In collaboration with Psychochiquita. Explanation in A/N.
It was the perfect morning.
She'd woken up early and would have time to make herself that new tea she got in the mail from Hoshi yesterday.
It was a Yamecha, a type of green tea with dark green bordering on black leaves and a springy flavor, and Hoshi said it would be a great morning-tea; refreshing and a kick of energy without that awful caffeine.
Today was Friday and she wouldn't be going out on any live coverings today, and if something did pop up Janeen was the one on call this weekend.
Hal would be busy all day with editing the pieces from earlier in the week, always a big plus since it meant she wouldn't see him at all with any luck, and she would be done by three at the latest.
She finished getting her hair in order, took a last make-up check in the mirror and threw on some suitable office-clothing.
She turned on the lights in her apartment as she walked; the landing outside her bathroom, the light in the stairs and finally the living-room/kitchen lights.
She'd never been much for breakfast, so she just ate a yogurt while waiting for the tea-water to boil and then took out her bamboo steeper to fill it with the new tea.
Opening her cabinet with all her mugs the first one she saw was her old favorite. She only used it for special teas since she was really afraid of accidentally breaking it. It was a special mug.
Just as the boiler beeped to let her know it was ready, her phone rang. As soon as it did her stomach started churning. Her boss calling this early was never a good sign.
"Hello?" She held her phone between her shoulder and ear as she poured the still-bubbling water into her mug and just about dropped it when her boss started talking.
"What do you mean 'he's on his way'?! What about Ja- sick? She's never sick!" Her voice was at least two octaves higher than normal. This just wasn't happening!
"That kid has the immune system of a komodo dragon! What did she do, jump in the Metro Sew- Oh. OH, oh good god, is she okay?" She spoke into the phone.
"Alright, well around what time will he get he-" and before she could finish her sentence, her front door intercom went off, Carlos' face visible on the screen.
"Miss Ritchi, a 'Hal Stewart' is here for your commute," he said into the microphone.
"Oh for Pete's sake," she grumbled, hanging up on her boss without even a 'good bye', balancing her mug with her paperwork and the handle of her briefcase while hurrying to make it out the door in time, popping back in to leave the steeper on the entry table.
Rushing out through the front doors she was greeted by Hal pulling up abruptly, front passenger tire riding over the curb. The grin on his face told her he probably thought he was cool, driving in a way likely to put the company van into early retirement.
Hopping in with a roll of her eyes she was dragged into conversation with him which consisted of complaining on his behalf, mostly on how "It's like, totally uncool that we have to go out in the field this early, 'specially on a Friday, I mean what is up with that. But it's great that we're in it together, y'know?".
Yeah, because I totally wanted to be in this together.
She couldn't take one drink from her mug with the way Hal had been driving like a maniac up to the location, and when it came to them to load all the gear back into the van they were rushed to beat the lunch hour traffic back to the station. It all would've been good had Hal not accidentally locked the keys inside the van after loadout.
By the time they got help from triple A they were pretty much wedged in the middle of rush hour, Roxanne having to endure listening to a grunge metal band which she honestly wouldn't have minded had the songs not sounded identical to twelve other bands she was used to hearing.
When they finally got to the station's parking garage, she was ambushed by a bombardment of paperwork and requests from the editors on all the reports she had covered throughout the week that she should have been editing and finishing up during the day but now was stuck with to do in overtime.
Someone had seemingly cleared out the wrong file during a system reboot, losing all of their work which had to be started up from scratch again. Luckily for Roxanne, she always kept all of her files on a backup hard-drive and she was able to transfer everything over in a heartbeat, giving her enough time to run away to the janitor's broom closet for a breather and a drink.
Although she was now regretting not packing anything more than just tea in her mug.
Roxanne took a glance down both lengths of the hallway before closing the door and burrowing in the broom closet, the only place she could find any peace in the entire news station!
Leaning her back against the shelving, she held her mug close as she peeled back the silicone lid that kept the liquid sealed in, the tea long time gone cold from the long wait to drink it.
She frowned into the chilly mug before bringing it close for a small sip, the earthy tones and bright herbal taste making her smile in bittersweet satisfaction. It was a very tasty tea, even cold. Sighing into the shelf, she brought up the mug in thought of everything that had happened during the day.
She had managed to drink the entire thing when a loud knock echoed in the tiny space. She quickly hid the mug behind a few bottles of cleaning supplies and turned back to the door to open it cautiously.
Taking in a breath of relief after realizing who it was, she stepped out into the hallway.
"Jaime, how do you always know where to find me?" she asked her assistant.
"Easy, I just go 'If I had to hide from everyone including Hal, especially Hal, where would I go?' and it usually leads me to you," the raven-haired girl responded while shifting the paperwork overflowing in her arms.
They both shared a laugh as they made their way back to the hectic bullpen.
It was ten to ten when Roxanne stumbled through her front door, tripping over herself as she struggled to kick off her flats and make her way to the fridge for a leftover meal of tuna salad and crackers, figuring it would be too much work to make a sandwich out of the dip.
She supposed her hellish day would've only gotten worse after her break in the broom closet, and as such she found herself being dragged out of her cubby by the editor in chief to do a recap on her morning coverage so they could edit the material to be physically transferred onto the paper and website.
Then she had to confront the business managers to throw a pitch for a budget increase for better performing hard drives, since the only reason her dailies took so long to produce was the aged processors her editors computers still ran on.
Plus, she couldn't stand listening to Hal harp on about needing a new boom mike and eye piece for the cameras.
She settled into bed after a long soak in the tub and making sure her alarms were switched off. The only thing that would make up for the unexpected double shift she pulled was sleeping in until noon, and she presumed it was a good way to officially start the weekend.
Saturday was a better day than the one before it, and Roxanne would later come to find out it would be the best day of her week.
She was on her way up the elevator with arms full of shopping bags; a handful of groceries, clothes and new goodies she snatched on sale at her favorite department store.
She slept in as planned, and had the idea of lounging around her loft with another serving of Hoshi's Sencha but found she couldn't locate her favorite mug when the time came to pour out the boiling water.
Having been distracted with the prospect of shopping around for a few new outfits for the season she all but forgot about looking for the mug, heading out in the late afternoon and having returned long after the sun had died out.
Being in the mood for a glass of chamomile for the evening she supposed she would eventually find the mug, but until then she would indulge in an episode of crime case.
Or maybe a marathon, a marathon sounded good right about now.
A smile spread on her lips as her key turned in the lock, mentally planning what could be put together for dinner as she locked the door behind her and turned on her heel too quickly, one of the bags doing a wide swing and knocking over the contents of the hallway table.
With a groan she settled the bags onto her kitchen counter and returned to pick up the things back onto the table, having placed the letters and loose coins back successfully, but having also missed the fact that the steeper she had left on the table had now rolled underneath a shelf in the hallway.
On Sunday, the cleaning crew set on a weekly schedule to deep clean the building entered Studio 8's editorial floor through the elevator lobby. Making their way through the maze of cubicles and clearing out the leftover trash, used rags and heavy wipe-down on any polished surface, they were on their last window when the glass solution gave out.
The two cleaners left to clear that section were debating whether or not to bother getting another bottle for the last window, and being that one of them had already gotten in trouble earlier during the month decided against the favor and made their way to the closet to switch out the bottle for a refill.
It was because of the circumstances that the janitor would discover a leftover mug hiding behind the blue bottle they pulled down from the shelf. Frowning at the ceramic, the janitor pulled that down as well to give it a once over and take it out of the closet to place in the communal dish washer.
They gave a nod of their head and headed back to wipe down the last window, knowing full well the dishwasher would be emptied out by an evening janitor or even one of the earlier office workers who would arrive the next day.
Meanwhile, Roxanne had just finished tearing apart and putting back together the entirety of her loft apartment. For the eighth time that weekend.
