A/N: Did I mention I love reviews? ^_^ And for everyone who likes Rei-chan, most of this part is a little background on the lovely changeling himself. It may be a total contradiction in terms, but hey, it's character-building.

Neoblade26: I just write about love. I can't get it either. Join the club.

Bigin: They may be bloody short sagas, but I try.

Miyoko: Tell me a) you're off the sugar, and b) you received that DBZ ringtone I sent you.

Warning: Same as last part, with a fairly healthy dose of the F-word.

Disclaimer: All cool DBZ stuff belongs to Akira Toriyama, Bird Studios, TOEI and FUNimation. Lucky buggers. Kitara, Reizoku, the ex-Ionia-jin, Yuki Fuyu and 'She' all belong to me. And Rei's little mantra comes from the Ben Elton book 'Inconceivable'.

Sins of the Fathers 2: Part 2

*…* denotes flashbacks

'That fucking needle is four inches long.'

Few things in the universe could put the fear of Kami into a changeling. The possibility of a Super Saiya-jin, Koruudo-Ou getting PO-ed, and custard had been the only things that could unnerve the mighty Frieza.

Reizoku silently reflected that had Frieza been alive now, Bulma Briefs with a four-inch long hypodermic needle and a hot soldering iron would be somewhere round the top of the list.

Normally, the check-ups on his bio-mechanical implants was a fifteen minute job, twenty if any of the artificial ligaments had been torn. Somewhere in between the start and end of the maintenance, at least three burns and a muffled string of curses occurred.

The needle long enough to turn him into a squealing changeling kebab was a new addition.

'That fucking needle is four inches long.'

The human woman sighed and tried not to lose her temper. 'And how else am I supposed to operate on you if you're not anaesthetised?'

'That fucking needle is four inches long.' Rei had become quite attached to this phrase for the last ten minutes.

With bio-mechanics, even the smallest instability between organic and mechanical components could cause severe damage, even death. Bulma wasn't about to let any kind of infection claim her eldest daughter's best friend. The extent of the tissue decay she had discovered in her latest examination warranted yet another operation.

Hence the changeling's overuse of obscenities.

'That fucking needle is four inches long.'

Bulma's patience wore out. 'And it ain't getting any shorter. On the table NOW.'

Three minutes and one embarrassingly high-pitched scream later, Rei was unconscious on the operating table, Bulma dividing her attention between removing the implants, consulting her diagnostic sheets and reflecting that at least the changeling wasn't half as bad as Goku when he had to get medical treatment.

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* This was just some sort of nightmare.

That had to be it.

Just one big nightmare.

She would snap her fingers and she would wake up, her mate lying next to her in their bed, his body whole and unscarred, his tail entwined with hers.

Koori fought her tears. This wasn't a nightmare.

This was reality.

She had told him. Warned him so many times not to go to Namek, not to search for the Dragonballs, whatever they were. Normally, Frieza had trusted her instincts, commenting that female intuition did occasionally have its uses.

This time, he had ignored her.

And now he was like this.

A half-living shell.

His legs, tail and lower torso, gone. His left arm, gone. Half of his face, destroyed.

Right now, he was in surgery, Koruudo's best doctors and mechanics working around the clock to save his life.

The doctors she understood. The mechanics…she almost didn't want to know.

Almost.

But she had to stay calm.

Focus.

Not just for herself, not just for Frieza, but for their son as well.

Reizoku had known that his father's life was in danger even before his mother had received word of Namek's destruction. His grandfather Koruudo had broken the news himself.

Koori had refused to let her little boy see his father like this. Rei believed that Frieza was invincible. He should continue to believe that. *

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Having been raised in freezing climates, the cold winter air didn't bother Reizoku. The weather on Earth was normally quite temperate, but even the falling snow couldn't snap the changeling out of his depression.

His tail…

His fifth limb…

Gone.

And a purely mechanical limb, covered in small jointed pieces of sheet metal had replaced what was left of it. Mauve sparks danced across the grey surface as he held the tail in his hands.

Changelings weren't meant to cry.

His father had taught him that.

Two silver-grey tears slid down his face as he sat in the gardens of Capsule Corps, staring helplessly at what the Ionia-jin had done to him. What Bulma had been forced to create out of sheer necessity.

