The Darkness Within

The Darkness Within

Vejiita slowly opened his eyes, blinking a little and then groaning as he immediately noticed the stiffness of his neck.

"Kuso," he muttered, slowly pulling himself up to his hands and knees, then sitting back on his heels as his hand cupped the back of his neck. He groaned again, forcing himself to turn his head from side to side, working out the stiffness. He frowned, trying to remember what had happened.

Then he winced as a split lower lip cracked slightly. He raised his hand, fingertips brushing over the dried blood on his lips and chin, then flushed as everything came rushing back.

"Kakarrot," Vejiita growled through clenched teeth, gingerly rising to his feet despite the protests of his sore body.

"Yeah?" another voice called quietly, and Vejiita whipped around to find Goku seated on the ground a few yards away, leaning his back against a thick tree trunk.

Vejiita found himself hoping that the dim light beneath the trees served to hide his deepening blush. He turned away for a moment, quieting the rising panic and anger in his chest. His eyes closed briefly as he remembered what had passed between them in humiliation. Kakarrot knew. No one had ever known, and now Kakarrot, of all people.... He realized that he didnít want to face the other Saiya-jin. Coward, his mind jeered at him. He growled to himself. Why should he care what Kakarrot thought? The fool was only an idiot warrior of the third class.

But heís not an idiot anymore, and heís the only other pure-blooded Saiya-jin left, the voice reminded him smugly.

God, I will not let him think me weak... I am not weak! He will know me as his prince! Vejiita thought, his hands unconsciously curling into fists.

A hand on his shoulder startled him from his musing and he flinched, jerking away from the touch while turning to face Goku, not liking the feeling the contact sent through him, the warmth of the other manís palm. He swallowed, remembering the vague softness of Kakarrotís touch before he had fallen asleep. The man had lulled him to sleep! He had never expected the other Saiya-jin to relax him so much, but when he had started to rub his back.... No one had ever touched him like that. He could still feel the looseness of his muscles, even despite the fading aches. It had just.... felt so good.

He gritted his teeth, cursing Goku for making him feel so pathetically weak.

"Donít do that," he said, his voice coming out without the forcefulness he had intended.

Goku dropped his hand, his dark eyes resting quietly on Vejiitaís face.

Suddenly Vejiita glanced around, blinking in astonishment as he realized what time it was. Dawn.

He had slept here in the woods with Kakarrot for the entire night!

"Kuso!" he snapped, scowling as he folded his arms over his chest.

He looked over at Goku again. "Well, Kakarrot, as fun as this was, and as much as you might have enjoyed discovering what my past was like, I think itís about time I was leaving."

Goku gazed back at him with a trace of sadness in his eyes. "Vejiita," he began, then trailed off, apparently changing his mind. He shrugged. "Yeah, I guess we should both be heading back, I never planned to be out here this long. I imagine the boys are wondering where I am."

He turned as though to go, then glanced back at him.

"You know.... You might want to spend some time with Trunks."

Vejiita glanced at him sharply, surprised, before glaring. "What?"

Goku turned back to him fully. "I think it would do both of you good if you spent some time with your son. I know you love him," he said, his voice becoming quieter, "but does he know that?"

Vejiita snarled at him. "What the hell is it to you?! You think I love the brat?!"

Goku frowned at him. "I know you love him, Vejiita. And I know how hard it is for you to show it. But you need to find a way. Donít let him grow up like you did, thinking no one cares."

Vejiita paled, then flushed. "Fuck you, Kakarrot! Donít tell me what to do with my son!"

Goku didnít react to his curse. "Try it, Vejiita. I think it will help you as much as it will him." The Saiya-jin took a few steps away from him. "Weíll have to spar again, soon. Youíre a level three Super Saiya-jin now, if you recall. It should be interesting."

Vejiita blinked in surprise. He had very nearly forgotten that! Then he grinned viciously. "Count on it, Kakarrot! But you wonít be so eager after Iíve beaten you into the dirt!"

