Seventeen years later...
He had been primping himself for over an hour now, and he could sense his mother's irritation as she called his name ever so gently from downstairs for the seventh time, "We're going to be late, sweetheart," her voice was calm, but Jack knew his mother better.
He sighed, and shook his head, brushing his shaggy hair to the side before grabbing his cell phone and bounding down the stairs.
His mother smirked at him, her eyes ever knowing, "You know Jack, you'd think you were seeing someone special at your cousin's party,"
He felt his neck heat up, "What?" he scoffed, "No. This party is going to be la-ame,"
"Seventeen years to perfect it, and you're still a terrible liar. Though I guess I shouldn't be complaining. I know Rebecca's going to be there,"
He resisted the urge to curse how quickly his mother had figured him out. Rebecca was gorgeous, but not only that, she was perfect. Insanely smart, and funny, and witty and charming and…he could go on forever. She constantly held a book in her hands—whether it was a novel or a sketchbook, it was always present, and it added to the mystique of her.
"So?" he squeaked.
His mother laughed, "Don't worry, honey, I won't reveal your secret. Now come on. We're late already,"
"Can we fly this time?" he tested.
She narrowed her eyes, "Last time, you flew into a tree,"
Last time we flew together. He mentally corrected. He may be a terrible liar, but he was glad she had no idea he flew behind her back.
"I was five," he protested, although, his skills were still a little sloppy. It was embarrassing; his eleven year old cousins could fly better than him. Any other power, he was amazing at. But flying? He had yet to master it.
She sighed, "Fine, but I'm grounding you if I sense you might have another mishap,"
Luckily, they flew without problems to his aunt and uncle's house two blocks down. He could hear the music through the door—every birthday the twins have ever had, it was always a huge town party, all of his aunt and uncle's close friends were expected to arrive.
He had mixed feelings about this party. While he was excited to see his Aunt Blossom, who showed up only once per year (twice, sometimes for Christmas, very rarely for Thanksgiving), he always felt uneasy around his uncle.
They rang the doorbell and his aunt Buttercup greeted them with heavy excitement, giving Jack a tight hug, and punching him in the gut like she always did when his mother wasn't looking. His uncle ruffled his hair playfully, and Jack tried not to tense up.
He was a glooming man, there was nothing dark about his character—as far as he knew—but his features were dark. For one, he still towered over Jack, and for another he had many scars. The most prominent was a spider shaped scar at the back of his neck, but there were small white ones every so often on his face and arms.
He didn't know the full story—nobody really liked to talk about it, it seemed, but somehow his uncle Butch lost all of his powers seventeen years ago. He knew part of the story, due to the numerous history lessons he's had to endure—but something told him they were biased retellings.
Mr. Zimmer's voice rang through his head, "While the rest of the boys as well as Him had been defeated by the girls and shockingly Mojo Jojo, much to everyone's surprise, Butch came back to consciousness two hours into The Great Cleanup. He seemed to have a sudden change of heart, begging for forgiveness and having insane ramblings about a sliver spider that had 'fallen off'. Of course, he wasn't believed, and he was thrown into jail. He, however, only ended up spending six months in jail as Buttercup had went to beg for his release to our new Mayor, chosen by the people, and ended up marrying him a year later. Nobody is quite sure what happened to Butch, or why Buttercup married her previous murderer, but there are plenty conspiracy theories. After his release, there were protests…" He didn't remember the rest of the lecture, as a certain blonde had captured his attention. He didn't remember her name, either.
Next he saw wild Blossom—as everyone in their family playfully called her, since she travelled all over, never staying in one place for too long. She was well known for her strange views on how to live life ('to the fullest!' she would say).
"Jack!" she called, rushing over to him, her numerous bracelets jingling and her floor length dress swishing. Her hair was different than when he last saw her—instead of luscious long locks that trailed past her back, her red hair was cropped to her chin and she wore long feathered earrings.
She smelled like coconuts when he hugged her, and he could plainly see her flame tattoo on the back of her neck.
