Congratulations! It's a Girl!

Story: Congratulations! It's a Girl!
Category: Dragon Ball Z
Genre: Romance/Drama
Author: PianoxForte
Last updated:
Words: 233991
Rating: M
Status: In Progress
Content: Chapter 1 to 71 of 71 chapters

Summary: Vegeta's unintentional wish alters the Earth's hero both inside and out. Now Goku must suffer the consequences. How will these newfound changes influence everyone, and how will it affect the end result of the Cell saga? *Gender Bender* VxG

*Chapter 1*: Prologue

Disclaimer: I don't own DB/Z/GT.

A/N: Some minor changes in the plot of DBZ in order to accommodate my story: Goku kills Freeza, and doesn't get the heart virus. Trunks arrives at a later date. This begins within the time period between the destruction of Freeza, and the confrontation with the Androids. This story will span from the android saga to the end of the Cell games. It will be long, but I promise it will be full of unexpected surprises! ;-)

Chapter 1: Goku, the Femme Fatale? Ha!

Once upon a time, there was a stubborn, power-hungry, arrogant Prince who cared of nothing but surpassing his lifelong rival. This is not his story. This is the tale of his somewhat unfortunate rival, and the laughably awkward position he was forced into. Ironically enough, the Prince was the catalyst of the entire series of his rival's misfortunate happenings. This is how it all began: Prince Vegeta was training in the gravity room Bulma Briefs had built for him. He had notched it up to 20 times Earth's natural gravity, and he was currently practicing throwing punches and kicks in the air. He had been at it for hours, bound and determined to reach Super Saiyan and to surpass his rival – the bane of his existence – Son Goku.

Ah… Son Goku: protector of the innocent, strongest known man in the universe, and unintentional birthright thief. Vegeta thought many things of this man – none of them were good. As long as this Goku fellow was stronger than Vegeta, Vegeta would make sure of it that he would never relinquish his personal vendetta against him to take back what he deemed as his: the title of being the strongest of them all.

'Why can't I ever beat that imbecile? Somehow he's always one step ahead of me! How does he manage it?' Vegeta thought to himself furiously.

After all this time, he still couldn't believe it, and he would certainly never come to terms with it! Goku had taken his pride and he would be damned if he would just let it slip to the wayside. Goku needed to pay! Goku needed to see what it was like to live in somebody else's shadow for once! A bead of sweat made its courageous journey down the sharp angle of Vegeta's cheekbone; it slid down to his chin and dripped onto the tile flooring with a tiny pitter-pattering sound.

Vegeta clenched his fists and a vein protruded on either side of his widow's peak. 'I am the Prince of all Saiyans, damn-it! I'm better than that third class dog! I will beat him! I must beat him! It is my birthright!'

Vegeta's calloused hands frantically fumbled with the gravity controls. He turned it up to 50 times Earth's natural gravity. He immediately resumed punching and kicking the air at unnatural speeds. A scowl was plastered on his face. He appeared so pissed it would be lethal for anyone to disturb him in the slightest.

As if it were at all possible, he quickened his pace even more so as the disturbing thoughts of failure lingered in his brain. They seemed to resurface in his mind every day. These sly thoughts would ambush him when he was at his weakest. 'He's better than you, Vegeta! He'll always be better than you, Vegeta. Training yourself to surpass him is futile, Vegeta. You are weak, Vegeta. What would your Father think of you, Vegeta?'

"Bastard!" Vegeta hissed. He moved the controls up to 70 times.

To Vegeta, it was simple: what Goku had done was unforgivable! Goku had stolen what was his. He had stolen what Vegeta was promised when he was born: to be the strongest of all of the Saiyans. He had robbed Vegeta of his pride, and a true Saiyan regards one's pride as their most important characteristic!

Vegeta vowed to himself the very moment he hit rock bottom that he would take back what was rightfully his from the start. He didn't care what the consequences were. He would become the strongest of all of the Saiyans once more. He wouldn't stop at just that, no, he would become the strongest being in the entire universe!

Vegeta thought he knew everything – a total know-it-all. Though, he didn't know everything. He certainly wasn't aware that he had a peeping tom in his midst. Bulma was the culprit. She was staring into the gravity room via a window that she had installed herself. She was a genius and so it was only natural that she could tell that she had growing feelings for the bigheaded Prince. She didn't want to admit it. She simply couldn't understand what she saw in him – and that's coming from a grade-A brainiac!

Perhaps she was attracted to him because they had a common characteristic: they were both remarkably stubborn. This is also a big reason why she didn't want to admit caring for him. She thought it was wrong of her. Not only was Vegeta literally a 'bad boy', Bulma also currently had a boyfriend. She was dating Yamcha, well sort of. She didn't really know what they were. Either way, it doesn't matter, because Bulma couldn't help but think of Vegeta. She was a tormented soul.

Yet another fact Bulma didn't want to admit to was that she'd been watching Vegeta train for a whopping total of two hours straight – no pee breaks included. She knew it was silly and cliché, but she just couldn't keep her eyes off of him. Her defense was: 'Who in their right mind could?' After all, Vegeta was wearing spandex, very hot. She could see every single solitary detail of his nicely sculptured muscles. It was especially tantalizing when he just so happened to be drenched in sweat. Bulma gluttonously bit her bottom list with pure, unadulterated lust. Oh, she had to admit it now. 'I want him so badly,' she thought. Unfortunately, she'd realized that he didn't even seem to notice her. It was time to change her game plans.

Bulma could barely make out Vegeta's lips moving. He seemed to be talking to himself. The walls were sound-proof, so she couldn't hear what he was saying. She watched him mess with the gravity controls for a second. Next, he walked casually over to a bolted down table in the corner of the room, and he picked up a white towel from it. He slung it around his neck, sighed, and walked toward the exit door.

It was then that Bulma finally realized that she hadn't been thinking about the circumstance she was about to be thrown into. 'Vegeta is finished with his training, he's walking toward the door. I'm just standing here like a moron doing nothing. Shit!' Bulma thought frantically.

Vegeta inevitably opened the door and noticed Bulma in front of it standing stock-still and gawking at him like an idiot. Vegeta arched an eyebrow at her with a vague look of curiosity and annoyance jumbled together. "What do you think you're doing, woman?" he demanded.

"N – nothing!" Bulma stammered, feeling the sudden urge to beat her skull against the nearest wall. "I was… just going to… um… check and see if the gravity machine is working ship-shape!" She said this while trying to feign a peppy voice. It failed… miserably.

Lucky for her, Vegeta didn't seem to care. He shrugged his shoulders in acceptance, grunted, and stalked off toward his living quarters, no doubt. He had better things to do with his time than stand around and talk to the weak, human female – even if she was pleasant to look at from time to time.

When Vegeta had taken his leave and Bulma was certain he was out of earshot, she exhaled the breath she had been holding in for the past minute or so. "That was a close one," she muttered.

Meanwhile, when Vegeta entered his room he opened up an armoire near his bed, and pulled out six orange orbs. They contained a numbered assortment of stars on each sphere. Vegeta gazed at them for a moment, picking up a random ball and looking it over. Ironically, it turned out to be the four-star dragon ball. He hadn't a clue, but the four-star ball in particular was Goku's favorite. It was his Grandpa's dragon ball.

"I didn't want to resort to this…" Vegeta muttered aloud. He tapped his foot on the wooden floorboards anxiously and continued, "but I don't see that I have a choice any longer. I can't handle this anymore. I must beat you, Kakarrot! I will be the strongest, no-matter the cost."

He picked up a worn, brown, leather baggie and placed all six inside of it. He drew open his windowpanes and he flew off to a location where he had hidden the seventh dragon ball earlier for safekeeping.

In a quaint house on the beautiful location known as Mount Paozu, a happy family was finishing up their lunch. This family consisted of the father, Son Goku, the wife, Son ChiChi, and their pride and joy, Son Gohan. The father and son had just finished wolfing down their lunch. ChiChi was in the kitchen preparing even more food. She worked like a slave to keep her boys content. Their happiness was her happiness.

Goku sighed in satisfaction and he plopped an emptied bowl on top of a stack of eight other bowls. He stretched back in his chair and patted his stomach contentedly. Gohan was soon finished as well and mimicked his father's previous actions.

"That was great, ChiChi!" Goku complimented. "I'm so stuffed!"

"Yeah, Mom," Gohan added, "Thank you so much!" Gohan swiveled over in his chair to look at his father. "Hey Dad, can we train now?" he asked.

Goku was on the verge of answering, but ChiChi was too quick for him. "Not until you've finished all of your homework, Mister," ChiChi reminded.

"But Mom," Gohan replied with a whiny pleading voice, "I already finished today's homework. Can I please go train with Dad? Pretty please!"

ChiChi leaned against the countertop and rested her index finger on her chin. "Hm…" she hummed as she contemplated his words. She sighed and waved her hand dismissively. "I guess it couldn't hurt, but just this once. Don't get used to it, Gohan!"

"Yes, Ma'am," Gohan replied with a cheery smile. He giddily hopped out of his chair and gave her a hug. "Thanks so much!" he said. He turned to his dad and said, "C'mon, Dad, hurry up!"

Goku laughed and said, "I'm coming, I'm coming, hold your horses!" He approached his wife, smiled, and gave her a swift, affectionate peck on the cheek before following Gohan out the door.

Goku's day had started out great, it seemed so pristine. It was quickly becoming the perfect day. Though, he had a lot of those… Unfortunately for him, his luck was about to run out. This is where the story truly begins:

As Goku walked outside he was frozen still from shock. The sky was full of grey, formidable-looking thunder clouds. If it weren't for the tumultuous thunder and lighting, it would have been dead quiet and pitch black outside. This was no ordinary storm. Goku could feel a sinking feeling begin to well up in the pit of his stomach. He recognized what this was, and it definitely couldn't mean anything good!

Goku's eyebrows furrowed together in puzzlement and anxiety. 'Someone's summoning the eternal dragon!' he thought.

"Dad, look at the sky!" Gohan shouted in astonishment.

"I see it, Gohan," Goku replied and then muttered, "this can't be good."

"It's the dragon balls, isn't it? What should we do?" Gohan asked.

Goku rested the palm of his hand on Gohan's head a ruffled his ebony locks of hair. Goku smiled reassuringly and said, "I'm sure it's nothing. You just stay here. I'll be back before you know it!"

Whoever it was, s/he wasn't too far away. Goku could visibly see Shenron's long, snake-like body off in the distance. It was coiling in the darkened sky. Goku shut his eyelids for a moment and sensed out for any recognizable ki signatures in the immediate area. The only ki signature that he could sense anywhere near the dragon was one that he instantly recognized. Knowing the owner of the ki wasn't doing anything to comfort Goku's restless nerves. Goku locked onto Vegeta's energy signal and he transported to where he was at.

Goku reappeared just in time to hear the booming voice of the eternal dragon say, "You who has summoned me, state your wish."

Sure enough, Vegeta was standing slightly in front of Goku. He had his arms crossed. A smirk of success was already plastered on his face.

"I wish – " he began.

" – wait! Vegeta, don't do it!" Goku shouted at the top of his lungs.

Goku's sudden interruption jarred Vegeta's nerves. He flinched from the sound of Goku's voice. The sound of it alone made him want to punch the guy. It was the most insufferable noise he'd thought he'd ever heard in his life – he was bias of course.

"Ugh!" Vegeta grunted in frustration. "Kakarrot is exactly like a damn woman! He's just like one! He never leaves me the hell alone!"

"That is within my power," Shenron replied. Shenron's body glowed a magnificent shade of gold. "Your wish has been granted." The dragon disappeared into a blindingly bright light and the light was immediately sucked into the seven orbs. The dragon balls simultaneously shot off into different directions.

Vegeta's mouth hung agape in utter shock. "My wish?" he muttered. His voice rose to a shout, "I didn't make a wish!" Vegeta shook his fist at the sky. "What a waste of my time, a total rip-off!"

Vegeta was so absorbed in his furious bout of disappointment, he hadn't even begun to notice what was happening to his unwelcomed onlooker. Goku broke the silence.

"Vegeta…" Goku muttered, his voice rising in a crescendo of volume as his anxious thoughts quickly morphed into panic. "What's happening to me?"

Vegeta swiveled around to face his rival. His eyes were instantly assaulted by a viciously bright light. He cursed and shielded his eyes with his forearm. It was then that the truth dawned upon him. The dragon had granted a wish. Vegeta cursed again. 'No! I didn't want that!'

The light eventually dimmed and then faded away altogether. Goku's body was still glowing, and Vegeta couldn't quite make out any significant changes. Vegeta crossed his arms and tapped his foot as he impatiently waiting for the worst to be over with. After a quick consideration of the situation, he smiled to himself, this actually might be enjoyable. From the sound of his mistaken wish, Goku was going to be gender-bended. Vegeta was sure of it that Goku would make to be the most ugly woman he had every laid his eyes upon.

As expected, the glow dissipated and revealed the changes made to the ill-fated Saiyan. To Vegeta's utter astonishment, his theory had been dead wrong. His first thought was, 'That isn't Kakarrot!' It was understandable that he felt this way because a beautiful young woman was left standing where Goku had been only moments before. Looking at her face made Vegeta seriously consider that Kami had sent and angel down to Earth to smite him. Sure, she bore some resemblance to Goku. She had large eyes with obsidian irises. Her skin was the same creamy pale pigment that Goku had. Her hair was pure ebony, exactly like Goku – albeit her hair fell down to her shoulder blades and had a slightly different style to it.

The list of similarities was not what Vegeta was concerned with at the moment. He was speculating how this woman could be Goku if she was shorter in stature than him. Goku was quite lanky, she was not. In fact, she seemed ridiculously small and dare he think it – frail compared to Goku. She was petite, yet curvy. Let's just say that if Goku's fellow male friends had seen her, their thought process would be as such: "Oh… yeah!" and then after realization hit in. "Oh… no…"

Okay, so if I haven't made myself clear, poor Goku is pretty freakin' hot. I say 'poor' because it would have been much easier for her if she was ugly as Vegeta had assumed she would be. You will see what I mean soon enough.

Now, Vegeta still wasn't convinced that this pretty woman was Goku. In fact, he was more than skeptical. He was actually kind of hopeful. If she wasn't Goku, he would have a gorgeous Saiyan woman all to himself. Goku wouldn't go after her. He was married, besides, what beautiful Saiyan woman would want a third-class like him? Certainly not one that was in her right frame of mind!

When a certain furry appendage flicked around in Vegeta's line of sight he was kind of taken aback. It really was a female Saiyan! Hallelujah! Goku suddenly displayed a look of innocent surprise. She had finally taken notice of the odd looks Vegeta was shooting her way. Her eyebrows furrowed together in confusion.

"What's wrong, Vege – " she had begun to speak. She took pause. A small squeaky sound escaped her lips and her mouth bobbed up and down like a fish, but no words came out. She was shocked silent.

All hope for Vegeta was crushed right then and there. She had recognized him. She began to say his name. It was Goku after all. "Kakarrot?" he muttered questioningly. He couldn't think of a further response.

Her voice came out in a stunned whisper, "You're taller than me!"

It was then that Goku finally took the time to glance down at herself. If Vegeta wasn't stupefied, he would have probably thought that her reaction was priceless. He would have burst out laughing. Goku took one look at herself and the first thing she came into contact with was her breasts. She screamed. Needless to say, she screamed like a girl.

By now, Vegeta was positive that this woman was Goku, but he chose to ask the inevitable anyway: "Kakarrot, is that really you?"

Were his eyes playing tricks on him? Who would actually be able to believe that the happy-go-lucky dope could actually look like that! On one hand, it was kind of rewarding to see Goku like that. Vegeta knew that it must be humiliating for him… her. But on the other hand, he had wasted his wish. Not only that, Vegeta couldn't shake the foreboding feeling that this wish was going to haunt him for a very long time.

*Chapter 2*: ChiChi's Anger, Goku's Heartbreak

Disclaimer: I don't own DB/Z/GT.

Chapter 2: ChiChi's Anger, Goku's Heartbreak

Vegeta couldn't believe his eyes or ears. Goku looked gorgeous to say in the least, and instead of the loud, annoying, cheery voice Vegeta had been expecting, Goku had a smooth, quiet, sensuous, and very feminine voice.

"I - I think it's me, Vegeta," mumbled Goku, she was vaguely aware that her whole body was trembling in trepidation; she had also noticed the change in her voice. Her own voice was so alien to her it was almost as if she was listening to somebody else talk.

Vegeta opened his mouth as if to say something, but for once, he couldn't find the words he desired. He hadn't remembered how beautiful Saiyan women could be. After all, he hadn't seen one in about twenty years or so. When he had seen them, he was only a mere child, a very young child.

'Wow, he - she looks... Wait a minute, how disgusting, what am I thinking? This is Kakarrot, he's - she's not really a beautiful female Saiyan! I need to stop staring, I'm making myself look obvious, and the thought of me thinking Kakarrot is alluring is absolutely repulsive,' Vegeta thought, scolding himself inwardly.

"Vegeta," Goku murmured, breaking the dead silence.

"Yes?" Vegeta asked, trying his best to keep his arms crossed stubbornly, and his eyes staring a tree up and down, instead of Goku.

"ChiChi's going to be extremely mad at me!" she whimpered nervously.

Vegeta turned to look Goku in her the eyes, but his own eyes betrayed him, and wandered down to her upper torso to ogle her. Vegeta continued to stare contently at the image before him, unaware that Goku was looking at him like he was crazy or something.

"Vegeta - " continued Goku, "What are you doing?" she asked, with her right eyebrow raised curiously.

Vegeta immediately shook his head in shock from hearing her voice. He had to get those lustful thoughts out of his mind, they were wrong! Him thinking of Goku like that was unheard of, and looking at her in that way was terrible!

"Nothing, I was doing absolutely nothing! I was about to say, why don't you at least try to explain the situation to your harpy? She'll probably understand. You're worrying over nothing!" lied Vegeta, slyly changing the subject.

'Am I losing my sanity?' Vegeta thought in confusion, he tried extremely hard to keep his eyes away from her, but to no avail. It was beginning to annoy him, but it couldn't be helped.

"Can you explain it to her for me?" asked Goku, tearing Vegeta away from his musings.

"What? And be in her range of fire? No way in hell!" exclaimed Vegeta.

"But Vegeta, you made the wish! Plus, she doesn't catch on fire when she's mad!" argued Goku naively.

"It's your fault that you transported here, and I didn't mean it that way! It was merely a figure of speech!" pointed out Vegeta, "Or maybe not, you never know, with that woman, anything's deemed possible."

Instead of replying to what Vegeta had just said, Goku put on the most agonizingly sad expression she could muster. She was trying hard to look teary eyed, which was extremely difficult for a Saiyan to do, even if said Saiyan was Earthling-raised.

'Since when did Kakarrot become conniving? Does she actually believe I could fall for that ruse? It's hardly believable, and she doesn't really look sad, more or less, I'd say she bares resemblance to that of a constipated person,' thought Vegeta, smirking to himself.

Goku, realizing quickly that her facade had failed, and begged, "Vegeta, Please!" she used it as her last resort, knowing full-well Vegeta didn't care, but maybe, just maybe it would work!

"Fine, if it makes you shut up, I suppose I could accompany you. Though, listen to me carefully, Kakarrot: I will not, I repeat, will not help you explain to her what happened. The woman hates me enough, I don't aspire for a death-wish," spoke Vegeta, feeling defeated.

He knew he would never hear the end of this if he didn't at least accompany her when she explained it to ChiChi. After-all, it was kind of his fault, but in his opinion, mostly hers.

"Thank-you, Vegeta," replied Goku gratefully and somewhat surprised.

"Kakarrot, one more thing- " began Vegeta, continuing with a quick nod of the head from her part, " -I want you to understand that I'm only doing this because I feel I had a small part in this accident. Don't take it as anything else."

"I completely understand, Vegeta," said Goku, taking to the sky, but smiling slightly as she did so.

'Bull, Kakarrot doesn't completely understand anything!' thought Vegeta, choosing to keep that thought to himself. Afterall, Goku was already in a tough enough situation.

Vegeta kept in the lead nearly the whole entire time, either trying to keep himself from staring at Goku, or just to show that he's faster and better than her. Goku was finding it hard to fly in this new body of hers. She theorized that maybe it was because it was smaller, had a lot of curves, and her long hair kept whipping in her face.

Vegeta turned his head around to see how Goku was doing. He saw her spitting hair out of her mouth, and trying to hold the rest back with her right hand; all the while, she was flying terribly, nearly losing concentration and falling many times. Apparently, the major reason for her flying problems was her hair, not her new body.

Vegeta turned completely around in one agile spin. He slowed down excessively, giving the appearance he was flying backwards for a second. He did this, so that he could watch the scene of Goku's struggle. It proved to be rather amusing. After awhile, he finally decided to stop, and actually assist her, after all, he didn't have all day.

Goku didn't see Vegeta's abrupt stop, and ended up ramming herself point-blank into his chest. They ended up in an awkward hugging position. Goku pulled herself back slightly, and was about an inch away from Vegeta's face. Her face bore a look of utter surprise. She was confused as to what had happened, and how for that matter!

The two just levitated there silently, gazing into one another's eyes for a moment. Goku, trying to figure out what had happened, and Vegeta taking in the alluring sight that he couldn't peel his eyes away from, she truly was entrancing. He felt as if he were spellbound, not that he wanted to be!

Goku broke the silence, and regained his attention. "Why did you stop?" she questioned, finally figuring out what had happened.

"I was going to ask if you could just transport us there," he said quietly, "You seemed to be having a difficult time, and it was slowing me down."

"Oh, of course! Why didn't I think of that?" chimed Goku happily, slapping herself on the forehead for not thinking of that first. With that said she hastily grabbed his hand without a second thought.

When he felt her small soft hand make contact with his, chills ran up his spine. A weird feeling crept into the pit of his stomach. He'd never felt this strange feeling before. He didn't know what to think of it! He felt like he was about to puke. Before his mind could start contemplating logical reasons for why he felt that sensation, both he and Goku had disappeared.

They reappeared in front of Goku's quaint little mountain home. She let go of Vegeta's hand, unaware of Vegeta frowning a bit as she did so. The feeling from before lessened slightly, but Vegeta noticed that he was now trembling.

Goku walked up to the front door apprehensively, knowing full-well that she'd receive an ear-full when she walked in. Vegeta followed her, that is, until Goku decided to stop and just stare at the door.

"Well, aren't you going to open it, or do you need me to show you how?" jeered Vegeta impatiently.

Goku dropped out of her little trance, and returned back to reality, "Sorry Vegeta," she apologized, her voice a bit shaky.

She turned the doorknob slowly, wincing as the doors hinges squeaked loudly in protest.

"Goku, honey, is that you?" called ChiChi from inside the kitchen, upon hearing the door open.

Instead of answering, Goku walked through the door, and into the kitchen. In the kitchen sat Gohan at the table working on homework. Behind him, was ChiChi, preparing dinner.

"Oh Goku, it's amazing! For once you're not late for dinner! In fact, you're way too early, honey," she said happily, turning around and then frowning, "You're not Goku," she stated dumbly.

At that statement, Vegeta walked in through the doorway, and stood next to Goku. ChiChi looked at him in confusion and spoke, "Vegeta, what a surprise, I wasn't expecting you."

Vegeta just grunted in response, ChiChi ignored him and continued, "So... Who's this beautiful young lady standing next to you?"

With that stated, Goku looked down at the ground in shame.

"Why don't you ask her yourself?" sneered Vegeta, finding the whole ordeal rather comical.

ChiChi glared at him, angered by his rudeness, and then spoke once more, "I'm sorry, what is your name?"

Goku made sure not to make eye contact with her. She started drawing invisible circular patterns on the tile floor with her feet nervously.

Finally, she spoke up, "It's me, Goku," she mumbled silently.

"I'm sorry, what did you say? I couldn't hear you properly," stated ChiChi laughing slightly, "It almost sounded as if you said you were my husband."

Goku looked up at her, and quietly muttered, "That's exactly what I said, Chi. It's me, Goku."

ChiChi's smile was wiped clear off of her face in seconds flat. "What? This is a joke, right? Tell me this isn't true!" she mumbled in disbelief, looking toward Vegeta for answers.

"It's true," affirmed Vegeta plainly.

Gohan looked up from his book at Goku, with wide, shocked eyes. "D-dad?" he questioned.

ChiChi was trembling, she was on the verge of either having a conniption, or breaking down and crying her eyes out. Terrible things like this seemed to happen to her quite frequently. Suddenly, she couldn't seem to take it anymore. She felt as if she were about to crack!

"Gohan, sweety, mommy and daddy need to have a little talk, go play outside!" ChiChi stated, using every ounce of her will-power to restrain herself from yelling at the poor boy, though her voice still had a frightening tone to it.

Gohan glanced up at his mother, a little bit shocked and frightened, "Y-Yes, mother," he complied, quickly retreating out of the room.

Once he had left the room, ChiChi hissed, "How the hell did this happen, Goku? You better have a good explanation, or else... I'll... I'll..."

"It was an accident, ChiChi, I swear!" replied Goku, her eyes pleading for some sympathy.

"An accident? That's your excuse? What type of sick joke is this, Goku?" ChiChi cried out, her voice trembling, she couldn't hold her rage in any longer.

"It was an accident!" repeated Goku dumbly. She didn't want to place some of the blame on Vegeta; it truly was an accident.

"It's always a god damn accident, Goku. Always! I'm sick of it! You're always gone, and you never listen to me! Poor Gohan has a sorry excuse for a father! I want him to be raised right! I want him to become somebody! I try so hard! Then you come, and distract him, ruining his future. Training to become the strongest doesn't accomplish anything, Goku! Now, you come home to me like this?" shouted ChiChi, a look of hysteria upon her face.

"I - I - " stuttered Goku, pure fear evident in her eyes.

Goku had never seen ChiChi this mad before. She looked as if she'd blown a fuse! She wasn't sure of what ChiChi would do. Goku also felt a terrible pang of regret. She couldn't help, but think that ChiChi was right about a lot of it. She did distract Gohan from his studies. ChiChi only wanted the best for him...

"Goku, we're nearly dirt poor, and you'd rather train than get a job to support your own family! This wasn't an accident! I know it! You're not truly sorry. Well, this is the last straw, Goku! I want you out of my house, and out of my sight! I don't want you to ever come back, and please, Goku, stay away from Gohan! You're the worst possible influence he could ever have as a father! I don't want you anywhere near him, understand?" cried out ChiChi, her eyes filling with tears.

Part of ChiChi ached to take back the words she had said. She knew they were cruel, but in her heart, she believed Goku was deserving of them and that they were all true! She couldn't handle him anymore. She felt it was time for her to let go.

No matter how hard Vegeta tried to tune out the argument, he couldn't. This woman was a demon! Sure, the man wasn't the best father in the world according to Earthling terms. Though, ChiChi hadn't considered that he is a full-blooded Saiyan, and Saiyans can't live without fighting. Fighting is in every pure-blooded Saiyan's heart and soul! Asking Goku to quit training was the epitome of a death-sentence!

Vegeta could no longer stand to see Goku flinch in misery every time ChiChi yelled at her. Her voice was quickly becoming insufferable, and Goku's constant wimpish reactions were so un-Saiyan-like it made Vegeta want to vomit. He needed to stop this, and he needed to stop this now before he killed someone out of sheer annoyance. He grabbed Goku roughly by the arm with the intention of dragging her out of the room. He'd had his fill of ChiChi's tongue-lashing so certainly Kakarrot had too - at any rate - he didn't care.

Goku ignored him, pulling away in protest, "But ChiChi, I love you and Gohan. I can't leave you! I'm nothing without the two of you! I have to train. If I didn't train, who knows what would happen! ChiChi, if I don't train, the next time an enemy comes around trying to destroy the Earth or all of the Earthlings, who's going to stop them? I have to do this, Chi, and you know that! I didn't ask to be the way I am. I can't control which cards I'm dealt in life. It's not my fault I'm a Saiyan."

"Well, I can't take it anymore, Goku! I'm done with you! I don't want to hear your any of your excuses and apologies ever again. We're over!" stated ChiChi, tears now abundant upon her cheeks.

"No, ChiChi, I can't, don't make me!" Goku pleaded, looking as if an arrow had just struck her heart, her eyes glimmering wet.

Goku stared at the ground somberly, trying to think of a way to apologize that would actually work. She felt Vegeta tug on her arm again, but this time he was on a whole new level of persistent, he pulled harder than she expected, causing her to lose footing and fall backward. Vegeta caught Goku by her armpits, and they both watched as a porcelain plate hit the wall and shattered down to the ground where Goku had been standing.

Goku looked towards ChiChi with heartfelt appeal, once more, watching her reach for another plate. Vegeta managed to drag Goku out of the house, before ChiChi could do anymore damage to her feelings. He stood her upright, and watched her lower lip quiver.

'Kakarrot's not about to cry, is she?' He tried to recall whether or not Saiyan women cried often like Earthling women, but he had been too young to remember. 'It doesn't seem like something any Saiyan would do,' he concluded.

Vegeta was correct in his former assumption. Warm wet tears began to slide down Goku's alabaster cheeks. He watched in disbelief as, one-by-one, they dribbled off of her chin and onto the dirt on the ground.

Vegeta couldn't withhold himself from speaking what was on his mind. "Alright Kakarrot, this is getting pathetic."

She didn't seem to register what he'd said - either that or she didn't care.

Vegeta clenched his fists and growled. "Don't tell me you're going to just mope around like some fragile human! I don't care if you were raised here! You're disgracing our race with your soppy tears!"

Without warning, Goku lost her balance and tumbled into his arms. He honest-to-Kami hadn't intended to catch her in such an awkward way. He looked as if he was embracing her. He hadn't intended to catch her at all! Though, perhaps the Saiyan prince wasn't as callous as one would think. He thought about shoving Kakarrot's dead weight off of him in an act of disgust, but withheld himself from doing so - though the whys of the matter were beyond him at this point.

"Look Kakarrot, the woman obviously doesn't want you around any longer, so why don't you do us both a favor and snap out of it so we can get off the front lawn before the harpy decides to throw her knife set at us," Vegeta stated matter-of-factually.

Apparently Goku had been listening, because this made her sob even harder.

Vegeta growled frustratedly. "I don't see what the big deal is, she's just a worthless Earth-woman. You can find another one to cook for you and sleep with you easily enough!"

*Chapter 3*: A Lost Feeling

Disclaimer: I don't own DB/Z/GT.

Chapter 3: A Lost Feeling

Goku found that she could no-longer support her own weight, and so she thankfully leaned into Vegeta's 'embrace'. Her arms grasped onto him tightly for fear of losing even more. ChiChi would never forgive her, and she wasn't allowed to see Gohan anymore. Sure, it might be awkward that she was a woman now, but that didn't mean she didn't want to be with ChiChi. They could make it work, right? Wait... no... ChiChi had just dumped her for good, or so she thought.

What she really needed was a friend, a very close friend at her side, and all she had was Vegeta, a mere acquaintance that cared nothing about her or what she was feeling at the moment. She felt so awfully numb, as if the world around her was gone. She felt like she was lifeless in a void of nothingness where time had stopped. She didn't want to return to the real world. The only connection she could feel was the warmth of her body pressing against Vegeta's. She didn't care that its owner was Vegeta, all that she knew, was that it was comforting. It felt good.

Vegeta stood there with his arms wrapped awkwardly around Goku. He had no idea at all what was going on or what to do. Goku was just grabbing onto him in a tight hug, unaware of anything else around her. Was it that she wanted sympathy? Did she just have a total breakdown? Why wasn't she responding to him?

Goku's tears were beginning to seep through Vegeta's tank top. He frowned and thought, 'I suppose I could leave her here. She has to snap out of her sulking eventually. Damn-it all! If I leave her the blue-haired woman will find out and will be an even bigger pain in my ass! I'll take her to Capsule Corp. and then she'll be someone else's problem!'

"Alright, Kakarrot. Enough with the water-works already! We're leaving now!" Vegeta announced.

His announcement didn't elicit a response. Vegeta raised an eyebrow at the emotionally wounded Saiyan. 'These Earthlings sure have made you a pathetic weakling...' "Hn."

Vegeta heave-hoed Goku head-first over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes, and took off into the sky - his destination, Capsule Corporation.

The sudden torrent of wind against Goku's body didn't surprise her. She was used to the feeling of flying at fast speeds in mid-air. She'd been doing it for so long. Though, it felt alien to be carried by someone else into the sky. Her instincts told her to be on guard, but she ignored them. She needed someone to lean on. She didn't move from her position, only shivered due to the chill that the wind brought.

On Vegeta's end, a disturbing thought suddenly crossed his mind: 'Bulma is Kakarrot's close friend. She's no doubt going to take her in for Kami knows how long. She's going to drive me insane!'

Another random thought soon popped up in his head. 'Is this Kakarrot different? Kakarrot has always been emotional like the Earthlings, but he would never allow a mere woman to cause him to break down like this, would he? That wish must have effected more than Kakarrot's appearance.'

Vegeta's entrance into Capsule Corp. didn't go unnoticed by Bulma. In fact, she practically sniffed out something was off the minute he opened the door and entered.

"Hey, Vege - " she stopped mid-sentence, noticing he was carrying something rather large. "Um... what's that in your arms?"

Bulma took a better look look and realized that it was a woman. "Just what the hell do you think you're doing, Vegeta? You can't just snatch up a girl off the streets!"

Vegeta raised an eyebrow at Bulma. "I didn't just snatch her off the streets," he argued.

"Then what are you doing with her?"

"That's a good question," Vegeta replied with a slight smirk. "Here. Take her," he said, unexpectedly shoving Goku into Bulma's arms, and stalking away before he had a chance to suffer the repercussions of his actions.

The resultant weight of Goku was too much for Bulma to bear and it caused her to lose her balance and fall flat on her back with the girl splayed on top of her.

The fall and Bulma's resultant loud cry of "OOOF!" cured Goku of her space-case situation immediately. She became wide eyed and she stumbled her way off of Bulma immediately, all the while apologizing profusely: "I'm so sorry! Did I hurt you?! Oh I'm sorry, Bulma, I didn't mean to!" Apologizing at this point came all too easily.

Bulma also got up off of the floor, wiping dust molecules off of her clothing as she did so.

'How does this girl know my name?' she pondered silently.

Bulma examined the young woman intently. She had long, spiky, and unruly raven-colored hair. She bore deep onyx eyes. Her long eyelashes were sticking together from the damp liquid that had been tumbling over them constantly.

The girl's creamy-colored complexion was disturbed by flushed red cheeks, and her face was a bit swollen. As Bulma began to speak, tears still rolled down the young woman's face. Bulma could tell that the poor girl had been crying for quite awhile now, but she still for the life of her could not recognize her.

"What's your name?" Bulma asked softly, smiling at her encouragingly.

Goku blinked at Bulma in disbelief for a moment. She'd forgotten about the massive change for a split-second. "Bulma, it's me... Goku."

Bulma's eyebrows creased together. "You're not..." 'Is this some sort of joke?' She examined the girl with a doubtful expression, but after a moment her brain began to piece together two-and-two. The hair color and unruly nature, the eye color, the skin pigment, and then there was the undeniable fact that the girl had a tail that had somehow eluded her notice at first glance. "Oh Kami!" Bulma suddenly exclaimed. "What did Vegeta do to you?"

Goku rubbed away at her wet eyes and cheeks. She didn't want Bulma to see her like this! "It was an accident," she explained. "He was trying to make a wish, and I..."

Bulma frowned. She suddenly cupped her hands around her mouth and shouted, "Vegeta!" at the top of her lungs.

Goku waved her hands in front of Bulma like white flags of peace. "Please, don't be mad at him! It was an accident! He didn't mean to!"

At any rate, it didn't matter at the moment. Vegeta was doing what he did best - ignoring her. Bulma withdrew her thoughts from reaming the prince, and turned her attention to her uncharacteristically somber friend.

"Why were you crying?" she immediately asked.

Goku struggled to control her emotions. She wasn't about to let herself break down again. "ChiChi wants nothing to do with me anymore. She said I'm a terrible father, and that she doesn't want me to see Gohan anymore!"

The thought of never seeing her son again brought back the tears.

Bulma hugged Goku and rubbed her back comfortingly. "Don't let this bother you so much! ChiChi was upset. I'm sure she didn't really mean the things that she said, and besides, she can't keep you from Gohan. He's just as much your son as he is hers. Until ChiChi cools off and realizes her mistake, you're more than welcome to stay with us."

Goku wiped away the tears again. She wasn't the best at talking about stuff like this, but Bulma always knew what to say to make her feel better. "Thank-you, Bulma!"

Bulma ruffled Goku's hair like she used to when they were kids. "No problem! Any time! Now, let me show you where you can crash."

Bulma's mind lingered on the fact that she had told Goku that she could stay with 'us'. She was referring to her and Vegeta as if they were a couple or something. Or at least that's how it sounded to her. She blushed slightly at the thought of it, and she hoped that Goku hadn't noticed her flub in wording.

'Who am I kidding, this is Goku, of course she wouldn't notice!' Bulma thought.

When they reached the spare room, Bulma reiterated that Goku was welcome to stay as long as she liked. "I ordered in some pizza. You wanna come down and have a bite?" she asked.

The offering didn't elicit the kind of typical ravenous Goku response she was expecting, and quite frankly, it worried her.

"I got meat lovers," she said in her most persuasive tone.

Goku smiled faintly. "No thanks, Bulma. For once, I'm not really hungry. I think I'm just gonna lie down and think a little bit."

"Okay, Goku, I can take a hint," Bulma teased. "I'll leave you alone." Before closing the door behind her, she added, "Just remember that these things will work themselves out. It's not the end of the world. Trust me, I've been through a 'few' break-ups myself."

It was a good thing Goku didn't want any pizza, because by the time Bulma had reached the kitchen, Vegeta had already eaten the majority of it.

Bulma's eye twitched in annoyance. "I'm hungry too, your highness!"

Vegeta kicked his feet up on the kitchen table and tapped the box open with the tip of his boot. "I left you some."

"One slice..." Bulma muttered in disbelief. "You're a peach," she added sarcastically.

"Where's Kakarrot?" Vegeta asked.

Bulma nearly choked on a melted piece of cheese. "Gasp! Do you actually care?" she mocked.

Vegeta scoffed and left the room without saying another word.

Bulma sighed exasperatedly. "Why do I fall for the jackasses?"

Goku lay on her bed, staring up at the ceiling, and watching the fan attached to it circle continuously. She had been mulling over what had happened that day. Just how long could she put up with being in this different body?

The physical changes weren't the only things that were bothering her. Her emotions were all screwy. She had virtually no control over them and it left her reeling - as if she couldn't tell up from down. It felt like she was missing something - like a piece of her had been taken away when the wish was made. She couldn't pinpoint what it was exactly, but it left her feeling hollow inside.

*Chapter 4*: Unexpected Visitors

Disclaimer: I don't own DB/Z/GT.

Chapter 4: Unexpected Visitors

The next morning at Capsule Corporation, Bulma, and Vegeta were sitting at the breakfast table. Bulma was tapping her foot impatiently on the floor, awaiting Goku's arrival. She was beginning to wonder if her best friend was still in such a fowl depressed mood. It just wasn't like Goku to act like that. She spied Vegeta bringing a sausage to his mouth through her peripheral vision, and was enraged by his thoughtlessness!

"Vegeta, wait for Goku to come down before you eat!" chided Bulma, wacking his hand with a large plastic server-spoon.

"Don't patronize me woman, I'm no child, and I'll not have you scolding me like one. I'm not waiting for that lesser Saiyan, I'll eat whenever I so please to!" argued Vegeta, expressing his normal ill-tempered attitude, and expressing his point by grabbing the dropped sausage and swiftly taking a bite out of it.

Bulma crossed her arms, and glared at him in defeat. She already knew that with Vegeta it was impossible to win any battles. He was just too self-centered and cocky! She laughed silently as she thought to herself, 'Well, Goku certainly knows how defeat the self-centered prick!, maybe not in a worded argument, but definately in a fight.'

"Hey Bulma, hey Vegeta!" addressed Goku, walking into the room with a small somewhat forced smile on her face, though she did feel a great deal better.

Vegeta's right eye twitched in annoyance at the sound of Goku's now-cheery voice. The worst part, was that he could tell it was phony, unlike her supposed 'best friend', Bulma. He despised fake people!

"Good morning, Goku, I bet you're starving now! You were starting scare me a bit last night!" said Bulma.

"Aw, I'm sorry, Bulma! I didn't mean to, but you're right, boy am I starving!" exclaimed Goku, rubbing her stomach in emphasis.

With that said, she bent down and reached for a juicy looking piece of bacon that had caught her attention. Vegeta glanced over at Goku, and nearly fell out of his seat from shock at what was in his line of sight. Goku was still clad in her usual orange gi. The same gi she had been wearing yesterday, and with her new body it was an extremely loose fit. When she had bent down, her shirt lowered quite a bit too. Since it was so baggy, it revealed every little detail of Goku's new chest.

Bulma glanced over at Vegeta and pondered, 'Now, why is he staring at Goku like...' She gasped when she saw the reason with her own eyes. She immediately reached over the table, and covered up Goku's exposed flesh as fast as she could muster.

"Um... maybe we should get you some new clothes, Goku," suggested Bulma.

"Why would we do that?" asked Goku, standing up straight again and glancing rather awkwardly at Bulma's hand. "Why are you...? Um, Bulma... could you maybe...? I don't feel comfortable with you touching me there."

Bulma merely slapped her forehead in annoyance, "You know, Goku, sometimes I worry about you," she said, frowning slightly.

"Why?" asked Goku.

"Nevermind... I'll let you borrow some of my clothes, at least until we buy you some that fit," offered Bulma generously.

Bulma stood up from her seat, and took a hold of Goku by the arm. She proceeding with pulling her out of the room to get the deed done.

"B-But, Bulma! I didn't get to eat!" whined Goku childishly.

Vegeta shook his head, and walked off to go train in the gravity room.

"Okay, Goku, put this on," Bulma instructed. She handed Goku a plain navy t-shirt, some shorts that seemed ridiculously small to Goku, and some of Bulma's lingerie. "They should all fit well enough, you're about my size now."

Goku questioningly looked down at the bra and panties she had handed her. Her eyes lingered awhile longer on the bra. She'd taken bras off of ChiChi more times then she could even count, but she didn't exactly know how to put them on. She picked it up and fiddled with one of the straps. She was embarrassed about it, but she had no clue how to adjust the shoulder straps. She didn't know which way made it larger and which way smaller.

"Uh... Bulma-?" began Goku, completely flabbergasted.

Bulma caught on to what Goku was questioning, and quickly instructed her on how to put the lingerie on. Goku went into her bathroom, and closed the door. After about five minutes of trying to put on the bra correctly, she managed to slip it on.

The rest came easily. Goku looked at herself in the mirror and complained, "Bulma, I think these clothes are too tight! I can't move, and they're uncomfortable! Plus, your underwear is giving me a wedgie!"

Bulma let out a sigh, and replied, "Stop whining Goku. I'm sure they're just fine!"

"No, they aren't, I'm suffocating in here!" she continued. "Plus, I look real funny."

"Goku, just come out, and I'll see if they fit, okay?" asked Bulma, beginning to lose her reserve of patience.

"Okay, Bulma," answered Goku, opening the door, and walking out of the bathroom hesitantely.

Bulma paced around her twice and announced, "I don't see anything wrong with them, Goku! They fit just fine. You're just used to that baggy gi of yours. Don't worry, it'll grow on you after awhile!"

Goku tugged on the waistline of her shorts, trying to stretch them out, but it didn't work.

"Bulma?" she inquired.

"Yes, Goku?" replied Bulma.

"I'm hungry," stated Goku.

Bulma merely rolled her eyes, "Really? Well, let's get ya' some food."

Goku, like always, wolfed down plate after plate of food. Surprisingly though, there were left overs. "I guess you don't have as monestrous of an apetite as you did before, now do you, Goku?" joked Bulma. "Well, I take that back a little, you still ate a lot more than any woman on Earth could even attempt to eat."

"Yeah," responded Goku, somewhat dissapointed, but content nonetheless.

'What a relief, at least Goku doesn't eat as much as before. Otherwise, I would probably go bankrupt. One Saiyan, I can handle. Two, now that I'm not sure of,' thought Bulma sarcastically.

Vegeta strode into the room with his shirt off, sweat dripping down his chiseled muscles. Bulma couldn't help, but take in the sight, it wasn't rare, but she just couldn't get enough of it. Goku looked at Bulma in confusion. Bulma, seeing Goku's reaction, turned away from Vegeta immediately.

'What's so interesting to make Bulma stare like that? Vegeta? Naw...' thought Goku, who then turned to look at Vegeta also and scope out what was so darn interesting. She was surprised at how entranced she was by his body. Even the pose he was in made her want to jump on him. What was going on, why couldn't she seem to take her eyes off of him. Not aware of the action, Goku began to lick the top of her lip almost primally, gaining Vegeta's attention.

"What are you staring at Kakarrot?" he questioned in annoyance.

Goku snapped out of her odd trance in an instant. 'Did I just... do what Bulma did!'

"Uh... I wasn't looking at anything!" she exclaimed, her cheeks burning with the embarrassment of her lie. "Um... King Kai was talking to me. I apologize if that looked kind of weird, Vegeta. Hehe... I wasn't staring at you or anything!" she continued frantically, wondering if he could see through her lie, and also wondering why the heck she was so interested in looking at him.

Vegeta merely grunted in response, losing interest quickly and looking away. Goku started to shakily stack up her plates, she couldn't believe that she had just lied to Vegeta. She never lied, it made her feel horrible. When Vegeta spied that her head was turned in the opposite direction. He looked her up and down, then smirked.

'Bulmas clothes look pretty good on her... really good. Feh! I'm doing it again! I have to stop this... this is Kakarrot I'm thinking about! Disgusting!' he thought, utterly repelled.

Bulma, Goku, and Vegeta turned their heads toward the front door at the sound of knocking. They all simultaneously walked to the door. It was a good thing there was such a disturbance. They really needed something to distract them from the tension that was building up in the room.

Bulma opened the door, and she and Goku both gasped in unison. Vegeta merely crossed his arms in indiference. There, standing just beyond the doorway was: Krillin, Master Roshi, Lunch, Yamcha, Puar, Chaoutzu, Tien, Oolong, and even Piccolo. "Um... hey guys... what exactly are all of you doing here?" asked Bulma in bemusement.

"Haha... that's funny, Bulma! We all know that you'd never forget our annual reunion," chimed Krillin joyously. A few others in the group laughed with Krillin.

'That was today?' thought Bulma in near hysterics.

Goku's mouth opened wide in disbelief. Vegeta rolled his eyes.

'This is just typical... everything bad always happens at the worst time!' Vegeta thought, then smirked as an idea popped into his head. 'Actually, This is perfect, Kakarrot's little friends are going to find out that he's a female... hilarious! I can't wait to see this!'

"Uh... of course I didn't forget! How could I do that! I've been waiting for this day for forever!" lied Bulma.

"I guess the food hasn't come yet!" joked Yamcha.

"What?" asked Bulma, confused yet again.

"Goku would be here, and obviously he isn't. Plus, his wife is always the one to bring all of the food!" replied Yamcha.

Goku shuddered slightly at the mention of her former wife.

"Oh! I get it now! Haha... haha..." said Bulma, mustering a fake laugh.

'Great! Just great, this is going to be a mess!' she thought, glancing at Goku sympathetically.

Master Roshi none-to-shyly walked forward and ogled Goku. "Ohhh... hehehe, Bulma, who's your beautiful friend?" he asked, trying to look down poor Goku's shirt. "I don't believe that I've been properly introduced!"

"Yeah, I think I'm getting a nosebleed!" exclaimed Oolong, gazing up Goku's shorts.

Goku gasped, and took a few timid steps backwards.

Vegeta chuckled and said, "Her, she's just Kak..."

"It's my friend Kakay!" blurted out Bulma. "Yeah... it's Kakay, and leave her alone, you perves!"

Bulma then glared at Vegeta, "Vegeta, why don't you get everyone some refreshments?" she hissed in annoyance.

"Why should I?" challenged Vegeta, glancing over at Goku with a sly smile.

Goku immediately down-cast her attention to the floor with rosy cheeks. Her tiny fists were balled in useless determination. Vegeta noticed her trembling slightly. He ran his fingers through his hair, then finally aquiesced, "Fine, it's better than being stuck around all of those clowns."

"What do you want?" he demanded, barely able to stand the embarrassment of waiting on these fools. "I'm the Prince of all Saiyans," he muttered as he walked out of the room, "why am I doing her a favor?"

After Vegeta had left, Krillin gasped, and then pointed at Goku, "Y-you have a tail!"

Everyone in the room focused their attention directly on Goku's new-found appendage. Goku glanced over at Bulma pleadingly, and Bulma replied, "She's Vegeta's long-lost little sister. Don't worry she's nothing like him!"

Everyone kept their eyes on Goku in shock, "So, Piccolo, you actually came this year!" spoke Bulma, eager to change the subject.

"I'm only doing it for Gohan," answered Piccolo.

"Oh, I see... well, thank you for coming anyways!" said Bulma.

Meanwhile, Vegeta placed the drink glasses next to each other on a large platter. 'I'm missing one...' he thought, stressing his mind to deliver which one was absent. 'Ah... Kakarrot didn't tell me what she wanted. I guess I should ask her."

Vegeta strode back into the room, and up to Goku, "Kakarrot, what did you want again?" questioned Vegeta.

Goku seemed surprised that Vegeta had even thought as musch as to ask her, "I guess I'll have a water, thank you," she replied with small smile.

Bulma opened her mouth wide, and slapped her head in annoyance, "You knuckleheads! Did you even notice what you just said?" yelled Bulma.

"Huh?" mumbled Goku, she then realized their mistake and shouted, "Oh no!" slapping her hand to her mouth in dread.

Vegeta strained to try and hold in a laugh, "Whoops, my bad," he sneered.

"Goku, is that really you, buddy?" asked Krillin in disbelief. All eyes, once again, were on Goku.

*Chapter 5*: Horrific Nightmare!

Disclaimer: I don't own DB/Z/GT.

Chapter 5: Horrific Nightmare

"Uh... well, I... suh -" Goku stuttered, her eyes darting across the room in search for some much desired assistance. A room full of wide eyes were staring back at her, silently demanding an answer. She felt the sudden urge to turn on heel and run out of there as fast as she could. She wanted to fly to a desolate island and hide herself away from the rest of the world. She was simply too confused to deal with this scenario. She finally quit searching when it became obvious that she wasn't going to receive any help on the matter. "Suh - sorta," she finished, laughing uneasily.

"Sorta?! Goku, take a look in the mirror for Kami's sake!" Yamcha burst out.

"Well, I..." Goku murmured, glancing around at the judgmental faces. They didn't understand. They all thought this was some sort of joke on her part. Something began to well up in Goku's chest - a feeling she couldn't pinpoint if she had even cared. She wasn't accustomed to it. "I didn't mean to do it! Do you think I actually wanted to be a girl? Now I have to be like this for an entire year before I can be wished back to normal!" she retorted in a very uncharacteristic snappish tone.

Needless to say, the outburst surprised everyone.

"Sheesh... someone's moody," Oolong teased whilst rolling his eyes.

Goku's cheeks flushed crimson as she realized what she had just done. She hadn't meant to shout at Yamcha. The words just came flying out of her mouth by their own accord. 'What's wrong with me?' The issue at hand was seriously bewildering to her. She realized that she hadn't been acting like herself at all, and this thought terrified her. 'If I can't control my attitude and the words I say than I just won't speak at all!'

"Maybe we should call off the reunion until a later date - " Bulma suggested, glancing at her downcast friend and yearning to hug her.

'Darn it! I can't!' "No!" Goku exclaimed. "I - I mean don't do that because of me! I didn't mean to yell... I'm just so confused right now..." She vaguely realized that the others couldn't possible understand what she meant by that. Son Goku never lost his cool - who was this intruder claiming to be him? "Why don't you guys celebrate somewhere else? I'll just stay home and think things through... or I can leave, and you all can just forget this happened."

Bulma placed an understanding hand on Goku's shoulder. "Goku, we're not leaving you," she said with a determined look.

Goku struggled to display a genuine smile. "I appreciate your concern, Bulma, but I think it's best for everyone. I need some time alone to collect my thoughts. Maybe I'll even get some training in!" The thought of training actually perked her up a bit. Her smile was at least believable.

"Well okay, if you say so," Bulma conceded. A loud clicking noise broke the silence that followed, and Bulma instinctively looked to the front door. "Someone's at the door," she muttered.

Bulma had left it unlocked for the party guests to come in. A moment later, ChiChi waltzed into the room with a handful of food dishes piled up in her arms. Gohan was behind her, carrying an even heavier load.

"Sorry I'm so late!" ChiChi quickly apologized. "I made Gohan promise to finish his studies before we came because I knew he'd be beat when we get back."

As ChiChi spoke, she was oblivious to her gender-swapped husband. The pile of food towering in her arms like the Leaning Tower of Pisa conveniently blocked her from view. Goku's first thought was to instinctively free her wife from her heavy load, but she caught herself. Reality dawned upon her once again. ChiChi had said she wanted nothing to do with her any longer, and she had sounded quite serious about it - more so than she'd ever before experienced.

Goku slinked away to the back of the group - hoping to Kami that nobody would realize her absence. If she could just slip out of the room as quiet as a mouse, nobody would be the wiser, and all would be well. ChiChi handed off the food to Krillin. He and Gohan promptly took it to the kitchen and returned in time to witness the spectacle that ensued the moment ChiChi noticed Goku's presence.

She smiled - it was forced. "Goku," she greeted with a strained tone of voice. She was obviously trying to control her surmounting anger. "I wasn't expecting you to be here."

At this point she was like a ticking time bomb that could explode at any given moment's notice. Goku gulped down the lump that had steadily been building in her throat. She slowly backed away as one does when confronted with a vicious wild animal. Any sudden movement and the tigress might make chase. Due partially to her muddled brain, Goku stumbled clumsily into Vegeta, stepping on his toes in the process.

She didn't realize it quickly enough, and Vegeta hissed at her like a serpent. "Shit!" he cursed. "Get off of me, you buffoon!"

Bulma shot Vegeta an icy glare. When her attention returned to Goku she was surprised to see a blank look on her face. It was as if Vegeta's cruel reaction to the honest mistake hadn't even registered.

"Dad?" Gohan muttered in a questioning tone. His eyes were wide with astonishment. He'd of course known of the wish for a little while now, but his dad had been kicked out ever since, and staring at her like this right now just hammered in the reality of the situation. It was difficult to picture his dad as a woman. It just didn't seem right to him. It didn't quite make sense. "H - How?" he finally asked, his face turning red with embarrassment. He just had to know. Nobody ever explained the details to him, and he couldn't rest easy not knowing.

Vegeta felt something taking over him that he didn't quite understand. Could it be possible? Was he actually feeling pity for his most-despised rival? No. It simply wasn't technically Goku's fault, and she was certainly taking all of the flack for it. He couldn't allow that. He had his honor to consider.

Vegeta couldn't believe he was doing this. He regretted it the moment the words escaped his lips: "It's not your father's fault." 'Blasted soft earthlings must be rubbing off on me!'

"Don't believe a word that miscreant says! It's your father's fault that this happened," ChiChi interjected hotly. "The truth is your father isn't a responsible man. He has a simple, one track-mind. He's a man-child, and he isn't capable of considering the long-term affects that his self-centered decisions have on others - namely his family. I'm sorry, Gohan, but he isn't fit to be a father to you."

At first, Goku's only reaction was to blink at ChiChi in utter disbelief. She simply couldn't believe the message her ears were carrying to her brain. She would never tout herself as being the world's number one dad, but she certainly didn't think she was a selfish one! Goku's eyebrows drew together and she pursed her lips disapprovingly. 'I get that she's upset, but doesn't she realize that she's filling our son's head up with lies?!'

That odd feeling began to swell up in her chest again. "That isn't true and you know it, ChiChi," Goku corrected. She suddenly was astutely aware of just how soft and utterly unimposing the nature of her newly acquired female voice was. She paused in the shock of it before continuing her defense: "I'm not selfish. I don't just think of my own wants. I'm always thinking about you and Gohan!"

"How dare you spout that nonsense to me, Mister!" ChiChi snapped. "You're nothing but a derelict father who's only concerns in life revolve around fighting and when his next meal is!"

"ChiChi! Please, I'm begging you! Be reasonable!" Goku pleaded. "I love training to become stronger! I won't ever deny that, but don't pretend that that's the only reason I do it! I'm always thinking about keeping you and Gohan safe, of keeping everybody safe!"

A glint of anger flashed in ChiChi's eyes and she marched up to Goku and prodded her in the chest. "I can't believe this: always the same excuses! And to think, you are accusing me of lying! How dare you!" She drew her arm backward and with a quick swing, she slammed the palm of her hand into Goku's cheek as hard as she could muster.

Goku had been so wrapped up in her words that she hadn't seen it coming. She stumbled back, nearly losing her balance and falling. She did, however, manage to recover herself. She stared at ChiChi wide-eyed with shock whilst rubbing at her newly acquired red cheek. She started to get that feeling again - worse this time. She thought she recognized it as some form of anger or rage. Her blood was boiling. She felt like if she didn't keep her ki in check that she might go Super Saiyan by accident.

"Enough!" Goku suddenly screamed. This time the tables were turned. It was ChiChi's turn to be floored.

'Goku's finally cracked, it's about time,' Piccolo thought, thoroughly amused. 'I guess these reunions aren't so dreadfully boring after all!'

Goku clenched her fists and they shook with anger. "If nothing I say can convince you that you and Gohan are the world to me then I have nothing left to say at all! It's obvious that the feeling isn't mutual!" Goku turned her attention to her son. "Gohan, I promise you that this was an honest accident."

ChiChi scowled at Goku and pulled on Gohan's arm. "We're leaving," she said, stomping toward the door and dragging her son behind her. She quite frankly couldn't find it in herself to argue with Goku anymore. It usually wasn't like this. Goku never fought back. This was just too strange and upsetting.

The room went quiet for a good minute before Bulma finally spoke up with a hesitant suggestion, "So... anyone up for the park?"

Yamcha decided to throw the poor woman a bone. "That sounds... good," he said.

Goku chose to stay behind, and for once, nobody objected her decision. She leaned against a wall, and gently slid her back down it until her bottom reached the flooring tiles. She ran a slender hand through her spiky hair. She couldn't believe the way she had acted. She was embarrassed and her thoughts kept dwelling on scenarios of her returning home and apologizing to ChiChi, flat-out begging for her forgiveness. 'How could I be so callous! She has a right to be mad at me for this. Even I'm mad at me for this! I have to find a way to clear my mind. I need to wash away some of this stress,' Goku mused. 'Training always takes my mind off my problems. It sounds good right now!'

Goku got up off of the floor and strode over to Vegeta's gravity room. She switched on the gravity machine to 50 times Earth's natural gravity. She then began to do vertical push-ups on one hand. In less than an hour, she had already counted up to 5,000. She smiled to herself as she felt the other's ki signatures, they were happy, and enjoying themselves. She could tell by the pleasant feeling their ki were giving off. Even Vegeta's life energy was reflecting a relaxed feeling.

Goku quit practicing her warm-up, and messed with the gravity machine's controls once more. She turned it up to 150 times Earth's gravity. She quickly felt her weight increase, and dropped to a kneeling position.

'That's weird, I can usually do better than that,' Goku thought.

She quickly decided that she would need to power up to Super Saiyan in order to handle it, but realized that the machine might not be able to take a Super Saiyan's power. Though, she did really want to go Super Saiyan right about now...

'Maybe I should go outside to power up, I don't want to break Bulma's machine like Vegeta did,' she contemplated.

Goku transported to a serene location in the mountains, just outside West City. She braced herself, and then began to power up. As she reached the peak of her power in her normal state, she could start to feel a strain.

'Wow, this is going to be tougher than I had thought, but I know I can do it! I've done it so many times before. Why wouldn't I be able to now?' she thought, slightly worried.

She ignored her aching muscles, and screamed at the top of her lungs as she let tons of energy flow freely throughout her body. Her eyes flashed back and forth from onyx to teal. She struggled to harness some more power. Her hair began to flash into a torrent of golden flame-like spikes. Soon, her whole body was encased in a shell of golden aura. Moments later, the aura died down a bit, revealing a panting Super Saiyan Goku.

"Phew..." She sighed in exhaustion. "That was difficult!"

Goku wiped some sweat off of her brow, and began to punch and kick at the air. She grunted in confusion as her arms began to feel more weighted. Soon, she was struggling to keep up at the same pace she had started at.

'Why is it so hard? What's wrong with me?' she thought in disappointment, rather than in worry. 'I'm better than this!' she told herself with the utmost of confidence.

She screamed, and strained to have more power flow through her veins, determined to achieve what she could before the accident. Suddenly, she stopped powering up, and her arms fell slack to her sides. A sharp bolt of excruciating pain shot up her spine and gave her a raging headache. Her body locked up on her of its own accord. She couldn't move a muscle. She lost all control.

'What's happening to me?!' she thought in a panic.

Her knees buckled, and she dropped to the ground in exhaustion. Dizziness overwhelmed her, and every inch of her skin felt cold and clammy. She faded from her golden Super Saiyan status to her normal state. She immediately regurgitated up her last meal, and felt her eyes begin to water from the pain.

In mere moments, the world began to spin around her, and her body swayed with the motion, desperate to keep up. In less than a second, she lost grip on reality, and fainted from exhaustion.

Meanwhile, Vegeta had dozed off under a tree in the park everyone was at:

Vegeta groaned, and opened his heavy eyelids. He was leaning against what looked like a white wall. It was hard to tell, everything around him was pitch black as night. He squinted his eyes, and could barely see two shadows before him.

One was a small, slender figure. Due to its curvature, he guessed that shadow in particular was owned by a woman. The other, he couldn't tell what it was, it didn't have the shape of anything human. Suddenly, a spotlight shined down on Vegeta, and out of the darkness strode the woman-like shadow. He gasped slightly as he realized who it was. It was Kakarrot!

Unaware that he was dreaming, Vegeta shouted, "What's the meaning of this, Kakarrot? Where are we?"

She ignored his questions, and smiled softly. She reached out a hand to him, and he slapped it away immediately. He chose to stand to his feet of his own accord.

Once he was standing, he was shocked by Goku. She gently caressed her formerly-slapped hand against his cheek, sending chills down his spine.

"What do you think you are doing?" he demanded, though, he found his demand wasn't at all the threatening enunciation he'd desired it to be.

She sighed and leaned in closer to him, still, no answer to his question. He shuddered as he felt their lips brush together like a pair of feathers. He suddenly felt hot. He felt a tingling, throbbing sensation begin to swell up in his groin. The thought of disgust in revelation to who elicited this response hadn't even occurred to him. His thoughts were currently enraptured in the desire to suck on her tender flesh...

Vegeta woke up breathless, a cold sweat encompassing his body. It had felt so real! He shook his head in annoyance. It was just a dream, and a disgusting one at that! For reasons yet unknown to him, he had thought to sense out Goku's ki. He nearly choked on his own spit when he suddenly realized that her energy was rapidly taking a plummet.

On instinct, he immediately sprinted into the air, and flew as fast as he could toward Goku. When he arrived at the scene, he saw her lying still on the ground, her ki dangerously low.

"Kakarrot, you idiot!" he grumbled with tense lips and furrowed eyebrows. 'What happened to you? Could this be from training? Why would she push herself past her limit?'

That night, after everyone had left, Goku still hadn't woken up. Vegeta placed Goku on her bed in her room. Everyone was relieved to find out that she was just fine, and that she had just over-exerted herself.

Later that night, once Vegeta had fallen asleep, the same dream from earlier came to haunt him once more. It came back where it had left off, and one again, Vegeta was completely oblivious to the fact that he was merely dreaming:

Vegeta could feel her lips brushing up against his once again. The same fervent hunger took a hold of him. His instincts were telling him not to fall for the ruse, but he couldn't help himself. He had to satiate his thirst, and there was only one way to do that.

She wrapped her arms around him and curled her fingers in his unruly mane. She pressed her supple lips against his own hard with an unspoken desire, and he answered by slipping his tongue into her mouth, prolonging the kiss. He locked his own arms around her neck and slipped his fingers down her backside. She moaned and called out his name in breathy whisper; he could feel the tickle of her words on his lips.

The moment was interrupted by a sudden gasp. She was torn away from him and was dragged back into the darkness from whence she came. Vegeta caught sight of the second shadow that he had so naively chosen to ignore for the time being.

He jumped up, ready to pounce on the other shadow, but only found that he had not moved an inch. He struggled to move, but was glued in place. A cold shiver ran up his spine as he heard Kakarrot scream in terror, begging for his assistance, crying out for him. The thought that this reaction was entirely out of character for her never crossed his mind. He had been claiming that woman, and he was not about to allow some fowl beast to steal her away from him!

Vegeta's eyes nearly popped out of their sockets as his vision fell upon a sharp appendage that had come out of the shadow's back. It looked like a dagger, and it was pointed directly at Kakarrot. Vegeta tried to yell a warning out to her, but no sound was issuing forth from his mouth. He tried harder and harder, but to no avail.

His throat burned intensely, and his unblinking eyes stung as they watched the horrific scene playing out before him. The dagger-tail swung out from behind the shadow monster, and stabbed Goku directly through the abdomen. Gory blood spurted out of her body, enshrouding them both in a blanket of the velvety red liquid of death.

Her screams reached out to the high heavens, and echoed into the bowels of hell. They rung in Vegeta's ears, haunting him. He screamed harder and louder, still, no sound echoing throughout the black abyss. It was driving him utterly insane! He was helpless. He couldn't save her. He couldn't even console her. 'Kakarrot, please... please don't die!'

Vegeta awoke from his nightmare and jumped upright in his bed. His whole room seemed to have materialized out of no-where. Then, he realized that he had been dreaming again. As if in a trance, he slipped out of his bed, and walked down the hall that connected to Goku's room. Sure enough, she was wrapped tightly in her covers, sleeping soundly.

He sighed, and began walking back to his room. When he passed by a mirror, he saw a glimpse of himself through his peripheral vision. Suddenly, he stopped dead in his tracks, and faced the mirror in a hurry. He gasped, and stood stalk-still for a very long time.

He touched his hair and face in disbelief. His spikes were golden, and his eyes were teal. He was a Super Saiyan!

*Chapter 6*: Androids in West City?

Disclaimer: I don't own DB/Z/GT.

Chapter 6: Androids in West City?

'What happened to me?' was Goku's first thought upon waking up. She lifted herself out of bed and stretching her sore limbs. She rubbed her eyes, and squinted them as the bright sunlight shown in through her windowsill. Memories of what had happened the previous day began to flood into her mind like a raging river.

She could remember powering up, and realizing how much weaker this new body had made her. She stressed so hard to accomplish what she could easily do before the incident, and was knocked unconscious by her own lack of strength, due to mere exhaustion. A feeling of disappointment started to resurface once again, though she chose to ignore it for the time being.

"Good morning Goku! How are you feeling this morning?"greeted Bulma, as Goku walked into the kitchen to get some breakfast.

Goku forced a half-hearted smile, and spoke in a fake cheery voice, "I'm great Bulma, never felt better! Did you have a good sleep? I know I sure did! I slept like a log!"

"Yeah, I had a pretty good sleep, I'm glad to hear you did too, After what happened yesterday and all," pointed out Bulma.

"I guess I kind of pushed it a little too far, huh?" said Goku, struggling to hold her ungenuine smile .

"Yeah, you need to be more careful, Goku! Why in the world did you even try to raise your ki past your limits, Vegeta told me that you went way too far!" accused Bulma, crossing her arms, and tapping her foot impatiently.

'What should I say? I can't tell her the truth! Well, I can, but that would be embarrassing... think Goku think!' thought Goku.

"Uh - Um- I don't really know why I did it. I guess I just wanted to test my strength," lied Goku, rubbing the back of her head with her hand.

Bulma furrowed her brow, and uncrossed her arms with a gentle smile, "Well, next time, don't. I don't want to lose one of my best friends over such a silly matter."

Goku smiled once again, revealing another lie plastered right across her face. Bulma eventually left to go sit on a couch nearby. Goku's smile dropped immediately after Bulma had turned her attention away from her. Goku felt terrible. She never lied, this was so unlike her. But, what was she to do?

Bulma turned on the television. The screen started out as blurry colorful blots, next turned into images. It was on a high definition news channel. It displayed a middle-aged man, and a young woman behind a shiny oak desk.

"This just in, breaking news! Two men have been mercilessly attacking West City. They're practically on a killing spree!" said the woman.

"They've literally destroyed the whole police force with ease, and are now slaughtering our nations army!"spoke the man, a look of horror evident on both the man, and woman's face.

"There are no further whereabouts of these two people, and we haven't received any footage yet. We've been working around the clock to bring you reports on the two suspects, and will frequently update by the hour," said the woman, moments before Bulma muted the television, and looked towards Goku worriedly.

Goku looked back at her, nodded, and said, "Bulma, I'm going to go check this out, if you see Vegeta, tell him what's going on. I might need his assistance if this gets out of hand."

"Don't worry, I will!" said Bulma, watching Goku leave the room in a hurry.

Goku flew as fast as she could, she then stopped abruptly. 'Wait where am I going, I can't sense any unfamiliar high power levels. Where are these two men? Wait a minute, Tien, Piccolo, Krillin, Yamcha... Everyone... They're all in one spot in downtown West City. That must be where those people are! Though, I don't understand, why can't I sense their ki?' thought Goku, quickly taking off towards the Z-Senshi.

When she arrived at her destination, she was shocked to see all of the Z-warriors huddled around a fallen Yamcha. Yamcha had a hole through his chest, his eyes were open, but they looked lifeless. She looked up from the haggard looking Yamcha, and saw an old man, with leatherlike wrinkled skin. He had piercing blue eyes, snow-white hair, and a flawless white mustache. He was wearing some odd yellow and black striped baggy clothing, with a black vest wrapped over his shirt. He was also wearing a tall black hat with the Red Ribbon army symbol on it.

Beside the old man, was a pale skinned plump person. It wasn't human looking. It's gender wasn't even distinguishable! Actually, to Goku, it didn't even look like an alien! It looked like some creepy porcelain doll that would come out of a horror movie. It was also wearing some odd shaped black and yellow striped clothing, it too had a vest, only it was white. It wore a yellow cap that had a sharp point at the top. There was black trim at the bottom of it, obtaining the same Red Ribbon Army logo.

Goku turned her attention away from the two mysterious people that stood before her, and rested her eyes upon Yamcha once again. She clenched her fists in fury. What sort of torture had these two people done to him?

"Krillin, listen to me! We might be able to save him! Bring him back to Capsule Corp. There are some sensu beans there. Give one to him right away, and try to get there as fast as you can!" instructed Goku calmly, though on the inside, her mind was in a frantic panic.

Krillin looked up at her, and nodded slightly. He moved up to Yamcha, passing nervous untrusting glances at the old man, and bloated creature. He apprehensively bent down, picked Yamcha up, and shot off into the sky towards Capsule Corp.

Goku leaned toward Piccolo and whispered, "There are way too many innocent people around here. We've got to lure these two out of the city."

"Yes, I agree with you 100 percent, it's too crowded here. Many people could get in our way. I will see to it that they do not," interrupted the old man, as he finished his statement, his eyes began to glow red.

"What Now!" gasped Goku and the others.

Goku was completely astonished. How could that man have heard her conversation with Piccolo? She was whispering! All of a sudden, a yellowish colored blast came out of both of his eyes, making Goku jump out of the way, along with Tien, and Piccolo, the other two people who were accompanying her. The old man continuously blasted everything around them, merely one blast causing even skyscrapers to fall.

"No!" screamed Goku, nearly jumping out of her skin due to her surprise, and retaliating by lunging out at the man, and punching him hard in the cheek.

The punch made his head tip backwards, causing his black hat to fall off of his head, revealing a see-through dome filled with water, and a floating brain inside of it. The glass-like dome was obviously taking the job of being the man's skull.

Goku, and the other's eyes widened in shock of what they saw before them.

"You monster!" muttered Goku in astonishment.

The man nonchalantly bent down, and picked up his hat, placing it back onto the crown of his head.

"I cleared the area of innocents in accordance with your wishes. Do you disagree with my methods?" he mocked, a small smirk gradually surfacing on his face.

Goku growled, then raised a balled-up fist to the man, "Leave these people out of this!" she yelled.

The pale creature snickered and replied, "There are no more people left to leave out."

Goku glared at the both of them, while the old man said, "Very well, you may lead us to a place of your choosing, Goku."

Once again, Goku and the others gasped in surprise. "How did you know his name was Goku?" asked Tien.

"I know all of you. The Namekian, Piccolo, and even you, the one named Tien," spoke the old man calmly.

"Let us get acquainted later, follow me," demanded Goku, an aura blasting up around her as she shot up into the sky.

Once they touched down on a small unpopulated island, Goku spoke, "Before we get this fight started I want to know how you knew our names!"

The old man explained that he was from the Red Ribbon Army, not that they hadn't already noticed. He explained that he had sent out a tracking device that had attached to Goku when she had been a little boy.

He also said that he had learned every move that she had. He said that she had been studied up until they had gathered enough knowledge of her to create the ultimate fighting machines to destroy her. He also explained that they wanted to destroy her, to get revenge for her decimation of the Red Ribbon Army.

"So, I gather you are one of these fighting machines?" asked Piccolo.

"Yes, I'm what you would call an android. What a pity that Dr. Gero didn't live long enough to witness, and savor Goku's defeat himself," said the aged-looking android.

"How did you know this is Goku, after... what happened?" pointed out Tien.

"Simple, although her sex was changed, her ki wasn't. So basically, I could tell it was Goku by my ki sensors," said the elderly man.

"I'm curious, were you still studying me when I was on Namek?" asked Goku.

"No, there was no need to. By then we had already gathered enough information concerning your skills. It was predicted that your power would continue to increase steadily during that amount of time. So we calculated that increase, and factored it into our design," said the old man.

'We?' thought Piccolo.

"You might think that you know everything there is to know about me, but really, you aren't even close," warned Goku, smirking.

"Your predictions, did they calculate that Goku would become a Super Saiyan?" asked Piccolo, crossing his arms.

"Super Saiyan?" questioned the old-looking android, quizzically raising an eyebrow.

Goku crouched down, and began powering up to Super Saiyan in response to the man's questioning look. She still had to strain quite a bit to reach it, but she did nevertheless.

'Wow, her power, it's amazing!' thought Tien, this being the first time he had witnessed a Super Saiyan.

"This is quite an unexpected development, indeed," commented the elderly looking android, staring at the golden aura that had encased Goku only mere seconds ago, along with the few other changes.

"This increase is not listed in my files, 20," said the bloated android, in its high-pitched squeaky voice.

"Nor in mine, but my sensors indicate that there is no cause for concern," replied android 20. "Yes, it is a most impressive ability, but it is nothing we cannot handle," continued 20, "19 will demonstrate this by himself."

Android 19 nodded in affirmation, then stepped forward challengingly.

"Alright, have it your way, but I wouldn't bet on it if I were you!" countered Goku, powering up a little bit more, and soaring towards android 19 to land an attack.

*Chapter 7*: Goku's in Trouble!

Disclaimer: I don't own DB/Z/GT.

Chapter 7: Goku's in Trouble!

Goku threw a punch at 19's face, but it quickly dodged it. She then threw more and more unrelentingly, causing it to become harder for 19 to block and dodge her attacks. Next, Goku slammed her knee into 19's abdomen, causing the android to recoil backward from the force.

Goku's smile broadened, while android 19's expression remained deadpan. It charged up to Goku, and threw a quick barrage of kicks, punches at her. She dodged all of them, and performed a perfect roundhouse kick, which hit the android directly in the jaw.

She took a step backward, and threw a large ki blast at 19 before it could rebound. Android 19's facial features brightened considerably, and it laughed at the sight of the attack. It outstretched its right arm toward it, and a small red circle shown brightly on the palm of its pasty white skin.

Some gray vapor-like substance was seeping out of the shiny red circle. Goku's eyes widened in surprise as her attack seemed to be sucked into the android's arm. She ignored it and charged toward the android yet again, ready to launch some more of her techniques on it.


"What happened?" questioned Yamcha, finally regaining consciousness.

His hands instinctively fell down to grasp the spot where the strange old man's arm had ripped through his chest. He could remember the whole thing so clearly. The memories of what had happened earlier flashed animated horrific images throughout his mind so precisely, it felt as if he were reliving the painful experience once more.


Yamcha shot his head around the corner, as he heard a woman's shrill scream.

'Oh no, this is bad. I have to find those murderers and quick!' he thought. He ran toward the sound, and stopped dead in his tracks as his eyes spotted a dead body. A dead woman's body.

"I think I might have just found them!" he said to himself aloud.

He turned his head to the right, expecting to see someone that looked like some sort of killing machine . He gasped when he only saw more dead bodies. He turned it to the left, and saw even more!

'Oh no! I have to find them, and quick!' he thought in a panic once again.

Yamcha saw a terrified man peek his head out from behind a phone booth.

"Hey you!" Yamcha yelled, trying to get the guy's attention.

The second the man saw Yamcha, his head darted behind the phone booth once more for refuge. Yamcha shook his head in disappointment, as he spied two men eyeing him nervously through an open window.

"Hey, you guys, did you see who did this to these people?" Yamcha asked, trying to keep his tone soft so that he wouldn't scare them off.

"It - it was two men, they - they disappeared!" stuttered one man, still trembling at the thought of what he had just witnessed.

"Disappeared-" muttered Yamcha. "I must have just missed them. I better go back, and tell the others!"

Yamcha stood there dumbfounded for a moment, contemplating to himself what he had just said. He scratched the side of his head and spoke, "Wait, what's the point of telling the others. I haven't found the murderers yet! My whole point of coming over here was to find the killers."

Yamcha jumped slightly as he heard a noise from behind him. He turned around and saw two men, an old one, and one that sort of resembled an alien.

"Hey, you two better be careful! There's a couple of bad people out on the loose, and they mean business!" warned Yamcha.

The androids just continued to stare at Yamcha with unreadable impassive expressions. Yamcha squinted his eyes, as he read a familiar logo that stood out on the old man's hat.

Yamcha gasped! 'I remember that symbol, it's the Red Ribbon Army logo!' he thought in realization.

"No, you can't be from the Red Ribbon Army! Goku destroyed their empire long ago!" Yamcha shouted in disbelief.

"We are," replied the elderly man calmly.

Yamcha leapt backward a few feet and shouted, "I found them!" Somehow hoping that the others had heard his desperate shout. Yamcha remember what the Red Ribbon Army could do all too well.

The old man lifted his arm to reveal the same red circle smack dab in the middle of his palm that was on 19's. He seemed to glide across the floor like an apparition, faster than Yamcha's eyes could follow.

The man's extended arm clasped over Yamcha's mouth, and squeezed his nose shut, cutting off Yamcha's air supply. Yamcha gagged a little bit, and immediately clasped both of his arms on the man's forearms, trying to rip the man's grip off of him, but to no avail. He not only couldn't breathe, but it felt as if that man was sucking the very life out of his body too!

Yamcha was gradually lifted off of the ground by his neck, and was becoming dizzy. The threesome were blocking the road, causing cars to pile up all around them. Screeching of metal, and the cracking of bones could be heard, along with a few explosions. All the while, adding up to the list of casualties caused by the two murderous men.

Yamcha, had not seen this, because his vision had become quite blurry by now. His hearing was also very faint. His grip on the man's arms had slackened quite a bit, and his lungs ached in pain.

'I'm not going to give up!' he thought, 'I can't give up. I care about Bulma, and Puar, and all of the rest of my friends. I've already died once. If I die again I may never come back! I'm always one of the first to fall! Damn it! I won't die, I won't let them kill me!'

Suddenly, for what seemed to have come out of no-where. Yamcha gained a small portion of his strength back, and was now managing to pull the old man off of him. Sadly, Yamcha's small triumph was short-lived. For just seconds later, the old man thrust his whole hand through Yamcha's abdomen.

Yamcha tried his best to gasp for air, but the man's other hand was still covering his airways. His vision began to blur again, his hearing faded once more, and he could feel blood building up in his lungs. Soon afterward, everything went black and abysmal to Yamcha.

"Hey Yamcha, buddy, snap out of it!" yelled Krillin in a panic, shaking Yamcha back and forth violently.

"Wha - ?" mumbled Yamcha, breaking out of his trance-like state, "Hey Krillin, stop shaking me, I'm perfectly fine! Wait a minute - "

Yamcha hastily clasped his right hand over the area that he had received his wound, but it wasn't there anymore.

"Huh - It's not - I'm alive!" Yamcha screamed up into the sky, smiling from ear to ear.

"Yeah, sensu beans sure do come in handy!" added Gohan, chuckling to himself.

"Gohan, is that you? Wow! I haven't really gotten to talk to you in awhile, ever since the acci -" began Yamcha, trailing off.

"Uh - Yeah, I understand completely," mumbled Gohan, staring at his feet in shame. He still felt embarrassed about what had happened to his father.

"That reminds me, where's Goku, and the others?" asked Bulma, curiously.

"They're out of town, somewhere over the ocean, probably on an island or something," answered Krillin, sensing his friends ki levels.

"Oh no!" yelled Yamcha, startling everyone, "Goku and the others didn't go after those murderers did they? Wait, there's no way Goku would pull away from a good fight, she's... she's"

Gohan winced as he heard Yamcha refer to his dad as a she, but that action was unseen by the others, or just ignored. After all, the limelight was all centered on Yamcha for the time being, for he had just started to give what was probably really bad news.

"What, Goku's what?" asked Krillin, and Bulma, simultaneously.

"She's in trouble. I'm sure she will be the one fighting those people. Krillin, those people aren't normal. An old man suffocated me! He also had some red shiny circular object in the palm of his hand that seemed to suck the life energy out of me!" shouted Yamcha in distress.

"What?" all three around him yelled in unison.

"Yep, that's right! We have to get there, and quick! We have to warn her, and the others! They're in grave danger!" said Yamcha worriedly.

Yamcha and Krillin took off immediatly. Krillin stopped in mid-air, pausing to look back at Gohan.

"You coming?" Krillin asked.

'Dad really hurt Mom's feelings and mine also. He left me! Plus, I can't bare to see her like this. It's just wrong, but he... she is still my dad, and I don't want her to get hurt!' thought Gohan.

"Well Gohan, are you coming or not? We don't have all day. We have to assist the others and quick!" pointed out an impatient Yamcha.

Gohan shook his head, as if to clear his thoughts. He clenched his fists, and brought on a, 'let's do this!' expression.

"You bet I'm coming! I wouldn't miss this for the world! You guys can't have all of the fun! I had to try really hard to sneak away from my mom to be here," began Gohan, realizing too late that the others had already taken off to the skies, "Hey, you guys, wait up for me!" he yelled out in surprise, blasting off into the air after them.

Android 19's form faded out, then reappeared in front of Goku. She had no time to dodge, and was thrown into a rock. Before she could get back up, android 19 threw tens of hundreds of punches point-blank at Goku's face.

'Why can't I keep up with 19 anymore? Before it was nearly a breeze to be fighting him, but now he's overpowering me. How can this be happening?' thought Goku in a panic, as she was pounded harder and harder into the rock formation she had been lodged into.

She managed to kick android 19 off of her, and get back on the offensive. 'I won't let this android beat me that easily!' she thought defensively, 'I'm going to put my all into this!'

"Ka - me - ha - " began Goku, already situated in her familiar stance for the attack.

Piccolo stood for a moment with a blank stare on his face. He was musing to himself. He could tell the something was very wrong here. How did android 19 gain so much power, and the upper hand over Goku so quickly. Then, suddenly, it clicked in his head. Android 19 had been absorbing Goku's energy blasts. That had to be the answer! It was the only explanation that made sense!

"Don't throw a ki blast at it, Goku! It will absorb your blast. You'll only be fueling up the enemy!" yelled Piccolo.

Goku didn't heed Piccolo's warnings, 'There's no way this android can suck up my energy if I give it my all! The blast will be to much for it to handle. It will probably blow-up if it attempts it!' she thought with determination, smiling to herself.

"Me - Ha!" she finished with a bang.

A gigantic iridescent blue energy blast streamed out of her two opened palms, causing bright light to illuminate over the small island's landscape. Goku crossed her arms, and panted in exhaustion.

"Let's see if 19 can take that!" she mumbled to herself, her smile broadening, triumph already plastered across her face.

Her facial expression contorted in horror as she watched her ki blast get absorbed yet again.

"But I was sure he couldn't, how?" she murmurred to herself in pure terror, her arms falling to her sides in defeat.

"You fool!" hissed android 20, "Every blast you throw will get absorbed, no-matter what the mass! Mine and 19's energy capacity is nearly infinite! Every single bit of that energy you contribute to 19 will be added to android 19's strength! You have a zero percent chance at succeeding now!" he taunted, chuckling sinisterly afterward.

Goku gasped, and shook her head in disbelief, "No... no no no!" she shouted, shaking her head, trying to drown-out 20's menacing words from her mind, "I should have listened to Piccolo..."

"Ugh" she screamed out in anguish, as android 19 rammed its knee into her stomach.

She floated backward in surprise. She hadn't seen that coming at all. She fell earth-ward once more as the android's elbow jammed into her temple. She hit the ground hard with a resounding thump that echoed throughout the island's cliffy serene landscape. She lifted herself out of a crater she had just formed on impact, but was unmercifully plowed back into the ground by android 19's right foot.

The android laughed its squeaky laughter mockingly as its limb pushed harder and harder into her torso. She screamed out in pain. The screams rang in Tien and Piccolo's ears, causing their eyes to reflect pity they felt inside for her. The two made a move to assist her.

"No, don't try to help me. I can handle this. It is my fight! Believe in me, please," Goku begged, making them stop in their tracks.

"No Dad!" screamed Gohan upon flying into the scene, only moments later.

He flew toward his dad as fast as he could, trying his hardest to intervene the onslaught.

Goku turned her head weakly, and whispered, "Gohan..." grunting in pain, from another jab of 19's foot.

Goku wanted to demand her son to get away, but she was so exhausted, she couldn't seem to find her voice. She lifted her hand to him, her eyes glazed over in pain.

Thankfully for her, Gohan was stopped by android 20, "Go back, child, or I'll be forced to kill you!" it warned.

Gohan balled his fists angrilly, but was pulled back by Krillin.

"Krillin let me help her, please!" begged Gohan.

"No Gohan, you can't," answered Krillin.

"Goku, watch out for its hand! It's going to drain you of all of your ki!" screamed Yamcha in warning.

It was too late, 19 had already grasped Goku's forehead in its hand, and had begun to suck away at Goku's life force.

She screamed even more loudly and shrilly, but the screams soon died down to weak moans. She eventually fell out of her Super Saiyan state.

Android 19 stepped away when he was finished, smiling maliciously at what he had done to her.

'Dad, you look so weak and helpless,' thought Gohan, staring at his father's broken down female form. 'This isn't fair...'

"We have to do something!" Gohan screamed, tears welling up in his eyes, "I can't let that monster kill my dad!"

"No Gohan, we can't do anything. Goku told us to leave her be, we need to respect her wishes as a fellow warrior," explained Piccolo sympathetically, resting a reassuring hand on Gohan's shoulder.

"Now, time for you to die!" android 19 squealed, producing a blast of its own in its palm.

Goku stared straight at the red blast in defiance. She was unable to move a muscle, and she could just barely feel her legs, but she would face death without fear. She was determined to die honorably!

Just as the blast was about to hit her, a figure appeared before her eyes, and knocked the blast away with ease. As the light faded, it displayed Vegeta in its wake.

She smiled gratefully and thought, 'Vegeta, you saved me! I can't believe my own eyes!' Her eyes shimmering with joy, forgetting completely about what she had told the others about leaving her be.

"Vegeta, thank you," she managed to mumble.

"Shut-up and get out of my way, Kakarrot! Let me show you the power of a true Saiyan warrior!" snapped Vegeta.

Yamcha growled and shouted, "Can't you see she can't move, or are you blind?"

Vegeta scowled at him, then walked up to Goku, "You're pathetic, Kakarrot!" he hissed spitting on Goku in disgust.

He then kicked her hard and hatefully towards the Z-fighters. She resurfaced on the ground with a loud and shameful thump. Goku's eyes began to fill up with tears subconsciously. She thought he had actually cared about her! But he didn't care. He never had, and never would!

'I'm not going to let him get to me, not after how he treated me! I'm stronger than this! I don't care about what he thinks of me!' thought Goku determinedly.

Still, her face turned a soft shade of rosy red from the shame, and her heart ached for Vegeta's condolence. She wanted for him to understand what pain she was going through mentally, and physically. She ached for him to accept the fact that both he and she weren't perfect and never could be!

'Why do I want his sympathy? No! I don't want it. I don't need it! I don't want him to care about me! Who cares what he thinks of me! So what if he isn't proud of what I accomplish! How he thinks of me is none of my business, and I have to stop caring for him! Even if it hurts me, no, kills me. This is wrong! I have to forget about him!' she thought somberly.

"Now that the useless third class woman is out of our way. It's due time that you witness the power of a true Super Saiyan!" yelled Vegeta.

Immediately, everyone surrounding him other than the androids, thought, 'Vegeta, a Super Saiyan, no way!'

Vegeta powered up immediately, the familiar golden aura encasing his body, his cold black irides transforming into a magnificent teal color. His hair jolting into bright golden spikes, and gravel lifting up all around his body.

He clenched both of his fists and yelled venomously, "You're dead you repulsive piece of lard!"

'I'll teach you to never touch something that belongs to me ever again!' thought Vegeta malevolently.

*Chapter 8*: Where Do You Think You're Going?

Disclaimer: I don't own DB/Z/GT.

Chapter 8: Where Do You Think You're Going?

The androids stared down Vegeta with their menacing icy blue eyes. The fact that they were taking him seriously meant right away that they saw him as a formidable opponent. They would not show fear, nor anguish, nor happiness. They were truly monsters without a conscience.

"Like I mentioned before, it's due time to show you the power of a true Super Saiyan!" announced Vegeta boastfully, while increasing his magnificent golden aura. "That woman you just fought, think of her as a mere warm-up compared to what you'll be dealing with when we're fighting!"

"Well, this certainly wasn't expected..." commented Android 20.

"Yes, such a power increase for Vegeta was not calculated," squealed Android 19.

"No matter, we will just defeat him the same way we did Goku," replied Android 20.

Vegeta glared daggers at the two androids. He let out a primal growl, and spat, "Are you deaf? I said Kakarrot is a third class Saiyan warrior, the unwanted garbage of our proud race. I'm the Prince of all Saiyans, she was just mere child's play compared to what I will deal upon you two!"

"How does the fact that you are the prince of her race make you have a better advantage of destroying us than she did?" asked android 20.

"I have royal blood flowing through my veins. The blood of the strongest Saiyans that have ever lived! I am a descendant of the legendary Super Saiyan. I will deliver you the worst of deaths. You will regret ever questioning my strength, and comparing me to that worthless low-class filth!" hissed Vegeta, displaying his pride in all of its glory.

"The blood of the strongest Saiyans that 'have' ever lived. I believe that is a past tense, which would mean that they're deceased. Tell me, if they're so strong, how is it that they're dead? Also, how can you be so sure that you are truly a blood descendant of the legendary. Are there any actual records of this? My memory banks show none, and I have accumulated the whole history that is known of the Saiyan race. Hmm... I don't see why you demean Goku so much. After all, she has the ability to transform into a Super Saiyan also. How does that make her weak?" asked Android 20.

Vegeta crossed his arms impatiently. This bucket of bolts was beginning to aggravate the Prince. He had questioned the truth of Vegeta's theories, and that had got on his nerves. He hated when others attempted to correct him!

Vegeta scowled at 20, and shouted, "I've had enough talk. Stop trying to prolong your life! Let's fight, and get this over with."

Android 19 stepped forward.

"Oh, I see you want to die first. Don't worry, 20, I'll grant both of your death wishes soon enough!" said Vegeta, taking off toward android 19.

Vegeta made the first move by landing a right hook on 19's face. The android recoiled backward, but caught itself. It retaliated by kneeing Vegeta in the stomach, but Vegeta's form faded out before it even touched him. Android 19 was then slammed down into the ground by Vegeta's elbow digging into its neck.

Vegeta took two steps backward, and created a blue energy blast in his right hand. Vegeta's eyebrow twitched as he heard one of Goku's friends call out to him from a distance.

"Don't do that Vegeta! It will absorb your blast with its right hand, and it will add to its own strength!" warned Krillin thoughtfully.

Vegeta lifted an eyebrow curiously, and mumbled, "Oh really?"

Vegeta smirked, and dodged a kick from the now up-righted android. It's eyes flashed red, and it shot about 10 red laser-like blasts at Vegeta. Vegeta dodged them all with ease, the smirk plastered on his face never fading even once.

He laughed mockingly as the android tried over and over again to get a decent blow on him. He grabbed 19's left hand, pulling it toward him, and swung his right foot up into its jaw. Instead of flying back from the impact's momentum, the android jolted to a stop, due to Vegeta holding his arm. Its eyes widened in horror as it's whole arm was torn off!

Android 20 clapped its hands, and chuckled maliciously, "Bravo, Bravo, Vegeta! I never would have guessed that move. So, you ripped off Android 19's arm so that he couldn't absorb your life force or attacks. Too bad you ripped off the wrong arm. The energy absorber is on his right hand, not the left!"

Android 19 was paying no attention to his cruel companion. His eyes were still glued to his severed arm. He gawked at the empty socket in which it had been attached to. Blue bolts of electricity were sparking in and out. It turned its head up, facing Vegeta. Its facial features contorted into pure rage.

"I knew that it was the wrong arm. I just tore it off for fun, oh, the look on that ugly heap's face, It was truly priceless!" taunted Vegeta.

Android 19 glared even more hatefully, but then lost all source of emotion. After all, it was an android. It could easily control its emotions.

"Let us finish this, shall we?" asked Vegeta.

"Yes, let's," replied android 19.

Vegeta appeared in front of android 19 faster than the unsuspecting android could spot. Vegeta quickly extended both arms on opposite ends of his body. He then placed both of his palms together, directly in front of him. A yellow sphere of ki appeared in front of his palms.

"Final flash!" yelled Vegeta.

Immediately, luminous golden ki erupted from his hands, encasing the landscape of the whole island, and surrounding area in blindingly bright golden light.

Android 19 extended its right arm, and began to suck up the blast, laughing hysterically as he did so.

'What is he doing?' thought all of the Z-Fighters, simultaneously.

"Let's see how much you can handle, you scrap heap!" yelled Vegeta, increasing his ki usage.

Piccolo smirked in realization, thinking, 'Vegeta, when it comes to fighting; you're as much of a genius as Bulma is...'

Android 19's eyes widened in terror, as he detected that his ki absorbing system was gaining ki too quickly. If this kept up...

"Haaaaahhhh!" screamed Vegeta, letting out a colossal amount of energy.

Android 19 watched in complete horror, as his energy absorber blew up. His arm then began to disintegrate, and slowly his whole being was decimated!

Vegeta stood there, and waited for the light emitted from his attack to fade away. He ignored all of the commotion he was getting from the Z-Senshi, and kept his attention on android 20.

"I believe your time is up," stated Vegeta calmly.

"You seem so certain of yourself. Surely, you used the majority, if not all of your energy on destroying android 19," replied android 20.

"I haven't even warmed up yet!" countered Vegeta, smirking.

Beads of artificial sweat began to become evident on android 20's forehead. 'How? What does he have up his sleeve? What can he be hiding. It looked as if he had used up every last bit of his energy, and it appeared as if he had been exerting himself! Could he have been faking it? I hadn't suspected Goku to gain so much power, and she proved me wrong. Now he has too, but can he really be even stronger?' debated android 20 mentally.

'Vegeta, you are one good fibber!' thought Piccolo, smiling to himself. "I just hope it works."

"It seems that you are the one that is so sure of yourself!" corrected Vegeta. "What makes you think you'll do any better than your little buddy?"

"I'm way more superior than android 19!" argued android 20, angrily.

"Oh, is that so?" asked Vegeta, querying whether the android was telling the truth or not.

"You're skeptical that I'm telling you the truth? I'll prove to you why 19 is obsolete compared to me! I'm his creator! I'm Dr. Gero!" stated the android proudly.

"You're an android! How could you have come to exist if you're not human? Who's your master? The one that built you," said Vegeta, beginning to get interested in the topic.

"I did. I was originally a human, but humans are weak. So, let's just say I upgraded myself," answered Dr. Gero.

"Fool! That still doesn't prove anything! So what if you have an organic brain. You've got a real human mind... Wow! Like that's really going to make a difference. You're still going to die by my hands!" said Vegeta.

Android 20 began backing up ever so slightly as he thought, 'He's not lying. He is stronger than me! I can tell he's not lying, he wouldn't be that sure of himself! I'd be able to detect it.'

"Why are you moving away from me?" questioned Vegeta, at the retreating android.

The android stopped for a moment, than took to the skies, answering Vegeta's question.

"Damn it, come back here you coward!" yelled Vegeta.

"He turned around, facing Krillin, and said, "Quick, give me a sensu bean!"

"Uh... Yeah... Sure thing!" replied Krillin, nervously thumbling through the items in his pocket.

"Idiot! Hurry up, he's getting away!" shouted Vegeta.

Krillin gasped, "I... uh... must have left them at Bulma's house!" said Krillin, backing away from the seething Vegeta, nervously.

"You what?" screamed Vegeta.

"Well, we can't catch up with him now. Even if we could, it would be pointless. So, we might as well bring Goku back to Capsule Corporation, and get her healed up!" suggested Yamcha, making a move to pick up Goku.

Vegeta instinctively let out a low growl, and pushed Yamcha out of the way without thinking about it. He ignored the other's bewildered stares, and picked up the unconscious Goku bridal style. He took off into the air, and flew away at a slow pace, do to his exhaustion.

"What's his problem?" asked Yamcha, a bit taken aback, "I was only going to help her, not that he should care."

"I believe it was having to do with the way you were looking at Goku," suggested Piccolo, insightfully, "and he may not show it, but I believe he does care, or at least he does subconsciously."

"Why would he care anyways? I mean, he just called her useless garbage a couple of minutes ago?" questioned Yamcha. "I wasn't looking at her funny!" he defended, blushing a bit.

"Well, I'm just saying, ever since the accident, Vegeta has been a bit more protective of her," murmurred Piccolo.

Yamcha just stared at Piccolo dumbfoundedly, "I'm still not catching your drift."

Piccolo looked at him oddly, then took off. He had enough of these people for one day. Krillin, on the other hand, shook his head, and clicked his tongue in disappointment.

"I can't believe you would stoop as low as that, Yamcha! Goku is still the same Goku, even if he is a she!" said Krillin, crossing his arms.

"I don't know what you're talking about, Krillin. I wasn't looking at her in any way I shouldn't have been. Do you think I was actually checking out Goku! No! No way would I do that! I don't think she's hot! Not at all!" argued Yamcha shaking his head continuously.

"Whatever you say, man," replied Krillin, not believing one word that came out of his slightly perverted and apparently disturbed friend's mouth.

*Chapter 9*: Heart Broken

Disclaimer: I don't own DB/Z/GT.

Chapter 9: Heart Broken

Dizziness was the first feeling Goku felt as she slowly regained her consciousness. Secondly, she felt as if she were about to puke her guts out. Her vision changed from a blurry image, to the shining bright light coming from a light fixture on the ceiling above her. She flinched as a vision of Vegeta's face came above her, and blocked out the bright light.

"Ugh..." groaned Goku weakly.

"Your finally awake," commented Vegeta, concern etched across his face, though he tried to hide it.

Goku forced herself to look him in the eyes and replied, "The androids, are they gone?"

Vegeta turned his penetrating gaze away from her delicate features, and glared at the ground in contempt.

"Android 19 has been taken care of. Though, not by any of your help," he replied.

Goku sat up, and groaned from the pain that the minuscule effort had caused. Vegeta jolted his attention toward her, and reached out his arm. 'What is he doing?' thought Goku. 'Is he actually trying to help me?'

Vegeta saw the surprised expression on Goku's face, and realized how foolish his intentions were. He lifted his arm up a bit, and struck her harshly across the face, instead of helping her up as he had first intended to do. The blow caused her to hit the hard floor with a resounding thump and yet another groan.

"Imbecile, stop trying to get up! You're using up what little energy you have, and we're not wasting another sensu bean on the likes of you! You're no use to us anyways!" spat Vegeta venomously, storming out of the room.

Goku tried to get up, but couldn't. 'Is this body really that weak? Is Vegeta right? Am I really worthless to them? Am I just getting in their way?' thought Goku solemnly. She clenched her fists angrily at the thought, 'No! No I'm not worthless! They need me, and Vegeta won't admit it, but he does too!'

Goku moved her head from side to side looking for her friends, but they weren't there. 'Where is everyone?' she questioned herself. 'Wait a second! He said that android 19 had been taken care of, but what about 20? If nobody is here, does that mean that they're dead?'

Goku unclenched her fists, and began to struggle to push herself up. "No... no..." she mumbled weakly, the simple thought not even occurring to check for their ki signals.

Tears began to build up in her deep onyx eyes, but she forced them to stay in. She pulled herself into a wobbly crouching position, but lost balance and fell. "No, I have to get up and help them! I'm not weak... not weak..." she mumbled before losing consciousness again.

Vegeta strode quickly to his room, cursing himself for having feelings for that third class moron. 'I can't deny it anymore. I'm no idiot, and I know it would be foolish to keep ignoring it like this. Eventually, I'll break, but what if Kakarrot doesn't return the feelings I have for her. What if she rejects me? Am I really stooping to this level?' mulled Vegeta.

Bulma turned around a corner of the Capsule Corp. building, and spotted Vegeta. Out of instinct, she ran up to him, and hugged him tightly, yanking him out of his train of thoughts. Vegeta looked down at Bulma deeply disturbed to have someone touching him. 'What does she think she's doing?' he thought, trying to unlatch the blue haired woman from his body. Finally, she gave up, and hesitantly let go.

"Woman, just what do you think you're doing?" questioned Vegeta irritably.

Bulma blushed and replied, "Sorry Vegeta, I couldn't help it! I was so worried about you, and the others, that you might have gotten seriously hurt from the two murderers in town!"

"Me, get hurt by those two hunks of scrap-metal, don't make me laugh!" stated Vegeta, walking past Bulma, completely ignoring her heart-felt gesture.

Bulma walked passed him with her head hung low, 'He doesn't even notice me,' she thought, 'Wait, I shouldn't care! Yamcha is the only man for me! He's my future, and I've got to lose these growing feeling for Vegeta, before I just crack!'

Bulma gasped when she saw Goku lying on the floor unconscious and badly hurt. 'The killers must have done this, but how?' she thought, just as she heard the patter of footsteps approaching her.

"How is she?" Bulma heard Yamcha's voice ask.

Bulma turned her head to face them and answered, "A bit beaten up, but nothing our Goku can't handle."

"I was a bit worried, those androids really beat her up!" added Krillin.

'So they're androids. I knew no normal human could hurt Goku or Vegeta!' thought Bulma. 'And that also explains why Vegeta referred to them as 'hunks of scrap-metal'.

"Dad," mumbled a worried Gohan incoherently, but Piccolo's keen ears picked it up.

Piccolo had decided to drop in, and see how Goku had been doing. He also needed to discuss what everyone was to do in the future, what with the android still out on the loose and all. They also needed to discuss what to do with the androids if there were to be more at the new Red Ribbon Army base.

He rested a hand on Gohan's shoulder and assured him, "Don't worry kid, your dad is going to be just fine. You should know more than any of us how strong your dad is. Goku just needs some rest, that's all."

"I know, Mr. Piccolo. I know my dad will be fine. I just didn't get to tell her, that even though dad's a girl now, I'm still proud of her, and that she's still my hero. I won't let any of those androids ever hurt her again, especially not when my dad's like this! They'll pay!" said Gohan, clenching his fists angrily.

"Don't worry, Gohan, we'll have plenty of time to get payback for all of the damage those androids have caused!" agreed Yamcha.

"In the meanwhile, I think I'm going to go wash Goku up, and put her to bed. You all should do the same," suggested Bulma.

With that said, all of the Z-Senshi went their separate ways.

Bulma was about to leave the room with Goku when Gohan spoke up from behind her, "Can I stay here with you and dad for awhile?"

Bulma turned around and replied, "I don't know, ChiChi might not like the idea of that."

"I don't care, please Bulma! Dad needs me, I know she does!" pleaded Gohan.

"Oh, okay, I guess it couldn't hurt for a little while, " caved Bulma.

Vegeta got washed up, and decided to take a nap. He too had been drained of a lot of his energy. At the moment, he was having a nightmare. The same that he always had now. He hated having to watch Goku being murdered by that shadow monster. He hated the fact even more so, that he was unable to help her.

He tossed and turned in his sleep restlessly. Finally, he woke up, he couldn't take it any longer. This dream was torment. Though, he could do nothing to help it. He restlessly rose up out of bed, and began to walk toward Goku's room. He stopped near the kitchen when he heard a voice he recognized as Krillin say, "So, now what are we going to do? How are we going to find android 20?"

"Yeah you guys, he doesn't have a readable power level, and he seems to be bent on killing Goku," said Yamcha.

Vegeta glared daggers through the wall at the sound of his voice. He had seen the way Yamcha had been staring at Goku, and he didn't like it. He recognized that stare, it was of lust. He would not let him touch her! Yamcha would surely die at his hands before he even got near to her, he would make sure of that!

He walked passed the kitchen, and into Goku's room, closing the door softly behind him. He was still unaware of why he chose to go there. He wanted to see her though. After that dream again, he had to see that it was a lie once more.

The window was wide open, and the huge crescent shaped moon reflected its luminous creamy colors on Goku's delicate features. Vegeta smiled softly, and walked closer to her, choosing to sit on the right edge of her bed. He gazed down at her soft face, and stroked her cheek with his hand gently.

The touch caused Goku to drift out of her sleep, and open her weary onyx eyes. She jerked upright when she noticed Vegeta staring down on her, and managed to hide the pain it caused her broken body.

Goku and Vegeta's faces were now mere inches apart. She could feel his warm calm breaths wisping against her lips, and he felt hers. Both of their eyes locked with each other's for what felt like eternity. Slowly Goku could see his face inch closer, and closer.

"What are you doing in here?" she asked him, her eyebrows ruffling together.

"I don't know," answered Vegeta truthfully. "I suppose I just need to see how I feel about something."

Goku began to back away from him, beginning to think that he may be delirious. But he firmly wrapped his arms around her, and pushed her closer to him. He almost shyly brushed his lips against her own like soft feathers, wanting to taste her, but unsure of if he really should. Goku's body quivered, she was nervous, but not at all scared. She was curious of his intentions, and how far he would go.

He pulled her closer to him, and smashed his lips against her's, breaking the barrier of tension that had gathered up between them. He prolonged the kiss even more so. He began to slip his tongue into her mouth, and play with her own.

He gently slid the sleeves off of the shirt she was wearing down her shoulders. Suddenly, Goku's eyes opened up wide with surprise, she had no idea he was intending to go this far! He was going to take off her clothes! She frantically jerked away, but Vegeta's grasp was too tight on her. The more she struggled, the tighter he would clasp on, and the closer he would crush her against him.

She dug her fingers into his arms roughly in defiance, and turned her head away from his own. "Vegeta... stop..." she mumbled, not fully meaning her words at all.

