Title: Future Imperfect (part 3)
Fandom: Dragon Ball Z
Character(s): Trunks Briefs, Son Goten, assorted others, some OCs
Word Count: ~16000
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Akira Toriyama does along with assorted others. Actually, I own a couple of the characters but w/e
Warnings: loads of character death
Author's Note: alternate title: WUNDY'S TEARS ARE AN ELIXIR
Summary: after messing around with an invention in Bulma's lab, Trunks and Goten find themselves in a hellish alternate future
Goten stormed back into the civic center, grabbed Future Trunks by the front of his torn, sleeveless shirt, and pressed him up against the wall.
“You know, don’t you?” he demanded.
He stared up at his face, waiting for some flicker of emotion. Some sign that he even knew what Goten was talking about. No one else was there. Marron had taken the young ones out to go find a place to bathe. Bra, Boxer, and Uub were making a run for food. His Trunks was out somewhere working on gathering supplies for a time machine. It was just him and this no-good fucking liar.
Goten watched his face, ready for a reaction. Prepared and not prepared for whatever he was going to say. Trunks’s face twitched and his good eye looked up for a moment before a sigh puffed out from his lips.
“You saw him, didn’t you?”
“Saw myself, you mean!” he spat back. “Why are you lying? Why are you saying it’s my dad?!”
Trunks gripped his wrists tightly in a way that made Goten feel as though he would leave bruises. He moved him away as he rose up off of the wall before letting up.
“I didn’t lie…” he started. “I just didn’t reveal the whole truth. People assumed it was Goku and I let them. I…always referred to him as Son.”
He stopped and peeled his glove back to stare at his palm. Goten looked over and say that, indeed, he still had “SG” scarred there.
“What happened to me?!” he demanded, tearing his eyes away. “Tell me!”
Trunks pulled the glove back down and removed the tie that kept his hair back. With a sigh, he rushed his fingers through his lank, lavender tresses.
“I don’t know that part,” he admitted. “I just know that you came to visit me one day and snapped my mom’s neck. And then…the rest happened.”
“But you said—”
“I said I lost my Goten. Because I did. I lost you…when you became that monster. I lost everything I loved about you!”
It hit him at that moment that there was probably a good chance that Future Trunks had been dating Future Goten. In fact, he knew he wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer (that honor belonged to Gohan) but he prided himself on being able to read people. The hurt and sadness that dripped from Trunks’s words were incredibly obvious.
“Does anybody know?” he asked.
Trunks didn’t answer him right away. He pulled his hair back again and pressed his gloved hands against his eyes.
“Yes,” he said, not lowering his hands. “Goku knows.”
“My dad’s alive?”
He nodded. “As far as I know. He’s being kept with Chi-Chi at your house. Y—Goten used some kind of power dampener snatched from Capsule Corps to keep him in line.”
It turned his stomach to know he was capable of that. Of all of this. He turned away from Trunks and started away.
“I…I have to go,” he said in a rushed voice.
He just let him go, not saying anything as Goten ran towards the doors of the doors of the civic center. Images of his own face danced through his head. The other Goten had been shocked to see him there and he had taken that shock as a chance to punch him in the face and fly off. He had punched his own face. Goten squeezed his eyes shut. No, no, no. That was not him. It wasn’t!
He pushed through the doors and ran smack into Trunks—his Trunks. He was holding some scrap metal but dropped it when he crashed into him. It clattered loudly to the destroyed sidewalk under their feet.
“Where’s the fire, chibi?” he asked.
Goten looked at him. Trunks was trying to keep him optimistic. He had blueprints for a time machine and said that if “Sad, teen me’s mom could make one in a post-apocalyptic shit-sack then so can I!” He had to tell him, though. Before he found out. Before he realized that the monster everyone hid from and warned children about was him. That it was his best friend who killed his parents.
“Chibi?” His voice took on a concerned note and he reached out to put a hand on Goten’s shoulder.
He didn’t think. He didn’t stop himself. He just reacted. Goten sprang and wrapped his arms around Trunks’s shoulders before pressing a kiss against his lips. Trunks stood stunned for a moment before he started kissing him back. They broke apart when they both realized they needed to breathe.
