A/N: I love unblocking writer's block. Especially DBZ writer's block. It's a bitch at times, but what can you do?
Warning: Ok, I hate doing this, but this saga is rated R for a reason. Darker, more swearing, and at least one lime or lemon. I'll be giving warnings out at every part, but just so you know and don't flame me!
Otepoti: ^_^ to you too!
Petta: If I said who 'She' was, then it wouldn't be a proper fanfic, would it? Needless to say, you'll find out…
Disclaimer: Kitara, Rei, the Ionia-jin and any other OCs all belong to me. Everything else is copyrighted to Akira Toriyama, TOEI Animation and FUNImation. (ß So unfair.)
Sins of the Fathers 2: Part 1
The tension in the makeshift arena was so thick you could cut it with a Ki-enzan. Both fighters stared at each other, poised to fight. Weapons gleamed under the artificial lights, each one aimed at their respective target.
The elder fighter had enough to fight for. A powerful and loving family, a planet he now called home, the remains of his once all-powerful race, his honor…his inbuilt hatred to lose this prize to any fighter…
Especially a changeling.
The younger warrior…he truly had everything to fight for. His race, like the Saiya-jin, had been pushed towards the brink of extinction. Only he and a few other weaker specimens still lived. He had his honor, that was true enough. But he had his life, his race, his pride…his will to fight for these things was strong.
Just as strong as that of his opponent.
And he would not lose to a Saiya-jin. Not even a Saiya-jin of the Prince's stance.
The tension continued to build as Prince Vegeta, son of King Vegeta and heir of the Saiya-jin Empire, and Prince Koruudo Reizoku, son of Lord Koruudo Frieza and heir to the Koruudo Empire stared each other down. Neither of them was prepared to lose this prize.
Not to a Saiya-jin.
Not to a changeling.
Weapons poised, they lunged at the same moment…
The battle of ultimate supremacy was abandoned as the two contestants took a short break to pull the enemy chopsticks out of their noses.
More than aware of the chaos she had just created, Princess Kitara Vegeta, the eldest daughter of Prince Vegeta sighed and raised an eyebrow at her father and best friend as they started hurling insults and chopsticks at each other. Sometimes it was a little hard to believe that the two warriors actually respected each other.
'Respected' used in its loosest sense when applied to Rei and Vegeta.
'That roll was mine and you damn well know it, changeling!'
'Oh yeah, like it had your name anywhere on it!'
'This is my home and whatever lies within it is by rights mine!'
Reizoku fought back a smirk. 'Try saying that when your wife isn't in earshot and then maybe I'll be scared.'
Further down the hall, Bulma weighed up her options and decided to let Vegeta off the hook for a change. His pride gave him a tendency to run off at the mouth on several occasions; she could very happily relate to that. It was one of the numerous reasons she put up with him.
Obviously apart from loving him, being his wife and the mother of two of his children.
She glanced up as Kitara entered the lab, chewing on an eggroll and flexing her left hand. Ever since the battle with the Ionia-jin nearly three months ago, the Saiya-jin princess had experienced a few minor problems with the flexibility of her finger joints. The only treatment that Bulma had found to work was a scaled down model of the regen tank. The user could place their afflicted hand into the miniature tank and the synthetic DNA would do its job.
She smiled sympathetically as her husband's first claim to immortality winced and stretched her muscles. 'The hand still giving you problems, sweetie?'
'It's an old injury. I guess breaking my hand to hell and back wasn't too smart.'
'You Saiya-jin. Always beating the crap out of something.'
Kitara giggled and placed her hand into the chamber, letting Bulma fix the various diodes and monitor patches into place. 'Hey, I had to inherit something from Dad.'
'At least it wasn't the award-winning temper.'
'I take after Mama in that respect. She was the calmest one of the three of us.' The Saiya-jin looked away as she finished, guessing that she had spoken out of turn. She didn't often speak of her mother, and especially not around Bulma. Saiya-jin custom dictated that she wasn't meant to speak of her father's previous mate around his current mate. Apparently it was the same on Earth as well.
The blue-haired scientist tilted her head slightly at Kitara's discomfort. While her husband hadn't spoken much about Kitara's mother, she was predictably curious as to the woman who had held Vegeta's heart for so long before she herself had fallen for him. Not jealous; Vegeta's relationship with Aprii was over long before Trunks was even conceived. And Vegeta wasn't as petty as to compare his first life partner with his current life partner.
