Author's Note: I want to stress right away that this is an "Alternate Universe" fan fiction, taking place a few months after the defeat of Buu, before the "skip ahead." I tried my best to remain show accurate, but as I don't have regular access to the show, I only have my friends and other fics as resources. There's bound to be some mistakes and such. (I've had bad experience trusting fan sites. I found one that seemed like it knew what it was talking about a few years ago, but it said Goten was the older brother...)  Any mistakes or "impossibilities" (*snicker* C'mon, this is Dragonball Z we're talking about...) will be chalked up to the fact this Universe has a different set of rules. If I receive any feedback insulting me because of said mistakes, I will simply call you illiterate (and maybe a few other choice names, depending on the situation) because that means you could not read and/or understand this. However, if you politely point out mistakes and I feel it would be in the story's best interest to fix, I will do so and gladly give you credit. I don't really see that happening though, as I'm more interested in telling this story than getting everything right, hence the AU. If you don't like AU, you're welcome to leave. No one's forcing you to read. Since that's the case, do not insult me or my skills as a writer because you went ahead and read something you know you're not gonna like. Thank you and enjoy.

Disclaimer: The original characters and plot of this story are mine, but only them. The companies involved are welcomed to sue me, but the only thing I really got is some "well-enjoyed" (broken) G1 Transformer toys. Never mind the fact it might be worth hundreds....stop looking at me like that. Read the story.

School Of Hard Knocks

            Goku flew toward the Capsule Corporation as fast as he could without exhausting his energies. Bulma said it was important that she talk to him a soon as she could. Her tone implied that it wasn't anything life-threatening, but he still didn't want to take any chances. He would've teleported directly to her Ki signature, but if it was nothing and he scared her by suddenly appearing in front of her, he'd never hear the end of it.

            Especially if she's in the bathroom again, Goku thought, blushing slightly in embarrassment. Man, I thought Vegeta was gonna explode all over again!

            He touched down on the front lawn just as his childhood friend walked outside, waving up at him. "Slow down, big guy!" she greeted with a smile. "If you were in such a hurry to get here, you could've just Instantly Transmitted, or whatever it is you call that teleporting thing." She laughed as Goku made a confused face and sputtered out broken sentences. "Come on into the back, there's someone I want you to meet."

            Shrugging, Goku followed. It wasn't until that the two reached their destination that Goku noticed the large new structure on the property.

            "Wow!" Goku exclaimed. "Is that what I think it is?"

            Bulma laughed. "Yep! It's a bigger and better gravity chamber. It's my birthday present to Vegeta. He's still determined to reach Level 3 and beat you...ah, there he is! Brick! Could you come here, please?"

            Standing near the newly completed chamber were four bulky construction workers, three of them wearing orange hard hats. The one who wasn't looked up when Bulma called, excused himself and walked toward the two childhood friends. He was dressed normally enough, dirty blue jeans and a stained white T-shirt, and it was obvious his massive bulk was all muscle. His face seemed grim but what really got Goku's attention was the man's blonde hair.

            More like gold, the Saiyan mentally corrected himself. Faded gold...

            "We're just finishing up, Mrs. Briefs," the man said when he reached them. Goku thought his voice was extremely kind and friendly, despite the fact his face implied the opposite. "If you have any problems with the structure, give me a call and I'll come and deal with it personally."

            "Thanks, Brick," Bulma said with a smile. "I'd like you to meet Son Goku, a childhood friend and someone who's gonna be practically living in that thing."

            Brick smiled warmly as he gripped Goku's hand in a firm shake. "Pleasure to meet you, Mr. Son. I'm Brick Stone, owner and head contractor of  'The Brick' construction company."

            Goku nodded. "Great to meet ya! And I just wanna say....have we met before?"

            "Huh?" Brick blinked a few times as he let go of Goku's hand, confused by the sudden question. "No, I don't think so."

            "You sure? I feel like I know you from somewhere...."

            Brick shrugged. "Mr. Briefs said the same thing. I think you both just saw our ad on TV."

            Goku nodded, but it was obvious he wasn't satisfied with that answer. Politely excusing himself, Brick went back to his workers to finish packing up and go home.

            "There's just something about him," Goku whispered.

            "I think he's a Saiyan," Bulma said as she watched Brick wave one last time and leave.

            "WHAT?!"

            Bulma couldn't help but laugh at the expression on Goku's face. "Well, for one thing, he's strong. Really strong. I've seen him lift and hold things that might be trouble for even you. Second, his lunch was always five times bigger than that of his crew's. And third..."

            "That hair," Goku finished. "It's gold."

            Bulma nodded. "Same color of gold you guys get when you go Super."

            "He can't be Saiyan," he said. "We would've sensed his Ki."

            She shrugged. "Maybe he doesn't fight at all, or knows how to hide it. Whenever Vegeta talked to him, he seemed to get a bit paranoid. Saiyan or not, he's hiding something."

            Goku looked down at Bulma. "You really think he's Saiyan?"

            "Yep, and Vegeta seems to think so too. I heard him muttering something like 'this weakling can't possibly be one of my people.' It could be nothing though."

            Goku nodded, his brow creased as he thought about everything Bulma just told him. (Hope he doesn't hurt himself.) "Could be nothing," he said finally. "Or it could be something huge. Which way did he head off again?"

            Bulma pointed in the direction of Satan City, and Goku took off.

            Brick parked his car along the side of the curb and got out. "I just gotta deposit the last check from the Briefs job and I'm home free," he said to himself as he headed for the bank. "I can't wait to get home and fall into Lovely's arms…"

            "Assuming I allow you to do so, meat."

            All of Brick's happiness drained away instantly as he stopped in his tracks and glared at his side. Leaning against the side of the bank was a man dressed in business attire, but he wore it in a very casual manner. Both the white shirt and the black tie were worn very loosely, and the suit coat was swung over his shoulder. He wore sunglasses that completely hid eyes and had long black hair that ran the length of his neck.

            "What do you want?" Brick asked, his voice dripping with hatred.

            The man smiled, apparently well pleased with Brick's response, and simply gestured for the construction worker to follow him into the alleyway between the bank and the neighboring store.

            "Your Na is higher than it should be," the man said, with his back to Brick. "Much higher. I demand to know why."

            Brick continued to glare. "I told you. My 'Na' is linked to my emotions and I just got done with a very stressful job."

            The man nodded slightly. "Anger? Frustration?"

            "Yes. One of the clients kept asking about my parents."

            He glanced at Brick. "Didn't your wench of a mother teach to control such things?"

            Brick's fists clenched tightly, almost to the point of drawing blood. His entire form shook with rage as he resisted the need to introduce his fist to the man's skull. "Don't you DARE talk about my mother like that!!"

            The man chuckled. "Don't forget your place, meat. Your Na has shot up several times since our little meeting, so I now believe you're being truthful."

            "Why the hell wouldn't I be?!"

            "Watch your tone, meat."

            "My name is--"

            "Your name is irrelevant, meat. Remember, it is only through my generosity that you have a wife to go home to." He grinned. "Of course, there's much more at stake now, isn't there? After all, we don't want little Eva to grow up without a mother, do we?"

            Brick took a step forward, fully intending to bash in this man's face, but managed to control his temper. "Leave her out of this!" he hissed.

            The man laughed. "But I'm not the one who involved her! You knew damn well what it meant when you signed on the proverbial dotted line! I explained it to you fully! I appear to you now to simply remind you of this. Keep your end of the bargain, and you have nothing to fear."

            "Fine. I'll see you at the end of the week then."

            The man nodded, but then remained still, as if he were waiting for something.

            Brick rolled his eyes. "Yes, Darcon, my Lord and Master."

            "For…?"

            Brick closed his eyes and through clenched teeth added "For the glory of the Radam…"

            With that, the man laughed. When the bone-chilling sound faded, Brick opened his eyes and upon seeing that he was alone, muttered "You'll get yours, you sick son of a bitch. Someday. I just pray I get to see it."

            At the sound of footsteps behind him, Brick spun around to find Goku had just arrived.

            "You really are a Saiyan!!" Goku exclaimed.

            Brick blinked several times. "A what?"

            "A Saiyan! How long have you been on Earth?!"

            "Whoa-whoa! How much of that did you see?"

            "The whole thing. What's the Radam?"

            Brick groaned. This is not good, he thought. Aloud, he said "I've been on Earth my whole life--"

            "How come we haven't been able to sense your Ki? What happened to your tail?"

            "Keep it down, would ya? I don't know what the hell Ki is and I never had a tail! Look, unless you want to hire me to build you something, I really gotta go. I have a family waiting for me."

            Goku suddenly became very serious and stepped in Brick's path. "So do I," he said. "Who was that guy?"

            "That's none of your bus--"

            "I sensed an evil power in him, making him a possible threat to the planet. Making him a threat to my family. Making it my business. Who. Was. He?"

            Brick sighed. "You're not gonna let me leave, are you?"

            Goku shook his head. "Not until I get some answers."