"No," he answered back curtly, "I've made up my mind."

"Wha-what? What do you mean? What have you made up your mind about?" questioned Goku, completely confused.

"You're mine, Kakarrot!" Vegeta muttered into her ear, kissing it gently afterward.

He let one of his hands free from her, making sure the other was still securely holding onto her. He cupped her chin in the palm of his free hand, and pulled her lips back toward his own.

"I said stop it!" she hissed, jerking her head away once more, and trying once again to wriggle free from his grasp. "I'm not yours, Vegeta. I'm my own person!"

Vegeta smiled, realizing she was playing hard to get, but he certainly could tell she was enjoying it. He ignored her turned head, and took the opportunity to kiss her neck. Soon, he began to get impatient of her abstinence, and began to roughly rip her shirt off, determined to win her affection.

Goku only dug her fingernails into his arms furthermore in a pathetic attempt to free herself once again, but Vegeta ignored her and continued to trail his lips down her neck and onto her chest.

Goku began to lessen the grip she had on him, and was actually beginning to enjoy what Vegeta was doing to her. He was bringing her way more pleasure than she had ever imagined could be possible, and he hadn't even had to do much to achieve it.

She couldn't lie to herself that she didn't want that pleasure from him, but a nagging voice in the back of her mind was telling her to stop what she was doing. She was supposed to be a man. She'd been born that way, hadn't she? Wasn't that what the Kais had wanted? She had never been attracted to Vegeta before the accident. All of these new feelings were so confusing, and she felt in her heart that they were wrong. She was taken. She had a wife. She couldn't do this! 'No, I can't let this happen!' her mind screamed, 'Though, my body won't respond, it's too weak! He's too strong for me to break away!'

Goku removed her fingernails from Vegeta's arms. She cupped his head in her hands, and made him face her. Goku gently slid her small slender hands down his back, against his skin, and heard him let out a moan of pleasure.

She could see it in his eyes. He truly wanted her more than anything else. This wasn't just lust, it couldn't be! He was willing to give up his pride for her!

'I'm so sorry Vegeta. I do have feelings for you too, but I can't, it's wrong,' she thought.

She moved her lips up to his, and kissed him lightly. 'She's teasing me,' thought Vegeta. Goku opened her eyes, and saw that his were closed. She could feel that his grip had slackened. He was more comfortable now that he thought she wasn't trying to escape anymore.

'I'm so sorry, Vegeta,' she thought dismally, 'so sorry...'

She shoved him away when he least expected it, and ran as fast as she could out of the room. Vegeta gazed down at his hands awkwardly. She had conned him into thinking she was going to give herself to him! He was now certain this was not the same Goku he had known before the accident. No, the other Goku couldn't have been as cunning as she was.

"You think you've won, Kakarrot," whispered Vegeta solemnly, "You're wrong. I haven't even warmed up yet!"

*Chapter 10*: Ah, the Wonders of Being a Woman

Disclaimer: I don't own DB/Z/GT.

Chapter 10: Ah, the Wonders of Being a Woman

In the kitchen of Capsule Corporation sat all the Z-Warriors who had participated in the search for the androids that had gone on earlier that day. They were all discussing what they were to do now that one got away. They needed to know their next step.

"So now what are we going to do? How are we going to find android 20?" asked Krillin, the question they were all expecting to hear.

"Yeah you guys, he doesn't have a power level, and he seems to be bent on killing Goku," added Yamcha, only succeeding in adding what they had already had noticed.

Piccolo's attention diverted away from the others for a split second. He looked toward the door at a shadow passing by that had been caught in the peripheral vision of his keen eyes. Curiosity overcame him, and so he sensed out who it was.

'It's Vegeta...' Piccolo realized after recognizing the ki.

Piccolo thought over what he had just seen for awhile, completely oblivious of what the others were now talking about. 'Let's see, I know that Vegeta's room must be in the opposite direction that he's going in, because he went there to sleep if I recall correctly. So why is it that he is going in the opposite direction of his room?' thought Piccolo quizzically, 'Wait a minute, Goku is that way, and by the feel of her ki, she's sleeping. Why is he headed over there?'

"Piccolo, are you alright? You look sort of tense," pointed out Tien in concern.

"Hmm?" hummed Piccolo, directing his attention toward the group again, "No, I'm completely fine, just a bit distracted."

"So anyways, where were we? Oh yeah, that's right, Krillin had a point there. How are we going to find him? It would be nearly impossible! He has no ki signature," said Tien.

"Your absolutely right, Tien. That would pose a problem. It seems our only option is that we're going to have to wait until he comes out of hiding," contemplated Piccolo.

"That's it? Just wait like sitting ducks. He could get stronger! I don't know about you guys, but I've already died once, and I don't like the idea of never being able to return to the living world ever again," spoke Yamcha, twiddling his thumbs nervously.

For a moment, they all just sat, and stared off into the distance, each deep in their own thoughts. That is, until Gohan broke the silence. "Then we'll just have to train harder!" Gohan said with unfaltering determination.

"Gohan's right, Yamcha. There have been plenty of warriors who have fought, and died without ever getting the opportunity to be revived. You should be grateful that you did. Now is not the time for any of us to become cowards, and run away from the problems of our world," lectured Piccolo.

Just as Yamcha was about to speak, everyone in the room heard the tapping of footsteps coming from down the hall. Unbeknownst to them, the footsteps were coming from Goku, who at the moment, wasn't really aware of things around her. She was in some sort of trance, and she could really care less where she was headed. She just needed to get as far away from Vegeta as possible, lest she lose control of her rational thoughts and return to him. If that happened, she might end up doing something she would later regret. She walked straight into the kitchen, and was broken out of the trance when she saw all of the Z-Fighters ogling her.

For a moment, she just stood there, completely oblivious. She frowned when she realized none of them were going to acknowledge her, other than staring at her. She trailed the direction of their stares, which led down to her torso. Immediately, her cheeks turned a bright red. The whole upper-half of the night shirt she had borrowed from Bulma was ripped in half down the middle, exposing her breasts.

Everything she had been thinking about before fled her mind as panic took over. She let out a little yelp as her arms snapped together to form a cover for her bare skin. Her cheeks flushed an even brighter crimson as she realized they were all still staring at her with those same shocked faces. Her mouth opened, and closed, but she couldn't seem to find any words that fit to explain the situation at hand. She couldn't tell them about what had happened between her, and Vegeta!

"S - Sorry, I... uh... must have... um... ripped my blouse by accident," Goku explained nervously. She paused, and took a deep breath, taking a moment to think up something else to say, but found that she couldn't. "Well, um... goodnight," she mumbled, fleeing out of the room faster than any of the others in the room thought was even possible.

"Well, that was certainly an unexpected experience," commented Krillin, his jaw nearly hitting the floor.

Gohan fell out of his chair, very shaken up, possibly even traumatized. Tien was actually blushing a little bit, ashamed that he actually might have enjoyed what he saw. Yamcha was the one with the most pleasure written on his face. He immediately made an excuse to leave the room, hoping the others didn't notice how broad the smile on his face was.

'Vegeta, what did you do to her?' thought Piccolo to himself in slight disgust, finally realizing that his theory of Vegeta's intentions for Goku were true.

Goku walked quickly down the hallway trembling from what had just happened. She was still covering her breasts with her hands tightly, and had no idea what she was going to do. Questions kept popping in and out of her mind. She knew there was no way she would be able to fall asleep again that night!

Early the next morning, Bulma, Krillin, Yamcha, and Gohan were sitting at the breakfast table, waiting for Bulma's Mom to finish cooking their breakfast. Mr. Briefs was off in the lab, as usual. Vegeta was letting out some steam in the gravity machine room, and Goku had finally been able to fall asleep.

Krillin and Yamcha had both decided to spend the night. Gohan had also spent the night, even if his mother was going to blow up on him at some point because of it.

Goku tossed and turned in some random guestroom bed she had happened upon. She couldn't stay asleep. She kept picturing what had happened between her and Vegeta the night before. She was still sore from yesterday, and felt awful.

She wasn't in a great mood to begin with, and to add to that her stomach hurt really bad! She woke up and sat erect in bed, while looking down at the floor wearily. It wasn't long before she noticed a red spot on her pants.

'That's weird,' she thought to herself.

Goku got up and out of bed, trudging toward the bathroom to check it out. She pulled off her pants, and underwear to see if it had seeped into her panties also. She gasped, and jumped back from what she saw, dropping her underwear on the floor. The substance was all over her underwear!

'Is this blood?' she questioned herself.

She looked down at her crotch curiously, and saw some blood dripping out of it. She gasped a second time, and stormed out of her room.

She ran all the way to the kitchen where Bulma was, screaming, "Bulma! My privates are bleeding!"

The second she got into the kitchen everyone gasped. Bulma threw her hands over Gohan's face, and Krillin did the same to Yamcha, looking away.

"Goku, why don't you go up to your room, and I'll explain all the wonders of Menstruation," suggested Bulma, frowning and turning her head away from Goku's half-naked form, "And please, do cover yourself up..."

"Um, okay, Bulma," answered Goku, blushing slightly, and immediately exiting the room.

'I could be fatally bleeding from my insides, and Bulma's worrying about telling me something having to do with Me... menu... stration... sometimes I just don't get Bulma,' thought Goku with a deep sigh.

*Chapter 11*: Shopping with Bulma!

Disclaimer: I don't own DB/Z/GT.

Chapter 11: Shopping with Bulma!

Goku strode morbidly out of her bedroom. Bulma had just explained to her everything there was to know about the woman's menstrual cycle, and what it was for. Goku found the whole thing very unpleasant. In Goku's opinion, it was scary enough that babies came out of such a little teeny-tiny hole.

Goku could still remember very clearly what she thought when she found out everyone at one point in time had to journey out of that place. She had almost thrown up her last meal. She was so unbelievably grateful that she didn't remember the journey out.

Goku paused her stride for a moment, a look of complete and utter shock growing on her face, "Wait a minute. Now that I'm a girl, that means that I could get pregnant!" she mumbled, her arms trembling at her sides.

"I don't want to have to pop a baby out of that little hole! I don't want to be big and fat for 9 months!" Goku squealed, pointing her index finger down at her crotch for emphasis.

At the moment, Gohan had been passing by her. He immediately froze right where he was at, and looked at his father with a look of horror written on his face.

"But Mom told me that a big bird called the stork brings babies when mommies and daddies want them," said Gohan in shock.

"That's what she wants you to think, Gohan, to keep you innocent. But really, that's not what happens. It kind of doesn't even make sense," replied Goku, her shock wearing off as she realized that she'd have to have sex with a man to actually get pregnant.

"So then, where do babies really come from, dad?" asked Gohan, greatly intrigued with the subject.

Goku's face visibly paled at the question her son had just asked her. "Well, um," she responded awkwardly, "How about I tell you later, okay buddy?"

"Why later?" asked Gohan.

"I need to... go... do stuff," replied Goku, zipping out of the room in an instant.

Bulma approached Goku perfectly calm, although, all of Goku's disgusted expressions that were shot at Bulma when she had explained all about a woman's period were still fresh in her mind. She had tried to explain to Goku how to use both pads and tampons, but the tampons didn't go over too well. 'Well, she'll learn in due time.'

"Goku, why don't we go into town, and get you some clothes of your own today. You were practically half naked when you came back from fighting with the androids. Maybe it would be best if you were covered up at least a little bit more. We could get you some girl fighting gis!" persuaded Bulma happily.

"Okay," replied Goku, grabbing hold of Bulma's hand, and transporting them to the shopping area in West City.

Once Bulma had regained her breath from her near heart attack due to surprise, she looked toward Goku, and smiled.

"I'll go get you some underwear, and you can go pick out a couple fighting gis," said Bulma, "Oh, and Goku, please look for clothes that actually fit your knew body!" she added in, as Goku started to leave.

Goku walked off to the store she had always bought her gis in, and on instinct, headed straight into the men's section. She grabbed five orange gis and blue undershirts of all sizes, unaware of her own, and went straight to the counter.

There was a handsome young man at the counter, probably in his early 20's. He had spiky brunette hair, and sparkling blue eyes. He was tall in stature, and had a pretty good physique, which wasn't surprising, considering he was working at a martial arts supply store.

The man at the counter looked Goku up and down and smiled, "How are you doing today, little lady? What brings you here?" he asked kindly.

Goku smiled sweetly and replied, "I'm doing fine thank you, how about you? I came here to buy myself some fighting gis."

"But... pardon me, might I ask what your name is?" asked the man.

"My name? Oh! Yeah, My name's Goku! What about yours?" she chimed in response.

"But, Goku, those are men's fighting outfits. Here, let me show you the section that would fit your slender body," he professionally suggested. "Oh, and my name's Koshin, a pleasure to meet you, Miss Goku."

He paused as they entered the women's section, a very small section at that. Goku looked in front of her, and saw only three different assorted gis and undershirts for women. There was pink, blue, and purple. They also had the same color undershirts, just a bit lighter.

Goku frowned, picking up a blue undershirt, and said, "There's no orange."

"Oh, I'm sorry, Goku. We don't carry orange in our women's inventory because it isn't very popular with the lady's tastes. Well, I can see that you were holding a blue undershirt. Why don't you get a blue gi, and a lighter blue undershirt?" suggested Koshin.

"Well, ok," said Goku solemnly, "I really do wish you had orange gis, though. I would have bought all you had!"

"Here, why don't you try these sizes on in the changing room. They're the only two sizes we have that might fit you. The others would be too big on you!" he said, slyly putting his hand in hers and directing her toward the changing room he spoke of previously.

Goku tried on the two different sizes. One was way too loose, and it slipped off of her easily! The other size was a much too snug fit! She didn't like the fact that it made her cleavage show. Though, too tight was way better than too loose, because she reasoned that the loose pair would show everything when she bent down! 'That would make Bulma real mad again.'

Goku strode out of the dressing room with a pout on her face, and a pair of the snug-fitting blue clothing secured in her arms.

"So what will it be?" asked Koshin with a large smile stretching across his face.

"I want five of this size," replied Goku, dropping her pout immediately, and returning with a big grin of her own.

"Okay, not problem," stated Koshin, grabbing four more identical pairs, and heading toward the check-out counter.

After she had bought the clothing she had come for, she noticed a nervous look apparent on the Koshin's face.

"What's wrong?" asked Goku sympathetically.

"Well, it's just... I... uh - " began Koshin, twiddling his thumbs together nervously.

"What is it, Koshin? You can tell me," replied Goku, with an air that told any stranger to the both of them, that she had known him for a very long time, even though she had just met the man.

Koshin cleared his throat, "In that case, I was wondering if maybe you'd like to go out to dinner with me tonight?" blurted out the man nervously.

"Dinner! Why sure, I'd love to go out to eat," replied Goku, completely oblivious of what Koshin was really getting at.

"Wonderful, where do you live?" asked Koshin, leaning up against the counter, and trying to act nonchalant.

"Um... you wouldn't happen to know where Capsule Corporation is, would you?" questioned Goku.

Koshin took on a look of surprise and replied, "Of course I know where Capsule Corp. is, it's only the biggest building for miles! That's where the Briefs live! Are you a relative of the family?"

"Oh, well, I guess you could say that, but technically I'm just a really close friend of Bulma Briefs and her parents of course," answered Goku.

"That sounds pretty cool," replied Koshin, nodding his head smoothly, "Then I guess I'll pick you up around 7:00 PM?" he continued.

"I don't have any plans tomorrow. It sounds good to me!" chimed Goku, beginning to head toward the exit, "I'll see you then!"

"Yeah, later, Goku," replied Koshin, making a short wave as she left the building.

The second the door closed behind Goku, Koshin balled both his hands into fists, and jumped up into the air, shouting, "Yes!" in victory.

Not long after exiting the martial arts supply store, Goku met up with Bulma, and showed her that she had indeed bought some female fighting gis. Even though she had taken the time to remind Goku, Bulma was still a bit surprised that Goku had actually gotten a size that fit her.

"No orange this time, huh?" questioned Bulma.

"They didn't have any in women's apparel," muttered Goku somberly.

"I'm sorry, Goku, that's too bad! Oh, and here's the type of underwear, and bras I bought you," pointed out Bulma, opening up one of various shopping bags she had and showing the merchandise to her friend.

"Bulma, how come they have flowers on them? Also, they're really small again," complained Goku with a pouty frown on her face.

"Goku, women's underwear is different than men's. You'll eventually get used to the new type of fit," reminded Bulma, "Oh, I almost forgot, I also got you some casual clothing for when you go outside the house."

Goku sighed and thought aloud, "I wonder if Vegeta would want to train with me?"

For a moment, Goku let the events that had occurred between the two the previous night slip her mind.

"Somehow I doubt that, Goku. He never seems to want to train with you or anyone else other than himself," mumbled Bulma, "But then again you never know. That man sure is a hard to read book!"

Bulma then realized how different Vegeta had been acting around Goku lately. 'He doesn't think of her that way... no, he wouldn't... would he?' she thought to herself.

For the first time in her whole entire life, Bulma felt a tinge of jealousy toward Goku.

*Chapter 12*: I'm Not Weak!

Disclaimer: I don't own DB/Z/GT.

Chapter 12: I'm not Weak!

Goku inched her way closer to the gravity room. She had no idea why, but it felt as if there were tons of butterflies fluttering around in the pit of her stomach. It was making her feel queasy, and it was starting to make her have second thoughts on if she should ask to train with Vegeta. Slowly she reached for the door handle, and turned it. She gulped nervously, and pushed the door open.

"Hey Vegeta," greeted Goku.

At the sound of Goku's voice ringing in his ears, Vegeta's right eye twitched. He casually picked up a towel, and wrapped it around his sweat-drenched neck. He turned around, and crossed his arms.

A burst of unexpected pain blanketed his whole being as his eyes laid their attention upon Goku. Nothing was different about her, she was just standing there in front of the gravity room's door with her usual goofy smile plastered on her face.

Goku crossed her arms, and frowned playfully at Vegeta, "Why are you looking at me like that?" she asked.

'There is absolutely no way she's forgotten about last night already? How..? I know Kakarrot's a bit slow when it comes to brains, but that still doesn't give her an excuse to forget what happened between us so easily. Could it be possible that she is actually trying to forget about it?' thought Vegeta with a small frown etching across his face.

Goku stood there gazing at him. He wasn't answering her at all. He was just frowning upon her. 'He's still mad at me because of what happened last night, isn't he?' she thought to herself, her smile vanishing.

Suddenly, her butterflies became much worse, and she felt extremely unsure of herself. She was pondering whether she should still ask to train with him or not, but then she would have no reason for having barged in on him like this.

"What do you want?" spat Vegeta, breaking the silence.

"I - I was just wondering if you would like to train with me?" sputtered out Goku.

'What?' thought Vegeta in astoundment, 'She's never asked to train with me before. I thought she knew I don't ever train with anyone except myself.'

After a another agonizing moment of silence, Goku looked down at her toes in embarrassment. 'Why did I even bother?' she asked herself.

Goku turned around, and began walking toward the door, muttering, "I understand, Vegeta. I guess you don't want to train with me after all. I'm sorry to have barged in on you like that."

Vegeta's frown deepened even more so. Watching Goku look so sad and dissapointed was pitiful. He thought that it was nearly impossible to wipe that grin off of her face. Now that he saw it wasn't, it felt as if his heart had been torn out, especially since he knew it was due to his actions.

"Wait," called out Vegeta, "You can train with me. I guess it is better than nothing."

Goku stopped dead in her tracks as if it were a command. She turned around facing Vegeta with a great feeling of relief. Her frown was wiped straight off of her face in an instant, with a bright smile shining out in its wake.

"Well, are you just going to stand there, grinning like an idiot, or are you going to fight me?" questioned Vegeta, smirking with pleasure.

Goku mimicked his smirk, and launched off toward him. Goku immediately threw a right hook to Vegeta's face, but Vegeta caught it with ease. Vegeta countered by bringing up his right knee, and jamming it into Goku's stomach. Goku recoiled backward, but caught herself abruptly, and threw a speedy barrage of kicks, and punches at Vegeta.

Vegeta taunted Goku by laughing at her. None of the kicks, and punches were landing. If they even got relatively close, Vegeta would knock away Goku's limb with ease.

"You know, now that I think about it, I might have been better off training by myself," mocked Vegeta.

Goku let out a low feminine growl, and punched faster and harder than before, but it was still not enough.

Vegeta continued to dodge her for awhile more, thinking that maybe she would be able to dish out more if she were enraged. His theory was starting to be proven wrong.

"You're weak!" spat Vegeta, the minute he lost his patience.

He backed up his words by immediately punching Goku hard in the face, and knocking her into a wall.

"I am not weak!" growled Goku angrily as she pushed herself off the wall, redirecting herself toward Vegeta again.

"Prove it!" shouted Vegeta, "You're boring me!"

Goku threw more punches and kicks at him. Still, Vegeta dodged with ease, and cackled at her weakness in enjoyment. She backed away from him, and threw multiple ki blasts in his direction. She was certain at least a couple would hit their target. She waited impatiently for the smoke of the ki blasts to clear up. Before they cleared up completely she caught sight of Vegeta launching toward her.

He was too fast for her to dodge, and had to much power for her to block. He thrust his arm out at her, faster than she could follow, the force of the blow hurtling her toward a wall, and actually denting the extremely dense material it was made out of.

"Not fun, is it?" questioned Vegeta with a scowl plastered in his face.

"What isn't fun?" replied Goku half-heartedly, still focusing 99.9 percent of her attention on pounding Vegeta into the ground.

Goku's eyes widened in surprise as Vegeta's form disapeared into an after-image. 'Where'd he go?' her mind screamed desperately, as she frantically searched for his ki signal.

Suddenly, she was grabbed from behind. She tried to rip her arms away from her attacker, but they were locked in with his own. She tried to kick Vegeta off of her, but to no avail, she wasn't even abrazing the surface of his skin.

"Being weak, weaker than someone else, constantly aware that you're living in someone else's shadow," answered Vegeta angrilly.

"What do you mean Vege - ?" began Goku, before Vegeta cut her off.

"You!" Vegeta hissed in her ear maliciously, "No-matter how hard I tried, how long I trained, I could never surpass you! You were always one fucking step ahead of me!" shouted Vegeta, tightening his grip on Goku.

"Vegeta, I never knew you felt so strongly about that," muttered Goku solemnly, her ribs aching in pain from his strong grip.

Vegeta realized that he was being to rough with her. He sighed, letting go of Goku. He silently floated down to the ground, turned his back on her piercing eyes, and began walking toward the door.

"Wait! Vegeta stop!" shouted Goku.

Vegeta froze in place, clenching his fists, trying his hardest to keep his temper from taking control again. Without turning around, "What?" he muttered through clenched teeth.

"Why did you just tell me that?" asked Goku in concern.

"Because, I was curious if knowing that you are weaker than somebody else hurt you too. I already have my answer," explained Vegeta.

"I'm not weaker than you, Vegeta! Come back here, and I'll prove it to you!" demanded Goku, obviously offended.

Vegeta merely laughed, and turning the knob on the door, preparing to leave Goku behind.

Goku clenched her fists angrily and shouted, "Vegeta! Come back here, listen to me!"

Vegeta nodded his head in pity, pushing the door open, and walking out of the room. He paused for a moment, contemplating whether he should tell her what was on his mind. He turned around facing Goku's questioning and hurt expression.

"It's better this way," he muttered to her, "Only one of us can be stronger, Kakarrot. You had your turn."

Vegeta frowned as the door closed between them, "I don't want you to fight anymore," he whispered hoarsely.

Goku's mouth opened half-way as if to say something, and then quickly closed. Her hands began to shake, and her legs gave way, causing her to fall to her knees. Goku gazed down at the floor somberly, and shut her eyelids tightly to hold back the tears that threatened to fall.

'What does he mean by, it's better this way?' she thought to herself, 'How can me being weak be better for me, maybe for him, but not me?'

Goku steadied her trembling hands and mused over what he had said. 'Bulma's right, he's stubborn, and arrogant. He thinks he's so much better that anyone else. He thinks he can always get what he wants! Well, I'll show him! I'll show him that I'm not some weak piece of trash that he can discard the second he surpasses me! I'll show him that he isn't the best, and that with a lot of effort, I can surpass him again, even if it's more difficult in this body!'

'I can do this!' I'm not weak... right?'

"I swear, if Goku plans to continue living here, she's going to have to pull her own weight," said Bulma to herself, hanging up Goku's new fighting gis.

She sighed as she finished hanging up the last one, and went to go sit on the edge of Goku's bed. 'Vegeta you aren't attracted to her, right?' thought Bulma in worry, laying down on the bed, and staring up at the ceiling, 'But then again, I can't really blame him, she is beautiful, but this is Goku we're talking about. Well, I should be thinking about Yamcha, not Vegeta, but still it's hard.'

Suddenly, Bulma heard the door to the bedroom creak open. Her eyes trailed from the bottom of the door up to the face of the person standing behind it. It was Goku. Bulma got up to leave the room, but stopped mid-way when she noticed how red, and puffy Goku's face was.

'Has she been crying? No, Goku never cries, but then again, she is a girl now, and girl's hormones are sort of unpredictable,' thought Bulma. All her thoughts of jealousy, and anger toward Goku left immediately, while pity filled the void.

"Goku, are you okay? You look sort of sad, and out of it. You can talk to me ya' know," stated Bulma.

Goku looked up startled, and backed away a step from Bulma. "Bulma! I didn't see you there!"

"Sorry if I sort of snuck up on you. I was hanging up some of your new clothes. I see you're already wearing a pair of your new gis," pointed out Bulma.

"Uh, yeah, I guess I am, huh?" replied Goku, mustering a small laugh.

"So, are you okay?" asked Bulma.

"Of course I am, Bulma, I'm fine, really!" replied Goku.

"Well, if you say so. Hey, You might want to get into some of the clothes that I bought you," said Bulma.

Goku raised an eyebrow inquisitively and questioned, "Why?"

"Because, it's getting late, that guy... um... darn it, what was his name again? Oh yeah! Koshin. Koshin will be coming to pick you up soon! Remember, you said around 7:00 P.M.," reminded Bulma.

"Oh yeah!" replied Goku, "I completely forgot about that, if he shows up, just say I'll be ready in a few minutes."

"Can do!" said Bulma, taking out some of Goku's clothes from the closet, 'Hmm... a skirt, and this cute tank-top should do,' she thought, handing them to Goku, and leaving the room.

Just as Bulma left the room, the doorbell was rung, 'That must be him!' she thought excitedly, glancing down at her watch, 'And five minutes early too... so much for fashionably late.'

Bulma opened up the door, and found a well-dressed handsome young man of about 20 years old starring nervously back at her.

"Um, is Goku home?" he asked.

Bulma looked him up, and down, thinking, 'A tux, huh? Oh, and roses, how cliche, but cute. Man, Goku, you don't know what you've got yourself into!' thought Bulma, accidentally letting out a girlish giggle.

"Yeah, she is, she'll be down in a few," replied Bulma, smiling sweetly.

'Oh, this is just too good!' she thought.

"You want me to give you a little tip?" suggested Bulma slyly.

"Sure," said Koshin.

"Goku likes it when guys make a move on her first date with them," stated Bulma, trying her hardest to keep a straight face.

"Really?" asked Koshin in utter surprise, "You aren't joking with me, right?"

"No, I'm not joking!" replied Bulma, putting a hand on her hip, and acting offended, "In fact, she actually gets a little bit disappointed when they don't make a move."

Koshin's only reply was an ear to ear smile. Bulma could already tell what he was thinking. Sooner than later, Goku approached the front door, and Bulma exchanged her goodbyes to them both. The second they were gone Bulma began walking toward the kitchen where her mother had already prepared dinner. Vegeta was already seated, and was stuffing himself with tons of food. Bulma made herself a plate of food seated herself also.

Vegeta glanced up from his dinner and asked, "Where's Kakarrot, woman?"

Bulma wiped her mouth, a large grin forming underneath the napkin, 'Let's see if Vegeta wants her now,' she thought.

She removed the napkin, and casually stated, "She went out."

"Went out where?" asked Vegeta, intrigued.

"She went out on a date with this really cute guy! She met him the other day when we were shopping together. He works at a martial arts store where Goku buys her fighting gis," she explained with a strained smile.

Vegeta was completely still. He was just staring blankly at her face. Perhaps the subject of Goku on at date was confusing to him? Was this a 'play date' or a real date?

"Ya' know, Vegeta, its only natural that Goku is attracted to guys now, since... well, since she's a girl. She was really shy when she met this guy, always blushing whenever he said something to her. They really hit it off right away. Hell, maybe it was love at first sight? Who knows, Goku's a big girl, they might even 'get it on' together tonight," Bulma continued, concluding with a small snicker of amusement. 'So I lied a little,' she thought, 'It's not that bad. She is really going on a date with the guy and all.'

Vegeta suddenly dropped the fork that had been levitating half-way between his mouth and his plate for the past minute and a half or so. "She what?" he shouted, standing up and knocking his chair backwards. It hit the floor with a loud clunking noise. 'She did not! She did not choose that pitiful human over me, the Prince of all Saiyans! No, I will not let her embarrass me in this way! I will not let that man have her!'

*Chapter 13*: Goku's First Date!

Disclaimer: I do not own DB/Z/GT.

Chapter 13: Goku's First Date!

Goku followed the young man out to his truck. Koshin made a point to act the gentleman and open the passenger door for Goku. He then silently walked around the truck and opened his own door. Goku glanced around the vehicle, noting that it was very clean. 'Wow, ChiChi would like this guy,' she thought. Then the thought occured to her that she'd just thought of ChiChi. She winced slightly, the pain of betrayal was still evident.

Koshin noticed Goku wince as if someone had just stuck her with a needle. "Are you alright?" he asked, his face etched with concern. "Are you uncomfortable or something?"

Goku was dumbfounded, did he just read her mind or something? "Don't worry, Koshin, I'm fine!"

He drove out of Capsule Corporation's front entrance, and sped down the road, weaving in and out of cars. This guy was definately what you would call a crazy driver. Of course, Goku was the world's worst driver, so she took no notice of this.

"Where exactly are we going?" asked Goku.

Koshin took a left turn on one of the streets he was driving on and replied, "Oh... it's just this restaurant that I really like. You'll like it too, I know it!"

"Cool, so what's it called?" asked Goku.

"It's called the Blue Koi," answered Koshin.

"Oh, like the fish, right? Do they serve Koi? I hope so!" said Goku with a smile.

"Er... No, Goku, I don't believe they do. Koi fish aren't very appetising," answered Koshin.

"Hey, to each's own," replied Goku.

"Looks like we're here!" announced Koshin, pulling the car into a parking space.

Goku took a curious peek out the window at the quaint little restaurant. Any other girl would have probably thought the place was a really romatic restaurant. It was very homey looking. It was familiar to most tastes, and a great place for a first date. There's nothing worse on a first date than awkwardness! The diner was surrounded by beautiful landscape.

He got out, and opened Goku's door before she had a chance to do it herself. He took her hand, and helped her out of the truck, as if she were helpless, but polite nonetheless.

Goku annalyzed the outside of the restaurant more closely. It had beautiful lush green grass, and rose bushes acting as a hedge around the building itself. The building was one story in height, and was painted a white creamy color. It had light baby blue window pains, and a big blue neon light centered at the top of the building saying 'Blue Koi'.

There were two cobblestone side-walks that led up to the building. There was a fork in between them with a small man-made waterfall that fell into a crystal clear pond that a had a bridge leading a pathway across it. When Goku and Koshin reached the pond, Goku looked inside and saw none other than tons of colorful Koi fish.

Goku turned and glanced back at the parking lot. It was full of fancy expensive cars. She could see dozens of full tables, and busy waiters and waitresses bustling around from outside the window. "Koshin, the place is packed? Won't there be a long wait?" she inquired. "Not that I mind or anything!" she quickly added, trying not to be rude.

"No, don't worry, Goku. I reserved a table for us!" replied Koshin.

"This restaurant looks a little expensive. Are you sure you don't want to just go to a cheaper one. I won't mind at all," said Goku.

"Nonsense... I wouldn't allow anything less for such a fine beautiful lady like yourself!" flirted Koshin.

Goku just sent him one of her goofy smiles, although she was a bit uneasy. 'This guy's really polite,' she thought, while saying "Um... okay, if you say so."

Koshin noticed Goku's smile, and shot one right back at her. 'Score!' he thought happily.

"I have to warn you, Goku. I eat like a pig... my stomach's like a garbage disposal... hehe!" stated Koshin, laughing nervously, and blushing as red as a tomato.

"Oh really! That's great, because I'm the same way!" replied Goku.

"We'll have to have an eating contest!" joked Koshin.

"Ok, that sounds fun!" answered Goku seriously.

The two stopped gazing at the beautiful fish, and walked into the restaurant. The inside of the restaurant was just as gorgeous as the outside. Everything about the quaint little café was appealing to the eye.

The two were seated in a secluded spot of the restaurant looking out onto a garden in the back. Rhythmic music was playing, and the faint glow of light coming from a candle in the center of the table they were seated at was perfect. Koshin had clearly set this table aside, and had it decorated more nicely to be romantic, and it would have been if it weren't Goku he was going out on a date with.

A dapper thin waiter walked up to the two, smiled, and asked politely, "What would like to drink, Miss?"

Goku, who had been preoccupied with the scenery broke out of her trance, and looked up at the man. "Wha..."

"What would you like to drink?" repeated the man.

"Um... I guess... um... I don't know. What do you want Koshin?" asked Goku.

"I'd like a glass of red wine," said Koshin.

'Red wine? What's that?' thought Goku. 'Oh well...' "I'll have what he's getting," said Goku, diverting her attention away once more.

The waiter scribbled down what they wanted, smiled at Koshin, and winked knowingly. Koshin sent a beaming grin right back at him, and the waiter left the two alone. Koshin followed Goku's gaze out to the garden view, then back at Goku. He just kept staring at her for about two minutes, until finally, he spoke up and said, "Beautiful view."

"Yeah," mumbled Goku.

The waiter bustled back into the room with their beverages.

"Are you two ready to order?" he asked patiently.

Both of their eyes widened in realization. They had completely forgotten to even glance at the menu.

"Uh..." they both murmurred simultaneously.

"Well, if you need more ti - " began the waiter.

Goku perked up and chimed, "Everything looks so good! Let's get it all!"

"W - what?" blurted out Koshin in disbelief.

The waiter was also shocked. Now this was one pricey lady!

"Is something wrong?" asked Goku innocently with a small pout.

'Man, this girl's going to make me go bankrupt!' thought Koshin, taking one last glance at the menu. 'All of the prices on the dishes are insanely expensive, but...'

"Nothing's wrong. Did you get that, waiter?" questioned Koshin.

The waiter shook off his stunned expression and nodded a quick affirmative before leaving the two alone yet again.

"She what?" shouted Vegeta, looking utterly perplexed.

"You heard me," replied Bulma blandly.

Vegeta just stood there for a moment, staring down at his food with a look of disgust.

Bulma got up, and waved her hands in front of his face. "H-E-L-L-O! Earth to Vegeta, do you copy?" she joked.

Vegeta snapped out of his staring contest with his plate. "Where are they?" he demanded, a large vein beginning to become apparent on either side of his widow's peak.

"I'm not sure. I know they're going out to eat first," said Bulma with her index finger resting on her chin, giving her an innocent and speculative look. "He's a genuine romantic though. I could tell right away. I'm sure they're going to end up somewhere very secluded... and dark... all alone."

"Woman, stop screwing around with me!" growled Vegeta.

"I'm not, Vegeta," she replied with a playful pout.

"Do you have any idea how many restaurants are in West City, or are you just that stupid?" he continued, ignoring her.

"Yes, as a matter of fact, I do. I'm a genius, remember, so don't even begin to accuse me of stupidity, and why do you care so much?" spat Bulma, losing her patience with the stubborn man.

"It's none of your business!" hissed Vegeta.

"Well, why don't you just search for her ki, smart one?" mocked Bulma, playfully knocking on Vegeta's head.

This only enraged Vegeta even more.

"Do you not think that I would have done that if I could, obviously I can't! Her ki is too low to pinpoint where she is!" said Vegeta.

"Sorry your majesty! Well, then maybe she just doesn't want you to stalk her!" argued Bulma.

Vegeta grunted angrilly and stormed out of the house, slamming the door behind him so hard that it broke off of its hinges and crashed loudly onto the floor.

'Yeah Bulma, you're a genius alright! Pissing Vegeta off is really going to get him to like you more!' thought Bulma sarcastically. 'Well, at least I got him to notice me for once...'

"So you like to fight, eh?" said Koshin, trying to start up a decent conversation.

"Yup, sure do, what about you? I mean, since you work in a fighting supply store, do you like to fight?" asked Goku in interest.

"Yeah, I really like to fight. I started learning the art of Karate, and various other fighting styles when I was only three," replied Koshin.

"I can't even remember when I started training. I do know that I too started with Karate. My grandpa Gohan taught me. Hey, do you want to go spar after dinner?" asked Goku.

"I'd love to!" said Koshin earnestly.

Just as they had finished their conversation, various waiters walked into the room carrying food. Once the candle was removed from the table to make more room, they began to set all of the dishes down.

The second the first plate hit the table, Goku rubbed her hands together in delight, grabbed it, and began to gobble it down at light-speed.

Koshin just sat there in awe thinking, 'No-way! She wasn't kidding!'

After ordering plenty more dishes, and dessert to settle Goku's hunger, Koshin regrettably payed the gigantic bill. He sighed as he looked at all of the glasses of wine she had consumed, but she wasn't in the least bit intoxicated.

He frowned as he heard his own stomach grumble in hunger. He didn't get to eat a thing! Half, because he was too busy watching the show, and the other half, because Goku kept grabbing whatever he was going to eat.

"Well, I guess I lost the eating contest..." muttered Koshin in resignation.

"That's okay," replied Goku, contently licking her fingers instead of using a napkin.

"Where did you get that appetite? It's impossible, you're so thin!" exclaimed Koshin.

"Well, first of all, my metabolism is really fast, and second of all, I'm not human," answered Goku nonchalantly.

"You're what?" shouted Koshin in disbelief.

"Yeah, I'm a Saiyan. They're sort of an evil warrior race that purges planets for a living, but they're all dead, and I'm not evil like them. I was raised on Earth my whole life!" explained Goku, grinning sweetly.

"That's a relief. Other than your appetite, I would have never guessed. You look just like any normal human. So... a warrior race you say. Let's see about that," said Koshin, getting out of his seat.

"Oh, okay, where do you want to spar?" asked Goku.

"How about you choose!" said Koshin.

"Okay! Here, grab a hold of me," instructed Goku.

Koshin blushed, thinking, 'Wow, she's really straightforward!'

"Sure, no problem," he replied calmly, grabbing her arm.

Seconds later, Koshin saw a whole new landscape. It looked like they were in the middle of the woods, where, he didn't know.

"Here we are!" announced Goku, beginning to stretch her muscles in preparation.

Koshin mimicked her and asked curiously, "How did you do that?" though, he didn't show it, he was completely stunned.

"Well, it's a technique I learned on a different planet. I call it, instant transmission. As long as I can sense someone's ki, I can transport to wherever that person is located, or somewhere near it," explained Goku.

"Wow, amazing!" exclaimed Koshin.

"It's really not that glamorous as you're making it seem. It's really rather easy once you get the hang of it. By the way, do you know how to sense ki?" asked Goku.

"As a matter of fact, I do. I'm surprised you can, though. Not many people have that capability, or so it seems," said Koshin.

"You're right. This fight should be more interesting than I thought it would be," said Goku exictedly.

"Hey! Don't count me out before we even begin!" joked Koshin, getting into a fighting stance.

"Sorry, I won't," muttered Goku, getting into her own.

He raised his ki up to about 200, which was surprisingly high for a human, and astonished Goku. Goku raised her own ki up to equal his.

She eagerly ran toward him, and sent the first punch. He blocked it, and countered it with a right kick to her abdomen. She brought her knee up, and blocked it, while raising one hand and sending a weak blue ki blast into Koshin's face.

He stumbled back in surprise, but smiled, and threw another punch at her. She grabbed his arm, and kneed him in the stomach hard enough to cause him to crumple over slightly in pain. 'She's holding back!' thought Koshin in amazement.

He powered up more, catching Goku by surprise, and threw a right hook at her face. The punch landed, but she quickly caught herself, and performed a roundhouse kick. The kick launched him off into a tree, causing it to fall to the ground.

He leapt up to his feet, but faster than he could even comprehend, Goku appeared in front of him, and pummeled him into the ground.

He got up once more, and threw a barrage of kicks, and punches at her once again. She slowly backed up as she dodged, and blocked the blows until her back brushed up against a tree, causing her to cease movement. Koshin threw one last hard punch at Goku, but she grabbed his fist right before it hit her face, and countered the attack with a punch of her own to his right cheek.

"You're good, Goku, really good," stated Koshin with a smirk.

"Thanks," replied Goku modestly.

"But, I have one trick up my sleeve that you haven't witnessed yet," he continued, his grin broadening.

"Oh really?" said Goku, anxiously smirking back in a challenging sort of way.

"Really," affirmed Koshin leaning forward slightly.

'Wow! I wonder what this trick of his is?' thought Goku eagerly. 'Wait, what's he... doing?'

Koshin leaned forward a bit more, and brushed his lips up against Goku's. His arms slipped around her waist, pulling her closer to him. Goku's hands lifted up, and began to shake hysterically. 'He's he's... k - kissing me!' she realized in horror. She shivered as she felt his tongue slip into her mouth, and deepen the one-sided kiss. She finally got over her shock, and was about to pull away, when all of a sudden...

She heard Koshin grunt in pain, as his body was ripped away from hers violently. Goku sighed in relief, but still had a sick feeling in her stomach. She tried her best to block all of the disturbing thoughts that were now lurking in the back of her mind. She glanced up, thoroughly confused, to find out what had happened to Koshin. Suddenly, her arms wrenched back, and grabbed the tree in shock. Her lips quivered, and her jaw moved up, and down trying to speak, but her voice box didn't seem to be working.

Finally, she managed to sputter out, "V - Vegeta?!?"

*Chapter 14*: Vegeta's Rage

Disclaimer: I don't own DB/Z/GT.

Chapter 14: Vegeta's Rage

With a great effort, Goku pushed herself forward indignantly and faced Vegeta's searing eyes. Her whole body raked with chills, and she could feel herself trembling. She felt like she needed to explain herself to him, but there was nothing to explain. She had done nothing wrong! The way he was looking at her this very moment made her feeling like throwing up. He looked absolutely horrified and disgusted by her.

"What are you doing here, Vegeta?" Goku finally asked, trying her best not to shake at the sight of Vegeta's piercing glare.

Up until recently, his anger would have meant nothing to Goku. She would have just shrugged it off, considering she was so used to Vegeta having a fowl temper most of the time. Now, just the look in his eyes was enough to catch her attention, and it literally destroyed all of her emotional barriers. Recently, it had been different, he had some sort over-powering control over her emotions.

She didn't understand why, or how for that matter, but she just felt... guilty, of what, she didn't know. She felt like she had been being deceitful to him, even though she had done nothing wrong at all.

Vegeta just kept glaring at her, so enraged that he couldn't even muster a haughty reply, like his usual self. He was practically seething in anger, and like Goku, he was confused to no end as of why.

Koshin pulled himself up into a standing position, and just stood off in the sidelines, dumbfounded. 'Does Goku already have a boyfriend?' he thought disappointedly.

Goku clenched her fists, and the thin delicate furry appendage that had been wrapped neatly around her slender waste lashed out violently back, and forth. It was truly an odd sight to behold, Vegeta had probably never seen Goku look this fierce, and if he wasn't so drowned in his own anger he might have actually been surprised.

Koshin took a step back at the sight. 'I thought that was just a belt!' he thought in shock, looking on at her tail curiously. 'She really is an alien! I thought she was just joking!'

"Why are you looking at me like that, Vegeta?" asked Goku. "I've done nothing wrong!"

"You wench, don't lie to me! I saw what you and that weak human were doing!" Vegeta spat in return furiously.

'Kami! Am I missing something? Is this guy an alien too?' thought Koshin. 'This is crazy!'

"Wench?" muttered Goku in disbelief. "How dare you call me that, it wasn't even what it looked like. He kissed me, I never returned the kiss back! Even if I did, it would be none of your business!"

Vegeta's scrutinizing eyes left Goku, and rested on Koshin.

Koshin took a nervous step backwards. He had both a hurt, and terrified look on his face at the same time. 'I really thought she was into me!' Koshin thought in extreme dissapointment, then he noticed Vegeta watching him, 'Holy shit! That guy looks like he wants to kill me!'

Vegeta slowly approached Koshin, and lifted his right fist threateningly.

"Vegeta! What are you doing?" screamed Goku, chasing after him in an instant.

Vegeta pulled his fist back, and quickly launched it toward Koshin's jaw. Though, Goku quickly intercepted the attack by Instant Transmitting in-between the two, and blocking the blow with her right hand. Vegeta growled when he saw that she had protected the young Earthling.

"Get out of my way, Kakarrot!" he spat venomously.

"No!" yelled Goku standing her ground, and slapping Vegeta's fist away. "Koshin doesn't deserve this kind of treatment from you! He did nothing wrong! He just had the wrong assumption about what I wanted are relationship to be. He didn't know that I just wanted us to be friends, and you have no reason to butt into my business anyway!"

"I said, get out of my way!!!" screamed Vegeta in agitation, wacking Goku in the side hard with his left arm, and sending her careening into a nearby tree, toppling it over easily.

Koshin, although thoroughly disappointed at Goku, was appalled by Vegeta's harsh actions, and defensively stepped forward.

"How dare you hit a girl like that!" he yelled.

At the same moment, Goku sat up and shook her head back and forth in an animalistic sort of way. She looked on at Vegeta in shock, partly because of how rash he was being, and also because she would have never dreamed he would have cared about something like this. She hovered above the ground, and moved back toward the other two.

"No, Koshin, he doesn't think of me as a girl. Come to think of it, neither do I," stated Goku.

'What the hell is she talking about?' thought Koshin. 'Is this some weird alien thing?'

"Yeah, well, you'd be surprised," muttered Vegeta, his voice just barely audible.

"What do you mean by that?" questioned Goku, her eyebrows furrowing together in confusion.

Koshin hadn't heard Vegeta because his human ears couldn't pick up that of a Saiyan's. So to him, things just got weirder and weirder. 'Don't tell me she's having one-sided conversations now!'

"Nothing, now where was I?" pondered Vegeta mockingly, raising his fist again.

'Am I missing something?' thought Koshin. 'Oh crap! He's going after me again?!?'

"Wait!" shouted Koshin, waving his hands back, and forth frantically. "I think this is all just a big mistake. You see, I got the impression that Goku actually liked me... in that sort of," he cleared his throat, "way" he finished, lifting his index, and middle fingers on both hands, and bending them up and down in an odd signal Vegeta didn't understand.

"What the hell is 'that sort of way' supposed to mean?" asked Vegeta, mimicking the hand movement as he said it.

"You know, that waaaay," replied Koshin.

"Idiot," muttered Vegeta.

"Look, Vegeta, the only reason I made a move so early is because her friend, Bulma, told me she'd want it. I didn't know she had a boyfriend or anything, honest!" exclaimed Koshin in earnest, nervously backing away from the clearly agravated, and intimidating man standing before him.

"He's not my boy - wait - Bulma said what?" asked Goku, shock clearly evident on her face.

"Bulma..." growled Vegeta, lowering his fist, and hovering off of the ground.

"Wait, Vegeta, you don't..." began Goku.

But it was already too late, Vegeta had taken off, and was already out of hearing range.

"Well, sorry about all of this, especially that huge misunderstanding! Maybe we can spar some time, later!" said Goku extremely fast, and taking off after Vegeta.

"Um okay," mumbled Koshin. 'Man, I feel sorry for that Bulma girl,' he thought, sighing in relief.

*Chapter 15*: Why Should I Care?

Disclaimer: I don't own DB/Z/GT.

Chapter 15: Why Should I Care?

Bulma sat a the dinner-table, staring blankly at the untouched food on her plate. She was twirling her fork around, indifferent to the cold meal in front of her. 'Maybe I went too far with that 'date' thing. Goku's my friend. I shouldn't have done that to her! She already has it rough enough as it is! What's wrong with me?' Bulma impatiently glanced up at the clock for what felt like the umpteenth time. It was five minutes till eight o' clock. 'I was acting completely childish! Why would I go to such lengths to get Vegeta to look at me for once? It's obvious who he wants. Besides, what if Koshin tries to take advantage of Goku's innocence? It's getting really dark now. Oh, Goku, I'm so sorry...'

Bulma flinched in her chair as she heard an unexpected rapping at the front entrance. 'Why the heck do they never think to hit the darn doorbell? It's right there!' were Bulma's initial thoughts, as she began to lift herself into a standing position. 'Could it be...? Goku?'

"I'm coming!" she hollered out loudly, sprinting toward the door impatiently. She fumbled with the locks until she managed to get the right combination that enabled her to yank the door open. She smiled brightly at her visitor, whom she wished was Goku. Unfortunately for her, it wasn't.

"Oh, hi, ChiChi. What brings you to Capsule Corp.?" asked Bulma, her smile dropping into a bemused frown.

"Hey Bulma, it's great to see you too," replied ChiChi sarcastically.

"Oh, don't take it the wrong way, Chi. It's great to see you too. We haven't had our girl-talk in ages. It's just, I was really expecting to see somebody else right about now..." Bulma quickly realized where this conversation was headed and chose to drop the subject of this expected 'mystery' visitor.

Unfortunately for Bulma, either ChiChi read her mind, or she just really couldn't get a certain someone out of her head. "That someone that you're waiting for, it's Goku, isn't it?"

"Yeah, you caught me. It's Goku that I'm waiting for. Ya' see, she went out with a... friend of hers, and I was sort of expecting her home at least an hour ago. Hehe, you know me. I worry too much about Goku!" Bulma could clearly see that ChiChi wasn't listening to her any longer.

"So Goku isn't here then?" began ChiChi, desiring a second confirmation just to be sure. Bulma stared at her blankly for a moment, but eventually nodded an affirmative. "Okay," continued ChiChi, sighing softly, "Bulma, I have something I need to tell you."

Bulma furrowed her eyebrows together in worry. "Is something wrong, ChiChi?" she asked softly, reaching out a hand to rest reassuringly on ChiChi's shoulder.

ChiChi placed her hand over Bulma's and clutched it tightly. She could no-longer keep eye contact with her, so she chose to stare at the floor in embarrassment. ChiChi's face became flushed, and her eyes watered. As she spoke, Bulma could tell that her voice had changed. She was going to cry, that much was inevitable now. "Oh Bulma! I miss my Goku so much! I don't even care anymore if Goku is a girl. We can fix that with the Dragonballs. I just..." ChiChi trailed off, tears were now spilling out of her eyes and cascading down her crimson-tainted cheeks.

ChiChi looked so miserable, Bulma reached out and held her in her comforting warm embrace. She could feel feel ChiChi's chest convulsing uncontrollably as she hiccuped in-between her crying. "... I just want Goku back, Bulma. I love him! I can't live without him! I don't know what I'm going to do anymore! I'm a complete wreck without him by my side, without at the very least, having the knowledge that he still holds his love for me!"

Bulma rubbed ChiChi's back gently, trying her very best to console the wretched woman. She didn't want to have to take sides. She was Goku's best friend damn-it! She wanted him to be happy! Though, seeing ChiChi like this pulled on her heart-strings. It was a pitiful sight to see.

ChiChi sniffled loudly and contiued on, "I said such cruel things to him when this first happened. They were such horrible, hateful, words to say! Bulma, I didn't really mean all of them! I didn't want to hurt him like this! I never meant to make him hate me! Now he'll never take me back; he'll never forgive me!"

Bulma patted ChiChi on the back once more, then backed away to get some space. After all, ChiChi's tears were starting to seep through Bulma's blouse, and it was white. 'Oh damn it all, there I go being selfish again! I really do need to work on that!' thought Bulma.

"Okay, ChiChi, now you're just being overdramatic! Of course Goku will forgive you! She just needs some time to think things out. Think about it, her female hormones are messing with her head in ways we can't even begin to imagine. She's got the brain and body of a woman now. She is the same Goku, but severely altered. She may not be head-over-heels for you right now, but that's perfectly understandable. She'd have to be a lesbian to be into you right now. Since Goku was a heterosexual male, I really don't think being turned into a female gave her a change of heart. She's not going to stay a woman forever you know. When she becomes a man again, she'll be starstruck by you, you'll see, and all of your worrying will have been for naught!" Bulma let out the breath she'd been holding in for a long time with an exasperated sigh.

"No she won't, Bulma! I know it! This goes deeper than it looks! Didn't you hear what she'd said at the reunion?" ChiChi choked out.

"Sure, I heard what she said, but that was only because Goku was majorly frustrated with just about everything at the time, that's all. Sure, she blew up on you, but that was all hormones talking, believe me. She probably didn't mean a word of what she said," explained Bulma rationally.

"No!" cried ChiChi, "She said she never wanted to marry me in the first place. She said that she was tricked into our marriage. Bulma, you know full-well that Goku didn't know what marriage was when he agreed for me to be his bride. So, in a way, what Goku said was true!"

"Why don't you tell Goku how you feel. She'll understand, you'll see. I'm sure that she didn't mean to say any of those hurtful things. She was just retaliating in the best way that she could at the time. Remember, you'd insulted her pretty badly," Bulma reasoned.

"Oh Kami!" exclaimed ChiChi, "Don't remind me!"

There was a sudden knock at the door that startled both of the women. ChiChi jumped a little bit and gasped, "Oh no! That must be Goku!"

ChiChi panicked. She didn't feel she was ready to come face to face with Goku again just yet. She was scared that Goku might still have that look of hate on her face when she looked at her. ChiChi scampered over to a nearby couch and hid behind it.

"Seriously ChiChi? Now you're just acting childish!" pointed out Bulma in annoyance. She combed her fingers through here hair, and began to approach the door. She wasn't sure if she was even relieved to see Goku anymore. This was going to be a disaster, she just knew it!

Bulma opened the door and smiled at Goku, "So how'd it go, girl?" she asked cheerfuly. Her facade quickly dropped as she noticed the absolutely mortified expression on Goku's face. 'Oh Kami, what happened?' Bulma thought as she witnessed Goku frantically brush pass her into the house.

"So, I'm gonna go ahead and guess that it didn't go well?" began Bulma unsure of herself, "By the way, where's Koshin's car?"

"I had to leave him earlier than I thought. Something happened so I began to fly home, but that's when I realized that I could just instantly transport here, and oh geeze, Bulma, you gotta hide!" Goku babbled, pacing around the room anxiously.

"What? Why? Seriously Goku, what's up? Why are you freaking out so much?" questioned a baffled Bulma.

Goku began to look almost hysterical, "Oh Kami, Bulma, I don't have enough time to explain! Just know that you have to hide because I think Vegeta's gonna kill you!"

Goku was so incredibly flustered with her current predicament, she hadn't even noticed ChiChi's ki in the room.

Bulma sighed, quietly shutting the newly-fixed front door. Her patience was beginning to wear thin. "Okay Goku, you need to chill. His arrogant majesty may have some anger issues, but he certainly isn't going to kill me."

"B - but Bulma!" Goku stuttered on relentlessly, "You told Koshin to make a move on me and he listened, and for some crazy reason, Vegeta's gone completely nuts!"

ChiChi stretched her head out a little bit from behind the couch. She need to see what was going on as well as hear it. 'Just what the hell is going on?' she thought with suspicion glinting in her eyes. 'If I didn't know any better, I'd say that it sounds like Bulma set Goku up on a date! She wouldn't do that to me, would she?'

Bulma's face turned a bright embarrassed red as she finally realized she'd been caught for her dirty little scheme. "Goku, you have to believe me. I was totally joking with the guy! I didn't know he'd actually do it, really I didn't!" Bulma defended herself adamantely. She then paused for a moment, bring her index finger up to her lower lip to rest on it quizically, "Say Goku, what exactly did he do?" she asked, unable to hide her mounting curiousity.

Bulma finally hit a sore spot with Goku and she could see Goku's eyes momentarily flash with what looked like anger. "What do you think he did, Bulma?" Goku asked, her voice becoming very tense. "He tried to make-out with me!" she suddenly shouted.

ChiChi stood up with such speed and force that she nearly knocked the couch she'd been hidden behind over. "What!" she shrieked at the top of her lungs.

Goku stared at ChiChi, nearly shell-shocked. "Wh - why is she here, Bulma?" Goku questioned, pointing an accusing finger at ChiChi.

"Oh, her..." began Bulma, silently reprimanding herself for letting ChiChi hide in the first place. "Well, she just came by to - "

Bulma was unable to finish her sentence because she was interupted By a look squeeling noise. Vegeta had once again torn the front door open. It was hanging on to the wall by a thread, and the wood surrounding the doorknob was splintered. He'd nearly torn it out of place. His eyes first rested upon Goku, then flickered to ChiChi, and finally came to rest upon Bulma. He began clenching and unclenching his fists angrilly. Bulma couldn't tell if he was threatening her, or merely attempting to mull things over in his head first, before he did something he'd regret.

'Damn-it! I'm going to start charging Vegeta for property damage if he keeps this bullcrap up,' she thought in thorough annoyance.

Vegeta stood in the doorway. The breeze outside was pulling the wretched excuse for a door inward and outward. Its lone intact hinge squeeked in protest. Vegeta's eyes were glazed over in thought. He began to see flashbacks of what had happened earlier that day, and he suddenly felt ashamed for how he was acting.

"Where are they?" he demanded, a large vein beginning to become apparent on either side of his widow's peak.

"I'm not sure. I know they're going out to eat first," said Bulma with her index finger resting on her chin, giving her an innocent and speculative look. "He's a genuine romantic though. I could tell right away. I'm sure they're going to end up somewhere very secluded... and dark... all alone."

"Woman, stop screwing around with me!" growled Vegeta.

"I'm not, Vegeta," she replied with a playful pout.

"Do you have any idea how many restaurants are in West City, or are you just that stupid?" he continued, ignoring her.

"Yes, as a matter of fact, I do. I'm a genius, remember, so don't even begin to accuse me of stupidity, and why do you care so much?" spat Bulma, losing her patience with the stubborn man.

"It's none of your business!" hissed Vegeta.

Vegeta thought about the memory, wishing it hadn't reared it's ugly self in his head. 'Why do I care so much?' he thought, thoroughly confused. He was beginning to doubt his sanity.

'Just what the hell is wrong with me?' Suddenly, another memory decided to resurface. Apparently, his mind didn't have very good timing.

"Why are you looking at me like that, Vegeta?" asked Goku. "I've done nothing wrong!"

"You wench, don't lie to me! I saw what you and that weak human were doing!" Vegeta spat in return furiously.

"Wench?" muttered Goku in disbelief. "How dare you call me that! It wasn't even what it looked like! He kissed me, I never returned the kiss back! Even if I did, it would be none of your business!"

Vegeta shook his head in frustration as the second memory faded. He stood stock-still. Everyone else in the room was starting to give him weird looks. After all, he had been standing in the doorway with an intense look upon his face for a pretty long time by now. "Why do you care so much?" Bulma's voice repeated over and over again in his head, taunting him. "I never returned the kiss back! Even if I did, it would be none of your business!" Goku's angry shout echoed in his ears. "None of your business! None of your business! None of your business!"

Then suddenly, Vegeta snapped out of his awkward trance an began muttering inaudibly to himself. "What am I doing?" he asked himself, genuinely confused.

He dropped the scowel that had formed on his face, being careful to show absolutely no emotion to the group that was watching him. He quietly strode out of the room, leaving it as if nothing had happened. Though is mind was turbulent with questions, and the taunting accusations were seriously running amuck in there. He walked briskly in the direction of the Gravity Room. He seriously needed to let out some steam. 'What is wrong with me?' he thought in bemusement, 'Why should I care what Kakarrot chooses to do with her own free time? Why should I care about her at all?'

*Chapter 16*: Goku isn't Invited

Disclaimer: I don't own DB/Z/GT.

Chapter 16: Goku isn't Invited

Watching Vegeta look so perturbed and then storm out of the room like that ate away at Goku's subconscious thoughts. She couldn't allow herself to be mad at Vegeta for his reaction. After all, he seemed to be going through some odd phase where he actually wanted her. She assumed automatically that it was a lustful conquest sort of deal. She knew that was enough to make the average person angry, but somehow, she just couldn't find it in herself to be mad at the arrogant Prince.

'Vegeta…' she murmured softly. 'Why are you always so upset? You are so aggravating at times, but I know you must act that way because you're hurting inside. I must have somehow been the cause of it this time… I don't want to hurt you…'

ChiChi could not ignore the look that Goku had sent Vegeta's way. It was a troubled, confused, and worried look. It scared her. She was an intuitive person. She knew what that particular look spelled out. She could tell that Goku was beginning to actually care for Vegeta, but was it in a romantic way, or was it merely a slowly forming bond of friendship?

'Oh, Goku… I wish you could see how much I still love you," ChiChi thought, thoroughly discouraged.

Without warning, Goku began to briskly walk toward the direction Vegeta had just taken. 'Vegeta, it doesn't have to be this way! You don't have to live your life like this! You can be happy! I'll show you that you can!' Goku thought with the utmost of determination.

Just as Goku was about to depart the room, ChiChi at long last found her voice, "Goku!" she exclaimed.

Goku turned her head to glance at ChiChi. She looked bemused as if she were silently asking, "Why do you want to pay any attention to me now? You said that you wanted nothing to do with me anymore! You got your wish, so why all this attention?"

ChiChi appeared dispirited all of a sudden. Perhaps it was Goku's look that did this to her. "I know what I've done," she said quietly, too quietly. "But I really need to talk to you right now, Goku."

Goku looked like an animal trapped in a cage. She appeared restless. 'Vegeta needs me right now!' she thought frantically. 'I'm his friend, perhaps the only person who considers him a friend… he needs me!'

"Chi – " Goku muttered.

"Goku, please!" ChiChi replied, her voice cracking. She looked as if she were about to cry.

"ChiChi, it'll have to wait. I have something really important I need to do. I'll talk to you later," Goku spoke in a rushed manner.

"Okay," replied ChiChi, gazing after her former husband with a thoroughly distraught expression upon her face. 'Have I lost him for good?' she thought, tears sliding down her cheeks and dripping to the floor.

Goku need not sense for Vegeta's ki. By now, she knew all too well where Vegeta went when he wanted to let off some steam. As she approached the entrance to the gravity room chamber, she suddenly began to feel a clammy sensation. The palms of her hands were moist. Her stomach felt like it was making back-flips. 'Oh great, Goku,' she chided herself inwardly, 'Now is not the time to be getting sick!'

She turned the knob to the gravity room door slower than necessary. She couldn't seem to shake off the sudden feeling of apprehensiveness that she felt. Her whole body was on the alert. Her sharp ears caught every squeal of the door, every creak of the floorboards. She entered the gravity room, her heart palpitating in trepidation. Why were her nerves choosing to go haywire now of all times?

Vegeta had sensed Goku's approach, but he chose to stand facing the opposite direction when she entered the room. He was punching and kicking in the air. The gravity controls were already at 100 times Earth's natural gravity. He was angrier than she'd initially thought!

'Maybe this wasn't such a great idea,' Goku thought nervously.

When Vegeta finally chose to speak, his voice sounded like venom. "What do you want?"

"I – I was just thinking…" began Goku, twiddling her thumbs anxiously, "… I was thinking of how upset you are all of the time. You really don't seem like a happy person."

Vegeta whipped around in an instant and scowled deeply at Goku. "Ya' got a problem with that, Kakarrot?"

Goku frowned slightly, but otherwise, chose to ignore Vegeta's vicious reply. "I was thinking that maybe I can understand where you're coming from. I know you've had a less than glamorous life – "

"That's an understatement if I've ever heard one," replied Vegeta in a somewhat sarcastic tone of voice.

"You've had a really misfortunate life," Goku amended with a small smile, hoping to make Vegeta feel a little better. "I know you've never really had anyone who loves you or even cares about you as a friend would. Vegeta, I think that if you allowed yourself to make a friend than you'd start to become a little happier."

Vegeta raised an eyebrow. "And what exactly is that supposed to mean, pray tell?"

"I guess what I'm trying to say…" Goku paused awkwardly, shuffling her feet around on the tile flooring, "… well, I…"

"Out with it already! I don't have all day long!" hissed Vegeta.

"Well, I just wanted you to know that I'll be your friend, Vegeta," replied Goku, staring him straight in the eyes and smiling a genuinely kind smile.

Vegeta stared blankly at Goku for a split-second. He looked absolutely thunder-struck. When he finally recovered from the initial shock, his face twisted into an ugly and contorted look of disgust.

Vegeta clenched his fists angrily. "First of all," he began, noticeably restraining the rage in his voice, "I am not upset all of the time because I'm lonely or sad or I don't have a friend. This is just how I am. This attitude is who I am. So second of all, you can deduce from that information that I'm in no need of a friend. Thirdly, if I were ever brought down to such a needy level, I would never befriend the likes of you! Kakarrot, you are nothing but the dirt on my shoes! Never delude yourself into thinking that you're anything else to me!"

Goku had opened her mouth to reply to Vegeta, but she only managed to hold her mouth agape with her lips quivering. What Vegeta had just said hit a soft spot, and it did a lot of damage, more so than she was aware it could. Her brows knitted together in misunderstanding.

"Vegeta, I've thought of you as a friend for awhile," she muttered under her breath.

"I don't befriend weak half-wits like you!" Vegeta spat.

The word weak and the tone in which Vegeta implied it caused Goku's entire body to shudder. She couldn't stop the feeling of self-consciousness that overcame her. Before the wish, she'd been so sure of herself. She knew who she was, and she had known unfalteringly that she was a strong person. Now, things were different. She wasn't sure of anything anymore. She wasn't sure if she was strong anymore. Vegeta could be right, and the thought of it brought about the worst feeling Goku had ever felt in her life. What was she if she wasn't strong?

'I'm not the best father in the world, and now that I'm a woman, that makes things even worse! I failed at being the husband ChiChi needed me to be. I'm not smart. Fighting, being there for my friends and family, being strong is my only use. What am I if I'm weak? I'm nothing; I'm useless!' Goku mused.

Goku gritted her teeth and clenched her small fists at her sides, painfully aware of how unintimidating she must look to Vegeta. 'No! I am strong! It isn't true!' she thought, her body trembling with anger. 'I won't let you get to me, Vegeta!'

Vegeta suddenly became aware of the mental state Goku was in. He silently wondered how she'd become so enraged all of a sudden. She was grinding her teeth together now. She looked as if she were about to scream at him or pounce on him. She was definitely not thinking happy thoughts.

Vegeta smirkedtriumphantly. "What's the matter, Kakarrot? Did I hurt your girlish feelings?" he asked sardonically. "You know, you really shouldn't scowl at me like that. It's marring your pretty face."

Goku shut her eyes for a moment, her expression morphing into impassivity. She took a long, deep breath. She crossed her arms and reopened her eyes. She caught Vegeta off-guard by immediately flashing him a sickeningly sweet smile.

She laughed to herself liltingly and replied in a confident tone of voice, "Alright Vegeta, you just keep telling yourself that if it makes you feel more secure, but my ears are deaf to your juvenile insults."

'Since when did Kakarrot learn to make comebacks?' Vegeta dropped his smirk and sneered at her contemptuously, "Stop fabricating ideas about me, Kakarrot! I am not sad, lonely, or insecure!"

"Fine, Vegeta, whatever you say," Goku replied with a dismissive wave of her hand.

"Yes, now leave me alone!"

Goku smiled. "I'll leave you alone if you answer a question, just one question."

"Make it quick!"

"Well, I was just wondering, do you ever see yourself settling down and having a family here?" Goku asked.

Vegeta visibly recoiled with shock, "N – no!" he sputtered out without thinking it through. "I mean, isn't it obvious? I would never stoop myself as low as to mating with a worthless Earthling!"

"Don't throw a tizzy or anything, you've made it clear that you don't want any friends, but don't you want someone to love? Don't you want to obtain a partner to spend the rest of your life with?" questioned Goku.

Vegeta frowned slightly. He suddenly felt extremely ill at ease. "Well, to mate with a human wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for having to…"

"Having to what?" asked Goku.

"… having to be careful with them. I would never be content sexually. I don't want to feel like I'm having sex with a porcelain doll," Vegeta explained, his face turning red out of embarrassment.

"Oh, it's not so bad, Vegeta! I totally get where you're coming from, but once you get used to it, it isn't so bad. I think you should see for yourself though!" replied Goku, completely at ease.

"No, Kakarrot, if I can't have a Saiyan woman, nothing else will suffice," Vegeta replied curtly.

Goku frowned, "But then you'll have to be alone your entire life! We're the only two Saiyans left."

Vegeta's expression turned even more morbid than ever. "Get out of here, Kakarrot," he spoke sharply.


"I've given you your answer! Now leave!" Vegeta nearly yelled.

Goku suddenly felt the need to rebel against Vegeta. "Make me!" she countered.

Vegeta was taken aback from such behavior coming from Goku of all people. Vegeta crossed his arms in annoyance. 'Kami, Kakarrot is becoming more and more like a woman every day!' he thought. 'I think some of ChiChi's spunk has rubbed off on her as well.'

"Well, Vegeta, what are you going to do about it?" Goku challenged, already preparing to give herself a congratulatory pat on the back for acquiring a well-deserved victory.

Vegeta's former annoyed expression morphed into a look of amusement. "If there's anything that I've learned from this mudball of a planet, it's that it is disrespectful to hit a female. They're so fragile and defenseless that it would be shameful to try and pick a fight with them. Tell me, Kakarrot, why should I bend the rules for you? You're no different than the rest of them."

"Vegeta, you know perfectly well that I'm not really a girl! Even so, girls aren't weak anyway! That's just a stereotype!" Goku defended.

"I beg to differ," replied Vegeta offhandedly, whilst making a point of looking Goku up and down and commenting, "But you're right about one thing, you aren't a girl, you're a woman."

Goku's face flushed, "Y – You're impossible!" she exclaimed.

Vegeta couldn't help but chuckle at hearing this statement, "See, you even act like a woman. Bulma says the same thing all of the time."

If glares could kill, Vegeta would have been worm food 10 feet under by now. Now he'd done it! He'd really insulted Goku this time! At this point, he should have been taking Goku seriously. She was really pissed! But, being the grade-A jackass that Vegeta naturally is, he felt this was a smashing opportunity to begin a fit of laughter.

"Stop laughing at me, Vegeta! It isn't funny at all!" Goku spoke, unable to control the rising pitch in her voice.

Vegeta continued to laugh, the blood rushing to his face. He managed to stifle his laughter for a moment so that he could demand mockingly, "Make me!"

An angry guttural sound escaped Goku's parted lips. "Stop making fun of me, Vegeta!" she yelled. How would you like it if you got stuck in the predicament I'm in?"

Vegeta hooted, crouching down and grabbing at his aching stomach, "Stop it, Kakarrot, ha-ha, you win!"

"Maybe I won't wish myself back to normal when the Dragonballs restore themselves. Maybe I'll wish for you to be made into a woman! Maybe then I'll be able to understand what's so Kami-damn funny!" with this stated, Goku swiftly retreated from the room, purposely slamming the door behind her.

When Vegeta finally calmed down, he sat on the floor and reflected on what had just happened. He wasn't at all concerned that he'd hurt Goku's feelings. After all, he'd needed to let out his pent up frustrations on someone, and naturally since she was the cause of it, it felt so much better when he unloaded it on her. 'Besides,' he thought, 'she'll be over it in 15 minutes anyway.'

Vegeta starred off into space for awhile. 'I haven't laughed like that in a long time…' he mused. 'Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever had a good laugh like that.'

Vegeta couldn't deny it; there was something special about this 'changed' Goku that made him actually feel sort of good. He really enjoyed making her angry. He liked having the power to do that. The male Goku was so relaxed all of the time; you'd have to kill his best friend to get him to hate you. In Freeza's case, even then Goku was willing to give him a second chance! He was willing to forgive him!

Vegeta frowned. 'There's a fine line between leniency and stupidity that the male Kakarrot couldn't understand. But Kakarrot is different now. She has a temper now. Even Kakarrot isn't immune to female Saiyan emotions. I'd be willing to bet, that if she had to make the decision to kill Freeza, she would have done it in a heartbeat.'

'She has so many different qualities than him, though at the same time, she's still so similar to him. Somehow, despite that, I'm attracted to her.' Vegeta furrowed his eyebrows together in frustration, 'If I don't break this, and soon, it's going to pose as a serious problem for me! How can she just stand there and obliviously suggest that I mate a human? Human females can be attractive, but to me, they don't hold a candle to any Saiyan female! As if that's not enough, Kakarrot just so happens to be a painfully attractive Saiyan female! It's as if Kami is playing a joke on me!'

'I try to ignore her, but everywhere I go, I see her! It's like she's teasing me! I should be happy. I got what I wished for. Kakarrot is weaker than I am. That's all that I really needed. Though, why isn't that enough anymore? That should be all that I need! I've regained my honor as the strongest Saiyan. I've achieved my birthright. I've become a Super Saiyan. For years, I've dreamt of being the strongest. Why isn't that enough? Becoming the strongest was my only

purpose in life! Now that I have attained it, why do I yearn for more? Why must I have her as well?"

Meanwhile, Goku returned to the foyer to confront ChiChi, but to her surprise she felt ChiChi's ki fade away before she arrived. 'Why did she leave all of a sudden? Is she hiding from me? Is she mad at me? Who am I kidding? Of course she's mad at me! She hates me now!'

Bulma was still in the same spot. She crossed her arms as Goku walked through the doorway and into the room. "What was that all about Goku? ChiChi really wanted to talk to you. She had something important to say and you just stiffed her for nothing! I'm really ashamed of you, Goku!"

"I'm sorry; I had to talk to Vegeta. He's in a worse mood than usual. Besides, whatever ChiChi has to say is probably just going to be another insult. I don't think I can take anymore of those!

Bulma smiled and gave Goku a hug. "It's okay, but just so you know, I'm positive ChiChi came over to apologize."

Goku was quiet for a moment. She appeared shocked. She found herself at a loss for words. 'What do I do if ChiChi forgives me? I guess I can move back home, and wait a year for the Dragonballs to restore, but what if she decides that she hates me again? If she really has forgiven me, why didn't she stay and wait to talk to me? Why did she leave when she sensed me coming?'

"Goku, don't stress yourself out about it right now." Bulma rubbed Goku's back tenderly before parting the friendly hug.

"I'll try," Goku murmured.

"But you still should have at least given ChiChi the time of day," Bulma pointed out.

"I know," replied Goku.

"Well, I can't blame you completely; I suppose this is partly my fault. I'm sorry for telling Koshin that... well... you know," admitted Bulma, blushing slightly out of embarrassment.

"It's okay, Bulma. Believe it or not, I know why you did that," replied Goku, taking Bulma by surprise.

"What do you mean?" inquired Bulma curiously, but not in the least bit worried.

"You like Vegeta, and you just wanted me to stay away from him, and vice-versa. Well, you don't have to worry about that, Bulma. There's no way I'd ever feel that way about Vegeta, or the other way around," said Goku sternly, walking out of the room without awaiting a response from a thoroughly baffled Bulma.

'How did she... know?' thought Bulma. 'I'd expect her to be the last person to figure that out, not the first. Is it that obvious? I really have to be more careful!'

"When are we going to leave this place? I'm sick of it! Also, I absolutely abhor the clothing Gero gave us! It's as if he's expecting us to be in the traveling circus or something!" complained an irritated young woman. She was slim, of average height and had cascading locks of shoulder-length blonde hair. Her eyes were a penetrating shade of icy blue.

She was dressed in some odd sort of attire, consisting of: a black shirt with a blue vest over the top with black and white sleeves hanging down her arms underneath the vest. She had a blue skirt to match the vest, with black spandex leggings, and bright orange boots to finish off the look.

"Quit complaining, 18. It isn't the end of the world," replied a handsome young man. He looked very similar to her, only he had black hair and more masculine features. His eyes were the same piercing shade of blue. He looked like he was wearing some sort of unfashionable cowboy outfit.

He frowned, "Wait a minute, I sense someone outside. Scratch that, it's a group of people," he muttered.

18 glanced about the place, surveying her home of sorts. They were occupying a laboratory of some kind. There were control panels everywhere. Eerie tanks of green fluid were placed in lines against a wall. There were gadgets of scientific importance strewn everywhere.

"So?" she finally replied, "Why does that mean we have to stay in here?"

"Be patient, 18. Before we go anywhere, I want to take out Android 16 to help us locate the one known as Goku," the young man answered.

18 smirked at the young man and then glanced at an object on the floor. There was a head lying on the ground. It was Dr. Gero's head. His body was nowhere to be found. 18 smiled more broadly and kicked the head against the wall. Though, it didn't take long for her expression to return to that of boredom.

"Brother," she began, "I don't see the need for looking for Goku any longer. We've killed Gero. Don't you see that nothing is holding us back anymore? We're free at last!"

"Yes, I'm aware that I've decapitated the old coot, but..." 17 paused for a moment, he looked lost in thought, "… this Goku he's always spoken of, she must be extremely strong to get that much attention from Gero. I want to kill her. It will be fun!"

18 sighed, "Whatever, 17, just make sure we stop by a clothing store on the way there. I can't stand to wear this hideous outfit anymore!"

17 rolled his eyes, but nodded nonetheless.

Piccolo, Tien, Yamcha, and Krillin touched down on the ground at last. Before them stood an enormous metal barricade of double-doors. The ominous Red Ribbon Army logo was painted in the center.

"So, do you guys think that this is it, the real thing? I mean, it could be a trap," commented Krillin nervously.

"I'm positive," Piccolo confirmed.

Yamcha gulped loudly. "You guys, is this really such a good idea? Goku was nearly killed by an android, and Vegeta was left completely drained. We don't know what's in there. There could be an army of those androids waiting for us! Really, you guys, what can we do?"

Tien frowned, "Well, when you put it that way, it does seem as if we're no match."

"I say we hightail it outta here, go get Goku and Vegeta first, and then return with the extra man-power. Besides, I'm sure they'd both be disappointed anyway if we just up and left them out in the cold about this," Krillin commented, attempting to persuade the Z-fighters to chicken out.

'As much as it pains me to admit it, the humans have a point,' thought Piccolo. 'Both Goku and Vegeta fought as Super Saiyans. If Vegeta hadn't tricked Gero, he would have been done for. As of right now, none of us stand a chance. We need to get stronger!'

"Fine," Piccolo replied, giving in to the other's persuasion.

Vegeta decided that he should take a quick break from his training. He wiped off the sweat he had accumulated on his brow-line with his forearm, and debated whether to take a shower then eat, or eat then commence his training yet again. Before Vegeta had a chance to make his decision, he ran head-long into Piccolo, Yamcha, Tien, and Krillin.

"What do you want?" he demanded, crossing his arms in irritation.

"We've located Gero's hideout," stated Piccolo, mimicking Vegeta's actions.

Vegeta smirked, "Good, my meal can wait." With that said, Vegeta immediately headed toward the front entrance to leave.

"Vegeta, wait!" exclaimed Krillin, "What about Goku, I'm sure she'd want to come too!"

Vegeta paused his stride and swiftly turned to face Krillin. Krillin had his fists clenched in anxious determination. Yamcha and Tien were simultaneously nodding their heads in concurrence. Piccolo's appearance was unreadable.

"She's not coming," replied Vegeta rather bluntly.

"Why not?" asked Yamcha, quirking an eyebrow in confusion.

"Because she would only get in my way!" Vegeta replied with an annoyed tone of voice.

"Not anymore than us," countered Tien, he looked suspicious now.

"I didn't ask you to come either," came Vegeta's stressed reply.

"So? We're still coming anyway. So why can't Goku come as well?" argued Krillin.

"I don't care if you all want to tag along. Don't expect me to protect you. But if Kakarrot is told one word of this exploit I will make each and every one of you experience so much unbearable pain, you will wish you were never born!" warned Vegeta, his expression dead-serious.

"Wha – " began Krillin, being swiftly cut-off by a cautionary glare being sent by Piccolo.

"Then she won't come," Piccolo replied.

*Chapter 17*: More Androids?

Disclaimer: I don't own DB/Z/GT.

Chapter 17: More Androids?

17 watched his companion's eyes roaming the laboratory with curiosity. She poked and prodded at various items, and she curiously examined many of Dr. Gero's experiments. She was so distracted by her curiosity that she failed to acknowledge 17's sigh of boredom. She instead chose to approach a large metallic box that had caught her sight when it glinted in her peripheral vision. It had the number 16 written on it. She automatically concluded what the number represented without even having to look inside the box, but she took her time gazing at it thoughtfully before she made a move to examine its contents.

"Hmm... that's odd," 17 murmured to himself. He approached 18 and continued: "That group of people near us has taken their leave rather quickly."

18 ignored her companion and peered at a bubble shaped looking-glass at the top of android 16's encasement and commented, "He sure isn't a looker."

"Does that really even matter so long as he can inflict damage on those that we wish to harm?" 17 retorted. "Just open up the box and activate him already. I know you want to."

18 sighed for a moment. She seemed unsure as to whether she wanted to wake the android up. After her moment of pause she made her decision. "Fine, let's meet our new friend," she joked.

She pressed a button that opened the hatch of the box 16 was occupying. A messy red patch of hair rose above the opening, quickly followed by a stony face with icy blue eyes that penetrated even the inanimate objects that surrounded him. As he moved into a sitting position, his muscular chest and beefy arms were revealed. He was equipped with an odd green and black suit armor which was adorned with the Red Ribbon Army logo. He stood up mechanically and did not move afterward.

Android 17 sized him up, crossed his arms, and smirked. "Good morning, sunshine," he said. "It must feel damn good to get out of that coffin. How long have you been cooped up in that thing anyway?"

Android 16 continued to stand stock-still. He appeared as if he were in a peculiar sort of trance. He didn't acknowledge that his fellow android had even spoken.

Android 17 frowned at 16 and commanded, "Come on, speak! Did Dr. Gero not give you a voice box or something?"

18's gaze moved from her annoyed brother to android 16's solemn, stony face. She felt something. She wasn't sure what it was. Her expresion was deadpan and her tone of voice impersonal as she asked, "Don't you have anything to say?"

"Hello, anyone in there?" questioned 17, waving his arms dramatically in front of 16's immobile form. He waited a moment and shrugged it off. "I guess you're the strong silent type, eh? Well, nevermind you, let's go, 18."

"Where to?"

"To complete our mission. Are you with me, 18?" he asked.

18 nodded slightly in affirmation.

"16, Gero programmed you to destroy Goku, did he not?" asked 17.

"That is correct," 16 replied, finally breaking his long silence and turning toward android 17 and 18.

"Well I'll be..." mumbled 17, "so the big guy can speak after all.

"Dr. Gero must have programmed him to react only to commands related to his main objective," suggested 18 intuitively.

"I didn't think that the Doctor was that smart, but let's see if 16 can carry out his objective: find Goku and destroy her," stated 17.

18 nodded in agreement.

"Well, let's go then," announced 17, blasting open the metal double-door entrance that led into Gero's lair with only one measly wave of his arm. As if on cue, all three androids hovered off of the ground simultaneously and flew out of Gero's laboratory.

"It feels great to be out of there, now doesn't it, brother?" said 18, twisting her body in the air, allowing herself to feel the cool breeze wisping through her blonde locks.

"Yes, yes it does..." agreed 17, glancing behind at 16, who was trailing them with a solemn, unreadable face.

Meanwhile, Piccolo led the other Z-Warriors toward the sight where they had found Gero's lair earlier that day. Upon approaching the entrance area, he squinted his eyes, and saw that the doors that led into the cave-like structure had been blown off. His eyes caught sight of three objects gliding through the air at a quick pace. He jerked to a stop and took on a defensive stance. The objects were headed straight toward them and the closer they got, the more they looked like people. 'More androids?' he thought.

"Looks like we've got company," he muttered aloud. "Though, by the looks of it, it isn't Gero."

Vegeta a flew a few feet in front of the others, taking the lead. Meanwhile, the mysterious people came to a stop in front of him. He glared them down. 'They look like a bunch of circus clowns!' he thought irritatedly. 'This better not be a waste of my time!'

Vegeta crossed his arms and demanded, "Who are you?"

17 smiled an innocent little grin. "Who? Us?"

"Yes, you. Who else would I be talking to? A rock?" Vegeta retorted impatiently

"My, my... someone's testy, isn't he?" 17 responded mockingly.

"I said, who are you? I will not repeat myself again!" spat Vegeta.

17's eyes narrowed as he replied, "Fine." He paused to take a quick looksy over Vegeta's companions before diverting his attention back to the subject. "If you really must know. I am android 17. The girl beside me is my sister, 18, and the hulk of a mand behind me is android 16."

"M-more androids!" Krillin yelped in surprise. He couldn't help saying it. It just came flying out of his mouth.

"Hmm? Is there something wrong with that?" asked 18 with a quirked eyebrow.

Krillin took one look at the beautiful android before him, blushed, and stuttered, "Well, y - y - ya see... I... uh... um..."

"Yes, there's a problem!" shouted Yamcha. "You're one of Gero's disgusting creations!"

"And so what if we are?" questioned 17. "Do you dare offend us anymore?" he challenged.

"What? You're daring us?" Vegeta said with a cocky smirk. "Ha-ha... Why? You should be the one running. I'm the most powerful being on this planet, and your not welcome here! I'm going to put you back into the crate you crawled out of!"

17 and 18 exchanged glances and began laughing at Vegeta in perfect unison.

"You dare to laugh at me?" Vegeta shouted, clenching his fists angrily. "Why are you fools laughing? This is not a joke!"

"Tell me, are all of you Saiyans so full of yourselves? Is Goku like you? Is this the way you try to hide your incompetence? We androids will always be superior to your kind," android 17 stated as if it was a matter of fact.

Vegeta's face turned red with rage. "You take that back! You'll regret saying that! You're nothing more than a machine made of tin! You're just a bunch of toys made by a crazy old man, and don't forget that tin toys can be broken!"

Android 18 crossed her arms in annoyance and mumbled, "He talks too much."

Vegeta was now thoroughly agitated. "What? What was that?" he hissed.

"16, let's see what you can do. Destroy him," commanded 18.

"I refuse," came 16's monotone reply.

17's jaw dropped slightly. "What?"

"So... the big guy's not as dumb as you two are, is he?" Vegeta taunted. "Now, stop messing around. Who's it going to be?"

The androids ignored Vegeta. "He refuses, who does he think he is?" questioned 17 in annoyance.

"Never mind him," replied 18, calmly striding toward Vegeta. "I'll handle this. Ready, little man?" she mocked, while casually brushing a couple strands of hair away from her forehead.

"So, it's ladies first, is it? Well, that's fine with me! Now don't expect me to go easy on you. I fight to win!" replied Vegeta with a grin.

*Chapter 18*: Deadly Beauty

Disclaimer: I don't own DB/Z/GT.

Chapter 18: Deadly Beauty

Piccolo couldn't believe what he was seeing. 'Just how stupid are you, Vegeta?' he thought with his arms crossed in consternation. "Vegeta, are you sure this is such a wise decision? Remember how much it took out of you when you fought android 19 alone? What makes you think these ones will be any easier?"

"Honestly, Namek, if you're trying to suggest that I get any of your help, then forget about it. I will fight her alone. No-one is to join in, understand?" questioned Vegeta, raising an eyebrow at Piccolo.

"Whatever you wish, Vegeta. I just wanted you to reconsider the possible consequences," stated Piccolo. 'Your arrogance will be the death of you,' he thought.

18 let out a drawn-out sigh of boredom. "C'mon people, let's get this started already."

"No problem," muttered Vegeta, smirking, and launching himself at her like a rocket.

The two clashed together. Vegeta immediately went on the offensive, eager to teach the android a lesson. 'Nobody patronizes me and gets away with it!' he thought. He was so certain of his superiority that he didn't notice that 18 wasn't even trying. He was seeing what he wanted to see. He wasn't oblivious for much longer. 18 had finally had enough, and she began to to quicken her pace. Vegeta started to have difficulty with keeping up with her. He barely blocked a well-aimed punch in time. He blocked the blow with his arms and flinched from the unsuspecting pain that shot up his limbs when she made contact. None of her blows had been hard like that moments ago. 'That actually hurt!' he thought in total shock. 'I better kick it up a notch.'

Vegeta retreated a short distance away from 18, and he clenched his fists and let out a shrill cry. Ki sparked up around his body. Rocks levitated in the air. The ground beneath his feet crumbled. He screamed louder and his hair began to flash from ebony to gold. His eyes became the color of the sea, and his muscle mass grew to gigantic proportions.

When Vegeta was finished powering up, he smirked at 18 and said, "Cherish this moment. Burn it into your memory forever. You are now looking at the strongest man in the universe!"

When the duo clashed again, it seemed at first as if Vegeta had gained the upper hand with his new and improved strength and agility. Little did he know, 18 was still holding back a large amount of her own power. How could he know? 18 was just taking his hits. He punched her in the face numerous times, kneed her in the stomach so hard it would make any normal person lurch up their lunch and possibly a few organs as well. He kicked her into a cliff and it crumbled upon contact. Large boulders rained down upon the onlookers. 18 levitated for a moment in mid-air. Her head was drooping with her hair hiding her face. Her whole body was slumped over as if she couldn't hold herself up straight any longer.

"What's wrong, android? Did a screw come lose? Or... perhaps one of your springs has busted?" Vegeta taunted.

18 suddenly popped her head up and held her body completely erect. She had a smile on her face. That smile made Vegeta angry. He had just pulverized her. How could she be smiling? She crossed her arms and rolled her eyes at him. "Stop gloating. It's unbecoming of you. Besides, does it really look like you've injured me? For your sake, I hope you can do better than that!"

17 raised an eyebrow at Vegeta. "I suppose the Doctor got his information wrong. You're much stronger than we had initially thought. Regardless, I doubt you will win."

"Ha!" Vegeta laughed. "I must admit, for somone made of metal, you move pretty damn fast! If you surrender now, I promise I'll recycle you, and have you made into something a little more practical... like a toaster, or perhaps a washing machine?"

"What an annoying little man," 18 muttered. She smiled to herself and flew off.

'Where does she think she's going?' thought Vegeta, quickly trailing behind her.

'This isn't good,' thought Piccolo. 'That android has something up her sleeve. She'd probably leading Vegeta into a trap. Why does he have to be so stubborn and arrogant?'

Meanwhile, at the Brief's house Goku had finally caught on to the confrontation that was going on without her. She had been training. She'd been training even more lately and she was upholding a very rigorous regimen. She wouldn't admit it, but she was doing this because of Vegeta. He had hurt her pride. She had a bit of that Saiyan pride in her as well. She was in the gravity chamber whenever it was empty. Initially, she'd thought herself lucky that Vegeta wasn't occupying it. She'd jumped at the opportunity to use it. She couldn't use it with him in it anymore because it would be awkward after their little spat.

She realized that it wasn't luck when she felt Vegeta's ki spark. He was pretty far away. She automatically knew something was going on. She was angry with herself for spending so much time thinking about him and monitoring her ki. She knew that it was time to quit that. She couldn't ignore it though. She noticed that his ki was fluctuating as if her were fighting someone. Then she couldn't withold her surmounting worry when she realized that her friends were all there with him. That's when she realized that there was a fight going on between Vegeta and the androids. Everyone knew about it except her. They had just up and left her behind!

'How could they leave me behind like that? This has to be Vegeta's doing! Why didn't he let them tell me what was going on?' Goku thought in confusion. 'Ugh! I bet it's because he wants to fight them all by himself, and he thinks that I'm so weak that I'll get in the way! Why does he have to be such a prick about it? Well, I'll show him!'

Goku was about to take off and join the fight to show Vegeta what she was made of but she paused. 'Why do I let him get to me like this? I don't want to be like him! I'm being so nasty about it! I don't want to be thought of as a mean person like everyone thinks he is. I don't have to prove anything to him. I'm just going to go in case they need some help. I will not let him get to me anymore!'

A middle-aged farmer sat down on a fence outside his barn looking exhausted, and quite bored. He scratched at his beard and talked to himself in a thick southern-like accent, "Aw nuts, nothing ever happens around here! I'm so dang bored!"

At this precise moment, he noticed two people coming toward him flying through the air like they were more competent at it than birds. 'Dagnabbit, the old lady warned me about drinkin' so much whiskey,' he thought. 'says it's the devil's drink, and I didn't believe 'er. I should probably go catch some winks on top of that there hay over there...'

"That's it!" shouted Vegeta angrily. He threw an enormous ki blast at 18 and it missed. Instead it went careening toward someone else and ended up frying the farmer instead.

"Ugh..." the farmer groaned through charred lips. "Mama was right, I shoulda stayed in dental school," he muttered, blowing a puff of smoke out of his mouth.

Vegeta ignored the damage that he'd mistakenly inflicted upon the innocent bystander. He continued in hot pursuit of 18. They flew overhead a truck on the highway. The man in the passenger seat was gazing out the window in boredom and was thunderstruck by what he saw. 18 landed atop the truck and Vegeta mimicked her.

"You're not going to believe this, but there's a person standing on top of the truck at this very moment!" the passenger said with his mouth open wide in astonishment.

"Yeah, right, I think you've been on the road too long, buddy," replied the driver, laughing a bit.

Vegeta landed on the roof of the truck with a loud thunk, startling the driver inside. If he were listening, he may have heard cursing and an "I told you so," coming from inside the cab.

"What's wrong 18, can't you fly? Are your batteries running low?" Vegeta taunted with a smirk.

A sedan caught up to the truck and rode up on its back-bumper. The driver of the car raised his fist out the window and shook it, shouting, "Go the speed limit or get off the damn road!"

Vegeta noticed that 18's attention was momentarily diverted by the enraged driver of the car behind them. Vegeta laughed and shoved 18 onto the hood of the sedan. He threw a ki blast at her, but she dodged it and took to the skies again. He ignored the scream of the man in the car. He didn't care to look back and watch the car hood begin to smoke. He didn't see the car swerve and fly off of the road. Vegeta was beginning to get perturbed now. He could tell that she was just going to lead him back to their original location. He hated pointless ventures.

17 quirked an eyebrow upon 18's and Vegeta's impending arrival. "Look, they've come back," he stated dully.

18 touched down lightly on the ground and laughed. "Did you enjoy the ride?" she asked playfully.

"Your warranty ran out with me a long time ago. So you're going to be recycled," Vegeta stated plainly, crossing his arms in irritation. "Now be good, and stay still. I'm going to wipe that smirk off that pretty little face of yours. You've laughed at me for the last time, android!"

18 turned around at 17. She pointed at Vegeta. "Ha! Brother, did you hear that? He says that he's going to recycle me! He still thinks he actually stands a chance!"

Vegeta seethed. "Shut up you arrogant hunk of scrap-metal!"

18 placed her hands on her hips. "Go on, Saiyan. Throw all of the insults you can muster at me. In the end, it won't matter. Sooner or later, you're going to have to face the fact that I'm a lot stronger than you'll ever be!"

"I doubt it! You're so weak, I won't even have to break a sweat!" Vegeta countered instantly.

"For your information, I've been taking it easy on you," 18 replied earnestly. "I know how fragile you fleshy meat-bags can be."

"Oh really?" Vegeta challenged, "I would like to see you try and back up your accusations!"

"Alrighty then," 18 replied with a smile. "Don't say I didn't warn you!"

With that said, 18 didn't waste anymore time dilly-dallying around. She launched herself at Vegeta like rocket, and her first punch made contact against Vegeta's unsuspecting face with a sickening thud. She then kicked her leg up at an inhuman speed, and she smashed her foot into his side. He hadn't even seen her second assault coming. From then on, she continued to ruthlessly beat the bloody pulp out of him while Vegeta could only wonder in awe how she could have possibly become so much stronger in such a miniscule amount of time.

"Tell me, Vegeta, I'm genuinely curious. What is it like to feel this kind of pain?" she questioned. She promptly delivered her point by kneeing him in the gut and effortlessly backhanding him into a rocky precipice.

Vegeta grunted when his body made impact with the harsh rocky exterior of the cliff. He bounced off of it like a rubber ball, and gravity slammed his body into the dusty ground like a sack of bricks. 18 raised a hand to her mouth and snickered. She calmed herself down and feigned a surprised gasp. "Oh no, was I being to rough on the strong, mighty, Saiyan warrior?"

Vegeta didn't reply. He was still on the ground. Off to the side, Krillin fought the sudden urge to help him. He didn't particularly like Vegeta. He never had. He still wondered sometimes whether Goku's idea of giving Vegeta mercy when he'd first come to Earth was even worth it. He was ruthless. He didn't care about anything but the thrill of fighting. He would do anything to become the strongest. He didn't give a flying rat's ass if he killed anyone in the process of getting what he wanted. Still, Krillin couldn't help but feel a small, tidbit of pity for the man. Afterall, he'd just gotten the life beaten out of him!

"Are you alright, Vegeta?" Krillin asked nervously, against his better judgement.

Vegeta's voice was muffled by the gravel beneath his face, but it didn't drown out his harsh tone. "Of course I am you idiot!" He pulled himself up onto his knees first and then struggled slightly to get to his feet. He spat out a mixture of saliva and blood onto the ground. He glared at Krillin. "I'm not weak like the likes of you! I'm on a totally different level! I haven't even gotten started yet!"

With that said, he let out a roaring yell. His aura lit up and his ki fluctuated and pulsated around his body like a beating heart. He screamed at the top of his lungs and the very earth surrounding him shuddered like a frightened puppy. Rocks began to levitate mid-air and then they would suddenly break apart and crumble into little pieces. Eventually, it seemed as if there was a sandstorm surrounding Vegeta.

Yamcha wiped the nervous sweat off of his brow wit his forearm. "Thank Kami he's alright!" he muttered in relief.

"Of course I am! I was just going easy on her!" Vegeta announced, wiping a streak of blood off of his cracked bottom lip.

"Maybe we should leave anyway you guys. I've got a really bad feeling about this! We could come back later with Goku," Krillin suggested. He was pulling out the Earth's trump card. If anyone could save them, Goku could. So what if it seemed Vegeta was the strongest of them now. There was something really special about Goku that only Krillin himself felt he could understand completely. He was Goku's best friend after all! He was starting to feel really down on himself for allowing Vegeta to get his way in the first place. He should have never agreed to leave Goku out of this! He felt like a traiter!

"Are you kidding me? Run away? I'm staying!" declared Vegeta angrily. Running away was for cowards, and Vegeta was no coward! By now, he could tell that his chances of defeating 18 were extremely slim, and when you fit 17 and that other oaf, 16, into the picture, the odds were pretty much zilch.

"You know Vegeta, it would do you good to listen to your friend," 18 suggested. "After all, he'll be the one who will end up cleaning your dead carcass off of the highway when I'm finished with you. Oh! Wait, I know, you're part monkey or something, right? Nevermind, he can just call animal control!"

Vegeta growled, but he chose to let her petty insult slip past him. "Are you kidding me? You want me to leave now, just as we're getting to know each other? This is a chance in a lifetime for you. I am the strongest fighter on this planet. I don't need the help of any of these pathetic Earthlings that just happened to tag along! I don't need the help of the Namek, and I especially don't need any help from Kakarrot either! I fight alone because I am a true Saiyan warrior. I am the legendary Super Saiyan! I am the most powerful being in the universe! I fear no-one, especially not the likes of you! You are no more of an inconvenience than a small pebble inside my shoe!"

17 chuckled and clapped his hands, "Bravo, bravo. I offer a round of applause for the silly, little Saiyan! What a truly beautiful speech that was! I can now see that you are a true Prince, Vegeta. You certainly obtain the arrogance of a Prince. But like all royalty, your self-worth is inflated. You are nothing but a sad, little man."

Vegeta glared at 17. "Stay out of this!" he hissed. "I'll deal with you when I'm finished with her!"

"Well, I'd hate to deny you the opportunity to test your strength against 18, so, I'll make a deal with you. I'm willing to stand by and let you fight, but as long as you fight alone. If any of your friends help you out, I'll have to step in," 17 explained casually.

"You wouldn't have to worry about this group, they're a bunch of cowards. They would never risk their lives to save me," Vegeta replied, silently wondering why 17 felt the need to cut that deal with him. Surely he'd realized that 18 clearly had the upper hand, didn't he? Or was 18 only feigning heightened strength? Was she about to be drained of all of her energy soon? Vegeta could only wonder at what this truly meant.

"So you agree?" 17 asked.

"Yes," answered Vegeta, "I agree."

"Then shall we continue?" 18 prodded impatiently.

"Bring it on!" Vegeta challenged.

"As you wish,"18 replied, being the first to attack once again.

Vegeta managed to block her this time, and he decided to quit his job at solely being on the defensive. He was getting sick of it. Vegeta drove himself further and further. He had to become faster and stronger so that he could pound the artificial life out of 18. His mind was truly in the fight this time. He was in it to win it. If he lost, he would die, and that would be unforgivable! He managed to hit her quite a few more times than the last, and for awhile, he seemed to have gained the upper hand in the status of the fight. Though Sometimes, looks can be decieving. Vegeta was getting exhausted very quickly, and androids don't tire unless they are critically injured.

As Vegeta dodged another one of her punches, he retaliated by kicking her in the abdomen. She crippled over and he took advantage of the moment by quickly thrusting his elbow into her kneck. She went fly toward the ground and the impact created a rather large crater.

"What's that matter? Am I too strong for you? I was hoping for a more challenging fight," Vegeta mocked delightedly, his arrogance quickly returning with the healing of his ego.

"Looks can be decieving, little man. I have to admit. You fight pretty well, but you can't stack up against me. I'm just tooling with you, Saiyan," she retorted.

"Put your money where your mouth is!" he shot back angrily.

The two began to fight it out again. It was difficult to see who was at the advantage. The Z-fighters watched on in awe.

"Wow, what's going on you guys? I can't see a thing!" Krillin exclaimed.

"Vegeta's on the offensive," answered Piccolo, who could seemingly keep up with the two fighters.

"I never knew Vegeta was that fast and strong!" Yamcha commented, recieving a nod from both Krillin and Tien.

'There's just no way Vegeta can carry on fighting at this intensity!' thought Piccolo intuitively. "He can't win. He's done for," he muttered aloud, recieving a handful of speculative looks from the others.

"Let me explain, she's making him burn up all of his energy. Once she has accomplished that, then she's going to attack him when he's at his weakest. Every move he makes against her is taking its toll. Vegeta is losing strength rapidly, while android 18's power hasn't fluctuated in the least. If we plan on destroying these things, we have to inflict lasting damage. It's difficult to wear them down. Dr. Gero really was ingenious!"

"Damn-it!" Yamcha hissed.

"Are you positive?" Tien asked.

Piccolo nodded his head resolutely.

'I wish Goku were here, she'd know what to do!' Krillin thought despairingly.

As if on cue, within minutes of Krillin's wish, Goku flew into view of the fight scene. Moments later, she touched down on the ground near Vegeta. Goku gasped as she noticed how battered up and bloody Vegeta was. Her former anger toward him instantly melted away. She reached out her hand toward him. She ignored the fact that it was trembling. "Oh no! Vegeta!" was all she could muster to say for the time being.

Vegeta glanced around at the new arrival. His face contorted instantly with rage. 'Damn her!' he thought. He didn't know if he was angry because she was trying to help him. He didn't know if he was angry because she was going to try and steal his battle. He didn't know if he was angry because she had come when he had planned so thoroughly to keep her away.

"Stay back, Kakarrot!" he snapped.

Goku had been rushing forward to help him, but upon his shouting, she froze on the spot. "B - but... you're hurt!" she stammered. 'Just what the hell is he thinking?' she thought. 'Why does he always have to let his pride get in the way of his safety?'

"What does that matter?" he hissed, shaking his blood-drenched fist at her furiously. "This is my fight, Kakarrot, so stay out of my way!"

Goku's eyebrows furrowed together in a mixture of worry and confusion. 'I guess I can understand why he's being so insistent about fighting alone. I should have respect for that. I would be doing the same thing...'

Goku decided that it would be best if she listened to Vegeta. "I'll keep out of the way," she muttered, staring at the ground in somewhat dissapointment. She had been hoping to help fight the androids. After all, it was her fault they were here, wasn't it? Didn't Dr. Gero create the androids with the sole purpose of killing her for vengeance? 'I wish I got to fight...' she thought. She felt she needed to redeem herself from her previous gaffe.

She decided to stop moping. She glanced back up to watch Vegeta's fight, but she was shocked to instead see a boot come flying at her face at lighting speed. "Huh?" was all she managed to get in edgewise. The foot made contact with her face with such force that it sent her careening into a small cliff. Upon impact, the earth instantly split and crumbled. Her momentum forced her onward into another larger rocky precipice and she was instantly lodged into it.

Android 16 was standing where Goku had stood only moments earlier. A litter of gasps echoed across the scenery. Android 16 spoke with a deadpan expression and a cold, robotic voice, "Your time to die is now, Son Goku."

*Chapter 19*: Baby on Board?

Disclaimer: I don't own DB/Z/GT.

Chapter 19: Baby on Board?

Goku groaned and her eyelids fluttered open slowly. Android 16 may have had a lower number on the android list, but that definitely didn't affect his overall strength. The pain she had felt upon impact was excruciating. She had been completely taken by surprise, and so, she hadn't had any time whatsoever to block or break her hit. As the seconds ticked away, the bursts of pain eased away into a numb feeling. Upon instinct, Goku immediately heightened her senses to to her maximum to prevent any more surprise attacks. She used her calves' and forearms' muscles to dislodge herself from the small mountain she had been wedged into.

She hovered in front of the Goku-shaped indent mark her body had created. She twisted her sore neck and cracked her knuckles. "Ow..." she murmurred, and then thought, 'How rude!'

"What in blazing hell was that for?" Vegeta demanded, his tone of voice steadily rising as his anger flared unexpectedly. "You told me that you wouldn't interfere so long as Kakarrot and the others stayed out of the fight. Well, they did! So what the hell does that hunk of crap think he's doing?"

17 appeared puzzled for moment. "Well, if I had to make a guess, I would say that 16 couldn't help himself. He was programmed to dispose of Son Goku, and she did just come flying in here out of nowhere, after all."

"Well, tell him to back down!" Vegeta shouted angrily. "I don't want anyone getting in the middle of my fight!"

Android 17 casually flicked a dust mite off of his arm and replied, "There's a small problem with that. You see, android 16 isn't programmed to listen to what I have to say."

Goku watched as Vegeta began to seethe with fury. She decided now was a good time to speak up. "Don't worry, Vegeta. I won't get in your way."

Vegeta allowed a small, throaty growl of displeasure escape his throat. He couldn't find any excuses for her to back off. He wasn't entirely sure why he was trying to think them up in the first place anyway. 'So let the bitch get the shit beaten out of her... see if I care!' he thought stubbornly.

"Fine Kakarrot, do whatever you want. Just know that if you screw up, I'm not going to save your ass this time!" Vegeta warned with a scornful look on his face.

Goku didn't take any notice of Vegeta's hostility. She just smiled and nodded her head toward him in acknowledgement that she understood. How could she find the time to care that he was perturbed by something when she was so happy to be getting the chance to fight an android? Her wish had come true! She was practically on cloud nine. 'Yay! I get to fight!' she thought excitedly.

She smirked at android 16 and asked, "You ready?"

