Disclaimer: I do not own Dragonball Z, or any of its characters.

And I'm back again with a one-shot.

Some background information: A few weeks ago, my sister and I got into a fight, and during my day at school I came up with an idea for a rather morbid story. That same day I had a very good afternoon playing video games with my brother, so all morbid feelings were gone. Thus, instead of a sibling rivalry that ends in a gruesome death (which I still may write if inspired) you get a happy brother/sister story. Whether or not it ends in gruesome death…you'll have to read to find out. ;)

(zomg. I wrote this over a year ago. Ignore the 'a few weeks ago' written at the top.)

WARNING: This story deals with abuse. Vegeta/Trunks.

&

I always used to boast that I'd do anything to keep my little sister happy. I'd then add to that sentence with a quip about how, if I didn't, my father would make me. It would always get a round of laughs, with only few people knowing the truth behind the joke. Despite my kidding, it's true. I'd do anything for Bra. Sometimes, I've completely surprised myself with the rounds of pain I've endured for her.

Maybe I should start from the beginning. The VERY beginning. As in, seeing the bundle of blankets that concealed little Bra-chan for the first time. When Mom brought Bra back from the hospital, she gave me a very long and boring lecture about how important Bra would be to me, as I was- am, her older brother. Then Dad gave me his version of the same lecture. His sounded more like "Trunks, if anything happens to Bra while in your care, I will personally see to it that you never have the opportunity to have your own children." And that was that. My ten-year-old self had no idea how well he'd hold to that promise. But I know now, and I have to say, if I knew how painful it would be, I'd have been a much more responsible teenager.

The first time I ever experienced Dad's wrath because of Bra was…actually, not that bad. The punishment for whatever careless act I committed was only some very harsh training for a good 10 hours straight - without food. I was screaming bloody murder about it at the time, but in hindsight, I can appreciate how light the discipline had been. The next times after that were the same. They were very small, mainly because Mom understood how some things honestly were not my fault. For example, the time Bra fell out of her highchair. No one had actually told me how to lock the damn thing properly to ensure her safety (this wasn't a run-of-the-mill highchair. This was one of Mom's own invention, with locks and seatbelts and a bunch of other crap). Dad let me off easy for that one, but I was still punished. Another time was when my darling sister decided to run across the street and narrowly avoided getting hit by a car. Also not my fault. I had been away on a school trip for the week prior, and did not know the brat had learned how to both walk, and open doors. I was also the one who saved her from possible death, so Mom and Dad weren't too angry. But these examples are all from Bra's life before her brain could make conscious decisions, and far before she could properly comprehend the consequences of her actions.

That was when a new era started: a time I like to call the "Fratricide Years". Because, my lovely sister, in all her glory, was literally out to KILL ME!!

Bra, before age 10, was EXTREMELY sheltered, especially from Dad. Not that she never saw him or something, she just never saw the real him. Bra had no idea of our father's violent tendencies. And when she did witness it, she smartened up. Before that, however, was a poor time to be the object of her torture.

My sister had learned at a very early age that she was very precious to our father. She also learned that he would never do ANYTHING to make her unhappy. But, if she did something to upset him, he needed to vent, so that only left little ol' me to take the blame. Bra was aware of this as well, and felt that the most entertaining game she could devise was one where she brought Dad to point of murder, then pinned the blame on me.

It was not fun to be me at this time. Not fun at all.

I had attended public school for a short while. But, because of training, the teachers were all sure that my many bumps and bruises came from abuse. Mom got tired of fending off the school councilors, so I started homeschooling. Mom and I have said on countless occasions how great it was that I was pulled out before the Fratricide Years started, because there is a huge chance I would have been placed in foster care.

Everyone, or at least a vast majority of the world's population, knows that Vegeta, Prince of all Saiyans, is neither a patient nor calm man. So if someone were to, say, fry his beloved gravity chamber by hosing down the control system, he would be extremely pissed, to say the least. Then, his son, whom he's SURE is the guilty culprit, claims that his daughter – his pride and joy – was actually the one to blame, it's only natural for him to become VERY angry and VERY violent.

Bra got a kick out of seeing me in trouble. She loved seeing my eyes widen in pure terror, and Dad's eyes narrow in sheer anger. She would only, however, be allowed to watch Dad scream at me. When the real punishment began, Mom would take her from the scene, to protect her innocence. That's why her odd form of entertainment lasted for so long; Bra had no idea the damage she was actually doing.

