DISCLAIMER: Neither DBZ or Sailor Moon are owned by me. Any characters in this story are the property of their original creators. (Example... Akira Toriyama owns Trunks, Naoko Takeuchi owns Ami, and I own Rosemary, Angelica, or Chamomile, though I'd be willing to trade. XD)
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is a sequel to Love In A Ruined World, my Mirai Trunks/Ami romance fic from last year. (The Trunks in this fanfic is Mirai Trunks, and the Bulma in this fic is from Mirai Trunks' future timeline.) If you haven't read Love In A Ruined World, you can still read this, but you might be confused, so if you want to read the first fic in the series, it's in my profile. ^_^ In the continuity of both series, this fic takes place after Mirai Trunks goes back to the future after the Cell Saga, and after the SuperS season in the Sailor Moon continuum.
The woman sipped her coffee and gently brushed her hand back through her hair, while slowly letting the mysterious stranger's story sink in. She had been listening to the young man seated across from her at the kitchen table for nearly an hour, and during that time had been led on an emotional rollercoaster that she couldn't have possibly anticipated. She dropped her hand to her leg, letting the dark blue strands fall back to their usual place, just above her shoulders. She took one last sip of coffee, then carefully listened to the rest of what the young man had to say. A few seconds later, the last words of the young man reached the woman's ears.
"And that's... about it," he said, with just a hint of nervousness in his voice. He'd been able to read all of the woman's reactions, strangely familiar to him, as he'd observed them many times in his own mother. "Ami's mom and my mom are a lot alike..."
"Ami told me... quite a few things about her journey to your world, but..." said the woman, finishing off her coffee. "You've told me so many other details, and I.... you can't imagine how grateful I am for all the help you've given my daughter over the past two weeks. If it wasn't for you, then..."
The women bit her lip, and Trunks' face immediately curved into a comforting, reassuring smile.
"Ami's just fine," Trunks said, smiling at the woman. "You've raised her to be a strong young woman, and I love her with all of my heart."
"That's a wonderful thing to say, Trunks..." called a quiet voice from behind Trunks' back. Trunks turned to see Ami, walking into the kitchen with an empty glass in her hand. She neatly set the glass down in the sink, and then sat next to Trunks at the table. "So, Trunks, have you finished telling my mom what happened in your world?"
"Yes, Ami, Trunks did tell me..." said Ami's mother, her eyes reflecting a sad, yet understanding gaze. "I had no idea... what you went through..."
"I should have told you what Frieza did to me two days ago," said Ami, remembering her horrible ordeal at the hands of the vicious tyrant Frieza, and how Trunks had almost died trying to save her. "If he hadn't ascended to the next level when he did, who knows what might have happened..."
The physical scars were gone, of course, completely wiped away from Ami's body when Trunks activated the wave of magical energy that completely restored her to full strength. And though Ami sometimes didn't show it on the outside, she was very strong mentally... and the emotional scars from her ordeal were rapidly healing, with a little help from Trunks, of course. His return had been a great surprise and joy to her, and though she did expect to see him again at some later point in her life, she didn't know what she'd do if she'd have had to spend years away from him... months... or even weeks. All she could think about now was the happiness of being home, with Trunks by her side. The best of two worlds, bound together, always.
"It's... quite alright, Ami... I know you didn't want to worry me," said Ami's mother, though her quivering lip indicated that she was about to cry, just like she had when Trunks had told her of Ami's painful beating at the hands of Frieza earlier in the conversation. Being her only child, Ami was everything to Marika Mizuno, since her husband had left her so long ago. She shared a strong bond with her daughter, very similar to the one that Bulma shared with Trunks. Ami, sensing her mother's own emotional distress, quickly set her hand on Marika's shoulder to calm her down, and it quickly seemed that Ami's gesture had done the job. Trunks smiled at the two, and then looked up at Ami.
"Maybe... your mother and my mother could arrange a meeting tomorrow afternoon," said Trunks. "The device I used to get here can take several people between dimensions at once, so it would be easy for her to get here."
Ami nodded at Trunks, then turned to her mother.
"Mom, is that alright?" Ami asked. "Would you like to meet-"
"Of course I would," Marika replied, smiling at Trunks and wiping away a tear. "I think she's raised you very well also... plus, I have to thank her as well, for being a wonderful role model for Ami."
"Thank you, Mrs. Mizuno," said Trunks, standing up from the table. "I'm sure mom would love to come and meet you... and I'm absolutely sure she'll be glad to see Ami again!"