Almost twenty years and he still couldn't rid himself of Frieza. It didn't help that he bore more than a striking resemblance to his father, but now…

Now he was starting to look like Frieza as well.

/Kill a few billion innocent people and the transition is complete./

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* Frieza had been in there for over four hours now. His father was the only one allowed to remain with him. Koori was grateful in a way. Seeing her mate in that condition…

Then again, being stuck outside with her sister and Koola wasn't much better.

Only the gods knew why Frieza's brother had taken up with Yuki Fuyu, and presumably even they thought it was perplexing. Especially since they had been together for over fifteen years and had never married.

About a month ago, a rumour had circulated that Fuyu had given birth to Koola's offspring. But changelings were forbidden to reproduce outside the family unit, and Fuyu was a stickler for rules. Plus she was too weak to be a mother at any rate. It had been a sore spot in her relationship with Koori, and she had always resented her for it.

Fuyu and Koola…they deserved each other. Both as hurtful and crude as each other.

The sounds of an argument reached her ears.

Something had happened.

Koruudo's expression was one of pure anger as he strode away from the entrance of the operating theatre, yelling something about setting a course for Earth.

Ignoring the dismissive glance from Fuyu and the revoltingly lecherous look from Koola, she gathered her son into her arms and pushed through the doors.

His eyes shut in contemplation, Frieza lay on the examination table and studiously ignored the mechanics as they finished setting the sensitivity of the impulse valves on his limbs.

/Reduced to this…by a snivelling Saiya-jin…Koori, Reizoku…They must not see me like this…/

'Frieza?'

His eyes snapped open. Even with half his brain composed of amicite metal, he recognised that voice.

His bitterness and rage were shelved for the moment as his mate and son gazed at him.

'Sometimes…I really hate it when you're right.'

Only her Frieza could be that sarcastic after major surgery.

Koori's expression softened as she took in her partner's physical state. The mechanics had done a fairly decent job. His missing limbs had been replaced with bio-mechanical replacements, as had the missing half of his face. Even his damaged eye had been restored. The shape of the undamaged portions of his body told her that he had been forced to transform. On a purely physical level, she wasn't perturbed.

She had always thought his final form was more attractive, anyhow.

'I know it's ridiculous, but…are you alright?'

'I've had better days.'

'You don't say.'

The elder changeling refrained from comment as he turned his gaze onto his son, currently clinging to his mother's armour. The apprehension in Reizoku's eyes was obvious, but curiosity and recognition had gotten the better of his fear.

'…Papa?' *

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Floating a few feet in the air, ignoring the snow whipping around him and the frozen tears on his face, Reizoku attempted to meditate, hoping it would prove to be a decent distraction from his tail.

/If I'm disgusted just looking at it, how are the others gonna see it?/

Trunks and Goten probably wouldn't care much, considering that Frieza was before their time.

Piccolo didn't seem to care about much most of the time, and especially not a changeling freak. He most likely wouldn't give a damn about it.

Gohan, while he trusted Rei to a point, would always associate him with the events on Namek, and his father.

Goku…according to what he knew, the Super Saiya-jin had never seen Frieza after the fight on Namek, so he'd end up taking it in his stride. Hopefully.

Vegeta…forget it.

Tenshinhan, Yamucha and Kuririn…no chance.

Bra…she adored him, but he doubted even she could cope with one of her friends having a robotic tail.

And Kitara…Frieza had killed her mother personally.

And now her closest companion was beginning to look like her mother's killer.

If this didn't completely disgust her, he would be surprised.

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* /The boy shouldn't have to see me like this…/

Frieza nodded.

Reizoku squirmed, trying to get out of his mother's arms. Something serious had happened to his father, he knew that much. The only words he had recognised when his grandfather had yelled at his mother over a year ago had been 'Namek-sei', 'Super Saiya-jin' and 'explosion'.

Like the Saiya-jin, changelings grew fast. Now just over two years old, Reizoku could walk, levitate, and speak fluently in both Standard and the changeling language. He managed to float over to the examination table and stood on the flat surface next to his father, never taking his eyes off the sleek metal covering Frieza's face.

