Copyright 2002

By Elbereth in April

I do not own DBZ. It owns me.

Keep in mind that your reviews are the only joy in my life.


Trunks and Goten entered Capsule Corp. one day to overhear Bulma and Vegeta talking about their son.

"He's failing art appreciation," Bulma was saying.


"He can't fail a class! He's a sophomore now; his grades will affect the kind of college he can get into." There was a pause while Trunks and Goten snuck closer. "Darn, I sound like Chi-Chi. But it's true."

"He's your son, woman. You deal with him."

"It would be nice if you would talk to him once in awhile!"

"Why should I waste my time?" Vegeta sneered, just as Trunks and Goten appeared in the doorway.

Vegeta looked up just in time to watch all the blood drain from Trunks' face until he was white to the lips. Then Trunks turned and ran.

"Trunks! Wait!" Goten called, but Trunks was too fast.

By the time he made it to the laundry room, the pain was almost unendurable. Fortunately, as he'd anticipated, the room was empty. He walked over to the corner and leaned his hands and forehead against the wall.

'I'm a fool,' he thought, squeezing his eyes shut. He could feel himself trembling, his stomach clenching, and his fingers went numb. 'Why can't I accept it? I know my father doesn't care about me. Why can't I get used to it? Why does it have to cut so deeply-every single time?'

He didn't notice his hands get scraped and bleeding from hitting them against the wall-hard enough to dent it.

Finally he just stood there, still leaning against the wall, taking in deep, heaving breaths.

And then he heard his father say his name. How long had he been standing there? The pain became even worse, along with the shame.

But Vegeta's words surprised him. "I didn't mean it like that," he said, flatly. No expression. "I meant art appreciation was a waste of time, not that you were."

Trunks swallowed hard, his eyes going very wide. Then they filled with tears he didn't dare shed. His father would despise him if he cried. He felt his hair turn gold and his eyes go teal.

Vegeta's eyebrows rose. "What's that for?"

"I will not cry in front of you," Trunks said, his voice thick.

Vegeta stood for a moment, looking at him, then nodded. He turned to go, but then he stopped. "Trunks..." he sounded, now, very hesitant and awkward. "I've always believed feelings-and talking about feelings-made you weak. But-Frieza always told me I was worth less than nothing and I remember feeling..." he trailed off. "What I mean to say is, I don't want you to feel that way, because you are definitely worth something. You're Saiyan. You're a Prince. You're my son. Do you know what it means to be my son?"

Mutely, straining for control of his emotions-and trying not to slip into SSJ2-Trunks shook his head.

"It means you and I will always be father and son. So we have...we have a bond." Vegeta sighed. "Do you know what I'm saying?"

Trunks just looked confused.

"I mean-I mean..."

Then to both their shock, Goten stood in the doorway, with a disgusted look on his face. "Come on, Vegeta! All he has is one question. Do you love him or don't you?"

Vegeta scowled ominously but Goten disappeared again before Vegeta could threaten him. When he turned around, Trunks was facing the wall again, arms against the wall, face buried in his arms, shaking visibly, and SSJ2.

The words kept echoing in Vegeta's head. 'Do you love him or don't you? You mean he doesn't know?'

"I told you once. When you were little. Don't you remember?"

No response.

There was no way out of it, Vegeta realized. He was going to have to say it. This was harder than fighting with Kakkarot.

"I do."

Trunks went completely still. Then, very slowly, he turned his head and looked at him. Very slowly, Vegeta smiled. "Now, remember, so I don't have to repeat myself. I am your father-forever. You are my son. And I always will." The smile turned into half a smirk and he suddenly seemed rather cocky about the whole thing. "Got that?"

The blood rushed back into Trunks' face and he turned his whole body around, but kept his back against the wall for support because his knees were weak. He still felt raw and used, but suddenly the world seemed bearable again. Everything-everything was different. He felt warm inside, very warm, like something hard and frozen had just started to melt in a very good way. Very, very good. Very, very warm.

He fainted.

When he woke up, he was lying in bed and Vegeta was gone. But Goten was standing there, grinning at him.

"I will kill you," Trunks said to him.

Goten just laughed. "You got your answer."


"So how do you feel?"

Like he was floating. Like he was so grateful to his father he wanted to weep. Like if he had to fight Majin-Buu he could beat him all by himself.

"Like I'm going to pass out again."

"Well, don't. You scared me. You really scared Vegeta. He picked you up over his shoulder and took you to Bulma, who scolded both of us thoroughly and ordered you be put to bed. Which Vegeta did himself. But then he seemed to think you'd need your privacy so he left and I snuck in. But Bulma knows I'm here."

It was really all too much to take in. If he wasn't allowed to faint again, he really had no idea what to do next.