Categories > Anime/Manga > Dragon Ball Z > Fathers and Sons

chapter 2

by cnewtson 0 reviews

Revenge is a powerful incentive, and second chances dont come often enough.

Category: Dragon Ball Z - Rating: R - Genres: Drama - Characters: Trunks,Vegeta - Published: 2009-07-19 - Updated: 2009-07-20 - 2831 words - Complete

Fathers and sons are not so different, no matter the distance and time.

Trunks watched the bustling little town, and tried not to touch the pommel of his sword. Six years of freedom, and the human race was staggering back to its knees; everyone had been doing fine, getting on with their lives, rebuilding after the Sayajin. Statues were popping up all over the place, for all the brave souls who’d died fighting.

Brave souls my ass, Trunks thought as the people bustled past him. Some had fought, and some had submitted, and most had died. Life wasn’t eventualities, it was casualties. Most of the half-breeds had razed the pens and pits, and slaves had melted down their shackles to make farming implements. Six years of peace, and the human race had moved on.

What didn’t make sense was Raditz and Kakarrot sitting at the well in the center of the town, just waiting. Their ship had landed yesterday; without harming anyone, they’d made it perfectly clear that no damage would ensue, as long as Trunks Briefs turned up and accepted the message he’d been sent from Vegeta. King Vegeta, now.

“You think its worth listening to?” Trunks turned to Yaumcha, watching the scarred face harden.

“He’s your father. The call’s on you, kid.” Yaumcha spoke without taking his eyes off the Sayajin perched on the lip of stone.

“If its not important, we can just kill them and leave it at that,” Krillin shrugged and sipped his can of grape soda.

“It’s the third one I’m worried about,” Tien recrossed his legs without taking them off the little table, then recrossed his arms.

“Gohan and Racine are tailing the third one. Anyone else think its weird, the way he looks just like Kakarrot?” Piccolo said from the shade, a few feet behind the members sitting around the table. They’re collective eyes turned toward the third Sayajin as he walked towards the well. Old for a Sayajin, with peppered hair and a red bandana, and a crossed scar on his cheek. Raditz and Kakarrot were automatically deferential as he approached, which didn’t bode well, because they’d been Vegeta’s main flunkies. The strongest two Sayajin on the planet, besides the Prince, and the most responsible for the most damage.

“Vegeta either sent them to scare us, or because he needs a secret kept. Or both. Hey, Gohan, Racine; what's up?” Trunks stood to greet the two half-breeds as they circled around the building, deliberately turning his back to the Sayajin.

“He just flew around, checking shit out,” Racine eyed the three over Trunks’ shoulder, his tail lashing behind him in agitation.

“Kind of touristy, you know?” Gohan stuck his thumbs into his jean pockets, rocked back on his heels, and looked pensive for a moment. “Definitely knew we were there. Powerful, but he’s not nobility. If you’re gonna see what its all about, then Racine and I will go with you. Everyone else should hang back.” Gohan nudged Racine, who agreed with a non-committal grunt. “Don’t you want to, cousin?”

“I want to rip the bastard’s heart out,” Racine growled, hate seeping out of him as he glared across the square.

“Don’t be stupid,” the bark was sharp and unexpected, coming from Gohan. “Your mother died because of him, not because he actually killed her. If you’re going to kill him, then pick a better reason. There are plenty.”

“Forgive my lack of moral high ground,” Racine snarled, his tail puffing up as it lashed.

“Its not moral high ground, its common sense. I don’t want to kill Kakarrot because he was a shitty father, I want to kill him because he killed hundreds of people. Its that simple.” Gohan turned from his cousin and raised his eyebrows at Trunks. “You ready?”

“Lets rock,” Trunks grinned as he turned toward the Sayajin. The older men turned to focus on the trio as they walked closer, waiting patiently.

“You’re looking for Trunks Briefs?” Trunks asked, speaking to Raditz and Kakarrot; they both turned to look at the older one, deferential without even thinking about it.

“Yeah, we’re lookin’ for ya, kid. Your father sent you a little note.” Trunks froze, searching for the face in his memory. He’d heard the voice before, a long time ago. He caught the holographic projector out of reflex, not out of focus, and kept staring at the man.

“How do you know who my father is?” He didn’t mean for his voice to be so hard, but the anger was boiling up. Six years, and he still had barely any control on the power.

“I was there, kid, the night you got that useless stick, and at that last little skirmish. You did a good job; its hard to fake killing someone.” The man grinned, not watching Trunks, but Gohan and Racine. “How much do your little friends know, kid?”

