Consider this disclaimed. Me no own.

"Oh, Mi-nion," his blue master sang, bouncing into the kitchen.

The piscine looked up from his soufflé. "Yes, sir?"

Megamind beamed. He'd been in an exceptionally good mood lately- defeating Titan (or Tighten, as the ignorant fool called himself), winning Roxanne Ritchie's heart, being acquitted of Metro Man's murder, and becoming a hero had done wonders for his attitude. Still, he seemed even happier than normal today, so Minion smiled back.

"I have a surprise for you!"

Minion stopped smiling.

He loved his master, he really did, but he did not love the blue man's surprises. With a few exceptions- his gorilla suit, the generation of brainbots that answered to Daddy Minion and Uncle Syx, and his favorite cookbook- Megamind's surprises did not turn out well.

"That's great, sir," the ichthyoid gulped, praying that his surprise wouldn't explode.

"Oh, quit looking at me like that." Megamind waved a dismissive glove-clad hand. "Now come on!" He grabbed his friend's furry arm and tugged. Minion followed, swallowing his trepidation.

The blue man led his piscine companion into their own shared room, a surprisingly unpretentious chamber. Except for a thin bed and enormous fish tank, it was empty of furniture. A few books were piled in the corner- Minion made a mental note to have a brainbot clean those up- and the closet door was open, but the room was otherwise empty.

Megamind reached into his blankets and extracted a sleek laptop. "Come on!" he exclaimed, patting the mattress next to him.

The sight of the computer did a great deal to alleviate Minion's worries. They'd had that model for months, and it had showed no signs of exploding. "Did you find a new cooking website, sir?"

Megamind laughed and flipped the laptop open. "Even better, you incredible ichthyoid. You're going to love this."

His enthusiasm was infectious. Minion plopped down beside his master, swimming to the front of his head-bowl in anticipation. He waited, fins twitching spasmodically, as Megamind opened a search engine and typed in an address. Then he realized what his master was writing and froze. "Sir, is there really a website called MinionNeedsLove. com?"

"Of course there is, you silly simian," he replied, completely unperturbed. "I made it for you a month ago last Tuesday."

"You made it?" he squeaked.

"Yes, I did." The blue man's nimble fingers danced over the keys. He had logged in as the manager and was pulling up documents.

"You made me my own matchmaking site?" the piscine repeated.

Megamind bobbed his large cranium. "I just said so. Weren't you listening?"

"But… why?"

The ex-criminal met his first and best friend's eyes. "Because I've been spending more time with Roxanne and leaving you alone. Because I want you to be happy. Because you deserve it, that's why." He turned back to the computer screen.

Minion was touched. He understood his master's thought process: I am with Roxanne. Being with Roxanne makes me happy. I love Minion. I want Minion to be happy. If Minion has someone like Roxanne, Minion will be happy. It was also probably his way of making up for the Bernard Incident.

That didn't mean he thought it was a good idea.

"Much as I appreciate this-"

He was interrupted by a triumphant ha from the blue man. Megamind was beaming at the computer. "Over three hundred entries!"

Minion didn't want to know, but he asked anyways. "Entries for what?" Please don't be for what I think they're for….

"I set up a contest last month," Megamind replied, dashing his friend's hopes in the mud. "Win a date with the world's paragon of piscines, its most phenomenally fantastic fish: the magnificent Minion! This way you can meet someone, and even if it doesn't work out, you can still date the runners-up."

"And you didn't tell me because…?"

The ex-villain's eyes widened in horror. Too late, Minion realized what he'd inadvertently implied.

Until just three months ago, Megamind had never lied to his faithful sidekick. Then he'd begun dating Roxanne as Bernard the archivist. For the first time in his life, he had kept a secret from the ichthyoid. Though Minion had forgiven his boss, they didn't know how much their relationship had recovered. They would go along like they always did for a while, then something would remind them of Megamind's betrayal and Minion's abandonment.

