To Love, To Lose, To Love Again
by Daisygirl     More by this Writer
Goten is depressed because he lost Trunks to his brother. When a different Trunks comes back to the future Goten is determined to help him with the pain he seems to be going through. Even if this Trunks only seems to have feelings for his brother as well.

‘I can move on, I’m strong enough to move on. At least that’s what I’ll keep telling myself. That after all this fucking nonsense is over, I’ll move on….’ Dark sad eyes stared out the window into the bleak cold rain, wishing to forget. ‘Move on…’ He sighed sadly. “Yeah right.”

Goten fought the tears that threatened to fall, still burning the back of his eyes. “Please forgive me, I can’t stop loving you.” Goten was reminded of the melancholic tones in the voice Bryan Adams sang with. Sweet, tender…pleading… Goten gave a gravely amused snort. That was it. He was desperate. There was nothing that he could ever to do to forget the one that got away.

Goten watched alone from just inside the tenth floor apartment as rain ravished the trees and plants as it came down in an unforgiving sweep. Just as streaks poured down the glass, two identical streaks were making their way down his cheeks. ‘I bet Gohan and Trunks aren’t experiencing this type of weather on their honeymoon. I bet they’re enjoying the sun and the surf.’

He grimaced at the reminder of his best friend’s wedding. There he was all dressed up, looking like a million dollars, ready to join with his new partner. Goten had half wished that he had been brave enough to speak out when any objections were asked for, but he bit his tongue and never said anything. Gohan and Trunks were truly happy together. Something else he’d always live in the shadow of his older brother on.

Goten had finally worked up the courage to say something to the young demi prince about his affections, thinking that he’d have thought the same way. Boy, did he miss *that* mark by a mile. While Trunks too admitted to being interested in men, he said there was someone else. Goten had insisted that he’d be the only one that would ever truly understand just how remarkable he was, and the only one who could ever understand who and what he was, it became clear that the one he was trying to compete with for the heart of the young prince, was his own brother. Gohan had always known that Goten had forever had a crush on the lavender haired beauty. Was that what made him take an interest in the prince as well? To spite him?

No, apparently not. They also enjoyed the fact that the other was equally intelligent, and though Goten was no imbecile, he didn’t have that bookish intellect that Trunks said he wanted in a partner. Goten’s heart and dreams were shattered. Trunks and Gohan had just one day realized that they equally adored the other. The day he went to confess of his true feelings to his prince was the day he learned that Gohan had already beaten him to it. He would never hold the heart of the one he loved so dearly. He’d continue to be the supportive best friend he had always been and never resent him for his choice. Maybe if it happened to not work out between them, he could get the affection he yearned for by being giving his shoulder to cry on.

That was unlikely to ever happen. Gohan and Trunks had a love so deep in their eyes for each other the day they waved goodbye to everyone just before climbing into the limo with the words ‘Just Married’ written on the back, as decorated noise makers were tied to the fender, that Goten just looked on wishing he had been the one that had been saying the ‘I Do’s’ instead of his brother.

Goku had come up behind his son, the only one who understood his distress, “It’ll get easier in time…” was all that had been whispered as he felt a hand squeeze his shoulder for support. Goten sighed knowing that eventually everything would be fine and that he would move on, but just how long would it really take?

It was finally time to find someone else. Trunks was unavailable to him, and it would always be that way. He smiled with a slight glimmer of hope in his eyes and roughly wiped his face with his sleeve. The time for crying was over, and just as he had decided to do something to get out of the bleak apartment for the day, the phone rang.

“Hey, ‘Ten, how’s everything going?” The familiar voice asked.

“Oh, hey Uub, I was just about to leave.” Goten answered truthfully.

“Oh, well do you have any plans? Me and Marron were about to head out to the bar, want to come hang?” Goten thought it over in his head for a second with an amused look in his eye.

“I’d love to. Maybe you can let me whip your ass at pool again, eh bud?”

“You’re asking for trouble, you know that right? Well, we’re just now getting ready, so we wont probably get there for another half hour. See you then?”

