There is now an Orochimaru/Bubbles fanpage on facebook (my friend is REALLY weird). You can join if you want; just search "Orochimaru x Bubbles"
Warnings: Disturbing pairing, pedophilia, written under duress, liberties taken with the fandom. Angsty, will make no sense if you haven't read Bubblesgum Kinda Keeps My Heart (not that it makes much sense to begin with), mentioned violence/gore, lower quality than Bubblesgum
Disclaimers: The Powerpuff Girls belong to Craig McCracken, Cartoon Network, and associates. Naruto belongs to Kishimoto Masashi, Shounen Jump, and associates. Written as a birthday gift for my friend Maya, since Orochimaru/Bubbles is her OTP and no one said anything bad about the original fic (see? By not saying it was bad and/or disturbing, you made her make me write a sequel. I hope you're happy). May cause brain melting.
Featuring: JadedButStillOblivious!Bubbles, Pedo!Orochimaru
She was still frozen outside the round little window outside of the bedroom she shared with her sisters. How long had she been floating there? Bubbles wasn't sure, but it had been a while.
"She's not our sister anymore," Blossom had said. "Not like she used to be. She's... different."
"If by different you mean freakin' nutso," Buttercup had chipped in. "Did you see what she did to those robbers today? Even when I was on my teeth-streak I didn't do anything like that." She sounded ill, just thinking about it.
"No, I didn't see, but I heard-" Blossom stopped, and Bubbles winced. It had been a fairly normal robbery. A few guys from Cityville had come, thinking they could take on the Powerpuff Girls, and tried to rob an electronics store. The girls had caught up with them just outside of town. Bubbles broke the leader's spine; he'd never be able to walk again.
But it wasn't her fault! Hadn't Blossom and Buttercup noticed that every criminal they put behind bars got out quickly? Sometimes it was because they broke out, others because their sentence was up, but they all went back to their previous ways! Every single criminal they caught would go back to a life of crime, even though the City of Townsville had so many free jobs (especially in construction). Everyone in their class at school had to research one US law, too, and Bubbles' had been a fairly local law saying that criminals caught via vigilante justice had a sentencing of no longer than one month. Most were allowed to walk straight free.
That conversation had been a while ago; it was dark now, and inside Bubbles could hear Professor Plutonium – her ever loving father who was so oblivious to how dark the world was and to what Buttercup and Blossom thought of Bubbles – asking where she was.
"She's probably out on patrol," Blossom reasoned. "She does that a lot."
"That's true, but she's usually home by sunset if there's no trouble... well, dinner's ready. If Bubbles isn't back by dessert I'll call the Mayor," the Professor offered. Was he really so accustomed to her not being around? Bubbles frowned, but had to accede that, yes, he probably was.
The girls had turned seven a few months ago – well, more like two, but they were hitting the end of first grade now and everyone else was seven, so they were seven too – and for the past year Bubbles had been slowly distancing herself from her sisters. She hadn't noticed at first. It was subtle, and she blamed it on their jealousy that she was getting new powers all the time and they weren't. She blamed it on the fact that she had become stronger and faster than ever, and a bit less of her bubbly old self.
And, sometimes, she blamed it on the man too, Orochimaru. But he wasn't really to blame; she had just seen him occasionally before the time when Him attacked. Three, maybe four times total, and the process had already started at that point. When Bubbles realized that her sisters were ignoring her, Orochimaru had helped her, even teaching her a bit of a fighting style so that she could better use her strength and speed instead of jumping into things willy-nilly.
He taught her to use her powers better, even as new ones came along. And he taught her how to "create" her own powers, though Orochimaru said that these were powers even a regular person could do if they knew how.
No, he had only helped her. Bubbles knew that the blame lay with Chemical X and with the fact that she and her sisters were children. Just little girls, for all the power they had. As her sisters ignored her more and more and the other children in the school began to fear her, just a little, Bubbles took more to reading, because it was all she could do during recess. And she learned what immaturity and jealousy were, and why her sisters would feel that, why they would hurt her like they were instead of talking to her about it.
Buttercup and Blossom left the room with Professor Utonium, and Bubbles decided she didn't want to come home for dinner. It was immature of her, as she now knew, but she wanted her sisters to be worried and come look for her, just to prove that she really was still their innocent little sister.
So she went to visit Orochimaru.
He had opened the door before she even got there, as usual. He had explained it as a warrior's sense; he was a ninja, a hired hand, a jack of all trades, and had developed a sixth sense for the sake of his own survival.
"It's late," he observed in his rather accented English. He was doing rather well considering he had only started learning English a year ago; Blossom had been learning Chinese for a year and a half, and Bubbles had trouble not wincing at some of her sentences (1). "You are normally home by now."
Bubbles said nothing, instead hugging her friend's knees (for that was the only part of him she could reach with her feet firmly planted on the hall carpet as they were, without using her power to stretch) and entering the apartment he inhabited without waiting for an invitation. She didn't really need an invitation anyway; Orochimaru had informed her of as much when he had moved in. The little blue girl was always welcome, he had said, and Bubbles sometimes thought she felt more at home here than in her own house.
