[ Contents | III. Along the Way | IV. A Long Story | V. Shah Mat ]


By Dragoness Eclectic



Yamcha heard the aircar first. "Hey! That must be them! Come on, everybody!" He ran out the front door and stood in the yard, peering up at the car silohuetted against the bright sky. Tenshinhan, Chaozu, and Master Roshi soon joined him. Goku sauntered out a minute later.

Master Roshi frowned. "I sense Gohan and the children, and Bulma, but who's the fifth person? He has some power--nothing like Gohan or you, Goku, but.." not someone I'd like to get in a fight with in a dark alley, he thought to himself.

Goku smiled innocently and said nothing. Master Roshi eyed his former student suspiciously; what did Goku know that they did not?

Finally Bulma decided she had the car lined up right, and dropped the last twenty feet all at once, then settled the car delicately the last foot onto its skids. Everyone piled out at once, including the very tall, broad-shouldered, incredibly long-haired, tailed Saiyan in the most battered, torn-up, and shattered armor anyone had ever seen anyone wear. Gohan carried Goten, who was trying to grab the mysterious Saiyan's hair, and Trunks raced excitedly around his mother and the big Saiyan warrior.

Yamcha, Tenshinhan and Chaozu gaped at the mystery Saiyan.

"Who the heck is that?" Yamcha finally got out, as he looked at his comrades. Not all of them were as mystified. Goku was grinning from ear to ear, as if playing a secret joke on all of them. Master Roshi clung desperately to his staff as his knees went weak and shaky. From the look on his face, he recognized the long-maned Saiyan, and not as a friend.

The tall Saiyan stopped and regarded Master Roshi. "You remember me, elder," he said in a soft, fierce voice. "I don't know these others, but I do remember you. Where is the other one, the small bald warrior?"

Master Roshi had a hard time finding his voice. He looked at his favorite pupil. "Goku? How--??"

Chi-chi walked out the front door, still mixing a bowl of dough. "Goku, I've been trying to ask you--oh! Gohan! Goten! Hold this, Goku!" She shoved the bowl into his hands, and ran past the tall Saiyan to hug her children. "You're okay! You really are okay! Let me see--oh, Gohan, you've been hurt! How'd you get burned like that? Come inside, I'll get you all fixed up." She looked over her shoulder at the bemused Saiyan warrior as she marched Gohan inside. "You must be the fifth Saiyan Bulma said was coming to dinner. Goku, introduce me to your new friend after I get Gohan taken care of--and give that dough to Kulilin, he's helping me out."

Bulma stood slightly behind and beside the Saiyan, her arms crossed, tapping her foot impatiently. Trunks held his mother's hand and looked wide-eyed at the assembled warriors on Son Goku's front porch.

The tall Saiyan warrior smirked. "Kakarott, you really should introduce me to your friends. I seem to be making them nervous."

Yamcha and Tenshinhan did look disturbed, rattled by Master Roshi's reaction to the alien warrior. A glimmering of suspicion began in Yamcha's mind, as he started to remember the one Saiyan that Master Roshi, Goku and Kulilin had encountered that he had not--a suspicion promptly confirmed by Goku.

"Master Roshi, I see you remember my brother Raditz. Yamcha, Tien, Chaozu, Raditz is my older brother--I think you heard about him before. Don't worry, he's okay, now." Goku still looked wonderfully innocent.

"Remarkably so, all things considered," Raditz said dryly.

Yamcha and Tienshinhan and Chaozu just stood open-mouthed with surprise. Master Roshi, who had already recognized Raditz, recovered his composure. He squinted at Raditz.

"I'll say--even Vegeta's armor wasn't that smashed up when he showed up on Earth after being killed on Namek. Something must have happened up there in those mountains--you didn't look that bad even after.." Master Roshi trailed off.

"..Even after I was dead from my fight with Kakarott?" Raditz pointed out the circular hole punched through the middle of his torso armor. "That was Piccolo's work eight years ago. As for the rest--"

Bulma elbowed Raditz sharply. "Not until AFTER dinner! I want to tell this story ONCE, not once for each person here. Trust me, you start spilling it piecemeal, we'll wind up explaining everything ten times each! I think I spent three months explaining the Namek mess to everyone, one person at a time--I don't want to do that again!"

