Buttercup wants more time to herself and Ace offers to assist her in the creation of a little super powered helper. Will it turn out to be more than they can handle?
Ace of Spade
Episode 01: Birth
Buttercup took a deep breath as she wondered if this was really the best course of action to take. "Ace, I'm not sure I want to do this anymore." She waited for his reaction, staring into the darkness of his apartment.
"What's this? The toughest fighter is backing out? I must be dreaming," Ace could hardly see her with the lights off.
"That's not true, I never back out!" Buttercup immediately defended herself.
"Then we're going to do it?" Ace asked.
"Yeah, let's do it..." she paused, "it's just that I don't think the professor wants to be a grandfather just yet."
"Who says that's going to happen?" Ace was confused the by the unexpected statement.
"Well, it is what's supposed to happen given the situation." Buttercup remembered when it all started earlier that evening. It had been her idea...
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"I have to go!" Buttercup said those words so fast, that to Ace it sounded like one long word, rather than a few short ones.
She was already about to take off when he stopped her. "Wait, what's this about? You've been leaving minutes after you got here these last few times. You never hang out with the gang anymore."
The girl, now a young woman, sighed in frustration. "It's the hot line," she replied in an angry tone. "The professor extended the Powerpuff Girls hotline to cover the neighboring cities. Now that we're older, one of us it's all it takes to defend Townsville. Everything was great when we were taking turns. We had a lot more free time than usual since we didn't all go on missions at the same time and there has been a lot less crimes over the years. The professor thought of using that extra time for crime fighting in other cities and my sisters were actually excited about it. I guess they just don't care to have lives beyond being goody-goodies. Besides, it's not like these fights are a challenge so it's not really interesting." Buttercup was clearly upset over the entire situation, but she knew that glaring at her cell phone would not solve it.
"Why don't you just tell them you don't want to participate?" Ace inquired.
"The other cities have crime rates much higher than Townsville. Blossom and Bubbles can't handle it alone; they can't be in three places at once if there's only two of them. Besides, the professor would be really disappointed if they helped and I didn't," Buttercup explained.
"It's too bad you can't send someone else in your place. You fly so fast most of the time, people just see a green blur anyway," Ace voiced. Buttercup grinned and Ace remembered that he was green. "You're not thinking about sending me are you? It's not like I can fly and stuff, plus I'm not exactly one of the good guys."
"You're not really one of the bad guys either, but I wasn't thinking about sending you. If I can't find a replacement, I'll just have to make one." Buttercup had that mischievous look that she got when ever she had a plan. Soon her plan would be put into action.
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"Well you wanted another Powerpuff so what's so bad about it if it does work out?" It didn't make sense to Ace why Buttercup changed her mind about it so quickly.
"It's just that an extra Powerpuff isn't something I can hide as easily as Bubbles can hide a whale," Buttercup replied.
Those words made little sense to Ace, but with the Powerpuff Girls, anything was possible. "The kid can stay here with me and the gang."
"Alright, let's do this," Buttercup sounded determined. "Why is it so dark in here? I can't read the list of ingredients."
"The light bulb broke. I'll find another one." It took a few minutes for Ace to find an extra light bulb in the darkness. Buttercup changed it, since she could fly that would make it easier.
Then, when there was light, the experiment began. "Little girls are made of sugar, spice, everything nice and chemical X added by accident." Buttercup read from her notes, which she copied from professor Utonium's notes.
"I found a snail, is that nice?" Ace asked.
"No, a snail is one of the ingredients for boys. Boys are made of snips, snails, puppy dog tails and toxic radioactive toilet water," Buttercup said.
"Sounds like an easier recipe. There aren't all that many nice things in here," Ace admitted.
Buttercup looked around the small apartment. It was empty, yet cluttered. "What's in the boxes?"
"Just random junk, not very nice," Ace replied.
"Stolen?" Buttercup asked.
"Mostly," Ace answered.
"Fine, then a boy it is. Like you said, he'll be moving so fast all people will see is a green blur and assume it's me." Buttercup prepared a bowl to put together the concoction. "So we have a snail," she threw it in.
"What's a snip?" Ace asked.
"I'm not sure, some kind of hair I think," Buttercup answered. She cut off a piece of Ace's hair and threw it in.
"Not fair, how come I'm the one who gets the hair cut?" Ace complained.
Buttercup rolled her eyes and cut off a piece of her own hair as well. "There, I added my hair too. Now we need a puppy dog tail. Do you have any around here?"
Ace started digging around the many random boxes until he found a raccoon hat with a tail. "Would a raccoon tail do?"
Buttercup shrugged. "I guess so, throw it in. I think I'll add a chocolate bar too, because chocolate's nice and I don't want him to turn out too much like the Rowdyruff Boys. I snuck some chemical X out of the lab. He'll still be a boy because of the ingredients we used, but he'll be a Powerpuff Boy. I think that's it, I'll at the chemical X now."
"Wait, add this to the concoction too," Ace held a card, an ace of spades to be specific.
"Fine," Buttercup added the card and finally the chemical X by knocking it over into the concoction. Initially, she had wanted to revive Bunny, but she didn't want to mess up and make someone who only tried to replace Bunny. Attempts to revive Bunny wouldn't be made until it was a sure thing that the real Bunny could be brought back. Buttercup and Ace stood back, watching the ingredients mix and glow. Buttercup hoped that this experiment was a success and didn't end up exploding, that is beyond the normal explosion in the beginning.
When the smoke cleared out, a little boy floated there. His hair looked like Ace's and his eyes looked like Buttercup's. "It worked!" Buttercup and Ace cheered at the same time.
"He needs a name," Buttercup pointed out.
"How about Spade," Ace suggested. Buttercup gave him an odd look for the unusual name. "Spade as in the card, ace of spades, it fits since my lucky card is a part of him and he has my hair."
"What about me?" The boy had Buttercup's hair as one of his ingredients as well.
