A/N: You have no idea how long I've had this story, before I finally finished this thing. It's beeon over 10,000 words for at least a year. I know not too many people will read this, because not many people really read the prequel, but I like this pairing and I'm going to do more of this pairing. At least 2-3 other entries. Enjoy it if this puts a wind in your ship's sails.
The giant of the man looked down on the secretary behind the desk. The smartly dressed woman knew that this summer heat was getting to her, and the man could see her sweat under his gaze. She quickly went through her papers, looking for some type of reason why this man was here. "Pardon me." The receptionist asked. "You are…" She finally found the filled application. "Mr. Kogu correct?"
The blue-skinned man gave the woman behind the desk a reassuring smile. "That is correct my dear." His breathy accent was like softest of silk sheets upon her ears. "But please call me Kogu. I have never cared much for formalities."
"Excellent. You are right on time sir." The receptionist felt herself quiver underneath his gaze. Kogu looked so exotic. Bondi-blue skin, pointed ears and an accent that made her tremble in her knees. He was sight for sore eyes after the dozens of sweaty, muscleman wannabees she's has been seeing for the past week. The receptionist looked back to the application. "You have an audition with Mr. Cash to be one of the Galactic Fighters for his upcoming tournament." She scanned the rest of her paper in front of her. "It says that you are part of a troop, are they going to be joining you today?"
"My master and comrades could not make it today, but I hope that my skills would be more than enough to prove ourselves to Mr. Cash." He grinned, with a slight purr in his tone towards the woman.
Flustered, the older woman failed to meet his gaze. "Oh my, I completely forgot to let Mr. Cash that you have arrived." She buzzed the intercom. After she passed on the message, she made sure to give the biggest charming smile to the handsome man in front of her. "I have a feeling that you will definitely get the job Kogu."
"Of course, I have no doubt that Mr. Cash will see that we are the best fighters for this position." He gave the secretary a grin before he made his way to the doors behind her.
Zangya smoothed out her clothes before she dared to knock on the door of the Son household. A nice white blouse with a pair of jeans. No fighting gi, no senzu beans and absolutely nothing that could be seen to have anything to do with training. She wanted to check on Gohan, not get into a spat with his shrew of a mother.
Have to look nice, or that woman won't let me in, she thought. Zangya sighed. The things she does for her friend. She has not seen Gohan since he left The Lookout weeks ago, and Zangya has started to get worried. He looked awful after Goku made his choice to stay dead.
The heran took a deep breath to prepare herself. She gave the door of the Son home a heavy knock and waited. She felt rather irritated and thought to herself, Why am I even here? Gohan's fine, he never lets anything get him down. Zangya huffed to herself. He'll come and see me when he's ready. She turned away to fly back home only to hear someone behind her.
Even though she couldn't see Chi-Chi's face, she could hear her disappointment in that single word. Zangya turned around and tried not to let her grimace show. "Hello Mrs. Son," she said in the politest tone possible, strained though it was. "Is Gohan home?" She asked.
Chi-Chi stared at Zangya with a frosty grimace before her face fell in defeat. "Yes." She opened the door wide to invite her guest in.
Zangya stepped inside and followed after Chi-Chi. But why wasn't Gohan out to meet her as usual? He usually met her at the door and flew off while Chi-Chi screamed after them. It was always fun for Zangya to rile the woman up and to watch Gohan get all flustered about it.
Chi-Chi noticed Zangya and her searching expression, and remarked, "He has barely left his room since he got home. He has just been studying constantly." The mother of the boy in question started to look much older than she really was.
She looked at the girl in front of her. The heran felt tense under Chi-Chi's gaze. Instead of the usual judgemental stare, there was a certain softness behind her eyes. Zangya saw the weight on her shoulders as she slumped forward.
"Gohan needs friends right now, so I'll overlook any rough-housing you two do…for now. All right?" Chi-Chi stated.
Zangya was flabbergasted. Was Chi-Chi giving her blessing to allow Gohan to train? That's great! But if Chi-Chi was willing to let them train, things are worse than she thought. The hera struggled to nod her disbelief extremely evident. "T-Thank you, Mrs. Son."
Before Zangya could leave though, she did hear Chi-Chi speak with a slight tease. "Make sure you two don't have too much fun. You both are getting near that age after all."
The girl swallowed her angry retort. Gohan first, deal with the shrew later. Not bothering to knock, Zangya barged into his room. "Gohan!"
"Zangya?" Gohan sat up in his chair in surprise. "What are you doing here?"
Gohan's bedroom did not look any different the last time she was here before the Cell Games. It was clean and organized, a place for everything and a thing for every place. The shelves were lined with books alphabetically and a bed so tight that you could bounce zeni coins off it. Nothing out of the ordinary for the studious boy.
"Just over for a visit." Zangya replied cooly back, testing the waters.
"I was just busy studying, how about later?" Gohan smiled at her, but it never reached his eyes. It was eerie and unsettling.
He did not even have a book open in front of him.
"No. We are going outside." He opened his mouth to protest, but she gave no room for him to argue. "Now come on. You've been holed up in here for too long. Icarus is probably getting lonely since you haven't played with him for a while." Zangya practically manhandled the boy and shoved him out of the room.
"Mom!" He cried out, hoping for help as he passed his mother in the kitchen. Plates were being washed and judging by the stack of them next to the sink, it was going to be a while.
Her answer was heard between the clattering of dishes as she cleaned the countertop. "Have fun Gohan. Make sure you don't come back till sundown." She waved them out the door, and blatantly ignored the pleas from her son.
The troubled young saiyan was then dragged into the sky with no way to escape, Gohan was left with only one option. Zangya felt Gohan gave up and joined her in flight beside her. She smiled at him. "Now let's go give Icaraus a workout."
With the dragon now satisfied, the young pre-teen duo left him to sleep while they walked around Orange Star City, mostly at Zangya's insistence. The two of them made their way through the mall, most crowds giving the hera a wide berth due to her rather harsh gaze to anyone in her way. Her eyes softened when they come across a rather unique clothing store.
"Poofs & Hoops?" Gohan inquired, only for Zangya to ignore him completely while she stared longingly at a pair of peculiar pants in the window. "Zangya?" He prodded her arm.
Zangya stared down the shorter saiyan in slight contempt for breaking her out of her fantasy, only for it to drop immediately after with a heavy sigh. "They remind me so much of home." She said wistfully. "I haven't seen Hera since my Uncle took me with the GS when I could barely walk."
She continued, lost in her memories. "It was so hot on the planet that our clothes needed room to breathe through the thin material, or we risk ourselves dropping from the heat of the two suns, Atum and Aten."
Gohan started to walk into the store. "Where are you going?" She caught up to him inside the store and refused the desire to touch the materials to see if they felt as good as the ones that she could remember.
"Well, you really like them right?" He stated.
The hera raised her eyebrow inquisitively. "Yes." She droned back.
"So I'll buy you some of the clothes here, as a gift."
"But it isn't that what the holiday with all the cold white sand is about?" Zangya inquired, as she thought back to those festive evenings at Capsule Corp.
"Kind of." Gohan rubbed the back of his neck embarrassingly. "But it's because you're my friend and you really like them, so I should get you at least a pair or two."
Zangya bit back a retort about needing his charity. I really want some of those, harem pants, so I'll let it slide this time. She thought with weak remorse.
When both of the teens got a closer look at the price tag attached to the spacious pair of white pants, Zangya clicked her tongue in disappointment. Gohan blushed with embarrassment. "Maybe after Mom gives me a forward on my allowance for the next few months," Gohan said cheerfully, he didn't want to dampen the already ruined mood. They left the store disheartened.
Zangya huffed in annoyance. "It's not like they give you the pants if you ask nicely." She muttered. Gohan looked back at the store and his face lit up with an idea, but as the hera walked off Gohan rushed to keep up.
"If only there was a way for us to get some zeni." Gohan sighed. People were crowded around them in a rather large gathering of people, it made moving through the mall a slow venture. Everyone seemed to be waiting for something in front of one of the mega screens in the mall.
Zangya resisted the urge to punch someone when people were being rather pushy trying to get to the front of the crowd. Gohan, the more social one of the two, asked one woman who stood next to him what exactly was going on.
"Didn't you hear? The richest man in the world, Mr. X. S. Cash, has an important announcement to make. He's broadcasting it across the entire world!" The jumbotron flickered on and revealed said trillionaire. "Shush! It's starting."
"Greetings People of Earth!" he said. "I, Xavier Salavador Cash, have decided to host a martial arts tournament. But not just any tournament, the largest the world ever has known. In fact, it will be of such great scale that it is not only open to we earthlings but any visitors from across the stars. For it will be called…"
"The Intergalactic Tournament!"
Everyone besides them started to whisper at the chance of actual extra-terrestrials showing up for the tournament. Gohan and Zangya shared a look and snickered. But when they heard the host of the so-called tournament say the prize for winning would be over 100,000,000 zeni, they could not help but pay attention.
