Pan woke up with the sun streaming in through the windows of her room and birds chirping outside. The knowledge of a nice day made her smile which quickly dimmed when she remembered what was happening. She sat up and found her counterpart already awake, but unmoving in the bed.
"Good morning," Pan greeted.
Future Pan smiled at her. "Good morning. Did you sleep well?"
"Considering the circumstances, I slept alright," Pan said dryly, shimmying out of her sleeping bag.
The door creaked open and Videl peeked in.
"Girls, get ready to go," she said somberly. "We're going to meet the others at Capsule Corp."
Pan nodded. "We'll be there in a second, Mom."
She stood and went to her closet, pulling out a pair of faded jeans and a green turtleneck sweater. She turned to offer Future Pan her pick of clothes, but was surprised to find her already dressed. Her hair pulled back in a braid and dressed in a baggy red sweater and black pants, Future Pan looked as if she was about to go work out.
"That was quick," Pan remarked.
Future Pan only shrugged. "I'll wait downstairs," she said.
Pan dressed quickly, not bothering with the makeup. She ran a hand through her tousled hair as she went down the stairs where her parents and Future Pan were waiting. They left without saying a word, taking to the skies instead of taking the car.
They were the first to arrive at Capsule Corp. but the others arrived not long after. They gathered in the living room, plates in food in their hands as Bulma had ordered a huge breakfast for them, but no one seemed up to eating. A huge map of the city was posted up on the wall.
"So what's the plan?" Goten asked as he twirled a bagel on his index finger.
Gohan stood, multicolored thumbtacks in his hand. Bulma had painstakingly put a flag on each one, bearing the name of each person in the room. He had called her early that morning and told her what he'd needed. She came through, as she always did. He looked around then, doing a mental roll call of those who could fly and sense energies.
Vegeta, Bura, Trunks, other Trunks, Pan, other Pan, Videl, Goten, Piccolo, Yamcha, Tien, Chaozu, Krilin, and #18. We should be enough.
"We split into pairs, and each pair combs a certain section of the city," he said. "We're uneven though so Videl, Pan, and I will make up a trio."
"Her right?" Pan said, chucking a thumb at Future Pan.
"Yes," Gohan replied, but his eyes were concerned as he looked at his daughter. She smiled reassuringly and he was relieved. She understood.
With a marker, he drew borders around the citymap, and put pairs of tacks all over it. They listened quietly, taking it all in. The seriousness of the situation was not lost on any of them. Gohan as he glanced at his brother, reading his thoughts in an instant. Suddenly, the absence of Goku became sharp. If they were faced with two superpowers, he would have been an enormous help.
"The second you spot them, you call the others," Gohan instructed. "And don't split up with your partner. We're not going to take any chances. If these two are too powerful for us, we don't have Dragonballs to wish anybody back. Keep your eyes open for another time machine. Goten, I want you to go home and do whatever you have to to hide the one you've got."
"I've got a communicator for each pair," Bulma said, tossing capsules around the room. "There's an earpiece and a microphone you can clip to your collar. Just touch the ear where the earpiece is and it'll be activated. I'll be here with Chichi and Marron with our own communicator. We'll be keeping our eye on the news."
"Any questions?" Gohan asked. When no one spoke up, he nodded. "Alright, then. Let's...oh wait! One more thing. No flying."
"What?" Yamcha shrieked. "Then what are we going to do?"
"Walk, take a car, just do anything you have to so that you can cover your area," Gohan said. "Don't fly because you don't want them to spot you."
"Damn," Trunks muttered. "Let's go then."
Vegeta and Future Trunks were the first to go, identical expressions of determination on their faces. Pan and Trunks followed suit, arguing over who got to use the communicator. Piccolo tossed the capsule at Yamcha and left, leaving the other man to fumble with the communicator and strugged to catch up. Tien and Chaozu, working in perfect harmony, left along with Krilin and #18. Gohan, Videl, and Pan took off, an uneasy silence falling over them. Goten and Bura were last, as Bura was busy packing some food in a knapsack.
"You can always come back to eat," Bulma said with some amusement.
"Yeah, but Goten's gonna get hungry," Bura said. "See you later, Mom."
She and Goten flew off as Bulma looked after them curiously.
Since when does Bura care what happens to Goten? she wondered.
Before she could share her thoughts with the others, Chichi turned on television and switched to the news channel. Bulma and Marron went to sit on either side of her, silently praying that nothing would happen.