Vejiita thought he saw Goku smile as the other Saiya-jin turned away, blasting into the sky and with a fading trail in his wake.

Vejiita realized in bewilderment that he was a little sorry to see him go.

 

Back at Capsule Corporation, where he still lived, despite Bulmaís death, Vejiita eased into a hot shower, sighing. After Bulma had died, he had thought he would have no place to go, but Dr. and Mrs. Briefs had practically insisted that he remain with them, especially since Trunks would one day be the head of the entire corporation, as Bulmaís son. And, for whatever reason, they had said that he was a part of their family. So he had stayed in the huge complex, raising his son as best he could.

He frowned, his face lifted to the hot streams of water. He was not a good father. The knowledge hurt him, somehow, though he knew better than to deny it. He did not know how to raise a child, and when Bulma had died he had been completely at a loss. He only knew that he couldnít simply abandon his child, without a mother or a father to look after him.

He lowered his head gazing blankly at the plain white wall of the shower. He knew he had been hard on Trunks, but he didnít know how to be anything else. He thought it would make the boy stronger. He had taught him to fight, how to look out for himself, how to be independent. But it wasnít enough. Even he could see it. The boy needed something more, and he didnít know how to give it.

Did he care about him?

Of course he did, he admitted with a sigh. But he couldnít show it. He didnít know how.

How to say ĎI love you, Trunks,í?

He realized that he rarely ever even called the boy by his name. That, too, showed an attachment that he was loath to display, to even admit to himself that he felt. He couldnít be close to his son, it wasnít natural for him!

"Donít let him grow up like you did, thinking no one cares."

Vejiita cursed as Gokuís words replayed in his head. Trunks knew that he cared, didnít he? Did his son really need him to say it?

But he hadnít even shown it, not really, he realized. And he didnít... He didnít want Trunks to grow up to be like him, he admitted finally, turning off the shower and stepping out to dry off. He didnít want the boy to isolate himself, he didnít want him to think that life couldnít be better for him than it was for his father.

Vejiita hung the towel up, then gazed at himself in the mirror. At the hardness of his features, the permanent creases around his eyes, his perpetual scowl. The boy looked very much like him, he knew, but he didnít have the hardness yet. But... he was getting there. Vejiita had seen it. And he didnít want it to happen. The boy was already far more serious than other children his age.

Frowning, Vejiita pulled on a navy blue workout suit and his white boots and gloves, then exited the bathroom.

He walked quietly through Capsule Corporation, glancing into the kitchen and Trunksí bedroom, wondering what his son was up to. Finally he came to Bulmaís old workshop and silently opened the door, leaning up against the frame.

His son was seated on the floor, surrounded by wires and circuit plates, a tool of some sort in his hand as he tinkered with whatever idea he had come up with recently. Trunks had apparently inherited his motherís scientific aptitude. Vejiita had neither encouraged nor discouraged his interest, he realized. The boy probably thought his father didnít even know about his talent.

Now he bent in concentration over his work, several strands of his shoulder-length lavender hair escaping his ponytail and falling forward into his eyes. He looked almost exactly like Mirai Trunks, Vejiita mused, though he didnít possess quite that level of maturity, that level of hardness yet.

Rousing himself, Vejiita lightly tapped the doorframe with his knuckles, and Trunks started slightly, twisting around to look at him. When he saw his father, his clear blue eyes shuttered, becoming blank but for a questioning look.

Vejiita tried to ignore the pain that clenched his heart as he realized how far he had driven the boy from him, instead folding his arms over his chest as he looked down at his son.

"Are you up for a little sparring?" he asked, not knowing what else to say. He didnít know what else to do with the boy.

Trunks looked back at his work for a moment, a strangely pained expression on his too-honest face, then set the circuit plate down, rising to his feet.

"Yeah, I guess," he said quietly, dusting his hands on his pants and walking toward Vejiita. "I just need to change clothes."