Before Bernard, they would have laughed his comment off and promptly forgotten it. Now, though, Minion hurried to add, "Not that I thought you were lying about it. I was just asking because it's a standard question, you know? I know that you didn't tell me because you wanted it to be a surprise."

The blue man nodded, but his earlier euphoria had faded.

"Tell me about the contest," Minion suggested, trying to recapture his friend's happiness.

"Basically the women would send in pictures and write a few sentences about themselves and why they are interested in you." His voice was heavy with false cheer.

"Well, what are we waiting for? Let's look at their profiles." Minion leaned over to click the first link.

A picture of a nondescript brunette popped up. She hadn't selected a very good picture of herself. The photographer had caught her as her mouth was opening (or perhaps shutting), and her eyes were tinted red.

I am applying to this contest because I believe that Minion is an interesting individual and desire to get to know him. He should select me because I am intelligent and a good cook. I've heard that he enjoys cooking, so perhaps we could exchange recipes.

That wasn't so bad, the piscine decided. Sure, this lady was kind of boring, but at least he didn't want to gouge out his eyes after reading her application.

"So how am I supposed to sort these?" he asked.

Megamind perked up a bit at his partner's curiosity. He spent the next couple minutes explaining how he'd organized two folders, one for "the potential Mrs. Dazarro" (wink wink) and another for no-thank-yous. Anything that was deleted would automatically go into the no-thank-you folder, while a simple copy-paste would bring the lucky entrant into the former file.

"Those folders aren't online, are they?"

The blue man knew automatically why his friend was concerned. "No, I didn't put your name on the internet." He was vaguely offended at the mere suggestion.

Minion shrugged his mechanical shoulders. "I know you'd never do that on purpose, but sometimes you get careless." The other alien acknowledged his point with a nod. He had been known to get… overenthusiastic.

"I think this is a no-thank-you," the ichthyoid continued. He moved the file into the appropriate folder. "She's nice enough, but kind of boring. Plus she talks funny. We're sending out thank-you cards, right?"


The piscine rolled his eyes. "Honestly, sir, you need to get out more."

"That's what Roxanne says."

"Miss Ritchie is right. I'll make a format for thank-you notes tomorrow. For now, let's just go to the next lady." He clicked delete.

"…That's not a lady."

"…No it is not."

The person on the screen was certainly effeminate, but it was by no stretch of the imagination a lady. He was, quite simply, a cross-dresser: guy-liner, pearl studs in his ears, light cerise eye shadow, manicured nails, long golden hair in a ponytail, pale pink skirt and white floral blouse. Yet despite his feminine garb, the man's shape was very masculine. He possessed wide shoulders, thick arms, and a tiny yellow mustache.

"You did specify that I'm not into guys, right, sir?"

"I seem to have forgotten." Megamind did not take his wide, horrified eyes from the screen. "Minion, that man is wearing a skirt. And I think he's shaved his legs!"

"I'm very well aware of that, sir." The piscine shuddered. "Let's put this in the no-thank-you pile and forget it ever happened, okay?"

The blue man tore his appalled gaze from the screen. "Excellent idea."

The next applicant was female, but that was pretty much the only thing that could be said of her. She had a thick mass of wild red hair that had been bullied into two ineffective pigtails. Her wide face was dominated by a large mouth that was filled with metal wires. It seemed that she had an overbite, for her head was surrounded by a circle of grayish metal that attached to her braces. Her nose was flat and squashed-looking, and her green eyes had a slightly manic cast to them.

She was also seven years old.

my names Darla and i luv fishys. my unkul hes a dentist he gives me lots of fishys but they all di. wun tim he gav me a fishy and we thot it was ded but it was aliv and it escaped thru the toylet and now its sumwar in the oshun. but yor a smart fishy u wont di. pleez kum to sidny to liv with me and my family. i luv you minyun im yor bigest fan.

"She's from Sydney? How did they hear about this in Australia? You didn't advertise that far, did you, sir?"

