Son forced himself to go over to Capsule Corp the next day. He figured if anyone could design another portal for him to get home in, it would be Bulma Briefs.
Trunks answered the door. The look he gave Son was that of undisguised hostility. Son barely kept the smile off his face. "May I speak with your mother?" he asked politely.
The little boy narrowed his eyes. "I'll get her," he said finally and shut the door in Son's face.
Son hadn't laughed in a while, but this Trunks' actions almost broke him down. As it was, he was still smiling when Bulma opened the door. She looked surprisingly young, but then, she was younger. "Hello, ma'am," Son said politely. "My name is Son and I'd like to speak with you about an invention, if I may."
Bulma opened the door wider and let him in. "Something you've made?" she asked.
"Not exactly. May I speak with you in private?"
Bulma's eyebrows raised. "We can go to my lab if you like."
A baby began to cry, startling Son.
"Oh, hold on a second," Bulma said. "That's my daughter-I'll need to get her. You don't mind?"
Son kept a tight rein on his emotions. "No, of course not."
"Good. Just go down this hall, third door. I'll join you in a moment."
Son nodded and looked around the lab while he waited. Bulma came in, carrying Bra on her hip. She sat down and relaxed. "Sit. So, what do you want to talk about?"
Bulma's eyebrows raised again. "Inter-dimensional travel," she repeated. "Why?"
"Ma'am, my full name is Son Goten, and I'm from another timeline. Somehow, I was flung to your dimension and I want to get home." His lips curved upward. "Though I'm not quite sure why…home doesn't have much to offer."
Bulma's mouth had dropped when he said his name and now she closed it with an audible click. "Son Goten?" she repeated. She mentally shook herself and went into her business mode. "Okay. Does anyone else know about this? How did you get here? Do you remember anything?"
"Gohan's the only one who knows, and he guessed it," Son told her as he thought back to the fight. "It was a large, blue box," he said slowly. "There were…five buttons, I think, all in a row. 17 pushed one…was it the one in the middle? I'm not sure. And then a portal, like, projected from it. I'm sorry, that's all I remember. I don't even know what Bulma-san was doing with it."
Bulma considered that. "All right. Let me go get some notes and we'll do this. Hold her for a sec." Bulma deposited the baby in Son's lap and left.
Son stared at the baby in his lap. She stared back at him with unblinking blue eyes. "Wow," he said. "You were really cute when you were little, Bra-chan." Somehow, with those simple words, the dam burst. "I'm so sorry I couldn't protect you," he whispered. "I failed you and I love you and you're probably going to die and it's all my fault. I'm so sorry, Bra-chan." He carefully picked her up and touched her small face with one rough finger. "You'll be protected in this timeline, I promise you that." He smiled. "Even if your protectors are a bit unwilling."
She gurgled and pulled on his finger.
"Although with a grip like that, I don't see that you'll need protection." He started as Bulma stomped back in.
"All right." Bulma plopped a file on the desk and lowered herself into her chair. "This all I have printed out. Let me find the file on my computer and then we can talk about getting you back to where you belong. All right?"
"Thank you, Bulma-san."
Bulma nodded and began typing. "Ah, there we go." She picked up a pencil. "So, describe the machine to me again and I'll see if I can't draw it. I hope you don't have any other plans, because it looks like we're going to be busy."
When Son left Capsule Corp, he couldn't deny he was relieved. All the calculations and figuring…He shuddered to think of it.
"Hi, Mr. Son!"
Son turned. "Goten. What are you doing here?"
"Waiting for you."
"Well…see, I was thinking about what you told me earlier, and you're a good fighter, aren't you?"
"You must be. If you survived everything. So I want you to train me."
"What?" Son exclaimed.
"Train me. Tousan spars with Vegeta-san, Niisan is always poking his nose into a book, and Trunks…" Goten made a face. "Trunks gets mad if I beat him. Maybe you will, too, but I don't think you'd have to worry about me beating you for quite a while."
Son smiled again. "I'd be happy to teach you all that I know. Are you willing to work hard?"
Goten rolled his eyes. "Well, I wouldn't have asked if I weren't!"
"Right. Sorry. Well, come on."
"We're starting now?"
Goten grinned. "I think I'm going to like you training me," he said with a grin and trotted after Son.
Son suddenly whipped around and hit Goten. Surprised, Goten instinctively threw his arms up to block and kicked out. Son grabbed Goten's leg and threw him to the ground. Goten jumped up and kamehameha'd Son right in the face. While he was jerking back in surprise, Goten managed to deliver another blow and Son went down.
Goten looked down. "Mr. Son, are you all right?"
Son nodded and climbed to his feet. "What was that?"
"That? A kamehameha. You mean you can't do that?"
Son shook his head. "That's very effective. But don't count on it. You startled me with it, but it takes a while to get the power for it, doesn't it?"
"Then don't make it your main attack. Depend more on physical attacks. You're small, use that. You can slip under and hit hard and low and slip back out. Your dad's friend, Krillin, you said he's still around?"
"Of course! Where would he be?"
"You'd be surprised," Son muttered. "If you're serious about learning, have him show you how he fights. He's short, like you, so that'll help you until you start growing. When you get taller, get your dad and brother to show you how to use your size. But for now…" And Son hit him again.