"The entire competition will be held on one of my many chains of privately owned islands with customized arenas to test each fighters' skills and endurance. When we have our chosen contestants after our elimination matches, they will face each other in the semi-finals, and whoever wins those matches will go against my featured fighters…."
The screen darkened while the drums brought up the suspense.
"The Intergalactic Fighters!"
The screen blinked and revealed four similar looking figures in front of a massive pyramid-looking spaceship.
Zangya's dismissal of the human tournament died in her throat when she saw the ship and the four figures in front of it. She did not hear the rest of the announcement. Gohan looked excited to compete and went into a tirade talking about how his father used to fight in a tournament just like this when he was their age. But none of it mattered because Zangya was in a daze.
She followed Gohan out of the mall after the presentation. The boy, lost in his excitement, failed to notice his friend's silence. Gohan bid her goodbye and flew off to get his mother's permission to join. Zangya drifted into the air and headed towards The Lookout. Before she could reach her destination, however, another figure was in the air waiting for her.
She came to a stop and stared with wide eyes upon the man she hasn't seen since she was a young girl, given her own small ship and told to conquer planets. The name felt hoarse coming out of her throat. It's been years since she said it, and she hasn't thought of him since the first defeat of Frieza.
With the return of Kogu in her life, Zangya felt like the past three years of her life were one long dream. She helped fight a galactic emperor, cyborgs and a bio-android. By the end of every fight, she was beaten and bruised more than the last. A dozen broken bones and she could swear that she swallowed Cell's fingernail when he punched her in the mouth.
But she was happy.
Zangya wasn't stuck on some mudball as she waited for the Galactic Soldiers to come back for her. She got stronger with the help of her friends and mentor, she could do things she never thought possible because of them. She never really saw it coming to an end until today.
After she returned to The Lookout Zangya barely mumbled a hello to Piccolo and Dende before she disappeared into her room for the night. She breezed past them the morning after to train for the tournament by herself away from everyone else. When Zangya returned she mumbled another passable greeting before she headed to bed.
Master Piccolo gave her that look that said: "Is something wrong?" He was worried, but Zangya did not say a word, and Piccolo would not push her to talk. Dende knew better than to ask after she practically bit off the poor kid's head off one morning. This continued for weeks until the morning of the tournament.
She laid in bed, for Zangya had dreaded this day, even now, her talk she had with Kogu still rang through her head.
"Zangya." Her uncle's voice was curt, and there was no sign of friendship or love that she had grown used to with her time on Earth. "When we lost contact with your ship, we believed you were dead. Where have you been?" The seniority in his voice was less of an uncle, more so to that of a commanding officer. It's to be expected, being the second-in-command of the galaxy's strongest mercenaries.
The younger hera felt her tongue too heavy to move. What could she say to her uncle? That she was busy getting stronger and enjoying her time on Earth?
"I had found a different method of training sir," Zangya replied, she had slipped back into her old behaviour when faced with another member of the company. "I have made leaps and bounds with strength, sir." She stood at attention across from her uncle, her body still as they hovered in the air.
Kogu gave her a once-over and smiled. "I can see. This new method of training you have done has certainly done wonders. You are far beyond what I was expected you to be."
Zangya felt her heart soar. He is proud of my strength, she thought with pride. "Thank you, sir."
"You have already heard of this planet's so-called Intergalactic Tournament?" Kogu asked he made sure to emphasise his amusement at the earthlings' idea of such a farce of a tournament.
"Then I expect you to participate." Kogu continued. "Once you reach the semi-finals, I will meet you during the final matches. Then you will join us in the second stage of the mission."
"What will happen after we complete the mission, sir?" She inquired.
"That is up to Master Bojack. After we carry out our mission at the Intergalactic Tournament, we are leaving the planet. You will be joining us." Kogu smiled, but it lacked any warmth. "If you perform well in the final phase of the mission, you will earn your position at Master Bojack's side."
The younger hera swallowed the lump in her throat. "Yes, sir."
Startled out of the memory, Zangya finally noticed that she was no longer on The Lookout. Piccolo stood beside her with a rather annoyed look on his face with his upper lip curled in slight distaste. He nodded towards the registration table for the tournament. She fought back a slight blush of embarrassment as she signed her name on the entry form. She handed the paper back to one of the pudgier humans behind the table.
The man gave the young hera a hesitant look before he spoke up. His voice carried a gentle tone like he wanted to remind a child that a fork does not go in an electrical outlet. "Miss, are you sure you want to fight with the other contestants?" He began. "It might be too dangerous for you. Is your mother or father here with you?"
Before Zangya could show him what could be too dangerous for him, Piccolo spoke up. Like rumbling gravel, he growled out, "I'm her guardian and she has my permission to be in this tournament." He stared down at the little man in a suit with his trademarked glare. "Stop wasting our time." Being a 7-foot tall green man can make a person extremely intimidating among the earthlings.
Shakened, the registrar took the form, waved them through with a forced smile as the two real aliens walked down the hall away from the constant chatter from the other possible contestants.
They made their way towards the fighters only-area, Zangya could hear Piccolo as he growled in frustration at some of the policies for this new tournament. Between the age "recommendation" and the lack of any real opponents near their level of skill, Zangya could almost agree with her mentor. It didn't feel right that one of the last days she had left on this planet and she couldn't fight to her full power against all these weaklings. It certainly did not help her already dismal mood.
Piccolo opened the doors harder than he should have and the slammed backward into the walls, door stopper be damned. All the fighters saw their entrance, and it gave some of the more cocky fighters a reason to puff and strut as if they could intimidate Zangya and Piccolo. All the posturing by the weaklings in front of them made the Namekian fighter rumbled with irritation.
After Cell's defeat and Goku's refusal to come back to life, Piccolo had become an agitated sparring partner. Zangya hoped this tournament would release some of his pent-up aggression. It certainly did not help his attitude being packed into this room with hundreds of sweaty humans waiting to be released into numerous arenas like packs of wild animals.
Zangya actually rather liked the last part. It made her feel a little bit primal. Disgusted, but primal.
It certainly helped to channel this newfound energy into her own battle royale. It allowed her mind to wander to more important things, if only they were good things. She caught a glimpse of Gohan on a lower platform in his battles. He certainly had a bit a skip in his step. Especially when he skipped into one fighter's stomach with enough force to launch him off the platform.
Zangya had a ghost of a smile when she heard the distant splash. At least Gohan was finally out of his funk, she lazily weaved through a group of fighters that tried to take her down as a prompt-to team. It was hard not to laugh at them.
Horns blared through the speakers that surrounded the fighting platform, and even they could barely be heard over the heated crowd that roared in response. The jumbotron that flew above the stadium sparked to life, the announcer appeared with a flourish. "And with that, the elimination rounds are over!" His announcement was met with immense cheers. "We have our fighters for the second round folks, we're going to take a quick break before we start the second round. Get your snacks and we'll be right back!"
Zangya took her time going back to the staging area. She already saw Gohan head in there and dreaded to face him now. She still had not told anyone that she would be leaving the planet during the tournament. The hera did not even know the exact plan of her mercenary company. Zangya did not expect them to give her time to say goodbye.
She still needed to figure out a way to explain her departure to her friends, Gohan especially. How can she tell him that she was leaving after a five-year friendship? Zangya swore as the saiyan headed right towards her. He had a small box in his hands and a happy smile on his face. What is he up to?
Gohan waved rather cheerily at her as he greeted her. "Hi, Zangya! I haven't seen you since we went to the mall. How you've been? Been having fun in the tournament?" He said.
She found it hard to smile back. "It's not bad, but its rather boring fighting all these weaklings." Zangya resisted the urge to scoff. If only most humans were strong enough to put up a decent fight.
"I guess we just have to wait till the semi-finals, then we'll get to the good fights," Gohan said.
At the mention of the semi-finals, Zangya lost her smile. That is a mess and half to explain and she certainly did not want to tell him anything right now.
The young saiyan started to panic at the loss of his friend's smile. "Anyway, I have something for you." In his haste to probably get her to smile again, he practically shoved out the small box out in front of him. It had a small ribbon wrapped around it, and it was no longer than two fists put together. Gohan then started to sweat as the rest of his words tumbled out of his mouth like Oolong down the stairs for dinner. "When I told Mom that I was signing up for the tournament, she gave me an advance on my allowance and I went back to the mall to get you something," Gohan said. "Since you said that most of the stuff in the store reminds you of home, I thought you might like it." He held out the small box.
Zangya looked at the box with suspicion. She rose an eyebrow and looked incredulously at the wrapped box. "You're not trying to court me are you?"
When the words left her mouth, Gohan turned an interesting shade before he vehemently denied the notion. "N-no!" He avoided her gaze. "With everything else being so expensive in the store, I thought you might like this necklace because it looks a lot like the one you had when we first met." His eyes widened as he realized that he had spoiled the surprise. As Gohan tried to talk his way out of the hole he dug, Zangya took the gift right out of the horse's mouth and opened the box.