"How's my little man?" she asked, kissing his forehead.
"You do realize I'm almost a legal adult, right?"
"I think I hear the word almost in there," she winked, "how have things been? How's school? Still a ladies man?"
"Things are good, school's good, and…ladies man? Me?"
"Has anyone ever told you you're a bad liar? Careful Jack, don't get too big a reputation as a womanizer. A girl you're interested in could easily be off put by that,"
Is everyone in this family a mind reader? Although, perhaps the fact that he was often surrounded by girls fawning over him already gave that away. It was true, Jack knew how to make a girl swoon, any girl. He had a way with his words, and many girls often whispered giggles about how attractive he was. But when it came to Rebecca, he was completely tongue tied. When he racked up the courage to talk to her, of course. She was just so intimidating.
Aunt Blossom may be weird, but she gives great advice, I'll give her that. He always found it slightly peculiar that she was—what, 41?—and she still hadn't gotten married...then again, his own mother had never married, either.
"That's only because I want to devote all my love to you," she would say, though he knew that was completely bogus. Jack never knew his father, though he'd seen pictures. Nobody liked to talk about him, and the only person—monkey—who did, passed away when Jack was five. Any ramblings of his were lost in his little kid brain. He loved his mother, but he would have loved to know his father too. He knew better now than to ask his mother about him. He hated seeing her cry, and she would never do it in front of him. Her eyes would tear up, and she'd wait until he had left the room to sob quietly. It was heartbreaking. But in the end, at least his mother did have him. Aunt Blossom wasn't married, and she didn't have any children. In any other situation he would assume that children only came with marriage, but his existence proved that wrong. He wouldn't make the mistake of asking her again, though.
His thoughts flew back to when he was eight, and the family as well as a few close friends had crammed into their small bungalow for a Christmas dinner. His aunts, his uncle, his mother, Mitch and his wife Robyn, their daughter Rebecca as well as his best friend Jeremy and his family were all in the dining room. It was the third Christmas with the Mitchelsons spending dinner with their family. There had been a terrible grudge between Mitch and Buttercup, something—like most things—he wasn't allowed to know the full story of.
Mitch was one of the leaders of the Rebellion, and was seen as a hero in everyone but his aunts' and his mother's eyes. Out of the three of them, however, Buttercup was the one who held a deep loathing for him. It wasn't until Buttercup went into labour while trapped in an elevator with Mitch at City Hall, that she forgave him.
As much as I see you as a traitor, Mitch, if you weren't there in the elevator I don't want to think about what would have happened to my beautiful girls. Because I certainly don't know squat about delivering babies. Besides, your wife is a nice lady.
The twins had recently turned two, and babbling while aunt Buttercup tried to feed them. Beth's powers had kicked in and every so often aunt Buttercup would have to fly up and bring her down from the ceiling. And of course, Katie would become frustrated at her sister's advantage and start sobbing.
His aunt was sitting across from him; her hair cropped slightly passed her chin and curled very delicately. Each time she came to visit, she was a different Blossom. She was wearing a loose pink dress shirt overtop a black tank top, a festive black and white skirt and black tights. She still had her nose piercing.
At eight, Jack had always wondered why she was never married, but his mother had made it very clear to him that it was not something that was to be discussed with her. And he respected that. But another thing he always wondered, something he hadn't mentioned to his mother, was why she didn't have any children, either.
The table was loud with laughter and conversation, and Jack's curiosity was itching.
"Aunt Blossom," he said, loud enough to be heard over the jubilation.
"How come you don't have a kid?"
The table was silenced. Even Jeremy threw his palm against his face. Rebecca, who he didn't have a crush on at the time, stared on in awe.
"Jack!" his mother hissed, "You don't just ask someone that! Apologize immediately!" her tone still sends chills down his spine. His mother had a very special way of showing anger. It was very calculated, and only if you knew her very well did you realize she was angry.
Jack was about to apologize when his aunt smiled, "No, Bubbles, it's alright. Jack, you know I'm not married, right?"
