Secrets and Surprises
Chapter 21 - And They All Lived. . .
Blossom and Bubbles stayed with Buttercup and Andra the rest of the week, though there didn't seem to be a real need for them. Mitch and his gang were terrified of provoking Blossom again, as they had barely escaped trips to the hospital, though someone in that group apparently had the guts to start saying that Blossom was gay. But she took it in stride, and Mrs. Stone either didn't hear of it, or she chose to ignore it. She seemed to be ignoring Buttercup and Andra, so it made sense for her to avoid Blossom as well.
So the four girls were together Friday morning when they saw the first signs advertising "The First Ever Townsville Junior High Prom!!!"
"Ooh! Prom!" Bubbles squealed.
"Prom, Shrom," Buttercup said. "They'll decorate the cafeteria badly, play bad music, and still expect us to pay money for it. School dances are the biggest waste of time and money ever."
"You've never even been to a school dance," Bubbles said.
Andra put on a pout. "You wouldn't even go with me?"
Buttercup blushed. She'd forgotten Andra was standing with her. "Uh, I'll have to think about it."
Andra laughed. "Don't worry about it, Buttercup. After all, you've got two weeks to ask me."
Buttercup turned a deeper shade of red. Blossom and Bubbles began to giggle along with Andra. By the time the warning bell rang, all four girls were in hysterics, for no reason other than to have fun.
But Buttercup wasn't laughing that night in her bedroom. She paced in front of Blossom and Bubbles, who sat on their respective beds.
"I don't think it's possible to be a bigger idiot than I was," Buttercup lamented. "Andra likes dances and I went on about how awful they are. I totally blew my chances for a date."
"No you didn't," blossom said. "Andra still hung out with us. She let you fly her home, she still talked to you and held your hand. She's smart. She's not going to break up with you because you don't have identical likes."
"I should ask her to the dance, though. She obviously wants me to. But what if she thinks -"
"Buttercup!" Blossom interrupted. "Stop stressing out about it!"
"Yeah," Bubbles chimed in. "There's two weeks before the dance, anyway. You don't have to ask her tomorrow."
"But I want to," Buttercup whined.
"Then ask her!" Blossom said.
Buttercup sat down on the nearest bed - Blossom's - and put her head in her hands. "My life is too complicated."
"That's why I'm never going to have a boyfriend," Bubbles announced. "Or girlfriend," she added with a look to Buttercup.
"So you say," Buttercup said.
Blossom yawned. "Can we argue tomorrow? I want to go to sleep."
On Monday, the Girls went back to their old arrangement for traveling to school. Buttercup left while Bubbles and Blossom were still eating breakfast. But by now Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup understood that they truly were three different people, entitling them each to their own personal quirks.
Buttercup had half expected a group of people to be harassing Andra by their locker, but the only one besides Andra there was Jilly Bean.
"Bye, Andra!" Jilly called when she saw Buttercup, and she ran down the hall.
"Did I suddenly catch cooties or something?" Buttercup asked Andra when she got to the locker.
"No, of course not. She was just telling me something you might not like to hear."
"Oh," Buttercup said. She opened the locker and began sorting out her books.
"Don't you want to know what it is?" Andra asked.
"'Course I do," Buttercup said. "But I figure rumors have cause us enough problems."
"True," Andra said. "but according to Jilly, everyone else knows this already so. . ."
Buttercup sighed. "So tell me."
Andra grinned. "I knew you couldn't resist. Anyway, rumor is," she lowered her voice, " Blossom's gay."
Buttercup shifted her backpack to her other shoulder. "Yeah, so?"
Andra lightly smacked Buttercup's shoulder. "Why didn't you tell me?"
Buttercup shrugged, then smiled mischievously. "I didn't want you to get a big head over being right."
Andra laughed, then gasped. "Right? About. . . about everything?"
Buttercup smiled ruefully. "About everything."
"Oh boy," Andra said. "So, um, is this the part where you dump me?"
"No way! Why would you think that?"
"Well, there isn't a guy in this school who doesn't want to go out with her, every girl wants to be her friend, and several probably want more, they just won't admit it. Who wouldn't pass up an opportunity like this?"
