Family Bonds

Chapter 1: Something's Missing

A/N:So, I do not own Dragonball Z! atarimae deshou

This started as a dream, so I hope I can bring it out as well on paper! Difficult to do, sometimes...hope you enjoy it!

Thoughts, talking to self

Oh, and some Japanese: Mirai (Future), Oniisan (older brother), Obasan (aunt-or surname for middle-aged woman who isn't one's mother), Moshi-moshi (hello-like on the phone), -san (Ms/Mr-most common surname, indicates some respect, -kun (surname used with younger boys/girls, friends of the same age-boys), -chan (affectionate/close-relationship, used with young boys, girls of same age)

R&R, please! :D

Trunks watched the ceiling fan spin round and round as he tried to put his finger on the empty feeling in his chest. He'd been feeling this way for a while-since when? His eyes drifted over to the sword propped against his closet door. I guess this started when Tapion left… I'd really like to see him again. I mean, I guess I shouldn't complain. I've got a lot of friends and family, but…I'll just go see what mom and dad are up to.

"Oh, good morning, Trunks!" His always-cheerful (a little too cheerful, honestly) blond grandmother beamed as he walked into the kitchen, refilling Dr. Brief's coffee cup.

"Oh, hey, Gramma, Gramps. Um, I don't feel dad's ki, are he and mom out somewhere?"

"Mr. Vegeta and Bulma? Hm, well, now, let me think." She looked distractedly up in the air before smiling more widely "Come to think of it, I think they were going to have a nice little get-together with some friends!"

Trunks cocked an eyebrow at this. Friends? The only people his father would even come close to considering friends were the z-fighters, but then why didn't they tell him if they were going to see them?

"Oh, okay, then. Thanks." Dr. Briefs looked around his newspaper to get a good look at the boy. Wasn't he bring a little uncharacteristically glum this morning?

I'll just call Goten to see what's up with him. Ring-ring "Hai, moshi-moshi? Aw, Chi chi-san, it's Trunks. Could I speak to Goten?"

"Oh, sure, Trunks! I'm actually about to head out shopping with your mother."

"Oh," He responded, a little shell-shocked. "Is dad there, too?"

Her voice got a little more brisk when she answered, "Oh, no surprise, he's out sparring with my husband. You saiyans, I just don't understand how you never get tired of fighting! You're keeping up with your studies, aren't you Trunks?"

"Oh, yeah, obasan, I am. So, Goten?" A feeling of slight dejection was creeping up in his chest-why couldn't they have taken him along if they were going to his best friend's house, anyway?

"One sec. GOTEN-chan!" Trunks smiled as he heard a pounding noise as his best friend raced down the stairs and over to the phone.

"Hey, Trunks-kun! What's up?"

"Oh, not much, Goten. Just calling to see if you wanted to hang out."

"Oh…sorry, Trunks-kun. Today, oniichan (Gohan) promised to take me to a really special spot where he used to go when he was little. We were planning on going there and doing some sparring and stuff!"

"Oh, yeah? That's cool."

"We should hang out soon, though! Would tomorrow work? Oh, but niichan's supposed to help me with homework tomorrow."

"Why don't you get out of that? You don't like doing homework-I know you."

"Yeah, I normally don't, but it's different when I'm with niichan. He's so smart! It's really fun hanging out with him, you know?"

"Yeah, sure, Gohan's great. Well, tell him I said hi, Goten. I'll call you later."

"Okay, bye Trunks-kun!"

Trunks hung up the phone and stared at the receiver for a few seconds before realizing he had been squeezing his knuckles till they' turned white from lack of oxygen. Taking a deep breath, he tried to relax them. Fine. What the hell, Goten? Mom and dad, too. What do they think they're doing, leaving their son alone with nothing to do? Stomping around the second floor of Capsule corp for a while, Trunks tried to think it through. I mean, I guess this isn't that uncommon for my parents. Dad and Goku-san spar a lot, and mom and Chichi-san have gotten really close, but I guess, Goten's just always been available for me to play with.

He headed back to his room, planning on grabbing a video game to play for a while, but his thoughts kept drifting back to Goten and Gohan and the fun they must be having right now. Damn it, what is this? Am I jealous? No way. He wiped the thought from his mind as soon as it had formed. Getting back into his room, though, his eyes again drifted over to Tapion's sword.

I wish I had a big brother. Then it wouldn't bug be so much when Goten and Gohan hang out. Man, maybe I'm just too needy.

Trunks would never have expressed this in front of his father, especially. Sure, he'd gotten a lot less scary recently (his smirks and glares had started to feel more the full-blooded Prince's way of playing games than actually expressing anger), but he still looked down on obvious displays of weakness. And he had especially high standards for his only son.

