It was no secret that he hated the Powerpuff Girls. None at all. He'd tried over and over to take the trio down, to drag them from the perch of sunshine and joy they flaunted at every opportunity. That was his end goal, had been since the day he first met the insufferable brats. He wasn't interested in their death as others were. That wasn't to say that he was against the idea, not by any means. Indeed, the girls meeting their untimely demise at his claws would be nothing short of cathartic, but he wanted to do so much more than kill them.

He wanted their fear, their despair, their suffering. The end of their lives wasn't enough on its own. They needed to fail, their optimism shattered and their happiness spoiled beyond salvaging.

The fantasy played through his head more times than he could count, each plan crueler, and so much sweeter than the last. He'd come close, close enough to touch, and yet each time, they managed to pull through. They'd reached the point where they'd almost give up, the last flicker of hope fragile and fading, only to explode back into a blazing furry at the last moment.

It was infuriating, to put it mildly.

Oh, he wasn't about to give up. If anyone was going to break them, it was going to be HIM, and he knew it.

He watched them, every day, studying not their physical weaknesses, but rather searching for flaws in their personalities. Little cracks in their otherwise perfect exterior. Ironically, the purest of the three was the one most susceptible to moments of doubt. Little Bubbles. There was a reason he targeted her more than the other two. Her innocence made her more prone to his manipulation, and her soft, loving heart was so much easier for him to hurt.

Disagreement was common in the group, but true and honest fights were the rare event. When they happened, he kept an extra close eye on them. He could almost always guess how any given skirmish would end the moment it started. Of course, interfering each and every time would put them on guard, give them an active fear of fighting least he show his face.

He picked his battles, waited until he was sure he could do damage before slipping his claw into the fray. When he did step in, he made it clear that it was HIM they were dealing with. He was theatrical, crooning and gloating at their wide eyed, horrified faces. The entire thing would become an event, and when they defeated HIM, they were always so full of pride.

And pride, perhaps, was the problem.

He couldn't just sit back and watch them destroy themselves without pausing to rub his victory in their face. To destroy them, then let it go like he hadn't had a hand in it? That was his own flaw, his weakness, his crack. He needed to put his mark on it like an artist leaving a signature. They had to know he'd won, he'd finally beat them and they weren't strong enough to come back because of HIM. He had succeeded where everyone else failed.

This of course, gave them an enemy. A focus for their ire. The same thing that wore them down became that which held them together. They'd forget their differences, they'd regain hope, they'd keep going on for no other reason than the fact he gave them something to fight.

That was perhaps the part that angered him the most. It was his own presence in each plan that brought it to ruin.

But it was fine. He wasn't about to give up himself. He was so much better than that.

With a little patience, and pressure applied to the right nerve, he would win. All the time he spent waiting would make the moment all the better, to finally see them at his feet without a shred of light left in them.

And then? Maybe he'd kill them. Or maybe he'd let them live, just to watch them suffer a little more.