Goku's mouth hung agape in astonishment. Android 16 had become an afterimage before she had even finished asking her question. Apparently, he really wanted to kill her, and so he was being hasty. Goku dodged a punch and blocked another punch. She sighed with a small frown. 'Wow, this guy is rude! First he kicks me in the face without any warning, a dirty sneak attack! Now he's attacking me before I even have the chance to finish me sentence? Geeze!'

With 16's next punch, she caught his fist in the palm of her hand an instant before it was to make contact with her nose. She dug her fingernails into his bony knuckles and twisted his arm with great force. 16 swayed to his side and lost his footing. She swung him around and tossed him into the jagged cliff she'd been introduced to only minutes earlier. "Ha!" 'Take that!' she thought triumphantly.

She quickly decided to attack him again before he regained his focus, but to her dismay, he already had shaken himself out of his daze. In fact, he had been able to accomplish this so quickly that he not only managed to dodge her oncoming attack, he was also able to thrust his kneecap into her stomach. Goku grunted and doubled over in pain. She coughed up bloody saliva into her hand. Before she could fly a safe distance away to regain her bearings, android 16 grabbed her by the shoulders and jammed his knee into her gut for the second time with even more force. She tried to stifle her scream, but it was too painful. What she had wanted to sound more akin to a groan, came out as sickening shriek.

Goku grabbed him by his forearms for support and she flailed her legs back and forth, trying desperately to kick him away. His body felt as hard as steel. When her foot made contact with it, he didn't even flinch. As she was kicking, one of his arms let go of her shoulder and before she had time to push herself away from him, his fist slammed into her cheek and she was sent flying onto the ground. She tumbled and skidded across the gravel for a moment before pushing herself into a backflip and stabalizing her fall.

'Oh Kami! He's strong!' she thought. She wiped a trail of blood off of her chin and smirked. 'Just how I like it!' she thought. She clenched her hands into fists and braced herself for a power-up. She screamed at the top of her lungs and her ki exploded. Withing seconds, her aura turned to gold, along with her hair. Her eyes became teal, and she appeared more determined and confident in herself. After all, she was a Super Saiyan now.

"Are you going to keep gawking at their fight or are you going to continue ours? I don't enjoy fighting people that don't even bother trying to fight back. It's pathetic!" spat 18, becoming more and more impatient.

Vegeta jerked his attention away from Goku's fight, and sent himself a mental curse for being so ignorant. 'She could have used my lack of attention to her advantage if she wanted to! That just goes to show that she isn't even taking this fight seriously! She thinks she can beat me with ease, well, I'll show her!'

"Let us continue then," Vegeta muttered.

The rest of the Z-warriors weren't sure which fight they should be watching. Goku, Vegeta, and the androids were moving so fast they had to concentrate at their hardest just to try and keep up with them. Vegeta seemed to be getting pounded, just as he had been left off when Goku had arrived. On the other hand, Goku seemed to be doing quite well. Though, it was quickly becoming apparent that android 16 was wearing her out. They seemed to be equal at the moment, but he was a machine. There's no way she could keep up with him for much longer.

Goku flinched slightly as she heard Vegeta howl in pain. She desperately wanted to turn around and see what had happened to him, but she knew that she could afford to be distracted right now, not if she wanted to win her own fight. Just the miniscule amount of time Goku had spent pondering this fave 16 enough time to pound her to the ground again with his incredible strength. He landed next to her on the ground. He bent down and wrapped a hand around the crown of her head. He swung her up and slammed her body into the earth. She grunted in pain and tried to force herself to her wobbly knees, but he still had a grip on her skull. He repeated his former actions, and this time, she screamed in pain.

No-matter how hard he tried, Vegeta could not force himself to ignore her screams and shrieks and shouts of pain. He could not ignore the sickening thunking sound her body made when it collided with the bedrock. 'Damn her!' he thought in annoyance, 'Why couldn't she just stay out of this?'

He contemplated whether or not he should come to her aid. If he did, he would be blatantly showing compassion for her, not only that, it would leave him wide open for the other two androids to lunge at him and attack! He barely dodged a ki blast that had been aimed at his head, and he haphazardly threw one back without even thinking. Android 18 was becoming more and more agitated by the second, but Vegeta was completely oblivious to it. After all, he was too interested in what was going on between 16 and Goku.

'What's wrong with him?' android 18 thought to herself, as she kicked him behind his unobservant head and sent his body catapulting into the face of a nearby rocky structure.

Meanwhile, Goku had finally managed to break free from 16's grasp and was now determining the extent of her injuries. 'That last attack really took a toll on my body. I honestly don't know how much more of this I can handle!' she thought.

Nevertheless, she resumed her fighting stance, preparing for the next onslaught of attacks that were sure to be coming her way. Instead of being attacked, she realized that 16 was distracted and wasn't even paying any attention to her. He was still standing where he had been when she freed herself from him. He had a butterfly on his fingertip, and he seemed to be entranced by it. She quirked an eyebrow at the odd sight. 'Don't tell me I only got away from his death grip because he has a fascination with butterflies!' she thought, feeling the urge to smack herself in the face out of embarrassment.

The android flicked his hand softly so as not to hurt the butterfly, but in order to make it fly away. He then turned his attention to Goku once again. Goku was smiling at him, thinking, 'That's kind of cute! Well, if all else fails, I can always take a butterfly hostage!'

Goku forced herself to focus, and she asked him the question that had been bothering her for quite some time now, "Why do you want to hurt me so badly?"

"It is my mission to destroy Son Goku, you are she, so you must die," he answered plainly.

"But you yourself don't want to hurt me; you were just programmed to do it, right?" she continued, undaunted.

"Affirmative," 16 answered in monotone once again. "I was programmed to do so."

Goku sighed, there was no reasoning with this 'thing'. It was now apparent that somewhere in its mechanical brain, it had somewhat of a personality. It did have a mind of its own, but it was overrided by the programming Gero had given it.

"I understand, and I won't hold this against you, android 16," she said quietly, almost sadly, "but I can't afford to let you win!"

Meanwhile, in a small house located on Mount Paozu, ChiChi was sitting on the bathroom tile flooring with her back up against the bathtub. She was gaping at a small object in her hands. Her entire body was trembling with anxiety. A lone tear trailed its way down her face like a snail. She rubbed it away wit her fist and she hiccuped. Her chest convulsed. More tears began to seep out of her onyx-colored eyes.

"Oh Goku," she murmurred, "it just isn't fair... this should have happened differently. We were supposed to be happy."

Her bitter tears dripped off of her chin and onto her blouse. Secured tightly in her hand was a small pink plastic device. It had a small oval screen on it with two red lines inside of the screen. To the side of the screen, there were two simple words: positive and negative. Two lines indicated positive, and only one line indicated negative.

ChiChi's fingertip trailed along the two lines displayed on her screen. She squeezed the pink object. She wanted to he squeezing Goku right now, hugging Goku tightly. She wanted to be telling her Goku that... that...

"I'm pregnant," she whispered.

*Chapter 20*: Heroic Stranger

Disclaimer: I don't own DB/Z/GT.

Chapter 20: Heroic Stranger

Android 16 and Goku clashed against each other, their colliding energies caused enough friction to make the earth below them crumble and dip into a crater. Over and over again, their fists and shins and knees and elbows would collide. Energy would spark when they made contact with each other. Goku collected ki in the palms of her hands. She grunted when she released it, "Ha!" 16 caught the energy blast and countered it with one of his own. It shot back at Goku. Goku produced more energy of her own. Her golden energy fought valiantly against his red energy. Slowly but surely her ki flow was overpowered and she was pushed backward by the force of it. She groaned as she forced herself to her limits to release more ki into her attack.

For half of a minute, it seemed as if the the pair was even. Though, this was short lived. 16 comprehended that this energy battle was futile. He wasn't cocky. He didn't feel the urge to show off his powers. He simply wanted to get the job done. 16 cut off his energy flow and rapidly dodged the oncoming blast. With tremendous speed, he hurtled his body toward Goku, lifted his leg at the last possible moment, and kneed her in the gut. He was so agile, Goku hadn't even seen him coming. Goku's body was tossed backward a bit from the momentum of the blow. She doubled over and coughed up a mixture of saliva and blood. She wiped her mouth with her forearm and glared at the android before her.

'Just who am I kidding?' she questioned herself earnestly. 'How can I possibly beat this guy? Despite the fact the he's a bulky, behemoth of a man... he's still much quicker than I am! As far as I can tell, we're equal in strength. He doesn't tire like I do because he's an android. He isn't cocky like his companions, so I can't catch him off guard. I'm at a total disadvantage here!'

Goku's train of thought was forced to come to a screeching halt. Android 16 was not about to stand around and let her attend to her musings. He had business to finish! He knocked her back into her senses with numerous punches to various portions of her body. Each and every one of the punches bounced off of her body like a staccato. Thunk! Thunk! Thunk! Goku managed to gain back control. She blocked a punch and then another punch. She waited for the right opportunity, and she catapulted herself backward, away from her attacker.

Goku frowned with a look of consternation on her face. 'Damn-it!' she cursed inwardly. 'I can't keep bolting like this every time he attacks me! Every time I run away from him I become more and more exhausted and he isn't losing any energy! I need to seriously come up with a useful plan and quick, or else I'll be dead meat!' Goku scowled at 16 with renewed determination. 'I am going to get my head in the game, no more distractions!'

Ironically, it was at this precise moment that 18 managed to kick Vegeta with great force. Not only that, she kicked him directly toward Goku. Vegeta was not able to stop himself in time and he smacked into Goku and they were both sent careening into a nearby plateau.

18 laughed at the spectacle scathingly. "It seems as if I've been able to hit two birds with one stone. Lucky me!" she exclaimed.

"Ugh..." Goku groaned, pushing Vegeta off of her and rubbing the back of her neck. This fight was definitely not turning out the way she would like it to be. Vegeta barely regained focus before falling to the ground. "Damn that fucking hunk of crap!" he hissed under his breath.

Goku frowned at him and asked the inevitable, "Are you alright, Vegeta?"

Vegeta laughed sardonically. "Oh yes, Kakarrot. I'm just fine and dandy over here, gumdrops and icecream!" He turned his head to look her in the eyes. His face was severely beaten and bruised. His right eye was swollen and purple. His bottom lip had a deep gouge in it and blood was oozing out of it and dripping off of his chin.

Goku couldn't stand to look at the unsightly injuries. She felt embarrassed that she'd even asked such an obvious question. If it wasn't apparent before, it was certainly apparent now that they and everyone else were all royally screwed.

Goku clenched her fists angrily. She suddenly felt disappointed in herself. 'No, I'm not going to give up! I'm not going throw in the towel that easily!' Goku abruptly launched herself at full speed into the air. She glared down at the form of 16 just standing casually on the ground. She screamed as she forced her body into another power up. Golden orbs of ki collected in both of the palms of her hands and she tossed them directly at 16 in an impressive attempt at an aerial assault. She threw dozens of ki blasts in seconds flat. When she decided that she'd tossed enough of them at 16 to have caused sufficient damage, she took pause to analyze her work. Goku gasped and her jaw slackened in shock. To her utter astonishment, 16 hadn't even moved an inch from where he was standing when she first began the attack. Surely, hundreds of tiny, searing-hot ki blasts had struck his body, but he was just standing there, completely unscathed.

This only made Goku more bound and determined. 'I want to see him run!' she thought furiously.

She threw even more ki blasts at him, only this time they were bigger. She threw them at record speeds. Surely he would be injured this time! She threw them twice as long as the first assault. When she had finished this time, she hunched over and supported her torso by resting her hands on her thighs. She panted with exhaustion. Goku waited in trepidation as the dust billowed away from android 16 and slowly settled on the ground. He still hadn't moved, not even a fraction. He was completely unharmed, not a scratch on him.

"No way!" Goku shouted in disbelief.

Goku didn't even see 16's next attack coming at her. Before she knew it, a sharp elbow jammed into her chest and sent her hurtling onto the harsh, rocky landscape below. Seeing the pained look on Goku's face produced a smile of pleasure on android 18's elegant lips. She rested her chin in her hand for a moment, giving her the appearance of being in deep thought. She soared over to where Goku had hit the earth and gazed down on her beaten body.

"To hell with the rules," 18 muttered, bringing back her leg and swifly kicking Goku in the side of her abdomen as hard as she could. Goku cried out in pain. 18 laughed mockingly. "Your girlish shrieks are so pathetic. I can't believe you're supposed to be the person Gero feared. He went through a lot of trouble for nothing, didn't he?"

18 pressed her boot on top of Goku's chest and she whimpered with pain. 18 certainly wasn't finished, but she was unexpectedly interupted by a punch that came dangerously close to marring her beautiful face. She leapt backward and surveyed her attacker with vague curiosity. She quirked an eyebrow in amusement. "So, Vegeta, now all of a sudden you have enough energy to fight me again?" she questioned.

Vegeta didn't answer her. He just scowled at her and threw yet another punch. He was tired though, which caused his movements to become agonizingly slow to watch. 18 caught his fist in her hand with ease. In an act of desperation, Vegeta attempted at punching her with his free arm. She grabbed that one as well. 18 smirked and clicked her tongue in disappointment. "Tsk... tsk... tsk... what am I going to do with you now, little man? You're beaten; you're done for."

She chuckled in amusment at her own statement and she released his arms. She punched him in the face, and Vegeta stumbled backward. His knees gave way due to thorough exhaustion and he slid to the ground. She swiftly kicked him in the face. There was a sickening thud and blood spurted out of his nose like a geyser. There was a collection of gasps resonating from the sidelines as 18 took her sweet time playing with Vegeta. They didn't know what they should do now. It would be disrespectful to interrupt their allies' battles, but they were being beaten to a bloody pulp right before their eyes. On the other hand, they also realized that the chances of them doing any better didn't fare well for them. After all, if Goku had been defeated, what chance did they have of succeeding?

"We have to get away from here," Piccolo announced. "They're too strong for us!"

"But how will we get Goku and Vegeta to safety?" asked Tien.

"Our best bet would be to retrieve Goku and get her to use her instant transmission technique," Piccolo explained logically.

Piccolo watched as 16 began to approach Goku's body. He was preparing to launch his final blow, no doubt. Piccolo quickly intervened. He stragetically placed himself between the android and Goku while Krillin, Tien, and Yamcha backed him up from behind. Krillin knelt down beside Goku and lifted her head in his hands. It felt like dead weight. Her eyes were shut. She appeared unconscious. Krillin patted her cheek lightly with the palm of his hand.

"Goku, buddy, wake up," he encouraged.

Goku moaned and her eyelids fluttered open. She groaned in pain.

"Goku, we need you to do us a favor. We need you to use instant transmission in order to get all of us away from this place. Bring us to the lookout. Can you do that?" Krillin asked.

Goku furrowed her eyebrows together in frustration. Her head was pounding and her body was so weak, she could barely move a muscle. "I... I think so..." she murmured uncertainly.

Goku turned her head weakly to scope out the area for Vegeta. Her eyes locked onto him and she couldn't believe what she was seeing. The others had failed to notice that 18 was kneeling down next to Vegeta, the palm of her hand was hovering inches away from his face. Inside her hand was a rather large ki blast. Vegeta was awake. He was gazing into the energy ball with horror. Surely he'd never thought he would meet his end like this! This was pathetic! This was no warrior's death! He couldn't even move his limbs!

"Vegeta no!" Goku screamed at the top of her lungs. She wished with every fiber of her being that she had the strength to protect him, but she couldn't even lift her body up into a sitting position.

Unbeknownst to her and the rest of the Z-warriors, a voice called out from off in the distance. It said, "Father no!"

A blindingly-bright, golden light flashed just as 18 released her energy blast. When the light subdued, there was nothing but a crater where Vegeta had been. Off to the side stood a young man, and he was holding onto Vegeta by his collar. This young man had apparently saved Vegeta from his impending death. He moved him before the ki blast could strike him. The young man let go of Vegeta and strode forward a bit closer to android 18. Oddly enough, he was wearing a shirt with the Capsule Corporation logo emblazoned on it. Though, even stranger still, his entire body was engulfed in a bright, golden aura. His hair was blonde and standing on end. His eyes were colored a brilliant teal green. He was a Super Saiyan!

*Chapter 21*: Goku's Plan

Disclaimer: I do not own DB/Z/GT.

Chapter 21: Goku's Plan

The mysterious young man appeared furious. His searing teal eyes bore into android 18. His fists were clenched at his sides. He looked as if he could barely contain his rage. The sky darkened as clouds passed overhead. The wind picked up and the clouds began to drizzle. It was as if the storm had followed his ire form. The rain was trying to smite down the golden flames that were licking his body. The drops of rain dissipated the second they touched his aura and hisses filled the air.

He looked like he was in his late teens - barely having reached manhood. His golden locks wafted upward as the energy fluctuated around him. Tiny snakes of electricity flashed around his body. He looked lethal.

It was clear that the young man had caught the full attention of everyone surrounding him. Even the robotic, nearly emotionless android 16 was capable of detecting the distress that the young man was experiencing. This kid was not one to be reckoned with. After a moment of tense hesitation, the boy turned his back on the androids. He reached out his arms to pick Vegeta up but he took pause. Vegeta's eyes were open. He didn't look thankful at all. In fact, he was scowling at his saviour. He looked as if he hated him for what he had done.

Vegeta muttered, "Why," before he finally lost all consciousness.

The young man sighed and he heaved Vegeta's limp form over his shoulder. He cautiously carried him over to where the Z-fighters were gathered. When he was only mere feet away from them he took pause and stood stock-still. His eyes searched their faces. He was searching for something. He wanted to recognize these people, but his memories of them were a blur. He scanned their faces for any form of relief. Nobody seemed to care that he'd saved Vegeta from certain death. They were all tense. They looked like frightened animals caught in a vehicle's headlights.

He heard a soft, feminine groan and his eyes instantly shot in the direction the sound had come from. He noticed someone he'd somehow overlooked before. It was a woman. She was struggling to pull herself up and into a sitting position. A short bald man shot her a worried glance and helped her onto her knees. One of his hands rested on her shoulder and the other hand supported her lower back.

"Don't over do it," the young man could hear him whisper to her. 'That must be Krillin,' he thought.

Try as he might, he couldn't identify who this mysterious woman was. She was staring at him with glistening doe eyes. Her face was battered up and bruised like Vegeta's. He realized with some measure of surprise that she had been fighting the androids as well. Though, what shocked him the most was that he could see gratefulness sparkling in her eyes. Her eyes fell upon Vegeta. She watched his chest move up and down rythmically. He was alive. A small smile creased her lips, and the young man could have sworn he had heard her whisper thank-you - alas, the pitter-patter of the rain caused her voice to become indistinct. He just watched her lips move.

'Who are you?' the boy thought. 'I've never heard of you. I've never seen pictures of you, but you seem familiar. Could this timeline be different from my own?'

The young man turned his back on them, but before he departed, he muttered, "Go to the lookout, you'll be safe there. You don't have to worry about the androids following you. I will hold them off. I have something I need to say to you all, so I will rejoin with your group as soon as I'm finished here."

He said those words unfaulteringly. He didn't show even the slightest bit of fear. When he was finished speaking, he approached the androids once again. The look of bitterness and resentment was painted on his face again and it was as fierce as ever.

He wasn't entirely sure as to why he did it, but he chose to glance back at Vegeta one final time. His eyes subconsciously fell upon the young woman that he hadn't recognized. Everyone was crowded around her body, touching their hands against her shoulders. She was hunched over, wrapping an arm around Vegeta's unconscious form. Her free hand was brought up to her forehead. she pointed her index and middle finger at her brow. Her eyelids were shut and she had a look of frustration on her face. It was as if she was concentrating hard on something. Trunks found himself wondering just what she was doing, but his concentration was broken away by a fist coming dangerously close to hitting his face. He staggered back, but regained his senses and countered the attack with a blow to his attacker's head. It was android 18. Apparently, she was fed up with waiting. He followed his attack be kicking her in the abdomen with great speed and it sent her reeling off into the distance.

Before 18 could make a comeback, he quickly averted his eyes back toward the group. He was still curious as to what that woman was doing. To his utter astonishment, the Z-warriors had all disappeared!

Goku and the rest of the Z-warriors reappeared atop the lookout. Amazingly, it was also downpouring on the lookout as well. This was a truly odd spectacle to behold. Rain on the lookout was considered an unexplainable phenomenon. The lookout was too high for most rainclouds. Not only that, it was out of the ordinary to see both Goku and Vegeta beaten to a bloody pulp. This was certainly one oddball day!

Goku lay Vegeta's body gently onto the tile flooring. She gazed upon Vegeta's battered up body. Her own body was torn up as well, but she was more concerned about him. She was always worrying about the well-being of others over her own. She wondered how much pain he was in, how much more agony he was in than she was. Her head upturned and gazed at the formidable looking rain clouds in the sky. She winced as the droplets splashed near her eyes.

She distantly wondered who that mysterious young man was. 'He's definitely a Saiyan... but how is that possible? I thought Vegeta and I were the only Saiyans left. I could of sworn I heard someone yell Father from off in the distance. It was right before he had arrived. Maybe I was just hearing things. It could be an echo of some other sound, but what if it was him? What if he was calling out to Vegeta? What if he was calling Vegeta Father? Does Vegeta have a full-blooded Saiyan son that nobody else knows about?'

Goku was shaken out of her reverie as Krillin murmured, "Goku." He sounded worried. "I'm going to go down to Korin's tower to get some sensu beans. Let me help you inside. You might catch a cold or get hypothermia out here."

Goku laughed and assured him, "Not necessary, Krillin. I'll be fine for a few minutes out here."

Krillin stared at her for a moment nervously. He seemed to be surveying the cuts and bruises on her face, her wet mop of hair. "Oh... alright," he said uncertainly. He sprinted off the edge of the lookout to tend to the task at hand.

Goku brushed away some of her sticky, wet bangs in annoyance. Her gi was drenched. She was soaked to the bone. She honestly didn't mind it. She enjoyed the rain. It was refreshing and it was doing a good job of washing away the dirty feeling of her own blood being caked against her skin. She diverted her attention back to Vegeta, but he wasn't there any longer. She realized that someone - probably Tien - must have been kind and thoughtful enough to bring his unconscious body inside the dry building. She was kind of out of it right now. It didn't surprise her that she hadn't noticed. Goku decided to focus her concentration on feeling out the ki signature of the mystery man. To her astonishment, it felt sort of familiar. It was on the tip of her tongue, but she just couldn't place her finger on it.

Something suddenly felt off. "That's odd," she muttered, concentrating on his ki even more so than before. She instantly realized that the mysterious man's ki was dropping immensely. He was losing the fight with the androids. 'Oh no!' she thought worriedly. 'He didn't know what he was getting himself into! He needs help!'

It was then that she sensed Krillin approaching the lookout again. He was kneeling down next to her in a moment's time. "Eat this," he said, placing a sensu bean up to her lips. She chewed and swallowed it with haste. Her injuries immediately healed and she hopped onto her feet eagerly.

She turned to Krillin and said, "Listen to me. The young man who saved our lives is in trouble. I'm going to help him. Don't worry about me. I'll be back in a little bit."

Krillin's eyes nearly popped out of their orbits. "Wh - what?" he stammered. "Are you crazy? Don't you recall what happened to you just minutes ago?"

Goku smiled at him and reassured him. "I'll be fine." With that said, she instantly transported off of the lookout to aid the mysterious stranger in his battle against the androids.

"Oh geeze, oh geeze, oh geeze," Krillin mumbled under his breath in shock. He clenched his fists angrily and shouted up at the sky. "What? Have you gone off the deep end, Goku? You're no match for them! They'll kill you!"

He knew that yelling at the storm clouds wasn't going to accomplish anything, but he was just so frustrated! He had just seen his best friend beaten to the brink of death, and now that she had finally been brought to safety, she just decided to leave to help some stranger? 'Does she even care if she's putting her own life in jeopardy?' Krillin thought.

Krillin paced aroung in a circle for a moment, thinking, 'I have to figure out some way to stop her from doing this. I need to save her... I'm too weak, but... maybe...'

Krillin glanced in the direction of Vegeta's weak ki. He didn't like the idea of wasting a sensu bean on a vagabond like Vegeta, but apparently he didn't have a choice. 'I need to heal Vegeta. He's the only person strong enough to stand a chance against the androids. When Saiyans are brought close to death, they become stronger. Maybe he can help Goku out. But... why would he want to help Goku? He'll probably just laugh and say she's deserving of what comes to her or something...'

Krillin walked into the building and kneeled down next to Vegeta. 'I guess I'll never know unless I try,' he thought. He opened Vegeta's mouth and popped the sensu bean inside. "Chew, Vegeta," he instructed whilst moving his jaw up and down to grind the bean up. "Swallow."

When Vegeta came to, the first thing he saw were a pair of eyes staring down at him and a very shiny bald head. "Ugh!" he grunted, shoving the face away from him while muttering, "don't get so damn close to me if you value your life!"

Krillin ignored Vegeta's threat and immediately got down to business. "Vegeta," he said, "you're the strongest one here, so I'm going to ask a favor of you."

Vegeta furrowed his eyebrows together in puzzlement. "I know that! I don't need you to tell me that!" he spat. "If you think that I'm going to do you a favor then you're just plain delusional. I don't do favors for anyone."

Krillin shook his head frantically and pleaded, "Please Vegeta, you have to help me! That guy that saved you from the androids is losing his fight. Goku sensed it and after she was healed with a sensu bean she hightailed it out of here to help him! I don't know what to do! I don't think she's strong enough to take them on, Vegeta. If she fights them... what if... what if she dies?"

A vein began to bulge on both sides of Vegeta's widow's peak. "Silence!" he demanded. He closed his eyes and let his mind absorb all that Krillin had said. "Kakarrot," he muttered under his breath, "you are such an idiot!"

Vegeta's menacing eyes unexpectedly opened up again, and he set his lethal glare on Krillin once again. Krillin visibly gulped.

"Don't follow me," Vegeta threatened, "or else I'll kill you on the spot. I don't need you getting in my way!"

"G - gotcha, Vegeta," Krillin stuttered.

With that taken care of, Vegeta immediately sprinted out the door and onto the overhang of the lookout. He jumped off the ledge and shot off into the sky at full speed. Krillin could see a flash of gold brighten the darkened sky. At first he thought it was lightning, but he was mistaken. It was Vegeta powering up to Super Saiyan.

Vegeta growled in irritation. "This getting old Kakarrot," he hissed through clenched teeth. "When will your bouts of stupidity stop tormenting me?"

When Goku reappeared on the battle scene, she quickly scoped out the damage. Trunks was a little battered up, but she could tell that he still had enough energy left to hold his own. She encircled her mouth with the palms of her hands and bellowed out, "Hey you!"

Trunks spun around and gaped at her in shock. "Y - you!" he stammered, pointing at her in disbelief. "How did... wait what are you doing here? Get away from here this instant!" he demanded.

Goku shook her head and smiled at him. "Don't worry, I came here to help you!"

Trunks eyes widened in disbelief. "You don't understand!" he shouted. "These things are out of your league!"

Goku pouted playfully and crossed her arms. "Hey, just what are you saying? I am so in their league," she argued. She looked a little antagonized at first, but that soon was proven untrue. She smiled and randomly asked, "By the way, what's your name?"

'This chick is crazy!' Trunks thought in astonishment. 'What? Does she have a death wish or something?' He mimicked her and crossed his own arms. "My name is Trunks."

Goku laughed and said, "Trunks eh... that's a really silly name! The only sillier name I've ever heard was Bulma!"

Trunks' heart skipped a beat. 'She knows my Mom?' he thought in wonderment.

Goku was about to introduce herself to Trunks, but she was swiftly cut off by a punch to her face. She regained her senses and dodged another punch. She countered it with a kick to her attacker, android 17. It hit him and sent him skidding backward across the muddy dirt. He wasn't hurt though. He merely laughed.

"That wasn't very nice!" Goku exclaimed.

17 raised an eyebrow at her derisively. "Well, dear, it wasn't very smart of you to come back to us once you'd escaped, now was it?"

Goku frowned slightly. "I suppose it wasn't," she concurred, "but I returned for a good reason." 'I'm still not a match for all three of them. I can't fight them right now. I'll have to find a window of opportunity where I can grab Trunks and teleport us both to safety. The only problem is... I need a distraction to keep the androids busy... how am I going to do this?'

'Just what is she up to?' Trunks wondered in bemusement.

Goku shrugged her shoulders. 'I guess whatever happens, happens. Oh well, here it goes!' she thought. Goku clenched her fists and her muscles tensed up as she prepared for a power up. She let out a shriek as her ki exploded around her body in turbulent waves of energy. Her aura flashed to gold and she transformed into a Super Saiyan.

'What?' Trunks thought in utter amazement. He had to double-take at what he was seeing. 'What?'

"You're a Saiyan!" he exclaimed. His eyes dropped down to rest at her waist. Sure enough, a small, brown, furry appendage was neatly wrapped around her abdomen. 'How did I not notice that before?' Trunks was in complete awe. He had no clue that a female Saiyan could turn into a Super Saiyan as well. 'Where did you come from? Why aren't you in my timeline?'

Goku moved closer to Trunks. She stood beside him and rested a reassuring hand on his shoulder. He twitched slightly from her touch. She could see the tiny hairs on his arms bristle up in alarm.

"Don't worry," she spoke soothingly, "I have plan."

*Chapter 22*: A Proposal and a Mysterious Creature

Disclaimer: I don't own DB/Z/GT.

Chapter 22: A Proposal and a Mysterious Creature

Goku's lips curved up into a warm smile, and she rested the palm of her hand on Trunks' shoulder for reassurance. She could feel his deltoid muscle twitch underneath her fingertips. His arm airs bristled up like a wary feline. Goku immediately removed her hand. She hadn't meant to startle the kid. He just looked so pent up. He seemed like he needed some form of comfort. The tension was hanging thick in the air like the rising humidity.

Perhaps she could placate him with words instead? "Don't worry," she spoke softly. "I have a plan."

Trunks let out a sigh of relief; though, he wasn't reassured in the least. He didn't know who this strange woman was. He didn't know if he could truly trust her. Sure, she knew who his mother was, but how was he to know they were even allies? He had learned not to trust so easily long ago. Trusting people got you killed. Nevertheless, he didn't want to let her on that he was still on guard. He decided he would test the waters, but he would also play it cool.

Trunks tried to make eye contact with the woman, but his eyes ended up darting in another direction only seconds later. Something about this woman was astounding. Her eyes were piercing and she seemed so resolute and sure of herself. He could already tell that although she seemed kind, she was definitely not someone to be reckoned with. He idly wondered how strong this lady actually was.

After what felt like an eternity, Trunks finally asked the inevitable: "So, what's the plan?"

The woman raised her fist. She looked at him with a determined expression. "I" she began with a booming tone of voice. She unclenched her fist and lowered her arm back to her side. "I…" she muttered in a quieter tone. Her eyebrows furrowed together with apparent frustration. She crossed her arms and pouted a little. Trunks kept his eyes on her the entire time.

'Wow! She must be thinking up some intricate plan in that head of hers if it's taking that much concentration,' he thought with slight awe. He didn't want to admit it, but he knew that he didn't stand a chance against the androids on his own. He had just chosen to do the noble thing. Besides, He was just so damned pissed to see their faces again!

After a moment of silence, Goku's look of deep thought faltered. She smiled and shrugged her shoulders. "I guess I don't know what the plan is just yet," she admitted.

Trunks nearly choked on his own saliva. "What?" he nearly screamed, succeeding in catching the attention of their onlookers. He growled slightly under his breath. 'Damn-it!' he thought. He lowered his voice and hissed, "What do you mean you don't know yet? You just told me that you have a plan!"

"Well, I don't yet… but… I… um…" Goku began, fumbling with her words. She gave up and scratched the back of her head with an accompanying sheepish laugh. "You see, I always get a plan eventually. Don't worry! I'll think of something. It's just, you looked so scared. I didn't want you to cry or something."

Trunks visibly blanched. "What?" he shouted. He shook his head vigorously whilst repeating, "Wait, wait, wait! You think I was about to cry?" I was not about to cry!" he defended. By now his cheeks had flushed a bright, tomato red which shown in stark contrast against his light violet hair.

Goku giggled. She hadn't actually thought he was about to cry. This kid seemed like he'd been through a lot – too much to just cry on the drop of a hat. She was just trying to lighten up the mood, but he had taken her seriously.

"Oh alright," Goku replied with a playful smile. "It just seemed to me as if you would. I'm sorry."

Trunks eyed her warily. "Apology accepted," he muttered, attempting to smile. "So, now what are we going to do?"

Goku rubbed her chin thoughtfully. "Well," she began, "I do have a plan that might work if we execute it perfectly, but… you probably won't like it."

Trunks quirked his eyebrow with a look of interest. "And why is that?" he asked.

Goku shrugged her shoulders and smiled. "Because chances are it won't work."

Trunks waved his hand at Goku dismissively. "Never mind that," he responded. "Spill it."

Goku sighed and replied in a soft whisper, "Okay. Well, here it goes: If we can somehow manage to render all of the androids immobile for a little bit, I would be able to transport us both back to safety. The problem is, we have to be sure that not even one of them is going to lunge at us for at least 5 seconds. If they do, it could put the lives of my friends and family in jeopardy. I can't risk that. If by some off chance the two of us can immobilize the three of them, then I can transport us both to safety. I say that the plan probably won't work because both you and I know we don't stand a chance against them."

Trunks glowered at the dirt between his boots. "Not a chance in hell," he muttered, "but my Mom taught me to never quit. So, we're going to at least give a good wack at it."

Goku beamed at him and replied, "Right!"

Android 18 impatiently tapped her foot against the earth. "Are you two finished with your little reunion yet? I'm starting to get annoyed, and you certainly won't want to see what I'm like when I become angry," she warned with an icy tone of voice.

Goku laughed and gave 18 a thumbs up. "You bet!" she exclaimed. "And right on time too!"

Android 18 smirked. Trunks and Goku assumed fighting stances. The tension hung thick in the air again. Who would make the first move? Goku smirked. Battles always made her giddy. She was about spring on android 18, but she took pause. Someone was approaching them rapidly. She turned to search the sky for person. She squinted and shielded her eyes from the sun with her hand. 'Looks like… Vegeta. What is he doing here?' she thought.

Vegeta touched down on the ground only moments later. He crossed his arms and scowled at Goku. "Kakarrot!" he shouted. "What are you doing here?" The question came out with a strained hiss. He seemed pissed, but Goku didn't have a single clue as to why he would be irritated with her. Maybe he was just grouchy because he had lost a fight with 18? Goku nodded her head and smiled. 'Yeah,' she thought, 'that's definitely why.'

"Hi Vegeta!" she exclaimed. "Boy am I glad you're here to help. Trunks and I were in a bit of a pickle."

Vegeta's lips parted as if he were about to respond to what she just said. Instead he sneered at her. She ignored his malicious looks and she transported next to him. Her sudden movement startled him. The dirty look was wiped clean off of his face. He just stared at her absentmindedly. It was like torture, being in close proximity to her. He wondered if she was aware of her allure. 'Who am I kidding? She's Kakarrot. I could clone twenty of her and they wouldn't be able to screw in a single light bulb. No way in hell does she know,' he thought.

"I'm so glad you came to help us Vegeta. We need all the assistance we can get. She moved even closer to him. She raised her face up to his ear and cupped her hands around her mouth. She didn't notice Vegeta cringe and she certainly hadn't noticed that all of his muscles were now extremely tense. "Here's the plan: I'll take 18, you get 17, and Trunks will go for the big fella, 16."

She paused for a moment, waiting for Vegeta to respond. He didn't. "Don't waste your time trying to find ways to defeat them," she whispered. "We only need to hit them down for a moment. After that, I'll transport us back to safety."

When Goku pulled back, Vegeta gazed at her with a dumbfounded expression for a split-second. His mind was trying to register what she had been talking about, after all, who could concentrate when that infernal woman was so close to them? After a moment, he finally figured out the gist of what she was getting at, and he certainly didn't like it. He narrowed his eyes at her as if sizing her up, and then he smirked. Faster than she could follow, he moved his face up to her own ear. "Kakarrot," he whispered softly. Now, Vegeta was more observant. He noticed her slight shudder.

"What?" she mumbled.

He blew a hot breath in her ear. "There is no way in hell that I am running from a fight!" he hissed through gritted teeth.

He pulled back and took a deep breath. She did the same. "I am no coward," he spat.

The next thing Goku did took Vegeta by surprise. She glared at him. This was a rare occurrence when it came to her. "Well," she replied with a hot and bothered pitch to her voice. "I refuse to leave you here to wallow in your inflated pride. I'm not going to let you die an idiot who couldn't tell when he wasn't in the same league as someone else!"

This was kind of amusing to Vegeta. Seeing Goku scorning him like she was his mother was kind of funny to him. He made a 'hmph' sound and turned his head in the opposite direction. He was acting like a bratty child, but Goku was just glad that he wasn't arguing with her. She silently wondered why he chose now of all times to be complacent. He wasn't the kind of person to back down from anything – especially a fight. She had to admit, even she felt kind of slimy planning to high-tail it out of a fight that they had started. Then again, there was always the chance that Vegeta wouldn't follow along with her plan. He hadn't actually affirmed that he would. Goku shrugged her shoulders in defeat. 'What happens, happens…' she thought.

Android 18 smiled and laughed with an air of amusement. "Ha! Didn't I teach you a lesson the first go-round?" she asked. "You were lucky to escape me, little man. You must be really stupid to come back!"

Goku crouched into a fighting stance and smirked. "He isn't your opponent this time. I am."

18 scoffed. "Ugh, I hate fighting weaklings. It's bad enough none of you can hold a candle against any of us superior beings, but it's a real shame that I get stuck fighting the most pathetic of the lot. I really did want at least a semi-amusing battle."

"Sorry to disappoint," replied Goku, "but I'm certain that when I'm through with you, you will change your mind."

18 rolled her eyes and muttered, "As if," under her breath.

"I have a proposition to make," 17 suggested.

Goku turned to look at him with a look of curiosity. "What is it you had in mind?" she asked.

"What 18 said is correct. Not one of you could even aspire to hold a decent fight with any of us three right now. You are all pathetic. But… according to the old man's research, you and your companions the strongest fighters in the universe," 17 explained, taking a slight pause and adding, "I know… it's hard to believe, isn't it?"

"Oh, you'll believe it alright," Vegeta retorted.

"Silence," 17 commanded. "Anyway, as I was saying, if his research is true, that means that if we exterminate you all now, we will never tame our hunger for a good fight. There will be nobody to fight. So, I'm proposing we give you a period of leniency. In this amount of time, we will allow you to prepare for your battle with us. If you agree to my terms, I suggest that you train hard, because if you don't satiate our hunger for a good fight, I will make certain of it that you and your family and your friends will all die excruciatingly slow and painful deaths."

18 smiled and said, "You truly are brilliant dear Brother."

17 flashed her a cocky, self-satisfied smile and replied, "No need to tell me, Sister. I already know."

18 pointed her thumb over her shoulder toward android 16. He appeared as if he could barely contain himself from attacking Goku. "What about him? Won't he be a nuisance? Should we kill him?"

17 casually waved her suggestion away. "Nah, we can handle him. Now, what do you three say? Do you agree with our terms?"

Goku narrowed her eyes at 17 with a thoroughly speculative look. "Only if you promise not to harm any innocent people while we are training."

17 laughed with amusement. "Oh," he said passionately, "I would never!"

Goku hoped that she could believe him. His response wasn't exactly serious, but she realized that she really couldn't bargain with him. If she died now, who knows what would happen to the Earth?

"How long are you giving us to prepare?" Goku asked.

17 became irritated with Goku's reluctance. He had better things to do right about now – like… say… torturing people. "I think that we're already being generous enough. Don't you agree? Why should I tell you an exact time? I think it would be more fun if it were a surprise. So, Goku, what is your choice? Would you rather you die now or later?"

Goku inhaled a deep breath of air and replied, "We accept your terms."

Meanwhile, on the lookout, Yamcha had hatched an idea:

"Hey Krillin, we should get Bulma, and the others up here with us, right? I mean, the androids might attack them in an attempt to get to us if we don't."

Krillin thought about it for a minute. "Yeah, Yamcha, your right. They might use our friends as leverage. Why didn't I think of that?"

Yamcha smirked and replied, "Because not all of us can be gifted."

Krillin rolled his eyes. "Oh, you're gifted alright," he muttered under his breath.

"What was that?" Yamcha asked.

Krillin glanced off to the side and whistled. After a moment, he stopped and looked Yamcha with a startled expression. "Oh, you were talking to me? What was what? I didn't say anything!"

Yamcha sighed and replied, "Sure, Krillin… sure. Anyway, I suppose I'll tell Tien to get Lunch, Master Roshi and the rest. I'll go and get Bulma myself. Since Goku isn't here, you can get ChiChi and Gohan."

Krillin crossed his arms and frowned at Yamcha. "Why do I get stuck with having to bring ChiChi up here?" he whined. "It figures I'd be the one to get her out of all people!"

Yamcha just smiled and said, "Good luck," he paused and laughed, "you'll need it."


A trail of greenish yellow slime leaked from the inside of a small spaceship-like piece of technology. It was surrounded by a forested area. On the inside, a heap of the slime could be seen. It was pulsating, and violet, vein-like, strings streamed through the goo.

The pulse increased more rapidly as time passed, and suddenly, a green arm ripped through the surface. The gelatinous fluid spurted out and stuck to the interior of the ship. Slowly, a monster-like creature tore itself from the substance it was incased within.

The creature's eyelids sprung open, revealing light, violet eyes with slits for pupils. Its pupils gave it resemblance to a snake. Its entire body was green and spotted with blotches of black.

Its mouth was shaped like a feline's muzzle, and it was colored orange. Its chest and the back of its skull were also orange in color. It looked as if there were two gigantic, rounded horns atop its head, and its whole body appeared incased in some sort of exoskeleton shell. Though, the most noticeable attribute of its body was its long dagger-like tail that protruded from its lower back.

The creature opened its mouth and hissed. A small coat of the green goo split as its palate opened. Its muzzle curved to resemble a smirk. It broke free from its gelatinous encasement and it inched its way out of the ship. Soon, it would reveal itself to everyone. Soon, very, soon, the pitiful humans would know what a perfect being was like.

*Chapter 23*: Congratulations, Goku!

Disclaimer: I don't own DB/Z/GT.

Chapter 23: Congratulations, Goku!

Upon returning to the lookout, Vegeta took to wallowing in some obscure corner with his arms crossed. His annoyance festered as time marched on and his accompanying scowl was just about as sour as spoiled milk. He kept himself busy glaring daggers at Goku. She had approached him moments ago to thank him for his help, but he would have none of it. His mind was preoccupied with other matters.

"Did you not hear me?" Vegeta spat, thorough annoyance riddling his words. "I said: what the hell do you think you were doing going back for - " Vegeta trailed off, redirecting his steely gaze upon Trunks and pointing at him to drive his point home, "him?"

Goku was starting to show some outward signs of irritation or at the very least exasperation. "You know," she said, pausing to sigh, "some people actually care about the well-being of others. You should try it some time. You could learn a thing or two, Vegeta."

Vegeta rolled his eyes at her statement. He felt so angry and betrayed. He couldn't pin the feeling down, but it enraged him to think that Goku had gone back to help the mysterious young man. At the moment, he wanted nothing more than to punch that guy in the face! He restrained himself because he knew that it would be ridiculous to do so. After all, he had his pride to think about.

He was torn by these conflicting emotions. A feral sounding growl escaped his lips. It stemmed from his escalating puzzlement. He ignored the curious look Goku gave him. He calmed himself and watched her with stoic silence. He had the sudden urge to latch onto her, crush her magnificent form up against his body, and ravage every square inch of her – that would show the pretty boy!

Vegeta's lustful thoughts came to a screeching halt. He realized instantly that he needed to get away from her and fast. Whenever he was around her he couldn't tell up from down and it was getting damn near impossible to think! Without ever acknowledging Goku's former words, Vegeta stormed off.

Trunks had never felt so awkward and out of place in his entire existence. He had been so excited to finally meet his father Vegeta only to realize that he wasn't what he had expected. And on the other hand there was the mystery of this woman. His father had been calling her Kakarrot. He didn't recognize that name, but earlier he could have sworn he'd heard android 17 address her by the name Goku.

Trunks shook his head incredulously. 'I must have misheard him. She is definitely not Son Goku.' Trunks furrowed his eyebrows together in bewilderment. 'The way father acts around her is peculiar. He comes off as harsh, but there are definitely some underlying feelings there. If I didn't know any better I'd think he has passionate feelings for her, but that's impossible! If he ended up with her, then he wouldn't be with my mother. I'd never be born!'

Trunks' musings were caught short by a timely interjection by none other than Goku: "Are you alright?" she asked with a worried tone. "Trunks," she added in quickly – trying to be polite to the stranger in her midst.

Trunks shook off his anxious thoughts as best he could and chuckled. "Yes, I'm fine. I was just thinking about something, that's all. I never got the chance to thank you for coming to help me. So, thank you very much, Kakarrot – is it?"

Goku immediately shot him an unusual look. "Technically, yes, but only Vegeta calls me by that name. It's kind of his 'thing'." Goku blushed slightly and idly scratched the back of her scalp. "And it was nothing, Trunks. Really, I was glad to help!"

Trunks rubbed his chin stubble thoughtfully. She seemed genuine enough. "I apologize," he replied. "I guess I never caught your preferred name."

Goku laughed sheepishly. "Oh don't apologize!" she exclaimed. "I'm such a ditz! I asked what you're name was a long time ago, and silly me, I totally forgot to tell you mine! My name's Son Goku, and it's a pleasure to meet you!"

Trunks' heart skipped a beat. His chest suddenly felt constricted like he couldn't breathe normally anymore. After a short coughing spasm and a subsequent clearing of his throat, he said, "I assure you, the pleasure is all mine!" His inward voice wasn't so debonair: 'But you're a girl! Goku isn't a girl!'

Goku smiled kindly. "Are you sure that you don't want a senzu bean?" she asked.

Trunks waved his hands in front of his face. "Oh no, I don't need a senzu bean. Those beans are so incredible; you should save them for a sticky situation. I'll heal up just fine on my own, besides, I'm not all that injured."

Goku nodded. "Alright, at least let me find a room for you to rest in."

"You're too kind! That won't be necessary! I don't want to impose upon you!"

Goku chuckled. "It's not a big deal, really. I insist!"

Trunks finally caved. After all, it would be much easier to scope out the situation if he was nearby Goku and the others. Perhaps he could win over their friendship. That would certainly make his job a lot easier!

Goku escorted Trunks to an unoccupied room that he could rest in, and she instructed him to make himself feel at home. Shortly thereafter, she left to go talk to Piccolo about important matters concerning their bout with the androids no doubt.

Once Goku had left the room, Trunks plopped himself atop his bed andleaned his back against the headboard. The room he was in was lavish, complete with plush carpeting, and a soft, silk bedspread lying atop a king-sized, ridiculously comfortable mattress. There were fascinating paintings hung on the calming, earthy-beige walls. Magnificent draperies adorned a near-by window that opened up to the endless blue sky. The storm was over in reality, but figuratively it had yet to begin.

Even though the room was seductively enticing to the eyes, Trunks paid its splendor no mind. His thoughts were elsewhere. He was so confused about matters. Nothing seemed to be going as planned. Sure, the androids were there, but he'd been under the impression that they wouldn't appear for at least another three years! Of all the things that could have gone differently – why couldn't it have been that the androids didn't exist in this past?

It was now evident that Goku was in fact a woman in this universe. Now that was a shocker! How was it that this came about? This could change everything!

Trunks wrestled around with a mechanical gadget inside a pocket hidden in the inner lining of his Capsule Corporation jacket. He fumbled around a bit before finally freeing it from the fabric. The peculiar device looked similar to a digital watch, and its capabilities were somewhat similar to a watch as well. It did tell time, but it was much more sophisticated than the average watch.

Trunks tapped the face with his finger and the screen lit up displaying the date and time. Trunks growled frustratedly and chucked the contraption against the nearest wall. It clacked as it ricocheted off the walled and tick-tacked as it bounced to a halt on the floor.

He ran his digits through his lavender hair and sighed. This just wasn't right! Sure enough, the date and time displayed on the device matched the specific date and time he had intended to travel to, but it still didn't make any sense. If he didn't make a mistake, how in Kami's name did this universe manage to alter so drastically from his own?

'What could I have possibly done to make this happen?' he thought. Trunks shook his head, and argued with himself. 'No, I can't blame myself like this! I couldn't have been the cause of all of this! I haven't done anything that could have altered the past – not yet at least. I haven't slipped up!'

Trunks calmly exhaled the collected breath he had been holding in. 'I need to keep a clear head if I'm going to save the past!'

Trunk's attention was diverted from his current thoughts when he heard a sudden, aggressive banging on his door. Paranoia gripped at his mind. 'Someone knows!' he thought irrationally. He jumped to his feet and instinctively assumed a defensive fighting stance.

"Who is it?" he asked, trying his best not to sound too demanding.

There was no answer to his question. It felt like his heart was dropping into the pit of his stomach. He was nearly startled out of his wits when the door to his room was ripped clear off of its hinges by a certain impatient and angry Saiyan prince.

"Tell me who you are this instant!" Vegeta demanded upon entering the room.

Trunks took a cautious step away from the enraged Saiyan. "There's no need for you to yell, Vegeta. I have no problem with telling you who I am. My name is Trunks."

Vegeta seethed. "Don't play me for a fool, boy! I know that your name is Trunks! My ears are functioning quite well, thank you very much! You think that you can just barge in on all of us and not be scrutinized? Well, I have news for you! Kakarrot might be an utter moron, but I wasn't born yesterday! You are going tell me who you really are and what your purpose is in being here this instant!"

"I – I… of course, I apologize," Trunks sputtered out. "I'm one of the few survivors of the Saiyan race. I have heard that planet Vegeta was destroyed by Freeza and not some freak accident. I was off -planet at the time of its unfortunate annihilation… I have traveled to Earth because I heard that there were other survivors like me who reside here."

"Liar!" Vegeta hissed, his temper rising once again. "Do you take me for a fool? I don't believe a single word of your far-fetched story! You can't be a Saiyan! I don't care if you can supposedly turn into what resembles a 'super Saiyan'! There is no such thing as a Saiyan with blue eyes and purple hair!"

Trunks' face became crimson in humiliation. "I'm not lying!" he argued. "I am a Saiyan. To be completely accurate: I'm half-Saiyan. That is why I have such unique phenotypes!"

Vegeta's temper cooled down remarkably fast. He raised an eyebrow and intrigue coated the words that followed: "Half-Saiyan, you say?"

Trunks nodded his head resolutely. "Yes, that's what I said."

Vegeta narrowed his eyes at Trunks speculatively. "Care to explain how that happened?"

"My father was a Saiyan, though my mother wasn't. She was living on planet Vegeta as a slave, and my father made her his secret concubine. He impregnated her, and when she found out about her condition, she fled… fearing for my life if he ever found out," Trunks explained.

"That would certainly explain why you have the ability to go super Saiyan, though I'm sure your super Saiyan state is much weaker than that of a true Saiyan. It also clarifies why you lack respect for me, the prince of all Saiyans. Apparently your mother never taught you your place!" Vegeta spat. "It was smart of her to flee. She was correct in assuming that your father would rid the world of your existence when he found out - you're half-blood trash after all. Imagine what his humiliation would have been like to find out that you lived? It's a good thing he's dead, isn't it?"

Vegeta paused to appraise Trunks' reaction to his words. Pleased with what he saw, Vegeta finished by giving him a warning: "Stay out of my business or else I will rid this world of you myself!"

Trunks stared at the ground with a hardened scowl on his face. His fists were clenched and his whole body was quivering with anger. "Yes, of course," he replied dutifully.

Vegeta left the room without another word uttered. His father certainly wasn't anything like he had expected!

Elsewhere, Goku had caught up with Piccolo. He was currently standing at the edge of the lookout, gazing off into the clouds with a disturbed look plaguing his countenance. Goku walked up beside him and mimicked his actions.

After a moment of silence passed she interrupted his quiet ponderings. "Piccolo," she said softly. "I've been meaning to talk with you."

"What is it, Goku?" Piccolo queried, not bothering to take his gaze off of the fluffy, white clouds.

"The androids… they're strong," she said pointedly.

Piccolo smirked. It never ceased to amaze him how she could manage to point out the glaringly obvious and not crack a smile – no she was dead serious. "I'd noticed," he replied. His face morphed back to its previous stern expression. "What bothers me even more than the androids' strength is that I've detected another being. I don't think this one is an android because I can sense a ki signature. Its signature is very odd, and it concerns me. You see, it seems to be a mixture of your ki, my ki, and many others to top it off."

Goku frowned. "What?" she muttered in disbelief. She closed her eyes and searched out this illusive ki signature. It didn't take her long to find it. 'How could I have not noticed that before?' she thought. The color drained from her face. "H – how is that possible? Piccolo… its ki… how can it have our own characteristics? Kami… this is… this is unbelievable!"

"I know, Goku," Piccolo replied gravely. "But this is real, and it's quickly becoming a problem! Everywhere this creature has been going, Earthling ki signals have been dropping in its trail, and this thing's ki increases in perfect correlation with the loss of humans. This creature is killing and absorbing so many people so quickly that it will soon become a serious threat – perhaps even worse than the androids!"

A shiver ran up Goku's spine and she wrapped her arms around her abdomen. She suddenly felt sick to her stomach. 'I've just been standing idly by while innocent people have been having their lives ripped away from them! I've been so absorbed in… in…'

Goku clenched her fists with determination. 'No more distractions!' She turned to face her comrade and said, "Piccolo, we need to get stronger than the androids, and we need to get rid of this new monster before the problem escalates any further! We need to get tremendously stronger in a short period of time or there won't be a world left to protect!"

'Again with pointing out the obvious, eh, Son,' Piccolo thought sardonically. He finally averted his attention away from the clouds and zeroed in on Goku. She looked worried, and if Goku looked worried, then the Earth was seriously in danger. "I understand," Piccolo replied cooly. "The million dollar question is: how are we going to pull that off?"

Goku nodded her head in agreement.

Piccolo rubbed his chin thoughtfully. "Whatever the case, we definitely need to take care of this creature immediately before it does any more damage. That should be our first priority."

"You're right, Piccolo," Goku concurred. Before she could say anything else something drove away her attention. She turned her head to scope out the arrival of a handful of new ki signatures. She shielded her eyes from the sun and squinted off in the distance. She could see a Capsule Corporation helicopter fast approaching.

As the helicopter came in for a landing, a flurry of wind pelted the lookout. Goku's hair whipped around as did Piccolo's antennae. Lunch was the first person to clamber out of the helicopter, followed by Oolong, who seemed to be cowering behind her. Master Roshi wasn't far behind. He was avoiding a smack from a thoroughly annoyed looking ChiChi. Puar hovered behind ChiChi at a safe distance. Bulma climbed out of the cockpit and met up with the others.

Just behind them, Yamcha, Tien, Gohan, and Krillin flew in for a landing. Goku laughed and said, "I guess the whole gang's here, huh Piccolo?"

Piccolo grumbled something incomprehensible. He didn't seem to be too fond of all of the new company.

Goku watched ChiChi approach with an air of curiosity and awkwardness. ChiChi looked beautiful every day, but she looked especially beautiful today. It was as if her skin was glowing. Goku admired her in a friendly appreciative manner. This bothered her deeply. A small part of her still believed that she belonged with ChiChi, but her heart ached for something else.

Gohan interrupted Goku's ponderings when he ran up to her and pulled her into a tight embrace. "Dad!" he exclaimed. "I was so worried! Your ki kept dropping so many times! I wanted to helps so badly, but Mom wouldn't let me leave!"

Goku ruffled her son's downy raven hair and grinned. "Oh c'mon, Gohan! You know better than to worry about me!"

Piccolo smirked. "Yeah kid, your dad's as tough as nails."

Gohan beamed at Piccolo. "I'm so glad that you're okay too, Mr. Piccolo!"

Piccolo didn't know how to react to that so he just nodded his head in silent appreciation.

ChiChi suddenly materialized out of what felt like nowhere. Goku paled visibly and she unintentionally stopped smiling. She suddenly felt very nervous. She wasn't expecting any attention from ChiChi. She had assumed she would just ignore her. ChiChi appraised Goku silently for a moment. There was no greeting. She was stone-faced.

Gohan looked at his mom worriedly. "Are you alright, Mom?" he asked.

ChiChi's cold exterior melted instantly and rested her slender hand atop Gohan's shoulder. "Just fine dear," she replied. She mustered a smile and said, "Gohan, could you please leave your father and me for a while? We need to talk about grown-up things."

A curious look overtook Gohan's countenance. "Of course, Mother," he replied, taking his leave immediately thereafter.

ChiChi didn't bother shooing Piccolo away. She didn't care if he heard. She didn't care if the rest of the Z-gang heard. She was afraid of how Goku may react, and she didn't want Gohan to see anything he wasn't ready for just yet. ChiChi redirected her astute gaze on Goku.

It was then that Goku noticed how sad she looked. She wasn't frowning or anything, but her eyes were sad. They were sad like whenever she talked about her deceased mother. Goku felt a pang of guilt in her heart. Had she done this to ChiChi?

"I need to tell you something," ChiChi said in a soft whisper. She reached out her arms and held Goku's hands in hers. Goku couldn't help but notice how velvety smooth her touch was. She missed that about her. It was comforting.

"I think you deserve to know," ChiChi continued.

The anticipation was killing her. What was so important? What was making ChiChi's eyes bare so much sorrow? "What is it, ChiChi?" she asked.

"I'm sorry that it had to be this way. This should have been a happy moment," ChiChi said. She drew Goku's hand up to her stomach. Goku was puzzled for a moment.

"What are you doing?" Goku asked, starting to reflexively pull away.

"No," Chichi said firmly, not allowing herself to lose Goku's hand.

Goku was so absorbed in what was happening at the moment that she didn't notice the rest of the Z-gang gawking at the two of them like they were some sort of circus show. Questions raced through Goku's mind: Why was she apologizing? Why should this alone have been a happy moment? What was ChiChi doing with her hand? Was this connected to earlier when ChiChi had tried to speak with her? 'I was so preoccupied before with Vegeta's feelings that I hadn't even thought about what ChiChi might be feeling!' ChiChi had begged to talk with her. She'd seen her crying! For Kami's sake, ChiChi was a strong-willed woman – she didn't cry! 'Oh Kami, what have I done?'

ChiChi drew Goku's hand to rest atop her lower abdomen, but Goku took no notice of it. "ChiChi, a while back you had tried to talk to me and I downright ignored you. I made you cry! I'm so, so sorry, ChiChi!" Goku blubbered.

ChiChi's eyes widened a little with shock. She suddenly lost control of her emotions and burst out into tears. This only frightened Goku all the more. "Wait! Why are you crying? Was it something I said? Oh ChiChi, I'm sorry, I really am!"

ChiChi shook her head resolutely. "I forgive you for that, Goku," she said, hiccupping a little bit. "That's not why I'm trying to talk to you right now."

Goku was at a loss for words. "Wh – what?" she muttered. She tried to regain her composure. "Then why are you crying?" she asked.

Before ChiChi could explain herself further, Goku felt something she had failed to take notice of before. She felt a ki signature. It was familiar. It was inside of ChiChi, and it was very similar to her own. Goku's chest suddenly felt constricted. She felt like she couldn't breathe. She gaped at ChiChi in complete shock.

ChiChi cupped Goku's face in her hand and finally said, "Goku, I'm pregnant."

*Chapter 24*: The Bearer of Bad News

Disclaimer: I don't own DB/Z/GT.

Chapter 24: The Bearer of Bad News

A deafening silence ensued after ChiChi's statement. Goku felt as if her stomach was performing back-flips. Her eyes redirected to ChiChi's stomach with frantic haste. Sure enough, ChiChi's belly had a small bulge indicating furthermore the growing life inside of her. She could suddenly feel all of the eyes upon her, judging her, telling her to take responsibility for her actions.

Goku jerked her hand away from ChiChi's stomach, recoiling like her flesh was burned. She wrapped her arms around herself like a protective casing. She took a step backward, then another, then another. 'ChiChi's pregnant! That's my baby. She's pregnant with my child and I just left her to fend for herself!'

Goku shook her head in disbelief. 'No… no it's not my fault! She never told me! Besides she was the one who kicked me out! She's the one who said that I wasn't any good as a father!' Goku suddenly felt anger flare up inside of her. "Why didn't you tell me about this earlier, ChiChi?" she asked, clenching her fists with pent up frustration.

ChiChi sighed and turned away from Goku's penetrating stare. "I honestly didn't know, Goku. I took the test just a little while ago."

Goku didn't know how to respond to that. She mentally kicked herself for even considering that ChiChi may have withheld the information for selfish reasons.

ChiChi misread Goku's reactions and quickly added, "The baby is yours. I've never betrayed you, and I never will. The baby was conceived before Vegeta made the wish."

Goku covered her face with her hands and resisted the urge to scream. "What now…?" she muttered exhaustedly, more to herself than to ChiChi.

"I want you to come home to me and Gohan, Goku. I want you to help me raise our child. I want this child to have a father," ChiChi practically pleaded.

Goku's face contorted with a mixture of emotions: anxiety, fear, doubt, confusion, anger, frustration. She didn't know what to think. She just wanted to fly away to a quiet place. She wanted so desperately to be alone with her own thoughts. ChiChi was offering her forgiveness. 'Why am I not happy about it?'

She suddenly realized that she didn't want to go home. She didn't want to return to ChiChi. She loved ChiChi, and she loved Gohan. She wanted to be a father to this child. She loved children. She just didn't want to live with ChiChi anymore. If she did, then she wouldn't get to be around…

Without thinking Goku retorted, "I thought you said I was a horrible father!"

ChiChi flinched. She wiped away the tears that were forming at the corners of her eyes. "Oh Goku, I know I said such hurtful things, but you have to believe me when I say that I didn't really mean it. I love you so much! We can work things out. We can wish you back to normal with the dragon balls, and we can be a happy family again!"

The thought of being wished back to her old self frightened her. She herself didn't understand why, but she couldn't stand the thought of it right now. 'I can't take any more of this!' she thought. 'I have to get out of here. I want to be alone… I just want to be left alone…'

Goku bowed her head in humiliation. She couldn't believe what she was about to say, but she couldn't help herself. "Forgive me," she whispered. She spoke a little bit louder the next go round, but her voice trembled, "I need some time to think to myself."

With that said, Goku retreated from the scene. ChiChi frowned. She hadn't expected that sort of reaction. Usually whenever she and Goku would get in a fight, Goku would be the one to come crawling back into her arms with the slightest bit of encouragement. Just before Goku was out of her line of sight, she noticed her start to sprint. 'What happened to you, Goku?' she thought. 'You're not the same…'

ChiChi didn't allow the others to see the emotion on her face for long. She put her stone-cold mask on almost instantly. She turned to face Bulma. Bulma was watching her silently, unsure of what to do. ChiChi felt the sudden urge to speak with someone. She wanted to hear an opinion on the matter at hand. Bulma was her choice.

She pulled Bulma aside from the rest of the group and asked. "Bulma, Goku is going to come back to me, right?" If anyone had a clue, it would be Bulma. Bulma knew Goku like the back of her hand.

Bulma fidgeted with discomfort. "I – I think that decision is up to Goku, ChiChi," she replied softly.

ChiChi waved off her reply. "What am I thinking," she said mostly to herself than to Bulma. "Of course Goku will come back to me. She doesn't really have a choice in the matter. She helped create this baby," ChiChi paused to give her stomach a little pat. "That means that she's responsible for taking the proper role as its parent."

Bulma frowned a little bit. "I suppose you're right," she reluctantly agreed. 'She isn't obligated to love you though,' she thought to herself.

Goku sprinted down the hallways blindly ignoring her surroundings. She didn't care where she was headed; she just knew that it felt so good to be in control for once. She didn't want to stop moving. She felt like she could run on forever. She was perfectly content to do just that, that is, until a figure popped up from behind the nearest corner. Goku skidded to a halt. At first, she thought she was home free. She was almost certain she was going to just barely miss colliding into the person, but she had gained too much momentum and she slammed into the person's body.

The person didn't budge in the slightest. He grabbed a tight hold of Goku's waist, and he held her at arms' length. She couldn't bring herself to look into the person's eyes. She felt ashamed.

"Just what in Kami's name do you think you're doing?" Vegeta demanded. "Why don't you learn to look where you're going?"

Vegeta was still in a foul mood from the events that had happened earlier, and his bad temper had only escalated since his little 'chat' with Trunks. Goku wanted to explain herself, but she couldn't seem to find her voice. She continued to stare at her feet. By now, Vegeta noticed that something was amiss and he inspected her more closely. He let go of her and watched her listlessly slump up against the nearest wall. She slid down to the floor and wrapped her arms around her flexed legs.

She found that she didn't want to run anymore. Really, what was the point in running anyway? 'I can't run away from my problems. That won't solve anything. It will just make matters worse… if that's even possible.'

Vegeta cleared his throat, and she glanced up at him. His form was towering over her. She felt as if he was scrutinizing her. "What are you doing?" he asked, bemusement lacing his words.

"Think what you want, Vegeta. I don't care if you think I'm weak, stupid, worthless, 3rd class Saiyan trash. Nothing you say can make me feel any worse than I already do, so just do yourself a favor and don't even bother. Leave me alone." Goku said with a lethargic tone of voice.

Vegeta's confusion only increased with each moment passed. He crouched down to her level and stared directly into her eyes. She didn't even flinch, in fact, she didn't seem to care. "What's wrong, Kakarrot?" he asked awkwardly.

"You don't have to act like you care, Vegeta," Goku muttered, trying her best to ignore his presence.

Vegeta remained silent for a moment, struggling to come up with the proper words. "I… do care," he finally admitted.

Goku's heart skipped a beat. "What?" she murmured, her eyes widening in disbelief.

Vegeta crossed his arms stubbornly. "You heard me. Don't make me repeat myself."

Goku couldn't control the sudden tidal wave of emotion that swept over her. Tears slid down her cheeks. She tried to hide her embarrassment by covering her face with her hands. 'Oh Kami,' she thought miserably, 'that only makes it harder to bear!'

Vegeta grasped her wrists and pulled her hands to the side. This only made Goku cry more hysterically. 'Oh Kami no… not it front of Vegeta!' she thought.

What happened next shocked her. Vegeta wiped away her tears with his thumbs and softly kissed her forehead. She felt like she was betraying ChiChi. She felt like she needed to tear this man away from her, but she couldn't muster the strength to do it. She wanted him close to her.

"Tell me what's wrong," Vegeta demanded.

It was hard for Goku to make sense of anything with Vegeta so temptingly close to her. Her mind was all fogged up. She tried to make sense of her jumbled thoughts. "What does it matter? It won't change a thing if I tell you about it," she said dejectedly.

Vegeta would not be persuaded to let this go. "Tell me. I want to know."

Goku clenched her fists and shut her eyes. "Fine, you want to know so badly, then I'll tell you! ChiChi is pregnant with my baby!"

Vegeta's face lost color. He certainly wasn't expecting her to say anything like that! Nevertheless, he couldn't understand why she was actually upset about this. He thought she'd be happy about this news. "Why is this upsetting you?" he questioned.

Goku twiddled her thumbs together aimlessly. "She wants me to come back to her…"

Vegeta still wasn't catching her drift. "I thought that was what you wanted," he pointed out.

Goku slammed her fist on the ground and cracked a tile. "I thought so too!"

"Then what's the big deal?"

Goku forced herself to look him in the eyes. "I just realized that I don't want that. I don't want to go back to her! I love her, Vegeta, really I do, but it just isn't the same! I'm so confused! I think I'm falling in love with someone else and I can't stand the thought of having…"

Vegeta watched her intently. Unbeknownst to even himself, he was holding his breath. 'Just who is this other person she has feelings for?'

Goku choked back a sob. "I don't know how it happened. I can't be with this person! It would be wrong! I have a family, and I can't just leave them because of these… feelings…"

She looked him directly in the eyes and it all came together like pieces to a puzzle. He could see it all clearly now. The yearning on her face was immediately evident. 'She must be talking about me…' For a moment, he allowed himself to forget about her problems. He rested his hands on her shoulders, and when she didn't flinch, he let them slide down her arms and caress her smooth skin until finally coming to rest at her hands. He could feel her pulse increasing dramatically. It only made him want her more.

When he spoke, his voice was suave and sensuous. "I don't see how it would be so wrong, Kakarrot. You don't have to live your life only to serve others, you know."

He tried his best to keep a calm façade as he appealed to her, but his own heart was racing. Goku's eyes hadn't blinked in over a minute. It was as if he had cast a spell over her. She squeezed his hand tightly. That was her only response.

He closed the distance between him and her, and brought his lips up to her ear. "Why don't you do something for yourself for once?"

He pulled back slightly so that he could appraise her reaction. She was staring back at him with wide, innocent-looking, doe eyes. He couldn't resist himself anymore. He leaned forward and kissed her sumptuous red lips. He was fully expecting her to withdraw from him, but she didn't. In fact, she returned the kiss – softly, almost shyly. It didn't take long before her own emotion won her over and she began kissing him fervently. He was more than eager to oblige her.

He ran his fingers through her sporadic raven hair, and pulled her body closer to him. It was at this precise moment that she regained her 'proper' judgment. She pushed his body away from her, and backed away from him frantically. Her hands clasped over her mouth, and her eyes widened with alarm.

"Oh Kami," she murmured. "What have I done?"

Vegeta couldn't believe that this was happening to him again! Why couldn't the blasted woman just make up her mind already? One moment she acted like she desired him, and the next moment she was pushing him away like he was some sort of monster! He closed the distance between the two of them, and Goku inched away like a frightened animal.

"Get away from me, Vegeta!" she warned, though she didn't sound the least bit intimidating.

"Why?" he snapped. "I know that you want me, Kakarrot! Why are you pushing me away?"

Goku couldn't look him in the eyes so she cast her sights elsewhere. "You know why!" she argued. "I can't be around you anymore! I can't think straight!"

"No!" he hissed at her, "Why do you think it's wrong? I don't think it's wrong at all!" Vegeta growled frustratedly. "This is about them, isn't it? Why must you insist on the approval of others? This is your life! You make your own decisions!"

Goku resisted the urge to burst into tears yet again. She stood up and dusted herself off. Vegeta followed suit. "I think… I think that we should forget this ever happened. We both were upset and just got caught up in the heat of the moment," she said.

Vegeta couldn't believe what he was hearing. 'Like hell! How can I ever forget about this?'

Goku forced herself to muster a small smile, but it was flat and lifeless – so very uncharacteristic of her. "Friends?" she said.

That was the final straw. Vegeta couldn't take any more of this torture. "No!" he spat furiously. "We are not friends, Kakarrot! We never were friends, and we never will be friends!"

Goku's suddenly became very pallid. "Wh – what?"

"I never wanted to be your friend, Kakarrot!" Vegeta hissed.

Goku's face was now devoid of all of its former luster. "I see," she said quietly. "With that settled… I have some bad news for you."

Vegeta was bewildered. "What?"

"There's another threat other than the androids. It's wiping out masses of population and doubling in strength rapidly. Piccolo and I want to check out what this thing really is, but one thing that we know for sure is that it isn't friendly. We will need to gain strength and fast," Goku explained mechanically.

Vegeta's eye twitched in annoyance. He couldn't believe she had the gall to just outright ignore all that had happened just like that. He didn't want to hear her voice! He didn't want to see her face! For once, just for once, she had finally succumbed herself to him - what he deemed a major breakthrough on her part - and now she was trampling all over that like it meant nothing at all!

"Fine, I'll talk to the Namekian about it later," he grumbled.

"Okay," Goku replied. She stood there for a moment, unsure of what to do. 'Leave!' "Well, I guess I'll see you later?" she said, trying to smile, but failing miserably.

She turned to leave. "Oh, and Kakarrot," Vegeta called out. Goku froze as still as a statue, waiting for him to continue.

"You can deny your feelings all you want, but you will never want her like you want me!"

*Chapter 25*: Out With the New and In With the Old?

Disclaimer: I don't own DB/Z/GT.

Chapter 25: Out With the New and In With the Old?

Fast-forward 6 Years:

"Mommy!" a small child called out. "Mommy!" she exclaimed with a mischievous giggle. Footsteps could be heard approaching the room. The child sitting atop a cozy bed whipped her head around, frantically searching for a hiding spot. She darted under the comforter and tried to stifle her excited laughter.

A young woman walked into the room and eyed the bed. There was a suspicious lump underneath the covers. The woman rested her index finger on her chin thoughtfully. "Hm…" she hummed. "I could have sworn I'd heard a little girl in here. I wonder where she could be?"

She padded across the room. "In the closet?" she exclaimed, snapping open the door. "Nope!" She walked up to the window. "How about… behind the curtain? No… not there either! Maybe…"

The woman approached the bed. The comforter was moving up and down as the child's breathing quickened with anticipation. The woman smiled knowingly. She crouched down and lifted up the bed-skirt. "Under the bed?" she exclaimed. She sighed overdramatically and said, "No, not there either. Wow… it's as if she disappeared! Where ever could she be?"

The little girl popped her head out from under the covers and shouted, "Boo!"

The woman feigned shock. "There you are! You're such a great hider!"

The girl crossed her arms and flashed her mother a petulant frown. "Nah-ah!" she argued.

The mother cocked her head with bewilderment. "Oh really?"

The girl smirked and said, "I'm the best!"

The mother tickled the little girl and she shrieked with laughter. The mother narrowed her eyes. "The best or not, you should be asleep, missy! It's the tickle monster for you!"

The girl begged for mercy. "I'm sorry, sorry, sorry!" she shouted through her laughter. "Please stop, Momma!"

The mother finally relented. "You better go to sleep this time!" she warned. "Or else… the tickle monster will be back!"

The girl stuck out her bottom lip. "But Momma, I can't sleep! Can you pretty please tell me the story again?"

The mother rolled her eyes. "Not that story again. Don't you want to hear a different one?"

The girl deepened her pout and shook her head. "No!" she said indignantly. "I wanna hear how Daddy kicked Cell's butt!"

The woman sighed exasperatedly. "Alright then, let's see… how does it start again?"

"Oh I know, I know!" the little girl chimed.

"Go ahead then," her mother encouraged.

The Present:

Sweat dripped on the shiny tile. It dripped and dripped until it began to form a puddle at her feet. She ground her teeth together as she doggedly threw another punch, then another, and so on and so forth. More sweat glittered in the air as it was tossed about by her inhumanly fast body. Blood rushed through her arteries. Her pulse increased with each punch thrown and each kick aimed.

Rage contorted her pretty face. 'I must get stronger!' She threw multiple ki blasts into the air, only to redirect them at herself. Each ki blast smacked into her body. She didn't bother trying to block them. 'I'm not strong enough!' she thought.

She was well aware of a Saiyan's ability to become stronger after damage inflicted on their bodies. She tossed another round of ki blasts into the air – this time bigger than before. 'How am I supposed to protect everyone when I'm weak?'

She grunted in pain as the new slew of ki blasts made contact with her flesh. The last ki blast was too much and it slammed her into the nearest wall. 'Everyone is counting on me!'

She slid into a heap on the ground. Her breath was ragged. 'I let those poor innocent people get killed by that monster! I let myself get carried away by thoughts of… Damn-it! Not anymore!'

Goku suddenly let out a scream of frustration. Her ki engulfed her body in a golden aura. She slammed her fists against the tile and the floor splintered and broke apart like fragile porcelain. Goku ran her fingers through her matted hair and sighed.

"Why is it so damn hard for me to control my emotions now?" she muttered irritatedly. "It wasn't like this before the accident." 'Maybe it would be better if I just wished myself back to normal like ChiChi wants. Maybe that would solve everything. I would be stronger. I wouldn't be such an emotional wreck. I would probably have feelings for ChiChi again. The only thing I wouldn't have…'

Goku shook her head resolutely. 'No! The fate of the Earth is more important than that! I have to think of what's best for everyone as a whole…'

Gohan was running down a hallway. "Mr. Piccolo!" he called out, waving his arms about to catch the Namekian's attention. "Mr. Piccolo, wait for me! I need to ask you something! It's really important!"

"Hm…?" Piccolo paused his stride and turned to face the boy. "What is it, Gohan?" he asked.

Gohan stopped before the green giant and caught his breath. "Well, I was kinda worried about my dad." Gohan admitted, suddenly feeling quite embarrassed.

Piccolo was at a loss for words. "Why?"

"Gohan kicked around the dust on the ground. "It's just… she's been in that room training for a really long time, and Mr. Popo said that she asked not to be interrupted by anyone."

Piccolo smiled slightly. Goku's kid was pretty amusing at times. "I don't see what the problem is, kid," he replied. "It's understandable that she'd want to be alone. Sometimes it's best that a warrior trains alone. She's probably doing some meditating."

Gohan sighed and pouted. "I know, but I wouldn't make any noise or anything, and I could be her sparring partner."

Piccolo rested his hand on the boy's shoulder. "Trust me, kid. It's for the best." 'She probably has a lot to sort out.' The fluctuation in her ki signature upon bumping into Vegeta earlier had not gone by him unnoticed. 'She'd better figure things out soon. She'll need to have a clear head when fighting our new foes.' Piccolo's attention returned to Gohan. "Just be patient," he advised.

Gohan nodded dutifully. "Alright, Mr. Piccolo, I understand. I'll be patient."

"Good," Piccolo replied. "You know, if you really want to help your dad out, then you yourself should train. How about you accompany me? I have some new training regimens in mind."

Gohan's face lit up with excitement. "That's a great idea!" he exclaimed. His smile faltered. "But… I can't," he admitted.

"Why not?"

"Mom doesn't want me training. She said that she doesn't want me to end up like father – 'all brawn and no brains', but I don't agree with her. She doesn't see Dad when she's in a fight!" Gohan explained.

Piccolo laughed. "I agree. You're father is a brilliant strategist when it comes to martial arts. Anyway, how about you and I spar a little bit later when your mom isn't around?"

Gohan grinned. "Really, you mean it?"

Piccolo smirked. "I wouldn't make an offer that I don't intend to keep."

A Few Days Later:

Vegeta growled irritatedly. "Damn-it! Just what the hell is Kakarrot doing in that blasted training room? I'm sick and tired of waiting for that weakling to be ready to take on our enemies. I have half a mind to just go and beat down this 'mysterious creature' by myself right now!"

"As much as I hate to admit it: Vegeta does make a good point. We don't have all the time in the world to wait for Goku. Just what is she thinking? This monster is killing innocent people, and we're just standing around doing nothing about it!" Yamcha pointed out.

Piccolo nodded his head in understanding. "While I agree that we cannot afford to wait for Goku any longer, I don't agree with you entirely, Vegeta. You don't know what to expect from this creature. It would be unwise to take it on by yourself."

Vegeta crossed his arms and huffed. "I'm the strongest of us all. I'll be the judge of that!"

Piccolo shook his head in disappointment. "Thinking that way will get you killed," he muttered.

An unfamiliar voice suddenly spoke up. "I agree with Piccolo."

Vegeta turned to the new arrival. "You again!" he spat. "What makes you think you're invited, boy?"

Trunks kept a steady gaze with Vegeta. "You need all the help you can get!"

"The monster is on the outskirts of West City," Krillin interjected. "It's probably preying on some unfortunate small town off in the boondocks, no doubt. It's only a matter of time before it hits the jackpot. It seems the more people it kills, the more powerful it becomes. I don't know about you guys, but I sure as hell don't want to see it reach the big bucks, if ya' know what I mean."

Vegeta cleared his throat to regain the group's attention. "That's enough talk!" he announced. "Let's get moving already."

The group took to the skies, unaware that they had a silent bystander watching and listening to everything they did and said.

Not too long after the Z-fighters had taken their leave, Goku finally emerged from her seclusion. She burst open the doors to the room and made her way to the common area. She felt good – in fact, she felt really good. 'I think I've finally gotten a good firm grasp on what I need to do,' she thought. 'And I'm not about to let my silly emotions overrun my ability to think straight again. It's time to take action. First things first, I need to get rid of that strange monster that has been terrorizing the Earth!'

Nobody was in the common area so she strode out onto the lookout. She walked to the edge and gazed off into the fluffy clouds overhead. 'Huh… that's funny, where is everybody?' Goku was about to reach out her ki senses and feel out everyone's individual ki signatures, but her concentration was cut short. She felt a hand make contact atop her shoulder and it startled her.

"Goku," a soft, feminine voice called out.

She recognized the voice instantly. Goku spun around. "What's up, Bulma?" she asked with a big smile.

Bulma smiled back. "I just wanted to check up on you. You've been acting so sad lately. It's so good to see you smiling again!"

"It's good to be smiling again," Goku replied earnestly.

Bulma rubbed Goku's shoulders affectionately. "You know that when you're down you can come and talk to me, right? I'm your friend, Goku. You can tell me anything!"

Goku twiddled her thumbs and laughed sheepishly. "I know, Bulma. Thanks."

"So... do you know what you're going to do about the ChiChi situation now?" Bulma asked.

Goku sighed and furrowed her eyebrows together. "I think so, Bulma. I want to be involved in the baby's life. After all, I helped make him… or her. I need to be there for my baby. As for ChiChi… I… I think we can… work things out."

Bulma smiled. "I'm glad to hear that. It's so hard on kids when they have a dysfunctional family!"

Goku tensed up all of a sudden. She had suddenly sensed something rather disturbing. 'Why is Gohan so far away from the lookout?' she thought. 'It's dangerous out there right now with that maniac on the loose and the androids… Oh no! The monster… he's there too!'

Bulma noticed Goku's shocked appearance and she immediately went into damage control mode. "Not to say that your family is dysfunctional or anything!" she blurted out.

Goku didn't take notice of what she said. She immediately took off in the direction of Gohan's ki signature. She realized by now that he was accompanied by the rest of the Z-fighters, but she couldn't understand why they would allow Gohan to tag along without her permission. There certainly was no way in hell that ChiChi would ever let him go with them!

Speaking of ChiChi: 'Oh Kami! ChiChi's going to kill me for this!'

Goku's heart skipped a beat when she suddenly felt the ki level of one of her friends plummet. Goku wasted no time in powering up to super Saiyan and soaring at top speed toward the Z-fighters' whereabouts.

When she arrived at the scene, she immediately noticed that all of her friends were in really bad shape. Krillin, Yamcha, and Tien were all unconscious. Their bodies were riddled across the dirt in bruised and bloodied heaps. Piccolo was still standing his ground, as was Vegeta, and the newcomer Trunks.

She gasped as her attention was drawn toward the monster. It was completely unscathed. It was a peculiar looking creature. Goku was immediately positive that it wasn't human, though she had been pretty certain of this fact to begin with. It had a cat-like gaze, but its face reminded her more of a menacing snake. It had violet slits for eyes, and they were currently leering at her. The creature let out a hiss and licked its muzzle in a lustful sort of manor.

Goku was immediately repulsed by it. 'Uh…' she thought with a grimace.

The creature's teeth made an appearance, and its lips curved up into a smirk-like gesture. "Hello, Son Goku," it said with a scratchy sounding voice. "Allow me to introduce myself. I am the soon to be perfect android. I am Dr. Gero's most extraordinary invention. I am many things that you couldn't even dream of amounting to, but for pleasantries' sake, you may refer to me simply as, Cell."

Goku was not interested in introductions, nor was she interested in anything the creature had to say about itself. "Where's Gohan?" she demanded, her eyes frantically roaming the premises.

Cell didn't find her remark agreeable. He glared at her and refused to answer. Goku growled frustratedly and turned to Piccolo for some answers.

"Relax, Goku, he's fine," Piccolo said coolly. "He's a little roughed up, but it's nothing that won't heal up quickly."

Gohan lifted himself from the ground with a groan and came out from behind a large boulder that had been currently obscuring his presence. He walked with a slight limp. "I'm fine, Dad," he assured.

Goku sighed with relief, and turned her attention back to Cell. "You say you're an android, but you have a ki signature and the others don't," Goku pointed out.

"How very observant of you," Cell retorted sarcastically.

Goku ignored his snarky reply. "What makes you think you have the right to kill innocent people?" she spat.

Cell genuinely laughed at this. "What makes you think I shouldn't have the right to do so? I'm the perfect example of survival of the fittest, am I not?"

Goku clenched her fists angrily. "Have you no sense of humanity at all?"

"More so than you would, after all, I do have some of their traits, and you don't," he replied in a matter of fact tone of voice.

"You suck the energy out of them like they're nothing more than animals!" she said sharply.

"I don't discriminate between any creatures. In fact, why don't you come a little bit closer? I'll demonstrate for you," he said menacingly, his tail whipping behind his body ominously.

All of this suddenly struck a chord of recognition within Vegeta's mind. Cell's tail, Goku… it was all so eerily familiar. He couldn't quite believe what he was suddenly thinking, but at the same time he couldn't will himself to ignore it either. He couldn't stop seeing what had happened in his dream.

"Get back this instant, Kakarrot!" Vegeta snapped.

Goku turned to look at Vegeta with a dumbfounded expression. "Wha – "

"Idiot!" Vegeta yelled. "Watch out!"

Something sharp suddenly pierced Goku's skin and her body froze. She instantly felt the need to break away from the foreign invader, but she felt paralyzed, and something was latching onto her limbs – making it impossible for her to break free. She gasped. All of her energy was being pulled away from her. It was being vacuumed out of her body. Her hair faded back to its natural onyx shade. Her breathing became laborious. Her skin lost its color and became clammy. She felt dizzy. Her vision blurred. Just before she lost consciousness, she could hear a sickening laughter ringing in her ears.

Vegeta, Piccolo, and Trunks triple-teamed Cell and were able to retrieve Goku, but by the time they had freed her from Cell's grasp, she had already long-since lost consciousness.

"She's lost most of her energy," Piccolo muttered. "We need to get her a senzu bean immediately or she's going to die."

Cell chuckled maniacally. He took in a deep breath. "Sweet bliss!" he exclaimed. "I've not had the chance to feel the pleasure of absorbing such a delectably strong victim as of yet. Do let me finish her off? I'm feeling generous. I might even absorb her into my body. She can live on through me! Wouldn't that be wonderful?"

*Chapter 26*: And the Father is?

Disclaimer: I don't own DB/Z/GT.

Haha... It's kind of funny. I haven't updated in a year because I'd forgotten my email! :P Please don't kill me. I'd had this chapter, uncompleted, on my computer for about a year now.. hehe...

It was like a nightmare, a terrible, horrifying nightmare. Gohan wanted to wake up from it. His eyes had unblurred, and the first image they had taken in was his Father choking on her own blood, rasping breaths tearing at his ears. But he wasn't dreaming, he didn't have to pinch himself to find out. How could he be dreaming if he had just woken up from being thrown unconscious?

"What do you mean Kakarrot is going to die?" hissed Vegeta.

"Well, I didn't exactly say that, Vegeta," murmured Piccolo, rubbing his temples, "She just needs some sensu beans and quickly."

Gohan suddenly felt like his stomach had made a flip. He wished beyond all hope that he was just delusional, and that none of this was happening. He glanced up at Cell, the evil creature cackling with laughter, distracted for the slightest moment.

The stench of blood lingered in the air, burning at Gohan's nostrils. He clenched his small fists, seething in anger. That 'thing' thought that this was all some hilarious joke!

"Come now, hand me the girl. Do you seriously think that you can avoid me? I'm not even in my perfect form yet, and you can't even stand up to me! You are all pathetic, she is going to die anyways, just hand her to me, she won't die 'completely' if she merges with me, now will she?" stated Cell, crossing his arms, and stifling his laughter for the moment, allowing a smirk to take its place.

"You hideous creature! My Father would never join with you, even if her life was on the line!" snapped Gohan, his aura surrounding him with a vengeance.

Cell began laughing again, "You again? Please, kid. You just get in the way of the grown-ups, now don't you?"

"Don't think of this as a mere joke!" yelled Gohan, "You will pay for what you've done!"

"Gohan, stay out of this!" warned Piccolo with a stern look.

"No! He's hurt my Father, this is my business!" hissed Gohan, a crazy look glazing over his eyes.

"Goh - Gohan, no!" whispered Goku, she was struggling to keep her eyes from rolling back behind her eyelids once more. "I'm fine, son."

"Don't take me as some stupid gullible little kid, Dad. I know you aren't okay. I will not let him get away with this!" screamed Gohan, his aura flaring up and encompassing his small body.

A brutal look was upon his face, not the look of a child, but the look of a hardened warrior. It caused Goku to feel a pang of guilt. What had she turned her son into?

'ChiChi was right; I'm no good as a Father,' thought Goku solemnly.

Gohan jumped at Cell, but didn't even have the slightest chance to hit the creature's face. Cell caught Gohan's fist before it had its chance to hit the target, and he flung the child away like a rag-doll.

Before Cell had the chance to mock Gohan's pitiful performance, his attention was diverted from the matter at hand.

He smiled off in the distance with a lust so great reflecting in his line of sight, it caused chills to rise up the Z-warriors spines.

"I don't mean to leave so soon before I've even began to have fun of it with you all, but I have some pressing matters I must attend to," announced Cell, staring them all down with his prominent gaze.

"Are you fucking kidding me?" hissed Vegeta, "What could possibly be so important!"

"It's simple, really, beings that are stronger than you lot, of course. You see, I would like to reach perfection as fast as I can. Now, I really must be going, I must say, you all disappointed me, make sure to do better to entertain me next time, won't you?" stated Cell, booming with hissing laughter.

With that said, Cell took off into the sky. Vegeta lurched forward angrily, but was held back by a strong grip. It was Trunks. Vegeta immediately hmphed, and ripped Trunks hands off of him.

Goku's vision blurred, distorting her surroundings beyond the point of recognition. She could still hear the others as she desperately fought to keep her hold on reality. To say she was ashamed of being taken down so easily - yet again - was an understatement. She felt like putting a dunce cap on her head and sitting in the loser corner with her head bowed to the ground.

The last words she heard before she fell into the deep abyss of unconsciousness were from Vegeta's lips, and they tore at her insides like a ravenous monster.

"Why the hell did you hold me back you idiot? Didn't you see what he did to her!" hissed Vegeta, his voice sounded alien in her ears. "That fucker is going to die! I swear to you he will, and I will be the one who gets the glory of delivering that death!"

Goku never was given the ample time she needed to recover, not physically, of course, but mentally. She didn't know how to feel. She had sworn to herself that she would not let her emotions get in her way again, and she was determined to make sure of that, even if it meant lying to herself in the process.

Goku woke up as stiff as a board on small sleeping mat. She sat up and stretched, while yawning, followed by rubbing the sleep out of her eyes, the usual routine.

"Well hi there, stranger!" a chipper voice sounded off a ways in front of her.

Goku jumped slightly, startled. She thought she had been alone. She glanced up and greeted the friendly intruder. It was someone she had never seen before. She had bright sky-blue eyes, and hair that matched them. Goku couldn't help, but be reminded very much so of Bulma. They looked like they could be sisters.

The young woman stretched out her arm, and clasped Goku's hand in her's, shaking her arm vigorously as she announced, "It's really great to meet you, Goku. My name is Marron, and I've been taking care of you. If you need anything, don't be afraid to ask, Nurse Marron is here, at you service!"

Goku blinked at the girl in confusion. Why was she so happy?

"Oh and I didn't tell you, did I? I'm Krillin's girlfriend! What a hunka-hunka-burnin'-love, huh? Don't worry, though. There are plenty of fishies out in the sea for you!" blabbed Marron.

Goku merely raised her eyebrows in confusion and wonder

"Krillin... Isn't my type..."

"No need to be ashamed, Goku, we both know Krillin is hard to resist!"

"Erm - Okay..."

For a moment, Marron and Goku just stared at each other. Neither new how to respond. As you can imagine, they now felt very awkward, or at least Goku did. Marron seemed to be oblivious to the tension that was so thick, it could be cut with a knife like butter.

"Well thank you for your hospitallity, Marron, but I think I need to get back to bussiness," stated Goku, taking on a very serious look.

"B – But you just got here! You can't be better yet?" stuttered Marron, the size of her eyes growing by the second, and her mouth becoming agape.

Goku was literrally ripping of her bandages like some sort of madman, or shall I say, madwoman She hopped off the bed like she couldn't have felt any better, and she made a mad-dash for the door. Marron tried to chase after her, but inevitably got left in Goku's dust.

'Krillin wasn't kidding, that bean did work?' thought Marron in disbelief.

Goku cursed herself for being so stupid with Cell around. She had let her guard down. How could she have been so reckless. Gohan could have gotten seriously injured because of her foolish actions… or worse… killed. She didn't want to think of that possible outcome. It made her feel so terrible, and she could even feel herself trembling.

She didn't really want to face the others now. She couldn't have felt less deserving of having them look up to her half the time. If she said things were immpossible, they'd lose all hope. Though, at the moment, she couldn't really think of a way out of the inevitable. Cell was too much for her to handle, period.

Goku was so preoccupied, she didn't even realize that Trunks had approached her unil he greeted her with a friendly, "Hello."

Goku gasped slightly, "Oh hi, Trunks. How are you?"

"I'm fine, and you?"

"Not so good. I was a reck out there. I must have embarrassed everyone. I feel like I owe them more than that," mumbled Goku.

"Don't feel bad, Goku. Everybody makes mistakes now and then. Would you mind if I talk to you about something? It's sort of a pressing matter," questioned Trunks.

Although Goku had an uncontrollable itch to get away from everyone at the moment, she agreed to speak with Trunks. All of a sudden, she found that she had lost the itch to be alone. She was curious. Just who was this mysterious fellow that had popped into her life so recently? Why did it seem like he cared so much about her and everyone else?

"I would like it very much, if I could speak to you alone, somewhere... private," stated Trunks, "Follow me, please."

Once Goku and Trunks had reached a secluded spot, Trunks turned to her with a look of pure determination upon his face.

"What I'm about to tell you cannot be repeated to anyone. Do you understand?" he said.

Goku was caught off guard by how serious Trunks was, but nevertheless replied," Of course, if that's what you want."

"Goku, you're going to find this hard to believe, but I'm from the future."

Goku was utterly shocked, she wasn't expecting Trunks to say anything like that.

"I've heard some pretty out-there things in my life that were completely true. Trunks why are you telling me this? I mean, why me, and not somebody else?" questioned Goku.

"Because I came here to help you, Goku. In my time you were killed by the androids. I've never seen Cell before, but I'm positive you were killed by androids 17 and 18. You weren't prepared when you fought them, and you fought them alone," explained Trunks.

"Trunks, I'm completely aware that I'm no match for them in my present state. I promise I won't be reckless."

"I'm going to have to take your word for that, but just know that the fate of this world is resting on your shoulders. Goku, these people, these warrior friends of yours, they look up to you! When you died, these people were hit hard. They lost hope, and all dropped like flies. Where I come from, there is practically nobody left."

"I was sent by my Mother to aid you because she believes that if you hadn't died so early on, and had fought them prepared, our world wouldn't have had such a terrible fate," continued Trunks.

Goku could see that Trunks was trying to refrain from crying. This was just a child compared to her, and he had been thrown into such an awful fate because she had been stupid.

"Trunks I want to make things right!" Goku nearly shouted.

"We can, Goku. With your help, I think we can change the future for this world. What's done is done in my time, but we may still have a chance here. My Mother had concocted a plan, and I've already led Piccolo onto it," replied Trunks, his face brightening greatly.

"Come to think of it," said Goku, "Piccolo did mention that he had an idea that could make us strong enough to battle with the androids and that thing, Cell."

Trunks merely smirked. The look on his face was so familiar to someone, it was on the tip of Goku's tongue, but she just couldn't put her finger on it.

"Hey Trunks, I know you're probably not supposed to tell me much, but who's your Mother?" asked Goku.

Trunks paused for a moment, contemplating whether to tell Goku or not, then finally muttered,"Bulma."

"No way! Oh my Kami! Who's the lucky Daddy she went and settled down with?"

Trunks glanced at the floor, then back at Goku rather meekly. His face was bright red. Goku couldn't help, but wonder why the question made Trunks blush.

"You mean to say," began Trunks, glancing away, yet again, "You haven't already guessed?"


"But isn't it obvious. There can only be one person… At least in this Universe…"

Goku just stared blankly at Trunks, completely dumbfounded.

"Goku, I'm half-saiyan. My Father's Vegeta."

The last statement struck her like a brick to the face. How could she have been so stupid? Of course it was Vegeta! There was only one other Saiyan alive besides Vegeta, and that was her. She was definitely in no shape to be making babies, well, at least with women.

Trunks immediately noticed the drastic change in Goku's facial expression. She now looked as if she'd been told someone she had been close to passed away.

"What's wrong, Goku?" asked Trunks, concern etched over his face. "You look upset."

"So Vegeta likes… Bulma… That way… I… I didn't…" Goku stuttered, the words fumbling out of her mouth as nonsense.

"Is something wrong, Goku?" Trunks inquired, "You're worrying me."

After having stared at the same wall, with the same blank expression for nearly a minute straight, Goku diverted her attention to Trunks and her face completely transformed before his eyes.

"Oh wow!" she exclaimed, with a look of pure excitement. "I had no idea! Wow that is so funny!"

Trunks just stared at her, completely at a loss for words.

"Oh, well, um… I need to go, but clue me in on our plan a bit later," stated Goku, winking at Trunks playfully, and disappearing in the blink of an eye.

Trunks only continued to stare at the space Goku occupied only moments earlier.

'That was odd," he thought to himself. "I could have sworn she was upset about something."

A/N: Remember, I said in the first chapter, that Trunks didn't come to give Goku medicine, or at least something similar to that. This chapter may be a little rough around the edges, I was just really excited to post it.

*Chapter 27*: Congratulations, Vegeta!

Disclaimer: I don't own DB/Z/GT.

"You would think there would be at least one decent place to shop at in this city?" commented 18 casually, though 17 could tell that her patience was wearing thin. "I mean, am I ever going to get out of this clown costume that Gero put me in?"

"You know, I'm positive people won't be concerned with your appearance when you're about to kill them," replied 17.

17 wondered if it was smart of him to make that comment. He could tell that he had only succeeded in darkening 18's mood furthermore.

"Oh! I must have that outfit!" exclaimed 18, pointing past a small coffee stand to yet another stand that had women's apparel displayed.

17 rolled his eyes and followed 18 toward the clothing stand.

"Hi there, what can I get for you today ma'am?" questioned an employee at the small coffee joint to a customer standing at the front of the line.

"Gimme a medium, nonfat, sugar-free-7-and-a-half-pump-vanilla, half decaf, with an extra shot, 180 degree latte, oh and… oooff! Hey! Watch where you're goin' broad!" shouted the customer, rather annoyed, turning to see who'd ran into her so carelessly."

"You don't know who the hell you're talking to," hissed 18 with a smirk plastered on her face, "In fact, I'm pretty sure that it was you who was in my way!"

"Um-" intervened a rather confused barista, "Here's your drink Ma'am, that will be…"

"Oh thanks," commented the irritated woman with a smirk of her own as she grabbed her coffee.

"But- you didn't pay…"

The woman ignored the worker and tossed her coffee into 18's face. 18 raised an eyebrow at the ignorant woman, lifted her hand in a flash, and flicked the cup in the opposite direction, namely, the woman who'd thrown it. It landed directly in her face, and she screamed out in pain.

18's smile widened at the sight of seeing the woman in such pain. Though, unfortunately, the screaming became rather bothersome, and she realized it was starting to give her a headache. Moments later, she casually flipped up her wrist and spread out her hand.

The woman that was screaming was trying to open her eyes, but could only manage a squint. She squinted open her eyes just in time to see 18 send a bright blue ki blast directly at her.

18's nose twitched in detest as she smelled the stench of burning flesh. Killing was fun, but she despised the smell of incinerated humans. She made a mental note to kill the humans by other means when in close range next time.

She sighed, taking her hand and casually combing back some loose strands of her blonde hair that had fallen in her line of site. Why the hell was there more screaming now? She glanced around at all of the humans, and realized that the whole shopping center had become utter pandemonium in mere seconds.

"Nice going, 18," commented 17, rolling his eyes at her in annoyance.

"How about you kill them all, while I go change into that cute outfit? That way, we're both satisfied," suggested 18.

"Sounds good to me," replied 17, smiling maliciously, and eyeing the humans like a herd of cattle.

17 rose up into the air and began targeting ki blasts at the pathetic humans. Occasionally he would get bored and would land and deal the blows physically. Just as he had finished off the last human, he heard a faint noise off to his right, but there was no ki signal.

"Well, it's about time 18. What took you so long?" he questioned.

"I believe that you've mistaken me for someone else, boy," replied a snakelike voice.

17 turned around, and raised an eyebrow at the odd-looking creature that had just spoken to him, "What the hell are you, some sort of lizard-cricket?"

"No," replied the creature in a deadpan voice, all the while, an eerie smile spreading across its face, "I'm your worst nightmare."

Goku hoped that Trunks didn't realize what he had said really did upset her. After all, there was no reason why it should. Goku knew that Bulma really liked Vegeta, but she would have never guessed that Vegeta would ever share those feelings in return.

Once Goku was far from Trunks, she paused her frantic strides and sighed in dismay. 'If Vegeta ends up with Bulma, then I'm obviously not meant to… I should probably… No…' thought Goku, her mind was abuzz with all sorts of questions.

"There's only one thing to do," she thought aloud, sighing once again.

"And what is that?" asked a voice from directly behind her.

Goku nearly jumped out of her skin. 'Wow! I really need to pay more attention!' she thought. "Vegeta, what are you doing here?" she asked, turning to face his scrutinizing gaze.

Vegeta raised an eyebrow at her, "What? Am I not allowed to walk in the same hall as you, Kakarrot?"

"Are you mad at me?" asked Goku. "You sound a little angry."

Vegeta narrowed his eyes at her. He seemed to have something to say, but he wasn't telling her what was on his mind.

"I am angry, Kakarrot, but not at you," he replied, after a moment of consideration.

"Then who?" questioned Goku, furrowing her brows together in consternation.

"I'm not quite sure. I suppose I'm angry because I'm disappointed about something," Vegeta paused, as if in deep thought again, "What were you talking about earlier, something about there being only one thing to do?"

"I guess there's no reason for me not to tell you," admitted Goku, looking at her feet, giving the appearance that she was ashamed of herself. "I've decided that I'm going to tell ChiChi that I'll get back together with her, and help her raise our children."

Vegeta's eyes widened in shock. His face went through a variation of different expressions, from surprise, to confusion, to anger, to fear.

Finally he responded, "Why the hell would you do such a stupid thing?"

"Because it's the right thing to do, Vegeta. Not for me, maybe for ChiChi, but she's not whom I'm doing it for," replied Goku.

"Damn-it, Kakarrot! You can still raise perfectly good kids without being married to their Mother. Gohan's already gotten over your breakup, and your next kid won't know any different! Stop digging a ditch for yourself!" argued Vegeta.

"Why do you even care?" yelled Goku.

Vegeta was taken aback by her sudden attitude. Goku hadn't meant to yell at him, she was just getting so heated, and she'd already managed to make peace with what she was going to do. It wasn't helping that HE out of all people was trying to stop her.

"I don't know why I care. I wish I didn't," replied Vegeta rather sternly.

"Wha - " was all Goku could muster as a reply.

She certainly wasn't expecting to hear him admit that he cared about her. Had she heard him correctly? Why was he just staring at her like that… so… calmly? Wasn't he going to take it back?

"Vegeta, this is what's best for you too," she began, feeling very awkward, "You only think you care about me because I'm a Saiyan woman… the only Saiyan woman left… It's natural for you to be drawn to me because of that, but you don't have true feelings for me."

"I know you don't think that you could ever settle for an earthling as your… er… mate… or wife... or whatever you call it, but I know you can, and…"

Goku glanced up at Vegeta, she couldn't figure out why she was shaking, or why she had began to sob. She hated being so susceptible to her emotions. Her breath caught in her throat when she saw the expression on Vegeta's face. He looked infuriated. His face was as cold as a stone, and his fists were clenched so tightly, he'd cut through each palm of his hands with his nails. He seemed to be shaking too, but she wasn't quite sure it was for the same reason.

"And what?" he hissed.

"And… And I know you will… Vegeta… I can't tell you how I know, but I'm positive of this…"

"I told you that I won't settle for an earthling, and I most certainly wouldn't settle for a Saiyan woman just because she's the last one left. Regardless of what you may think, I do have feelings."

"Maybe…" mumbled Goku, "… Maybe when I wish myself back to normal I'll gain my feelings for ChiChi back…"

"You wouldn't," replied Vegeta in what appeared to be shock, "There's nothing wrong with you the way you are! What's made you think this way? I know that you don't want this, Kakarrot."

"Trunks-" muttered Goku without thinking, being abruptly cut off by:

"That insignificant little prick! I'll… ugh!" steamed Vegeta, abruptly heading toward Trunks ki.

"Vegeta! Wait! You didn't let me speak!" shouted Goku, running after him.

Goku tried to grab hold of Vegeta before he could tear open the door to Trunk's room, but it was too late. Goku immediately caught sight of a surprised Trunks.

Trunks glanced at Goku, then at Vegeta, and back again before asking, "What's going on?"

"What did you say to her?" demanded Vegeta.

"N- nothing…" replied a shocked Trunks, glancing at Goku with a startled look.

"I haven't told him anything, Trunks, I swear!" replied Goku.

"Damn-it! Someone needs to tell me what the hell is going on!" shouted Vegeta, walking up to Trunks and shoving him into a wall, "I'm not leaving until I get an answer."

"Fine, I'll tell you, but you can't tell another living soul. Goku was supposed to be the only one who knew," stated Trunks, glancing accusingly at Goku.

"I'm sorry, Trunks. Vegeta has a big temper when he doesn't get what he wants," muttered Goku.

"Why is Kakarrot so upset? What did you tell her?" demanded Vegeta, ignoring Goku's little comment.

"Well, you see… It starts like this..."

"... and so my Mother sent me here to help you guys defeat the android."

"See Vegeta, no reason to kill Trunks, right? He-he…" stated Goku nervously.

Vegeta glanced at Goku with a suspicious look on his face, then back to Trunks, "Tell me all of it, you aren't telling me everything."

"Well… um…"

"Wait a minute… You told me you were from Planet Vegeta a few days ago, and that your mother was your father's slave. You said he accidentally impregnated her. You were supposedly off planet when Planet Vegeta was destroyed. So where is your mother now? Why didn't she come with you? Why do I get the the feeling that you're full of shit?" Vegeta spat.

"Uh... um.. well, you see... I..." Trunks stammered awkwardly.

"Aha!" Vegeta exclaimed. "You were lying to me after all! Who really is your mother? She's an earthling woman, isn't she?"

"Bulma," Trunks muttered softly.

"Bulma! What? Then you lied to me more than once! You aren't a Saiyan at all!"

"Well, no… I didn't lie to you… You see, um… You're…you're…" sputtered Trunks, sweat beading on his brow.

"Out with it, boy!" Vegeta demanded.

"You're… my father," Trunks replied.

*Chapter 28*: My Never

Disclaimer: I don't own DB/Z/GT.

Vegeta's mouth was agape with shock. His eyebrow was twitching. He grabbed a hold of Trunks and got a close look at his face, all the while, his eyes darting back and forth in random directions. His face took on a look of disgust as he glanced down to stare at his hands as if they needed washing. Lastly, He diverted his attention toward Goku, who immediately took to staring at her toes when their eyes made contact.