Touched by the gesture, Zangya took hold of the necklace wordlessly. It was made to look pretty because there was no way Gohan had enough money to buy anything made of real gold. The pendant attached to the chain was shaped into an eye with curled lashes and a decorative ruby-red gem in the center that was nothing more than a polished rock. Even though she could not focus her chi through this one like the one she used to have, it was still pretty.
"Thank you." She delicately placed it into her pocket. Gohan disheartened at the action but did not say anything. Was that Trunks coming down the hall? "I'll see you later Gohan." It was a little cold, but Zangya had a lot on her mind and was in no mood to share as she left the boy behind her. No one knows how it feels to leave everyone behind and never see them again, the heran thought.
"Are you okay Zangya, you seem a little distracted?" Trunks asked.
On second thought. "Trunks, could I talk to you in private?" She made sure that he followed behind her as they headed off around numerous corners and hallways. Whatever this X.S Cash did for a living, he must have been rich enough to buy nearly half the world to build such a massive stadium for just one tournament. With the huge amount of staff and competitors, it was rather tiresome for them to find a spot for a private conversation.
The crowd became a distant lull in the background as the two fighters found themselves deeper in the stadium. With a deep breath, Zangya mentally prepared herself for a very personal conversation. Hopefully, Trunks was willing to share because she certainly cannot.
After so many turns and curves, Trunks finally spoke up, "So what did you want to talk about Zangya? Did we have to go so far off though, we might miss the one-on-one elimination matches."
"We have time. But I have a question for you. Why are you here? Aren't you suppose to head back to your own time?" Zangya inquired, she tested the waters between them.
At this, Trunks looked rather crestfallen. "I am-I mean I will!" He stuttered. "But I want to spend more time with you guys now before I head home."
"Why? When you eventually leave, its just going to hurt more. Why do this to yourself? You were better off leaving right after the Cell Games." She reasoned. Zangya had years of friendship with Gohan and the idea of even telling him that she was leaving was difficult. "Why torture yourself by sticking around and getting close? You've gotten to know your father, mother and all these people they've talked about for years." The heran started to pull at her hair, her hands strained against the roots on her scalp.
"It's just…" She felt her heartache in her chest. Zangya remembered when she meditated along with Piccolo, he helped get her temper under control. When Krillin took her out for ice cream and showed her some of the fun stuff in the cities. Launch baked her cookies while Tien and Chiaotzu taught her how to find just the right spot to get into a human's blind spot. Yamacha gave her and Gohan season tickets to baseball games. And Gohan…was just Gohan. "It doesn't make sense to hurt yourself and everyone around you by sticking around if you know you are going to leave." Zangya felt her eyes tear up and she refused to let Trunks see her cry. The hera turned her back to the time-traveler as she rubbed her eyes.
The half-saiyan tried to say something, but Zangya could feel his unease about the whole situation. Despite her best efforts, Trunks knew that she was now very emotional.
"Well…" Trunks started. "There is something I've learned after all this time I've spent with all of you." He paused as he tried to put his thoughts into words. "My mother spent years in her lab, holed up and trying to make her time-travel plan work. After Dad, Goku and everyone else died only three things kept her going. Her me, her work and the memories of her friends."
Zangya turned around and saw the wistful look in his eyes. He looked a little lost in his thoughts of the past.
"Even if you-if we leave," Trunks corrected, his emphasis on we made her flinch. He made sure to look Zangya directly in the eyes. "We'll still carry them within our hearts and our memories of them will be the only thing that keeps us going when everything goes wrong and we just don't have the strength to continue." He heaved a heavy breath. "That's why I don't want to leave just yet. When I finally go home, kill the Androids and live my life, I'll need memories like this to help keep me going when times get rough."
"I don't know why you want to leave Earth." Trunks said. Zangya shifted under his gaze but relaxed as his eyes grew softer. He continued, "And I won't pry. It's not my business." He waved his hands in surrender. "So you need to make a choice, do you want to leave Earth without so much as a goodbye?" Trunks then started to walk back the way they came. "Or you can make some good memories and leave everyone with a smile." With that, Trunks left with a reassuring smile.
The confused heran mulled over his words. Was it that simple? Can she leave this world and go back to the Galactic Soldiers, terrorizing the galaxy at price of the highest bidder without saying goodbye and making their farewell memorable for all the right reasons? Zangya felt the weight of the necklace in her pocket and it brought a smile to her face. She put her hand in her pocket and felt around the eye-shaped pendant.
"You're looking better," Tien remarked when he saw Zangya. She walked onto the ring platform with a smile on her face as she waved to the crowd. She was rewarded with cheers and screams from the tens of thousands of spectators. It felt wonderful to soak up all that adoration.
"I am better," Zangya replied. "Just needed to work a few things out." The heran rolled her shoulders and the sunlight shimmered off the necklace around her neck.
Tien Shinhan could not help but notice the shimmer around her neck. Zangya could have sworn that his third eye blinked in astonishment. "Are you wearing jewelry?" He questioned. "This is a first. I've never seen you wear any." He stated with a smirk and cracked his neck to the left and right.
For such a stoic man, the older warrior could not help to tease those his junior. Zangya refused to rise to the bait. "This is a special occasion. But it has nothing do with you." The words may have been harsh, but her tone was playful. There was no malice in it.
They knew her.
"Want to give the crowd a show? I want to give them a better story to tell than some old man losing to a kid." Zangya flipped her mane of orange curls behind her shoulder before she settled into her stance.
The reclusive fighter just gave her a wider smirk before he settled into his own. Zangya doesn't care what anyone else says about him, he's a cheeky bastard when he wants to be. The announcer gave the signal.
The two fighters continued to measure each other up from across the platform as they searched for any hole in the other's defense. The air was thick with tension as the audience held its breath. Finally, one of them leaned forward, the weight of their body shifted onto their leading foot.
Zangya did not have the same amount of patience as Tien.
Faster than the eye could blink, both fighters dashed forwards and collided in the center of the platform, their fists hit with such force that the air between them exploded outward and rippled across the arena. Zangya kicked backward from Tien as he chased her to the edge of the ring. She was on the defense as she blocked Tien's fists with her forearms, unwilling to let him hit her directly.
The audience gasped when her foot left the solid platform and floated in place, neither fighter concerned that their fight was now airborne. In fact, without a floor beneath them, their fight got even more intense. The heran was able to bring her legs into play as she rained down on her adversary's defense, each kick made the veteran fighter lose near minuscule amounts of altitude. Zangya winded up one of her legs, and before Tien could react it smashed down upon him like an angry god and sent him downwards so fast that he broke the sound barrier.
With only a foot of distance between himself and the water below him, Tien twisted himself around and halted his rapid descent. Zangya smirked down at him cockily. She may have pressed one of his buttons because he returned with a vengeance. Tien sped upwards through the air, his form enshrouded with chi. Unprepared for the reckless attack, Zangya hastily crossed her arms to block, only for Tien to smash through and pummel her body. Dazed from the combo, she was unable to defend herself when the triclop's next hit slammed into her jaw and sent her into the heavens. To the naked eyes of the audience, the preteen fighter had become a small orange speck high in the clear blue sky before she disappeared beyond the clouds.
The announcer practically screamed in delight as they crowd awaited for Zangya's next move. The talk of tricks and mirrors forgotten in the face of pure excitement. All three of Tiens' eyes watched the cloud patiently.
Suddenly, the sky clears violently as the clouds are torn asunder as a single ball of energy strikes through the air and smack Tien, his body flew towards the central pillar that held up the arena. Just like before, he stopped only inches away from the concrete. It kept him in the match by the skin of his teeth. He barely had time focus before Zangya rattled off more beams of ki at him from her fingertips. They lacked their usual bite, but they were extremely precise. Tien could not dodge them, so he fired off two of his own ki blasts, each the size of a bus. The sheer size and power of his twin attack enveloped and absorbed Zangya's Finger Beams, and fused their power and speed as they headed towards their target.
The heran mused a thought to herself. She knew that if she wanted to make this look good, she needed absolute concentration and just the right amount of energy. Zangya focused her ki into her hand. The two chi attacks soon converged into a massive one as it headed to greet her, but she was ready for it.
With her chi infused hand, Zangya slapped it back down towards Tien, he was unprepared for returned attack bolstered from his opponent's energy. With both his arms he slowed its descent before it could push him toward the water below, only to feel an intense shift of pressure from the energy being held back by his palms.
On the other side of the large ki energy, Zangya grinned as she continued to shove both it and Tien towards the water. As the two fighters struggled and pressed the energy between them, it buckled under their combined might and exploded in a brilliant flash.
