Author's Notes: My first (and most likely only) PPG fic… I saw an old episode on TV today, and I felt like writing… I probably should work on my other fics, but hey, I feel like writing something angsty.

I saw Rent a few weeks ago, and the whole Tango: Maureen scene was my favorite. And, then I saw Moulin Rouge, and I have Roxanne stuck in my head… so, I'm in a tango mood…

This is a two or three part fic, but it might be a while before I get the rest up… like, summer break or something. So, put it on story alert if you like it so far…

Buttercup pulled her knees closer to her chest. She sighed. This was not at all how she intended to spend her day.

"Okay," Blossom said again, "how do you say, 'hello' in Spanish?"

Buttercup rolled her eyes. She knew Spanish inside and out, thanks to Blossom and her paranoia.

Blossom could speak Japanese fluently, but she struggled with Spanish. Buttercup, on the other hand, was the best in the class. And Blossom, straight-A student in every other class, couldn't stand anyone being better at her at anything. Except maybe Art, which Bubbles was a genius at. So, Buttercup had to be terrible at Spanish, and Blossom was the best. At least, that's how it looked in class. Buttercup was silent, as usual, and never answered a question. She hid her grades, so that she didn't have to break up the tradition. Blossom assumed that Buttercup needed tutoring in Spanish because she wouldn't speak about her grades, when actually she needed tutoring.

Bubbles was too busy doodling to pay much attention, but that's how she learned. She always had to be doing something with her hands, or she couldn't function- at least, that was her excuse. The professor didn't care as long as she brought home passing grades, which she almost always did.

Buttercup got decent grades too, but she wasn't outstanding at anything, like Art or Chemistry. That was how it appeared. She was silent at all times. It was easy to blend in; black hair and shockingly pale skin made her fade into the background. She didn't go outside much like her sisters, and felt safe in her world of solitude. Her short hair was usually frizzy, and would have gracefully curled if she had cared enough to blow dry it every morning, which she never did.

They each had their own room; they had moved to a larger house when the professor married Miss Keane, their kindergarten teacher. Each room was identical with satin bedspreads and paisley sheets. Buttercup's was completely green, Blossom's pink, and Bubbles's blue, as was expected.

Everything was expected of them. They were expected to have matching everything in different colors. They were expected to save the day. And they were expected to be the same as they were as five-year-olds.

Now, at age sixteen, Buttercup wanted it all to change. She hated her name, she hated that Blossom was expected to be smarter then everyone else, and she hated the stupid uniform that Blossom expected them to wear. The same one they had to wear as children- their colored dresses, white tights, maryjanes. The same old thing; it was routine. She hated the fact that everyone expected her to be a tomboy, and she hated that everyone thought she was mean and nasty. She wasn't- at least, not anymore.

"Buttercup?" Blossom asked. "Hello? I asked you a question! I guess we'll come back to it, since you obviously don't know it."

Buttercup snapped in that instant. "Hola, monstruo!"

She stormed out of the room.

"Where are you going?" Blossom shrieked. "I'm supposed to be tutoring you so you'll be up to speed in Spanish! By the way, what did you call me?"

Buttercup walked back into the room for a moment. "I said 'Hello, monster'. Why are you trying to tutor me?"

Blossom rolled her eyes. "Because you need help in Spanish, silly! You're so immature, calling names all the time."

Buttercup sighed. "Have you looked at the difference between my grade and your grade on the last Spanish test?"

Blossom shook her head. "You've never shown me what you've gotten in Spanish, and I just assumed that since I'm not doing well, you must be doing worse!"

"Let me show you."

She went to her room and unzipped her-yes, green again- backpack, which was from LL Bean. Blossom had insisted that they each had a monogrammed backpack in their colors. And because it was expected of her, Buttercup said nothing, even though she hated the neon shade that Blossom picked. She wore darker greens these days…

She got her Spanish binder and walked back to Blossom's room and took out the last test.

"Okay, Miss Smarty-pants, let me see yours."

Blossom, who was shaking, handed her the stapled test.

"D-. Not up to your usual standard," Buttercup read out loud. She smirked.

"W-well, if you're so much better, let me see what you got!"

Confident for the first time in a while, Buttercup gave her the test.

Blossom's jaw dropped. "A+. Excellent job; Keep up the good work. How did you… You cheated, didn't you! Off of Elmer Sglue's test! I knew that something would happen when she switched your desk with Mitch's!"

"Nope. Look at the test from before that."

