Dragon Ball/Z/GT Fan Fiction ❯ Hate Is Just Another Kind of Love ❯ welcome home ( Chapter 6 )

[ 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.
Live and learn, from fools and from sages.
Overall, Trunks decided, blasting a hole through Nappa's chest had been more satisfying than slicing Freeza to ribbons and blowing away the remains. In fact, killing Nappa might have been the highlight of the entire trip.
Now that he'd hidden the ship, though, it was time to change clothes, and explain a few things to Vegeta. The kid watched him with those wide blue eyes, quiet and still. Trunks didn't think he'd ever seen his son sit so still before; usually he was bouncing all over the place. There wasn't much but sand to look at here, though, although the fact that it was yellow instead of red should have been of more interest.
“How're you holding up?” Trunks asked as he peeled his armor off, dropping it in the sand next to the duffel bag.
“Nappa said that Freeza had to die because he betrayed the Saiyajin.” Vegeta looked up at his father, tail curled in a question mark behind him.
“Freeza would have destroyed Vegetasie because Grandfather didn't want to keep the treaty his father had made with Freeza.” Trunks answered, no longer disconcerted by the questions the kid asked; King and Right Hand had discussed politics over the head of the Crown Prince since the day after the kid was born. “I think Grandfather hated Freeza more than he wanted to keep up the planet sale business, though. To be honest, kid, I don't really care about the politics. You remember what I told you about Earth?” Trunks peeled the jumpsuit away from his skin, dropped it next to the armor, and dug into the bag for the pair of boxers he hadn't worn since he was sixteen.
“You grew up here. The greatest warriors on this planet fought against Grandfather when he wanted to rule here, but Grandma wouldn't let him, and he left so that he could go be king of Vegetasie. Like I will, someday.” The kid paused, watching Trunks carefully. “And all the warriors who fought Grandfather trained you, like you trained me. Pop, how come I can call him Grandfather when no one's listening, but I have to call him Father everywhere else?” The boy ran the yellow sand through his fingers as Trunks tugged on pants and a tank top, so innocent the question could easily be overlooked. Even if the answer had been explained a dozen times, almost like it was a bed-time story.
“You know why, kid. If another Saiyajin found out that Grandfather had a half-breed son with some low-life,” Trunks nearly spat the word, “human woman, then all three of us would die. Grandfather as a blood traitor, me as a spy, and you as an imposter to the throne. You remember how bad it was in the streets, just before the revolution ended?” Vegeta nodded, and Trunks wished he hadn't dragged the kid out into the streets in the name of training. “Imagine all of that, happening to us, in about three or four seconds. Nappa would rather wring your neck then let you sit on the throne if he knew you were a quarter human.” Trunks tugged the denim jacket on, despite the heat, and wondered if it hid some of the blue crawling up his neck.
“Nappa said that Freeza raped Grandfather.” Trunks froze, and stared at his son for a long moment.
“What else did Nappa say?”
“That he'd rather die then watch the next Prince be defiled. So I guess it's a good thing you killed him. How come your hair went all yellow?”
Trunks took a deep breath, trying to process things that he might have heard but hadn't acknowledged, and still keep up with the conversation. It certainly explained a lot about the king, though.
“I'm a Super Saiyajin. That's why we're here, because Grandfather wants me to teach you how to be a Super Saiyajin. Kid,” Trunks knelt down in front of his son, looking him in the eye to drive home the message, “Freeza can't hurt you. Freeza won't be able to hurt anyone, ever again.”
“You killed him, too?”
“Yeah, I killed him, too.”
“Good.” Said with such venom, from such a young mouth surprised Trunks.
“Take your armor off, kid; I've got some clothes you can wear for a little while.”
Vegeta squirmed out of the armor and jumpsuit, looking relieved to have it off. Trunks pulled the blue gi out of the bag; he'd had it made while they were still on Vegetasie, hoping someday that it wouldn't look too strange for his son to be wandering around in human clothes. Now they served a better purpose.
“Will I meet Mother?” Vegeta held his arms over his head as Trunks pulled the gi down over his wild hair, and waited for the flinch in the half-breed's eyes.
“Yes.” Trunks pushed his hair out of his face as the wind kicked up, and didn't elaborate. “You'll get to meet my friends, too. You remember the stories I told you about them?” Trunks held the pants out for Vegeta to step into.
