A/N:  Yes, I know it's been forever, but I've had things like Real Life dogging my heels.  This is a rather…odd chapter.  Not one I'm necessarily proud of, but vital to the continuation of the story.  I promise that this particular group of characters will be the last OCs to pop up—they get their chance at glory, and then go back into the background.  There are later moments in the chapter with canon characters.

Also, the first little bit of this chapter was written by the wonderful Lisse, as most of this group of characters are co-owned.  I'd recommend her fics any time—so if you're looking for something to read, there ya go.

Thanks for the reviews, and enjoy!

Disclaimer:  I don't own DBZ.  I do, however, own or co-own most of the OCs.  Various others are used with permission.

A Saiyan Homecoming

Chapter 15:  It's a Mad, Mad, World

In a remote part of the world, the sky opened up. People fell out. The sky closed again. Aside from a few traumatized birds, life returned to normal.

After a fashion.

The new arrivals were odd, even by Earth's standards. There were seven of them, six youths all clustered around a blue-haired boy in his late teens. His name was Ty. He was poking something that looked like the illegitimate offspring of a satellite dish and a remote control, with a colander thrown in for good measure.

"Are we there yet?" another newcomer asked. She was twelve or thirteen, and like Ty, she had blue hair.

A silver-haired girl in rather revealing clothing looked around. She was about fifteen and very pretty. She was also purple.

"We're somewhere," she concluded.

The blue-haired girl rolled her eyes. "Thank you, Megami. Helpful as ever."

Megami beamed. Sarcasm wasn't part of her vocabulary.

"Stop it, Chance," a black-haired young man snapped. He was about twenty and quite tall, and very, very Saiyan. He even had the long brown tail to prove it. Along with a blond boy, he was surveying the wilderness for enemies. It was a habit of his.

Chance glared, but abandoned the Megami-torture and looked for someone else to harass. She didn't have many options. The two would-be warriors were scouting the landscape, Ty was busy poking his contraption, and the last two members of their little troop were off limits. One was Megami's older brother Dios, who was aloof and quiet and -- incidentally -- also purple. The other was Ty's girlfriend Carrie. Carrie couldn't use ki to save her life, but she was incapable of being afraid and she had The Whistle. Many a sensitive Saiyan eardrum had been damaged by The Whistle. Since Chance was part Saiyan, she left Carrie alone.

Abruptly Ty held up the gadget. Red numbers flashed on a screen that had probably once belonged to someone's calculator. "See? We made it."

This announcement was greeted with considerably less enthusiasm than might have been expected. The blond boy and Chance exchanged uneasy half-smiles. The Saiyan grimaced and swiped at the air with a fist. Dios merely sighed and nodded, and even Megami stopped bouncing on her toes. Only Carrie didn't look upset.

Then again, Carrie didn't know why they were here. Nor did she know the purpose behind their mission. The others weren't about to spoil her blissful ignorance. Not yet, anyway.

If the troop accomplished their goal, some of them would be trapped on this world, possibly forever, with no way of going home or telling their families what had become of them. But they had it better than the others.

If they succeeded, most of the seven travelers would simply cease to exist.

But as this was an absolutely morose thought and most of the seven travelers were trying not to think that way, it was shunted to the farthest corners of their minds to idle.  What happened to them was irrelevant; they were serving a much greater purpose, and were naturally a bit curious about this world.  They didn't have any memories of this place other than the stories, which was as it should be, but they were also teenagers, meaning they were ready to walk on the wild side.

For these teenagers, that usually involved an ordinary mechanical object, which combined with Ty's propensity for adding rocket fuel usually unleashed great havoc on some poor innocent bystander.  Their grandmother was still mopping up the mess from that incident with the overhead projector.

Luckily for the denizens of Earth there wasn't any rocket fuel in the immediate vicinity, so Ty's random thoughts of souping up a box fan were added to his never-ending list of things to try when responsible people weren't around.  They were also lucky that Orion was standing in as the resident responsible one.  All of sixteen years old, his still-growing frame promised height and muscle mass, but it was the stormy look in his blue eyes that made even Carrie pause in her attempts to wring the reason why they were here out of Ty.

