"Well, Buttercup?" Professor Utonium said when he saw his daughter fly through the door. "Any sign of Blossom yet?"

"No," Buttercup replied glumly. "Scanned the entire city, not a single bow on a redhead in sight."

The Professor sighed. "Well, I hope at least Bubbles comes back all right," he said, walking over to the couch. "I don't want to lose anymore daughters."

"When do you think she's gonna-" Buttercup never finished speaking. She got tackle hugged by a very distressed Bubbles.

"WAAAAHHH!" Bubbles cried, hugging Buttercup so tightly, she choked on her own breath.

"Woah, easy, Bubbles!" Buttercup managed, prying her sister off of her body. "Why are you so-"

"The missing posters got ruined!" Bubbles wailed. "I got a bunch of water in my face, I don't know who, but the posters got soaked! And then Boomer dropped off, and he gave me a bag of jawbreakers, I don't know what his deal is, and, and-WE'LL NEVER FIND HER!"

"In English, puh-lease?" Buttercup couldn't understand half of what Bubbles had been saying. The blond had spoken so rapidly, her hearing glands couldn't catch up on what she had said. And how exactly did this conversation on Boomer and jawbreakers come up out of nowhere?

Bubbles took in a few deep breaths. "I, I, I was passing out the missing posters, but I bumped into Boomer." Buttercup tensed. If he did anything to make this crybaby cry, I swear. . .

"And then this truck came by, and splashed water over both of us. We got soaked, but so did the posters. What if we lose Blossom, forever-"

Buttercup shoved her hand into her sister's mouth. "Don't say it." The thought of not being able to find Blossom just hurt.

Bubbles understood. Gulping in some more air, she continued, "The truck splashed water in my face, and Boomer's face, too. And then the posters were ruined, and I kinda, well. . . I got the water out of my eyes. . ."

Buttercup rolled her eyes, but smiled. Good old Bubbles, just trying to stay strong.

"And then. . . Boomer, he. . . he gave me this bag of jawbreakers, right here-"

"Woah, woah, wait. What?!" Buttercup frowned. She heard that right, right? Only then did she noticed that the blond was clutching a brown bulging bag. Buttercup half-yanked the bag out of Bubbles' hand and took a peek inside. Yup, they're jawbreakers, alright.

She looked back up at Bubbles, jaw set in minimal rage. "Are you kidding me?" she hissed, careful not to yell. They didn't need to cause anymore trouble than they already had. "Why would you even accept this from him?"

"Well, I think, maybe, uh. . . he's not so bad after all?"

"Not so bad?!" Buttercup growled. She had tossed the bag aside and was leaning in on Bubbles. "He's a Rowdyruff Boy, Bubbles! Do you even know who we're talking about? Just because he gave you jawbreakers once doesn't mean that he's good!"

"I, I just thought, um. . . uh. . ."

"Um, uh, nothing!" Buttercup sighed with exasperation. When was Bubbles going to understand? It wasn't always possible to reform a villain!

"I'm gonna go out for another fly," she said, racing for the front door. "Shouldn't take that long. Bye!"

"But, Buttercup-"

SLAM!

"Ow!"

Maybe I was a bit too hard on her, Buttercup thought as she took to the air. It was pretty mean of her, to literally slam the door in her own sister's face. But she had no time to apologize. She had to get a move on, she had to go out at look for Blossom at least one more time. They couldn't have lost her sister so easily.

Darn it, she thought as she flew over Pokey Oaks Kindergarten. If all those monsters hadn't suddenly attacked Townsville, all three of us would have been just fine. . .

Five monsters had gone on an all-out rampage yesterday. And they weren't from Monster Isle, either. They had a one-track mind to kill. When Blossom had received the hotline, Buttercup knew she and her sisters would have to protect Townsville again, no matter what the cost. And usually there was little cost or none at all. But this time there were too many for the trio to fight together.


"Bubbles, take on the wolf and the falcon! Buttercup, get the python and the bull!"

"Uh, Blossom?"

"Yeah, Buttercup?"

"You sure you can take on that giant tiger?"

"Come on, Buttercup, you're dealing with two of these things. I'm pretty sure I can get through this one just fine."

"Promise, Blossom?"

"I promise, Bubbles. Now, let's do this, girls! And we'll have to try to take this fight out of Townsville!"

Buttercup herself managed to get the job done in no time. All she did was fling the python creature around the bull creature's neck and throw them beyond Fuzzy's forest. It turned out those two were not as strong as they looked, which was somewhat of a disappointment for her.

