A/N: I've been having some real mental blocks lately when it comes to writing (both fanfiction and original work), so when I discovered Megamind recently and it sparked my imagination, I would have been an idiot not to take advantage of it to get back on the horse. Enjoy! (And please forgive my lack of accuracy regarding legal proceedings, but since this was a kids' film I reserve the right to simplify).
Contrary to Popular Belief
It takes Roxanne Ritchi three weeks to realize exactly how much trouble she's in.
To be fair, the three weeks were hectic. The chaos caused by a super-powered creep with no self-control is nothing to sneeze at after all, which means that Roxanne has been kept busy dashing from one location to the next to keep the public of Metro City informed about the latest developments. And her impossible work schedule is only the tip of the iceberg. There's also the fact that her friends and family have taken it upon themselves to constantly check up on her, because they're convinced that she's been traumatized by her latest kidnapping. Granted she's had far (far, far) more pleasant abductions than this last one and she's waken up more than once from nightmares about it—but she's tougher than they give her credit for and it's getting annoying that she can't seem to find so much as half an hour to herself between all her well-wishers.
Considering her own schedule and the fact that he's been preoccupied with setting the city to rights, it's just shy of miraculous that Roxanne has seen Megamind at all since the whole Hal catastrophe. And when she has, it's been…awkward. They've talked enough that she can accept that he had good (or at least not evil) intentions for his actions, and even begin to forgive him. It's so obvious that he's devoted to her, though, and she doesn't quite know how to respond to that or reconcile this new Megamind with the one she's thought she's known for years. They have a desperate need to work out where they stand as—dare she think it?—a couple…if they can ever find the time.
It's distracting and she just wishes that she could find ten minutes—ten!—to get her thoughts and feelings together. In the meantime, it doesn't help that he's all over the media. Word got out that he created Titan in the first place, and public opinion has done an abrupt about-face from the day of his daring rescue. No one can stop talking about him, which means that she can't seem to get away from him.
So it's a frustrated Roxanne Ritchi that wraps up her heartwarming story about the relief efforts organized by the city's schools.
"… will continue giving hope to all those in need in Metrocity. This is Roxanne
Ritchi, KMCP 8."
She stays smiling, gaze fixed on the camera until she's sure that she's off-air. As she lowers her microphone and turns to her crew, it occurs to her that they're all gaping at her strangely. The intern who's been tagging along lately (April, is that her name?) actually has her jaw hanging open, and from the look on the new camera guy's face you'd think that she had some kind of highly infectious disease.
She glances around to make sure that she's really the focus of their attention, instead of some maniacal clown with a chainsaw or something. (Hey, in this city, it wouldn't even be surprising.) "And we're all staring at me because…?" she prompts.
"Didn't you hear what you just said?" April blurts.
It's Roxanne's turn to stare, though the intern is nearly blinding in a combination of yellow clothing and sunshine. She replays the last words of her broadcast in her mind carefully, trying to recall any slip-up—and does.
Of its own volition, her hand claps itself over her mouth. "I didn't," she manages from between her fingers.
"On air, too," the camera guy adds as he begins to pack up, looking mollified at her horror.
That's when the gravity of her situation hits home. She supposes that there are worse things to have said before an audience of goodness knew how many, but this isn't just a matter of professionalism. Personal pride is at stake here, because she's always made it a point to say it right and the implications of her letting it get through her lips like that are really too much for her to think about right now.
One thing Roxanne knows beyond a doubt: if she's saying Metrocity instead of Metro City, she and Megamind are in desperate need of a talk.
It takes her longer than she'd like to get away. It's a Friday, so she has to make sure that she has everything wrapped up and taken care of back at the station before she signs off for the weekend. Word has clearly already begun to circulate about her mistake, and she's glad that she isn't supposed to work this Saturday and Sunday because she doesn't think she can take the stares and whispers over the next two days. Accustomed as she is to the attention, she's already stressed out enough.