"Yeah, but neither is my mom!"
"Jack!" she hissed again. Looking back on it, his aunt's expression could be classified as that of someone who realized they weren't going to be able to give a simple, G-rated explanation.
"Well, that's a very good point you have there," her voice was reserved.
"So, how come? You don't like 'em or something?" this was probably the stupidest thing he'd ever said. Even at eight years old he saw the hurt in her face.
"No, that's not it. Sometimes, some people can't have babies, because their bodies won't allow it. It's not that I don't want children, I simply can't have them,"
"Blossom-," his mother began, but she cut her off.
"It's okay, I've had a lot of time to deal with this," she said with a smile. Eventually, the conversations resumed, but his aunt stayed quiet the whole night. His mother was not pleased with him after that. Each time he thought about it, he felt his face turn a bright red.
All thoughts of his past faded away once he saw her, standing by the buffet, sketchbook open. Her dyed light red hair cascaded down her back in waves, and her bangs covered a portion of her face as her pencil moved gently across the page. She was wearing a starch white blouse and light blue skinny jeans paired with low cut light blue converse shoes. On her left hand was the ever-present ruby ring given to her by her parents.
He remembered the first time he realized he had a crush on her. They were coming back from a school trip and the two of them were among the last to leave the school bus. Once they stepped off, she gasped—a beautiful sound—and ran off. This was before he developed feelings for her, so naturally he had no problem going after her to find out what was the matter. They were family friends; it was okay for him to do that.
"Rebecca? Are you okay?" he said, once he found her at the side of the school, her head against the brick wall.
"No, I'm not. I left my ruby ring at the museum…it must have fallen off. I'll never forgive myself,"
"Hey, don't worry, I'll take you to go find it," he said, as though helping her was a reflex.
"Really? Thank you so much, Jack! I really hope nobody's taken it!" The flight back to the museum was brutal, as he was still a shabby flier, and he had never flown while carrying something before. He was thirteen at the time. Carrying her bridal style through the air, while her hair flowed behind her, and the wind cleaned her tears, he realized how perfect she was.
"Quit staring, you'll burst an eye vessel," his uncle joked.
"Is it that obvious?" he said, suddenly feeling extra nervous around his uncle.
"Nah, I just know the look,"
There was an awkward silence between them.
"What are you, seventeen now?"
Another awkward silence, as his uncle took a sip from the coke can in his hand.
"You look a lot like your father," Butch said, his voice slightly strained.
"Yeah, so I've heard," he said, uncomfortable.
"You're sort of like him, too. Less of a temper, though,"
This was the first he had heard about his father, and his curiosity caught fire, "He had a temper?" he wasn't sure he liked this guy.
"Well, yeah. It was kind of funny. He used to be all prissy and sensitive but after thirteen he would get mad at the slightest things. Your mother was the only one who could calm him down. It was really a sight to see,"
"What else was he like?"
"Well he was a lady killer, that's for sure—not in the literal sense!" he added with a laugh after noticing the look on Jack's face, "Girls loved him. But he wasn't as flirtatious as you. That was more of my thing. In fact, he tended to scare them off,"
Jack found himself chuckling, "But he loved your mother. More than anything. The idiot risked his life so many times for her. You know he was supposed to marry Princess, right?"
"The crazy cat lady?"
Butch laughed again, "Yeah, now. Back then she was still crazy, just minus the cats. She lost everything after the Great Battle, when her father was thrown in prison, along with other Him-sympathizers, and, well, me," he got quiet, but shook his head and continued, "she used to be a socialite, and a manipulative bitch—oops, sorry,"
"I'm seventeen. You can say bitch,"
"Yeah, but don't ever let your mother hear you. You'll give her a heart attack, no doubt,"
"Man, you even sound like him," If Jack didn't know Butch better, if Jack didn't know that Butch was, well, butch, and tough and a former murderer, he could have sworn his uncle's voice cracked. But he knew Butch better, "but you don't have his eyes. He had dark blue eyes. Your eyes aren't even your mother's. They're like a pale, sharp blue,"
He wasn't quite sure what to say, so he didn't say anything at all. Very rarely did anyone in his family speak about his father, or the uncle he would never know. He didn't want to mess it up.