            "Fine," Brick said with another sigh as he more or less collapsed against the bank wall and slid to the ground. "Sorry Mom," he whispered. "I wasn't careful enough…"

            And then he told his story as Goku said nothing and listened.

            "I was raised by my mother, and my earliest memory is her explaining to me that I was a very special child and that I must be very careful. On top of my usual education in the school system, she always taught me things like meditation and how to control my temper. When I was 10 years old, she finally told me why.

            My Mom was an alien from another planet. She explained that her race was a lot more powerful  than normal humans, and because I was alien too, I had to be careful or I might hurt someone. Being 10, I thought it was the coolest thing ever, and then asked about my dad. All she said was that he was a good man who died before his time. Through out the years, I always got the same answer whenever I asked.

            Anyway, being careful and in control of my extra strength wasn't all that hard, really, since I learned the steps of anger management before I learned to walk. And though it killed me, I never said a word about Mom being from 'out of town.' Until I turned 15 that is....

            On my fifteenth birthday, I met Yui Francois, the classic girl next door. We became friends, then beyond that. I told her everything. Mom was hurt, but she loved Yui and accepted her as part of the family.  Me and Yui dated off and on...we tried to see other people, but always wound up together, so on my twentieth birthday, I proposed. And she accepted. I went to tell Mom, but she had vanished without a trace. No note. No signs of a struggle. She was just...gone.

            After searching for a few years, I more or less had to give up, and focused on building a life for Yui and me. It was going good, until the day before our wedding. Yui suddenly became very sick. The doctor's didn't know what it was, but knew she would die within 24 hours if something wasn't done. It was then, in my darkest hour, as I was about to say goodbye to the woman I loved, that I met a man as evil as the devil himself.

            He told me he knew everything about me, about my heritage, right down to what was inflicting Yui. I would've denied the first part, except he then told me that he could cure her. All he needed was my 'Na.' My energy. We made a deal.

            The disease infecting Yui couldn't be cured completely, but he could repress it. He would so in exchange for my energy, once every year. He'd leave just enough for me to live, and by the time the year was up it would be recharged. He made it quite clear though, that if I ever went back on this deal, Yui would die. I agreed to the arrangement, which just goes to show how much I really love my wife.

            Not only did the drain hurt like you wouldn't believe, but as soon as it was done, he twisted my arm around my back and slammed me against the wall. He called me meat and said that I now belonged to him...."

            "....So now every year, he shows me up, sucks me dry, totally degrades me and my family, and leaves." Brick sighed. "And that's my story. The short version, anyway."

            "And that was him?" Goku asked.

            Brick nodded. "He calls himself Darcon. Don't know all that much about except that he's a sick son of a bitch."

            Goku nodded. "So what's..."

            "The Radam? No clue. A cult. A hostile alien empire. Can't say I really care either."

            Goku nodded again, apparently not hearing Brick's last comment. Or ignoring it. "When's he coming to drain you next?"

            Brick visibly cringed. "Saturday, at exactly noon."

            "Where?"

            "Wherever I happen to be at the time. I try to be home if I can help it."

            "Then we have time."

            Brick looked at Goku suspiciously. "Time for what?"

            "To prepare. When he comes to drain you next, we can stop him--"

            "NO!" Brick yelled. He was instantly back on his feet and right in Goku's face. "If we fight him, he won't cure Yui. Not only would that kill me, but we have a daughter now and I don't even what to think what that monster will do to her."

            Goku stared Brick right in the eyes. "I know how you feel, trust me. I have two sons of my own. My first grandchild was born just a week ago."

            "Then you know why I can't..."

            "I know why you must. This guy...this Darcon, he's evil! What he wants your Ki for it can't be good."

            "I missed the part where that's my problem," Brick said with a glare. "Besides, he's obviously not human. I couldn't fight him if my Na, or Ki or whatever was at full. Just forget it. And stay out of it."

            With that, Brick pushed past Goku and headed for the bank.

            Goku sighed. "Just one last question?"

            Brick stopped and sighed as well. "What?"

            "When did your hair turn blonde?"

            Brick turned toward Goku with a confused look on his face. "I was born with blonde hair. It'll dull down once I've been drained though."

            Brick then left without another word, while Goku tried to process everything he'd just heard. Then something about the last thing Brick said clicked in his head.

            "Is he saying that he was born a Super Saiyan?!"

            A little over an hour later, finally Brick walked through the front door of his house, and was nearly knocked down as soon as he did.

            "DADDY!!" a little girl of about five squealed as she quickly attached herself to Brick's legs. She had neck-length black hair and was wearing a cute little red dress. "You're home!!"

            Brick grabbed onto the wall to keep from falling over and smiled down at his daughter. "That I am, Eva darlin'. Let go of Daddy so he can give you a hug."

            "K!"

            As soon as she did, Brick quickly picked her up and gave her the kind of hug only a father can give.  He set her down, watch her run off, and walked into the kitchen, where his wife was preparing dinner for their family. Yui Francois-Stone was an attractive young woman that looked as if she was in her mid-twenties. Her ebony hair was grown so that her soft face was sort of framed by her bangs. Her gentle blue eyes sent a wave of calm over anyone who happened to look into them.

            "Hello Lovely," Brick said as he came up behind her wrapped his arms around her waist. "Smell great."

            "Really?" she said, smirking. "Normally you complain about the pepper smell when I make chili."

            "I meant you," Brick said with a smirk.  He gave his wife a peck on the cheek and went over to the refrigerator.

            Yui just shook her head. "No, I reek of sweat and body odor from running after your daughter all day."

            Brick took a can of soda out of the fridge and opened it. "I spent all day with old, overweight construction workers, and this client must've bathed in perfume. Trust me.  You smell great."

            Yui chuckled. "Speaking of baths and smells, you can stand one of the former of get rid of the latter."

            Brick just blinked. "What?"

            Yui laughed and walked over to her husband. She hugged him and said "You really should make it harder for me to tease you. Otherwise I might get bored and leave." Yui's smile faded when she realized that Brick was hugging back rather tightly, and not letting go. "What's wrong sweetie?"

            "He showed up today."

            She knew what he meant instantly and gave him a loving squeeze.  She pulled away and looked him in the eyes. "Did he do it already?"

            Brick shook his head. "Not yet. Just this last job was stressful..."

            "And your power levels went higher than they do normally," Yui sighed. "You have to stop this Brick."

            "Nope," Brick said, drinking his pop and walking away. "Not an option."

            "Brick, I've seen how he treats you. Seen what this whole thing does to you." She sat down next to him on the couch in the family room. "I know you do this to keep me alive and I absolutely love you for it, but what about you?" She took his hand in hers. "You know he's not doing anything good with what he takes from you."

            "It's just energy..."

            "And your soul, Love. I see it every year. He's draining your soul."

            Brick was about to respond when Eva came into the room and poked both of their legs. "Mommy, your chili's on fire."

            Both smiled down at their daughter. "Now darlin'," Brick said, "I know Mommy makes the chili really spicy..."

            "No," Eva said, "it's really on fire. Look."

            Eva pointed to the kitchen, where the pot, and everything else on the stove, was literally ablaze.

            "Oh dear," Yui said as she bolted from the couch to the kitchen at breakneck speed.

            Brick couldn't help but let out a long, loud laugh.

            Meanwhile:

            "What do you want, Kakarott?"

            "What can you tell me about the Radam?"

            Vegeta stopped short of entering his new gravity chamber. "What?"

            "The Radam," Goku repeated, his expression serious. "Does the name ring a bell?"

            "What makes you think I'd know anything about them?"

            "The way you answered for one. Plus I figured since the name sounds alien, you might've heard something about them when you working for Frieza."

            Vegeta gave his trademark 'Hmpf' and turned to face his rival. "Funny you should mention our old foe. The Radam could be seen as an entire race of Friezas. Apparently they were so ruthless even that hermaphrodite was afraid of them."

            Goku's eyes went wide. "Oh my God..."

            Vegeta smirked. "Relax, Kakarott. They're long gone. Wiped out."

            Goku blinked. "What? How?"

            "The only thing that was keeping the Radam at bay was another race, the Madar. These people were just the opposite, nauseatingly good and pure. Naturally, they were at constant war with each other, until eventually, they drove each other into extinction."

            "How'd they do that?"

            The Saiyan Prince shrugged. "The most common belief is that the Madar somehow sacrificed themselves to wipe out Radam. From what I read during my time with Frieza, it sounds like something they'd try to do." He eyed Goku suspiciously. "Why do you ask, Kakarott?"

            "Well you see....it's just that this guy mentioned them."

            "What 'guy'?"

            Goku then explained the situation with Brick to the best of his ability. Vegeta listened with interest, and when Goku was finished, shrugged casually.

            "Forget about it, Kakarott. It's not our problem."

            "What?! But Vegeta..."

            "This....'Darcon' is not Radam. They look nothing like humans. And even if he somehow is, he'll soon learn the same lesson Cell and that Buu creature did."

            "Still, I don't like the idea that Brick is just giving him the energy..."

