One-shot. I've had this bouncing around in my Megamind folder since before Cold Fusion went up, and I think I want to publish it. Pre-movie, early in Wayne and Megs' careers. Megs is in jail. Wayne learns something new and is unsettled.
See what you think. Young Megamind sounds different in my head than Present-Day Megamind does. More clinical, more cynical. Iunno. Bad? Good? Review?
Crises of Identity
"Seriously, now." The blue alien lowers his voice, and Wayne looks up. Megamind's expression is closed, his eyes cold, all traces of carefree exuberance evaporated. On the other side of the glass, Megamind is the picture of cruel efficiency, and Wayne's eyes narrow. This is a side of Megamind he does not often see. "What is with you lately?"
"What are you talking about?" Wayne truly doesn't know, and it must be obvious, because Megamind does not insist that of course he must know, don't play dumb. He doesn't even blink. His eyes flick over Wayne's face once and his expression darkens further, and then he leans forward. His chair creaks.
"Are you all right?" His voice is even lower, now, but he is almost glaring at Wayne, who is now officially floored and totally incapable of speech. "Only you've been very odd lately, and it's starting to get on my nerves. You don't banter anymore. You're never out in public when we aren't fighting. You're late more than half the time, which is unacceptable, and now you've come to see me in jail. You only do that when you think you've actually hurt me, and our last encounter was fairly low key, so it's something else." He pauses, irritated, but when Wayne only goggles at him, he says, "So, I ask you again. Are you. All right?"
Megamind is really glaring now, and Wayne realizes that some sort of reply is expected of him, and his mouth moves silently as he tries to figure out how to respond to his nemesis. His nemesis, who has just asked him if he was okay and actually seems to mean it. That is so wrong on so many levels that his mouth totally bypasses all rational thought and what comes out of it is, "No."
Megamind blinks. Honesty is not something he'd expected. "Why not?"
Wayne snorts. It is more than half nervous laughter, but he blusters through it anyway. "Oh come on, you can't just ask why not."
"It's a perfectly logical response."
Wayne can't exactly argue with that. He rubs a hand over his face, scrubs at his eyes. "You can't honestly think I'd actually tell you."
Megamind's thin blue lips get thinner still, and his gaze sharpens. "Fact: you only come to see me when you think I've been injured. You don't like me, but you rarely actually try to hurt me, which indicates some sort of guilty conscience on your part. Fact: there is no way I could have been hurt during our last encounter, since you only grabbed me and dropped me off here. That's out of character for you; usually you at least pretend to expend effort foiling my plans. Fact: you're here now, which is also out of character because there's nothing for your conscience to bother you about."
His voice is rising in pitch and volume and the other prisoners and visitors are beginning to notice. Wayne looks guiltily around, but Megamind either does not care or does not notice. "Fact: you've been weird for the past month and a half. I've already listed several examples, and I do not appreciate having to repeat myself. Fact: people do not abandon all semblance of routine and regular mannerism without a stimulus. Conclusion: something is wrong."
"I just told you it was."
Megamind huffs his irritation through his nose. "Very well. Conclusion: something is wrong, but what baffles me is that you're here. Talking to me. Your behavior would normally indicate you're worried about me – by the way, your attentions on that count are unwelcome and I do wish you'd stop coming – but we've already covered that twice now. Please don't make me say it a third time."
Wayne stares at him. "I'm not sure I follow you."
"You just – argh!" Megamind's entire body spasms as he gives a spastic little flail of frustration that actually helps a lot to put Wayne at his ease. Frustrated-flailing-around Megamind is something he is used to. Sitting-still-and-listing-facts Megamind is sort of creepy.
"All right, translation," Megamind says, very slowly and carefully, and plants both hands flat on the table in front of him and leans forward again. "I don't understand what's going on, and I'm not used to that, and I don't like it."
"Seriously?" Wayne speaks without thinking. "You've gotta be kidding me, I mean, sure you're great with science and stuff but socializing has always been completely beyond you…" He stops talking when Megamind slumps and gives him the most derisive look he's ever seen, ever.
"Seriously?" Megamind mimics. His lip curls. "Please, give me some credit. I know you, and you know me. I know you're not what the public thinks you are, and you know I'm sharper than I look. And we both know that it takes two to socialize, and if one party isn't receptive…" He shrugs. "But that's not important. What are you doing here?"
Wayne lets out a short, barking laugh. It surprises both of them. "I actually have no idea." What is he supposed to say, really? My mother told me two months ago that I came from a strange space pod under our Christmas tree, that I'm an alien like you, and I'm just a little bit confused here?
Megamind is giving him that cold I-don't-buy-that look again, and Wayne clears his throat. "I'll just…I'll just go, then." He stands, and turns to leave.
He pauses, turns back. Megamind never calls him by his first name.
"I don't like not knowing things."
Wayne knows Megamind well enough by now to hear what he isn't saying, so he sighs and sits back down. "Turns out I'm like you."
It's Megamind's turn to laugh. "I sincerely doubt that," he says, but stops laughing when he realizes Wayne is completely serious. He frowns. "Like me how, exactly?"
Wayne draws a deep breath. It's weird, he thinks, that the first person he admits this to is the one person who hates him the most. "I'm…an alien."
