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Roxanne knew today was going to suck immediately upon opening her eyes, because turning around on your lunch break and then waking up staring down into green lake water is never a good sign. Also, Megamind's kidnapping spray doesn't tend to leave her with double vision or dizziness. He generally prefers her to be ready to go live shortly after she wakes up, and groggy kidnappees make for boring broadcasts.

On the whole, Roxanne is okay with being kidnapped. It seems like a fair trade, life-wise, for reliably excellent conversation and entertainment on a more or less weekly basis. A lot of the time she even enjoys it, sometimes even when the kidnapping occurs at an inconvenient time. Megamind and Minion both fall into the category of 'friends she likes,' after all.

But, the thing is…she's only ever been kidnapped by Megamind and Minion. She hasn't worried about anyone else kidnapping her in quite some time.

And now she's tied to a piling at the very end of a dock across the bay south of the city, her hands behind her back behind the piling, tar from the piling on her dress and in her hair and all down the backs of her legs. It's uncomfortable—this is a shipping dock, so the piling is quite thick and her shoulders are uncertain about the angle—but this isn't a Megamind kidnapping, so discomfort isn't terribly surprising.

Oh, and there's a gun to her head. But that's incidental. She's aware, in a vague sort of way, that a gun to her head should probably be a little higher on her list of concerns, but right now it's right down smack at the bottom of the list.

Because Minion is here, too, and Minion is also restrained, which Roxanne hadn't actually been aware was possible. The gorilla suit seems solid, but she knows how modular it can be when push comes to shove. Evidently, their captors have prepared for this, and that's…alarmingly competent of them. Troubling. Her first thought upon looking around and seeing Minion across the broad dock was, Oh, okay, but then the double vision resolved and the rest of the world returned and she'd seen the chains, seen the men with guns and expensive suits standing around in silence. Her first thought after that was, Oh, shit.

The distant roar of the hoverbike had reached her a second later, Megamind's hoverbike, Megamind—

She had realized it was a trap around the same time she felt a heavy, human weight against her bound hands, felt the gun press cold and hard against her temple.

"Going to ruin your suit," she'd mumbled. At that point, she was still a little muzzy from whatever they'd knocked her out with, but a few deep breaths in through her nose and out through her mouth helped a lot with that.

The weight shifted but didn't answer. Someone else did, though; a man off to her left said, "Oh, you're awake. Good, that'll make this interesting."

The hoverbike's roar was growing steadily louder; he must have been flying quickly.

"Quentin," the man said, and another voice replied, "On it."

Roxanne had looked over her shoulder to try and see what was happening and found Minion staring into the distance, blinking worriedly. This wasn't too far out of the norm—worrying is what Minion does—but he looked really worried. Not particularly concerned with the long-range flamethrower some assclown was shoving nozzle-first into the softish midriff of his exosuit, but nervous. He glanced at her, didn't smile, didn't speak, and that was when the apprehension curling in Roxanne's gut began to curdle into fear.

And then Megamind had landed, and he was worried too, and oh, this was bad. He knew the man who spoke to Roxanne, called him Price. He demanded to know if Minion was okay, if Roxanne was, and—he dropped the de-gun in the lake when they told him to, he took off his watch and dropped that in the lake when they told him to, his restless gaze flicking between Roxanne and Minion the whole time, and—

And that brings us to now.

Now is when the world goes still and silent, because now is when Price claps his hands together and says, "Tell you what. Let's make this interesting," which doesn't bode well.

"I was going to kill your henchman and your damsel in front of you," he says, "but you know what, I'm not all that into senseless killing." He shakes his head, spreads his hands. "I have no problems with them. They've both been so cooperative. Seems…unfair, doesn't it, to make them pay for your misdeeds?" Without waiting for a reply, he continues, "So, I'll give you a choice. You get to pick."

Megamind's expression stays thunderous but his attention sharpens; Roxanne sees it happen because she can't take her eyes off him. Any minute now—any minute now he's going to do something and get them free—

"Either I kill your fish and the woman you love while you watch, and then I kill you," Price says, enunciating clearly, "or you kill yourself while they watch, and they go free."