Vejiita nodded, moving out into the hallway to wait as Trunks went to his room to change into his workout clothing. A few minutes later, the boy emerged, wearing a black gi tied with a dark blue belt. Vejiita nodded and they headed toward the gravity room in silence, something Vejiita realized was very typical when the two of them were in the same room together.

When they reached the room, Vejiita set the gravity to 100 times normal, opting for a lighter workout. He motioned for Trunks to precede him into the room, and the boy stepped in silently, his face emotionless.

Moving in also, Vejiita turned to face his son. "Are you ready?" he asked, and Trunks looked at him in surprise.

For a moment he wondered what was wrong, until he realized that until now he had never asked if his son was ready, merely launched into an immediate attack.

Finally, Trunks nodded. "Iím ready."

Vejiita dropped into his stance, delivering several light, easy blows toward Trunksí face, which the boy effortlessly deflected, throwing some of his own punches in return. For several minutes they continued with more of the same, neither attacking in any way that really challenged the other, and Vejiita could see the puzzlement on Trunkís face.

Suddenly the boy grunted and spun into a powerful kick that connected solidly with the side of Vejiitaís head, sending the prince flying across the room to smash into the curving wall.

Vejiita winced, pushing himself away from the wall and blinking as he twisted to face his son again. He raised his hand and lightly touched his lips, then looked at his fingers. Smears of red stained the whiteness of his gloves. He raised his eyebrows in surprise, astonished that Trunks had attacked him in such a way. Usually he had to press the boy to make him fight with any spirit at all. Then he looked at Trunksí hard face and grinned, an expression that was more a show of teeth than a real smile.

"So, you want to play rough, boy?" he called, floating away from the wall, his dark eyes narrowing in pleased anticipation.

His sonís only response was to tighten his stance.

"Come on!" Vejiita shouted in invitation, blasting up to SSJ1 and charging his son.

Trunks slid to the side, narrowly avoiding the punch aimed at his gut, his eyes widening slightly. Then his hair blazed golden and his blue eyes turned aqua as he, too, summoned his Super Saiya-jin form.

The two warriors danced around each other, neither getting any hits in for several moments, each dodging the otherís attacks. Then, as Trunksí fist flew at his head, Vejiita summoned all the speed he could muster and ducked under it while reaching up with both hands. He caught his sonís wrist in his grip and spun, whipping Trunks through the air and then slamming his back into the wall. Releasing the boyís arm, he curled his hand into a fist and struck him hard in the face while he was still stunned, then flipped backward and away, grinning as he observed the droplets of blood that fell from Trunksí nose.

"Now weíre even, boy!" he laughed.

Raising his arm, Trunksí wiped the blood away with the back of his hand, then looked up at his father. The rage in his expression stunned Vejiita into silence. Where had this come from? There fight was nothing different than what was typical when they sparred.

Trunks lips curled away from his teeth and his aura blazed brightly around him. With a loud, guttural snarl he suddenly powered up to SSJ2, then launched himself at his astonished father.

Before Vejiita could react, Trunksí fist had slammed into his face, then into his stomach, followed by a vicious kick to his chin that snapped his head backwards and sent him tumbling through the air. For a moment his hair flickered black before settling in gold again, and Vejiita raised his hand to his chin, his eyebrows drawing downward angrily.

"Shimata!" he cursed, spitting blood.

His head snapped around and he glared at his son, who looked back at him coolly. Then, with a roar of rage Vejiita, too, jumped to SSJ2, leaving a golden streak in his wake as he raced toward the boy.

"You want to fight all out, then, brat?!" he snarled, veins standing out in his temple as his hands clenched into fists. He didnít know why Trunks was goading him on, but the boy would get what he was asking for in spades.

He blurred as he flew toward his son, appearing behind him and driving his knee into the small of the boyís back. Trunks grunted, flying away from him a few yards before recovering himself and spinning around, rushing back at him. Just as the boy neared him, Vejiita threw himself backwards so Trunks sailed over him, then continued the somersault, curling his body and then extending powerfully so his booted feet slammed into the stomach of the boy above him, sending him sailing toward the ceiling.

