Cosmic Crisis 2 - The Return of Orion
Written by Erin Miller

Cosmic Crisis 2 - The Return of Orion
Written by Erin Miller -

Chapter 18 - Training

    "Well on to stage one. Natalie, since you're far more advanced than Goku was when he first showed up, I won't go through the whole "catch bubbles" routine." King Kai explained to Natalie, with a cheesy grin on his face throughout the whole thing. "However, you will have to endure strenuous training while you're here, and you will have to keep up with Goku and Vegita. Are you willing to do so?" he asked. She nodded in reply. Vegita smirked.
    "Heh. I doubt that you'll be able to keep up with us." Vegita said to her. She just shot him a glare and turned back to King Kai.
    "It's fine with me." She said.
    "Alright. Then we'll start off light with ordinary sparring. And no ki attacks." King Kai said. "Natalie you can go with Vegita this time."
    "My pleasure." Vegita said sarcastically, rolling his eyes.
    "Oh, come off it, Vegita. I'm not all THAT bad, you know." Natalie snapped. Vegita shut up and began to spar with her.
    "I see you got all made up to visit us, huh?" Vegita said, observing Natalie's makeup.
    "Actually", she began, "I had an unfortunate encounter with the snake princess and just barely managed to escape. Why, you think it brings out my eyes?" She said, winking at him while dodging one of his attempted blows to the stomach. Vegita just clenched his teeth and fought more fiercely, determined to get her at a weak moment and dissipate her cocky attitude.
    On Earth, Kira and Trunks were training in the gravity room. They had been doing so for almost three hours, taking a break every 45 minutes.
    "Had enough yet?" Trunks asked, wiping a bit of sweat off his brow.
    "Yeah." The girl said, panting, and crouching with her hands on her knees. She hadn't trained this hard since her grandpa had been killed. She was very happy that her own dad was training her. In the future, he had taken over Capsule Corp. after her great-grandpa had retired, so her dad never really had time to train with her. Often, her mother would help him run the company to keep herself busy during the day. Kira sighed to herself. Maybe it would all change as a result of Orion's defeat? She could only hope.
    "Come on, then. Let's go in and get you cleaned up." Trunks said. Kira stood up straight and followed her dad into the building with the ends of her training pants dragging under her feet. As she walked inside, she felt so dizzy and far away from the reality that stood right before her. All of the colors and shapes began swimming and twisting in front of her eyes, and she felt like she could reach out and mold them into desirable shapes.
    "Kira? Are you okay?" Trunks asked, noticing her far away look. She heard him, but his voice was distorted, and out of sync with his lip movements. She fell off balance, swaying from side to side. She almost fell, but Trunks caught her and knelt down, looking into her eyes with worry expressed in his own. Kira tried to say something, but her mouth couldn't form words, and she couldn't produce sounds. Trunks immediately noticed this and remembered that these symptoms were a result of an extremely low supply of energy. If he didn't get help soon, all of her systems would shut down and suffocate her.
    "Damnit." He hissed. He had already lost one person today. He wasn't about to lose another. He didn't waste one precious second calling for his mother. He brought Kira into his arms and lifted her off of the ground, holding her close to his muscular chest. She just shuddered in his grasp. Without wasting anymore time, he ran for Natalie's room. He heard Bulma walk up the stairs in her lab coat, obviously aware that something was wrong.
    "Trunks? Kira? Can you hear me? What's going on?" the blue-haired woman called as she took slow steps up the stairs. Trunks lay Kira on the bed in her back with her legs stretched out and her hands folded across her chest. He then placed his one palm on top of her tiny hands and another on her forehead and began to donate some of his energy to her. Based on past experiences with Natalie, this should fix the problem. After about ten seconds, Trunks staggered forward and lost his concentration.
    "That should be enough." He said, his voice nothing more than a whisper. He then slumped onto the bed, sitting next to the still unconscious Kira. He ran his hand down her cheek and brushed strands of purple hair out of her face. Seeing her made his heart melt. But it wasn't the same feeling he got when he looked at Natalie. No, he knew this was something different. After this, he would be more careful and protective of his daughter. Maybe training her wasn't the best idea. At least not for three hours. He seemed to forget her tender age when he had been sparring with her in the gravity chamber. She had so much power, so much potential. She went Super Saiyan at age five! Of course, she was the offspring of two incredibly fierce warriors. Thinking about Natalie made him sad, angry. He was angry with her for overextending herself. Her was angry with himself for letting her go off alone, not knowing what dangers lie ahead.
    Just then, Bulma popped her head into the room. Her blue hair was pulled into a messy bun and she had goggles hanging from her neck.
    "Are you two okay?" she asked, studying the scene. "You seemed to hurry inside. I thought that something might be wrong."
    "No, everything's fine, mom." Trunks lied. "She's just tired."
    "Okay. If you need anything I'll be in the lab."
    "Sure." Trunks replied. He didn't want to tell her the truth. If he did, she would never let Kira get near the gravity room again. He knew that after a day of recuperating, she would be up and ready to go. That's how Saiyans tended to be. She stirred in her sleep, catching Trunks' eye. As he looked down at her, she opened her large green eyes and squinted her eyes as they focused on the figure of her father. When she saw him, she smiled and sat up in bed.
    "D-Daddy." She said, rubbing her eyes. "What happened?"
    "You were just low on energy, that's all." Trunks replied. He looked into the green eyes of his daughter and felt his heart melt as he fell in love.
    "Shit!" Natalie cried as Vegita landed a blow to her face. Vegita smirked, a sign that he had succeeded. Natalie growled in anger as a tiny trail of blood ran down her chin. She continued to battle fiercely with the cocky Saiyan prince while Goku and King Kai watched in amazement.
    "I must say this girl has amazing skill." King Kai commented.
    "Trunks and Vegita trained her." Goku said, still focused on the fight. "She worked really hard, from what I hear."
    "That's good. We have a lot to work with then." King Kai replied.
    "Are you going to teach her the Kaioken technique?" Goku asked, not turning to King Kai.
    "I'm not sure. Besides, you and Vegita are going to train her. I'm just the supervisor."
    "Really? Wow." Goku said, and turned back to Natalie and Vegita's sparring match. They were both equally matched when it came to skill, but it was shown from previous training sessions on Earth that Natalie had an advantage when it came to ki attacks. After a few more minutes, King Kai had them stop so that he could examine their state. Natalie had a bloody lip and a few red spots on her arms that would develop into bruises later on. Vegita had suffered a few blows to the face as well and his wrists were bruised from blocking Natalie's attacks.
    "Well done you two." King Kai said. "After you cool off, we can begin using ki attacks."
    "Oh." Natalie said in between heavy breaths to satisfy her body's oxygen demands. "Do I still get to spar with his Royal Highness over here? I wouldn't want to deflate his ego or anything." She finished. Vegita shot a furious glare at Natalie and she replied with a sneer.
    "You little brat!" he cried and threw a punch at her chest. Unfortunately for him, she just blocked it and sent her foot straight between his legs in a not-so-great place almost on instinct. Vegita's eyes bugged and he doubled over. Goku was using all of his will power to keep a straight face, but King Kai had given up and exploded into a fit of laughter. While Vegita was lying on the ground, Natalie walked away and sat down in front of a tree, three feet from where Piccolo was meditating. He cracked one of his eyes open and looked at her as she brought her knees to her chest and rested her head on them.
    "So they tired you out already, did they?" Piccolo asked with his usual tone. Natalie turned her head to face him.
    "No." she replied.
    "Well what are you doing over here? Can't you see that I'm busy?" he said coldly.
    "Sorry to bother." She said and walked away with her arms crossed. Piccolo just rolled his eyes and continued meditating. Natalie joined Goku and Vegita once again.
    "Oh, there you are." King Kai said, seeing Natalie walk up. "We were just about to start again. Uh...I don't suggest sparring with Vegita right now. He's a bit...angry." King Kai finished. Natalie glanced over to where Vegita was standing against the side of the house with a sadistic look on his face.
    "Oh I think I can take him on." Natalie said, deliberately trying to catch Vegita's attention. His head snapped around and he looked at Natalie with a lethal glare in his eyes.
    "Bring it on." He growled. Natalie got into a fighting stance.
    "Now, now you two. I don't think it would be wise to-"
    "Shut up old man. She brought it on herself." Vegita snapped, getting into a fighting stance as well. The two just looked at each other, waiting for the other to make the first move. Suddenly, Vegita's eye twitched and Natalie flew at him with amazing speed. Vegita just dodged and tried to bring her down with a blow to the back, but she swung around before he got a chance.
    "If you think I'm going to hold out on you this time you're making a mistake." Vegita said in an angry tone. Natalie suddenly stopped fighting and stood before him with her arms crossed.
    "So you had been holding back, huh?" she said, obviously annoyed. "Did you think I couldn't take it or something?"
    "A puny female like yourself can hardly take getting up on time in the morning! What makes you think you're an adequate fighter?" Vegita shot back.
    "Puny female? Take that back you egotistical ass hole!" she shouted.
    "Or maybe if you could take your mind off my son for a few minutes, you could concentrate on more important things." Vegita shouted, continuing to taunt Natalie.
    "Oh, that's it." Natalie said, producing an unusually enraged look on her face. "You are going to be sorry."
    "Try me." Vegita said. Suddenly Natalie's aura exploded before her and her hair flashed gold, spiking outwards. She let out a scream and then looked back at Vegita with an absolutely infuriated look on her eyes.
    "What the hell?" Vegita said. He hadn't seen her go super Saiyan for the first time on Earth, and didn't know that she had the ability. After a few seconds of surprise, he regained his composure and sneered. "I can do that too, you know." He said, and then transformed as well.
    "Let's go." Natalie said with a smirk on her face. The both then raced towards each other, battling faster than the eye could see. Occasionally Goku and King Kai could see a flash of gold, but that was all. They heard them yelling insults at each other and throwing punches.
    "Goku we have to stop this. They could seriously hurt each other if this keeps up." King Kai said, his voice filled with concern and a bit of annoyance. Goku nodded and jumped into the battle, pushing Natalie and Vegita away from each other with his hands.
    "You stay out of this, Kakarott! If that girl wants to get her tail kicked, that's her priority." Vegita shouted.
    "You, kick my tail? I doubt that you royal pain in the ass." Natalie shouted back.
    "QUIET!" Goku roared, stunning Natalie and Vegita both. "King Kai orders that you two stop this senseless fighting. We're here to train, not beat the living hell out of each other." Goku said firmly. Natalie had never seen Goku angry like this and was almost afraid. He still stood with his hands on both of their chests, making sure that they wouldn't lunge towards each other. Natalie knew he was right. She had let her rage get the best of her. Maybe it was the Saiyan side of her surfacing, but, whatever it was, she didn't like it.
