Tien was always more on the reserved side.
He was never really the social type in most cases. Whether it be just starting a normal conversation-unless someone approached him-or even going to one of Bulma's many parties. Also due to the fact that he grew up under the teachings and influence of a cruel master, there was no time for such petty things, only to do what he was told and follow orders. His only friend being Chiaotzu.
He was walking down the main street of the village his dojo was centered in. People busy and bustling about at different stands and buildings. He had dimissed his students for the day and Chiaotzu stayed behind to clean up. Awhile ago, after she helped fix the damage she'd caused, Yurin took a trip to see the world, because she was so bent on revenge that she didn't think about anything else all those years and now she was going to rectify it. Once she'd return, she would stay permanently.
Just on a whim, he thought about how so many things had changed when he met Goku and the others. Especially with the end of the Tournament of Power(and how the universe could've been erased from existence and not just earth this time) you can't help but to think about your life thus far. Before hand, he would never dreamed being apart something he had with his friends. He didn't think that making connections were really significant nor did he really know how to make them...but now he's glad he did. If he hadn't meet them, he and Chiaotzu would've probably still been the jerks they where before, under Master Shen's twisted grip. It was great having friends to have your back; Goku, Krillin, Master Roshi, Piccolo, and Yamcha.
It's been three months since his disappearance. Tien had felt awful about what he said about him that day. If he had said that when they first met, he could've cared less, but now...well, it still tore him up ever since then. As strong as one is, a man calling another man weak is always a shot to the pride, especially from someone who they trusted and considered a friend. It wasn't completely true either, he might not have been as strong as everyone, but in truth, you should never compare your power to others because everyone has their own unique strengths.
He just wished he remembered that sooner. Now his friend is gone and he doesn't know when or if he'll be able to apologize to him. Not knowing what is happening to his friend right now and not being able to do anything about it.
That terrified him every day.
" Wherever you are, my friend, I hope you are alright" he mumbled, when his thoughts had been interrupted by his growling stomach. Heh, guess that's a sign then.
He immediately headed over to his favorite bento box stand on the street.
( A/N: I love bento boxes!) When he got there, he noticed a woman already next in line to order. She had lime green flowing hair with a white leather jacket, brown rolled up shorts, and brown combat boots. He couldn't see her face for her back was turned. She moved to the side to wait for her order.
He came up to the stand, ordered his beef bento, then proceeded to wait for his order. Surprisingly and strangely enough, both his and the woman's order were ready at the same time. There was chopsticks, napkins, and other things customers might need on the go. One of them was a small box of soy sauce packets, but only one was left. Both reached for it at the same time without looking and their fingers touched.
Tien swore he felt a twinge of a warm sensation when he did. Both retracted their hands, with a dust of pink on their faces. " Oh!" Both said in unison, " Sorry, you can have it" she said. Her eyes momentarily went wide when she looked at him and she turned another shade of red, which didn't go unnoticed by him.
" Oh no no, please go ahead, I can ask for another one" he said plolitely. He asked the owner for another packet. When he got one they walked out of the line.
" S-sorry again. I didn't see you move your hand" she apologized again in her sweetly New York accent, " It's completely fine and...are you alright? I noticed your face turned red a minute ago? It's my third eye isn't?"
" Oh no! It's not your-" she paused for a moment as if she was thinking" well yeah it is. I uh...never seen a person with three eyes before, yeah that's it, and no it's not a bad thing! I-I actually think it's really cool. Sorry I'm mess " she rambled. "It's alright, and I appreciate the complement, most people would think I'm an alien or something " he rubbed his neck shyly, " Well...I'm not like most people" she smiled at him and he smiled back.
Now that he got to see her face she had big blue eyes. Why does she seem so familiar?
" By the way, my name is Tien, Tien Shinhan. I'm the master of this town's local dojo" he held his hand out for her to shake, " Oh, Really? I'm...Chan-Lu".
At that moment both their stomachs growled, " Oh boy, there it goes again" he laughed and she did too " would you...care to join me?" He hesitantly asked, unsure of why he asked. " Don't mind if do" she giggled.
They both sat down on some nearby benches and talked for the rest of the afternoon long. At first it was small talk just to get it going until it escalated in full conversations about anything and everything long after their meals were finished. They came to realize that they really enjoyed each other's company.
When that day ended, more like Chan-Lu had to leave because it was late, they said they wanted to meet here again someday. Tien learned that she was from North City ( A/N: don't know if that's real) and she was a traveling mechanic. She was passing by the town to find work.