Megamind jumped. "No, I didn't. But how did you know she's from Sydney?"

Minion pointed. "It says so right here."

"You can read that illiterate jumble of randomly assorted letters?"

The fish was honestly surprised. "Can't you? All she's doing is sounding the words out and writing them phonetically. It's not her fault that English has a lot of diphthongs and silent letters."

"I could spell when I was her age." Megamind sounded slightly put out that not every child was as intelligent as he had been.

"You could also build tricycles at the age of seven months. This Darla kid is only human." He moved to delete her.

"Wait!" the blue man yelped. Minion waited as his master squinted at the girl's image. Frowning, he turned back to his henchman. "Is it just me, or does she look a bit like Hal Shtewart?"

Minion pictured Hal's face in his mind and gulped. "She kind of does."

"One more reason to delete her," gulped Megamind.

They did so.

The next entrant wasn't a kid, or a boring brunette, or a cross-dresser. It was a fish. A white beta fish, to be specific.

"You didn't put species restrictions on this either, did you." It wasn't a question, it was a statement of despair. How many of these people were underage, or male, or not even human?

"I thought it was obvious," Megamind moaned. "And how was I supposed to know they'd hear about this in Australia and-" He looked at the screen "-actually, this one's from Metrocity. But Australia! I only advertised at a national level!"

"Sir!" Minion shrieked. "You told people all around the country that I'm available?" He pulled up short. "And how did I not notice this?"

"I wanted a suitably broad range of applicants," he explained miserably. "And I have no idea how you didn't notice this. Maybe it's because we've been so busy with the hero business la- the nerve!" He pounded at the keyboard. "Minion is not a- a brood stud and he is not going to breed a new species of super-fish with your beta! How dare you suggest such a thing. Unless you are willing to mate with an orangutan to breed a new species of super-monkey, you can LEAVE HIM ALONE! Consider yourself disqualified, Nita Selwin." He pressed the send button with unnecessary venom.

"Super-fish?" Minion squealed. "She wanted to breed me?" The thought of being bred with an Earth fish, of producing half-Pir half-beast offspring, made him want to vomit.

Needless to say, that particular entry merited an entirely new folder- the Pit of No Replies.

The next four women were unremarkable but sane. It was enough to lull the aliens into a false sense of security. They started to hope that they'd already gotten through the crazies, that everyone else would a normal human female with no immediately apparent mental issues.

The fifth picture proved them wrong most spectacularly.

Megamind took one look at the image and let loose a high-pitched lady scream. Minion's shriek of horror was even louder, though not quite so high. The blue man slammed his laptop shut, knocking it off his cot. He and Minion scooted as far away from it as they could, cowering by his pillows.

"Did you see that? Did you see that?"

"She wasn't wearing any clothes." Megamind was close to hyperventilating. "Minion, she wasn't wearing any clothes."

"I know she wasn't wearing any clothes!" the ichthyoid wailed. "I could see that just fine!"

"She wasn't wearing… she wasn't wearing…!" The blue man couldn't comprehend it.

"She wasn't wearing any clothes!" Minion shrieked, propelling himself backwards with such force that he bounced against his head-bowl. "She wasn't- oh, ew! I'm never gonna un-see that!"

His master hugged his knees to his chest. "I'm afraid to look at the next person," he confessed.

Minion stared at the closed computer as though it were a plague-bearing rat. "You mean we have to keep doing that? What if another isn't wearing clothes?"

Megamind shuddered. His face had gone gray. "I- I could do it alone, I guess," he volunteered. His tone implied he'd rather face Titan again. "And censor it. Then you could go through the final round of… adult human females who are wearing clothes."

It was a tempting offer. Despite not wearing clothing himself, Minion was very conscious of the humans' nudity taboo. That, combined with the other entrants' eccentricities, made him want to run screaming. But he couldn't leave his poor master to go through this all by himself.

"I'll stay, sir," he gulped.

Neither moved. Their eyes fixated on the blank-screened computer. "We should probably pick that up, sir."