When she saw the bruises I'd always have, she assumed they came from training. Never would she have ever thought possible that her practical jokes had a tendency to land me in the hospital.

Some of you are probably wondering; Dear god, Trunks! Why would you let this happen? And I'd tell you that, at the time, I complained left-right-and-centre about it. I would cry to my mother about how utterly unfair it was. I was never shielded from Dad's wrath, but Bra got to be his spoiled, sheltered, little Princess. Mom would always reply, close to tears, that she didn't know any better back then. This would make me even angrier, and even MORE convinced that I was some type of screw up or mistake. Did I not mention this? Oh, right. Well, the multiple beatings weren't exactly working wonders on my psyche, and I began thinking that Dad thoroughly enjoyed bringing me to near death because I was such a giant fuckup. Something which, before a few moments ago, I was still convinced of.

Just so you know; this era was before I started claiming to do anything for Bra. In fact, at this point in my life, I was sure that I would kill Bra in cold blood. It hit a point where I started begging her to stop her mischief. This got to her a bit, and for a short while, she stopped purposely getting me into trouble. In fact, sometimes, for small matters, she'd accept the blame herself. I was making progress, and I would go weeks without being hospitalized.

But of course, good things never last.

At age 8, Bra began getting curious about her self and the powers she possessed. She had never been very good at using her ki to create a ball of energy, so she one day tried practicing it on her own. I wasn't even home, but I felt the explosion from the middle of the city where I had been with a girl. Without thinking, I raced home to find that 'home' was…gone. Bra's ball of energy had shot off before she got a chance to aim it. She hit a gas tank on one of the cars, starting a gruesome domino affect, which blew up all the cars and eventually hit some combustible stuff under the house. The entire place, and most of the people within it, was gone.

Thankfully, Dad had been off training in some mountain range, and Mom had been shopping. I was the first to get home after the tragedy. Bra was standing a good deal away from ground zero, completely shell-shocked. After figuring out what happened and doing my best to comfort Bra, I became hyperaware of the strong ki approaching at a VERY fast speed. This wasn't the type of thing Bra could get away with easily. Seeing Dad's face, angrier than I had ever seen it before, focused on the girl who had 'guilty' written all over her terrified face, I did the dumbest thing I had ever done in my short life.

I took the blame.

"It-It was me." Trunks gasped, almost in surprise of his own confession. The two sets of eyes, one furious, one fearful, snapped up to his own. Trunks took a breath. "I- I was training, and a blast got way from me and-"

Trunks never got a chance to complete his thought before a ki blast hit him square in the chest, sending back a few feet.

"A BLAST GOT AWAY FROM YOU!?" His father's angered voice cried after him. "YOU STUPID, CARELESS CHILD!!" Vegeta flew over to where his son was getting up, ready to beat every ounce of irresponsibility out of the boy. Before he could deliver a crushing blow to the teens face, Trunks' weak voice stopped him.

"Not in front of Bra. Please." Trunks whispered, his head low. Vegeta glanced at his terrified daughter, her frightened eyes focused on him. No, Trunks was right. He was not going to make his princess fear him. Vegeta lowered his fist, and instead grabbed his son by the collar, pulling Trunks up to eye level.

"Follow me." He said to the boy in a harsh whisper. With that, he dropped Trunks back onto the ground and took off.

Trunks pulled himself up, and ran to his little sister. "Don't worry, Bra." He whispered, giving her a hug. "Everything's going to be okay. Mom'll be here in a second, so stay right here."

Bra looked up at him with teary eyes. "Trunks…why?" She sobbed, pressing her small face into his chest as she cried.

Trunks smiled lightly. "Don't worry, Bra-chan. Just tell Mom what I told Dad, okay? Everything will be fine." Without another word, he took off after his father.

I woke up in the middle of a mountain range, probably where Dad had been training. That stung, a lot. Dad had always at least given me the courtesy of bringing me to a hospital or something. He had never just left me there. I think that hurt more than the infected cuts and the slight concussion. I didn't even have the energy to fly home after that. The only thing I could do was raise my ki a little, a hope one of the others would come to get me. But they didn't. Dad came. And I was terrified.