    "I-I'm..." Natalie started. Her ego was trying to prevent her from doing this, but she shoved that aside. "I'm sorry, Vegita. I could hardly control what I was doing. I didn't mean to-"
    "Hmph." Vegita said, folding his arms. "I didn't think you'd give up that easily."
    "Why you-" Natalie started, but was stopped abruptly by Goku's strong grip.
    "Natalie, stop. What's come over you?" Goku said, gripping her shoulders and facing her.
    "I-I don't know..." she said. "But why aren't you yelling at Vegita? He's always mean and nobody ever does anything about THAT!" Natalie shouted. Tears streamed down her face and she fought to control the hiccup-like convulsions that fought to overtake her. Goku looked at her and felt sorry for her. He knew that she couldn't control it when she became enraged. It was a common Saiyan trait. Vegita didn't want to say so, but he felt sorry for her too. He knew that these weren't her normal tendencies. King Kai had Natalie rest for a while, while Goku and Vegita sparred. She staggered over to the tree that she had been sitting under earlier and slumped onto the ground. She brought her knees close to her chest and hugged them, burying her face in the fabric of her training pants. She felt like a disgrace. Here she was, one of the only female warriors on Earth, and she couldn't keep her temper under control. Piccolo was watching her out of the corner of his eye as she sat sobbing underneath the shade of the tree.
    "Hmph...pathetic. Their emotions are their weak spots." Piccolo muttered.
    "I heard that." Natalie said, not even turning her head. Piccolo just growled.
    "It's the truth, whether you like it or not." He replied.
    "Well I'm sorry for having feelings, but unlike you, I can't do anything about it! And while you're meditating why don't you concentrate on ways to stop acting like such an ass to every person that comes within ten feet of you!" Natalie cried, taking in a large amount of air and sighing. Her head was throbbing and she could hear her pulse in her ears.
    "Heh. You're worse than Bulma." He said, allowing a smirk to form on his face.
    "In that case you don't know me very well." Natalie said, smiling as well. The two then sat in silence, the only noises in the background being Goku and Vegita's grunts and shouts as they sparred fiercely under King Kai's watch. "And anyways, I don't know if I 'm going to be able to take this until we're wished back." She continued.
    "Surely you won't give up that easily. I thought you were supposed to be a great fighter." Piccolo commented. "Though, I wouldn't expect much for a female."
    "Don't be sexist!" She cried. "It's obvious that I'm as good a fighter as anyone here. After all, Orion killed you three. I defeated him."
    "Yes, but then how did you end up here?" Piccolo asked with his harsh tone of voice.
    "Well..." Natalie started. It was obvious that she was ashamed of the cause of her death. "I overextended myself in training."
    "And we all know that none of the fighters here would be foolish enough to do such a thing." Piccolo said with a sneer on his face.
    "Hey give me some credit here. I've only been training for four months." Natalie huffed, folding her arms. Piccolo facefaulted.
    "F-four...four months?" he stammered. "T-then how did you become as powerful as us? We've trained all our lives to achieve this level of power!"
    "It...comes naturally? What can I say I had powerful parents." Natalie said, with a hint of pride in her voice. "Besides I had some help." She continued, and nodded her head in Vegita's direction. Piccolo smirked.
    "Well even if you are as powerful as you claim, that doesn't make you any more of a fighter than us." He began. "We have all learned that with great power comes tremendous responsibility and maturity."
    "Yeah, yeah I know all that. Don't blame me for oversleeping once in a while." She said, smiling. "So then why did you sacrifice your life fighting Orion?" Natalie asked. "I mean, you could have just watched from a distance and you wouldn't have been killed."
    "I suppose it's my duty. If you had presented me with the same situation twenty years ago I would have blown you to bits." He replied. Natalie cringed at Piccolo's comment, knowing that he spoke the truth.
    "NATALIE!" King Kai called. Natalie's head perked up and she looked in his direction.
    "Yes?" she shouted back.
    "It's time to train once more. Are you ready for it?" the god asked. Natalie remembered fighting with Vegita earlier and almost backed out. She then remembered Piccolo's words, "tremendous responsibility and maturity". She then swallowed her pride, stood on her feet, and walked towards King Kai with a look of determination on her face.

Cosmic Crisis 2 - The Return of Orion
Written by Erin Miller -

Chapter 19 - Confessions

    Trunks and Kira slept soundly that night. After all, they had spent the day exerting themselves tremendously. The little girl had fallen asleep in Trunks' lap while he was talking to her before bed. It reminded her of being home.
    The next day, Trunks awoke early. The sun was just beginning to peak above the horizon, signaling the start of a new day. He then looked at Kira, who was stirring. He couldn't understand how he could love someone so much that he had just met. There was something about her that just captured his heart. He was extremely upset that Natalie was not here to see her daughter. But, somehow, he knew that things would work out in their favor.
    Natalie, Goku, and Vegita were all sprawled out on the ground of King Kai's planet, sleeping. After an extremely trying day of training, the three were completely worn out. Kaio-sama had cooked a large meal in reward for their work, which they had devoured within five minutes. Piccolo, of course, being a Namek, just asked for a glass of water. King Kai was personally worried about Natalie. She knew that she, like all Saiyans, had a dark side to her. He knew that when she got infuriated, her instincts would take over and she would be helpless to stop it. There had to be something he could so to purge that evil form so that she would be free of it forever. He watched as she tossed and turned in her sleep, narrowly missing Vegeta as she swung her arm around to the side. Piccolo was in the corner, meditating of all things.
    "Doesn't he ever get bored?" King Kai asked himself. Bubbles grunted, signaling his disapproval of the present situation.
    "Great breakfast mom!" Gohan said, burping uncontrollably. He had come home for a visit, bringing Videl and Pan with him. Goten sat at the edge of the table with a slightly annoyed look on his face. Ever since his older brother had arrived the previous afternoon afternoon, nobody had so much as looked at him for longer than a few seconds.
    "Hey, why don't we pay Bulma and Vegita a visit?" Videl suggested.
    "Sounds good to me. What do you say, mom?" Gohan replied, looking at his mother. Pan, of course, agreed. She wanted to see her friend again. Goten sighed. There was a gnawing at his stomach that had been bothering since yesterday. Something just wasn't right. Maybe Trunks knew something about it as well. After everyone helped to clean up, they all filled the aircar and set out for Capsule Corp.
    While Trunks and Kira sat downstairs, Bulma tended to Bra. She had been sick with a high fever for a couple of days, and hadn't even ventured outside her door. Trunks then realized that Bra hadn't met Kira yet. Kira seemed to have read his thoughts, because she spoke up.
    "Daddy, where's aunt Bra?" she asked. Trunks looked at her with surprise. Aunt Bra? Of course! It just seemed strange since Bra was only five years old at the time.
    "She's upstairs with a fever." He replied, glancing at the ceiling as if he were to see through it and locate his sister.
    "Let's go see her!" Kira said, jumping up from her seat. Trunks began to protest, but he figured that it wouldn't do any harm. Kira bounded up the stairs while Trunks trudged after her. The little girl was in such a hurry that she almost smacked straight into Bulma, who was just exiting Bra's room with a tray full of empty soup bowls and juice boxes.
    "Whoa sorry, mom." Trunks said, as he caught the fallen items and handed them back to Bulma, who was still in shock.
    "Where do you two think you are going? Your sister is very sick. If you go in there, you'll catch her virus!" Bulma snapped.
    "Relax, mom we'll be fine." He replied, and nudged Kira, who had been standing next to Trunks with wide eyes. The two continued while Bulma rolled her eyes.
    "Those two are relentless. I'm going to get grey hair."
    Kira cracked the door to Bra's room, causing it to squeak a little. Inside, it was dark and stuffy, and sniffles could be heard within.
    "Who's there?" Bra asked, her voice raspy and barely above a whisper.
    "It's" Trunks replied.
    "Is Natalie back?" Bra asked, not even turning her head. She was neck high in her fluffy comforter and her blue-green hair was matted to her head.
    "Well, no." Trunks said. Bra had obviously heard of Natalie's death from his mother.
    "Bra?" Kira asked softly. She then realized that her aunt was the same age as she was. This should be fun!
    "Who-?" Bra said, sitting up on her elbows and turning to face her visitors. "Who are you?" she asked, studying Kira. Kira wasn't sure how to answer the question, so Trunks spoke up for her.
    "Uh...she's my daughter...from the future! She's from the future." He said. Bra's eyes went wide and she sat up completely, but swayed from side to side a bit as a result of light-headedness.
    "What's your name?" Bra asked, coughing a few times.
    "Kira." She replied. She was shy at first, but then strolled over to Bra's bed and examined her carefully. "You look different." She commented. Bra sneezed in Kira's face accidentally.
    "Is your mom Natalie?" Bra asked cutely. Kira nodded sadly and Bra chuckled in response. "Where did you come from?"
    "The future." Kira replied.
    "Let's go, Kira. We need to let Bra get some rest." Trunks said, leading Kira out of the room. The girl waved to Bra as she left and Trunks shut the door softly.
    "She looks kinda like me." Kira said. Trunks laughed.
    "You two look completely different." He said. Of course, this was because Bra was his sister and she wasn't particularly his favorite person in the world. "First of all, she has blue hair. Yours is purple." He began. "And her eyes are blue, while yours are green." He continued.
    "You're funny daddy." Kira said happily. "Will you give me a piggy-back ride?" she asked. Trunks couldn't resist, and hoisted her onto his shoulders. She laughed with delight as he carried her around Capsule Corp., and even outside a bit. Suddenly, just as he ran outside again, he saw the Son aircar pull up.
    "Oh, no." Trunks thought to himself. "How am I going to explain this situation? They don't even know who Kira is, and now I have to tell them that Nat is dead!"
    Goten jumped out of the aircar and ran up to his friend.
    "Haha, what are you doing Trunks? Babysitting?" he said, looking at the innocent-eyed girl.
    "I'll explain later." Trunks whispered to Goten.
    "Well hello Trunks! And who is this cute little girl?" Videl said, walking up. Gohan followed, with Pan and Chi-Chi not far behind.
    "Gohan, Chi-Chi. What a...nice surprise." Trunks said, doing his best to play it cool.
    "Well, we thought we'd stop by and say hello. Is your mother in?" Chi-Chi asked.
