Want For Nothing
by Sniffles     More by this Writer
Trunks is having visions from different dimensions, what is going on and how do they stop it?
Deathfic

He stared dully out at the horizon. Not really seeing the brilliant sunset. Hugging his legs he placed his chin on his knees. It was funny, somehow he just felt that maybe he should be more upset than he was. He knew Gohan and Goten weren't too happy but they had grown up with two ‘loving’ parents. He had grown up with two parents who constantly fought. Their impatience with each other was a physical thing when they were together and they just got worse with time. In a strange way he felt detached as if the recent events had nothing to do with him.

But they ‘did’ have something to do with him. He was Vegeta’s son and because of this he was very much involved in what was going on. Just a few hours ago Vegeta and Goku had told their children everything. Trunks could remember quite vividly in his mind the moment that the words were out of Goku’s mouth. Goten had started to cry. It was strange, but he just wailed like a baby, crying for his mother. Gohan had clenched his teeth, muttering something that wasn't quite loud enough for anyone to hear before storming out of the house. Trunks had left moments after, if only just to get away from Goten’s crying.

He could, in a way, understand why the boy was so upset. He probably felt as if he was going to lose his mother, and it didn’t help that he wasn't too fond of Vegeta. Strike that, it didn’t help that he was just plain scared of Vegeta. A small smile tilted Trunks’s lips. He too was a little intimidated by his father.

He thought of Gohan’s reaction obviously Gohan hadn't been impressed with Goku and Vegeta’s confession either. Trunks wondered where Gohan had gone. Maybe to Piccolo? More than likely that’s exactly where he would go. To talk to his trainer and best friend.

Trunks had come here, to the cliff over the beach. It was one of his favorite spots. He stared down at the water, ever changing it was never the same every time he came. That’s what he loved about it. Sometimes things were better left unchanged and other times they ‘had’ to be changed or they would become stale.

“Wonder if I should go home?” He wondered aloud.

He was tired. He wasn't sure why but he had been very tired lately. He slept good but when he awoke he always felt as if he hadn't slept at all. With a soft sigh he lay down on his side and curled up into a ball. He promised himself that he’d just nap for a few minutes but as soon as his lids shut he was deeply asleep.

***

::The debris was still smoldering. He pushed himself out of his hiding spot and slowly approached the still body lying several feet away.

“Gohan?” He whispered, tears coursing down his cheeks even before he got near the body.

He fell to his knees beside the body, gathering the lifeless form into his arms. “GOHAN!!!”::

***

Trunks woke up screaming. He sat bolt upright, screaming Gohan’s name. His eyes grew wide as dreams melted into conscious thought. “Oh, God..” He whispered, rubbing his forehead and wrapping an arm around his stomach. He felt ill. The dream was still fresh in his mind. He could practically smell the burnt flesh, he could feel Gohan’s lifeless body in his arms.

Choking on a sob he shoved his fist against his mouth. Shaking his head violently he got to his feet and took to the air.

***

They tried to calm Goten down but nothing they said or did would console him. So, in the end Goku took him to ChiChi’s. ChiChi and Goku had been living apart for several months but the kids had been sure their parents would get back together. Goten was devastated to know that not only were his parents ‘not’ getting together but his father was in love with Vegeta!

When Goku returned to his home, Gohan was already back. He was considerably calmed down. He spoke to Vegeta and Goku quietly, accepted their decision and went to bed.

Vegeta and Goku had stayed up all night waiting for Trunks to return. Goku had a hard time convincing Vegeta not to go looking for his son when Trunks didn’t show up.

In the morning, a calmed down Goten arrived at the doorstep. “I’m sorry.” He told Goku and Vegeta quietly. He stood before them, his hands clasped behind his back, “I… I overreacted…”

“It’s okay Goten.” Goku smiled at his son warmly, “I realize it was a bit of a shock.”

“A bit! HAH!” Goten snorted, he quickly looked down again, pushing his toe against the floor. “I uh… I kinda’ thought.. that you can Vegeta would … well get married and then… and then ChiChi wouldn't be my mom anymore.” He blushed deeply, “But.. but mom explained it to me.”

“Oh, gosh Goten! ChiChi will always be your mom!” Goku grabbed his son and hugged him with a laugh.

“And Vegeta? Will he be like… my step-mom?” Goten asked, barely managing to hide the sly look on his face.

“WHAT?!” Vegeta sputtered, his face turning red.

Goku started laughing, Goten’s laughter soon joining his own. “That is NOT funny!” Vegeta protested irately, “Stop that!”

“I’m (Ha ha ha) sorry Vegeta!” Goku wailed between his laughter, “But you gotta’ admit (snicker) the thought of ‘you’ as a mother is just hilarious!!”

“Here comes Trunks!” Gohan called, rushing through the kitchen, passed his laughing brother and father in the living room and out the front door.

“Wait here, Goten.” Goku instructed softly, his laughter cut short. He got to his feet, reaching down.

Vegeta took the proffered hand and together they followed Gohan outside.

Trunks landed before Gohan, his head down. “Hey.” He said softly.

“Hey Trunks … we were just about to have breakfast. You made it just in time.” Gohan said lightly, he patted Trunks’s shoulder and hurried back into the house. He wasn't sure exactly how Trunks felt about this whole affair but he felt he should leave Goku, Vegeta, and Trunks alone to deal with whatever Trunks was feeling.

Trunks watched Gohan walk away, his eyes burning a hole into Gohan’s back. He knew the dream had just been that, a dream, yet it was a huge relief to see Gohan alive and well.

Vegeta eyed his son with worry. Trunks’s eyes were red-rimmed, a result of his nightmare riddled rest but to Vegeta it looked as if the boy had spent hours crying. There was a strange slump to his son’s shoulders that he had never seen before. In fact his son’s behavior in general was just …. wrong.

“Hey Trunks.” Goku greeted Trunks normally, feeling that keeping things light would probably be best.

“Where were you?” Not one to mince words Vegeta just came out and asked what he wanted to ask.

Trunks shrugged, shoving his hands into his pockets. He was so tired. All he wanted to do was curl up and sleep. He stared fixedly at his father’s shoes. They were nice shoes, he noted idly. Black leather dress shoes, carefully polished. They shone so brightly Trunks was sure he could see his face in them.

“…okay?” Trunks glanced up, noticing that Goku was speaking to him. He had no idea, however, what Goku had just asked him so he muttered, ‘yeah’. “Can I go in?” He asked softly, meeting Goku’s eyes very briefly before staring at his father’s shoes again.

“Sure.” Goku nodded, watching Trunks walk away with a worried frown.

“He doesn't look well.” Vegeta, strangely enough openly showing concern for his son, said quietly.

“No … Of all the kids I thought he at least would handle this well.” Goku sighed, shaking his head and planting a wide smile on his face, “Ah well. We’ll deal with it.”

“Together.” Eyes intense, Vegeta look at Goku. On impulse, he leaned down and kissed his saiyan lover gently on the lips.

Goku’s smile widened, “Right, together.”

***

Gohan watched Trunks, trying not to be obvious but failing. His young friend and soon to be step-brother looked awful. He looked worse than Gohan could ever remember him looking. In fact, everything about the young half-saiyan ‘felt’ wrong. There was an air about him that seemed abnormally heavy.

Trunks pushed his food around on his plate. He didn’t feel hungry at all ,he felt sick just looking at the food. He glanced up for the millionth time, gazing at Gohan’s face for a moment to assure himself that Gohan was indeed alive and well. Ironically enough, just as he looked away Gohan’s eyes strayed to him and just as Gohan looked away Trunks's eyes would raise again to gaze at Gohan. They never realized the strange interaction but others at the table did.

Goku tried his best to keep the atmosphere light but with one worried lover and two seemingly upset sons, it wasn't easy. Finally, the uncomfortable meal was over and they all got up to conduct their daily business. “I need to study, Dad.” Goten said quietly as he stood, “I’ll just go to my room.”

“Uh, okay. Sure you don’t want to do some training with the rest of us?” Goku asked, patting his full stomach and smiling easily.

“Nah… besides … why do we need to train? There’s nobody attacking the earth.” Goten pointed out, walking to his room.

“You never know when someone will show up!” Goku called after his son. “What about you Gohan? Trunks? Are you going to do some training today?”

“Sure.” Gohan shrugged, “It ‘is’ a weekend after all and there isn't much else to do.”

Three pairs of eyes turned to Trunks. ::I just want to sleep:: Trunks mentally shook his head but he found himself murmuring a quiet, "yeah."

***

Kick.

Dodge.

Block. Block.

He moved automatically. It was an instinctive dance. One he could do with his eyes closed. He’d been sparring with Gohan so long. He knew Gohan’s every move ‘before’ Gohan moved. He also knew that Gohan never really pushed him. Unlike his father Gohan wasn't exactly the toughest trainer in the world but it didn’t matter. Gohan wasn't the only one he sparred with so it didn’t matter at all.

A ball of energy gathered in his hands with a cry he released a blast at Gohan. Gohan dodged easily, making some teasing remark as he did but Trunks didn’t hear. He wasn't focused on the battle, he didn’t need to be.

And that was the mistake he made.

Gohan rushed forward and as he did Trunks felt himself falling with a scream. Gohan watched, confused, as Trunks fell to the ground.

“Trunks?!” He called, alarmed, flying to the ground and kneeling beside his fallen friend. “I didn’t.. hit you.”

Suddenly, Trunks threw himself at Gohan. Crying angrily and fearfully, Gohan blocked the first blows half-heartedly and then he caught a look at Trunks’s face. ::He’s serious:: Gohan realized with shock, ::He’s really serious about this::

“You bastard!!!” Trunks wailed, making a triangle with his hands and releasing a powerful burst of energy at Gohan.

Gohan was so surprised by the attack and the words that accompanied the attack that he didn’t dodge. The energy hit him full in the chest, throwing him several feet into the air. He hit the ground hard, his breath temporarily knocked out of his body.

“Trunks! That’s enough!” Vegeta rushed forward, Goku hot on his heels.

Trunks didn’t listen. He landed on the fallen Gohan, screaming and attacking with everything he had. It took both Vegeta and Goku to pull Trunks off of the bleeding Gohan. “TRUNKS!” Vegeta bellowed, shaking the arm he held in an iron grip, “Trunks! That’s ENOUGH!”

“No… no… nono..” Trunks panted, fighting against the arms that held him. He stared at Gohan, his eyes unfocused. He didn’t see Gohan, he saw a slim, beautiful young man with raven black hair and ice eyes. “I’ll KILL YOU!” He screamed, his energy building with his anxiety.

Gohan sat up slowly, wiping the blood from his mouth. He stared at Trunks, deeply hurt and confused by the boy’s actions. “He’s serious.” He whispered, “He really wants to kill me.”

It was that quiet, sad voice that snapped Trunks out of whatever had possessed him with a muffled cry he shook his head. The raven-haired stranger disappeared and he saw for the first time what he had done to Gohan. ::What happened to me? What happened?:: He moaned, slumping in the arms that restrained him. ::OH gawd… what did I do?::

Vegeta stiffened as his son began to quietly sob. He had never seen his son cry. Not like this. Goku let go of Trunks’s left arm and Vegeta quickly pulled his son into a hug. At first it felt awkward, but as his son wrapped trembling arms around his waist his hesitancy left. So this was what it felt like to comfort. He met Goku’s gaze, ::What do I do Kakkorot? You always know how to deal with pain. What do I do with my son? How do I help him?::

Goku seemed to hear his thoughts, he smiled, nodding. ::You’re doing just fine Vegeta.:: Goku looked down at Gohan, “You all right?” He asked quietly.

