Megamind was in the back room of a restaurant that served exceptional food but did its very best to discourage customers, mid negotiation with a number of very dangerous and heavily armed parties when there was a commotion outside the door.
He loathed these meetings, he really did. He might be a supervillain but he still had to deal with all the petty day to day crime of Metrocity and it was always unnerving when he wasn't the only person in the room with access to high grade weaponry. It didnt help that the other parties attending were from out of town and therefore failed to understand the...nuances of Metrocity. They just assumed it was another city on a lake big enough that smuggling was an easy way to make a lot of money provided you took a crowbar to the right people.
Someday he'd be a big enough threat that he wouldn't need to worry about them, but not yet.
No, until that day came he had to sit near the end of the table while bigger men with more muscle mass than brains tried to convince themselves it was better to just throw whichever idealistic young dockworker called the police about the suspicious manifest into the water in a pair of cement shoes rather than just installing someone who was willing to take a bribe and save having the docks crawling with police every six weeks. It was a fucking wasteful attitude to take in a city he was trying to run the way it ought to and the subsequent disruptions were a waste of everyone's time.
So he was already in a bad mood, jittery from being locked in a room with thirty odd gangsters from rival factions. All of them armed to the teeth and laughing about flying saucers every time he opened his mouth which was unfortunately a fucking improvement over the probing jokes.
Also something from the kitchen smelled delicious and he was starving. He caught another whiff as the door slammed open and one of the guards dragged in a woman in a low cut purple dress.
"Well well well, look what the cat dragged in" The economy sized Ukrainian sitting opposite him leered as Roxanne Ritchi was half thrown onto the table. She pushed herself off and glared at the man who had shoved her, "Touch me again and I'll feed you your teeth" she threatened.
Of course. Because tonight wasn't enough of a headache already. The most stubborn woman in Metrocity had to be here as well. She hadn't seen him, instead slapping the hands away from the Tracksuit Mafia on her right who was trying to feel her up.
"I don't think you're in any position to be making threats bitch" One of the Russians grunted, "Just bend back over the table and keep that pretty mouth shut."
She flipped him off and jabbed an elbow into the gut of one of the younger goons standing clustered around the edge of the wall as he tried to put an arm around her.
"And what have you been doing out and about in this part of town sweet cheeks?" A man with more tattoos than bare skin leered.
"Date night" Roxanne snapped. And it should have been. It should have been another farce of a date with Wayne Scott at some fancy restaurant that his social secretary had set up. But he'd gotten a call half way there about another cat in another tree and had to go play superhero. And Roxanne was not about to sit at another table for two on her own again looking like Miss Lonely Heart. Avoiding the pitying glances of other diners in a restaurant where an entree cost more than her rent and still left her hungry and that she'd be expected to pick up the tab for because the Scott Family thought money troubles was choosing between a yacht and a superyacht. Things like grocery bills and rent happened to lesser people. So she grabbed her bag and left intending to get a burger or something that actually felt like food when she caught the scent of something divine and followed her nose to a dingy little cafe. It had been empty which suited her current mood perfectly so she'd walked in and asked the scrawny guy behind the counter for a serve of whatever smelled so good.
Unfortunately that also happened to be the passcode for the back room negotiations which was how she found herself dragged through a kitchen and thrown into a room full of a lot of very dangerous looking people. All of whom seemed to think they had the right to touch her.
Why did she leave her pepperspray at home?
Oh right because she was meant to be out with an actual superhero and her mace didn't fit in her evening clutch. Great. Just fantastic. She just wanted something to eat.
Roxanne glared around the table until and her gaze stopped at Megamind, "Hi." she said flatly, her look clearly indicating, I don't know who these guys are but I am not impressed with whatever shtick you're pulling right now.
"Hi" he echoed cautiously, trying to convey I don't know what you're doing here but I'm not the one you need to be worried about right now
"Date night?" One of the Yakuza associates asked incredulously, looking between them, "You're dating him?"
"I wouldn't exactly call it dating" she bit out acidly, "He just can't seem to let a week go by without indulging in the urge to tie me up and trying to get me to scream."
That went down about as well as expected.
"Ahem," Megamind's cough interrupted the uproar, "Temptress" he probably shouldn't mention her name given the circumstances, "You still haven't explained why you're here?"
"I was hungry." she snapped, "And I got sick of waiting."
"You invited your girlfriend to the negotiations?" one of the younger punks demanded.
"Of course not." Megamind growled. Brilliant. Now Metro Moron would show up and drag them all to jail and he'd get beaten black and even more blue because of course that's how tonight was going. He glared at the punk until he went silent and stepped back. He might not be the most dangerous person in the room but he still outranked everyone who didn't also have a seat at the table.
"Hey weren't you dating Metro Man?" one of the goons crowding the walls asked, evidently recognising Roxanne.
"Ha! He dumped me first chance he got for some long haired ginger" she sneered. Pretending to date Wayne was excruciating. They had nothing to talk about and he'd take getting a cat out of a tree over spending any time in her presence anyway. She stormed around the table to glare down at Megamind who was doing some rapid mental calculations at that piece of information. "Well?" It's not the weirdest way he's started something in the two years he's been kidnapping her. Are they getting this show on the road now or what?
Megamind saw the sleazy pimp he was unfortunately seated beside reaching for her, "Mine!" he snarled, glaring at the offending appendage until it dropped. Letting his regular kidnappee suffer those slimy hands was an unacceptable blow to his standing right now. He turned his gaze back to Roxanne who looked ready to slap him over his last comment. He caught her wrist before she could try.
"Well what?" he snapped, "You're not supposed to be here." Hopefully Metro Moron is still willing to rescue his ex, otherwise she's not going to have an easy time getting out of here. Especially not if anyone recognises her as anything other than an an unfortunate interloper.