A flock of her work friends tries to corner her on the way out. They think that it would be a lovely evening for a girls' night, and insist it wouldn't be the same without her. A few vague excuses assist her in escaping from that fate, but Roxanne's keen reporter's senses don't miss the significant looks that they exchange as she squeaks past. With a mental note to catch up on what the latest gossip is saying about her, she banishes it from her thoughts for now; she has more important things to be worrying about.
She doesn't even bother stopping by her apartment. Instead she heads straight for the Evil Lair, which none of them can seem to stop calling it regardless of its owners' position on the good/evil spectrum.
Perhaps she should have called ahead, she muses when she is greeted by the sounds of indistinct raised voices. Still, emphatic shouting is hardly an unusual state of affairs for Megamind—and short of a city-threatening emergency, he can damn well put whatever it is on hold. They've put off talking for long enough, and after what happened today Roxanne will have it out because clearly this bottling-things-up-until-a-later-date business is not working.
As she delves further into the depths of the Lair, the words become clearer. It's more than just Megamind on one of his rants; apparently Minion is arguing with him.
"—ridiculous, Sir, after everything you've done they can't expect you to—"
"Exactly! Everything I've done is precisely the point!"
"But you didn't even do this! They'll tear you apart!"
"Well since I didn't do it then I should have nothing to worry a—Goo gun! Goo gun!"
Just as Roxanne reaches the entrance to Megamind's main workspace, a large gelatinous blob of what can only be described as goo splatters on the wall next to her. While she merely eyes it with distaste and expertly sidesteps the mess as she enters the room, both extraterrestrials have frozen in response to her sudden appearance. The tableau makes it easy for an intelligent woman like Ms. Ritchi to deduce what just happened: Megamind is holding a sheaf of papers aloft and out of Minion's reach; Minion, in the meantime, is practically sprawled across a worktable with one robotic arm outstretched towards the papers; and a contraption that must be the goo gun lies perilously near to one mechanized knee on the table.
"Oh, don't mind me," Roxanne says, unable to resist a jibe at their statuesque surprise. "Really, just pretend I'm not here."
"Now look what you've done, Minion!" Megamind exclaims, tucking away the papers in what he probably thinks is a surreptitious manner. "You could have hit Ms. Ritchi!"
"I—but I—" the fish stammers. He recovers himself and climbs off the table with a clang. "How was I supposed to know that we were expecting company? You never tell me anything, Sir."
"That is no excuse! As heroes, we must always be con-see-us of innocent bystanders." He strides towards Roxanne, waving his hands to indicate the entirety of her body. "She could be entirely covered in goo right now because of your carelessness."
Roxanne raises her eyebrows, and glances at the goo again. A scent inexplicably reminiscent of dryer sheets seems to be emanating from it. "To think I so narrowly avoided such a horrific fate," she quips. Clearly Megamind mistakes her sarcasm for earnestness, because he nods solemnly.
"Sorry, Ms. Ritchi," Minion says sullenly. He looks torn between sincerity toward her and resentment toward his ward.
"Don't worry about it. No harm done." After a moment of hesitation, she gives in to curiosity. "What were you arguing about?"
Megamind gives her an overly cheery smile and leans too casually against the nearest countertop. "Oh, nothing, nothing. Merely the many demands of life as a stunning and clever advocate of all things good and just—you know, business as usual." Dealing the final blow to his attempt at nonchalance, his elbow slips and he comically flails to regain his balance.
It barely takes a glance at Minion to have him talking. "The city is charging him with the murder of Metro Man, and he thinks he's actually going to go stand trial."
"Well honestly, Minion, how would it look if the hero of Metrocity was evading justice?" Megamind demands, straightening his cape. "It would completely ruin my new image. Unacceptable!"
"I didn't think they gave you an option about that sort of thing," Roxanne points out.
