Wow. Only a week since the last update! I hope the shock didn't kill all my fans...

Disclaimer: I hardly need repeat myself at this point in time, but I will anyway. I don't own DBZ. I also don't own, because if I did, you can bet that I wouldn't have destroyed all the astericks, carats, and underlines (among others)! My poor smileys...

We Were Both Wrong

It was the second time Trunks had kissed her like this, but the effect it had on her wasn't diminished in the slightest. If anything, the feelings his lips created in her gut only intensified, a warm, twisting sensation deep inside her that somehow left her both weak and excited. The first time she had felt it left her paralyzed, unable to do anything but let Trunks kiss her while she stared at him in shock. This time, though....

Almost against her will, Pan found herself responding to the kiss. It was so warm, and his lips and tongue tasted just as she'd always thought they would whenever she'd fantasized about kissing Trunks back in her own time. The taste hadn't registered the first time around, but now she noticed traces of wine and something that reminded her of chicken overlaying a flavor that was distinctly Trunks. After a moment, some abstract part of her brain decided she liked the taste of the blue-eyed demi-Saiyan, and she closed her eyes to allow herself to concentrate on nothing but the feast of flavors in Prince Trunks's mouth. Everything else was lost in a purple haze in her brain, including what was left of her rational mind, which was clamoring at her that she was kissing the very man who'd been sent to pursue her. The voice wasn't able to compete with roaring in her ears.

Senses reeling, it took Pan a moment to realize that Trunks had adjusted his grip on her, turning her body to face his so that she no longer had to twist her head to kiss him. He still had one arm curled tightly around her torso to prevent her from escaping, leaving the other one free to roam her body. His touch left trails of fire in its wake, awakening a deep sense of longing inside her that Pan had absolutely no clue what to do about... though it seemed her body had a pretty good idea, especially after he started caressing her tail. Moaning softly into the kiss, she couldn't help but press closer to his solid, muscled body...

...until his hand reached into places no man's hand belonged. And you can bet that brought her back to her senses real fast.

"Wh-what the hell do you think you're doing?!" Pan gasped, ripping herself out of the kiss that had so addled her wits. She struggled to pull away from Trunks, but the prince's arms were still firmly wrapped around her. That didn't stop her from trying, though. "Let go of me, Trunks!"

"You led me on such a merry chase," Trunks whispered huskily as he backed her up against a wall. Rather than taking the rejection of his lips personally, he simply applied them elsewhere, kissing and nipping along her jaw, her ear, her throat. "Do you really think I'm going to let you go now, Pan? Just like that?"

The light scraping of Trunks's against the sensitive skin of her throat nearly drove her crazy, leaving Pan gasping and breathless in his arms. She might have given in then and there - if it weren't for the fact that the lavender haired prince still had his hand between her legs, caressing her spandex-clad thighs in a way that was designed to unleash a flood of hormones. And, damnit, it was working! But it also gave her something to focus on, because she Did Not Want Him Touching Her There! No matter how good it felt! Bracing herself against the heady onslaught of hormones, Pan started powering up. She'd already been caught by Trunks, so it hardly mattered if she started showing up on people's radar screens. "I said," she gritted out between clenched teeth, "let go of me, you pervert!"

"And I said no," Trunks laughed. Seeing the look in her eyes, and perhaps sensing the power welling up inside her, he smiled charmingly. "Oh, come on. You can't tell me you don't like it." He leaned forward, molding his body to hers, and breathed in deeply of her scent, then exhaled softly. The expelled breath tickled Pan's earlobe, sending a shiver of pleasure down her spine. His smile turned into a smirk. "Because I can read your body like an open book, and I know you'd be lying if you said that."

"Then you're obviously reading the wrong page," Pan growled. She was having a hard time keeping herself from shaking like a leaf, but she didn't want to give Trunks the satisfaction of knowing he was right. Balling her hands into fists, she struggled to free even one of her arms so she could punch the daylights out of the perverted, arrogant jerk. "Get your fucking hands off me, before I-mmph!" The words were cut off by another kiss, this one deeper, more passionate than the last.

It was also shorter. "Before you what?" Breaking off the kiss after only a few moments, Trunks's mouth once again curved into a smile. "I'll admit that you're strong, but..." He leaned in close so that his lips were right next to her ear and continued in a low, throaty whisper, "But I'm far stronger than you could ever hope to become. I am, after all, the Prince of all Saiyans." His dancing blue eyes met her depthless black ones. "And I always get what I want."

Pan swallowed a lump in her throat, though she couldn't begin to guess what emotion had caused it to form, and stared straight back at Trunks. Much to her relief, the prince removed his offending hand from its embarrassing position on her legs and raised it to caress her cheek. From anyone else it would have been a tender gesture, but from Trunks... Pan didn't know what to think. Trying to keep her voice steady, she dared to ask, "And what would that be?"

