This is just one of those situations where an entire story takes off from an idea that I had about one single conversation. I had no clue that this little creation would come out of a snippet of banter that started out to be no more than a few lines long!
Yes, this story is a bit steamy (there, you've had your fair warning), but the steam doesn't start to roll until the next chapter. In the mean time, have fun, all you fans of our wickedly handsome blue bad boy!
Of course, it goes without saying that I don't own Megamind or any of the other characters in this story. Okay, there... had to say it. Now go ahead, read and have fun!
"Where did he put it? Uuugh... damn it! I'm going to kill him when I find him!" Roxanne ranted out loud to her empty cubicle in frustration as she rummaged through the stack of files on her desk. She could feel a sense of panic rising up in her stomach; that file contained important information that she had collected for her current story, and it had now suddenly and infuriatingly gone missing at the hands of someone she should have known better than to trust.
Earlier that morning, she had been perusing the contents of the file and poring over the tidbits she had been collecting on the sly over the past year during her kidnappings while Megamind worked on the final preparations for his plans, conversing back and forth with his sidekick and assuming she was still unconscious. He had no idea that over the years of frequent abductions, she had built up a bit of a resistance to the knock out spray they used regularly and would find herself waking up long before they were ready to commence unleashing terror on the city.
Rather than drawing attention to the fact that she was awake, she had immediately seen the situation for what it was; an opportunity to snatch up information on the villain and capture never before seen shots of the "mad" genius at work. Being forced to participate in every one of his numerous evil schemes, she began to amass quite a collection of the behind the scenes goings on at the Evil Lair. Thanks to the surprisingly gentle way her wrists were bound behind her by her abductors, she found it easy to slip her hands from their bindings and sneakily snap a covert picture here, capture a snippet of recorded conversation there, and then quickly slide them back into place without Megamind or Minion being the wiser.
Without breathing a word to a soul about her master plan, she had collected the information and stashed it away in a file that she had hidden safely in her apartment. She wasn't taking any chances and even refused to upload any of the secrets she had stolen away from the blue devil to her computer... she knew for a fact that he hacked into her system regularly to keep tabs on her and didn't want him to have even the most remote inkling of what she was up to.
Finally, after a year of squirreling away pictures and documenting bits and pieces of Megamind's routine that he kept carefully hidden from the public eye, she felt that she had enough information on the infamous villain to do the story of a lifetime. She was ready to paint a picture of the private life of the elusive alien for the residents of Metro City that was based on fact rather than the ridiculous speculation of some of the "experts" out there. It would be the story that would define her career and, she hoped, open the eyes of the people of the city she loved to something that she had known for years; Megamind wasn't as bad as he tried to lead everyone to believe.
With a feeling of triumph, she had carefully packed the thick file in her bag and snuck it in to work with her, finally ready to begin the process of uploading her information and whipping her story into written form to submit to her boss for final approval before the taping could begin. She had clued him in earlier that week that she had a big story coming, one that would draw every eye in town to channel 8 for a chance to watch, but despite his pressing she had refused to give him any more information.
As she watched the portly man sit at his desk, sweating and rubbing his hands in excitement with a greedy grin plastered to his pudgy face at the prospect of upping the station's ratings, she hadn't known whether to snicker or to shake her head in embarrassment at his antics. Either way, the cat was out of the bag and he wanted that story; there was no going back now. The only thing to do was get it completed and into her boss' grasping hands as quickly as possible.
With that thought in mind, Roxanne had arrived early the next morning to begin her preparation and settled in immediately to her task, making quick headway thanks not only to having done most of the work at home, but also to the fastidious way she had organized the information. She was bound and determined to get this thing wrapped up that day and ready for taping as soon as possible to eliminate any chance of her captor finding out what she had planned. And now that she had taken it to work and gotten the ball officially rolling on her project, she had no doubt he would find out... it was only a matter of time. Pffft! And he calls ME nosy...
As she sat at her desk and worked feverishly at her pet project, lost in the task she had set for herself, she was suddenly and frustratingly interrupted by a voice she had thankfully been able to avoid up to that point in the morning.
"Oh hey Roxaroo, there you are! What's goin' on? You've been, like, AWOL all morning! I didn't even see you at the coffee stand on the way to work. I showed up right at your usual time so we could, you know, spend a little time together before we got all started with the day and everything."
