Rifts and Changes

Chapter One: It Begins…

A/N: Okay peoples, this is the big cheese. The head honcho…none of those references apply to the fact that this is the big one. This story will be the longest I have written and everything else will have to take a back seat…that and the fact that I just finished college and I have months until school ^_^

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There was an enormous buzz of energy on the giant vessel. Men and women were running around organising different things and making the last checks before they reached their destination. The captain, however, was not excited like the rest of the people on his ship. On the contrary, he was a mixture of serenity, anger and anticipation. This was the moment he had been waiting for. All those years of training, mentally preparing, all the sacrifices would today finally pay off. The captain was a rather large man, who looked like he was in his late twenties, early thirties. No one would have expected a man who looked that young to be such an important figure. He had broad shoulders, fairly built and a height of six feet. He had short sandy coloured hair and green eyes that looked like jewels. He was the kind of man that everyone was afraid of, because of those sharp green eyes. He was in deep thought as he looked out the window of his chambers, but a knocking at the door interrupted his thoughts.

"Come in." His deep voice rumbled. A young man, who looked like a teenager, walked in. The captain smiled. "You have good news for me boy?"

"Yessir," The kid uttered as he handed the captain a file. The captain quickly read over the file and smirked.

"How long?"

"One plocad approximately."

"Perfect. Everything is going to schedule." The captain smiled as the kid left his chambers. "Now we shall see who is superior, half breed."

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

The Lookout, Earth…

"I hope Goku and Vegeta get here quickly. The news I need to tell them is urgent." Dende said, pacing back and forth. Goku and Vegeta soon landed on the lookout and stood in front of Dende.

"What's up Dende?" Goku asked.

"I am so sorry to trouble you in these times of peace Goku but there is a great danger headed towards Earth." Dende said.

"How great exactly?" Vegeta asked. "Because I'm about due for a good fight."

"That's the thing, I am not sure." Dende said, his forehead creased in worry.

"Some guardian…" Vegeta muttered.

"I can sense that their chi is great, but nowhere as strong as yours." Dende said. "But I contacted Kaio-sama and he said that they have other abilities. He has no idea what they are though, since they are not from this quadrant of the universe."

"So, it's basically brains versus brawn we're looking at here right? I mean, if they don't have a high chi they probably have mental abilities or possibly magic. Or they could be suppressing their chi…" Goku said, pondering.

"Well, we'd better tell the boys that vacation is over." Vegeta said smirking.

Meanwhile, on Earth…

"Listen Trunks, it's probably nothing." Goten said, talking to his best friend on his cell. "Have you checked to see if Bra and Pan…? I mean, that's what happened the last time…don't yell, I'm serious!" Goten stopped looking where he was going and bumped into someone. They both ended up on the floor. "I'll call you back Trunks. I am so sorry Miss. Are you okay?"

"I'd be perfectly fine if you'd watch where you were going instead of talking on the phone." The woman replied. Goten frowned.

"It was an accident, no need to be…snappy…" Goten took a minute to look her over. He had to fight off the goofy grin on his face as he looked at her. **She's so beautiful…she looks kind of familiar…** "Look, I am really sorry. I promise I'll look where I am going next time." He smiled. The woman looked a bit embarrassed.

"Sorry to snap, I have a bad habit of doing that." The woman smiled. Goten held out his hand and helped her up. "Thank you…"

"Uh, Goten. Son Goten." Goten said. The woman looked at him with wide eyes. Her face blushed crimson and she found herself laughing softly.

"Oh my God. I can't believe it's you." She smiled. "It's been so long. And you…wow! Heh, oy what a dorky thing to say huh?"

"You're gonna kill me, but I can't remember you. I'm ashamed to say that I can't remember someone so beautiful."

"You're cheesy one liners aren't gonna get you off the hook Spikes."

"CJ?!"

"In the flesh." CJ said. Goten embraced her. Goten didn't notice CJ sigh blissfully. "I guess it has been that long." Goten looked into her eyes.

"Sorry for flirting with you." Goten smiled.

"No problem, it didn't bother me." CJ said, and turned away embarrassed. "So, what brings you to South City? Shopping for the wife?"

"No, just shopping." Goten said, pausing slightly. "Paresu and I are divorced."

"Oh, I'm so sorry."

"Thanks. We're still friends, not a real bitter divorce."

"Only you could get divorced and be friends with your ex. You're something else Son Goten."

"All these compliments, you're gonna make me blush."

"You already are."

"Hehe, ahem. Um, would you, um…" Goten was interrupted by his cell phone ringing. "Sorry. Hello? Dad, what's the matter? Are you sure? Look, if it's not that urgent…I'll come over later. I bet Kaasan will be happy…I'm sorry I shouldn't joke. Okay, bye. So, where were we?"

"You were going to ask me something?" CJ replied. Goten immediately blushed.

"I was wondering if you'd want to go get something to eat or drink? Whichever is fine, I mean, if you want to go so we can catch up or whatever…" Goten babbled. CJ took his hands, which were dramatically waving all over the place, in her hands and laughed softly.