"Ms. Ritchi, it would take a lot more than a bunch of police officers to make Sir do something he doesn't want to," Minion says.
"And don't I know it," she agrees with a sidelong look at her erstwhile kidnapper. "But worst case scenario, he gets another life sentence. What's the big deal?"
Minion just shakes his head helplessly, so she turns to Megamind for her explanation. His expression is guileless as he looks at her in surprise. "Heroes don't break out of jail, Roxanne."
Roxanne is incredulous. "That—that's your issue? Decades of going in and out of prison like it has revolving doors, and after less than a month of being good you'd just lie down and take it? For something you didn't even do?" No wonder they haven't had a chance to figure their relationship out yet, with this sort of thing getting in the way.
"Of course I don't want to, but since I'm innocent it shouldn't be a problem. And don't think I didn't miss you trying to convince me to defy the law, you deviant. Your attempts at subversion are not welcome here!"
There are so many things wrong with this situation that she can't even begin to count them all. Roxanne can't help it: she starts to laugh. All her tension and frustration seem to melt away in the face of the sheer ridiculousness that her new hero seems to embody at times like this. Megamind, she reflects, has always been able to make her laugh—even when it was at how ludicrous or far-fetched his evil plans were.
"Okay, boys," she says when she manages to catch her breath. "Let's think for a minute here. Megamind, with Wayne still playing dead, they'll convict you for sure. The video evidence alone is enough proof for a guilty verdict. You can hardly defend Metro City from a prison cell."
"Which is exactly what I keep trying to tell him, but he won't listen to reason!" Minion exclaims, throwing his robotic hands in the air.
"Reason! Fine words when you just secretly still want to be evil!"
"How can you even say that, Sir?"
"You do realize that if you're in jail you'll barely get to see me or Minion at all, don't you?" Roxanne asks Megamind, breaking up the squabbling before it can gain any momentum.
He holds up one finger and opens up his mouth as though to present a counterargument, then droops as he realizes that he doesn't have one. The leather (or whatever that material is) of his omnipresent costume squeaks dejectedly.
"Minion," Roxanne continues, "you're right. We can't stand for Megamind being convicted of a murder he didn't commit. But if he doesn't go to trial, everyone will think he committed it anyway."
"That doesn't exactly leave us with a lot of options," Megamind informs her.
"None, actually," Minion agrees. But in spite of their skepticism, both aliens have dropped the hostility. From the way they've both relaxed, it doesn't look like they're in danger of devolving into bickering again.
"Wrong," she declares with a wicked grin. She leans forward as though divulging a secret, and they mirror her posture. "We have to make sure the court finds Megamind innocent."
"You really think we can do it?" asks Minion, whispering as though speaking too loudly will scare off her inspiration or maybe just her.
Megamind has no such compunctions. "Of course we can! And with Roxanne here, there's nothing—" he stills and looks at Roxanne as though seeing her for the first time. "Why are you here?"
She lays a hand on his arm. The material of his sleeve is smooth, and she can feel his body heat through it—warmer than a human's, she knows from experience. "We need to talk," she tells him gently. The muscles under her hand tense as he begins to pull away in trepidation, and she tightens her grip. "It can wait though. For now, let's have a look at that legal paperwork," she says, correctly guessing the nature of the papers they were playing keep-away with.
And with that, they settle in for a long evening of building Megamind's case for innocence.
The trial, as it turns out, begins on Monday. Megamind has been holding out on them for a while, knowing that Minion would be against him going. What he hadn't counted on is Roxanne's sheer power of determination to prove him innocent; over eighty life sentences for kidnapping and destruction and generally being a villain were one thing, but she was not going to stand by and let him get accused of murder. So Roxanne spends most of her weekend plotting with Megamind and Minion, going over arguments and evidence and consulting with lawyers. She misses several social engagements and blows off some friends and family on the phone in the process, but this is urgent and they need to give her some space anyway.