"We need to figure out what exactly we're going to say," his voice was quiet, but it held the authority of a man much, much older than Orion.  "They'll be suspicious if our stories don't match."

Carrie blinked her indigo eyes, shades darker than anyone else's, and stared at him as if he'd grown another head.  And in Carrie's experience, he might.  After all, she'd only found out a week ago what the others had known all of their lives.  That travel between both time and dimensions was not only possible, but her darling boyfriend had made it a reality.  "What?  We can't just tell them we're here to save the world?"

Carrie had yet to understand the definitions of things called subtlety and tact.

"I'm afraid," the purple boy spoke for the first time in his light smooth voice, "that telling them that would only increase their suspicions of us."

"Ooooh," Chance sneered, shifting her weight on sandaled feet, "the fact that you and Megami are purple wouldn't ring any bells anyway?"

"Chance," Orion warned.  "You're not helping things."

Chance gave her brother a piercing stare before flipping her sloppy blue braid over one shoulder.  "Hmph.  I have an opinion too."

"Of course you do," Dios soothed, because that was part of his nature.  "And as for being purple, I'm sure we'll come up with something."

"Right," Orion murmured, nodding his head in a sharp gesture reminiscent of their grandmother, which was enough to keep them all in line.  "We should probably hurry, too.  We don't exactly have inconspicuous kis, and someone's sure to notice us shortly.  So what's our cover story?"

Off in the distance, crickets chirped.

Surprisingly enough, it was Megami who broke the silence first.  Although she could always be counted on for support and distraction, Megami had never been known for her cognitive skills.  Which made it all that much more surprising when what she said actually made sense.  "Well," she pushed an errant lock of her silver hair out of her face, "what about that timeline Grandpa's always talking about?  The one where other-him was Champion and the androids were evil?"

Chance blinked.  "Did Megami just…think?"

Carrie swatted at her.

"That might work," Ty murmured, running his fingers through his hair while he stared at the machine sitting at his feet.  "We're Briefs anyway."

"I'm not," the young man who had up until then remained silent spoke up.  "And neither are Dios and Megami.  How are you going to explain us?"  He cocked his head, blinking large dark eyes.  In Bardock's case everything from his name to his face largely screamed his heritage to anyone who knew the slightest bit about his race, and he was far too Saiyan to pass off as a random descendant.

Megami shrugged and giggled as the thought of Bardock without his Saiyan spikes passed through her mind.  Some things were just too amusing not to laugh at.  "Well, didn't that timeline have a Gohan?  You're a Son anyway."

Orion studied his fellow warrior carefully.  "Yes.  There's really not a lot of your dad in you unless someone knows what to look for.  You could be Gohan's son."

Bardock sneered, not happy with the comparison, but nodded anyway, folding his arms across his chest.  It would have to serve.

Megami breezed on, apparently unaware of that little interaction.  "As for oniichan and me, well, we just got stuck while we were traveling!  Like that one movie that Kelsee Major did last month and the…"

Chance put a hand over her cousin's mouth to cut off the ensuing list of said actor's attributes.  "Who's to say more aliens didn't stop off?  It's happened everywhere else."  Considering that Chance's everywhere else was extremely narrow in terms of the Multiverse she wasn't exactly correct, but close enough for their purposes.

"All right," Orion began correlating facts and aligning tidbits in his head.  "We're from the Miraiverse, and we came to check up on everyone and say that we were all right, but something went wrong with the time machine and we misjudged our jump."  He eyed the technical genius.  "Can you back that up?"

After hunting in his pocket for a moment, Ty pulled out a capsule, which he tossed to the ground to reveal a time machine.  Rather old and creaky, even by his standards, but it was big enough to carry them all.  Pulling a panel of the hull off, he peered at the wiring and absently swapped two connectors.  "Done."

