Goten and Trunks sat on the rooftop of Capsule Corp. Above their heads swung the night sky, speckled with pricks of light. The normally rowdy pair sat in silence; Goten had learned to be still when his older friend was in one of his deep, brooding moods. Trunks was definitely in one such mood now. He sat with his chin propped up on knees, his arms wrapped around his legs. The young boy was staring at the blank spot in the sky where Vegeta-sei used to be.

"Whatcha thinking?" chirped Goten, his dark eyes fixed on his friend.

"About a lot of things," answered Trunks. He waved his hand, vaguely gesturing to the black expanse above them. "Of all the worlds out there. All the people. All the possibilities."

The younger boy scrunched his nose and glanced back up at the stars. "I've never really thought about all that."

The other child shrugged. "It's kinda scary when you think about it...what all could be out there. All the good things that are just waiting to be discovered. And for all the good things, there's just as many bad things. It's like a cosmic scale."

Goten narrowed his eyes in concentration. He loved how intense Trunks sounded when he talked about deep issues, but he always struggled to keep up. Some things were just beyond his understanding. But this time he thought he understood. "For every bad person out there, there's a good guy waiting to defeat him, right? And there will always be another bad guy and another. Because if there were only good guys, then everything would be uneven. Right, Trunks?"

The older boy grinned at his friend. "Right, Chibi. Maybe you should be a philosopher when you grow up Goten."

The young Son frowned. "What's a 'philosopher'?"

Trunks threw his head back and laughed. "Never mind, Goten. I was just joking anyway." Goten shrugged it off. Trunks stared at his best friend with a hint of admiration in his eyes. "I wish I could be like you, Chibi. Never let anything bother me."

Goten turned to his steadfast comrade, a strange sadness in his eyes. "That's not true. A lot of things bother me. I just don't let anyone know. Before Papa came back, Mama was sad a lot. I wanted to be strong for her and for Gohan. As long as I acted like nothing was wrong, I could pretend to be happy. And that made Mama happy."

Trunks reached out and placed his hand on the other boy's shoulder. "You don't ever have to pretend for me, Chibi."

Goten grinned; all trace of sadness in his eyes had vanished. "I know, Trunks-kun. I know."


****

Bulma stood with her hands on her hips, making one more last-minute survey of her packing job. Everything should be ready for their group to head back. Piling everything into a capsule crate, the scientist activated the device. With a small pop, it reduced in size. She snatched up the capsule and stuffed it in her pocket, trading it for the reality jumper.

She wove through the numberless corridors until she came to the main banquet hall. An elaborate feast had been set out, compliments of her hostess. Cakes, cookies, and sweets were piled high on the tables. One table held enough carved roast beef to equal an entire cow. Rare, exotic fruits sat in decorative baskets. The heavy scent of delicacies hung in the air.

Everyone had gathered to say fare-well to the group of future warriors. However, the Saiyan fighters were more concerned with the food than good-byes. They were quickly consuming the
entire meal.

Bulma shook her head and then quickly sought out her younger version. The woman was standing off to the side, chatting with Kuririn and Chi Chi. The older scientist motioned for her to join her.

Princess Bulma politely excused herself from the conversation and then headed over to her counterpart. The older woman smiled sweetly at her.

"I just wanted to tell you good-bye," stated Queen Bulma. "And thank you for everything. Good luck with the prince of all apes. However, judging from last night, you've got everything under control."

The younger woman's cheeks burned red. Once she overcame her embarrassment, she smiled slyly at her counterpart. "Like you and His Majesty didn't 'celebrate' last night yourselves."

Queen Bulma grinned. "Guilty as charged."

Both woman giggled. Then they embraced fondly. Pulling away, Princess Bulma wiped tears from her eyes. The pair rejoined the group. The humans were picking through what the Saiyans had left of the feast. Both Bulma's quickly joined in on the joking and festivities, both trying to conceal their sadness.


****

Chibi no Gohan shifted from one foot to the other. He watched Trunks nervously as the older boy brandished the knife that he had swiped from the kitchen. The three youngest demi-Saiyans had snuck out of the party and had congregated out in the rose garden. Trunks and Goten had promised Chibi no Gohan that they had a surprise in store for him. He was afraid that the "surprise" somehow involved the knife.

"Listen, Gohan-kun. This is a very important ritual. Goten and I discussed this last night. We've already done it once before, but we both agreed to let you in on our ultra-top secret brotherhood. You gotta do everything that I tell you to, okay?" stated Trunks.

Chibi no Gohan gulped and nodded his head. "Okay."

Trunks turned first to Goten, who voluntarily held out his hands. That was when Chibi no Gohan noticed the two small white scars on his "little" brother's hands. The older boy made a small cut in his friends palms, directly on top of the scars. The younger boy didn't even wince. Next, Trunks sliced his own palms over his own scars. Then he turned to Gohan.

