Thread PL: 55,454 Heavyweights ON: 13,863 Crappy starter, sorry... It was hours after they’d cleared out and Kay-El headed back to the Spinach Wastes, back to the Pixie Blue and, hopefully, her half-brother Pin who still didn’t know he was her half brother. It was all so complicated and she hoped he wasn’t mad at her for withholding the information or anything but she’d been nervous and wanted to wait a little so she could tell what kind of person he was before spilling the beans. She didn’t want to make him feel pressured or anything like that.
That dream shook her, made her re-evaluate waiting. It was a stupid idea because, as her teacher Mimikku said, family was always worth finding. Even though she was nervous that he’d hate her or send her away, they were still technically family and that had to mean something. She flew down until she was level with the hatch and knocked three times in rapid succession before her nerve left her, prepared to wait there until Pin came back if need be. Hopefully he wouldn’t take forever. Being out there all alone was kind of scary. True, she’d given Nana the slip more times than she could count since landing on Earth, but this felt different like it held more weight. She wanted to do this alone, needed to. Besides, Nana was at work by now, anyway.
Pin had been underneath the ship, tightening up a sensor array that just didn't want to cooperate. His helmet on the ground beneath him, he used his Aranea Module's extra arms to keep himself off the ground, rather than use his propulsors. He liked that it was a quieter option, and used less energy. As he came very near to cursing loudly as one of the sensors came loose all over again, he heard a rapid knocking on the outside of his ship.
A visitor at this hour? Sneaking up on him, no less? That was strange. He must have been more distracted than he'd realized. Grabbing his helmet and tucking it under an arm, he used his Aranea Module limbs to sort of walk himself out from under the hull of the ship. Approaching the entry hatch to see who'd knocked, Pin was very surprised to see one of his newest Hawks, Kay-El. It was...way the fuck past her bedtime.
"Kay-El? What the hell are you doing out here? Shouldn't you be asleep or something?"
He cocked his head to one side. She had a somewhat strange look on her face. Nervous, and excited.
She didn’t wait long before Pin snuck up from beneath the ship. Those dark eyes widened as she took him in with the extra limbs and only thought it looked cool. “Hi!” Kay said, feeling more put on the spot for no reason she could decipher. His tone, while not rude, was brisk and to the point as he asked her what she was doing there. She wrinkled her nose at him saying she should be sleeping or something, face scrunching up just a little with the movement. Maybe she should be, but she’d had...bad dreams, and a burning desire to tell Pin the truth.
“Well,” she said after he asked what he could do for her. He could listen, that would be nice, but she didn’t say that out loud. “I wanted to talk to you...without, without the others around.” There, that hadn’t been so hard, right? Right. She could so, totally, do this. “Back on Shikk...Sam told me I had a older half brother named Pin and that Mizuna left you like she left me…I mean not the same but she left us both...” she trailed off and took a deep breath after letting all that out in one fast-paced, solid rush of air. Should she explain more? If she kept talking would it just scare him off? Deciding to shut up and let him talk now, let him absorb the information, she looked down at the ground so she wouldn’t have to see any disappointment or anger on his face. Just because she wanted to get to know him didn’t mean he wanted to get to know her, or so she’d told herself to mentally prepare herself for the worst while secretly holding out hope for the best. "I'm sorry...maybe I should have come during the day...or not at all..."
Pin listened patiently as the little girl spoke. She'd apparently wanted to talk to him in private. This was no problem for him, and to be honest he'd expected that his birds would have at least some secrets that would eventually come to his attention in confidence. Still, he hadn't expected it to happen this soon, and he hadn't expected it from the little girl.
Before he could tell her to go ahead and say what was on her mind, she went ahead and said what was on her mind. She said something about Shikk and about Sam and about a half brother, and about...Mizuna. That name. Pin's face contorted at the sound of it, like he was smelling something particularly foul. His sneer was involuntary at just the thought of his mother.
Pin was shaken from his internal fury as Kay-El began to doubt whether or not she should have come here to begin with.
"No," he said, "No. It's fine. I don't sleep anyway, so I don't really give a shit what time it is..."