Vegeta walked up to her, and extended his arm, his hand reaching out to touch her face, but he paused and held back. He glanced at Trunks again and then back at Goku. He then took his hand and cupped it under her chin in order to make her face him.

Goku's eyes were so sad. He couldn't bear looking at them, but he felt he had to. She was trying to avert her gaze, but he continued to hold her face so that she was looking directly at him. He felt like he should be saying something to her, but he didn't know what in the world to say.

Goku clenched her fists together, bracing herself so that she wouldn't lose it. She had no idea why, by she really wanted to embrace Vegeta. She wanted to be comforted by him. She wanted to tell him that Bulma didn't deserve to have him because she… Because she what?

"Trunks-" Goku mumbled under her breath, "- could you give Vegeta and me some time alone to… talk?"

Trunks couldn't help, but wonder what was going. He was a bright kid. He could tell that there was definitely something between his father and Goku. It just seemed so weird.

"Yeah, Goku, no problem," He replied, quietly exiting the room, being careful to step over the door Vegeta had ripped from its hinges.

Goku forced herself to look into his eyes. How could he seem so calm and resolute when she knew he was pissed off and plain hurt? She tried to back away, tearing his hand away from her face. He recoiled, but grabbed her arm, perhaps he feared she might leave? He already knew the answer to that though. She had something to say to him. She wouldn't leave just yet.

"Vegeta, I've known Bulma since we were kids," began Goku, after taking a deep breath in order to steady her composure. "Back then, I was really oblivious to feelings… well… I mean romantic feelings."

Goku paused, glancing up at Vegeta; she looked away again and seemed to be thinking about something. She took on a somewhat nostalgic expression and resumed, "Now that I think of it, I've come to realize some things I'd never noticed before. Anyways, what I'm trying to say is that Bulma has never really had much luck with the whole dating and love experience. I mean, she had plenty of guys to choose from, and I guess she still does. She just, never meets the right one, and if that's you, Vegeta, you need to step up because she deserves it!"

"I don't care if I had feelings for her in a different time, Kakarrot. I'm telling you this now, and I will tell you as many times as it's needed to get it through your thick skull: I have no feelings for Bulma, and that isn't going to change, not now, not ever!" replied Vegeta heatedly.

"Bulma really likes you, Vegeta. You can't even find it in yourself to show her the time of day! Why is that? Maybe you will start to have feelings for her if you just give her a try?" said Goku, unable to understand why she'd even said it. Why was she trying to convince him to go for Bulma?

"That's because I have eyes for only one person," answered Vegeta, "Stop trying to convince yourself that you don't have feelings for me."

Goku's heart was drumming against her chest so quickly and vigorously she could hear the thrumming crescendo in her ears. She didn't understand why she suddenly felt embarrassment and was worried that Vegeta might be hearing it too. She could feel her face heating up, and her fisted hands getting clammy and shaky.

"Oh Kami!" exclaimed Goku suddenly, "I couldn't hurt Bulma like that, Vegeta! Don't you understand? I couldn't hurt ChiChi, and Gohan!"

Vegeta merely stared at her with an impassive expression upon his face. How could he be so calm about all of this? Why wasn't he saying anything?

Unbeknownst to Goku, Vegeta had chosen to be silent for a moment because he'd realized that she was actually contemplating him and her, together. He feared if he said anything, she would run out like she normally did.

Goku pulled her arm out of Vegeta's clutches and began to pace the room anxiously. If Vegeta weren't in such a serious state of mind he may have thought the scene almost comical. This frantic woman looked nothing like Goku, at least not the old Goku.

Goku suddenly stopped midstride with a determined look upon her face. She waltzed straight up to Vegeta and grabbed a hold of him by his biceps. Vegeta merely lifted an eyebrow in confusion, as if to ask, "What now?"

"Remember Koshin, Vegeta?" questioned Goku unexpectedly, her voice almost fierce.

Vegeta straightened noticeably, "Of course I remember that bastard? Why? What about him?" he almost hissed.

"That night he kissed me…" began Goku.

Vegeta's eyes were growing by the second in shock that she was even talking about this. He could feel dread inching into the recesses of his mind. He had to bite his tongue to keep himself from shouting something stupid.

"What is it, Kakarrot," he managed to let out in a stressed mumble.

"…And you freaked out on me. Well, I told Bulma I wasn't interested in you. I plain told her that she wouldn't have to worry about me as competition," finished Goku, a worried stressful look pasted on her facial features.

"That's all?" Vegeta questioned, letting a small chuckle escape his lips from the relief of it all.

He could suddenly feel Goku's nails digging into his skin, and he didn't even have to look into her face to know that he'd made a mistake in laughing about it.

"Dammit, Vegeta! This is wrong? Don't you have feelings for anyone but yourself?" hissed Goku.

Vegeta wanted to slap himself, but he couldn't help but think that she looked cute when she was pissed. He made the second mistake of letting a smile crack his lip's former deadpan expression.

"Yes, but only for one person. I think I've told you that already, Kakarrot, are you listening to me?" he questioned, wondering to himself why he'd chosen to further his irking her.

"Vegeta-" Goku almost growled.

"Shh… Kakarrot," whispered Vegeta, putting his index finger up to her lips playfully, he had no idea why he was taunting her, but it was fun. He was sick of arguing with her. It seemed that was all they were doing as of late, and it was always the same argument.

"Maybe I can persuade you without words?" he asked with a smirk.

Goku was taken aback by Vegeta's sudden change in expression and words. Was she dreaming? Weren't they just at each other's throats? This made absolutely no sense at all!

She hadn't enough time to think the issue over, because as soon as Vegeta had made his inquiry known, he had already begun to lean in to receive his answer.

She backed away just as she could feel his warm breath upon her lips, but he continued his pursuit regardless.

"But Vegeta, Gohan… ChiChi…?" she whispered frantically.

He chuckled at the prospect of them knowing and replied soothingly, "They don't have to know."

Finally their lips touched, and he smirked inwardly as he felt her lips curved up into what he knew was a smile. They were so caught up in the heat of the moment, neither of them noticed the storm brewing off in the distance. Someone or something's ki had just doubled in strength, and they were completely oblivious to it.

Tap… tap… tap… tap… consistently went the end of Gohan's pencil on his math book. He sighed, glancing at his battered up watch. He didn't want to do homework right now. He wanted to see his dad. He hadn't really spoken to her since the accident, and he really missed talking to her. He also wanted to train with Piccolo, after all, he had promised him.

He slowly began to inch out of the chair when all of a sudden he heard, "Now what do you think you're doing, Gohan? You need to be focused on your studies!"

"Yes, Mom," replied Gohan, sighing turning back to his book, scribbling on a piece of paper, pretending to do his homework. He was really sketching pictures of him and his dad, back when his dad was a man. He sighed again, and scribbled the picture out.


"Yes, Gohan," replied ChiChi, who currently had her full attention spent on sewing a pair of little booties for her child that was on the way. She guessed that she was only about 3, maybe 4 months along, but it was never too soon to get prepared, especially when the future was a little foggy at the moment.

"Do you still love dad?" questioned Gohan meekly.

"Of course I do, Gohan! That's a silly question to ask," replied ChiChi, looking up from her sewing.

"Are you and dad going to get back together?"

"I'm sure we'll work things out. After all, I gave your father some very good news," answered ChiChi, smiling nostalgically.

"What news?" asked Gohan, hopping out of his chair, and moving to sit next to his mother.

ChiChi felt a sudden constriction in her chest. She had completely forgotten that she hadn't told Gohan about the baby.

"Gohan, mommy needs tell you something," began ChiChi, gaining Gohan's full attention.

Gohan set his keen, large childlike eyes on his mother, happy to be getting some answers for once.

"Before your father and I got in a fight because of the accident caused by Vegeta," she stressed Vegeta's name without even noticing it, "Your father and I were extremely happy, and when two people love each other and are happy together, they make love. You remember what that is right? I explained to you not too long ago about the birds and the bees."

"I remember," answered Gohan curtly, "You said that's how babies are made, and that someday, I'd come to a better understanding of it, but for now I don't need to know about it all too much."

"Precisely, Gohan," replied ChiChi with a satisfied smile that told the world that she was a proud mother because her son was so much smarter than other children, or at least, she thought so.

"So, what about it then, Mom?" asked Gohan curiously.

"Gohan, sweetie, mommy's pregnant, and that's because your father and I love each other so much!" stated ChiChi with a broad smile, rubbing her stomach in utter satisfaction.

Gohan seemed a little bit surprised. "Does that mean I'll have a baby brother?" asked Gohan.

"Or sister," corrected ChiChi, smiling at the neutral yellow booties that still lay upon her lap.

Gohan merely just chose to stare at ChiChi's stomach in curiosity. He was wondering how a baby could possible fit and/or come out of his mother's stomach.

"I could understand a baby fitting inside dad's tummy, mom. He eats a lot, but you don't. How would it fit?" asked Gohan, somewhat pondering to himself the whole ordeal.

ChiChi felt a sudden wave of revulsion of the thought of Goku being pregnant. She shook her head at the intruding thought, it was plain silly! She turned her attention back to Gohan, "Sweetheart, a baby grows inside of its mommy. It isn't in my tummy, it's in something called womb, and that is located above my tummy. It has nothing to do with how much I eat. I assure you, Gohan, the baby will fit, after all, you did," explained ChiChi.

Gohan scrunched his face up at the thought of being inside of his mom's body. That would just be weird! He took to staring at her stomach again.

She smiled gently, "Do want to feel it, Gohan?"

"Won't it hurt the baby?" asked Gohan sheepishly.

"No, of course not, silly!" exclaimed ChiChi with a touch of lilting laughter.

She grabbed a hold of his arm, and directed his hand to rest atop the small bulge on her stomach. She smiled, it tickled slightly. She imagined Goku with his arms around her waist, holding her very pregnant stomach like he had with Gohan. First she had to have Goku wish to be a man again though. A woman caressing her so passionately would not do, not at all!

"I can't feel anything, mom," complained Gohan.

"Oh, but you will Gohan, it takes time. The baby grows with each passing day, and soon you will be able to feel your little brother or sister move inside me," replied ChiChi happily.

A/N: Just thought I'd give you something to think about before the action begins! :P Isn't Gohan cute?

*Chapter 29*: Goku's Epiphany

Disclaimer: I don't own DB/Z/GT.

Android 18's expression lit up like the sun when it first peeks over the horizon in the morning. She knew this was perfect. She had to have it. 'This is such a cute outfit!' she thought to herself, eyeing the size on the tag, 'Oh! And what luck! It's my size!'

The outfit was displayed before her eyes in all of its spectacular glory. It consisted of a small white blouse with a tight black tank-top vest over the top layer. The mannequin was also wearing dark blue jeans with a thin chain attached from the beltline to one of the front pockets. There was a small gold medallion attached to the chain.

The mannequin was wearing black gloves, upon which its left hand wore a thin gold bracelet. It had small black flat shoes, and a dark brown belt. A delicate looking pearl necklace adorned the mannequin's neck. 18 stood and stared at the dummy for a second before promptly picking it up, and dragging it to the changing curtain behind the clothes stand.

Inside the changing room there was a small mirror propped up. 18 examined how the outfit looked on her in delight. She turned around in all sorts of odd angles, trying to make sure nothing was out of place. Everything had to look good. 'Just perfect!' she thought. 'This definitely suits me.'

Android 18 casually flicked her short blonde locks over shoulder as she walked out of the dressing room. She expected the owner to flip out on her as she left without paying, but she was surprised to see that the owner had fled. She glanced over to where her brother was waiting for her, and noticed that he was no-longer there.

She furrowed her brows together in somewhat confusion, yet also annoyance. She heard a loud thump, and witnessed her brother go flying into a wall from around a faraway corner. All of a sudden, she could feel a strong ki. It felt like mixture of the kis of the Earthling warriors they'd confronted earlier, but it was weird, this was just one being.

She took a nervous step backward, and chose to hide behind a clothes rack just to be safe. Her brother was getting his ass kicked. If she stepped in, she'd be granted the same fate. That's when she saw it, the terrifying lizard-like creature with a tail that stood out like a whip with a dagger for the tip, and the eyes of a snake.

She could see that her brother had been too cocky, and was being beaten down. She contemplated helping him, but she didn't want to lose her life just as soon as she'd gained it back. Was this compassion she was feeling? Was it selfishness? Her eyes were wide open, and for the first time since Gero had given her the operation, she felt fear rushing through her veins. Terror felt so new to her, almost exhilarating, but still horrifying none the less.

She nearly screamed as she saw the creature's tail come out from behind it and stab into her brother. It began to suck at her brother's life force. 'What are you doing? Help him you moron! He's your brother!' her mind screamed, but her will to live was far too great to forfeit her life for her brother.

Android 17 slumped as his energy was drawn from him. She watched as her brother was vacuumed in through the monster's tail. She watched him fight against it. She heard his grunts and protests, and finally, she heard his last utterance, a petrifying scream. She felt like crying, but no tears came. She felt like running, but her feet were glued to the floor. She wanted to scream, but she feared for her life.

The monster was laughing; his cackling laugh resonated throughout the shopping mall. Her hand clenched into fists as she could feel her brother's power joining with the monster. He had literally absorbed her brother whole, and was now going through some sort of disgusting transformation.

18 could suddenly feel the ground move below her feet, the whole building was trembling from the creature's power. The monster was glowing, and she could see its body contorting and reforming before her very eyes. The transformation this creature was going through was utterly repulsive.

Android 18 nearly jumped out of her own skin as she felt something tug on her arm. In a flash she turned to see what it was and nearly obliterated Android 16 on the spot.

"Come, 18, we must go. He will come after you next," he spoke in a monotone voice.

18 was completely shocked. She'd forgotten 16 was still with them. More than that, she was surprised he'd even thought to save her. She thought that his only intentions were of killing Son Goku, like he was programmed to do. Apparently, she had been wrong; he too, had a mind of his own.

Together, they exited the building, and headed for safety. 18 glanced back one last time, a thought of final farewells to her brother echoed in her mind. Absentmindedly, she wondered where the aching feeling in her chest had come from.

Piccolo sat atop the lookout with a look of complete and utter concentration upon his face. A bead of sweat slid down his temple down to his jawbone, and onto his chin, before silently dripping to the ground. Only moments before, his face had been as placid as a lake in the middle of a beautiful thriving forest. Now, things were different. He had just sensed something all of a sudden that was extremely disturbing.

The Namekian who was once regarded as an evil demon out to destroy the Earth, now felt like one of the Earth's guardians, and rightly so. This thing, this evil monster he was sensing, threatened the very existence of his precious planet. The solution was simple, it had to go, but the means to create this solution was a lot more complicated, especially now.

'How?' thought Piccolo, breaking away from his former concentration. 'How did Cell gain so much power so suddenly?"

Piccolo scowled at the ground in deep thought, completely ignoring the group that had come up to him. They had felt it too then; Krillin, Yamcha, Tien, and Trunks must have sensed the commotion this Cell creature had created.

Piccolo could remember Cell's exact words from their former confrontation: "I don't mean to leave you so soon before I've even began to have fun of it with you all, but I have some pressing matters I must attend to."

'So these must be those pressing matters then?' thought Piccolo, as he recalled one more of Cell's earlier statements: "…you see, I would like to reach perfection as fast as I can. Now, I really must be going, I must say, you all disappointed me, make sure to do better to entertain me next time, won't you?"

"Perfection," muttered Piccolo aloud, still deeply immersed in Cell's words, trying to decipher what he had meant by them.

"Would you mind hearing my opinion, Piccolo?" intervened a somewhat worried, yet calm, looking Trunks.

"Not at all," replied Piccolo, raising an eyebrow at the boy out of intrigue.

"Well, first things first, we know that Cell has the ability to literally suck the life out of his victims by puncturing their skin with his tail. Each time he sucks the life out of somebody, they join with him, and he even stated that to us earlier. If they join with him, he gains more power, so needless to say, he's constantly looking for more victims to gain more strength and reach what he deems is his 'perfected' state," explained Trunks.

"That's precisely what I had been afraid of," mumbled Piccolo in response.

"Did any of you guys sense a strong ki around Cell when he absorbed whoever it was he absorbed and his strength increased tenfold?" questioned Krillin.

A chorus of the word, "No," could be heard echoing atop the lookout.

"I think-" mumbled Trunks, "-and I'm not sure if this is even possible… I think he may have absorbed one of the androids we'd encountered earlier."

An assortment of gasps could be heard from the group.

"I agree with you, Trunks," replied Piccolo, nodding his head in approval, "That would explain why we couldn't feel a huge ki being absorbed. The androids don't have ki, but they seem human enough, so it could be possible that Cell may be able to absorb their power too."

"Guys, this isn't looking good for us, not at all," stated Krillin, receiving a handful of nods.

"Don't count us out yet, Krillin. He was strong before, but I know we could've beaten him, if Goku hadn't been so reckless… She… or Vegeta…" Yamcha paused, suddenly feeling embarrassed of himself. Since when did the Z-fighters only depend on Goku and Vegeta to fight their battles for them?

"We can beat him!" Yamcha corrected himself, "We just need to ban together and give it our all!"

"We also need to prevent this Cell creature from absorbing any other renegade androids," pointed out Tien.

"I'll go get Goku, you guys. We all need to be in this together! There's no leaving anyone out this time. We don't want to take any chances," announced Krillin, preparing to leave.

"Get Vegeta too," suggested Piccolo, 'Probably won't be hard,' he thought to himself, 'Seems like he's always around Goku as of late.'

"Can do," bellowed Krillin, jogging into the building atop the lookout.

'Maybe that's not such a good idea,' thought Trunks, 'Poor Krillin's probably going to get dragged into their argument.'

Krillin made a quick search for Goku and Vegeta's kis, and was delighted to find that they were near each other, 'Less work for me,' he thought with a grin.

'Geeze, now that I think of it, those two sure have been hangin' out a lot lately,' his thought process continued, 'It's kinda weird… Since Vegeta hates Goku and all…'

Krillin paused as he approached the room he'd sensed their ki in, 'Now why the heck is the door on the ground?' he thought. 'I hope they aren't attacking each other or anything.'

Krillin narrowed his eyes in suspicion, as he turned to walk into the room "You guys better not be training in here, there are specified rooms to train in ya' know…."

All of a sudden, Krillin stopped dead-still. His eyes bugged out, and his jaw nearly dropped to the floor.

"G- Goku?" he mumbled.

Goku and Vegeta's lips were definitely connected in a passionate kiss. Goku arm's were most certainly intertwined around Vegeta's neck, her finger's entangled in his infamous flame-shaped hair. Vegeta's arms were proudly adorned around her waist, pulling her close to him. It was obvious what was going on, yet still, the trivial question was asked:

"W-What are you doing?!?" Krillin nearly shouted in surprise.

Goku immediately shoved herself away from Vegeta, wrapping her arms around herself as if she felt naked. Vegeta let out a low growl and crossed his arms in annoyance.

"What's it look like cue-ball?" he hissed.

Krillin scowled at Vegeta, "I didn't ask you!"

Goku's now rather pallid face glanced up at Krillin. She looked embarrassed, and at the same time, mortified. She was completely caught off-guard. Krillin was a mellow guy, he normally wouldn't shout at someone, even if said person was Vegeta.

"Krillin… I-" began Goku, who was abruptly cut-off by:

"Goku, what's wrong with you? The Goku I know, my best friend, would never…" Krillin said with a sad, almost pitiful look upon his face.

He was unable to finish what he was going to say. Too many thoughts were rushing into his mind. For one, he'd just seen his best friend, who was born a boy, kissing another boy, who supposedly despised him/her. Secondly, Goku had completely neglected the threat to the planet, for Kami's sake, had she even noticed what had just transpired?

"Goku," Krillin muttered, looking at his toes, "I need to talk to you alone for a moment, 'kay?"

"She doesn't need to hear anything you have to sa-" began an angry Vegeta, who was interrupted by:

"No, Vegeta," mumbled Goku, "I need to talk to Krillin too. Please, just leave."

"Vegeta," muttered Krillin, his voice very terse, "You should go see the others. They will have something to say to you, you have more important matters to attend to… rather than… kissing…"

Krillin couldn't finish his sentence, but apparently his notion was understood, because Vegeta left headed in the direction of the others. Krillin turned to Goku, and found himself completely taken aback by the unsettling look that had drawn itself upon Goku's face.

Goku now sensed why Krillin was in such dismay. It was Cell, and his newfound power was disconcerting to say in the least. In fact, it was so disturbing, Goku almost felt sick for not even noticing, for being so… selfish?

"Krillin-" Goku whispered, she could feel a disgusted feeling churning in her stomach, and she couldn't get the feeling of such embarrassment, such selfishness, such betrayal out of her head. She couldn't control it any longer. She hated that she couldn't. The tears began to pour down her face, and she turned away from Krillin.

'Why am I crying?' she thought feeling utterly humiliated. 'I don't want Krillin to see me cry dammit!'

She hated how she couldn't control the tears. It was so painful to have other people witness you crying. 'Why couldn't I be one of those strong women that can control their emotions? What the hell is wrong with me?' her mind screamed in anger. Unfortunately, willing herself not to cry wasn't going to work.

"I am s- so sorry, K- Krillin," she stuttered in-between sobs.

"Goku," stated a worried Krillin, placing the palm of his hand on her shoulder, "It's okay, don't cry."

"No!" shouted Goku, "It's n- not okay, not at all! I'm sorry I let my emotions distract me from more important m-matters!"

"Everyone makes mistakes" Krillin felt so awful now, he felt like such a jerk.

"I'm sorry you had to see me like this. I- I can't help it, really, I can't," she stammered, turning to look Krillin in the eyes.

Her eyelashes were wet, and were sticking together. Tears were still streaming down her face, and dripping from her chin. Her cheeks were a bright puffy red. Some of her hair was matted to her wet cheeks. The sight was really despicable and she was fully aware of it.

"Krillin, I'm so confused. I don't know what to think anymore!" she sobbed.

"Goku, it'll be alright. A year will pass by before you know it, and we can find the dragonballs and wish you back to being a man again," comforted Krillin, patting Goku on the back.

"Krillin, you're going to hate me," Goku mumbled, almost inaudibly.

"I could never hate you, Goku, you're my best friend, always will be," replied Krillin.

Goku allowed herself to give Krillin a soft smile, but it quickly faded into anguish, "I- I don't think…"

"You don't think what, Goku? You can tell me," stated Krillin, "I'm there for you, buddy, through thick and thin."

"I don't think I'm going to… I'm not going to wish myself to be a man again," Goku murmured.

"What? Why not?" asked Krillin, starting to worry.

"I think," began Goku, a look of revelation spelling out on her face, she looked directly into Krillin's eyes, "I think I've fallen in love with Vegeta."

A/N: :D I updated the poll on my profile, check it out if you haven't already! Oh, and thank you very much for the reviews for the previous chapter!

*Chapter 30*: Goku's coughTrunks'cough Plan B

Disclaimer: I don't own DB/Z/GT.

Pictures of that horrendous monster would not stop tormenting her. Every time she closed her eyes, trying to block out the rest of the world, it was as if thoughts of her brother's fate were welcomed in. She thought she felt guilt? Guilt was definitely not an emotion she had ever remembered feeling before. Maybe she could sense what the disturbance was because she had been familiar with it in her past life as a human.

18 opened her eyes; she was on some small deserted island in the middle of a vast body of water. If it hadn't been for 16, she'd probably have had the same demise as her brother. How was it that she didn't feel the slightest bit grateful? Was that only an emotion humans were akin to? She turned her rapt attention toward 16, and studied his face as if his internal computer held all of the answers.

She was perfectly aware of the fact that he held none of the answers. He was obsolete. He had never even been sent out for his mission. How come it seemed he knew so much more than her? He'd never experienced the world out of the confines of his box at Dr. Gero's. It was more of a coffin really; he was never meant to see the light of day. Gero had given up on 16, he deemed him unworthy of his time. The twins held so much potential.

"He's just going to find us," muttered 18 in resignation with a small sigh, "This 'running away' is futile."

16 didn't look up at her, but she kept her eyes glued on his face. He was always so impassive. Was he incapable of showing the slightest bit of emotion?

"I can sense him. He can try to find us, but we will keep him at a distance so long as I can sense him," replied 16.

"How?" asked 18, "I can't sense him or ki?"

"Dr. Gero put a mechanism in me that allows me to sense ki. It was installed in my central computer so that I can detect and eliminate Son Goku," explained 16.

"Will you still destroy Goku?" asked 18, "Isn't that what you're programmed to do."

"Affirmative, I will annihilate Son Goku," replied 16.

"Then why are you helping me?" asked 18, her eyebrow quirked up in curiosity.

16 finally turned his head to look up at her, "I'm not certain why I am."

18 felt like asking a lot more questions, but she could tell that she'd gotten all of the information out of him that he was capable of or willing to give her. For what felt like the first time, android 18 had no clue of what to do next. She felt empty. Should she avenge her brother like a good sibling? Could she even be able to kill the creature if she tried? Should she hide from it like a coward? Or… Should she follow android 16 and see what happens?

She liked her last option best. It required less thought than the other, but she couldn't shake off the feeling that by choosing it she would be picking the coward's choice in disguise. She decided to follow 16 for the time being anyways. Besides, she was curious, she was meant to destroy this Son Goku fellow, but just how much did she even know about her? She knew nothing important really.

'I betrayed Gero. He doesn't control me anymore. I have absolutely no obligations to terminate Son Goku anymore,' pondered 18 to herself while idly twirling a strand of blonde hair around her right index finger. 'I wonder why Gero wanted her dead anyways? I guess there's really only one way to find out, although, I'm certain 16 knows somewhere in that thick hard drive of his. It should be interesting to watch him and Goku confront each other. But… it definitely wouldn't be solving the problem at hand…'

Goku felt her heart skip a beat as she heard her voice utter those last words, "I think I've fallen in love with Vegeta."

Her chest suddenly felt constricted, and she could feel a cold nervous sweat perspiring on her temples. She felt almost anxious; she was anticipating what would possibly happen next. Just what would her best friend's reaction to this be? She wasn't even sure what to think of what she said; she still couldn't even get past the fact that she said it in the first place.

The most confusing aspect of it all was: she couldn't understand why she was still bawling. She'd let out her pent-up emotions. More importantly, she told another living soul what she felt, and she was finally starting to accept her feelings. So, why was she crying? These weren't tears of happiness? She knew she shouldn't be sad that she figured out she loves Vegeta, so why was she crying? Why was she so overwhelmed?

"Goku," murmured Krillin, his face had completely lost all of its color, "You're sure of this?"

"I don't know, Krillin. This is so weird. I've never felt this way before. I've never liked anyone the way I like Vegeta," replied Goku.

"But how? I mean, Vegeta hates you, no offense or anything," stated Krillin in a sort of nervous matter-of-fact sort of way.

Goku stared at Krillin for a moment. She was partly surprised that he was taking her declaration so well, especially since he'd taken it better than her. Unbeknownst to her, she'd finally started to calm down.

"No, Krillin," replied Goku with a small smile, "I'm positive he doesn't hate me."

"I don't mean to sound like a jerk Goku, but he's probably just using you. I mean, you are the only Saiyan alive that's a girl," pointed out Krillin.

Goku glanced down at her toes in embarrassment, her smile faltering, "You're saying that because he was kissing me, right?"

"Well, yeah, Goku. I mean, Vegeta isn't the type of guy who would settle for less than a Saiyan. Hell, I figured he'd only go for the big dogs like royal Saiyan babes, but I guess not. The point is… uh... how do I put this? Goku, well… um… Goku…"

Goku was frowning at Krillin now. She could see where this was going. He was going to say that Vegeta had only one use for her, and she knew that it may be true, so she most definitely didn't want to hear it.

"What Krillin?" asked Goku nevertheless.

"Well… um... Goku, you're hot. There, I said it," finished Krillin, his face now matching the exact shade of that of a very ripened tomato. He let out a huge sigh of relief, and relinquished a nervous little tittering laugh.

Goku knew what Krillin was really insinuating, and it was exactly what she'd been fearing to hear, but this was definitely not the way she'd expected to hear it. Goku stared blankly at Krillin for a moment, but quickly found she couldn't hold her emotions in any longer, and broke out into a hysterical fit of laughter.

Krillin's face managed to become an even deeper shade of crimson as he asked, "What's so funny?"

"Krillin," Goku managed in-between her laughter, "You think I'm hot!"

"Well, so what! It's not my fault Shenron knew what he was doing," mumbled Krillin grumpily.

"Well, then," began Goku with her huge 'Son Goku' grin upon her face, "You better not tell Marron, because she doesn't want to share you with me!"

"You've met Marron?" asked Krillin in surprise.

"Yeah, Krillin, you stud muffin," replied Goku, laughing once more.

"Okay, okay, Goku! Do you really think she'd get jealous of you? You're my best friend. You know I could never think of you… well that way… you know… no matter how good you look as a girl."

"I know that, Krillin. Besides, I'm no competition to Marron. She's really pretty," said Goku with a smile and a friendly wink.

"She is, isn't she," mumbled Krillin almost dreamily, his face turning a bright red shade for the umpteenth time.

"Yep, you sure hooked yourself a looker," agreed Goku, feeling slightly awkward describing a girl in such a way, considering she really didn't look in them in that way anymore.

"Wait a minute Goku! Don't you try and change the subject on me! This is important and you know it!" announced Krillin in a stern fashion, though he still had a friendly smile on his face.

"Krillin, I've already told you what I think. Besides, I can't be with Vegeta. So it really doesn't matter. I just want to stay a woman, okay?" mumbled Goku in an unsure manner.

"If you can't be together, why the heck would you want to still be a woman?" questioned Krillin, scratching the side of his head in confusion. "Wait, why wouldn't you be able to be with Vegeta anyways?"

"I can't be with him because… a lot of things… and yeah, I'm fully aware that being a woman kind of sucks. I'm weaker, I'm emotional, I have a monthly… thing, sweet screaming Kami, Krillin! I can get pregnant!" said Goku, ending in almost a panic.

"Yeah that blows Goku," murmured Krillin, "Wait! You can only get pregnant if you… you…" he trailed off warily.

"I…" began Goku.

Krillin scrunched his nose in disgust, "I don't want to know!"

"But Krillin, I…" continued Goku in a state of shock.

Krillin shut his eyes and clamped his hands over his ears while nearly shouting, "Lalalalalala! I can't hear you! Lalalalalala!"

"Krillin! I haven't had sex with Vegeta!" shouted Goku, her face now turning red also.

"Kami, Goku! I don't care; it's just the images… Oh geeze…" muttered Krillin, his face slowly changing to a shade of green.

"So…what did you come here to ask me in the first place?" asked Goku, trying desperately to change the subject.

It worked. Krillin diverted his attention from the issue and brought it upon the matter at hand. "Goku, I already told you."

"Oh yeah," replied Goku with a nervous laugh, "We should probably go see the others before they leave without us."

"They better not," murmured Krillin.

"They won't, but Vegeta might want to try to convince them like that other time you guys left me behind because of him."

Krillin laughed, "He just doesn't want you to scratch that pretty face of yours, princess Goku, or shall I say Kakarrot?" Krillin bowed sarcastically while he pushed away the broken door for Goku.

Goku scrunched up her face in mock anger, but smiled as she passed Krillin. "Why thank you, humble servant," she replied, making sure to elbow Krillin in the face as she swept past the doorway.

Krillin yelped and grabbed his nose – which was now bleeding rather profusely – while he questioned, "What was that for?"

"That wasn't funny Krillin," replied Goku in earnest.

"Okay, I won't do it again. Man that hurt, Goku. You need to save that for the androids and Cell, I'm your ally, remember?" joked Krillin.

Goku seemed like her usual self now that her emotional outburst had subsided, but Krillin couldn't help but wonder what she was really feeling. As for the whole Vegeta thing, it was way over his head. He would have never guessed that those two could even be remotely compatible.

Krillin scratched the back of his head in bemusement while he thought, 'Maybe opposites do attract?"

Krillin's train of thought stopped short as the two of them approached the others. Krillin was half-expecting them to be gawking at Goku in surprise, but he knew that they were none-the-wiser of the situation.

Krillin noticed Goku lock eyes with Vegeta for a split second, a certain split second, none of the others must have seen. Goku was now the center of attention, which was normal. Vegeta was a couple feet away from the lime-light. He was in his favored casual-lean-against-a-wall-with-his-arms-crossed-in-indifference-stance.

Goku had already begun discussing plans of action with the others, though, from what she was hearing, there really was no plan they could lay out. They were speaking of banning together as a team, but she was certain that none of them would put up an unfair fight; it was the cowardly way out to team up against one enemy.

Goku sighed, but nodded her head in approval as the others continued speaking. How could she tell them that none of them stood a chance with the odds as they were right now? She was the last person they'd want to hear it from. She could tell Piccolo was thinking the same exact thing. She almost wanted to tell him to say it, but would it make that much of a difference who said the awful truth?

She jumped slightly as she felt someone grab her arm to get her attention. She turned her head in the direction of the disturbance, and locked eyes with Trunks. Trunks had an almost pleading expression upon his face.

"Goku, I need to talk to you," he spoke in a whisper.

He whispered so as not to startle the others, but he succeeded in doing so nonetheless. Goku excused herself quietly and followed Trunks to a spot a small distance away from the others. They passed by Vegeta on the way and she locked eyes with him yet again, her stomach was making summersaults, and her heart was pounding. Was it just her, or did he look angry?

She quickly diverted her attention away from him, and concentrated on the back of Trunk's hair in order to quit thinking of Vegeta. 'Hm… that's an interesting hair color… lavender… now I wonder where that came from. I guess if you add dark brown with light blue you could get something along the lines of lavender, maybe,' thought Goku, picturing Vegeta's dark brown, almost black hair. She nearly slapped herself, 'Stop it Goku!' she scolded herself.

Goku failed to notice her rapid approach to the back of Trunks head when Trunks abruptly stopped. She was so preoccupied at the moment, she nearly ran Trunks off the edge of the lookout when she collided with him.

"I'm so sorry Trunks!" gasped a startled Goku as she righted herself.

"It's okay, Goku," he replied, glancing at the others for a moment, "But way to bring even more attention to us!" he kidded.

"Yeah, I'm a pro at that," admitted Goku with a sheepish laugh, "Now what did you really bring me over here to say?"

"Goku, everything is going wrong!" hissed Trunks in a loud whisper.

This reaction to her question startled Goku; she frowned slightly, asking, "What's going wrong?"

"Remember how I told you that I was trying to lead Piccolo into thinking up a certain idea?" inquired Trunks.

"Yes, I remember."

"Well, that certain idea was for each of you guys to train in the Room of Spirit and Time," stated Trunks.

"They Hyperbolic Time Chamber, eh?" replied Goku with a small laugh. "Why didn't any of us think of that?"

Trunks returned the smile, "I guess we all can't be geniuses like my mother and me."

Goku couldn't help but laugh, "Don't worry Trunks. I can take all the credit for you instead of Piccolo!"

"That would be great, Goku, but they might suspect you got it from me," pointed out Trunks, "That's why I had picked Piccolo. He's pretty dang smart. I thought he'd take the hints."

"Don't worry; I'll be really sly about it. They won't suspect a thing," assured Goku, sealing in with a wink and a quick thumbs up.

Trunks was now smiling. Evidently he was starting to believe in Goku like the rest of them. Comfort and trust just seemed to be characteristics of Goku that followed her wherever she went.

"The only problem is that the others are dead set on confronting this Cell creature," stated Goku.

"Don't worry," replied Trunks, "You remember the rules of the Hyperbolic Time Chamber from when you were a kid, right?"

"You can't stay in there for more than 24 hours at a time, or one year?" answered a slightly skeptical, but hopeful Goku.

"And…?" questioned Trunks with a smile.

"You can only go in for a total of 48 hours in one lifetime, and if you stay for over 48 hours... er… two years, the doors will lock and you will be stuck in the room for all eternity?" continued Goku.


"Come on Trunks, I was a kid. I can't remember everything," complained Goku.

"No more than two people can go in at one period in time," corrected Trunks.

"Shoot!" exclaimed Goku, snapping her fingers in disappointment. "Well, I don't think Kami ever told me that anyways."

"So," continued Trunks, ignoring Goku's statement, "Whoever wants to, can investigate Cell while a group of two is in the Room of Spirit and Time."

"What if they get hurt? Some of them can't be wished back with the Dragonballs because they've died already!"

"We'll figure something out," murmured Trunks, "Besides, while you're in the chamber, I'll watch over them. You've seen that I'm a pretty competent fighter, Goku."

"You're more than competent, Trunks. You may be stronger than me! Okay! You've definitely convinced me!" replied Goku, turning away from Trunks with a bright smile upon her face, and hurrying back to the others.

"You guys will never guess what I just thought of," announced Goku with a laugh.

Trunks had to restrain himself from slapping his forehead. 'Oh yeah, Goku, that was a really stealthy way of putting it,' thought Trunks sarcastically, 'Way to escape their notice!'

"What is it, Goku?" asked Krillin out of curiosity, and eyeing Trunks in suspicion.

"Hyperbolic Time Chamber," replied Goku with an ear to ear grin.

Piccolo immediately replied, "Of course! Why didn't I think of that?"

"I don't know, Goku," replied a rather nervous Krillin, remembering his last visit to the Hyperbolic Time chamber right before Vegeta and Nappa had arrived.

"Haven't you already trained in there, Goku?" questioned Piccolo.

"Yeah, when I was a kid, but I only lasted like 5 months. I couldn't take the harsh climate inside there," answered Goku, shrugging her shoulders, "It was still a good experience though."

"I think," began Piccolo, seriously weighing the odds, "That might just work."

"Okay," replied Goku, a broad smile still adorning her face, "Now the real question is: who gets to go first?"

A/N: First of all, I'm aware that more than two people can go in the Room of Spirit and Time at one period; I had certain ulterior motives. :) Secondly, in case you haven't guessed, the Cell Saga isn't going to be completely canon: 1. Because I can't remember everything, :( and 2. Because the way the story is going won't allow it. Thirdly, thank you for all of the reviews, and may your imaginations run wild with what is to happen next! :D

*Chapter 31*: Vegeta Takes Charge

Disclaimer: I don't own DB/Z/GT.

The events of that day had happened so fast, swirling in an unrelenting, never-ending spiral of confusion. He tried to understand what was happening, but he was impatient, and she should know this. He knew he should be listening to the others speaking of their plans to thwart the enemy, but his mind was so abuzz with different images and thoughts of her that he couldn't concentrate on what they were saying. They wouldn't mind if he seemed indifferent to their important conversation, after all, wasn't he known for being distant? The truth was: he didn't know what to think what would happen next. She had left him utterly dumbstruck.

'She wanted me,' he thought, almost bitterly, 'but that little prick saw us, and he's her best friend. Would he dare tell her to stay away from me?' Vegeta subconsciously began to grit his teeth into a scowl even more fierce then the one that had previously been adorning his face, his hands clenched into fists at his sides, his nails perforating the skin on the palms of his hands. 'Would she listen to him?'

Vegeta leaned the back of his head against the wall he was propped up against. His head lay upturned toward the sky, scowling at the clouds. He let out a small exasperated sigh and closed his eyes, cutting the strings that held him to reality. He felt himself floating in the abyss of his own thoughts. He attempted to clear his mind, but Kakarrot lingered like dust mites behind an old sofa. He found himself reliving their previous encounter.

"Dammit, Vegeta! This is wrong? Don't you have feelings for anyone but yourself?" Kakarrot said, she looked pissed, hurt, and confused.

"Yes, but only for one person. I think I've told you that already, Kakarrot, are you listening to me?" Vegeta could precisely remember his irked feeling at that moment. When would she realize what he was making so plainly obvious to her? Just how ignorant was she?

"Vegeta-" Kakarrot almost growled. Why was she so upset about this?

"Shh… Kakarrot," whispered Vegeta, putting his index finger up to her lips playfully, he had no idea why he was taunting her, but it was fun. He was sick of arguing with her. It seemed that was all they were doing as of late, and it was always the same argument.

"Maybe I can persuade you without words?" he asked with a playful smirk.

Vegeta reopened his eyes abruptly. His scowl was gone. He heard a noise and turned his head, only to find himself locking eyes with Goku, who'd just arrived with Krillin. She looked surprised to see him. She immediately turned her head away from him and joined the Z-warriors little group to discuss the current predicament.

Vegeta couldn't help, but feel a little shunned. They'd just kissed, and he knew that she'd enjoyed it, and now she was acting as if he didn't even exist. 'Maybe she still doesn't want them to know?' he pondered.

He wanted to speak to her about their situation, but she was too preoccupied with the others. 'Who the hell cares if the Earthlings all die anyway?' Vegeta thought indifferently, leaning against the wall again and staring off into space, but glancing at Goku every once in awhile. He observed Trunks repeatedly trying to get Goku's attention, but she was just as oblivious as she usually was. Finally, Trunks refused to wait any longer and tugged at her arm. She let out a small surprised sound, which actually sounded kind of cute in Vegeta's opinion. She turned her attention toward Trunks, blushing, and asking him something in an incomprehensibly low tone of voice. Trunks too was blushing, and Vegeta was beginning to mistake their abashment as some sort of chemistry. He suddenly felt the urge to strangle the boy.

'No,' he thought, 'it wouldn't do to kill my own kin.'

He was further angered to see them slinking away together to have a private chat. Goku glanced at him momentarily before continuing to follow Trunks. He didn't like the look she'd had before she'd turned her attention elsewhere. At first she'd seemed calm, but momentarily her face had transformed into a pained look, almost as if someone had burned her. He watched Goku clumsily stumble into Trunks' arms, and he had the sudden urge to march over toward them and whisk her away into his own more competent arms.

'What can he do for her? He's only a teenager, and a hybrid at that… filth," he thought, letting his emotions get the best of him once again.

Vegeta winced as his eardrums were pelted with a high pitched voice radiating out of Goku's mouth in all its loud glory.

"You guys will never guess what I just thought of," she announced a little too enthusiastically.

'That grin looks fake. I've known Kakarrot long enough to know when she's lying,' pondered Vegeta, turning to Trunks with suspicion.

He listened to what Goku had to say, ignoring some of her friend's replies. He now knew that this wasn't a plan Goku had conceived. This was all Trunks' master plan.

'So that's why the brat came from the future,' mused Vegeta with a slight smirk adorning his lips, 'At least he's got the intellect of his father.'

Vegeta was brought back to Earth once again by the sound of Goku's voice:

"Okay," announced Goku, with a bright smile adorning her beautiful face, "now the real question is: who gets to go first?"

"Well, Goku," replied Piccolo, "firstly, we need to make up teams of two to train with each other in different intervals of time in the Room of Spirit and Time."

There was suddenly a drawn out moment of silence…

It was then that Vegeta finally took notice of little Gohan, who looked as if he were about to approach his father with a question.

'No!' Vegeta thought in frustration, 'I have waited too damn long for an opportunity like this to happen!"

It took only a second for him to intersect Gohan's path. His sudden movement toward the Z-warriors caught the attention of everyone, including Goku.

Suddenly, a thought occurred to him, or rather a memory:

"Damn it, Vegeta! Do you only think of yourself? Are you that damn self-centered!?!" shouted an enraged Bulma Briefs.

She was angry, but he was angrier.

"Don't 'damn it, Vegeta' me, woman!" hissed Vegeta, "I wouldn't be telling you to fix the fucking gravity machine if you'd just have built it right in the first place!"

"Ugh!!! I can't believe you Vegeta!" yelled Bulma, throwing her arms up in the air in over-exaggeration. If you think you're so damn smart, why don't fix it yourself, genius? Geeze, can't you think about anyone but yourself for once, just once?!?"

Vegeta glanced back at Gohan's surprised face, aware that Gohan wanted to train with his father.

'Damn that woman,' he thought angrily. 'I could prove her wrong…'

Meanwhile, Gohan squeezed in between Vegeta, and smiled expectantly at his father, as his mouth began to open, Vegeta interrupted once more.

"I think that Kakarrot and I should train together," he announced, thinking 'Eh... it's not my brat,'

The group once again went silent. Vegeta suddenly felt awkward, and his throat went dry. Did he really just say that?

Goku was astonished. She was wondering if her ears were working correctly. Vegeta cleared his throat and continued where he had left off, "It's only natural that she and I train together. We are both easily the strongest in this group, and we would gain more off of each other. Suffice to say, the best chances of either of us progressing any in the allotted amount of time would be by training with the strongest opponent we can find."

It seemed liked everyone had their attention set on Vegeta, suddenly; they all turned their attention to see what Goku would think of all of this. Krillin had an almost pained look on his face. He was desperate to get Goku's attention. This wasn't a good idea to him, obviously. Piccolo didn't appear to be fazed at all, he was expecting it. Gohan was expectant, and what he was expecting was a no. The others all seemed utterly dumbfounded.

Vegeta noted Kakarrot watching him with a surprised look on her face. Was she blushing? Vegeta's eyes trailed down to her lips. They looked so inviting, so sumptuous…

He could see her mouth her answer before it even escaped her lips: "Yes."

"Yes, Vegeta, I will train with you. I think you're right," she replied, her lips curling up into a smile.

Oh, how he wanted her right then and there.

A/N: This one's shorter than my usual chapters, and it's somewhat repetitive, but I really wanted to show you Vegeta's perspective. I hope it cleared some things up about his feelings. Oh, and for all of those that don't want Vegeta and Goku together, please don't kill me. :( Thank you for the reviews to my previous chapter. I will probably update again before my next semester of college starts up again, and I promise it will be a longer chapter.

*Chapter 32*: ChiChi's Plot is Unfolded

Disclaimer: I don't own DB/Z/GT.

You think the speed of sound is quick? About 1,300 feet per second, give or take a few, no, that's not fast at all! What about the speed of light? That tops the speed of sound. That must be really fast. No, that's only roughly 983,571,056 feet per second. That kind of speed doesn't even compare to how quickly news traveled between the Z-gang on this particular day. No, everyone knows that the speed of gossip is always quicker than anything else known to this world.

So, this is how it began: Master Roshi overheard Vegeta insist that Goku must train with him, and he blabbed is mouth to Bulma, who promptly spilled the beans to ChiChi, who, in-turn, screamed at the top of her lungs, "What the hell is wrong with my husband?" which was heard by the entire populace of the world, and confused everyone who heard, which was everyone, except for maybe any deaf people, who didn't care because they didn't hear anything, but everyone else was confused about this mysterious husband that seemed to be some guy that had issues, and I won't go any further, lest I create the longest run-on sentence in all of existence.

"What the hell is wrong with my husband!" screamed ChiChi, spraying spit into Bulma's unfortunate and unsuspecting face.

By now, ChiChi was on the verge of going ballistic. Her whole body was raked with shaking spasms. Her eyes were bright and fierce with unrelenting fury. She suddenly had the urge to beat the living crap out of her husband, and if she were prevented from doing so, the Saiyan Prince would suffice.

"Woah," breathed an exasperated Bulma, wiping her hand down her face, staring at it with a disgusted expression, and promptly wiping it on her skirt.

"What?!?" shouted ChiChi impatiently.

"Hun," muttered Bulma in a near whisper, while rubbing ChiChi's upper arm compassionately, "What are you all worked up about?"

"What am I worked up about? What am I worked up about?!?" hissed ChiChi, inhaling deeply, preparing to scream at the top of her lungs once more.

Bulma visibly flinched, 'Oh hell no! I'm not going to submit my eardrums to that sort of abuse again!' she thought.

Bulma promptly grabbed ChiChi by both of her upper arms and shook her. "Get a hold of yourself, ChiChi. You're acting like a lunatic. Goku hasn't done anything wrong. Vegeta just wants to train with her because she's the strongest next to him. It makes sense! Why don't you take a deep breath, calm down, and think logically about this before going into psycho bitch mode?"

"No, Bulma, you're wrong. I know exactly what's going on here-"

"-No, ChiChi! You listen to me!" yelled Bulma, finally losing her patience with this woman.

ChiChi was shocked that Bulma had yelled at her, and she fell silent for a moment.

"Look, ChiChi, I'll listen to what you have to say, but you have to be civil with me. I'm your friend, and I'm only looking out for you. I want to give you advice, but Goku is my friend too, and she's my best friend. So you understand, I will not tolerate you speaking about her in such a degrading way without seriously thinking about the situation first! If that isn't enough to allow you to act civilly when talking about this with me, than think of poor Gohan, for Kami's sake! Do it for him!" spoke Bulma sternly.

ChiChi frowned, a lot of the anger draining from her face, "What about Gohan? What does this have to do with him?"

"A lot of it has to do with him!" replied Bulma. "Gohan loves and respects his father very much. He looks up to Goku. How do you think he would feel if he heard you talking about Goku in such away? Do you want him to even hear you this angry? Also, think of this little one," Bulma paused, took ChiChi's hand in hers, and placed it on the protruding bump on ChiChi's stomach. "Do it for your new baby. He or she needs a daddy, and I don't know about you, but I think Goku's a pretty good one. All of this anger can't be good for your pregnancy either."

Bulma withdrew her hand, and cautiously watched ChiChi's countenance to gage how much of her little speech had sunken in. ChiChi stood, staring blankly at the hand that was still resting on her stomach for over a minute before any emotion seeped through. She began trembling once more, and her face had become very pale.

"Bulma," she whispered, almost inaudibly, "Bulma I'm so sorry!"

Bulma drew her brows together in frustration, "It's alright ChiChi."

"It's just," ChiChi hiccupped and slowly continued, "Just, I…"

ChiChi suddenly broke down crying, "I can't do it alone. I don't want to be alone. I want him to forgive me. I want him to come back! I'm so sorry for all of the terrible things that I said! Oh, Bulma, I don't want to lose Goku."

"You won't lose her-"

"-No! Don't say that! I don't want to hear that anymore! I want my Goku back! She is not my Goku!" replied ChiChi harshly.

"What do you mean?" asked Bulma, gradually becoming more confused by the moment."

"Shenron took my Goku, and I want him back!" ChiChi nearly shouted.

"What do you mean? Goku's still the same Goku. Sh-He just has female hormones now, that cause him to act like a woman, and… er… like different things."

"You mean, like the same sex?" hissed ChiChi.

"Um, no, not technically since Goku's a female now. It makes perfect sense that sh-He would be attracted to the opposite sex, meaning… males…" replied Bulma.

"Like Vegeta?" asked ChiChi, a wild smile adorning her delicate features.

"ChiChi, are you alright?" asked Bulma, inching away from ChiChi's hostile stance.

"Am I alright? Am I alright!?!" spat ChiChi, "No I'm not alright! I'll be alright when that greedy so-called Prince takes his hands off of my Goku! I'll be alright when I have my Goku back!"

"I don't think Vegeta likes Goku that way," replied Bulma hesitantly, she could feel a knot twisting around in her stomach. "Besides, Goku doesn't like Vegeta that way."

"Oh really?" questioned ChiChi sarcastically. "Puh-lease, Bulma, the man's a total hunk, and he's a Saiyan, just like Goku. How could Goku not want someone like that?"

Bulma blushed and began sputtering, "B-but she, I mean, he told me, that sh-He didn't like Vegeta in that sort of way!"

Bulma remembered Goku's exact words. It was right after Goku's explosive date with Koshin. It was right after Vegeta went bonkers, and Goku had found out the Bulma had set her up:

"Well, I can't blame you completely; I suppose this is partly my fault. I'm sorry for telling Koshin that... well... you know," admitted Bulma, blushing slightly out of embarrassment.

"It's okay, Bulma. Believe it or not, I know why you did that," replied Goku, taking Bulma by surprise.

"What do you mean?" inquired Bulma curiously, but not in the least bit worried.

"You like Vegeta, and you just wanted me to stay away from him, and vice-versa. Well, you don't have to worry about that, Bulma. There's no way I'd ever feel that way about Vegeta, or the other way around," said Goku sternly, walking out of the room without awaiting a response from a baffled Bulma.

"Denial," replied ChiChi, with a surprisingly straight face.

"You think so?" questioned Bulma half-heartedly, the knot in her stomach suddenly threatening to empty out all of the contents of her bowels.

"Positive," replied ChiChi, "but don't worry, Bulma. I'll fix our little problem."

ChiChi had a sly smile displayed on her lips. It caused Bulma to shudder with the sudden feeling that all was definitely not going to be fixed.

"Wha-" began Bulma, feeling absolutely nauseous with dread, "What are you gonna do?"

"Well, Bulma, it's simply the logical solution," replied ChiChi with a small quirky laugh. "Goku… well, he isn't in his proper state of mind at the moment. The way I see it, he isn't capable of making the right decision for himself. Who's to blame him? What with: hormones, and Vegeta distracting and brainwashing him into thinking a certain way. I know what my Goku would have wanted."

"ChiChi, no…"

"If this Goku isn't going to fix the problem at hand, I'm going to do it for him. I'm going to make sure that Shenron gives me back what he took away in the first place."

"And if Goku has a different opinion?" questioned Bulma nervously.

"This Goku's opinion means naught to me," replied ChiChi impassively.

"So," began Goku nervously, "This is it?"

She had just stepped into the Room of Spirit and Time with Vegeta. They were both going to be enclosed in there for a whole year.

Vegeta turned to Goku with smirk, "We're alone," he stated simply, but it could also be thought of as a question.

Goku immediately blushed, and turned away from his haunting gaze with a frown, "Vegeta, this is serious business. If we don't train hard with every second of our free time… well… I don't want to know the consequences."

Vegeta just smiled back at her. It was an odd sort of smile. She had never seen him smile in such away. It wasn't a happy smile. It wasn't an arrogant smile. It wasn't an 'I'm gonna beat the living shit out of you, and make you eat it,' smile. It was… she didn't know what it was. She couldn't describe it. It was her smile though. It wasn't for anyone else. She smiled back, hoping that hers was the least bit as genuine as his had been just then.

"Then it's a fight you want?" he inquired with a brow raised.

"Yes," she replied.

"Well then, my Kakarrot," he replied, "let's not waste anymore time."

Her cheeks felt suddenly hot. Were her ears working correctly? Did he just use her name possessively? 'What should I do? Should I be mad? I don't know if I want to be. I think I should. But… Maybe I should ignore it? What do I do?!?'


She hadn't seen Vegeta's rapid approach. Goku suddenly skidded back about ten paces, "Ouch!" she mumbled, rubbing her nose gently, which was now bleeding profusely. "You hit me!" she exclaimed dumbly.

"Well, what else were you expecting?" replied Vegeta, crossing his arms. "For Kami's sake Kakarrot, pay attention when we're sparring!"

"No fair, Vegeta!" she yelled, "I wasn't ready."

"What were you thinking anyways?" he questioned with a lustful smirk.

Goku blushed, "Well, I'll give you a hint, Vegeta. I wasn't thinking about you!"

She immediately commenced in attacking Vegeta, but she wasn't able to give him payback. He was on guard. 'How do I get my revenge if I can't even land a hard blow right away?' thought Goku. Suddenly, a very dark thought came to her mind. 'I know...'

"Wait!" she immediately exclaimed.

"What?" he yelled impatiently.

"You have something…" muttered Goku in a low, somewhat shy tone of voice, "… you… er… have something right here." She pointed to his lips, heat rising to her cheeks for the umpteenth time.

"Oh really, I can't see my own face, could you be so kind as to take it off for me?"

'Maybe this wasn't such a great idea?' thought Goku nervously.

And suddenly, Goku found herself trapped in a kiss with Vegeta, yet again. Only, this time, it was her fault.

'Well, now I have to do it. Just a little longer…' she thought to herself, wishing she could snicker at the thought of it without disturbing the perfect kiss. 'Now!'


Vegeta flinched away from Goku almost instantly. Goku, on the other hand, was on the floor laughing hysterically.

"You bit me!" he exclaimed, "You… You… bit me hard and…" he paused to wipe his lips, "… and I'm bleeding!"

Goku tried to pause her incessant laughter, but her revenge was just so perfect. She was laughing so hard, tears began to stream out of her eyes.

"I'm going to get you for that," replied a thoroughly irritated Vegeta.

"I'm sorry, did I hurt your ego, my Prince?" replied Goku between a pause in one of her fits of laughter.

"Oh, you're going to get yours, don't you worry about that!" spoke Vegeta.

'This is going to be one interesting year!' thought Goku.

A/N: Plot twist anyone? Now that Goku and Vegeta are finally alone at last, will things heat up? :) Will ChiChi succeed in changing Goku back into a man? Wow, even I'm on the edge of my seat! Thank you for the previous chapter's reviews. I know it was somewhat of lame chapter.

*Chapter 33*: Hidden Feelings and Courageous Decisions

Disclaimer: I don't own DB/Z/GT.

Goku rolled over on her side as she lay in bed. She had just barely woken up. Her whole body felt sore from her spar with Vegeta the previous day. Her stomach growled at her, as if demanding, 'Why didn't you feed me last night?' She was so preoccupied with the time she was spending with Vegeta, that food had seemed… well pointless. Goku suddenly gasped, 'Did I really just think that?'

Their fight had been intense. After the spar was over, for the first time ever, Vegeta had actually inquired about her. He'd asked about her past. It was awkward. Her past was like an open book to everyone. She held no secrets. She'd never even bothered to give it any thought that Vegeta didn't know very much about her.

The previous day:

Goku sat down, panting out of exhaustion, "Wow, what a workout!" she exclaimed.

Vegeta sat down opposite of her. He was less worn out. This fact she had immediately noticed, and she found herself wishing she hadn't shown her own weakness. 'Not to worry, though,' she thought, 'I'm going to catch up to him soon enough!'

Vegeta chose not to make notice of her statement. He was watching her, but not in an admiring or even a degrading sort of manor, he looked as if her were musing something.

"Kakarrot," he finally said, after waiting about a minute.

"Yes, Vegeta?"

"Who raised you?" he asked, suddenly curious. Was it Master Roshi? No. She didn't acknowledge him in the sort of way a child would their parent. Besides… she was too pure to be Master Roshi's child, way too pure. Vegeta sighed.

Goku was caught off guard. She wasn't expecting him to ever ask something like that. "My grandpa Gohan," she muttered, her voice giving away a hint of confusion.

"Who is he? Does he have any sort of significance at all?"

Goku suddenly flashed with anger, anger of which she herself couldn't have seen coming. "Of course he does! He's my grandpa!"

"I didn't mean it that way…" mumbled Vegeta, furrowing his brows in frustration.

"Well, he found me when I was a baby. I was still in the Saiyan pod after it landed. He gave me my name, Goku. He died… when I was young… I continued to live on my own until Bulma came searching for my grandpa's four star dragonball."

"Bulma?" Vegeta seemed surprised. This was actually very interesting.

"Yeah," Goku laughed sheepishly, "I thought that the hovercar she was driving was a monster. I destroyed it, and made her really angry. Then I ended up thinking she was a witch because of the tiny capsules she threw out that made houses bigger than my grandpa's. Long story short, I agreed to search with her for the dragonballs, and that's how we met everyone. Those were some of the best times of my life…" Goku trailed off with a nostalgic smile.

"How did Gohan die?" asked Vegeta.

Goku's face suddenly became downcast. This was a subject she had told herself long ago that she wouldn't even think of it ever again. His mention of it brought back the horrible realization as if it had just happened yesterday. She clenched her fists in an effort to keep her hands from trembling.

"I… I believed a giant monster had killed my grandpa for more than half my life," she explained.

Vegeta could see right away that he had touched upon the wrong subject. He could see where this was headed. He wanted to stop her, but his selfishness to know more about her past caused him to stay silent and listen to what she offered to say.

"When I met Raditz, I began to speculate whether the transformation he talked about was true, but in the end I didn't believe him. But… when I fought you for the first time, and you transformed, I figured everything out," she couldn't hold it back anymore; tears began to slide down her cheeks. Goku sniffled, "Turns out… I was the monster that killed my grandpa."

Vegeta could feel his heart skip a beat. He knew that she was going to say that, but he silently wished otherwise. "I'm…" he began, unsure if he could even admit what he truly felt, "… s – sorry."

Goku glanced up at him, pausing to rub her teary eyes with the palms of her hands, "It's alright, Vegeta. It kind of feels good to say it out loud. I never told anyone when I found out, not even ChiChi. I know they all know the truth. Bulma's so smart, she probably figured it out the first time I transformed in front of her, back when I was 12."

"Yamcha, Puar, and Oolong were there too. They never told me anything about it because I didn't remember transforming. If they weren't there, I probably would have killed Bulma too."

Vegeta felt like she needed his comfort, his condolences for her grandpa's death, but he felt so awkward; he was unable to do anything to help.

"I saw my grandpa when I was little. I fought him. I think Baba had allowed him to come back for a day to see me," stated Goku, staring off in reminiscence.

"Did you know," she muttered, "That my grandpa was the student of Master Roshi?"

"No," replied Vegeta, he couldn't have.

"He was proud of me. He told Master Roshi about how great the little oddball child with a tail was. He told him how strong his grandson was."

"I'm sure," replied Vegeta.

Goku smiled broader, "When I saw him again because of Baba… When he took off the mask he was wearing to hide his identity, I… I… nearly died out of happiness."

"He probably felt the same way."

Goku laughed, "He couldn't die, he was already dead."

This made Vegeta crack a smile, "Alright genius…" he said sarcastically.

"I also saw him before I got married to ChiChi," explained Goku. "The Ox King's castle was on fire, a magical fire, and ChiChi and I went to the Spirit Furnace to put out the fire. The master of the furnace is the goddess, Annin, and my grandpa turned out to be her assistant at the time. I didn't get to talk with him, really, because I was in a hurry…" Goku trailed off.

Vegeta was astonished at just how amazing Goku's childhood adventures were. Her life was full of amazing anomalies equal to that of the mystical dragon balls. Vegeta could only guess at what the Spirit Furnace was.

"I wish I could see him again," Goku mumbled sadly. "I miss him more than anything!"

"What if I helped you see him again?" asked Vegeta, "After all of this Cell business is over." Vegeta had no idea why he had suggested that.

"That would be wonderful! Do you think it would be possible?" Goku exclaimed with joy.

"I think with you, Kakarrot, anything's deemed possible."

Elsewhere, ChiChi searched all over the lookout for Kami. She had some important business to attend to. She spotted the elder Namekian in one of his many ancient libraries. He seemed to be searching for a book.

ChiChi cleared her throat, "Sorry to interrupt, Kami."

Kami turned around to face her with a questioning look.

"I was wondering if you could you tell me a few things about the dragonballs?" questioned ChiChi with an innocent expression displayed on her face.

"What exactly did you want to know, child?" replied Kami, trying to discern ChiChi's motives by examining her closely.

'Oh no ya' don't!' thought ChiChi, blocking her thoughts from the prying elderly Namekian.

"Well, I was wondering if there was any way around the whole 'dragonballs being dormant for a year thing'," stated ChiChi, raising her eyebrows inquiringly.

"They turn to stone and remain dormant for a year because they need that year to drain out the excessive negative energy left over by the power used for the wish," explained Kami.

"I'm sure that it's important for the dragonballs to go through their natural restoration process and all, but Kami, this is important. I need to make a wish!" stated ChiChi.

"ChiChi, you must understand. There are no easy loopholes for these sorts of things," replied Kami, sighing as he finished.

"Kami, I am not a selfish person. You must understand that I'm doing this for the good of mankind, for the sake of our beautiful planet Earth!" began ChiChi, "If I don't do this… things could get really bad!"

"What was it you wanted to wish for, child?" questioned Kami patiently.

"Well, this Cell creature that has been terrorizing the Earth is extremely strong. Even I can sense how horrendously powerful it is! You and I both know that we are going to need a miracle to kill that thing!"

"ChiChi, you greatly misunderstand Shenron's abilities. He cannot kill that which his creator doesn't have the power to kill," explained Kami.

"I don't want to ask that of Shenron. I want to ask him to make my husband a man again so that he will have a fighting chance against that creature!" replied ChiChi.

"Don't you have any confidence in Goku?" asked Kami curiously.

"Of course I do! Goku needs this to have confidence in himself! He's weaker because of his new body, and his hormones are making him think differently. He doesn't act quite like the old Goku did. This new Goku lacks the confidence and determination of the old Goku. Goku is Earth's savior, Kami, and if you want to save Earth, you will help me make this wish!"

"I have seen a change in Goku's attitude and strength. Nevertheless, is this what Goku wants?" questioned Kami, his eyes narrowing together. "Or is this what you want? You're a good woman, and a loving wife, ChiChi; don't let your mind be so easily swayed in the wrong direction."

ChiChi gasped, "I wouldn't think of making such a wish for my sake! Of course Goku wants this. He's told me himself. I've seen him cry about it! I would not lie about something like this. I only want to help Goku help others!"

ChiChi gave the impression that she was overwhelmed with grief. Tears seeped over her eyelids, and she sank to her knees in desperation. "Kami, I ask you as a close friend and I ask you as the guardian of the Earth to help me make things right. I need you to do this! We all need you to do this! Think about the well being of every living creature on this beautiful planet, then tell me, is there nothing you can do to save those poor creatures?"

Kami had at first received the distinct impression that ChiChi was being selfish for some reason or another and that she was lying to him. She had hid her direct feelings from his speculative mind, and that distressed him. Though, ChiChi loved her family and would do almost anything for Goku and Gohan. He had never seen her do anything immediately distasteful before. What she said made sense. This was a good idea. He would ask Goku herself, but she was in the hyperbolic time chamber at the moment, training extremely hard. It would make sense that Goku would want to be back in her former, stronger body. This definitely sounded like something Goku would approve of, and it sounded like ChiChi had the best of intentions set out for the good of everyone. She seemed so sincere.

"As you are well-aware, I am the creator of Shenron. I can alter the dragonballs. It will drain me of energy to restore them early, but as their creator, I believe I can summon them to me. It will take me about a day to restore them. I will not alter the balls permanently. So once the wish is made, they will become dormant once again for a year afterward," explained Kami.

"Oh thank you so much, Kami! You will not regret this decision!" exclaimed ChiChi, overwhelmed with joy.

'I certainly hope so,' thought Kami.

"Depending upon the circumstances, I will most likely be finished before Goku is out of the Room of Spirit and Time. I must ask that you do not summon Shenron until after Goku has left the chamber. I don't want any abnormal side effects to take place. I also would not want to make a wish if Goku hasn't been made aware of it first," explained Kami.

"Oh no, of course not! Thank you so much, Kami!" ChiChi almost squealed in delight, while bowing reverently to the guardian of the Earth.

'It won't be so hard to make the wish the second Goku leaves the Hyperbolic Time Chamber. Everyone will want to greet him, and witness his new strength. So I will have my chance to be alone with the dragonballs, and before anyone has ample time to figure out why the sky has suddenly gone dark, I will have made my wish! I will have my Goku back!' thought ChiChi in pure ecstasy.

Early the Next Morning:

"Hey Tien, what's the plan?" asked Bulma casually, while she nursed a cup of coffee.

"What do you mean?" asked Tien.

"Well, don't you all have some super secret plan or something? You know you have to let your favorite blue-haired genius in on it!" she chided playfully.

"Uh - " began Tien, unsure of whether he should tell her what was going on or not. "Trunks went to check on his time machine, and was horrified by what he saw. He was wondering why he hadn't seen this 'Cell' creature in his own time. He was going to ask his mother, but it turned out he had no need to do that."

"Why not?" Bulma inquired, thoroughly intrigued.

"His ship was completely ravaged. He found trace amounts of a substance that he believes Cell must have been covered in while in his larval state. This would mean that he brought Cell with him by accident when traveling from the past," explained Tien.

"Wow! It's just a theory right?"

"He's pretty sure it's more than that. He, Krillin, and Yamcha left to check out Dr. Gero's lab and make sure that the Cell from this time doesn't get a chance to mature," he continued.

"That's assuming that he's correct."

"Yes," replied Tien, "better to be safe than sorry though."

"So… where's Piccolo?" she asked.

"Not quite sure, he's always disappearing, and then reappearing into thin air. I think being on the lookout for so long was making him aggravated. I suppose he doesn't like the presence of Kami so near to him for such long periods of time," Tien mused aloud.

BRING! BRING! BRING! Someone's calling you! Why aren't you picking up?

Bulma began to frantically search her pockets, "Oh, sorry, Tien, that's my phone!"

'Nice ringtone…' thought Tien in amusement.

BRING! BRING! BRING! C'mon I can't wait all day!

Bulma found her phone and fumbled with it as she took it out of her pocket. She quickly hit the talk button before it went to voicemail. "Hi, this is Bulma Briefs speaking!"

"Geeze Bulma, what took you so long to answer!" exclaimed the voice of Master Roshi.

"Wha –? Weren't you up…. here… on the lookout?" questioned Bulma in disbelief.

"I had to get a few important things before coming back," he spoke in a rushed manor.

Bulma narrowed her eyes, scrutinizing him, "By important things, you mean your nudie mags don't you?"

"N – No!" he exclaimed, suddenly feeling awkward and closing the magazine that was splayed out before him.

"Then what is it?" she demanded.

Suddenly, the tone of Master Roshi's voice became very serious as he spoke, "We have some trouble hear at the Kame House."

"What do you mean some trouble? We're boned old man!" shrieked Oolong in the background.

"Wha – what trouble?" asked Bulma frantically.

She could hear some sharp noises on the other end. There was also a lot of huffing. Suddenly, there was a very loud clacking noise in Bulma's ear, as if the phone had dropped to the floor.

Moments later, a breathless Oolong began to yell into her ear, "You gotta relay this message to the guys! We need some serious manpower down here!"


"The big cricket thing is on an island close to us. There seems to be a fight going on. I think he's attacking the androids! What if he attacks 18, absorbs the chick, and then comes for us!?! Oh Kami! We're all gonna die!" he screeched in his piercing nasally voice.

There were more loud noises as Master Roshi fought to get a hold of the phone again. "You see our situation then, Bulma?"

"Oh Kami!" exclaimed Bulma. "If Cell absorbs android 18, he'll become incredibly strong! We might not be able to beat him!"

"Wha – what's going on Bulma?" asked Tien, completely tense.

"It's Cell, he's on an island near the Kame House. He's probably fighting 18 so that he can absorb her," exclaimed Bulma in a panic.

"N – no!" stuttered Tien, "then he'll transform into his perfect form, and we may not even have a chance then!"

"This is not good," mumbled Bulma, dropping the phone to the floor, meanwhile, voices were still heard coming through the speaker.

"Bulma, everyone is preoccupied. Vegeta and Goku are in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber. Who knows where Piccolo is! He won't know what's going on. We can't sense the androids. Trunks, Krillin, and Yamcha are off at Dr. Gero's old lab, trying to find this time's Cell to destroy it before it can attempt destroy us. If I go to them first, to come and help, it may be too late!" spoke Tien.

"No, Tien, please don't tell me your going to go and fight Cell all by yourself!?!" shouted Bulma, grabbing his forearms as if she could force him to stay.

Tien clenched his fists in determination, "I have no choice, Bulma! There comes a time when we all have to make our own sacrifices."

He pulled himself away from her, and turned in the rough direction of the Kame House. He glared at the clouds, "I will not stand back and let that thing destroy what Goku, Krillin, Piccolo, Yamcha…. all of us… have fought so hard to withhold!"

With that said, the brave warrior let his aura engulf him as he blasted off into the air to try to make a difference. He knew that by doing this, his fate would forever be sealed.

A/N: I wanted to show Vegeta in a slightly new light. I was hoping to show some sort of compassion behind his rough exterior. As you can see, I skipped quite a bit of the imperfect Cell arc, but I felt like we've all been there and done that. I want to focus on the my main storyline, and I've said before that I was gonna completely change the Cell saga... Buahahaha... :) I've torn apart the first 14 chapters of this story because they were utterly horrible and gave me the urge to cry for my mommy. I will continue editing the rest of the chapters... bladybladyblah :) Thanks for the reviews, and thanks for reading my demented fanfic!

*Chapter 34*: Impersonations and Complications

Disclaimer: I don't own DB/Z/GT.

Dread is one of the most awful mindsets a person can feel. It brings out the worst in anticipation. Android 18 was certainly baffled beyond belief when she realized that she was feeling it, or rather, that she had been feeling it for some time now. She'd had no clue that she was even capable of feeling anything.

"He's coming for me," she spoke dryly, gazing off at the navy blue ocean.

She could feel the minimal vibrations that shook the ground as the tides rolled in. She suddenly felt the urge to reach out to the waves that were lapping gently against the shoreline. She wanted to feel the sensation of her bare feet in the sand. Somehow she knew that she would enjoy that feeling. 'Perhaps I've felt it before," she mused, closing her eyes, welcoming the slightest of vibrations that came her way.

She barely took notice of 16's reply, "There is no evidence that supports against your conclusion."

Instead she noticed something else. It was not very noticeable. She could discern it just slightly through the tone of his voice. She thought she could somehow feel compassion, perhaps pity radiating off of his voice as he spoke. She allowed herself to smile slightly. 'No,' she thought solemnly, 'He is incapable of emotion. His voice is monotonous and machine-like. Gero didn't afford him the voice of a human.'

She felt a pang of fear in her chest. It felt it like her heart was sinking into the pit of her stomach. She knew such imaginings were impossible. She knew that these feelings were the repercussions of dread, the very human emotion that she could feel.

Cell touched down silently onto the desolate isle. She knew that he was awaiting a response from her. 'So…' she pondered in slight amusement, '... that monster is capable of feeling too?' 18 permitted herself to glance up at him, to look him in the eyes. She deemed herself ready to face him off. The dread she had felt was nothing compared to the next sensation that rocked her entire being with disgust. She was utterly repulsed by what she saw. She wanted to scream. She no-longer felt the unfaltering determination to kill this creature. The pent up hatred had been released, but fear suddenly followed thru in its wake.

She still wanted to kill him, but for some odd, unthinkable reason, she didn't think she could deliver the deathblow any longer. She stifled her sudden urge to scream. She didn't want to give him that sort of victory over her. She knew that he was awaiting that sort of response. She decided that she could not permit him to feel that sort of pleasure. She would not be the next person to inflate his ego furthermore.

'It's those damn eyes,' she thought, clenching her trembling fists in agitation. 'If it weren't for those eyes… I know I could kill him!'

His eyes were the exact replica of his latest victim, Android 17, her twin brother. She could take any other change that he'd undergone, but she could not stand to see his eyes.

"What's wrong, my dear?" Cell patronized her in his new more deep and masculine voice, "Is something disturbing you? Is it my new look? Why… I think I'm rather dashing, don't you? Is my resemblance to your dear beloved brother too much for you?"

Cell began chuckling, thoroughly amused with her reaction. His laughter made 18 want to puke. She narrowed her eyes hatefully. Suddenly she felt like she might yet be able to kill him regardless of his similarity to her brother.

"You disgust me!" she hissed. "You're nothing but an egocentric brute! You're an abomination of nature! You bear no resemblance to 17!"

"Oh my!" replied Cell in mock astonishment, "My dear girl, you must be distraught. You see, your brother was nothing but a pompous fool! I am no abomination of nature, love. I am on my way to becoming perfect, the most perfect creature to have ever lived. While it's true, I bear no resemblance to 17. I would like to inform you of your misconception. I have done nothing, but be a positive influence on 17. I believe… some show of gratitude on your part is in order."

Android 18 nearly joked on her own words; she was so shocked that he could say something like that, even if he was a cold-hearted monster. "Gratitude…? You want me to thank you for absorbing 17!?"

"Calm down, 18. You're making yourself appear selfish," jeered Cell, a feigned pout plastered on his petulant purple lips.

"I am not afraid to admit that I am a selfish person. When it comes down to it, I only have my own interests at heart, but you of all people have absolutely no right to accuse me of being selfish! You don't deserve gratitude. You deserve a good ole' fashioned ass whooping! I have no reason to thank you. I do have reason for revenge!"

"Shame, shame, 18, just what am I to do with you?" scoffed Cell, gazing off into the distance as if pondering a great decision that had to be made. "I know! I'll help you to see eye to eye with me."

Cell began to approach 18, a taunting smile lifting his rather large cheekbones. He waved his tail to-and-fro casually.

18 glared at him, "So you think this is all a game, do you? You think that you can play around with me, and have your fun. Now that you've seemed to amuse yourself, you're planning on sucking me up that dreadful tail of yours, and making me give you my power. Is that it, Cell? Are you that easy to read?"

Cell paused his stride, feigning a look of empathy, "18, I understand you're hurt, but you have to see that I didn't force your brother to do anything against his will. He wanted to join me. He wanted to help me become perfect." Cell paused in his explanation to smile at her purposefully, "He wanted in on the sort of power I will soon attain."

"That the biggest load of tripe I think I've ever heard in my life!" shouted 18 angrily.

"Yours is a short life," replied Cell apathetically.

"Well aren't you going to defend yourself?" she spat.

"Why should I? I know the truth. I don't feel the need to defend myself," he replied. "Come on 18, you know the routine. Just relax. It won't hurt, and it will only take a moment."

"D-don't come any closer! Or – or I'll self-detonate!" warned 18.

Cell paused, a look of shock becoming apparent upon his inhuman features. "Come now, 18, you wouldn't do that?"

"I'm not fibbing! I'd rather die that join with you! I am not a creature like you are. How could I ever become a part of you?" she replied indignantly.

"Why? Because then you can become one with me, and with 17 also. You can see your brother again," he said in a matter-of-fact sort of manner.

18 could feel her rage finally starting to boil over. She could not take his patronizing jokes any longer. She flung herself at him with all of her might; her right fist was inches away from his jaw when she heard something that made her stop so suddenly it was as if she'd been frozen on the spot.

She had seen the change in Cell's facial expression almost instantaneously. "Hey, 18," greeted her brother 17's voice calmly, "What's up? Don't worry it's me."

18 stood stock-still. She didn't know what to think. She didn't understand how just hearing 17's voice again could make her feel so relieved, and so happy.

"Don't be worried 18. Become one with Cell. It's as if we were meant to be together. It feels right. You will realize it too."

"You mean… you want me to join with Cell? Are you sure?" questioned 18, desperately wanting to believe him.

"18, would I ever lie to you?" coaxed the voice of 17. "Would I do anything to hurt you?"

18 nearly jumped out of her skin as Android 16 grasped a hold of her arm, and pulled her away sharply, "Don't listen to him. It's not really 17. He's using the voice of 17 in order to trick you."

"Shut up you imbecile," hissed the voice of Cell. "He doesn't know what he's talking about!"

18 returned her attention to Cell curiously, but on the defense.

"17 wishes to continue," muttered Cell.

"18, doesn't it make sense for us to merge with Cell and become the ultimate being!? Doesn't it make sense that we should do what Gero had intended of us all along? 18, you have to understand, we have no higher purpose than to become one with Cell and become the most perfect creature in the universe!" explained the voice of 17 rather persistently.

18 narrowed her eyes at Cell speculatively, thinking, '17 would never want to do what Gero intended of him. He thought that Gero was an old fool! 16 is right, this is all just another ruse. He's still trying to play me for a fool!'

"I don't believe you. I know that you aren't really 17. 17 loved who he was. This life was so fascinating to him. It was almost as if it were some never-ending game in his eyes. He enjoyed himself the way he was, and he would never trade any of that to become one with a monster like you!" she shouted angrily.

"You fool!" spat Cell in annoyance, "When will you realize that you belong to me whether you like it or not? I will have you regardless of how you feel about it!"

18 clutched her hand over her chest, gesturing that she would self-destruct if he got any closer. Cell merely laughed at her.

"You know what I've realized?" began Cell, somewhat amused, "It would take you several seconds to self-destruct, while it would only take one second for me to get to you. I could begin to absorb you before you get the job done. Once I have a hold of you, you will no longer be in control. So I will have you before you have a chance to realize that you've been defeated."

18 couldn't keep her body from trembling. She felt as if she were living a nightmare.

"Come to me," Cell beckoned with a victorious smirk plastered upon his face.

18 felt a sudden onset of fear, pure panic. She wanted to scream for help. She wished she could be anywhere else but here. She stepped backward cautiously. Cell stepped forward in sync with her own movement. 18 felt cornered, she felt hopeless.

Meanwhile, a few months had taken their leave in the Room of Spirit and Time. It felt as if they had literally flown by. Goku pondered her slight feeling of disappointment that surfaced when she counted the months she and Vegeta had left. They were both definitely making great progress. Goku was worried though, that the progress that they'd made thus far wouldn't be enough. Goku was currently fumbling through a food storage cabinet. She caught sight of a massive supply of herbs. She frowned slightly, pulling out cayenne red pepper seasoning, examining it with the curiosity of an innocent child.

'I sure wish I knew how to cook something other than scrambled eggs and toast,' she thought in despair. 'You'd think Kami could at the very least have thrown Vegeta and me a bone here. I could really use a cookbook.'

Goku glanced over her shoulder as she sensed Vegeta approaching the kitchen area. He calmly sauntered into the room, pausing to look up at Goku. She watched his aloof gaze in wonder. 'What would it matter?' she thought with a dejected sigh. 'I would just screw it up anyway…'

Vegeta glanced at the spice in her hands, raising an eyebrow inquiringly, "You planning on making something?"

"What's wrong Vegeta, you confused?" Goku replied with a smile.

"I know women ought to have the natural ability to cook, and I can see why you'd want to experiment…"


"… but I don't wish to die of food poisoning," stated Vegeta with an amused smirk, "Imagine that, Kakarrot: I the Prince of all Saiyans, kicking the bucket because I ate something that you made!"

Goku glared at him, placing the small bottle back into the cupboard. She strode over to a chair, and impatiently plopped herself down on it.

"By all means, Vegeta, don't let me hold you back. Let's see some of your culinary skills for once!" she snapped.

"I'm unashamed of admitting that I can't cook. I don't feel the need of gaining your approval of my fictitious cooking abilities," he muttered. Vegeta walked up to the table and sat atop it, staring down his rival with confidence.

"I think that us being in here together was a bad idea, Vegeta," stated Goku, "you're beginning to get on my nerves, and that's saying something!"

Vegeta laughed, "Likewise, Kakarrot, but you really aren't as easy going as you used to be. You have quite the temper. "

"It isn't my fault!" Goku defended, crossing her arms, deliberately stressing her annoyance with him.

"Oh really?" began Vegeta, he seemed to be musing something, "Then does that mean you're on your menstrual cycle?"

Goku gazed up at him with a blank stare. 'Huh?' she thought, and then suddenly it clicked. Goku quickly diverted her eyes away from his, her face turning bright red in embarrassment, "N – No!" she stammered. 'How does he know about that?!'

"Well, then you don't have an excuse, now do you?" he replied.

"You don't understand…" Goku mumbled. "Ya' know, you should feel more sympathy for me Vegeta, after all, you sort of put me in this situation," she quickly retaliated.

"Am I supposed to feel regret or guilt?" he asked. "I really have to admit, Kakarrot, that my wish has been a big upgrade. I really didn't like you as man, this is definitely an improvement."

Goku once again scowled at the egocentric Prince. "Just because you like the change doesn't make it right!"

She'd had enough; she began walking out of the room. When Vegeta was concerned, everyone else was always wrong.

"You're right," he replied casually, causing her to become paralyzed on the spot in utter shock. Vegeta hopped off of the table and approached her again. He grabbed her arm, and roughly turned her around to face him.

Goku's breath suddenly caught in her throat. 'Wow, he's close right now!'

"I am?" she asked, blushing.

"Yes, but I'm not the only one who likes the change?" he stated/inquired.

Goku felt as if she was about to faint. She pulled away slightly. Vegeta followed her, backing her up into the hallway, demanding her attention. Goku continued to absentmindedly back away, further down the hallway. She frantically tried to grasp something to say to him.

"Y – you didn't eat! A – aren't you hungry?" she babbled nervously, attempting to change the subject.

"Yes," he replied with a smirk, backing her up into his bedroom, "in fact, I had something in mind."

Goku released a deep breath, relieved, but somewhat disappointed also. She laughed and replied, "Well, Vegeta, you're not gonna find any food in your room."

Vegeta suddenly looked as if someone had thrown a brick at his face. 'You're kidding me right?' he thought, astonished and annoyed all at once.

"Unless…" began Goku, looking as if a light bulb had turned on above her head.

Vegeta appeared hopeful.

Goku snapped her fingers, "… unless you've been raiding the pantry at night!" she exclaimed. She glared at him suspiciously, "Well, have you?"

Vegeta slapped himself in the face, his hand sliding down his face in an overdramatic show of aggravation. "You are an idiot!" he suddenly shouted.

Goku frowned, dumbfoundedly, "You mean… you didn't raid the pantry?"

Vegeta seemed to be battling something out in his mind. He glanced at Goku, then behind him at the bedroom. He frowned and began to walk away, completely bypassing the kitchen.

"V-vegeta, where are you going? I thought you were hungry?" she asked.

"I'm not in the mood anymore," he muttered, leaving her to go train on his own.

'I didn't know you had to be in a certain mood to be hungry. I always get hungry no matter what. My tummy growls, and then I know. Maybe Vegeta's different?' Goku pondered, thoroughly confused.


Goku glanced down at her stomach with a laugh, "Yeah, I get it!"

Goku shrugged her shoulders and headed toward the kitchen by herself.

A/N: Uh-oh, is 18 done-for? Will Cell finally become perfect? Will Goku ever get a clue? Probably not... haha. Anyway, I hope my interpretation of Cell seemed formidable enough to you all. We're getting close to some really intense chapters. :) I can't wait to finish them, and post them. Truth be told, I have thousands of words for instances of future chapters already written. I guess I got excited and a little ahead of myself. Thank you all very much for all of the reviews for my previous chapter. I'll try to post up a new chapter as soon as I can. :)

*Chapter 35*: Bathtime

Disclaimer: I don't own DB/Z/GT.

'He's not so bad,' thought Goku, unaware of the dreamy gaze she had locked on Vegeta. 'I wonder why everyone thinks he's so unpleasant.' Goku paused, a silent snicker of amusement escaping her lips. She placed her index finger on her lower lip quizzically, 'Maybe – ' she thought, ' – it's because he's so conceited and hot-headed. He's also really confrontational. Maybe they don't like him because they think he's still evil?'

"Vegeta – "

"What, Kakarrot?" Vegeta asked impatiently, although there was no reason to be hasty, after all, he had nowhere to be.

" – well, I was just wondering," she continued, fidgeting a little. "Does it bother you that everyone hates you?"

Vegeta appeared taken aback for a moment, but he speedily masked his astonished reaction. "What?"

"Well, hate's a strong word," Goku contemplated aloud. "They just strongly dislike you," she amended with a sheepish grin.

"You can say whatever you like, Kakarrot," replied Vegeta, controlling the tone of his voice. "I don't care if you and your little friends hate – "

"Dislike!" Goku interjected.

"Whatever," continued Vegeta, "I don't care what you and your little friends think of me!"

Goku pouted, "I never said I disliked you, Vegeta."

"What does it matter? You're practically mentally impaired. Your opinion is of no consequence!" Vegeta replied harshly.

Goku's frown quickly morphed into a scowl. "Everyone's opinion matters no-matter what! Besides, I know you don't really think that way of me. I think I know you better than anyone now. I know that you throw insulting jabs at people when you're upset. I know that you don't mean it!"

Vegeta merely harrumphed in response, stubbornly crossing his arms in annoyance.

Regardless of Vegeta's foul mood, Goku had the feeling that today was going to be a good day the moment she had woken up that morning. She'd had a smile on her face for hours, and she was starting to feel like her 'old' cheerful self. As of this moment, she and Vegeta had just finished another intense training session.

Goku could feel it too! She was definitely beat up big time, but she could tell that she was catching up to Vegeta. She was beginning to really be able to hold her own. 'Someday soon, I'm gonna beat you, and then you're not gonna like me anymore, if you even do like me,' Goku thought, laughing at her inside joke. 'Well, I definitely have to prove that a girl can be just as tough as the guys. I have a reputation to uphold!'

Goku traced a long bloody gash with her index finger. 'Wow, am I glad that Saiyans like myself heal so darn fast! I don't even want to imagine how many band-aids I'd need to use if I didn't!'

The temperature in the Room of Spirit and Time was beginning to become really hot. The heat was making Goku drowsy. 'I'm tired…' she thought, yawning.

Goku tossed her head around, trying her best to shake off the exhaustion, if that were even possible. She didn't want to go to sleep yet. Today was turning out to be such a great day. She didn't want to miss a minute of it.

Goku watched attentively as Vegeta began to take off the remains of what had been the top piece of his 're-created Bulma-style' Saiyan armor. It was torn to shreds now. 'Pretty soon he's gonna run out of armor and he's gonna have to fight me naked!' Goku thought, giggling.

Vegeta heard her quiet laughter, and turned his attention to her with an inquisitive look, "What?"

Goku's face turned beet red, "N – nothing!" 'Oh no! I need to stop hanging around Master Roshi so often! I'm turning into a lech!" she inwardly berated herself.

Goku tried to divert her attention, but it kept wandering back to Vegeta's half-naked body. His chest was so lean and muscular. He looked like a model. His mass of muscular build was glistening in sweat. 'Vegeta looks so… se…'

"Just what are you staring at, Kakarrot?" Vegeta demanded in an irritated voice.

Goku blushed once again, 'Darn it! I did it again!'

"What's wrong with you? You've been acting weird all day long!" continued Vegeta.

'What is wrong with me?' Goku agreed inwardly with a frown. "I'm sorry Vegeta. I don't know what's the matter with me. I'll try my best to stop bugging you."

Vegeta suddenly had an awkward sort of shocked expression on his face. It almost seemed as if he were panicked. "I didn't say you had to do that, Kakarrot! It's just, you've been grinning like an idiot all day. It's kind of weird."

Goku suddenly felt herself smile, "I guess I'm just in a good mood because… I'm happy, Vegeta."

Vegeta didn't seem to have a response to that, so he just left it as is.

"Well I'm gonna go take a bath in the tub. Where did you move the firewood again?" Goku asked.

Vegeta frowned, "I've told you twice already. The stack is right next to that bathing bucket contraption."

"Oh great, easier for me!" chimed Goku happily.

"Just do me a favor, Kakarrot?"

"Sure, what is it?"

"Don't catch anything else on fire with your ki this time," replied Vegeta.


"Woah!" announced Goku as she walked into the kitchen. She could smell a musty noxious scent wafting up her sensitive Saiyan nostrils. "Geeze Vegeta!" she said pointedly, "You smell awful!"

She could see Vegeta's facial muscles twitch in annoyance. "Well, what do you expect? I've been training like a man," he replied. "Men are strong. We train until we're drop dead exhausted. We don't care about what we look or smell like. You can play little pretty flowery-smelling girl all you want, Kakarrot, but a true warrior exhibits his labors in many ways."

Goku rolled her eyes at Vegeta whilst waving her hand in front of her face as if swatting the rotten stench away from her olfactory nerves. "Whatever you say, Vegeta, but you really should consider taking a bath."

Goku tried her best to ignore the fowl stench as she prepared herself a snack. Vegeta went to grab something out of a cupboard. He approached a storage cabinet closest to Goku, and lifted up an arm to reach for something he wanted.

Goku whipped around in an instant, and pulled his arm down to rest at his waist. Her face was pallid. She said nothing, just stepped back a little. Vegeta figured out why she'd pulled his arm down almost immediately.

Vegeta snickered in response, a sly smirk forming on his face. He slowly began to lift both of his arms yet again, moving in on Goku.

"Don't!" she demanded/pleaded.

He grabbed a hold of her, and encircled her in a headlock, her face stuck in his armpit. She struggled to push him away. All the while Vegeta cackled triumphantly, proud of his superior strength, and amused at her detest.

Finally he let go of her, she stumbled a step backward, her face turning a sickly shade of ashen-green. She began to gag slightly. Then suddenly, she heaved vomit all over Vegeta's chest.

The room was dead silent for a moment. The tension truly could be cut like a knife through butter. Vegeta's facial muscles were twitching in repugnance. Goku seemed to still be sick to her stomach, but she had an apologetic expression on her face as well.

"Kakarrot…" Vegeta hissed in irritation.

"Yes?" she replied timidly.

"I demand that you show me how to use the bathing machine this instant," he demanded.

"Well, Vegeta, if you didn't know how to use an old-fashioned bath tub, why didn't ya' just say so?" Goku replied cheerfully.

Approximately ten minutes later:

Vegeta tossed aside his bile-covered top in disgust, silently wondering why he hadn't chose to do that ten minutes earlier. He watched Kakarrot toss a bucketful of water into the odd looking washtub. He trailed behind her with another bucket of crisp cold water sitting at his feet. He was beginning to grow impatient of this tedious technique of getting water into the bathtub. He almost wished he were back at Capsule Corp. using one of the many bathtubs/showers that actually did all the work for you.

Vegeta glowered at the archaic bathtub in the utmost of annoyance, thinking, 'I am the Prince of all Saiyans! I should not be brought this low as to use this inefficient bathing apparatus!'

He picked up his bucket of water and tossed the contents into the tub.

"Now…!" announced Goku with a grin, "We need to heat up the tub with logs and some fire. That way the water will be nice and toasty!"

Vegeta rolled his eyes. "Where are the logs, Kakarrot?"

"Around the other side of the house in the firewood holder thingy, silly!" she replied, skipping off to go lug some firewood over to the bathtub.

Vegeta sat, awaiting Goku's return with the firewood. His face displayed his irritation in full-force. Goku arrived with the logs of wood piled high in her arms. She artfully spread in them in the empty area beneath the large bathtub, and motioned for Vegeta to come closer.

She smiled at him coyly, "ChiChi always used to make me use a match to light the wood because it's 'safer', but we can use our ki instead," she announced excitedly, almost as if she were a child who was stealing a cookie from the cookie jar.

She awaited a response from Vegeta, but he seemed uninterested so she moved on with the demonstration. "Hold up a log please."

Vegeta complied, and held up a log.

"Now move it over to your side a little," instructed Goku.

Vegeta moved it to his side, wishing he could cross his arms in frustration. Goku held up her right arm and spread out her fingers to reveal the palm of her hand. Vegeta watched as a small spark of her ki appeared in the center of her palm. She shot the small amount of ki at the wood. It burned a hole in the wood, and the heat caused it to splinter, and spit off little sparks of fire as it ignited.

One of the little sparks just happened to land in Vegeta's hair…

Vegeta scrunched his nose and sniffed the air, "Is something burning?" he asked absentmindedly.

Goku was busy blowing lightly on the wood, trying to get it to fully catch fire. "Um… yeah? That was the whole point Vegeta!"

"No… not the wood… something else?" he couldn't quite pinpoint what it was.

Goku finally managed to get the wood ablaze, and tossed it into the pile of wood below the bathtub. She glanced up at Vegeta in confusion. She was about to say he was crazy when she suddenly noticed what the problem was.

"V- Vegeta!" she shouted in astonishment, "Your hair is on fire!"

Vegeta glared at her in irritation. "Stop joking around, Kakarrot. I've only heard that a thousand times before. Don't you think I've realized that my hair is flame-shaped by now or do you think I'm an idiot?"

"N- no!" she replied, "It's really on fire!"

Vegeta glanced upward and saw a plume of billowing smoke rising from the crown of his head, "GAH!" he shouted in horror.

Goku didn't waste any more time, she shoved Vegeta into the bathtub. She watched silently in trepidation as Vegeta's soaked head rose up and out of the water. He had a glint of murder in his onyx-colored eyes, "Kakarrot..." he hissed.

End Flashback

"Okay, Vegeta, I'll use a match instead of my ki to be safe," replied Goku sheepishly. "Oh, and sorry about your hair again!"

Vegeta merely grunted and walked off toward the the house area.

After preparing a fire underneath the large bathing tub, Goku slowly lowered herself into the hot and steamy water.

"Ahhh…" she sighed, smiling to herself in relaxation.

She imagined herself melting into the water and becoming one with it. She wanted the steamy water to boil her worries and frustrations away. She quickly submerged herself into the water and resurfaced, shaking away the dizziness that was threatening to overtake her. She leaned against an edge of the tub, gazing up at the roofless abyss of the Room of Spirit and Time. Suddenly, she felt very small, and alone. Regardless of the fact that she was roasting in a hot bathtub, she felt a shiver flutter throughout her body.

There was a silent itch at the back of her mind. It was gnawing at her thoughts and she couldn't ignore it any longer. She'd not thought of it before, but her life was going to be way different from this point on. Before, she'd focused only on the big changes: losing ChiChi, seeing Gohan less often… Now that she thought of it, the small changes really hurt also.

She sank lower into the water and blew bubbles on the surface as she seriously mulled things over in her mind. She fidgeted restlessly in the water and lifted her head out of the water yet again, gazing at the still surface in longing. She pictured Gohan taking a bath with her. She imagined herself splashing him and tickling him. She reminisced on all of their bath-time memories. She missed Gohan. She missed their bath-times spent together. She knew that she'd never experience them ever again.

She frowned slightly. She even missed ChiChi's constant nagging at the side of the tub as she refueled the fire: "Gohan, don't forget to clean behind your ears this time!" she chided, seriously, but with a slightly playful air to her voice and manner.

This was just one of the many joys Goku knew she would never have again. It was of her own choice to stay a woman. She knew she didn't really have anything to back up her decision, other than her love for Vegeta. 'Am I being selfish?' she thought dejectedly. 'Sure I've lost a lot of things because of my choice, but so has ChiChi and Gohan…'

"But I can make up for all of the losses," she reassured herself in a whisper. "I can make new memories with Gohan, and I can show ChiChi that I can still be a good father."

Still, Goku couldn't shake the sheer sense of loneliness that had suddenly enveloped her. 'This isn't a suitable ending for a good day.'

Goku sat in pure silence for a moment. Then suddenly, as if a light bulb had just lit above her head, she stood up in the tub with a purposeful look on her face. She smiled happily, thinking, 'Son Goku, you're a genius!'

She hopped out of the tub, stark-naked and soaked to the bone. She determinedly strode up to the entrance of the Hyperbolic Time Chamber's little abode.

Goku smiled as she encircled the doorknob in the palm of her hand. 'I don't have to be alone,' she thought with a sort of confidence she hadn't felt for a long time.

*Chapter 36*: Closer Than Ever Before

Disclaimer: I don't own DB/Z/GT.

Vegeta padded into his quarters, somewhat exhausted. He sighed, letting out the lungful of air he had been holding in. The room was pitch-black. This was what nighttime was like in the Room of Spirit and Time. When it became dark, it was like a void of nothingness. Perhaps this was a silent reminder of what was to come if its occupants chose to stay too long. When the lights were out, this is what the abyss would be like.

Vegeta couldn't help, but shudder at the thought of this. He strided across the room, sat on the edge of his bed, and lit up a flicker of ki on the tip of his finger. It was iridescent and bright yellow. It illuminated the room in its brilliant phosphorescence and casted shadows upon the walls. Vegeta place the tip of his index finger to the top string of a white wax candle that was sitting atop his nightstand.

He held it there for a few moments, allowing the heat from his ki to ignite the string. He drew his finger away when a flame lit up at the tip of the candle. He allowed his ki to dissipate as he gazed at the flickering flame. He laid his tired body back in the bed, and comfortably crossed his arms behind his head and rested on his forearms.

He lazily watched the shadows dance across the walls in time with the flickering of the candle. He silently wondered how long Goku was going to take in the bathtub. He could really use a hot and steamy bath right about now to mend his aching muscles and sooth his abraded skin. He allowed the ominous shadow figures serenading on the walls to lull him to sleep.

Vegeta didn't sleep for very long. He awoke with a start. There had been a loud banging noise. It didn't take long for him to realize that it was just Goku. She had a problem with slamming doors shut. He could hear the pitter-patter of her bare feet as she trotted at a steady pace down the loan hallway. Vegeta half-expected her to slip and fall. After-all, she'd just gotten out of the bathtub. Knowing Goku, her feet would still be wet.

"Idiot," Vegeta murmured to himself, sitting up, and reaching out for the candle. "Who runs around the house with wet feet in the dark? Kakarrot, that's who."

Vegeta froze still as he heard Goku stop at his door. He drew his brows together in confusion. 'Maybe something's wrong?'

She rapped at his door. It sounded impatient.

"Come in," replied Vegeta, turning his attention toward the door, forgetting about the candle. Meanwhile, Goku struggled with the doorknob.

"It's locked!" she complained.

Vegeta grunted in annoyance, stood up and walked toward the door. He opened it while demanding rather harshly, "What do you want Kakarrot?"

The initial light from the candle that escaped Vegeta's room when he had opened the door caused Goku to wince. She rubbed her eyes, trying to speed up their adjustment to the light. With her eyes covered, she wasn't able to see the initial expression of alarm on Vegeta's face.

"Someone's grumpy," she grumbled jokingly.

Vegeta's body was frozen completely still. For a moment he wondered if the Hyperbolic Time Chamber's temperature had changed again, but it hadn't. His body was in a sort of shock. He couldn't move an inch. His eyes were free though, and his mind was definitely working at full-force.

His eyes roamed the expanse of Goku's body in complete disbelief and quite a bit of pleasure. By now, Goku was finished with rubbing her eyes, and she was watching Vegeta's reaction with a perplexed look on her face.

Here Goku was, right before Vegeta's eyes, stark-raving-naked and soaked to the bone. Her hair was matted to her face. Her cheeks were flushed, not with embarrassment, but from either the heat from the hot-tub she'd just been in or the cold feeling of being naked and soaking wet. Vegeta was trying his best to keep his attention above the neckline, and when that failed rather miserably, above the waistline. Her body looked so impeccably flawless to him; she looked so appealing, it was as if her body was talking to him, it was screaming, "Look at me! I dare you to touch me!"

Vegeta couldn't help, but feel that Goku was pulling his leg now. For the past few months, she'd been keeping her distance from him. When they'd first arrived together in the Room of Spirit and Time, he'd initially thought that they'd inevitably grow closer to each other, but that wasn't the case. He couldn't understand what she wanted with him. She'd appear like she held the same feelings for him, but when he tried to get closer to her, she would flinch away. After awhile, she started to keep her distance from him at all times. The only time he could be close to her was when they were fighting. It was maddening! He had become obsessed with her. He needed her, and she appeared completely indifferent to him!

'Damn-it! She's playing me as a fool now!' Suddenly, Vegeta felt incredibly angry. 'This was all just an act! She thought she could disgrace me? She thought she could dishonor me, the Prince of all Saiyans, even more than she already has? She just thinks this is a joke. She's been tooling with my emotions all along!'

Goku furrowed her eyebrows. Her face took on a worried expression, "Are you alright, Vegeta? You look kinda funny."

Vegeta seethed in anger. "Am I alright? Am I alright? Why are you even bothering now, Kakarrot? I've caught on to your little scheme. You thought you could make, me, the Prince of all Saiyans look like a complete and utter fool?"

By now, you can imagine that Goku appeared downright bewildered. "What?" was all she could manage to put in edgewise.

Vegeta jabbed his index finger at the center of her chest. "Well I have news for you!"

He roughly grabbed her biceps and shook her. "I will not be made a bumbling fool by the likes of a clown like you!"

At this point, the grip on her arms had become intolerable. "What are you talking about Vegeta? Let go of me! That hurts!"

Vegeta shoved Goku against the wall, his hands sliding down to her wrists. He pinned her against the wall, and paid close attention to her legs. He knew she was a skilled fighter, and that she could definitely hurt him if he wasn't careful.

He glared at her. He felt the sudden urge to spit in her face. "I genuinely cared about you, Kakarrot, and this is what I get? A fucking tease! Well, I'll show you who the fool is! I'm stronger than you Kakarrot, and I can take you any time I please. Maybe I will right now. That'll teach you a lesson!"

Goku struggled against Vegeta's grip. She made a move to kick him away, but Vegeta blocked her attack. If she could just gain the upper hand, then maybe she could beat some sense back into Vegeta.

"Vegeta, I have no idea what you're talking about, really! I know that you're stronger than me now… so then why do you think I'm trying to make you look bad? I don't know what you mean! And I don't want to fight you right now, Vegeta. We just got finished sparring and I'm pretty worn out," Goku paused, glancing at Vegeta's hands on her wrists. "Please let go, or at least loosen it up a little. That hurts!"

Vegeta let go of Goku, half expecting her to get into a fighting stance. He was imagining she'd jump at him the instant he granted her freedom. He suspected that she was playing dumb. But to Vegeta's astonishment, Goku didn't move.

"Please tell me what's bothering you. What did I do to hurt your feelings?" she asked, her face genuinely concerned.

"Kami!' muttered Vegeta in stupefaction. He clenched his fists, suddenly angry at himself for believing Goku would even think to do such a thing in order to hurt him. "You didn't?"

"I didn't what?" she asked.

'She wasn't trying to tease me all along? Then why has she been ignoring me lately? Why do I get looks of repugnance every time I try to make an advance? Is she afraid or something? I don't understand?! And after what I just said, how… how can she even look at me?' Vegeta stared at Goku's face in bewilderment. She was looking at him perplexedly. She had an innocent look of curiosity on her face. 'She's so naïve. She didn't even realize what I was insinuating. She thinks I want to fight her…'

Vegeta, combed his fingers through his hair, "Just, forget I said anything."

"That's kind of hard to do when you looked so mad just a second ago…"

Vegeta had trouble getting the words he wanted to say out. "Look, Kakarrot, I'm s- sorr… what were going to say to me when you came up and knocked on my door?"

Goku seemed to forget what was bothering her and smiled at Vegeta happily, "Will you join me in the bathtub Vegeta?"

Vegeta was taken aback with pure shock. "Wha- what?"

Goku suddenly seemed to realize the awkwardness of the situation. She looked down at her bare body, and back up at Vegeta. She laughed sheepishly and scratched the back of her head in her usual mannerism.

"Sorry, I didn't mean to take you by surprise, or embarrass you or anything," explained Goku. "But it's not that big of a deal. I mean, it isn't like you've never seen a woman naked before, right?"

At this inquiry Vegeta suddenly blushed a bright red, "Of course I've seen a woman naked before, you nimrod!" he defended in sheer humiliation.

"Good! So it won't be weird. So do you wanna take a bath with me or not?" asked Goku, with an eyebrow quirked and her arms crossed over her breasts.

'Like hell it won't be awkward. Have you forgotten what it's like to be a man already, Kakarrot?' Vegeta's mind was screaming in annoyance. "Well," he replied hotly, "If you're going to take so damn long I might as well take a bath with you. I don't want to wait all night, you know!"

Goku rolled her eyes, but smiled. "Okay!" she replied, skipping off to the bathtub.

Vegeta watched her retreating naked figure and thought, 'What have I gotten myself into now? What in the hell just happened anyway?'

"Last one to the bathtub has to scrub the other's back!" Goku shouted childishly.

Vegeta instinctively began to run, but then stopped himself. 'Wait just a minute…' he thought, beginning to smirk, '… I think in this particular instance, I'll allow Kakarrot to emerge the victor.'

Vegeta arrived outside. Nearly the entire area was solid black, but the wood burning beneath the bathing tub illuminated a small area. He could see that Goku had already submerged herself in the water. She looked extremely giddy.

She waded to the rim of the tub, and hung her dripping arms over the edge. "No fair, Vegeta! You didn't even try!"

Now it was his turn. Vegeta smirked at Goku. He slowly pulled off his shirt, and after he'd tugged it off of his head, he surveyed Goku's reaction. His smirk broadened with pleasing amusement as he saw her staring at his muscular build in a sort of awe. He then went for his pants. He loosened its hold, and allowed the clothing to fall to his feet. He stepped out his pants. The last fragment of clothing left was his boxers. Goku was now blushing furiously. She suddenly turned away from Vegeta, facing the other way.

"What's wrong Kakarrot?" Vegeta inquired mischievously, "Never seen a naked man before?"

"I've seen myself naked, but I've never intentionally looked at another man, no," she replied. Her voice trembled nervously.

