Pre-movie. Just exploring some thoughts about that Frequent Kidnapping Card comment, what precluded all the flirting in the fake observatory (and did you notice Minion seemed rather shocked by it?), and Megamind's super cool-looking gun, which really is a different style than his other stuff. If you haven't see close-ups shots of it from the movie, go look them up. Steampunk, some say. Whatever it is, it's pretty awesome.

As always, reviews are appreciated. Reviewers get cookies and sparkles tossed at them. =D

"Sir, our favorite coffee house is offering a 'frequent shopper' card now! We'll have it full in no time!" Minion waved the small card in the air while balancing a grey cardboard tray of hot cappuccino in the other hand.

Megamind snapped off the welder and pushed his dark goggles up on his forehead in order to see what Minion was holding out to him. "A frequent… what happens when it's full?" He took the card and examined both sides. It was just a plain white card with the logo of the coffee house on it and a series of numbered boxes along each side. He noticed the first two boxes out of twenty had been marked off for the purchases Minion had just made.

"You get to choose an item or a beverage for free from the store. Sort of a reward for being a loyal customer and an incentive to keep coming back."

"That sounds like a good marketing strategy. Maybe we should put something like that in place."

Minion looked dubious. "We're not exactly in the business of 'marketing' our services. What are we going to do, offer the city one day free of mayhem after ten evil plans? And who'd get to hold the card? Maybe the mayor…" But Megamind was already warming up to the idea.

"Ms Ritchie might appreciate it! She is one of the most loyal consumers of my e-vil."

"I'm not sure she'd agree with that. She isn't exactly loyal or a consumer. I think 'coerced' and 'victim' describes the situation a little more accurately." He noticed the dark look on Megamind's face and backtracked a little, "But! If you really wanted to make her a pleasant offer for all the, um, help she's provided in being part of your plans, I'm sure that would be well-received." Maybe, he thought.

Megamind was already planning how he would execute this new idea and wondering what his favorite 'customer' would think of it.

That thing was impressive. There was just no denying it. And strangely enough, it didn't have a spike on it. As he walked around and around the chair, doing his usual soliloquy which she knew would be about how great his plan was, how magnificently evil, how he was sure to defeat Metro Man this time, blah, blah, all she was focused on were the teasing glimpses of the gun in his thigh holster, disappearing and reappearing from under the cape.

She'd been kidnapped so many times, and probably would be so many more, she'd stopped bothering to be upset. Except about that potato sack they used to cover her head. That thing reeked like nobody's business. It had been a very long time since she'd actually been scared. He never hurt her. He did seem to wish he could frighten her, but knowing she wasn't actually in danger kind of quelled that reaction. In fact, the kidnappings were becoming rather boring. So she had started taking note of everything; the lair itself, the weapons, his equipment and inventions, stuff hanging from the ceiling. Most of his possessions were styled with a common theme: black and spiked, but there were a few exceptions. Minion's gorilla suit was a pretty amazing creation and surprisingly spike-free. When he'd noticed her examining him closely, the poor fish seemed kind of embarrassed. She decided staring at his body, robotic though it might be, was a little tactless.

One day she noticed Megamind's gun. It was so completely different from everything else, she was instantly intrigued. Today she was getting a better look than usual as he passed around the chair over and over again. If she hadn't been so intent on the weapon, she would have asked him to stop it, since it was kind of making her dizzy. Then the thigh holster paused right next to her. The black butt of the gun was covered in a gold, stylized lightning bolt design, and she caught the hint of some decorative work that was actually quite beautiful. In fact from what she'd been able to see so far, rather than being a simply functional object, it was a work of art. It had flowing lines and was delicately tooled. At first she had assumed it probably didn't have spikes sticking out of it so he could draw it faster, but why had he bothered to spend so much time on those details? She squinted at it slightly, and then realized everything was very quiet. He had stopped walking… and stopped talking. Slowly her eyes followed up his side until she met his gaze, a rather amused and definitely smug expression on his face. He'd noticed the general direction she'd been staring. "See something you like, Ms Ritchie?"

The blood rushed to her face so fast her ears burned and her neck felt tight. Quickly she looked straight ahead. Behind the chair, she dug her nails into her palms as hard as she could, trying to redirect her brain to think of something other than her embarrassment so the redness in her cheeks would subside faster. Oh lord, had he thought she was looking there? And worst of all was the fact that… she had kind of wondered about that. He probably wouldn't believe her even if she told him she'd been looking at his weapon. Or worse, he might think she meant that as a euphemism.