"Me!" Buttercup exclaimed. "God, me and Blossom a couple. I think we'd kill eachother within a week." Buttercup took a deep breath. "Actually, this is the part where I ask you to the Prom."
Andra stared for a moment. "For real? I thought you hated dances."
Buttercup shrugged. "Maybe I exaggerated a bit."
"You don't have to do this, Buttercup," Andra said quietly. "I don't mind, really."
"But I do. So just give me an answer and put me out of my misery. I've never asked anyone out before."
Andra smiled shyly. "I'd love to go to the Prom with you, Buttercup."
Buttercup didn't tell anyone about her luck getting a date until late that evening. She and Blossom were getting ready for bed in their room, waiting for Bubbles to get out of the bathroom.
"I asked Andra to the dance," Buttercup said casually as she pulled her nightgown over her head.
"Really?" Blossom asked. "She said yes, right?"
Buttercup smiled. "Yeah, she did."
"Told you she would!"
"I know. But, uh, I need your help again."
Blossom sighed. "The hard part's over, Buttercup! What could you possibly need help with now?"
"I don't exactly have anything to wear, and you know I can't shop. Would you help me?"
Blossom beamed. "I'd be happy to."
"But no pink," Buttercup warned. "And nothing poofy and girlie. And -"
"Buttercup!" Blossom interrupted, laughing. "I know what you do and don't like. We'll find you something before the dance. But. . ."
"But what?"
"Why are you asking me? Bubbles is the clothes diva. And I. . . well, I figured you might want to avoid me for awhile. I mean, with the whole. . . thing."
Buttercup shrugged. "I was tempted to ask Bubbles, but because she is the clothes diva, I don't want to spend a day at the mall with her. And I'm not avoiding you because what good would that do? It would get us into another argument and we'd end up hating eachother again. You may get on my nerves sometimes, and I was a little surprised by your announcement, but you're still my sister. Not literally, obviously -"
"But I know what you mean," Blossom finished for Buttercup. She smiled. "Thanks, Buttercup. I needed that reassurance."
"Yeah, no problem."
"Aww, it's a Kodak moment!"
Blossom and Buttercup jumped and looked behind themselves. Bubbles was standing in the bathroom doorway, her nightgown clinging to her still-wet body, her hair wrapped in a towel turban.
"How long were you there?" Buttercup demanded.
"Just to hear the part about Blossom still being your sister," Bubbles said as she floated to her bureau. "Why did I miss something really interesting?"
"No," Buttercup said. "And no one asked you. Bathroom's mine!" she shouted, then flew to the bathroom, just barely beating Blossom.
"So much for Kodak moment," Blossom said with a sigh.
Buttercup stared at herself in the mirror. "Never again," she muttered.
Blossom must have been trying to torment her. The dresses she handed over the top of the dressing room stall went from bad to worse.
"Here's another one!" Blossom called.
"Blossom, is there a dress in this store I haven't tried on?" Buttercup demanded. She grabbed the dress from Blossom. "Orange? Blossom, are you nuts?"
"Just try it on," Blossom said.
"No way," Buttercup said. "You've already managed to get me into an almost pink dress -"
"It was red!"
"The orange would look even worse! Isn't there a black or a green dress out there that would fit me?"
Blossom sighed. "I'll go look."
buttercup busied herself while waiting for Blossom by hanging up her rejected dresses.
"I found one black dress that might fit," Blossom called a few minutes later. "But I think it might be too small."
"Just hand it over," Buttercup grumbled. She grabbed the dress Blossom tossed over and held it up to herself in front of the mirror. Save myself some time by confirming it's a bad dress before putting it on. But when she got a good look at the dress, she gasped.
The short dress was actually two dresses. A lime-green silk one that matched Buttercup's eyes, then a black gauzy one over it that muted the shocking green, with hundreds of tiny black beads over it.
Buttercup held her breath as she pulled the dress over her head. Let it fit! Let it fit! Let it -
"Blossom! It fits!" Buttercup cried in triumph.
"Really? Let me see!"