"We probably should." But they remained still.

An awful thought crossed Minion's mind. "Sir, when we open that, that picture's going to be right there."

"Don't remind me."

"Okay, okay, I can do this," the piscine muttered. "All I have to do is hit the delete button as fast as I can. But I am not sending this person a thank-you note!" Megamind nodded fervently.

It actually took three tries before he scrounged up the courage to wake the computer up and look at it long enough to find the delete button. The second he had clicked it, he covered his eyes with his fins.

They waited for a long, tense moment. "Is it gone, Minion?" Megamind asked.

The fish did not open his eyes. "I don't know, sir."

"Well, look and find out!"

"But I don't want to. It's your contest!"

"No, it's your contest."

"Rock, paper scissors," the piscine suggested.

"You're on!"

Keeping their faces averted from the computer, the two aliens moved their hands into scissors (Megamind) and rock (Minion). The blue man pouted. "Best two out of three?"

"You should have mentioned that before we started," Minion replied. Besides, he knew he'd win. His master always chose scissors.

Megamind peeked back at the screen. His shoulders relaxed. "It's safe, Minion."

"Oh, good."

The next five entrants were normal, but the two aliens had learned their lesson. They'd let their guard down once and paid the price, and they had no desire to repeat the experience. Whenever a picture loaded, they would sneak quick, cursory glances to make sure the applicant was wearing clothes before announcing it was safe and reading the profiles.

Six more applicants in, they reached a problem.

"What language is that, sir?" Minion asked, squinting at the screen.

"I… well, it obviously comes from some part of Africa," Megamind noted. He frowned at the woman in the picture, a statuesque black lady in brightly colored robes. She had shaved her head until less than an inch of hair remained.

"I know that, sir, but it's not Afrikaans or Swahili or Arabic… maybe Xhosa?" Minion was fascinated by Earth's many languages and could speak several fluently. "I don't know. Maybe we should research her hairstyle and try to figure it out from there?"

"Or we could safely assume that since you don't speak a common language or live on the same continent, you are probably incompatible and that this goes in the no-thank-you folder?"

"Works for me," the fish shrugged.

Unfortunately, that was when things started to get weird again. The next picture elicited a gasp of horror from both ex-villains. "Is that Hot Flash in a bikini?"

"Well," Megamind squeaked, unable to turn away from the scarring image, "at least she's not completely naked. Why did she enter this, anyways?"

Minion scrolled down, careful to hide the pink-clad hideous figure entirely. "Let's see… she entered because 'Minion is obviously not fit to be a hero's sidekick. He was an excellent evil henchman and needs to return to the dark side. Come join us, Minion, and together we shall overthrow that idiotic blue traitor! Also, I like long walks (but not in the rain), fireworks, and slow dancing.' Well… in a weird, twisted way, this is kind of nice of her. Aside from the bikini part, of course."

"It's creepy," Megamind declared, and moved the file to the Pit of No Replies.

Next up was Lady Doppler, also in a bikini. Unlike her older compatriot, she could actually pull her white two-piece off. Megamind nodded to himself, making a mental note to acquire one of those swimsuits for Roxanne, then read the weather witch's entry.

Dear Minion: I've always thought you were cute, so it was heartbreaking when Megamind forced you to give up your villainous destiny. I'm here to save you. Together, we can create a new reign of terror in Metro City! Then, after a long day of terrorizing the populace, we can retire to our lair and snuggle by the fireplace. I have a huge collection of fish-themed movies. You'll love it!

The piscine shook his smaller body in amusement. Did these people honestly think he would abandon his best friend for them? They were delusional; it was the only possible explanation. "Pit of No Replies?"

"Yes. But before you do that, where can I get one of those suits?"

The ichthyoid blanched. "Sir, bikinis are for women. Unless you want to start cross-dressing like that one guy with the mustache, you don't need a woman's swimsuit."