Trunks hit the roof with a crash, his face twisting into a pained grimace as his teeth jarred together and bright red droplets of blood dripped from his mouth toward the floor.

Vejiita hesitated, watching from where he hovered in mid-air as Trunks sagged toward the ground, landing softly on his knees with his arms curled around his stomach. He frowned, his furious anger fading as he wondered what had happened. He hadnít intended to fight his son like this, only meant to spar with him as a way of doing something together. Why was Trunks so angry with him?

Slowly, he descended to the floor, landing gently in front of the boy with his arms folded over his chest. Trunks didnít look at him, only sat back, bracing himself with an arm as the other remained wrapped over his stomach. His stiff golden hair shifted back to lavender, falling to hang around his face again and Vejiita relaxed, feeling his own hair settle as his golden aura faded.

"What is the problem?" he asked gruffly after several moments of silence.

Trunks half-lifted his head in what Vejiita guessed was surprise, then slowly turned to look at him, anger still evident on his face. But what Vejiita noticed immediately were the tears that had welled up in his sonís eyes.

"Whatís the problem?" Trunks echoed incredulously, not bothering to wipe at the single tear that fell down his cheek. "How can you even ask me that?! You donít have the right to ask me anything, after the relationship weíve had! God, Iím sick to death of you! The only time you ever talk to me is when weíre fighting, and you have the nerve to ask me whatís wrong?!" Trunksí voice was getting louder as he spoke. "You were gone all night, sparring with Goku Iíd guess, and then you come home and all you tell me is you want to fight! Thatís all Iím good for to you, and Iím not even first on your list for that! Goku is always the one you run to, and when he doesnít want to fight anymore, then you will condescend to spar with your son!" Trunks said, sneering the word Ďsoní. Vejiita stared at him, stunned by his bitterness. "Iíd be better off if you just left me alone! Youíre a selfish bastard, Vejiita."

Vejiita blanched as Trunks finished speaking. The boy had called him, not father, as he had always done, but Vejiita. Breaking that tie. It hurt. It hurt so much that Vejiita felt his soul was dying by inches. He opened his mouth to speak, then noticed that Trunks had turned away from him, his body tensing. He expected Vejiita to hit him.

Sickened, Vejiita took several startled steps backward, then turned and left the room.

 

Vejiita flew blindly, looking inward as he let his body carry him wherever it would. He closed his eyes for a moment, haunted by his failures. He had failed at everything. Failed to keep Frieza from raping him. Failed to prevent Vejiitasaiís destruction. Failed to defeat Kakarrot. Failed to defeat Cell and Buu. And, worst of all, he had failed his son.

When Trunks had been born, somewhere deep down he had wanted to be a better father to his son than his father had been to him. But he wasnít. His father had given him to Frieza. And while he hadnít given Trunks to a maniac, he hadnít given him anything else, either.

Slowly and without looking, Vejiita descended to the ground, landing quietly. He glanced around, then blinked in surprise.

He was at the same spot where he and Kakarrot had spent the night.

He cursed wearily, but there was no strength behind it. Sighing, he sat down, crossing his legs beneath him and allowing his head to rest in his hands. God, if only he had done things differently. But he didnít know how.

"Hey, Vejiita!"

Vejiita bit back a groan, keeping his hands over his face for a moment. How had the fates conspired to bring that idiot back here at this precise moment?

"What are you doing here, you fool?" he growled, his words slightly muffled by his hands.

Goku raised an eyebrow, though Vejiita didnít see it. He laughed a little. "This is where I workout, Vejiita, remember? And where I come to think."

"As if you do that very often," Vejiita grunted, no sting in his voice. He realized that he really didnít mind Kakarrot being there. And... maybe he had even hoped, subconsciously, that he would be. He had flown here without realizing it, hadnít he? Somehow, Kakarrot had a way about him that drew other people. They trusted him. They liked him. The very opposite of what was true of him, Vejiita thought dryly.