Tien never really talked anyone like that outside their " group" in a long time. It was different, but it felt...good. He found that he really liked talking to her. To say it bluntly, he's never been one for romance nor does he know what to do with it. Only time he's ever really come close to thinking about it was with...her.
Even with all her flaws and...specialties, he was slightly attracted to that. Her tough attitude and courage is what attracted him the most. Unbeknownst to everyone, the day he and Chiaotzu met Goku again and his gang at the tournament; he and she met for the first time when they were momentarily alone. She was blonde then, she recognized him as the ' asshole who screwed with her boys' as she put it. Boy, she let him have it with all her threats and insults, and told him to not mess with them again or she'll use his eyes for target practice, no matter how strong or hot he was. Her last words before she left were " It's too bad you're a real asshat, cause I'm kinda into bad boys like you, hot stuff. Not that I'm a good girl myself" she said seductively while getting right in his face. " Tell you what, come find me when you get clue, kay tough guy? Later". That was first time he had ever blushed because of something like that and the first time felt any attraction to a woman. Her threats didn't phase him in the slightest, but the fact she had the spine talk to him like that is what attracted him to her in the first place. Even though he had no interest in romance, it couldn't be helped.
He hadn't heard from her in years, none of them did, and he hoped she was doing ok, but...well, he didn't know what excatly.
Or if he ever would.
Seven days went by when they saw each other again at the same place. " Hey there stranger" Chan-Lu greeted him. Tien smiled softly, " Hello again, Chan-Lu. Is there any specific reason why your in town?" She smirked , " Why? did you not want me to come back?" Tien blushed hard, " W-Well I didn't mean it like that, I uh-"
" Relax" she giggled " I was kidding, I knew what you meant. I actually came here to get a few parts that I needed that I could only find here and uh..." now she turned red " I was hoping if uh...if your not too busy...could I have a tour of your dojo?" " O-Oh, of course".
Why am I blushing? I barely know her!
That day she met Chiaotzu and Master Roshi, because the old man was visiting again that day. Even with all his " training " to resist women for the tournament, he couldn't resist to cop a feel on Chan-Lu. Which of course, enraged her, and in turn got him a serious kick to the face, and her yelling ' Pervy Old Geezer!'. Both Chiaotzu and Tien were impressed, but not surprised by her reaction. Though, for a moment, Tien could've sworn he saw her eyes change to green when she did.
Other than that, they all got along well. Eventually, more visits came afterwards. Tien was starting to enjoy her company more and more with each visit. It was a nice change of pace for him.
Two months were going by as the two grew to have a great friendship. Chiaotzu really liked her too, and practically referred to her as a sister. She'd come to spend time out in the market or watch Tien as he taught his class at the dojo, and for the first time he discreetly used some of his more flashy skills during it to show off for her. Actually showing off for a girl. He felt like a school boy in love when he did that, while Chan-lu would have a practical nosebleed when he was shirtless( which was a lot).
Other times they would go out of his town to hers to spend the day or they wouldn't go anywhere at all and just sit...and have bento boxes for lunch. Some days it was all three of them and other days it was just Tien and Chan-Lu.
" One!" Tien ordered his students.
" HA!" The students shouted back as the practiced their punches.
" HA!" " More force in your punches, but not so much were you lose your balance!"
Tien kept commanding more orders of improvement and encouragement. " Tien is a really great teacher" said Chan-Lu to Chiaotzu, " Yep! He sure is" he replied. " Even though his class hasn't figured out how to harness ki yet, he doesn't give up on them".
" Who ever invented ice cream, you are a god!" said Chan-Lu pleasurely eating a rocky road ice cream cone. Tien had a green tea ice cream cup and Chiaotzu a mint chip cone. " That, I have to agree with" added Tien taking a spoonful of ice cream in his mouth. Chan-Lu took a lick from her cone, but a lot of it dripped on her face, so when removed it a ring of cream was all around her face.
Tien bit his lip, " What's wrong?" She asked, He turned a little red " Nothing! It's just..." he couldn't hold it anymore and burst out laughing, a real laugh, " It's just...your face...!" " Oh" she blushed in embarrassment "Are you laughing at me?" She smirked evilly, " well I guess I'll have to fix that" she was able to snatch his spoon, scoop some of his ice cream, and before he knew it bent it back and shot him in the face.
His face was of pure shock as the creamy dessert slid down his face. In turn, causing Chan-Lu and Chiaotzu to holler in laughter, not sure if it was because of the ice cream or his face in general.
