Disclaimer: The day I learned that I didn't own DBZ was a sad, sad day indeed.
Category: Romance/Drama, maybe? A lot of it at first is just dramatic, but the romance is always in the background and will come more into play as each chapter goes on. This is also slightly AU. I GUESS this could happen in Trunks's timeline, but I've shifted some of the characters' ages a few years to fit them into the story a little better. And I'm also by no means an expert on the Cell Saga, so some of the events may seem off.
Rating: PG-13 for language and adult situations. Don't really have anything to deserve this rating until later, but better safe than sorry.
Author's Note: Just to say this again, this IS a B/V. It doesn't really look like it right now, since the first few chapters are actually in Mirai Trunks's POV, but if you read on you'll see why I did it this way. Don't worry; the B/V will definitely be there! :)
Time is a cruel thief to rob us of our former selves. We lose as much to life as we do to death. -Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey
Lying on his back and watching as the stars peeped out one-by-one into the blackening night sky, Trunks couldn't help but grin as he allowed his mind to replay again and again the wondrous events that had occurred in recent days.
Had he known about what was going to happen just six months ago he would have scoffed at everything in disbelief. It all seemed so far-fetched, just another fairytale that had wormed its way into his mind to escape from the horrible reality that he had grown accustomed to, but now...what had seemed impossible before had actually happened. The Androids were no longer a threat...this timeline was now saved...even Cell had met an unfortunate end, thanks to Gohan's sudden and unexpected ascension to Super Saiyan just a few days ago. Thanks to the efforts of everyone, everything was going to fall perfectly into place and life here was going to resume as normal. Well, with the exception of one thing...
It had been a bittersweet ending to it all, really, though, he mused; the death of Son Goku was the last thing that anyone had expected, even from a pessimist like himself. Everyone who knew him was saddened and shocked; it had all happened so quickly, with hardly even a hasty goodbye. Even Vegeta seemed to be (a little) unsettled at the fact that his sickeningly optimistic rival was no more. Yeah, the death of Goku had hit them all hard, even himself, and he had only known the guy for a combined period of a few weeks at most.
However, there was one thing that the Z fighters had realized afterwards, and that was that under no circumstances would their friend want them to constantly mourn his death. Hence came the idea for the funeral/celebration of the defeat of Cell that was currently going on in Capsule Corp's backyard. Trunks smiled again. His mother knew how to do a lot of things, but throwing a good party was one of the better ones.
And, speak of the devil...
"Trunks!" He heard the voice calling out to him a few yards away. "Trunks! Where ARE you?!"
Hastily getting up and brushing himself off, Trunks hurried towards the direction of his mother's voice, eventually bumping into her as he turned a corner. "So THERE you are!" she exclaimed, putting her hands on her hips. "We were all wondering where you were! You are, after all, kinda the star of the show!"
Trunks turned a light pink. "Oh, come on!" he protested mildly. "I really just gave you guys all the information! I never really did much at all!"
She just smirked at him.
"No, honestly! I just did what I could!"
She shook her head and beckoned him towards the backyard. "Come on, everyone's been wondering where you went off to! Have something to eat at the very least!"
As they walked back towards the swell of happy, well-fed voices, Bulma got right down to business and questioned her son about the reason of his whereabouts. "So why did you go off like that? Sick of the party already?"
He shook his head. "No...no, it's not like that," he replied, a little embarrassed. "It's just that so much has happened in the past couple of months, stuff I never even thought was possible. I just needed some time by myself to sort it all out, that's all."
She nodded in understanding. "Yeah, it's just been crazy these past few months. But then again---life never gets dull when you hang out with the people that I do! I should actually be used to it by now, but each time something even weirder happens."
"I definitely believe that!"
Bulma paused for a moment to look at her son calculatingly. "So...are you still going through with what you said?" she finally questioned him, touching his shoulder lightly with her delicate hand.
"Yeah, and better sooner than later. Time still passes normally while I'm gone, even if it's in a totally different future than this one's. I'd like to stay for awhile yet, but-"
"Not even for a couple more days?"
