Chances Lost
by Lady Ravenpan     More by this Writer
Trunks writes a letter to Gohan.

I miss you. I know, that isn’t much to say, doesn’t even take long to do so – but the fact remains….

I miss you.

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen you. It’s been a long time since that day.

I remember… growing up. I remember the television filled with news of the horrors of wars attempting to be made upon the Cyborgs. I remember nightmares.

You never made fun of me for having the nightmares. I think it’s because you had some of your own and were glad of the company of holding, and being held, when I’d climb into your bed as a small child.

When I got older, you never chastised me, and stopped asking why. And still, we would sleep in each other’s arms, like brothers.

And time passed… I saw you less and less often as you went off to fight, but always you returned. By then, I didn’t even bother heading to my own room, we had become so accustomed to sharing a bed, that it seemed strange not to.

I’m not sure when it happened… but young as I was, I grew up. One has to grow up swiftly, living in the age we were. I had always feared, each time you left to fight, that you wouldn't come back.

When days would stretch to weeks.

Weeks stretch to months.

First one year passed… then two…. then three – and you still hadn't returned to visit or to stay. Mom said that it was because you’d probably taken to staying at home with your mother but I knew different.

I remembered you telling me you wouldn't stay there long ever again. Not even for a night – it was too isolated, too unprotected.

You could never risk the Cyborgs finding you there. But when I asked why you felt safe to come here – you would smile, mess up my hair, and tell me it was because I was here to help you protect Mom.

Not to mention all the bombing shelters she had under the place.

Three years, I didn’t see you. I knew you were alive because every once and a while, when a city somewhere was being destroyed, often the last thing the camera saw before it was destroyed by those… creatures – was you descending from the sky.

Earth’s hero.

Finally, I was fourteen and I couldn't stand being on the sidelines anymore. Mom was driving and a report came onto the radio. It’s the first time I’d ever disobeyed her… but I couldn't sit still. I had to do something.

I had to help.

I was too late.

I remember walking through the ruined city, and seeing dismembered limbs, broken bodies… blood everywhere.

*They didn’t even spare the children,* I thought as I picked up a small, bloodied stuffed animal.

I couldn't help my want to scream… and I couldn't help yelling at you when you arrived… too late. Why? How come you didn’t know why?

I was so glad when you agreed to stay for a little while now, to train me. To help me uncover that power deep inside. I could feel it but I couldn't seem to touch it.

And, just like when I was a little kid, we returned to sleeping in the same bed. I noticed it wasn't just comfort, for me, anymore.

I began to notice, when I slipped into bed with you, snuggling up like I always did when I was small, I felt as though a great warm current was running through me, beginning from anywhere our bodies touched.

I wanted so badly to be good enough, to make you proud of me. I wanted you to see that I’d grown up now, I wasn't just a little kid anymore – with dreams of helping you save the world. We’d be able to do it together!

Didn't they always say… ‘love conquers all’? I’m getting ahead of myself, though.

It took a little while to realize that what I felt… was a change. The hero-worship like awe, the love of a brother… was swiftly changing. Any time you smiled in approval, my heart would soar higher than the heavens.

Any time you frowned or told me to do it again, I wasn't getting something right – I felt as though my heart was being torn apart in darkest hell.

Lucky for me, you were of a mind in positive reinforcement but even if you didn’t give me the disapproval when I failed, I felt it anyhow. I didn’t want to fail you. Every time I got so close to achieving my inherited power, and failed, I felt as though my heart was torn.

I think you started realizing this, because when I failed, you would no longer stand aside, frowning, telling me to work harder. You’d come, put a hand on my shoulder – and assure me that I’d find a way to unlock it. You told me not to worry, it would come.

Another attack. We had to fight. You told me to stay back and I tried to do as you asked – but…. It hurt to see them pounding into you so carelessly, I had to do something.

I had to *fight*!

I never realized how miserable a fighter I was, until Eighteen tossed me aside like an old useless doll.

I don’t know what happened after that. You never told me. I remember opening my eyes, and feeling rejuvenated, a strange taste in my mouth. I remember looking over and seeing you, beaten, broken, mangled and unconscious – and felt my heart plummet within me as I thought my worst fear had come to pass.

