A/N: Shounen ai-ish hinting, but if you blink you will literally miss it. Think brotherly thoughts, homophobes. Set sometime around the end of Z, I suppose, but it's easier to just ignore most of the timeline.

Mirai Trunks' POV.

"Call It a Vacation"

Who is this child? He looks at me as if he remembers me, or thinks he might. I just stare back at him in sheer bemusement. Honestly, I've never SEEN the boy, though he does bear a rather striking resemblance to Goku now that I think of it.

"Hello," I say awkwardly.

" . . . hi," he replies in a quiet voice, shuffling his feet slightly. He's confused, and thusly nervous, and I share the sentiment.

Yet, at the same time . . . I feel oddly relaxed in this boy's presence.

Cautiously, I edge around him and reach out to knock on the door of my "parent's" apartment, but the child's hand on my wrist stops me in my tracks. I turn back to him and he gives me that look again, that odd little "do I know you?" look.

"Are you related to Trunks?" he asks uncertainly.

How do I answer THAT?

Well, I suppose there's only one way.

"Yup," I say idly, reaching out again and actually knocking this time. A brief sound of footsteps, and the door sings open to reveal my "mother", still young and virile and all curves and high fashion. She does a double take and screams. Not quite the welcome I was hoping for . . .

Then she tackles me and screams again; this time it is recognizable as a shriek of joy, and I feel so glad to be home, even if it isn't really.

"You're back! You're BACK!" she cries, jumping up and down in excitement and causing me to smile.

"Hello, Mother," I say softly and the boy nearly falls over.

"Whaaat?!" he squawks.

"Oh, Goten- I didn't even see you there!" my mother exclaims, releasing me to lean over to the boy. "Trunks is at the dentist; Dad should have him back in an bit though. You can come in and wait if you'd like."

"Okay . . . " the boy says guardedly. "But, um . . . who is . . . ?" He looks up at me helplessly and I smile, again feeling oddly soothed by his presence.

"I'm Trunks," I tell him cheerfully. "And Mother called you Goten, right?"

"Uh, right," he says uncomfortably, giving me a somewhat puzzled look. "But . . . you said your name is Trunks?"

"It's an alternate timeline thing," my mother remarks flippantly, waving Goten's confusion off and sweeping the both of us into the apartment. My father (of sorts) emerges from the kitchen even as she enters it, devouring the contents of a large bowl of miso soup. He nods at me in mild acknowledgement; then puts the bowl aside.

"Something wrong again?" he inquires, and I shake my head no.

"Not really," I confess. "Call it a vacation of sorts. I needed to get away for a few days, just one last time."

"Mm," he replies uninterestedly, returning his attention to the food and leaning back against the wall. Goten gives the bowl a wistful look. Must be related to Goku somehow. Perhaps he's Gohan's son? Or is Gohan still too young for that? Stupid time traveling; I honestly don't know.

"Who exactly . . . ?" I gesture meaningfully at the boy, glancing over to my mother.

"Goku's brat. He hangs around with our Trunks," my father says between sips. "Why did you really come here?"

I stiffen slightly. How can he know me so well? We have barely interacted at all, and yet he knows when I lie or conceal things from him. It should not be possible.

But he is still my father, in a sense at least, and besides my timeline's Gohan, the only one I have ever known. Let him know me as well as he wants, no matter whether I understand him at all.

I glance to the kitchen- my mother is out of human earshot. So I tell him.

"She died."

"Ah." He seems to understand now, apparently even knowing whom the unnamed woman is, and I feel comfortable sitting down on the couch. After all, who could bear the thought of life without her- my real and true mother? Perhaps he will think of her regretfully later; perhaps not. At least he knows now, and she is surely with her version of him again.

Goten sits immediately beside me, seeming awkward with my company but also glad to have me in the room. The same way I feel in regards to his continued presence, in fact. The child looks up at me with remarkably innocent eyes, but I can feel hard muscles moving under the soft baby skin. Knowing Goku's rather . . . "hectic" life, the boy's not so innocent as he looks.

I look down at him and wonder what he will be like at my age. Wonder what it would have been like if Goku had lived long enough to conceive him. Wonder if my world would have been more pleasant with someone like him there to suffer through it with me and wonder so many other things.