It blinded the audience, but a distinct splash was heard over the gasps of the crowd. When the people could finally see again, there was no sign of either fighter. Then bubbles started to rise from the water beneath the arena. The camera zoomed in for a closer look, a humanoid shape was rising to the surface. With baited breath, the spectators strained to see who lost the match.
With a loud splash, Tien Shinhan broke the surface of the water. Soaked to the bone, the waterlogged man swam to the shore. Before he could pull himself out of the water, however, his opponent was already there. Zangya still had that cocky smirk on her face, but she had a hand out to help him out of the water. With a thankful smile, Tien took her hand as she pulled him onto the shore. Between the match itself and this sign of sportsmanship, the audience went wild.
"And the winner by ring out is….Zangya!"
"You're lucky I was so close to the water when it went off, or we would have been still fighting up there," Tien stated as he rolled his shoulders forward and back.
Zangya scoffed. "Weren't you the one who always picked on me for not being aware of my surroundings?"
"I know, the irony is not lost on me." He chuckled under his breath as he stretched his neck. He must have had a bad kink. "Make them work for it in the finals okay?"
The idea of the finals dampened Zangya's mood for a moment before she remembered Trunks' words. Make some good memories and leave them with a smile. "Don't worry, I plan on it." She stated with confidence.
As Zangya walked back to the locker room, she was met with congratulations from Krillin and a passing thumbs up from Trunks. Both paled in comparison to the beaming smile Gohan gave her when he saw his gift around her neck. After she saw that smile, Zangya said, "It's almost too nice to wear here. But if this," She remarked as she pointed directly at the necklace around her neck. "Gets wrecked when I kick your butt in the finals, don't blame me."
"I'm just happy that you like it enough to wear it," Gohan replied. With that, the two friends settled into a comfortable silence as they watched the monitors for Trunks' match to start.
The heran saw this as the best chance to drop the conversational bomb that she was leaving after the tournament. Zanya turned toward Gohan, "Listen after the tournament-" And she paused. Gohan faced her expectantly.
Unwilling to continue in the face of Gohan's dopey smile. Gohan picked up the conversation, "You want to do something fun, maybe hit up a buffet?"
That smile. He was so happy and it would hurt both him and her if she told him that she was leaving after the finals with Master Bojack and the rest of the Galactic Soldiers. Zangya could not do that. If today was one of the last days that she would see Gohan for years, if not the rest of her life, then she wanted to remember his smile and all the fun they had in the past with that same look plastered on his stupid face.
Who knows? Maybe he had an idea of what she was going to say when he interrupted her.
"Sounds like a good idea." Zangya smiled. "I'll even pay for your food with my prize money, to help take away the sting of your lost against me." She used the smug bravado to cover the tightness in the back of her throat.
She's never lied to Gohan before. It feels so wrong like a parasite had wriggled its way down her throat and was playing a tune with her vocal chords.
The half-saiyan nodded. "I'm looking forward to it!"
Zangya's eyes drifted back to the screen before them, the Trunks' match still hasn't started. What were they waiting for? Some model in a bikini to start the match? Uncle Kogu would meet up with her and Zangya would leave the planet. This might be the last time she would ever be able to talk to Gohan.
With that thought in mind, Zangya put aside her usual attitude and laid herself out bare. Her words were barely above a whisper so only the boy next to her could hear. "Hey Gohan," She started. "I know I don't say it often...But you are my best friend."
The words felt final and she feared that she may have set off the alarms in the saiyan's head as he stared at her in shock. The awestruck look was wiped off his face with another stupid smile. "You're my best friend too, Zangya."
While the two teens shared this moment, Trunks won his match in only a moment. The match was over as quickly as it started. It signaled the start of the semi-finals. They were soon rushed towards the rocket pods for the next stage of the tournament. Once the heran was strapped in and rocketing towards the next stage of her life, she held dearly onto the final words Gohan said to her.
You're my best friend.
The rocket pod's door popped off and sweet-smelling air rushed into the pod. Zangya climbed out leisurely and observed her surroundings. There was a slight breeze, which made the flowery fields wave in the wind. Their scent drifted through the air, bolstered by the fluttering petals.
The heran girl took a deep breath, savouring the sweet scent of the meadows around her. The large lake in the distance shimmered with the setting sun. This would be the most beautiful place I've ever fought at. Zangya thought as she strolled towards the lake.
Uncle Kogu stated that he will contact her during this match, but maybe she could get a good spar out of one of Master Bojack's fighters first. They could put on a good show for the earthlings. As she neared the shore of the lake, a lone figure was waiting for her. A bundle was at his feet, just out of reach of the lapping water. A sword was sheathed at his side, the rules of the tournament broken. She should have expected that.
Zangya remembered that her uncle was never the type to allow someone weaker than him to tell him what to do, no matter what money and riches were offered to him.
She stopped a respectful distance away from him and saluted. Once again, Zangya fell back into the habits that were drilled into her since she could walk. "Orders, sir?"
"You've finally arrived. Good." Kogu stated. "Now, get rid of those rag your wearings-" He picked up the duffle bag at his feet and tossed it over to her. It audibly thumped against her chest. "And put those on. You are a Galactic Solider, and you should look like one." The older man turned away and gave Zangya her privacy. "Once you are changed, you will begin your first mission as a full member of the company." The younger heran could sense something else in Kogu's voice. The smallest inflection of pride.
This may not have been the best day for Zangya, but when she felt the fabric in her hands, it almost put her into a state of euphoria. It brought back fuzzy memories of home, long forgotten, buried by her time with the Z-Fighters and Gohan.
She caressed the fabric and the heran could see the sand dunes of home. Zangya could feel the wind blow across her face, the sand grains itching against her skin. The uniform of the Galactic Soldiers was a connection to her family, heritage and her people.
For the first time since Zangya saw her people on the television broadcast, she felt comfortable leaving Earth. Perhaps it won't be as bad as she thought it would be.
The heat of the lava pools was stifling. Zangya found it was hard to breathe as she leapt her way through the rocky plateau toward her target and Master Bojack. The hera found it difficult to keep herself focused on the task at hand. Uncle Kogu's orders were straightforward, but they were so simple that it made her feel like she was left in the dark.
All she was told, was to join up with Captain Bojack and take care of his pest problem. The way Uncle Kogu said it, her imagination was running wild and it was extremely distracting. She nearly slipped into a lava three times now.
With a final leap, Zangya looked down and spotted Krillin and another heran who could only be Captain Bojack. After six years, she could still recognize him. The strongest man of their entire race and one of the most infamous mercenaries of the entire galaxy.
A giant of a man, over 9 feet tall. His arms were folded in front of chest, exposed to the heat with the open vest that showcased muscular physique constantly compared to the god Amun-Ra himself. His own mane of orange hair was tucked beneath his black bandana and flowed past his shoulders in an unkempt mess. He had not changed since she was a child. Bojacks' eyes met Zangya's and she felt the chill climb up her back.
Just like when Zangya was a kid, he could instill fear in her with a single look.
She leapt down onto the battlefield between the two warriors. Captain Bojack was unimpressed, Krillin was a different story. He looked rather disheartened. "First I run into this guy and now you? I guess my luck ran out when Piccolo quit huh?" He left the question in the air as he hung his head low. He turned towards Zangya and gave her an apologetic smile. "Give me a sec to clean this guy's clock, then I'll be good to go a round with you. I still got a chance to get that prize money." The short warrior settled into the Turtle-school stance and waited for Captain Bojack to make his move.
He stood still with the same cold look of indifference and made no move to fight his smaller statured opponent. The mercenary leader looked to Zangya. "Take care of the pest." He ordered.
It took all of her restraint not to visibly blanched at the order. If she showed any weakness in front of her Uncle or there would be hell to pay. If she showed weakness in front of Bojack, he would kill her.
"Hey! I'm right here pal! Last I checked, I'm your opponent-" Krillin stopped mid-sentence as his instincts screamed at him to turn around.
As Zangya's hand came down on the back of his neck, she saw the look in his eyes before he fell to the ground in an unconscious heap. Betrayal. That single moment hurt her more than any fight she's had since she was a child.
Bojack watched the quick exchange and gave her a small nod. "Good to see that you can still follow orders welp." He turned around, "Grab that trash and follow me, I am going to lay out my demands somewhere where this whole world will know." Captain Bojack flew into the sky, not even bothering to check and see if she was following him.
The hera looked down at her cargo and sighed. Before she heaved him over her shoulder, she whispered in his ear. Zangya knew that there was a small chance she would hear him, but she needed to say it. She needed to make herself feel better, but the words lacked the strength to describe her inner turmoil. "I'm sorry."
They arrived at the outskirts of another one of the premade battlezones, a ruined city that appeared to be nearly half a century old. Captain Bojack already had a throne upon the raised dais, while at his feet was another body. His body was beaten and battered and his purple hair covered with clods of dirt. One of the older mercenaries, Bido, she remembered, the one with the goatee seemed to enjoy pressing Trunks down with the heel of his foot.
