The Return


Wednesday July 2, 1291

Dear Mariah,

I plan on saying everything that I am writing down here directly to you, so most likely if you are reading this you already know what this letter says.

That said, I do not know where to start.  I have never been good with words.  What I am going to say in this letter needs to be said, yet at the same time, saying or writing these words is at the moment one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.

I never meant to hurt you.  You asked me why I did not trust you with who I really was, with what I really was.  I still do not have an answer.  At the time I thought I was protecting you by not telling.  Mariah, you are a pure hearted and good person.  You were one of the few people who never judged me by my name.  You saw me for who I was.

And that was the problem.  Who I was, was a lie.  I lied to everyone, including myself.  I hid who I was and what I was.  At first this was to keep others from using me.  Then it was a façade I used so that I could fit in better.  In the end it became a trap that I couldn't get out of.

I trapped myself and hurt you and Kit in the process.  The two of you were the only two who ever saw past my name and my wealth to see me.  And I hid the real me from you.

I'm rambling.  I can't seem to bring myself to say what I need to say here, so I ramble.  Here goes nothing.

At first I lied to protect myself from those who would use me, and then when I found you and Kit and a few other friends like Niko and Carge I continued to lie because I did not want to admit I had lied in the first place.  I also continued to lie because while I know I could trust you... I could not trust myself.  I know that doesn't make any sense but basically that is the honest truth.  I never wanted to hurt you, but I found myself caught.  After the lie was told you would be hurt, and the lie was told even before I became your friend.

I am through with the lies.  I cannot live that way any longer.  This summer has changed my life, and the events that I know of now will likely change the lives of everyone on Earth.   That said, I am not the only one who is done with the lies, my entire family is going to have to face the harsh truth now.  We can no longer live in the shadows and carefully built image we have for ourselves.

But enough excuses and explanations.  I am sorry I didn't get to take you to that dance.  I am sorry I wasn't there for you when you needed me to be.

I am sorry I am not the person you think I am.  I never meant to hurt you, and you are one of my best friends, if not my best friend. 

And while I do not know your mind and cannot read your thoughts, I think that friends is probably all we could ever truly be.  I thought I loved you as more than a friend, but I do not.   You said it yourself when I couldn't tell you who I really was.  I could not find it in myself to trust.  Without trust there cannot be love.

Dende!  I feel like a rambling moron.  I always told myself that I would never ever give the let's just be friends line.  You don't deserve that.  Mariah, you don't deserve any of this.  I have failed you and there is nothing I can do to fix it, which with what Kit calls my hero complex is really driving me up a wall right now.

I am not the right person for you.  I think deep down I always knew we were not right for each other, which is probably why I never told you who or what I really was.  You have a serine peace about you that does not bode well with the stress that my life does entail.

I want to say that you are not losing me.  I still hope to be your friend.  I still hope to be there for you when you need me.

But the truth is... you were right.  I am so confused right now, but I am fairly certain at least as certain as I can be that I am in love with Ichigo.  Perhaps Kit would say it was fate.  I don't know.  All I know is that I'm not the same person I pretended to be.  I am not even the same person I was.  In the past two months I have actually lived nearly a full year.  In that year I have changed.  I cannot return to who I was.  Nor do I want to.  I'm not the klutzy geek. 

Because of his title as the Champion of the Budoukai, my father is often called the most powerful man on Earth.  Because of what has happened in the last few months I have become far more powerful than he is.   I made a mistake yesterday.  Because of that mistake the sun of the Planet Saiya, the home planet of Ichigo's and my ancestor's people... was destroyed.

I have the power at my fingertips to destroy whole worlds.  I cannot take that lightly.  Even if I could return to being who I was, I would not, and in the end I would only hurt you again.

I will always love you as a friend...  but I am sorry... I can only hurt you with any other form of affection.

Your Friend Always,

Son Roshi

* * *

The Diary of Ichigo Kudamono,
Day 3 of the Month of Strength, Sunday July 6th, (I think)

(I am going to have to learn to get used to Earth's calendar.  I think from now on I will use that for this thing.)

Is it so wrong for me to be... happy?  Perhaps happy is the wrong word, I am not sure what word is correct for my current state of mind however.

I am back in my cabin on the Phoenix now.  I do not even really know why I have grabbed this stolen book and started writing in it again.  I guess I just need to think, and reading all of those thoughts of Roshi's ancestors made an impression on me.

Roshi and I were given a hero's welcome when the Phoenix showed up to collect us.  I have spent the last several hours walking among my fellow survivors.  All of us are on the Phoenix now.  All one thousand seven hundred forty-five of us that are left that is.  Over half of the survivors are children of less than ten years of age.  Blizzard was nothing if not efficient and we guess that less than one hundred people died in death of our world.  Had Roshi not convinced me, no forced me to evacuate people, none of them would have survived. 

But we did survive, and for the first time in my life I walked among my people and talked to each and every one of them.  I walked among my people today not as their Princess, not as my father's heir, but as a fellow survivor.  I can only say that I am proud of them.  Even with so much loss, they are calm and collected.  We are survivors.  We will continue.  We will meet our new challenges and face them. 

I only wish I had known more of those who are not with us.  There were only a few people close enough to me to truly be called friends.  Of those, only Ume has died.  Her youngest brother is one of the children Momo took to the catacombs.  I am sure he will make her proud.

He and the other children have already made me proud.

When I left Saiya, the person I was would have expected nothing more than the full loyalty and devotion from these people.  The person I am now is... at a loss for words as to how to describe what it feels like to actually be given acceptance, loyalty, and devotion freely.

Acceptance, Loyalty and Devotion:  These three ideas were expected as duties or rights when I was home.  They are not character traits that one thought of or even gave credit to.  They were just expected to be granted.  Banana is a good example of just how far that loyalty and devotion went at times.

