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Fic: The Deal

Hello, everyone.  It's been awhile, but I come bearing a new one-shot.  The idea has been in my head since I wrote the initial dialog in a previous story (A Mile in My Shoes) and it just had to be written down.  Kind of inconvenient since I'm in the middle of writing a longer story.  I'm waiting until that gets nearly finished before I start posting, but in the meantime, on with the show!


Title: The Deal
Characters: Roxanne, Megamind, Minion
Word count: 2350
Summary: pre-movie, slight AU.  Megamind and Roxanne decide to formalize their arrangement in his Evil Schemes.

The Deal


An Evil Plot or two ago:

“You see I have Miss Ritchi in my clutches.  If you wish to keep her breathing, you will be here within the hour.”  He presented a digital clock that he had converted to a stopwatch to the camera and pressed a button.  The numbers started counting down from ‘60:00.’  “Tick-tock, Metro Mahn!”  He laughed again and shut down the broadcast.

Megamind flipped a switch to warm up the electromagnet, then sighed and turned to Roxanne, “Not even a shtartled gasp for the camera, Miss Ritchi?  Tsk.  And I thought you were a professional.”

“A professional what?  Journalist or kidnapee?  Because, honestly, I think I’m racking up equal time as both.”  Then she frowned thoughtfully, “But I’m only getting paid for one…  I think we need to discuss my salary, Megamind.”

“W...What!?” he spluttered.  “You’ve been kidnapped and are being held hostage!  That does not constitute a pay rate!”  Then he thought a minute.  This could work in his favor… “Would…would you scream if we formalized this arrangement?  Because you are a terrible damsel-in-distress since you never seem…well…distressed…”

Roxanne sat back and blinked like she never thought he would take her seriously.  “Well,” she said slowly, “if you’re serious… I’m sure we could work it out in the contract negotiations…”

“We’ll shedule a-“ before he could say anything more, a hole was blasted through the roof almost right above Roxanne as Metro Man arrived.  Damn him for being early for once! 

Now:

Roxanne carefully took a sip of her coffee as she hurried down the well-lit street.  She was running a little late for her meeting thanks to the complicated coffee order of the person in front of her at the Starbucks.  Normally, she would have just left, but it was getting late and she knew she would need all her wits about her for these particular negotiations.

The Metro City Library came into view and she slowed down so she wouldn’t draw attention to herself.  It was late and the streets weren’t crowded, but there were still people out and about.  She did her best to blend in as she headed for the library.  It was closed this time of night, but that’s where they agreed to have these initial talks.

When she got to the wide steps leading up to the front door, she kept going.  She glanced down the alley between the library and the building next door.  It was clear, so she leaned against wall and acted like she was waiting for someone.  Roxanne glanced up and down the street to see if anyone was taking notice of her.  When she was sure no one was paying attention, she slipped into the alleyway and moved around to behind the library.  There, she found the employee entrance.  As she got closer to the heavy steel door, it opened just a little in invitation.

She stepped inside and heard a familiar voice, “Ahh, Miss Ritchi.  So nice of you to join us.”  The door shut behind her which left them in near total darkness.

“Megamind,” she acknowledged his presence.  Then, after a slight internal battle, she grudgingly continued with, “Sorry I’m late.”

“It’s quite alright, Miss Ritchi,” the blue-skinned supervillain said magnanimously.  She could just imagine him making broad, sweeping movements with his arms in the dark entryway they were standing in.  “Next time we could just… pick you up,” he said teasingly.

“Oh no, you don’t!  We’re not even sure there will be a next time.  Let’s see how tonight goes.”

“Very well, Miss Ritchi.  Follow me.  We have managed to secure an interior room that will prevent any light from escaping.  We can conduct our business there,” he said and she heard him start to move away.  He can see in this?!

“Wait a minute,” she called to him.  She put her coffee cup in the cardboard tray that held the other two cups she bought.  When that was secured and balanced, she dug out her cell phone and turned it on to give her enough light to see by.  “Ok, ready.”

“This way,” he said and turned to walk off.  She followed him to a small study room that lacked a window.  Once they were inside and he closed the door, he turned on the lights.  She blinked a couple times to adjust to the sudden brightness and saw Minion was already in the room.  Megamind headed to Minion’s side of the room and sat down at the table.  She noticed that he steepled his fingers with his elbows resting on the table.  It must be an unconscious habit by now.

“Hello, Miss Ritchi,” the friendly fish greeted her with a wave of his robotic gorilla arm.