"Spadecup?" Ace asked.
"Never mind, that sounds weird. He can be Spade," Buttercup agreed. She looked at the boy who was wearing black pants and a green tshirt, which didn't have the black stripe in the middle that Butch's shirt had. "Your name is Spade. I'm Buttercup and this is Ace. We made you in our experiment."
The boy floated off the table and looked at them. "Then you're my parents?" There was a long pause. "Mom, dad can I go play videogames or watch TV or something? Do you have ice-cream? Chocolate ice-cream?"
Buttercup and Ace simply stared. "Look kid, we just made you in an experiment, okay?" Ace tried to explain.
"Isn't that were all kids come from?" Spade asked.
"Not really," Ace answered.
"Then were do they come from?" Spade questioned.
Ace paused. "Actually yes, they all come from experiments." Buttercup couldn't help it but to find the scene quite funny. "How could you be laughing at a time like this? He thinks we're his parents!"
"That's because we are his parents, we did make him." Of course she only said it to bother him. It did feel strange that the boy thought he was their son. Before Ace could comment on Buttercup's conclusion, her cell phone rang and she answered it. "Yes, okay, no problem, I'm on my way." She hung up. "Alright Spade, listen up. I need you to go to the town of Citysville and stop a bank robbery. You need to move really fast so all people see is a green blur."
"Okay mom, should I turn green then?" Spade asked and his 'parents' gave him puzzled looked. "Like this," he turned green like Ace.
"I don't think you need that much green," Buttercup realized that turning green was his special talent.
Spade returned to his normal color. "Can I stop at the arcade on my way there?"
"You can stop at the arcade on your way back," Buttercup specified. The boy simply stood there, with his little hands extended, palms facing up. "Ace, give the kid some money."
"What? Why me?" Although he complained, Ace still did it and Spade flew out the window. "Buttercup, how about you let the Gangreen Gang get away with a bank robbery next time?"
"But you don't usually rob banks," Buttercup reminded him. "I thought you just liked making prank calls and scribbling graffiti."
"That was before I had a son," Ace said sarcastically.
"Fine, so the kid's a little expensive, no big deal. I've been getting some pretty good tips from saving the other cities and towns. Not every mayor is as cheap as Townsville's Major. Don't start calling Spade our son, I was just kidding and it sounds weird," Buttercup warned.
"Yeah I guess, it could work out if you put it that way. It is kind of cool that he can turn green," Ace had to admit it was amusing to see a little boy that looked like a miniature version of him flying around, though he had some of Buttercup in him too.
"That's his special ability. Wanna see mine?" Buttercup asked.
There was something about the mischievous look in her eyes that made Ace curious. "Sure, show me your special ability."
Buttercup then stuck her tongue out curling it into a u shape. "I can curl my tongue."
Before Ace assumed she was joking and asked to see her real special ability, he tried to make the u shape with his tongue and realized he couldn't. "I guess that is special."
"No one in Townsville can do it and I'm pretty sure no one or very few people can do it in other places. Speaking of other places, I better go catch those robbers at Citysville," Buttercup said.
"Didn't we just send Spade to do that?" Ace felt as if he had missed something.
"He's going to the arcade first, but that's fine. There's a lot of crime in Citysville. By the time he leaves the arcade and goes to Citysville, there will be another robbery for him to stop. I'll stop this one and he can stop the next one. I'll still have more free time than I used to," Buttercup explained.
"Okay, just one more question," Ace said. "How in the world do you know he's at the arcade?"
"I just know, plus the green line he left when flying goes away from Citysville, in direction to the Towsville arcade." Buttercup flew out the window, high into the skies, in direction to Citysville.
Ace suddenly felt a cold chill run down his spine. He told her that the boy could stay with him. What had he gotten himself into? The truth of the matter was slowly starting to sink in. Before he could give it anymore thought, he heard footsteps just outside his apartment door and his name being called. He opened the door to find Snake, Arturo, Billy and Grubber. He wondered how they would react to knowing they had a new member in the gang.
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Episode 02: Custody
It had been a few months and everything was more or less alright. Ace was broke, which wasn't all that bad since he usually was, and Buttercup had given up most her tip money to buy videogames for Spade, which wasn't that bad either since she liked to play with them too. Blowing things up in virtual reality was as close as she would ever be to blowing things up without getting into trouble.
The good news was that due to complaints from the police who claimed the Powerpuff Girls were taking their jobs, the new extended hotline service was terminated. Once again, the day would be saved thanks to the Powerpuff Girls in Townsville and Townsville only. Save for the daily monster, crime was pretty low, so the girls had plenty of free time. However, what was done was done and Spade was still there.
During that time, Spade had managed to exhaust all the energy of the Gangreen Gang. In hopes of having some time to recover, Ace was going to send Spade to live with Buttercup. "Yes, I know I said he could stay with me, but I haven't slept in days! Snake is so tired he can't pronounce the s anymore, Arturo is forgetting his English, Billy is this-close to growing a second eye, Grubber is actually communicating with words and I" (yawn) "I can hardly stay awake."
"Alright, you can bring Spade over here. I guess this isn't something I could hide forever," Buttercup had to agree. As soon as he got off the phone, Ace hopped in his car, despite Spade protesting that he liked flying better, and drove to the Powerpuff Girls' home.
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When Ace rung the doorbell, Bubbles answered the door. "Ace? You're here to see Buttercup aren't you? Blossom told me not to let you. She said that you would be a bad influence to her." The blond Powerpuff Girl paused, realizing that Ace was sleeping on his feet. "Wake up!" She yelled in a high pitched voice that made him literally jump out of the dream world. "It's not nice to fall asleep while people are talking to you. As I was saying, Blossom told me not to let you see Buttercup."
"As if she could stop Buttercup from coming over to see me," Ace then went straight to the reason for his visit. "Tell Buttercup that I need a break so I'm leaving the kid with her. It's her kid so she should be taking care of him too."