Staring at the dimensional portal, which sat at his feet like a squat mechanical dog, he pressed his thumb onto a lever and watched as it disappeared into a capsule that had been new on this Earth a good five years ago.  Tucking it carefully into his breast pocket, he glanced at his brother and took charge.  "Look, when we get to the city…" he trailed off for a moment while he searched his memories.  "There's just going to be a lot of people, and buildings bigger than we build anymore, so you might want to be prepared."

Carrie blinked.  "But that isn't safe!  All those people together!  What are they thinking?"

Ty was saved from having to answer by the appearance of three figures over the hill that, given the circumstances, should have given them a shock.  But Dios had excellent perception in matters of the surreal, and was quite aware they were on their way over.

Rider pulled his horse to a stop and sat at the top of a small knoll, peering down at the little group before him.  They were bringing back memories of past missions that were sending alarm bells ringing in his head, and if his instincts were right their very presence wasn't a good sign at all.  Neither of his companions had ever been to that particular universe, so they only saw a group of people who looked like they belonged about as much as a penguin belonged in a desert, which was to say not at all.

Then they noticed that two of the individuals were purple—and the set of their features and silvered hair reminded them of a particular god too much to be coincidence.

"Wow," Cami murmured softly.  "Shin spawned."

Well, there went one of their secrets.

Megami beamed and waved.  There were times that it was amazing that she was actually the Supreme Kai's daughter, because she didn't have a godly bone in her body.  Of course she also wasn't due to exist for another twenty years or so if at all, but none of the Knights knew this.  Her brother Dios, however, took after his father in a great many ways and stepped forward, adopting a posture he'd picked up from his human grandmother.

"My name is Dios," he introduced himself while mentally scrambling for something to tell them.  This was followed by a tiny smile.  "I've been sent keep an eye on things around here in case something goes wrong.  Father is too busy to come immediately if things get out of hand."

Octavia cocked her head for a moment and nodded.  "And where did you pick up the others?"

Dios shrugged, an elegant motion that was known to send all of his female classmates drooling.  "They're friends."

"Ah," Octavia allowed, rubbing at a livid bruise that decorated her forearm.  "Well, if you'll excuse us, we're on the trail of someone named Gero.  Supposed to be a tricky little spirit, and we'd best get moving."

"Of course," Dios inclined his head, and Octavia and Cami zoomed off, taking that as all of the permission they'd need.

Rider, however, didn't charge away immediately.  He approached them calmly, peering carefully at faces and ki.  Dios gazed at him calmly.  Rider stared back.  "I happen to know," his voice was deceptively light, "that the Supreme Kai doesn't have children."  He eyed the rest of the group, "and your parents are far too young to be parents yet."

Dios channeled his father.  The Knightly version of Son Gohan was someone he'd known all his life, and he had no trouble exercising the authority he'd been born with.  "What we are doing here is of no concern to you," his order was more warning than order, "only that it is vitally important that the others don't know.  And you have spirits to return."

Rider glared, but Dios had mastered the art of staring down even the most intimidating people at a young age and gazed back calmly, without a flicker of expression on his face.  Dios always won big on poker-nights.

Rider was the first to look away.  He dug a heel into the side of his steed, making him pivot around and face the opposite direction before galloping away after his partners.

Although Dios didn't look it, he was actually quite relieved.  He was nowhere strong enough to take on Rider, nor did he actually have the power to order him around.  Even in the future, he didn't have much power in the hierarchies of the Afterlife, except as his father's rather coddled son.  Not that Dios minded that reputation; there was a lot one could learn when they weren't taken seriously.

He waited until Rider was well out of earshot and turned back to his friends and family.  "Remember to keep a watch out for anything suspicious.  The Majin has to be transferred by actual touch, it can't be done any other way."

Carrie arched an eyebrow.  "So we're looking for anything suspicious.  Strange creatures in weird clothes with stuff from the stone age, weird golden goblets, big ugly statues of naked monsters, that sort of thing?"

