Title: The Very Definition of Understimating Someone
Pairing: Blues (but just barely)
Rating: Practically totally G. Er, maybe PG. There is straddling involved.
Disclaimer: Craig McCracken does not write fanfic, to my knowledge. He is pretty awesome, though.
Summary: Everybody thinks Bubbles is the nice one.
Notes: It was for JojoDancer's birthday! Unbeta'd! Honestly, honey, you probably deserved better. Came excruciatingly close to being named "Powerpoff."
The Very Definition of Underestimating Someone
Bubbles tore across the white landscape, unable to stop her laughter from spilling out. In the back of her mind she knew that that was a "strategic mistake" (thank Blossom for the term; she used it often when scolding Buttercup) as it was totally giving away her location, but she was having too much fun to care.
Snowballs hurtled towards her, and she wheeled out of the way, dodging them more expertly than even she expected herself to. Most of the kids here were in their pre-teens (twelve, like her), and others were as old as fifteen and gleefully tearing into the younger ones, who were less sneaky and couldn't aim as well. Buttercup, of course, was putting everyone to shame. Everyone, meanwhile, was targeting Bubbles.
But for all that people were going after her, she was holding her own. She'd barely been pelted, and had delivered more stinging blows than she had the last time they'd had a snowball fight in the park.
When was that? she wondered. It must've been last year; this was the first real snowfall of the season.
A snowball just grazed one of her pigtails, and she ducked, scooping up a load of snow as she flew. She packed it into a dense ball, took aim, and fired at the first target she saw.
Her target suddenly fired back—not snow, but a red beam that disintegrated her snowball. She halted, as did many of the other kids.
Brick was glaring at her, as if he was incensed at the mere thought of anybody daring to try and hit him, him of all kids.
"You're in for it, Blon—"
He never got to finish his threat. Bubbles beaned him with a snowball, right in the mouth.
Several cheers went up, and Brick stared at her in utter disbelief. Bubbles only smiled beatifically back.
The cry of primal rage that rang out was like a starting pistol, and Bubbles shot off, giggling hysterically as Brick gave chase.
Energized by her daring, the other kids fired snowball after snowball in Brick's direction. Bubbles flew in a loopy, haphazard pattern, occasionally just cresting hills and sending up a spray of snow to thwart her pursuer. Brick, however, proved to be a hard boy to shake.
At least until Buttercup caught sight of him and, thrilled by the sudden challenge of having a Rowdyruff target present, buffeted him so mercilessly that exacting vengeance on her instantly took precedence over exacting vengeance on Bubbles.
Bubbles didn't even notice Brick's attention had shifted until she zipped into a random kid's fort, finally pausing to catch her breath (and give Brick a chance to catch up).
"Hey! Get outta here!"
She looked up in surprise to find not only was Brick now preoccupied with a warmongering Buttercup, but she herself had unwittingly landed in another Rowdyruff Boy's fort: Boomer's.
Her instinct to attack before being attacked herself, however, lost out to her curiosity. "Boomer? How long have you been here?"
In years previous, these epic snowball wars had always come to an explosive ending. The Rowdyruff Boys had a penchant for showing up and absolutely ruining everyone else's fun. Running into Boomer, crouched behind a (remarkably sturdy) snowfort—well, she'd just expected he might've made his presence known before now.
"What do you care?" he snapped. "Now get out! This is my spot!" He started to gather up snow, as if to threaten her, but then a bird cawed as it flew over them and he flung his snowball at it instead.
Part of Bubbles was horrified that he had not only fired at a helpless animal, but managed to hit it, as evidenced by the shocked squawk and sudden mess of ruffled feathers that landed between them. The dazed bird waddled unsteadily on its feet as it staggered around and fell over a couple of times, and the part of Bubbles that hadn't been completely horrified couldn't help but laugh at the sight.
Boomer snickered too as the bird finally shook its head, then took off to take refuge in a nearby tree.
"Nice shot," she said admiringly.
"Right?" he laughed, then stopped, because she was the enemy. He started to gather up snow again, determined to hit her this time.
