Prologue: Drifting in the City or Of All the Broken Octobers
Disclaimer: I do not own
Blossom Utonium sighed as she was shoved aside for the umpteenth time that day. She'd been living in the city for a year or two now, but the rudeness some people were capable of did not get any easier to deal with. She could have very effortlessly dealt the perpetrator with a jaw shattering punch or she could have very easily flown over the throngs of city dwellers but the whole reason she had moved to a new city was to gain the anonymity she so desperately craved.
She shivered and pulled her pink trench coat closer around her thin frame. October in the city was rainy and smoggy and unpleasant and she occasionally longed for a respite in the countryside. Brightly colored leaves, and crisp air was a foreign concept in the industrial wasteland she called a temporary home and drab gray seemed to be the only color the city knew.
It was days like this that she felt her solitude most strongly. Everything had taken on a gray tone since the girls had separated and opted for pursuing their dreams and developing their personalities as individuals. Two years ago it had seemed a good idea. Angry, biting words still stung in the recesses of her memories, but the growing hole in her heart stung worse still. They'd left each other on a bitter note and keeping in touch hadn't been their top priority. Blossom, being the most psychologically astute, could understand why it would be so difficult to contact her sisters now. Even if she knew where they were, she was nowhere near ready to settle back into the relationship they had once had. They'd gone off to university, but after graduation there had been no phone calls and their whereabouts were still a mystery to her.
If Blossom was to be honest with herself she would have liked to find them. She was hollow without them and she knew this. None of her successes, none of her awards, not of her vast array of research made up for the fact that she had no one to go dress shopping with, no one to argue with. No one came to work out at the gym with her, she ate dinner alone. It was an empty existence and though the friends she had acquired over the last two years were wonderful, they just weren't her sisters.
They weren't Bubbles and Buttercup.
It was on that particular dreary though that the tentative drizzle turned into an ostentatious downpour. Blossom groaned and rushed into the nearest café. Flying home would have been practical had she not wanted to keep her powers on the down low. She did not want the mayor of this town to seek her services. She'd stopped crime fighting a long time ago, choosing to focus on her medical research. The institution she was currently occupied with kept her busy enough. It ensured that she had no time to miss kicking ass (though she did miss it on occasion).
Inside the nearly empty coffee shop she was struck with an even greater feeling of loneliness. It was empty save for a ragged man in the corner, sipping coffee from a small Styrofoam cup and it was downright depressing. Where the hell was the friggin sun?
"Can I help you miss?"
Blossom ordered green tea, and ignored the odd stare the young girl at the cashier offered her. People who entered coffee shops and ordered the green tea were often seen as a little odd. The man in the corner of the shop was staring at her intently and Blossom stifled a groan. The last thing she needed at the moment was a stalker. If he followed her home she'd be forced to beat him into submission, and that would lead to certain complications.
She thanked the girl for the green tea and sat by a window, avoiding the man's gaze and praying that she wouldn't be forced into any awkward situations.
She nearly dropped her green tea into her lap, before spinning around. She'd been so careful to conceal her identity. Her coworkers at the institute were convinced that her name was May Lucas, and that she was single and alone because she was too engrossed in her work.
"How do you know my name?" she hissed through clenched teeth, more angry than concerned that a complete stranger knew her name.
The man smirked and she immediately knew who it was. She couldn't believe that she hadn't recognized his smug visage the minute she had entered the café.
"Brick?" she screeched, startling the poor girl at the register.
"Aww, Pink, you remember I'm so touched." He pulled the cigarette out of his mouth and blew out a puff of smoke.
"What are you doing here?" she demanded, striding over to his table and speaking in hushed, frenzied tones.
Brick of the Rowdyruff Boys, if she'd been clubbed in the head everyday for the last year she couldn't possibly forget one of the most loathsome villains she'd ever come across. It wasn't as though he was the most evil (heaven's no, Him held the position securely), and he wasn't the most intelligent (Mojo bested him only slightly), but he was certainly the most arrogant, conceited, insufferable villain she had ever come across in her entire life. This may have been due to the fact that he had attended high school with her, and they may have competed for valedictorian only to have him simply give up their senior year.