"Hey I know you!" One of the Triad members snapped their fingers at Roxanne, "You're that reporter chick!"
"No shit Sherlock" Roxanne rolled her eyes then glared at Megamind's hand still on her wrist.
"Reporter?" A large man in a pinstripe suit at the head of the table asked in a quiet voice.
Megamind tried to catch her eye but she was evidently on a roll. "Yes reporter! What rock did you crawl out from under that you got Metro Man's girlfriend" scorn dripped from her lips, "But not that?"
That was the sound of a gun cocking. That was the sound of a lot of guns cocking.
Roxanne glanced around the room disdainfully. She was hungry, she was angry and if Mr Pinstripe Suit over there thought she was supposed to be impressed by a bunch of pistols when she dealt with flamethrowers and giant robots and getting kidnapped on a regular basis then he was going to be sorely disappointed.
"That's it?" she asked flatly, "Guns?" she rolled her eyes, "For fuck's sake stop wasting my time."
Megamind was the only one who hadn't drawn. Mostly because he still had her arm in his hand, impeding his access to his thigh holster which was an extremely fucking stressful position to find himself in.
The rest of the room paused, thrown. Shouldn't she be scared? But the woman in the purple dress seemed more annoyed that she was hungry than concerned about her impending doom. She also apparently thought the sole blue occupant to be the only one of them worth speaking to. As if the rest of the parties present weren't a threat worth considering.
"You don't seem worried for someone who's about to be fishfood," One of the few men brandishing a knife instead of a gun threatened.
Roxanne looked almost amused by that and raised an eyebrow at Megamind, "Are you going to feed me to your fish?" She asked mildly, that Minion guy he had could probably do some damage with his teeth but he was also only the size of her head, she'd like to see him try. "Are the alligators already full?"
The man in the pinstripe suit blinked.
Megamind reached up and took hold of her chin, pulling her down to his level, "Do I need to start gagging you Temptress?" he growled. She might be infuriating but he already publicly claimed her and he didn't actually want her bullet riddled corpse falling on top of him before he gets shot himself.
Roxanne bared her teeth in response.
Megamind drew her closer until she had to steady herself with a hand on his chest, "I doubt you can scream faster than a bullet so perhaps you should stop aggravating the situation." he breathed into her hair.
Roxanne glanced around the room again, realising that the people gathered here were not in fact acting under her usual kidnappers orders. An unusual state of affairs in her experience given she was so used to his Big Bad of Metrocity routine. Megamind saw the understanding dawn in her eyes and tugged her down into his seat, settling her into his lap. "Unless you want us both to get shot tonight," he murmured as she tried to dig an elbow into his side, "I suggest you play along."
"Please continue," he nodded to the frowning man at the head of the table as the elbow stopped attempting to bruise his ribs.
"Is she going to be trouble?"
"She knows how the game is played," Megamind responded, his hand pressing down on her thigh in silent warning. Mr Pinstripe nodded, it was a reaction that did not go unnoticed by the rest of the room who took it as a sign to start lowering their weapons. Roxanne squirmed, trying to get comfortable. He had really bony knees.
"Stop that," his arm wrapped around her and pulled her firmly against him, then slipped down over her hip to curl against the grip of his de-gun "I'd prefer it if you didn't inhibit access to my weapon," he growled under his breath.
"Oh so you're not just happy to see me" she tossed her hair and shifted until she was sitting sideways in his lap.
"You know sweetheart if Blue here isn't doing it for you as a rebound guy" a greasy smile from the same handsy fellow who had been reaching for her earlier, "We could show you a real good time."
Roxanne's look of withering scorn was remarkably effective. Megamind would know, he'd been on the receiving end of it often enough. She turned the same look on him as he curled his other arm around her waist. She rested her hand on the back of the chair and looked down at him, "You want to keep that hand?"
"Unless you want to be giving an eye witness report on the brothels in the next town I suggest you keep up the pretence" He hissed quietly into her hair, then leaned back to add more loudly, "Do you have someone else here you'd rather share a seat with?"
Roxanne cast her eyes around the room at the rest of the attendees who alternated between leering or looking at her like she was something they wouldn't scrape off their shoes but all of them still holding some form of weapon. She slid her arm off the chair and around his shoulders and leaned close to his ear, "You are going to get me out of here in one piece or so help me I will feed you to your alligators." His fingers dug into her hip.
"If I can get us both out of here without being fed to anything I'll count it as a win." He muttered.
The door opened again and a grim looking woman bearing a platter of bowls filled with rich smelling stew entered and started handing out dishes. The younger standing crowd took this as a sign to head towards the front of the cafe where there was a loud scraping of chairs and competing conversations in half a dozen languages broke out.
This left just the long table with its dozen or so seated members and one still hungry reporter.
"Well?" Mr Pinstripe Suit asked.
Megamind gripped her tightly, "She stays." If he escorts her out he'll lose his standing. If she leaves alone she'll never make it home unharmed, let alone through the front of the restaurant which again, impacts his status in an unacceptable manner. If he calls Minion to collect her it will be a clear signal that he can't hold his own against any of the junior crew and it will be open season on his holdings. She just has to stay and stay silent until the meeting is over and then she can call her ex or a cab, he doesn't care which.
Roxanne, who had been ready to jump up and make her way out of the cafe dug her nails into his shoulder and glared, "I am." she said flatly, refusing to make it a question.
"She doesn't get a say." Another large man seated to the right of Pinstripes frowned.
Roxanne gave him her best fuck you smile, hyper-conscious of the vibrating tension pressed against her back, "Oh don't mind me, I'm just here for the food."
So that was how Roxanne wound up sitting on Megamind's lap while she ate beef bourguignon and eavesdropped avidly on Lake Michigan smuggling operations.