Dragon Ball/Z/GT Fan Fiction ❯ Touketsu ❯ The Void ( Chapter 28 )

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

The Void

Frieza had been watching the ongoing battle some distance away on the top of a building, Bulma pulled against him and her mouth buried in the crook of his arm. When the fight was taken away from the headquarter's surveillance cameras and the explosions of battle ensued, Frieza had taken his captive with him to monitor the situation from afar. Having quickly learned how to submerge his ki, he continued to play spectator.

He noted with intrigue how Touketsu's skills had developed rapidly once he was beset on all sides by enemies. In his movements and fighting style were shades of the Saiyan soldier that Frieza knew so well. Then there was the nature of his bizarre attacks; Frieza had never seen anything quite like them, and he was rather astounded to see him begin to gain the upper hand against a Super Saiyan. Frieza may have harbored some concern if it were not for Touketsu's submissive behavior. Unlike the boy he had raised, this version lacked the prince's rebellious nature. Ever since Frieza put Touketsu in his place he had been a groveling cur. Quite an attitude improvement. Nonetheless, his powerful energy attacks were utterly sloppy and reckless, and now the hot-headed fool was scrapping it out with the two boys. It was time to put an end to this.


Everyone faltered and looked up to the source of the strident voice. Bone-white against a sky glowing red with firelight, Frieza in his perfect form stood atop the flat roof of one of the towering buildings of West City, Bulma in a headlock. Trunks was horrified to see his mother being held captive by the cruel alien, and more than afraid he'd decide to drop her. Frieza pointed directly at Touketsu.

"YOU need to control yourself," Frieza chastised. He dropped his arm in annoyance. "You risk destroying this woman's headquarters with your wanton attacks. She is only as useful to me as her equipment, understand?"

Touketsu immediately sobered. "Yes my lord."

Trunks swung his head in Touketsu's direction, an expression of shock and deep betrayal on his young face. "What?" he uttered, his voice cracking with disbelief. "You - you're with him?"

"That's enough training for you today, Touketsu. I believe I will step in now. Come up here and watch the woman for me, won't you?"

Touketsu nodded obediently. He leapt towards the building and bounded up its side, vaulting onto the flat roof. He strode over and took Bulma from him, grasping her by her upper arm. They turned to look down on the three Saiyans.

"A fine display, Touketsu." Frieza said with a smirk, his eyes still trained on the three below. "Exercise a little restraint, and you'll continue to improve. I'm quite impressed."

Touketsu looked to him, slack-jawed; Frieza's praise felt like a reward. He dipped his head in gratitude. "Thank you, my lord."

"Let her go!" Trunks shouted.

Touketsu turned his attention to the boy. Chuckling, he leapt up onto the ledge and yanked Bulma up with him. She yelped in fear when she was swung around, her feet barely in contact with the edge of the building as she was held out awkwardly. "Don't tempt me, boy, I just might!" Touketsu laughed, the high winds buffeting their hair about.

Eyes wide, Bulma desperately entwined her fingers into the shaggy hair of Touketsu's forearm. "Vegeta," she gasped, her voice hitching in terror. "Don't…."

Frieza chuckled with amusement. "Careful now, Touketsu," he chided. "Until you have full mastery of your teleportation she's still needed." Frieza studied him shrewdly for a moment. "Have you tired of her, son?"

Touketsu's teasing smirk dropped from his face in surprise. Disarmed, he looked over his shoulder to Frieza. When Frieza waited patiently for a reply, he responded honestly, "I…was attached to her." He looked back at Bulma resentfully. "But I realized that attachments are only for the weak."

Frieza's black lips quirked into a wicked smile. "I'm very proud of you."

Touketsu blinked. Speechless, he looked back to his master. "You're learning," Frieza continued. "These old attachments are a part of your past, and you can't move forward until you put the past behind you. I'll tell you what: when she ceases to be useful to us, Touketsu, you have my permission to dispatch her yourself."

Touketsu looked haltingly back to Bulma, and he began to experience that twisting in his heart again. It was the same sensation that made him hesitate in striking the boy. Scowling, he pushed away the stupid, weak feeling just as he had before. Vegeta's influence had been controlling him since his transformation, and his family had controlled the prince. Touketsu had struggled with Vegeta's emotions for them up until he learned of the woman's deceit. It wasn't until then that Touketsu was finally able to turn the prince's attachments on itself. His expression grew cold as he kept his eyes trained on hers, his heart a block of ice. "Thank you, my lord," he said hollowly.