Zangya felt her lip curl in disgust at the treatment of her friend, but he was still alive and that was all that mattered. She lightly tossed Krillin down beside him as he plopped into the mud.
"The dwarf give you any trouble girl?" Bido spoke, his voice rumbled like a bag of rocks. "This sissy boy, was stronger than I thought, old Kogu had to stop him from putting a hole in my chest."
Zangya casually flipped her hair. "The bald one wasn't any trouble. He was too focused on Captain Bojack that he never saw me coming."
"Quick and efficient." Uncle Kogu remarked. "Good work." He gave her a nod of acknowledgment before he closed his eyes in meditation.
Zangya's heart swelled. Her uncle acknowledged her, the one thing she has wanted ever since she was a child and she finally has it. It made this day just a little more bearable. Maybe they all will treat her as an equal when they finally leave Earth and she gets a few missions under her belt.
Bido scoffed before he turned his attention back to the saiyan under his boot. "Should've beat on him a bit more. Leave a few marks so they can remember you by."
"So when are we leaving the planet?" Zangya asked. She wanted to stop Bido, but there was not much she could do for Trunks without losing her newfound standing with the other mercenaries.
Both Kogu and Bojack said nothing, they ignored her words while Bido chuckled under his breath. "Don't worry your pretty head about it. Master Bojack will let us know after Bujin finally gets here with his playmate." He gazed up at the sky with an expectant look. "It is taking him a while though. Might need to go save the half-pint's ass."
"I'll do it," Zangya said. "I know how these earthlings fight, it will be-"
Whistling filled the ruins as two fighters flew through the air towards their gathering. Bido smiled widely, "Took him long enough. Wished he knocked the brat out though."
The turban-wearing heran was the first to land and he looked anything but happy. His clothes were scuffed and torn, a few tufts of green hair poked through his torn headdress. With gritted teeth, he spoke. "That child is no human."
"Excuses Bujin?" Kogu asked. "I don't believe that I have to tell you that Captain Bojack is...displeased." The giant of a man leaned forward on his throne. The slight movement made both Bujin and Bido sweat in fear, much to Zangya's horror.
They fear him? But they've been a part of the Galactic Soldiers even longer than Uncle Kogu. Is Captain Bojack truly that terrifying? She thought. Zangya's memories of her time growing up among the mercenaries were distant and blurry, but they were always so strong and admirable, even if their punishments at the time were so painful. Has something changed since she was left to train on her own? Or was she simply too nostalgic about her childhood?
Before she could try to figure out more of the renowned mercenary group, Gohan landed in front of them. He looked a bit winded from his bout with Bujin, but he was okay, much to Zangya's relief. However, her relief turned sadness at the sheer disbelief on his face.
The young saiyan looked at the gathered Hera and his unconscious friends in the mud before he slowly moved into his combat stance. He continued to glance at Zangya as he attempted to shift his focus to the gathered opponents in front of him. "Last I checked, the semi-finals were meant to be one-on-one matches. What are you all doing here?"
Master Bojack chuckled. "Do you not recognize me, boy? I'm surprised." He let his gaze wander over the ruined landscape around. "Then again, this mudball is in the middle of nowhere, so I should've kept my expectations pretty low." His eyes shift over to Zangya and she fought off the urge to run and hide. "I'm surprised our junior member didn't tell you about us."
Zangya watched on as Gohan met her eyes and narrowed. He had finally realized exactly who he was fighting.
The heran man stood up from his throne, his power soaked the surrounding area and Zangya struggled to breathe. "We are the Galactic Soldiers. The strongest band of mercenaries in the entire galaxy." Bojack said with pride. All the hera with puffed out their chests with pride, while Zangya resolved herself to be as small as possible.
Bido, Bujin, and Kogu moved quickly and surrounded the saiyan. Only when Zangya felt Captain Bojack's stare on her back did she join the others surrounding Gohan. The boy was not looking at the any of the male heran around him, however. Zangya avoided Gohan's eyes.
"Let's see you fight boy." Through power, intimidation and sheer presence, Captain Bojack terrified Zangya. Like her uncle, she would follow his orders, even if every fibre of her being was screaming no as she got ready to overwhelm Gohan with her fellow mercenaries.
The famous Turtle Destruction Wave flew over their heads and pierced through the clouds. Every head turned toward the source, Yamacha stood proudly. "Don't count us, humans, out yet!" He cried. Bido laughed at his display of power. "Was that suppose to intimidate us? We could crush you like an insect." Yamacha shrugged. "I know that. All of you are stronger than me and I'm actually used to that." He then smirked. "I just had to get your attention."
An overbearing amount of energy pulsed downward from the sky, everyone needed to move or be crushed under it. Dirt, debris, and mud were kicked into the air, Zangya had to get some distance and flew into the air only to come face to face with Gohan.
"Zangya…" He said quietly. There was no anger or disbelief. He just sounded hollow. Like what he was seeing he couldn't really believe what was in front of him.
The heran gathered her courage to face Gohan. Before she met the boy on a distant world, the girl was raised around men that were easily angered by the smallest things. The saiyan's lack of will to fight her was worse than any fight she's ever been in. "We both knew that I wasn't going to stick around forever." Zangya powered herself up as high as she could to show how serious she would be taking the fight. "I want to leave you a few broken bones to remember me by." She hoped her words convinced Gohan to at least fight her seriously, to take the Galactic Soldiers seriously. But he just continued to stare at her with a look between disappointment and sadness.
Budo rocketed through the air behind them and crashed into one of the ruined buildings with a resounding crash. He was followed by a newly arrived Super Saiyan Vegeta. He halted in the air above them. "What the hell are you doing boy!?" He yelled. His face had contorted into his usual mask of rage and anger. The glowing power of his transformation certainly added the additional flair of power because of his emotions. "Fight her!" He cried out, only for Budo to launch out of the building feet first directly into Vegeta's chest, their ensuing fight clashed across the city, each blow eclipsed by a bright flash.
The saiyan's face shifted through another myriad of emotions like before. As if he cannot really understand how he is supposed to feel. Zangya expected him to say something, only for him to dash across the open space between them. She deftly leaned out of the way of his fist, before his other arm followed with a palm strike to her chest. She skidded backward through the dirt, troughs were built by her feet while she kept her stance solid to take the force of the blow. It took her a second to recover. Zangya looked up, an antagonist remark on the tip of her tongue against the boy. She stopped short at the look on his face.
There was no indecision or guilt from the attack. His embarrassed mutterings and a red face from hitting chest were not there. Nothing of the friendly Gohan that she had grown with lingered in his face. His brow was furrowed and his lips were in a tight thin line of determination. The last time he looked anything like this, was before his first bout with Cell.
"So we're just going to do this?" Zangya asked. "Not going to tell me that what we are doing is wrong? Or that Captain Bojack is a bad guy?" She mockingly added. Internally, she wanted Gohan to say that. She needed him to say something, anything to validate the traitorous thoughts she has been having since meeting the leader of the mercenaries.
Gohan powered up, his aura shined gold as he ascended to a super saiyan. "You made your choice Zangya." He stated.
"I made a choice?" She parroted back to him. Zangya's hands started to spark with energy. She threw a blast toward his head as he batted it away easily. "There was no choice for me to make Gohan."
Twin ropes of ki lined from her palms and pooled onto the ground. "I've waited for years, YEARS! For them to acknowledge me." The threads of energy started to crackle as Zangya whipped them against the ground. "I scraped by each and every day with them to be more than Kogu's deadweight niece." The hera threw her arms forward, the whips of ki sizzled through the air, Gohan was forced to dodge as a deep gash craved the earth where he once stood.
"They came here because they wanted me to join them. They wanted ME!" Zangya cried out. Gohan tried to maneuver himself behind her, only for her to whip around and nearly ensnare him with her technique. "To be a real member of the troop has been my dream, and I'm not going to let any of you get in the way of it!" Gohan was forced into his super saiyan transformation as Zangya's whips weaved and moved around her and him, the crackling intensifying as her words grew more heated. Both of Gohan's palms glowed brightly as he brought them above his head.
The attack clouded the air around them with debris and dust and forced both fighters into the sky where they clashed hand-to-hand. Zangya kept the pressure on as Gohan was forced onto the defensive, even with the boost of speed and power that his golden form gave him.
A kick slipped past the saiyan's defence and slammed into his ribs, the bone fractured from the power. "Do you know," Zangya started while Gohan's arm was a fraction too late to stop the fist that rang against his chest, she felt it crack under her punch. "How it feels," Gohan couldn't stop the elbow that bashed against his chin. "To be unwanted!"
Dazed in the air, Gohan was unable to react as Zangya's right hand charged brightly with orange energy before she thrusts her arm forward toward Gohan. "Beauty Trigger!" It flew from her hand and smashed into Gohan's chest before it exploded into a brilliant flash. She heard Gohan falling through the sky before she could see him. The whistling sound of his body falling through the air brought the hera out of her stupor and reminded her of exactly what she was doing.
