Trunks began training her the next
morning to get Super-Saiyajin. She steadily improved, but never quite
“What’s wrong with me, Trunks?” she yelled in frustration one afternoon after they had been trying for three weeks. “Why can’t I do it?”
Trunks brushed the hair from her face and shrugged. “We just haven’t crossed your rage threshold yet. I didn’t cross mine until Gohan was killed. Let’s hope we can find yours without anyone dying.”
She hid her face in his chest. “I know, but this is so … annoying. I’m trying so hard. It’s almost like I’m being mocked.”
He squeezed her hand. “I’m sorry, Rai-chan.”
She sighed. “It’s not your fault. I’m just impatient.”
“Well, it’s not like you don’t have time. Kaasan said it would take her two months minimum to fix your time machine, so at least we’ve got that.”
“Yeah. I’m sorry to be so down. It’s just driving me crazy. I know I’m supposed to be training, but can I just go fly for a while?”
“Yeah, go ahead. Don’t worry Rai-chan. It will come.”
“Yeah.” She kissed his cheek. “I’ll be home later.”
“’Bye.” Trunks watched her leave. She wanted Super-Saiyajin. He thought he knew a way for her to achieve it. But would it be worth the cost?
“Absolutely,” Bulma said.
Trunks had flown home and told his mother all his concerns. “You think?”
“Yes. She doesn’t just _want_ to reach Super-Saiyajin, she _needs_ it. Something inside her is incomplete. She needs this, Trunks, and she needs _you_ to help her reach it. This idea of yours—it will work. So you need to go ahead with it.”
“But it will hurt her so much.”
“Trunks, if she goes Super-Saiyajin, she’ll forgive anything.” Bulma took his hands. “Listen to me. You _have_ to do this. She’ll hate you if you don’t. This will probably be the single hardest think you’ll ever do, but it has to be done, and you’re the one who has to do it.”
“Yes, Kaasan.” Trunks lowered his head.
“Do it tonight.”
His head snapped back up. “Tonight?”
“Yes. You have resolve right now. It will fade, trust me.”
“I—I,” Trunks took a deep breath, “you’re right, of course.”
“I rather like that ‘of course.’ Quite a flatterer you’ve become. By the way, where is Raiko-chan?”
“She went out flying. She was really frustrated not reaching Super-Saiyajin; I think she was trying to calm down.”
Bulma chuckled. “Yep, she’s definitely Saiyajin.”
“Saiyajins seem to have this obscure need to fly when they need to work things out. You do it, Vegeta did it, Goku did it, and even Gohan sometimes did it. So if she’s doing it, she must be Saiyajin.”
Trunks chuckled. “Kaasan, have I mentioned lately that I love you?”
“No, dear, but that’s all right. I love you, too. Now, why don’t you go fly and totally come to terms with what you have to do tonight?”
“I really do love you, you know.” Trunks said and left.
Bulma smiled and began working on the time machine again.
Raiko’s eyes flew open and went automatically to the clock by her bed. 1:28 in the a.m.? What on Chikyuu had wakened her? She was so tired, had stumbled home almost too tired to eat, so why was she awake now?
She suddenly heard soft, steady breathing that wasn’t hers. She wasn’t alone in her room. “Wh—who’s there?” she asked nervously. “Bulma-sama? Trunks?”
Soft, steady breathing.
She sat up and looked at the shadowy figure in the corner. “I can fight, whoever you are. Just go away. I’m tired, and I want to sleep.”
Soft, steady breathing.
“Didn’t you hear me, damn you?!” she demanded. “I want to sleep! Get the hell out!” She felt helpless. The man—for she felt sure it was man—ignored her. This was like the night she was whipped. She instinctively knew it.
Soft, steady breathing. Then, with a speed she couldn’t understand, he was next to her, his hand around her throat. He dragged her to her feet.
“Let me go, whoever you are! _Let me go_!” she screamed.
No reply, just soft, steady breathing.
Raiko began fighting: kicking and punching for all she was worth. But he countered her every move, and eventually just captured her hands and held them behind her back and holding her legs in between his.
Her breath came in gasps and she felt real fear build inside her. “Let me go,” and this time it was not a demand, just a soft plea.
She was thrown into a chair and tied in place, with chains she couldn’t break, in knots she couldn’t unravel. She thought she had felt fear before, but this was worse, much worse. The terror was unbearable.
Then she saw the whip.
“No, _no, NO_!” she yelled. “No! Never again, _NEVER_!” There was no fear in her anymore, just anger and hate. She began powering up.
And the whip lightly touched her arm.
Raiko exploded with power.
The chains were literally disintegrated and the chair broke into dozens
of pieces. Moving faster than even she could comprehend, she leveled
a ki blast at the intruder and laughed when it hit him. She went
over to him and grabbed his shirt, pulling him up to look her in the eyes.
“Never again,” she hissed, and threw him away, aiming another blast at
Trunks had been shocked when she hit him. Now, he knew had to move to save his life. He powered up to Super-Saiyajin and grabbed her arms, holding them behind her. “Rai-chan, Rai-chan,” he said, the words almost becoming a chant. “Rai-chan, it’s me, Trunks. Calm down.”
Some of the fire faded from
her eyes … what was wrong with her eyes? “Trunks? Trunks! What
the _HELL_ was that all about?” Now that she was safe, she was beginning
to get angry again. He still had her in a front-to-back grasp.
She squirmed out of his grip and turned to face him. “What the _hell_ were
you trying to do?”
“Just a minute, Rai-chan.” Trunks reached behind her and turned on the light. His mouth dropped when he saw her. “Rai-chan—Rai-sama,” he corrected himself. “Look in the mirror.”
“Rai-sama?” she repeated. “What are you—” Then her mouth dropped when she looked. “I’m a—I made—I reached—”
Trunks cut off her stammering with an exuberant kiss. “Yes, Rai-chan, you’ve joined the ranks of Super-Saiyajin.”
She looked in the mirror again. “Look at me!” she exclaimed. “I’m blond—though the hairstyle could be improved. And my eyes!” She looked closer. “By Dende, they’re _green_! I can’t believe this! Oh, Trunks-kun, I cannot thank you enough, but thank you!”
It was the first time she’d ever called him by any sort of nickname. “Trunks-kun,” he repeated.
She looked down. “I’m sorry. If you’d rather I didn’t call you that …”
“Oh, no. I like it. A lot, Rai-chan.”
“Good, I’m glad.” She hugged
him, then grinned when he got a face full of hair. “This is so crazy!
I look so funny! But I love it more than any other ensemble I’ve
ever been in.”
“You don’t look funny. You look beautiful.”
“Well, I suppose that’s why they say love is blind.” She smiled at him again. “Oh, thank you, Trunks-kun. Thank you thank you thank you.”
“Hey, it wasn’t all me, Rai-chan. You deserve a pat on the back yourself.”
“You and Bulma,” she declared, “are the absolute best, and I love you both to pieces for all you’ve done for me. Thank you so much. But,” she bit her lip, “I know this is kind of anti-climactic and all, but I am really tired. Can I please go back to sleep now?”