Bubbles blinked as she looked back and forth from Ace to the little boy and back to Ace. "This boy is Buttercup's child?"
"Yes," Ace yawned, he was too sleepy to think about what he was saying. He thought it would be fun to have Spade around and for a while it was. The boy was a natural at prank calls, but he just didn't get enough and continued calling all night long, keeping the Gangreen Gang awake.
Bubbles stared, "Oh my God! You had Buttecup's child! Does she know? When were you planning to tell her?" She paused. "Wait a minute, you're a guy and Buttercup is a girl. How did this happen?"
"Bubbles, who was at the door?" Blossom's voice was heard from upstairs. She assumed that if the visitor was still around, whoever it may be, would be inside by now. If Bubbles hadn't announce a visitor then, whoever it was, must have already left. Maybe it was someone selling something, that had become annoyingly frequent in their neighborhood.
"It's Ace! Buttercup's having a baby," Bubbles answered. "Or more like she already had him," she added. "Why don't you come in and explain what happened?"
Ace reluctantly entered the house and sat in the living room couch, looking like he saw a ghost after his tired brain finally understood what was going on. "I think you just caused a big misunderstanding." He hoped for his life that Buttercup was home, that she heard Bubbles and clarified the situation to Blossom, before the red head's sibling protection mode kicked in.
Upstairs, Blossom dropped the hair brush she was holding and stared at her sister, who was sitting on her bed reading an action-adventure manga, she never liked the romantic ones her sisters read. Buttercup shook her head, as if trying to tell Blossom that it was all a misunderstanding. "Don't jump to conclusions."
Before Buttercup could say anything else, Blossom was on her knees with her head on Buttercup's stomach. "I don't hear anything." It was as if in her disbelief, her IQ had taken a temporary drop.
"Hi aunt Blossom," a little boy's voice was heard.
"Oh my God, I heard him! It's a boy, Buttercup, I heard him!" Blossom twitched and shook like a jelly from the impression of her sister being pregnant.
"Blossom, he's over there." Buttercup pointed to the door where Spade, Ace and Bubbles were.
Blossom gasped, "he's already born?" She approached the boy. 'At least he's not green,' she thought, although she didn't know he could turn green, it was his special ability.
"He came from a concoction experiment," Ace clarified, before Blossom decided to leave the boy half orphan.
The redhead breathed in relief. "That's good to know. Then he's not your child after all?"
Ace wasn't sure if he should answer that. "He is," Buttercup replied, just to see what Ace's reaction would be. Too bad he was too tired to notice. "His ingredients were my hair, Ace's hair, a snail, a raccoon tail, a chocolate bar, an ace of spades card and chemical X."
Ace started dozing off again and before another word was spoken the sound of a car arriving was heard. "Girls, I'm home!" The professor called. Ace woke up for a moment then started dozing off again.
"He's been away for two days in that scientist convention," Blossom reminded.
"Yeah, he'll be so surprised to know he's a grandfather," Bubbles squealed in happiness.
"I would be careful on how I phrase that," Buttercup didn't need another misunderstanding taking place. Teasing Ace and her sisters about it was one thing, but the professor really didn't need to suffer a nervous breakdown.
"Then be careful because you're telling him," Blossom voiced.
"I thought you would say that. C'mon Ace, let's go." But he did not move, for he was sleeping on his feet again. "Ace!" Buttercup called loud enough to wake him up. "You must be really exhausted."
"That chocolate bar was the killer ingredient. He has too much energy." Ace said.
"It was an energy bar actually, a chocolate energy bar," Buttercup remembered. "If you're really that tired, you can rest here. The toughest fighter's not afraid of giving her father any news." Without saying another word, Ace walked a few steps and collapsed into Buttercup's bed, sleeping soundly.
Buttercup, Spade, Blossom and Bubbles went downstairs, but the professor had gone upstairs. He left his luggage in his room and went to the girl's room wondering, why they didn't go downstairs as soon as he called, as they usually did when he returned from a long trip. The door was left open so he entered the room and found none other than Ace fast asleep. A million thoughts ran through his mind as he slowly backed way, nearly falling down the stairs on his way.
"There he is!" Bubbles called. They had been looking for the professor downstairs, but obviously, by the time she pointed out his presence, everyone had already seen him.
"Buttercup has something to say," Blossom announced.
Utonium sat down on the couch with a serious expression. "If you're going to confess that you had Ace come over while I was away, I already know. Blossom I let you in charge, why did you let this happen. Wait a minute, did you all make a deal to each invite a boy and no one would tell?" Utonium looked like he was both furious and frightened.
"It's not like that!" Blossom argued.
"Yeah, Ace just arrived a little while ago. He was really tired so I let him rest," Buttercup explained.
Utonium took a deep breath; he knew when they were telling the truth. Then he noticed a little boy. "Who's this?"
"His name is Spade. Ace and I made him with chemical X and a few other things," Buttercup revealed. "He has the standard powers I have and his special ability is to turn green."
Utonium's jaw nearly touched the floor, as he stared in surprise. He tried to remain calm. "I'm a grandfather..." It sounded so unreal to say. "I'm a grandfather..." He said it again as if trying to convince himself.
"He was just a little experiment. He was supposed to help with my crime fighting chores. He calls Ace and me his parents because one of the ingredients was a piece of my hair and a piece of his hair, but it's not like he's really our child. You're not a grandfather." Buttercup tried to explain.
Utonium shook his head. "It's not that simple. He's a child, a living breathing, little boy, not an experiment; just like you girls are not an experiment." He thought they learned from creating Bunny that this kind of thing was only to be done if absolutely necessary. Well the boy looked normal, as normal as a Powerpuff could get. He appeared to be stable, so he would most likely be around for a long time.
"I understand," Buttercup quietly replied. "But it's okay, really. He's been living with Ace, it's just that he needed a rest so he's coming to live with us for a while, alright? Then he'll go back to the Gangreen Gang."