“Yeah, I’ll meet you there.” He checked his watch. He could wait fifteen minutes before getting there. He went back into his room, checking in the mirror to see that the redness was nearly gone from his eyes and to check to see if he looked decent enough just in case he happened to meet someone. He smiled getting a weird feeling that even though Trunks would never be his, maybe he could love someone new. He smiled grimly and swallowed. ‘How will anyone accept me? If they find out that I’m not… exactly what they think I am… no human could understand. How could anyone truly love me?’ Goten looked back up at the mirror, willing away the threat of tears. ‘I might as well tattoo ‘Freak’ on my forehead.’ Something about his mood made him laugh, truly amused this time, but he wasn’t entirely sure why. Perhaps he really was loosing it.

He checked his watch just to be reassured that he needed to get going. Thankfully the rain had diminished to a very light drizzle and he’d only have to slightly raise his ki to dry off. He landed in an empty alley behind his intended destination as to not be seen ‘falling from the sky’ once again. Trunks and him had had to deal with that scenario when they were kids. No sense in a chaotic repeat of that situation. He picked up on Uub’s ki, they were still quite a ways away. Just as he took note of that, the two of them phased into the room right next to him. He fell backwards and landed on his butt.

Uub gave his best friend a hand as they both started to laugh. “So, I see my father’s been giving you some more technique lessons, eh?” Goten managed to laugh out. “I’m going to have to get him to teach me that one. Willing to teach his chosen student and not his own son.” Goten said with a mock pout.

Uub took the teasing head on with a grin, “Perhaps if you were more into fighting rather than chasing your love interest, he’d be willing to teach you.” Goten laughed and shook his head. He had never been jealous of Uub, nor would there every be any of that sort of emotion between the two. After Goku had left that day at the tournament, he used IT to travel back and forth, almost daily. At least every other day, sometime taking Goten or Pan to train with them there and ITing home at leisure. It was almost as if he didn’t live half a world away at all. The boy had come to feel like another brother to him.

“Well, I hate to tell you this, but *I’m* not the once prancing around with a girl friend.” Goten stated sarcastically. Uub and Goten gathered the billiard balls and arranged them as they started to carry on more and more the more they drank. Marron rolled her eyes. Goten never really got drunk due to the Saiyan blood and Uub was more than capable of handling any amount that could possible be sold to him in one night due to him being the reincarnated demon. She only sipped her Strawberry Daiquiri before ordering a Piña Colada and calling it quits for the night. Thankfully none of them would have to be driving home, especially since it had started to rain again.

After about two hours Goten had forgotten his heartbreak, but was giving up on finding someone to catch his interest for the night. Marron noticed how Goten suddenly gasped and stood quickly just as Uub grew taunt and both stared into the same direction.

A young man with long lavender hair and breath taking eyes strolled in the cozy club in hopes of escaping reality. He literally looked as if he had been through hell. He had dark circles under his bloodshot eyes and looked like he was drowning in tears. He wore a black tank top and grey training pants, that looked like they had seen better days. A faded jean jacket with a ragged CC logo was topped off with a sheaved sword. He silently scanned the room and decided to take a seat at the nearly empty bar counter. The bar attendant was apparently trying to engage him in light conversation.

“Hey ‘Ten, isn’t that…?” Neither of the young men had ever seen the young courageous time traveller, but instantly knew he was the one. He had an air to him that just screamed hero.

“Yeah…” The two had kept their voices to a minimum so that the young future prince’s Saiyan ears wouldn’t pick up on their conversation. “Man, he looks like he could use some help.”

Marron stared curiously at the young man her boyfriend and best friend were almost silently conversing about. She hadn’t gotten a good look at him since she had been, but after finally catching a good look at his face, she knew why they were suddenly so interested. Her eyes went wide with shock. Also not wanting to draw his attention just yet, she too kept her voice at a whisper. “Hey, guys… that’s Trunks, isn’t it?”