Trunks spent the next few hours doing various activities he usually enjoyed-reading manga, playing video games, but he couldn't get rid of this dull pain in his chest. Damn it! What the fuck is wrong with me? Trunks flung himself onto his bed, which shockingly held its own under the force of the little demi-saiyan's power, and he let tears fall down his cheeks onto his pillow. Why am I crying? I guess it's worse because I don't have a reason to be upset. Not really. I'm just…damn it, I just want someone to talk to!

Sniffing and wiping his eyes with his wrist, Trunks pushed himself back off the bed, walking over to pick up his sword. Leaning back on the bed frame, he pulled the beautiful sword of its sheath and looked at his reflection in its blade. It had been about three years since the whole Buu fiasco, and he'd noticeably started to look more grown-up. His hair was a little longer, too, but as he looked at the face in the blade, he couldn't help but feel it was…different. He looked older, stronger. Maybe it was just the glare of light reflecting off of the sword? No. Looking more closely, the face in the sword had hair that was definitely longer than his. What could it mean?

Still staring into the sword face, the reflection smiled at him. "Hey there."

"Huh? W-what?" Trunks looked around for the source of the voice, but he was alone in his bedroom, and the door to the hallway was closed. But the voice had seemed so close. It also felt strangely familiar.

"It's okay. I'm not quite sure how we're talking right now, but you can hear me, right?"

Looking slowly back at the sword, Trunks felt the man's deep, blue eyes peering into him curiously, and with some amusement. "A-are you talking to me? The one in the sword?"

"Haha, I'm not actually in the sword, bud. I think…" He cupped his hand to his chin and looked up thoughtfully, "I think our swords are acting as a kind of portal-like a mirror between worlds. I don't know how it's possible, especially since my sword is half-broken, but…"

"Who-who are you?" Trunks grasped the sword, staring at it in wonder. "You look just like me."

"Well, that would make sense." The man smiled at a little private joke. "Let's see…how to begin. I'm sure your parents must have told you about the guy who traveled through time to warn you guys about the androids, right? He then fought Cell together with everyone before going back to his time."

"Yeah, of course I know about that…but mom said." Trunks felt kind of awkward continuing, "That that was ME from the future, that I would have become him if he hadn't changed things in our timeline…" The man in the sword just waited, light dancing in his eyes, waiting for the boy to work things out. "Wait a minute-you're-are you that guy? You're the one who traveled through time? Then…then you're me!" Trunks stared in shock, slightly wanting to punch himself for not putting the obvious together sooner.

"Bingo, Trunks. I'm you, but then, I'm not you-not really. Our experiences have been so different, we're definitely not the same person. I must say, it's awesome seeing you, though. I've-been curious, actually. I've kind of wanted to travel back to the past to check up on things, but, I don't know. I feel like it's been too long."

"What are you talking about? You should come! That would awesome. I'm sure everyone would love to see you, and you can show me some of your moves that you used to fight the androids!" Trunks felt a little thrill in his heart, beyond excited at the concept of a new adventure with his older counterpart.

"But wouldn't you find it weird? Having an older guy named Trunks around?"

"No way. I mean, yeah, it's a little confusing, but as you said, we're probably pretty different. Besides it gets so boring around here. I mean, I know I have mom and dad and Goten and everyone, but that doesn't mean they're ALWAYS around." Trunks paused a little, wondering if he should say what was really on his mind. "Goten is so lucky to have Gohan, you know? He always has a big brother around, and he doesn't have to bear the weight of all of his dad's expectations alone, you know what I mean?"

Mirai (Trunks) took a second before answering. "Yeah, I know what it's like to be alone. Who's Goten?"

"Oh, you don't know Goten? He's my best friend! Gohan's little brother. He's a year younger than I am!"

"Wow. Gohan has a little brother, huh? That's amazing." A lonely shadow crossed Mirai's eyes that was not missed by the younger boy, who suddenly realized the full meaning behind his counterpart's not knowing Goten. Suddenly embarrassment washed over him. He must have sounded so selfish, complaining about not getting enough attention, when here was someone who not only had no siblings, but had practically no friends or family. Trunks didn't notice the grimace that had come to settle on his features.

"Hey, you okay down there?" Mirai cocked his head and looked at him questioningly.

"Yeah, of course! I just…I'm sorry, that was really rude of me to start complaining about things like that. I mean, are you…that is, mom told me that all of the Z-fighters died in your time except for Gohan, but then he died, too…you're almost totally alone, and here I am, basically complaining about being an only child…"

"You don't have to apologize. I understand, believe it or not. Sometimes, having a sibling can be the most saving thing. In my time, even though we weren't related by blood, I completely thought of Gohan as my older brother. If he hadn't been there, I don't know what would have happened. I don't know how I would have survived, honestly. But he was there. He played with me when I was little. He taught me how to fight. He taught me math and science. On the really bad nights, we even slept together. He was the most important person in my world (besides my mom, that is)-but he was an irreplaceable person in my life. He always put me first. And he was always there for me. So I get it, Trunks. Even if you have friends, sometimes you just need someone who will always be there to talk to you-to help you."