“Sure.” Gohan got to his feet, “Just a little… surprised.”

“What was all ‘that’ about?” Gohan asked softly, looking at Trunks’s trembling form.

Goku shook his head, meeting Vegeta’s gaze again. “I dunno’.” he said quietly, lowering his voice so Trunks wouldn't hear him.

Trunks pulled away from Vegeta abruptly, “Leave me alone!” He cried desperately, “Just leave me alone!!”

He pushed his foot against the ground, launching himself into the air. “Trunks!” Vegeta moved to go after his son but Goku stopped him by grabbing his hand.

“No. He needs some time alone I think… and we need time to figure out what’s going on.” Goku pulled Vegeta down, tugging on the now clenched hand he held.

They both looked at Gohan. “I uh… I dunno’.” Gohan shrugged, “He hasn't said anything to me.”

“I know who might know what’s going on.” Vegeta said, his eyes growing narrow.

“Who?”

***

::What happened to me?:: Tears streaming down his cheeks Trunks flew blindly, just intent on getting away from everyone. His father especially. He was so ashamed. He had never cried in front of his father, certainly he had never cried ‘on’ his father. Crying was a sign of weakness, especially in boys. After all his hard work to prove to his father that he was strong he had to go and do something stupid like that! He could have explained the attack on Gohan as ‘getting too involved’ in their little sparring session but no! He had to start crying like a baby.

He had just been so upset. Not only by the strange illusions that took over his mind, and the awesome power that he felt building within him, but also by the way he had hurt Gohan. He had been unable to stop the tears, and now he was sure his father was ashamed of him.

All he wanted… all he had ever wanted was for his father to look at him with pride.

But he would never get that.

He would never see that.

Fresh sobs escaping his throat Trunks let himself drop to the ground. He fell immediately to his knees. Sprawling face down on the grassy land he cried his heart out.

***

“It’s always hard for kids to have a new parent.” Bulma, always showing more intelligence than she was given granted for, told Goku and Vegeta. “Especially when that new parent is someone their father has ‘hated’ for years.” She added, unable to resist a jab. She had known of Goku’s and Vegeta’s relationship the moment it started. She loved Vegeta and thus knew everything about him. She had recognized his love for Goku almost before he recognized it himself.

“But, would that be enough to make him act like he is?” Goku asked, absently rubbing his hand against Vegeta’s knee. It was a worried gesture, one he didn’t give a second thought but one that Bulma watched with a sharp eye.

Bulma shrugged, “Sure, I guess. He’s probably more than a little upset with both of you. He’s angry, so he’s expressing it the only way he knows how… by attacking. It’s just too bad Gohan was the one he decided to vent his frustrations on. Was he hurt? Gohan that is?”

“No. Just a few bruises.” Vegeta said shortly, “How long will this last?”

“Don’t know. However long it takes for him to adjust to this change in his life… Now listen, he can spend the week with you, only because I know he’ll just ‘love’ being with Gohan and Goten all the time but he spends ‘every’ weekend with me.” She launched easily into their ‘previous’ custody discussion.

“Oh? What made you change your mind woman?” Vegeta asked, cocking an eyebrow. Just the other day she had been insisting that Trunks stay with her during the week and with Vegeta and Goku during the weekend.

“Let’s just say I put my son before myself.” Bulma’s lips tilted in a vicious smirk, “Now. Go! Go, go! I've got work to do.”

***

::”We’re exactly the same!” Goku explained in surprise as he stared at the brilliantly glowing blond hair and pupil less blue eyes.

“Let’s find out shall we.” Trunks responded with a cool smile. He drew his sword.::

***

Trunks awoke with a muffled cry. His eyes snapped open, wide and confused. Another strange dream. This one had not been as frightening as the other but it had certainly been strange. He had been fighting Goku. But why? In the dream he could remember feeling a tremendous burden. Almost as if the weight of the world was on his shoulders.

Shaking his head he slowly got to his knees. ::I’m still tired.:: He rubbed his eyes. ::Why do I feel more tired than I did before I slept?::

He stood, brushing at his pants. With a yawn he ran a hand through his hair. He rubbed his stomach absently, the gesture giving him a little sense of comfort. “I guess I should go home.” He bit his lip. He didn’t want to go home. He didn’t want to face his father. “He’ll never love me now.” He didn’t know where the words came from but as soon as they were out of his mouth he gave a little gasp.

He had been wrong.

He was upset about Goku and Vegeta, not for the typical reasons, but for a much deeper set reason. All his life he had strived to make his father love him. All he wanted, all he ever worked for was his father’s love… He loved his father with all his heart, and he ‘knew’ that his father didn’t feel the same way. He remembered his mom saying to a friend once that Vegeta was ‘incapable’ of love but surely he would love his own son?

But he didn’t.

No matter how hard Trunks tried his father didn’t love him.

And the other day, when Vegeta and Goku had told him …

Trunks pressed his fists against his eyes. ::He loves Goku. I could see it in his eyes. Why doesn't he love me?! I’m his son! Why doesn't he care?::

He hated his father for loving Goku. He hated his father for looking at Goku with caring eyes. He hated his father for never ‘seeing’ him, for never accepting him and he loved his father so much that the hateful thoughts and emotions were tearing him apart from the inside.

::Maybe that’s why I’m having the dreams about Gohan dying and fighting Goku. Maybe secretly that’s what I ‘want’ to happen because.. because my father’s cares about them, but not me.::

“He’ll never love me.” Trunks whispered, dropping his arms to his sides. “He’ll nev.. .never…”

The words died away, the wind whipping them past his head. He stood amongst the fragrant trees, not really smelling the sweet scent that filled the area. He felt cold. He felt tired and all he wanted to do was die.

The sunset was brilliant, casting a golden hue over the land. He was staring right at it but he didn’t see a thing.

Want for nothing, lest soon you yearn for it.

***

Hate nothing

“Well, well, well… isn't he a pretty little thing?”

Trunks turned his head slowly, watching as the group circled him. Bikers. A group of punks, most not much older than he was himself, just kids. The one who had spoken, the leader, smiled at him. A sadistic look in his eyes. “Hey, sweet thing, wanna’ play?”

“I’m in a really bad mood.” Trunks said softly, looking at the leader with dead eyes, “This ‘isn't’ the time.”

The leader grinned, pulling out a knife and tapping it against his palm. “Oh, yeah? Well, tough.” He stalked up to Trunks, pressing a hand against the saiyan’s chest.

Quite suddenly, he found himself lying on his back several feet away from the white-haired youth. He scrambled to his feet, confused. “What the hell?!”

“This light just shot from him!” One of the gang members cried, “I've never seen anything like it!”

“And you never will again.” Trunks said coldly, lifting his hand.

Energy burst from his palm, smashing through the unlucky punk’s chest. The rest of the gang cried out angrily. Two rushed towards Trunks, knifes held tightly in their hands before they could reach Trunks however, he powered up. The force of his new power threw them into the air. They landed, and as soon as they realized what happened they scrambled to their feet and ran.

“So this is it.” Trunks said quietly, staring down at his hands, “This is it…” he snorted with disgust, angrily smacking his hands together. He wanted to hurt something, hurt someone as much as he had been hurt.

He felt strange. He’d never ‘wanted’ to hurt anything or anyone before. Part of him knew that he should fight the emotion but he ignored that knowledge. Slowly rising into the air he powered up into a super-saiyan.

***

Vegeta accepted the kiss but he didn’t return it. Goku sighed and pressed his forehead against Vegeta’s. “Worried about Trunks?” he asked softly.

A million sharp retorts were immediately on his tongue but he fought them back. He didn’t have to defend himself anymore. He looked into Goku’s warm eyes, reminding himself repeatedly that ‘this’ was the man he loved. He didn’t have to protect himself from this man because Goku would never hurt him. Years of trusting no one had taken their toll however and he ‘did’ have a hard time trusting Goku completely.

“I don’t understand why he’s so upset.” Vegeta admitted.

“He probably feels like his whole world is turning upside down… or something like that.” Goku said with a little comforting smile.

“Or something like that?” Vegeta repeated, slowly shaking his head.

“It shouldn't change his life that much.” Gohan stepped into the room, “Sorry, I couldn't help but overhear.”

“You seemed upset when you first heard,” Goku pulled himself off Vegeta’s lap and sat, instead, beside him, “Oops… maybe I shouldn't have mentioned that!”

“No, it’s okay. I wasn't really upset.” Gohan looked down at his feet, his cheeks flushing, “You see I uh… I was shocked… But not for the reasons you’re thinking! You see… I’m… I’m sorta’ in love… with a guy.” His blush deepened, “And I uh.. I didn’t know how to tell you! So, when you came out… and told us about you and Vegeta… well… I… I was shocked, and.. really happy.”

Goku laughed, a highly amused laugh. “I bet! You should have told me before! Who is it?!”

“Goku.” Vegeta growled.

“No, it’s o-okay. Actually…” Gohan bit the inside of his cheek and looked at Vegeta nervously. “I, uh… Well… it’s … Trunks.”

Goku started laughing so hard tears started streaming down his cheeks. The expression on Vegeta’s face when Trunks’s name came out of Gohan’s lips had just been too priceless. Goku couldn't have kept quiet if his very soul depended on it. “oooh!” Goku laughed, wrapping his arms around his waist and falling off the couch, “You should have seen your face!”

“Like father, like son, would be a bit of an understatement right now.” Vegeta blinked hard, trying to get his mind to process what he’d just heard. He glanced down at Goku, “It isn't ‘that’ funny Kakkorot.”

“From here it is!”

***

Hands clenched so tightly that his knuckles were white Trunks landed before the small hut that was his new home. His eyes were so dark with hatred that they were almost black. He stood, feet apart and braced, hands clenched by his sides, eyes focused on the hut.

***

“Trunks is here.” Gohan said, his eyes darting to the door, “But.. there’s something…”

“Wrong.” Vegeta got to his feet, “He’s powered up.”

Goku’s laughter faded as he too got to his feet. “C’mon then. Let’s check it out.”

***

“Vegeta.” Trunks’s voice was low, unnaturally so. He stared at his father, seeing the man who continually ignored him, and the hate grew.

Vegeta approached warily, something was very wrong with his son. “Trunks.”

Trunks’s lips turned up in a bitter half-smile, “You told me once that all weaknesses within a man should be destroyed or stifled. Remember?”

Vegeta studied his son’s face, “Hm, what about it?”

“I've decided that love is a weakness.” The smile grew, becoming something malicious, “And so I’m going to destroy it.”

With a scream he raised his power to its limit and released a charge or energy at his father. Vegeta just barely managed to dodge the deadly stream. He rolled, instinctively powering up to a super-saiyan. “Trunks!” Goku cried, shocked. “What are you doing?”

“Becoming strong.” Trunks rushed forward, attacking his father in a flurry of punches and kicks.