    "Yeah she's in the lab." Trunks replied. When everyone had gone in except for Goten, Trunks turned to his friend and sighed, trying to think of how to explain the situation. Before he could open his mouth, Goten spoke up.
    "Where's Nat?" he asked. "Does she know you're with another woman?" he said, laughing. When he saw the seriousness on Trunks' face, however, he stopped.
    "Nat...she isn't here right now." Trunks said with a stone cold look on his face.
    "Mommy's gone." Kira blurted out. Goten looked up at her suspiciously.
    "What?" he said with a flat tone.
    "Uncle Goten you're funny looking." Kira said joyfully. Goten glared at the girl, but her happy look remained.
    "Trunks what are you not telling me here? And where is Nat?" Goten asked. Trunks could tell that he wasn't kidding.
    "Goten...she isn't here." Trunks said, his voice breaking off. "She-"
    "Mommy died." Kira said, her eyes teary. Goten looked up at Kira once more, this time with curiosity instead of annoyance.
    "Trunks? Is this true?" Goten asked. Trunks nodded, staring at the grass as is swayed in the light breeze. He looked up and could see Goten's eyes starting to water. He forced them back down, however, and looked at his friend.
    "She was training." Trunks began, almost choking on his words. "She trained too hard. Too hard..." his voice trailed off.
    "Oh man I'm so sorry Trunks." Goten said. "Wow..."
    "I couldn't save her. I just couldn't get to her fast enough." Trunks continued.
    "Trunks stop. You're blaming yourself again." Goten said sternly. "You can't blame yourself!"
    "How can you say that Goten!? You weren't there! You didn't see her die!" Trunks said, shouting at his friend. Goten stepped back and Kira stiffened in fear. "You didn't have to watch helplessly as the life slipped from her body!"
    "Oh, really?" Goten said, gritting his teeth. "You think I haven't seen anyone die before? You think I haven't had my fair share of it? You can't let this eat away at you! Sometimes, you just can't control it." Goten cried. Trunks looked at his friend in disbelief. Seeing Goten angry was rare, and seeing him red in the face furious was even more remarkable.
    "Look man I'm sorry." Trunks said, calming down and lowering his power level, which had risen with his anger. "You just have no idea..."
    "I know, Trunks, I know." Goten replied. "You know that we're going to wish her back and everything will be fine."
    "Yeah." Trunks said, emitting a sound that was mixed between a laugh and a cough. "I just don't know what I'm going to do with myself until then."
    "So, about Kira?" Goten asked, smirking. Trunks looked up at Goten and smirked as well.
    "Oooh, Trunks you devil." Goten said. "So you scored in the future." Trunks blushed and then laughed it off. Kira once again produced the joyful look on her face, though she didn't have a clue of what they were talking about.
    "How am I going to explain this to dad?" Trunks said, looking towards the building, though he knew that Vegita wasn't in there. He then wondered if King Kai had told him already.
    Speaking of King Kai, he was sitting happily on the hood of his car with a bowl of rice in his hands, watching Goku and Natalie spar.
    "Don't be afraid to make contact!" King Kai yelled at the two, who were reluctant to deliver blows to each other. "You'll never get anywhere if you hesitate to hit one another."
    "Sure." Vegita said. "I wouldn't mind kicking my foot straight up Kakarott's-"
    "Vegita don't go any further with that!" King Kai shouted. The Saiyan prince just chuckled as the mental picture appeared in his head. Goku and Natalie picked up the pace and sparred more fiercely. Natalie managed to punch Goku in the jaw, and Goku landed a couple of blows to her arms and face. After a few more minutes King Kai let them rest.
    "Vegita you and Piccolo are up." He said. Vegita walked out into the clearing and Piccolo looked up from meditating.
    "I'm not sparring." Piccolo growled. King Kai looked at him with an irritated look on his face.
    "All you've done since you've arrived has been to meditate! Why don't you join us just this once?" he shouted. Piccolo kept his temper under control and joined Vegita.
    "So green been has decided to join in the fun." Vegita sneered.
    "If you're tying to anger me, then you should save your breath." Piccolo shot back. Natalie, who was standing next to Goku, laughed in between heavy breaths. Vegita shot her a glare, which she disregarded. Goku watched as Piccolo hit Vegita in the gut, to which the prince responded to with ki blast to Piccolo's face.
    "Vegita! I said no ki attacks!" King Kai shouted. Vegita and Piccolo stopped sparring for a moment while Vegita turned to King Kai.
    "Come on old man!" Vegita protested. "We didn't come here just to perform hand-to-hand combat."
    "Don't disrespect King Kai, Vegita." Goku spoke up. "He's here to help us. If we don't perfect our fighting techniques then we'll be no use in battle."
    "Right. What he said." Natalie said, examining her nails and not even bothering to look up.
    "You stay out of this girl." Vegita yelled.
    "Why should I?" Natalie said, cocking an eyebrow.
    "Stop it you two!" Goku shouted. "Get back to fighting." Vegita growled and began sparring with Piccolo again.
    Back at Capsule Corp., Bulma, Chi-Chi, and Videl were sitting at the kitchen table sipping tea while they talked amongst themselves.
    "Oh Bulma honey we're so sorry." Chi-Chi said, after hearing the news about Natalie. "She seemed like a great girl."
    "Oh that's not even the beginning." Bulma said, taking a sip of her tea, which was in a mug with "I Love You Mommy" written in red crayon. "That girl you saw. She's from the future." She continued. "And you won't believe it. She's Natalie and Trunks' daughter!" Everyone grew wide-eyed at the recent discovery.
    "That must have been a shock to learn." Videl said. Bulma nodded in agreement.
    "What does Vegita think?" Chi-Chi asked.
    "He was already gone by the time she arrived. I don't think he knows." Bulma replied.
    "Well that's probably a good thing." Videl commented.
    Meanwhile, Gohan had joined Goten and Trunks outside. He was just as surprised to learn about Kira as Goten had been, but was more mature about it.
    "I can't believe she's already gone super Saiyan. She's so small." Gohan said, looking at Kira, who was now sitting in the grass. "I'll bet she has some interesting DNA combinations as a result of the mixed races." Gohan continued.
    "Say what?" Goten said, obviously confused. Trunks and Gohan laughed at Goten's naiveté.
    "Well you always said that science was never your best subject." Trunks commented, nudging Goten in the ribs.
    "Hey cut it out." He complained. "Just because I'm not the child of a super genius or the product of vigorous study habits doesn't mean you have to laugh!"
    "Sorry." Trunks said, but with a smile still on his face. Gohan nodded, showing that he felt the same.
    "So what are you going to do about their school?" Chi-Chi asked Bulma.
    "I don't know Chi-Chi." Bulma sighed. "Obviously this isn't going to work out. I guess I'll just have them home schooled until things are back to normal...if that's even possible." She finished. Videl shook her head sadly.
"Well Pan should be starting kindergarten next year, so I hope that things will going smoothly by then." She said.
"Sometimes I wonder if it's even worth it anymore." Bulma started, taking a sip of tea in between sentences. "It's so aggravating to be the wife of a Saiyan prince and the mother of two half alien-half humans and trying to take care of myself at the same time."
    "I know what you bean, Bulma. Sometimes I wonder what life would be like if we were just ordinary women with ordinary families out there with relatively no problems, leading a relatively carefree life and not having to worry about whether our husbands come home." Chi-Chi said. Videl and Bulma looked at her in surprise.
    "I've never thought of it like that before." Videl said. "You know, I think I'm glad that I don't lead an average life. It makes it that much more exciting."
    "You're right. I don't know what I'd do if I married an ordinary man." Bulma said. And then the other two women knew exactly what was coming. "Like Yamcha. I mean look at him! He leads the most boring life."
    "Well, Bulma we'd love to stay but we have some things to catch up on. And Gohan was going to take us all out shopping today." Chi-Chi said. "That little Gohan. Always thinking of his family." This comment, as was expected by Bulma, stung. She knew that Vegita would never do some of the things that Goku did for Chi-Chi and Gohan for Videl. She decided not to dwell and forced a smile onto her face.
    "That's nice of him. Have fun then." Bulma said, showing them to the door. She saw that Goten and Trunks were wrestling while Gohan did his best trying to teach Kira how to find the circumference of a circle.
    "Let's go boys!" Chi-Chi called out to her two sons. Gohan said goodbye to Kira and joined his wife and Goten looked up from being pinned to the ground.
    "I'd better go get Pan from Bra's room." Videl said, rushing back into the Capsule Corp. building.
    "Oh, come on mom. Can't I stay here for the day?" Goten pleaded with Chi-Chi.
    "Goten you don't even have Bulma's permission to stay. You don't just invite yourself." She replied.
    "Oh that would be fine. Trunks would love it." Bulma whispered to Chi-Chi.
    "Are you sure? I don't want to impose..."
    "It's fine. Now go on." Bulma said, seeing her friend to the aircar. Just then Videl and Pan came running out the front door.
    "Don't leave without us!" Videl said, jumping into the car. After a few seconds getting situated, the Son family, with the exception of Goten, took off down the road.
    "Thanks for letting me stay Bulma. I hate shopping." Goten said.
    "Oh it's my pleasure! Besides I could use a little extra help with the dishes." She said wryly. Goten took a few steps back and stammered a bit. "Just kidding. Now let's get inside I have to go give Bra her lunch."
    Goten stayed the night after much pleading by Goten and Trunks. Bulma and Chi-Chi finally gave in, realizing that their grown sons were acting like eight-year-olds again. Kira camped out in the boys' room as well, enjoying every minute. When the three finally got to sleep, it was well past midnight. Trunks stayed up a little longer then Kira and Goten, just so that he could watch his daughter sleeping.
    The next morning, the three slept in until their bodies signaled the start of the day. Bulma planned to go to Trunks and Natalie's school to get their books so that they could begin home schooling as soon as possible.
    "Who's going to stay with Bra?" Trunks asked in between bites of his breakfast. "I want to go along just to see the place one last time."
    "I can stay if you want." Goten volunteered. After all he didn't want to change out of his pajamas just yet. "I'll watch Bra and Kira both."
    "Thanks Goten you're such a nice boy." Trunks said, trying to imitate his mother's voice. Goten and Kira started laughing while Bulma rolled her eyes.
    After rushing around getting ready, Trunks and Bulma left for the school. Bulma even let Trunks drive the aircar, as long as he promised to stay under the speed limit.
    "You just don't understand." Trunks wailed, checking the speedometer every ten seconds. "After jetting through the sky at super Saiyan speeds it's so hard to keep it under sixty."
