Dragon Ball/Z/GT Fan Fiction ❯ Hate Is Just Another Kind of Love ❯ whenever one door opens ( Chapter 4 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

[Insert standard disclaimer here] This has gone through some basic revision; please let me know what you think.
With a thousand lies and a good disguise, hit 'em right between the eyes.
“We're coming in on the night side of the planet, and we're landing in a relatively unpopulated area. Why?” Bardock turned from the computer console to look at Trunks, eyebrows raised.
“You're hoping we'll be relatively unnoticed.” Succinct, and to the point. Several weeks of space travel with Bardock had taught him to answer questions like that.
Come to that, several weeks of space travel had taught him more about the Saiyajin culture and mindset then had previously been available on Earth. Know thy enemy, Bulma had said once, but she'd been referring to Vegeta, and not necessarily focused on the basic Saiyajin makeup, outside of what would be useful to kill them. Even during their fifteen year occupation of the planet, Trunks had never been completely submerged in the very essence of what it meant to be Saiyajin. There fourteen acceptable ways to die in battle, four acceptable relationships to have with another Saiyajin, and technology was occasionally helpful but mostly scorned. Proper greetings were so complex that Trunks had gotten lost within the first few minutes of the lecture. Bardock had recommended just keeping his mouth shut. Trunks was vaguely reminded of the Spartans, if they'd built an empire.
“Good.” Bardock turned back to the computer console, and landed the ship in silence.
Trunks slung his sword over his shoulder, checked the draw, and waited. Bardock had taught him to wait, too, more than Yaumcha ever could. It wasn't the deadly calm of waiting for battle, it was a just a stillness of the body and taking careful breathes. Most Saiyajin fought quickly, all brute strength and no thought behind the movement. True, you had to trust the movement, but movement without cause was a waste of energy, a waste of time, and a weakness your enemy could exploit.
He'd been given Saiyajin armor, and he'd been taught to fight like a Saiyajin; Bardock didn't explain why it was so important that Trunks blend in. Purple hair and blue eyes not withstanding, Trunks simply did not exude the presence of imminent destruction that had been so prevalent in all the Saiyajin he'd ever met. Bardock didn't seem too despairing; in fact, he seemed to have a well-thought out plan that didn't need to be vocalized. Trunks swore as the hatch opened, and flung his ki up around himself; they'd landed near the northern polar icecap, on a small landmass separated from the main continent by a large red sea.
They stepped out into the pink snow, and Trunks tailed Bardock as the older man zipped away across the night sky. He followed Bardock complaisantly into a large cavern mouth, through the first huge, dark chamber, and then into a smaller, fire-lit chamber beyond. It was warmer here, and sheltered from the wind, but the man sitting at the back of the cave was wrapped in furs. Trunks jolted; he was old, withered and white-haired, obviously Saiyajin just from the shape of his eyes and the line of his jaw. Trunks had never even known that a full-blooded Saiyajin could have blue eyes.
“Bardock,” the old man greeted, “You brought a friend. Looks like one of mine, but I've never laid eyes on him before. My, my, what have you been up to?” and then the old man cackled, manically, and there was a fire in those blue eyes that burned more brightly than intelligence; madness.
“Jardin.” Bardock actually bowed, and Trunks didn't think Bardock even bowed to Vegeta. “Trunks is a half-breed, from Earth. I need you to give him the Guarding Moko.”
Jardin cackled again, watching Bardock with an intensity that bordered on obsessive. “My price, my price, what is my price?” and he cackled again, holding out his open palm, waggling his fingers suggestively.
“This,” and Bardock reached into his armor, and pulled out a familiar pouch. Trunks had last seen it tied on Krillin's belt, knew that its contents clicked gently like hard candy. Jardin pulled a senzou from the purple bag and licked it carefully, then cackled again.
“Magic beans, Bardock, magic beans!” Jardin didn't stop cackling for a full minute, just long enough that Trunks could feel his very last nerve begin to grate. Suddenly the madness dropped from the old man, and he turned his still-burning blue eyes on Trunks. “Take off your armor. Strip to the waist.”
The pouch full of senzou disappeared into the furs, and Jardin reached around behind him and pulled a leather satchel onto his lap. He carefully untied the cords, and laid out his tools gently, kissing each item as it came out of the bag before he laid it down in front of him.
Trunks peeled off the armor and pushed the jumpsuit down, leaning armor and sword against the cave wall. He tucked his gloves into the top of his boot, before standing close to the old man.
“Jardin is going to mark you, boy. It'd going to hurt, but when it's done, no one will question where you come from. I'll be back in a day or so; I'm going to see a man about your tail.” Bardock turned and left, and Jardin motioned for Trunks to sit directly in front of him.
Trunks sat with his back to the old man, and only grunted as the other man began tapping the bone chisel into his skin. The ink burned, but not so badly.