It took her a moment to speak. "Gohan?" She whispered in hope. Maybe he was just faking how much he was hurt? Zangya's thought was instantly discarded the moment the young half-saiyan smashed into the ground in a very noticeable crater.
"Gohan!" Piccolo cried out in alarm. Zangya watched as he chopped Bido in the neck with such force the building behind them caved in. He flew across the ground toward the boy, but Zangya met her former mentor's eyes. Even at this great distance, she could feel his anger, disappointment, sadness, and so much more from the man who took her in after her arrival on Earth and shaped her into the fighter that she is today.
Zangya used those very skills to harm her fellow pupil.
The heran felt herself descend to the ground as her heart threatened to break out of her chest. She gazed around the battlefield and let her ki sense spread throughout the area. She could already feel that both Tien and Yamcha were still alive, but seeing the amount of destruction in the direction of their bodies, they were out of the fight. In the distance should feel Trunks and Vegeta's' ki fluctuating wildly as they fought two opponents each. Then there was Bo-
Piccolo's snarl of rage drew her back to the ground below her as he engaged in combat with her captain. The namekian warrior was barely able to keep his guard up as Bojack brutalized him with his fists. Zangya could only watch numbly as Bojack raised his fist into the air before he hammered Piccolo deep into the earth, entrenching his unconscious body. Zangya landed on the ground, only to see Bojack's hand powered with ki. "Time to say goodbye, namekian."
"No!" Zangya cried out. Bojack turned to look at her, his eyes harsh as he gritted his teeth. "What you say to me gir-" Gohan tackled Bojack into the air as threw them both away from Piccolo. The man and boy crashed through a building and skimmed the roof another before they disappeared from her sight. Zangya watched as the other Galactic Soldiers flew through the air in the same direction as Gohan and Bojack. The female heran felt her knees tremble. That meant that both Vegeta and Trunks have been defeated, and Gohan is outnumbered and outmatched. Soon this will be over, and this day will haunt her dreams for who knows how long.
Piccolo groaned from his entrapment, drawing her attention. "Mr. Piccolo!" She rushed to him and the heran carefully pried him free. Though he did not speak, his distaste for her was clear on his face. "You wanted to make this personal, girl?"
Zangya flinched from the harshness of his tone but refused to cower under his steely gaze. "I never thought this would happen." She tried to explain. Piccolo tried to scoff, only to cough up a bit of purple blood. "Uncle Koga said that we are just going to show the world how weak the humans are and how they have no right to hold an intergalactic tournament without the power to back it up."
The namekian grunted as he tried to sit up and feebly attempted to push away the girl, but Zangya kept her grip firm onto his shoulder as she helped him sit up. "Don't be a fool girl." Piccolo scoffed. "Look at what has happened. Bojack is no different than Frieza or Cell. He played along with the rules for his own amusement." Her now former master glared at her. "I'm disappointed in you."
His criticism was harsh, and Zangya had nothing to say in her defence. All her childish fantasies have crashed down around her as soon as she meets with the real Galactic Soldiers. Were they really mercenaries that Uncle Kogu always claimed? "I-I.." The heran stuttered, only for their attention to be drawn to a massive explosion of energy in the distance that demolished over a dozen buildings.
The energy was definitely Bojack's, but it had increased exponentially. It dwarfed Zangya, Piccolo, Vegeta, Trunks, and everyone she has ever met. Except…
"Bojack is weaker than Gohan." Those traitorous words would have seen her head cleaved from her shoulders by her own uncle, but it was the truth. Bojack might be able to give Cell a good fight, but Gohan as an ascended Super Saiyan? He could destroy him. Gohan can beat Bojack.
This could change everything.
Zangya smiled to herself, even while she sensed the fight that escalated between the Saiyan and heran. "There's nothing to worry about Mr. Piccolo. You can sense them, can't you? Bojack can't beat Gohan." She started to chuckle to herself. Maybe this day won't end as badly as she thought. She noticed Piccolo grimace as he focused on to the fight in the distance.
The heran girl could already see the end of the fight now, as Gohan was most likely giving Bojack the mere taste of winning before ultimately stomping him into the ground with his second transformation. To give him the soul-crushing defeat that would force him and the other Galactic Soldiers to leave Earth alone. She could say goodbye, not how she wanted to leave, but with how things have turned out, it would be better than nothing.
As the fight continued, Gohan's energy kept getting weaker and weaker as Bojack continues to pummel into him. Why has Gohan not transformed yet and beat him? "Why hasn't he transformed yet?" Zangya questioned. "Hurry up and beat him already." She muttered, as she tried to ignore the anxious feeling building in her chest as Gohan got weaker and weaker.
"So he never told you, did he?" Piccolo's body lurched forward as he groaned from the pain. "Of course not." He grunted. Zangya's grip on his shoulder tightened, though not painfully.
She turned onto Piccolo. "What are you talking about? Gohan tells me everything." Zangya knew Gohan. He couldn't lie to her, he couldn't hide anything from her. Nothing could stand between them.
Until the arrival of the Galactic Soldiers. That thought dashed her spirits like a bucket filled with ice water. Perhaps neither of them were that honest as Zangya thought.
"He didn't want anyone to worry," Piccolo grunted. "He has not been able to tap into the second transformation since the battle at the Cell games." Piccolo looked at her with frustration. "He blames himself for losing control and allowing Goku to sacrifice himself."
"That is what you are for Mr. Piccolo!" Zangya yelled. "You're supposed to help him meditate on his feelings and all that emotional stuff, you're his master!"
"Goku died two months ago!" The namekian roared back. "Such feelings of guilt and shame don't just disappear like that." Piccolo coughed up flecks of purple blood. "He needed more than just mediation."
Zangya pulled onto her hair with frustration, while in the distance she could feel her new comrades looming over the fight between Bojack and Gohan, like vultures waiting for their piece of the corpse. "Then what does Gohan need then!?" She cried out. What stopped him from being the boy she's known to fight, no matter his own personal feelings? What has distorted his mind so much that he cannot truly defend himself?
"He needed you."
The words were practically whispered from Piccolo's mouth, but they bounced within her head enough to override Zangya completely. The world spun around her as the heran fell to her knees. "What?"
"As easy as it is to forget sometimes, Gohan is still human," Piccolo replied. "They are social creatures. Being locked up with nothing but books all day and night, made his thoughts replay that day over and over. The blame building a weight deep inside both his mind and heart, blocking him from ever going into the second stage of the transformation."
His other pupil watched as Piccolo's face twisted with frustration. His emotions clear on his face in this moment of exhaustion and defeat. Zangya struggled to understand this moment of weakness. Piccolo spoke up again, "Then you took him out for a day a couple weeks ago."
Piccolo continued, "He needed to get away from the home his mother and father created together, to feel something besides guilt." The namekian's lips twisted into a smirk as he looked off into the distance as if ruminating a feeling he cannot really understand. "All the mediation in the world means nothing to spend time with your best friend." He turned his attention back to the heran. "After you two had your day out, he made real progress accepting what happened with Goku and Cell." Piccolo shifted the weight. "Then you locked yourself up on The Lookout and Gohan lost some of his progress forward."
Zangya struggled to get her thoughts together. Was this entire mess her fault? The Galactic Soldiers came here for her. Gohan's inner turmoil of grief and shame. Her friends being hurt by her comrades.
A scream of torturous pain rose among the battlefield as Gohan was caught by Bojack, and the man squeezed.
"Gohan!" Piccolo tried to get up, only to collapse back on the ground.
"They won't kill him." Zangya tried to rationalize. "They left everyone else alive, they won't kill Gohan."
Piccolo scoffed as he struggled to pull himself onto his knees. "Gohan is the biggest threat to them." The saiyan's screams continued as they grew more painful, rising in octaves. Zangya thought she could hear cracking with every change in Gohan's scream.
"He's going to die today, and no one can stop them." Piccolo's tone was empty of any hope.
So that was it then? Zangya led these mercenaries-no these monsters here, to her home. They terrorize the planet, hurt her master and her friends. The people who counted on her to watch their backs against the other monsters in the galaxy. The ones who wanted her around, despite being weaker than them. They always wanted her.
The world fell silent around her. Realization filled her mind while energy flooded her body. Zangya failed to notice the astounded look on Piccolo's face. Here she was complaining that the Galactic Soldiers actually wanted her now that she was strong enough for them. Yet these earthlings wanted her despite her strength. What has she been doing wasting her time back with them? The heran felt a familiar weight within the pocket of her harem pants.
She pulled out the cheap necklace Gohan gave her as she admired the red eye that stared at her in reflection. Zangya gently clutches the necklace in her hand, before she hears Gohan's screams in pain.
This farce is going to end.
Zangya launched into the air, faster than she has ever flown before. Piccolo watched her leave with something resembling a smile. The heran never heard her master make a simple statement.