Below, Trunks grit his teeth, his body tense and his small fists shaking with rage and fear. He was in a nightmare. That wasn't his father up there. Tears welled up in his eyes as he grappled with the truth: his father was gone. He had to save his mother.

With Goten's assistance, Gohan had taken a senzu bean. His strength restored, he looked up grimly at their adversaries at the top of the building. "Trunks, get ready to catch her." Gohan told him. Trunks had barely registered what the older half-Saiyan said before he blasted off into the air.

"Gohan!" Goten called after him. Gohan ignored the cries of his little brother as he ascended to Super Saiyan 2 and flew up towards the two white demons.

"Ah, the little boy from Namek!" Frieza cackled gleefully. "My, things do indeed CHANGE!" With a burst of golden energy, his body transformed into a purple and gilt version of his perfect form, his power level soaring to outrageously terrifying heights. Fear lanced through Gohan at the sight, even as he plowed forward. He was struck head on by blazing red energy by the now terribly enhanced Frieza, knocking him out of the sky. Touketsu leapt backwards from the ledge with Bulma, his arm going around her throat in a chokehold.

Gohan halted his downward trajectory only to be met by a hail of piercing red ki blasts that picked apart his body. In the next moment a purple hand clamped down on his face.

"While I would enjoy taking my time destroying Goku's eldest, I do need to prioritize. Much to do, after all." His hand flared with ki, Gohan's teal eyes widening.

"Kamehameha!" Goten shouted. Frieza merely batted it away, an expression of boredom on his features. He flung Gohan directly at his younger brother to crash into him, and they both plummeted to the ground. Trunks watched horrified for a moment before looking up to the building were his mother was trapped. He transformed to Super Saiyan and flew to the top.

Gohan and Goten hit the ground, the younger screaming out in pain. Gohan rolled off his younger brother and urgently clambered up to him. They were both severely injured, but seeing his small, younger brother in pain was more agonizing than his own injuries. Feverishly, Gohan dug out the pouch holding the senzu beans and shook its contents out into his palm. Two left. He fed one to his younger brother before taking the other bean.

Gohan had felt alone before, but it was nothing compared to the way he felt now. He was responsible for his family. He was responsible for their welfare, both his younger brother and his mother. He couldn't protect them. He never felt so powerless. He was so afraid for his family. Frieza was approaching. Gohan stood, and he found himself aching for his father.

As a boy he saw his parents as infallible. He looked upon his father in particular as being almost god-like. Goku had been the best of all of them in both strength and character, but just like anyone else he wasn't perfect. Since becoming a young man Gohan could see his father for the flawed being he was. When Goku decided to stay in Otherworld, he told him he couldn't teach him anything else. He had been so very, very wrong; he could have taught Gohan so much. Frieza descended down to hover just above the Saiyan hybrids on the ground, his arms crossed imperiously over his chest. Gohan looked up at the tyrant. It was hopeless.

In that precise moment, surprisingly, he thought of Vegeta. Not of the demon, but the man. The Saiyan prince didn't given up, even when the odds were hopelessly stacked against him. He thought of how Vegeta had trudged on in slavery for the better part of his life, never acquiescing to despair. Alone, he went up against the Earth's forces and later Frieza's men, culminating with the feared Ginyu force. He fought even when he could barely stand. He showed Gohan what would happen if one succumbed to despair for even a moment. When the prince failed to defeat Frieza with the power he had, his spirit broke; he waited for the tyrant to deliver his retribution, and deliver he did. Gohan had watched that spirit flare up again in the prince, only too late. He watched Vegeta stubbornly struggle to stay alive after his heart was utterly destroyed, imploring to his father to destroy his oppressor. He recalled how the proud prince had struggled to catch up to his father, never believing that he couldn't also become the revered Super Saiyan. After the Cell Games, it was the selfish, loner prince who stayed with his family. How Gohan wished his father had done the same.

Gohan latched onto the positive attributes of the Saiyan prince, and allowed them to give him strength. He powered up to Super Saiyan 2 and stepped between the threat and his young brother. Frieza regarded the younger of the two, shaking his head at the damnable similarity he held with Goku. He held his hand up, charged with a golden ki blast and pulsing with a menacing red aura. "However fast this must be, it will nonetheless be very satisfying to put this particular bloodline to an end."

