Sometimes I look at my son and I marvel

Note:  This is my second DBZ story, and its Vegeta stream of consciousness, thinking about his son, in both the past/future-that-never-was, and the GT present.  Mostly though, this is Vegeta's observations of Mirai Trunks.  I was stuck for a long time for the name, but my buddy carpetbutt helped me out.  It was, if I say so myself, a somewhat grueling experience.  I hope you all enjoy this.

DBZ is not my property… or we'd have at least one topless longhaired Trunks scene in every episode of the Cell saga.

Dual Life Refraction Memory

By Rashaka

      Sometimes I look at my son and I marvel.  To see what he has become raised in, if not exactly a *loving* family, at least a complete one, and on a world where he has a relatively peaceful life.  And in doing so I can't help but contrast him to the much different Trunks of so many years ago, the son of Bulma who chased down the past, not to save his own world—which was already beyond salvation—but to create a new one with barest more chance of living.  It stings a little, but when I think back on that Trunks, the young man from the future, I must admit that he was Bulma's son, not mine.  I died, and she raised him alone.

      And yet, he was far more like me than the man I know now.  Both are handsome with strange violet hair, both are decisive and adaptable, both are clever and strong.  But this man that I helped raise, my son, is more like his mother.  Her scheming mind, her unfathomable (me anyway) ability to win over people unconditionally, her independence, her dislike of real fighting—all reside now in him.  He runs her company, he invests and amasses her money, he builds his power in the world of humans and Terrans, not the worlds of galactic warriors.

      The boy from the dead future, although, the boy Bulma raised… he was more like me than I am comfortable thinking about.  Yes, he was kind, and yes, he was painfully honest—both things I am not—but every time I looked at him, behind the sadness and the shy smiles there was mad desperation in his eyes, a cold, calculating drive that made him every bit as unpredictable as I had been when I served Frieza.  I saw, but I didn't believe, couldn't believe that he could be the same as I.  I had to learn the hard way, unfortunately; first when he blasted the Android's lair, and second when he damn near blew me out of the atmosphere to get to the half-finished Cell.  If I had been anything less than a SuperSayan myself, I would been stardust.  I could tell from beginning he was impressed with me, the father he never knew.  But when in my arrogance I blocked him from Cell—in that moment—I became nothing but an obstacle to him.  I stood between him and his overwhelming desire, his obsession, to ensure the safety of our world when he could not find safety in his own.  This was another hard lesson to stomach; the young man I had assumed was an emotional weakling due to tainted blood was willing to lethally attack his own father to do what he thought needed doing.  All my early life I would have done exactly the same, without thought or regret, maybe even with relish.

      I stop a moment and re-examine my last thoughts.  Just moments ago in my own mind, I had referred to earth as 'our world'.  I included myself.  That is… well… I don't know what that is.  But it is a first, I think.

      Then, in the days that followed as we counted down to Cell's tournament, when we each awaited our turns in Kami's time displacement room, I was able to observe Trunks Vegeta Brief, this familiar stranger, on another level.  You see, more than his power, shocking though it was for one his age, more than his emphatic warnings to anyone would even half-listen, it was scrutinizing his sleep that finally made me accept the truth.  The third night at Capsule Corps, staying up late to watch the television for possible news of Cell, Trunks fell asleep on the couch.  He lay there, tense as leather across a drum barrel, but still managing to get some little rest.  Then from my place on the wall, I watched that midget Krillin make one of the worst mistakes of his short, human life.

      The baldy leaned over and rapped Trunks on the shoulder.

      The young man dropped his slumber like rain falls and before either knew what was happening Trunks' 5 fingers had already closed around the monk's throat, ready to crush his windpipe next.  I suppose they all can be thankful that he opened his eyes first, and realized who he had caught with one iron-gripped hand.  Trunks let Krillin go again before any of the other idiots had even figured out what was going on, but the damage was done.  They all knew then never to wake him up, and never to surprise him.

      Trunks cursed mildly, and snapped at Krillin never to touch him while he slept again.  The frightened human nodded frantically.  The fool, maybe he would learn caution after that.  Still, Trunks had finally, in that single-minded reflexive reaction, proved to me the truth of his proclaimed future.  The midget had done what you learned in wartime never to do: he had touched a vulnerable, yet dangerous fighter without announcing himself.  I could remember my time in the field with my comrades, destroying world after world, population after population.  When you were on assignment you lived, breathed, and slept the battle.  One lesson was a rule of soldiers and warriors that you were warned of from the first time you were sent out: never surprise a fellow fighter.  It was the quickest way to die, even faster than an enemy blast.  In a situation as intense as a battle, you kept your guard up as you slept, and anyone who approached you by surprise—friend or foe—was like to get a knife in the eye, or his neck in a stranglehold. He'd probably be dead before you even were awake enough to realize you had killed him.

      That Trunks, that my son had reached that point of battle-wariness, meant that where he normally slept, in his time, relaxation was death.  His world truly had become the hell he described.

      This also led me, at the time, to believe that not only had he obviously aged since his first visit to the past, but that he was alone as well.  There was no way he would have reacted like that to being woken up if Bulma still lived with him in the future.  And the only reason they wouldn't be living together in such a dangerous world would have been if she was dead.  That thought disturbs me even now, years later, but then again, if I bring to mind the Bulma that I am with now, and it's hard to imagine her dead somewhere else.

      The Trunks of my world has had his own share of trials, but he had never known the true, stark, continuous horror that he did in that other life.  Though it may be uncharacteristic of me, I do hope that that other Trunks is doing, if not well, at least ok with his world.  I did not even consider that back then, of course, but after nearly three decades of being around these overly-emotional humans, I have gained slight compassion for those I am closely connected to.  After all, in this time or the other, Trunks is my son.  And as my son, remains my blood, and my legacy.