Megamind blinks. So does Roxanne. Because, one: what the fuck kind of a choice is that?

But also, two: the woman he—what? She—what?

"That's it," Price says, shrugging, when Megamind doesn't respond. "Those are your options."

"You had me throw away my gun," Megamind says in a low voice, arching an eyebrow. "I'll need to borrow one."

Price smiles. Roxanne can't see him, he's standing too far back and she's right at the edge of the dock with the tips of her shoes poking out over the water, but she hears the smile as he speaks and she does not like it. "Oh, no," he says, "not with a gun. No, that would be easy. You've been a real pain in my ass, you know that? I want you to fucking drown. I want you to drown yourself." He sounds deeply pleased. "Here's how that option goes: you get in the lake, you get under the surface, you stay where I can see you. And as soon as you come up for air, they die." He shrugs again. "Pretty straightforward."

Megamind's expression has shuttered and gone dark as Price was speaking, but his jaw is tight and his head is up when he says, "I do this, they go free?"

No, Roxanne thinks dizzily, of course not, that's not how it works, but Price says, "That was the deal, yes."

"Sir, no," Minion says firmly, and Megamind glances at him.

"It's okay, Minion," he says, his voice quiet. "It's okay."

"No it's not!"

Roxanne shakes her head a little, trying to clear it. What happened to the plan? There has to be a plan. There's always a plan, she thinks, but Megamind turns around on the end of the dock, stares down at the water.

"Sir," Minion says again, "no!" and his voice shoots up the octave, goes high and shrill so suddenly Roxanne jumps. He lunges forward, slams into the end of his chains. "No," as Megamind squares his shoulders and draws himself up. "No, no, you can't do this, you can't! There's supposed to be a plan, there's—Sir! Sir!" as Megamind unclasps his cape and shoulder array, drops them both unceremoniously on the dock behind him.

Minion lunges again as Megamind shakes out his arms, shifts his weight from foot to foot. "Sir, please, please—please just—"

"Megamind," Roxanne chokes, finding her voice. His name breaks in the middle. Is this really happening? This isn't happening. She woke up like two minutes ago and—now this is happening? No, it's too surreal, this is absolutely not happening. But it keeps going, and Minion's volume is rising, and Megamind is poised like a matador at the end of the dock and she keeps not waking up, so… "Don't do this, you don't have to—"

"Look at me," Minion shouts, in a voice Roxanne has never heard from him before. "Sir, look at me, please please just—don't, you don't have to—we'll think of something, I'll think of something, just—"

Megamind doesn't look at him again. Doesn't look at Roxanne, either. Roxanne stares at him, at his chest, which is heaving, at his throat, which moves as he swallows, at his face, which is very dark and very angry and, right now, still very much alive.

"Don't," Roxanne whispers, with Minion chanting no, no, no and his metal feet scraping on the wooden dock as he flings himself against his chains between the pilings. "Megamind, don't, please don't—"


"Really not much of a choice, is there," Megamind says, and steps off the dock, plunges into the lake.

Price says, "Huh," and walks to the edge where Megamind was standing a second before and looks down into the water, paying absolutely no attention to either of his two captives.

Minion goes absolutely berserk. He'd frozen when Megamind splashed down, but now he's screaming, throwing his weight back and forth hard enough to rock the broad shipping dock on its huge tree-trunk pilings, slamming his body—his actual body—into the glass of his dome like he can break out of it, spinning and diving and screaming. Roxanne's gut churns and she twists her wrists, yanks forward, picks her feet up and plants them in the tar and pulls as hard as she can, but all that does is make her shoulders hurt and the ropes dig into her skin, so she has to put her feet back down on the piling block and go back to trying to pick at the knots. The gun is away from her temple, now, and nobody mentions her fingers scraping at the ropes binding her.