    "I don't care! You're going to have to get used to it unless you plan on hiring someone to do it for you!" Bulma replied. They reached the school after a few miles of tension and aggravation, not to mention a ticket for running a red light. Trunks got out of the car with hesitation, not wanting to run into any of his friends and try to make up an excuse. Fortunately for him, everyone was already in class. As he walked down the hall towards his locker, he passed the physics room. He looked inside and noticed that his class was inside. Everyone was there, with the exception of himself. Then, he noticed something strange. Where was that kid, Ryan? He hadn't been going to the school for surely he hadn't left already.
    "Strange." He thought to himself as he passed by. He passed Natalie's locker on the way, and grabbed her books to take home with him. When he finally collected his things, he headed back to the front of the school where Bulma was waiting for him.
    "Did you get everything?" she asked, observing him struggle with the armload of materials.
    "I-I think so." Trunks stuttered.
    "Okay let's go." She said, and turned for the door. Trunks did his best to balance the books in his arms and headed after his mother. He drove home, this time managing to knock the side-view mirror off of a parked car. When they arrived at Capsule Corp., Goten was outside with Kira, and Bra was sitting on the steps wrapped in a blanket. Trunks unloaded and headed towards the three.
    "I thought she could use some fresh air." Goten said, gesturing at Bra, who had now huddled next to the boy, clinging to his arm.
    "Looks like you have a new girlfriend." Trunks joked. Bra stuck out her tongue.
    "When you get finished, you wanna spar? I haven't fought with anyone since the battle and I'm getting restless." Goten said, fidgeting. Trunks sighed and remembered when he and Natalie used to spar, just for fun. "Trunks?" Goten said, snapping his friend out of a daze.
    "Oh, yeah. When I get done we'll go out back." Trunks said and headed for the door quickly. Goten knew that there was something bothering him. He had an idea of what it was, too.

Cosmic Crisis 2 - The Return of Orion
Written be Erin Miller -

Chapter 20 - Return to Earth

    Natalie, Goku, Vegita, and Piccolo stood before King Kai. This was the last day of their training. As of tomorrow, the dragon balls would be recharged and ready to be used, after 2 1/2 months of hard training.
    Natalie stood in between Goku and Piccolo, and was dwarfed by their mass. Yet, she had a look of determination on her face and it was obvious that she had improved since she began. Goku had managed to teach her to teleport, and Piccolo showed her the Makankosappo, though she wasn't very good, as shown during previous attempts. Her Saiyan tail swished behind her in anticipation. She couldn't wait to see Trunks again. She longed to be near him.
    Vegita studied Natalie out of the corner of his eye. She definitely was a fighter. But it was different with her. He couldn't place his finger on it, but she wasn't like everyone else.
    "Well I must say I am very proud of the four of you." King Kai said, bringing Vegita back to reality. "I can see that you haven't changed since the last time I met you. And it was nice to get to know you for the first time, Natalie." Natalie looked up from staring at the ground and it was obvious that she hadn't heard a word he said.
    "Oh, uh...yeah." She said, nodding her head. She couldn't take her mind off of Trunks, and Kira. She hoped that she was doing all right.
    Trunks and Kira sat on the roof of the dome-shaped building of Capsule Corp. The sun had set but the clouds covered the night sky, blocking out any light from the stars.
    "Tomorrow mommy comes back." Kira said happily. Trunks nodded. He had managed to keep his mind preoccupied during that time by focusing on Kira's training. He was very careful with her, though, after the accident. "Are you sad?" Kira asked, noticing the single tear that fell down Trunks' cheek. He looked at her with sincerity in his eyes.
    "No, I'm just very happy." Trunks replied. He had realized how much he cared for Natalie, and that he could not live without her. He willed the day to come faster, so that he could see her. He also had to think of a way to explain the situation to his father. He could see it now...Vegita would get mad and threaten to throw Natalie out of the house unless they promised to stay away from each other. Well, maybe he wouldn't get THAT mad. At least he hoped. There had been something bothering him...eating at the back of his mind ever since the day he went back to get his things from school. He couldn't figure out why Ryan was all of the sudden missing. And he remembered the cold receptions he had gotten long ago. Was Ryan possibly connected with Orion? After all, they both showed up at around the same time. And even the names were similar. He had managed, however, to find out where the clones were coming from. They had been simple machines, designed only to capture their prey. They had no fighting skills whatsoever. Orion had used them to try and trick Natalie. Fortunately, he had underestimated her.
    "Let's go inside." Kira said, rubbing her eyes sleepily. "I want to go to sleep." Trunks took one last look at the night sky and then floated down to the ground, followed by Kira. Trunks had such a sense of pride in her. It was hard to see the girl as HIS daughter, yet he felt a strong bond between them. He wished that Natalie could be here to share that with him.
    "Just be patient...just one more day..." Trunks told himself. But it was that fact that made him so impatient. It was just like the last day of school. All of the sudden, it's right in front of you, but then it won't move. He knew just what to do. He needed to escape into sleep. That always made the day come faster.
    The two Saiyans entered Capsule Corp. quietly. Bulma was probably already asleep, and Bra certainly was. During the past couple of months, Trunks could sense a hint of jealousy in Bra's eyes. She probably felt shadowed because of Kira's presence. He couldn't blame her, though. She hadn't gotten much attention lately. But he knew that would all change when his dad got back. Vegita spoiled Bra like there was no tomorrow.
    "What are you two doing up?" Trunks snapped back to reality. Bulma was standing at the bottom of the stairs in her nightgown.
    "Oh...sorry, mom...we were just-" Trunks broke off
    "Oh I'm not mad. I just heard something on the roof and was startled." She replied, her voice heavy with lethargy.
    "Go back to bed, mom. We'll be fine." Trunks said. Kira took Bulma's hand and led her upstairs. Trunks followed, realizing that he was quite tired himself. He quickly slid into a pair of boxers and an undershirt as Kira "tucked in" his mother. He could sense something about Kira. There was some sense of desperation behind her eyes. It was as if she was hiding something, and masked it by innocence and a will to please others. He knew that she wouldn't say anything, for she didn't want to risk preventing her birth. Just then, she walked by his door towards Natalie's room. She had slept in there ever since Natalie had "left". He preferred to use that word.
    Just then, a dark figure appeared in his window. Trunks immediately froze. His pulse was loud in his ears, and he could feel his heart beat increase in his chest. After only a split second of adrenaline rush, he recognized the ki to be Goten's. Trunks spun around, and sure enough, Goten was standing on his balcony, peering inside the window. Trunks jumped up and opened the doors to the balcony.
    "Goten what in the hell are you doing here?" Trunks hissed.
    "Whoa sorry, Trunks. Can I stay the night?" he asked.
    "What? Do you know what time it is?" Trunks said.
    "Sure. I checked before I left, and that was ten minutes ago. Sorry for coming unexpectedly, but I didn't want to call and wake everyone up." Goten explained. "But Gohan came over again and of course, he and Videl got my room, and I really didn't want to spend the night on the floor with Pan."
    "That's fine. I know my mom won't care." Trunks answered, and moved out of the doorway to let Goten in.
    "Is Kira asleep?" Goten asked. Trunks nodded as he got some clothes out for his friend. Goten had a hard time seeing Trunks as a father. He and Trunks had always been best friends and sparring partners ever since they were young. Sometimes seeing Trunks and Natalie together made him feel lonely. He didn't have good experiences with girls. He just never seemed to keep interest in just one. Sometimes he wondered if he would ever start a family of his own. But what was he worrying about now, he was only fifteen after all.
    "You okay Goten?" Trunks asked, noticing that his friend didn't seem very connected with reality. Goten snapped his head up and nodded. The two of them both slid under the covers, sleeping on opposite sides of the bed from each other. Before they could even acknowledge the exhausted state of their bodies, they were fast asleep.
    Natalie was debating on whether to tell Vegita about Kira before he found out for himself. She could see him getting quite angry at the fact that nobody had told him. Every time she started to approach him, she backed off. She just couldn't do it. Not after what had happened before. They didn't seem to be getting along very well lately. Maybe Vegita already knew about Kira but he wasn't saying anything? Natalie's head spun. Everything was just so confusing.
    "Hey Natalie!" Goku called from across the yard. Natalie jumped, and looked up at him.
    "What?" she asked, a hint of irritation behind her voice.
    "You wanna spar with us?" he asked, gesturing to Vegita and Piccolo. "Just one last time before we go back."
    "No." she said coldly. What had come over her? All of the sudden she felt angry.
    "Huh?" Goku said, an expression of confusion on his face. "Oh Natalie I know you must miss everyone on Earth. But you've always loved sparring with us. Maybe you can relieve tension that way." Goku suggested.
    "I said no!" she shouted. Vegita and Piccolo looked at her and Goku recoiled in surprise.
    "If you say so..." Goku trailed off and headed back for the other fighters. Vegita looked at Natalie, who was sitting against that same tree that she always sought refuge under. He knew that there was something she was hiding from everyone. And he was going to find out. He walked toward her, his arms folded and his eyes narrowed. Just as she looked up, he was three feet away from her.
    "What is your problem girl?" Vegita asked.
    "Nothing that concerns you." Natalie snapped back. She couldn't believe this. Now even Vegita was on to her. She had to think of something, fast.
    "Don't talk to me like that. I didn't do anything to you." Vegita said, his voice surprisingly calm.
    "Vegita," Natalie sighed. "I don't think I should talk about it right now. Trust me you'll find out soon enough." She said. Vegita looked at her suspiciously.
    "Are you pregnant?" he asked. Natalie facefaulted.
    "What!?" she cried. She couldn't believe that he even *suspected* her of something like that.
    "You heard me." He said. "Well?"
    "Vegita I am not pregnant! You think I'm some kind of a slut?" Natalie said, obviously outraged. Vegita laughed. "That isn't funny!" she cried, but Vegita continued laughing. Soon, Natalie started to laugh as well. First it was just a giggle, but soon she was on the ground and on the brink of tears. Goku and Piccolo were watching the scene with sweatdrops. Piccolo sneered.
    "She certainly has a way with him." He commented. Goku nodded, his jaw still dropped and his hand behind his head. Natalie eventually stopped laughing and looked around, realizing that everyone was staring at her.
    "What?" she said, throwing her arms into the air in protest. Piccolo, Goku, and Vegita slowly turned their gaze away from Natalie and towards King Kai, who was standing in the doorway of his house.
    "Is there a problem?" the blue-skinned god asked, cocking an eyebrow. As always, his eyes were unseen because of his ridiculous sunglasses.
    "Nope! No problem here!" Natalie said, laughing nervously. King Kai looked at her, and then at the group of men, and then back at Natalie.