" WOOHOO!" Chan-Lu shouted and laughed with excitement as Tien held her as he flew through the sky, " I can't believe you get to do this anytime you want!" she yelled because the blowing air was too loud to talk normal " Yeah, it is pretty amazing! I could teach you to do it if you like!?" " Really!?" "Of course! Anyone can do it, all they have to do is learn to harness their ki!" " Like what you try teaching your students!?" " Yes, and I can teach it to you too!" " Thank you, Tien! Your the best!" She slung her arms around his neck and kissed him on the cheek. There came that strange feeling again. His face went as red as a tomato, but he only smiled back at her.
Those two months were some of the enjoyable times Tien had in a long while. Chan-Lu was slowly bringing out a side of him he never thought he actually had.
Also the fact...that he was falling for her each day. Her tough, excited, independent, a bit crazy, sweet, smart, and inviting personality. Not to mention she was beautiful. Is this what love is like? I'm starting to think like the feeling... He would think to himself. He finally understood why Goku stays with Chi-Chi, why Krillin married 18, and why Yamcha and Bulma tried so hard to stay together.
Without her in his life now, he wouldn't have the possibility having a life...a future, outside of training and being a master, and now that she's here, even if he didn't know what he was doing; he was going to take that chance. It was all a new experience for him and he didn't know how to tell her.
Again, he never gave any thought to something like this, but with his experiences with the world and the universe being in constant danger; Life can be short, even with the dragon balls.
It was late at night and the moon was full. A light breeze blew in the air, blowing pedals off the trees.
Chan-Lu stood on a stone platform behind the dojo with Tien behind her waiting for what she had to say. She had not been herself all day. Always looking down and the cheer in her voice almost completely gone. It was as if she was nervous about something. She finally told him that she wanted to tell him something later tonight. He was hoping is to why she was acting so strange.
" Tien..." her eyes shadowed " These couple of months have been very happy for me. The best times I've had in a really really long time. But before we take this...uh...relationship any further...I have to tell you truth. Even if you hate me". Tien was confused, " What!? what could possibly make me hate you?" He asked.
" That I... I haven't been completely honest with you. I didn't want any secrets between us if this goes any further... so I'm going to tell you...I'm not who you think I am" her breathing started getting shaky "...we've met before".
" What? We have?" " Y-yes" she felt she was about to cry " it was years ago and I didn't think you would remember me...because I...because I've changed a lot as you can see, from those days that I was that person...the person who used to chase you all over the place".
How has she changed? Wait...it couldn't...no no it can't be...
She turned to face him, and in that one moment...that look her eyes told him the answer.
" My Kami...Launch...?"He whispered in disbelief " Yeah, it's me" she whispered.
It was as if an explosion went off in Tien's head. He couldn't believe he was right. He had suspicions that they were the same person, with the similarities in their personalities, the color of her eyes changing, and the fact that ' Chan-Lu' with the letters mixed spells ' Launch', but he just thought he was just losing it. Now that it was confirmed, he wanted more answers.
" ...Is that really you?" he spoke softly in disbelief, she nodded, " Where have you been all this time? What happened to you?...why didn't you tell me the truth when we met?" She sighed long and slow.
" It's a long story. After you died for the first time by those aliens, I was a mess. I didn't know what to do with myself, I thought I'd never see you again. That and a few other things made me relook my life over.
The reason why I stole so much, is because...well...when you'd look at it, who would want to hire a person with my problems? I've tried a job before, many times, but never worked out no matter what I did because of my...condition".
She told him how she got sloppy in a crime that got her caught by the police and all her money was given back to their respective banks. She was taken to court, and with some convincing from the noble detective that caught her, instead of three years in federal prison it got spent on super strict supervised community service fixing cars for a year because she gained some experience from fixing her get away scooter for so long. After she was released, she rethought her life completely. She continued her work as a mechanic for an honest living but was afraid that her " problems" would get in the way again, so she worked independently. That is until she was approached by a man who wanted to give her a second chance, a cure to her problem. He said there were possible risks but she didn't care nor did she care how much it costed because of her job. She was desperate for the life she always wanted.
Three days later she was picked up by two strange men, blind folded ,and taken to their " hospital ". It was all a blur of events after that. Seeing other people there who wanted the same thing she did, or in other words " help". She being prepped for her procedure with multiple tests, finding out that she was to be put in a tank of water with corded wristbands on her arms and shoulders instead of on an operating table, then feeling very drowsy and then: black. She woke up, apparently two years later she was told and the procedure was success.
Her personalities were melded into one which oddly gave her green hair.