The question was answered with a feral grin. "You, Son Pan. I want you."


Bardock was beginning to have doubts. The evidence he had gathered so far still stood strong, damning the diplomat from Earth just as surely as before... and yet, Goten seemed so sure of himself, so certain that he could not be of Saiyan birth. Either the boy was completely ignorant of what he was, or... Or he is not what I think he is, Bardock concluded somberly as he watched the alien doctor draw blood from the suspected Saiyan's arm.

Goten grimaced the entire time the doctor had the needle in his arm, causing Bardock to raise an eyebrow. Surely the boy wasn't so weak that a mere needle caused him pain! The doctor pulled the needle out and retreated to his office with the blood sample, leaving the two men alone - unless you counted Radditz, who still out cold in one of the regen tanks. Noticing the expression on the scarred warrior's face, Goten rubbed his arm and shrugged sheepishly. "My father's afraid of needles," he said by way of explanation. "I guess it kinda rubbed off on me."

With little else to do while the doctor ran the tests on Goten's blood, Bardock decided he might as well find out all he could about this boy and his family. Leaning back against a wall, the elder Saiyan deliberately allowed his tail to swing loose behind him. Even though he hadn't been raised on Vegeta-sei, if Goten was a Saiyan, his instincts would recognize the relaxed body language and that would help put him at ease. If not, then it didn't really matter what Bardock did with his tail. "Is your father a strong man?"

"Oh, yeah!" Goten responded with a boyish grin. "He's the strongest person I know! Not even my brother, Gohan, is as strong as him, though 'tousan says he could be if he trained more often. I guess Gohan just likes teaching more than fighting." He hopped up onto one of the examination beds, making himself comfortable until the doctor's return. "Not that I blame him, really. Neither of us like fighting as much as 'tousan would like us to."

So, Goten had a brother. No doubt he was the father of Son Pan. Bardock had to hold back a grimace at the realization of just how big a mess this was going to be if it turned out that Saiyan blood ran in this family. Picking up a scouter that was probably left by some injured Saiyan who'd come in to have his wounds treated, Bardock casually tossed it over to Goten. The diplomat caught it easily, giving him a curious look. "Take a reading of me, boy. How would you say I compare to your father in strength?"

Goten contemplated the scouter for a moment, turning it over in his hands with the air of someone mulling something over in their mind. He darted a quick glance at Bardock, looking for all the world like someone with a secret to tell, then abruptly shook his head. He fumbled the scouter over his ear as he awkwardly tried to put it on, obviously unfamiliar with the device, then finally managed to fix it into place. A tap of the button on the side of the device was all that was required to turn it on, then near silence ensued while both men waited for the scouter to finish beeping. "Well... um..." Goten hesitated for a moment, then pulled the scouter off and handed it back to Bardock with a shrug. "I think 'tousan's stronger than you. I can't really say by how much, though." He smiled wryly. "It tends to vary." Once again, Bardock got the impression that there was a lot more that Goten wasn't saying.

But what he'd said was more than enough to leave a chill in the heart of king's right-hand man. Stronger than me... His lips pressed together in a thin line. There are only two people I know of who are stronger than I am: King Vegeta and Prince Trunks. If this boy's father is strong enough to rank with them... The thought left him pale and shaking... and with an inexpressible desire to look up every curse word in existence. He did not want to be the one who had to deal with extraditing Goten's family if they turned out to be Saiyans. Unfortunately, by virtue of being related to him, that possibility looked all too likely. What the hell have I gotten myself into? Then, unable to help himself, he wondered, Just who did Turles sleep with to get a brat that strong?

The sound of a throat being cleared pulled Bardock from his dazed musings and back to the situation at hand. He looked up to see the green scaled doctor standing in the doorway of his office, shifting his feet nervously. "Er... Bardock, sir? Could I... speak with you privately?"

The head of the science wing and strategical commands frowned. What could the med tech possibly have discovered that couldn't be said in front of Goten? The doctor knew that Goten knew what the blood tests were for, so why the secrecy? He glanced at Goten, wondering if he could trust the boy not to...

"I'm not about to run off, Bardock," Goten commented dryly as though reading the other man's mind. "I want to know the results of those tests as much as you do so that I can get this matter settled once and for all. If you want, though, I can go wait in the doctor's office."

Bardock nodded, approving of both the plan and of Goten's willingness to face the truth - whatever it might be. "We'll call you out when we're done." He waited until Goten jumped down from the examination bed and entered the office, the soft snick of the door confirming that it had been shut all the way, before rounding on the little green alien. "Well? What did you find?"

The doctor - Bardock never had bothered to learn his name - took a deep breath. His eyes darted once to the door Goten had just disappeared through, then settled resolutely on the face of the Saiyan before him. "There can be no mistake, sir," he began without preamble. "He's the hybrid son of a Saiyan and a human."

