Villain: The Epilogue
A/N: OK, time for the long gushy author's note because I'm just emotional like that.
Thank you SO MUCH, EVERYONE. For reading. I am just… shocked that when I decided to pick this up again to finish it that so many people came back to read it. I wouldn't have, lol. I so would have been like "Oh, now you're writing this again? Guess what? -It's been 2 years. I've moved on, WHORE." Or something like that, lol. So yeah. I really appreciate you guys sticking with this damn story. It means so much.
My reviewers- thanks so freaking much. I've never had so many loyal reviewers before… like ones that returned to review nearly every chapter as soon as it was posted. IT'S KINDA WEIRD. But it totally makes my day to see a new review in my inbox. And all of you had such different views, and different ideas, and interpretations… it was great! So thank you for that! It really motivated me to try my best to finish this story by writing it the best way I could. D: I hope I haven't failed your expectations.
OK… last chapter. Short and sweet chapter. I'm sure you've all had enough of this chaos, lol. The ending might imply that there will be more. But there won't, lol. This is it. So I hope you enjoy. :D
Love you guys! It's been great! MUAH!
"Everyone, relax!" the robber's voice echoed through the mostly empty bank. "This is a robbery!" he continued to announce. "Everyone on the ground now! And put yer hands on yer heads!"
Everyone in the bank immediately cooperated and fell to the ground, covering their heads with their hands. Blossom first blinked at the crook, before slowly and hesitantly obeying. She knelt down on both knees and placed her hands on her head. But while everyone else cowered with their heads between their knees, the ex-superhero held her head up high and followed the criminal with her eyes wherever he seemed to go.
"Alright boys, let's get the dough and get out of here," the robber shouted at two other men. They quickly darted into action. The first criminal jumped behind the tellers and began collecting any money behind the large counter, while the second crook approached a large vault on the opposite wall.
The second robber had a bucket of some unknown substance in his hands. He stood in front of the vault and tossed the contents of the bucket at the door of the large safe. A green, glowing liquid splashed against the metal door, and suddenly the material began to melt away, creating a large hole in the vault. The robber then disappeared inside the vault.
The lead criminal from before carried a large empty sack and began to approach the crowd of civilians. "Put your money and jewelry in the bag, and no one gets hurt," he demanded from an elderly woman as he threatened her with his pistol. The woman quickly obeyed and tossed her purse into the crook's sack, along with her pearl earrings and necklace.
Blossom watched as the lead robber went down the line of innocent people. She gritted her teeth as he robbed everyone before her.
The crook stepped in front of Blossom and held out his bag of stolen goods. "Your money," he demanded calmly with his gun firmly pointed at her.
Blossom glared at the criminal, but said nothing. She reached into her pocket, pulled out her wallet, and tossed it into the bag. She did so without blinking and without taking her mean stare off the man for one moment.
The crook smiled slyly. "Just what do you think yer doing, Little Missy?" he asked, leaning in close to Blossom. He circled Blossom for a moment, waiting for her to say something, but she said nothing. She only followed him with angry eyes.
The robber stopped behind her. He leaned down, and brought his pistol closer, and let the cold metal of the revolver's barrel trace her neckline. "Your necklace," he demanded with his repulsive breath hot on her neck. "Take it off."
Blossom's eyes widened for a moment, and she quickly touched her silver chain. She grasped onto its heart shaped, pink diamond, and glared at the crook again
"Take it off," he repeated, pressing the gun against her temple.
Blossom gritted her teeth. She raised her chin, and turned her head to look at the crook. She dared the criminal with her eyes as the barrel of the gun stared back, focused right between her eyes. "No," she declared bravely.
"So how is she?"
"She's doing just fine. You would be proud. It's only been two years since her accident, and she's making a recovery much better than the doctors ever anticipated. She still can't lift her left arm past her shoulder, but the doctors said she would never be able to lift it at all in the beginning. I guess she just loves to prove people wrong, doesn't she? I bet if we give her enough time, she'll heal up as good as new."
"I'm glad," Jojo smiled.
Princess smiled, too. She knew who she was speaking to was just a hallucination, but it still comforted her. She finally understood Jojo's need to speak to Mojo after he passed away. Everyone has that one person in their life that they will always rely on for advice and comfort. Jojo would always be hers. Even if it wasn't real, speaking to her dead beloved still made living life a little easier.