    "Right..." King Kai said, drawing the word out. "Obviously I missed something."
    "No, no. There's nothing to see here King Kai." Natalie said, not doing a very good job of convincing him.
    "Great job, girl." Vegita said under his breath.
    "" Natalie started, clearing her throat. "I guess we should get back to sparring!" She headed towards Piccolo and Goku, passing Vegita on the way and nudging him in the ribs.
    "Don't ever pursue a career in acting." Piccolo commented. Natalie sneered at him before challenging him to a match.
    "Well if you think you're so tough, why don't you prove it?" she said, curling index finger inward as to say "come here". Piccolo looked at her strangely before stepping forward.
    "Fine, if it will shut you up." He said, throwing off his weighted cape and shoulder guards. Natalie smiled triumphantly. Not that she had any doubt in her manipulative abilities.
    "Well are you going to spar or just sit there with that stupid grin on your face?" Piccolo shouted. Natalie snapped her head up and looked at him.
    "Bring it on." She said, folding her arms. Goku and Vegita watched with interest.
    "I hope Piccolo doesn't hurt her." Goku commented.
    "You fool. There's no way that green bean could get the best of the girl." Vegita snapped.
    "How do you know, Vegita?" Goku asked.
    "Haven't you seen her in battle before? You know she doesn't give in so easily." Vegita replied.
    "Oh, I don't know. Piccolo isn't the type to hold back for anyone." Goku said.
    "Neither am I and she's proven to be almost as good as you or me." Vegita said. "I just can't understand why she gained so much skill in only a few months, when it took us 20 years. There has to be something very different about her."
    "Maybe she's a high class warrior." Goku suggested. "She is Saiyan, isn't she?"
    "Yes, Kakarott she is a Saiyan. But only half Saiyan. There's another race mixed in there. I don't know what it's called." Vegita said.
    "Well why don't you ask her? Maybe she will know, and she could tell us who her parents are." Goku said, and then turned back to the fight. It seemed that Natalie was having a harder time with Piccolo, since he had different techniques and she had never trained under him before. He launched a blast at her, and just as she brought her arms up to block it, he struck, knocking her back. She regained her balance, and with hurt pride, charged a ki blast of her own. She threw it at him, knowing that it wouldn't do any good. As expected, Piccolo blocked it.
    While Piccolo was busy throwing ki blasts and punches at her, she put up a ki shield, crossed her arms over her face, and concentrated. She hoped that she would be able to perform the attack correctly and totally blow him away. Not literally, of course. As she concentrated, the frontal region of her skull, in the area of her forehead, began to tingle. This was totally new to her, and broke her concentration,
    "Looks like you couldn't handle it." Piccolo sneered. Natalie was still a bit dazed and was trying to make sense of the situation when a large blast slammed into her, knocking her forward and onto her knees. After a few seconds of silence, she spoke.
    "Who did it?" she said with a dull tone of voice, as if she was really quite irritated. Nobody answered. She figured that it was either Piccolo or Vegita, as they tended to do that a lot. She dusted herself off and stood on her feet, stretching her muscles in the process. "All I can say is, good job." Natalie said, extending her hand to Piccolo. He, however, stood in place and didn't bother accepting the handshake. Natalie shrugged and walked off.
    Goten awoke the next morning, forgetting that he had spent the night at Capsule Corp., sat up in bed with a start. Trunks awoke and looked around the room, blinking several times.
    "What's the matter?" Trunks asked. Goten looked at him with a grin on his face.
    "Come on!" he said, grabbing Trunks by the hand and jetting down the stairs. "Where did you put them?" he asked hurriedly.
    "Put what?" Trunks said, quite confused with the situation.
    "The dragon balls, moron! Where did you put them?" Goten replied.
    "Oh yeah!" Trunks said, remembering that today was the day that everyone would be wished back. He ran up the stairs and swung the door to his mother's room wide open.
    "What the!" Bulma cried, sitting up in bed. "What are you two doing!?"
    "Sorry." Goten said. "We were looking for the dragon balls."
    "Oh." Bulma said, placing a hand over her forehead. "Of course. They're in the science wing in the second door on the left." She said.
    "Thanks mom." Trunks said. He and Goten headed downstairs towards the science wing, when Kira appeared in front of them, surprising the two boys.
    "Damn, Kira you scared us." Goten said. Trunks elbowed him in the ribs, hard. "Ow! What was that for?" Goten cried.
    "Are you looking for the dragon balls?" she asked.
    "Heh heh...yes we are." Goten said. "Would you like to come with us?" Kira nodded.
    After the three of them made their way to the science wing and collected the dragon balls, they headed outside.
    "Uh...Trunks." Goten said as Trunks put the balls in a circle.
    "What?" Trunks asked, not looking up.
    "Don't you think that we should put some *clothes* on first?" Goten suggested. Trunks stood up and looked at Goten, and then down at his clothes. He then realized that they were both still wearing the same thing that they went to bed in.
    "Oh...right." He said. They both headed upstairs to change clothes. After all, they wouldn't form much of an impression if their parents came back and found them in their nightclothes. After much scrambling about upstairs in Trunks' room, the two emerged. Trunks was wearing a black tank top and navy blue training pants with his usual trademark boots. Goten was wearing a tight, white shirt and grey training pants with a pair of boots identical to Trunks'. Kira, nevertheless, remained in her pajamas. Or, rather, Natalie's pajamas, since she didn't exactly bring any clothing with her. The three of them returned outside where the dragon balls were grouped in a circle on the grass. A slight breeze blew, rustling the grass and causing Trunks and Kira's hair to blow in their faces. Trunks turned to Goten.
    "Ready?" he asked. Goten nodded.
    Natalie sat in the grass next to Vegita, watching Goku and Piccolo spar for the third time. She was bored, and fell back onto the grass with her hands behind her head.
    "So what are you hiding, girl?" Vegita said, breaking the silence. Natalie looked at him with confusion written all over her face.
    "Huh?" she asked, sitting back up.
    "You know what I'm talking about. There's something that you are hiding from everyone. And I have a suspicion that it involves more than one person, if you know what I mean." Vegita replied.
    "No, I *don't* know what you mean." Natalie said. "You always think that I'm up to something."
    "You have been acting strangely lately. You have this air about you." He said, looking at her suspiciously.
    "You know, Vegita, even if there was something wrong with me you don't have to be so rude about it." Natalie snapped. Vegita didn't comment. "Besides, there's this whole concept of patience, you know, and maybe you should look into it."
    "What is that supposed to mean?" Vegita said.
    "It means, wait until we're wished back. You're bound to find out eventually." Natalie replied. She just didn't feel safe revealing the news about Kira on a tiny planet in the middle of nowhere with nobody around to save her from Vegita's wrath. Suddenly, as if on cue, Natalie, Vegita, Goku, and Piccolo started to glow. King Kai, who had been buffering his car, looked over at them.
    "Looks like this is goodbye!" King Kai called to them. Goku, Piccolo, and Vegita all nodded. Natalie, on the other hand, was on the verge of hysterics.
    "What the hell is happening to me! Someone save me!" She cried, waving her arms around frantically as her body was lifted slowly into the air. King Kai laughed at her innocence.
    "Have a nice trip!" King Kai said, just a split second before the four of them disappeared into thin air.
    "Your wish has been granted." The eternal dragon growled. The dark sky lit up with lightning and the dragon began to glow. After a clap of thunder consumed the sky, the dragon was gone. The dragon balls rose into the air and hung still for a few short seconds before scattering themselves throughout the planet.
    "I-I think it's over." Goten said. He looked over at Trunks, who was trying to pry a frightened Kira off of his leg. Suddenly, four glowing balls of light appeared in front of them. They soon took the form of people, and the light faded to reveal Natalie, Vegita, Goku, and Piccolo. When the four of them gathered their senses, they looked up. Natalie was still confused, until she locked on to Trunks' figure.
    "T-Trunks!" she cried, racing across the yard and jumping into his arms, almost knocking him backward. Trunks looked a bit stunned, but was overwhelmed with joy at the same time. Vegita, Goku, and Piccolo stood still, observing the scene. Then, all at the same time, they spotted a little, purple-haired girl clinging to Trunks' leg. Vegita's eyes nearly bugged out of his head while Goku and Vegita got humongus sweat drops. Natalie finally peeled herself away from Trunks and looked down at Kira.
    "Hi mommy!" the girl spoke, jumping into Natalie's arms. Vegita got an even more ridiculous look of surprise on his face and fell over.
    "Heh heh. Who's the girl, Trunks?" Goku asked, grinning.
    "Er..." Trunks started, not exactly sure on how to explain the situation. He waited for Kira to use her *wonderful* sense of timing and deliver an innocent-eyed comment about her *parents*, but she didn't.
    "Yes, Trunks." Vegita began, with a psychotic look in his eyes. "Please...explain."
    " see, there was" Trunks trailed off. He looked at Natalie nervously. It was apparent that she was scared stiff.
    "Anyone hungry?" Goten said, breaking the awkward silence. However, nobody even glanced at him. They were all focused on the girl. By now, Vegita had his fists clenched and his teeth gritted. It was obvious that he was *quite* angry.
    "Well, you see, Vegita, it's really quite simple." Natalie began. "This girl-"
    "Had better be pretty tough if she wants to survive the onslaught YOU two are going to suffer." Vegita growled. Natalie stepped back in fear.
    "Vegita, don't you think you're overreacting?" Goku asked.
    "Stay out of this Kakarott!" Vegita snapped. Just then, Bulma popped out the door.
    "Vegita you're back!" she cried, and ran to her husband, just as Natalie had, almost knocking him backward. He smiled slightly and allowed his left hand to rest on her back.
    "Hey dad!" Goten said, walking over to Goku and slapping him on the back. "How was the trip?"
    "Great. We met up with King Kai again." Goku replied, studying the scene. "I think we should go home to your mother. I don't want her to yell at me for being late!" Goku said happily, and took off to the sky. Goten said goodbye to everyone, and followed his father.
    Piccolo was standing by himself, with his arms folded, when Kira innocently approached him.
    "Hi." She said. "I'm Kira. Are you mister Piccolo?" she asked. Piccolo went wide-eyed.
    "Who are you?" he asked, studying her suspiciously.
    "I told you already." She said, laughing. Bulma noticed her and then turned back to Vegita with a sweat drop.
    "H-have you met Kira yet, honey?" she asked nervously.
    "You mean that brat over there?" Vegita said.
    "She's not a brat!" Natalie spoke up. Vegita glared at her.
    "Oh really?" he said. "Then tell me...who IS she?"