Without turning around, Roxanne stopped and closed her eyes, breathing in deeply and steadying her nerves before she engaged herself in conversation with her creepy and socially awkward cameraman. Even on her best days she had a hard time putting up with his immature conversation and blatant come-ons, but this morning was one that required focus... she was racing against the clock to beat her adversary to the punch and get this story written, shot, and aired before he could interfere.
She toyed for a moment with the idea of simply ignoring him in the hope that he would get the point and move along, possibly go find someone else to bother, but this was Hal she was talking about. Hal didn't get the point of much of anything; if she tried that tactic he would stand at her cubicle door and pester her for as long as it took for her to turn around and give him the attention he craved. Besides, as much as she would love to give him the cold shoulder until he tottered along somewhere else, her conscience would bother her for the rest of the day if she tried. He was so incredibly annoying, but she couldn't help but feel a little sorry for him.
Turning toward him with a forced but friendly smile, she said, "Yeah Hal, sorry about that. I got here early this morning so I could wrap up something I've been working on. Actually, if I can manage to get some time to really focus on it... without distraction... " she hinted, "I should have this ready to shoot tomorrow. It's kind of a rush, Greg wants it ready to air ASAP."
"Oh, wow! Well hey, don't let me hold you up." he responded, surprising the reporter with his ready acceptance to her hinted request for some time to herself.
Geez, that was too easy.
"Thanks Hal." she said, and immediately turned back to delve into her work again. If she could just show him that she was immensely involved in what she was doing, he might just go away without trying to continue the conversation. His lack of arguing with her comment that she was busy and needed to stay on task was promising...
"You know, you shoulda just told me you wanted to get here early this morning. I could have swung by and picked you up in the van, it wouldn't have been a big deal. Anyway, I'm not diggin' the idea of you out there by yourself so early with no one to, you know, kinda keep their eye on you. I mean, seriously! What if Megamind decided to snag you? Then what?"
Ooooh, I spoke too soon. And what would you be able to do about it if he did, Butterball? "Ah, well then I guess I'd just have to do the same thing I always do. I'd drive him nuts with my sarcasm and acerbic comebacks until he wished he'd left me right where he found me, and wait until Metro Man shows up to drag him off to prison again. Now, do you mind? No offense, but I'm really busy here, Hal."
Hal looked incredibly crestfallen at the abrupt way he had just been verbally ushered from her work space, but he was nothing if not persistent. He had one more trick up his sleeve to try and smuggle a little more time with the gorgeous reporter and he was determined to milk it for everything he could get out of it.
"Oh yeah, sorry Roxy. I'll get outta here and let you get to whatever you're doing." he said dejectedly as he turned toward the door of the cubicle. Then, as if he had been hit by a sudden brainstorm, he swung around and said, "But hey, just one more thing, if you're gonna be ready to shoot this tomorrow it might be a good idea for me to take a look at it, sorta like, get familiar with it so I can be on the ball tomorrow when you're ready to go... since I am your cameraman and everything. But ya know, whatever, it's cool. I was just kinda throwin' it out there... it's totally up to you. Okay, see ya later Rox... "
Roxanne could feel the irritation burning in her chest like a hot coal at the way he was trying to manipulate her into spending more time with him, but he did have a legitimate point. It would be to her benefit in the end if he had an idea in advance about what the story would entail and how she wanted it filmed. This was going to be the expose' of the century and she wanted to make sure it was not only done quickly, but done right the first time with no mistakes. But... that would mean spending time with her annoying co-worker who didn't seem to know how to keep his mouth shut; there was no way she was going to let that file leave her cubicle.
"Wait a minute." she said with a sigh as she held out the file. "Here, go ahead and get a look at it, but I really need you to be quick and then let me get back to work. I just can't concentrate when you're in here. I need to be alone so I can focus! And whatever you do, do NOT breathe a word of this to anyone! Got it?"
"Whoa, sweet! Thanks Rox, you're totally not going to regret this!"
"HAL! Did you hear anything I just said? Do not share this with anyone! If word gets out about this Megamind will show up and ruin a whole year's worth of work, and I will NOT be happy about it, capisce?"
"Oh yeah... no, I completely get you. My lips are sealed, I swear I'm not breathing a word about it to anyone; it's just between us. You know, kinda like, our little secret?" he responded in a salacious tone as he leaned in close and looked at her with a dopey smile, his amber eyes lidded suggestively.
