Disclaimer: I havenít made a dime off of this story or the Dragon Ball characters. The characters do not belong to me (except any that I have created).

Epilogue

Mirai Trunks sped towards the Capsule Corporation through the crimson and golden sky. He felt strangely at peace despite the harrowing events of the day. He felt the calm purpose of one who had at last found his place in the world and accepted it. At last he knew for certain what he must do and how to do it. He would come back to the past and help with the battle against the androids and through that battle he would know how to the defeat them in his time.

He found it ironic how he had not seen it before. He had been so determined that he had to make a choice between both worlds that he hadnít seen that the only way to protect one was to protect the other. They were two sides of the same coin, different and yet the same, working toward one goal: peace for all that lived on earth.

Before he could join with Goku and the others in the coming battle, however, he had to go back and help his mother rescue those that had survived. Once they were secure he knew that he could come back to the past with a clear conscious to help these people build a better future for themselves.

Trunks landed on the lawn in front of the living quarters. He looked around in surprise upon seeing the perfectly maintained landscape that surrounded him. Only a ghost of what he now saw remained in the Capsule Corporation that he knew. The garden was completely gone, as was the grass and the trees. He remembered when he was young that it looked somewhat like this but not quite as beautiful. Once his grandparents had died it was never kept up from then on.

He walked slowly to the door and raised his awareness of all the energies that surrounded him as he rang the bell. He could sense two almost forgotten kis along with a ki with which he was very familiar and another ki that he had only encountered once before.

"Iíll get it mom" he heard a familiar voice call from within. Almost immediately upon hearing that voice he was confronted with its owner as she opened the door. He couldnít have been more pleased because she was just the person he had come to see. Trunks smiled in greeting upon seeing the shocked look upon her face.

"Youíre the guy from the future, arenít you?" Bulma questioned blinking once to be sure she wasnít hallucinating.

"Yes" he answered "Iím sorry to startle you but I came to return this." Trunks reached into his jacket and pulled out the Dragon Radar handing it to his young mother reaching out his senses towards her.

"So youíre the one Goku took this for" she exclaimed taking the radar and trying to figure out why the strange young man seemed to be studying her so intently. "I thought that the dragon might have been called a little while ago, was that you?" Bulma also couldnít help wonder why this young man would have Goku come and get the radar from her and refuse to tell her who wanted it but then come to return it in person. It made no sense.

"Yes it was" Trunks admitted "but I canít tell you what I wished for, so please donít ask." He smiled as the disappointed look he knew so well crossed her face but it wasnít so much for her look as for the knowledge he had just gained by stretching out his senses.

"I guess you canít tell us too much about the future, can you?" Bulma asked.

"No," Trunks said "there are too many things that should happen that could be jeopardized if the people involved knew too much about them in advance."

"I understand" Bulma replied She couldnít help but muse how much he resembled Vegeta now that she was up close to him again. She knew that he had to be a relative of his. She didnít want to dwell on it for two long, however, so she decided to change her approach. She couldnít help but wonder what things were in store for her and her friends but she especially wanted to ask him about who he was and why he was helping them. He seemed to personally care about them and a gave ever impression that he was not just seeking them out because they were earthís only hope for victory against the coming menace, as Piccolo had told them.

"Can you at least tell me if we ever find out who sent the probe?" Bulma asked the young time traveler. "You do know about it, donít you?"

Trunks laughed nodding his head in affirmation. There was absolutely no doubt that this woman was his mother. He knew no one else who was as stubborn as Bulma Briefs. "In my time you do" he replied "but that is all that I can say."

"Well," Bulma answered "At least I know that much. I really want to give the jerks who sent that thing a piece of my mind and Iím sure Vegeta wouldnít mind taking a crack at them either."

"Yeah" he answered somewhat sombered by the mention of his father. Knowing now that this world was somewhat altered from his own made him concerned about how things had come out after his fatherís possession by the probe. He could sense his fatherís ki but it was weak and this disturbed him. "Vegeta is here, right?" he asked " and heís okay?"