            "Well, we both know what happens when you try to drain to drain the power of a Super Saiyan, don't we?" Vegeta then smirked and entered the gravity chamber without another word.

            "Right," Goku whispered. He then shook his head and teleported home.

            The next morning, Brick woke up relieved to find Yui still wrapped up in his arms, sleeping peacefully. I should really be used to that nightmare by now, he thought. I've had it every year since this whole ordeal began.

            As if she read his thoughts, Yui snuggled even closer to her husband. Brick smiled and was about to go back to sleep, but the doorbell rang. Cursing, Brick got up, found his robe and put it on as he went to answer. He was not at all pleased to find out who was at the other end of the door.

            "What do you want?" he asked, his voice radiating with anger.

            "Well 'Good morning' to you too!" Goku replied with his normal goofy grin.

            Brick sighed. "This had better be about a job. And if it is, the office opens again next week. Now get lost!" He tried to slam the door, but Goku stopped him. Brick glared at the broken wood, then back up at the Saiyan.

            "Just hear me out," Goku said, holding his hands in front of himself. "You were right, I don't know everything about you and Darcon, I'd do the same thing if Chi-Chi were sick. But, you're still a Saiyan, and we Saiyans should stick together."

            Brick blinked. "What?"

            "Later today we're having a party to celebrate my newborn granddaughter coming home. You should come and met the gang!"

            "Wait a second! You mean there's more of you? Er...I mean, us?"

            "Yep! Well, me and Vegeta--"

            "Mr. Briefs?!"

            Goku nodded and continued. "Me and Vegeta are the last two pure-blooded Saiyans, but were both married with kids. By oldest, Gohan, is the happy new father. So, you wanna come?"

            "We'd love to."

            Brick jumped and saw Yui standing behind him, smiling warmly. "In fact," she continued, "I'll even come early to help with the cooking. If he gets his appetite from his alien half, sounds like you'll need it."

            Goku's trademark grin was in full force by now. "Great! Be sure to bring your daughter! She'll get along great with Goten! See ya!"

            Brick then watched dumb-folded as Goku pressed his fingers to his forehead and vanished. He blinked several times, his mouth hanging open.

            "He seemed nice," Yui said, apparently unfazed by the whole thing.

            "Why did you say we'd come?" Brick finally asked, turning to his wife.

            She smiled. "Well it's obvious he already knows you're a half alien, and apparently what kind of alien. We should go, if for no other reason that you can find out more about who you are. And why are you so shocked that he can vanish like that? Our life is hardly what you'd call normal, Love."

            Brick sighed and looked up at the ceiling. "I wonder how long it'll take him to realize he didn't give us so much as his address."

            Later that day (after Goku went back and told the Stones what they needed to know):

            "What's that?"

            "This is Kongy! He's my teddy monkey!"

            Goten looked at the plush monkey with a scrunched up face. "What's a teddy monkey?"

            Eva blinked and also looked at the toy, which she was hugging tightly. "Well...he's cute! And cuddly!"

            Goten looked at her. "Is that it?"

            "What do you mean?"

            "Does he do anything?"

            "Of course!" Eva stuck her nose up in the air.

            "Like what?"

            ".....DADDY! THE CRAZY BOY IS BUGGING ME!"

            "She's beautiful," Yui gushed as she looked at the small baby that Videl held in her arms. "What's her name?"

            "Pan," Videl answered with a warm smile.

            "Oh she looks so much like my little Gohan did when I first brought him home," Chi-Chi sighed.

            "You must be really proud Videl," Bulma said.

            The new mother just nodded. The four women were in the living room of the Son house. Their husbands were all outside, talking at keeping an eye on the other three children. Yui, Bulma and Ch-Chi had all been working on the massive meal required when feeding a group of Saiyans, but had all taken a break to bubble over the new mother and child.

            "I admit I'm a little nervous," Videl said. "I mean, being a new parent is hard enough, but she's part Saiyan..."

            "Oh don't worry dear," Chi-Chi said, making a waving gesture. "I've already raised two Saiyan children. Three if you count that lug of a husband of mine. I'll be more than happy to help in any way I can."

            "Me too," Bulma said, "but I'm sure you'll do just fine."

            "And I'll be glad to give you advice in raising a daughter," Yui said with a smile. "I like to think I did a pretty good job since I only learned my little Eva's part Saiyan this morn--"

            "DADDY! THE CRAZY BOY IS BUGGING ME!"

            "....In fact, could I interest you in a trade?"

            Brick sighed. "Come on, Eva!" he called. "Play nice with the kid!"

            "You too Goten!" Goku added. "Stop teasing Eva! Why don't you and Trunks show her the lake? Maybe take her fishing!"

            "Oh...okay Daddy."

            "OK Dad!"

            Brick watched as his daughter ran off with the two boys. "You sure it's okay for them to go off by themselves like that?"

            Goku nodded. "Yep! There's nothing dangerous in these woods. And even if there was, Goten and Trunks are both Super Saiyans, so there isn't much that can hurt them!"

            "Super Saiyans?!" Brick asked. He then closed his eyes and rubbed his temples. "No, don't explain. One step at a time." He opened his eyes and turned toward Vegeta. "So, you used to be the Prince of the Saiyans?"

            "I am your Prince, fool," Vegeta replied. "And you say it was your mother who was your Saiyan parent?"

            "I guess she must've been, though she never said what her people were called."

            "What was her name?" Gohan asked.

            "Shara," Brick replied.

            "What?" Vegeta asked. "Are you sure?"

            "I think he knows his own mother's name, Vegeta," Goku said.

            "I know that Kakarott!"

            "Then what's the big deal?" Brick asked, a little annoyed.

            "The 'big deal' is that 'Shara' isn't a Saiyan name!" Vegeta replied.

            "So?" Brick replied. "She didn't exactly advertise she was from another planet. She probably changed it to avoid people asking her what it means and stuff."

            "As opposed to dealing with people asking why she'd name her son Brick Stone?" Vegeta asked with a smirk.

            "Don't make me kick your ass," Brick said, dead serious. "And I could ask you the same thing about 'Trunks Briefs.' "

            "That was my woman's idea," Vegeta growled, "and that's no way to talk about your future Prince, peasant!"

            "All right already!" Gohan shouted. He looked at Brick. "Though he didn't go about it the right way, Vegeta raises a good point. Your mother obviously wasn't worried about names brining her any unwanted attention."

            Brick sighed. "Fair enough."

            "What do you know about your father?" Gohan asked.

            "Not a damn thing," Brick said. "Like I told Goku, all Mom ever told me was that he was a good man who died before his time. Nothing more. Nothing less."

             "When did he die?" Vegeta asked.

            Brick rolled his eyes. "Last week. I just said I don't know!"

            Vegeta nodded. "What about your mother? How old was she when she vanished?"

            Brick thought for a few seconds. "I think...she had just turned fifty. She didn't look a day over 25, but you just explained that Saiyans age really slowly once they reach adulthood."

            Vegeta nodded and stared off, as if deep in thought.

            "What ya doing Vegeta?" Goku asked, looking confused.

            "It's called having an idea, Kakarott. You should try it sometime."

            "Nah, it would just die of loneliness," Brick said with a smile.

            "Come on guys," Gohan said, trying hard not to smile himself. "That's not nice."

            "What's everybody talking about?" Goku asked, looking even more confused (if that's even possible).

            "Right, sorry," Brick said. "But what's your idea?"

            Vegeta again nodded. "I think your father was the Saiyan."

            Brick narrowed his eyes. "Are you saying my mother was lying to me?"

            Vegeta shook his head. "Just the opposite. Tell me, was your mother ever cross with you? Did she ever yell or lose her temper?"

            Brick thought about the question. "No...she never yelled at me. Gave me some major guilt trips, but never yelled. She was almost always happy it seemed. Extremely friendly, even to strangers."

            "And when she vanished, was it on her fiftieth birthday, or at least very close to it?"

            Again, Brick considered his answer carefully. "Now that I think about it, we planned to tell her about our engagement on her birthday, but..."

            "Had her bed been slept in?"

            "It looked like it...could you please tell me where your going with all this? These aren't exactly happy memories."

            "Very well. I believe your mother was Madar."

            Gohan, Goku and Brick's eyes nearly shot out of their collective sockets. "WHAT?!"

            The Prince was obviously enjoying himself as he continued. "As I told Kakarott, the Madar were sickeningly friendly and noble. They never lost their tempers, and while extremely powerful, they only used their power when the felt they must, for their greater good. Also, they die in their sleep on when they age 50 years exactly. When they die, their bodies simply vanish."

            Brick stared at Vegeta, jaw hanging open. "She...she never told me that..."

            "She no doubt wanted to spare you the pain," Vegeta explained. "Up until now, you held onto the hope she was still alive, didn't you?"

            Brick tried to respond verbally, but could only nod.

            "So...Brick's not a Saiyan?" Goku asked, scratching the side of his head.

            "He's a half Saiyan, like your brat here," Vegeta answered, jerking his thumb toward Gohan. "But unlike your brat, his other half isn't human."

            "He's a Saiyan/Madar hybrid," Gohan explained.

