Vince: Well... the reason for my absence will be revealed in Chapter 8 of A to Z which comes out sometime this week. Other than that please forgive me!
Oh, and to Twinsnake Coatl you've made predictions? Well, don't worry this won't be cliche at all, muwhahaahahahahhaah is hit with a random object
Fight Fire With Fire
Vince (Saturn Angels)
It had been a week since Bulma had found Hotaru lying in her front yard, yet even still everything seemed unreal.. like a sort of dull dream to Hotaru, she was seated at the table eating what the kind family had given her, such a kind family to share what they had with a complete stranger...
"You really should eat more, Hotaru. You need to regain your strength-- you still haven't fully recovered.." Bulma said, a worried look on her features.
Hotaru remained motionless as she stared at her plate, she nodded quietly, her eyes glazing over as she stabbed a piece of broccoli with her fork so hard that the glass plate was scratched.
"Stupid girl, who do you think you are? Just because Bulma welcomed you here doesn't mean you can act like you are now." Vegeta said in a harsh tone, so harsh that his daughter's eyes began to water even though it was not she that he was speaking to.
Hotaru grimaced as her gaze slowly traveled from her plate to Vegeta, she stared at him blankly.
"Eat what is on your plate." He muttered, "If I'm forced to eat this--"
"Are you saying I'm not a good cook!?" Bulma asked, raising her voice. Vegeta responded with some sort of quip and both of their attention was diverted from Hotaru to eachother.
"What happened to you Taru-chan?" Bura asked, her eyes shining up at her...
Full of such innocence... such childlike innocence. It almost made Hotaru want to cry out... in fact, it did make her want to but not enough to the point where she actually did. It made her want to tell Bura everything of what had happened... perhaps someday she would.
Hotaru rested her hand on top of Bura's head, "You're too young to understand..." Bura pouted and shook Hotaru's hand off of her head.
"I hate it when grownups say stuff like that! I am old enough to understand!" she said, folding her arms across her chest and sticking out her bottom lip.
If Vegeta hadn't been preoccupied he probably would have maimed Hotaru for making his daughter sulk in such a way, but fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately, for the senshi of death and destruction neither of her aliases would greet her tonight.
((If anyone was confused by that I just mean that she wouldn't die tonight..))
Hotaru began eating her food relatively quickly and slipped out into the backyard to spend some time alone. Instead of sitting down in one of the lawn chairs that were back there placed around tables, she simply flopped backwards onto the grass and looked up towards the stars.
She reached a hand up, the paleness of her fingers standing out against the night sky. She spread her fingers slightly so she could see three of the inner planets close to the moon, they were shining brightly tonight.
The moon... it was the same even though Usagi was not there, or anywhere to make the people around her shine so beautifully...
Hotaru sighed softly, "Chibiusa..." What had become of her pink-haired friend? Perhaps she didn't exist anymore now that the future had been altered so tremendously.
Hotaru sniffled slightly, rubbing her eyes as they began to sting.
"What are you doing here?"
Hotaru didn't seem at all surprised as she turned to greet the lavender-haired warrior. "I'm thinking. What are you doing here?"
"Heading inside so I can eat something."
"What were you doing outside?" Hotaru asked, slowly sitting up from her position on the ground.
"Training?" Hotaru asked with a raised eyebrow, "Training for what?" were there perhaps youma in this dimension too?
Haruka and Makoto used to train a lot...
"To get stronger." He answered simply, with a shrug of his shoulders.
"Why?" Hotaru asked, wanting to know if he was training for a real reason or just to train... like people who work out in gyms. She never understood why people would pay to work out rather than just jog or something...
"So I can defeat my father." he answered with a frown.
Rivalry between a father and a son? Hotaru thought to herself before laughing quietly, it had 'Male Version of Usagi and Chibiusa' written all over the situation.
"Why are you laughing?" Trunks asked, sounding annoyed at Hotaru's outburst. Which he was.
So long as it wasn't Bulma they were fighting over she'd be fine... silly Chibiusa, Usagi was her rival in love-- for Mamoru. Hotaru smiled slightly, knowing that the entire time Chibiusa only continued it to annoy her future mother..
Hotaru was torn from her reverie, "What?"
"Why were you laughing?"
"I wasn't laughing at you.." Hotaru replied with a wistful sort of sigh, "directly anyway." she looked at Trunks, her eyes once more showing just an endless, empty depth. "If I were you I'd go on my way." her eyes narrowed dangerously, "So leave."
Trunks; oddly enough, did continue walking-- looking very confused at the sudden change of character in the dark-haired girl. "What was that all about?" He asked aloud but not loud enough for Hotaru to hear it, he slid open one of the doors to Capsule Corp. and walked in.
Hotaru faintly heard a plate crashing to the ground and a lot of yelling coming from inside-- that was when Trunks opened the door. She almost laughed when Trunks narrowly dodged a flying heavy glass bowl.