"Yes" she answered quizzically cocking her head at him "heís not in critical condition but heís still got a lot of healing to do. You donít want to talk to him do you? Heís asleep right now and Iíd rather he not be disturbed."

"No thatís okay" he said with relief "I just wondered is all." Part of Trunks wanted to see him and to talk to him. He so desperately wanted to know about his father that he almost, for a moment, crossed the line and asked to see him or at least to ask this Bulma about him but he knew that he could not do such a thing.

They stood in silence for a moment looking at each other pondering all the unaskable questions they had for one another as the sun finally sunk into oblivion beyond the horizon.

"I guess Iíll be going" he said softly "I did what I came to do."

"Say hi to the future me for me" Bulma said with a smirk glad to end the obviously awkward encounter.

"Sure" he replied with an unconscious imitation of his fatherís own lopsided smirk. He turned and began walking into the growing darkness with a sated heart for he now knew for certain he would be born into this world as he had been born into his own.

Bulma watched Trunks slowly disappear into the shadows with an odd feeling stirring in her breast. She felt almost as if she was witnessing part of herself leave. "Pull it together Bulma" she told herself as she finally lost sight of the young man.

"Perhaps this Trunks will have a chance to know father and if he does then all of this will have been worth while" the young man mused as he paused to look up into the moonless sky. "Father, take this chance to tell Mother how you feel and to teach your son to be the honorable warrior that I know he can be" he said silently in his heart before rising to meet the stars on his journey home.

"Who was it Bulma?" Mrs. Briefís voice inquired of the woman leaning against the door jam in thought.

"No one really" she called back gazing down at the device in her hand. "It was just someone returning something."

"Come in and have some ice cream" her mother called.

Bulma sighed. She really was not in the mood to explain anything about she and Vegetaís conversation, as she was sure her mother expected her to. "No thanks" she replied I think Iíll go on a little walk and then turn in." Hastily Bulma slipped outside and closed the door behind her before her mother could comment on her statement.

She walked quietly across the compound towards the garden trying to calm her racing mind. "The future" she pondered gazing out into the shadowy world before her "I wonder what it holds?"

Skirting the ambling path she made he way to the center of the garden where the small pond sat in solitude. Carefully she crouched down before it watching as the ghosts of lights danced in its black depths. Slowly she removed her sneaker and the sweaty sock that encased her swollen left foot. "I never retained water in my life" she thought removing its mate from her equally puffy right foot. "I guess that comes with the territory," she thought looking wistfully down at the barely noticeable bulge that had begun at her belly.

Deftly sliding her feet into the pond she sighed as the cool waters lapped at her painful ankles. She closed her eyes and let the peace of her surroundings sooth her raw nerves. For the first time in weeks she allowed herself to relax and shoved all the ever-pervasive fears into the back of her mind and instead decided to dwell on the positive things.

Piccolo was back to top form after the senzu bean that Goku gave him on the battlefield worked its magic. He, much to Chi Chiís displeasure, would continue training with Gohan until Goku was up to joining them again. She did, however seem to like the idea that she would have Goku to herself for a while and that she could fuss over him.

Yamcha too was given a senzu on the battlefield as was in good health. She and Yamcha had even patched things up at the hospital. He had actually been very adult about the whole thing even when she had told him that she was pregnant. He said that as long as she was happy then he was happy too, however his demeanor showed that he still was terribly hurt. She hoped that he didnít cut her off completely, she couldnít stomach the idea of them never being friends again, but she understood that for a while he would need some time and space to heal his wounds. Hopefully, despite he and Vegetaís obvious animosity toward one another, would stop by and visit as she had asked him to.

Even she had come out of the whole situation in very good shape. The doctorís orders were that she should take a break from work and that she should avoid stress of any kind for her sake as well as the babyís. They were surprised that the baby seemed unaffected from the ordeal stating that normally this early in a pregnancy the kind of stress and physical abuse she had undergone would result in a miscarriage. However, they didnít understand the inherited strength that it undoubtedly had from its father.

"I wonder if Iíll be a good mother?" she thought unconsciously letting her hand come to rest on her abdomen. "I wonder what kind of father Vegeta will be?" She questioned in her mind. Whatever the future held Bulma hoped that it included she, Vegeta and their child being a real family.

