Kibbito's Gift
by Kurahieiritr JIO     More by this Writer
Mirai Trunks gets an unexpected visitor who informs him that the Kais want to give a reward to Gohan for his having protected Otherworld.

‘text’ = telepathic conversations. “text” = regular dialogue. ‘text’ = private thoughts.

Three men sat in high backed wing chairs, speaking in quiet tones, drinking from gem- encrusted mugs. The room was quiet, except for their soft speech. Fire light danced across their faces, one pale, childlike in stature and features, one mature, care worn and swarthy, dark eyes hooded to hide the sensitivity that the huge red skinned giant tried hard to hide, one who kept his identity hidden behind dark sunglasses, denim jeans, jacket and a flowing white moustache and beard. Each being was unique, and power clogged the room in palpable waves as they carried on their urgent conversation.

“I’m telling you both, that man’s miserable here. He’s not gonna be happy until he knows the kid’s happy. It’s like a kind of obsession with him. I don’t think he’ll be cool until he’s face to face with the kid and can see for himself that he’s doing alright.” rasped the denim clad, bearded, occupant, to the left of the fireplace.

“I see. Well, it’s true that we are quite impressed with all of their abilities, but things haven’t been to our liking, concerning this situation, any more than they have been to your own.” The childlike, lavender skinned imp answered, his voice a clear melodic counterpoint to the rougher edged sound of his companion.

“You can’t just start changing things because someone isn’t happy here. And furthermore, the one he’s concerned about isn’t a kid anymore. He happens to be a grown man in his own right. You would probably have to go through Enma, since he is the one who sent you this particular fighter several years ago, with his new body, and he may not wish for this one to be released after his part in stopping the demon uprisings.” rumbled the giant who sat close by, looking pensive.

“Hey, Enma agreed that they all deserved to be rewarded for their fabulous job of taking the horde down, and stuffin’ ‘em back in the hole they broke out of. He shouldn’t have a problem with losing one of them for a few years. Lets just tell him that the only way to fulfil this one’s request is to send him back for good.”

“It occurs to me that this case has several loop holes that might provide for a true resurrection of this individual. He has a considerable amount of unfinished business that would give leverage for us to return him, even without consulting King Enma.”

“You can use the Rebirth Gate in the attic upstairs. It’s designed to resolve unfinished business requirements, and he can keep an eye on the kid, the way he wants to.” the denim clad speaker, advised with a smirk.

“The gate requires two parties to operate it correctly. We would have to find someone in the living world who was willing to pull him back into the living world. That requires a great deal of love and adoration. It also requires the willingness to sacrifice one’s own life if required. It’s not necessarily the best option. If the young man he’s concerned over dies, then his unfinished business also goes unresolved, making the gate you wish to use irrelevant to the cause.” The imp’s eyes were sombre as he glared at the hippie who sat across from him.

“Master, what about the reward that his father asked for? Wouldn’t that be the perfect solution? It seems to me that in this case someone very close to them both is going to transition to this side in a few days, already. Wouldn’t it be easier to have them reverse places? We wouldn’t have to supply a new body for the woman, when she arrives, if the gate was used to bring her over. I can easily return her youth to her once she makes it to this side, and her husband can pull her over here, while the youth pulls his son to the other side, resolving both problems with one action.”

“I hadn’t thought of that! Kibbito, you are a genius!” the petite man’s impish grin was back, and brighter than ever.

“Let’s get to working on this right away. I’ll speak to both, father and son, and confirm that it’s a viable solution. You two get the Gate from the attic and make sure it’s still working. Once we know if the gate works after so long unused, Kibbito can go speak to those concerned in the living world about what is required. With luck we can have everything in place within the week.”

“Yes, Master.” both men replied in unison, standing to see to the small man’s requests.

***

Trunks pushed up from the floor, propelling himself with his finger tips, “One thousand, one hundred, ninety eight…..” The gravity room he’d asked his mother to build, based on his father’s, during his stay in the past, had been one of his regular routine workout areas since its completion. Trunks knew that he was the last defence his world had, and he wasn’t going to get caught napping, if trouble ever returned to earth.

Bulma had finished it five months before, and he worked out in the large chamber four days a week, outdoors, on the other three. As had become her habit, Bulma banged on the door at three pm sharp, as she did every afternoon. “Time’s up, Trunks! Come out and be a part of the real world for the afternoon!” The muffled demand made Trunks grin, jumping up to turn off the gravity machine.

“I’ll be there in a minute, mom.” Trunks grabbed his towel off of the wall wrack, and swiped it across his sweat drenched face. Once his vision was cleared of the stinging liquid, he headed for the door, towel draped with careless abandon about his neck. He left the gravity room, squinting into the early afternoon sunlight, considering the ever growing number of high rise buildings that were being built in every direction around his home.

Since he had destroyed the Androids, people had flocked to his community, seeking to be close to their hero’s location, in the event that danger ever returned. Apartment complexes were going up every day, as new pilgrims moved from other parts of the planet seeking peace of mind. His presence gave them that, even if it did nothing for him. His eyes adjusted to the bright outdoors, and he turned towards the house, thinking to get something to drink after his five hours of maintenance work, sit-ups, push-ups, and other similar exercises.

“I can see why people wish to live close to here. You are a very dedicated young fighter. Are you not?” A deep bass voice spoke, and Trunks whirled to his left seeking the intruder, crouching instinctively in a defensive stance. A red skinned, giant, dressed in flowing robes and over sized pants leaned on the side of the gravity room, a leg folded carelessly over his other, relaxing with his arms crossed in a dismissive fashion across his chest. He had a stern, care worn face, and white hair. His posture was commanding even in his current position and Trunks mind screamed that this was a man to be wary of if it came to blows.

“Who are you? And how did you get onto the property?” His voice was gruff with mistrust as he looked the stranger over.

“My name is Kibbito. As to how I got here? You aren’t the only person who knows the art of flight.” He pointed a lazy finger towards the heavens as he spoke the last comment, a smile relieving some of the harshness of his features.

“I see. So exactly what is your purpose in visiting me, then?” Trunks straightened, still guarded, but curious.

“You are Trunks Vegeta Briefs. Son of Vegeta, Saiyan Prince, And Bulma Briefs. You were trained initially by Son Gohan. You are the destroyer of those abominations known as Androids 17 and 18. You have travelled space and time, into other dimensions, and have died as well as been resurrected during those journeys. You furthered your studies under others during your many adventures to those other time lines and places. You are considered to be the last hope of this world. And you are utterly miserable because of it. Did I miss anything?”

“Wha…? No, How do you know all of this?” Trunks looked alarmed as he watched the red skinned giant push off from the gravity room wall, taking two steps closer, his hands going behind his back in a militant fashion.

“I know everything I desire to know. It’s part of my job description. One can’t do their job correctly if they have no information, now can they?” One white eye brow raised in silent query. Trunks nodded his head in agreement, mute with shock. “As I was saying, you feel miserable. I’m here to correct that situation for you.” The stranger’s voice trailed off with a meaningful glance at Trunks, giving the lavender haired warrior pause to wonder if anything about himself was private any longer.

“How exactly do you propose to make my life less… miserable? I don’t doubt that you believe you have some great answer, but if you’re about to offer me some girl that you just happen to think is perfect for me, or something equally crazy, I can already tell you that you wasted your time.” Trunks snapped, jittery in the man’s presence.

“Don’t underestimate the proposition I have, until after you have heard it. Deal?”

“Fine. We can talk in the house. I need to get a drink after training for the last few hours anyway.” Trunks turned on his heel and walked across the lawn, muscles rippling with restrained energy and vitality.

“Fine. I’ll explain everything, as I had already planned, once we get you into a seated position.” the giant agreed gruffly.

“Why not right here?” Trunks demanded, looking a bit nervous.