Gohan leapt forward with a vengeful roar. "YOU WON'T WIN!"

Frieza fired.

Trunks stopped mid air as the deafening roar of concussive energy ripped through his very being. He looked over his shoulder down below, and he felt as though his heart had stopped; the blast had carved a molten trench through the city, buildings and streets reduced to cinders in its wake, transmuted buildings instantly vaporized. The blast was still traveling before it detonated a second time many miles away, briefly lighting up the sky like a second sun. Trunks shielded his eyes and the light faded, the rumbling of the blast growing distant. The sky seemed to be bathed in blood as the hellish fires of the blast reflected off of the dark cloud cover that was now crackling with electrical energy.

Trunks looked down at the destruction, but there was no sign of his best friend or Gohan. He reached out to them telepathically but got no answer. He searched for their ki but sensed nothing. They were gone. Choking back his pain, he looked upwards again to the top of the building, his Super Saiyan blue-green eyes burning with fierce determination and unbridled anguish. He shot up to the top.

"I do hope Frieza will allow me to finish your son," Touketsu spoke dispassionately in Bulma's ear, his face expressionless. "I need to. Then I'll be free of-"

"I'm finishing you!" Trunks roared as he rocketed towards him.

Touketsu's head snapped up, and it was as though a switch had been flipped. He swung Bulma in front of him like a shield. "Care to go through your deceitful cow of a mother first?" he taunted.

Trunks stopped short and hovered in the air. He was enraged now. "Stop hiding behind my mom and fight me!"

Touketsu's smirk dropped from his face. His mouth twisting into a snarl, he roughly shoved Bulma aside. The shadow pulsed once and his body burst with its dripping aura. Planting a foot behind him, he stood to the side and beckoned to Trunks mockingly. "Let's go, boy."

With a roar, Trunks flew down towards him.

"Trunks!" Bulma shrieked, horrified.

Trunks withheld from using projectiles; with his mother on the roof with them, he didn't dare. He snapped his right leg in a roundhouse kick aimed at his father's temple. Touketsu brought his forearm up and blocked it, but was driven in the direction of the blow. Now between his parents, Trunks pushed forward and proceeded to meet Touketsu blow for blow. He would have to try and drive him over the edge. Being able to levitate gave Trunks an advantage as he struck and dodged, but Touketsu's vile aura was taking its toll on him. Every time Trunks came in contact with the energy his already fragile emotional state fractured a bit more.

In spirit, Touketsu was the Demon Oozaru again. There was no inner conflict within the one-track mind of the beast, only an objective: destroy your opponent. "I've seen your performance thus far, kid…and it's truly pathetic," Touketsu taunted wickedly, panting heavily between strikes. "I admit I was impressed with your abilities before. Whatever happened to that boy who boasted about facing down a monster?" Touketsu's dark energy flared and he broke through Trunk's defenses, landing a flame wreathed, clawed strike from the left. Trunk's right temple took the brunt of the impact and he was sent sailing, Bulma shrieking in fear.

"I know what happened!" Touketsu called after him. "You developed an attachment to me. You had no such attachment to me when I was in my original form!" Trunks halted his trajectory as Touketsu continued to taunt him. "You told me yourself! You didn't know who I was." Trunks barely sidestepped Touketsu when the demon attacked him with a flying kick. Trunks delivered a spin kick aimed at the back of his father's neck when Touketsu immediately whirled around and blocked it with his left forearm. He deftly rotated his wrist to grab Trunks by the leg, snatching him out of the air and dangling him upside down in front of his face. "Problem is kid, now you think you do." Touketsu swung the boy over his head to smash him onto the roof.

"Trunks!" Bulma screamed. Unthinking, she rushed to Trunks's aid just as the boy swung his captured foot around, flinging Touketsu off to his left.

"Mom, stay there!" Trunks flew at Touketsu as the creature recovered, and aimed a punch at his head. Touketsu caught it, smirking into his face.

