Author`s Note: Welcome to the first(and probably the only) installment of the Hybrid Theory stories to cross over into Sailor Moon! This one took me a while to write, and hopefully it`s a whole lot different from any of the other fics in this section, but damnit, I finished it!!! The plot doesn`t really move fast in the first chapter since I`m just setting things up here, but given how things move later... Heh
A note ahead of time though, forgive any description errors with the scouts(senshi), or those around them. Also, disregard any attempt to view all of the evidence of the Passage of Time as one thing, I intentionally made it inconsistant with it`s own effects to prevent people from really understanding it perfectly. And even that is actually passively consistant since the saying "time is ever changing" would fit best there.
Oh and one last thing, this story has a lot of backplot to it(most of it subtle or just hard to catch otherwise), so I suggest looking into my bio and reading each of the other Hybrid Theory stories(Hybrid Theory, EP - Forgotten, Hybrid Theory Redux, EP - Next Year) if you want the whole story, but since this can still pretty much stand alone, you don`t need to.
Disclaimer: I don`t own DB, DBZ, SM, SMR, SMS, SMSS, or SM Stars... Well god damn dude O.o;
Part of Me
Morning on a Thursday, the first day of Summer for Son Gohan. A month had gone by since his entrance into the world`s martial arts "Top Name List," a solid month he had spent dodging the infrequent reporter and the occasional rabid fan, a month he had spent helping make up for damage done to Piccolo`s pride by helping the other train from time to time when Vegeta was actually willing to accept a sparring partner. To date, the Prince had yet to beat Gohan in the five matches they`d actually had against one another, but each fight brought the Prince a few new tactics and a few new tricks. He was improving in other ways to make up for his lack of power compared to Gohan, without even knowing it no less.
This morning though, none of that really mattered. This morning, Gohan had spent the past hour getting his room in order and talking to Videl for a few minutes afterward. This morning, Gohan had decided it was time to face up to something he`d been putting off for a time.
Or to be more precise, the power he had been born with. The power that still, to this day, threatened to overwhelm him. He was scared of it, he was the only one that really knew enough of it to actually be scared now that he remembered all of the times he had used it. That first time as a baby, again when he was first kidnapped by Garlic Junior, once more against his own uncle, again and again and again through the years. For some reason, his mind`s own defenses had lowered enough that he actually remembered it. He didn`t truly know what to think though, and that was why he was doing this. His mother had cursed at him a few times, yelled, even tried to bust out the frying pan(Number 6, the solid neo-titanium frying pan Bulma had bought her) more than once in an attempt - however futile it was - to make him reconsider.
Today, she was standing at the door, eight months pregnant, eyes a bit moistened and hair up. She was upset alright, but she wasn`t going to show it. Not with Piccolo around. A strange thing had happened in the days after the Tenkaichi Budoukai, Piccolo and ChiChi had actually come to regard one another on genuine speaking terms. ChiChi even seemed to be coming close to adopting Piccolo into the family in a similar way to how she`d emotionally adopted Krillin and Yamcha.
Not to say the Namek didn`t still fear her for the frying pan skills the woman had, but that`s another story entirely.
"You`re still going through with it?" Gohan heard somewhere as he walked down the stairs from his bedroom and moved towards the door, and by default, ChiChi. The boy was dressed in a new douji, one he had gotten from Piccolo as a gift for passing the schoolyear with flying colors in every subject but health(Gohan seemed to have problems remembering it all), and the youth looked more and more to be coming into his own - even at his clothing style. It was a combination of his father`s douji and the one he and Piccolo had both worn to the Cell Games. The the pants were black, and the over shirt was the same as Piccolo`s, only black and with a slightly steeper drop at the neck, down to just beneath the collar. The belt, wrist bands, and the newly added boots were all dark blue, and three symbols adorned his shirt, the first placed over his heart was a symbol reading "Trained by Son Goku," the second, on his back, read "Trained by Piccolo Junior," and the third was placed on either shoulder, reading as "Trained by Krillin Chestnut," a smaller reference to the time he had spent 'mind sparring' with Krillin on the way to Namek.
The boy also had a military-styled backpack slung over his shoulders, and the old Power Pole was held in it`s traditional scabbardesque carrier in one of his hands since didn`t have it slung over his shoulder just yet.
"Yes," he answered simply as he stopped in front of his mother. Piccolo said nothing. ChiChi looked upset but she bit back any further reply. "Then..." She stammered a bit. ChiChi was really a bit too worried to talk but in her present state, with his will as it was, she couldn`t do anything to really stop him. "I know, I`ll take care and I`ll be very careful not to do anything I`ll regret," Gohan replied before she could speak. "I didn`t spend six months out in the wilderness mostly alone and wander around on two alien worlds in a row a half a year later and learn nothing, you know," he informed her flatly. ChiChi chuckled half-heartedly and bent down, hugging her son tightly enough that even a super saiyan would have a bit of trouble breathing.
Gohan hugged back and for a moment, time paused. Piccolo watched on from where he was standing, leaned against a wall. He had been forced to give himself some new attire given the fact a two ton cloak and a four hundred pound turban, along with two seventy pound wrist bands and a belt that was weighted to some five hundred pounds didn`t exactly bode well for ChiChi`s floor, so he was now wearing a plain outfit, jeans and a short sleeved shirt, along with another pair of sneakers, all borrowed from Goku`s closet. It seemed even when he was dead, Goku was still giving to those around him.