Dios considered for a moment, well aware that Orion was shifting restlessly from foot to foot.  He had much more of a personal investment in this than any of the others.  "Yes, but it could be in something completely ordinary, although that's highly unlikely.  The gods don't like to play with fire when it comes to things like that."

Orion snorted.  The others ignored him.  He had taken to this situation a bit differently than any of the others and, even should they choose to back off, Orion was completely capable of forcing them to carry on.  His brother and Bardock didn't doubt that he would in the slightest; he'd always been closer to his mother than either of his siblings.

"Well," Bardock half-growled, "let's get this over with.  I'd like to be home in time for dinner."

Chance beamed.  "Spoken like a true Son."

"Oh, be quiet, you.  At least I don't wear an ankle length parka in July."

"Dad made me!"

"Uh-huh.  Or maybe you're just weird."


Before Chance could reply, Carrie took hold of the situation.  She grabbed the sleek silver whistle that hung around her neck on a cord and waved it threateningly.  After having spent her entire life herding what seemed like six hundred and ninety-two male relatives, it took a lot to intimidate her.  A brewing fight between people strong enough to destroy planets wasn't one of them.  "CHILDREN!  Don't make me use this!"

Chance, who had been tightly wound for days, stopped and glared at her.  Sunlight glinted off The Whistle, and she reluctantly stepped back from the much larger Saiyan before she gave Carrie a chance to inflict irreversible damage on her eardrums.  Bardock grumbled but backed off too.

Carrie smirked and happily dropped the whistle back beneath her shirt, turning to her darling boyfriend.  "Shall we go?"

Ty obediently scooped her up, arranging her comfortably in his arms for the flight into Western Capitol.  After a few more minor squabbles and Megami walloping Chance about the shoulders with her fashionably small handbag for being stubborn, they were on their way.

Of course, they never expected to find what they did.

Capsule Corps was where it had always been, but it was big—something that they had expected.  The surprising part was that from the air, the lawn looked like a writhing multicolored mass.  Upon closer inspection, it was covered in reporters, news crews, and other general innocent bystanders.  Somehow they'd managed to get past the gates to blanket every inch of the lawn.

Carrie wondered if it was grass like she knew, or concrete.  She couldn't tell the difference through all of the people milling around.

They dropped out of the sky well out of the sight of the crowd and attempted to blend in, although with Dios and Megami and their peculiar skin color, that was a bit difficult.  The crowd seemed melded away from them like they were monstrous man-eating aliens, but they didn't notice.  Megami was even waving.

Chance rolled her eyes.  "Megami.  Stoppit."

"What?"  Megami pouted.  "I need to practice my wave!"

"And what wave might that be?  The welcome-my-adoring-fans-wave?"

"Of course."

"Megami," Chance was never known for her patience, "these people think you're a freak."

Megami shrugged and beamed at the closest couple, who were staring unabashedly at her purple skin.  "They'll remember me that way then, won't they?"

"And that's a good thing?"

"Of course!"

"And Bardock thinks I'm weird."  Any other comment Chance might have had was cut off when they rounded the gates and were attacked by a wave of sound and flashing lights, all directed towards what they knew should be the building's front door.

Reporters were packed onto the lawn like sardines, complete with camera crews, broadcasting equipment, and the occasional lackey carrying water, towels, and cell-phones.  Interspersed among them were men in Capsule Corps shirts who looked like they should have been attempting to beat each other over the heads with metal chairs in front of thousands of people on television.  They were armed with glowing plastic tubes originally intended to direct planes in the dark, but they served just as well for guiding reporters, or jabbing ribs where appropriate.  All in all, the reporters were staying away from them, which was probably good for their continued health.

Somewhere at the front of the mob, someone was answering questions.  Megami started to float off the ground to see who it was, but her brother pulled her back down to earth before she could get very far.  They didn't have to wait very long, though, because Bardock and Orion were shouldering their way over to one of the outer walls, and began boosting others up to see what was going on.  All settled, they turned their attention to the front of the crowd.