"More often than you realize," Goku replied amiably. There was a rustle of clothing, and Vejiita realized that the other Saiya-jin had seated himself next to him. He swallowed, his face still resting in his hands, and suddenly felt the warmth of Gokuís fingertips touching his shoulder.

"Vejiita, whatís wrong?"

Scalding tears built in his eyes and he blinked hastily, feeling their dampness on his palms as a few spilled over. Gokuís hand still rested on his shoulder, and somehow the care the touch communicated, whether real or not, made things worse.

He slowly slid his hands down his face, wiping away any remaining tears so that Kakarrot would not see them, turning his face to look away from the other man.

"I talked to Trunks," he said, his voice slightly hoarse.

Gokuís fingers tightened on his shoulder, and he bit his lip. Why was he telling this to Kakarrot? He couldnít tell him. Kakarrot would hate him worse than he probably already did. Vejiita smiled bitterly. Kakarrot had raised his sons well, he had children who loved him, and he loved them back. And showed it. If he knew what a failure Vejiita was as a father he couldnít help but despise him. And he didnít want Kakarrot to have any more reasons to hate him then he already did, he realized.

Trunks was right. He was a selfish bastard. Kakarrot had done so much for him, and he had repaid him with arrogance and foolish pride. He had only wanted to defeat the one Saiya-jin who had ever been stronger than him. He had hurt Kakarrot countless times.

"What happened?" Goku asked softly.

Vejiita shook his head, swallowing the aching in his throat. Now was not the time to change. He couldnít change. All he had left were the tattered remnants of his pride, and he drew them around himself like a king drawing on his royal robes, not willing to admit that he was wearing a pathetic rag. Kakarrot would not see the worthlessness inside him.

He shook his head again, shaking off Kakarrotís hand as he got to his feet.

"Fight me," he commanded, trying to keep his voice steady. If nothing else, he could lose himself in the pain for a few moments.

Goku looked at him for a long time, then quietly got to his feet, pulling off the light shirt

he had been wearing with his orange gi pants. He tossed it away from him, muscles rippling throughout his battle-scarred torso as he moved, and Vejiita silently blessed him for not arguing.

As soon as he set himself, Vejiita lunged at him, throwing himself into the fight. His fists flew at a blinding rate as he sought to bury the pain inside him. Goku grunted from time to time as one of Vejiitaís fists struck his stomach or his face, a spatter of blood appearing on his lips. But for the most part Vejiitaís attacks hit air or were blocked by Gokuís arms. Occasionally one of Gokuís fists hit him lightly, but the blows barely hurt, and Vejiita gritted his teeth. Kakarrot wasnít even trying!

"Fight me, you son of a bitch!" Vejiita screamed, powering up to SSJ3. He would force Kakarrot to participate in the fight, force him to attack him for real.

But Goku didnít even raise himself to Super Saiya-jin, and Vejiita roared in fury and rammed his elbow into Gokuís ribs. He heard bones crack and Goku flew backward, smacking into a huge tree that groaned with the force of the impact. For a moment he felt a flicker of anger through their telepathic connection before it closed down again, and he nodded.

Good, get angry, Kakarrot. I want you to be so angry that youíll fight me without holding back.

As Goku straightened, Vejiita kicked dust into his face, knowing that the underhandedness of the trick would enrage the other Saiya-jin, then slammed his foot into his gut, flipping him backward.

With a snarl of rage, Goku lept to his feet, dust coating the blood on his face. Vejiita felt energy crackle through his body as he hurled a powerful ki blast at the other man, assured that Goku would avoid it.

And Goku did blur to the side, but at the same time he screamed in rage and exploded to SSJ3, his long golden hair falling wildly down his back. Snarling, he flung himself at Vejiita, and the prince met him head-on. They tangled together, each struggling to crush the other, their auras blazing and merging into one.