“Yeah, we’re gonna go talk to him.”

***

Trunks felt irked that a small group of friends couldn’t seem to keep their eyes off of him. He just wanted to be left alone and drown his unforgiving hell into all the emptiness he could find. He didn’t want to feel the pain tonight. Hopefully everyone would just leave him alone, but he realized he’d probably have to make a few threats to get it that way with the way three other young people couldn’t seem to quit ogling him.

He knew they were talking about him, but couldn’t quite make out what they were saying. He rolled his eyes in annoyance as he felt two of them approaching, but he didn’t turn around to indicate they were there. He sipped at the coke and rum having every intention of ignoring them.

One dark hair, dark eyed young man sat to his left while his even younger looking, dark skinned friend sat to his right. Apparently they did intend on making him try to talk.

“Hi, are you ok?” Goten asked full of sincere concern. This might not have been his best friend, but it was still Trunks.

“Fine.” Trunks mumbled into his glass apathetically.

“Um, I’m Uub, and that there’s ‘Ten.” Uub turned around and waved for Marron to come on over. Trunks barely moved indicating he had inherited his father’s stubbornness. “And that’s my girlfriend Marron.”

“So, um… Could I buy you another drink?” Goten refused to walk away. At least without not telling him that everything would be ok and making him realize that they knew exactly who this was.

“No…” Trunks lied, hoping they’d get the message.

“New in town?” Uub tried his hand at trying to get the Saiyan warrior to talk. He had obviously had more than his fair share of pain.

Trunks just humphed in a very Vegeta like style. “No offence guys, but I’m NOT in the mood for small talk.”

“That bad huh?” Goten gulped as he was stared down by a pair of angry blue eyes, knowing the full extent of just what that stare meant. “I’m sorry. It’s obvious that something’s happened and we just wanted to make sure that you were ok.” Goten stated as politely as possible, not wanting to face the older demi’s wrath.

Trunks stared down into his cup. These three really did seem genuinely concerned. Maybe it wouldn’t hurt to try and make friends with them before they found out he was a half alien time traveler and went running for the hills. He never did have an easy time trusting anyone though.

“No… I shouldn’t be so hostile, but I’d really just like be alone.” Trunks sipped at his cup realizing it was empty and reached for his wallet but found that the young man at his left had already laid down a five and motioned for the bar keep to refill his drink. Trunks frowned at him, looking much older than he really was.

“I just want to help.”

“There’s nothing you can do to help me. It’s too late for me and I shouldn’t even be here.” The threat of tear was evident to them as Goten tried to comfort Trunks by rubbing his hand up and down the older demi’s back in support. “No, I shouldn’t be troubling you. You should just leave before…” ‘Before what, Trunks?’ The voice in the back of his head was back to taunt and mock him for how little he was really worth. ‘You’ll only be hurting them, and it will be all your fault.’ He winced at the harshness of the statement, but couldn’t deny it’s accuracy. He literally nearly choked on a sob he swallowed to keep from letting it out.

“Hey, it’ll be ok, just let me help. I know I can.” Trust and determination were showing brightly in the young man’s dark eyes. “You can tell us anything and I promise we’ll believe every single word and won’t tell anything you don’t want to be a secret.”

Trunks looked a bit skeptical, but maybe he could find a bit of comfort even if he only brushed over the vague non-specifics. He smiled a bit shyly. This young man was rather beautiful in an almost exotic way. He could almost swear that he reminded him of his sensei. “Gohan-san.” It was whispered so silently that no human would have ever been able to hear it, but Goten caught it with his Saiyan abilities.

The older fair skinned dark eyed stranger smiled sadly in understanding. “You know, if there’s anything you want to talk about, we’re willing to listen.” Blue eyes shifted from one face to the other. He felt small and trapped.

How could these strangers understand him, he was just too unconventional for this world. Yet, something about each one of the young men screamed unusual in their own special way. He could feel a hidden power waiting in each one. Neither seemed hostile, but neither seemed to be quite… human. There was even something different about the girl, but he couldn’t put a finger on it. He silently debated with himself about opening up to them or not.