Goku sucked in a deep breath of air. 'What is wrong with me? He's right, I'm acting like there's something wrong with this, and for what? I've never been shy. I didn't even know nakedness was something to cover up until I married ChiChi, and even then, most the time I just ignored her. Why am I so nervous to see... all of him?' She exhaled slowly. 'Pull yourself together, this is ridiculous!'

Vegeta finished disrobing and slipped into the tub, right next to Goku. He took hold of her chin in his hand, and directed her abashed-looking face in his direction.

"You're afraid of being attracted to me sexually," Vegeta stated softly. "All you've known is your sexual relations in your marriage, and now you think it's wrong to find fancy in someone else."

Vegeta was expecting Goku to shy away. This was her cue to distance herself from him. She was afraid to get too close to him. This had been happening since they first came to the Hyperbolic Time Chamber. Vegeta had blown up on her earlier because he'd begun to expect that she was only toying with him. But he could now see what was so blatantly obvious:

Like clockwork, Goku began to inch away from Vegeta, but he pursued her. He took a hold of her arm and spoke gently, "I have some questions for you, Kakarrot. I want you to answer them truthfully. Can you do that for me?" Goku seemed to have seen this coming. She looked frightened, but nonetheless, she shook her head yes.

"When the dragon balls restore themselves, will you wish yourself to be a man again?" he asked.

Goku twiddled her thumbs in uncertainty, "I don't know."

"That isn't good enough," Vegeta replied, his voice becoming louder and harsher. "Answer me truthfully: do you want to be a man again?"

Goku's face was ashen white. If she said, yes, then would she love ChiChi again. Would these feeling for Vegeta simply - Poof - vanish as quickly as they had come? Did she only love Vegeta because she was a woman? Did she like being this way?

"Don't overthink it, just answer. Out with it, Kakarrot!" Vegeta nearly snapped with frustration.


Vegeta looked taken aback.

Goku closed her eyes and sighed, then looked Vegeta directly in the eyes. "The answer is no."

Vegeta began to calm down. "Then why are you still debating whether to use that wish to – "

"Because of Gohan and the baby that's on its way. I want to be a father to them! It's not fair! They deserve to have a mom and a dad," Goku replied earnestly.

"Okay, Kakarrot. I can see why you'd want your children to have some sort of normalcy in their lives, but Gohan has come to terms with your predicament, and your new child won't know any different! When that child realizes that his father is the wrong gender, he'll eventually get over it too, and probably more readily than Gohan did, because this new child will have become accustomed to it!" Vegeta explained.

"I need you to make a choice now Kakarrot. I want you to decide what you want now!" Vegeta suddenly shouted, unable to hold his anger in any longer.

"What do you mean?" asked Goku, somewhat befuddled.

"Do you have feelings for me?" asked Vegeta, steadying his piercing gaze on Goku's own eyes.

Goku could see that he was completely serious. "Yes."

"How strong are those feelings?" he pressed onward.

"I – " began Goku, turning away, unable to keep eye-contact any longer, " – I love you, Vegeta."

Vegeta felt as if his heart had dropped through his chest and into the pit of his stomach. He was certainly not expecting that sort of profound affection from Goku. He couldn't stop himself from saying what came flying out of his mouth next:

"If that's true, Kakarrot, then you won't make that wish! If that's true than you will stop keeping your distance from me. Lastly, if that's true you will stop giving that wretched wife of yours the pleasure of having you for herself when you're rightfully mine!"

"Alright," she replied, her eyes still diverted. She was gazing at the water as if she were fascinated, but Vegeta knew that her mind was elsewhere.

Vegeta was once again, taken aback. "Really?"

"But on one condition. Only if you hold the same feelings for me that I have for you," she replied, finally gaining the courage to look him straight in the eyes. She looked like she was on the verge of tears.

"True Saiyans don't proclaim such silly things as 'love'," replied Vegeta, crossing his arms stubbornly. He could immediately see how greatly this statement had upset her, so he quickly attempted to mend the situation, "But nevertheless, I do hold the same feelings for you, Kakarrot."

Goku smiled happily and came closer to him. She rested her head on his shoulder, and he instinctively wrapped his arm around her slender waste. She nuzzled her face into his neck. The intimate touch sent chills down Vegeta's spine.

"Do you want to know why I wanted you in the bathtub with me?" she asked, resuming her comfortable position on his shoulder and closing her eyes in relaxation.

"Does it have to do with me?" asked Vegeta suspiciously.

"No, Gohan," she replied.

'No I don't want to hear the damn story then!' he thought, but nevertheless, he said, "Sure, why not."

"Well, Gohan and I take baths together, or more accurately, we used to take baths together. I can't anymore because I'm a woman now and it would be inappropriate according to ChiChi. I really miss Gohan's presence. I don't like being alone anymore. It's not just the bathtub thing. I mean, that's really nothing. It's just all of the small things that add up that are getting to me. I'm just so tired of feeling alone, Vegeta. And I thought that maybe since you have these… feelings for me… I thought you might want to keep me company?"

The last sentence she uttered ended in a question, but Vegeta didn't feel the need to reply to it. She already had been granted his answer.

"You and Gohan will get your relationship back. He really loves you, Kakarrot. Even someone like me can see that. The kid really looks up to you too. It's like you're his hero or something," explained Vegeta, trying his best to rationalize the situation.

"I hope so," murmured Goku, running her hand down Vegeta's chest.

She wasn't trying to become intimate, to Vegeta's dismay. She was tracing a rather large battle-scar on his chest with a sort of childish curiosity. This small act gave Vegeta hope. At least she wasn't afraid to touch him anymore.

"Will you tell me about your past, Vegeta?" she asked, wrapping her arms around his waist comfortably.

"Why do you want to know about my past, Kakarrot? You know that it isn't pretty," replied Vegeta, though, to his amazement, he felt oddly calm.

"Well we were planning on getting serious, right?" Goku paused and commenced onward once she'd received the affirmative nod from Vegeta. "Well, Bulma says that boyfriends and girlfriends should tell each other everything."

Vegeta found himself cracking up at this statement.

"What?" asked Goku dumbfounded, "Stop laughing, Vegeta."

Vegeta struggled to control his laughter. "Silly woman, I'm not your boyfriend. Earthlings have such ridiculous customs."

Goku's eyes widened in disbelief, "Well, I'm not your wife, Vegeta!"

Vegeta burst out laughing again, and was forced to choke his laughter down. Goku was starting to appear perturbed. "What part of Saiyans don't take part in absurd Earthling customs don't you get? Saiyans don't get married!"

"I did!" countered Goku.

"Yeah, well you're such a dope you practically got tricked into it!" argued Vegeta.

Goku ignored the insult. "Well, then what are we, Vegeta?" Goku asked, stressing her point.

"We aren't anything yet, but once we have sex we'd become mates," explained Vegeta.

"Oh… well is a mate like husband and wife?" asked Goku.

"I guess you could say that, but when Saiyans mate, it's sort of like animal imprinting. There's no such thing as divorce," continued Vegeta.

"So, once you mate… you can't decide you don't like the other person?" asked Goku.

"Well, you can dislike your mate, and Saiyans can lose 'love' interest, but Saiyans generally don't break apart after they've mated. It's unheard of."

"Oh," mumbled Goku. She suddenly jumped upright with a look of excitement. "Will we be able to do cool stuff like mind-reading with each other?"

Vegeta looked at Goku as if she were crazy, "Where the hell did you get the notion that we'd get some gift of telepathy from sleeping with each other?"

Goku blushed and directed her attention elsewhere out of embarrassment. "I saw it in a movie once."

Vegeta gazed at Goku's countenance, trying to read what she was feeling. She confused him even more than most women did. He thought that usually he was a pretty good judge of character. He couldn't understand her at all though. Sometimes she seemed ludicrously stupid, and at other times, with certain things such as fighting and strategy, she seemed like she was a genius. He couldn't tell if she was extremely stupid or amazingly smart. He only knew that she was incredibly naïve.

Another thing he couldn't understand about her was her empathy for others, even people that didn't deserve it. Vegeta hadn't been raised around any people that even had a vague characteristic of niceness about them, but he understood the concept of a nice person. He knew what qualities made up your average kind person, but Goku was overly kind. She seemed so selfless and considerate of others; he thought she might actually be the one truly altruistic person in the universe.

He would never understand how she came to be that way. She didn't exactly have the picture-perfect childhood. She'd been telling him about her past while they were in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, and hers wasn't too pretty. She'd been born a baby boy, sent to Earth to purge the planet. She was found by a loving and adoring old man whom she called grandpa. She had received a terrible injury to the head that caused her to forget her ancestry and her mission. She killed her own 'grandpa' by accident, smooshing him like a bug in her Oozaru from. She was practically raised by a spoiled, self-centered teenage girl. His closest friends were a lecherous old monk and pig, a shape shifting cat, a hormonal girl and her bandit boyfriend, a bipolar woman that changed from sweet as molasses to nail-eater at every sneeze, and an egocentric little bald monk-boy.

Albeit, Vegeta's perception of Goku's childhood friends was a little farfetched compared to Goku's rendition of them. Regardless of that, somehow these crazy people managed to raise an innocent, caring, naïve, angel-child, that grew up into a fine young man, and later changed into a beautiful young woman, both inside and out. And with all of this considered, Vegeta could see no reason for Goku wanting to be with someone like him. He could see why Goku had been worried that Vegeta would end up with Bulma. He and Bulma fit like pieces in a puzzle, while he and Goku were polar-opposites. Why would someone as innocent as Goku want someone as guilty as him?

By now, Goku's face was upturned, gazing up at Vegeta inquisitively. "What are you thinking, Vegeta?"

"N – nothing, I'll tell you about my past, if that's what you want; but I have to warn you again, it isn't pretty," replied Vegeta, taking hold of Goku's slender hand and squeezing it for the strength to say something he'd never reiterated to anyone before.

"I know that it isn't pretty, but I want to understand you better," she replied with a slight smile. This wasn't an easy topic, especially when Vegeta was concerned.

'That goes both ways, Kakarrot.' "Alright," began Vegeta, "I don't remember much about my childhood before I was taken by Freeza. I was only five when he recruited me. He took me the day our planet blew up, the day you were born, and the very same day you were sent to Earth."

"He told me that Planet Vegeta was hit by a meteor. He had sympathized with me that my entire race had been obliterated by a mere asteroid. At the time, I was too young to recognize sarcasm. I was assigned to missions with the only two remaining Saiyans that were known of at the time, Nappa, whom had once upon a time been my Royal Guard, and Raditz, a third-class nobody who just happened to be lucky. Now that I think of it, maybe he wasn't lucky. Maybe he would have been better off dying with the rest."

"I have to attest to you that I was no stranger to killing. At the tender age of five, I didn't mind killing at all. In fact, a small part of me enjoyed it. It was like an intoxicating thrill, an adrenaline rush. I would have my fun killing, and then I would return to Freeza to be praised," Vegeta paused, noticing the funny look on Goku's face.

"Yes, Kakarrot, praised. Initially Freeza tried to act like my friend, a sort of father-figure if you will. But that didn't work for long. I was a bright young man, and I detected something offhand in Freeza's attitude. I could almost immediately see him for who he really was. When I confronted him, that was when all hell broke loose for me. That was when my life ended…"

About an hour later:

"… I guess you can say that I was reborn when you defeated me on Earth. I think you knew what the consequences of rebellion would be, and you still rebelled. You humiliated me, I hated your guts, but at the same time, you gave me hope, enough confidence to fight for my freedom!"

Vegeta stopped to glance down at Goku. He gently ran his fingers through her hair. She had fallen asleep. He had realized this a little while ago, but he wanted to end his story on a happy note for once.

He picked her up, and stepped out of the tub. He dried the both of them instantly by raising his ki, and he stepped quietly into the house, as not to wake her. He crept across the hallway, preparing to drop her off in her room, atop her bed, but he stopped. Something made him change his mind, and he headed toward his own bedroom, with her sleeping form still in his arms. He deposited her gently on his own bed, and took his rightful place beside her.

He tried his best to fall asleep, but seemed to be struck with a terrible case of insomnia. He couldn't even manage to close his eyes. He was enjoying watching Goku sleep. He liked seeing her peaceful, angelic-looking face, and watching the rise and fall of her chest as she inhaled an exhaled the same air that he breathed. This day had certainly not turned out the way he had thought it would, but he was glad that it did. He had never felt closer to her than he did now.

*Chapter 37*: Connections

Disclaimer: I don't own DB/Z/GT.

June 6, 2012 - This chapter used to have some 'lemon' in it, but it has been removed so as not to break ffnet rules. Here is a link to the chapter with the lemon included (make sure to replace the "dot" parts with periods and erase the spaces): www " dot" mediaminer "dot" org/fanfic/view_ch "dot" php?id=166713&cid=606329&submit=View

Or... just click the link I will provide on my profile page... :-/

Goku could feel something heavy atop her chest. It felt like deadweight. She lazily pushed on it, but it merely rolled over in about half an inch of distance. Her mind was foggy. This unanticipated disturbance was beginning to draw her out of her precious sleep. She groaned slightly, her eyelids lifting just a sliver. She investigated the foreign object.

'Funny,' she thought, rubbing her eyes with her fists, '… looks a lot like an arm.'

She finally opened her eyes entirely, and allowed them to fully adjust to the lighting in the room. Her breath caught in her throat as she realized that she wasn't imagining things, there definitely was an arm splayed across her body, and she was pretty positive that it didn't belong to her. Her eyes trailed across the arm, approaching proximally to its source.

She turned over in the direction of its owner. She silently wondered why she was lying next to Vegeta in what appeared to be his bed. The room was dim. The only source of light was the candle that Vegeta had lit earlier. There wasn't much of it left, but its feeble flame had yet to die out. Goku found herself being drawn nearer to Vegeta. She rested her head about two inches away from his sleeping face.

He looked so calm and serene compared to what he usually looked like. Goku noted that this was the first time she had ever seen his face relaxed into a gentle expression. She had grown so accustomed to his perpetual scowl; it seemed so unusual to see him like this. Nevertheless, she decided that she liked the way he looked when he was sleeping. He appeared so tranquil. It was as if he didn't have a care in the world. Goku wished that this were true, for his sake. He'd been through too much in his short life.

Although she was close enough to him to the extent that she could feel his own body-heat radiating onto her body, she couldn't shake off the sudden overwhelming feeling of isolation. She felt guilty. 'And look at me,' she thought with a frown, 'I've just been making things worse for him. I practically quarantined myself from him, like he had some sort of disease or something. The moment I realized that I had feelings for him, I shunned them. I came up with every practical excuse I could to stay away from him.'

Goku inched her way closer, hiding her face in the nook of his neck. She could detect the faint smell of soap still lingering on his skin, but she also distinguished his unique scent. It was like nothing else. It didn't smell virile, or flowery, and it didn't smell like any of those pleasant spices that sometimes linger on a person's flesh. He smelled like himself. She couldn't put it to words. When his scent tickled her olfactory nerves, she immediately thought: Vegeta. Nothing else came to mind. She sniffed at him again for good measure. She realized that she liked the scent of Vegeta.

She counted off her transgressions in her mind. 'First it was shame. I couldn't allow myself to see this as it is. I forced myself to forget that love has no bounds. I made myself think I was disgusting for having these feelings for Vegeta.'

'Second it was ChiChi. I realized almost immediately that I no-longer had attractive and passionate feelings toward her anymore. I didn't realize at first how much I was beginning to like Vegeta.'

Ever since that accident, she'd been tied down to the rails, observing in disquiet as the slow-moving train approached her, threatening to speed up at the last possible moment and crush every bone in her body.

'I realized somewhere that I loved Vegeta, but I wouldn't allow myself to recognize it. I kept telling myself that I owed it to ChiChi. I thought that when I would finally be wished back to normal again, everything else would become normal as well.'

The past can't be changed. It will always be there. Goku tried to assure herself that it could be forgotten, but who was she kidding. That was when she had her epiphany: things would never be the same ever again.

'Third it was Gohan. I saw the way he looked at me. He was confused and hurt. He couldn't understand how this could be true. He denied it, and by doing that, he ignored me. But Gohan has a large and forgiving heart. I think Vegeta's right; I think he's accepted me again.'

'Fourth it was Bulma. Besides Krillin, she's my best friend. Because of Trunks' existence, I thought that Vegeta could be happy with her. I know that if she had him, she would be happy, and Kami knows she deserves it. At least I've known happiness before. But Vegeta swears that he doesn't want her. And why should he? This isn't Trunks' universe anymore. I only hope that she can forgive me.'

'Fifth, and lastly, it was my unborn child, the innocent child that won't know any better. This ultimately was just my way of taking the coward's route out.'

In all truth, her last attempt was to save herself from the slow-moving train wreck of her life, but the only way to disentangle herself, and in doing so, free herself, was to admit to her feelings for Vegeta and to face the music. That was the only she'd ever truly be happy ever again.

'And look at me, at what I've done. I've made a mess. I've strung you along when you didn't deserve that sort of treatment. I don't know how you can forgive me, Vegeta. Out of all the people that I've considered, you were the last. Why couldn't I see your feelings? Why couldn't I recognize my own? Why did it take me this damn long to realize that the only way for either of us to be happy is to be together?'

Goku found herself laughing. She realized how silly this was. She was laughing, and at the same time, she was crying. She unintentionally woke Vegeta up. She watched him go through the motions, and as he finally broke through the fogginess of sleep and into wakefulness, she stifled her laughter and smiled at his bemused face.

"What are you looking at?" he grumbled, preparing his inner arsenal of insulting jabs in case she had anything 'funny' in mind.

"I was just thinking," she replied calmly, "that you're right.

Vegeta peered at her suspiciously. "About what exactly?"

"I am an idiot," Goku replied, dead-serious.

Goku watched Vegeta's facial features morph into unreserved confusion. She had the sudden urge to giggle. 'I think it's time I stop playing mind games,' she thought, smiling at him coyly.

Vegeta suddenly sat upright. He was examining Goku's face. What was up with her? His look of bemusement hadn't vanished. "What…" he muttered, absentmindedly brushing a strand of hair out of her face and tucking it behind her ear. "… do you mean?"

"I'm an idiot. You've said so yourself, Vegeta. I'm merely agreeing with you," she replied in a matter-of-fact sort of tone.

"You aren't," he replied, giving her a look she'd never seen before. She couldn't seem to decipher it. Was it compassion? "You just act like one from time to time."

Goku smiled, "Are you trying to compliment me?"

Vegeta grimaced slightly, "Most of the time," he amended.

"Come on, Vegeta! Admit it; you don't think I'm stupid! Come on, you can get over your pride can't you?" she asked. She was talking playfully. She really didn't care if he owned up to it or not. She knew how he really felt.

Vegeta suddenly scowled at her, "Fine!" he snapped, "You're actually smart… sometimes…"

"Thanks Vegeta!" Goku replied. She raised an eyebrow at him quizzically, "Anything else you want to confess?"

"Well," began Vegeta, suddenly seeming to realize that Goku was playing games with him, "You aren't a total eyesore."

Goku gasped melodramatically, "I think that's the nicest thing you've ever said to me!"

Vegeta's demeanor changed into seriousness again. "Why did you say you're an idiot, Kakarrot?"

"Because," began Goku timidly, "I realized something… something that I should have noticed a long time ago."

"What did you realize?" he asked.

Goku could feel nervous butterflies flitting around in the pit of her stomach. She was having a hard time keeping eye-contact with Vegeta. She knew what she had to do now. She knew how she could make it up to Vegeta. She knew how she was going to mend things. She knew what would make them both happy.

"That I've been hurting you, Vegeta," she replied, grabbing the bed-sheets in her small fists. She couldn't look up at him just yet. She was afraid to see how he'd react.

She couldn't see the blow she had just landed on him. She couldn't even begin to realize how odd it felt to Vegeta to have someone describe to him that they actually cared that they'd hurt him. This wasn't an emotion Vegeta had ever felt before. He'd been hurt more times than he could count in his lifetime, but he'd never witnessed such an evident look of remorsefulness on anyone's face before. He'd never seen it directed at him. It was as if he could see the wound that this guilt had caused her.

"And – " she continued, " – and that I've been lying to myself all this time!" She punched a fist at the mattress, not hard enough to damage it, but hard enough to display the ferocity of her inner-conflict. "Damn-it Vegeta! I don't know why I've been doing this to us! I don't know why I'd been so blind. I can't understand why I didn't see what was in such plain sight from the beginning."

"Wha – what?" Vegeta stuttered in disbelief. He had no idea she was in such inner-turmoil.

Goku glanced up at Vegeta, uncertain for a split second of what exactly she should say. Then Vegeta saw a change in her demeanor. There was a barely discernable flicker in her eyes. She looked determined. He couldn't exactly pinpoint what it was he was seeing in her eyes at first, but it soon became evident. It was lust.

Her face approached his gradually. She looked resolute, but tentative at the same time. Her emotions were a firestorm of conflictions. She could feel the warmth of his breath wisping against her moist lips. She could see the desire-laden vision in his eyes. She could feel the hunger for him churning the butterflies around in her abdomen.

She closed her eyes, shutting out the rest of the world. Who cared what ChiChi and Bulma and the rest of them thought? This was not their decision to make. This was Son Goku's decision. She tentatively brushed her lips against Vegeta's. She could sense his unease. She could sense him holding back, and why the hell not? It's not as if she hadn't pushed him away time and time again.

She didn't want him to be apprehensive this time. She pulled her face back, and took hold of his hands in hers. She squeezed their palms together in reassurance. "This is what I want, Vegeta."

That was all of the encouragement that Vegeta needed. He pulled her body closer to him, tackling her lips with his own, crushing her body against his. She could sense his need for her in the desperate way that he clutched her. Maybe he thought he might still be dreaming.

Their lips were still intact as she felt Vegeta's hands begin to wander. His fingertips gently slid up her backside, and lifted the bed-sheet off of her unclothed body. It had been draped over her shoulders like a shawl of some sort, but now it was gone, leaving her completely exposed. Their lips broke apart with a soft smacking sound. Goku gazed at Vegeta with her penetratingly inquisitive onyx-dappled eyes.

Vegeta's own eyes wandered up Goku's body, unflinchingly displaying his gluttonous desire for her. His eyes came to rest upon her face. He smirked at her in self-satisfaction. His more animalistic Saiyan disposition took control over him and he pounced on her aggressively. Goku's backside fell onto the mattress, springing up slightly from the force. Vegeta was on top of her, straddling her hips with his brawny thighs. Goku was startled, but she was definitely enjoying this.


Vegeta languidly rolled off of Goku, and onto his back. She could vaguely hear the soft sound of a sigh escaping his lips. She turned her head in his direction, not quite aware of her surroundings. Had they really just had sex? Vegeta's eyes were closed. A somewhat smug-looking smile was adorning his lips.

Goku rested her head atop her pillow, smiling to herself as well. "Hey Vegeta."

"What?" he replied.

"Do you think we could do that as Super Saiyans?" she asked out of curiosity.

She blushed as she heard Vegeta chuckling at her question. "Well, I don't see why not."

Goku started to feel an unexpected bout of giddiness take hold of her. "Really! We can?"

Vegeta laughed again. "That's if you can take me, Kakarrot."

Goku frowned, turning to Vegeta again. He laughed at the silly pout on her face, but soon relented when Goku suddenly shoved him off the bed. "Oh yeah?" she countered. "I think you're just scared that you won't be able to handle me, Vegeta!"

Vegeta smirked. "This is different," he commented casually. "Are you going to play the role of the dominatrix now, Kakarrot? You do know that that whole spiel didn't work with ChiChi, right?"

"Wha – " murmured Goku, her face appearing utterly bemused. "What's a dominatrix, Vegeta? Does that have to do with dominoes? I thought we were talking about sex. And besides, I've never even seen ChiChi play dominoes before."

Meanwhile, Bulma jogged down a corridor atop the lookout. When Trunks came within sight, she slowed to a brisk walking-pace. "Hey kid, hold up for sec!" she hollered out breathlessly. The young man froze on the spot. For a second, it seemed like he wasn't going to respond to her at all, but just as she was about to speak again, he turned around with a pallid face.

"H – hey!" he stuttered nervously, "You're Bulma Briefs, right?"

Bulma approached closer to him, oblivious of his involuntary movement in the opposite direction as she did so. "Yeah, kid, that's right. Your name's Trunks right?"

Trunks smiled bashfully, "Yeah, it is."

"Hey, I've been meaning to ask you about that time machine you've been traveling in. You wouldn't mind showing me, would ya?" she asked with an obviously psyched expression on her face.

"Well, it's kind of in disrepair because of that Cell creature, but if you don't mind that, I don't see why I couldn't give you a look sometime. It might be awhile though, after this mess starts to clear up, ya know?" he replied.

Bulma was about to say something in return, but her attention was drawn elsewhere for the moment. She watched ChiChi emerge from behind a closed door and begin walking hurriedly down the hallway. Trunks turned around to see what she was looking at. It was just Son ChiChi, but she had a large sack held in her hands. Trunks didn't notice that ChiChi looked guilty of something, but Bulma certainly did.

Bulma narrowed her eyes in suspicion. "I'll catch you later, Trunks, 'kay?" she said, brushing past him, and heading quickly toward ChiChi.

Trunks stared at his mother's retreating form with a blank expression on his face. "Bye," he muttered quietly.

Bulma caught up to ChiChi, grabbing her arm. Her wrongdoing was clearly evident now. She chose to overlook the fact that she had ignored Bulma even though it was obvious that she was pursuing her.

"H – hi, Bulma," began ChiChi nervously, "didn't see you there."

"Cut the crap, ChiChi!" Bulma responded harshly. "You look like a total crook right now! Tell me what you're up to!"

ChiChi laughed, her face going red in humiliation. "You're funny, Bulma, but I don't know what you're talking about."

"Don't lie to me, Chi!" Bulma replied, her eyes were piercingly angry. "Why don't you go ahead and tell me what the bag's for then!"

ChiChi appeared wordlessly thunderstruck for a split-second, but she swiftly regained her bearings. She smirked at Bulma. "You're a clever woman, Bulma. I think you know what's in the bag."

Bulma frowned and reached out to her sympathetically, "ChiChi, if you do this to Goku, she'll never forgive you."

ChiChi batted her hand away in annoyance. "I'm tired of hearing what you all think Goku wants! Nobody knows my Goku better than me! You just watch, Bulma. When Goku's back to normal again, he'll thank me."

With that said, ChiChi coldly turned her back on Bulma, and briskly walked away. "Are you so sure, Chi? I hope you're right, for your sake." Bulma murmured to ears that wouldn't listen.

*Chapter 38*: Heroes

Disclaimer: I don't own DB/Z/GT.

Those eyes were watching her closely. They were so concentrated on her form that the look seemed almost intimate and imploring, but they were sinister. Those were the eyes of a killer, not a loving brother. 18 clutched at her chest defensively. She knew what she must do. She knew she could not give Cell the glory of getting what he wanted. It was simple, she need only to end her life. What was her life worth anyway? She was a monster. Come to me… Come to me… They were beckoning to her, teasing her. Don't you miss me? Don't you want to see me again? I'm your brother!

Then a voice shattered her fixation on the eyes, "You know what I've realized? It would take you several seconds to self-destruct, while it would only take one second for me to get to you. I could begin to absorb you before you get the job done. Once I have a hold of you, you will no longer be in control. So I will have you before you have a chance to realize that you've been defeated."

18 suddenly felt as if her heart had dropped into the pit of her stomach. She felt nauseous. When would this horror end? Why did Cell have to be so damn invincible? Why did someone like him get to win? Why can't it ever be the underdog? 'Why the hell did I ever allow myself to get into this sort of situation in the first place?' 18 thought, thoroughly confused and disappointed. 'What made me do it? What made me give Gero the rights to my body? I don't want that monster to have it! How could I?'

18 crouched into a defensive stance and unconsciously backed away from Cell's menacing form. He laughed at the fruitlessness of her efforts and leisurely walked up to her. 18 had never felt so angry in her life. She was angry at herself, and angry at Gero. How could he ever have wanted to create that thing!

18 gasped as Cell disappeared right before her eyes. She backed up quicker, stumbling over rocks in her uneasy haste. 'Where did he go?'

Cell was inches away from 18 in seconds flat. She didn't have time to retaliate. She felt frozen on the spot. His arms were reaching out to her either to grab her or punch her. She couldn't tell, his limbs were nothing but a blur of green in the air. She braced herself for the worst; her eyes were wide open to her attacker. She could see the smirk plastered on his face.

Then another blur came between them. It was orange, green, and black. What was it? The mysterious blur collided into Cell, slamming him into a rocky precipice. 18 couldn't believe her eyes when she saw who it was.

"S – Sixteen?" 18 stuttered in utter disbelief. "H – how did you see him – "

" – It does not matter! We must get you away from this place at once!" he replied. "You need to leave. I will stay."

"Leave… without you? What will you do, 16?"

"I will kill Cell," he stated bluntly.

'He can't kill Cell! He will be annihilated!' 18 thought.

"Cell wants to absorb you, 18. I must stay behind and kill him. This world is a good place. Cell wants to destroy it. I will not let that happen," explained 16.

18 was in utter shock. She'd been thinking the entire time that 16 was incapable of feeling any emotions. How could he be capable of them? Nothing about him spelled out human. He is a machine. But, here he was, speaking of saving this world because it is good. She hadn't once thought of the planet. Did this machine have more heart than her?

16 began to approach Cell, who had by now dislodged himself from the cliff-face. 18 suddenly felt an onset of fear again, but why? She was being saved wasn't she?

She couldn't stop herself from blurting out, "Hey! 16 come back! What the hell are you thinking? You'll be killed!"

16 paused his long stride to turn his head to glance at 18. She felt paralyzed on the spot for the umpteenth time that day. 16 was smiling at her. His smile was humanlike. It was genuine.

"Life is good, 18, but to live in fear is not. Cell must be dealt with, whatever the cost may be," he replied, continuing his walk toward his doom. He stopped one last time to say, "Oh, and 18?"

18 furrowed her eyebrows together, "Yeah?"

"I enjoyed our time together."

18 felt as if her knees were about to give way and collapse to the ground. "M – me t – too," she mumbled.

18 was glued to the spot as she watched Cell attack 16, slamming him into the ground. 16 was getting up and Cell was already on him again. She watched 16 disengage his fists and send them at Cell as projectile weapons. Cell managed to dodge one but the other made contact point-blank with his chest. 16 didn't waste any time. He retracted his arms, and began to fire enormous energy blasts at Cell's immobile form. He was giving it all he had. If he kept at it like this, within only a few minutes he would be kaput.

"This is your chance!" 16 suddenly shouted. "You must go now, 18!"

"But – " began 18.

" – Go now! You will not have another chance! Don't make my efforts be in vain! Leave now!" he commanded.

Leaving 16 right then and there was the hardest decision 18 could remember ever having to make. She felt scared and disgusted. How could she have just left him like that to die? He had helped her when her brother had been absorbed. He had ignored his orders to find Goku and kill her. He had overrided his orders for her!

'How could I just leave him like that? He was my comrade… he was my friend,' she thought miserably. 'This feeling is awful! Why did Gero have to fail? If he had every intention of making me a heartless monster then why couldn't he take my emotions away?"

18 could not tell when 16 was eventually brought down. He was a machine and had no ki. She guessed it was around the time when the mysterious onlooker had joined in the fight. The bystander didn't know that she had sensed him there. He was hiding well, but she knew he was watching them the whole entire time. She had guessed that the man must be one of Goku's buddies. She silently wished he could succeed where she knew 16 couldn't, but she knew that the anonymous man was not strong enough either.

She was alone now, flying as far away from the wreckage of the only sentient being she had ever befriended, or the only friend she could remember. The man that had been watching them was now deep in battle with Cell. She could sense the overwhelming amount of ki he was pouring forth in order to extinguish the evil of that monster. She knew it would not be long until he too died. Then Cell would be sure to come after her and finish the job. '16 will have died in vain.'

The first thing Goku witnessed after she left the confines of the Room of Spirit and Time, was the appearance of her completely enraged son. He was sitting out on the lookout, seething with anger. His fists were clenched tightly and his entire body was trembling in anticipation.

Piccolo had returned to the lookout. His hand was resting on the boys shoulder in an almost fatherly sort of way.

"I've had it!" Gohan shouted, startling everyone around him.

He was accompanied by Krillin and Yamcha as well. They had returned a short time ago with Trunks. They had successfully destroyed the growing fetus of this universe's Cell at Gero's hidden hideout.

"I can't just sit around and watch Tien die!" he screamed. "You guys can do whatever you want, but I'm not staying here any longer. Good bye!"

Gohan began to run in the direction of the edge of the lookout. Piccolo was too quick for Gohan, and yanked him backward by his shoulder, tossing Gohan onto his butt on the ground.

"Piccolo, we have to save him!" Gohan pleaded, his eyes tearing up.

"What good are you going to do by getting into the fight? You'll be killed. At this point, we'll all be killed if we even try. We must train in order to get stronger so that we can defeat Cell! Don't be foolish, Gohan!" Piccolo reprimanded.

It was that precise moment that the others noticed the newly emerged Goku and Vegeta on the lookout. Goku looked dumbfounded, while Vegeta appeared to be irritated, which wasn't an uncommon look for him.

"What's going on, you guys?" asked Goku.

Before anyone could explain, she suddenly felt it. Tien was fighting Cell all by himself, or rather, he had fought him. Tien's ki was quickly being extinguished. He was about to die!

"Tien!" she screamed, frantically pointing out the index and middle fingers of her right hand and moving them toward her forehead in order to accomplish her instant transmission technique.

It took a second to register, but Vegeta quickly put two and two together. "What the hell do you think you're doing Kakarrot?" he hissed, grabbing her arm and pulling her pointed fingers away from her forehead. "Stop it this instant!" he demanded.

Goku roughly ripped her arm out of his grasp. Vegeta was not the type of person to back down from a challenge, but he seemed uneasy for some reason. His appearance was frantic as if he couldn't make up his mind. That was a fatal mistake, because that minimal amount of hesitance allowed Goku to transport off of the lookout.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the lookout, ChiChi stood erect, holding a large burlap sack in her hands. She was smiling. This was just perfect. Goku's time was up, and for some reason, everyone was distracted.

She sighed deeply. "Time to end this disaster once and for all!"

She emptied out the stolen contents from inside the bag. Seven orange orbs rolled out onto the tile of the lookout. They gleamed magnificently in the sunlight. ChiChi bent down and guided them all into a small circle, paying close attention to the glowing stars. She gazed at the four-star dragonball for a moment longer than the others. 'Goku...'

ChiChi stood up once again, holding her arms out to the skies, a brilliant smile spread across her delicate face. "Shenron!" she shouted at the top of her lungs, "I summon you!"

A/N: Sorry for the small delay. I've been so caught up with work and school that I never even thought of writing a chapter update. I realize this chapter is a bit shorter than usual, but I really wanted to leave it off here. Please don't kill me for the cliffhanger... even though I did it on purpose... :D Don't worry, even though I have midterms coming up, I promise my next update will be soon. I've had the next chapter saved on my computer for more than a year... haha I had gotten excited and I wrote it way ahead of time. Though, it needs some serious editing because it a pretty much a rough draft so it will be maybe a week or two before I post it. Thanks so much for last chapter's reviews, and I'm really excited to know what you think is gonna happen! :-)

*Chapter 39*: Oh I wish I were an Oscar Meyer Wiener!

Disclaimer: I don't own DB/Z/GT or the Oscar Meyer Wiener song.

Goku appeared directly next to Tien's limp form. She scanned the scenery, only feet away from her was android 16. He was unconscious as well. There was a gaping hole in his metal skull, revealing the machinery beneath that operated his mechanical brain. She reached out and dragged his still body toward her and Tien. 'I can't just leave him here,' she thought with a frown. 'It's not his fault Gero has control over his mind. I know! Maybe Bulma can help him… that is… if it's not too late.'

Goku let out a gasp as the sky suddenly became enshrouded in a blanket of pitch black. She could feel a shiver run down her spine. She was still in a kneeling position; her arm extended outward, her hand softly touching Tenshinhan.

'What else can go wrong?'

She heard the soft sound of muffled laughter. Her head immediately jerked up in the direction it had come from. There he stood in all of his sadistic glory. She had been so overwhelmed by her emotions that she'd forgotten that he was there. He was different now. He looked different, perhaps a little more human than before. The alteration that really frightened her was his heightened power. His ki had risen to colossal proportions.

Goku tensed as he appeared directly in front of her. He looked so enormous now, especially since she was still crouched on the ground. He smiled at her. "Son Goku," he addressed her formally, extending his arm out to her, holding out his hand as if willing to help her up onto her feet. "Have you finally decided to donate to the cause?"

Goku balled her hands into fists and glared at him in hatred, "I don't have time for you right now!"

"I can tell that you've raised your strength. That's very good. You've done as I've asked. Unfortunately, Goku, you've yet to raise it to a level that would be capable of competing with me," Cell stated, crossing his arms somewhat indifferently.

Goku was so angry she was trembling. 'In due time, you will pay at my hands!'

"So there is no point in resisting, you see," continued Cell, lifting his dangerous tail in an attempt to threaten her. It slowly inched closer to her form.

Goku tensed, grabbing onto Tien's arm more tightly. She reached out and took hold of 16's arm as well. She was still completely furious. She wanted to give this monster payback for doing what he did to Tien.

'I want to pound his smug face in so badly! But… I know Vegeta would be furious if I fought him now… I can't.'

"I'm sorry, Cell. I wish I could give you some payback, really, you have no idea how much it's killing me to decline, but I have other matters to attend to. Don't worry though, I will have my chance at revenge, and you'll see just how much your assumptions about me are wrong!" Goku spat, her mind already searching for its target, the lookout.

"I don't think you have much of a choice, Goku. You see, I've already made up my mind. You and I are going to settle this right n – " Cell was abruptly cut off out of utter astonishment. "Where did she… did she just disappear into thin air? How is it that I have no recollection of this ability?"

Goku reappeared atop the lookout, "Korin, Tien needs a sensu bean really quick!" Goku exclaimed, completely ignoring the annoyed look Vegeta immediately threw at her the second she was within sight again.

Korin kneeled down, placing a sensu bean in Tien's mouth, and forcing him to chew and swallow it, "Way ahead of you Goku."

"What the hell compelled you to do that?" hissed Vegeta, grabbing Goku's arm and pulling her around to face him. "Tien's too weak to be useful to us anyway!"

"How could you say that?" Goku argued appearing completely mortified. "He's my friend!"

Vegeta seemed to be at a loss for words. He immediately knew that he couldn't possibly win this argument without seriously pissing Goku off, so he chose to point out another annoyance instead: "Oh? That doesn't explain why you brought that contraption back with you!" Vegeta paused to point at android 16. "Or have you conveniently forgotten that he's programmed to kill you?" he snarled.

Krillin cleared his throat nervously. "Um, so sorry to interrupt your rant, Vegeta, but don't you think that we should be at least a tiny bit more worried that someone has summoned the eternal dragon?"

"Shouldn't the dragon be dormant for like… um… almost a year more?" queried Goku, thoroughly confused.

"Kami restored the dragonballs, but he wouldn't tell me why. The old fool told me to stop meddling," stated Piccolo, crossing his arms in consternation.

"Well," replied Krillin, appearing somewhat relieved, "I'm sure Kami would have a good reason for restoring the dragonballs."

"Actually," interrupted Bulma. She seemed really uneasy. "I think this may have something to do with ChiChi. I don't have time to explain, but Goku, you may want to stop her… now."

Just as Bulma finished speaking, a bright golden aura enveloped the lookout, and there was a loud crack of the thunder. Within seconds later, Shenron, the eternal dragon had burst forth from his resting place and spiraled into the sky in all of his brilliantly powerful glory.

Goku stood shell-shocked for a moment, her mouth was agape in astonishment, and her lips were trembling. All of a sudden her stomach felt as if it was making back flips. She felt like she might retch up her lunch right then and there.

"I am the eternal dragon, Shenron. I will grant you one wish. You who have summoned me, state your wish!" boomed the dragon's loud voice from off in the distance. It was so loud; it resonated throughout the entire circumference of the lookout as if you were standing right in front of him.

That was when reality finally slapped Goku in the face. She gasped as if figuring out what she already knew, and she immediately sprinted in the direction of the dragon. She was so overwhelmed that she hadn't even considered using instant transmission.

'No… no… no…' the word repeated itself in her head like a record skipping over and over again. In that moment, it felt as if time stood still, as if everyone was at a standstill behind her, frozen on the spot, like her favorite popsicles in Bulma's freezer. She was unaware that in all actuality, Vegeta was hot on her heels; the others weren't far behind either. Even Bulma trailed in the back, huffing and puffing her way toward the dragon as fast as her feet could carry her.

Goku was unaware of just how horrified Vegeta felt at this particular moment. His mind had already scanned through numerous scenarios of what this could do to him, what this could do to them. Goku was only thinking of the here and now. She was only thinking of how much she wanted to stay as she was. She hadn't even begun considered how this would affect their relationship.

Vegeta skidded to a halt behind Goku when they reached their destination. His mind was so overwhelmed that he'd almost crashed into her. Despite the fact that he hated displaying his affection for her publicly, he couldn't help but immediately grab her trembling forearms and squeeze them tightly. He couldn't even understand what he was trying to do, comfort her? How the hell would that help?

The words came streaming out faster than Goku or anyone else could imagine possible. ChiChi's mouth was open upon their arrival. They couldn't stop her now. They couldn't possibly think of something to say. She was prepared, they weren't, period.

"I wish for my husband Son Goku to be transformed back into her original male self!" she shouted all of the words out in a rush.

"ChiChi!" Goku screamed helplessly, fresh tears escaping her eyes, "please don't!" she pleaded, turning her attention to Shenron, "please go away!"

Shenron didn't reply, instead, his scaly body became blanketed in an ethereal golden glow. The atmosphere itself felt as if it were vibrating, there was a slight humming tremor all about the premises.

Goku fell to her knees in desperation, "No please don't!" she begged, glancing back at Vegeta with tears spilling over her cheeks.

Vegeta had gone deathly pale. He was frozen on the spot. 'Damn it! Why didn't you think of something you moron?' he inwardly berated himself.

ChiChi was smiling like she hadn't smiled in a long time. She was genuinely happy. 'Oh Kami, yes! Finally! I've waited so long for this! I'm sorry, Goku, honey, but you'll forgive me when your mind isn't clouded. You'll see that I've made the right decision!'

All eyes were on Goku. Was there going to be a sudden flash of light surrounding her or something? Was it going to happen already? Slowly, the attention of the group began to wander back to Shenron. All except for Goku and Vegeta had their eyes questioningly glued on the great dragon. Goku, the Earth's greatest hero, was reduced to a terrified, fragile girl, curled up into a fetal position as if that would help to ward off the dragon's magic. Vegeta was still completely immobilized by shock and a sense of failure.

After a moment's pause, the dragon's glow dissipated and he spoke once more, "I cannot grant that wish," he stated rather bluntly.

Goku's flushed face jerked up in shock, her trembling lips threatening to break out into a smile. Vegeta fell to his knees in astonishment. He could feel his heart palpitating. Everyone was completely bewildered.

"What the hell?" screamed ChiChi. "What do you mean you can't grant the damn wish? You're the one who changed Goku in the first place!"

"I cannot grant your wish simply because it would require me to kill a life," replied the dragon indifferently.

"What? I'm not asking you to kill Goku, you nimrod! I just want you to change Goku's gender!" she shrieked. 'Kami! Even the eternal dragon doesn't know his head from his ass!'

Shenron began to appear agitated, "The female you speak of, Son Goku, cannot be transformed back to her original male gender because she is currently with child. To do so would render her body incapable of gestating new life. To grant your wish, I would have to terminate life. I am incapable of taking life."

ChiChi stood stock-still for a moment, her face began to twitch spasmodically, "W – with child?" she questioned, clenching her fists angrily, "You must have made a mistake."

"I do not make mistakes!" snapped the dragon. "Now make your wish! I am becoming increasingly irritated at your dawdling around!"

Goku had risen to her feet by now, completely oblivious to what the dragon was insinuating. ChiChi, crossed the distance between her and Goku in what felt like mere milliseconds. She grasped Goku's shirt in her fists and shook her furiously.

"How dare you sleep with him!" ChiChi yelled at her in accusation.

Goku pulled ChiChi's hands off of her, "What are you talking about? What is he talking about? Oh my Kami! What's going on?"

Vegeta knew perfectly well what was going on, and suddenly couldn't withhold his amusement any longer. He began laughing at the situation, mainly at the thought of the sticky spot ChiChi was in.

"You think this is funny?" hissed ChiChi.

Vegeta forced himself to stifle his laughter, "Of course I think it's funny! You got what was coming to you, you scheming bitch!"

Goku was still thoroughly confused. Was the dragon talking about her? What the heck is 'with child' supposed to mean? Suddenly, she came back to reality; Vegeta and ChiChi were in a catfight. She barely caught Vegeta's last words and they shook her entire being. She knew Vegeta could be mean sometimes, but in her mind, that word he had just used was taboo. She whipped around to face the arrogant prince; a scowl that was very unbecoming of her adorned her face.

She prodded him in the chest accusingly with her index finger, "Don't you dare call ChiChi that!"

Vegeta looked paralyzed, his face giving off the impression that he was thinking, 'What the hell?'

ChiChi was also extremely confused, "Y – you're defending me?" she mumbled. Why did she feel like she didn't deserve to be backed up in all of this?

"Have you heard what she has been saying to you? Have you even taken notice of what she has been trying to do to you?" Vegeta spat right back at her.

"Regardless, that's my problem, not yours!" Goku countered.

"It's my problem now!" he argued, his eyes flashing furiously.

Goku looked as if she was about to say something, but paused in confusion, "Wait… what?" Goku glanced around herself uncertainly, suddenly aware of all of the attention she was recieving, "Why are you all gawking at me like that?"

Vegeta slapped his forehead. 'She still hasn't figured it out? Sometimes she's such a moron!' "The dragon couldn't change you like she wanted," Vegeta paused to point at ChiChi, stressing his point, "because he cannot take a life. You're pregnant, Kakarrot, with my child!"

Goku's undivided attention was centered on Vegeta, her lips quivered, "P – pregnant!" she stuttered in horror.

Vegeta smirked in reply to her shocked reaction; this was merely another victory for him. 'ChiChi can't change her back now. Kakarrot can't fight Cell. This may be the first time anything's truly gone my way.'

"I didn't want you to get me pregnant!" Goku exclaimed.

Vegeta smirked, "Well, for your sake, Kakarrot, I would like to be able to say the same, but I can't."

ChiChi's facial features contorted with rage. "You monster! You tricked my poor, innocent Goku into having intercourse with you!"

"Really, woman? Just give up with that 'Goku's so naïve and innocent' pretense," Vegeta scoffed, "after all, as you Earthling's put it so well, it takes two to tango."

At this point, Krillin was mortified. Piccolo was slightly annoyed that he was wasting his life watching this exchange, which seemed eerily similar to a human soap opera. Bulma didn't know what to think, but she was positive she felt hurt. Gohan appeared to be shocked, his face was ashen, and he hadn't blinked in over a minute. Perhaps, the only person in the group who wasn't disturbed or 'annoyed' by this whole fiasco was Yamcha.

"Woah," Yamcha muttered in complete awe, "Why didn't someone tell me Goku was willing to have sex with guys?"

Bulma's 'best-friend' instincts immediately kicked in. She jabbed Yamcha in the stomach as hard as she possibly could. "Horndog!" she hissed.

"I didn't mean it that way!" he defended. He was saved by ChiChi's heartfelt interruption.

"How could you do this to me, Goku?" ChiChi whimpered, her arms wrapped protectively around her bulging stomach, "As if it wasn't enough for you to neglect this child…?"

"ChiChi!" Goku shouted, on the verge of tears yet again, "I had… have… every intention of helping you raise that child!"

"How can you? You're going to be too busy taking care of your new family!" ChiChi yelled.

"ChiChi, I'm sorry! I didn't mean for this to happen!" she replied.

"Oh my Kami," interrupted Krillin, who had just recently emerged from his stupor of mortification, "what about Cell? Goku, you can't fight Cell in that condition!"

It finally dawned upon Goku that she'd made an even bigger mistake than she'd originally thought of it, "Oh no… what have I done?"

"I'm becoming extremely irritated, you insignificant insects! Make your wish already, before I destroy you!" hissed the voice of Shenron, conveniently reminding them all that he was still there.

"You see now, Goku?" ChiChi began, ignoring the pesky dragon, "This is a bigger problem than you initially thought it was. It would have been better if you were a man again. You would have been able to protect the children you already have much better than you would in that useless body!"

"Don't you dare tell me that I'm incompetent compared to my old self. I am fully capable of protecting my children and the people that I love!" Goku shouted.

"You can't fight in that condition, Kakarrot," Vegeta interceded.

"What do you mean I can't?" Goku replied hotly.

"You're pregnant, remember?" Vegeta reminded.

"Oh, I guess you're right. I am useless," Goku murmured, lowering her head in humiliation. 'This is all my fault, who am I kidding?' she thought. "I'm sorry you guys. I've let you all down! I've disappointed you again! ChiChi, I didn't mean for this to happen. I didn't mean to… to… fall in love with Vegeta."

"Love? Do you think that he loves you?" ChiChi asked angrily.

Goku was uncertain for a moment, but recovered quickly and replied, "Y – yes, I do think he does. ChiChi, I don't want to be a man though. I love him too much now. I don't want to lose that. I like myself this way. I've learned to come to terms with my new faults that may have come along with the package. That doesn't mean that I don't love you, ChiChi. That doesn't mean that I don't love our children. I wish… I wish that somehow you could have the male Goku you fell in love with. I wish you could have him back so that you can be happy. I want him to protect you, and not disappoint you. I want…" Goku glanced at Gohan for the first time in this entire ordeal. To Goku's surprise Gohan wasn't angry like ChiChi, and the shock seemed as if it were fading. "… I want Gohan to have a dad he can be proud of…"

With that said, Goku's face became downcast in shame again. Gohan squirmed out from between the group he had been wedged in-between and promptly hugged Goku, "I already have one," he replied.

Goku smiled and returned the embrace, "Thank you, Gohan. You can't possibly know how much that means to me!"

The heartfelt moment wasn't long-lived, because moments later a loud banging noise could be heard. A blinding golden light engulfed the entire look-out yet again.

"Oh hell!" exclaimed Vegeta, "What now?"

The light gradually faded, and standing directly in front of Goku and Gohan was a rather bemused… male Goku?

"Your wish has been granted," spoke the loud voice of Shenron, "farewell."

"W – what's going on?" asked the masculine Goku in disorientation, "Did someone just make a wish?"

"Th- that would be me, I think… by accident," replied a soft female voice.

Goku glanced in front of himself in confusion. Standing before him was a petite young girl. She had raven hair, the same color as his, though it was long, and its spikes spread out in different directions. The color of her eyes was the same jet black that almost all full-blooded Saiyans inherited.

"You look… familiar? Do I know you? You have a tail!" Goku exclaimed, while scratching the back of his head, completely baffled.

"Oh my Kami," the girl whispered in astonishment, "Um… you're me… I'm Goku."

"No," the man replied, "I'm Goku! So, I'm me and therefore you can't be me, 'cause I'm a guy and you aren't." His eyebrows were knitted together in confusion, he seemed to be puzzling himself, but was apparently content with his conclusion.

"Well, this is awkward," stated the female Goku, "How do I explain…?"

Suddenly, ChiChi could no-longer suppress her escalating happiness. She shrieked like a schoolgirl, jumping onto Goku, hugging him to death.

"Hi Chi," he said uncertainly, laughing slightly, "You look like you haven't seen me in eons!"

A/N: First of all: :-) Second of all: I've decided that in order to abstain from confusing you all (and myself), in future chapters, I'm going to spell the male Goku's name differently whenever he talks or I make a reference to him. I'm either going to call him Gokuu or Gokou, the different spellings of his names (obviously XD). So, if you even really care, you guys can tell me which spelling you prefer. I'm leaning toward Gokou right now. Oh and please tell me what you thought of the chapter of course :D ha-ha!

*Chapter 40*: Murphy's Law

Disclaimer: I don't own DB/Z/GT.

A/N: The name Gokou won. So female Goku = Goku; male = Gokou.

Chapter 40: Murphy's Law

"W – what's going on?" asked the masculine Gokou in disorientation, "Did someone just make a wish?"

"Th- that would be me, I think… by accident," replied a soft female voice.

"You look… familiar? Do I know you?" Gokou asked, scratching the back of his head. "You have a tail!"

"Oh my Kami," the girl whispered in astonishment, "Um… you're me… I'm Goku."

"No," the man replied, "I'm Gokou! So, I'm me and therefore you can't be me, 'cause I'm a guy and you aren't." His eyebrows were knitted together in confusion, he seemed to be puzzling himself, but was apparently content with his conclusion.

"Well, this is awkward," stated the female Goku, "How do I explain…?"

Suddenly, ChiChi could no-longer suppress her escalating happiness. She shrieked like a schoolgirl, jumping onto Gokou, hugging him to death.

"Hi Chi," he said uncertainly, laughing slightly, "You look like you haven't seen me in eons!"

"Oh you have no idea, Gokou… no idea what I've been through…" she murmured, snuggling her face into his neck.

Gokou had a perplexed look on his face. "Why are you doing that?" he asked, blushing.

Before ChiChi could ask what he was talking about, Bulma interrupted. "You guys, don't you think something's different about Gokou."

"Are you alright, Bulma?" asked Krillin. "Of course he's different! He's a guy! I think you've become used to the girl version."

"No…" Bulma murmured. She shook her head as if trying to shrug off her thoughts. "Never mind, it's nothing I'm sure."

"Well, you all seem to be forgetting about a certain problem here, we don't know how strong this Gokou is. He's definitely Super Saiyan, but the wish was made before the androids showed up so he isn't nearly as strong as female Goku," Piccolo conveniently pointed out this tidbit of information.

Gokou suddenly jerked backwards, nearly tripping over ChiChi's legs. He quickly formed a fighting stance and glared at the green-skinned fiend in front of him. "Junior!" he hissed, "What are you doing here? I spared your life! Don't think I won't fix that if you make it a mistake!"

Piccolo gave him a quizzical look, "What are you talking about, Son?"

"Gokou, you okay buddy? Piccolo is our ally," spoke Krillin softly.

"What are you talking about? He nearly killed me!" Gokou exclaimed.

Bulma smacked her fist in the palm of her other hand, "I knew it! This isn't the Gokou we thought he was!"

"What?" asked ChiChi, her mind was still putting two and two together.

"Gokou, how old are you?" asked Bulma.

Gokou frowned. "I'm 18, Bulma, you know that."

A litter of gasps echoed throughout the courtyard of the look-out. ChiChi's face had gone pallid; she appeared as if she were about to faint. Bulma was the only one among the group who remained unfazed by the information.

Bulma crossed her arms and announced, "The dragon must have taken Goku's wish literally." Bulma glanced over at Goku and caught her eyes. "Do you remember exactly what you said before the dragon granted the wish?"

Goku frowned in concentration. "I think so," she replied. "I said that I wished ChiChi could have the male me that she fell in love with."

Bulma's eyebrows drew together in concentration, she placed her hand on Gokou's shoulder compassionately, "Gokou," she began, "I want you to tell me the last events you can remember. Can you do that for me?"

Gokou's frown had deepened by now. He kept casting furtive glances at Piccolo. He was completely on edge. Nevertheless, he sighed and nodded his head to Bulma.

"The most recent events that I can remember are fighting in the 23rd World's Martial Arts Tournament. I asked ChiChi to marry me. Then I fought Junior and won. Then, after that, ChiChi and I had to find the Spirit Furnace so we could save her father, the Ox King, from a magical fire. Then ChiChi and I got married. We flew away off into the sunset on nimbus and we stopped by a lake on Mount Paou…" Gokou paused for a moment, he smiled, and then continued, "… at the lake it was dark and ChiChi and I, well, ChiChi told me that it's normal to… on your wedding night… um – "

Gokou was suddenly interrupted by a hand clamping onto his mouth. It seemed as if it had appeared out of nowhere. Its owner was ChiChi. Her face was flushed a bright crimson red. " – They don't need to know the details Gokou!" she shouted.

Gokou shrugged it off. "Sorry Chi, I didn't mean to upset you or anything."

'Eureka!' Bulma suddenly thought. "So the dragon really did grant Goku's wish word for word!" Bulma exclaimed.

Everyone watched her with uncertain and rather dumbfounded looks upon their faces.

Bulma sighed. "Must I explain everything?"

Yamcha rolled his eyes. "Just get on with it already, Bulma. We aren't all geniuses like you ya' know!"

Bulma playfully pouted and then stuck her tongue out at him. "Fine," she began, "Goku wished for ChiChi to have the male Goku that she fell in love with, right?"

Bulma received a handful of nods and then continued. "Well, then isn't it obvious?" she asked.

"Bul – ma..." Krillin whined.

Bulma sighed again. "Okay, it's simple. ChiChi has loved Goku since she was a kid, but she must not have fallen 'in love' with Goku until… well… after their wedding night." Bulma smiled and winked at ChiChi as if to say, 'You naughty girl, you!'."

ChiChi blushed, "I still can't believe that all of this has happened. I mean, what, is the dragon trying to play a joke on me? Goku's an 18 year old boy, for Kami's sake!"

Gokou frowned again and cleared his throat, "Man," he corrected. At this point he was thoroughly confused. He hadn't been able to follow them on any of this. He just knew that something must be wrong with him. He was beginning to feel irked.

"Gokou, I'm 29 years old! I'm 11 years older than you are!" ChiChi shouted, tears starting to escape through the corners of her eyes.

Gokou appeared completely bewildered. "ChiChi, you're my age. You can't be that old!"

ChiChi slumped to the ground and cried out in anguish, "I'm old!"

Vegeta glanced over at Goku with a smile on his face. "Don't you just love karma, Kakarrot?"

Goku glared at him. "This isn't funny Vegeta."

"Oh come now, it's utterly hilarious!"

Goku rolled her eyes and walked up to the male version of herself. "Gokou," she addressed him. The word felt so foreign on her tongue. It felt wrong to be calling someone by her own name.

Gokou's eyes leveled with her own, "Yeah that's my name, but I still don't know who you are."

She reached out and grabbed a hold of his arm. She knew him. She knew herself. She was positive he wouldn't think anything of it. "I need to explain some things to you," she said, tugging gently on his arm, "follow me."

Approximately thirty grueling minutes of explanation later:

"And… well, that's all that's happened so far," finished Goku with a nervous sort of smile.

Gokou furrowed his brows in consternation. "I'm a father," he said quietly in disbelief.

"Yeah, my… um… our son was standing right next to me when the wish was made," replied Goku. "You saw him, right?"

"Yeah, I did. It's just so hard to believe. I mean. I don't even know how to be a husband yet, let alone be a father. How old is he anyway?" Gokou asked.

"Gohan is going to turn eleven really soon!" replied Goku with a grin.

"Eleven, huh?" replied Gokou, frowning. "I'm only seven years older than my own son. He's never going to take me seriously!"

Goku waved her hands in front of her face. "No, no, no! Don't think like that. Of course he will! Gohan is an awesome kid! I mean, he's pretty much come to terms with his dad being turned into a woman. I think he can deal with this too. You just might want to go about the situation delicately, that's all!"

ChiChi approached the two of them hesitantly. "Can I join?" she asked timidly.

"Of course!" replied Goku with a smile.

Gokou watched ChiChi closely as she walked over and took a seat next to him. He smiled at her tentatively. "I'm sorry if I made you feel old, ChiChi. I don't think you look any different than the last time I saw you. You're just as beautiful."

ChiChi's lips trembled and her eyes glazed over with water that threatened to tumble out onto her flushed cheeks. "Oh… Gokou…" she murmured, grabbing a hold of his arm and burying her face in his neck.

Goku frowned at the two of them. 'Wow,' she thought, 'I didn't realize how awkward this could be…'

"I'm sorry I'm not the way you want me to be, Chi. I really am. I wish I could remember Gohan. I wish I were strong so I could protect you both from… from…" Gokou trailed off, searching his mind for the foe's name.

"Cell," Goku assisted.

"Right, Cell!" affirmed Gokou.

"Oh, Gokou! I know it isn't your fault, honey! It will be alright. We have each other. We love each other. That's all that matters! We'll find a way to make this work, and we'll find a way to beat that monster! I know it!" ChiChi exclaimed.

Gokou smiled genuinely for perhaps the first time since this whole ordeal started. "You're right, Chi! We can do this!"

"Yeah!" she replied, gaining momentum. "And you may have missed watching Gohan grow up, but you'll be able to see this baby grow up!"

ChiChi grabbed his arm and placed his hand on her stomach. She smiled up at him with a hopeful look in her eyes. Gokou's face became pale with shock. "Wha – what?" he exclaimed.

Goku gasped and slapped her forehead. "Oops! I must have forgotten to mention that ChiChi is pregnant… my bad…"

"Any other surprises you may have forgotten that you might want to add now? Perhaps another child I might have missed?" Gokou inquired with his arms crossed.

"Well…" Goku replied, touching her index finger on her chin in deep thought. Goku glanced down at her stomach. 'Oh yeah, I'm pregnant too! Shoot! How do I keep forgetting that? Oh geeze, I don't want to explain me and Vegeta to him! He won't understand. He'll think I betrayed ChiChi or something! I don't look like I'm pregnant. I don't have to tell him just yet… but technically… isn't he the dad too? I mean… he is me… Kami! That would be so confusing! I think that would tick Vegeta off too… I'm so confused…'

"Well?" Gokou prodded.

Goku was jolted out of her reverie. She blushed. "Nope, nothing else to tell you," she replied hastily. "Well, I'm gonna leave you guys alone to… to… um… bond and stuff. Bye!"

Goku searched the lookout for Vegeta and was surprised to find him in an argument with Bulma. They were at each other's throats. 'What are they doing?' she thought. She didn't have to wonder for long.

"I swear to Kami, Vegeta, if you break Goku's heart I'm going to castrate you!" Bulma screamed.

"Ha! I'd like to see you try!" Vegeta countered.

"Oh, you'd be surprised what I'm capable of. I know what you're up to! You may have everyone else tagging along with your little 'romance', but I know you! You don't have a sensitive bone in your body! You're just using Goku because she's a female Saiyan! You don't care about her! You just see her as a vessel for procreating more Saiyans. You just want an heir!" Bulma yelled. Heat had risen to her face, and it had turned it bright red. Her fists were clenched. She was trembling with anger. Goku had never seen her look so fierce in her entire life.

"How dare you put words in my mouth! You don't know a damn thing about me!" Vegeta spat.

"Oh yeah? Well, then, your highness, why don't you tell me why Goku's already knocked up? Don't tell me you were in a hurry!" Bulma accused.

Vegeta grunted angrily. "How the hell do you expect me to find contraceptives in The Room of Spirit and Time, huh?"

Bulma frowned. "Fine, you've trumped me on that one, but you could have at least pulled out before – "

" – If you say one more word I'll blast you into oblivion!" Vegeta hissed.

"Why couldn't you just be abstinent for a few months more, Vegeta? You're a big boy! You should have known better!" Bulma continued on relentlessly.

"I said shut up or I'll – " began Vegeta.

Bulma abruptly cut him off, " – You're full of hot air!" She sighed and persisted, "Just tell me, Vegeta, why did you do it? Please! I need to know!"

For a split second, Vegeta looked as if her were about to make a rude remark, but he changed his mind. "I did not expect Kakarrot to give in to my desires, but she did. And if you really must know, then yes, I took every possible opportunity I had to get her pregnant."

Bulma appeared downright shocked at first, but her features quickly morphed into anger yet again. "You what?" she yelled.

Vegeta chuckled. "What, woman? Isn't that what you were trying to prove in the first place?"

"Y – you monster!" she shouted in complete disgust.

Vegeta crossed his arms, and he sighed in exasperation. "It may be so, but in this case I really did have Kakarrot's well-being in mind as well as my own means."


'Simple,' Vegeta thought, 'I knew Kakarrot would stop at nothing to fight Cell and avenge his victims. I don't want Kakarrot to fight Cell. What to do, what to do… Then a thought came to me. Kakarrot doesn't seem to give a damn about risking her own life, but if she were to be carrying the life of another… she couldn't risk harming an innocent child.'

Vegeta spoke none of this, instead, he merely said, "You're supposedly a genius. Why don't you figure it out yourself?"

Bulma gritted her teeth in irritation. "What is wrong with you?" she hissed. She shook her head in disbelief for moment before resuming, "You knew Goku was pregnant, and you didn't even bother to tell her. You let her continue to train in those harsh conditions while pregnant. Do you even realize what you may have done to the baby?"

Vegeta's eyebrows drew together in uncertainty. "When I realized she was pregnant, I left her to train by herself. She couldn't have injured herself that badly."

Bulma marched up to him and prodded him accusingly in the chest. "Do you even know Goku? You do realize you may have killed or seriously impaired your own baby! Do you know what that would do to Goku? Do you know how she would take it if she found out she screwed up her own child?"

Vegeta looked seriously perturbed by now. He began pacing around in a circle. He ran his fingers through his hair. "Damn it!" he hissed. 'You idiot! Why didn't you think of that?' he thought.

He suddenly stopped. "Fine, then I will just have to prove your theories wrong!" he announced, disappearing from the lookout and into the sky.

"Where the hell are you going?" Bulma hollered out to him. "What are you going to do?"

She received no answer in return.

Goku had stood there watching the entire encounter. They were going at it so much that they hadn't even noticed her presence. She sunk to her knees in shock.

'Did he really trick me the entire time?' Goku thought miserably. 'He seemed so genuine. Would he really go through so much trouble to just use me like that?' Goku clenched her fists angrily. 'Here I am wasting my time thinking about it. I don't need this! I can confront him right now! Then… then… I can deal with the truth.'

Goku stood up on her feet, and began to determinedly walk toward the edge of the lookout. It was then that Bulma finally noticed her.

"Goku… how much of that did you hear?" she asked nervously.

"All of what mattered," was Goku's sharp reply.

"Goku, I'm sorry!" began Bulma.

"No!" Goku replied, perhaps a little too harshly. "You have nothing to apologize for. Just leave it as is, Bulma. I'm a big girl. I can deal with this myself."

Goku resumed walking toward the edge of the lookout, but was hindered from doing so because a hand reached out and grabbed her shoulder, pulling her to a halt. She turned around and saw Trunks watching her reaction. He looked as if he felt uncomfortable under her stare.

"Goku," he said softly, unable to find the words that had been running through his mind only moments ago.

"So you heard too?" was all Goku said.

Trunks fought to keep eye contact with her. "Yes," he replied in a discomfited tone of voice. He lowered his voice to a pitch slightly above that of whisper. "Goku, I don't think my dad meant it the way you took it. I just think he didn't want to admit what he's really thinking to Bulma. My mom told me about him. He isn't very good with relating how he feels to others. Don't let it get to you. You can't afford to be stressed right now. It's bad for the baby."

Goku struggled to compose herself. "It's hard to try to not be stressed right now, Trunks. I mean, look at all that's happened. I just found out I'm pregnant. There's another male me running around in an 18 year old body, not to mention he thinks like me at that age too! We need to figure out how to get him way stronger and fast! Cell is out there on the loose killing people, searching for 18, no doubt. If he finds her and absorbs her, Kami knows what will happen. Now I find out about this! I don't know how I'm going to handle it!"

"Goku, calm down, it's all going to turn out fine! You'll see!" replied Trunks.

"I hope you're right. Now I'm going to fix what I can right now. I'm going to confront Vegeta and get the truth!" Goku began levitating in the air, but Trunks pulled her down.

"No, Goku! Vegeta may have lost it for now, and everyone else may be distracted, but I'm not going to let you put yourself in danger!" said Trunks. "Goku, I will not let you leave the lookout. It isn't safe out there. I know that's what my dad would want even if he doesn't want me to meddle in anything."

"But I could just transport back if anything happened," argued Goku.

"No, Cell knows you can do that now. We can't take the chance. I'll go out and find my dad for you, okay?" said Trunks with a reassuring smile.

Goku smiled back, "Thank you Trunks. I'm not used to this 'mom' thing yet. Be careful and hurry, please!"

"You bet" replied Trunks, launching off into the air in search for his dad.

Trunks squinted his eyes as the sun's glare blinded him. He strained to see the figure flying about 20 yards in front of him. It was quite obviously Vegeta. He was in his Super Saiyan state, soaring through the air with astonishing speed. Trunks found it difficult to keep up with him.

He frowned in annoyance. Vegeta knew that he was being tailed and he would still not slow down. Trunks cupped his hands around his mouth and yelled, "Vegeta!"

No answer. "Kami, what is your problem?" muttered Trunks exasperatedly. "C'mon!" he shouted at the top of his lungs. "Slow down father!"

That did the trick. Trunks jolted himself to a standstill, silently wondering why Vegeta chose to acknowledge his shouting now. Vegeta spun around. He looked furious. His arms were crossed and his facial expression made him look irate.

"What did you just call me?" he hissed from out of clenched teeth.

Trunks appeared dumbfounded for a moment. "Wha – " he mouthed, his eyebrows knitting together in confusion. He thought back for a moment and it hit him. "I called you… father."

"You little ingrate! How dare you call me that!" Vegeta spat.

Trunks allowed himself to be shaken for just a moment. Unbeknownst to them both, Trunks had fostered his father's stubbornness. He mirrored Vegeta, crossing his arms and glaring resentfully. "Ya' know, I've tried to lie to myself and think of you as a good person, for my mother's sake, but I'm failing to see any vaguely redeeming qualities in you."

"Wonderful," replied Vegeta tersely, "now you can feel free to leave me the hell alone!"

"I didn't come here to bond!" Trunks argued. "I came here for Goku."

Vegeta narrowed his eyes suspiciously. "Why would you do that?"

"Because I heard your little chat with my mother just a few minutes ago."

"That was none your business so just do yourself a favor and let it go before you make me angry," replied Vegeta.

Trunks smirked. "I can't. I promised Goku I'd come and get you. You know, she heard everything you said as well, and I'm certain she's fuming just waiting for answers."

Vegeta harrumphed loudly. "Why should I care if she's angry about it? If she can forgive a monster like Freeza for what he did I'm sure she'll get over it."

With that said, Vegeta shot off in the direction he'd been flying in beforehand. Trunks grunted frustratingly and tailed him as fast as he could for the second time. Trunks frowned as he noticed Vegeta flying into a city. Vegeta began to lower himself closer to the ground as the distance between him and a familiar gigantic white building whittled away to nothing.

As Vegeta touched down, Trunks soon followed and shouted, "What business do you have with Satan city hospital?"

Vegeta turned to him and smirked. "Just wait and see."

Vegeta charged in the front doors and completely bypassed the receptionist desk. As he walked past her, she turned to look at him in surprise. "Hey!" she shouted, "Hey you there!" Her voice took on annoyed tone as she said, "Hey idiot! You aren't authorized to go back there!"

Vegeta walked past every single door smacking them all open with the palm of his hand. He would glance in for an instant, and then move onward. Trunks trailed behind him. He looked extremely nervous.

"Vegeta!" he said, "what are you doing? You can't do this!"

"Watch me, brat!" spat Vegeta, completely unfazed by the panicked personnel gathering around him.

In fact, if anything, he was becoming increasingly agitated. One doctor closed the distance between himself and Vegeta, shouting, "Hey buddy, turn around or I'll call the police!"

Vegeta glared at the man as if he were an insignificant insect. He upturned his right palm and produced a flicker of ki which soon erupted into a bright blue incandescent light.

"Out of my way, earth man, or I'll blast this whole building and all of its occupants to hell!" with that said, Vegeta threw the ki blast into an empty room and it incinerated everything in its path, then it completely blew a hole through the wall and launched itself into the sprawling street.

Everyone but Trunks scampered away as fast as they could. Trunks gulped nervously as one man ordered the receptionist to call the police. Meanwhile, Vegeta had continued on even faster than before. He finally halted as he smacked opened one door. He walked inside. Trunks shook away his nagging thoughts and ran after Vegeta's retreating form.

Inside the room were two women, one was a pink-haired woman in scrubs and the other a young pregnant woman spread out on a hospital bed. Her protruding stomach was exposed and it had some form of clear gel spread out over the surface.

"Excuse me," interrupted the woman in hospital scrubs. "There can be no visitors in here at this time unless the patient gives us notice."

"Yeah," squeaked the girl on the bed, sitting upright in protest. "I don't know these guys!"

"I'll have to ask you to leave," continued the personnel undaunted.

Vegeta narrowed his eyes at the woman in the scrubs. "What is your job description, woman?" he demanded.

The woman looked offended. She huffed and replied, "First of all, I have a name!" she pointed at the nametag on her shirt which read 'Nana'. "Second of all, I'm not about to disclose that information to you!"

Vegeta formed a ki blast in his hand again, and at that precise moment the emergency sirens went off in the building. He noticed right away that the two girl's brains were putting two and two together rather quickly.

"I'm not asking you, woman!" Vegeta hissed. "Tell me now!"

The girl on the bed hopped out, and ducked for cover behind it. She was crying and begging, "Please don't kill me, Mister!"

"Shut up and let her talk!" Vegeta spat angrily.

Nana looked afraid now, but her eyes glinted with defiance. "Fine, just don't hurt my patient. I'll tell you whatever you want!"

"Get on with it already," Vegeta prodded.

The woman sighed shakily, "I'm an ultrasound technologist. My job is to use ultrasound to produce images of the inside of a person's body. I was just scanning an unborn baby to see if it was healthy. Is that good enough for you?"

Vegeta smirked triumphantly. "No," he replied. "You're going to be coming with me now."

"What?" Nana shouted, "that wasn't the deal!"

"I don't care what the deal was. You're coming with me or you die!" Vegeta yelled back.

"Vegeta!" Trunks interrupted, "You can't just kidnap her!"

"Watch me!" shouted Vegeta, turning back to Nana. "Point out the equipment you will need to produce an ultrasound of a pregnant woman."

The woman turned to him with a raised eyebrow, "Look buddy, if this is about insurance issues…"

"Did I tell you I wanted to hear your irritating voice? No! I don't believe I did! Point out the equipment now!" Vegeta shouted.

Nana began to nervously point out the machinery needed. Vegeta nodded his head and spoke to Trunks, "You will carry the girl. I will carry the equipment."

"What?" Trunks exclaimed, "I'm not your accomplice! I won't help you kidnap her!"

Vegeta grunted angrily, "Fine! I'll carry the girl and you'll carry the equipment. If you refuse she will just have to be terrified for a longer period of time because I will have to come back for the equipment myself. You don't want that, do you boy?"

Trunks glanced helplessly at Nana. His eyes were pleading. "I'm so sorry!" he said to her genuinely, but she cast her attention to the floor angrily.

Vegeta blasted a hole through the ceiling, then turned to Nana and said, "You better have not forgotten anything, or you'll be sorry."

The woman took a quick glance around the room. Her eyes locked on a tube lying on a countertop. She pointed at it, "You'll need that too. It's the gel we use when we place the transducer over the skin and it – "

Vegeta interrupted, " – Damn-it woman, I don't want to hear your life story. Trunks, grab the gel!"

'Yes your highness!' he thought sarcastically, as he shifted the precariously balanced instruments in his arms so that he could grab one more thing.

Vegeta swept the woman over his shoulder as if he was carrying a sack of potatoes and he took off through the hole in the ceiling. Trunks flinched as he heard Nana's shrill screams carrying out over the wind.

"Ahhhhhh!" she shrieked, "Put me down this instant, you monster!"

*Chapter 41*: Hopes and Dreams

A/N: I don't own DB/Z/GT.

Chapter 41: Hopes and Dreams

The reality of it hit her like a head-on car collision. She didn't want to die. She desperately wanted to cling to life. She wanted to live. She didn't want to be Gero's monster any longer, and if it wasn't for Cell, she would have long since hidden away in some remote location to regain her humanity. She didn't realize how much she cherished her life until she recognized that she had human emotions. She could live like any other person if she so chose to – albeit, a much less strenuous life considering her heightened abilities. She didn't have to be alone. Nobody would know. The creature known as android 18 would simply disappear from the face of the Earth and resurface with an alias and a new lease on life.

Who knows, maybe she'd even find love someday. Maybe she could have kids. Maybe Gero didn't take everything away. 'I don't want to kill Goku,' she thought. 'I don't want to kill anyone. I just want to be… alone. I just want some time to think. I want to live!'

She supposed that she'd been asking herself why ever since she'd been woken up from her deep slumber. 'Why did I go to Gero? Why did my brother go to him as well? Why did I think that agreeing to that monster's terms could accomplish anything for me? Why did I let my brother drown with me? Why didn't I stop him? Why can't I remember anything? Why can't I move on? I must move on.'

She tried to picture the new life that she yearned for, but thoughts of her impending fate prevented her from being distracted by fictitious dreams. It's funny how one makes the best decisions during the most crucial and trying circumstances. She decided to live again; unfortunately for her, Cell was still standing right before her. He had finally caught her alone. 'I wonder what he's thinking right now,' she thought. A shiver ran up her spine. 'Never mind, no I don't.'

Cell must have been thinking of something, because he hadn't yet disturbed 18's thought process. Though, the moment she made eye-contact with him, he spoke up, "We have to stop running in to each other like this, 18."

He grinned at her knowingly.

She glared at him resentfully. Why did it have to end this way? 'The only thing standing between me and my dream is this sadistic freak!' she thought angrily.

"Where did you think you were going, 18?" he asked with a sneer. "You're starting to get on my nerves."

She didn't answer him. He wasn't worth her breath.

"C'mon 18, don't be so bashful. We're meant to be together. You're my final puzzle piece. When you unite with me I will obtain perfection!" Cell exclaimed with booming laughter.

'If I go down, I'm going to at least injure this son-of-bitch!' 18 thought determinedly. "Okay, Cell. Let's stop dragging this along and get it over with already. You want me? Well, come and get me!"

"Your wish is my command, 18."

Piccolo stood atop the precipice of the lookout tower with a look of steely concentration upon his face. Krillin and Yamcha were standing a foot behind him staring off in the same direction. Their confused demeanors were quickly morphing into unease and then more rapidly into dread. There was trouble brewing in the distance, trouble the likes of which the Earth and its inhabitants had never witnessed before.

Krillin gulped reflexively, "We're doomed!" he muttered sullenly, "We're all going to die!"

"Shut up, Krillin!" spat Piccolo, "It isn't too late."

Piccolo did not waste another precious moment. He launched off into the sky and left a trail of luminous ki behind him. Yamcha stood completely still. He appeared mortified. He'd never felt this way before. 'If I die… that's it… I can't come back… I'm kaput!' he thought grimly.

"Oh geeze… oh geeze… oh geeze…" Krillin muttered hysterically under his breath. He nervously ran his fingers along his scalp, combing through his imaginary head of hair.

Krillin seemed at war with himself on the inside. His emotions were battling each other for the right decision to make. He didn't know whether he should follow Piccolo and trust his judgment, or go find Goku and ask her for help. Krillin suddenly gasped as realization of reality reared its ugly face. 'No! I completely forgot that Goku can't help us. She's pregnant. Oh my Kami! I can't go to her. If she finds out, she might do something totally reckless.'

Piccolo was almost out of Krillin's line sight and so he made a quick decision to catch up with him and ask questions afterward. It took Yamcha a split-second to shake away his thoughts of impending doom before following suit and catching up with his companions. Once they were all reunited, Krillin finally spoke up:

Krillin tried to reason with his comrade, "Piccolo, shouldn't we at least get Vegeta and Trunks to help us? I mean, we haven't been in the Room of Spirit and Time, so we aren't a match for Cell."

Piccolo turned his head around and glared at Krillin. "We have no time to lose! Cell's ki has risen substantially and that can only mean two things: he has located android 18, and he plans to absorb her! We must prevent this catastrophe from occurring at all costs! Hopefully, Vegeta and Trunks will sense the commotion and will come to help us out, especially since Vegeta has already trained in the Room of Spirit and Time. I would have recruited them if they weren't so far off in the opposite direction. Why don't you try to keep a cool head and take advantage of your ki senses?"

Krillin tried to calm himself down as best he could and then attempted to locate Vegeta's and Trunks' ki signals. Piccolo was right. They were too far away. They would not make it in time if they stopped to get those two.

Piccolo tried to reassure Krillin by saying, "Calm yourself, Krillin. Don't let your fears inhibit your ability to fight. Trunks has come here precisely to help us so I'm sure he has kept his mind open for any disturbances in ki flow and is already preparing to leave. Vegeta is adept at sensing ki as well as we are, and I'm sure he's putting out an extra effort to watch for Cell's ki because he wouldn't want to lose his newly acquired mate and unborn child. They will come."

"B – but what if they're distracted by something else. What if they don't come?" asked Krillin.

"Kril-lin," Yamcha moaned exasperatedly, "you're going to jinx us you idiot!"

"Put me down! Put me down! Put me down!" Nana chanted in a high-pitched scream.

Vegeta had come within sight of the lookout. He hurriedly sped toward his destination with renewed vigor. 'Damn this woman is irritating!'

He none-too-gently tossed her onto the tiled floor of the lookout, and she went tumbling and skidding across its smooth surface. After coming to a halt, she shakily began to lift herself into a sitting position. She rubbed a sore elbow with a pout and then glared at Vegeta with renewed fury. "What the hell gives, you asshole!" she screamed at the top of her lungs. "Why in Kami's name did you have to just go and drop me like a sack-a-potatoes!"

Vegeta scoffed at her rhetorical question. "Well," he replied, "You demanded that I 'put [you] down', so I did. Why can't you women ever be satisfied?"

Trunks landed next to the woman, and after dropping his cargo he quickly helped the poor lady up and onto her feet.

She brushed the invisible dust mites off of her pants and nodded at Trunks in thanks. "At least one of you thugs has some manners," she commented.

"Ah… now my feelings have been hurt," replied Vegeta sarcastically.

Suddenly, Bulma came stomping out onto the lookout with a thoroughly annoyed expression upon her face. She crossed her arms and said, "Hey! Keep it down out here! Some of us need some quiet concentration time! Oh, and just what the hell do you think you were doing just flying away like that in the middle of our conversation? I'll have you know that Goku knows everything and she's pissed as hell and you deserve it, you great big sack of… wait a minute, who's that?" Bulma pointed in the direction of a petite pink-haired woman in scrubs.

Vegeta glanced at Nana and then back at Bulma. "None of your business, woman!"

Bulma strode up to Vegeta and prodded him in the chest. "Who the hell is she?" she shouted.

"Step away or I will blast you into oblivion!" hissed Vegeta. 'What is her problem today?'

"Ha! As if I haven't heard that one enough! You seriously need to get some new lines, Vegeta. I'll humor you though, go ahead and try and blast me to oblivion, your highness!" retorted Bulma in a voice that dripped sarcasm. "I'm not afraid of the big bad Saiyan."

Vegeta clenched his fists in frustration. He couldn't bring himself to kill Bulma. She was annoying, but she was beginning to grow on him.

Bulma smiled coyly. "Oh my! I'm still here? C'mon Vegeta, hit me with your best shot!"

Vegeta's face began to turn red in embarrassment and frustration. Before this confrontation could turn into a disaster, Trunks interrupted by saying, "He kidnapped her."

"He what?" Bulma shouted.

"She's an Ultrasound Tech. He wants her to see Goku," Trunks explained.

Bulma glared at Vegeta. "This is an all-time new low for you!" She then glanced at Trunks with a look of utter surprise, "And you helped him do this? How could you?"

Trunks' cheeks turned a bright shade of red. He waved his hands in front of his face and shook his head while repeating the word 'no'.

"You have to understand," began Trunks, "I had no choice! He was just going to leave her here and come back for all of the equipment. She'd be terrified."

"And what makes you think she isn't terrified as we speak?" asked Bulma accusingly.

"I – I – I don't know why I did it! I'm sorry Mom – Bulma!" Trunks blurted out.

"What was that?" asked Bulma. "Did you just call me mom?"

"Heh… heh…" laughed Trunks nervously. "It was a joke. You're not my mom, but you were acting like it, get it? Ha-ha…"

Bulma furrowed her eyebrows together in confusion. "That wasn't very funny. I'll have you know that I'm way too young to be your mother!"

"Excuse me," Nana meekly interrupted. "Ma'am, could you please tell me where I am, and what is going on?"

Bulma turned all of her attention toward Nana. "Oh please call me Bulma. I am so sorry about all of this." She turned her head in the direction of Vegeta. "That man over there is a completely arrogant, selfish, and imbecilic. He thinks that he can do whatever he pleases. Don't you worry…" Bulma paused unsurely "… Um… I didn't catch your name?"

"Oh, my name is Nana," replied the woman.

"Pretty name," commented Bulma. "As I was saying. You don't have to worry about anything, Nana. I will make sure that you get back home safely… or to the hospital if you want. And just as my own personal apology to you – I too have suffered because of that man's stubbornness and idiosyncrasy – I would like to try to make it up to you. How does 50,000 zeni sound?"

The woman seemed genuinely surprised. "Wow!" she exclaimed. "I won't breathe a word of this to anyone, I swear!"

"Oh thanks, Nana. I'll go get my checkbook and my jet-capsule, and we'll be ready to go!" replied Bulma.

Nana tentatively touched Bulma's shoulder as she was walking away and Bulma turned around at the touch. "Something wrong, Nana?" she asked?

"No," she replied, "I was just wondering… why did that man bring me here anyway? Does he really want me to perform an ultrasound on a pregnant woman?"

"Well, yeah. His… girlfriend… is pregnant. She's a martial artist and she was training while pregnant because she wasn't aware of her condition." Bulma explained. She moved closer to Nana and whispered in her ear, "He's a jerk a lot of the time, and he looks really tough and all, but I'm starting to think he's just a big softy. He's really worried about her and the baby. That's why he did what he did."

Nana laughed. "Over the top much."

"I know," replied Bulma with a laugh.

"Well, Bulma. Since he went through all of this trouble, and I'm not in any danger of being flown thousands of feet in the air against my will with no seat or seatbelt, I wouldn't mind helping you out with your friend. I'll check her and her baby out for you."

"Really?" asked Bulma.

"Yeah, no problem," replied Nana.

Bulma smiled at her and said, "Well, I really should make Vegeta wait like normal people to find out about the baby, because allowing you to do this is like condoning his actions, but Goku's my best friend and she's really worried too." Bulma squeezed Nana's hand sincerely and said, "Thank you so much! You have a big heart!"

Bulma pulled Trunks closer to the two of them and said, "Trunks will show you where Goku is. Oh, and Trunks, try and explain some of this 'flying' and 'energy blast' stuff to her as best as you can too, would ya'? I know I'd want to know about it if I were her. I'll be in with a power adapter for the machines in a sec."

As the others left the overhang of the lookout, Bulma approached Vegeta again. He was already shooting her an annoyed expression that said, 'what the hell do you want now, woman?'

He was about to put his attitude into words, but Bulma went straight to the point. She stared him straight in the eyes and said unfalteringly, "You are selfish, egotistical, inconsiderate, overly-compulsive, and just plain mean, Vegeta."

Vegeta raised an eyebrow and replied, "So I've heard you say for the past 10 minutes. Your point?"

Bulma could not hold back her glare of repugnance. "For whatever reason. I can tell that Goku really loves you." 'How could I have ever loved this guy... I must be into hot bad guys? I need to seriously change my taste in men!' Bulma thought inwardly.

"And?" said Vegeta, impatiently crossing his arms.

"I want you to know that Goku isn't stupid, and that if you treat her wrong, she's going to leave you. She's already had practice with breaking off from someone she loves. I will not let you hurt Goku, and if you continue with shit like this I swear I'm going to make your life a living hell!" Bulma threatened.

Vegeta had thought of a comeback, but he decided to hold his tongue for whatever reason.

"If you promise to try and improve yourself for her, I will try to help you. You aren't stupid; I know that you know just how much I can help you. I've known Goku longer than anyone else. So before I continue, I need to know if you love her?"

Vegeta furrowed his eyebrows together in frustration. "Saiyans don't commit to silly things like love!" He noticed Bulma run her fingers through her hair in irritation. "But, if it will get you off of my case, I will tell you how I feel about her."

Bulma's eyes widened in astonishment. Was Vegeta really going to talk heart-to-heart with her?

"You must understand that before the accident, my life goal was to surpass Kakarrot. When Kakarrot became a female it was almost too easy. My life goal was gone. I had nothing to live for, and I was lost. As I came to be attracted to Kakarrot, my goal in life changed. I found that being the strongest wasn't enough anymore. I wanted her. Obtaining her adoration was almost as difficult as surpassing the male Kakarrot. It was challenging, but I have finally won. That is when I realized another purpose of mine: to protect my mate at all costs. So you see that I purposely impregnated her because I wanted to protect her. I didn't want her to fight Cell. I realize that doing that was completely selfish on my part, but I'm a selfish person. She knows that. I wasn't trying to make an heir. That was far from my thoughts at the time. I suppose you can say that it was just an added bonus..." Vegeta paused, seemingly unsure of what else to say, "... I would die for her. Is that enough for you?" Vegeta finished. He had held her gaze and utmost attention throughout the whole of the speech.

"That was still a stupid move, Vegeta!" Bulma replied, but then softened up a little bit and smiled at him, "but the romantic in me thinks it was a sweet gesture."

"So you will leave me alone now?" Vegeta inquired hopefully.

"No, now you have to improve yourself. Don't worry, I'll make it my new life goal to nag and nag you until you get better at it!" replied Bulma with a grin. "After all, Goku deserves only the best!"

'Damn it all!' Vegeta thought to himself. 'What have I done to deserve this?'

"And per chance, what was your life goal before that? It must not have been a high aspiration because frankly, your life goal sucks," Vegeta pointed out.

Bulma crossed her arms and then smirked at him. "Well," she began, "ever since I was about 16, I had made it my life goal to find and fall in love with my Prince charming. Though, as of late, I've realized that Princes aren't what they're all cracked up to be. I think I'd rather shag the popper at this point… and that's pretty low don't ya' think?"

Vegeta was bemused. "What? Is this some Earthling saying or riddle or something? I've been to planet Podack and met plenty of Poppers before, but I'm pretty sure they're asexual."

Bulma giggled. 'Oh Kami, Goku's wearing off on him!' she thought. She tried to keep a serious face as she replied, "I like to experiment if ya' know what I mean?"

Apparently the Popper people of planet Podack weren't very attractive because Vegeta's face had turned a sickly shade of green at the thought of what she was insinuating. She could barely discern him grumbling, "This conversation is over," as he was walking away.

Just as he was about to disappear into the building, she shouted after him. "Don't be so boring, Vegeta. Ask Piccolo, he knows what I'm talking about."

She could almost see the shiver of utter disgust rake Vegeta's entire body. She muffled some silent laughter as she caught sight of him covering his mouth as he gagged at the thought of it.

'Hm...' she thought to herself, 'How would a person have sex with Piccolo? He's asexual... so does that mean he doesn't have a penis? If he doesn't have one what does he have down there? He must have something... why else would he wear pants? Wow! This is seriously a conundrum. I should ask him!' Bulma suddenly blushed. 'Why am I even thinking about stuff like this? This is Piccolo for Kami's sake!'

Piccolo, Krillin, and Yamcha touched down on the battle scene and examined the damage. 18 was beaten up pretty badly. It appeared that Cell was toying with her. The sight was sad. Krillin couldn't help, but observe the damage with horror. 18 was like a beautiful flower that had wilted. She seemed about ready to raise the white flag and give in to Cell's ghastly wishes.

"What have you done to her, you monster?" Krillin hissed, closing the space between him and Cell within seconds and attacking Cell with brute fury.

Krillin was no match for Cell, and was quickly tossed away onto the rocky landscape. He pulled himself back up quickly and clenched his fists determinedly. Cell cackled in the background. "Have I upset you? I apologize. I'm like a child always playing with his food! Ha-ha! I can't help it, but don't worry. I was just about to finish off my main course."

18 shivered and began to stumble away from Cell. Cell came flying at her with inhuman speed. She braced herself for pain unlike that which she'd ever felt before. 'Just please be over already,' she thought.

Before Cell could make contact with 18, 18 felt herself whisked away by the arms of one of the Z-fighters. Moments later, she touched the ground softly, feet away from where Cell had landed. She felt safe for a split-second. He hadn't touched her. She hadn't felt that Kami-awful pain she'd been anticipating for what felt like eternity.

The person who had saved her appeared in front of her with his arms stretched out at his sides to block away their attacker from getting near her. She felt a throbbing sensation in her chest. Her heart was pounding. Who was this man that was defending her? She recognized him. What was his name? Try as she might, his name did not come to surface in her mind.

"What do you think you're doing, little man?" asked Cell in an irritated voice, crossing his arms together impatiently.

"If you want 18, you'll have to get past my stone-cold, lifeless body first!" Krillin shouted.

18 was amazed. 'Why is he helping me?' she thought in confusion. "Who are you?" she murmured.

Krillin glanced around at her for an instant to look into her icy-blue eyes. "M – my name's K – Krillin," he replied nervously. 'Why can't I ever talk around pretty girls… ugh. Now she probably thinks I'm an idiot!'

18 peeked her head around Krillin's shoulder and kissed his cheek. "Thank you, Krillin."

Krillin's face turned a bright red. He felt like he could die from happiness right then and there. 'She doesn't hate me!' he thought excitedly. 'A pretty lady doesn't hate me! Mondo-cool!'

A/N: Sorry for the wait. Next chapter will center around 18/Cell confrontation and Goku's ultrasound/the situation with Vegeta. As you saw in the blatantly evident foreshadowing, I'm thinking of a Piccolo/Bulma. I don't know how that would work. What do you guys think about it? Yeigh or nay? Also, Krillin/18? I will put a poll up on my profile where you can make a selection or you can just leave your choice in a review. I'll take the poll down when the next chap. is up. Thanks for last chapter's reviews, I'll look forward to your thoughts on this one. Happy New Years everyone!

*Chapter 42*: The Answer to the Ultimate Question

Disclaimer: I don't own DB/Z/GT.

Female Goku = Goku; Male = Gokou

Chapter 42: The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything

This was proving more difficult than Goku had initially thought it would be. 'C'mon, we don't have time for this!' she thought. Though, she couldn't blame him. It wasn't his fault. It was all her fault. If she hadn't interrupted Vegeta during his wish, none of this would have happened. If she hadn't slept with Vegeta, she wouldn't have been this useless right about now. If she had worded her wish differently, she could have fixed almost everything!

Goku was sitting cross-legged. Gokou sat across from her in the same position, and she could see him concentrating on something with a great effort. Tien was sitting next to Goku. He was trying to do the same thing. 'Even Tien isn't getting anywhere with this. He's more experienced than Gokou is… so if he can't do it… what hope do I have of Gokou accomplishing it?' she thought with a frown.

Gokou opened his eyes, breaking his concentration. He ran his fingers through his unruly hair and sighed dejectedly. "I'm trying my hardest, but I'm not getting anywhere. Isn't there something you can do to help me understand this better?"

Goku tried to smile at him genuinely, but she was unsure of whether it appeared so. "Don't worry! You'll get it! I have total confidence in you. Besides, it took me a long time to learn instant transmission on planet Yardrat. We just need to make sure that you don't take any breaks to make of for the time difference. Do you think you can do that?"

Gokou clenched his fists in determination. "I don't care how fatigued I am. I will not rest until I know how to do this! Then I'll do whatever else you think I should do to get stronger. I love challenges. You're me… sort of, you should know that!"

Tien opened his eyes. He had stopped concentrating when Gokou had initially spoken, but he waited until they were finished before interrupting: "Goku," he said, looking toward the female Goku to signify who he was talking to. "What exactly are you doing this for anyway?"

Goku smiled. "I'm glad you asked," she replied. "You see, it's simple. I want to teach him instant transmission because I think it's invaluable. It's a great technique. Also, I plan on taking him to King Kai's planet so that he can learn the Spirit Bomb and the Kaioken technique."

Gokou was listening to her intently as she spoke, but he appeared dumbfounded as to what she was talking about. Tien, on the other hand, seemed to know exactly what she meant.

"That will definitely help him, but even if he knew how to do Kaioken, it wouldn't make any impact on him stacking up against Cell," said Tien.

"Well, I plan on him learning these techniques really fast, so that we can move on to the next step," explained Goku.

"Assuming that that's even possible… what's the next step?" asked Tien.

"The Room of Spirit and Time," replied Goku.

"What about it?"

"Well, you already know that 24 hours on Earth is equal to about 1 year in the Chamber, right?" questioned Goku.

Tien nodded his head in affirmation.

"Well, you can go into the Room for a total of 48 hours in your lifetime without being locked in. So, once Gokou here has been trained to withstand higher gravity, he will be able to endure the climate of The Room of Spirit and Time. Not only that, if he has learned Kaioken, he'll be able to train with someone who is infinitely stronger. He'll be beat up a lot, no doubt, but every time a Saiyan is beaten badly, their strength grows exponentially. So, I was planning on putting him in there with two people at separate times. On the first day, I would like him to go in with Trunks. Trunks' job will be to make him stronger and faster… and perhaps even train him to achieve Super Saiyan. Trunks has already agreed to go in with him. Then on the second day… the next person will be a little more difficult…"

Tien raised an eyebrow at Goku. "Why? Who is it?"

Goku made a nervous smile. "I haven't asked him yet, but I want it to be Vegeta. He could teach Gokou so many things, and he's already so strong; he can make Gokou stronger! We need all the help we can get! I just… don't know if I can convince him…"

"Why wouldn't he want to help me get stronger?" asked Gokou in confusion.

Tien laughed. "You'll find out soon enough. Anyway… how is… um…" Tien pointed at Gokou, "… from now on, I'm calling you, Son." Tien didn't wait for any form of approval from Gokou before continuing: "How is Son going to continue his training when he is going to need the necessary time to heal after beatings?"

Goku grinned knowingly. "I've thought of that already," she replied in a singsong voice.

"Oh?" said Tien, with an 'I'm waiting' expression on his face.

"At first I thought of the sensu beans. I went to ask Korrin and he said that he couldn't make nearly enough for the sheer amount of times that Gokou will be roughed up. He's going to give us some, but I think we need to save them for when we plan to fight Cell. I talked to Bulma about it and she thinks that she can make a Saiyan healing chamber like what Freeza had on all of his ships. She thinks that she can make her healing machine work faster than Freeza's did. Cool huh?" Goku finished with an extremely exited look upon her face.

Tien rubbed his chin in concentration for some time before replying, "That sounds like a good game plan, Goku. I think it might actually work."

Goku smiled an ear-to-ear grin. "Yeah, I know, right? Now if only we could just accomplish the first goal…"

"Right!" exclaimed Gokou, shutting his eyes and getting back to work.

"Remember, Gokou, you have to picture a very familiar place. You need to feel out for ki signatures near that specific place. Don't let anything else disturb your thoughts. You have to be in total concentration…" Goku began to instruct for the umpteenth time.

"Right," Gokou muttered.

Krillin couldn't breathe. A beautiful woman had actually kissed him. Never mind the fact that Marron had kissed him before too; Marron was a little out there. She didn't really like him for who he was. He wasn't even sure why she liked him in the first place.


Marron came storming out onto the balcony of the lookout. She appeared agitated, but at the same time, one could not take her seriously. She never appeared anything but silly. She was a total airhead, but she was a hotty. Krillin couldn't resist. He'd never bagged a girl like her before. Come to think of it, he'd never even had a girlfriend before. He was high up on cloud nine. He was impervious to the odd skeptical looks his friends gave her. He didn't even seem to notice the bad impression she had been leaving on all of them. Her reputation wasn't redeemable by them, but it didn't matter. Nobody could rain on Krillin's parade… except for maybe Marron herself.

Marron had successful caught everyone's attention, wrapping them all up in her vice-grip. "I've had it with this boring place!" she announced at the top of her lungs, heaving her ample bosoms into the air as she took a deep breath.

She waltzed over to Krillin, swaying her hips like a seductive temptress. "Krill-in," she whined, "can't we do something fun for a change? This place is so dull. It is such a bore. I think I'd rather watch paint dry then sit around here and do nothing at all!"

Krillin took her hand in his. "Hunny-Bunny, you know how much I want to have fun with you, but we can't leave this place right now. It isn't safe down there!"

ChiChi rolled her eyes, and Bulma acted as if she were gagging herself with her pinky finger. The two women giggled at this exchange. Marron glared at the two of them.

"Silly-willy, you can't just be scared all the time and live under a rock for the rest of your life! I thought you were a big, strong martial artist!" Marron argued.

Krillin could vaguely hear Bulma sarcastically mutter, "You mean, live on top of gigantic floating rock."

"We're talking life and death, Marron! It isn't some joke! The only thing I'm scared for is your safety!" Krillin defended.

Marron frowned petulantly. "Well, I can now see who you really are, Krillin. You'll always be my Sugar-Bear, but I just don't think this is working out. You're too attached to me. We have nothing in common. Let's face it; I'm way above what your standards should be. I'm leaving," she said this without even a miniscule amount of remorse evident. She was completely unaffected by their break-up. She kissed Krillin on the forehead and skipped over to Bulma. "I'll need a ride down," she stated plainly.

Bulma appeared offended for a moment, but she was delighted to get this woman out of her hair. "Gladly."

As Marron was leaving, she winked at Krillin out the hover car's window and shouted, "Sorry Sugar-Bear, it just wasn't meant to be!" She reached into her handbag and pulled out a ringing cell phone. She answered, "Oh hi, Brad… Sure I'm free tonight… Oh, oh! Wait a sec. I have something I need to do really quick!" She stuck her head out the window again and waved goodbye with a bright smile on her pink lip-glossed lips. That was the last time he'd seen or heard from her. It was as if she'd never existed.

Krillin shook himself out of his stupor and sucked in a deep breath of air before he became asphyxiated. 18 had no reason to have done what she just did. Krillin was positive that 18 knew that she was stronger than he was. There was no point in him trying to stop Cell. He knew his efforts would be fruitless. So why did she do it? Krillin didn't have time to think. An enormous ki blast plummeted into him. When it hit his body, it felt like he'd been hit by a brick wall. He heard a crack after the impact. All of a sudden his chest hurt, and it felt as if it were on fire every time he breathed.

'You have got to be kidding me!' he thought. 'He's already broken one of my ribs!'

Cell's face seemed unreadable. His features were calm and complacent, but for some reason, Krillin was positive that Cell was seething with anger on the inside. His composed face was hiding his disappointment and humiliation. "You're going to regret having done that," he stated in a deadpan tone of voice.

Krillin gulped. 'Oh merciful Kami, please let it be quick!' he thought before assaulting Cell again. This time he was backed up by his comrades.

Fists and legs flew everywhere in a blur. They couldn't even touch Cell with their force and speed combined. One fist would lung at Cell and would fly straight through his afterimage. At one point, Yamcha's fist went through the afterimage and landed point-blank between Krillin's eyes.

Krillin recoiled backward and rubbed the sore spot. "Hey! Watch it would ya'?"

"Sorr – " Yamcha began before tumbling backward from an incredible force.

All three of them were tossed onto their backsides on the ground. Piccolo was on his feet first. His expression was grave. 'No… it can't be,' he thought in disbelief. Cell had just flung them onto the ground like ragdolls with his own bountiful ki aura.

Cell disappeared before their eyes. They searched the premises frantically. Where could he have gone? Krillin's eyes wandered over toward 18, and just as he began to think of defending her up close again, he saw Cell reappear directly in front of her. He was only inches away from her. Although Krillin was yards away from the two of them, he could still see the unmistakable expression of terror contorting 18's flawless face.

Krillin scowled at the monster. He raised his arm in the air and created a large ki blast. He molded it to look akin to a spinning shuriken blade, and he threw it headlong at Cell with all of his might. As if by some miracle, Cell hadn't foreseen the attack and was forced to dodge at the last minute. Krillin manipulated his ki weapon to follow Cell. Cell dodged it numerous times before blasting it with his own ki and destroying it. The time it took for him to do that gave Krillin an opportunity to return to protecting 18.

'You think you're so strong? This fight is far from over!' Krillin thought. "Don't underestimate me, Cell!"

ChiChi interrupted Goku and company's meditation-fest. She tapped on Goku's shoulder and said, "Hey, Bulma's been looking for you everywhere!"

Goku seemed puzzled for moment, "Oh! Is there something wrong?"

"No, nothing's wrong anymore. Though, Vegeta did something stupid earlier," ChiChi said.

Goku's face went pallid. "What did he do?"

ChiChi waved her hands in front of her face and said, "No, no, don't worry. It's alright now. Vegeta… well, he kidnapped an ultrasound tech. from West City Regional hospital."

Goku blanched. "He what? Why would he do that?"

"I'm not going to pretend to understand Vegeta. I know that he was intending for the person he kidnapped to… give an ultrasound of your baby to see if it's healthy. I certainly don't understand his logic," explained ChiChi.

The second ChiChi finished, Goku began walking briskly away from the group with a frazzled look on her face. ChiChi followed after her. Before Goku was out of sight, Goku turned to Tien and asked him to continue the training with Gokou.

When Goku and ChiChi reached the room where the kidnapped woman was located, Goku immediately began apologizing: "I'm so sorry that Vegeta did that to you! Is there anything I can do to make it up to you?"

Nana smiled at her warmly. "It's not your fault, Hun. I was a little shaken up earlier, but I'm fine now. I'm a tough cookie. So, don't you worry about it. It's not good to be stressed when you're pregnant."

Goku's chest felt heavy. She was wondering why she was so humiliated over something Vegeta had done. It reminded her of ChiChi always chastising her back when she was her husband.

Vegeta was standing off to the side with his arms crossed. She walked over to him, tugged on his arm, and muttered, "We need to talk."

When they were out of hearing, Vegeta spoke up, "Are you going to patronize me now, Kakarrot?"

"No, you knew what you did was wrong. I can't change you," Goku replied, all the while thinking, 'Why should I try to change you if ChiChi failed so miserably at changing me?'

"Then why are we having this conversation?" Vegeta asked, genuinely confused.

"We aren't," Goku stated plainly. "I bet that Bulma has already told you that I overheard your conversation earlier?"

Vegeta stared at her blankly, leaving her question unanswered.

Goku continued what was on her mind: "I thought about it for awhile. I couldn't understand why you would want me to… to be this way. I've barely had enough time to acclimate to the way I am now as it is. I couldn't… understand why you would do that intentionally."

Vegeta still held her gaze stoically; Goku, on the other hand, was fidgeting where she stood.

"At first I considered what Bulma thought, that you wanted an heir. Then I realized that notion was stupid. So what if we have full-blooded Saiyan babies. It won't save the Saiyan race. It's not why you did it."

"Correct," Vegeta muttered, somewhat impressed that she'd figured that out before Bulma did.

"So I thought and I thought about it. It was driving me crazy! I don't understand why you would want this to happen to me. Why? Right when we need all help we can get to defeat Cell! Did… did you do this because you were scared I was going to catch up to you… strength-wise?" Goku asked, her eyes pleading silently for answers.

Vegeta was repulsed by this question. "Of course not!" he snapped. "You aren't going to catch up to me Kakarrot! I don't have to resort to trickery to get my way!"

A small crease formed between Goku's eyebrows. 'Why did he do it then? There's no reason!' "Vegeta," she said, trying to keep her voice from trembling. "Please tell me the truth! How can I believe you? What other reason would you have to – "

Vegeta growled angrily, "I am not helpless, woman!"

