They left the next day.
Bra smiled at Bulma. “Bulma-chan, you—I’m so glad I had a chance to know you. You are so wonderful. I hope I can be like you someday.”
Bulma touched Bra’s hair lightly. “Bra-chan, _I’m_ so glad I had a chance to meet _you_—my daughter that I never had. You keep the men of your life wrapped around your little finger, you hear me?”
Bra laughed. “I’ll remember that.”
“See that you do. Kindai Trunks, you are a fine young man. A good example for my Trunks.”
“Kaasan!” Mirai Trunks protested. “I was older than him for most his life!”
“You’re what—21?” Kindai Trunks asked.
“Well, I’m 26, so for the past 5 years, I’ve been older.”
“I’ve still been older _most_ your life,” Mirai Trunks grumbled.
Bra sighed and grabbed both by their ears. “Okay, boys. I may be only 15, but I know we want to be leaving before _I’m_ 26, so let’s all get in the time machine, shall we?”
“Ow, ow, okay, Imoto, that’s hurting.”
“Rai-chan, come on, let go.”
Bra grinned and released them with a gentle shove. “Get in. You can argue to your respective hearts’ delight there.”
“Yes, ma’am,” they said together.
Bra turned towards Bulma. “Like that, Bulma-chan?”
“Exactly, Bra-chan,” Bulma agreed. She reached over and hugged the younger woman. “Your parents are incredibly lucky. I hope they know that.”
“Oh, if they don’t, I’ll be sure to tell them.” Bra smiled, but it was a little watery. “I’m going to miss you, Bulma-chan.”
“Come on, Rai! Get in here!” Mirai Trunks called.
“Coming!” she yelled back. “Be understanding; I’m never gonna see your mother again!”
“You better go, Bra-chan. Good luck. Get my boy back to me safely.”
“I will, never fear.” Bra climbed in. “So, boys, ready to go?”
“This will take about two minutes,” Kindai Trunks assured them. He programmed in the date and dimension and sat back. “Brace yourselves.”
To say the blast off was rough would be kind almost to the point of deceit.
“Niichan, I love you to death, but _where_ did you learn to drive one of these?” Bra demanded.
“Obviously from a better place than you—you’ll kindly notice that we’re all still airborne, conscious, and have our memories,” he retorted.
“Oh, children, children, can’t we just have a peaceful flight?” Mirai Trunks pleaded.
“Dream the impossible dream, Mirai Trunks,” Bra said and Kindai Trunks began chuckling.
“Oh, okay, we’re landing. Brace yourselves again,” he said, and this time the two passengers obeyed without question.
The landing was no less rough than take off.
“Note to self: don’t ride with Niichan on future trips through time,” Bra muttered as they climbed out. “Where’s the family?”
Kindai Trunks shrugged. “Give me a second—I’m not sure exactly where we are.” He looked around. “Figures,” he said with a sigh. “Come on. Capsule Corp is about ten miles east of us.”
Bra raised an eyebrow at him.
“Look, I have to be sure I don’t land in a crowded place. I have to plan the space-time coordinates very precisely, or—your eyes are beginning to glaze over. Let’s just get you home, okay?”
“I thought you’d never ask.” Bra lifted off and turned around. “Well?” she asked impatiently. “Are you two coming or not?”
Anyone home?” Kindai Trunks called as they walked into the living room.
Bulma suddenly appeared at the doorway. “Trunks? You’re home? You found Bra—_Mirai Trunks_?”
Kindai Trunks shrugged. “He wanted to help fight. Is Marron here?”
Bulma gestured towards the back. “Yeah, in the lab,” she said vaguely, then turned back to her other “son” as Kindai Trunks vanished. She shook her head. “Mirai Trunks! You—you’re younger than my son is! Has it been so long?”
Mirai Trunks shrugged, mirroring his alter ego’s movement exactly. “I guess it has, Bulma-san.”
But Bulma had already turned away. “Bra-chan! I’m so glad you’re safe! We were so worried about you—though your father will probably deny _he_ was. What on Chikyuu possessed you to use the time machine?”
Bra ran into her mother’s arms. “Oh, Kaasan, it’s so good to be home. Mirai Bulma was wonderful, but she’s not you. I didn’t mean to worry anyone—I’ll tell you the whole story when Tousan and Marron get here—is Tousan out training? The story’s not so interesting I’d care to go through it twice.”