Monday morning sees her working—she can hardly ditch an interview she's had scheduled for two weeks, after all—but between cosmetic touch-ups and light checks she glances at her laptop frequently in hopes that someone present at the trial will post news. KMCP's first story on it likely won't happen until the court has adjourned for the day, when there will be more to report. It's almost insulting that her station has elected a different reporter to cover the progress of the proceedings. Still, her boss has her best interests at heart, convinced that the circumstances surrounding Metro Man's death were traumatic for her.
When lunch hour rolls around, Roxanne does her best to slip out undetected. Unfortunately, her plans of getting a real update on the situation are thwarted. The moment she steps towards the exit, she is swarmed by a knot of coworkers that want lunch with her, and won't take no for an answer. After a weekend of ignoring her friends, guilt prevails; she goes with them.
The problem, she discovers upon arrival at their destination, is that they didn't corner her to go to lunch at all.
Roxanne has had long, long years of experience with being held prisoner. Even so, she is hard pressed to think of a single hostage situation (at Megamind's hands, anyway) that was less pleasant than this one. In short, her friends and family have decided that she needs an intervention.
"I don't have time for this," she tells the room. Is that her mother they've coerced into this? Or maybe her mother has coerced them. Now that's a scary thought.
"That's the point, Roxie," says Amy from HR with a sigh. "You've been avoiding all your friends lately. We hoped we were wrong, but after this weekend we can't ignore the warning signs anymore. This isn't healthy."
"You really don't understand. I have places I need to be." She glances around, hoping to find an escape route. The door isn't too far away; she can probably make it.
"Honey, don't you think for a minute that you need him," her mother tells her sharply.
Roxanne stops short in her retreat. She turns slowly back around to face the table, packed with nine chairs around it. "Him?"
All eight of the people present exchange significant looks. "Why don't you sit down, Roxanne," suggests Jared. He helps with the tech for the station's set, and normally she likes talking to him. Normally.
"What exactly do you think is going on?" she asks, ignoring the request and the empty chair. Being on camera is all about body language, so she knows that standing denotes power. Even if breakfast was too long ago and her feet are starting to protest the heels she's wearing.
"It's obvious," declares Rita, human interest extraordinaire, drumming her garishly painted fingernails on the table. "Half the city saw that broadcast of you begging for his help when Hal went postal. And then that slip-up Friday… Really, did you think we'd miss the fact that you have a thing for the bad boy?"
"Rita! We talked about this—she can't help it, it's Stockholm Syndrome," someone snaps, but Roxanne doesn't take notice of who. She's too busy trying to process what's going on.
"Let me get this straight. You think I'm in a relationship with Megamind because of Stockholm Syndrome? Do you have any idea how ridiculous that sounds?"
The collective relief of some of the most important people in her life is almost tangible, and it pisses her off. Would it really be such a bad thing if she stayed with him, got as serious about him as he is about her? Suddenly, any reservations she had about Megamind seem ridiculous.
"So you're saying you're not?" Jared asks, just to be sure. Roxanne gives him a broad grin, which might possibly resemble one of her hero's evil smirks.
"Of course not." Pause for effect. Reporting and knowing Megamind both have given her a sense for the dramatic. "I'm in a relationship with him because he's a good man and he makes me happy."
"But all the kidnappings—"
"How can you—"
"He killed Metro Man! He killed your boyfriend!"
"—evil son of a—"
"Turned Hal on the city, I can't—"
"Okay, that's enough!" Roxanne shouts. She feels eerily like she's in the middle of a press conference, except for the smell of fried food pervading the restaurant. "He saved the city from Hal, saved me from Hal, in case you forgot! And okay, maybe he was evil and kidnapped me a lot, but he's reformed and he never seriously hurt anyone doing it anyway."
"He killed your boyfriend," her mother repeats. "The handsome one with superpowers that you seem to have forgotten all about."