“Because what I have to tell you is liable to stun you, that’s why.” He bellowed at his lavender haired antagonist. I believe I see why his mentor misses him so much. Too bad Gohan has no idea how, truly grown, his young student is, now. a sly smile danced on the stranger’s lips, as his thoughts were transmitted to his master. He watched Trunks predatory graceful movements, as he followed a few paces behind, allowing his impressions to filter through the telepathic link he had with the Supreme Kai.

Kibbito, stop being such a hentaï. You know very well that only his mentor can decide whether they would be a ‘cute couple’ as your thinking. Unfortunate for you, Gohan very well might become jealous if he had any idea what you’re thoughts are regarding his student’s bottom. You are correct about his having grown up though, Kibbito. I think that this may well prove to be a better reward for Gohan than either of us initially thought, considering everything you are showing me. Kibbito fought the urge to cough in embarrassment as tell tale bluish tones flashed across his high cheekbones.

I’ll keep that in mind, Master. I don’t wish to infuriate our own Otherworld Hero. After all, he, Gokou and Vegeta did quite a lot of good recently.

Indeed. Isn’t that why we’re doing this? Kibbito smiled at the laughter he heard in the Supreme Kai’s thoughts.

I thought you were agreeing to our scheme because I can’t stand to see such deep emotion being wasted on unnecessary misery. Kibbito flashed down the link with a mental smirk.

Is it just you, Kibbito, or are all Kais in the Love pantheon such softies? Supreme Kai’s tone caused Kibbito to roll his eyes in exasperation. He almost walked into the object of his telepathic conversation, stopping just a few inches from Trunks, who had paused to open the back door. Trunks flashed him a startled look, as Kibbito grabbed onto the door, a transparent attempt at recovery, in Trunks’ opinion, and pulled it farther open, motioning Trunks to move on with a gruff hand motion and a stern stare.

Trunks was accustomed to receiving unwanted attention from men and women. The thought that this stranger was paying too much attention to his ass, currently encased in his Saiyajin fighting tights made him uncomfortable. Trunks didn’t think about his affect on others very often, at least not concerning his looks, but at the moment, he found himself wishing he wasn’t, ‘sexy as hell’ as most singles in the area, dubbed him, especially not when a man, obviously much older than himself, was concerned.

Careful Kibbito. No drooling allowed. You’re on business, remember? Supreme Kai was amused by his close encounter, and Kibbito blushed violent scarlet at the images Supreme Kai baited him with.

Trunks glided into the kitchen, grabbed two glasses, and proceeded to the refrigerator, commandeered a bottle of juice from the shelf, stalking back to the kitchen table, irritated that this stranger knew so much about him. Trunks pulled a chair out from the table, after sitting the glasses and juice down, motioning for the older man to seat himself as well. He poured both of them a drink then proceeded to broach the subject. “So, talk already. I want to know exactly who you are, and how you know so much about me!” he demanded, raising his own glass to his lips.

Kibbito sighed in resignation. “You are as hot headed as that father of yours, Trunks. Why are all of the Saiyajins so easily riled, I’d really love to know.”

Trunks choked on his drink. “What? How do you know my father? And what do you mean by that last crack anyway?”

“I am the full time companion, and aide, to the Supreme Kai, so show some respect mortal. I know you have the right to answers, but you are being too impatient. Now if you would be so kind as to shut up and let me speak, perhaps I can answer your questions!” Kibbito snapped at the attractive, lavender haired man sitting across from him.

Trunks’ jaw dropped, his blue eyes registering his disbelief. He suddenly understood why the giant had demanded that he be sitting before explanations were given. “You mean I’ve been…?” Trunks voice trailed off, thought unfinished.

“Yes, you’ve been making demands of a Kai, with the same hot headed temper that your ill mannered father displays so frequently from hell. If it wasn’t for the fact that he’s been instrumental in putting down the Demon uprisings we recently had, restoring order, and being so indispensable to King Enma and the rest of us, I’d personally strangle that arrogant pain in the neck.” Kibbito informed his listener.

“Uhhm.. Sorry. I had no idea that….” Trunks stammered, his face on fire over his transgression.

“I am aware that you didn’t know you were in the presence of a Kai, which is why I’ll forgive your bad manners.” Kibbito huffed. “Now, as for why I am here. Supreme Kai was highly impressed with Son Gohan, Son Gokou, and the Prince no Oji’s recent exploits, and so offered each a boon as a reward.”

“Gohan was in the middle of a demon war?” Trunks yelped, apprehensive.

“Yes, he was in a major war recently. No, Gohan was not harmed, nor your father, or his, in putting down the demon scum. Now, can I continue?” Kibbito glowered at the impetuous young man who sat, squirming in his seat as the older man ticked off his answers with his fingers before Trunks could voice the questions that crowded his mind.

“Sorry for interrupting.” Trunks fiddled with his empty glass, grabbing the juice bottle and pouring another drink to occupy his hands.

“Prince Vegeta said that he wanted you, and your mother to be happy, and that he would like to spend some time with your mother, after she dies of course, in a neutral place. He was offered a chance to leave hell, but opted to stay and pay for his crimes, so that he could keep things orderly, which has gained the Supreme Kai’s good wishes. He will indeed be given a chance to spend time with your mother once she transitions because of his choice to sacrifice his chance to leave Hell.” Kibbito pushed his juice glass towards the silent youth, who rapidly refilled it.

After taking a long drink, Kibbito resumed his tale, “Son Gohan’s request was to help you find peace and happiness. We had to monitor your thoughts, feelings, and dreams to find the answer to his request.” Kibbito gave him a knowing smirk, as Trunks face flushed with heat.

Trunks whispered “So, you know then. Does,….. Gohan, … know,… about,…… I mean…, you know?” Trunks ducked his head, drawing designs in the condensation on his glass, as he waited for the reply.

“We told him that you couldn’t move beyond his death. I believe he has surmised the real reason behind your continued mourning, which is why we can bring him back. He has unfinished business to attend to. Which brings me to the reason I’m here. We require your help.”

“You can bring him back? How? My help? What can I do? I mean You’re a god, aren’t you?” Trunks flipped his bangs out of his eyes. His obvious excitement and surprise making it difficult for Kibbito to maintain his stern expression in the face of such child like awe.

“Even Gods have limits imposed upon them. It preserves natural order, and balance.” Kibbito lectured. “We need someone who loves Gohan a great deal to help return him to this world, meaning you.” Kibbito pointed a knarled finger at Trunks. “Gohan requested that we help you find peace, and happiness. He hasn’t rested since arriving in the Otherworld. King Enma decided to send him to Grand Kai’s training grounds in a new body, since Gohan wouldn’t find any peace if he were sent to Heaven. He’s incapable of letting go of certain ties to this world.”

Trunks swallowed hard as Kibbito’s words sank in. “What do you mean, Gohan can’t let go? Is he worried about ChiChi? I’ve done everything I can to look out for her and Grandpa Ox.”

“He’s concerned about his mother, but knows that she is transitioning in a few days, to join his father.”

“What? Aunt ChiChi is going to die?” Trunks looked disturbed by the news.

“In a manner of speaking, yes. She is actually content to leave here, since Gokou requested that she be given a youthful body, that she can be with him in Otherworld, as his reward.”

“So, what do you need me to do to help bring Gohan back?”

“Number one, get a full length mirror, approximately twelve feet tall, seven feet wide, and oval shaped. Number two, you need to tell Gohan how you feel so he will understand how important it is for him to return to life, and you have to help pull him through the gateway.”

Trunks’ baffled expression greeted this news. “A full length mirror?”

“Yes. We must use mirrors to create the Rebirth Gateway.”