"I`ll see you when Summer`s over, probably," Gohan said while stepping by his mother and opening the door. ChiChi gave a nod and waved good-bye as her son, her soon-to-be-eldest son, exited the house and shut the door gently behind him. The Ox King stood outside quietly. Piccolo could hear Ox and Gohan exchanging words with one another, he could hear the two saying good-bye and he knew ChiChi could see the two hug one another before Gohan tossed his backpack onto the Nimbus and then slung the Power Pole around his neck and under his right arm before hopping on.
"So long Grandpa, if my brother is born while I`m gone, keep an eye on him for me!" Gohan called out as the little gold cloud shut straight up into the air. The Ox King waved and listened as Gohan called out to him again. "... And if Videl asks where I am, just tell her I`m on Walk About!" The Ox King replied loudly. "Alright! Take care Gohan!" The old King yelled, uncertain if his grandson heard him or not.
"I will, Grandpa," Gohan thought in reply as the Nimbus twisted and turned about during it`s straight ascent. "That way!" Gohan yelled, arm jutting out on emphasis. The cloud had randomly ended up pointed South.
Part of me won't go away
Everyday reminded how much I hate it
Weighted against the consequences
Can't live without it so it's senseless
"Let`s trail the coastline," Gohan suggested. The Nimbus seemed to puff up under him in reply before blasting off towards the coast at it`s top speed, which was actually pretty good given it`s age was nearly two hundred and fifty years total, perhaps a little older or a little younger, give or take a decade. Either way, it was a good ride if one was pure hearted enough to actually ride the little cloud.
"Time to see what I`m made of..."
Can't live without it so it's senseless
Wanna cut it out of my soul
And just live with a gaping hole
Take control of my life
He was really beginning to remember all of that hidden power`s usage. He was now even remembering the times no one else knew of it, like that time it had manifested in a way that was so very different from the usage it saw now. He remembered, when he was three, how he had wandered into his grandfather`s bedroom while staying with the older man shortly before his schooling began. The Ox King had been going through some serious health issues at that time, the result of a cumulative series of injuries in his early and adult life, going back to when he had first tried on one of Roshi`s Turtle Shells and found his knees blown out, going on through years of hard fighting and ending with his eventual lung cancer as a result of twenty years of hardcore cigar smoking.
Gohan was the only one that knew how that night had gone, he`d been woken up by the old man`s violent coughing, and unconciously, he had placed his hands to the elder`s chest while trying to wake him up. He now remembered the surge of energy that had followed, an electric blue glow that pulsed around his arms and into the other`s body. The Ox King woke up shortly after the process had finished itself off, and he hadn`t had another coughing fit since. Even his lung cancer had vanished and every wound he had ever developed seem to disappear or minimalize itself to where it wouldn`t ever be a problem for the rest of his life.
Gohan was the only one to know, now, that the Earth`s first major invaders in his father`s lifetime hadn`t just destroyed his innocence, or his cowardice, or his weakness, but they`d also robbed him of the potential ability to help others. It had left him only with the destruction he could bring now, and he was truly embittered with them over it. It was probably why he had avoided a sixth spar with Vegeta. At least for now, he couldn`t stand the mere presence of the snobbish, arrogant Prince.
At least the ocean had a good view though. Good enough to bring a smirk to the boy`s face as that golden cloud trailed out over it all. "Pretty nice day out," he observed, feeling the Flying Nimbus pull into a barrel roll for a moment and then straighten back out as if to give him a better view. The cloud seemed to puff up in response before bursting ahead again. The Nimbus cloud defied all logic and science, it just was.
A bit of insanity in a too-sane world. Gohan loved the thing. He laughed as it dove downward and then sharply pulled up just before it could impact the sands, kicking up a monstrous two-sided wave of dirt and water before trailing back up and into the air at a lowered altitude, still on it`s course as the early morning sun continued it`s relentless climb towards noon. It was five hours since he had left home, possibly for the last time in a quarter of a year. He didn`t know what would happen next, but he didn`t really care.
Gohan was free for once. He didn`t have to be a planetary savior, he didn`t have to train to fight some seemingly unstoppable menace, he didn`t have to act tough to get someone to back off, he didn`t have to study endlessly to appease someone who just wouldn`t listen to him when he talked of his own hopes and dreams. Freedom was a wonderful thing, it even meant he got the chance to make his own food...
Which reminded him.
A growl pierced the air and Gohan stared down at his stomach with a light frown. "Any fish nearby, Nimbus?" He asked the cloud, which darted out over the sea and halted, throwing Gohan forward and into the air. The cloud seemed to puff in and out repeatedly as a wheezing sound escaped it, while Gohan hung in the air with the Power Pole dangling precariously from his upper body. "It`s not funny!" He barked at the Nimbus. The cloud continued it`s strange form of laughter as Gohan frowned and flipped himself up right. "Be back in a minute," he grumbled out while letting himself fall toward the water.
