Ow. Fuck it hurts. Slowly coming back to the waking world I hear a distressed groan followed by hushed voices, belatedly realizing that the groan came from me. Biting back another one I flutter my eyes open, grimacing at both the light that blinds me and the effort it takes to just open my damn eyes. Blinking rapidly to dissipate the black spots dancing in my vision my eyes circle to the area that the voices originated from, surprise and a sinking sensation filling me as I lock eyes with none other then Butch. Huh?


We all freeze when we hear her pained groan, eyes swiveling to look at her lying on that damned medical table. My heart speeds up when she twitches, eyes fluttering rapidly before finally opening in a grimace. The light. "Turn the fucking light off." My hushed demand breaks the frozen silence and the professor rapidly crosses the room to switch off his labs overhead light. The grimace smooths off of her face and her eyes finally open fully, the jade gaze searching then surprised as it locks onto me. "Hey."


I'm confused, but then again what can I expect? I'm not an idiot, I've done this before. Died that is. Not in the dramatic of a fashion of course, but I recognized the pain and dull throbbing in my arm. Guess professor had to pump my dose out. Damn. Dropping my eyes from those emerald eyes without responding I search for my father, finally locating him at the end of my bed, his eyes cloudy with both emotion and shame.


"Yeah. Heart this time. Barely had time to get it out."

"Shit." I fall silent for a moment, body aching and mind whirring. "Ideas?"

"None. I thought this one would be better then the last, not stop you heart."

"Next time." I keep my voice light, instinctively trying to lessen his guilt and make it more of a joke.

"Don't." His voice cuts like a whip and I jerk around to look at the emerald eyed speaker. "Don't make this a fucking joke Buttercup."

If I thought I was confused by his presence I'm way more confused by the emotion in his voice. He sounded...hurt? Clearing my suddenly dry throat I look back to the professor and drop my eyes to the monitors and tubes.

"Ah. Sure." With quick motions he disconnects me from all the wiring, the final tube stretching from my implant to the black bags popping off with a gross sucking noise.

"Thanks." Sitting up I ignore the dizziness tugging at my mind, easily shifting to slide my legs off the side of the table and preparing to hop down. Granite arms hold me in place before I complete the motion and without looking up I already know who's arms they are.

"The hell are you doing?!"

"Getting up Butch. Its what normal people do when they wake up."

"Don't be a fucking smart ass Buttercup, I'm not in the mood. You just fucking died. Lay your ass back down."


"Goddamn it Buttercup!"

"I have to get up, let the clean blood cycle through my arteries and repair the damage to my heart." His answer is a hissed curse, but he does back off and let me up. My legs feel like jelly but I move with practiced ease, cuz I'm boss at pretending everything is fine.

"Feel anything?" The professors soft inquiry makes me smile, not that ill be honest with him.

"Nah. Good as new now." As I turn to exit the lab I jerk to a halt, the chaos I had previously missed making my damaged heart race. Oh no.

Blossom and Bubbles stood like sentry's by the demolished doorway, their gazes cutting me to the bone. I sweep my gaze past them to the other Ruffs glowering from the couch. Damn, that amount of glare directed at me...I'm surprised I haven't burst into flame. My voice comes out nervous and soft, cracking under the strain its taking to keep from freaking out.

"He-hey guys..."

"Buttercup." Oh, Bubbles is mad. I don't think I've heard her use that tone in years. Blossom doesn't even bother to respond, her gaze cutting me like a whip.

"Um...so...I'm assuming you know now."

"Yeah. They know." Butch answers for them, one hand moving to cup my elbow and steer me through the glowering pair of Puffs. I have some scary ass sisters. "I need to talk to the idiot, you can shred her later."

"Hey-" My annoyed response dies on my tongue when he shift his eyes to glare at me, eyes hard even though his touch is gentle. Well shit. Guess everyone is mad at me, but why the hell does this Ruff care what I do or that I died? I'm getting more confused and freaked the longer I'm awake. Shoulda just stayed asleep. Damn. I curb my tongue as he storms through our home, easily finding my room though I'm not really sure how. I would ask but...well...I'm honestly a little scared of him right now. I mean I know enough that if he wanted to hurt me my sisters would be on him in a flash, but with how mad they all are at me...I've never even seen Butch this mad. I wouldn't call it rough, but when he shoves me down onto my bed and cages me between his arms he isn't exactly gentle either.

"Now. I want to know why. Your words, not the professors." It would be easier to think if he wasn't so freaking attractive, but his mood now...well its not really the time to be thinking about how hot he is. I squirm under his gaze, eyes closing on a sigh.

"There was a chance."

"A chance of what?"

"A chance of being more then just the tolerated green puff. I was so tired of the fake smiles, the adoration of my sisters but the obvious disdain of me. I don't blame my sisters...but I wanted to be more. There was a chance with this, and I took it."

"You risked dying just to be like your sisters?"

"No. I risked dying to stop being me."