“Ok, I think I can arrange that…..,”

“You will have to come with me for a few hours, and explain to Gohan exactly why you can’t get past his death. After that, you will have three days to get the mirror in the assigned place, and be ready to pull Gohan through. Supreme Kai will explain things once we arrive. Bring a change of clothes if you like. You can spend the evening, and muddle your way through your task. Oh, and that type of outfit wouldn’t be a bad choice in helping convince him, if you know what I mean?” Kibbito grinned openly at the disconcerted countenance of the handsome young man sitting across from him. “I told you before it’s part of my job description. I’m what you call, a, ‘Cupid,’ of sorts.” The giant smirked at Trunks baffled expression.

“Do you really think he’s going to listen and accept,… I mean, he always looked at me as being a kid brother! If I tell him what I feel,………, what if he’s not,…., he might not be happy about, …. I mean,…. I can’t just,…, uhmmm,…., you know?!” Trunks scratched his head, trying to find words to express his worries, eyes downcast.

Kibbito chuckled. “I’ll let you in on a little secret. Gohan has some interesting dreams about you, just as you dream about him.” Kibbito’s eyes danced, as he watched Trunks’ reaction. Trunks’ eyes darkened to a vibrant peacock-blue, boring into his guest, sparkling with renewed hope.

“You mean….,,??” Trunks jumped up, flustered. “He’s,….? ….. You’re sure,… ????” He paced across the kitchen, returning to stand in front of Kibbito, eyes pleading for reassurance. Kibbito nodded in affirmation, a grin tugging at his lips. Trunks whirled towards the doorway that led to his room, “Oh man I’ve gotta get a shower, and ,…” only to turn at the doorway, using the door jam to yank himself back into the kitchen area, “You’re not joking with me right…?”

“Go get ready. I’ll come back within the hour. Be ready!” Trunks nodded a vigorous affirmative. Kibbito grinned, shooing the exultant demi-Saiyajin away, phasing out before Trunks could think of anything else to reply.

***

Trunks fears vanished with Kibbito’s mystical departure. He raced to his room, grabbing clean clothes, before bolting into the bathroom. He showered and dressed in record time, ecstatic that he was about to see Gohan again. Trunks almost careened into his mother in his haste to get to his room to retrieve his boots so he would be ready on time. “Excuse me, mom. I’ve gotta get ready.” He scooted past, still running a comb through his damp hair.

Bulma squeaked in indignation at her son’s bedevilling rampage through the house, upset over being cut off in such a fashion. She had been heading towards her own bathroom to remove the grease smudging her hands and face, from the invention she had been fine tuning all morning.

“Trunks where do you think you’re going in such a rush? Hey, you, where’s the wildfire?” Bulma yelled, bringing him to a skidding halt in his doorway.

“I can’t explain it all right now, mom. Just trust me, I’ll try to explain what I can before I have to go.” He vanished into his room, returning in an instant, trying to put his shoes on without breaking stride.

“Trunks, this had better be good. I haven’t seen you act this strange since you used to sneak off with Gohan to train!” Her hand was rooted to her hip, which was thrust at an angle, blocking his escape.

“Mom, I just found out that Gohan can come back. He did something for the Kais and they are giving him a way to return for good. But I have to do something for the person who was just here, or he won’t be able to come back.” Trunks words tumbled from his lips as he skipped in place, getting his right shoe on, buckling the strap in place.

“What? How?” Bulma tried to slow her son down, and get answers, giving up, when he gave her a fast, hard hug, and kiss on the cheek, before charging towards the kitchen. He whirled just before leaving the hallway behind and tossed over his shoulder, a breathless, “Oh. Almost forgot. Mom, we need a mirror, approximately twelve feet tall, seven feet wide, oval if possible, before three days is up. Can you get one for me? I’ll be back soon. It may be in the morning, or late tonight, I’m not sure yet. I have to go talk to Gohan. So don’t wait up for me.” His footsteps quickly faded, followed by the back door slamming as he left the house, post haste.

Bulma stood with her hand on her hip, looking perplexed. “That boy. I swear, he must get it from his father!” She turned on her heel, throwing her hands in the air in disgust, and headed towards her quarters once more, stopping dead in her tracks as his words registered, “Off to talk to Gohan?? What does he mean, off to talk to Gohan. He can’t talk to Gohan. Gohan’s dead.” Bulma wheeled, racing towards the back door, bursting into the yard in time to see a red skinned giant place a hand on her son’s shoulder, both vanishing in a flash of brilliant light.

“One twelve foot tall, by seven feet wide, oval mirror coming right up, Trunks.” Bulma quipped, her tone touched with awe. She hurried inside to start making phone calls.

***

Trunks stood before the fireplace in Grand Kai’s spacious library. His stomach was a multitude of knots, and fluttering butterflies, as he waited for Gohan’s arrival. He had to force himself to stand still, fighting the impulse to pace like a caged tiger. Anxiety and excitement warred for control of his emotions, as he looked into the flickering light cast by the fire before him.

Supreme Kai watched the byplay of emotions on the young man’s face, noting Trunks’ angular, stubborn jaw, and wide set, expressive eyes. Trunks looked over at the petite God who was watching him so closely. “Sir, uhm, is there,…, something, you wanted to say,…., or something?” Trunks asked, dropping his eyes in a manner that almost qualified as demure, thanks to the refined bone structure of his face.

“Actually I was just contemplating Gohan’s reaction once he arrives. You see, he still has a mental image of the unpolished youngster, you once were, stuck in his memories. I believe he will be quite stunned by how you have changed in recent years. Not many men turn out as well as you have, you see.” the Supreme Kai wore a mischievous grin on his face, as he informed the fidgeting demi-Saiyajin, of his opinion.

Kibbito opened the well oiled door on silent hinges, beckoning him to precede him into the room. The giant watched as Gohan halted a few steps inside the doorway, eyes drawn to Trunks as if by a magnet. The dark haired demi-Saiyajin stood rooted to the spot, silent, intently watching the young man who was unaware of their presence. The man Trunks had become, was shyly speaking to the two Kais, occasionally worrying his bottom lip with his teeth, as he listened to their comments. He often flicked his hair out of his eyes as he spoke in soft tones, replying to their questions, and comments in a hesitant manner.

Crimson stained Trunks’ cheekbones, in a becoming manner, at the Supreme Kai’s assessment, which Kibbito and Gohan had arrived in time to hear. “Oh? Yeah, I was kind of wondering if he would even recognise me.” Trunks ran a hand through his shoulder length mane. He hadn’t bothered getting a haircut recently, avoiding everyone while he fought with fits of severe depression, and harsh flashbacks that haunted him. “I was a lot shorter the last time he saw me.” he shrugged his broad shoulders, unwittingly flexing powerful, hard sculpted muscles that he had acquired in his extreme training in recent years.

Gohan appeared to notice that Trunks had retained his expressive features, which had become more angular as he matured. It was Trunks’ borderline scowl, and hard eyed stare that Kibbito was sure had disturbed Gohan, judging by his reaction, as the Cupid minded God watched the dark haired warrior clench his hands into fists.

“Don’t worry. Everything’s cool. He’s gonna be mighty glad to see you. Gohan might be a bit speechless for a minute, with you being all grown up now, but you’ve got nothing to get uptight over. You’ll see.” Grand Kai informed Trunks as he sauntered over, handing him a glass, in a companionable manner.

Trunks smiled his gratitude as he tried to re-adjust his ideals about Kais, to include the eccentric nature of the unusual Kai who stood in front of him. Trunks hadn’t considered that Kais could be informal of dress and attitude as Grand Kai was, and was continually dumbfounded by the hippie styled deity.

“Thanks for the vote of confidence, … , and the drink also, Sir.” Trunks ducked his head, out of habit, unconscious of the graceful way he moved, and embarrassed by both Kais blunt remarks.

“Trunks, I think you’ll find out that you have nothing to be embarrassed about once you and Gohan have a chance to sit down and talk. He does care a great deal about your wellbeing. Have faith in him, as well as yourself.” Supreme Kai advised from the high backed chair he had taken after introductions had been made by Kibbito.

