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I Am Me

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At the age of 8, the former villains known as the Rowdy Ruff Boys joined their female counter parts in a everlasting battle against evil. The six of them formed the X-Team, an unstoppable force of nature that rid their home of evil time and time again. From lowlife sum robbing a bank to a monster attacking the entire city. No matter what came their way, they were in it together. At least, they were. Butch was the middle boy between his older brother Brick and his younger brother Boomer. He was the "tough" one who always loved a good fight. This was true, he could never turn down a challenge, especially if it was from Buttercup. They would be something small to who could cook better pancakes or who could clean their room the fastest to more competitive challenges such as who could fly the fastest or who could lift the most. This was the foundation of their relationship and he enjoyed the hell out of it.

He would always poke fun at either Bubbles or Boomer for their childlike behavior but always found himself pulled into their schemes or games. He just enjoyed spending time with his brother when they weren't out on missions. The Professor had noted that since they'd gone straight, they have been much more calm and well mannered. Brick, for example, was the team's tactical adviser for Blossom who was seen as the leader. Boomer helped greatly with recon missions along with Bubbles and they were surprising good at them. Finally, Butch and Buttercup were the heavy hitters, and they were only getting stronger. By the age of 13, they were traveling the world on missions. Saving Tokyo from a kanji, protecting Paris from a evil mime, even fighting man eating spiders in Australia. They were more than a team however. They were a family.

Or so Butch thought.

At the age of 14 he began to realize that, besides the team, he had nothing going for him. Everyone at school knew he was with the X-Team and that he had powers but he didn't have any real friends. He couldn't play sports due to his powers and he felt like people feared him rather than actually liked him. Then again, his past didn't help all that much. He felt a yearning for true friendship and the challenges with Buttercup had began to feel dull and boring. His brothers were no help either. They were fully invested in the team. They were desperate to prove that they have changed and that they truly fight for good. Butch was happy for them, just not himself. He tried out new hobbies such as skating or painting. None of them really stuck since he would never really have time to do anything before being thrown into another mission.

Fighting began to loose all effect on him. He didn't feel the rush of excitement or joy from it any more. How could he? He knew he was going to win. Buttercup would still get excited fighting a new enemy and would try to get him pumped but it didn't work. His life became an endless cycle of fighting and school. Fighting and school. Fighting and school. Fighting and school. On and on and on and on. He could bear through it though. He was a Rowdy Ruff Boy and he could survive this. But, not alone. Since they had become teens, he noticed that everyone on Team-X was distant to each other outside of home or "work". Blossom focused on her school work, Bubbles was now the president of drama club, Boomer was a student council member, Brick was always in the basement with the professor working on some weird gadget or something, and Buttercup was always out doing whatever she damn well pleased. Where did that leave Butch? Well, he was at home. Waiting for the next fight. He was the heavy hitter after all. He needed to be ready.

At the age of 15, everything changed. A monster attacked. This time, things were rough. They had grown soft fighting weaklings but now, the mama attacked. It took everything they had to stop it. Most of Townsville was reduced to rubble. Many people died. Many innocent people died. Butch stood in the middle of ground zero as he tried to gather himself. All around him was carnage. The place he called home was now destroyed. They would rebuild easily in a week but, those who died would not come back. Suddenly, he heard something. A cry for help. He rushed as fast as he could to find the source of the voice. It was a child. It was a fucking child. He used what was left of his strength to pull away the rubble to find them. He had to. He had to save them. When he finally found them he felt his stomach drop. How the little girl was still alive was a miracle. Her lower half was nothing more than a pile of blood and bone. She was crying desperately for help but he knew there was nothing that could be done. Instead, he held her. She told him her name, Mary, and that she was their biggest fan. She handed him something she had made for him in her class. She was going to mail it to him after she had finished the others. It wasn't long before he heard her heart go silent. The only sound that could be heard, was him weeping.

He found himself in the downtown area, also destroyed, in a place he recalled seeing a few times flying. The McCracken. No one was around and he found some bottles that were somehow speared from all the destruction. He was on his third one now. He sat there in the dark as he slowly sipped on the clear bottle of Jack Daniels. He had his phone playing music, some jazz station or something. He wasn't paying it much mind. He just needed to forget what he had just seen. The horrors that the day had brought. The sun had set some time ago but he din't care. In the end, that's what it came down to. He didn't care. He didn't care at all. He knew he couldn't keep doing this. The fighting, the fake smiles, the death, the destruction, the loneliness. He didn't care anymore. He didn't care enough to look up when he heard two pairs of footsteps land from the hole in the roof.