Marika rose from the table and wrapped her arms around Trunks' back, embracing him like she would a son, if she had one.
"From what I can tell, you're an extremely kind and warm-hearted young man," said Marika. "It's a terrible shame you've had to endure the kind of life that you did in your childhood, but... you've emerged from it wonderfully, and I know that you and Ami will be happy together... I'm glad that she found someone like you."
Trunks smiled, and then slowly broke off the hug, turning back toward Ami.
"Ami, it was great finally getting to meet your mom... she's a really nice person, I can tell where you got it from."
Ami giggled, and then took Trunks' hand in her own, walking together with him out of the kitchen and into the Mizunos' spacious living room. Ami and her mother lived in an upscale apartment complex about a mile away from the high school that Ami attended, and a few blocks away from the residences of her friends. Thanks to her mother's job as a highly respected and very talented doctor, Ami lived quite comfortably in the roomy apartment, which contained as many rooms and as much space as a normal house would. Trunks, who hadn't seen a city in several years, would definitely have to get readjusted to navigating such a large urban sprawl before he would be able to stay in Ami's fully intact world for very long, though it made Trunks extremely happy to see so many people able to live their lives in peace, and vowed that one day, his world would have cities like Tokyo once more.
"I'm surprised my mother was as accepting of you as she was," Ami said frankly. "It's not exactly everyday you meet someone from another dimension..."
"Well, I'm glad you told her about me before I came," said Trunks. "Ami, I.... I'm so glad that my mom was able to find a way for us to be together as much as we want... I don't know what I would have done without you, I missed you so-"
Ami gently rose her hand to Trunks' lips, brushing against them with the tips of her fingers.
"Shh," Ami said, looking into Trunks' eyes. "I... we... we can be together always now... and that's all that matters... oh, Trunks, I love you so much..."
Slowly, Ami slid her hand down from Trunks' lips, and moved her face closer to his, their lips meeting and then pressing tightly together in a quick kiss before the two lovers parted, their bodies slowly inching apart.
"Ami, I'd like to meet your friends tomorrow, if that's alright with you... the other Senshi," Trunks said.
"Of course it's alright, Trunks," Ami said, a twinge of excitement sweeping over her as she began to think about introducing Trunks to her friends. "Tomorrow, after I get out of school, alright?"
"Alright, Ami," Trunks said. He leaned in and kissed her on the cheek, then began to speak again. "Mom said I had to be back for supper... which, if I'm right, should be starting right about now... don't miss me too much, okay?"
"I can wait just a little while," Ami said, her lips still retaining a beautiful smile, though she did feel a hint of sadness that she would have to part with Trunks until the next afternoon. "Goodbye, Trunks..."
"Goodbye, Ami," Trunks said, leaning in and briefly kissing Ami once more on the lips. "I love you."
"I love you too, Trunks dear," Ami said affectionately, smiling at Trunks as he slowly left the room. When the door finally closed behind Trunks, Ami turned to the kitchen, where she saw her mother, standing in the doorway. A smile was on her face as well.
"Trunks dear?" said Marika, her smile curving into a sly grin. "Ami, you never told me... did you and Trunks ever-"
"Of course not, mother!" said Ami, knowing that her mother was just kidding. "We french kissed a few times, that's all..."
"You've only known him for two weeks, dear," Marika said seriously. "Are you sure..."
"Positive, mom," said Ami. "I love Trunks with all of my heart, and I'll always love him, as long as I live."
"From the way he fought to save you from that monster Frieza, I can tell he loves you too... even he started to tear up as he talked about that fight,"thought Marika, as Ami walked past her into the kitchen to cook dinner. "I just hope he retains that love as long as he lives... I just want you to be happy, Ami."
The following afternoon, Trunks met up with Ami as soon as she had gotten out of school that day, using his mother's invention to reach Ami's dimension, and then flying over the city until he found Ami's school, making especially sure not to let anyone see him flying through the city. It had been tough, but Trunks had managed to accomplish his task, and was rewarded by being the first person to see Ami as she left the building. She waved, and ran over to capture her lover tightly in her arms with a gentle hug.
"Good to see you too, Ami," Trunks said, greeting her with a kiss on the cheek. "So, how was your second day back? Are the teachers still understanding about your two-week absence?"
"I've been working my tail off to make up all the work and catch up on my studying," said Ami, "but hopefully I'll be caught up in a couple of days."