"Of course Spade is welcome to stay." Utonium patted the boy on the head and for a moment he froze, fearing the boy would start to shrink or explode. Spade appeared to be alright. Apparently he didn't have the same weaknesses as the Rowdyruff Boys. His formula was different after all. Although, soon enough Utonium, would find that the boy wasn't as harmless as he looked. Spade was as mischievous as a little boy could be.
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Episode 03: Mischief
"Grandpa!" Utonium twitched upon hearing the little voice calling him. The vial he was holding slipped out of his hand and once again he accidentally created a masterpiece, the long awaited cure for the common cold.
"Just a moment," it was too bad that Utonium didn't realize what he had made and simply threw the mess away. It wasn't that he found the boy unpleasant, not at all. It's just that being a grandfather wasn't in his plans so soon. "How may I help you, Spade? Do you want to play with grandpa?"
"I have a question," Spade announced.
It certainly brought back memories for Utonium. If he managed to survive all his daughters' questions, then he could take a few more. "What is your question?"
"I wanted to know, how come mom, aunt Blossom, aunt Bubbles and I can fly but dad and my uncles can't, you can't fly either, right?" Spade's big green eyes were shining with curiosity.
"No I can't, not everyone can fly. You see the Powerpuffs Girls are special. They are made of sugar, spice and everything nice. Your recipe was a little different since you're a boy, but you're definitely more of a Powerpuff than a Rowdyruff."
"What's a Rowdyruff and how come everyone can't fly? Is it because they come from different recipes?"
Utonium smiled, Spade was a curious little boy, which he considered to be a good thing. If he was curious, he would learn. "The Rowdyruff Boys are three of the most mischievous people in Townsville."
"Sounds cool, do I get to meet them? And what about the different recipes? Is that why some people fly and others don't?"
"Goodness, you're a bit impatient aren't you?" 'Maybe that chocolate energy bar was a little too much.' Utonium mused.
Spade nodded his head very fast, "I want to know, tell me grandpa!"
"Well first of all, not everyone comes from a recipe," It was a fact the professor eventually had to reveal. Before he could go any further, he heard the sound of the phone upstairs.
"We're on our way! Girls, let's go!" Blossom was heard answering the phone. It sounded like it was time for the Powerpuff Girls to go on another mission.
"Can I go? I want to go too!" Spade hopped in mid air, while asking his question.
"I guess it's okay as long as you're careful." A strong wind was felt in the lab as Spade flew out the window, blowing away papers in his path. Utonium sighed and started to pick up the documents. That chocolate energy bar was definitely too much.
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Spade flew across the skies of Townsville. He saw faint traces of pink, blue and green lines, indicating the direction where his mother and aunts flew. He was about to follow when he heard a loud crash. His curiosity called him to that spot, where a ruined car was crashed against a fountain in the park.
"You broke it!" The one who spoke had red hair and red eyes.
"It wasn't my fault!" A blond with blue eyes denied it.
"Yeah, it was!" The other member of the trio had black hair and green eyes.
The colors were familiar, but what really caught Spade's attention was that those three could fly. He landed near by unnoticed and walked towards them curiously. The park was rather deserted, with the Rowdyruff Boys causing trouble and the Powerpuff Girls busy dealing with another case in the heart of Townsville.
"What'cha looking at, kid?" Brick fully expected the little boy to run away in fright as most children did.
"That looks fun." Spade approached the car. It was clear it wouldn't work anymore, too bad.
"Go away kid, don't get in the way." Butch lifted the car and set it down, none too gently, away from the fountain. Boomer, who was still inside, tried to turn it on again to no avail.
"It won't work anymore." The disappointed blond gave up and left the ruined car, joining his brothers, floating above the fountain.
"Let's snatch another one," Brick proposed and his brothers agreed.
"Snatch?" Spade curiously floated next to them.
"Yeah, you know steal, we're going to steal a ca-" Brick stopped and staring at the flying boy in front of him. He circled Spade as if searching for some sort of trick that was suspending him in mid air.
"What are you doing?" Spade was intrigued by the young man's strange behavior.
"He can fly!" Boomer pointed at Spade.
Butch shook his head and hit Boomer on the back of the head. "We can all see that!"
"How come you can fly?" Brick was suspicious.
"I'm a Powerpuff Boy?" Spade replied unsure. His grandfather had said something like that. The Rowdyruff Boys stared at him before bursting into laughter. "What's so funny?" Spade sounded annoyed.
"Listen kid, there ain't no such thing as a Powerpuff Boy," Brick explained.
"Yeah, there's only Powerpuff Girls, boys are Rowdyruffs," Butch added.
"Is he our long lost brother?" Boomer raised an interesting question about the boy's origin.
"Don't think so," Brick replied.
"Who are you?" Spade asked.
The Rowdyruff Boys were surprised he didn't know. "Brick."
"Butch," they each said their name.
"So what's your name and were did you come from?" Brick questioned.
"I'm Spade and I came from a recipe." That didn't really answer much.
"What else?" Brick prompted him to continue.
"I have a mom, a dad, a grandfather, two aunts and four uncles," Spade continued.
"Names kid, what are their names?" Brick insisted exasperated. They couldn't figure out who this 'Spade' kid really was, without any specific information.
"My parents? Buttercup and Ace," Spade caused a moment of silence to form, while the three Rowdyruff Boys exchanged looks.
"You've got some guts lying to me," Brick looked angry, but Spade didn't quite understand why.
"I didn't lie!" Spade was telling the truth, so shouldn't they believe him?
Brick paused, giving it some thought. "You're telling the truth?" Spade nodded and as if on cue the Rowdyruff Boys burst out laughing.
"Why is it funny?" Spade really didn't understand what the joke was.
