¡Viva La Gloria!

A/N: Sorry for the big hiatus, but I've decided to pick this one back up again. We'll see how it goes….

Chapter 6

So Close Your Eyes and Kiss Yourself Goodbye

"Well, your blood count seems fine," the Professor said as he tucked his blonde daughter into bed. "But I'm afraid your nausea will likely continue for the rest of the night, Sweetie."

Bubbles winced as her stomach churned yet again. "Can't I just take some medicine so I can get back to Buttercup, Professor?" Bubbles tried to sit up in bed, but it was an obvious struggle.

The Professor sighed and shook his head. "I know that's what you want, Sweetie, but there is no way you have the strength to do much of anything." The Professor frowned. "I'm sure Buttercup can handle it," he gave her a weak smile in an attempt to reassure her.

Bubbles frowned and rested her head on her pillow once more. She was in a lot of pain, but she tried her best not to show it. Her stomach felt as if it was ready to leap out of her throat at any moment, but she had long since vomited everything she had inside her. Somehow the dry heaves felt a hundred times worse than actual vomit.

"Right now the only thing you can do is rest, Dear."

Blossom paced back and forth in the living room , waiting anxiously for some sort of news—any news. The Professor upstairs with Bubbles and had been for the half hour. Buttercup was still gone, and the power was still out, so there was no way of knowing what was happening with her. Blossom's body literally shook with nerves, as she tried her best to combat all the negative thoughts that flooded her brain.

Princess sat silently on the sofa, watching Blossom pace. She had kept quiet out of respect for Blossom, but the more and more the pink-eyed girl paced, the more anxious it made Princess feel. Finally, she snapped: "Will you just sit down already?!"

The sudden shriek caused Blossom to jump a little. She stopped pacing and faced Princess. "How long do you think it's been?"

"How should I know? All the stupid clocks in here are broken, and my cell phone, along with my beautiful Mercedes, was eaten by an ugly snake monster!"

Blossom sighed and finally took a seat on the sofa next to Princess. They sat in silence for several minutes, before Blossom spoke: "Must be pretty weird sitting here, huh?"

Princess looked at Blossom with a confused expression.

"I mean… my sisters and I haven't really talked to you since… well, you know."

"Since we were enemies," Princess answered.

"Right," Blossom said. She laughed nervously a little. "I almost forgot we ever were enemies. It seems like so long ago…."

Princess watched Blossom as she buried her face in her hands. She noticed that Blossom's entire body shook. It made Princess feel very uneasy. She wasn't used to being in situations like these. It looked as if Blossom was on the verge of a mental breakdown.

"I feel so helpless, Princess," Blossom confessed, her voice muffled by her hands. "I must be a terrible sister. Look at me. Just sitting here, while Buttercup's out there all alone, and poor Bubbles is puking her guts out upstairs…."

"You are a terrible sister," Princess rolled her eyes.

Blossom looked at her quickly with a shocked expression.

Princess just raised an eyebrow at her. "What? Don't try to play me for sympathy. Do you have any idea what I've been through? I was out there. You weren't. Your sister Buttercup is bruised and bloody and still out there! And you're absolutely right! You are a terrible sister for just sitting here!" Princess huffed, "And people have the nerve to call me spoiled."

Blossom blinked at her in stunned silence.

Blossom's blank expression only seemed to stir up something bigger inside of Princess. She sat up straighter and turned to face Blossom, "In fact, you sitting here is probably the most selfish act I have ever witnessed! …Ever! I mean, come on, Blossom! You used to be the leader—the one that they depended on for guidance and direction! And you just abandon them? I don't get how you can sit here and be so upset over this when it's nobody's fault but yours!"

"Hey!" Blossom snapped back. "This is not my fault! I'm not the one attacking the city! It's your old buddies who are orchestrating this whole mess! In fact, how do I know you're not still one of them?"

"I'm not!"

"How am I supposed to know?! You were a villain then, so why would it be different now?!"