Heard of me the routine scar
New cuts cover where the old ones are
And now I'm sick of this
I can't stand the sandpaper thoughts that grade away on my sanity
I rather not even be then the man that's staring in the mirror through me
"No going back now," he thought as he ran for the exit of the tunnel. His own image was everywhere, that and the images of those he`d left behind. The exit of the tunnel, it was right ahead of him, closer and closer still but he just couldn`t seem to make it there, no matter how many jumps, rolls, hovers, flights or combinations, he just couldn`t seem to get there.
"Everyone`s counting on me damn it... I can do this!" His will was strong, that was certain. His heart was in the right place as he continued his run, thinking of the people counting on him. A metallic/yellow streak blazed overhead and a golden streak dashed by him, but he paid no attention to any of them. A supremely valiant effort was made as the figure lowered his head somewhat and began to mutter out the old word pairing that had proven so vital to more than one victory in his battle filled life...
"Super... Kaio... KEN!!!" He screamed loudly enough that it echoed through the tunnels of Time itself, all of them, loud enough that it was heard for ages within, seconds outside. A crimson, flowing aura swirled up around him, replacing the formerly bright golden aura of the figure and throwing him from the ethereally blackened floor of the infinitely large tunnel, straight forward.
A blinding flash of light and he slammed into the tiling of the ground hard, the Kaio Ken`s aura drifting away with a golden outline to it as several tiles jumbled from a result of his harsh impact. Wounds dotted the figure of the young man, who stood at essentially the same height as his father, though he was obviously more muscular at his age than his father had been. He wore the same douji outfit though, right down to the color scheme, though the symbol on the back was differing in at least one respect. Rather than "Trained by Kame," or "Trained by King Kaio," or "Trained by Dai Kaio," or even "Trained by Kami," or "Trained by Korin." Instead of all of these, it read something that seemed unlikely, to say the absolute least, instead of all of these masters of the grandest martial arts around, it read, quite simply as "Trained by Vegeta."
Given that it was Son Goten wearing the uniform, this was a shock indeed. "Made it," he gasped while pushing himself upward towards his feet, only to falter back down to his knees in a matter of seconds.
"Worse for wear, but yes, you did," a female voice echoed from his side. "Congratulations on being the first to ever run the tunnel of time with no magics or machinery whatsoever," the voice said calmly with a light echo even as it`s own stepped into view. In all his years, Goten had never expected that the gaurdian of time would be a woman, let alone a woman with a model-build and posture in a warped sailor schoolgirl uniform holding an oversized staff with flowing green hair that ran to just above her knees. "Who the hell?" He muttered while stumbling to his feet and assuming a fighting posture. His hair, shorter and styled, unlike his father`s, overhung his slightly bruised, more than a bit bloodied face in the process, blackening as he fell from Super Saiyan due to a lack of energy to sustain it.
"My name, as you so politely asked, is Sailor Pluto. Welcome to the entrance or exit of the Tunnel of Time, depending on your point of view," the woman replied with a low bow. "Where am I?" He asked while straightening up and rubbing the side of his head. "When, you mean?" The woman asked. "Whatever," Goten grumbled. "The 30th century."
"Shit!" Goten growled, dropping to his knees. "25th to 20th to 30th... How the hell do these things happen to me?" He cursed, slamming his hand into the tiling and getting back to hisfeet with a huff. "Don`t tell me I have to go in there again?!" Goten demanded, a visible twitch forming on the right side of his mouth. "How many times... You know, to hell with it, I`m not asking again," he grumbled out, stumping from the exit of the tunnel and steeling himself for another run at it before he felt the woman`s staff press against his collarbone. "You might want to hold that thought," Pluto advised with a smirk. "Your injuries are too severe to go jumping through there a third time with no magics or technology to guide and protect you," she stated.
Goten sneered at the mirror image of himself visible in the water-like entrance of the tunnel. "I have too many people counting on me lady, move the stick or I move it for you," he threatened, glaring over at Pluto. "Are you in a rush to die? This is time you wish to violate in order to protect your own home, time yeilds only to those with the magics or the technology to navigate it properly," she chastised him sharply. Goten snorted. "Vegeta and Trunks were too cautious too... And now I gotta find Bra before she gets lost too," he grimaced at the thought of his adopted sister winding up in some ancient stone age, not because it could hurt her, but because of the havoc she could inspire without even trying. Bad enough the girl had her mother`s ego and mind, she had her father`s power and her brother`s sword.
A bad combination by any means. "... I`ll give you five seconds," Goten began. The woman rolled her eyes and shouted, but it wasn`t audible. It was a dead scream*, one that threw Goten back and smashed him face first into a wall, which he promptly slid down to where he was leaned against it, a few new bruises covering his face. Anger drove him back to his feet, anger propelled his power back up with the hidden potential that all the Son children possessed, and anger forced him back through the rigors of super saiyan, a golden aura and a wave of power flaring off of him as he turned around and wiped his face off.
Pluto stood there, unphased aside from her hair being thrown back as if by a strong wind. He skirt was barely ruffled by it. "Don`t make me drop a Spirit Bomb or a Chou Kame Hame Ha here, just move," he advised threateningly. Pluto remained unphased. "A Spirit Bomb will do nothing to this place, Crystal Tokyo is filled with only good. A Chou Kame Hame Ha will kill everyone and blow up the entrance to the tunnel," she explained. Goten`s threat faded as quickly as it had been made. He could kill the woman alright, no doubting that, but in doing so he would also be killing too many innocents. Enough had died in his lifetime and he wasn`t eager to see anymore go down.