Without a word, he just grabbed me and brought me home. Amazingly, the dragonballs had been collected, and the compound had been restored. That got me suspicious, but it wasn't until I saw the date on a newspaper that I realized just how long I had been out for.

Six days. My father had left me unconscious in the middle of nowhere for just under a week. I was livid. Even if I had been the one to blow up the house, that was still inexcusable. I could have died out there! I was then faced with a very real possibility. What if I had died? What if Dad had actually killed me, then wished me back with the house days later. Of course, a few months later, when he started speaking to me again, he told me that he actually hadn't left me alone for 6 days. He came twice a day to feed me and make sure I was still alive and such. While I had woken up to eat, I had passed out so quickly afterward that I had no memory of the 'feedings'. He only wanted me to wake up with the feeling of abandonment, just to add to the punishment. When I told him I thought he had killed me, he actually LAUGHED and said he would have never thought I'd come to that conclusion, but it was "an added bonus".

But enough about Dad and me. This is about Bra. For as long as Dad wasn't talking to me, Bra was avoiding me. She just couldn't understand why I would take the blame for her. She knew that during the Fratricide Years, I would constantly tell Dad who was truly to blame for everything. So why would I say I had done something when I actually hadn't? She couldn't face me after that. She knew Dad was angry when he had flown off, and she knew that for almost a whole week after the accident, no one could give her a straight answer on where I was. That scared her. For the first time ever, Bra was truly afraid for my wellbeing at Dad's hands.

When I came home, traumatized, but otherwise okay, she knew something had happened. She knew she was being protected from something. She became careful after that. Very careful. She tried very hard to do things that wouldn't get either of us into trouble. But, 2 years later, she did something very stupid, not realizing how horribly stupid it was. And this time, I didn't have the opportunity to tell Dad to wait until she had left the scene. He was just so angry. I don't think I could have said anything to stop him.

"TRUNKS! BRA!" Vegeta yelled through the house, quite possibly angrier than he had ever been. From his room, Trunks heard a high pitched gasp.

"Bra?" He called, walking out of his room to see his sister hiding in a corner of the hallway. "Bra, what's wrong?" He asked.

"I'm sorry!" She sobbed. "I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to! I thought I was helping! Mommy's always complaining about how annoying Daddy's hair is so I-"

"Oh God no. Bra!" Trunks interrupted her, drawing his own conclusion. "Bra, please say you didn't!"

"No one told me his hair doesn't grow back!" She exclaimed, trying to prove her innocence. "I – I thought, 'It's okay. If he doesn't like it, he can just wait until it grows back!' But then I went to tell Mommy and she said 'Bra, honey, promise to not touch Daddy's hair. It doesn't grow back like ours' And I swear, Trunks! I didn't mean to be bad! I didn't!!" She cried.

"BRATS!" The voice of their father grew closer, with the sound of footsteps coming up the stairs. Trunks took a gulp, feeling as though something similar to lead had just slid down his throat.

"Bra. Listen. I want you to go to your room. Wash your face and hide any trace of your tears. When you hear Daddy come up, look as innocent as possible, and act like you're seeing him for the first time with his new…haircut. Then, as soon as he sees me, go downstairs and find Mommy, and ask her to go out for ice cream. Okay?"

Bra cried harder. "No! Trunks! Don't…not again." She sobbed.

"Bra, trust me!" The older brother said sternly. The child ran to her room to do as her brother said, while Trunks ran to his own room, ready to put on the act if his life.

"TRUNKS! WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU!?" Vegeta yelled, pushing open the door to his son's room. Trunks looked up at him, a grin on his lips.

"Wow, Dad." He said, choking on a laugh. "I, uh, I like the new look." The 20 year old put his hand to his lips to stifle his laughs. In all honesty, while the haircut would have been humourous to some, it was the most terrifying thing Trunks had ever seen.

"Maybe YOU could explain that to me?" Vegeta said, his voice low and evil as he stalked towards his son.

"Dad, really, I'm so sorry! Goten dared me and we both forgot about the Saiyan hair thing and-" Trunks, again, failed to finish his sentence. Only this time it was due to a punch to the jaw. Vegeta grabbed Trunks by the collar of his shirt, pulling him up to that the man could whisper into the boy's ear.

