**AN: It's me again. Sorry I took so long to get this up. Serious writer's block. This is the first thing I've written in weeks. I know it's short. I promise the next chapter will be longer :). Thanks for all of the great reviews :)**

Chapter 4

"Someone really should go up and get her Professor, she's been up there way too long. She's trying to avoid us," Blossom said staring at the kitchen table that Bubbles was setting for dinner. Was it dinner time already?

She hardly missed the hard look the Professor gave her, "She'll come down when she's ready Blossom. I have a feeling that what she's going to tell us isn't going to be something that can be fixed with a band-aid. If Buttercup needs time to prepare herself for this, then we'll give it to her."

Blossom fought to keep from rolling her eyes. Her impatience eating at her with a ferocity that frightened her. Blossom was normally so calm, even when certain situations gave her allowance for panic, she remained cool and level headed. Not today, though. Today she couldn't sit still. Something was wrong with one of her sisters, something very wrong. Something, or someone had hurt one of her own, and she wanted to find out who or what... NEEDED to find out who or what...so she could hurt it back just as viciously. She began to analyze Buttercup's deviant behavior in the past month, subtly noting the drastic changes in her personality and when they'd occurred. She recalled Buttercup's reaction to being called her name, to something as simple as being touched. She was so quick to anger, so quick to flee from a tense situation and disappear always returning soaked to the bone. She remembered that morning seeing Buttercup's raw flesh that looked as if she had been rubbing it raw with giant scouring pads...how small and delicate she'd looked at the pool as Blossom, Bubbles, and the Professor hoovered above her angrily. Her small body had been lost in the towel she'd wrapped around herself like a shield. Oh Buttercup.... I did know something was wrong, something was terribly wrong, just like Bubbles said. I just... I just didn't want to see it. I wanted to be angry with you, I needed to pretend you were just being difficult and insolent, rowdy and uncontrollable because you were simply being yourself. I didn't want anything to be really wrong with you. I wanted it to be something as simple as me knocking the sense back into you, you being grounded for a month. I wanted to ignore all the physical signs that you were struggling with inner demons, I wanted ignore all the mental signs... As much as I hate to admit it, BC, you're the tough girl. You're the one who can fly by the seat of your pants and make it back unscathed. The fact that you can get hurt, the fact that someone hurt you to where you have to torture yourself, and keep everything bottled up inside is almost more than I can bear... Because if someone could do that to you, then of course they could do it to Bubbles, poor sweet little Bubbles, or me. Blossom shuddered, what if something horrible were to happen to me.

She had to know what was happening to Buttercup, she had to know what had done it. What changed her, what was making her act this way? Then Blossom herself could destroy it, make sure that it would never come back out to infect her, or one of her family ever again.

But then again...if the thing, the horrible event, had destroyed Buttercup, what gave Blossom any grounds to think that she could defeat it? Good God! She wrung her hands together in anticipation, she had to know! She cast a quick look around the kitchen. Bubbles and the Professor looked to be in conversation with one another, and not paying any particular attention to Blossom. She smiled slightly, and quietly slipped from the room.

She'd talk to Buttercup herself, calmly and rationally. She had to know, she just had to!

She knocked softly on the bedroom door before opening it. "BC," she called in gently. No answer. She peeked inside the room, "BC?"

She entered, no one was there. She frowned at the slightly damp towel on the floor, and the small pile of Buttercup's oversized tomboy apparel. She couldn't help but feel disapproval at her sister's sloppiness. She bent down to begin collecting the pile to be put in the laundry hamper when a slight breeze kissed her features lifting her fiery hair in a light hearted dance about her face. The window was open. With a sudden start she dropped the pile of clothes she'd been collecting. The window was open, and Buttercup was gone!


Damn you BC!

"Professor! Bubbles!"

Damn you for running! You knew I needed to know...

"Professor! Bubbles! Come quick!"


The ride in the dark was uneventful. Her body lie placid in the backseat of the vehicle, the soft leather of the seat creating a comfortable cushion. She could hear him, his voice...he was probably speaking to her, but she couldn't understand what he was saying. He always spoke in such riddles, flowers and gardens, bumbles bees and butterflies. He prattled on for what seemed like hours...or for what could have been hours. Who knew how long she'd been lying there. Her eyes stared into the vast blackness surrounding her. No interior lights, no streetlights....nothing shone in through the black windows. When she'd first woken up, she thought she had died. She couldn't move any of her appendages, she couldn't turn her head. She was there in total awareness, but could not feel. Slowly her sense of touch began to return, she knew she was lying on something soft, and that she was stretched out. She knew something warm covered her, a blanket or large jacket perhaps. She could feel that she was moving...or rather something under her was. She was in a car....and that was when he began to talk. Was he speaking to her, or was he holding a conversation with someone else in the car. She couldn't move her head, or sit up to look up and see if anyone else was there besides... him. She heard no other signs of life besides...him. He must be talking to her then, she had rationalized. Yet, he wasn't, and after a while she'd tuned him out.

Where was he going to take her this time? What was he going to do? He'd already ruined her, tainted her, dirtied her...what the hell else could he possibly do? He could kill her...

Did the idea of that bother her? The darkness waited for her answer, it being her only company, for he was too busy talking to his imaginary companion. Could she handle knowing that he was probably going to kill her and be rid of all evidence of what he'd done?

She wanted to chuckle as she contemplated that. He'd already killed her, and if he thought he had to kill her physically to be rid of the evidence than he dumber than she gave him credit for. She was dead to her old world, the world where she could be a hero, a wholesome, virtuous, strong heroine to be feared. Now she was a creature to be pitied, to be pitied and disgusted of, a creature who could taint the purest of people with one vile touch. She remembered Bubble's broken face in the woods... she remembered Blossom's stinging eyes, and the Professor's worried expression. She was the cause of their turmoil, people once so happy were being affected by her weakness. She couldn't be allowed to continue to contaminate her household, or that world...

She no longer belonged, and if she didn't belong there, where else could she go but to death? Could death be sullied too? She wasn't sure, but if it could, she asked for its forgiveness.

She snorted to herself, what a pathetic creature she had become indeed. So low that not even death could take her without her having to beg it to do so. Nothing wanted to be touched by her it seemed, not even the inevitable. But if she couldn't die, what else could she do?

The car came to a stop, and suddenly the interior was filled with light. She shut her eyes against the harshness of it, and cringed as she felt hands roaming her small body, and lifting it. She felt herself being cradled, her head held against a well muscled chest. The scent of his aftershave was strong, making her feel nauseous... It was the same smell.... always the same... "We're home now, my little buttercup, I cannot wait for you to become a part of my garden. Now let's see...where to plant this pretty little flower..."

Please kill me...she pleaded silently. Please death... just this once make it easy. Please just let him kill me. I want to die on the outside as well.

I promise not to touch you if you make it quick.