"... And if I just blew you away without harming anything else?" He asked. Pluto stifled a chuckle. "You`ll end up becoming my successor until I`m reborn again. Which means you`ll be forced to wear the skirt and put on lipstick," she calmly lied. It was enough to calm the man down though, the thought of being shoved into a short skirt and forced to wear lipstick wasn`t one that appealed to Goten. At all. "Then what in the hell do I have to do to get by you?" He demanded.
"I`m the Gaurdian of Time," she answered. "You don`t unless I or my King and Queen feel the need for it," she explained a second later. Goten bit into his cheek and thought. "Why is it I couldn`t have been as smart as they said Gohan was?"
Cut myself free willingly
Stop just what's killing me
It was early evening now as Gohan set down at the edge of the pond, contented with dinner but still busy in thought. "You can go do whatever you do when you`re not needed," he told the Nimbus, which puffed up briefly and then darted off into the skies. A funny thing about the Nimbus was that it loved to do what it always did, it loved to fly around mostly without purpose. The Nimbus lived alone now, it had lost it`s flock the day a young teen by the name of Goku had claimed ownership of it. The Nimbus missed it`s flock, few people would understand the emotion though, but it was content with being able to subside solely on eating other clouds. The Nimbus was a unique type of carnivore, it ate it`s pray by flying through a normal cloud and absorbing a tunnel right through it. The funny thing was that in packs it usually operated like an Orca Pod, driving the cloud into a tighter ball and then sweeping through it.
A part of wild life that would never be understood as having originated as a joke by a former Kami on slave drivers and those like them.
Gohan quietly opened up his backpack and removed the roll-type sleeping bag, unrolling it onto the ground with a slight yawn before pausing in mid-motion. It felt as though something had just gone wrong. Not wrong in the sense of evil, or wrong in the sense that it could have been prevented, it just felt wrong.
That`s when he heard the roar of an explosion a few hundred yards away. His camp site had been set up at the mouth of a sea-feeding stream, and a canyon had been carved out by some ancient cataclysm or another. Legends persisted that the place had once been some successful city or another, and an old archaeological expedition had once found signs of civilization here. That didn`t matter much though, just a helpful fact. "The explosion came from up there," he thought while unsheathing the Power Pole and bending his legs. He could sense a high power and a moderate power, the latter of which was beginning to gradually fade.
"Nothing I can`t handle," he thought aloud, jumping straight up. A white aura enveloped him at about fifty feet, and it rapidly formed a vapor trail in his wake as he darted over the canyon wall, Power Pole in one hand, ki blast at the ready in the other. The sight that greeted him was odd at the least, a young girl, who looked like Bulma might have at his own age, possibly a few months younger, holding a sword that looked sickeningly familiar and dodging ki beams from a creature that looked passingly like a cross between Near Perfect Cell and an Oozaru, lacking on the sophistication of even Near Perfect Cell but bearing out most of the savagery of an Oozaru.
The girl, to her credit, seemed to be holding her own pretty well given the sad state she looked to be in, a large wound covering her right arm, left cheek cut, face bruised, one eye blackened, a few injuries visible through her clothing and a pronounced cut across the side of her left leg. The creature seemed to be a bit banged up itself, and Gohan immediately knew which side he was on. "Power Pole extend!" He shouted out, using one hand to swing the already extending weapon down across the creature`s head with enough force to snap off part of it`s 'crown' and get it`s attention. The boy then wheeled back and threw the ki blast at it.
The monstrosity raised an arm to try and shield itself from the attack, only to have the blast rip right through it`s forearm and strike it in the chest, exploding on the second impact and hurtling the now-dying creature backwards. It stood somehow, tail lashing out violently behind it until it let out another unearthly cry as it`s tail was severed cleanly.
It`s head soon followed as the girl landed in a crouch, wheezing for all she was worth before collapsing to a knee with laughter echoing tiredly from her bloodied mouth. Gohan retracted and sheathed the power pole while flying down and landing next to the girl, who had almost yet to notice him before looking up. In her eyes at the moment, with the moon having risen in a way that it looked halo-like around his form, she blindly stammered out.
"My gaurdian angel... Heh..."
The girl fell over onto her side and passed out. Gohan blinked.
I feel it everyday
I feel I made my way
I feel it swell up inside, swell up inside
"That was odd," he mumbled to himself, staring at the girl for a few seconds before quite literally scraping her up off the ground and tossing her over his shoulder. He grabbed her sword with his free hand a few seconds later and soon descended the way back down into the canyon, an uneased sense of paranoia having crept up over him. If he had tried to sleep only a few seconds earlier he`d have been off gaurd and possibly killed by the battle the girl would`ve likely lost.
Minutes passed as he placed the unconcious form down onto the ground a few feet from the river, near the spot he had intended to make a camp fire, and then, after removing the sword scabbard from her back and sheathing her sword, then placing it beside her, he nonchalantly collected some water from the river and dumped it onto the girl`s face.
