Aiko- Part 2 by Bekuki Chan
Aiko opened her eyes slowly. White. A white ceiling. That was the first thing she saw.
She sat up slowly, pain shooting down her back. Finally, she was up.
Aiko looked around. She was in a hospital room. There was one other bed, empty. On the bedside table to her left, there was a tray with food on it. Hospital food. She made a disgusted face.
She looked over to the large window. The white curtains were parted, and Aiko could see the gray sky, rain pouring down, and the street, where cars rushed along.
A nurse walked in. "Oh good. You're awake."
"What... what happened?"
The nurse ignored her. "You get some rest, okay?"
"But--" Aiko began, but the nurse was gone.
With a sigh, Aiko fell back on the pillows. What had happened? Where were Trunks and Goten?
Just then, her mother, Mika, walked in. She sat on Aiko's bed. "Okay, honey?"
Her daughter looked at her. "Mom... What happened? Are Trunks and Goten okay?"
Mika sighed. "You... you guys crashed. A horse ran in front of the car...Trunks tried to stop, but the road was so wet... it swerved... the car, it..." She looked up at Aiko. "It crashed, honey. Trunks and Goten... they aren't doing so good."
Aiko sat up fast. "What? Will...are they going to be all right?"
Her mother looked down. "I don't know, Aiko. I just don't know."
That night, Aiko couldn't sleep. She was too worried, too restless.....
She climbed out of bed and walked to the window. She pushed it open and let a cool breeze blow over her hot face. She sat in a chair beside the window and looked out.
The hospital was built in a very thin U shape, and across the plot of grass, about thirty feet over, Aiko could see another row of rooms. In the one right across from hers, someone leaned out the window. She strained her eyes to get a better view of the person.
It was a woman, with shoulder-length, light hair...Aiko couldn't make out the face, but when she was silent, she could hear little sobs drifting across to her room. Could that be.....
It was. Aiko swallowed nervously, and a wave of nausea rushed over her. Bulma. And, if Bulma was crying... Trunks...
Someone knocked on the door.
"Come in," Bulma said quietly.
The door opened, and Aiko walked in.
"Oh. Aiko. Hello." Bulma hastily wiped away her tears.
Aiko refused to look at the bed where Trunks lay. Instead, she walked over to Bulma. "How is he?"
Bulma shook her head. "Not good, Aiko. Not good at all."
"He's almost as bad as Trunks."
Aiko stood beside her, and they stared out the window in silence.
Morning came. The sun peeked over the horizon and cast gold, orange, and pink light across the sky and lined the clouds. Orange light danced on the white walls of the hospital room as Aiko awoke.
She was sitting in a chair that was pulled up by the window. Bulma was in a chair, sitting across from her, sleeping.
Aiko got up from the chair and walked across the room. She was about to leave and go back to her room when she saw Trunks out of the corner of her eye. He looked so fragile, so helpless, lying in the hospital bed. Her stomach churned, and she ached inside.
But instead of going to his side, Aiko quickly left, leaving all her emotions behind. She would not let her feelings get in her way. She wouldn't let them decide for her what she would do. It was her choice, not her emotions. But she felt like there was an empty spot somewhere inside her when she left, an ache for something. She just wished she knew what it was.
Aiko walked slowly to the table where the phone sat. She had gotten out of the hospital a week ago, but Trunks and Goten were still in. The doctors said Goten might be able to leave next week, but they just weren't sure with Trunks. At least, that had been how it was when Aiko left.
The person on the other end answered her. "Hey, Aiko."
"Trunks!" she almost screamed.
"Yeah, it's me."
"Are you okay?!"
"The doctors say I'll be all right."
Aiko breathed a sigh of relief. "When... when will you get out of the hospital?"
"I dunno. Soon, I hope."
"I'll come visit you."
"All right. Bye, Aiko."
"See you, Trunks."
Aiko walked down the hall, smiling. Trunks was okay. Goten was okay. And she could see them.