            Brick finally found his voice. "Okay, so you explained how you know I'm Madar, but how do you still figure I'm Saiyan?"

            "We can sense it," Vegeta explained. "Your power, though very weak, is without a doubt Saiyan energy. It just has a bit of a different...feel to it."

            "Again with the energy," Brick whispered.

            "But how is this possible?" Goku asked. "You said the Radam and Madar wiped each other out."

            Vegeta smiled. "Make note of the date, brat. Your father actually asked an intelligent question. Yes, Kakarott, they did eventually wipe each other out, but it was long after Vegeta-sei was destroyed. Before then, before you were born, Frieza had taken a special interest in the Madar homeworld. I think he planned to replace us.

            "A young Saiyan by the name of Appla was chosen to investigate the Madar," Vegeta continued. "He was an extremely powerful warrior, but it was clear to all he was beginning to question the...business Frieza employed us in. Frieza didn't want Appla's doubts to spread among the other Saiyans, but still hoped to break him like he had Zarbon and countless others. Appla was therefore sent to investigate the high power levels coming from an unexplored planet.

            "Appla is how we learned of both the Radam and Madar. He was the one who reported everything I've told you about both races. As his reports went on, it became clear he admired the Madar more and more, and grew to despise the Radam. And those like them.

            "Frieza of course, refused to believe that the Radam were as dangerous as Appla reported, and that the Madar were the only thing keeping them at bay. He sent several soldiers to investigate the Radam. None returned. Not long after the last solider disappeared, Frieza ordered both races off limits and for Appla to return. Appla returned a week late, an hour before Vegeta-sei was destroyed."

            "So, Appla could've met and fallen in love with a Madar named Shara," Gohan started.

            "And she could've somehow survived the extinction of her people," Goku continued.

            "And somehow made it to Earth," Brick finished softly. "Where she gave birth to a bouncing baby boy."

            "Is it possible Appla could've achieved Super Saiyan while he was away?" Goku asked.

            Vegeta shrugged. "I don't see how, but it is possible. He did report that the battles between the two races were quite intense."

            "Well at this point it's obvious he formed some strong bonds among the Madar people," Gohan offered. "Maybe he saw one of his friends get killed."

            "If he did achieve that level, he never reported it," Vegeta said. "Though I believe that's a given. I did see Appla do battle once when I was young and remember being somewhat impressed." He looked at Goku and smirked again. "What's the matter Kakarott? Worried your position as the first Super Saiyan in 50 years is in danger?"

            Goku shook his head and simply looked at Brick. "Look at his hair."

            Gohan and Vegeta did.

            As one would expect, Brick was already a bit of wreck at this point, and now the other three Saiyans were staring at him. "What?!" he yelled. "What are you all looking at?! And what the hell is a Super Saiyan?!"

            "BOYS!!" Chi-Chi suddenly called from the house. "DINNER'S READY!! YUI BROUGHT CHILI!!"

            Needless to say, all other questions and worries were instantly forgotten.

            "Yui, dear," Chi-Chi said to the other woman after the meal, "don't you think that chili was a little on the spicy side?"

            Yui looked hurt. "Well, Brick always liked his chili spicy, so I thought that other Saiyans..."

            "I'm not complaining," Chi-Chi said quickly. "It was delicious. It's just that well...Goku and Vegeta ate a good amount of it, and..."

            "By all scientific logic," Bulma said, looking at the two Saiyans in question, "steam should be shooting out of their ears."

            "Their ears if we're lucky," corrected Videl. "Yui, could you take Pan? I have to use the ladies' room."

            Yui gladly took the little newborn child into her arms and smiled. She found her husband sitting on the coach and went to sit down next to him. "Isn't she lovely?" she asked softly. "This reminds me so much of when we brought Eva home."

            "Yeah," Brick smiled. He looked at baby Pan. "This girl is very lucky. Gohan's a good man."

            "I know," Yui said as Pan grabbed her finger. "You can actually feel the love these people have for each other. They'd do anything for each other. They'd die for each other."

            Brick looked at his wife. "What are you getting at?"

            "I'm 'getting at' that I love you Brick, with all my heart. And not only is Darcon killing you, he's doing it because of me. You have any idea how that makes me feel?"

            "Yui..."

            "No, you let me finish. These people have been completely honest with us. Told us what they've done for this planet. And Goku thinks Darcon is another treat. Not just to you and me, not just to Eva, but to the whole world, Brick. And you...we're helping him!" She looked at Pan, then right into Brick's eyes. "You have to let Goku train you. Teach you how to use your powers right. If not for your own family, then for Pan, and all the newborns in the world. Help make sure they even have a world to grow up in."

            Brick looked away. "Darcon will find out. He'll kill you then suck me dry...and then Eva..."

            Yui gave a small smile. "You're not doing it to fight. You're doing it so you can teach Eva better than you were taught."

            Brick looked at her with a raised eyebrow. "You think a loophole like that will work?"

            She grinned. "That why it's called a loophole. Besides, whatever Goku has in mind will probably increase your energy, so that'll make him happy. And I am worried about Eva. Just because she hasn't shown any alien characteristics yet doesn't mean she won't."

            Both parents set their eyes on their daughter, who was arm-wrestling with Goten. Or trying to anyway. The little girl was pulling and pushing on her opponent's arm with both her hands and all her strength, while he just started at her, blinking.

            Suddenly, Eva gave a small roar of anger. A white aurora suddenly erupted from her body. Not only was she finally able to move Goten's arm, but she flipped him onto his back. The boy just stared up at the ceiling in shock, while she smiled smugly. Obviously, she was proud of herself for finally beating him, and either didn't know or even care how she did it.

            As Eva's aurora died down, the Son and Stone parents went into action. The mothers rushed toward their respective children, asking if they were all right. Meanwhile, Brick took Pan from Yui and met Goku at the scene.

            "Can we talk?" Brick sighed.

            "How are you doing?" Goku asked. "I know you've had a few bombshells dropped on you today."

            "That's putting it mildly," Brick sighed as he put his hands behind his head and looked up at the sky. He had given Pan to Bulma before he followed Goku outside. "I'm doing okay right now, but that's probably because I haven't processed all of this yet. I'm gonna have the mother of all migraines by the end of the day."

            Goku only nodded.

            Brick sighed yet again. "I am by no means agreeing to fight Darcon. Not yet. But...there's just too much I don't know about my heritage, Saiyan or otherwise. And I need to know. Not for myself so much, but for Eva. I need to know so I know how to handle situations like that." He pointed back toward the house. "So I guess what I'm saying is," he looked at Goku, "that offer to train me still open?"

            Goku smiled. "You bet!"

            Brick nodded. "Okay. But what can you teach me by Saturday? I know it's still Monday, but I got a lot to learn."

            Goku's smile grew. "Trust me, we got plenty of time. C'mon, I wanna introduce you to a few more friends of mine." Goku placed a hand on Brick's shoulder and pressed his fingers against his forehead.

            The next thing Brick knew, he was someplace completely different and felt quite sick. Once Goku released his shoulder he quickly ran over to a ledge. He then proceeded to eject the rather large (even by Saiyan standards) dinner he had consumed not even an hour ago. When he was done, he finally opened his eyes. Seeing just how high in the sky he apparently was, he asked "I just rained on some poor bastard's head, didn't I?"

            Behind him he heard someone chuckle and say "Don't worry. It all went into the ocean."

            "Oh good." Then realizing the voice wasn't Goku's, he quickly spun around. He was greeted by two green men with a pair antennae on their heads, and a strange looking black creature. "Yui's right. I should really be used to this sort of thing by now. Especially after today."

            Goku chuckled. "Guys, this is Brick Stone. Brick, I'd like you to meet Piccolo, Dende, and Mr. Popo."

            Brick waved. "Hiya."

            The black creature, Mr. Popo, smiled warmly. "It's a pleasure to meet you."

            "Charmed," the larger of the two green men, Piccolo said. He then turned to Goku. "Why'd you bring him up here, Goku?"

            As Goku began to explain Brick's story to Piccolo, Brick turned to Dende.

            "So, are you guys Martians or something?"

            Dende chuckled. "No, me and Piccolo are Namekians, from the planet Namek."

            "Namek...got ya."

            Meanwhile:

            On a small ship in the middle of the ocean, an old sea captain wiped his face clear of Brick's dinner.

            "Yar...me thinks it's time I retire."

            Back at the Lookout, some time later:

            "....and so I brought him up here," Goku explained, "hoping you guys finally finished fixing the Room of Spirit and Time."

            "Room of what now?" Brick asked.

            Piccolo nodded. "It wasn't as simple 'fixing' it, but yes, we did manage to reopen the gateway between the two dimensions."

            "Two dimensions?" Brick asked.

            "Great! Now all we need to do is think of someone who can still go in so they can help Brick..."

            "Actually Goku," Dende cut in, "in the process of reopening the gateway, we've given the room a sort of a 'clean slate.' You can enter it again, but only for two days/years. Just like last time."