But she just…wanted to know.
Kitara looked up, a look of apprehension marring her features. 'Calmest meaning that it took a lot more to provoke her than it took to provoke Dad or me. But when she got mad…half the injuries to Frieza's personal guard were caused by her temper.'
She smiled sadly at a long dead memory. 'Zarbon was always afraid of Mama after she threatened to tear him a new one after he made a comment about her ki-level.'
'Just like Vegeta after I threatened him with no food and sleeping on the couch after he made a comment about my suitability to be his mate.' Bulma offered her own smile of comfort to the young Saiya-jin.
'That's…that's why I wasn't angry when Dad told me you were his mate. You're…like Mama in a lot of ways. But sometimes…'
The human woman guessed instantly what she was trying to say. 'But sometimes it hurts knowing your mother's no longer here and I'm…taking her place…in a way.'
Kitara stared at her hand, regen fluid swirling around the joints of her fingers. 'You can never take the place of Mama. Never. But…I just feel…guilty when I keep calling you Bulma. You're like another Mama, but not my Mama.'
She sighed and blinked a few times to clear her eyes. 'I know it sounds stupid.'
'It's not. Not at all.' Bulma smiled and quietly studied the Saiya-jin girl. 'You know…it's hard for me in that same way.'
The girl looked up, confusion filling her eyes.
'You may not be my daughter in the biological sense, but…emotionally, mentally…hell, even spiritually…you're a part of me. And I can't just keep calling you Kitara as if you're not part of my family.'
Kitara sighed. 'I don't want to keep calling you just Bulma either…it doesn't feel right.'
'Sweetie…' The human woman moved her lab chair round to sit next to Kitara. 'I may not be able to be your Mama, but I can be your Mom…if you'll let me.'
'And…I…could call you…Mom? Like…like Trunks and Bra do?'
She found herself on the receiving end of a one-armed Saiya-jin strength hug as Kitara leaned against her, still faithfully holding back tears.
Keeping his ki suppressed as far as possible, Trunks opted to make a discreet exit from the mother/daughter-bonding scene. Over the past months of peace, the two women had grown steadily closer to each other. For his older sister, he guessed that accepting Bulma as her mother was a form of emotional closure. It would certainly make life with her father's new family a lot easier.
Two kis flaring in the kitchen caught his attention. The demi-Saiya-jin sighed. Three guesses as to whom the kis belonged to, and the first two guesses didn't count.
Lunch having been forgotten due to a minor fight for supremacy, Rei and Vegeta were locked in irritated combat, his father pinning the changeling in a headlock while simultaneously trying to ignore the partly bio-mechanical tail whacking against his back.
'I am the prince of all Saiya-jin and the strongest warrior in the universe! That eggroll was mine!'
'Pardon me? Your daughter was the one who swiped it, not me!'
'You were taking what was rightfully mine!'
'Yeah? Just like I took the blast that was rightfully your death warrant a few months ago?'
It had long been accepted in the Briefs family that the 'incident' with Rei saving Vegeta's life was something not to be mentioned. A person such as the Saiya-jin prince didn't take kindly to being saved by anyone or anything, especially not a changeling.
Hell would freeze over and become a skating rink before Vegeta would ever admit that he was grateful to the son of Frieza. He was in the debt of a being he had hated as soon as it had been born. Despite his ingrained wish to blast Reizoku hard enough for him to reunite with his father…he couldn't do it. Not just because of the debt, but because…because it would hurt Kitara. That was the only other reason.
Respect for the changeling didn't come into it.
Letting the younger fighter loose, Vegeta span round and stormed out of the kitchen towards the gravity chamber. Excess rage equaled an excellent frame of mind to train in.
'You really are dense if you mentioned the 'incident' around Dad while he's trying to beat the crap out of you.' The lavender-haired demi-Saiya-jin pulled a plate towards him and started piling on the rice and dim-sum.
Despite the best efforts of Bulma and the rest of the Z Seishi in trying to heal his wounds, it had been discovered that while his right leg had been saved, the mangled areas of the changeling's tail had been damaged beyond repair. Being the only person with the skills to treat alien physiology and one of the few humans on Earth who was an advanced cyberneticist, it had been far easier for Bulma to remove the damaged portions of Reizoku's tail and replace them with bio-mechanical implants.