Buttercup stepped out of the dressing room and spun around to model the dress. Blossom felt her breath catch in her throat. Get it together, Blossom!
The dress did indeed fit. Barely. It was rather low cut and the skirt was barely long enough to meet school dress code standards, but it did pass, which was all Buttercup cared about.
"But it's gotta cost a fortune," Buttercup said with a wistful sigh, fingering the fringe of beads along the hem.
"That why the Professor gave me this." Blossom held up a credit card. "He said to get both of us completely outfitted for the dance, no matter the cost?"
"No price limit? Hm, a new stereo might be nice. Y'know, so I can practice my dance moves."
"Somehow I don't think the Professor would approve," Blossom said. "So yes to the dress? Good. You get changed, I'm going to grab a couple dresses for myself."
The evening before the Prom, no one in the Powerpuff Girls' room was getting any sleep, thanks to Buttercup.
"Buttercup, keep still!" Blossom scolded a few minutes after their lights were turned out.
"I'm not tired," Buttercup complained.
"Just because you're not tired doesn't mean you can keep the rest of us up with your tossing and turning!"
"Fine," Buttercup grumbled. She lay back on her pillow and willed herself to go to sleep.
An hour later she didn't feel any sleepier. She turned to her side, but that wasn't comfortable. She flipped to her other side, but that didn't help. She turned over again and promptly got a pillow thrown in her face by Bubbles. "Hey!"
"Hey yourself," Bubbles whispered. "Some of us, even though we're just as nervous as you, want to sleep!"
"Why are you nervous?"
"Duh, Mike Believe asked me to the Prom today at lunch. I've only been talking about it all afternoon!"
"Sorry, I've been a bit - hey, wait! Whatever happened to never having a boyfriend?"
"Um. . . that was before Mike asked me."
"Yeah, right."
"Whatever," Bubbles said. "Hey, do you know what's up with Blossom?"
"Um. . . no."
Bubbles propped herself up on her side so she could look at Buttercup. "She's been acting weirder than usual the last couple days. Do you think she got a date for Prom?"
Buttercup stifled a laugh, the thought of Blossom having a date seemed impossible to her. But then she remembered what Andra had said earlier. There isn't a guy who doesn't want to go with her, every girl wants to be her friend, and several probably want more. "Maybe she did."
"She should have told us. I mean, with the Professor renting that limo for us, we could have, like, triple dated!"
"Mike doesn't mind Andra and I going together?"
"If he did, do you think I would have agreed to go with him?" She giggled quietly. "You really are out of it, aren't you, Buttercup?"
Buttercup sighed. "I am. I'm sorry, Bubbles. I'm beginning to think this Prom thing was a bad idea."
"Not it's not, it's going to be fun! You'll get to be with Andra for a whole evening. There'll be music an' dancing an' -"
"And I'm going to hurt you two if you don't shut up!"
Bubbles ducked under her blankets. "Sorry, Blossom."
"Sorry," Buttercup muttered. She leaned back down. "Hey, Bubbles?"
"What?" Bubbles whispered.
"Oh my God, I'm going to pass out," Buttercup declared.
"No you're not," Blossom said. She led Buttercup to the couch and sat her down. "Stay here, I'll call you when Andra gets here."
"That's why I'm going to pass out," Buttercup said. "I'll take one look at her and it'll be lights out for me!"
Blossom sat down beside Buttercup. "No, you won't. You're just nervous. When she shows up, you'll be too excited to want to miss a moment with her."
The doorbell rang. "It's her!"
"Calm down! It might be Mike, I'll go see." Blossom flew to the front door. A moment later, Buttercup heard Blossom calling for Bubbles. Mike was here.
"Can't we just get this evening over with?" Buttercup grumbled.
The doorbell rang again. Without Blossom there to hold her down, Buttercup was off the couch and at the door before anyone else could answer the door.
Buttercup opened the door, and the moment she saw Andra, her jaw dropped. It felt like their first 'date' all over again. Andra had chosen to go all out for Prom, choosing to wear an actual Prom gown. Her blue and silver gown reminded Buttercup of Cinderella's ball gown. Andra had pinned her hair up in some complicated way with tiny white roses in it at random. Buttercup's hair was too short to do anything other than make sure it lay flat on her head.