"You're holding back, boy," he sneered. He landed a right hook on Trunk's jaw and the boy went tumbling. "Your misguided emotions have compromised you from the beginning. You stood by and watched me slaughter your friends and you did NOTHING!" he screamed as he stomped into the roof, Trunks just barely rolling out of the way to reengage. "Well, I'm going to give you a sporting chance and help you get over your limitations: I'M NOT YOUR FATHER, BOY!" Touketsu landed an upper cut before snapping a side kick into Trunks's midsection. Trunks halted his trajectory mid-air, barely managing to block the combination of punches and kicks as the demon reengaged. "I'm your enemy, so you'd better do your best to kill me! Come on, kid, you can do it," he coaxed sarcastically as they fought. "Kill me. Ha ha ha, KILL ME!"

With a roar of fury Trunks leapt up and delivered a reverse roundhouse kick, sending Touketsu sailing past Trunks's right. Trunks followed, pummeling him in the face before he could recover and driving him to the edge of the roof. Touketsu regained his bearings and knocked Trunks back with a punch to the stomach. Father and son now stood at opposite ends of the roof, Bulma watching helplessly from the adjacent end. The edge of the roof was right behind Touketsu. His mother safely out of the way, Trunks saw his chance. He had to do it. He drew his hands back and charged a Gallic Gun attack. His whole body was shaking. He reminded himself this wasn't his father anymore.

…He didn't want to. He didn't want to.

Trunks tried one last time to reach his father. "Dad…Dad, please don't make me do this," he choked.

Wiping the blood from his mouth with the back of a fist, Touketsu snorted. He shook his head. "You're still calling me that? Poor kid. You and Vegeta were both played by your treacherous mother. I almost feel sorry for you. You can't help that you are a living, breathing lie," he snarled resentfully as his skin darkened and the dark light pulsed throughout his markings. "I'm going to end this lie. Just know, boy, that death can be a mercy." He flung his right hand outward as the shadow raced up to manifest the dark blade.

Trunk's Gallic Gun attack continued to gather strength as he hesitated to deploy the blast. He was now struggling to hold onto it. "Please come back…" he whispered, blinking away tears.

"You could have won this if it weren't for your feelings. Your feelings make you WEAK, and the weak die!" He raised the sword and charged. "You don't have it in you to kill your own, dear FATHER! " Touketsu faltered, skidding to a stop as his eyes widened.

Those words. That moment…

Vegeta hovered above his teenage, Super Saiyan son. His son had a ki blast trained on him, and Vegeta wasn't the least bit concerned. "I know you don't have the guts to challenge your own, dear father. Your feelings will stop you. That's what makes you weak!"

Touketsu blinked, the light-speed vision instantly blasting though the clouds of the Oozaru's battle lust. That…that was Trunks-


Touketsu found himself enveloped in a blinding, purple light. With a cry of alarm, Touketsu hastily crossed his arms up over his face. The blade reabsorbed to cast his body in a protective shadow, but it was too little, too late. Roaring in pain, he was engulfed in an attack capable of razing a city several times over. Touketsu was blasted straight off the roof and sent flying like a shooting star across the burning city, disappearing over the seaside beyond.

Trunks stood in shock, the tears freely flowing from wide, blue-green eyes. "Dad," he sobbed as he sank to his knees. Bulma was immediately at his side.

"Oh Trunks!" Bulma embraced her son, tears in her eyes. I'm so sorry, baby! I'm so sorry!" He wrapped his little arms around her tightly, and gave into his grief.

"Why did he have to become this?" He sobbed against his mother's shoulder. "Why did he ever have to leave us?" Bulma's brow furrowed in pain for her son and for the loss of the man she loved.

"I'm so sorry, baby. I don't know," she whispered, her voice cracking. She swallowed, "He tried. He tried, he always tried. He just…he just couldn't…." Her voice trailed off and her back went rigid. Trunks hesitantly looked up into his mother's eyes. Following her line of sight, he looked over his shoulder. Golden Frieza hovered in the air behind him.

"I wasn't convinced you had it in you, young prince," Frieza smirked. "But then, you are Vegeta's son."


Darkness. Vast chilling darkness. He was barely cognizant, as though he was just awakening, his mind still halfway in the realm of sleep. When did he get here? Was he floating in space? No, there were no stars. No sight of planets. No source of light or reflected light as far as the eye could see. Where was he? He couldn't see his body, that's how dark it was. He couldn't feel it either.