"I miss you," Princess confessed.
"I miss you too, Princess."
Suddenly, the door to Princess's room slammed open: "Holy shit," the teenager exclaimed as she entered the room with her nose buried deep in a newspaper. "Have you read this?"
Cat's eyes were wide and so focused on the text that she was reading, she failed to see the furniture in her path as she entered Princess's room. She stumbled slightly as her knee hit a chair, but continued unaffected, completely submerged in what she was reading.
"Haven't you ever heard of knocking, Brat?" Princess crossed her arms firmly and glared at Cat through the vanity mirror.
The eighteen-year-old ignored the villain's irritation. "Have you read this?" she repeated. Finally her eyes parted from the article for a moment to blink at Princess.
Princess rolled her eyes. "It's seven in the morning, and I'm not even dressed yet. Of course I haven't read it. What is it?"
Cat handed the newspaper over to Princess. Princess took the paper. As soon as her eyes fell on the headline she gasped loudly. Her eyes widened as she read the headline again aloud: "Blossom Utonium dies at age 34?" Princess's eyes quickly scanned through the article. "Victim of a bank robbery? …Fatal gunshot to the head?…." Princess looked up from the paper and saw Cat leaving the room. "Where are you off to?"
"Where do you think?" Cat answered as she left.
"Can't it wait? You were supposed to visit tonight anyway! You have work to do today, you know!"
"Already done!" she shouted over her shoulder as she disappeared out of the room.
Cherry failed to make her daily, disguised trip to the coffee shop to get her coffee and newspaper in the neighboring city. She also failed to turn on her television set. Instead, she remained focused on her short list of tasks for the day, and was completely unaware of her mother's death.
It was the last Friday of the month, after all. Which was the one day she looked forward to each month. She always woke up early, and could never sleep the night before. It was still early morning, but already her apartment was cleaned and spotless. Normally the place would be a mess. After all, she lived alone, so why would it need to be clean? The only visitor she ever got was for this one weekend a month.
It had been two years since the fall of Neighborfield, and Cherry remained the only resident left in the city. She lived in a long ago abandoned apartment complex, on the very top, fifteenth floor. It was a bit odd living in a ghost town, but she enjoyed the privacy after a long life of being the center of society's attention. Besides, if she ever grew bored, she just threw on her disguise and flew into another nearby town for entertainment or social interaction. But she of course never revealed her true identity to anyone she may meet.
But mostly, she spent her time in solitude. More often than not, she did a lot of thinking and reflecting. The thinking and reflecting typically involved regretting more than anything. She had banished herself to her tower immediately after she nearly killed her sister Cat in battle. Although her sister had long since forgiven her, and frequently insisted that Cherry move in with her into Townsville's City Hall, Cherry still felt guilty for what she had done. Not to mention, if her mother ever became aware of her new relationship with her sister… she would probably be beyond heartbroken.
When she wasn't rethinking her past, the rest of her time was spent trying to find herself through dozens of projects and hobbies. Painting, writing, cooking, photography, music, learning foreign languages, collecting new things, and mastering new crafts…. True purpose and contentment is what she sought, but sadly had yet to find. But today… today she awoke with a new feeling. Today she felt things were going to be different for once. Because this morning she awoke with a decision she had struggled to make over the last two years.
Today would be her last day locked away in her tower.
Just so long as everything continued to go as planned, that was.
Cherry made her way into the kitchen and opened the cupboard, plucking the necessary ingredients from their shelves. She opened another cabinet, took out a pot, filled it with water and began to heat it over the stove. She took her bag of sugar and began to measure her first ingredient.
"What are you up to?" came Cat's voice from behind.
Cherry immediately whipped around and faced her sister who entered through the window. "You startled me, Cat!" she exclaimed, as she touched her hand gently over her heart. "And you're early."
Cat only smiled as she approached her sister. "Are you alright?"
"Yeah, I'm fine. Why?"
Cat blinked at her for a moment. She then came to the realization that her sister had yet to hear the news. "Nothing," she lied. "You just looked nervous. That's all." Cat decided she would break the news to her later, once she could figure out the most gentle way of doing so.