That you’d died because of my weakness.

Quickly, I released your ki was still there, just very weak, and picked you up, carrying you home as best I could.

I sat at your bedside for two weeks while you healed, waiting for you to wake up. Mom was instructed to keep giving you sleeping medicines, otherwise you’d go off and fight before you were fully healed.

I tried to apologize, when you were allowed out of bed. It was my fault you’d lost your arm. My fault your handsome face now bore a scar.

But you told me it was alright, that you expected something like that to happen someday, and “Hey, I still have one arm – and that’s more than enough to fight those damn Cyborgs.”

And you smiled. So, I believed you.

And you kept training me. Your style of training returned to what it had been, a little harsher – but I understood now that you were trying to get me ready to fight. Ready, so that I could be an asset, not a burden, next time we fought.

On my fifteenth birthday, I almost reached it. I almost got there. I actually felt a burst of power, but it took too much from me, and I fell to my knees.

You watched me recover my strength, and didn’t say a word. I just knew I’d failed you – that you weren't going to waste any more time trying to train my weak self. My heart was breaking, and I didn’t have even the thread of courage to just look up, to ask what you were thinking.

But I didn’t need to, because you came down to kneel before me. I sat back on my heels, and you put your one hand on my shoulder. “It’s okay, you’ll get it.”

I leaned forward and hugged you tightly, and you hugged me back – and I knew things would be okay.

“By the way, happy birthday, Trunks.”

I smiled, I’d even forgotten, until you had wished me a happy birthday. We often left the compound before Mom was awake, anymore.

“What would you like, for your birthday?” you asked, pulling back and looking at me curiously.

“I want to be as strong as you.” I spoke the second thing that came to mind.

You laughed, “I’m being serious here, Trunks.”

“So am I.”

“Alright, let me ask you differently then. What, that I have the power to give you, would you like for your birthday?”

I remember the first thing that came to mind. Would you be upset with me? I looked up into your eyes, and saw nothing but warmth, and dropped my gaze again as I nervously tapped my forefingers together. “A kiss…” I finally said, so quietly I could barely even hear myself.

“Trunks?” I could almost hear you blink, so I looked up. “I didn’t hear you, what did you ask?”

“A… A kiss. I want a kiss… from you.” I bit my lower lip, steeling myself for the rejection I had long prepared myself for.

But… in stead of yelling at me, calling me a pervert, or even just getting up and flying away. You smiled. “Is that what you want?”

I nodded. “Y… yes.”

I barely heard you whisper, “I wish I knew,” before you leaned forward, your hand on my cheek, raising my gaze to your eyes. “Who am I to deny such a request?” you asked, leaning in and kissing me gently.

I felt as though I were going to implode with pure joy. I leaned back into the kiss, inexperienced, and slipped one arm around your neck, the other beneath your shoulder, as your hand remained on my cheek and you kissed me.

It felt so wonderful, your lips moving against mine as you taught me to kiss, gave me my first kiss, deepened our kiss and let me feel the love that was between us.

I knew then I shouldn't have been afraid, I knew you loved me too. You tasted so pure, as you lowered me back against the ground, laying beside me as we continued to kiss, your hand brushing through my hair as your lips moved once more against mine, your tongue slipping out to touch mine – teaching me without words how to make the kiss even more wonderful.

As my own slipped out to join yours, allowing us to taste of each other, I knew it was. It was more than wonderful, it was, quite simply, the best, most amazing thing that could ever happen.

The sun was high in the sky when we began to kiss, and it hung low when we finally pulled apart, lips bruised, eyes shining with unshed tears of joy. You grinned and I grinned back.

“Happy birthday,” you said, kissing my nose.

“I love you, Gohan,” I said softly.

You smiled and kissed me again, “I love you too, Trunks.”

“No I mean… I *love* you, Gohan,” I needed you to understand.

And you chuckled, “I know to save you further explanation – not brother type but the kind that makes your heart flip, makes every touch feel like warm lightning,and wanna stay together and just touch and kiss until time itself gives up and goes home kinda love?”

I nodded and you smiled. “Yeah, that kind of love.”

Happy birthday indeed… My fifteenth birthday, easily both the best, and worst, day in my life. Even now, I look upon it just like that.