"I wish I could, Mom, but I'm needed at home! Those Androids probably haven't been exactly pushing up daisies back there, and-"
She cut him off with a slice of her hand. "All right, all right, I get it! I guess you DO have a point...I was just thinking that you probably needed a break from all that or something."
They slowed as they finally approached the party, which was still going strong despite being five hours old. Trunks couldn't help but grin as he scanned the crowd of people milling around and having a good time. All of them were there...all the people that his mother had held back tears in memory of as she told him stories about them. Tien viciously making fun of Krillin's bald head...Yairjobe hot-airing some stupid story about cutting off Vegeta's tail...Piccolo sitting cross-legged by a bush and looking like a rather ugly lawn gnome...Master Roshi hitting on Chi-Chi---WHAT?!
Bulma saw it too. "Oh, shit!" she groaned, quickening her pace. "You've really done it now, Roshi, hitting on widows! Sorry about this, Trunks!" She pushed him towards the punch table and hurried off to the scene of the crime.
Trunks sighed and shook his head. If some horrible disaster ever occurred and even the earth itself was almost obliterated, only two things would remain---cockroaches and, unfortunately, Master Roshi.
"Hey, heard you had a rough time the past couple of days, kid!" Trunks jumped as a large, calloused hand grabbed his shoulder and he found himself face to face with Yamcha.
"Uh...yeah, I did kinda die, y'know," Trunks replied nervously, scanning the former bandit's face for any sign of contempt. Even though he could probably drop the guy with just one punch, he had always been a little intimidated by Yamcha. After all, hadn't he been Bulma's boyfriend for practically all of her life until she met his dad? To say the least he probably wasn't too happy about the situation right now...
But Yamcha just smiled and patted his shoulder. "Yeah, it's kinda wild, isn't it? The time I went to Otherworld I wondered at first if I'd just been on some weird acid!"
Trunks shrugged. "I really wasn't there long enough to see much."
"Yeah, we got you back pretty quick. Good thing you've never been revived with the Dragonballs before; otherwise you would've had quite a long stay! Honestly, we're lucky we had everything ready like we did; Vegeta was starting to throw a fit!"
Trunks blinked in disbelief. "What?"
Yamcha continued on airily, "Yeah, well, your father has his share of tantrums, Trunks. We usually just ignore him or get Goku to shut him up, but this time he was just a little too loud for us to block out!"
"No, no, the part BEFORE that," Trunks prompted, a little confused. Had he heard that correctly?
Now it was Yamcha's turn to be confused. "What, you didn't hear the story yet? About what happened after you died?"
Yamcha massaged his neck as he attempted to tell the story the best he could.
"We-ell," he began, "you got yourself killed by Cell, and- and- Vegeta, um, -oh, I don't know- sort of -well- flipped out. He just tore after Cell and started beating the crap out of him. Well, I can't say that he beat the crap out of him, 'cause he nearly got the ax himself, but---you know what I mean!"
Trunks, more than a little flabbergasted, ventured a glance over at his father, who was, as usual, sitting by a bush and scowling, looking as if he'd rather drill his groin repeatedly than be where he was. Was the man even capable of caring about someone? Or was Yamcha just pulling his leg?...
Yamcha obviously at this point must have seen the look on Trunks's face, because he then added hastily, "No, it's true! It really happened! Yeah, it's kinda hard to believe, but-" -he jerked his thumb over towards the Saiyan in question- "-I guess his heart isn't made of stone after all!"
The two men fell silent for a moment, each deep in their own respective thoughts. Trunks himself was still a little surprised at Yamcha's story. It seemed so totally unlike Vegeta to do a thing like that, even if they did have a bond in blood. Most of the time he even barely acknowledged him as his own son!
The question suddenly flew out of Trunks's mouth before he could even consider it properly. "Uh, Yamcha?" he blurted out before his brain could even register what he was actually asking. "Did you---did you love my mother?" Upon saying it he could have slapped himself. He really had no right asking that! But still...he had always wondered...