“They know everything. Everyone who knows, is here. Watching you, and waiting for my signal, on weather or not you leave this planet alive.” Trunks didn’t have to look over his shoulder to know that Gohan and Racine hadn’t even twitched, but the old man laughed hard, and it caught him off guard.

“You’re okay, kid. You’ll give your old man a run for his money.” And the name hit him, across the years.

“You’d know that better than I would, Bardock. Now, can you tell me what he really wants? Because he sure as hell isn’t going to say it in this,” and he waved the holographic recording for emphasis.

“You'd be surprised, but sure. Its pretty easy if you understand the politics. Daddy quarantined the fuck out of this rock when we left, made it look liked he’d run out when the going got tough, and came back to the so-called shelter of Vegetasie. We figured his major enemies would make their bids for the throne within the first year, and we got rid of a lot of dumb-fucks, sure, but now we’ve got a little revolution brewing. Don’t know how much you know about Freeza, but for as bad as you think the Sayajin are, we ain’t got nothin’ on this sick bastard. We’ve got a couple treaties with him, but the minute your father screws up, the entire Sayajin race goes bye-bye, and along with it, all the red tape protecting this little mud-ball. So come to Vegetasie with me, kill a few Sayajin standing in our way, and Earth stays happy and healthy. You come with me, and I’ll leave my boys here to protect it for you while you're gone.”

“Do you want them to die? Your boys,” Racine spat the word, “Have committed mass genocide on our people, and you think we’re going to let them ‘protect’ us? Not fuckin’ likely,” he’d come a little forward, stood shoulder to shoulder with Trunks, and cocked his chin in such a way that would have gotten him beat to death just over six years ago.

“They’ve got their reasons for wanting to stay. A man who loses a son has lost the greatest treasure of his life; a man who finds a son is given a second chance at a life he never knew he could have. And every man deserves a second chance.” Bardock cocked his chin in exactly the same manner, and grinned.

“I don’t think you understand, Mr. Bardock. We don’t care about what they want. The people they killed didn’t get a second chance, and neither will they.” Gohan could look hard, when he wanted to, and it was scary to see that in someone so gentle.

“What about what your mother wants?” Bardock said the words calmly, but Raditz jumped to his feet, and Trunks just barely caught Racine as he lunged. “Sit down.” The tone brooked no argument, and for the first time in his life, Trunks saw a Sayajin sulk.

“You gave your word.” Raditz snarled, his tail lashing behind him, puffed out in his fury.

“Not my fault that a woman is a mans greatest weakness. Just look where its gotten His Highness. You're lucky there’s even some part of her that’s still alive.”

There was a long, low growl, and Raditz and Bardock turned exasperated looks toward Kakarrot. “Didn’t we just feed you? Raditz, when did your brother last eat?”

“We only had breakfast two hours ago, Dad, and it was fruit, I cant help it if we didn’t have anything that sticks to the ribs, and you said we couldn’t go hunting because we’d scare the humans, and-”

“Kakarrot, you and your brother might both be mine, but you’re both pure-bred halfwits. Raditz, go feed your brother, and you two,” he motioned to Gohan and Racine, “keep these two idiots out of trouble for longer than three minutes. Its harder than you think. You, kid, go find some place quiet and listen to that a few times. I expect the four of you back within thirty minutes, and you’ve got till sundown. Fuck off now, all of you.”

Kakarrot was in the air before Bardock had finished speaking, and Trunks hung around just long enough to see Bardock walking towards the table he’d left Yaumcha, Krillin, and Tien sitting at, waving a pack of battered cards. Well, there were worse things.

He flew to the crater where the pens had been, just in case his father said anything sentimental. Wouldn’t be Vegeta’s style, but precautions never hurt anyone. He’d only been in the pens once, less than an hour after his mother had died. He’d gone straight to Yaumcha, hoping his old teacher had an idea. Gohan and Racine had been there, looking a hell of a lot worse for wear than the last time Trunks had seen them. Trunks had only found out later why they were in there to begin with; at the time, he’d had two days to pull off the miracle that his mother hadn’t managed to pull off for fifteen years.

