[~] An Eye for Diamonds [~]
They thought him to be a waste.
"Professor Venomous!" Billiam Milliam greeted warmly, a fixed golden smile smearing his face. "Glad to see you and your little minion this evening."
Fink puffed herself up, a toothy smile breaking through. Armed in her new shimmering dress, Venomous was sure she wanted to make an impression on the others after being unable to before.
He adjusted his cuffs absently, his own fixed smile replacing his sneer. "Yes, thank you for the invite. Especially after last evening's..." His smile quirked. "...events."
"Yes, last time," he replied curtly. His eyes darted from Venomous to Fink ad back, "Well, since Boxman is on our permanent ban list. That won't be an issue now, will it?"
Venomous held his gaze a moment too long for comfort before looking away. Amusement curled in his chest, but he kept his knowledge close, choosing to move past the other villain instead, "I don't know, Billiam. That man always seems to find a way to surprise me."
"Surprising no," he heard the golden villain mutter, "Annoying, definitely yes."
If only they knew. They never thought he could be worth much more than a simple joke.
But Venomous knew better.
The yacht looked the same as the one before. Compact and extravagant, filled to the brim with goodies and evil doers. Familiar faces talked amongst each other, some making deals while others simply chatted amiably, genuinely, somehow making friends among their vile kind.
"Fiiiink!" A familiar voice called out.
"Miss Cosma!" Venomous watched in amusement, as the normally strict supervillainous and his loyal minion ran to each towards one another in glee. When they met in the middle, Cosma crouched down with open arms and with a little bounce in her step, Fink jumped into them gleefully.
Cosma laughed, readjusting Fink in her arms more comfortably before standing up. "How's Venomous' cutest evilest minion today?"
Fink's eyes glinted maliciously, "Mad and ready to do some bad!" Despite her ears twitching cutely, her ravenously grin held a dangerous warning quality to it.
He was so proud.
Cosma laughed again. "I expect no less."
"You know every time I see you two interact," Professor Venomous said teasingly, "I think I'm being replaced."
Fink's eyes went wide in panic. "Never, Boss! No one can replace you! Not even Miss Cosma!" Frantically, she slipped out of Cosma's arms and ran back behind Professor Venemous's legs, holding onto his slacks like her life depended on it. Chuckling at her antics, he patted her head to reassure her, one brow quirking when he met Cosma's smirk.
"Ever the loyal minion." To which Fink nodded frantically. Cosma laughed under her breath again. "I have to say Venomous, she'll always be a much better plus one to that Boxman. What were you even thinking?"
Venomous let his smile fall and made careful note to keep his voice casual. "I couldn't get him out of my hair."
She hufffed. "So you had to make the rest of us suffer?"
He shrugged and shook his head. "What can I say? It's my speciality."
Fink snickered and Cosma laughed, and even as he relaxed into his standard 'pleasant' smile, part of him wanted to snicker ruefully in her face.
If she knew.
He was glad she didn't.
"You know you should never feed a begging dog. They always come crawling back to you. It's why I can't get him out of my hair at least." She scoffed, flipping said hair with a graceful swish. When her gaze went back to Venomous, a small smirk twitched on her maw. "Oh course, you must have known that. What? Did you smile nicely at him? A level seven like yourself could just look in his direction and he'd do whatever you want."
She wasn't wrong, Venomous had to admit. He would be blind not to notice and use Boxman's attraction against him.
But, of course, that wasn't the full story. Anyone could be manipulated if you gain enough of their trust. Smiles and charm were simply tools.
"Pretty words and smiles go a long way in getting what you want," he said smoothly, smiling softy back at her. "You attract more with honey than vinegar."
And as Cosmas snickered, nodding and agreeing, he wondered how she could miss the games being played.
Maybe, he thought, she always thought herself as the game master, moving all the technos to her players and watching the world burn around her. Never would she think a player, especially one as loyal as himself would ever think himself above her.
But he supposed that's just how these games went.
The rest of the evening passed by without much issue. After finishing his chat with Cosma, he chatted with some of the other villains on board as well. Fink wandered off at one point in the evening, and to his amusement started terrorizing Wat Mel's minions for fun. He noticed Cosma taking pictures and took a mental note to ask for some copies later.
As the evening ended and their evil engagement started to come to a close, Big Bull Demon took hold of karaoke mic. Without Boxman to interrupt him, he was able to sing out the evening without trouble, singing harmoniously with the low waves and the crumbling moon. Venomous held a tuckered out Fink in his arms, cooing softly to her. He thought about the events of this evening… and the last time the villain's got together. Especially the last time.
No doubt, tonight was altogether much more pleasant. There were still nights he'd wake up with second hand embarrassment of his past self. No villain would ever let him live down how he bought, Boxman, the joke villain, to such an event. What was he thinking, they would ask, as if he hadn't thought that a million times already as Boxman ruined event after event.
However, he will take that heart thumping adrenaline where Boxman showed his trustest colors over any 'pleasant' outing any day.
There was something about Boxman that was… odd. A fool, they would call him. Too obsessed in destroying the friendships of those random kids next door instead of doing his actual job, they said. And while these were all true, they missed the underlying meaning behind his actions.
They missed the obsession madness in his eyes as he shot at those children with a gun he created meer seconds earlier with only the parts of his every loyal robots. They missed how, even in its obsession, his pure dedication would put every other villian to shame in their masterful plans. They would never see the dark glee in his eyes as he revealed how he tricked every villain on board, including Venomous himself, that he was simply failing because it was him instead of failing in every task out of pure and utter spite. The sheer power he could create from his inventions, and the power of spite and hatred would never stop Boxman in what he wanted to achieve even if it took every day for the rest of his life to win.
Boxman may not have been the most ambitious villain, but he was cunning, passionate, and twisted in his own dark madness that despite his doofy, almost innocent exterior, Venomous could only see the infinite possibilities in having him as an ally.
So they would laugh. He wanted them to laugh. They would laugh now, while Boxman was still the fool and they cackled on their shiny ships, Venomous would take this diamond in the rough for himself and himself alone.
Boxman was anything but a waste, and Venomous had the time and the patience to prove it.