Yamcha's face hardened momentarily, but he DID answer the question. "I did, or I thought I did," he replied quietly, staring back over towards Vegeta. "But---but I guess the timing just wasn't right for us. We'd been together for almost fifteen years, but we still found ourselves going nowhere. Why waste the best years of your life trying to work something out when you know that it just won't anyway?" He trailed off with a sigh.
Trunks raised his eyebrows in amazement. From the time he had first met him out in the desert after Frieza had made his reappearance, he was always under the impression that Yamcha had been sort of a clown who had a hard time taking things seriously. But now he looked serious. Dead serious.
"So that's why we broke it off a couple years before you were born," he continued on, despite the fact that he looked more than a little uncomfortable. "It wasn't really anybody's fault, one way or the other, we just thought it was time. And then after that your mother starting noticing Vegeta, and then they - well - they had you!"
Again a little annoying voice screeching in Trunks's brain was telling him to shut up and keep listening to Yamcha, but his mouth, stubborn as always, seemed to move of its own accord. "Yeah, well, I know the story from there," he voiced, leaning back against the table, "but I'm finding it hard to believe that my mother is actually happy about this. For crying out loud, my father doesn't even love her! To tell you the truth, after being here I don't even have a clue why she misses him so much in my timeline! I mean, he can be so cruel, so heartless-"
But Yamcha shook his head and cut him off with a sweep of his arm. "That's where you're wrong, Trunks. As much as I hate to admit it myself, I think he does love her. It's not exactly obvious, since he hides it well, but when they're not in public I think he can get rather -erm- affectionate, if that's the right word." He couldn't help but shudder involuntarily at the end of his sentence.
"But WHY?!" Trunks was finding this rather hard to believe. "I mean, if you love somebody that much, then why should you hide it?"
"I know why. Weakness." Yamcha shook his head as if he didn't understand it himself. "He's afraid that showing it will make him look weak." He stared over at the glowering Saiyan warrior a second time. "Listen, kid," he added with a tone of finality, "I really don't get something like that myself, since I've been rather-" -at this he turned a rather interesting shade of red- "free with my love, if you'd like to call it that, but there ARE people out there like this. It's just the way you're brought up, ya know?"
"I hope you're right," was all Trunks said, gazing over in Vegeta's direction himself.
Yamcha, who at this point spontaneously decided that he had had enough serious conversation for one night, took one last swig of his gasoline-like alcoholic beverage and turned to leave. "Well, be seein' ya around, kid, if you ever decide to come back for a visit. Take care of your mother, all right? Oh, and-" -he again pointed towards Vegeta- "-try not to worry about those two. Time'll take care of it." With that he turned on his heel and disappeared into the crowd.
Trunks continued to stand and stare at the ground, his glass of punch tightly encircled in his hand, the things that Yamcha had just said echoing loudly in his brain. Could there be a figment of truth in his words? Was the relationship between his mother and father, unlike in his timeline, not doomed after all? Too bad he'd probably never know...
But then he looked up after awhile, deciding that there was no use thinking about it when he only had this night. He looked up, and that was when he saw something rather...odd.
Bulma had apparently finished with kicking Master Roshi's ass all the way to the moon, as she was now kneeling near the bush and talking quietly to Vegeta. She herself was smiling rather shyly and that constipated look seemed to have left his father's face. Trunks continued to watch with his mouth slightly open as Bulma then proceeded to lean in and kiss him hard. When the two pulled away a few seconds later, Trunks's sharp Saiyan eyesight discerned something very important despite the unreliability of the failing light.
His father was blushing.
"Are you STILL up?" Trunks started in his chair as Bulma, now in her bathrobe and slippers, turned the corner and entered the kitchen, a steaming cup of cocoa in hand.
Trunks looked up at her. "Uh...yeah," he replied slowly. "I can't really sleep tonight. Big day tomorrow and everything."
She nodded and took the seat across from him. "Yeah...guess you've got a point. So have you decided what to do once you get back?"
He thought for a moment. "I really don't know," he finally mused with a shake of his head. "I can do more now than ever, so maybe it's time that I took on those Androids again. Hopefully I can do more than just hold my own this time around."