He paused a moment, seemingly lost in thought. The little dog Galactic Patrolman had said something about this. He'd dismissed the idea outright, the idea that he could have family. Mizuna had killed his father, after all. But then she'd left. She'd gone off and joined up with some faceless warlord. She hadn't been the sterile one, his father had. It wasn't impossible that Mizuna gave birth down the line. By a stretch of logic, that would make that baby Pin's half-sibling.
"Come...come in and sit down, Kay-El. I think we need to talk."
Pin opened the boarding hatch and retracted his Aranea Module arms. His boots touched down on the grass, and once the ramp was lowered, he stepped into the Pixie.
The expression on Pin’s face made her flinch. What if he really did just send her away? Was it a reaction to their potential relation? Or was it a reaction to something she said? Did he not want family? Or a sister to have to look out for? She’d assure him she could look after herself well enough, and she had Nana, but too terrified to even speak, Kay-El just waited for him to do that first. Time appeared to cease as she waited for him to say something, anything. Mountains moves, glaciers melted, the world kept moving, but why couldn’t he just look at her like she wasn’t crazy or weird or, worse, trouble. Or maybe that was just her projecting…
When he did speak, he didn’t sound happy. Then again, she had just unloaded all of this information rather unceremoniously. When he spoke, she looked up at him, eyes hopeful he wasn’t about to turn her away. She didn’t want to say anything earlier, in front of everyone, and she hoped he got that, that he understood why. Not just that, but she’d wanted to impress him as vain and proud as that might have sounded if spoken out loud.
She let out the breath she didn’t realize she was holding when he told her to come in, following him to the ground and then up the ramp, through the hatch and into the Pixie Blue. Talking was good, it was a start, and way more than she had to go on previously. Yes, they had a lot to talk about. She’d been so nervous and anxious and distracted the cursing didn’t phase her. Nana was way too fussy about that sort of thing, anyway, and for Kay-El she didn’t really mind. People should be able to speak how they wanted. Nana, afraid Kay-El would emulate it, didn’t realize that back on Shikk Kay heard far, far worse almost every day. “So, thanks…” she said softly. “For, um...talking to me.”
"No thanks necessary," Pin said as he led the girl into the common area of the ship. He gestured for her to take a seat, and retrieved two glasses from a nearby cupboard. One glass he filled with clean water from the Pixie's hydration supply. The other he filled with Kabochan Redbreast from his secret stash, hidden under one of the floor panels. He left his helmet on a nearby counter.
He sat, handing her the glass and looking her in the eye. He was as certain as he could be that this little girl was, in fact, an actual little girl. He'd detected no signs of a holographic image covering her true features, and as far as he knew there weren't any shapeshifting creatures that could hold a shape as long and as consistently as would be required to pull this ruse off. What had really sold him, however, was her mention of Sam. That mysterious bastard kept popping up in Pin's life, and he was starting to wonder exactly what interest the shady benefactor had in him.
"You mentioned two names that mean a fair bit to me - Mizuna and Sam. Start from the very beginning."
Standing there somewhat nervously, she took the glass but didn’t take a sip. Kay set it on a nearby surface and clasped her hands together mostly to keep them from shaking. The...whole story? It was so long, though, and some it happened a long time ago. Clearing her throat, she began to speak, her voice steady and even as a cornered kitten about to bolt at the first sign of trouble. “Well,” she said, eyes meeting his briefly before looking away again. Feeling self-conscious, she took a deep breath and let it out slowly.
“It was about a year ago. Six...six months after my dad died, I met Uncle Sam. He’s not really my uncle, but that’s what I call him and he didn’t seem to mind. My dad...adoptive,” she added, “When he died I was lost and very alone, vulnerable. And then Sam came into my life and he just sort of knew things.”