Cherry bit her lip. "N-nervous? Why would I be nervous?"
Cat raised a suspicious eyebrow. "Right," she said as she walked into the kitchen.
Cherry tried her best to block Cat's view from the stovetop. "Hey, why don't you run to the store and get us some soda, Cat? I think I'm all out."
Cat crossed her arms and stared at her sibling. "Cherry?"
"What are you up to?" she repeated.
"Nothing. I was just making myself breakfast. That's all."
"What are you making?"
Cat's eyes fell on the pot. "Pancakes?" she repeated.
Cherry smiled nervously. "Yeah. Do you want some?" She watched as Cat walked over to the counter and picked up a small glass bottle. "Hey!" she went to reach for it. "I need that!"
"What is it?"
"Nothing! It's a surprise, alright? Don't ruin it!"
Cat held the small bottle out of her sister's grasp, backing away from her and swatting her reaching hands away. "Ruin what?"
"Cat! Give it back!" Cherry shouted.
As Cherry reached again for the bottle, it slipped from Cat's grasp and fell into the pot.
"Oops," Cat smiled weakly as she watched the brown liquid seep into the mixture on the stove.
Cherry's eyes narrowed as she glared at Cat. "Thanks, Cat. It's ruined. Can you go to the store now?"
Cat's nose picked up on the sweet scent of what boiled in the pot. "Caramel sauce?" her eyes widened.
"It was supposed to be, yes."
Cat's jaw dropped. She loved caramel. Especially Cherry's special recipe for homemade caramel sauce that she would drizzle over her delicious homemade cheesecake. It was Cat's favorite. Cat immediately fell to her knees and threw her arms around her sister, clinging to her leg. "MAKE MORE, PLEASE!" she begged.
"Nope. It's ruined. You ruined it."
"YOU MONSTER!" The torment was too much for her.
"That was the last of my vanilla extract you dropped in there. How am I supposed to-" Before Cherry could finish, her sister immediately disappeared with a flash of yellow light. Cherry sighed as she turned off the stove and removed the pot. She poured out the contents into the sink and washed it down the drain.
As she returned to the stove with a clean pot, filled with fresh water, her sister reappeared with another flash of yellow light. The girl held a case of Coca-Cola in one hand and about a dozen bottles of vanilla extract in her other hand.
Cherry's expression remained serious as she plucked one of the bottle's from her sister's grasp and returned to the stove. "Fine," she said. "Just stay out of my way, will you?"
Cat obeyed and sat at the kitchen table. She quietly watched her sister as she continued cooking. As she watched her, she thought about how she would break the news to Cherry about Blossom. After all, even though Cherry hadn't had contact with Blossom since Cherry's disappearance, Cat knew that Cherry still cared for her mother. For some reason that Cat could never even begin to understand, Cherry would always care for Blossom.
When Cherry accidentally shot Cat two years ago, Cherry managed to disappear for five weeks. For five weeks, no one could find the superhero. And for five weeks, the battle over Neighborfield continued. The only known superhero on the planet was missing, while the only known super villain was in the hospital and in critical condition. However the battle continued on with the military versus crooks and criminals. And towards the end of the fifth week, the villains found themselves on the losing end of the war. They would have lost the battle, if it weren't for Cherry's sudden return.
As Cat watched her sister work happily in the kitchen, she thought back to the moment when she had awoken after her accident.
"Do you really think you can make up for something like this?" Princess's voice was the first thing she heard. "And how could we ever trust you? A Powerpuff Girl? Helping villains? How ridiculous!"
"You will trust me, because you have no other choice," Cherry's voice was now clear.
Cat slowly began to open her eyes at the sound of her sister's voice. As her vision finally began to focus, she could see Cherry and Princess standing at her bedside in the hospital room. Neither Cherry nor Princess had yet to notice that Cat was now awake.
Cherry seemed to be dressing as she spoke to Princess. She stood, wearing just a pair of black jeans and her sports bra. Cherry pulled on a yellow shirt, "And I'm not a Powerpuff Girl anymore. I've decided that much."
Princess laughed a little. "Oh, so what? You're a villain now, too?"
