was 'busy,' Megamind worried about his next step. Now he was having second thoughts about sharing so much of his history. It made him feel vulnerable somehow, although Roxanne's reaction had been most satisfactory. It actually had gone much better than he had expected. But he had to decide quickly what his next move would be. Surely she would be out soon.

If she thought he would not restrain her again afterwards, she was mistaken. Rolling her back to the spotlight area, he engaged the locking mechanism that apparently kept the chair from moving. Walking in circles around her again, Megamind began, "I brought you here to talk about possibilities, options if you will."

Roxanne interrupted him, she couldn't help herself. "Earlier you said I was evil, or a part of me anyway. What do you mean, evil? What does it mean to you if you see me as having a part that is evil?"

"I told you, that you have more in common with me than either of us would've recognized before. But don't distract me from my point. When you kidnapped me, or I should say captured, since you didn't actually move me from my location, you showed me that you wanted our relationship to be more like that of equals. But I wondered, months ago, what kind of equal relationship could you possibly want? Did you want to be my rival, like Metro Man and I are rivals? Ridiculous, I discarded that idea instantly. You have no apparent super powers, and excuse me if it tweaks your feelings, although you are very bright for a human, your intelligence is no match for my genius." (He was starting to monologue; she'd seen this before. She remained quiet. It could be interesting.) "So what other type of equality could we have? And then it came to me: you wanted to be my partner." (She had to clench her jaw to keep it from dropping.) He continued, "But in what way a partner? Did you want to participate willingly in the kidnapping, plan the nature and timing of them, even help me in my rivalry against Metro Man?" (Her head was starting to spin.) "Or did you want to be, what is the expression, Bonnie to my Claude? Thought it would be thrilling to rob a few banks, hmmm? Not really my thing, but I suppose I could try if you really wanted. Minion could design an outfit for you; it's sort of a hobby for him. He's really quite a good tailor. I'm sure you would look fabulous in a cape. Something in blue and black to coordinate with me, perhaps? Although, you do look stunning in purple. What do you think would be good colors for you?" He looked pointedly at her, awaiting her answer. Sometime during this speech, he had stopped circling, standing in front of her and rocking on his feet.

She didn't know whether to laugh, cry, or run screaming from the room. Hmm, last one's not an option: locked door. She gulped, and considered her reply. "Ah, participating in a life of crime is not really what I had in mind- no offense!"

"None taken. So, enlighten me, Miss Ritchi, in what sort of equal relationship with me are you interested?" He looked at her, his bright green eyes wide, innocent.

Her reporter's sense was tingling. Roxanne had a hunch that they were finally getting to the purpose of this strange evening. Megamind wanted something from her, why else the elaborate scheme? He had taken months to set this up. It was connected to her "stunt" somehow, but she couldn't figure out his intention. She had a feeling she was missing something, maybe something obvious, but she was sooo tired, and she definitely had had too much to drink earlier. It had been an 'entertaining' and 'informative' evening, but she was suddenly ready to end it. Let's finish this, she decided. He's clearly angling for her to say something in particular. She tried to recall the events of the evening. Except for the fact that she had been kidnapped and tied up for a good part of the evening, it had been very much like a first date. He'd set the mood with soft lighting, provided drinks and food, asked her questions about herself, tried to get to know her. (Let's not think too hard about how he had tried to get to know her during the last three months without her knowledge.) He'd complimented her appearance, and, ahem, clearly had an interest in and reaction to touching her physically. (Let's not think too hard about her own reactions to his touches.)

Suddenly, it hit her- it took her breath away. Maybe, maybe, her little stunt had caused him to look at her differently: She had overpowered him though trickery, with her mind. She was not a helpless victim, not just a tool to get to Metro Man. Megamind could not compete with Metro Man with physical strength; he used the power of his genius. He had more respect for mental faculties. So now, maybe he had developed more respect for her mind. And he seemed attracted to her physically. He kept insisting she had demonstrated that she wanted a relationship with him, but maybe it was Megamind who wanted a personal relationship, a romantic relationship, with her. She had been thinking about her own loneliness earlier this evening. Perhaps he was lonely also. What kind of social life could he have, a famous villain, a famous alien villain, with no one but a fish (albeit an intelligent one) for a friend. But he was proud, and she had humiliated him. He had made himself vulnerable to her tonight, in ways he probably had never done before with anyone. He couldn't bring it up directly himself; he wanted, needed her to make the first move.