“I do have faith in Gohan. I have all the faith in the world in him, honest.” Trunks eyes snapped with sapphire fire. His sincerity was real, as was his upset in having been accused of lacking faith in his mentor.

“I am aware that you have a great deal of respect and faith in Gohan in most things, but your lack of faith in whether he will approve of what you have become is what I am referring to in this matter.” Shin stood and walked over, smiling gently at the uncertainty that flickered on Trunks face. “You are a deep person, who is reserved with others. Still, it’s easy to see why Gohan holds you in such high esteem, even with so much time having passed in the world of the living. I think you will find that Gohan will be very pleased with you, now that you’re grown, Trunks.”

“I hope so.” Trunks voice was soft, thrumming with tension, and fervent yearning, the words carried to Gohan, and Kibbito where they stood, several feet away.

“Does he ever really smile?” Gohan whispered.

“Not often, and it doesn’t appear to reach his eyes when he does. I see that you noticed his serious demeanour.” Kibbito replied in hushed tones. Gohan closed his eyes, pained by the news.

Trunks head jerked up at the sound of Kibbito’s quiet reply. The giant Kai’s voice carried, though he had not intended it to. Gohan’s pained expression was the first thing Trunks noticed about his beloved mentor. “It’s my fault Kibbito. I shouldn’t have been so stupid that afternoon.” filtered to Trunks’ sensitive ears, from Gohan’s quiet comment to the red skinned, stern faced companion who stood next to him. “I should have turned away just like my dad’s been telling me since I got here.” Gohan drew in a heavy breath, his sadness a palpable blow to the three who stood beside the fireplace.

“Gohan, I see you’ve arrived.” Grand Kai addressed the tall, dark haired demi- Saiyajin who stood near the door.

Gohan’s eyes snapped open, focusing his attention on the group below. “Yes, Sir. I just walked in a moment ago. I figured I would let you finish your conversation without interrupting.”

“More like you were busy staring at Trunks, I seem to recall.” Kibbito spoke up, effectively cutting off any attempt on Gohan’s part to deny his reaction to seeing the younger man who stood a few feet away.

Gohan scratched his head, a sheepish grin evident. “Well he has changed a lot. I mean…, Wow, you’ve gotten almost as tall as I am, Trunks. I never expected you to get any taller than your mom. Er, I mean,…,” Gohan chuckled self depreciating.

“It’s ok, Gohan. I know what you’re trying to say. I think father was a bit surprised that I got so tall. In the other timeline I visited, I found out that he was a lot more compact than his father. When I asked my grandparents where my height came from, father said that his father, my other grandfather, was even taller than I am.” Gohan watched as Trunks dropped his eyes, bashful and blushing.

“I don’t believe it. Vegeta actually talking about his own family? And how many teeth did you yank to get that information?”

“I didn’t threaten him or anything. I guess he hated listening to the mom’s family trying to figure out which side was taller.” Trunks shrugged in a non committal fashion.

“Now that I can believe.” Gohan chuckled amicably. “It’s great to see you, Trunks.”

“Yeah. It’s great to see you too, Gohan. Trunks smiled shyly in return. Trunks took several steps towards Gohan, stopping halfway, as if asking if it was alright to approach any closer. Gohan met him there, in the centre of the library, both content to drink in the features of the other, neither willing to say aloud what their eyes conveyed, in front of their hosts.

Both were startled out of their silent perusals, when they heard heavy footfalls coming up beside them, Grand Kai humming a rock and roll tune as he walked up. “You cats need anything just yank that bell-pull, over there by the reading desk. My assistant will get you anything you need. We’re gonna go get some other business matters out of the way. So relax, kickback and get reacquainted as long as you like.” He turned to Trunks with a friendly clout on the shoulder. “You remember how to get to the guest room if you get tired?”

“Yes. Thanks for asking, and thanks again for allowing me to be here.”

Grand Kai chuckled warmly. “Kid, you’re alright. Help yourself to the snacks, and drinks I had brought in. And you’re welcome, on the invite. Who knows, some day you might just be coming out here to stay, and when that time comes I’m betting that I’ll have my hands full with keeping up with you, just like I have to work overtime to keep up with Gohan here, and his father. You Saiyajins are a trip. Glad your on the right side of the laws. Well, have fun and goodnight if I don’t see you before the morning you two.” He sauntered to the door, walking past Kibbito and the Supreme Kai, vanishing from sight.

“As our host says, enjoy your time together, with luck everything will be clear by morning. Let’s leave these two alone to catch up on old times, Kibbito.” the impish smile that played across Shin’s lips almost qualified as scandalous as he looked over at his assistant. Kibbito gave them both a knowing smirk, as if he and Supreme Kai Shin already knew the future, and were awaiting their pre-destined motions to be fulfilled that they could finish their project.

***

As soon as the door clicked shut behind the retreating duo, Gohan blurted out, “I’m sorry I haven’t been there for you.” Gohan’s expression was sombre as he apologized for his death more than six years before.

“Huh? Why are you apologizing for what the Androids did, Gohan?” Trunks looked as confused as he sounded.

“If I hadn’t been so set on trying to buy those people time, I might not have gotten myself a one way ticket here. I screwed up because I was too angry to think straight. I didn’t have sense enough to back down and get out of there before they could really collect themselves. So I owe you a big apology.” He looked into Trunks’ blue-grey, ever changing eyes, observing how Trunks would react to his admission.

“There’s no need to apologize. I just would like to know why you knocked me out, Gohan. It was the only time you ever lied to me. You told me I could fight with you, and then, the next thing I knew, it was raining, and I tried to find you, but I was already too late. Just tell me,…, Why?” Trunks gaze was sharp, intense, searching his friend’s face, just as Gohan had, moments before, seeking answers.

“I couldn’t let them get close enough to hurt you. You were the biggest reason I didn’t give up, when they took my arm. You kept me going that first couple a months, Trunks. If anything had happened to you, I wouldn’t have been able to forgive myself for letting you get shredded the way they used to shred me.” Gohan’s dark eyes never wavered as he admitted his fears from long ago.

Gohan’s face took on a much more strained appearance as he confronted his student on the issue he felt compelled to ask about. “Trunks, the Kais told me that you refused to get past my death. Can you tell me why you haven’t moved on?” Gohan queried the lavender haired man who stood in front of him, hoping that this stranger, now his own age, was ready for the answers he had to give in return.

“Gohan, it’s not that I refused to get over anything. I can’t get rid of the empty feeling that hit me, the day you died. It just won’t go away. I don’t know why.” Trunks stalked over to the awaiting tray, refilling his glass. He wasn’t sure how to explain the emptiness that had almost engulfed him time and again, over the years. Yet, he felt compelled to try.

“All I know, Gohan, is that I woke up and it was just starting to rain. My head was pounding from the knot you put on my head, and I had this real bad feeling in my gut. I knew something was wrong involving you.” Gohan grabbed a drink of his own, taking a slow sip, listening to Trunks recounting of that long ago day.

“I was flying towards the ki blasts, trying to get there in time to give you back up, when this wave of intense pain washed over me. I fell out of the sky like a ball of lead. I hurt so bad I couldn’t think, and not because of the headache. My chest and gut were burning so badly, I couldn’t breathe. I must have blacked out from the agony I was in, but, I’m not real sure.”

Trunks looked down at the drink in his hand, shuddering, as he tried to find a way to continue the painful recollection. He turned, pacing the room, searching for words, worrying his bottom lip, halting before the fireplace, staring into the dancing firelight. “When I regained my senses, I had this overwhelming emptiness inside, and it was as if something had been yanked out and nothing could fill it up. I knew you were dead somehow, but at the same time I kept telling myself that I was imagining things. I told myself that you were probably in bad shape so I needed to get there and take you back to my home so we could get you patched up.”