"Causing chaos, wreaking havoc, busting skulls, the usual." His smirk dripped secrets and she knew he wasn't telling her all that he was doing. He couldn't possibly be surviving off the meager income that came with petty, small crimes, and if he had been doing anything particularly large scale she would have heard of it by now.
Besides, his loosened tie and dress pants didn't particular scream "victim of society" or "delinquent". In fact, had she not known it was Brick, she would have easily mistaken him for a CEO at a high end company.
"I'm guessing your life of crime is still going strong." Blossom rolled her eyes, and sat across from him, strangely comforted by a sight from home, however small.
"Honey," he batted his eyelashes mockingly at her, "I don't know what you're talking about."
Blossom rolled her eyes again. He was way too jocular. It had grated on her nerves back in high school, hell, it probably still did, but she was much too preoccupied with past regrets and thoughts of her sister to truly be irritated by him.
"Where's your little team?" he questioned casually, but it was in the way that he avoided her eye, the way he tugged on his red ponytail, that made her realize he knew about the fall out.
Blossom shrugged, "Where's yours?"
Brick stiffened and returned the nonchalant shrug, "The hell, if I know."
Now that took Blossom by surprise. She had assumed that they were a packaged deal, but then again, the Powerpuff Girls were once a packaged deal too.
They sat in silence as the rain pattered against the window panes. The girl at the register took the chance to call her boyfriend on her cell. Her giggles rang through the empty café, completely and utterly inappropriate in the tangible despair.
"Sucks, doesn't it sugar?"
Blossom knew what he was talking about. She didn't know why he had separated from his brothers, but she knew exactly what it was that sucked.
"Yeah, and quit it with the stupid pet names."
"Never, angel-face, I want people to know about our time transcending love."
Blossom snorted and Brick cracked a cheeky grin.
"What are you working as?"
Brick took another sip of his coffee, relishing it, "Underground Boss, dabble a little in the black market, it's a pretty lucrative enterprise sweetheart, especially when giant corporations are involved. I've got a pretty sweet deal and since they're all scared crapless of me, well, I get to pretty much do what I want."
"You are such a scumbag."
"Honey, that's been established."
The silence that resumed wasn't awkward. They were far too preoccupied to give any attention to small social graces.
"What do you say we go find them?"
Blossom was surprised by his question. It wasn't as though she hadn't considered it before. She'd always secretly dreamed of flying out and tearing the country upside down in the search for her sisters, but it had never seemed really plausible. Even with her superpowers, it seemed impossible to find two special girls in a sea of billions.
"Come on, Pink," Brick wheedled, "We could make a road trip of it, I'm sure you could take a month off for vacation."
With the amount of overtime Blossom worked, she could have afforded to take a year off but that was beside the point.
A road trip? With a criminal?
Even if Blossom wasn't exceptionally intelligent, that did not seem to be the most appealing of ideas.
"Why on earth would I even get inside a car with you?"
Brick smirked and she knew that an obnoxious retort was coming her way.
"Because you know that two heads are better than one, and, come on pink, what better partner to help you find a group of superpowered brats? Me and your sisters, we're practically connected."
He always seemed to have an obnoxiously simple reason for everything and that still grated on her nerves. She scoffed.
"Whatever, it's not like you would possibly help me out anyway."
Brick shrugged, "That's true, but if I get something in return, eh, you're not so bad, not that you're not annoying, I mean, honestly, how many times do I have to beat the shit out of you for you to get that I'm the better leader?"
Blossom's jaw dropped. She spluttered and he sniggered.
"You are such an arrogant asshole," she snarled.
Brick leaned back in his seat, and threw his cup at the garbage can. Even though it was a good distance away, it landed perfectly in the center of the trash heap.
"There's a reason for everything, sugar."
He stood up abruptly, before she could respond. He fished into the pocket of his dress pants and pulled out a business card.
"Don't make your decision now, it's a business proposition, call me tomorrow."
And with a salute, he left her sitting at the table, clutching his business card and hoping for the first time in a long time.