And now inexplicably, my mind is drawn back to Roshi.

I sit here and think of Roshi and it is as if half my heart pauses stopped in the moment while the other half races with conflicting emotions.

How is it that one clueless boy can make time stop and race at the same moment?  How is it he can take away all my worries yet leave me breathless?

The past few days have been heaven and hell mixed. 

Acceptance, Loyalty, and Devotion make up the core of who Roshi is.  I expected such things from my people, Roshi LIVES by them.  Which is why right now I love him with all my being and want to strangle him at the same time.

Roshi is the first person to ever truly accept me without pretenses.  He is the first person to ever show me what true loyalty really was, and he has shown devotion to me that I could not, nor would not demand from anyone.  

Which is why I want to strangle him.  I suspect that Roshi is singularly incapable of lying to me.  All I have to do is glare at him and he breaks down and starts blubbering about whatever was on his mind.  Which for the past few days has been far too little me, and far too much Mariah.

Acceptance, Loyalty, and Devotion come in many levels and forms, but why does he have to have such a strong sense of it when it comes to his friends?  Why do I feel envious of something which I can tell myself and know is a good thing?  

He feels he has betrayed her and Kit.  Makes me want to go actually make myself a pair of slippers.  He loves me.  I know he truly does.  We are drawn to each other like moths to a flame... yet he is distant because of her.  She is like a sister that he never wanted to hurt yet now cannot avoid hurting.  Part of me almost feels guilty.  The rest would not mind removing the distraction.

And now I am reading what I am writing and realize that I am writing as if I was heinous bitch with rampant jealousy issues.  I hate when knowing something in my heart and mind cannot stop me from thinking something entirely different in both my heart and mind. 

Roshi loves me... yet I cannot help but feel betrayed in a way by how he is so... Roshi.

I love him for it.  I hate him for it.  I am glad I am back on the Phoenix cause any more time spent alone with him on that little ship would have been insanity.

He drives me to the edge of rage at times, yet I cannot be mad at him.  Just seeing him warms me, yet he gives me chills...which actually are not entirely unpleasant.

Oh and then there are his massages.  I have had deep muscle massages before.  They are great for relieving stress after a workout, but none of those can even compare to what Roshi can do.

He makes me feel alive.  Alive in ways I did not know I could feel alive.  His mere presence and barring can lighten my day and make everything better.

He makes me happy.

Is that such a terrible thing?

I admire him for his strength.  I admire him more for his strength of character.  Though it infuriates me I cannot be mad at him or Kit or Mariah.   Which means I am either going to go insane, or I am going to have to be a bigger person.  I have changed and grown in my time with Roshi.  He has that effect on people...  I think it is his best trait, and if he is friends with Mariah... I think I need to try to be her friend as well.

For Roshi's sake as much as my own.

I want to write more, but I can hear Kit running though the halls trying to escape from the pack of children who have taken to her like fleas.  I think I shall go save her.  Nighty was bad enough, but having fifty or so Saiyan kids chasing you down is a force of nature... or, my kind of fun.

Ichigo Kudamono

* * *

Son Roshi's Journal
Sunday, August 17, 1291

I've been horribly bad about writing in this thing.  Family tradition aside I do see how venting my frustrations into this thing is probably a good thing, but well lately I have been venting to other people and have been so busy I have not really had the time to keep this thing up.  Let's see here, the last time I actually wrote in this thing was back on the Phoenix on the way back from Saiya.  Suffice to say a lot has happened in the last month.

Speaking of the last month, Wow time flies, I can't believe summer is over already.  I go back to school tomorrow, back to a school where I no longer fit in.  I can't go back to the act.  Teddy and Yoshi may have smoothed things over here while we were gone, but the truth still had to come out. 

The reaction was mixed, and surprisingly calm when I think about it.  Though acceptance of those who are different has never really been a high quality of the people of Earth, I think our history of benevolence has helped to keep the pointless hatred to a minimum. 

Even so, helping with the rebuilding of Satan City and West City along with the building of a town for the surviving Saiyans has kept us all very busy.  It will definitely be different to be back in classes rather than helping out around here.

Hmmm, so what has been going on around here?  I guess I should fill that all in for posterity at the very least.

Let's see, we returned to Earth on the 10th of July.  While Teddy tried to keep the return a quiet event, Ima Gossip soon learned that we had put up temporary housing for some 2,000 people on our land near Mt. Frypan and Videl's Lookout.  She showed up there with cameras rolling and just about ended up dead after she insulted Sakura.

She pressed charges and then seemed surprised when we pressed charges on her for trespass.  Just because it was near lands that we have preserved, as a park for the public does not mean that all of the Ox King's old lands are public.

Had Teddy not done such a good job of organizing the rebuilding efforts Ima could have made a lot more noise, as it was, by the time we got back to Earth, no one was homeless and most of the businesses had been rebuilt with temporary buildings.

Even so the stink had been made and people were grousing.  Ichigo jokingly suggested that it would have been better had Sakura actually killed Ima, which I almost agree with. 

We released a public statement and then let Ichigo and a few of the other Saiyans talk to the public.  After it became clear that they had lost everything most of the people of Earth were surprisingly sympathetic.  Actually, I need to stop being so negative; most people have a desire to help, if only we give them a chance. 

Anyway, after the devastation wrecked by Snow and her men, we had rather stopped hiding our abilities.  While we were gone, a survivor of the Army had come forward and given his testimony of the fight with Snow and the Army itself had released some of the visual images it had recorded.  The hat was out of the bag, and with the arrival of Ichigo's people there was really no reason to deny who we were anymore.

This lead to a short-lived boycott on CC products.  It was short lived because CC basically is the epitome of a megamonopoly.  We do not control everything, but in the technical fields, very few rivals exist.  But hey, what can I say?  We simply make a better product than anyone else.