"Don't let yourself get too stressed out now!" Trunks said, smiling at Ami and kissing her again as the two briskly walked down the street. "So, where are you taking me?"
"We're meeting up with the others at Rei's shrine," said Ami, navigating the streets with Trunks' hand clasped in her own. "It's not too far from here, actually... should be right about... here!"
Before Trunks knew it, he was at the entrance to Rei's shrine, where a small path clearly led the way to the structure. The two walked up the gravel path, and as they did, Trunks curiously observed everything he could about the shrine: its sights, its smells, the beautiful cherry blossoms growing all around... truly, everything in this world was alive.
"Those trees, they-"
"Sakura trees," Ami said, answering Trunks' question before it even left his mouth. "They're cherry blossoms."
"They're beautiful," Trunks replied, stopping just in front of the shrine's entrance. "I just wish we could plant them on my world... maybe just one or two, right in front of the house... mom'd just love to see them, I'm sure!"
"Maybe I'll ask Rei if we can have one to plant," Ami said, reaching over and gently stroking the petals of one of the trees. "There are so many around, I'm sure she wouldn't mind..."
"Wouldn't mind what?" Rei asked, stepping out of the shrine to greet Ami, not noticing the purple-haired young man who was currently facing in the opposite direction. "And who are-"
Trunks turned around, his eyes meeting with Rei's. As Rei caught her first glimpse of the mysterious young man, with his piercing eyes, casual smirk, long, purple hair neatly tied into a small ponytail just behind his neck, and of course, his purple jacket with the Capsule Corporation insignia, her expression softened, and her palms began to tremble and sweat. A bewildered smile overtook her lips.
"And just... who might... you be?" Rei asked. "Oh man, he's one of the hottest guys I've ever met! I wonder who he is?"
"This is Trunks, Rei," said Ami.
"Hello there, you must be Rei," Trunks said quickly, shaking Rei's hand. "Ami must've already told you about me, right? It's wonderful to meet you!"
"This is Trunks?" squealed a female voice behind the purple-haired half-Saiyan, causing him to turn around and catch his first glimpse of another of Ami's friends, Mina. "Oh wow, Ami, he's even hotter than the guy I dreamed about last night..."
"You had a dream about Trunks last night?" said Lita, quickly walking up behind Mina and frowning at her. "You know her and Trunks are already a couple!"
"Yeah, how could you?" said Serena, the bright sunlight shining across her golden hair, tied into two meatball-looking bobs on the top of her head, with long strands of hair descending down from them past her waist. "So, you're Ami's knight in shining armor...."
Serena's remark immediately caused both Trunks and Ami to blush, and Trunks broke the awkward silence by formally introducing himself.
"You're the other Senshi, Ami told me about you all... my name is Trunks, and it's really nice to meet all of you!" Trunks said, smiling and turning to Serena. "Wow, Ami was right... they really do look like meatballs!"
Serena recoiled in embarrassment, and her face turned a deep shade of red, to the amusement of all of her friends, now hysterical in giggles. Even Ami, who tried to suppress the laughter by keeping both hands over her mouth, couldn't hold in the growing stream of giggles from rising to the surface.
"You guys are just laughing because it came from the new guy!" Serena shouted. "Frankly, I don't see what's so good about him... Darien's much cuter, and I think his muscles are bigger, too."
"I don't think so, Serena," Mina said, pointing at Trunks' firm, muscular chest. "This thing's as hard as a rock!"
"Oh yeah?" Serena said, walking over to Trunks and clenching her hands into fists.
"Uh, Serena..." Trunks said, realizing what Ami's friend was about to do. "I really wouldn't do that..."
The fuming Serena pounded her fist into Trunks' chest as hard as she could, and the loud scream of pain from Serena, followed by the subsequent throbbing of her now-bruised hand, immediately indicated that Trunks was right. Rei, Lita, and Mina began to laugh harder, while Ami simply gasped, her mouth wide open in shock.
"Serena, are you alright?" Ami asked, walking over to Serena and leaning over to check on her hand.
"I'm really sorry," Trunks said, concern appearing on his face. He also walked over to check on Serena, and gently took her hand in his. "If there's any way I can make it up to you, I-"
"It's alright," Serena said, gently pulling her hand away. "I was pretty rude to you before, Trunks, and I never thanked you for saving my friend Ami's life, so... thanks. Thanks a lot... Ami really means a lot to me, and we're all glad she's back here, safe."