Trunks expression was blank as he continued to stare into the flames, speaking in subdued tones, reliving the moment as he spoke. “I searched everywhere in the wreckage until I found you. You were sprawled, face down in a pool of blood and rainwater. They had blasted your internal organs to a pulp I was told later.” Trunks voice was strained as he relived the moments he spoke of.

Gohan interrupted Trunks, trying to help him remember where he was. It was obvious to the dark haired demi-Saiyajin that his fair haired counterpart was trapped in that long ago moment, unable to break away with ease. “Trunks, I know about that vacuum emptiness. I’ve felt it since I woke up on this side, Trunks. I assumed I was the only one who felt like I’d had a huge piece of myself ripped out of existence. I guess I was wrong.” Gohan sighed, running a hand across his face.

“Nothing gets rid of that empty vacuum sensation, Gohan. It just won’t go away. No matter what I do, it’s always there. When you died I thought it was losing the only person who understood me and my abilities that made me feel so empty for a few minutes. I thought I was just having some kind of numbness reaction. Then the truth hit me. You were the most important person in my life. You were everything to me.” Trunks closed his eyes, gritting his teeth as he spoke of how important Gohan had been to him as a teenager, fighting to stay in control of his emotions. Gohan shivered in sympathy, as Trunks finished recounting his ordeal.

Gohan sat his glass down, walking towards the fireplace, determination lighting his features. Gohan wrapped an arm across Trunks’ chest, hoping to reassure him that he understood what the lavender haired demi-Saiyajin was attempting to convey. “Trunks? Are you ok?”

“Yeah, at least I will be in a few minutes.” He slammed the rest of his drink, setting the glass on the fireplace mantle, trying to buy time to reorganise his thoughts.

“Trunks, I didn’t realise that I had that much of an impact on your life. I was dreading the day when you’d say to me, ‘Hey Gohan I have a girlfriend to occupy my free time so I’ll see you later.’ I wasn’t looking forward to that.” Gohan rubbed the back of his neck, with his free hand, trying to explain his own fears, making it clear that he hadn’t known he held such importance to his student.

“You thought I’d bail on you?” Trunks head snapped around, trying to see Gohan’s expression, astonishment and anger warring for control.

Gohan shook his head, “No, I didn’t think you were going to bail on me. I just thought that you would meet someone, someday, and I wouldn’t be in your life as much anymore. You were growing up so fast, and I just thought that you’d outgrow the habit of hanging around me. It never occurred to me that you might have felt as much for me as I already felt for you. I thought you were too young to tell you that my feelings were changing, so I kept my mouth shut, thinking that, if you didn’t floor me with news of some girl later on, I’d try to find a way to tell you how I felt, when you were older, so I had a better chance of salvaging our friendship if my news freaked you out.” Trunks trembled under the arm Gohan wrapped around his shoulders, as he absorbed his words. Gohan smiled at the reaction his words engendered.

“I lost you, just as I was beginning to understand what I was feeling, so I didn’t get the chance to mention what I was experiencing. I lost everything worthwhile because you were gone, Gohan. All that I had left, was my need for revenge. As soon as the Androids were gone I didn’t even have that anymore.”

“I understand, Trunks. If I could, I’d make it all up to you. But I don’t think that’s possible after all this time.” Gohan rested his cheek against Trunks’ silky mane, breathing in the scent of Trunks hair, trying to console the sensitive young man, he adored, with his physical presence.

“Will you come back? Kibbito told me that they can bring you back if you want to return.”

“Did they tell you all the requirements for my chance to return?” Gohan wrapped his other arm around Trunks, tempted to drop the subject in case Trunks hadn’t been told what the Kais would be forced to do to get him back among the living.

“They said that you would have to have me pull you through a gate that was activated through mirrors, because I love you enough to make it possible to help you get back to our world.”

***

“They didn’t mention the price that the Rebirth Gate demands?”

“You mean with ChiChi trading places with you? Kibbito said that your mother was going to take your place here, so she could be with your dad, instead of dying and missing her best chance to have a body. Gohan?” Trunks whispered in alarm when he felt Gohan begin to withdraw.

“I’m not certain I can put her through that, even if she’s willing to do the trade off. It’s not fair to deprive her of her life just so I can return.” he looked away, guilt giving him a despondent air.

“You can’t say no! I won’t let you back out of this, even if it isn’t your idea of fair! What about all the years I’ve stood by a grave site and wished like hell that you hadn’t knocked me out? Or what about all the nights I’ve spent awake wondering if you would have survived if I had been there, Gohan? That’s not fair either! Why let Kibbito and the other Kais’ give me hope if you weren’t willing to make the trade? Why….?” Trunks ki shot up, anger skyrocketing, as he lost his voice in anguish. Gohan feared he’d become a super Saiyajin and destroy the Grand Kai’s library in a fit of emotional turmoil, sparked by his words.

He silenced the younger man before he could power up further. “Shh. Take it easy, Trunks! I know my mother is going to die in a few days, no matter what I say or do. I’m just not happy about the way things have to be done. That’s all. I’m not backing out. I’m just worried that I might not like things when I return. It’s been so long since I was alive. I mean, what if you find that you really don’t need me around anymore?””

Trunks’ cheeks were damp with tears, as he fought for air, his eyes closed tight against the gut wrenching pain he experienced at the thought that he would be denied the chance to be with the one he loved yet again. “You can’t risk losing this chance to return, I mean…, why not trade places with her, unless she’s not willing?” Trunks found a ghostly remnant of his voice, demanding answers, the sound cracking like long forgotten parchment pages, memories long lost in the past, unveiled to diligent seekers, only to disintegrate under the strain of the most delicate touch, losing forever their precious reality to the unforgiving sands of time.

Gohan drew a deep breath, letting it out in an explosive sigh. “Listen to me, Trunks, Kibbito says that mother is willing to do the trade. I’m just worried that you might find me a big headache if I return, which could make my mother’s sacrifice meaningless. How do I know you won’t come to resent me being there?” Gohan shrugged his shoulders in a defeated manner.

Trunks anger and fear fled at the look on Gohan’s face. It was obvious that Gohan was hurting, his one chance to be happy just as uncertain for him as it was for Trunks. The walls Trunks had hastily erected against the pain of being forced to let Gohan go once again, shattered like ice that melts in the springtime, during a warm spring rain.

“Hey,Look at me, I know your mother will forgive anything so long as she knows you care. Besides, if your mother and father get to be together, isn’t it worth any risk? How’s that a wasted, or meaningless sacrifice, if she can be happy again, Gohan? he whispered, voice deadpan with emotional fatigue.

“I guess for my mother the risk wouldn’t be so bad, but, how do I know that you really want me to come back after that dirty trick I pulled on you that last time we were together. I am sorry I lied to you, Trunks. I’ve always regretted what I did.” Gohan’s soul bled in the depths of inky eyes, as he searched Trunks features, seeking any trace of possibility that his assessment might prove correct in Trunks expressive features, and finding nothing to keep his fear of eventual rejection alive.

“I do want you to come back, Gohan.” Trunks grabbed his arm, his heart radiating sincerity through the pearlised sheen of unshed tears that illuminated his eyes in the firelight, as he fervently tried to find the words that would make Gohan understand how desperate he was to have his lost beloved return to the world of the living. “I have a few things to show you, that I’ve learned since you’ve been gone. You’re the only person who really understands me damn it. What is there for me to do except train and wait for the next enemy to show up, even though I know I’ll be hoping I lose, if it means I don’t have to be alone any longer. You were what I fought so hard to become a Super Saiyajin for when you were alive, and I need you back to help me find a reason to keep going when I’m out of ideas. Can’t you understand that? I’m lost, and empty without you, Gohan.”