Meanwhile, this was about the time Ichigo got sick.  She seemed to be recovering rapidly from the stresses she had endured fighting Blizzard, but I guess her immune system just was not quite up to snuff and she got herself a nice case of the measles.  I have a really funny picture of her drinking a mug of chicken broth while covered in blankets, dotted with red measles, and having her unique form of mangled behead.

She must have been really out of it at the time, because she is still quite pride bound about not appearing to be weak and thus, I have a feeling she doesn't realize I took that picture.

I was really quite worried for her though, seeing her like that scared me half to death.  She looked miserable and the very fact that she got sick caused quite a stir among the various people in the know.  Slip at least was fairly good at containing her excitement as they ran every test they could think of on poor Ichigo.

She is so stubborn though.  Stubborn and pride bound in ways that defy sanity in times.  This was the first time in her life that Ichigo had really been sick, and given that her mother had died of some horribly debilitating disease when she was younger it scared her more than Blizzard ever had.  I think for a while she was convinced she was going to wither away and die regardless of what the various doctors were telling her.

Even so, her sense of duty overrode her personal concern and until we forced her into bed under watch at the Capsule Corp, she had still been doing everything she could to help the other Saiyans integrate into their new lives.

As the doctors were somewhat afraid that given the lack of proper nutrition many of the refugees had while captive or in hiding, Ichigo might be infecting the other Saiyans, they forced her into isolation at the CC, which definitely helped her recover.   

Interestingly enough it does not seem that they brought any contagious diseases to Earth and under normal circumstances the measles virus would not have been much of a match for her immune system.  As it was it nearly killed her, which did cause no small amount of problems.

The largest of which is that it set her back in her training so much that right now she's not even as strong or fast as she was when Snow showed up.   This is of course flustering her to no end, and causing her to have an almost single minded need to train like mad in the moments she is not working with setting up the permanent town and orphanage for her people.

Odd how even though she denies being their leader, she claims that her father was the last King and that was how it was going to stay, she is definitely still the one everyone looks to.  Actually, it may not be that odd, the best leaders are the ones who care for the people rather than the position.

Anyway, Ichigo is working a lot with Sakura and Boxers as Boxers has taken to training Sakura in his spare time (and making as much spare time as he can).

She has stopped sparring with me, which rather sucks.  She says she doesn't want to waste my time and will be back to beat on me when she is back to her old self.  Part of me hopes that happens soon.

Ah well, Max is reopening her restaurant tonight, and I have reservations for two.  If she isn't going to let me help her train, I'm going to at lest keep her well fed.

Anyway in other news, one of the good things that happened however was that Kit and Mariah showed up at the Capsule Corp one day to talk to me and ended up talking to Ichigo for most of the afternoon.  Now personally I do not know if it is a good thing that Slip, Kit, Mariah, and Ichigo now seem to be working together and conspiring against me, but at least the four of them are not trying to kill each other.

One of the more interesting developments of the whole summer actually happened last week when Momo put her foot down and made Ichigo eat her words.  Ichigo had been stating that they needed to preserve their customs as best they could while adapting to the new customs of the Earth.  After a discussion with my parents Momo decided it would be best if Ichigo, Sakura and some of the other older youth attend school with myself or Slip, Tee, and Boxers.

While I wasn't there I guess Ichigo did not much care for the idea of going to school.  In the end I guess it was Kit that convinced her by pointing out going to school would be one way to keep watch on me.

Which brings me up to a point I seem to be avoiding... Mariah.

I will not claim to be an expert on the Female mind.  There are days that I wonder if they have a mind.  So we got back the evening of the 10th and I went and found Mariah the next morning.

I never ever want to be in the same position as long as I live.  I swear I must have sweat liters while on the way to her house.  So anyway, there I was stumbling over my tongue and not knowing where to start when Mariah simply blurts:

"Roshi, I love you, but this will never work.  I can't be your maiden to save.  I don't want to be saved.  I needed it once and didn't much care for the moment.  Besides, I think you already saved enough people, so if you are here to apologize don't.  If you are here to ask me out again, then sure, but as friends, with other people along too, like that time at Mt. Frypan.  I don't want you to feel like you have to romance me.  I think we're better as friends."

Then she blinks away tears and asks me if I was ok.

Talk about stealing my thunder!  I didn't know what to say and basically just stood there, mouth flapping like a fish and feeling like a complete dunderhead for the next few moments.

Then I handed her the letter I had written and said that I had basically ended up with the same conclusion and that I was sorry for hurting her.

She shook her head, told me it was probably better that way.

It turns out that while I was gone she met a guy named Miro, one of John's friends, and the two of them hit it off spectacularly.

I am glad for her, but I really don't quite understand why I seem to have this lingering regret.  Call it jealousy or perhaps a touch of bigotry.  I realize how odd this may sound since I basically was going to do the same thing to her, but she beat me to it.  I feel oddly slighted.

Then there is always Sakura and Boxers.  I swear cupid emptied a full quiver into their butts the way those two act.  They are even worse than Niko and Carge, it is almost embarrassing to be seen around them.

Even Slip the anti-dating pessimist seems to be spending an unusual amount of time with Ichigo's blind friend Ringo.  Ringo was one of the first people to come forward asking about being trained in our style of fighting.  As everyone was so busy with other things we sorta brushed him off.  So there he was one day talking to Ichigo while she recovered when Slip came in as he was leaving and told him off for being blind and not seeing the tray she had set down near Ichigo's bed.  When she realized what she had said and to whom she had said it she asked him how she could make it up to him. 

I was not convinced Slip was the best choice for a ki trainer, but she has actually taken to it quite surprisingly well.