Rei brought his tail round and briefly examined it, checking to see that none of the artificial ligaments had been torn.
'Ever since your mother brought in the 'No Super Saiya-jin in the house' rule, your dad hasn't been able to do anything other than insult and bruise me.'
'And outside the house?'
'Hey, I never said the rule was flawless.'
Trunks smirked. 'Hence the reason why you've been staying inside the house most of the time since you arrived.'
The changeling sighed. 'Damn my total transparency.'
'Is your total transparency gonna stop us from sparring with Goten later on?'
'Good. There's only another couple of months that we can use to fight outside until the winter really sets in.' Cheering up slightly at the thought of the holidays and therefore Christmas, Trunks dug into his lunch, automatically setting some food aside for Bra. His little sister would only get as cranky as hell if she missed her meals.
Said little sister tore into the kitchen and leapt straight into Rei's arms. The changeling appeared to be something of an interplanetary magnet for Bra. While she was still learning how to sense ki, she had almost instantly learnt to recognize the ki signals of Mommy, Daddy, Trunks-kun, Kitty-chan, Goten-kun, and Rei-chan.
'Kitty-chan's almost finished getting her hand fixed, so Mommy says you now have to go in and get your tail all fixed up.' Settling comfortably on Rei's lap, she beamed up at the ivory colored face trying to keep a smile from its lips.
Trunks wasn't so successful at keeping the grin off his face. 'Where did 'Kitty-chan' come from, shrimp?'
The young girl didn't seem remotely perturbed by her brother's expression. 'Because she is Kitty-chan!'
The two teenagers shared identical, evil grins. This could prove to be quite entertaining.
Steel eyes regarded the black and silver landscape of outer space, disregarding the beauty of the gas nebulas, the flares of dying stars, the shimmering of ocean planets, the life of the green, forest planets and moons…
The eyes remained unaware of anything except the image of the far-flung blue and white planet in the backwaters of the northern galaxy.
Nothing mattered…except revenge.
Years of hatred.
And deathly shivers.
Of mind and body.
He had caused this.
He would pay for this…snapping of the mind.
But now…it would be his mind and body that would snap.
A cold, cruel, laugh of pure insanity echoed through the stars.
Cold, merciless, anger…directed at something…someone…
'Rei? You ok man?'
The changeling massaged the side of his head and offered a small smile of reassurance to the two hybrids currently feeding their faces. 'Nothing…just a bit of a headache.'
'Since when do you get headaches?' Following her nose, Kitara parked herself next to her friend and started demolishing the remains of the noodles.
'Since I ended up on the wrong end of a crusher ball?'
Trunks looked up from his fifth helping of rice; his cheeks puffed out much like a chipmunks. 'Mmmphfo uuu're feefing beffer them.'
'Could you try swallowing next time you speak? And duh, of course I'm feeling better.'
'Jeez, the strength and arrogance just go hand in hand, hmmm…Kitty-chan?' The changeling and the demi-Saiya-jin both smirked as they were treated to one of Kitara's low-level deathglares.
'Oh, I love you too Rei. And don't call me Kitty-chan if you value your ability to breathe.'
The changeling just prayed to Dende that the others didn't see the flush across his face as she said the L-word. Luckily Trunks and Kitara had gone back to their food while Bra was studying a meatball with intense concentration.
/If she ever really meant those words…Reality calling Koruudo Reizoku. Please return from Tengoku. Vegeta's already threatened to kill anyone who looks at her sideways. And the tiny fact she's a Saiya-jin and you're a changeling…/ He sighed and lifted Bra off his lap as he left for the medical labs.
Keeping her face schooled to appear indifferent wasn't as easy this time. /I said the L-word around Rei…The perfect case of not kick-starting brain before opening mouth. Still…It'd be beyond amazing if he ever said those words to me, and seriously…Get real. He loves you as a friend and that's it. And Dad'd go ballistic if anything like that ever happened…/
At that moment however, anyone who would have cared to take a look inside the mind of one Bra Briefs would have been amazed to discover that the look of concentration was not directed at her food.
Kitty-chan and Rei-chan…together?
It had to work. She'd seen Rei's face when her sister had said the word love.
Her big sister and Rei-chan were going to get together.
And she was going to make sure of it.