She knocked softly on the door.
"Come in," she heard Goku say.
Aiko entered Goten's room. "Hey," she said, kneeling by the bed. "How are you feeling?"
"A lot better than I was."
She laughed, even though it wasn't very funny. She was just so relieved that Goten was okay. "When are you getting out of this place?"
"Soon, I hope. I hate hospitals." Goten shuddered.
"I am not."
"Yes you are!"
"Guys!" Goku interrupted. "Enough!"
"Oops." Aiko blushed. "Heh heh heh..." She sighed. "I'd better go check up on Trunks."
"Okay. See you."
"Bye, Goten. Get better!"
"Come on in, Aiko."
She walked in and knelt by the bed. "How's it going?"
He smiled. "Okay, I guess. How about you? Are you okay?"
"Yeah. I didn't get hurt as bad as you guys."
"I'm just glad you're all right," Trunks said.
She smiled. "I'm just relieved. I didn't know if you guys were going to be okay or not. I...I was really scared. I thought that you might not wake up." He took her hand, and she held his tight, not wanting to ever let go.
A knock came at the door, then Bulma, Vegeta, and Bra came in. "Feeling better?" Bulma asked. Her son nodded.
"I'd better go. See you later, Trunks."
"Bye, Aiko." He kissed her and gave her hand a little squeeze before she left.
Aiko got up to answer the door. When she opened it, she saw Trunks and Goten standing outside, Goku behind them. Aiko didnt jump forward and hug them, or squeal with delight. She just stood there, smiling.
Trunks wrapped her in a hug. "Surprise."
She hugged back hard. "Missed you," she whispered.
"I missed you too, Aiko," he said. Then, in front of Goku and Goten, he gave her a long, sweet kiss. She blushed and smiled at him. After a moment, Trunks let her go, and she gave Goten a hug. Then she let them in.
Trunks and Goten sat on the couch, while Aiko sat on the floor in front of Trunks. Goku sat down in an armchair.
"I really missed you guys," Aiko said quietly. "I...I was really scared that you wouldn't get better."
"But we did, didn't we?" Goten said.
The phone rang, and Aiko picked up. "Hello?" She made a face, then said to Goku, "It's for you."
After ChiChi yelled at Goku over the phone for taking Goten over to Aiko's before bringing him home, Goku hung up and said, "We have to go. Come on, Goten."
"Okay, Dad. Bye, Trunks. See you, Aiko."
After they left, Aiko sat next to Trunks and put her arms around him. He held her close to him, and she said, "I love you."
"I love you too, Aiko."
She rested her head on his shoulder, and he held her hand in his. Aiko looked down at their hands. Hers seemed so small and weak compared to his strong hand. She grasped it tightly, and he brushed a wisp of brown hair out of her eyes.
Aiko looked up, and their eyes met. She gazed deep into his cool blue eyes, and he looked down into her soft green ones. He leaned down and kissed her gently.
Someone knocked on the door.
"Come in," Aiko said, then coughed.
The door opened, and Goten came into her room. "Hi," he said. "I heard you weren't feeling too well."
"I'm not," she said, then sneezed loudly. "I think I'm coming down with the flu or something."
"'Coming down with'? I think you've already got it." Goten winked.
Aiko laughed, then coughed again.
She nodded. "What's that?"
"Oh, this." Goten handed her the box. "Somethin' for you from me and Trunks."
She opened the box, and pulled out a stuffed rabbit. It was chestnut-colored, and very soft.
"Oh, it's so cute!" Aiko hugged the rabbit, then set it next to her on the bed. "Thanks."
"Don't mention it. Oh yeah..." Goten dug into his book bag. "Here's your homework."
Aiko frowned and looked down at the rather large pile of books sitting on the end of the bed. "That you didn't have to bring."
He laughed, then said, "I have to go. I've got homework, too, and Mom'll have a conniption if I don't get it done."
"Okay. Come back later!"