A man they only vaguely recognized from very old pictures was standing at the door, shoulders stooped and hair whitened with age.  The mustache that dripped off his lip, however, was as lavender as Megami, and that alone told them who they were seeing.  The venerable Dr. Briefs, founder of Capsule Corps, stood calmly, microphone in hand, answering questions.

He pointed at someone in the crowd.  "Your turn."

"Dr Briefs," a woman who looked like she'd been standing out all night in the cold shouted over the murmurs, "Records say that the individuals responsible for the destruction of downtown Satan City have been transferred to the Capsule Corps private hospital.  Can you tell us anything about that?"

"Well," Doctor Briefs stroked his bushy mustache in thought,  "As you know the Capsule Corps hospital has the cutting edge in medical technology, all in experimental stages, of course, but it makes our hospital much more amenable to treating the strangers after all, doesn't it?"

"Wait a minute," another reporter yelled, "you mean to say they're not under any sort of restraint or guard?"

"Oh, I didn't say that.  They're all under control and not likely to get out of it, but anything more than that I can't tell you.  Doctor-patient confidentiality still applies to aliens too, after all."

His statement was immediately met by a barrage of questions and more camera flashes.

"You mean they really are aliens?"

"Do you know how they got here?"

"How are you keeping them under control?"

"What about your granddaughter?"

Dr. Briefs blinked.  "Bra's just fine.  Recovering nicely."

"But eyewitnesses say she went through a building!  How could she survive something like that?"

"Actually she just went through the glass," the man murmured in reply.  "Was in a fairly sheltered alcove when the building fell and came out of it with some cuts and bruises.  She'll back to work in no time, and the rest of your questions can wait until then, or be addressed to the press department.  I'm sure all of you know the number by now."  Without saying anything else, the doctor turned to go back into the building, and the crowds surged forward as one towards the door.

"Well," Ty murmured, "How are we going to get in?  I don't think we could get through that."  He gestured at the crowd, which was pressing against the men in Security shirts.  "Ki?"

"Too messy," Dios murmured.  "Battering ram?"

"There's always lightning," Orion was murmuring quietly.  "A few bolts in the yard might clear them out."

"Yeah, but it'd also fry half of them."

"Thank you for that image, Chance."

"That's what I'm here for."

Bardock grinned devilishly.  "Hey, Carrie could flash—OW!"  He yelped as both Megami's purse and Carrie's foot connected with his ribs.

"I'm not flashing anybody Bardock," she snapped, then rolled her eyes.  "Don't they have a back door?"

Ty and Dios paused in their discussion involving the portal, a massive ki blast, and a spoon to stare sheepishly at Carrie.  "What?"

Carrie sighed.  "I know it looks like a zoo, but it's got to have a back door, doesn't it?"

"Er," Ty scratched his head.

His girlfriend pinched her nose.  "Look.  It's simple.  We can't get to the front door, so we walk around to the back.  Do I need to draw diagrams?"

"No," Ty mumbled, staring at the building.

"Do you even know where the door's at?"  Megami murmured.

"The back of the building?"

Ty glanced at the complex of domes that was Capsule Corps, his brain automatically identifying architectural structure and hypothesizing various places for the back door to be.  It wasn't that Ty was eccentric; his brain just processed concepts that most human astrophysicists would only begin to suspect the existence of decades in the future.  And with that sort of mental capacity, it took him exactly 3.14 seconds to come to a decision that would have made anyone groan if it hadn't come from him and such things were to be expected.  "It's probably on the opposite side from the front door."

Carrie sighed and smiled sweetly.  "We've established that.  Now we're going to go find it."

"Oh."  Ty stood up on the wall and offered her his hand as Bardock pulled Chance and Megami off the wall.  "Wanna lift?"  Carrie snaked her arm around his neck and held on as he dropped off the wall, landing on his feet as lightly as a cat before following his bundle of relatives through the crowds.

