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Chapter Fifteen

Trunks stretched and opened his eyes. It felt as if he'd been asleep for days. Vaguely, he remembered being tied to Pan, but that was as far as his memory went. He sat up and ran a hand through his hair, slightly disgusted at how greasy it felt between his fingers.

"Trunks," a voice breathed.

Pan knelt at his side. She wanted to touch him, but the confusion on his face made her hesitate. His blue eyes focused on her and he frowned slightly. She knew he was remembering their conversation, or at least trying to.

"Pan," he said, his voice hoarse. "Where am I?"

"Look around," Vegeta said. "You have eyes."

Trunks squinted in the light and saw that he was in Chichi's house. The others stood around him, and next to him, Krilin, Tien, Chaozu, and Yamcha were sitting up. Then, Trunks smiled when he saw Bura, alive and well.

"The Dragonballs," he said suddenly, looking to Pan for confirmation.

"Where did you get them?" Krilin asked when Pan nodded her head.

"It's a long story," #18 said, helping him up.

Pan held out a hand and Trunks took it. He put a hand on her shoulder when he stood to fight off a wave of diziness. He looked around and noticed his counterpart holding a wrapped bundle. He grinned.

"Congratulations, Trunks," he called out.

"Thank you. It's a boy!" Future Trunks said with a wide grin.

"Well," Yamcha said. "Looks like this turned out well."

"Better than expected," Goku replied. "And it looks like I get to stick around, too."

Chichi went to his side and put an arm around his waist. "Good. You can help me weed the garden."

He looked at her, ready to protest, but when he saw the teasing glint in her eyes, he smiled.

"Yeah," he said simply. "That should be fun."

"I'm hungry," Bura said as Goten put an arm around her.

"Let's go eat," Bulma said, taking her hand and smiling warmly at Goten. "I have a feeling you two have some explaining to do."

Trunks winked at his best friend. "This should be interesting."

Goten reddened, then smirked. "You know all about interesting, don't you?"

Trunks realized then that he still had his hand on Pan's shoulder. It was his turn to redden. He and Pan stepped away from each other, an uncomfortable awareness of each other coming over them. Now that the time of crisis had passed, they weren't quite sure what they were going to do about each other.

"Okay, okay," Gohan said, rolling his eyes. "Let's go eat. Bura looks like she's about to fall over."

"And we need to get going," Future Pan said quietly.

The others looked at her, their gazes sad at the thought of losing friends.

"My mom is probably worried," Future Trunks said, rocking Trunks Jr. gently.

"And I'm sure she'll want to see this little guy," Bulma said, slipping her finger into the baby's clenched fist.

"Let's not think about that now, " Chichi said. "Let's celebrate our victory first."

"Yeah," Goku said, putting a hand to his stomach. "I'm starving."

The hours flew by quickly. The baby was passed around, cuddled, and cooed at. Even Vegeta held the baby, but quickly relinquished him when Bulma commented on how cute he looked with his grandson. Trunks Jr. was asleep for most of the small party, but Pan took pictures of the event for him to look at when he was older.

In one corner of the living room, Future Pan sat with Gohan, their heads bent close together as they talked. Pan glanced at them briefly, happy that they were finally able to talk. Goten went to her side and put a hand on her shoulder, his expression concerned. She smiled reassuringly and when he saw that she was not upset, he went back to Bura's side.

Vegeta, Future Trunks, and Trunks talked--or rather Future Trunks and Trunks talked, and Vegeta listened silently. Bulma took the camera from Pan and snapped a quick picture of the three. Vegeta glanced at her, but didn't protest. A corner of his mouth lifted in a semi-smile and she grinned, seeing his love for her in his eyes. She winked rakishly back at him, wordlessly teasing him. She slid her gaze from his and looked around the room, settling on Goten and Bura. The couple was lost in their own world and Bulma's mind started to plan their wedding--from the smiles on their faces, she knew that it wouldn't be long in coming. She met Chichi's eyes and saw that her long-time friend was thinking the same thing.

The party ended too soon and Future Trunks prepped the time machine for lift off. The other time machine was around the other side of the house as a backup in case his did not work. But it started with no problems and Future Trunks glanced at Gohan, determination written all over his face.

"May I have the honors?" he asked, a scowl furrowing his brow.

"Go right ahead," Gohan said somberly.

Future Trunks went around the back and with one powerful blast, destroyed the dimensional time machine.

"One down, one to go," Trunks murmured.

Bulma went to Future Trunks and hugged him. Tears glistened in her eyes as she realized that she would never see this other son again.

"This is it," she said. "Take care of yourselves alright?"

He hugged her tightly. "I will. Thank you."

He straightened and met Vegeta's eyes. Vegeta stepped up and put a hand on his shoulder.

"Take care of your family," he said.

"I will."

Vegeta nodded and stepped back. Future Trunks turned to smile at the others. "Thank you all."

"No problem, Trunks," Krilin said. "You know we're here for you."

Future Pan embraced her father. "I'm glad I met you," she whispered tearfully.

"So am I," he answered.

Future Trunks helped her into the time machine and handed her the baby. He got in and closed the hatch. They waved--even Trunks Jr. with some help from his mother--and the time machine began to float upwards.

"Goodbye!" Goku called out, waving enthusiastically.

There was a flash of light and then they were gone.

To Epilogue