"Was it your sisters again?" Orochimaru was always so nice, and this time Bubbles nodded in response, not knowing what to say. She never knew what to say about these things, not without bursting into tears like the child she was, even though she knew that Orochimaru would never begrudge her such a thing. But with him, she didn't want to be immature. "I see."
There was dinner on the counter of the small kitchen, Japanese take-out, which Orochimaru told Bubbles to eat. He almost always had Japanese cuisine unless Bubbles convinced him to try something else, though he never ate sweets.
An hour passed with little talk beyond Bubbles and Orochimaru asking one another about training; Bubbles knew better than to ask about work, because Orochimaru did things like she did, but from the shadows and to criminals who were pretending to be law abiding citizens. She didn't like hearing about his work, but he was always fascinated by hers.
"I was mad," she admitted softly, eyes cast down. "They would have been out of jail in a week or two and back to stealing, and I got so mad! It's like what we do doesn't matter! We save the city from monsters, and we hurt them bad enough that they don't come back, but no matter how much we hit them or how many times they go to jail, people are always out again so quick! And now that man won't be able to walk, let alone steal." She felt guilty, but still justified at the same time.
"You did the right thing," Orochimaru informed her, as she knew he would. "Better to kill your foe now than be killed by him tomorrow." His words made her feel better too, as she knew they would.
Still, an hour had passed, and no search light had gone up the sky, and Blossom and Buttercup knew that she came frequently to the home of the man who sometimes helped them with a tough foe, knew that if she wasn't home that this was the best place to find her.
She felt smaller, sadder, more alone. They didn't care anymore.
Bubbles drifted off to sleep on Orochimaru's couch, and woke up in her bed at home the next morning.
She didn't see him for a month after that. Orochimaru wasn't at his apartment, nor did he show up around the city. Bubbles felt more alone, and her sisters were continuing to distance themselves from her. But Bubbles refused to cry, because being immature had never helped her, had it? She was seven, and she could control her tears, really she could.
Then, on the last day of first grade, Bubbles saw a figure in a suit flying in the distance, and ignoring the teacher – a man who really couldn't measure up to the previous Kindergarten instructor – flew off after the being she knew to be Orochimaru. She met him in the air only a few minutes later; he had stopped when she got within a mile of him, though when she caught up he continued towards the direction of his apartment with the same pace at which he had flown before.
"I was searching for something," Orochimaru answered the unasked question not long before they landed on the roof of the apartment complex. "And I found it. The way back to my home, that is."
Bubbles' eyes widened. Orochimaru had told her some about his home. It was like Japan, but not. The continent of the Elemental Countries was fairly large with a mostly-Japanese culture, but certain aspects were older while others were modern. They had television, but no cars, and yet Orochimaru had never even heard of a land outside of the Elemental Countries before he left in pursuit of his rebellious student.
"Are you... going to go home, then?" Bubbles was sad of course. Orochimaru wasn't afraid of her powers, wasn't jealous that she was stronger than him. On the contraire; he liked it! He taught her how to control herself! And now...
"Yes," he said this bluntly and opened the door to the stairs from the roof. "I'm leaving tonight."
Bubbles stopped hovering in place and almost fell out of the air completely. "Oh..." she nibbled her lip, but Orochimaru didn't turn around and continued down the stairs, looking completely unruffled in his business suit as his patent leather shoes clacked on the stairs, as if he couldn't walk silently if he wanted to. He did this on purpose, Bubbles knew – no one had really noticed that he flew or did things, and the fact that he walked with sound seemed to cement it, or maybe it was just one of those "details" that he always told her about.
"It is doubtful that I will return for some time; my village has likely gone to chaos in my absence," he continued and Bubbles nodded at his back. He was the leader of a village back in the Elemental countries – a surprise, since Bubbles didn't place his age over twenty – and he had been away for over a year; it was understandable that he would be worried about his peoples' wellbeing.
Orochimaru was so kind.
But he had said that it would be a while before he could return. How long would that be? A few months? A year? A whole decade?
That was... Bubbles couldn't stand it. She couldn't stand just a month of him being away, of being alone with her sisters' scorn that the citizens' subtle fear. What had she ever done to gain their fear, anyway?
"Can I go with you?" Bubbles maneuvered so she was in front of Orochimaru, just before he was going to open the door to his floor; the ninja stopped, and gold eyes met blue.
"You may, though... it will be some time before you could return, mostly likely," Orochimaru responded tentatively. "The journey out requires multiple people."
"I'm okay with that," Bubbles informed him. And then he smiled.
Bubbles flew home and packed a bag with dresses, Octy, and her other treasures, leaving a note in her seven-year-old scrawl telling the Professor and her sisters that she would return, but not saying when. A bit of childish vindictiveness at letting them think she meant that night or tomorrow was ignored, though it was so real.
Two weeks later, they were in the Elemental Countries. Bubbles was amazed as they saw land for the first time since they had stopped running across the water. There had been a strange force field in the middle of the ocean a ways back – Orochimaru told her it circled the entire continent, and that it warped time and space so that entering took two week from the main land while exiting the continent took only minutes, though it was disorienting – and now Bubbles got her first sight of the Elemental Countries by way of a large bridge.