However, the door to his past suddenly slammed shut, "I bet you she likes you," he said, with a sharp change of subject.
Jack was never one to press situations, "I doubt it. A girl like that? She's too smart to go for me. Way out of my league,"
That earned him a slap on the back of the head, "What are you, stupid? You have super powers. Who's out of your league?"
At that moment, Buttercup walked by and gave a sarcastic look, "Do you need another chair for your ego, Butch?" He responded by pulling her in for a kiss.
Jack, feeling very awkward, decided his uncle was right—in a way. He was about to walk over to her when she looked up, and squinted her brown eyes in the sunlight. He did not expect her to smile and wave, calling him over. He was worried for a minute she was calling someone behind him, but did not want to turn around and check, so instead he sauntered forward.
"Hey Jack," she said.
Alright, Jack, it's simple. You can say her name. You can do it.
"Hey," he said instead, making himself sound completely aloof.
Too aloof! She's going to think you hate her!
"How's it going?" he said, after a small silence had passed.
"Eh. I'm kind of bored. Not a lot of people our age," she said, referring to the screaming eleven year olds and under, running around.
"What are you drawing?"
"Oh, it's nothing," she said, suddenly stuffing her sketchbook into her book bag.
He smirked, "Obviously it's something. I have to see it now," Good. Breathe. Are you breathing?
"Um, actually, hold on a sec, I think my dad is calling me," she said, squinting and pointing off inside the house. Strangely, he himself couldn't see her father—Mitch Mitchelson.
She was about to run off, when he did the brave thing and grabbed her hand, "What are you hiding, Rebecca?" he had turned on the charms. To his complete surprise, she blushed, and handed him the sketchbook, comically turning and covering her eyes.
He flipped open to the latest page, and on the paper he saw his face. Somehow, she had managed to draw him better than he actually looked. Drawn Jack looked peaceful, mysterious, and his eyes seemed so intense. This couldn't be Real Jack.
"I'm not creepy, I swear. I mean, this is going to make me sound creepy but I just love your eyes. I mean, I think it's my favourite part about you," she giggled, "They're so blue…so intense, so pure. They're captivating. I mean you look at everything so seriously, even when you're joking or laughing, those eyes of yours are an endless source of mystery. Does this make me sound creepy?"
Jack was dumbfounded. He stared at her, this beautiful girl whose light brown roots were coming in, and she managed to make it work. Her chocolate brown eyes, that always looked so warm, her one dimple on the right side of her face that added personality to her smile. This smart, funny, creative girl could not have just complimented him.
"Oh, great. Now you think I'm creepy," she said sarcastically, taking her book back.
"No, I don't," he managed, his voice quiet, "I'm just surprised, that's all,"
"How can you be surprised? So many girls like you!" she smiled.
"You like me?" he said, not quite sure that was what she meant.
Her smile dropped and her cheeks turned a bright red, "Well…no…I…I mean…"
As cute as she looked when she was embarrassed, he decided not to torture her, and instead acted on his gut and kissed her. It was something he had wanted to do for three years now, and that he had finally done it, it was well worth the wait. He felt as though literal fireworks were going off. He felt as though the rest of the world was fading away. He felt as though this was where he was meant to be. As cliché as it sounds, he felt complete.
"Jack's got a girlfriend," he heard his two cousin's voices simultaneously sing, and the two of them quickly pulled away from each other.
Beth and Katie were eleven years old, and had very different styles. Beth dressed in jeans, and t-shirts, whereas Katie was decked out in a flowing white dress and light green shrug, her hair curled and pulled half up. Beth's hair was unceremoniously pulled up into a messy pony tail.
"Really, Bex? Can't you do better?" Katie giggled, to which Rebecca responded with a playful eye roll.
"I mean, he's a dork!" Beth called.