“…What was that about?” Trunks asked in a low, husky voice. “I mean…I’m not complaining but—”
“I love you,” he blurted in reply. “Please don’t leave me.”
The lavender-haired boy smiled and put his own arms around him.
“I’m not going anywhere.”
They were the only ones in the civic center. Even Future Trunks had left. Maybe he had seen them kissing and gone off. No one else was back yet.
Goten let Trunks take the lead, unable to concentrate after what he had heard. Trunks pressed him down onto their bedrolls, kissing down his throat and to the knobbly bits of his clavicle.
“Goten,” he whispered into his ear.
He tried to smile up at him and get lost in the moment but he couldn’t.
“Trunks…I know these aren’t the best circumstances but I want you to know that I love you and am really glad that you love me back and that this is happening even in this crappy-ass world where everything’s gone to shit because of m—my dad and…”
The other boy was looking at him with a bemused expression on his face and Goten’s words petered off.
“Just don’t think about it, chibi,” he replied, leaning down to capture his lips again.
But Goten couldn’t not think about it. How he was a mass murderer and how he had just lied to Trunks. He should have put a hand over his chest and asked him to stop and tell him everything: about seeing himself and about what Future Trunks had said. He should have.
But he didn’t.
Instead he went back to kissing Trunks and then to undressing Trunks and then to having sex with Trunks on the floor of the civic center. Afterwards, he and Trunks curled up in each other’s embrace and soon the other boy was overtaken by sleep. Goten stared at him, feeling dirty and gross. He had kissed Trunks and undressed Trunks and had sex with Trunks and was now sleeping with Trunks. He loved Trunks and he wanted to be with Trunks but the biggest problem that was pressing down on his conscience like a fifteen ton weight was that, in addition to all of those things, he lied to Trunks.
Trunks had pressed a kiss to his lips before going out to work on the time machine. Goten merely stayed in bed, feeling like a no-good dirty liar. Which he was. He lied to Trunks and, worse, still slept with him. When he found out, Goten would be lucky if he still spoke to him, let alone would want to date him.
Finally, though, he knew he had to get up. He put his clothes back on, ran his fingers through his hair, and looked around the civic center to see who else was up.
Boxer and Bra were sitting on their bedrolls not too far from him. His hair wasn’t pulled back and so Boxer looked even more like a clone of his father. For a moment, his heart went out to future Trunks. Having to look at both his siblings who were identical to his parents.
“You’re from another time, right?”
Goten turned away from looking at Bra and Boxer to see that Yanda was behind him. This was probably the most she had ever said to him. Behind her, Din—still with blue hair—poked his head nervously over her shoulder.
“Yeah,” he replied.
Yanda came next to him and sat down. Goten noticed that she was wearing an old Taitans jersey that fell well past her knees. One side of her hair was pulled up into a side ponytail. Looking at the young girl closely, he could definitely see the resemblance she had to her father.
“Did you know my dad pretty good?” she asked.
He nodded. “Yeah. Your dad was real cool. Like a cool uncle.”
She smiled. “He was! I only got to know him for two years ‘cause my mom didn’t tell him but then she got really sick and died and asked for my dad to raise me when I was a little kid—like, five—and him and 17-dad were the best…’til they got killed.”
Yanda lowered her eyes down to the floor and Goten instinctively put his arm around her. She turned and hugged him tightly. He felt another pair of arms wrap him from behind and he glanced over to see a flash of blue hair.
“Did you know my parents, too?” Din asked in a quiet voice.
“I never met your mom,” he admitted. “And your dad was a pretty solitary guy. I didn’t know them as well as I knew Yamcha.”
Din nodded and buried his face into Goten’s shirt. “Yeah. I didn’t get to see you guys much either.”
Hugging these two kids he never met made him feel like right shit. Knowing that he killed their parents. With pleasure, too. Goten squeezed his eyes shut and hugged them both tightly.
Trunks made his way carefully back to Capsule Corps. He hated having to go on foot but if it kept Goten’s evil dad off of him, it was worth it.