"Alright, I'll take your word for it, but you have to prove it." Brick spoke between laughs. It was unbelievable, simply unbelievable. For a couple to be parents at such a young age wasn't unheard of in Townsville, in fact, the suburbs of that city had a reputation for such situations, but Buttercup and Ace? Buttercup, the Powerpuff Girl? It was a little hard to believe, even if she had always been the most mischievous of the super hero trio. Spade did say he came from a recipe, though.
"Prove it, how?" Spade gave it some thought, then came up with an idea before Brick could reply. "How's this?" He turned green.
"He really does kind of look like Ace," Butch observed, while Boomer nodded in agreement.
"Let's go see your dad," Brick decided.
"Okay," Spade was going to check out that mission his mom and aunts were on, but as fast as they worked, they were probably done by now while he stopped to talk to the Rowdyruffs.
The flight to Ace's apartment didn't take too long. Ace was half asleep on the couch, staring at the ceiling fan as it lazily spun. Suddenly a gust of wind invaded his peace and the fan spun at full speed. He got up to find Spade and the Rowdyruff Boys. "What?"
"Is it true?" Brick immediately asked. The Rowdyruff Boys didn't know the Gangreen Gang all that well, but well enough to recognize them by name and face. They happened to know that Buttercup was often seen hanging out with them in what some would describe as a rebellious phase.
"Is what true?" Ace wondered what in the world were the Rowdyruff Boys doing in his apartment with Spade.
"That Spade is your kid, is that true?" Brick completed the question.
Ace contemplated his answer. "In a way; recipe," that last word served to further confirm the boy's origins but not his purpose.
The door was unexpectedly opened, as Billy walked in holding a large box of candy. "I gots some food!" He set the box on the table and immediately Spade rushed over to take a peek inside.
Spade liked eating at his dad's place because he got to eat candy and his grandpa couldn't try to give him any vegetables there. "Uncle Billy, can I have some?"
"Sure, let's eat!" While Billy and Spade were occupied with the candy bars and treats, Ace and the Rowdyruff Boys continued their conversation.
"Why?" Brick asked.
"Why what?" Ace returned the question. Brick seemed annoyed which he usually was, being short tempered and all, but there was something else.
"Why was he made?" Brick half yelled.
Ace caught where this was going. "I see, you think he's some kind of secret weapon from the Powerpuff's side?"
"Isn't he?" Boomer spoke for the first time since they reached Ace's apartment.
"Nah, he just... Buttercup needed some free time, that's all." It seemed that Ace's explanation didn't quite sink in, as the Rowdyruff still gave him looks that demanded more information. Really, how much more simply could he explain it? "Because of the deal with the other cities, remember? She was really busy, she never agreed to that. Now it's over and Spade is still here. I think she wouldn't have done it if she knew the deal would be canceled so soon."
It seemed that they understood. "Then it was all for her own selfish reasons?" Brick waited for the final confirmation.
"That's one way of putting it, but don't we all do things for our own selfish reasons every day?" Ace half answered, half asked.
"True enough," Brick calmly replied. There was no reason why the Gangreen Gang and the Rowdyruff Boys should be enemies; they were in completely different areas, even if they were in the same city.
"What does it mean?" Butch asked in impatient annoyance, a question that Brick would expect from Boomer in a slightly different tone.
"It means the kid's not a secret weapon, he's just there," Brick paused, coming up with an interesting question. "One thing, why did he say you and Buttercup are his parents?"
"My hair was in the concoction and so was hers," Ace replied. "Why are you so interested anyway? Even if he was a secret weapon, and he's not, he's just a kid."
The point was taken with a look of anger. "It's my business why I want to know." Brick elbowed Butch who was grinning.
Ace shrugged, "fine by me, it's not like he's a secret, not anymore."
"What will happen now?" Boomer asked.
"What do you mean? Nothing will happen, life goes on normally, Spade hangs out with my gang sometimes and sometimes he's with the Utoniums at their house." To Ace, carefree as he was, it was all simple enough. He didn't mind having Spade around, the rest of the Gangreen Gang got along with him too. After their energy was exhausted, he would just send Spade to Buttercup's place until the gang recovered; then they would welcome Spade again. To Ace, it didn't need to be complicated.
"Which means you're on their side?" Brick inquired out of simple curiosity, since it honestly didn't concern him.
"No," Ace firmly replied, he got along fine with Buttercup and liked her a lot, but that didn't mean he was a Powerpuff Girl supporter. "I'm neutral; I have been for a few years. Buttercup doesn't bring up stuff like that, that's why it works."
The Rowdyruff Boys were not completely sure about the specifics of what Ace was talking about. What worked? They didn't know and by the looks of it, not even Ace himself knew where his relationship with Buttercup stood. As long as the world continued to spin, as long as he had a place to live, food to eat and some form of entertainment, Ace didn't worry and he didn't even try to figure things out. It was that carefree lifestyle that Buttercup liked, freedom; it could be summarized in that one word.
Yet for someone who enjoyed freedom so much, as the Rowdyruff as well as the Gangreen Gang did, in their own ways, it was odd to think of Buttercup with responsibilities, which made them conclude beyond a doubt, that this experiment that resulted in that boy named Spade, really was done in the rush of the moment.
"Well good luck with that." With those words, Brick signaled it was time to leave. He exited via the window from where they came, followed by Boomer and Butch.
"What's that supposed to mean?" Ace wondered aloud.
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Episode 04: Problem
Days later Spade was hanging out with the Gangreen Gang after spending the morning at the Powerpuff's house. "I'm tired..." To hear the usually energetic little boy speak such words was a rare occasion. In fact, Ace had never once seen him express the need to rest since he was 'born'.
"Take a break, let's all watch some TV." Spade sat down on the couch next to his 'father' as his 'uncles' piled around the TV. After flipping around for a few minutes, Ace stopped after spotting familiar ad. "Looks like it's happening again," it never failed, once a year, Mojo Jojo would have a garage sale. The monkey seemed to collect a lot of random junk during the year, but he had a few things that were worth while.