Stranger still that Megamind looks totally unfazed. Wayne waits, almost flinching, for some kind of explosive response, but Megamind only sits there and looks at him. "Didn't you hear what I just said? I'm not from Earth." How, he wonders, how can he just sit there all cool and collected? Cool and collected is my job.
Wayne blinks. "And nothing. That's it. You don't seem surprised."
Now Megamind looks surprised. He looks totally dumbfounded. "You mean you didn't know?"
"Was I supposed to know?" Wayne looks as baffled as he sounds. "How did you know?"
Megamind's green eyes flick back and forth a few times, as if reading down a list. He finally settles on, "Our first encounter notwithstanding, wasn't it obvious?"
"What about our first encounter should have indicated that I was an alien?" Wayne demands sharply, frantically running over what he remembers of that day in the schoolhouse. "Because I really don't think…"
"You don't remember." Megamind had not expected this. He remembers, of course, and he has always assumed that Wayne does as well. Now, however… Well, he isn't really surprised that Wayne hadn't come to the right conclusion. It isn't the sort of conclusion that a perfectly normal-looking child would make.
Wayne is staring at him, slumped bonelessly against the table, openmouthed. Finally he manages to get out the words, "Remember what?"
"You knocked me off course in an asteroid belt," Megamind says flatly, and Wayne's eyes just about fall out of his head.
"What? What asteroid belt? When was this?"
Megamind tips his head back, thinks for a moment. "Sixteen years, seven months, twelve days and three hours ago. I can be more precise, if you like, but I really don't see the point."
"How do you know all of this?"
"I remember," Megamind tells him. "I remember everything." He rolls his eyes upward, taps one of his temples with a long finger. "This isn't just for show, you know."
Wayne is willing to swear he will never be surprised again, ever, as long as he lives. "Are…are we from the same planet?"
Megamind recoils. "No!" he exclaims, and Wayne probably ought to be offended at all the revulsion Megamind manages to pack into that one word. "God, no. We're from the same star system. Wasn't all the information in your shuttle?"
Wayne shrugs. "I don't know. Mom threw my shuttle away with the rest of the wrapping paper, before she realized what it was. It's long gone."
The gaze Megamind sends him is actually pitying. "Your mother is fantastically dense."
It's as close to 'That sucks, I'm really sorry' as Wayne is likely to get from Megamind. He half-smiles. "Thanks."
A long pause stretches between them. The cause of Wayne's confusion confirms several of Megamind's hypotheses, and disproves several others.
"Be that as it may, I fail to see how 'Son, you're an alien' can possibly bother you this much," Megamind says eventually. He is careful to keep his animosity out of his tone; the only way he's going to be able to get things back to the way they were is by fixing Wayne, and he can't do that if his rival is angry. He doesn't like trying to get Wayne to confide in him – especially about this. This is going to involve divulging personal information and revisiting painful memories, and Wayne isn't worth the heartache.
But he wants to have a rival again, not the dead-eyed humorless creature that's been systematically foiling him for the past few weeks, and that is worth a little heartache.
Wayne glares at him.
"I know, I know, I don't like this any more than you do," Megamind snaps. "But who else has the answers? I remember everything."
Wayne scowls, then blinks. Other adopted kids can get in touch with their birth parents. Why shouldn't he be able to do the same? Sure, his are a little farther away than most people's, but it could work. "You're smart," he says slowly. "Couldn't you build something that'd let me talk to my…my home world? I'll pay you," he adds desperately, when Megamind's expression slams closed. "I'll pay you whatever you want, just…you're the only one who can do it."
Megamind shakes his head. "I can't."
"C'mon, please!" The other boy is desperate. "I know you don't like me, okay, I know you hate me, but I am begging you, Megamind, please –"
"And don't think I don't appreciate having you beg me for something, but I really can't do it." He knows perfectly well why Wayne is so upset, he's read enough psychology textbooks. He's even written a few. "Look, if I were able to contact my home world, I would have done it already."
Wayne's shoulders slump. "Why can't you? Can't you figure it out?"
"Of course I can figure it out," Megamind says, sounding mildly affronted. "But there'd be no point in building the machine you want. Your world is dead."
Wayne stares, uncomprehending. "What – what do you mean, dead?"
"It's gone. So is mine. Our star collapsed," he says, finally, and Wayne goes white. Thank god the idiot is smart enough to grasp the implications of that simple fact.
"Listen to me, your parents didn't abandon you. They didn't throw you away, they sent you here to save your life."
Wayne looks up, eyes wild, face pale. "You…how did you…"
"I know the beginnings of an abandonment complex when I see one." Megamind draws a deep breath. "Now that we've got that out of the way, can we please go back to our usual routine? You're no fun anymore."
Wayne stands. He's shaky, and his head is spinning, but he manages to nod a few times before he flees.
Megamind peers after him. That hasn't fixed Wayne's problems, oh no, but it has taken care of the immediate ones. Grief is fine.
And, okay, sure. Megamind will stay low-profile for a while, just long enough for Metro City's boy wonder to wrap his head around things. He doesn't mind the prospect of a break. Maybe he'll even do a little digging, see if he can't find Wayne's old space pod. It isn't Wayne's fault that his mother is an idiot, and besides, it will be nice to have Wayne owe him something.