Here is the chapter no one's been waiting for!
***"Shut up," said Buttercup, unable to come up with a better argument.
"No, you shut up," I shouted, flying in front of her so that we were face-to-face. It didn't look as though a rational conversation was going to get through to her.
"No, you shut up!"
"Um…" Bubbles eyed the monster, which had climbed up a tall building without us noticing. However, my sister and I were too distracted to take notice of it.
"No, you shut up!"
"No, you shut up!"
"GUYS!" screamed Bubbles as the monster let out multiple balls of fire. She zoomed towards us, racing against the monster's fiery orbs. Buttercup and I turned at the last moment, seeing Bubbles go towards us, as well as the fiery path of destruction. My naturally level head allowed me to dart out of the way, but Buttercup was still hovering, staring into the flame. She must have been in shock. Bubbles went towards her and reached out her hand before…
… pushing her out of the way in the nick of time. I gasped, feeling the flames in the air next to my right arm. Buttercup had been so close to getting burnt alive… too close for my liking. I gave Bubbles a grateful smile while Buttercup ignored her, like she hadn't saved her life. It was very typical of her to not show any emotions other than anger.
I looked at the monster, which was sniffing the air and shaking its head maddeningly. Then, I turned to the others. "We need to come up with a plan. It has to have some form of weakness… but what?"
"But nothing!" Buttercup shouted. "All we have to do is hit it 'til it explodes!"
"Buttercup, we need to come up with a plan," I snapped. I couldn't think properly with her making stupid comments all the time.
"I think Blossom has a point," Bubbles piped up. "I mean, it keeps breathing fire on us every time we get close to it."
Buttercup narrowed her eyes. "Oh, shut up, Bubbles. You're not helping. I bet we would have defeated it by now if you weren't blabbering all the time!"
"Buttercup!" I shouted over Bubbles's wailing. "Say sorry!"
"Make me!" retorted Buttercup, crossing her arms. "You ain't the boss of me."
Bubbles pushed past me and flew away, heading towards the monster. I don't think she knew where she was going; her sadness had blocked out all common sense. The monster turned its head in her direction, aiming its next attack at her.
"Bubbles!" we shouted as the fire came out of its mouth. I zoomed forward and-
Falling to their knees, the men feebly wiped the sweat off their foreheads. The room was blazing hot, their skin feeling like it was covered in painful blisters. They looked up at their instructor pleadingly, hoping that she would find it in her heart to let them take a small break. Their limbs felt like they weren't attached to the rest of their bodies, and they thought that if they were driven any harder they would collapse.
Their instructor looked down at them, disgusted and disappointed. Her hair was black and spiky, not quite reaching her shoulders while at the same time not looking too girly. She was quite slim and looked far weaker than she actually was. Fuming, she glared at the men with narrowed green eyes, daring them to beg for mercy. When they remained silent, she chose one of them and lifted him off the ground. Icily, she asked, "Did I say that you could stop?"
He bit his tongue, gazing at her in fear. He didn't know what to say. He had the feeling that she would get mad no matter what he said. Going by this logic, he decided that he may as well voice his thoughts. "No, but… I'm exhausted. Please… can't I rest for… a few minutes?"
His answer was a kick in the face. He hit the wall opposite, groaning as he slivered down it slowly. The men's fitness instructor was still standing in front of him, having moved without anyone noticing. She sneered, "I didn't say stop," before going back to the others, lighting a cigarette and sticking it into her mouth.
Buttercup Utonium was not in a good mood.
Then again, she was rarely in a good mood.
She looked at them, thinking about how pathetic they looked. Buttercup hadn't even broken a sweat, yet they gave the impression that they had just trekked through the Sahara Desert wearing a suit made out of fire. She held out one arm to the side, shaking her cigarette, before turning away from them and saying, "I will let you go home if you defeat me in a fight."
The men looked at each other in fear, glancing at the man who was sitting against the wall, groaning in pain.
"All of you against me." She faced them again, jabbing her hand against her chest.
This seemed more promising and the men got to their feet. One by one, they began running at her, aiming their fist at her face. She smirked, dodging their attacks easily. The men who had been members of the club for a long time stayed where they were, for they knew better than to try and fight her. Just as they had expected, the men who tried to hurt her joined her first victim on the floor in a matter of seconds.
Buttercup closed her eyes. She longed for a day when someone defeated her in battle. "What the hell, you're all dismissed."
She reopened her eyes only to find that they had gone. The door leading out of the gym slammed shut, leaving her by herself. She smirked, grabbing a towel from the pile in the corner and departing from the room. Buttercup went down the short corridor, stopping outside the girl's shower room. She checked to see whether it was empty, and seeing that it was, went inside and undressed quickly. Buttercup wasn't ashamed of her body in the slightest. She knew she had a good figure, but she felt uncomfortable being naked around people she didn't trust. It made her feel vulnerable. On the other hand, she didn't want to go home smelling of sweat. She cared at least that much about her appearance.