In some ways, talking about this felt freeing, but in others it remained difficult. Her fourth birthday started her down a downward spiral which only got worse when Pea told her flat out she blamed Kay-El for Wiz’s death. “I knew Mizuna’s - my birth mother’s name, she told it to the slave who helped deliver me...hidden away in some cave on Shikk like a mistake. I was told...we three spent the night in that cave but she was gone before Grady woke up.” Far above average for her age, if Pin knew anything about children, he might have noticed that about her. “Grady was the slave...he knew my parents, his ‘owners,’ couldn’t have kids so he brought me to them.” She looked up, wondering how best to continue and about what he thought so far of the mess that was her life.
Focusing, she tried to get back to the main story, about what he asked her about. Sam, Mizuna, and the latter part was more or less over for now. “When I met Sam he told me I didn’t have to be alone anymore, and that I could learn to control my own fate. I could find someone who would take care of me.” She looked up at him then, tears brimming in her eyes and threatening to spill over but she managed not to let them. “That...I had a b-brother.” She sniffled and looked away, disappointed in herself and fearing he’d get mad. She promised herself she wouldn’t cry, but saying everything out loud like this, for the first time, just brought it all back.
Pin listened carefully to what Kay-El told him. Patience was something he had in spades, but he was surprised to find he needed very little. The girl was straight forward and clear about the path that had brought her to him, and the tale made far more sense than Pin had anticipated. He nodded along with her, showing that he was listening and that he understood. He scowled at Mizuna's name, and scowled when Kay detailed her treatment by her adoptive mother.
What was it with Saiyan mothers?
When Kay started to cry, Pin sort of panicked. He'd never dealt with a crying child before - not directly at least. He'd caused a few children to cry, but that wasn't his problem. He suddenly became acutely aware that he didn't keep tissues on the Pixie. How rude of him.
"Hey, don't, ah, don't cry..." he said, stumbling over his words, "That shit's all over with. Hard times make us stronger..." He could tell she was embarrassed, which only made matters worse.
He looked around, downing his glass of redbreast. He spotted his helmet, and snatched it up off the counter he'd left it on.
"You know what always helps me keep myself together?" he said. He held up the white-and-purple helmet. "When nobody can see my face. It's empowering, just knowing that you can freak out as much as you want, and as far as anyone knows you're a stone-faced killer. Here, try it."
Without hesitating, he plopped the helmet down over Kay's head. It didn't fit in the slightest, but he hoped the gesture would be taken as intended.
"Sam came to me once, like he did with you. Well, he didn't come himself. He sent a big alien in a suit to talk to me. Like with you, he knew things about me that nobody could have known. He hired me a bunch of times, helped me get on my feet. I wouldn't be where I am today if it weren't for him. He introduced me to Habana, the Commander of the Saiyan Empire. Oddly enough, she calls him Uncle Sam, too..."
You know that time when someone tells you to stop crying and it works? Yeah, Kay didn’t either. As Pin tried to keep her from crying it just seemed to open the floodgates wider. Like that day in the park, someone actually showing kindness and understanding seemed to be her undoing. Already getting used to his choice of language, she looked down as he fumbled for something, she didn’t know what. As he spoke about something else, anything else, she looked back up and then the world went dark as the glorified metal bucket settled on her head...shoulders, hell, she was swimming in it. It worked, though. The surprise of the sudden darkness and his comforting words, she smiled even though he couldn’t see it and sniffled again, tears slowing their rolling paths down her cheeks.
Slowly, as he spoke, she relearned to breathe normally. Sam, she could focus on that, and seemed to latch onto it. Habana was a name she’d heard before but loosely like when people talked about the SSE in general, the higher ups name’s tended to make the circuits. Another smile about Habana calling him ‘Uncle Sam,’ too, and then a frown. Just how involved with the SSE was her brother? So many questions, but they could wait. Leaning forward, she took off the helmet and said, “Thanks...that really did help.” And then she threw her arms around him in a tight hug. It was just a little less hard to believe she was really there with him now. "He told me to look for you on Namek...but our pod got knocked off course."