    "She's OUR daughter." Natalie said, pulling Trunks to her side. Trunks had a nervous look on his face. Obviously Natalie didn't know what she was getting into.
    "That's impossible." Vegita said. "She must be at least five years old."
    "She's from the future." Trunks informed. Piccolo looked up.
    "The future, huh? How did she get here?" Piccolo asked.
    "Well...I don't know." Natalie said, and then turned to Kira. "How did you get here?" she asked.
    "I don't know." Kira answered simply. Everyone fell over.
    "Well surely someone sent you?" Natalie said.
    "Yes you sent me right before you died." Kira replied. Natalie cringed and the thought of being killed by the one person she truly hated. Orion.
    "Did you travel in a time machine?" Trunks asked.
    "No." Kira answered. "I just wished to come back in time, and it happened." She explained. Natalie and Trunks were now quite confused.
    "You mean you just...WISHED? That's all?" Trunks asked. Vegita had his arms folded as usual, with Bulma by his side looking concerned. "I don't understand." He said, looking over at Natalie, who was still looking at Kira with a curious look on her face.
    "Well I should have known..." Vegita commented, turning back to Trunks and Natalie. "That you two would go and do something like this." He said, and gestured over to Kira, who was running in circles around Piccolo.
    "What's the matter, Vegita?" Natalie said, getting a defensive stance. "You can't handle someone like me being related to someone like you?"
    "No." Vegita growled. "I can't handle the fact that nobody bothered to tell me that you two decided to get it on in the future." Natalie jumped back from the bluntness of that comment.
    "Well, that's one way of putting it honey." Bulma said, trying to calm her husband down. "I think they just wanted to wait until you returned to Earth to reveal"
    "Vegita don't take it so hard." Natalie said calmly. "You should be proud because you have continued the Saiyan race." Vegita's face softened a bit and he looked over at Kira, who was still managing to have fun with Piccolo. Natalie smiled, knowing that she had convinced him. He looked at Natalie's smiling face and hardened up again.
    "Hmph. Just as long as she isn't a pathetic weakling I suppose I can stand her." He said. Natalie was filled with joy and ran to Vegita to hug him. He just stood there like a statue, not moving. Trunks walked over as well.
    "Thanks dad." He said, putting his hand behind his head and looking around the yard. Kira was holding hands with Piccolo and giving him a tour of the backyard. Trunks snickered.
    "Well I think we should go in and celebrate!" Bulma exclaimed, taking Vegita by the hand and strutting into the building. Natalie and Trunks stood next to each other as they watched Kira and Piccolo. Trunks squeezed Natalie's hand, as if to say "I'm glad you're back". She looked at him and smiled, her eyes sparkling in the morning sun.
    "You look different." He said, looking at her.
    "Do you mean that in a good way?" she asked. Trunks nodded.
    "The training paid off, I assume." Trunks commented.
    "Oh, did it ever. I feel so much more powerful now!" Natalie exclaimed, flexing her muscles. Trunks laughed and play-punched her in the stomach.
    "Hey daddy!" Kira called across the yard. Trunks and Natalie both turned to their daughter. "Can mister Piccolo stay for dinner?" she asked.
    "She's just like Gohan was when he was little." Trunks whispered to Natalie. "At least that's what I hear."
    "Does Piccolo want to stay for lunch?" Natalie asked, glancing up at the Namek. He had a look on his face that read "save me!". "Maybe another day." Natalie said, and gestured for her to come over.
    ""But I want him to stay now!" Kira whined. Piccolo had a sweat drop and it was clear that he did not know what to do in this situation. Natalie looked at him expectedly, as if waiting for his opinion on the matter.
    "Uh, well...I have to get going." He said, trying to think of an excuse. "I...promised Tien that I would...train him. Yeah." Natalie and Trunks looked at the Namek in disbelief.
    "Okay. See you tomorrow mister Piccolo." Kira said, and waved goodbye to him as he flew off. The three of them then headed towards the Capsule Corp. building to enjoy each other's company and celebrate.

Cosmic Crisis 2 - The Return of Orion
Written by Erin Miller -

Author's note: Much thanks to Ashley Litton who sent me the uncut Trunks tapes before I had to go out and buy them! You're awesome Ashley! And while I'm making shout-outs, I just want to say good luck to Seishi. Also, I'm going to be going to my dad's house for 6 weeks, so I'm going to try and type some chapters there and save them on a floppy disk. I can't send chapters to anyone during that time, but I will still be able to send and receive e-mails. I will be back at the end of July. Thanks and enjoy!

Chapter 21 - United, They Stand

    The entire Briefs family all gathered in the family room, united at last. Bulma brought out the capsules, each full of various foods, drinks, and other appetizing things. She had wanted to have the son family over as well, but it was obvious that Chi-Chi had other plans for her family. Bulma was ecstatic that Vegita had returned. She had forgotten how lonely it was without him. It was obvious that he was happy to be home too. Kira took turns fawning over each member of the family while Bra kept herself busy by giving Natalie and Trunks "I told you so" looks.
    "Tell us, what did you two do?" Bulma asked. "Natalie how was the journey?"
    "Well it took me almost three hours!" Natalie said, pausing to take a bite of a finger food. "And then when I got there, I couldn't move around well for the first hour or so."
    "Heh, it gave us a chance to beat the mmph-" Vegita broke off when Bulma slapped her hand over his mouth.
    "Honey we have *children* in our presence" Bulma whispered harshly to Vegita.
    "Fine then. Why don't you tell ME about the girl?" he said, looking over at Kira, but without hostility.
    "Kira." Natalie corrected, looking at Vegita suspiciously. She would make sure that he didn't try anything. Bulma stood up from her chair.
    "Vegita, honey, why don't you come and let me *show* you something in the science wing." Bulma said sternly. Vegita looked at her and raised an eyebrow.
    "What are you talking about?" He asked. Bulma jerked her head towards the entrance to the science wing, suggesting that she wanted him to follow her. Vegita stood up and walked across the room nonchalantly. Trunks, Natalie, Kira, and Bra followed their footsteps with their eyes. Suddenly an awkward silence fell upon the room. Trunks looked at Natalie nervously.
    "Trunks?" Natalie said, suddenly sitting up from her relaxed position on the floor. He looked at her questioningly. "I just remembered. Oh my gosh what did they say at school? Did you tell them what happened?" she asked frantically.
    "No, no Natalie calm down." Trunks said soothingly. "Mom's going to home school us."
    "Oh." She said plainly. "Just like Goten, right?" Trunks nodded. Natalie sighed a heavy sigh of relief, and slumped back onto the floor. "I have so much to do." She thought to herself. It was a good thing that she didn't allow herself to grow close to anyone at school. She had drifted away from all of her friends ever since the first encounter with Orion. She only did it for her own good, as well as the protection of the Briefs family. Now there would be no worry about her friends questioning her of her whereabouts during the past 2 and a half months.
    "Are you okay?" Trunks asked, breaking her train of thought and startling her.
    "Oh, sure. I was just trying to gather my thoughts." Natalie replied. "Kira, why don't you and Bra go play in the backyard?" she suggested. Kira nodded and lead Bra outside.
    "What did you do that for-?" Trunks broke off.
    "Just a little peace and quiet." Natalie replied. She ran a hand through her hair. "Gross." She said, looking down at her hand. "I need to shower." She got up slowly and headed upstairs towards her room. Trunks followed behind, watching her walk up the stairs. She turned around and looked at him. "Need something Trunks?" she asked, turning to face him.
    "No." he whispered, drawing closer. She leaned in and they stood together on the stairs, sharing a kiss. Just then, as if already planned, Bulma and Vegita walked back in from the science wing and caught them. Unfortunately the two teens were too preoccupied to notice. Vegita grew red in the face, but Bulma grabbed him by the hand to stop him.
    "Honey, don't." she whispered. He clenched his fists and dropped them to his side, proceeding to quietly exit the room with Bulma. As soon as they were out of sight and hearing range, he spoke.
    "They could have at least gotten a room or something." Vegita said harshly. Bulma smiled at him.
    "Thank you." She said, kissing him lightly on the cheek. "I'm glad you're back." He smiled wryly at her.
    "Oh, really?" he asked. "Then prove it." She looked at him strangely for a moment before she got the idea, and pulled him into the powder room and slammed the door, revealing Trunks and Natalie standing at the end of the hallway with disgusted looks on their faces and huge sweatdrops.
    "What do you think they're doing in there?" Natalie whispered.
    "I don't know." Trunks answered. "But I don't think I want to."
    "Do you think they saw us?" Natalie asked, looking up at Trunks fearfully. "After all we didn't pick the BEST spot in the house." Trunks laughed at her.
    "Nah, I don't think they saw." He said. The two then left the area and headed upstairs.
    "I still need to get my shower." Natalie said, reaching inside the linen closet for some towels. "Make sure that Kira stays in the yard and doesn't get hurt, and if she gets hurt, call-"
    "Natalie." Trunks interrupted her. "I've been watching her for 2 and 1/2 months. I think I can handle 20 minutes." He assured her with a smile. Natalie looked down at her feet.
    "Oh...right." She said. She then kissed Trunks on the cheek and headed inside her room, shutting the door behind her.
    While Natalie stood in the shower, letting the hot water run down her back, she was deep in thought. She was worried about Kira. How was she going to get back to her time? And if she did, would she end up like Mirai Trunks and still have a bleak future ahead of her? When was she going to leave? Natalie hurled the soap into the shower wall in frustration. Why did everything have to be so hard? Why couldn't she just lead a normal life like any other 15-year-old girl? While she was on King Kai's planet, she didn't think about much besides training. She had put it off, as usual, and now everything had built up on her. She was so out of touch with reality, that shampoo ran into her eyes and brought her back. She emitted a cry and attempted to flush it out of her eye, slipping on the bar of soap in the process and hitting her head on the soap rack.
    Meanwhile, Trunks sat in his room and listened to the crashing sounds that were coming from Natalie's room and laughed to himself, realizing that she would probably be in a bad mood when she was finished. He made a mental note to stay out of her way.
    Ten minutes later, Natalie emerged from the shower with red, irritated eyes and a knot on the back of her head. She looked rather annoyed as her eyes crawled around the room, observing the scene. Her room was just as she left it, with a few exceptions. She figured that Kira had been sleeping in here, so of course the bed was unmade. A knock at the door startled her.
    "Nat are you okay?" Trunks' muffled voice was heard from the other side of her door. He had obviously disregarded his previous mental note. Natalie approached the door slowly, then swung it open to catch him off guard.
    "Why do you ask?" she questioned, looking at him with a crooked smile on her face.