"I think it's definitely worth the risk, Trunks," Bulma replied quietly. "How you have to live---it must be terrible. Even compared to what we just had to go through." She sighed heavily. "Hopefully now it'll end up being peaceful for us here."
"All I can say is that I learned a lot here." Trunks smiled as he reached across the table and grabbed his mother's hand. "I've heard stories about all these people and places for years, and now I finally get a chance to meet everyone! It was great. All of it. You guys. What happened. The Dragonballs. All of it."
Bulma's brow furrowed as if suddenly remembering something. "Yeah, that's right," she muttered, almost as if to herself. "How was it that Piccolo and Kami died? Didn't you try to protect them so you could keep using the Dragonballs? Is Kami even still alive, perhaps?" she questioned him in a louder voice.
He shook his head sadly. "I don't know anything about that...no one knows what exactly happened in that last battle. Gohan was knocked out early on, and by the time he woke up it was -well- all over. But as for the Dragonballs, I'm sure that they don't exist any longer in my time. We would have picked 'em up on the radar at some point if otherwise."
Bulma propped her head up on her elbows and mused, "Well, THAT was a fool's hope. I was thinking that maybe, just maybe---oh, forget it! The Dragonballs on Earth aren't powerful enough to fix everything that needs fixing, anyway!"
Trunks looked confused. "What, there are more Dragonballs than just on Earth?"
"What, no one told you?" Bulma questioned him, more than a little surprised. "There are Dragonballs on Namek, where Piccolo and Dende originated from, as well. They're actually a lot different than the ones here---they're a lot more powerful, for one thing. We were able to revive over a hundred Namekians with those after Frieza murdered almost everyone there!"
"And they still exist?!"
"Yeah, of course! After the whole thing with Frieza, the Nameks resettled on a new planet and took their Dragonballs with them. Really, I'm surprised that no one told you this..." She shook her head confusedly.
"Mom doesn't like to talk about the old days very much; I usually only get bits and pieces of what happened," Trunks replied very quietly, putting his hands back in his lap. (And THAT was her Achilles heel), he didn't add out loud. For an idea was conceiving rapidly in his mind...
If Bulma in any way had guessed what her son was getting on to, then she made no indication of knowing. Instead she stood and headed to the doorway. "Well, I'd talk with you all night if I could, Trunks, but I can barely keep my eyes open!" she exclaimed, stifling a yawn. "I'll wake you up at a decent time so you can leave bright and early, if that's what you still want." She paused for a moment to scowl. "I'll probably be wide awake anyway. Your father snores. Loud."
Completely in a daze, Trunks stood up to leave himself, feeling less powerless than he had in years.
It was the dead of night, but Trunks tossed and turned restlessly in his bed. He was thinking, still thinking; the words of his mother echoed and spiraled within his mind.
"What, no one told you? There are Dragonballs on Namek, where Piccolo and Dende originated from, as well. They're actually a lot different than the ones here---they're a lot more powerful, for one thing. We were able to revive over a hundred Namekians with those after Frieza murdered almost everyone there!"
It absolutely made sense, that there was another set of Dragonballs originating from the same place. Why had no one thought of this before?! Or, more importantly, why had no one told him about it?!
Another set of Dragonballs, with another dragon and an entirely different code of conduct, no less. And more powerful? Did that mean these could transcend barriers that the Earth's Dragonballs couldn't? Things like death itself? Could this mean that-
Perhaps if he hadn't looked up in that brief moment he wouldn't be planning this. Perhaps if he hadn't seen his parents actually looking happy together he wouldn't be considering it. But now he did for sure know his next move. And had a fully formulated plan.
He was going on a road trip. To Namek.
Author's Note: Thanks for reading all the way down here! :D This is my first true shot at a fic that isn't humorous (I've had fics where I try to start out serious but it ends up the opposite), so forgive me if it's lame or overdramatic or just plain sucky. I've had this idea in my head for ages, but it's more like practice than anything else. The more I write this (in theory), the better I'll get at it. Thanks for reading! (and hopefully reviewing!)