Rei, Mina, and Lita stopped laughing, and also turned to thank Trunks.
"Trunks, you saved Ami's life..." Lita said quietly.
"And from what she told us, you're a wonderful friend to her," said Rei.
"Oh, from what she told us, he's more than a friend," Mina said slyly, a smile on her face. "So, Ami, who did win that game of tonsil hockey, anyway?"
Ami blushed, and playfully nudged Mina's ribs with her elbow.
"Mina, it wasn't like that!" Ami said, giggling.
"So, Trunks, now that you're here, you can reveal the side of the story that Ami doesn't want us to know!" Mina said, winking at Trunks. "C'mon, spill all the juicy details!"
"Girls, Ami said everything that you needed to know, I swear," Trunks said, turning to Rei. "Now, about those cherry blossoms..."
Meanwhile, as Trunks was meeting with Ami's friends at the Shinto shrine, another meeting was taking place at the apartment shared by Ami and her mother. Before going to pick up Ami at her school, Trunks had dropped off Bulma at the apartment, and the two had been engaged in conversation for quite some time, sipping coffee and sitting across from each other at the kitchen table, just as Trunks and Marika had done the previous day.
"Ami became like a daughter to me during her time with us, she really did," Bulma said, remembering the time she and Ami had spent together. "I really thought her and Trunks would bond during their time together, but more like a brother and sister would... until a week or so ago, the thought didn't cross my mind that they would be lovers, since the only lover I ever really knew was a lot different than Trunks."
"Yes, please tell me about Trunks' father," Marika said curiously. "I can tell that a lot of Trunks' personality comes from you, but something had to come from him as well..."
"Thankfully, I'm glad that Trunks isn't like his father, not at all," Bulma said. "His father was a man named Vegeta, the prince of a human-like race of warriors known as the Saiyans... that's where Trunks derives most of his power from."
"You mean... kind of like how Ami was reincarnated from a race of warriors a long time ago?" asked Marika. Though Serena and the other girls had tried to explain as much as they knew about the Senshi to Marika as they could, many things still eluded her mind, and there were many things about her own daughter's heritage that even she didn't know.
"The Saiyans were unlike any other race, especially Ami and the other Sailor Senshi's," said Bulma. "They were ruthless, vicious, and brutal... I don't exactly know what I saw in Vegeta during that night of passion that brought Trunks into my world, but... I still had a spot in my heart for him, despite his shortcomings... I loved Vegeta, even to the very end... the only thing I can think of that Trunks possibly takes from his father is his determination in everything he does... but unlike Vegeta, who was determined to be the strongest and most feared warrior in the universe, Trunks was determined to do something else..."
"And... just what was that?"
"Trunks grew up... surrounded by despair, and death... people all around him in pain, fearing for their lives... Trunks sensed their pain, and wanted to do something about it... he wanted to protect the innocent, he wanted to save everyone, make the world a better place... I told him not to fight the androids, they were too dangerous, but..."
Tears began streaking down Bulma's face, as she recalled the struggles of Trunks' early life. Marika raised a hand to comfort Bulma. She didn't know who 'the androids' were, neither Ami nor Trunks had told Marika much of Trunks' life before he met Ami, but she was told by both Trunks and Ami, and now Bulma, that Trunks had lived a tough life. She couldn't even begin to imagine that it had been this tough...
"Once Trunks started to fight, I worried... I worried about him everyday, I knew that once he went out that front door that he might never return... but finally, one wonderful day, he did it... he beat the androids, and I thought everything would be back to normal... and then, of course, Ami fell right onto our doorstep, and... well, you know what happened after that. You can't even begin to imagine... how happy I am that we both met Ami.... she's touched our lives, she's touched so many lives, you don't know how happy Trunks is when he sees Ami... he loves her...."
"I.... understand that," said Marika, looking down and seeing Bulma's tears splash against its surface. "When I found out that Ami was... that she was Sailor Mercury, and she'd been hiding it from me from so long, I... I didn't know how I felt. At first I was mad, but then of course, I was worried... I hadn't seen Ami in days, and I thought... every night I prayed that she would come back safe, every night I..."