Master Roshi shook his head, still mystified. He ignored Bulma to address Raditz, "How? Why are you here with Bulma and Gohan?"

Raditz half-shook his head. "How--part of the story. Why--instead, ask 'why am I here with Bulma and Trunks?' and you'll be closer to the answer--or do you not remember who one of my 'partners' was?"

"Of course--Vegeta." Master Roshi nodded. "I think I understand now."

"Do you?" Raditz asked. "No matter.. I think you will, before the night is over." With that, he started to follow the impatient Bulma into the house, asking her something about his scouter, only to stop as Goku interrupted him.

"Raditz, I'm forgetting my manners. I introduced you to my friends, but not my friends to you--this is Master Muten Roshi, the Turtle Elder, and my first sensei--you do remember him from before, and this is Yamcha, whom I met a long time ago not long after I met Bulma-- wow, that'll be another whole night to tell THAT story!--and this is Tenshinhan and Chaozu.. Hmm, that's yet another long story. Let's just say they're good friends, and among Earth's great warriors. Kulilin's around here somewhere--he's the other warrior who was with Master Roshi and me when you showed up the first time, and, um.." Goku paused.

"..that's another long story?" Raditz filled in helpfully.

"Yep." Goku grinned. Raditz impulsively grinned back.

*      *      *      *

Kulilin wiped his hands on a towel and hurried out of the kitchen, into the living room. Bulma was just coming in the front door, and was talking over her shoulder to someone behind her--Goku, Kulilin supposed.

"The scouter?" she said. "It broke when Goku and Vegeta were fighting, but I still have it around somewhere--I always meant to see if I could repair it, but never got around to it before we dashed off to Namek, and after that I sort of forgot about it. Silly of me--there was some interesting technology in that device, and I could have used it later on."

"Hi, Bulma!" Kulilin announced himself, walking up to greet his old friend. "Hey, funny you should mention that old thing--I had the weirdest nightmare the other night that Goku's evil brother Raditz had come back from the dead and was hunting for me because he wanted his scouter back--"

As Bulma stepped into the living room, Kulilin suddenly realized he was face-to-stomach with the person following her into the house--a very large person in shattered saiyan armor. He looked up.

Raditz smirked down at Kulilin. "Actually, I do want it back, but just to show Bulma something."

"YAAAAHHHH!" Kulilin did a complete backflip across the room and landed on his feet. His face was dead white and his eyes were wide with pure terror. Oolong and Puar looked on in surprise.

Bulma couldn't help laughing. "Raditz! That.."--she was laughing almost too hard to talk--"..wasn't very nice!"

The long-haired Saiyan smiled. "Then why are you laughing so hard?"

She tried to quell the laughter, but it kept bursting out in giggles. "Sorry, Kulilin, but you should have seen your face!"

"..and people call me a coward!" Oolong muttered.

Kulilin turned red and angry as he recovered from his momentary panic. "Bulma! What is HE doing here? How did he come back to life?"

"I invited him, Kulilin, as did Bulma." Goku came in behind Raditz, who stood with his arms crossed, still amused by Kulilin's reaction.

"Oh. Well, if you did, I guess it's okay--but I wish you wouldn't surprise me like this. You could have warned me--"

Goku shook his head. "I still don't know the whole story myself. Bulma's waiting until we're all together after dinner."

"And after a hot bath and a change of clothes, which I'm going to take care of right now." Bulma looked critically at Raditz. "You already got a bath at the spring--"

"--courtesy of a supernaturally beautiful, completely unclad female nature kami." Raditz had an odd, dreamy expression on his face. Master Roshi, who'd just squeezed in past Goku, perked up at this. Raditz sighed. "Too bad I was dead at the time."

"Now that is one of the most depressing things I've heard yet," Muten Roshi muttered.

Oolong's eyes widened and his ears perked. "A naked goddess for a bath girl? I really, really want to hear this story! Bulma, can't dinner wait 'til later?"