“Hey, Minion.  I have to say it’s pleasantly different meeting under these conditions,” she said with a half smile.  She set down the coffee tray on the table and grabbed her cup then pushed the tray closer to her frequent kidnappers.  She picked out a chair and sat down and took a sip.  “I brought coffee for everyone,” she stated the obvious and waved at the two full coffee cups. 

She had a long debate with herself about whether or not Minion could even drink anything since he breathed water and all.  Would he just end up breathing the drink?  Wouldn’t that hurt him?  But he was an alien.  Maybe he had some internal system that allowed him to drink as well as eat.  She decided to err on the side of caution and get him one anyway. 

“Thanks, Miss Ritchi!” Minion said as Megamind reached for a cup.  She noticed Megamind had a faint look of surprise on his face that he tried to conceal.  Minion politely moved his cup closer to Megamind, but gave her a grateful smile.  Looks like he doesn't drink after all.  Or he might just not drink coffee... 

She smiled and said, “Yeah, yeah.  I come in peace and all that.”  She pulled a small notebook and pen out of her jacket pocket.  She opened it and set it on the table in front of her, “Ok, let’s get down to business.”  She was going to try to keep this professional.

“This is quite good, Miss Ritchi,” Megamind said before she could really get the ball rolling.

“I guess that’s why they’re a national chain,” she replied.  “So we’re here to discuss the terms of future kidnappings with regards to yours truly.”

“Yes, yes, we remember, Miss Ritchi.  We’re negotiating a salary for you and the terms and conditions there-in,” Megamind interrupted again.

She sighed and said, “Term one: Call me Roxanne.  Let’s leave the ‘Miss Ritchi’ stuff for the cameras and the kidnappings.  We’re all aware of Metro Man’s timing issues and we don’t want him to think anything’s different.”

“Does that bother you too?” Megamind asked curiously.  “Here I give him a deadline before I do bodily harm to your person, and thirty-two percent of the time he either shows up before I’m finished with my ultimatum or he’s late!  If we proceeded on his shedule I’m afraid you’d be dead seven times over in just the last year, Roxanne.”

“Ha!  I knew I saw you resetting a timer once or twice,” Roxanne smirked triumphantly.

“You’re more valuable to me alive, Roxanne,” he told her matter of factly.  Then his eyes widened slightly and he said hurriedly, “Just imagine the delays I would suffer if I didn’t have you to lure Metro Mahn into my traps.  We just discussed his time management skills.”

“Now I have a question for you, Roxanne,” Megamind continued.  “How are you looking to get paid?  Should we set up payments per kidnapping, or just as a monthly payment?”

Minion chimed in, “Sir, I believe that a monthly payment would be less likely to be linked to the kidnappings.  It would be obvious we have an agreement if we nab Miss Ritchi and then she makes a deposit a couple days later.”

Megamind flashed his fishy friend a smile and looked back at Roxanne, “I trust a monthly payment would suffice.  With the understanding that you are basically ‘on-call,’ I believe is the phrase.”

“So, just like now, but with a payment plan,” she said dryly.  “I think I got it.”  She got serious again and asked, “Can I put scheduling out there?”

“Roxanne, ee-vil works to nobody’s shedule!” Megamind protested.

“I know, I know, but just hear me out, ok?  There are some things that I need to attend for my job that make watching paint dry sound like an interesting pastime.  If a kidnapping would just happen to coincide with one of those events, I would give a performance that would put Jamie Lee Curtis in her Halloween days to shame.”  Roxanne smirked when she saw Megamind’s eyes light up.

“Would that be the only time you would scream for me?  If I abide by your shedule?  Because that may not always be feasible.  What can we do to get you to scream or at least act frightened?” Megamind asked while leaning forward slightly.  She knew that this was the reason he even agreed to the negotiations.

“I think this is where another delicate touch is required.  You’ve broadcasted me being calm and collected while threatening me with all sorts of dangers.  We need to play this like I’m being worn down by my life being constantly put in danger.  I think I should start by maybe ranting at you a little with the cameras on.  Call you evil, heartless, and whatnot.”  She smirked as an idea hit her, “Hell, give me a script.  Then when Metro Man comes to save me, I yell for him.  Then I gradually move to yelps and screams as appropriate.  If you can give me something new and deadly looking, I think I could pull off some screams there and look realistic about it.”

Megamind looked over at Minion for a moment, then back to Roxanne.  “That seems like a decent progress-shion.  I’ll accept those terms.”