He just gave a small smile and a nod to the fair skinned young man. He really was beautiful, and with that vaguely familiar face Trunks found himself more willing to trust him than he had anyone in a long time. He sighed and looked down into his once again empty glass.

He’d have to get drunk enough before relenting, but he knew he would. Those eyes seemed too familiar for comfort, and he could imagine it was someone else if he was just drunk enough. He ordered another beer for himself and one for each of the young men.

‘Ten and Uub…. And what’s her name… Marron’ He hazily looked at the surrounding faces wishing that the alcohol was stronger. The three of them were now conversing with him, idle chit-chat that was practically meaningless. Nothing personal… he sighed and checked his watch. They were the only ones left in the tiny tavern, closing down the joint.

The darker skinned younger man said goodbyes along with his girlfriend, leaving the two demi-Saiyans to their own devices.

Trunks felt like sobbing. He wondered how the younger man had held as much as he could. He knew he inherited his father’s blood and abilities. Here it was parting time and he had no where to go. He couldn’t just impose on his parents at Capsule Corp. that and he was as drunk as a Saiyan could get. Not much in human standard, but they would be able to smell it on him. He turned away from the stranger that was walking along side him.

“Why are you following me?”

“I told you, I just want to help you, and don’t you dare deny that you need it.” Goten gave a stubborn look, one that could have rivaled his mother’s. Trunks grimaced under the intense stare, there was no denying that he didn’t need help. “Why are you so stubborn?” Goten was growing more and more frustrated with the tight-lipped expression of the other.

Trunks gave a half hearted snort, “You’re one to talk…. You haven’t left me alone for the past few hours, saying how much I can trust you and you don’t even know my name.” Goten had to hide his amusement at the smirk that just screamed ‘Saiyan Prince.’

Sure he hadn’t been entirely truthful about letting on who he was, only giving his nick-name and not mentioning his surname or that he knew exactly about the other’s heritage and slight history.

“Oh, I see… Well, I know more about you that you could imagine.” Goten gave a smug smile of his own. Trunks only went to push past him. Exhaustion was wearing him down, and being after two in the morning by now, he was only hoping to find a place to crash.

“I doubt that. You wouldn’t even be able to understand the slightest thing about me. And I doubt that you’d want to if you heard that.” His tone grew harsh and unfriendly. The young man just sighed.

It was a shock to see how sad those dark eyes had become, “You shouldn’t be so quick to judge… Trunks.”

He stopped in his tracks. ‘How…’ He sighed figuring this was someone who had mistaken him for his younger self. Surely that wasn’t too bad of a mistake.

“I’m not exactly who you think I am.” This compassionate young stranger was in hopes of befriending the wrong person.

“Trunks, I know I can’t exactly convince you about that, but it is late, and why don’t you crash at my place. I’m sure it’d be easier for us both to talk about this tomorrow.” He stopped and waited for a response from the older demi. Both of their minds were slightly fogged over, and there was no use in just getting into any arguments.

“Ok, fine… I’m just saying…” Trunks tried once again to convince him that he had the wrong guy, but he was interrupted.

“You are Trunks, even if you claim you’re not. Trust me, I know better. Lets just get some sleep for the time being, though, OK?” Trunks finally just nodded in agreement too tired to argue.

He watched in interest as ‘Ten surveyed their surroundings searching for any on-lookers. He was thoroughly shocked to see the other rise in the air, motioning for him to follow. ‘Ok, well that was a pleasant surprise.’ One less thing he’d have to explain.

***

Goten stretched and yawned, savoring the fact that it was a weekend. Heading towards the kitchen, he noticed the figure still stretched out on the couch. He had offered his bed to his guest the night before, but the young prince insisted he didn’t want impose anymore than what he already was.

Goten was just glad that the other hadn’t woken up earlier with the intentions of sneaking out. Vegeta would have killed him if he had to explain that the future version of his son was lost somewhere not having gone to Capsule Corp. in the first place.