Megamind huffed. "I know that, you silly simian. It's not for me. It's for Roxanne." Lavender tinted his cheeks.

His sidekick grinned slyly. "Why didn't you say so? It's a pretty basic bikini, actually. You could probably pick one up at Target or K-Mart. Just make sure you get the right size. Women are picky about their clothing sizes."

"But I don't know her size," the blue man moaned. "Am I supposed to ask?"

Minion fixed him with a flat stare. "Never ask a woman about her measurements, sir. It's just a bad idea."

"Oh," he mumbled, making note of that. "Shall we continue?"

The next applicant was Rockatoo, the third and last female member of the Doom Syndicate. Unlike the other two villainesses, she was wearing her standard outfit: a white cockatrice costume complete with feathers and a beaky mask.

"Wow," Minion noted, "they must really want me in the Doom Syndicate."

"Of course they do," sniffed Megamind. "You're loyal, smart, experienced, and altogether fantastic. Why wouldn't they want you?"

The piscine beamed at his master and grabbed him in a hug. "Thanks, sir."

Megamind snuggled back. "You're welcome, Kelluerai. Now," he added, embarrassed by the unmanly display of affection, "back to business!" He thrust a finger into the air and paused dramatically.

This woman wasn't a known criminal, but that didn't mean she was normal. Her smile was wide and toothy, but not in a good way. She looked half-crazy.

Hi! My name's Lizzie, and I'm your number one fan! I loved you even back when you were an evil henchfish because you're so totally kawaii! You're so cute with your big brown eyes and your little fishy fins and your little glowing head-thingies. And your gorilla body looks so soft and snuggly! I really wanna snuggle with you just because of that. And I'm gonna be a gorilla for Halloween, so we can be gorilla buddies and everything! We'll be so cute and kawaii together that everyone'll squee! I love you so much that I made you a fan

"A fan what?" asked Megamind. "That sentence doesn't make any sense."

"I don't really care," Minion confessed. "I don't really want to date a fan girl like that. Fan girls scare me. They're into weird stuff like yaoi and yuri and they have no boundaries."

"What are yow-ee and yur-ee?" his master wondered.

The ichthyoid blanched. "I'll tell you later. Let's look at the next- hey, this is Lizzie again!"

Indeed, it was. She had used a different picture (though this representation was a great deal less flattering; she now appeared completely insane instead of just partially so), but the figure was doubtless that of Lizzie the fan girl.

club because you so totally need one, being so cute and awesome and all. Btw, there's a hundred-word limit on how long my profile can be. How dumbtastic is that? Really dumbtastic, that's how much. But like I was saying, I made a fan club for you on the internet and me and me friends go there every day to talk about you and make pictures and stuff. We even made you a theme song! It's totally awesome, you should listen to it. Here's the link! Do you think you could come visit our club HQ someday so we can

"You put restrictions on how many words they could use but not on gender, age, nationality, language, and alignment?"

"I didn't think it would matter," Megamind wailed. "How was I to know that only complete lunatics wanted to date you?" He clamped a hand over his mouth. "That came out wrong."

"No kidding," grumbled Minion.

Delete. New picture of Lizzie. Delete. Another new picture of Lizzie. Delete. Yet another new picture of Lizzie. Delete. A crudely drawn sketch of six figures, one of which was clearly a gorilla suit. "What in the worlds?" Minion wondered. He read the description and quickly wished he hadn't asked.

the right is Fin. He's our firstborn and the most like you in personality, but he has my love for life and enthusiastic vigor. He's gonna marry Megamind and Roxanne's daughter Sapphire. The next one is Pearl. She has gills. The other girl is Coral and she has fish fins for ears and a tail and green skin and pointed teeth. Gil is the baby of the family and he takes after me the most physically, but he has your smile and big brown eyes. I'm not entirely sure how we're going to have them with you being a fish

"Children?" the piscine squeaked, appalled.

"Sapphire?" Megamind asked.

"And Fin, and Pearl, and Coral, and Gil. She's not very creative with names."