Vegeta blocked the blows, not even attempting to fight back. After a few moments of frenzied attack however, Trunks managed to break his father’s defense and hit him in the stomach. As Vegeta grunted in pain and flew rapidly backwards, Trunks started laughing.

“It’s what you've always wanted father!” He cried, gathering energy under his fingers, “You've always wanted a strong son… well now you’re gonna’ get one! HAAA!”

Vegeta leaped into the air, the blast burning the soles of his shoes. “What’s wrong with you Trunks!?” Goku, having transformed into a super-saiyan just in case Vegeta would need his help, cried.

“Stay out of this Kakkorot!” Vegeta cried, eyes narrowing as he stared at his son.

“Now father, I’m going to destroy the weakness in me.” Trunks declared, “Are you ready?”

***

He awoke with a startled cry, eyes wide and full of terror. After a moment his eyes focused and he looked around the room. Every part of his body was sore, aching. He felt like he’d been run over by a mac-truck or maybe just Piccolo. Laying back down gingerly he stared at the roof, panting. ::Was it all a dream? Some crazy dream?:: He wondered.

He didn’t know, and he wouldn't know until he got up and found someone who ‘would’ know. Namely his father… or, maybe Gohan would be a better person to seek out. He didn’t really want to face his father in case it had been real. It certainly felt real but there might be any number of reasons for the soreness in his body. He rolled off the bed and got to his feet. His legs ached and right then he didn’t want to do anything other than go back to sleep. But no, he ‘had’ to find out if.. if …

He shook his head, gingerly walking across the room.

***

Gohan looked up, saw Trunks and jumped to his feet with a startled, “Trunks!” He looked wary, worried, and relieved all at the same time.

“I… I had the strangest dream.” Trunks began hesitantly, eyes scanning the room. They were alone.

“Oh?” Gohan asked, a puzzled expression on his face, “What was it about?”

“I.. oh, you’ll think I’… I’m crazy.” Trunks looked down shyly, staring fixedly at his stockings.

“No, I won’t. Please tell me Trunks.”

“Well I.. I dreamt that… I tried.. to kill my father.” He finished in a rush, turning red. Gohan was silent. He glanced up quickly, paling as he saw the expression on his friend’s face. “It wasn't a dream… was it?”

Gohan shook his head. “No, you uh, did.” He paused, “I mean, you did try to kill him. You were acting real strange Trunks.”

Trunks let out his breath, pain gripping his heart. He sunk to the floor, “What did I say Gohan? I can’t remember.” He could see the battle. It was fierce. He had been winning or at least he ‘thought’ he had been winning. Vegeta hadn't really fought back not until the end. He remembered screaming something at his father, and launching a blast of energy. He wasn't sure what he said, but whatever it was it made Vegeta so angry the he started to fight back. Trunks didn’t really remember anything beyond that, just pain.

Gohan shook his head mutely, “I didn’t hear most of it. Just something about.. destroying the weakness within your self… and love being,” he looked down, “A weakness.”

“I said that?” Trunks whispered miserably, “Oh gawd… what was I thinking?”

“Yeah, what were you thinking?”

Trunks met Gohan’s gaze, “There’s more.” He said, seeing that Gohan was ‘not’ telling him something, “I said something else. Tell me Gohan.”

Gohan made a strange snorting sound and shoved his hands deep into his pockets, “I.. I didn’t hear it clearly.” He shook his head, “You uh, you said something.. about my father..”

“Something? Like what?”

Gohan shook his head, “No. I-uh, I can’t.”

“Where is Goku? And my father?” Trunks asked, grabbing a nearby chair and pulling himself to his feet. He couldn't sense his father’s life force anywhere near.

Gohan shrugged, “I’m not sure really. I guess my dad took Vegeta somewhere to cool him off… he was pretty upset.” ::In more way than one:: Gohan added mentally, looking at Trunks, the worry clear in his eyes.

Trunks saw the worry and mistook for something other than what it was, “He’s angry… with me.” He shook his head, rubbing his cheek with the back of his hand, “Oh, man. He probably hates me now.”

“No, Trunks. Parents don’t hate their kids.” Gohan protested quickly.

“Yeah, normal parents, my father doesn't care about me as it is…” Trunks shut his mouth with a click, horrified that he’d spoken the thought aloud. He’d never told anyone about that before.

“That’s not true Trunks.” Gohan stepped towards Trunks, wanting to comfort but not knowing how.

“It…” Trunks forced a smile onto his face. “You don’t know where they went?”

Gohan was uncomfortable with the change of subject but he let it slide. He wasn't sure how to deal with Trunks’s feelings about his father. In all honesty he wasn't sure how to deal with anything having to do with Trunks. His emotions always got in the way. “I don’t know.”

“Where’s Goten?” He moved across the room, every step causing his legs to cry out in protest. They didn’t want to move anymore than he did but he couldn't stay still either. There was so much pent up energy settling in his system.

“With our mom.” Gohan watched Trunks move, noticing the way he winced every time his foot set on the ground.

“Oh.” Trunks looked out the window, it was late afternoon. In his dream.. no in his memory the fight had started after sunset. He must have slept, but for exactly how long? He would have asked Gohan but suddenly he felt embarrassed about everything. His actions, his words, but most importantly his feelings.

“Your father almost killed you.” Gohan blurted out, jerking as he heard the words come out of his mouth. He hadn't meant to say it, not really, but he didn’t know if Trunks remembered. He was still a little amazed by the fact himself. He could remember quite clearly the way Vegeta had attacked Trunks, and the look on his face when his son fell to the ground, unconscious.

“He did?” He felt cold. He wrapped his arms around his waist, ::What did I say about Goku that would make him want to kill me?::

“He was really upset about it.”

“No, he wasn't upset about almost killing me.” Trunks corrected, “I think I’m going to look for them. I have to apologize.”

“I’ll come with you.”

***

He finally calmed down. Goku laid an arm around his shoulders and bumped their heads together gently. “Feel better?” He asked softly.

“No.” Vegeta grumbled, “My son just tried to kill me. He insulted my lover and in return I nearly killed ‘him’.”

Goku sighed softly, “Pretty heavy stuff.” He admitted, “You shouldn't have let his words anger you.”

“I couldn't let him say things like that about you.” Vegeta growled, “Nobody insults my property.”

“Your property?” Goku chuckled, shaking his head, “Well, all right, I guess I can live with that, there are worse things.”

Vegeta’s entire body stiffened suddenly. He got to his feet, dragging Goku with him. Goku sensed the energy just a moment after Vegeta. He looked to the sky. “Okay, now remember, he’s a confused kid in the middle of a huge-”

“Shut up Kakkorot.”

“Uh… okay. Shutting up.” Goku agreed, he grabbed Vegeta’s hand as Trunks and Gohan landed before them. ::Stay calm, lover, stay calm::

Trunks looked at his father searchingly, then he dropped his gaze, unable to look at the disgust in his father’s eyes any more. What he didn’t realize was that the disgust was not aimed at himself. Vegeta looked at his son, seeing the bruises on his face and the stiff, pained way he held his body and he felt a deep disgust with himself. ::How could I hurt my son that way? Even if he did deserve it::

“I..” Trunks swallowed, biting his lower lip, “I’m sorry, Goku. I don’t remem… I don’t remember much about yesterday,” He admitted softly, “But Gohan told me a little and I’m very sorry.”

“It’s all right Trunks. I know you didn’t mean it.” Goku said quickly, smiling at the nervous boy.

“I’m sorry, Father.”

Vegeta gazed at his son’s bent head, unable to form coherent words in his head. He’d never felt such fierce and confused emotions in his entire life. Goku nudged him in the side, and he managed to get some reign on his thoughts. “Sorry isn't enough.”

Gohan’s jaw dropped. His eyes darted to Trunks. He watched as those shoulders slumped, the eyes becoming dull. “I know.” Trunks shook his head, “I know,it doesn't matter though, does it?”

“What do you mean?” Vegeta snapped.

“Well, maybe it’s best, you never loved me,” Trunks lifted his eyes, steeling himself to meet his father’s shocked gaze, “I guess it was just time for me to realize that.”

He was gone before Vegeta could respond. “TRUNKS!” He pushed Goku’s restraining hand away, “I've given him ‘enough’ time to be alone!” He shouted irritably before flying into the air after his son.

***

He didn’t expect his father to follow him, so he was doubly surprised when a hand grabbed his foot. He whirled, staring at his father with huge eyes. ::You came after me:: He thought, coming to a stop in the air, ::Why did you come after me?::

Vegeta floated in the air, keeping his head just a little above Trunks’s. “I don’t know what sort of idiocy your mind is full of but that was the stupidest thing I've heard you say in your entire life!” Vegeta, never one to mince words, shouted.

“I’m always saying stupid things though, aren't I?” Trunks shrugged.

“Not always, you’re capable of intelligent thought, I don’t know why you don’t ever ‘use’ that ability however.” Though the words were delivered in a particularly biting way, they still hit something deep within Trunks. He raised his eyes and stared into his father’s irritated brown eyes. “Don’t mock my feelings. I have too few to let my own son, reject the ones I do have.”

“What?” Trunks gaped at his father.

“You’re my son damn it! You think I’m such a bastard I don’t love my own son?!”

“You love me?” Trunks whispered, something hot stinging the back of his eyes. Suddenly he felt very weak.

“Of course, I do! You’re my ‘son’.” He stressed the word, placing his fists on his hips. “What I don’t understand, is how you got the idiotic idea that I don’t give a rat’s ass about you.”

“Oh, like you've ever shown anything but irritation at my presence!” Trunks snapped, eyes flashing with hurt, “How am I supposed to know you love me when you seem to just barely tolerate me!”

Vegeta’s eyes narrowed, “You should know me well enough to kno-”

“But I don’t know you! You never let me know you!!” Trunks cried, “You never gave me a ‘chance’ to know you!”

Vegeta blinked, accepting the truth of his son’s words but unable to think of a way to respond. “But you had no problem opening up to Goku. Your rival and self-proclaimed enemy for years! How could you trust him when you never once trusted me!?” Trunks shook his head, fighting the tears burning his eyes. “Oh, it doesn't matter.” He moaned, “I, it doesn't matter.”

“I’m sorry.”

Trunks winced, eyes becoming huge as he looked at his father. “What?” he gasped.

“I’m sorry. I've never known how to be a father.” His eyes were sad as he gazed at his son. ::So, another flaw in my structure makes itself known. I’m a miserable father.::

“Daddy.” Trunks whispered, throwing himself into his father’s arms. He hugged his father’s stiff body tightly and when the hug was returned he couldn't stop the tears that rolled down his cheeks.

***

::Two sets of cool, ice eyes smiled at him mockingly. He was so tired. Tired of running. Tired of hiding, and most especially tired of fighting these beasts but he wouldn't give up. Soon the time machine would be ready and he ‘had’ to stay alive until then. Gripping his sword with both hands he got to his feet.

“Well, well, you’re just eager for more aren't you?” The raven-haired boy purred.

“This one is amusing 17. Don’t kill him quickly, it’s more fun to watch him fight for his pitiful life.” The pretty, blond girl warned.

“Oh, don’t worry. I’m not planning on killing him anytime soon.” 17 grinned at the girl.