The apartment was rather cluttered, but the Gangreen Gang didn't really mind. They had moved in one day, after finding the empty apartment, no questions asked. No one tried to kick them out, the building's owner knew better than that. Even if they left, or got kicked out, the Gangreen Gang would return to cause trouble, so it was better to let them be and stay on good terms.
At first the neighbors were not happy with the situation, though they dared not expressed their discomfort beyond private complaints to the owner and quiet whispers in the halls. Then Buttercup started hanging out there. Her presence brought a sense of security. If having the Gangreen Gang living there meant regular visits from a Powerpuff Girl, then it was a good thing.
Complains eventually faded away and the gang ended up being welcomed, which caused the owner to brag about the security of the building that no one would dare break into, thus benefiting from a raise in the rent that people thought was well worth it, and feeling relieved that the Gangreen Gang had settled into the apartment.
The room was filled with the murmurs of Billy, Arturo, Snake and Grubber, discussing what they had bought last year and what they thought they would find this year. "You guys wanna go?" Ace knew what the answer would be.
A chorus of "yeah!" erupted just as Ace expected.
"Great, then lets go!" As their leader gave the okay, the entire gang started heading for the door. "C'mon Spade let's go. Mojo's garage sale has a lot of fun things."
Spade nodded sleepily and tried to fly, only to hover lower and lower until he touched the floor. "Too tired, I'll walk."
Ace didn't understand; Spade was part chocolate energy bar, how could he be tired? "Did you eat today?"
Spade nodded. "I had pancakes and juice, grandpa made a big breakfast."
"Did you sleep yesterday?" Ace searched for the cause of Spade's unusual exhaustion.
"I went to sleep at nine and woke up at eight," Spade replied.
"And you're still tired?" Spade nodded in reply to Ace's question. Ace did not understand, Spade slept and ate alright, so he shouldn't be tired.
"Are you coming?" Little Arturo called.
"Yeah, we're coming!" Ace looked at Spade who appeared to be about to fall asleep on his feet. This made no sense. "Let's go, you probably just need some fresh air."
However, not the fresh air of Townsville, nor the sounds of the busy streets, seemed to be enough to make Spade wake up. He even started to lag behind a little, even if a few days ago he could easily fly circles around the Gangreen Gang, now he couldn't even take off from the sidewalk. Snake looked back when he noticed that he was leading the way, when usually it was Ace who would walk first. The action was mimicked by Grubber, little Arturo and big Billy, who gave Ace puzzled looks. Ace shrugged as if to say he wasn't sure what was going on.
Soon they surrounded little Spade, looking at him with confusion. "Isss Sssomething wrong?" Snake asked.
"I don't know," Ace truthfully replied.
"How come he's so tired?" Big Billy asked.
It was yet another question that Ace could not answer. "I don't know."
"Do you think he's sick?" Little Arturo might be right.
Ace decided to confirm the suspicions in the most obvious way, by placing a hand on Spade's forehead and feeling for a fever. "I think... I think he really is sick." The boy's forehead did feel kind of warm and kids caught the common cold all the time, so it wasn't that strange. Only a bad cold could drain the energy out of such a hyper child.
"I want to see Mojo's sale." Spade continued walking, although very slowly. He was curious about that garage sale his father and uncles seemed to like, it might be fun and even if he wasn't feeling up to it, he didn't want to miss out.
Ace looked at Spade then at everyone else who seemed to be waiting for him to decide what to do, he was the leader after all. "C'mon Spade you need to get some rest."
"I don't want to," Spade was very tired, but rest seemed like a boring thing to do in comparison to the original plan.
"You can watch TV so you won't be bored," Ace insisted. "Besides, you're sick and when you get sick you need to rest." It was a well known fact. "If you don't, then it'll take longer for you to get better." That was something that Ace knew all too well, since he didn't like to sit around resting as a child.
Spade nodded, he couldn't even fly and he could hardly walk.
"You guys go on ahead to Mojo's garage sale. I'll catch up later," Ace said.
With the Gangreen Gang on their way to the sale, Ace was left with the choice to take Spade back to his apartment or take the long trip and take him to Buttercup's house in the suburbs of the city, a fine time it was for his car to be sitting in the apartment parking lot with an empty tank. Ace had a bad feeling about this.
Oddly enough, even when disaster was practically staring at him in the face, past the sudden rush of panic that came from the realization of danger, Ace never really felt anything. No foreboding, no bad feelings about something coming, nothing. Even after the realization sunk in, he would soon regain his calm, relaxed attitude, he was truly carefree. Yet somehow he didn't like this.
Ace had a genuine bad feeling about it, screaming in the back of his mind not to leave Spade resting alone in his state. He considered missing out on Mojo's garage sale and hope that the others would bring back something cool, but then he realized that there wouldn't be much that he could do even if he stayed in the apartment with the boy, save for keeping an eye on Spade, which somehow didn't feel very helpful, keeping him company could help, but it couldn't heal.
So it was decided, Ace would go to Buttercup's house and ask her what to do. Maybe she would see something that he had missed and everything would become clear. "We're going to see Buttercup."
Spade only nodded and followed at a slow pace. Ace was completely clueless as to what else do. Whenever someone in the Gangreen Gang caught the infamous common cold, they just tried to sleep it off or ignore it. Ace wondered if it would work this time, but he was getting ahead of himself. He would ask Buttercup what to do when they got to there.
It was a long walk. Ace debated if he should go back to the apartment, which was near by, and get his motorcycle from the parking lot, which unlike his car still had some gas left, though Ace had no means to transfer it to the car, besides, this was no time for complications. Furthermore, Ace wasn't sure if Spade was in any condition to hold on while he drove if he just took the motorcycle, it was better not to risk having the boy fall, powers aside, Ace didn't want to take any chances.
Ace paused and looked left and right, wasn't Spade there just a second ago? He looked back and sure enough, Spade was still following as Ace thought and walked at the same time, almost automatically. Ace couldn't keep up with him before and now Spade was a lot slower. This must be a really bad cold. Ace walked back a few steps and picked him up. Spade seemed to drift off to sleep almost instantly.