            [Author's Note: Remember, this is an Alternate Universe!! At least be thankful I did my homework before I just started writing this.]

            "All right!" Goku cheered. "C'mon Brick! Let's get to work!"

            "HOLD ON!!" Brick shouted. "What the HELL is goin' on here?!"

            "Oh right," Goku said, giving his trademark goofy grin and rubbing the back of his head. "You don't know much about anything..."

            "Considering the source that's quite amusing," Brick said icily.

            "Allow me to explain," Dende offered. "The Room of Spirit and Time is another dimension where time moves much faster. A day out here is a year in there."

            "Ah," Brick said, nodding. "So if me and Goku go in there, I have plenty of time to learn everything and still be out by Saturday in time for my...appointment."

            Dende nodded. "That's the hope at least."

            "Right!" Goku shouted. "So let's go!" He grabbed Brick's arm and started to drag him toward the aforementioned Room.

            "Hold it!" Brick said, firmly planting his feet on the floor and not moving. Everyone felt a definite spike in his power level. "I'm not going away for a year without at least saying goodbye to my wife and daughter."

            "It'll only be a day for them," Goku said, apparently not getting it.

            "But a year for me! Look, Darcon isn't coming back till Saturday. You can pick me up bright and early Friday morning. In the meantime, I'm going to make the best of the week with Yui and Eva. You should do the same with your family before just up and leaving. For God's sake man, grow up!"

            Goku blinked at the last remark and let go of Brick's arm. "You...you're right. Let's get you back to your family." He placed his hand back on Brick's shoulder. "See you guys Friday. Make sure to stalk plenty of food. Brick eats just as much as me!" He then pressed his fingers to his forehead and they were both gone.

            "C'mon, Goten! Quit being such a baby!"

            "But Trunks, she flipped me! And she's scary..."

            Both the young Saiyans glanced at the little girl. She was dancing around outside with her teddy monkey, humming happily.

            "She's not scary!" Trunks replied. "No go over there and demand rematch!"

            "If she's not scary, why don't you do it!"

            Trunks flinched. "Don't change the subject Goten!"

            Just then Goku and Brick returned, appearing in the space between the boys and the girl.

            "DADDY!!" Eva cried, tossing Kongy aside and tackling her father. This time, she did knock him down.

            "Oomph!" Brick fell onto his back and looked at his daughter. "What exactly does your mother put in that chili?"

            Eva grinned. "But I didn't get any chili. Mr. Goku and Mr. Short ate it all."

            "Then what did you eat?"

            "Miss Chi-Chi's brownies!!"

            "For dessert?"

            "Nope! I had Videl's frosted sugar cookie for dessert!!"

            "Oh," Brick said as he grabbed his daughter and stood up. He put her on his shoulder and walked toward the house. "C'mon darlin'. Let's get your Mom and head home."

            "Awwww....do we have to?"

            " 'Fraid so. Daddy's had a very, very, VERY long day..."

            "Oh...okay."

            "She gets her food habits from you," was the first thing Yui when she saw her husband come back into the Son house. More specifically, the accusing look on his face.

            "Right," Brick said. "Well everybody, it's been fun, but we need to head out. Eva needs to get to bed and me and Yui need to talk."

            "Before you go Brick," Gohan said, "do you think Eva would like to hold Pan?"

            "Ooooh! I wanna hold the baby! Can I hold the baby?! Lemme hold the baby!"

            Brick smiled. "Sure." He took Eva off his shoulders and placed her on the couch next to Gohan. Gohan smiled as well as he carefully put his daughter in the older girl's arms. Everyone was about to lecture Eva about how to hold the child correctly, but apparently, it wasn't necessary as Eva held Pan like she'd been doing so for years.

            "She's so tiny," Eva whispered as Pan slept, sucking her thumb. "An' pretty an' cute. She's cuter than Kongy!"

            This earned a chuckle from everyone present. After a few minutes though, Eva's head started to bob up and down as she struggled to stay awake. Goku gently took Pan from her while Brick gave her Kongy and took her back into his arms. As Eva slept in her father's arms, hugging her doll tightly and sucking her thumb, the Stones quietly said their good-byes and thanked everyone for inviting them. Yui apparently made a really good impression as she was able to hug everyone before leaving (though Vegeta looked noticeably uncomfortable when she got to him).

            At their car, Brick strapped Eva into her seat, careful not to wake her up. When that was done, he took out his car keys and headed toward the driver's seat, only for the keys to be quickly snatched out of his hands.

            "I'll drive," Yui said. "You focus on sorting out all the new information you learned today. Take a nap if you have too."

            Brick smiled in appreciation. As Yui drove the car home, he tried to stay awake and actually try to process everything, but was out like a light as soon as she pulled onto the highway.

            Yui just chuckled and shook her head, before taking Brick's hand into hers and giving it a gentle squeeze. "We'll figure it out Love."

            Later, Brick watched the sunset from the backyard of his house. Like the Son house, the Stone property was somewhat isolated from the rest of civilization, being an hour and half drive from the nearest city. Brick built the house himself (with help from his construction company of course) as his wedding present to Yui. She had always wanted a nice country home. As the years went on, the house proved perfect for his arrangement with Darcon, as the annual draining produced quite a light show.

            Yui soon joined him and rested her head on his shoulder. "So you're an even bigger freak than we both thought?"

            Brick chuckled. "Apparently. But I'm not that upset by it actually. I mean, Mom never said Dad was human. And if I was just Madar, apparently I wouldn't even have a temper, so it makes sense. I think..."

            She wrapped her arms around his. "Well, I still love you."

            He smirked. "Damn right you do."

            She burst out laughing. "You sure are full of yourself for a freak!!"

            "Well, the deed for this house that you love so much is in my name. So you'll keep loving this freak if you wanna stay in this freak's house!"

            By now they were both laughing.

            "Oh fine!" She then kissed her husband on the lips. After breaking away, she looked at him. "So, what do you plan to do between now and Friday?"

            "Make the most of my time with you and Eva." He then quickly scooped her up into his arms and headed backed inside the house.

            "Starting now."

            As the week progressed, Brick kept his promise. He devoted his every waking hour to his family. And about half that time went to teaching Eva what little he knew about controlling his alien nature. Fortunately for him, Gohan and Goku more than willing to help. He was slightly surprised when Chi-Chi and Goku even offered to let Eva stay at their house over night so he could have time alone with Yui. (He also noticed that Goten wasn't thrilled with the idea, and was limping when he came to pick his daughter up the next day.)

            Much too fast for his liking, Thursday came, and the next thing he knew, he was tucking Eva in for bed.

            "What's wrong Daddy?" she asked. "You look sad."

            Brick put on a brave face. "Oh, it's nothing. Daddy's just going away for the day tomorrow."

            "Then why are you sad?"

            "Well, for the whole day, Daddy's not going to be able to see you or Mommy, so it's going to seem a lot longer. A LOT longer."

            Eva blinked. "Oh."

            Brick just smiled and hugged his daughter. "Now, I want you to be a good girl for Mommy and the Sons, okay?"

            "Okay."

            "And I also want you to know that I love you Eva. No matter what happens, I'll always love you and Mommy. Remember that."

            "I love you too, Daddy."

            Brick kissed the top of her head, then lowered his head so she could kiss his cheek. He made sure she was tucked in nice and snug and that she had Kongy. He then turned off her light and closed the door.

            He entered the master bedroom and was nearly knocked down when Yui suddenly wrapped her arms around him. He considered making a joke along the lines of "like mother, like daughter," but decided to just enjoy the moment. After several minutes, she moved far enough away from him to look directly him in the eyes.

            "Promise me something," she whispered.

            "Anything."

            "Promise me that when the times comes, you'll do the right thing. Even if that means fighting Darcon. Even if that means losing me."

            "...."

            "Promise me." She cupped his face in her hands. "Please."

            Tears silently ran down his cheeks, but he finally nodded. "I promise."

            She smiled through her own tears and kissed him. "I love you Brick. Don't ever forget that."

            "And I love you, Yui. With all my heart."

            They spent the night and each other's arms and awoke early to watch the sunrise. At 9:30, Eva awoke to the smell of pancakes and bacon and showed early signs of her father's appetite. Soon after breakfast, Goku arrived. The Stones gathered up their bags, and Goku then teleported them to his house. Once there, Eva ran off with Goten (or was she chasing him?) and Chi-Chi showed Yui where she and Eva would be staying. Goku told them that Gohan, Videl and Pan would arrive soon. Gohan had agreed to help train Eva while Videl planned to help keep Yui company.

            At eleven o'clock, Brick and Goku exchanged their last good-byes with their families. Goku then placed his hand on Brick's shoulder and teleported them to the Lookout. After a final check with Dende, and then lead Brick into the Room of Spirit and Time.

            Brick flinched when he heard the door close and lock behind him. "One year," he whispered.

            "Yep," Goku said. "Should be plenty of time for you to learn everything you need to know. What can you do now, anyway?"

            Brick sighed and tossed his gym bag onto one of the beds. "I have three black belts and can bench press 300 pounds if I really work at it."