The response was fairly immediate, and he probably should have expected it enough to try and block, but he didn`t. Instead, Gohan found himself reeling, several yards straight in the air, as the girl`s arm had quite literally sprang straight up and smacked him in the jaw. He hovered there a few seconds before dropping down to the ground and rubbing his chin. "Ow," he complained, feeling the flesh begin to burn slightly from the feeling of pain.
"That`s what you get for dumping water on me and probably ruining what make-up I had on!" The girl replied harshly. "How could you stand to hurt something so pretty?!" Gohan facefaulted. "Your not wearing any make-up! And besides, you were dealing with that... Thing as long as you probably were, I doubt any water`s going to make a difference," he smugly pointed out. The girl facefaulted right back and fell over to a seated position. "When am I?" She asked defeatedly.
"When are you what?"
"What year is it?"
"590 AW, or 769 AD depending on how you count time," Gohan answered. The girl`s jaw dropped. "I knew I wanted to get to the past but this is too far..." She mumbled. Gohan cocked his head to the side. "Who are you?" He asked finally.
The girl paused briefly and spoke. "Bra Briefs," she answered. Gohan shook his head. "What great, big, evil, major, super bad threat is it this time?" He asked sardonically. Bra shut her mouth finally and sneered. "And just how are you to talk big like you actually know why I`m here to begin with?" She demanded while getting to her feet. "Son Gohan, and we had about eleven or twelve months of having the future version of the guy I`m guessing was your father in some other timeline hanging around," he explained simply. "Trunks Briefs sound familiar?" He asked.
She didn`t seem to notice anything after those first to words though.
"Son Gohan? This kid is Son Gohan? This kid is Goten`s big brother?!" She thought, jaw again beginning to drop open. Gohan frowned, this would take longer than he thought. "Something wrong?" He asked. Bra shook her head. "You`re Son Gohan?" He shrugged. "That`s me," he answered. "Shouldn`t you be a little taller?" She asked, head tilting to the side. "I`m guessing you were aiming for when I was older... I`m only twelve going on thirteen right now," he answered. "Oh, sorry," Bra mumbled in reply.
"What are you doing out here, anyway?" Gohan asked while getting to his feet and walking around her. A quick crackle later, a campfire had been lit up and he had sat down beside it. Bra had scooted around to face him by the time he had sat himself down. "Long story..." She muttered. "I have three months to listen to it," he casually replied.
It can't be frightening if you've never felt it
Once it's been dealt with you feel like you've been touched by something angelic
"Well... Let me see if I can remember all of this..." Bra paused and took in a deep breath. "It started when the Son Gohan of my time vanished without a trace a few years before I was born. He was a legend in my timeline, defeated Cell, Dabura, and others, but one day he just vanished. Not a trace of him. His younger brother was one of the last people to see him, but Goten always felt he`d be back someday. Then, about five years after I was born, something strange happened to my father," she paused, noticing Gohan`s apprehensive stare off to the side. "What?"
"That`s your younger brother`s name." Gohan gave a nod. "Keep going."
"Anyway, Piccolo was the first to notice it. He and my dad had been training Goten and my big brother, Trunks, to take the reigns as protectors of the Earth almost from the time they could walk right. Goten seemed to be naturally stronger than Trunks by far though, and my dad didn`t really like that much but he put up with it. Eventually though, something strange happened to my dad. He just woke up one day and snapped, he had an 'M' on his forehead and it looked like eyeshadow around his eyes, some veins were bulged up on his arms and neck, and his face, and his power had risen so much that nobody else could touch it. Goten, my brother and Piccolo were all unwittingly the first victims he had," she paused, wincing somewhat. "I can guess from there about your brother and Piccolo," Gohan said. Bra gave a nod.
"Thanks. So, Goten got away by using some of that hidden power and some skills he acquired out of no where, injured my dad badly. But my dad just kept coming and eventually, West Capital went out in a gigantic fireball. Goten barely got me out of the way," she paused. "My mother wasn`t so lucky. We ended up running to Mount Paozu but Vegeta followed us and destroyed the entire area. ChiChi and the Ox King both died but Goten and I managed to get out by the skin of our teeth. From there, we just kept running, my dad always a step or two behind us, and eventually we made our way to a place that I can`t really describe, but we were met by an old woman named Uranai Baba. She said she`d waited there for three hours for us to show up, then told us of an ancient passage through time that lay out in Tokyo. Strange thing was that she didn`t charge us for telling either, just said we were fated so why bother making us pay?"
Gohan gave a nod. "We got to the tunnel only to find it gaurded by some strange woman who didn`t identify herself. She put up a good fight despite being weak compared to me alone, let alone a super saiyan like Goten. Somehow though, she just kept hurting us both without doing it with ki, but we eventually just broke past her and fled into the tunnel." She took a deep breath again. "And that`s where we got lost. First we ended up in Tokyo itself back in the twentieth century, then we spent a month or so fighting the things there alongside some group of girls we never got the names of, then we managed to get back into the passage without having to slug it out with the woman who had been gaurding it, and then we got lost from each other. I don`t know where Goten ended up, but I ended up being chased by some demon or another through the tunnel until I ended up here and you know the rest."
"Long story," Gohan commented. "Yeah," Bra agreed, adding a nod a few seconds later. "Why did you come back?" Gohan asked. "To find a way to prevent my dad going insane, or to find you. You were at age fifteen when you vanished, not even Dende knew where you went off to," she explained. "Well," Gohan started, motioning towards the sleeping bag while lying down on the ground. "You found me, now get some rest. You look like you could use it," he stated before promptly going to sleep.