Orochimaru had stopped flying at this point and was instead running on the water, something he suggested she do as well. Bubbles tried, but ended up pretending to run and just flew to keep pace with Orochimaru. They hit land soon enough, and continued traveling by the land.
It wasn't hard for Bubbles to realize that flight was probably an even rarer ability here than back in America, and that Orochimaru didn't want to stand out; he said they were in the Fire Country, and that he used to be a member of the Leaf ninja before his teacher betrayed him and he fled. The entire country hated him, and a lot of bad people wanted to kill him.
Bubbles didn't know how serious a threat that really was until a teenaged boy with spiky blond hair, bright orange clothes, and strangely scarred cheeks stumbled upon their campsite the next day. He looked surprised to see them, and Orochimaru hadn't sensed the boy, somehow.
"Y-you!" the boy yelled in alarm when he had shaken himself from his shock. "What are you doing here?! Where's Sasuke?!" His voice held a certain amount of alarm, like he'd expected someone else – likely Sasuke, who, Bubbles recalled, was the rebellious student Orochimaru had pursued to Townsville – but certainly not them.
"Elsewhere," Orochimaru's answer was evasive, and rightfully so. Bubbles didn't like to hear that Orochimaru had had to kill Sasuke, but it had to be done. The boy was unstable and powerful, capable of killing thousands and escaping any prison.
"Liar! I could sense his chakra! There's no way I could be wrong using senjutsu!" His face held a level of desperation, and Bubbles noticed the strange redness around his eyes and the horizontal slit of his pupils. It was freaky looking, but she had seen so many weirder things – like Fuzzy Lumpkins and the Roach Coach and so many others – that she wasn't much fazed by that. His expression was what got to her.
"Then you are mistaken, Naruto-kun," Orochimaru paid special attention to that name, as his eyes flared red as they did on occasion when he was training Bubbles, black dots swirling in the irises, and the blond boy's previously healthily-tanned skin paled dramatically.
"Those are... Sharingan..."
Then there was red, and Bubbles wondered if she was going to die. There was this all consuming hatred and pressure bearing down on her, and she was sure that just the feeling of it would kill her, never mind whatever attacked it preceded. She was lifted suddenly by the back of her dress and lifted off the ground as Orochimaru jumped into one of the sturdy trees at the edge of their little clearing. He did not fly like she knew he could, but jumped and stuck to the side of the tree with Bubbles in his grasp like he had attached to the side of a building at their first meeting.
A gouge was taken out of the earth where they had been standing, putting out the fire f their campsite to leave the only light as that of the strange glowing veil around the boy.
He would have hurt them, maybe even killed them with that attack if Orochimaru hadn't pulled her out of the way. That boy who held attachment to that Sasuke boy and knew the secret of Orochimaru's red eyes had attacked them. He was strong and off his rocker and Bubbles didn't want to die, nor for Orochimaru to die in her defense, because that was wholly possible.
Her blood boiled and her skin itched, and she rocketed forth.
Later, she would blot out the memory, except for the facts of it. That she had killed the blond boy who, as Orochimaru later told her, was really a demon who was friends with Sasuke and flown into a rage upon realizing Sasuke was dead. She blotted out the memory of his bones shattering and regrowing quickly, of his red-hot chakra scorching her hands and how she used her sonic scream to shatter the parts of his ear as he sprouted a third tail. How he had fought like an animal to get past her to Orochimaru until it realized she was the greater threat.
And she could never, ever let anyone harm Orochimaru. He was everything; Bubbles couldn't live without him, and she loved him.
Author's Note: Happy Birthday to Maya, who turned 17 today (November 18, 2009). (And Happy Birthday to her twin sister Megan as well, though I doubt she derives the same sort of joy from this assuming she reads it.) Just so you lot know, she DID enjoy the original and carries a hard copy of it with her in her backpack and she makes people in our friend group read it (right now it has been foisted off to 'the toll of death'), so I'm not writing this for my own benefit. I probably wouldn't have been persuaded to write her a sequel if it weren't for the fact that all the reviews for Bubblesgum been so... nice. Not a single disparaging review. Do you know how weird that is when I'm writing something like this?
Sorry about not writing anything this month. Don't be mistaken – I'm not doing NaNoWriMo. Actually, I read Twilight, and have been trying to resuscitate my braincells. As you can see, it isn't going too hot.
And now I know why I didn't write Bubblesgum from Bubbles' perspective – I can't write her very well. Or maybe it's just a girl thing or a small child thing, I'm not sure. Or, y'know, it could be the fact that I was making perky little Bubbles ANGST a lot.
(1) In one episode of the Powerpuff Girls in which the girls thought they were going to be replaced (I've no idea which episode, just that it happened), and in an effort to show their worthiness, Blossom tried showing off her skills with Mandarin Chinese... and basically spoke nonsense. Bubbles, however, has a gift for languages (as you would know from reading Bubblesgum) and probably picked it up soon after Blossom learned it (or that's my opinion anyway).