Trunks had changed his mind after the first two hours; it hurt, yes, but at least it didn't hurt as much as the time Gohan and Racine had ganged up on him a few years ago in a sparring match and sent him through a few concrete walls and several feet of packed earth when he wasn't Super Saiyajin. Or that time when Nappa had hit him with a stray ki blast and buried him under a pile of rubble when he was six.
Two hours after that, Trunks changed his mind again; the constant tapping and the burning ink hurt like hell. Worse than any injury anyone had ever given him, and he'd taken light beatings for years in the name of training.
Soon after that, Trunks passed out from the pain, and Jardin stretched him out flat on his stomach and sat on his lower back while he continued to tap the ink into his skin.
When Bardock came back, cradling a large jar under one arm and a toolbox in the other hand, Jardin had rolled the half-breed onto his back, with an animal skin between his freshly tattooed back and the cold ground. Bardock knelt next to the two of them, and studied the intricate blue lines.
“Jardin,” he spoke softly, just in case, but the old man was too engrossed in his work. “What exactly will he be guarding, Jardin?” Bardock tried to follow the pattern, and got lost in the complex swirl of blue centering over the boys heart.
“Guards this world. Guards own world. Guards father and throne, son and self. Guards Light. Guards Dark. He is Guardian.” Jardin didn't look up from his work, and made only a vicious, half-hearted stab at Bardock when the younger man made to touch him. “Guardians always tear themselves apart, Bardock. No need to watch him; the Guardian will guard himself.”
Bardock sighed, leaned back against the cave wall with his box and jar, and waited.
When Trunks woke up, his chest, back, and entire right arm were on fire. He was lying on his stomach, freezing cold, and naked from the waist up. He pushed himself into a sitting position, blinked blearily a few times, and looked down at his chest. The blue lines swirled this way and that, crossing and running together until it hurt to look at them. The scrawl seemed to start around his heart, spanned his chest, and crawled all the way down his right arm. Trunks tried to pull the jumpsuit up, but decided against it as the material touched the fresh ink and scars, and burned with an unholy passion.
He tried standing, and ended up falling flat on his face. He reached behind himself, and touched the base of his spine; it hurt like hell, but there was definitely a tail there. Bardock...Trunks growled low and furiously, baring his teeth in a way he'd never done before.
Up until then, he'd been mostly human. Bardock had tipped the scales, made Trunks something other than what his mother had intended. There was going to be an explanation, and it was going to be good, as soon as he'd beaten the absolute crap out of the bastard. Jardin was missing, although his scent still lingered in the cave, and Trunks wondered when his sense of smell had gotten so much better. His sword and armor were still leaning up against the wall where he'd left them, and as he made to crawl toward them, he heard Bardock's footsteps coming toward him.
He didn't rush himself; there would be a beating, all in good time. Preferably, after he'd figured out how to walk again.
He stood carefully, swayed a little, adjusted his stance, and waited. He moved the new appendage from side to side, eyes closed as he focused on the new sensation.
“Trying it out?” Bardock asked, pausing in the entranceway.
“Yeah. A warning would have been nice.” Trunks kept his voice calm and even. Betray nothing.
“Didn't know if I'd even be able to get it. Norseki do some weird shit by Saiyajin standards, but a missing tail is damn fuckin' hard to explain, especially since you wouldn't be ashamed of it. As it is, your hair and eyes are easily explained. The tail is all you, though.”
Trunks opened his eyes and craned over his own shoulder, falling over in the process. He raised his eyebrows at the wriggling purple appendage.
“Mom said it was just a normal brown tail when she cut off when I was a baby.”
“I took some of your hair for the DNA sample. Regrown appendages are tricky, and tails never turn out the way they were supposed to. Now, if anyone even notices the scar, you can simply tell them you lost the original in battle, or something.”
“What is Norseki?”
“A tribe of Saiyajin who live around these parts. They live by the Old Creed. A normal Saiyajin, living in civilized society, has evolved from tribes that originated in the tropical belt on the main continent. Most of the rest of Vegetasie is uninhabitable, because of the vast deserts. Except the Norseki. They're pale from the lack of sun, usually with some pretty crazy hair colors. They tattoo themselves, and they have an alarming tendency to keep quiet and think rationally. Any oddity about you beyond those basic stereo types can be easily explained.”
Trunks was quiet for so long that Bardock thought he must be out of questions.
“When will I see my father?”
“When you can walk, kiddo.” Bardock grinned, as Trunks tried to pick himself up again.
Trunks nodded, carefully pulled himself up by the wall, and glared at the Saiyajin.
“You look just like your father when you do that. If anyone sees you with that expression, they'll put two and two together. Except maybe Nappa. Man's dumb as a brick. Keep your face blank, no matter what.” Bardock warned.
“I just came here to kill Saiyajin,” Trunks stood with his legs splayed, one hand still on the cave wall as he swished his tail around.
“So did I, kiddo,” Bardock sighed as Trunks fell over again.
Eight hours later, Bardock was sporting a black eye and several broken ribs as he led Trunks into the King's private chambers.