“Well, if you don’t want to go through it twice, I’d better get everyone together to hear it,” Bulma mused aloud.
“Oh … everyone?”
“Well, yes. Is that a problem? We’ve all been worried about you.”
Bra mentally edited her story and hoped Trunks—either of them—wouldn’t tell parts she didn’t want told to everyone. “No, not a problem.
“Good. Bra, why don’t you go call everyone while I go make a lot more breakfast?”
“Yes, Kaasan.” Meekly.
Bulma turned towards the back. “Trunks, get off your girlfriend and go … lock onto your father’s signal or whatever it is you guys all do and get him back here,” she called.
Kindai Trunks appeared at the door, his hair only a bit messed up. “Yes, Kaasan.” Humbly.
She considered him thoughtfully. “You get to help me in the kitchen. Come on, follow me.”
“Yes, Bulma-san.” Mirai Trunks was a bit surprised to find his voice as meek and humble as the voices of her two children had been. Although it shouldn’t have been surprising, the two Bulmas were very much alike.
“Good.” Bulma started for the kitchen, then turned around. “Well? What are you all still doing standing there? I gave you your assignments, now go!”
“Sorry, Kaasan,” Bra said as she dove for the phone.
“Gone two minutes ago, Kaasan,” Kindai Trunks said as he headed for the door.
“Heck, I’m already in the kitchen, Bulma-san,” Mirai Trunks said as he smoothly slid in front of her.
“Now, that’s what I like to see,” Bulma beamed.
“… So, Trunks and I were coming
back and Mirai Trunks decided he wanted to help us fight, too. So
here we all are,” Bra finished. She had rather carefully omitted
any mention of the relationship between her and Mirai Trunks, and, thankfully,
neither Trunks decided to correct her on it.
“So, you’re a Super-Saiyajin, Bra-chan?” Goku asked as she finished.
She grinned at him. “Yes, I really am, Goku-san. Mirai Trunks, tell them.”
“She really is,” he confirmed. “And she’s really powerful, too. I think with her help you can beat these androids.”
“Wait. B-chan’s goin’ into battle?” Goten asked.
She stuck her tongue out at him. “You’re just afraid that unless you fuse with Niichan, I’ll outshine you.”
“Yeah … or, you know, not.”
“Okay, let’s not get started on that,” Gohan cut in.
Goten and Bra heaved identical sighs of disgust. Gohan rolled his eyes at them and opened his mouth to speak.
“Okay, everyone, why don’t we all just relax until the androids come back and want to play?” Bulma cut in.
“All right, Kaasan. May I be excused?” Bra asked, but stood up without waiting for an answer and flew out the window.
They all sat there for a moment.
“Okay, is the awkward moment of silence over so we can all talk again?” Goten asked.
That broke the tension and everyone started laughing.
Vegeta and Goku were sparring.
“You have to do better than—”
Goku lowered his arms and looked at his friend. “Is something wrong, Vegeta?” he asked innocently.
“Go get everyone,” Vegeta instructed, staring at something behind Goku. “I think it’s just about play time.”
“They’re here?” Goku turned in surprise and looked around. “But I don’t see them.”
“Not yet. _Baka_, can’t you feel it?”
Goku shook his head. “We can’t feel android ki, Vegeta.”
“Maybe _you_ can’t,” Vegeta snapped, “but I’m telling you right now that I can feel them getting closer and we just might want to be ready for them.”
“Okay, okay, Vegeta. I’ll go get them,” Goku said cheerfully. “Don’t jump down my throat.”
Almost the minute Goku left, Bra appeared. “Do you feel it, too, Tousan?” she asked.
Vegeta barely looked at her. “Yes. You do, too? How?”
She shrugged. “I don’t know that. All I know is that they’re heading for us and they’re coming from that direction.” She pointed to the left.
He nodded. “Kakarott is such an—”
“Tousan, don’t blame him because he can’t feel it. He trusted you and went to get the others right away, at least there’s that.”
Vegeta smiled briefly. “That’s true,” he agreed, then gasped.
Bra suddenly had trouble getting her breath. “Tou—san,” she stammered. “What’s happening? I can’t breathe.”
Vegeta’s eyes widened. “Bra, think closely. What contact did you have with the androids?”
“Almost none—except for the night I was whipped.”
Vegeta grabbed her arms and pulled her up to look him in the eyes. “Did they ever grab you by the throat?”
Bra was a bit scared. She was sure her father wouldn’t hurt her, but still … “Yes, Tousan. They bruised my neck … it took a long time to heal.”