"Buttercup! Bubbles! It's time to go home!"
"Omigosh, it's Blossom!" Bubbles squealed, instantly scooping snow into her hands and darting up to fire a snowball at her sister.
"Hey! Who threw that?!"
Boomer was speechless. "Dude! You got her in the face!"
Bubbles motioned hastily at his own snowball. "Hurry! While she's looking over there!"
Boomer threw it, and it smacked into the back of Blossom's head, knocking off her bow.
The two of them fell back in the snow, snorting with laughter as Blossom screeched her indignation. Several other kids began to fire snowballs at her as well, prompting Blossom to retaliate with snowballs of her own.
"Hey!" Bubbles tapped Boomer excitedly. "Let's see if we can hit one through another kid's fort!"
Their mittened hands worked together furiously to pack in the densest snowball possible, and, after taking careful aim, Boomer shot one straight into the wall of another kid's fort. There was a miniature snow explosion as it connected, and a few kids screamed as they soared into the air and landed spread-eagled in the open snow, where the other sheltered kids made easy work of them.
"That was amazing! I've never seen that happen before!" Boomer said excitedly, already packing another one.
"Here here here," Bubbles said, eager to try it herself. "I wanna do one!"
Several exploded snowforts later, it still hadn't gotten old. In between snowfort explosions, they fired at any unwitting kids or siblings that were unlucky enough to catch their attention. With most of the forts destroyed, the open snow had erupted into absolute chaos, with only Bubbles and Boomer out of the line of immediate fire.
"You got a great spot here," Bubbles said, looking around. She pointed at the craggy, rocky hill behind them that formed the back wall. "The way you packed the snow around this, it just looks like another snow-covered hill unless you fly directly over it."
"It's awesome, isn't it?" Boomer said gleefully. "I've had my eye on this spot for years."
"Years? Really?" She cocked her head. "But I thought you always liked to... I dunno, like, end the snowball fights, not fight in them, you know?"
He gave her a funny look. "What do you mean?"
"I mean when you and your brothers arrive, everyone immediately stops fighting because you guys... um..."
Bubbles didn't want to say that he and his brothers had a tendency to "ruin everything," even though that was kinda what happened, year after year. This weird semi-alliance that they'd struck up today kept her from saying so. It occurred to her that maybe the Boys didn't mean to stop the fights, that maybe they just wanted to join in the fun, but because of some weird social disorder (or mental disorder, she wasn't about to rule that out), they were just incapable of engaging in the yearly epic snowball fight like normal kids.
But Boomer had managed that normalcy today, with his cleverly concealed snowfort and his careful aim—she'd noticed how quickly he squinted to line up his target before firing—and his taking simple pleasure in the act of lurking in his corner like some kind of snow ninja, rather than careening about obnoxiously out in the open, trying to draw everyone's attention at top volume.
Like Butch was doing right now.
"Oh, man, he woke up!" Boomer complained, watching as his brother forewent the snowballs and instead began blasting things with his laserbeams, cackling maniacally. "I thought I'd whacked him good enough to keep him knocked out for the rest of the day, at least!"
"You hit your brother?" Bubbles said incredulously.
Boomer shrugged. "When he wasn't looking."
Bubbles soon figured Boomer had had good reason to. Butch was pretty much ruining it for everyone out there. It wasn't so much a snowball fight anymore as it was a struggle for survival. Most everyone was making a mad dash out of the park, back to the safety of their respective homes.
Bubbles set her jaw and wordlessly began forming snowball after snowball at breakneck speed. Boomer only watched as she built up a huge pile, balancing it in her arms, and peeked over the top of the fort, out at where Butch was still behaving like an attention-crazed two-year-old with a socialization problem.
What happened next resembled the snowy version of an AK-47 going off. One moment the pile of snowballs in Bubbles' arms was tottering, threatening to overbalance and fall, and the next her arms were completely empty, having unloaded all her ammo in Butch's direction. Butch was now out cold on the snow, looking like the worst victim of bloodless war possible.
The bird Boomer had hit earlier fluttered to Butch's prone form to pluck out a beakful of his hair for its nest.