She looked him in the eyes again. He was still waiting, silent, patient, his green eyes on her. Was there pleading in those eyes? "Alright," she thought, "let's see what happens. Let's try this."

"Well, there are different types of equal relationships. There are work colleagues-"

He cut her off. "You already said you didn't want to share my work. Oh, unless you harbor a secret desire to be an inventor, and you wish involvement with my creations."

"No, no, I'm not really mechanical. Words are more my things. But I was saying, other equal relationships include friendship and… and dating."

"And in which of these are you interested, Miss Ritchi?" His voice was casual, nonchalant, but she thought she saw something in his eyes, like he was willing her to give the right answer. She was pretty sure she knew what answer he wanted.

She could lie, just to get this over with, but she would rather tell the truth; lies have a tendency to come back to bite you later. But what was the truth? She considered her feelings, her reactions to him over the course of the evening. "I must be crazy," she thought, "or maybe I'm drunk, or it's sleep deprivation, or some combination." She tried to be honest with herself. She wasn't certain what it was, but clearly something in her was responding to something in him. She plunged on.

"I'm not sure what I want. My feelings toward you are… confused, confusing. But the idea of dating you is … intriguing." She paused. "Yes, I would be interested in dating you, to see what happens." She looked him in the eyes, which she had been avoiding through the last few sentences. Yes, she could see it: he was pleased, even triumphant. She bet he thought he had cleverly maneuvered her, and was congratulating himself on his genius. "Well," she thought ruefully, "maybe he has."

"Good, it's decided. But, you don't have to make a long commitment; we could just try it for a while, maybe three months?" She nodded. Then he paused, and looked at her with those green eyes, hesitant, pleading. "Are you sure? Do I…. really appeal to you?"

"I ….find you interesting, and kind of attractive in a way… I can't even begin to explain."

He knelt before her and undid the ties around her feet first, lingering longer than was really necessary as he touched her ankles. "I'm sorry; I should have taken these off a while ago. I was so enthralled with our conversation; I guess I forgot." After releasing her hands, he helped her to her feet. Looking down, he asked, "Shall I get Minion to take you home?"

"No," she replied, and, before he could mistake her meaning, asked in return, "Could you take me home?" He smiled.

"Would you prefer to go in the car or on the hoverbike?" When she hesitated, he rushed in, "I would recommend the hoverbike. It has a new invisibility shield like the car, and I could drop you off on your balcony. No wondering looks from the doorman about your late arrival home."

It was clearly what he wanted to do. "Sure, sounds like fun. I've never been on the hoverbike before."

Megamind thought to himself, "Never while conscious anyway."

He started to move toward the door, and then stopped. Turning to her, he looked cautiously into her face. "Before we go, may I ask you one more thing?" He appeared uncomfortable, nervous. It puzzled her.

She replied, "Sure."

He was silent for a moment longer, hesitating. Then he blurted out, "May I kiss you?" and he blushed.

She wavered, than thought to herself, "Oh, why not? Look at it as an experiment." For an answer, she leaned toward him, and placed her lips softly against his.

There were no words to describe the sensation Megamind was feeling. He was soaring, he was falling. It was fantastic. He didn't want to stop, and embracing Roxanne tightly, he started to deepen the kiss. Roxanne wasn't resisting at all, but Megamind mentally shook himself. Better to stop before he pushed past her comfort level. He didn't want to end on a negative note. He pulled away gently. Her eyes opened; she looked dazed. He turned away, went to another section of the wall, and pressed an invisible trigger. Another door popped open, and from within Megamind extracted her jacket and purse. He had not wanted to leave anything outside the room for Minion to find. "Here are your things. Um, the hoverbike is this way." Without answering, Roxanne began to follow him to the door.