In spite of the strangeness of it all, it was as though it didn't fully register. Goku was aware, but he didn't care. He felt no fear. He felt no urgency. He felt no pain. He didn't even feel peace. He felt nothing: a reflection of the nothingness that surrounded him. He had no idea how much time had passed as he drifted in this formless existence. It could have been moments. It could have been years. It didn't matter here. His scattered, ineffective thoughts drifted, as formless and directionless as his non-existent body. He and the darkness were as one.

It was as though the darkness had always been here. Was there ever a beginning? As the half-coherent thought passed through him, he saw something. He saw something in his mind's eye if he had a mind at all anymore, much less a body to house it. He saw the darkness take on a vague shape - a shape apart from the infinite void that had become inseparable from him. It became the shape of a blade.

A dull discomfort registered far and wide. Across the vast darkness, he could feel it. Steadily, slowly, the sensation began to converge. It was as though the fragmented bits of consciousness, scattered like stars, were being pulled together into a single point. As the consciousness coalesced, it strengthened. The discomfort sharpened into pain, and with it a deepening sense of urgency. Then, he saw it: a tiny pinprick of light. At the sight of it, the urgency grew…then he began to remember.

He remembered a blade of darkness being plunged into his heart. He remembered the agonizing pain, and the horrible sense of being lost in a moment of need, and of not being able to do a thing about it. His growing recollection was fueled by the point of light. They reciprocated one another: the light illuminated his memories and purpose that had all but been lost to the darkness, and his strengthening drive in turn fed the light.

He had been killed. His friends and family were in danger. The Earth was in danger…the entire universe.

The light flared and spread, falling upon a body that had just previously been invisible, inseparable from the pervasive blackness. Goku looked down and held up his hands before his face. He could see again. He looked up at the light, the light that burned like a beacon, beckoning him to shore and out of the dark waters of this place. He moved towards it. He now had a direction. He knew where to go, and he knew what he had to do. He had to get back.

He had to save them.


Touketsu was consumed in blinding pain as the the Gallic Gun attack detonated in the air, the cast shadow over his body the only thing saving him from being killed outright. He plummeted to the dark waters below, barely conscious. With a crack his back connected with the water, his mouth open wide as the wind was knocked out of him, and he immediately sank. Dazed, disjointed memories continued to drift up to the surface of his consciousness like remains disturbed from a watery grave. Completely consumed in his own mind, it didn't even register that he was on the verge of drowning.

He was on his knees, clutching his broken arm, the blonde woman standing close behind him. The teenaged boy raced to his aid, sword drawn. "Father!" he shouted.

"A boy from the future….he's MY son! Unbelievable!"

A teenaged boy with purple hair transformed into a Super Saiyan. He decimated an entire army. He cleaved his master, now mostly machine, clean in half. Trunks sliced him to pieces and incinerated the remains into oblivion.

He was lying face up in the water, harboring a begrudging admiration for the way his teenage son had stood up to him and blasted him right out of the sky.

He felt that sense of admiration for the boy again. It was the same feeling he had when he had witnessed the boy conjure the Gallic Gun attack back at the woman's headquarters. He saw a boy standing across from him in a sandy desert, battle ready. He felt so proud.

Then he felt fear.

The dim red glow above him gave way to bloody sand. He sank further.

"You almost killed him."

The entire, horrible memory of that night burst its way through his consciousness. He pulled Trunks from red sands, fear gripping his heart. He looked at his son's broken, bleeding body, and he felt as though he himself were on the brink of death. With terrible clarity he now knew why the blossoming sense of pride and admiration for the child was completely overshadowed by terror and guilt. His son had nearly died from a broken neck, and Vegeta was to blame. He remembered the ensuing fight with Bulma. He remembered how she struck him in rage. Vegeta left her. He left his son. He remembered standing alone in the snow, face to face with his own shadow.

It was Vegeta's last memory of his son and wife. It was the memory of crushing failure, overwhelming guilt, and all consuming self-hatred. It was that self-hatred that festered into displaced blame. Vegeta blamed his family for making him care so; it created the powerful desire in Touketsu to cut ties with the people that could trigger such pain. Vegeta had a chance to rectify the mistake then. He had repaired the damage to his son's broken body, but he had not repaired the fractured relationship with the only two people that truly mattered to him. Instead he left, the task uncompleted.