No matter the box, corner, shelf, or even room, Roxanne could not place the location of where she last left her special Mug. Knowing Aunt Re would just dismiss it and say "Ain't no reason sweatin' over spilled milk" made Roxanne even more anxious to find it, because milk was replaceable, expendable, it was just cereal water for all she cared.
Her mug wasn't.
Finally resting her head against the back of the couch after having slumped down in defeat, Roxanne nearly fell asleep in the midst of misery of not having been able to find the one damn mug she never takes out of the apartment in the first place, having used up her weekend nearly decimating her entire place just to end up calling quits.
She hauled herself up to her bedroom, not bothering to get her things ready for work, or even taking off the multiple layering of clothing she had on, only taking the time to snake her bra out from underneath her shirt and flopping face first onto her Tempurpedic.
Roxanne declared Sunday night the suckiest way to end a weekend.
Monday doesn't get any better.
"And for our next performance," the blue man said emphatically, his cape flowing around his slender frame, reaching over to his captive tied to the chair placed in the middle of the abandoned warehouse.
With a swift flick of his wrist he removed the bag from over her head, only to be faced with a half-awakened scowl from Roxanne.
"Oh. Oh my," he stumbled, backing a few steps away from her.
The grimace was just the surface of her mood; anger flickered off of her in static sparks that stung him from his close proximity. The lick of annoyance (he was sure it was the annoyance, not the static from the bag being removed) held her hair in raised curls and jagged edges, half of him wanting to brush them down while his other half knew from experience not to stride close to an angry Roxanne, no matter how tied to a chair she appeared to be.
Well damn, maybe I really should stop kidnapping her in the mornings. Mondays in general. She looks like she wants to murder someone!
Not wanting to fully show his awareness to her situation, he continued where he'd left off. With hesitation.
"Ahem. I, ah, brought us here today, because I, I-have a, a plan! To stop. Metro," he slowed, his nervousness having gotten the best of him from Roxanne's steadily piercing glare. The tired bruising under her eyes gave the shadow of death to her stare, aimed directly at him.
Thank evil heaven he hadn't started the broadcast yet.
The heat of her anger wavered behind her eyes as she let out a stream of frustration. "Megamind I swear to all that is evil I am in no mood to deal with one of your so-called 'plans' this morning and if you don't untie me this instant so-help-you I will not be held responsible for my actions!"
"And here is your tea Miss Ritch-yiah!" Minion ended with an almost-scream as he came around a corner with a tray, carrying two mugs and a glass tea pot showing a blooming flower submerged in hot water. Holding the tray close to his robotic chest, he took a wide step around her, avoiding the glare she now shot him, although it had softened a fraction at the sight of Minion.
He coughed nervously as he lowered the tray to her field of vision, the floral aroma wafting to her senses smoothing out her frayed nerves, taming her inner lion into almost-submission.
"Minion, I- I'm sorry. I don't mean to snap, not at you anyway, I just haven't had a proper wake up," She looked away from him, aiming an accusing glare at the other alien in the room.
"Is that Jasmine? Smells lovely," she said, her mood shifting quickly from the presence of the aromatic tea.
Still staying away from the field of angry static that surrounded her, Minion eyed her carefully for any signs of hostility that might arise from her if he moved too fast, or closely.
"Y-yes, it's Jasmine. I do apologize for the rude awakening this morning. Sir says we're running on a bit of a tight schedule-" to which she shot a quick glare towards Megamind before returning her attention softly to Minion. "-and... I thought making you a quick cup as a pick-me-up would be, for the best..."
"Well aren't you considerate?" she gave Minion a genuine smile before adding in an icy tone; "Unlike some people."
Megamind sighed and looked off towards the computer that ran down the length of the walls. He tried his best to not stare at Roxanne while Minion helped re-adjust her tied hands so she could properly take a drink of the tea; the way her lips pursed to meet the beverage, the warming blush that tinted her cheeks, how there was still a drop of tea beading her bottom lip when her tied hands pulled away-
Stop it! You'll freak her out with your staring! he snapped at himself, steering his eyes away to busy his hands with the R/C remote sitting on his wheeled chair, pointedly ignoring the extremely un-evil tea-party going on just feet away from his position.
"D'aaaw, it's a tiny shark! Oh, it's so cute!" she blurted into the mug in her hands, seeing the little fat shark steeper bobbing with the movements of her wrists tilting the mug in circles.
Why did Minion have to pull that out? He made it as a personal joke, not for actual use, and now in front of Roxanne of all people!
Megamind, taking his handmade project to heart, clicked his tongue at Roxanne.
"Miss Ritchi. I shall have you know, sharks are some of the most feared creatures on this planet, ranking just below my fearsome self. They certainly are not. cute."
Roxanne simply gave him a warm smile.
"Aww, you think you're scarier than a shark."
He turned around with an audible huff before she could have the chance to see the blush spread across his cheeks like wildfire. Smiling at him like that, what was he supposed to do with that?! It wasn't as if he could smile back!
She looked back down to the drink in her hands and studied the double walled mugs that held their tea, a smile of genuine appreciation lighting up her face.
"I don't think I've ever seen cups like these before, they're beautiful. Where did you get something like this?" she looked up at Minion hovering beside her chair.
"Oh, it's just something I picked up from a garage sale one of my seniors was hosting, thought I would help her out.-"
Startled, Megamind looked over his shoulder towards his cognate before turning away quickly, humiliation burning in his face.
Anything but that, talk about anything else!
"-Usually I trade hand-made items for some of our things; tableware, furniture, ahem... instruments?" Minion eyed Megamind from the side of his eyes, his boss slowly turning his chair around to stare down the fish with a deadly 'what the hell are you doing?!' glare.
"Instruments, huh?" she inquired, raising a questioning eyebrow at Megamind.
"You didn't even steal it! How can I be Overlord when you keep insisting on paying for things and doing the public good deeds?" Megamind cried, pointedly ignoring Roxanne's question and rolling his eyes before swiveling back around and looking back to the remote in hand. What had he been doing again?
"Mrs. Stiltson has been having problems ever since the botched hip surgery, the least I could do is help her out with feeding her cats."
"Oh ho! The irony in that, a fish helping out a poor old lady to feed her cats. You're just tainting my name with all of your 'charity work'."
Ignoring Megamind's outburst Roxanne turned back to Minion. "'Your seniors' you say? What's that all about?"
Several frustrating minutes later the evil blue villain, emphasis on evil, the kind of evil that didn't include indulging their hostage in impromptu tea parties or-
"Minion, I didn't know you were such a sweetheart," Roxanne claimed with a sentimental smile, drawing a shy blush from Minion and a jealous (and thankfully unseen) one from Megamind.
"Some evil henchfish you are" he declared loudly from behind his chair, walking his fingers across the desk holding most of the electronics set for the evil plot of the day, if they could just get around to make it actually happen.
"Come on, Megamind, why not take a breather? Sit back, have a drink," the fire in her eyes receded to a warming ember.
"No, thank you, I have my own brew waiting on me. Minion! The mug, if you will?"
"On it, Sir." Minion chirped, rushing around the corner again where she could see their temporary kitchen stood.
Almost as soon as he rounded the corner he re-appeared with a black mug of what smelled strongly of arabica.
"Phil said this was the best brew anyone could ever get their hands on, top of the line straight from Northern Thailand. Calls it Black Ivory."
A small snort called their attention back to Roxanne, seemingly grinning for an unknown reason.
"Miss Ritchi? Is there something you'd like to share?" Megamind purred, intrigued by her sudden change of mood but still wary of any kind of deceiving female tricks.
"Nothing. Minion, is there any way I could have another? That was by far the best Jasmine I've had!" she diverted, her bright eyes looking at the kitchen corner eagerly for the remnants of the glass kettle holding the blooming flower.
"Why sure thing, Miss Ritchi."
