“You’ve got this, boss.” Fink had told him earlier in the day. “And if he doesn’t forgive you I’ll climb up that mountain myself and bite his ankles until he does!” She had added.
No matter how many “reassuring” things Fink told him, Professor Venomous could not stop the anxiety from taking over him every time he thought about asking Lord Boxman for forgiveness.
It had been so long since that horrible day, the day he gave up everything he loved for power, that it was impossible for him to think of any scenario in which Boxman accepted him back into his life.
Professor Venomous was usually a person who calculated every step carefully, but that day he made the worst miscalculation of his life. That moment kept playing itself on a cruel loop inside his head, the moment he accepted Shadowy Figure’s deal and became one with the merciless being.
When he was Shadowy Venomous, everything seemed perfectly fine. Wrecking Boxmore Industries with TKO? A fun idea. Yelling at Boxman and being awful to him? Hilarious. Kicking him out? Excellent.
Then Shadowy was gone and it all came back to him, all of his bad decisions. He thought destroying an entire planet and then fighting with the Lakewood Plaza kids would drown it all out and make him feel numb. But in the end, he grew tired and could not drown his guilt anymore.
Apologizing was not his forte, but he needed to try. For once, instead of saying sorry with a gift bought with just a click, he made a whole cake by himself. Venomous had never cooked in his life and he may or may not have cried while making that cake, but it was the nicest one after several failed attempts.
The way to Boxman’s current place wasn’t easy with the amount of snow falling, especially carrying the cake in a box he was holding close to his chest. After what felt like ages Venomous could not believe he was actually in front of Boxman’s door.
Two words, that’s all you have to say.
He’s going to close the door right on your nose the moment he sees you.
At least get it off your chest and then you can go back to your pathetic life.
He knocked on the door, his fist shaking from either the cold or the anxiety building up in his chest.
Boxman opened the door, and Venomous rushed to present the ugly cake he made and apologize so that he’d have time to say sorry before he shut the door again. But the door stayed open, and once again he could not believe it.
There was no shouting, no anger in his voice as Boxman simply said “Here we go again.” and invited him in.
Venomous did not think he would get this far, all he could do was place the cake on a wooden table as any coherent sentences failed to come out of his mouth.
“I— Boxy— Sorry, Boxman.” Professor Venomous muttered. “You didn’t have to invite me in, I know you want me gone so I’ll just—”
He stopped when he saw Boxman’s warm expression. He should be furious with Venomous, so why was he looking at him like that?
“Who said I want you gone? Besides, you only wearing a scarf, you shouldn’t be out dressed like that with that cold.” He answered, gently.
Why why why why why.
I don’t deserve to be treated this nicely.
Venomous stood awkwardly, near the closed door. He did not dare make himself comfortable at all.
“Did you forget? How I treated you? Shadowy?” He asked, fearing that Boxman’s mind had been altered somehow.
What if KO’s wish had to erase part of Lord Boxman’s memories for him to live his best life? Was he that horrible as Shadowy Venomous?
“No, I remember very well.” Boxman answered, interrupting his train of thought. “I was so angry at you, and sad.” He admitted, but he continued before Venomous could apologize again. “But I’ve had enough time to think about it, and I think I can give you a second chance.”
The professor could feel the tears welling up in his eyes. He was trying to not cry in front of Boxman but he knew he was about to fail any second now. He nodded, because he knew he would start sobbing if he spoke.
“No more villainy this time.” He warned him. “I’m retired from the villain business now, so none of that.” Boxman added, poking Venomous’ forearm with one chicken claw, because that was as high as he could reach.
Another chance. Not forgiveness, not yet. He was okay with that, right now a second chance made him the happiest he had been in months.
“Thank you.” Venomous managed to say, his voice trembling. “I will do my best, anything you want, I promise.”
His legs failed him and he ended up on his knees, closer to Boxman’s level. Venomous could do nothing to make his tears stop now, so he let it all out. He cried and cried, holding one of Boxman’s hands.
“Oh geez, c’mon don’t cry like that.” Boxman said. “You’re going to ruin all that eyeliner you always wear.”
Boxman took Venomous’ hand and guided him to his couch.
“For now, let’s just sit here and have some of that cake you brought and then we can talk, okay?”
It felt like a dream. Venomous thought he was going to wake up any minute now and find out that this was not real at all. Even if it was real, he still feared that Boxman would change his mind in the blink of an eye and kick him out.
But for now, he was... happy, he had hope. Hope that he would make up for all the things he did, and hope that he would become a better person for him. Perhaps someday they could have their perfect life together back; maybe it could be even better. He knew the path to forgiveness would not be easy, the first step alone had been terrifying, but he promised Boxman he would do his best.
In this moment, all he had to do was eat some cake and hope it had turned out edible. That was easy enough. He could do that now and worry about all the other steps later.