"Sure."

"Really?"

"Of course. We haven't seen each other in ages. And I'm about due for lunch anyway." CJ replied. Goten grinned the Son Grin™ and they both walked into a café.

"How have you been?" Goten asked. "We haven't seen each other since Marron and Trunks' wedding."

"That's true." CJ said, sipping her water. "I've been okay. Still running my father's business with Brian."

"And your sisters still aren't helping."

"They can barely stand on their own two feet without asking someone for help, let alone take on responsibility like that." CJ kept sipping her water to stop herself from looking at Goten too intently, of course not that Goten would have noticed because he was too busy staring at her. He laughed at her comment and she had to stop herself from blushing, her legs giving way and sighing out loud all at the same time. She loved how he laughed. It was so carefree and sincere, not a half-assed laugh that is put on to be polite. She kept questioning herself, asking why she had this attraction to him all of a sudden. Had she been listening to her common sense instead, she would have realised that she felt this way about him ever since they were kids. She just didn't know it at the time.

"Guess it's pretty harsh."

"Not especially. I get some nice perks and at least now I feel like I'm earning the clothes on my back. Enough of me babbling, your turn."

"I'm still head chef at the restaurant. Divorced, as I already told you. That's about it."

"Why am I not so sure?"

"I dunno, you know me too well?"

"Hn. Okay, so you don't wanna talk about you. How is everyone else?"

"Trunks is still crazy but Marron's keeping him in check. I haven't seen any of the other guys since I last saw you so your guess is as good as mine." Goten gulped down half of his cappuccino.

"You still have that massive appetite?"

"Some things don't ever change Ceej." Goten said. For a moment, he found himself staring at her and he couldn't tear his eyes away. Even though she had matured a lot, her eyes were still full of that spark he remembered so well. He found himself smiling. She laughed softly.

"What are you staring at?" CJ asked.

"Something absolutely beautiful." He muttered.

"What?"

"Nothing! Hehe." Goten rubbed the back of his head with his hand, in true Son fashion. CJ just shook her head. He silently counted his blessings. If she had heard him, their friendship would be over. She would never feel the same way about him, so why was he letting himself fall for her all over again? Then again, it wouldn't hurt to find out what her position on the matter was. "Say, do you ever wonder if things had happened differently where we'd be today?"

"How do you mean?"

"Well, like if Tak hadn't shot up 3 feet would he be married to Jules? Or if no one had introduced Remy to comics, would she still be working in the industry?" Goten said, before pausing slightly. "Or if I had told you how I felt when I had the chance, would things be any different between us?" CJ looked up at Goten, slightly surprised.

"I guess, we can't really know if it's in the past right?" CJ said. Goten looked slightly disappointed and CJ felt a twinge of guilt. She hated to see him sad, it made her feel ten times worse. "But I do think that everything happens for a reason. If Tak and Jules got married then that means they were destined to be together, no matter if Tak grew or not."

"What about me?" Goten asked, not taking his eyes off her.

"Well, um, I guess that you and Paresu were meant to be together for some time but fate decided that…there was someone else out there for the both of you." CJ said, making sure to choose her words very carefully.

"Fate likes me very much." Goten smiled. CJ blushed slightly and was about to press on with the conversation when Goten's cell rang. "But my family doesn't seem to. Hello? Yes Tousan, I haven't forgotten. I'm on my way right now." He hung up. "I'm so sorry I can't stay longer."

"It's okay, you got family stuff." CJ smiled. Goten got up to go. "Um, Goten? I really had fun today. You wanna meet up again?" Goten had to fight off the urge to jump up in the air out of happiness. Luckily, he managed to pull of a suave

"Sure, I'd like that." Goten said. They exchanged numbers and Goten left. Unknowingly, when they were out of each other's sight, they both sighed blissfully.

At the Son House…

"Okay, we're going to treat this like any other threat." Goku said, as he finished telling everyone else about what Dende had said. "But we cannot rely on strength alone. They may have mental techniques so we need to be quick on the draw and not be hesitant to improvise when needed." Goten sheepishly walked in and sat down next to his brother. Goku and Vegeta had assembled everyone they could find, as fighters or anyone with a chi higher than a normal human being were likely to be targeted. Sitting in the living room were Trunks, Gohan, Videl, Krillin, #18 and Yamcha. Tien could not be found, but Dende had assured Goku that he would work on it. "Well, that's all I can really say at the moment. Goten, ask one of these guys to fill you in."

"Okay one of you guys, fill me in." Goten asked, with a sheepish smile. Everyone got up, making various excuses while Goten sat there sweat-dropping.

"C'mon, I'll fill you in." Trunks said, as they walked outside. "But first, you gotta tell me who you were out with for so long today."

"What makes you think I was out with anyone today?" Goten asked defensively.

"Because you're face is so red it could rival a tomato." Trunks said grinning.