And then melted down into a pool of peace
Cease to be the animal you used to be
Remove the broken parts you know were wrong
And feel the karma when the problem's all gone
And then you start to see another piece of yourself that you can't let be
The passage in time is a unique fluke of nature, another creation by a god. Not just any god mind you, but rather, the original Dai Kaioshin, the woman that had created the entire universe with a thunderous explosion that had killed her, destroyed her foe and left several followers grievously injured. The Kaioshins and the Kaios all recovered and the universe moved on, of course, but the first Dai Kaioshin`s legacy was created when her spirit drifted to a little world everyone was convinced would never bear any significance at all due to it`s positioning in relation to the rest of it`s own galaxy, let alone that galaxy`s relation to the positioning of everything else in the universe. The spirit had settled into a nice spot at the beginning of the place`s creation, and then died. While a spirit death usually means forced reincarnation for most souls, the Dai Kaioshin`s spirit`s death meant something a bit less conventional. Time itself cracked at that point until a tunnel reaching from the beginning of infinity to the end was created, and eventually, a Gaurdian was assigned.
Setsuna Meiou had been assigned as the 14th Gaurdian of the Passage through Time, giving her a billion years to learn the tricks of the trade and understand them for what they were. It was about as long as anyone could ever be expected to face, and given the rigors enforced upon those involved, it left little time for an actual life.
Setsuna scoffed in the face of that little tradition though, a former full-time college student and later an actual fashion designer, Setsuna had fullfilled her own wants in that lifetime. That was a long time ago, today she stood before a young man, bloodied and half-crazed from battle rage, who was on a mission to save a girl he`d adopted as a sister and to save the lives of billions.
And Setsuna had to turn him down. For now. The laws of Gaurdianship could rarely be broken, the Passage itself made sure of it. The one time she had done such a thing it had gotten her killed. For now, she would have to bide by those laws and force him away until the time was right. Time dictated itself, the Passage was vengeful to those who broke it`s laws, and those laws told Setsuna to wait. Too early and he`d die trying to get back in, too late and his role in the fate of Crystal Tokyo would be offset too much. She didn`t even want to think of the other parts of the laws that she would soon have to abide by.
"Let me through," Goten growled for the umpteenth time. "I can`t do that," Setsuna replied with that air of professionalism her job required. "Then let me knock you out and say you didn`t have a choice," Goten suggested. "Concussions aren`t my thing," Setsuna shrugged. Goten twitched visibly.
"Just wait, you have a few days here in Crystal Tokyo and you should spend them wisely. Like for one, you should take a bath," Setsuna pointed out. Goten hung his head. "Days like this make me wish I`d just died and gone to Otherworld," he grumbled. "You wouldn`t have made it, your soul is still a bit blighted by your past life," Setsuna reminded him. Goten`s head shot up. "What?" He asked. "I didn`t say anything," she lied. "... Remind me to smack your teeth out sometime," he grumbled. "No thanks."
And that reason will last fight to free yourself
Take it to the depths of the bottom of the well
And now you know you can choose to lose the part in your heart
Where your insides bruise
Early evening in Tokyo, 2001, the twenty-first century, on a Saturday night on December 30th. Three girls and a young man walked down the street, a very weird looking grouping to say the least, given the off-nature of the appearance of the two young girls, the clutzy way the older girl walked and the fact that the man looked essentially like the kind of guy mothers wanted their daughters to marry. Mamoru Chiba, Usagi Tsukino, a girl calling herself Chibi Usa and another girl called Hotaru Tomoe, a motley looking grouping compared to most that wandered the streets of Tokyo, but still a tight bunch to say the least. At least three of them were, Hotaru`s only real tie-in was Chibi Usa, the two were close to inseperable.
Then there was also the strange trio of cats that walked alongside the group. "Busy day," Mamoru observed bluntly, watching traffic ease up enough to where it moved again. "Yeah, it never is very quiet around Christmas," Usagi flatly replied, dodging a signpost and bumping into Mamoru`s side in her usual grace-lacking manner. He didn`t seem to notice the clumsiness of the girl too much, instead sliding an arm around her waist. Hotaru remained fairly quiet, which wasn`t surprising given her nature, but at the same time actually was pretty surprising given that not only was it only a few days after Christmas, and one day before New Year`s, but it was also only a week before Hotaru`s birthday.
The two adults of the group, along with Chibi Usa, had decided to take the girl shopping in advance since they didn`t really know what to get her. She would soon be twelve years old, technically close to a decade older but due to the rebirth effect of the attack she had used to save the world once, she had been reborn. Silent as ever, she finally spoke up as politely as she could, motioning towards the bookstore a few feet ahead of them. "How about that one?"
Chibi Usa gave a nod. "You should start drawing sometime," the pink haired girl exclaimed while walking with Hotaru towards the store. Mamoru and Usagi followed, though the cats resigned to sitting outside the door and chatting amongst themselves. It was strange that nobody seemed to notice that there were three cats - one of which was pink - chatting it up like an ordinary family outside the door of a book store as the group of people vanished inside.
Tokyo was such a normal place these days...