"A dare, huh?" He said softly. Trunks stiffened in terror. Vegeta was NEVER this calm. The anger he was used to, but calmness? The young man was sure he was in for something that would redefine the word 'pain'.

He felt the hand on his collar rise up to his throat. Before he could so much as gasp, he felt the hand constrict his wind-pipe, causing the youth to choke. As his father's other hand balled into a fist, Trunks gave a silent prayer, hoping that he'd live to see the next day. When the fist came down on the side of his head, Trunks' skull was snapped to the side. And in that brief second, he saw a blue haired child burst into tears before running to get her mother.

And Trunks knew; whatever innocence his sister had held for the first 10 years of her life, in that instant, was gone.

Mom knew. When she saw Dad with the haircut, she was about to ask him if he had hurt Bra, but Dad told her what I had said before she got a chance to ask. Dad had instructed her to leave me in my room, probably to save himself from Mom's anger, but as soon as he left the house, Mom ran up to see me. According to her, she had never been so scared in her life. I was just lying there on the floor, and it didn't look like I was breathing. My room was in complete shambles, and almost all my stuff had been destroyed. Without thinking, Mom got me a senzu bean and forced it down my throat. When I woke up, she was holding me tightly, in tears because I had taken too long to heal and she was afraid I was dead. The first words out of my mouth were "Oh my god. Bra! Mom! Bra saw!"

Mom just told me to shut-up, and she continued crying into my shoulder. I let her, but my thoughts were with my little sister. Bra was traumatized. There was no way she could have recovered from that. A good ten minutes later, Mom let me go, and told me Bra had gone running to her, screaming that Dad was trying to kill me. Mom managed to calm her down, but I needed to talk to her. I wanted to give Bra some time, so I waited until she found me.

"Trunks?" A soft voice called from the door to the guest room Trunks was staying in because his room was too destroyed. The young man's face broke into a smile at the sight of his sister.

"Hey Bra-chan. Come 'ere" He said, shuffling over to give her room to sit on his bed. Bra got onto the bed and cuddled into her brother's side.

"Trunks…why did you take the blame…again." Bra said, crying softly. Trunks sighed.

"Because I care about you Bra. I didn't want to see you get hurt." He said, putting his arm around her.

"Trunks…does Daddy always hit you?" She whispered. Trunks pulled her onto his lap.

"No, Bra. No. Only when I'm in trouble or when we're training."

"But…we learned in school about abuse and Daddy hit you and-" Trunks hushed the girl with a tight hug.

"Bra, stop. Daddy gets angry a lot, it's true. And he is violent. But I don't want you to worry about it. Dad won't ever hurt you, and if you ever, EVER think he's going to, call me and I'll do something about it. Daddy's not bad – he just can't control his temper."

"But, Trunks! What about YOU!? I don't care if Daddy never hits me. What about you?" She sobbed. Trunks made soft hushing sounds.

"It's okay, Bra. I can handle it. I've been handling it for a while now. To me, it's just like training, only I'm not allowed to fight back. That's all. And it actually makes me stronger, you know." He smiled at her.

Bra looked disbelieving. "So it doesn't bother you at all?" She said with narrowed eyes. Trunks laughed.

"No, it does bother me a bit. I mean today, Dad ruined most of my stuff. A lot of it was really important to me. My computer, my old stuffed bear, you know; sentimental stuff. Broken bones heal, but all my crap is gone forever."

Bra sighed. "You're hopeless, Trunks. You can't even be a victim properly."

Trunks laughed again. "Sorry Bra. I'll try harder next time." He gave his sister another hug. "Do you want to sleep in here tonight? I don't mind." He said. The little girl curled up beside him as an answer. Trunks laughed. "I'll take that as a yes!" He pulled the covers over her, and settled down to sleep.

Outside the guest room, Bulma stood behind a surprised Vegeta.

"I knew he wasn't completely honest with me, but…" Vegeta sighed.

Bulma frowned. "She said 'again'. He's taken the blame for her before. I keep telling you not to go so hard on him! If he wasn't so terrified that you'd hurt her, he wouldn't lie and take the blame! And I know, no matter how much you argue, that all those times he got into trouble when Bra was young weren't his fault! I'm now almost positive that Bra actually did that crap, like he said she did!"