    " was just-I mean..." Trunks stumbled. Natalie play punched him in the stomach,
    "That's always like you. Don't think a girl like me can handle a little bump on the head, huh?" she said, crossing her arms, but not angrily. "Is Kira in yet?" she asked. Trunks shook his head.
    "No she's still outside with Bra." Trunks replied.
    "I see you've been training her." Natalie commented as she stepped into the bathroom and tied her damp hair into a ponytail.
    "Did she tell you?" Trunks asked.
    "No. But I can tell." Natalie replied with a smirk.
    "She went super Saiyan you know." Trunks pointed out. Natalie turned to him with a doubtful look on her face.
    "Trunks, please. She's five." She said.
    "I'm serious!" Trunks said. "You can test her. She did it when she saw you..." he trailed off. "Well, you know."
    "Oh really?" Natalie asked. "Wait until Vegita hears about that. He'll be so proud he'll forget all about his hostility towards us." Natalie said dryly.
    "Come on, Nat. You know that dad loves you both." Trunks said.
    "Even so...he sure loves to hide it." She replied.
    "He's like that with everyone. It's just part of his personality." Trunks said. "Remember when he saved you?" Trunks asked.
    "Saved me? From what?" Natalie questioned. "Usually I need saving FROM him."
    "Remember? When we were fighting Orion the second time." Trunks said. Natalie still had the look of doubt on her face. "That doesn't even matter. You love him, though, don't you?" he asked. Natalie looked at him with a "you're crazy" look on her face. "I know you do, Nat. After was his death that pushed you to the super Saiyan state."
    "Who cares anyway?" Natalie said. "How did we get on the subject of Vegita?"
    "Yes, how did you?" a voice asked form behind. The two spun around to see Vegita leaning in the doorway with his arms crossed.
    "Oh, were we talking about you?" Natalie said sarcastically. "I could have sworn that we were talking about someone with an over-inflated ego." Vegita sneered.
    "Testy today, aren't we?" he commented, and then turned to Trunks. "Since the girl is back, Bulma said that you two need to begin your studies immediately." Trunks and Natalie groaned. "Hey if it was up to me you two would spend most of your time in the gravity room. You know how she can get." He commented.
    "I heard that!" Bulma called from the lower level. Trunks and Natalie snickered. "So you think I'm wrong in making them study, huh?" Bulma said as she walked up the stairs. "Well just look at Chi-Chi! That poor Gohan never saw the light of day unless Goku dragged him out of the house!"
    "Hmph. Studying is a waste of time." Vegita said. "If another threat was imposed on the planet, what good would your textbooks do?"
    "Vegita, maybe you just don't understand since your skull is full of nothing but muscle." Natalie commented. Vegita spun around angrily.
    "You brat! We'll see about that!" he said. "After you two finish your *studies* I'll show you what it's REALLY like to work."
    "You're on." Natalie challenged.
    "There they go again..." Trunks thought to himself. "Come ON Natalie let's get our work done." He said, grabbing the girl by the wrist and dragging her into her bedroom. "I brought your books home for you." Trunks said, walking into his room and gathering a pile of textbooks and paper.
    "Oh, well you could have just left them, or lost them on the way home." Natalie joked. They threw their work onto Natalie's bed and got it organized for studying.
    "I didn't know you took french." Trunks said, picking up her french textbook, reading the cover. "Allez Viens?" he inquired.
    "It means 'Let's Go'" Natalie answered. "Now let's hurry up and get this over with." She continued, pulling out her physics book and calculator. They had been studying for about ten minutes, when Trunks broke the silence.
    "It's too quiet in here." He said. Natalie looked at him with a look of rage on her face. "What?" Trunks asked.
    "I was JUST about to solve this problem!" she said, pointing to a question in her book. Trunks backed away sheepishly. "Oh, fine. What, you want music? You wanna open a window?" she asked, standing up.
    "How about both." He suggested. Natalie walked over and opened the far window, letting in a cool breeze and sounds of the outside world. She then walked back across the room and flipped on the radio.
    "There." She said, sitting down again. After five more minutes, Trunks spoke up again.
    "I'm thirsty. You want something to drink?" he asked. Natalie slapped herself on the forehead. Trunks shrugged and left the room, and Natalie seized the opportunity to continue working. A few minutes later, after Natalie had diligently scribbled over the entire front side of her paper, Trunks returned with two sodas and a tray of sushi. Natalie grabbed her can and gulped down the contents, not even breaking for air before she finished.
    "I haven't tasted anything that good in...2 and 1/2 months!" she exclaimed. Trunks looked at her with one eyebrow cocked and a sweat drop.
    "You should have told me, I would have brought more." He said. After she took a few bites of sushi, she returned to her work with a curbed appetite. Trunks finally got around to doing some studying as well.
    About half an hour went by before they were interrupted again. This time, it was by Kira. She popped into the room out of curiosity.
    "What are you doing?" she asked, watching Natalie and Trunks.
    "Oh, hi Kira." Natalie said. "We're just working on catching up in our studies."
    "I hate studying." Kira said, and made a face.
    "Well then it's obvious that you take after us." Trunks joked.
    "You two stop wasting time and keep working!" Bulma called from down the hall. Trunks and Natalie sighed simultaneously and slammed their heads into the bed as Kira tiptoed out of the room to avoid confrontation.
The two slaved over countless assignments and tests until Natalie could hardly think straight and Trunks began misspelling his name. He looked over at the clock and realized that they had been working for three hours. Finally, Bulma walked in.
    "Well I see that you two have gotten plenty done. You can take a break!" she said. Natalie and Trunks were on the verge of tears of joy, when Vegita stepped in.
    "And you two can head straight for the gravity room." He said, looking right at Natalie. She cowered, since she wasn't in the right frame of mind to challenge him.
    "Dad, why?" Trunks asked.
    "Because we have to teach little miss spoiled brat here a lesson or two." He shot back.
    "I am not spoiled you pig headed prince!" Natalie said angrily. "You're the one who has a heart attack when someone dares to talk back to the honorary prince of Saiyans!"
    "Why must you two constantly fight?" Bulma cried, stepping in between Natalie and Vegita. "How do you expect to live together like this? This bickering only makes things worse."
    "I am not submitting to him this time until he apologizes for making false accusations about me." Natalie declared. Vegita shot her a distasteful look. "I think that I have proven myself worthy of respect from even you." She continued, and looked right into Vegita's eyes, not even flinching. Seeing this, he backed down.
    "Well, girl, I must admit that you have an impressive fire in your eyes. Just don't get carried away." He said, and with a smirk, walked away. Bulma and Trunks looked with doubtful surprise at Natalie. She masked it, but inside she was beaming with pride. She had taken down the mighty prince, and had done so on more than one occasion.
    "Well I came to tell you guys that I finally finished my latest invention!" Bulma said happily. She looked like a child who had just finished a sandcastle at the beach.
    "What is it?" Natalie asked curiously.
    "Well come with me and I'll show you!" Bulma exclaimed, and bounded down the stairs towards the science wing of Capsule Corp. Natalie, Trunks, and Vegita all followed in pursuit. Finally, they reached the main lab, and stepped into one of the sub-rooms. "Here it is! What do you think?" Bulma said. Next to her was a large robot, standing at about 6 feet tall. It was obviously plated with some kind of metal alloy, and had "CCHD no. 1" printed on its forearm. Bulma opened a plate on its chest and flipped on what was presumed to be the main switch. The machine's eyes lit up and a low hum was heard.
    "Wow." Natalie said, gaping. "You made that all by yourself?" Bulma nodded with excitement.
    "I've been working on it since before you even arrived, Natalie. It's a droid designed to assist people. It can tap into the main computer network, and it can also help out greatly with training in the gravity room or using other mechanisms in the building." Bulma explained. Natalie studied the droid with a look of pure awe on her face, while Trunks and Vegita looked at Bulma as if she were speaking a foreign language.
    "That's great." Natalie complimented.
    "Oh, and I have one more thing to show you." Bulma said. She walked across the room and picked up a small device. It was very similar to a scouter, with the exception that it fit over both ears and extended entirely across the face. "This," Bulma began, "is for Kira."
    "What do you mean?" Trunks asked, looking over at an equally confused Natalie and then back at his mother.
    "We haven't been able to think of a way to return her to her original time, right?" she asked. "Well I've been experimenting. And I've come up with this gadget. It's designed to use power from her ki, as well as her brainwaves, and convert them into a code that will be used to transport her to the future." She said. Everyone looked impressed. "Obviously, it hasn't been tested. I'm quite confident with its ability, though."
    "Y-you mean you don't know if it works yet?" Natalie stammered. "And you want to use it on Kira?"
    "Now calm down, Nat." Trunks said. "Remember that mom worked on this for a while, and she knows what she's doing."
    "Don't worry about the little brat." Vegita said. "She'll be fine, if she is a true Saiyan." Natalie rolled her eyes. Vegita and his Saiyan pride. Just then, Kira and Bra walked in.
    "We're hungry." Bra complained, looking up at Vegita with longing eyes and pouted lips. Trunks and Natalie slapped themselves on the heads and fell on the ground.
    "What is it now?" Vegita said, obviously irritated.
    "When's dinner?" Kira asked with a cheesy grin on her face, as if she had taken lessons from the master, Goku himself.
    "Why don't we order a pizza!" Natalie exclaimed, suddenly jumping up with a hungry look on her face. Trunks did the same. Bulma and Vegita looked at each other with doubtful looks on their faces, and then sighed.
    "Yeah!" Trunks said, running out of the room and heading towards the living quarters. Natalie let out a cry of happiness and followed, as well as Bra and Kira.
    "It's nice to see them so happy." Bulma said, smiling at her husband. "Don't you agree?"
    "Sure." Vegita said sarcastically. "I feel like jumping for joy."
    "Vegita why don't you just live a little?" Bulma joked, elbowing him in the ribs. "You're always so serious. I hardly see you laugh, unless you're laughing at the kids' misfortunes."
    Just then, there was a knock at the door.
    "That pizza sure was fast!" Natalie said, looking at the door with an astounded look on her face. She slowly walked up to the door and opened it cautiously. In the doorway stood Krillin, Number 18, and blonde haired girl.
    "Well hi Natalie!" Krillin said with a grin on his face. "We were in the neighborhood and decided to stop by and see how things were going! I see that you've been wished back." Natalie nodded.
    "This morning." She replied. "Is this your daughter?" she asked, studying the girl for a few seconds.
    "This is Marron." 18 said. "You must not have met her, since we didn't bring her along to the beach outing."
