You know what? This is terrible, and originally I was writing it just to make the plot bunnies shut up. But you know how these things go – the bunnies aren't shutting up. So I'm posting this here, in the hopes that it will spur me on to finish it faster and return to a normal sleep schedule. *cries* I have this mostly finished, and I'll try to have it all up in a timely fashion.
This is post-movie, and based on the premise that while Megamind is undeniably tough (and he must recover really quickly from his fights with Metro Man so he probably also has accelerated healing abilities), his fight with Hal must have done some damage. You can't show it in a kids' movie, but still, there's a reason Megamind was afraid of Titan. So the fight ends, everything is great, cut to the dance party of awesome hilariousness. But what happens in between the end of the fight and Megamind's entrance as Metro City's new hero? Here's my take. This is something that popped into my head after the "You did the fool thing all by yourself" bit, when I noticed how the noise Megamind makes is probably a very real cry of pain.
Disclaimer: I'm a trekkie from way, way back, and there's this thing that Vulcans can do with healing trances that has a lot to do with the basic premise for this fic. It's been done, I know, but I couldn't resist. Also, Megamind, Roxanne, and Minion aren't mine. I make no money from writing this.
Rated T currently, although that may change. Some mild swearing. Nothing too explicit. Angst, fluff, and pseudoscience ahoy!
Roxanne has a lot on her mind, a lot to think about, and when she finally, finally manages to escape the crowds and reporters and go home, she wants nothing more than to take a hot shower and go to sleep. And not think for a while.
At least she can finally stop worrying about Hal, but she still has to deal with Metro Man's abrupt retirement. That he didn't turn up when things were actually pretty dire stings quite a bit. What she had told Bernard – no, she reminds herself, no, that had been Megamind – was the truth: she and Metro Man had never been a couple.
But that didn't mean that she didn't regard him as sort of a friend. Enough of a friend that she feels more than a little bit betrayed that he would leave her out to dry.
And then there's the whole Bernard/Megamind fiasco to consider. She is very aware that the person she fell for was Megamind. But.
She shakes her head as she climbs the stairs to her flat, muttering under her breath as she slides the deadbolt home. She sheds her clothes all the way to the bathroom, then slams the sliding plexiglass shower door closed after her, determined not to think.
And, for the next half-hour or so (because at this point she deserves a long hot shower and her utilities bill can go piss up a rope, as far as she's concerned), she doesn't. She has never allowed herself to think about heavy problems in the shower, not since she was in school and worrying about her GPA, and over the years it has become habit. Water goes on, worries go off, end of story.
But when she gets out of the shower and into her pajamas and robe, all of her problems come rushing back and she'sexhausted, but the last thing she wants to do is sleep. Her mind is still flying at full tilt; she is still on edge and jittery, her nerves jangling and her knees weak.
"Damn you, adrenaline," she mutters, and pads off to the kitchen to fix herself a cup of coffee. Then she comes back to her living room and turns on the news, hoping for something mindless and droning. She should have known better.
Usually she uses the news as background noise, because nothing is news to Roxanne, but tonight she cannot tune it out. They keep rolling footage of 'Metro Man' fighting Hal, and Megamind fighting Hal, and Megamind getting tossed around and shot at and stepped on and punched and good God, do they have to keep showing that?
Because, even as confused as she is about him, the sick-churning please, no feeling in her stomach when she saw him impaled by the Metro Tower spike is something she never wants to feel again. As she watches the film clips repeat, the footage from cell phones and cheap video cameras blurry and out-of-focus, she sees again just how close a thing it all was. It had been luck, really, pure blind luck and stubbornness that they had won at all.
She tells herself that she is still mad about Bernard, but a moment later she finally has to admit that isn't quite true. She's still upset, certainly, and confused and a little hurt, but she isn't angry anymore.
There had been a few times that she was kidnapped that had scared her, but they were long ago. She knew she had never been in any real danger with Megamind. Hurting her would have been pointless if nothing else, and she imagined he rather enjoyed their encounters. Besides, anyone Minion liked had to have some good qualities, right?
But she had never really questioned the assumption that Megamind was evil, or wondered whether he might have motivations beyond furthering his schemes. He had never given her a reason to think that.
Did you really think that I would ever be with you? She mutes the television, tips her head back against the sofa and closes her eyes, considers. That night, she had been furious. Furious and terrified, and that was what had done it, really. Megamind had never been frightening before. Weird, yes; diabolical, yes; evil, definitely. Never actually scary. But the knowledge that he'd spent so much time twisting her mind in his favor, and that she had fallen for it, had been horrifying. She hadn't expected him to be able to toy with her so easily, hadn't pegged him as that type. Heck, she hadn't expected him to have that kind of attention span.
Of course, she understands now. He hadn't been trying to corrupt her, hadn't been trying to force her into some kind of dastardly plan. The whole mess had started off as a way to just get her out of his lair. Then she had brought the whole 'partner' thing up, surprised him with that, and she knows from experience that Megamind tends to short-circuit when he's surprised. He'd gone along with her, initially, and from there it had progressed into something else. Roxanne isn't sure what, anymore, but the way he looked at her…
Yes. Yes, as far as potential partners went, she could do a lot worse than Megamind. And she isn't sure she could do better than him, even if she wanted to – does she want to? She doesn't think so.
She sighs. No sleep tonight, she thinks, and then nearly jumps out of her skin when her buzzer sounds.
She's running on autopilot and answering the door is reflex, and she is in the process of undoing the deadbolt when she realizes that it is half-past two in the morning, and who the hell would be calling on her at this hour of the night? She presses her eye to the peephole.
Minion? What the-?