            Goku seemed impressed. "Wow, really? I thought you had to be really careful?"

            Brick nodded. "I did, until Darcon came into the picture.  After each draining, I was more or less a normal human in terms of strength, so I decided to learn some martial arts and do some of the other stuff Mom never let me do. Worked out well, since it let me work out my frustrations about the whole thing."

            Goku nodded. "How long did it take you to earn the black belts?"

            "I learned pretty damn quick actually. I was hoping you could maybe you could tell me why?"

            "Well, Saiyans are a warrior race. It's in our blood. So, we learn how to fight just like regular guys learn to walk and talk. Fighting just comes naturally to us."

            Brick nodded. "Not sure I'm comfortable with that, but it makes sense."

            "Yep. Plus it's good that you at least know how to fight. That way we can focus of other stuff. Like...hey, we never did explain Super Saiyans to you, did we?"

            "Nope. What's the deal with that, anyway?"

            "Let me show you."

            With a confused look, Brick watched as Goku stepped out of the little room and into the vast sea of white. He turned around to face Brick and started talking.

            "You see, a Saiyan's power is linked with his emotions, like your Mom told you, especially rage and anger. The angrier we get, the stronger we get. You follow?"

            Brick nodded and whispered something along the lines of "Brick smash" under his breath.

            "Well, what happens sometimes is that we get so angry, our normal form can't hold the power. So we transform."

            Suddenly there was an explosion of energy and Brick was knocked off his feet. When he got back up, he was greeted by a glowing, golden haired Goku. "Whoa..."

            Goku smirked. "Cool, huh?"

            "Hell yeah!"

            Goku powered back down. "Of course, you have to get really ticked in order top reach that level. And even then, it takes some practice before you can transform easily. Not that you have to worry about it."

            Brick unconsciously put his hand to his hair, which had gotten a little brighter since he and Goku first met. "So...you think I was born a Super Saiyan, huh?"

            "Yep!"

            "Sweet."

            And so the training began. Since Brick couldn't do much until his Ki "recharged," Goku mostly focused on adjusting his body to different levels of gravity and teaching him how to sense Ki signatures.

            One way he taught Brick the latter was to blindfold Brick and to then move rapidly around. Brick would either point to or strike at wherever he thought Goku was. After a few days, it got to the point where Brick was never wrong, and his strikes actually inflicted damage, though a very small amount. However, one day, Brick signaled Goku to stop and took the blindfold off.

            "What's wrong?" Goku asked.

            Brick clutched his chest. "I don't know. Since yesterday, there's been this pain in my chest...and it's been getting worse..."

            "What?! Why didn't you say anything?"

            "It started off so small, I didn't think anything of it. Just thought it was a bruise or something....but now I can barely breathe. I-I-ah...AH..."

            Brick suddenly sneezed. Sneezed so hard he went flying back several dozen yards and landed with a hard thud. When he got back up, he finally noticed that he felt quite different. And he was glowing. "What the...?"

            Goku flew over to him, his Gi singed and a big smile on his face. "I think we can safely say that your Ki has been recharged. How do you feel?"

            Brick looked himself over. "I feel...I feel GREAT!! For the first time in, like ever, I feel awake! This is just awesome." He looked back up at Goku. "So now what?"

            Goku's smile turned into a big grin. "Now the real fun begins..."

            Chi-Chi wrapped a coat around herself and went outside. She walked over to Yui, who was staring up into the night sky. She didn't say anything. She just stood next to the other woman and followed her gaze, which was in the general direction of the Lookout.

            "How long do you think it's been for them?" Yui asked.

            "Well, I don't know the exact math, but since they left half a day ago, I'd say half a year."

            Yui shook her head. "It's so hard to comprehend that 12 hours could possibly equal six months. I hope they're okay."

            "They're fine. My Goku--"

            "That's not what I meant. Brick's never been separated from me or Eva for more than a week, and I don't think he's ever been without both of us at once. He'll be lonely. And Goku...well, while I think he's a great man, I don't see how he can leave his family so easily."

            Chi-Chi almost went on one of her infamous rants, but managed to calm herself down for Yui's sake. She looked at the other woman. "What about you, Yui? How are you holding up?"

            Yui looked away from the sky and straight ahead. "I told Brick to do the right thing, no matter what. That means this very well may be my last night alive. I...I'm not afraid to die. I knew it would happen eventually. But I'm scared for Eva. She won't have a mother. And...and me and Brick have known each for so long....it's all the more frightening since he's not here...I honestly don't know what I ever did without him..."

            As tears began to flow down Yui's face, Chi-Chi placed a hand on her shoulder. "Come now, Yui. Don't give up just yet. Did we ever tell you about the Dragonballs?"

            Yui sadly shook her head. "This disease is natural. We never found out that much about it, but I know that much." She turned toward Chi-Chi. "I never did thank you for all your kindness."

            Chi-Chi smiled. "No need for that. Your daughter ate an entire tray of my chocolate chip cookies. As far as I'm concerned, that means you're family."

            Yui smiled back. "Well, thank you regardless." She bowed.

            Chi-Chi shook her head. "Come, let's get you inside."

            Brick stood out in the whiteness of the Room and Spirit and Time, enjoying the few moments of peace he had before Goku woke up and they got back to work. He had to admit this whole ordeal had actually been quite fun. He now knew how to fly, shoot energy bolts and teleport. Goku said he was going to teach him the Kamehameha Wave today. It was like he was living in a comic book.

            But that didn't change the fact he hadn't seen his family in over six months. He knew he wouldn't be missing all that much in turns of milestones since it'd only been a few hours for them, but it still broke his heart to be away from them. He had the sinking feeling that Yui needed him.

            "I wonder if they'll even recognize me?" he mused. He then chuckled. "Then again, the only real difference is that my hair's a bit longer."

            He then felt something hard hit him and the back of the head and send him tumbling to the floor. Before he could even think of getting back up, someone grabbed him bu the shirt collar and violently pulled him up.

            "What do you think you're doing, meat?!"

            "Hello Darcon," Brick hissed.

            Behind the sunglasses, Darcon's eyes flashed red and he slapped Brick hard across the face. "I'll ask again: what exactly do you think you're doing?!"

            "Eva is taking after her father," Brick replied coldly. "I have to learn how to control my 'Na' so she can learn to control hers."

            He could tell Darcon wasn't buying it. "Is that it? Are you sure?"

            "Yes."

            "Good. Because if you plan on betraying me, not only will your wife die a most painful death, but I will make you watch as I crush your daughter's bones to dust. One by one. And then I will drain you till you are nothing more than a shriveled husk."

            He slapped Brick again as he let go, sending him back to the floor. By the time Brick got back up, he was gone.

            Brick started breathing heavily. The more he thought about what just happened, the angrier he became. When he pictured that man so much as touching his daughter, he snapped.

            "That...sick....BASTARD!!!"

            Brick's Ki aurora erupted, spreading to a radius of ten feet. His eyes went from blue to green and his hair suddenly became much, much spikier.

            Brick was so lost in rage that he didn't notice Goku arrive until the Saiyan shouted "Holy shit!"

            "He was here," Brick spat. He then noticed he suddenly had a lot more muscle than a few seconds ago. "What the hell just happened to me?!"

            "You've ascended to Level 2."

            "Level 2?! THERE'S A LEVEL 2 NOW?!"

            "All right, just try to calm down. I didn't explain the different levels because I didn't think it would be important."

            "I'D SAY IT'S PRETTY FREAKING IMPORTANT, GOKU!!"

            Brick then took several deep breaths. His aurora died down slightly, but the transformation remained.

            "I know," Goku sighed. "I messed up. Come on, I'll explain everything on the walk back. I was getting the rice ready when your power level exploded."

            As the two walked back, Goku explained the levels of the Super Saiyan and Brick listened, calming down more as he did. As he absorbed the information, a thought formed in the back of his mind.

            Man, one more day of rice and I'm gonna scream.

            The next day, Brick screamed. Very loudly.

            The next day, outside of the chamber, Eva laughed with joy as she rode the Flying Nimbus with Videl. Not only was this the most fun she'd had so far in her young life, but Gohan told her that they were going to meet her Daddy. "YAY!! WEEE!!"

            Speaking of Gohan, he was flying right beside the cloud, Yui in his arms. Eva briefly wondered why her mother looked so scarred. This was fun!

            The group set down on the Lookout and introductions were made. Eva thought that the smaller of the two green men was very nice, but the big one was a meanie. The chubby black man was nice too. He offered to show her his garden.

            After the introductions, Yui stood in front of the door to the Room of Spirit and Time and wrung her hands nervously. She was oblivious to everything except the giant clock and the door.

            At 11:15 exactly, the door slowly opened and Yui had to shield her eyes from the bright light that was coming out. She thought she heard Piccolo and Gohan comment about something being remarkable, but she didn't really care. All she knew was that when the like faded, there stood her husband.

            Husband and wife ran toward each other. They met and held each other in a tight embrace, Yui burying her face in his chest.

            "God I missed you," Brick whispered.