"OOOOOOHHH!" Bulma was red and furious. "DO YOU TWO PERVERTS MIND?? There are children here! Raditz, keep the colorful descriptions to yourself--it only encourages them!" She glared at Oolong and Muten Roshi, and then turned back to Raditz.

"--AS I WAS SAYING, you've already had a bath, but you really need a change of clothes. Any more of your armor falls off, you'll violate several public decency laws. Trunks, you're next in line for the shower." Bulma disappeared down the hall without waiting for any responses.

Goku handed the mixing bowl to Kulilin and beckoned to Raditz. "Come on, I've got something for you." Raditz nodded and followed Goku out of the room.

Behind them, Kulilin could be heard: "Man, this is nuts!"

*      *      *      *

"Gohan, honey, you're wiggling more than the baby! Hold still, I'm almost done. There; we've got all those nasty burns dressed and bandaged." Chi-chi started to put away the medical supplies, and then reconsidered. "I'll leave these out for Bulma; she looked hurt, too."

"It's worse than it looks, Mom. You didn't really have to--"

"Gohan." The tone of her voice warned Gohan; he suddenly grew silent. "I don't know how you and Bulma managed to find so much trouble in a peaceful mountain village in Japan, but I've given up hoping that you and your father will stay out of danger. You seem to attract it, without even meaning to. But--" she glared at him, "what were you thinking of, dragging little Goten and Trunks into it?"

"Mom! I didn't even know they were with us! I didn't--" he shrugged helplessly at his mother's skeptical frown. "Ask Raditz! He was there, he knew what the kids were doing long before I did!"

"Ask who?" Chi-chi looked puzzled.

Voices drifted down the hall as Goku and Raditz came out of Goku's room. "Yeah, thanks, Kakarott. Bulma was right--that armor is a complete loss. No, don't throw it out yet, there's something stashed in the remote pocket that I want to give to Bulma--assuming it survived all the abuse that armor's taken in the last eight years. Heh."

Raditz wore a blue sleeveless gi and pants, and had tied his hair back in a loose ponytail. It didn't do much to restrain his hair, which still exploded all over his back down to below his knees, but at least it would keep it out of his dinner.

Chi-chi regarded him quizzically. "Umm, Goku? You never did introduce me to your friend."

Goku smacked himself on the forehead. "I'm sorry, Chi-chi, that was rude of me. Chi-chi, this is my older brother Raditz. Raditz, this is my wife Chi-chi--" Goku put his arm around Chi-chi's shoulder to steady her as she swayed, looking faint.

She steadied, and a dangerous light glittered in her eyes. Chi-chi stepped forward to face Raditz. "So you're Goku's brother? You're the person responsible for Goku getting killed the first time, and you kidnapped my little baby Gohan--and because of YOU, he was Piccolo's prisoner for a year!"

"Mom! Um, mom?" Gohan sounded worried, behind her.

"Uh, Chi-chi, I--" Goku started to say something, then Raditz stepped forward.

"Kakarott, this is mine to deal with, because she's right." He gently pulled Chi-chi into the nearest empty room--she was too startled to resist--and looked hard at an equally startled Goku. "Trust me." Then Raditz closed the door.

Goku and Gohan could hear Raditz speaking in a low, urgent voice for a few minutes. Then Chi-chi answered, also in a low voice, followed by the distinct sound of a slap. Gohan almost flung the door open then, but Goku restrained him, shaking his head.

Chi-chi opened the door, looking satisfied with herself. "Goku, your brother Raditz is welcome to dinner, in fact he is welcome to stay as long as he likes. But, honey, next time one of your long-lost, formerly dead relatives shows up for dinner--let me know ahead of time, okay?" She smiled sweetly and sauntered down the hall toward the living room and kitchen.

Raditz came out looking a bit subdued, and both Goku and Gohan could see the red print of a hand on Raditz's left cheek. Goku and Gohan exchanged glances, and Goku shook his head ever so slightly. They followed Chi-chi's lead, and headed for living room without mentioning it.

*      *      *      *

Chi-chi wiped perspiration off her forehead. "Whew! That's the last of it--Kulilin, call everyone to dinner." As he started to go, she added, "And Kulilin? Thank you so much for helping. I couldn't have gotten everything together for this crowd without it."