Buttercup stepped into one of the stalls and began washing herself, humming quietly. The tiles were freezing against her feet, but they were like lava compared to the rain coming out of the showerhead. She groaned, but it wasn't in pain. The icy water was soothing on her hot skin. She squirted shampoo onto her hair and rubbed it in, relaxed. This was one of the only times when she was calm and stress-free.
She was out of the shower in ten minutes. Buttercup dried herself quickly with her towel, wrapping a smaller green towel (that had been her blanket as a child) around her head. By the time she was dry and dressed, no one had come into the shower room. She wasn't surprised; her gym was considered too 'tough' for the females of the city.
Refreshed, Buttercup stuffed her sweaty gym suit into her duffel bag and left, now wearing a bright green tracksuit. She let the door close loudly behind her, walking down the corridor. She signed out at reception prior to leaving the building, breathing in the afternoon air. Buttercup was tempted to fly home, but the weather was so pleasant that she decided to walk. She liked the exercise, anyway.
Townsville had hardly changed from when she was five years old. The buildings had obviously been rebuilt since then, having been destroyed by a monster at some point in time. However, the attitudes of the citizens were exactly the same. They walked along, moving their arms excitedly and beaming at everyone they passed. They even smiled at Buttercup, despite the fact that she didn't smile back.
"Hey, hey, excuse me?" a voice sang out. It made Buttercup's eye twitch, it was so high and sickly sweet. She didn't know the exclamation was directed at her until she felt a tap on her back.
"What?" asked Buttercup, turning her head irritably.
A woman was standing behind her, smiling. She had milk tea brown hair, which had been messily put into a ponytail. Buttercup couldn't see what colour her eyes were as the woman was wearing ridiculously large sunglasses. She had a plaster placed on her nose and was wearing thick white gloves, even though it was summer. Buttercup cast her eyes down her body, pulling a face at the tie-dyed t-shirt the woman was wearing like a dress, and the baggy jean she was wearing on her legs.
Buttercup narrowed her eyes. She hated hippies.
"You're Buttercup, aren't you?" the woman exclaimed, beaming at her. "You're one of the Powerpuff Girls."
"I was a Powerpuff Girl," corrected Buttercup coldly, "but not anymore."
She made to go away, but the woman was persistent. She took hold of a handful of Buttercup's sleeve. Pleasantly, the stranger said, "I was good friends with someone who knew you. They said such amazing things about you and your sisters, I'm not sure whether they're true or not. I would love it if you could tell me about some stuff from your childhood."
"Go find your friend and ask her. I don't care." Buttercup removed her sleeve from the woman's hand and started to go away.
"I could, but you were always my favourite Powerpuff Girl," the woman replied, tilting her head to one side beseechingly. "I would love to hear it all from you. You were far better than the pink one… Brandy, was it?"
"No, but you're close," Buttercup told her, smirking. She stopped walking. "Okay, I'll answer your questions, just 'cos you put me in a good mood."
The woman punched the air. "Great! How about we go to that little café over there? I'll pay." She pointed at a small building. It had a shabby brown roof and the outside walls were a dark green. It wasn't the kind of place Buttercup would ever go to, but she decided that she had nothing better to do. Besides, the woman said she would pay.
They walked in. Buttercup had hoped that the inside would be more aesthetically pleasing to the eye, but it wasn't. There were a few tables scattered across the room, most of them occupied by elderly women. She pulled a horrified face as they sat down at the table next to the window. Buttercup hoped no one who knew her walked by… especially any of her colleagues. She had a reputation to keep and it wasn't 'tea drinking loser'.
"What would you like?" an old woman asked them. Buttercup nearly jumped out of her skin. It took her a moment to remind herself that she was just looking at a very old lady and not Death.
"I would like some green tea please," the woman said loudly, assuming the old woman had bad hearing.
The old woman nodded and turned to Buttercup. Her voice scratchy, she asked good-naturedly, "And what would you like, little boy?"
"I'm a thirty year old woman." Buttercup growled, reddening. She told herself to keep cool. "I would like some Coke."
"Coke?" The old woman looked confused. "What is… coke?"
"Oh." Buttercup frowned. In all fairness, the old woman didn't look like she had been out much… or at all. "Don't have that, huh? Okay… I'll have some soda."
The old woman blinked, not understanding what she was talking about.
"Orange juice? Water? Coffee? You gotta have some coffee."
"Is that one of those hip tea brands you kids like?"
The woman held up her hand before Buttercup could retort back. "She'll have some black tea."
Satisfied, the old woman slowly walked away. Buttercup was not satisfied in the slightest, but she chose not to mention this. As soon as she left, the woman leaned forwards and smiled at Buttercup. "So… you used to be a Powerpuff Girl?"
"Yeah," Buttercup nodded, "but not anymore. We split when we became teenagers."
The woman tilted her head to one side. "Why?"