" They later said that I was released to go with a few check ups. It was kinda suspicious on their part to let me go so easily after a procedure like that but I didn't question it. Well...that is until I found out that I could do this".
She aimed her palm out in front of her and the strangest thing happened. Her hand suddenly glowed a matching green color, like energy, formed a ball and shot forward in a blast singeing the bushes ahead. Tien's eyes widened more than they already did.
" I found out about it a few months afterward. I doubt it's anything like ki blasts you guys usually have, but it's special in its own way. Also it's really grown on me" she smirked for a moment before her face went back to being forlorn.
" I didn't know if you were dead or alive, but I was hoping you were alive due to the dragon balls, but..." she paused, " But what?" He asked eagerly, " but as much as I wanted to see you again and the guys... I didn't want you to have to deal with me anymore. I realize that I really was a nuisance to you and the others and I only got in the way of your training. So after I found out about my powers, I stayed away. I died my hair blue like I had it before to lay low for a bit and I became a traveling mechanic because I didn't want to stay in one place for too long...to keep myself from having to go through being alone again if I drove people away, even with the fact that I was cured. Few more years later I washed it back green, I travelled around for another year and then...I saw you again at that bento stand and...here we are. The moment I did my heart beating like it used to when I was around you".
The tears she was holding back finally pooled down her face, " I'm really really sorry for not telling you at the beginning and lying to you all this time and " she choked a sob, " I-I understand if you never want to see me again, I've caused you enough trouble, so I'll just go. I...it was really nice seeing you and Chiaotzu again and I hop-"
" Stop" ,Tien commanded. Launch gasped in surprise at his tone. Was he really that angry with her? " Don't say that like you're actually going to leave...because now that I found you again; I'm not letting you go". Her eyes went wide,
" Wha!? Tien..."
" I haven't been completely honest with you either. You see, I had a hunch that you weren't who said you were, but I thought I was just being crazy. Then what you told me tonight confirmed my suspicion's. I... I should've turned you away and never want to see you again because I thought all this time you were just going to be a distraction again ,or what I made myself believe. But after all these years of being without you... I realized... I missed you. A lot." He grabbed both her upper arms gently. This was hard for him because of the simple fact that he wasn't good about telling his feelings.
" There hasn't been a day where I haven't thought of what would've happened... if I decided...if I decided to make a future with you and what my life would be like... and I didn't think I would ever get the chance to find out. Even with all your flaws and bad habits; I liked everything about you. For just being you and for never giving up on me. Not to mention you kept me on my toes, made me want to push myself to be stronger to protect you. I think... that was one of the reasons why I pushed you away so much, after the whole incident with Piccolo, seeing I wasn't quite strong enough to defeat him I was afraid. Afraid that even with all my training if another enemy just a strong or even stronger than him came by; that I wouldn't be able to protect you. So I thought pushing you away more was the best way to keep you safe from getting hurt. In a strange way, I liked both of your personalities and the experiences I had with them, but it was only in two months I got to experience the new you, both of you in one and I'm glad I did. Whether it be both or one... it's still you...".
" T-Tien...? You really feel that way about me?" "With all that I am ". She sobbed in his shirt and he hugged her close. After about two minutes crying, she was able to speak: "
Tien, you wanna know why I fell for you in the first place?" " Why?" " because you were different. Like me. We weren't like everybody else, both us being out the norm and...I thought we could understand each other and maybe a little bit more. Cheesy as that sounds".
He smiled " Well, you thought right. Even if I never would've said it at the time because I didn't know what I wanted, but now I do know and I'm gonna say what I should've said a long time ago..."
He took her cheek in his rough hand, " I'm in love with you, Launch" her smile radiated through her tears, " I love you too, Tien". He put a hand on her cheek and wiped her tears and let his fingers linger there, while she slowly crept her hands on his back then they both slowly and hesitantly lent in for a long awaited first kiss under the glow of the full moon.
Chiaotzu came outside to check on them and saw the scene, " Well...it's about time" he said and floated back inside the dojo.
* Screams* Thank God I finished this! I get so distracted easily so it breaks my focus. I really wanted to show how Tien and Launch got together because there is not enough stories about them when there should be, especially since Toriyama completely forgot about her!
I wanted to make it look like the gang hasn't seen Launch for years and to not include her going to Satan's hotel party in Hey! Son Goku and friends return special.
Sorry if this was too long, in my defense I didn't say it was going to be a short side story. I'm gonna put more of these in the story, be on the look out, and once again please forgive my writing. I might make a story on Launch's missing past.
On to the next chapter and the- oops! Almost spoiled it( ͡ ͜ʖ ͡).