He stopped, suddenly, walking down what used to be a sidewalk and turned to his left. He saw what appeared to be a big, black starburst pattern on the ground. It was singed deep and dark. Trunks’s feet drew him towards it and he knelt, putting his hand on the spot. A tingling feeling went through his body. A stake was driven into the ground behind the mark with a sloppily-written sign stapled to it.
Trunks had to read the script a couple of times to decipher what was written there but once he did, his muscles clenched and his blood boiled. The sign read: Here marks the spot where I killed the ever-loving shit out of Vegeta. Suck it, survivors.
Trunks grabbed the sign and the stake it was on and broke it in his hands with ease. He momentarily spiked his ki to incinerate the little paper sign and felt his rage build. Who the fuck was he? And how much had Goku changed that he was writing things like “suck it” and “ever-loving shit”?
It must have been the rise in his ki that drew him so quickly but he didn’t care. At this point, Trunks wanted him to come. He felt the ki rapidly approaching him and he stood his ground. Goku landed a good ten yards away from him and folded his arms over his chest.
“You’re the wrong Trunks,” he observed. “But you’ll die the same, right?”
Trunks gritted his teeth and took a step forward. Goku responded by holding out his hand to charge a ki blast. He stopped. One, that wasn’t Goku’s style. Trunks knew that his Uncle Goku—the one he knew—never really did that one-handed thing. That was what his father did. But that wasn’t what truly gave Trunks pause. The hand he had extended bore a very curious scar on the palm. Etched into the soft skin amongst the calluses and lifelines were unmistakably the initials TB.
“Chibi,” he muttered, unable to comprehend what he was seeing.
Last Trunks heard, Goku was the one responsible for all of this. Why in the hell was Goten—who was supposed to be dead!—standing in front of him, ready to kill him?
“Kami! I haven’t heard that name in forever.”
A sick grin twisted onto Goten’s face as he drew nearer. Trunks let his own ki build within him, ready to power up.
“I forgot how pretty you were,” Goten continued. “You know? You were always actually pretty. So was your dad, which makes sense since you look like him, you know? But, sometimes the sight of you just took my breath away.”
Trunks cringed and tensed his body.
“You thought I was my dad, didn’t you?” Another smug grin made whatever Trunks’s answer would be superfluous anyway. He clearly already knew. “Everyone does. That other you is a skilled liar. Poor thing doesn’t want to have to face what his ickle Goten has become. Other me was a bit confused, too.”
The words went through his skull and he unconsciously unclenched his muscles.
“Other you?” he repeated.
“Oh, yeah.” Goten drew his face close to Trunks’s. So close, in fact, that their breath mingled. “Shocked me, too. Not every day you run into your past self.”
Trunks didn’t simply claim to have inherited his mother’s intellect—this was every bit a fact. Thus, it took him about a millisecond to put two and two together. That is, Goten’s desperation when he came to him yesterday…when he kissed him. It was after he had seen this other Goten—this monster—and he still had claimed it was his dad. Goten had lied to him.
“You, I’m less surprised to see. I mean, if past me was here then of course past you would be here. We were always together.”
He was still going on as if whatever corrupted him had turned him into some monologuing villain.
“I’m rambling,” he said abruptly as if reading Trunks’s thoughts. “But it’s…seeing you again. Gets me all tingly.”
Trunks curled his lip. “Yeah, well keep it in your pants Faux-ten.”
Goten laughed and turned around for a moment. He had no idea why he did it. Maybe he was trying to think of something to say or maybe his human side was coming out and he wanted to hide it. Trunks didn’t care either way. The moment he turned, he struck. He brought his hands together to make a double-fist and rammed them down on the back of his neck. Goten fell heavily to the ground. He stood there, unsure what to do.
In the end, Trunks just ran.
“Oh, you motherfucking bastard.”
This was how Trunks greeted him when he burst back into the civic center. Goten had grinned at him and asked how work on the time machine went. He responded by hurling that sentence at him. His grin fell so hard it clattered to the floor.
“YOU LIED TO ME!” he erupted.
Goten wasn’t the smartest penny in the fountain but he was far from unintelligent. He knew exactly what Trunks was talking about. He must have seen, well, him. Or the monster he was going to become, anyway.
