Goodbye, Revisited

***

Part Two: Gokuu

Pure of heart, and pure of will;
making sleep and slumbers still.
Slumber not, to 'venge, to die;
rage is pure as love is high.

***

When Ru Sa finally came around the corner, he found an adventure already in progress. Smiling coolly, he settled on top of the Capsule Corporation to watch.

*

From Bulma’s point of view, Kuro Trunks seemed to exhibit no effort as he destroyed what she had left of Gohan’s machine; for a moment, she was more furious at the fact that he was destroying her carefully laid trap than she was that he was going to kill her. Her death was one thing. Robbing her of revenge was entirely something else.

Immune to such motherly outrages, Kuro Trunks continued to move forward, and in a moment her self-preservational instinct reasserted itself. She resumed her screaming.

Backlit by the approaching Moot-borne dragonball, Vejiita floated regally around the corner and touched lightly to the ground. He paused for one moment to take in the scene, including such details as Bra’s obvious state of unconsciousness and the helpless condition of Bulma and Gohan. Narrowing his eyes and looking like a silhouetted god of death, he lifted into the air again and zipped toward this twisted version of his son.

Kuro Trunks never saw him coming.

“Look out!” Bulma screamed, terrified that Vejiita would meet the same fate as Gohan’s time machine. Dende finally came jogging around the corner just in time to see Vejiita bodily ram into Kuro Trunks' back, sending him flying over his intended victims to sprawl face first in the dirt. To his definite fortune, Vejiita had failed to come into contact with any of Kuro Trunks’ skin.

“Don’t touch his flesh!” Dende cried, panting a bit from the effort of carrying Moot and the dragonball in front of him as he ran. Vejiita nodded once – and slammed into Kuro Trunks again, before the younger man could lift himself off the ground. He then hovered a few feet above Trunks’ body, watching him carefully and deciding what to do next.

Dropping Moot, Dende knelt quickly beside Bulma and started to untie her.

Vejiita saw Kuro Trunks start to push himself up onto his hands and knees, and decided abruptly just what he wanted to do. Hair blazing gold for just one moment in an up-flash of ki, Vejiita dropped like a stone directly onto the center of Kuro Trunks’ back.

Trunks’ spine gave way with a surprisingly loud snap.

Bulma, sitting up now because her hands were free, found herself furious at Vejiita for killing her son.

Vejiita observed Trunks for one more moment, and then stalked toward the others. Bending smoothly at the waist, he pulled Gohan’s arms free and then started to scoop Bra up. He was marginally surprised when Bulma touched him.

Sniffling and trembling, she reached up and touched his cheek, not really able to help herself. “You… you killed him,” she said, her voice shaky with emotion.

Vejiita stared for one moment. He blinked. And then he callously reached up and slapped her hand away.

“Don’t touch me!” he snapped. “Your son was already dead. I just put the corpse out of commission, and you are not MINE!”

Dende sighed and thought unflattering things about romance as he continued to revive Gohan. Vejiita was obviously making definite distinctions between “his” Bulma and “this” Bulma – and it was just as obvious that “this” Bulma was not. Dende shook his head and concentrated on Gohan. As if they needed any more complications right now…

Moot was staring with his mouth open – but not at the small scene before him. He was staring at Kuro Trunks, who seemed to be not as out of commission as previously thought.

Trunks’ body seemed to warp - to sort of bend and wobble, shifting in ways the humanoid body was never meant to move, and a moment later, he stood up – his back apparently healed. And with a frightening speed he had not shown before, he spun around and flew straight toward Vejiita.

Moot screamed. Vejiita turned in time to see Trunks coming, and he reacted by leaping to the side, shoving Bulma in the opposite direction so as to ensure her safety.

Kuro Trunks ignored her completely; angling perfectly in mid air, he lunged for Vejiita, both hands outstretched and no expression whatsoever on his face. The hand he held toward his father seemed to be losing its shape and its color; it was turning smoky and black.