After a few minutes of struggle and Orion practicing his rugby-playing skills against a particularly stubborn group of photojournalists, they were on the rear side of the house, which was remarkably clear of reporters.  Even though he was out of action, apparently fear of Vegeta still worked wonders on which lines the media mob knew they could cross.

The back door was indeed where Ty had postulated it was, an unassuming creation of white-painted aluminum and glass.  They stared at it.  The door, being a door, didn't so much as flinch.  It didn't do anything—it was a door, and a rather small one at that.

Orion scowled at it.

The door stood there.

Dios mentally willed it to open.

The door stood there.

Flexing his growing intimidation skills, Bardock flexed his tail and sneered.

It was a very stubborn piece of architecture.

Megami smiled happily, wondering what it would look like if she painted it purple and silver and hung lights off it.

Despite the bad mental images, it remained steadfast.

Ty was attempting to mentally disassemble and rebuild it.

Poor door, but determined.  It stared back at him proudly.

Carrie sighed.  "Fine.  If none of you are going to ring the bell, I guess I will."  And she proceeded to do just that, triggering a chain reaction that would forever change the lives of everyone involved.

* * * * * * * * *

Videl, for the first time in ages, had all of Gohan's attention.  He wasn't just listening to her, or watching her while the gears of his brain were miles away, but he was paying attention to her with all of her being.  He was completely at her mercy, and she was enjoying it.

There was one thing that had more power than the Frying Pan in a Saiyan's life.  At least to a Saiyan that had both of his hands in casts, that is.  And that thing, dear readers, was a spoon.  Due to the fact that both of his hands had been broken, Gohan was no longer able to feed himself, and that duty, along with some more unsavory things, had fallen to her.

But this was something she could enjoy; controlling a Saiyan's food intake was the ultimate power of them.  She grinned wickedly at Gohan.  "Surrender?"

Gohan stared at her, chin firm.  "Never."

Videl raised an eyebrow.  She also raised the spoon.  Gohan swallowed, eyes following the polished silver utensil loaded down with some rather appetizing beef stew whose scent was making her hungry, despite the fact that she'd eaten only a few hours ago.

"So," she asked again, making sure she wiggled the spoon in tantalizing fashion, "do you surrender?"

Gohan's black eyes flickered up to her face again, his resolve continuing.  Inside, she giggled.  A Saiyan stuck between his pride and his appetite was always an amusing thing.  "Come on," she teased, "all you have to do is say it."

The smell of Chichi's famous cooking was just too much.  She couldn't help it, and shoved the spoon into her own mouth when Gohan took too long to consider his answer.  This of course, he noticed, and began to whine.  "Hey," he protested,  "That's my dinner!"

"Not until you tell me what I want to hear," she returned, loading her weapon again.  "And it's very good.  I'd hate to see it go to waste."

Gohan eyed her face, then the spoon.  Videl grinned as she saw the wheels in his head come to a screeching halt.  "Fine," he said flatly.  "You were much better than I was at the whole superhero thing, and the Great Saiyaman poses were stupid."

"Very good!"  Videl cheered.  She'd been waiting years to hear him say that.

"Can I please have my dinner now?"

Videl cocked her head and studied his face, noticing the saliva that had gathered on his lips.  "All right," she conceded, and stuck the spoon into his mouth, "but next time you have to say it like you mean it."

"Awww…c'mon, Vi," her mate protested around a mouthful of hot stew, "I'm hungry!"

"Maybe," she replied, channeling her evil streak, "but I'm the one with the spoon.  Now say it again."

Gohan grit his teeth, but now that he'd actually had a taste of his lunch, he was desperate for more.  Videl knew she wouldn't be able to spoon it in fast enough shortly, but she had to have her fun first.

"Once is enough," he reasoned, still eyeing her hands.

"Really?"  She retorted with all the gruffness a lifetime of working with hardened criminals and stubborn Saiyans developed.  "I don't think so.  Now talk."

