Pan and Trunks were silent. They had tried to talk about inane things, movies they wanted to see, dishes they wanted to try, but they couldn't keep up the farce anymore. They had felt Bura die and Trunks had stopped speaking. She could feel his frustration and his fingers had tightened on hers. His clothes were soaked through with sweat and his breath was coming out in gasps. He could barely speak. Pan kept her fingers on his pulse to make sure he was still alive.
Without warning, he sighed and the pulse she felt beneath her fingers slowed to a stop. Pan felt a surge of energy flow through her and an inhuman sound ripped from her throat. The steel bar binding her and Trunks together flew off. The concrete block hanging inches from their heads disintigrated as it touched Pan's energy, giving her enough time to get them both out of the way before anything else fell on them.
As the remains of the Capsule Corp. tower crumbled and fell, Pan sat where the sidewalk had been, Trunks cradled in her arms. A glint of something metal caught her eye and she looked to the side to see a bent license plate attached to what had been the bumper of a car. A sob escaped from her lips as she recognized it.
She looked down at Trunks. "You didn't even say goodbye," she said to him, brushing a strand of lavender hair from his dirt-smudged face. "I wish you'd said goodbye."
Closing her eyes, she touched her lips to his forehead tenderly. She lifted him in her arms, trying not to cry as she felt how light he was. She flew up, closing in on her father's energy signature.
The scream tore at Future Pan's throat. In her hands, she held dirt that had once been rock as wave after wave of pain flowed through her body. Her legs were bent at the knee, and parted as she prepared herself for the birth of her son.
"Trunks," she murmured. "I...need...you, Trunks."
"Just breathe," Evil Trunks said, appearing by her side. He tossed two blankets next to her.
She spat in his face. "Get...away...from me," she gasped.
"I heard you calling my name," he said innocently.
"I'll...be...damned...if I ever...call...for you."
He smiled unpleasantly. "What do you think you are then? Semi-damned?"
She opened her mouth to retort, but another pain hit her and she screamed, making the walls surrounding them shake.
"Gee...too bad your beloved is missing this," Evil Trunks said sarcastically as he flicked a piece of dirt from his shoulder. "Such a momentous occasion, it really should be shared."
"What...are you...doing...here...anyway?" she demanded between breaths. "And...where's...your...friend?"
Evil Trunks' smirk faltered. "Don't worry about it. Worry instead about the baby."
"They...killed...him," she said, letting out a sharp laugh. "Good. You're...next."
"I doubt it."
"You ran from them, you coward!" she cried in a rush.
Future Pan gasped as he put a hand on the top of her head, beginning to squeeze. Then, she smiled.
"Go ahead," she goaded. "Break..my...skull...let's see how...long...the baby...lives...afterwards."
He let out a frustrated snarl and let go, but not before hitting her head hard against the wall behind her.
"Go...back there...and...destroy them. You are...more...powerful...aren't you?" she taunted.
He glared at her and turned his back, starting for the time machine not too far away. "I'll be back for the baby."
Future Pan let out a relieved sigh as the time machine disappeared.
Bulma woke to find Vegeta sitting next to her, spine ramrod straight though she could see the exhaustion in his eyes. He turned his head to look at her and though he struggled not to let his emotions show, she could see the relief in his eyes.
"You always were too excitable, Woman," he said.
"Is it true, Vegeta?" she asked through the oxygen mask covering her mouth and nose. "Is Bura dead?"
"And Trunks," Vegeta told her flatly.
Bulma felt tears fill her eyes and fall from their corners. To her surprise, Vegeta reached over and wiped them with his fingers.
"We have Dragonballs," he said. "We'll wish them back when this is all over."
She smiled with joy and reached out to take his hand. "Really?"
He nodded, but the frown that creased his forehead did not disappear. Her smile faded.
"They're still out there, then? Our children died in vain."
"No, only one is left. Goten destroyed the other Gohan."
"Did he?" she said, impressed. "And the other Trunks left, leaving you to wait once again."
"To kill Pan most likely and take the child. Who knows if he'll come back."
Bulma shook her head. "I don't care from which timeline he came from. He's your son and he's not just going to leave. He's going to finish this. He'll cheat, but he'll kill all of you...all of us."