"Oh, and, just so you know, I change the code to this room every day." He recited a string of letters and numbers that she probably wouldn't be able to remember anyway. The door swung open and they exited the room.


As they walked, Roxanne commented, "Did you... re- decorate? I recognize bits and pieces, but the place doesn't seem the same at all."

He replied, "After our last encounter, Minion and I had to move everything in the Lair to a new location." He hesitated, then said, "The…. last time you were in the Lair, you left on your own, so I didn't know whether you might let the authorities know where I was. I had no interest in going back to prison at the time."

"Oh, right, that makes sense." An awkward silence descended.

When they arrived at the hoverbike, he stowed her purse in a compartment. Turning to her, he removed his cape. "With the wind chill factor, I think you'll be warmer wearing this." Tossing it around her shoulders, he fastened the clasp. "Raise your arms," he directed her. He swiftly wrapped the trailing fabric around her, then lifted her by the waist and placed her sideways on the seat. He did it quickly, like he had done it before, and a nagging suspicion started to arise in the back of Roxanne's mind. But she decided to say nothing, for now. After securing her with a belt to the backrest, he picked up what looked like a motorcycle helmet and looked her tentatively in the face. "I'm sorry, but I'm going to require that you wear this."

"I don't mind wearing a helmet if you think it's necessary. It's not unusual for people to wear helmets when riding regular motorcycles."

"This is more than a regular safety helmet. When I press a specific button, the front visor will darken, and there will be a sound muffling field. You will not be able to see or hear for approximately 10 minutes. You currently do not know where we are located, and it's going to stay that way for now. I'm sorry. This may seem to contradict... things I've indicated to you earlier this evening. But this… new relationship... that we are exploring... is, well, new." He paused. "Will this change your attitude about... dating me?"

Roxanne thought for a moment, then replied, "It's rather unusual for a dating relationship, but given our unique circumstance, I guess I can understand it for the time being. But, if I don't know where you live, how am I supposed to contact you? Two-way communication is fairly typical when one is dating. I don't suppose you have a phone?"

"Not yet, but I will remedy that tomorrow."

"I'll give you my number."

"Oh, I already have that. I'll call you when I have my phone. So, are you ready to go?"

"Yes."

He secured her helmet, and suggested she put her arms around his torso before he initiated the security field. "Minion said it was rather disconcerting when I tried it on him. Having at least the sensation of touch is reassuring when you don't have sight or sound. The safety harness will secure you to the bike whether you hold onto me or not, so don't worry if for any reason you release your grip on me. Are you ready?"

"I suppose so; go ahead." Within a moment, she was plunged into darkness and total quiet. Almost instantly afterward, she could sense the vibration of the hover bike, and knew Megamind had engaged the motor. It was reassuring to have her arms around his chest, to feel the texture of his outfit, but it was strange to not be able to hear the hoverbike, which had to be making some kind of sound. She could feel the air began to rush past her body, and detected when it became colder and faster, suggesting they were now in the air above the building, wherever it was. Even with the helmet on, she could detect the barest whiff of his fragrance. She was surprised that she found that reassuring also. In the silence and the darkness she began to review some of the events of the evening, but she was so tired, the memories seemed to break into little pieces and jumble in her mind.

She had the sensation she was beginning to drift to sleep, when the face plate cleared, and sound returned. She could see the lights of the city buildings beneath her, and gave a little gasp. She tightened her arms around Megamind even more, and he turned back to say to her, "Are you all right?"

"Fine, just got my vision and hearing back. The view is amazing. And the bike is surprisingly quiet."

"Yes, well, we are going at a fairly slow speed, for the hoverbike anyway, and the invisibility shield can't serve its function as well if the bike makes so much noise that it attracts attention."

They rode in silence the rest of the way, and landed with only the barest bump on her balcony. After removing her helmet, releasing her harness, and helping her down from the bike, they stood in silence for a moment. "You should take your cape back. I'm not sure how to unfasten the clasp," Roxanne stated.

