AN: The Megamind fandom's slowest updater has returned! XP I'm so sorry for the delay. RL has been a pain and I'm truly addicted to the Megamind tumblr community. However my muse is bouncing back! =D
I owe a special thanks to LadyStormCrow who beta read this chapter and helped my fatten it up. Thanks again girl! =D
Disclaimer: I wish I owned Megamind, but sadly I don't. I hope you like this story anyway.
"How about Theodore?"
"Steven? No, I knew a Steven in graduate school. I think he still owes me money!"
"So not Steven then. What about Howard?"
Minion finally turned and told his ward insistently. "SIR! Listen to me. I don't want to be called Howard, or Steven, or Theodore, or Alvin, or Frank, Tom, Ulysses, Othello, Donatello, Michelangelo, Tobias, Wallace, or any of the other crazy names you've come up with!" Minion listed off. "Sir, you really don't have to name me. I'm fine with 'Minion'. Honest!" The Pisces pleaded as he put away his toothbrush.
The bathroom was a fairly large rectangular room with the bath and shower combo on the short side and the door on the other. Mirrors lined one of the long walls above black granite countertops. Beauty bots hovered around ready to pluck, shave, or buff at a moment's notice.
"But you shouldn't have to be!" Megalaran protested. His own foamy toothbrush sprayed liquid across the mirror as waved his hands around.
"It is really not that bad, Sir. What would I do with a name anyway? I doubt it would change anything, except make things more confusing." The fish shrugged. He plucked a washcloth from a drawer and started cleaning the mirror without really thinking about it.
"And you shouldn't have to do that either!" Megalaran sputtered, pushing the robotic arm away. The blue man plucked the cloth from Minion's metallic hand and finished wiping down the mirror. For a moment Minion could only stare. His jaw hung open and you could have knocked him over with a feather. He watched his ward pick up the washcloth and finish polishing the mirror, the toothbrush hanging limply from his blue lips and foam dribbling onto his goateed chin.
"What has gotten into you, Sir?" Minion asked, staring at his friend like he'd grown a third eye.
"Nuffin," Megalaran replied, the toothbrush muffling his voice. After finishing the mirror, he rinsed and continued, "I mean, 'nothing'. I've just... Well, I've just realized a few things, that's all."
"What kind of things, Sir?" Minion asked wearily. Sir had had plenty of crazy ideas over the years. Not all of them were safe or nonflammable to say the least.
"Just that… Well, you know." Megalaran sputtered, but his friend obviously didn't 'know'. He sighed and fidgeted. Fidgeting was always one of Sir's quirks. It was like his hands were trying to form the words his mouth were having a hard time saying.
"You're my best friend, Minion," Megalaran explained quietly, "and you've always been there for me. Always. And well, I – I just don't want you to feel…" He struggled to find the right word.
"Underappreciated," he finally settled on. "Because you're not a slave, or a servant. You're my friend, and I just – Well…"
He coughed and looked away. "I just want you to know that."
He and Minion just stood there for a minute. Megalaran forcefully tried to maintain a nonchalant air but he was determined to look at anywhere but Minion. While Minion himself was frozen. His robotic body didn't move, and neither did he in his tank. The only sign of life the little fish exhibited was the ability to blink, which he did quite often in that short moment of silence.
"Oh SIR!" Minion finally broke the silence with a glass shattering squeal. He enveloped Megalaran in a giant bear hug and the genius yelped as his blue frame was smooshed against his friend's metal one. Minion held him so tightly around the midsection that he couldn't even raise his arms to return the gesture and he felt silly just hanging there. However, Minion didn't care. In fact he didn't notice at all. He had pressed himself against the glass dome and his eyes were squeezed shut from just the size of his smile.
"That'sTheSweetestThingYou'veEverSaidToMe!" Minion expelled all in one breath. "OhMYGoodness!ThankYou!ThankYouSOMUCHSir!"
"That'sss greafft. Now can wefff, pueeze," Megalaran tried to say, but with his face rammed up against minion's bowl it didn't come out so clearly.
"Yesssft, Minion. Wellft."
"Air! Air! Minion I need to BREATHE!"
"OH! Sorry Sir!" Minion gasped as he released his ward from the constricting hug. Megalaran gasped and floundered as his bare feet touched tile again. He slipped and leaned heavily against the bathroom counter. Both Minion and the bots offered support but Megalaran waved them off.
"Are you Ok, Sir? Sorry! Sorry! I don't know what came over me!" Minion fluttered in his tank. His metallic arms hovering uselessly around his ward, not sure if he should pat him on the back or get him a glass of water.
"It's. Alright. Minion. Jeeze! You'. Really. Strong. When did. I put. That into. Your suit?" Megalaran asked between gasps.
"About three years ago, Sir."
"Huh…. And we haven't done. You know – this?" Megalaran waved at the two of them since he couldn't bring himself to actually say it.
"A heart to heart, Sir?" Minion didn't have that problem. "No I don't think so. Had to keep our manly reputations."
"Ah yes. Best that we don't talk about this, then." Megalaran straightened slowly and brushed the non-existent wrinkles in his shirt. He left the bathroom at a march, as if somebody had seen and he was trying to regain his "manly" reputation. Which he did not have. "Come along Minion!" he called, his voice regaining its normal pitch. "We have a busy shed-u-al today!"
"Coming, Sir!" Minion chirped ignoring the mispronunciation. The fish couldn't be happier and there was an extra spring to his robotic step all the way to the lab.