Goku felt a pang in her chest. He was really mad about this, but she knew that he was hiding something big. "Oh? You wouldn't resort to such a low to surpass me? And what do you suppose you were going to wish for when you summoned the dragon balls awhile back? Hmm? I never asked you, but I already know I'm right. Go ahead Vegeta, prove me wrong."

Vegeta gritted his teeth. She was right. He had gone to very long lengths to be stronger than her only a short time ago. Why should she believe that he wouldn't he do it now?

"I've changed, Kakarrot. I know now that I wouldn't get any pleasure out of surpassing you in that sort of way, be it wishing myself invincible or deceiving you into a situation that inhibits you from training! I don't need such ridiculous schemes to achieve and maintain my birthright!" Vegeta was beginning to have troubles with containing his anger. "If you think of me like this, what can you possibly see in me that's redeemable?"

"You left me no choice, Vegeta!" Goku defended. When you explained it to Bulma, you seemed so cold… so uncaring… so nonchalant… as if it's no big deal! It's a huge deal, Vegeta! Do think I'm ready for this? I can't be a mother! I'm not even sure if I'm any good as a father! Please! Tell me why you did it!"

Vegeta couldn't hold it back any longer and exploded. "I did it to protect you damn it! I have never cared about anything in my life so much as I care about you, Kakarrot! I can't help it! I've never worked so hard to get somebody to feel anything for me. I never cared before! I almost regret having made that Kami-forsaken wish! You have made me so damn weak!"

Vegeta began to pace around Goku, wringing his hands together. "It's pitiful!" he spat. "I, the Prince of all Saiyans… can't even keep my composure around a 3rd class woman for over a minute! When you're with me, you pilfer all of my common sense, and when you're away from me it drives me insane! You rob me senseless!"

Vegeta's obsidian eyes burned a hole straight through Goku's heart. She didn't know what to say to him. She was confused. He hadn't exactly answered her question. Though, at the moment, she was mostly distracted by his passionate outburst. The only time she'd ever seen him show this much emotion and vulnerability before was when he was dying on Planet Namek, when he had shed tears, pleading for her to avenge their fallen race. To her surprise, he wasn't even finished yet:

"You can't possibly understand how I feel! You have not felt what I've felt, and you have not seen through my eyes. Why must I protect you – you're probably thinking – you of all people? I have seen so many changes in you Kakarrot. You feel you are the same, but you aren't! You are strong Kakarrot, but you are not as strong as I am! What makes you think you could defeat Cell if I couldn't?"

Goku frowned. "Don't tell me what I can and can't do."

Vegeta ventured to brush her flushed cheek with his hand compassionately despite her sudden opposition. "I knew no amount of my asking could get you to resign from fighting that monster…" he muttered.

Goku was astonished; her mouth hung agape. "No," she mumbled. A look of clarity spread across her face. "Y – you did this because… you didn't want me to fight Cell?"


Goku looked like an injured animal. "Vegeta, this isn't about us! I needed to fight Cell to protect my family and friends, to protect the Earth, my home! You took that from me!"

"Why do you need to do it!" he snapped. "What, am I not capable of handling it? Can only you, the great 'Son Goku' destroy foes?"

"N – no! I didn't mean it that way!" she argued.

Vegeta sighed. "Kakarrot, the way I see it, either you will hate me for this, or you will forgive me. Either way, I feel that you shouldn't be surprised. You should know me by now. Whichever choice you make, I'm warning you, I will not let you go!"

"You're right; dwelling on this won't help anything. Though, I really don't think you're giving me a choice here, Vegeta," she replied.

Vegeta smirked contentedly. "I know."

"You know me anyway… I can't hold a grudge for beans…" she replied with a nervous smile.

Vegeta leaned forward and kissed her. He'd been waiting to do that for too long, but he had waited because he was afraid that she might bite his lip again like she did in the Room of Spirit and Time.

"You know what, Vegeta?" began Goku.


"I realize that this is partly my fault. You didn't force me into anything. Even if you weren't trying to get me pregnant, I probably would have ended up like this anyway. I should have been thinking, but…" she paused, grinning up at him, "you rob me senseless too."

Back in the make-shift Sonography room:

"It's about time you two returned!" Bulma whined.

ChiChi laughed, "Yeah, we aren't getting any younger in here!"

Vegeta rolled his eyes and directed Goku to the makeshift bed that had been placed next to a bunch of machinery. She seemed disoriented for a moment. Her mind was putting two and two together, the woman in scrubs, plus machinery that obviously belonged in a hospital. It was all becoming so very real.

She quickly turned in the opposite direction, muttering, "I don't think I want to do this!"

Vegeta gently took hold of her waist and held her still, restricting her from leaving. He could feel her small frame trembling. "Kakarrot, she isn't going to prick you with any needles."

She looked up at him with pleading eyes. "I know," she replied. "I didn't think of it before… it didn't seem real. I don't think I can do this!"

"Ridiculous!" he said.

She looked like a deer caught in front of semi-truck headlights. "Vegeta," she entreated, "what if I hurt our baby?"

He suddenly didn't care that Trunks, Bulma, ChiChi, and that strange woman were watching. He took Goku by the hand and led her up to the bed. He held both her arms gently and rubbed them reassuringly.

"Everything is going to be alright," he said, sitting her down on the bed.

Goku took a deep breath and muttered, "Alright."

Nana went through the standard procedure of asking questions. When she asked when the baby was conceived, Goku gave pause.

"Um… it could be up to three months ago… but it also could be a few days ago too…" she answered with a blush.

Nana had her lift up her shirt so that she could apply the special gel she had brought with her. "Well, you don't look pregnant at all, but it could be that you haven't started showing yet because of your rigorous life style up to this point."

"She's probably at least three months," Vegeta interrupted, gaining a few stares here and there. He answered them by pointing at her stomach. "If you haven't noticed yet, Kakarrot's abdominal muscles seem as nonexistent as Bulma's would be." He ignored a glare from Bulma and continued, "She's gained at least a small amount of weight to cover up what is normally an incredibly lean abdomen. That wouldn't happen in the first couple months to a person who is exercising all day long."

"Vegeta's got a point," commented Bulma.

Nana smiled. "Then it will be easier for me to assess the health of your baby. You will actually be able to make out the head and some other extremities too. It'll be so exciting for you all to see!"

Everyone pretended to 'calmly' wait as Nana prepared everything and instructed Goku to relax. When the image first showed up on the monitor they could only make out a dark-grey blob, but as Nana skillfully moved the transducer onto a specific spot over Goku's stomach, a lighter grey outline of a baby was visible and the image took Goku's and perhaps everybody else's breath away.

Goku smiled and pointed excitedly at the screen. "That's her head!"

"Yep, you're right," replied Nana.

Vegeta cleared his throat. "She's clearly wrong. She meant to say, 'that's his head'."

Goku laughed. "No, it's definitely a girl!"

"Nonsense! It's a boy!" Vegeta argued.

Nana laughed, "Well it's a little too soon to tell right now."

"Yeah," agreed Trunks. "Right now, your baby looks strangely akin to a tadpole."

Goku suddenly became frightened. "Does that mean… is there something wrong with the baby?"

Vegeta sent Trunks a death glare and Trunks laughed nervously. "Just kidding," he amended.

Nana moved the transducer around a little bit. "Having heard what Bulma told me of your training physically, I was mostly worried about any physical harm that might have been dealt to your baby."

"Like what?" Goku asked.

"Physical deformities," Nana replied.

Goku's eyes widened with fear. Nana noticed this and reassured her, "But I don't think you'll have to worry, Goku. The baby seems perfectly healthy from what I can tell."

Goku sighed with relief. Unbeknownst to her, Vegeta had done the same thing.

Nana turned back to the screen. "If you look closely, you can even see the bone structure of your baby's nose. Oh, and there is an arm!"

Goku craned her neck around to catch Vegeta's attention with a look of pure excitement and giddiness upon her face. Their little spat earlier was completely forgotten. Meanwhile, Nana moved the transducer about a little bit more. Something caught her eye.

"Wait a minute," she muttered.

Goku turned her attention back to Nana immediately and asked, "What? I – is something wrong?"

Nana's eyebrows drew together in frustration. "What's this?" she mumbled more to herself than to anybody else in the room.

Goku clutched the bed sheets. It felt as if her heart had stopped beating in her chest. Nervous tremors raked her whole body.

"Wha – what is it? What's wrong with m – my baby?"

A/N: Bad News: that question won't be answered until the next chapter. :D The poll results came in and here are the results: KrillinX18 got 10 votes. PiccoloXBulma got 7 yes votes and 6 no votes. So, sorry PiccoloXBulma lovers, I just think it's too many negative votes to bother. Interestingly enough, TienXBulma got one random vote. Someone wants Tien to finally get some; you know who you are ;-) and 17XBulma got 4 votes. I'll figure out something for Bulma. She needs some lovin'. I want to thank 'Forever Loving My Darkness' for mentioning in a review that it must take some serious dedication to write 41 - now 42 - chapters. Thanks, I like that you realize that because it takes me forever to write these dang chapters ha-ha. I would also like to say that I probably wouldn't have progressed this far if it weren't for my amazing readers and positive reviewers! Thanks a lot! :D I also can write this massively long story because I enjoy it. I giggle at my own jokes when I go back and edit chaps. If anyone is concerned with it - I don't know if I've mentioned this before - this story is ending with the Cell saga. Oh, and as a totally random side-note. Have any of you wondered why Krillin named his daughter after his ex? I know I sure have!

*Chapter 43*: Double the Trouble

Disclaimer: I don't own DB/Z/GT.

Female Goku = Goku; Male = Gokou

Chapter 43: Double the Trouble

Momentarily, everyone in the room seemed to be caught up in one of those rare fleeting moments – a moment that feels as if time itself is standing still and you feel like you cannot wait any longer for what is approaching. What else could possibly go wrong? The fated question was running through the minds of everyone in the room. Vegeta's mind was searching for plausible answers. Bulma was reaching out a trembling hand to rest upon Goku's shoulder comfortingly. ChiChi had her arms wrapped around her stomach, subconsciously feeling the need to protect her own baby from whatever atrocity they were about to hear. It was real to Trunks for the first time. This baby was real. This baby had Vegeta's blood coursing through its veins as did he. This was his sibling. Something was wrong with his baby brother or sister! What did it matter if he didn't belong here?

Perhaps the most stunned of them all was Goku. She'd never felt this way before. Something was wrong and it was because of her. She hadn't been responsible. She hadn't paid any attention to what was happening inside of her body. The baby was hurt and it was all her fault. She could feel all of the guilt slowly creeping up her spine, leaving a chill in its wake. It felt as if her heart was being constricted. What had she done to deserve this?

Breath and heartbeats, drumming and tapping, every noise in the room seemed as if it were magnified one hundred-fold. Nerve-wracking anticipation blanketed over them as they waited for Nana to speak.

Nana wasn't paying their shocked responses any attention at all. She was wholeheartedly absorbed in what was on the screen. "Oh my!" she whispered.

The sound of a fist slamming into a wall with a thundering crash startled everyone in the room. Plaster fell to the ground and the sound of heavy breathing could be heard. All eyes were now set upon the perpetrator, Vegeta. His fist was still held in midair. His face had gone red and his eyes were glinting fiercely with anger.

"How dare you scare her like that?" he shouted at Nana.

Nana's eyebrows furrowed together in confusion. "What are you talking about?"

"I should have known better than to get some incompetent fool like you to check our baby!" he hissed, his voice stinging like venom.

Nana folded her arms. "Hey buddy, just what are you insinuating?"

"Isn't it obvious, nimrod? There isn't anything wrong with the baby! It isn't human!" Vegeta said, scowling at her angrily.

"What?" Nana asked dumbfounded.

"What? Are you deaf too? The baby isn't human! It has a tail like its mother!" Vegeta turned his attention toward Goku. "There is nothing wrong with the baby, Kakarrot."

Nana crossed her arms huffily. "I never said anything about the baby. You didn't give me the chance to say anything! I can't believe that you're insulting me when you kidnapped me, you threatened to kill me, and what did I do in return? I selflessly decided to help you! I'm not stupid! I don't automatically assume that a baby is human! There are plenty of other creatures out there, and there are a lot of cross-breeds. One of the most important rules of practicing medicine is to observe your patient thoroughly. I noticed that Goku has a tail. The baby has a tail too, and that isn't what I'm examining!"

Vegeta was astonished. He was wrong. He was never wrong (sarcasm). "Wha – " he mumbled in disbelief.

Nana addressed the rest of the group, "Sorry folks, I'm almost done accessing the situation, but I want to be sure that I'm correct."

The awkward silence and rapt attention resumed…

Nana, moved the transducer over Goku's stomach and adjusted the settings on the little computer monitor. She got up close to the screen, blocking out the mottled image from everyone's eyes but hers.

"C'mon…" she muttered, "… stop being so difficult! I almost have it situated clearly. Ah! There we go! Finally!" Nana announced.

"Please! Just tell me! I can't handle not knowing any longer!" Goku pleaded.

Nana turned around to face the group. She waved her hands in front of her face surrender and said, "Woah, whoa, whoa… calm down, Goku. She smiled and said, "I don't have bad news, sweetie. I just wanted to be sure of something... Congratulations! You're having twins!"

Before anyone could make any sort of response, Nana turned around and excitedly pointed out her discovery on the screen. "See there, you can kind of see a line separating them. That line is the amnions touching each other. They each have their own amniotic sacs." She pointed at one baby. "We'll call this one A." She then pointed at the second baby. "This one will be B."

Goku's face had turned a sickly ashen color. "Twins…" she muttered.

"Yep, not one, but two babies! Could you be any luckier?" Nana said with a hyped sounding voice.

Goku didn't answer her; she made a barely audible squeak of horror and whispered, "Oh Kami…"

She didn't know whether to be terrified or relieved. She was grateful that there was nothing wrong with the baby, but there were two of them now!

"Kakarrot?" Goku heard Vegeta say. She couldn't tell for sure, but it almost sounded as if he were anxious. Though, she found that she couldn't care less at this point.

"Two…" was all she could manage as a reply. "Two… two…"

Now it was Bulma's turn to be concerned. "Goku, are you alright?"

When Goku did nothing but stare at her hands, Nana chose to speak up for her. "Don't worry you guys; she's just a little stunned. Having twins is always a bit of shocker. She'll be fine in a minute. I think she just needs some time to think, right Goku?"

In all honesty, Goku was not sure she was capable of handling even one baby, but two? She certainly wasn't the motherly type, having grown up a rough and very masculine little boy. She shook herself out of her train of thought and glanced around at all of the nervous looking faces. This was not the time to have a breakdown!

"I'm fine…" she muttered. It was a difficult task; she couldn't seem to find her voice. 'I cannot afford to let this get to me! Gokou needs to be trained. I'll just focus on that right now. I can worry about this later…'

"Are you sure, Goku?" asked ChiChi. "I mean, do you really understand what this means. Have you given it enough thought?"

Goku fought the sudden urge to retaliate. Why did it have to be so difficult to control emotions? 'I swear Shenron's playing a joke on all of us!' Goku smiled at ChiChi as earnestly as she could bare and said, "Yeah, I'm fine now!"

"Don't underestimate me, Cell!" Krillin shouted with his fists clenched tightly together and his chest puffed out in determination. 'Heh…' Krillin thought inwardly with a proud smile, '… even I'm starting to believe I can do it!'

Krillin's stomach made a flip as he watched Cell disappear completely. 'Oh geeze… I thought too soon!'

Krillin couldn't have been more accurate because a second later, all of the air was sucked out of his chest and his broken rib screamed with pain. He was reduced to his knees, doubled over in pain.

"Krillin!" Yamcha shouted from a small distance.

He could hear feet pounding on the ground and he cringed as he heard a painful sounding grunt and a resounding crash. He clenched his torso and lifted his head to see what had happened. Yamcha appeared to be lodged in a cliff-face. If this weren't a dire situation, it might have actually been funny. His legs were the only visible objects and his head, neck, and torso were wedged into the ground. He kind of looked like an ostrich.

Krillin suddenly hunched over and hacked blood onto the ground. 'Kami, what is this monster made of?'

"All talk and no action," Cell commented, with his arms crossed together arrogantly. He looked satisfied with the effortless work he'd done.

Cell stepped toward Krillin leisurely. "Are you finished?"

Krillin forced himself onto his feet with trembling hands and knees. "No!" he whispered hoarsely. It wasn't meant to be a whisper. He found himself vaguely wondered how Goku ever managed to pull off stunts like this.

The next voice he heard startled him. "Leave him alone, Cell!" android 18 spat defiantly. "I'm the one you want!"

'No! She's too weak; she can't protect herself from him!' Krillin thought. He recklessly made a lunge for Cell but he missed and Cell's fist came crashing into his jaw. His body recoiled backward with such momentum the he was tossed a good 30 feet away. Somehow he managed to scrounge up enough energy to get back onto his feet, and he blindly flung his body into a run toward Cell again. His feet felt weak underneath him. They felt like they couldn't support his mangled body any longer.

Krillin's eyes couldn't believe what they were seeing. 18 had flung herself at Cell, frantically throwing punches and kicks at him. Cell was dodging with ease and all the while his tail was lifting into the air. The sharp needle point at the end of his tail opened up into what appeared to be a large funnel. 18 didn't see it coming. He could hear her muffled screams as her head was engulfed by his tail.

"No!" Krillin shrieked, "you let her go, you monster!"

Krillin was so overwhelmed by his emotions that he blindly began to throw kicks and punches at Cell, despite the fact that his injured body was flaring up with pain. Cell smashed his elbow into Krillin's shoulder and Krillin crashed into the ground. He frantically pulled himself onto his knees. 18's entire torso was inside of Cell's tail. Her legs were kicking back and forth desperately.

"No!" Krillin screamed, jumping at Cell again. "18!"

Before Krillin could even make contact with Cell, he was tossed back onto the ground like a ragdoll by Cell's ki aura. His aura exploded the moment 18 was absorbed. A bright golden hued light engulfed the entire area for miles. Vicious looking blue lighting sparked around Cell's rapidly changing body, and the earth trembled beneath his feet. This was very terrifying and all, but Krillin was not afraid of Cell, he was absorbed within his thoughts. He felt an overwhelming gut-wrenching sorrow overcome him. 18 was gone. Cell had gotten his way; he had her.

'I couldn't save her… I never had a chance,' he mused, thinking himself pitiful.

Krillin didn't understand why he suddenly felt responsible for the android. For all he knew, she was a heartless monster like Trunks had told him. Nevertheless, a small thought inched its way into the back of his mind, and this thought had given him hope for her. This wasn't the universe Trunks came from; that was already made certain as the truth. This place was different. 18 could be different, and Krillin truly believed that his senses weren't failing him. Somehow he knew she was different! Though, why did this matter any longer? She was gone wasn't she? 'I'll save you 18! I promise you… I'll save you…'

Krillin's cheek began to tingle with a burning sensation in the spot that 18's soft lips had made contact with his skin. He rubbed the spot as he waited for Cell's transformation to become complete.

Gokou concentrated, and concentrated, and concentrated, (repeat 50 times) and concentrated some more. Though, at this particular point in time, Gokou lost his concentration and fell prey to his wandering thoughts. 'Wow! This training is really hard! It's kind of like when I learned how to sense ki with Mr. Popo. I guess before that… I never actually trained my mind… at least not much. Sensing ki is so new to me, and flying is so new to me. These people use ki sensing like they use their eyeballs to see. They make it look so easy to do all of this stuff… but I have to progress… and really quick! I need to be of some help at least. Hm… maybe I should sense out this Cell fellow and see how I stack up to him!'

Gokou searched for any disturbingly strong and evil feeling ki auras. It did not take him nearly as long as he thought it would. 'Ah! Found ya'!' he thought triumphantly. The next instant, he gasped. "Holy cow! Cell just keeps getting stronger and… oh man… his power… it's phenomenal!"

Gokou's exclamation startled Tien out of his concentration on the instant transmission technique. "What's wrong?" he asked. He didn't have to wait for an answer, because the instant he stopped concentrating on the new technique, Cell's raw power assaulted his senses.

Tien jumped to his feet reflexively and ordered Gokou to alert the others on the lookout if they hadn't already noticed. Gokou watched Tien take off in the direction of the nerve-wracking mass of power like a speeding bullet. He stood there locked in awe for a moment before shaking his head and muttering, "Right."

Gokou ran in the direction of the others and nearly slammed into Goku. Luckily for her she saw him coming and moved out of his way before he made impact.

"What's wrong?" she asked in concern. All of a sudden, she smiled. "Don't tell me you learned the technique already?"

Gokou frowned at her. "No…" he replied, breathless. "Cell's… ki…!"

Goku frowned at him in unison. "What do you mean?" she asked, sensing for herself and the shock of feeling Cell's amassing ki signature nearly knocked the breath out of her.

He followed her as she ran into a room to alert the others. The tone of her voice was panic and the only word she uttered was, "Cell!"

This one word was enough to initiate the pandemonium that ensued. He watched as Vegeta pushed Goku out of his way and stomped off toward the entrance of the lookout. A young man followed behind him. Gokou struggled to bring his name to surface in his mind. Who had Goku said he was… 'Trunks'. Bulma, ChiChi, and a woman he didn't recognize came storming out of the room jabbering about 'what was going on?'.

Gokou followed the fighter's hurried figures out onto the lookout and he watched Goku pleading with Vegeta. She grabbed his forearm.

"Vegeta! Please! Krillin… Yamcha… Piccolo!" her words were choppy and she wasn't making much sense to him. "Let me transport you there!"

Vegeta looked enraged all of a sudden. "Damn-it Kakarrot! Get it through your thick skull! No!"

Goku didn't loosen her hold on his arm. "I'll be careful!"

Vegeta ripped her grasp off of him. "You're wasting time!"

With that said, Vegeta and Trunks took off into the sky and left Goku standing there with a panicked look on her face. She ran her trembling fingers through her unruly hair and when she turned around she made eye contact with her watchful counterpart.

At this point, Gokou himself had finally made sense of the argument. Goku wanted to transport Vegeta and Trunks to the battlefield so that they would arrive sooner. He could sense that Krillin, Yamcha, and Piccolo were all with Cell. He hadn't noticed before because Cell's power was so overwhelming. What he still didn't understand, was why Goku wasn't allowed to go with them.

"Why are you listening to Vegeta? Why don't you go and help?" Gokou asked. He wasn't angry, just thoroughly confused.

"I… um…" Goku muttered. Her eyebrows drew together in confusion, and Gokou really wished that he could read her mind at this particular moment. "Vegeta's a little overprotective," she finished, her voice sounded funny, it sounded strained.

"You're really strong. You don't have to listen to him!" Gokou replied.

He watched as Goku fiddled around with her fingers anxiously. "He… uh… has good intentions."

Gokou narrowed his eyes in speculation. He wasn't sure if he was overreacting or even if he was in the slightest bit accurate, but something was off. Goku was acting weird. If technically, she was a female version of himself, she would have the same mannerisms at least. Her voice sounded funny and she appeared nervous. Her eyes weren't even looking at him directly. 'If I didn't know any better… I'd think she's lying to me about something… but I'm no good at lying, so why would she be? No! What am I thinking? She's just worried about her friends… that's all!'

Gokou smiled at her and said, "Sorry to give you the third degree. I won't bug you about it anymore!"

"No… don't worry about it. I would have wondered too. I just wish I could help somehow…" Goku murmured.

'I still don't understand why she can't help? If I know me… and she's me… I'd be kicking myself right now for not being the there! Heh… I know I'd just get in the way and I still wish I was there!' Gokou thought. He tried to shake his confused thoughts away. "I know how you feel. I should continue my training now. I wish I could progress faster so I can be more helpful."

"Well…" Goku began, seemingly pondering an idea. "I could take you to King Kai's planet early… and you can just practice training instant transmission on the side of your physical training… but that would be too much."

"No! I can do it! Let's do it!" Gokou shouted excitedly.

Goku frowned slightly. "You don't understand. Training with King Kai will be hard. The gravity is much higher than it is here. He'll be teaching you difficult techniques. You'll be worn down quickly, and Bulma hasn't finished her healing machine yet."

"Darn it!" Gokou exclaimed disappointedly. "If only I knew how to heal myself! Ha-ha! You're so strong! I'm surprised you haven't learned a technique like that yet!"

All of a sudden, Goku gasped.

"What? Did I say something?" Gokou asked.

"You're a genius!" Goku exclaimed with an ear to ear smile.

Gokou raised an indecisive eyebrow, "I am?"

"Yes!" Goku replied with an animated expression upon her face. "I know somebody who can help us!"


"Yeah! But… he lives too far away for me to use instant transmission. I can't sense his ki… but… I have an idea that might just work!" Goku explained giddily.

"Cool!" exclaimed Gokou.

"Alright, it's time for you to experience instant transmission for the first time. Grab hold of my arm and hold on tight," replied Goku, raising her index and middle fingers of her right hand up to her forehead.

Gokou did as he was told, and in an instant, he found himself someplace totally foreign to him. The air felt thick and heavy. He struggled to keep his knees from buckling. When Goku said that the gravity here would be different, she wasn't kidding! A strange stout blue creature came out of a little house and approached the two of them. A monkey and an abnormally large flying insect trailed behind him.

The blue creature smiled and a nasally laugh escaped his lips. "My, my Goku, long time no see!"

Gokou was immediately confused. This blue guy was staring straight at him, as if he was talking to him and not Goku."

"You must be King Kai," Gokou replied.

The blue man laughed again, "Of course I am, you dimwit! Who else would I be? King Kong?" At which point, King Kai began to laugh hysterically and his blue face actually flushed red.

At this point, Goku finally spoke up, "Um… King Kai… I have some explaining to do."

King Kai wrestled for control over his fit of laughter. "Oh my! And who might your lovely friend be?" King Kai took hold of Goku's hand and kissed it. Goku blanched and struggled to control the urge to rip her hand away from his grasp. "It's been a long time since a fighter has brought a lady friend along to meet me. It gets really lonely up here, ya' know!"

"King Kai," Goku replied in whiny voice, "I'm the Goku you want to talk to. Vegeta accidentally wished me to be turned into a girl."

King Kai stood stock-still for moment, eyeing Goku through his odd looking sunglasses. "The hair… is a little different… but it's the same color. You do have a tail. You're face is kind of similar. Are you sure you're Goku? I mean…" King Kai paused to point at the male version. "no offense, my bet's going on him."

"King Kai! I told you already! Vegeta wished for me to be…" Goku paused to impersonate Vegeta's gruff voice, "… 'exactly like a damn woman' and now I'm a girl! I can explain about the other Gokou if you'll just listen to me!"

King Kai was silent for a moment, and his face held a deadpan expression. After a minute passed, he muttered, "What?" His face started to turn red and he repeated, "What?" At this point he lost all control and burst out laughing. "Now… ha… that's… ha-ha… funny!"

Meanwhile, Vegeta and Trunks reached the former location of Cell a little too late. Tien was crouched on the ground talking to Krillin. Piccolo was standing off to a corner with his arms crossed. He seemed aggravated. Yamcha was nursing a wound.

Vegeta glanced around the battlefield for a moment, taking in the damage and reenacting possible scenes in his head. He took another moment to try and sense out Cell. It was impossible. He couldn't sense his ki signature anymore. 'Cell must be hiding for a reason.' "Well? Where the hell did he go? Don't tell me the bastard got cold feet!"

"Psh, yeah right. He's stronger than all of us. He has no reason to be afraid," replied Yamcha.

"That's what you think," Vegeta muttered.

"C'mon you guys! You have to at least know why he left! Why didn't he just kill you?" Trunks questioned.

Yamcha shuddered. " I don't know. He started talking about us being too weak. He said that we were boring. He wanted us to warn you of his power so that we wouldn't be a waste of his time next go-round."

"Ha! Power! What power?" Vegeta exclaimed arrogantly. "He is nothing compared to me!"

Up to this point, Krillin had been staring blankly at the ground. He was numb. He didn't feel any real emotion until he heard Vegeta utter those words. They made him suddenly angry. "You don't know his power, Vegeta! It's insane! You aren't strong enough! None of us are!"

"Shut up, Cue-ball!" Vegeta snapped. "What would you know about power? You're a pitiful excuse of a warrior!"

Krillin slammed his fist into the ground, and it caused a small fissure to form. "Stop being so stupid! If you keep thinking like this, you won't be strong enough when he does decide to come after us! You're so full of yourself! Well, he'll wipe that smug look off your face when he kills Goku and your baby!"

"Krillin!" Yamcha shouted.

Vegeta was on top of Krillin in seconds. He pulled him up by his shirt collar and glared at him menacingly. "If you ever say anything like that again, I will beat you to a blood pulp and slowly eviscerate with my own hands!"

Piccolo grabbed Vegeta's wrist and squeezed it tightly. "Let him go, Vegeta."

Vegeta reluctantly let go of Krillin and crossed his arms in irritation.

"Krillin's got a point. Don't let your pride blind you, Vegeta. Cell is dangerous beyond all of our wildest dreams," Piccolo explained.

"Yeah, let's just be glad we don't have to deal with the other one," Yamcha replied.

Vegeta flinched for a second. "What other one are you talking about?"

"Well, you see…" Yamcha began, unsure of how to finish. All of a sudden, he realized that he shouldn't have embarked on this territory. Vegeta was definitely not going to like what he had to say.

"Yamcha, let me explain," Trunks conveniently interrupted.

Vegeta tapped his fingers on his sides impatiently. "Well, out with it already, boy!"

Trunks sighed. "Well, I've already explained this to Yamcha, Tien, and Krillin; Piccolo, you're just going to have to bear with me on this. I know that you haven't been told anything. Before I say word, I have to have your promise that you won't tell a soul that doesn't know about this already."

Piccolo narrowed his eyes speculatively. "Who else knows?"

"I assume that Bulma knows that I'm from the future, but she can't be let in on anything else. Only Goku knows everything. It is the utmost importance that some people don't know who I am… it could… have… negative repercussions."

Piccolo nodded his head in understanding. "Alright, kid. I'll keep your secret."

"I came from a future planet Earth to help this timeline succeed where mine didn't. In my time, everyone was killed by the androids 17 and 18. There is practically nobody left. For all I know, the planet may have been destroyed by now. I was sent here to help you defeat the androids. I came because someone close to me had an idea, to use the Room of Spirit and Time to strengthen us rebels of the androids so that we could win this time around. But… things were much different in this time… Cell appeared. Cell is a creation of Dr. Gero as well, but I had never heard of him. I was just as confused as you when he reared his ugly head."

"I tried to figure out how this could happen. How could he live here, but not in my time? Something would have had to happen differently in order to cause his existence. When he called himself Gero's ultimate perfect creation, I realized that something had gone very wrong. I had a hunch and I went back to my time machine and found it completely trashed. There was this disgusting green residue and what looked very similar to shed snake skin all over the place. I knew that whatever it was, it came from my time. I had a gut feeling that it was Cell. So I gathered Krillin, and Yamcha, and we searched through Gero's lab in order to try and find the Cell of this time. We found it. It was alive and still in its embryonic state. We killed it."

Vegeta sneered at him. "So you're saying that it is your fault that Cell is even here in the first place?"

Trunks' face became pale. "Well… I… I didn't know!"

"You have got to be kidding me!" Vegeta yelled.

"Vegeta, calm down," Yamcha interceded. "If he hadn't come in the first place, we would still eventually have to deal with the Cell of our time and we would be dealing with the same thing!"

"True," Vegeta replied. "But don't tell me that you're buying this bullshit! Ha! We wouldn't have all been killed by the androids so easily!"

Trunks looked cornered for a moment. "Y – you weren't a Super Saiyan in my time. You died before you could reach it!"

Vegeta smirked. He knew that he was on to something now, and he sniffed around like a dog sniffing out a dead carcass. "Fine, let's go along with your little story. I'm not a Super Saiyan in your timeline. Well, then what about Kakarrot. Surely, at least she has still become one?"

Trunks frowned, "Goku… he was a Super Saiyan. He couldn't of beat Freeza if he wasn't."

Vegeta furrowed his eyebrows together in confusion. 'Why is he using a male pronoun? Kakarrot would have been a woman at this point, wouldn't she?'

Vegeta chose to ignore that doubt for the moment and continued onward with his interrogation. "Alright, you admit Kakarrot was a Super Saiyan. Surely Kakarrot would be able to defeat the androids."

"He wasn't strong enough!" Trunks blurted out.

At this point, the others were starting to notice something a little bit off.

"Oh, and why not?" Vegeta asked slyly. "Surely we would be able to think of training in the Room of Spirit and Time. Don't you think Kami would have suggested it? Seriously, boy, you don't expect me to believe you came all the way here just to suggest we train in the Room of Spirit and Time? How imbecilic do you think I am?"

"I… I don't think you are," Trunks replied, subconsciously backing away from Vegeta.

Vegeta's smirk broadened. He advanced upon Trunks like a predator does its prey. "Why don't you stop filling our heads up with this bullshit. I want answers, brat, and you better be telling the truth this time!"

A/N: Hi everybody! Sorry for the wait on this chapter. Thanks so much for the feedback. It was awesome to see your guesses. I hope that I surprised some of you with the Goku's having twins thing. So why do you think Trunks is lying? And what does Goku have up her sleeve? I've been very busy lately, but I'll try to update as soon as I possibly can. I hope you all enjoyed the new chapter! Bye!

*Chapter 44*: You Probably Shouldn't Do That!

Disclaimer: I don't own DB/Z/GT.

Female Goku = Goku; Male = Gokou

Chapter 44: You Probably Shouldn't Do That!

Perfect! Just perfect! Now look at what he'd gotten himself into. 'I knew this was a bad idea! I haven't even helped one bit!' Trunks eyebrows drew together in frustration. Vegeta was glaring daggers at him. The rest of the group was eyeing him speculatively. Vegeta had definitely made a huge point. 'But if I tell him… he's probably going to have an aneurism!'

"Don't gawk at me like a stupid animal. You heard me! I want the truth and I want it now!" Vegeta spat venomously.

Trunks sighed exasperatedly. 'I don't see a point in hiding from my past anymore…' Trunks straightened up and looked Vegeta in the eyes unfalteringly. "I'm not a bad person like you're thinking." Trunks narrowed his eyes. "And I'm not hiding any dirty secrets from you guys. Whether you believe me or not, I'm only here to help, and my motives haven't changed one bit since I first arrived."

"Trunks," Krillin interrupted. "I believe you, but Vegeta's got a point. You're hiding things from us. Now that I think of it. I really don't know anything about you. I know we all have tons of questions to ask you. Though, I really just want one answer. Who are you?"

Trunks was silent for a moment and then replied, "I'd be glad to tell you Krillin, but first, I want to have everyone around to hear what I have to say."

Vegeta huffed in annoyance. "Who else needs to know. Nobody that's who! Stop putting it off!"

Trunks glared at Vegeta, and for a moment, he looked exactly like him. "I don't care what you think. I know that some other people deserve to hear what I have to say! I'm not going to tell you anything until you agree to my terms!"

Trunks could tell for a moment that he'd caught Vegeta off guard. His scowl had dropped for what felt like a millisecond, and it was replaced momentarily by a look of alarm. 'Mom,' Trunks thought suddenly. 'He doesn't want her to know about me! I wasn't planning on telling her, but she deserves to know the truth. He didn't realize that my secrets were actually a convenience for him. Now my mother will know…'

Trunks leaned in close to Vegeta, his mouth hovering an inch from his ear. "She needs to know too," he whispered.

Goku narrowed her eyes in annoyance. "So, King Kai, are you done laughing yet?"

King Kai muffled his fit of laughter and without warning, stood up erectly, coughed into his hand, and nodded his head yes.

Goku let out a sigh of relief. "Thank Kami…" she murmured.

King Kai cleared his throat. "So what brings you and your gender-bended clone here to other world to see me?"

"Well…" Goku began, but she was cut off by:

"Oh! Don't tell me you've finally just come for a visit! You came because you want to keep me company, am I right, or am I right? You know, it gets kind of lonely up here living with a monkey and a flying grasshopper."

"Hey!" Gregory shouted, accompanied by an annoyed sounding "Ooooh, Ooooh, Ooooh," and some fist pounding coming from none other than Bubbles.

King Kai just casually waved their protestation off. "It gets a little aggravating when you're only visited because someone needs something from you… tips, training, help saving the world, secret recipes… you know, the whole shebang. Geeze, I like to just sit and chat sometimes too ya' know."

Goku's face drained of all its color. "Actually…" she began.

King Kai laughed heartily and patted her on the back. "But not you, you're a great pal! I know you didn't come here just for help. You came to just shoot the breeze with me, right?"

"Uh… um not s – so much…" Goku stuttered.

King Kai's smiled melted into a frown. "What do you mean?"

Goku glanced at her companion for help, receiving zilch; she turned back to King Kai with an apologetic smile. She scratched the back of her head nervously. "Well, you see…"

"I asked her to bring me here," Gokou blurted out.

King Kai narrowed his eyes. "So you didn't want to just visit after all."

Goku bit her lip. "Well…"

Gokou interrupted again. "Oh c'mon! You have to know what's happening on Earth right now!"

King Kai clasped his hands behind his back. His face morphed into a serious expression. "Ah… yes, you mean Cell. I've been following along with the goings on. I am in charge of the north quadrant of this galaxy you know."

Gokou clenched his fists. "Then you should also know that this is no time for joking!"

Goku's eyes widened in alarm. "Stop!" she whispered. "You're being disrespectful!"

"The girly Goku is right," King Kai replied. "How do you expect me to help you if you're being so disrespectful to me?"

"Look who's talkin'," Goku muttered beneath her breath.

"What was that?" King Kai snapped.

"Nothing…" Goku murmured. "You do realize that if you don't help us, Cell is going to destroy the whole universe, right?"

King Kai fidgeted for a moment. "Maybe so…"

"What do you mean maybe so? He will!" Gokou argued. He got down on his knees and begged, "Please King Kai! I apologize for disrespecting you! I need to become stronger so that I can defeat Cell! I need your help! Please train me!"

King Kai's mouth was set firmly in a straight line. He adjusted his sunglasses casually before replying. "No deal."

"What?" both Saiyans shouted.

Goku grabbed a hold of his shirt. "You have got to be kidding me King Kai!"

King Kai's deadpan expression faltered for an instant and his lips began to twitch up into a smile. His face turned from a turquoise blue to a fiery red. It looked almost as if flames could come out of his ears. He couldn't hold it in any longer. If he did, he might explode. He burst out into uncontrollable laughter.

Goku stood in utter shock. She understood what he was doing now. "You're kidding me…" she muttered, letting go of his shirt.

"What's so funny? Why are you laughing? This is serious!" Gokou shouted heatedly.

King Kai tried to muffle his laugher. He pointed at the two of them. "Gotcha!" he exclaimed delightedly. "You should have… ha-ha… seen the look on… ha-ha-ha… your faces!"

15 minutes of laughter later:

Gokou gave his counterpart a skeptical look. "Are you sure this guy is going to be able to help me get stronger."

"Yes," Goku replied.

Gokou turned his attention to King Kai. "So you're going to train me now, right?"

"No," King Kai stated.

Goku slapped her forehead in annoyance. "That joke is old now, King Kai."

King Kai crossed his arms and shook his head. "You of all people should know by now," he began. "In order to receive my training, you must first make me laugh."

"Seriously?" Gokou asked in disbelief.

"Seriously," Goku answered.

Gokou inched closer to her and whispered in her ear. "Is this guy even sane?"

Goku snickered. "I can't answer that one!"

"Hey! I have good ears, you know! I heard that!" King Kai shouted.

Goku patted King Kai on the back lightheartedly. "Hehe… I was just kidding."

"Whatever," King Kai grumbled. "Anyway, it's joke time."

Gokou frowned. "Do I really have to?" he whined. "I'm no good at making jokes come out of nowhere!"

King Kai sighed. "The joke itself doesn't matter so much as how you present it."

"What do you mean that the joke doesn't matter? It has to be funny to be a good joke, right?" Gokou asked.

"Well, yes, but you can't make a good joke if you're all pent up like that. Staying loose is the key. Most importantly, don't screw up the delivery! The punch line is the most important part!"

Gokou scratched the back of his head in confusion. "Er… alright."

Gokou paced around for a minute. "C'mon, think… think…" he muttered.

"Having trouble, eh?" said King Kai. "Well, why don't you just give up and go then?"

Gokou snapped his head in King Kai's direction. "Never!" he shouted. He clenched his fists together in fierce determination, appearing almost as if he were about to power up. "How do… how do we know that the Earth won't come to an end?" he asked.

"Um… what?" King Kai mumbled.

"Because it's round!" Gokou shouted.

King Kai stared blankly at Gokou for a moment. The tension was hanging in the air. Had his joke been funny enough?

King Kai shook his head in disappointment. "Lousy… No good at all… Your delivery was all off! You might as well give up!"

Gokou gasped and stammered, "N – no! I will not give up!" He tapped his foot on the ground impatiently and thought hard before announcing, "I've got another one that will blow your socks off!"

King Kai yawned, "Let's hear it then."

Gokou smiled. "Alright, if you're sure you can handle it!" He clasped his hands together and smiled deviously. "Here it goes: What do you call a cow with no legs?"

Goku smiled ecstatically. "Oooh! Oooh! Let me guess! Um… um… chopped steak?"

Gokou shook his head. "Nope, try again!"

"Oooh! Wait! I know what it is! Master Roshi told me this one years ago!" Goku exclaimed, jumping up and down.

"Well, then what do you call a cow with no legs?" King Kai asked with a dumbfounded expression.

"Ground beef!" Goku shouted, laughing out loud.

King Kai couldn't hold it in any longer; that one was genuinely funny! He joined Goku in a fit of laughter. Meanwhile, Gokou pointed at him accusingly. "Ha! You laughed! You have to train me now!"

King Kai dispelled his laughter almost instantly. He shook his head with a blank expression on his face. "Although it is true that the joke was funny, and it also made me laugh, you were not the one to throw the punch line." He nodded his head at Goku. "She did. So this joke didn't count. Sorry, try again."

Gokou groaned dejectedly. "You have got to be kidding me!"

"Nope. Try again or leave," King Kai replied.

"Fine!" Gokou shouted. "But don't say I didn't warn you! This one is going to be a doozy! Prepare to be amazed!"

King Kai brushed some invisible dust mites off of his clothes in a nonchalant manner. "I'll believe it when I hear it."

Gokou smirked. "You will alright. "Knock… knock…"

King Kai sighed. "Who's there?"

Gokou's smirk broadened. "Ah shmell mop."

King Kai raised an eyebrow in intrigue. "Ah shmell mop who?"

Gokou pointed at King Kai and burst out laughing. "Ew! Ha-ha! Seriously… ha-ha! You do that? That's gross, King Kai!"

King Kai's eyebrow twitched. "What?" He scratched his chin and thought about it for a moment. He muttered, "Ah shmell mop who," under his breath, and then suddenly, he understood the punch line. King Kai tried to keep a straight face, but he couldn't. He snickered, and then chuckled, and then finally burst out into a fit of laughter that rivaled Gokou's.

When he was finished laughing, he walked up to Gokou and patted him on the back. "That was the best I've heard yet. I can tell that you are going to be a better student than the last Goku I trained!"

Off to the side, Goku was scratching the back of her head in confusion. "I… don't… get… it…" she murmured. She then seemed to finally make connections in her brain with what she'd just vaguely heard her former master say. "Hey!" she shouted. "Take that back!"

"No don't!" Gokou argued with a smile. "I need to become stronger than her!"

That reminded Goku of something she'd intended to do from the start. "Hey King Kai," she began.

"Yes, Goku?"

"I was wondering if you could lock on to Dende's ki signature for me?" she asked with a hopeful smile.

"The little Namekian? I can do that, but why?" he asked.

"I need to ask Dende to come stay with you and Gokou while Gokou is training. Dende has the ability to heal people, and so that way, if he's here, he can heal Gokou whenever he get's worn down. He will advance so quickly that way!" Goku explained.

"Yes," King Kai agreed. "It would definitely make Gokou progress way faster, but that would also be a lot of work for Dende as well."

"He'll be okay with it," Goku assured.

"Alright, sounds like an airtight plan. Now, where do I come in?" King Kai asked.

"Well, I need your help because I want to transport to Planet Namek, but it's too far away for me to feel out any familiar ki signatures. I can't transport if I can't feel any ki to direct me to where I'm going. That's where you come in… I hope. I want you to lock on to Dende's ki signature for me, and I will access it telepathically so that I can transport to New Namek."

King Kai crossed his arms together and thought about what she'd said for a moment. "That is a good plan, Goku. It would probably work too…"

"… but?" Goku guessed his next word.

"… but it would be much easier if I just transported us there myself," he finished.

"Wha – what? You know instant transmission?" Goku shouted.

"But of course! I've known it longer than you have. You could have just asked me to teach it to you all along!" King Kai replied with a laugh. (This is cannon only in the anime, sorry in advance, manga fans)

Goku grinned and made a little fist-pump. "Yes!" she chimed happily. She grabbed a hold of King Kai's arm and squeezed it tightly. "Let's go already!"

King Kai let out a little squeal of surprise and his cheeks turned red. "I think you should hang on a little tighter. I don't want to lose you on the way there," King Kai suggested.

Goku frowned slightly "Huh? I am hanging on tightly. You want me to… hang on even tighter?"

King Kai smirked. "Yeah, just hug me from behind. You'll be much safer."

"Is that necessa…" Goku began.

"Just do it!" King Kai snapped.

"Okay, okay… sheesh…" Goku replied, hugging him from behind. "That good?"

"No, a little bit tighter," King Kai instructed.

It was a good thing Goku was facing the back of King Kai's head, because at this particular moment, he was having a nosebleed.

He was really enjoying himself until Gokou interrupted his concentration. "Hey! Can I come along too? I can hug you from the front!" he suggested cheerily.

King Kai was alarmed. "Gah! No Gokou! That's too many passengers! Don't ruin a good thing!"

"Ah man…" Gokou murmured disappointedly.

Sometime later:

Goku instant transmitted herself back onto the lookout. She searched for some familiar ki for a minute. First and foremost, she wanted to know if everybody was alright. Secondly, she wanted to know if they were on the lookout yet. She was greatly relieved to feel all of her friend's ki signatures. Piccolo's, Krillin's, and Yamcha's ki signatures were kind of weak at the moment, but they would be just fine. She smiled. She could also feel that they were flying toward the lookout.

'Yes and double yes!' she thought ecstatically. 'If Vegeta returned and I wasn't here he might throw a tantrum or something… or I might be overreacting. He might not care… but he probably would get pissed. He really confuses me…' Goku had the sudden urge to fly out and meet them half-way, but she thought twice about it, and decided against it.

'There's nothing like feeling useless in a dire situation like this… Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever felt useless like this before. Oh… well I guess there was that time when that weird looking clown android beat me up… At least I know that Gokou is training with King Kai already. It sure did take King Kai long enough to agree to transport me to New Namek though. Who knew he was so strict about safety? If I held on any tighter to him, he might explode!'

Goku glanced up at the sky. She could see the outline of the Z-warriors against the horizon. They would be arriving any minute now. She felt a warm feeling in her chest. She was so relieved to see them unharmed. It was awful having to stay behind. If anything happened to any of them, she didn't know what she would do!

Goku was so distracted by the others, that she nearly jumped out of her skin when she felt a hand rest on her shoulder. She glanced around and saw that its owner was Bulma.

"Hey Goku, how ya' feeling?" she asked.

Goku frowned. "What do you mean?"

"Well, you did hear some pretty crazy news not too long ago," she explained.

Goku felt as if her heart had skipped a beat. She'd forgotten about that news for the time being. She twiddled her thumbs anxiously.

"I know you left," Bulma continued. "I looked everywhere for you and Son. Where did you go?"

"I brought Gokou to King Kai's to train. I didn't put myself in any danger, Bulma. I'm not going to mess up again," Goku replied.

"Goku, I know you'll take care of yourself and the babies from here on out. I'm not worried about that. I'm worried that you're trying not to deal with what you heard. You're like that with everything. You try to shrug off everything as if it's no big deal. It is a big deal Goku! It's okay to be scared! Don't just push it to the back of your mind."

Before Goku could reply, the Z-fighters had touched down on the edge of the lookout. She turned her attention away from Bulma and smiled at everyone. "Hey you guys! I'm so glad you aren't hurt! Tell me everything that happened!"

Gohan came running out onto the lookout with ChiChi in-tow. "Mr. Piccolo! You're alright!"

Piccolo barely even acknowledged Gohan. Nobody was speaking. Goku began to feel uneasy. Just what had happened out there?

Vegeta broke the silence. "Alright, brat, everyone's assembled here. Let's hear what you have to say already!"

Trunks glared at Vegeta, and then turned his attention to the group in front of him. His eyes scanned ChiChi and Goku and Bulma and Gohan. They lingered on Bulma and Gohan. It was best if they heard what could have been.

"First of all," Trunks started. "I want to inform you guys that Cell has reached his final state. Although, I'm sure that Goku and Gohan felt that for themselves. He absorbed 18 and disappeared shortly afterward. This isn't going to be the last of him though. Krillin explained that he appeared as if he wanted us all to get ready for something. I have a feeling it's going to be big."

"Ugh!" Vegeta groaned. "What does it matter if they hear about this? It doesn't matter at all! It is none of their concern! They aren't the ones who are going to fight Cell!"

"I will too!" Gohan argued.

ChiChi gasped. "No you aren't, young man! You will focus all of your energy on your studies from here on out! This is too dangerous for you!"

"No Mom! I'm going to help whether you want me to – " Gohan began to argue, but he was abruptly cut off by Vegeta.

"Enough! Tell us, now!" he demanded.

Trunks sighed. "Alright, have it your way."

Trunks faced the group in front of him. "I don't know how much some of you know, but I come from the future. I came to help defeat android 17 and 18. Cell had not appeared in my time because he was still in his larval state. Somehow, he snuck into my time machine and the Cell that is here right now is from my time. When I found out about Cell, Krillin, Yamcha, and I went to destroy the Cell of this time. We succeeded, but nevertheless, we still have to deal with the Cell of my time."

"So you brought that monster with you?" ChiChi asked, trying to control the tone of her voice. "It's your fault that Cell is here… causing mass genocide."

"ChiChi, think about it. If Trunks wouldn't have come in the first place, the Cell of this time would still be alive and the same thing would have eventually happened!" Goku argued.

"Yeah, but you would have been stronger by the time it did come, and you probably wouldn't be pregnant anymore!" ChiChi continued undaunted.

Bulma startled everyone by speaking up. "No, Goku's right. Trunks isn't at fault. He was just trying to help. There's no telling how different the future would be. There's no point in wasting our time playing the blame game. We need to nip this problem in the bud."

Trunks smiled shakily. "Thank you for understanding, B – Bulma." It still felt awkward calling his mother by her first name. He felt almost dirty doing it. It felt disrespectful.

"In order for this to make sense, I must start from the beginning. Please try to wait to ask questions until the end. In my time, androids 19 and 20 never appeared, nor did 16. Androids 17 and 18 were the culprits doing the terrorizing. We had no warning of what was to come. To make matters worse, the Earth's hero became sick with a rare strain of virus shortly before the androids attacked. Goku, as the androids were destroying cities all over the globe, you were lying in bed at home. You were deathly ill with a disease called the heart virus. At the time, it was an incurable disease and it had a 100% fatality rate. Even a Super Saiyan like you couldn't handle it! My mother frantically tried to come up with a cure, and she eventually did, but it was too late for you. You died."

Goku was shocked still. Her face had become very pallid and she suddenly felt like throwing up. "N – no! You mean I didn't even get to fight the androids? I was useless!"

Trunks ignored his former plea for no interruptions. He understood how she felt. It was kind of like how she must feel right now. She was helpless to aid them in the fight. She could only sit and watch.

Trunks tried to but couldn't overlook the tears coming out of Gohan's eyes. He had just begun his story, and he was already getting this sort of reaction. 'Gohan has such a good heart!' he thought miserably. He missed Gohan so much!

He could see Gohan reach out and clutch his father's hand out of the corner of his eye. "Yes, Goku, you died without even being able to contribute any help at all. It was a miserable death… I've been told. I was a baby at the time. I can't remember it. What I've heard of it came from my Mother and Gohan."

"When you died, everyone tried to keep it together. They continued to fight at their best in honor of you. It was useless in the end. It was an uphill battle. Each Z-fighter was killed off like harmless flies. First Piccolo… then…" Trunks paused to glance at his father. "… then Vegeta died… Yamcha… Tien… and lastly… Krillin."

Trunks paused again. Forget what he said before! He actually found himself wanting to be interrupted now. He couldn't bear to even glance up and see the looks of horror on the faces surrounding him. Even Vegeta was silent. He was expecting him to accuse him of lying… anything would be great if it could stop him from continuing onward.

"Eventually… the only person who was fighting the androids was Gohan. He had reached Super Saiyan, and he was actually a match for them sometimes… or so it seemed. When I was a teenager, I begged him to train me so that I could help him avenge everyone that had died at the hands of those monsters. He agreed and together, we fought the androids. I was beginning to feel hope… at least… that's what I thought it was. It was such a foreign feeling."

"It ended soon enough. The androids were beginning to get antsy. I could tell. They weren't having fun toying with people anymore. They wanted to move on to bigger and better things. It turns out… they were holding back all along. They killed Gohan right before my eyes and I lost it! I turned Super Saiyan for the first time. Though, I still wasn't strong enough. I retreated like a coward."

"My Mom had this crazy idea. She told me that she had finally succeeded in creating a time machine. She asked me to go to past and change the future. She wanted me to bring the antidote for the heart virus to Goku before he got sick. She believed that if anyone could defeat the androids, it would be Goku. She realized that this wouldn't help us at all. Changing the past would only create an alternate future. That was enough for her."

Trunks' fists began to tremble and he quickly rubbed away some tears with his knuckles. "She was so kind and selfless. I was so stupid! I refused to leave her behind. If I left, they might come for her. They might kill her. Turns out I stayed for nothing. They came for me one night, but I wasn't there. I hadn't left her side for weeks, but there was an emergency. I had to help somebody. She told me to go. She said she'd be fine! They found her! They slaughtered her like a pig!"

Trunks gave up. He couldn't hold back the tears any longer. They flowed freely down his face. "I wasn't strong enough to protect her! I couldn't save her! I watched the life drain out of her! I lost it even more than the first time I transformed. I gained more power. I went into a mad rage, I hunted them down, and I destroyed the both of them. They're dead now. I finally rid the Earth of them, but now… the Earth is a barren wasteland. If you guys saw it, it would be unrecognizable. People are different. They've regressed to something… primitive. Everyone is out to get one another. People don't trust each other one bit. They're all living like animals. Everything and everyone I lived for is dead!"

Trunks sighed heavily. "I came here to finally respect my Mother's wishes. It's not much, but it's the least I can do."

"I saw immediately that this timeline is different. It had twisted off of the beaten path before I even arrived here. In my time, Vegeta never made that ridiculous wish. Goku lived a man and died a man. Somehow… Goku didn't get the heart virus in this time. I don't understand how… but she's perfectly healthy."

"Why didn't I get sick…?" Goku muttered quietly.

"Maybe you just haven't gotten sick yet," Krillin suggested.

Vegeta thwacked him on the back of the head. "Don't jinx it!" he hissed.

"No," Trunks replied. "It would have become apparent by now. I think - and this is just a theory - I think that when Vegeta made his wish, Goku was cured of the virus as a result of her body changing entirely."

"That would make sense I guess," Goku replied.

Vegeta smirked, "So I saved Kakarrot's life, eh? You owe me one now. You do realize that?"

Goku crossed her arms indignantly. "No I don't! Trunks would have given me the antidote anyway!"

"Wait a minute…" Bulma interrupted. "If Goku was never girl, then she couldn't have been your Mother. You have to be half-Saiyan."

Trunks nodded in agreement. "You're right, I am."

"So, only two men can be your Father. Which one?" she asked.

"Vegeta," Trunks replied, stunning ChiChi and Gohan.

"You're Mother created an antidote for the heart virus, and she also created a time machine," Bulma continued, her face had now become a sickly ashen-white.

"Yes," Trunks replied with a quivering voice.

Bulma's eyes widened in alarm as she realized that her mounting assumptions were probably right. Her lips trembled as she asked her final question. "Am I your Mother?"

Trunks didn't understand why, but he started to cry again. He felt so embarrassed. "Y – yes!"

He thought she would be horrified to hear such news. She probably hated him now. She was probably disgusted by him. He was such a screw-up! He'd done everything wrong! Before he could manage to apologize to her for everything, he was shocked silent and still. Bulma came crashing into his body, wrapping her slender arms around his chest and sobbing uncontrollably into his shoulder.

The others gave the two of them room. They walked off to the other side of the lookout. There were so many things to discuss, but they were all tongue-tied.

Finally, Krillin spoke up. "That was a really depressing story."

"No shit! Was it Krillin?" Vegeta asked sarcastically.

"Hey! What would you know? You're heart is as cold as stone!" Krillin argued.

"C'mon you guys, break it up already!" Goku said, getting between the two of them. "We just need to look at this in a positive light. We are going to change the past like future Bulma wanted. She and everyone else did not die in vain! Trunks is not going to have to live in fear like that ever again! Everyone is going to get strong, and Cell is going down!"

"Yeah!" Gohan agreed. "Dad's right!"

"I dunno you guys, I could use some cheering up still," Krillin replied.

Vegeta rolled his eyes. "Stop being a whiny – "

"I know!" Goku exclaimed. "I know a joke that will cheer you up, Krillin!"

Krillin smiled weakly. "Just like you, Goku, always trying to make lemonade out of lemons."

Goku smiled and said, "Knock-knock!"

Krillin laughed. "Who's there?"

"Ah shmell mop!"

Krillin made a funny face. "Ah shmell mop who?"

Goku began to laugh. Krillin muttered, "What?" and then his face turned red as a tomato as realization hit its mark.

Vegeta smacked his forehead and ran his fingers down his face in agitation. "I'm surrounded by imbeciles!" he muttered beneath his breath.

A/N: Sorry for the long wait. This chapter was hard for me to write, plus, for some reason during the past few days ff . net was flashing an error message whenever I tried to edit my stories. I hope the jokes didn't suck too badly; I'm no good with jokes. :( By now you've noticed that I changed Trunks' story a bit, but yeah… it was intentional. Haha I hope all of you got that one joke. If you say it out loud, it makes more sense. Anyway, so what did you think? Was it horrible?

*Chapter 45*: Extreme Fluffiness and DOOM!

A/N: I don't own DB/Z/GT.

Female Goku = Goku; Male = Gokou.

Chapter 45: Extreme Fluffiness and DOOM!

Goku tossed and turned in her sleep. Her feet kicked at the bed-covers. Her arms flailed restlessly. If she was awake, she would have felt the back of her hand make contact with Vegeta's face. She would have heard him curse and push it off of his head. Her inability to sleep soundly was starting to get on his last nerve.

"No… no…" she mumbled, her head thrashing back and forth against her pillow.

Vegeta sat up erectly and stared down at her. Was she having a nightmare or something?

"No!" she said with a less garbled-sounding pronunciation.

His hand levitated over her forearm, wondering if he should give her a gentle shake to wake her up.

"No… I wa… wa – nt…" she murmured.

Vegeta's eyebrows furrowed together in confusion. "What the hell?" he whispered.

"Gimme the last eggroll. It's mine… Vegeee – ta!" she muttered.

Vegeta laughed. This was kind of amusing. He smirked slyly and brought his mouth close to her ear. "I don't want the Kami-damn eggroll, Kakarrot. You can have it!" he whispered hoarsely.

Goku shifted in her sleep again. Her lips twitched upward a little. It almost looked as if she was smiling. "M'kay… mmm…"

'Maybe now she will shut up and lay still,' Vegeta thought, lying back down with a satisfied smirk.

Goku suddenly woke up with a gasp and her torso jumped up into a sitting position. "It was just a dream!" she announced to no-one in particular.

"Yes, now go back to sleep before I knock you out myself," Vegeta grumbled.

Goku turned toward Vegeta and crossed her arms. "That's not a very nice thing to say."

Vegeta raised an eyebrow. "Oh yeah? Well I'm not nice. I'm especially not nice when I'm sleep deprived because you won't stop smacking and kicking me in my sleep!"

Goku pouted. "You're grumpy!"

Vegeta didn't reply, rolling over so that his back was facing her like a dividing wall.

Goku rolled her eyes at the arrogant Prince. It wasn't her fault she wasn't getting any peaceful sleep! It wasn't her fault Vegeta was invading her dreams and stealing her dream eggrolls! Speaking of eggrolls… *Growl*… Goku glanced down at her stomach and rubbed it with her hand. 'I'm soooo hungry!' she thought.

She checked the time on her alarm clock. It read 2:00 AM. It wasn't exactly the ideal time to be eating a meal. *Growl!* 'But I'm so hungry!'

Goku got out of bed and padded her way down the hall and into the kitchen. With ChiChi around, she'd finally been getting some good meals again. The only problem was that it was 2:00 in the morning and ChiChi would not be happy if her beauty sleep was interrupted because of Goku's stomach.

Goku sat down at the dining table and rested her chin in the palm of her hand. 'What should I eat? What sounds good?' she thought. 'Oh! I know!'

Goku got up and started rummaging through the storage cupboards. She smiled excitedly when she found one of the items she was looking for. She then went to the refrigerator and began to poke around in its freezer section.

"Oh no…" she mumbled somberly. "We don't have any… but I don't want to eat anything else… this sounds soooo good. I'm soooo hungry too."

Goku sat down for a moment and pondered her options. Option A: choose something else to eat. Option B: go back to bed. Option C: go to the store and get what she needs.

Goku tapped her chin in deep thought. 'I don't want to eat anything else… so A is a no-go. I'm too hungry to be able to fall back to sleep… so B won't work. I'm not allowed to leave the lookout so C is no good... wait a minute…'

Goku instant-transmitted herself back into her bedroom. She tiptoed quietly over to Vegeta's side of the bed. "Psssttt… Vegeta…" she whispered, "… are you awake?"

Vegeta's eye twitched in annoyance. "What the hell do you want?" he hissed.

"I know that you're grumpy and all because you're tired, but this is really important!" Goku explained. "I'm really hungry – "

" – you know where the kitchen is!" Vegeta interrupted.

Goku continued: "As I was saying, I'm really hungry, and I have a craving for something that sounds really good, but I don't have all of the ingredients."

"Then eat something else," Vegeta snapped irritatedly.

"But I don't want too!" Goku whined.

Vegeta pulled the covers over his head and grumbled, "Tough shit."

"Can I please just transport myself to a grocery store really quick, please!" she begged.

Vegeta yanked the covers back down and glared at her. "No!"



"Please, I'll be really careful!"

"No damn you!"

Goku frowned and tried to ignore her growling stomach. She sauntered over to her side of the bed and laid back down. She pulled the covers up to her nose and sulked quietly. The room had suddenly become silent, too silent. Vegeta began to feel awkward.

"Kakarrot, are you awake?" he asked. It was a stupid question, but he didn't know what else to say.

"Yes," she replied, her voice muffled by the blanket.

"Are you really that hungry?" he asked.

"Yes," she replied meekly.

"Why won't you eat something else then?" he asked, somewhat intrigued.

"Everything else sounds gross right now," she replied earnestly.

Vegeta suddenly sat up. "Fine, I'll get what you want."

Goku imitated his prior actions. "You will?" she asked excitedly.

Vegeta sneered. "Tell me what it is you want before I change my mind."

"Pistachio ice-cream!" Goku replied, hopping up and down eagerly on the bed.

Vegeta rolled his eyes. He got up and out of bed and began to leave the room. "Fine, I'll be back in a few."

While Vegeta was gone, Goku revisited the kitchen. She got out a bowl and some silverware. She removed a jar from the pantry and set it on the dining table. She then commenced in sitting down at the table and tapping her fingers on its wooden surface impatiently.

About fifteen minutes later, Vegeta walked into the kitchen with a tub of pistachio ice-cream and a somewhat annoyed look on his face. "I can't believe I just did that," he announced as he set the ice-cream on the table.

'Why did I just do that?' he thought in puzzlement.

"Yay! Thank you, Vegeta!" Goku chimed. She picked up a spoon and started scooping out a large portion of it into her bowl.

Vegeta interrupted her, "Leave some for me, I kind of like pistachio ice-cream."

Goku glanced back at him with a look of curiosity. "Really, you like it?"

"Yeah, Bulma had me try it once…" Vegeta muttered.

"Oh…" Goku murmured, "I hate pistachio ice-cream."

Vegeta's jaw dropped. "What? Then why the hell did you make me get it?" he shouted.

Goku smiled at him and batted her eyelashes innocently. "I don't know. It just sounded yummy for some weird reason. Maybe I like it now? Besides, I didn't make you get it, Vegeta."

Vegeta just stood still, staring at her with his mouth slightly agape. 'I can't believe that, I, the Prince of all of the Saiyans… just went out of my way at to 2:00 in the morning to get pistachio ice-cream for a third-class who doesn't even like the damn stuff! What has gotten into me? What the hell is wrong with me?'

Vegeta's train of thought was promptly derailed as he noticed Goku doing something slightly disturbing. She was putting pickled relish on top of her ice-cream. She stirred it all around with a spoon. 'No… she won't possibly… eat that poison!' he thought in utter shock.

He watched painfully as she leisurely scooped up a spoonful. As she was raising the toxic concoction up to her mouth, he had half a mind to smack it away, but he was too startled to even move. He watched her lips twitch up into a smile and then to his horror, her lips parted and the spoonful was deposited onto her little pink tongue. He couldn't watch her chew it. It was too disgusting.

"Oh my Kami! This is better than I thought it would be!" she exclaimed excitedly, promptly digging into her food 'Saiyan style'.

When she was finished – which didn't take all that long – she turned around to face Vegeta. She was about to thank him, but she took pause. She poked him on the shoulder. He didn't move. He didn't even blink. He looked almost as if he had been petrified by Medusa.

"Are you alright?" she asked.

She didn't receive an answer. "What's wrong?" She still received no answer. She shrugged her shoulders defeatedly. "Thanks a lot, Vegeta! That was delicious!" She rubbed her stomach. "I think that there's a little Goku in there that likes pickles, and that there's a little Vegeta in there that likes pistachio ice-cream. ChiChi told me when she was pregnant with Gohan that she had cravings for yogurt and olives, and Gohan loves yogurt and olives. Funny, huh?"

Vegeta was still unresponsive. Goku vaguely wondered whether or not he was even listening to her at this point. Goku smiled a little. 'Oh well…' she thought.

She moved closer to him. "Thank you, Daddy," she whispered playfully, giving Vegeta a thank-you peck on the cheek.

She was about to leave for their bedroom, but she took pause when she felt Vegeta pull back on her arm. 'Of all the things to break him out of that weird trance…' she thought.

Vegeta pulled her close to him and kissed her firmly on the lips. When their mouths parted, she could hear him muttering. "You taste like… pickles." He had funny look on his face. It looked kind of cute to her.

"Sorry," she replied sheepishly scratching the back of her head. "I'll give you another one tomorrow when it doesn't taste like that."

She was about to pull away, but instead she had the air knocked out of her as he pushed her onto the kitchen table. She didn't have a moment to protest because his lips were suppressing her voice. Vegeta's hand trailed its way up her thigh, and he began to kiss her neck.

"Um… Vegeta… someone might walk in on us…" she whispered.

"Who cares?" he grumbled, unbuttoning her pajama shirt.

"Seriously, Vegeta… the kitchen table… everyone eats on this… if they knew…" she continued undaunted.

"Then they can burn it and get a new one," he replied casually.

Goku held his arms still and glared at him, although, her glare wasn't all that intimidating. Vegeta was finally forced to pause at his handiwork and he made eye contact with Goku. He had a somewhat perturbed look on his face, but a more-so determined one. "Alright, I'll make a deal with you. Next time you want to eat that revolting atrocity of barely-edible food, I promise I will get you whipped cream," he bribed.

Goku withdrew a hand and tapped her index finger on her chin. "I'm listening," she replied with a smirk.

"Wha – what else could you possibly want?" he asked. 'She's totally manipulating me!' he thought in shock.

"I dunno… eggrolls perhaps?" she replied, her smile broadening.

Vegeta grimaced slightly. "Deal, so long as you don't mix it in your ice-cream."

Goku pouted. "Ew! That's gross Vegeta."

Vegeta resisted the urge to roll his eyes. "Now, where were we?" he asked, tugging at her underwear playfully.

Goku giggled and slid her hands up his chest. "Too bad we don't have whipped cream right now."

The Following Day:

Goku began to pace around the lookout. She really wanted to train more than anything else, but she couldn't, and so she had absolutely nothing to do. It had been about a week and a half since Gokou left to train with King Kai. She hadn't heard from King Kai in almost a week, so she didn't know how Gokou was doing.

Since Gokou had left to train, Tien had decided to train in the Room of Spirit and Time. He emerged much stronger, but he was not even the slightest bit of a threat toward Cell. Trunks was waiting for Gokou to finish his training, so he hadn't yet used the Room of Spirit and Time. Instead, Krillin and Yamcha had decided to give it a go. They were still in the chamber at the moment. Without Krillin and Yamcha around, the lookout tower was eerily silent.

Bulma had spent a lot of time repairing android 16. She had also disabled his 'mission' to kill Goku, so now he was free to be his true self. Everyone was surprised that his true self happened to be kind and loving. He had a fascination with animals in particular. It was kind of ironic that he was made to kill and yet he was so full of love and respect for life. Goku wasn't surprised to see how well 16 got a long with Gohan. They had become good friends. Gohan always made friends with almost anyone he met. He was such a great kid.

Despite the fact that 16 had been keeping Gohan distracted for the time being. Goku couldn't help but notice something different in Gohan's overall demeanor. She could tell that something was different about him. She watched Gohan and 16 talking and laughing together. 'He's growing up so fast,' she thought.

"Dagnabbit!" Master Roshi exclaimed, breaking Goku's concentration.

Goku turned her attention toward him. He was messing with the antennas on a little television he had brought along with him from Kame House. The screen had turned to static. Apparently, he'd just lost his connection.

She could see Bulma off to the side laughing at Master Roshi's distress. "Serves the old coot right for watching the women's exercise channel all day," she said.

Trunks was near to her. He blushed in embarrassment for his gender. "Yeah," he replied.

Goku smiled. This was nice. Everyone was congregated together, and they were bonding and enjoying themselves. Cell hadn't been causing any trouble for the time being. It was odd. He seemed to have mysteriously disappeared off the face of the Earth. She'd been worrying about it constantly. She knew that this time of peace would be short lived. They weren't prepared for him yet. He could decide that today was the day that he wanted to kill off everyone, and they would surely lose at this point.

She glanced at ChiChi seated nice and comfortably. She was currently sewing a baby's booty. It was light blue. It was for ChiChi's baby no doubt. She'd found out that she was having a boy. She had told Goku that she knew his name already. She said she was going to name their son Goten. ChiChi caught Goku staring at her and she smiled at her and lifted her handiwork proudly. She was almost done.

Goku smiled back feebly. 'What if Goten never gets to wear that? What if Cell gets his way? What if ChiChi and everyone dies?'

Goku felt a hand rest on her shoulder. She turned around to seek out its owner. It was Vegeta. She smiled at him.

He nodded his head toward ChiChi. "Shouldn't you be doing that?" he asked.

Goku frowned and crossed her arms. "Are you crazy? I don't know how to sew!"

Vegeta laughed. "Then what are you good for?" he asked sarcastically.

Goku narrowed her eyes. "In like 5 and a half months you're going to wish you hadn't said that!"

Vegeta was about to make a snarky reply, but he was interrupted by Master Roshi's shout of triumphant joy.

"Ooooh yeah, baby doll! Work it for Roshi!" he shouted at the woman in tight spandex doing stretches on the television screen.

Bulma rolled her eyes. "Think you can get any closer to the screen ya' old perve?"

"Quiet Bulma!" Master Roshi snapped. "You're ruining my concentration!"

There was suddenly a girly shriek coming from the television speaker. Gohan gasped and rushed over to the TV. He pointed at the screen. "You guys… you might want to see this!" he shouted.

Everyone crowded around the TV. The woman on the screen was screaming. A hole was blasted in the floor of the recording room and from beneath the gaping hole, Cell emerged on the screen. He glanced around the set of the room.

"This can't be studio b," Cell muttered, raising his hand and blasting another hole through the ceiling.

In a flash, he was no longer on the screen. The room was thrashed and the terrified woman was still shrieking.

"Wha – what do we do now?" Gohan asked.

Bulma tapped her chin in deep thought. "Try flipping the channels, Gohan. Maybe he's on a different set in the same broadcast building."

"Right!" Gohan replied, flipping through the channels.

He paused on a cooking show. Cell was again on the screen. Like before, there was a terrified woman on the set. She had a knife in her hand; she had been cutting up cucumber. She held it in front of her chest for protection. "Wh – what are you?" she demanded.

Cell casually glanced back at the terrified woman. "Excuse me, could you tell me where studio b is?" he asked with a polite tone of voice.

The woman's eyes widened in shock. She pointed to the ceiling. "The next floor," she said.

"Thank you," he replied.

Bulma grabbed the remote from Gohan. "I think he's trying to get to the global broadcasting studio. He's probably going to end up on Z-TV," she explained hurriedly.

She flipped the channel to Z-TV. There was an anchorman sitting being a desk with a fake smile on his face. For a split second, there was nothing out of the ordinary, but of course, a moment later Cell burst through the floor of the set and he was soon levitating on-screen. He turned to the anchorman and his hand darted out and wrapped itself around the man's neck. The man desperately gasped for breath. His face turned blue out of asphyxiation. His legs kicked back and forth frantically.

"Tell me," began Cell, "is this studio b?"

He loosened his hold on the man and he went crashing to the floor. "You crazy bastard!" he spat.

Cell scowled angrily at the man. He produced a ki blast on his fingertip. "I'm only going to ask this one more time. Is this or is this not studio b?"

"Y – yes, it is!" the anchorman sputtered.

Cell smiled. "Thank you," he said, shooting the ki blast straight through the man's head.

There was a collected sound of shrieking and gasps in the room as the man's dead body made a sickening thump against the floor.

Cell smiled at the camera. "Hello humans. My name is Cell. You may remember me as the monster who was terrorizing Ginger Town, Nicky town… etcetera, etcetera. I have evolved a great deal since then. Before, I was an imperfect creature such as you, but now, I have reached ultimate perfection. I've been thinking, and I've come up with a splendid idea. Listen carefully Earthlings, your lives are about to become much less boring thanks to me."

"You see, when I was imperfect, I was having a lot of fun terrorizing the Earth, but now that I am infinitely stronger, I've come up with a much more entertaining plan for this pathetic planet. The reason I am standing here before you is because I have come to announce that I am going to be holding a special martial arts tournament. It will be called the Cell games, catchy little title, isn't it?" Cell chuckled to himself for a moment.

"Now, the Cell games will be held exactly nine days from today at area S.5, 28 miles northeast from Eastern City. Don't worry; it will be extremely difficult to miss. By then, I will have created an arena on the spot that is an exact replica of the original used in the World's Martial Arts Tournament. People of Earth, bring me your finest fighters and I will beat them all in a contest of strength and agility. I will fight any competitor that shows up. You Earthlings will have the upper hand. I will not rest in-between any of the battles. The rules of the tournament will be the same as that which you're used to in the World's Martial Arts Tournament. If you are knocked out of the ring, you will be disqualified. If you become unconscious, you will be disqualified. If you die… well, that's self explanatory, isn't it?" Cell cackled again.

"I urge you all to take this challenge seriously. This is your last chance, people of Earth. If you are defeated at the tournament, the Earth will belong to me! I hope I haven't frightened any of you. Now that I've given you the approximate location and date of the tournament, you shall only need the courage to show up and play." Cell smirked. "Oh, and I have one last thing to say," he said, holding up his index finger. "I'm sure that this is unnecessary, but to make myself absolutely clear… Son Goku, you are the only person who is obligated to show up to the Cell Games. I do believe that you and I have some unfinished business that must be resolved. If you are not present, there will be consequences."

With that said, Cell lifted up his arm, created a purple ki blast in his palm, and launched it through the wall behind him. It blew a hole in the wall before it even touched it, and every skyscraper in its path was instantly incinerated. Cell waved his hand upon his departure. "I hope you are as excited about this as I am," he called out as he flew out of the building.

It became very apparent now that the brief time of peace was now over…

A/N: This seems like a good spot to end the chapter. I'm very proud of my update timing too :) Now if only I can keep that up somehow… You would not believe how long it took me to find out the coordinates of the Cell games. To Dutch Stories: I've been considering the names for Goku's babies, and I do have two in mind, but I'm not positive I'm going to use them. Also, if any of you can think of some good Saiyan or DBZ-like baby names that would be really helpful :). Thank you all for the reviews for the previous chapter. They were awesome! Hopefully all of you ended up getting the joke… haha. The next chapter will be dealing with Cell game preparation… I was thinking of maybe putting in some Goku/Vegeta time too just because… any takers?

*Chapter 46*: The Weight of the World

Disclaimer: I don't own DB/Z/GT.

Female Goku = Goku; Male = Gokou.

Chapter 46: The Weight of the World

There was nothing more enjoyable to Goku than a good fight. So, when Cell practically made it known that the only person he was actually concerned to fight with was her, she couldn't help but feel excited. Her heart went a flutter and a smirk tugged her lips upward in a sort of Saiyan primal satisfaction. She could already picture how intense this fight was going to be. She could feel his immense power radiating from off in the distance. Yes, she was excited as he was.

She was excited, that is, until she realized that she wasn't going to get her fight. She was in no condition to fight. She pouted and crossed her arms in disappointment. "This blows…" she muttered under her breath.

Bulma's mouth hung agape. Her eyes were wide with shock and her lips were trembling. She gulped and then asked, "D – did anyone else see how he just… just shot that man thr – through the head like it was nothing?"

ChiChi clenched her fists and scowled at the television screen despite the fact that it was now displaying a technical error message. "That… that… prick!" she shouted, shaking her fist in the air. "How dare he! My Gokou is going to show that jerk what's what!"

Goku frowned. "I don't know about that…" she muttered.

"I don't think she was talking about you, Dad," Gohan piped up.

Goku felt that sinking feeling once again, the feeling of being absolutely useless. "Right…"

Vegeta crossed his arms and scoffed. "You're delusional. Your Kakarrot is a weakling child!"

ChiChi blanched. "Y – you take that back!" she stammered.

Vegeta laughed derisively. "I call them as I see them," he replied. "He's pitifully weak!" Vegeta pointed his thumb at Gohan. "The brat is stronger than him."

"He is not a child!" ChiChi shrieked.

Vegeta raised an eyebrow. 'So that's what she's gotten upset about?' he thought with amusement. Vegeta smirked. "What? Are you worried that you're a pedophile?"

ChiChi's face became red and she shook with fury. "Why you!" she shouted, advancing upon Vegeta.

Goku quickly moved in-between the two and held her arms out as a barricade. "Vegeta, stop being a jerk, and ChiChi, calm down. He's just trying to get a rise out of you. Gokou isn't a child. We have more important matters to worry about!"

Master Roshi snickered and said, "Yeah, ChiChi, don't get your panties in a bunch. Cougars can be sexy too you know."

"You lech!" she shouted, bringing up her arm and smacking his face.

The Following Day:

Judging by the way things were going the day before, Goku assumed that everything could only get better today. She was wrong. It had never occurred to her that the symptoms of pregnancy might rear its ugly head. She was positive she wouldn't get swollen feet – she was used to carrying extra weight around – but she hadn't really thought of anything else.

She woke up that morning in a groggy haze. Out of habit, she glanced at the opposite end of the bed. The sheets were kicked to the edge and there was no Vegeta in sight. She immediately detected the sound of water pittering and pattering coming from inside the bathroom. The sound – for some odd reason that Goku couldn't begin to understand – seemed a lot louder than usual. It was actually extremely obnoxious. She was very rapidly waking up and equally as abruptly she was obtaining an ear-splitting headache.

She touched her fingers to her forehead and groaned. She realized that her skin felt moist and clammy. The temperature of the look-out was usually a few degrees cooler than normal – being at such a high altitude and all. It didn't make sense that she was sweating.

She felt the sudden desire to splash cold water on her face. That would certainly feel good! She hopped off of the bed and was struck with a sudden case of vertigo. She stumbled around on her feet and shook her head as if to clear up her muddled brain. The room was spinning around as if she were on a carrousel. She felt dizzy and hot and sticky. Suddenly, she felt her gut clench and she gagged.

'Oh crap!' she thought, tripping over her feet as she frantically sought out the bathroom.

Her hands tugged at the doorknob. It was stuck. She jiggled it around in her fingers. It still wouldn't budge. It was definitely locked! She pounded on the door. She feared to open her mouth and speak, lest she lose control and regurgitate all over the plush carpet.

"Occupied!" Vegeta shouted back at her.

Goku gagged again and had to swallow some bile that had risen into the back of her throat. She winced from the acidic aftertaste and pounded harder on the door, causing the wood to splinter around her fists.

"If you wanted to get naked with me, you should have woken up at a decent time," Vegeta replied mockingly.

That was it! She couldn't hold it in any longer! She backed up a few inches away from the door and kicked her bare foot against it, sending it flying off its hinges and crashing into the sink on the opposite end of the bathroom. She sprinted past an extremely puzzled looking Vegeta and onward toward the bathroom's great porcelain throne. She fell to her knees and immediately commenced in retching into the toilet.

Vegeta stood frozen in shock. "Kakarrot?" he muttered.

Goku groaned and lifted her head away from the toilet bowl. She inelegantly wiped her mouth with her forearm and turned to look at Vegeta with an exhausted expression.

"Yeah…" she murmured.

"Are you… alright?" he asked.

Goku blinked at him with a dumbstruck expression. "Yeah, why wouldn't I be?" she asked.

Vegeta smacked his face with the palm of his hand in apparent agitation. "Well, gee, I don't know… maybe because you just barreled in here and nearly upchucked your entrails into my toilet, hmm?"

Goku raised an eyebrow at him derisively. "Your toilet?" she said. Goku shook her head and smiled. "Never mind," she muttered. "Anyway, I feel like a million bucks now!"

Vegeta narrowed his eyes at Goku speculatively. "I'm going to ask the loud-mouthed woman about this. She'll know what to do," Vegeta muttered, mostly to himself.

Goku vehemently shook her head no. "You don't have to do… that…" Her face suddenly became very pale again and she touched her fingers to her forehead. "Not again…" she muttered. "Oh Kami!" she bellowed, shifting around to the face the toilet again. She gagged a few times before admitting, "Maybe you should get some help, Vegeta."

Bulma had never gone to sleep the previous night. She stayed up all night trying to work the kinks out of her new invention. She had really made herself excited about it and she was losing a lot of winks this last week, but she chose to pull an all-nighter because of what happened the day before. She had absolutely no clue when Gokou was going to be finished with his training with King Kai – she hoped soon – but either way, it didn't matter. She was going to finish her invention as soon as possible. It wouldn't just come in handy for Gokou. It would be a godsend for her newfound Son, Trunks. It would also help Vegeta. They could heal themselves much sooner in the Room of Spirit and Time with her new invention. They would progress in their training much quicker. Add that all up, and Bulma was hoping to give them the upper hand over Cell when the time would come for the tournament.

It was a difficult feat to accomplish – staying up all night. It was especially trying when she hadn't been getting a regular amount of sleep all week. She literally had been living off of caffeine. She would take a smoke break to calm herself now and again when she found herself getting jittery and antsy. Now was about the time to have a cigarette, but she was really getting close to finishing something she'd started an hour ago so she decided to suffer through it.

Vegeta strode noiselessly into the room and snapped, "Woman, I need your assistance immediately!"

The sudden break in the silence scared the living daylights out of Bulma. She nearly jumped out of her skin. She knocked over a beaker with a sample of her restoration liquid in it. Gravity inevitably dragged it down to the tile flooring, and it smashed to shards upon contact. The liquid splashed up onto Bulma's pant legs and sprayed little puddles all over the floor.

Bulma veered around to face the intruder head-on. "You idiot!" she shouted, pointing an accusatory finger at Vegeta.

Vegeta harrumphed and crossed his brawny arms. "What? Are you angry because you smashed your little experiment? Need I point out to you that I'm not the klutz who knocked it off the countertop?

Bulma narrowed her eyes at him. "Ass…" she muttered, turning her back on him as she began to pluck out the larger shards of glass and plop them into a dustpan. "What do you want?"

"I demand your assistance," Vegeta replied.

Bulma rolled her eyes and cursed as she pricked her finger on a piece of glass. "Good. We've cleared that up. I can tell you what I'm not going to do: help you."

Vegeta glared at the back of her head. "Why not?"

Bulma chuckled to herself. "Because you have no manners. If you say please, I might change my mind."

He was definitely not going to lower himself to that sort of behavior! "Fine! I don't need your help," Vegeta grumbled, beginning to walk toward the exit door.

Bulma ran her slender fingers through her ocean-blue hair and she exhaled a weary sigh. 'I can't believe I'm going to condone his childish attitude, but… it could be something serious,' she thought. "Wait," she said exasperatedly.

Vegeta paused inside the doorframe. A smirk tugged the edges of his lips upward, but she couldn't see it. She could only see his backside. "Yes?"

Bulma couldn't comprehend why she was doing this. 'I must have fallen off my rocker' she thought sarcastically. "What is it you need?"

"Kakarrot is vomiting," he declared and then asked, "what should I do?"

Bulma rested the tip of her forefinger on her chin with a look of deep thought reflecting from her face. She tapped her finger up and down and hummed, "Hmm…"

"Well," Vegeta pressed onward.

Bulma smiled. "It's definitely morning sickness," she proclaimed. "You have nothing to worry about!"

Vegeta turned around to face Bulma. "You're kidding me, right? I know what it is you dolt! I was asking what to do about it!"

Bulma arched an eyebrow at him in slight annoyance. "Oh really? Well, sorry your majesty! There's nothing you can do about it. It's a natural thing."

Vegeta just stared at her blankly. "What type of genius are you? You can't even come up with a cure for morning sickness! You're pathetic!" he spat.

"Aw… are you getting upset? Are you cranky because you can't stand to see the love of your life in such pain and discomfort? You're becoming so soft, Vegeta," Bulma said mockingly.

Vegeta took her words to heart. "H – how dare you!" he stammered. "I am most certainly not becoming soft! I am the Prince of all Saiyans! I am the strongest man in the universe! What ails Kakarrot doesn't bother me in the least! The sound of her gagging is getting on my nerves, that's all!"

Bulma had to suppress her urge to laugh. "Oh really…" she said. "Well, I was going to say that I don't have a cure, but I know of something that can help her feel a little bit better. She walked over to a mini-refrigerator and pulled out a large bottle of grapefruit juice. "I just happen to have it right here too, but… it won't help you, Vegeta. It will help Goku feel better, but it won't get rid of the vomiting."

Bulma jiggled the container of juice. She eyed the remnants of it. "Looks like there's only one serving left… since you don't want it… I'm feeling kind of thirsty."

Vegeta was in her face in less than a millisecond. His hands wrapped themselves around the carton and he snatched it from Bulma's grasp. Bulma stifled another giggle and chose to quirk an eyebrow at him instead. "I thought what ails 'Kakarrot' doesn't bother you, Vegeta," Bulma said with a sly smile inching its way onto her lips.

Vegeta humphed and stomped toward the door. "That is none of your concern!" he snapped, slamming the door behind him.

The instant the door was shut, Bulma muttered, "What a dork." She laughed and her attention returned back to cleaning up the mess she had made.

Vegeta emerged in the bathroom with a cup full of the grapefruit juice. Goku was sitting cross-legged by the toilet. "Hey Vegeta," she said with an exhausted sounding voice. "What you got there?"

"The loud-mouthed woman said this would help with the morning sickness," he said, bringing the glass up to his nose and taking a good, long whiff of it. His nose immediately scrunched up in distaste, and he held it as far away from his body as possible.

"Blech!" he exclaimed. "That smells repulsive! What is this, poison?"

Goku shifted her body forward and reached her arm out to take hold of the cup. Vegeta relinquished his grasp on it but added, "Maybe you shouldn't drink that stuff. She may be trying to kill you."

Goku chuckled and said, "That's ridiculous, Vegeta." She took a sip of the drink and smacked her lips from the tart taste of it. "It's grapefruit juice, silly!"

Vegeta crossed his arms stubbornly and glanced off to the side. "No, Kakarrot, it's poison," he argued stubbornly.

Goku smiled and replied, "Whatever you say." She gulped it down quickly and wiped her mouth with her fist. "That was really yummy."

Vegeta made a funny face at her. "What is wrong with you?"

The following day, Goku was feeling much better. She was still having trouble finding activities to keep her occupied. The only things she was allowed to do were the things she didn't like doing or just couldn't do and didn't want to learn how: cooking, cleaning, sewing… etc.

Goku sat at the edge of the lookout and gazed off in the distance. It was kind of invigorating seeing the whole world expanding outward below you. It really made her want to do anything but just sit there. She wanted to do something physical. It didn't have to be training; she'd be content with flying at this point.

Goku shook her head as if it could clear up her thoughts. 'What should I do?' she wondered. She rested her chin on her fist and stared hard at the clouds. 'I guess I can… no… or maybe… no that won't work either. C'mon Goku, think, think, think. If I don't figure out something to do and quick, ChiChi's going to try and get me to sew clothes and stuff again!'

Goku suddenly snapped her fingers. It was as if a light bulb had been turned on in her head. 'I know!' she thought ecstatically, 'I can't train my body, but nobody's stopping me from training my mind! Heh, maybe I can learn how to make Cell blow up with awesome mind powers or something!' Goku laughed a little. 'Alright, all I need is peace and quiet.'

Goku sat listening for any background noise. There were no birds chirping. It was much too high for them. As far as she knew, she was the only one out on the overhang. Everyone else was still inside. 'Alright! I have it all to myself!' Goku thought, closing her eyes and assuming a look of concentration, but of course, that didn't last for long:

"Hey Goku!" she heard sharply in her ear. She was nearly startled out of her wits. She turned around with a defeated look and said, "Hey Yamcha."

Yamcha was smiling. He flexed his biceps and said, "Hey, do these look any bigger?"

Goku stared at his flexed arms with a dumbfounded expression on her face. "Uh…" she murmured. "Yes?"

Yamcha did a quick fist pump and said, "Yeah, right on!"

"Why do you ask?" Goku questioned curiously.

"Well, I was wondering if my training with Krillin paid off or not. I feel stronger, but do I look stronger? I mean, look at Vegeta: he's so strong and intimidating. What's Cell going to think of me? I need to look formidable too," Yamcha explained.

Goku frowned slightly. "I don't get what you mean," she said honestly.

"What? How can't you get it?" he asked.

"Well, so what if Cell doesn't think you're a threat to his welfare? I mean, if he disregards you, he'll have his guard down when you fight him. It will give you an advantage you didn't even have to work for," Goku explained.

Yamcha's mouth hung agape with astonishment clearly written on his face. "You know what, you're really smart sometimes."

Goku beamed at him. "Really? Gee thanks!"

Yamcha sat down cross-legged next to her. He lowered his tone of voice a notch or two. "Hey, has Bulma said anything to you about me recently?" he asked.

Goku sat quietly and thought about it for a minute. "No."

Yamcha smacked his thigh in disappointment. "Dang it!"

Goku quirked an eyebrow at him out of curiosity and asked, "Do you want her to be talking about you?"

Yamcha sighed exasperatedly and said, "Well, I was hoping that she'd forgive me. She normally does, but she's being really stubborn this time. Every time I try to approach her she calls me skeevy."

Goku laughed. "Well that's kind of a cool sounding nickname, don't ya' think?"

Yamcha ran the palm of his hand over his face in frustration. "You don't understand, Goku. It means that I'm a creepy pervert."

Goku laughed again and said, "Yeah that sounds like Bulma. Maybe you should do something nice for her. Whenever ChiChi was mad at me, I'd help her with the laundry or the dishes or something and that always made her really happy."

Yamcha seemed genuinely interested now. "You know what, that sounds like a good idea. But… what could I do for her that she would like… I've already tried flowers and chocolates multiple times. I don't think that's working. She usually ends up tossing them in my face or something. Goku, you're a girl now. You think like one now, right?"

Goku shrugged her shoulders. "I don't know," she said. "Girls are really weird… they kind of confuse me. I don't think I act like one of them."

Yamcha sighed dejectedly again. "Well, never mind," he muttered. "Just out of curiosity though, what would you want if someone made you mad?"

Goku grinned and said, "Well, food of course!"

"Yeah… I don't think that will help in my situation," Yamcha replied earnestly.

'Now that that's over, I can get a move on with my mental training!' Goku thought giddily. "Well, it was nice talking to Yamcha. If you want, you can meditate with me."

Before Yamcha had the opportunity to answer, ChiChi interrupted him. She came storming out onto the deck of the lookout and she look like she was furious. She stomped up to Goku, grabbed her by the upper arm and dragged her onto her feet.

"We have a big problem," she announced, pulling Goku behind her.

It was all happening so suddenly, Goku nearly tripped over her own feet. She shot ChiChi a quick puzzled look and asked "Where are we going?"

"You need to set something straight with our son!" ChiChi shouted. "I told you not to get him involved with your ridiculous martial arts. I told you it was a horrible idea, and now he's just like you! He won't listen to me!"

Goku furrowed her eyebrows together in befuddlement. "I don't understand what you're saying," she said.

Goku was pulled into the common room. Once she was inside, she could see that Gohan was standing next to Piccolo in the center of the room. Piccolo had his arms crossed and he appraised Goku with his steely gaze. Goku frowned and asked, "What's going on in here? Gohan, why is your Mother so upset?"

Gohan bit his lip anxiously. "Dad, I don't want to upset anybody. I just want to help, that's all."

Goku smiled and said, "Of course you do, Gohan. That's understandable." Goku ruffled Gohan's spiky hair with the palm of her hand. "So, why don't you tell me what's on your mind?"

Gohan stood perfectly erect and stared his father directly in the eyes. "I've decided that I'm going to train in the Room of Spirit and Time with Mr. Piccolo so that I can be strong enough to protect you and Mom from Cell."

Goku smiled again, but this time, it seemed a little off beat. "I'm proud of you Son. I'm so grateful that you've been raised so well and that you want to help get rid of this monster. I just… I think I have to take your Mother's side on this one. It's too dangerous."

Gohan was shocked silent for a moment. He shook his head in disbelief. "What?" he cried. "Dad! I don't care if it's dangerous! I want to help! No, I'm going to help!"

"Gohan, I don't feel right sending you out there without me being there with you," Goku replied with a forced appearance of calm.

"So… this is because…" Gohan muttered, "… because you don't think I'm strong enough to protect myself?"

Goku waved the palms of her hands in front of her face and said, "No, no, it isn't like that! Gohan, I know how strong you are! You have infinite potential, but…"

"But what?" Gohan argued. "I'm just a kid – is that what you were going to say? Dad, you defeated Piccolo Daimao when you were twelve! I want to do this! Please, Dad! I will train so hard. I'll become really strong! I can do this! Please, have faith in me!"

Goku was at a loss for words. Gohan was right. If she refused to allow him to have his chance at proving himself like this, then she would be a total hypocrite. After all, wasn't she the one who had encouraged it from the start? Sure, Piccolo started it, but she was on the same page as him. It just felt so wrong sending your child into the battlefield. She wouldn't be there to protect him. She didn't know if she could bear knowing that. She suddenly saw things ChiChi's way for once. She understood now how ChiChi could be the way she was from time to time.

Goku exhaled a shaky breath. "Can I talk to you in private, Piccolo?" she asked.

"Sure," Piccolo responded.

They walked out of earshot and Goku said, "I have to let him do this, don't I?"

Piccolo crossed his arms. "Why are you asking me?"

"You're a big influence on him, Piccolo. You're really close to him. Tell me: should I let him do this?" Goku asked.

Piccolo thought about it for a moment. "I think you should let him fight if he wants to."

Goku frowned. "That's what I thought you'd say. Please, promise me that you'll have his back while I'm not around!"

Piccolo rested a hand on Goku's shoulder. "You and I may have had our differences, but I respect some of your principles. I like that kid. I won't let anyone get near him."

Goku smiled. She felt a little bit relieved. "Thank you," she said earnestly.

They returned to the others moments later and Goku announced her news: "You can train with Piccolo."

Gohan smiled and asked, "Really?"

"What!" ChiChi shrieked. "Are you crazy?"

Goku laughed and replied, "No ChiChi, I'm not. I know what Gohan is capable of. I respect his wishes, and I trust him in Piccolo's hands."

Gohan's smile broadened and his eyes glistened as he said, "Thank you, Dad!"

"But, there is one condition," Piccolo interrupted.

Goku was startled. "Huh?" she mumbled, looking for some sort of answer displayed on Piccolo's face. He just smirked at her.

"You won't be going to the arena where the Cell games are being held," Piccolo explained.

Gohan furrowed his eyebrows together in confusion. "Then what's the point of training?"

"You will be protecting your Mother and Father. You'll be with them. That's what you wanted, remember?" Piccolo asked.

Gohan smiled and shook his head. "Yeah, yeah… that's definitely what I want."

Goku caught on to what Piccolo was doing. She mouthed a silent thank you to him. He nodded his head in acknowledgement. She then said, "Yeah, Gohan. You'll be Earth's final defense. You have the most important job!" 'What are the chances of Cell defeating Vegeta, Piccolo, Trunks, Gokou… well everyone? At least if he does, Gohan will be able to protect himself.'

Gohan smiled and admitted, "Yeah, I guess so."

The moment was interrupted by Krillin barging into the room. "You guys, great news! Gokou's back!"

"Wh – what?" Goku stammered and then did a quick double-take, "What?"

"Yeah!" Krillin exclaimed. "He just transported onto the lookout!"

"There's no way…" Goku murmured under her breathe. "It's only been…" Goku paused to count on her fingers, "thirteen days! I hope he didn't kill Dende from exhaustion!"

"I don't know, I guess we'll just have ask him then," Krillin suggested with a laugh.

A/N: So what do you think? Did Gokou finish his training with King Kai? Who do you think will defeat Cell… or will he be defeated? :) And just what the heck is Yamcha up to? Hmm… I hope this area of the story doesn't seem rushed, I'm just really excited to get to the Cell games! It's going to be really fun to write that part :). Thanks so much for all of the awesome reviews you guys! I hope you enjoyed this Goku/Vegeta moment :)! Zi-Dawg, your review made me crack up laughing. I can totally picture Gir singing the Doom Song while Cell is on air! Thank you biganimefan84 and Writer of the Light for the baby name contributions. I'm writing all of the ideas on a list. Maybe if it gets long enough I'll make a poll and you guys can choose? Any who, I'll shut up now so that I can post this! :)

*Chapter 47*: Identity Crisis and Birthday Party!

Disclaimer: I don't own DB/Z/GT.

Female Goku = Goku; Male = Gokou.

Chapter 47: Identity Crisis and Birthday Party Yippee!

Goku was somewhat skeptical that Gokou had finished his training with King Kai already. Sure, she had been certain that having Dende there to heal him would do wonders with speeding up the training, but this was just ridiculous! So, needless to say, when she and the others gathered onto the edge of the lookout to meet up with Gokou, she was taken aback with surprise.

Gokou flashed them a bright and cheerful smile. He waved his hands in the air ecstatically and announced, "I'm back, you guys!"

King Kai was not accompanying him. This assured Goku that her male counterpart had truly learned the instant transmission technique. That was a highly impressive feat on its own. Gohan walked up beside Goku and gazed at the man standing on the ledge of the lookout.

Gohan's eyebrows twitched uncertainly. Perhaps he didn't know what to feel in this case. "D – Dad…" he stammered, "welcome back."

Goku assumed that Gohan had called Gokou dad out of common courtesy and out of respect for his elders. Gokou was biologically his dad too. Though, it felt awkward to hear Gohan address him as his father. Goku felt a slight pang of jealousy. She realized that she didn't feel comfortable with Gohan thinking of anyone else as his father.

Goku shook her head as if to clear her muddled thoughts. 'No!' she thought with resolve. 'This is my doing. I'm going to have to bite the bullet. Gohan deserves to have a 'real' male role-model in his life, and I don't think that Vegeta is going to be up to the task.'

Krillin approached Gokou and slapped him on the back while saying, "Hey buddy! It's so great to finally have you back!"

"It's great to be back, Krillin!" Gokou replied. "Though, I still have a lot of training to do."

ChiChi shook herself out of her shocked stupor. She ran up to Gokou and gave him an endearing hug. "Oh Gokou, I've missed you. I have to show you all of the new baby clothing I've sewn!" ChiChi paused, seemingly distracted by something. She poked his bicep and blushed. "Oh my, you have been working hard, haven't you?"

Gokou scratched the back of his head in his usual mannerism. "Well, yeah, Chi… I guess I have."

Yamcha came out onto the lookout, seemingly drawn in to the commotion. His face lit up when he saw the new arrival. "Hey Gokou my man! You're done with your training with King Kai already?"

Gokou laughed sheepishly and nodded his head.

"Awesome! Bulma's not finished with her healing gizmo, so you can't go into the Room of Spirit and Time just yet. I was thinking, now that you've learned kaio-ken, maybe we could spar together while you wait for Bulma to finish her invention? I'm not nearly as strong as Vegeta, so I should be a good match for you."

Gokou smiled and eagerly replied, "That sounds great! Boy this Vegeta guy sounds really strong! I can't wait to fight him!"

Goku found herself startled by the sudden sound of Vegeta's voice. He unexpectedly appeared right beside her. "You're mistaken; you must mean you can't wait to be humiliated by me."

Gokou's eyes locked onto Vegeta's face with a somewhat puzzled looking expression. He laughed nervously and replied. "That's not what I was planning on."

Vegeta spat on the ground and said, "You're weak! You wouldn't hold a candle to my superior strength!"

Goku decided that this was her prime opportunity to try to quench the flames of this surmounting fire. "He might not be as strong as you now Vegeta, but he isn't finished training yet. He's going to go into the Hyperbolic Time Chamber with Trunks first, and then I was hoping you would train in there a second time with him afterward."

It was then that Goku realized that she may have just thrown oil into the fire by accident. She was kind of planning to suggest this idea to Vegeta when he was being good tempered. Now was certainly not the best time to be asking a favor of him.

"No way in hell am I training that insufferable, poor excuse of a Saiyan!" Vegeta snapped stubbornly.

"You can't really mean that, Vegeta," Goku replied with a pleading tone.

"I will never help that man!" Vegeta retorted.

Gokou just stood silently, appraising their conversation in bewildered silence. He couldn't figure out why this Vegeta guy seemed to hate him so much. What had he ever done to him?

Goku shot Gokou a quick, reassuring smile. She waved her hand at Vegeta dismissively. "Don't listen to him. He's just grumpy, that's all. He doesn't mean it!"

Vegeta had had enough of this by now. "Come here, woman." He grabbed Goku by her forearm and nearly dragged her behind himself as he stalked away.

Goku ripped her arm away from him and said, "I'm capable of following you of my own free will," with a somewhat irritated tone of voice.

Vegeta just harrumphed and kept walking away from the crowd that had gathered on the lookout. When they were out of earshot, he finally spoke up. "Just what in the hell do you think you're doing, Kakarrot?" he hissed.

Goku was completely bemused. "I'm trying to get the Earth some good insurance. What's so wrong with that? Why are you so angry all of a sudden?"

Vegeta rubbed the palm of his hand against his face in agitation. "We've discussed this already," he said bluntly.

Goku frowned slightly and replied, "No we haven't."

Rage sparked in Vegeta's eyes. "Yes, we have!" he argued. "Why do you need him to fight your battles for you? I am the strongest being in the universe! Why can't you believe that? Are you that full of yourself? Well, I have news for you, Kakarrot: I will prove it to you!"

Goku sighed exasperatedly. "I didn't mean it to come out that way. I know how strong you are, Vegeta. I just don't want to place all of my eggs in one basket."

Vegeta chuckled derisively. "See?" he snapped. "There you go, you're doing it again! You think that he will become stronger than me! You still think that you're better than me! I am the Prince of all of the Saiyans damn-it! It is my birthright to be the strongest!"

Goku shook her head in disappointment. "You're acting just like they were," she muttered somberly.

Vegeta's eyebrows drew together in frustration. "Who are you talking about? What are you talking about?"

"ChiChi, Krillin, Yamcha…" Goku murmured. "They're starting to think that he's me."

Vegeta frowned. He was puzzled by her words. "He is you."

Goku shook her head again. "We aren't exactly like each other. He hasn't been through everything I've had to deal with. He doesn't know everything I know. He hasn't forged relationships like I have. He's only been married to ChiChi for a short while. He didn't spend years with her, but she's acting as if he's me. Krillin is talking to him like he used to talk to me… before the accident… before it became awkward. Gohan called him Dad, Dad, Vegeta! That man is not his Dad! I'm his Dad!"

Vegeta stood frozen in shock. He hadn't a clue Goku had been feeling like this. She always seemed so happy.

Goku laughed sarcastically. "Earlier today, Yamcha was asking me for relationship advice! Me! Since when did I become the go-to-guy for relationship tips? I'm the guy that married a woman I didn't even know!"

Vegeta rested the palm of his hand on Goku's shoulder and said, "You aren't a man anymore, Kakarrot. It's obvious that some people are going to treat you differently. They're going to think of you differently. Either way, I don't see why I have anything to do with this."

"Vegeta, don't you see? You hate him! You hate him and you don't even know him! You treat him like you used to treat me! You haven't even sparred with him yet and you're already thinking of him as your rival. He isn't me!" Goku shouted.

Vegeta's eyes widened in alarm. She was right. She was totally right. "You have point. He wasn't the man who surpassed me. He wasn't the man who stole my birthright from me. You were that man. I see you differently now. I don't despise you like I did in the past. I suppose, when I saw him, he looks and acts so much like the old you that I assumed he was the man whom I had loathed."

Goku absentmindedly reached up and touched Vegeta's ebony hair. "Do you feel… threatened by him?"

For the umpteenth time that day, Vegeta was taken aback. He didn't know what to say. It would be a lie if he told her no. Of course he felt threatened by the guy! He was a younger version of Goku who had learned kaio-ken and instant transmission much quicker than the original – albeit he had some help. Nevertheless, there was no way he couldn't feel threatened by Gokou. Gokou had so much potential. It would be foolish of Vegeta to think that his title as the strongest wasn't in danger of being relinquished. That was exactly why he didn't want to train him! Vegeta refused to affirm that he felt threatened by Gokou, at least, not in front of Goku. He would not degrade himself like that. Vegeta chose not to respond to her inquiry.

Goku nodded her head in understanding. She knew Vegeta well enough to conclude the answer for herself.

"You know," she said. "I feel threatened by him – not in the same manner that you do, but I do nonetheless."

Vegeta raised an eyebrow out of curiosity. "Why do you feel threatened by him?"

Goku was unusually quiet for a minute. She was staring at the ground in shame. She shook her head and said, "Never mind."

Vegeta cradled her chin in his hands and upturned her face to look into her eyes. "Tell me."

"I'm a bad person, Vegeta," she murmured, her tone of voice barely audible.

Vegeta shook his head in disagreement. He kept his eyes staring straight at her. "No, Kakarrot. You are a very good person. You're perhaps too good. Now, tell me what is on your mind."