We separated, sitting on the cliff, as we talked more about my difficulty. About why I wasn't reaching Super Saiyajin. You told me about how you’d gotten there, and that with as close as I came today, surely I would reach it soon.

Then there was an explosion and we both jumped up. I saw your hand clench into a fist as you immediately transformed, and was soon at your side. “I’m going too.”

You argued, then finally agreed.

I didn’t know you were lying.

I found out when a blinding pain plunged me into blackness.

I found out when I opened my eyes to a raining night sky. When I looked to see the city in ruins.

It was as though the sky itself was weeping. I took to the air immediately, trying to find you – I couldn't find your ki, were you in hiding? Were you hurt? Desperately, I searched the city, drenched in the rain, before I saw you. Laying face down in a crater, a crater filling with rain.

I sped up, I couldn't let you drown! Not after what we’d found, not after what you’d given me, what we felt, what we could have had! I flew down, pulling you from the puddle. You weren't breathing.

I shook you, but your skin was cold, too cold.

I think my heart died in that moment. The moment I realized you were gone, the moment I realized we would never share a bed against the cold night, never share a kiss against the cold world, ever again.

My heart died, and the restraint on my power shattered because of it. I could feel raw power encompass me as I screamed, the pain of my broken heart more than I could bear. Bloodied fists slammed into the concrete, breaking it around us as I sobbed.

Not like this, why did it have to be like this?

***

I don’t know how long I stayed there with you, just sobbing into your chest as I did when I was a small frightened child.

I didn’t know fear then, not like I knew it now. Facing life without you was the greatest fear I could imagine, it made me tremble. It made me sob.

It was then I heard a scream of pain, not my own hoarse voice, but another's. I followed the sound until I reached a pile of rubble, blocking all entrances to a house.

“Help! Someone help me! Oh, GOD!!!” a woman was screaming.

I quickly began moving chunks of building aside and made my way within – finding a woman, curled in a corner, bleeding, her face contorted in pain.

And she was pregnant.

“Are you… are you an angel?” she gasped out, her face contorting in pain as I rushed to her, trying to help her sit up a bit.

“How can I help you?” I asked, realizing she was asking me,because of the golden aura that still encompassed me from my transformation. Funny how long and hard I fought to reach it, and now that it was there, I couldn't drop it. There was too much pain.

“My… my baby…” she contracted again. “Help me… it’s… it’s coming now…” she screamed as she crunched up over herself, and I moved to help her as best I could. I remembered helping Mom attend someone’s birth, so luckily I was able to help this woman.

I didn’t think I could get her to Mom in time nor that there was likely anyone else left alive close enough to help.

It wasn't long before the squalling baby boy was born, and I gave him to her, taking off my shirt to wrap around him, keep him warm as I used my ki to cut and cauterize his umbilical cord.

“Please… Angel… watch over… my son?” she asked, her eyes still bright with pain.

That wasn't right, she shouldn't be in pain anymore once the child was born.

It was then I realized just how pale she was and reached out to touch her ki, finding it swiftly leaving.

“Please….?” she asked, her voice barely a whisper, holding the bundle back to me.

“I will,” I promised. “What is his name?”

“His name… his name is Tenshi,” she said – a smile touching her lips. “Tell him his mother loves him.”

“I will,” I nodded, watching as the life faded from her, the small content smile on her lips – destined to be there for all time as her eyes fell closed.

One breath.

Two.

And the third was her last.

“C’mon, Tenshi. I’ll take you home to Mom, then I’ll come back and take your mom, and …” I couldn't finish the thought as I climbed out of the crumbling building.

I knew you’d want me to take care of the baby first and I knew that was the right thing to do but abandoning your body like that… it was almost like having to lose you again, as I took to the air, my ki keeping the child warm, asleep in my shirt, until I could get him home.

Burying you killed me even more. Putting the ground over your body, back near that cliff side. Where we kissed, and… where I last saw you alive.

I miss you.

***

I guess that’s why I’m writing to you. You, out of anyone I knew in my lifetime, from my own world, would have still been alive, if you hadn't been killed. Yeah, I know that sounds stupid but that doesn't mean it isn't true.

