“Raiko, do you think if I took you
to the time machine, you might remember more?” Trunks asked the next day
She set her spoon down and considered it with a thoughtful frown. She was dressed in some of Bulma’s old clothes—which fit her perfectly—and looked remarkably like his mother, but when she frowned …
But then she stopped. “Maybe.
I think it was the trauma of everything that brought on my amnesia.
That might help.”
“Okay. If I carry you, will you be okay?”
“Excuse me, Trunks, but you might ask me,” Bulma cut in. “Raiko is fine. I examined her this morning when she woke up. The swelling’s gone down and she’s physically fine.”
“Oh. Okay. Good, then. Do you want to go, Raiko?”
Trunks looked at his mother. “May we go now?”
“Oh, we should help with the dishes first,” Raiko inserted.
It was hard to tell who was more startled, Trunks or Bulma. “Uh, uh, I guess we could,” Trunks stammered.
Bulma had been in the process of lifting her spoon and simply sat there, her spoon still halfway lifted.
“Jeez, Trunks, you need to help more. Look at the state you put your mother in.”
“I—you’re right. Mom, would you like us to help?”
Bulma blinked. “I guess … Raiko-chan, are you planning on staying a while? Maybe you could get even Trunks to clean his room.”
Raiko grinned at the endearment. “I can only try.”
“Look, you guys should go. I’ll do the dishes, but thanks for the offer.” Bulma waved her arm. “It’s not a big deal.”
“Okay, if you’re sure …” Raiko stood.
“I am. I’ve done dishes ever since I can remember. Go. Really.”
“Thank you, Bulma,” Raiko said with an almost-smile. She turned to Trunks. “Come on, let’s go!”
He chucked and followed her out the door. She jumped as he put an arm around her shoulder. “What—what are you doing?” she asked.
“Picking you up,” Trunks said, feeling slightly embarrassed. “It will take forever to walk there.”
“I can fly on my own, Trunks,” she said.
“You can?” He sounded amazed.
“Who can’t?” she retorted, raising a few feet off the ground with no visible effort. “Come on. Show me where I landed.”
“Yes, ma’am.” Trunks took her hand and lifted off.
She started when he took her
hand, but didn’t pull away. He began to increase his speed. “Sl—slow
down, Trunks,” she said.
He obliged. “Are you all right?”
“I guess … I don’t fly very much, or very fast.”
He bit his lips and looked towards the direction of the ship. “Well, we really have to fly fast if we want to get there anytime soon.”
“Okay, then.” She shrugged. “Carry me.”
He pulled close and slipped
his arms across her shoulder and under her legs. She clasped her
hands around his neck. “Are you comfortable?” he asked.
She winced slightly, but tried to hide it. “As comfortable as can be expected. Come on, let’s go.”
He nodded and took off. When they reached the machine, she hopped down and began looking around.
“Raiko!” Trunks exclaimed.
“What?” She turned and looked at him.
He was staring at his arm. The sleeve of his jacket had blood on it.
“Oh, jeez, did I bleed on you? I’m sorry.”
“Your back … is it bleeding again?”
“Yes, but it’s no biggie. I’m sorry I stained your jacket.”
“You think I care about _that_?”
She didn’t meet his eyes. “It doesn’t really matter. I survived the initial beating, I’ll survive this. Please, can we just look at the time machine now?”
He gave her a hard stare, then nodded. “Fine. We’ll do that. But you should tell Kaasan when we get back. I bet she has something that could soothe it.”
She looked up at him, grateful. “Thank you, Trunks. Let’s look at this.”
“Okay. I know a bit about this, since I used one …”
“Yes. I had to go back to the past … but that’s another story. Anyway, I can’t see the exact time you came from, but you came from the past. Does that jog your memory at all?”
She shook her head and a shock of hair fell across her eyes. He pushed it back for her.
“What are these numbers?” Raiko asked, pulling away.
“Just data … how long it took, stuff like that.” For the first time, he really examined the exterior of the machine. “It’s really damaged. You women pilots.”
She stuck her tongue out at him. “I think that I did pretty good, considering I don’t think I’d never flown one before.”
“But it’s not that hard to do, Raiko. All you do is enter the time and sit back.” He scooted a little closer to her.
“So? A first time at anything is hardly ever smooth.”
“That may be,” he conceded, “but I think one would catch on—”
“And I will,” she said smugly. “But catching on requires more than one try.” She sat back smugly. “Hah.”
He opened his mouth to reply, but couldn’t think of anything. “You win.”
“I know. I always do.” She blew out her breath. “I guess this expedition was fruitless, wasn’t it?”
“Maybe. At least we know you’re from the past. That’s more than before.”
She sighed. “I guess … but I wish we had gotten more from this. Oh, well. Are you going to carry me back, or shall I fly on my own?”
“I want you to get that lotion as soon as possible. Hop up.”
Her smile was still small, but then, it was still real. “Okay, then. Let’s get back to Capsule Corp.”