"All right. See you, Aiko."
After he left, Aiko did her homework to get it out of the way, then she laid back, hugging the rabbit to her, letting the soft fur rub against her cheek. She pulled up the warm covers and dozed off.
Aiko had been sick for three days when Trunks came to see her.
"How are you doing?" he asked as he sat on the edge of the bed and taking her hand in his.
She shook her head. "Awful, and I keep getting worse. I hate being sick."
Trunks smiled and squeezed her hand. "Don't worry. You'll get better soon, I know it."
Suddenly, Aiko felt light-headed and dizzy. A wave of nausea swept over her, and she put her head in her hands.
She barely heard Trunks. Blackness swept in.
Aiko put her hands behind her on the bed to support herself, her trembling, sweaty hands gripping the sheets.
Trunks put a hand to her forehead, then quickly pulled it back. She was burning up.
She fell back, too weak to support herself. She slipped out of consciousness as a sweat broke out on her hot face.
Trunks ran down the stairs to get help.
When Aiko opened her eyes, she was still up in her room. But instead of just Trunks there, her mother, Goten, and Bulma were there, too.
She started to sit up, but a splitting headache forced her to lie back down. "What happened?" she asked tiredly.
"You passed out," Trunks said, taking her hand. "Your fever was really high."
Aiko moaned softly. She felt weak and tired, like she had just run a mile without rest. She found herself holding on to the sheets because she wanted to grasp something.
She rolled over and shut her eyes, falling asleep.
When Aiko woke up, it was the next day, and she was alone in her room. She felt much better. She then noticed that her hand was very warm, as though someone had been holding it tight a minute ago.
Pulling on a robe, Aiko headed downstairs. She found her mother, Bulma, Trunks, and Goten in the kitchen. They looked up as she came in.
"Feeling better?" Mika asked.
Her daughter nodded and sat down with them at the table, after pouring a glass of orange juice.
"Going to eat anything?"
Aiko shook her head. "No appetite."
Mika nodded and returned to her toast, and Aiko looked out the window.
After a while, Aiko realized that her mother had gone somewhere, and the others had left. She went upstairs and took a long, hot shower. Then she pulled on jeans and a sweatshirt, and headed outside.
It was a warm April day. The sky was bright blue, and only a few fluffy white clouds interrupted the blueness. Birds were singing, a warm breeze was blowing, and the sun was shining, warming her.
Aiko set out, just walking, not really paying attention to where she was going. Before she realized it, she was up by Capsule Corp.
She looked up, and saw Trunks sitting out on the balcony. He was alone, and looked sad.
Aiko climbed up into a tree and went to the top. She then climbed out of the tree and onto the balcony. Amazingly, Trunks hadn't even noticed.
She sat down beside him and put her arms around him. Then he suddenly realized she was there. "Oh, hey, Aiko. Feeling better?"
She nodded and leaned her head on his strong shoulder. "Trunks," Aiko said quietly, "Are you all right?"
He looked down at her. "No... Why?"
"You just looked so sad....." She brushed a wisp of hair out of his face.
"Aiko..." He put his arms around her, holding her close to him. "I was just concerned for you. It scared me when you passed out last night. I stayed with you all night. I couldn't leave you. I had to make sure you were all right."
She looked up at him. "Well, I'm okay now."
He smiled. "Yeah."
Aiko leaned over and kissed him, and Trunks held her close.
After a moment, she drew away from him, then laid her head back on his shoulder. They sat together and watched the birds flying between the trees and listened to their songs.
She looked down. "Oh, hi, Goten."
He climbed up in the tree she was sitting in. "What're you doing?"
"The birds." Aiko pointed up at two birds sitting on a branch, chirping softly.
Goten nodded. "They're beautiful. Um, Aiko..." She looked over at him. He seemed uneasy. "Trunks wanted to talk to you... it sounds really urgent."
"Is... is he okay?"
"Yeah, he's fine. But he said he really needs to talk to you."