Trunks steeled himself. They never killed him. Just fought with him until he was beaten down and then he would run and strangely enough they never came after him. Maybe, because he was the last saiyan, they didn’t want him dead because he was too much fun to fight. He didn’t know, and he didn’t care. All he knew and all he could focus on was the need to stay alive.::

Hate nothing, lest soon you hate everything.

***

Be embarrassed by nothing

“So, you worked it out?” Gohan asked softly as Trunks walked into the house.

“Yeah.” Trunks smiled, feeling happier than he’d felt in days. “Yeah, we did.” He flopped onto the couch beside Trunks.

“You look better.” Gohan stared at Trunks’s face. Still bruised and tired but not so sad anymore. He felt his cheeks flush as Trunks looked at him with surprise.

“Thanks.” Trunks said, slinging his arms over the back of the couch and stretching his legs out, “I still feel like shit, at least I don’t look it though.”

Gohan laughed, a little nervously. “Even when you came back you weren't stronger than him.”

“Came back?” Trunks asked, puzzled by the comment.

“Uh… yeah.” Gohan made a face, “I forgot, you don’t know about all that.”

“About all what?”

“Well, I guess your dad never told you about Cell?”

“No, well, a little. He told me that you were the one who defeated him.” Trunks smiled, “It was the first time I've ever heard ‘awe’ in my father’s voice. He still can’t believe how powerful you became when fighting Cell.”

“Yeah, everyone was surprised, even me.” Gohan smiled at the memory, “It was pretty intense.”

“Why don’t you tell me about it?” Trunks, always eager to hear stories about old battles, asked.

“Hm, I dunno’, maybe your dad didn’t want you to know.” Gohan mused hesitantly, he glanced at the open door. Just beyond it he could see Vegeta and Goku talking.

“Why shouldn’t I know? C’mon Gohan, tell me about it.”

“Well… all right.”

***

He knew about the androids. He knew about Gohan. He knew about Cell. But he’d never before heard about himself. That his ‘future’ self traveled back in time to save the earth. No one had ever told him. As Gohan finished his story, Trunks looked at him with wide eyes. “What was.. my future self like?” He asked softly.

“Really cool. Man, he was powerful. I remember when we first saw him… we were all in awe of his power. Even Vegeta, a little anyway. He was awesome. A little intense though. He was a lot like Vegeta in that respect. His one primary purpose was to destroy the androids. He didn’t seem to care about much else.” ::It was that version of yourself I first fell in love with:: Gohan added mentally, looking at Trunks and trying to dispel the thoughts from his head but he couldn't stop them. Trunks was just about the age he had been when he’d first showed up to them so many years ago. He looked just like Mirai Trunks, however his personality and general attitude towards life was different.

“He? It’s strange to have you talk about… me.. and yet it’s not me.” Trunks laughed uneasily, shaking his head to get his bangs out of his eyes, “So you liked my future self?”

“Yeah.” Gohan croaked, coughing to cover the sudden tightness in his throat. “Yeah, he ‘was’ you, just a little different.” He added quickly. ::That’s why I fell in love with you twice. First your future self and then.. you.::

“I don’t know.” Trunks looked at the t.v. Some random sitcom was playing. He’d never seen it before. He watched the characters dance around the screen, heard the voices murmuring softly. ::My future self.. there’s so much fondness in his voice when he talks about.. ‘him’. I've never heard anyone talk about ‘me’ like that.::

He forced a smile onto his lips, “I’m a little tired, think I’ll take a nap.”

“Okay.” Gohan watched as Trunks stood and walked to his room.

“Wake me up in an hour, ok?” Trunks asked.

“Sure.”

***

::”You do realize that you’ll die?”

Trunks shook his head, “I don’t care. It doesn't matter. If ‘they’ can live I just don’t care.”

Her eyes sad she reached up and cupped his cheek, “Such a sweet child. You’d give up everything for them? You didn’t even know some of them.”

“I feel like I've always known them.” Trunks grabbed his mother’s hand and kissed her palm, “I have to save them, Mother.”

“You won’t exist anymore.” She said softly, “Oh, ‘a’ Trunks will be alive, but not you, not you.”

He kneeled beside her, laying his head against her shoulder. He sighed deeply, “I would die for them Mother… I will die for them, but I will still be alive and so will you.”

“Not like this… although..” She shook her head, smiling sadly and stroking his head, “I suppose living without the pain of seeing all your friends die isn't too much to die for.”

“Exactly my point.” He wrapped his arms around her waist.

“Then you have to go.”

“Yes, I’m not afraid, Mother.” He smiled contentedly, “Not only will I finally get to meet my father but I’ll get to make things right.”

“My beautiful boy.” She kissed the top of his head, humming softly. Soon she felt his body grow heavy as he slipped into sleep. “My dear, brave boy.”::

***

Gentle, sweet pressure. Confused he slitted his eyes open. Gohan gasped as those soft blue eyes focused on him. “Trunks.” He jumped back, losing his balance and falling onto his backside.

Trunks sat up, touching his lips lightly and frowning at Gohan, “What were you doing just now? When I woke up?” He asked quietly. ::It almost felt like he was kissing me::

“You were… uh, crying.” Gohan said quickly, trying to think of some excuse. He had walked in to wake Trunks and saw the boy crying in his sleep. In a moment of blind stupidity he had walked over, leaned down and pressed a very light kiss onto Trunks’s lips. “I was… just wiping off the tears.”

“Oh.” Trunks didn’t believe the story but he didn’t believe Gohan had been kissing him either. What a silly thought that was! Gohan wasn't into guys and he ‘certainly’ wasn't into him.

“You, uh, asked me to wake you up in an hour. I-it’s been an hour.” Gohan cursed mentally, hating the way his words came out in nervous stutters.

“Thanks.” Yawning Trunks slipped his legs off the side of the bed and stretched his arms over his head. “Man, I still feel tired.”

“Maybe you should rest some more?”

“Nah, think I’ll get up.” He got to his feet, absently running a hand through his hair.

“Wanna’ play some video games or something?”

“Sure.”

***

Vegeta watched the interplay between Gohan and Trunks. Now that he knew he could see clearly the wanting and love in Gohan’s eyes on the other hand he also noticed that Trunks was completely unaware of Gohan’s feelings. He watched his son especially close, wondering if maybe Trunks wasn't just a bit interested in Gohan. “Eavesdropping?” Goku asked teasingly as he sidled up behind Vegeta.

“Shh, they’ll hear you.” Vegeta said softly, pulling Goku into the chair beside his own.

“So, you ‘are’ eavesdropping?” Goku laughed, looking over Vegeta’s head at the living area where Trunks and Gohan were playing a video game.

“They think I’m just reading the newspaper… don’t do anything to alert their attention.”

Goku shook his head with another laugh, “Hear anything interesting?”

“Do you think Gohan’s feelings are returned?” Vegeta asked.

“I think Trunks has a lot of shit on his shoulders already. I don’t think he’s had the opportunity to really ‘think’ about his feelings towards Gohan. I also think he’s much too young to be feeling stuff like that.” Goku grabbed a banana sitting on the table and started to munch.

“Hn, so you think love is conscious of age then?” Vegeta said, eyes narrowing.

“Well, maybe no-”

Vegeta pressed two fingers over Goku’s mouth, “Don’t talk with your mouth full Kakorot.”

“What are you? My mother?” Goku responded when Vegeta dropped his hand.

“I may be. You’d be surprised.” Vegeta smiled wickedly, then turned his attention back to his son. “At least I found out why he was acting so strange. He thought that I didn’t care about him, but that I loved you.”

“That would hurt.” Goku propped his chin on his hands, “I mean, if there’s anyone on this world that’s supposed to love you it’s your parents, right?”

“I've always loved him. I don’t understand why he thought different.”

“You never told him.” Goku said simply.

“I thought he would know.”

“But how? Love is more than just words, true, but sometimes you ‘need’ to say the words. Especially to your kids. Or they’ll start to doubt and pretty soon they’ll stop believing.”

“I hate it when you’re right.” Vegeta growled.

Goku chuckled, “Yeah, I know.”

***

They lay side by side, shoulders touching. “There’s Orion’s belt.” Trunks said, pointing at the appropriate cluster of stars.

“Yeah.” Gohan agreed lazily,to his left Goten was lying, fast asleep.

“Hey Gohan?”

“Yeah?” Gohan turned his head so he could look at Trunks’s face, but Trunks was still facing the sky, eyes drinking up the beauty of the stars.

“Do you.. ever think what it’s like?”

“What what is like?” Gohan asked softly.

“Oh..” Trunks’ cheeks heated up, “What it’s like to be in love.”

Gohan was silent for a long moment, staring at Trunks’s face. He looked back at the sky just as Trunks turned his head to look at him. “It’s.. really wonderful but it’s scary too. I mean, it’s frightening to want someone so much you ache and it’s really, really scary to think of them ever being hurt.”

“You mean… you’re in love with someone?” Trunks asked with surprise.

“Yeah… but… but he doesn't know.” Gohan admitted reluctantly.

“HE?”

Gohan turned his head, smiling sadly as he met Trunks’s gaze, “Does that surprise you?”

“Well… I sorta’ thought you were into girls.” Trunks shrugged.

“Oh, I like girls. There’s nothing wrong with them. In fact, I was in love with a girl when I was younger, but then I met him, and I haven’t been able to look at anyone, or want anything but him ever since.”

“Oh.” Trunks breathed, the passion and longing in Gohan’s eyes making him uneasy. He ‘knew’ it wasn't directed at him but it still made his stomach churn.

“Do you know how hard it is to love someone and know that they could never love you back?” Gohan whispered, bringing his face closer to Trunks’s.

“Yeah.” Trunks said softly, thinking of his father. “It hurts.”

“It really hurts.” Gohan whispered, now so close his breath washed warmly over Trunks’s cheek.

“But you know what?” Trunks said, gulping nervously.

“What?” Gohan followed the movement of Trunks’s lips with some fascination. He wanted so badly to kiss those lips, to thrust his tongue into that pretty little mouth. ::Oh gawd:: he groaned mentally, ::What am I thinking?::

“You should tell this .. guy, how you feel. You never know. He might return the feelings.” Trunks tried to smile, “I found that out this afternoon when I finally told my Dad how I feel.”

“Trunks.”

“W-what?”

“I want you.” Unable to resist anymore Gohan leaned forward and pressed his lips against Trunks's.

Trunks jerked, surprised but he didn’t pull away. Not at first. It felt… good, very nice. His stomach churning madly he started to close his eyes but then it dawned on him ‘just’ what he was doing. ::Oh my gawd. I’m kissing Gohan.. or rather he’s kissing me!::

He pulled away with a gasp, surging to his feet and taking to the air in one swift move. Gohan sat up, cursing softly. “Ah shit.” He whispered, watching Trunks’s form disappear into the night sky. “Ah shit.” He repeated, pressing a hand over his hurting heart.

***

“Trunks?” Goku lifted his head sleepily off Vegeta’s chest and watched as Trunks’s darted across the room towards his bedroom.

Trunks stiffened, turning slowly to look at Goku and Vegeta who were lying together on the couch and watching some tournament on the television. He knew his face was beet red and he knew very well they could see this interesting fact. Gohan hadn’t been able to see it because it was so dark, but in here, in the house, his shame was all too clear.