Only Kit seems to have avoided the sudden sparks of love that are flaring up all over the place.  I guess surviving the horrors of Saiya and the two attacks on Earth has made people ready for romance.  I have heard that the doctors are already getting ready for a very busy time in the delivery room next spring.

Which of coarse brings me back to Ichigo.  What can I say about Ichigo?  Well, we are not really dating.  We have both been too busy this summer to spend much time alone with each other.  Part of me wonders if everything we had between us was just the passion of the moment and thus wasn't anything at all.  The rest knows that there is something more there.  Something precious that like diamonds takes a long time to fully form.  I can read her and sense her like no one else, and I am at peace when I am with her. 

Yet, I have seen a side of her that I doubt many others know exists.  I have seen a delicate flower-like side that much like a crystal or a perfect flake of snow is fragile in its beauty. 

I know that while she denies it, my stupidity and lack of trust hurt Mariah.  I cannot bear to think of doing the same to Ichigo.  That soft innocent side of her is easily hurt and the thought of hurting her pains me. 

So here I am reluctant to move forward because of the past yet petrified of moving too slowly and losing the future.

If I knew the answer to the questions of my heart I think I would be a very, very wise man.

As it is... I am up way too late for having school in the morning.  I could go on in circles around this topic forever, but right now I think I am simply going to go to bed.

Son Roshi

* * *

The Diary of Ichigo Kudamono
Saturday, Aug 30, 1291

I just woke up.  Earth's sun is not even up yet.  It is still dark and peaceful.  Too bad the peace will not last

It is my seventeenth birthday for the second time today.  Roshi reminds me that I never did anything while we were in the Room of Spirit and Time that could constitute a birthday, but I honestly would prefer to avoid all the trappings of a formal celebration. 

I hate nostalgia.  I hate this feeling of loss.  I hate all the pomp and formality that Momo and everyone else is putting into my birthday.  So if I am now old enough by our standards to rule.  I already told them that I want them to make a new start here. 

But since when do people listen to me?  So the art of leadership is getting people to listen when it is important.  So they have to be given the chance to feel like they have some control.  Ugh, I thought I would be done with this sort of nonsense.

Roshi is not helping either.  He thinks it is funny.  If I could I would beat the snot out of him and wipe that dang goofy grinning smirk of his face, but right now that would just be an effort in embarrassment, I am so far from where I was before.  I am beginning to suspect that forcing myself to use my disruptor attack did some permanent harm to me.  I just... seem off, perhaps it is only perception, but it is annoying never the less.  At least I beat Slip in a spar yesterday.

Even worse, we have another tedious meeting with Roshi's relatives today as well.  It will no doubt break down into senseless bickering and once again nothing will be accomplished.

If only all of Roshi's relatives had his sense.

-----This is pointless I am going to stop complaining and go back to bed----

Ok, I give in.  I am back to write more deeply personal thoughts down in this stupid book.

I thought fighting Blizzard would be the hardest thing I would ever have to face in my life.  I did not think it would be so hard to let go of the past. 

In all honesty, I never expected to ever truly have to lead.  Had everything gone as expected, I would have been wed to Suikan today.  That changed five years ago when he switched places with me in our trial and was killed in my stead.

That my Aunt and everyone else insists on making my birthday an issue worth celebrating has forced me to recall painful memories I had hoped to put aside.  I miss my father.  There are times when I do not understand myself, I hated so many things about Saiya, but yet that was my life.  That life was and is who I am.  I do not wish to forget that.  Thus, I struggle to let go of the pain, yet hold on to my past.

There are moments when I wonder why I was allowed to cheat death.  I was dead like so many other honorable men and women, yet I was able to come back.  I was able to come back, and they were not.  I wonder how different my life would be had my mother not died, or Suikan not been killed.

I sit here and wonder how things might have been and realize that I am allowing myself to feel sorry for myself when I have little or no reason to feel sorry for myself and that makes me feel worse.

I struggle every day now with the ghosts of my past and the worries of my future. 

Which when I stop to appreciate them for a moment I realize how lucky I am to have those worries and those ghosts.  I have changed so much these last few months here, and having a future that is not set in stone and is not predestined so that I can worry about it is probably the biggest change.

After Suikan was killed I started to dread this day.  I hoped it would never come.  Now that it has arrived I find myself in an unknown situation with none of the reasons I dreaded my Birthday hanging over my head any longer, yet still very much dreading the day none the less.

There has not been a day that has gone by that I have not missed my mother, or Suikan.  I did not have very many friends, and had even fewer I could call loved ones.  Now I can add my father, Meron, Ume and all of Saiya to that list.

I miss them greatly and I hope I never forget them for they are who I was and who I am now. 

But all things must change... even me.

Those first few days after Saiya's destruction when I was alone with Roshi before the Phoenix rescued us were, difficult.  I wasn't myself directly after that and I let the situation go further than it probably should have gone. 

Then I became ill upon returning here to the Earth and between that and the efforts to build my people a new life here, things have become strange between Roshi and I.

I am drawn to him in a way that I cannot describe with words, yet frightened by that very attraction in ways I never knew were possible.

He is a friend in ways that I have never had a friend before and he means more to me than almost anyone on this planet.  Through him, and Kit I have gotten to know several "kids" my own age.  Mariah tolerates my presence and I cannot say much more than the same for her. 

She like most humans does not trust me or my people and the tensions found within that school Roshi insists I go to, are nothing compared to the fear and anger starting to form in other areas of the world.

The terribly truth of it all though is that most of the fears of these people are true enough.  Our existence on this world was bought with blood, death, and destruction, and none of my people are truly innocent.  I least of all.

The last time Roshi and I openly walked the streets of Satan City a mob formed and people started throwing bottles.  They could not hurt us and that caused even more anger.  Roshi was about to say something when a woman whose husband had died when I blew up the moon suddenly started to berate the mob.

If only she knew the truth.