She was able to leap to Bubbles' aid, who could be seen in the distance fighting the wolf creature and the falcon creature. The two creatures, although not strong, were fast, and Bubbles, despite her knowledge of animals, failed to outwit them. Buttercup held off a distraction long enough for Bubbles to dispatch them.

But after their own skirmishes were over, they could not find Blossom. It wasn't until they heard a deafening roar from all the way across the city that they located her.

And Blossom was not there when they arrived. All they found was a large puddle of blood and scraps of Blossom's clothing.


"Stupid. . . promise-breaker. . ." Buttercup grunted as she reached Townsville, forcing in her tears. She couldn't cry. Not now, when Blossom needed her. If she cried, that would mean she had given up hope on finding her sister. And she was not planning to give up so easily, unlike Bubbles. Blossom had to be alive, somewhere. She could be anywhere, trying to stop herself from bleeding, trying to survive. She had promised she would get through the ordeal, after all.

Come on, come on! Buttercup thought frantically, zigzagging around buildings. She's gotta be around here, somewh-

WHAM! Something barreled into her side.

"Euagghhh!" Buttercup shrieked as the full force of it overwhelmed her. She barely skidded to a halt in the air before she had her back slamming into a skyscraper. Quickly, she shook her head, and looked forward. Pulling off the most ferocious glare she could, her eyes focused onto. . .

"You?!" There was Butch, just bobbing in mid-air, a little ways apart from her. But he looked different. He wasn't twitching with the eagerness of beating the heck out of whatever crossed his path. He didn't bear that crazy, seemingly-endless smile on his face. This time, he was shivering with anger, and the shadowy look of a purpose, fully his own, crossed his eyes.

Buttercup kept her startled expression for a split-second more before slyly smirking. "Aw, what's wrong, Butchy-boy?" she teased. "Somebody ith weawy angwy, ain't he?"

Butch responded by flying forward, socking her squarely in the jaw.

"Mmmph!" Buttercup cupped her hands around her mouth and spat. She let out a sigh of relief. At least she hadn't bled.

Buttercup looked back up to give Butch the what for, but he was already aiming another hit. Barely dodging it, Buttercup grabbed Butch by the throat and kept pushing him through the air. Just before she was able to drive him into a brick building, Butch collared her and did a hundred-eighty degree spin.

"Waugh!" Buttercup cried as she felt the bumpy bricks grind into her backside. She kicked Butch off. "Get off, you creep! What the heck is wrong with you?!"

Butch just glared back. Waving a fist in the air, he charged, yelling, "I'LL KILL YOU!"

"What the heck, dude?!" Buttercup yelped as she flew off, Butch in hot pursuit of her. Wow, she thought. He must have been really angry. Maybe it was a terrible idea to go ahead and tease him like that.

She made a rough landing in the park. Having created enough skid marks into the grassy soil, she whirled to face her counterpart. Butch made an even rougher landing; soon, he was surrounded by a crater devoid of vegetation.

"What's this all about?!" Buttercup demanded. "You're going off a lot crazier than how you first were, y'know!"

Butch just stayed down in his sprinter's crouch. "You're not going anywhere. Not until I show Brick I'm much better than him. . ."

"Huh?" Buttercup was completely confused. "What are ya even talking about?"

Butch snorted. "Brick can't even kill a Powerpuff Girl. . . yet he tells me and Boomer to do whatever he wants. . . he asks Boomer for opinions, but he's so stupid. . . but Brick doesn't ask me for anything. . ." the green boy trembled with fury. "Well, I'm gonna show him! I'll kill you!" Butch cried as he readied a Tornado Kick. "Then he'll have. . . to listen. . . to me!"

SMASH!

"Aaaaaarrrgh!" Buttercup cried, cowering from the pain. It hurt! "Hey, hey!" she cried out, barely blocking Butch's berserk blows. "Can't we talk this over? This is overkill!"

Butch ignored her and kicked her head on.

"Hey, hey, stop, stop!" Buttercup suddenly flew up and used both of her feet to clamp down Butch's. The boy grunted, struggling to get free. Knowing he couldn't use his feet, he tried to use his arms. Sweating heavily, Buttercup decided to practice her new move straight on Butch.

"Telekinesis!" she cried, and used all her concentration on pinning Butch's arms to the ground. One of his punches had gotten very close to her face, when a neon green glow surrounded his arms and brought them down with a thud.