Touketsu's eyes cracked open weakly. After everything…after I tried so hard not to repeat Vegeta's mistakes…I did. I nearly killed the boy. I…I TRIED to kill him…Where did I allow my mind to take me? How could this have happened?

Bulma never betrayed Vegeta. She told Touketsu the truth, and he didn't believe her. From the very beginning since he had arrived here and learned of his previous life, she had tried again and again to reach out to him. So fearful of subjugation and desperate for power, he pushed her away. He threatened her life, threatened the life of her son, all for power. Again and again he denied the truth: Vegeta cared about those two. Therefore, so did he. He realized he cared about the boy regardless of who the father was.

Touketsu realized that, deep down, he wanted to believe Frieza. He wanted to believe that Bulma had lied to him; it gave him the impetus to cut ties with Vegeta's life once and for all. Without being fully aware, Touketsu had allowed himself to again become that rampaging beast, a beast that didn't care who it destroyed. For the promise of power, he had been prepared to kill Vegeta's family.

Crippling remorse and self hatred overcame him. What he had done was beyond redemption. I had a chance…a chance to set things right between Vegeta and his family…with me….He let the waters pull him into the depths, and he closed his eyes. Just take me out of their lives. There's no other way I can make up for what I've done. He was pulled down ever further where no light could reach.

He saw another vision.

A teenaged Trunks fell backwards, a death beam through his heart just as Vegeta had suffered.

Trunks died.

Touketsu's eyes suddenly snapped open in realization. Bulma and Trunks were left at Frieza's mercy. The boy was going to challenge the tyrant. Trunks…he'll be killed…

"He's Vegeta's son," a weak voice without conviction whispered deep within.

Touketsu scowled, and he grit his teeth. Yes. He's my son.

He forced his body to move. Slowly, sluggishly, he began to swim his way back up to the surface. He couldn't see much of anything. He fixed his sights on the faint glow of blood-red light, and he steadily kept moving. His lungs began to burn and the darkness continued to creep into the edges of his vision, but he kept his eyes fixed on that small point of weak, red light.

He gasped as he broke through the surface, taking in a great lungful of air. His long, black hair plastered to his face, he slicked it back as he feverishly searched for the coastline, disoriented. The sky was glowing red from the fires of destruction, and the very weather was being affected by the energy given off from Golden Frieza's terrifying form. He turned and saw the city line behind him. It was miles away.

"Shit," he hissed softly. He threw his hand out to try to conjure a portal, but it was in vain; his body was too weakened after enduring Trunk's Gallic Gun attack, his thoughts too fragmented with anxiety. "Shit!" he screamed as he slapped his palm into the water in frustration. Desperate now, he began to swim back as fast as he could.

Frieza regarded Trunks and smirked. "I must admit that of the two of you I was beginning to think Vegeta would be the victor. He had no attachment to you, after all. Well, if he's dead then it is now a bit more important that your mother remain cooperative. The universe is a vast place after all, and I'll need her assistance in assembling the remnants of my army. Therefore, I will spare your life so as to ensure her cooperation." He looked to Bulma. "Wouldn't you say that's generous? Given this boy's crimes against me and my empire?"

"What?" Trunks asked, completely bewildered. "I never met you before in my life, you ugly freak! And I wish I never had!"

Bulma cut in, staring Frieza down. "My son - this Trunks - he had nothing to do with your damned death! He has no idea what you're talking about!"

Frieza chuckled. "My goodness, I just told you I would spare the boy's life." He returned his attention to Trunks. "Now previous experience tells me that raising monkey runts can be more trouble than it's worth, but circumstances change. There was once a time that Super Saiyan rumors gave me some concern, I admit. But, with the power I have now, that is no longer the case. A Super Saiyan in the ranks of my Galactic Army could, in fact, be extremely advantageous. You have my word, boy, that I will keep your mother alive and well so long as you are cooperative."

"No! We're not helping you!" Trunks yelled, impulsively throwing a ki blast at Frieza. Frieza batted it away, laughing. Trunks threw one after the other, Frieza not taking a one of the attacks seriously. Trunks was counting on that. He lobbed the blasts at a machine gun-rate, then turned and scooped Bulma up in his little arms and blasted away, intent on taking her to safety.

Frieza merely looked on, a smug smile on his face.