"This, my fishy friend, is going in the Pit of No Replies."

Lizzie had used no fewer than seventeen entries. Her applications were followed by dozens from her fellow Minion Fan Club members. By the time Megamind and Minion had finished sorting through them (all went into the no-thank-you folder), they were over three-fourths of the way through the entire pool of applicants.

The friends took a brief break for supper before plodding into the TV room, bringing the computer with them. By unspoken consent, they had decided to get this sorry affair over with.

The first few women were blessedly normal, though none were interesting enough to merit a place of honor in the potential-future-Mrs.-Dazarro folder. Then, as they had known would happen, another crazy showed up.

My name is Anastasia Bazylovich, and I am the premier ichthyologist at the University of Hawaii. I specialize in the reproductive habits of anglerfish and related species. You bear a certain physiological resemblance to anglerfish. Do you also possess the ability to shift gender and be absorbed in your mate's body? Are you related to them in any way- cloning, genetic splicing, etc.? Or were you truly cloned from a tuna sandwich as your unauthorized biography claims? Please send a sample of your DNA to the Department of Ichthyology at UH.

"One day," the piscine vowed, "I'm going to find out who started that infernal tuna rumor and make him pay."

The next person was blue: blue eye shadow, blue eyes, blue face paint covering her cheeks and shaved scalp. Even her shirt and shorts were blue.

I'm not really interested in Minion because he's a fish, but can someone on this site introduce me to Megamind? He's hot and awesome. He deserves better than that Ritchie person.

The blue man's mouth set in a thin line. "Pit of No Replies," he declared curtly. Minion nodded. He wasn't in love with the reporter, but he still liked Miss Ritchie very much.

The next picture loaded slowly enough for them to realize what it contained before they actually saw it. Yelping like a wounded puppy, Megamind pressed delete. "Why wasn't she wearing clothes?!"

"Why wasn't who wearing clothes?"

Both boys jumped at the sound of the feminine voice. "Miss Ritchie!" Minion exclaimed. "When did you get here?"

"Just now," she answered, but she was too canny to be taken in by his innocent façade. "Who wasn't wearing clothes? And why are you looking at a fat guy in a prom dress?"

The aliens returned their attention to the computer. Sure enough, a fat guy in a prom dress (sparkly purple with a big flowery bow) was the next entrant. A massive plume of chest hair cascaded over his low-cut bodice.

"Another cross-dresser?" Minion moaned. "Pit of No Replies." He moved the file and shut the laptop. "Apparently, Syx here managed to set up a win-a-date-with-Minion contest without me knowing. We're going through the entries now, and the one before Mr. Chest Hair wasn't wearing anything." He shuddered. "A lot of really weird people have entered."

Roxanne plopped down beside them. "But have you had any luck?"

Their expressions were answer enough.

She chuckled. "Come on, guys. They can't have been that bad."

Megamind snorted. "That's what you think. You haven't seen the fish breeder-"

"-or the ichthyologist who wanted DNA samples-"

"-or the fan girl who took up seventeen entries-"

"-or the entire female population of the Doom Syndicate-"

"Okay, okay," she exclaimed, holding up her hands in a placating gesture. It was always so weird when they did that twin-talk thing of theirs. "I get the idea. They really were that bad."

"They weren't that bad," Minion informed her solemnly. "They were worse."

The reporter's presence seemed to bring good luck. The ten applicants- ten!- following the newly dubbed Mr. Chest Hair were normal and presumably sane human beings. Then, as usual, things went wrong.

Everything about this particular specimen screamed discontented rebel. Her corpse-white face was covered in piercings: eyebrows, both nostrils, ears, even a couple lip and tongue studs. Her hair had been done up in a garishly green Mohawk. A black, spike-covered collar covered her neck, and a black leather corset encircled her chest. Every inch of visible skin beneath her jaw was covered in black tattoos, mostly skulls and demons. Her teeth were bared in a scowl.