“Don’t let him touch you!” Dende cried again, falling back and out of the way. Vejiita did what he said, falling back to avoid Kuro Trunks’ rapid movements and having no chance to react; the young man was moving at the absolute top speed his body could reach, and Vejiita could only avoid him by going Super Saiyan level two and dodging like mad. He watched carefully for an opening to attack.

It was at this point that Hikari Trunks and Gokuu came around the corner. Hikari Trunks stopped as he saw what appeared to be two blurs zig-zagging all over the remains of the Capsule Corporation’s front lawn. He stared.

“What’s happening?” he shouted, putting Gokuu gently down against the wall and rushing to help with Gohan.

“I don’t know,” Dende said, moving to stand beside Moot. “But for some reason he’s focused on Vejiita. I… have a very bad feeling about this.” Then he yipped and ducked as Vejiita and Kuro Trunks zoomed right over his head. Impossible as it was, Kuro Trunks seemed to be gaining.

Abruptly, they both stopped moving. Ten feet away, on the ground, Vejiita had gripped Kuro Trunks’ arms by the wrists, over the cloth of his jacket, and was engaged in a battle of strength with him. Trunks’ goal seemed to be to touch Vejiita no matter what, and he steadily ignored the light from Moot’s dragonball, even though it was actually making his skin smoke.

Trunks pushed closer, unaffected by Vejiita’s expression and voice. Looking into those eyes sent bursts of cold fear into Vejiita's soul and waves of nausea through his abdomen, and Trunks’ strength was greater; inch by bare inch, Kuro Trunks’ hands were coming closer.

Gohan chose this exact moment to awaken. Blinking dazedly at the sky, his eyes focused on the Canopy – and then at the pair of legs hanging over the corner roof of the building above him.

“Hey,” he said dazedly, pointing. “Who’s that?” Everyone looked up, including Vejiita.

In that moment of distraction, Trunks touched Vejiita’s face. But instead of disappearing, something else seemed to be happening; a black, shapeless cloud rose from Trunks into the air, and angled toward Vejiita in a rough arrow shape as though to stab him.

The Black had chosen a new host body.

Vejiita screamed, experiencing pain he had not even felt in hell when he’d died; and at that moment, three things happened all at once.

Hikari Trunks shouted and raced toward them – only to find himself abruptly confronted with Ru Sa.

“Hello, Vejiita’s son,” said Ru Sa, his eyes gleaming, and without another word attacked him, forcing him back and away from Vejiita. In the process, he delivered a clean kick to Gohan’s head and knocked Dende down. He grinned; this was fighting the way it was meant to be, fun and completely unfair for the losing side.

Moot, desperate to help, ran toward Vejiita, holding the dragonball high above his head and shouting. He had not forgiven this Trunks for the loss of Bee.

Its light hit Trunks and the cloud of black above him, and the cloud immediately lost its shape and started to disperse, unable to stand the purity of the dragonball’s light. That high-pitched screeching noise was now coming from the cloud itself, and responding to the pain, Kuro Trunks turned and slammed his foot into Moot’s stomach.

Moot dropped the ball and went flying, very much unconscious. The light went out, and the cloud above Trunks began to resume its pointed shape.

Vejiita, still paralyzed, continued screaming; he dropped to his knees, unable to remain standing.

With no warning and horrifically bad timing, more of the Black reached this universe at this very moment. Thoughts and actions paused all around as forced mental fusion occurred with every single character there, and all screamed or grimaced or cried as other memories became their own.

In particular, this event hit Bulma. She chanced to absorb into herself that soul which belonged to THIS Vejiita and Bra – the Bulma they knew; and in that moment, she knew more than the agony and angst than she had ever known in her life.

She felt love. True love for them, for these two people, because she knew them, and would give anything at all for them in the world. She knew what it was to live with Vejiita for years on end, to give birth to a daughter, to see Gokuu and Gohan grow up and see a world not ravaged by ill fate.

And then it was over, and Bulma was left as only herself again; only herself, alone, without hope, without family, and she felt such misery at being herself that for a moment she was unable even to cry for the pain.

Bra stirred, responding to the fusion, and woke up.