"Oh for the love of— how many times do I have to tell you, Mom, Wayne was never my boyfriend! I never even liked him that way, and even if I had it doesn't matter because Megamind didn't kill him!"
There was another of those extremely annoying significant looks. After a brief silence, Amy finally pipes up. "Will you at least think about seeing a therapist about it?"
"You think I'm crazy."
"Not crazy, dear, just misguided," Frances the secretary tells her.
But Roxanne has heard enough. "All right, if my word isn't good enough for you, keep an eye on that trial. I promise you, they're going to find him innocent before the week is out." She turns to leave.
"Roxanne, you can't let him keep you from the people who care about you."
"No," she corrects, her steps barely flagging, "I can't let you keep me from the man who loves me."
She gets into her van breathing heavily from anger and determination and realizing feelings that she shouldn't be surprised by. None of this slows her down, though; Roxanne Ritchi is a woman on a mission.
On several occasions, Roxanne has been accused of being a nosy reporter (mostly by Megamind, when she's come too close to uncovering something he doesn't want her to know). While she does own up to the nosiness, she suspects sneaky is more accurate. It's a skill she's honed as a journalist, and every so often she puts it to good use.
Like now, for instance.
"I'm just worried about your career," she says, perching lightly on the edge of the couch. The whole room has the undeniable aroma of a single man living on his own. "Without the right publicity, it won't matter how good your music is."
Wayne Scott, the newly minted Music Man, strokes his chin in contemplation, fingernails scratching against the stubble found there. "You know, you might be right. But if they find out that I'm still alive—"
"I have a few ideas about that."
"I don't know… It sounds like an awfully big risk to me."
What happened to the fearless hero she used to know? "Even if my idea doesn't work, you can say that you've passed the torch on to Megamind."
"How's the little guy doing, anyway?"
She pretends she doesn't notice him changing the subject. This is why she's here, after all. "All of Metro City thinks that he murdered you. How do you think he's doing?"
Wayne winces. "You know that if there was anything I could do…"
"There is something you can do, as a matter of fact," the intrepid reporter informs him, crossing her arms pointedly.
"Gee, Roxie, you're not really giving me much of a choice here."
"No," she agrees, "I'm not."
Roxanne can see the moment that he decides to give in. His shoulders slump and his gaze slides to the camera that she borrowed from the news van. "All right, what was your idea?"
She holds back a victorious grin. Their original plan had been to leave Metr—Music Man out of the trial. They wanted to respect his wishes for anonymity, and in any case hadn't thought that they could convince him to reveal himself now if they couldn't when Titan was on the rampage. However, that little intervention had made Roxanne angry enough to throw caution to the wind.
And now she has him—hook, line, and sinker.
Legal proceedings are more or less a mystery to her, so Roxanne sticks with what she knows. Her boss is harried when she calls him up, busy making sure that the evening news is pieced together properly. At first he seems annoyed with her, but finally gives in to her insistences that he needs to air her footage. After all, she's never steered them wrong before, he recalls.
Megamind has submitted to incarceration for the duration of the trial, so she doesn't get to see the look on his face when he sees it—if his temporary cell has a television, since Hal is currently occupying the alien's customary one.
Minion is another story. She makes sure to be with him in the Lair when it airs, and the bone-crushing hug he gives her makes it worth it.
The next morning, Roxanne takes the day off work. Considering the sensational film she sent in last night, her boss is completely accommodating. She turns up at the courtroom before the doors unlock, her press pass getting her through with minimal hassle as soon as they do. As one of the first people inside, there is little competition when she sits in the closest possible seat to the defendant's stand. Soon the designated spectators' area is milling with people nearly overflowing with the news of the fresh turn in the case. Minion joins her just before court is scheduled to resume, in the guise of an unremarkable human.
A hush falls over the room when Megamind is walked in, resplendent in prison orange. Roxanne can't help but smile when she notes the popped collar. The concentrated look on her hero's face is more sobering; clearly he didn't have television access at all last night. Their gazes meet, and she smiles at him in what she hopes is a reassuring way. For a moment his emerald eyes light up, but then he must turn and take his seat.