Having struck a deal with Trunks, Pan popped the communicator into her ear. He climbed into the driver's seat of his car, relieved that Pan wasn't going to fight with him to drive it. Patting the steering wheel reassuringly, he started the car and zoomed off towards their area.
"So what do you think of Trunks, the other?" Pan asked.
Trunks shrugged, but his face tightened noticeably. "He seems like...one of us. I'm still a little weirded out, though. How about you?"
"I'm more curious now," she replied. "I want to know what her life was like. I can pretty much guess by the way she looks at my parents that she lost hers in that timeline. I can't even imagine the pain they've gone through."
"So, that would make them the only two Saiyans left, and they're only a fraction at that."
"What if another Frieza blows in from space? How can they defend the Earth, just the two of them? They must live in a state of fear every day of their lives."
"Or they could take it one day at a time. I know I would."
They lapsed into silence as they entered their zone. Trunks drove moderately slow for him, his eyes scanning the faces on the street while his senses scanned for a spike of powerful energy. Pan had her nose pressed up against the window, drawing some strange looks, but she ignored them. She glanced upwards and a streaking light, familiar, caught her attention. Without thinking, she jumped out of the car and flew up, but it was gone.
She turned just as Trunks parked the car and flew to her.
"What is it?" he demanded, looking around. "What did you see?"
"I thought..." she shook her heard. "But it can't be."
"I thought I saw Grandpa."
"Kakarot?" Vegeta repeated, looking at Future Trunks as they walked down the street. The Prince didn't like their method of transportation, but didn't complain...unless the scowl on his face was considered a complaint.
"I didn't sense his energy," he continued. "She must have been seeing things."
"I suppose," Future Trunks said, adjusting the earpiece. "She sounded pretty shaken up."
They walked along, not speaking, only looking around them.
"How is your mother?" Vegeta asked, breaking the silence.
"She's fine," Future Trunks replied. "Worried about all this, but I she's become happier since..."
He paused, mentally kicking himself for almost spilling the beans.
"Since what?" Vegeta questioned, noting the younger man's tensed shoulders and surprised expression.
"Since Pan arrived."
"Ah. You love the girl, don't you?"
Future Trunks opened his mouth to deny it, but Vegeta only pinned him with a sharp look.
"Don't bother lying to me, Boy. I'm not ignorant like the others."
"Alright. Yeah. Just don't mention this to anybody."
"Do I look gossipy to you?"
Rather than dig himself a hole, Future Trunks changed the subject quickly. "Your son looks happy."
"He should be. He spoils himself with such extravagant toys."
Vegeta started to argue that point when he remembered where this son had come from. No father, no chances...but he was proud of what this son had become. Another future's son, with the eyes like ice chips and expression identical to his own. Yet, Vegeta knew that this Trunks would give it all up just to have the other warriors back. To give his mother back her husband.
"Yes," Vegeta said, looking around once again. "Yes, he is lucky."
Goten wiped the sweat from his forehead with the back of his hand. Next to him, Bura looked at the hole he'd made with a controlled energy blast. Controlled so that they could put the soil that had been dug out back into the hole.
"That looks deep enough," she said. She climbed into the time machine.
"You sure you know how to drive that thing?" he asked uncertainly. "I mean, you could end up in another century."
She grinned. "Piece of cake."
Effortlessly, the guided the time machine into the hole and flew out when it was in place. Together, they began to bury the time machine.
"We need a marker of some kind," Bura said, looking around when they were finished.
"No. I'll know where it is."
"I'm a country boy. I'll know. Come on. We better get out of here and start patrolling."
"Could I wash up?" she asked, looking at her dirty hands.
"Yeah, sure," he said with an indulgent smile. "But make it quick. If Gohan finds out we're dawdling, he's gonna have a fit."
"I'll be quick."
They flew to Goten's house and he unlocked the door, gesturing for her to enter before him. She walked in, but stopped dead in her tracks when she saw who was inside. Goten ran into her, smashing his nose into the back of her head.
"Hey!" he exclaimed, annoyed.
Then, his eyes widened when he saw who Bura was looking at. The tall figure standing by the fridge's open door was painfully familiar. The light from the fridge illuminated his face, and Goten felt his mouth go dry when he saw wide, innocent eyes looking back at him.
"Goku?" Bura breathed.
"Hi, Guys!" Goku said cheerily. "Where's your mom, Goten? I'm starving."