"You really were tired." Well that was an odd picture, walking down the streets of Townsville carrying a member of his gang, or more like his child? A cold chill ran down his spine again. Ace shook his head; this was no time to overanalyze things.
Sweet salvation appeared before him in the form of a bus stop. Ace was pretty sure that the bus wasn't supposed to be there at that particular hour, but he was certainly glad it was. Though it might not go all the way to Buttercup's house, it would certainly help. He got in and placed Spade on a seat, noting that the bus was empty. Then he saw who the driver, or rather drivers, were. "What are you doing here?"
"We're hijacking this bus for ransom, see?" The leader of the Ameba Boys informed him.
Ace rolled his eyes. "I see." It appeared that people got tired of waiting for the bus to move and simply left. "If you're going to hijack something you can't leave it where you got it. How about hijacking it all the way to the suburbs?"
The amebas seemed to consult the possibility among themselves, before their leader announced their decision. "I have an idea, we'll hijack this bus all the way to the suburbs, see?"
"Brilliant!" Ace sarcastically said. On the bright side, the bus finally started to move and he could get a ride all the way to Buttercup's house. Then he only needed to trick the Ameba Boys to give him a ride to Mojo's sale after Buttercup miraculously found a solution to everything and Spade was healthy again. Or at least Ace hoped Buttercup had a solution.
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The bus reached the outskirts of the city of Townsville and Ace saw Buttercup's house up ahead. "You should stop here and wait for the ransom, because if you go too far away they won't be able to find you and pay," Ace explained.
The head ameba immediately hit the breaks. He was quite happy that his plan was apparently working this time. "Thanks for all the advice," he said despite it being something that a villain wouldn't say. He was just in a good mood.
"Sure, no problem." Their sheer stupidity was incredible, but at least it was useful. Ace picked up Spade and got off the bus in front of the Utonium residence.
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"A bus stopped in front of our house," Bubbles was looking out the window.
Blossom glanced outside in time to see Ace exit the bus. "Ace is here, looks like Spade is with him."
"I'll get the door," Buttercup flew down the stairs, wondering what this was about, Spade was supposed to be hanging out with the Gangreen Gang today. Professor Utonium had said something about not liking the example they set, but not denying Spade the opportunity to spend some time with his father. During the entire speech, Buttercup recited random song lyrics in her head, because the way he was saying it felt to absolutely awkward and she just didn't want to hear it.
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"Hey," Ace's greeting was casual enough when Buttercup opened the door.
"Hi, is everything okay?" It was the first question that popped into Buttercup's head, seeing Ace carrying Spade. Why wasn't he energetically flying around?
"Spade has a cold." Catching Buttercup's disapproving look, Ace decided to elaborate. "I don't know how he got it; we were just hanging out, playing videogames and watching TV. Besides, don't kids get colds all the time?"
True that the common cold was rather common, hence the name, especially among children. "I suppose so, and you have no idea what to do?"
"Other than telling him to sleep it off, no," Ace admitted.
"Guess I'll have to take care of him." Buttercup took the sleeping child in her arms, he felt warm. "He has a fever?"
"I came right away," was all that Ace could say in his defense, because he really didn't know what to do.
"Come in, you're giving me a hand." Buttercup went inside, sparing one last glance to the bus parked in front of her house before Ace followed her in.
"The Ameba Boys hijacked an empty bus for ransom and I tricked them into giving me a ride," Ace explained.
"They never learn." Buttercup shook her head; those amebas were the most incompetent villains in Townsville.
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Episode 05: Future
After Buttercup took Spade to the room that had been prepared for him, she gently placed him on the bed and instructed Ace to keep an eye on him. The task was simple enough. While Bubbles curiously made her way into Spade's room, wondering why he didn't even cheerfully greet her as he normally would, Blossom followed, Buttercup who appeared to be searching for something. "Hey Blossom, do we still have that cold medicine that tastes like cherry? Not the one from the store that only says it tastes like that, I mean the one dad made that actually does taste good."
"He hasn't made it for a while, but why do you..." Blossom paused, eyes wide. "You let Spade get sick?"
"He was fine in the morning, if you must point the finger, point it at Ace. Besides, you don't have to freak out, it's just a cold and I'm taking care of him, aren't I?" Buttercup had heard the same thing countless times, 'you have to take care of Spade', 'you have to take care of Spade' and occasionally 'you have to take care of Spade and teach Ace how to take care of him'.
"You're missing the point," Blossom couldn't take it anymore. "Remember Bunny? She was our sister, right? Even if we just wanted a little extra help? I know it's the same old tired speech but the point is-"
"The point is you're throwing a tantrum for no reason! I wish you had never found out about this. It's been nothing but trouble ever since you found out. Not ever since Spade came, just since you found out, we were fine before that!" Buttercup yelled.
"You're not doing things right!" Blossom yelled back.
"I'm getting things done so stop whining, mind your own business!" Buttercup walked past her red haired sister; clearly she didn't want to continue the argument.
"Buttercup!" Blossom called after her.
"Please stop!" They both turned to see Bubbles with tears threatening to fall. "Blossom, I know you're trying to help, but you shouldn't always ask people to do things your way. Buttercup, don't you realize we're upset you didn't tell us until you had no choice?"
"It's because I knew your reaction would be bad," Buttercup admitted. "I can handle this. Let's stop acting like the common cold is the end of the world. Look at us? We grew up as super heroes. Do you think normal kids grow up that way? Is it bad? No, we're all fine."
"Buttercup," Blossom began to speak but paused seeing Bubbles shake her head. "I get it, not everything needs to follow a pattern."
"Right," Buttercup said, at least they were getting somewhere, more or less.
"As long as Spade is happy it's okay, even if his family is unusual, just like ours," Bubbles added.