"Because I'm different now!" Princess shouted.

"Well, so am I!" Blossom screamed.

"Don't you scream at me!" Princess screamed right back."Who do you think you are?!"

Blossom opened her mouth to yell something else in return but managed to stop herself. Thankfully, at that moment the lights in the Utonium switched on, as power returned to the home once more. Blossom couldn't help but breathe a sigh of relief, grateful to have a distraction like this. Her emotions were high, and she knew Princess's were, too, although she couldn't imagine why. Bubbles had said that she was almost killed out there before Buttercup saved her, but the rich teenager seemed oddly passionate about her and her sister's situation.

Blossom took the remote which sat on the coffee table in front of them and switched on the television. The TV station was already set on the local coverage of what was happening downtown.

The footage was extremely shaky, and it was hard to make out what they were seeing. There was lots of smoke, and the news helicopter maintained a safe and far distance from the scene below.

"It now looks as if Buttercup has just one more beast to face in this battle," the reporter inside the helicopter commented. "But it also would appear that the Powerpuff Girl is playing more of a game of defense and evasion with the giant snake, rather than any offense or attack of any sort."

"She looks to be at her breaking point, doesn't she, Ted?" the news anchorwoman commented as well.

"Definitely so, Lucille. We're approaching the three hour mark, and she's been alone for the half hour since Bubbles had to leave due to a crippling illness."

"And still no sign of Blossom, Ted?"

"Not yet, Lucille."

Blossom immediately felt a stinging sensation in her chest. She watched horrified as she could make out her sister, crouched and hiding behind a heap of rubble, trying her best to keep hidden from the giant snake beast. Blossom held her breath as she watched the snake circle round and round the pile of rubble where Buttercup hid. It was obviously aware of her hiding place, because it's circling got tighter and tighter in circumference. "Come on, Buttercup," she breathed to herself, "You have to make a move…."

Princess also held her breath as she watched. She stood from the sofa and moved closer to the TV, sitting down directly in front of the screen with wide, horrified eyes.

Suddenly the snake struck, lunging for the pile of rubble, and Buttercup included. Buttercup zipped out of the snake's path just in time, and all the snake managed to swallow was just the heap of rocks.

Buttercup quickly reached to grab the snake by the end of its tail, but the snake moved too fast for her, and he swatted his tail, sending her flying several hundred feet backwards. As she fell backwards, she tumbled across the road like a limp ragdoll. She was clearly knocked unconscious.

"No!" Princess shouted at the TV. "Buttercup get up! Get up! GET UP NOW!" Princess screamed.

Blossom shot up to her feet instantly. She knew that she needed to do something, but what? She was completely helpless, but so was Buttercup. Her instinct was to rush to Buttercup's rescue, but she was powerless. She could only watch.

The snake now moved closer and closer towards Buttercup, as she lay there unconscious. Then as soon as he seemed to be ready to strike, the snake inexplicably turned around, and retreated.

The live footage on the TV ended abruptly, and suddenly the screen went a blinding white. Slowly, words began to scroll horizontally across the screen in a big black text, as a digitized voice read the words aloud: "Citizens of Townsville… Consider this your warning. Obviously, not even your precious Powerpuffs can save you like they once could. You may leave, or you may stay. The choice is yours. We will have our revenge, and your city will become ours. This is your warning. –The Villains' Revolution."

The screen remained a haunting, blank white for a long time before the local news station returned. The anchorwoman seemed scared and confused. She slowly began to stammer: "I-I'm sorry, everybody. It would seem that we've had some technical difficulties there for a moment. Please, uh, give us a moment to figure out exactly what just happened."

Princess's head began to spin, as she took a seat on the sofa beside Blossom once more. Blossom also seemed dizzy. They both sat in silence, unsure of what to say or what to do.