Bura ran outside in tears, "Taru taru!" she cried, running to the darkhaired senshi, "Mommy and daddy are fighting!"
The little girl lodged herself in Hotaru's arms and hid her face from view. Hotaru looked down at her before rubbing her back soothingly, "There there... I'm sure they don't mean anything by it."
The front door opened and they heard Vegeta yell something like, "The only reason I married you was because of that brat!" he, was obviously, talking about Trunks who was the older of the two. The front door slammed and they heard Vegeta's car drive off.
Bura immediately thought it was she that they were talking about, and began crying louder. Trunks walked outside soon enough, looking very angry. "What the hell's gotten into them this time?" he muttered as he walked in the direction of the 'training dome'.
"They were arguing over your mom's cooking." Hotaru responded, it had started out all over a simple thing... 'anger management.' was the only thing that came to mind when she thought of it.
Though... it did help a little. Helped her think of something else other than the horrible ache she felt in her chest everytime she was reminded of the past.
"It happens all the time." Trunks muttered darkly, "They shouldn't have gotten married. It's Hell for both of them."
Hotaru shook her head, cradling the little girl so she wouldn't feel as if Hotaru was completely ignoring her. "I'm sure they're not serious about anything that they say."
"My mom just threw 53 plates at my dad, and you say they're not serious?" He asked rolling his eyes, "You really are naive."
Hotaru's eyes darkened at just hearing the word 'naive' .. she was anything but that. "Well he wasn't hit was he?"
"No, but that's thanks to two things. My mother's bad aim and my father's quick reflexes. It's not because she meant to miss or anything like that."
Bura sniffled, "Daddy doesn't love mommy!" she cried.
Hotaru sweatdropped, at the moment from her point of view it seemed like Bulma was the one overreacting... perhaps it was that certain time of the month...how else could it be explained?
Instead she turned her attention from the quarrel the family had just had to the crying child in her arms, she patted her back trying to comfort her. "Now now, don't worry Bura... your father loves you, so much."
She sniffled, more tears springing to her baby blue eyes, "But daddy doesn't love mommy!!!" she cried out, rubbing her eyes frantically so her brother wouldn't see her as someone weaker than him-- she didn't quite understand that she wasn't as strong as her older brother yet.
Hotaru continued consoling the little girl, and they sat in the grass like that until Bura cried herself to sleep in Hotaru's arms; which was around three in the morning. Hotaru rubbed her own eyes, stretching her arms up above her head as she yawned before something was thrown at her head.
She blinked in surprise, turning to see who had thrown it, and it was to her surprise not Trunks; for she had thought him the only one childish enough to do something such as that in the house-- even though he was not very immature...
"Who are you?" both asked in unison.
The black-haired boy grinned, he seemed no older than Trunks, perhaps only a year older than Hotaru herself. "The name's Goten, now... what are you doing with Trunks' sister? Kidnapping her?" he asked in an exceedingly playful mood as he made his way over to the two girls.
Hotaru looked at Goten strangely, holding the child more protectively to herself fearing that he himself was here to kidnap someone or steal something...
"Calm down there, I was only kidding. You must be Trunks' new girlfriend?" he suggested.
That of course was when she realized that he knew Trunks, and therefore he had to be at least a friend of his or something, perhaps even a cousin... "What are you doing here at this late hour?"
"Late?" he asked blinking, "I just woke up! It's nearly four in the morning and Trunks and I always spar at this time."
"Again with the sparring... is that all guys ever think about in this world?" she pondered to herself, too quiet for Goten to hear it, "It's already four in the morning?" she asked, meaning she had been sitting listening to the girl spill out her childish problems for about ... five hours.
Hotaru blinked blearily at the night sky, at least the sun wasn't up yet... her legs had probably fallen asleep under the weight of the eleven-year old who didn't act her age...
But then again that was perhaps because she was greatly spoiled by her father and doted upon by her mother...
"Yes, it's already four in the morning, and perhaps it's weird to you that your boyfriend and I have to train so much but it's one of those pride sort of matters." Goten replied, causing Hotaru to look at him rather than at the sky.
"Oh... I'm not his girlfriend." she said shaking her head, "My name is Hotaru, I'm just staying here for a while until I find a way to get back to my ...home."
"Oh, where do you live?"
"Somewhere far away..."
"Well, my dad knows a lot of faraway places-- he could take you there instantaneously." he said, grinning his goofy smile once more.
"I don't think it would be quite that simple this time..." Hotaru said, becoming confused about what the boy said about his father.