“I remember. Will they like me?”
“Of course they'll like you. Just don't blow anything up. I'll be upset if you get into any trouble, kid, and that'll be the least of your worries.” He knotted the draw string pants around Vegeta's waist, tipped him gently back onto the ground to get his boots back on, and pulled the belt out of the bag.
“What if I don't want to go back to Vegetasie?” Now that was a question Trunks hadn't been expecting.
“Your first duty is to your people, Vegeta. You'll have to go back.” Not the conversation he wanted to be having right now, but Vegeta had a tendency to ask all the questions Trunks didn't really want to answer. Maybe that was children in general.
“You won't come back with me?”
“I don't know. It depends on what Grandfather wants, kid. Right now, he wants you to get strong, so that you'll be a good king. He needs you here, where his enemies can't find you.” Trunks swung the sword across his shoulder, checked the draw, and then scooped his son into his arms.
“I don't want you to leave me!” Trunks barely remembered to grab the duffel bag, now full of Saiyajin armor. Before he did, though, he made himself look into those big, angry blue eyes, and made the only promise he didn't know if he could keep.
“I promise I won't leave you.”
He took to the air, and headed toward Master Roshi's island; he could feel the ki gathered there, the energy of all his friends and teachers wavering with impatience. It seemed as if they were throwing some kind of party.
Trunks smiled; it'd been a long time since he'd been to a party with people he actually liked.
When he landed on the tiny island, there was a huge banner strung out across the side of the house, the words “Welcome Home!” written in the same garish pink as the trim, and Gohan was the first to come forward.
“Trunks, look at you! Have you brushed your hair at all in the last seven years?” Gohan pulled Trunks into a hug, enveloping the child in the embrace as well. “And who's this?” Eyebrows rose at the upswept hair as Gohan pulled back and looked at the child, but the friendly smile didn't leave him.
“My son, Vegeta. This is Gohan. Say hello.” Vegeta waved awkwardly, and then squirmed to hide most of his face in the crook of his father's neck.
“Hey there, little man. You've got a pretty interesting name, in these parts.” Gohan studied the little boy for a moment longer, the shifted back to Trunks. "Kami, we've got a lot of catching up to do! You aren't the only one who's been busy!” Gohan gestured behind him, and a woman holding a girl just a little younger than Vegeta came forward. “This is my wife, Videl, and my daughter, Pan.”
“Hey,” Videl smiled, a little unsure, until Trunks set his son down and hugged her. “Oh! Its good to have you back; I've heard a lot about you.”
“It better have been all good,” Trunks laughed, and jolted as Racine stepped closer, a blonde little girl perched on his shoulder and a blonde woman hanging back just a little. “Racine, you look like you've done pretty well for yourself!”
“Not bad, if I do say so myself,” Racine laughed, clapping Trunks on the shoulder, “This little spit-fire is Serenity, and this is Eighteen.” The blonde woman smiled, and held out a hand. “She's one of Gero's androids, but no hard feelings, right?”
“I knew the bastard got away the first time,” Trunks shook the proffered hand, “Its good to know not everything he did was evil.” Trunks hauled Vegeta around to stand in front of him, and introduced him. The kid waved again, almost shyly if Trunks didn't know he was scoping out the situation. Krillin, Yaumcha, and Tien were standing back just a little, and Trunks steered Vegeta ahead of him as he made his way over. “No more wife and kids? I'm shocked!”
“Actually,” Krillin grinned, “Marron's in the kitchen right now. The doctor says it's a girl,” the short man blushed, and rubbed the back of his neck, sheepish and proud all at once.
“With Launch and the twins. It's kinda sad, our pupils having kids before us,” Tien chuckled, and then bent slightly to talk to Vegeta. “You got your papa's eyes though, didn't you? I'm Tien, and this is Krillin, and Yaumcha.”
“Hey, sport. How'd you get your name? Your dad never really got along with King Vegeta, you know.” Yaumcha was smiling, just trying to be nice; the older Earth warriors froze at Vegeta's answer.
“Pop an' Grandfather get along just fine. I'm not s'posed to tell anyone, `cause Grandfather's a blood traitor an' Pop's a spy, but Pop says I can tell you `cause you kicked ass with my Gramma.”
Trunks looked at each of his teachers, not realizing he'd kept his face in the careful mask of non-reaction he'd cultivated for years.