Buttercup groaned as she forced herself to sit upright once more. Her head throbbed horribly, and her entire body ached. The sounds of police and ambulance sirens filled her ears as the emergency vehicles approached her. She looked beyond them at the snake monster already in the very far distance. He looked as if he was heading back to the now freed Monster Isle.

A paramedic immediately rushed over to her, but she was on her feet before he could reach her. "Careful now, Buttercup! Don't rush yourself. Just sit back down, alright?"

Buttercup obeyed and sat back down on a nearby curb, allowing the paramedic to do his job. "I'm fine," she insisted, but the man didn't seem to believe her.

"Thank God that snake decided to quit when he did. If not, you would have been a gonner!"

Buttercup frowned, "Yeah…." As the paramedic handed her an oxygen mask, her eyes fell on a police car that pulled up close to them. Buttercup held the oxygen mask to her face and watched as Mayor Bellum stepped out from the police car's passenger door.

Buttercup lowered her head, as Bellum approached her. She felt like a failure. She had lost the battle, after all, and half of downtown Townsville now lay in ruins. She winced as the paramedic took her right arm, which seemed to ache the worst. He rolled up her tattered jacket sleeve and revealed that it was extremely swollen and bloody. Buttercup winced again as he began to clean a pretty deep gash on her forearm, before applying a temporary splint to the appendage.

Bellum took a seat next to Buttercup on the curb, but Buttercup kept her attention on the work the paramedic was doing. "I'm sure it'll be fine in a couple days," Buttercup muttered quietly. "I remember getting worse as a kid."

Mayor Bellum frowned. "Thank you, Buttercup."

Buttercup felt her face grow hot with both embarrassment and anger. She wasn't angry at Bellum, but at herself. "For what?" Buttercup half scoffed, lowering the oxygen mask and setting it down beside her.

"For volunteering so bravely. For protecting us. For everything," Ms. Bellum answered. She rested her hand gently on top of Buttercup's shoulder. "Thank you."

Buttercup still lacked the ability to look the woman in the eyes, but she glanced at her for a moment. "But I… lost…."

"That doesn't matter," Mayor Bellum insisted. "Can you imagine how much destruction might have happened if you and Bubbles hadn't shown? We could all be dead right now." Mayor Bellum stood as the paramedic finished wrapping the last of Buttercup's wounds. When he was finished, Buttercup rose to her feet as well.

As soon as Buttercup was standing, Bellum wasted no time with embracing the tall teen in a tight hug. "Thank you," she said one last time.

Buttercup lifted her one good arm and returned the hug. As she did, her eyes fell on a crowd of people she hadn't noticed before. Hundreds of citizens surrounded them, and they all began to cheer. Buttercup pulled away from Bellum, who was now smiling. Buttercup at first gaped at the crowd in disbelief, before slowly allowing a small smile to sweep her face.

"Cheers, Gentlemen!" Sedusa smiled as she raised her glass. She stood in the middle of the Gangreen Gang, who all tilted their glasses to hers and cheered at once: "Cheers!"

Boomer and Butch also cheered, but Brick only smiled as he raised his glass. Their small party took place inside their new home with Sedusa. They had been there during the monster attacks, waiting anxiously for their first step in the revolution to be revealed. His eyes fell on the television set as the news coverage continued to report on the loss and damages the city had since suffered.

Brick made his way over to the sofa, and sat there alone for several moments before anyone realized he was missing from the group. As soon as the monster attacks ended, and their villainous message was played for the city, Brick couldn't help but feel an intense amount of pressure suddenly cripple him. It was as if everything suddenly felt a whole lot more real than it previously did.

His brothers joined him on the sofa. "What's up, Dude?" Boomer asked a little concerned.

"Nothin,'" Brick muttered without looking at him. He downed the champagne in his glass and then stood up. Before he could make his way back to the kitchen for more, Sedusa met him with the bottle.

She filled his glass for him. "The next stage is yours, Kid," she reminded him.

"Yeah," Brick answered. "I know."

