Shades of Darkness
Part 1
Daily battles

Disclaimer: Oh please. Give me a break. I don't own. If I did, I would be able to speak Japanese, and from my pathetic attempts at trying, it's obvious I cannot.

Cathowl: That was a really deep review! Very true as well. Thank you for reading Lost in the Darkness! I hope you like this one too!

Seraphsaiyan: What was wrong with the ending? I liked it. Well, it wasn't the happiest (sorry...I wish it could have been, but...)

Penchy-Chan: Give Karot (my muse) a kick. He told me to do it! It's his fault! (Kakarotto: It was not me!
Me: Karot-chan! Don't you start!)

Dedication: Thanks to Sailor J-chan (read her stuff! It's brilliant!), Ren-chan, and Kyllir, who support me in my writing when I need it. Thanks y'all!

*grows sober* onto serious matters, you guys. I appreciate the support I've gotten for my 9/11 plea. I ask again. For a brief moment on 9/1, please give a thought or prayer to those that died that day. I thank you for honoring my country and the lives lost.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

The house was peaceful enough, in the middle of the back woods far from civilization. It was never bothered much by outsiders, they were told what lived there as soon as they entered town. No one wanted to mess with freed slaves...they'd heard they were dangerous savages.

A child's cry of fear shattered the night and waking his parents up in a cold sweat. Kakarotto jumped from his bed and raced towards his son's room, fearing the worst. Someone was trying to take the young child! He reached the door, and his fears were laid to rest. The boy was fine, though crying and had obviously just woken from a bad dream.

"Gohan? What's wrong? Are you alright?" Kakarotto masked his fear, and made sure to keep his voice calm and steady, relying upon his Saiya-Jin training.

"Otousan?" The boy whimpered. "I had a bad dream."

"It all right now." Kakarotto, told the boy softly, wrapping him in his strong arms. "Do you want to tell me about it?"

"I dreamed that they came and took you away." The boy sniffed. "And they said you had to wear that collar forever! And then they said I had to wear one forever! And then they took mama away and said I couldn't be with you anymore!"

"Sh." Kakarotto soothed his son. "It was just a dream. It's not going to happen."

"Promise?" He sniffed. Kakarotto nodded and ruffled his son's hair affectionately. The boy, content that his father knew everything, settled back into Kakarotto's arms and sighed happily, falling back asleep within moments, the dream forgotten.

"I only hope I'm right." He whispered to himself, and tucked the little boy back into bed.

Kakarotto was a Saiya-Jin, brought to earth as a slave nearly a decade ago when Vegita-sei was first taken over. He had barely been free for a month, but the heavy collar that controlled his ki, was still fastened securely about his neck. He was allowed to take it off only for training, something he did often so he wouldn't have to bear the weight of the collar. He and his mate, Chichi, who, at just under twenty one, was a few months younger than he, had moved to her father's old kingdom up in the far reaches of the 439 mountain area.

The tall man rose gracefully to his feet, gently tucking his son back into bed before heading back to bed himself. Chichi was awake and waiting for him to return, though she already knew about the dream. Gohan had had it several times before and while the nightmare wasn't the big concern, it was the fact that reoccurring dreams had a nasty habit of happening when Saiya-Jins dreamt them for a month or more. This dream had been waking the boy up for several weeks, and while it probably was only a dream, there were no promises.

He sighed in contemplation but soon gave up the train of thought. It was late and he was tired. He stumbled into his room and sank wearily down onto the bed.

"The same dream?" Chichi whispered, inky black hair cascading around her head like a halo.

"Of course." The two COULD have used the telepathic bond they shared, but right now Kakarotto needed the comfort of her voice. The dream had such an air of reality to it that scared him to no end.

"It won't happen, you know." She sat up and leaned near him, massaging his shoulders.

"I hope." He corrected.

"You are FREE, Goku-chan. They can't hurt you." She gave him a soft kiss on the back of his neck.

"I know. Everyone is created equal." He was mocking the "freedom speakers" that were nosing about these days, then he added tiredly, "Just that some people are more equal than others."

"It's always like that. No matter when you're here. Women, slaves, hey, it's all the same thing to the free men."

"Not really." Kakarotto pointed out. "You are free. I'm free in name and nothing else."

"True." Chichi agreed and sighed. "It's a shame about it as well."

"Yeah, well..." He trailed off, and settled back on the bed, snuggling closer to her. They both fell into a peaceful slumber.
~~*~~ ~~*~~ ~~*~~ ~~*~~ ~~*~~ ~~*~~

Bulma sighed as she woke up, turning to face the clock. It was nine already? Why hadn't Mirai gotten her up yet, like he did every morning at seven thirty? She shook her head in confusion. If he wasn't going to wake her up, she was getting a little more sleep.

"Okay, go wake her up." Someone whispered. The was a child's giggle and suddenly the covers were thrown off her.

"Time to get up, Mama!" A boy with white-lilac hair and blue eyes that were the same dark ice blue as her own cried happily.