You can live if you're willing to
Put a stop to just what's killing you
Goten popped his jaw a few times in annoyance and settled himself against a pillar, sliding down to a seated position and resting his head in his hands. "How is it this keeps happening to me?" He grumbled dejectedly, soon falling unconcious from the battle wounds incurred during his own run-ins with the tunnel`s demons. They weren`t demons, really, more like the tunnel`s equivelent to white blood cells. Goten and Bra had made the mistake of entering without the Gaurdian`s consent, without magics and without the technology.
It was that simple. "You rush in headlong and practically beg for it," Pluto muttered under her breath before turning back to the entrance of the tunnel and waiting.
Cut myself free willingly
Stop just what's killing me
Rei Hino stood patiently as things happened at a calmly chaotic pace in the train station. The girl had spent enough of her life being waited on that patience had yet to finish becoming one of her better virtues, but this time, just this once, she had managed to truly master it. At least when it came to the person she was waiting on. Minako had walked with her to this place some twenty minutes earlier and departed after that, the result of needing to be present with Makoto and Ami to do something or other, Rei hadn`t heard exactly what, but at the moment she wasn`t exactly concerned with it.
Another train rolled in. Was this the one she had been waiting for? Rei paused, she had let her hopes up enough in the past twenty minutes only to have it essentially crushed when the wrong train came in.Yuuichirou`s train hadn`t showed up yet and she was at the edge of just leaving and walking home, but this train had something about it that made Miss Hino`s sixth sense tingle a bit. Either that or the butterflies in her stomach were telepathic, either way it made her feel compelled to stay.
And that was when the door yanked open and a few people flooded out. The crowds weren`t surprising, though the figure of the young man that stepped out certainly was. It appeared as though he had endured a growth spurt or two and hit the gym at least once a week now but at heart he was obviously the same old Yuuichirou Kumada that had left the Shrine roughly six years earlier, as demonstrated by the clutzy way he stumbled out of the train while still managing to hold onto his suitcase. "I`m home!" She could hear him laugh out gleefully, bringing a smirk onto her face. Several minutes passed as Yuuichirou stumbled his way around in the crowds, avoiding being crushed several times, before Rei watched him stagger backwards and eventually smack headfirst into the concrete wall directly beside her.
"Ow," Yuuichirou grumbled. Rei noted his voice had gotten a bit deeper, and she spoke quite bluntly a few seconds later. "Still the same old Yuuichirou that left the Shrine, huh?" She asked in as gently mocking a tone as she could manage. In all honesty, she was struggling not to tackle the guy and hug him until he turned blue. "Rei?" He mumbled out before looking to his side and spotting her. His mouth hang open slightly for a few seconds before he dropped his suitcase and broke the air for the both of them, lifting Rei from the ground and hugging her as tightly as he could. Six years had apparently not been enough to get rid of a love-jones that had been present, for one of them anyway, from the first time they had seen one another.
And for perhaps the first time, Rei reflected that emotion and hugged Yuuichirou back without even bothering to hold anything in check.
I feel it everyday
I feel I made my way
I feel it swell up inside, swell up inside
"Remind me not to sleep on a rockbed like that again," Gohan grumbled while prying bits of dirt and sand from his cheek. Bra snored in response. It was early morning, the sun wouldn`t rise for another few minutes so he decided to let her sleep. The fire had died out but that was alright, Gohan didn`t feel very effected by weather these days. He didnt bother calling the Nimbus as he again tossed the Power Pole onto his back and jumped up and over the wall of the canyon, landing with a thump as a wave of dust was thrown around him.
The body of the monster from last night was present, though it had somehow decayed to the point that only the skeleton remained, that and what looked like oil puddled up around that. The smell wasn`t too pleasant, but Gohan had endured worse than that, it wasn`t much of a bother. He walked by the body, careful to avoid slopping in the liquidy substance, and came to a stop before what looked like a staircase. It had the footprints of the creature burned into the ground and it looked like an entrance into some underground temple.
Gohan quietly, cautiously, walked the way down the steps, pausing at a pile up of rubble that had no-doubt been formed by the fight that had occured the previous night. He could feel a vague power coming from within, and then, after that, what could only be described as a black hole of ki. He couldn`t feel anything, not energy, not even existence. It was like something he could only barely describe as actually even being there, it felt wrong and right at the same time. Gohan was curious because of it, and that curiosity was begging him to dive through the rocks and rush inside head-on.
Down in the canyon though, Bra had finally woken up. She was still a bit of a mess, but the previous night had given her time to swipe one of Gohan`s spare douji outfits, the lightest one she could get to be exact. She kept her own boots, and her belt, leaving the weighted overshirt behind and sporting the two-sizes-too-big blue shirt and the orange pants as her own. She of course had the slice the pants a bit to be short in the leg enough to fit her, but that was beside the point. Tossing her sword over her shoulder, Bra darted from the ground rapidly and followed her senses to where Gohan likely was, surprised and yet expectant of the fact he would stumble on this place.
"You wake up too soon, you know that?" Bra asked while touching down a few feet behind Gohan. "You would be one to talk," came his reply as he felt the walls, ignoring the sounds of her feet tapping against the stairs on the way down. "Why bother being subtle? The only one in there doesn`t really care if people decide to just let themselves in," Bra stated placing a hand to the wall and then shouting. Gohan was unimpressed by her lack of finesse, or subtlety for that matter, but he didn`t say anything. The wall shattered to reveal the grand hall of what looked like some ancient temple, one person standing at the maw of what looked like some upturned pool of black and green water.