Vegeta stood from the couch he'd been lounging on, stripped to the waist and so that the three huge stab wound scars were visible. Trunks stared at the raised red skin, remembering the sound of flesh on steel as he'd run his father through.
“My son,” Vegeta said, holding one arm out. Trunks reacted automatically, crossing the distance between them, and wrapped both arms around his father.
“My father,” he returned the greeting, closing his eyes to the feel of his father's hand on the back of his neck.
“You got so fucking big, brat,” Vegeta pulled back to look him up and down, finally settling on his face. “Every time I see those eyes, I wonder what I lost.”
“The whole damn game,” Trunks gave his father their genetically shared smirk, “She beat you fair and square.”
Vegeta smirked as well; even though the mouth made the right movements, there was something bitter behind his eyes that Trunks couldn't name.
“Bardock, leave us.” Vegeta ordered, and the older Saiyajin went quietly, the door clicking softly behind him.
“I didn't think you'd come.”
“Not everyone takes the second chance, no matter how many times it's offered.” Trunks shifted awkwardly. “You said you needed Saiyajin killed. I can do that just fine.” Trunks blushed, but he looked his father in the eyes as the Saiyajin grinned savagely.
“Boy, you might be Saiyajin yet,” Vegeta chuckled, sobered, and continued. “This is Angerine, my chosen consort.” Vegeta gestured at a Saiyajin woman hovering on the edge of the scene, her wild black hair and dark skin a sharp contrast to the white dress she wore. “She doesn't look it, but she's Norseki; any genetic traits are easily explained.”
“She's the bitch you want me to fuck?” Trunks sneered at her, “You know how many spoilt little Saiyajin bitches like her we killed the first few weeks after you left Earth? You left some rabble behind.”
“Saiyajin mate once, for life.” Trunks looked sharply at his father, watching the black eyes bore into him. “ If one mate dies, the other will never reproduce.”
“My mother-?”
Trunks hovered on some sort of imperceptible edge as he looked at his father, and realized the full extent of his parents hate. Hate and love were the same side of the coin; their emotions had been strong enough to compensate for whatever bond would have formed between two people in normal circumstances. He nodded, once, almost imperceptibly, and Vegeta went on.
“She knows her duty,” the king jerked his chin at the girl, barely a few years older than Trunks himself. “Sleep well.” The leer was sudden and jovial, and Vegeta exited the room with sudden haste. The half-breed barely had any time to realize what had happened before the Saiyajin woman stood in front of him.
“Yeah,” Trunks started, still trying to sneer at her.
She smirked, reaching around to wrap one hand around the base of his neck, then ran her nails down his spine, gripped his new tail gently, and ran her hand along the length of the purple appendage. Trunks cried out as he collapsed into her arms, coming so hard he saw stars.
“Oh, shit,” he muttered, trying to breathe.
“Never had a tail before?” she asked, her voice a warm rumble in his ear. “Get one thing straight, half-breed; this spoilt Saiyajin bitch is either going to be your worst nightmare or your greatest fantasy come to life. Got your mind made up?”
“Do that again,” Trunks panted in her ear, all teenage hormones and uncertainty as he quivered in her arms, “And you'll seal the deal.”
She carded both hands through his hair, down his neck and back, until she had his tail in both hands and fondled.
Trunks was gone.
As the red sun first started to peak over the lip of the world, Vegeta kicked Trunks out of bed and sparred with his son for the first time. By noon, Trunks had thwarted an attempt on his father's life, and been revealed to the Saiyajin court as the king's newly appointed Right Hand. Spattered in the blood of his father's enemies, he formally renounced his name and family and swore loyalty to his king, and it took everything he had to not break out laughing.
Especially since he could see the laughter behind his father's dark eyes.
The first few months, Trunks spattered himself in more Saiyajin blood than he knew what to do with, and still didn't feel that it was worth the vengeance of the human race. Then Angerine announced to the court that she'd gotten with child, and Trunks had felt his heart in his throat and his stomach in his feet for the first time in his life. The wide-eyed look of panic he shared with his father was only a small comfort - dealing with babies was not something a seventeen year old boy and a Saiyajin king knew how to deal with.
Then Bardock asked if Angerine would be executed according to custom after the birth of the heir…then had to summarize eight hundred years of history into “The bitch is better off dead,” before Trunks tried to rip his head off.
Vegeta would have been less worried if Trunks had stopped nuzzling into Angerine's bed every night like a love-sick puppy, even after he watched the look on his son's face as the half-breed stroked her swollen stomach. Trunks had no idea how jealous his father was of his own relationship with not only Angerine, but the child growing inside of her. Vegeta wasn't surprised, when Trunks begged for her life. And if Bardock hadn't made that one, tightly veiled comment about wanting to be with his sons again, Vegeta would have killed her anyway.
When one door opens, one door closes, he'd thought at the time, before he'd told Bardock his plan.