Vegeta had his head down. For the second time, he had nearly killed his son because of his anger, when the boy was only trying to protect his little sister. "I'll talk to him-"

"Don't even bother!" Bulma interrupted, glaring at her husband. "You'll only make things worse. Just promise that next time, you won't go so hard on him when all clues point to Bra! And you can also go find the dragonballs so we can wish back his room and the things you destroyed!" Bulma said sternly, ready to put up a fight if he refused.

Vegeta sighed, but agreed. And Trunks, feigning sleep, gave his own sigh of relief.

Bra became extremely careful. She never did anything impulsive, and if she was going to do something, she'd ask Mom or me first, to make sure she could do it. The next time something bad happened, it actually was an accident. I took the blame again. I knew Dad wasn't going to be extremely pissed, but Bra was so scared. While Bra acted like she was okay with Dad, there was this darkness behind her eyes that wasn't there before she saw Dad hit me.

I don't even remember what she had done, but I remember the punishment being 'Training, and then no dinner." I knew why it was so light, but I was willing to milk it for as long as I could.

"Why?" Trunks asked with a raised eyebrow.

"Why what?" Vegeta replied as he powered down the gravity.

"Why are you being so easy on me? I mean, come on. Training without dinner? That sometimes happens anyway if I'm too tired to eat after we train. And this was a joke! The gravity wasn't even that high and you were on the defensive the whole time! It was more likely for me to hurt YOU during that session." said Trunks, his eyes narrowed slightly.

"Would you rather I give you a different punishment?" Vegeta asked, cracking his knuckles loudly to get his point across. Trunks rolled his eyes.

"No, I'm just making sure that this is it, and that you're not going to wake me up in the middle of the night to REALLY punish me or something." replied the young man, keeping up his façade.

"No, Trunks. This is all. Do you really trust me so little?" The father asked, feigning innocence.

"Given our track record, I'm surprised you asked that, even if it was a joke."

"If you must know, the truth is I know you didn't do what you claim you've done. And because the last two times you've done this, I wasn't aware and was a bit extreme with the penalty, I'm giving you a break this time."

Trunks smiled. "Well, if we're being so truthful, then I'll fess up. I actually know that you knew. And I know why you went easy on me. I just wanted you to say it." With that, Trunks ran from the gravity chamber, narrowly avoiding being hit with a blast.

"Get back here!" Vegeta called after his son, playfully chasing the boy around the house.

And that was that. There would be other times when I'd do something for Bra, but nothing so…life threatening.

I think I've gone a bit overboard this time, though. I can tell by the voices around me.

That's actually kind of odd. None of my other senses are working. I can't see anything. I'm sure I'd be feeling pain right now, as I was moments ago. I know there's blood pouring out of my mouth, but I can't taste it. (I don't even know how I know. I just do.) And I'd be able to smell something. But I can't. I can only hear voices around me.

Goten's beside me, shaking me and repeating that everything will be okay. Pan is on my other side, saying "Oh God! Trunks!" over and over again, as though they're the only words she knows. I heard my mother scream a few moments ago. But now I can only hear various cries of "Oh my God!" and "She's having a heart attack!" from her general direction.

In the distance, I can hear Dad screaming for all he's worth, along with the cries of pain from Omega Shenron. I also just heard Dad yell "Get the fuck away from me, Kakarot!! This is my fight!"

Of course it is. Shenron just attacked his daughter, and killed his son.

Speaking of which, I haven't heard anything from Bra. For a moment, I'm terrified that my death is in vain, and the blast managed to hit her as well. But, somehow, above all the screaming voices, I hear her whisper.

"Trunks…why?" the soft voice cries, being the last words I hear before there's complete silence.

&

I always used to boast that I'd do anything to keep my little sister happy;

And I just gave everything to keep her alive.

&

I feel like all the air has been knocked out of me.

A short while ago, these stupid dragons started attacking the Earth because we've used the dragonballs too often. And right now, my father is fighting the head dragon to save humanity and all that crap. All the Saiyans were here to help in the fight; Daddy, Goku, Trunks, Goten and Gohan. And Mom, Videl, Chi Chi and Pan were all there to watch. I felt left out. I'm just as Saiyan as Trunks and them, but I wasn't there at all.

So I did something incredibly stupid.

I decided to join them.