I lost a bet. That's the only reason I'm entering this stupid contest. If you choose me, I'll give you to the sushi chef on Third Street.

"Is this… some kind of joke?" Roxanne questioned faintly.

"I wish it was," Minion groaned, and moved the profile to the no-thank-you folder. "And she's not even the worst of them."

"The matchmaking site seemed like a good idea at the time," Megamind moaned. "I'm sorry, K- Minion." The poor blue man looked ready to start crying.

"Not your fault, sir," the ichthyoid sighed. "You had no way of knowing that half the people who entered would be completely nuts."

"There's no picture on this one," Roxanne observed. She leaned forward, tapped the screen with her nails.

Sorry about not having pictures, but I couldn't choose which one to upload. I'm the chief dolphin trainer at SeaLand in Miami, and I understand that Minion is far more intelligent than any other fish. Do you think he would be interested in any of my dolphins? They're all very intelligent and love music and games.

"I'm not moving to SeaLand. There's no way I'm moving to Sea- gah!" He dove deep into his suit, frantically pressing the delete button. "What is it with these people and nudity?"

Three (clothed) normals, followed by two more children and a young blond woman in ceremonial Native American garb.

I have learned on my vision quest that mine is the fish totem. I am also a Pisces. The spirits are obviously bringing us together, and we must obey their command lest famine devour the land.

"What's a Pisces?" wondered Megamind.

"It has to do with astrology and superstitions and stuff," Minion elucidated. "I don't know much about it either. We can look it up later."

Normal, normal, blessedly normal, but they knew better than to let down their guard.

The fourth woman after the Pisces with the fish totem collected tropical fish. She waxed eloquent on her aquatic pets for six complete entries and half of a seventh. Each profile was graced with a picture of a new aquarium: salt water coral, salt water rarities, fresh water collector's edition, the starfish tank, jellyfish, the Great Beta, and an empty trough she'd set aside for Minion's use.

"When," Megamind snarled, "will these imbeciles understand that you're more than just a fish? You're an intelligent being with thoughts and emotions of your own; you are NOT a pet!"

"But I look like one," the piscine lamented, and relegated the seven entries to the no-thank-you folder.

Next was a tiny Asian woman in chef's garb.

Hi! I'm a sushi chef, but that doesn't mean that I'm trying to gain legal custody over you, slice you into tiny pieces, and sell your body to gourmets for thousands of dollars per ounce. My interest in you is totally romantic.

"I don't believe her," Roxanne declared.

"I don't either. Pit of No Replies, sir?"


"Only ten left," Minion cheered.

Actually, there were only seven more entrants- one woman had used multiple entries. The one after her was normal.

Contestant number five-to-the-end was a mannish female with close-cropped hair, a number tattooed into her neck, several scars on her face, and an orange prison jumpsuit. She'd sent a mug shot as her profile picture.

I hear you're good at bustin' people out of jail. Think you could help me out?

"Almost there," Megamind moaned.

Four was another fish. Three was an advertisement for mail-order brides. Megamind forwarded it to the police station- such actions were illegal in the United States, as were all forms of slavery.

Two was a heavily pregnant woman surrounded by no fewer than five children. Her face was prematurely aged with care and fatigue. Her clothes were shabby and worn, as were the clothes of her children.

I want a man who won't knock me up and abandon me and my kids. You're not exactly a man, but beggars can't be choosers.

"…I feel so loved by now."

"One more," Megamind reassured him. "Then this will all be over."

"For you," the piscine groaned. "I still have to take one of these crazies on a date."

"Let's just look at the last one," Roxanne suggested, and pulled up the final file.

A fifty-something woman in a mermaid tale and seashell bra popped up.

I am a reincarnation of the great mermaid princess Ariela. As sovereign over all aquatic creatures (you included), I command you to become my husband and rule the seas at my side.

"We're done," Minion groaned, leaning back. "Hallelujah."

His companions seconded the notion.

The piscine opened the future Mrs. Dazarro folder… only to discover that it was completely empty.