The harsh metallic buzzing of the doorbell saved Gohan from any more humiliation, although he was quite aware of his mother and sister-in-law lurking outside the kitchen door to watch.  After the excitement with the Knights was over, most of the others had headed for their homes, the exception being those who had been injured.  They wanted to be around when Bulma decided to rescind her edict on the regeneration tanks so they could be healed as soon as possible.

Of course, they had woken up that morning to the buzz of the media, pests that they were, and the accompanying headlines.  Bulma had called up the entire legal department to deal with it as Trunks was incapable of speaking at the moment and she too stressed, but it had been her father who had eventually gone out to deal with them. 

Bra's assistant had brought copies of all the major publications with her when she'd been summoned in the wee hours of the morning, and she and Bulma were trying to sort out the mess.  There was a cleanup crew in biohazard suits working on the wreckage of the living room, but all of the Saiyans still steered as far away from it as possible.  Whatever that creature had been, the smell it left behind was making them all edgy, especially Pan, who couldn't seem to get past it without an emergency trip to the bathroom.  Bulma had sent her back up to Trunks to rest.

She blinked as the buzzer, obviously the one at the back door, rang through the house again.  "Does somebody want to get that?"  Dende knew if it was one of those reporters she'd be likely to steal Videl's gun and shoot him and make an even bigger mess of things.

"I'll get it!"  Twin voices piped up in unison as feet churned towards the door.

"Oh no you don't," Marron chastised, leaning away from her spot on the wall where she was watching Gohan's…situation.  She snagged each of her five-year-olds by one arm twirled them back around in the other direction.  "If you're going to torture anybody, go torture Barden."

"But Mom!"  Protests in stereo sound were an amusing thing.  Bulma was glad she'd never had twins.

"But nothing," Marron chided.  "Go…go paint his toenails or something.  Just stay away from the door."

Astounded at being given permission to wreak havoc, the two little girls bounced off up the stairs, happily chattering about Barden, who was about to get a makeover no matter what he thought about it.

Marron scooped her small son up off the floor, settling him on one hip.  "We'll get it!"

Juugo beamed.  "I help!"

"Sure you can," Marron agreed as she wandered off in the direction of the door.  "Just look like a monster, okay?"

"Grrrrrr!"  Juugo roared obediently.

Marron chuckled.  "That's it.  But wait until I open the door, okay?  We need to scare the reporters away."


Bulma changed her analysis of the situation.  Poor reporter.  Marron alone was frightening enough when she wanted to be, and she had a trainee to corrupt.  A very enthusiastic one too, judging from the growls that were carrying over.  Pitying whatever poor soul was at the door, she turned back to the stack of newspapers in her lap and began helping Athena compile lists of comments to refute or enforce.  The back of her brain noted that there weren't any yelps of pain or fright, but she didn't pay it any mind.  Whoever it was must have been smart and gone in the other direction.

She was not expecting to see a rather bewildered Marron lead a crowd of strangers back into the room.  Studying them carefully, she decided they really were strangers, although they looked very familiar.

Marron glanced over at her and shifted Juugo to her other hip.  "We have visitors," she announced tersely.  "From the past."  She glanced at her companions.  "No…the future."  She blinked, thoroughly confused.  "The past future?"

The blonde boy smiled a smile that Bulma had seen before, but couldn't place.  "Close enough."  He turned to Bulma and offered her a much more hesitant smile.  "We're from the Mirai timeline," he explained calmly.

Bulma paused, coffee mug poised halfway to her lips, and stared.

Seven faces, two purple, stared back.

A brunette stepped forward, something akin to awe in her eyes.  "Hi?"

Marron bounced Juugo on one hip and watched, a rather amused smirk settling on her lips.  "What's next," she mused, "Saiyans visiting from hell?"

"Ssshhh," Chichi scolded from next to the kitchen.  "Don't give anyone ideas!"

* * * * * * * * *