Trunks couldn't stop another tear from spilling down his cheek. Mirai had gotten it exactly right. He understood what was wrong with him. What he was lacking, why he was so depressed recently. He didn't want just friends to play fun games with and spar with. He sometimes felt the desperate need for an older friend in his life, a mentor. Someone who would always be happy to listen to him. His parents were great and all, but a kid can't tell his parents everything. That's just embarrassing! He thought, smiling a little.

"Yeah," he said looking back up to meet Mirai's eyes again. "I've thought about going to talk to Gohan about stuff, but…I don't know. He's Goten's brother, not mine. Even though I've known him so long we're practically family, I feel like I'd just be invading Goten's space, and taking what I don't really have a right to."

"Hm. I'm sure Gohan would disagree with you, but I see where you're coming from. To be totally honest, that's kind of the reason I haven't come back to the past. I was worried that you'd feel I was stepping into a family that wasn't really mine. They're you're parents, and this is your time, so I didn't want you to feel awkward with me just appearing out of nowhere, and claiming to be their son, too. You know?"

Trunks's eyes widened, and he felt a clutch on his heart. "No! Don't think that way! Okay, maybe I see your point, but that's totally not going to happen anymore. Now that I've met you-well, kind of... I know that wouldn't bother me at all, and I-I wouldn't mind sharing them with you…" He mumbled the end, trailing off.

Mirai looked up at him, surprised, but recovered quickly. "Well, maybe I will visit you after all."

"Really?" The boy's eyes lit up with excitement! "You should just stay with us, nii…um, Trunks…"

Mirai's eyes widened at his younger counterpart's near-slip. "You know, Trunks, if it helps to think about it this way, we pretty much are siblings, you know. I mean, think about it. We're genetically the same, but I'm older, and grew up with different experiences. When you think about twins, who are genetically the same, but are still different people, how can you say we aren't brothers?" A sly smile started to twitch on the corners of his mouth.

Trunk's heart leapt at Mirai's words. "You mean it? I mean, you really think that's true? We're brothers? I mean, I know, not REALLY, but do you think you could think of me as your brother?"

"Honestly, I can't help it. My fraternal instincts are kicking in! I'm going to start getting bossy soon, if you don't watch out," Mirai responded, laughing.

"So, so I can call you niisan?" Trunks looked up hopefully, to see Mirai, nodding while smiling at him affectionately.

Trunks jumped up and let out a little victory whoop. "I can't wait to tell Goten! I have such a cool older brother! Gohan's cool, but MY brother's the one who traveled through time to save everyone!"

Mirai felt like the boy's words were pulling his heartstrings from his chest. "Okay, then, kiddo. I have some things I have to do, now, but remember. I'm here to talk to you anytime. Out of habit, I always keep my sword around me, so just try talking into it, okay?"

"Will do…niisan! Oh, by the way, why do you think this link opened? This has never happened before…"

Mirai looked up thoughtfully before responding slowly, "Well, Trunks, you've been having a bad day and things have been building up…and let's just say, you're not the only person who's been wishing for someone to talk to." He smiled sadly at the boy. "I think that somehow, our twin swords, and ourselves being counterparts, especially since we're struggling with something similar right now, opened some kind of mental link between us…that's all I can figure out."

"That makes sense, I guess. Anyway, thanks…it's really been good to talk to you…"

"Same, here, kid…" If only you knew how much…but I can't burden him with that…Mirai smiled up at his new little brother, "Take care of yourself, okay? And take care of a mom and dad."

"I'll talk to you soon, right? Can I talk to you tomorrow?" Trunks asked anxiously, trying to keep the panic down in his voice-he didn't want to sound too desperate, but he couldn't help it.

"Haha! If it works for you, I'd love to talk to you every day."

"What if the link doesn't work next time and I can't talk to you?"

"Well, then…I'll just have to get the time machine charged up and come visit you!"

"You'll do that anyway, though, won't you? Otherwise I might just pretend the link's broken on purpose!"

"Hah, you would. But yeah, I'll visit. It should take about a month for the machine to charge up totally, though, so wait till then, okay?"

"Yeah. Thanks, uh... Niisan. I'll-I"ll talk to you tomorrow, then!"

"Sounds great. Make sure to have a good night so you can tell me about it. Oh, and give my love to the fam."

"Okay! Bye, Oniisan!"

"Bye, Trunks."

And with that, the shining mirror-like sword darkened a shade, and the older man's face was replaced with the 11-year old's beaming reflection. Still feeling ready to burst with happiness, Trunks collapsed backwards onto his bed, replaying the conversation with his brother in his head until he felt familiar ki signature's entering the compound. His parents were home.

Sorry if it's a little OOC and sappy, but Trunks is getting older and things are hitting him a little more seriously now, so not having someone to really talk to has started wearing on him.

Anyway, till next time!

Thanks for reading!