"Uh, hi," Buttercup said. "You look. . . beautiful."
Andra blushed. "So do you."
"Don't keep her standing there, Buttercup!" Blossom scolded. "Let her in! The Professor wants pictures of you guys."
"Sounds like the old Blossom is back," Andra whispered as she walked with Buttercup to the living room where the others were waiting.
"No, she's a whole different person now, trust me," Buttercup said.
Buttercup jumped. "Professor! Get that stupid camera away from me! I don't want a photo record of how awful I look!"
"You don't look awful," Andra and Blossom said in unison, then both girls blushed.
"Just a few more," the Professor promised. "I've already taken the pictures of Bubbles and Mike, I need pictures of you and Andra now."
"You already have on, you don't need anymore," Buttercup grumbled as Andra pulled her toward the fireplace.
"You look beautiful, and I want a photo record of this," Andra said stubbornly. "Now smile."
With Andra holding her hand like she was, it wasn't hard for Buttercup to smile.
The Professor took several pictures of Buttercup and Andra, then a couple of them with Bubbles and Mike. When the Professor announced he had just three pictures left, Buttercup noticed Blossom was standing off the side behind him, trying to look happy when she obviously wasn't.
"Blossom's turn for a picture!" Buttercup announced. She grabbed Blossom's arm and dragged her to the fireplace.
"No," Blossom protested. "I'm going single. You don't take pictures of the girl going stag!"
"You do now," Buttercup said. "We're getting a picture of you and me, then with Bubbles, then all of us together, and you're going to like it."
"Yes, ma'am," Blossom said. She and Buttercup looked to the camera and smiled. The Professor took the picture, then the one of the Powerpuff Girls together. Just as he finished taking the picture of all five kids, they heard a car pull up in the driveway.
"The limo!" Bubbles announced. "C'mon, let's go!" She grabbed Mikes hand and began to fly to the door.
"AAAAHHH!" Mike screamed.
"Bubbles! Wait!" the Professor called after her.
Bubbles stopped inches from the door. "Oops, sorry, Mike," she said and gently set him on the ground again. Mike rubbed his shoulder as his knees shook slightly.
"Now you all have your tickets, right?" the Professor asked.
"Yes," five voices answered together.
"Well, then, I guess all that's left for me to say is to have fun. Be good."
"We will," they all answered. They lined up at the door where the Professor was either giving them a goodbye kiss on the top of their heads (for the Powerpuff Girls), or a handshake (for Mike and Andra).
When Buttercup and Andra, the last two in the line, had gotten into the limo, the driver lowered the window that separated him from them. "Where to, sir, madams?"
They all giggled a little before answering together "Prom!"
Bubbles, Mike, Buttercup, Andra and Blossom entered the high school's gym, the location chosen for Prom because it was much better than any of the junior high's facilities, together. Buttercup had been expecting really loud, really bad music, but at the time they entered the song was decent and playing at a moderate level. But she'd been right about the decorations. Someone had put up multi-colored streamers and balloons, pretty much at random.
Andra didn't think it looked so bad. "A rainbow-themed Prom. coincidence? Or planned for a very special couple?" Buttercup smiled slightly.
"Hey, Ms. Keane is here!" Bubbles squealed.
"Where?" Blossom asked.
"Over by Miss Bellum!"
"Do you think they came together?" Andra asked Buttercup after Blossom, Bubbles and Mike ran over to say hi.
Buttercup shrugged. "Ms. Keane may have invited her, 'cause I think technically, only school employees can chaperone dances."
"That'd be so cool if they did come together," Andra said. "Hey, Blossom's coming back, maybe she knows what they're doing here."
Blossom answered the question before she was asked. "They were running short on female chaperones so they asked Ms. Keane to help out, and she said she knew someone else who could help."
Buttercup laughed. "And then they showed up together, when it was too late for Mrs. Stone to object!"