"Another A Plus? How the heck are you doing this! Seniorita Riviera is the strictest, most unclear teacher in the whole entire school! I can't even read her handwriting on the board!"

She grabbed the binder and looked at Buttercup's notes, written in neat, flowing cursive. Her excuse for her sloppy handwriting was that 'smart people don't have time to be neat'. The truth was, she never payed attention during handwriting lessons, passing notes, because it wasn't graded at the time. Buttercup, on the other hand, actually payed attention, seeing as her only friend, Elmer, was in the other class, and she had no one to pass notes to.

"You have everything she's written on the board since the beginning of the semester!"

Buttercup nodded, and Blossom burst into tears. Buttercup immediately felt guilty, and decided that this would be a good time to leave.

As she walked down the hall, which had Bubbles's paintings all along it, she bumped into her other sister.

"Oops," Bubbles giggled. "Sorry. Hey, why's Blossom crying?"

"I have an A+ in Spanish, and she's got a D-. I screwed everything up."

She ran to her room, closed the door, and flopped on her bed.

---

Dinner was very odd that night at the Utonium house. Buttercup was avoiding Blossom's glare, and Bubbles was doodling on a napkin under the table, so no one could see. She was ignoring the professor's "no drawing at meals" rule, but, then again, she did it every night without being caught. Buttercup could see, because she was right next to her, but she wouldn't tell anyone. She just didn't care enough.

"Well, you're all quiet today," the new Mrs. Utonium stated.

Bubbles decided to speak up. "Buttercup is totally acing Spanish and Blossom's mad because she really sucks at it," she piped up.

"Bubbles!" Blossom hissed. "I know she must have cheated- there's no way that she could get grades like that with our teacher."

Buttercup pushed her chair out as she stood up. "That's it! I'm sorry that I screwed up the whole 'Blossom has to be the smartest' thing! I didn't cheat- I actually wrote notes and payed attention. What a shocker."

She went to her room and slammed the door.

The professor, after paying a particularly expensive phone bill, had insisted that each girl had her own phone line and was to pay for it herself. Blossom had to get a part-time job to pay for it, but Bubbles just sold some of her paintings at the mall. Buttercup didn't need to pay much, considering that the only person who ever called was Elmer.

She sighed, and began to dial the number. She waited for someone to answer.

"Hi, this is Buttercup. Can I please talk to Elmer?" she inquired, assuming that one of his parents or his younger sister would answer.

"Yes, you may, little girl," said Elmer in a high-pitched voice (which sounded remarkably like Bubbles's). "I'll go get him."

Buttercup laughed. "Hey, Elmer."

"Hey yourself. What's up?"

"Blossom's having a cow because I'm doing better in Spanish then she is."

"Yeah, you're the best in the class."

Elmer sat in front of her in Spanish, and could easily turn around and see her grades.

"Ha."

"Let me guess, you're one point ahead of her? Man, I'll never understand-"

"Elmer," Buttercup cut in, "she's got a D-."

"Oh my freaking God."

"Uh-huh. Yeah. So, now she won't speak to me, because I disrupted her way of life."

"She said that?"

"Well… uh, no, but it's true. It's common sense- Blossom's the smartest, Bubbles is the artist, and I'm…"

"Only the best friend ever. Listen, Buttercup, don't listen to what that control freak says. She's just trying to make sure that she's the best."

"No duh, Elm. I want to get out of here… AHH! She's so frustrating!" Buttercup exclaimed. "And I'm sick of the stupid outfits she makes us wear everyday! I'm just sick of her controlling my life."

"Tell you what- I'll pick you up and we'll go to the mall. You still have birthday money left, right?"

"Yeah… I never did spend it, except when we went to the movies last weekend. I only spent seven bucks though, and the professor gave us a hundred each. I also have money saved from Christmas and my birthday last year, so I think I have two hundred and fifty bucks."

"Sweet. Okay, I'll be there in five minutes."

"'Kay. See you then."

Leave it to Elmer to cheer her up.

---

Five minutes later, she was sitting in the passenger seat of Elmer's beat-up Corsica, which he got for fifty dollars from a guy who collected cars and went bankrupt.

She left a note on the kitchen table.

I went to the mall with Elmer. I'll be back before ten.

-Buttercup

They had fun clothes shopping, Elmer giving his input every now and then.

By the end of the night, Buttercup had two new pairs of jeans (courtesy of the sales rack at Old Navy), four new tops from various stores, a corduroy jacket, and two new skirts (both prairie style- Buttercup wasn't very fond of her legs showing). They also picked up a black JanSport backpack that was on sale, a pair of black high tops, and a pair of black slip-ons.