The woman groaned and sat up. "Me an' Papa made breakfast for you!" He gave a gleeful smile. Bulma paled. Vegita cooked? Oh gods no. Anything but that.

"I didn't cook it. Kakarotto's harpy did." He raised an eyebrow and showed her the covered tray. "I warmed it up. That I can do."

Bulma blinked in surprise and settled herself on the bed. Vegita set the tray down on her lap and she pulled the cover off. Pancakes, bacon and eggs. Her mouth watered at both sight and scent. She took a bite and made a small noise of pleasure. "It's delicious!" She praised. "Thank you Vegita, Mirai."

"Welcome, mama. You like it?"

"The best surprise ever!" She smiled. The boy was barely three, only a little younger than Gohan, and both were very intelligent and got along quite well. "Do you two want to go over to Kakarotto's today? I bet Gohan would like to see you, Mirai."

"Can we? Can we please? I want to show him my new toy! I got one for him too! Remember? Can I give it to him today? Are we going to spar too? His papa is teaching him, right?"

Both of his parents blinked at the totally unrelated questions and the rapid fire way with which they were asked before Vegita managed to reply, "Of course, gaki."

"Arigato, Papa!" Mirai grinned and bounded for the door.

"What just happened?" Bulma finally got out, slightly shocked.

"I have no idea." Vegita could only shake his head.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~

They didn't get over there until nearly afternoon, Bulma making sure she took enough food for their supper. The woman shook her head and tossed the capsule that held her air car. She'd become quite rich again, her father hadn't disowned her, he seemed to think that he was going about it the wrong way and changed, slowly but surely. Old habits die hard, but he was doing his best.

She had also taken her capsules and made them faster and more cheaply than before, and able to carry more. More people could buy them and they got more money. Mirai didn't know of the hard feelings between the two, and he adored his grandfather (who doted him like any other loving grandparent) and she had no intention of telling him. Besides, they had reconciled and that was in the past.

Bulma sook her head when she realized she was looking out the window foolishly and laughed slightly at herself. Brooding while Vegita drove? What kind of nut was she any way? His driving was about like his cooking. In dire need of improvement before it killed someone. And this was a good place to learn, on the back roads towards the Son's house.

Her mate, sensing her thoughts shot her a quick glare before turning back to the road and continuing onward. He was excited to. Kakarotto and himself would shed the collars and go train for a while. Bulma and Chichi were never happy that the two spent so much time training, but they didn't have the heart to yell since neither Saiya-Jin could take the collar off at any other time and they were forced to wear them for ten years due to the incident involving the Kakarotto's next to last owner, the last being his father.

Vegita had to admit that it was a clever way to control them, but he would outsmart them all the same. No matter at the moment. Right now, he needed to be watching out for trees.
~~*~~ ~~*~~ ~~*~~ ~~*~~ ~~*~~ ~~*~~

"Gohan! Kakarotto! We have guests!" Chichi shouted as she saw Bulma's aircar heading in for a landing. The two eagerly raced toward the small house, tails wagging as though they were puppies. Chichi grinned. It was rare for a Saiya-Jin to allow his tail free movement around most people, but at home was a different story. Kakarotto, while having a very stoic face but for his eyes, which Chichi could read quite well after four years, made it hard to guess his mood. His tail, however, was not stoic when unwrapped from his waist and made it much easier.

Right now, both were excited as could be, with the prospect of seeing their friends. Kakarotto lifted Gohan above his head and swooped about for a moment before settling lightly on the grass. It was a beautiful day and nothing could ruin it. Not even the thought of the ki collars. Kakarotto gave an annoyed sigh at the thought of them, the moment he headed out for training, it came off, and he left it at the house. If he didn't go home, he was training. Unfortunately, he had to wear the uncomfortable thing to eat, sleep, and anything else he had to do, which included studying earth and it's customs.

Well, he wasn't wearing it now and Vegita was coming to spar and everything was absolutely perfect...except his stomach was currently voicing his protest for food. Chichi laughed and told him that dinner wouldn't be ready for a while and to take the boys and fish. They would all probably be hungry, and Saiya-Jins never turn down food.
~~*~~ ~~*~~ ~~*~~ ~~*~~ ~~*~~ ~~*~~

He was running, ever running. He didn't know where he was going, or why, but he knew he had to get there. His feet were a blur as he remembered his father's plea. He gasped for air, reciting the words of his now dead father as he thought them. "Remember me, my son, and run far from here. Avenge my death, kill the humans!" His father had stopped to drew a shaky breath in, as the man did now. "Do not let my death go un-avenged!"

Trees flashed past him, he didn't know where he was going or what he would do when he stopped. He knew that they would track him by his collar, he knew that once they discovered him missing they would be after him in moments. He had to get rid of it.

His conciseness was slipping slowly from him, the ground and sky weaving together before his eyes. It was hard to breath now, but he had to go farther... just a little. Had to get away... Without another thought, his eyes rolled back in his head and he collapsed to the ground, darkness taking him by the hand.
~~*~~ ~~*~~ ~~*~~ ~~*~~ ~~*~~ ~~*~~

"Gohan! We're going fishing! Come on, Chibi hikari." Kakarotto called, using Gohan's pet name, little light.