“Great!  But if I start having trouble with my voice after a while because of the screaming, we’ll have to come up with something else.  I depend on my vocal chords too much to damage them.”

Megamind nodded, “That’s reasonable.  Agreed.”

“Ok, next item.  Do we want to set up regular meetings?” she asked.

“Do you think we’d need to?” Minion asked.

“It would allow me to give you my schedule I talked about, and we could give each other a performance review.  That way we all stay satisfied with our working arrangement,” she suggested.

“Yes.  I can see the benefits to that,” Megamind agreed.  “The time and locations must remain flexible so no one can track them though.”

“Of course,” she said.  “Well, that’s all I had.  You?”

“Yes, I am satisfied with the arrangement.  Now, what would you ask your monthly payment to be for the privilege of being the damsel in distress?” he asked.

“Aren’t you supposed to give me an offer?  How much do you think my cooperation in life threatening situations and disrupting my life is worth?” she countered.

“I propose that we start at five and go from there.  Cash of course,” he offered. 

“Five?  As in five thousand?  Every month?” she clarified.  That was more than she made every month reporting!  Oh well, they had years of kidnappings when she wasn’t getting paid.  She could consider it with back-pay thrown in.  At his nod she kept her voice calm and replied, “I think that would work.  How would the cash be delivered?”

Megamind laughed.  Not his practiced evil laugh, but honest-to-god laughter.  He replied, “Oh, we’ll get it to you, Roxanne.  Don’t worry about that!”  She remembered about his penchant for getting into and out of places unseen and only just kept from hitting her forehead with her hand.

“Alright, I got it,” she said with a half-smile.  She stood up and offered her hand to Megamind across the table.  “Megamind, I think we have a deal.”  He looked at her hand in what was almost shock and then slowly brought his gloved hand up to grasp hers.  She gripped his hand and gave it a shake, sealing the deal.  She smiled, “I’m glad we could come to an agreement.  I look forward to doing business with you.”

She gathered her notepad, pen and coffee and said, “I need to get going.  I have an early day tomorrow.  See you two soon, I’m sure.” She turned on her cell phone for its meager light and left to find the exit.

Megamind and Minion watched her leave the well-lit room then turned to look at one another.  “Did that seem surreal to you too, Minion?” Megamind eventually asked.

“Slightly, Sir.  I’m still surprised she agreed to meet here after hours.  We are technically breaking and entering after all,” Minion replied.

“Details, details,” Megamind waved the thought away. 

He was excited that they were on the way to getting a proper performance out of Roxanne and they were set up to start having meetings without the possibility of that muscle-bound moron showing up.  He smiled as he thought about her bringing coffee for the both of them and when she offered her hand for a handshake.  Such simple gestures that he was sure she didn’t even think about warmed his little black heart.  Maybe he could eventually merge their business meetings into a social gathering with some business thrown in?  It was nice being close to Roxanne without the ropes and lasers and whatnot.

He shook his head to clear his thoughts, but the smile remained on his face as he stood.  “Come, Minion.  I still want to hit the scrap yard tonight to gather material for the new battlebot.”

“Yes, Sir.  It appears the area is clear.  We can leave and I’ll set brainbot 735 to cleanup duty,” his evil henchfish replied.

“Right, let’s blow this joist,” he said as he headed for the door.

“I think that’s ‘joint,’ Sir,” Minion replied as he left the interior room on the heels of Megamind and hit the lights.





Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
joanhello
Feb. 20th, 2014 11:15 pm (UTC)
Wonderful little story. Characters in character, great banter, clear storyline and the atmosphere is just right. You are much better than me at remembering to have Megamind mispronounce things.

Favorite lines: "Because you are a terrible damsel-in-distress since you never seem…well…distressed…" and "Such simple gestures that he was sure she didn’t even think about warmed his little black heart."

Nitpicks: "When she got to the wide steps leading up to the front door, she passed kept going." Looks like a cut-and-paste error. Also, you have Roxanne bring Minion coffee and wonder whether he drinks it, but then you don't mention whether he actually does and, if so, how. It's not polite to pique readers' curiosity like this and then frustrate it, especially since Roxanne is curious, too, and would have noticed.

But overall, this was a very enjoyable fic.
ladystina2
Feb. 21st, 2014 12:33 am (UTC)
Thanks! I was worried that it was a little bland. But it might give me a start point for a future multi-chapter story. Only time will tell.

I fixed the "she passed kept going" thing (thanks for that!) and I guess I let the little coffee part of the story slip. Oops. Fixed that too.

Thanks again for reading!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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