Sedusa smiled a little. "Remember: As soon as you have an opening, you take it. As soon as the opportunity to volunteer as a super hero comes, you take it. Take it, and don't screw this up, got it?"

Brick nodded. "Got it."

"Good boy," Sedusa smiled. "We'll strategize some more tonight. After he arrives, of course."

Brick forced a smile on his face. She didn't have to say the name in order for Brick to know who "he" was. This bit of news concerning his arrival was probably the biggest pressure he felt all night. He slowly took a sip from his glass and nodded: "Cool."

Buttercup wasn't more than two steps inside her home, before she was tackled by her redheaded sister. Blossom threw her arms around her in the tightest embrace she had ever given the tomboy. "Buttercup!" she cheered. "My god, I'm so relieved you're finally home!"

Buttercup winced a little as Blossom's embrace pushed against her injured arm. "Careful," she laughed a little as she pulled away.

"Sorry!" Blossom immediately apologized as she noticed the splint. Her eyes fell on Buttercup again, and a frown swept her face as she began to notice every bruise, cut and wrapped limb. Her eyes watered a little and she wrapped her arms around Buttercup again, this time much more delicately.

Buttercup returned the hug and tried her best to reassure her sister: "I'm fine," she insisted. "How's Bubbles?" she asked.

"Upstairs resting," Blossom answered. "The Professor just gave her something to help her sleep. Her body's still weak, but Professor says she should have it all out of her system by morning."

"That's good," Buttercup smiled a little. At that moment, her eyes fell on the person standing behind Blossom.

Princess smiled weakly at Buttercup, causing the tomboy to blush a little. Buttercup was obviously taken aback by her presence, and struggled with what to do next. Her sister—or anyone for that matter—had no idea of their relationship. There was nothing Buttercup wanted to do more than run up to her girlfriend and give her a big hug and kiss, but Buttercup knew she couldn't do this.

Buttercup awkwardly stumbled over herself as she moved past Princess and towards the staircase behind her. "I-I'm gonna go check on Bubbles, OK?" she tripped a little as she began to ascend the stairs.

Princess frowned as she watched Buttercup abandon her yet again. She never experienced something quite as hurtful as that.

"Come on, Princess," Blossom announced. "I'll take you home now." She walked past her to where her car keys hung on the wall. She walked to the front the door, and held it open for Princess, expecting the girl to follow, but she didn't.

Princess looked at Blossom and pouted a little. "But…" Princess's eyes fell on the staircase where Buttercup had disappeared.

Blossom raised an eyebrow. "But?"

Princess shook her head. What was she thinking? She couldn't do anything with Buttercup here, not as long as their relationship was a secret. "Nothing." Princess sighed, defeated. "Sure. I guess I'll go home."

That car ride home with Blossom was probably the most awkward thing Princess had ever experienced. She wanted nothing more than to break down crying, and it took everything inside her to keep from doing so. She was hurt, and she was angry. She tried her very best to keep her mind off of what was happening, and off of Buttercup, but she just couldn't shake it.

Princess closed her eyes, pretending to be sleeping so that Blossom would not pester her with small talk during the drive. Her mind began to fade into a happier memory….

She was fourteen then, and just a freshman at her high school. It was a little past five in the evening and the rest of the freshmen cheerleaders had long left for home after practice.

"I can't believe I have to wait here for another hour," Princess muttered to herself as she stood outside St. James Academy waiting for her ride home. Ever since her dad began dating his newest girlfriend, Princess's usual chauffer, Alfred, was always busy driving the woman around for hair appointments, shopping, and spa trips. And today was Valentine's Day, so Alfred had warned her that he would unfortunately be extra late today. Her father never had time for anything outside work, so to make it up to his sweetheart he gave her an extra-large allowance to be spent that night.

Princess made her way over to a bench, and sat down with a frustrated sigh. "That gold digger has to go," she swore to herself, daydreaming of a hundred different ways to make the woman's life miserable.

