Hey there y'all! First a few announcements:
(ahem) Number 1: I do not own the Powerpuff Girls. Really.
Number 2: This is my first Powerpuff Girls Ficcy, please be nice & review! Please!
(cough) And finally, Number 3: Please Enjoy!

Emerald Mirage...


A small girl named Buttercup stared out the window, her body turned to ignore her two sisters as
they played with their new toys. Normally, the black-haired girl would have joined right in, but today..

She sighed. Today, she just didn't feel in the mood. She felt like a good fight, one that she hadn't
had in a while. Buttercup almost wished that Mojo would try something right now. Something big,
like the time he'd robbed the museum of the anubis jewels. Now that had been a fight.

"And Mr. Kitty, what would you like to drink?" Bubbles handed a tea cup to a stuffed animal sitting in a circle. The young blonde smiled with the pleasure of her playtime treat.

"Bubbles, for the last time, those animals don't talk! They're just stuffed toys!" interjected Blossom, her eyes slanted with a look of frustration. Bubbles shrank away from the redhead, her eyes brimming with tears.

"But.. But.." The tears started to form rapidly, dangerously close to streaming down her face. She closed her eyes and started to wail.

"WAHHHHHHHHHHH!" Her mouth opened wide, tears falling everywhere around her. Bubbles put her face into her hands, upset at her sister. Buttercup sighed with frustration as the Professor entered the room, his face tightened with worry.

"Bubbles? Are you OK?" He gently picked up Bubbles, who by this time was lying face down on her bed, venting her pain with her tears. She turned her head towards the man, eyes still filled with tears. The Professor smiled at her, his eyes kind and understanding.

"Now Bubbles, calm down. Tell me what happened," he cooed to her. Bubbles wiped her eyes with a hand then started her tale:

"I was playing all nice with Mr. Kitty and all my friends, Mr. Popo and Miss Giraffe, and we were having a tea party. Buttercup was looking out the window bein' grumpy-"

"I AM NOT GRUMPY!" Buttercup crossed her arms, a sour expression on her face.

The Professor looked at his green-eyed daughter. "Now Buttercup, let Bubbles continue with her story," he said, his eyes narrowing with growing agitation.

"Fine, fine," Buttercup said, turning her head back towards the window.

"Continue, Bubbles," said the Professor, his patience running out by the minute from all the interruptions.

The young blonde turned her head towards him, and spoke, "Well, right after all that, I gave Mr. Kitty some tea. Then.. Then," she sniffled, "Blossom told me that the stuffed animals couldn't talk, and then I got upset, and cried. Then you came in and asked me if I was OK and-"

"OK, OK. I think I get the picture now. Blossom," the Professor looked over towards the redhead, who was trying to sneak out of the room unnoticed. The girl turned and gave the professor that 'I'm the perfect one' look that usually would melt his heart and turn it to jelly. But not today.

"Blossom!" his voice raised a bit, and she cast her large pink eyes downward. The professor smiled despite his best efforts. Blossom knew exactly the things that could make him crumble apart.

"Blossom, it wasn't very nice to tell your sister that. She was just having fun, and there's no harm in that. I believe sometimes you pretend Dr.Dee Dee talks, don't you?" he gestured towards the doll, that was lying near the windowsill that Buttercup was perched on. Blossom sighed and nodded her head.

"You see girls, imagination is key to our survival. If we didn't have it, we would be bored..." He trailed off as he saw Bubbles shake her head in confusion. "Now Blossom," he advised her, "Please apologize to your sister."

The ruby-headed girl did just that, then flew up and looked at the clock.

"Oh my gosh, professor! It's bed time! Hurry up girls!" she screamed, then snatched out her jammies and changed quickly. Bubbles soon followed suit.

Buttercup sighed as she watched her two sisters change and hurry to brush their teeth. Another day gone by, another problem solved by the Professor. Another boring day. No monsters to fight, no battles to win.

She slowly flew over towards the bathroom and brushed her teeth, then slipped into her nightgown. Grabbing her stuffed alligator, Buttercup hustled into bed, her black hair rustling against the pillows as she drifted off to sleep.

The Professor came in, his eyes surveying all his girls in their bed, giving each one a gentle kiss on the forehead, then exiting the girl's room.

Bubbles was halfway there already, her arms cuddling her stuffed octipus as if it were a teddy bear. Her eyelids were closed peacefully.

