"Whoa…cool." The machines seemed to glisten under the artificial lighting of his mother's lab. Bulma had just finished a lengthy and complicated explanation about the devices, but the only words Trunks snagged onto were "time travel." The nearly-six year old hopped down from the counter and approached the yellow contraption. "How do they work?"
His mother finished wiping the last of the grease from her hands. "I'll show you when you're a little older, sweetie. Messing with the timelines is very dangerous. One false move and suddenly, poof! Everything is different from how it should be. That's why I built two, just in case."
He frowned with disappointment as she left to get some coffee. Stupid grown-ups… always bossing him around. They didn't understand anything. He was plenty strong already. They didn't think he could do anything without their help – like he was powerless and stupid! That thought had him grinding his teeth in defiance. He'd show them! There wasn't anything he couldn't figure out!
He floated up to the hatch and climbed in. There were several knobs, buttons and switches. Trunks rubbed his chin in thought. "It's not just a time machine, it's also a teleporter! Awesome." With a wicked grin, he set about entering random coordinates, totally unaware of what the numbers he typed in meant.
He let his hand fall on the big red button just as Bulma returned from the kitchen. "Trunks, no!" The ship was gone and she wasted no time rushing over to the computer to find out where he had gone. Her eyes scanned the numbers and she gasped with horror. She stood up and stumbled as she began running towards the gravity room. "Vegeta! Get your ass out here right now!" she shrieked as she banged her fist on the metal door.
Inside, the saiyan prince sighed. She had a nasty habit of interrupting his training to yell at him. He had sensed her running towards the room, but it wasn't until she began yelling that he realized something was wrong. Her voice was frantic and worried, not angry and frustrated. He shut the console off and tugged a blue shirt over his head before exiting. Whatever the problem was, feeding off of her panicking would do no good.
"What the hell is wrong, woman?" He shut the door behind him, only to be grabbed by the wrist as she made what could only be described as a pathetic attempt to drag him with her.
"It's Trunks! You have to go get him!" He refused to budge, though the mention of his son with her desperate tone made him inwardly flinch.
He put his calloused hands on her shoulders, silently ordering her to calm down. "What happened?"
She took a steadying breath. "He used the time machine. I left the room for one minute and-"
He cut her off. "Where and when?"
"Namek. Then." The walls spun and she found herself back in her lab. Vegeta was already climbing into the machine.
"What are the coordinates?"
"I'll just enter the same ones Trunks used from the computer. The big switch on your left will bring you right back."
"Fine. Just hurry it up." He crossed his arms to prevent himself from damaging anything.
There was a flash of bright light, and he was gone.
His power felt incredible. It also felt incredibly empty. He knew he stood no chance in hell against this monster. This freak. Frieza. He'd spent his entire life trying and trying, yet every time he failed. He knew he was going to be beaten. He knew he was going to die.
And that was exactly why he refused to acknowledge it.
He knew he must have sounded insane. After all, he was. Who wouldn't be after all of the beatings and murders and rapes and tortures he had seen, endured, and committed. Super saiyan. Ha. What a false hope and hallow goal. If he hated his father for anything more than handing him to the tyrant, it was telling him he would be great.
Great? What was great about any of this? His beloved parents had told him to rule with honor when he ascended to the throne. What honor? What purpose? What kind of life was the one he had?
He didn't have a life. If he faced facts he knew he'd been a walking corpse for a long time.
All of the years, holding his chin up high when he would have rather hidden. Pushing onwards when he would have rather killed himself and given up. Enduring everything they threw at him and more when it would have been so much easier to submit. Standing tall and proud while they whipped him with insults. All of the years he'd never known what real happiness was had worn him down like time on an old man.
There was no point in running anymore.
There was no point in surviving anymore.
And when Frieza revealed how truly outmatched he was, there was no point in stopping his tears anymore.
He'd had his pride before, but now, even that was gone. There was nothing left.
Defiant tears slid down his cheeks as the lizard cut through the air towards him. He lowered his hands, and welcomed the pain.
Prince Vegeta was already defeated.
Trunks stepped out of the machine and bit his lip. He had no idea where he was. Maybe he should have listened to his mother for once. After all, he rebelled enough in the little things. Not with the life-threatening shenanigans. No, he usually passed up on those.
A deep rumble in the distance caught his attention. He felt out the area, and was surprised to find not only Gohan, Krillin, and Piccolo, but his father as well. There was also one huge ki that dwarfed them. The problem with that, he'd sensed his father's ki at more than five times what the mystery fighter's was. That, and he could feel he was beating him. His father. He had one thought upon his realization.
'I have to help him!'
He blasted off and flew as fast as he could to the sight of the battle. However, he stopped. His blood ran cold. His heart stopped beating. And it was just at the sight of the white lizard. He remembered walking by his parents room once, and he heard them talking about an "evil, stupid, sadistic, malicious, ugly, twisted, white lizard" named Frieza. From what he could gather, whoever he was, he'd been mean to his father, earning immediate hatred from the boy. He had no doubt who he was now.