He smiled at the sight. Long lavender hair fanned out like a halo around a gorgeous face. He could pass for his younger self, not even looking that much older than him. Boy was he shocked to see the last person he expected sleeping on his couch. Albeit, an alternate dimensional form of his crush, but still it was none-the-less Trunks Vegeta Briefs.

But from the looks of it, even this one held the hope of capturing his older brother’s heart. Who could he fool…? He was no competition for Gohan.

Goten sighed, working enough bacon, eggs and other ingredients out of the fridge to prepare breakfast… Two Saiyan sized meals would definitely require more than that… The scent of pancakes, French toast, bacon, eggs and sausage soon stirred the sleeping prince from his dreams…

Panic wracked the fogged mind, not recognizing his current surroundings, Trunks bolted up on the couch in sudden alertness. He calmed, but grew slightly irritated at seeing the other’s amused chuckle at his expense. He finally remembered giving in to the young stranger’s hospitality. Why did the other bother to care so much?

‘Oh yeah, he thinks I’m this world’s Trunks.’ His mind sighed in disappointment… ‘He won’t like me for myself…’ He met black almost familiar looking eyes that held a smile and a secret.

“Well, breakfast is ready…. I figured it’d be better for both of us to get some grub in, before our little chitchat?” Trunks looked on skeptically. The voice was sincere enough, but still slightly reserved.

The smell hit the time traveler’s senses full force once again. Everything reminding him of just how long it had been since he had gotten a full sized meal in.

His eyes bulged and his mouth watered at the sight of the kitchen… Practically enough food to feed an army. So maybe this guy knew what he was capable of, so what? He didn’t know him, and he certainly wouldn’t want to help him once he knew.

The two ate in a comfortable silence. Trunks was just as surprised to see the young man fill his plate and stomach just as fast, with just as much food as him… There was something he was definitely hiding. The older demi and guest, ate with a bit more etiquette than his host.

‘He could pass for Goku.’ Trunks couldn’t stop the slight chuckle, and genuine smile from slipping onto his lips as they wound down their meal.

Goten smiled slightly, pleased that the prince was at least in good temper. “What?” He knew he was being laughed at, but took no offence to the deed. If it helped to brighten the other’s mood, then by all means he hoped to see that smile again.

“I’m sorry, it’s just that… you remind me so much of someone else…” Trunks flushed in embarrassment, but was glad that the other hadn’t been ruffled at the simple action.

“Who?” The smile and curiosity of the voice was just too much of an uncanny resemblance.

His smile darkened a tad, the thought of Goku… It was where the story started. It was always best to start stories from the beginning. He let out a long sigh, knowing that he was about to let a stranger into his world where destruction , death and pain had reigned for far too long.

Would he really be able to live with himself for tainting this young man’s innocent view of a world of peace? Surely even this dimension had had it’s fair share of trouble, but to the vast majority of humanity, they were demons unknown, as humans lived on happily oblivious to the rest of the universe.

Of course they were the only planet with intelligent life forms, the poor ignorant fools.

‘Ten might have some inkling of how the world really worked, but he wouldn’t understand the magnitude that threats just beyond dimensional gateways could possess.

He sighed in a guilty manner, head hung and spoke softly, “I don’t think it would be the best idea to tell you.”

Goten knew immediately that it wasn’t just the name of his query that the older time traveler was talking about. “Ok… you don’t have to tell me anything you don’t want to.”… ‘just yet’ He got a nod of gratitude from the other demi. “So, how old are you?”

Trunks smiled, no harm in answering impersonal questions… “28” Goten smiled. Not too old, but he definitely carried an age beyond physical years in his eyes. “You? You don’t look quite old enough to drink?”

Goten groaned… “I know… I always get that. I just turned 22.”

“Oh, sorry, I didn’t mean to offend you, it’s just that…” He stopped, best not to aggravate his host, especially after all the generosity he was offered.