If only the families of those five people I murdered when I first came though the wormhole knew.

I am not the same person who killed those five and the man on Namek.  Once I would have called them casualties of war and not given them a second thought.  Seeing the death and destruction on Saiya has forced me to realize that no one is ever simply a casualty.  What I did was wrong and I will never be able to make things right.

I think in part that is what keeps me from letting Roshi in again.  I do not deserve him. 

I do not deserve many of the things I have had happen to me.  I am wallowing in my self-pity again so I will stop.  It is unbecoming.

Perhaps however, I can someday make myself more worthy of him. 

I hope to never forget who I was, but I cannot live in the past.  Who I will be is being determined this very moment and ever moment that follows.

I can only hope to make the best of them.

* * *

Son Roshi's Journal
Sunday, August 31, 1291

Well I just returned home from Ichigo's birthday party.  Though I do not think calling it a party is quite the right term.  Goku made sure of that... but more on that later.

I don't think I have seen Ichigo in a worse mood than she was earlier today.  As it was the last weekend of the month she, Momo, and a few of the other elder Saiyans had a meeting with my relatives about how the integration into Earth's society is going.  Once again Gotan almost earned himself a quick death by inciting Ichigo.

Of the survivors there are fourteen children of the age to partake in their Trial's.  One of the kid's parents was one of the people Ichigo and Momo brought with them and he was quite adamant that there had to be a formal Trial of Passage.

Gotan made an ass of himself by calling the Trial barbaric, and though part of me still agrees with him, I have to wonder why he is so abrasive for no reason.

Anyway, it seems that the topic of a Trial of Passage has been a heated topic for the survivors and it seems Ichigo and Momo wanted our help in determining what to do about it.  Ichigo does not want to forget their traditions, yet also does not want to risk any more of the children's lives.

Dad basically saved the day by pointing out that we really don't have the open land to let a normal trial take place, nor do we have the need for formal warriors.  He pointed out that whether the adults had taken and passed a Trial of Passage did not matter to him he would train anyone who wanted to be trained.  Of course he didn't say it quite like that... more like he talked for about two hours to get that point across.  Ichigo seemed happy with the outcome and declared that surviving the destruction of Saiya and being reunited with the remnants of the Vegeta rebels could be thought of as the Great Trial and no more trials would be needed.

This caused more argument and the issue was not solved today, but I think in the end a trial of age of some sort will probably be worked out at least as a formality.

Next came the argument about their tails and that only a few of them had decided to follow Ichigo's advice and have their tails removed.

Then came the issue with Ima Gossip continuously causing them problems.

I don't think I need to continue... suffice to say the meeting sucked.

Ichigo looked like she could eat uranium and spit A-bombs when she left.  For some reason I think she was avoiding me again today.

Anyway, then came her party.

Sakura, Slip, Tee, Boxers, and I had to go drag her out of her and Momo's new house and force her to attend.

She threatened to kill us all in very elaborate and painful ways.

Anyway the party was really a ceremony of sorts.  Ichigo was forced to sit on a raised dais as people came forward and spoke about her life and wished her an honorable victorious life as she came of age.  Many of the people had gifts or tokens to give her.  I could tell she felt really uncomfortable with the level of honorary respect everyone was giving her.

Then finally the people who really knew her came up to talk and give her gifts.  Last month Momo had told me about how all of this would happen and wanted me to be the first of the close friends to speak for her and give her a gift.  I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what to say and what to give her and I hope she liked what I had to say about how much she has grown as a person since I met her.  She kept giving me the oddest look while I was talking so I really wonder what she was thinking at the time.

Anyway, the look on her face when I presented her with a nearly perfect reproduction of her mother's pendant was worth every second of it.  I could tell that she was trying very hard to not cry while wanting very badly to do so.  I hope eventually she will be able to just be herself in front of her people and not worry if they will accept her.

Then Sakura spoke and her words brought a hush over the crowd.  Ichigo has stated several times that she will never let them officially crown her Queen.  She says she wants her father remembered as the last ruler of the Saiyan people, and that Queens were not needed on Earth.  Anyway Sakura told us all that while she was helping Momo evacuate the capitol she happened to stop in Ichigo's old bedroom.  She said that even though she knew it was a crime punishable by instant execution she stole Ichigo's old platinum tiara from its locked case.

Sakura actually looked a bit hesitant when she pulled out a fine wood box and opened it for Ichigo to look inside.  She asked that Ichigo forgive her, her crimes and wear the tiara because as much as she might like to she could not declare herself NOT to be the Crown Princess.

The look in Ichigo's eyes!  She almost looked like she was thinking about blowing Sakura to smithereens right there.  Though I think that was more for forcing her to wear the thing that it was for stealing it in the first place.

I just wish Ichigo had been wearing a dress or something other than her Royal Armor, she looked really really good with that tiara in her hair.

Sakura's father (Who I am still convinced SHOULD be her great grandfather he's so old) spoke next about this one time when Ichigo had helped him to make one of his best batches of wine he had ever made.  Ichigo was blushing the entire time and the old man seemed to enjoy himself immensely.  He gave her a plant.  I think it is some sort of grape or something to make wine with but she seemed to like it so it must be something the old herbalist saved from Saiya.

Slip, Tee, and Boxers gave her a photo album from the trip to Saiya.  Ichigo didn't look though it last night but I do hope I'm there when she finds all the screenshots of the girls while they were in the hot tub Tee and Boxers included in it.  I also hope I'm there when she gets their story about how those pictures were made.

My dad, Teddy, and PJ went up to represent the rest of the family.  Dad gave her the deed to the land their new town and farms are being built on, while Teddy and the rest gave her the rights to the buildings and to a bunch of other stuff that really isn't to important.