The fourteen-year-old's brown eyes fell on a figure in the distance. They stood underneath the shade of a tree, occasionally pacing back and forth. From where Princess sat, she couldn't quite tell who it was, except that they were tall, with short, straight black hair. The person fidgeted with something in their hands, and appeared anxious in whatever they were doing.

Princess's curiosity got the best of her, and stood from the bench and moved closer for a better look. As she got closer, she realized that the person held a heart-shaped card in their hands. Of course. It was Valentine's Day, after all.

Princess could hear a group of girls exiting the gym to her left. It was the school's senior volleyball team. As the girls passed her, the person by the tree finally stepped into plain view.

It was Buttercup. The green-eyed girl, hid the Valentine behind her back as she waved awkwardly at the group of girls. They each returned a wave in her direction, and Princess couldn't help but notice Buttercup's cheeks turning a bright red as soon as a pretty brunette in the group waved at her. Buttercup seemed to take a step in her direction, but then immediately stopped in her tracks and stayed put.

Princess couldn't help but grin. She was always a fan for gossip, and this was just too perfect. She waited for the girls to disappear out of sight before approaching Buttercup. "Is that for her?" Princess cut straight to the point, her eyes locked on the little red card in Buttercup's hands.

Buttercup turned to face the redhead. She crumpled the valentine card in her hands and hid it behind her back. "What are you talking about?" she tried her best to sound casual, but Princess wasn't fooled.

Princess rolled her eyes. "Oh don't play stupid," she laughed. "You're a lesbian. Big deal. We all saw that one coming. So what's her name?" Princess grinned big. "Isn't a senior a little old for you, Buttercup?"

Buttercup blinked at her for a moment before forcing a scowl on her face. "It's none of your business!" she glared at her. "A-and I'm not a lesbian!" she quickly added.

Princess crossed her arms and raised an eyebrow, but Buttercup's scowl remained unchanged. Princess sighed and uncrossed her arms. "You know," she began, walking past Buttercup and sitting below the shade of the tree, "I won't tell anyone that you are. I was just wondering what kind of girls you liked if you did like girls."

"Why would you care what kinda girls I like?" Buttercup raised an eyebrow.

Princess plucked a dandelion from the grass at her feet, and twirled it in her fingers. "I don't care. I just wondered, that's all. So are you going to tell me her name?"

Buttercup stood silent for a while, before quietly muttering: "Sophie."

"Sophie? The senior that's Steven's sister?"

"Yeah. Her." Buttercup looked to Princess and saw that she wore a disgusted look on her face. "What?"

"She's gross," Princess said.

"What? No she isn't!" Buttercup's face immediately returned to a scowl.

"I don't think she likes girls," Princess added.

"She does," Buttercup crossed her arms.

"Oh?" Princess raised an eyebrow. She dropped the dandelion in her hands and stood up. "You seem pretty confident about that." She grinned. "Spill it."

Buttercup immediately looked nervous.

Princess's smile widened. "Oh! This is so exciting! And here I thought you were just a boring old Powerpuff Girl!" Princess bounced in place with excitement. "Something happened already between you two, didn't it? I can tell! Oh! I can just tell by your face! I have great intuition, you know? Just like when my friend Kathy swore she wasn't into dating an older guy, but I just knew that she was too casual around our friend Jessica's big brother in college and sure enough I caught them making out the next week! So, spill it! How long has this affair with Sophie been happening?"

"It isn't an affair! It was just a kiss, OK?"

Princess sat down on the grass again, and patted the spot next to her, gesturing for Buttercup to take a seat. Buttercup sighed but stayed standing. "Why should I talk to you about this?"

"Because," Princess batted her eyes. "You're acting way too nervous and paranoid about this and flat out denied that you were a lesbian when I asked you, so you probably haven't told anyone yet and it's just eating you up, so it will be good to get things off your chest!" she smiled. "Plus, I already have enough gossip on you, so you might as well just tell the rest."