“Why are you blushing boy?” Vegeta demanded, “Are you ill?”

“No, he’s blushing because I kissed him.” Gohan said softly, having just come in the door.

Trunks gasped, glancing at Gohan, his face turning redder. With a muffled cry he turned and ran into his room, locking the door behind him. “You kissed him?” Goku pushed himself up on his elbows to look at Gohan with upraised eyebrows.

“Yeah.” Gohan said softly, “It was probably the stupidest thing I’ve done in my entire life.”

“You can say that again.” Vegeta rolled his eyes, looking back at the television.

“Well, what happened after you kissed him?” Goku asked.

“He ran.” Gohan sighed, shoulders slumping. “I really blew it.”

“Well, then you’ll have to apologize, but wait until tomorrow. It’s late, we all need to get some sleep.” Goku’s head plopped back onto Vegeta’s chest and in moments he was snoring.

Gohan shook his head slowly, bemused, “He never ceases to .. baffle me.”

“Hmph.” Vegeta glanced back at Gohan, “Be careful with my son, kid.” He warned, “You better be serious about whatever it is you’re feeling because if he returns those feelings and you screw him over I swear to Dende that you’ll be sorry.”

Gohan’s eyes widened, startled by the threat. “Uh… yeah. I’ll just go to bed now. Night Vegeta.”

“Hn, night kid.”

***

Somewhere just beyond the edge of time is the gateway, and once you step through is a world like ours, but different. On this world a young man with shoulder length, silky white hair that shone almost purple in the light and light blue eyes swore viciously as his pen broke once again. Throwing the stupid, useless thing away he leaned back in his chair and brushed the paper’s he’d been working on off his desk. “Screw that.” He muttered, “Not like I need a schooling anyway.”

He stretched his arms over his head and was about to get up when suddenly ‘it’ seized him. For weeks now it had been coming upon him. When it took hold of him he could feel his body, he could ‘hear’ his own thoughts but he couldn’t move, couldn’t speak and wasn’t aware of passage of time or who he was. When ‘it’ ended he always found himself lying on the ground/floor, disoriented and tired.

He gasped, trying to fight ‘it’, but it was too strong. He fell to the floor, eyes wide but unseeing. Visions of another time, another place flashed in his mind, too fast for him to process and yet he knew what the visions were. With one last muffled groan he succumbed to the strange seizure, allowing his thoughts to drift.

Be embarrassed by nothing, lest soon you blush.

***

Hesitate Not

It hit him hard in the temple. He groaned in pain and fell to his knees, clutching his head. Somewhere, far away, he could hear voices calling him. Urgent, worried voices. But when the hands touched him he pushed them away, crying out in agony. ::What’s happening to me??:: He screamed, the words never really taking form anywhere but in his mind.

Then, as suddenly as it hit him, it was gone. He dropped his head, laying his forehead on the floor. He was panting, trying to catch his breath. “Trunks?”

He placed his hands palm down on the floor by his head and pushed. He stayed on his hands and knees, head bent, for quite a few moments. Someone was kneeling by his side, no, a few people were kneeling beside him. “Trunks?” The voice queried again.

“I don’t know … what’s happening… to me.” Trunks whispered, fearfully.

“What’s been going on?” Goku placed a hand lightly on Trunks’s back.

“Memories… no, no, visions.” Trunks shook his head slowly, sitting up and with Goku’s help he got to his feet. He looked around at Gohan, Goten, and his father. “They’re not mine but they’re in my head.” He pressed his forefinger and thumb against his temple.

“What sort of visions?” Vegeta asked, eyes narrow with sharp concern.

“D-death… and.. and pain and sometimes… other things.” Trunks shook his head, “I’m always… I’m always ‘me’ in the visions.. but not me. Because I’m .. I’m not like that…”

He wasn’t making much sense. Goku patted Trunks’s back, “Okay, come over here and sit down.” He urged.

Trunks stumbled to the couch and fell onto it gratefully. He wrung his hands together in his lap and looked around nervously, his eyes darting here and there but never really focusing. “Tell us about the visions. Tell us exactly what happens in these visions.. all right?” Goku sat across from Trunks, motioning for Vegeta to sit beside his son.

Vegeta sat beside Trunks. Goten and Gohan, getting a ‘look’ from their father walked out of the house. “Go on. Take it slow.” Goku said gently.

“All right… it started with dreams…”

***

He told them everything. Every last detail of every dream he’d had since the visions started. They listened quietly, never once interrupting him. When it was over, there was a long moment of silence. “Mirai Trunks” Goku said softly, “Some of those.. visions are actual things that happened while Mirai Trunks was here..”

“Why would Trunks be having vis… no. Why would he be experiencing the memories of his future self?” Vegeta wasn’t really addressing the question to anyone but himself.

“So they are memories.” Trunks whispered.

“But some of them aren’t.” Goku shook his head, “Some of the things you mentioned, they didn’t happen at all while Mirai Trunks was here.”

“I don’t care about the others.” Vegeta growled, “How, and why, would Trunks be having memories from his other self?”

“Vegeta,” Goku sighed, “It all wraps together somehow.”

“Is it a new enemy?”

They all turned, surprised to see Gohan and Goten standing just inside the room. “We… we came in some time ago. We heard some of what Trunks was saying.” Goten rubbed his hands against his legs nervously, “Sorry Dad, we really wanted to know…”

Goku smiled, “It’s all right. You think it might be a new enemy?”

“It makes sense… sort of.” Goten shrugged, “I mean, Trunks said these visions… dreams… memories…, whatever, have been making him really tired. And he attacked Vegeta. He doesn’t remember why, or what made him do it. The only logical conclusion is that there’s a new enemy around and it’s messing with his head.”

“Woah, wait a minute, something even remotely intelligent coming from you?” Gohan choked, grabbing his throat, “Gads! We’re all going to die for sure! It ‘must’ be the end of the world!!”

Goten punched his brother lightly in the stomach, his cheeks turning red. “Things have been getting intense.” Trunks whispered, “My head…” he pressed two fingers to his temple, “hurts.”

“All right, so here’s what we do, anytime you have visions, or dreams, or anything strange at all happens, you tell us.” Goku said, getting to his feet.

Trunks nodded. “Vegeta and I are going to go visit Dende. He might have some way of finding out what’s going on. Gohan, you watch Trunks just in case there is a new enemy and he decides to show his face.”

Goku rubbed the back of his head, “And Goten, you come with us. I’ll take you to your mother.. you can stay with her for awhile.”

“I don’t wanna’.” Goten said quietly, “I wanna’ stay here and help Trunks.”

“No, go to your mom’s Goten.” Trunks said softly, “I.. I think it’d be best.”

Goten frowned, “Listen, Goten, if Trunks wasn't under attack he’d be going to his mother’s too, so don’t feel bad.” Goku smiled, grabbing his youngest son’s hand and tugging him towards the door, “We’ll be back as soon as we find something.”

“Ja ne.” Gohan waved, his stomach clenching as he and Trunks were left alone.

***

“I’m sorry.” After a half hour of pretending nothing had happened to change their relationship Gohan finally just blurted it out.

Trunks started, looking at Gohan with wide eyes. “I.. it doesn't matter.” He looked away quickly, his face flushing.

“It does matter. Look Trunks, I didn’t mean to scare… or upset you.” Gohan sighed, “I just got caught up in the moment I guess.”

“I don’t see how…” Trunks’ question trailed off.

“Don’t see how what?” Gohan urged, leaning forward and placing his elbows on his legs.

“Don’t see how you can love this.. guy and then turn around and kiss me.” Trunks risked a glance at Gohan’s face then looked away.

“But Trunks… you’re the guy I love. You’re the one I was telling you about.” Gohan said softly, deciding the truth was the best policy, “But, I won’t ever kiss you again, not if you don’t want me to. I don’t expect you to return my feelings and I’m praying to Dende that you’ll still be my friend.”

Trunks’s face paled. He looked up slowly, his gaze meeting Gohan’s.

Then everything went white.

***

When his vision cleared he was lying on his side in his room. He blinked several times to clear his vision. He was confused. He slowly sat up, seeing papers laying everywhere on the floor. He touched his head lightly, it hurt so much. He looked around, his brow furrowing. This was his room, but everything was different. Posters depicting scenes of battles plastered the walls. His desk was a mess, not the clean, ordered manner in which he’d left it. His bed was unmade, his clothes were lying all over the floor but .. they weren't his clothes, were they? Everything was black. He didn’t own so many black clothes.

Slowly his gaze traveled down to the clothes he was wearing. Loose black pants, tight black shirt. He sighed, shuddering. “What’s going on?” he whispered, getting to his feet slowly, his hand reaching up to touch his neck. Something was brushing against it repeatedly.

He froze as he felt his hair. It extended well beyond his shoulders. His hair had never been that long, certainly it hadn't been that long a few moments ago when he had been talking to Gohan… Gohan! Where was Gohan? Heart racing he bolted out of the room and froze.

In the living room a young man was seated on the couch, another, much older man was beside him. The two were Goten and Vegeta.. and they were kissing? Passionately. Trunks made a small sound of shock and disbelief. The two jerked apart and looked at him. “Trunks?” Vegeta gasped.

“Trunks!” Goten cried, hands flying to his mouth.

“No.. no what are you doing?!” Trunks gasped, “Goten… father…?”

Vegeta surged to his feet, he was so nervous he was trembling visibly, “Shit Trunks… I’m so sorry… you weren't supposed to see that. Ah shit…”

Tears were gathering in Goten’s eyes, “Please don’t tell my mom.” He whispered.

“I didn’t know you were… shit.” Vegeta ran a hand through his short-

“Dad! Your hair!” Trunks’s hands flew to his head, he pressed his palms against either side of his head. He couldn't believe what he was seeing. His father’s hair was cut in a very smooth crew cut.

“What about my hair?” Vegeta looked puzzled, and there was something else.. something Trunks couldn't quite place that was wrong with his father.

His attitude was all wrong. His voice too weak. “What’s going on?!” Trunks cried desperately, he backed away, towards the door, “Where’s Gohan? Where’s Goku?”

“Gohan is shopping and.. Goku died many years ago Trunks. You know that.” Vegeta said softly, a hand touching the top of Goten’s head gently.

“NO! You’re lying!” Trunks whirled, running to the door.

He threw it open and ran right into a familiar body that was just entering the house. Gohan grunted and dropped the groceries in his hand. “Trunks?”

Trunks looked up, “Gohan?”

“Trunks, is something wrong?”

***

The world shifted.

“Trunks? Please Trunks, answer me.”

He was lying flat on his back. Gohan was leaning over him, touching his face and calling out worriedly. “Please Trunks. Please, don’t do this. Your father will kill me if he comes back and finds you like this.”

Trunks blinked rapidly, “Goten… my.. my father?”

“They left. Remember?” Gohan sighed with relief as Trunks’s eyes began to focus. “Goku and your father went to talk to Dende and Goten went home.”

Trunks sighed with relief and shut his eyes tightly, “Then, it must have been a dream.” He whispered.

“What? What must have been a dream?”

Trunks sat up slowly, his ears were ringing, his head hurt so much. “I was in my room, only it wasn't my room. I .. I left it to look for you and my father and Goten were on the couch… they.. they were kissing. I ran for the door and then you walked in.” He met Gohan’s worried gaze, “That’s how it ended with you asking me if I was all right.”