Ringo walked up to her and told her that he didn't need eyes to see how much she had already done for her people.  He said he didn't have a real gift so he would go look for one and come back when he found what he was looking for.  Oddly enough as he flew off what he said made sense... even coming from a blind man.

Lastly Momo walked up to her and told her how much she reminded her of her sister, Ichigo's mother, before she proceeded to tell everyone a few stories about young Ichigo and her mother.  She then called out for them to bring it and Ringo, Sakura, and a bunch of little kids including Nighty (who much to PJ's displeasure has taken to flying herself over to her pony and friends' houses) brought this big painting up to her.

The painting is of Ichigo's mother and had been taken from its frame in the last minutes before Blizzard sacked the Palace.  I knew about it cause Slip can't keep secrets and Momo and Teddy had been restoring it for the last few weeks.

Ichigo did break down and cry.  I have never seen anyone cry tears of joy quite like she did.  One by one many of the things she had treasured most and had thought lost forever were being returned to her.

She wasn't the only one.  Most of the audience joined her, and a wound they had all felt healed just a little tonight.

Then Goku showed up.

I think Ichigo and I were the only two who knew who he was at first.  Ichigo had just finished thanking Momo and the crowd was starting to cheer and get up, some of the less well behaved had started to run for the food line.  And then Goku just walked out into the crowd and calmly asked to speak.

I saw him the same time Ichigo did and then she glanced at me just as confused as I was.

She yelled and everyone became silent as Goku walked up to the dais.  I'll never forget what he said:  "Hi ah Ichigo, I have a gift too, may I give it to you?"

Ichigo mutely nodded and he continued.  "Ah, actually this isn't really just for you.  More like it is for everyone, but you helped make it possible so I'll give it to you.  I've waited a long time for this and I think I can help you fix a problem you don't think can be fixed."

He then scratched his head and stopped talking before continuing again.  "Oh, yeah the gift.  Well here, Roshi knows where one of these is.  Now you have another that makes ah... five more someplace to find."


He gave her the Dragon Ball and then just put his fingers to his forehead said bye and vanished.  Then Tee figured it out and started shouting about "THAT WAS GOKU!!!!"

Needless to say the night became very interesting.  Slip wanted to go start looking for the Dragonballs right that moment while Ichigo didn't really even know if she wanted to look for them, and Gotan insisted that the Dragonballs never be used because of the havoc they caused before Goku left with them.

Meanwhile most of the rest of the people didn't know why everyone else was so hyper and we spent most of the night filling everyone in on our history (which should have been done sooner if you ask me). 

Anyway, it is now 2 in the morning and I need to sleep.  I am getting up early in the morning to help Ichigo find the rest of the DBs.  The four star ball has sat far too long alone on my shelf.


Son Roshi

* * *

Son Roshi's Journal
Sunday, August 31, 1291

Ichigo will probably never stop surprising me.  We had nearly a hundred of her people following her around today as we found the rest of the Dragonballs.  They wanted her to wish for a new world or for the lives of everyone Blizzard killed.  They wanted her to wish for everything to be back to normal.

I wouldn't have blamed her had she wished for those things.

But she's still reading Gohan and Videl and Pan's journals and she said she wouldn't be wishing for anything like that.

In her first wish she wished for the lives of those innocent people who had been killed because of her direct actions or presence her on Earth be returned to them here on Earth.

Her second wish surprised me.  She wished that the dragon no longer have to grant any wish that might negatively affect its purity.  She gave Shenlong free will.

It will be interesting to explain how all the people who had died on the Moon or in Blizzard's attack have suddenly returned... but perhaps this is also another thing that deserves to be told.

Besides... I can't think of all that many selfless wishes that Shenlong would actually grant right now.

That and I really don't want to see him anytime soon.  For some odd reason seeing this big huge dragon suddenly start smiling and hug Ichigo was just a bit unnerving.

Gah!  I need to go... more next time.

Son Roshi

* * *

The Diary of Ichigo Kudamono
Sunday, May 30, 1292

This has been an interesting day.  I have lived on this planet for almost a year now and I have yet to fully figure out Earthen customs.  Today I graduated from Orange Star High School. 

Seemed like a rather silly affair to me.  A celebration of the end of schooling when anyone with any sense knows that one never stops learning.  Besides Mariah and Roshi both plan on going and doing more learning at an even bigger school named Skylark University, so it is not even the end for some of the students.

As far as I am concerned, I am done.  I have gotten to know a lot of great people for what I have to do I cannot really be taught by someone else.

At least this wasn't as silly as the Prom.  I thought Saiyan males were bad, human males openly leered, ogled, and attempted to grope me that entire night.  I probably shouldn't have broken the one boy's arm, but I still think he deserved what he got.

Though, I do have to admit seeing Kit dancing with Vincy was fun.  Vulpines might not be any good with Ki, but they are oddly flexible and when the two of them did that one dance it was quite impressive.  Almost as impressive as those two falling for each other so fast.  Seems like only last week when Kit was commenting about how she was already gray so she would not have to wait long to be the old gray hag.

My mind is wandering, I think I have picked that up from Roshi.  He rambles far too much.  Funny thing though is that I do not care.  I doubt anyone will ever read this so I can wander and ramble all I want and the graduation and that silly prom are both examples of truly dumb customs.

Sakura and Boxers are here so I'll write more later.--

* * *

Son Roshi's Journal
Saturday, August 28, 1292

Well I'm done moving into my dorm room.

I think I'm living some odd curse.  "May you live in interesting times."  Yay, fate loves me.

Ok, see Mariah got a full ride scholarship to Skylark.  This was good.  Ichigo chose not to go to any more schooling.  This was bad.

Ichigo helped me move all my stuff to school.  This was good.
Mariah's room is DIRECTLY across the hall.  This is bad.

Kit was there helping Mariah move in.  This was good.
Kit pointed out that Mariah broke up last June and I'm not technically dating Ichigo.  This was VERY BAD.