The trial begins maddeningly slowly. Still making its case, the prosecution seems to be rattling off long lists of evidence that admittedly make Megamind look pretty bad. It only reignites the fury that Roxanne thought she had quelled yesterday by creating that footage. Come to think of it, why are they acting as though it had never aired? She had thought that it makes it pretty clear that this whole trial is unnecessary in the first place.
It's getting late in the morning and Minion is giving her worried looks by the time the chance arises. The prosecution has just finished grilling a film analyst about the footage of that fateful day at the observatory, and the defense is finally permitted to cross-examine him.
Though it had taken some effort, they had convinced Megamind to hire a lawyer rather than representing himself. That man steps forward and eyes the analyst on the stand.
"Mr. Bletchley, you specialize in determining the legitimacy of a film. Can you tell us again what that involves?"
The round, balding man in question answers with confidence. "I make sure that it hasn't been fabricated in anyway—that the image hasn't been tampered with or distorted, or the audio pieced together from other clips, that sort of thing."
"So if I were to show you a film clip, you'd be able to tell me whether it was authentic?"
"Given enough time to study it, yes."
Roxanne leans forward, beginning to see where this is headed. Despite his unassuming appearance, the lawyer they hired is sharp—which is why they hired him. Clearly they made the correct decision.
"With the court's permission, I'd like to submit a piece of evidence for Mr. Bletchley to take a look at."
The court does indeed give its permission, and while they set up the courtroom's audio-visual system Roxanne is on the edge of her seat. Minion has a grip on her hand, and though it's odd to associate the sensation of flesh with the robotic suit underneath the illusion, the support is appreciated.
The film whirs into motion, and there stands the Roxanne Ritchi of yesterday, filling the screen. Her own voice engulfs the room.
"In these uncertain times, nothing is as it seems here in Metro City. I'm here today with a very special guest who proves just that. It's taken some convincing, but I've finally persuaded Music Man to talk to us—and even though his name has changed, I'm sure many of you will recognize him."
The Roxanne on-camera steps back and turns to her now-visible guest. The courtroom is now silent except for some stifled sputtering from Megamind's direction.
"Can I just say, it's wonderful to see you again, Music Man?"
"Well, I've sure missed these chats of ours, Roxie." Wayne's smile is as bright as it ever was, though he had refused to shave, claiming that the stubble was an important part of his new image.
"Then why don't we get started? I'm sure everyone is wondering—where have you been these past few months?"
Here a melodramatic sigh from Wayne. "After Megamind's death-ray stripped me of my powers, I was too ashamed to show my face to Metro City again. I only hope that what I am now isn't too much of a disappointment."
The Roxanne in the courtroom ignores the delighted snickers now coming from the defense.
"I think I speak for all of Metro City when I say that the fact that you're alive is enough. But how do you explain the skeleton?"
"It was clearly some nefarious trick to convince the city of my defeat. How else could he hope to subjugate our fair citizens?"
"How indeed." From the audience, Roxanne can see the way they had both fought back smiles, but she doesn't think it's too obvious. "What do you plan to do now that you're just an average citizen yourself?"
"You know, being an average citizen has given me the chance to discover my true passion: music."
The joy and excitement on Music Man's face as he continues discussing his musical career makes the present-tense Roxanne realize that she can't stay angry with him for doing what he loves and giving her hero a chance to shine. Now that he's revealed that Megamind is not his murderer, she doesn't even have that to hold against him anymore.
The rest of the interview is fairly unremarkable except for the very end, where she had the forethought to ask Wayne to confirm the date. He did so easily, and added one final thought: "I might not be able to defend Metro City anymore, but at least I know she's in good hands. Great job, little buddy."