Marika looked back up at Bulma, gazing at each other's faces. Both of them had been through the same kind of ordeal... having their only child out on the front lines of a war against evil forces that neither could possibly comprehend... but then Marika realized that Bulma's task must have been much harder. For years, Ami had kept her secret from Marika... and plus, the two of them lived in a peaceful world, surrounded by relative luxury... and all the while, Bulma went through her own private hell every single day, her heart torn by Trunks' daily departures to do battle with the vicious evil, constantly surrounded by reminders of its presence... the death, the destruction, the suffering... Marika had only known suffering, and even then, she'd only known it for a couple of weeks during Ami's absence.... it with Ami's return, it was rapidly fading away.
"My plight as a parent is nothing like yours," Marika said sadly. "What Ami has had to go through is nothing like what the two of you had to go through... I cannot possibly hope to sympathize with you, though I wish I was able..."
"Though our lives are different, you and I have been through that same incredible worry," said Bulma graciously.
"Born into separate worlds, never destined to meet, our lives are now inextricably bound by our children's love..." said Marika.
A moment of silence, and then...
"Damn, this is really weird," said Bulma, taking a sip out of her coffee and breaking the tension in the room. "This is really good coffee, Marika... I don't know how long it's been since I've had-"
"I'll get you another cup," said Marika, smiling and walking over to the counter to prepare another cup of coffee for her guest. As she was pouring the cup, she heard the door to the apartment opened, and when she turned around, she saw Trunks and Ami walk into the room together.
"Ami!" said Bulma, getting up from her chair and embracing Ami, who she hadn't seen since Ami left her world just two days ago. "How are you holding up?"
"Just fine, Mrs. Briefs!" said Ami, returning Bulma's embrace. "And yourself?"
"I'm doing great," Bulma said. "Still a bit sore from what happened a few days ago, but I'm sure I'll be pain-free in about a week."
"Trunks told me that Frieza attacked you as well," Marika said, pouring coffee for Trunks, Ami, and Bulma as they all sat down together at the kitchen table. "I can still see some of the bandages on your face..."
"Yes, I don't heal quite as well as your daughter does," Bulma said, "but thanks to her, I was able to make a full recovery... I'm sure Ami will be a very successful doctor some day!"
Ami smiled proudly, and turned to Bulma.
"I'm just glad you're alright, and that I'm getting to see you again," Ami said, taking a sip out of her cup of coffee. "I was starting to miss you too..."
"Your friends are all very nice," Trunks said. "I've never seen you fight together as Senshi, though..."
"Hopefully, you won't have to," said Ami, a serious tone returning to her voice. "I think I'm just about through with fighting..."
"Me too," said Trunks solemnly. "But I'll continue to train... just in case."
"Maybe you can train with the other Senshi, just like you trained with me," Ami said. "You really helped me out a lot in your world, Trunks... I learned some things that I never could've learned on my own, even with all of my Senshi powers..."
"I'd like it if we didn't talk about fighting or training for now," said Marika, smiling at Trunks and Ami. "I'm still not quite used to the idea of my daughter as a warrior princess just yet... and I might not ever be."
"I know it's a tough pill to swallow, mom..." said Ami, reassuringly resting her hand on her mother's shoulder. "But... the fighting is over now, and even if another evil force does come, I know that I'll be strong enough to face the evil, with the help of my friends... and I know that Trunks will always be there to protect me."
"I know he will be, dear," said Marika, getting up from her seat at the table. "Trunks, Bulma, the two of you may stay for dinner if you'd like..."
"I think I would like that, Mrs. Mizuno," Trunks said. "Thank you very much..."
"It's the least I can do... after all, you and Bulma did serve my daughter food for two weeks, so I should do all that I can to make it up to you," Marika said.
"Don't think that you have to... having Ami in our lives is far more enriching than anything that I could ever give," said Bulma.
"And Ami's love is worth all the room and board in the world..." Trunks said, gently stroking Ami's face. "Ami, I love you..."
"Trunks...." Ami said softly, her lips moving ever closer to his. "I love you too, more than anything... more than everything..."
And then Trunks and Ami kissed, ignoring their mothers, who were watching them from just across the room. Anyone watching could tell that their love was true, their passion genuine... all the evidence was right there, in front of Bulma and Marika's eyes.
"Trunks... now you can truly have happiness... I'm so glad for you..."
"My darling Ami, I know that you're strong, even though I worry about you sometimes... I'm so glad you've found someone you truly love..."