The red-headed girl named Blossom was already asleep hugging her pillow, as her latest phase found her to be anti-stuffed animals, most probably the cause of her outburst today.

But tonight, sleep did not come easy to Buttercup. Her large green eyes stared up at the skylight within their bedroom, and she lay thinking. She usually was the one to get into all sorts of trouble, not Blossom.

Buttercup sighed. Things never seemed to go away. Even if it had been being yelled at, she wouldn't have minded the Professor's attention. She just couldn't seem to do anything right. Her basic individual traits seemed only to be fighting and grouchiness, things that were best left ignored. No one ever paid attention. No one ever showered Buttercup with kisses for a scratch.

"That's my tough sister," she remembered Bubbles proudly saying to the crowd watching them all fight a recent monster. Buttercup had been hurt badly, scraping both her knees and elbows raw. "She never cries..."

Alone and awake, Buttercup felt a wetness creep down her cheek. She silently brushed it away. She couldn't help loving to fight. It was the only way to release all of her emotions, all of her fear and anger and hatred. Plus, it was fun. And as for being grumpy..

She grimaced. It kept people away. Mean people. People that would make fun of her, not understand
her. People like Blossom. Bubbles was good as a sister, but Blossom would just keep on edging into
her, like a sword. Bossing her around as if Buttercup didn't know what she was doing.

Maybe tomorrow will be better, she thought as she closed her eyes in silent resignation. I can't wait for tomorrow. The raven-haired girl's breathing slowed as she fell asleep.

The night passed by seemingly in a single moment, feeling as if when had just fallen asleep, there came the morning son, ready to awaken.

"Oh girls.." The yell came from down the stairs, and three sets of eyes fluttered open, a set of pink, green, then blue.

"Coming Professor!" The trio lept out of their beds, speedily dressing, zipping through the hallways of their home with speeds that rivaled the barrier of sound. Just as the Professor went to sit down, three tiny bodies hugged his.

"Girls! Good morning!" he said, his eyes scanning to see three pairs of large eyes looking up at him. A green and a pink pair were peering from his left pant leg, a pair of blue eyes gleaming from his right. The girls grinned at him, their smiles showing just how much they loved their professor.

The young girls scurried onto their chairs around the breakfast table, then laid out an assortment of foods to eat, not forgetting to say their prayers before eating. They scarfed down the food as quick as a wink, then shot out of the room, three lights of pink, blue, and green that rushed upstairs to grab their toys to take to school today.

"Ah-hem."

The professor's quick reminder was picked up by the three girls, who quickly flew downstairs to give their father a quick kiss on the cheek before leaving. As they flew out the front door, the professor was heard to be mumbling-

"My perfect little angels."

Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup rushed towards Pokey Oaks Elementary, three identical sparks of light rushing behind them. Finally, they entered the door and quietly put their small backpacks onto a row of colored hooks perpendicular to their seats.

"Good Morning Students," said an overly cheery Miss Keane. Her complexion seemed a bit pale, but otherwise she was fine. "I want you all to turn to the third page in your workbooks, and please continue doing what we did yesterday with addition."

Miss Keane looked stressed out and overwrought, and she sat at her desk, her perky smile marred by the wrinkles of worry outlining the corners of her eyes. Most of the students in the class didn't notice, but continued to work in their workbooks. However, Miss Keane's stressed state did not get by three very large sets of eyes.

"What's wrong with Miss Keane?" wondered Bubbles, who started to color in her workbook instead of adding 2 and 2.

"I don't know, Bubbles. I hope she doesn't have a cold," quietly suggested Blossom, who had already finished the workbook problems. The pink-eyed child watched closely as the teacher seemed to be so tired that she could barely open her eyes.

"Hmmph. She looks OK to me," said Buttercup quietly, noticing herself the signs of strain that Miss Keane was showing. "Maybe she just needs some rest," she muttered to herself. With that resolve, the young Powerpuff girl flew up out of her seat and went up to Miss Keane's desk.

The young kindergarten teacher looked down at the girl, whose face showed a great deal of concern, despite her being the 'tough' one of her sisters. She smiled in appreciation of the small girl's worry.

"Yes, Buttercup?" Miss Keane asked the young child, who seemed unsure of herself, turning around to glance at her sisters. The blue and pink clad girls nodded, seemingly reassuring their sister.