Goku sighed and conceded, "Oh, alright. I feel like he's taking my family and friends away from me… not intentionally… oh I don't know. I just, I don't want Gohan to stop thinking of me as his father! I don't like when people talk to him like they used to talk to me. I don't want Krillin to think of him as his best friend and not me. I don't want him to be your rival, Vegeta. Believe it or not, I like being your rival. I feel like he's stealing my identity. Who am I if I'm not me, if I'm not the real Son Goku? I'm nobody! Oh Vegeta, I'm so selfish!"

Vegeta vigorously shook his head. "No, Kakarrot! You of all people aren't selfish! You're probably the most selfless person I've ever met. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I really don't think that your friends – no matter how foolish and weak they are – would be so shallow as to replace you with him just because he resembles the Goku they'd come know. You and he are different, and if they haven't recognized it yet, they will eventually. You share memories with those people that he will never have. You are two different people with similar dispositions and morals. But you're also very dissimilar. For instance, the sound of his voice is so irritating it gives me the urge to deck him in the face whenever I hear it. However, your voice is very lovely. That's kind of an insignificant example, but there are many more where that came from if you want me to list them all."

Goku genuinely smiled. "No, that's alright. Thanks Vegeta, I really needed that!"

"Good, you feel better now," Vegeta stated with grin. "I feel that it's necessary for me to point out to you that my therapy sessions don't come free."

Goku laughed and asked, "Are you saying that… you're charging me for making me feel better?"

"Yes, Kakarrot, I am," he replied soberly. "You know, not all of us are as selfless as you. I just want a small payment to recompense my valuable time."

Goku frowned slightly in confusion. "But I don't have any money…"

Vegeta leered at Goku and admitted, "That wasn't the sort of compensation I had in mind."

Goku's face flushed red and she was about to respond to him when they were suddenly interrupted by Gohan.

Gohan walked up behind Goku and tapped on her shoulder while saying, "Excuse me."

Goku hadn't been paying attention and she let out a startled yelp and jumped forward on jittery feet. She nearly slammed into Vegeta. She could hear Vegeta and Gohan laughing at her reaction.

She turned to look at Gohan and he smiled at her. "I didn't mean to scare you so much, Dad."

For the second time that day, Goku's face flushed as red as a tomato. "I – I wasn't scared!" she stammered. "I didn't know you were there."

Gohan clicked his tongue and feigned a look of reproof. "But Dad wasn't it you who told me to always keep my guard up no matter what?"

Goku tapped her finger on her chin thoughtfully. "Nope, I think that was Piccolo, but I know that I'll heed his advice from now on."

Gohan laughed again. "Yeah, Dad, next time I'm gonna have a camera."

Goku smiled and said, "So what's up kiddo?" 'Oh man, I'm already getting rusty. Why didn't I have my guard up? Cell could show up at any time. I would have been a gonner!'

"I came to tell you that Piccolo and I are going into the Hyperbolic Time Chamber now," Gohan explained.

Goku's eyebrows furrowed together in frustration. 'Why wasn't I using my ki senses? It's comes so easily to me… I have no excuse not to use them! Did Vegeta sense him coming? He must have, Vegeta is always on guard. Do I let my senses down when Vegeta is around? Do I really trust him with my life?'

Gohan raised an eyebrow at his father. "Um… Earth to Dad, do you copy?"

Goku shook her head and said, "Oh I'm so sorry, Gohan! What were you saying? I was distracted by… something…"

Gohan shrugged his shoulders and replied, "I said that I'm leaving to train with Piccolo now. I know it's only going to be a day for you, but it'll be a whole year for me. I wanted to say good bye because I'm going to miss you a lot!"

"Y – you will?" Goku mumbled, mostly to herself.

Gohan looked bemused, but smiled and said, "Of course, Dad! I wish you could be in there with me!"

Goku beamed at her son and said, "Really? Wow, thanks Gohan. I wish I could train with you too, but I'm sure Piccolo's going to do a great job! I won't even be able to recognize you when you come out."

Gohan laughed and said, "It's only a year, Dad!"

"Yeah," Goku agreed with a thoughtful look upon her face. "You know what?"

"What?" he asked.

"You can't train yet," Goku said in a matter-of-fact tone of voice.

"Why not?" Gohan asked, confusion becoming apparent on his face.

"Because!" Goku replied with a laugh, "We still need to celebrate your 11th birthday!"

Gohan tried to wave the subject off as casually as he could muster. "Dad, I'm not 11 yet."

Goku nodded her head in agreement. "Yes, but I'm going to miss your birthday. So, I want to celebrate it before you go in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber. Besides, your Mother would be devastated if we didn't!"

Gohan scratched the back of his head nervously – truly his father's son. He blushed. He broke and said, "Oh alright, Dad."

The following day was spent in preparation for Gohan's 11th birthday. Bulma and ChiChi were in charge of the miniature birthday party. Much to Mr. Popo's displeasure, ChiChi was manning the kitchen all morning long with the doors locked. A big sign was tacked on the door that warned 'no trespassers' in bright red. Nobody dared ignore the sign, even Goku, who would normally sneak in to steal a tasty morsel.

Gohan was told to stay holed up in his room until the decorations were complete. Krillin was in charge of setting up the table and chairs. Bulma was in charge of making the happy birthday signs, and Trunks was in charge of hanging the birthday signs. Gokou had gone to the South Pole to cut out a huge piece of ice. He instant transmitted it back to the lookout and he and Tien went to work at carving out some sort of barely recognizable statue figure.

Vegeta was off training halfway across the globe. Master Roshi decided to stay out of everyone's way and innocently read War and Peace. Bulma did her best to ignore the pages of the porn magazine sticking out around the edges of Master Roshi's book.

Goku was in charge of the streamers, and boy was that a bad idea. It was a breezy day and streamers were flying every which-way across the lookout. They were tangled in Goku's hair and some were wrapped around her torso and neck. It looked as if they were strangling her. Bulma was trying to ignore that as well.

Though, this wasn't too big of a deal. Streamers weren't all that important. What was important were the balloons. It was Yamcha's job to inflate the balloons, and boy was he having a time of it! He was inhaling the helium and talking in a funny voice. He was trying to be amusing… though the only person who was laughing was Goku. In fact, she kind of wanted to do it herself.

Yamcha's job was so cool. She wanted to blow up the balloons, but she got stuck with the murderous streamers instead. Yamcha was also in charge of making balloon animals. Unfortunately, he didn't have any prior experience in this department. The only animal he'd actually managed to make was a snake or a worm… either or.

Yamcha approached Goku with something hidden being his back. He had a smirk on his face. Goku raised an eyebrow at him and stood on her tiptoes to try and peak over his shoulder.

"What you got – " she began, being cut off immediately by his hand covering her mouth.

His other hand rose to his face and he brought his index finger up to his lips. "Shhh…"

He retracted his hand from her mouth and displayed what he had hidden. It was one of the balloons. Goku quirked an eyebrow at it with a dumbfounded expression upon her face.

"What type of animal is that supposed to be?" she asked.

Yamcha crossed his arms and grumbled, "It isn't supposed to be an animal."

"Then what is it?"

"A flower," he said. He pointed at a portion. "That's the stem," and then he pointed at one end, "those are the petals. See?"

Goku furrowed her eyebrows together and frowned. "I guess? But shouldn't it have more than two petals?"

Yamcha blushed and replied, "Well, I… uh… couldn't figure out how to make more than two loops without popping the balloon."


"I made it for Bulma. Do you think she'll like it? Do you think that it's 'romantic'?" he asked.

Goku sighed. 'Oh not that again… how should I know?' "Yeah, she'll like it," Goku replied with a shrug. "I don't see why she wouldn't. You put effort into it." 'Yeah, that sounds like I know what I'm talking about.'

Yamcha smiled and turned away. He began to approach Bulma an air of determination. As if sensing him, Bulma swiveled on heel and surveyed him wearily. "What do you want now, skeevy?" she asked in an exasperated tone of voice.

Krillin laughed and Yamcha shot him a quick warning glare. "I am not skeevy, Bulma!" he defended.

Bulma sighed. "What do you want?"

It was then that Bulma noticed Yamcha hiding something behind his back. Yamcha's face flushed red in embarrassment. "Well, I… uh…"

"Whatya' hiding, Yamcha?" she asked.

"It's just a little something I made for the most beautiful woman on Earth," he replied with a smile.

Bulma's eyes widened in astonishment and her mouth hung agape. After a moment of shock, she shook her head and sharply said, "No, I'm not falling for your smooth talking anymore!"

"Take it as you will, but I made this for you because you are the only person in this world that I can think of who is more beautiful than a flower." With that said, he displayed his handiwork.

Bulma's jaw dropped again. Her face went ashen at first and then it quickly heated up with anger. She was seeing red. "Is this some kind of joke?" she asked with a hoarse voice. "Go back to Mars, jackass!" she shouted, shoving the balloon onto his face and smothering it until it popped.

"Ouch!" Yamcha muttered. "What was that for?"

Bulma stomped her foot. "That's it. Goku, you're now officially on balloon duty. Yamcha, you're doing streamers! Try not to screw that up!"

Bulma huffed and then strode a good distance away from Yamcha to regain her good sense. Yamcha just stood in shock, blinking at her departure. "What did I do? Was it something I said?"

"You can stop screwing around now Yamcha. We got the joke," Krillin said.

"Joke? What joke?" Yamcha asked.

Krillin quirked an eyebrow in confusion. "You mean… that was really supposed to look like a flower?"

"Yes!" Yamcha exclaimed. "What did I do wrong?"

"Dude," Krillin muttered, shaking his head in disbelief, "it looked like a good illustration of the male genitals to me. I mean, who makes a flower with two loops? If you couldn't even get that part right, couldn't you have at least put some leaves on the stem? I mean, that just looked wrong!"

Yamcha stood frozen still for a moment. A look of realization was quickly dawning upon his face. "No…" he mumbled incoherently. "But Krillin!" he exclaimed. "I really meant for it to look like a flower. I just couldn't make more than two petals without it… oh forget it…"

Goku trotted up to Yamcha with an ecstatic look upon her face. She began pulling out the streamers tangled in her hair and around her neck and limps. She handed them over to Yamcha with a grin and an accompanied, "Here ya' go!"

Yamcha frowned slightly. "Goku, you thought it looked like a flower, right?"

Goku patted Yamcha's back sympathetically. "Sure Yamcha. Just remember, it's the thought that counts."

Yamcha rolled his eyes. "Not when it pisses the girl off it doesn't."

ChiChi brought Gohan out of his room. She blindfolded him and directed him toward their little party set-up. Everyone had gathered together and was smiling as they anxiously awaited his arrival. ChiChi and Gohan finally arrived. She pulled him to a stop and lifted up the blindfold.

Gohan was immediately assaulted by a chorus of "happy birthday!" and a solitary "surprise!". Everyone immediately glanced around to see who had said it. It was Gokou.

ChiChi smacked her face in playful frustration and said, "Gokou, Hun, you don't say 'surprise!' if the birthday boy already knows he's being thrown a birthday party!"

Gokou laughed sheepishly and shrugged his shoulders. "It seemed like a good idea at the time," he said.

Everything was going swimmingly well. Gohan remarked on how cool the snake animal balloons were – Goku couldn't figure out how to mold the balloons either so she settled with drawing eyeballs and stripes and polka dots on them with an indelible marker. They sort of looked like snakes.

Everyone had shown up. Even Vegeta showed up when the food was presented. It was a feast and ChiChi had gone above and beyond as usual. Though, nothing compared to the cake.

ChiChi needed help bringing out the cake. It was humongous and it looked so mouthwateringly delicious that she didn't trust her own husband to help her carry it. ChiChi set the cake before Gohan and he marveled at the intricate family portrait she had frosted on top of it. It had ChiChi, Gohan, Goku, Gokou, and surprisingly, she had also included Bulma, Vegeta, and Trunks.

"Hey Trunks!" Gohan exclaimed with a laugh, "Look, Mom put you on the cake too!"

Trunks blushed a fierce crimson red. "Sh – she did? Why?"

ChiChi laughed. "Well, I figured since Goku is with your Dad, you're kind of like a brother to Gohan."

Trunks laughed awkwardly and said, "Really? I'm touched. I really am!"

"Welcome to the family!" Gohan exclaimed.

ChiChi struck a match and lit the 11 candles on the cake. "Now Gohan, honey, make sure you make a good wish!"

Gohan laughed. "Oh I will Mom!"

"Yeah," Gokou agreed, "and also blow as hard as you can. If you don't blow them all out the wish doesn't come true!"

Gohan nodded his head in understanding. "I know, I know. I'll make sure I get all of them because I have a really important wish!"

ChiChi held up her hand and counted with her fingers as she said, "And-a-one, and-a-two, and-a-three…"

And the entire group broke out into song: "Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday dear Gohan! Happy birthday to you!"

Gohan inhaled a large breath of air, and he was about to blow the candles out when all of a sudden, he was interrupted by ChiChi. "Oh wait! My camera, I need to take a picture!"

Goku left the table and came back with the camera. "Found it!" she exclaimed. "I'll take the picture. On the count of three, blow out the candles: 1, 2, 3!"

Gohan blew as hard as his diaphragm and lungs could possibly muster. Unfortunately for everyone sitting at the table – which was everyone excluding Goku – Gohan blew a tad bit too hard. The cake practically exploded from the force of the demi-Saiyan's lungs. Cake and frosting splattered onto everyone's clothing and faces. Even Gohan was coated in some of the white frosting.

There was a moment of pure silence. The tension was thick. Gokou was the first to speak up: "Yum! Good cake ChiChi," he complemented as he licked some of it off of his finger.

Nearly everyone began to laugh. There was an echoing of, "Yeah, awesome cake, delicious, stupendous, excellent – to make it simple, any complementary adjective you can think of.

ChiChi wiped the fresh coating of cake off of her face with a napkin, and she marched up to Gohan with a vengeful scowl on her face. "Gohan!" she shouted.

Gohan flinched. Oh geeze, now he was gonna get it!

"Son Gohan!" she continued. "Must we never have a single birthday where something doesn't happen to the cake? I swear either your Father does a face-dive into it or someone drops it, or you do this!"

Gohan gulped. He prepared himself for stream of curses.

Instead ChiChi broke out into giggles and pulled his face into her cake slathered chest and squeezed him with a great, big bear hug. "It wouldn't be a Son family birthday if this kind of thing didn't happen! I love you guys!" ChiChi pulled back and cradled her son's face in her hands. "What can I say? You're your father's boy!"

Underneath the coating of cake, Gohan flushed a bright red. "I – I am? Thanks Mom!"

Goku suddenly piped up, "Hey! Where's my piece?"

She had her arms crossed stubbornly with a highly disappointed look plastered on her face. This was the best part and she missed it. Stupid camera! She was the only one who didn't have cake exploded onto her face. Any normal person would probably be grateful for this.

Krillin chuckled and answered, "I think it went down my shirt, Goku!"

Goku laughed. It was then that she heard Vegeta muttered, "Stupid brat." She saw that he too had been assaulted by the unstable confection. It was plastered all over his face, but it couldn't hide the glowering look he was displaying. A bit of frosting had even coated the tippy top of his flame shaped hairdo. He looked like a white chocolate dipped ice cream cone. In other words, he looked absolutely ridiculous!

Goku waltzed up to Vegeta and asked, "Will you share your piece with me, Vegeta?"

"Does it look like there is a piece of cake on my plate, Kakarrot? No! It's empty! It's all over my damn face because of your insufferable offspring!" Vegeta grumbled.

Goku laughed again. "Alright, since you clearly don't want it, I'm calling dibs!"

"Wha - " was all Vegeta could cut in edgewise before Goku lowered her head to his level and licked his cheek.

Vegeta's body became rigid when he felt her warm, moist tongue make contact with his skin. He realized a moment later that the entire group was staring at the spectacle, and he suddenly jerked backward in his chair. The chair came crashing onto its back and Vegeta scooted a foot away from Goku.

"What do you think you're doing!" he hissed, appearing absolutely mortified.

Goku ignored his reaction and smacked her lips together happily. "Wow, Chi! You've outdone yourself! That is some wonderful cake!"

Yamcha snickered and said, "Woah… kinky!"

Master Roshi whistled. "Yeah! You go girl!"

Krillin shook his head and muttered, "Get a room."

Goku stared at them all, completely dumbfounded. "What? I don't get it!" It was then that Goku noticed Vegeta slinking away in embarrassment. 'Did I do something wrong?' she thought. "Vegeta!" she hollered out. "Where are you going? You have my cake!"

Vegeta ignored her calls and hightailed it out of there – to the nearest bathroom no doubt. Goku crossed her arms and sighed. "What did I do?" She shook her head and smiled. "Hey, does anyone else want to share their cake with me?"

Yamcha grinned. "I wi - " he began, but froze upon realization that he was about to incriminate himself in front of Bulma.

Master Roshi got up so quickly, his chair fell over. He raised both hands in the air, waved them back and forth vigorously, and bounced on the balls of his feet. "Oooh, oooh! I will! Pick me!"

ChiChi's face flared red with anger. She stomped up to Master Roshi, nabbed him by his earlobe, and dragged him away while saying, "You and I need to have a little talk!"

Goku glanced around. There seemed to be no more takers. "Nobody wants to share?" she asked, giving one more desperate try.

Gohan got out of his chair and walked up to her. He smiled and said, "I will." He scraped some of the mess off of his face and smacked it onto Goku's forehead.

After the opening of presents and the cleanup of the party was finished, it was time for Gohan and Piccolo to leave. They were standing before the doors that would lock them away for a year's time. ChiChi hugged Gohan bone-crushingly tight and she bawled.

"My baby, my sweet, baby Gohan!" she blubbered. "I love you baby! Be careful! Do your homework! Remember to bath and eat and brush your teeth after every meal!

"Gohan smiled and patted his mother reassuringly on the back. "I will, Mom. I promise!"

It was Goku's turn. She rested her hand on his shoulder. "I'm so proud of you, Son. It's hard to believe that you're nearly 11 years old. You're really growing up and you're turning into a fine young man. I wish I could be in there with you! I know that you're going to progress so much!"

Gohan flashed an ear to ear smile at his father. "You bet I will! I'm going to become stronger than Cell, Dad! I'm going to become strong enough to protect you, and Mom, and my little brothers or sisters, and my friends, and everyone!"

Piccolo ushered Gohan forward. "It's time to go now."

Gohan nodded his head. "Right!"

"Wait!" Gokou suddenly shouted. He jogged up to Gohan. "If you don't mind, I'd like to have a word with you, Gohan – alone."

Gohan gazed up at the man in awe for a moment. He didn't know what to think of this. It was totally unexpected. "S – sure," he stammered.

Goku watched in astonishment and wonder as her male counterpart pulled Gohan aside. Try as she might, Goku couldn't will her mind to suddenly learn how to lip read. Not knowing what they were talking about was really gnawing away at her calm. 'What could he possibly have to say to Gohan that is so important he wants it to be kept a secret between the two of them? Shouldn't I be able to figure out what he would be thinking about…? What would I do in his situation…? I don't know… I'm not him.'

She could see Gohan's formerly serious demeanor brighten and a smile crack onto his lips. As Gokou continued talking, the smile broadened. Gohan was vigorously nodding his head. Not knowing what they were sharing was quickly becoming torture.

A/N: I realized that my timing is off. Gohan's birthday party was after the training. I know he isn't a Super Saiyan, but I had to keep the cake bit. It was just too cute to leave out. I tried to get a little introspective with Goku's emotions in this chapter. Hopefully Goku's feelings seem rational. I know that in her situation I would be mad jealous if I saw someone taking my place. Though, of course, Goku is a lot more accepting of it than I would be. Anyway… I shall try my absolute hardest to get my next chapter out as quickly as this one! I loved all of your reviews! I hope you enjoy the new installment!

*Chapter 48*: Do or Do Not, There is No Try

Disclaimer: I don't own DB/Z/GT.

Female Goku = Goku; Male = Gokou.

Chapter 48: Do or Do Not; There is No Try... Haha

On most occasions Goku was typically slow on the uptake. Pretty much the only characteristic she excelled in was her ability to fight. When it came to a fight or spar she would always come off looking like a prodigy. Now, in this particular case, on this day, Goku had surprisingly swiftly come to an understanding that did not involve ki manipulation or martial arts techniques. She figured out something crucial, and she figured it out rapidly: nearly everything that didn't have to do with fighting was boring.

"Vegeta," she had said. "I think there's something wrong with me!"

Vegeta sighed and asked, "Really, what is it this time?"

Goku attempted at throwing him a stern look of seriousness, but it failed… miserably. Nevertheless, she said, "I'm being serious, Vegeta!"

Vegeta turned his back on her so that she would not see him roll his eyes. "What is it then?"

"Nothing is interesting to me at all! I tried cooking with ChiChi… and I just ate everything so she kicked me out. Then I tried sewing, but it was too complicated and it gave me a headache! Then I tried doing the laundry… yeah... self explanatory. Then I went to see Bulma. I wanted to watch her finish making her new invention. It was so boring. So then I asked ChiChi what she thinks is fun, and do you know what she said, Vegeta?" Goku finished saying this with wide eyes and her jaw hanging slightly agape; she was obviously still finding it hard to come to terms with the answer her ex-wife had given her.

Vegeta frowned and rested his index finger on his chin thoughtfully. "If I had to make a wild guess…" he muttered, "I would say that all women prefer the pastime of talking there yaps off over anything else."

Goku's eyebrow twitched and her mouth bobbed up and down like a fish. She had apparently been shocked silent. Vegeta glanced at her to appraise her reaction and smirked. He crossed his arms and flashed her a look of self-satisfaction.

He couldn't help but chuckle and ask, "I'm right, aren't I?"

Goku's eyebrows tugged together and formed a little crease of unease. "How did you know?" she asked with a feeling of awe palpably dripping off of her words.

Vegeta clicked his tongue in mock disappointment. "Kakarrot, you were married to her for a decade, how did you manage not to realize it?"

Goku pouted and replied, "I don't know. ChiChi always says that I'm not very observant."

Vegeta withheld another bout of laughter. "I'm going to make another blind guess and assume that you think talking is boring too?"

Goku smiled a little. "Not all the time. I just don't like talking about the stuff ChiChi likes talking about… like… er… well…"

Vegeta let out an impatient sigh and gestured for her to continue.

"Well, she likes talking about Gokou… a lot, and sometimes…" Goku paused, her face becoming very red, "sometimes I think she forgets who I am because she starts to talk about their sex life."

Vegeta was shocked silent for a moment. The next instant he was roaring with laughter.

Goku sighed irritatedly. "You aren't helping."

After many failed attempts, Vegeta was finally able to stifle his laughter. "Alright Kakarrot. I'll solve your problem. No, nothing is wrong with you. There you have it, feel better now?"

"How is that helping?" Goku asked.

Vegeta sighed and said, "Alright, there's nothing wrong with you because essentially, the only things Saiyans are interested in is fighting, food, sex, and hmm… let's see, fighting."

Goku shot Vegeta a look of distaste. "What about family and friends!"

Vegeta tapped his foot impatiently. He had better things to do right now… like fighting, or eating, or… "Fine!" he acquiesced, "They can be on the list too. Now, unless you want to partake in the third choice on the list, I'm going to do the first."

Goku looked befuddled. "Huh?"

Vegeta harrumphed. "Then the first it is," he said, leaving the dumbfounded Goku behind.

Vegeta was right and Vegeta was wrong. Goku did like to do more things than what was on Vegeta's list. She liked to hang out with her son. She liked to go swimming, and she liked to go fishing. She loved camping. She liked to hike on the trails that littered Mount Paozu. She enjoyed flying around the world. She especially liked adventures. Unfortunately for her, all but one of those activities were off-limits. The activity that wasn't off-limits wasn't obtainable at the moment. Gohan was still in the Room of Spirit and Time. He would be out in about an hour. She had an hour to kill. She set to work on figuring out what to do to make the time pass by faster.

Her train of thought was interrupted by the approach of android 16. "Hello, Son Goku," he greeted.

Goku looked up from her sitting position and smiled. 'Aha!' she thought. 'It would be interesting to hear about him!'

"Hi!" she exclaimed cheerfully.

"Am I interrupting your meditation? If so, I will take my leave," 16 said.

Goku leapt to her feet and waved her hands in front of her face. "No! No! No!" she shouted overdramatically. "You weren't interrupting me! Please stay!" 'Wow… I'm desperate…'

"Alright, in that case, I will join you," 16 replied with a smile.

Goku resisted the urge to make a victorious fist pump. 'Yes!' she thought excitedly. "So… tell me about yourself."

"What is there to tell?" 16 asked. "I am an artificial human being, otherwise known as an android. I was created by Dr. Gero with the sole purpose of eliminating you. I was named android 16 because I was the 16th android he had created."

"Right," Goku muttered, resting her chin in her hand and giving off a thoughtful expression. "So, if you're number 16 - " she began, being abruptly cut off by:

"Hey Goku! What's up?" Krillin asked as he approached the two.

Goku smiled. "I'm asking 16 about the androids," she explained.

"Really?" Krillin replied, crossing his arms. "What's there to ask about them? They're killing machines created by Gero because he wants revenge against you – " Krillin paused to smile at 16, " – no offense buddy. "

"No," Goku disagreed. "I think there's more to the androids. When you think about it, only 19 really followed Gero's commands successfully."

"What do you mean, Goku?" 16 asked.

Goku smiled. "Well, your mission was to kill me, but you ignored it for the time being to protect 18 from Cell. In fact, you even fought Cell."

"That is correct," 16 affirmed. "I didn't want to see 18 absorbed. I don't want Cell to destroy this beautiful planet."

Krillin's eyebrows drew together in confusion. "If you're a machine, how do you have emotions? Why would Gero want you to have emotions?"

"I do not know why I can feel emotions," 16 answered earnestly.

Goku snapped her fingers together and exclaimed, "Of course! He didn't expect you to be able to harbor feelings. You were only meant to become an intelligent killing machine, but he made you too intelligent. You created your own emotions."

Krillin looked lost. 16's face was impassive. He was contemplating her words. "You may be correct," he admitted.

Goku shook her head and tried to clear her thoughts. "Anyway," she said, "what I was going to ask you before Krillin came is why are you android 16? Where are the previous models?"

"They were considered failures. Dr. Gero destroyed them," 16 answered.

"How can we be sure of that?" Goku asked.

"I do not know. That is all I have in my memory banks," 16 replied.

"You're positive that all of them were destroyed?" she pressed onward.

16 sat completely still for a moment. "8 was never declared exterminated."

Goku sighed with what appeared to be some form of relief. "Good," she said. "That tells me that your memory banks are probably correct. I met android 8 when I was a kid. He escaped and should be living with Suno and her parents."

Krillin shook his head. "Wait, wait, wait!" he said. "Slow down. When was this? So you're telling me there is another android on the loose? Who is Suno?"

Goku laughed. "Oh don't worry, Krillin. Android 8 is harmless. He's my friend. Suno is a girl I met a long time ago."

"Oh," Krillin mumbled. "So android 8 wasn't made to be a killing machine?"

Goku shook her head. "Actually, he was. They failed. They wanted to make him a psychotic murderer, but he turned out to be friendly and loving of all creatures. He couldn't find it in himself to kill people. He had feelings just like android 16, only his were much more pronounced."

"So," Krillin began, "Android 8 was meant to have feelings; only, he was supposed to have anger and hatred in his heart?"

Goku nodded her head. "More or less."

Krillin crossed his legs Indian style and buried his face in his hands. "No," he said with apparent frustration.

"Krillin, what's wrong?" Goku asked, reaching out and touching his arm.

Krillin sighed and looked her in the eyes. "Goku, this is going to sound silly, but I feel like 18 has feelings too. I know you probably think that she's a heartless monster, but I saw it differently. Well, I mean, at first she seemed like a heartless monster, and then I started to see… other things. Oh… you think I'm an idiot don't you?"

Goku smiled affectionately and patted his back in reassurance. "Course not!" she said. "I believe you Krillin. It wouldn't be the first time an android has felt emotions."

"Androids 17 and 18 are technically cyborgs," 16 added.

"Cyborgs!" Krillin exclaimed. "You mean like… people that have… that have…" Krillin balled his fists and his bulging white knuckles shown in stark contrast against his tanned skin. His hands trembled. He couldn't say it.

"She is part human, part machine. How you see her is how she looked as a human. The majority of her body is organic, but it has been altered by Dr. Gero to make her what she is. Her brain is mostly machine. I would assume that being part human would make it highly plausible that both 17 and 18 can develop feelings. I have seen 18 display feelings with my own eyes," 16 explained.

"Does… does she have any memory from before being… you know?" Krillin asked, incapable of looking 16 in the eyes.

"No. She doesn't," he answered. "Though, she does know that 17 is her brother."

"So, then she doesn't know how she ended up being Gero's lab rat?" Krillin muttered.

"Affirmative," 16 replied.

Goku glanced over at Krillin. His face was extremely pallid. She could tell that this news was torturing him somehow. Still, she had a question that had been bothering her. She needed to ask it, and she suddenly realized that Krillin might need to hear it.

"That means that 18 may have either given herself over willingly, or she may have been kidnapped," she said. Hearing her words bounce off of her tongue made her realize that it wasn't even a question in the first place. It was merely stating one of two truths.

What Krillin said next surprised her. His resolve shocked her. "16, tell me truthfully, which do you think it is."

"The latter," 16 replied. "I do not see why it would be necessary for Dr. Gero to ask android 18 for her body. He probably scoured the Earth for potential hosts to use for his experiment. I would assume that he saw android 18 and her brother. He liked what he saw, and he probably took them by force."

Goku kept her gaze level with Krillin's eyes. "Krillin, I know it sounds awful, but she doesn't remember any of it… there's no way we can be sure... of…" her voice trailed off into a whisper. She had been sure she had something to say, but now she couldn't find the proper words. She was tongue-tied.

It was dead silent for a moment, not even the sound of breathing could be heard. She wasn't sure why she was holding her breath with nervous anticipation. She could distinctly hear the sound of some of Krillin's knuckles popping as he clenched his fists. She stared at his hands. His digits were balled so tightly, his fingernails were abrading the surface of his skin.

"Goku," he said through gritted teeth. "I'm going to save her."

Goku gasped. "What? How? Cell absorbed her and 17. They're gone, aren't they?"

Krillin shook his head with great resolution. "No. I know she isn't gone. I'm going to save her! Gero is dead… I can't make him pay for his actions, but I swear that Cell is not going to get away with this! I'm going to stop him!"

Goku felt a sinking feeling in her chest. She wanted to help her best friend. She wanted to be able to tell him that these things were possible. Though, she found that she couldn't. She felt like she would be lying, and she hated lying. 'How can 18 possibly be saved? She isn't entirely human anymore. The dragon balls can't wish her back… unless… unless maybe we figured out her true identity, but even then…' Krillin was standing up now. It felt awkward to have Krillin towering over her. She'd never seen him like this before. She wondered if he had changed or if this was simply a different side to him that she hadn't seen yet. He seemed so determined. She wanted to encourage him, but she knew why she dreaded it: 'Krillin doesn't stand a chance against that… that monster! I won't be there to protect him…'

Luckily for Goku, she was taken out of the spotlight when a voice interrupted them:

"Yeah! I'm going to help you Krillin!" The voice belonged to Gohan. Goku turned around with shock. The words didn't really register with her, but the voice did. That last hour had certainly passed by more quickly than she initially had thought it would. 'How long has he been standing there?' she silently wondered.

"Gohan!" she shouted. She leapt to her feet and pulled him into a great, big bear hug. Gohan hugged her back and she instantaneously could feel his difference in strength. His arms were so strong! She hated to admit it, but the hug actually hurt a little. 'How strong is he?'

"Oh Kami!" she exclaimed. "You're so much taller!"

"Yeah, Dad, I'm starting to catch up to you!" Gohan replied eagerly.

It was then that Goku noticed Piccolo's presence. Piccolo rested a hand on Gohan's shoulder. "Yeah kid, but your other Dad still towers over you."

Gohan scoffed playfully. "You just wait and see Piccolo. I'm not done growing!"

Goku just stood there, staring at her son in awe. She could physically feel the newly attained power practically radiating off of him. "You're so strong…" she muttered.

Piccolo smirked. "It won't be long until he surpasses even you."

Goku lifted up an arm and frowned as she scrutinized her depreciating muscle mass. It reminded her just how much she desperately wanted to train again. "I'm getting so rusty…" she muttered, "he probably already has."

Gohan giggled. "Don't worry, Dad. After the babies are born, I'll go easy on you at first."

Goku crossed her arms and teasingly snapped, "You better not go easy on me! I'm dying here! I want to train so badly! Gohan you should show me what you've learned!"

Gohan immediately changed the subject. "How far along are you again?" he asked.

Goku frowned slightly in confusion. 'What a peculiar thing to ask right now,' she thought. She absentmindedly touched her stomach. "About four months."

"Woah…" Gohan murmured, staring at Goku's stomach in awe. "You're about the same as Mom then. I know it's only been a day since you've seen me, but I hadn't really noticed before that you're bigger than her now."

For the umpteenth time that day, Goku found herself at a loss for words. She still felt kind of uncomfortable talking about this particular subject and she really felt discomfited by the fact that everyone was now staring at her stomach, even android 16 was gazing at it. Goku tried to think of something to say, anything to bring the attention elsewhere.

She quirked an eyebrow in confusion as she notice Gohan kneeling down and leaning toward her stomach. Gohan smiled and said, "Hi babies," in a very soft tone of voice. "I'm your big brother Gohan. You have another brother too, but he's inside his Mommy's tummy."

Goku had spoken to Gohan when ChiChi was pregnant with him. She'd done it all the time. She had even sung lullabies to him. So, she really couldn't explain why it felt so weird to have Gohan talking to her stomach. There were two babies growing in there after all. It was then that she realized that she hadn't even talked to her babies. She acknowledged that they were there – she hated to admit it – but she had kind of been ignoring the fact. She'd touched her tummy now and again, but now that it was popping out some, it really was an inevitable action. Goku frowned and thought, 'Oh great, I'm already a bad mother!'

Goku didn't have long to mull over her thoughts because something happened that startled the wits out of her. She felt something move inside of her. Her heart immediately began to race. The movement was gone now, but she had been sure that she had felt something. 'Maybe I'm just being paranoid or something,' she thought, immediately trying to shrug it off, but she couldn't. She felt it again. 'Is that… no… is…could it be? Is one of the babies moving?' she thought. She reached out a trembling hand and rested it on her stomach in the area where she had previously felt the movement. If she could feel it with her own hands, then she could be certain that she wasn't hallucinating. Sure enough, she felt a small pressure against her hand. It felt like a tiny kick. Her mouth hung agape in utter shock.

Gohan's eyebrows furrowed together in worry. "Dad, are you alright? You look kind of pale. Why… why are you shaking? Dad!"

Gohan's shout shook her out of her silent stupor. "Gohan," she murmured, her lips trembling uncontrollably. The baby kicked again. She couldn't seem to get her voice box to work so she seized her son's wrist and brought the palm of his hand up to her stomach. The baby moved again.

Gohan laughed and shouted, "Oh my Kami, one of the babies is moving!"

Krillin, Piccolo, and 16 let out a collective sigh of relief. Goku pressed her hand to another area of her stomach and beamed. "Now the other one is too!"

Piccolo cracked a grin. "Already sibling rivalry, I see."

Gohan burst out laughing and grabbed Piccolo's arm. He dragged him closer. Piccolo frowned in confusion. "What are you doing?"

Gohan laughed again. "Lighten up!" he commanded, pressing Piccolo's hand to Goku's stomach. He seemed reluctant at first, his arm muscles were tensed. He was about to pull away, and then he felt it.

"Kami…" Piccolo muttered.

Krillin squeezed in-between Piccolo and Gohan and touched Goku's stomach too. "Let me feel them too you guys!"

Android 16 tentatively approached Goku as well. He reached out his arm and asked, "May I?"

Goku smiled at him warmly. She didn't understand how it happened, but she suddenly felt at ease. It wasn't awkward anymore that everyone was fawning over her pregnant belly. She realized now that she actually wanted people to feel this. This was amazing!

"Of course you can silly!" she replied, grabbing his hand and pulling the behemoth forward. His deadpan expression morphed into something vibrant. His face almost appeared genuinely human.

He marveled at the feeling of the growing persons inside of Goku. "This is so beautiful!" he exclaimed. "This is a miracle!"

Goku suddenly realized how real this truly was. She was really pregnant. There really were two babies growing inside of her. She smiled an ear to ear grin. "You're right, they are miracles!" She felt so warm and happy. She hadn't felt like this since the day she first held Gohan in her arms. She laughed elatedly and at the same time, salty tears slid down her cheeks. 'I have to show Vegeta. He needs to feel this too!' Goku pulled away from the others and sprinted off in the opposite direction of the lookout.

"Hey!" Krillin protested.

Gohan cupped his hands around his mouth. "Dad! Where are you going?"

"I'm going to tell Vegeta!" she hollered back.

Meanwhile, Trunks and Gokou had taken to the opposite end of the lookout. They were sparring in the sky. They didn't want to damage the tower, and Gokou had mentioned that he needed more training whilst flying. After all, he wasn't very used to flying, and the training he had done on King Kai's planet hadn't really comprised of flying. Trunks fought while airborne with such ease – it amazed Gokou.

Gokou dodged a punch and caught Trunks' knee in the palm of his hand before it could jab him in the abdomen. The force of the blow caused Gokou's body to be pushed backward by its momentum. This definitely wasn't as easy as Trunks made it look.

"Remember that when I hit you, you need to press your ki flow in the opposite direction of the driving force. You don't want to be catapulted backward and out of control in a fight," Trunks explained.

Gokou nodded his head. "Right, I'll try harder next time."

"No!" Trunks said sternly. "My mentor taught me to never say 'try'. You either will or you won't!"

Gokou wiped the accumulated perspiration off of his brow with the back of his hand. A smile formed on his lips. "I like that!" he said earnestly. "I promise I will never use the word 'try' again." Gokou chuckled and amended, "Well, that was the last time!"

Trunks nodded his head. "Good."

It was then that Vegeta made his presence known. Gokou hadn't noticed him initially, but Trunks had. He had seen Vegeta pause what he was doing and scrutinize their sparring session only moments ago. When there was finally a moment of extended silence, Vegeta laughed derisively, "Ha!"

Gokou turned toward the new sound. "Vegeta…" he murmured. 'What's he doing here?'

"You call that sparring? You're wasting your time, boy! This clown will never amount to anything. He's just a mere copy of the real thing, a hollow act," Vegeta spat scathingly.

Gokou's eyebrows creased together in slight frustration. 'Man, what is this guy's deal?'

"Actually, Father, I disagree with you," Trunks replied, crossing his arms stubbornly.

Vegeta scowled at his son. "You wouldn't be able to tell. You're nothing but a weakling mutt. You will never amount to anything either."

Gokou frowned. He didn't like being insulted, but he was perfectly fine with just ignoring petty insults aimed at him. What really bothered him was when someone innocent and undeserving was insulted. "Hey! Trunks is really talented! I don't know what your problem is, but you shouldn't be calling your son names. You should be proud of him!"

"Please, Kakarrot! He is no son of mine! He doesn't even belong in this timeline! In fact, he's the reason why that monster Cell is even here in the first place!" Vegeta argued.

Trunks felt a sinking feeling in his chest. He narrowed his eyes at Vegeta angrily. "I realize that! I'm going to make up for it! I'm going to defeat Cell and avenge my deceased family and friends! I'm going to protect this timeline as well! I will make him pay for his atrocities!"

"You're too soft! You're pathetically weak!" Vegeta replied with a smirk. "If anyone defeats Cell, it will be me!"

"You think you're so strong, huh?" Trunks replied. "Fine, then you won't have a problem with sparring against me then, will you?"

Vegeta quirked an eyebrow out of amusement. "Please, boy, do you really think you stand a chance again me?"

Trunks clenched his fists in frustration. 'He's so damn arrogant!' he thought irritably. "C'mon, Dad, hit me with your best shot!" he challenged.

"Gladly," Vegeta replied. A smirked etched its way onto his face.

Trunks immediately powered up to Super Saiyan. Vegeta's smirk broadened and his eyes sparkled with the desire to fight. "Heh… you're impatient. Good. So am I!" Vegeta shouted as he powered up to Super Saiyan as well.

Vegeta was so fast; it seemed as if he had disappeared. Before Trunks even knew it, he was eating a face full of fist. He tumbled backward like a pinwheel, but regained his bearings rather quickly. Unfortunately for him, Vegeta had managed to pull off the vanishing act once again.

'Where the heck is he?' Trunks thought, scanning the premises for Vegeta's ki signature. An instant before Vegeta was to lunge his elbow into the back of Trunks' head, Trunks felt his ki and ducked. He flew a few feet backward. He eyed Vegeta cautiously. 'He's a lot stronger now that he's trained in the Room of Spirit and Time.'

"What's the matter, brat?" Vegeta asked. "Can't keep up with me already?"

Trunks glowered at his father. He crouched slightly and kicked it up a notch. He screamed and the golden flames surrounding his body burst to life. "I'm just getting warmed up!" he shouted.

Gokou stood off to the sidelines watching the fight from what he deemed as a safe distance. He was standing on the edge of the lookout. "Woah…" he muttered under his breath in awe. "They're so fast and so powerful. My strength really pales in comparison!" Gokou rubbed his chin in deep thought. "I really need to give it my all in the Room of Spirit and Time!"

Gokou suddenly heard the pitter-patter of feet rapidly approaching his location. He turned in the direction the sound was coming from. It was Goku. She was in such a hurry that when she tried to halt her movement, she skidded across the floor and nearly rammed him off of the lookout tower.

Gokou laughed and said, "Hey, slow down. What's the hurry?"

Goku beamed at him. "I came to tell Vegeta something really important!"

Gokou tilted his head in bemusement. "What's so important that you nearly ran me off the lookout?"

Goku laughed sheepishly. "Oh, I'm so sorry! I guess I wasn't thinking." Goku's smile suddenly broadened. "They're still doing it!" she announced. She instinctively nabbed Gokou's wrist and pulled his hand to rest on her tummy.

"What are you…?" Gokou began, but he paused. He could have sworn he'd just felt something moving under his female counterpart's stomach. He blinked in confusion. "What…" There it was! He felt it again! "Oh my Kami! Goku, there's something moving inside your body!" he shouted.

He withdrew his hand and jerked a foot backward. He pointed at her stomach in shock. "I swear… I felt something kick me! There's something inside of you!"

Goku laughed lightheartedly. "I know. I can feel it more than you do!"

Gokou blanched and he shook his pointing hand for emphasis. "That isn't normal! I think you need to go and see a doctor! Whatever's in there could be a man-eating parasite or something! It might be eating your insides out!"

Goku casually quirked an eyebrow in disbelief. "I don't think so…"

"Then what is it?" Gokou argued.

Goku rolled her eyes playfully. "Stop joking around. Babies don't eat your entrails. I don't live in a horror movie."

Gokou's eyes opened so wide, it seemed almost as if they might pop out of their orbits at any moment. "Wha – what?" he shouted. "B – baby?"

Goku suddenly gasped and slapped the palm of her hand over her mouth as if to shut herself up, but it was already too late. She had been so caught up in the moment, she'd actually managed to forget that her male replica hadn't known she was pregnant. "Uh-oh…" she mumbled.

A/N: Hmm… that seems like a nice place to leave it off. Sorry for the bit of a wait. I'm in the process of moving so I've been very busy. I shall try to update soon! :) Thank you all for the wonderful reviews! I hope you enjoyed this chapter! Did I mention that I'm super excited to start the Cell Tournament soon? :) I have something evil in store. Muahahaha!

*Chapter 49*: Eeek!

Disclaimer: I don't own DB/Z/GT.

Female Goku = Goku; Male = Gokou.

Chapter 49: Eeek!

Gokou stared blankly at his female counterpart. 'Baby? How is that even possible?' His eyes trailed down to her stomach. It protruded from under her clothes. He hadn't noticed it until now. He wasn't the kind of person who paid close attention to details. In fact, he was so unobservant, he hadn't even noticed Goku squirming uncomfortably beneath his gaze. He was paying more attention to the fact that he could feel a ki signature much different from her own radiating from her body. Her aura was so great. The second paled in comparison. Gokou's eyebrows knitted together in a mixture of frustration and concentration. Could he be mistaken? He could've sworn that he felt two unfamiliar ki signatures.

Although many thoughts were running through his mind, the single thought that came to surface was, "Baby."

He hadn't realized he'd even said it aloud until he heard Goku acknowledge him with an answer. "Yeah," she said and then tentatively added, "babies."

Gokou could feel a ping of recognition in his chest. 'So I wasn't mistaken after all.' A moment later, her words finally made impact. 'Holy cow! Two!' "H – how?" he stuttered.

Goku frowned a little out of revulsion. "You… you mean you want me to explain?" she asked.

Gokou started. "N – no!" he suddenly exclaimed. "I didn't mean it that way… I'm just confused."

"Vegeta is the father," she said, as if this bit of information explained everything.

'Vegeta.' Gokou glanced up at Trunks' and Vegeta's battle. He had looked just in time to see Vegeta deck Trunks with bone-shattering force. Without any warning – as if Vegeta had sensed Gokou watching him- Vegeta turned his head and set his steely gaze upon Gokou. Gokou couldn't help but shudder. 'How can she like that guy? He's so mean! He'll probably eat her babies for breakfast or something!'

Vegeta crossed his arms and bellowed out, "What's so interesting clown?"

Gokou shook his head halfway in annoyance and halfway in disbelief. He chose to ignore Vegeta's inquiry. His attention returned to his counterpart. "Why him?" he asked.

Goku frowned again. "Well, we hadn't exactly planned it, but it's okay because I love him."

Gokou touched his forehead and groaned. Man oh man was he starting to get a splitting headache. This was just too confusing. As far as he could tell, this Vegeta guy had absolutely no good characteristics, zero, nada, zilch! He had been nothing but hotheaded, selfish, and cruel. So, you can imagine that Gokou had only one word on his mind. "How?" he asked.

Goku appeared utterly dumbfounded. "What do you mean?" she asked earnestly.

"I don't mean to be mean or offend you or anything, but he's such a jerk! I don't understand how you can love a man like him. I can't wrap my mind around it. I mean… you're supposed to be me, right? How can you love him and I can't understand it?" Gokou asked, rubbing his temples with his index fingers.

Goku smiled at him and patted him on the shoulder reassuringly. "Don't worry. He's not all bad. You just haven't seen the good in him yet. He's mean to you because when I was a guy like you, he despised me. He just hasn't come to terms with the fact that regardless of your DNA, you're still a different person. I know it's not fair that he's being mean to you, but please give him a second chance, for me."

Gokou sighed and smiled slightly. "Alright, I will. I think everyone deserves a second chance."

Goku grinned and hugged him. "Thank you!" she exclaimed.

Neither of them had noticed another presence join them.

"No problem," Gokou replied. "So, since you and I have the same DNA, does that mean that those are my kids too?"

Goku tapped her forefinger on her chin thoughtfully. "Well I…" she trailed off.

A voice like venom interrupted her thought process. "Like hell you are!" Vegeta snapped.

Goku gasped and turned toward Vegeta. Meanwhile, her male doppelganger eyed him warily. He could see the rage boiling in Vegeta's eyes. The veins on his temple bulged. His fists were clenched. Out of his peripheral view he could see Goku reaching out to touch Vegeta's forearm comfortingly.

"Vegeta," she said in hushed voice. "Please calm down."

"Did you hear what he said," he retorted.

"Yes," she replied.

Vegeta twisted his arm out of her grip and crossed his arms. "Then you know how preposterous his assumptions are!"

Goku sighed. "I don't think so. I mean, it's no different than the Goten situation"

"It's completely different!" Vegeta argued. "You and the harpy are choosing to allow Goten to share two fathers. I will not let this buffoon have any say in raising my children!"

"Vegeta, that's not fair! And stop calling him names! You're insulting the both of us!" Goku replied tersely.

Vegeta quirked an eyebrow with amusement and laughed. "So, now you're the same person? Kakarrot, you either are or you aren't. You complain about everyone treating him like he's you, yet here you, taking offense for insults thrown at him. You're a hypocrite."

Goku's face flushed red, and she glanced nervously at Gokou. Gokou hadn't known she'd been upset over the way people treated him. 'Well, I guess I can't blame her. I honestly don't know how I would react to this sort of situation.' Gokou was about to reassure her that there was nothing to be embarrassed about and that he understood, though, to his surprise, she cut him off.

"I am not a hypocrite! We aren't the same person anymore, but I used to be exactly like him and I don't appreciate you calling him mean names!" she replied with a snappish tone of voice.

'Déjà vu,' Gokou thought. 'Why does this feel so familiar?' He watched Goku's fists clench and unclench. Her eyebrows furrowed together and her teeth gritted. 'Heh… she kind of looks like ChiChi when she's about to…' Gokou's mouth suddenly dropped and hung agape for a moment. He quickly recollected himself.

"Vegeta," he interrupted. "I think you should stop."

"Ha! As if I'd listen to you?" Vegeta retorted. "You're a weak, third-class, idiot, clown…"

Gokou waved his hands in front of his face frantically. "Trust me; you don't want to piss off a preg – "

"Shut up, fool!" Vegeta replied. "I'll call you whatever I damn please."

The last image Vegeta saw before the lights went out was Goku's fist soaring toward his face. He fell to the ground with a resounding thump. Gokou couldn't help, but smile a little. Trunks joined the two of them and started to crack up with laughter.

Trunks patted Goku on her shoulder. "That was … ha-ha… great!"

Goku spun around with a shocked expression. "I just punched him!" she shouted. "Oh. My. Kami! I just knocked him out!"

Trunks nodded his head. "Yeah!"

Goku grabbed him by the shoulders and shook him. "I didn't mean to! I… I don't even remember clenching my fist. It just… happened."

She let go of Trunks and rushed over to Vegeta's side. She shook him. "Vegeta! Vegeta, wake up! I'm sorry."

"I don't get it…" Trunks muttered.

Gokou smiled and said, "Her hormones are all out of whack. You should have seen ChiChi coming at me with a broom yesterday."

"Note to self…" Trunks muttered under his breath. "Stay away from Goku and ChiChi." He patted Gokou on his shoulder and smiled. "Well, she's all yours buddy!" he exclaimed. "I have… stuff to do. Bye!"

Gokou just stood still, blinking in confusion as Trunks left. He glanced back at Goku and she looked just as lost as he was.

"What should we do?" she asked.

"Well, I know that I don't want to be anywhere near him when he wakes up," Gokou admitted with a slight laugh.

Goku crossed her arms and clicked her tongue. "That's not nice! We can't just leave him here!"

Gokou sighed and relented. "I guess you're right." He scooped up Vegeta's limp body in his arms, and awkwardly carried him toward his and Goku's bedroom.

Goku trudged along beside him. "Say… do you think he's going to be mad when he wakes up?" she asked.

"What do you think?" he replied.

"I think he's going to be pissed."

Gokou laughed. "I agree with you on that. It's a good thing I'm going into the Hyperbolic Time Chamber soon. I won't have to worry about him for an entire year."

With that said, Gokou plopped the unconscious Prince atop the bed. He later added, "Man… it really does suck that he's only going to have a day to cool down. I didn't want him to think I was trying to steal his kids from him."

"He doesn't take things lightly," said Goku.

Her male counterpart laughed. "Now that's an understatement! Anyway, I don't think we have to worry about what I'm going to be to the babies right now. They aren't going to be born for a long while."

"Yeah, you're right," Goku agreed. "So… Bulma's new invention is finished?"

Gokou gave her a thumbs up. "Yep, you bet! She told me a couple hours ago. I just need her to demonstrate how to you use it before I go into the Chamber."

Goku clapped her hands excitedly. "Oh! I wanna see how it works!"

Gokou smiled. "Alright, let's get a move on then."

It looked kind of like a rejuvenation tank, but at the same time it was dissimilar to it. It was much smaller than the rejuvenation tanks she had seen on Planet Namek. She could tell that Bulma had designed it with the original in mind. It was amazingly compact. It was shaped like a cube and was merely 3 feet in stature. It was about 4 feet wide. Goku was currently trying to wrap her mind around the fact that a person was supposed to fit inside of it.

Gokou placed his hand over one of the glass windows on the odd contraption. "So that's a rejuvenation tank, huh? Goku had told me about it, but I didn't picture it looking like this!"

Bulma shook her index finger and said, "This is not a rejuvenation tank. This is much better!"

Goku's eyebrows scrunched up in confusion. "If it's not a rejuvenation tank, what is it?"

Bulma grinned. "Well, I like to call it the regeneration chamber."

Goku frowned slightly. "Isn't that basically… the same thing?"

Bulma placed her hands on her hips and shook her head vigorously. "Not at all! The Regen Chamber is so much better! Not only does it not hog up space, it can also easily be capsulated. It's much more sleek and stylish. It expands to almost any person's build or height."

"Oh!" Goku exclaimed, "I get it now! I was wondering why it was so small!"

"Watch and be amazed," Bulma said, pressing a small, red button on the side of the square. One of the glass windows lit up and displayed an LED screen. As she tapped selections on the screen, she explained: "When you turn it on it starts on the main menu. From the main menu, you can select the length of time that you stay inside of the chamber or you can choose the 'auto' selection. If you choose that option, the machine will scan your body from time to time and discharge you automatically when you reach full strength."

She ran her hand over the surface and patted it. "You're really going to love this, Gokou, you'll see! You can also change the size of it by inputting your height and width."

Bulma poked a few more selections and the box regen chamber grew to a larger size. It became easily big enough to fit Bulma or Goku inside of it. She smiled as she watched her audience's eyes grow wide with disbelief.

"Woah…" Gokou murmured.

"That is so cool, Bulma!" Goku exclaimed.

Bulma placed her hands on her hips and cocked her head while saying, "See, I told ya' you'd love it!"

Goku playfully raised her hand in the air and bobbed up and down on her toes. "Oooh… oooh… I have a question!"

Bulma laughed. "What is it?"

"How come the liquid inside of it is clear? It looks like water. Shouldn't it be greenish-turquoise?" Goku asked.

Bulma suddenly snapped her fingers. "Oh! I forgot! I meant to also say that this machine can heal any life form. It could heal me, you, Gohan, Piccolo, or even a cat or a tree or something you wouldn't normally think of. That is why the liquid is clear. It hasn't replicated any DNA yet. Not only that, its healing capabilities are much more advanced then what you've seen. I call it the 'regeneration' chamber instead of the 'rejuvenation' tank because my invention doesn't just speed up healing, it also can regenerate extremities if you use it quickly enough."

Goku's jaw hung in astonishment. "Like… if you had your arm blown off?"

Bulma tapped her chin with her index finger and hummed with a look of deep thought. "Well, I don't think it would be able to do that. It could probably regenerate a finger or a large chunk of skin or a comminuted fracture. I've based it off of Piccolo's regeneration capabilities, but it isn't nearly as good. It's pretty mediocre in the regeneration department, but I plan on updating it as I further my knowledge."

"Are you kidding me?" Gokou exclaimed. "This isn't just mediocre! It's absolutely amazing! If you don't mind, I think I'm ready to take it with me into the Room of Spirit and Time so that I can put it to good use."

"Thanks," Bulma replied, and then added, "please do!"

Bulma capsulated the machine and handed it to Gokou. "If you have any questions you can ask Trunks. He's got my genes. He's pretty smart. He'll be able to figure this out as easy as pie."

Gokou took the capsule. "Right, thank you so much for doing this for me!"

Goku tensed as there was a sudden angry shout of, "Kakarrot!" She glanced at her male counterpart. "Vegeta's up."

Gokou laughed and patted her on the shoulder. "Well, I'm off to find Popo. Good luck with Vegeta."

Fast-Forward Fifteen Minutes:

Gokou took in the expanse of the Room of Spirit and Time with both awe and wonder. However, both emotions were short lived. Gokou quirked an eyebrow and noted, "Hey Trunks, it doesn't look like much, does it?"

Trunks walked up beside him and looked around. Let's see, there was a building to sleep in and eat in. Then it just seemed to drop off into nothing. It kind of reminded Gokou of Master Roshi's Kame house. It was just like the little shack of a house built on a tiny island in the middle of the great, blue-green ocean. Only, the house he and Trunks would be living in was on a little island floating around in an abyss. It was the epicenter of a large chasm in the world.

It shouldn't have been any sort of shock to Gokou. After all, he had already trained in the Room of Spirit and Time before, but time has a funny way of jumbling one's memories. He could have sworn there had been more to it than this! He did remember that despite it not looking like much, it did make for some intensive training. In fact, when he was younger he had left very soon because he couldn't take the heat – literally.

Trunks frowned with a look of bemusement. "So, where do we train?"

Gokou laughed nervously. "Well, if it's anything like the last time… I'd say we train out there." He emphasized his point by sweeping an arm in the direction of the expanse of emptiness.

Trunks gulped. "But there isn't anything out there. Won't it… swallow us up into the void?"

Gokou laughed heartily. "Not unless you get lost it won't"

Trunks narrowed his eyes playfully. "Oh that makes me feel so much better, Gokou. Thanks a lot."

Oblivious to his sarcasm, Gokou replied, "No problem."

Gokou could feel the trepidation of being in this place again cause his heart to pound in his chest. His memories of this place weren't exactly great. He regretted joking about getting lost. He'd almost become lost, and he could remember the terror one can feel when you realize you don't know where you are and you don't know how to get back and you might never get back. He silently hoped he hadn't jinxed the two of them.

Gokou shook his head to clear his muddled brain. 'No, there is no time for me to think like this! I need to get stronger! I need to get stronger fast! I need to protect everyone! I will not let that monster hurt my family and friends!'

Gokou was the first to step off into the void. The air immediately became thick with humidity. The temperature change was as literal as the saying 'like walking into an oven' could get. Breathing in the air made him feel as if a brick were weighing down on his diaphragm. 'Just like I remember,' he thought.

Trunks apprehensively followed Gokou's lead. He thought he might not touch on ground, but was soon surprised to feel his body pulled downward to a halt by a strong force of gravity. "Woah…" he murmured. "That's intense. It's like walking onto a different world."

Gokou nodded in acknowledgement. "The further out we go, the more intense it becomes."

"The gravity?"

"Not just the gravity, but also the temperature. It can change from freezing cold to blistering heat in less than a second," Gokou explained, frowning slightly at the memory of it. "A lot of the time, it will alter with your mood."

Trunks smirked, making his face somewhat resemble his father's. "Perfect!" he exclaimed. "That'll make for great training." He turned to look at Gokou. "What do you say, no time better than the present, right?"

Gokou laughed at first, but his demeanor quickly sobered up. "Then let's get started!"

Meanwhile On the Lookout:

Later that night, Vegeta lay awake in bed. His head was throbbing. It was bothering him. He wasn't entirely sure what the cause of it was. It could be that the blow Goku had dealt him earlier had actually done some damage. That woman sure could throw a painful wallop when she wanted to. Although, the source of his headache might also have been his racing thoughts. He had so much on his mind. Goku was beside him, sleeping as soundly as a baby, but he couldn't fall asleep. He had a classic case of insomnia.

"I don't mean to be mean or offend you or anything, but he's such a jerk! I don't understand how you can love a man like him." Gokou had said.

Vegeta's eyebrows drew together into a scowl. 'What does he know?' Vegeta thought, folding his arms together over the top of the sheets.

Vegeta turned onto his side and glared at the back of Goku's head. 'How I act does not come as a surprise to her.' Goku rolled onto the opposite side and sighed. Her face was now directly in Vegeta's penetrating line of sight. 'It can't…'

Vegeta didn't care what other people thought of him. He didn't care if Gokou thought he was a jerk or ChiChi or Krillin. He simply didn't give a flying rat's ass about any of those people's feelings. Though, it was different with her.

The sound of Bulma's words suddenly permeated Vegeta's inner thoughts:

"You are selfish, egotistical, inconsiderate, overly-compulsive, and just plain mean, Vegeta."

"For whatever reason. I can tell that Goku really loves you."

"I want you to know that Goku isn't stupid, and that if you treat her wrong, she's going to leave you."

Vegeta could feel a throbbing sensation pounding in his ribcage. He lifted his hand up to his chest and clenched his shirt. He winced. 'She wouldn't…' he thought resolutely. 'She wouldn't…'

But then again… what happened earlier: Vegeta had woken up with a splitting headache. He was lying in his bed, but he couldn't recall ever going to bed. Then he remembered. He remembered what the halfwit had been saying about his children. The clown wanted to take his place, and Goku had been acting nonchalant about it. He remembered shouting, a lot of shouting. More distinctly, he recalled Goku's fist come soaring through the air. That was it. That was all that he had retained, but it was enough for him to make connections.

Vegeta gritted his teeth with fury. 'How dare she,' he had thought. 'How dare she stand up for him? How dare she hit me?'

He saw red. His blood boiled. She had made a fool out of him in front of the clown and his… son. Vegeta stormed out of his room, stomping down the halls like a madman. He found Goku with Bulma. He glowered at her with all of his might. He could see her gulping.

"Vegeta." He turned to see Bulma. Her voice had been in a tone of cautious warning. Her lips moved. They silently formed the word 'don't'.

Vegeta clenched his teeth. His jaw moved from side to side, his molars grinding against each other. His seething gaze returned to Goku. Her eyes widened in trepidation.

"How dare you!" his voice boomed. "How dare you make a fool of me?"

He was half-expecting her to shrink backward in meek submissiveness. That's what he pictured a girl would do in this sort of situation. It was what all of his victims had done. But this wasn't just any girl, this was Goku. She would not let herself be one of his victims. Her face became calm and she stood tall.

"I'm sorry if I hurt you, but…" her voice trailed off. She took a deep breath and then spoke loud and clear, "but you made a fool of yourself. I had no part in it."

He hadn't known what to say to that. He saw no point in yelling at her anymore. In fact, his heated rage was beginning to subside. He hadn't expected to have that sort of reaction out of her. He was thinking more along the lines of her begging him for forgiveness. He just stood for a moment, both annoyed and baffled at the same time. He crossed his arms and huffed. He then spun on heel and slammed the door on his way out of the room.

He allowed his aggravation with her to fester throughout the rest of the day. He avoided her because somewhere inside he had figured out that it was he who owed her an apology. He was certainly not going to stoop that low! He had his pride to consider!

Come nighttime, as Goku was getting ready for bed, she had tried to strike up a conversation. He had coldly blasted away her advances. She was relentless, she tried yet again. Even once, she tried to use the 'I have something really important to tell you' trump card. He hadn't fallen for that, that was for sure. Just what did she take him for?

They had ended the night on a bitter note, but Goku was able to fall asleep with a clear conscious. Vegeta on the other hand, was still awake, staring at the ceiling, pondering his actions. 'Should I apologize… no… no… I will not say I'm sorry!' Vegeta was a stubborn man. She knew that. 'She will understand…'

It took a long while of gazing up at the monotonous grey ceiling, but Vegeta was eventually lulled into slumber. His last thought before he went under was, 'Would she leave me?'

Vegeta found himself in an unfamiliar place. It was dark, very dark, and it had a gloominess to it that chilled his bones. It took awhile, but his eyes began to adjust to the darkness. He could make out pillars and walls and small objects, but the dim quality of light made them obscure.

"Where am I…" he muttered aloud to himself. His eyebrows knitted together in uneasiness. "How the hell did I get here?"

He tried to trace his steps, but all he could remember was yelling. He could remember a lot of shouting. He was yelling at Kakarrot. Try as he might, he couldn't pinpoint their location. He couldn't even remember why he was yelling at her or what he was saying, but he could see the hurt in her eyes. That alone was very vivid.

Vegeta did a complete 180 spin as he discerned a faint noise. He wasn't sure, but he swore it sounded like laughter, and not just any kind of laughter – it was mocking him.

"Alright, who the hell are you!" Vegeta shouted, crossing his arms in annoyance. "The game is over. I demand that you show yourself to me… now!"

There was a skittering noise. Vegeta's eyes shot in the direction of the noise. "You're stupid! You've just given me your whereabouts!"

Vegeta laughed scathingly and threw a ki blast in the direction of the noise. Or… at least… he'd thought he had. "What the hell…" he muttered under his breath. He tried to generate ki in the palm of his hand, but he couldn't. "What?" he whispered in disbelief. He tried to generate another ki blast, but couldn't. His head was throbbing. It felt as if his skull was splitting in two. No matter how hard he concentrated, he could not seem to pull forth any knowledge. He couldn't remember how to generate his own ki.

He could hear the laughter again. It was teasing him. The veins on either side of his widow's peak began to bulge and pulsate as his cool crumbled away into a little dust heap on the ground.

"Damn you!" he bellowed. "show your face you coward!"

Out of the corner of his eye, Vegeta could just barely detect a flicker of movement. He didn't waste any time pondering whether he was capable of defending himself from this nearly invisible enemy. He didn't care. He wanted nothing more than to slowly eviscerate the scum with his own two hands.

'Now I've got you!' he thought with a grin of triumph. He chased after the shadow, tripping over knickknacks scattered across the floor. He trampled over spoons, watches, cups, pictures. A picture frame shattered underneath his weight. He didn't take pause to look at it. He leapt over a wooden rocking chair that had been knocked onto its side. 'What is this place?'

He was beginning to question his sanity, but more than that, he was also beginning to wonder if he had lost his prey. He slowed to a jog, then to a trot, a walk, and then finally, he halted completely. He crouched to the ground and inhaled and exhaled laboriously. Had he run so far? He didn't remember using up so much energy? He rasped as dust particles in the air itched at his throat. He hadn't noticed all of the dust before. It felt like it was swirling around his head in an inexorable whirlwind. He felt it constricting his airways. He coughed and spit. His lungs burned. The acrid smell of the room was making him lightheaded. Was this poison? Where had all of the oxygen gone? Had it been this bad before?

Much to even his surprise, Vegeta involuntarily shot upright when he saw a shadow figure peeking at him from behind a column not even 5 feet away. He sprung at it with all of the strength he had left. His arms swung blindly through the air, trying to a grab a hold of the mysterious shadow.

He gasped as he felt the palm of his right hand make contact with something warm and soft. He heard a soft yelp of surprise coming from the foreign intruder. It sounded feminine. He had thought the voice was masculine before. How peculiar.

He dug his fingernails into the loathsome individual. He could just barely make out that he had latched onto what appear to be a female's shoulder. What happened next nearly scared the wits out of him.

"Stop!" the voice commanded. He knew that voice. As if on cue, either the air cleared somewhat or the light became just a tad brighter or maybe even his eyes had adjusted. The point being: he could make out the person, though he didn't need sight to know. It was Goku.

"K – Kakarrot?" he stuttered in disbelief. He withdrew his hand immediately. "What are you doing here? Where are we?"

She just stood there, gazing at his face with a look of shock. He could see her more clearly now. He could see her bare shoulders – he could see the bloody cuts his fingernails had inflicted on her skin. She lifted an arm to absentmindedly feel her wound. What was even more odd was that she was stark-naked – not an article of clothing on her. Her skin was scuffed with dust and mud. Her lips were chapped. His eyes lingered on her abdomen. She looked further along than she was, or was it merely the lighting and the angle?

Vegeta's lip twitched. "Why… why are you naked?" he asked, the tone of his voice wavering with unease.

She was still silent. Her lips didn't so much as move.

Vegeta's patience began to ebb away into nothingness. "Tell me!" he suddenly shouted. "Did… did someone hurt you… did someone… oh… hell… tell me who it was!"

Still, nothing. She just gazed up at him with hurt, wondering eyes.

"Damn-it, Kakarrot! Say something!" he commanded.

Goku's eyes winced and she let out a quiet whimper. She clutched her stomach and squatted in what appeared to be pain. Vegeta's eyes grew wider in surprise.

"Tell me what's wrong," he demanded. "Are you in pain? Is it the babies? Are the babies okay?" His words began to run together into a mesh of nonsense.

For a split second, he could have sworn he'd seen a shadow scuttle past him in his peripheral vision. He was about to turn his head to investigate, but was deterred in doing so by the occurrence of something more arresting.

"Help!" Goku cried out.

Vegeta crouched down beside her, running his hands up and down her back in a soothing manner. "I will. Tell me what's wrong."

Goku lifted an arm and pointed. Her index finger levitated a mere centimeter away from his forehead. Vegeta's eyebrows furrowed together in concern. "Me? I'm the problem?" he asked.

Goku ignored him and continued to point in her muted fashion.

"Please talk to me!" Vegeta literally begged. He had no choice. He didn't like to stoop so low, but something was wrong and it was urgent that he figure out how to fix the problem.

Vegeta considered the idea that maybe she was pointing at something behind him. He turned around to get a good look, but he couldn't see anything. As he turned around, he could feel a picture frame crunch underneath his knee. He picked it up and squinted at its contents. It was a picture of him and Goku. 'What the hell!' he thought. They'd never taken a photograph together. 'What is this?'

He spun around almost instantly as he heard a muffled scream coming from behind him. The shrill scream belonged to Goku. Damn! He'd only looked the other way for an instant, but that was all it took.

"Kakarrot!" he shouted. He could see her being dragged off into the distance. Something was wrapped around her mouth, muffling her screams and shouts. Her arms flailed, reaching out to him in distress as she was forcibly towed backward into the ambiguity of the dust and shadows.

Vegeta didn't have to think twice. He barreled after her with all of his might. 'I knew that laughter didn't belong to her! Damn-it! I'm an idiot!'

All of a sudden, there was a spotlight shown on Goku. The source of the light was unknown. He couldn't find it. She was not even 10 feet away from him. She was being restrained by a monster. This monster felt so familiar. It was so evil and foreboding. It had her arms restrained behind her back with one of its hands. The other hand had her hoisted up above ground level. She was kicking with all of her will-power. He could hear her squeal under is hand. The most distinguishable feature of the monster was its long, undulating tail. It was curled around Goku and it was poised directly at her head. At the end of the tail it opened up into what resembled a funnel. The funnel opened and closed. The monster was smirking at Vegeta. It was mocking him.

Vegeta gritted his teeth and scowled at the vile beast. The monster had a name, and Vegeta knew what it was. "Cell," he hissed.

Cell laughed at him again and waved his tail in front of Goku's face. He ran it across her cheek. He allowed her mouth to be freed. She looked terrified.

"Help! Save them!" she screamed.

Vegeta's eyebrow twitched with uncertainty. 'Save who exactly?'

Vegeta made a move to charge Cell, but his feet were glued to the ground. A chill ran up his spine and his stomach suddenly made a back flip. This felt eerily familiar to him, but he couldn't pinpoint its likeness to anything. He just knew that this felt like 'déjà vu.

"Go ahead, Vegeta," Cell goaded, "save them."

"Please! Vegeta! Help!" Goku screamed at the top of her lungs.

Vegeta desperately wanted to answer her back, but his lips wouldn't move. The tail swayed back and forth in the air. The tip morphed into a sharp point. It resembled a dagger. Vegeta's eyes widened. His heart skipped a beat. 'No!'

Tears spilled forth from Goku's eyes. "No! Please don't!" she shrieked, struggling to free her hands from his grasp. The tail whipped backward for an instant and then Cell released Goku. Her body began to free-fall forward like dead weight. Cell's tail came up behind her and pierced her in her lumbar region. It shot through her stomach. The tip resurfaced on the other side of her body. It glistened with blood. Her eyes watched Vegeta as she let out her final breath. Her pupils stared lifelessly at Vegeta as blood frothed from her nose and mouth.

Cell laughed derisively and smirked at Vegeta. "Oh dear, it seems as if I've turned your family into a meat kebab."

Vegeta tried to move, but he couldn't. He tried to scream, but he couldn't. He tried desperately to shut his eyelids, but they wouldn't budge. Cell tossed her lifeless body in front of him, and laughed scathingly as he strolled back into the shadows.

Vegeta couldn't do anything to stop the tears from forming in his eyes, and he couldn't keep their blood from forming a puddle underneath him. "Save them Vegeta!" she had begged. He understood her now. He couldn't save any of them…

Vegeta woke up with a start. A sheen of cold sweat blanketed his brow. He instantly turned his head to search for Goku. His heart palpitated. She wasn't there! He leapt out of bed and ran blindly down the hall.

"Kakarrot!" he cried out desperately. "Kakarrot, where are you?"

He was so distracted by his tormented thoughts that when he turned the next corner, he nearly rammed her to the floor. Goku grasped his shoulders in her hands and pushed him to a halt.

"Shhh… you're going to wake everyone up!" she chided.

Vegeta just stood there, staring at her in awe.

Goku frowned and asked, "What's wrong?"

Vegeta ignored her and touched her face with his fingertips. He looked on at her in wonderment, as if he couldn't believe what he was seeing, feeling, and hearing. After a long while, his lips lifted up into a grin and not his usual grin – a happy one. Goku had never seen him like this before.

What she asked him was inevitable: "Are you alright, Vegeta?"

He ignored her question and pulled her into a hug. He buried his face in her chest and held onto her. "I'm so sorry!" he exclaimed, his voice muffled by her clothing.

Goku was stunned silent. Had Vegeta just said sorry? It must be the apocalypse! She had the sudden urge to duck under a countertop or desk. She needed to hide for cover. Certainly stuff was going to come hurtling out of the sky. Destruction was imminent!

All jokes aside, Vegeta was still quite traumatized. He clutched onto her more tightly. "Please don't leave!" he whispered, his voice barely audible.

"What?" Goku mumbled. "Where would I go?"

Vegeta was about to speak, but he was interrupted by something or rather, someone else. His eyebrows knitted together in confusion. "Huh?" he murmured. He glanced downward at Goku's stomach. He could have sworn something had just kicked him!

A/N: Holy all that is holy! This is a long chapter! I would have updated sooner, but I didn't have Internet yet. I will probably go back and edit this chapter a little more later. Sorry for any mistakes you might see. Thank you all so much for the reviews! I look forward to what you think of this chap!

*Chapter 50*: Once a Rival Always a Rival

Disclaimer: I don't own DB/Z/GT.

Female Goku = Goku; Male = Gokou.

Chapter 50: Once a Rival Always a Rival

Trunks followed Gokou back out onto the lookout. As Gokou emerged through an entranceway, he shielded his eyes from the sun. The brightness cast a golden-hued silhouette around his form. He lifted up his arms toward the sky and let out a sigh of content. Trunks squinted his eyes. The long year of training was finally over.

He watched Gokou run off to meet his family. Trunks was aware of how excited Gokou was. He'd had time to think while in the chamber. Gokou was excited to be having a child. He was also eager that his female self was having twins whether Vegeta approved of his liking it or not. Gokou was especially excited to reunite with his "new" wife and son. He was impatient to start bonding with Gohan. He'd made Gohan a promise, a promise that he intended to keep.

They had both grown considerably stronger, there was no doubt about it, but Trunks idly wondered just how strong they would have to be to even stack up against Cell. He doubted they were strong enough to take him on. 'Mother had faith in him' Trunks thought, shaking his head as if to dispel his worrisome thoughts.


Trunks eyed a small purple vial of liquid that his mother was holding out to him. Her hands were supinated with the vial centered within. It appeared as if she was giving him a peace offering. She looked like she was pleading. Come to think of it, she was.

Bulma extended her arms out farther and said, "Trunks, you have to do this! There's no future for you here!"

Trunks shook his head resolutely. He had his mind made up. "There is no way I'm leaving you here by yourself, Mom!"

Bulma's eyebrows drew together into a frown. "This time is destined to be a hellish, miserable place. Even if by some miracle, the androids were destroyed, what future would you have here?"

"Then come with me!" Trunks exclaimed.

"I can't, the time machine is too small. Trunks, you know that!" she replied, her eyes downcast.

Trunks crossed his arms stubbornly. "Then you already know my answer," he replied unwaveringly.

Bulma pressed onward, "Trunks, we can save the past. If Goku get's this medicine, then the past will be saved. You've heard all of the stories that Gohan and I have told you about him. I know that if he doesn't get sick, he will be able to save the Earth!"

Trunks sighed. "You don't know that for sure. Besides, it won't make any difference to us. We'll still be living in hell!"

Bulma shook her head resolutely. "If you knew him you would understand why I put so much faith in him. And no, I want you to stay there. You give Goku what he needs, and live the rest of your life with an alias," Bulma explained.

"I'm not leaving you."

"I can build another time machine! I will meet up with you!" she offered.

Trunks wasn't buying it. "Mother, they will get you. I'm not going to the future unless you are with me! If you must, build another, larger time machine that will fit us both, but until then… I refuse to leave you!"

End Flashback

He had been skeptical of Gokou's abilities at first, but having trained with the man for an entire year, he now had an understanding of the faith his mom had put in him. The guy was obsessed with training. New challenges excited him – especially the nearly impossible to beat challenges. He was relentless!

Trunks was shaken out of his muse by the approach of the younger version of his mother. She had a bright and cheerful smile splayed out on her face. Her hair was different as usual. He chuckled. She was just like her.

"Hey kid!" Bulma bellowed out extending her arms outward for a hug. He awkwardly received it, patting her on the back. His cheeks flushed red. He felt wanted for the first time in what felt like such a long time.

"Hi…" he replied, unsure of what to call her. He couldn't allow the name "Bulma" to bounce off of his tongue. It would feel too foreign. It would be like he was disgracing his own mother.

Bulma shot him a curious look. "You can call me whatever you like," she said, as if reading his mind.

He nodded his head dumbly.

Bulma suddenly gasped and covered her agape mouth with the palm of her hand. "Oh my…" she muttered in astonishment.

Trunks nearly jumped out of his own skin. "What? What's wrong?"

Bulma touched a lock of his violet hair. "Your hair, it's so long! You need a haircut, mister! And oh my Kami, you've grown, haven't you? I look like a dwarf next to you!"

"Have I?" he asked. "I don't think I have…"

Bulma squealed. "Oh no! Then I must be shrinking like an old lady already!"

Trunks laughed. She was acting so fussy and mom-esque. He felt a warm feeling in his chest. "On second thought," he replied. "I think I have grown an inch or two."

Vegeta cut between the two of them, breaking up their emotional moment. He waltzed up to Gokou and eyed him up and down as if he was inspecting him for any flaws. "I've decided that I am going to educate you in my superior ways of fighting."

Gokou shot him a highly bemused look. "Wha…?" he murmured.

Vegeta crossed his arms and growled impatiently. "You heard me. You speak English. I will not repeat myself."

Gokou attempted to crack a smile, but it wasn't very convincing. Now it was Gokou's turn to cross his arms in frustration. "I thought there was [no way in hell that you would train an insufferable, poor excuse of a Saiyan] like me?"

"I've changed my mind," Vegeta replied bluntly, glancing off in a different direction.

Now Gokou was truly confused. "Why?"

It took all of the self-control that Vegeta had left not to explode on him. "It doesn't matter why! Consider yourself lucky, boy!"

Gokou exchanged a wary glance with Trunks and then sighed. "Alright, when do you want to start?"

Vegeta smirked and replied, "No time like the present."

Gokou was taken aback. "You mean right now?"

Vegeta quirked an eyebrow in amusement. "Yes, right now."

Gokou did a double-take. "This instant?"

Vegeta let out a warning growl. Gokou didn't heed it: "Don't you think that's rushing it a little? I mean, Trunks and I just got out of the Chamber. I haven't seen my family in a year. I miss them. Plus, there's no way Mr. Popo has had a chance to restock the food supply in there." Gokou glanced at Mr. Popo and laughed. "It's not like he can be in two places at one time.

Mr. Popo smiled and nodded his head. Vegeta spun around to face Mr. Popo and scowled at him. "Then what are you waiting for? Get it prepared this instant."

Mr. Popo shook his head in dismay. "I will do my best," he replied in a monotone voice, shuffling off to complete his newly acquired errands.

Gokou cupped his hands around his mouth and shouted, "Thank you, Mr. Popo!" He then turned to Vegeta and scolded him, "You know Vegeta, that wasn't very nice."

Vegeta chuckled. "Newsflash, Kakarrot. I'm not nice." Vegeta turned to leave. As he was walking away, he paused midstride, turned his head toward Gokou and said, "When he is finished, we leave. Prepare yourself, Kakarrot."

Gokou felt a shudder rake through his body. He didn't know whether he should feel excited or fearful. A part of him really didn't want to spend nearly a year with that man. Another part of him was excited to experience a new challenge.

It was then that he remembered his promise to Gohan. 'Darn-it!' he thought. 'How could I have forgotten about that? He's going to be so disappointed! Already I'm a bad father!'

Gohan walked up to him and smiled a little. "So I guess this means that we can't…"

Gokou frowned. He could see the disappointment building up on Gohan's face. "I think we still can if I leave early. It won't be what I was hoping it would be… but… would you like that?"

Gohan's meager smile broadened into a real grin. "Yeah! I bet we can still do it!"

Gokou flashed him his pearly-whites and gave him a thumbs up. "Then it's a deal!"

Day 1 in the Room of Spirit and Time:

Vegeta didn't waste any time unpacking his few belongings. He was instantly in the mood to battle. Gokou silently wished that he hadn't packed up his belongings in the first place. Now he was going to have to put them all away again.

"Come Kakarrot," Vegeta hollered out as he walked toward the ledge of the only concrete structure in the chamber. He hopped off the ledge and began trudging off into the far distance. The gravity and temperature was no-doubt gradually becoming more and more unbearable the further in he went, which was exactly what he wanted.

Gokou was bewildered for a moment. "Hey!" he shouted. "Don't you want to warm up first before going that far in?"

Vegeta paused for a moment and laughed. "What makes you think I'm not?"

Gokou was surprised. It had taken awhile for him and Trunks to venture out that far, and they always prepared themselves by warming up in the more tolerable areas before doing so. Vegeta was definitely a loose cannon sort of guy. Gokou suddenly felt ashamed for not having realized that warming up in the higher gravity would actually be more beneficial. Besides, it looked as if Vegeta had been used to going in farther than he and Trunks had ever ventured. He and Trunks had definitely been taking the easy way out. Gokou shook his head. 'Not anymore!' he thought.

"Wait for me!" Gokou called out giddily as he ran after Vegeta's disappearing form.

The two men did various stretches, crunches, push-ups, and they practiced punching and kicking the air. Vegeta didn't speak when it wasn't necessary. Gokou was such an outgoing chatterbox that he found himself feeling quite uncomfortable. Though why he felt awkward around Vegeta was a mystery to him. He already knew that Vegeta despised him for some unimportant reason. He'd come to terms with it. So he just didn't know why being around him rubbed him the wrong way.

Gokou laughed as he thought, 'Maybe it's because he's in love with me… er… the female me, but you never know, he might be an opportunist. He might jump on me or something!' The thought of Vegeta being attracted to him was pretty hilarious to Gokou. His chuckle ended up turning into full-on laughter.

Vegeta finally couldn't take it any longer and interrupted: "What's so damn funny?"

Gokou forced himself to stifle his laughter. "Well, I was just wondering if I was going to have to worry about you getting into my 'personal space', you know… since you're in love with me and all."

Vegeta had been doing one-handed handstand push-ups. The shock of what Gokou said caused him to stumble and almost topple to the ground.

"I don't love you, imbecile!" he shouted, his face turning crimson red.

Gokou laughed. "I know, I know… I'm not exactly the same person as my female half, but you aren't going to be seeing her for a long time and I'm just worried about my safety, that's all." Gokou was kidding of course, but Vegeta was taking him seriously.

Vegeta was nearly seething with rage. "I am not attracted to you! You disgust me, idiot!"

If Gokou laughed any harder, he might have started to cry. "ChiChi says that most guys call their crushes mean names because they can't get up the courage to express their true feelings."

By now, Vegeta finally seemed to catch the gist that Gokou was yanking his chain. Somehow, the fact that Gokou had outsmarted him made him even more angry. "Alright," he hissed through clenched teeth. "The warm-up is over!"

Gokou smiled and rubbed his hands together. "Oh goody!" he exclaimed.

"Shut up, clown!" Vegeta shouted, launching at Gokou at full force and clouting him on the cheek. Gokou was sent careening off even further into the depths of the chamber. He wasn't in the air for very long. The gravity pulled him downward like an anchor. When he hit a hard surface, his bones popped.

He pulled himself up into a sitting position and laughed, rubbing the back of his head. "Wow, he sure packs a mean wallop." Gokou smirked. He had a feeling that his time here was going to be well spent. He felt a breeze waft onto his face. He glanced up just in time to see Vegeta's elbow coming straight at him. 'No rest for the weary,' he thought in amusement, reaching up to block with his forearms. The force of Vegeta's limb against Gokou's shielding arms actually made Gokou feel a little tinge of pain.

The sheer force of Vegeta's blow built up enough momentum to cause Gokou's feet and knees to skid across the ground. The ground appeared smooth, actually, it appeared nonexistent, but it was neither of the two. It was definitely there, nice and solid. Though Gokou could see no abrasive surface, he could feel it. It felt like he was skidding across rocks and pebbles. It felt like tiny objects were being imbedded in his skin. When he finally came to a halt, he had the cuts and scrapes to prove it, but he could see no rocks. It was very confusing and frustrating to be hurt by something you couldn't see. This wasn't new to Gokou, but it still intrigued him.

"What's wrong?" Vegeta teased. "Does baby Kakarrot have a boo-boo?"

Gokou rolled his eyes. "I'm fine," he replied.

Vegeta smirked, "Good." Vegeta powered up a little and the two clashed together again. They exchanged blows for a good half hour. Unbeknownst to Gokou, Vegeta was actually testing out Gokou's skill and technique. He was testing out his strength.

After awhile, the two broke apart. Not a single hair on Vegeta's head was harmed. Gokou on the other hand was quite battered up, and he was breathing laboriously. Though, despite the odds, Gokou still had a smirk plastered on his face.

"So…" he began, speaking in-between gasps of air, "will you tell me now why it is you changed your mind?"

"For insurance," Vegeta replied with a deadpan expression.

Gokou frowned. "You mean… against Cell… right?"

Vegeta scoffed, crossed his arms, and looked away stubbornly. "Don't get any ideas, Kakarrot. I will be the one to defeat Cell. I am the strongest in the universe!"

Gokou felt like prodding further. He felt like saying, "If you're so strong, then why do you need insurance?" He kept silent. He already knew the answer. He thought that he was finally beginning to understand Vegeta. Vegeta was very arrogant. Admitting that he might not be able to defeat Cell would be a real blow to his pride. He could kind of see the part of him that Goku had been talking about now. She said there was good in him, good that he had yet to notice at the time. He figured that what he was witnessing now was the good she had spoken of earlier.

The truth of the matter was that Vegeta did love Goku. He loved his children. Gokou could tell by how jealous he had become when he'd realized he'd have to share them. It was plain to see that Vegeta wanted Gokou as a backup plan in case he wasn't strong enough to protect his family. He was going kill Cell or die trying. The fact that he felt the need for backup showed that he wasn't entirely full of himself. There was also a part of him that obviously – even though he'd never admit to it – thought that Gokou was very strong, possibly strong enough to do what Vegeta could not.

"Alright, I won't," Gokou finally replied. "Though, I want you to train me to be as strong as you are anyway. I want to become as strong as I possibly can! Besides, after you defeat Cell, you're going to want someone who can be a challenge to you. Life without challenges isn't a life at all."

Vegeta grinned. "That's the first intelligent thing I've heard you say. I will teach you, Kakarrot. Brace yourself for what you are about to see. You are about to witness the strength of legend. You are going to observe the power of a true Super Saiyan elite."

'Oh great, I just added fuel to his already inflamed ego,' Gokou thought sarcastically.

Vegeta crouched slightly. His back arched forward. His fists clenched and his biceps bulged. The air began to billow around him. It became turbulent. His ki signature rocketed upward, and a white aura enfolded his tense form. "Pay close attention, Kakarrot," Vegeta shouted through clenched teeth. "One can only dream of achieving such power as this." With his final word spoken, he let out shout. The sound of his voice carried off into the distance. It rose in pitch by the second. "Arggghhh!" he screamed at the top of his lungs. The aura around his body fluctuated and began to look like a raging whirlwind. It glowed yellow and then mutated into a magnificent golden hue. His hair flickered from dark brown to blonde. It eventually remained blonde. His eyes became a beautiful teal color.

When Vegeta was finally finished powering up, he stood erect with his fists still clenched. His muscles were nearly twice the size as they had been before. Vegeta smirked, displaying his sharp canines. "I bet you've never seen anything like that before." he said, folding his arms together.

Gokou smiled at him. "Wow, Vegeta you are powerful!"

Vegeta chuckled. "Tell me something I don't know." Meanwhile he thought, 'Heh… maybe this kid isn't so bad after all…' Vegeta enjoyed being admired for what he was – brilliance in solid form (sarcasm).

"But I have seen it before," Gokou continued.

Vegeta furrowed his eyebrows together in confusion. "When?"

"Well," Gokou began, "for starters… your son… Trunks, he can do it. He's really strong!"

Vegeta winced. He changed his mind about liking Gokou almost instantly. "That mutt is not my son! He is not worthy of being called a Saiyan! His strength cannot be compared to mine."

Gokou shrugged his shoulders. "Well, if you say so," he replied good-naturedly.

"Are you ready for a real battle, Kakarrot?" Vegeta inquired, his aura dancing around his chiseled body.

"Not yet," Gokou replied. "Let me power up first."

Vegeta rolled his eyes. "Go ahead, but it will make no difference. You are but a small bug that I am going to squash over and over and over again. You will not last more than half a minute, I promise you that."

"And if I last longer?" Gokou pressed.

"You won't," Vegeta replied tersely.

"Hypothetically, if I do, will you finally take me seriously?" Gokou asked.

Vegeta laughed. "Sure, why not."

Gokou smirked. "Alright, I'm kind of new at this, but here it goes!" He spread his feet apart slightly and crouched. He clenched his fingers tightly and his biceps bulged. His jaw clenched and he let out a grunt of effort. His aura lit up around him as a magnificent, pure, luminescent white. He screamed and his eyelids squeezed shut with the effort. The air pulsated around his body exactly as it had been before when Vegeta was powering up.

Much to Vegeta's astonishment, the aura that was blanketing Gokou's body took on a golden hue. 'No way!' he thought with incredulity. 'There's no way, this can't be happening!'

Without any form of warning, Gokou's aura exploded to twice its original size, it became a brilliant shade of gold. His hair stood on end and flashed to a golden-yellowish hue. He screamed so loudly, it almost sounded as if he was in pain.

When he was finished, he let out a deep sigh. He stood up straight as an arrow and his tense muscles relaxed somewhat. His eyelids fluttered open to reveal the same haunting color of teal that could be seen in Vegeta's own eyes.

Gokou smirked and said, "Now I'm ready."

Vegeta blinked at Gokou in utter shock and disbelief. "H – how?" he stuttered, more to himself than to Gokou.

Gokou's eyebrows knitted together with anger. His jaw was clenched tightly, and his expression was altogether dead-serious. "I trained harder than I've ever trained before. I have a family now. I will not lose them! I listened to Trunks' story, the entire thing! I heard what happened to everyone! I heard about how Gohan had to grow up without a father. He had to fight those monsters all by himself and he died! All of my friends died! ChiChi died!" Gokou paused and clenched his fists so tightly, his fingernails perforated the skin and drew blood. His body shook with rage. His aura brightened even more so and became tumultuous.

"Cell isn't just a monster. He's a monster who has gobbled up innocent lives as if the people he killed were nothing but the dirt on his feet! He has androids 17 and 18 inside of him! He is an evil killing machine, much stronger than the monsters of Trunks' timeline! This is not just a fight, this is a war! I will not allow him to harm the people that I love! I will not let him deface planet Earth! I will let you have your go at him Vegeta, and I hope that you can destroy him, but if you can't, he won't get past me! That is how I came to be like this!"

Vegeta wasn't sure whether he was feeling some sort of deference toward Gokou or whether he hated his guts. All he was sure of was that they both had the same enemy.

A/N: I just posted up a new poll on my profile page. It has a list of choices for baby girl names for one or two of Goku's twins (I'm not telling you if they are both going to be girls it's a secret ;-) hahaha). Most of the names are japanese. I tried to keep them simple and 'cutesy'. I will probably add more later. If you have any suggestions, email, pm, or send it in a review. I'll post it up! :) The names don't have to be japanese. I will try to update really soon, but I've got a ton of schoolwork – I'm supposed to be writing an essay right now. Shame on me! Thank you so much for the inspiring reviews! Until next time, ciao! P.S. I don't know about you guys, but every time I mention Mr. Popo I can't help but think of the characterization of him rendered by TFS! If you don't know what TFS is, google it and watch their videos now! :)

*Chapter 51*: Premeditation

Disclaimer: I don't own DB/Z/GT.

Female Goku = Goku; Male = Gokou.

Chapter 51: Premeditation

Gokou sat at a table surrounded by familiar faces. The table was decked with loads of food. To his right side sat his female doppelganger, and to his left side sat Trunks. Everyone was seated at the table, attempting to enjoy a hearty breakfast. For the first time in his life, Gokou wasn't in the mood to eat anything. Sure, everything looked great! After all, ChiChi had cooked it. The problem was that his stomach was currently engaged in performing somersaults. He felt queasy. He couldn't help glancing at all of the faces surrounding him, displaying their artificial, cheerful smiles. Nobody could possibly be happy on a day such as this.

Vegeta had made it known constantly that he would be the one to defeat Cell, but doubts still crept around in the back of Gokou's mind. If Vegeta couldn't accomplish such a feat, what chance had he of doing it? Vegeta was a hardened warrior. Gokou realized that when compared with Vegeta, he was still just a kid – an inexperienced kid. Though, he didn't feel like he was a kid anymore. Already, it felt as if the fight with Junior at the World's Martial Arts Tournament had been eons ago.

What bothered Gokou the most was that he didn't think that any of the Z-fighters had gathered enough strength to be comparable with Cell. Like the rest of them, he had felt Cell's immense power in all of its formidable glory when he had absorbed 18. For a split instant, all of his reserves of ki had been released. It had made Gokou feel like a mere ant in comparison. Gokou stabbed a piece of sausage with his fork, and he lifted it up to his mouth, pausing to examine its greasy contents as if it was something extremely fascinating.

'It isn't good enough!' he thought. 'Super Saiyan isn't enough!'

Gokou clenched his fists with frustration. He absentmindedly banged the fist holding his fork against the table top. It shuddered from his strength. The stress caused by his blow formed a small crevice beneath his fist. Everyone paused in eating their meal any stared at him dumbfounded. Gokou's face flushed red and he swiftly took a bite out of the sausage. Whilst masticating the food in his mouth, he said, "Wow, ChiChi I just don't know how you do it! This is amazing!"

ChiChi continued to gaze at him rendered speechless with alarm. She nodded her head with a small, forced smile. Words didn't need to be spoken. Everyone understood his actions. They just didn't want to believe what their conscious was telling them. ChiChi tried to make herself useful in any way that she could, and she excused herself from the table to grab a condiment.

Flashback: In the Room of Spirit and Time with Vegeta…

Gokou breathed laboriously. His eyes squeezed shut. He could feel a bead of sweat trickle down his face. His skin felt warm and inflamed. He cracked a smile and the splits in his chapped lips stung. His legs felt wooden and weak beneath his torso, as if they were termite-ridden. He struggled to stand. His eyelids fluttered open. He could immediately see a blurry image of Vegeta. Yep, he'd over-done-it again. He sighed and collapsed contentedly on the ground.

"Vegeta," he said.

Vegeta crossed his arms. "Giving up already?" he spat, though he too felt quite exhausted.

"Do you feel it too?" Gokou asked.

Vegeta's eyebrows furrowed together. "What are you babbling on about now?"

Gokou chuckled. "What I meant to say is: do you feel like you've hit a wall, like you can't increase your power any farther?"

Vegeta scoffed at him and turned away from his penetrating line of sight. He clenched his fists with irritation. Yes, he'd felt this feeling Gokou spoke of as well. At first he thought it would be a minor hindrance, but it wasn't. He'd initially noticed this unsurpassable "peak" so to speak when he had been training with Goku. He'd tried to ignore it, but he couldn't any longer. Gokou apparently had noticed now it too.

Vegeta harrumphed in answer. Gokou took it as an affirmative.

"Trunks had mentioned it to me when I was training with him, but I couldn't understand it then. He said that he's come close to breaking this… power barrier, but that was awhile ago. He said that when it nearly had happened he had been so furious he'd lost all sense of reason… he'd gone off the deep end. He said he'd just felt the cusp of what he knew was tremendous power… so powerful it was frightening…"

"I doubt that brat has come anywhere close to reaching this tremendous power you speak of," Vegeta replied.

"I believe him… I believe that there is a way to tear down that wall and ascend beyond that of a Super Saiyan," Gokou replied.

Vegeta turned around and smirked at him, "For that matter, I never said I thought otherwise, Kakarrot. I can feel it as well, and I will be the first to reach this ascended state, you just wait and see."

End Flashback.

Gokou was torn away from his reverie by the sudden sound of Gohan's voice. "Father," he said, "could you please pass me the pancake platter?"

As was expected, Goku mistook who Gohan was addressing, and she took it upon herself to outstretch over the table in Gokou's direction, trying to reach the plate. Gohan chuckled and replied, "Not you, Dad!"

"Huh?" Goku murmured in befuddlement as she watched Gokou reach his arm out toward the pancake platter in front of him, grasp it, and hand it over to her. Goku received it and held onto it for a moment. She was still confused. Gohan nudged her on the shoulder to remind her that he was still waiting.

Goku laughed sheepishly and apologized. "Oops, I guess I was spacing out…" By now she had realized Gohan had been calling her male counterpart father. She felt a sinking feeling in her chest. Just as she had suspected, during their exclusive time together in the Room of Spirit and Time, they had bonded.


Goku was shocked to see Gokou leaving the Hyperbolic Time Chamber prematurely. Vegeta had not followed suit. He was staying for the full year. Gokou had left at about one-third through the year.

"Why did you leave so soon?" she asked him. "I know that we went in as a kid, but it was only for 5 months… which means… you should still have approximately 3 months left at your disposal."

Gokou grinned, "I know. I left early on purpose!"

Goku frowned at him with apparent puzzlement. "And why is that?"

Gohan seemingly popped up out of nowhere. "Because he promised to take me in there with him."

Goku turned to look at Gohan, surprise written on her face. "Oh… but didn't you already go in with Piccolo?"

"Yeah," Gohan replied, "but…"

Gokou piped up, "There's something I want to show him."

The pieces were forming together perfectly in place. Goku realized now why Gokou and Gohan had been so secretive earlier. This was their secret. There was just one thing she didn't entirely understand: "What is it you want to show him?" she inquired.

Gohan held his index finger over his lips. "Shh…" he whispered.

Gokou laughed and replied. "It's a secret… for now. Don't worry, you'll see…"

End Flashback.

Goku glanced over her shoulder at Gohan. He was picking up a few pancakes off of the plate with some tongs and plopping them onto his own. When he was finished he passed it down the line. She paid close attention to his golden-hued hair and his teal eyes. She felt ashamed. Gokou, he, had taught her son how to go Super Saiyan. That is what the secret had been. She wished more than anything that it could have been her, but she also realized that it was good for both Gokou and Gohan. They needed to bond whether she felt comfortable with it or not. Goku glanced over at her male counterpart. To her surprise, he was staring at her, as if assessing her reaction to the situation. It shouldn't have shocked her. She was well aware that he knew how she felt about this. Vegeta had made that perfectly clear. She smiled at him as if to brush his worries aside. Before diverting her gaze from his, her eyes lingered on his own golden tresses as well.

Compared to her, he was still just a kid, and yet he had already unlocked Super Saiyan. Hell, Gohan was only eleven and he had managed the same accomplishment. Not only that, Gokou had been smart enough to teach himself and Gohan to become more comfortable in their Super Saiyan transformations. He and Gohan had learned to stay in their Super Saiyan mode even when their anger wasn't aroused, even when they weren't hungry for a fight. For Kami's sake, they slept in their Super Saiyan state! 'Why hadn't I thought of that… come to think of it… it's probably better that I didn't,' Goku mused, patting her pregnant belly as if stressing her point.

Gohan grabbed a pitcher of maple syrup and began to pour it over his pancakes. He felt so helpless. He'd agreed to not participate in the Cell games – much to his mother's relief, but that didn't mean he had wanted to agree to it.

'They act like I'm such a little kid…' he thought. 'I've seen so many things kids twice my age haven't witnessed. I'm not just a kid! I can help! I want to help!'

Flashback: In the Room of Spirit and Time with Gokou…

Gohan had been tentative about forming a relationship with Gokou at first. His mom expected him to think of Gokou as his father, but he already had a father. Besides, how could he think of someone not much older than him as his father? Goku still acted like a child at times and she was in her late twenties… So, Gohan figured that Gokou would be even less mature than himself…

but when they had entered the Room of Spirit and Time, Gokou had knelt down to Gohan's height and rested the palms of his hands on Gohan's shoulders. He smiled warmly at him. "I'm glad that we're getting to spend time together," he said. Then his countenance immediately morphed into absolute seriousness. "But this isn't going to be some walk in the park. I don't have to tell you how serious this threat is. I'm going to train you really hard. I won't go easy on you, Gohan, because your dad's told me all about you, and I know that you can handle it."

Gohan hadn't known how to respond to that. He stood silently staring up at Gokou. His hands on his shoulder felt like weights. Gokou continued to look him straight in the eyes unflinchingly.

"Understand?" he asked.

That lone word shook Gohan out of his stupor. He nodded his head yes. "But Mom and Dad don't want me to participate in the Cell games."

Gokou smiled at him knowingly. "You're looking at it the wrong way, Gohan. You're the most important in all of this. You are our last hope. If Cell kills all of us – Kami forbid – then you will be the last one standing between him and your mom and dad, your siblings, Bulma, Master Roshi, Lunch, all of the people we love, and every innocent soul on Earth."

Gohan carefully considered his words. His eyes grew with shock and anticipation. Nobody had ever spoken to him like this. Gokou was being so frank with him. He suddenly felt so important, and it was a scary feeling.

"I don't want you to die," Gohan replied abruptly.

The sternness immediately melted off of Gokou's features and was suddenly replaced by his usual cheerful disposition. He ruffled Gohan's ebony locks and laughed a little. "I don't want to either."

Gohan suddenly felt like a kid again.

One month later, Gokou felt that Gohan was ready to stretch beyond the limits of his normal form and delve into the power of the Super Saiyan. He told Gohan how he felt, and Gohan was taken aback to say in the least. Him, a Super Saiyan? The concept seemed so foreign to him. It felt like just yesterday when he had witnessed his dad make the transformation on planet Namek.

He could still recall very clearly the way such power had made him feel. He felt like nothing compared to it. The strength had been so overwhelming to his senses, it made him shiver just thinking about it. He doubted he could handle such power.

Gokou's expression was serious. "You can do this, Gohan. I've paid close attention to your abilities this last month, and I know what your Dad means when she says that you have so much potential, so much hidden power. Don't allow doubts to creep into the back of your mind. You're stronger than you think."

Gohan nodded with a grave expression painted on his face. He crouched, and tried to demolish any doubt from his mind. 'I can do this. I can do this. I can do this!' his thoughts chanted. He clenched his fists and began to power up. When he reached his limits, Gokou instructed him:

"As you already know, Super Saiyan power is released by extreme rage. Gohan, I know that this is going to be very difficult for you, but I need you to think of anything that makes you angry! Don't bind your anger down. Unleash it!"

Gohan tried to think of things that made him angry. Well, he didn't like being treated like a kid all the time. This wasn't much of a catalyst for him. He took after his dad. He was a laid back sort of person. He didn't get mad easily.

"I don't know what to think about to make myself so mad," Gohan replied earnestly.

Gokou chuckled. "Think about how mad you are when your mom makes you study in your sleep," he said jestingly.

It was so unexpected, Gohan snorted with laughter. He flexed his muscles and screamed. His aura rose around his body and his hair lifted into the air as if it was weightless. "Yes! I can feel it now! The power of my anger has unleashed… Super Saiyan!"

Gohan couldn't withhold his laughter any longer and bent over with mirth, clutching at his aching sides. His aura fell limp once again. Gokou joined in with the bout of laughter. "ChiChi would be so annoyed if she was here," he pointed out in-between laughs.

After they had regained their sobriety, Gohan resumed powering up to his peak. Again he tried to concentrate on stuff that made him angry, and again he couldn't think of anything.

Gokou rested his index finger on his chin thoughtfully. He considered what might make Gohan angry. He remembered something Goku had told him. Goku had explained to him the events that led up to her achieving Super Saiyan for the first time.

"I know this will be hard for you, but try to think of the events that occurred on planet Namek. Try to remember all of the innocent Namekians Freeza so mercilessly slaughtered!" Gokou explained.

Images of the bloodshed flashed across Gohan's mind. He could remember an older Namekian trying to protect two of their children from Freeza's wrath.

"Fine," the older Namekian had said resignedly. "I'll show you where the dragon ball is. Just leave my village peacefully."

Freeza sat atop his hover chair with a petulant smile adorning his lips. His eyes were glued upon the older Namekian as he retrieved the dragon ball, and presented before him. Freeza snapped his fingers, and one of his attendants retrieved the ball.

"Many thanks," Freeza replied in a sarcastic tone of voice, "but since it took you so long to comply… I think some punishment is in order."

The Namekian's eyes grew wide with fear. "But you… we had a deal!" He shouted, clenching his fists furiously.

"I never agreed to anything," Freeza replied bluntly. He watched carefully as the older Namekian ushered two children to run away. A small red orb of energy formed and levitated atop Freeza's forefinger. He laughed and let it loose. One of the children instantly fell dead to the ground with a sickening thumping noise that resounded among the many plateaus in the landscape.

Gohan's blood began to boil. He could recall it all so clearly, as if he'd just seen it not even a minute ago. He could remember the sound of each of their bodies hitting the earth. More than anything, he could still hear Freeza's malevolent laughter ringing incessantly in his ears. Unbeknownst to him, his aura came to life, and his fingernails dug into the skin of his palms.

"No…" he whispered.

As if on perfect cue, Gokou continued onward: "Remember what it was like to see that monster shoot down your friend, Piccolo."

Gohan clenched his teeth, and ground them together. His aura pulsed violently.

He could remember the shout of, "Goku, watch out!" In a blur, Piccolo flung his body in front of Goku like a Namekian meat shield, shoving Goku out of harm's way as he did so. Gohan could recall Freeza's red, death beam slicing through Piccolo's chest. Piccolo lost his sense of balance, and he crumpled to the ground in pain.

"No!" Gohan shouted, his aura flickering to gold for a split-second.

"Remember what he did to Krillin!" Gokou bellowed mercilessly.

"Krillin!" Goku had shouted. "Take Gohan and get the hell out of here!"

Krillin didn't have to be told twice. "C'mon Gohan, there's nothing we can do here," he entreated.

"No!" Gohan shouted, turning to face his dad. "I can't leave you here!"

Goku shot Gohan an unreserved look of furiousness. "I said leave, Gohan!" he commanded with a loud, booming tone of voice.

"Listen to your father," Krillin piped up.

Gohan was about to argue, but he lost his train of thought when Krillin let out a yelp of surprise. It almost appeared as if Krillin was flying away at first, but then Gohan realized that something was seriously wrong. Krillin wasn't using his ki. He was looking down at his torso as if he was being held by something. His stubby legs frantically flailed back and forth as his body levitated higher toward the sky.

"Wha – what's going on?" he shouted, his eyes reflecting pure terror.

Goku spun around and shouted, "K – Krillin, no!" He turned his steely gaze to Freeza. "Don't do this!" he yelled.