And as the months went by, Trunks and Ami's love held strong. The two saw each other nearly every day, and dated at least once or twice every week. As Trunks spent time in Ami's world as well as his own, he got the chance to make friendships among the people of Juuban. He became good friends with Serena as well as her boyfriend Darien, as well as the other Senshi, Rei, Mina, and Lita. He reunited with Rosemary, Angelica, and Chamomile, now known by their new identities, Rose, Angela, and Cammy. They hadn't regained their memories of their past lives, but Trunks and Ami both knew it was probably for the best, considering everything they had gone through while living under their past identities. During these few months, both Trunks and Bulma, who had also developed a close friend in Ami's mother Marika, had vigorously studied the intricacies and histories of Ami's world, in order to acquaint themselves better with a planet where they knew they would spend a large portion of their lives. Trunks began to consider enrolling in college in Tokyo, and he knew his mother's computer skills would make it easy to create an identity for himself and Bulma, though she hadn't quite gotten around to doing that just yet. Trunks' arrival in Ami's world had slightly affected several other events, and one huge event in particular was erased from the timeline: somehow, the events surrounding Trunks' arrival in Ami's world had prevented Queen Galaxia and her minions from coming to Earth. Whether she had sensed Trunks' power and steered clear of the planet, or whether Trunks had somehow replaced her in the cosmic chain of events would never be known, for her existence would remain forever unnoticed by Trunks and the Sailor Senshi. This meant that they had lived out the next few months in peace, from the time that Frieza and Sikaki were defeated to the present day, September 10th... a date that Trunks had made sure to remind himself of every single day, even in his own world, where dates were not kept nearly as well. September 10th was Ami's birthday, her sixteenth, in fact, and Trunks wanted to make it the best day of Ami's life.
"Mom, are you ready to go?" Trunks called up to his mother from the bottom of the stairs at his house. "We don't want to be late for Ami's party!"
"I'm coming, I'm coming..." Bulma said, jogging down the stairs and holding the wand-like device that she and Trunks used to transport themselves between their world and Ami's. "Trunks, are you sure Ami needs that many presents?"
Bulma looked up at the large stack of presents in Trunks' hands, eleven wrapped boxes stacked nearly six feet high. Trunks gently set down the stack of presents and smiled a warm smile at his mother, noticing the long, blue dress she was wearing and the large yellow polka-dots sewn all over it.
"Mom, are you... sure you should wear that to Ami's party?" Trunks asked, a hint of embarrassment on his face.
"And you're just going to wear a white t-shirt and blue jeans," Bulma said. "I'm dressed a lot better than you are, Trunks..."
"I'm also wearing this jacket," Trunks said, pointing to the purple Capsule Corporation jacket he was wearing over his t-shirt.
"You always wear that jacket," Bulma said with a giggle. "Did you wash it yesterday like I asked you to?"
"Of course I did, mom," Trunks said, smiling and kissing his mother on the forehead before picking up the stack of presents. "I've got to look and smell my best for Ami..."
"Don't forget everyone else at the party," Bulma said. She pressed a tiny red button on the surface of the wand, creating a large, black energy gate in front of Trunks and herself. "Well, are you ready, Trunks?"
"I've been ready to go for about fifteen minutes," Trunks said, pretending as if he was struggling to lift the stack of presents.
"Then let's go!" said Bulma, stepping into the gate and disappearing within it. Trunks stepped into the gate, taking the presents with him. Then, it slowly closed behind them.
The gate opened in the same place it always did, an inconspicuous, abandoned warehouse in Ami's neighborhood in Juuban. No one had ever spotted Trunks or Bulma in the process of teleporting between worlds, and they were careful that no one ever did. This time would be no different, and the two quickly got to Ami's apartment without incident, where the party was just about to get started.
"Where's Trunks?" Ami said anxiously, sitting in a wooden chair and facing the entrance to her apartment as the commotion of the party bustled around her, more than two dozen of her closest friends and relatives
"He'll be here, dear, I'm sure of it," said Marika cheerfully. "In fact, I think he'll be walking through that door any second now-"
And at that very second, as if on cue, the door opened, and Trunks stepped into the room. A stack of presents concealed his face, but Ami could tell it was Trunks just by the warm, gentle feeling of his aura, wrapping around her. She gave a squeal of delight and ran over to Trunks, who had been surprised by Ami's squeal and nearly lost his balance. He regained it, however, set down the stack of presents, and embraced Ami as she leapt into his arms, his hands gently caressing her back.
"Ami, maybe I should have left the presents at home," said Trunks jokingly.
"It doesn't matter, my present is you..." Ami said quietly, her words slightly strained by Trunks' tight embrace. "But I'll treasure whatever you give me!"