Buttercup shook her head. "Look, Princess. No offense, but we haven't spoken since like… the fourth grade."

"So, let's catch up then." Princess patted the spot beside her once more.

Buttercup rolled her eyes, and shook her head again. "No thanks."

Princess frowned as she watched the tall tomboy sling her backpack over her shoulder and turn to walk away. She pursed her lips together as she wrestled with an idea in her head, but before she could fully think about it, she blurted out: "I'm gay, too."

As soon as the words came out, she felt cold. She didn't know why she said it. It was true, but why on earth would she share it with Buttercup of all people? After all, they hadn't spoken in years just like Buttercup said. Maybe because it had been eating her up inside like she guessed for Buttercup.

Buttercup turned around and stared at Princess with a surprised look. Princess tried her best to seem casual, as she continued. "And it's not that I care what others think or anything. It's just that I'm not quite ready to you know…."

"Come out?"

"Right. So. Don't tell anyone, OK?"

Buttercup slowly nodded. "Sure. " She walked up to Princess and sat down beside her again. "You won't tell anyone either, right?"

"Duh. That would be mean."

Buttercup laughed a little. "You were always pretty mean when we were kids, so…."

"Hey. I've changed, OK?"

"Oh yeah?"

"Yes. I'm only mean now to people I don't like."

Buttercup couldn't help but laugh.

The two teenagers spent the next hour sharing stories about first crushes and first kisses. Both felt a huge sense of relief, sharing these secrets for the first time with someone else. Princess felt oddly safe while conversing with Buttercup. Maybe because all of her friends seemed to giggle childishly whenever any sort of gay topic came about, so she had never been able to share these stories before. Whatever it was, she felt comfortable with Buttercup. That was until Buttercup began talking about Sophie with a little more detail. Princess instantly decided then that Sophie was definitely someone she didn't like.

"So she hasn't called you since you two kissed?"

Buttercup shook her head. She reached into her jeans pocket to retrieve her cell phone.

"Sounds like it was smart of you to not give her that Valentine."

Buttercup sighed, as she fidgeted with her phone. "You're probably right. She did kinda awkwardly say after the kiss that she was moving across the state right after high school."

Princess couldn't help but giggle. "Classic excuse. What a whore."

Buttercup frowned. "Great."

Princess pouted a little. "Don't feel bad." She reached for Buttercup's phone and plucked it out of her hand. She began typing something into the phone.

"What are you doing?" Buttercup questioned.

Princess handed the phone back and Buttercup looked down at the screen to find that Princess had programmed her number into her phone. "'Your new best friend?'" Buttercup read aloud the contact name Princess had given herself.

Princess smiled as she stood up from the ground, "That's right." She could see Alfred's limo entering the school's parking lot in the distance. She smiled at Buttercup one last time: "Who knows? Maybe more once you dump the whore," she grinned.

Princess couldn't help but giggle at Buttercup as she watched the tomboy's face turn red. Princess gave a suggestive wink before walking towards the stretch limo that pulled alongside the curb. As Princess climbed into the limo, she smiled to herself. She always got what she want, and at that moment she decided that Buttercup was what she wanted next.

It was already well into the evening when Princess was finally home. She had pretty much lost all hope that Daddy would still be there. He usually would only return home for a couple hours at a time before leaving on yet another business trip.

"Princess! Where are your shoes?!" a surprised housekeeper exclaimed as Princess entered their home.

Princess glanced down at her bare feet and sighed heavily. "I think a snake ate them," she muttered as she continued walking.

"Your father is waiting for you in his study," another servant announced.

Princess stopped abruptly in her tracks. Instantly her mood was lifted and a giant grin swept the young girl's face. She wasted no time, rushing towards the corridor to her father's private wing. It had been years since she spoke with her father face to face. Really, the only interaction she had with him as of late was through very brief telephone calls and birthday cards.