Walking over to the desk, Roxanne noted Minion reaching for his mug first, filling it with a rich dark brown liquid and adding a straw, before- surprised, she saw him grasping for what seemed to be a ceramic creamer jar, and poured the milky contents into his glass! Then he grabbed 'her' pitcher, pouring the remainder of the golden tan jasmine liquid, a few pearls floating through the spout into her see-through mug.
But she couldn't stop staring at his own, the cup he'd added milk to.
"Did... Did you just add cream, to your tea?" she asked puzzled.
Returning a stare just as confused, Minion hesitated. "Well, yes? It's, called for in this recipe to add dairy so I…" he trailed off as Roxanne's brow deepened with confusion, it was Minions turn to ask, "Why- haven't you ever added milk to your tea?"
"Why would I? It's not like its Chai or Matcha, right?"
Both kidnapper and kidnappee winced with the sound of Minions gasp, loud enough to easily have been mistaken as a high-pitched squeal.
"MISS RITCHI! You, of all people, I... Don't you know about the world of milk teas?" he went on, after having brought both of his hands (and eyebrows) down from his momentary shock. The blank slate stare she gave caused him to start fanning his mechanical hands in jubilant glee, "ooo, ooo, ooo" being the only thing Minion could vocalize from the excitement of being able to teach something to Roxanne, for meanwhile, Megamind was scowling, back turned towards the undignified un-evilness going on in the middle of the room.
This? They put the kidnapping on hold and pushed aside the evil plot, so they could have tea time?! While getting excited about adding milk to tea?!
"...so to avoid a crash you might actually want to drink Hojicha, since it's been roasted at 200 centigrade so the caffeine's been sublimated-"
How did this even happen? Everything was going as planned when Minion suddenly had to show Roxanne how to put dairy in tea.. well, okay maybe not everything was going to plan, but it would have!
"-however in the late 90's they commercialized the automated drink sealer which further spread the popularity of pearl milk drinks, taking it out of Taiwan-"
Megamind looked over to the two talking with their heads low, Minion now crouched beside Roxanne, mugs of tea warming their (or at least her) hands just under their busy mouths. They're literally having a tea PARTY in the middle of their Evil Plot!
"And so now we pretty much add milk to any kind of tea to make a variety of drinks!" Minion finished explaining, a big, toothy smile stretched on his face.
"Years I've been drinking different kinds of tea, and not once have I thought to put milk in them!" she exclaimed with bemusement.
Finally Megamind had had enough and turned on the two in a growling whirl.
"Well I don't see how you manage to drink plant clippings all the time," the slender alien announced too loudly, wanting the attention back on him and his magnificently evil plan, brandishing his own mug of proper coffee over his head before bringing it down for another swallow.
"Hey, some of us enjoy the finer things in life. At least I don't drink poop coffee," Roxanne quipped, amused at how that made Megamind cough into his drink.
"Come again?" he sputtered, wiping the back of his wrist across his mouth.
"Black Ivory, right? You ever wonder why it's called 'Black' Ivory?" she smiled, her pucker turning into a full-on grin as Megamind's shock turned into a grimace of comprehension as he looked down into his mug.
"Minion, you said it was ethical coffee!"
"But it's the best on the market! Besides, it's roasted at such a high temperature the fact that it's passed doesn't matter anymore...right?" Minion insisted while holding the silver tray up as cover, only the peak of his eyes visible over the rim.
Megamind looked at his ichthyoid partner, looked down to his mug again with a thoughtful expression, ending with a slow shrug of his shoulders, giving in to the contents of his drink and took another swallow. Minion was right; it didn't matter and the taste was wonderful.
Roxanne's satisfied smile waned as she saw the front of his mug when he faced it towards her in an attempt to place it back on the desk that was too far away.
"Megamind," she queried, her hands dropping her mug to her lap and her voice sounding carefully still, like the calm before a particularly destructive hurricane. "What is that? In your hand?"
Holding the mug frozen in mid-stretch for the desk, he moved his eyes from his hand to Roxanne and back, face full of confusion.
"Apparently poop coffee, I thought we just went over this," he replied carefully, trying but failing to pinpoint the danger in that statement.
"Yes, but what the coffee is in."
"My mug?" he asked.
"You mean my mug." she corrected, placing the one she currently held to the ground.
He looked at her as if she just informed him the sky is orange, eyes searching all over the room for any hint of what she could possibly be talking about.
"Wa-AHH!" was all he managed to say before jumping in his evil chair, knees pulled into his chest and mug held high over his head as Roxanne charged across the room into him, having pulled her feet off of the chair and wobbled at him like an out-of-control freight-train.
Still having the chair tied around her from her waist, she huddled angrily towards him and in any other situation Megamind would've laughed at her appearance of an angry turtle, had the hostility not been aimed towards himself!
Her hands, that should've been tied behind her back, were reaching for him like claws as she desperately tried to pry the ceramic mug out of his hands, managing to tilt the cup over enough to have the hot liquid spill out over the both of them, making them duck and Megamind giving a pained yelp as the hot coffee spilled down his evil collar and down his unprotected neck, but as soon as they made eye contact again Roxanne's palms were back on Megamind with the rage of a soaked cat on the loose.
"My mug? You take my MUG?! Why would you-"
"Miss Ritchi, please, I insist we have no idea what you're talking about, please don't kill my Sir-"
"Gahk! My neck! Minyon, sheesh got my neck-"
"Of all the things you could possibly do to me, MY MUG?!"
"Miss Ritchi! Please!"
"Oh I'll help you all right!"
It was at that moment Metro Man decided to burst in through the ceiling, heroic pose on the ready while surveying the scene.
"Don't worry Roxanne, I'm here to save... Megamind?" he ended up asking, his face turning to a look of utter confusion from the chaotic scene;
Roxanne with a chair tied around her waist hunched over Megamind with her hands around his neck, looking absolutely livid. Megamind in a crouch on top of his office chair, trying to get away from the ferocious woman while holding a mug high over his head as his face was turning a dangerous shade of plum, Minion trying to delicately shove himself in between the reporter and the villain, a look of distress that quickly turned into relief when he made eye contact with the white-clad hero.
Since when are they relieved to see ME?
With a forced yank, Minion managed to get Roxanne's hands off of Megamind's neck without causing her harm. What he didn't take into account was Megamind's dangerous tilt into the back of the leather combined with Roxanne's counter-weight would send the chair crashing to the floor as soon as Roxanne was pulled off the now-wheezing alien.
Megamind went flying with nothing to break the fall since both of his hands were still on the mug.
Metro Man could hear Roxanne hold her breath when a light clink was heard from the ceramic making contact with the cement flooring.
She immediately lunged towards the villain again, somehow managing enough strength to have moved her arms forward a decimeter.
Having never feared for the wellbeing of a criminal before, at least not like this, Metro Man rushed towards Megamind to pull him to his feet, and far enough away from Roxanne's talon-like hands to save him from further bodily harm.
In an unspoken agreement, he and Minion traded places faster than Roxanne or Megamind could make their moves, Minion holding Megamind in place as he tried to scramble away, the mug now cradled protectively in his hands, and Metro Man trying to restrain an angry Roxanne without hurting her. He probably could have had an easier time trying to hold down a rabid honey badger.
"I don't get paid enough for this," he said sarcastically, and he diverted Roxanne's attention as he had hoped.
"You don't get paid at all for this, you chimp!"
"Woah, hey hey, take it easy! Look, I'm gonna get you out of here but first you need to calm down-"
"Don't you tell me to calm down-"
"Uh, Sir," Minion whispered from the corner of his mouth, "-you may not like this, but we kinda should get going."
"And what part of that will I not li-WOAH MINION! PUT ME DOWN THIS INSTANT!" Megamind said as sternly as he could without outright yelling, Minion having gently grabbed him under his arms and hoisted him over his shoulder in an attempt to run out of the warehouse as fast as possible. They might have made a silent deal with Metro Man but that didn't mean he trusted the villains enough for them to stick around.