I sensed everyone at this old abandoned amusement park or something. From what I could see, Daddy and Goku were talking while Trunks distracted the dragon guy. Then Mom, my weakling, human mother, even participated in the fight when she saw Trunks getting hurt.

I made my decision. I was going to help.

I have never made such a stupid plan in my life.

I just ran there, not even thinking of the consequences. I NEVER think of the consequences, and now, here I am, sitting a good 6 feet away from my dying brother.

I ran across the area, trying to get to where Pan, Videl and Chi Chi were watching safely. Shenron saw me, and said something along the lines of "Oh, look! Another idiot! I'll just kill her!"

I heard Dad yell as he powered up quickly to intercept the ki blast aimed at me. I heard Mom scream, and everyone else yelled by name in worry. The only voice I didn't hear was Trunks'.

I shut my eyes, and prepared for the worst. But all I felt was a force pushing me from the side, not the heat of a blast hitting me from the front. I finally willed myself to open my eyes. I looked up in time to see Trunks stumble backwards and fall, a large gaping hole in his chest.

And now here I am.

It's like time has stopped. Everyone's looking at Trunks, completely scared and shocked. After what seems like hours, reactions finally occur. I hear two voices cry Trunks' name at the same time, and while my eyes are still focused on Trunks, in the background I can see Pan and Goten run towards him. They both fall beside him on their knees, trying to revive him somehow.

At the same time, I hear Mom shriek in pain, followed by worried cries and whispers. Still staring at Trunks, I can vaguely make out my mother grabbing her arm as she falls as well. Chi Chi snaps into action, crying out that Mom's had a heart attack, while trying to help her all the same.

I hear sobbing from nearby. It takes me a few moments to realize it's my own.

Everything's happening at once, but it feels like it's taking so long. The time between Trunks falling and Goten's shout felt like an eternity. A hundred years could have passed before Mom cried out.

Then, I hear the cry of pure agony that makes time move at it's proper pace. Suddenly I'm aware that my brother is dead and my mother is dying. I'm aware of my own tears and Pan's cries as she falls onto Trunks' chest. And, despite my best efforts, my eyes leave Trunks for a moment to see Dad power up to his fullest and beyond, as his time-mending scream continues.

Dad goes into an all out attack, pushing Goku and all thought of Fusion away. Omega Shenron actually looks afraid as Daddy attacks. Goku tries to help, but Dad screams at him.

I turn my eyes back to Trunks. My mouth opens and words escape my lips, but I'm not even sure what they are. Trunks, though his eyes are closed and he doesn't appear to be breathing, seems more at ease after I speak.

I lower my head as I cry for Trunks, who died because of my own stupidity.

&

My brother always used to boast that he'd do anything to keep me happy. Now he's given everything;

And I don't think I'll ever be happy again.

&

Good? Bad? Too abrupt? Did it make you cry? Did it NOT make you cry and you think it should have? Questions? Comments? Anything!? I'm kinda freaked out that the story I wrote after having a nice afternoon with my older brother ends with another older brother dying…either I'm really morbid or I secretly want my favourite sibling to die. 00.

Anyway, In case you didn't get it, Trunks' part was supposed to be like "his life flashing before his eyes" right before he dies. And since he died protecting Bra, all his last memories are of all the times he protected her before.

Umm…anything else need clarifying?

I used Omega Shenron because I needed an enemy, and I liked the ages from when they were fighting Shenron. There is no Trunks/Pan. She was just worried about him because they're friends, hence why Goten and Pan have very similar reactions and it's Goten on one side of him when he dies, and Pan on the other – they're his closest friends. Trunks and Bra weren't very concerned about Bulma's heart attack because they couldn't properly comprehend what was happening outside of Trunks' death.

Let's see…Bulma doesn't die, and Vegeta kills Omega Shenron. (I think we were all pretty PO'd when Vegeta didn't kill Cell after Mirai died, so I felt like making up for that) He was driven to insane rage when his son died, so he managed to summon enough power to kill Shenron.

Oh, and if any of you need closure, Trunks comes back to life. Remember at the end when Goku's riding on Shenron and everyone gets brought back to life. Even Krillin, who throughout the entire series, died about 4 times. (5 if you include the Mirai timeline!) So Trunks was brought back too.

That's all. REVIEW!