He followed the tyrant's gaze to see Vegeta, lying weary and beaten in the dirt. He gasped when he remembered what his mother had said.
"…Messing with the timelines is very dangerous. One false move and suddenly, poof! Everything's different from how it should be."
He wasn't stupid. He knew it could mean something bad – interfering. He could never be born, or someone could die, or something even worse. But, he loved his father, and he couldn't stand to watch this.
He bit down on his lip again when the monster's tail coiled around his neck. He almost whimpered when he began punching his back relentlessly. His eyes watered when the prince began to cough blood, and nearly threw up when the beast licked it. He didn't realize he was silently crying until he was thrown against the mountain side, and Frieza began grinding a stone into his exposed stomach.
Trunks didn't understand. Why wasn't he winning? He was so much stronger than this freak! Why didn't he simply turn super and beat the crap out of him?
He was shaken from his despaired thoughts when a man in an orange gi appeared. From what he picked up from the conversation down below from his vantage point, this was Goten and Gohan's father – the infamous Son Goku. "Please help him," he whispered.
There was banter and small talk, then the lizards began firing off narrow blasts with one finger. Goku blocked all easily. Trunks scooted closer to the edge of the plateau he was laying on when his father began to laugh as he propped himself up. 'He's okay! Of course he is! He's the prince of all saiyans!'
While the boy silently cheered on, Frieza became more and more annoyed by the second. Vegeta began to laugh once more, and he'd had enough. Trunks took a sharp intake of breath as the ki tore through Vegeta's heart, and he fell back down. He coughed an ungodly amount of blood and it began to pool around in, the dirt soaking it up.
He didn't hear the words the man he cherished and admired choked out. He only saw the steady stream of tears that mixed with his royal blood. His eyes finally closed and Trunks snapped. He jumped up from his hiding spot. Screw the timelines, that was his dad!
"PAPA!" He lunged for them. Everyone's heads turned. They'd been so focused on the fight they hadn't even noticed the small child. The strange child who was crying for his father, Vegeta.
Vegeta capsulated the time machine. Honestly, what was with his son and messing with the order of history? Anyhow, he didn't have time to think of that at the moment. He had to find him before he changed anything.
Or encountered Frieza.
As a soldier, he'd avoided women for a very good reason. If he had a child, Frieza would take them from him. A boy and he would suffer the same fate he had. A girl and she would be raped daily. He would have sooner killed them himself than give them to the tyrant like the King had with him.
That was at least his subconscious reasoning. Though, he would never admit that.
The reason he had agreed with was that a child would only slow him down.
He sensed them then. He ignored Kakarot, his brat, baldy and the Namekian. He only felt Trunks and the damnable Frieza. The urge to kill him. To rip him apart. To make him fear and hurt like he had nearly overwhelmed him as he ascended to super saiyan and began flying towards the battle. That was until he heard him
That was right. He was a father now. He had a mate and cub. A mischievous cub who had no doubt just seen him die. The pain and love in his voice snapped him from his homicidal urges. Fatherly instincts kicked in (though it was rare for them to do so) and he flew even faster.
He landed just to see is son push Kakarot aside and kneel by his corpse. It was strange seeing himself dead.
"Oh? So the monkey prince managed to hide a long lost bastard son from me? That is a surprise." The icy feminine voice made him shudder as he unconsciously growled at Frieza. "Well, I suppose I'll receive great pleasure from killing him then."
Trunks was shaking with rage. He tried unsuccessfully to wipe the salty water from his eyes and stood. "You! You killed him!"
"Isn't that just the sweetest thing?" He began to laugh, and aimed the same type of blast at Trunks' heart. Goku was about to pull the child back but someone beat him to it. Someone with a golden flame of hair. Frieza's eyes widened.
Vegeta's turquoise glare pierced the lizard's before fading back to their normal obsidian. He slowly turned around and crouched in front of his son, dismissing Frieza as a threat, grabbing the boy's attention and pissing the monster off at the same time.
He faintly heard a, "What the?" from the bald fighter but ignored it.
"Look at me, boy." He placed his hands on his small shoulders. When he didn't respond, but continued to sob, Vegeta shook him lightly. "Trunks, I won't repeat myself."
He opened his eyes and instantaneously latched onto his neck. Vegeta put an awkward hand on his back. "Dad?"
"This was a long time ago, Trunks. As you can see, like a true saiyan I came back and became stronger."
"What the hell?" The angry question came again, from Frieza. Vegeta subconsciously pulled his son closer when he flinched. "You can't be Vegeta! I just killed you!"
The prince's face became stern. "Wait here," he told Trunks. "This will be over shortly." The child sniffed and nodded.
Without ascending, without putting his guard up or doing anything to prepare himself, Vegeta stared his tormentor down. "I waited more than twenty years for the day I would kill you. I was robbed of my vengeance by the third-class. I am Prince Vegeta. I am a super saiyan." His hair turned golden as he said this. "All of this happened, for me,a decade ago. This may be the last chance I will ever have. I could kill you right now. It wouldn't be any kind of challenge for me." He raised his hand and began to gather ki.