"I guess Gohan wasn't the only one being held back."
Bojack was perched on top of the highest building that remained intact in the battlezone. The view was of the battlefield was breathtaking. All the gnats that tried to oppose him were cratered around the urban landscape. The only one that remained was locked in his arms and his face broke into a smile as he relished the feeling.
He kept his arms wrapped around Gohan as he continued to squeeze him, the boy's screams bring delight to both himself and his followers. None of them cared for any of the other weaklings that were already knocked out of the fight. They can be taken care of later, but these offworlders wanted a show and seeing Gohan killed in such a way was certainly entertaining for the sadistic heran mercenaries.
"Scream for me boy!" Bojack cried out gleefully, he squeezed tighter as the boy's screams became a symphony of pain. So engrossed in his torture of the boy, neither Bojack or any of his lackeys could stop the fist that impacted his face.
Bojack flew backward and stared in disbelief at the figure who dared to hit him with his guard down. The Galactic Soldiers saw the hit land incredulously. Kogu was furious.
The troop, however, could do nothing, as their world exploded into a world of white light.
Gohan clinging to consciousness as he fell through the air. He felt himself being thrown from Bojack's grip before being carried gently by another pair of arms before the world zoomed past him at high speed. They stopped suddenly. The saiyan felt himself being propped up against a large piece of rubble, he sensed Bojack and his lackeys a fair distance away.
Green skin and red hair filled his blurry vision. How did Bojack get so close without Gohan sensing him? He struggled to get away only to be confused by the familiar female voice coming from the figure in his sights. "Take a rest Gohan." Around the figure's neck was a golden necklace with a red gem.
It was Zangya, but what was she doing? What is up with her chi? The energy coming from Zangya was higher than anything he's sense from her before. "This is my mess, so let me take care of it." She said before she flew off toward where the Galactic Soldiers were gathered.
Gohan struggled to move, but his body refused.
Zangya landed in front of her gathered people. The venomous glares they shot toward her were only outmatched by the fury on both Kogu's and Bojack's faces. Bojack's face melted from his fury into something of a smirk. "So it looks like the little girl was stronger than I thought." He looked toward Kogu and Zangya watched her uncle freeze in fear. Bojack continued to speak, "If only you taught her how to behave."
The second-in-command of the Galactic Soldiers flustered to make a response that would not result in his death. "M-My apologies, Captain Bojack." Kogu placed his hand upon the grip for his sword sheathed at his side. "Allow me to discipline her properly."
"No," Bojack said.
Caught flat-footed, Kogu stopped his advance toward the waiting Zangya. "Sir?"
Bojack smirked cruelly, his eyes alight with sadistic delight. "Your too soft Kogu." He turned to the remaining mercenaries and barked, "Bujin! Bido! Take care of this little girl." He paused as a thought occurred to him. "Such a shame. She would've turned into a beauty."
She grimaced at the thought. The very idea disgusted her, especially after today. Why would she ever lower herself to such a heartless man? Zangya dropped into her stance. She did not speak as she watched the two men approached. Ready to react at the first sign of attack.
The giant of a man with his flaring orange mohawk, strode forward as he cracked his knuckles. "Those earthlings were a nice warm-up. Don't think just because you can go Full-Powered Hera you can handle yourself in a fight." Bido said. Bido floated forward through the air, he fussed with his damaged clothes, torn from his fight with Gohan. "Your boy ruined my clothes, I'll take out my frustration on your hide."
The vile chuckling continued between the men as they surrounded Zangya. A wind blew through the landscape as it whipped around the destroyed buildings, as Bido and Bujiin settled down with the wind. They darted forward.
Bujin went low with a kick aimed at her legs while Bido's fist rocketed toward her chest. Zangya bent backwards and kicked off the ground, weaving between the two attacks. She kicked her leg out behind her, catching Bido in the chest, the force of it launching him backward through half a dozen buildings. Bido pulls his leg back as he tries to hammer his fist onto Zangya as she floated in front of him. Two open palms charged with chi blasted him away, furthering the gap between the two men.
"She's better than I thought," Bojack remarked beside Kogu, enjoying the show.
Landing in a crouch, Zangya burst from the ground into the air after Bido who was still flying upward in the air without any control. Bido fruitlessly tried to stop his ascent as the young girl enshrouded with chi, hits his stomach fist first, the rush of air leaving his body as spittle flew from his mouth. Zangya continues this into a barrage of fists, pummeling the older heran, defenseless under her assault.
Wires of chi latch around Zangya's arms, stopping her attack. She could feel the Psycho Threads coil around her arms, her energy draining from her body. The threads tug and pull on her arms and tried to pull them together behind her back. Emphasis on tried. Zangya turned her attention to Bujin who was practically cackling at having the younger heran trapped. She turned her body around to face him.
Despite the drain on her chi, Zangya felt little of her strength leave her body. She twisted around her both of her wrists to grab a handful of the threads in each hand, intensifying the drain, though only for a moment before she gave the threads a strong tug, pulling Bujin off his and flying towards her with astonishment and fear on his face.
Bujin tried to cancel the Psycho Threads, only for Zangya to smile menacingly. The technique remained but was now under her control. The drain magnified in power as Bujin screams only to stop after colliding with Zangya's fist, knocking him away again, the whiplash of body jerking in the other direction shattering the sound barrier.
Pain detonates across her back as an explosion knocks her into the dirt, creating a small trough. Zangya's could the sting of the air upon her burnt skin, and bit back a hiss of pain. Pushing herself up onto her hands and knees, the full-powered heran twisted her body around to see Bido, his open palm smoking from his previous attack. More energy builds in his hand and fires toward the prone Zangya.
She pushes off the ground and flips forward, dodging the blast. Zangya lands on her feet before leaping back towards Bido, twirling in the air as she punches him in the ribs. Bones give way to her fist and the older heran coughs up blood, flecks sticking to his beard. He was forced back, his legs straining to keep him upright as they dig troughs in the dirt.
"Did you feel that Bido?" Zangya asks. She clenches her fist, her chi coursing through her muscles and adrenaline pumping through her veins. She had felt each of the Z-Fighters fall in battle against the alien invaders, with little to no damage done to the Galactic Soldiers. Bido fruitlessly tries to hit her as Zangya ducks and weaves around him. Now she is easily beating down the men that she has foolishly had looked up for as long as she could remember.
Bido whips his body around to kick Zangya in ribs as if to return the favour. She caught his leg with one hand before she locks it between her side and her free arm before using her greater strength to smash the older heran into the ground using his leg as leverage. The leg snapped in half from the force, Bido cried out from the pain.
Zangya was dominating them. Exhilaration and pride filled her being. She could win this and make up for this entire disaster.
Bujin made his return as a two-story chunk of a building slams down on top of Zangya, burying her under the rubble. Ki blasts showered down upon the rubble, they were hoping to destroy her while she was down. It was like being peppered by pellets, it stung a bit but it did not do too much damage.
When they finally stop, Zangya made her move. She headed straight toward the two energy signatures' above her, bursting through the smoke as she wrapped both her hands around both men's' throats. She felt their pulse speed up as she held their life in her hands. Her earliest memories were seeing them in action, fighting anyone and everyone as the Bojack commanded,
Both of her hands flared up with ki, killing both men.
She could not let them go.
Zangya flew back down to the ground where both Bojack and her Uncle were watching. Bojack eyed her with amusement, despite the frown on his face. Kogu looked absolutely furious, his knees were bent forward ready for action as his hand grip the handle of his sword that is still sheathed at his side.
"Your brat of a niece is tougher than I thought Kogu." Bojack chuckles. The lack of interest in the fact that Zangya has killed some of his subordinates. He looks to Kogu as his face hardens and the small glint of amusement disappears from his eyes. "Kill her before I kill you." Bojack orders.
There was no hesitation as Kogu charges up to Full-Power Hera, his hair and skin instantly changing color as his muscles become overcharged with chi. Kogu flew forward with a single leap.
Her uncle was faster than the now late Bujin and Bido. Zangya raises her arms in a cross guard to protect her face and chest as Kogu zooms right past her. Kogu met her eyes with a coldness that she never thought he could display. Most of his sword was only halfway out of its sheath. Kogu spoke, "You were a waste of my time." And slides his sword back into his sheath completely.
Zangya cries out in pain. Across her forearms as blood streams free from the deep cuts. She clutches her arms tightly to her body, attempting to stop the massive flow of blood as her life's essence stains her clothes.
"It is fitting that the clothes of a member of the Galactic Soldiers are now drenched with the blood of a traitor." Kogu turns his body around while Zangya turns to face him. His hands grab her wounded arms and squeeze them, forcing more blood out before the flow could ebb.
The younger heran pulls free from the with a kick right between his legs, only for his leg to rise in response to kick her smaller limb back from the attack before throwing Zangya over his shoulder by her damaged forearms through a building. Bojack step to the side to avoid stopping her flight prematurely.