Freeza grinned at them with the most twisted smile Gohan had ever seen. Freeza was truly a monster, an insane monster! His lips parted gradually and finally he said, "Pop goes the weasel." He snapped his fingers, and Krillin screamed in agony. Blood spurted from his body in all directions like a geyser. His screams carried on for what felt like eternity as his body exploded into little bits and pieces, raining down on Gohan and Goku. Gohan stood helpless. He could hear Freeza's cackle break the silence that ensued.

"No!" Gohan screamed. That was the last straw! His aura became turbulent. His hair flashed to gold. He shrieked as loud as his small lungs would allow. His fury had no bounds any longer. He let it loose all at once. When he had screamed to his heart's desire, he was shocked to realize that he had achieved the form of Super Saiyan. He stared at his hands in complete awe. They looked entirely the same, but he felt so different than before. He couldn't believe that he was staring at his own hands because his own power felt foreign to him. Then suddenly he felt extremely exhausted. His aura trickled down into nothing, and his gravity-defying hair became limp. He collapsed to the ground in exhaustion.

"Way to go!" Gokou shouted in triumph. "You did it!"

Gohan smiled weakly, thinking, 'I did it! I'm a Super Saiyan!'

End Flashback.

Gohan heard a snapping noise and realized the Goku's face was very close to his, as if inspecting him. Her hand was raised and she was snapping her thumb and middle finger together to gain his attention. "Earth to Gohan," she said jokingly, "do you copy?" Gohan's daydream was instantly shattered into little bits and pieces. "Y – yes!" he replied.

Goku beamed at him, glad that she'd accomplished the difficult feat of breaking Gohan out of his trance. "So…" she said casually, "do you think that you have enough maple syrup on that there pancake, young man?"

Gohan stared at her dumbly for a moment. "Wha – " he murmured incomprehensively. Then suddenly, he realized what she was talking about. The maple syrup pitcher was still in his hand, raised at an angle. He'd poured nearly have of the syrup out of it and onto his plate. His pancakes were saturated with maple syrup and the sticky stuff was dripping off of the plate and onto the table.

"Oops…" Gohan muttered.

Suddenly, Gokou hissed in a loud whisper, "Quick! Hide it before ChiChi comes back!"

Gohan's eyes widened in shock. "Oh no!"

Goku frantically looked around for something to cover up Gohan's mess. She tossed a napkin on top of it. It didn't help.

"Now Mom is just going to think that I'm wasting my food!" Gohan complained.

Gokou pushed his seat backward and stood up. He walked over to Gohan, picked up the dripping plate and flung it in the air like a frisbee. He raised his arm and blasted Gohan's breakfast to smithereens.

Gohan pouted playfully. "Now I don't have a plate at all!"

"It's okay, Gohan," Gokou reassured him, patting his shoulder all the while. "We'll just tell your mother that you were really hungry and you ate it."

Without warning, Gohan's eyes widened in surprise and his mouth hung agape. Gokou raised an eyebrow at him out of curiosity. "What?" he asked.

He felt a light tapping sensation on his shoulder. He gulped. He silently mouthed out, "She's right behind me, isn't she?"

Both Gohan and Goku nodded with smiles of amusement plastered on their faces.

"You were saying?" ChiChi said in a shrill voice.

ChiChi folded her arms together and tapped her foot impatiently. She had a smile on her face. Her boys were so silly. She loved them so much… she couldn't bear to lose them…

Flashback: The previous day…

ChiChi watched from the sidelines as Gokou reiterated the story of how he met her to Gohan. Gohan was fascinated. He'd never been told this story in depth. He had always been told by ChiChi that she and his dad had been in love since they were kids… that they were engaged since they were twelve years old.

Gokou was currently explaining to Gohan how he'd mistaken marriage as a type of food when he was a kid and had not meant to become engaged at all. Gohan was laughing. It was so like his dad to do something like that! Food was all he ever thought about… well that and fighting.

Gohan was called off by Krillin for a moment, and before Gokou could leave to continue his training no doubt, ChiChi crept up to his back and hugged him from behind. She nestled her face in the pit between his shoulder blades.

"Chi?" he said.

She rubbed his arms with her slender hands and said, "I love you so much…"

Gokou stood frozen on the spot. "I love you too, ChiChi."

ChiChi smiled and her lips pressed up against the material of his shirt. "Promise me you won't leave me again," she whispered, her voice cracking. Tears began to seep into his shirt. She clung onto his form more tightly.

Gokou pried her off of him and turned to look at her face to face. He cupped her chin in his hands and rested his forehead against her own. He sighed. "Why would you think something like that, Chi. I've never left you before, and I don't plan on doing it now."

He didn't quite understand what she meant by it. He hadn't technically left her, but she had been left before by Goku. Her husband had died before. She had to be strong when he was gone. As if that wasn't enough, her son had been taken from her at the same time by a "demon" that had tried to kill her husband only a few years earlier. She'd had nothing at all to comfort her. She didn't know if she would ever get her family back! Then yet again, her family was whisked away from her. They were risking their lives in the depths of space on a mysterious alien planet. She hadn't known if said planet was hostile or not. All she knew was that they had gone to retrieve the Namekian dragon balls and they had ended up having to fight a bloodthirsty, megalomaniacal tyrant. All she could do was be afraid for their safety, and pray to Kami for them… but at that time, Kami was dead. In a fit of anger and fear, she had tried to launch one of Dr. Briefs' spaceships to go there and retrieve her innocent little boy, but that had not gone over smoothly.

"I know you don't intend on leaving me. You never do…" she whispered faintly. "But you're the Earth's savior and you always get caught up in these dangerous situations. You put your life at risk, and I have to stand along the sidelines and watch like a good wife. You don't know it… but I've lost you three times already. One of those times you died, the other time I thought you were dead, and the third time I thought that you hated me… I lost it that third time… I'm scared of what I might do if I lose you again. I don't know if I'm strong enough to handle it, Gokou."

Gokou sighed. "I'm sorry, Chi… but that wasn't me. I promise you won't lose me."

One of ChiChi's salty tears splattered onto Gokou's bottom lip. Her body raked with a sob. "Thank you, Gokou," she said in such a low pitch that it was almost incoherent.

How was she to know that Gokou wasn't sure he could keep his promise to her?

End Flashback.

When Gokou spun around to face ChiChi and endure her fury for tossing Gohan's food in the air and incinerating it, he was shocked to see ChiChi lean forward with a smile on her lips. He was dumbfounded when he felt her lips meet with his own. A soft smacking sound could be heard as they abruptly parted. He was still quite confused.

She smiled and she looked like what Gokou could only assume that an angel would look like. "I'll let you off just this once, Mister," she said, playfully wagging her index finger at him.

Vegeta had overheard the commotion. He rolled his eyes. He just simply didn't understand why they were going on about Gohan's food. He had chosen not to dine with them. He wasn't accustomed to being in large groups – especially when it didn't have anything to do with a grave situation. He was somewhat of a recluse. He didn't understand how to act around other people, and he had no desire of trying to be accepted by them.

He also had no desire to see Goku again. He had said his farewell earlier that morning after the very eventful night they had spent together. He couldn't bear to look at her again. If he did, he would surely display his weakness in front of the others. He would not lower himself to that!

Flashback: Earlier that morning…

Vegeta lay awake in bed staring up at the ceiling. His head was pounding. Goku shifted in her sleep and let out a soft murmur. She was hogging the covers, but he didn't mind. He didn't plan on sleeping any longer anyway. How could he possibly sleep at a time such as this?

Vegeta was startled by Goku's tail suddenly whipping out from under the covers a brushing against his leg. A chill ran up his spine. He made a quick jerky movement. Goku tossed and turned. She rubbed the sleep out of her eyes and sat up, staring at him curiously.

"You really should try and get some sleep, Vegeta," she suggested, pouting slightly.

Vegeta grunted in response.

"What's on your mind?" she asked.

Vegeta glowered at her. "Nothing is on my mind!"

Goku rolled her eyes and continued undaunted, "Oh, something is on your mind alright! I can tell! You always get fussy when you don't want to talk about something…"

Vegeta turned his head away from her line of sight. "And you always ask stupid questions," he countered childishly.

Goku laughed and brushed what he had said aside. After all, he was actually right about that in a way. She asked him a question that she already knew the answer to. She ran her slender fingers through his coarse, dark hair and whispered soothingly, "Don't worry, Vegeta."

Vegeta played dumb. "Don't worry about what, pray tell?"

"I have total faith in you," she said, running her finger along the edge of his ear. "You can and will defeat Cell."

Vegeta was about to say something along the lines of, "As if I need you to tell me what I already know!" He thought twice about it and decided against it. She always managed to crumble away at his mental wall.

'What if you were fated to be the one to defeat Cell, Kakarrot?' he thought sullenly. 'What if it was supposed to be you? I may have killed us all.'

He would never verbally attest to these thoughts that were currently haunting his mind, but Goku knew that he was doubtful of his abilities and knowing that she understood was enough.

'It doesn't matter if it was supposed to be Kakarrot,' Vegeta suddenly thought. 'It has to be me who defeats Cell. I cannot afford to have doubts! I cannot and will not lose!'

Vegeta turned around to kiss Goku on the lips. He savored the taste of her. He could feel the warmth of her radiating onto his bare skin.

"I understand why you can be so strong now, Kakarrot. I know how you are capable of accomplishing feats that seem impossible. You fight to protect those that you love. You fight for the people and things that you cannot bare to lose. I fought to protect my dignity. I fought for nobody but myself. I fought to save myself when I didn't even like who I was. You fight for much more than I did, Kakarrot. But now… I understand what it is like to yearn to keep someone you care for safe. I have something concrete that I can lose now. I cannot lose you. I cannot lose our babies. I will protect you with every ounce of energy and strength that I have right down to the last drop. I can defeat Cell, because I am fighting for everything I have."

Vegeta said all of these things, and he meant what he said. Still, he could not repress the sickening, sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach. He could not help but feel like he was walking on the path of his own execution. It was as if he was walking up the center stage, laying his head to rest beneath a guillotine blade. It was as if he could hear the metallic clank and ring as the blade was let loose. It was as if he could feel the blade slicing through the air with a whooshing sound. He felt as if at any moment now… the blade would strike at his neck and decapitate him for good.

At this very moment, every second felt like eternity. He couldn't help but think of all of the things that he had done wrong or taken for granted. He reasoned with himself that he had hope, and that when he was free he would live life to the fullest. He wouldn't fuck it up this time. He would have a family that he loved – even if he would never admit to it – and he would live out the rest of his life in happiness. He would be grateful for this enormous reprieve. If he could defeat Cell, he felt as if he would be the happiest man in the universe!

Still… the awful, sinking feeling didn't go away. It gradually gnawed at his insides. He felt sick. He felt like a condemned man.

Goku's face was nuzzled into the crook of his neck. He could feel her warm breaths wisping against his flesh. "Don't worry," she murmured, gently kissing his skin. "I believe in you."

End Flashback.

A/N: Once again, I have a new poll for this story on my profile so check it out if your bored :)! The results are viewable by everyone. Next chapter is definitely the Cell Games. I promise this time! I didn't want to bore you all by spending a bunch of time writing about everybody going into the Room of Spirit and Time so I've tried to condense it without making it seem rushed - hopefully I succeeded! This is more of an introspective chapter to lead up to the action that is about to unfold... YAY! Now to answer some review questions: WinterValentine: in regard to Vegeta's dreams that he's been having since pretty much the beginning... there is a possibility that he is having a premonition of some sort, but it's mostly there to display Vegeta's inner feelings because he is usually so cold and tight-lipped about anything personally having to do with him. KrillinFanGirl: First of all, I want to say that you are so lucky to be watching DBZ for the first time when they've released Kai... it's so much more short, sweet, and to the point. Plus, I've seen a few of the episodes and the dialogue is so much better - or so I think. And as for Vegeta being a virgin... I think that's a matter of opinion because it was never revealed in the show. I personally think that Vegeta would have had sex with some alien chick when he was young and naive just to see what it was like... but you never know. Vegeta is very proud and he may not have 'degraded' himself to that. Though on the other hand, if he is a virgin, I don't think that you could get him to admit it even if you held a knife up to his 'jewels' lol. I've never really thought of this before... thanks for pointing that out! Once again, thanks to everyone for the reviews! Ask questions, I'll answer... but I won't give anything away! :) Also thanks for the faves too! I finally surpassed the 200 mark for this story awhile back. YAY! Until next time... :) bye!

*Chapter 52*: Doomsday

Disclaimer: I don't own DB/Z/GT.

Female Goku = Goku; Male = Gokou.

Chapter 52: Doomsday

After the long, drawn-out, and somewhat awkward breakfast of that morning, everyone exploded into life. ChiChi scurried away toward the kitchen. Bulma ran off to pack bags. Krillin flew down to Korrin's tower to see if he had any spare sensu beans lying about. The Z-fighters were stretching and doing warm-ups. Gohan and Goku were the only pair who couldn't find anything to do.

Gohan approached his dad and asked, "Why is Bulma packing?"

Goku shrugged her shoulders. "I don't know… we're only going to be gone for a day."

"Be… gone? What do you mean? Where are we going?" Gohan asked.

"We're going to Kame House," Goku replied.

This only confused Gohan further. "Why are we going there?"

"Well, Bulma seems to think that it's the safest place to be. She doesn't think that Cell will come looking for us there," Goku explained nonchalantly.

Gohan's eyes bugged out with surprise. "Come looking for us? Why would Cell do that?"

Goku shrugged her shoulders again and admitted, "I have no clue, Gohan." She waved her hand at him in a dismissive manner. "Don't let it worry you. I'm sure Bulma's just being paranoid."

Gohan furrowed his eyebrows together in frustration. "I'm not… I'm not scared of Cell, Dad!" he exclaimed, taking even Goku by surprise. Gohan clenched his little fists at his sides indignantly and said, "He'd be stupid to come anywhere near you or Mom when I'm around!"

Goku raised an eyebrow at him in amusement. 'Where has all of this self-confidence suddenly come from?' she thought. Goku chuckled and mussed up Gohan's hair. "I know it!" she replied enthusiastically.

Gohan smiled and laughed a little bit. "Wait a sec.," he suddenly said, "that still doesn't explain why Bulma's packing like she's going on a week vacation…"

Goku burst out laughing. "Yeah… well, I think it's a girl thing. I wouldn't know. I don't understand women."

Gohan facepalmed, chuckled a little, and shook his head in disbelief.

When the Z-fighters were about to depart on perhaps the most formidable mission of their lives, emotions ran high. Bulma hugged Trunks, and her eyes watered as she fussed with his shirt. Trunks tried his best not to blush, but failed miserably.

"You're gonna do great," she announced, offering up a small smile and an inspirational fist pump.

Trunks smiled. "Thanks… Mom…"

Tenshinhan tried his best to be stoic around Launch, but he was having a hard time of it. Launch brushed her navy hair out of her face and sniffled.

"Be careful Tien," she whispered with a broken up voice.

Tien smiled. "Always," he replied.

Without any sign of warning, Launch suddenly sneezed and her alter-ego came out. With one swift move, she whipped her blonde locks out of her face, she set her steely green eyes on Tien, and she jabbed her index finger into his chest.

"Listen up," she said with a grating voice, "you're gonna kick that dipshit's ass all the way otherworld, 'cause if I hear that your dead you're gonna eat lead in the afterlife!"

She ran her fingers over her scalp and sighed. In a softer tone she said, "Be safe."

Goku hugged Krillin. "Be safe, Krillin," she offered. She felt extremely awkward in this situation. Never before had she been on the side that sits out all of the action. She felt a yearning to be with all of her friends. She wanted to be by then when they took on Cell. She personally wanted to make Cell pay for all the atrocities he had dealt.

They pulled apart from the embrace, and Krillin patted her on the shoulder. "Don't worry, Goku. I'll be fine. I'm worried about you. I know this must be torture for you."

Goku chuckled and replied, "You've read my mind!"

Goku walked up to Piccolo and they both exchanged a look of deference. "Good luck out their Piccolo, though… I know that you won't need it."

"Don't kid yourself. Today, the entire Earth needs a whole hell of a lot of luck," he replied.

"Yeah… especially since Korrin could only give us one sensu bean," Krillin added tentatively.

"What! No way!" Goku exclaimed.

"I know…" Krillin muttered.

ChiChi was practically glued to Gokou. She was talking to him like she was his personal trainer, giving him tips for battle. Though he didn't need any tips from her, she felt like she needed to contribute in some way. Besides, it was useful for distracting her from what was really gnawing at her thoughts, but she couldn't help getting choked up every so often anyway.

Gokou laughed and said, "ChiChi, I'm not leaving yet, remember? I still have to take you to Kame House."

The group had decided that it would be best to keep as low of a profile as possible for the women, Gohan, Master Roshi, Oolong, and Puar. They had ruled out having Goku instant transmit them to the island because she would have to raise her ki, and that would give away their whereabouts. The plan was to take one of Bulma's planes and have Gokou accompany them as extra protection. ChiChi was glad that she had a little extra time with him before he was to leave. She couldn't shake the feeling that something dreadful was about to happen, and she couldn't bear the thought of letting him go.

Vegeta had left ahead of time. He didn't have any farewells to hand out. He didn't want to show emotion, because to him, it was a weakness. He needed to feel as strong as possible before this battle. He couldn't even let himself think of the possibility of losing. Goku had wished that she could have said a formal goodbye. She wished she could offer him a little more encouragement, but she respected his choice. She understood.

Currently, Vegeta was standing atop a cliff. His arms were crossed, and his expression was aloof. He was gazing down at the arena below him. It was like a scar on the land around it. What had before been more grassy, boulder mottled cliffs was now a barren wasteland with a simple fighting arena sitting smack-dab in the center of it. Vegeta didn't care about this. The thought hadn't even crossed his mind. He had caused enough mass destruction in his lifetime to where he didn't care about the little things anymore. What he cared about was standing in the center of the arena paying him no mind at all. It was Cell.

"Arrogant bastard," Vegeta spat, kicking a rock off the side of the plateau.

Cell hadn't acknowledged Vegeta's arrival at all. It was as if he wasn't even there, but Vegeta knew better. Vegeta knew that Cell had sensed him coming the second he had flown off the top of the lookout tower.

Vegeta watched faintly amused by the fact that Cell wasn't alone. There were actually humans down there, in fact, quite a few humans, annoying humans. A beefy, blonde haired, pretty-boy was at this very moment lunging toward Cell. Cell knocked him out of the ring with one swift hand gesture. He crashed to the earth with a distinct crunching sound. He didn't move. Either he was paralyzed, unconscious, or dead, Vegeta couldn't distinguish which and he didn't care to anyhow.

There was a cameraman and a reporter down by the ring as well. They were all oblivious as to just how insanely dangerous Cell was. Another Earthling entered the ring.

Vegeta scoffed. "Imbecile."

One by one, all of the Earthlings dropped like flies. Vegeta felt relieved when there were none left. Watching humans get pummeled had lost it entertaining factor after the first few. Now it was just getting annoying. As if on cue, the rest of the Z-senshi – minus Gokou – touched ground next to Vegeta.

Krillin's eyebrows knitted together in frustration. "What the…" he muttered, looking down at the arena and seeing injured, unconscious, and possibly dead bodies strewn across the dirt. "They didn't stand a chance against Cell. Why did they even bother?"

Vegeta quirked an eyebrow in amusement. "Because humans are unintelligent," he said in a matter-of-fact tone of voice.

"I don't agree with you on the whole," said Trunks, "but those guys are definitely missing a few brain cells."

Krillin gulped. "Maybe we are too."

Trunks flew closer to the arena, and the others followed behind him. Vegeta made a point to land the closest to the arena. After all, he was going to be the one to defeat Cell – or so he told himself.

Piccolo took a quick glance around the premises before announcing, "It seems as if all of the humans have been defeated. Which one of us is going to take Cell on fir – " he paused, having been suddenly cut off by a shout:

"It's time for me to show you what happens to those that threaten my planet! I, the great Hercule Satan, shall smite you down! Yeeeeaaaaaahhhhhhh!"

Vegeta growled impatiently. "Another one?"

Hercule Satan was a peculiar looking man. He was muscular and gruff looking, but he had a ridiculous mustache and an afro that made him seem out of place.

"Hey Trunks," Krillin muttered.


"I think you need to get your time machine stat, and help this guy find a disco party," Krillin suggested.

Trunks chuckled.

At this point, the man named Hercule Satan charged up onto the fighting arena and began throwing practice kicks and punches. The camera crew followed him wherever he went like an attention starved puppy. Every so often, the cameraman would try to pan in on a shot of Cell's reaction to Hercule's blatant insults. To his disappointment, Cell wasn't reacting at all. His facial expression was completely placid, and he wasn't even looking at Hercule. He seemed to be mulling over something.

Hercule waltzed up to Cell and prodded him on the chest. "You listen hear pal!" he exclaimed, jabbing Cell with the utterance of each word. "Pay close attention because I'm gonna teach you a lesson!"

Cell's eyes flitted downward to stare at the curious Earthling. He was beginning to become more bothersome than he'd initially thought.

Hercule smirked and announced, "Good! I've got your attention. Not too bright, are ya? Don't you worry now; I'll get my point across soon enough!"

Meanwhile, on the sideline, Krillin couldn't help but laugh. "Either this guy's really stupid or…"

Yamcha finished for him, "this guy's really stupid."

Trunks furrowed his eyebrows together in confusion. "What could he possibly be thinking?"

Vegeta scoffed, "He isn't thinking, boy! How many times do I have to repeat myself, humans are unintelligent, lower life-forms!"

Trunks rolled his eyes. Krillin was about to argue, but his attention was suddenly drawn back to Hercule.

Hercule stood up as erect as he possibly could and puffed out his chest. "I'm going to show you the good 'ole fashioned technique I like to call Hercule whoopass!" As he shouted those words, his saliva sprayed all over Cell's face. Cell's facial features spasmed for a split-second.

"There you have it, folks!" came the booming voice of the newscaster over his microphone. "Once again, Mr. Satan boldly displays his prowess in all of its immaculate glory!"

Mr. Satan spun around and walked toward the camera for a pristine close-up. He winked at the camera, and displayed his notorious peace sign. "Bring… it… ON!" shouted Hercule.

He then turned his back on the camera, his cape swishing with the movement. He began to re-approach Cell overdramatically. In fact, he seemed to be going in slow-motion.

"Mr. Satan is really mounting on the tension here for his victim. Cell looks terrified!" the anchor informed the people of Earth.

Cell stood in the center of the ring, staring off impassively into space. He had once again lost all of his interest in the pathetic Earthling and had returned to dreaming up his universe-wide domination schemes no-doubt.

At which point, Krillin decided that it was high time to raise the white flag: "Alright Vegeta," he said with a sigh, "I will agree that most human beings are idiots, but some of us aren't!"

Vegeta smirked and replied, "Oh really, I've yet to see one who isn't."

Krillin crossed his arms indignantly and turned away, "Sticks and stones…" he muttered.

"Okay, Cell, prepare to meet your maker! When I'm through with you, you're gonna run cryin' to your mommy, but you're so damn ugly that your mommy's gonna give you a second beating!" yelled Hercule, finishing off with an exuberant victory laugh.

"And now, my fellow viewers, it appears that Mr. Hercule is verbally assaulting Cell. Cell is so afraid he won't even acknowledge the insults. He's too scared to retaliate. It appears that Hercule is already winning the battle!" interjected the announcer in a lively, hopeful voice.

"Now, time to get serious!" announced Hercule with a fist-pump. He then relaxed, closed his eyes, and…

"It appears that Mr. Satan is about to show us one of his outstanding, out-of-this-world techniques!" supplied the newscaster.

"Ohmmm… Ohmmm… Ohmmm…" hummed Hercule, as if he were meditating.

"Oh, my, Mr. Satan is so tranquil, it's… it's beautiful," the anchor interrupted somewhat quietly.

Suddenly, Hercules eyes popped wide open, and he ran toward Cell swiftly. Hercule began punching Cell over and over again. Meanwhile, Cell just stood there, taking the hits as motionless as a giant rock. He was still apparently spaced-out.

Hercule jumped backward, away from Cell, "Yeahhhh! You didn't like that, did you? Well, I don't pity you. You're getting what you deserve!"

Hercule awaited a response, receiving none, he cried, "Take this! DYN-O-MITE KICK!"

Hercule promptly ran up to Cell, and kicked him in the chest. He then jumped out of the way, breathing heavily, "Yeahhhh…" he muttered, panting, "Didn't like that…? I didn't think so…"

Cell was impervious to the punches that were thrown at him, and he was unaffected by the kick as well. He just stood stagnant, apparently transfixed on the rock formations in his direct vision. Hercule grunted and charged at Cell again. Cell rolled his eyes and turned his back on Hercule. Just as Hercule was to make contact with him, Cell casually backhanded Hercule out of the arena, and Hercule plunged head-first into the rocky exterior below.

Krillin began to crack up, and the Z-fighter's all let out a collected sigh of relief.

"Thank Kami that's over!" Yamcha exclaimed.

Tien raised an eyebrow and pointed in the direction of Hercule. "You've got to hand it to him. He's stronger than the typical earthling. He's getting up."

Once Hercule was on his feet he immediately began ranting about how he was tricked into defeat:

" – I'm telling you…! Cell is a cheat! He pretended to be weak and scared so I, the great Hercule, would let my guard down."

"So, Mr. Satan," began the newscaster sincerely, "you're saying that you were being swindled by Cell?"

"Yes! Completely bamboozled! He used the oldest trick in the book to win! Me, I'm very sympathetic with people, perhaps too nice, and he totally took advantage of my thoughtfulness. He, sir, is nothing but a hustler!"

Cell ignored the irritating, ego-inflated man and finally turned his attention toward his 'true' contestants. He smiled and announced, "So good of you all to come!"

Cell's smile morphed into a smirk as he continued, "Now, let's get the tournament under way, shall we? Who will be first... Goku?"

Cell's eyes flitted from one Z-warrior to the next. After a moment's pause, his brow-line scrunched together, giving off a look of frustration. His voice deadpanned as he added, "Where is Goku? There will be repercussions if she doesn't show."

Krillin piped up, "Oh don't you worry! Gokou will be here all right!"

Cell chuckled. "Excellent!" He then gazed off into the distance. "Pity, I was hoping she would be my first opponent."

Trunks cleared his throat and took a step forward. "I will be your first opponent," he announced.

Vegeta blinked at Trunks for a moment, completely flabbergasted, and then he immediately yanked him backward by his bicep. "Like hell you will!" he shouted.

Trunks ripped his arm out of Vegeta's grasp and replied in a terse voice, "It is my fault that this thing is here in the first place! I will be the one to get rid of Cell!"

Cell narrowed his eyes and clicked his tongue. "I can hear you," he simply stated, "and for the latter, I doubt it. Just know that I expect Goku to be my next opponent."

Vegeta clenched his fists furiously. "What is so damn special about Kakarrot? I'm the one you should want to fight! Kakarrot is a weakling! I am an elite Saiyan! I am the strongest there is!"

Cell stared at Vegeta for a moment, silently gauging him. "On the contrary, I'm the only perfect being there is. You're full of flaws. I am immaculacy in living form. Therefore, I am the strongest there is. What makes you think you could even dream of stacking up against me? And as for Goku… there are matters that must be settled."

Trunks stepped up onto the arena and dusted off his pants. "Yeah," he muttered, "well I have a bone to pick with you too."

Meanwhile at Kame House:

Goku plopped herself on the couch and sighed. "This is crazy! I can't believe I have to just sit here and do nothing while everyone else is risking their lives out there!"

Gohan mimicked his dad's actions. He snatched the remote control and turned on the television. "Tell me about it!"

The programming on all of the channels was temporarily cut off to show live coverage of the Cell Games. Gohan watched the screen for a few minutes and said, "Hey, this sucks, they're only showing this Hercule guy! I can't see what's going on!"

Goku crossed her arms and frowned. "Well, change it to a different channel."

Gohan flipped through the channels and eventually gave up. "It's all the same broadcast."

Gokou popped his head in the doorway of the room just as he was biting off a piece of a sandwich. "Wahz rlonk gois?" he said with a full mouth.

Gohan raised an eyebrow. "Huh?"

Gokou swallowed his food with one big gulp and repeated himself. "What's wrong guys?"

"We can't see what's going on!" Goku whined.

Gokou tilted his head a little and shot them a bemused look. "Why don't you just use your ki to sense what's going on?"

"It's not the same," Gohan said.

Goku nodded in agreement. She rested her chin on her fist and gave off an air of thoughtfulness. She suddenly snapped her fingers. "I know!" she exclaimed. "Gokou, why don't you get Baba and bring her here so we can watch the Cell games on her crystal ball?"

Gohan shot up to his feet with excitement. "Yeah! That's a great idea!"

Gokou considered it for a moment. "I could… but I'd have to fly away from here before I can use instant transmission to get Baba, otherwise Cell will know that you're all here. Plus, I'd have to fly slowly so that I don't have to raise my ki too much…"

"It won't take that long," Gohan replied. "Besides, they don't need you right now. Cell has a lot of opponents to fight before he reaches the end of the line."

"Yeah! Besides, you might not even have to fight him if Vegeta beats him first," Goku added.

Gokou shrugged his shoulders, "Oh, alright… Just let me finish my sandwi - "

Goku was too quick for him and she snatched his sandwich away. "I'll be taking this off your hands." She commenced with taking a bite out of it.

Gokou gasped and pointed an accusatory finger at her. "Hey! That's not cool!"

Goku supplied him with the best innocent look she could muster. "But…" she muttered, "but I'm so hungry and if I'm hungry, then little Goku one and Goku two must be starving!"

Gokou rolled his eyes, "Oh yeah… sure…" He smiled. "Okay, I'll be back in a little bit!"

Goku immediately resumed in the enjoyment of eating her stolen sandwich when she suddenly felt an energy spike that shocked her to the point of dropping it on the floor. The power she felt was enormous!

"No way! Is that… Trunks?" she murmured in disbelief.

A/N: Don't hurt me please! Sorry for the late update! Schoolwork and clinicals have been really tough and I've had zero free time. Right now I really just want to lay my head down on my keyboard and catch some much needed Z's, but I have a ton of homework to do. Any-who, I know this chapter is short, but if I'd continued onward I would have to write the entire fight between Trunks and Cell and I don't have time for that right now. I promise I will update sooner, and thanks to my recent reviewers for kicking me in the arse a little bit to write another chap. because I totally forgot. Next chap is Trunks vs. Cell … and a big surprise! :) I borrowed some of my Hercule dialogue from another fanfic of mine, so I hope none of you have read that one or if you had, I hope you don't mind. I have a hard time with characterizing Hercule. Thanks for all of the reviews you guys! Randompersonwhoreviewstoomuch – OMG you are the first person to point out my 42 joke! Yay! I'm glad to see another Douglas Adams fan out there! :) Totally Random Solembum – I totally took your advice and changed the rating to M… I should have done that awhile ago, just "saiyan"! Haha!

*Chapter 53*: I Lied!

Disclaimer: I don't own DB/Z/GT.

Female Goku = Goku; Male = Gokou.

Chapter 53: I Lied! This Chapter Doesn't Have THE Big Surprise in It

Trunks stepped up onto the platform and took a few long strides forward. He crossed his arms and narrowed his eyes as he watched Cell. Cell turned to look at Trunks, his appearance somewhat amused.

"Lucky me, I get to fight you," he said with a dry tone of voice.

Trunks inhaled a deep breath of air and walked forward. He scowled and said, "Don't underestimate me, Cell."

Cell chuckled and replied, "I can't set my standards high. I know that if I do, I will be greatly disappointed."

Trunks clenched his fists and braced himself for a power-up. He grunted and a golden aura exploded outward from his body.

"Say what you will," he muttered under his breath. He raised the pitch of his voice and said, "But this is it, Cell! I'm going to make you pay for what you've done!"

"If I had one zeni for every time I've heard that, I would be rich," Cell replied with a snarky tone. "But… then again, why would a perfect being such as myself want money? I want the universe!"

Trunks gritted his teeth and involuntarily began to grind his molars together. "Greedy bastard," he hissed under his breath.

"What's wrong, Trunks? Have I made you angry?" Cell asked with a mockingly polite tone of voice.

Trunks glared at him with contempt. Before he had a chance to respond, Cell quipped, "Is it because in a relative sort of way I killed your mother?" He said this with a doubtfully innocent inflection to his words.

This caught Trunks' attention immediately. He shook with rage. "Don't talk about my mother!" he spat.

Cell laughed in merriment. "Don't be offended Trunks. Android 17 may have intended his ill will toward your mother, but he is repenting for it now. He has joined with me to assist in creating what I am, perfect. I'm sure your mother would understand."

Trunks had to withhold the sudden urge to charge at Cell at that very moment. "Understand!" he yelled. "17 murdered my mother in cold blood, and you think that she could ever understand that he's repentant because… because he's formed with you! You're the most abominable creature to ever have walked the face of the Earth! You're pure evil! Are you insane?"

Trunks aura had exploded once again. Its flame-like tips licked at his body. His fingernails gradually dug into the palms of his hands.

Cell crossed his arms and smirked. "Somewhat," he replied teasingly, "but nevertheless, I owe your mother, Trunks. She was an intelligent woman. Without her, the time machine would have never been created. Without her, I would have never been able to hitch a ride here with you. Without her precious, albeit feeble energy I may not have made it to this time alive."

For a moment, Trunks stared at Cell dumbstruck. The gears in his brain were turning, trying to piece together the meaning of Cell's words. Finally it clicked. His eyes widened in disbelief and his lips trembled. "Wha – what are you saying?" he stammered.

Cell burst out laughing. He gripped his stomach from the uncomfortable pangs caused by his incessant laughter.

"What is that supposed to mean!" Trunks spat. He had a feeling that he already knew what the connotation in Cell's words was, but he had to hear it to believe it.

Cell suppressed his laughter and replied, "You mean, you didn't know? Ah… well you did seem quite grief-stricken at the time. I should know, I was there… I saw you crying over the bloody mess of your mother like a babe. You panicked… you left her… and I being the opportunist that I am… I feasted on the last bit of energy she had left."


Trunks knew that something was wrong the instant it happened. He flew home immediately, and he flew faster than he had ever flown before! He had left home to help ChiChi. He had heard that she had been caught up in some sort of uprising. She lived up in Mount Paou. She rarely ever ventured down into civilization – or what was left of it – since the death of her son, Gohan. She was pretty well off up in the mountains. She grew her own food, and she even used her deceased-husband's form of fishing. She was a strong woman, and even though her life had been shattered to pieces twice in the blink of an eye, she had moved on as best she could. If anything, she was still alive.

Unfortunately, word got out about a woman who was doing well up in the mountains, a woman who had a ton of food and greedily kept it from the starving people in the urban areas. The rumor spread quickly, and people were furious. Trunks got a call from ChiChi that morning. It was rushed and nervous.

"There's a ton of them!" she had shouted into the phone with urgency. "They're right outside my door! They have knives, and pitch-forks, and shovels, and…" Then a shot was fired. ChiChi screamed.

"I'll be right there!" he replied.

As he had been chasing the bloodthirsty humans away, his mother had been the next in the line of terror. Trunks had been like a hermit for the past few weeks, refusing to leave his mother's side. He had been becoming increasingly paranoid. He just had this feeling that something bad was going to happen to her. He knew the androids were going to come and deal him some payback for all of the times he had tried to kill them, for all of the times he had ruined their ill-humored fun.

Trunks landed outside of his home and ran inside. He darted through every room with desperate need to find her. He heard a groan, and his heart sank. He sprinted into the living room and saw her slumped against a wall, clutching at a gaping hole in her stomach. 17 was standing in the doorway. His arm was raised. He was smiling, he began laughing, and then as quickly as he had come, he was gone.

Trunks screamed. He ran to his mother's side. Her head was drooping and she was mumbling something incoherent. Trunks lifted her chin. "Mom!" he called out. "Mom! Please stay with me, Mom! Oh Kami, please don't leave me! I can't lose you! I love you Mom! Mom don't go! I can't do this without you!" Trunks' vision blurred as tears began to roll down his cheeks. His hands trembled as he held her head up.

"Trunks," she whispered weakly. "Go…"

Trunks shook his head vehemently. "No! I won't leave you! You're not gonna die, Mom! You can't!"

"… Monster…" she mumbled, her head dipping again. She coughed chronically, and blood sprayed all over Trunks' hands and torso.

"I'm gonna make them pay, Mom! I'm gonna make them pay!" Trunks' head was swimming. He couldn't think straight. He instinctively rushed to grab a phone and call 911, but he shook his head and chucked the phone at a wall instead. '911? Idiot! There aren't any ambulances and hospitals anymore.' he thought morbidly.

But then he remembered that his mom knew a doctor. He knew where he lived. He could find the doctor. He would help! His mom didn't have to die! Trunks hugged his mother as gently as possible and he said, "I'm going to get you help! I'm going to find a doctor! Mom, I need you to hold on! Please hold on just a little longer!"

With that said, he rushed out of the building to go find the doctor. He went as quickly as he could. He found the doctor and brought him back with him, but when he reached his mom, it was too late. She was on the floor, motionless. He rushed to her. He frantically grabbed her shoulders. "Mom, wake up!" he shouted. But she was cold to the touch, her face was expressionless, and her body was rigid and as stiff as a board.

"Mom!" he screamed. And then it all went black… then he lost control…

End Flashback

"As I was saying," Cell continued, "Your mother donated her life to me. She did the world some good before she passed. I had been very weak at the time. I needed some energy to hibernate for the long trip, and I found exactly what I needed in her."

Trunks stared blankly at Cell for a moment. His arms lay slack at his sides, and his jaw hung slightly agape. He knew that Cell was telling the truth, but he still felt stunned. His heart pounded in his chest. Perspiration accumulated on his brow. His hands felt clammy. He felt dizzy like his core had left him to give somebody else strength, as if Cell had leached it from him. He felt like he was going to be sick.

Cell smiled and said, "You don't need to be angry anymore, Trunks. After all, as you humans put it, all's well that ends well! Your dear mother had a higher calling to attend to."

Trunks nearly forgot to breathe. His whole body trembled with fury. "All's well that ends well?" Trunks snapped. He combed his fingers through his lavender hair and sighed. "You killed my mother! You killed her!"

Trunks lifted a trembling hand outward, as if he was pleading. "If you hadn't…" he whispered. "She'd be alive…"

Cell rolled his eyes. "Let's not be overdramatic, Trunks. I highly doubt the possibility of that."

Trunks' head snapped up suddenly. "So… so what? You think that it was okay to snatch up whatever life she had left? You think that it was okay to put her through even more terror and pain than she was already going through? Have you any fucking clue how she must have felt… how much fear and agony she had to deal with?"

"I'm aware of how fragile humans are. I did her a favor. I took away the pain. She wanted to give me her energy," Cell explained in a matter-of-fact tone of voice.

"Liar!" Trunks snarled. "She would rather die the slowest, most painful death than contribute to your evil!" Trunks shook his head in disgust. Trunks' scowl tightened. "I'm going to make you pay you evil fucking bastard! You can't have her energy anymore! I'm taking it back!" he roared at the top of his lungs.

His aura burst into a bright yellow and he let out an agonizing howl. The ground beneath him shuddered. Air whipped around him like a tornado. The very clouds above him changed course for miles.

Cell smirked. "Yes, Trunks. Show me your Saiyan power!" he exclaimed giddily.

Trunks didn't comprehend what Cell had said. He was seeing red. The sound of Cell's voice set him off even further. His aura became unstable and his muscles bulged enormously. When it seemed as if he might explode his screams finally began to diminish. The aura faded slightly, but it left a behemoth of a man in its wake. If it weren't for his familiar – albeit pissed looking – face, he would be unrecognizable.

Meanwhile, within a short distance, Hercule Satan was busy trying to explain to the people of Earth that the kid was using smoke and mirrors tricks. On the other side of the arena, the Z-fighters stood watching in complete awe… well, except for Vegeta. Vegeta had his arms crossed and he was muttering, "That's nothing special."

Krillin ignored Vegeta's snarky comment and mumbled, "Holy toledo!"

Cell roared with laughter. "Yes! Yes!" he shouted.

His laughter only increased Trunks' rage. Trunks disappeared and reappeared almost instantly with his fist soaring not even a centimeter away from Cell's face. It made bone-shattering contact, and Cell staggered backward trying to regain his balance. Trunks didn't skip a beat. Another fist rammed into Cells' abdomen. Saliva sprayed from Cell's mouth and he hunched over in pain. Trunks took the opportunity to jab his elbow into the nape of Cell's neck. Cell's face plummeted into the tile arena flooring which shattered upon contact.

"You're despicable!" Trunks screamed, ramming his boot into Cell's face.

He had kicked Cell with so much force, the momentum pulled Cell's body backward like a ragdoll. Cell made an agile flip and righted himself. Crimson blood dripped down his chin and onto the arena floor. He casually wiped the blood off of his chin with his forearm and stared at it as if he were thinking, 'Oh… that happened.'

Cell gazed at his blood for awhile longer, rotating his arm and watching it make little trails across his flesh. Without warning he started to chuckle.

Trunks quirked an eyebrow skeptically. "What's so funny?" he practically demanded.

"What you had said before. It's ironic how your mother said the same thing to me," Cell replied coolly.

"So now you finally show your true colors," Trunks replied through gritted teeth.

Trunks made a series of rapid arm movements and finished off by touching his index fingers and thumbs together to form a diamond shape. A golden sphere of ki flickered within the diamond. It grew larger and brighter. He moved toward Cell with great speed. The onlookers could only catch glimpses of his form as he rebounded off of the arena floor. He appeared a few feet in front of Cell and chucked it point-blank at his head.

What had before been Cell gradually became an after-image and the blast soared out of the ring. It missed the camera crew by a few feet and caused an enormous plume of smoke to billow from the ground and enshroud the entire arena.

Dust filled Trunks' lungs, and try as he might, he could not fight off the urge to cough. The accursed substance also got into his eyes and he squinted. 'Damn-it! Bad move!' he thought angrily. He was wide open. He knew what was going to happen before it even happened; he just didn't know where the pain would be. A moment later his question was answered when he felt an agonizingly debilitating blow to his gut. It was so excruciating it caused him to dry-heave for a moment.

Cell was not willing to relent just yet. The next blow was to the head. Trunks slammed onto the ground. Cell's foot crushed onto his chest. Trunks moaned in pain. He heard a snap. There went one of his ribs.

'Damn –it!' he thought.

Trunks braced himself for more pain, but to his surprise, the weight of Cell's body shifted. He stepped away from Trunks. He crossed his arms and stared at him with a look of disappointment.

"I didn't expect much from you, but even now you are below par," Cell observed.

Trunks pulled himself into a crouching position and then steadily forced himself into an upright pose. Cell had definitely done some lasting damage. His body was starting to ache and he could still feel throbbing pain in the areas that Cell had decked. His head was pounding, but more than anything, his rage was still boiling over. He could not get the images of Cell mutilating his mother's soul on her last breath of life out of his mind.

He lunged at Cell again with renewed vigor. For awhile, he seemed to be keeping up with Cell, but as time moved forward it became apparent that Cell wasn't even trying. Trunks threw a barrage of punches and kicks at Cell and Cell dodged them all with ease. The fact that Cell was so easily avoiding all of Trunks attacks and with such fluid grace at that was beginning to wear away at Trunks' patience. If he hadn't been level-headed before, he certainly wasn't now.

Cell sidestepped a punch and chose that precise moment to announce, "You're too slow."

Trunks pushed himself to move faster, to punch harder. He wished for nothing more than to break Cell's face in, to wipe away his annoying, ego-inflated, sneer. Was that so much to ask?

"Do you want to know what my favorite human characteristic is?" Cell asked while he was dodging Trunks' blows.

Trunks grunted with effort as he swung a leg at Cell. "No!" he replied with a huff.

Cell ignored Trunks' answer and continued onward anyway: "Well, I suppose it's the only redeeming characteristic that they have… that look…" Cell made eye contact and smiled smugly whilst grabbing Trunks' incoming arm by the wrist and twisting it. Trunks cried out in pain and recoiled for a moment, but he didn't let that hinder him for long. He lunged back at Cell an instant later.

"I absolutely adore that look of sheer vulnerability and absolute terror as they die," he finished with a smirk.

Trunks froze on the spot. He nearly tripped over his own feet and fell onto his face. He couldn't believe the signals that the nerves in his ears were sending to his brain.

"Wha – what!" he stuttered, completely dumbfounded.

Cell crossed his arms. "You heard me. I have to pay close attention or else I might not see it. You see… that look is very fleeting. It's easy to miss and then you can't get it back because their eyes become hollow and lifeless. I wonder… could you display that look of terror?"

Trunks had to resist the urge to spit on Cell in disgust. "If you killed me, I would never allow myself to give you that sort of sick satisfaction."

"It's not something you can control, Trunks. I'm wondering… would your look be anything like your mother's was? I really do hope so. I relished in watching her die," Cell replied in a matter-of-fact tone of voice.

Cell's casual tone made the statement all the worse… how he had said it so pointedly. Trunks' breathe caught in his throat. A shiver ran up his spine. He could feel the tiny hairs on the nape of his neck stand on end. He didn't know what came over him, but fury raked through his body the likes of which he'd never felt before. His blood boiled with pure rage. He shouted and an enormous ki blast came to life in his hands. He shot it at Cell with all of his might.

"Die you sick bastard!" he screamed at the top of his lungs.

Although he wasn't met with any sort of resisting force, he didn't let up on the ki blast, nor did he stop screaming. It went on for a good five minutes. It was Krillin that eventually got him to stop.

Krillin appeared next to Trunks, cupped his hands around his mouth, and shouted, "Stop it Trunks!"

Trunks was screaming so loudly, there was no way he could even hear what Krillin had said. Krillin grabbed onto Trunks' arm and shook him. Trunks' ki blast dissipated and he turned to look at Krillin with a shocked expression.

"Trunks," Krillin said with a soothing tone, "I think you got him, you're wasting your energy now."

Trunks sighed and stared at the smoke that was drifting along the area where Cell had been standing only moments ago.

"I hate him," Trunks whispered. He stared down at his hands. They were trembling. "I want him to suffer like he made my mother suffer!"

Trunks glanced in the direction that Cell had been in to reinforce the fact that he was dead. He was astonished to see that his legs and the lower half of his torso was still whole. His upper torso, arms, and head had been blasted to bits too small to recognize.

Krillin let out a low whistle and commented, "He's a gonner alright! And to think we were so worried about defeating him!"

The Z-fighter's landed next to Trunks and Krillin. Yamcha patted Trunks on his shoulder and said, "Way to go champ!"

Piccolo interrupted the celebration. "Wait a minute. Why are his remains still standing erect?"

The others exchanged curious looks and glanced back at Cell's mutilated body. Krillin piped up, "I don't know, but it sure is creepy!"

Before all of their watchful eyes, a leg twitched. Then Cell's body slowly began to regenerate until he was whole again.

"H – how?" Trunks exclaimed.

Despite the fact the Cell was whole again, it was still a shock to hear his voice respond. "I have Piccolo's regenerative DNA within my body," Cell replied coolly. He narrowed his eyes at Trunks. "I've had enough of you boy. You're going to pay for that."

Cell lifted his arm faster than any of the Z-warriors could follow and a baseball-sized violet ki blast shot through the air. Trunks' eyes widened in astonishment. The blast was coming right at him. He saw it a moment before it pierced his flesh. It all happened so fast he couldn't dodge it. The blast plunged through his chest and clear out the other side of his body. It went on to obliterate a plateau off in the distance. Trunks wobbled on unsteady feet for a moment before tumbling onto his backside. Blood frothed from his mouth. Krillin ran to his side.

"Trunks!" he shouted.

Krillin ripped a piece of cloth off of his fighting gi and pressed it against Trunks' wound. "Hold on buddy!"

Tien lifted Trunks' head and tipped it to the side so that he wouldn't suffocate to death by choking on his own blood. Piccolo was shocked silent. Yamcha looked like a deer caught in a pair of headlights, and Vegeta stood frozen as still as a marble statue.

"He's in really bad shape," Tien announced. "He might not make it!"

For Vegeta, time stood still. He didn't hear what Tien or Krillin were saying. He didn't register that they were trying to help Trunks. All he could see, all that he could comprehend was that Trunks was lying on the ground, gasping for air, and regurgitating blood - the gaping wound his most prominent feature. Vegeta's eyes widened and his mouth hung agape in shock and horror.

'My … my son!' he thought his entire body trembling with rage. 'How could I let this happen to my son? He has gone out of his way to help us… to help me, and all I have done is ignore him and demean him as if he was nothing but trash!'

Trunks coughed and blood sprayed out of his mouth like a geyser. "Ahhhh…" he moaned in pain.

Vegeta stumbled backward. 'No! It won't end this way! I won't let this happen! There is still time to change things!'

The image of the blast slamming into Trunks played over and over again in Vegeta's mind like a skipping record. Every detail of it played as if it had never stopped happening. Vegeta whipped his head in the direction of Cell. Cell had his arms crossed haughtily and an arrogant grin adorned his lips.

'Cell has crossed me for the last time! He will pay the ultimate price for what he has done to my son!'

Vegeta clenched his fists and screamed at the top of his lungs. He transformed into a Super Saiyan. He cupped his hands at his sides and created a ki blast. He shot it at Cell screaming, "Die!"

When the smoke cleared, it revealed Cell standing in the same spot completely unscathed. This only enraged Vegeta further. He launched himself at full speed into the sky. Vegeta glared down at the form of Cell just standing nonchalantly as if nothing had happened. It infuriated him. He screamed as he forced his body into another power-up. Golden orbs of ki collected in both of the palms of his hands and he tossed them directly at Cell in an impressive attempt at an aerial assault.

He threw dozens of ki blasts in seconds flat. Dust and rocks spit from the ground like an erupting volcano. When Vegeta decided that he'd tossed enough of them at Cell to have caused sufficient damage, he took pause to analyze his work. Vegeta gasped and his jaw slackened in shock. To his utter astonishment, Cell hadn't even moved an inch from where he was standing when he first began the attack. Surely, hundreds of enormous, searing-hot ki blasts had struck his body, but he was just standing there, completely unharmed. The arena floor was completely obliterated and a pit fell into the earth below Cell's feet.

Cell laughed and disappeared into an after-image. A split-second later, he appeared right in front of Vegeta. "Pathetic," he spat as he backhanded Vegeta and sent him flying in the opposite direction. Vegeta's body slammed into the Earth and let out a groan. He forced himself into an upright position. He spun around to face Cell.

"How dare you!" he hissed venomously.

Cell levitated with his arms crossed. The sun outlined his body. "I've had enough of you weaklings." he declared.

Vegeta squinted his eyes at Cell and muttered, "What?"

"I came here for a fight, but it seems as if I'm going to have to do all of the work," Cell continued with an exasperated tone of voice.

"What in the hell is that supposed to mean?" Vegeta spat.

"If my opponent won't come to me, I'll go to my opponent," Cell stated simply, smiling with self-satisfaction.

Vegeta furrowed his eyebrows together in confusion. He stifled the urge to repeat what he'd just said only moments ago again.

Cell waved at his onlookers and snickered. "I'll be back to clean up my mess in a little bit," he said.

Cell lifted his index and middle fingers to touch his forehead. He looked as if he was saluting them. Then all of a sudden, he disappeared.

"That coward! How dare he leave in the midst of our battle! I wasn't finished with him yet!" Vegeta shouted furiously.

Before he could mull it over in his mind, his attention was drawn elsewhere. Krillin had just announced that they could save Trunks with a sensu bean.

Vegeta approached them. "Imbecile! Then what the hell are you waiting for?"

Krillin was about to reply, but Piccolo interrupted him. "We only have one sensu bean."

"So?" Vegeta replied. "I'm certainly not going to need one! Give it to him already!"

"But Vegeta, how do you know we won't need – " Krillin argued.

Vegeta cut him off and demanded: "Give it to him this instant!"

Krillin sighed and removed a small brown bag from his belt. He untied the top and poured a single bean into the palm of his hand.

"Krillin!" Yamcha shouted. "What are you doing?"

Krillin turned to give Yamcha a look of reproach. "If I don't give it to him he's going to die!"

"Then we'll wish him back with the dragon balls!" Yamcha argued.

"And how do we know that's going to work? He isn't from this universe! What if bringing him back to life is beyond the dragon's power, huh? Did you think of that, Yamcha?" Krillin argued.

"Ugh!" Vegeta grumbled, snatching the bean from Krillin and placing it up against Trunk's blood-soaked lips. "Do I have to do everything myself?" he muttered. "Trunks! Listen to me! I have a sensu bean. Open your mouth!"

Trunks obeyed his father's instructions. Vegeta dropped the bean in his mouth. "Chew, son… good… swallow…"

Meanwhile, at Kame House, just moments after Gokou had returned with Baba in tow and had consequently taken his leave, Baba summoned the fight scene on her crystal ball. At this point, Trunks had still been fighting Cell, but it was becoming apparent that he was on the losing side.

"I don't get it…" Goku murmured. "He's so strong… and he can't even lay a finger on Cell."

"Cell's stronger," Oolong announced.

"Thanks for the update, captain obvious," Bulma snidely remarked.

"Hey!" Oolong whined. "She said she didn't understand!"

"That's not what she meant!" Bulma argued.

ChiChi sent the both of them a death glare and placed her index finger up against her lips. "Shhhh!"

Gohan frowned. "Dad, I'm starting to get worried! What if Trunks loses? Cell will kill him! Someone needs to help him!"

Goku patted Gohan on the shoulder. "Gohan, you have to understand that Trunks is a warrior. Even if he was about to die, he wouldn't want anybody's help. It would be an insult to him."

Gohan's frown deepened. He crossed his fingers and muttered, "Dear Kami let Trunks win…"

Goku furrowed her eyebrows together in confusion. "Is it just me, or does it look like Cell is chatting it up with Trunks as he's dodging his attacks?"

Master Roshi squinted at the crystal ball. "It certainly looks like it. He really isn't even trying, is he?"

"Whatever he's saying," Gohan interjected, "Trunks looks pissed!"

"Yeah he does," Goku agreed.

"I wonder what he could possibly be saying," Bulma muttered.

"Oh my Kami! Trunks' power is skyrocketing again!" Goku exclaimed.

Within the crystal ball, they could see Trunks collecting energy for his ki blast. He shot it at Cell and Bulma cheered:

"Yeah! That's my son! Woohoo! Get 'im Trunks!"

When the dust cleared and revealed that only half of Cell's body was still in contact, the group cheered.

Gohan smiled. "Thank you, Kami!" he shouted.

Bulma and Goku hopped up and down and danced around each other with joy. Master Roshi grinned and his head bobbed up and down happily as he watched their breasts bounce up and down.

"Oh yeah, baby!" he exclaimed. He couldn't resist the urge to reach out and grab Goku's breast. Goku paused in her happy dance and quirked a curious eyebrow at Master Roshi.

"Um… what are you doing?" she asked.

Master Roshi laughed sheepishly and replied, "I'm celebrating, hun."

"You perve!" Bulma exclaimed.

"Ugh!" ChiChi screamed, her fist soaring through the air and decking Master Roshi in the face.

Master Roshi rubbed his cheek and groaned. "Tough love."

ChiChi was still steaming, but the rest of the group cracked up laughing. Goku was still a tad bit confused. Everything seemed like it was back to normal again! That is… until Baba interrupted their celebration.

"You might want to get a look at this," she said.

They all turned to look at the crystal ball. Cell had magically healed.

"H – how!" Gohan stammered.

"He can regenerate?" Bulma exclaimed in shock. Her eyebrows pulled together into a frown. "Wait, what is he…"

And then they saw it. It was faster than any of them could follow, but they saw the blast strike Trunks. His body tumbled to ground in what felt like agonizingly slow motion.

Bulma jumped at the crystal ball. She grabbed it and shook it in disbelief. "Trunks!" she screamed, tears making their solemn journey down her cheeks. "Trunks!"

Gohan abruptly stood upright and announced. "I can't stand this anymore! I can't just sit around and watch! It's my fault Trunks is hurt!"

Goku whipped around to face Gohan with a stunned expression, "What… no, Gohan! This isn't your fault at all! How could you think such a thing?"

Gohan didn't answer her question. He shook his head back and forth with a dazed expression on his face. "I'm sorry, Dad," he said with a trembling voice. "I can't stay here. They need me!"

With that said, Gohan darted out of the room toward the front door. Goku pursued him and ChiChi was hot on her heels.

"Gohan! Wait!" Goku shouted running out the front door and onto the beach. Gohan had already taken flight. Goku sighed and plopped on the sand in defeat. 'Why would Gohan think it's his fault?' she thought. 'If anything this is all my fault…'

Through the barrier of her inner thoughts, Goku could distantly hear ChiChi screaming Gohan's name and afterword yelling a stream of profanities. 'If anyone has the potential to harbor enough strength to defeat Cell… it's Gohan… but…' Goku gazed up at the sky, 'Gohan,' she thought, 'be safe!'

About 15 Minutes Later:

ChiChi was still out on the beach, staring up at the sky. Goku had long since gone back inside. Master Roshi approached ChiChi and stood beside her. He tentatively placed his hand on her shoulder in a comforting manor. "Don't worry, ChiChi. Gohan is a smart boy. He'll be just fine."

"Ugh!" ChiChi exclaimed, whipping her head around to glare at Master Roshi with seething rage. She shot her hand out like a bullet, ripped a beer bottle out of the turtle hermit's hand, and chucked it as hard as she could against a wall of the Kame House. It shattered upon contact, and liquor sprayed across the dirt and gravel.

"This is all Goku's fault! I knew it was an awful idea to let Gohan learn martial arts! I knew it would lead to nothing but trouble!" she shouted, her voice rising in pitch until it leveled out at a screech. "Just who does she think she is!"

Master Roshi withdrew his hand like a snake had bit him. His head jarred backward and the rim of his sunglasses slipped to the the tip of his nose. His eyes were bugged out with surprise. "Don't you think you're being a wee bit too… I don't know… irrational?"

ChiChi's face flushed red and contorted with rage. "You think I'm being irrational! My baby boy just flew off to go confront a bloodthirsty, megalomaniac, monster, and you think that I'm being irrational!"

From inside the house Goku called out, "ChiChi… is everything okay out there?"

ChiChi laughed, cupped her hands around her mouth, and shouted, "Oh yeah, our son just took off to fight some freaky, psychotic, android and I can't do anything to stop him! I'm just fan-fucking-tastic, Goku!"

Master Roshi cautiously slinked back into the house to get away from ChiChi before she had the chance to get it in her head to take out her anger on him. He nearly ran into Goku. Goku frowned at him.

"Is ChiChi alright?" she asked with a look of uncertainty.

Master Roshi made a funny face and muttered, "Eh…"

Goku bit her lip. "That bad?" she asked.

"If I were you, I'd stay away from her for awhile. She needs to cool down for a bit," Master Roshi explained.

Goku chuckled and replied, "Thanks for the warning!"

Just then, Baba interrupted the two of them. "Goku, I think you might want to see this."

Goku furrowed her eyebrows together in confusion. "See what?"

Baba motioned a come hither gesture with her hand, and Goku followed her obediently. They approached her crystal ball. It was cloudy and unreadable because Baba had left her post. She waved her hands in fluid-like motions over the device and muttered, "Ah… yes, there we go."

Goku squinted her eyes and frowned. "Where's Cell?" she asked in bemusement.

Baba quirked an eyebrow and replied, "Now that's a good question. He just – poof – disappeared," she said, snapping her stubby little finger and thumb. "Just like that."

"But where could he be…" Goku murmured more to herself than to Baba. Goku's eyes suddenly widened with apparent realization. "No…" she whispered, shock practically dripping off of the lone word.

And then her worst nightmare came to life. "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!" There was a gut-wrenching scream. Her thoughts immediately jumbled together into a frantic mesh of nonsense, but her reflexes caused her to stand erect immediately. She turned her head in the direction of the noise. She recognized that voice!

"ChiChi!" she screamed desperately. She didn't need to see what was happening to know that this was urgent! ChiChi screamed a whole lot, but she never screamed like that! Goku bolted in the direction of ChiChi's voice like a bat out of hell! She barged through the front door and it nearly ripped off of its squeaky hinges because of the force she had exerted. The wooden door clunked as it slapped against a window shutter. Goku froze on the spot and gasped.

A teasing, masculine, laughter drifted through the air and bounced off of any surface it came into contact with. A chill ran up Goku's spine. Goku's mouth hung agape with shock. Her lips trembled. "H – how?" she stammered.

Cell burst out laughing with mirth. After a moment, he managed to stifle his laughter to a quiet chuckle. "Come on, Goku! I'm Cell! Dr. Gero spliced your own unique genes within my DNA! You didn't honestly think that it would take me long to figure out something so very simple as instant transmission, did you?"

Goku didn't find any of this ironic at all. She was terrified, because at that very moment, she finally took notice of ChiChi. Cell had his beefy arm locked around her neck. Her legs were dangling in the air, trying to kick away from him. Her fingers were fruitlessly clawing into Cell's arms, and she was sputtering for precious oxygen.

A/N: What I deem as the 'big' surprise is in the next chap. Sorry folks. I'm kinda dissapointed with how this chap. turned out. I had to rush it because I have midterms to study for, but I hope ya'all like it anyway. Thanks a bunch for the feedback! Also, so far for a baby girl name, Kimiko is winning. I don't know when I will take the poll down but I'll give you guys a heads up before I do it. I'm curious to hear what you think will happen in the next chap. Until next time, ciao!

*Chapter 54*: Bleeders

Disclaimer: I don't own DB/Z/GT.

Female Goku = Goku; Male = Gokou.

Chapter 54: Bleeders

After Gokou dropped off Baba at Roshi's place, he immediately departed. He was headed in a south-east direction toward the tournament grounds. The last time he had checked on the ongoing battle with Cell via ki signature, Trunks had been fighting Cell. As far as Gokou could tell at that point, Trunks seemed to be doing great. Gokou wasn't a pro yet at sensing fluctuations in ki, and he hadn't yet made a habit of checking for ki changes every so often. So he made himself concentrate on the battle every once in a while - in other words, whenever he remembered to or whenever he got bored.

He was currently in a good mood. Before sensing Trunks' battle with Cell, he had developed a lot of concerning feelings. He didn't know whether to feel ecstatic because of the promise of an intense and challenging battle or to feel nervous and somewhat afraid because he wasn't sure if he could win.

He wanted a challenge, but if he lost he might lose all of his friends and family. If Trunks didn't beat Cell that would mean that only one other capable fighter would be left to defend the Earth besides himself: Vegeta. Gokou had considered Piccolo. Piccolo after all was a great fighter, but he didn't seem to have as much power capability as a Saiyan. Gokou had recently learned that Saiyans get a lot of their strength through anger. Piccolo didn't gain strength via anger, but rather through tough training and endurance. Regardless of these musings, deep down, Gokou knew that he'd end up fighting Cell. He just wasn't sure if he was ready for their face-off yet.

Gokou swooped down to water level. He ran his fingers through the sea-water as he flew. A small wake trailed after him. 'Then there's also Gohan…' he thought. 'If Gohan was more sure of himself he would be the most fearsome fighter around, but he's just a kid. ChiChi would kill me if I let him fight. She says that he's too young to be subjected to that stuff.'

Gokou paused his flying for a moment and hovered above the water. "Speaking of Gohan…" he muttered, squinting off in the distance. He had suddenly felt Gohan's ki signature approaching. 'Heh... I must be getting better at this...'

Gohan was flying closer and closer. "Woah! He's flying fast!" Gokou frowned. 'Shoot! Something must be wrong…'

As Gohan approached within hearing proximity, Gokou cupped his hands around his mouth and shouted, "Hey Gohan! What's up? Is something the matter?"

Gohan didn't so much as pause. He flew right past Gokou and onward on his course. "Gohan! Slow down! Where are you going?" Gokou shouted frantically. 'What is wrong with him?'

Gokou closed his eyes and really concentrated on the ki signatures of his friends and family. It didn't take long for him to realize what was wrong. "Something's happened to Trunks!" he shouted out loud in shock.

Gokou powered up to Super Saiyan and was about to take off after Gohan when all of sudden he noticed something else that was off. "Wait a minute…" he murmured, shutting his eyelids and concentrating. "No! Cell's at Kame House! But… but how? Darn-it!"

Gokou immediately shot off in the direction of Cell's ki signature. 'ChiChi… Goku...'

ChiChi clutched at Cell's forearm and flailed her legs in every direction with the sort of desperate need that an animal shows only when it's cornered. Goku stood stock still with a look of horror molded onto her face. Her first thought was a primal one – attack! She nearly did, but a nagging voice in the back of her mind made her stop. If she approached Cell then he could seriously hurt her. If he landed a hard blow to her abdomen she might have a miscarriage! On the other hand, if she was to back off, ChiChi might die, and Cell would definitely know that something was up!

Just recently, Goku had for the first time in her life felt the sensation of being helpless and of no use, but not like this… this was like torture. With this she had no choice but to choose sides. Should she save herself and her unborn children, but lose ChiChi and her other unborn child, or vise-versa? Goku bit her lip in trepidation. 'I can't choose! It's impossible!'

Goku cleared her throat and tried to initiate a steady, commanding tone of voice. "Let her go, Cell." She desperately tried not to allude to him how panicked she really was. "You're choking her!"

Cell smirked and replied, "Say please," with a snarky tone of voice.

Goku clenched her fists and resisted the urge to shout. "Please," she muttered through gritted teeth.

"Good girl," Cell replied, relinquishing his death grip on ChiChi.

Just as Goku was releasing an exasperated sigh of relief, Cell's arm swept out and he grabbed a hold of a bundle of ChiChi's hair just before she touched ground. ChiChi let out a piercing squeal and clawed at Cell's hands. Cell paid her no mind.

Goku's breath caught in her throat. She arbitrarily took a step forward. "Cell! Put her down!"

Cell chuckled. "Now why in the world would I do that? I'm having such fun watching you cringe every time she cries out. Besides, I like my Saiyans to be seeing red when I fight them. It makes the fight so much more compelling!"

Goku furrowed her eyebrows together in confusion. 'He wants to… fight me?'

Cell rested his free index finger on his chin and hummed thoughtfully. "I wonder…" he began, "I wonder if this useless human vessel is carrying your lovechild? Would it make you angry if I was to… I don't know… blow a hole in her stomach?"

Goku's fists shook. "I know what you want!" she declared. "You're just trying to rattle my chains! You think you're going to get me to ascend to some new level if you kill her and her baby… am I right? Well, you won't! If you kill her I won't let you have your way! If you want a real fight, put her down and step away!"

Cell's smirk broadened. "You drive a hard bargain, Goku! The other Saiyan and the half-breed boy both seem kind of ruthless… but you seem like a clear-headed warrior. I don't think that you let anger and hate fuel your fire. But then again… I won't know for sure if I don't test your resolve first."

Goku narrowed her eyes with a dangerous expression on her face. "You'd be making a grave mistake, Cell."

Cell's leveled gaze continued to watch Goku for a moment longer. He looked as if he was seriously weighing his options. After a moment's hesitation, he shrugged his shoulders in a nonchalant manner and let ChiChi drop to the ground. She groaned when her body made contact with the sand. She lay still for a moment, trying to catch her breath and gather up what little resolve she had left. The ocean's waves lapped at her heels. The sensation reminded her that she was still alive. Her first instinct was to flee. She miraculously hopped to her feet and ran for cover.

Cell glanced at her fleeing form with a look of disgust. "You humans are a pathetic lot!" he spat. "Don't get too comfortable, dear. I'll be coming back for you."

"Never mind her!" Goku shouted, lifting a clenched fist. "Your fight is with me!"

Cell turned his attention back toward Goku. "Now that is what I like hear!" he said, taking a step closer to Goku.

Goku resisted the urge to back away. 'Oh great!' she thought. 'Now look what I've gone and done! What am I supposed to do now?'

Meanwhile, Gohan was soaring through the air toward the tournament grounds. He was seeing red. He'd lost all sense of reason, so much so that he hadn't noticed Cell's relocation. 'I can't believe I let Mom and Dad talk me into staying out of the fight! I trained for this! I should have been there!'

Gohan's aura exploded and for and split-second the Earth shook from the force of it. He screamed. 'Now Trunks is dead and it's all my fault! I don't want anyone to die! Not again…'

Gohan gritted his teeth and clenched his fists. 'No! I won't let you hurt anyone else, Cell. You're gonna pay!'

The closer Cell approached, the more panicked Goku became. Every crunch of the dirt beneath Cell's feet resounded in Goku's ears 10-fold. Her heart was palpitating so hard, it felt like somebody was drumming on her ribcage.

Her thoughts were frantic. 'What do I do? What do I do…?' Goku glanced up at Cell's face. His features were contorted into a sadistic looking smirk. A chill ran up Goku's spine. 'Stall!'

Goku forced herself to muster up a phony confident smile. "I'm flattered, Cell," she said, somewhat genuinely.

Cell quirked a curious eyebrow at her and he paused midstride. "How so?" he asked.

Goku's smile broadened. 'Yes! I'm a genius! Now I just need to stall him long enough for Vegeta to come and save us…' "Here you have all of these people lining up to fight you at the tournament grounds – some of these people are very strong, very capable of giving you an adequate fight… but here you are…"

Goku cut Cell off before he had the chance to reply. "And here I am… I'm not interested in fighting you in the least."

Cell seemed somewhat taken off guard and slightly amused by her latter statement. "Is that so?"

Goku sighed. "It is," she replied coolly. "I mean, isn't it obvious? If I had any intent of fighting with you, don't you think I would have shown up at the tournament grounds?"

Cell frowned. "Why aren't you interested in fighting me? After all, I am the strongest being in the universe! I am tangible perfection!"

Goku was at a loss for words for a split-second. She couldn't think of any reply to that. She ended up blurting out: "That's what you think!"

She immediately had to resist the urge to smack herself in the face for her thoughtless little outburst.

Cell scoffed at her. "That's what I know!"

Goku sighed with slight frustration. 'Well I might as well finish what I started. I hope this works… I've never been good at lying…' "Well, then," she replied smoothly. "That shows how much you know."

Cell glared at her. He was beginning to outwardly show some level of frustration.

Goku casually kicked some dust in the air with her boot and flashed Cell her best impression of a 'Vegeta' smirk. "I took full advantage of the leeway time you gave us. I'm tremendously stronger than the last time we butted heads. In fact… I've reached a new level of strength. I'm so powerful now… I can barely contain myself when I'm at my strongest! I like to call this transformation… uh… ascended Super Saiyan!"

Cell let out a dry laugh. "Really? Ascended Super Saiyan! That's the best name you could come up with? What? Don't tell me you just made it up right now?"

Goku began to feel a sinking feeling building up in the pit of her stomach. Cell had a peculiar look on his face. She couldn't read his expression, but somehow that made it all the more disturbing. Cell took a step forward and Goku made the mistake of backing away in comparison.

Cell's lips curved up and formed a maniacal grin. "You know, it's ironic that you say you have no interest in fighting me… If I remember correctly – and I assure you that my memory is quite accurate on most occasions – I believe you told me the last time we had occasion to meet that you would have your revenge. In fact, it sounded like a promise to me."

Goku bit her lip with trepidation. 'I have a really bad feeling about this. Vegeta! Where are you? What's taking you so long to get here?'

"You know, I don't entirely understand petty emotions, but I'm almost certain that revenge is a pungent feeling. Revenge is strong. It accompanies hate. You wouldn't just forget all of the souls I mercilessly slaughtered for their life-energy… would you?"

Goku clenched her fists angrily. She shook her head with rage. "Of course I didn't forget!"

Cell nodded his head in apparent understanding. "No, of course you didn't. How silly of me to think that you would. There's still one small, nagging detail that is still confounding me. You tell me you have no interest in fighting me, yet you still want revenge. And you tell me that you've reached a new level in which you are infinitely stronger than I am, yet when I approach you, you back away like a frightened human. Tell me, Goku, why would the universe's strongest warrior hesitate to fight her only competition. It makes absolutely no sense at all! You're a Saiyan! Saiyan's are bloodthirsty, coldhearted, ruthless fighting machines. Saiyans live for the thrill of fighting! I know this, Goku! I know this all too well. After all, I've inherited some of those characteristics from you."

Goku crossed her arms indignantly. "Not all Saiyans are bloodthirsty, coldhearted, and ruthless!" she argued.

Cell laughed. "Oh yes they are! Don't kid yourself, girl. You Saiyans are nothing but monsters! I know that you want to fight me, Goku! I know that you yearn to spill my blood and to witness my last breath. It's an innate desire, and it only becomes stronger with hate. Saiyans are fueled by hate because Saiyans are pure evil. Now… what I can't understand is why you continue to prolong this charade. You're trying so hard to look unconcerned by my presence – to look apathetic, but you should know that I can see past your little deception. You're hiding something from me, aren't you?"

Goku shook her head and grimaced. "What in the world are you going on about? You're crazy!"

Cell took a step forward and replied. "If I'm so crazy then why don't you explain to me why you look so pallid? What are you afraid of?"

Goku feigned being offended. "Well, excuse me! It just so happens that I haven't had a lot of time on my hands lately. I was planning on getting a tan later this week!"

Goku was so wrapped up in trying to look affronted instead of terrified that she failed to notice Cell moving closer to her until he was only but a foot away.

"Boo!" he said, and like clockwork, Goku gasped and stumbled backward.

Cell chuckled, but his grin was soon wiped clear off of his face because he had finally received the answer that he had been searching for.

"I sense two ki signatures emanating from within your body." Cell's face scrunched into an ugly, repulsed look. "You're pregnant!"

Goku instantly took on a defensive fighting stance. "Don't you dare come any closer!" she nearly growled.

Cell smirked and replied, "Or what?"

Goku didn't have an answer for that. She dug her heels in the grass and frowned. 'I have no choice… I have to fight. I can't stall him any longer!'

A familiar voice spoke up. "Or you'll have to deal with me first!" Master Roshi stepped in-between Cell and Goku and began some minor stretching exercises.

Goku's eyebrows twitched with uncertainty. "Master…" she muttered, but she couldn't finish her train of thought.

Cell burst out laughing. "You must be joking! What are you going to do, hit me with your cane?"

Master Roshi's bushy, caterpillar eyebrows furrowed together with concentration and he assumed a fight stance. "I'm dead serious," he grumbled.

Gohan touched ground on what was left of the tournament platform and gawked at what he saw. Trunks was standing up, appearing perfectly well, and staring at him with an equally astonished expression.

Krillin quirked an eyebrow out of curiosity. "Gohan, what are you doing here? Aren't you supposed to be with Goku and ChiChi?"

Krillin squinted, scrutinizing Gohan's expression furthermore. Gohan's brow was drawn downward. He was frowning. His face was flushed and sweat was trailing down his jaw-line. His fists were still clenched tightly and his chest was puffing out vigorously as he panted.

Krillin stumbled forward and grasped Gohan's shoulder's to steady him. "Gohan, what's wrong? What happened?"

This caught Vegeta's attention. "Imbecile! You were supposed to stay with Kakarrot! What happened?"

"Hey!" Yamcha intervened. "Chill out, Vegeta! Don't bite the kid's head off."

Vegeta crossed his arms and whipped his head in Yamcha's direction. "I'll say whatever I damn please!" he snapped. He immediately turned toward Gohan with a look of intolerance. "Well, what are you waiting for? Out with it, boy!"

Gohan gaped blankly at Vegeta for a moment, his expression morphing from absolute fury to a look of bewilderment. "Nothing…" he muttered. "It's just…" Gohan paused, glancing at Trunks. "I thought Cell had killed you, Trunks, and I guess I sort of went off the deep end. Sorry… I'm just so sick of seeing my friends get hurt. I felt so useless just sitting around at Kame House watching the fight on Baba's crystal ball. I want to help!"

Krillin cocked his head to the side with a look of bemusement. "Since when was Baba at Roshi's place?"

"Father went and got her so that we could watch the fight," Gohan explained.

Vegeta nearly flipped his lid. "She did what?"

Gohan smiled and couldn't resist chuckling. "Not her, my other father."

Vegeta made a 'hmph' noise and rolled his eyes. "That would explain why he isn't here yet, the idiot is taking his sweet time, now isn't he? No matter, he isn't needed anyway."

At that particular moment, Gohan finally realized the absence of a certain someone. Gohan looked around the premises vigorously trying to seek out the presence of his enemy.

"You guys," he finally spoke up. "Where's Cell?"

Krillin idly scratched his temple. "You know what," he muttered, "it's the weirdest thing. After he impaled Trunks with that nasty energy blast, he just took off."

"What?" Gohan murmured. He shook his head in disbelief. "That doesn't make any sense! Why would he do that? I thought he wanted to fight people. Why would he just leave after defeating his first opponent?"

Yamcha nodded in agreement and replied, "Yeah, now that you mention it, that is a little bit odd, huh?"

Vegeta watched them converse with steely eyes. 'It is strange,' he thought to himself. 'He brushed our battle off like it didn't interest him in the slightest… as if I was as insignificant as these pathetic weaklings Kakarrot calls allies.'

Vegeta couldn't get the memory of Cell's 'farewell' words out of his head. He couldn't get that arrogant bastard's haughty look out of his mind.

"I've had enough of you weaklings!" Cell had suddenly declared.

'How dare he group me with them! I am the Prince of Saiyans! Damn him!' Vegeta seethed, digging his fingernails deeper into the palms of his hands.

"I came here for a fight, but it seems as if I'm going to have to do all of the work." Cell's smug voice echoed inside his mind. "If my opponent won't come to me, I'll go to my opponent."

"What the hell is that supposed to mean," Vegeta grumbled. "I'm supposed to be his opponent. Who else could he possibly be talking about?"

Vegeta's little outburst arrested Krillin's attention. "What did you just say?"

Vegeta didn't respond. It was as if a bell had chimed in his head and its resounding ring had cleared out all of his previous distractions.

"Shit!" he muttered. 'He better not be where I think he is!' He closed his eyelids and concentrated all of his thoughts on Goku's ki signature. Unbeknownst to even himself, he had his fingers crossed – hoping that he wasn't correct. Unfortunately, he was. His eyelids retracted wide open that very instant, and he let out a string of profanity. Everyone stared at him utterly dumbfounded.

"Vegeta," Krillin muttered. A few others in the group repeated his name like an echo.

"Father, what's the matter?" Trunks asked tentatively.

Without another word, Vegeta powered up and took off with such strength and resultant speed, he nearly knocked a few of the Z-fighter's off of their feet.

Meanwhile, Master Roshi had made the decision to make the first move in the fight between him and Cell. He charged at Cell. Just as he was about to make contact with Cell, he disappeared into an after-image and reappeared behind Cell's back. Cell rolled his eyes and sighed exasperatedly as he blocked the oncoming attack.

"At least do me the favor of coming up with original attacks," Cell commented.

Master Roshi rebounded off of a tree and in mid-flight began to chant, "KA-ME-HA…"

Cell raised an eyebrow with vague interest. "Isn't that Goku's signature attack," he stated more than asked.

"ME-HA!" Master Roshi finished, unleashing an iridescent, enormous, blue ki blast upon Cell.

Cell nonchalantly smacked away the ki blast with the back of his hand as if he was shooing a fly. Master Roshi landed on the ground with a less than graceful thud.

"Ouch," he muttered. He then chuckled good-humoredly. "I guess these old bones aren't as strong as they used to be." He fixed his sunglasses and resumed his fighting stance.

"I'm impressed old man. I'm convinced any other human your age would be bed-ridden yet you can still produce ki blasts," Cell commented.

Master Roshi pinched the bridge of his nose and replied, "Well, you asked for an original attack. That attack is as original as it gets. After all, I invented it."

Cell scoffed. "I'm not interested in a history lesson."

"Of course not," Master Roshi replied. "Let's get back down to business, shall we?"

Cell smirked. "It's my turn, isn't it?"

Cell lifted his arm and splayed out his fingers. A ki blast flickered in the palm of his hand. It shot toward Master Roshi. Goku gasped. "No!" she shouted, carelessly running to block the blast. All she could think of was that it would surely kill Master Roshi.

She stopped dead in her tracks when she realized that somebody else had blocked the blast for her. When the bright light and dust dissipated, it left an unscathed Master Roshi and Android 16 in its place. She smiled and pumped her fist. "Yes!" she shouted. "Way to go, 16!"

16 turned his head in Goku's direction and smiled his sweet, mechanical smile of his. "I am paying you back for your kindness, Son Goku."

16 turned to Cell with an impassive expression. "I am now the opponent you seek."

Cell stared blankly at android 16 for a moment before bursting out laughing. "You, you're my opponent? Ha! First the old man, and now you? You don't stand a chance! None of you do!"

"I have knowledge of this. I cannot defeat you with my own strength, but I cannot stand idly by and watch you erradicate the beauty of life. Life is a gift. It should not be destroyed for entertainment. I will fight you because words of reason will never reach you," Android 16 explained.

Cell sighed and said, "How very touching, but I've had enough of your useless drivel."

Cell casually tossed a ki blast at 16, and 16 dodged it. He charged at Cell. He released one of his rocket fists into the air and directed it toward Cell. Cell sidestepped it easily and laughed at his pathetic attempt.

"Is that all you've got?" Cell mocked. "You're worse than the old man!"

"No," 16 replied coolly.

It was then that Cell sensed the projectile fist soaring back at him from behind. He whipped around and blasted the fist to pieces. He left his backside unguarded and 16 took the opportunity to wrap him in a full-nelson.

Cell was shocked for split-second, but a moment later he scoffed and spat, "Do you honestly think that you can hold me like that? I can break your fragile, synthetic arms like twigs!"

"Self Destruction Mode Activated," 16 muttered in monotone.

Cell gasped and immediately tried to wriggle free. "What?" he shouted, ripping 16's arms directly out of their sockets. 16 stumbled backward and said, "No… it is gone…"

Cell backed away and asked, "What's gone?"

"My internal bomb. Bulma Briefs must have deactivated it when she repaired me," he said.

Cell cackled. "Yes! Ha-ha! This is just too perfect don't you think!"

Cell didn't waste any time in gathering up another ki blast and obliterating 16's body. All that was left was his head. It fell to the ground with a thud and rolled a few feet.

"No!" Goku shouted. "16! Cell, how could you? You monster!"

"Do not worry," 16 spoke, nearly scaring Goku out of her wits. "Someone will destroy Cell."

Cell crossed his arms and casually walked toward android 16. "I've had enough of you to last me a lifetime," he said, lifting up his foot to stomp on 16's head.

"Good will triumph over evil," 16 concluded just before Cell smashed his head in.

Cell smacked his hands together with a look of finality on his face. "Now that I've taken care of that," he said.

"No…" Goku murmured. "H – how dare you?" she shouted, her aura gathering up around her body.

Cell disappeared and reappeared instantaneously in front of Goku. He scowled at her. "We have a score to settle," he stated in a matter of fact tone of voice.

Master Roshi tried to side-swipe Cell, but Cell smacked him away without exerting any effort at all, and Master Roshi was sent careening into a tree.

Cell returned his full attention to Goku. "I don't want any distractions to keep you from fighting at your true strength."

Goku tried to back away, but she backed straight into a wall of Kame House. She crouched into a defensive fighting stance. "Just what are you saying?" she snapped.

Cell created a ki blast in the palm of his hand and raised it up to the level of her abdomen. He released the ki blast. "This," he said with a smirk.

A/N: So I lied again... the surprise really isn't in this chapter either. But in my defense, I really didn't think that the plot of this chapter would end up as long as it is. The surprise will definitely be in the next one ;) I promise! Needless to say but I'll say it anyway. Life got in the way of updating. Darn you life and you're sneaky ways! KrillinFanGirl: the name you came up with is absolutely awesome and the only vegetable pun name I have heard that I really like. Do you mind if I put it in the poll? I knew that Saiyan names are a pun on veggies, but I never knew that Saiyan was an anagram for a word in Japanese that means vegetable. Man... Akira is one smart guy... and sneaky... like life :)! Vladlover: why do you hate ChiChi? Hahaha! Kirara Star: thanks for the new additions for the poll. Since its getting pretty long, I probably won't add all of them. Sorry :( Random person who [was] reviewing: Sorry, I won't be going all the way to the Buu saga. :( Every one else, thanks for the reviews, PMs, and poll participation! Happy holidays! Let's see if I can't come up with another update before X-mas break is over? :)

*Chapter 55*: Stage One: Denial

Disclaimer: I don't own DB/Z/GT.

Female Goku = Goku; Male = Gokou.

Chapter 55: Stage One - Denial

Goku's body was as rigid as a marble statue. Cell's arm reached out toward her with speed and precision, yet to her it felt like the entire world was moving in slow motion. With one flippant movement, Cell flicked his wrist upward so that the palm of his hand lay parallel with Goku's abdomen.

She distantly realized that someone was screaming, and that it was a woman. She was shouting the word, "No!" It took her a moment to perceive that the seemingly disembodied voice was that of her own vocal chords. "Please don't!" she pleaded, reaching out her arm to try to impede upon the misanthropic android's assault.

She was too slow. She was too late. Cell had already let loose the destructive energy blast. She heard it whoosh through the air, and she also heard him chuckle and simply say the word "This." He was staring directly into her eyes. She could see nothing but coldness in his own eyes. The light of the ki blast flickered on his face and contorted his features with shadows. She could see him smirk that sadistic smirk of his. His teeth were gleaming. That was the precise moment that she was hit.

She braced herself for pain and misery the likes of which she'd never before experienced. A single tear rolled down her cheek. 'Why?' Why did it have to be this way?

A split-second later she realized that she didn't feel any pain in her abdominal region. In fact, nothing seemed to have hit her stomach at all. Something had rammed into her shoulder instead. It was tingling. Her body was tilting, and then she lost her footing completely. The world was suddenly spinning.

'I'm falling.' She realized, immediately spreading out her arms and bracing herself for impact with the earth. It wasn't until all motion had ceased that she realized that her eyes were closed. Her eyelids retracted, and she blinked a few times in utter bemusement. She was on her hands and knees on the ground. She clenched some grass and dirt in between her fingers and smiled.

"Why you!" Cell growled with a dangerous inflection to his voice.

Goku twisted her body around to face Cell. He looked downright pissed. He wasn't looking at her though; he was looking at her male doppelganger.

"Gokou!" she shouted joyously, unaware that tears were still streaking down her cheeks. Her whole body was quivering like a leaf. She couldn't make herself stop. She'd nearly lost her babies! The feeling of dread, anticipation, fear, relief and a mesh of other feeling were all bombarding her at once. All she knew was that for now she and her babies were safe and it was thanks to Gokou.

Gokou still stood with his arms crossed defensively. He'd somehow managed to push her out of the way and block some of the blow all in one fluid movement. He turned his head in her direction and gave her grin accompanied by a thumbs up.

"You alright, Goku?" he asked with a look of concern.

Goku smiled back at him. She glanced at herself and patted her stomach. She laughed. "Yep, we sure are!"

"Great!" Gokou exclaimed. "I was worried I was too late for a second there!" With that said, Gokou turned his full attention toward Cell. His countenance morphed from cheerful to severe in less than a second.

"So," he said in a grave voice. "I take it you're this Cell guy I keep hearing about."

Cell had looked enraged before, but now he appeared utterly dumbfounded. "Wait! Just what is going on here?"

Cell looked from the female Goku to her male counterpart, from female to male again and then threw his arms up in frustration. "Just what in the hell is going on here? There can't be two of you! And why are both different genders! This makes absolutely no sense at all!"

Gokou's lips tugged up into a crooked smile. "If I told you, you wouldn't believe me."

Cell sneered and snapped, "I demand an explanation!"

Gokou laughed. "Please, Cell. I don't owe you anything. You wanted to fight Goku, right? Well, she and I are the same person essentially – or we were at one time at the very least. Believe me, you won't be disappointed."

Cell raised an eyebrow with apparent interest. "Is that so? We shall see then, won't we?"

Gokou assumed a defensive fighting stance. "Bring it on!" he exclaimed.

"Don't fret, Gokou. I shall deliver the challenge you seek, but not until I take care of some unfinished business first." With that said, Cell's attention returned to his former opponent. "Don't think I'm letting you off that easily, my dear."

Goku's jaw slackened in astonishment. She felt a constricted feeling in her chest. "Wh – what?" she stammered in disbelief.

Meanwhile, Gokou scowled at Cell and shouted, "No! Leave her out of this! Your fight is with me!"

Cell chuckled. "Actually, boy, my fight was with her first."

Gokou scoffed, "You can't be serious! You would fight a pregnant woman? She's practically defenseless!"

Cell tilted his head in mock confusion. "Oh… what ever do you mean? I'm perfectly serious. I don't see why I shouldn't fight her. Last time I checked, pregnancy wasn't a debilitating disease. She's perfectly capable of defending herself."

Gokou's patience was wearing thinner by the moment. "But don't you see? She could miscarry!"

Cell shot Gokou a derisive look and replied, "And how is that my problem?"

Gokou's face flushed bright red and he clenched his fists angrily. "You monster! I won't let you anywhere near her!"

Cell chuckled. "You honestly believe that you can stop me?" Cell asked in a condescending tone. "Don't kid yourself, boy! The only reason she is still alive is because I have allowed her to live a few minutes longer, but rest assured her hourglass has run thin. Time is up!"

Cell's attention was once again centered on Goku, and it was taking every ounce of Goku's self-control not to make an attempt to bolt out of there like a bat out of hell. 'Vegeta! Where are you!'

Goku glanced from side to side nervously. Maybe she was looking for an escape route, maybe she was hoping to see Vegeta coming to her rescue from over the expanse of blue ocean water, or maybe she just couldn't stand the sight of Cell's sadistic grin any longer.

Cell cackled at her fruitless endeavor. "There's no point in looking for a way to escape. There's no way out of this but death. Now, are you going to fight me like a true Saiyan warrior or not?"

Goku forced herself to stand up. She was trembling all over again. Her mind raced frantically trying to find a solution to her problem but couldn't find one. Try as she might, she kept coming to the same conclusion with every new attempt to think up a plan: she was up shit creak without a paddle.

She clenched her clammy fingers into fists. Cold sweat slid down her jaw. Her obsidian eyes gazed at Cell with frightened desperation – much like a frightened animal trying to seek out a shred of compassion in the eyes of its butcher. But Goku knew that Cell was incapable of feeling empathy, let alone feeling anything remotely kind. He was perfect and why in the world would a perfect being such as himself form any sort of connection or bond with a 'lesser' being?

She lost all rationale when she felt her babies kick. They were going to die because of her. She had failed them. "Please, Cell…" Goku dropped to her knees and clasped her hands together. Goku ordinarily wasn't one to beg. She wasn't afraid to die. This wasn't a normal circumstance. Her life wasn't the only one on the line. She had everything to lose. "I'm begging you… don't…" She knew her words were fruitless before they even escaped her lips, but she couldn't help it. She just had this feeling… she would do anything to protect her children, even if it meant begging on her hands and knees.

Cell appeared absolutely repulsed by this display of such vulnerability. "Look at you! You want me to take pity on you? You were supposed to be the strongest in the universe! Dr. Gero created me to exterminate you! He was afraid of you! He loathed your very existence. He created, me, the most perfect being in the universe just so that he could be rid of you! Look at you! You're nothing but a sniveling coward! You're letting those leaches inside of you dictate your life! You're pathetic!"

Cell took a step toward Goku and said, "I've decided… I'm going to end your miserable existence this instant. Any last words, Goku?"

"Oh no you won't!" Gokou shouted, charging at Cell and aiming a punch at his head.

The next few moments flew by so fast it felt like Gokou didn't even have time to breath. Cell caught Gokou's fist and twisted his arm. He cried out in pain and tried to free himself with his other arm. Cell grabbed a hold of Gokou's other arm faster than he could react. He swung Gokou's entire body into the air and slammed him against the ground with bone-crushing force. The strength of Gokou's body smacking the earth caused the ground to quiver. Gokou grunted from the immense pain of the blow.

Cell kicked Gokou onto his back. Gokou groaned again and squinted up at Cell though the harsh sunlight. He hissed a curse-word under his breath. Cell gingerly placed one foot just above Gokou's jugular notch. The edges of his lips slowly tugged upward into a malicious looking grin.

"All I would have to do is press down a tiny bit. I would crush your trachea. I could snap your neck clear in half," Cell announced. He said this all with a lilting cadence to his voice. "You're such a pest. I think I will."

Without a second thought, Goku sprung into action. She cupped her hands together and mouthed, "Ka-me-ha-me-ha!" A burst of energy poured forth from the palms of her hands and slammed into Cell.

For one glorious instant, her fear fluctuated. She felt a small sprig of hope in the form of exhilaration. 'Take that asshole!' A smile threatened to form on her lips. That tiny bit of hope was trampled on a moment later. The light from her ki blast faded slightly. It didn't disappear entirely. It seemed restrained, controlled.

Goku gasped as she realized that Cell had stopped her massive energy blast. 'No way! My aim was dead-on! He was distracted! How!' No amount of incredulity could erase the cold, hard fact that she hadn't succeeded in wounding Cell. She hadn't even come remotely close to harming him. Her eyes wouldn't lie to her. Cell was standing exactly in the same spot as he had been before. His torso was turned in her direction now, but his legs were glued in the same spot as before – one firmly planted on the ground and the other threatening to crush Gokou's vulnerable neck. Not a speck of dust had been displaced. He was restraining her ki blast with one hand!

Cell appraised Goku silently for a moment. He then casually turned his head away from her and gazed out at the distant sky. He sniggered a little and announced, "Oh look! We have company arriving just in time for the main attraction."

Goku whipped her head in the direction that Cell was looking and immediately felt it. She felt a ki signature that she knew like the palm of her hand. Warmth spread throughout her body. Her eyes sparkled with hope. 'Vegeta…' He had come for her… She could see the speck of him off in the distance. It was growing larger by the second.

The moment didn't last long. She felt an odd sensation, almost as if she was being violated. She turned to look at Cell and found that he had been staring at her, watching her reaction to the news.

She felt that constricting feeling in her chest again. Her heart was palpitating. His face looked different. His eyes were open wide, bugged out with a sort of eccentric childish delight. He was smiling. It was alarming because it was not his usual cocky smirk. This smile was different – it had an air lunacy to it.

"You should see the look on your face!" he exclaimed. His tongue flicked out much like a serpent's, and he licked the top of his lip with a sort of primal looking desire. "I despise it! I'm going to enjoy decimating it!"

At that precise moment, Gokou reached up and desperately grabbed at Cell's calf, attempting to dislodge Cell's leg. He hoped to make Cell lose his balance and in-turn lose his deathly hold on his neck. He didn't succeed. Cell retaliated by pressing down hard on Gokou's windpipe. Gokou cried out with pain.

"Learn your place," Cell spat, relieving some of the pressure. Gokou coughed spasmodically, trying to catch his breath. "Don't be pushy. Your time will come soon enough!"

Cell's attention returned to his prey. "Now, where was I...?"

Vegeta squinted toward the horizon. He could just barely make out a brown-pink blob off in the distance. He was quickly approaching the turtle hermit's house. He could feel Cell's ghastly ki signal emanating from the small piece of land like a light-house beacon. More importantly, he could still feel Goku's ki signature. There was hope to be had.

Nevertheless, Vegeta would feel no relief until he stood between Goku and Cell himself. He of all people knew just how quickly a life could extinguish – he'd taken many a life himself. Vegeta grunted and his aura illuminating around his body. He clenched his hand over his chest. His heart was beating wildly. He'd never felt like this before. Adrenaline was rushing through his arteries.

Vegeta's eyebrows scrunched together into a frown. He could discern light on the island. It looked like a ki blast, and it certainly felt like a ki blast, yet it was stationary. 'Just what is going on down there?'

His heart skipped a beat when he realized who held control of the blast. 'Fuck no!' He tried to force his ki to rise even higher in order to give him some extra speed, but he had hit his wall. He couldn't raise it any more. 'Don't you fucking touch her, you son of bitch!' his mind screamed.

His eyes widened in disbelief as he saw the ki blast slowly inching its way into action. 'No, no, no!'

He could see it clearly now. It started rushing toward Goku! 'Damn-it! I'm not going to make it in time!'

Vegeta could only think to do one thing. He halted, cupped his palms at his side and let loose an enormous ki blast of his own. It shot through the air faster than a speeding bullet on a direct collision course with Cell's ki blast.

'If I can't block it with my own two hands, then I'll blast it in another direction!' He poured as much energy forth as he possibly could. His heart was aflutter again. He could not afford to lose her, not now, not ever!

He didn't wait for the dust to clear. He immediately was flying at full-speed toward the island again. His eyes were glued to the spot where Goku was standing before the blast. He willed her to be there unharmed. He touched down just above the waterline as a gust of wind blew and swept the remaining dust out to the ocean. He was running toward her, not wasting an instant of precious time.

Then suddenly it hit him. She wasn't there! He froze mid-stride and frantically whipped his head in all directions – desperate to find her, but she was nowhere to be found. It was as if she had vanished into thin air!

Sweat trickled down his brow. His muscles were tense, his body as still as a statue, but his eyes continued to flit about madly in every which-way. He clenched his fists, placing so much pressure on the palms of his hands that his nails sliced through his skin. He raised a fist in the air and snapped his head in Cell's direction. Bright red blood trickled down his forearm until it reached his olecranon. It dripped to the ground and left crimson rubies in the sand.

He bared his teeth at Cell and hissed, "Where the hell is she?"

Cell gazed at Vegeta passively. "What a pointless question."

Vegeta fumed. "I am sick of your fucking games! I demand you tell me where Kakarrot is!" he snarled.

Cell quirked a curious eyebrow at him. "Are all you Sayains so dense? You saw what happened. Kakarrot is no more. I blasted her to smithereens."

The scowl that Vegeta had been harboring was wiped clean off of his face and replaced with a look of utter incomprehension. His mouth hung agape for a moment. "N – no I blocked your attack!" he argued.

Cell scoffed derisively. "You call that blocking my attack? A lot of good that did! You just further fueled my attack!"

Vegeta's chest rose and fell abruptly. Air whished in and out of his flared nostrils. "No!"

Cell chuckled scathingly. "In fact, you could even say that you yourself had a hand in her demise…"

"No! You're lying! You bastard!" Vegeta roared.

Cell laughed more heartily this time. "Come now, Vegeta. Would I lie to you?" Cell sighed and gazed off at the clouds passing above him in the sky. "You should have seen how she looked at you approaching. There was a spark in her eyes. It was as if she had hope that I wouldn't kill her… all because she saw you." Cell snorted with laugher. "Imagine that!"

A/N: I edited the entire chapter for over an hour and then just as I finished, I hit the backspace button and stupid Internet Explorer backed up a page and I lost everything I did! ARGHHH I could punch someone! If I could punch Cell right now he'd be a gonner with one blow! Needless to say... all that shit I added is no more and the editing is kind of crap. Sorry... Oh... and the story does eventually have a happy ending. I promise.

*Chapter 56*: Stage Two: Anger

Disclaimer: I don't own DB/Z/GT.

Female Goku = Goku; Male = Gokou.

Chapter 56: Stage Two – Anger

"… so much the worse for me that I am strong. Do I want to live? What kind of living will it be when you—oh, God! Would you like to live with your soul in the grave?" – Emily Bronte

Gokou couldn't see what happened from his position, but he could clearly hear the words exchanged between Vegeta and Cell. He could certainly feel what had occurred. There was a change in the wind, an immediate coldness that chilled him to the bone. He couldn't feel her anymore. Her warm, calming, reassuring ki signature had quite frankly disappeared into thin air. It was there, and an instant later, it was gone – as if she had never existed in the first place. There was no question that she had existed – the universe was a much more frigid place without her vibrant aura present.

The weight of Cell's body was very evident on his anterior neck. His breaths came out in short rasps. 'What would she do in this situation?'

Gokou clenched his fists in livid determination. 'She wouldn't give up!'

Cell was currently preoccupied with taunting Vegeta, blatantly prodding at his open wounds. "Yes, yes! She's dead! Her carcass isn't even left for you to cry over!"

It was hard for him to hear such disrespectful words callously exchanged on Goku's part, but he couldn't afford to let himself lose it again. 'I need to keep a clear head. I need a plan. He's much stronger than I am. If he's going to be defeated, this needs to be a joint effort.'

There was one lingering question that occupied Gokou's mind: at this point was Vegeta emotionally stable enough to make a rebound and help him defeat Cell?

Gokou concentrated hard in order to use his newly acquired instant transmission technique. He was by no means good at it yet, but he was capable of performing it. He transported himself out from under Cell and right next to Vegeta.

It occurred to him then that he might have been able to save Goku if he had thought of using instant transmission earlier, but it wasn't exactly a technique that he usually relied upon, that, and it took him quite some time of concentration before he could perform it successfully. Besides, there was no point in dwelling on the past. After all, the past was the past and no amount of wishing or guilt would change anything.

Cell's eyes widened in shock for a split-second. He narrowed his eyes at Gokou with detest. "So you can perform that nifty little trick too," he muttered.

Gokou smirked and retorted, "I can do a lot of things you wouldn't expect."

Cell scoffed and rolled his eyes. "Let's not get too cocky. I did just kill you didn't I?"

Gokou could feel his blood boiling. He narrowed his eyes at Cell. "I'm going to make you regret that."

Gokou side-glanced at Vegeta. Vegeta was still staring at the dirt patch Goku had previously been standing upon. No specific word could even begin to describe the exact emotion that was discernible on Vegeta's face. His face itself appeared deadpan, but the muscles in his jaw were pulled tight. His teeth were clenched and he was grinding them together. His temporal arteries were bulging out and throbbing. His gaze was steely, as if he was trying to pierce through the space-time continuum itself and drag Goku's living form back through with the sheer force of will.

"Vegeta," Gokou murmured. He felt awkward trying to break Vegeta's intense concentration, but it was necessary. Gokou cleared his throat. "Vegeta, snap out of it!" he commanded in a loud and clear voice.

It didn't work. Gokou was starting to become antsy. "Vegeta, this is serious! I'm going to need your help in order to defeat Cell! I need you to snap out of it this instant!"

Still, no reaction.

Gokou exhaled a drawn-out sigh of exasperation. "Vegeta!" he yelled.

Vegeta snapped his head in Gokou's direction. His face stopped at less than an inch from Gokou's own face. Gokou could feel Vegeta's hot, bated breath blowing on his face. It made his skin tingle with trepidation.

"What is the point!" Vegeta hissed with a dangerous inflection to his voice. "He has already won!"

Gokou grasped Vegeta's shoulders and argued, "What are you talking about? You can't think like that! We can still defeat him if we work together!"

Vegeta growled angrily, snatched Gokou's wrists, and tearing his hands off of him. "You idiot! Why should I do that? Why would I want to live! He has taken everything from me!"

Gokou glanced away and sighed. "Vegeta…" he whispered softly. Gokou suddenly smiled. "Wait! I have an idea!"

This sudden exclamation startled Vegeta. He tapped his foot on the ground impatiently. "Well, I'm waiting!"

"We can wish Goku back with the dragon balls!" he suggested giddily.

Vegeta glared at him and snapped, "She's already been wished back to life before! The dragon won't grant her life again!"

Gokou's animated expression instantly melted into a frown. "S – sorry Vegeta… I guess I forgot about that."

"Of course you did," Vegeta grumbled, his icy gaze zeroing in on Cell.

Gokou's heart thrummed against his ribcage harder and harder. The realization was really setting in now. She truly was gone! When he spoke, his voice cracked with emotion. "We'll think of something, Vegeta."

"Shut up, K – " Vegeta choked on the word. He couldn't bring himself to say his name… her name. "Sh- shut up, clown!"

The edges of Cell's lips crept upward on his face until he bore a sadistic grin. Cell began to chuckle silently at first, but his laughter grew until it was a booming crescendo of malicious torment.

Vegeta scowled at the wicked creature. He swung out his arm and pointing an accusatory index finger at Cell. His arm shook uncontrollably, his whole body quivered with rage. "Just what the fuck do you think is so damn funny?" he hissed venomously.

Cell clutched at his sides and feigned wiping a tear from the corner of an eye. His eyes met with Vegeta's and he replied. "Everything!"

Vegeta's gaze dropped to the ground. He couldn't bear to look at that monster's face any longer! Seeing Cell's face was a constant reminder that his nightmares had come to life. Cell had killed the one he cared about most in life. He had ripped away his meaning for existence. What was he without Kakarrot? He was just an empty shell of himself!

What made it even worse was that he could still picture her happy and alive. He could still feel her skin brushing up against him. It was like her warmth had not left him at all, but he couldn't embrace her back. She wasn't really there. He could speak to her, and he could come up with a response that would nearly mirror one that she herself would choose, but it would not really be her who was speaking to him.

Then there was the memory. It haunted him. It played in his mind on a loop like a broken record or like a song set on repeat.

"I have total faith in you," she said. She said it without a hint of hesitation. She said it as if she truly believed in her words.

There was a hollow pit in his chest left by her absence. Nobody had ever believed in him before!

"I have total faith in you. You can and will defeat Cell."

It was as if she was commanding him to do so. He could distinguish the familiar sound of gravel crunching. There was a new arrival on the forlorn little island. He could see Gohan in his periphery. The brat was coming closer.

"Vegeta," he said breathlessly with a lingering uneasy inflection in his voice. "Where's my dad?"

It was such a simple question. So, then why was it so difficult for him to answer it? Vegeta narrowed his eyes at the boy. He wished he would just shut his mouth.

"Vegeta," Gohan repeated. Vegeta still didn't acknowledge his presence. "Vegeta, what happened? Where is my dad?" The pitch of Gohan's voice rose as he became more frantic.

Gokou brushed past Vegeta, glancing worriedly at him as he did so. Vegeta's face was an unreadable, stone-cold wall again, but the sunlight reflecting a sheen on his eyes didn't escape Gokou unoticed. He was dying inside – Gokou just knew it. He paused in front of Gohan and crouched to be level with the boy. Gokou frowned and sighed. He rested both hands on Gohan's shoulders. "Gohan, I know this is hard to hear, but… Cell… Cell… took her life."

Gohan's eyes widened like saucers. He shook his head in disbelief, "N – no!" he shouted. "You're wrong!"

Gokou's gaze dropped to the dirt on the ground. He'd never felt so low in his entire life as he did at this particular moment. "I'm sorry Gohan, but I'm not wrong."

"No!" Gohan argued. "You don't understand! Dad can't die! She can't!"

Cell chuckled. "I beg to differ. I blew her to kingdom come!"

Gohan was so upset he began to hyperventilate, still shaking his head in disbelief. Meanwhile, Gokou clenched his fists in rage. Cell truly was a sick, heartless monster! He couldn't believe Cell had the gall to say such blatantly cruel words in front of Gohan.

"Gohan, I need your help! You need to be strong now. I need you to protect your mother and the others." Gokou instructed.

Tears had begun to spill down Gohan's cheeks. "I want to fight Cell! He killed dad!"


"I was supposed to be here! I was supposed to protect her! It's my fault she's dead!" Gohan practically screamed.

Gokou grappled Gohan's chin and steadily directed his transitory attention to him. "Gohan, Son… listen to me. What happened is not your fault!"

Cell rolled his eyes, and crossed his arms impatiently. "Enough of this nonsense! You're boring me! If someone doesn't step up to fight me then I'm going to pick my next victim myself."

Gokou turned to face Cell. "Gohan, go!"

"No!" Gohan shouted indignantly. He then addressed Cell. "You want someone to fight? I'll be your next opponent!"

"Gohan!" Gokou shouted.

Cell interrupted him before he could say anything else. "So you want to fight me, little boy?"

Gohan scowled at him and spat, "No! I want to kill you!"

Cell seemed thoroughly amused by such an exclam