Buttercup and Brick walked over to him to talk before seeing the bottle he was holding and the dried tears in his eyes. Brick was concern. He had never seen his brother like this before. Buttercup reached over to get his attention but he just shrugged them off. He finished his bottle and tossed it behind him, letting it shatter on the wooden floor. He reached for another only to be stopped by Buttercup.

"What's up with you? Why are you so bummed out? We won." She questioned.

At what cost? The city was damn near destroyed and hundreds possibly thousands lost their lives. Butch didn't answer. He just grabbed the bottle and popped it open. Brick smacked the bottle away finally getting a reaction from his brother.

"You know what that crap does to your body. Are you trying to die?" He asked with some annoyance in his voice.

Butch just shook his head before placing it into his hands. Buttercup and Brick just looked at each other. Something was definitely wrong, they just didn't know what to do. Thankfully, The three who would came at that time.

"There you are Butch. You went radio silent three hours ago. We were getting worried." Blossom said relieved as she landed along with Bubbles and Boomer.

"Yeah man. The professor has been looking for you. He wanted to say congratulations or whatever." Boomer said looking around the room.

Butch let out an unintentional laugh. Buttercup raised an eyebrow as she watched her teammate stand up and stumble over to where the bottle had landed before. He picked it up and lifted it to the sky as a wide smile came over his face.

"Congratulations everyone! The day is save thanks to the X-Team! I mean, only a couple people died and the town is pretty much none existent but, good for us." He sarcastically cheered.

Everyone watched as he took a drink before lowering it back down and staring at the bottle.

"What a fucking joke." He mumbled before throwing it to the floor for it to shatter.

Everyone flinched at the action but Butch just leaned against the wall in an attempt to stand up. He reached into his pocket and pulled out something odd. It looked like a homemade bracelet but it was broken leaving just the string and a few beads. He held it in front of his face for everyone to see.

"You know what this is?" He asked now calm.

"Butch.." Brick was interrupted.

"Do you know what this is?!" Butch asked again with a bit more force.

The room was silent before Bubbles spoke up.

"A bracelet." She answered.

Butch's sarcastic smile returned.

"Ding ding ding. You're correct. Anyone want to know where I got it?"

Once again no one answered. Butch turned it around so everyone could see what it was exactly. It was a bracelet, a green one, with his name on it. Everyone was confused.

"Any guesses? Anyone?" He asked once more.

No one responded. Butch just chuckled as he looked at it himself.

"Her name was Mary. She was our biggest fan. Was going to make one of these for all of us but I guess I was her favorite since she only had mine done. You won't be getting yours. You know why? She's dead. She's fucking dead!" He said as he threw a table out the window in anger. "And we're the ones responsible!"

Everyone was in shock. They knew there were casualties, there always were, but they never had the time to look into any of them. Butch just lowered his head and walked towards the door.

"Where're you going?" Brick asked.

Butch didn't look back. He honestly didn't know. Where could he go?

"Butch?" Buttercup called to him as she placed a gentle hand on his shoulder.

He pulled away as soon as he felt it and kicked the door open. Buttercup followed quickly.

"Butch!"

"GET AWAY FROM ME!"

Buttercup stopped dead in her tracks. Everyone came rushing out at his outburst. He had never yelled before. Butch stared at all of them before shaking his head.

"I'm done. I quit." He decided.

Blossom and Brick stepped up.

"What do you mean you quit?" Blossom asked.

"You can't just quit dude. We need you around." Brick tried to convince him.

Butch lifted his arms up and spun around.

"Look around you Brick! If anything, life here would be easier with one less super powered teen running around! Yeah, Townsville is doing SOO great with me around."

"There's no need to be a dick Butch." Boomer spoke up.

Butch shook his head.

"Not a dick Boom. Just being realistic here. I'm not going to keep being responsible for this. Not for all the pain and death and destruction. I'm done." He declared once and for all.

He turned away but was met with a painful blow to the head which caused him to stumble forward and trip over himself. Everyone looked to Brick to was clinching his fist.

"Stop being so selfish! The town needs us! If we turn our backs on it we're no better than those villains who would do way worse!" He lectured.

Butch rolled to his back and laid against a nearby piece of a building. He spat some blood out and laughed.

"You know what they say, once a villain..."

Brick was suddenly thrown across the street by a heat blast from Butch.

"Always a villain."

Butch stood up as everyone got into a fighting stance. He looked at his former comrades and felt his heart break for the last time that day. Their faces were not ones of sympathy or even empathy. They saw an enemy at that moment, not a friend. He was so tired of fake friends. So tired of being a X child. So tired of everything. Boomer leaped forward but Butch just side stepped before delivering an elbow to his brother's back which sent him to the floor.