Ichigo gave me "the look" then glanced at Mariah, shrugged said she had to be going but she knew where to find me and left...


I swear I am no closer to figuring out how her mind works and the fact that other than that one time directly after Saiya blew up she hasn't let me really get close to her is actually starting to bother me.

Part of me wonders if she trusts me.  Given everything that happened with Mariah I wonder if she doesn't have reason not to.

Mariah is like a sister to me so it is not like anything is going to happen there, but oh ok so I have not really pursued Ichigo overly actively either.  I mean it's rather hard she doesn't like going out in public because of all the problems that the wandering idiot still cause.  (Thankfully Ima Gossip retired last year, so the idiot count is starting to go down and life is returning to a semblance of normal around here.) 

Okay, okay, so Ichigo has become my best and closest friend and neither one of us seems to want to move beyond that. 

So why am I worried about losing her?

It isn't like I can't fly back to her place in like three minutes.

I guess it just feels like I've moved to a new stage of my life and left her behind.  Having Mariah still there doesn't seem to help the feeling much.

Gahhh  I'll worry more later.

Son Roshi.

* * *

The Diary of Ichigo Kudamono
Saturday, Aug 28, 1292

Roshi's writing in his journal right now.  I do not know how I know that but I know that.

Kit thinks I should be worried about Roshi living across the hall from Mariah, and given that I know Mariah is still somewhat interested in him I guess perhaps I should, but I am not.

I am not because I know Roshi.

As time has past this year I have come to realize something about Roshi and I.  We share the same soul.

Now, I know I know, this seems odd coming from me as I tend to thumb my nose at the whole romantic garbage heap that seems to be so popular on Earth.  I am not saying that Roshi and I are soul mates, I do not know if such things exist.  What I am saying is that I am still slowly regaining a sense of myself from last year.  I think now I've figured out why everything seemed just a bit off after Saiya.

When Roshi brought be back, he put a little of himself in me.  I was not used to it so I had to basically relearn everything I knew about ki, but now that I have I can sense a little of me in him and a little of him in me.

We are bound by a stronger link than any pair of mates are.

The thing that surprises me is that I do not think Roshi has figured this out quite yet.  He knows there is more there then normal, but I do not think he truly understands, and it is quite odd for him to not know something before me.

I would tell him, but I like seeing him sweat like he did today.

Besides, once he figures it out I will lose the only think keeping Momo off my back about marriage and children. 

So what if I am breaking tradition.  I do not want to be part of some tradition.  Besides, I still do not know if I even want children.  That was always an expected duty.  Now that I have the choice...

What should I name them?

Dende! Being on Earth has turned me into a girl.

* * *

Son Roshi's Journal
Friday, May 6th, 1293

Wow, today was the start of the 197th Tenkaichi Budoukai.  For some reason I never expected it to be so very busy.

Well, I knew this year's would be busy.  Because of all the Saiyans who have been trained by Yoshi and my Father they decided to go back to the old way of running the Budoukai.  Today was the prelims.  Tomorrow the actual finals take place, and the winner is the only champion.  My father relinquished his title to join the rest of the fighters in the prelims.

So of course we hit each other the first round of the prelims and heavily damaged one of the several arenas.

It was hard fought but I won a supposedly shocking upset.

Yeah, it was a fun day.  Thankfully, Ichigo and I are in different brackets so we won't face each other until the finals start.  She is in even better condition than she was before the fight with Blizzard. 

I wish I could say the same for myself.  Too much slacking at Skylark this year I think.

Ah well, even so no one is anywhere near my level so this should be fun tomorrow.

Too bad Tee won't be joining us in the finals.  He was paired against Ichigo in the second round.  He flew at her and she grabbed him and tossed in out and onto the ground.  The match was over before most people even heard the gong start to ring.

I however do not feel sorry for Boxers.  He purposely threw his match with Sakura, the little suck up.

Ah well, I need my sleep.

* * *

The Diary of Ichigo Kudamono
Saturday, May 7th, 1293

I beat Roshi!

This has been the first formal event thing I have been to on Earth in the last two years that really impressed me.

Or at least it was before I got myself mobbed by camera toting idiots that I could not just blast into oblivion.

So what if I am the first female to ever win.  So what if I am the first person who wasn't a Son or a Briefs to win in five hundred years.

I did not fight to win those things.  I fought to kick Roshi's ass fair and square.

And I did.

Time to go rub it in.

* * *

Son Roshi's Journal
Friday, May 7th, 1293

She cheated.

Ok so she didn't cheat, she tricked me.

Ok so she didn't so much as trick me, as I was really dumb.

I hate how much faster she is than I am.  Gah!  So we start dancing around the ring far to fast for most people to see anything more than the moments of impact when she acts like she is going to knee me in the crotch. 

Ok so given our history I wasn't going to take my chances and I jump back.

Back is no problem cause I was flying.

It was however a problem when she instantly goes Super Saiyan, which I didn't think she could do cause she hadn't done to my knowledge since the fight with Blizzard, and knocks me right into the grass.

I can't believe she knocked me out in the first round of the Finals!


I can't believe Kit, Mariah, and Slip were cheering for her!

Women are evil fiendish creatures and Ichigo is the queen.

Now I need to go find her and kick her butt for keeping a secret like that from me.

Gah! she is such a tease!

* * *

The Diary of Ichigo Kudamono
Saturday, September 10th, 1293

I feel like one of those girly girls from those horrible chick flick movies Slip likes so much.

Weddings are so much fun!  On Saiya we did not have weddings.  People were formally married and then they became mates and that was that.

I found the reading of the Fates at Kit's wedding today to be really interesting.  I still do not believe that fate does anything.  We make are own destiny, but her people believe very strongly in fate.  So strongly that they have a reading of all the things that fate caused to happen to bring the two of them together.

