Two creatures met one fine night, one of the darkness and one of the light.

The air surrounding Buttercup is frigid and heavy, weighing down on her like she's sunken beneath ocean water. It makes each breath a challenge, the oxygen feels sharp in her lungs, yet she perseveres. Another scream bubbles up inside her throat, but with her chest aching, she can't form it and it comes out as a gurgled cry. Her voice is already ragged from her previous (failed) attempts, and it's not up for much more exertion. Why in god's name is no one answering her?

How can they not hear her? She grew up in a house with two sisters, she knows damn well how to make herself heard when she wants to! Instead, her voice bounces weakly off the walls, like a mere little girl's. Buttercup is no little girl, she's a fighter—a powerful woman, a hero! She isn't weak, and she will be damned before she allows anyone to paint her as such! Whoever has trapped her here is going to rue the day they put their hands on her!

A wince scrunches up Buttercup's face as she shifts yet again, struggling to keep her weight balanced. The shackles jingle, her arms held above her head by the metal manacles. She's yanked at them for ages it feels like, and the pale flesh of her wrists is bruised and raw now. Her legs are shaking from holding her up, trying to keep from hanging all her weight on her arms, her shoulders already feel ready to pop off. That's not a good look, and Buttercup doesn't plan to start the new trend. Odious green eyes shoot a glare up to the chains that are keeping her imprisoned.

What sort of demented freak is behind this one? Buttercup can't for the life of her remember, nor can she remember how she ended up here. She's tried to think on it, she's sure she has…but her memory is muddled. She feels lost and alone without at least one of her sisters at her side, and she's not sure if it's a relief or not that they aren't with her. If they aren't here, where are they? Were they captured too, or were they searching for her, hunting for her kidnapper? Buttercup hopes fervently that it's the latter, and that soon, they'll come busting through the walls to unchain her.

Fear is not something Buttercup is familiar with. Her dalliances with it have always been brief in the past, and she doesn't wish to revisit it. Fear is like an ex that she holds in bitter regards, and she believes it's best they see little of each other and that fear keeps its distance. It brings nothing but badness wherever it goes. Buttercup is too tough for that, she's the hard-hitter! Nothing can shake her, and she's not about to let some freak who goes around chaining people up start scaring her.

Yet, her mind, still a wasteland with flurries of broken up memory, it warns her. She isn't sure what the alarms blaring are for, but she's learned in her years as a crime fighter that ignoring warning bells can get you in a world of trouble. Even with her ignorance, dread gnaws at her empty belly. Why is she here? Why, why, why? Why can't she remember? What's happening to her?!

Frustration in the form of another strangled cry launches past Buttercup's lips, where she's chewed them raw. The foreboding inside her has torn a pit wide open, and fear is spilling in, poisoning her resilience. It's growing stronger, a steady rise that Buttercup feels powerless to stop. Growing frantic, she whips her head around, her hair falling into her eyes as she searches the room for the umpteenth time for a clue or a way to escape. She comes up with nothing, like every other time. The room is barren, with nothing but its chill and shadows to answer Buttercup's questions. She keeps hoping that, by some chimerical wish, an escape route will open before her very eyes. She's all but memorized the dank room by now, and every time she closes her eyes, she only sees dusty walls and clanking chains. There are no windows, no furniture, no anything! The only sign that there's an entrance is the staircase to the left, it leads up to a door that Buttercup can't see.

There's nothing but her and her burgeoning panic. It's begun clawing at her, fighting to escape her, and she can do nothing but yank her bleeding wrists on the manacles and wheeze out a raw expletive. Where is she, why hasn't anyone found her yet? Is this guy really that good that he can kidnap her, a Powerpuff Girl, and no one's caught him? That door, she doesn't doubt, is locked, even if she were to somehow snap the chains after hours of trying. Has it been hours? She can't quite say, time feels slow and slippery, she can't gain a good enough grasp on it to gauge how much time she's spent here. With her bruised wrists and cracking voice, it has to have been a while, right?

The thick silence in the room that's been clinging to Buttercup's ears gets broken by the sound of a soft, unassuming creak. Strung as tight as a bowstring, Buttercup zeroes in on the sound, focusing on it as her own heartbeat fills her ears. The quiet sound sends a knife of fresh adrenaline piercing through her veins, but it's nothing compared to the thunderous "SLAM!" that follows. She flinches, jangling her bonds as the noise bellows around her. Buttercup sucks in a breath past her teeth as she jerks her head up to look towards the staircase. A look of rage sours her expression. The adrenaline has rejuvenated her, strengthened her resolve. Whoever's coming is gonna get a royal beatdown!

She tries to pull herself up, but her muscles don't respond. They're sluggish and jelly-like, leaving Buttercup in the dust when she tries to use them. Startled by how slow and weak her body feels, she forgets the sound above her until she hears steady, slow footsteps making their way downstairs, one step at a time. The adrenaline is there, ready and willing, but Buttercup's strength feels sapped! Her energy feels all spent, like she'd fought a hard battle. Maybe that's why she's strung up in this cell, she'd lost a fight; she can only hope her sisters had escaped the same fate.

Why is she wasting time feeling sorry for herself? Why does she have to be so fucking useless right when it counted! Buttercup is a Powerpuff Girl, not a sniveling coward! When things get tough, she only gets tougher, that's how it works. She isn't supposed to feel so…so useless. Ugh, even the word makes her flinch. No, she's not useless, she's never useless! The "damsel in distress" title belongs to Bubbles, not her. Buttercup can handle anything thrown at her and she won't crumble.

A dark, quiet chuckle breaks into Buttercup's hazy senses then, the familiar timbre of the voice sends a chill down her back. Her eyes widen with recognition. No, that's impossible, he…he's long gone!