"Yeah," Buttercup was really tired of all the tension. The three sisters started going upstairs, but stopped at the sound of the door being opened.
"I'm home!" Utonium saw his three daughters; they probably didn't expect him to return until later. When ever he was called to clarify something related to an invention, it usually took a long time and one unexpected question after another started appearing.
"Buttercup!" Ace was heard from upstairs.
"Ace is here? And Spade is back, I assume?" Utonium asked for the sake of breaking the silence that formed after Ace called.
"Yeah, Spade caught a cold," Buttercup admitted.
"Buttercup something happened!" Ace sounded alarmed.
Wondering what in the world this was about, they rushed upstairs. Spade appeared to be surrounded by a green glow. It was too bright to look at directly. "What happened?" Buttercup asked.
"I don't know, you told me to watch him and I did, then he started glowing for no reason," Ace explained.
"I know what this is," Utonium sounded sad. The glow around Spade seemed to fade but all that was left in his place was a light green orb with different shades of green swirling inside it. It was hard to believe that that cross between crystal ball, snow globe and lava lamp was actually Spade. "He's condensed into this sphere. I feared it would happen, but there was no way to tell when."
"Was he unstable?" Buttercup had memories of Bunny suddenly surfacing. But this was different, he didn't explode, Spade was there, in a way.
"No, this is different. I'm sorry there's nothing that can be done, he but he will go back to normal." Utonium then began his explanation.
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As the sun set in the horizon. Big Billy, Little Arturo, Snake and Grubber returned home after a long day. "Ace, are you here?" Arturo called, but there was no reply.
"Maybe He'sss at Buttercup'sss houssse." Snake guessed.
"He's up there." Billy pointed to the open door above the stairs to the roof of the apartment. It was quite convenient that they lived in the last floor of the small building and had easy access to the roof. Ace liked the rooftop, they all knew that.
Puzzled as to why he never showed up at Mojo's sale, they started to go up the stairs, but Grubber shook his head as if telling them to wait and listen.
"We messed up, didn't we Buttercup?" Ace half said, half asked.
"That's not what he said," Buttercup reminded. Indeed what Utonium had said was different.
"Is it my fault because I had no idea what to do?" Ace asked. "He was a fun kid, energetic, maybe too energetic, but fun. I kind of liked having him around after I got used to it. He always made things interesting and the gang liked him too."
"I think it was my stress that did this. Back home everyone's feeling guilty for getting on my nerves now. There's just no way to win," Buttercup was sad too. "You're always so relaxed; it couldn't be your fault, if anything, you probably kept him alive a little longer."
"I still don't understand this." Ace admitted, Utonium had explained it and asked if there were any questions. Ace had a few, but decided it was best to keep quiet and ask Buttercup later.
"Because he has traces of our DNA, his energy will react to ours. This will continue to happen for a few years until his own energy waves separate from ours. There was no DNA in the ingredients for my sisters and I, that's why it's different. He reacted to my stress and his energy was compacted into a form of egg." Buttercup explained.
"Utonium didn't say it was your fault," Ace reminded her this time.
"I know but I was really stressed, I didn't know Spade would depend on us that much, to the point where if we're stressed he gets sick." A soft breeze blew as the majestic orange and yellow tones of the horizon started to fade into dark blue and violet. Buttercup ran her hand through her hair. "Dad said that, the egg was a natural defense mechanism. He had to disconnect himself from our energy pattern to stabilize himself. Spade will still be a child when he returns and he'll still need us for a few more years. Then when he's older, his energy will no longer be connected to ours and even if we're stressed, he won't get sick because of it."
"Then he'll be the same, it'll all be the same." The thought was comforting to Ace, a bit odd but comforting, because it meant it will all be fixed. For a long time, all he had was his gang, the five of them watching out for each other. Ace didn't understand the parent thing, but Spade was a cool kid, he was part of the gang, part of the family. Then there was Buttercup, Ace liked her, though he tried not to complicate things, but things got complicated anyway.
"It will take time..." Buttercup looked at the first few stars that appeared in the early night sky. She said she needed a break from everything and her sisters and father understood. Spade was back home, sleeping safe and sound, waiting to return some day. "I know, I miss him, but at least he'll come back."
Grubber, Snake, Arturo and Billy went back down the stairs in silence, unnoticed.
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It would be some time before Ace and Buttercup came down from the roof, but by then they would only find a note. They used to do this in the beginning just to tease Ace about being alone with Buttercup, though this time he suspected other reasons. The gang probably returned to their old home, he knew where to find them if he needed to, but for now, he would accept the space they were giving him.
"Guess it's just us for now," Ace concluded after reading the note. They must have heard, it was the only explanation, but they chose not to speak of it unless he brought it up, which probably wouldn't happen for a while. Life was once again simple or maybe it wasn't. Weather it had always been complicated and Ace never noticed or he was the one making it complicated like so many others did, he didn't know, but he and Buttercup would have the apartment to themselves for a while.
Buttercup nodded and let herself fall into the couch, wondering how long it would take for her life to slip back into normality, or if she wouldn't feel complete until Spade returned. It was similar to how it was before. Sitting on the couch with Ace, sometimes just Ace, sometimes the entire Gangreen Gang. The TV playing softly in the background, sometimes ignored and sometimes acknowledged. This time, the usually quiet stillness of the city in the early hours of the night was the only sound that filled the background.
Buttercup closed her eyes and for a moment allowed time to stop around her, just a moment to organize her thoughts. Then she wondered if Ace was quietly doing the same, she wondered if for Spade it would feel as if time stopped when he finally woke up. She wondered if she should just go back in time but the thought was dismissed as soon as it came. It was possible, she had enough speed to do it, but she wouldn't, messing with history was not the right way to do things. It was more like avoiding things than fixing them. It might be a long time before Spade return, but he would eventually wake up and next time they would be ready to take good care of him.
Disclaimer, I don't own the Powerpuff Girls.
xoxox xox xoxox
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