Cherry fixed a black belt around her waist. She frowned at Princess as she centered the yellow triangle buckle. "Like I said. I'm not a Powerpuff anymore. That's all I've decided so far." Cherry took the black cape that Princess held in her hands, and began to fasten it around her neck. "I don't know what I want," Cherry frowned. "All I know is that Cat figured out what she wanted. She figured out what makes her happy and what her dreams were, and I-"
"You shot her down," Princess glared at Cherry.
"Right," Cherry frowned. "And I need to fix this. I can't let you guys lose this battle. It means nothing to me, but it means the world to Cat. If she can't fight it herself… it's the least I can do for her. It's the least I can do to try and repair our relationship." Cherry began to tie her red hair up into a tight bun. Princess handed her a black, short, curly wig and Cherry fixed it on her head.
Princess gave a short laugh. "Good luck with that, Sister," she rolled her eyes sarcastically.
"Breaking News: Former Powerpuff Girl and scientist, Blossom Utonium, died yesterday at the age of thirty-four. The news broke this morning that she was the only victim of a bank robbery which took place yesterday afternoon-" the TV announcer's voice interrupted Cat's thoughts. She whipped around to face the TV set in the living room.
Cherry stood there with her jaw dropped as her eyes remained fixed on the TV set. Cat instantly shot up from her seat, and joined her sister by her side.
"She's… dead?" Cherry blinked at the TV.
Cat frowned. "Yeah, I guess so…."
Cherry slowly lowered herself down so that she sat on the living room sofa. Cat sat down, too. Cherry held onto her head as she began to feel dizzy. "I can't believe this…."
"I'm sorry, Cherry," Cat said quietly.
Cherry glanced at Cat. Her yellow-eyed sister had her head hung low, as if wearing some sort of guilty expression. "It's not your fault, Cat. You don't need to apologize for anything."
"No," Cat shook her head, and looked at her sister. "It is. And I do," she frowned.
"It's not, and you don't."
"I can't help but think that it is, Cherry," Cat continued with a sad face. "You wouldn't have ever left her if it weren't for me. You wouldn't have lost Candy if it weren't for me. You wouldn't have lost Stephen. You would still have your family and your friends. You would still-"
"I would still be without my sister, Cat, and still miss her dearly," Cherry interrupted. "It was my choice to leave that life behind, Cat. My choice."
"And you're still happy with that decision?"
Cherry smiled. "Yes. I am."
Cat's eyes widened as her sister placed the caramel cheesecake masterpiece in front of her. Cat admired the dessert as her sister took the chair opposite from her at the kitchen table. Cat carefully picked up her fork, and slowly dug into her dessert. She carefully took her first bite and closed her eyes to savor the taste. "Mmm…" she moaned behind a big smile.
Cherry laughed and continued to eat her own dessert. "You are too easy to please."
Cat smiled. "Why'd you make this today anyway? You usually only make it for special occasions."
"Just an advance 'thank you' for your help this weekend."
Cat tilted her head to one side in confusion. "Help with what?"
"Moving," Cherry replied.
"You're moving? Where?" Cat blinked.
Cherry crossed her arms and frowned a little. "I would think you could guess."
Cat thought for a moment. A smile quickly swept her face as she realized the answer. "City Hall? With me? Really?"
Cherry nodded and smiled. "If that's still alright with you, that is."
Cat nodded. "Yeah, of course!" She took another bite of her cheesecake and grinned. "You should totally start working as the head chef there!" she laughed.
Cherry smiled. "Well, I was thinking you could pull some strings, and help me get into a different profession, actually."
Cat raised an eyebrow. "What are you getting at, Cherry?"
"I want to be a villain, Cat," Cherry announced calmly.
Cat laughed. "You? A villain?" Cat couldn't help but think that her sister had to be joking. "What makes you think you have what it takes to be a villain?" Cat continued to laugh as she began to take another bite of her dessert. Before her fork could reach her lips, suddenly it was shot out of her hand by a sharp gust of wind.
Cherry wore a devious smile when Cat looked at her. She still had her finger pointed in Cat's direction as she coolly continued: "I think you and I both know that I do."
A sly grin swept Cat's face. She leaned back in her chair, and crossed her arms, eyeing Cherry from across the table. "You are- without a doubt- my sister."
"That's right," Cherry crossed her arms, too. "And there's no getting rid of me."