She nodded. "Okay. See you later."
"See you," said Goten.
When Aiko got to Capsule Corp., there was no sign of Trunks... or anyone, for that matter.
She knocked on the door. "Hello?" No answer. She pushed the door open a little. "Bulma? Vegeta? Bra? Anyone home?"
She walked into the house and stood at the foot of the stairs. "Trunks? Are you up there?"
She slowly climbed the stairs and knocked on the door of Trunks' room. "Trunks?" Silence. Aiko opened his door and surveyed the room. Messy, of course. She couldn't even see the floor. Typical.
She opened the door to the balcony and stepped out. The cool breeze felt good. The sun was shining, birds were singing, and the bright blue sky was cloudless. Only one thing was missing.
Suddenly, she felt strong arms wrap gently around her waist from behind. Aiko looked up. "Trunks?"
He softly kissed her cheek. "Hey, Aiko."
She turned around and put her arms around him. "What did you want to talk to me about,
"You... you seem kind of distant lately, Aiko. I wanted to know if anything was wrong."
She bit her lip and looked down. "I... I've been thinking about Daddy....."
"Aiko..." Trunks pulled her close to him. She leaned her head on his shoulder and sighed.
"He sends me letters, but they aren't self-addressed. He... he always tells me how much he loves me and that he always did. He... Trunks, I don't even know his name. He just signs them 'Daddy'."
Trunks held her tighter. "I know," he said. "I know it's hard."
"If he loves me so much, why'd he leave? Why doesn't he ever want to see me? He never mentions getting together."
"Aiko, your father loves you so much he can't describe it," Trunks said softly. "He loves you, but he can't see you. He wants to see you, I know it. But he can't."
"I don't know. But if he could, Aiko, he'd come. Trust me."
Aiko looked up at him. "You really think so?"
He looked down into her bright green eyes, and whispered, "I know it."
"Trunks-kun..." Aiko held tightly to him and rested her head on his shoulder again. He put his hand on her head, fingering her soft brown hair.
"I love you, Aiko-chan."
"I love you too, Trunks-kun."
Aiko sat up fast. "Y-yes, Mrs. Sukairu?"
The teacher glared down at her. "Why were you asleep?!"
"Um... I got tired."
"Well then, can you tell me what the square root of nineteen is?"
Mrs. Sukairu looked ready to scream. "Hallway, young lady!!!"
With a sigh, Aiko went out into the hallway and leaned against the wall.
"I think my sensei is sadistic," she muttered, staring at her feet.
"Mine is too."
Aiko stood up straight and snapped her head up. She saw Trunks standing in front of her. "Trunks! Why are you out here?"
"Sleeping in class."
He laughed, then stood against the wall next to her. "Want to keep me company?"
"Only if we're quiet. They'll yell at us if we talk to loudly. We aren't supposed to talk at all."
He shrugged. "Oh well."
Aiko giggled and playfully punched him on the shoulder. He grinned and began to tickle her. "No!... no!" she gasped, laughing. "Trunks... we're gonna get in trouble!" He let her go, and she slid to the floor. He was physically stronger than her, and when he tickled her, she was left panting afterwards.
Trunks helped Aiko to her feet, and they leaned against the wall again.
"So... want to do something tonight?" Aiko asked.
"Sure, why not. What should we do?"
Trunks thought a moment. "There's a hockey game tonight."
"Okay, hockey it is."
Trunks and Aiko ran through the rain towards his car.
They jumped in and slammed the doors.
"Great game," Trunks said.
"You owe me ten bucks, pal," Aiko said, grinning. Trunks muttered something and handed over the money. "Hey, we had a bet, Trunks."
"Yeah, yeah, I know. Your team won."
She grinned as he started the car.
They pulled up in front of Aiko's house. They got out of the car and walked to the doorstep.
"I had fun tonight, Trunks-kun," Aiko said.