For a time they seemed evenly matched, each inflicting numerous injuries on the other, Vejiita cursing Goku all the while and using every dirty trick he could think of to keep his rage up. Blood streamed down both their faces, their bodies bruised and battered, each panting with exertion.

But Vejiita was losing. He could feel it. Kakarrot was beating him an inch at a time. And he didnít care.

Suddenly Gokuís clasped fists connected with his chin in a double uppercut, sending him shooting into the air as stars exploded behind his eyes. And then Goku was above him, crushing his fists into his chest and sending him flying back toward the ground. The pain that seared him as Kakarrot pummeled him was astonishing, and he closed his eyes, letting it wash over him.

Yes.

Physical pain to drown out the pain inside that was so much harder to bear.

Beat me, Kakarrot. Destroy me. It could be no one but you.

Kakarrot was so good. It was fitting that he should destroy Vejiita, who was so evil. The longer Vejiita remained near him, the more likely he was to tarnish Kakarrot with his darkness. He didnít want that. He didnít want to see that goodness become less.

My life is worthless, but I donít want him to pity me. At least if he hates me, he feels it with a passion. Hate is passionate. I donít want him to look at me and think, Ďpoor Vejiita.í

I am the Crown Prince of Vejiitasai. Do not pity me. Hate me. At least give me that.

He fell to the ground and lay sprawled with his eyes closed.

I need the pain. Pain is all I know. It is all Iím good for. There is nothing else inside me. I was meant to give and receive pain.

Tears seeped from Vejiitaís closed eyelids as his long hair flickered and melted away, returning to his typical black spikes.

Love? Love is something that wasnít meant for me. And even if I have it, I pervert it. Look at what my Ďloveí has done to Trunks. And...

But no, he couldnít even think that. It hurt too much, was too ridiculously ironic.

He heard Goku land beside him and curse quietly.

The other manís hand lightly touched his shoulder again, and he sighed. He had known Kakarrot would not kill him. One of Vejiitaís tears dripped from the side of his face to pool in the shell of his ear.

The hand slid behind his shoulders and pulled him upright. With a groan, Vejiita opened his eyes, one of which was crusted with blood. Goku knelt beside him, his arm around Vejiitaís shoulders, holding him steady. For a moment Vejiita sagged against his body, closing his eyes and briefly indulging in what he had recognized too late. Then he pulled away from Gokuís touch and staggered to his feet, swaying unsteadily for a moment.

Goku stood also.

"Vejiita..." his voice held a low, warning note. Stepping forward, Goku set his hand on his arm, restraining him.

"Let go of me, Kakarrot," Vejiita said, somehow managing to keep his voice proud. "Iíll be fine."

For a moment there was no response. Then Gokuís fingers slowly slid off his arm, and his hand dropped to his side. Vejiita could still feel the lingering warmth of his skin.

He turned away from the other Saiya-jin, preparing to fly. Then he paused for a moment, his back still to Goku. "Thank you for fighting me."

Gathering what remained of his ki, he rose into the sky, flying away from him.

His flight was pitifully slow, his beaten body hardly up to the task, but he could never let Kakarrot know that. When he came to Capsule Corp., he made a loopy, awkward descent and stumbled inside. He did not see Trunks.

But he had something to do. He needed to go. He needed to find what he was looking for and do what had to be done.

Staggering up to his bedroom, he searched through his old belongings, flinging things across the room as he dragged junk out of his closet.

Finally he found a little box, and, pulling off the lid with fingers that trembled with weariness, he looked at the object inside. A smile that was totally devoid of feeling curved his lips and he nodded, tucking the box under his arm. He was doing the right thing, the only thing left.

He went back down the stairs and was about to leave the house again when he paused. He should tell Trunks. No matter what the boy thought of him, he deserved to know.

Moving back into the kitchen, he set the box on the table and fumbled through the drawers for a piece of paper and a pen, bringing out an envelope along with them. Seating himself, he began to write. The sentences came slowly and awkwardly, and he sat for along moments at a time without writing anything, merely looking at the paper as if it could give him the words.