Roxanne looked at him a moment longer, her eyes widening in astonishment at his clumsy attempt at charm and his lack of decorum. After another moment of speechlessly staring at her cameraman, she finally turned back to her computer without saying a word, deciding that maybe her conscience wouldn't bother her that much if she ignored him after all.
She began once again plugging information into her computer and trying to tune out the aggravating sound of the pages turning behind her, and of his occasional exclamations of surprise at the photos or the snippets of notes he perused... "Whoa! Look at that big-headed freak!"... "Ha, oh MAN! I don't know how you can sit there so close to him and not freakin' gag!"... "Dude! Haha, what a loser!"
As minute after minute ticked by and began to stretch on into the morning, Roxanne was finding it increasingly difficult to keep her composure while she stared at her monitor and listened to the sloppy redhead continue to rudely prattle on about her captor. Despite the fact that Megamind was notorious for being the bad guy and seemed to have made it part of his life's work to annoy her as much as possible, it absolutely rubbed her the wrong way to hear Hal going on about him in such a demeaning way.
Just when she was beginning to feel herself lose control over her temper and was about to tell him to shut up, he nonchalantly mentioned as if it were an unimportant afterthought, "Oh yeah, by the way... Greg was looking for you. He said it was like, I don't know, really important or something. I was supposed to send you in to see him as soon as I saw you."
"Hal! That was almost an hour ago!" She snapped as she stood up and immediately headed for the door. She knew how her boss rolled; he didn't like to be kept waiting and was probably becoming more agitated with each minute that passed. Along with that agitation came an extreme tendency to be cantankerous; he was more likely than not about to get up and come looking for her himself at that point, and that was never a good sign for how the rest of the day was going to turn out. Top reporter or not, Roxanne was subject to the same treatment from her boss as were the rest of her colleagues.
"Hey look, sorry... "
"Listen, I've got to go right now. When you're done looking at that just put it in my desk drawer. Do not take it out of my cubicle, okay?"
"You got it Rox! No problemo, I'll... "
"Thanks Hal!" she interrupted impatiently, and then without staying to listen to the rest of his speech she quickly turned and made her way to her boss' office, who was, as she expected, none too happy with the fact that he had been kept waiting.
After a thorough lecture about being prompt and the importance of keeping on your toes in a news office, he began to grill her about the progress of her story. Roxanne patiently explained that things were progressing nicely, but her time would be much more efficiently spent if she could just get back to her desk and finish the tedious task of uploading info and completing the script for final approval. She assured him repeatedly that if left alone, she would have her story ready to tape tomorrow.
After an hour's worth of explaining and re-explaining that she needed to get back to work in order to get her story ready to go, her boss was finally satisfied and sent her on her way.
Hurrying down the hall as quickly as she could she made it back to her cubicle, ready to pick up right where she left off and finish the story she had poured herself into and carefully planned out for a whole year. Arriving at her work space, she tentatively stopped at the door and peeked around the partition, hoping to find the extra chair vacated and her pudgy colleague gone. Oh thank God! Hal was no where in sight.
With a sigh of relief, she sat down at her desk with a giddy sense of anticipation and reached for her drawer to whip out the file... but upon pulling it open and looking inside, she found nothing; just an empty space littered with pieces of scrap paper and a few stray pens that rolled and clattered along the metal bottom.
"No... " Her heart instantly dropped to her toes and her hands unconsciously snapped up to stifle a horrified gasp. "Oh God, no. Where is it?"
And then she knew... all that work, a year's worth of sneaking around and being bored out of her mind while she pretended to be unconscious so she could spy on her serial kidnapper, gone in a flash because she had been naïve enough to trust her dimwitted cameraman to put it away where it belonged rather than wander off with it.
As these thoughts crept through her brain she could feel her blood beginning to boil. Her eyes narrowed venomously as she stared at the empty drawer, her hands dropped to her lap and her fists balled up tightly. Through clenched teeth, she hissed one single syllable, "Hal..."
What ensued next was a wild search through her work space. The frantic reporter rifled through every drawer in her desk as well as her filing cabinets in the hope that he had simply placed it in the wrong one, but was immediately disappointed. She searched her shelves and the stack of old files on her desk multiple times. She checked her in/out going mail tray and peeked behind her desk, just in case it had somehow managed to slip through the crack and fallen down into that tiny, dark space. She even rummaged through her trash can in a last-ditch effort to find the precious file, all to no avail. It was simply gone.