They haven't had rain in this part of Michigan in a while, so the water is unusually clear, with a good ten feet or so of visibility. So far, Megamind is holding up his end of the deal: he's tilted away from them, kicking and moving his arms in circles to keep himself down a few feet below the surface of the water, fighting his body's natural buoyancy, fighting the urge to rise. He keeps his mouth clenched closed and his eyes open, staring up at Roxanne and Price—Minion is tied too far back for him to see, and too far back to see him.

He has to breathe. He has to, he has to, he has to surface. Roxanne stares down at him, twisting her body against the wood and tar, gritting her teeth and staring down at him through the rippling waves, willing him to surface. Minion is still screaming, still thrashing against his chains, scraping the wood up in splinters around his feet and fingers as he tries to hurl himself forward into the lake.

Roxanne has still been sort of thinking Megamind must have a plan, he must, but—she's never heard Minion sound like this before in her life. His voice is going ragged, he's choking on bubbling sobs, he sounds…well, frankly, he sounds like his lifelong friend is dying. Which is what sells it for her, in the end. She pulls her eyes away from Megamind for a moment to glance over at Minion, and the utterly terrified look on his face makes the bottom fall out of her stomach.

Fuck. Oh, fuck.

Oh, she's—she's shouting—she twists her hands and twists them again, desperate to get free, shouting at Megamind to come up, just come up and breathe—yes she'll die but that's fine, it's fine—

His narrow, pointed face is obscured by the rippling water, but he looks like he's concentrating hard. For the first nearly three minutes, that's all he does: tread below the surface and glare up at the sky while Roxanne struggles and yells at him with tears in her eyes and on her cheeks.

Then his face sort of—scrunches, and his eyebrows pull tight as his shoulders jerk, and—he goes back to treading, but his eyes have gone wide under his fierce scowl. His movements aren't as smooth; they're faster, more frenetic. Roxanne heaves in a jagged breath and wills him to come up, come on, Megamind, come on and rise—she'll go happy if it means he escapes this—but of course he won't either way; Price will kill him, too—

He looks away, jerks his head from side to side, his eyes huge—oh, he's rising—but suddenly he looks up again and bares his teeth and wrenches his whole body around and claws his way back down deeper. Not quickly; he's struggling now, too, kicking and flailing to get away from air and life and Roxanne—she's screaming at him and she's not sure when that started.

She honestly would rather die, and that's…sort of a revelation she could have done without, if only because the circumstances are such that she'll never be able to actually do anything about it.

There's wetness on her hands that's either sweat or blood, but the wet on her face is definitely exclusively tears; she's pretty sure she's crying harder than she ever has in her life before, but she has to keep her eyes clear. She has to. If she can see him, she can get to him, somehow, somehow.

Megamind is still treading down there, deeper than before but he's still trying to push himself down and away, and—

His eyes go wide and panicked as air bubbles out of his mouth with a scream Roxanne can't hear but feels in every inch of her soul because fuck, oh fuck, his mouth is open, gasping wide, gasping—and his expression twists and his back arches, he claws his hands at his face and throat, spasming, his teeth bared and his eyes wide and full of fear. "No!" Roxanne shrieks, raking her fingers at the ropes behind the piling. "No no—no, don't—don't—"

He slows. His head drifts down, his arms stop moving—Minion has stopped screaming, he's just crying now; he hasn't been able to see any of this and Roxanne honestly doesn't know which is worse: knowing Megamind has been drowning this whole time and not being able to see how he fought it, or watching the fight go out of him.

He rises slowly, without moving, until his narrow back breaks the surface, his head hanging, his limbs limp and still.

"No," Roxanne chokes, stunned, "Megamind, no, oh my god." Off to her left, Minion lets out a wail.

"Huh," Price says again, and waits for another small eternity while Roxanne tries to make sense of literally anything that just happened and Minion sags in his chains, gasping. Megamind just...bobs on the surface, rocking with the waves, lifeless, unmoving.

"Okay," Price says after a couple minutes, and stretches. "Get him out and get the bag."

Slowly, Roxanne turns her head, attempting to parse this. What is he talking about?