Long minutes later he got to his feet, folding the paper and placing it in the envelope. He climbed the stairs once more and glanced into Trunksí room. It was empty. Relieved, he stepped

inside and moved to the little table next to his sonís bed, setting the envelope so that it leaned against the lamp.

Then he left the house without looking back.

 

Trunks returned home late that afternoon to find house quiet. He had not expected anything else. His grandparents were away on some business trip or another, and his father....

Trunks winced as he hung up his jacket and walked into the kitchen to make himself some coffee, guilt rising in his chest as he thought back to what he had said earlier that day.

Heíd truly been hurt. He had been hurt for a long time, and heíd needed to say what he felt. But to do it in that way had been cruel of him. He didnít honestly think he could have injured his fatherís feelings too badly, but he felt guilty nonetheless. He frowned as he remembered the stricken look on his fatherís face when he had called him Vejiita.

Trunks sighed, pouring the coffee into a cup. He should not have said that. Heíd been angry, but he still shouldnít have said that. When he next saw his father heíd tell him he was sorry.

Running a hand through his long lavender hair, Trunks took a sip of his coffee and started up the stairs, walking down the hallway until he reached his bedroom. He glanced at himself in the mirror, yawning as he noted the circles under his eyes. He needed to take a nap. Heíd woken up early that morning to continue his work on the time machine idea he was fiddling with. Since his mother had done it in the other timeline he knew it was possible.

His father was dead in the other timeline. He frowned, wondering what Mirai Trunks was like. He wondered what his father had thought of him when heíd met him.

Shrugging, he moved and set his coffee cup down on his table, then noticed the envelope leaning up against the lamp. It was blank and unsealed. Puzzled, he picked it up and reached inside, pulling out a folded piece of lined paper. Opening it up, he nearly gaped as he recognized his fatherís handwriting, scrawled firmly across the page in black ink. His father had never left him a note in his life.

Sinking down on the bed, he started to read.

Trunks,

Immediately after his name, there was a larger spot of ink on the paper, as though his father had left the pen resting against the paper for long moments as he tried to think of what to say.

I wanted you to know that I heard what you said today, and youíre right. I have

never been the father you needed.

Here several words were scratched out, but looking closely, Trunks could read, I wish that I...

Maybe, if Bulma had lived, you would have enjoyed the life you have lived more.

Iíd always hoped that I would be a better father to you than mine was to me,

but it didnít work out that way. Iím not good enough to be what you need.

Trunks bit his lip, trying to swallow the lump of emotion that rose in his throat.

But I need to tell you that you are smart and you are strong. You have

everything you need to be able to be a success in this world. Maybe your

grandfather can help you with your inventions. But donít ever forget your

Saiya-jin heritage, Trunks. Remember who you are, who my people were.

Take pride in it. You would have been the next King of Vejiitasai, always

remember that. You are my son and you are royalty. Hold your head high.

Tears were blurring Trunksí eyes and he blinked rapidly, using his fingers to brush them aside. Before the words continued there was another splotch of ink on the page, as though his father had paused again.

Iíve failed to be a father to you, Trunks. You told me today youíd be better

off on your own, and I think youíre right. You are stronger on your own,

Iíve only ever made things harder for you. Maybe without me youíll feel

free to be who you are. Donít ever think I found you less than worthy. I

never intended for you to think that. You are a worthy member of the

royal line.

Trunks began to feel a strange foreboding in his chest, as if someone had gripped his heart in a vice.

Greet Kakarrot for me. And tell him Iím sorry.

"Oh, Jesus, no," Trunks whispered, the paper crinkling as his fingers tightened.

Be strong, Trunks. Let the world know you are a Saiya-jin. Tell your

children who they are.

Trunks gasped in a ragged breath. The next line was separated from the main letter by several spaces.

You have been my pride.

There was another splotch of ink.

Love,

Vejiita.

And that was all.

 

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