"A dork, huh?" Jack said, slowly, before running towards them in a growl, and lifting them above his head. They responded in shrieking giggles, "Who are you calling a dork?"
They giggled, "Sorry Jack! Sorry!" they said between bursts of laughter. He put them down.
"Now get outta here before I get really mad!" the responded in a scream and ran off.
He turned back to Rebecca.
"That was…something, huh?" she said, brushing her bangs out of her face, "I—I um didn't know you liked me. Like that, I mean…Oh God, I sound like I'm twelve,"
"It's cute," he said, grabbing her hand.
"You're cute," she said, stepping closer to him. Before he knew it, they were engaged in another lip lock. Suddenly, it didn't matter anymore that he never knew his dad. It didn't matter that his aunt wasn't married, or that his mother refused to look for someone. It didn't matter that some citizens from the Dark Times looked at him with disgust, because of his resemblance to his father.
All that mattered was that he still had a family, he was still alive, and that Rebecca liked him too
Final Note: Thank you so much to those of you who were here since my first chapter came up, and those of you who joined along the way. It's been a wonderful experience writing for you all, and hopefully you don't hate me too much for the way I chose to end it, and you enjoyed the aforementioned epilogue. I certainly had fun writing it. Thank you for putting up with my unpredictable updates, a great contrast to my previous serial updates in one day. With school starting up, and the fact that I took four AP courses, it was hard to juggle everything.
In case it wasn't clear why Butch was still alive (I tried to explain it without completely explaining it, but I have a feeling some of you will still be confused): Unlike Brick and Boomer, Butch was strangled to "death". In reality, he was merely knocked to the brink of death. This caused the little mind controlling 'spider' like robot to fry up and fall off. When he returned to consciousness, he was back to his regular self, with very little memory of his actions while under control of the spider.
To answer the confusion of the previous chapter: Him had pieced together that the RRB were going to betray him, therefore he called them in for a meeting where he attached the mind-controlling robot to the back of their neck. It altered their memory and their emotions, making them hate and despise the PPG. In fact, it made their only life purpose to destroy the power puff girls. Any kind or questioning feeling towards them resulted in the frying of their brain. So that's why whenever they thought something loving, they felt extreme pain and the urge to destroy the girls. If you still are confused, you can message me and I'll explain in further detail.
I had honestly a blast, and you're all terrific. I can't guarantee when my next story will be, or if it will be quite as long, but I promise I will someday soon.
Please read and review, and, Happy Holidays!
It has been over a year since I first began this story, and it is nearing a year since I have finished it. When I first posted it, I had hoped for some few reviews, some few fans. I could have never imagined the attention it ultimately garnered. Looking back on it now, having reread it a few times every so often, I am well aware it is an amateur posting. So I have not fooled myself into thinking I'm some sort of pro, writing best-selling material (this story aside). However, all of your reviews, the PMs, still mean the world to me. It's you all that bit me with the fiction bug and it's you all that keep me going whenever I doubt myself.
I can't even describe to you how much it means to me that you still send me PMs and you still post reviews. I still read them all. I know some of you disagree with my choice to kill off Boomer and Brick. I know it was a risky move, but since the beginning it has always felt like the right choice. In reality, there are no true happy endings, and I think it says a lot for Blossom/Beatrice and Bubbles/Belle for still pushing forward, for not letting their deaths stop their life.
The three girls changed those boys for the better, and they died knowing that there was no other option for them. Butch was lucky—he lived on a technicality.
I've also gotten questions about Bubbles' pregnancy, and that has also been a constant from the beginning. I'm not one for writing intimacy, I've never been able to do it, so I left that option to you, the reader, as to when and where (and how many times) they did the deed. But rest assured, it was not just shoved in there.
Anyway, to end this ramble, I just want to say thank you. And never stop reviewing, and I don't mean just for Return or to me. Everyone on here is looking for feedback, so they don't feel like they're writing to no one, and it honestly means everything (at least to me, though I'm sure it's the same all around) to the writer.
You're all wonderful, amazing people!