"Okay, firstly that joke was lame." Goten said. "I was out with an old friend."

"Well any old friend of yours is one of mine."

"CJ."

"You naughty, naughty boy." Trunks teased, in a mock English accent. Goten blushed.

"Shut up!"

Elsewhere…

"Gohan, do you think that it could be…" Videl asked.

"I don't think so Videl. They haven't been back in years. If they wanted to exact revenge, they had the perfect chance to at the time to." Gohan said. "I don't want you worrying about it anymore. You just stopped worrying about it not too long ago."

"What about you? Aren't you worried?"

"Yes. But that's because it's my job. I'm the designated worrier in the family." Gohan said. Videl smiled and hugged him.

"What would I do without you?"

"Go crazy and marry Sharpener."

"Now you're the one making Sharpener jokes?" Videl asked. Gohan chuckled. "Do you think we should at least tell the others?"

"Yeah, they deserve to know."

A week later…

"Come on Uncle Goten, take a break!" Pan yelled. "Dinner is ready!"

"I'll be in later Pan!" Goten called back. "I am way behind everyone else in training. I need to focus."

"Actually Goten, it's very much behind not way behind."

"Huh?" Goten turned around to see CJ standing in his back yard. "Hi!"

"Hey." CJ replied. She tried to come out with more things to say but she couldn't stop staring at Goten. **Why is he not wearing a shirt?! It is very distracting! A good kind of distracting…no, don't stare! He'll know you're checking him out!**

"How'd you find my house?" Goten asked. He looked at CJ's facial expression and laughed inwardly. **She's checking me out! Hmm, maybe I should play this up a little…**

"I've been here before, remember?" CJ replied.

"Oh yeah…so, what brings you here?" Goten asked, as he started doing stretches. CJ tried to fight off the blush on her face as she stared at the floor.

"You said you wanted to talk to me. You sounded pretty worried." CJ said.

"Oh right. Well, something's come up and I don't know if I'll be able to spend any time with you." Goten said. He saw the hurt expression on her face and he immediately felt guilty. "CJ you know about my secret."

"Yeah, your special powers." CJ said. "Have you got official saving the world business?"

"Something is coming to attack Earth." Goten said. "I don't know if they're a danger or not but you can't be around here. I don't want anything to happen to you."

"What about you?" CJ said. "Will you be okay?"

"I don't know. We have no idea how powerful they are. We don't even know who they are. They could very well kill me." Goten said.

"Don't talk like that." CJ said.

"I'm just telling you it's a possibility." Goten said.

"A very slim one." CJ said. "You're a strong person Goten and you have a lot to live for. You can't go into a battle thinking you are going to die, because if you do you surely will die."

"Wow, that's deep."

"Sensei Krillin taught me that. He's a very wise man Goten." There was a brief silence.

"I don't have someone to come back home to."

"What do you mean? You have your family."

"Yeah, but I mean…you know what I mean. Trunks has Marron. Gohan has Videl. Heck, my dad has my mom. Everyone has someone but me."

"Well, that's why you can't die. You still need to find her." CJ said smiling. She found herself scanning him again, blushed and quickly cast her look downwards. Goten laughed inwardly again.

"Yeah, you're right." Goten said. **She is still totally checking me out! Oh, why not? I like to have my fun.** He walked closer to her and hugged her. "Thanks for the pep talk Ceej."

"Ahem, yeah! Hehe, don't mention it!" CJ squeaked. **Ohmigosh…ohmigosh…ohmigosh…** "I gotta get going Goten, I'll see you later." **He's doing this on purpose! Well, two can play at that game!** CJ leaned over and kissed his cheek. Goten blushed a deep red and waved stupidly as she walked away.

"That girl is gonna be the end of me!" Goten sighed happily.

Meanwhile, in South City…

"Are you serious?" David asked, his wife sat next to him. Their three children were in the living room watching television. The eldest, Claudia, was sixteen years old. She was as beautiful as her mother and had her temperament to boot. She had sandy coloured hair. Then there were the ten-year-old twins, Adrian and Daniel. They had chestnut brown hair and often finished each others' sentences.

"Dead serious David. We don't know if it's them…" Gohan said.

"It can't be them Gohan, there's the fact that you…"

"I know. I don't want to be reminded thank you."

"Sorry. Maybe one of them got away, and got back to…"

"That would make sense…" Gohan said, pondering. "Then that probably means…"

"Yeah it does." Andrea said. "Have you told…?"

"Yes."

"And does…?"

"No, still doesn't know."

"Boy, I don't wanna be there when the shit hits the fan. I can just see the Wolverine berserker rage coming into play!" David said. "I wish we had…"

"It was for the best David." Videl said. David sighed.

"I hope you're right. Last thing I wanna hear is, 'You got guts! Too bad they're gonna be all over the floor bub!' Last time I heard that, it gave me nightmares!"

To Be Continued…

Well, there's the beginning of the big ass story. Don't worry, there is meant to be confusion! All will be explained.