"I was wondering when you two would show up," the woman stated, looking over her shoulder at the two pre-teens with stoic look that made Gohan think of Piccolo. The greenish tint of her hair also reminded him of the Namek, but he didn`t say anything. "You again?" Bra muttered in disbelief. "Still, actually," the lady replied. Bra eased forward, Gohan on the other hand, shrugged and walked ahead without pause, moving down the steep seventy foot staircase and down to the main floor. Bra growled and jumped the way after him. "Hold up, we had to fight her to get through the first time!" Bra yelled out. Gohan paused. "Something in that tunnel is screaming at me to go in there," he stated. Bra blinked as the woman stepped aside. "He has a fate to attend to and you`re out of place here, you may both move through," Setsuna stated calmly.
Bra grabbed Gohan by the shoulder and held him back. "How do we know it isn`t a trap?" She demanded. "If it was," Setsuna paused, looking at the two of them and focusing on Gohan. "You`d likely be fighting for your lives by now," she finished. Gohan looked over to Bra with a neutral expression. "I trust her. What about you?" Despite having only known one another for a few hours at best, only part of which was actually being concious, Bra was hard pressed to make much of a choice. Gohan had that same convincing quality that Goten did. "I don`t like this," she grumbled before letting go of his shoulder. She was still hurting but another run wouldn`t be hard.
Hopefully. At least if they had the permission this time the demons might not chase them. If they did, she and Gohan could probably handle them. "You don`t have to," Setsuna reminded her before motioning towards the passage. The two of them looked at one another again and then swiftly walked inside, one feeling uneased, the other feeling downright paranoid. Setsuna shook her head at them and then looked back towards the staircase out of here.
Alive in me, inside of me, a part of me screams away silently
This part of me won't go away, part of me won't go away
Hotaru felt something jar at her senses but remained quiet as ever, gliding through the aisle before finding a book entitled "Historical Realities of the Roman Empire." It wasn`t the most exciting title, but given that it was perhaps the best book she could find blending her favorite subject and her favorite hobby, she could deal with it. A few minutes later, the group emerged from the bookstore to find two snoring cats and a chargrinned pink kitten trying to wake them up. Mamoru scooped both of the adults up and laid them over his shoulders while Chibi Usa swiped the youngest cat up. Hotaru remained quiet aside from the occasional yes or no answer to questions about having fun or if she was hungry or ready to go home, things of that nature.
And that`s when she felt another jar at her senses, this one shared by Chibi Usa and Usagi both, all three of them almost unanimously glancing towards Tokyo Tower. "Did you feel something?" Mamoru asked cautiously, leering off to the side as he did so. All three gave a nod but only Usagi spoke. "Yes," she muttered.
Everywhere I look around I see how everyone aught to be
Every time I see myself I see there's always something wrong with me
Hotaru shook her head. "I guess a normal life isn`t really an option. Again," she thought, catching that nigh-prophetic look that Chibi Usa and Usagi both had at times. "A new enemy?" Mamoru asked. "I don`t know," Usagi replied. "Want to check it out?" Chibi Usa asked. "I gave up that part of my life," Mamoru replied. "Go ahead without me, I`ll get the others," he stated before Hotaru turned to him, handing him her book. Mamoru gave a nod. "I`ll see that it`s at our house when you get back," he promised before darting off down the street while the three girls began to walk towards the tower. "Feels like something lost in time," she observed. She knew the feeling personally.
I feel it everyday
I feel I made my way
I feel it swell up inside, swell up inside
Gohan was awed by the inside of the passage way, as well as the hundreds of creatures he could see clinging to the "walls" of it, and the thousands he could sense off in the distance. It was infinite, all encompassing and yet it was barely even there at the same time. Bra seemed less impressed and a bit more worried. "What now?" She asked. Gohan looked to her with that unfathomable expression once more and spoke simply. "I don`t know. Something`s just telling me to get moving forward," he replied. Bra grimaced. "This isn`t right, Goten and I were lost here for... I don`t know how long, but we were," she said. "Doesn`t matter. Somethings just telling me to move forward so that`s what I`m going to do," Gohan replied. Bra frowned but shook her head. "She said something about your fate so go ahead," she finally replied. Gohan ignited an aura of silver around himself and then yelled out as his hair, black as night like his eyes, shot out about an inch, becoming visibly heavier in the process as a golden color shot through it. A matching aura flared from his feet and his eyes faded to a cold jade.
Bra facefaulted. "I thought only dad, Trunks and Goten could do that!" She yelled out in surprise. Gohan smirked. "You can too, you just need to get stronger and then get emotionally yanked over the edge," he replied. "You might want to hold onto me, you won`t be able to keep up otherwise," Gohan stated. Bra did as told, locking her legs around his waist and her arms around his neck from behind after moving the Power Pole out of the way.
A few seconds later, the two shot up off the 'ground' and darted towards whatever destiny had planned for them, and what an odyssey it would be...
Ah well, hope I didn`t rush anything, enjoy the fic and leave a review!