"I know," Vegeta said.
"Rest now," she said, tugging him towards her. "Lie next to me and rest for a while, my Prince."
No arguments passed his lips as he laid next to her, taking her in his arms. His eyes closed but the frown did not leave his face. Bulma kissed his cheek and closed her eyes as well.
Pan and Future Trunks finished wrapping Bura and Trunks in white sheets taken from the hospital. They placed them next to each other along with the other three who had died. Without saying a word, they walked out of the shed they had put them in behind Chichi's house. Pan stopped in her tracks and tilted her face up, letting the setting sun warm her.
"I just have to keep telling myself that they'll be back," she said.
"They will be," Future Trunks assured her. "Did you talk with him about my wife and me?"
"We could hardly avoid it."
"I'm sorry if that knowledge put a strain to your relationship with him. We didn't mean for it to come out, but the circumstances being that they are..."
"No, it's alright," she said, patting his arm. "I suppose, Trunks and I would have wasted a lot of time dancing around what we both want had you not come."
"So...you do have feelings for him?" Future Trunks ventured.
"How can I not?" Pan said with a faint smile. "He's one of my closest friends, one of the kindest men I know, and...he's cute."
He let out a snort of laughter. "I suppose."
"I tried to push those feelings back but when I learned that you had married the other me, well, it got the gears rolling again. He feels the same way." She glanced sideways at him. "What made you fall in love with Pan?"
A wistful smile curved Future Trunks' lips. "I just loved her. Everything about her, I feel in love with. I don't really know when I fell in love with her, and the situation in which we came together were far from simple, but my feelings for her were. It really was a no brainer."
"How flattering," Pan said dryly. "You really have a way with words. I'm sure she enjoys hearing about loving her being a no brainer."
"She doesn't complain," he said with a shrug. "My mother always did say..."
Pan glanced at him when he stopped speaking. His eyes had taken on a far-away look, and his lips thinned to a line.
"What did she say?" she prompted.
"Come on," he said, taking her hand. "We need to go back to the city. I just realized something."
They flew off towards the Capsule Corp. tower.
"They did this," Future Trunks said, tapping his chest like he'd seen Evil Trunks and Evil Gohan do.
Gathered in Goten's hospital room, the others stared at him as if he'd gone crazy. On the bed, Goten rested, barely able to keep his eyes open. His burst of power had drained him and he would not be able to fight for a while, but he struggled to pay attention, not wanting to miss anything.
"So what?" Vegeta was saying. "So can I."
"In my timeline, my mother was working on an invention that would make me teleport to wherever I wanted. It was a small gadget, about the size of my palm, and all I would have had to do was tap it and I would be gone. She didn't finish it though because she was afraid of what would happen if it malfunctioned. I could have ended up in the middle of a star or in two different pieces...or even more pieces than that."
"Those two got their hands on something like that, didn't they?" Gohan said.
Future Trunks dug into his pocket and pulled out the remains of a disk-shaped device, as well as a smaller, rectangular object.
"Is that it?" Goku asked, craning his neck to get a better look.
"The disk is the teleporter," Future Trunks said. "But this other thing...I don't know."
Vegeta took it and left the room. He returned a moment later from Bulma's room.
"It's a transatomic quasi faceted ultra molecular blocker," he informed them.
"A what?" Goku inquired.
"An energy shield," Gohan said with a snap of his fingers. "That's why we couldn't sense them. They have energy shields."
"Can that one be repaired?" Goku asked, taking it from Vegeta.
"Maybe," Future Trunks said. "It doesn't look too badly damaged considering what it's been through. I think it was in his boot."
"We can use it," Goku said.
Vegeta took the energy shield from Future Trunks. "If he wants to play a dirty game, we'll play," he said.
"Do you think it gives out a faint signal?" Gohan asked, stroking his chin thoughtfully.
Future Trunks took the device back from Vegeta and peered at it. "It has to give off a signal of some sort since energy bounces off the shield. It's just a matter of finding out what the signal is."
"Fix that one and figure it out," Vegeta said.
"I can't," Future Trunks said. "I don't have the know-how." He glanced at Vegeta. "How is Mom...er...Bulma doing?"
Vegeta took the energy shield from him. "I'll see to it."
He left, determination in every step.