“Must have been another vision.” Gohan wiped Trunks’s bangs out of his eyes, “Just sit still for a moment, you look shaken up.”

“What’s happening to me Gohan?!” Trunks cried, “I just don’t understand… I’m so.. I’m so afraid.”

Gohan cupped Trunks’s chin in his hand and turned Trunks’s face so they were nose to nose. “Don’t be afraid.” he said quietly, “I’m right here and I’m going to do my best to make sure nothing happens to you.”

Trunks sighed, his eyes tearing up. He wrapped his arms around Gohan’s neck impulsively. “Thank you Gohan.”

Gohan shut his eyes tightly, holding Trunks close. “God, this is killing me Trunks.” he turned his head, burying his face in Trunks’s hair.

Trunks stiffened. “I’m sorry… I… I forgot.”

“No.” Gohan wouldn't let him pull away, “No, I was your friend first Trunks… I still want to be your friend. Friends comfort each other, please let me comfort you.”

Trunks relaxed after a moment, “You ‘are’ my friend.” He said, turning his face into Gohan’s neck, “My best friend.”

Gohan rubbed Trunks’s back, enjoying the feel of this boy whom he loved so much. He probably shouldn't have revealed his feeling to Trunks but he had said itand now he couldn't take it back. Trunks’s warm breath against his neck was comforting as well as arousing but he ignored the lustful thoughts, trying to focus on just comforting his friend. ::Damn it:: He cursed mentally, ::Just let him be. Let him use you for comfort. Don’t ruin things by getting all hot and bothered.::

He could feel the steady breaths coming from Trunks now and he sighed. Trunks had fallen asleep. Carefully he picked Trunks up and laid him on the couch. He crouched down, gently caressing one pale cheek of the face he held so dear. “Sweet dreams.” He whispered.

***

Somewhere just beyond the edge of time is the gateway, just beyond it a young man woke from ‘it’ to find himself standing in the doorway staring up at his best friend and lover. He blinked several times, confused. He could remember everything he had done while ‘it’ controlled him. He whirled, turning angry eyes on his father. No time to worry about what had happened this time while ‘it’ over took him. He had more important things to think about.

“What the hell were you thinking?” He screamed at his father, running across the room and launching himself at his father, “I’ll kill you!”

Vegeta wailed in fear, covering his head with his hands. He could remember the last time his son had gotten angry with him, in fact he bore scars from the experience. Gohan rushed across the room, grabbing his lover’s arms and pulling the long, white haired man-child away.

He hissed and scratched, trying to get his lover to let go but Gohan was firm. “No, Trunks tell me what’s going on.” Gohan demanded sharply.

Panting, Trunks pointed a finger at Vegeta, “He’s screwing your brother!” He yelled furiously.

There was a short, shocked silence, and then the world exploded as Gohan bellowed and leaped, powering into super saiyan two level. He landed on Vegeta, knocking them both to the ground. Trunks cried happily, jumping into the fray.

***

::”Trunks?”::

He opened his eyes, looking around blearily.

::”Trunks can you hear me? Please respond!"::

“Yes.” He whispered, not knowing where the voice was coming from and wondering why it echoed so oddly in his ears.

“You’re awake.” Gohan looked up from the television and smiled, his smile dimmed when he saw the strange, unfocused look in Trunks’s eyes.

::”Listen, please listen. I haven’t much time. Trunks they've targeted you. You must remain cl-“:: The voice cut off abruptly.

“Wait! Who!? Who targeted me?!” Trunks sat bolt upright, reaching out and grabbing at the air. “Please don’t go yet!”

::”I’m sorry! I’m so so-“::

The voice was gone. Trunks shuddered, suddenly feeling very cold. He grabbed his head, whimpering. Gohan was by his side now, an arm wrapped around his shoulders. “It’s all right. I’m here.” Gohan said repeatedly, stroking Trunks’ back.

“Gohan… someone’s after me.”

“… Who?” Gohan asked, his voice tight with worry.

“I don’t know. He didn’t tell me.” Trunks moaned, shaking his head.

“Who didn’t tell you?” His eyes darted around the room quickly. They were alone he knew, and yet Trunks’ words made him nervous.

“He didn’t, just now, he said someone targeted me but.. but then he left.”

“Just now? I didn’t hear anything.”

“It was.. it was in here.” Trunks pointed at his head.

***

He met the cool grey gaze levelly, refusing to flinch away. “So, you found a way to contact him.” The man with the grey eyes looked away first. He gazed out at the horizon, then back down at the man bond and shackled at his feet. “Why bother? He can’t do anything to stop it.”

Ice-blue eyes glinted. Cracked, bleeding lips tilted in a mocking smile. “Let me tell you something,” He began, his voice raw and hoarse from all the screaming he’d done in the last few days while in the grey-eyed man’s custody. “You might have taken over the world. You might have even found some way to take over the world but you made one vital mistake.”

“What’s that?” The grey-eyed man asked, his voice only vaguely amused.

“You chose to use me as your first victim.” And he started to laugh, even though it hurt his cracked ribs.

The grey-eyed man stared at his laughing captive with disbelieving eyes. “Hm.” With a grunt he turned and walked away, “We’ll see, now won’t we?”

Hesitate not, and command thyself.

***

This world is a puzzle

“It’s been getting worse, every thirty minutes or so he’ll slip into this trance like state. You can’t do anything to wake him and when he does wake he swears that he was in ‘someone’ else's body.” Gohan told Vegeta and Goku softly, glancing past the kitchen to the living room where Trunks sat watching t.v.

Goku sighed deeply, “So, now we’re know pretty much for sure that someone ‘is’ after him. But why? And who?”

“When I get my hands on the bastard who is doing this..” Vegeta growled.

Goku laid a hand on his arm, “Relax, Geta, no sense getting yourself all worked up until we run into him.”

“Geta?” Vegeta looked at Goku, his eyebrows raised, “Did you just call me Geta???”

Goku laughed nervously, rubbing the back of his neck, “So, uh, how is he? I mean, er..”

“He’s not doing good. The pain in his head gets worse every time he goes into that.. trance.” Gohan looked from Vegeta to Goku, “You know, you guys make a really cute couple.” He smiled, then walked away to join Trunks.

“Cute?” Vegeta repeated.

“Er, yeah. Okay.” Goku laughed again, then he reached up on impulse and kissed his friend and lover.

Vegeta returned the kiss eagerly, uncaring that his kid sat just a few feet away. Yesterday, he might have told Goku to wait, hell even an hour ago he might have pushed Goku away but right now he didn’t care about the public display of affection. He didn’t care if it might bother his son to see him lip-locking with another man, it just didn’t matter.

And it gave him a chance to nibble on Goku’s lip as a sort of punishment for the ‘Geta’ comment earlier.

Trunks looked up as Gohan jumped over the back of the couch and landed in the seat beside him. He swallowed nervously, unconsciously leaning away. “Gohan I.. I never did .. respond when you.. told me.. how you felt.” He finished in a rush, breaking out in a light sweat.

“It’s all right Trunks. I didn’t expect you to say anything.” Gohan stretched his legs out, laying his arm over the back of the couch so his hand was just beyond Trunks’s shoulder and leaning his head against his arm.

“Yeah.. I know.. but… I just..”

“It really is okay Trunks.”

“Not to me.” Trunks said, looking up shyly, “Thank you.”

“For what?” Gohan asked, puzzled.

“For telling me.” Trunks laughed shortly, looking away, “Just yesterday I thought no one cared about me…” He looked at his hands, “Today, I find out that my father.. loves me. That my best friend loves me.” He shrugged, “Thank you.”

“No, Trunks. Don’t thank me.” Gohan brushed his fingers over Trunks’s shoulder lightly, “You’re beautiful, inside, outside, I don’t see how you could have felt no one cared about you.”

“No one ever said anything.” Trunks said softly, “Except my mom and I guess… I guess I just needed to hear it.”

“Everyone does sometimes.” Gohan glanced over his shoulder, turning pink when he saw what his father and Vegeta were doing. “Hey! Get a room!” He cried, turning away quickly.

They didn’t bother to break the kiss to respond. Trunks started to move his head to look back but Gohan stopped him. “Uh.. no. You don’t wanna’ look, trust me.” Gohan said with a little smile.

Trunks blushed, “Oh.”

“What do you think about their relationship?” Gohan asked softly.

“I’m all right with it.” Trunks told him, “Actually, it doesn't bother me much at all. My father and mother have never really been together.”

“Right, I suppose that would make things easier. I still… have a hard time imagining my dad with anyone but my mom.” Gohan sighed, “But I’m happy that he’s happy you know. I’m just sad that my mom has no one now.”

“You think she’d be interested in my mom?” Trunks asked.

Gohan laughed so hard tears gathered in his eyes but then he realized Trunks was completely serious. “Oh… uh… Hm. Er, that is I don’t know, never really thought about it.”

“I don’t want her to be alone.” Trunks whispered.

“Yeah, I can understand wh-”

***

One moment he was sitting with Gohan the next he was lying in bed, something warm between his legs and something wet tickling his stomach. He looked down, confused, only to see a different, younger version of Gohan laying between his legs and licking his stomach.

He screamed.

And then passed out.

***

“Trunks? Oh, my God. Trunks, please answer me.”

When had he heard that before? Just a few hours ago when the first ‘episode’ happened. He squeezed his eyes tightly shut then slowly opened them. A very naked, very sweaty Gohan was leaning over him. He whimpered and quickly wiggled out from under that gorgeous body.

“Trunks? What’s wrong?”

“Please don’t touch me.” Trunks glanced down, realizing to his horror that he too was naked.

“What?” Gohan gasped, eyes widening. He’d never heard that particular comment from his boy toy before.

“Just… just stay there.” Trunks pleaded, thank God from the waist down Gohan was covered by a sheet. His cheeks were red as it was.

“Trunks, what’s the matter? Please tell me.”

Somehow he found the song: “Like a virgin for the very first time.” running through his head as he stumbled across the room and pulled on the first pair of pants he could find.

“Trunks? Are you going to tell me what this is about?” Gohan asked softly, getting really worried.

Trunks bit his lower lip, unable to speak because of the huge lump in his throat that prevented him from doing so. “Was I too rough? If you just want to sleep I don’t mind.” Gohan said, “I don’t mean to push you into unwanted sex, especially not when you’re too tired.”

Trunks moaned and covered his ears with his hands. He shook his head, face burning so hotly it almost hurt to touch his cheeks. “I .. I just need… to be alone.” He leaned down, picking up a black turtleneck that lay on the floor and pulling it on.

“You've been acting strange since you found about Goten and Vegeta… Vegeta won’t touch him anymore you know. I broke both his hands.” Gohan said, trying to be comforting, “I understand you're upset that your father went after your son bu-”

“Son?!” Trunks gaped at Gohan.

“Well, you and I adopted him when we got married Trunks.” Gohan frowned, “You do remember that?”

“Married?” Trunks couldn't breathe. It was all way too much. He slumped to his knees, staring at Gohan.

“Trunks? What is wrong with you?” Gohan held up his left hand. On the finger beside his pinky, a single gold band glinted in the light.