"Why would Mrs. Stone object?" Blossom asked. "As a matter of fact, why did Ms. Keane think to bring Miss Bellum?" She glanced at Ms. Keane and Miss Bellum, then glared at Buttercup and Andra. "You know what's going on, don't you?"
Andra laughed. "You have to ask Miss Bellum for the story. Now enough talking. I want to dance!" Andra turned to lead Buttercup onto the dance floor, but blocking her way was Jilly Bean.
"Um, hi, Andra. Buttercup," she said. "Um, Blossom? There's a group dancing over there, all single girls, and since I saw your sisters both have dates, I was wondering if you'd like to join us?"
Blossom forgot about pressing Buttercup and Andra for answers. "I'd love to, Jilly. See ya' later!" she said to Buttercup and Andra as she ran across the gym with Jilly, their high heeled shoes clicking on the hard wood floor.
Just as Buttercup and Andra stepped on to the dance floor, the music changed from an up beat pop number to a slow ballad. Couples around the gym moved closer and began swaying in time to the music.
Buttercup and Andra stared at eachother for a moment, not sure what to do. "Oh, what the heck," Buttercup muttered. She bowed to Andra. "Shall we dance?"
Andra curtsied slightly in return. "I'd love to." She put her arms around Buttercup's shoulders, while Buttercup put hers around Andra's waist and pulled her close.
Andra laid her head on Buttercup's shoulder. "It looks like this story's going to end happily ever after for everyone."
Buttercup smiled as she caught the furious look on Mrs. Stone's face. "Except for Mrs. Stone. I don't think she likes us being here."
"Or maybe it's Ms. Keane and Miss Bellum she doesn't like. They're holding hands!"
"No way!" Buttercup said. She spun Andra around so she could see. "they are! I can't believe it."
"So Bubbles has Mike, Miss Bellum has Ms. Keane, I have you, what more could we ask for?"
"Someone for Blossom," Buttercup said with a sigh. "I feel kinda guilty. I treated her like crap for a long time, when her only crime was liking me."
"So both of you made some mistakes, so what? You're both only human, even if you're in that Chemical X ethnic group." She paused for a moment. "Anyway, Blossom may have a dance partner before the end of the night. That group of girls looks pretty friendly."
"Think Mrs. Stone would try to suspend her star student for being gay?"
"I don't think she's going to suspend anyone again. Mom talked to the school board and we're not the only ones who have complaints against her. She's getting fired at the end of the year."
"I've got good news, too," Buttercup said. "I was flying home from the monster attack the other day and saw a 'For Rent' sign in front of Ms. Keane's apartment."
"That could be a reason they came together. How cool would it be if they got to be together officially?"
"Then the story would definitely end happily ever after."
Andra sighed. "I hope it can. For me and you. For them. For Blossom. For all of us."
Before Buttercup could lose her nerve, she pulled away from Andra just enough to get Andra to lift her head, then kissed her, with the whole school there around them. "If I have any say in it, if the story has to end at all, it will be nothing but happy."
Andra smiled, then laid her head back on Buttercup's shoulder. The slow song had ended, but they didn't care.


Author's Notes: Oh. My God. This monster is finished! I feel like I'm accepting an Oscar or a Tony here, I have so many people I'd like to thank. Everyone from the PPGSlash list who offered support in the early days of the story (Can you believe I first posted this in APRIL?!). Reader-wise, I have to thank Tifu who has conversed with me through countless e-mails during the course of this story. I love ya', hon! You helped me so much! I also have to thank wickedclowns101 and Sabrina, empress of insanity, for their long reviews and replies to my e-mails. And. . . and. . .oh, I don't know who else to thank. If you're reading this now, I thank you tons. And even more thanks if you review. Leave me a nice long one with your thoughts on the entire fic, and suggestions for future fics featuring Buttercup and Andra, because I love these two so much I don't want this to be the last fic about/featuring them. Leave me a review that's longer than one line, along with an e-mail address, and I promise I'll get back to you.
~wipes away a tear~ I'm so sad, finishing this fic up. It's been such a huge part of my writing life for so long. But I guess it's time to bid this fic adieu, and hope that inspiration for the next one comes soon.