Vegeta released her roughly. “That’s why.”
“What? What do you mean, Tousan?”
Vegeta didn’t look at her. “When they grabbed you, they placed implants in you. You’re connected to them.”
“And you are, too?”
“Can we attack them?”
“Yes, of course. But I don’t know what will happen when they’re destroyed. I don’t know if we will be, too.”
Bra swallowed. “Doesn’t matter, though, does it?”
“Unfortunately, no.” He glanced sideways at her. “If you’re destroyed, I will be _very_ irritated with you. I doubt I’d ever speak to you again.”
She grinned at him. “Well, if you’re destroyed, I’ll be very irritated with you, so I guess we’re even, aren’t we?” She paused. “Tousan, does anyone else know about this?”
He shook his head. “They wouldn’t attack at full strength. Sentimental is all they are.”
Bra nodded. “It doesn’t hurt when you attack them?”
Vegeta shook his head. “It hasn’t hurt me yet.”
Goku suddenly teleported in front of them. “What hasn’t hurt you yet?” he asked guilelessly.
“Your puny attacks, Kakarott,” Vegeta lied without blinking.
Goku smiled at him. “Well, then, after this is over, I’ll have to work harder, won’t I?”
Vegeta didn’t answer. “Where’s everyone else?”
“Coming. Don’t worry. You did say they weren’t here yet. But I don’t still don’t understand how you can sense them when no one else can.”
“If I wanted you to know, don’t you think I’d have told you?”
Goku sighed. “All right, have it your way, Vegeta.”
“Oh, thank you thank you thank you. Now that I have your _permission_ …”
Gohan flew up to join them. “You said they’re coming? But how do you—”
Goku pointed to Vegeta. “Ask him. He’s the one who said they were, and he’s been right before.”
“I can sense it, too, Gohan-san,” Bra said. “They’ll be in sight in about two minutes. _Where_ is everyone else?”
“It’s all right, Bra. They’re coming, don’t worry.”
“I’m not worried!”
He grinned. “I can see that.”
She began grumbling, but let it die as the others joined them.
“You can see them now. Look over there.” Vegeta jerked his head to the left.
Goku inhaled sharply. “You were right again. Vegeta, when this is over, I want you to teach me to reach android ki.”
18 looked at Vegeta pointedly. “You can sense them?”
Again, he didn’t answer.
18 narrowed her eyes and swung around to attack him. He easily blocked the punch. “What?” he asked.
“Are you still our ally?”
He graced her with one of his deadly glares. “No, I’m going to join the androids right now,” he said with heavy sarcasm.
“I’m serious,” she insisted. “You’ve been connected to them—that’s how you can sense them, isn’t it?”
He didn’t change expression. “Tell you what. You watch me fight and when it’s over, you tell me if I can be trusted. You’ll know because I’ll be one of the ones who helped destroy the androids.”
She let it drop, albeit reluctantly. “I will be watching you.”
“Be still my heart.”
“Tousan, that was very good,” Bra whispered.
“You’re lucky she picked on me. I don’t you would have been able to stand up to her.”
Bra smiled at him. “Probably not.” She gasped as another wave of pain washed over her. “What is this?” she asked through clenched teeth.
Vegeta’s only reaction to the pain was to close his eyes briefly. “I can’t say for sure. It happens before every fight. I think they want to discourage us from fighting.” He looked at her sympathetically. “Can you resist it if it happens during the fight?”
“Good. Because I think we have about ten seconds before the first blast is shot.”
“What?” Bra started to ask, but was cut off as a ki blast whistled past them. “Oh, I see.”
Vegeta blasted into Super-Saiyajin and went over to the rest of the group. “Isn’t that funny?” he asked 18. “They aimed at me. Now why would they try to kill their little spy? Unless, of course, their spy _isn’t_ a spy.”
She didn’t waver. “I’m still watching you. It did miss, after all.”
He rolled his eyes and shot at the androids, wounding one. “Is anyone else going to fight, or are we just going to stand around discussing whether or not I’m a traitor all day?”
Bra powered up to Super-Saiyajin and went next to her father. “Come on, Tousan.”
“The first girl to be a Super-Saiyajin,” Goten muttered. “Looks good on you, B-chan.”
She curtsied slightly. “Are you coming, Goten?”
He grinned at her. “Of course. I say it’s time to kick some android butt. Let’s go.”