    "Hi." Natalie said cheerfully. "We ordered pizza just a few minutes ago, do you guys wanna stay for some?" she asked, looking up at Krillin and his wife, and then back at Marron. Trunks walked into the foyer and stood next to Natalie, greeting Krillin and his family. Vegita and Bulma soon came as well, and Bulma started a conversation with 18 about the sale at the shopping center, while Vegita and Krillin shook their heads sadly. Marron looked up at Trunks and blushed. She was wearing a pink sundress over a white, long-sleeved blouse, and her blonde hair was topped by a pink hat. "I like your dress, it's cute." Natalie commented. "You must take after your mother. I hear she's very fashion conscious."
    "Thank you." She said shyly.
    "How old are you Marron?" Natalie asked.
    "Eleven." She replied. She was very quiet and reserved.
    "I'm fifteen." Natalie said. "And Trunks here is sixteen. But being friends, I'm sure you must know that already."
    "Why don't you come inside and sit down?" Trunks offered. "That is, if you guys can stay for a while." Marron's eyes lit up and she bounded into the building. While she headed for the living quarters, Natalie pulled Trunks aside.
    "Don't quote me on it, but I think she likes you!" she whispered into his ear. He looked at her like she was crazy and blushed. "You're cute." Natalie said, this time out loud, and punched him in the ribs. He chuckled and places his arm around her playfully. Marron was witness to the event and pouted at the sight of Natalie close to him.
    Bra suddenly appeared behind the blonde haired girl and tapped her on the shoulder.
    "Hi Marron!" she said, obviously excited to see her friend. Kira joined Bra and looked at Marron curiously.
    "Who is that?" Marron asked, studying Kira as well.
    "She's Kira. You don't know her because she's from the future!" Bra said cutely with an excited tone of her little girl voice.
    "The future?" Marron said, confused. "Why are you here?"
    "My mommy sent me. She's over there with my daddy." Kira said, pointing to Natalie and Trunks. Marron glanced over and her eyes went wide in disbelief. Kira was their daughter!
    "O-oh." She stuttered. "I didn't think that she was his type." Bra and Kira looked at Marron confusedly.
    Natalie and Trunks were standing near the entrance to the kitchen, looking rather bored.
    "Hey wanna spar?" Natalie asked, looking at Trunks.
    "Sure." He replied. The couple walked into the main living room. "Bra, Kira, Marron. We're gonna go outside and spar. If you need anything we'll be in the back." Kira and Bra nodded, and Marron just stared. "Tell us when the pizza arrives." Trunks finished, and then walked towards the back door. Natalie waved to the three and followed Trunks outside. The stood in the sun for a few minutes, enjoying the day air and bright atmosphere.
    "I've almost forgotten what this is like." Natalie commented, shutting her eyes tightly and tilting her head towards the sun.
    "Well I'm sure you'll have had enough of it by the time we're finished. That is...if you really want to spar heavily." Trunks said.
    "Oh, I think you'd be surprised with my improvements!" Natalie said, sneering.
    "C'mon. Show me your stuff." Trunks said. They then got into fighting position and bowed out of respect. Right as Trunks was returning to his upright state, Natalie lunged at him and landed a blow straight to his gut. He winced in pain for a few seconds and then quickly recovered. He then tried to counterattack, but she put up a ki shield to block him, knocking him back. He shot a kamehameha at her, but she knocked it off course and sent it flying into a distant mass of trees, which were vaporized instantly. Frustrated, Trunks flew at Natalie, harder this time, and almost caught her off guard, but she took charge and faded away quickly. She reappeared about five feet away and swiftly charged a ki blast. Of course, Trunks would block it. But she knew that and was using it merely for distraction purposes. As soon as Trunks made his move to block the blast, Natalie took advantage of the situation and sent a fury of hundreds of small blasts flying at him. If it worked, he would be so overwhelmed that he wouldn't be able to block them all, rendering him vulnerable. Just as he finished blocking her first blast, he turned back to discover what seemed to be thousands of ki bombs heading straight for him.
    "Shit Natalie!" Trunks cried, and crossed his forearms over his face. His form then disappeared in the light and flying dust as the blasts made impact. After all of the blasts had dissipated and the dust settled, Trunks was seen, still in the same position, breathing heavily and covered in singe marks. Natalie chuckled slightly at the sight.
    "Didn't expect that, now, did you?" she said.
    "Not at all." Trunks said, regaining his composure. "I have to hand it to you, it was pretty good." He said, and walked over towards Natalie. She jumped back and got into position. "Relax, I'm not going to fight." He said. She slowly lowered her arms and dropped them to her side. Trunks walked over to her and put his arm around her. Suddenly, he grabbed her wrists, forced them behind her back, and spun her around to face him. "Just kidding." He said with an evil grin on his face. Natalie had a look of sheer surprise on her face.
    "Hey! You lied!" she complained, struggling to get free.
    "Never trust the opponent." Trunks said, smirking. "My dad taught me that the hard way as well."
    "Okay, okay I give up. You win." She said. Trunks held her for a few seconds longer before releasing his grip. She then retaliated by grabbing his arm and twisting it behind his back so that it bent the wrong way. At the angle, he wasn't able to use his free hand either. "Gotcha!" she cried victoriously.
    "Oh, come on, Nat! You know I was only kidding." Trunks said.
    "Of course." She said, and twisted his arm more, furthering his discomfort.
    "Ow!" he cried in protest. "Okay, let me go and I promise not to do it again."
    "Not enough." She said.
    "And I'll clean your room for a week!" he said, hoping to be free of the uncomfortable position as soon as possible.
    "Done." Natalie said, and let him go. He rubbed his arm and looked over at Natalie.
    "I guess I should be more careful around you." He said, looking at her with a crooked smile. She put her arm around his shoulder.
    "Just know, that you have to be careful when you make any woman mad." She said cockily. Trunks laughed and kissed her on the cheek as they headed inside. Marron watched them from the window and glared angrily at Natalie.
    "Why does she get to have him?" she thought to herself. "I've known him longer than she has." She could feel herself growing angrier, and her ki began to rise as a result.
    "I've been thinking about Kira..." Natalie said to Trunks as they stepped inside the building.
    "You mean about sending her back?" Trunks asked. Natalie nodded in response. "You're afraid of sending her?"
    "It's not exactly like that." Natalie replied. "I just don't know exactly how to do it, or when." While they were talking, they passed by Marron, and Natalie thought she could sense a hint of hostility in her ki. "Hmm..." she thought to herself. "She doesn't look like the angry type. I wonder what's up."
    "Something on your mind?" Trunks asked.
    "No I'm fine." Natalie said, linking her arm in his. Bulma, Vegita, Krillin, and 18 were all sitting in the living room, carrying on a conversation, and Bra and Kira were playing together in the corner. Marron was standing alone, staring out the window.
    "Marron you okay?" Trunks asked. The girl turned to him and smiled.
    "I am now." She said.
    "Do you like pizza?" Natalie asked with a smile. Marron nodded shyly. "You don't have to feel shy around me, Marron! I'm harmless, even though I can kick Trunks' tail around." She joked. Marron chuckled, but kept her gaze on the floor. She knew that Natalie was a good person, but she couldn't help but feel jealous of her relationship with Trunks. Just then, the doorbell rang. "Pizza's here!" Natalie cried, and raced to the door, leaving a trail of flying dust behind her. She swung the door open to reveal three men, each struggling to hold what seemed like ten boxes of pizza each.
    "Did you guys order 30 pizzas, ten with extra cheese, ten with pepperoni, and ten with ham and onions?" the guy in the middle said, straining to see over the boxes.
    "That's us." Natalie said, grabbing the armload from his hands. Trunks got ten more, and Marron grabbed the rest.
    "How many people you thinkin of feedin with those there pizzas?" the one on the left asked. He was missing a tooth and had a five o'clock shadow appearing on his face.
    "Um..." Natalie said, pausing to count everyone. "Nine." She said.
    "Only nine? Gosh darned we thought you'd be feedin an army." He said, grinning and bearing his gap. "That'll be...276 dollars." He said. "Hop you got that much pretty lady."
    "Oh, believe me, we do." Trunks said, tossing him a wad of bills. The man caught it and looked at it as if he were holding a tarantula.
    "Bye." Natalie said, slamming the door in his face. They all carried the pizzas into the kitchen and set them on the table. The kids ran in with hungry looks on their faces. Soon, the kitchen was buzzing with activity as each person made attempts to serve his or herself. After about ten minutes of commotion, everyone had begun munching on their dinner. Natalie and Trunks, each carrying about eight slices each, headed for the back door. Natalie saw Marron watching them and gestured for her to follow. The three sat outside and ate, trying to carry on a conversation with mouthfuls of food. Natalie and Trunks were stuffing their faces, being Saiyans, while Marron held her single slice to her mouth and gaped. After her fourth slice, Natalie looked at Marron, who hadn't taken a bite while watching the other two.
    "You must have been hungry." Marron said.
    "Yeah, I was. Saiyans tend to be more on the piggish side." She joked. Trunks choked on a string of cheese.   
    "You're not a Saiyan." Marron said, looking at Natalie suspiciously.
    "Well, yeah...I am." Natalie said. "Did your parents not tell you?"
    "Dad just told me that you were from outer space." Marron said.
    "Well I have the tail to prove it." Natalie said, unwrapping it from her waist and swishing it around.
    "Oh, I thought you just had some weird kind of belt on." Marron said, smiling with an embarrassed look on her face.
    "I guess it kinda looks that way. But I am a genuine Saiyan hybrid." Natalie said proudly. Trunks, who had now recovered from the previous incident with the cheese, smirked at her.
    "Oh." Marron said. "I'm just a normal human...nothing special."
    "I thought your mom was an android." Natalie said. Trunks choked again.
    "She's not a robot." Marron said defensively.
    "Oh, I didn't mean it like that. I meant...oh nevermind." Natalie said. "I heard she's got an unlimited power source. That's great."
    "Yeah." Marron said, still a bit irritated.
    "Do you have it?" Natalie asked.
    "I don't know. I've never really trained much." Marron replied.
    "Krillin never trained you?" Trunks asked.
    "He tried but mom didn't like it much." Marron said.
    "I think it's a 'mother' thing." Trunks joked. Natalie, of course, elbowed him. Marron looked at him and her eyes sparkled as she laughed. Natalie immediately recognized the attraction. The trio finished their dinner and headed inside to relax.
    "Now all we have to worry about is the situation with Kira." Natalie said, sighing heavily.
    "Nat, just focus on having fun for once." Trunks said. Natalie smiled, forcing back tears.
    "I wish I could." She whispered.