There has got to be some sort of telepathic link between those three, thought the young teacher, as Buttercup turned around once again to face Miss Keane. Her eyes seemed mournful and almost sad.

"Miss Keane, are you feeling OK? Do you need to go home early?"

A smile broke out onto the teachers' face. "No, thank you, although I could use a little help getting up to check on the other children," she suggested to the girl, who silently nodded and took Miss Keane's hand in her own, helping her teacher up out of her seat.

Just when Mrs. Keane had gotten up, a paled look came upon her face. Her blue eyes faded to a deep grey, and she fell. Hard.

"MISS KEANE!" Blossom flew straight over to the figure of the fallen teacher, whose features seemed white with exhaustion. Blossom gave Buttercup a scathing glance.

"Buttercup, what did you do to her?"

Buttercup nearly face vaulted at the accusation. "I didn't do anything, Smarty Pants!"

"You must've! Look!" Blossom pointed towards Miss Keane, whose form had taken an aged appearance from her fraility. The teacher laid across the floor, and the rest of the students crowded around the young teacher,her breathing coming slow and unnatural.

"NO WAY!" Buttercup grabbed Blossom by the throat of her jumper, and was ready to punch her, when Miss Keane spoke.

"Children, get a doctor."

"I've got it!" Bubbles cried, and grabbed the reciever of the Powerpuff hotline. "MAYOR!!"

A voice echoed on the other side. "Ye-Yes? Bubbles, is that you? What's the matter?"

"Well, Miss Keane's fallen down and she's sick and needs a doctor. Could you send one, mayor?"

"What? Miss Keane is sick? I'll send a doctor right away- Miss Bellum, what's a doctor?" Bubbles hung up as she heard the two argue in the background. Grownups. She'd never understand them.

Miss Keane had passed out, her breathing being low and steady. Blossom paced the air, rushing to the windows every five seconds to check on the doctor. The rest of the kids crowded around the teacher, anxious for her. Buttercup never strayed from Miss Keane's side.

"Miss Keane? I- I didn't mean for you to fall," she whimpered. The young girl took the teacher's hand in hers. "I only wanted to help, honest." A tear streamed down her young face.

After what seemed ages, Dr. Well entered the small schoolhouse, the Mayor and Miss Bellum at his heels. The good doctor set to his work, then smiled at the young children surrounding her.

"It'll be all right. Miss Keane's only got a bad case of the flu." The kids rejoiced at the news of their teacher. He faced the mayor. "Why she came into work today is beyond me. She should've stayed home."

Mayor puzzled over this for a minute, his face frozen in thought.

"Mayor. Mayor." Miss Bellum tried to get his attention.

"Uh- yes, Miss Bellum?"

"Perhaps she needed the money. School teachers don't get paid very much, after all. Maybe you should increase their salary," she pointedly suggested. Miss Keane was being taken into an ambulence headed for Townsville hospital. "We don't need teachers coming in sick just because they can't afford the bills."

"I suppose you're right Miss Bellum. Oh well." He faced the students with a bright smile. "School is canceled until Miss Keane is better! Off ya go now-" he was nearly run over by all the students running out of the building.

Three, however, remained. "Girls, you should go home, too," suggested Miss Bellum. "Today's been a rough day on us all."

The trio flew out the hole in the ceiling that they'd created, and headed home, Buttercup looking depressed and dejected the whole way. Finally, they were in the arms of their loving professor.

"I heard," he said as he hugged all three. "Miss Keane will be fine. That was quick thinking on your part-" then he noticed Buttercup's tears. "It'll be OK, Buttercup," he said in an awed voice. His little tough girl was weeping her eyes out.

"No it won't." She bawled, her jumper getting soaked from her tears. "I was helping her up and she fell. I must've done something."

"That's right you did-" jumped in Blossom. "I saw you. You must've used your heat vision on Miss Keane, didn't you? That's why she had such a fever."

Buttercup escaped from the professor's arms. "I did no such thing! Blossom is making it up, Professor."

The professor stood quietly for a second, then he asked softly, "Did you use your heat vision, Buttercup?"

Buttercup hovered in complete silence, her mouth as far open as she could get it. "I didn't do anything! She fell when I was trying to help her up! Nothing! I didn't do anything! Blossom's just making it up! Why do you believe her?"

Professor Utonium stood his ground. "Young lady, I am not saying you did it. But Blossom here says you did, and I know she never lies. Now what happened?" His voice was controlled and calm, but his eyes were like fury.