Trunks held out his hands, ears buzzing loudly as he saw the matching band on his finger. “Married.” he whispered, touching the band with the trembling fingers of his right hand.

Gohan pushed the sheet aside and slid off the bed. Trunks glanced up, saw the naked form approaching him and scrambled to his feet. “No! No, stay back!” He held out his hands.

“What is it? Please tell me.”

Trunks glanced past Gohan at the door. He could make it. He knew he could. He glanced at Gohan again, bit his lip and then made a mad dash for the door. Gohan was so surprised that he didn’t have time to stop him.

Trunks tripped over a skateboard left lying in the living room and ended up face down on the floor. He hit his head hard enough to send him into momentary shock. He lay there, hearing Gohan calling him. Feeling hands on his back and an anxious voice saying his name and he started mutter, ::Please. Kill me. Just kill me.::

***

Vegeta stared down at his son, brow furrowed. Almost hesitantly he reached out and placed a hand on Trunks’s cheek. “How long has he been like this?”

“Just five minutes. He should be waking up soon. The.. er, trances, don’t last more than five, six minutes.” Gohan said hurriedly, he looked up at his father then back to Vegeta and Trunks.

Vegeta was silent, he didn’t say another words until Trunks’s eyes fluttered open. Trunks blinked several times, disoriented at first as he always seemed to be after the ‘episodes’. Then he focused on his father and breathed a soft sigh of relief. “Did you learn anything?” Vegeta asked.

“No. They don’t know anything over there.” Trunks said, blushing. He hadn't had a chance to ask any question. He’d been too busy trying to convince Gohan to put some clothes on.

“Same place?” Vegeta looked at the color in his son’s cheeks with a slight frown.

“It hasn't changed. It’s still the same world.” Trunks glanced down at his hands but the ring wasn't there anymore. He hadn't really expected it to be. “They call me Trunks…”

“It must be an alternate universe.” Goku said, his eyes lighting up, “Somehow you’re being transported into an alternate dimension where you’re the same person but things are different.”

“It frightens me when he suddenly becomes intelligent.” Vegeta murmured softly.

Gohan tried to repress a smile, “I know what you mean.” He agreed, winking at his step-father to be. He was glad to see that Vegeta did indeed have a sense of humor.

“What do you think? Think I’m right?” Goku asked excitedly.

Trunks sat up carefully, leaning into his father and wrapping his arms around his father’s waist. “Please.” He whispered, “Just hold me for a minute.”

Vegeta accepted the hug, holding his son to his chest. “Your head still hurts?” He asked.

“It gets worse with every … episode.” Trunks admitted quietly.

::”Trunks?”::

Trunks jerked, pulling away from his father. His eyes widened and he scanned the room quickly. “I’m here.” He whispered.

“Here? What are you talking about?” Vegeta demanded.

Trunks shook his head, holding a finger to his lips. ::”Good.”:: A soft sigh from the voice, ::”The longer you bounce around the more damage your brain will take. Listen closely, you must stop the transitions.”::

“Transitions?” Trunks repeated aloud.

::”Right. When you jump into your.. well, let’s call it your other self. It’s really a transition. See, you’re not stable in your world anymore. He’s upset the balance. You need to stop the transitions or they will kill you and your other selves.”::

“Selves?”

::”You’re still dreaming of Mirai Trunks memories, aren't you?”::

“Yeah.” He hadn't mentioned the continued memories to the others, however. Most of the memories were disjointed and.. surreal. So, he just kept it to himself. However, along with the ‘episodes’ the memories too had been increasing.

::”Mirai Trunks, you and your other self will all die if the transitions are not stopped.”::

“But how do I stop them?” Trunks asked, oblivious of his surroundings. He was focused completely on the voice in his head.

::”You must come here. It’s the only way. You, Vegeta, Goku, Gohan, you must all come here.”::

“There are others who can fight.”

::”No. Only those with Saiyan blood will make it through.”::

“So… where do we need to go?”

::”Soon. You’ll know soon. Just relax, after the next transition the knowledge will be given to you. Directly after that you ‘must’ travel here. There will be no other time for it.”::

“All right….”

::”I have to go now.”::

“Wait!”

::”….yes?”::

“Who are you?”

::”…. You know me as Mirai Trunks.”:: Was the soft response and then the voice was gone.

***

This world is a lie

He waited tensely for the transition. He didn’t feel like talking to the others. He was so nervous he felt ill. He watched his father pace the room, caught Gohan gazing at him with a deep, worried gaze. Only Goku seemed oblivious to the tension as he filled his stomach with pretty much everything he could get his hands on. Shivering Trunks wrapped his arms around his body and slowly dropped to his side on the couch. He lay stiffly, breath baited in his throat.

“Trunks?” Gohan was by his side in seconds, “You all right?”

Trunks shook his head mutely, staring at Gohan with huge eyes. Gohan touched his shoulder lightly, “What can I do?” He asked softly.

“Gohan… if.. if I fail..” Trunks bit his lower lip, “If I fail, I die…”

“You won’t fail. I know you won’t fail.” Gohan said fiercely.

“But if I do… Gohan?” He placed his hands under his head, clasping them into tight fists.

“Yes?”

“I want… I want you to…” Trunks pushed himself back into a sitting position so he was eye to eye with Gohan, “Kiss me. Please.”

Vegeta looked up sharply, eyes narrowing. Goku paused, chicken hanging half out of his mouth, to look curiously. “Are you sure?” Gohan asked gently, his heart leaping.

“Yes, I don’t want to die without ever really kissing someone.” Trunks wrung his hands together, glancing down at them shyly.

Gohan cupped Trunks’s cheek with his left hand, reaching with his right to grab Trunks’s right hand. He gripped Trunks’s right hand tightly. “Look at me.” He said gently.

Trunks raised his eyes, his hand squeezing Gohan’s tightly. He was shivering, this time from nervousness and excitement. “Aren't I supposed to close my eyes?” He said uncertainly.

“No, I want to see you.” Gohan leaned forward, running his lips lightly over Trunks’s left cheek. His thumb caressed the area he had just kissed as he moved to the right cheek.

Finally, he applied the lightest pressure to Trunks’s lips with his own. Trunks jerked at the first contact, then his arms raised and wrapped around Gohan’s neck as he pressed deeper into the kiss. Vegeta raised both eyebrows, watching with a detached curiosity. His eyes moved to ‘his’ Kakkorot. Goku chewed the rest of his food, swallowing and then looking from the two young men to his lover.

Brown clashed with brown hungrily. “I’m starting to get hungry.” Goku murmured, licking his fingers.

“You just ate Kakkorot.” Vegeta said, the slightest hint of teasing in his voice.

“I’m not hungry for that.” Goku purred, getting to his feet.

Gohan made a soft, keening sound in his throat as he felt Trunks suddenly slump in his arms. He drew back from the kiss, gently lowering Trunks to a lying position. “He’s gone.” He said softly, interrupting the interplay between Vegeta and Goku. “Good luck Trunks.” He whispered.

***

::Not again:: Trunks moaned mentally as he found himself in a ‘compromising’ position with the Gohan that was not his own. He rolled off Gohan and fell to the floor with a thud. “Trunks?” Gohan sat up, looking down and frowning.

“I didn’t tell you last time, listen I’m not ‘your’ Trunks. I’m from a different dimension. I don’t know how but for the last little while I've been switching with ‘your’ Trunks every half hour.” Trunks explained in a rush. He crawled backwards until his back hit the wall then he scurried to his feet.

Gohan blinked several times, trying to come to terms with the strange truth Trunks had just told him. Then he nodded. “That would explain a lot about you… my Trunks’s weird behavior today.” He swung his legs off the bed and stood. “So, have you figured out how to stop it?”

Trunks blushed, covering his face with his hands, “Please put some clothes on.”

“Oops.” Gohan grinned, “Sorry, so I take it you and ‘your’ Gohan aren't married eh?” He bent down and pulled on a pair of loose sweat pants.

“We’re friends, that’s all.”

“You can look now. I’m decent.”

Trunks moved a few fingers to peer at Gohan, with a sigh he dropped his hands. “My future self, Mirai Trunks as we call him, has contacted me. He said when I traveled here again I would know how to stop whatever has been going on.”

“You don’t look well.” Gohan said suddenly, “I didn’t notice it before, but in this light. … you’re so pale.” His eyes narrowed, “And you look shaky. Come here, sit down before you fall down.”

“No! There’s no time for that!” Trunks shook his head vehemently, “If I don’t figure things out now, HERE, I will die! So will your Trunks and so will Mirai Trunks!”

Gohan’s face drained of color, “I have to help.” He said sharply, “Tell me how I can help.”

“I don’t… I don’t know if you can.” Trunks shook his head, pressing his palms against the wall and closing his eyes. “Oh..” he breathed, suddenly feeling very dizzy.

“What’s wrong?” Gohan rushed across the room and grabbed his arm.

“Oh.” Trunks gasped again, slumping against Gohan.

Gohan caught him and pulled him close, “Trunks?”

“I think… I know…” Trunks pressed his forehead against Gohan’s firm chest. “Now. I know now.”

“Know what? You’re not making sense.”

Trunks gripped Gohan’s shirt with both hands, “Hold me! Please.” He was suddenly very frightened as he felt the world revolving and changing shape.

“I’m here! I’m he-”

Gohan’s words cut short as, strangely enough, Trunks’ body just disappeared from his arms. He stepped back, looking around with a frown. “Trunks?”

But the boy was gone.

***

“What’s happening?!” Gohan cried sharply as Trunks’s body began to fade. He reached out, grabbing Trunks’s hand and gripping it tightly. “Trunks!”

Vegeta and Goku rushed over. “He’s fading?” Vegeta gasped, “He’s DYING!”

“NOOOO!” Gohan screamed, grabbing Trunks’s fading body and pulling it close to his own.

But there was nothing he could do to stop it. The one he loved so dearly faded to nothing in his arms. He let out a pained, high-pitched cry, falling against the couch. Agony gripped him, tearing him apart from the inside out.

Vegeta fell to his knees, shocked. Goku was by his side in moments, wrapping an arm around his lover and burying his head in Vegeta’s neck.

***

::Am I dead?:: Trunks opened his eyes slowly.

::No.:: He was standing in the middle of a ruined city. Debris lay everywhere. He looked around with wide eyes. He had never been here before but it looked faintly like a city on Earth. It was then he noticed a body, dressed all in black, lying some feet away from him. The long white hair reminded him of-the body stirred and Trunks ran over, falling to his knees beside the body.

“Hello? Are you all right?” He placed a hand hesitantly on the white-haired boy’s shoulder.

The boy groaned and rolled onto his back. Startled blue eyes gazed up into a similar shocked gaze. “You’re me!” They both cried at the same time.

Trunks looked down at his counter-part disbelievingly, “So it must have worked. But.. I was supposed to bring Vegeta, Goku and Gohan. Not myself.” He said softly.

“What’s going on? Who are you!?” Trunks… er, Trunks2 that is, demanded, sitting up.

“I’m you, from an alternate dimension. Listen, around here somewhere is another version of ourselves. I call him Mirai Trunks. He’s the only one who seems to know what’s going on so we have to find him.” Trunks said hurriedly. He got to his feet and held out a hand to help his counterpart to his feet.