Frieza stared at him with a mixture of shock, fear, and disbelief.
Vegeta's blue green eyes narrowed. "I could, but I refuse."
"What? Are you that afraid? You put so much stock in your stupid legend! You always thought you were special but you're nothing! You were my slave, my pet, and my bitch!" The last stung, and earned a collective gasp from Krillin and Goku. Piccolo and Gohan were unfamiliar with sexual practices and the comment flew over their heads.
Vegeta grit his teeth. It took every ounce of self control he had. "I am not afraid of you. I will not kill you because I have moved on. I had my chance. If I interfered now, I don't know what would happen, and I will not put my future at risk." He calmed, and returned to his normal state. Scooping Trunks up, who was trying his best to stop crying, he faced his future allies. "You four are not to speak of this to anyone, do you understand that?"
They all nodded.
Without turning back, he said, "You are nothing, Frieza." He dodged the furious blast that came his way effortlessly and took off back to find the other time machine, barely fifty yards from where his had been. Frieza phased in front of him and threw a strong kick at his head. Vegeta ducked and grabbed the appendage with his free hand. He head butted the lizard, his expression never faltering, kicked him in the stomach, knocking the air from him, and threw him into the ground below.
Shouts of, "coward," "filthy monkey," and "worthless trash" were lost upon him as he cradled his flesh and blood. Those words were empty anyhow. He reached the machine.
Trunks had not let go. "Boy, you will not do anything like this again." He felt him nod eagerly against his chest. "I will decide your punishment later. I think we've had enough for today." He opened the latch and sat inside, Trunks still clutching his shirt and breathing his scent. The prince flipped the big switch and they were gone.
Krillin moaned. "Couldn't he have stayed long enough to help us out a little? His ki was off the charts!"
Bulma jumped when the machine suddenly appeared back in her lab, not even twenty minutes later. She breathed a sigh of relief when she saw a lavender head just above the brim of the window along with her husband's familiar flame of jet black.
"Oh, thank goodness. You're both okay. Trunks, you are in so much trou-ble?" She stopped as Vegeta walked by her with their son in his arms. As he left the lab she had to refrain from biting her nail. "Oh no."
Trunks refused to let go. He didn't look where his father was taking him, or bother acknowledging his mother. Vegeta opened a door and stepped inside. Trunks felt them climbing a flight of stairs, and he recognized where they were going. The full-blooded saiyan sat down as a gust of wind blew by. "Trunks, I need you to relax." He simply buried himself deeper into Vegeta's chest. "Boy, let go." He shook his head. "Now!"
He reluctantly pried himself away. Vegeta turned him so that they were facing on another. "You should not have disobeyed your mother. You should not have used a machine you were so unfamiliar with. You are incredibly lucky there was a spare. Honestly, Trunks! Do you have any idea how pissed I am right now! If you think you are old enough to play with this kind of thing because you feel you have too many restrictions, than you are old enough to hear the truth." The boy cringed slightly.
Vegeta closed his eyes. "That thing you saw – that was the creature I lived with my entire childhood. Your grandfather gave me to him in hopes of saving my home planet. It was destroyed. Under Frieza, I was a soldier. I have killed billions of people." Trunks opened his eyes at that. "I was starved. I was beaten. I was locked away until I became insane. I was molded into Frieza's puppet, and I turned into a monster – no better than the thing I despised so much." Vegeta's voice unconsciously rose with every word. "I could have killed him back there, like I had hoped to most of my life – like I wanted to. And I didn't." Trunks bit his lip.
Vegeta sighed. He put his hand on Trunks' head.
"I'm glad." He looked up at his father with confusion. "If I had killed Frieza, I would have felt empty. I would have endangered your existence and my life with your mother. I would have terrified you. I would not have gotten the closure I needed, and instead he would have been haunting me even more for the rest of my life."
Trunks did not allow himself to cry. He'd done too much of that, and a real warrior never cried. But, he was still a kid, so he felt he could be a little more flexible with those rules. "Can I have a hug?"
Vegeta rolled his eyes. "Tell no one."
"So, would you mind telling me what happened today?" Bulma slid under the covers next to Vegeta.
And so, he told her, knowing she would only pester him if he with held the information. After all, he'd been carrying his almost unresponsive child. That alone made him amazed that she waited as long as she did before hammering the big question down. "What did you do?" She interrupted him as he recalled prying Trunks from his own carcass and facing Frieza.
"I told Kakarot, Kakabrat, the Namekian, and Baldy to tell no one of what happened, and then brought the boy back."
"You didn't kill Frieza?" He shook his head. "You didn't even beat him up a little?" He shrugged.
"I only threw him off."
"I'm happy, but why?"
The prince smirked and wrapped his arm around his mate. "Because, woman, in the grand scheme of things, he was an unworthy opponent."
A/N: Hiya! So, I believe this is my first DBZ fic, so… I welcome flames, constructive criticism, and positive feedback. It's all good, man.