He looked around at the still-charred earth, and wondered. Sayajin that had fathered halfbreed children weren’t allowed to keep them, mostly because halfbreeds on principal were weak, and threrefore unworthy. Their entertainment value was pretty high; to a 'true' Sayajin, Trunks imagined that they likened halfbreeds fighting in the pits to gladiators fighting to the death. Throw two of them in a pit, and bet on which one dies first. And if they didn’t fight, send a real Sayajin in to beat them to death. Gohan had explained the basics, but he wouldn’t talk about the six months he and his cousin had spent in the pens, waiting to die. Racine had only alluded to it once, and Gohan had broken three of his ribs for it. Humans, on the other hand - and what a hand it was - were slaves meant for hard labor and occasional carnal entertainment, although procreating was on the same level as bestiality to a Sayajin fresh from Vegetasie. Most of the halfbreeds that had survived had never known their fathers, or refused to talk about them. Racine and Gohan had been well-hidden and well cared for by their fathers, which was odd. Not just because Sayajin rarely had any emotional attachments to the halfbreeds they produced, but because when Trunks had first met them - he must have been seven at the time, just after the first time his father had spoken to him - the two had genuinely loved their fathers. Trunks understood; the hate had settled in and become familiar to them, which was just love in another form. Trunks had watched his parents confront each other on numerous occasions; he had always doubted, always been unsure, and for as much as he hated Vegeta for what had been done, every boy wants to love their father.

Trunks hit the play button, dropped the hologram in the dirt, and stepped back. His father’s image shot up, blue and translucent, facing just a little to the right of where Trunks was standing. He moved around so that his father was basically looking him in the eye, while someone out of the picture muttered about lighting and angle.

“Is it on? I don’t give a fuck how it looks you idiot, just get out!” Vegeta barked, waited for the hurried slam of a door, and spoke again. “Trunks Briefs.” A long, indrawn breath, and a heavy sigh. “Fuck, boy, I honestly know nothing about you to persuade you to haul your ass halfway across the galaxy just to save my throne. If you come, then Earth and Vegetasie will be safe for the foreseeable future. If you don’t, then you’ll have to kill your enemies as they come to your door, but at least you’ll have gotten what your mother wanted. I need two things from you, boy. A lot of Sayajin dead, and an heir. I cant put you on the throne, and I am…unable to conceive. But a mostly Sayajin grandson, that I can pass off as my own son, is the best solution. Which brings us to another point, because I’ll need you to stick around long enough to train the boy. Freeza is going to come knocking at my door as soon as this revolution is over, demanding my heir in payment for not blowing us to kingdom come, because he knows I’m not going to honor my father’s treaty with him. You think the pens were bad, boy? Live with Freeza for four years, and tell me how much worse off those halfbreeds were. At least they knew we wouldn’t rape them for sport, and they knew how they’d die.” Vegeta paused for a long moment, looking down and far away. When he spoke again, he wasn’t anything other than a tired man. “If nothing else, let me see you one last time, before I die.” Men like Vegeta never beg, but they never ask for anything unless there is absolutely no other alternative.

The image of Vegeta reached out and turned the recording device off, and the picture disappeared. Trunks stared at the little blue oval for a long time, then at the surrounding remains. Things had already started growing here, and an alter had been set up some ways away, where the survivors came to remember their friends, or the ones they’d killed to stay alive. If there was ever even an attempt to repeat what they Sayajin had done…the human race wouldn’t survive something so horrific with so little time to heal. Protect the people, at all costs. His mother hadn’t taught him that, but he’d learned it the hard way, over the past six years. He scooped up the holographic projector, and walked all the way back to the little town he’d left Bardock in. It took him a few hours, time enough to weigh the pros and cons, and to change his mind. He didn’t, though, and as he walked up to the little table, he smiled as all of his old teachers yelled and cheated and glared, focused hard on the battered cards. Yaumcha must have talked Piccolo into playing, because the Namek was hunched suspiciously over his hand, eyeing the other players. He stopped at Bardock’s elbow, and waited until he’d gotten their full attention. It only took a couple of moments of looming quietly.

“I’ll be going with you to Vegetasie.”

“Fuckin’ beautiful. Do me a favor, and go find my halfbreeds, and see if they’ve managed to keep my halfwits from giving each other even more brain damage. I severely doubt it, but a man can hope.” Bardock didn’t even look up from the cards, but Trunks smiled.

“You guys need anything before I go?” He knew Krillin would want –

“Grape soda, please!” And Yaumcha would want –

“Bourbon.” And Tien usually chimed in around now –

“Bourbon and a chaser.” Piccolo didn’t usually –


Trunks smiled, and went into the cantina for the drink order; when he came back out with it, they were still absorbed enough in their card game that when he took off to go find Gohan and Racine, they didn’t notice him go.

Trunks had known their mothers briefly, had fought their fathers alongside them…and fathers and sons each deserved the chance to get to know each other.

Every one gets a second chance, he thought as he flew towards the bright points of their ki, but not all of us take them. I will.
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