Megamind threw a fit over-shoulder, his fists thumping away on the back of the gorilla suit but soon he gave in, one elbow propping up his pouting face by his chin.
"Minion, you're definitely getting the frying pan when we get back."
Metro Man had never struggled as much as he did that morning, flying back to Roxanne's apartment.
With fighting not to drop her a handful of times from all of her squirming, to a few good skyscraper near-misses out of distraction, he thinks he's legitimately aged a few eons with all the stress of escorting her home while she was still simmering in her anger.
Relief flooded through him with the familiar sight of her apartment building in view. He sped up in a desperate attempt to liberate himself of the raging calamity bundled in his arms that was Roxanne Ritchi, still on the hunt for blood.
Bursting through the balcony doors he nearly threw her onto the couch and backed off with widened eyes to give her space, as much as he needed for his own safety.
"Now Roxy," he started, hands upraised. "I don't know what Megamind did this time around to draw such, passion out of you, but killing him is probably not the best option-"
"He took my MUG!" she hissed from her seat.
Metro Man blinked out of confusion.
"Mug. M,U,G. Ceramic cylinder with a handle to the side? Commonly used during mornings for drinking hot beverages?" she spat with contempt.
"Roxy, don't patronize me, I know what a mug is."
"But you have no idea how important that one is!" she cried out, seeming to be holding back the urge to cry.
He took that moment to wonder if he had ever seen her cry.
Figuring this was one of many firsts (including witnessing her committing attempted murder) he was quick to try and calm her and assure her that the situation was nothing to fret over.
"Look, I have no idea what Megamind might be planning, what he thinks he might get out of taking your mug apart from, well, you going nuclear, but I'll get to the bottom of this when I can okay?"
She had been rubbing her eyes when she dropped her hand and slit them towards him with skepticism. "What do you mean, 'when you can'?"
Having already turned towards the balcony doors, Metro Man stopped in place with a sigh and looked over to her with agitated nervousness, one hand rubbing the back of his neck.
"You're not gonna like this, but Roxy, it's just a cup. There are other things I need to get a hold on before I can go after Megamind for stealing your mug." He continued towards the balcony while clarifying, "But for now I really need to get back on the streets, I heard someone call out a 10-54 and they're gonna need as many hands as-" he cut himself off abruptly, having looked over his shoulder once again, just in time to dodge a flying fern hurling towards him.
"Where the nuggets did you get a potted plant from?!"
"You're letting him go over a herd of COWS?!" she screeched.
"I didn't expect you to know what that meant!"
"Oh fuck you Wayne! Like I didn't spend an entire year following around the MCPD you asshole."
He froze in his spot, the look of mortification crossing his face from having been caught. "I know, you're right, I'm sorry but highway six really is blocked and they need someone to clear out the cattle. I promise I'll get right on it as soon as I ca-" was all he managed to say before cutting of mid-sentence again, dashing out the balcony doors as Roxanne reached for her candy dish to pitch at him as well.
"FUCK. FUCK!" she screamed, hurling any and every soft edged item within hands reach every which-way. With one final lob of a magazine from the coffee table, she came to her senses after a loud clatter of plastic from the entryway told her she had some cleaning up to do.
Rolling her head about her neck with a moan, she headed towards the front door with barely dimmed rage and sighed at the sight of the pen holder and its various writing utensils scattered across the wooden floor.
Kneeling down she cleared the floor from pencils and pens before having a chance of accidentally stepping on and breaking any of them. Reaching for a highlighter behind a coat rack and eyeing a feather pen underneath the shoe shelf, she knelt further to slide her hand in the narrow gap when her fingers brushed over a thin chain.
Patting the metal strip with curiosity, she curled her fingers around it and pulled to reveal the familiar camera charm that was attached to her favorite tea steeper, a dried mound of leaves curled inside the closed bamboo ball, drawing a confused frown from Roxanne before her eyebrows rose in recall.
I'm such an idiot...
With a guilty sigh she put the pens back in their cup on the hall table, making sure to send Wayne a quick text message to "forget about the mug" as she shut off the lights and locked the front door.
Even long after Roxanne had gotten off the elevator her presence could still be felt through the air, a trail of crackling frustration with a spark of homicidal provocation left lingering in her wake.
Her co-workers seemed to clear a path for her without needing to meet her gaze, they could feel her rage before she even rounded the corners of the bullpen.
She stalked her way towards the broom closet, not bothering to divert her eyes to acknowledge anyone as she came up to the door and having to restrain her strength from pulling the doorknob off by sheer force.
She held her steel grip onto the brass knob to calm her breathing. She remembered now, she was hiding in the closet and ended up leaving the mug on the shelf. Simple.
She nearly punched a hole through the plaster wall and tore down a few uneven shelves after having shoved everything aside to find not one mug sitting behind any of it. The people walking by made sure to take wide strides to avoid being randomly hit if the door were to swing open at an inopportune time.
Roxanne's re-entrance to the office floor was somehow less welcoming than her previous exit from the elevators, looking just as intimidating to cross despite the obviously slept in t-shirt and fuzzy pink slippers she was sporting.
The instant need for a sugar packed something pulled her towards the breakroom, and the sudden bang of the door opening too widely snapped everyone's attention to Roxanne just as quickly as it was eventually drawn away with her tight-lipped grimace (which was actually an attempt at an apologetic smile).
She sighed with a drop into the first empty seat she eyed, which so happened to be next to Jaime eating her lunch.
"Laundry Day?" The ravenette quipped, Roxanne looking over with a frown and a grunt.
"Ah," was all the young assistant said with a nod. "Got your back up clothes?"
"Yeah, the bag is under my desk, had to refresh after that labor day fiasco" Roxanne replied, sighing as she slapped down a bar of chocolate.
"Why do all the things you try so hard not to happen, eventually do in the worst way?" she muttered to her hands unwrapping the candy bar.
"Must've been one hell of a weekend, then" Jaime responded, falling on deaf ears as Roxanne carried on the conversation on her own.
"Am I overreacting? I'm probably overreacting."
"You're overreacting" Jaime agreed blindly over the chewed mound of her sandwich.
"You know what, I'll probably end up finding it in the least expected place anyway."
"And then we can forget all about me trying to kill him."
"Wait, what?" Jaime asked, putting her sandwich down and staring at the hunched form beside her. "Kill who?"
Roxanne's attempt at keeping a bright spirit dissipated with the speed of which it was created, the shine in her eyes going out.
"Who am I kidding. It's hopeless," she mumbled as she crinkled the plastic wrapper into a ball and clenched it tightly.
"Hon, nothing's hopeless," Jaime countered to Roxanne, who was in the process of walking towards the trashcan to toss the wrapper in when her hand stopped to hover over the opening, her body going incredibly still and her hands letting go of the plastic with the speed of having touched something hot.
Roxanne's breath hitched and her fingers gave out a twitch, a momentary pause of a mannequin before kneeling down and burrowing her arms shoulder deep into the trashcan.
Before Jaime could voice out what the hell was she doing Roxanne pulled out a broken handle of a coffee mug, followed by her other hand holding a shard of black ceramic with a half-eaten word missing two letters and all at once Jaime understood.
It was the Mug, the Mug. She knew about it from their dinner nights staying in at Roxanne's loft, how she freaked out that one time she thought it was in the dishwasher because it's hand wash only and-
The room is quiet and stiff and Roxanne lets out a gasping hiccup her clenched throat would not let out and, don't cry don't cry don't you DARE fucking cry you can cry when you get home tonight-
Roxanne's Monday was officially, THE single worst way to START a week.
Another day, another kidnapping- she thought to herself as she watched her kidnapper busy himself with the controls that most likely had something to do with the plot of the day.
It had been a while since the last kidnapping, when she almost strangled Megamind to death, and she had almost begun to worry something had happened to cease the routine. Almost.
He had been quiet all morning, and if she cared about his opinion she would've been concerned he was purposefully ignoring her from their previous confrontation. But she didn't, and she wasn't.