“You’re sure you could stand having me around? I might make you train even harder than you do now, just to see if your serious about my coming back.” Gohan teased, his own reticence gone as he accepted Trunks breathless, heart wrenching assurance of Trunks feelings having become as real as Gohan’s own, during their extended separation.

“If that’s what it takes to get you to come back, I’ll even let you win the first few rounds. Of course if you try and do anything stupid like knock me out so you can go fight alone again, I’ll just have to pound the dumb ideas out of your head.”

“Oh really? And who says you’d win if I decided to knock you out and go fight alone?” Gohan chuckled at the cock-sure way Trunks held his head, looking at him with a certainty that amused and intrigued the older demi-Saiyajin. “Well, I might just have a trick or two up my own sleeves. So we’ll just have to have a contest to see who’s got the slickest fighting manoeuvres these days, won’t we?”

“I think I’ll take you up on that offer, just as soon as you quit stalling and agree to come home for good.” Trunks smiled, the suppressed excitement reaching his eyes as he realised that Gohan would be returning home in the next few days. The smile he wore grew brighter, reaching his eyes, which softened dramatically, knowing that he would get to spend time with his most cherished companion again.

“How long are the Kai’s allowing you to stay, Trunks?” Gohan brushed long lavender bangs out of intense blue eyes as he watched their shifting hues flare with a kaleidoscope of enigmatic emotions he hadn’t noticed before.

“I have to return tomorrow morning.” Trunks looked down, his sorrow at his departure, palpable in the sudden silence.

“You have a place for the night?” Gohan watched the reactions of beautiful young man who had come to see him, wondering if he had enough nerve to say what he wanted to say.

“Yes, the Grand Kai showed me a rather spacious room that’s all mine for the evening. It’s got a bed that’s a bit too big for only one person.” Trunks gave him a long, meaningful look, allowing Gohan to take up the thinly veiled offer, or drop it as he chose.

Gohan returned the glance with a meaningful look of his own, wrapping both arms around the lithe young warrior, his former student had become, who stood with him, watching him with certainty, as his pale hair flared with silver in the firelight.

“Your looking rather sure of yourself suddenly. How come?” Gohan asked, a hint of suspicion lacing his tone.

“I just had a great idea as to how I may be able to make sure you don’t have second thoughts about coming back.”

“Oh, And what would this brilliant idea of yours be?” Gohan fought the urge to smile, pasting a patently false look of serious consideration on his features that gained him a sly chuckle from the man who stood within his loose embrace.

“Just this.” Trunks lips closed the distance, capturing Gohan’s. He felt Gohan’s response and deepened the kiss, allowing himself the luxury of divulging everything he lacked words to express, through action. The fire died down to quiet embers before the two broke apart, leaving the room with hands linked.

***

Trunks paced in front of the tall wood framed mirror, checking the angles to be certain he had it adjusted to the correct specifications he had been given the morning he had returned to the world of the living. Bulma and Ox King watched as the young warrior fidgeted with compass, tape measure and calculator for what seemed like the one- hundredth time in less than twenty minutes, though both refrained from making any comments about his nervous fidgeting.

ChiChi sat on a folding canvas chair, near the mirror, waiting for the first rays of the sun to illuminate the mirrors surface with its dazzling rays, heralding the opening of the Rebirth Gate that would reunite her with Gokou, and return her son to the world she had agreed to leave behind.

Trunks, glanced over at the salt and pepper haired lady that had so often proven a fierce tempered tower of strength over the years, dominating his life, whenever his mother temporarily gave up on extracting his obedience, in matters of importance. ChiChi gazed back, with an assessing eye, demanding his full attention without speaking. They held each other’s eyes for several long moments, communicating without words, both understanding for the first time, what the other thought, and felt, knowing that this morning heralded their final goodbyes in this world.

Trunks was hit by a wave of nostalgia, as his thoughts traipsed through many episodes in his life, where ChiChi had exerted life altering influences upon him, changing his personality for better, or worse, and helping to meld him into the person he had become. Trunks wished he knew words that would express his thanks to the woman who sat a few feet away, watching his movements with tired eyes, that were haunted with the shadows of suffering and loneliness. Those dark orbs held a stern dignity, gained from years of enduring life’s trials in a fashion reminiscent of a mountain’s majestic stance in the face of the fiercest storms that nature could improvise.

“Aunt ChiChi?” He moved over to the woman, hunkering down to speak with her, needing to do something to show his gratitude for the things that she had done for him in the past.

“What is it, Trunks? Is something wrong?” ChiChi replied looking concerned.

“Nothing’s wrong. I was just wondering if there’s anything I can do for you,…., you know,…, before you go? Do you want me to tell Gohan anything in particular for you?” Trunks blushed, feeling foolish for trying to be helpful to the woman when he knew she was still seeing him as a gangly youth who couldn’t keep himself out of trouble for more than a couple of minutes at a time.

***

“Thank you for offering, but I already took care of the situation by giving a letter to my father to give him.” She smiled at Trunks crestfallen expression, trying to ease the blow. A thoughtful look flashed over her features as she studied the young man who sat on his haunches before her for a moment, realising that Trunks was attempting to say goodbye in the only manner he could think of. “You know, there is something I would appreciate you doing for me, Trunks.” ChiChi said with a slow considering tone, elevating the young lavender haired demi-Saiyajin’s hopes.

“Sure Aunt ChiChi. Name it and if I can find a way to make it happen I swear I will.” Trunks agreed with an eager tone.

“When Gohan gets here, if he starts acting like an idiot and doing stupid things, be sure to smack him on the back of the head and inform him that I said you were to do so as a reminder to behave like a gentleman should, or else I’ll find a way to come back and beat some sense into his head.” ChiChi’s eyes snapped with fire as she made the demand of the young man who looked up at her, stunned.

“Um, OK. I will, if that’s what you really want me to do…?” Trunks looked at her, doubt clear on his brow.

“That is precisely what I want you to do. I won’t be here to make him behave, so I need to know that someone will at least try to make him think before he acts. He’s coming back because you’re here. That means you have the best chance of getting him to act like he should.” She folded her arms across her chest and closed her eyes in silent congratulations for thinking up something for Trunks to feel obligated to do, as he insinuated that he desired to do.

She opened her eyes and smiled at her young step nephew with fondness. “You know that I’m asking quite a lot of you don’t you?”

“I suppose so. I’m just wondering how Gohan will react to being told that his mother ordered me to smack him in the back of the head over whatever it is that he does in the future.” Trunks voice was gloomy with concern.

“I think he’ll understand that I’m putting you in the position to look out for his welfare. Which by the way, is precisely what I have in mind.” She pointed at Trunks’ chest with a self satisfied smirk on her face.

“You mean…, Your trusting me to keep an eye on Gohan? You’re not going to have my mother or grandpa Ox yell at him all the time or anything like that then?” Trunks eyes widened to an alarming size as ChiChi nodded her head in sharp assent.

“Think you can handle being a grown up, Trunks? Because I’m demanding that you take care of my Gohan. Since he’s already proven to me that he doesn’t have enough brains to take care of himself, I’d be much happier knowing that someone with an intellect was making sure he keeps his life on track.” She huffed at the startled expression on Trunks face.

Trunks looked at the salt and pepper haired woman who had so often screamed at him over his moments of unthinking reactions with a solemn gaze. “I’ll do my best to make sure Gohan is happy and safe Aunt ChiChi. I promise.”

“Good. That’s what I wanted to hear. I’ll be making sure that you keep your word to me, Trunks. I’ll have Gokou rip your head off when you die if you don’t.” She glared daggers at the warrior before her, insuring he knew how earnest she was about having her will carried out.

Trunks dropped his eyes to the ground wishing that his aunt would have more faith in him, and in his sincerity. It would have made things much easier for everyone if she would relax and just let go of her overbearing sense of propriety and her need to control others so completely. Before he could think of an appropriate response to her threats, Trunks felt the whispering of the wind, carrying the sound of a soft, almost undetectable hum. It ruffled his hair, jerking his head up in alarm as a large Ki signature suddenly erupted from nothingness.