Rising from the rubble, she did not see Kogu standing over her with his sword raised high for the coup-de-grace. "We may not have been close, Zangya, but as your uncle, I can honestly say that you have shamed our family."
Yellow ki strikes Kogu in the hard, knocking him back and bringing the sword a foot in front of her head instead of her neck. She pushes herself out of the rubble and backs toward the origin of the attack. She stops backing away when Zangya sees in the corner of her right eye stands the boy that she left to rest.
Gohan is standing at the ready, powered up as a Super Saiyan. His eyes remain focused on her uncle that tried to kill her, but the way his left side relaxes as she stands beside him shows that he has acknowledged her presence.
"I'm sorry," Gohan said, and Zangya understood exactly what he was apologizing for: His grief and the inability to become a Super Saiyan 2.
"I'm sorry too," Zangya replied. She hoped that he understood what she was apologising for: The idolizing of the Galactic Soldiers and leaving Gohan alone to wallow in her own problems.
If they have forgotten something, there will be time to discuss it later, hopefully after they take of Kogu and the far more dangerous Bojack. If they lose, there was always the Other World.
"You just couldn't stay down, could you Saiyan?" Kogu called out. He unsheathes his sword completely. "I'm sick of you and girl trying so hard to stop Master Bojack." He spreads his legs a shoulder length apart with his sword held in front of him with both hands on the grip. "Come then, children, and face death."
Zangya and Gohan share a nod before they move as one. The ground cracked with every step they made as they dart to Kogu at full speed, only to dodge to the sides at the last possible moment.
"I'm tired of this," Bojack whispers into Kogu's ear before his body is annihilated in a single ki attack. His sword flies off and clangs against a large piece of rubble, the only remainder of his existence. Seeing that his surprise attack failed, the lone tyrant slowly rose into the air above his two opponents.
"Uncle Kogu…" Zangya said quietly, mesmerised at the sight of his death. She knew that she would have to fight him, but she was not expecting the death of her only remaining family. Bojack did say that he would kill him, but she never expected him to be serious.
"You children aren't worth my time," Bojack stated. Neither Gohan or Zangya took that dismissal, as they charge forward directly in front of Bojack only to phase away and reappear above and below the mercenary leader.
Both attacks hit Bojack directly, combining in an explosive blend of a green and blue blast.
"Pathetic." Despite the noise of their combined attack, both Gohan and Zangya heard Bojack speak before the world exploded into a world green.
Her body slams against the ground in pain from nothing but the power of Bojack's defensive technique. A second thud, Zangya lifts her head to see Gohan had landed next to her in the same shape. "They met each other's gaze. "If only I could go Super Saiyan 2," Gohan stated weakly.
"Honestly, if it wasn't for the fact that the girl didn't kill most of my men, I'd leave this dirtball after destroying a continent or two. But since you two keep trying so hard, I guess I better wipe this planet from existence!"
Bojack spreads his arms wide, huge balls of green ki build in his palms. The building amount of power surpassed anything the two preteens could make themselves by a large amount. Bojack smiled down upon them with a cruel smirk as the power of his attack continued to build.
Both children rise unsteadily to their feet. "I have an idea," Zangya stated as she tried to muster both her breath and energy.
"What do you have in mind?"
Zangya smiled. It was a reckless idea, but it was the only option left since neither of them alone could make an attack to stop Bojack from destroying the Earth. "You remember Mr. Piccolo's lessons when he tried to teach us his deadly move?"
Gohan face lit up in realization. "You'll push and I'll twist," Gohan affirmed. The saiyan stood tall as he outstretched his arms in front him. Zangy had her back against Gohan, her slightly shorter stature working in their favour as she maneuvered herself between his arms and placed her index and middle finger against her forehead. She could sense the energy gathering nearly everything in his body to put into his attack, and Zangya could do nothing less.
Their building ki was already affecting their surroundings. Debris floating upward for over a mile wide of space. Nearby buildings crumble to dust under the pressure of Gohan and Zangya's energy as they are forcefully uprooted by their aura. "We need to wait for just the right moment," Zangya grunted.
Bojack brought his arms together and roared out, "Galaxy Buster!" An all-encompassing stream of green energy at the preteens. "Hold on Zangya!" Gohan cried out as both he and Zangya continue to charge their attack, pulling everything into their final attack.
As the Galactic Buster bore down upon them, Gohan and Zangya roared out in unison, "SPECIAL BEAM CANNON!" From Zangya's pointed fingers came the forward momentum of the purple beam, while Gohan provided the golden spiral that swirls around his friend's attack.
The combined Special Beam Cannon collided with the Galactic Buster for a moment, before it drills through Bojack's attack, in a mastery of physics over brute power. Bojack feels his attack give way under, he could not even comprehend the amount of rage he had toward the brats that stood against him. "Enough of this." Bojack charges through his own attack before he found the pathetic attack that was stopping him from destroying this world.
Bojack taunted the children as his laughter grew in volume before his head appeared above Gohan and Zangya's ki beam as he flew against the preteen might. Soon Bojack was right above them, his hands outstretched towards the throat, with death in his palm.
They couldn't die here, Gohan and Zangya knew this. In this moment of need, Gohan's aura flickers with lightning. The Special Beam Cannon pierces through Bojack's chest, and in a single moment before his death, his face shows surprise before the world explodes into light and pain for all those involved.
Zangya never knew that her hair could hurt. Or maybe her body was in so much pain that whatever her hair was feeling right now was the closest feeling she had left her body. She opens her eyes to see the exhausted Gohan next to her in a mile-long crater.
"Hey, Zangya," Gohan said.
"Hey, Gohan," Zangya said. "So I think we figured out why Piccolo always said not to change the amount of power you put in the Special Beam Cannon after you charge it up."
Gohan coughed up a puff of smoke. "It will blow up in your face."
They laid back and enjoyed the comfortable silence between them. Zangya thought over what just happened. Together with Gohan, Zangya had defeated the men that she thought were the strongest beings in the entire universe. All because she could not bear the thought of them wreaking havoc on her new home and hurting her friends. Speaking of friends…"I owe everyone an apology when they wake up."
Gohan grunted affirmatively. "They might be a little touchy about it, but they'll forgive you." Gohan chuckles a bit. "Because that will mean that you had to fight us seriously at least once before your truly part of the group. Everybody tried to kill my Dad and now we're all friends after they lost, soooo…" He drawled, "No biggie."
A snort from Zangya caught a little bit blood in her nose before she hawked out a loogie. "True." She continued to stare at the parting clouds in the evening sky. "I've spent a lot of time training to be one of them you know. What am I supposed to do now?" she questioned, realizing how lost she truly felt.
"Earth is a big place. I'm sure we'll figure something out." Gohan answered.
"I'm blue with pointed ears Gohan."
"Oolong is a pig, the king is a dog, and I'm pretty sure Master Roshi is a turtle that learned how to walk on two legs." Gohan snarked back with a bit of pep. "Being blue won't really matter too much."
Why does this world have so little sense, yet works so well? Zangya questioned as the moon started to rise in the sky. "So because the tournament is still going on, how will anybody explain what just happened and where the "Intergalactic Fighters" went?"
The sound of a rocket pod's door popping off in the distance was followed by a cry of victory, bravado, and bravery. "Don't worry, the world savior is here! Evildoers beware, HERCULE SATAN IS HERE!"
Gohan and Zangya share a laugh at the man's ridiculous entrance. "That will work," Gohan says.
It is done! Over 15,000 words on a movie that very few people probably watched, but this needed to happen to progress Zangya as a character before I can do anything romance related with these two kids, because next time, they will be teenagers! Next time I write something involving these two will be my personal favourite saga, "The Great Saiyaman". Some things about writing this thing over a two year On/Off period.
First off, I had a lot of fun writing the fights. The Tienshin Han fight was a lot of fun, so was Gohan vs. Zangya but I was getting kind of sick of it during Zangya vs. Kogu. So that meant that I did something similar as the movie itself, and made that final fight pretty quick.
I wanted people to have an idea that even though Zangya has been with the Z-fighters for years, she still has a strong sense of loyalty to them. I don't know about most people, but despite any relationship most people have with their family, there is some type of draw back to them, either positive or negative. I know that compared to some of the other writers on this site or others, they could have written better interfamily drama and tension, but screw the whast-ifs, I WROTE THIS!
Angst, and I'm definitely calling this story angst, is a rarity for me. I like writing family genre, romance and over-the-top cheese, because that is the stuff I like to read. This is different and between this and the other 10k drama fic that has been sitting on my hard drive, really sucked my motivation. Perhaps because I was trying way too much in a one-shot. Hopefully with this and the soon-to-be other one out of the way, I can get back to my other multi-chapter fics.
Just as a remainder, next fic that stars Gohan and Zangya will be as a pairing!