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Chapter Fourteen

Future Pan held the tiny bundle in her arms as she fought back her tears. The little face was so like Trunks' that it hurt. Even his hair was Trunks' trademark lavender. She'd cleaned the baby up as best she could, but as the hours passed, she began to fear that they would not be able to survive this. She felt a small degree of satisfaction as she realized that the other Trunks must have been killed since he hadn't returned in a while, but she was also very much aware that no one had come to pick them up. Yet, she refused to believe that they were stranded in this desolate place.

"We just need to be patient, right?" she said to her son. "Daddy will find us and then he'll take us home where Grandma will spoil you silly."

The little baby mewled in response and she hugged him tighter. She and Trunks had discussed names for him, but she couldn't bring herself to choose one. She wanted Trunks with her when their son finally had a name. The sun was beginning to set and the air was starting to cool. Pan hugged the baby to her. He slept soundly, not having been awake since his first screaming cry as he entered the world. She was thankful for that. She didn't want him to see where they were.

"Just sleep, darling," she whispered. "The next time you open your eyes, your Daddy will be holding you."

And she prayed fervently that she wasn't lying to her son.

Back at Goku's house, Vegeta, Future Trunks, Pan, Gohan, and Goku surrounded the time machine, each eyeing it with distrust. The other time machine stood beside it and there didn't seem to be much of a difference between the two, save for the word 'Hope' on one of them. Future Trunks had theorized that there was some way they could get the information they needed from the time machine's computers, guessing that his mother would have put a fail-safe device such as that. Gohan had voiced his doubts about the idea, but he agreed with the others that it wouldn't hurt to try.

"I don't even know where to start," Future Trunks said with a frustrated sigh. "I don't have the skills to dig deep into its computer like that."

"Bulma does," Gohan said, glancing at Vegeta.

"She just had a heart attack," Vegeta said.

"She's the wife of a powerful warrior," Pan said slyly. "I think she'll be able to handle it. We'll just make sure she doesn't work too hard."

Vegeta threw her a hard look. "Don't try and manipulate me, Child."

Nevertheless, he took off to get Bulma. Despite his worry that she might have another heart attack, he knew that it was imperative that they get to the other Pan and the baby.

Quietly, he slid open the window to Bulma's hospital room. She woke immediately, body tensed, but she relaxed when she recognized him.

"Visiting hours are over," she said dryly.

"We need help with the time machine," he said.

She threw the covers back and he saw that she was already dressed. She grinned when she noticed his surprise.

"I was wondering when you'd get here," she said.

He shook his head, but a smile teased the corner of his mouth. Bulma jumped into his arms, still sprightly for a woman her age.

"Let's go," she said. "Clock's ticking."

He brought her back to Goku's house. Videl, Marron, Chichi, and #18 were already there and they came outside of the house when they saw Bulma taking her tools from Future Trunks' hands.

"Are you well enough to do this, Bulma?" Videl asked worriedly.

"Two people's lives are at stake," Bulma replied, popping open an access panel on the time machine Future Trunks had brought. "I'll make it."

"Uh..what exactly are you going to do?" Future Trunks asked.

"If I were to make a time machine, I would have put some kind of recording device, just as a safe guard, to record where the time machine has been," she replied.

Future Trunks smirked, throwing a knowing glance at Gohan.

"Why not just start with the one that jumps dimensions?" Gohan asked, ignoring him.

"Because I want to get familiar with the insides first," Bulma answered, beginning to lose patience. "I don't want to break anything. I assume they're fairly similar, if not identical, but I don't want to take any chances. Now, get out of here. I can't work when all of you are standing around. Find the Dragonballs and wish the others back."

"That's a good idea," Goku said, eyebrows arched.

"Fine," Vegeta growled. "Might as well get them back while we've got nothing to do."

"Awfully kind of you, Vegeta," Pan said wryly.

"If you can dig through the rubble, I had some old Dragonball scanners at the compound," Bulma said, her voice muffled as half her body had disappeared into the time machine.

With Videl and #18, the warriors flew off, heading for the compound.

Bulma wiped the sweat from her forehead. She was impressed with what she'd found in the time machine, but was annoyed that she could not find the recording device.

I would have hid it well too...but dammit.

She crawled out of the time machine and sat down on the cool grass. She cupped her chin in her palm and thought. With picture perfect clarity, she imagined the insides of the time machine, trying to put herself in the right mind set that her counterpart had been in.

I wouldn't try to outsmart myself, she realized suddenly. I would consider emergencies and other Bulmas who could help my son.

Brow furrowed in concentration, Bulma opened the main hatch of the time machine and climbed in. Reaching underneath the control panel, she felt around for some kind of indication of a secret compartment. Her fingertips grazed a small dent and she pushed it. She let out a gleeful laugh when, with a small hiss, a drawer slid out from the edge of the control panel. It held a small computer and she removed the mini-disc sitting in the center of it. She popped the disc into the mini-disc player on the control panel and blew out a breath of relief when the full list of where the time machine had been appeared on the small screen right next to the player. Not wanting to jump to conclusions, she climbed into the dimensional time machine and searched under its control panel.

"Bingo!" she exclaimed when the same drawer slid out. She popped it into the mini disc player and straightened, looking for someone to share her news with, but there was no one around.

"Chichi!" she called.

Chichi opened the front door and looked at her questioningly.

"I found the record!" she yelled happily.

Chichi smiled in relief. "Good. Now where are the others? We need to get Pan out of wherever she is."

Bulma blinked, then smiled. "They're looking for Dragonballs. I'll have to do it myself."

"Oh, no," Chichi said, climbing in. "We're going. You just had a heart attack."

Bulma threw her a look but didn't argue. "I guess you can come along. We need to have an adventure too."

Chichi climbed in excitedly and Bulma started up the time machine.

Hours later, the warriors returned with the Dragonballs in hand. Future Trunks neared the dimensional time machine, touching it with his hand.

"I might be spending a lot of time in this thing," he sighed.

"Have faith," Gohan said, patting him on the shoulder as he walked to the house.

Before he could open the door, it flew open and Future Pan flew out. Before Future Trunks could say anything, she threw herself into his arms, kissing every part of his face that she could reach.

"You're're here..." was all he could say.

The others hid smiles and went into the house to give the couple some privacy. They found Chichi sitting on the couch, a small bundle in her arms. She smiled as they entered.

"Meet your great-grandson, Goku," she said to her husband. "Vegeta, Videl, and Gohan, this is your grandson."

Vegeta, Gohan, and Goku neared. Goku and Gohan grinned when they saw the small face. Vegeta scanned him briefly, but his expression was smug.

"He looks just like you, Vegeta," Goku remarked.

"A handsome kid," Vegeta said matter-of-factly.

"What's his name?" Pan asked, kneeling at Chichi's feet so she could look at the baby.

"They haven't named him yet."

Future Pan and Future Trunks entered then, both glowing with happiness.

"His name is Trunks," Pan said, glowing despite the exhaustion written all over her face. "Trunks Junior."

"It's a good name," Bulma said, smiling at Future Trunks. "So, does this mean you've got all the Dragonballs?"

"Yup," Goku replied. "We just need to summon Shen-long and wish the others back."

"It's all over," Gohan said tiredly, rubbing sleep-deprived eyes.

"Yes," Future Trunks said, taking his newborn son in his arms. "And now we get to start anew."

"Let's go wish them back," Pan said and she grinned. "Then, we'll celebrate."

To Chapter Fifteen