"That's because you got ten bucks out of it," he said, smiling, as he put his arms around her waist. She laughed, and he leaned down and kissed her gently.
"Mm... you smell good," Trunks said.
He smiled. "Kind of like the rain... only better."
She grinned. "You smell like sweat."
"I thought you liked the smell of sweat."
Aiko laughed. "When did I say that?!"
"You didn't. I just assumed it."
"Yeah, well your sweat smells like... like sweat!"
"Of course it does. It is sweat."
"But it smells like disgusting sweat!"
Trunks grinned. "Oh yeah? Well, your sweat smells like--"
"Why are we talking about sweat?" she interrupted.
He shrugged. "I dunno. You started it."
"No I didn't!"
"Yes, you did!"
"I did not!!!"
"Oh yes you did! You started it, Aiko!"
She laughed and put her arms around him. "Fine. Have it your way, then."
"Okay." Trunks smiled, and kissed her again. "'Night, Aiko-chan."
"I love you, Trunks-kun."
"Love you, too. Bye."
Aiko yawned and climbed into bed. She laid back and pulled the covers to her chin, and sighed.
"Come on in, Mom."
Mika opened the door to Aiko's room and came in. She sat on the edge of the bed and smiled. "How did your date with Trunks go?"
"Same as usual." Aiko grinned. "Except I got ten bucks out of it this time."
Mika laughed. "Well, goodnight, honey."
"'Night, Mom. Love you."
"Love you too, Aiko."
Mika shut the door on her way out and went downstairs. She sat in a chair in the living room and put her head in her hands. "Poor Aiko..." Mika looked up at the letter addressed to her daughter that sat on the table. The one without a return address. It was from her father.
Mika leaned her head against the back of the armchair and sighed. She wished she could tell Aiko about her father and let her stop wondering, but Mika hated to talk about him. The only person she ever talked to about Aiko's father was Goku.
Sitting up, Mika reached over and picked up the telephone.
Goku yawned. The phone had awoken him from his nap. He picked it up. "Hello?" he said sleepily.
"Oh. Hey, Mika."
"Yeah. Can we talk?"
Goku sat up, yawning again. "Sure. Something bothering you?"
"Well, kinda... See, it's Aiko."
"What about her? Is she okay?"
Mika sighed. "That's just it. I dunno."
"Is everything all right between her and Trunks?"
"Oh yeah, that's not what I mean. It's..." Mika bit her lip. "Son, I really think she wants to know more about her father. His letter came today, while Aiko was out. She loves reading them, though they make her kinda sad. She really wants to meet him, or at least know his name, see some pictures. But... I just can't..."
"I know, Mika," Goku said gently.
She sighed again. "I just wish she would drop it... I hate it when she brings it up."
"I know, Mika, I know." Goku yawned again.
"You seem tired, Son."
"I'll stay on..."
"Nah, that's okay. Go on to bed, it's late."
"Okay. See you later, Mika."
Mika hung up the phone, though rather reluctantly. She really wanted to talk with Goku, but he needed sleep.
"I do, too," she muttered, rising from her chair. She went upstairs and went to bed.
The next day was bright and sunny. Mika arose in a much better mood than she had been in the previous night. Her good mood, however, vanished when she went downstairs. Her daughter was sitting in an armchair, reading her father's letter. She finished it just as Mika came in.
Aiko quickly stuffed the letter back in its envelope and stood up. "'Morning, Mom. How'd you sleep?"
"Fine," Mika answered, in a voice which told Aiko that her mother had not slept as well as she claimed she had.
"I made you breakfast," Aiko said, as Mika went into the kitchen.
"Thanks," Mika called. She was slightly cheered up by the sight of a mug of strong coffee sitting on the table. "That was awfully nice of you."
Aiko shrugged. "Just doing you a favor."
"So," said Mika. "Got any plans today?"
Aiko shrugged. "I dunno. Just whatever, guess."