Ouch. That one hurt even me, her voice so broken and filled with pain I feel my stomach lurch. How did no one notice how lost and destroyed she had been? I'm supposed to be her other half, but I didn't notice how dramatically she changed or how much pain she was in. Shit.


"I know your all mad, though I don't really understand why you Ruffs give a shit. I mean, its not like I'm hurting you in any way. Actually I'm making your job easier." OK, that one hurt worse.

"Shut up and listen very carefully. I know this is gonna break your little brain, but I wont be repeating it any time soon." Though her eyes are annoyed I watch with mild satisfaction as her full lips purse and take a moment to appreciate her lying, living and breathing, beneath me. Chin length strands of onyx hair fans like a halo around her head, vibrant streaks of lime green glowing in the gloom of the dark room. Even pursed her lips are delectable, full and pink and perfect. Cat like eyes matching the streaks of green in her hair watch me warily, annoyance and confusion swimming in their depths. She is so small compared to me, easily mistakable for delicate, but I knew firsthand how fucking hardcore this slip of a female could be. It make me want her all the more. I had obviously noticed how beautiful she and her sisters were before, I'm a fucking 22 year old guy for Christs sake, but I hadn't let myself really see her as something I wanted to claim. I knew the minute I did I would be lost. Turns out I was lost anyway, I just didn't know it. "Don't talk till I'm done, got it green?"

Even her nod is sassy. Could this girl get any better? Other then being a moron who has put her own life on the line for some stupid misconception of becoming 'better', shes so fucking perfect. "I know your gonna argue this, but you already were perfect you moron. Strong, a will of iron, determined...you have always been perfect in my eyes. Annoying, downright dumb at times, but perfect. At least for me. It helps that your so fucking gorgeous it hurts to look at you. Stop looking at me like that, I'm trying to be sweet here. Now where was I? Oh, yeah. Perfect. Do you have any idea how long I've fought trying to keep myself off of you? How often I wanted to grab those sleek muscles and silence that wasp like tongue of yours with my lips? I've been in love with you for most of my fucking life." She has frozen beneath me, but I push past the lump in my throat and continue to pour my heart out to the one person who could crush me.

"I already know what your gonna say. 'But Butch why, if we have both been in love this long, do you keep picking fights?' Its a good question." I ignore her snort at my imitation of her voice, those mesmerizing eyes rolling in an exasperated manner that makes me grin. "Well we couldn't ruin our rep by becoming all lovey dovey with the Puffs now could we? But, we wanted to see you. So we staged it. All of it. We haven't been "bad" for a long time, actually we've been pretty damn angelic if I do say so myself. But being a pussy wasn't going to impress the three of you, so we kept at it. Telling ourselves we weren't in love and it would pass, but unable to stay away from you all the same. Then you died." Her breath catches at that, the eyes that snap back to mine watering. "Nuh uh, no crying. Anyway. So, then you died, and I lost my fucking mind for a minute. What the hell was I gonna do with you gone green? You are my other half. There isn't gonna be someone else for me. Just like ill be damned if there will be anyone else for you."


"Don't even try and argue it green. Your mine, period. You don't have to fucking like it but that's how it is."


Butch being sappy, holy hell I didn't think id ever see the day. I try to get a word in, but he just snaps at me. Oh, he thinks I'm gonna argue that he isn't my master or some shit. He knows me pretty damn well actually doesn't he.

"Oh shut up and lemme talk." His mouth snaps shut with an audible crunch, teeth grinding together in frustration though he tries to hide it. Its adorable. "What I was gonna say before I was so very rudely interrupted..." I eye him accusingly, his scowl deepening while I try and suppress my laughter. "You really think I've ever wanted anyone else? From the time I was five every time I dreamed of boys or my future there you were, annoying and brutish as always but never the less there by my side. It sucked during puberty. I thought you hated me, but I wanted you so damn bad it hurt. Then the treatment started and it was a pretty good distraction. Didn't make it disappear, but it eased the pain."

He opens his mouth but my glare snaps it shut again. "No, you had your turn. Now its mine. I started this because I wanted to be worthy. Worthy of being a Powerpuff, of being a hero...worthy of you. I was going mad, raging about what I couldn't have and hurting those around me. You should have heard them, happy and laughing once I calmed down and stopped ruining everything. They deserved better then what I was, and I gave it to them. Once all this is over...ill be a new Buttercup, finally worth my name. That's why."

"No one wanted a new Buttercup but you."

"Either way."

"No, not either way. I don't think you understand. We all loved you, still love you, just as you are and were. I didn't want you to change. I know its seven years too late, but I want you just as you are." I feel the swimming tears finally break and slip down my face, my eyes locked on his earnest yet still annoyed expression.

"Its too late now Butch. There is no going back, and I wouldn't if I could. I'm sorry."

"Don't say sorry, just fucking promise to stop lying, hiding...pushing your sisters away. Pushing me away. I'm not going anywhere, not after this. I cant."