I've been to another dimension, another timeline. Mom was able to finish the time machine a year after you died, and I went back with medicine to save your father. It changed everything, unfortunately it did not change our own past but shot off another timeline from that point, making a parallel dimension. I met you there, well no, not you, but a version of your younger self. You had so much hair! But your ki… it was the same, it was just as powerful.

I warned everyone about the Cyborg rise – and came back for a little while to train, myself – in hiding.

I’m a coward, but after my last run in with the Cyborgs, I realized I needed to be much stronger. I told Mom I would go back there, to help everyone defeat them, and maybe learn what I needed to know, so I could defeat them here.

In that timeline, you reached a level of power beyond the others. You saved the world. I touched death while I was there. I don’t know for how long, before they wished me back.

I tried to find you, but King Yemma said that because I was slated to be wished back, he would not let me.

I think I was only just finally going to be able to get past him, get to search the multi-dimensional heavens for you. I didn’t want to be wished back, I wanted to be with you!

One thing stopped me, though. I had to go back. I had to finish the work you started in our own timeline. If I didn’t, how could I ever face you?

And I did defeat them. There was another creature, that, in yet another timeline, had defeated me, and gone back to theirs – but I knew about him now, and defeated him too.

Did you know we live longer than other people? I didn’t realize I wasn't aging, until one day, when Tenshi and I were walking down the street in New Hope City – we rebuilt the one you died to defend, and almost all of Earth’s population resides here now – a woman screamed, pointing at me, and pulling her children away from me and Tenshi. Tenshi was a teenager now… and I looked little different than I had when I’d defeated the androids here.

‘Monster’, she cried. ‘Timeless monster, stay away!’

“It’s Trunks!” Tenshi defended me. “He saved us all, remember?”

“He’s one of them,” the murmers were spreading through all the people. I couldn’t take it, and took to the air, leaving… going to your graveside.

They think I’m a monster, Gohan. They… think I want to take over, that I would hurt them.

When I finally went home, Tenshi was already there and he’d told Mom what happened. “Don’t worry, Trunks,” she told me. “They’re just being stupid closed minded idiots.”

After a while it stopped hurting so much. I had Mom. I had Tenshi, who sometimes called me Uncle and that is all I needed.

Until the day Tenshi died. He was only fourty two. He was on his way to work, when a car hit him. The breaks had gone out but he died instantly anyhow.

I buried him next to you. I miss him – he was the only person, other than Mom, who didn’t fear me anymore.

That was about thirty five years ago, now.

Things were quiet. Sometiems I’d sit atop a building, just watching the world progress, leaving me behind. I watched people being born, grow old… some die.

And the fear became so tangeable, I couldn’t walk the streets. I haven’t for decades now – I don’t want them to be afraid. There’s no one left, who remembers the Cyborgs now. They’ve turned into the bogey men who’ll come if a child doesn’t eat her peas.

And I’m the creature to be feared.

Last week, Mom came down with a really bad flu. She’s very old, older than most humans ever get.

This morning, she died. I remember the soft smile in her face, bearing so many wrinkles, as she put her hand to my cheek. She told me I was a good boy, and to go back to the other timeline. Go there, and rekindle my friendships with the timeless saiyajin.

Go and not be alone.

I buried her beside you as well.

I miss you, all of you, but you most of all, Gohan. I know if you were here, life would be so much better – we’d have each other, and the whole world to wander without having to worry.

But that isn’t the hand life gave me to play.

I’m going to give Mom her last wish. I’m going to go back. Hopefully, I will be able to find comraderie in that world. Hopefully, I won’t find fear there.

I love you, Gohan… and I miss you so much. I know it’ll be another dimension but I’ll still visit this place.

When I’m here, it’s almost as though I can feel your hand touching my cheek. Your fingers pushing into my hair. Your lips on my own and our love all that matters.

Someday… someday maybe I’ll join you – but I promised Mom I’d try to live a full life.

I promised her I wouldn't kill myself again, when she caught me trying to do so, decades ago. So, I can’t but someday I’ll see you again.

I hope you’ll remember me.

All my heart, all my soul, all is dead but me, now.

And the love I have for you.

~Trunks

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