“Trunks…” he tried again, reaching out for him.
The other boy recoiled away. “Don’t touch me. Don’t you fucking touch me.”
His shouting drew in the others from the various corners of the civic center. The moment he lit eyes on Future Trunks, he whirled on him.
“And you!” he barked. “You knew all along, didn’t you?!”
Bra frowned and looked at her brother. “Knew what?”
Trunks put his hands on his hips. “Tell them! Or maybe you should, Goten!”
“Tell us what?” Boxer asked.
Before Future Trunks or Goten could even think to come up with a response, Trunks was erupting again. He had mellowed out a bit from when he was a kid but he still had a temper and a half. With his genes, that would be impossible to avoid.
“THAT GOKU DIDN’T DO SHIT! IT’S ALL GOTEN! GOTEN! GOTEN! GOTEN!”
Again, he tried to put his arms around him but this time Trunks elbowed him in the ribs, hard.
“Is this true?” Uub turned to look at Future Trunks. Hell, everyone turned to look at Future Trunks.
He sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. “Yes. It’s true.”
“You lied to us?” Boxer demanded, widening his eyes. “But…why?”
“Mr. Goku didn’t kill my dad?” Yanda asked in a small voice. Puar was floating behind her shoulder, not speaking.
Future Trunks shook his head.
“No…Goten did. I…when it happened, I couldn’t deal. And I was the only one alive who had dealt with him so I just…let everyone believe it was Goku.”
“Where is Goku?” Uub cocked a brow and crossed his arms over his chest.
“At his house,” Future Trunks replied. “Or he was when last I knew. Goten’s keeping his parents there.”
“Oh,” Trunks added. “And this Goten knew, too, and lied about it. And then totally slept with me, still telling me it was his dad.”
Goten stepped forward, rubbing the spot where he had been elbowed. He tried this time to put a hand on his shoulder. Again, he was brutally rebuffed.
Bra shook some blue hair out of her eyes. “We shouldn’t be pissed at Trunks anyway. So it’s a different person. So what? That doesn’t matter. What matters is what do we do now?”
Trunks held his hands up. “That’s for you guys to figure out. I’m just going to go build my fucking time machine and get the fuck out of here.”
Without looking at Goten, he stomped away. Instead of going back towards Capsule Corps, though, he headed further into the civic center. Towards the memorial garden.
He knew he shouldn’t have and he knew he didn’t want him to but he followed him anyway. Unsurprisingly, Trunks was kneeling in front of the statue of his parents.
“Go away,” he said, without turning. “I don’t want to look at you right now.”
Goten squatted next to him. “I’m sorry I lied. But you have to understand…I was dealing with finding out that I was a monster. That I killed my brother and my niece and…and…everyone.”
He didn’t answer him and Goten wondered if he was truly ignoring him. Trunks tilted his face up to look at the statues of his parents and he saw tears glistening in his blue eyes.
“I saw the spot where my dad died,” he said, speaking in a tight and closed voice. “He—you…he left a note to mark it. Just reveling in it. About how he killed him.”
Goten reached out to stroke his back and this time Trunks let him.
“He’s not me,” he said firmly.
“I know…I know he’s not you. But knowing that you knew and that you still…that we still…that was fucked up.”
He decided to be extra daring and hugged him from the side, careful not to topple over from his squatted position.
“I’m sorry for that,” he whispered. “But I do love you, you know. That part wasn’t a lie. And I want to be with you.”
Trunks turned his face to him and mustered a smile. “I love you, too. And, yeah, I wanna be with you, too. But you have to promise me you won’t lie anymore.”
“Promise.” He held up his hand in some semblance of a Boy Scout oath.
“Especially about futuristic versions of yourself that are omnicidal monsters.”
Somehow, that made him laugh. “Deal.”
As if cementing this deal, Trunks leaned in and kissed him gently. Goten cupped his face and angled his head to deepen the kiss.
He felt a ki somewhere behind them and shifted his gaze to see Future Trunks watching them with an expression of unfathomable sadness.
- [fic] ; Future Imperfect (part 3)