"Don't forget my presents!" Serena said, pointing to the three wrapped packages sitting by the kitchen table, where a large cake was standing in the middle, lit with sixteen glowing candles.
"Hey, Serena, one of those presents is mine," grumbled a tall boy with short, brown hair, standing near the entrance of the kitchen next to a girl, whose hair was the same shade of brown that the boy's was, only much longer. Both of the children looked to be about twelve or thirteen, and Trunks, after finally breaking away from Ami's embrace, curiously walked over to them, cordially extending his hand.
"Hey there, are you guys here for Ami's party too?" Trunks asked the boy, who smiled and shook Trunks' hand.
"Yeah, but mostly because of Serena... she's my big sister, you see. My name's Sammy, and I don't think we've met... Serena told me a lot about you, though!"
"You're Trunks?" asked the girl, looking Trunks up and down. "Wow, everything Serena said was right..."
"You're Ami's boyfriend, aren't you?" asked Sammy. "Ami's really nice... and if she likes you as much as she says she does, you must be nice too!"
"He seems really friendly,"thought Trunks. "Serena told me she had a little brother, but I've never actually gotten to meet him..."
"And who's this?" asked Trunks, gesturing toward the girl at Sammy's side.
"My name is Mika," said the girl, smiling up at Trunks. "I'm Sammy's girlfriend!"
Sammy blushed slightly, and then nodded his head, smiling in Mika's direction.
"Mika's really nice too... last week, Serena did something mean! She tied up Mika and locked her in the closet in her room... she was trapped in there almost an hour!" Sammy said, shooting an angry glare at his sister.
"Really now?" Trunks said with a slight chuckle. "I'll have to have a word with Serena about that.... he's a really great kid... you know, in another time, another place, another world... he and Ami might have been... well, maybe if he was a few years older..."
"Trunks, we're about to have cake and ice cream now... hello, Sammy!"
"Hi, Ami!" Sammy said, waving at his blue-haired friend. "We're having cake and ice cream? You've got cookie dough, right?"
"Of course we do, Sammy!" Ami said in a friendly tone. "We've got chocolate too, Trunks..."
"Mmm, my favorite," Trunks said, smiling and rubbing his stomach. "I guess we should go into the kitchen now..."
Ami, Trunks, and the other guests at the party all walked into the kitchen. Ami at the end of the table, with her birthday cake in front of her and a large stack of presents behind her. The other guests stood around the table, eagerly watching her as she blew out all the candles on her birthday cake. It took Ami two breaths to blow out the candles, and Trunks, standing at her side, winced as he realized Ami wouldn't get her birthday wish.
"I know it's just a superstition, but... it worked for me at my last birthday, when I wished Ami would get home..."Trunks thought. "Eh, I'm just being silly!"
After eating cake and ice cream, the party entered into the present phase, and as Ami opened up her presents, she happily thanked her guests for every single one, finally getting to all of Trunks' presents. Most of his presents contained clothes that he had bought on his planet in the nearby towns, all of which Trunks knew would look very good on Ami, and some that he just knew would be enjoyable and comfortable for her to wear. Finally, Ami got to Trunks' last present, and as she removed the ribbon and began to peel off the wrapping paper, Trunks placed his hand over hers.
"Yes, Trunks?" Ami said, stopping herself from opening the present and looking up into Trunks' eyes. "You... want to tell me something about this present?"
"Before you open it, Ami, I... I just want to say that all of my heart and soul is in this gift, and... and it's not exactly something with very much monetary value, I mean... it's just a little memento from me to you, to symbolize our love and our time together."
"Whatever it is, Trunks, I promise to treasure it as long as I live," Ami said. With a nod, Trunks gently slid his hand away from Ami's and gave her a quick kiss on the lips. Then, she slowly began to peel the wrapping paper away from the gift, leaving just a rectangular white box, about two feet long and one foot wide, and about five inches high.
"It looks like the box that the cake was in, only bigger," Serena said. "Is it a cake?"
"Is that all you think about, Serena?" Rei whispered, before the two of them were quietly shushed by the other party guests. Slowly, Ami began to open the box. When she finally set her eyes upon Trunks' gift, a small gasp escaped her lips. Her hand flew to her mouth, and a tear came to her left eye.