As Megamind put his hands up to her throat to do as she suggested, the urge to kiss her again almost overwhelmed him. With the helmet off, Roxanne noticed his fragrance was more easily detected, stronger. The thought came to her that, after what had been a kind of bizarre first date, Megamind might want to kiss her goodbye. But what did she want, and what message did she want to give him? As Megamind put his cape back around his own shoulders and fastened it, she made her decision.

"So when can I expect my next kidnapping?" She smiled to let him know she was teasing.

"No more kidnapping. Not unless you specifically ask for it. No, I will try to do what is more traditional: I will ask you when you are willing to see me. Of course," and then he smiled, "You used to complain about me being predictable. Is traditional predictable?"

"Nothing about this evening was predictable. I don't think you're capable of being predictable in this particular situation."

"So, I know you have plans for tomorrow, or perhaps I should say, this evening. May I see you Sunday evening?"

"Why then?"

"I had made no plans beyond today. But you are still the focus of all my attentions. I admit I am eager to see what happens next in our .…relationship. Ahh... but I don't mean to rush you. Of course, just because you have nothing written in your appointment book, doesn't mean you're ready to see me. I understand-"

"Yes."

"What?"

"Yes, Sunday evening would be fine. What time, and what would you like to do?"

"I... will... call you." After another pause, "You must be tired. I will leave you. Goodnight."

As he turned back to his bike, Roxanne put a hand on his shoulder. As he looked from her hand to her face, puzzlement in his expression, Roxanne leaned toward him and gently kissed him on the cheek. "Goodnight," she whispered, then quickly went through the door into her apartment.


He had made the trip to Roxanne's apartment slowly, delaying their separation as long as possible. But, as soon as she was no longer visible through the glass doors, he was eager to return to the Lair as quickly as the bike could go. The Plan had gone better than he had ever imagined was possible, and some of Roxanne's reactions had occurred as if she was following a script he had written. But some events had been totally unexpected, and fulfilled dreams he didn't even know he had. He was flying high on more than alcohol and the hoverbike. But he was rather obsessive about his Plans. Once they had been devised, he had trouble letting them go until their completion. He had to get back to the Lair to finish the Plan, even if he would never use the result.


Roxanne was so tired she expected to fall asleep instantly, as soon as she dropped into bed. Instead, the reporter kept trying to piece things together. Had the bizarre evening all been his effort to get her to go out with him? Or had his intention been to do something else entirely, and somehow changed through the course of the evening? What about the fact that he hadn't committed any type of crime, any attacks on Metro Man in the last three months? What did it all mean?

And then there was the whole issue of her agreeing to go out with him for, what had he said? A three-month trial period? A good part of her still marveled that she was even considering this, that she had told him she was willing to try it. She finally had admitted to herself that she was attracted to him. What was that all about? Was it merely about being lonely, and there being "no good men" available? And how could she even consider going out with him if he would go back to some type of criminal activity? Oh heavens, she hoped he wouldn't expect her to go along with being bait for Metro Man again. She thought she'd make that clear. Well, they certainly had a lot to talk about. She tried to clear her mind so she could sleep.


As he was putting the hoverbike back in its location in the Lair, Megamind saw Minion waiting for him. He sighed. He really didn't want to deal with this now. Perhaps a short version of the truth would forestall a lengthy conversation.

"I thought you would be in bed by now, Minion."

"Sir, what have you been doing with Ms. Ritchi all evening?"

"We talked, ate dessert, drank some wine, and she agreed to date me. Oh, by the way, she liked your brownies. I'm not going to say anymore about it right now. And when I get up, I will need the car to go shopping for a cell phone. I'm going to my room now. Goodnight, Minion."