Pin smiled at Kay-El, glad to see that he'd somehow managed to soothe her. The last thing he needed was an inconsolable child on his ship in the middle of the night with no solution in sight. He had a feeling this girl had seen more shit than he knew. The thought of it made him sad, put a pit in his stomach that he didn't quite understand. She'd latched so hard to the idea that he was her brother that, even if it weren't true, he wasn't sure he could be so cruel as to try to take that from her. And then she latched onto Pin. Physically. Surprised, Pin's arms went up, unsure where to put them. He had no idea what to do. Thinking about it, he'd never been hugged before.
"It's probably for the best," He said, "I wasn't on Namek for very long, and the time I did spend there I was involved in a pretty gruesome fight. Even as strong as you are, it was no place for a kid to be."
He decided to leave out the fact that he'd died. Technically. He didn't want to frighten the poor girl back into tears, and he certainly didn't want to have to explain the details of how death and rebirth worked for him, since it was a pretty complicated process and he wasn't super confident that he could simplify it for her. Instead, he decided to change the subject.
"So you ended up on Earth, huh? Good thing I decided to take a detour here before returning to Namek. Do you like Earth?"
The hug ended almost as quickly as it began. Leaning back, she frowned at his words, wondering what he meant by ‘bad.’ She’d left Shikk amidst some kind of attack, a veritable war zone, where she came face to face with the dead bodies of people she knew her whole life. No, places like those didn’t suit children in the slightest. “Did you win?” she asked, looking up into his eyes face to face now without the mask. “Why were you fighting? And why go back after you left?” So many questions, and since only the two of them existed on the ship in that moment, she felt alright asking like maybe she wouldn’t be bothering him. Or maybe she would...who knew?
At his question she paused, really thinking about the kind of answer she wanted to give. Did she like Earth? Earth wasn’t particularly different from where she’d come from on Shikk, but that didn’t make it bad or good or anything like that. “Earth...is okay,” she said simply, honestly. “Some parts are scary,” she thought of the time in the woods when that creepy ooze guy and his robotic friends showed up. “Others are fun, Ihave friends here. Sort of…” Like Core and Samba, Alex and Jax, and others she probably didn’t realize. The girl tended to make impacts on people whether she knew it or not, and they left their own marks, too. They’d be with each other like hand prints on their hearts, and whether or not they were changed for the better, they have been changed for good.
Pin listened as she hit him with a barrage of questions. None of them were particularly difficult, mind you, but they were rapid fire and as a result it was tough to get an answer in. Pin was patient, waiting for the moment when she would need to take a breath. He knew it would have to happen eventually.
"We were fighting because our enemies' mission was in direct conflict with our own. They wanted to conquer Namek, we wanted to be Namek's allies. We could have helped the conquering force and just allied with them after the fact, but it didn't feel right so we had to fight. I need to go back to pick up my partner, General Mayze. I didn't entirely leave by choice, so he got left behind."
He paused then. He hadn't answered her first question, and he looked away momentarily. He still hadn't heard from Mayze, still had no idea whether or not the battle had been won for the Devil's Knights or the Saiyan Solar Empire.
"I certainly hope we won," he said.
As Kay-El talked about her time on Earth, it sounded somewhat familiar. He'd had good times and bad times on Earth as well - his fight with Cornatto was a highlight (though he doubted he'd made a friend), but then the clusterfuck with the tree-beast and the floating island was an afternoon he'd prefer to forget. He'd certainly left an impact on Samba's life, and hopefully the lives on Shivere and Sake.
"It's good to have friends. I have a couple of friends back on Vegeta. Without them I wouldn't be who I am today. I'm sure they'd be happy to meet you - especially Habana. I'm sure she'll have plenty of questions about your interactions with Sam."
Her frown only deepened, giving the young face artificial lines. His answers only gave her more questions! “Why would you leave this Mayze behind? Why leave Namek if the battle wasn’t finished?” Despite being only half a Saiyan, she got all the training of a full-blooded one and then some. “Namek’s like...bizarro world, right? The grass is all blue and the sky and water is green? I think I’d be weirded out - I wonder if the water tastes the same. Did you drink the water? Did it taste funny?” Judging from him drinking whatever he was drinking now, she figured the android probably drank water, too, from time to time. Green water, just the thought made her shudder in both revulsion and curiosity.