She did, however, feel she had to explain to him why she had reacted that way, if anything to set things straight between them.
Because for the sake of being forward. She didn't care what he thought. She didn't.
"Megamind, about last time... I shouldn't have blown up in your face like that, I nearly killed you back there and I might have overreacted-"
"No need to apologize Miss Ritchi, for I understand the stress of-"
"No, wait, what-stop. I'm not apologizing!"
Her eyes darted around the room, because it sure sounded like she was.
"Ah, no? Well, its just-" her eyes looked for a place to rest but end up falling to her lap with remorse.
"I thought you had my mug."
"Your... mug. A mug, you have plenty of mugs! I know! I've looked in your cabinets! And it was just a mug-"
"No! It's not!" Anger flared in her chest at his refusal to understand. "That's the point!-"
"And you tried to kill me!"
"-It's my special mug and I thought you had stolen it for your- evil schemes or something! Of course I freaked out a little!"
"That was a 'little' freakout?! You had your hands around my throat! You were squeezing!"
She bristled at his tone, like he was the victim here.
"HEY! Think of it as payback for all the years of interrupted plans and rude wake-up calls!"
He looked positively hurt by that statement.
"But... but I'm evil! It's my job!" he practically whined at her.
Roxanne sighed and slumped in her chair.
"Look." She took a deep breath, she had to make him understand.
"My aunt gave me that mug when I graduated high school. She told me how she couldn't find one quite like it, so she gave me her personal one, as a motto to follow when it came to who I wanted to be in life."
Megamind seemed to have frozen over by the control panels, staring at her with wide (and very green) eyes.
"It's just, I have a lot of memories attached to that mug, and it's special, especially after Aunt Re died last year, and- I know you probably don't care, but it's as much memories as it is a mug..."
Megamind just kept staring at her, eyes guarded, for several more seconds. When she finally looked up at him, expecting a condescending sneer, she instead caught the residues of something like compassion before he looked away from her.
"- okay, so I overreacted. By a lot. I just thought you had my mug, and then I found it at... the office... in pieces. I forgot I took it with me one day when I was in a rush and forgot it in the janitor's closet and-"
Megamind raised an inquisitive eyebrow at that.
"Yeah, don't ask. Anyway, I forgot it, and when I got in on Monday I found it in the trash. I guess someone broke it over the weekend and... yeah... I- actually am sorry I tried to strangle you. Now. I wasn't. Then. I really actually felt like killing you was a good idea..."
Surprisingly, Megamind nods in understanding, looking down to his hands. "Yeah, I guess I can understand that... Minion made me that mug when we found our first lair to settle in. I think he got the phrase off the internet. It's, always been hard. Being myself. For very obvious reasons. I was hitting a low point, because I didn't know where I- But he made it a point to show me I don't need to be part of a crowd. I don't have to fit in. I'm not meant to fit in". He aimed a wry smile down at his fingers, fanning them out, too-long, and the smile turned mischievous before he looked back at the woman in the chair.
"Refuse to be Ordinary" they both said in unison and grinned.
"I know I didn't have anything to do with your broken mug, but I still would like to make amends. I feel our- relationship, would be strained otherwise."
She gave a short scoff in response. "Heaven forbid it gets any more complicated than it already is."
He frowned and was about to ask what she meant, but just then Minion's head popped out from around the corner with a nervous cough, looking around warily for any signs of an angry Roxanne.
That must be were the kitchen is this time, she thought to herself as she peered over her shoulder to him.
"I uh, brought some tea?" He asked nervously as he walked up to them, the tray holding their three mugs in between his hands, one with a crazy-straw.
"And coffee?" Asked Megamind.
"And coffee," the fishlike alien confirmed.
They took their drinks, Minion helping Roxanne by adjusting the rope binding her wrists. She eyed the mug in Megamind's hands with a sad smile. It wasn't the Mug, but the memory still stung.
Megamind, taking the opportunity of distraction, gulped most of his contents down in a swallow (and thus singed the crap out of his throat). Barely managing to turn away from Roxanne as he coughed violently, the rest of the hot content ended up splashing over the controls, setting off sparks and shorting it out immediately.
He backed away from the smoking electronic with wide-eyed horror, an audible gasp escaping.
"No, oh-nonono no! Not, no, not now! Stop that, stop that right now!" He yelled at the machine, pointing a disapproving finger at the swirling smoke from burning wire-insulation seeping through slits and cracks in the hardware.
"Megamind?" Roxanne asked with a pointed look. "I'm not one to count chickens before they hatch, but, that doesn't look like it can be fixed any time soon."
"I- am- fully- aware- of- that!" he replied in between trying to beat out the sparks with his cape. With one last flap from the fabric he turned back to her with a huff, straightening himself up with a deep inhale through his nose.
"Okay, change of plan."
"Obviously," she muttered.
He gave her a sideways glance and faced his henchfish.
"I trust you know what to do?"
"You got it, boss," he replied with a wink, pulling out the knockout spray from its hidden compartment.
"WAIT!" Roxanne exclaimed, her tied hands outstretched in front of her. She reached for her mug on the silver tray placed beside her and gave it a few instinctively cooling puffs of air (though her tea didn't really need it any more) before downing what was left of it.
Delicately placing the mug back on the tray, she looked up to Minion and gave him a nod as he leaned over with the can aimed towards her, giving Roxanne a dose.
After confirming she was indeed asleep, they proceeded to untie her and Minion laid her over his shoulders. He was halfway out of the room when he turned back towards Megamind.
"I, ah, couldn't help but noticed how fast you finished your coffee too. Are you-"
"Just get her in the car, Minion."
"-On it, Sir."
"Oh, and Minion?"
"I'm, going to need a few things picked up on your way back."
Minion hobbled his way through the hallway with the sound of plastic bags crinkling against each other, his head poking its way down every open door in search of his companion and eventually finding the blue genius hunched over a table in the confinement of what he claimed was the "office".
"Uh, Boss? Got the-" Minion motioned, shaking one of the bags as confirmation.
Megamind grunted a wordless acknowledgment, not once lifting his head from its awkward bend over his busy hands.
Rocking back and forth on his mechanical feet, arms folded behind his suit, Minion couldn't help the curiosity taking hold.
"So… Big plans?"
"Ah? Yes, plans-PLANS!" Megamind said with excitement evident, his head raised a little higher but still hovering over his hands nonetheless.
"I have, plans. A plan, at least. Let-" he stopped as the sound of a spring uncoiling and bouncing across the cement floor drew another grunt from Megamind.
"-Let me just, finish- this bastard... off! Annnnd..." he continued, speaking over the tip of his tongue wedged between his teeth in deep concentration.
A sound of grinding metal and various static pops that Minion wasn't sure was a good thing burst from between Megamind's hands with flashes of blue light as the villain hissed in disapproval before letting out a whoop of happiness.
"I got it! I did it!" he exclaimed, holding his open hands over his head in victory, his back still to Minion.
"That's great Sir!" Minion congratulated him with a beaming smile before it dropped with confusion. "Did what?"
"The thing! I did the thing," Megamind motioned to the table, Minion looking over his shoulder to the creation.
"I'm, not sure I..." his henchfish said, puzzled, as he tilted his head to the side. Megamind turned the object over, displaying his latest invention.
"Oh I see!" Minion smiled, admiring the little thing. "It's perfect, Sir."
Megamind's for once genuinely happy smile faltered with sudden doubt, holding his invention between his gloved fingers with a nervous fidget.
"I'm just not sure if it'll work."
"Of course it will Sir, this one is different."
"I don't mean.., I mean of course it will, it's just... is it- enough?"
"It's perfect. Let me get the rest of it ready, and then I'll start up on dinner," said Minion, making Megamind sigh with an anxious yet gratified smile.
He keeps to the shadows when he enters the news-room. No telling what kind of nocturnal high-achiever might still be lurking around, even at three in the morning. He doesn't want another surprise like that night watchman downstairs!