She stared at Bulma, feeling more than one soul in her own body, the same as everybody else. Then she looked toward Vejiita, still feeling confusion all around and knowing perhaps better than any other the horrific pain her father was experiencing.

“Papa?” she asked, upset, and Bulma’s previous moment of indecision ended.

Bulma was not used to being in the thick of things; in fact, since the last of the androids had died, she had not been directly involved in adventures at all. Everything here had happened so quickly up to this point that reacting in any helpful way seemed useless; but in this one moment, she saw one thing she could do.

One thing that would infuriate Ru Sa.

One thing that would help Vejiita, whether she was “his” or not.

One thing that would hopefully take that unhappy look off Bra’s face and reassure her that her mother loved her.

And one thing that would finally take away all her pain.

Without another second of hesitation, she ran at Kuro Trunks full out, screaming what could only be described as a war cry as she did so. Angling her shoulder halfway down his back, where Vejiita had done the most damage before, she slammed into Trunks with all her might, knocking him over and away from Vejiita. The cloud that had been forming above him immediately retreated back into Trunks’ body.

Dazed, Vejiita fell backwards.

And still merely reacting, thinking only of possessing Vejiita and nothing else, Kuro swung his fist once and broke Bulma’s neck.

She did not even have time to cry out.

Bra saw her die, and screamed bloody murder.

Ru Sa paused in his beating of Hikari Trunks to look back, and he smiled.

“I guess the bitch got what she deserved, didn’t she boy,” he said conversationally, and continued fighting him to the backdrop of Bra’s hysteria.

Vejiita merely stared at Bulma’s body. The fact that she was gone was simply not registering. And always one to stick to business, Kuro Trunks stood and stumbled toward Vejiita again, ignoring her corpse, still determined to make the switch. The cloud formed above him once more, angling in a spear toward the stunned Saiya-jin prince.

During all of this, Gokuu could barely move. He had never experienced weakness like this before, and it upset him nearly to the point of tears; it seemed he could do nothing at all but watch, and his heart ached with pain because of what was happening around him. He looked at the dragonball, which had come to rest next to the stunned Vejiita. He glanced at Hikari Trunks, at Kuro Trunks, at Bra, and at Vejiita – and he suddenly thought that perhaps there was something he could do, after all.

Pressing two fingers to his forehead and concentrating very hard, Gokuu vanished from his present position and reappeared between Vejiita and Kuro Trunks – and right in front of the dragonball. Grabbing it with shaking hands, he held it up between himself and Kuro Trunks.

Light immediately began to pour from the ball – light that was even brighter than that which had been generated by Moot’s touch.

Kuro Trunks stopped; he had to stop. The barrier of light that had sprung up when Gokuu touched the ball was too strong for him to penetrate, and in fact, formed a kind of painful cushion on all sides of him. Kuro Trunks was still bent on possessing Vejiita’s body, but he could not move at all, neither forward nor back. So, he waited, as if he understood that he only needed bide his time until Gokuu lost his strength. Patience was definitely one of his virtues.

Vejiita, Gokuu tried, determined to break the paralysis that seemed to have frozen Vejiita’s body. Vejiita, you’ve got to do something. You’ve got to get the dragonball to Trunks. Gokuu could say no more right away; he was so tired that even this small effort was enough to nearly make him lose consciousness, and holding the dragonball in the air was taking all his effort of will.

Vejiita blinked and turned his head but not his eyes toward Gokuu, as though listening; he was still staring blankly at the spot where Bulma lay, and ignoring Kuro Trunks completely.

Abruptly, everything came to a halt again as more worlds collided, forcing yet more mental fusion and confusion; and this merging was much more violent than before. The Black was nearing its end, and once it completely met with itself in a whirlpool-like circuit throughout reality, everything would end. The amount of alternate universes left - even in bits and pieces - was beginning to diminish greatly, and this lessened what Gai would be able to fix.

She could not create. She could only put together whatever was left – and in another few minutes, there would BE nothing left.

Everything seemed to freeze, nearly torn apart by this final fusion; there would be no more after this.

End game had begun.

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