"Hold out your hands," ordered Trunks.

Chibi no Gohan hesitantly held out his arms. He chewed on his bottom lip as Trunks made small incisions on his palms. His mom wasn't going to like this one bit.

That part of the ceremony complete, Trunks tucked the knife into his belt. He held his hands palm-out towards the others. "Join hands," he commanded.

The three boys formed a ring and grasped each others hands. Both Goten and Gohan turned to the older boy, waiting for the next step.

"We are now hereby blood brothers. Nothing can separate us. Together, no one can defeat us. We are warriors feared throughout the universe, loyal to none but ourselves. We will be friends through eternity." Trunks paused. He had obviously run out of things to say. "Um...yeah! So be it!"

Goten let out a whoop and threw his hands in the air. He and Trunks began to dance around wildly in celebration. Chibi no Gohan grinned at his two companions. He had never had friends before other than Mr. Piccolo. For the first time ever, he belonged.

****

King Vegeta growled as he and Son accidently smashed into each other's foreheads as they tried to settle into the cramped reality jumper. "Watch it, Kakkarot," threatened the cranky alien royalty.

"Sorry, 'Geta," apologized the younger Saiyan.

"Stop calling me that!" He slumped into his seat and glared darkly at the other warrior. He then turned and leaned over the side of the device. "Woman! Hurry up and finish saying good bye already."

Bulma turned and stuck her tongue out at her husband. She gave everyone one last hug goodbye before helping Trunks and Goten climb up. Next, she took her place perched on her lover's lap. Once everyone was settled into place, she closed the glass shield and began to punch in the coordinates.

"Good-bye your Majesties," called Nappa, waving enthusiastically.

"Good-bye Gohan!" shouted Radditz, smiling at his nephew.

"Bye, Uncle Radditz!" replied the teenager.

"Bye, Mom! Bye, Dad!" yelled Trunks, waving to the younger versions of Bulma and Vegeta. The pair glanced at each other awkwardly and then waved back at him.

"Take care of yourselves and tell me I said hello!" called Chichi.

"Behave for your mom and dad, Trunks," called Princess Bulma as she wiped a tear from her eye.

"Give 'em hell!" shouted Yamcha, winking. He was jabbed in the side by Bulma for that comment.

The group in the reality jumper waved one last time. Then Bulma mashed the button that sent the device lurching. And they were gone.


**** Eight months later ****

Trunks walked down the sidewalk, kicking a pebble a long the way. His backpack was weighed down by packets of homework that needed to be completed over the weekend. The hot sun reflected off of the pavement below him, creating an oven-like effect. He couldn't wait to get home and crash in his cool, air-conditioned room and play video games all afternoon.

As Trunks slipped into the main foyer he paused by the "mail table." Each day thousands of letters poured into Capsule Corporation. The mail was sorted into business and personal, and all private letters were placed on the table in the hallway. Trunks picked up the stack of mail and began to flip through it. He seldom received mail, but he still checked every day.

The young boy was surprised to find an envelop addressed to himself. He instantly recognized the scrawling cursive. It was his mother's handwriting. Trunks set down the rest of the mail and carefully unsealed the envelop. Inside was a card imprinted with an elegant, silver monogram: BB. This was his mother's personal stationary. He flipped open the card. A photograph slipped out and landed face down on the ground. Written on the inside of the note was a single sentence:

*See you soon.*

Trunks picked up the photograph. In the middle of the picture stood his mother, only she appeared much younger. Her belly was round and tight against her maternity dress. To her left stood Nappa, his arm around her shoulder. He was smiling exuberantly at the camera and pointing to her belly. To her right was Radditz. He too was grinning. He was holding onto Vegeta's arm; the prince was desperately trying to get away.

The young boy smiled as he closed the card and gently placed it and the photograph back into the envelop. So it looked like Radditz and Nappa had been successful in their matchmaking pursuit. He would have to go call Gohan and tell him. After all, the teenager had played a major role in their scheme.

Trunks entered his room and tossed his book bag down onto the floor. He dug through the stacks of books that cluttered the shelves until he found the one he was looking for. He pulled down the thick, brown leather-bound book. He flipped open the photo album, leafing through the sheets until he found an empty pocket. He slipped the photo of his family from the other reality into place. He gently closed the book and slid it back into its place. He missed the others but he knew that he would see them again one day.



The End


That's the last chapter of Trunks and Goten's Bogus Journey. Thanks to everyone who reviewed. You guys are the best! I hope everyone enjoyed reading the fic as much as I enjoyed writing it. Once more, thanks to all you faithful readers out there.
~ladymoonlight