In the darkest corner he waits for a full two minutes, listening to make sure he's alone before making his way to her cubicle; two rows from the doorway and all the way down, by the windows.
Her desk is tidy, as much as her messy organization allowed for, but Megamind recognizes organized chaos when he sees it; pieces of notes and crumpled up receipts scattered throughout the desk top, a stress ball in the shape of the metro man logo worn down from over use knocked over behind the keyboard, a pile of papers un-neatly stacked to a reclining angle off the edge of the table, a single blow of breath would send the whole thing over and onto the floor...
Oh the temptation! He realizes as such and shakes his head to focus on the task at hand. Her computer is logged off into sleep mode, the computer screen in the window corner... Not many places to leave his...
It's called a gift.
Okay fine, gift!
But he's a villain, and villains shouldn't leave gifts for their victims, but it's- it's more of a payback! No not payback, that sounds too sinister, it's a- payb- compensation! Yes. It's compensation for- the last week's clusterfuck of misunderstandings, failed kidnappings and- yeah all of that.
His eyes scan over the desk once more, coming to rest on the computer screen. The fact that the monitor itself is black should aid in camouflaging the bag somewhat to anyone just popping their head in, and she's guaranteed to see it against the light walls and bright screen when she turns it on. She's very observant after all.
Reaching into the hidden pocket he retrieves the cube that would become the gift bag. He takes out another cube from the other pocket and licks it, rehydrating it to its original form; a water bottle for Roxanne's gift. There's no way he's licking her gift.
Compensation, wasn't it?
He ignores the sarcastic voice in his head and makes a grimacing flinch as the crinkling plastic bag shatters the silence of the office floor. Finally he decides to place it halfway behind the screen instead of in front.
Another nudge of the crinkly package followed by a wince and he nods to himself in satisfaction.
But he's evil. He should do something evil too, just to make sure she knows.
(She sometimes seems to forget how evil he really is).
Her desk is devoid of anything really interesting so he starts looking through her drawers.
Old reports, a tape, memory stick...
(He should probably steal that but...)
...sticky notes, rubber bands, a roll of bubble tape gum...
(he takes that instead)
A thick folder with a bunch of pictures and notes on- huh, Scott? A mention of a library? A little weird but he is the most politically powerful man in the city, so on second thought not that weird. But still not interesting.
In the top drawer there's mostly pens and other writing utensils, but all the way in the back, behind all the pens, a roll of tape, a ridiculous number of loose paperclips- there's a box. One of those metal lock-boxes.
It's black, probably the smallest in production; no more than seven centimeters high, ten deep and thirteen across.
It barely fits in the drawer.
Hidden all the way in the back.
And it rattles when he shakes it.
Now we're talking.
He can't resist a mischievous smile. What could you be hiding in here, Roxanne...?
He picks the lock as if he had the key, his hands running over the edge of the lid in excited anticipation for what she could possibly be hiding from everyo-
He nearly drops it like a piece of white-hot iron at first.
His hands fumble with the box and its contents in a fight not to drop them, his eyes threatening to pop out of his skull at the sight, because this! This could absolutely RUIN her reputation! Why would she keep something like this here?! At her workplace! Where anyone could find it! Because the locks on these boxes are so simple to pick even Metro Man could do it! (with little guidance)
Why would she have such a thing in the first place?
His mind blanks out for a little bit before kicking into high gear.
Looking around the room, suddenly feeling eyes on him, the darkness that was so safe before becoming sinister. He can't leave it here, someone could easily find it! He should burn it, disintegrate it, to make sure nobody ever finds it but- he... it might be... useful? He can't let her keep it but he feels it; he can't make himself destroy it either, so-
Finally he slides it into a hidden pocket, carefully, and locks the box back up, pushing it back where he found it, all the way to the back of the drawer.
(Maybe she won't notice it's missing.)
(what would she want with it anyway? Extortion?)
He feels better now. Calmer. The dangerous shadows turning back to comfortable safety.
She won't run a risk and he knows where it is, where it will be. He'll find a safe place to put it when he gets back to Evil Lair. Hopefully there's not more of them lying around, but he doesn't have time to look through the rest of her desk drawers now, not thoroughly enough anyway. Maybe later.
Pulling open the last drawer on principle, he intends to finish up the evil bit of his visit.
Lots of jumbled papers, it looks like one of his numerous 'no longer needed but don't want to throw away'-drawers back in the Lair, but the small cardboard box in the front corner is intriguing. It's a bit heavy, not something he expects to find in her drawer and even though he's running out of time he feels he has to take a look.
He opens it and- his heart drops to the basement because- the shards of her mug. Her special mug. She's kept them.
For a moment it feels like it's his own mug lying there in miserable, broken pieces and he almost has to sit down on her desk. A large, black piece with '-inary' in white print is glaring up at him, like it's his fault it broke. There's traces of glue on some of the pieces, evidence of her trying to fix it, but there's too many bits, too many small flakes, to ever make it whole ag-
He's stealing this. He's taking it back to Evil Lair. She- will probably not miss it? He talked to Minion about it, and his wonderful henchfish understood completely and agreed. Megamind suspected Minion had expected the question, maybe even planned on suggesting it himself, but didn't say anything about it.
Straightening up he looks around the dark office, box safely cradled in his arm. He has to... he needs an official reason to be here. The lobby watchman saw him, and even though he'd been dehydrated he'll still remember the confrontation tomorrow, regardless of how fuzzy his memory will be.
(It's hard to forget a blue freak aiming a gun at you)
Eyes sweeping the office he comes to rest on the wall to his left, a sign by the door saying it's a "break room" of sorts, and recognition flashes by his eyes along with a look of mischief and he feels the weight of the security guard in his back pocket.
After a quick peek and listen out the door he decides he has about three minutes left before the other patrolling guard will be there. He rounds the offices, poking into random desks, stealing several flash drives (there's bound to be something important on one of them) and a lollipop perched in a pen holder, popping it in his mouth before depositing the blue cube in the break room.
A sound from the door he entered the offices through convinces him he needs to go with plan B for an exit, so he runs for the windows while drawing his de-gun. A flash of blue discharge just as he jumps up on the now empty windowsill, the cold night air rushing into the news room fluttering his cape about him giving him a distinctly winged appearance.
His heart is pounding from exhilaration. He likes plan B. It's flashier.
A sweeping beam from the flashlight crosses the room from behind the main door a split second before the second night watchman turns the knob and steps through. The light travels across the large newsroom, beginning in the back, crossing the door to the employee lounge, illuminating the white walls littered with old and new scoops made my various reporters over the years (a lot of the newer ones by Roxanne, he notices with a satisfied smirk) and finally along the wall with the windows.
Megamind waits until the light hits him and the guard freezes in surprise. Standing up straight in the window, the surprisingly steady beam of light is still on him as he raises his arm to give the guard a salute, a cocky grin (making sure to "accidentally" drop a memory stick) and-
"GAH!" The guard CHARGES him with a roar!
A surprised step back and he's flailing backwards out the window. NOT the graceful exit he meant to make!
Two of his brainbots catch him, just as planned -but still, come on!- and float him and the box down to the ground six stories below.
As he arrives to the corner he parked the invisible car behind, he looks back and sees a dark figure leaning out the window, flashlight searching the ground.
"And stay out!"
Who the hell does he-
Well, he can't have this! He draws the gun and the shadow in the window is reduced to a blue cube, decisively cutting off any further insults.
Grumbling at his failed exit he turns to the car.
"Who thought a rent-a-cop would actually have balls?!"
With the weekend in sight, Roxanne felt less tense than the previous days before. At least he'd promised not to kidnap her the rest of the week after he ruined his own plan with coffee, she just hoped he'd be true to his word. If she even saw a flash of blue today she would throw her shoe at his big head!