"Trunks..." Ami whispered, sliding her hand away from her lips to reveal a bright, joyful smile. In the box was a large, brown scrapbook, and on the front was a picture of Trunks and Ami, standing together with smiles on their faces. Inside the scrapbook were 23 other pictures of Trunks and Ami, all of them taken by Bulma during Ami's time in Trunks' world, several months before.
"Remember those pictures that mom snapped of us while you were visiting me on vacation?" Trunks asked, wishing to keep Ami's identity a secret to the party guests that didn't yet know it. "She got those pictures developed, and so I made this scrapbook for us..."
"Bulma said she couldn't get them developed, but she had the camera from a long time ago... I wonder how she..."
"Here's a picture of them kissing, wow!" Mina said, pointing to one of the pictures in the scrapbook. "They look so sweet together..."
As everyone went up to look at the scrapbook, Trunks gently led Ami out of the crowd and took her outside the room. He kissed her on the lips and then wiped the tears from her face, offering her a tissue when she started sniffling.
"Don't worry, none of those pictures will give them any indication that they were taken in another dimension," Trunks said, smiling at Ami. "Mom mixed up a few chemicals and eventually found a mixture that would develop the pictures... I think they turned out pretty good, but there are a few that are kind of fuzzy..."
"Oh, Trunks, I remember all of them..." Ami said. "Every single one of them that your mother took... it's not the pictures, though.. it's remembering when we first met, Trunks... every one of those days, even when we were fighting all of those evil forces... I didn't know it at the time, but every day I got to love you just a little bit more..."
"I feel the same way, Ami," said Trunks, kissing her on the forehead. "And I still do... I love you more every second I'm with you... happy birthday, Ami."
"I love you too, Trunks," Ami said, wrapping her arms around his body and leaning her lips toward his. "Thank you so much..."
And then, Trunks gave Ami the most wonderful present of all... a loving, tender kiss, the latest of many... and there would be many, many more to come.
But in the months since Trunks met Ami, the Senshi had never been to Trunks' world... in fact, no one had been, except for Ami, and even then, she had only visited a few times to visit the people in the nearby towns with Trunks. Several weeks after Ami's birthday, Ami proposed that she and the other Senshi train together in Trunks' world, inside the large training chamber that Trunks kept just outside he and Bulma's home. They agreed, and one day, when Trunks wanted to go back to his world, Ami and the other girls went along with him. For the first time in several months, they transformed into the Sailor Senshi, and now, they were standing outside the training chamber, ready to go inside. Trunks was already within the chamber's walls, waiting for them, and Bulma was standing outside, working the chamber's controls.
"Now, I'd have you girls sign waivers before going in there," Bulma said, "but I'm an inventor, not a lawyer. So just be careful, alright?"
"Trunks won't let anything happen to us," Sailor Moon said, turning to Sailor Mercury. "Right?"
"Of course not!" Sailor Mercury said, smiling.
"Well then, Sailor Senshi.... let's go!"
Back in Ami's home dimension, completely unbeknownst to Trunks or the Senshi, a terrible threat was lurking... hovering in a large space station, orbiting the Earth, someone was watching... but they weren't watching surveillance from the present. Instead, the beings inside the space station were watching visions of the past... somehow, someone had captured battle footage of Trunks' battle with Frieza inside the church, and now, that footage was being broadcast, watched by someone whose intentions were anything but good.
"Oooh, his face is so pretty... roll it back, roll it back!"
"Yes, Lady Nikashi..."
The footage was rewound, and now, the scene on the screen was that of the Ascended Super Saiyan Trunks, lying on one of the benches in the church as Frieza's deadly talons scraped across his chest.
"Such a beautiful, wonderful guy... how could someone so wonderfully pretty be so big and strong, too? His face looks even better with blood streaking down it... am I right?"
"Absolutely right, Lady Nikashi..."
"How powerful is he again?"
"His power level readings were astronomical when first detected eight months ago... and in his Ascended Super Saiyan state, well..."
"Yikes... does Exeter know about this?"
"That's why we're here, Lady Nikashi..."
"Pretty AND strong... such a lethal combination, but so beautiful as well..."
"We'll be landing in a few days, m'lady..."
"Keep me posted... I'm going to go talk to Exeter about getting prettyboy all to myself! I hope he lets me..."
And on that mysterious and slightly creepy note ends Chapter 1 of A Collision Of Souls! Yes, I know that some of it may be confusing now, but in a few chapters nearly everything will be cleared up... and I've got big plans for this story! Anyway, please tell me what you think by leaving a review... or don't, I'll still write, hee... but please do! ^_^