Darn it, it shouldn't have been this way! Butch thought. I'm supposed to have gotten this over with by now, she should be dead by now, I should have already gone home and confronted Brick. . .

He couldn't get a hold of his emotions anymore. Hot tears leaked out between his eyelids. Upon seeing this, Buttercup was taken aback. "H-hey! What's wrong?" she asked, somewhat worried. She flew off of Butch, and the glow around his arms slowly faded away.

But he didn't get up. He just stayed down, breathing shakily. "Brick. . ." he finally managed, ". . . always doing things his way. . ."

Buttercup was confused, but she thought she could connect to what Butch was saying. "Tell me, what's going on?" she said, lying down next to him.

Butch kept his mouth shut. Should he talk? He didn't know. He didn't trust her; she wasn't on the same side as him.

"I don't think I like Brick so much," he finally said. "He keeps telling us what to do, half of them just sounds completely stupid. The only reason why I don't talk back is mostly 'cause he just hits anything that doesn't agree with him."

"Heh, really?" Buttercup replied. "I kinda feel the same way about Blossom. I sorta dislike her when she gives out orders. She isn't right all the time, even if she's the smartest. Her brains are too big for her own good." She chuckled and sat up. "And we argue a lot. Sometimes, it goes all the way to dealing blows at each other, but we sort it out in the end. Mind ya, though, she listens to me." Buttercup looked down at Butch. "Y'know why?"

Butch looked up at Buttercup. "Why?"

"Because I stand up to her," the girl responded matter-of-factly. "I get back at her when I disagree with her or when I think she's wrong, because I want her to listen to me, to see my point. Usually, she wins. . . but I've won a few times, too. Because she eventually understands me. And that's exactly what you've gotta do to Brick."

"Huh?"

"The only reason Brick's got all that power over you is because you never stand up to him. You're letting him boss you around, and that's not right. Ya gotta learn to resist, Butch, really."

Butch just stared up for a moment before feeling his anger steadily creeping into him. He hated her even more now. Because she was right. He hadn't really disagreed with Brick in any situation.

"Speaking of which, I gotta go," Buttercup said, breaking through Butch's thoughts. "Blossom's been missing for a long time, and she would normally have come home ages ago. Oh, before that," she continued, leaning in on Butch, "just because you think you hate Brick right now doesn't mean you actually do. If ya ever lose him, you'll probably feel really bad about it. Don't take family for granted." Hanging her head, she added, "I've made that mistake, and the consequences are ugly," before taking off. Only when she was about a skylength away from the park did she realize what she had said.

Oh, no! No, no, no, no, NO! What had she done? She was senseless enough to reveal they were a number short, and that would make a clear opening. . .

Maybe Blossom did have a right to be arrogant the way she was. Buttercup herself knew the truth, she wasn't smart enough like her sister. Her recent blunder had confirmed the fact.

At long last, she allowed herself to sob. She knew she had sworn to herself not to cry while Blossom was missing, but there was no use trying to shove her words back into her mouth. She had already let a secret slip, and it was a terrible slippage of words. She had to give up now. She would have to. The Powerpuffs' end would come soon, she could tell.

"I'm sorry, Blossom," Buttercup whispered through tears. "I'm a promise-breaker, too. . ."


Sorry for the enorvastmously late update! 24 DAYS. What was I thinking. . . ^^;; Don't get mad at me!

Yeah, the "hearing glands" part? Well, we all know the Powerpuff Girls and the Rowdyruff Boys don't have ears, so I needed something to fill them in. I mean, if you can recall from "The Boys are Back in Town", Buttercup covers the spot where her ears should be when Butch cracks his knuckles (I didn't know that he was cracking bones until some neighbor of mine explained it to me by doing it himself).

Kinda odd at the fighting-monsters flashback, though. How come the Rowdyruff Boys didn't notice the other monsters? Maybe all of those monsters were too small for skyline view, or were all of them (except for the giant tiger that nearly tore Blossom to pieces) already defeated by the Powerpuff Girls by the time the Boys went out for a fly? Probably the latter. . .

And the part when Butch collars Buttercup and bumps her against the building? That was a direct reference to "The Rowdyruff Boys", only it was Buttercup doing that to Butch instead.

Frankly, I've rushed through the first bit of the chapter. It was only after I got to the flashback when things got interesting enough for me.

Special thanks to Vanilla Butter 88 for helping me through my writer's block (is that a good excuse as to why I haven't been updating for so long?).

Also, PLEASE check my profile page. The bottom notification may. . . "interest" some of you.