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"You've got to be kidding me."
"That's what it says. It's all in plain black and white, Roxanne."
"That's not what I mean, Bernard. I'm talking about your plan!" Roxanne looked at Bernard from across the kitchen table. The designs were printed and assembled on the beat up old wood. Masking tape held the multiple sheets of printer paper together and a few half empty coffee mugs weighed down the corners. It depicted a solar energy collection satellite currently in geosynchronous orbit over the continent, and on average it collected enough energy to power half the cities on the globe. Megalaran had done some routine software modifications that could be performed from the ground, and being the copious note taker that he was, it ended up in his files, which was why their data skimmers had picked it up.
What had grabbed Bernard's attention was the warning. As part of his diagnostics, Megalaran found a flaw in the programming. It was a secret back door, and the blue man's notes were a how-to guide into turning the satellite into a Death Ray.
"But I thought that you liked Chinzilla?"
"I do. He's a hunk," Bernard agreed with a nod. "But it's not like it's actually going to hurt him."
"You don't know that."
"Pla-eeeeeze! Have you seen pictures of his home planet? The ozone layer is so thin that they get this kind of radiation before breakfast."
"So how do you know that it will slow him down enough for the Trojan to work?"
"Ok. Now you're just playing devil's advocate." Bernard sighed and crossed his arms over his chest. Dark rings hung bellow his eyes from the all-nighter he'd pulled reading Lorek's books, and he wasn't in a mood to argue. His plan was brilliant. 'Nuff said.
"Someone has to!" Roxanne sighed. "This is just… crazy! What about collateral damage? Or the Supreme Council? Or Lorek! This is completely different from what we do!"
"Which is why it will work!" Bernard insisted. His tired eyes gleamed from inspiration. "Here, let's go over it again."
"Tell her highness that I hope she enjoys the bicycle!" Megalaran called up the stairs.
"Sweetheart, stop calling it a toy!" Came his mother's voice from the second floor.
"Well, he has a point," Taris agreed as he came down the stairs and an AI with their luggage followed close behind. Taris's white uniform was more decorative then his usual fare. It was still white, and the neon blue stripes were still there. However, the filigree grey swirls and shoulder guards were far more elaborate than what would be practical for daily wear.
"It's an official gesture of goodwill and political peacekeeping." Elane insisted while making sure she had all she needed in her carry-on as she too came down the stairs.
"It's a bicycle for her birthday," Megalaran replied flatly. "You even painted it pink. Does it have tassels too?"
Elane sighed and rubbed her temples with her hands, "She's twelve, Megalaran. I thought we should get her something that she would actually like. Monarch or not, she's a child like any other."
"Exactly! She's a child." Megalaran scoffed, "What is she going to do when she gets a flat? 'Oh pallbearers! No, no. I don't wish to be carried in my usual throne, just grab a spoke! Weeee!'" He squeaked trying to imitate a small girl. Both Minion and Taris choked back a chuckle while Elane rolled her eyes.
"'Oh noes! The little bell is gamed! Royal trumpent men!' Or better yet! 'Gosh darn it! Something's missing… I know! Maybe if I clip sumthin' between the spokes it'll make a cool sound! Hand me that peace treaty wouldn't you?' Gah! Honestly, I know Glauians are blockheads but I can't believe they still use a monarchy! And that we're stupid enough to follow along with her every whim."
"It's what works for them, sweetie, and stop griping." Elane rolled her eyes, though Taris and Minion were exchanging snikers, "It's not like she holds any political power. Her advisors make all the decisions."
"But we're still trying to bribe her early." Megalaran pointed out.
"We are! Other planets hold political functions, we send one or two representatives. The Glauians throw a birthday party and the whole council goes."
"Ok Megalaran. You have a point." Taris ruled flatly. He put a hand on his son's shoulder, "You win. We all know it, but life isn't fair."
"But! We're the smartest people in the Quadrant! Can't we build something? Just to even the odds?" Megalaran asked. Being at someone else's mercy never was something that sat well with him. Which was one of the reasons why he hated the kidnappings so much.
"Sweetheart, what do you think people tried to build during the cold wars? It was tried but can't be done." Elane shook her head
"Ahh…" Megalaran opened his mouth to speak but his father cut him off.
"Son. Don't pick a fight with a Glauian. Now promise your mother so she doesn't worry about you the entire trip."
Megalaran deflated. "Fiiiiine! I promise! General Blockhead isn't worth it anyway."
"Good to know." Elane patted him on the shoulder. "Now try not to stay up late and try to eat your vegetables."
"As if..." Minion rolled his eyes and earned a glare from Megalaran.
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The departure held the usual fanfare. The shuttle was custom-made to be both sleek and extra secure. As it should be, considering that it carried the planet's entire primary governing body. Megalaran didn't attend. He and Minion saw them off at the airport before the military bodyguards swooped in to maintain security. They watched the lift off on the news, though.
"I hope they have a nice trip!" Minion chirped, watching the footage. The fish was still in a good mood from the talk he and Megalaran had had that morning.
"Yeah, yeah. As good as that miserable rock can offer." Megalaran sighed, "I'm going to get changed. We have a lot of work to do today."
"Yes sir! I'll get the lab ready!" Minion chirped and lumbered down the hallway. Megalaran nodded and headed in the other direction. The locker room doors had barely swung shut behind him when Megalaran found himself eye to nozzle with a can of knockout spray, and the world went black.