By this time, her heart was racing as though she had been running a marathon. All she could think about was the time ticking quickly by and how with each passing minute that was lost without her being able to finish her story, it became more and more likely that Megamind would show up to ruin all her plans. She had become so angry at Hal for misplacing all her hard work and wasting her time, she didn't even think that her conscience or her typically soft heart would be able to save him from the bitching of a lifetime.
She sat down in her chair and forced herself to take calming breaths; getting worked up like that wasn't going to help her situation at all and was simply not conducive to thinking clearly. What she needed to do was to try to think like Hal. She needed to get inside his head, as repulsive as that proposition was; to try and figure out where he was right now and what the hell he might have done with her file before it was too late.
Let's see, it's about 10:30... if I were Hal where would I be?
The answer was simple, there were only two places he could be... in the copy room wasting time watching all the young and pretty interns do the tedious tasks they had been set to, or in the break room wasting time drinking coffee and doing absolutely nothing.
With that, she slapped her hand loudly with determination on the top of her desk, stood up in an instant, and took off like a shot down the hall to try and find her half-witted co-worker and get her file back... and give him more than a piece of her mind while she was at it.
Muttering to herself angrily along the way and garnering several nervous glances from colleagues as she passed by, she arrived at the copy room first. Stepping through the door, she was very disappointed and incredibly irritated to find it empty, not a soul in sight.
Briefly scanning the room before she turned around to charge like a raging bull down the hall to the lounge, she noticed a tall stack of file folders sitting on the counter next to the copy machine. In fact, not just a single stack of folders but a whole fleet of them, all piled up and covering the entire length of the counter top. It appeared that someone was in the process of purging the storage room of old files and had decided to place them here until they could find the time to complete their task.
Every one of those folders looked just like hers, and she wouldn't put it past Hal to set it down on one of the stacks and walk away, forgetting he had even taken it with him from her cubicle to begin with.
Just to be on the safe side, she crossed the room with a frustrated huff and began to leaf through the piles of information, hoping that for Hal's sake she would find it quickly and be able to get back to work and forget about this whole mess. The way she was feeling right now, the only thing that would save him from a severely bloody nose would be if Metro Man showed up to intervene on the pathetic man's behalf.
As she pored through every folder in search of her quarry, she suddenly heard approaching behind her heavy, lumbering footsteps.
"Hey Rox, there you are! I've been like, looking all over for you! What are you doing here? I figured you'd be... "
At the sound of the infuriating voice, she swung on her cameraman and snapped, "Where is it? I told you not to take it out of my cubicle! That was the last thing I said to you before I left."
"Oh, wow... what's got you so bent? I mean, what are you even talking about?"
"My file, Hal! I need it... now! That thing is filled with important information that took me a very long time and a lot of hard work and sneaking around to collect!"
"Whoooa! Okay Roxy... just hold on. Give me a second to tell you what's... "
"No! I don't want to hear it and I don't want to hold on! I just want my goddamn file, now!"
Instead of pandering to her wishes and scrambling to produce the called upon file in a panic as she had expected, the plump cameraman began to chuckle. His expression began to shift from his typical blank-eyed, doltish, the-lights-are-on-but-no-one's-home stare to an amused and rather smug grin.
"Oh... tut, tut, tut my feisty little journalist. Such language coming from Metrocity's beloved 'girl next door' is shocking!"
Roxanne's mouth hung slightly open as she stared in astonishment and confusion at her co-worker. He looked like Hal, and his voice certainly sounded like Hal's, but the words that were suddenly coming out of his mouth were all wrong. She looked at him carefully, squinting her eyes as she scrutinized the slovenly, redheaded marshmallow standing before her... now that she was getting a closer look, something didn't seem quite right. Something about the eyes...
"Au contraire my sassy siren; you're much to sharp to let yourself be deceived so easily."
As Roxanne continued to look on in puzzlement, trying to put her finger on exactly what was happening, Hal reached up to fidget with the watch at his wrist... a watch she had never noticed before. Ooooh, wait a minute...
Before her eyes, the visage of her dumpy colleague shimmered, and with a blinding flash of blue light changed into another form entirely.
"Yes... " he responded with a low, silky voice and a scheming chuckle as he looked at her through his lowered brows, one corner of his mouth drawn up in a self-satisfied smirk . "The one and only."
Okay, chapter 2 will be uploaded within the week. Please don't forget to look for it! Thank you so much for reading, and if you feel so inclined, I would love to hear from you. Please leave me a review and tell me what you think! :)