She stopped at the door to her father's study, and took a moment to compose herself. The shiny marble doors acted as a full length mirror, and she took a minute to straighten out her dress and hair, before entering the room.

As she entered the study, she was surprised to see it so dimly lit. The fireplace was on and the fire's glow was the only source of light in the room. Her father sat in front of the fire, reclined in his favorite chair. He held something in his hands, but Princess could not see what it was from where she stood.

"I've been waiting for you for the past three hours," the man's low voice echoed throughout the giant chamber.

Princess's smile disappeared and she began to walk in his direction. "I'm sorry, Daddy," she said quietly. "I tried to get here as soon as I heard you were home, but there was a monster attack—"

"So I heard," he interrupted her.

Princess could feel her heart pounding within her chest as she neared her father. She stood before him and took in his presence for the first time in years. He was much different than she could ever imagine to be true. He was a heavy-set man, in his late fifties, though he looked much older. His skin was pale but freckled with dark age spots. She could now see that his thick, stubby fingers grasped a large envelope in his hands. The hair on his head was thin, and almost translucent in color. His eyes were the same dark brown as her own, only tired. He wore a serious look on his face—an almost scowl. The unkind expression pierced through Princess in an almost accusing manner.

"I'm really sorry, Daddy," she tried to apologize again. "I didn't mean to keep you waiting." She smiled weakly, trying her best to keep positive. "I'm really glad that you're here though. I'm just so… happy to see you," she smiled.

"I wish I could say the same," his eyes narrowed as he handed her the envelope.

Princess stepped forward and took it from him. She pulled the contents from the envelope and could not help but almost drop them due to immediate shock as her eyes fell on the photos.

They were of her and Buttercup. The photos were all taken the other night when she visited her. There was one of Buttercup climbing through her window, one of the two in a tight embrace, one of the two kissing, and the most incriminating one was of Princess in nothing but her undies while Buttercup held her.

Princess could feel her face burning with extreme embarrassment. She gaped at the photos in disbelief for a very long time, unable to say anything. She had been blackmailed. Who could have taken these?

"I think it's fairly obvious that this sort of behavior is unacceptable," her father spoke. His eyes were still narrowed as he glared at his daughter in disgust. "I've spent my entire life building our family name into an empire. And this? This will ruin that name. It will destroy us. Do you understand me?"

Princess gulped loudly before speaking: "I-I'm sorry, Daddy. I would never have wanted you to find out this way—"

"Find out?" he raised an eyebrow. "Find what out exactly? I should think that there is nothing to find, because there is nothing happening, right?"

Princess bit her lip and said nothing.

"Right?" he pressed on.

Princess was on the verge of tears. This was essentially her father's way of forcing her to end it with Buttercup, and thus forcing her to never be allowed to be herself. What choice did she have? What could she say in this moment? She couldn't even think straight. All she knew is what he wanted to hear, and so she swallowed hard and forced herself to nod. "…Right."

"Good," he relaxed in his seat. "Now," he began in much softer tone of voice, "I believe right now would be an excellent time to discuss your future," he smiled a little. "A very lucrative deal has been sent my way and it would require much of your assistance, Daughter. I should hope that you're up for the challenge."

Her father gestured for Princess to take the chair beside him. She was so overwhelmed by so many bottled up emotions it took her a moment to realize he was speaking to her. She obeyed and sat down beside him. "A… business deal?" Princess questioned.

"That's right," he smiled at her. He reached over to a table beside him and reached for an intercom button, he pressed it and spoke: "Send in my guests, please."

Princess watched the doors to her left open, as two figures stepped inside. One was short in stature, and the other was a slender, womanly figure. As the two figures moved more into the light, Princess's jaw fell open as she recognized them.

"Daughter, I'm sure you remember our friends," he father began to introduce as he stood to greet them. "The very beautiful and lovely Sedusa… and, of course, the infamous mastermind that is Mojo Jojo."