"Aw, it was no trouble. I help Eighteen out all the time, since she's so busy with the baby. She would have come, too, but she had to stay home with our girl."

Bulma entered the kitchen. "And I'm glad to hear it, Kulilin. At least you had the manners to do something besides idle about the house and watch Chi-chi work! Chi-chi, I'm sorry I couldn't be here to help sooner, but I'll at least help you serve all this and clean up afterwords."

"Thank you, Bulma." Chi-chi smiled. "Do you know that you're sounding like your old self again? I told you staying with us would do you good, girl!"

"Huh? What's this?" Kulilin asked as they started carrying food out to the tables.

"Oh, Bulma was really depressed for weeks after Vegeta died--wasn't sleeping or eating. I was worried sick about her--you would have been, too, if you'd seen her."

Kulilin looked downcast and ashamed. "I guess I should have checked on Bulma, but Eighteen and I were so busy and worn out with little Marron being sick and all--"

"Kulilin! Don't be silly! It's not your fault, and you were right where you should have been, helping your wife with your kid!" Bulma looked indignant. "Anyway, I got over the worst part, the nightmares, the first night here, and..." she trailed off as she looked across the room at Raditz, who was already helping himself to the rack of ribs at his end of the table. "I wonder.." she looked thoughtful, remembering the dream samurai who had slain the demons of her nightmares--the samurai that had looked exactly like Raditz.{1}

*      *      *      *

Finally, dinner and clean-up were done, and everyone gathered in the living room. Dr. Briefs and Ox King were the last to arrive, having eaten early and gotten "out of the way of the busy young folks" (actually, they'd retired to Ox King's room for an intense game of chess). Bulma noticed the knowing look Ox King gave to Raditz, and the slight, almost imperceptible nod Raditz made in response. What the heck?

Raditz tossed his shattered armor on the low table in the middle of the room. "Exhibit A," he cheerfully said. "As I said before, this" he pointed to the circular hole punched through both front and back, "was Piccolo's work. The rest of the damage was the work of one evil, arrogant bastard whose like I never want to face again--called himself 'The Opawang'--"

Master Roshi fainted.

*      *      *      *

"I must be getting old," Master Roshi's voice quavered. "I was trained better than that by the time I was fifteen." Muten Roshi was stretched out on the couch; he sat up as a concerned Goku and Kulilin hovered over him. A damp cloth still clung to his forehead, placed there by an anxious Chi-chi. He pulled it off.

Tenshinhan and Yamcha sat nearby, looking worried and just a little bit scared. Raditz had grabbed a spot on the other couch, but none of Goku's old friends had felt quite comfortable about sitting that close to him--so Trunks had grabbed the spot on his right, and Goten had crawled into Raditz's lap, wrapped himself up in a length of his uncle's hair, and gone to sleep. That had shocked Kulilin even more than Raditz's casual mention of the Opawang--little Goten's obvious familiarity with his uncle, and Raditz's open affection for the little boy. What had been going on here?

Master Roshi was puzzled, and worried. "How did you escape, then? I know the legend of the Opawang--if even part of it is true, he is immortal and unbeatable." He looked around as if even now the evil sorceror or his minions might burst in upon them.

"If your legend mentions that he was immortal, pretty much immune to damage, absorbed ki-energy like a demon, stole souls, and had weird magical attacks and defenses, yeah, your legend has some truth to it," Raditz said dryly. "And that's not mentioning his charming personality--an awful lot like Frieza's, only less friendly."

Master Roshi went white again, and Chi-chi nearly fainted.

"Well, for heaven's sakes, stop looking like you're about to jump out of your skin if someone says 'boo!'" interrupted Bulma. "He's dead, his minions are dead, and good riddance to the lot of them!"

"Dead? But how can you kill an immortal?" wondered Muten Roshi.

"First you strip him of his immortality," Raditz pointed out.

"*Ahem* I'm telling this story, Raditz! I'll let you know when it is your turn." Bulma sounded a bit snappish. "Anyway, it all started when we left here two days ago..."