Trunks 2 grabbed Trunks’s hand and got to his feet. He brushed back his long hair carelessly. “So, you’re ‘it’.” He said conversationally, “The seizure that’s been gripping me all day was caused by you.”

“Well, actually it wasn't caused by me. What it was, was me taking over your body, though not deliberately…” Trunks bit his lower lip, “You don’t like my… your father do you?”

“I hate him! He’s a weak bastard!” Trunks 2 shouted passionately.

Trunks nodded, “Okay, sorry, let’s go find ourself… er, I mean, Mirai Trunks.”

They headed off together, one standing just a bit taller than the other because of the shoes he was wearing. Trunks 2 looked down at Trunks, “Well, we’re going to have to decide what we’ll call each other. I mean, I can’t call you Trunks… can I?”

Trunks shrugged, “Well, you can actually. I mean, there’s only two of us. Mirai Trunks will be just that, Mirai Trunks and you are Trunks to me and I am Trunks to yo-”

“Anyone ever tell you, you don’t make much sense?” Trunks 2 asked with a nasty smirk.

Trunks shrugged again, “I’m sorry. I’m just… really tired.” But he realized his head wasn't hurting anymore. He reached up and pressed a finger against his temple. What a relief that was.

“Yeah. I imagine. So, you've been bouncing from my body back to yours for, what, a day now? With no idea what was going on and no idea how to stop it?”

“Pretty much.” Trunks nodded, glancing at his counterpart. It was strange to look at himself, but at least he knew that he could safely grow his hair long without worrying now.

“That must have been freaky. I mean, it must bad enough on my part, but to actually be bouncing around… say, one time when.. when ‘it’ took me I was with Gohan.” Trunks 2 smirked, “You didn-”

“I woke up with him…” Trunks blushed deeply, “Let’s just say he was… in a … uncomfortable position. At least it was uncomfortable to me so I threw him off and ran.”

Trunks 2 laughed, loudly, “That’s hilarious! Poor Gohan! Hey! Do you have a Gohan in your dimension?!”

Trunks nodded.

“Maybe we can arrange a foursome!” Trunks 2 laughed even harder at this.

Trunks blushed so red he was sure even his toes were crimson.

***

Mirai Trunks let his head drop. He was so exhausted. He hadn't been able to sleep since the Monk had caught him. He knew, the moment he let sleep take him, the Monk would be in his head but there was only so long a man could stay awake before he just ‘had’ to sleep. A sound alerted his attention and he jerked his head up, eyes scanning the area before him that he could see. Nothing but mountains of debris. Had Trunks made it here? He wondered.

::Otherwise I’d be dead::

Mirai Trunks sighed softly and shook his head, trying to clear his thoughts. It was harder and harder to focus. ::Please hurry Trunks. We haven’t much time before the Monk returns.::

“Mirai Trunks?” A voice whispered from behind him.

He stiffened, “Trunks?”

“Yeah. It’s me. Er.. I mean.. it’s one of me.” Trunks rushed forward, ducking low, though he wasn't sure why. He settled beside his future self and stared at surprised into his own face. Mirai Trunks was much older than he was, and very battle scarred but despite this he was beautiful, stunningly so.

Mirai Trunks wiggled his hands, “See if you can get me out of these.” He said softly, “And hurry, the Monk will return soon.”

“The Monk?” Trunks leaned down, working at the ropes that tied Mirai Trunks’s hands together. He wondered how simple rope had kept the saiyan prisoner but he never asked.

“K’somiaso.” Mirai Trunks said softly, “He’s from a race we call the Monks. I didn’t learn his name until .. oh, it doesn't matter. We have to get out of here. He’s the one who caused you to be bounced around.”

“How?” Trunks worked the knot out and released Mirai Trunks’s hands.

“He’s got cosmic mental powers. The likes of which you cannot begin to imagine. Look around you Trunks, what do you see?” Mirai Trunks leaned down and began to work on the bonds that held his feet tied together.

“Nothing… just debris.”

“Exactly. The Monk has been destroying everything, and you know how? Not by the conventional means, by taking over people’s minds. By changing the past and altering the thoughts of the lesser minded.” He released his feet and rubbed his ankles for a moment so the feeling would return.

“But.. why expend so much energy just to destroy us?” Trunks asked hesitantly.

“It didn’t take any energy.” Mirai Trunks said with a snarl, “It was simple, so he did it. He watched for awhile, but he’s obviously not watching now.”

“Ah ah ah, but that’s where you’re wrong.” A man with grey eyes and a stunningly pale, beautiful face appeared several feet in front of them.

Mirai Trunks gasped, scrambling to his feet and dragging his younger self with him. “I've been watching it all and enjoying myself. I always did like watching worthless beings struggle to survive.” The Monk laughed, his eyes sparkling with genuine amusement.

“So do I!”

The Monk gasped at the voice, he whirled around just in time to see the energy ball flying towards his chest. He had no time to run. The ball hit his chest and threw him into the air. He landed with a loud, sharp cry several feet behind Mirai Trunks. Trunks 2, in super-saiyan form, sauntered over, a smug smile on his lips. “Say, this is me?” He pointed at Mirai Trunks.

Mirai Trunks turned away, looking at the Monk. ::Is he dead?:: He wondered. ::Surely one blast couldn't kill him.::

“A future version of one of us… I’m not sure which.” Trunks said a little uncertainly.

“Man, I’m hot.” Trunks 2 grinned, he wandered up behind Mirai Trunks. “Hey sweetie, can I take you home?” He purred in Mirai Trunks’s ear.

Mirai Trunks stiffened, moving away. “No.” He said sharply, “He’s not dead.” He powered up, transforming into a super-saiyan easily.

Trunks 2 shrugged, he crossed his arms over his chest. “So what? Shouldn't take much to kill him.”

“Not if he doesn't get in your head.” Mirai Trunks growled, glancing at Trunks, “Power up.”

Trunks nodded and with a burst of energy he felt himself transforming. It almost hurt. It always did. “Watch yourself.” Mirai Trunks warned as the Monk got to his feet.

“You’ll pay for that scamp.” The Monk wiped blood from his mouth, eyes narrowed and angry.

“Scamp?” Trunks 2 snorted, “Hey, if you’re going to insult me at least use decent insults!”

::I’m going to die:: Trunks thought a moment before the world tilted.

He landed in a heap. Mirai Trunks cried out angrily, releasing a stream of energy bolts at the Monk. Trunks 2 leaped into the air, doing the same. Trunks felt the energy seeping out of him. ::At least… At least I died knowing..::

“Release him!” Mirai Trunks launched himself at the Monk, Trunks 2 hot on his heels.

As they fought together Mirai Trunks couldn't help respecting the little punks fighting ability. He may have other faults but Trunks 2 could fight. He almost reminded Mirai Trunks of Vegeta… actually he reminded Mirai Trunks very much of Vegeta as they fought.

Trunks twitched, fighting the urge to close his eyes. It was too great however.

The last thing he saw was Mirai Trunks punching a hole through the Monk’s chest.

***

Only for a loved one I am waiting

Warm, so warm. He moaned, reluctantly opening his eyes. He was lying in his back in a field of wild flowers. The smell from the flowers was overwhelming and yet.. nice. He sat up carefully, touching his chest. He was sore all over but he hadn't fought at all. Had he? He couldn't really remember anything after he fell to the ground. Mirai Trunks and his other self must have beat the.. Monk? He looked around curiously. ::Which world am I on?:: He wondered.

::Only one way to find out:: He got to his feet and took to the air in one easy leap.

***

Trunks 2 dusted off his hands and grinned at Mirai Trunks. “That wasn't so hard.”

Mirai Trunks snorted, turning. “Where is Trunks?” He said sharply, scanning the area for the boy who had been lying nearby just moments before.

“I dunno’ may-” And just like the worst kind of dream at dawn Trunks 2 was gone, leaving only a memory behind.

Mirai Trunks stared at the empty spot where Trunks 2 had been standing. “Gone home?” He wondered aloud. He wiped his hands on his pants and looked at the Monk’s dead body. “I suppose there’s nothing to keep them here anymore.”

“I hope you’re all right little one.” He said, thinking of the less annoying version of himself. The boy he had sought out in the first place, while in battle the Monk had obviously tapped into the boy’s thoughts.

Mirai Trunks reached up and touched his lip lightly, “Well… time to clean up I guess.” he said softly.

***

“GOHAN!” Trunks 2 appeared in his living room. He saw ‘his’ Gohan sitting on the couch and threw himself over the back of the couch onto his beloved.

Gohan cried out in surprise as a very excited Trunks landed in his lap. “Trunks? Is it you?”

“Yeah! It’s me!”

“I dunno’.” Gohan said slyly, “I’m not too sure it’s really ‘my’ Trunks.”

“Oh yeah, well I’ll just have to prove it.” And he did.

***

He landed in front of his house, stomach clenching nervously. Taking a deep breath he walked to the door and with a shaking hand reached up and turned the door knob. The door swung open and he hesitantly walked in. “Hello?” he called.

There was no response.

“Hello?!” He called, louder this time.

Still no response, he searched the house quickly, only to find it was completely empty. “Where could they be?” He wondered aloud.

He ran out of the house and flew straight to his mother’s home. He ran to the door and hesitated briefly. Then he knocked, hurting his knuckles on the wood.

“Just a minute!” A voice from inside yelled. A moment later the door opened to reveal his mother.

“Hi mom!” He called, smiling. “Where is everyone?”

“Mom?” Bulma repeated carefully, “Oh, you must be mistaken. I’m not your mother.” She smiled kindly.

“Wh-what? mom? What kind of joke is this?” Trunks cried.

“Listen son, you look worn out. Why don’t you come in and have something to eat and then I’ll you find your way home.” Bulma said gently.

“Lace!”

Trunks whirled as an excited Goten ran up behind him. Goten stopped as he saw Trunks, “Oh… sorry. From behind you kind of looked like Lacey.” He looked at Bulma and grinned, “Is Lacey around?”

“Oh, sure. She’s upstairs.” Bulma nodded with a smile.

Goten nodded at Trunks and rushed into the house. ::I must be in an alternate universe:: Trunks realized, fear gripping him in the chest and making it hard to breath. ::But… But Mirai Trunks defeated the Monk… didn’t he? Shouldn't I be home?::

“Come in, young man. Before you fall down.” Bulma stepped back, opening the door so he could walk in.

::May as well:: Trunks decided with a deep sigh, ::Not much else I can do.::

***

“The dragon can’t resurrect him.” Goku said softly, his shoulders slumping, “I’m so sorry, Vegeta.”

Gohan shook his head, tears streaming down his cheeks. “Trunks.” He whispered.

“So, he’s dead.. and we don’t know who or what killed him.” Vegeta growled, anger coursing through him so strongly he was shaking.

Gohan placed his hands over his heart. “I… I…” He slumped to the ground.

Goku ran to his son’s side, turning his back just long enough for Vegeta to take off. He looked up, “Vegeta! WAIT!” He cried, but his lover kept going.

Trembling Goku wrapped his arms around his grieving son. “I’m sorry Gohan.”

“I’ll… I’ll never… love anyone… as much… as,” Gohan’s voice choked as his throat filled with tears, “As much as I loved him.”

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