Even though Bardock had been expecting this, he could still feel himself tense at this revelation. Damn it... this is going to be one hell of a fine mess to clean up. "And?" he prodded. "What else did you find out? There's obviously more, or you wouldn't have asked to speak to me alone."

There was a moment's hesitation, then the doctor blurted out, "It's his parents."

The spiky haired Saiyan waited for an explanation, but none seemed forthcoming. "Well?" he asked, eyebrow raised. "What about them?"

Another hesitation, then... "It doesn't make sense!" the little fellow cried out. "When we discovered a Saiyan parent, we ran the standard genetic comparison through the DNA database to see if we could find a match... And we did!"

Bardock held his breath, knowing that this was the moment of truth. Turles, you Kami-damned, son of a...

"But something isn't right! The computer thinks that the Saiyan parent is an infant boy who was listed as having died over sixty years ago!"

Wha-? Brow furrowing in confusion, Bardock tried to figure out why the computer would think a dead Saiyan baby was Goten's father. Though it would explain why Turles never found out he had a son. Perhaps the child was declared "dead" before the mother got around to telling my brother about it. Someone must have made a mistake, then... either the mother or the doctors on hand. Unless the baby's birth was deliberately covered up... The possibility - and the reasons that would have to be behind it - was troubling... but at least his brother had a good excuse for his ignorance. As much as he and his twin quarreled, Bardock wouldn't ever want something truly bad to happen to Turles - like the trouble he'd get into for being party to a disaster like this. "What was the boy's name?"

The doctor pursed his lips, then gingerly handed over a small, hand-held data pad. The display showed a picture of a tiny Saiyan baby, no more than a couple days old, peering curiously up at whoever had taken the picture. His hair shot off in all directions in the tell-tale spiky tradition of his family, his skin smooth and milky white and his fuzzy brown tail clutched in one hand, covered in slobber. The picture felt... vaguely familiar, though Bardock couldn't figure out why. He dismissed it as nothing more than the obvious family resemblance the infant shared with him and his brother. He looks just as I imagine a son of Turles would look...

Curious as to the child's name, Bardock's eyes slid to text below the baby's picture. And froze.

Son of Bardock and Sereri
Born: ---- at 7:43 a.m.
Weight: 6 lb. 11 oz.
Strength at birth: 2.3
Class: Third
Died: Declared dead on ----
Cause of death: Shortly after the child was sent on a planet clearing mission, all contact was lost with his space pod. All records of the child's destination were lost and no trace of him was ever found. The chances of survival depend on the type of planet he was sent to, but without a caretaker of some sort (and it can be presumed that any possible candidates in the child's vicinity were subsequently killed upon the night of the planet's full moon) it is highly unlikely that a Saiyan infant could survive longer than two years. (See appendix for details on Saiyan survival rates.) Five years passed before a declaration of death was issued.

The hand holding the data pad trembled and, suddenly, Bardock knew exactly why the doctor had wanted to speak to him privately before telling Goten the results. His legs abruptly gave out beneath him, dropping him to his knees, but he didn't care. All he could do was stare numbly at the image of the boy he had thought lost to him all these years.


My son....


Goten waited until the door to the office had closed behind him before allowing a small sigh to escape his lips. He'd never really liked waiting, but it was something that he had needed to learn in order to become a good diplomat. No matter how much he itched to do something, there were many times where patience would bring better results. It looked like now was one of those times... not that he had much of a choice. There was only one way in or out of the doctor's office, and that was the door Goten had just walked through.

The room itself offered nothing to distract the young man with, containing only a desk, a chair, a computer terminal, a couple filing cabinets, and a shelf with some sort of medical equipment on it. A password prompt glowed dimly on the computer screen - the doctor obviously guarded his things carefully - and Goten felt no urge to rummage through either the desk drawers or the cabinets. I guess there's nothing to do except wait for someone to come get me.

Lowering himself into the chair behind the desk, the spiky haired diplomat closed his eyes and thought back on the events of the past few minutes, specifically the incident with the scouter. Goten had never used a scouter before, certainly not to take a reading of his father's energy, so he'd been something at a loss when Bardock had asked him to compare their strengths. Yes, he could sense ki, and he'd known before the older man had even asked that his father was stronger than the scarred Saiyan officer, but he didn't know if it was such a good idea to reveal his ability to sense ki. His father had taught him that a good warrior should keep strengths a secret just as much as weaknesses. The less an opponent knew about you, the better, and it was always a good idea to have a few cards hidden up your sleeve. Goten had found that this advice could be applied to both warriors and diplomats, so he'd chosen instead to pretend to use the scouter to gauge Bardock's strength.