Before they left, Buttercup went to the bathroom and changed into one of her outfits- the high tops, a pair of jeans, a dark green sequined top, and the corduroy jacket. She exited with her old clothing in a shopping bag.

Elmer whistled as she stepped out of the bathroom. She laughed and they walked back to the car.

She waved as he dropped her off at home. She got out her key from her purse, and walked in.

Her new mother was sitting in the living room, watching a soap opera taped on the TiVo.

"Oh my God, Buttercup, what did you do?"

Buttercup grinned. "I changed my style a bit."

"I'll sure say you did!"

"Does that mean you don't like it?"

"No- I love it! I'm just a little shocked."

"I can't wait to see the look on Blossom's face…"

She went up to her room, got changed into her pajamas, and put away all of her new clothes.

Buttercup gazed at the bag the held her old dress, shoes, and tights. She suddenly had an idea. Grabbing the scissors, she executed her plan.

---

Blossom screamed when she woke up. Hanging on her door was Buttercup's dress, ripped. Her shoes were ripped and worn. Her tights were shredded.

"OH MY GOD!"

Bubbles ran into her sister's room. "What the heck are you screaming about?"

"Look!" she replied, pointing at the mess.

Bubbles laughed. "Well, that's symbolic of-"

"I don't care about your art and what's symbolic! I just want to know if Buttercup's alive!"

Bubbles glared as they heard laughing from down the hall. Buttercup entered the room. Bubbles raised her eyebrows and Blossom's jaws dropped, as they saw what she was wearing.

She was wearing a black t-shirt with green rhinestones, a pair of jeans, and her high tops. Her hair had been blow-dried, and fell down in graceful curls.

"How do I look?" Buttercup said, green eyes shining.

"Amazing! You look wonderful!" Bubbles said, giving her sister a hug.

"So that's what you were doing last night at the mall. Making sure that you didn't look like us anymore," Blossom spat.

Buttercup pulled away from Bubbles. "Blossom, you don't understand. I-"

"I understand perfectly well, Buttercup! You hate us! You don't want to be like us anymore!"

"Like who, Blossom," Buttercup retorted. "Like you? You are a hypocrite. One moment you want us all to be perfect like you, and the moment we're better-"

Blossom tried to slap Buttercup in the face, but Bubbles stepped in front of her and took the blow. Her cheek was red.

"That's enough, Blossom," she sobbed. "I admire Buttercup for what she's done. She's had the courage to do something we should have done a long time ago."

They sat down at breakfast. The professor was about to ask why Bubbles cheek was red, but Buttercup made a slashing motion over her neck and he didn't.

They went to school, and first period was Spanish.

"Alright, everybody. Silencio! That's better. Now, hand in your homework and we'll get started," Senorita Riviera belted.

As usual, class was too short for Buttercup. At the end of class, she made an announcement.

"I am going to start a Tango Club after school tomorrow. It will be held every day in the gym until four-thirty. At the end of the month, we will put on a show. The guys must wear tuxes that night, and the girls will wear specially ordered dresses. I'll give more details of that when we start practicing. The sign-up sheet is on my desk; you can sign it on your way out. Also, the sign-up sheet is where you say who'll your partner will be."

Buttercup looked at Elmer. "Want to Tango?"

He looked around to see if she was really talking to her. "Me?"

"No, my sister. Yes, you!" she teased.

"I don't know… I can't dance!"

"We'll learn! C'mon, it'll keep me away from home, and it has to do with my favorite class. Please? I can't sign up unless you do," Buttercup pleaded.

"And why not?" Elmer inquired.

"I need a partner. It takes two to tango."

"Fine. It's not like I have anything else to do."

They gathered up their school supplies, and then they signed up.

---

"Alright. Girls, you must wear a skirt at all times- no jeans or pants. Long skirts that won't go over your butt when you spin."

They were sitting on the bleachers in the gym. There was a decent turn out for Tango Club- about eleven couples total. Buttercup and Elmer were in the front row, listening and whispering to each other.

"Ahem… Miss Utonium, do you have something to say to the entire class?" Seniorita Riviera scolded.

"Uh… no…" Buttercup said, red rushing to her cheeks.

"That's what I thought," the teacher replied, but she winked.

Author's notes: Hate it? Love it? I don't care… either way, please review (yes, PPG and RRB people, flame me all you want!). I'm kind of sick of all the PPG-RRB fics… they bore me (sorry). They do, though… So, read and review, please!

-Marty :-D