I'm standing here, staring at Brick like hes from another world. Its just too much for me to comprehend. The Ruffs loving the Puffs? Some sick joke no doubt. Crossing my arms I wait for him to speak, unwilling to be the first to break the awkward silence as we stand facing one another in my candy pink bedroom.

"Look Blossom. I know this is a lot to take it with what happened to your sister, but be logical for a second. It makes sense doesn't it. We are perfect pairs."

"Yeah. I get that."

"What? Really?" He sounds incredulous and also relieved, but he still isn't out of the woods yet.

"Yeah. I'm not slow Brick. But that does not explain why you A: didn't tell us and B: caused endless trouble for us." I was really pissy at the moment, ill admit it, but no matter how nice he acts I think I have the right to be suspicious. "Over and over again we would get calls about what the Ruffs are doing, what they have destroyed...its never ending."

"Ah...that. Yeah. Well, easiest way to explain that is stupidity."

"Stupidity?" My scoff could flay flesh from bone its so cutting, but he takes it with a self depreciating shrug.

"Yup. Hey, I claim to be the smart one but I am still a guy Blossom. Prone to mistakes. A lot of them actually. Basically what I mean is...we faked it. All of it. We caused enough noise to get you called then spent the rest of it sparring or just plain annoying you. Think about it. How much damage have we actually caused these past few years? Evil gets old fast, and once we hit puberty and started really noticing you...the rest was history. We just used the pretense as an excuse to see you without ruining our bad boy reputation. I mean, you girls are no wilting violets, and having us act like a bunch of pansy ass love struck teenagers would not have been impressive to you. So we just kept up the pretense and tried impressing you in other ways. Kinda worked too didn't it?" My blush is nuclear now as I try and sputter out a denial that I know is a damn lie. Apparently he does too.

"Yeah. That's what I thought. Stupid yeah, but effective, at least till tonight. Butch fucking lost it when you took off, and though he is trying to play it cool he is still reeling from the experience. We all are. It never even crossed our minds that there would be a chance of losing you. Your fucking super heroes. Now that we've seen it first hand...all our worlds sort of shifted, and wasting time being morons really doesn't suit the new mindset. So here we are, me acting like a love-struck fool and facing off a pissy Puff."

I'm annoyed with that last part, but if he hadn't done something to ruin the moment it wouldn't be him now would it. Damn idiot. He is right though. I cant deny the attraction that's been simmering for years, so ingrained it was like a part of me now. "Your an idiot."

His face softens, red eyes glowing with so much adoration my heat skips, then skips again at the love in his voice. "Yeah. I know."


"Bubbles...baby...talk to me." I'm panicking, ill admit it. As Butch and Brick swept their females out of the room mine had just sat there, still as stone while I desperately tried to explain myself. She has to understand. I cant fucking live without this frothy blonde in my life, but if she hates me...oh shit. My eyes screw shut, fist clenching as her silence cuts me worse then any words. I had accepted her power over me first, understanding on some level that I was meant to belong to her, not the other way around. I had kept my mouth shut because I loved my brothers and I knew they were far from ready to accept our fate. My mistake.

When we had met all those years ago I thought the girl an idiot, flaky and lost in a world of rainbows and unicorns only she could see. But the more I was around her the more I understood. She wasn't lost, she was the fucking shepherd. Steering us, the ones lost in the dark, back into her world of utter joy. She was like an angel back then, and had changed so little over the years but at the same time so much. Twin chin length pigtails had lengthened into blonde waterfalls, easily as long as her hips if she ever let them down. Her cherub face had sharpened into one of ethereal beauty, cobalt eyes that could touch your very soul dominating the fairy like face. Then her lips, not quite as full as her sisters but wider, like a permanent smile...they tempted me to do so many damn things. But I wouldn't, because she deserved so much better. At least that's what I had thought before I was slapped in the face with reality. We could lose them. Lose our better halves before we ever experienced the joy of having them as our own.

I probably lost her anyway considering her silence. I don't think Bubbles has been this quiet in her life, and it fucking hurts knowing shes doing it because of me. When her silence becomes unbearable I bolt, diving into the darkness of the Townsville night to drown out the pain of rejection. I don't get far before I'm tackled from behind, our two bodies crashing into a nearby field with enough force to crater the earth. Obviously I take the brunt of the fall, easily adjusting her smaller form until she is cradled in my arms.


Tipping my head back I let the cool night air caress my face, refusing to look down into those eyes that would rip out my heart.

"I love you. I don't want to. But I do." That snaps my head up, rapping my chin sharply on the top of her angelic but hard as hell head.

"Wait...what?" Her fucking giggle is both adorable and maddening considering I'm in a near panic again, shaking her in the cage of my arms until the giggles die out.

"I said I love you. I'm mad. I don't really wanna love you right now, cuz you've acted like a jerk. But I do and your not gonna get away from me that easily." My sigh of relief leaves me breathless.