Megamind walked away swiftly, leaving Minion gaping in his wake. He initially headed in the direction of his sleeping quarters, but when safely out of Minion's sight, went back to the interrogation room. He knew he should be getting some sleep; he knew that's what Minion would say. But he wouldn't be able to sleep until he at least had an initial examination of the recordings. There were multiple angles, but by viewing them all simultaneously, it went much more quickly. The first time through his focus was on Roxanne, her expressions, her words, the gestures. The Plan had not had one goal, but multiple. In the heat of his initial anger, revenge and retribution had been the focus. Figuring out how to do that was the tricky part. At first, humiliation had been the idea: maneuvering her into a position to say or do something embarrassing, maybe even threatening her career. Then he thought of blackmail, not so much a public humiliation, as putting her into his power more fully than the kidnappings had ever done. To control her through blackmail, even Metro Man could not rescue her then.

So he spent a lot of time studying human psychology, reading things on human needs and wants, trying to understand her so he could manipulate her. There was a lot of surveillance, usually with the spybots, but sometimes in person, using his disguises, or the invisibility shield. He didn't even need to tap her phone, when the spybots were around her constantly. But the more time he spent watching her, listening to her, the less anger he felt. He reconnected with the warm feelings he had toward her while they bantered playfully during the kidnappings. And maybe it was because his species was not so different from humans, or maybe it was because he'd spent almost all his life living among them, but studying human psychology helped him to understand himself. Eventually he realized he'd stopped wanting to have revenge on Roxanne; what he wanted was…. her. But he found it hard to believe that she would ever feel that way toward him. So he gave up on the goal of retribution and humiliation, and focused instead on either controlling her, or courting her. He didn't have high hopes for the latter, but could not quite give up the idea of learning how to do it. He had tried reading romance stories for inspiration, and did gain a few ideas, but most of them were too disturbing to finish.

Reviewing the tapes, he figured he had some things that, with careful editing, he could use for blackmail, if she eventually turned her back on him and the whole dating experiment did not succeed. But he found he didn't have a lot of enthusiasm for the idea anymore. It made him very uncomfortable to think of using the recordings that way. He even thought that perhaps it would be best to just erase them, to remove the temptation, as well as the evidence. He squirmed to think of how Roxanne might react if she knew he had recorded their entire evening together. But if things between them did not work out, these recordings might be all he would have left of his time with her. He watched the recording of their kiss six times. That part at least he would keep. He locked the recordings in a vault that he was sure no one could open. Being thorough, it even had a destruct sequence that he could trigger remotely if he wanted to eliminate the evidence later. He would put this all behind him. It was an impossible goal, but when had that ever stopped him from trying? His new focus, his entire focus, would now be on courting Roxanne, persuading her to love him the way he now knew he loved her.


AUTHOR NOTES:

I have heard that standup comedians say "Dying is easy; comedy is hard." And I know what is funny to one person can just sound stupid to another. If you have bothered to read this to the end, I hope you appreciated my efforts at humor.

One style of humor my family enjoys is quoting lines from movies and books, applying them to new contexts. Bonus points if you detected the quotes, or variations on quotes, from Star Wars, The Twilight series, The Incredibles, and a subtle one from Star Trek (TOS), plus the use of the name of an antispyware program. There's also a line that frequently occurs in the Miles Vorkosigan series (one of my favorite sci-fi series), but I expect few people to get that obscure reference.

In case there is a question in any reader's mind, I had absolutely no intention of suggesting that Roxanne suffered from Multiple Personality Disorder (or, as the psychiatric community now insists on calling it, Dissociative Identity Disorder). It was merely meant to be a humorous way of detailing the different aspects of her personality, moods, or thoughts.

This was initially intended to be a one shot, ending here. But, as I worked, I kept coming up with more ideas. I am now working on a trilogy.

I have composed fanfiction since I was a teenager, but only in the form of little movies I created in my head, based on my favorite TV shows, movies, and books. This is the first time I have EVER written one down. I hope I have given some people pleasure through this story, as I have enjoyed for years reading others' fanfiction stories.

If you liked this, reviews/ feedback would be appreciated. If you have questions about the story, feel free to send me a personal message. I'll explain anything that isn't a spoiler for the sequels.

Phenixia has done me the great honor of drawing fan art inspired by this work of fanfiction. You can see it on the DeviantArt website by cutting and pasting the following and removing the extra spaces.

h t t p : / / browse . deviantart . com /#/d3drq91