“I know, I hear it all the time…” He said in good nature, “I got my Dad’s baby face… I get all the hell I need from my brother.” He laughed, showing that he wasn’t upset with the criticism. “My friends, Uub and Marron just turned 18 this year. Barely legal to drink.”

“Yeah, you look like you could hold your own, I’m shocked to see you so chipper. Most hum…” Ah oh, maybe he hadn’t caught the slip. “Most….”

Goten gave a slight chuckle… “Go ahead and say it…. Most humans. Most humans wouldn’t be able to drink so much., but that’s our little secret now, isn’t it Trunks?” He gave a mysterious grin and a mischievous wink. The other looked on with a thunderstruck expression.

“How… how do you know…” Trunks fumbled for the words that so desperately wanted to come out.

“Look, I only told you so much last night because I didn’t want to scare you off…” Goten gave a sheepish apologetic grin, “Vegeta would most likely kill me if I told him I ran into his future son and scared him off.”

“Future? You know… I’m a… a time traveler?”

“Yes…” Goten searched for the words, but thought it best now to be completely open. “You’re the reason I exist.” Trunks shot an immediate shocked look at the young man, silently questioning the other to continue. “If you hadn’t given my father the heart virus remedy, I wouldn’t even have been born. The Z warriors would have fallen to the androids, right?” He formed the last statement into a question to make sure the other was still with him.

“You’re… You’re Goku’s son?”

“I wouldn’t be his daughter now, would I?” Trunks gave a slight irritated growl at the playful sarcasm. “Goten… my full name is Goten Goku Son.”

“So… So, Gohan’s your brother?” Goten should have known that was coming. Of course this Trunks would be interested in Gohan as well… How could he not be?

“Yes… He’s my older brother.” The words almost hurt to say, forcing all sorrow and pain out of his voice, must have came out sounding callous.

“How… how is he?” Trunks gave a hopeful smile, not knowing he was letting on too much.

“I guess he’s doing good… I haven’t talked to him all week… Being away on his honeymoon and all.” Dark eyes watched as blue jewel seemed to shatter… of course Trunks was interested in Gohan, how could he not be.

“Wow… Gohan-san…married. I’m glad to hear that he’s happy. So who was the luck lady?” Blue eyes pushed away any hope and knew that he’d want Gohan to be happy, even if it was with someone else.

Why did Goten seem so hesitant all of a sudden? “…Trunks…”

“Goten… I just wanted to know the name. I’m happy for him, really.” The statement was unconvincing.

“Trunks… he married your younger self. Trunks Vegeta Briefs of this time line.” That was it… all it took for his world to shatter… He had not lost Gohan only once, but twice. But it made sense, he was in love with his sensei first, so why wouldn’t this world’s Trunks fall in love with the same, Gohan Son.

“I see.” He smiled sadly, hoping that the dream would end and he’d wake up in a bleak reality still searching for his destined mate.

“I know how you feel Trunks.” Blue eyes shined in confusion, still aware of the person talking to him. “I loved Trunks so much, and I was stupid to think he’d ever consider me more than his best friend.” Trunks blinked shocked. How could he have missed that bit?

“I… I’m sorry… I…” Tears formed in blue eyes, maybe someone really did understand him, and he had done everything possible to keep him at arms length.

“Don’t worry Trunks, don’t apologize. It’s not your fault, I shouldn’t have brought it up.”

The two shared an uneasy smile, two souls falling to pieces together.

The younger gave a friendly nudge, “I’m sure Bulma would like to know that you’ve returned. I’m sure they’d like to see you again.”

This only caused more tears to shine in broken blue eyes. With a slight shake of the head, Goten nearly missed the whispered words. “I don’t know if I can…”

Taking a step closer to him, Goten wanted desperately to comfort Trunks. “Trunks? What’s wrong?”

Blue eyes searched the depth of liquid onix for a moment. Realising the amount of trust he already had in the younger man, he felt compelled to tell his story to this stranger… Maybe not so much of a stranger as Trunks had thought, but they still didn’t really know each other, not yet anyway..

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