The room remains quiet for several seconds after the Roxanne on the screen signs off, and then the lawyer asks,
"From your first impression, would you say that that film is authentic, Mr. Bletchley?"
The man on the stand actually jumps, apparently having forgotten about the trial. "I—well, of course I can't be sure without studying it but… yes?"
The court erupts into chaos, but all Roxanne can focus on is the way that Megamind has turned around in his seat to beam at her. She gives him a thumbs-up sign and a broad smile of her own. The judge calls for order.
"You mean it's not over yet?" Minion looks taken aback beside her. "I don't think I can take much more of the pressure!"
"You're not even on trial."
"Exactly! Poor Sir has to go through this all alone, without anyone up there with him!"
Roxanne smiles at the fish's concern and settles in for a long day of more legal jargon. As it turns out, though, the day doesn't stretch out quite as long as she'd feared. The prosecution tries to drag the trial on, but its efforts are futile; there's no point in charging someone with the death of someone who's still alive. The defense is more to the point: Megamind's lawyer provides evidence that the skeleton was a fake, procures a better and more in-depth analysis of the interview's legitimacy and adds a handful of other defensive arguments, then calls it a day.
The jury barely deliberates. Within half an hour, they've returned with their verdict:
Roxanne is triumphant and ecstatic. Megamind holds out his cuffed wrists towards the nearest guard, commanding regally "If you don't mind." By the time his arms are freed, she's nearly to the floor of the courtroom, protocol be damned. She's pretty sure that the judge said the court was adjourned anyway.
He meets her halfway, and she doesn't hesitate to barrel into his arms. He's waxing eloquent about how brilliant she is, and she's laughing helplessly. It's a moment of exuberance that reminds her of the day he defeated Hal—except now she's sure of a few more things. For example, the fact that she wants to kiss him and doesn't care who's there to see. Certainly it's a little awkward at first, since he was still talking and is shortly thereafter too surprised to do much actual kissing, and of course there are flashbulbs going off around them and this picture is bound to be on front pages everywhere. But then his hands settle at her waist and her grip on his collar relaxes and it's so right that worrying about any of it is a waste of time.
Roxanne returns to work the next morning to find a pay raise and a group of coworkers that can't quite seem to meet her eye. A few of them do actually apologize to her for their doubt, and Rita is intent on finding out every little detail of her relationship with Megamind. None of them offer a single word of protest when she announces that she's off to have lunch with her boyfriend.
It takes her a few moments to spot Megamind in the café, since he's using his holo-watch. He's poring over that morning's newspaper, and she has a feeling she knows why.
"Would you turn that thing off?" she asks, sliding into the chair across from him.
Green eyes wide as he looks at her, he shakes his head disbelievingly. "I'll ruin your reputation."
"I think that my reputation is already ruined." Roxanne points out with a significant glance of the picture on the front page. She has to admit that the photo of them is pretty hot, although her opinion isn't exactly objective.
"Exactly! I'm not going to make things any worse for you by—"
"Megamind!" she interrupts. "Nothing you do is going to make anything 'worse'. For goodness sakes, I said 'Metrocity' on air last week!"
"I—oh." He's obviously fumbling to make sense of her statement. "It's just, I thought you didn't…" As he trails off, unwilling to give voice to his doubts, Roxanne feels a stab of guilt for not having figured this out sooner.
"Contrary to popular belief," she tells him, grabbing his wrist and turning the dial on the watch there so that she can see his real face, "I do know what I'm doing. I love you, and anyone who has a problem with that can introduce themselves to your alligators."
"You do?" he repeats dumbly, jaw slack. Then he regains some of his over-the-top bravado. "I mean, of course you do! Who wouldn't? I mean," and now he's sincere, smiling like he can't believe his luck, his change in attitude giving her whiplash as always, "I love you too."
"Good," says Roxanne, not even trying to suppress the ridiculous elation that doesn't make any sense because she already knew it, even if he hadn't said it. "Now that we have that figured out, let's eat."