She exited the elevator and headed straight for her cubicle, straying to the break room along the way for hot water where some of her co-workers were discussing-
"-nd nobody knows where he went! They found Greg by the window but he hadn't seen Carl since..."
Okay so something had happened, she thought as she zoned out staring at the water boiler, but she needed to wake up first. She'd get the whole story later.
The tea the firm supplied was- not drinkable. The bags were kept jumbled together and in the open air, losing almost all their taste (if there was any taste in them to begin with).
She preferred to bring her own quality tea; properly stored in airtight boxes. Separately.
The water boiled and she filled the new thermo-mug she'd bought on her way to work today. She had promised herself she was never ever bringing one of her ceramic mugs with her again! None were as important as the one she'd lost but they all held some memories, usually connected to travel.
The new mug was a nice, cheery green with some swirly lines and a black lid. It was perfect for her commute between home and work and she only regretted it took losing her special mug to get her to buy it.
Her tea-water secured she headed for her desk. She wasn't mentally at work until she'd had her rooibos tea. Should she try adding creamer? Minion had really opened her eyes to the realm of milk-teas.
Still in her own thoughts and almost going back for milk she didn't immediately notice a small-ish giftbag standing behind her monitor.
It was shiny black and blended into the screen well enough to not capture her sleep muddled attention other than a vague feeling of 'something seems off' until she turned on her computer. Then the black object stood out and was all she could see.
She looked around, trying to think of who would leave her a gift on a regular weekday or did you mean to keep Wednesday? morning. There was nothing special with this date so why a gift? And from who?
The bag is black, who do you think?! her subconscious asked her.
Oh come on, why would he give me anything? Just because it's black doesn't mean it's from him. Coincidences happen!
Something happened last night with the guards, you get a black gift bag on your desk and you call it a "coincidence"?
She rolled her eyes but observed the bag, suddenly wary. If it was from Megamind there was no telling what it could contain.
But, he'd never let her get hurt before, so the worst thing that could happen was she'd get a scare and then she'd clobber him the next time he came to kidnap her.
Shrugging she grabbed the gift bag, noting the heft as she placed it on her lap and pulled on the strings holding it closed. She half-expected a paint-bomb going off but what she saw was even more surprising; on top was a cellophane bag filled with all kinds of... spices? In individual little bags. And a card with a lot of tiny writing on it tied by a green string holding the spice-bag closed. And it smelled absolutely wonderful!
She pulled it out of the gift bag and took a closer look at it.
I hope you'll take your time to prepare this tea.
Remember, the green cardamom, cinnamon, fennel, ginger and pepper
are the base. I also added some other spices you might like to try.
I recommend you to experiment and have fun!
Minion. Of course it was Minion, He'd mentioned this tea and it was probably his way of saying 'sorry for losing your mug'. He's always been a sweet fish.
She turned the small cellophane bag over in her hands, raising it up to take an inhale of the spices and bringing it back down to look over the selection.
It was a lovely blend of spices; two cinnamon sticks, fennel seeds, a small double-sealed bag with the tiniest dehydrated cube she'd ever seen marked 'fresh ginger', cloves, three cardamom pods and whole peppercorns. There was also a bag of brown sugar and a piece of dried ginger.
She couldn't have stopped the smile even if she wanted. This was so very Minion, the sweet, gentle sidekick of an alien who thought he was the blue reincarnation of evil.
But there was something else in the bag too and it was what made it heavy. She reached inside and pulled out a black mug.
It was plain black, glazed to make it shiny but with a tiny chip missing on the handle, probably broken off during delivery.
Did it look kind of... used? The glazing wasn't that perfect mirror-finish like when it was new, it looked like the way her mugs ended up after hundreds of times in the wash.
She wrapped her hand around it, inspecting the chip in the handle, and felt something slightly bumpy, so she turned it around and almost dropped it.
It was her mug! Her special mug!
'Refuse to be Ordinary' in bold, white letters.
But- that was impossible! It was broken! Even the shards she'd collected were gone!
(She was so gonna yell at the janitor for going into her desk when she caught him!)
She could do nothing but stare at it for several seconds and then a thought hit her.
No way. He didn't...
She turned it around, inspecting it from all angles, refusing for a moment to turn it upside-down because she knew that would give her the answer. At last she caved and looked.
A small blue lightning bolt, the edges engraved and the inside covered in a shiny, almost sparkly blue, and the clear glaze on top of everything.
His mug. He's given her his mug! The mug Minion had given him when they found their first...
She slumped back in her chair, tears insisting on glazing her eyes, blurring the edges of the Mug in her hands.
Why?! Why would he do that? From what he'd told her it must have meant as much to him as her own mug meant to her!
She huffed in the seat with a wipe of her eyes, reclining as far back as her office chair allowed her. With a sigh she flicked the black bag on the desk top to flip it over, only to hear what sounded like the tinkling of a small metal bell come from within.
Eyebrow quirked with interest, she placed the mug alongside the flipped bag, righting it to see what other surprise Megamind had in store for her.
Grasping the bottom of the bag in one hand, she turned it over her desk and with a shake came tumbling a small silver figure with a metallic tinkle, her eyes narrowing in recognition of the familiar shape.
She gently picked the shiny little thing up and put it in her palm.
It was a little shark!
An incredibly detailed little shark no more than four centimeters long, just barely the length of her pinkie.
It had a head with eyes smaller than a pinhead, jaws set with tiny tiny teeth, dorsal and back dorsal fins, hinged pectoral fins that moved when she turned it around, pelvic fins, anal fin and a sweeping tail.
The head and main part of the body consisted of several thin overlapping strips of some sort of silvery metal, five of the strips just enough flared on the side in front of each pectorals to give an impression of gill slits, and there were even engravings on them to simulate the differences in color between the back and belly of a Great White shark.
The back of the shark, from nose to tail had been burnished to darken the metal into a steely blue she knew you'd get when heating metal to a certain temperature, leaving its belly that silver color. She couldn't see any sign of tool marks, and the little overlapping strips were perfectly smooth and not warped in the least.
The hind part, from the back edge of the dorsal fin and to the tail, the body was a fine mesh where she could see the insides of the little shark. There seemed to be something connecting the tail end to the head, but it was too small to see properly through the mesh.
How on earth had he made this?! Because even without a note she knew of course that it was Megamind who had made this tiny piece of art. And it was an incredible piece of art! Was it because she'd mentioned his cute little goldfish-shark tea-steeper?
Wait, is this...
She looked into the bag again.
There, on the bottom lay a card almost invisible to the black bottom of the gift-bag, the paper thick with the feel of a high-quality business card. The side facing her was a solid black until she picked it up, then she could see when she slanted the card, his M-logo and lightning bolts imprinted on it in 3D.
When reflexively turning it she was surprised to see a flowing font printed on the back of the card, hand written with a blue pen that contrasted beautifully with the black card.
How the hell is he able to write this small?
Just as she brought the card up to her eyes came a sudden clatter from the break room, a chaotic scream from both a woman and a man.
"-REACHING FOR AN ICE CUBE AND HE-"
"WHERE THE FUCK IS HE I'M GONNA KILL THAT LITTLE BLUE FREAK-"
"I SWEAR I THOUGHT HE WAS AN ICE CUBE CARL OH MY GOD-"
Stuck between going to check on the commotion from the lounge to what was written on the card, she eyed the growing crowd circling the break room door with interest before deciding she could get the rest of the story later.
Leaving her co-workers to their own entertainment inside the break room she turned her attention back to the card in hand and started reading.
My dear Miss Ritchi,
As I have come to learn, you are quite fond of tiny plant clippings submerged in hot water.
However, I have found the usual way of using the small spheres are too inadequate!
I therefore present you with this; The Evil Great Whi-Tea Shark of Doom!
It will extract all the flavor from your clippings and require only one fifteenth of what is normal.
I have tested it extensively and Minion agrees the flavors are quite exquisite.