"Just did." Buttercup shrugged. "We grew up and Pinkie got it into her head that Townsville didn't need us. She'd insist that she was too busy and that the Police could handle all the crime. Then, by the time I managed to persuade her to come with me and Bubbles, the offence had already ended. After a while, Bubbles began to not want to fight crime either. She wanted to become a vet or a doctor so she stayed at home, studying with Pinkie. Bubbles never got to be either of those things, 'cos all the work was too hard for her, so she started work at an animal shelter. Pinkie was a doctor for a bit, but then she became Mayor."
She made no attempt to hide the venom in her voice.
"And where did that leave you?"
Buttercup sighed, gazing out of the window. "I hated high school. Pinkie made friends with all the nerds and Bubbles was friends with everyone. I didn't have no one. I was the sportiest girl at school but I kept fighting with my classmates. I never tried in class so everyone thought that I was thick. No one wanted to be friends with the thick kid. Not that I cared or nothing… it's just before that when we were crime fighters, we were really popular. I was really popular. People worshiped us when we were superheroes. Disbanding… it made me nothing."
"Poor you!" The woman gasped. "So what do you do these days if you don't fight crime anymore?"
"I own a gym."
"No special someone?"
Buttercup suddenly blushed.
"Ooh." The woman grinned, the ends of her mouth nearly escaping from her face. "The toughest Powerpuff Girl… getting all worked up thinking about their boyfriend?"
Buttercup shrugged her shoulders, grinning slightly.
"Who is he then?"
She shuffled in her seat, looking uncomfortable. "This… this is from me to a fan, 'kay? You have to promise that you won't tell anyone. I haven't told anyone about it yet."
"I promise. So… who is he?"
"I haven't heard of him," the woman leaned back in her chair, "but he sounds like a nice person."
"He is, once you get to know him. He lives in Citysville with his gang, but he says he's gonna move back here soon." Buttercup smiled dreamily. "He gave up crime a few years back and we've been writing to one another for ages. As soon as I dump Mitch, I'm planning on making it official with him."
"So you're going out with Mitch too? What about Ace? Does he know this?"
The woman was incredibly nosy. Buttercup decided to change the subject so it was at her advantage. "Why don't you tell me about your life?"
"Oh, but it's nowhere as interesting as yours," replied the woman hurriedly. "If you aren't Powerpuff Girls anymore, does that mean you don't see your family much?"
"Nah. I see 'em at Christmas but last year didn't go so good." She clenched her fists. "I had a massive fight with Pinkie and Bubbles got all upset… I was so nervous I couldn't visit the Professor's house for weeks afterwards. I thought they hated me. Luckily, Brunnera came round to my place and told me that they weren't cross."
"Excuse me," the woman stared at her, "but who is this… Brunnera you speak of?"
"She's my kid sister, though she ain't really my sister." Buttercup shrugged her shoulders. "She's the daughter of the Professor and Mrs Utonium. Although we ain't sisters by blood, she may as well-"
"I have to go." The woman suddenly stood up, pushing her chair over in her haste.
"What? Now?" Not that Buttercup was complaining, but they had ordered drinks. If the woman left, then Buttercup would have to pay for them. She had been assured that she wouldn't have to.
"I only just noticed the time. I have… I have a piano lesson in five minutes," explained the woman hastily, leaving the table and running straight into the old woman. There was an almighty crash as china shattered on the ground. The two women hit the ground.
"Oh my…" the old woman murmured, sitting up and looking around. "What a mess."
The woman stood up and made for the door, only to slip on a puddle of Buttercup's tea and hit the ground once more. Her sunglasses skidded across the floor in two pieces. The woman gasped, covering her eyes with her arm while using the other to feel the ground. Buttercup got off her seat and picked them up, pressing them into the woman's hands.
"They broke," Buttercup told her, although it was plainly obvious. What was not obvious was the reason why she was covering her face like that. The only reason Buttercup could think of was if she was Cyclops, but the woman was clearly not a member of the X-Men. Or a man, for that matter.
The woman jumped to her feet and shot out of the café, her eyes still covered. Buttercup was rooted to the spot for a moment, trying to figure out what had happened. She shook her head and went after her.
"Hey lady, what's the big-?"
She reached the door and opened it. The woman had already gone. Buttercup stuck out her head, looking both ways. It was like the woman had just vanished into thin air. She scratched her head, puzzled, before going back into the café and closing the door behind her.
Everyone was staring at her. Buttercup snarled, causing them all to look away. The old woman got to her feet and handed her a piece of paper. She read it, furrowing her brow.
"Your bill," the old woman said stiffly, dripping green tea onto the ground. "You noisy little lad."
Buttercup widened her eyes, but not at the fact the old woman still didn't know she was a fully matured female. It was the bill. She didn't know tea was this expensive. Worst of all, she didn't even like tea. It was like paying someone to give you an overhead wedgie. She stared at the woman, holding onto the piece of paper so tightly that she was making holes in it. The old woman raised her eyebrows impatiently.
Buttercup flew out of the building via the ceiling, leaving a green ribbon of light behind her. This soon disappeared, and the only trace of her ever existing was a hole in the ceiling and two broken cups.