Kibito stood a few feet away from the mirror, looking at the elderly woman who he would be meeting on the other side of the mirror in a matter of few moments. “Is everything in order on this side as requested? He gruffly queried the small group of bystanders who had come to see ChiChi off, and wish Gohan a happy return.

Trunks leapt to his feet, quick to answer as it had been Kibito’s choice to place the burden on his shoulders in getting things ready to return his beloved. “Yes sir, I’ve done everything as close to specs as Supreme Kai dictated to the best of my ability, Sir.”

“Very well, let us proceed. Shall we?” He glanced over to ChiChi for her consent since it was her trial to go through that would allow Gohan to return. She gave a small nod of assent, and Kibito powered up, growling some unintelligible phrase as he shot a blast of bluish light into the mirror’s center when the first rays of sunlight flashed upon the highest levels of it’s surface.

Ripples began to form, as swirling light exploded with a loud shrieking howl of energy in motion from the transformed mirror’s surface. The water like energy shot from the center of the mirror’s surface, only to be sucked back into it’s core with alarming crackling, booming and roaring tones.

Star fields exploded into being inside the mirrors surface, while the surface turned black as night. The cosmos began to form before the onlookers’ eyes. Galaxies took shape, one after another, as the gateway came into being. The miniature star fields wheeled within the confines of the mirror, generating patterns that were astonishing, and humbling for the small group of survivors who had come to witness the return of one of their own, while saying their fond farewells to another.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The galaxies morphed and shifted to become a shaft of glowing silver light that stretched on for what appeared to be eternity. Howling erupted from the glass’s surface as if gale force winds were blasting through the now forming corridor that linked one world to the next.

“Exactly what is that noise I’m hearing?” ChiChi asked a bit subdued.

“The pathway is always buffeted by energy forces that move like a strong wind.” Kibito answered solemnly. “The silver light shaft will be the one thing you can use to stay on course. Goku on that end will have the emotional charge to keep it expanding to the true rebirth mirror in the world of the Kais. While Trunks, and those here, who love Gohan will act as the bridging force that keeps the shaft in tact for this end of the reflection of the mirror in the world of the Kais.”

“So I’ll be going into a place where energy is so powerful that it will act like a strong wind, then?” ChiChi looked doubtful. “How exactly am I supposed to stay in one piece if I’m being hit by that much for lack of a better phrase, electricity?” her eyes narrowed as if she smelled a rat.

“This will protect your body from harm.” Kibito held up a medallion on a long thick chain for her to see. He dropped it over her head and straightened it across her bosom with practiced ease of one handing out medals of valor.

“Well that’s a relief. I was a bit worried there for a moment. If I lose my body I can’t get to Goku.” She smiled as she looked down at the intricately scroll worked metal and gemstone necklace resting against her breast.

“Be sure your hands do not leave the light shaft once you enter the gate. The power will sweep you away and you will die without the ability to ever have an afterlife. Only the worst criminals normally are subjected to the powers you are about to enter into. The massive vortex is the source of all creation, all power, all existence. That is why the Rebirth gate is what it is. It gives form it’s strength, but it can destroy what it gives if the individual is too weak or has no one to aide in making the transition.” Kibito’s warning made Trunks and the others gasp in alarm.

“I understand. Thank you for this opportunity, Mr. Kibito. I’ll be glad to get this over with.” Chichi’s jaw firmed and determination sparked in her eyes as she stepped closer to the mirror’s surface, a hand raised in preparation to grab onto the shaft once it extended beyond the surface of the glass.

“Wait a minute.” Trunks hastened forward. “You never said anything about either of them not making it before.” he had a wild eyed look as he confronted Kibito, a hand yanking the God around to face him, forcefully.

“So long as both have allies who are willing to extend their emotions to the individuals involved there is little danger. Only if one releases the shaft does the warning have true relevance.” Kibito answered as he glared down at the purple haired fighter that held his arm in a painful vice grip.

“You’re absolutely certain about that?” Trunks demanded as visions of Gohan or ChiChi flying into a massive vortex of power that crushed and wrended them to nothingness.

“Of course. IF we had any doubts we wouldn’t have considered this method in the first place.” Trunks released the God’s arm and breathed deeply to regain his sense of equilibrium as he digested the information. “Now, shall we get started before the gate closes of it’s own violation?” Kibito continued, not unkindly.

“Ok. Let’s get this over with. What do you need me to do?” Trunks nodded to the giant standing next to him and ChiChi.

“Reach out your hands, thinking of Gohan and your connections to him. Your memories and your fondness will help extend the shaft into this dimension. Reach out with your feelings and take hold of the shaft as it protrudes into this world. From there concentrate on those emotions and memories to the exclusion of everything else. Do you understand?” Kibito’s voice was stern as he gave the directions to the lavender haired man.

“Got it.” Trunks nodded his head in agreement and stretched out his arms towards the mirror. It took a few moments of concentrating to bring the energy shaft into his hands, and he had to focus more strongly on his chi than he had realized he would have to, but he managed to get the shaft in hand. He closed his eyes and waited.

He felt ChiChi’s hands on the shaft once she grabbed a hold of it. Her emotions were crystal clear through the connection and almost upset his balance in keeping true to his feelings. It was daunting having her become aware of his preferences, and reasons for wanting Gohan to return. He wondered if she would condemn him for a few seconds before her emotions gave a strangled, yet grudging acceptance of the situation. He relaxed a bit and shot his own gratitude for her ability to allow him this emotional connection to flash through the shaft.

Another set of emotions began radiating through the shaft as he continued to hang on to his end of the energy pulsing beam, trying to keep his focus pure with the new static filtering through to his consciousness. It was making things more difficult for him, and he was fairly certain it made it difficult for the other three individuals involved also. He needed to concentrate to the exclusion of everyone else’s emotions, and that was proving nearly impossible.

He felt Goku’s eagerness to see ChiChi again, as well as his trepidation. Trunks’ smile at this development was genuine, and he couldn’t repress the sympathetic tug, born of experience that flared outward before he could contain his own reaction. He felt ChiChi’s immediate irritation with him, as well as a flash of rye humor at her own realization that she indeed could be a force to reckon with when angry.

A new flash of emotions caught Trunks off guard and he almost lost his concentration. Gohan had taken his side of the light cord in hand and was moving. Trunks felt the other Demi-Saiyajin’s life force like a palpable blow. The eagerness was tainted with a note of apology, most likely to ChiChi as he realized that the Rebirth gate laid everyone’s emotions and thoughts open for view. He noticed that Gohan was especially aware of his mother’s borderline disapproval over the idea that her son wouldn’t have children due to the circumstances of his heart.

Trunks tried to reach the other Demi-Saiyajin with his full emotional strength since it was obvious that Gohan was very upset to realize that his mother now knew more about her son than he had ever thought was possible. This gateway required a very large dose of unconditional trust, and Gohan was not thrilled at being laid bare for both of his parents to see.

Trunks understood the feelings he felt pulsing through his hands, as he shared the same disgruntled emotions at making the discovery for himself a few moments before. Still he mentally urged Gohan to move forward through sheer mental urgency. Gohan responded more slowly than Trunks liked, but did begin to move along the line as the shaft pulsed a sense of location to both parties holding the energy beams in hands now shaking with effort.

ChiChi was further along the line than Gohan and Trunks felt a twinge of unrest at the realization. What would happen if ChiChi reached her end first? Would the gate close or some other disastrous consequence reveal itself in that event? He knew that both parties had to cross over at the same time. Therefore he sent a silent mental plea through the line for Gohan to move faster just in case.

