Note: This entry is part of this year’s Covert Cupid challenge, in which each host drew three characters from a hat and used them to write a romantic fanfiction short. You can hear them all read aloud in Episode 80 of the podcast.

It had to be a Christmas movie. Of course it had to be a Christmas movie. I strongly suspected foul play, but, when I watched the video of the Heat Miser’s song… it was actually pretty cute.
This was certainly a tough one for me — I wasn’t too familiar with any of the characters, and at first, they seemed to have absolutely nothing whatsoever in common.

Ultimately, though, I couldn’t resist the idea of matching up two sort-of-supervillains who each had a kind of creepy crack team of minions, however bizarre the pairing seemed to be. And as for Leela, well, who better to pop randomly and inexplicably into a story than a Doctor Who companion?

And, um… I love fondue. Don’t you?

I hope you enjoy the story! -Mindy

Gru, trailed by a murmuring stream of about twenty yellow, pill-shaped minions filtered
slowly past rocks, and hopped over lava streams, into the side door of the volcano. He had high hopes for this meeting. Frankly, he couldn’t figure why nobody among the usual suspects had tried this one before — Vector, or another one of the upstarts? Maybe because it was a bad idea? Nah. Innovation was really essential to good villainy. It was important to remain creative, and so here he was. As they continued deeper and deeper into the volcano, the heat intensified and he wiped his brow and slightly loosened his ever-present black and grey scarf. As they continued, he even thought for a moment of removing the scarf, but then shook his head.

“Keep it together, Gru,” he thought.

Finally, they all tumbled into a cavernous room, boiling hot… but empty. They waited. Gru reached for his phone to check his email to make sure this was where and when they were supposed to meet. He was usually not mistaken about important appointm-

Suddenly, through a previously hidden door in the rock, burst a large creature looking remarkably like one of those troll dolls from the 90’s, with firey hair, in a glittery shirt and pants. He was surrounded by six of his own minions, but they looked basically exactly like him aside from being much smaller. Gru thought it was kind of weird and possibly creepy to have minions who looked just like you. What was that about? Were they related? Tinny music started playing from unseen speakers, and the giant troll started singing:

“I’m Mr. Green Christmas, I’m Mr. Sun.”

“Excuse me but I have a appointment with maybe your colleague in this office? We did not though arrange for any singing, just for taking over the world discussions.”

“I’m Mr. Heat Blister, I’m Mr. Hundred and one”

“You see I maybe should be speaking with your supervisor because I am looking for many many more degrees than one hundred and one if we are to be taking over the world.”

“They Call me Heat Miser”

“Oh good, that is you then!”

“Whatever I touch, starts to melt in my clutch. I’m too much”

“This is very good then! Much more promising! But if you could STOP WITH THE SINGINGS.”

The music cut out suddenly, as the Heat Miser glared at Gru in a suddenly extremely awkward silence. Each of the minions in the room found a patch of floor to quietly stare at.

“Fine. Cut off my musical number. But it’ll cost you. Not a great negotiating strategy, you know, cutting off someone’s musical number. But whatever. Fine.”

Gru paused for a moment, and again loosened his scarf. “I am very sorry, Mr. Miser, but …it is simply that I am so excited to talk to you about our… collaboration. I must just have been nervous to talk to such an important person.”

The Heat Miser seemed mollified, and, for the first time, took a real look at Gru. “Well, I can understand that, I suppose. …Say, look, what would you say to a snack?”

“…sure!”

The Heat Miser snapped his fingers, and his Heat Minions brought out a table with checked tablecloth, two chairs, a plate of skewers, a plate of bread and fruit, and two metal bowls, one filled with chocolate pieces, and one with chunks of cheese.

“Check this out — I make a mean fondue.”

The Miser stuck a finger nonchalantly into each bowl, and the contents of each melted into steaming liquids. He grinned broadly, and gestured to Gru. Gru delicately skewered a strawberry and dipped it in chocolate. He brought it to his mouth, carefully avoiding dripping on his black coat. He smiled shyly. “Mfff verry goob!”

The Miser beamed. “My specialty. It’s nice to be able to share it. We… don’t have a lot of guests here in the volcano.”

There was a brief silence, as the two gazed into each other’s eyes and slowly leaned forward. The tension was broken as a suspicious rustling sound arose from the corner of the room. Gru and the Heat Miser swiveled their heads to see where the sound was coming from, and discovered one of each of their minions, enthusistically making out. When they noticed they were being watched, they instantly separated, furiously blushed, looked emphatically innocent, and started whistling.

Gru and the Heat Miser laughed and shook their heads. “…Minions,” they said, at the same

time. The room quieted again, and the two again started to lean over the table towards one another. Gru took the Heat Miser’s hand.

When suddenly, a painful squeaking screeching noise arose from the corner. It repeated again and again, and at first, Gru and the Heat Miser could see no cause for it, but eventually, fading into view in the corner of the room was a blue British police box. Once it materialized, a tall older man and a young woman dressed in animal skins tumbled out of it.

“Nice scarf,” muttered Gru, skeptically, “though it does not need so many colors.”

“Ah, Leela,” said the man, “As I said, this is the planet of Nelicti, a lava planet which –”

“No,” said the Heat Miser, “This is my house. On Earth. And you are trespassing during a very important conversation!” He dropped Gru’s hand. “About taking over the world. That’s all that was going on, was taking over the world.”

Gru whispered harshly “We have to talk about when you do and do not say that you are trying to take over the world. It is not always the best thing to disclose to people who barge in like this.”

“Oh dear. I could have sworn I — Well, never mind. I’m the Doctor, and this is Leela” said the Doctor. Leela looked angry. “Doctor, I will cut them to pieces before they take over the world.”

“Leela, I’m not so sure that’s really what’s going on.” Before the two at the table could protest, he added, “They seem to be having dinner.”

“Fondue” the two protested, simultaneously.

“What is fondue?” said Leela.

“It’s food that involves stabbing, Leela. I think you’d like it” replied the Doctor.

Gru looked at the Heat Miser, who nodded. “Perhaps you would like to be joining us for a little refreshment before you are on your way?”

“Thank you,” said the Doctor. “that would be lovely.”

And the minions rushed to find more chairs.

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