She opens the door. And then she sees what Minion is holding, and her stomach turns over again and she is amazed to find that she can actually speak words, real words, because her mind has gone totally blank.
"Minion, what happened?"
The fish blinks down at her. "I'm sorry it's so late, Miss Ritchi, I really am. I didn't know where else to take him after today."
Roxanne just holds the door open as wide as she can. She isn't quite sure how to answer that one – she isn't even sure if she can, because this, this is the cherry on top of the sundae of disaster that has been her week so far.
In Minion's arms, Megamind is very pale, and very, very unconscious.
"I don't understand," she manages, staring first at Megamind and then up at Minion's unhappy little face. "What…he wasfine earlier, what on Earth happened to him?" He looks like he's been hit by a bus, she thinks, and has to resist the hysterical urge to laugh.
"Titan happened," says Minion, and then, seeing her expression, sighs a little. "A side effect of the dehydration process is that it takes your nerves a little longer than the rest of you to rehydrate. The less time spent dehydrated, the longer your nerves are out of commission."
Roxanne shakes her head a little. Another time this would have made total sense, but after the day she's just had, she's feeling a little slow on the uptake.
"He was fine earlier because he couldn't feel any pain," Minion explains. "But rehydration is…well, it's hard on your cells on a good day, and after what Titan did…his body's beginning to shut down."
She blurts out the first thing that pops into her head. "You mean he's dying?"
"No!" Minion's voice is a startled yelp. "No, he isn't dying – it'd take more than that to kill him. Probably."
Roxanne is nodding frantically, latching onto that piece of information. "Yes, all right, of course, I mean I've seen him stand up to Metro Man and he was always okay after that, so…"
Minion gulps a little. "Miss Ritchi, Metro Man only ever tried to hurt him."
This is true. There is a long, awkward pause.
"I can't keep him in the lair. People were already starting to turn up and it's the middle of the night. I've been out of it all day, and I didn't realize…I didn't think…" Minion's voice is getting higher by the second, and it pulls Roxanne back to reality. The facts: Megamind is hurt, and maybe Minion is too, and Roxanne shoves her rattling nerves to the back of her mind and takes charge.
"You both can stay here. Come with me."
Minion shakes his head, but Roxanne is already heading towards the closet where she keeps future Christmas gifts. "I only came to ask if you knew of a good hiding place. People know where you live."
Roxanne's apartment is a mess of old newspapers and magazines, but she knows where everything is and she doesn't have to search for what she wants. She pulls down a flat box she had intended to give her boss. "Yes, and if anybody tries to break in here, I'll have a team of rabid lawyers on them so fast it'll break the sound barrier. He'll be perfectly safe here until he recovers."
"That's kind of you, Miss Ritchi, but I really don't think…"
She turns. Her blue eyes are steel, her voice iron. "Minion."
She holds out the box, and there is no mistaking the tone of command in her voice. "Get him out of that suit and into these. It's too tight and he needs to be able to breathe easier. Is he clean?"
"Yes, the detox…"
"Good. Call me when you're done." She disappears into the bedroom and hurriedly changes her sheets. She switched them just last week, but who knows what Megamind's immune system is like when he's in this state. Better not to risk it. And she needs to do something to keep from thinking about how he picked her up and swung her around this afternoon, laughing.
"Miss Ritchi! Help?"
She is back in the living room in record time. Megamind's leather suit, boots, and gloves are in a pile on the floor, and the blue alien is now clad in a set of grey silk pajamas. Mostly clad. His shirt front is still open.
"It's the buttons," Minion says miserably, "this is my spare body and it's a bit bigger than the other one and I can't quite get the hang of these buttons."
Roxanne waves his hands away and does up the buttons as quickly as she can, trying not to see the bruises purpling under Megamind's skin. In all the years she's watched Metro Man battle Megamind, in all the years she's seen Megamind get hit, she has never once actually seen him show signs of injury. Metro Man must have been pulling his punches.
She straightens, ignoring the tightness in her throat, and heads back towards her room. "In here."
Minion hesitates. "A-are you sure? He's small, he's stayed on couches before, and I really do hate to impose."
Roxanne chokes back another shrill laugh. I'm hysterical, she thinks wonderingly. I haven't been hysterical in ages.
"Minion, do you want him on a sofa? Like that?"
"But – it's your bed, and I don't want you to have to –" He stops talking when he sees the way she is glaring at him. "Okay. Thank you."
He puts Megamind down on Roxanne's bed, arranges his arms by his sides. Then, one hand under Megamind's neck, he glances around. "Do you have a small pillow, or something similar?"
Roxanne does not, but she thinks she knows what he has in mind and she thinks of something that might work. Something ridiculous and childish in her won't let go of the notion that it might also be lucky, so she hunts under the bed for the box she wants until she finds her prize. "Will this work?"
Minion looks at the small stuffed dog Roxanne is holding. Its fur is flattened around the middle and it is squished from years of hugging, one button eye is missing and the other is loose. It is ragged and patched, half of its lopsided face doesn't match, and stuffing pokes out of a small hole under one of its arms.
But, "Thanks," says Minion, and he takes Mars and slips him under Megamind's long neck, then pulls the sheet and comforter up over his chest, never mind that it's summer and the air conditioning in Roxanne's building shorted out earlier in the week.
Throughout all of this, Megamind does not move; his shallow, unsteady breathing does not change.
"Won't he overheat?"
Minion looks at her curiously. "Exactly how much body fat do you think he has?"
She shakes her head, feeling incredibly stupid. "Right. Of course," she says, and follows Minion out of the room, turning out the lights as she leaves.
After a long while, Megamind's breathing evens out, then slows.