"Wait Papa! I'm going as fast as I can!" The little boy bounded down the stairs, half dressed. Kakarotto laughed.

"Do you think your Mama would let me take you out like that? I think not! Get dressed, Chibi hakari." Kakarotto smiled at his son, and helped him finish dressing in a miniature of Kakarotto's own gi.

"Now we go, Papa?" Gohan grinned happily at his father, leading the way out the door.

"Hai, now we may go." Chichi was big on proper language and wouldn't tolerate Kakarotto using slang around the boy, including can instead of may. Kakarotto, not seeing any point in that, just went along with the rule rather than argue with his frying-pan wielding mate.

Gohan was skipping quite happily along, tail wagging merrily behind him, when he tripped, falling over something in the path.

Kakarotto blinked in surprise, scooped his son up in his arms, and waited for a moment to see if there was any danger from the inert form in their path. When the being didn't move, didn't twitch, Kakarotto set his son gently on the ground. "Go get your mama for me, onegai, Chibi hakari." He requested, flipping the being over to see it's face.

Whatever it was, it was green, Kakarotto noticed, slightly confused. He couldn't quite remember any green beings around. ::Chichi? Gohan's coming to get you, we found something...I'm not sure what yet, but he's not human. You'll need your med pack, and I need my scouter.::

::Right. Should I leave Gohan at home?::

::No, he can return. I wasn't sure if he was alive at first, but he is, so it's all right.:: Kakarotto admitted with a sigh, mostly of relief.

He took the time he'd have to wait to study whatever was in the path. It was tall, standing the being would top him by nearly a head, and was a rich emerald green except for the strange pink-peach patches on his arms. He had antennas as well, but no hair that Kakarotto could see. There were brow ridges, but no eyebrows. Whether that was natural or not was anybody's guess at the moment.

The man groaned and his eyes fluttered open. Kakarotto shook his head as the being tried to sit up, pushing him back lightly with his hand. "You're hurt. Lay back and rest."

The man croaked and Kakarotto sighed. The being obviously thought he was a slave trader or someone that had come after him. "I'm not going to hurt oyu or turn oyu in, now lay back."

The man complied, to weak to argue much. Chichi and Gohan arrived moments later. "How is he?" She asked, decapsulating her medical kit.

"He woke up, I think he's a runaway. Can you get the tracker off the collar?"

"I think so. Any other injuries?"

"Hai. It's turned up too high, for one thing, he's dehydrated, not enough water?" At her nod, he continued, "And, from the looks of it, he ran to exhaustion." Kakarotto clicked on his scouter. "He's a Namek-Jin.

"I see. Nothing that can't be fixed with time. Let me get rid of the tracker and we'll take him to the house." Chichi pulled something out of the bad and held it to the back of the collar for a moment, then adjusted the setting. Kakarotto picked him up easily and carried him to the house with no difficulty.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~

When he regained conciseness sometime later, the first thing he noticed were hushed voices. The next was that he was in a bed, and the last was that his collar was not nearly so low. He gave a soft groan and tried to sit up.

"Papa, he's awake!" It was a high child's voice, sounding both excited and nervous.

"Good." The next voice was deeper, but not malicious, to his relief.

He opened his eyes with little trouble and the first thing he saw was the boy who had announced it when he woke up. He was small, no older than three, with long black hair that fell in spikes down his back. The little boy turned around reveling coal colored eyes that were almost too large for his face, and ears of the same type. Saiya-Jin, was the only thing that came to mind.

The man tried to sit up, but found he was too weak. Someone helped him sit up. The other speaker. "You've decided to join us, ne? I'm Kakarotto."

"Piccolo." The other being declared.

"I'm Gohan." The chibi Kakarotto held out a hand. "This is our house. Were you a slave? Why do you have a collar on?"

"Gohan!" Kakarotto scolded. "Forgive my son. He's only three." Kakarotto gave a sheepish smile and rubbed the back of his head. There was a glint of metal and Piccolo thought he'd die in shock. A ki collar was around his neck!

"So, you were a slave? Are you a runaway?" Kakarotto asked, after sending Gohan from the room.

"Yes." Piccolo blinked. "How did you know?"

"I was a slave, once. Not anymore."

"Will you be sending me back?"

"No." Kakarotto growled. "We've tracked the owners down. He was going to kill you. You're not going back either."

"I'm not?"

"No. We bought you from him."
~*~ ~*~ ~*~

(A/N) Well, what do you think of that? The sequel to Lost in the Darkness! YAY! It's labeled in that fic if you manage to lose this one. Anyway, I love the feed back! BTW, don't tell my if you don't like my spelling of someone's name unless I REALLY butcher it. Like Vegita. I don't care if you want it spelled Vegeta, I don't like it that way!

Sorry if I offend you, I don't mean it to be mean. I sprained my ankle and I'm in a bad mood. Don't mean to take it out on y'all. ^__^

REVIEW! Thanks!


~*~ Lady Foeseeker ~*~