            Yui held back her tears as she looked up at his face. She smiled. "I like the ponytail."

            Brick returned the smile. "Yeah, I didn't trust Goku with the scissors. Or any sharp object for that matter..."

            "DADDY!!"

            Brick quickly let go of Yui and effortlessly scooped up Eva as she ran toward him. "Hello darlin'!" he exclaimed happily as he gave her the first father-exclusive in forever.

            "No fair!" Eva said when she noticed the ponytail. "How come your hair's prettier than mine now?!"

            Brick laughed and set Eva on his shoulders. He then held Yui close to him and just relished being with his family again.

            "Wow, Brick," Gohan said se he came over to the Stones. "By the looks of things, I'd say Dad did a really good job. Where is he anyway?"

            "Oh." Brick chuckled. "He said something about not letting the rest of the food go to waste. He'll be out soon."

            At that moment, Goku did come out, holding his full stomach and wearing his usual silly grin. "Hey everybody!"

            The group then started asking questions. Goku answered most of everything, as Brick didn't want to do much of anything other than what he was doing already. However, after about forty five minutes, Brick stressed the importance that the Stones get home. Goku agreed, placed his hand on Yui's shoulder and teleported them to the Stone house.

            Apparently, they got there at noon exactly because waiting for them at the kitchen table, as if he lived in the place, was Darcon. The monster was dressed as casual as ever, the suit coat draped over the back of the chair he was sitting in.

            "It is time, meat," was all he said.

            Brick made eye contact with his wife, and his heart ripped in two when he realized what needed to be done.

            "Goku," he said softly. "Please kindly teleport my family to your house and keep them there."

            Goku nodded and took the confused Eva from Brick's shoulder. "Come on Yui," he whispered as he took her hand. They then disappeared.

            Darcon chuckled as he stood up and walked toward Brick. "I must admit that allowing you to train with that monkey was brilliant. Your Na is the highest it's ever been. After this session, I may not need you anymore."

            "What does that mean for Yui?"

            "Irrelevant at the moment." Darcon extended his harm, as if to shake. "Your hand, meat."

            Brick looked at the floor and whispered something.

            "What was that?"

            Darcon suddenly found himself flying through the walls of the Stone house before crashing painfully onto their backyard. He wiped his bleeding and sore jaw and looked up. There he saw the ascended Brick, floating above him. And he looked anything but happy.

            "I said, 'And you will know my name is BRICK when I beat the living shit out of you!!' "

            Brick then fired a Ki Blast right at Darcon's head, but the man vanished.

            "Very well," Darcon said as he reappeared floating a few feet in front of Brick. "If that's how you choose to play..."

            With a flash of red energy, Darcon's clothes were vaporized and replaced with black, demonic armor. The only break in the black was the red visor where the eyes would be.

            "...Let the games begin."

            [Apologies to Cap'n Chryssalid.]

            As soon as she arrives at the Son house, Yui took Eva from Goku and told her to go inside and stay there till she or Brick came to get her. She then turned to Goku. "You need to take me back! Take me back to Brick!"

            "What?!" Goku shouted. "Are you nuts?! Those two aren't holding back, you'll be killed!"

            She grabbed him by his Gi and pulled him toward her face. "My husband and best friend is fighting for his life. Fighting for my life! I'm gonna be there for him dammit!! Now teleport me back!!"

            Goku gulped and did as he was told, wondering if Yui and Chi-Chi had someone switched bodies.

            Brick delivered blow after blow directly to Darcon, but they either did no damage or were deflected effortlessly. He screamed and prepared to deliver a kick, but Darcon simply caught his leg and threw him back into his house.

            Exactly one second after crashing through a wall, Brick shot back out and right toward his enemy. Darcon vanished, but Brick was only slightly startled. He quickly spun around and slammed his fist directly into Darcon's armored jaw. Darcon staggered back, surprised, allowing Brick to follow it up with a kick to the ribs and a power blast to the face.

            Darcon shook his head. "How did you know I was behind you?"

            "Simple," Brick said. "You're too powerful."

            Darcon was obviously confused by that remark. "What?"

            "One of the first things I learned was how to sense people through their power levels. Yours is so huge I could probably see it coming from Saturn."

            Darcon laughed. "Yes, I am powerful meat. Much more powerful than you."

            Brick gave a very Vegeta-esque smirk. "Another thing that I learned is to never attack with your full power right away."

            "What's that?!"

            Brick Ki relit itself with a flash and he attacked. Darcon again staggered back, but this time it was from the pain.

            Goku and Yui watched the fight from a safe distance.

            "Can't you help him?" Yui asked as Brick was knocked into their house.

            Goku shook his head as Brick shot back out. "No. This is a personal war. He doesn't want help from me or anyone else for that matter." He then smirked as Brick caught Darcon off guard. "Besides, it's not like he needs any help."

            As you may have guessed, Yui wasn't satisfied with that answer and begun to wring her hands.

            "Ka...me...ha...me...HA!!"

            The blast of white light shot from Brick's hands and drove Darcon into the ground. After the attack wore off, Brick dived at his enemy while he was still embedded in the soil. Darcon simply drove his knee into Brick gut and then blasted him away with a blood red energy bolt. The armored villain bolted back up and at Brick, and was greeted with an axe-kick to the neck. Brick prepared to follow up the strike with a double fisted strike to the head, but Darcon vanished.

            Brick quickly spun around again, but Darcon was counting on that. He grabbed the Super Saiyan by the next and squeezed. Brick tried to force his way free, but when things started to grow dark, he tried a desperate maneuver. He pressed his fingers to his forehead and teleported within his house.

            Darcon was taken along for the ride, but as Brick hoped, was disoriented by the sudden transmission, allowing Brick to burst free and hit his enemy with a barrage of golden power bolts. He then grabbed Darcon by the neck, but rather than trying to choke him through the armor, with a yell, he boosted his power another level and slammed the Radam through the floor.

            After that, he had to take a moment to catch his breath, giving Darcon the chance to strike. A backhanded blow to Brick's face chipped and cracked his teeth, while another knee-blow to the gut cracked some of his ribs. A red blast then sent Brick flying straight into the air. He crashed painfully on his front lawn.

            "I'll admit I'm impressed," Darcon said as he appeared over Brick. "You've shown great skill considering the small amount of actual experience you've had."

            Brick just tried to get to his feet. He only hacked up blood.

            "But did you really think one year of training would be enough to defeat one of the most feared Empires in the Universe?" He raised his hand and prepared to fire a power blast. "Your father made the same mistake. Like father, like son, I suppose. Dumb blonde..."

            Darcon fired, but Brick vanished. He reappeared behind the villain and slammed him into the ground with both feet. Brick then grabbed Darcon's head and threw him into the air. Darcon corrected his course and hammered into Brick with a series of physical and energy blows.

            Not relenting, Darcon grabbed Brick by the neck with one hand and drew the other back. A blade snapped out of the hand's wrist and with a chuckle, Darcon drove it into Brick's stomach.

            The Radam laughed as the Super Saiyan screamed, blood pouring out of his mouth. Brick could do nothing as Darcon pulled the blade back out, retracted it, and built up a massive red energy attack. "And now meat," Darcon hissed, "you roast!!"

            The blast sent Brick crashing back through his house. He painfully slid across the kitchen floor, leaving a bloody trail. Groaning in pain, he managed to shift into a sitting position and look himself over. The last blast had vaporized his shirt, leaving nothing to stop all the cuts that covered his body from bleeding, not to mention the stab wound. His shoes had fallen off and he knew that at least half his toes were broken. Most of his teeth were cracked and some missing. He couldn't open his left eye.

            "I won't lose," he whispered. "I won't give you the satisfaction..."

            "Brick!"

            Brick looked up in shock to see Yui running towards him. "Yui, get out of here!! NOW!!"

            "Brick, oh God, Brick. You have to stop this." He noticed tears were running down her face as she crouched down next to him. She took his scared face in her hands and sobbed. "Please stop. Let Goku take care of it. Please..."

            "What are you talking about? I'm doing this for you! You told me to do the right thing!"

            "But I didn't know! I thought it would be easy for you...I didn't know...I didn't know he was a Tekkaman..."

            "Tekka-what? Yui..."

            "I'm not Yui..."

            Brick just stared at his wife as she let go of his face and looked away. "What?"

            "I'm not who you think. Yui Francois died of her illness years ago. Right after Darcon drained you for the first time..."

            Brick couldn't believe his ears. He tried to speak, but no words came out.

            "She was replaced with me, so that you would keep your end of the bargain until he had all the energy he needed." As she spoke, the tear flow increased, mixing with the blood on the floor. "I'm a clone. A perfect clone. Which means that I love you with all my heart, and I can't stand to watch you die fighting for me. Especially when I'm not who you think I am..."

            She looked up at the horrified Brick, revealing that her face was suddenly scarred. The skin was cracking at a disturbing pace. Pieces were even falling off. "So you have to stop this...don't die for me..."

            Brick's horror somehow increased as he realized that Yui was melting, falling apart before his very eyes. She managed to utter two more words before she ceased to be.