"It started a bit earlier than that," Raditz muttered.

Bulma stopped, glared at Raditz, and drummed her fingers, waiting.


"Two days ago..." Bulma told the story{1}, with Raditz, Gohan, and Trunks filling in their pieces of the whole. Everyone's attention was riveted to the four of them--except for Goten, who slept cradled in his uncle's lap. There were many unexpected revelations...

.."You mean Raditz was hanging around here as a ghost the whole time? Man, this is nuts!"...


.."So it was you who ended my nightmares!" Bulma was awed.


.."My little Goten can see ghosts?" Chi-chi fainted...


.."Ox-King, you knew he was here?? Why didn't you tell me?"

"He said he was a friend of yours, Goku. I didn't know he was your brother."

"No, I said 'I wish I had been', and 'I'd like to be'" corrected Raditz...


.."Trunks kidnapped Goten and hid in the trunk of the car and you watched the whole thing and didn't do anything about it! RADITZ!"

"I was dead at the time. The only person listening to me was Goten, and none of you were listening to him--he's been telling you about me for the last six weeks!"

"Raditz, I'm his mother, and I usually know what Goten is saying, but 'Nunk Rats no fun, want hair' does not obviously translate into 'Uncle Raditz is a ghost, and I want to play with his hair'!" ...


.."Trunks, you killed all the ghouls by yourself, after Raditz told you how? You are doing very well indeed--your father would be proud." Goku beamed at his latest student.

"The only thing between my baby and dozens of hungry ghouls was a five-year-old boy??" Chi-chi fainted again...


.."Raditz saved the kids, and Gohan, and Bulma from the ghost Ochimo? We are talking about Goku's evil brother Raditz, right?" Yamcha cocked an eyebrow in Raditz's direction.

"Could we drop the 'Goku's evil brother' prefix to my name? Unless, of course, you need it to tell me from the other half-dozen Raditzs you know- --then you could just shorten it to 'Goku's brother'."..


.."You taught the river kami SIGN LANGUAGE while I was off nearly getting my soul eaten by the Opawang?"...


.."I'm afraid Raditz was right--that was a remarkably careless wish!" Master Roshi shivered.

"Yeah, it brought him back to life," Kulilin muttered.


"Sorry, Bulma."..


.."Gohan, aren't you glad I insisted that you take some extra food?"

"Well, *I* was glad of it," noted Raditz

"So was I!" added Trunks...


.."That monster kidnapped my baby??" Chi-chi looked faint...


.."TRUNKS killed the Air Ochimo? Whoa! I'm impressed!" Yamcha leaned over and exchanged a high-five with the violet-haired lad...


.."You left Goten with RADITZ??"

"Mom, I couldn't very well carry him into a fight with the Opawang, and Raditz likes him, so I figured it was okay."

"I was unconscious at the time, and didn't have much say in the matter."..


.."Eeeyewww! That is one nasty attack--good thing the Opawang didn't use it on anyone else. Bad enough he tried to kill our Bulma with it! Raditz, I apologize for anything rude I've said to you today; some of the things I've said were petty--and you saved Bulma's life at the cost of your own. How'd you get back again?" Kulilin was puzzled...


.."A naked godd---ERRRKK!" Oolong found it hard to talk with Bulma's hands wrapped around his throat.

"I warned you, Oolong!" Bulma snarled.

"Um, Bulma?"

"What, Yamcha?"

"You really should let Oolong go; he's turning blue."..


"..and then Dad and Piccolo showed up right after Raditz came back to life, to find us all pretty much okay. Dad looked kind of surprised to see Raditz, though." Gohan concluded.

"That isn't quite the expression I'd use--'utterly astonished' was more like it," Goku replied.

Raditz smirked. "Heh. Not half as astonished as I was to be there, little brother."


"Raditz is now Bulma's BODYGUARD? Man, this is COMPLETELY nuts!"

*      *      *      *


1. As told in "Raditz's Return".

[ Contents | III. Along the Way | IV. A Long Story | V. Shah Mat ]

Disclaimer: See Credits.

Copyright 2000 by Dragoness Eclectic