He leaned down with his hands on his knees so he was in her direct line of sight, his face close to hers. "You haven't answered my question."

"I have nothing to say."

"Pleading the fifth? Well, we all know what that means!" Chuckling, he glanced back at Minion and straightened up, crossing his arms. A wickedly knowing smile crossed his face.

"If you must know, I was so bored with your monologue that I was amusing myself by noticing your gun."

"My-," he uncrossed his arms and looked down at the holster at his side. "Oh yes! Isn't it beautiful? One of a kind." He patted the weapon, obviously waiting for her to compliment it, and added proudly, "I designed it myself."

"Really? I was going to guess you picked it up at Wal-Mart in the toy section." Annoyed at his assumption about where she'd been looking, she definitely wasn't going to give him kudos on it now.

He scowled. "You would do well to modify your insults today, Ms Ritchie, if you want that card."

She blinked. "What card? What are you talking about?"

He threw up his hands. "Haven't you been listening at all? What, am I just talking to myself here?" He noticed she was still perplexed, so he began explaining again with exaggerated patience. No use wasting energy on evil drama if she wasn't even bothering to pay attention. "I said I have devised a way to reward you for all the help you provide in assisting me to carry out my e-vil plans. Behold! The Frequent Kidnapping Card!" He produced it out of thin air like a magician. He'd been about to do that before when he noticed her distractedly staring at his leg. Or something. He wondered if her claim to be looking at the gun was just an excuse after remembering how deeply red she'd blushed.

"A… Frequent Kidnapping Card? You're serious?" She arched an eyebrow. This was an interesting development. "That's actually kind of… thoughtful, Megamind. You might want to be careful; your soft side is showing." Seeing him quickly glance behind him, she stifled a laugh and asked, "What do I get when it's full?"

"Uhhh, we'll let you know." He looked back at Minion, who shrugged. They hadn't been able to come to an agreement on what the reward ought to be. Minion said she should be given a 'Get Out of Today's Plan' free pass, but Megamind wanted to give her doughnuts.

"So, it's a surprise? Or is it that you just haven't thought of anything yet?"

His face fell from a grin of delight to lowered brows of disdain. "Of course I've thought of something! But now you'll have to wait to find out what it is," he sniffed and turned away from her slightly. She could be so rude. And she was way too good at guessing. He held out the card to her without looking, waiting for her to take it.

"Um, hellooo? My hands are a bit tied at the moment." She peered at the card before he pulled it away again. It also appeared to be decorated. Now she was intrigued. Did he always add artistic touches to his work? No, that couldn't be right. Most of his things were just studded with those juvenile spikes and razor-edged fins.

"Oh, that's right." He looked her over a moment, thinking, then went behind the chair and after a moment's hesitation, tucked the card into the back pocket of her jeans. Her back stiffened as she felt the card slip into place. "Keep it handy! You never know when you'll get the chance to have it stamped." Metro Man crashing through the roof interrupted his chuckling. "You're too early," Megamind griped at him. They hadn't even gotten to the plan yet.

Returned to her apartment by her supposed boyfriend, the first thing she did was pull the card from her pocket and examine it closely. It was black, of course, and she turned it slightly this way and that, admiring the shimmering blue holographic image of Megamind's personal logo on the front. There were no spikes on it, holographic or otherwise. Along the bottom edge was a series of ten boxes, one of which had a small glittering blue lightning bolt inside it. Running her thumb over the bolt, she realized it was slightly raised as though it had been embossed. She assumed that was the stamp indicating today's visit. Turning the card over, she saw her own name written in flowing silver script surrounded by delicate filigree embellishments. There was that artistry again.

Why would he add such elegant touches to some of his things but only use those contrived manifestations of 'badness' on others? She mentally sorted his things by style. The lair itself wasn't much to look at, and she suspected some of the garish paraphernalia in there, blinky lights and displays of buttons and odd tube-shaped things, were only for show. The invisible car had spikes, as did the hoverbike, his outfit, and the brainbots had jagged fins as well. Minion's robotic body belonged with the unique items, as did that amazing pistol, and now the Frequent Kidnapper Card. Where did that inconsistency in style originate? With a puzzled frown, she tossed the card onto her countertop and went to wash the dust out of her hair from Metro Man's entrance. After that she planned to do some research on handguns.