"Well, princess, is that all you got?" the voice continues, "that's rotten, I was expecting more of a fight outta you!"

It can't be. It can't be! Another shudder crawls down Buttercup's back, wrapping around her with cold and spindly legs. The voice is cruel, filling the air with frost as it speaks. Buttercup pries open her eyes, not having realized she'd shut them. It all feels slow, too slow, like time itself is lagging for fear of going forward. She doesn't want to idle by, and she won't! She forces her eyes open and into a hateful glower, one that falters when it meets the gaze of the boy in front of her. Those blaring alarms inside of her are screaming at top volume now, the restless writhing in her gut morphing into vehement churning. She can't understand—she's defeated him once, he's nothing but a newt! Why is her heart racing so fast in her chest, then? Something's wrong, everything about this feels off, but she can't put her finger on it. She's a little busy worrying about how the heck she ended up in this position, in front of someone who should be dead.

His eyes, a deep emerald that reflected like cool glass, hold Buttercup's gaze with steady ease. He looks calm, confident—he has Buttercup all strung up in front of him, after all. She grits her teeth in a snarl, hoping that it comes off as vicious as she feels. Those eyes are unmistakable, even if she might have doubted it was really him, at first. His hair is a tad longer, enough to get in his eyes, and he's grown, maturing just as Buttercup has. But, it doesn't make sense, none of it makes sense. She'd watched him and his brothers die. But, those eyes, oh, they look right through her. He's the only match in the world for her.

Right now, he's stronger than her.

No, no, Buttercup won't accept that! She'd beaten him, she'd totally kicked his butt and she'll do it again! He was gone, he shouldn't be here, this can't be real!

A wicked smirk curves upon the boy's lips as he listens to Buttercup's growl, his eyes glimmering with spiteful mirth. Does he find this funny? Is this all nothing but a game to him?! Buttercup tightens her fists, rattling the chains. With purposeful steps, he prowls closer to where Buttercup stands chained to the wall, blood now staining the manacles. Red gleams on silver. As he nears, Buttercup's vision appears to grow hazy. Her breathing picks up when she realizes she can no longer see the wall in front of her—the entire room seems to fade out, morphing into black abyss as her focus returns to the threat before her. Him? He's crystal clear.

She tries again to free herself (because the other times didn't count?) but the attempt only jars her bones, the metal biting into her flesh. When she screams this time, it's pain as much as fury. Her body sinks with exhaustion as weariness washes over her. Buttercup feels like someone's injected her with liquid metal, making her heavy and slow. Her own body no longer even feels real to her. This isn't her, Buttercup isn't so pathetic. She wants to shake herself and scream "What's wrong with you?!" at her own brain. Has he drugged her, is that what this is? To make her powerless? What a coward's act!

A cold hand snatches Buttercup's face suddenly, fingers digging into her skin as it tilts her head up. She narrows her eyes into a scowl as she looks up to face him. She may be restrained, but she's at least gonna look this sicko in the eyes. His eyes are startlingly intense, and she hates how transparent she feels when he looks at her. It makes her feel small, and no one has that right! Buttercup's eyes harden with malice as she lifts her chin to try and pull herself out of his hand. "Paws off, you bastard!" she snaps, her voice booming with a strength she doesn't feel. She wants to yell more, to shout and throw a tantrum. She's been screaming for who knows how long with all her might, but she's gotten no reactions. She wants him to react, to fear her and know he's made a mistake trifling with her!

He aims a smug grin at her, instead, and Buttercup narrows her eyes with contempt. She's getting sick of waiting around for him to do something, what was the point of all this? Fame, bravado, vengeance? Either or, if he isn't going to make the first move, then she will. Gathering as much saliva in her parched mouth as she can, she spits it into his face. Satisfied, Buttercup gets what she'd so hungered for, a reaction. He lets her go and jerks his face to the side, and a few moments pass before he moves again. Slowly, calmly, he reaches up and cleans his face off with his sleeve. What's wrong with this guy? Why's he not getting angry, fighting, shouting things at her? That's what they do! That's what Buttercup is used to! Buttercup can battle any monster, but staying still and waiting? She can't do that, that isn't her game.

When he turns back to face her, Buttercup feels her fear escalate inexplicably. It's risen to a rolling boil inside her, frothing and spilling over the edges. She's never felt such grotesque and raw terror before, it's like it's burrowed and taken root in her chest. It was like an animal instinct, something she has no control over, and Buttercup doesn't take kindly to things she can't control, especially about herself.

Sharp teeth bare in a cruel smirk, one that makes Buttercup have to swallow her heart. Finally, he speaks. She isn't sure if that's what she's been waiting for, but if it is, she wishes she could take it back. His voice is as cold and powerful as the manacles chaining Buttercup up.

"You're going to regret that, princess," he warns her, right before he lunges at her prone form, ready to tear her apart like a starved lion going for a wounded deer. It's sharp claws and ravenous teeth.

Buttercup wakes up screaming.

Cue nervous laughter, as I started this thing way back in 2012, proceeded to never finish it, and now I have to start it over and somehow storyboard an actual plot out of it. I vaguely remember details that I wanted in the story that may help, so hopefully this won't be a train wreck. I debated scrapping it altogether, but I'm still quite attached to it and the ideas I had for it, so here I am. It's amazing that five years later I am still a slut for PPG, I fuck with Buttercup, she's my number one.

Warnings for this story include; sensitive topics such as self-harmful/destructive behavior, sexual assault, general violence, and talk of mental illness. I am writing based on my own experiences or knowledge that I have researched.