            "I'm sorry."

            "How truly pathetic."

            Brick looked up to find Darcon floating above him. Not taking his eyes of the "Tekkaman," he slowly climbed to his feet.

            "Of course, it's hardly her fault. I am the Radam's Supreme Master of the Genome. She had absolutely no control over how she felt. Pity. I doubt I'll ever achieve such perfection again. Oh well. Time to die meat."

            Brick just started at Darcon as the Radam prepared to vaporize him. It was nothing but a game to this monster. Yui's life meant nothing. His life meant less than nothing, he was only a battery.

            He tried to speak, tried to voice his thoughts of rage, but it seemed he could only do one thing.

            Scream.

            Goku had to shield his eyes as light suddenly poured from the remains of the Stone house.

            "Holy shit!" he shouted. "I had no idea a power level could raise that fast...and not just that....it's...it's changing!!

            "What the hell is going on?!"

            Energy erupted from Brick's body and a rapidly increasing pace. What was left of the house started to collapse. And Brick's body started to transform.

            His hair glowed brighter and brighter until it was pure white. His eyes darkened until they were pure black. All of his wounds began to close and heal.

            "Impossible," Darcon whispered as the transformation continued.

            From Brick's back sprouted a pair of massive golden wings made from the purest energy. They were neither bird nor bat like, and both terrifying and beautiful to behold.

            Brick stopped screaming when his transformation was complete and looked directly at Darcon with his cold, black eyes.

            "Impossible!!" Darcon yelled. "You've Transcended!! Only female Madar can Transcend!! THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE!!"

            Brick's eyes narrowed. "Then why are you so scared?"

            "Scared?!" Darcon raised his hand into the air where a massive energy ball quickly formed. "The Radam fear nothing! Especially you Madar scum!!"

            He hurled the attack directly at Brick where it exploded. Beneath his armor, he smiled, thinking victory was his.

            "What was it you said?"

            Darcon's eyes went wide as he spun around. Brick was floating as if just standing there. Calm and casual. Darcon snapped out the blade again and tried to drive it back into Brick's stomach. It snapped in half.

            " 'Let the games begin,' " Brick quoted. "Was that it? Fine. Let's play." He pulled a fist back. "Tag."

            A crater formed where Darcon impacted in the backyard. He weakly floated out, stunned. His eyes widened when he noticed his armor was cracked where the fist hit. He tired to fly at Brick, but the Transcended Madar met him halfway, grabbed his arms and kicked him away.

            "I'd make a big speech about how your kind is evil and can never be forgiven," Brick growled. "But frankly, I'm too pissed off!!"

            Darcon's reaction was unexpected to say the least. He laughed. Hysterically.

            "The Saiyan bastard, Madar scum pulls off one impossibility and he thinks he's won." Darcon weakly stood up straight as Brick gently touched down about ten feet away. "This is far from over, meat! I'll destroy you if it's the last thing I do!"

            Darcon raised his palm and pointed it directly at Brick. A small iris opened in the palm's armor. Darcon continued to laugh before screaming "VULTEKOR!!!"

            The largest energy attack Brick had ever seen, and one of the ten largest in the history of planet Earth, headed straight for him. As Darcon continued to laugh, Brick tried to catch it like he'd seen Goku do in the Room of Spirit and Time, but it only caused him incredible pain. He was soon consumed by the energy.

            Darcon laughed his hardest yet, holding his aching sides and falling to one knee. When the attack exploded, he thought he would pass out from the sheer joy of it all, but the exact opposite happened. The laughter stopped.

            In the center of the one massive crater that had once been the Stone property, crouched on one knee, energy wings wrapped tightly around his body, was Brick. Badly bruised and burned, wheezing, but obviously alive.

            Darcon stared, wide-eyed as the wings unfurled and Brick stood up. There was no denying it now. He was afraid. "No..."

            "My turn," Brick said coldly as he pulled hands back as if to fire a Kamehameha Wave. Instead, he fired something that more resembled lightning. The blast struck Darcon in the chest and seemingly passed harmlessly out his back.

            Darcon and Brick just in stood in silence for several moments, staring at each other.

            "That's it?" Darcon finally asked. He chuckled, floating back into the air. "How positively Madar of you. I think I'll–AAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!"

            Darcon's scream of agony could be heard for miles as his armor suddenly exploded. The beaten and broken monster underneath continued to scream as lightning-like energy expanded from his body, trapping him in a dome. As his body started to break apart, he found the strength to speak:

            "FINE!! TAKE YOUR VICTORY WHILE YOU CAN!! SOON, MY ANGELS WILL COME TO AVENGE ME!! THEY'LL DESTROY YOU AND YOUR PRECIOUS DAUGHTER!! THEY'LL TAKE FROM YOU EVERYTHING YOU HOLD DEAR!! FOR THE GLORY OF THE RADAM!!"

            And with one final cry, Darcon was vaporized.

            Brick simply nodded in satisfaction. His wings vanished, his eyes became blue again and his muscles and hair returned to normal. He then fell face first into the dirt, out cold from exhaustion.

            Brick had no idea how long he'd been out before he felt something forced into his mouth and then swallowed. He noticed that soon afterward he felt a lot better, but still much too tired to try and move. Not long after that, he felt someone pick him up and the familiar sensation of instant transmission. By then, he was completely unconscious. He only had nightmares where Yui melted in front of him and Eva was pulled into the sky by creatures with strange wings made of energy.

            When he finally woke up, he found himself on a cot, he assumed somewhere in Capsule Corp. Goku was sitting by the bed.

            "How long was I out?" Brick asked.

            "Three days," Goku replied.  "I gave you a Senzu bean, but that only healed your injuries. Apparently Madar Ki needs to recharge on it's own."

            Brick nodded, only barely aware of what Goku was talking about. "Is Yui really gone?"

            Please tell me I only dreamed that...

            Goku hesitated, but then nodded.

            Brick bolted into a sitting position. "How's Eva?!"

            "We tried to break it to her as easily as we could...when she found out we couldn't wake you up, she locked herself in Goten's room."

            Brick instantly transmitted to the Son house, not bothering to stand up first. He appeared outside the door to Goten's room and quickly corrected his posture before he fell flat on his butt. He gently knocked.

            "Darlin'?"

            "Go 'way."

            "It's Daddy."

            "I know. Go 'way."

            Brick sighed and gently tried to open the door. Finding it really was locked, he transmitted to the other side. He found his daughter, curled up under the covers of Goten's bed, squeezing the proverbial life out of Kongy. He sat on the foot of the bed and placed a hand on her shoulder.

            "It's all your fault Daddy."

            He stared in shock as his little girl stood up on the bed, tossed Kongy aside and glared at him.

            "You were supposed to protect us. You went into the magic room to protect us."

            "Eva..."

            "WHY DIDN'T YOU PROTECT MY MOMMY?!?!"

            The girl started screaming and crying uncontrollably as she ran at her father and started to pound him with her fists. He wasn't sure if it was because of her words, or because her anger was making her that strong, but the blows hurt. Brick let her carry on in that manner for about a minute before he took her and held her close, letting her cry into his shoulder.

            "I want my mommy," she sobbed. "I wanna go home..."

            "I know," Brick whispered, finally crying himself. "I know darlin'. I'm so sorry I failed you.."

            For years, all Brick wanted was his family for be free of Darcon's dark shadow. Now, he had gotten just that, but at the highest price of all.

Epilogue:

            While it was made clear that both he and Eva were welcome to stay as long as they needed, Brick moved himself and Eva out of the Son house right after Yui's funeral. He claimed they needed time alone to mourn.

            Yui's death certificate read that she died of the strange disease that had infected her years ago. Brick assumed this to be true, since Darcon never got the chance to cure her that year. Therefore, he asked that the group didn't try to wish her back with the Dragonballs. He didn't want to deal with what would happen if the Dragon said it wasn't possible. Apparently, Gohan called in some sort of favor and got Mr. Satan to pay for the restoration of his property, and keep people from asking nosey questions about what happened.

            About a week later, Goku was just drifting off to sleep when he felt two Ki signatures approaching the house. He tried to make it to the door before the bell rang and woke up Chi-Chi, but he was still half asleep and didn't move fast enough.

            "Who could that be?" Chi-Chi mused as she put on a robe and went to answer the door. Now fully awake, Goku followed.

            The visitor was Brick, who held the sleeping Eva in his arms. Eva, of course, tightly hugged a certain teddy monkey.

            "Brick?" Chi-Chi said, confused. "Is something wrong?"

            Goku was silent, but it was obvious he was concerned.

            "Before," Brick replied, "you said if we needed anything, to come to you. Is that offer still open?"

            "Of course," both Sons said in unison.

            Brick nodded. "My little girl needs a family."

The End

(For Now)

Coming soon:

Dragonball NGE

Special, super huge thanks goes to the wonderful Lucy Rivers, a.k.a. BloodyAngel, who was kind enough to tell me how to html code on FF.N. Go read her stories and check out her band! Both are great! Really!