Mitch Mitchelson had always considered himself to be decently awesome. He wasn't the most popular guy at Townsville High School, but he had a solid group of friends on whom he could always depend. He'd even been lucky enough to score the coolest, hottest girlfriend around. Buttercup seemed like she really liked him a lot, in her own shy, Don't-You-Fucking-Hold-My-Hand-In-Public sort of way. Who knew best friends could really make a great couple?
It didn't even matter that Buttercup had super powers, which would have undoubtedly made other, lesser men feel unworthy. And it didn't even matter that secretly, his loyal friends were jealous of Mitch for getting the girl of all their dreams. He could deal with all of that.
But there was one thing that kept him up at night, one teensy little insecurity that he just couldn't shake, in spite of his total coolness.
"Hurry up, Buttercup. I swear, if you make me wait any longer I'll punch your fucking lights out."
"Piss off, Butch. You're just afraid I'll beat you," Buttercup taunted her counterpart. She turned to Mitch and smiled. "Sorry, Mitch, I can't let this idiot win. I can definitely make it around the world faster than him!" she said triumphantly, shooting Butch a fiery glare.
"Bring it on," the green Ruff smirked, already taking off.
Buttercup growled, "Wait up! You cheater!"
"Buttercup, wait—" Mitch tried. But she was gone before he could stop her. He watched as the two green streaks faded to nothing and shoved his hands in his pockets, making for home. He wasn't bothered. And he most definitely wasn't jealous.
Then why did he feel like garbage?
He knew it was nice for Buttercup to have someone on whom she could air out her slightly violent tendencies, and he wanted to be happy for her. But it still gave him a sour taste in his mouth whenever he saw Butch. For some inexplicable reason, he couldn't stand the guy. Well, he could think of a few reasons, but that was beside the point. He couldn't tell Buttercup that he didn't like the guy, because it was obvious that Buttercup didn't mind him. In fact, they seemed to get along quite well when they weren't beating the crap out of each other.
He'd mentioned it to her once. She hadn't understood. Was he upset that she might be spending too much time with her counterpart? Was he jealous? Mitch had immediately clammed up, refusing to explain why he didn't like Butch. It ended in an argument. They didn't talk about it again.
Mitch spent more and more time at home, away from his friends, away from Buttercup. They asked him what was wrong, if there was anything they could do to help. No, he'd said, there's nothing you can do. He thought it didn't bother him. He thought he could handle it. Buttercup was a Powerpuff Girl, and he'd known her almost his whole life. So why was he suddenly so hyper aware of how different they were? Why did he suddenly feel so inadequate next to her…next to Butch?
"I'm not like them," he whispered to himself.
Butch and Buttercup could fly, they could punch holes through mountains, they could shoot energy from their eyes and survive attacks that would be fatal to someone like him.
He could never be like them. He couldn't go where they go, do what they do. He was just…mediocre. Nothing special about him in the least. And the worst part was that he wished he could be. He wished he could be like Butch, if only to make up for his deficiencies.
"Mitch, I know you're in there," Buttercup yelled at his window. She'd followed him home this time, and he was running. Like a scared little boy. Pathetic.
"What the hell is wrong with you? If you don't open the window, I'm ripping a hole in your trailer, I swear," she threatened.
"What do you want?"
She didn't respond right away. They had always been bad about 'talking.' But this was too embarrassing, too pathetic to explain.
"If you're breaking up with me, I'll kill you."
Mitch's eyes narrowed. He opened his window and peered down at her. "Then do yourself a favor and just break up with me now."
Buttercup looked visibly surprised. "What?"
It was uncomfortable. He didn't want to say it. But still, some selfish little part of him told him not to lose to Butch. He didn't want to lose Buttercup, even if he didn't deserve her.
"You should be with someone more like you." Someone like him, he thought. Mitch fought to keep the hurt from his voice. He was so pathetic. Butch probably never showed weakness in front of Buttercup.
"Someone like me?" she frowned. "Wait, are you talking about Butch?"
A tense silence settled briefly, and Mitch felt a wave of embarrassment at his admission. Suddenly, Buttercup burst out laughing.
"What's so goddamn funny?" he asked defensively.
"You think I want to date Butch? I'd rather eat my own vomit!" she cried, clutching her sides as she laughed hysterically.
Mitch shifted his weight, feeling a little awkward. "He can do everything I can't. He's not…nothing."
Buttercup calmed down, suddenly aware that Mitch was serious. She looked at him, an unreadable expression in her eyes.
"You're fucking dumb, you know that?" she said, suddenly sounding angry.
Mitch glared at her.
"Butch can't do everything you can't." She looked at her feet, fidgeting and radiating supreme discomfort. "He can't do anything."
Mitch just stared at her, unsure what to say. Buttercup scowled at his silence and blushed hard as she attempted to look anywhere but at him.
"You're not nothing. You're," she hesitated, "something. The best kind of something."
Her words were so soft that he almost thought he'd imagined them. He couldn't help but smirk, making Buttercup cross her arms defensively.
"Then it's ok like this," he said.
This will always be ok.