'Did the Super Saiya-jin do this?'

His father's ki flared as a snarl of pure loathing spread across his face. Mauve sparks flickered around his metal fist, legs and tail.

'Never speak of those pathetic monkeys in my presence, boy!'

He regretted his words immediately as his son flinched. Rei had heard Frieza's voice raised in anger before, but never at him. Dodoria and Zarbon, sometimes; Vegeta, constantly; but never ever at him.

Koori's tail twitched in anger as soon as she heard her mate's voice rise. 'He just wanted to know. Don't ever yell at him for that.'

He exhaled sharply. Hurting others was one thing. Hurting his son or his mate was another.

Rei looked down at his father's metal hand, over three times the size of one of his little fists. He knew there was enough power in one of those bio-mechanical fingers to destroy entire solar systems, kill hundreds of people…

But he couldn't kill a Super Saiya-jin.

On that thought…it would be pretty cool if he got to see a Super Saiya-jin someday. See that they existed, see that they were stronger than his father was. See that all of Commander Aprii's stories about her race's power were true.

But he would never fight them. The killing instinct simply didn't exist in him. He didn't want to hurt others.

He didn't want to be a killer.

He didn't want to be like his father. *

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The footfalls in the snow behind him brought him out of his reverie. It would only be Bulma trying to get him to come inside.

Inside. Where everyone would see his tail and kill him there and then.

If that was what awaited him, he preferred to take his chances in the snow.

'Rei-chan?'

Standing behind him, somewhere underneath a heavy down jacket, Bra's face peeped out.

Damn.

The little blue-haired demi-Saiya-jin scrambled up onto a rock next to Rei and gave him one of her smiles. 'You've been out here all day.'

'Ever since I got out of the lab.'

'Why?'

He rubbed his temples. This wasn't going to be easy. 'Because of…because of my tail.'

'Mommy had to op-er-ate on it?' She stumbled slightly over the word.

'Yeah.'

'You stayed outside all day cos of that?'

'Yeah.'

Bra spared a glance at her friend's tail. It looked like it was covered in metal. But why was Rei-chan so upset about it?

Unless…

When he put her to bed, Daddy often told her stories of all the great warriors he had faced in his life. They were amazing, but the stories of his fights with Uncle Goku always upset her. The longest stories were about Frieza, an evil changeling he had been made to work for when he was little.

And as well as being one of her daddy's greatest enemies, Frieza had been Rei-chan's daddy.

After Uncle Goku had defeated him, Frieza had been turned into a robot and had tried to destroy Earth. But then her big brother from the future killed him, even though Trunks-kun hadn't been born yet. She always got a little confused at that part.

Maybe that was why Rei-chan was so upset. If he was turning into a robot, maybe he thought he would turn evil as well.

Bra shook her head. Rei-chan was good. He would never do something like that. Especially not to her or Kitty-chan.

'Rei-chan, don't be sad. You're not gonna turn bad.'

/What the…?!/ The changeling looked down in pure shock. He knew Bra could be perceptive, but this…

'You're not gonna turn bad. Kitty-chan wouldn't be your friend if she thought you would turn bad.'

'Damn straight shrimp.' Flaring her ki to keep warm in the snow, Kitara picked her younger sister out of the slush and set her on her shoulders.

'Rei, try using the big pink squishy thing between your ears. You look just like your dad, and that hasn't put me off. You've had to kill to survive, and I'm still here. So how, pray tell, is a metal appendage going to stop me being your friend?'

The changeling tried not to smirk. 'Well, pardon me for having the occasional paranoid moment.'

'Be paranoid all you want. Just not around me.'

'Yes ma'am.'

He looked back up at the falling snow as Kitara and Bra headed back into the warmth of Capsule Corps. Nineteen years and she still couldn't hide the emotions in her eyes.

He knew when she was lying through her teeth.

She winced and held back the urge to throw a ki blast at his back in confused rage. The mechanical tail had frightened her more than she could admit.

Her mother had died by Frieza's amicite hands. The two changelings already appeared to be physical twins.

The similarities in looks already unnerved her. The tail, even more so.

How long did Rei have left before he went the same way as Frieza?

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TBC