Just then, the phone rang. Aiko reached over and picked it up. "Maamo residence... Oh, hey, Goten. What's up?... Oh, I dunno... Well, okay... all right. See you soon."
"What's up?" Mika asked as Aiko hung up the phone.
"Ah, Goten just wanted to know if I wanted to come over and play football," said Aiko. "See you later."
"Be home by three."
Aiko sat in silence, watching her two Saiyan friends eat. They had been playing for about an hour when Trunks and Goten decided they were hungry. Aiko, although she wasn't hungry, sat with them and watched them eat. Even after all this time, she was still amazed by the amount of food they could shove through their big mouths at one time.
Aiko sighed. "Are you guys done yet?"
"Oh. Yeah." Goten rose to his feet. "You coming, Trunks?"
Rather reluctantly, Trunks nodded and went back outside with them.
After a long, exhausting game of football, the three were sitting in Goten's living room, talking.
Aiko gasped. "Crap! Look at the time! Gotta go, guys!!!"
"Uh, bye..." Goten said. But she was gone.
"Mom! Mom?!" Aiko ran into the house. "Mom, are you home?!"
Mika came in. "Aiko, you're late."
"I'm sorry, but I--"
"Aiko, you said you'd be home at three!"
Aiko sighed. "I know, Mom. I'm really, really sorry, okay?"
"Aiko, I was worried about you!"
"I lost track of the time!"
Mika put her hand to her forehead and shook her head. "Forget it. Just forget it."
"I said forget it, Aiko."
Aiko sighed. "Fine." She hurried upstairs to her room, and Mika heard Aiko shut her door loudly.
In her room, Aiko sat on her bed, thinking. "It's not my fault," she said. "I lost track of the time. Why'd she have to make such a big deal, anyhow?"
She sighed and laid back, resting her head on the pillow. "I wish I had something to do..."
Within minutes, Aiko was asleep. She had only been sleeping for a little while when Mika knocked on her door. "Aiko, honey?"
"Hm... Huh? Yeah, Mom?"
"Goten's here to see you," Mika said softly.
"'Kay, send him in."
Goten walked in, shutting the door behind him. "Hey, Aiko. My dad came over to talk to your mom and asked if I wanted to come along. Is that okay?"
Aiko nodded and rubbed her eyes. Goten sat down on the bed next to her. She sat up slowly. "Hey, are you okay?" Aiko asked him. "You look worried."
"My dad was acting weird," he replied. "I think that they're talking about something serious."
"Uh-oh," Aiko said. She decided to change the subject. "You haven't given me a hug all day, Goten Son!"
He smiled and leaned over and gave her a warm hug. She hugged him back hard. "Love ya, Aiko."
"Love ya, too, Goten."
Meanwhile, downstairs, Mika, who was holding the envelope that Aiko's letter had come in in her hands, sighed.
"Son, sometimes I wish he hadn't left... Then Aiko wouldn't have to wonder like this. I mean, she's always asking me about him..." She put her head in her hands. "It drives me nuts. I try to change the subject every time, but she just keeps pressing me about it..."
"Don't worry about it," Goku said, putting a hand on her shoulder. "She'll eventually stop asking."
"But she'll never stop wondering!" Mika looked up. "Son, she's gonna wonder about him her whole life!"
Goku sighed. "I don't know what to tell you, Mika. I really don't."
She sighed. "Sometimes I wish he hadn't left... Mostly because I can't stand Aiko wondering, but sometimes..."
Goku put his arm around her shoulders and gave her a little half-hug. "It's okay. I understand."
"Son, I miss him! I'll miss him more than Aiko ever could... She never knew what a great person he really is!" Tears choked her voice, but like her daughter, refused to let her emotions conquer her. "And you don't understand! You have a loving, sweet spouse and I'm all alone! I don't have anyone, Son! No one!"
Goku put his other arm around his best friend and hugged her tight. "I try, Mika. I really try."
"I know you do, Son... Thanks."
"You're welcome, Mika."