I found it all quite elaborate and interesting.

Roshi fell asleep.

Roshi is a natural romantic when it comes to the way he acts by himself but he has no appreciation when it happens to other people.  I think it is rather cute.

Hmmm, I do not use the word cute very often.  I like how it sounds.  Roshi the cute.

Or maybe I did drink too much wine.  How was I supposed to know that Vulpines are not affected by normal alcohol so their wine has other drugs in it?

Who cares!  I had fun.

Kit looked so happy.

Maybe... maybe I'm ready...

* * *

Son Roshi's Journal
Thursday, June 15th, 1295

Well, it has been four years.

Four years ago today, I met Ichigo and we almost killed each other.

Later today, I will finally make her my wife.

Oh, the painting just got here.  Too bad it is all wrapped up, I was really hoping to see it.  Mariah's mother spent enough time on the thing.

All I know is that it will be like the big one of her mother.  Something about a family tradition she plans on continuing.  I really don't like the smirk and glimmer in her eyes every time she says that.  It is far, far too intoxicating.

Dende! I never thought I would be this nervous.  I can hardly think straight right now.

I bought a house yesterday.  Just a small house between my parents place and Momo's.  I guess it will have to be a surprise now.  I was hoping to show it to her before I bought it.

But Ichigo is not talking to me.  Something about my future wife not talking to me in the days before my wedding makes the butterflies in my stomach kick like a Changeling. 

GAH!!!  She claims it is another tradition, but I think most of it is because of Kit.  I didn't mean to insult her I only said she looked like she ate a beachball!  So I guess that's not considered to be funny by any woman I know.  But she DOES!  She looks like she ate a big huge beachball.

I just hope she doesn't pop today.

And now I need to slap myself for being selfish.  I do hope that her triplets... wow triplets I couldn't imagine!  Anyway I hope they are all healthy when they are born... just not today.

And I know Vulpine pregnancies are short and I know that was her dream from the time she was just a little girl but wow, kids already! 

And here I am on my wedding day hours away from getting married to the most beautiful girl I have ever seen and I'm panicking because I am suddenly realizing that I might eventually become a father and that scares the hell out of me.

I am getting way ahead of myself.  Lots of stuff to happen first.  A couple of I do's and the honeymoon and MANY years of just the two of us first.

Yeah... focus on the here and now.  Lots to think about.

At least Ichigo is wearing a dress and not some nasty armor or something.

She's going to be so beautiful.

And I'm going to love her forever.

This is going to be one of the greatest days of my life, if not the greatest.

The greatest... wow...

Wow, four years and wow.  Four years ago I was fighting school bullies and then she showed up and changed everything.  I used to think about what made people great.  She's the one that taught me. 

Ichigo is great.  Ichigo is great because she cares for others.  That's what it means to be great.  To be truly great you have to love.  You have to let yourself be hurt so that others are not.  That is where true greatness comes from.  Goku, Gohan they knew the secret.  Love.

Love is the secret, the key, and the path.

And no one can ever take that away.  No one can hide that behind lies or trickery... cause it is the truth.

It just can't be hidden.

Sorta like that painting... it shouldn't be hidden.  Ok, it should be but who can really resist peeking?

No!  Not going to do it.  I'll wait.  Ichigo's worth it.

Dende! I'm nervous!

* * *

Slip's Snide Snippets
Thursday, June 15th, 1295

I have to hand it to her, Ichigo's got flare.  The wedding was dull and uneventful.  The dance was good, Ringo is a really good dancer and we had a lot of fun.  Plus we got to see Tee, Boxers, Carge, and a few others try to steal Ichigo and hold her for ransom while Mariah lead us gals in the same effort with Roshi.

Then came the rather dull and boring gift-opening thing that only close family could attend.  Drat for being close family.

I will cherish forever the picture of Roshi's face when he read the card Ichigo wrote for the painting.  Mariah's mother did a really fine job.  Ichigo is pictured in that red half-shirt denim jacket and skirt.  She had her tiara on and was sitting on Icarus.  While the clothing is horribly out of style I grudgingly admit that Ichigo did look very nice in the outfit.

The card however was the kicker.  I guess some sort of chase thing is tradition in Ichigo's family and knowing this was coming she had changed out of her dress after the dance and into a more comfortable gi.  Roshi, the poor idiot, had stayed in his tux.

After she took off and Roshi ran out to follow we all passed the card around and got a good laugh.

"Dear Roshi,

I remember the first time I wore this and the way you looked at me.  That was one of the good days early in our relationship and I thank you for the memories.  That's what this is for, so that you will always have a few fond moments fresh... cause even you DO forget some things.

However keeping with family tradition if you want to see more of me to make new memories...  better not let me get away... catch me... if you can."

Right now both of them are flying around up there leaving yellow streaks across the sky.  I just know my mom is going to have fits with all the people reporting meteors and UFO's tonight.

Tee started a betting pool.  I'm betting she lets him catch her in about three days.  Just cause she's stubborn and way faster than he is.

Hmmm, I can see a new tradition coming from this...  I wonder if she'd mind if I borrow her idea.


* * *

The Diary of Son Ichigo, Ichigo Kudamono Son, Son Ichigo Kudamono,

Hmm... The diary of me
Friday, June 16th, 1295


I cannot believe he did not show me he could ascend to the second level of Super Saiyan!  He was not supposed to catch me that easily. 

But I'm glad he did.

He is still sleeping, curled up in our bed.  Our bed.  Not mine or his, our.  I like our.

I am just like a giddy Slip's movie girl and I LIKE IT!

Oh, he is just so cute.

Almost a pity I am going to have to wake him up.  He can sleep when he is dead.

* * * * * * * * * 

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This is

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      THE END

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