The Demi-Saiyajin’s emotions were still muddled with shock but Trunks felt the instinctual reply of hastening movement along the cord that bound the four individual’s emotions and memories together. He also felt the unspoken whiplash emotions from ChiChi demanding her son get a move on as well as Trunks emotional concern reached her and Goku’s mental urging as well. Gohan responded to the trio of emotional pressures with a much increased speed trying to make certain that he reached the centerline at the same time as his mother once he had that confirmation from his parents that he wasn’t hated for being himself.

Trunks felt the smile that Gohan gave his mom and the single arm squeeze he gave her in a personal farewell as the two came together on either side of the shaft. It was heart warming for him to know Gohan was getting to say a real goodbye this time, as was his mother. ChiChi almost lost her grip on the cord however, as she nearly caved to the desire to wrap both of her arms around the son she had lost a few years before in a bear hug. Only Gohan and Goku’s emotional upset kept her from being whisked away in a flash of tumultuous power.

Sweat poured out of Trunks body as he fought against the power that sheered through the dimensional rift, and he sensed Goku’s own growing exhaustion as both fought to keep a clear zone open for their beloved companions, and mates. This was getting more dangerous by the second and he allowed his sense of exhaustion to make itself known to the two people still trapped within the mirrored surfaces of the gateway, hoping to spur both to faster movement. Reluctance on ChiChi’s part filtered to him as she released her son for a final time, and began pulling herself along the beam once more, her hand over hand motions making it clear that it was still rather a difficult crossing as she neared her husband’s side of the gate.

Gohan began experiencing more difficulty as well Trunks noticed once he had passed the halfway point and Trunks felt the ever weakening link between himself and Goku as ChiChi’s emotions became more dim. Gohan’s emotions were becoming stronger as the dark haired demi-Saiyajin came closer and Trunks felt an eerie pounding in his temples start to pulsate in time with his own heartbeat, creating an odd counter point to the energies flaring through thee shaft of creative force he was desperately fighting to control and maintain.

A strange crackling sound almost broke his concentration, and the secondary shockwave of force that rippled out from the mirror knocked Trunks to his knees unexpectedly. The shaft almost vanished from his hands as he struggled to keep his mind focused on the task before him, memories and emotions couldn’t be allowed to fade at this critical point. He tried to comprehend what was happening through the emotional shifts inside the vortex of power, and being unable to fully grasp the reasons for the startled emotions radiating through the cord opened his eyes to look into the glasses surface.

The brilliance was painful and blinding, Trunks snapped his eyes shut again, but brilliant after images danced in a vortex around his cornea, making the mental images a bit distorted to his mind’s eye. He threw more concentration into his task, trying to compensate for the fuzzier image that he had unwittingly caused for himself and succeeded only after a number of deep steadying breath as combined with teeth gnashing determination. He had to judge by senses alone as to each person’s positions within the mirrored surface. He felt a new wave of impatience flare through his heart as he tried to feel where Gohan and ChiChi both were respectively. He couldn’t let go of the Shaft too quickly or too slowly he knew

He wanted this over with and Gohan back where he belonged. He felt a twinge from the other end that informed him Goku likewise was getting antsy for the same ending. It was amusing to think that he and Goku both shared in one common emotion as the time ticked onwards. He was stunned when he felt a hand grip his own, He released one of his hands to grip onto the now tangible fingers that were quickly warming his own, a sense of exaltation flaring through hm as he recognized that Gohan was almost through the gateway. A few moments later he felt a similar flare flash through the energy shaft that denoted ChiChi had made it to her end. As if by some instinctual pre arranged signal he and Goku both yanked their partners through the glass releasing their ends of the shaft that had made the trip possible.

The mirror exploded outwards with power as Gohan came through, the recoil of his reentry drawing a large amount of energy through the portal with him, and knocking both men into a heap of tangled limbs and debris. Trunks skin burned from the energy that had lashed outwards, permeating every cell of his body it felt like. He was having problems reorienting himself within his own being as something kept prickling along the edge of his conscience.

He felt oddly disjointed and it was like he had a second set of emotions running through his body and mind. In a shocked second of clarity he realized that he was still mentally and emotionally tied to Gohan’s thoughts and emotions which was what was causing the difficulty in returning to his normal state of mind. The two acknowledged the new development and by a strange unspoken agreement began pulling back a bit from each other for the purpose of reorienting themselves, even though the withdrawal into themselves was somewhat painful after the complete emersion in each other’s thoughts and feelings.

Trunks felt a tearing sensation momentarily, not unlike the popping disoriented sensations he had experienced earlier and felt a wave of unexpected loneliness swirl up through the core of his being as he felt the absence of Gohan’s emotions and thoughts take tangible shape within his head.

His eyes opened to see a tired but grinning Brunette looking down at him an arm holding his upper body up, as he looked down on the sweaty lavender haired man who had drug him through the gate by sheer will and strong emotional ties. “Thanks, Trunks.” Gohan said to the wide eyed demi-Saiyajin who was still trying to assimilate that the love of his life was looking down at him, while their bodies were entwined in an embarrassing manner.

The dark haired demi-Saiyajin realized the other’s embarrassed thought and disentangled himself as other voices converged upon them from both sides making both aware that Bulma, and OxKing were intent upon welcoming Gohan back to the world of the living.

“Gohan, you’re back. Welcome Home!” Bulma pounced on the newly resurrected young man she’d known since his childhood.

OxKing was not to be outdone, grabbing Gohan up in a bone cracking embrace, tears of joy on his weathered face at having his grandson back. “Gohan, I’m so glad you made it back. ChiChi made it to or so this Kibito fellow tells us.” Ox King’s massive hand gestured to the red skinned God, standing off to the side watching the heartfelt reunion with calm smiling eyes.

“Yes, she indeed is where she wishes to be and now I must leave you to your celebrations. A hand raised and power shot out of the God’s hand, destroying the mirror Bulma had taken such pains to find.

“Why’d you do that?” the blue haired woman demanded fury resonating in every line of her body.

“To protect this world. The Rebirth Gateway is an unstable force that can give form to spirit, as it has for Gohan here. But always remember that it can also destroy what it touches. I destroyed the mirror here to insure that power doesn’t leak out into your world and set about a massive dose of chaotic changes that might destroy your world.” Kibito explained with a note of superiority that belied his irritation in having been questioned over his actions.

“Oh!” Bulma looked startled as she digested the information she’d just been given. “Wait!” she bellowed at the now floating red skinned God.

“What is it?” Kibito’s tone as terse at being detained.

“What about that blast of light that came out of the mirror a few minutes ago?” Bulma asked, looking worried. “It was a pretty big blast, and I wonder if it will cause problems for this planet.” A hand planted on her hip expectantly

“Do not be so concerned. It was a minor amount that will help the planet to recover, yet not so much as to do grave harm. Only continued streams of raw creation power can do damage. It was negligible when one considers just how much power the mirror could have bled out over time.”

“That’s good to know.” Ox King spoke quickly, dropping a hand onto Bulma’s shoulder in a silent plea for the woman to let the topic drop and allow the God the leave as he so obviously wished to. “Thank you so very much for helping to return my grandson to us, sir.” Ox king executed a bow as he spoke, attempting to nullify and potential resentment Bulma’s imperious behavior might have caused.

“You are quite welcome. Now I must go. Stay well Gohan and Trunks. Protect this world well.” Kibito shot upwards and vanished before the four bystanders could react.

Trunks was standing beside Gohan, a hand still hanging on to his newly acquired beloved as if he feared Gohan would evaporate in the same manner Kibito just had. he was still speechless at having the other warrior back and could barely think of anything, as overwhelming as the experience was.

“So, everyone, how about going home and getting something to eat?” Gohan asked, a hand going to the back of his head, a somewhat silly grin on his lips. Trunks swallowed hard, nodding his head as the litany of, ‘He’s back. He’s really back!’ spun through his mind.

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