At the mention of Habana and Sam again, she took a deep breath and said, “He told me things...about Miz….our mother. How does your friend Habana know Sam? He told me about you so I figured he knew you, or you knew him, he told me I’d be safe with you - that you’d look out for me.” This part felt easier than earlier, now that she’d had her little melt down she somehow felt better, it was strange how those things worked, right? At least he hadn’t rejected her outright. How much was she expected to tell him now? They were strangers still, strangers that shared a still mostly unspoken part of their history, tied together with invisible strings that needed to be tuned before they would make music. “What do you remember about her? I never met her…”
Pin chuckled slightly as the little girl continued her barrage of questions about how the Namek catastrophe had played out. He'd been hoping to spare her the details, as he wasn't sure how well she would take the idea that he'd been reduced to his metal endoskeleton, attempted to impale a Saiyan warrior, and then promptly bought the fucking farm. He wasn't sure she would understand that upon his death, there had been a protocol in place that would transfer his consciousness into the Pixie Blue, which would then in turn transmit his consciousness to a safe facility on Planet Vegeta where he would be rebuilt and revived while the Pixie returned to Vegeta on autopilot. It wasn't exactly a simple story to tell.
"I left Namek because I was...destroyed. The battle didn't go as I expected, and I was defeated. Like I said, I didn't plan on it," Pin said, wondering if this would just cause the girl to ask even more questions, "And I didn't get a chance to drink the water. I ended up underwater, but by then my tongue had been pretty much destroyed and I was too focused on the fight to notice the taste anyway. I don't entirely experience flavors the same way an organic being does, anyway. I'm not the right person to ask about how something tastes - just a warning for the future."
And then she asked him about Mizuna. About their mother. She asked what he remembered about this woman, this murderess that had abandoned them both. Kay had been spared the misfortune of ever truly knowing her.
"When I was first built, she was...distant. She didn't really know what to do with me, I think. After a little while she took to training me how to fight, but she never really showed me any form of care of compassion. I'd break a hand or crack a faceplate, and she'd just tell my father to fix me. I figured she would open up eventually, but then..."
Pin's face contorted and he looked off into the middle distance. He remembered how he found his father, a gaping hole in his chest, dead. He clenched his jaw and narrowed his eyes.
"Then she killed my father and left without a word. Last time I heard from her was years later when she sent someone to kill me."
Pin didn’t get to all of her questions, but he got to most which was impressive, to say the least. As Pin spoke, Kay-El blinked at the information, trying to process it as he talked of what happened on Namek. Destroyed? She didn’t know much about androids, but she heard once that they could be rebuilt she just never put two and two together in regards to Pin for some reason. It made sense, though, that if he fell he could rebuild to return later. Might be that luck really had been on their side in bringing them together. If he’d gone elsewhere to find recruits for his organization, or if he never fell in battle, the ripple effects of those changes might mean they never met each other.
Yes, she had more questions both about the battle and the whole not tasting things thing, but decided to stay her tongue for now. Kay-El figured she pestered him enough for one night and, besides, the conversation took a darker turn as they began to speak of their mother. It occurred to her then that, perhaps together, they could piece together some of the missing pieces their mother’s actions left in her wake. “Sam told me she asked him for help once...in getting out of a previous marriage,” she looked up at Pin. This might be hard for him to hear but the this conversation between the two needed to happen eventually and she figured better sooner rather than later. Like ripping off a band-aid, fast and quick so the true healing could be seen.
When he said that last bit about Mizuna trying to have him killed, her eyes widened in surprise before narrowing in anger. How dare she? That bitch! Whatever happened to her wasn’t Pin’s fault, Kay knew that much even if she didn’t hold all the details in that fine-tuned, small brain of hers. “I never got to meet her…” she said softly. “She birthed me in a cave on Shikk and the slave she roped into helping her delivered me to his masters, the Coliflo family, and they adopted me.” She knew other things, too, but wondered again how much to divulge since this was all so new. It wouldn’t serve to open all the old wounds and bare their souls only to find that hurt too much and stunted any relationship the two could form.