“Bulma and Vegeta?” Krillin asked, his eyes wide and his mouth twisting in distaste.
“Why do you think I went?” Trunks kept his voice soft, then smirked suddenly. “Mom always used to tell me I looked just like him.”
“So,” Yaumcha bent to talk to Vegeta again “Is Trunks training you up good? Let me see your arm,” Vegeta flexed for Yaumcha, who bent to closely inspect. “Yeah, looks like you're our boy, alright. Just make sure you don't make you're papa angry, or he'll send you to train with us!” Vegeta grinned fiercely, but Yaumcha straightened up to speak to Trunks. “The girls are having a pretty hard time feeding four Saiyajin, plus all of us. You might want to get in there and eat before we run out of food!”
“Will do,” Trunks smiled, and steered Vegeta towards the house. Bardock was sitting around the living room table with Master Roshi, Oolong, and Piccolo, all of them staring intently at the cards in front of them. He looked up as Trunks came through the door, and grinned ferally.
“Good to have you back,” Bardock growled and launched himself over the table. He hit Trunks squarely in the chest, just above Vegeta's head, and the momentum carried them back through the door. Trunks rolled in the sand, punching lightly, then let the older man help him to his feet again. “You meet my girls yet?” Bardock asked, and the fierce pride in his eyes was just a little scary.
“Yeah, they're gorgeous. I heard something about food, though,” Trunks followed the older man through the doorway again, and pulled Vegeta to his side. “You never got the chance to meet my kid,” Vegeta waved perfunctorily, but returned Bardock's slight bow. “This is Bardock, and this is Piccolo, and Oolong, and Mater Roshi.”
“He got your eyes, Trunks,” Master Roshi leaned in close to the kid, pushing his sunglasses up. “Not much of his mother in him, is there?” Roshi jerked back as Vegeta lunged forward.
“Where is she?” All imperious pride, and Trunks knew he hadn't taught the kid that.
“Through there, kid,” Piccolo pointed to the kitchen door, and Vegeta darted through it before Trunks could make a grab for him.
“Quick little thing, isn't he?” Oolong commented casually, and no one noticed him peeking at his opponents disregarded cards.
Trunks sighed, and followed the kid through to the kitchen. Raditz and Kakarrot paused in their feeding frenzy long enough to nod at Trunks, Marron and Launch chirruped at him over the sound of screaming infants, and Vegeta had fastened himself to the woman at the far end of the kitchen.
Angerine looked up, and Trunks' world narrowed.
He'd wondered what mother and son would look like, dreamed about her every night for six years, begged for her. Trunks had never begged for anything else in his life. She looked pretty, in a simple white dress, and her unruly black hair held out of her face with a few clips. Delicate, almost human. She jerked her chin for him to follow, and went through the back door and out onto the beach. There was a dark haired man standing alone, looking out at the waters; when he turned and caught sight of them, he took a few steps closer.
“I'm Seventeen. You're Trunks.” Trunks nodded, but before he could say anything, the man turned and walked away.
“Is he always like that?” Trunks asked.
“How the hell should I know? Usually he doesn't say a damn thing.” Angerine sank down into the sand, and pushed Vegeta away just enough so that he was sitting in her lap. “It's been a long time since I've seen you, little one.” Her smile was soft, and she cradled the kids' face in her hands, smoothing her thumbs over his cheeks.
“Pop said you used to sing to me. Are you going to sing to me again?” Vegeta let her stroke his hair, usually something he dodged away from.
“I will, little one, every night I have you.” Angerine stared at the kid for a long moment, just taking him in. Trunks glanced at Serenity and Pan as they darted past, hovering on the edge of something he didn't know how to define.
“You'd better.” And just like that, Vegeta had had enough physical contact; he darted away after Pan and Serenity, leaving his parents alone on the beach.
Angerine turned and looked up at Trunks, who knelt in the sand next to her.
“You look good.” He blushed when he said it, and half wanted to take it back.
“Idiot,” she muttered, pushing him over and crawling on top of him. “This is how it goes.” And she kissed him.
There would always be enemies to fight, the Earth to defend; at that moment, nothing else mattered except the press of her body against his, and the lingering promise to follow this up in a darkened room after the party. She pulled him to his feet, and led him back inside to a world that was suddenly, amazingly, blindingly perfect.
It was good to be home.