"Whoa," Boomer intoned, awed. He clapped reverentially. "Props."
"Too little too late," Bubbles said sadly. "Everyone's gone."
It was just as well. The sky was just starting to darken, and those kids that Butch hadn't scared off were now being called away by their parents. Boomer and Bubbles settled back in the snow, sighing.
"You know, this was fun," Bubbles chirped, and Boomer looked at her.
He huffed and turned up his chin. "I guess. I mean, you aim pretty good, for a girl—"
Boomer stared at her, snow coating his face. Bubbles grinned at him, brandishing another snowball in her hand. She enjoyed that look of shock on his face even more than she'd enjoyed Brick's. Boomer's face was flushed red from the impact, his eyes containing just a hint of what might have been betrayal.
"I thought you were the nice one!" he cried.
"Everybody thinks I'm the nice one," she said innocently, and then yanked out his collar, stuffed her second snowball down his shirt, and smashed it against his chest.
"Eeeeagh!!!" he screamed, briefly clutching at his chest in a desperate attempt to warm it, then growled as he dove for her and tried to smush snow into her hair.
She shrieked, giggling as she stuffed handfuls of snow into his face.
"Pft—have any idea—"
"Pft—how cold that—"
"Will you cut that out?!" Boomer snapped, spitting snow.
Bubbles did not cut it out. She giggled and squirmed and flung snow every which way as Boomer struggled to pin her.
"Bubbles! Where are you?"
The two of them ignored her sisters as they called for her to come out, hurry up, it was late, it was time to go home...
"Ha! Gotcha!" Boomer cried triumphantly, preparing to stuff a snowball down her shirt, and she screeched in anticipation of the cold fate that awaited her—
Blossom's and Buttercup's heads appeared over the wall of the snow fort, and everybody halted.
Bubbles watched as her sisters' eyes took her in, pinned underneath Boomer. He was straddling her on the snow, one hand poised to shove a snowball into the empty space he'd created by pulling out the collar of her jacket and shirt.
Their eyes tapered to murderous slits.
Boomer glanced from them to Bubbles, then said hastily, "I can explain—"
They didn't give him the chance to.
The following day Bubbles was at the mall, nursing a hot chocolate she'd just gotten when Boomer approached her.
"You suck!" he announced, and she blinked at him.
"Oh! Hi, Boomer." She nodded at his black eye. Or, well, eyes. "Still healing, huh?"
"You didn't say anything!" he went on. "You just sat there and let your sisters beat me up!"
"I didn't want to interrupt," she said simply, and sipped her hot chocolate.
"You didn't even explain! You didn't tell them we were just playing!"
Her eyes lit up. "You thought so too, huh?! Yeah, I had a lot of fun yesterday."
"I was, too, until your sisters got ahold of me!" he snarled. "Why didn't you say anything? I thought you were the nice one!"
She shrugged and gave him a disarmingly sneaky smile. "Everybody thinks I'm the nice one."
"I should've snowballed you when I had the chance," he said viciously.
"Yeah, probably," Bubbles agreed.
But you didn't, she thought, and she also thought he made funny faces when he was angry, and when he was angry his face got all flushed, just like when she'd first hit him with the snowball.
She also thought she'd like to see him make that face some more.
"I'm going to make you regret it," he said darkly, rolling up his sleeves, and she giggled, it looked so childish and silly.
"Really?" she asked, letting her voice drip syrupy sweet as she fluttered her eyelashes, and that only pissed him off more and, to her delight, made his face even redder.
"I mean it!" he said with absolute conviction. "I'm going to get you!"
She tossed the remains of her hot chocolate in the trash and leaned forward. It caught Boomer off guard; he backed away, the anger falling away from his face, and now he adopted the shocked, flushed expression he'd sported yesterday, except today it wasn't covered in snow. It was a good look for him, this surprised blushing thing.
"So get me," Bubbles said with a smirk, Bubbles, the blond one, the cute one, the nice one, and before he could react she took off, spiraling away in that loopy, haphazard pattern of hers, waiting for Boomer to give chase.