Bulma found her thoughts next drifting to the saiyajin that now peacefully slept upstairs and the strange agreement they had seemed to reach that day. She knew that he would keep his word but that it wouldnít be for a while yet. He had a one-track mind and for now it was set on preparing for the androids. The androids that in the future had killed him and her friends.

"Kami" she said silently in prayer "please donít let it happen again. Please let him come back to me safe. Please let everyone survive and let them have victory. Right now, everyone I love is safe and I want it to stay that way." She opened her eyes and once again took in the view before her this time feeling the grip of fatigue on her mind that told her it was time to go to bed. She probably needed to sleep for a century to fully recover from her ordeal.

Bulma picked up her shoes and socks and walked back to the house. Quietly she opened the door and managed to sneak in and up the stairs unnoticed and slipped into the sanctuary of her room.

Bulma took a moment to allow her eyes to adjust to the darkness while listening to the steady sound of the other occupant of the roomís breathing. Once they had adjusted she could just make out his form on the bed and it appeared that he hadnít moved since she had left him. She had never known him to sleep so much or so deeply before and this attested to the truth of how much he had been affected by the machineís assault on his nervous system and his physical injuries from the battle.

Quietly she crept into the bathroom and changed into her nightgown before she carefully lifted the covers and crawled into the bed that was already warm from the heat of his body. Still sitting up she looked down at her princeís relaxed and peaceful face and allowed her eyes to appreciate his statuesque beauty. She leaned down and lightly kissed his high forehead lovingly before lying down at his side and closing her eyes. Her eyes shot open in surprise as she felt his powerful arms encircle her and draw her close. She lifted her head and was met with his sleepy and annoyed gaze.

"Iím sorry" she whispered, "I didnít mean to wake you."

"Shut up and just go to sleep woman," he ordered and then closed his eyes again.

Too tired to argue she laid her head down on his chest and cuddled up to him. Here in his arms she felt safe and secure and all her fears about the future seemed unsay. As long as they were together nothing else mattered and she felt sure that things would work out somehow. A peaceful smile graced her lips as she allowed his warmth and the steady rhythm of his heart to lull her off to sleep.

The End

Wow! I canít believe itís over! Thanks to everyone who read my first fan fic. Looking at the statistics it looks like my fic was being followed, faithfully by at least 90 people! That really is a wonderful lift to a psyche that has been bruised repeated by publisher rejection letters. I especially thank those that left reviews because they mean a lot to me. If youíve been reading and havenít given one I would really appreciate it if you would at least leave one now letting me know what you thought of the story over-all.

Iíve already been asked by at least one person, and Iím sure Iíll get more, regarding who made the probe. The answer to this and some other questions will be answered in this storyís sequel. Thatís right, there is a sequel in the works. To see a teaser for this story I invite you to come and look at my home page! Although its still under construction if you go there you can see a concept sketch I drew of Flora. Also some concept sketches will be up for the sequel as well as the teaser. What is it called? Itís called the Machine Planet Saga and it will make its premier in two weeks.

As for whatís in the future for my writing besides Probeís sequel a new short story will be appearing soon called Ritual of Passion. It will appear here on fanfiction.net but from this point forward all stories will appear on my homepage for a week before they come here or anywhere else.

In one week Iíll be removing this story and it will only be found on my site, Bulma! and Forever after that.

Saturday will be the grand opening of my homepage and I invite you to stop by. My new short story just might be up and there will be a message board. If you drop in please look at my Help Lil Out Section where Iíve posted my ideas for the stories swimming around in my head that Iím not sure if I want to write. Help me decide what to write or draw next by voting! If you do come by Iíd love it if youíd sign the guest book. If you have any comments or suggestions of how I can improve the website let me know. My homepage, The Songbird and the Dragon, can be found at:

http://www.geocities.com/l_songbird.

Once again thanks to all who read my story and I hope you enjoyed reading The Probe Saga as I had writing it.

Lil Songbird


Table of Contents - Read the Sequal
Back to Fanfiction
Back to Main
Back to Chapter 17