Buttercup pulled the dumbbell close to her body. Her rapid speed and numerous repetitions had a few men staring brazenly, their mouths wide open. Some had their eyes narrowed in envy; others shook their heads in disbelief. In the gym, their kingdom and their domain, they were being bested by a tiny girl, in a dark green sports bra and black shorts.
It took her mind off things, now that she'd been reduced from keeping her identity a secret. She just didn't have the heart to fight crime without her sisters. Oh, she still kicked ass, make no mistake about it, but she was forced to be cautious with her powers. One well aimed blast to the face and she'd be behind bars.
She was playing professional basketball now, not because it was her favorite sport, but because they offered the most money. She played under an alias , because she wouldn't be able to stand it if Blossom or Bubbles saw her playing basketball while they were off changing lives or whatever it was they had decided to do when they had parted ways.
Buttercup felt the lump in her throat and angrily choked it down. It wasn't as though she needed them and it wasn't as though they were moping around about her. Everyone was off doing what they wanted to do and they were happier because of it. Three superpowered girls would eventually butt heads so badly that their relationship would be unsalvageable. That was what had happened with them, simple as that.
Buttercup looked up into the mirror vaguely and promptly dropped the dumbbell on her foot. She howled, not from pain but shock and whirled around to face Butch, on his knees, laughing into the mats.
Butch, still too incapacitated to formulate a proper affirmation, continued to laugh into the mat. Buttercup, forgetting that she was in a room full of spectators, kicked him in the gut, sending him flying into a mirror, shattering it and causing many a buff man to run screaming towards the doors.
"Fuck," Buttercup swore. There went her cover, it wasn't likely that the guys in the gym would just think that she was some really strong chick.
Butch groaned, slowly rose to his feet, and wiped the mirror shards off of his dress shirt, "Shit Buttercup, what the fuck did I do?"
Buttercup snarled and immediately marched up to him, grabbing him by his loosened tie.
"What's the big idea taking me by surprise like that? You know I don't take well to fucking surprises and seeing you after two years of not seeing anyone? Yeah, big, fucking surprise."
"Easy, on the suit supergirl," Brick wrenched himself from Buttercup's vice like grip, "I've just got a simple proposition for you."
"Miss Utonium," the small brunette girl tugged on Bubbles's skirt, "Tommy keeps pulling my hair."
Bubbles Utonium, first grade teacher, patted the small girl on the head, "I'll talk to Tommy, Amy, we'll see why he's pulling your hair."
Tommy King reminded Bubbles of a bizarre cross between Mitch and Princess, and it was really a terrible combination.
"Tommy," Bubbles knelt down so that she was at eye level with her most troublesome pupil. He stared back up at her solemnly.
"Yes Miss Utonium?"
He had the art of feigned innocence mastered to a t.
"Why do you keep pulling Amy's hair?"
Tommy flushed, and this time Bubbles knew it wasn't an act, "Because she makes me feel funny and her hair is a stupid color, like mud."
Bubbles couldn't stop a small smile, and it took a good amount of self control to stifle her 'aww'.
"Yes Miss Utonium?"
"You have to be nice to Amy."
Bubbles nodded in satisfaction, and straightened up. She clapped her hands to signal for the children's attention, but all of them seemed to be staring at something behind her. She heard the clear, sharp notes of an acoustic guitar.
Bubbles turned around, to the sight of Boomer strumming a guitar.
"Is that teacher's boyfriend?" Eleanor Schim whispered.
Boomer stopped his strumming, and looked at her so intensely that Bubbles had a bit of trouble breathing.
A/N: A new PPG story even though A Crack in the Sidewalk hasn't been updated in a million years, yes I know. This little plot bunny, however, has been with me for quite some time now and it's outlined and everything. It should be about 8 chapters long, maybe a little longer. No more than 10. There is a reason all of them met up with each other, and it's not for the purpose of clichés, all will be revealed in due time my wonderful readers :-)
As this is a new story I want your opinions! Please feel free to leave questions, critiques, reviews as they all make my day and encourage me to pop out them chapters faster.