The three companions stared blankly at the folder. When Minion regained his voice, he gulped out, "Does this mean we have to go through the no-thank-you pile again?" He sounded as though he'd rather swim in chlorinated waters. "Because there's no we about it. You can do that if you want to, sir, but I'm not."

Megamind was a nasty shade of blue-gray. "But… I already arranged the media coverage for your date."

"Media cov- sir!"

"May I make a suggestion?" Roxanne cut in.

"Please," begged Minion. "Save me! I'll do anything, just don't make me go through that again!"

"My neighbor is single, sane, female, and just a year older than me. She'll probably go on a date with you."

"I'll do it!" yelled Minion. "To the invisible car. I need an introduction!"

"Thanks again for saving me."

Maria rolled her eyes. "Minion, that's the forty-somethingth time you've said that."

The ichthyoid grinned sheepishly. "Well, I'm really grateful. There's no way I could have survived going through all those entries again. I'd have turned into a gibbering vegetable." He plastered an expression of abject stupidity onto his face and moved his mouth in random patterns.

"Vegetables don't gibber. They sit around staring at nothing."

"You know what I mean," her date groaned.

The woman, an editor at Metro University's publishing house, chuckled. "I'm the one who should be thanking you," she teased. "I really had fun tonight."


"No, I'm lying through my teeth. Of course I had fun! You're fun, except when you're being attacked by the Doom Syndicate. Hot Flash, Lady Doppler, and Rockatoo must have been really mad that you snubbed them."

"You can say that again," the piscine moaned. "Oh, we're here." He braked the invisible (not currently) car across the street from Maria and Roxanne's apartment building. "Bye."

Maria didn't move. "Normally, the guys walk the girls to their doorstep."

If fish could blush, Minion would be burning red. "Oh. Right. Sorry, I'm really new at this." He took out the keys and darted around to the other side of the car. He was too late, though; Maria was already exiting. "Normally," he teased, "the guys open the door for the girls."

"I thought you were new at this?"


She laughed. "Don't worry, Sir Romeo. I shall graciously allow you to open the apartment's main door for me."

"Your wish is my command, gracious lady," he replied, offering a furry gorilla arm. Maria accepted with a grin.

"We should do this again sometime," the editor commented as they climbed the stairs. She always took the stairs; she had confessed earlier that she was severely claustrophobic and couldn't stand elevators.

Minion froze. "Really?" he gasped, stunned.

She glanced back down at him, a soft smile on her lips. "Really. Like I said, this was fun."

The piscine jogged up to her side. A funny but not unpleasant feeling bubbled in his stomach. He liked it, just like he'd liked the rest of the night. Well, aside from the attack from the spurned Doom Syndicate.

They paused by her door. "How's next Friday sound?" she suggested.

"That sounds awesome," Minion replied. "We could get dinner- I know this great vegan place downtown- and see the Harry Potter movie."

She nodded enthusiastically. "I've seen it already, it's really good."

"So it's a… date?" her companion asked hesitantly.

She grinned back. "It's a date. Night, Minion." And she pressed her lips, very lightly, against the front of his head-bowl. "Close your mouth. It makes you look silly."

She stepped into her apartment and closed the door, leaving the stunned ichthyoid behind her.

For a long, long moment he stood there, gawking at the door. Then the ringing of his communicator/holo-watch/all-purpose gizmo startled him out of his reverie. He activated the link, a slow, huge smile breaking out across his face.

"So how was it?" demanded Megamind.

Minion skipped- literally skipped- down the hall. "Sir," he laughed, "tonight made all those crazy entries worth it."

Kelluerai Dazarro is pronounced Kel (rhymes with sell)- LOO (rhymes with zoo)- e (as in wet)- rye (rhymes with guy) Daz (a as in cat)- ahr (as in car)- ROW (as in the word row).

I took the name Maria from MadJester's adorable Minion comics on deviantART. If you haven't read them, you should.