Green eyes stared back at him in disbelief. "You believe her. You actually believe her." Buttercup's face could not be read. "I didn't do it! Professor, I didn't do anything!" She bawled, her eyes growing red.

Bubbles intervened. "She didn't do anything Professor, honest-"

"How am I supposed to believe you, Buttercup? This is exactly the kind of thing that you would pull. Now go to your room and don't come back until I hear the answer I want to hear."

Buttercup's eyes overflowed with tears. "I didn't do it- I'm so sick of Blossom always getting her way! If you need me, I'll be in my room!" With that, the young girl flew like a lightning bolt into the hallway, and slammed the door in their room.

The Professor glanced back at his two girls. "I'm sorry about that, girls. Thank you, Blossom, for telling me about this. I don't know what I'm going to do with her some days.." He shrank down into a chair, looking older than he was. He suddenly jolted up out of his seat. "Miss Keane! I wonder how she is.. I'd better call the hospital.."

As Pr. Utonium ran into the hallway to look for a phone, Bubbles eyed up her sister, who grinned with a sort of smug charm.

"Blossom! That was a lie and you know it! Buttercup didn't do anything of the sort!" She crossed her arms, angry and hurt by her sister's actions.

Blossom's smile lengthened. Her pink eyes took on a slightly evil look as she eyed up her sister. Open blue eyes stared right back at her, grinding into her sister's face. Blossom then said, "It's not like she didn't deserve it. I'm Miss Keane's favorite- not Buttercup. She shouldn't have tried to help her." With that, Blossom flew out of the room, leaving her sister speechless for words..

'Poor Buttercup..'

The raven-haired child was alone in the girls' room, her face showing strong resolution. Buttercup wiped the tears from her eyes as if they'd never existed. Her green eyes took on a somber look beyond her years.

"Why doesn't anyone believe me?"

She cast her eyes downwards towards the floor. 'I know why. Because I'm the bad girl of the family- the one who always causes trouble.'

Buttercup cradled herself mid-air. 'And Blossom is the good child, and Bubbles.. ' she paused a moment. 'I think Bubbles must be the perfect one.' She glanced outside at the sun, which was
gently setting in the west. Tears streamed down her face, unbidden. 'And me.. I'm the bad one..
the one who always does something wrong. No wonder Professor believed Blossom and not
me.. I'm just the bad one.'

The girl sat down on her side of the bed, and grabbed her alligator for comfort. 'It's not fair.. I'm the different one in this whole household.. Blossom, Bubbles, the Professor.. they were meant to be the perfect family. But not me. I just smash the picture in two...'

Buttercup frowned. "They don't need me. Not at all. I think I'll just- I'll run away. Yeah. That's what I'll do. They don't need me at all."

Raven hair flew followed by a green light as she pulled a suitcase out of the closet. Just then, a small knock was heard at the door. Frightened, Buttercup hid the suitcase under her bed.

"Buttercup?" a small voice asked at the door. Breathing easily, the girl opened the door to reveal Bubbles.

"Yeah, what is it?" Buttercup answered slightly gruff. Bubbles hadn't been the one to start anything, but she hadn't spoken up either.

"I just.." the girl looked close to tears. "I wanted to say sorry for what Blossom's done. I tried to tell Professor, I really tried.." The blonde sat on the floor. Buttercup felt sorry, and sat beside her. She smiled reasurringly.

"It's ok. I just.." she wistfully looked at the window. "It's allright, Bubbles. Just.. Just leave me alone right now, ok? I have some stuff I have to do." She made it a point not to look at her sister as she spoke. Angry at everyone else, it was hardest not to feel bad for leaving her sister Bubbles. She was the one who deserved this the least.

Bubbles left, taking one glance back at her sister. 'I hope she's allright,' the blonde wished as she flew out of the room.

Finally alone, Buttercup resumed her packing. When she was finished, she grabbed a paper and a pen, then scrawled a note to the family telling them she was innocent and had run away, never to return. Finished with her work, the girl grabbed her jacket out of the closet and grabbed her rucksack. She flew out the window and headed towards the mountains.

Before she made it the entire way, she turned back one last time, staring at the place where she had lived her happiest memories and her now darkest moment. The raven-haired girl then turned and flew away, leaving her past behind her.

Meanwhile, a father had found his daughter's note, and the truth had come out. But Buttercup was already gone....