"Well, if you change your mind, let me know." he said, smiling once more though not as widely, this time it was more of just a friendly gesture. "Nice meeting you Hotaru, I hope I, uh, see more of you." he said, "I better go wake Trunks up.. it doesn't look like he's awake yet. Usually he'd be waiting outside for me or training already without me. Have fun sleeping under the stars I suppose." he said with a short laugh before Hotaru stood up, her knees nearly buckling underneath her.
For some reason this lively black-haired boy was making her feel... more alive. at home in a strange way, "I'll go get him. I have to take Bura back to bed and my room's right next to his..." she suggested, the girl wasn't as light as she looked...
She made her way inside, thankful that Goten slid the door open for her so she wouldn't have to hold Bura with only one arm.
"Are you sure you don't need help getting up the stairs?" he asked, chuckling slightly at the sight the black-haired girl carrying Bura was. Afterall, Hotaru was hardly even taller than the girl in her arms.
"Uh...perhaps a little." she said, having trouble admitting that she needed help; though she usually didn't act so prideful... perhaps it was the air in this dimension that did it to her. Soon she would be the one sparring at four in the morning. Hah, yeah... sure.
Hotaru was ready to hand over the eleven-year old to Goten when he lifted them both up off the ground. Hotaru squeaked and almost lost her balance and would have fallen if he didn't have such a tight hold on her.
She looked at him surprised, he didn't seem to show any strain at all as he walked the steps briskly. "W-I-... Aren't we heavy at all??" she asked surprised, how much did these guys train anyway??
"Nah. I can benchpress a ton, this is nothing. You two together are as light as a feather. Hey... that rhymed." he said, grinning once more as he walked down the hallway to their rooms.
Hotaru giggled slightly, surprised that she had it in her to laugh at all anymore... a laugh that was sincere rather than spiteful.. or brought about by her memories.
"Wow, you can laugh. I was getting worried for a second there..." Goten said, mocking a relieved expression, Hotaru giggled again.
"This is your room right? The guest room between Bura's and her brother's?" he asked setting Hotaru down finally.
Hotaru nodded, "Yes-- thanks." she said, heading into Bura's room to set the girl down on the bed, Goten opened the door for her to both the guest room and Bura's room before he himself went into Trunks' to wake said person up.
Hotaru set Bura down onto the bed, and brought the covers up to her shoulders before shutting the door behind her and walking into her own room: able to hear all that was being said in the next room.
'Wake up sleepy-head..' Goten said from the other room, and there was an almost inaudible groan in reply and Hotaru could just imagine him rolling over and refusing to get up.
She heard a loud thump, Trunks cry out quietly, and then muttering as Trunks presumably got out of bed. She was about to just go to sleep, afterall she was already tucked in bed, warm and comfortable before she heard something that caught her interest.
Goten asking, 'So... what do you think of Hotaru?'
'You met her?' Trunks asked, sounding a little surprised. 'Yeah, she was outside still with your sister...' Goten answered, 'but you didn't give me an answer to my question. Don't avoid the subject.' he said teasingly, and Hotaru could envision his goofy smile..
There was silence between the two boys for a while and Hotaru closed her eyes telling herself she didn't care what they said about her. But why was her heart pounding so much?
Was it because of Goten?
'She's... I don't know. Kind of ... strange... I think something really horrible must have happened to her...' Trunks replied.
Goten asked why Trunks thought that, 'Seems normal enough to me...'
'You didn't see her when we found her outside on the lawn...' Trunks replied.
Hotaru gazed up at the ceiling mournfully, yes... she had been a sight...
'Well, I like her.' Goten said.
And of course Hotaru couldn't see as Trunks' head shot up to look at Goten severely as he put on his shoes.
'What do you say to that?' Goten asked, laughing quietly.
'I say, you'd better lower your voice before you wake my dad up and get him in a bad mood.' Trunks said, his voice dangerously low.
Though Hotaru honestly couldn't say why. Vegeta hadn't returned home, for if she had she would have seen him, and his voice seemed... protective? She'd known him for a week and they'd perhaps spoken two sentences to one another, total.
He didn't seem interested in her in the least.
...and she wasn't interested in him at all.
Well, perhaps a little bit.. though she couldn't really pinpoint why. He was stubborn, a little on the mean side, too much like his father, obsessed with fighting...
...cute, but Hotaru had never been one shallow enough to like someone just because of what he looked like. Because if she was like that she would have crushes on some of those who bullied her...
She shook her head trying to rid herself of the memories, before making a deal with herself. The deal was to, get to know the people in this dimension far better, be friendly, and not remember her past so much. Preferably not at all... things would be so much easier if she did.... and it was easier not to think of all those things when she was around Goten... so she would have to be in his company more often whether he liked it or not.
And with that final though the senshi of death and destruction finally succumbed to sleep.
Vince: To be continued! Yes, it still is Trunks/Hotaru even though right now it seems as if she likes Goten more..
And once again I'm sorry for taking so long to update please forgive me. It won't happen again I promise!