He glances at her as a couple of nameless goons come up with boat hooks, sees her confusion. "Well, we have to hide the body somewhere," he says as he turns and walks away, out of sight behind her. "Bag full of cinderblocks is an old standby. Besides, it seems fitting, you know?"

The goons tug Megamind's body closer to the dock until they're able to grab an arm and a leg and haul him out, scraping his face on the side of the dock. His eyes are open, the light behind them extinguished, a milky film already clouding them over, and—

Oh. Roxanne is angry. She's still crying, because she can't seem to stop and at this point she's not sure what the point of stopping would even be, but there's a roaring in her ears and her heart is drumming painfully on the backs of her ribs as she turns her head to keep her eyes on Megamind until they drag him out of her field of vision.

Someone tugs on her bound hands, the rope loosens. Behind her, voices, but she can't bring herself to care what they're saying. They're going to kill her, she knows. They didn't hide their faces and they don't seem to care if she knows where they are or where the body is. She's unarmed. Megamind is dead. They're going to kill her and they're going to kill Minion and Roxanne has nothing to lose, so—

She tries to lunge into the lake as soon as her hands are free, but whoever is behind her must have been expecting that; he yanks her stumbling onto the dock by one arm and fumbles to grab her other hand. She does manage to shake this first guy off: she grips his sleeve and falls onto her back on the wood, plants both feet in his gut, and uses her legs and her adrenaline and her rage to lift and throw him off over her head.

Of course there are more goons running for her now, but miraculously, nobody shoots her as she rises to her feet and tries again for the lake. She even makes it two whole steps before they grab her. She's wearing heels and her shoulders and hands are killing her, but she fights like a demon anyway, kicking and screaming and clawing to get away. She nails someone's foot with one of her shoes before she loses them, digs her thumb pretty deep into an eye. She gets her nails into someone else's ear and rips it off his skull in her fist before they finally wrestle her to the ground by the side of the dock just out of Minion's reach, so. There's that, at least.

"Something to remember me by," Roxanne spits as they yank her hands behind her back again and tie her bleeding wrists together with more rope. Behind her, the man who's lost an ear is yelling.

"Get one around her neck, too," Price says, sounding annoyed, "and tie the other end to the alien's bag."

"Fuck you," Roxanne snarls, struggling and kicking until someone pins her legs down with a knee over her calves and the other in the small of her back. "Fuck you, fuck you, fuck—what the fuck was this? What was the point of this? Why would you—why would—" Her tears rise up again and choke her. The rope is rough around her neck, and she's facing the bag they zipped Megamind's body into. She can make out the curve of his skull, the sharp jut of his shoulder. Why.

"The point?" Price echoes. "Who says there needs to be a point?" He crouches between her and the bag and grabs her chin in a bruising grip, drags her face up to look at him. "He was a pain in my ass. I wanted to see what he'd do." Roxanne is still crying, still shaking with grief and shock and adrenaline, but something in her is still clinging to primal rage. "I wasn't disappointed, either; in fact I'm kind of impressed he managed to—"

She jerks her chin back, shoves it forward, sinks her teeth into the fleshy pad between his thumb and forefinger, and bites down with all her strength. Hot blood fills her mouth and Price yells, stumbles back, but Roxanne shuts her eyes and hangs on, keeps trying to bring her teeth together until he punches her in the side of her head with his free hand. She releases him with a pained yelp, then spits blood, blinking hard and trying not to vomit.

"The hell with you," Price says, sounding genuinely shocked, and Roxanne has just enough time to register a little bit of mean satisfaction over it before he kicks her off the side of the dock.

She hits the water with a gasp and a splash. It's late May and the lake is still pretty cold, but it's not awful. It could be a lot colder. And at least her legs are free. She bobs to the surface and treads there as best she can without her arms, shaking the water out of her eyes and blinking up to try and figure out what's—oh. Oh, they've tied the other end of her rope to Megamind's bag. The bag full of cinderblocks. The bag four goons are now hoisting between them and swinging back and forth, the bag they're throwing into the harbor—

Roxanne takes a deep breath just before she's yanked under.