I hope this falls in your f(l)avor.
P.S. It probably won't bite.
Roxanne had to bite her lip to not laugh out loud at the wording. 'Plant clippings' indeed.
It didn't say how to get the tea into the little shark and Roxanne wondered if that was an oversight or if Megamind assumed she would figure it out herself. He was a cocky exhibitionist who regularly showed off his intelligence, so for him to assume anything about 'mere human intellect' as he so often called it, was...
But he would never forget something like that, would he? A simple 'users guide'? But there was no other way to interpret the 'oversight', and she felt her cheeks grow hot at the implied compliment.
The rest of the day was honestly the longest she'd ever had. All she wanted was to get home and test her shark in her MUG! Her Mug! His Mug that he had gifted to her! And her shark. Obviously. Except the minutes lasted hours and the sun was glued to the sky and the day just refused to ever end!
A soft beep went off, letting Roxanne know the water was ready to be poured over the tea and she made her way around the kitchen bar towards the boiler, depressing the button to release the hot water into her prepared mug. Well, newly hers now, as much as the shark steeper was since she rightfully figured out how to insert the tea, just as Megamind assumed she would.
She watched the little shark bob up and down in the water for a few seconds before sinking with humored interest, biting back a smile and setting the mug down to adjust the blanket pulled over her shoulders. There might've been a chill outside that evening, and even more so with her balcony being colder than street level from the unblocked gusts of wind blowing through the buildings, and despite that it still didn't prevent her from enjoying a comfortable sit outside underneath the night sky.
Grabbing hold of the Mug she made her way out to the opened French doors, an inhale of cold wind stinging her lungs as she sat herself down on her overstuffed papasan chair, one leg hanging off the edge and the other supporting her hands holding the warming drink.
She sat in comfortable silence herself, knee gently bobbing up and down in patient wait for the tea to settle in the water as she watched the distant lights of the planes making their way around the city airport and a few bright stars coming through despite the light pollution.
She heard a small tink come from her mug and she assumed she was shaking too much for the shark to steady itself and prevent knocking on the sides so she stilled her legs to let it rest.
Until she heard another tink followed by an almost silent plop.
Looking down through the ribbons of vapor rising from the tea, her eyes widened in amazement as she saw the shark spin lazily in a circle around her mug, the fins and tail sweeping back and forth in an act of astonishing biomimicry. The graceful dance the shark performed for her did not fail in drawing out a gasp and giggle of delight from her, her smile stretching her face to the fullest, a smile of childlike wonder as the steeper seemed to come to life with in her tea.
"You think you're scarier than a shark," she murmured to the shark as it lifted its dorsal fin out of her tea, her left hand fully supporting the base of the mug as her thumb traced over the printed text on the side.
At the same time across town, teetering on the back legs of the wooden chair, his own two legs crossed over each other resting on the edge of his desk, Megamind sat in comfortable silence contemplating what made teas such as the one currently in his mug (yes, very much his now, even trade and all that) interesting towards common folk.
And the not-so-common Roxanne Ritchi.
His hands wrapped around the pieced-together mug brought the rim to his lips as he breathed in the aromatic smell with a hint of metal the green leaves released before taking in another drink. Smiling contentedly with his hands resting the mug on his thigh and his foot tapping in the air was how Minion saw him in a passing glance as he walked by the open door.
Stopping in place, Minion leaned back to peer into Sir's bedroom, seeing him sitting quietly and looking happy.
"Is the Gunpowder Tea to your liking, Sir?"
"Hmm?" Megamind forced his glazed over eyes off of something that was resting on the corner of his desk. "Oh, quite well Minion, thank you for the recommendation. I never expected to be able to enjoy indulging in these trimmings you so often get ardent over, but I do say this variety is well suited for my pleasure. And such a strong name to be proud of!" he beamed, rocking back and forth on the wooden chair.
Minion took note that of all the chairs in the Lair, including his own wheeled high-back, Sir had overlooked them all in search of the wooden chair. "The" chair. The one they use to tie down Miss Ritchi during the evil plots.
"Not sitting in the Evil Lair Chair, Sir?"
His eyes going wide and his throat closing in on an involuntary swallow did not go unnoticed by Minion, as well as how his response took half a second too long.
"I had trouble finding the dammed thing myself, I had to settle for this stale seat."
"Would you like for me to look for it instead?" Minion offered, knowing perfectly well the seat was in the middle of the engineering room where it always was.
"No, that won't be necessary, I wouldn't want to bother you."
"It's no bother Sir, I can just-"
"AH will you look at the time? It's getting so-" Megamind stretched his arms out and stifled as if suppressing a yawn "-late. I should really be heading to bed soon, as well as yourself Minion why don't you go on ahead?"
His piscine brother gave him a deadpanned stare as Megamind upheld his enlightened smile with innocence.
Giving in, Minion let out his own soft smile with a courteous nod before continuing down the hall. "Goodnight Sir."
"Night, Minion," Megamind said from his seat towards the emptied door, rocking on the back legs as his attention was drawn again to the picture he had taken from the lock box in Roxanne's desk, now framed on the corner of his own.
A news clipping from one of his earlier failed plots nonetheless, but it still was a picture of the two of them laughing through some unrecalled occurrence. He smiled warmly towards the frame while bringing the mug up for one last drink, his right index finger subconsciously running over her initials and smiley face on the bottom of the mug.
HOLY SHIT ARE WE DONE I THINK WE'RE DONE AND YES WE ARE CRAZY.
Yeah and it only took us six insane months!
Six months and *counts* 2,635 (HOLY SHIT BALLS) messages later! And our messages weren't cute either, they averaged 800 words each. To put it simply, we would sometimes run out of character counts, and that's 8k characters BUT THAT'S BEHIND US NOW BECAUSE WE'RE DONE!
WE'RE DONE WE'RE DONE WE'RE DONE! And it's all your fault, that brief mention of a damn MUG! Look what happened!
Alright story time!
I thought the story was the monster text above the line...
Shut up. Anyway. It started out as me telling ^^this one, right here^^ how I was reading a quick segment of chapter 5 in "The New Thing" where Megamind has a bad habit of leaving mugs around. I was reading it while drinking out of my special mug my aunt had given me (story sound familiar?) and had a brief spark of inspiration of Roxanne leaving for work with the one mug she shouldn't and forgets it, seeing Megs with a copy later on.
So we rolled the ball back and forth and slowly (but obviously) came up with this MONSTROSITY of an OS.
Suck it reader! You just have to deal with it this is what happens when you get two crazy writers who are known to crank out 6k chapters and you mesh them together. You get THIRTEEN FUCKING WORD LONG ONE SHOTS. AHHH I'M SO EXCITED I HAVEN'T HAD THIS MUCH EXHILARATION IN A WHILE *deep inhale* AND IT FEELS FANTASTIC!"
I'm done rambling, I'm gonna go eat some pizza or something.
Don't forget the pineapple!
Fuck you and your pineapple XD
Okay! :-D BUT! Do you see just WHO! *points* makes the word count go up?! This is an A/N and it's already over 400 frikkin' words! Besides I'm absolutely innocent! I did not add details and small things and stuff at supposedly finished parts at all *innocent eyes*!
Because you eventually edited it all out! :D who was it that made Megamind sad when he saw the broken mug? Hmmm?! At least I can admit my faults when I have them. Which I have none :P
Dude, did you forget who you're writing with? Do you really need a reminder of the Jumping-on-bed-incident? Did you really expect me to be able to ignore that chance?! My only fault is to be evil, and according to Megs that's perfectly fine! He told me. I asked! Though he is a bit annoyed with what I'm doing to him in TNT...
Well you keep doing your thing on TNT, I'm just glad after all this back and forth and SIX GOD FORSAKEN MONTHS we got this bad boy out.
I'm just adding more words to the A/N, aren't I?
Alright, I'll go eat my burger now.
Do you want pineapple or blue cheese on your burger?