He knew no one had much strength left. That battle left them physically tired. Everyone was in pain but unlike them, he could turn that pain into strength. It wasn't much but, it was more than they had. Bubbles was next but she was easily thrown to the side. When Butch flung her to his right he felt something pop out of place but he chose to ignore the pain. It couldn't possibly be worse than what Mary felt. Blossom and Buttercup came at him at the same time but Butch was ready. He had seen this move time and time again.

He grabbed Blossom's wrist and swung her into Buttercup which allowed him to throw them both away from him. He looked around and saw that no one had the energy to fight. Him included. He simply began to float as everyone watched.

"Goodbye." He coldly said.

They weren't his family. They haven't been since he was 13. As far as he was concerned, they were non existent. And now, so was he. He doesn't remember most of the flight but he recalled landing in some forest up north. He remembered starting a camp fire to keep warm and eating some peanuts he had snatched from the bar. He was staring into the flames and he felt the tiredness finally take over him. He closed his eyes and slept.

All he had were nightmares. The battle, Mary, the fight. Everything replayed over and over. He was just too tired to wake up. When he did, the sun had risen and the fire was nothing more than ash and smoke. He was once again, alone. At least, he thought. He heard someone walking towards him. He didn't know who it was and honestly he didn't care. The footsteps finally stopped in front of him. He looked up to see a man standing there. He was dressed for hiking. Cargo shorts, baby blue shirt, brown vest, tan bucket hat, and a backpack filled with hiking supplies no doubt.

"Well, won't you look at what we found." The man smiled.

Butch would normally shot back some smart-ass comment or joke but he couldn't find it in himself to. The man smiled even wider as he was engulfed in red mist. Butch stood up suddenly. He recognized that mist. It was HIM. The lobster handed, pink, cross dressing demon himself.

"What are you doing here?!" Butch asked as he got ready to fight.

HIM hasn't been seen in years. 5 years to be exact. Butch was 10 when HIM finally gave up and disappeared. Everyone waited for him to return but he never did. They celebrated it but it was always in the back of everyone's mind. Now here he was. Standing right before him. The only difference is that HIM's hair was slightly longer and his skin seemed more human. He had that stupid smile on his face as well. It was then that Butch suddenly felt fear. He was alone, away from everyone in front of the strongest enemy he has ever faced. He was standing face to face with his own father.

"Calm down there Butch. I'm not here to fight." HIM stated as he walked around and looked at the fire.

Butch relaxed but kept his guard up. He eyed HIM as he took out a bottle of water and poured it onto the ashes before throwing dirt onto it.

"You have to make sure you put these things out or else a wild fire could break out." HIM laughed.

Butch was now confused rather than scared.

"So, where are your brothers and those Power Puff Runts?" HIM suddenly asked.

Butch sat down on a nearby log and shrugged.

"No clue. I don't run with them anymore. I'm on my own." He explained.

HIM raised an eyebrow.

"Since when?"

"Last night."

HIM was generally surprised.

"So where are you staying then? What are your plans?" HIM asked.

Butch took a moment to think about it. He had no idea. He didn't think it through. He just left in the heat of the moment. He knew that everyone back home was probably thinking he'll go back eventually but in reality, he never wanted to return. That, he was sure of. That being said, he really didn't know where to go.

"You could stay with me if you'd like."

Butch looked up at the pink demon who was still smiling. Butch narrowed his eyes as if he was looking for something before shaking his head.

"No way. I don't do evil anymore..."

"Neither do I."

Butch looked surprised.

"What do you mean? You're a demon from hell. Hell, you might actually be Satan for all I know."

HIM took a seat next to Butch and threw an arm around the boy.

"You see my son, after that team defeated me 5 years ago, I rethought my life. I took a step back and looked at the world before I realized, I don't want it. Seriously, humans destroy everything. So I gave up on evil and pursued my new passion!" HIM said as he stood up in a dramatic fashion.

"Your new passion?" Butch asked suspiciously.

"I'm a choir teacher!"

The forest was filled with silence before Butch dropped his head.

"Those poor kids." He mumbled.

"I heard that. And for the record, my angels have won 5 state championships in a row along with placing first in national competitions and traveling the world to preform."

Butch seemed to be impressed. Maybe, his father really did turn over a new leave. Honestly it wasn't like he had many options either. The money he had with him would get him through two days if he was lucky. He really didn't have a place to stay either. This could be a chance to make his life his own. He stood up and turned to HIM.

"If you don't try to use me for evil and aren't planning on taking over the world, i think i'll stay with you." He decided.

HIM's smile grew even more. He was so happy for this second chance. Butch reached his hand out for HIM to shake it but instead was pulled into a hug.

"I swear i'll be the father I never was!"

The two parted and HIM picked up his bag before turning back to the boy.

"Let's go." He declared.

Butch smiled a bit before following behind his father.

"So where do you live?" Butch asked.

"The greatest city in the world. Seattle, Washington."