It had been two years since Buttercup had lost her powers, but she wasn't sure she'd ever get used to it. And on top of that, she looked... well, almost like a normal little girl, fingers, nose, and all.
It seemed as though the Chemical X running through her and her sisters' veins had an expiration date after all.
At least her boyfriend had been patient and supportive throughout the whole ordeal. At least Ace had been patient and supportive throughout the whole ordeal. Buttercup blushed when she thought about his stubble brushing across her cheek when they kissed.
The Professor hadn't approved of Ace at first, after all, he had been the leader of the Gangreen Gang once upon a time, but Ace had proven himself over the years and given up his life of crime.
And never had Buttercup been more happy to have Ace on her side than the day she, Blossom, and Bubbles had lost their powers... on the day that marked the thirteenth year since she was created by Professor Utonium in his lab. That whole day had been a blur. She had woken up, seen fingers, a cute little button nose, a normal sized head in the mirror and let out a yelp of surprise.
She'd run to the Professor's lab, only to find that Blossom and Bubbles were there, too, wearing now absurdly tiny night gowns that had fit just the day before. He'd asked them to try to use their powers, but to no avail. Professor Utonium concluded that the Chemical X had worn worn off and that from now on, the PowerPuff Girls were no more.
"You don't understand," Buttercup had yelled at Blossom. "You're smart, Bubbles is perky, but I'm nothing without my powers! Just a normal little girl with a big mouth."
Buttercup vaguely remembered the Professor taking them on a shopping trip to pick out a new wardrobe, seeing as their old clothes no longer fit, but she'd only numbly picked out a few black and green dresses, not unlike the ones she'd used to wear.
Only a day or so later, the story had been all over TV, in the newspaper, and online: No More PowerPuffs? An insurmountable number of press conferences, interviewers, and reporters had all been eager to find out what had caused Townsville's favorite heroines to lose their powers.
The truth of the matter was even Professor Utonium himself wasn't sure. Did the Chemical X have an expiration date? Did it only work for thirteen years at a time? Could the hormones released during puberty be an antidote for Chemical X?
Through all that, Ace had been there by her side, as even Blossom and Bubbles, who had adjusted to life without powers quite well, never had. At first, Ace and Buttercup had merely been friends, though she'd always secretly had a crush on him. When she'd first told him how she felt about him, Buttercup had expected Ace to tell that she was too young or they were too different. She'd thought that like everything in her short life that she'd wanted or cared about, she'd have to fight for it. Except that... Ace hadn't been into that kind of drama.
He had simply and straightforwardly admitted that he felt the same way. Buttercup had kissed him then, not caring about the pointiness of his rather fang-like teeth.
That had been around a year and a half ago by Buttercup's count, and strangely enough, they were still together. (At least, it felt strange to her.) She couldn't help but wonder if maybe one day they would take the relationship to the next level and get mar- but, no, they were young and that was a silly Bubbles kind of thing to think about.
"Buttercup and Ace sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G," Blossom and Bubbles chanted as Buttercup came into the living room. "First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes Ace with the baby carriage."
Buttercup glared at them and muttered something about where they could shove said baby carriage. Her sisters merely giggled in response as she plopped down on the sofa.
"Hey, Buttercup, lookin' good," Blossom teased.
"Yeah, you look really great, sis." Bubbles chimed in.
"Going on a date with Ace tonight?" Blossom arched an eyebrow.
Buttercup merely stuck her tongue out at her red-haired sister.
"I'll take that as a yes." Blossom giggled.
The girls had become accustomed to and maybe even liked Ace, now that the Gangreen Gang were protectors of the city of Townsville instead of destroyers, but for whatever reason, Buttercup's sisters found Ace's relationship with her hilarious. When Buttercup had first told her sisters that they were now a couple, her announcement had been met with peals of laughter, and choruses of "I told you so!" and "I knew it!" Buttercup had turned nearly as red as Blossom's hair bow.
Buttercup rapidly clicked through the channels as the minutes dragged by. Ace was late. Then again, he was always late, something Buttercup had gotten used. Yet today...he was even later than usual. Another twenty minutes went by before she heard a vehicle with an extremely noisy engine pull into the driveway. Buttercup leapt up from her seated position and peered out the window, her nose pressed up against the enough, it was Ace and was he riding a...motorcycle?
Buttercup pulled on her favorite jacket, a black and green affair, and rushed downstairs, nearly tripping as she did.
"I never used to do that before I lost my powers." she thought.
When she got to the front door, Professor Utonium stood there in front of it, arms crossed inside the sleeves of his pristine lab coat. Which meant he hadn't been been in his lab yet, otherwise his lab coat would be grungy or filled with holes from assorted, no doubt toxic, chemicals.
"Now, Buttercup," her dad said calmly yet firmly. "You know how I feel about motorcycles. They're unstable, unsafe vehicles and you could hurt or worse."
"I don't get hurt very easily, Professor." Buttercup insisted.
"A few years ago, you weren't easily injured, but now you're just as vulnerable as the rest of us. I don't want my little girl to be hurt in some sort of-"
"But, Professor, I'm in high school now. I'm not a little girl! Worry about scaredy little Bubbles all you want, but I can take care of myself. Besides what am I supposed to do, tell Ace to come back when he has something safer?"
"It's just that I worry about you, Buttercup. Of the three of you, you've taken the loss of your powers the hardest. The first few days, all you did was sit and mope and that scared me more than you can imagine. If I lost you...
"It's nothing against Ace, he's become a fine young man in the past few years. It's just that, I'm not certain he realizes youaren't indestructible anymore. That you can be hurt as easily as anyone now. I want you to be safe. Make sure to wear a helmet, bring your cell phone, and if you feel uncomfortable in any way-" the Professor said solemnly.
Surprising him, Buttercup interrupted her father by hugging him. He stiffened in shock a little. Buttercup rarely ever hugged Professor Utonium, or anyone really. That was more Bubbles's area.
"Don't worry, Professor. I'll be safe, I promise." she said into his shoulder.
Buttercup released her creator from her embrace and raced out the door before he could utter another word.
"Hey, youse, hop on. We gots places ta go an' people ta see." Ace said upon seeing her. His voice, while still nasally had gotten deeper over the years. He had also gotten taller and his arms had some muscle tone. However, he still wore his signature shades, vest, and greasy black hair.
"I hope this is your way of saying you have a surprise for me. You were almost 45 minutes later than usual." Buttercup said as she strapped on a green helmet with skulls emblazoned upon it.
"Trust me, green-eyes, you're gonna love this." Ace said with a smirk.