He begins to speak, tentatively at first, and then faster, and the next thing I know we're both laughing and chattering on like the oldest of companions. Is he really a friend of this timeline's version of me? Oh, I wish he were mine too. I want him. He's so nice. So sweet, so friendly.

Strange, to mourn someone for never being born.

My other-mother, as I've come to think of her, bustles back into the room with more soup and passes the bowls to Goten and I. "Eat up, guys!" she chirps with a bright smile.

It's a canned soup, I can tell. But it means so much to me that she bothered to make it at all. I think I would cry for the need of this woman's care, were my father not here. Cry for losing her for good and needing nothing more than to be with her.

My real mother . . . I didn't even properly grieve when she died. I wanted to be strong, like my father would've been. Like she had been when HE died.

Then I glance over to my father just as he accepts a second helping from my other-mother, not exactly smiling at her so much as relaxing in her general direction. And I understand that he loves her, however odd it may seem to outsiders, and that he would mourn her loss.

So screw it all, I stop faking it.

My tears come in a rush, silent and fierce and lonely, and my other-mother immediately rushes up and hugs me, concern evident in her voice and actions alike. Goten's eyes are large and strangely empathic, and though my father says nothing, I know that he is aware it would be far worse to speak comfort he does not- can not- fully mean.

This is my life. And this is my family. Small and broken and strung out across a dimension or two, but still real. Still always there to come back to.

I want to stay. I've always, more than anything, wanted to stay.

My other-mother pulls back, her eyes solemn. "She's dead, isn't she."

Of course she'd know.

"Yes," I whisper, and she tightens her embrace again.

"It's okay, baby," she croons soothingly. "It's alright . . . " My mother was always a good liar. I loved her for it. It was that flawless lying that gave me a childhood.

Goten is still looking up at me silently.

I like him.

"Wanna stay for a while?" he asks. "You can sleep over at our place- Mom's always happy to have somebody else to cook for."

"Heh, cool." I grin at him, not bothering to wipe my tears away or let go of my other-mother. "Sounds like a blast, Goten."

He grins back. "Great!" he says happily. Did I just make him smile?

Now that- that is really great.

I want to meet myself. I want to get to know this kid who makes me feel so happy. I want a mother and father at the same time. I want . . .

"Can we keep you?" my other-mother asks hoarsely.

I scrub my tears away harshly, praying that I won't break down bawling again, and Goten grabs my shoulder.

"Don't be sad," he begs. "Please don't."

I like him so much . . . I want a friend like this. I want a place to fit in here. But there is already a Trunks in this timeline, and they have no need for me and my outdated memories any longer.

The door suddenly bangs open, a very pissed-off kid with the glare from Hell storming in. "I. Hate. Dentists," he bites out, and the rest of us stare blankly at him for a moment.

He's . . . me.

"Wow," I say stupidly after the obligatory long and awkward pause, "you sure grew up."

"TRUNKS!" Goten cries in delight, jumping to his feet and tackling the other around the waist.

"Hi, Goten. Eh?" Trunks blinks at me even as he automatically returns the half-embrace. My father's eyebrow twitches slightly. "Who the hell are you?"

"Uh . . . " I grin rather sheepishly and untangle myself from my- his- our- mother. "Would you believe that I'm you?"

Another blink, and then the confusion clears from his eyes. "You're that guy from the future," he realizes with only mild surprise, releasing Goten. "With the androids and medicine and all that crap."

"They told you about me?" I'm flattered that they bothered.

"Little bit." He shrugs and kicks off his shoes. "Like, you were around when I was a baby and helped fight that Cell freak." Then he smirks appreciatively. "And you killed Freezer. Now THAT was a cool story."

"Totally," my other-mother agrees with a chuckle. My father rolls his eyes and snorts.

"You gonna stick around for a while?" the younger me inquires curiously as he hangs his coat up.

I try to hide my surprise. Shouldn't he feel . . . I don't know, threatened by my presence or something? "I guess . . ." I say slowly.

He hops up onto the couch next to me. "Good. Tell me about the time you fought the androids, 'nii-san," he orders.

"Yeah!" Goten cheers, sitting on my other side and grinning excitedly.

"'Nii-san?" Now there's a new one.

Trunks gives me an expectant look.

So I start to tell the story, and it's strange, but I almost feel like I belong in this place.

Maybe I could stick around for a bit after all. It's sure to be one hell of a vacation.

* ende *

. : time is relative : .