The man was no weakling, that was for sure. The encounter in the hall had proven that. Even though Goten was certain that Bardock hadn't been fully powered up, he felt safe in assuming that the older Saiyan was nearly his equal in strength - unless, of course, Goten used his father's special technique, the one with the side effect of turning his hair yellow. He didn't think there was anyone he'd ever met who was as strong as one of the Son males when they "went Gold", as they called it. However, strength wasn't the only factor that counted in a fight, so Goten knew better than to assume that he'd be able to win in a fight with Bardock. That was one of the reasons he'd been so wary of the man when he and Pan had run into him.

I bet dad would love to meet this guy, Goten mused, a small smile flickering across his lips. Aside from the striking resemblance Bardock had to Son Goku, Goten imagined that his father would be all too eager to test his skills against the Saiyan warrior. Goku always enjoyed a good fight, and there was no doubt that Bardock would provide one. So long as the eldest Son refrained from going Gold, Goten was certain that the fight would not be an easy one to win. Maybe after this is all over...

The soft whisper of the office door sliding open brought the young diplomat out of his reverie. The scaly green doctor stood there, face unreadable - though Goten didn't know if that was because the alien was good at hiding his emotions, or because he just didn't have enough experience reading the facial expressions of this particular species.

"You can come back out now," the diminutive fellow said, beckoning for Goten to leave the office. Goten nodded and followed him back to where Bardock was waiting.

Silence reigned for several moments as Goten waited for the older man to speak. The doctor wandered over to the regen tank containing Radditz and started making minor adjustments on the machine's console, allowing the two men a modicum of privacy. Bardock was leaning against a wall with his arms crossed and his head bowed in thought, one hand holding a small data pad of some sort. It might have been Goten's imagination, but he almost thought he detected a slightly ashen quality to the Saiyan warrior's face. He did look rather rattled about something, though.

Just as Goten was about to say something to break the silence, Bardock started laughing. Well, not laughing, really. It was more of a soft, rueful chuckle, but in the previous silence of the med lab, it seemed a lot louder than it really was. "You know what's funny?" Bardock asked, voice still tinged with that same ironic laughter, and at last he raised his head to meet Goten's eyes. "We were both wrong. You..." He shook his head and barked a laugh. "You are not descended from my brother, as I thought you were."

There was something disturbing about the way Bardock was behaving, something about the way he was looking at Goten, that raised the hair on the back of his neck. Goten eyed the older man warily. "Of course I'm not. I told you, I'm-"

"Not a Saiyan?" Bardock cut him off sharply. He abruptly pushed away from the wall he'd been leaning on and began circling Goten like a predator. "That's where you're wrong, Son Goten. You are a Saiyan." He stopped pacing and stood directly in front of the bewildered young man. Their eyes met again, chips of flint mirrored in obsidian orbs, and Goten couldn't help but swallow nervously. "Saiyan blood runs through your veins as surely as it does through mine."

A chill swept through Goten's heart. "The tests verified this?" If he really was a Saiyan... the consequences would be...

"Hai," came Bardock's clipped response. "If you want, we can have the doctor show us the details in a minute. First, though, we have something more important to discuss." He didn't wait to give the shell-shocked Saiyan a chance to ask the obvious question before taking hold of Goten's arm in a fierce grip. "Tell me, Goten," he demanded harshly. "Tell me how my son survived to become your father."


Bardock's in a weird mood in this chapter... but that's rather to be expected, given what he's just been through. -grin-

About scouter technology: I figure that scouters in this era only blow up if they're trying to read an active ki that's over the so-called Blow-up Level, but if the person being read isn't in the middle of powering up (i.e. there isn't a storm of energy swirling around in the air trying to overload the circuits), a scouter would have no problem reading someone's ki unless they were deliberately masking or suppressing it. Thus, when Goten read Bardock's ki, he did get an accurate reading even without blowing the scouter up, but the times when Goten, Marron, and Pan have been read, the reading has been inaccurate due to the fact that they were actively trying to hide their true strength. Please ignore holes in this theory. -shiny smile-

About Goku's records: I purposely left the dates blank because I didn't want to deal with nitpicky fans. I couldn't use the DBZ timeline because those dates only apply to EARTH, so obviously Vegeta-sei wouldn't use that dating system. However, if I made up a different dating system, I'd run the risk of having rabid fans jump down my throat for having the wrong dates. Therefore, I leave them up to the readers' imagination. And I know that Saiyans probably wouldn't measure weight in terms of pounds and ounces, but using a made-up system there just wouldn't work, and I'm not familiar enough with other weight systems to use them with any degree of accuracy. I can only ask readers to willingly suspend their disbelief in that area. -sheepish-

Feedback would be greatly appreciated, especially in regards to the scene with Trunks and Pan... though I wouldn't mind comments on how the scenes with Goten and Bardock played out, either. -grin-